Dig­i­tal sig­nalling

Rail (UK) - - Con­tents - Richard Clin­nick richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­dia.co.uk @Clin­nick1

Eu­ro­pean Train Con­trol Sys­tem tech­nol­ogy is to be fit­ted to around 750 freight lo­co­mo­tives from 2022.

EU­RO­PEAN Train Con­trol Sys­tem (ETCS) tech­nol­ogy is to be fit­ted to around 750 lo­co­mo­tives from 2022, as Net­work Rail looks to in­stall the sys­tem on the UK’s freight fleet.

As part of its Dig­i­tal Rail­way pro­gramme, NR has awarded the ETCS deal to Siemens Rail Au­to­ma­tion, which will in­stall its Train­guard 200 ETCS on-board sys­tem. The Train­guard Level 2, Base­line 3 will be fit­ted to align with NR’s plans to de­ploy ETCS to the UK net­work. Siemens will work with NR and the freight op­er­a­tors. NR spokesman Dan Dono­van told

RAIL that first in class lo­co­mo­tives would be tested in early 2020, af­ter be­ing fit­ted in late 2019. He said a DB Cargo Class 67 would be first, fol­lowed by a DB ‘66’ and a GB Rail­freight ‘92’.

On De­cem­ber 19, when the deal was an­nounced, there were 659 ser­vice­able lo­co­mo­tives in the Co­las Rail­freight, DB Cargo, Di­rect Rail Ser­vices, Freight­liner and GB Rail­freight fleets, as well as 18 in other fleets used by freight op­er­a­tors. The deal will also in­clude lo­co­mo­tives that are ei­ther in stor­age or which have yet to be built.

The ini­tial stage is funded, and NR said that over­all the deal (pend­ing fu­ture fund­ing) is worth up to £150 mil­lion. Dono­van said: “Ini­tial fund­ing is from the DfT Na­tional Pro­duc­tiv­ity In­vest­ment Fund (NPIF), of which £450m is iden­ti­fied for Dig­i­tal Rail­way projects. CP6 [Con­trol Pe­riod 6] fund­ing is ex­pected to be agreed as part of the Con­trol Pe­riod Set­tle­ment.”

Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port Chris Grayling said on De­cem­ber 19: “This tech­nol­ogy has huge po­ten­tial to im­prove jour­neys for pas­sen­gers and to boost our freight in­dus­try by cut­ting de­lays and in­creas­ing the num­ber of ser­vices. To­day is an im­por­tant step to­wards our fu­ture as a dig­i­tal rail­way that is fit for the 21st cen­tury.”

NR ex­plained it is fo­cus­ing on freight trains for ETCS be­cause un­like other fleets, they travel across the en­tire coun­try, pass­ing through many route bound­aries.

David Wa­boso, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Dig­i­tal Rail, said: “We have to ad­dress these go-any­where ve­hi­cles first. It will sup­port our fu­ture de­ploy­ment of in­fra­struc­ture with no line­side sig­nals, more ca­pac­ity and in­creased safety.”

NR Freight Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Paul McMa­hon said: “This is a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment and un­der­lines our com­mit­ment to the freight sec­tor. It will as­sure long-term com­pet­i­tive­ness through in­creased per­for­mance and is a key part of a co­he­sive port­fo­lio of freight in­vest­ment for CP6 and beyond.”

De­sign, test­ing and ap­proval for each class has started. Work to retro­fit them be­gins in 2022 and will con­tinue into Con­trol Pe­riod 7 (April 1 2024-March 31 2029).

NR says some 2,400 driv­ers will be trained to use ETCS, with both it and Siemens pro­vid­ing sup­port.


GB Rail­freight 66738 Hud­der­s­field

Town crosses Ran­noch Moor on De­cem­ber 18, with the 0807 Fort Wil­liam-North Blyth alu­mina tanks. Freight lo­co­mo­tives will be fit­ted with ETCS tech­nol­ogy from 2022, af­ter NR agreed a £150 mil­lion deal with Siemens.

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