In the last few years, in the European context, railway communication architectures have migrated from a juxtaposition of different, and mostly proprietary, technological solutions — each of them addressing the particular requirements of a specific railway IT service — to a single unique and integrated telecom open architecture based on GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communications - Railways). Next envisaged movement is to integrate the current different railway IT services and emerging railway needs in a global open and standard 4<sup>th</sup> generation mobile communication architecture. However, in-depth studies are necessary to validate these packet switched technologies and architectures as usable for the highly demanding railway operational communications such as the Automatic Train Control service. The standardized version of this service in the European context, is known as ETCS service (European Train Control System). These packet switched technologies, since they are based on a different philosophy, they need adequate engineering rules. This paper is focused on building a simulation framework able to carry out these in-depth performance evaluation studies.
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