Hitchin Interlocking Renewal

The interlocking at Hitchin controls a key area of the East Coast Main Line (ECML), specifically the junction to and from Cambridge.

The original scope developed by the project was to re-signal the whole control area, however analysis of the business case did not support progressing in that manner mainly due to the commitment to deliver European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in the area in 2016.

Development was therefore revisited. The revised project delivered an interfaced Solid State Interlocking (SSI), renewal of the local control panel and rectification of braking deficiencies affecting freight traffic on slow lines.

Hitchin Interlocking Renewal

The project delivered:

  • a renewal of the existing interlocking (a relay based interlocking) at Hitchin in a new equipment room and a Local Control Panel (LCP) in a separated operational area
  • provision of new control panel interface and transmission system that interfaced the new SSIs to the new LCP and King’s Cross Signal Box
  • provision of an interlocking diagnostic system for the technicians
  • provision of a purpose-built equipment room adjacent to the existing relay room at Hitchin
  • alterations to the control panel at King’s Cross Signal Box
  • provision of a new electricity supply for the upgraded 650V signalling power supply, equipment room and maintenance depot domestic supply at Hitchin
  • provision of additional Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) equipment
  • re-positioning and renewal of some existing signals.

Hitchin Interlocking Renewal

The project provided a modern, reliable interlocking with the capacity to accommodate alterations required by future projects with the additional flexibility afforded by a LCP to allow temporary re-control from Hitchin as operations dictate.

The project was fully integrated with (the longer term implementation of) ERTMS.

Client: Network Rail, Route Asset Management – Signalling

Location: Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK

Start date: 2004

End date: 2010

Duration: 72 months

Contract value: £10m

Services provided: Electrification & power supply, programme management, signalling, train control & telecoms