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Rail News: Communication and Signal

European rail systems to address interoperability issue


European government and railroad officials believe the continent's rail system needs to be more interoperable to meet future freight- and passenger-rail demands. On Thursday, the system will take a step in that direction when officials sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that establishes basic implementation principles for the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

Representatives from the European Commission, Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, International Union of Railways (UIC), European Rail Infrastructure Managers and Union of European Railway Industries plan to sign the MOU.

Designed to improve interoperability and capacity utilization, ERTMS is a "harmonized" control-command and signaling system.

"Without a coherent, modern European rail network, [railroads] — in particular freight — will not be able to achieve their full potential on long-distance, cross-border journeys," UIC officials said in a prepared statement. "A joint European-wide approach along key corridors is needed in order to avoid isolated national applications."

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More News from 3/14/2005