The main scope of the Next Generation Train Control (NGTC) project is to analyse the commonality and differences of required functionality for mainline and urban lines, and to develop the convergence of both ETCS and CBTC systems, determining the level of commonality of architecture, hardware platforms, and system design that can be achieved. This will be accomplished by building on the experience of ETCS and its standardised train protection kernel, where different manufacturers can deliver equipment based on the same standardised specifications, and by using the experience suppliers have gained by having developed very sophisticated and innovative CBTC systems around the world.
The aim is not to develop a system of 'one size fits all', but to make progress for all railway domains in terms of increasing the commonality in system design and hardware, with various benefits like increasing economies of scale for suppliers, and for customers amongst others an increased competition between suppliers, based on standardised functions and interfaces.
On top of the synergy of both systems, the NGTC project will aim to apply new technologies to the new train control system. Based on worldwide market driven requirements, NGTC proposes research work on Satellite positioning, a further development of IP based radio communication, and a system approach to the moving block concept that is non-existent at the moment. If necessary, proposed modifications of the ERTMS message structure will be provided, to make it a scalable solution including urban applications, while maintaining the backward compatibility with the Baseline 3 ETCS message specifications.