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Alstom will provide a vital signalling upgrade in the London Victoria area over the next 3 years, Network Rail has announced. New technology will deliver a more reliable, lower cost and easier to maintain system, bringing greater efficiencies and improvements to help keep passengers and freight services moving.
The £5m signalling renewal design contract is Phase 4 of a major scheme in the Victoria area and is awarded through the Major Signalling Framework Agreement in Network Rail’s Southern region. Alstom will deploy a number of digital-ready technologies that will bring much needed reliability improvements to support traffic levels and deliver greater efficiencies such as reduced operational expenditure and maintenance costs.
The project will upgrade the signalling infrastructure in the South London area between Tulse Hill, Crystal Palace and Peckham Rye. The work will replace almost 100 signalling equivalent units including 63 new signals and two major signalling structures, creating a more reliable service for passengers from across South East London.
By installing digital ready technology with key signalling equipment closer to access points, there will be a safer environment for workers to access and a step-change in the speed, ease and delivery of system maintenance whilst replacing the need for more than 100 trackside cases with just 7 new equipment buildings in strategic locations.
The installation of Alstom’s SmartIO object controller with Smartlock interlockings eliminates obsolescence risks with legacy systems and provides the capability for UK signalling systems to interface over modern fibre-based digital networks, thus increasing reliability, performance and functionality. Alstom will also be using the latest generation modular control system ‘Infinity’ that will connect the lineside railway to Network Rail’s Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre (ROC) to enable remote signalling control and automatic route setting.
Alstom has also committed to working with Network Rail and its supply chain, local schools and colleges to build a diverse and sustainable workforce with apprenticeships in London Boroughs across a range of technical roles – from engineering to construction and site management over the next three years. 31 new apprentices, including 9 engineers, have already been hired.
Alstom has committed to reduce energy usage on signalling projects by 20% and ensure at least 90% of waste is recycled as part of the industry’s ongoing efforts to make rail more sustainable.
The announcement follows confirmation of Alstom’s status as one of the UK’s most significant signalling providers, building on their track record of delivering large-scale upgrades. Last year, Alstom completed the Bristol Area Signalling Renewals and Enhancements.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Alstom had won the bid for two of the five signalling frameworks in the UK, with a potential value of £750 million. The framework contracts, which went live on 31 January 2020, are split into five geographical lots, with Alstom having been awarded the contracts in the Southern and Eastern regions.
Nick Crossfield, Managing Director, Alstom UK & Ireland, said: “Passengers can look forward to a more reliable railway around the South London area. We are proud to deliver a number of efficiencies and improvements using automation and digital-ready technologies. The new system will also bring a safer environment for workers and a step-change in their operating environment. As we start to deliver projects as part of the Southern and Eastern signalling frameworks, we will be creating highly skilled jobs and apprenticeships across the regions.”
Tim Coucher, Capital Delivery Director, Network Rail, said: “With this contract and the relationship we are building with Alstom we are looking to really maximise the benefits that resignalling brings to our passengers and freight users.
“In the Southern region we are challenging ourselves and our supply-chain partners to come up with new ways of delivering signalling projects and are constantly looking at new ways of improving the customers’ railway experience, whether it’s through new technologies or ways of working, reducing costs or by reducing our energy consumption. We are really excited about bringing these improvements to our passengers and freight users through this contract.”
Photo credit: Alstom
This article first appeared on www.railbusinessdaily.com
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