UK: Network Rail’s £4 billion signalling upgrade plan unveiled

UK: Network Rail’s £4 billion signalling upgrade plan unveiled

The project will see six leading companies work together to deliver these systems from Carlisle to Brighton, significantly improving passenger and freight services.

Network Rail has unveiled a comprehensive £4 billion Train Control Systems Framework that promises to transform the UK's railway signalling infrastructure over the next decade. This ambitious plan, stretching from Carlisle to Brighton, aims to modernize the nation's railway system by integrating conventional and digital signalling technologies, focusing significantly on enhancing reliability and performance across the network.

The framework, which runs from 2024 to 2034, allocates £3 billion to digital signalling and £1 billion to conventional signalling. Six companies have been awarded contracts under this new framework, which is split into two lots: Alstom, AtkinsRealis, Hitachi, and Siemens for conventional signalling, and Alstom, AtkinsRealis with CAF, Siemens, Thales, and VolkerRail for digital signalling using advanced European Train Control System (ETCS) technology.

Highlighting the collaborative nature of the new framework, Clive Berrington, Network Rail's Group Commercial & Procurement Director, said: “Through the framework, we have grown the size of the UK signalling market with the introduction of two new suppliers. These bring increased diversity and capability, leading to better market performance.”

Key projects earmarked for early delivery under this framework include the Midlands Rail Hub and digital signalling upgrades for the TransPennine Route and the TriLink Programme. These projects are part of a wider effort to improve the performance of both passenger and freight services, ensuring better value for the taxpayer and a more reliable rail system across the UK.

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