Ricardo and PROSE work together in the ATO Cargo Betuweroute R&D project

Ricardo and PROSE work together in the ATO Cargo Betuweroute R&D project
Wesseltje14, CC BY-SA 3.0
14 December 2021

Ricardo and PROSE have both been selected as winners of the DB Cargo tender to produce a Set of Requirements for Freight Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and Remote Supervision & Control.

DB Cargo and ProRail intend to realise a 1-year operational trial of the potential of automated operations in freight train operation on the Dutch part of the Betuweroute. They aim to test the technical and operational feasibility of GoA2 (Grade-of-Automation) and GoA4 in shadow mode. Furthermore, the deployment of a Remote Supervision & Control Center (RSC) in degraded and emergency mode will be investigated.


“The Betuwe route is a very interesting track which is optimised for freight, with ETCS, fenced and no level crossings”, says Baseliyos Jacob, Senior Engineer at DB Cargo. 72 per cent of freight traffic between Rotterdam and Germany goes via the Betuweroute. The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure with a fund of 18.9 million euros.

“The Betuwe route is a very interesting track for ATO which is optimised for freight, with ETCS, fenced and no level crossings.” Baseliyos Jacob, Senior Engineer at DB Cargo.











Ricardo and PROSE were commissioned by DB Cargo and will collaborate closely to provide a Set of Requirements for Freight ATO GoA 2 and GoA 4 + Remote Supervision & Control in a design-to-timeline approach. This Set of Requirements will be used to evaluate an ATO technology partner for the development, installation, integration, commissioning, certification and testing of such an ATO solution. The tests for the 1-year test trial operation until 2025, will take place on the Dutch part of the Betuweroute (from Kijfhoek to Valburg).

In addition to the Operational Concept, Functional and Non-Functional Requirements for the ATO onboard, will be developed, same goes for the Remote Supervision & Control. Since the implementation of ATO is certainly no longer just a technical challenge, there will be a special focus on aspects as Human Factors, Certification, Training and Testing.