Network Rail has selected the suppliers that will fit European Train Control System (ETCS) equipment to steam and heritage locomotives.
Atkins and Thales have been chosen for the pathfinder project, which has been described by NR as a “world first”.
It forms part of the £1.8 billion scheme to fit electronic signalling to the East Coast Main Line south of Stoke Tunnel, near Grantham. That will start to be rolled out once London’s Northern City Line is converted to ETCS in 2022-23.
Initial installation is to take place on two steam locomotives - new-build Class A1 60163 Tornado and an LMS ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 - as well as a Class 55 ‘Deltic’. It is understood that fitting the in-cab equipment to a ‘Black Five’ could potentially presage a return of steam charters to the Cambrian line, which had a regular special train programme before it was converted to ETCS in 2010.
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