August 29th 2012
Upgrading signalling on Britain’s rail network will cut running costs by £250 million each year, Network Rail has said.
The claim comes after Network Rail announced that it had awarded contracts to Hitachi Rail Europe, Signalling Solutions – a joint venture between Alstom Transport and Balfour Beatty Rail – and Thales UK to design and develop a £20 million prototype of the new traffic management system set to be rolled out across the network from 2014.
The new system will help Network Rail deliver its target of consolidating control of Britain’s rail network from more than 800 signal into 14 rail operating centres in the next 30 years.
By 2015, Network Rail plans to have built six new operating centres – in addition to eight existing locations.
Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations at Network Rail, said: “As the number of people and businesses relying on rail continues to grow, it is vital we have the technology to make the best use of Britain’s rail infrastructure.
“Working with our suppliers, our focus is on developing a system which meets the needs of Network Rail, our customers and passengers, helping deliver a leaner, more efficient and reliable railway.”
The prototype is due to be completed by December 2013.