DB Cargo UK, the UK’s largest rail logistics provider, was chosen to be the first freight operator to install ETCS on its Class 66, 67, 60, and 325 fleets.
DB Cargo UK’s Chief Transformation and Digitalisation Officer Marie Hill explains: “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.
Ian Macleod, Siemens Mobility’s Project Director, said: “This first installation marks the first of over 700 locomotives to be fitted. We are proud to be working together with Network Rail and DB Cargo preparing the first vehicle for its testing and operation in 2023.”
The fitment will take around six months to complete and is a milestone in the roll-out of the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in the rail freight sector. It will create the blueprint for the roll-out to the largest class of locomotives – Class 66.
The roll-out is being coordinated by the East Coast Digital Programme, a cross-industry partnership led by Network Rail which is managing the introduction of ERTMS on 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.
Earlier this year, the Government announced an additional £1 billion of funding to facilitate the first phase of ERTMS on a 100-mile stretch of the East Coast Main Line from London Kings Cross to just south of Grantham.