Chancellor promises more funding for key rail infrastructure projects

Government guarantees new funding for the digital railway, East-West works and regional enhancements.

Network Rail has been awarded £450 million of additional funding for a range of infrastructure schemes in the Government’s Autumn Statement, which was presented to Parliament on November 23.

One project to gain from this is the ‘digital railway’ enhanced cab signalling trial, which could ultimately remove lineside signals and raise route capacity by up to 30%. It would change signalling from the traditional fixed block approach, where a driver has authority to enter a specific section of route, to one where cab display equipment gives an indication on a moving basis of whether the track ahead is clear.

The original intention was that the £800 million annual budget for signalling renewals would be used to convert individual routes, but this has not allowed sufficient cash to fund the trial sites necessary. These will need communications and trackside equipment to be installed and trains to be fitted with cab display monitors to control their movements.

Read more in the January issue of Rail Express

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