Class 43 locomotive successfully tested with in-cab signaling in Leicestershire


The East Coast digital program has reached a new milestone as Network Rail’s Class 43s, part of the new test train, have been successfully trialled with in-cab digital signage.

The European Train Control System, or ETCS, allows trains to have in-cab signaling that brings improvements to services as well as the removal of wayside infrastructure.

The successful testing took place at Network Rail’s Railway Development and Innovation Center and means that further Class 43 railcars can now be put into service to use ETCS Level-NTC.

Using the Railway Development and Innovation Center allows progression to the NTC level without the need to disrupt passengers due to track possessions.

Driver with DMI screen in cabin // Credit: Network Rail

The testing process took several days of operation which follows the initial phase of lab testing.

Around 700 vehicles are to be prepared for the East Coast digital program and the First in Class test program will, over the next two years, involve around 20-25 classes of passenger and freight trains.

Toufic Machnouk, Director of Network Rail, Industry Partnership for Digital Railway, said: “The ability to test first-in-class vehicles at the INCD is a cornerstone for the delivery of the ECDP and the continued deployment of the ETCS on the whole network. This allows the train to be tested and certified after the installation of new safety-critical control technology without disrupting the operational railway.

“The collaboration created on the Class 43 project is another example of how our partners are addressing the unique challenges of vehicle modernization. Over the next two years, a variety of vehicle types will undergo ETCS testing as we continue with upgrades and modernizations that allow ECML south to migrate to ETCS operations.

Close-up of the DMI screen in the cabin
Close-up of the DMI screen in the cabin // Credit: Network Rail

Ben Ackroyd, Porterbrook’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Porterbrook is delighted to see the new ETCS-equipped power train units complete final testing and commissioning at the INCD.

“This is a key part of the rollout of the digital railway, and we are pleased to play our part in supporting Network Rail on this project which will improve performance, enhance safety and reduce costs for the industry. “

Tank Porteous, Program Director at Thales, said: “The successful testing of Thales’ ETCS system with the ground infrastructure of the INCD represents a major milestone for the Class 43 project and is the culmination of a brilliant collaborative effort. of the team. Thales is pleased to be able to contribute to the success of the East Coast Digital program, which is transforming the railway for the benefit of its users. »


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