Network Rail is looking for a supplier to help deliver the first major inter-city digital railway on the East Coast main line (ECML).
The London North Eastern and East Midlands (LNE & EM) route is looking to team up early, and on a whole life basis, with a technology provider to work on designs, plans, phasing, costs and realising benefits.
The selected partner will play a key part in the development and deployment of the European Train Control System in-cab signalling on ECML, starting on the southern end.
The introduction of modern signalling will increase capacity, improve resilience, enhance safety and reduce long-term operating costs and will also act as a catalyst for further deployment across the route and the national network.
Group Digital Railway managing director David Waboso said: “There is a compelling case for a digital transformation on this southern section of the East Coast main line. The big challenge of digital railway is the integration of the infrastructure and rolling stock, and with the need for asset renewal coming at the same time as 70 per cent of passenger trains being fitted, we are presented with a huge opportunity to align track and train in an efficient way.
“The procurement is being done in a radically different way and which will build on the key learnings from our Early Contractor Involvement programme. We seek a long-term relationship based on genuine partnership, extending for the whole of the asset life.”
The introduction of ETCS on the 100 mile stretch of the ECML is the first major transformation programme under the digital strategy launched by the transport secretary Chris Grayling and Network Rail in May.