The European Train Control System (ETCS) is an uniform European rail traffic management system designed to replace the many incompatible safety systems currently used by European railways. ETCS is based on on cab signalling and spot and/or continuous track to train data transmission. Instead of lineside signals, a computer in the driver's cab controls the speed and movement of the train, whilst taking account of other trains on the railway. ETCS is specified at four different levels (0-3) which are downward compatible.
Level 0 applies when an ETCS-fitted vehicle is used on a non-ETCS route. The ETCS system monitors only the maximum speed of the train, and the train driver observes the trackside signals. Level 1 is a cab signalling system that can be superimposed on the existing national signalling system. Eurobalise radio beacons pick up signal aspects from the trackside signals and transmit them to the vehicle as a movement authority together with route data at fixed points. The on-board computer continuously monitors and calculates the maximum speed and the braking curve from this data. Continuous transmission is possible with an additional installation of Euroloops and Radio Infill Units. Level 2 is similar as level 1 but ETCS data transmission is continuous via GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway). Level 3 is similar as level 2 but train location and train integrity supervision no longer rely on trackside equipment. ETCS goes beyond pure train protection functionality with the implementation of full radio-based train spacing.
We are modelling ETCS level 1 without Euroloop and Radio Infill Units and without considering the national system. An infrastructure with a 20 km route is also being modelled. Due to the backward compatibility of the levels it is possible to extend the model and add other levels.