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2003-02-05 DfT-001
Department for Transport

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Government accepts HSC advice on rail safety


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ETCS
European Rail Traffic Management System
TPWS
ERTMS



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Department for Transport

Government accepts HSC advice on rail safety
_______________________________________________________________


date
5 Feb 2003 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release



Alistair Darling today accepted advice from the Health and Safety Commission on the implementation of the train safety device, European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) on Britain's railways.

In advice to the Secretary of State, published today, the HSC has agreed that the advanced system; ERTMS Level 2 is the most appropriate system for the rail network. ERTMS Level 2, which uses transmission based signalling, is currently on trial and if successful would allow for increased capacity.

The HSC has accepted that the fitment timetable recommended by the Uff/Cullen Inquiry in 2001 is not realistic. The only Level 2 site in regular operation in Europe is the secondary route between Bern and Olten in Switzerland, which includes no complex sidings or junctions. The HSC has advised that the Strategic Rail Authority take the lead in developing a single national programme for its development.

Alistair Darling said:

"The Government remains committed to improving safety on Britain's Railways.

"But, as the HSC have recognised, a viable ERTMS Level 2 system has not yet been developed. I have therefore asked the Strategic Rail Authority to develop a single programme for ERTMS development.

"In the meantime, we are continuing to increase levels of safety on the railway system through the installation of TPWS, which is on track to be completed by the end of this year." Notes to Editors

1. Copies of the HSC advice to Ministers is available from the HSC's press office.

2. The HSC advice says that the present programme of fitting the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) "is already delivering real safety benefits". It "accepts that the Uff/Cullen timetable for installing ERTMS is not viable" and that "the current state of technology means that at the moment further use of health and safety law to mandate ERTMS is not appropriate". The HSC endorses Level 2 as the best system for this country, although the HSC's consultants describe Level 2 as still at an early stage of development, and accepts that Level 1 will reduce capacity. The HSC recommends that the Strategic Rail Authority take the lead in developing a single national programme for ERTMS development.

3. ERTMS has three levels:

Level 1 uses lineside signals and monitors the train's speed to automatically slow it down to the designated speed for a particular section of track or to stop the train altogether. Although level 1 exists it would restrict capacity on busy lines. Level 1 is fitted to a line in Bulgaria, is planned to be being fitted on a line in Germany (Juterborg - Halle/Leipzig) and to Vienna - Budapest.

Level 2, which is being trialled, uses transmission based signalling and can allow removal of lineside signals. This increases capacity. The only Level 2 site in regular operation in Europe is the secondary route between Bern and Olten in Switzerland, which includes no complex sidings or junctions. There are test sites in other European countries.

Level 3 is entirely transmission based and should produce further capacity and commercial benefits but it is still at a very early stage of development. There are no trial sites anywhere in Europe.

4. Train Protection Warning System continues to be fitted across the network for completion at the end of 2003. TPWS will safely stop trains attempting to pass a red signal at up to 75mph. At higher speeds it will slow the train to reduce impact. The number of signals passed in 2001/02 was the lowest since records began in 1985.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300 Department for Transport
Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk


Railhub Archive ::: 2003-02-05 DfT-001





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