Hitachi and Network Rail collaborate on ETCS-compatible signalling demonstration

London – 20th February 2008: Following the introduction of its Class 395 bullet train to the UK in 2007, Hitachi Europe has announced that it is running a trial alongside Network Rail to test and introduce its ETCS-compatible signalling system. The system is based on the highly reliable Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system that is used in Tokyo, the most congested metropolitan area in Japan, as well as on the Shinkansen, Japanese Bullet Train.

European Train Control ETCS has been developed since 1996 as part of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) initiative. ERTMS addresses the fact that railway networks across Europe evolved as separate national networks with the same gauge but with significant differences in voltages, signalling and control systems. Any new signalling system introduced in Europe must therefore be compatible with ETCS.

The aim of the system is to enhance the capacity of the UK network, support increasingly reliable train operation and provide more efficient cab-based signalling system. Hitachi and Network Rail plan to have a demonstration train running by 2010/2011 and the results of the tests will be shared with the appropriate UK and European technical bodies.

Alistair Dormer, general manager Rail Systems Group at Hitachi Europe, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Network Rail on a project to bring our highly reliable signalling service to the UK market. Through the launch of our ETCS-compatible signalling system, we hope to make major contributions to the UK ERTMS National Implementation plan (ETCS Level 2) that will ultimately help to improve overall conditions on the rail infrastructure across Europe.”