At the instigation of UIC and under the aegis of the European Union, the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) was set up at the beginning of the 1990s. ERTMS comprises ETCS, the European Train Control System, and GSM-R, a radio communiation system specifically for railways. The idea was to create ‚Äúdouble interoperability‚ÄĚ: geographical interoperability so a train equipped with this system could run on a track equipped with the same system, and interoperability between manufacturers so that a train built by one manufacturer could run on track fitted with a signalling and control command system produced by another.

The technical and operational specifications of ERTMS, which were originally drawn up by UIC in close co-operation with suppliers in the industry, are now developed by ERA as the competent authority.