ERTMS – a new technology in rail and its social impact

19 Apr 2009

The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) is an initiative backed by the European Union to enhance cross-border interoperability and the related signaling equipment by creating a single Europe-wide standard for train control and command systems.

The ETF and its Italian affiliate FILT-CGIL carried out a project with the financial support of the European Commission called ERTMS – a new technology for the railway sector. Anticipating its IMpact on Employment and Social Conditions (AIMESC).

The project addressed the impact of ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Manager System) on both employment and working conditions, but it also collected information on ERTMS technology and its implementation in the EU. The project investigated the impact of ERTMS on working conditions amongst some of the most affected professional profiles, namely train drivers, traffic controllers and rolling stock maintenance personnel.

The final report contains all the findings concerning the impact of ERTMS on employment and working conditions as well as guidelines addressed to trade union organisations for their training activities in order to give information about ERTMS and its impact, and a list of possible follow-up actions that trade unions can carry out in the future – also within the social dialogue.

Although carried out in 2009, the information and findings are still relevant and give important input to the discussion on digitalisation and automation in the railway sector.