Latest Rail News

16.09.14

Network Rail’s biggest ROC opens in York

Network Rail has opened the country’s biggest railway control centre in York.

The new Rail Operating Centre (ROC) is the largest of 12 proposed centres across Britain and will control signalling and rail operations on the East Coast route from London King’s Cross to the Scottish borders.

Once the site is fully operational in January, about 400 people will work there – a combination of Northern Rail, East Coast and Network Rail employees – with a maximum of 87 people on shift at any time. For the next three months, staff will train in preparation for moving into the new centre.

The ROC was opened on Friday by Hugh Bayley, Labour MP for York Central, and Phil Verster, Network Rail route managing director. Speaking at the opening, Bayley said it was a pleasure to open the new centre and that it would be a great asset to York.

Phil Verster and Hugh Bayley MP open York Rail Operating Centre2

Verster said: “The ROC is the largest of just 12 proposed centres across Britain and will bring the expertise and technology we require to improve our control over train services and to make signalling more efficient.

“York is the ideal place for the centre, with rail links right across the country. This investment in new technology will contribute significantly to improvements in train service punctuality, increased capacity and will also provide an improved service to passengers.

“This new facility represents a vote of confidence in York as a railway city bringing employment benefits which are vital for economic growth and prosperity in York. We hope that the location of the new facility on the edge of the York Central development site could act as a catalyst for further investment in the area."

Alan Chaplin, service delivery director, Northern Rail said: “This fantastic facility is yet another example of investment into the railway and economy of the north England. The new centre will allow teams from Network Rail and rail operators to work more closely together, making quicker, more collaborative decisions about the operational railway. That will ensure that all our customers will benefit from improved service reliability and performance.”

RTM recently visited another of the new ROCs, at Manchester. The full story is in the August/September 2014 edition of the magazine. Subscribe at www.railtechnologymagazine.com/Subscribe

(Image shows Phil Verster and Hugh Bayley MP at York Rail Operating Centre)

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