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Rail Network (Telecommunications Masts)

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many 20 metre high telecommunication masts (a) have been erected and (b) are planned in each Network Rail area; and what the purpose is of the masts. [104539]

I understand from Network Rail that to date no such masts have been erected. The following table from the company details the number of planned installations in each Network Rail zone:

Network rail zoneNumber of planned telecommunications masts
East Anglia137
Great Western399
London North Eastern307
London Underground7
Midlands177
North Western226
Southern380
Southern380
Total2,022
Network Rail advises that its national installation programme forms part of its new safety system known as the Global System for Mobile Communications—Railways, which will create the first national driver to signaller direct communication system. It will enable high priority emergency calls to connect drivers and signallers within two seconds of an emergency, and also enable signallers to communicate with all trains in an area.