Digital train control championed

Victorian railway signalling should be scrapped in favour of digital train control systems to improve service reliability and allow more trains to use routes at relatively low cost, delegates to a rail conference heard on Thursday.

Network Rail’s digital transformation director Patrick Bossert told the UK Rail Industry Forum that nearly half of all problems on the railway are down to signalling system failures. By upgrading the infrastructure “reliability will improve by at least 35%” he claimed.

He added that digital train control could enable up to 40% more capacity on busy routes, negating the need to build additional track. “The potential is significant,” he said.