Virtual Coupling Business Risks

Thank you for taking part in the MOVINGRAIL Virtual Coupling Business Risks survey. This survey is part of the EU funded MOVINGRAIL project, and the results of this survey will support Work Package 4 on the Business Analysis of Virtual Coupling.

Please fill the questionnaire below by assigning a number from 1 to 10 for the probability and impact of each risk listed. Questions marked with a * require an answer. 
If you would like to highlight additional risks, please use the comment box in each question. 

We will not be collecting any personal data in this survey. Question 11 that concerns your professional expertise in the field but will not be linked to any names or email addresses. All answers are therefore both confidential and anonymous. The statistical results from this survey will be used in the elaboration of a report that will be available on the MOVINGRAIL website:

When answering, please use the rules below:
  • The lowest probability is 1 (most unlikely to occur at all) and the highest is 10 (virtually inevitable)
  • On impact, 1 is of little or temporary consequence while 10 is devastating to the project/technology
Results returned by the end of 4th May will be included in results presented at the workshop on the 6th May at 10am (CET) where the results will be reviewed by the participants. If you would like to sign up to the online workshop, please register on the link below.

Register to the MOVINGRAIL Virtual Coupling Business Risks online workshop

We really appreciate your participation in this review of the business risks of Virtual Coupling.

1. Standards *

Development of a number of black box solutions
Failure to Integrate into EU/EUAR plan for standards
Excessive time elapses from proof of concept to defining actual specifications
Constantly changing/evolving definition of solution
Emergence of different proprietary solutions
Incompatibility with ETCS / Class B Systems

2. Supply Side *

Supply industry opposes the overall introduction of Virtual Coupling
Issues emerge with ownership of IPR for solutions
Different suppliers develop slightly different solutions
Proof of concept works, but no suppliers want to invest in it

3. Operations side *

Emergence of disagreement over role of train operators and infrastructure managers in deployment
Failure to develop a common concepts of operations and Rule Book
No take up from operators due to business/safety concerns

4. Technical *

Lack of availability of spectrum for Communications
Solution exposes system to greater Cyber Security risks
Trains cannot run closer together than ETCS L3
Level of reliability and availability not sufficient
Trains can run closer on plain line but not in junction/station/complex layouts - thus limiting the benefit
Need to upgrade existing on-board systems and adaptation of logical ICT systems
The added complexity of cooperative train control technologies needed to maximise benefits of Virtual Coupling creates unexpected system risks
Failure to develop a solution for handling of grade crossings
The system does not deliver the required outputs
Repeated failures during operation
Degraded mode operation worse than current
VC will require a change to point switching technology

5. Regulatory *

Non fulfilment of CSM-RA
UK/EU Brexit Issues restrict British contribution to project/solutions
Interaction between national safety authority and EURA jurisdiction causes delay in process of approval
System shown to work but not supported by Commission
Uncertainty about who will 'sign off' the system

6. Transition / implementation issues *

Migration to ETCS Level 3 with Moving Block never delivered
Migration to ETCS Level 3 with Moving Block may take a very long time
Incompatibility with existing systems at interfaces or if used as an overlay system
Uncertainty about track, train, route systems and the migration sequence
Most promising routes for upgrade have most modern signalling

7. Business case *

Unable to define the Units of output at which benefits exceed the costs
Uncertainty about lifetime costs (maintenance and recovery)
Passengers may not adjust to the different operations
Costs understood, benefits less clear and in the future
Business case impossible to forecast before implementation
Elapsed time between now and implementation may change business cases
Insurers become reluctant to carry risks of solutions
Uncertainty about compatibility with next generation of CCS
Costs exceed the benefits
Uncertainty about what risks (schedule, technical and cost) to build in to project evaluations

8. Public acceptance *

Media/public suspicious of trains that cannot stop in the gap to the next train

9. Safety *

Near mIsses during testing
Near misses during operations
Accident during live operation undermines confidence
Repeated failures not leading to incidents
Accident during testing undermines confidence

10. How would you describe yourself in terms of expertise in railway signalling and control? *


11. Any Comments you wish to add:

Check out our survey templates or create your own.