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Integrated Electronic Control Centre

Integrated Electronic Control Centre

Over the Easter weekend of 1987 (?) British Rail Research (Derby) commissioned their first IECC workstations at Liverpool Street station, controlling the station of the same name. Originally the first installation was to be Yoker, which was commissioned a few months later.

The term IECC can actually mean one of two things: firstly, the set of hardware and software making up as many as three workstations; secondly the type of signalbox it is. Thus Liverpool Street IECC (signalbox) contains four sets of IECC equipment.

A list of IECCs follow:

Liverpool Street

This was the first installation. It currently controls the Great Eastern Main Line from Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria, Southminster, and Colchester (exclusive). More recently workstations were added to control the West Anglia lines to Chingford, Seven Sisters, Brimsdown, Harlow. and Stansted Airport.

Liverpool Street also has a Westcad workstation controlling the North London Line from Dalston (exclusive) to North Woolwich. Stratford to North Woolwich is now closed, due to be taken over by the Docklands Light Railway.

Yoker

This was the second installation. Two workstations (East and West) control the Glasgow suburban railway from Drumgelloch in the east to Helensburgh Lower in the west. It also fringes to the West Highland line at Helensburgh Upper.

York

Originally containing two workstations (North and South), this controlled the line from Heck on the East Coast Main Line as far as Northallerton in the north, where Tyneside IECC takes over. Recently the Leeds resignalling scheme saw the addition of four more workstations covering the Leeds and Bradford areas.

Tyneside

Situated on the south bank of the Tyne, this IECC takes over from York in the south and controls as far as the Scottish border in the north, taking in Newcastle and Sunderland stations. It is unusual that it controls the trams through Sunderland as well as heavy rail.

Upminster

This futuristic-looking IECC was build to control the London, Tilbury, and Southend (LTS) line from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness. Originally it was controlled from three workstations with a fourth level crossing workstation but since the Channel Tunnel Rail Link was built, the Tilbury loop workstation was split into two workstations with each workstation now controlling their own crossings. Thus there are still four workstations but their scope altered! Originally called the Misery Line, the LTS is now one of the best performing lines in the country. The North London Line workstations will go into this building, including the Westcad currently at Liverpool Street (likely to be converted to IECC).

Ashford

Five workstations control from the fringe to London Bridge all the way to the Eurotunnel interface at Folkestone. Two more MCS workstations control the North Kent area, again from the London Bridge fringe, to Strood. Finally, two more French-designed workstations control the Channel Tunnel Rail Link from St. Pancras International to the Eurotunnel fringe at Folkestone.

Marylebone

Originally one workstation with a duplicate for backup or relief working, this now comprises of two workstations controlling the line from Marylebone to Banbury (exclusive) and Aylesbury (inclusive, except the LUL section between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Amersham). These former lines were on the brink of closure before resignalling and new rolling stock were brought in; now, along with Upminster, it is one of the best performing lines in the country.

Slough New

This IECC replaced pretty much the area covered by Old Oak Common PSB, from Paddington to Hayes. It now consists of two workstations controlling the same area but with the Heathrow Airport extensions to all five terminals.

Swindon B

When Didcot Power Station wanted to import coal from Avonmouth (Bristol), changes had to be made to the layout at Didcot station. Reading PSB formerly controlled this area but instead of resignalling at Reading, instead a new IECC was built to the west of Swindon station which controls that area. It is actually further from the area of control than Swindon (A) panel! In several years' time, the signalbox will move to the new Thames Valley Signalling Centre - at Didcot, so it will finally move to its "home"!

Sandhills

Situated in a very non-descript building away from the railway, the two workstations here control the Merseyrail lines through Rock Ferry, Liverpool Lime Street Low Level, Sandhills, etc.

Edinburgh

Located in the same box as the old panel, albeit in a new extension, this IECC controls roughly the same area as the old panel.

Thames Valley Signalling Centre

This is a brand new signalling centre located at Didcot. Because of the re-signalling at Reading requiring demolition of the box, this new box was purpose built and will eventually control the Great Western Main Line from Paddington to Westbury, Chippenham, and Hullavington. The first workstation to go in will be the Berks & Hants line through Newbury.

See also MCS and Westcad .


Last edited by GeoffM on 15/09/2016 at 03:00