Global System for Mobile communications - Railways

GSM-R is an international wireless communications standard for railway communication and applications.

GSM-R Operators & Functional Group (OFG)

The GSM-R OFG ensures monitoring of GSM-R usage (implementation reports), maintenance and development of GSM-R specifications (EIRENE and MORANE) and actions for telecoms standardisation and supports the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) CCS TSI.

Network Management Group (NMG)

The GSM-R NMG is responsible for defining, developing and monitoring the technical processes for GSM-R interconnection between European countries.

GSM-R European Network for Interconnection of Railways (ENIR)

The GSM-R ENIR manages the hubs (located in Germany and Switzerland) implementing the interconnection of European GSM-R networks.

GSM-R project

With implementation of GSM-R now well underway on Europe’s railways, and worldwide interest beyond its frontiers, the ERTMS/GSM-R project of the UIC has the task of maintaining the GSM-R specifications, developed under the EIRENE project, managing the UIC roll-out plan for the system and handling issues and problems that arise as the work is progressing.

Through its working groups, the ERTMS/GSM-R project brings together existing and future implementers of GSM-R, assisting the former in realising their objectives and keeping the latter - and the railway industry in general - informed of developments. Close cooperation is maintained with ETSI - through ETSI Technical Committee Rail Telecommunications- and with the GSM-R Industry.

This section provides information on the system and its implementation, including the latest versions of the EIRENE specifications and the full range of specifications.

Why GSM-R?

During the course of their work, the UIC radio frequency group concluded that efforts would have to be undertaken to negotiate, with the European Frequency Committee (CEPT), for the allocation to the railways of a specific frequency band adjacent to the E-GSM band. This frequency band was intended to cover the current railway needs as well as the future railway needs. This request was supported by a pre-study on the usability of either GSM or TETRA systems for the future railway mobile communications. Some studies were undertaken to assess the possible frequency needs (Studies to define a traffic model for three representative areas, London, Paris and Munich, were carried out). In parallel, the advantages and disadvantages of the two potential systems ( GSM or TETRA) were discussed.

Finally a decision was taken to adopt GSM, which was, at that time, the only system in commercial operation with products available. This was a very important consideration as one of the main objectives was, to use a system already proven with off-the-shelf products available, with the minimum of modifications.
However, even at that time it was clear, that GSM could not fulfil all the requirements necessary for an efficient railway service. Therefore it was necessary to identify and add to the standard GSM the Advanced Speech Call Items (ASCI) features.

The request for frequencies resulted in a recommendation from CEPT, to add 4 MHz to the overall GSM-band and to allocate it for railway use only.
This recommendation was later enhanced into a decision, which required the national frequency authorities to free this frequency band, which was already used (mainly by military services), by 2005 at the latest.

The way from the idea to GSM-R

Following the decision to adopt GSM, the UIC launched a project in 1992, together with the EC and the railways, called EIRENE (European Integrated Radio Enhanced NEtwork). The aim of this project was, to specify the requirements for mobile networks which would both fulfil the needs of railways and ensure interoperability across borders. That involved the description of mandatory requirements for operational communication services, in and between networks of neighbouring railways, with the goal to allow, in the future, uninterrupted train-services, when crossing borders.

A project Team was established within this project.
The group had the task to prepare a set of Requirements, which would mainly describe the mandatory features necessary for interoperability. In addition, a description of some optional features were envisaged to also take account of national requirements.

This document also set out to define the requirements related to railway operation and the specification of the additional Group and Broadcast Calls features. A first draft of these EIRENE specifications was finalised by 1995.

As these features had to be incorporated within the GSM standards, it was necessary to work together with specialised ETSI working groups.

To develop the detailed specifications and to validate that these EIRENE Functional Specifications could be transferred into technical implementations, following an European Call for projects launched in 1995, a consortium of Railways, GSM suppliers and Laboratories teamed up for this answer and successfully get the allocation of this European Project in 1996.
This project named MORANE (MObile radio for RAilway Networks in Europe) was set up, supported by a Steering Group of railways in France, Italy and Germany and set up in Paris. Three pilot-lines were planned and realised:

  • Florence - Arezzo
  • Stuttgart - Mannheim
  • Paris (North high Speed line and East bypassing High Speed lines)

Under this MORANE project, prototypes were developed by manufacturers, and three networks were set up and the relevant fixed and mobile terminal equipment provided. The three systems were aimed at testing different aspects of operation, respectively Railway station environment, complex radio coverage topology with tunnels and bends, high speed lines able to handle 300km/h). It was possible to prove, during the lifetime of this project, that all the mandatory functions could be successfully implemented and tested.

The two Projects EIRENE and MORANE were finally concluded at the end of 2000 with the delivery of the FRS and SRS versions 4 and 12, respectively, the delivery of the MORANE FFFIS, FIS and FFFS documents and a final report incorporating the result of the measurement campaigns from all three trial sites.

In 1997, the UIC prepared a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), committing the railways, who signed this MoU, to no longer investing in analogue radio systems, and only investing in the implementation of GSM-R. It also included the major statements, that early implementers would help the other railways starting an implementation, through the exchange of knowledge and experience.

This MoU was signed at that time by 32 railways all over Europe. As of to-day, the number of signatories has increased to 37, including railways outside of Europe.
In addition to the declaration of willingness set out in the MoU, the UIC also instigated an Agreement of Implementation (AoI), where the signing railways committed themselves to start their implementation of the national GSM-R system in 2003 at the latest. This AoI was signed by 17 railways.

To complement the work carried out in EIRENE and MORANE the UIC started a new project, called ERTMS/GSM-R.

The new ERTMS/GSM-R project combined experiences from the trial-sites and knowledge from implementing railways within three permanent working groups:

  • ERIG (European Radio Implementers Group)
  • FG (Functional Group)
  • OG (Operators Group)

ERIG forms the assembly of railways having signed the MoU and the AoI.

The main goal of this group is to exchange information about ongoing implementations based on results already achieved and discussion about gaps in the specifications or implementation reports related to national or international functions. Information is also given on the work of the different permanent and Ad Hoc-groups and the presentation of actual Change requests together with their status. This group is mainly a dissemination platform.

Functional Group (FG)
The main task of this expert group is to maintain the FRS and to check incoming implementation reports concerning impact to functional requirements. The FG is also responsible for creating the change requests, based on Implementation Reports. The FG works with OG and the GSM-R industry Group (IG) to find the right solutions and requirements. The FG takes towards specification evolution to ensure consistent railway operation.

Operators ’Group (OG)
The main task of this expert group is to maintain the SRS, to define technical solutions for functional requirements, to liaise with ETSI, the standardization Body for GSM related to railway requirements, to create the necessary change requests based on implementation reports, to liaise with the TIG (Technical Industry Group) and to define technical improvement necessary for new SRS releases. The OG is also responsible for creating a new version of the SRS and upgrading of former MORANE documents.

When it is necessary to work on specific subjects, in a more detailed way, the OG forms Ad Hoc Groups with experts from the GSM-R suppliers and from the railways. These groups prepare the ground for a deeper analysis of specific subjects, which cannot be developed, in detail, in the permanent working groups.

In parallel to this railway oriented working groups the GSM-R suppliers have formed a separated group, called IG ( (GSM-R) Industry Group) which works on two aspects :

  • a marketing part, looking for common approaches to promote GSM-R worldwide
  • a technical part, which forms the interface to the railway groups FG and OG

To protect the specific railway features and to improve the development of the GSM standard, UIC is deeply involved in the standardization work with ETSI Technical Committee on Rail Telecommunications. This ETSI Technical Committee is in a position to improve the standards ensuring full interoperability of the System.


For any further information please contact:

EIRENE Specifications

The EIRENE Functional Requirements Specification (FRS FRS Functional Requirements Specifications ) version 8.0.0 and System Requirements Specification (SRS) version 16.0.0 are released to address the complete GSM-R system requirements, containing in particular the requirements that are relevant to interoperability of the rail system within the European Community, according to the Directive 2008/57/EC.

The documents incorporate the relevant requirements introducing Internet Protocol based new Core Network architecture, making the system able to use either Packet Switching or Circuit Switching as a bearer for ETCS, allowing the usage of terminals offering improved protection against interferences and inserting the findings of a Working Group managed by the European Railway Agency, with the participation of the UIC, CER, EIM and GSM-R Industry Group. They include the ability of using additional frequencies in the 900 MHz band and other public GSM bands and introduce other reviewed functionalities for the network and the terminals.

The EIRENE Specifications requirements which are relevant for interoperability in Europe are strictly the ones marked in this version with the category (MI), and these should be verified for certification purposes and authorisation for placing into service in Europe. There is no impact for Individual Constituents or Subsystems certification done according to the applicable requirements in EIRENE previous versions.

They are referenced in the Annex A of the CCS TSI as mandatory documents according to the ERA ERTMS/GSM-R CCM process, and considered as such as the GSM-R European baseline, approved by the RISC Committee on February 2016. As a Regulation and no longer a Decision, they will become in force at their publication in the European Official Journal. Until then, the EIRENE 7.4.0/15.4.0 remain the GSM-R Specifications in force in Europe.

The EIRENE version numbering structure is as follows:

  • First digit (8 for FRS and 16 for SRS) is the EIRENE Specification version, and it is aligned with the ERA Baseline for Europe (B1), defined according to the ERA CCM process
  • Second digit (0) is aligned to ERA First release 0 for Baseline 1 (B1 r0), defined according to the ERA CCM process
  • Third digit (0) corresponds to UIC interim version, which shall contain changes that will not refer to (MI) categories

Following this, EIRENE 8.0.0 & 16.0.0 are aligned with ERA B1 r0.

The complete set of Mandatory for Interoperability (MI) and Mandatory for the System (M) must be complied with together in order to ensure a viable working GSM-R system.

Following that, this split in two categories does not apply for non-European implementations.

Please note that, this EIRENE Functional System Requirements Specification version 8.0.0 replaces the former version 7.4.0, and the EIRENE System Requirements Specification version 16.0.0 replaces the former versions 15.4.0.

EIRENE - Functional Requirements Specification Version 8.0.0

- PDF - 725.6 kb

EIRENE - System Requirements Specification Version 16.0.0

- PDF - 1.8 Mb


Previous versions

EIRENE Functional Requirements Specification Version 7.4.0 (April 2014)

- PDF - 833.5 kb

EIRENE System Requirements Specification Version 15.4.0 (March 2014)

- PDF - 1.7 Mb


Normative documents

O-2875 Test Specification for EIRENE QoS requirements version 2.0.0 (November 2017)

- PDF - 1.1 Mb

O-3001-3 Test specifications for GSM-R MI related requirements; Part 3: SIM Cards version 1.0.0

- PDF - 210.5 kb

O-3001-4 Test specifications for GSM-R MI related requirements FRS 8.0.0/SRS 16.0.0; Part 4: Network version 1.1.0

- PDF - 893.1 kb

O-3001-1 Test specifications for GSM-R related requirements: Part 1: Cab Radio version 1.1.0

- PDF - 639.2 kb

O-3001-2 Test specifications for GSM-R related requirements: Part 2: EDOR version 1.1.0

- PDF - 233.5 kb

O-3001-3 Test specifications for GSM-R related requirements: Part 3: SIM Cards version 1.1.0

- PDF - 101.7 kb

O-3001-4 Test specifications for GSM-R related requirements: Part 4: Network version 1.2.0

- PDF - 804.1 kb

gsmr8300 FFFS for Voice and Data Services Functionality at borders between GSM-R networks version 3.0.0

- PDF - 302.6 kb

O-3001-1 Test specifications for GSM-R MI related requirements; Part 1: Cab Radio Version 1.0.0 (July 2017)

- PDF - 1.3 Mb

O-3001-2 Test specifications for GSM-R MI related requirements; Part 2: EDOR Version 1.0.0 (July 2017)

- PDF - 597.1 kb

O-8350 FFFS for Voice and Data Services Interconnection & Roaming between GSM-R networks version 2.0 (2016)

- PDF - 553.5 kb

O-3001 2.0.0 Test specifications for GSM-R MI related requirements (May 2016)

- PDF - 1.1 Mb

E 10 T 6001 4 1 FFFS For Functional Addressing

- PDF - 140.2 kb

E12T6001 5 1 FIS for Functional Addressing

- PDF - 152.6 kb

F10T6001 4 FFFS for LDA

- PDF - 104.2 kb

F10T6002 5 0 FFFS CHP Calls

- PDF - 122 kb

F10T6003 4 PFN FFFS

- PDF - 179.7 kb

F12T6001 3 LDA FIS

- PDF - 89.9 kb

F12T6002 5 0 FIS CHP calls

- PDF - 55.8 kb

F12T6003 4 PFN FIS

- PDF - 101.6 kb

O 8350 1 0

- PDF - 291.3 kb

P38T9001 FFFIS for GSM R SIM CARD v5 0

- PDF - 1.1 Mb

gsmr2875 1 0

- PDF - 645.9 kb

gsmr8300 2 0

- PDF - 480.6 kb

O 8736 2 0

- PDF - 622.3 kb

Radio Transmission FFFIS for EuroRadio (2015)

- PDF - 1.3 Mb


Informative documents

Fixed Terminal System Guidelines

- PDF - 1.6 Mb

eLDA FRS v4 0

- PDF - 104.7 kb

eLDA IRS v5 0

- PDF - 327.4 kb

eREC Parameters O 3152 1 1

- PDF - 92.2 kb

eREC Specification O3151 v2.0.0

- PDF - 2.6 Mb

gsmr8760 1 0 UIC GSM R filter requirements

- PDF - 486.1 kb

UIC GSM-R Procurement & Implementation Guide (2009)

Implementation & Procurement Guide Aims and Objectives The EIRENE System Requirements and Functional Requirements Specifications allow for some flexibility in the allowed procurement approaches and implementation options for an EIRENE-compliant (...)

- PDF - 4.4 Mb

O-8664 ETCS in PS-mode GPRS-EGPRS Guideline version 1.0.0

- PDF - 1.5 Mb

ETCS over GPRS - Edge Capacity Study in Station Environment – CEF Activity

- PDF - 1.6 Mb

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Wednesday 18 May 2022