A project to build the largest new rail operating centre in the country has been completed in York.
Network Rail said the centre’s technology will benefit millions of passengers who use train services between London King’s Cross and the Scottish border by consolidating all signalling and control operations into a single location.
Ultimately, it will help improve service punctuality and capacity, Network Rail’s route managing director Phil Verster said.
The rail operating centre is the largest of 12 proposed centres across Britain and York Central MP Hugh Bayley took a look around it yesterday to mark its completion after two years of construction work.
Mr Bayley said the project was a huge vote of confidence in York as a strategic railway centre.
“The new centre will ensure that York’s links with the railways are maintained and strengthened,” Mr Bayley said.
“Hundreds of jobs have been created and the state of the art training facilities next door will ensure that future generations have the skills they need to work in the rail industry. The new centre is a great asset to York and to the local economy.”
Mr Verster said: “York is the ideal place for the centre with rail links right across the country.
“This investment in new technology will contribute significantly to improvements in train service punctuality, increased capacity and will also provide an improved service to passengers.
“We hope that the location of the new facility on the edge of the York Central development site could act as a catalyst for further investment in the area.”
In January the rail operating centre will replace the current route control building at the back of York railway station and will help to free up more strategic land closer to Leeman Road and the National Railway Museum for future development.
When the building is fully occupied in the coming years, around 400 rail staff will be based there. This will be a combination of Northern Rail, East Coast and Network Rail employees with a maximum of 87 on shift at any time.