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.