Network Rail has announced the next set of works to further its East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP) that will transform signalling for drivers on the East Coast Main Line.
The works, which are taking place over the weekend from 24 to 25 June, will progress the first section of the ECDP to provide continuous speed-based signalling to drivers through a screen in their cabs from 2025.
The tech is expected to save 55 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide by providing real-time information to drivers.
Ed Akers, the principal programme sponsor for the ECDP, said: “We’ve made good early progress on the Northern City Line and we’re now preparing the way towards Britain’s first digital signalling on an intercity mainline.
“Over the coming years, this will enable more reliable journeys for the millions of passengers who use the East Coast route.”
Services to and from London King’s Cross via Peterborough and across Great Northern routes will be affected as new equipment and technology are installed between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin, Hertfordshire.
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LNER, Hull Trains, Grand Central and Thameslink are among the rail operators affected by the works and working alongside Network Rail to utilise the new tech.
Dr Linda Wain, LNER’s engineering director, said that her company’s trains were already fitted with the technology needed to prepare for the upgrade.
Dr Wain said: “At LNER, we are proud to be forefront of the digital transformation of the railway, working with our industry partners to bring long-term benefits for customers. This vital investment in digital signalling will enable our Azuma fleet to realise its full potential.”
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) also recently received approval from the Office of Rail and Road to operate its Class 717 fleet with the in-cab digital signalling tech, the trains will start services when Network Rail concludes approval to switch on the European Train Control System digital signalling.
GTR has also partnered with DB Cargo UK to share information about the ECDP and provide insight into the direction DB Cargo should be going to implement the tech.
The ECDP will see the east coast line become Britain’s first intercity mainline to receive a digital upgrade and is the beginning of more upgrades for Network Rail’s wider infrastructure, the signalling tech is already near to being implemented for Great Northern passenger services between Finsbury Park and Moorgate.