EGNOS Controlled Railway Equipment (ECORAIL)
Due to ongoing developments with the European Geostationary Overlay Service (EGNOS) and Galileo, satellite navigation is about to become an interesting innovation for all fields of transport.
One of these domains is the railways, which could profit considerably from the implementation of autonomous on-board positioning systems. Especially on local and regional railway lines there are various possible applications which could enable cost-effective modernisation and an increase in efficiency.
Train control poses high demands on positioning with respect to availability, reliability and integrity. These requirements can only be fulfilled by means of integrated positioning systems, which combine Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) with other sensors.
The EGNOS Controlled Railway Equipment (ECORAIL) project deals with the implementation of satellite navigation into the railway domain to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of GNSS in combination with the European Train Control and Rail Traffic Management System (ETCS/ERTMS).
The ECORAIL project started in September 2001. The preliminary design was completed by June 2003 and a demonstration took place in June 2005. The project is expected to end by November 2005.
The EGNOS Controlled Railway Equipment (ECORAIL) project is one of several GNSS-1 Rail User Navigation Equipment projects that deal with the implementation of satellite navigation in the railway domain to demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of GNSS in combination with the European Train Control and Rail Traffic Management System (ETCS/ERTMS).
The ECORAIL project is aimed at designing and testing a positioning system that is based on satellite navigation in a safety critical railway application.
To show the benefit of the innovation, the project focuses on the specific application of the control of automatic level crossings (ALX): Based on an on-board navigation unit employing a multi-sensor technique, it is possible to activate an ALX via a radio link. There is thus no need for cost-intensive track-side facilities, neither for positioning (e.g. track circuits, beacons) nor for signal transmission (cables).
The main applications of ECORAIL are going to be in the Rail domain with particular interest in Rail Traffic Management.
To demonstrate the efficiency of GNSS on trains, ECORAIL will perform an automatic level crossing control. Two trains of a local railway company in Upper Austria will be quipped with the proposed on-board system. To examine the quality of localization the activation of a level crossing will be simulated and compared with the data derived from the conventional equipment. In addition, a time-optimised activation based on the current speed of the train will be tested. Therefore, it is to demonstrate that the satellite navigation is not only an equivalent alternative to conventional track-side equipment but it has to be considered as a more efficient solution.
The ECORAIL project started in September 2001. The preliminary design was completed by June 2003 and in August 2004 the demonstration campaign will take place. The project is expected to finish by the end of 2005.
ECORAIL has been developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in partnership with the French company Technicatome.
A list of Partners and their nationality follows below:
- Sub-contractor A (Austria):
M.SUENDER: +43 (0) 1 277 22 57 68
- Sub-contractor B (Austria):
STERN & HAFFERL
C.DOEDERLEIN: +43 1 81150 3890
Sub-contractor C (Austria):
E. WASLE: +43 (316) 381015-11
Sub-contractor D (Italy):
P.MATTOS: +44 1454 462541
Sub-contractor E (France):
R.SARFATI: + 33 1 40 16 65 80
Roles in the project:
- TECHNICATOME: Project coordinator, provider of the Data fusion computer
- ALCATEL: Provider of the ground equipment and responsible for application demonstration
- STERN&HAFFERL: Railway operator providing the trains for trials
- TELECONSULT: Provider of the cartography of the line and of the promotional package (Web site)
- ICROELECTRONICS: provider of the EGNOS receiver
- RA: validation of requirements
Last update: 7 December 2005