Contact Person
SQC Jens Gerlach
Dr.-Ing. Jens Gerlach
Senior Scientist
Business Unit SQC
+49 30 3463-7458


July 01, 2012 to June 30, 2015

Traveling across European countries is becoming easier and easier: it is facilitated by Europe’s single currency as well as uncomplicated border crossings. Even the means of transportation themselves and their standards are becoming more unified. However, especially train networks in Europe have developed within national borders, which is why to this day there are many heterogeneous signaling and train control systems. Because these national systems are often not compatible with one another, the European Union has initiated the project “European Train Control System” (ETCS) as part of a European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). The new European Train Control System is to replace most national signaling and train control systems in Europe, and after 2015 will be mandatory for all new infrastructure and train control system equipment.

The problem with ETCS on-board computers, however, is that the degree of functional complexity which needs to be implemented is significantly higher than for conventional, national train control systems. This leads to substantial cost increases for software development, homologation and maintenance. For this reason, 44 partners from 11 European countries work together in the project OpenETCS to develop an integrated model, development, validation and testing framework, to support a cost-efficient, reliable and, above all, open source based implementation of ETCS. The framework will provide a holistic tool chain along the entire development process of ETCS software. The tool chain will support the formal specification and verification of ETCS system requirements, the automatic and ETCS-compliant code generation and validation, and the model-based test case generation and execution. The SQC researchers focus on the formal verification of the OpenETCS implementation. In this context, they closely cooperate with CEA-LIST, the French main developer of the verification framework Frama-C.

OpenETCS is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the ITEA2 program (Information Technology for European Advancement).