Latest Rail News

22.01.13

ETCS testing to begin this summer

The European Train Control System (ETCS) is to be tested at the Hertford National Integration Facility (HNIF) this summer, Network Rail has announced.

ETCS kit from four suppliers will be tested on a section of the Hertford loop prior to rollout on the mainline network. Unit 313121 is being converted into a laboratory train to test the technology.

The interior of the train has been stripped, and the drivers’ cab is being redesigned in readiness for installation of the ETCS kit and Driver Machine Interface (DMI). Duplicate screens will be set up in the second cab.

Bi-directional signalling will be installed on the northern section of the loop – during peak hours the section will be part of the normal railway but when testing is required the block will switch control from King’s Cross signal box to a laboratory facility being built at Hitchin.

Rob McIntosh, Network Rail’s project director for ETCS and traffic management, said: “Our facility at Hertford, and the train that will run on it, are further steps towards improving the railway across the country. Vital lessons have already been learned during our trials on the Cambrian Lines and now we are refining our knowledge in preparation for the future installation cab signalling on Great Western and East Coast main lines.

“This will begin the process to allow us to make better use of capacity, as well as saving money and adding another layer of safety to an already very safe railway.”

For analysis of the roll-out of advanced train control systems in the UK, click here.

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