Swiss signal they like train protection system
Switzerland wants to extend its use of the European Train Control System (ETCS), which has proved a success on high-speed stretches of rail track.
The Federal Transport Office said on Thursday that after one year in operation, the second level of ETCS - which involves signals being read from the driver's cab - would be gradually introduced across the normal network of tracks in a simplified form by 2017.
The cost is estimated at SFr370 million ($338.5 million).
ETCS was introduced in 2006 on the high-speed stretch of track between Mattstetten and Rothrist on the busy Bern to Zurich, Basel and Lucerne routes.
Last year, it was also introduced in the new Lötschberg rail tunnel, which has considerably reduced journey times between cantons Bern and Valais.
At a news conference in Bern, the operators of the ETCS track – the Swiss Federal Railways and the BLS Lötschberg Railway – said the system had proved its value in terms of capacity and stability over more than ten million kilometres.
Switzerland has been a pioneer in the ETCS, which is considered essential for future pan-European rail connections.
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