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2017 19 Jul

A Network Rail Route Perspective

Posted in Digital Railway Programme

In an increasingly devolved Network Rail, individual Routes are preparing their own plans to tackle specific local performance and capacity challenges. In light of the recently completed Strategic Outline Business Cases, Richard Schofield and Rob McIntosh, the Route Managing Directors for Greater Anglia and LNE respectively, discuss the vital role that digital signalling and train control systems will play in the future railway.


London North East & East Midlands Route (LNE & EM)

By Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director

Our signalling assets on the southern end of the East Coast Main Line (ECML) – Kings Cross to Peterborough – are due for renewal. Working with the Digital Railway team we have identified opportunities to make the necessary investment more effective through modernisation.

An Outline Business Case analysis evaluated a potential deployment of the European Train Control System (ETCS) and Traffic Management between London King’s Cross and Peterborough. It concluded that it would provide good value for money and based on this analysis we believe the best option at this stage would be to install ETCS without signals.

The analysis suggests that these enhancements would provide capacity for up to four additional peak hour trains on the Moorgate branch and a reduction of reactionary delay minutes. To fund the investment needed we are now actively exploring alternative forms of finance which could involve a greater role for private sector capital.


Anglia Route

By Richard Schofield, Route Managing Director

We have recently worked with the Digital Railway team to analyse the benefits of installing digital signalling and train control on Anglia.

This has highlighted the case for introducing Traffic Management and Connected Driver Advisory Systems (C-DAS) on the Anglia Route. The analysis suggests Traffic Management would reduce reactionary delay minutes by up to 7%.

It has also showed that introducing ETCS between Chelmsford and Stratford without signals is good value for money, if rolling stock fitment costs are shared as part of a wider programme and if timing is aligned more closely to renewals in CP7 (2024 – 2029).

This modernisation package would deliver a capacity increase on the Great Eastern main Line from a baseline of 23 tph to 27 tph. It would also support an all-day Norwich in 90 service and similar Ipswich in 60. I believe there will be opportunities to advance the roll-out of ETCS in CP6 and by working in an integrated way with train operators we will now be developing the business case further to inform our strategic planning.

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