Signalling: Status of ETCS in Austria

Posted: 11 April 2014 | Manfred Pisek, Leader of the Operational Requirements Management Department, ÖBB Infrastructure / Stefan Gaider, ETCS Infrastructure Project Leader – Engineering Services, ÖBB Infrastructure | No comments yet

When planning first began to implement ETCS Level 2 in Austria, ÖBB – the Austrian Federal Railways – was also faced with the challenge of creating and adapting its operational rules and procedures at that time. Therefore, in parallel to the technical projects for GSM-R, infrastructure and rolling stock etc., a project known as ‘ETCS-operations’ was started to define the ‘operational requirements for ETCS’ as a basis for the call for tender and also to close the gap between existing conventional rules and future ETCS rules and procedures. Beside this major task, this project was also responsible for defining how to work in a degraded mode, how to operate an RBC (Radio Block Centre) and how to handle failures.

The first fixed-target was to create ‘independent’ rules which meant that in one situation an actor should operate in one way, independent of the usage of the system. This was absolutely necessary because some parts of the network are covered by train control systems, ETCS Level 2 and the conventional PZB system.

The part of the project concerning rules and procedures began with the evaluation of Appendix A of the TSI OPE and the context to the existing operational rules and procedures for conventional traffic. Based on the operational requirements, a first set of ‘draft rules for ETCS’ was developed.

These rules were the main part of the functional requirement specification of the system and with this ÖBB started the tender process in May 2008 with an EU-wide call. After nearly one year and many negotiations later, a supplier named Thales Rail Solutions was chosen, which meant that ÖBB could begin the conversation of the functional requirement specification into project specific system requirement specification for the Thales RBC system.

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