European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in Israel-Economic Feasibility Study for System Implementation
Nominated for The Neil Mansfield Award
Charles Solomon, Ministry of Transport, Vladimir Simon, Ministry of Transport, Prof. Haim Aviram, Kinneret College Israel and A.B. Plan LTD
It has been necessary to define a unique methodology for evaluating the economic benefits expected from implementation of ERTMS in Israel. It has played a significant role in the decision making process regarding the public finance for the project.
For over a decade, the Government of Israel has implemented a policy of major investment in transport infrastructure, mainly for rail development. As a result, the passenger annual growth rate has been substantial. In 2014, there were about 49 million passengers, in comparison to 13 million passengers in 2000 and only 2.5 million passengers in 1990. A major priority is to continue this trend.
Currently, the rail network in Israel includes about 1,100 kms of tracks. The system operates on electronic and relay interlockings, using INDUSI as the signaling system.
The substantial development of the Israel’s rail network is being actualized to achieve a number of major goals, such as providing public transport connections to developing areas, increase of the capacity of existing railway lines and bottle-necks and safety improvements. Another benefit of developing rail infrastructure is the network capacity that can be used for freight transport.
Taking into account the above-mentioned objectives, the implementation of ERTMS has been proposed. The ERTMS is a European system and is also being considered for implementation in many countries beyond Europe. The ERTMS has been designed with different levels, modes of operation as well as functionalities related to trackside and onboard subsystem. Israel is considering the implementation of ETCS Level 2.
The conservative economic appraisal of transport projects, accounts for savings in the value of time and in vehicle operating costs, reduction in number of road accidents and environmental cost savings. Implementation of ERTMS may generate additional economic and social benefits, which stem from the increase of reliability, comfort and from the reduction of traffic congestion as well as safety improvements.
Over a decade ago, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance in Israel, published a local procedure for the economic evaluation of transport projects, named "Nohal Prat". It is based largely on international practice, including the evaluation of most of the benefits derived from the examined transport project, by comparing the "with" and "without" alternatives.
However, It has been necessary to define a unique methodology for evaluating the economic benefits expected from implementation of ERTMS. According to the evaluation conducted, the ERTMS project is expected to make a large contribution both from a capacity perspective, as well as improving the level of safety. Infact, the economic benefits from the railway safety improvements generated as a result of ERTMS implementation is expected to be significant, certainly in comparison to other transport projects.
The economic feasibility study conducted both for the partial and full implementation of the system, indicated economic viability. According to the findings of the evaluation, it is expected that the partial implementation will play a significant role in resolving, during a short to medium term period, the bottleneck in the central rail corridor (Ayalon) in the Metropolitan area of Tel Aviv. The study indicates significant time savings, in addition to vehicle operational cost savings, improvement of efficiency of freight haulage and agglomeration.
The unique methodology defined and used for the economic evaluation of ERTMS in Israel, has played a significant role in the decision making process regarding the public finance for the project.
Association for European Transport