We’re developing the tools needed to reduce the cost of signalling to make the railway sustainable and affordable for the future.
The railway faces a major industry challenge, where the cost and volume of future signalling renewals is unsustainable. Over the next 15 years there is a need to deliver an increase of over 50% of the signalling renewals work at half the current price to achieve a sustainable, affordable railway that can meet customer needs and expectations.
Britain must have a reliable, high performing railway that's fit for the future, delivers financial value and provides operational performance in a safe and sustainable way. To reduce costs and increase access on the railway we are creating new ways of working and introducing new technology. The use of digital technology will improve the services to freight and passenger customers, causing less delays due to signalling failure and track closures for access to complete repairs and providing the opportunity for more trains to run where needed.
We're working across Industry to build a new approach for balancing research and development and engineering solutions with the needs of end users and customers.
Target 190plus is a Network Rail Research & Development (R&D) programme that looks at the sustainability of the signalling systems on the network and the challenges these bring to the rail industry. It has the aim to reduce the current whole life cost of signalling from a unit rate of £419,000 to the required £190,000 by 2029 to enable the ETCS Long Term Deployment Plan to be achieved.
Through its 29 projects, the programme will reduce costs, improve services for passengers and increase safety by automating signalling design processes, standardising system architectures, implementing faster renewals planning and introducing offsite testing and validation processes.
Target 190plus enabled benefits for the operational railway
Target 190plus has aligned with other research initiatives such as UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) and Shift2Rail to accelerate progress and share learning. We are also working in collaboration with other industry enablers such as the Rail Sector Deal – a deal between the rail supply sector and the government to exploit the opportunities of new technologies through supplier engagement.