ERTMS Benefits

Being compatible throughout Europe, ERTMS provides the European Union with a unique opportunity to create a seamless railway system, where trains may run from Barcelona to Warsaw without facing technical problems related to signalling.

However, interoperability is far from being the only advantage brought by ERTMS. Indeed, ERTMS has also been designed to be the most performant train control system in the world. It therefore brings considerable benefits in addition to interoperability:

  • Increased capacity on existing lines and a greater ability to respond to growing transport demands: as a continuous communication-based signalling system, ERTMS reduces the headway between trains enabling up to 40% more capacity on currently existing infrastructure;
  • Higher speeds: ERTMS allows for a maximum speed up to 500 km/h;
  • Higher reliability rates: ERTMS may significantly increase reliability and punctuality, which are crucial for both passenger and freight transport;
  • Lower production costs: one proven, harmonised system is easier to install, maintain and manufacture making railway systems more competitive;
  • Reduced maintenance costs: With ERTMS level 2, trackside signalling is no longer required, which considerably reduces maintenance costs;
  • An opened supply market: customers will be able to purchase equipment for installation anywhere in Europe and all suppliers will be able to bid for any opportunity. Trackside and onboard equipment may be made by any of the six ERTMS suppliers, which makes the supply market more competitive;
  • Reduced contract lead time due to the significant reduction of process engineering;
  • Simplified approval process in Europe and greatly reduced certification costs traditionally associated with the introduction of new systems;
  • Improved safety for passengers