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Swiss ETCS roll-out plan confirmed

01 Oct 2008

SWITZERLAND: The Ministry of Transport has confirmed plans to roll out ETCS across the entire standard gauge rail network by 2017, at an estimated cost of SFr370m. The decision was announced on August 21, at an event attended by the European Commission’s special co-ordinator for ERTMS, Karel Vinck.

With ETCS Level 2 operational on SBB’s Mattstetten – Rothrist line since 2006 and in the Lötschberg base tunnel since mid-2007, Switzerland has completed more than 10 million train-km of successful operation with Level 2. SBB, BLS and the ministry believe the system is now sufficiently robust to commit to a full-scale roll-out.

ETCS Level 2 will be installed in the Gotthard base tunnel without lineside signals. Elsewhere, the ministry has opted for Level 1 Limited ?Supervision which provides an ATP overlay to its conventional signalling. This version does not yet exist, so SBB is to act as project leader for development. The ministry will then co-ordinate installation on the country’s independent railways.

Last month the SBB board approved four infrastructure investment projects totalling SFr435m, to be completed by the end of 2013. These include two additional platforms at Zürich Oerlikon as part of the Durchmesselinie (RG 11.07 p711), enhancements to the Zürich – Winterthur line, upgrading of the Olten – Luterbach – Attisholz section of the Jura main line, and the replacement by GSM-R of the current radio network used by shunting and maintenance crews. A separate project approved on September 10 will see SFr27m spent on modernising Olten station by the end of 2009.