Train Protection and Warning System (AWS / TPWS)

TPWS Control Unit


As Network Rail prepares to rollout ETCS across its network, work is also starting to deliver rolling  stock that is compatible with the new system. All  new trains currently on order for the UK will be ETCS-ready, and the initial steps to upgrade some existing fleets have been taken.
Delivering compatibility between legacy Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) and ETCS is one of the most challenging elements of the rollout, but  new technology is now available to make this a seamless process. 
UNISIG, the industrial consortium created to develop the ERTMS/ETCS technical specifications, has issued an Interface Specification for a unit they call a Specific Transmission Module (STM).
The purpose of the STM is to manage the interface between existing national train protection systems and ETCS to provide continuous train operation on sections not covered by ETCS.
UNISIG’s intention is to standardise the interface between the national train protection systems and ETCS to simplify the integration and roll out of ETCS for train manu-facturers, ETCS suppliers, and suppliers of national train protection systems such as Mors Smitt.

Mors Smitt have been working with Network Rail to ensure our TPWS is ready for the roll out of Isolated Speed Limited Authority (ISLA) and Radio Based Limited Supervision (RBLS).

Isolated Speed Limited Authority (ISLA) is a future TPWS development which will provide:
  • Line speed supervision
  • Temporary Speed Restriction (TSR) and Emergency Speed Restriction (ESR) remote deployment and supervision
  • Possession boundary control/supervision
  • Controlled/supervised moves through possessions
  • User Worked Crossing safety enhancements
Radio Based Limited Supervision (RBLS) is a future development which will provide:
  • Signal aspect supervision
  • Continuous supervision benefits at significantly lower cost than ETCS
  • Relatively quick and low-cost vehicle installation compared to ETCS
  • Quicker rollout due to minimal driver training, as based on familiar TPWS control panel

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Railway rolling stock
Railway signalling