While individual urban transport operators have in the past thirty years been at the forefront of introducing advanced systems such as ATS (automatic train supervision), ATP (automatic train protection), ATO (automatic train operation) and driverless or unmanned trains this has been carried out on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the guidelines and specifications developed for each system. In large part this is due to the absence of pressing practical necessity for interoperability and intermodality of the type encountered in mainline rail systems, particularly when operating across national boundaries. The barriers to mass market in mass transport technologies are not primarily technical: overwhelmingly they are institutional, legal or rooted in corporate cultures. The task to overcome these obstacles is challenging and political. The starting point, however, is to develop an agreed set of requirements as a basis for a common management system.
UGTMS global objectives are to:
- Objective 1: analyse transfer of ERTMS ATP requirements (directive 96/48 on high speed rail);
- Objective 2: define the relevant functional and system requirements specification for all types of urban transport management systems in order to improve interoperability and intermodality;
- Objective 3: define open system standards, to allow gradual change towards harmonised systems, to foster the European market and to reduce Life Cycle Costs (LCC);
- Objective 4: propose a common approach for safety and conformity assessment in order to improve the consistency of existing regulations taking into account IT systems;
- Objective 5: initiate the premises of a 'centre d'excellence' for safety by a Network of Universities.
The work within the project was carried out through 5 work packages:
- Project management: The project has been organised and led in the strict respect of the EC rules, and using all the available relevant information.
- UGTMS Definition, ERTMS & other review: Objectives - Build consensus about UGTMS definition - Build a functions list - Make an architecture attempt - Benchmark UGTMS as defined above with recent projects - Benchmark UGTMS with ERTMS in order to maximise the reusing of ERTMS functions and products
- UGTMS ATP FRS: The following Sub-Tasks have been set up: <
The individual results from UGTMS can play an important role in the enhancement of safety in public transport. However, all transport operators, research institutes, and industrial partners recognise the importance of the various results from the project. Over the last thirty years, many urban railway systems have been equipped with traffic management and maintenance assistance systems covering centralised supervision, automatic train protection, automatic train operation and, more recently, driverless or unattended operation. The main suppliers have developed specific systems for information processing and for communication between trains and control centres.
As a result, operators essentially use products coming from their own countries. Concerning Command/Control Systems for urban railway systems, UGTMS is a research project similar to what ERTMS has been for high speed and conventional railways. Within the UGTMS research project, the operators, the industry the research centres and the universities are writing a set of functional and system requirement specifications (European/world-wide) for future mass transit systems. Knowing that a consensus between operators could be difficult to achieve, the European Commission has only approved the first phase of the project so far.
The European Commission is hence funding 50% of the costs to create in this domain the premises of a European research pillar. The main challenge for sustainable mobility in Europe is how to allow overall traffic to increase while reducing its impact on physical, social and human environments. UGTMS will improve the balance between public and private means of transport by increasing the use of information technologies in public transport systems. This will promote the use of public means of transport inside urban areas and throughout larger regional areas. This will also ensure a higher level of safety at an affordable cost, both for users and for society, through more efficient transport operation and a more intensive use of pre-existing transport infrastructures.
To achieve this:
• UGTMS took into account:
- Most advanced projects like OURAGAN in France, STAR in Germany and Canarsie Line in New-York
- Recent realisations like the fully automated METEOR line in Paris.
• UGTMS covers a large spectrum of needs:
- Train Supervision, Train Operation a
New activities are included, in a broader context, in a proposal for a new research project called 'MODURBAN' issued in answer to the last EC December call for tender. MODURBAN will address all critical elements of the next generation of urban-guided public transport systems. This will effectively create the complete research pillar in the urban rail domain. It is important to note that the members of this consortium have also launched, on a voluntary basis, a parallel, worldwide process for the standardisation of urban transport command/control systems. This group WG40 works as shown by the diagram below, through the IEC, with a parallel CENELEC voting procedure. The WG40 contributes to create the standardisation pillar for the urban command/control systems. Finally, UITP and UNIFE propose to work informally with the European Commission about new regulations concerning domains not already covered by existing railway directives. This can be regarded as a proactive effort to complete the regulation pillar for the whole of the urban-guided transport systems (including command/control subsystems).
The UGTMS project met its objectives but obviously the subject matter: 'MODURBAN' still requires further developments, namely:
- The functional specifications for the non 'safe train protection' functions
- The relevant system requirement specifications for an open Common Core system architecture and its key standardised interfaces