Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has announced that its first Class 387/1 Great Northern Electrostar train has completed static testing of its retrofitted European Train Control System (ETCS) in-cab signalling equipment.
The testing involved checking the functionality of the ETCS system, including its ability to display signals, provide speed and location information, and control the train’s braking and acceleration.
The successful completion of static testing is a major milestone in the East Coast Digital Programme, which is a £1.2 billion project to upgrade the signalling on the East Coast Main Line (ECML).
The programme will see the introduction of ETCS across the entire ECML, which will allow trains to run more efficiently and safely.
On 23 May, the train was hauled by GBRf from Litchurch Lane to the Rail Innovation and Development Centre (RIDC) in Melton Mowbray, where dynamic testing of the ETCS odometry equipment will commence.
GTR’s ERTMS fleet project manager Aaron Meakin said: “We’re delighted with how the newly retrofitted ETCS system has performed on our Class 387 train in static testing. It bodes well as we move into dynamic testing at RIDC. Our engineering team and the team at Alstom are working closely together to ensure success and we’re looking forward to continuing this collaboration.”
The Class 387/1 is the first commuter fleet of trains to have ETCS installed. The fleet consists of 30 trains, which are used to operate services between London King’s Cross and Cambridge, Peterborough, and York.
Once the dynamic testing of the Class 387/1 train is complete, it will be returned to GTR’s Hornsey depot in north London, where the remaining 29 trains in the fleet will be retrofitted with ETCS.
The East Coast Digital Programme is a major investment in the UK rail network, which it is hoped will deliver significant benefits for passengers and the economy.
Ed Akers, Network Rail’s principal programme sponsor, East Coast Digital Programme, said: “This is another important step forward in the largest passenger fleet retrofitting project in the ECDP.”
We’ve got here because of pioneering collaboration across multiple industry partners. The partnership working will continue as the train gets put through its paces at our upgraded facilities at RIDC, preparing the way for its use with digitally signalled passenger services.”
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