With ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) we are going from an analogue to a digital railway and are preparing ourselves for the future. ERTMS simplifies the introduction of other systems. Such as Automatic Train Operation (ATO). With ATO, trains can run more reliable and more energy-efficiently. And in the long term with advanced applications of ATO to higher utilisation of the railway capacity.


ERTMS uses GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway) for wireless communication between train and traffic control. This system from the beginning of this millennium is based on 2G. With the growing need for data exchange, this system is reaching its limits. Not only in the Netherlands, but throughout Europe.

In addition, GSM-R is becoming obsolete and suppliers of GSM-R have indicated that they will continue to support this system until 2030. It is currently unclear to what extent support will be guaranteed after 2030. But that GSM-R is finite is something that has already been taken into account.


In 2014, the UIC (The Worldwide Railway Organisation) started the FRMCS project as a successor to GSM-R. FRMCS is based on 5G and will be phased in from 2025.

FRMCS has also been given a place in European legislation. The new TSI CCS 2023 speaks of 'FRMCS ready' and the specifications for FRMCS are expected to be published from 2025.

Migration strategy FRMCS

The introduction of FRMCS, like ERTMS, affects all parts of the sector. In order for the transport system to function properly now and in the future, it is important that solutions and decisions are viewed and taken in conjunction. With the aim of achieving a result supported by the sector.

It has therefore been decided to start thinking about a migration strategy now. Because 2030 still seems far away, but with all the changes and new developments that are going on, the time has come to exchange ideas with the entire sector.

FRMCS will be the first issue to be tackled on behalf of System Management.


Since all European countries are faced with this challenge, international cooperation is highly appreciated. To share best practices and lessons learned.


Stijn Janssen

Consultant migration strategy FRMCS



André van Es

Project manager migration strategy FRMCS