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Network Rail’s East Midlands Control Centre (EMCC) in Derby, a key element in providing control of train services in the East Midlands was opened today. The £250m, six-year investment programme to provide renewed signalling across the region, was officially opened by Rt Hon Ruth Kelly MP, Secretary of State for Transport.
Since construction began in November 2006, £15m has been invested in turning a derelict, brownfield site into a modern facility, which will eventually control the signalling and operations for the entire East Midlands rail network. This will result in an improved service to rail users.The EMCC building is the first of its kind in the UK. It has been built to a modular design, enabling Network Rail to provide modern facilities at an efficient cost and is the first of a number of similar control centres planned around the country. It is Network Rail’s greenest ever building, incorporating solar water heating to reduce carbon emissions and rainwater harvesting to save a million litres of water every year.
Network Rail is investing £250m over six years to renew the signalling in the East Midlands. The first two phases of the signalling – at Leicester/Nuneaton and Alfreton – are already complete and will be followed by further schemes at Chesterfield, Toton, Long Eaton, and Nottingham. As each phase is completed, operational control will transfer into the EMCC, which will ultimately control over 350 route miles of railway across the region and employ 240 staff. The first Network Rail employees transferred to the centre on 1 March and will be joined in May by colleagues from East Midlands Trains where both teams will work together to control the railway operations.Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “This impressive new control centre will provide a better service for many thousands of passengers in the East Midlands.
"Bringing together Network Rail and East Midlands Trains staff in the same building will lead to close communication and mean any disruptions to passengers can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
"This is another example which illustrates our commitment to deliver a better railway for Britain."
”We are exceptionally proud of our new East Midlands Control Centre,” said Ian McAllister, chairman of Network Rail. “It is a crucial part of our investment in signalling in the East Midlands and a measure of our commitment to providing passengers with a world class railway. Working locally together with East Midlands Trains, it will bring benefits to passengers by reducing the impact of delays, and will bring benefits to the region as a whole by providing a better rail network.”
Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, whose controllers will be joining Network Rail colleagues in the control centre said: "The opening of this new joint control centre provides a fantastic opportunity for both East Midlands Trains and Network Rail to improve communication with its customers. Controllers from both companies will be sitting side by side, sharing information and being able to work quickly together to manage the day to day operation of the railway.
"An additional benefit will be that both management teams will also be based in the same location for the first time ever, providing the opportunity for an increased management focus."