UK announces new funding to expedite digital rail signalling works

19 November 2020 (Last Updated November 19th, 2020 11:16)

The UK Government has announced £1.2m in new funding to expedite digital rail signalling works on three key routes.

UK announces new funding to expedite digital rail signalling works
The £1.2m funding will help in accelerating development work to roll-out digital signalling on three key rail routes. Credit: Peter H from Pixabay.

The UK Government has announced £1.2m in new funding to expedite digital rail signalling works on three key routes.

The funding will accelerate feasibility work for digital signalling on sections of the West Coast Main Line, Midland Main Line and East Anglia route.

The work will help in identifying the most effective process to implement the new technology.

UK Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Today’s investment brings forward early investigation work with Network Rail engineers and suppliers on how best to roll out digital signalling across the rail network, reducing delays and improving safety in the long term.

“Our ambitious programme to modernise Britain’s rail network will support the supply chain by creating high-skilled jobs and boosting the economy, as we level up the country and build back better after Covid-19.”

It is expected that the introduction of digital signalling will reduce the impact of disruptions by providing signallers with real-time information about train movements.

The new technology will also enable direct communication between signallers and train drivers and help in reducing service delays.

Network Rail Operational Programme Delivery director Andy Jones said: “We’re delighted with this development funding, which reconfirms the DfT’s commitment to pursuing the long-term deployment plan for digital signalling on Britain’s railway.

“The first three schemes – on the East Anglia route, the West Coast Main Line and the Midland Main Line – will help drive forward the modern railway we all need.”

In June, the UK DfT announced a £350m investment to support the introduction of digital signalling on the East Coast Main Line.

The rail line is set to become the first mainline digital rail link in the country.