The study - carried out by a consortium of four consultants for Railtrack - which recommended the implementation of moving block signalling for the West Coast Route Modernisation, despite there being no such equipment installed on a mixed traffic railway anywhere in the world. This enabled Railtrack to keep the project cost down, since moving block required very little expensive lineside equipment.
The decision was only reversed five years later at the infamous "Black Diamond" review, where it was recognised moving block could never be implemented; this led to an overnight jump in the project cost from £2bn to £5.8bn. This decision, together with Hatfield, eventually took Railtrack to the verge of financial collapse and administration.
This document was published on 23rd December 1994 by WCML Development Company Limited.
It was written by WCML Development Company Limited.
The original document format was Bound Booklet, and comprised 203 pages.
This document was kindly sourced from Department for Transport under the Freedom of Information Act and is in our Financial & economic reports collection. It was added to the Archive on 27th June 2005.
This document is © WCML Development Company Limited.
"A world-wide survey of existing and developing systems determined transmission-based train control to be the best in technical and cost terms for the WCML. This is similar to the European Train Control System (ETCS) level 3 standards as currently proposed. It is therefore intended that the signalling system will, where appropriate, comply with ETCS level 3 standards...
European industry is developing train-carried equipment ...Technical principles and feasibility studies have been formulated during a programme in 1990-93 under the EURET programme. Functional and system requirements specifications for ETCS are being developed and are expected to come into force in 1997. This programme will allow equipment development to be completed within the WCML timescale...
The timescale for the WCML modernisation is compatible with the aims of the ETCS Project, and it is likely that the WCML project will be one of the first major applications for the equipment. The WCML is therefore set to receive the attention of industry and the EU to ensure its success."
23rd December 1994
West Coast Route Modernisation: Feasibility Study
25th November 1999
West Coast Main Line: Statement by the Rail Regulator
31st January 2000
West Coast Route Modernisation - Strategy for Phase 2
11th May 2000
Transcript of West Coast Modernisation Hearing
1st April 2004
The Â£10bn Rail Crash
16th March 2010
Railways: West Coast Main Line
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