Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said in response to Network Rail’s announcement that traditional rail timetables will be abandoned in favour of London Underground-style count-down timers:

“In January this year the Institution recommended that Government should work with Network Rail to deliver the complete electrification of the main rail lines between Britain’s principal cities and ports and in major urban rail networks. It is positive step forward to hear about progress in the digital and engineering interface creating a better transport environment for customers.

“Engineers across our railway network are working on new innovations for automation in trains allowing them to operate more efficiently and closer together. The combination of electrification and automation on our railways will support the delivery of more trains through our cities increasing capacity.

“It important that any future transport system is suitable for all its users and that changes to the way that timetables are made available to passengers does not decrease accessibility or mobility for the less abled.”