Latest News | 6 January 2021

Bombardier signs landmark deal

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Bombardier has signed a landmark deal to fit digital signalling technology to all of its Electrostar trains operating in the UK.

The Litchurch Lane firm has penned a framework agreement with Derby rolling stock company Porterbrook to install the digital onboard signalling technology, known as ETCS, to the trains.

The project falls under the UK’s Digital Railway Programme, which is funded by the Department for Transport through Network Rail and is managed by the National Joint ROSCO Programme.

Under the framework agreement, Bombardier will deliver the design work needed for the new systems to be installed on all Electrostar fleets in the UK.

The initial agreement is worth £11.3 million to design and fit equipment to a Porterbrook-owned Class 387 Electrostar train operated by Govia Thameslink Railway.

By fitting the equipment, the trains will become ‘digital railway-ready’ and be able to take advantage of Network Rail’s modern signalling and train control technology that will increase capacity, reduce delays, enhance safety and drive down costs.

Under the agreement, the equipment will be fitted at operator depots or Bombardier’s Ilford facility, and design work will be undertaken at its Derby facility.

Richard Hunter, president of rail control solutions at Bombardier Transportation, said: “As a market leader in ETCS technology worldwide, our EBI Cab 2000 onboard system supports drivers to operate at safe and optimal speeds.

“This is a further example of strategic investment to enable the roll out of digital solutions to enhance efficiency, capacity and safety in the UK rail network.”

Jason Groombridge, director of engineering services at Porterbrook, said: “Porterbrook is delighted to lead on the fitment of ETCS to the first Electrostar train.

“Electrostars are in service with several train operators and are popular with passengers.

“By retrofitting on-train signalling to these units, we can ensure that they can continue to meet the operational and capacity needs of both today’s and tomorrow’s railway.”

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