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Siemens equips three sections of track in Hungary with ETCS train protection system

Siemens has received three orders from Hungary to supply signaling and control technology. The company will equip two sections of the line between the Budapest suburb of Ferencváros and the small eastern town of Gyoma with ETCS (European Train Control System) Level 2. The third section to be fitted with the same system runs west from Ferencváros to Székesfehérvár. The order, which is worth around 60 million euros, was awarded by Hungary’s state infrastructure development company (Nemezeti Infrastruktúra Fejlesztő Zrt.), and commissioning of all three sections is scheduled to take place at the end of 2015.

The rail automation division of Siemens will supply the automatic train protection system Trainguard 200 for ETCS Level 2 for around 200 track kilometers. With Level 2 almost all information is transmitted to the vehicle from the Radio Block Center (RBC) using Euroradio. Information can also be sent from train to track and can be exchanged at any time, even when the train is stationary. Engine drivers using ETCS Level 2 receive instructions directly on a display in the driver’s cab, which means that there are no longer any signals on the open track. The advantage here is that the train can accelerate immediately when the display changes from stop to go, whereas otherwise it would have had to brake again by the next transmission point on the line. This enables speeds of up to 300 km/h to be reached and increases line capacity.

Background information on ETCS

Train protection systems provide safe rail transportation for passengers and freight. There are currently more than 14 different train protection systems in use in Europe, but they are not compatible with one another. To resolve these compatibility issues the European Union issued a directive in 1996 which requires European railway operators to install the ETCS train protection system on their lines. The standardized ETCS is gradually being introduced in selected corridors, successively replacing national safety systems. The system is not just intended for use in Europe, but constitutes a modern train protection solution which is suitable for global use as shown in a number of international projects.

ETCS has a modular construction and several levels are available. The main difference between ETCS Level 1 and ETCS Level 2 lies in the type of transmission medium.

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