Engineer testing new signalling equipment, via Network Rail

East Coast Digital Programme sees further progression in 2023

As the new year thunders ahead, so does progression with the transformational East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP), seeing further digitalisation with signalling along the route.

The coupled engineering works over the past weekend and festive period has seen further developments to accommodate for introduction of state-of-the-art digital signalling, providing continuous, real-time information to the driver’s cab. The introduction of this innovative tech will create more reliability for services, improving the passenger and freight experiences along the route, whilst improving the green reputation of rail travel.

Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for ECDP, Network Rail said:

“As we begin a New Year, we’re continuing the work with all our industry partners towards the prize of a modernised, more reliable, and greener railway.

“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while this vital work was carried out, which is enabling further progress on the journey to a digitally signalled East Coast Main Line.  I also advise passengers intending to travel over the weekend of 18/19 February to plan ahead and check before you travel, while we continue to work on digital upgrades.”

Testing for the new signalling system was conducted in the Wood Green-New Barnet area of North London, seeing successful results that highlighted the benefits that can come for the future of digital signalling.

New lineside equipment and technology has also been installed between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin, preparing this section of the route to become the first part of the East Coast Main Line to operate with digital signalling.

Recent works have also seen the installation of around 120 axle counters and 40 balises, along with the required infrastructure support. Requisite further works will be commencing in February, throughout the weekend of the 18th and 19th, leading to disruptions to passenger services with no trains running out of London King’s Cross, St Pancras via Finsbury Park, or Moorgate on those dates.

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director, Thameslink and Great Northern, said:

 “I’m sorry that, on top of the strikes that affected so many of our customers, we also had to replace much of our service last weekend with buses for this planned essential work. However, the end goal will be worth it: digital signalling will give us all a better, more reliable railway between London and Peterborough.”

Louise Mendham, Service Delivery Director at Hull Trains, said:

“As this programme of engineering works progresses, we would encourage all customers of Hull Trains to check our website or social media pages before planning journeys as amended timetables will be operational on the days when works are taking place.”

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