Network Rail appoints Atkins for landmark digital signalling facility

Network Rail have appointed Atkins to deliver and operate what is being described as the UK’s most advanced signalling test facility.

Atkins has been appointed by Network Rail to design, deliver, operate and maintain what it describes as the UK’s most advanced signalling equipment test facility, which will enable the safe and efficient modernisation of the railway through introduction of next generation technology.

The National ETCS Test Verification Validation and Integration Laboratory – which is currently being installed at Atkins’ Signalling Integration Centre in Egham, Surrey – will help drive the deployment of the European Train Control System (ETCS) and European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) across the UK rail network.

Under a ten-year agreement, Atkins – in partnership with Multitel, the global leader in ETCS test equipment – will deliver and operate what is the UK’s only facility which can test ETCS equipment, cyber security, and the independent integration of multiple suppliers’ equipment in order to demonstrate compliance with UK standards and approvals.

The new facility is planned to be fully operational by February 2022.

Mark Fielding-Smith, digital rail director at Atkins, said: “This new facility represents a significant milestone in the transformation of the UK’s railway network which puts the passenger first through the introduction of cutting edge technology that increases punctuality, capacity and safety. We are now working closely alongside Network Rail, the East Coast Digital Programme team, future ETCS deployment projects and the wider supply chain to help realise the benefits of next generation signalling technology.”

Atkins is a leading UK ETCS consultancy and signalling systems integrator, and provides independent signalling investigation services from its Technical Investigation Centre in Crewe. In 2020, Atkins was appointed Railway Systems Integration Partner for the East Coast Digital Programme.

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