UK rail operator Network Rail will shortly carry out the country’s first trial of the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) on the Cambrian line in Wales.

The ERTMS level 2 system will replace the existing Radio Electronic Token Block signalling system on the 215km Cambrian route from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli.

The trial, on Arriva Trains Wales‘ ERTMS-fitted class 158 passenger train fleet, will be carried out along with Ansaldo STS UK.

The system includes a new signalling control centre built at Machynlleth, with two new digitised signalling panels equipped with ERTMS.

Network Rail senior programme manager Rob Carr said ERTMS is the next frontier for Britain’s railways and will significantly improve reliability and capacity on the network.

“The test drive will give this system a thorough and stringent health check before we launch it in stages on the Cambrian line and we hope to commission the first phase on the Pwllheli-Harlech line by spring this year,” Carr said.