The effect of train operations using ETCS on capacity consumption is an important aspect in the justification and planning of ETCS implementation with adequate migration strategies. In the March 2008 study dealing with the capacity of lines, professor Wendler’s expert team from the Institute of Transport Science (VIA) of RWTH Aachen University examined the influence of the various ETCS configurations based on typical "synthetic" models covering track and timetable configurations for high-speed, conventional mixed traffic and regional train services.
Since then the VIA Consulting & Development GmbH team has been tasked by UIC with developing a similar study on the influence of ETCS on the capacity of nodes. In the preparatory phase, it became clear that the "synthetic" model approach could not be used. Instead, it was agreed to analyse typical real examples of nodes with the corresponding track-layouts and programmes for train operation: the node of Munich (DB) as an example of a dead-end station and the node of Bern (SBB) as an example of a transiting station. The calculation of these cases, analysing the influence of numerous ETCS configuration parameters onboard and trackside, proved to be very challenging for the railways involved and the VIA experts. Enormous volumes of geographical and operational data had to be gathered and structured in a suitable manner. Advanced IT-tools were used for modelling and calculations whereby some of those tools were further developed and refined "on the job".
After completion of the work, at end of January 2010, the authors presented and discussed the results at a workshop with interested experts from several networks and railway companies. The reactions were unanimously positive and since then, some of the railway representatives have expressed their interest in additional bilateral studies. This and the previous report help to improve the understanding of the influence of ETCS on the capacity of lines and nodes and thus contribute to the optimal application of this new technology.
Peter Winter, ERTMS advisor at UIC
|Author||UIC - ERTMS (ETCS/EIRENE) MMI|