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Higher level of safety, reduction of the risk of railway incidents, more punctual trains – these will be the effects of implementing the ERTMS/ETCS level 2 system on the E20 Kunowice – Terespol line

January 8, 2024

ECM Group Polska S.A. and PKP Polish Railway Lines S.A. signed today (January 5, 2018) a contract for engineering supervision of the project “Installation of the ERTMS/ETCS level 2 system on the E20 Kunowice – Terespol line (excluding the Warsaw node).”

The implementation of the modern ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) will increase the level of safety in train travel. More efficient railway traffic management will positively impact train punctuality. The introduction of the system will also allow trains traveling on European railway lines to cross borders freely without the need to stop at borders or change locomotives.


ERTMS level 2 is based on a dedicated railway wireless communication system GSM-R and modern IT technologies. It consists of two elements: the European Train Control System (ETCS) and the GSM-R (GSM-Railways) communication system.

“The modern ERTMS system on the international E20 route will ensure smoother passenger connections and cargo transport in Poland and Europe. We are also increasing the safety level on the railway network and creating better working conditions for railway staff,” says Ireneusz Merchel, President of the Board of PKP Polish Railway Lines S.A.

The installation of the ETCS system on the E20 Kunowice – Terespol line envisages equipping two sections of the E20 line: from Kunowice station to Warsaw Gołąbki station and from Sulejówek Miłosna station to Terespol station, with modern railway traffic control devices. The project concerns 25 stations and five Local Control Centers (Mińsk Mazowiecki, Błonie, Opalenica, Zbąszynek, Rzepin), which will gain computer equipment allowing for remote control of railway traffic control devices and railway-road crossings. The result will be fast, smooth, and safe train operation.

Thanks to the ETCS system, the location and speed of trains are continuously verified, among others, by sensors placed on the tracks, so-called eurobalises, which send signals about any changes on the route to the computer-equipped locomotive (eurocab). Information, along with data on driving conditions, permissible speed, and the position of other trains, reaches the train driver’s console. Thus, train drivers have all the details necessary for safely guiding the train to its destination. The system is not limited to transmitting current data to train drivers. Its task is also to control the work of the driver and – in case of ignoring warnings, to automatically adjust the train’s speed to the prevailing conditions.

Complementing the ETCS system is the GSM-R wireless communication system, which enables voice communication and simultaneous reception and transmission of messages between railway employees responsible for safety and smooth traffic – duty officers, dispatchers, drivers, or technical service.

The work is to be completed within 61 months. The value of the project is 707 million PLN.