Hitachi Rail Europe has been awarded the traffic management contract for Thameslink, another step towards the digital railway.

Hitachi Rail’s traffic management systems support railway operations that can be reconfigured flexibly in keeping with passenger demand, to manage and control the running of the railway and support the rapid recovery of operations in the event of a delay or disruption.

In Japan, these systems have been used on busy commuter networks, as well as Shinkansen high- speed lines, for over 40 years and are part of the reason for Japanese railways’ high reliability.

Says Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, ‘This is a fantastic achievement for Hitachi Rail in the UK, following on the back of the Class 395 high-speed trains in 2009, the Intercity Express Programme contract in July 2012 and Abellio’s ScotRail contract signed in March this year.

‘Hitachi Rail is determined to strengthen its railway- related business in the UK, and I look forward to working with Network Rail to deploy our proven traffic management system, which will bring significant benefits to rail commuters.’

It’s a significant step for the Thameslink project. Says Thameslink programme director Simon Blanchflower, ‘Providing a frequent and reliable service through the heart of the city and to a host of new destinations will only be possible thanks to this technology.

‘Traffic management will provide extra guidance to our signallers and work with in-cab signalling and automatic train operation to deliver 24 trains per hour between London Blackfriars and St Pancras International. It will also improve the time it takes the railway to recover from delays.’