EUREMCO – EUropean Railway ElectroMagnetic COmpatibility

The EUREMCO project’s overall objective is to promote interoperable rail traffic by harmonising and simplifying the certification process of rail vehicles for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC).  The project will specify the conditions for certification throughout Europe, based on sound scientific methodologies. These will allow for the identification of the “transfer functions” that have to be applied to the results obtained on different test tracks in different countries, with the same electric supply voltage.
EUREMCO will address the question of compatibility between track circuits and rail vehicles. Track circuits are found in railway tracks, and are primarily used to detect the exact location of the vehicles for signalling systems. Electromagnetic Compatibility issues between track circuits and vehicles are often encountered and are mainly caused by:

•    Emission of  too high an interference current from the rail vehicle; and
•    Insufficient immunity of the track circuits against this interference current.

The same is valid for transients, which are very short interference currents, but of very high intensity.

The consequences of both phenomena are unacceptable and might lead to severe accidents, as the minimum safety level cannot be guaranteed when these issues occur.  Perturbation of the track circuits by the rail vehicle might simply ‘confuse’ the train detection device, and recent accidents have demonstrated the importance of the uninterrupted operation of this equipment. The consequences are not only to be calculated in financial terms, but firstly in terms of the safety of passengers and freight. This shows the need to have very clear emission and immunity limits for rail vehicles as well as for track circuits. Such limits must be set with the corresponding assessment method, which should also be duly validated.

Once a common understanding and limit criteria are reached at the European level, it will be possible to use the results obtained in one country for the authorisation of a vehicle in another country. Introducing a so-called ‘transfer function’ between different networks within the same power supply system (there are three of these: 25kV AC, 15kV AC and 3kV DC) will reduce the cost and time of certification, since the need for additional tests, which are often expensive, could be removed. The initial objective of the EUREMCO project is to clearly identify the relevant interference current parameters of cross acceptable test lines. With current knowledge it is expected that, through the application of the transfer function, test results could be transferred within the same power supply system.

Therefore, EUREMCO aims to:
•    Propose common understanding on key electromagnetic compatibility phenomena, with the corresponding assessment methodology; and
•    Develop a so called “transfer function” through sounds scientific methodologies to allow the cross acceptance of one test in the entire European railway network within the same power supply system.