March 02, 2016

Rail freight operators call for cheaper ERTMS

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IRJ at ERTMS World Conference Brussels. Mr Reinhard Bamberger, CEO of the rail freight task force representing 30 operators, called for ERTMS to be much simpler and more affordable.

"Are we more efficient in the market or not? This is the only real measure of success for ERTMS," Bamberger told delegates.

"At present there is no positive business case for train operators," Bamberger complained. "It costs between €300,000 and €1m to retrofit a locomotive - this is unacceptable. We have an expensive and time-consuming authorisation process, which makes me speechless.

"Nobody has a master plan or a commitment to roll out ETCS. There are no standard on-board units, and most networks require additional national solutions. There is no centralised steering for migration so far.

"We need a serious funding scheme for operators to retrofit locomotives," Bamberger continued. "We strongly support compatibility between on-board and trackside systems and we want Baseline 3 to be frozen for 10 years."

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