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No problem, I still don't have a clear picture of ETCS versions myself
(compare the Wikipedia entries for LZB and ETCS, and you'll see that the latter is rather unclear)

here I repeat one message from a discussion in LinkedIn, with some additions:

After my reading on signaling systems in Europe a decade ago, I fail to see what improvements would ETCS bring over the already existing LZB (or TVM-430).

It would be much simpler to settle into a selection of either the German (LZB) or the French (TVM-430) system, and be done with it decades ago.

Instead, we saw yet another system that has some added negative aspects:

  • cost (debugging, installing/retrofitting in locomotives etc.) of a new system instead of using one already existing system

  • incompatibilities even between ETCS versions (when you ask a supplier "I want ETCS in my locomotive", he'll ask you "which version do you want?").
And your ETCS locomotive is not going to work over all Europe anyway, since each national network has its own ETCS version.

  • adding yet another system into already entrenched areas (LZB and TVM-land) was never going to work (why rip out an already installed system?), with suppliers asking a 6-digit figure for installing it.

  • AND you have to install LZB anyway, if you want to run in high speed (160+ km/h) routes in Germany anyway (Indusi/PZB is standard equipment in locomotives sold in Europe).
So, you pay two times for the signaling equipment of your locomotive.

Even today, there are new signaling systems created (SCMT in Italian network), despite the existence of ETCS.
Shouldn't this tell you something?

When I visited Innotrans in last September in Berlin, I saw a Siemens Vectron locomotive outfitted with 11(!) different signaling systems in one rack.
But all this added complexity comes at a great cost.
We could reduce that to 10 if we left out ETCS, and everything would work nicely.

And I really fail to see what improvement would ETCS bring over LZB/TVM-430.

Frequency?
There are TGV trains running at 3 minute headways in rush hour.

Higher speed?
RENFE still doesn't permit above 300 km/h runs on ETCS-2

Safety/Reliability?
After the disaster in China (where the signaling is supposedly based on a local version of ETCS-2), I have my doubts
(and the idea of using wireless for sending safety-critical data makes me VERY uncomfortable)

Lower costs?
Compared to already existing and in production systems, I fail to see it

Features?
Note that compared to the LZB video I showed, ETCS Level 2 cannot provide AFB (automatic train-pilot) from what I know, neither it is as flexible regarding braking distances
(I mention the latter one with reservations, since I haven't seen any ETCS/ERTMS documentation yet)

N.F.

by nfotis on Sun Aug 7th, 2011 at 10:27:34 AM EST
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