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
The successful suppliers are Signalling Solutions Ltd, Invensys Rail, Infrasig and Ansaldo STS.
Read about the European Rail Traffic Management System.