Siemens secures ETCS freight fitment contract from Network Rail

Siemens Rail Automation has secured a contract from UK’s Network Rail to upgrade freight trains with delay-busting digital technology.

Siemens secures ETCS freight fitment contract from Network RailUnder the deal, Siemens will install European Train Control System (ETCS) in-cab signaling on rail freight fleet, as part of the UK's £450m digital railway programme.

Focusing on the locomotive freight fleet, the digital technology will be installed on all 750 vehicles of the current operational fleet.

Siemens will install its Trainguard 200 ETCS on-board solution on freight locomotives that run across the country.

The contract enables Siemens to work with Network Rail and six freight operating companies (FOCs).

ETCS allows trains to operate within safe limits and speeds, in addition to permitting the driver to operate the train.

Siemens Trainguard 200 includes automatic warning system (AWS), and train protection and warning system (TPWS) functionality that is incorporated into the ETCS driver display.

The system, which features flexible hardware configuration, can be installed across multiple freight classes.

According to Network Rail, the design, testing and approvals stage for each class of vehicle starts immediately and work to retrofit the entire freight fleet will begin in 2022.

The technology will help to run more trains on existing tracks, reduce crowding and provide better connections.

Siemens Rail Automation managing director Rob Morris said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Network Rail and the Freight Operating Companies (FOCs) on this landmark digital railway project, which will ultimately be one of the largest ETCS on-board retrofit programmes in the UK.

Network Rail freight managing director Paul McMahon said: “This is a significant investment and underlines our commitment to the freight sector. It will assure long-term competitiveness through increased performance and is a key part of a cohesive portfolio of freight investment for CP6 and beyond.”

Image: Siemens to install Trainguard 200 ETCS on-board solution on UK’s freight locomotives. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.