RAILTRACK THIS week said it had quadrupled the number of staff working on its train protection warning system programme (TPWS) since September.
Railtrack network development director Nick Pollard said the number of staff devoted to the project has increased from 364 to 1,436.
He said that completing the TPWS project by 2004 is now more important than the West Coast Main Line upgrade.
Railtrack has put the TPWS programme at the top of its agenda to meet deadlines set by Professor Uff and Lord Cullen, in their report into TPWS published last month (NCE 5 April).
This calls for TPWS to be fitted across the network by 2004.
TPWS consists of a series of trackside monitors that activates a train's brakes when a red signal is passed.
The recruitment drive comes after manufacturers, contractors and consultants expressed doubts about Railtrack's ability to meet the deadline.
The track operator has swelled numbers on the programme by recruiting surveyors, designers, installers, planners, and testing and commissioning engineers to work on the project.
Pollard said staff have been imported from Australia, the US, Romania, India and South Africa, and the project is now using over 40% of the UK's design engineers.