Hitachi’s new intercity trains, due to enter passenger service this autumn, have passed tests to run their digital technology required by the Department for Transport.
The UK-built fleet, known as the Class 800s, is among the first in the country to successfully test an advanced level of digital signalling.
The technology is part of the Digital Railway – an industry programme for digital modernisation to increase rail capacity, ease overcrowding and improve performance on Britain’s rail network.
A test train fitted with the digital technology carried out tests at Network Rail’s state-of-the-art signalling facility ENIF* in Hitchin.
Testing at ENIF included recreating real life scenarios experienced on the UK rail network and ensuring the new system met rigorous safety requirements.
Britain’s railway carries twice as many passengers as it did just two decades ago with demand set to rise dramatically in the years ahead.
Digital Railway is the industry’s improved plan to tackle Britain’s capacity crunch by accelerating the digital modernisation of the railway, offering capacity and performance improvements sooner, at lower cost and with less disruption than conventional enhancements.