GSM-R Technology

Driven by the intention of the member States of the European Union to introduce a Pan-European Rail Traffic Network and assure railways business competitiveness, 32 countries decided to work together on the specification of a European standard for train control and communication system. Railways identified their common operational requirements and various technologies were evaluated.

GSM was selected as the technology for railway communication:

  • 1995 - frequency bands 876-880 and 921-925 MHz were allocated – 19 channels dedicated to railway applications
  • Special railway performance and operational requirements were identified
  • 1995 – 2000 – specifications were defined (EIRENE - European Integrated Radio Enhanced Network) and validated (MORANE - MObile radio for RAilway Networks in Europe)  by a group of manufactures and operators
  • The standards bodies adopted the system
  • 1997 - MoU to GSM-R commitment was signed in 1997 by 32 railways
  • 1997 - GSM-R is mandated by European Directive

A GSM-R platform offers enhanced functionalities and improved performance in terms of quality of service while guaranteeing data and voice communication at speed up to 350 km/h.
The GSM-R standard specification is subdivided in two EIRENE (UIC GSM-R specification project) documents:

  • FRS  Functional Requirement Specification
  • SRS  System Requirement Specification

UIC issued the first formal versions FRS 5/SRS 13 in December 2000. Version FRS 6/SRS 14 was issued almost 3 years later in October 2003 followed by version FRS 7/SRS 15 another 2 ½ years later in May 2006.

EIRENE GSM-R Standard Documents