The migration path towards ERTMS in Portugal
3 December 2014 • Author(s): Jose P. Neves, REFER Telecom and Fernando Vendas, REFER Engineering
Interoperability has become a key word in the European transport policy, with the aim of improving transport services. The application/renewal of signalling and telecommunication systems in the Portuguese railway network will follow this legal requirement and migrate to the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). Jose P. Neves from REFER Telecom and Fernando Vendas from REFER Engineering, provide more details.
The deployment of these new technologies, ETCS and GSM-R, can be seen as part of the wider process of the technological development of signalling and telecommunications systems within the Portuguese railway network. These new technologies will be an important improvement in the harmonisation and performance of railway traffic management systems from the perspective of intraoperability within the Portuguese railway network and interoperability between Iberian railway networks and the Atlantic Corridor, in terms of capacity, safety and efficient and sustainable rail operation. The migration to ERTMS is a major challenge at the national level; it will impact on the infrastructure, rolling stock and control centres as well as on the operational rules. The success of this challenge requires the replace – ment of traditional practices and strategies used so far in the Portuguese railway signalling sector. New perspectives need to be developed, considering the technology itself, the number of new facets and different operational scenarios for the implementation of this new system. It is important to know the technology as well as the different application possibilities and their affordability.
The Portuguese Strategic Transport Plan
The new Portuguese Strategic Transport Plan (PETI 3+) was updated, approved and publically presented in June 2014. In this plan priorities and strategic orientations for railways sustainable develop ment towards the horizon 2014–2022 were established taking into account the actual economic context.