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  • Cutting edge

    Get to grips with the latest technology

  • The railway has changed. We’re running longer, more frequent and faster passenger and freight trains than ever. Working for us, you’ll be using the most advanced technologies and methods to manage the network safely, efficiently and responsibly.

    Cutting Edge - The New Measurement Train on the move

    New measurement train (NMT)

    The NMT is a converted Intercity 125 full of advanced detection and recording equipment, including scanners, lasers and digital video cameras. It can instantaneously measure and report on the condition of the track and other components. Among other things it:

    • counts every single sleeper and even individual rail clips
    • takes crystal-clear digital images
    • measures even slight oscillation (bounce) and noise
    • checks the 25 kV overhead cabling system that powers electric trains

    …and all this while travelling at 125 mph.

    The NMT gives extremely accurate reports on the type and exact location of even very small maintenance requirements. This means we can fix potential problems before they affect how trains are running. It’s thanks to equipment like this that around 94% of our trains now arrive on time every year.

    Cutting Edge - Our ground-breaking tilting wagons in use

    Tilting wagons

    We’re bringing in a new fleet of 26 tilting wagons, whose decks can tilt around 60 degrees upwards. This allows us to carry bulky pre-assembled infrastructure, such as switches and crossing units, direct to site without dismantling them for travel.

    These ground-breaking wagons first proved their worth in Lancashire when we replaced a set of points in less than 21 hours – an achievement we’d only speculated about before. Tilting wagons will help us to complete more maintenance work overnight, keeping more of the network open at weekends and minimising travel disruption.

    Plus reducing disassembly of infrastructure for transport to site helps keep quality levels high, reducing potential failures and future maintenance costs.

    Cutting Edge - Bank of monitors at Rugby signalling centre

    Signalling centres

    Levers and bells are no longer seen in modern signalling centres. They look more like air traffic control centres than the old-fashioned ‘signal box’ you might remember from The Railway Children. There are also fewer of them, each covering a larger area with greater precision and control. This is just one area where we’ve hugely increase efficiency with technology, and helped to ensure that rail is the safest way to travel.