Faithful+Gould and Atkins secure East Coast Mainline digital transformation role

Kimberley Workman
Faithful+Gould and Atkins – members of the SNC-Lavalin Group – have been appointed to help deliver a major digital railway transformation programme across the East Coast Main Line (ECML), East Midlands and Transpennine routes to improve passenger experience.

The six-year Railway Systems Integration Partner (RSIP) contract will see Atkins and F+G, alongside key suppliers PWC and Ramboll, collaboratively support cross-industry delivery of The East Coast Digital Programme, which includes introducing in-cab European Train Control System digital signalling and Traffic Management across the ECML route.

The £1.8bn programme is part Network Rail’s commitment to deploying digital signalling and train controls when and where they represent good value for money to improve the network’s performance for passengers and freight user.

The RSIP role will coordinate industry relationships across all stakeholders including passengers, train operators, freight operators, the signalling technology integrator Siemens and government, to collaboratively transform the delivery of future digital signalling in the UK.

The RSIP team will provide programme management, business case development, business change, benefits realisation, industry integration, operational readiness and engineering management services. The approach brings experience, lessons learned and proven delivery approaches from supporting ERTMS delivery programmes in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium and the UK.

Joao Silva, Head of Transportation for Faithful+Gould, said: “This is an extraordinary and exciting opportunity that will have a significant and sustained impact on the future of the railway and the economies and communities Network Rail serve.

 “We will assist to maximise the potential benefits of the digital signalling and train control systems by leading the industry through the change process and ensuring collective operational readiness on this complex transformation programme.”

The roll-out of the ERTMS on the ECML acts as a catalyst for further development across the route and railway network. The last significant upgrade to the train control system in this section of the railway was during the 1970s. Many of the new trains now in operation or soon-to-be-in service will also be fitted with digital in-cab signalling technology.

Scott Kelley, Strategic Rail Director, Atkins said: “This is a genuinely game changing transformation programme at the leading edge of rail industry integration.

“Our team will bring together unique skills and experience to enable the industry collaboration to deliver the East Coast Digital Programme, establishing the gold standard for future ERTMS delivery programmes.”

Atkins is committed to supporting delivery of a long-term ERTMS deployment strategy across the UK and is involved in developing nationwide plans via the Rail Sector Deal, Rail Industry Association, Digital Railway Programme and UK Rail Research and Innovation Network.

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