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A Look to the future

We have all been there; sat waiting at the station for a train in the hope that it arrives soon. However in the latest news predictions that in fact in a few years time we may well be endangering trains and all because of something that almost everyone these days carries round in their pockets.

Mobile phones, used today for a whole range of reasons but the new models due to be launched around 2014 feature high-speed broadband which unfortunately has raised concerns as to whether it will risk safety on our railways.

The phones have planned a 900MHz spectrum and this is very close to the digital radio system which they use on the railways today. If this indeed causes a problem it will leave devastating results such as trains not getting signals and going through crossovers that they should in reality be waiting at. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

With the debate going on, warning was issued and all concerns regarding the mobile phones raised.

Later this was approved without the need for voting as part of the Wireless Telegraphy Act (2006) Order, the first stage in the auctioning off of higher-megahertz areas of radio spectrum.

You may well have a need for the super fast broadband but the types of people who for example would have a understandable use for this would be business men and women. These are a group of people who frequently use trains also, and not to generalise to this specific group as it is purely an example but there would be no point in introducing a phone with these high-speed broadband capabilities if it would prevent trains from actually running in a safe manner. It may even go as far as saying they could stop trains running all together since if they cannot run safely then they would not operate and put lives at risk.

With the completed use of the funds supplied by the Government’s transport department used up, it could see them face at worst a further £100million to contain and eliminate any interference caused by the new phones to the trains. It is fair to argue that this bill should not be forced onto Network Rail should the phones go ahead and there be interference.

With arguments over pay and other various strikes going on within Network Rail, we wonder if there will ever be a light at the end of the tunnel for them and will they get themselves free of conflict.