Hitachi to digitally upgrade rail signalling in Gloucester

Image source, Hitachi Rail
Image caption, Hitachi says it will be upgrading its digital signalling system

Rail services are to be made "more reliable" thanks to a major digital upgrade, it has been announced.

Hitachi Rail will work with Network Rail and Linbrooke Railway to create a digital signalling system for trains in the Gloucester area.

It said the new system will improve traffic management on the line and will allow engineers to safely check on faults remotely.

It said it plans to complete the work within a year.

The new digital Signalling Command Control (SCC) system will replace a switch panel that was installed in the 1960s.

It will give Network Rail a complete picture of the network and automated updates, enabling it to respond "more effectively" to any issues or incidents and reduce disruption to passengers.

Nick Hughes, Hitachi Rail UK and Ireland sales director, said he was "confident" the new plan would mean more reliable journeys for passengers.

"The progress we're making with Network Rail is a significant milestone for Hitachi Rail's signalling business in the UK."

He said its digital signalling has already been improving service reliability on journeys in Italy, France, Japan, America and the Middle East.

'Much-needed benefits'

Network Rail sponsor for traffic management, Karen Williams, said the digital technology will be more "cost-effective".

"This will life-extend the signalling assets within the Gloucestershire area, and will provide a safer working environment for our trackside colleagues."

The contract was awarded by Network Rail as part of Hitachi Rail's Wales and Western Region Major Signalling Renewals Framework, which covers 2,700 (4,345km) miles of track.

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