A year of progress… with the promise of more to come
This is a time of major opportunity for the UK rail industry, with an unprecedented number of transformational projects recently introduced or in the pipeline.
However, the past few months have also been challenging for the industry, with rail timetabling issues having a detrimental impact on passenger confidence.
But while it’s important to recognise the challenges our industry faces, there is also plenty to celebrate given all the great work the UK rail industry has produced over the past year. We are seeing more innovation in the sector than ever before, with advancements in rail technologies and manufacturing techniques promising to revolutionise the passenger experience and connectivity between UK towns and cities.
Siemens Mobility Limited is proud to be playing its part in driving forward the UK rail industry. As we come to the end of the first three months operating as a separate entity in the UK, it seems apt to reflect on some of the ways we’re contributing to the industry’s success: making infrastructure intelligent; increasing value sustainably over the entire lifecycle; enhancing the passenger experience and guaranteeing availability.
Our rail-focused businesses have reached a number of key milestones over the past year. For example, in March, our Rail Automation team successfully completed the commissioning of the final stage of the North Wales Coast Resignalling Programme. This was followed by our Thameslink signalling system going live last month, facilitating 24 trains per hour through the central section at London Bridge.
We also welcomed William Wilson as the new UK Managing Director of our Rolling Stock Division, and continued to deliver state-of-the-art rolling stock for UK passengers. This included: the Class 717 fleet, the first of which arrived in the UK in July and will be shown at InnoTrans in September; the introduction of Eurostar e320 services to Amsterdam; and building and handing over the 115th and final Class 700 train for Thameslink. In fact, most of the new commuter fleet of trains in the past ten years are either made or maintained by Siemens.
And there is more in the pipeline. In March we also announced plans to build a new factory in Goole, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, to manufacture and commission trains. We hope to invest up to £ 200 million and create up to 700 skilled jobs in engineering and manufacturing through the project, if we are able to meet certain investment criteria.
Meanwhile, our Rail Electrification business is at the heart of the East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade Project, working as part of the Rail Electrification Alliance to enhance the power supply and overhead line equipment on the line. And then there’s our Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) business, which has been winning major projects in London - including the contract to deliver a new Real Time Optimiser (RTO) traffic control solution for London’s entire road network.
It has been a very exciting year so far, and there is plenty more to come as we focus on driving forward the digital railway. We are confident that we can continue to build on the successes of the past year, and play a key role in major transport schemes that deliver tangible benefits for passengers and demonstrate the crucial contribution which rail makes to the UK.
“We are seeing more innovation in the sector than ever before, with advancements in rail technologies and manufacturing techniques.”
CEO Siemens Mobility Limited Gordon Wakeford,