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2001-03-29 ATO-001


Rail industry gives its commitment to ERTMS

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Association of Train Operating Companies

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Rail industry gives its commitment to ERTMS

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2001-02-23 Passenger rail performance: Oct 2000-January 2001 (Strategic Rail Authority)


29 March 2001
source ATOC
type Press release

The rail industry today committed its united efforts to implement the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

Following publication of Lord Cullen and Professor Uff's joint inquiry the Association of Train Operators (ATOC), Railtrack, Railway Safety and Railway Industry Association (RIA) re-affirmed their combined support for ERTMS fitment. The Strategic Rail Authority has welcomed this, and endorses the programme of work to be undertaken.

Railway Safety, which succeeded Railtrack's Safety and Standards Directorate, is already co-ordinating work on key issues for implementation on the UK network whilst the joint inquiry's recommendations were awaited.

Around £100 million has already been spent in the UK on trials and development of automatic train protection systems, mostly on ERTMS. It is already being progressed in the UK with Railtrack's West Coast Main Line project, incorporating ERTMS when the upgrade is completed in 2005. As part of this Railtrack is commissioning a test track at Old Dalby, Leicestershire for trial running of ERTMS levels 1 and 2.

An industry-wide programme board, jointly chaired by the SRA and Railway Safety, has been set up. A project team managed by Railway Safety is being set up to draw up a project plan for the complex and extensive work programme. Its £5 million budget has been made available through Railway Safety's £75 million, five-year research budget, allocated by the Strategic Rail Authority and agreed by the Rail Regulator.

Railway Safety Chief Executive Rod Muttram said: "The industry is committed to implementing ERTMS. But there can be no underestimating the magnitude of the task - and it's one the industry must get right. What is already heartening to see is the whole industry coming together on this and that is critical to the success of what is undoubtedly one of the biggest engineering projects ever undertaken on the UK railway."

"The project plan will be a key strategic tool setting out which routes and fleets will be fitted and when. It will take at least 10 years to fit high-speed routes. That's not the industry dragging its feet - there is a huge amount to do and it must be carried out whilst keeping the railway open and delivering improving levels of service to passengers. That is why it is still very important to complete the simpler TPWS system first, because of the lives it will save in the interim. Priority can then be given to fitting the high-speed routes with ERTMS first."

The plan is likely to initially set firm timescales and technical approaches for priority routes leaving more flexibility on others where TPWS gives interim protection. These other routes will be firmed-up later to ensure best value for the public purse taking into account other schemes such as routine renewals and rolling stock replacement and growth through the re-franchising process.

Endorsing the jointly-led programme, Sir Alistair Morton, Chairman of the SRA, said: "The industry must tell the public what it is doing and must keep to the timetable. Co-operation and marshalling of resources will be the key."

Welcoming the report, ATOC Director General, George Muir, said: "The installation of TPWS now combined with the future installation of European train protection will provide our passengers and staff with an even safer railway."

Railtrack's Director of Safety and Environment Chris Leah said: "Railtrack along with the rest of the industry has identified ERTMS as the future for rail safety. We have played a full part with our European partners and the work on the West Coast Main Line underlines our commitment."

"There remains much work to be done to understand all the issues around a greater roll-out of ERTMS across the network and Railtrack is ready and willing to help develop these works. Safety remains the number one priority of the company."

Jeremy Candfield, Director General of the Railway Industry Association, which represents the supply industry, said: "We welcome the commitment to ERTMS. It makes far more sense to adopt the European standards in future than to perpetuate national ones. The supply industry will play its full part in the project team."


Notes to Editors

1. Automatic Train Protection (ATP) is a generic range of systems and technologies to help prevent or reduce the consequences of driver errors (SPADs and overspeed). There is a wide range available, from simple trainstops to the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) being installed on the national network, to the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

2. TPWS is a safety system that lessens the consequence of a signal passed at danger by stopping a train as quickly as possible. It will automatically stop a train (if travelling at less than 75mph) at, or just past (within a safety overlap) a red signal by applying a train's brakes without needing any action from the train driver. The system will also significantly reduce the consequences of a collision that may occur to a train travelling faster than 75mph which passes a red signal by reducing the speed.

3. ERTMS provides automatic train protection by continuously supervising train speed. Trains use data (e.g gradients, signal aspects, braking performance) to calculate a safe speed envelope. The system will intervene if the train overspeeds to bring it back into the envelope. The system stops a train safely if the signal is at red. For more information on the levels of ERTMS and graphics of how each level works please visit the ERTMS website at www.ertms.com

4. Railway Safety leads long-term safety strategy and policy for the industry; maintains and develops Railway Group Standards and audits train and station operators' compliance with them; assesses railway Safety Cases; measures and reports on safety performance, data and risk to inform safety decisions.

5. For more information contact: ATOC Press office on 020 7904 3077; Railtrack Press Office on 020 7557 8292/3; Railway Safety Press Office on 020 7904 7524/5; SRA Press Office on 020 7654 6339; and Graham Coombs at RIA on 020 7201 0777.

Railhub Archive ::: 2001-03-29 ATO-001


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