On Thursday 20th September a fully packed room of ERTMS supporters and curious participants gathered at Innotrans to listen to high-level panel speakers explaining why ERTMS can be considered as the real backbone of the digital railway. Representatives of the European Rail Industry alternated on stage to debate on how active the suppliers have been in the last years in the development of the future evolution of ERTMS, especially concerning Hybrid Level 3 which can deliver better capacity and increase reliability while remaining fully compatible with ERTMS Level 2 and Cyber Security with the aim of strengthening the level of protection against any significant threat to the signalling and telecom systems. Number of representatives from the European Commission, the European Railway Agency and the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking joined the discussion as well to reiterate there is still a strong positive business case for ERTMS deployment at European level and to point out the positive collaboration with the Industry in the definition of Research and Innovation activities. It was reminded the great job done by the ERTMS Stakeholders Platform Test & Validation subgroup, led by UNISIG members, which proposed an efficient ETCS System Compatibility demonstration process, to be included in the next version of the CCS TSI. During an interesting debate which followed the speakers’ presentations, it was commonly recalled that to fully benefit from the expansion of capacity in the European railway infrastructure, a swift and timely implementation of digitization projects is needed.
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