Railways: Digital signalling to be introduced from Grantham to London in £1bn rollout

Written by Sam Trendall on 30 June 2022 in News

Government unveils plan to ‘replace Victorian infrastructure’ across routes in counties to the immediate north of the capital

Credit: Mattbuck/CC BY-SA 2.0

The government has announced plans to spend £1bn installing digital signalling across railway infrastructure in the counties to the north of London.

European train control system technology will be installed in train drivers’ cabs, replacing existing signalling systems located next to tracks. The new tech will provide drivers with “real-time, continuous information throughout their journey” and will deliver “a more responsive, more resilient railway… that can recover quicker when journeys don’t go to plan”, the government said. 

It will be shortly implemented on the southern section of the East Coast main line: from London Kings Cross to the Stoke Tunnel just to the south of Grantham, in Lincolnshire. 

This will encompass Finsbury Park and handful of local stations in north London, before moving into Hertfordshire – including stations in Potters Bar, Hatfield and Stevenage (pictured above) – and then into Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, where the line moves through Huntingdon and Peterborough, before reaching Lincolnshire. 

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Passengers travelling on this section of the line will benefit from “faster, safer and more regular trains” once the new technology is in place.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “This £1bn investment will allow us to replace unreliable Victorian infrastructure with cutting-edge technology which will mean fewer delays and more regular services for millions of passengers.”

After passing through Grantham, the East Coast Main Line extends through Nottinghamshire, South and North Yorkshire, Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Northumberland – before terminating at Edinburgh.

Ahead of the investment in modernising the southern portion of the line, the government claimed that more than 80% of passenger trains currently in use across the line already use the European Train Control System technology.


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology. He can be reached on sam.trendall@dodsgroup.com.

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