What is ATO?

ATO or Automatic Train Operation, can be commonly seen in metro systems such as LRT and MRT. These metro systems run on dedicated guideways (tunnel/elevated tracks) without a driver (GoA4). At RSE, we are running ATO at GoA2 on mainline railways. Mainline operations are characterised by a variety of train types and stop patterns, long distances in an open environment (on level tracks).

LevelDescriptionsExample of mainline railways
GoA0Driver drives on sight with no ATPTram in a city
GoA1No ATO. Driver in full control under the supervision of ATPERL, KTMB
GoA2With ATO. ATO controls driving and braking but driver can take over at any time.

(Semi automatic Train Operation – STO)
SOB Switzerland

From Level 3 onwards, the difference is more into how emergency situation is being dealt with

GoA3No driver is in the cab, but an attendant will be present in the train
GoA4No driver nor attendant will be in the cab

(Unattended Train Operation – UTO)
Rio Tinto

Why ATO?

  • Improving capacity
  • Energy savings
  • Timetable adherence


Next expertise:

Rail Systems Engineering