As the railway prepares for a revolution in digital signalling as part of the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP), ANDY RODEN talks to GoviaThameslink Railway ERTMS Manager OLIVER TURNER about how knowledge is being shared about experience gained onThameslink and the Northern City line

Visitors to GoviaThameslink Railway’s simulator facility at Three Bridges recently might have been surprised to hear Welsh lilts amongst some of the trainees. But this is not an early hint of Cambrian Coast line electrification: it is the latest element of GTR sharing its immense and growing expertise in the use of EuropeanTrain Control System (ETCS).

The reasonTransport forWales Rail (TfW) drivers are using GTR’s simulators is simple. With the impending replacement of Class 158s with CAF Class 197s on the Cambrian route, there is an inevitable need for driver training – and GTR’s Class 700/717 fleets have the nearest equivalent to the Class 197s’ ETCS on-board systems, which are a newer baseline than those in use on the Class 158s.

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