First train runs under ETCS on Northern City line

A Class 717 being tested on the Northern City line using ETCS

The first train ran on the Northern City line between Finsbury Park and Moorgate using European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 signalling on 29 May.

Using a Great Northern Class 717, the run marks the start of intensive testing to ensure the ‘717s’ – already fitted with ETCS onboard equipment work properly with the new signalling equipment.

Testing is taking place overnight and at weekends throughout 2022, with the aim of starting driver training and migration to ETCS in early 2023. The route is expected to fully switch to ETCS in 2024.

The testing is part of the East Coast Digital Programme which will migrate the southern section of the East Coast main line between King’s Cross and south of Stoke Tunnel, Grantham, by the end of the decade.