Introducing a digital signalling and speed control system is not an overnight process. It is one of the most significant changes since the electrification of the railway network and the largest transition in the railway sector of the past decades. This requires preparation and takes time. The ERTMS Programme Management has been working on the plans for ERTMS together with all parties involved since 2015 and directs the programme.
Over 15,000 employees will be introduced to changes in their work due to the implementation of ERTMS. Therefore, railway undertakings must start preparations in time, such as changing processes and training personnel. Passenger and freight operators have their own responsibility hereto.
The trains that are and will be running on the tracks must be converted. Conversion means that an ERTMS on-board computer must be installed so trains can run on ERTMS railway sections. The trains will also be fitted with an STM. This module allows an ERTMS train to drive on train sections that have not yet been converted.
Changing the infrastructure requires a lot of time. A central signalling and speed control system will be put in place and we will adjust existing systems. The trackside will also be changed. Beacons will be installed and the signals will be removed. Between now and 2031, seven railway sections and the Northern sections will be converted.
Introducing the new security system is one of the most significant changes for the railway sector in the past decades. To ensure that the transition goes effortlessly and the quality of the Dutch railway network remains the same, ERTMS will be implemented in ten steps. All parties concerned must complete the puzzle together in order to make ERTMS work.