Class 66, via DB Cargo

Contemporary Class 66 upgrades to transform rail freight journeys

Coming as part of the East Coast Digital Programme, DB Cargo UK’s Class 66 locomotive (66039) has been delivered to Doncaster, where a digital transformation will be conducted to see the first-in-class fitment of the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), a contemporary in-cab signalling system.

After years of designs and planning, the construction phase has begun at Electro-Motive Diesel’s workshop, where a six-month programme has commenced to complete the fitting works. This will then act as the blueprint for future installations of this signalling system within the Class 66 fleet.

The East Coast Digital Programme is a collaboration of cross industry partners, spearheaded by Network Rail as they are responsible for the management of this innovative technological transformation for freight across the East Coast Main Line.

Ed Akers, Network Rail’s Principal Programme Sponsor for the East Coast Digital Programme said:

“Commencing the installation of ETCS on this freight locomotive marks a significant milestone on the East Coast Digital Programme and brings us closer to creating a more dynamic and reliable railway for all those using the East Coast Main Line.

“A lot of hard work has gone into getting us to this point, so I’d like recognise and thank those involved for their dedication.”

DB Cargo is the UK’s largest rail logistics provider and was chosen to be the first freight operator to install the in-cab signalling system to its Class 66, 67, 60 and 325 train fleets.

Marie Hill, DB Cargo UK’s Chief Transformation and Digitalisation Officer said:

“DB Cargo UK, working in close partnership with our colleagues at Siemens Mobility and Network Rail, is delighted to be playing a pioneering role in the roll-out of ERTMS and ETCS which will use digital technology to create a more dynamic, more reliable, and more flexible railway here in the UK.

“Increased digitalisation and automation of our assets and processes will ensure we can continue to deliver, fast, efficient, reliable services fit for the 21st century and beyond. That’s what our customers expect and that is what ERTMS will help us to deliver,” she added.

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