CBTC (Communications-Based Train Control)

CBTC Brief Technology Overview

(Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) is an international railway signalling system that utilises bidirectional train-to-wayside data communications for the traffic management and infrastructure control. CBTC enables the positional accuracy of the train to be greatly improved to that of traditional signalling systems, thus enabling improved headways while maintaining or even improving safety.

CBTC systems have several options for the level of automation, from driver, driver assist to completely driverless. These options are known as Grades of Operation (GoA). They are as follows:

  • GoA 0 (On-sight) manual operation with no automatic train protection
  • GoA 1 (Non-Automated) manual operation with automatic train protection
  • GoA 2 (Semi-automated Operation, STO) starting and stopping is automated, driver operates the doors, drives the train if needed and handles emergencies.
  • GoA 3 (Driverless Train Operation, DTO) starting and stopping are automated, a train attendant operates the doors and drives the train in case of emergencies.
  • GoA 4 (Unattended Train Operation, UTO) starting and stopping, operation of doors and handling of emergencies are fully automated without any on-train staff.

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