The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has given Hitachi the Authorisation to Place in Service (APIS) its modern in-cab signalling system on UK passenger services, which is important progress for the digital railway programme. The potential long-term benefits of the programme include allowing up to 30 per cent more trains to run across the country, helping to address rising passenger numbers, which have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years.
In a joint project with Network Rail, Hitachi was able to run a British Class 37 locomotive with its ETCS technology along the Cambrian line, in Wales. The testing, which was successfully completed recently, helped Hitachi become the first train manufacturer in the UK to have its digital signalling system authorised to run passenger trains by the rail regulator. The track-side system on the Network Rail managed Cambrian line was installed – also in a UK first – by Ansaldo STS, now owned by Hitachi Rail Europe
Hitachi will install its ETCS in over 160 new trains it is building. The first of these modern trains – the Class 800/801 – enter passenger service next year on the Great Western Mainline, as part of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).