University of Cambridge > > IET Cambridge Network - Lectures > AN OVERVIEW OF THE EUROPEAN TRAIN CONTROL SYSTEM (ETCS)


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The European Train Control System (ETCS) was developed, following European initiatives, along with secure voice and data communications, from the standardised European Rail Traffic Management System. ETCS has become the de facto standard for new railways, and existing national rail networks are being migrated to the new ETCS technology, across Europe but also world-wide. The standardised ETCS has opened new markets to suppliers, and given railways access to a wider supplier base. The talk considers the evolution of train control systems from a conventional lineside signalling approach through significant evolutionary steps to ETCS . It outlines the fundamental concepts around which all ETCS applications are built. The benefits and challenges of introducing ETCS on to a busy network are considered. The talk is illustrated with examples from projects in the UK and overseas.

The speaker Bob Barnard is an electronic engineering graduate who has spent his career as a railway signal engineer working for a supplier organisation, now Alstom. He has specialised in the development and introduction of new technology into main line and urban signalling systems, including safe computers, modern train control, and driverless peoplemover systems. For some years he has worked on ERTMS applications, most recently for the introduction of Level 2 ETCS on to the British main line network. Recently retired from full-time work, Bob has always been active in cross-industry professional activities and is a past-president of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, and a Fellow of the IET .

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