The demise of a National ATP system

Time passed and the politicians who promised that 'money was no object' regarding safety systems following the Clapham accident sat on the fence and finally announced that there would not be a national system after all.

The next stage would have seen a national system borne out of the Pilot Schemes fitted to six new schemes, Merseyrail, Wessex Electrics, Norwich-Liverpool Street, Glasgow Suburban and a couple of others which I forget.

Although the two systems were having teething troubles it was evident that funding to continue the Project would not be forthcoming and interest in ATP gradually waned towards the end of 1993.

Eventually both systems were on the point of being abandoned but the advent of Railtrack in 1994 proved their saviour and today they are fully operational. The addition of the Heathrow Express service from Paddington in 1998 and whose trains were fitted with ATP meant that the Relief Lines from Paddington to Reading were then fitted and this enhanced the effectiveness of the system.

Chiltern Railways later doubled the line from Princes Risborough to Bicester and Aynho which was then fitted with the equipment as were the new class 168 units to further enhance the system. However, ironically, due to limitations imposed by future European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS) requirements, the line from Aynho to Snow Hill could not be fitted and hence only has AWS and TPWS.

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