Network Rail has published a ‘framework’ for the delivery of digital signalling; this is designed to bring significant benefits to passengers and help suppliers to plan resources.
The long-term deployment plan (LTDP) has been published in response to a request from the Department for Transport for a plan that shows future signalling renewals are expected to be digital or digital-ready beyond Control Period 6 (2019-2024).
The LTDP takes account of the scale and complexity of fitting out more than 4,000 trains and upgrading more than 19,000 miles of network, and it shows how modern signalling and train control technology can be delivered in a way that makes the best use of renewals funding.
Moreover, it proposes a partnership approach between Network Rail, the train operating companies (both passenger and freight), the rail industry supply chain and government.
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines (www.networkrail.co.uk
) said: “Two thirds of our network’s signalling system will need replacing in the next 15 years — a challenge that I believe makes now the right time for digital railway.
"It’s a way we can bring real benefits to passengers and freight customers through increased flexibility, plus faster and more frequent journeys, but digital railway will only happen if we are committed as an industry to deliver it in an efficient way, working together to solve issues and make the most of opportunities.
"This plan provides a long-term pipeline of projects, giving suppliers greater clarity on the investment needed in resources and staff, and helping the industry as a whole to research and develop innovative ideas and broaden skill sets and capabilities.”
Meanwhile, Network Rail has announced the award of 17 multi-million-pound framework contracts to deliver minor signalling works across the country, worth an estimated £215 million in Control Period 6.
Martin Robinson, commercial director (signalling), said: “These are the second awards in a three-tier approach to signalling delivery for CP6 that aims to recognise the differing signalling work banks we have to deliver.”