UK-based Network Rail has announced the commencement of new digital signalling testing on the Northern City Line.

The first Great Northern train between Finsbury Park and Moorgate has been trialled under the new system.

As part of the East Coast Digital Programme, the trial was conducted with a Great Northern Class 717 train.

Already equipped with the technology, an intensive period of testing is being conducted to ensure that the fleet works fine with the new digital signalling infrastructure, which will communicate directly with the trains cab.  

Driver training and migration to digital signalling operations is expected to begin in early 2023. The testing will continue across the year for complete assurance of its safety standards.

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By GlobalData

Network Rail digital railway industry partnership director Toufic Machnouk said: “The running of the first Northern City Line train in digital signalling as part of the test campaign is a big moment for the East Coast Digital Programme, this is the first step to migration following the successful upgrade of the system earlier in May which will change the way the railway works to deliver a more reliable service.

“We are working in close partnership with Great Northern and Siemens to deliver the extensive testing required to ensure we can proceed to the next stage of transforming this route into the capital.”t year

Last month, Network Rail completed the construction of Reston station in Scotland, with 270m platforms to accommodate ten carriage trains.