End of lineside signalling?

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Metroland

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Starting in April 2012, the collaborative agreements cover a one year development phase which will confirm the suppliers’ design of a signalling system which will be demonstrated at our new testing facility on the Hertford loop with contracts for the delivery of the programme awarded in 2014.

We’re seeking to use technology which delivers the lowest whole-life asset costs. Together with our industry partners we’ve chosen European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 as one of our recommended methods of re-signalling. ETCS Level 2 does not need line-side signals and is cheaper to install than conventional re-signalling.

ETCS is part of the European Rail Traffic Management System – a tried and tested signalling system which will replace traditional line-side railway signals with a computer display inside every train cab, reducing the costs of maintaining the railway, improving performance and enhancing safety.


Andrew Simmons, our director, future trains and operation control systems, said: “As the number of passengers and companies that rely on Britain’s railway continues to rise, the safety-critical systems we use to run a safe and efficient railway are more important than ever.

“ETCS is now a crucial part of our plans for re-signalling the railway – our focus now is on building confidence and experience in the technology so that future schemes can be delivered seamlessly. These new frameworks are the building blocks to developing this capability and will allow us to work closely with our chosen suppliers to develop long-term plans for work to be carried out more quickly and efficiently.”

We’ve developed a plan for installing the new system across the network, and schemes in the near future include:

Great Western main line between Paddington and Bristol, Oxford, Newbury and Heathrow Airport where the technology will be installed from 2016 and operated in parallel with conventional line-side signals until they are removed in 2025.
East Coast main line between Kings Cross and Doncaster from 2018
Midland main line between Farringdon/St Pancras and Derby from 2020

A number of smaller schemes to be carried out in association with the main line routes
Plans for wider national rollout which are being developed consistent with a targeted signalling renewal policy, our operational strategy and the industry’s train fleet fitment programme

Fact file

The successful suppliers are Signalling Solutions Ltd, Invensys Rail, Infrasig and Ansaldo STS.

Read about the European Rail Traffic Management System.
http://www.networkrail.co.uk/etcs.aspx
 
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MidnightFlyer

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Talk of this has been about for ages; it's being trialled on the Cambrian Coast between Machynlleth and Pwllheli.
 
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Metroland

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Indeed, the difference is they have actually now issued the development contracts with a formal announcement European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 is the preferred method of choice, along with a formal plan to abolish lineside signalling all to be controlled from a minimum number of ROCs.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I thought it wasnt working yet ?????
Been working for a year with class 158s (using Ansaldo kit).
What lessons have been learnt from the trial that apply to the GWML/ECML are anyone's guess.
Don't start from here, probably.

The NR announcement, if I read the punctuation correctly, suggests the ECML South will be the first to be installed without lineside signals as backup, from 2018.
That means all rolling stock on the line will have to be fitted by then.
Scary.

There are four preferred signalling suppliers, including Ansaldo.
Does that leave any of the majors out?
 

Metroland

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I would expect 140mph to be looked at (finally) on some of the routes in tandem with the resignalling, subject to local geographic and capacity constraints.

Certainly one of the prime excuses has always been sighting with conventional lineside signalling, ETCS L2 clearly removes this barrier. So from 2018, there might be a package of journey time reductions on the ECML, but we will have to see.

I would have thought other operating procedures will be looked at again, such as engineering possessions, train guards, and other sticky issues.

By 2020 the Underground will also cease to have 'drivers', replaced by train captains similar to the DLR.

Again, it will be interesting to see how far this could be applied to heavy rail, ETCS would be a stepping stone to further automation.

Certainly on self contained branch lines, there might be a case for train captains who perform customer service duties so trains are singled manned in order to save money. Mixed traffic intercity lines might be more problematic, though I can see certain commuter routes having trains with automatic train operation on the core sections to increase capacity - starting with Crossrail and Thameslink.
 
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ryan125hst

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"East Coast main line between Kings Cross and Doncaster from 2018 "

Does that mean that they are only installing ERTMS to Doncaster, or will it eventually be upgraded to Edinburgh and maybe Leeds?

Do you think that over 140mph is possible. I found a document not too long ago suggesting speeds of 155mph would be achievable between between Doncaster and York and between York and Thirsk.
 

Zoe

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Again, it will be interesting to see how far this could be applied to heavy rail, ETCS would be a stepping stone to further automation.
http://www.tendersdirect.co.uk/Sear...00003081242&sect=R060&cat=5&Source=Categories
ATO ERTMS national deployment design and implementation study. Undertaking a development and integration study using operational sub systems in a simulated environment for automatic train operation ATO using ETCS as the automatic train protection, followed by the development of a national standard.
 

HSTEd

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Why wouldn't level 2 work at major termini? Level 2 is still based on the fixed block principle.
More the ERTMS L2 system is overkill in low speed termini, you don't need it and ERTMS-R is cheaper
 

Schnellzug

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More in the "I'll believe it when i see it" category (see also: HS2 & IEP). I wonder why they always make these great grandiose claims about what they'll do in years to come, when they have enough difficulty making what they have at the moment work satisfactorily. Maybe that's why, similar to the way Governments are so fond of Strategic Plans and so forth, it distracts attention from current shortcomings.
With the added bonus that if it doesn't work, they can blame the EU. Result! :idea:

a tried and tested signalling system
Really? I think many of the Continental systems that have been trying it out have spent a large amount of their time kicking it and swearing at it as well. It may have been tried & tested, but so far those tests don't seem to have met with resounding success.
 

PinzaC55

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I agree that I think it is a grandiose idea which will be quietly forgotten about after £ millions have been wasted.
 

brad465

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The idea is good but I would miss the frequent looking at signals your train has gone past to see what progress your train has to come, or where it is going before it goes there (multiple tracks) :cry:
 

HSTEd

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I agree that I think it is a grandiose idea which will be quietly forgotten about after £ millions have been wasted.
The US is forcing all freight railroads to implement cab signalling, they have developed some very interesting low cost technologies using differential GPS.
 

The Informer

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Indeed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Train_Control_System

I believe certain signalling schemes now are being implemented with ETSC level 2 in mind, the lineside signals are simply removed subject to stock being fitted.
ERTMS on the Cambrian uses a form of lineside reflective signs called Block Markers. They simply highlight the Balise equipment in the 4 foot. Its also handy for maintenance staff to identify blocking points.

 
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Schnellzug

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The US is forcing all freight railroads to implement cab signalling, they have developed some very interesting low cost technologies using differential GPS.
And you can guarantee that the NR (and/or the EU) would never consider any low cost technology when they can spend billions on devising something incredibly expensive themselves, which they'll probably mess about with for 10 years before quietly ditching it altogether and saying that "they've gained a great deal of useful experience".
 

Rhydgaled

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Talk of this has been about for ages; it's being trialled on the Cambrian Coast between Machynlleth and Pwllheli.
Not just on the coast line, it is also on the Cambrian mainline from Aberystwyth through Machynlleth all the way to where it joins the main line just south of Shrewsbury.
 

WestRiding

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there is no meney, dont hold your breath, and if it does go ahead, network rail is wasting a huge amount of money on all the present re-signalling schemes.
 
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