Safe design for automatic and unattended train operation

The development of modern, fully automated, unattended trains promises decisive advantages in future railway operations: energy savings, cost optimisation, improved punctuality, increased capacity and new services. However, the top priority is safety.

How are automated and unattended trains developed to ensure safe operation in the absence of a driver?

About the project

In the metro sector, automatic and unattended trains, i.e. trains without drivers, have been in operation worldwide for many years. Automatic and unattended train operation is already the standard for newly built metros. Based on the successful, safe and efficient record of trains in the metro sector, automatic and unattended train operation is now being developed for trains covering long distances in more complex environments, such as high-speed, freight, intercity and regional trains.

A team of safety specialists from European train operators and the railway industry has been assembled as part of the European Shift2Rail railway innovation programme. The team is tasked with developing all safety features to ensure safe operation for automated and unattended trains (automation level GoA3 and GoA4). The results of Shift2Rail’s work will be documented by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) in a technical specification for automatic and unattended train operation.

Our contribution

Enotrac coordinated the Shift2Rail safety team in this pioneering project. This team assisted in the development of the operational concept and system definition to precisely describe the capabilities of automated and unattended train operation and the interfaces with the existing railway system.

Subsequently, the safety team conducted a hazard and risk analysis to identify and prevent potential hazards in advance. Safety functions were developed and integrated into both the design and logical architecture to ensure the safe operation of automatic and unattended trains.

The key figures

0 %
automated and autonomous driving
> 0
European railways and industry partners involved
>0 %
Reduction of energy consumption as a goal

Enotrac is supporting the joint efforts of the European railway operators and the European railway industry within the framework of the Shift2Rail initiative. The company is thus playing a pioneering role in the development and operation of safe and efficient automatic train systems.

  • Customer


  • Period

    2019 – 2023

  • Location


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