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David Waboso appointed new managing director of Digital Railway

David Waboso has been appointed as Network Rail’s new managing director of Digital Railway, it was announced today.

Waboso will replace Jerry England, who is retiring, as director of Digital Railway, with responsibility for projects including boosting the use of digital signalling and train control technologies through the Digital Railway Programme.

The most recent edition of RTM contains an interview with Waboso about his current work as capital programmes director at London Underground.

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: “The single biggest challenge for Britain’s railway is how to provide the capacity we need for the future. Passenger numbers have doubled over the last twenty years and are set to double again over a similar period.

Our Railway Upgrade Plan is making a huge difference for passengers, but we need to move further and faster to bring in the kinds of digital technologies that other industries have already shown can provide the capacity gains on existing infrastructure.

“Attracting someone of David's talent highlights the progress we have made and our determination to use technology to unlock capacity on Britain's congested network. I look forward to working with him and I know he will continue Jerry’s excellent work in making sure we have the plans and funding in place to deliver the railway Britain needs for the future.”

It is hoped that Waboso will start at Network Rail in June, and that there will then be a handover period with Jerry England.

(Image c. Network Rail)


Lutz   30/03/2016 at 23:17

It is welcomed, or at least hoped, that NR has been able to get hold of someone that recognises the significantly faster tempo of the digital railway compared with that of the rails and sleepers business. Perhaps a downside is that this new chap is just more of the same being a former colleague of Sir Peter. I hope NR looks a abroad for future recruits into senior positions so as to really shake-up sleepy hollow.

Sonning Cutting   31/03/2016 at 10:55

Whoever develops "the digital Railway2 has to remember the basic laws of physics still apply. Its easy to develop on a metro system where all trains have the same performance and stopping pattern but the majority of national lines are for mixed traffic use. I'm not sure the residents of Reading for example would want their present HST service slowed down and to stop at more intermediate stations to provide more overall capacity. Be careful what you wish for!

Jerry Alderson   03/04/2016 at 14:22

I chatted briefly to David Waboso in (I think) 2002 at a Rail Passengers Council meeting in London. He had been doing a presentation about GSM-R, essentially an extension of second-generation mobile telephony using a 'circuit switched' approach, which has limitted capacity because each connection is continuously open. I asked him why the railway was going to be using out-of-date technology as the basis of its communication rather than packed-switched (2.5G, 3G , 4G and 5G), especially as it would limit capacity. He asked me if I worked in the railway and I said no, I workd in IT/telecommunications. So he told be to keep my nose out of his business and don't offer advice to his industry. The communication capacity issues encountered in Denmark have shown than GSM-R cannot properly cope in places of extremely dense vehicle movements. I hope 14 years of experience has changed him for the better.

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