York's ROC is the largest of 12 proposed ROCs in Britain and will replace the current route control building at the back of York station when it opens in January.

The ROC plan is part of NR's National Operating Strategy (NOS), which also includes a nationwide ERTMS rollout (IRJ October 2013 p26). The programme will consolidate control of the network from more than 800 signalboxes at present to the 12 ROCs over the next 15-20 years and is expected to generate efficiencies of £1.59bn by full implementation in 2029.

NR awarded the first two contracts for the first phase of its new traffic management system (TMS), a key element of its operating strategy in May. The system will initially be installed in Romford east of London and Cardiff, and NR says it has been working with three suppliers since 2012 to develop and test a traffic management software prototype.

Work was also completed on a Workforce Development Centre in York in March. The centre includes an 80km indoor and 150m outdoor tracks, as well as welding and signalling training facilities, and can offer training services to 250 delegates daily.

A full description of NR's operating strategy appeared in the November 2011 issue of IRJ (p30).