PORTUGAL: Grants from the national government and the European Regional Development Fund have been agreed to allow further development of a Specific Transmission Module to support the adoption of ETCS in Portugal.

The STM is needed to support a future migration from Portugal’s existing Convel automatic train protection system to ETCS, enabling rolling stock fitted with ETCS onboard units to interact with the legacy ATP lineside equipment. The development programme is being led by local maintenance and communications specialist Nomad Tech and the Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores Inovação research body, known as INOV.

Nomad Tech says it is working with INOV to study and develop ‘a solution for interoperability between existing systems and generations’, in order to deliver ‘progressive integration’ with ETCS; early development work is already underway.

The funding disbursed under the Portugal 2020 programme totals €1∙1m, and is intended to cover further development up to the end of 2022. This will enable the partners to build on their initial work and develop a commercially viable product, which is scheduled to be made available on the market by the end of next year.