Work Begins to Fit ETCS to a DB Cargo Class 66 Freight Locomotive

The latest European Train Control System (ETCS) is being fitted to a DB Cargo UK Class 66 freight locomotive as part of the East Coast Digital Programme.

The work will take place at Electro-Motive Diesel’s engineering workshop in Doncaster and will take around six months to complete. This marks the beginning of fitting this latest version of ETCS to freight vehicles in the UK.

ETCS UK Freight
After several years of design and planning, DB Cargo UK’s Class 66 locomotive (66039) has now been delivered to Electro-Motive Diesel’s engineering workshop in Doncaster

The project is a significant milestone in the roll-out of the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in the rail freight sector, creating a blueprint for the largest class of locomotives – the Class 66.

DB Cargo UK’s Chief Transformation and Digitalisation Officer Marie Hill said:

“DB Cargo UK, working in close partnership with our colleagues at Siemens Mobility and Network Rail, is delighted to be playing a pioneering role in the roll-out of ERTMS and ETCS which will use digital technology to create a more dynamic, more reliable, and more flexible railway here in the UK.

“Increased digitalisation and automation of our assets and processes will ensure we can continue to deliver, fast, efficient, reliable services fit for the 21st century and beyond. That’s what our customers expect and that is what ERTMS will help us to deliver.”

ETCS roll-out in the UK is being co-ordinated by the East Coast Digital Programme, led by Network Rail.

As part of this project, the UK government announced an additional 1 billion GBP in funding earlier this year to aid the first phase of ERTMS installation on a 100-mile stretch of the East Coast Main Line.

Ed Akers, Network Rail’s Principal Programme Sponsor for the East Coast Digital Programme said:

“Commencing the installation of ETCS on this freight locomotive marks a significant milestone on the East Coast Digital Programme and brings us closer to creating a more dynamic and reliable railway for all those using the East Coast Main Line.”

Although freight vehicles fitted with ETCS currently operate on the Cambrian Main Line, these are fitted with an earlier version that is not compatible with the East Coast Main Line.

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