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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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The newest addition to Network Rail’s train fleet has left the depot for the first time on a series of test runs.
Former passenger unit 313121 has been adapted to become a laboratory train for the ERTMS programme and will be used on the ERTMS National Integration Facility (ENIF) when it opens later this summer.
Alstom refurbished the unit at its Wembley depot and fitted its own train-borne ERTMS kit, along with CCTV, workstations for engineers, extra batteries to power the equipment, a kitchen, and – in a notable first for a class 313 – a toilet.
Due to start work this summer, the ENIF will see trackside ERTMS kit from four suppliers put through its paces on a five-mile section of the Hertford loop, controlled from a facility at Hitchin.
Gary Porter, Network Rail programme director, traffic management and ETCS, said: “ERTMS will play a vital role in changing the way we operate our railway. Crucially, our facility at Hertford and this Class 313 will give us a greater depth of knowledge of the system as we prepare to roll it out on the network”.
The test train will also be utilised to support other Network Rail projects, including Thameslink. An ERTMS driver machine interface (DMI) and new control panel has been fitted to both cabs, with a duplicate screen in the secondman’s position. Passengers in the train will also be able to see the images, plus high-definition views front and back on 42-inch plasma screens.
To allow for the operation of ENIF, bi-directional signalling has been installed on the northern section of the Hertford loop, to allow the down line between Molewood Tunnel and Langley South junction to be used as a test facility. During peak hours the section will be part of the normal railway, but when testing is required the block will be ‘switched out’ – switching control from King’s Cross power signal box to the facility at Hitchin.
Testing will begin later this summer.
Notes to editorsFor more pictures go to www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk and click on Gallery and then Trains.

ERTMS is the European Rail Traffic Management System, a signalling and train control system.

The project is a cross-industry initiative, including the RSSB and ATOC.
European Train Control System (ETCS) is the train-control element of ERTMS and includes Automatic Train Protection (ATP). ETCS works on the principle of providing to the train a maximum distance that it can travel, the speed profile of the track ahead and other track information about the route that has been set. The train then permits the driver to drive the train, but should the distance or speed limit be exceeded, or be in danger of being exceeded, then the ETCS onboard equipment intervenes to control the train, bringing it to stand if necessary
Unit 313121 has been leased from Beacon Rail and is being refurbished by Alstom at their Wembley depot.
313121 will also be fitted with General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) equipment to evaluate its performance, especially when operating with ETCS.
Class 313s were built by BREL in 1976-77 and are fitted with 25kV pantographs and 750V shoes.
313121 was previously in Silverlink livery.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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UK: A Class 313 suburban electric multiple-unit leased from Beacon Rail has been converted into a mobile laboratory as part of infrastructure manager Network Rail's ETCS programme.

Alstom's Wembley depot has fitted dual-system 25 kV 50 Hz/750 V DC unit number 313 121 dating from 1976-77 with on-train ETCS equipment, engineers' workstations, batteries to power onboard equipment, a kitchen and a toilet. An Alstom ETCS Driver-Machine Interface and control panel is fitted in both cabs. There is a duplicate screen in the secondman's position, and engineers riding in the train will be able to see the images on 42 in plasma screens, along with high-definition forward and rear views from CCTV cameras. General Packet Radio Service equipment is also to be fitted for evaluation.

The EMU is to be used at Network Rail's ERTMS National Integration Facility, an 8 km section of the Hertford loop off the East Coast Main Line north of London. This has been fitted with bidirectional signalling to allow the double-track line to be operated as parallel single-track routes, enabling ETCS equipment to be tested on one track outside the peaks.

The ENIF is to be used to test the interoperability of lineside ETCS Level 2 equipment from Ansaldo STS, Invensys Rail, Signalling Solutions and the Infrasig joint venture of Bombardier and Carillion, with testing scheduled to begin shortly.

The test train will also be utilised to support other projects including the Thameslink Programme.
  • Network Rail's ETCS programme was described in detail in the June 2011 issue of Railway Gazette International, which subscribers can access in the digital archive.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Network Rail’s newest train takes to the railsPublication date: 8 July 2013
Author: Network Rail
Tagged with: Gary Porter, Network Rail

The newest addition to Network Rail’s train fleet has left the depot for the first time on a series of test runs.

Former passenger unit 313121 has been adapted to become a laboratory train for the ERTMS programme and will be used on the ERTMS National Integration Facility (ENIF) when it opens later this summer.
Alstom refurbished the unit at its Wembley depot and fitted its own train-borne ERTMS kit, along with CCTV, workstations for engineers, extra batteries to power the equipment, a kitchen, and – in a notable first for a class 313 – a toilet.
Due to start work this summer, the ENIF will see trackside ERTMS kit from four suppliers put through its paces on a five-mile section of the Hertford loop, controlled from a facility at Hitchin.
Gary Porter, Network Rail programme director, traffic management and ETCS, said: “ERTMS will play a vital role in changing the way we operate our railway. Crucially, our facility at Hertford and this Class 313 will give us a greater depth of knowledge of the system as we prepare to roll it out on the network”.
The test train will also be utilised to support other Network Rail projects, including Thameslink. An ERTMS driver machine interface (DMI) and new control panel has been fitted to both cabs, with a duplicate screen in the secondman’s position. Passengers in the train will also be able to see the images, plus high-definition views front and back on 42-inch plasma screens.
To allow for the operation of ENIF, bi-directional signalling has been installed on the northern section of the Hertford loop, to allow the down line between Molewood Tunnel and Langley South junction to be used as a test facility. During peak hours the section will be part of the normal railway, but when testing is required the block will be ‘switched out’ – switching control from King’s Cross power signal box to the facility at Hitchin.
Testing will begin later this summer.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Improvements to provide additional capacity and longer platforms at Falmer stationDownloads
Tuesday 16 Jul 2013
Categories:London & South East  
Network Rail is to invest more than £2m to provide additional capacity on the line between Brighton and Lewes and lengthen platforms at Falmer station.

Resignalling work will be carried out which will allow for more trains to safely use the line at any one time, increasing the available capacity on the line.
The announcement will benefit fans of Brighton and Hove Albion Football who will have easier access to platforms as all eight carriages will be in use to get on or off the train, rather than the current seven maximum.
Simon Chapman, Network Rail’s route enhancement manager for Sussex, said: “These improvements will provide extra capacity on the well-used line between Brighton and Lewes and provide passengers using Falmer station with better access between the train and platforms.
“As Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club and the surrounding area continue to grow, the station must evolve too and this work will help to provide a better gateway for fans and passengers who travel there by train.”
The current signalling in the area dates back to the 1980s and the investment will improve the infrastructure to help meet the needs of a growing and increasingly in-demand railway.
Work to lengthen the platforms is due to be completed by December 2013 and the resignalling work is due to be completed by spring 2014.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Trent Power Signal Box bowed out after 44 years of service on Friday, as the Nottingham resignalling project got underway.
Train 5D05, an empty stock movement from Eastcroft depot to Derby, was the final service, signalled out just before 11pm.
The first major task of the project was the installation of temporary interlocking at Beeston to allow trains from the suburb of Nottingham to begin running on Monday morning.
Network Rail programme manager Dave Scarth said: “I came here eight years ago to set up the East Midlands resignalling programme, when one of our main aims was to wind down Trent PSB. Pulling the switch last week was the culmination of that and now we can move forward with the rest of the programme. We’re now relaying the track layouts at the west end of the station and we are on schedule.”
Beeston has an hourly service to London throughout the disruption, along with trains to Derby.
Work has also begun renewing level crossings to the east of the station and construction on the new platform 4 is also underway, with plant transferred to the island platform by a temporary bridge over the tracks.
Bus services began at 4.21am on Saturday, with the first service heading to East Midlands Parkway. They are running well at around 30-40 buses per hour through the day.
Notes to editorsFrom July 20 until August 25, Network Rail will be working on a £100m project to completely renew the railway around the city, relaying more than a mile of track and a series of junctions, constructing a new platform, closing three signal boxes and two level crossings, and erecting more than 140 new signals.
The work will bring a faster and more reliable railway infrastructure to complement the Nottingham Hub project. This will deliver bigger and better station facilities at Nottingham railway station, and will open in early 2014.
Funding for the scheme comes from Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation.

The resignalling is part of a wider scheme, which will see the station’s historic porte cochere turned into a new entrance hall, and a southern entrance constructed. This will link to the Nottingham tram station, being built on a bridge over the railway.
Network Rail is working in partnership with Nottingham City Council and East Midlands Trains on the Hub station project itself. Construction will conclude in early 2014. Nottingham’s tram project is due for completion in late 2014.
Nottingham Resignalling at a glance:
1 new platform in the station.
143 new signals.
6 miles of new track.
3 signal boxes and Trent power signalbox closed and replaced with 2 new workstations at Derby signalling centre.
2 level crossings renewed
2 level crossings closed and replaced with footbridges.
All signalling is designed with electrification in mind so disruption will be reduced when the wires come to Nottingham.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Brandon’s ongoing problems with its railway crossing have struck again, causing traffic jams.
As reported, faults with the newly-automated crossing have been causing major traffic concerns in the town, which already suffers from severe congestion problems at peak times, and on the approach road.
West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock and Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk held a public meeting on June 7 with Network Rail to discuss the issue.
Since then, Network Rail has written to the MPs, confirming the level crossing will be fixed. Network Rail is awaiting approval from the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), which closely regulates any changes to level crossings.
In the letter Network Rail also confirmed it would offer to fund a replacement bridge across the railway as part of a future relief road for the town so the level crossing would no longer be needed.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Historic Wem signal box will be demolishedAn historic railway signal box in a Shropshire town will be automatically controlled in Cardiff from October, rail bosses have confirmed.








Chiefs at Network Rail have also announced that the box in Wem will be demolished in near the future.
It is to be removed in the rail giant’s £20 million plan to ditch manned signal boxes on the Shrewsbury to Crewe line. Level crossing barriers will be remotely controlled 123 miles away in Cardiff.
Plans to scrap the box were first revealed back in 2009 with residents immediately concerned automated signals would put lives at risk on Britain’s sixth most misused level crossing.
Other residents had hoped to re-open the box as a tearoom or museum to keep it as part of the town’s heritage.
But Network Rail spokeswoman Mavis Choong confirmed it will be fully automated from October and eventually removed.
She said: “We will be upgrading the level crossing this October with modernised equipment as part of our re-signalling scheme. The signal box will become disused as a result and there are plans to remove the box.”
Councillor Pauline Dee said she is “extremely worried” for people’s safety now the news has been confirmed.
She said: “This is dreadful news and I have spoken to a lot of people who are very concerned. This is one of the most dangerous level crossings in the country because you have four roads leading to it.
“Independent reports have stressed how dangerous this crossing is. What is going to happen if the barrier gets stuck up or down?
“If it gets stuck while up, who or what is going to stop cars from driving across?”
Councillor Dee said: “The real concern is it will be controlled 123 miles away. It seems very odd to me to control something as important as a level crossing from so far away. We know there has been hiccups with the crossing in past. A hiccup again could lead to a tragedy.”
She added: “I do not want to see the box controlled from Cardiff at all, but if we can’t stop that I certainly don’t want to see it demolished. It is part of the town’s heritage and should be handed over to the Civic Society or whoever wanted it.”
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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on August 6, 2013 in Europe In the nineteen-forties, there were more than 10,000 signal boxes on Britain’s railways. Today some 500 mechanical cabins remain in use. Of these, 26 described as “the rarest” have been granted Grade II listed status by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in terms of a joint venture, between English Heritage and Network Rail. The move forms part of a 30-year plan to modernise UK railways. The BBC quotes a spokesman for English Heritage saying that some listed buildings could be “rejuvenated” as cafes or museums. The 1923 signal box in Totnes, Devon, is an excellent example, he says. - See more at: http://www.railwaysafrica.com/blog/2013/08/uk-signal-boxes/#sthash.InYhbeau.dpuf
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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telent awarded significant contract with Network Rail ScotlandPublication date: 20 August 2013
Author: telent
Tagged with: Phil de Silva, telent

telent has been awarded the RETB (Radio Electronic Token Block) contract for Scotland’s Far North and West Highland Lines by Network Rail to deliver a replacement radio infrastructure. This is to accommodate reallocation of the existing radio frequencies to allow changes to European TV, and allow operational enhancements to the signalling operation.

The next generation RETB system will be implemented on the rural single track lines from Glasgow to Oban via Fort William and from Inverness to the North Coast of Scotland at Thurso.
The project includes the replacement of radio base station equipment at 46 sites and radio units on over 100 trains, including 5 steam locomotives, and must be completed to allow the existing radio frequencies to be reallocated in December 2015.
A key feature of telent’s approach is the migration solution. It is essential that both the existing system and the new system operate in parallel to allow uninterrupted service during the transition phase.
Part of the work will be on one of Network Rail’s highest installations White Corries, 3,563 ft above sea level, where some parts of the mountain range are only accessible by either helicopter or track mounted Land Rovers.
As the Principal Contractor telent will coordinate all aspects of the work, including the initial trial to prove system performance and leading to product acceptance and system safety case approval.
Phil de Silva, Senior Project Manager stated “We are absolutely delighted that telent has been chosen by the Network Rail team. This is our first major project in Scotland and it builds on our extensive GSM-R and CSR radio expertise.”
 
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Communications firm Telent has been awarded a contract from Network Rail to replace radio infrastructure on rural single-track lines from Glasgow to Oban and from Inverness to Thurso on the north coast of Scotland.
Communications firm Telent has been awarded a contract from Network Rail to replace radio infrastructure on rural single-track lines from Glasgow to Oban and from Inverness to Thurso on the north coast of Scotland.



The project includes the replacement of radio base station equipment at 46 sites and radio units on more than 100 trains, and must be completed to allow existing radio frequencies to be reallocated in December 2015.
Phil de Silva, senior project manager, said Telent was delighted to have landed the contract.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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What was once two men working for eight hours a day in a confined space operating 35 levers is to become cutting-edge rail signalling technology.
Over the next 20 years, York’s railway network will benefit from a £2.1 billion investment from Network Rail to create a super signalling centre.
York will become one of 14 cities across the country to house a state of the art Route Operating Centre (ROC).
The building is due for completion next March, but the signalling equipment will be installed gradually over the next 20 years.

The ROC will replace signalling boxes used to communicate with drivers and monitor activity on the tracks.
As building work for the ROC goes full steam ahead, visitors to the National Railway Museum in Leeman Road, York, will be able to see what it will be replacing.
Railway enthusiasts will be able to step inside Britain’s busiest signal box, the Borough Market Junction box.
The box used to operate the junctions between Charing Cross, Waterloo and Cannon Street before it was decommissioned and brought to York in 1976.
Richard Hollowood, assistant curator of railways at the museum, said: “The two men operating it would have only a matter of seconds between a train going in one direction and one going in another direction.

“With 90 to 100 trains every hour they had to really concentrate.”
Over the next three weeks the box, which was built in 1926, will undergo major restoration work after the museum secured funding from the Friends of the National Railway Museum.
It will have the rotten wood cut out and replaced with new wooden boarding as well as three coats of wood-friendly paint.
The new ROC will be operated with the most up-to-date signalling software technology and computers.
A spokesperson for National Rail said: “It is being created to avoid any disruption to rail services. Train services will be exactly as normal and passengers won’t even notice the ongoing work.”
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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UK-based communications firm Telent has secured a contract from Network Rail to replace radio infrastructure on Scotland's Far North and West Highland Lines.
Under the deal, Telent will equip the new radio electronic token block (RETB) system on the rural single-track lines from Glasgow to Oban through Fort William and from Inverness to Thurso on the north coast of Scotland.
Radio infrastructure is being replaced to accommodate the reallocation of the current radio frequencies to enable changes to European TV and allow operational improvements to the signalling operation.
The scope of work will include the replacement of radio base station equipment at 46 sites and radio units on more than 100 trains to allow existing radio frequencies to be reallocated in December 2015.
According to Telent, the existing system and the new system should be operated in parallel to allow uninterrupted service during the transition phase.
Telent will coordinate all aspects of the work as the principal contractor, including the initial trial of the system, product acceptance and system safety case approval.
"Telent will equip the new radio electronic token block (RETB) system on the rural single-track lines from Glasgow to Oban through Fort William and from Inverness to Thurso on the north coast of Scotland."
Telent senior project manager Phil de Silva said: "This is our first major project in Scotland and it builds on our extensive GSM-R and CSR radio expertise."
The project includes the replacement of Network Rail's highest installations, White Corries, 3,563ft above sea level, where some parts of the mountain range can only be accessed by either helicopter or track mounted Land Rovers.
In July 2012, Telent secured a contract from Network Rail to provide equipment and services for the renewal of railway communication networks and systems across all of its regions.
The three-year contract includes an option to extend it for a further two years.

Image: Telent said the existing and new systems will have to initially operate in tandem to allow uninterrupted service during the transition phase. Photo: courtesy of Chris McKenna.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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NETWORK Rail reopened Nottingham station on August 26 following the completion of a £100m project to remodel and resignal the station and its approaches.

During the five week blockade, extensive modifications were made to the track layout west of the station, and all four tracks between Mansfield Junction and Nottingham are now bidirectional with London and Derby services segregated from Mansfield and Sheffield trains.
In the station area, one of the two centre through lines has been removed and an additional platform face has been constructed on the remaining through line, with the former platform 4 becoming a bay for terminating trains from the west.
At the eastern end of the station the layout has been revised to reduce the number of switches and improve flexibility, allowing trains from the east to run into the former platform 6 (now platform 7). Passive provision has also been made for a future platform 8.
The project involved laying nearly 10km of new track and the renewal of 39 points, together with the installation of 143 new signals. Two level crossings were eliminated and two more converted to CCTV operation.
Control of the signalling has been transferred from the power box at Trent Junction, which has now been decommissioned, to Network Rail's East Midlands Control Centre (EMCC) at Derby. The whole Nottingham area is now controlled by one Alstom Smartlock interlocking from two Invensys WestCad workstations at the EMCC.
The project required the complete closure of the station for 12 days, and all trains to the west were replaced by busses for the full period of the blockade between July 20 and August 26.
 
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New collaboration signals next step toward extra rail destinations for Bicester and OxfordDownloads
Friday 6 Sep 2013
Categories:London & South East  
A new collaboration has been announced today which will oversee the project to allow fast train services to operate between Oxford and London Marylebone. The first services are expected to start in two years time.

The collaboration between Network Rail and Chiltern Railways will manage upgrading of the line between Oxford and Bicester and connection of the railway at Bicester to the Chiltern Main Line by construction of 1km of new railway.
The upgrade of the Oxford to Bicester line not only facilitates the new Chiltern Railways service between Oxford and London, but also the first phase of works on the western section of the East West Rail scheme that will reinstate the railway for passenger and freight services through to Milton Keynes and Bedford. Combining the two projects means a more efficient delivery and less disruption for rail users.
Karl Budge, route delivery director from Network Rail said: “These are exciting times for rail users and the investment being made between Oxford, Bicester and Bedford will make a huge difference to local people and the local economy.
“It makes sense to deliver what were originally separate schemes in a collaborative way. This collaboration will allow fast train services to operate between Oxford and London Marylebone and will move Network Rail closer to reinstating the railway line through to Bedford and Milton Keynes via Bletchley.”
Graham Cross, business development director for Chiltern Railways said: “This collaboration underpins delivery of our new train route between Oxford and London, the launch of which will support economic growth in the region and benefit thousands of commuters and businesses in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
“The Oxford to London link is the latest in a long line of innovative Chiltern-specified projects to upgrade the rail infrastructure, fuelled by our understanding of rail’s potential to make a significant contribution to UK plc and prosperity. Working with Network Rail ensures we utilise the best expertise to deliver this groundbreaking project.”
Cllr Janet Blake of Buckinghamshire County Council and Chair of the East West Rail Joint Delivery Board for the Western Section said: "This is excellent news. This scheme will deliver the first section of infrastructure for East West Rail services that will run between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Bedford.
“Enhanced rail services, improved connections and significantly reduced journey times compared to other means of travel will bring enormous benefits to individuals, businesses, communities and the local economy in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and beyond."
Notes to editorsOxford to London Marylebone services operated by Chiltern Railways are scheduled to begin two years from now from a new Parkway station north of Oxford and from Oxford city centre in spring 2016 once upgrades in and around Oxford station have been completed. Journey times from the parkway station to London will be under an hour.
The Western Section of the East West Rail scheme will see the railway line reinstated between Bedford and Oxford, with spurs to Milton Keynes and Aylesbury. New train services (franchise operator to be announced) are due to begin operations from the end of 2017. More information can be found at EastWestRail.org.uk
For further information please contact:

 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Readers of The Rail Engineer will be familiar with some of the sophisticated signalling systems in use on the national network in this country. The signal interlocking is a basic logic system that monitors every input from the signaller, checks for availability, and prevents a conflicting move being set up. Writes David Bickell
In the driver’s cab it is a different matter. Drivers are continuously reading the line ahead and adjusting the traction controls in accordance with all these visual inputs, including signal aspects, speed restrictions, platforms to call at and buffer stops at the terminus. Driving a train requires a high level of continuous concentration. Despite the dedication and professionalism of the driving fraternity, the occasional momentary lapse has the potential for serious consequences.
Back in July this year, the internet and TV news channels hosted video footage of a Class 730 train on the express route from Madrid to Ferrol lifting off the track into a catastrophic derailment on a curve at Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. This section of line uses the Spanish ASFA system of cab warnings supplemented with automatic braking. Signal aspect and speed data is transmitted to the train by means of balises in the track. Contemporary media reports indicated that the line speed was 50mph but the train derailed at 111mph. It was also suggested that additional infill balises may have averted the disaster.
Could this possibly happen in the UK? Sadly in the last 50 years there have been six spectacular derailments due to excessive speed resulting in a total of 19 fatalities. The responses to these and other significant accidents in this country have led to a significantly safer UK national rail network.
To monitor the variables on the line head and check that a driver is appropriately controlling the speed of the train is technically challenging. It is no surprise that technical developments to ensure that ‘driver error’ is nipped in the bud before any damage is done have lagged behind safety improvements in the signal box. Nevertheless, train cabs have, over the years, been increasingly fitted with a variety of safety systems. Invariably, the impetus to develop and implement these systems has been a recommendation from an accident involving loss of life. Such lessons of history are enshrined in the detail of RSSB Group Standards and Network Rail standards.
Automatic Warning System (AWS)
Sounds a warning in the cab when the train is approaching a signal at caution or danger. Also provides a warning approaching some speed restrictions.
A train travelling at 125 mph requires a mile and a quarter to come to rest. The big risk is that a driver missing a caution signal has no chance of stopping at the red and is heading for disaster. With the nationalisation of the railways in 1948, BR moved towards national implementation of AWS. The prototype design was ready in August 1952. Sadly, in October of that year, a three train pile-up at Harrow & Wealdstone killed 112, an accident which would have been preventable by AWS.
Roll-out took longer than expected and funding was allocated in the budget for the 1955 Modernisation Plan. The Southern Region (SR) was concerned about the value of AWS on its busy commuter routes where drivers would be running on successive double yellows and repetitively cancelling the warning.
Thus Signal Repeating AWS (SRAWS) was developed giving a visual indication in the cab of the signal just passed and next signal ahead. Unfortunately, it cost three times as much as AWS and was not proceeded with. Eventually, SR fitted standard AWS on all lines, though the 1978 London Bridge signalling centre area had to be retro fitted. AWS fitment of passenger lines was not fully completed until a few years into the 21st century.
The system consists of two magnets fitted on sleepers in the four-foot typically 180 metres on the approach to a signal. The first magnet in the direction of travel presents a permanent South pole magnetic field to the trainborne receiver. This primes the onboard equipment and changes the visual display to ‘all black’, if not already in this state.
Next comes the electro-magnet, energised only if the signal is showing green and presenting a North pole to the train. If this magnet is energised, a bell sounds in the cab (usually a ‘ping’ in modern stock) and no acknowledgment is required by the
driver. However, if the electro-magnet is de-energised, a horn sounds in the cab and the driver must press and release the cancel plunger in the cab. This causes the visual display to change, showing black and yellow spokes as a vivid reminder that the train is approaching an adverse signal aspect. The driver must control the train in accordance with the signal aspects observed. If the driver does not respond to the warning, the train brakes are automatically applied.
Standard strength magnets are coloured yellow. The AWS equipment on trains which regularly operate over DC electrified lines may be designed to be less sensitive in order to counteract the potential risk of misinterpreting magnetic fields generated by traction cables and bonds as coming from AWS track equipment. To ensure that the trainborne equipment of such trains still senses the magnetic fields of the AWS track equipment, green coloured magnets with a higher magnetic flux density are used on DC electrified lines.
AWS enhancements – speed restrictions
Following the disaster at Morpeth in 1969 (pictured below), AWS was extended to give warning of a significant step-down of permissible line speed. The Down ‘Aberdonian’ entered a 40mph curve at 84mph. There was a sense of deja vu in 1984 when the Up ‘Night Aberdonian’ took the 50mph curve at 90mph. Bungalows near the line narrowly escaped being demolished by the jack-knifed sleeping cars.
For this purpose, a warning is given in the cab for every train by means of a single permanent magnet associated with each permissible speed warning indicator. The criteria for the provision of a permissible speed indicator is that the approach speed is 60 mph or greater and the required speed reduction is one-third or more.
Similarly, temporary speed restrictions were added to the AWS portfolio after the 23:30 Euston to Glasgow sleeping car express was wrecked across the platforms at Nuneaton in 1975 after taking a 20mph temporary speed limit at 80mph. A small portable permanent magnet is installed for the duration of the TSR but has to be carefully positioned in accordance with a set of rules to ensure adequate separation of warnings with nearby signal AWS magnets.

AWS – snags
AWS has several weaknesses. Firstly it is an advisory system that does not monitor the drivers’ response to a warning. But it was never envisaged that a driver, having acknowledged the warnings leading up to a red signal, would then just drive on. Secondly, if a station stop intervenes between an AWS caution and the hazard (such as a signal at red), there is the risk that station duties cause forgetfulness. Station duties having been completed, the guard gives ‘ding-ding’ and the train starts away but the driver has not noticed that the signal is still at red. Also, it is possible to isolate the AWS and drive without protection (HST wrecked at Southall 1997).
There was a spate of serious accidents in the 1980s and beyond, caused by the ‘drive on’ and ‘ding-ding and away’ scenarios, so, in 1988, BR commenced work on a more effective system which checked that the driver was making the necessary brake application. Just a few weeks later in December, an horrific rear end collision occurred near Clapham Junction. One of the recommendations from that investigation was that BR should choose an automatic train protection system and implement it within five years. Experienced railway engineers and operators knew that five years was mission impossible. After all, it had taken half a century to complete AWS. A suitable ATP had not yet been invented and was going to be significantly more technically challenging!
Over the years AWS has doubtless reduced the number of accidents and it continues in service today as a primary driver aid.
Automatic Train Protection (ATP)
Continuously monitors the speed of the train, provides the driver with speed limit information, and sounds a warning if the driver is failing to reduce speed. If this is ignored the brakes are applied in time to stop safely.
BR introduced two trial schemes provided by different contractors to assess the technical issues and costs. The systems were fitted to HSTs on the Paddington to Bristol route and to Turbos on the Chiltern lines.
The ATP display in the driving cab is based on the speedometer. A green LED around the circumference of the speedo indicates the current speed limit. A flashing green LED shows a new speed limit ahead. A yellow LED denotes the release speed at which ATP relinquishes control. The driver must keep within the limit and reduce speed where a target speed ahead calls for a lower speed. A warning sounds if the speed is exceeded by 3 mph and the brakes are automatically applied at 6 mph or above. The trainborne receiver collects data transmitted from loops in the four foot on the approach to signals. Additional loops in between signals may be provided to give signal status updates to enable drivers to increase speed earlier if signal aspects ahead improve before the train reaches the loops at the next signal.

It became apparent that there were considerable technical difficulties in applying ATP to the national network given the age profile and variety of traction units in use. Also, a cost benefit analysis showed that, at a predicted cost per fatality prevented of £14 million, the scheme could not be justified and national application would not therefore go ahead. When this became apparent in 1994, BR and Railtrack jointly pursued a Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD) Reduction and Mitigation (SPADRAM). The two trial schemes remain in operation. There is no plan to extend ATP as the technology has been overtaken by the ETCS programme (see below).
Train Protection Warning System (TPWS)
Applies the brakes if a driver passes signal at danger, or approaches a red signal, speed limit or buffer stops too fast.
TPWS was a legacy of the SPADRAM project and came from an idea by BR Research which concluded that AWS could be enhanced by the addition of an automatic train stop and an overspeed sensor on the approach to the signal. This would reduce ATP preventable risk by about 70%, at a fraction of the cost, and in a far shorter timescale. Following the shocking Ladbroke Grove disaster in 1999 and media outburst there was considerable pressure to fast-track the project. By December 2003 all trains, over 12,000 signals, 650 buffer stops and roughly 1,000 permanent speed restrictions were fitted.
It was a significant achievement by project managers and equipment suppliers including Thales, Redifon, and Unipart Rail. Contracts were awarded by Railtrack and the UK Rolling Stock Owning companies (ROSCOs) for the supply of all the necessary trackside hardware and the provision and fleet-wide installation of trainborne equipment.
TPWS is designed to stop a train in three situations. At selected signals a train stop (TSS) will be provided at the signal and apply the brakes in the event of a SPAD. At selected signals an overspeed (OSS) facility will operate a red signal too fast. At other locations, such as on the approach to a permanent speed restriction or buffer stop, the OSS will apply the brakes in case of excessive speed.

A TSS consists of two transmitters (arming & trigger) mounted in the four foot. If the signal is at red transmitters are energised.
Receipt of both arming and trigger frequencies at the same time will result in the trainborne equipment making a brake application. An OSS consists of separately located arming and trigger transmitters set apart and at a distance before a signal as determined by line speed. The time taken by the train to pass between energised transmitters is calculated by the trainborne system which will apply the brakes in the case of excessive speed. OSS transmitters used for speed restrictions and buffer stops are always energised whereas TSS/OSS associated with
Sesigtena1ls become energised when the signal is at red and are fed from a nearby cabinet containing the signal controls. There are six track transmitter frequencies available, all within the range 64.25kHz to 66.75kHz. The specific frequencies are used in accordance with positioning rules to facilitate the interleaving and nesting of TSS & OSS on the same line.
Although TPWS will not prevent SPADs, it is designed to stop a train before reaching a point of conflict. Signals generally have a safety margin of typically 180 metres after the signal which is reserved until the train has come to a stand. This is known as the overlap. TPWS is effective at bringing trains travelling at up to 75mph to a stand before reaching danger. Additional overspeed sensors may be provided (TPWS+) to cope with higher speeds.
In 1975 a tube train failed to stop approaching the buffer stops at Moorgate station and careered into the wall at the end of the tunnel killing forty-three people. On the national system, the risk was addressed by adjusting the aspect sequence leading to a terminal platform. Originally, at many terminal stations, the signal authorising a move into the platform would display a green aspect. This was changed to maximum single yellow thereby ensuring drivers would receive an AWS caution before reaching the buffer stops. The provision of TPWS buffer stop OSS closes out the residual risk.
Driver’s Reminder Appliance (DRA)
Cuts traction power.
This was introduced into the driving cab from 1998 as a measure to try and reduce ‘ding-ding and away’ type SPADs. It is not connected to the signalling system and requires the driver to operate it in a proactive manner when a train is held at a red signal.
It consists of a switch on the driving desk which when pressed or pushed down, activates the device into ‘set’ mode. The switch displays a red light when set. This prevents the driver taking power. Reset is achieved by pulling up the switch/button.
Trainstops
Halts a train that passes a red signal.
Mechanical trainstops are used on lines over which London Underground trains operate and on a few other lines with a metro-style service. A trainstop is mounted near the signal and the arm is raised when the signal is at danger. When the tripcock on the train is engaged by a raised trainstop arm, a brake application is automatically initiated.
Tilt Authorisation and Speed Supervision (TASS)
Enables tilting trains to run at higher speeds than non tilting trains, where authorised to do so.
TASS has been installed on some sections of the West Coast main line (WCML) and cross country routes to enable tilting trains such as Pendolino Class 390 and Voyager Class 221 to run at enhanced permissible speeds providing the tilt mechanism is functional. It also prevents tilting where clearances are restricted. TASS is a more sophisticated system than was originally provided for the tilting Advanced Passenger Train (APT) on WCML. C-APT (Control-APT) consisted of passive transponders in the four foot coded with the line speed. These were interrogated by the trainborne equipment to give the driver a digital speed limit display. Although development of the APT came to an end in the mid 1980s, some transponders are believed to still be in situ.
TASS uses Eurobalise passive transmitters mounted in the four foot which define the areas over which each train may safely tilt. Speed profiles and tilt authorisation data in ERTMS packet 44 structure is received by the trainborne equipment. The speed of the train is continuously supervised and enhanced permissible speed authorised providing the carriage tilting mechanisms are healthy. The cab ‘speed supervised’ blue light confirms tilt systems are working, balises are being read and the speed supervised according to the profile for the type of train and location. The driver may run at the enhanced permissible speeds that are displayed on lineside signs. TASS intervenes when overspeeding is detected, sounding a warning and slowing the train by 25mph before allowing the driver to continue as a non-tilting train.
European Train Control System (ETCS)
Provides cab signalling and train protection functions.
The Cambrian lines pilot scheme has previously been covered in depth in the The Rail Engineer. The national project is now moving ahead with a Hertford National Integration Facility (HNIF). Kit from several suppliers will be tested on a five mile section of the Hertford loop prior to national roll-out. A Class 313 EMU has been converted into an ETCS laboratory.
In addition to the various train protection systems described above, there are still some others used in the UK. Such systems are used on HS1, London Underground, and metro style railways/tramways in the UK. Perhaps they will form the basis of a future article in The Rail Engineer.






































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wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Network Rail has entered the next phase of its ERTMS trials.
Britain’s infrastructure manager has begun testing Infrasig’s trackside equipment, having completed initial trials with SSL technology.
Network Rail is conducting the testing, which will assess equipment from four suppliers over the course of the next 18 months, along a five-mile section of down line on the Hertford Loop using a converted Class 313 lab train.
ERTMS and ETCS will gradually be installed in the UK over the course of CP5 and CP6, starting with an overlay on the Great Western main line and the southern end of the East Coast main line
By introducing in-cab signalling, Network Rail will be able to reduce headways and as a result increase capacity on the existing network.
Network Rail’s client Simon Whitehorn said: “ETCS will have a huge impact on the railway and it’s vital we thoroughly test our equipment to get it right first time.
“Testing has gone very well and even in the first few days we were able to get the the cab and trackside equipment communicating and complete the planned tests.”
He added: “Switching the test facility on was a big moment for the team and it’s a big step towards eventually rolling cab signalling out across the country.”
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Siemens Rail Automation achieves major GNGE milestonePublication date: 24 September 2013
Author: Siemens Rail Automation
Tagged with: Great Northern Great Eastern (GNGE), Siemens

On 2 September 2013, Siemens Rail Automation handed Phase 1 of the Great Northern Great Eastern (GNGE) programme over to test. The handover follows the successful hangar testing of the signalling equipment for Phase 1, which was completed off-site at the company’s Chippenham facility, and its subsequent installation during July and August.
The signalling work for Phase 1 (Stow Park Island) includes 27 signal bases and structures, 48 object controller installations and four modular equipment housings, as well as some 22 kilometres of power cable and 25 kilometres of signalling fibre, all of which was designed, procured and tested within 18 weeks of the contract being awarded.
Commenting on the handover, Siemens’ Project Director, Andy Titley said: “In the face of severe project delays caused by the Hatfield landslip, this is not only a remarkable achievement and a major milestone in the programme, but also a real reflection on the strength and commitment of the GNGE Alliance as a whole. It is only by sharing and integrating the project workload across the Alliance that we are able to deliver remarkable results such as these.
“The adoption of our modular signalling solution for this scheme has already delivered real benefits, with the use of hangar testing allowing us to both significantly reduce testing time and complete our own testing in factory-controlled conditions. The use of data templating, another key element of our modular approach, is also now bringing significant time savings to the overall programme”.
Hangar testing of Phase 3 (Rowston), which comprises three modular equipment housings and 39 object controllers, has also been completed, with installation work now on site.
The GNGE programme, which on completion in 2014, will provide an upgraded cross-country line between Peterborough and Doncaster, consists of five phases in total, four of which are based on Siemens’ modular signalling solution and therefore subject to hangar testing. Phase 1 and Phase 3 will be commissioned over Christmas 2013.
 
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Siemens Rail Automation commissions final stage of Walsall re-signalling programmePublication date: 26 September 2013
Author: Siemens Rail Automation
Tagged with: Siemens, Signalling

Siemens Rail Automation has successfully commissioned the final stage of the Walsall and Cannock Lines Re-signalling Programme, following a 96 hour blockade over the August bank holiday weekend.
The three-year project, which has delivered updated signalling and control equipment in the West Midlands area, represented Phase 3 of Network Rail’s West Midlands signalling renewal scheme. The scope of the programme covered the Grand Junction line from the fringe with Birmingham New Street at Hamstead to the fringe with Wolverhampton PSB at Willenhall, the Sutton Park Line to the fringe with Water Orton Corridor at Streetly and the Cannock Line to the fringe with Stoke signalling control centre at Rugeley Trent Valley.
Between August 2012 and August 2013, Siemens undertook 22 discrete signalling stages, during which over 150 track circuits were replaced and 37 point ends upgraded from electro-pneumatic to electro-mechanical mechanisms. These advance stages significantly reduced the amount of works required within the commissioning.
The 259 signalling equivalent unit (SEU) renewal programme was delivered under a Network Rail Type A Framework Contract, and was condition led, driven particularly by issues associated with the state of the existing equipment and the lack of spares for the existing geographical interlocking.
The power signal boxes at Walsall and Bescot Down Tower and signal boxes at Bloxwich, Hednesford and Brereton Siding were all decommissioned over the course of the programme, with control being transferred to the West Midlands Signalling Centre at Saltley.  The new system was signed into service at 5.30am on 27 August.
Commenting on the programme, Paul Danks, Network Rail Project Manager, said: “The new signalling we have invested in, and successfully commissioned will deliver a more reliable services for our passenger and freight customers who use this route.  To complete a total number of 22 complicated commissioning stage works is a testament to the skill and professionalism of all involved and highlights the strong and collaborative working relationship between the project teams”.
Stephen Bick, Siemens Rail Automation Senior Project Manager, added: “This has been a truly collaborative project epitomised by an extremely close working relationship with the Network Rail team and other spoke contractors. Solid planning helped the project to run smoothly, including installing and locally testing signalling equipment not associated with the main stage works before the final August 2013 commissioning, leaving minimum works for the blockade itself”.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Signalling Solutions Limited (SSL), the Alstom/Balfour Beatty Rail joint venture company, has been awarded three contracts by Network Rail totalling around £140m to renew the signalling system controlling major areas of the Great Western Main Line.
SSL will deliver the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the renewed signalling around the areas of Oxford, Swindon and Bristol as well as the associated power system. In addition to the renewal of life expired equipment, the projects are being driven by the requirement to prepare the line for electrification and for the overlay of ERTMS, the signalling system which utilises an “in cab” driver advisory system.
The works will include the supply of five Smartlock 400™, the powerful interlocking product developed by parent company Alstom. This leading edge product has already been deployed in a number of locations around the UK rail network.
Delivery of the three projects will be completed in December 2015.
Source Alstom press office
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Work starts on new signalling and training centre in BasingstokeDownloads
Friday 27 Sep 2013
Categories:London & South East  
Work has started on a new state-of-the-art signalling and training centre which will control large areas of railway in London and the south west.

Construction of the new Basingstoke Rail Operating and Training Centre was officially started today (Friday 27 September) by Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke.
The centre is one of 12 being built by Network Rail across the country as part of a new way to signal trains. They will eventually replace more than 800 signal boxes and other operational locations currently in use around the network.
It will use advanced technology to control trains that will help to reduce delays, improve performance, boost capacity and provide better information to passengers travelling between London Waterloo and the south coast on one of the busiest routes in the country.
The Basingstoke ROC will also be an important part of the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, providing training and office space for staff working across the route.
Combining operational services with training and office space will deliver a number of efficiencies in construction, maintenance and operation and provides a central location within the route for staff.
Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, said: "I very much welcome the significant investment in Basingstoke by Network Rail. It is great to see the start of building of this state-of-the-art signalling and training centre. This development will bring huge benefits for Basingstoke with new jobs for local people, new parking facilities and a footbridge. It will improve train services and help to create extra capacity on the railway. It is also a really important investment in the safety and efficiency of the rail network in the region."
Sam McCarthy, commercial director for the Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance, said: "This centre will be a vital part of operating the railway in the south and south west of England and will firmly establish Basingstoke as an important part of the national rail network.
“It will help to provide a better, safer and more reliable railway and deliver significant efficiencies to contribute to making the railway more cost effective.
"It is also a further example of the partnership approach to operating the railway being demonstrated by the Network Rail and South West Train Alliance. The training centre, offices and control centre will be home to many staff from both organisations, all working together to provide a better service to passengers.”
Deputy leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Councillor Ranil Jayawardena, added: “It is great to see work starting on this important regional facility that demonstrates Basingstoke’s key location on the rail network. This marks an important chapter in the regeneration of our town centre business district, Basing View, showing the growing interest from major companies in locating here.”
When the 12 new centres are fully operational within the next 30 years they are expected to help Network Rail more than £2.5bn over the following 60 years. They are a key part of Network Rail’s commitment to deliver a safe, punctual and cost efficient railway.
The Basingstoke centre will provide over 13,000 square metres of building and around 5,000 square metres of training space for Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance staff. Training facilities will include indoor and outdoor track layouts, a train simulator and educational space to provide learning environments for engineers, signallers, maintenance staff and drivers.
The centre is being built by BAM Construction and is due to be completed by the end of 2014. The first signallers covering the railway along the Dorset coast are due to be working from the building by the end of 2015.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Rail operating centre officially opened in Three Bridges
Downloads
Tuesday 7 Jan 2014
Categories:London & South East  
A new signalling centre which will eventually control large parts of the railway across Sussex and Surrey has been officially opened in Three Bridges.
Henry Smith MP was joined by representatives from Network Rail, Southern and Crawley Borough Council to formally open the state-of-the-art rail operating centre (ROC) earlier today (7 January).
The rail operating centre at Three Bridges is one of 12 which will eventually operate the entire rail network across Britain, replacing more than 800 signal boxes and other operational locations currently used to control trains.
All 12 centres will have more advanced signalling tools and technology that will help reduce delays, improve performance, increase capacity, provide better information to passengers and offer better value for money for the British people.
Crawley MP Henry Smith said: “I’m proud that Crawley is the new home of rail control for much of south east England. Modernising the railway by making the signalling more efficient and reliable, in addition to integrating Network Rail’s control centre to work more closely with Southern to resolve delays more quickly, will really help to improve the passenger experience. This investment in Three Bridges represents a significant enhancement for the travelling public and a real boost to the local economy.”
Tim Robinson, Network Rail’s route managing director for Sussex, said: “This new rail operating centre, and the nearby new Thameslink depot currently under construction, means that Three Bridges will be one of the most important places on the railway map in the south east.
“When fully operational, it will help to boost performance, increase capacity and provide a better level of service to passengers during periods of disruption.
“As well as helping to create a better railway, it will also help boost the local economy as several hundred jobs will be relocated to the town, giving a vital boost for local shops and amenities.”
Chris Burchell, managing director of Southern, said: “Working together in this new state of the art operations centre I am confident we can make some real strides in delivering the more reliable, efficient service we have all been working towards.”
The new rail operating centre is part of a transformation of the railway in Three Bridges which will see it firmly placed on the national railway map for many decades to come. Eventually it will control all of the railway from London Victoria and London Bridge stations, along the length of the Brighton main line to Brighton and the south coast, and large areas either side in both Sussex and Surrey.
One of two maintenance depots for the new Thameslink trains is being built in Three Bridges and a number of improvements to the station and subway have recently been completed by Network Rail and Southern to provide better journeys and facilities for thousands of passengers.
Construction of the rail operating centre was carried out by Spencer Rail on behalf of Network Rail.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Alliancing contract signals new phase in Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme
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Monday 27 Jan 2014
Categories:Scotland  
Network Rail has today announced the awarding of alliancing contracts with Costain and Morgan Sindall to develop the detailed scope, programme and target price for the £650m Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).
In a £5m deal, the companies will work with Network Rail over the next five months to develop in-depth plans for the electrification of the main Glasgow Queen Street-Edinburgh Waverley line and other major projects that form part of EGIP.
Network Rail is on target to deliver the electrification of the line by 2016 as planned and today’s announcement enables the infrastructure operator to progress towards awarding contracts for the main, circa £250m, civil engineering and electrification works later this summer.
The works will comprise electrification of the main Edinburgh-Glasgow route, via Falkirk High, including route clearance works at Winchburgh Tunnel as well as rail infrastructure works at Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley Stations and extensions to intermediate platforms at Croy, Falkirk High, Polmont and Linlithgow.
David Dickson, Network Rail’s acting route managing director for Scotland, said: “EGIP is a unique opportunity to modernise the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line and transform services for passengers. The alliancing approach we have announced today will also allow us to work more closely with contractors and stakeholders to plan the project in the most efficient, cost-effective way for passengers and tax-payers alike.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown added: “This announcement represents another hugely important milestone in the delivery of EGIP and shows that we are pressing ahead with the improvements which will give Scotland a railway fit for the future.
“I was delighted only last month to open the new £25m station building at Haymarket which was completed on time and on budget and has transformed facilities at one of our most iconic stations. We are charging ahead with the electrification of the Cumbernauld line and I look forward to the introduction of electric services on this important route in time for the Commonwealth Games.
“This is further evidence of close collaborative working between Transport Scotland and Network Rail and the excellent progress being made with EGIP.”
A Scottish Government-funded scheme, EGIP is delivering a rolling programme of electrification across the Central Belt – reducing journey times and boosting capacity on routes including the main Edinburgh-Glasgow Queen St line.
The programme has already delivered a new £25m station at Haymarket in Edinburgh and completed work at 42 bridges on EGIP routes to create the correct clearances for electrification while work to electrify the Glasgow-Cumbernauld line and provide a new station for the town will be completed in summer 2014.
 
wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

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Siemens Rail Automation successfully commissions major projects


 07.02.2014   ">


Over the last eight weeks, Siemens Rail Automation has successfully commissioned a number of high profile schemes, including projects at London Bridge, Reading, Victoria and GNGE. Following three days of intense activity, a new train describer (TD) was signed in to use at London Bridge Station on 8 December, the work representing the final contract milestone for the Thameslink programme in 2013. With over 900 berths this is the largest TD that the company has ever supplied, the equipment being installed two months prior to the commissioning and then pre-tested in November.
The Victoria Interlocking Renewal Project, which is also critical to Thameslink delivery (Victoria will be the diversionary station for some of the London Bridge stages), was commissioned on Friday 27 (Eastern) and Saturday 28 (Central) December. The project enabled the wire-degraded, life-expired geographical route relay interlockings at Victoria relay room to be replaced by three relay-interfaced Trackguard WESTLOCK computer-based interlockings at Victoria Area Signalling Centre.
On Monday 30 December at 23:30 (more than three hours ahead of the planned time), the signalling system was signed back into use at the Thames Valley Signalling Centre, signifying the successful commissioning of Stage J of the Reading re-signalling programme.
Control of the existing Trackguard WESTLOCK spur interlocking was expanded by the addition of two new trackside interfaces (TIFs) to cover the re-signalled area, completing the Southern link between Reading Station and the Basingstoke and Theale fringes.
On the Great Northern Great Eastern (GNGE) programme, after a fourteen-day blockade, Phase 1 of the signalling programme was successfully commissioned on 3 January, the railway being signed back into operational use at 19:12 hours.
Paul Copeland, managing director of Siemens Rail Automation UK said: "The winter commissioning period is often a particularly busy one and this year's was no exception, with a variety of technical, logistical and meteorological challenges for our teams to face. However a recurring theme across all the commissionings and one of the critical factors in our successful delivery, was the extremely positive impact that our close working relationship with colleagues in Network Rail had on the programmes. We're looking forward to continuing this work throughout 2014 and in to Control Period 5", according to Railway Technology.
 
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Network Rail, the owner and operator of Britain's rail infrastructure, has unveiled plans to introduce a train control technology that removes the need for line-side signalling systems and enables more trains to use the tracks. The system is part of a £38 billion, five-year investment programme, 'Delivering a better railway for a better Britain: 2014-19 delivery plan', that the organisation announced today to transform the country's railway by providing more trains, reducing congestion and improving stations. Network Rail hopes to introduce the European Train Control System (ETCS) initially on the Great Western Main Line and part of the East Coast Main Line, before rolling it out across the rest of the network. The technology allows trains to run faster and closer together without compromising safety, it said. "It represents the biggest change in the way we operate trains since the time of Stephenson and Brunel," Network Rail said. "The way trains are controlled today by signals operated from signal boxes along the line would have been recognisable to them, but ETCS removes the need for lineside signals and introduces instead a control mechanism in the driver's cab which relays all the information that is needed from one of 12 regional operating centres around Britain. It added: "The end benefit for passengers and freight services will be that more trains will be allowed to safely use the track. It will also have substantial benefits in terms of both reliability and the drive to reduce costs." The railway operator is also adopting consumer technologies in the business to help improve staff efficiency, including rolling out 10,000 smartphones and tablets to employees. Frontline maintenance staff can use these devices to access tools such as Network Rail's Asset Rail app, so that they have information about the company's assets, which includes tracks, rail buildings, telecoms equipment and signalling, at their fingertips, regardless of their location. They can also use the app to report asset information back to a central source. "More convenient than paper on wet, cold days, plus reports can be completed on site," Network Rail quoted an Asset Information App user saying. Asset Information is Network Rail's infrastructure information services business unit, which collects, analyses and communicates data. It signed a contract with Informatica in 2012 to use its platform, including Informatica Master Data Management (MDM), Informatica PowerCenter and Informatica Data Quality as part of its ORBIS (Offering Rail Better Information Services) programme. Capgemini helped to implement the ORBIS Master Data Management project. "Programmes such as ORBIS allow us to move from an [infrastructure maintenance] approach based on 'find and fix' to one of 'predict and prevent'," Network Rail said in its plan today. - See more at: http://www.computerworld.com.sg/tech/industries/network-rail-to-enable-more-trains-on-tracks-with-new-control-system/#sthash.M8lpFB9C.dpuf/font/size/color
 
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Road closures signal vital rail improvements in Selby and Knottingley
Downloads
Tuesday 20 May 2014
Categories:North East & East Midlands  
Motorists and residents in the Selby and Knottingley areas are being made aware of a series of road closures and diversions, from mid to late May, to allow for essential improvement work to signals and level crossings.
The work is a major project to re-signal the railway in the Sudforth Lane and Hensall areas, including closing the signal boxes at each, and moving control of the signals to the Ferrybridge signalling control centre. This will improve the reliability of the signal equipment and reduce the chances of faults on the line, and in turn, passenger delays.
Many of the closures are taking place over the late May bank holiday, to reduce the risk of disruption as much as possible for road users, but some closures are more extensive.

The improvement work also includes renewing five level crossings across the area. At two of these - High Eggborough and Heck Lane – this will see the manned gate boxes being removed.

All of the level crossings being renewed will be ‘MCB-CCTV type’ – meaning they have manually controlled barriers and closed circuit television which can be seen by the signallers. This means they can see when people want to use the crossing, and operate the barriers from the Ferrybridge signalling centre.
Mark Tarry, area director, said: “We absolutely recognise these closures will affect many people in the Selby and Knottingley areas. We apologise in advance for any disruption or inconvenience caused.
“However, maintaining and upgrading the railway is essential to keep trains reliable and safe for passengers. The re-signalling work will have huge benefits for train operators and passengers, as it means there’s less chance of delays on the line.

“The work to upgrade the level crossings is part of our ongoing commitment to either close or make crossings safer across the entire country.
“We hope local residents understand this work is vital, and thank them in advance for their understanding and patience.”
The road closures and diversions were planned and agreed with the local authorities – North Yorkshire county, Wakefield and Goole councils – who have already given essential road users, such as emergency services, bus routes and NHS services, advance warning of the diversions that will be in place.

Letters and notifications have also already gone to local residents who will be directly affected.
Notes to editors
The road closures are as follows:
Sudforth Lane, FULL ROAD CLOSURE, from 1500 on Saturday, 24 May to 0600 on Monday, 2 June
Whitley Bridge (Selby Road), FULL ROAD CLOSURE, from 2200 on Friday, 23 May to 0600 on Tuesday, 27 May
High Eggborough, FULL ROAD CLOSURE, from 0800 on Thursday, 22 May to 0600 on Monday, 2 June
Snaith and Eggborough (Weeland Road), TRAFFIC LIGHTS, from 2200 on Friday, 23 May to 0600 on Tuesday, 27 May
Hensall (Station Road), FULL ROAD CLOSURE, from 1500 on Saturday, 17 May to 0600 on Tuesday, 27 May and 1500 on Saturday, 31 May to 0600 Monday, 2 June
Heck Lane (New Road), FULL ROAD CLOSURE, from 0800 on Monday, 19 May to 0600 on Tuesday, 27 May
Field Lane, FULL ROAD CLOSURE, from 0800 on Saturday, 24 May to 0600 on Tuesday, 27 May
Gowdall (Lodge Lane/ Main St), TRAFFIC LIGHTS, from 0800 on Saturday, 24 May to 0200 on Tuesday, 27 May
Linwith Lane, FULL ROAD CLOSURE, from 0800 on Sunday, 25 May to 0600 Tuesday 27 May
West Bank Hall (Hirst Road), FULL ROAD CLOSURE, from 0800 on Sunday, 25 May to 0600 Tuesday, 27 May
The five level crossings being updated as part of the work are:
1) Sudforth Lane, Kellingley, DN14 0NZ
2) Whitley Bridge, Selby Road, Whitley Bridge, DN14 0GH
3) High Eggborough, High Eggborough Lane, DN14 0PT
4) Hensall, Station Road, Hensall, DN14 0QN
5) Heck Lane, Hensall, DN14 0RD
 

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