16 Apr 2012


“Significant progress has been achieved since the signature of the previous Memorandum of Understanding in 2008” explained UNIFE Chairman Henri Poupart-Lafarge. “Whilst the Baseline 3 specifications for ERTMS have been delivered according to schedule, ERTMS has come into operation in an increasing number of countries in Europe and beyond, establishing itself as a global standard. I am confident that this baseline 3 will accelerate further the needed ERTMS deployment in the whole Europe”.

The Memorandum of Understanding foresees a number of measures to further facilitate ERTMS deployment, in terms of maintenance and stability of the specifications, technical harmonisation, homologation and testing of the equipment. It also underlines the need for strong policy measures, such as the upgrade of the equipment to an interoperable Baseline or the strict implementation of the ERTMS Deployment Plan, according to which major pan-European axis will have to be equipped with ERTMS in the coming years. The Memorandum also recognises that ERTMS is a global standard, and underlines the importance of the common specifications in this respect.

More than 62,000km of railway tracks and 7,500 vehicles are already running or contracted to be equipped with ERTMS in 38 countries around the world. In Europe, the past months have been marked by the signature of major contracts in countries like Denmark, Switzerland, or Belgium, where ERTMS is foreseen to be installed on the entire railway network. Whilst ERTMS is already running in a large number of European countries, coordination of investments, both from a timing and technical point of view, is essential to ensure interoperability and create a level playing field with road transport.

This Memorandum marks the strong commitment of the rail sector, suppliers and railway undertakings alike, to ensure the successful roll-out of ERTMS on European railway tracks”, UNIFE Director-General Philippe Citroën added. “In many respects, ERTMS is a test case for interoperability in Europe, and a challenge for the sector as a whole. This new text clearly paves the way for a smooth and uniform implementation of the system in all EU countries”.

UNIFE represents the European Rail Industry in Brussels since 1992. The Association gathers more than 70 of Europe’s leading large and medium-sized rail supply companies active in the design, manufacture, maintenance and refurbishment of rail transport systems, subsystems and related equipment. A further one thousand suppliers of railway equipment partake in UNIFE activities through 13 national rail industry associations. UNIFE members have an 80% market share in Europe and supply more than 50% of the worldwide production of rail equipment and services.

UNIFE represents its members’ interests at the level of both European and international institutions. On the technical side, UNIFE works on the setting of interoperability standards and coordinates EU-funded research projects that aim at the technical harmonisation of railway systems. The association is one of the supporting bodies of the European Railway Agency.

UNIFE. Promote rail market growth for sustainable mobility.

The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) aims at replacing more than 20 different national train control and command systems in Europe, which are a major technical barrier to international rail traffic. ERTMS introduces considerable benefits in terms of interoperability, maintenance cost savings, increased safety and increased traffic capacity. By making the rail sector more competitive, ERTMS helps to level the playing field against road transport and ultimately provides significant environmental gains. There is an estimated 62,000km of railway tracks contracted to be equipped or are already operating with ERTMS in the world, nearly 50% of which are outside the EU. Please see

For further information, please contact:

John Harcus
Head of Communications
221, avenue Louise, bte 11
B-1050 Brussels
Tel +32 2 643 70 80
Email john.harcus(a)

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