The current authorisation process for placing into service rail vehicles according to Technical Specifications for Interoperability and national safety rules is a very long and costly process. The Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) provide common regulations for the placing in service of rail vehicle, when such common understanding and harmonized rules exist. This is not the case for Electromagnetic Compatibility between rail vehicle and installed track circuits, which represents one of the major cost drivers in the authorisation process.Indeed each country has developed its own requirements and assessment process in many cases on an empirical basis and/or not even written down.
The EUREMCO ("European Railway Electromagnetic Compatibility") project objective is to harmonise and reduce the certification process of rail vehicle against Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC). The main concept of the project is to specify the conditions for cross-accepted certification all around Europe, through sound scientific methodologies allowing for the identification of the transfer functions to be applied to results obtained on different test tracks in different countries, for the same power supply system.
For this purpose, a common understanding of transients very short and very high interference currents and a harmonized test procedure will be developed. By addressing also non electrified lines, the EUREMCO project will cover the whole European railway network.
By closing the corresponding open points in the TSIs, the EUREMCO project will lead to a time and cost reduction of the certification process of rail vehicle against Electromagnetic Compatibility issues, which correspond to an estimated saving of 60m for the next 15 years.
A step forward for reconciling trains and tracks in Europe
Electromagnetic interference poses a major barrier to achieving rail interoperability across Europe. Harmonising rules and accelerating the certification process should help overcome this barrier.
Lengthy and costly is the only way to describe the current authorisation process for bringing rail vehicles into service according to technical specifications for interoperability (TSI) and national safety rules. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) between rail vehicles and installed track circuits represents one of the major cost drivers in this process for putting new rolling stock on the tracks. Each country has its own rules and assessment procedures, which hinders true interoperability.
The http://www.euremco.eu/ (EUREMCO) (European railway electromagnetic compatibility) project addressed the core issue of EMC. Closing some 'open points' in TSI related to EMC should lead to a time and cost reduction of rail vehicle certification processes.
Currently, there are no standards or procedures addressing the transient effects on track circuits. Sharing of operator and manufacturers' data on transients with the European community of experts formed a key part of project activities. This knowledge should help address how to handle those transients that affect data acquisition during certification tests. Work was carried out on the characteristics of transients that cause interference. Another activity was a modelling exercise that gives the transfer function from the train to the track circuit receiver and the effects of transients.
To validate the current TSI version for the 15 kV AC power supply system, three project partners (rail operators) carried out measurement campaigns in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The measurements were taken using a locomotive with different capacitive input impedances for simulating roof cables with different lengths.
Project partners achieved significant progress in defining and proposing European-wide cross-accepted test tracks for the 25 kV AC and DC power supply systems. Results should help facilitate certification in all countries using such electrification systems.
EUREMCO partners also provided a recommendation to help prevent rolling stock from interfering with track circuits on non-electrified lines. EMC measurements successfully proved the consistency of this recommendation.
Once Europe reaches common understanding on transients and sets interference emission limits, it should be possible to use the results obtained in one country to authorise the operation of a vehicle in another.