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Civil-Comp Press, 2016

Proceedings of the Third International Conference on

Paper 0123456789 Railway Technology: Research, Development and
Maintenance, J. Pombo, (Editor),
Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, Scotland.

A Strategy for the Partial Implementation of the

ERTMS System within the Construction of a
Railway Bypass Line around the City of Nis, Serbia
I. Ristic
Railways Department, CeS COWI d.o.o
Belgrade, Serbia


This paper presents strategy implemented for the design of the ERTMS system on a
section of railway line around the city of Nis in Serbia. An approach applied in the
absence of a national ERTMS implementation strategy, national ERTMS
Operational Rules and national ERTMS values was used. Technical requirements
for the partial implementation of the ERTMS system were therefore the result of
several activities: experience with the implementation of the ERTMS system in the
framework of the European TEN-T corridor railway lines, consultation about the
solution of specific technical problems associated with the EEIG ERTMS Users
Group and with several suppliers of equipment. It was shown that even in such an
unregulated environment it is technically and economically justified to implement
the ERTMS system on just one section of the railway line.

Keywords: signalling, interlocking, ERTMS, ETCS, TSI, CCS, implementation,

national strategy.

1 Introduction
The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) represents a set of
contemporary technological solutions based on the Technical Specifications for
Interoperability for Control Command and Signalling Systems (TSI CCS). Within
the ERTMS system there are two sub-systems: European Train Control System
(ETCS) and Global System Mobile for Railways (GSM-R). Application level of
ETCS system determines which type of trackside equipment shall be used, mode of
communication between trackside and on-board equipment and processing of
information within the trackside and on-board equipment in order to fulfill desired
system requirements.

ETCS is based on the detailed set of public specifications. These specifications
ensure interoperability of ETCS equipment from different manufacturers (both on-
board and trackside). They define functions, procedures, performances and
architecture of ETCS system, as well as interfaces between different on-board and
trackside subsystems. Manufacturers of equipment have maximal freedom in
selection of technology for specific components. There are also specially defined
procedures for extension of ETCS concept. Referent documents of these
specifications are included in the Baseline 3 specifications [1] containing:
Functional Requirements Specifications FRS (issued by European Railway
Agency), defining functional requirements of ETCS system from railway
authorities (current version is FRS v5.0)
System Requirements Specifications SRS (issued by UNISIG group of
manufacturers, nr. SUBSET-026), describing so called ETCS core with
interfaces to the GSM-R system, interlocking systems and on-board equipment
(current version is SRS v3.4.0)
A common approach for implementation of the ERTMS system on the specific
railway line implies existence of the following items: national ERTMS working
group, national ERTMS implementation strategy, national ERTMS Operational
Rules and national ERTMS values, valid for the whole national network. ERTMS
operational rules shall define explanations of system functionality features that are
expected to be ensured and shall represent extension of existing Traffic Rulebook in
the context of installation of ERTMS.
The national ERTMS working group usually also has to prepare a
recommendations for a streamlined and harmonised authorisation process for both
on-board and trackside ERTMS equipment with the aim to reduce test and
authorisation efforts and increase the part of cross-acceptance step by step until the
final target situation has been reached.
Since on the railway network in Serbia none of the previously mentioned items
exist, a different strategy partial implementation of ERTMS system had to be
adopted for the single-track railway bypass line around the city of Nis, in lenght of
approximately 20 km [2].

2 Overview of the railway signalling framework in

2.1 General
Serbian signalling system is generally based on the German speed signalling H/V
system, in which the signal aspect of each main signal is aslo defined by the signal
aspect of the previous main signal in rear (two aspect signalling).
Most of the existing interlocking devices in Serbia, including all interlocking
devices in the existing stations adjacent to the railway bypass line, are centralised
relay interlocking device type Siemens SpDrS-64-JZ, specially designed for market

of former Yugoslavia. This is the interlocking system based on the topological
principle, very similar to the original Siemens SpDrS-60 system, with the clearly
defined relay sets that represent certain functional object units (track, point machine,
signal, overlap, etc). Groups are mutually interconnected with 10-wire path cables
according to the spatial distribution of signaling elements on the field.
Currently, there is only one electronic interlocking device installed and
commissioned in station Dimitrovgrad, and there are 3 ongoing installations in other
stations on the national network (Belgrade, Pancevo Glavna and Cuprija).
There are no national regulations concerning requirements for electronic
interlocking devices, and there are no documents/plans related to the ETCS
implementation at all.

2.2 European context

Having in mind that the railway corridors through the Republic of Serbia are not
included in the list of the 6 major European ETCS corridors defined in clause 7.3.4
of Annex III CCS TSI (Technical Specifications for Interoperability for the Control
Command and Signalling), nor in areas of special interest referred to in point 7.3.5.
TSI CCS, and that Republic of Serbia with the current status of joining the EU over
an extended period may not be eligible for the funds from the European Regional
Development Funds, Cohesion Funds and TEN-T funds which impose installation of
ETCS system in case of any upgrade of existing signalling system, and having in
mind the physiological limitations of the human eye for train speeds of 160kph and
higher, as the optimal solution of modernization of signalling system on major
corridors in the Republic of Serbia at this point may be adopted installation of the
European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 1, while retaining the light signals for
trains, which are equipped with onboard devices for this system. Such solution, with
some technical modifications elaborated in further chapters, shall enable mixed
traffic operation, i.e. operation of both ETCS equipped trains and non-equipped

3 Characteristics of the railway bypass line

3.1 General
Single-track railway bypass around the city of Nis represents the first phase of a
long-term solution for modernization of Nis railway junction. First by preparing the
project documentation and then by construction of the railway line, all non-
conformities occurred during the urban and demographic development of the city of
Nis without investment in the road and railway infrastructure would have been
reconciled. Decision to choose the northern corridor for the bypass line has only
partially reduced the dilemmas that were set in front of the designers. Important
questions which were solved during the design phase by active collaboration with
the beneficiaries were following: fitting of the bypass line to the existing railway
lines (5), fitting into the existing stations (Trupale, Nis Ranzirna and Crveni Krst),

construction of new stations (Nis Sever, Vrezina and Pantelej) and compliance with
existing and prospective municipal infrastructure. The designed speed on the bypass
railway line is 160kph.
The proposed layout of the railway bypass line is shown of Figure 1.

Figure 1: Proposed location and layout of the railway bypass line

3.2 Signalling requirements

Since the project was financed from the IPA funds, in the Terms of Reference
following EU-compliant requirements for the signalling system were specially
Provision of Automatic Train Control (ATP), Automatic Train Protection (ATP)
and Centralised Traffic Control (CTC) features required for safe operation of
both passenger and freight trains
Installation of national Class B ATP system - Electronic Interlocking (EIXL)
for basic interlocking in stations, with SIL4 level
Installation of the ETCS Level 1 system as an overlay to the basic interlocking
Installation of the GSM-R network, which would be at this stage used for the
transmission of voice, with the possibility of later modification for signalling
data transmission
The technical solution with ETCS Level 1 also assumes the mandatory
connection of existing station relay interlocking devices in stations adjacent to the
railway bypass line with electronic interlocking devices in new stations, and
installation of corresponding interfaces.

4 Elaboration of the approach
The logistical challenges and costs associated with equipping of the whole train fleet
for the railway line make installation of ETCS system impractical in many cases. It
is therefore inevitable that, on many lines, ETCS Level 1 must be overlaid on
conventional line side signalling, with a gradual fitment of the rolling stock. This
represents the business problem of how to justify investment in ETCS equipment
when the benefits of this process will not be realized for a long period of time and
not necessarily by the same organization that makes the investment.
Therefore, a implementation with partial equipping of the railway fleet and partial
installation (section by section of the railway line) had to be assumed, leading to the
concept of mixed traffic operation (both equipped and unequipped trains).

5 Description of the solution

5.1 General
In accordance with the requirements from the Terms of Reference and on the basis
of the new alignment and station layouts, following design solution for the
signalling devices on the bypass railway line was applied:
New railway stations located on the route of the railway bypass line (Nis Sever,
Pantelej and Vrezina) will be equipped with centralized electronic interlocking
devices (EIXL) in redundant architecture type "2 of 3"
Existing stations adjacent to the railway bypass line (Trupale, Nis Ranzirna and
Crveni Krst), equipped with relay interlocking devices type Siemens SpDrS-64-
JZ, shall be reconstructed according to new layouts and equipped with
corresponding interfaces for connection with electronic interlocking devices and
ETCS system
New open line sections Ni Sever-Pantelej and Pantelej-Vrezina will be
equipped with electronic centralized single-track automatic line block system
with axle counters for occupancy control of block sections
Open line sections connecting existing and new railway stations shall be
equipped with modified existing relay centralized single-track automatic line
block system with track circuit for occupancy control of block sections
Trackside signalling equipment is supplemented to the ETCS Level 1 by
installing additional eurobalise with fixed content, which will include
information on the profile of tracks (chainage, position, gradient, etc.), as well
as variable elements that will generate information shall be necessary for
supervision speed train (eurobalises with variable content and Euroloops).
Having in mind that this level does not predict usage of the GSM-R network in
this phase, use of the radio in-fill unit is not predicted. The number and
arrangement of the above mentioned elements are determined using two criteria:
the first is to ensure the required braking distance for trains equipped with

ETCS devices (assumed to be a minimum of 1500m or for train speeds of at
least 160kph), and the second is to meet the required time interval movement of
trains, defined by the Functional and Operational Analysis within the design.
Processing of information required for supervision of trains and transfer to the
field elements will be carried out through appropriate Lineside Electronic Units
Indoor interlocking devices in stations Nis Sever, Pantelej and Vrezina will be
complemented by installation of the interfaces for connecting of electronic
interlocking devices (EIXL) and lineside electronic unit (LEU), and for
connection of field and indoor signalling components it is also necessary to
provide installation of the redundant fiber optic cable dedicated for the needs of
railway signaling devices
In the existing CTC centre Nis it is necessary to make modifications to the
Control Panel and Command Unit in accordance with the new layout of the
railway bypass line and adjacent stations

5.2 ETCS Level 1 solution

Technical solution predicts usage of national Class B ATP system (Indusi/PZB) for
basic interlocking, overlayed by the ETCS Level 1 system with infill over GSM-R
network. Solution predicts mixed operation of trains for maximum speed of
160km/h, both for train category (passenger and freight), and for train equipment
(both trains equipped with ETCS on-board and non-equipped trains), with keeping
of lineside light signals.
Hybrid concept of LEU connection for ETCS level 1 is predicted (Figure 2), ie
centralised LEUs for station signals (located in station interlocking premises), and
decentralised LEUs for block signals (located on the track at required distances from
eurobalises; most suppliers recommend distances shorter than 500m).

Figure 2: Hybrid concept of LEU connection

Applied electronic interlocking devices will include all required interfaces for
ETCS system, according to the Annex I of TSI CCS (last updated by EC decision
from January 2015), providing the possibility for future upgrade to the ETCS Level
2 without additional hardware on the device. Electronic interlocking devices shall
also fulfill requirements from project INESS (Integrated European Signalling
System), defining additional requirements for compatibility of station electronic
interlocking devices and ETCS subsystem. Fulfilling the requirements from this
standard should enable the different subsystems (station and line block devices, CTC
devices, ETCS trackside device, GSM-R network etc.) from different suppliers to
work together, ensuring full interoperability.
Beside mentioned FRS v5.0 and SRS v3.4.0, ETCS trackside equipment must
fulfill requirements defined in points 4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.2.5, 4.2.7, 4.2.8., 4.2.9, 4.2.11,
4.2.12, 4.2.15 and 4.2.16 of Technical Specifications for Interoperability relating to
Control-Command and Signalling Systems (TSI CCS), issued by ERA, as well as
specific requirements for certain components:

for eurobalise: UNISIG SUBSET-036 (v2.4.1)

for eurolop: UNISIG SUBSET-044 v2.3.0

For interoperability of the whole system following safety requirements must also be

For required Safety Integrity Level (SIL) requirements from document:

Requirements on risk and hazard analysis for interoperability
For all trackside equipment must be Tolerable Hazard Rate (THR)<10-9 random
failures/hr, corresponding to SIL4 level
Requirements from UNISIG SUBSET-091 (v2.5.0) Safety Requirements for
the Technical Interoperability of ETCS in levels 1&2
Reliability and availability must be in accordance with Reliability
Availability Requirements
Functionality must fulfill requirements from UNISIG SUBSET-040 (v2.3.0)
Dimensioning and Engineering Rules

Principal scheme for this application (ETCS Level 1 overlayed to the

conventional signalling devices) is shown on Figure 3 (radio in-fill is not used).
The design predicts usage of parallel interfaces connecting Lineside Electronic
Units (LEU) along the railway line with electronic interlocking devices in stations.
Using this interface, the LEU indicates to the interlocking device whether the next
train to pass a signal is operating under ETCS supervision or not. If it is, the
interlocking devices applies principles appropriate to ETCS trains; otherwise, it
applies (more restrictive) conventional signalling principles.

Radio in-fill

Interlocking optional


Eurobalise Euroloop end of track segment

Figure 3: Principal scheme for ETCS level 1 overlay

Finally, all the elements of the described signalling system were entered in the
simulation software package - Open Track. The example of the defined station
signalling layout is shown on Figure 4, for largest station Nis Sever.

Figure 4: Signalling layout for station Nis Sever

Conducted Open Track simulations have proved increased capacity of the whole
railway bypass line, compared to conventional signalling schemes.

6 Conclusion and further recommendations

This paper had intention to show a way to improve the installation case for ETCS by
using adaptive signalling technology that enables benefits of system to be realized
before all rolling stock is equipped on a given line. This maximizes the benefit of the
ETCS investment, for both infrastructure and rolling stock owners by changing the
conventional investment model from an all-or-nothing view of ETCS benefits to
one based on partial and time-growing benefits.
The proposed technical solution on the one hand at reasonable cost ensures
technical interoperability with railway lines of neighbouring countries which are EU
members (Croatia, Hungary, Romania), and on the other hand leaves the possibility
of later upgrading of the system to ETCS level 2, which in developed EU countries
now imposed as the only standard, but with cost that excesses cost of that Level 1
solution for a minimum of 50%.


The author wants to show gratitude to his Employer, company CeS COWI d.o.o,
from Belgrade, Serbia for providing him the possibility to participate in such
challenging and demanding project.
Special thanks are also given to his respected colleagues Ms. Tatjana Simic,
Project Manager and Ms. Tatjana Mikic, Chief Specialist in Transportation, for their
immeasurable contribution to the whole project in terms of planning and execution,
and help in preparation of this paper.


[1] Technical Specifications for Interoperability for the Control Command and
Signalling (TSI CCS), European Railway Agency, 2012-2015 .
[2] I. Ristic, General Design of the Signalling System for the Railway Bypass
Line around the City of Nis, CeS COWI d.o.o, Belgrade, Serbia, 2014