Bombardier has signed a landmark deal to suit digital signalling technology to all of its Electrostar trains operating in the UK.
The Litchurch Lane firm has penned a framework agreement with Derby rolling stock company Porterbrook to set up the digital onboard signalling technology, known as ETCS, to the trains.
The project falls under the UK’s Digital Railway Programme, which is funded by the Department for Transport through Network Rail and is managed by the National Joint ROSCO Programme.
Under the framework agreement, Bombardier will deliver the design work needed for the brand new systems to be installed on all Electrostar fleets in the UK.
The initial agreement is worth £11.3 million to design and fit equipment to a Porterbrook-owned Class 387 Electrostar train operated by Govia Thameslink Railway.
By fitting the gear, the trains will become ‘digital railway-ready’ and then take advantage of Network Rail’s modern signalling and train control technology which will increase capacity, reduce delays, enhance safety and drive down costs.
Under the agreement, the equipment will be fitted at operator depots or Bombardier’s Ilford facility, and design work will be undertaken at its Derby facility.
Richard Hunter, president of rail control solutions at Bombardier Transportation, said: “Like a market leader in ETCS technology worldwide, our EBI Cab 2000 onboard system supports drivers to operate at safe and optimal speeds. This can be a further example of strategic investment to enable the roll out of digital methods to enhance efficiency, capacity and safety in the united kingdom rail network.”
Jason Groombridge, director of engineering services at Porterbrook, said: “Porterbrook is happy to lead on the fitment of ETCS towards the first Electrostar train. Electrostars are in service with several train operators and therefore are popular with passengers. By retrofitting on-train signalling to those units, we can ensure that they are able to continue to meet the operational and capacity needs of both today’s and tomorrow’s railway.”