Network rail has identified an upgrade plan that will deliver faster and more frequent services to millions of UK rail passengers. The plan aims to modernise technology on trains and tracks throughout the country, by 2033 Network rail has stated that when HS2 (high speed railway) opens in Manchester that 70 percent of journeys will benefit from upgrades.

Network Rail has spent the last three years setting up the “key elements” which will be required to launch the project, including replacing the current analogue signalling system and changing it to a digital one. The chief of Network Rail Mark Carne, has said that the move would mean they wouldn’t have to spend £20 billion on a similar system that would actually limit the ability to create extra capacity. Carne also went on to state that the new system can be implemented for 30 percent less than the current costs on deployments around Europe.

To deliver this, Carne has said that the people working on developments at track level should work closely with train manufacturers. While also commending transport secretary Chris Grayling’s briefing that new rolling stock used in the UK will have to be digital or digital ready by next year.

Thousands of train drivers are set to be taught to work with digital signalling systems, as well as new drivers, so the potential for increased capacity on an updated railway can be unlocked. However, Carne has given his backing to Network Rail, who is confident that they are capable in delivering an upgrade for majority of the railway throughout the next 15 years.

He also said: “Not since the railway transformed from steam to diesel in the 1960s has a technological breakthrough held such promise to vastly improve our railway for the benefit of the millions of people and businesses who rely on it every day.

“The age of a digital railway has today moved from the drawing board and into reality as we reveal a blueprint that will improve the lives of millions of passengers and freight users across the country.

Digital control is also set to be implemented over the next five years across the Pennies and on the southern end of the East Coast main line which leads into Kings Cross. Also onto other major commuter routes that lead into Waterloo.


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