Further progress with billion-pound East Coast Digital Programme
Posted: 26 June 2023 | Elliot Robinson (Editorial Assistant - Global Railway Review) | No comments yet
The East Coast Digital Programme is one step closer due to recent works to install new equipment and technology between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin in Hertfordshire.
Credit: Network Rail
Billion-pound plans to improve rail travel to and from London have progressed further with critical work taking place to prepare for a digital future. The East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP) will create a more reliable railway with lower emissions by introducing digital technology to improve the efficient movement of trains. Traditional lineside signals will be replaced by continuous signalling information to a screen in the driver’s cab.
On 24 and 25 June, new equipment and technology was installed between Welwyn Garden City and Hitchin in Hertfordshire, preparing the way for trains to begin using digital signalling in that area from 2025. Work undertaken included the installation of a tall radio communications mast and preparatory power and telecommunications work at 63 locations.
“The work carried out provides more progress towards a digital East Coast railway that will work better for all who depend on it,” Ed Akers, Network Rail’s Principal Programme Sponsor, ECDP, said. “I thank passengers for their patience while we carried out this important work. Digital signalling will enable a more capable railway, providing more reliable passenger and freight services while reducing carbon emissions.”
“Work like this is essential but, sadly, also disruptive for our customers,” Jenny Saunders, Thameslink and Great Northern Customer Services Director, said. “We do our very best to keep everyone on the move but it would have been a lot harder for many to travel this past weekend, so thank you for your patience.”
“The East Coast Digital Programme is one of the biggest transformations on the railway – bringing it into a digital age,” Linda Wain, LNER Engineering Director, said. “This vital investment in digital signalling will enable LNER’s Azuma fleet to realise its full potential and we are proud to be working with our industry partners to bring long-term benefits for customers.”
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