Digital Signalling Proved Ready for Passenger Service on Northern City Line

Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) have demonstrated that the recently installed digital signalling on the Northern City Line between Finsbury Park and Moorgate is ready for passenger service.

This marks a significant milestone for the first phase of the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP).

ETCS frequency testing
ETCS frequency testing

Throughout this overnight testing, six digitally signalled trains operated in 30-minute periods to mirror Great Northern’s peak timetable.

The results proved that the European Train Control System (ETCS) can successfully support the high-frequency metro service.

Great Northern drivers will now be able to begin their training on ETCS in passenger service once the trackside system has received the required safety approvals from the Office of Road and Rail (ORR).

Ed Akers, Network Rail’s Principal Programme Sponsor, ECDP, said:

“We’ve now done all the testing, have submitted the operational safety case to the relevant review bodies and we await final regulatory approval to move to operating passenger trains in ETCS. We’ve got to this point through excellent collaboration, innovation and ‘learning by doing’. We’ll continue to work that way as we progress to reliable digitally signalled operations on this important first phase of ECDP.”

Upon its entry into passenger operations, ETCS is expected to provide more reliable and more sustainable services for Great Northern passengers on the Northern City Line.

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