Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Network Rail to accelerate digital-enablement of Britain’s railway

The digitisation of the railway is essential if we are to manage the year on year growth in rail freight and passengers, says Arnab Dutt. 

Better time tabling from the “digital railway “– will improve efficiency across the UK where signalling is outdated and insufficient to cope with increasing demand.

Being part the corporate governance of NR gives me a hands on opportunity to scrutinize the Board as they lay out their plans for the future.

The simple fact is, if we don’t invest in new technology and regular maintenance, our network grinds to a halt in 2030. There will simply not be enough capacity for the huge growth in passengers and rail freight. Passenger growth numbers are double what were predicted 10 years ago.

Presently we are operating a Victorian legacy railway network with 21st century demands placed upon it. Without thinking 50 years ahead and taking action, our transport infrastructure becomes a slow motion national train disaster. We want to encourage more freight to disappear off our congested roads and switch to the greener alternative of rail. We need to believe in progress and a legacy that future generations can be proud of. We need to understand and plan for huge demographic change and population increase.

Despite much uninformed criticism, we should note the UK rail network is not only one of the busiest in the world, it’s just about the safest. Something to be proud of, and worth bearing in mind.

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