EC back rail-signalling study

July, 13 2004

The EC is backing the launch of a study aimed at persuading Germany and Italy to implement the European Train Control System (ETCS) signaling system.The aim is to establish the single system's cost-effectiveness, over having three signalling operations on national railways, Dutch transport secretary Karla Peijs told online today. "Holland already knows that this new system is cheaper to operate" Peijs said. The study and its financing was agreed by European Transport commissioner Layola de Palacio and the Dutch, Italian and Swiss transport secretaries and Germany's director general.

Holland's motive in promoting the study is to stimulate the use of the Betuwe Line freight railway. Switzreland will operate the ETCS next to its current signaling system, but if Germany and Italy continue operating their old national systems it could prove a significant obstacle.