Network Rail has published its long-term deployment plan (LTDP) – a framework that sets out long-term delivery of digital signalling.
The LTDP is in response to a Department for Transport (DfT) request for a plan that proves future signalling renewals will be digital or digital ready beyond Control Period 6 (CP6).
The DfT launched its Digital Railway Strategy last summer, revealing a commitment to make all new trains and signalling digital or digital ready by this year.
As part of this, the LTDP has been released by Network Rail, taking account of the scale and complexity involved in fitting out more than 4,000 trains and upgrading in excess of 19,000 miles of network; the plan highlights how modern signalling and train control technology can be delivered in a way that makes the most out of renewals funding.
The framework will bring major benefits to passengers and also help suppliers to plan resources.
Network Rail’s plans outline a partnership approach between the owner and operator of the vast majority of the country’s railways, along with train operating companies and passenger and freight level, the rail industry supply chain and government.
There is a recognition of the need for multiple stakeholders to work together if digital signalling is to be delivered; by working in partnership, budgets will be coordinated, along with asset renewal plans.
Andrew Haines, Network Rail’s Chief Executive, said: “Two thirds of our network’s signalling system will need replacing in the next 15 years. It’s 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 and faster and more frequent journeys.
“This plan provides a long-term pipeline of projects, providing suppliers with 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, so that we are prepared to deliver the 21st century railway our passengers and freight users deserve.”