Integrated Electronic Control Centre

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The Integrated Electronic Control Centre (IECC) was developed in the late 1980s by the British Rail Research Division for UK-based railway signalling centres, although variations exist around the world. Up to 2005, an aggregate of 140 operational years of reliable service had been achieved overall.

It consists of an operator’s workstation with a series of VDU/LCD displays which depict the control area and is semi-automatic using Automatic Route Setting (ARS) - a computer based route setting system driven from a pre-programmed timetable database. ARS can also handle severely disrupted service patterns and assist the signaller in the event of train or infrastructure failures.


IECCs were developed as an alternative to the traditional switch or button panel control, which in turn replaced mechanical lever frames. From the start, they controlled Solid State Interlockings (SSIs), a software version of the traditional relay interlocking, but existing relay interlockings may also be controlled from an IECC. The system can control as many miles of track as required, but typically around 50-100 miles. The IECC is a product owned by Network Rail and supported by DeltaRail Group Limited.

Recently, PC-based control systems, similar to the IECC have been developed and are sold by various signalling contractors, e.g. Westinghouse Rail Systems WESTCAD.

[edit] List of IECCs commissioned to date

Location Area controlled ARS?
Ashford Southern Region SE section and High Speed 1 Yes
Edinburgh Waverley station area at present (to be subsequently increased) Yes
Liverpool Street Great Eastern Main Line to Colchester, Bishop's Stortford and branches. Yes
Marylebone Chiltern lines to Aynho Junction near Banbury Yes
Merseyrail (Sandhills) The Merseyrail Northern Lines and Wirral Lines Yes
Slough New Paddington to Heathrow Airport Yes
Swindon B Didcot area Yes
Tyneside East Coast Main Line, from north of Northallerton to south of Morpeth Yes
Upminster London, Tilbury and Southend line Yes
Yoker Glasgow North suburban area Yes
York East Coast Main Line, from north of Doncaster to north of Northallerton and Leeds area Yes

The following installations are not true IECCs, but are similar to IECCs in principle:

Location Area controlled ARS?
Bournemouth Dorset coast No
Leamington Spa Banbury to Warwick No
Rugby West Coast Main Line between Watford and Rugby and eventually Nuneaton and the Trent Valley Line No*
Wembley Mainline Suburban Workstation South Hampstead to Watford Junction DC Lines No*
Stoke-on-Trent Colwich Junction to Crewe/Macclesfield No*
West Hampstead (St Pancras) St. Pancras area during construction of High Speed 1 No

* These systems, which are already in existence, are due to be enhanced with a more advanced ARS than the standard IECC equivalent.