To ensure the interoperability of European trains throughout the European railway network, an ambitious initiative was started by the European Commission in the early nineties. This was ERTMS (European Railway Traffic Management System), which had the aim of developing a new command and control systems for railways. Under the European Commission's 4th Framework RTD Programme, several projects have been launched to contribute to the development and evaluation phase of ERTMS.
ERTMS EUROSIG aimed to produce an overall system architecture for railway signalling, and to specify all the interfaces that need to be standardised in order to ensure interoperability. In addition, the specification and development of test tools was needed for the initial validation phase.
A secondary objective was to serve the interoperability requirements, for European high-speed rail networks, by creating a common set of technical specifications. This was to establish a basis for inputs to subsequent standardisation activities.
ERTMS EUROSIG has produced:
- A complete set of interface, test, and test tool specifications, which will be adopted for other ERTMS projects, to help ensure true functional interoperability for operators throughout European rail networks.
- Tools for the EUROBALISE project, which will allow actual components to be checked against defined interface specifications.
- Tools for the EURORADIO project, for the definition of test configurations on laboratory or in-situ system tests. This work was carried out in close co-operation with the EMSET project.
The specific contribution of the ERTMS EUROSIG project to the overall ERTMS concept will be further pursued by projects like EMSET, which focuses on test specifications and test tool development.
ERTMS is a high level scheme aimed at developing a new control command system for railways, with the final purpose of ensuring interoperability of trains throughout the European railway networks.
Subsequently, the achievements of ERTMS EUROSIG are intended to be the bases for (future) national bodies responsible for interoperability certification.