In order to harmonize the different train control systems deployed in Europe and to optimize traffic efficiency by dynamic train control, the International Union of Railways introduced the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). It relies on two major components: the GSM-R (GSM-Railway) subsystem which ensures wireless communications between the train and the control center and the functional subsystem, identified as the European Train Control System (ETCS), which ensures train control by defining the signaling exchanged with control centers via the GSM-R technology. The deployment of ERTMS is mandatory along European railway corridors, but it will follow a long and expensive process. Thus, there is a need for faster roll-out and reduction in cost for the certification and authorization necessary to put equipment into service. One of the solutions to accelerate the process relies on making intensive use of lab-testing before real deployment.

The ANR VEGAS project, labeled by the competitive cluster i-Trans will design, develop and evaluate a virtual laboratory based on co-simulation involving two kinds of simulators. While existing ERTMS simulators usually model only the behavior of the functional subsystem, this project aims at connecting an ERTMS simulator with a simulator dedicated to the evaluation of telecommunication technologies. In this way, the co-simulation will allow evaluating the functional subsystem performance while taking into account the impairments related to the telecommunication subsystem (radio propagation impairments such as bad radio links and cuts, electromagnetic interferences or attacks and also network overload).

Another key target of VEGAS is to contribute to the evaluation of an evolution of the ERTMS telecommunication subsystem from the GSM-R towards a 4G technology such as LTE in order to prepare the future of railway communications. Such a virtual lab will allow Railway industry to anticipate the consequences of various scenarios and will contribute to increase quality, reliability and safety of railway transport while maintaining a high productivity by reducing the trial costs.

The originality of the VEGAS project relies on three main points




Financial support: ANR - TDM2012

Reference: ANR-12-VPTT-0004

Total Cost: 1 397 733.80 €

Subvention: 423 421.00 €

Total effort: 122 person.month

Name and affiliation of coordinator: Marion Berbineau - IFSTTAR


Competitive Cluster: i-trans

Contact: IFSTTAR LEOST - Marion Berbineau

Duration: 36 months (1/10/2012 - 30/09/2015)


Ifsttar website Ersa website UTC-Heudiasyc website
LISIC website ANR website i-Trans website