PROSPECTS for the installation of interoperable signalling on secondary routes moved ahead in May, when the International Union of Railways approved the Functional Requirements Specification for a simplified version of ETCS known as ERTMS Regional.

UIC estimates that between 15% and 40% of the European rail network carries a low density of services suitable for ERTMS Regional. The concept is to be piloted by Swedish infrastructure manager Banverket, which has awarded a framework contract to Bombardier covering the resignalling of 13 routes between 2008 and 2015.

The first route to be equipped will be the 134 km Västerdalbanan between Repbäcken and Malung, which has 33 level crossings. The line is to be resignalled between 2006 and 2009 using Bombardier's Interflo 150 equipment. This is based around GSM-R radio communications links to minimise the need for lineside signals, track circuits and balises. The trains will be fitted with ETCS Level 2 onboard equipment.