Reading aloud The EU is in agreement: Freight transport has to be put on the rails as fast as possible. According to EU traffic experts, rail traffic will double or even triple in the future. How to ensure the safety in the rapid rail traffic of the future, we asked Prof. Markus Hecht, specialist for rail vehicles of the Technical University of Berlin.

Will rail travel be more dangerous in the future? The railroad has to be considerably faster, so that it becomes attractive to the travelers in relation to cars or planes. Higher speeds mean that the trains have to be completely redesigned: larger crumple zones, more stable passenger compartments and new passenger restraint systems. As part of the EU project "Trainsafe", we were able to gather some insights into where more passive safety can be ensured in the event of an accident.

And what about active safety? As rail traffic increases, new telematics systems will be required to optimally monitor and control traffic. The European Train Control System (ETCS) will use a new modular signaling system. In the radio version, the locomotive driver receives information about the route on a monitor in the driver's cab instead of stationary signals on the embankment.

When will ETCS regulate European rail traffic? ETCS is already in full operation in Belgium and Switzerland. In Germany, first test trains are still running from Berlin to Leipzig and Halle. But already in the next year, the first lines should be equipped with the system.

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