First major milestone
TUV Rheinland Rail Certification B.V. delivered a positive intermediate assessment report, end of July 2021, to TheSignallingCompany (TSC), the company designing a digital ETCS OnBoard Solution. The positive assessment covers the design of its generic product, called iEVC, in reference to the iconic smartphone, which has inspired several of its product features.
This first major company milestone, the positive assessment of the product feasibility by an independent 3rd party safety assessor, was of a critical nature, as the iEVC integrates many innovations in its design, of which a major one is the capability to host third-party Applications compatible with the ETCS Application.
This is a unique selling point towards the railway operators, facing a constantly evolving landscape of evolving requirements towards digitalisation and artificial intelligence. Soon, the railway operators using the iEVC will be able to install new Applications on it without manual labour required, protecting their investment in their signalling product.
Alexandre Betis, CTO of TheSignallingCompany: “Reaching a positive assessment of our generic product design in 24 months, starting from zero in the summer 2019, is an industrial tour de force. We have an amazing team, but we could not have done it without having an assessment partner capable of performing a state-of-the art assessment in such a fast-paced innovative context. For this, we could count on TÜV Rheinland’s team experience with previous ETCS Onboard projects and agility to adapt to game-changing innovations. With them, we feel confident that our product shall be EC-certified on time in two years’ time for now.”
This assessment constitutes the first major company milestone for TSC, and paves the way for the two following milestones, the second one being the EC certification of its generic ETCS Application (scheduled for mid 2023), and the third one being the official approval by the European Railway Agency (ERA) of the first locomotive prototype on which the ETCS Application shall be deployed (scheduled for June 2024).
Jens Wolff, Managing Director of TUV Rheinland Rail Certification B.V.: Last year, the TÜV Rheinland team was able to show its competence and added value to the safety of the product by their independent 3rd party assessment.
A change of perspective – from feasibility to scale-up capacity
According to the latest DG Move studies, Europe needs between 27.500 and 38.500 vehicles fitted with ETCS between now and 2030. However, it is estimated that the current industry can only fulfill around 50% of that demand, due to several bottlenecks, for instance lack of workshop capacity and engineering manpower.
The main bottleneck, however, is the product design of current ETCS products on the market, that are complicated to install.
TSC addresses this issue in a novel way, for instance by designing a product that is smaller, quicker and lighter to install than the competition. Whereas the market incumbents have fridge-dimension monolithic products, that require dedicated cabinets to protect it from the dust and humidity, the iEVC is made of independently sourced components, assembled fitting in shoe-size boxes, that have their own protection and don’t need a cabinet. Such an innovation reduces the complexity of the ETCS Prototypes projects and the time needed to install series of vehicles.
This first major milestone confirms that the iEVC design is safe and can be produced in industrial quantities. TSC takes up the challenge to scale up fast enough to make a significant contribution to the massive unsatisfied demand in the European ETCS Solution market on time for the ETCS rollout to succeed.
End of press release
About The Signalling Company
We are building a better ETCS onboard solution, to make the signalling system of the future cost-effective, flexible and future proof.
The Signalling Company is the result of a joint-venture between two Belgian companies: ERTMS Solutions, an industry leader in railway testing, maintenance and systems integration, and Lineas, the largest private rail freight operator in Europe.
Press contacts : Freek De Witte, Public Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org