The Netherlands Government is to invest €2.5bn to equip railway tracks and trains in the country with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

The new ERTMS level 2 will replace the existing train safety system, and will be installed in all trains by 2022 and on Holland’s busiest lines by 2030.

ERTMS level 2 has already been tested in Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and other European countries. The installation of ERTMS will begin in 2016 and is expected to be complete over the next ten years.

"Installation of ERTMS involves fitting of special safety equipment on-board trains that automatically communicates with track safety equipment and railway traffic controllers."

The tracks in the urban western Netherlands, including the lines to Arnhem, Almelo and Vlissingen, will also be equipped, as well as international passenger and freight train lines.

ERTMS has already been installed in Holland on the Betuwe line, high-speed railway lines, the Hanze line and the tracks between Amsterdam and Utrecht, as well as on around 20% of trains.

Installation of ERTMS involves fitting of special safety equipment on-board trains that automatically communicates with track safety equipment and railway traffic controllers, as well as adjusting a train’s speed or bring a train to a halt, provided both the train and the track are ERTMS-equipped.

In order to enhance rail safety in the short-term, the Dutch Government decided in late-2013 to equip all signals in the Netherlands with the improved ATB safety system (ATB-Vv).

The ATB-Vv system ensures that trains are automatically stopped when they are going more slowly than 40kmph and risk passing a red signal, which will improve rail safety in the short-term.