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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Swiss transit road launches Bombardier's radio-controlled traffic-management system

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) April 29 began operating a Bombardier Transportation-designed European rail-traffic management system (ERTMS) on its 22-mile Olten-to-Luzern, Switzerland line.

The standard ERTMS Level 2 — which Bombardier officials believe is the first commercially viable ERTMS Level 2 system in the world to be used for passenger service — is designed ease cross-border traffic and boost SBB's efficiency, helping increase capacity, speed traffic and lower operating costs.

Passenger trains crossing several countries typically require time-consuming locomotive and driver changes at borders, or trains might have to be equipped with systems of several countries.

ERTMS Level 2 is designed to process and send train-engineer information and instructions directly to a cab monitor via radio communication.

The system includes a radio block center, radio system, and on-board equipment for 59 locomotives and 200 positioning transmitters. The radio
transmission system uses Global System for Mobile Communication-Railway technology.

The radio-communication system — which would replace track-side signals — also can monitor train speed and, if necessary, automatically intervene, enabling passenger railroads to operate at higher speeds with shorter headways.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/1/2002