Track and signalling

08.09.16

Hitachi granted ETCS deployment approval by ORR in industry first

In an industry first, Hitachi has been given approval by the ORR to use its modern in-cab signalling system on UK passenger services, marking an important milestone in the nationwide Digital Railway programme.

The company recently successfully ran a British Class 37 loco controlled by ETCS technology along the Cambrian Line in Wales in partnership with Network Rail, which it argued helped it become the first UK train manufacturer to be authorised to use its digital signalling on passenger services.

After being granted authorisation from the regulator, Hitachi will now install its ETCS in over 160 new trains currently being built, the first of which will be the Class 800/801s – which enter passenger service next year on the Great Western Main Line.

Andy Rogers, Hitachi Rail Europe’s project director, said: “This is big step forward for digital innovation on the UK rail network and, once implemented, can deliver revolutionary benefits for rail passengers. Hitachi is hugely proud to be the first to achieve this milestone, which is a testament to the hard work of our testing and signalling teams.

“Our thanks go to Network Rail for its role in achieving this milestone and we look forward to working with them to implement ETCS across the network.”

Rather than using the old Victorian signalling system, which “operates like traffic lights”, Hitachi’s ETCs tells the driver when to accelerate and brake or about upcoming hazards. The information is fed directly to the train cab and is drawn from the track-side system that monitors every train’s movement and position on the railway, making a far more efficient way of managing the network.

Hitachi was also awarded the traffic management contract for Thameslink last year, which will complement the new ATO over ETCS in-cab signalling system to ensure the core between St Pancras and Blackfriars can handle more trains more reliably.

Although it is a key player in the national digital railway vision, Hitachi recently voiced a series of concerns around the project. In an evidence submission to the Transport Committee, it argued changes to Network Rail’s EDP following the Hendy Review mean than phase 1 milestones are likely being pushed to CP6 – “inevitably” creating uncertainty around the entire delivery of the Digital Railway. It also added that the current plan “lacks the pace, prioritisation and scope needed to meet passenger and freight growth”.

But the programme has recently taken on a new managing director, David Waboso, who has already warned against an “over-heroic” approach to digital signalling and has guaranteed the project will be taken forward at a cautious pace and scale – highlighted by his recent decision to revise the first Digital Railway pilot.

 

(Top image: Hitachi's Tranista traffic management system, used to manage Thameslink) 

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

John Grant   09/09/2016 at 15:07

"Hitachi’s ETCS tells the driver when to accelerate and brake" Why can't it do that for itself?

Neil Palmer   10/09/2016 at 16:15

John - exactly. Without the CONTROL function it's just a fancy (and more expensive) DAS.

Dunnyrail   14/09/2016 at 14:13

This us a very interesting Development. However has anyone been talking to Freight Operators, Owners of Heritage Diesels (many working trains across the Neywork on hire), Steam Train Operators and Owners. Would appear that these Persons would summer more on costs if and when ECTS is implemented. JonD

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Firearms officers patrol trains for the first time

26/05/2017Firearms officers patrol trains for the first time

For the first time in rail history, specialist firearms officers will patrol trains across the UK network to ensure that the travelling public ar... more >
Carillion plans job losses as NR renewal cutbacks start to bite

26/05/2017Carillion plans job losses as NR renewal cutbacks start to bite

The RMT has this week vowed to fight “vigorously” against planned cuts to renewals work for Network Rail (NR) being carried out by co... more >
New Merseyrail fleet a platform for future innovations

26/05/2017New Merseyrail fleet a platform for future innovations

David Powell, programme director of rolling stock at Merseytravel, talks about the procurement of the new fleet of metro trains for the Merseyrai... more >

editor's comment

08/05/2017All set for Railtex

As the rail industry prepares for the biggest UK rail show of the year, Railtex 2017, we have produced a specially expanded edition of RTM for you.  Our exclusive show guide, which starts on page 67, provides you with everything you need to know about the things to see, hear and do at the three-day show. A look through our preview pages will give you a good idea of which stands to visit, as well as meetings to set up.  Th... read more >

last word

Collaborative working is the key to the future of rail infrastructure

Collaborative working is the key to the future of rail infrastructure

David Hawkins, operations director at the Institute for Collaborative Working (ICW), on why ISO 44001 is a new evolution in collaborative working. The launch of BS 11000 in 2010 heralded a s... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

19/05/2017Opinion poll: HS3 must take priority over Crossrail 2

Fresh from their victories in the metro mayor elections earlier this month, new leaders of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram were quick to make transport a top priority for their cities last week. In a post on Twitter, both called on the government to prioritise plans for an HS3 link connecting t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Upskilling our workforce: how we need to think

19/05/2017Upskilling our workforce: how we need to think

Simon Rennie (pictured centre), general manager of the National Training Academy for Rail, on the importance of upskilling the current workforce ... more >
Inclusive design of ticket sales counters

17/05/2017Inclusive design of ticket sales counters

Boaz Yariv, senior architect, and Dr Elizabeth de Mello, senior ergonomics specialist at Network Rail, present the main features of the new inclu... more >
Small stations: simple changes for quick wins

17/05/2017Small stations: simple changes for quick wins

Richard Freeston-Clough of London TravelWatch explains how investing in small stations in the capital can deliver many benefits and also have a p... more >
Why are S&C layouts failing?

17/05/2017Why are S&C layouts failing?

Dr Sin Sin Hsu, programme engineering manager IP Track Development at Network Rail, analyses why switch and crossing (S&C) layouts fail prema... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Intertrain: ready for the future

23/02/2017Intertrain: ready for the future

RTM recently attended Intertrain’s ‘Driving for Success’ event in Doncaster, where leaders from major players such as Carillion... more >