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Network Rail tests ETCS through Thameslink core

Network Rail has conducted its first European Train Control System (ETCS) tests through central London as part of the Thameslink Programme.

It is the first time the in-cab signalling technology has been tested through the Thameslink core and once operational will allow 24 trains an hour to travel through central London.

The accompanying ETCS lineside equipment has so far been installed between Elephant and Castle and Kentish Town. Network Rail’s specially designed Class 313 test train completed a series of tests on this section of the route on the weekends of October 18 and November 1

Paul Bates, project director for the Thameslink Programme, said: “These test runs were an important step for the Thameslink Programme and the culmination of six years of work at our test facilities in Hitchin and in our lab at Southwark.

“It was a credit to everyone who has worked on this project that the equipment worked first time, even on the technically-demanding switchover from traditional signalling to ETCS at Elephant and Castle.”

The new Class 700 units will be required to switch between ETCS and traditional signalling, as well as manual and automatic train control. They are expected to begin testing of ETCS between Blackfriars and St Pancras International by late summer next year.

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