Foto: Freccciarossa

Railway Traffic Safety highlights the need to regulate and control the movement of trains in order to avoid cases such as derailments or collisions. Railway signalling is the set of devices, equipment and subsystems that allow the management of train traffic, ensuring safety and punctuality.

The laboratories of Italcertifer S.p.A. have qualified personnel and the necessary instrumentation to perform tests on technological on-board systems and on trackside signalling equipment in the railway sector, in accordance with national and international reference standards.



On-Board Technological Systems (or Onboard Subsystems) fall into the category of CCS systems, i.e. Control, Command and Signalling Systems and are classified as Class A Systems (ERTMS/ETCS, European Railway Signalling System) and Class B Systems (SCMT, Sistema di Controllo della Marcia del Treno[1]).

Italcertifer Laboratories have the know-how and instrumentation necessary to perform tests on On-Board Technological Systems and on trackside signalling equipment in the railway sector in accordance with the national and international standards of reference for both classes, in particular:

Tests on on-board technological systems are carried out according to the RFI TC.PATC ST CM 03 E23D specification, in compliance with the requirements of the ANSF decree 1/2016 and according to the TSI CCS. The tests concern all the equipment making up an On-Board Technological System, such as:

  • On-Board Subsystem which can be presented in a stand-alone SCMT version, in a version integrated with the SSC functionalities or as a National System module integrated in the SSB ERTMS/ETCS;
  • Tests on Radio Cab, voice radio system;
  • Tests on RCEC, running behaviour events recorder system.

The Measurements of the Signal to Noise Ratio – an accredited test according to FS Specification no. 371425 esp. 0.0 and according to RFI TC.PATC ST CM 03 E19 C - Paragraph 7.1.2 – are measurements carried out to determine the maximum disturbance allowed on the sensors of the RSC equipment in the SSB SCMT. The electronic equipment and the traction motors installed on board the railway traction vehicles can generate electromagnetic disturbances which, induced on the sensors of the RSC equipment, disturb the regular capture of the codes present on the Ground Sub-System of the national railway lines SCMT. Italcertifer Laboratories are the only ones in the world with AC Tests on ground signaling products (such as LEU or SCMT encoder).


Italcertifer ERMTS Laboratory is equipped with a simulation technological environment, called "ITCF-EuroSV", intended to verify the correct implementation of the functions of the SSB ETCS defined in UNISIG Subset 026 through the execution of tests defined in UNISIG Subset 076 through the RTF called ITCF-EuroSV developed in accordance with UNISIG Subset 094.

"ITCF-EuroSV" implements a real-time architecture that can reproduce the stress conditions of the EVC indoors, respecting all the requirements imposed by the technical reference UNISIG Subset-094.

Italcertifer ERTMS Laboratory actively takes part to the verification activities of UNISIG Subset 076 tests through participation in the EUAR Working Groups and the aforementioned tests are currently accredited by the Italian accreditation body Accredia.

Furthermore, Italcertifer Laboratory is equipped with a technological environment capable of performing the tests reported in UNISIG Subset-085 and UNISIG Subset-036 for EuroBalise, BTM and LEU in all the operating conditions required by the European specification.

Italcertifer's equipment and automatic control systems may allow the execution of compliance tests of Telepowering/Uplink flows, as well as evaluating the characteristics of the interfaces used for the transmission of telegrams.

ITCF test environment continuously monitors interface "A" (Air gap, crucial for the operation of BTM and Aurobalise) and Interface "C" (the control interface of the LEU in comparison with EuroBalise).

The tests that allow verifications on these interfaces are dealing with the compliance analysis of the following fields:

  • the tele-powering magnetic radiation field in the main lobe region, and in the side lobe region;
  • Uplink's magnetic radiation field in the main lobe region, and in the side lobe region;
  • the electrical characteristics of the Eurobalise Up-link signal;
  • the control interface of the balise for the switched buoys;
  • the up-link data signal on the "C1" interface;
  • the signal on the "C6" interface;
  • the return loss at the exit of the LEU for both interfaces "C1" and "C6";
  • functional and safety properties following simulations of telegram transfer from "C1" to Eurobalise and to BTM and on-board subsystem;
  • the "Blocking signal" on the "C4" interface (where applicable);
  • the I/O characteristics of Eurobalise;
  • the Eurobalise impedance with respect to the Tele-powering source;
  • the data transfer delay on interfaces "C1" and "A1" for switched Balises;
  • the behavior of the Up-link signal at start-up;
  • cross-talk immunity with nearby cables;
  • compliance with EMC requirements.

The Train Communication Network (TCN) is the infrastructure that allows the transmission of data within the trains.

It has a hierarchical structure on 2 network levels, a WTB (Wire Train Bus) backbone for data transmission along the entire train and the lower level MVB (Multifunction Vehicle Bus) backbones for the connection with the various devices inside the single vehicle.

Italcertifer S.p.A. Laboratories have a test bench for verifying the conformity of WTB devices (gateway) to the IEC 61375 Standard: in fact, the test bench allows the execution of the tests defined in UIC 556 Annex 8 which define whether or not they comply with the reference standard .

The test bench consists of the following main components:

  • A Personal Computer equipped with an MVB interface and an I/O card to launch the test suite
  • A test cabinet complete with:
  • a slot for emulation loads of different vehicles;
  • gateway cards to compose the different test configurations;
  • a WTB relay and power supply;