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  1. Government Computing
March 23, 2020

Network Rail selects Siemens and Atkins for East Coast Digital Programme

The UK’s Network Rail has announced Siemens and Atkins as its partners in the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP), a project aimed at introducing in-cab signalling on the southern section of the East Coast Main Line.

The ECDP project is a scheme which has been designed to cut down passenger delays by thousands of hours.

According to Network Rail, Siemens and Atkins will have a key role in delivering the digital railways project.

The railway company said that the first £350m investment in the ECDP by the government is already being used to start the introduction of real-time digital signalling on the route apart from laying the foundations for a larger roll-out across the UK.

Set to become the first intercity digital railway in the country, the ECDP will involve fitting trains with the latest in-cab signalling technology in addition to removal of the old lineside signals. The project will enable signallers to continuously talk to trains rather than only at fixed points, apart from allowing them to instruct and respond in real time, thereby decreasing the lengths of delays and significantly boosting performance.

The portion of the East Coast Main Line, which spans from King’s Cross to just north of Peterborough, operates currently with 1970s signalling that is nearing the end of its life and due to be renewed in the next few years.

According to Network Rail, staged migration to ETCS level 2 with no lineside signals will currently take place, with 300 passenger and freight trains to be installed with the new in-cab signalling technology.

Network Rail East Coast Digital Programme programme director Toufic Machnouk said: “This is a major step forward in transforming the network for the millions of passengers that use the East Coast Main Line.

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“We have adopted a partnership approach across the rail industry to deliver Britain’s first inter-city digital railway, moving away from traditional procurement and bringing together technology providers to set a standard for how digital railway is deployed.

“This is just the beginning of a truly exciting journey that will eventually see digital signalling improving the railway right across the country.”

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