Introduction of ERTMS is one of the priority projects of the “Strategy on Responsible Development until 2020 (with perspective until 2030)”, adopted as a Council of Ministers’ Resolution. The strategy points out the necessity of ERTMS’s introduction as an element of implementation of information and telecommunication systems (transport telematics) in all branches of transport. The document refers to the National Railway Programme, which aims until 2023 to connect main Polish cities by modernised railway lines, with the cruising speed of at least 100 km/h for passenger trains and introduction of ERTMS on the most important railway routes. The National Plan of Implementation of the Technical Specification For Interoperability “Command-Control and Signalling” foresees gradual introduction of the ERTMS system into all main railway lines in Poland until 2050. Within this timeframe it is planned that around 8000 km of lines will be equipped with the ETCS system and around 14000 km – with the GSM-R system.
European experience shows that the implementation of ERTMS is quite a complex process. This complexity stems from a multiplicity of stakeholders (producers, infrastructure managers, railway carriers, notification bodies, train drivers), changes in specifications or low level of knowledge on how to operate the system. Therefore it is necessary to introduce a permanent communication platform among the stakeholders.
The President of UTK has decided to form the ERTMS Users’ Group in Poland. The Group’s tasks will especially encompass:
- identification and analysis of barriers hindering the proper functioning of ERTMS system in Poland as well as formulation of recommendations for their removal;
- identification, formulation and dissemination, as well as analysis and exchange of good practices with regard to implementation and use of ERTMS in Poland and the European Union, among those materials presented at meetings of ERTMS working groups in Europe;
- issuing opinions and consultation of documents regarding the implementation of ERTMS in Poland and the European Union;
- publication – on the UTK’s website – of the approved (by the Group’s Chairman) results of the Group’s works and analyses.
It is planned that membership of the Group will comprise representatives of undertakings, which take part in implementation of ERTMS in Poland (especially of the railway infrastructure managers, carriers, ERTMS equipment and rolling stock producers, as well as notification bodies).