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Contractors bid for rail signalling trial

Network Rail will next month announce successful contractors who will implement a new £59M signalling system designed to drastically increase track capacity.
The European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)will be trialled in North Wales. It reduces the safety distance between trains by continuously tracking their speed and position, enabling more trains to squeeze onto the same strip of track.Known as 'moving block signalling' it takes control of acceleration and breaking, keeping a minimum safety gap between trains that varies according to their speed and track conditions, such as ice or leaves.The system will supersede traditional fixed block signalling, which requires trains to be a minimum of two signals apart, and retains the risk of a driver running a red light.The new system, which is already in place on the main line from Rome to Naples, will be able to cut the time and hence distance between trains from 3mins to 2.4mins.Design of the test run from Aberystwyth to Pwllheli will begin next year and the system should be operational from December 2008.

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