\r\nThe final plan will be adopted at the agency\u2019s CCRCC 2017 conference on November 15-16 in Valenciennes, France.\r\nSpeaking to IRJ at the at the Unife General Assembly in Barcelona last week, the agency\u2019s executive director Mr Josef Doppelbauer said the key objectives of the new plan are to:\r\n\u2022 achieve interoperable and compliant infrastructure\r\n\u2022 standardise onboard units so trains can operate anywhere where there is compliant infrastructure\r\n\u2022 testing and validation\r\n\u2022 consistently maintain the specifications of ERTMS, and\r\n\u2022 ensure adequate financing and support are available.\r\nMr Karel Vinck, European ERTMS coordinator, expressed concern that interoperability remains elusive. \u201cAfter 10 years, we still cannot show that any part of the European rail network is interoperable,\u201d he says. \u201cUsers are getting the perception that ERTMS is becoming more complicated, and they don\u2019t want to get into the political debate about ERTMS.\r\n\u201cWe revised the 2009 ERTMS deployment plan because it was not realistic enough. If you give people a long deployment period, nothing happens. So, we decided that we will only look five years ahead and with very clear objectives.\r\n\u201cWe need a common vision and a commitment to deliver. We have to show that ERTMS is working and that interoperability will help the railway industry to become more competitive. We will put funding into the cross-border element, and if we do this we will solve 80% of the interoperability problems. If it cannot deliver this over five years, there will be a real problem.\u201d\r\nDoppelbauer says he is optimistic ERTMS can achieve its interoperability goals. \u201cThe industry has tested Baseline 3 in 10 EU member states and it works,\u201d he says. \u201cWe are currently involved in a massive task to eliminate 15,000 national rules - we even have national rules on ERTMS, which must be eliminated. The good thing is that the rail industry is really committed to it.\u201d\r\nThe draft Deployment Action Plan can be viewed in full on the European Commission website.