Last month (Wednesday 6th December 2017) GB Railfreight (GBRf), and the other Freight Operating Companies (FOCs), agreed a landmark partnership deal with Network Rail and Siemens leading to the introduction of the European Train Control Systems (ETCS) in the freight sector. This will enable the installation of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in-cab signalling in all freight sector locomotives, some 800 engines and more than 15 ‘first-in-class’ designs.
ERTMS will allow for the interoperability of trains across the European Union and aims to vastly improve safety and efficiency by introducing a single, new Europe-wide standard for train control and command systems. With this agreement now in place, GBRf will be able to upgrade its locomotives and ensure that it is able to operate and compete with other FOCs across Europe for the foreseeable future.
GBRf’s Strategic Development Director, Duncan Clark, who played a key role in the formation of the agreement, said:
“GBRf has long recognised the importance of this project and has been working with the government for a number of years as it has increased its focus on the digitalisation of transport and infrastructure. This agreement marks a turning point for the rail sector, with ERTMS ensuring that the rail network is used more efficiently, freeing up capacity, which we hope the rail freight industry will benefit from.”
Nigel Jones, board member of the Rail Freight Group and chair of the Freight Stakeholder Group, who oversaw the agreement, said:
“It is a tremendous achievement – the first time the freight sector, and possibly the rail sector, have come together despite such a competitive environment to work with NR in such a way to put an efficient, flexible framework in place.”
Source: Uk Haulier