“The first European project of its kind has been testing a satellite technology known as the ERSAT EAV system to monitor and manage rail traffic on 28,000km of Europe’s tracks. This breakthrough could become the answer for all train operators looking to improve their safety, modernise tracks, lower costs and improve performance; several field tests have already been held in Italy, Sardinia and Germany. The last trial journey between Cagliari and Decimomannu on the Cagliari – San Gavino line in Italy, where the experimental centre was located, was completed last month. Italy’s rail network, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana is hoping to have the new technology approved and certified according to the standards dictated by the EUAR on a European-wide scale, and the ANSF on a national scale, with the first line being activated in Italy by 2020.
“The ERSAT EAV system integrates the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) with the Galileo satellite navigation and geo-location system, and the public telecommunications networks. The new technology locates the trains via satellite, and interfaces with the ERTMS system, which monitors the rail traffic. Data and information can be passed through the devices which are installed on board the train as well as the radio units positioned along the railway line.
“ERSAT EAV testing has been taking place in Sardinia since early 2015 as part of the European Horizon 2020 research programme. The project has been managed by the 3InSat consortium which brought together RFI and Ansaldo STS with the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency and the Italian and European Space agencies. Technology partner Ansaldo STS suggests that ERTMS life-cycle costs could be significantly reduced by using the satellite technology. This could save up to 60 per cent in the telecoms component. RFI hopes to have the first commercial deployment in place by 2020, and envisages that the technology could be developed for use on busier routes and high speed lines…”