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ETCS Level 3 or CBTC? System decision for light rail vehicles

In the march issue of the technical journal "Eisenbahningenieur" (3/2022), a technical article by PD Dr.-Ing. habil. Lars Schnieder and Paula von der Heide has been published.

With increasing demand for transport in urban areas and the simultaneous obsolescence of control and safety technology components and systems, some of which are decades old, strategic technology decisions for future-proof renewal are increasingly coming to the fore for many local transport operators. Two technological solutions are available on the market: Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) and the European Train Control System (ETCS). Based on the characteristic differences between these solution concepts, this article examines their basic suitability with regard to the requirements of mass transit operators.

At first glance, ETCS Level 3 and CBTC appear to be equivalent, but a closer comparison reveals considerable differences. These result from different operational task profiles (differently developed safety functions), a resulting different allocation of functions between vehicle and line, and a different degree of standardization.

In their article in the 3/2022 issue of Eisenbahningenieur, Lars Schnieder and Paula von der Heide examine - based on the characteristic differences between these solution concepts - their basic suitability with regard to the requirements framework of local transport companies.

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