Alstom obtains certification for ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2 system

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Inspection and certification body Belgorail has certified Alstom to implement its data fusion algorithms, which use both satellite navigation and inertial movement to accurately and safely measure the location and speed of trains, into its ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2 system.

The ETCS system has also received ISA and NoBo certification.

Ahead of the large-scale rollout of the solution in Norway, Alstom has also been certified by Belgorail to implement its world-first data fusion algorithms using both satellite navigation and inertial movement to accurately and safely measure the location and speed of trains.

Initially created to enable a standardised European cross-border rail traffic, the use of ETCS is set to safely increase speed, reliability, and capacity. ETCS includes continuous radio-based automatic train protection, thus optimising higher-speed operation and supporting network interoperability, while reducing maintenance costs for the operator. The latest standard includes higher radio capacity and other evolutions to better address railways needs.

The new odometry system, which is based on data fusion, can be installed on all train types and in all environments, including harsh weather conditions.

“In a decisive move towards digitalisation in rail, Norway has chosen to equip the whole country with the latest version of the European interoperability standard, demonstrating the country’s leading strategy for a greener future. We are immensely proud to be participating in this, and even more so with a world-first technology for which we have just obtained certification,” says Rob Whyte, Managing Director Alstom Nordics.

Alstom says the data fusion innovation obviates the need for the external radar components currently used to measure location and speed.

Data fusion is the process of aggregating multiple data sources to produce more consistent, accurate, and useful information than that provided by an individual data source. Alstom’s system is built as a hybrid, including both inertial and satellite sensors for the first time, with this equipment installed within the train where it is unaffected by weather conditions. The algorithms can also maintain precise measurements in covered areas such as tunnels.

Alstom will equip 450 trains in Norway with the new standard by 2026, and testing of the first locomotive beginning this month. Infrastructure manager Bane Nor awarded the company contracts worth NKr 1.8bn ($US 184.9m) in June 2018 to equip the country’s entire mainline train fleet of 467 trains of 55 different types with ERTMS and maintain their systems for up to 25 years. Tests for the first locomotive equipped with the new solution will begin in June this year.