An ETCS experience

Most of my media trips tend to be at civilised hours of the day, but a recent outing with Govia Thameslink Railway to see progress with the move to digital signalling on the Northern City line took place, by necessity, in the early hours of the morning.

Before our trip on the Moorgate branch though there was the chance to observe European Train Control System in action with a ride through the Thameslink core. Readers may recall that the original intention of introducing ETCS with Automatic Train Operation through the core was to permit smooth operation of the planned 24 trains per hour service between St Pancras and Blackfriars proposed as part of a series of uplifts through 2018 and 2019. Of course, this level of frequency was never reached, and since then Covid has slowed the pace of crew training while GTR has focused on fine-tuning the ETCS software.

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