Train protection


Train protection is equipment fitted to trains and the track that can reduce risks from signals passed at danger (SPADs) and over-speeding.

Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) is the most widely used train protection system in Britain although on some routes Automatic Train Protection (ATP) is used.

In line with European directives, the national network is now committed to a migration plan that will replace TPWS with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) which will provide a higher level of train protection whilst helping the railway towards a more cost efficient signalling system.

As this replacement will be gradual and take several years, the rail industry, facilitated by RSSB, formed a strategy group to look at how TPWS can be maintained on the network until the implementation of ERTMS.


ERTMS is a European train control system that will be introduced onto the GB rail network over the next 30 years.

Train protection system exemptions

Applying for an exemption from the requirement to have a Train Protection System.