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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

Interoperable and safe railways in Germany

ERTMS is bringing the European railway network together

railway station
Interoperable and safe railways in Germany

The project supported through the CEF Transport Programme was the first major roll-out of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in Germany. ERTMS is a single European railway signalling and speed control system that ensures interoperability of the national railway systems, reducing the purchasing and maintenance costs of the signalling systems as well as increasing the speed of trains, the capacity of infrastructure and the level of safety in rail transport.

ERTMS comprises of the European Train Control System (ETCS), i.e. a cab-signalling system that incorporates automatic train protection, the Global System for Mobile communications for Railways (GSM-R) and operating rules.

The project covered the preparatory phase and then trackside deployment of ERTMS (Level 1 and Level 2), on some sections of the Rhine-Alpine Core Network Corridor between Oberhausen, in Germany, and the Swiss border. The total length of these sections is of approximately 1,240 km, 363.8 km of which will also be equipped with ETCS. In addition, the Action includes the GSM-R adaptation and interlocking design and deployment on those sections where ERTMS L2 will be deployed.

The completion of this project has improved safety on the affected railway lines, reduced travel time, optimised line traffic (reducing congestion) and improved cross-border operation with Switzerland.



Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (Germany)