June 29, 2022 6.00 am

£1bn investment to modernise East Coast Main Line signalling

The route connects Lincolnshire to London

The East Coast Main Line railway will get over £1 billion of government funding to modernise the route from London to Lincolnshire with new digital signalling.

The new technology will see outdated Victorian infrastructure replaced with new signalling, providing faster, safer and more regular trains on one of the UK’s busiest rail routes – the East Coast Main Line.

It will remove line side signalling and introduce the European Train Control System, which brings signalling into train drivers’ cabs and offers them real-time information throughout the journey.

As well as this, it creates a more responsive railway that can recover quicker if journeys don’t go to plan, as well as constantly monitoring the speed of a train to ensure safety is being upheld.

It will be rolled out across the entire southern section of the East Coast Main Line, covering London’s King’s Cross all the way to Stoke Tunnels, just south of Grantham.

With one third of the nation’s population living within 20 minutes of a station on the East Coast Main Line and producing more than 40% of the country’s GDP, the route plays a pivotal role in the prosperity of the British economy.

This new system is, over its lifetime, 42% cheaper than the one currently in place, and decreases carbon emissions by 55,000 tonnes – helping the government reach Net Zero targets.

The announcement of this investment comes just days after strike action from the National Union for Rail, Maritime and Transport halted around 80% of the country’s rail network for three days.

Picket lines were arranged all over the UK in protest of reported pay stagnation, with claims that the government asked rail bosses to make cuts after low footfall brought on by the pandemic.

The RMT has accused rail bosses of widening the financial gap between directors and everyday workers, as well as the government for not pushing wage boosts for staff.

It has turned into an ugly debacle, with the government criticising RMT for disrupting the community with strikes

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps launched a rather extraordinary attack at the RMT for the picket lines organised across the country as part of strike action calling for better pay structures and job security.

He said: “While union bosses waste time touring television studios and standing on picket lines, I am busy getting on with the job at hand and modernising our railway.

“This £1 billion investment will allow us to replace unreliable Victorian infrastructure with cutting edge technology which will mean fewer delays and more regular services for millions of passengers.

“The world is changing and, despite the best efforts of unions, I am determined to help our railway change with it.”