European railway traffic management system: implementation plan

The ERTMS implementation plan, mandated by the control, command and signalling technical specification for interoperability (“TSIs”).


UK Implementation Plan for Technical Specification for Interoperability (TSI) Control, Command and Signalling (CCS)

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The European railway traffic management system (ERTMS) implementation plan focuses on executing the ‘global system for mobile communications - railway’ (GSM-R) and the ‘European train control system’ in support of the introduction of ERTMS Level 2 without lineside signals.

ERTMS is essential if the rail system is to meet the needs of its customers in the twenty-first century. It will mean that:

  • use of our crowded rail network can be optimised
  • maintenance costs should be reduced
  • fuel usage can be optimised thus reducing the carbon footprint
  • equipment will be less vulnerable to local damage and vandalism
  • signal sighting issues associated with conventional systems cease to be a problem

Background to the European Railway Traffic Management System implementation plan

The introduction of the European Railway Traffic Management System (“ERTMS”) is mandated by the control, command and signalling TSI. The system will progressively replace some conventional signalling systems over the next 15 to 20 years. A lot of the lineside structures and equipment that are part of our landscape will become redundant, and start to disappear, with trains instead being controlled by radio signals.

Background to TSI implementation plans

An important element of the strategy for interoperability is to create realistic and deliverable long-term implementation plans for each technical specification for interoperability (TSI). They will be essential to:

  • understand and set out the business case for migration towards the widespread use of interoperability
  • strategically plan for the development of the future network
Published 21 July 2011
Last updated 20 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Implementation plan updated so that digital rail deployments will be done on a case-by-case basis
  2. First published.