EUROPE: At a meeting in Roma on July 4, the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding with six railway industry associations to co-ordinate and clarify the deployment of ERTMS. It is also intended to speed up ETCS and GSM-R testing and certification, with the aim of establishing a single cost-effective approvals process.

Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said the accord would further strengthen co-operation between the Commission and the railway sector. The six signatories are CER, EIM, UIC, Unife, the European Rail Freight Association and the GSM-R Industry Group.

Under the MoU, the stakeholders have agreed to standardise on the recently-adopted SRS Version 2.3.0d for current ETCS applications, and to integrate software upgrades into the basic contracts. The Commission expects to table a proposal for a binding ERTMS deployment plan in the autumn of 2008, and hopes to see ETCS Version 3.0.0 available for commercial application by 2012.