Friday 13 Nov 2015
Rail operating centre officially opened in Rugby
- London North Western
The leader of Rugby Borough Council has officially opened Network Rail’s £22m Rugby Rail Operating Centre (ROC).
The building, operating 24 hours a day, is one of 12 nationally which will eventually control the entire rail network in Britain and replace more than 800 signal boxes and other operational locations.
It is a key part of the future of Britain's railway and places Rugby firmly on the rail map.
All 12 centres will have more advanced signalling tools and technology that will help reduce delays, improve performance, increase capacity, provide better information to passengers and offer better value for money for passengers and taxpayers.
It was officially opened by Councillor Michael Stokes, leader of Rugby Borough Council, on Wednesday (11 November). Councillor Stokes was joined by Network Rail’s route managing director, Martin Frobisher.
Councillor Michael Stokes said: “I'm reminded every day of how important the railway is to our town and what strong historical links we have with the railway. Rugby is the fastest growing town in the Midlands and one of the fastest growing towns in the UK. This facility highlights our commitment to work with businesses to ensure they receive a warm welcome to our town and I am pleased we will continue to be part of the future of the railway in Britain.”
Andy Scott of Network Rail, who has overseen bringing the Rugby ROC into use, said: “This new rail operating centre is an essential part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a better service to passengers and will make sure Rugby is a key location on the railway map for decades to come. When fully operational, it will help to boost performance, increase capacity and provide a better level of service to passengers. It will also help the railway recover more efficiently during periods of disruption.”
The Stafford area, being upgraded as part of a £250m project by Network Rail, was the first section of railway to be controlled from the Rugby ROC. The next section will be in the Norton Bridge area, near Stafford, from Easter 2016.
Control for other areas of the railway will be transferred into the building over the coming years when they are resignalled as part of the Network Rail's Railway Upgrade Plan.
When fully operational, up to 400 staff will work from the Rugby ROC.
Construction of the ROC was carried out by Morgan Sindall on behalf of Network Rail.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.