UK: A Class 313 suburban electric multiple-unit leased from Beacon Rail has been converted into a mobile laboratory as part of infrastructure manager Network Rail's ETCS programme.

Alstom's Wembley depot has fitted dual-system 25 kV 50 Hz/750 V DC unit number 313 121 dating from 1976-77 with on-train ETCS equipment, engineers' workstations, batteries to power onboard equipment, a kitchen and a toilet. An Alstom ETCS Driver-Machine Interface and control panel is fitted in both cabs. There is a duplicate screen in the secondman's position, and engineers riding in the train will be able to see the images on 42 in plasma screens, along with high-definition forward and rear views from CCTV cameras. General Packet Radio Service equipment is also to be fitted for evaluation.

The EMU is to be used at Network Rail's ERTMS National Integration Facility, an 8 km section of the Hertford loop off the East Coast Main Line north of London. This has been fitted with bidirectional signalling to allow the double-track line to be operated as parallel single-track routes, enabling ETCS equipment to be tested on one track outside the peaks.

The ENIF is to be used to test the interoperability of lineside ETCS Level 2 equipment from Ansaldo STS, Invensys Rail, Signalling Solutions and the Infrasig joint venture of Bombardier and Carillion, with testing scheduled to begin shortly.

The test train will also be utilised to support other projects including the Thameslink Programme.

  • Network Rail's ETCS programme was described in detail in the June 2011 issue of Railway Gazette International, which subscribers can access in the digital archive.