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2017 8 Feb

Government backs the Digital Railway

Posted in Government

In another positive statement about the Digital Railway, the Government has welcomed the recent report from the Transport Select Committee on rail technology.

Last October, the influential House of Commons Transport Committee declared that “Substantial benefits can be realised by the intelligent deployment of signalling and traffic management technology on the rail network through the Digital Railway programme”. By convention, Governments respond to Select Committee reports and indicate whether or not they agree with the conclusions reached by MPs.

The DfT’s response to the rail technology report was published in January and “recognises that the introduction of digital signalling technologies and intelligent traffic management systems across the rail network will become increasingly important in the coming years to enable the railways to cope with growing demand”. The government response also highlighted the importance of the ECI programme stating: “we are…working closely with BEIS and industry to ensure the UK makes the most of the opportunity Digital Railways presents to jobs, skills and exports. To this regard, the Department for Transport welcomes the industry’s recent Early Contractor Involvement publication on Digital Railways”.

An update is expected shortly on how government intends to utilise the additional £450m that was announced in the Autumn Statement to trial digital signalling technologies by 2020 and which will “help set the foundation for successful delivery of digital schemes in the next Parliament and beyond”.