Track and signalling

22.11.17

Digital railway moves forward with new Budget investment pledges

The government has announced a raft of new commitments to strengthen the Digital Railway programme as part of its commitment to boost capacity across the network through innovative technology.

In his Autumn Budget statement today, chancellor Philip Hammond announced a £84m package for fitting state-of-the-art in-cab digital signalling across a range of trains, although the published documents did not provide any more details on this.

He has also allocated a further £5m from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to pay for a digital railway upgrade on the south east and East London lines.

Separately, the government will fund a digital signalling scheme at Moorgate that will enable “more frequent and reliable services.”

The south east and East London Line will both be included in strategic outline business cases being developed by the DfT, TfL, Network Rail and the Digital Railway Programme.

The organisations are investigating options to increase train frequencies on the East London Line and hopes to address a “performance challenge” on the south east route, including the Brighton Main Line.

The south east and east London lines are both being considered by the Digital Railway Programme as part of its strategic outline business cases, expected imminently. It is investigating options to increase train frequencies on the East London Line in conjunction with Network Rail

The business cases are expected imminently, with the Digital Railway Programme recently confirming that it has recently been through its first Gateway Review to ensure plans are “robust, affordable, achievable and likely to deliver value for money.”

Also in the digital vein, Hammond revealed that the government will shortly consult on commercial options to improve mobile communications for rail passengers. It is prepared to invest up to £35m to enable trials.

This money will be used to upgrade the Network Rail test track in Melton Mowbray, install trackside infrastructure along the TransPennine route between Manchester, Leeds and York, and support the roll-out of full-fibre and 5G networks.

Comments

Ryan   22/11/2017 at 19:21

Uh oh...

Lutz   23/11/2017 at 04:16

So is this new, additional funding, or just the commitment to allocate funds for previously announced funding provisions - I think the later.

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