York & North Yorkshire

York rail control centre plan approved

Plans for a Rail Operations Centre in York, which will control the East Coast mainline between London and Scotland, have been approved by city councillors.

Network Rail had applied for permission to build the training and operations centre at the rear of the station.

The new centre will replace an existing signalling centre with one that would be the operating hub for the main line.

Network Rail said it would be the largest of 14 rail control centres across Britain.

The new centre would not lead to the creation of additional jobs, but would safeguard current roles and "act as a catalyst to further development in the city", the firm said.

'Great news'

The development, on land known as the engineer's triangle between York station and Holgate bridge, would also include a training unit with a welding centre and external track facilities.

Phil Verster, of Network Rail, said: "This decision is great news for York and the railway.

"The centres will retain jobs in the city and, over time, see all of our rail operations for the route consolidated on this site.

"The operating centre is the largest of just 14 proposed centres across Britain and will bring the expertise and technology we need to operate the route into a single location.

"We hope that the location of these new facilities on the edge of the York Central development site could act as a catalyst for further investment in the area."

Councillor James Alexander, the Labour leader of City of York Council, said: "This is the second significant planning application to be approved by the council in a matter of weeks, and is another big step forward for York.

"The city has a strong railway heritage and the new Rail Operating Centre is going to help secure existing jobs and expertise in our city".

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