September 28, 2012

ETCS troubles brewing on the Brenner

Written by  Erwin Reidinger
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ETCS troubles brewing on the Brenner Erwin Reidinger

THE opening of Austria's new Kundl – Baumkirchen line in December could cause major problems for open-access operators using the Brenner route between Italy and Germany.

The new line will be equipped with ETCS Level 2, while the Austrian PZB 90 ATP system is required for operation on the Brenner line south of Innsbruck. Locomotives therefore need to be equipped with both systems and capable of switching from one system to the other on the move.

The class 185, 186, and 189 electric locomotives used by these operators already have ETCS equipment on board but this does not integrate PZB 90. This means these locomotives would need to be retrofitted, but time is running out as the locomotivess also need to be approved for operation in Germany, Austria and Italy.

The Siemens Taurus electric locomotives operated by incumbent ÖBB have already been equipped with the appropriate ETCS equipment. Open-access operators are now seeking a deferral of the switchover in order to complete the modification of their locomotives.

A full description of the Kundl – Baumkirchen line and the Brenner Base Tunnel project appears in the October issue of IRJ.

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