There are a large number of different national train protection systems in Europe for historic reasons. For a train to be able to run from Rotterdam to Genoa, it currently still requires several different train protection systems. ETCS (European Train Control System) was developed as a European standard to harmonise technologies and promote rail transport in Europe, thereby strengthening the competitive advantage of rail transport.
The large number of train protection systems used in European countries is to be replaced by a technologically and operationally standardised solution to facilitate frequent and fast cross-border train movements throughout Europe.
With the rollout of ETCS Level 1 completed in 2018, Switzerland is the first country in Europe to fully meet the requirements for European interoperability.
Thanks to the network-wide use of ETCS Level 1 and Level 2, the entire Swiss standard-gauge network can now be operated without the use of an additional national train protection system.