Alstom ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2
Alstom's ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2 is based on data fusion. Photo Credit: Alstom

Alstom’s Data-Fusion ETCS Standard Obtains Full Certification

Alstom has received full certification of its ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2, the latest interoperability standard for railways. Alstom has also been certified by Belgorail to implement its world-first data fusion algorithms using both satellite navigation and inertial movement to accurately and safely measure the location and speed of trains. The certification comes ahead of the company’s large-scale rollout of the solution in Norway.

The European Train Control System (ETCS) is the command/control subsystem of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) which was developed to standardise Europe’s cross-border rail traffic. The use of ETCS provides increased speed, reliability and capacity. ETCS includes continuous radio-based automatic train protection, thus optimising higher-speed operation and supporting network interoperability while reducing maintenance costs for the operator. The latest ETCS standard includes higher radio capacity and other evolutions to better address railways needs.

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The new odometry system based on data fusion, which Alstom is currently implementing in Norway, is applicable to all types of trains and all environments, including the harshest weather conditions. According to Alstom, 450 trains will be equipped with the new standard and in commercial service across Norway by 2026. Tests for the first locomotive equipped with the new solution will begin later this year.

“In a decisive move towards digitalisation in rail, Norway has chosen to equip the whole country with the latest version of the European interoperability standard, demonstrating the country’s leading strategy for a greener future. We are immensely proud to be participating in this, and even more so with a world-first technology for which we have just obtained certification,” said Rob Whyte, Managing Director, Alstom Nordics.

Alstom’s data fusion innovation obviates the need for the external radar components for localisation and speed measurement that are used today. Data fusion is the process of aggregating multiple data sources to produce more consistent, accurate, and useful information than that provided by any individual data source. The latest ETCS equipment is built as a hybrid with both inertial and satellite sensors and is installed within the train, preventing it from effects of weather conditions. The algorithms used are able to maintain precision even in covered areas such as tunnels.

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Alstom is a global leader in onboard ERTMS equipment with its Atlas solution. The company has so far been contracted to equip up to 9,000 trains with the Atlas solution, out of which 1,100 vehicles will be equipped with the latest Baseline 3 Release 2 solution.

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