Friday 26 Oct 2012

Westminster comes to Network Rail Wales


The House of Commons Welsh affairs select committee has visited Network Rail’s £16.5m Wales rail operating centre (ROC) in Cardiff as part of an inquiry into cross-border road and rail connectivity.

The committee toured the state-of-the-art integrated Welsh route signalling and control centre at Riverside, which began operations two years ago, on Wednesday, 24 October.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s Wales route managing director, said: “Nearly 20m journeys are made in south Wales every year and this state-of-the-art control centre is the new nerve centre that helps to make them possible.

“Since it opened, it has provided cost and efficiency benefits to both rail passengers and UK taxpayers alike.”

Welsh affairs select committee chair, David Davies MP, said: “It has been a fascinating visit the control centre for trains in Wales. It will prove a very useful background for our discussions with the Westminster Government about further investment in the railways in Wales.”

Geraint Davies, the MP for Swansea West, who also toured the centre, said: “Investment in the rail infrastructure is absolutely crucial. It has been good to visit the nerve centre for the railways in Wales and to see the latest technology. It will enable us to fight for more investment in the rail industry at Westminster.”

The Wales ROC opened in 2010 and followed the completion of the £150m upgrade of the Newport area signalling renewal project. Network Rail is currently working on the £22m second phase of the project.

It also recently announced the launch of the £220m Cardiff area signalling renewal project. This should be completed by 2014/15.

Both projects will pave the way for the electrification of the Great Western main line to Cardiff and Swansea and the Valley Lines.

Notes to editors

The £16.5 million Wales rail operating centre opened in July 2009 and manages thousands of train movements every day. It includes a major incident room for emergency situations.

The move into the eco-friendly building in Cardiff brought Network Rail and local train operator Arriva Trains Wales under one roof in a purpose-built control room.

The centre is designed to enable signalling control, operational control, fleet management and passenger information to work as one unit.

These multiple functions share real-time information from a common source and enable decision-making procedures to be integrated, thus making railway operations more efficient.

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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