What is ERTMS / ETCS? Railway Technologies: ETCS (European Train Control System), which is named as European Train Control System, is a form of signalization used by many European countries that can control trains from the center.
In parallel with the increasing and accelerating railway network in Europe, railway transportation between countries has intensified. There have been problems in the transition to countries using different signal systems, these problems have been tried to be solved either by changing the locomotive or by forming trains with equipment that can solve two different signal systems. In addition, the mechanics must also receive special training for different signal systems. In Europe, where the limits have been gradually waned and trains are increasing day by day, a protocol has been established under the name of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) for these reasons which negatively affect railway traffic. The aim here; The use of a single signaling language in European countries. Companies that produce these systems have to use this common signaling language, except for their unique use, without major differences. Thus, the differences on the train and the line-length signal equipment were eliminated, and a fast and safe railway traffic was created in the transition from country to country. Railway traffic alone is not enough. A system that can control trains remotely should be developed for safe transportation by minimizing the problems arising from human errors. ETCS was developed to cover this gap. Developing electronic information communication techniques have increased the quality of the equipment that conveys information to both the train on the train and the train, thereby providing a much safer transportation with less train personnel.
The name is passed as ERTMS / ETCS. In this system, one of the vital elements is the computer control system that processes the ERTMS / ETCS signals and data in the train. By processing the line data sent by the control center to the machine operator and taking into account the current speed of the train, the engineer checks the signal messages. In case the speed limit is exceeded, the engineer sends an alert. In a short period of time, if there is no response from the mechanic, it slows the train or goes into emergency braking and stops the train. The slowing or stopping process, or the information about the train displayed on the engineer's screen, can also be seen by the control center, depending on the ERTMS / ETCS levels used. The financial situation of the countries is shaped as three different levels in terms of transfer differences between signal and control information between train and control center by considering train and line diversity. Apart from that, it can be done in a mixed system by combining different features of each level.
One of the equipment used in ERTMS / ETCS is GSM-R.
GSM-R: This system called Global Mobile Communication System (Global System of Mobile Commutacion) is the network system used by mobile phones which is an indispensable tool today. It is a system that provides uninterrupted digital communication wherever you are in the current geography by providing access to the regions where radio waves cannot reach because of land obstructions or high buildings in the settlements. Of course, base stations also have the power to send and receive data up to a certain distance. By placing another base station where this power is not enough, the coverage area is expanded.
The. R Son at the end is the initial of the word, Rail Son. Briefly, this system, as a form adapted to the railroad appears. The system is designed by placing the base station at certain distances between the lines, or between the lines which are relatively close to each other. A separate base station is also attached to the tunnel, depending on the length of the tunnel. In the first years of designing, the center and the train staff were able to speak. However, thanks to the fast data transfer techniques developed, the signaling and train location information has also been transferred to provide information for remote train control. In this way, the communication between the train and the center is vital.
ERTMS / ETCS Level 1:
In our country, the system will be established in Ankara-Istanbul high-speed train line. System, balis (Balis: The line is attached to a sleeper in the line, which is connected to the train by means of electromagnetic waves in the line). forwards. Block signaling is a signaling system. The maximum speed at the next block, the distance to the point where the train will stop, and the factors that can limit the speed of the train such as tunnel, wreck, are transmitted to the sensors on the train by the above mentioned line equipments. The ERTMS / ETCS processor in the train processes this signal information, either directly to the information display in the train console, or if the train has its own computer, the information is transmitted to the machine via this computer and the monitor connected to it. In addition, the light warning system on the side of the line gives information about the signal. The next step is to check whether the machine meets the signal information. If the signal information is not followed, the train is switched to emergency braking. In addition, if the speed limit is exceeded at a low limit, the engineer will be warned and wait for the specified speed to go down in a short time. If the speed is not set, the train has its own computer. After a short period of time, trains that do not have a computer are in emergency braking.
The level 1 can be set up more easily than other levels by adapting the CTC signal system easily to the lines used. It is an economical system based on other levels, because it can be adapted both for fast and conventional lines and also for locomotives produced with old type technology.
ERTMS / ETCS Level 2:
It is the signaling system where the signaling information to be transmitted to the train is transferred to the train via GSM-R. Block signal is applied. In this system, along the line, other signal equipment along the line may be omitted, except that the train is in the block, and which can pass the train into ATS in very unusual or very emergency situations. The advantage of this system is that it can instantly transmit signal changes that may occur in emergency situations on the line. High-speed trains, during the course, the edge of the edge of the visual signs of the machine can not be seen by the engineer is designed to the problem. The conventional trains that will use this system must have their own computer or electronic control system. In case of sudden changing speed reduction, the necessary control information is sent to the train via GSM-R to reduce the speed to the specified speed instead of stopping the train. The information processed by the ERTMS / ETCS control unit inside the train is immediately displayed on the screen in front of the machine. This information is transmitted to the trains or trains from the rear, ensuring a safe navigation. Especially in the case of trains operated at frequent intervals, traffic stops are prevented in unnecessary situations.
In addition, in these systems, as GSM-R is of vital importance for the transmission of signaling information, in case of GSM-R radio waves are interrupted, the train is either automatically stopped or reduced to the maximum conventional speed limit previously registered in the system. It is a way to reduce the shape applied to conventional speed limits. In this case, visual signaling equipment and balis control can be continued.
ERTMS / ETCS Level 3:
It is a system that is subjected to different tests at certain intervals because of the continuous development of electronic information transfer techniques. The train is completely controlled by GSM-R. The GSM-R also carries information that can control the train remotely, except for carrying the signaling information. The tracks on the line are provided for the location verification of the train and for ATS. Block signal is not applied in this system. In the control center, the movement of the train is monitored by the meter. Depending on the speed of the train, the path is calculated by the computers and confirmed by the balisers. All information related to the train and signal, which is shown on the monitors in the machine console even when needed, is also displayed on the dispenser's monitor. Between the computer in the control center and the computer on the train, the ERTMS / ETCS signaling signal is continuously exchanged via the coding processor. Sudden changes in navigation information are transmitted to the train computer in seconds. The train computer transmits this navigation information to the machine operator via the console monitor and checks whether the train is managed or not. Similar to the automatic pilot system in airplanes, the train can be managed without a mechanic. Of course, a train carrying an average 320 passenger at 450km / h is not just left to the computers.
The remote train control system is used to stop the train unnecessarily and to intercept engineer errors and interfere with unusual events, without the opportunity to block or slow down line traffic. In future research, many scenarios are prepared for unusual events. One of them is that the mechanic is suddenly disturbed. The new system manages a single trainer train in high-speed trains. As a result of the disturbance, the engineer immediately processes the current signal information and immediately informs the center by means of interrupting the current signal information. Telephone connection is established with the engineer or other train attendant. If the mechanic's condition is serious, the ambulance is shipped to the nearest station. In this case, the train continues on its way through its own computer. Thus, both the traffic of the line is not blocked, and perhaps the loss of valuable minutes for the mechanic's life is prevented. Such scenarios are still being studied and tested. According to other levels, the train can be operated more frequently, even more safely. Especially for trains going in different directions, but for trains that share part of the current line, safe frequent travel is of particular importance. The trains to be used in this system must have the latest control technologies.
At the core of Level 3 is GSM-R technology, which ensures a continuous and fast data communication. In GSM, developments are being made day by day. The most current of these is 3G (3rd generation GSM) technology, which most of us see from television or newspaper advertisements. 2G technology, which provides very fast data transfer compared to the 3nd generation we currently use, has many advantages from real-time video chat to high-speed internet access. In addition, it has a significant disadvantage in terms of data transfer density used at level 3. This disadvantage is that, depending on the ambient conditions and speed, the speed of data transfer drops significantly while on the go. As an example, at a speed of 100 km / h, the data transfer rate may drop more than 50%. Besides, there will be serious problems in data transfer at speeds of 300 km / h. This is not good for developments in the future of Level 3. In order to close this gap in 3G, 4G technology is being developed. This technology is under testing in several countries. It is expected to become widespread in the near future. It will be inevitable to have 3G in GSM-R system to be used in parallel with the developments in ERTMS / ETCS level 4.
Some features of the above mentioned levels can be added to the current level. For example, GSM-R can be used in a system with level 1. Or, in the system with level 2, light warning equipment can be used. This depends on the line and train variety used.
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