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EMC Compatibility in Europe. John Molyneux Senior Consultant. Observations and Conclusions.

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Emc compatibility in europe

EMC Compatibility in Europe

John Molyneux

Senior Consultant

Observations and conclusions
Observations and Conclusions

It is almost impossible to separate the demonstration of electromagnetic compatibility from the demonstration of safety. This is because, although systems interfering with each-other can be a nuisance it is only when they affect safety that the costs of incompatibility become unacceptable.

Hence much of the process is primarily concerned with Safety.

Observations and conclusions1
Observations and Conclusions

All respondents from EU have Implemented Directives

In most cases this has had the effect of divorcing the technical and

procedural processes

Scope of EMC is ill defined, especially in high level documents

Many aspects of EMC are omitted or are considered

to be ‘somebody else’s problem’

Most Countries have particular concerns and concentrate on these

Observations and conclusions2
Observations and Conclusions

Many local standards are in a state of flux

Several Respondents changed local requirements,

or revised local standards during the course of this study

Newer lines are migrating to ERTMS

Newer Equipment sometimes lies outside existing standards e.g. Wi-Fi

Observations and conclusions3
Observations and Conclusions

EN standards ……. A Common Ground?

50121 Railway applications —Electromagnetic compatibility between parts of the railway system and the outside world.

50128 Railway applications —Communications, signalling and processing systems — Software

50129 Railway applications —Communication, signalling and processing systems —Safety for signalling

50163 Railway applications — Supply voltages of traction systems Describes and defines supply systems and variations

Observations and conclusions4
Observations and Conclusions

EN standards ……. A Common Ground?

50238 Railway applications —Compatibility between rolling stock and train detection systems- 1)generic methodologies; 2) Track Circuits 3) Axle counters.

50367 Railway applications —Current collection systems —Indirectly affects EMC as the sliding contact is a major source of emissions.

50388 Railway applications — Power supply and rolling stock —Technical criteria pertaining to protection, operation and testing.

50500 Measurement procedures and limits to be applied to the evaluation of human exposure to magnetic fields.

Standards are not Comprehensive Neither are they Universally Applicable

Observations and conclusions5
Observations and Conclusions

Railways have long lifetimes 30-50 years (with refurbishment)

Cost of scrapping older systems just for ease of EMC demonstration is prohibitive and does not make economic sense

It is therefore a fact of life that all countries will have to keep their older EMC methods for some considerable time.

Observations and conclusions6
Observations and Conclusions

Although not mandatory, the Infrastructure manager still plays a large part in the approval process for new rolling stock.

The process approvals bodies do not generally have the detailed

technical knowledge to assess systems within their structure.

Detailed Technical Knowledge is being divested to third parties who

may only have limited scope within the process

Train detection
Train Detection

Possible the most critical part of EMC from a rolling stock perspective.

It is also the most technically Diverse

Primarily conducted Interference into track

Solution……….Measure the interference and apply a limit

The universal gabarit
The Universal Gabarit

Examination from Traction Point of View shows that this

is Not a Credible Way Forward.

Train detection1
Train Detection

Until ERTMS level 3 is Universally Implemented

Limit Systems on New Lines to Preferred Types

What about New Types…… How are they Qualified.

Is this anti-competitive?..... Does it contravene free market principles

Dose it discourage Research and Innovation?

Train detection2
Train Detection

Until ERTMS level 3 is Universally Implemented

Use a common method of measurement, analysis and data recording

according to EN50238 technical appendices

Open Points on the interpretation of some clauses…. How many tests or how much testing….. environment….. location

Train detection3

Until ERTMS level 3 is Universally Implemented

Limit Systems on New Lines to Preferred Types

Use a common method of measurement, analysis and data recording

according to EN50238 technical appendices

Re-analyse test data to show compatibility within different countries

Train Detection

Still Not a Universal Solution as

there are Open Points on the

interpretation, nature and analysis of transient phenomena

Lineside systems
Lineside Systems

No universally applicable limits or methodologies

Coupling is magnetic or capacitive and is highly sensitive to geometry

Sheer Number of possible interactions is massive and complex.

Considered to be outside the scope of Rolling Stock Compatibility by some

but not part of the Command and Control system either.

Some common ground in the determination of psophometric current

Many-long range systems are migrating to optical fibre

Voice communications are increasingly becoming the minority traffic.

Digital communications operate at higher frequencies and have different problems.

Energy systems
Energy Systems

Energy Systems are generally well covered by International Standards

Local limits on harmonic distortion are defined by the generating authority

and hence are outside the control of the Railway.

Rolling stock will still have to be designed to comply with the generating

authority’s policy

Considered to be outside the scope of Rolling Stock Compatibility by some .

The infrastructure should be designed to be tolerant to the train’s demand and regeneration

Radio frequency systems
Radio Frequency Systems

EN 50121 seems to be an almost Universal standard for Radio Frequency Systems

However EN 50121 does not give comprehensive frequency coverage on all aspects and, in particular, does not cover intentional transmitters

Individual requirements for train communications

are contained within the CCS TSI

Other systems
Other Systems

Included because of synergy

EN 50121 is required under The EMC directive however more than a third of the respondents stated that the EMC directive was not used in their rolling stock compatibility case.

Although the EMF directive is not yet in force it is due to come in force soon.

Compatibility with human beings will need to be considered in any safety submission


This project has documented the details of the EMC demonstration process that are of most concern within each member state.

It is believed that the study provides a good description of the full vertical scope of the process, from legislative mandates through methods to detailed technical requirements of the EMC demonstration.

However it is not fully comprehensive due to the difficulties in obtaining the wide scope of information required in an accessible form.

Further consolidation of the methods at the detail stages may be beneficial.


The details of the technical assessment of electromagnetic compatibility across the member states of the European railway area are complex and different.

However the underlying technical assessment methods, based on common physics, are similar.

The degree of state involvement in the processes is very varied :

from purely documentary to detailed technical involvement.

The documentation processes, to comply with the directives are

in a much more advanced state than the technical processes.


The authors would like to thank all those members

and representatives from the member states who have

contributed to this project

For more information, please contact:

Lloyd’s Register Rail

Preston Technology Centre

Unit G09

Marsh Lane




T+44 (0)1772 272 716F+44 (0)1772 888 673

[email protected]