Siemens Mobility has announced plans to start running trains using the Galileo satellite service, once the European network is up and running.

Galileo is a global navigation satellite system being built by the EU and the European Space Agency to replace the existing Global Positioning System (GPS).

The Siemens-built system will allow trains to receive signals from the Galileo satellite network to enhance automatic train control and is due to enter operation in 2013.

The satellite system will undergo testing in 2010 at the company-operated rolling stock test and validation centre in Wegberg-Wildenrath on a 35-hectare site.

The site will have eight signal generators, called pseudolites, mounted on top of 50m-high transmission masts to transmit signals.

The system will be tested for applications such as automatic marshalling or for train tracking.

The tests will be conducted on a 28km track in various receiving situations such as on a free section of track, in a forest or in the depot.

The system has been developed by the RWTH Aachen University under its ‘railGATE’ project.

The project is being sponsored by the space agency of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).

Siemens says the new system will replace the currently used global navigation satellite systems such as GPS with a more reliable one.