We moved more of our signalling to state of the art Rail Operating Centres (ROCs) over Christmas and New Year
What are they and how do they benefit passengers?
Our signalling upgrades during the festive period included the transfer of control of the Integrated Electronic Control Centre (IECC) to our Rail Operating Centre in York.
Meanwhile, we moved signalling in Allerton, Speke and Garston in Merseyside to our Manchester Rail Operating Centre. The same centre, which holds about 200 staff from Network Rail and train operators TransPennine Express and Northern, also took over signalling for the Liverpool Lime Street area last July as part of a major transformation of the station.
Such projects are important to our £50bn Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a better network for passengers and freight operators.
Moving signalling control to more modern facilities means increased benefits for passengers:
- More reliable journeys because it gives signallers a greater overview of the railway across a larger area
- Greater resilience when disruption occurs – our teams can make decisions faster
- More cost-effective signalling control than smaller, more localised signalling systems
- The development of centres of excellence
- We can pave the way for more frequent trains with more seats for more passengers in future.
Graham Foster, a senior project engineer at Network Rail, was the man responsible for signing off the switch-over in York.
I have been working on the railway for 41 years. I first worked in the York IECC between 1999 and 2002. This was when the Leeds and York control areas came under one roof, which has proved very successful. The beauty of moving the IECC to the ROC is that it brings all the signallers together as well as giving them a more modern system to work with.
I came in on Christmas Day and Boxing Day but the 27th was the most important. We rehearsed the move several times before the big switch-over, so we were confident that everything would go to plan. I am delighted that it did.