ERTMS and CBTC Side By Side: A Comparison of State-of-the-art Rail Traffic Management Systems

There is a well-defined separation between the systems that are being used in Mass Transit networks and the ones being used for Mainline.

However, each of these systems has the necessary maturity to step forward to an integrated solution that comprises the best of both worlds: European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system.

As a relevant case study, these two systems already coexist in some networks, such as the Marmaray project in Istambul, which extends for, approximately, 77 kilometers and is equipped with CBTC for passenger services and ERTMS level 1 for freight transportation. Although both systems are being used in the same project, they will be installed in different lines. This leads to rolling stock constraints, which must be equipped with two different onboard systems or they would otherwise be unable to run in some sections of the network.

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