Network Rail has announced that there has been further progress on plans to improve rail travel to and from London, thanks to a digital upgrade in Hertfordshire.
The billion-pound East Coast Digital Programme is aiming to deliver a more reliable railway with digital signalling. This will see signalling information being sent directly to the train driver’s cab via a screen, replacing the traditional signals at the side of the line.
At the weekend, technology to enable this progress was installed between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin, including equipment that will detect the location of trains and allow constant communication between trains and signalling control. Alongside this, the power signal box in Peterborough has been closed and local signalling control has been moved to a new Service Delivery Centre in the Rail Operating Centre in York.
Network Rail’s Head of Access and Integration for the East Coast Digital Programme, Ricky Barsby, said:
“The work done this weekend in Hertfordshire and Peterborough provides another step forward to a digital East Coast railway that is more reliable and greener. I thank passengers for their patience while we carried out this important work over a Bank Holiday weekend.”
Improvement work done surrounding the movement of signalling control for Peterborough will ensure that trains can move more efficiently across junctions, helping to reduce delays. York’s Service Delivery Centre will improve collaboration between operations and signalling staff by bringing them together into the same room, which will have the knock-on effect of helping to manage incidents more readily.
A spokesperson for train operators also commented:
“We would like to thank all our passengers for their patience while this upgrade work was carried out. We appreciate that some journeys will have taken longer than normal to be completed, but the work will help prepare for a digital future with more reliable services”.
Image credit: Network Rail