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Great Northern’s Class 717 fleet set for upgrade

posted on 22nd Sep 2023 14:16

On 16 August 2023 Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has received authorisation from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to upgrade its Great Northern Class 717 Desiro UK to the latest specification of ETCS. It is the first fleet to receive authorisation to upgrade the on-board digital signalling system to this most recent version.

GTR’s 25 Class 717 EMUs were built fitted with ETCS Baseline 3 Release 1 (also referred to as version 3.4.0) and the fleet recently received ORR authorisation to be placed into passenger service using digital signalling on the Northern City Line.

Upgrading the software to the latest version of ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2, also referred to as 3.6.0, will allow the trains to make use of the latest digital infrastructure to be installed on the East Coast Main Line, as part of the next phase of the government-funded East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP). The programme will see traditional lineside signals replaced by ETCS.

Final testing for the upgrade will take place this autumn, ahead of upgrading the entire fleet early next year, so that the trains are ready to operate in ETCS on the ECML from 2025.

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