Page 1


4LM+1 by rail engineers for rail engineers


The sub-surface upgrade programme, one year on CLASS 707 BREAKS COVER



Siemens has been developing a new class of train for South West Trains, the Class 707.

Modernisation programme to include smart ticketing, station refurbishment and Unattended Train Operation (UTO).

Storm Desmond's devastation caused an entire hillside to move and with it the Settle and Carlisle railway!


masonry arch jacking trial CONTACT US TO FIND OUT MORE










Fixed by Freyssinet Call us today on +44 (0)1952 201901 or email

Supplier No: 060626

Freyssinet Limited : Head Office: Innovation House Euston Way Town Centre Telford TF3 4LT

Rail Engineer • September 2016



Glasgow's Subway Revival

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) initiates a £228 million modernisation programme.

16 Gospel Oak to Barking renaissance


Opinion: What has Europe ever done for rail?  Steve Denniss, Rail Technical Director, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.


News  Bombardier/Hitachi joint venture, California electrification, Isle of Man.


4LM+1  The London Underground sub surface upgrade programme, one year on.


A Moving Story  The flooding and devastation in Cumbria caused by Storm Desmond.


Class 707 Breaks Cover  A new class of train for South West Trains.


Liverpool Lime Street Resignalling  Paul Darlington met the project team to learn about the development.


Safety, Sustainability and Security  The introduction of polymer-based cable troughing.


Sighting or Siting?  48 Positioning and aligning signals so that train drivers can read and interpret them.

Delivering the Digital Railway

The introduction of ETCS and ATO follows a progressive programme of integration and testing.

58 InnoTrans 2016


Streamlining Signal Sighting  Simon Perkin, of SNC Lavalin reports.


Deploying Unidirectional Gateways  Enjoy the benefits of a digital rail system - securely.


Bristol Area Signalling Renewals  David Bickell met with West of England area project director, Andy Haynes.


Getting up to Speed  Rail Asset information hits the fast track.


Control and communications asset management There is a wide range and age of assets and technology.


Positive Train Control and the USA It is not just Europe that struggles with train protection systems.


ATACS - The Japanese Level 3? A radio-based system with moving block capability.


See more at

We’re looking to highlight the latest projects and innovations in

Rolling Stock/Depots


in the November issue of Rail Engineer. Got a fantastic innovation? Working on a great project? Call Nigel on 01530 816 445 NOW!

When intelligent infrastructures don’t just react but anticipate. That’s ingenuity for life. With a growing need for mobility, advanced software solutions help to meet the demand for increased availability, optimised throughput and enhanced passenger experience. With over 160 years of experience in passenger and freight transportation and our IT know-how, we are constantly developing new and intelligent mobility solutions to provide greater efficiency and safety. These include prescriptive monitoring systems, dynamic control systems and electronic information and payment systems. With tomorrow’s innovative solutions driving us into the future, urban living becomes modern living.

Rail Engineer • September 2016

Acronyms R us

Editor Grahame Taylor

Production Editor Nigel Wordsworth

Production and design Adam O’Connor Matthew Stokes

Engineering writers

Advertising Asif Ahmed

Chris Davies

Jolene Price

Rail Engineer Rail Media House, Samson Road, Coalville Leicestershire, LE67 3FP, UK. Switchboard: 01530 816 444 Website:

Rail Engineer Videos

Editorial copy to Email:

Free controlled circulation Email:

The small print Rail Engineer is published by RailStaff Publications Limited and printed by Pensord. © All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright owners. Part of: ®

Our signalling correspondents are in full chat this month, with a comprehensive round-up of all the new signalling developments and a few old ones as well. The Sub-Surface Lines Resignalling Programme has a new name because, as Nigel Wordsworth explains, not all the lines are sub-surface. We now have the 4LM - the Four Lines Modernisation programme - which encompasses a whole host of improvement projects. One year on, considerable progress has been made. Steve Denniss, rail technical director at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, wades into the post-referendum debate in one of our occasional opinion pieces. This is an informed narrative and worth reading carefully. The UK rail industry is strong and run by some very smart cookies. They have the knowledge and business acumen to steer the industry through whatever the nation voted for. David Bickell looks at what’s going on in and around Bristol. BASRE - Bristol Area Signalling Renewals and Enhancements - is a pragmatic approach that’s a step short of complete resignalling and thus the absorption of much needed signalling design resources. But there’s still plenty of work involved. Next, we’re off to Liverpool Lime Street where Paul Darlington has been to investigate a long overdue resignalling scheme. This is a resignalling in the true sense - new track, new layout and new signals. The layout changes are complex, but we have been supplied with some rather fine graphics which help explain the narrative admirably. Our authors’ backgrounds are various. Paul’s has involved looking at alternatives to heavy concrete troughing for cable routes. There comes a time when there is a need to delegate the really technical stuff - like involving sturdy supervisors to jump on a prospective product. His article tells us what happened next. Paul also makes the point that the rate of renewal of Signalling Equivalent Units has been about 1.5 per cent of the population per annum, which can mean that many assets are being retained in service for over 60 years. He takes us through what is needed to ensure that it all continues to do its job safely and economically. I’m a great fan of the Glasgow subway, even though I’ve only ridden on it once and that was just for a very short journey. It’s a survivor, an anomaly. With non-standard gauge, non-standard tunnel profiles and diminutive train lengths, it provides a very popular and necessary transport system. David Shirres went round and round the circuit to hear about the £288 million refurbishment scheme. Gospel Oak to Barking. A generation ago this was a route that was on its last knockings with a dire hourly service provided by aged DMUs. All could have gone the way recommended by the Beeching report. But it didn’t. This part of the capital has seen such a reversal in fortune



that the route is now being electrified! David Bickell reports on this complex project. In his trilogy in four parts, Clive kicks off with the intriguing issue of signal sighting (and/or siting). All the time we have signals on the network that drivers have to see and act upon, there has to be a rigorous system that ensures that they can indeed be seen in time to be acted upon. Clive reminds us that in the USA there is still such a place as ‘dark territory’. But for radio, and nowadays GPS, it is where trains (very big ones) disappear. An attempt to introduce Positive Train Control is proving tricky, even in one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet. Off now to Japan. Clive has heard all about the Japanese Advanced Train Administration and Communication System (ATACS). Designed as a wholly radio-based system with moving block capability, it allows trains to close up in densely trafficked areas. Clive’s excursion to the Keighley and Worth Valley railway reveals a mixture of authentic vintage equipment alongside the inevitable necessities of modern life - Wi-Fi connectivity, data links for credit card transactions, CCTV. But there is an omnibus phone line in case all else fails! To report on the new Class 707 trains being built by Siemens, we sent off Collin Carr, a civil engineer. Providing much needed capacity, the introduction of this new rolling stock also requires some intriguing hardware to be built or adapted. There will be longer platforms and even the reopening of platforms 20-24 at Waterloo. Stuart Marsh has been brave enough this month to use the ‘B’ word. B is for botch - and the Victorians, although famous for spectacular engineering, did indeed rely on the occasional (and spectacular) botch. On the Settle and Carlisle line, after last year’s great rains, their sins have caught them out. Every two years the world and his dog descends on a fairground in Berlin for InnoTrans - the word fairground being used quite literally to describe the place where a (trade) fair is being held. As trade fairs go, InnoTrans must be one of the largest gatherings devoted to a single industry. Nigel has toiled to bring you a guide that will give you some idea of what to look out for. There’s even a competition to join Rail Engineer and Ford & Stanley for a beer and a sausage, Oktoberfest style!

Delivering whole life, end-to-end asset lifecycle solutions As one of the UK’s leading engineering solutions providers, we specialise in technical delivery, innovative expertise and sustainable solutions. We are engineering tomorrow today, through more innovative products and services that will shorten lead times, enhance the quality of project delivery and, above all, provide cost-effective solutions.

We bring our extensive knowledge and experience to deliver value to our customers’ assets across all phases of the project lifecycle: » Advisory and design » Complex programme management » Operations and maintenance Speak to our Rail team today

01628 842444

Scan here to discover why you should choose Costain


Rail Engineer • September 2016


What has Europe ever done for rail? Steve Denniss

There’s no denying that the transport sector has been in a tailspin since the recent Brexit votes, with some worrying that the rug could be pulled under EU-funded transport and infrastructure projects and that rail fares could spiral with rising inflation. However, rest assured that it’s not all doom and gloom, and Brexit could provide the unforeseen opportunity for the UK rail industry to lead the European technology revolution. Europe has done a lot for rail in the past 25 years: one can travel easily from London to Lyon, Berlin to Bordeaux and Amsterdam to Avignon on what can be seen as the ‘Europa Line’. This has been made possible by the range of European Railway Directives that have come into force since 1991 - the first was aimed at opening up previously nationally owned railways across Europe to competition from the private sector and thus de-monopolising the railways of Europe. Further directives were issued in 2001, essentially promoting the concept of seamless cross- border travel. This first group of Directives took the collective title of the ‘First Railway Package’. Since then a series of further ‘packages’, the fourth just recently issued, have extended the laws to cover a whole host of technical and regulatory issues, such as track allocation and access, ticketing, licensing and safety.

European technology The UK has been working towards upgrading and harmonising its largely Victorian railway via renewal and enhancement schemes and, most recently, under the new initiative of the Digital Railway programme (DR). An industrywide initiative, DR will use European-specified technology as the core signalling, and European standards to create a digital environment around it, in order to increase line capacity and reliability. It’s something that hasn’t been attempted anywhere else in Europe. At the moment, when train drivers look out of their cab, what they see is an array of signals, track poles and other infrastructure that can fail or degrade and cause delay. To improve capacity, DR will use European Train Control System (ETCS), the digital equivalent of the traditional signalling system, which removes fixed-signals and in turn the need for trains to stop and start at red lights. Ultimately, ETCS eliminates blocks completely and trains can run even closer together.

Now the real question is whether the referendum result signals ‘DR-EXIT’, or is ETCS still the way forward for UK rail? ETCS has been specified by Europe, and for Europe, with the sole purpose of harmonising train control across the continent and therefore enable seamless travel across our borders. All member countries must abide by these train specifications whenever they signal a new line or upgrade an existing one, for instance. For rail passengers and commuters alike, ETCS has the potential to improve capacity by as much as 40% by removing ‘traffic-light’ signals and speed signs alongside the track. There can be more trains per track-kilometre as drivers would know exactly where the trains in front and behind are, thanks to the data transmitted via control centres. But it is not only passengers that will benefit. Train companies and infrastructure managers will do as well since ETCS could reduce the cost of the railway by 25% through the removal of trackside signals and the associated cost of maintenance. Furthermore, compliance with European legislation makes for efficient specification and procurement. All of the major suppliers now have virtually off-the-shelf systems designed and certified to the ETCS specification so, when buying a new system, one just asks for the latest specification. This makes for healthy competition between all the suppliers. In addition, ETCS has the capability of being a high performance communication-based train control system (CBTC) and, while metro operators may select a bespoke system, ETCS brings just the same performance and advanced technology but to a standard specification which can be mixed and matched. When it comes to operation and maintenance, there is a growing body of experience across Europe, and indeed the rest of the world, of how ETCS performs - so operation and maintenance becomes standard practice. Repairs and spares are off-the-shelf and maintenance principles, manuals and tools can be reused. Safety is at the core of the ETCS specification and is assured through technical and process compliance. On the down side, the ETCS specification is slow to evolve and is naturally lagging behind the latest technology due to the sometimes long-winded process for change. However, the UK railways

are in need of a technology refresh in any case and implementing ETCS would be a major step forward. In short, complying with European standards makes for an efficient and reliable railway for passengers. The delivery of high performance systems brings reliable operation and maintenance, high levels of safety and form the basis for efficient specification and procurement.

BREXIT brings opportunities This view may be optimistic, the specifications are not fool proof and there is room for improvement. There is still work to do and there will be many sceptics watching to see if first Thameslink, and then the Digital Railway early deployments, can live up to their billing. The next few years will answer some key questions for the UK railways. However, now that we have voted to come out of the European Union it would make no sense to abandon all the advantages of ETCS. What is likely to happen is that all those digital technologies that rail operators might want to add , such as a new system that could tell you where there’s an available seat on the train, might now become much easier to implement because there will be no need to seek approval from Europe if these technologies don’t precisely fit EU standards. Britain could also benefit from not having to “dot every I and cross every T” with respect to the compliance documentation which Europe has specified must be produced. On the whole, BREXIT might be the opportunity for a bright future. Out of Europe, but leading the technology revolution, the UK rail industry now has the responsibility to select the right technology and evolve the right operational culture to implement the Digital Railway vision without allowing BREXIT to de-rail it from delivering the benefits. This moment in the railway’s history is an opportunity to provide leadership to steer a clear course through the next few years of uncertainty, providing the necessary technical assurance and programme guidance to ensure delivery of the vision for the future of rail transport in the UK. Steve Denniss is rail technical director at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.



Rail Engineer • September 2016

British manufacturers join forces Bombardier and Hitachi to make a bid for London Underground.

In an interesting move, Bombardier (with a factory in Derby) and Hitachi (in Newton Aycliffe) are joining forces to make a combined offer to supply London Underground’s new fleet of deep tube trains as part of the New Tube for London programme.

The two companies prequalified in their own right, alongside CAF (Spain), Siemens (Germany) and Alstom – which is anyway building a facility in Widnes, Lancashire. Asked why this course of action had been adopted, Hitachi said simply that the new joint venture would “draw on the strengths” of the

two companies, and remarked that they had worked together on projects before. With the new BREXIT feeling of independence, it could well be a good move as the Government will want to buy British if it can. And with a total order of over 1,700 cars, there will be plenty of manufacturing to go around.

Turning Our Customers’ Wishes Into Reality··· The only range offering ZERO Inrush · Legacy compatibility · Compact and maintenance free · Eco friendly and High Efficiency Working In Partnership

· Patented Insulated Coating (protection up to 20kV)

CLASS II HYBRID 250VA 1400VA 500VA 2000VA 1000VA 3000VA

FT Transformers Ltd +44 (0) 121 451 3204


Rail Engineer • September 2016


Balfour Beatty to electrify California A US $697 million contract to electrify the 52-mile Caltrain rail corridor, which runs between San Francisco and San Jose in California, has been awarded to Balfour Beatty. This, the largest contract ever won by Balfour Beatty in the USA, was awarded by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board as part of its Caltrain Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project. The current diesel-powered train fleet (see photo) will be replaced by 96 new EMUs that have been ordered from Stadler, improving the reliability and capacity of the route through 17 cities in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The contract calls for Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. to design and build a 25kV AC overhead catenary system and construct two traction power substations, one switching substation and seven paralleling substations, which will also power the planned high-speed trains. In addition, signalling systems will be replaced and existing facilities earthed. All this while 92 train services carrying 65,000 commuters travel on the route daily. Due to start this autumn, the project will run until spring 2020, employing over 300 at the peak, including 50 apprentices.

We Are A Rail Specialist Insurance Broker (RISQS Link up approved)


WE INSURE • RRV and Plant Companies • S&T, S&C, SMTH, OLE and Civils contractors • Rolling Sock Turnkey Modifications companies • Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Installers of rail products • ROSCOs and TOCs supply chain • Rail Consultants, Surveyors and Engineering Companies WHY US? • Specialist Rail Knowledge • NEBOSH/Safety approach producing lower premiums • Contractual Liability checking • Better Technical advice • Specialist rail safety consultancy site audits funded by insurers

• We identified that the current insurance policy contained the wrong risk profile for the client. • A site visit took place for one of the clients contracts and a report was compiled detailing the nature of the work. • We successfully reduced their EL PL Premium by 50% resulting in an annual saving of £27,000. • Their Pi premium was reduced by 75% despite improvements in the cover.

£27,000 SAVING


Contact Keven Parker on 07816 283949 / 0121 4528717 / 0207 9839039 Email:

Offices in London and Birmingham. Nationwide coverage. Jobson James Insurance Brokers Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority














Rail Engineer • September 2016

Capacity enhancement – Isle of Man style Over on the Isle of Man, the Manx Department of Transport has just taken delivery of a pair of Ternkey digital train despatch machines. Linked by the Island’s internal telecoms network, these devices, supplied and commissioned by TERN Systems, form part of a wider scheme to improve the flexibility and reliability of the 15 mile long, three-foot-gauge railway. Within the branch, there are five passing loops, only one of which is staffed permanently at present. The Ternkey system, along with ancillary point and train detection works, will allow all the loops to be made available at short notice so that the timetable can be maintained in the event of late running services. Opening the loops will also allow the running of the special meal and themed trains which are becoming more and more popular. The Ternkey equipment will run in parallel with the existing staff and ticket working until such time as the system as a whole has been safety validated. Ternkey has been designed to avoid having any electronics installed in a rail vehicle, something that is a challenge on a conventional railway let alone in a fleet of vintage steam engines!

The rail experts Our trusted teams are leaders in track safety, with the experience and expertise to offer a full service across all rail infrastructure. We provide detailed consultancy and design services, through to complex construction and track maintenance works. Our projects are supported by a fleet of advanced rail plant and we supply exclusive asset management software, developed in-house to monitor and maintain rail infrastructure. We deliver the complete range of solutions for modern railways.

For more information, contact us:


Rail Engineer • September 2016




our of London Underground’s lines suffer from a bit of an identity crisis. Individually they are well known; the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines are familiar to both Londoners and visitors they are the yellow, green, maroon and pink lines on the Underground map.

The sub-surface upgrade programme, one year on




Chalfont & Latimer


However, they are not truly discrete railways. They run on the same lines and now even share the same trains, although some are longer than others due to variations in platform length and the seating arrangements are different on the longer-distance Metropolitan trains. So really they need to be considered as parts of a larger whole. But what to call it? “The Underground” is an option, but that includes all of the lines on the LU network. Foreigners who like to give the impression they are at home in London talk about “The Tube”, again really meaning the entire network. The Tube, or the Deep Tube, more properly refers to the small-diameter tunnels (and trains) of the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly, Northern, Waterloo & City, Victoria and Jubilee lines. Built at different times by different companies, their tunnel diameters vary and there is almost no interconnection between them. Largely built by cut-and-cover techniques, and running at ground level in many places, the four lines that form the subject of this article have been called the Sub-Surface Lines (SSL) and they make up the Sub-Surface Railway (SSR). So when it became time to completely replace the signalling systems with a single, modern, digital system, the project became the Sub-Surface Lines Resignalling Programme. Add in some more work to the infrastructure, and it became the Sub-Surface Upgrade Programme. But, as programme director Stuart Harvey readily admits, that was hard to explain to the public. All underground lines are sub-surface, aren’t they? So which ones were being worked on?

Watford Croxley


Moor Park




Northwood Hills Pinner

Eastcote Ruislip Manor Ruislip

Rayners Lane

North Harrow Harrowon-the-Hill

Northwick P

West Harrow

Ickenham Hillingdon Uxbridge



Ealing Broadwa


Key to lines Circle District Hammersmith & City Metropolitan Interchange stations



Scale 2

0 0



4 Miles 6 Kilometres


Rail Engineer • September 2016 To make it simpler, along came another acronym - 4LM. The Four Lines Modernisation programme brings together new rolling stock, new signalling, improved power supplies, upgraded track, better station access and a host of other improvements into one scheme that is easier for passengers to understand. Most of the trains have now been replaced by Bombardier S Stock trains, designed and manufactured in Derby - there are just a few of the D78 trains left on the District line and they will be gone later this year. That leaves the signalling. When the S Stock was first designed, space was left in the cab for the installation of equipment to be manufactured by Westinghouse. That initiative foundered, and Bombardier took the signalling on itself. More recently, after successfully installing a CBTC (communications-based train control) system on the Jubilee and Northern lines, Thales was awarded the contract for renewing the signalling on the whole SSR - all four SSL - as part of 4LM. That was just a year ago. Since then, a lot of progress has been made so it is high time for a review, and hopefully a simple explanation.

of the existing software was quickly developed and a brand-new S Stock train fitted out with a temporary installation of aerials, sensors and a rack of control equipment on a trestle table in the passenger compartment. This is test train V1. Running at Old Dalby (otherwise known as RIDC Melton), it has been testing the ATO (automatic train operation) by stopping and starting at mock ‘stations’ and opening and closing its doors. Rail Engineer went for a ride a few months ago (issue 138, April 2016) and, despite the temporary appearance of the modifications and the amount of sticky tape involved, it all worked flawlessly. The control gear, a host of similar grey cabinets, was housed in a couple of temporary buildings. Since that visit to the test track, the train is now running at the test track’s line speed of 80km/h, proving the system design. An upgrade to

First V1, now V2 Due to its previous experience with the successful implementation of its SelTrac on the Jubilee and Northern lines, Thales was able to hit the ground running. A modified version

the software, making it more akin to that needed to run the highly complex four-line network, has also just started being evaluated. Test train V2 is almost ready. This is a second S Stock train which is being fitted out at Bombardier with all of the equipment where it is meant to be racks of electronics in a cabinet in the driver’s cab, wiring hidden from sight in the on-board conduits, aerials and sensors discretely located in their final positions. In all, around 2,000 wiring changes were needed during the fit out. Once complete, which should be by the time this article goes to press, V2 will be off to Old Dalby to continue the test programme.

Aim for P0, not P90 Most railway projects have a target completion date. This usually contains some contingency, but if that proves to be insufficient then the project either overruns or has to be curtailed.

Park H AV E R I N G

Preston Road Wembley Park

et re

n do ng

an oo rg a Li ve te rp oo lS t









c Vi


rn h am am fo Gr rd ee ns Bro n co o ur k Ha tP m ar m k er sm Ba ith W ron es s t K Co en ur sin t gt on



. St


ge id




l Fu










re ua Sq ne on oa gt Sl n i ns Ke oad h R ut er n So st ay o ce t pt dw ou ur m oa Gl Co Bro en Br re t m G ge es ha s id Br ey tn l’s


e st



ch rk














g Da


nt co

n ge Da




g in





H st Ea


o st


am tH ow es -B W by yle om Br ad Ro w Bo nd E n ile M ee Gr y ne el ep ap St ch ast te E hi e ll W gat Hi d er Al w nt To e um eet r on M n St e o us nn Ho Ca on si an rs M fria k nt ac Bl ple me er m k st Te ban in rk Pa tm Em ’s es es m ria to










Kew Gardens


High Street Kensington

Chiswick Park Gunnersbury



Acton Town

Kensington (Olympia)

pt U



Goldhawk Road






or tP


Edgware Road Paddington Bayswater W E S T M I N S T E R Notting Hill Gate

Wood Lane Shepherd’s Bush Market

s os s Cr ra ’s nc ng Pa re Ki St. ua



g Common

rn Ho



HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM Royal Oak Westbourne Park Ladbroke Grove Latimer Road

pm U






Finchley Road








Sub-Surface Lines

Wimbledon Park MERTON Wimbledon

April 2016 © Transport for London


Rail Engineer • September 2016

4LM is being managed under a completely different premise. Two completion dates were calculated. P0 assumed no risk and everything going to plan, while P90 imagined 90 per cent risk. The difference in the two dates is 18 months over the life of the project. “We all know that P0 is impossible to achieve,” Stuart Harvey explained. “But nevertheless we are going for it and managing the risks as we go along. We feel it is a far better way of doing things than having an artificial end date with ill-defined contingencies. We did it this way on the Northern line, and we ended up eight months early! “Currently, after one year, we are only 11 weeks over a P0 schedule, and under cost as well.”

One year on Andy Bell, the Thales project director, reflected on the first year of the 4LM programme. “It’s been a busy year,” he told Rail Engineer. “Getting a project the size of 4LM up and running is a big undertaking. We have a collective organisation of 1,000 people working on design, on software, on site and at Old Dalby. “We have also engaged with key subcontractors, such as Bombardier for the work on the V1 and V2 trains, Kelly ITS to help with installation, VolkerRail on track and DEG Signal on design. “One of the key things we looked at was collaboration and how the team works together. Getting relationships in place was crucial to setting up the project the right way.” Stuart Harvey agreed. “LU and Thales have a very intrusive arrangement,” he stated. “I have to deliver to Andy as much as he delivers to me. We will fail if we don’t collaborate.” Starting with the software used successfully on the Northern line, 150 new functions will need to be built into the program for 4LM. The first tests at Old Dalby incorporated 20 per cent of those while the latest update includes another 20 per cent. To commence running on the network, the first 60 per cent will have to be in place, an upgrade which is due in January 2017. On-track testing will commence between Hammersmith and Paddington in June next year. The remaining additional functions will be needed once trains start running over shared lines and interfacing with Network Rail infrastructure at Wimbledon and Harrow. Still more will allow the system to be fitted to engineering trains.

Infrastructure work Out on the network, the new SelTrac system will need three specific modifications to the current infrastructure. A ‘tag’, basically a powered-but-passive RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag, will be fixed to the trackbed between the rails every 25 metres or so along the 314km of the railway. A tag reader, mounted under the train, will identify the tag and use that information to get an accurate positional ‘fix’ for the train. Between tags, and if a tag is missing or broken, the train’s onboard software will use information from axle-mounted tachometers to calculate the distance since the last tag - and then correct that information when the next tag is read. There will also be axle counters, Thales’ own, to be used to detect trains that aren’t equipped with SelTrac (mainline trains on Network Rail infrastructure, non-LU engineering trains) and in times of perturbation when working in degraded mode. Accurate stopping, particularly important if platform screen doors are ever to be installed later, will be managed through a combination of tags and axle counters. The driver, however, will have full visibility of the process. The train communicates with the control centre by radio. As radio waves don’t travel well along tunnels, even with reflections off the walls and roof, transmission has to be more-or-less by line of sight. Radio repeaters will therefore be mounted in the tunnels every 200 metres on average, closer in areas of tight curves. This is one of the main differences from the Jubilee and Northern line installations, which use radiating cables to communicate with the trains. “Radio is much better,” stated Stuart Harvey. “We have had incidents with power collection shoes coming off trains and cutting the cable, so radio should be much more reliable.” While a lot of the equipment can be installed overnight, there will be three weekend closures on the Hammersmith to Paddington section to ensure that the new system will interface with the existing interlockings.

Impressive? It is clear that Thales is drawing, not only from its own work in the UK, but also from its international projects. “We are a global business,” explained

Andy Bell. However, the 4LM project is probably the largest metro installation of a CBTC system in the world, particularly on a ‘brownfield site’, so a lot of the experience has to be taken from the company’s success on the Jubilee and Northern lines. “Under the old signalling system,” Stuart Harvey commented, “when we had a failure on the Jubilee line, it took all day to recover from it. When Thales came in, we had the service back in 20 to 30 minutes. That was the biggest change.” This should be even more apparent on the four sub-surface lines, as the system is ‘colour blind’. If the new control centre at Hammersmith needs to recover the system, it will not give priority to any one line (colour), it will choose the best and quickest way to recover the whole network. However, this wasn’t the first thing that sprang to mind when London Underground was asked what stands out about this project. “The most impressive thing is the way that London Underground, Thales and Bombardier have worked together,” Stuart Harvey commented. His boss agreed. Talking to Rail Engineer about the project, LU managing director Mark Wild stated: “I am impressed by the way everyone has worked together. London Underground, Thales and Bombardier have worked as one team and are making good progress on this challenging project.” So that is the state of play on 4LM, one year in. In a year’s time, by July 2017, trials will have already started on the first section of the network and trains will start being fitted with the hardware they will need. If the current rate of progress continues, then the Circle line could be running under SelTrac CBTC as early as 2019, only four years after the project started - and that will truly be impressive.

Ground Transportation solutions Wherever safety and security matter, we deliver PASSENGER SATISFACTION Offering real time information and ensuring security TRANSPORT SAFETY Automate critical decisions to eliminate human errors

OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY Ensure optimised network management with minimal investment

NETWORK CAPACITY Improve flow with automated signalling for optimal train frequency

SEAMLESS JOURNEYS Unique fare systems for all transport modes

Millions of critical decisions are made every day in transportation. The ability to run networks smoothly and efficiently is crucial to economic growth and quality of life. Thales is at the heart of this. We design, develop and deliver equipment, systems and services, providing end-to-end solutions. Our integrated smart technologies give decision makers the information and control they need to make more effective responses in critical environments. Every moment of every day, wherever safety and security are critical, Thales delivers. Search: Thalesgroup

REVENUE PROTECTION Innovative solutions to collect revenues


Rail Engineer • September 2016


lasgow’s Subway is the world’s third-oldest underground railway (after London and Budapest). When it opened in 1896, there was no rail connection to the surface so cars were lowered into the tunnels from the depot above.

Although trains were steam-powered, there was no smoke in the tunnels. Instead, a stationary steam engine moved a 10.5 km long continuous cable in the track bed at a constant 19 km/h. Trains were moved by a gripper that closed around the moving cable, as on San Francisco’s cable cars today. Since it opened, there have been two modernisation programmes. In the late 1930s the original cars were converted to electric traction. Between 1977 and 1980, the Subway was closed for a major enhancement programme that included the reconstruction of some stations, tunnel repairs, track bed and rail replacement. This provided the Subway with its first points as part of a triangular junction to provide a surface rail connection to the Govan depot. The 80-year old wooden cars were replaced with a fleet of 33 new coaches. A further eight trailer cars were added in 1992 so that all trains could be three-car units. As 12 trains are required for normal service, the additional carriages allow for a planned maintenance regime.

The third modernisation The 1970s Subway refurbishment has served Glasgow well, with 13 million passenger journeys undertaken each year. However, after nearly 40 years, it was time for another major enhancement programme. As SPT senior director Charlie Hoskins told Rail Engineer, significant investment would be needed to attract more custom and reduce rising operation and maintenance costs. Otherwise closure would become almost certain. Tunnel turnout chamber built in 1970s.

Subway Revival Glasgow to introduce UTO DAVID SHIRRES

Rail Engineer • September 2016 So, in 2011, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) initiated a £288 million modernisation programme with the Scottish Government contributing £246 million. Charlie detailed the five main strands to this programme, smart ticketing, station refurbishment, infrastructure asset renewal, rolling stock and control system replacement, as well as organisational change. Getting the workforce’s commitment to new working practices was an essential first step of the modernisation programme. SPT achieved this in 2012 with an agreement between UNITE and SPT for more flexible working and establishment reduction with no compulsory redundancies. Contactless Subway smartcards were introduced in 2013. Developed by Nevis Technologies, a joint venture between SPT and Ecebs, these cards comply with the UK ITSO standard and so can be used on other public transport. This is likely to happen soon, as Transport Scotland is actively promoting smart ticketing and Nevis was appointed by Abellio ScotRail in 2015 to provide


Impression of Hillhead station with platform screen doors.

smart ticketing for their franchise. Nevis is also to provide smart-card systems to McGills, Scotland’s largest privately owned bus company. Subway travellers have now been issued with over 110,000 smartcards. In 2015, Smartcard top up was extended to 45 retail outlets close to Subway stations using the Payzone system that also accepts payments for utility and credit card bills.

Station refurbishment Refurbishing the Subway’s fifteen stations accounts for around £50 million. This started in July 2011 with the second busiest station, Hillhead, which was completed fifteen months later. To avoid passenger disruption, 90% of the work had to be done in short night-time possessions.


Rail Engineer • September 2016 Leaking tunnels

iVENCS (Passenger Infrastructure)

Hillhead set the benchmark for other station refurbishments. It is now an attractive, bright, modern station with new SPT branding. Such revitalised stations attract new patronage and also reduce operating costs by using lower whole-life-cost modern materials and energy efficient lighting. Almost all the system’s 28 escalators have been replaced by power-standby, energy-efficient versions. The remaining two at Kelvinbridge station will be replaced later this year. The new stations incorporate DDA enhancements including hearing loops, tactile maps and paving, and colour contrast flooring. However, with the constrained nature of the Subway’s small stations, it has only been possible to fit lifts at Govan and St Enoch, where work was completed in 2015. Work at Govan station, and its bus interchange, will be complete in August 2016. By the end of August, seven stations will be complete and work is due to commence at Cessnock and Kelvinbridge. The remaining six stations are currently progressing through the design stages. There are three framework contractors for this work (Graham Construction, Sir Robert McAlpine and Clancy Docwra) and two framework designers: Austin Smith Lord and AHR. Freyssinet undertaking work on the tunnel lining.

The modernisation programme includes a comprehensive programme of infrastructure works including tunnel repairs. The Subway’s two circular tunnels are 10.5 km long with a nominal diameter of 3.35 metres and are between three and forty metres below ground level. They pass under the river Clyde twice and are mainly within the groundwater table. Construction methods varied according to the differing geology so there are brick circular, brick horseshoe, concrete and cast iron linings. Historic records show that the ground conditions encountered were hard going (rock) or particularly poor (loose sands/muds). The worst section between Buchanan Street and Kelvinbridge also passed through former quarries. The differing forms of construction, in conjunction with changes in the surrounding soils, have led to varying degrees of deterioration over the last 120 years, resulting in an overall increase in water ingress with resultant maintenance problems, including rail corrosion. On a positive note, SPT has found a way to exploit this waste water, which has a temperature between 14 and 15°C. In partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University, heat-pump systems have been installed at two stations to demonstrate their feasibility as a sustainable heat source. This has also led to the installation of air heat pumps as the air temperature is also relatively constant and can be utilised in a similar way to the water heat source. This initiative won the 2016 Scottish Transport Award for contribution to sustainable transport. In 2014, Freyssinet won a £17 million contract to upgrade the tunnel lining. In the worst four-kilometre section, this work includes annulus grouting, lining repairs and resin injection leak-sealing. This is done during nighttime closures over a two-year period with an average labour force of eighty. The 21 pumping stations are also having their pumps replaced as part of a £2 million contract awarded to WGM Engineering in 2014.

Rail Engineer • September 2016 Other tunnel work included the removal of 120 kilometres of redundant cable and the provision of a new chainage system to re-baseline tunnel survey datum. New datum plates with radio frequency identification are being installed. Malcolm Hughes Land Surveyors were awarded a half million-pound contract for this work in 2014.


Impression of new trains.

The only closure 2014 also saw the award of a £1.1 million contract for the supply of rail to Austrian-based Voestalpine Schienen GmbH. This supports an accelerated re-railing programme which is to be completed by 2017. This is needed because of the condition of existing rails and the requirement to start testing the new rolling stock at night. Other permanent-way work is the £5 million design and build contract, let in 2015 to Colas Rail, to replace the track system within the depot access ramps and turnout chambers that were installed during the 1979 modernisation. This includes replacement of the concrete track bed and drainage and renewal of the plain line rail, switches and crossings, and point motors. Although the intention is to modernise the Subway without disruption, closure cannot be avoided for this work. Hence, the system was closed during the month of July. During this time replacement bus services were provided, mimicking the circular service on the surface streets above.

Made-to-measure trains Impressive though the station and infrastructure works are, the new trains will no doubt attract the greatest attention as they will be the first trains to operate in the UK with UTO (unattended train operation). Charlie Hoskins explained that SPT did not procure its trains on the basis of a prescriptive technical specification as this might rule out a worthwhile technology. Instead, prospective suppliers were given a concept of operation that covered general requirements such as the number of people to be carried and how SPT wished to operate the trains. A competitive

dialogue then followed to develop the technical solution that offered best value. This approach was supported by Glasgow-based consultant Racon and by Systra which, with SPT key staff, formed the client’s technical, commercial and procurement team. In March, SPT announced that their new trains, signalling and associated equipment will be supplied by a consortium of Stadler Bussnang AG and Ansaldo STS. Although there had been concerns that suppliers may not be interested in an order for a small number of four-foot gauge Subway trains, this proved not to be the case. Charlie

Award-winning composite solutions for the rail industry Composite Platforms

Structural Stair Treads

Dura Platform Composite Station Platforms for New Builds and Refurbs

Dura Slab Composite Stair Treads & Landings with Built-in Riser for Rapid Install

• Spans up to 3.2m @ 5kN/m2 • Concealed Fixing System • Fast Install Minimises Track Time

• Spans up to 2100mm • Available in 65mm or 90mm • Excellent slip resistance even when wet

FRP Walkways

FRP Fencing

FRP Dagger Boards

Dura Composites’ FRP solutions are the ideal replacement for traditional wood, metal and concrete products, and offer increased safety, reduced maintenance costs and shorter possession times on busy networks. UK Head Office | +44 (0)1255 440291 |

...designed for the future Industrial






Rail Engineer • September 2016

commented that the Swiss company Stadler was “quite excited at the idea” as it has a bespoke manufacturing operation and its production lines can easily be changed to produce small orders, such as 34 cars for the Berlin Underground and 10 Croydon trams. Stadler is to supply 17 four-car articulated trains with wide walk-through connections and a standard floor height, made possible by using smaller diameter wheels. Each train will be 39.25 metres long, compared with 37.74 metres for the current three-car units. The trains have 58 km/hr maximum speed and will have capacity for 310 passengers compared with the current 270. They will also accommodate wheelchairs. Charlie pointed out that SPT did not specify 17 trains, this was the number of trains that the consortium felt were needed to move the required number of people over a period of time with an allowance for maintenance.

Predictive maintenance Senior project manager Willie Delaney stressed that new trains’ design focuses on reduced maintenance and operational costs with improved reliability from predictive rather than scheduled maintenance. They will have secondary air suspension and cushioned, resilient wheels. This both improves ride quality and allows tyres to be replaced without the use of a heavy hydraulic press. The wheelsets will have radial steering to reduce flange wear. The depot will have wheel condition monitoring equipment, taking daily wheel profile measurements to predict when tyre turning is required. The AC traction motors will be water cooled with IGBT traction control that offers regenerative braking. Systems will be continuously monitored to detect potential defects. For example, increased effort and time to close a particular door indicates an emerging problem, allowing the problem to be investigated before the door fails. A system failure sends an alarm to control, complete with advice on the required action. With high levels of redundancy, it is unlikely that a fault would require a train to be taken out of service immediately.

UTO, PSD and CBTC UTO requires a fully automatic signalling and control system. A key requirement is for controllers to monitor trains with on-board CCTV and to communicate with passengers if required. With no on-train staff, platform screen doors (PSD) will be fitted to control the platform train interface risk. These will be 1.7 metres high and provided by Gilgen Door systems, the company that installed them on Paris Metro line one when it was converted to UTO. Signalling will be the Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) system that Ansaldo has supplied to Copenhagen, Milan and Stockholm. Car-borne Controllers (CC) calculate the train’s position using a tachometer which records distance travelled since the last track balise and transmits this to the Zone Controller (ZC). This determines movement authority limit for each train and advises each train’s CC of its limits. The CC then brakes as required and enforces speed restrictions. It also provides Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and controls the train’s doors and other systems. The ZC also controls the Wayside Standard Platform (WSP). This operates and responds to infrastructure-based equipment such as platform doors, platform alarm buttons, point motors and indicators. Other aspects of the system are the FTM (fault and trouble management) alarm management system, HERMES. This uses the timetable, a performance management system (PMS) and iVENCS control software from ASL to manage passenger-related infrastructure such as CCTV, information screens and station assets. When a train is due to enter service, HERMES instructs the WSP and ZC via the FTM. The WSP then sets the points from the stabling sidings to the tunnel and the ZC instructs to CC to move the train at a safe speed.

Depot enhancements A new Operational Control Centre (OCC) will be built at the depot to house the signalling and control system, train control and driver simulators, and incorporate best security, safety and ergonomic practice. The depot will gain a wheel lathe so wheelsets will no longer be sent

Rail Engineer • September 2016 away for tyre turning. A new fully automatic, UTO-compatible wash plant will also be provided. The depot throat will be realigned to provide free UTO access to the stabling sheds. However, trains will be manually driven in the maintenance shed which will have a driver interface platform at its entrance. Trains will arrive here under UTO so a driver can enter the train to drive it by means of a flip-up control panel, provided at each end of the train. The delivery and commissioning of these trains and their transition to UTO is a demanding programme. As the trains are four-foot gauge, Stadler cannot do any dynamic testing before delivery. Fortunately, SPT has a 760-metre long test track which was laid during the 1979 modernisation on the track bed of the Govan branch line which closed in 1966. Willie explained that Stadler will provide a construction depot and store adjacent to this track, which will be fitted with a CBTC system and a PSD-fitted platform.

Service introduction This facility will be used to assemble and test the articulated trains. It will be under Stadler’s control and segregated from normal operations. Before entry into service, test mileage accumulation will require these new trains to run through the Subway tunnels at night when there is no public service.


Maintenance of 1970's subway trains at Govan depot.

The first train is expected to arrive in Govan from Switzerland in 2019. By this time signalling control and communication systems will have been installed. It is likely to be another year before the new trains enter passenger service. When they do, trains will be manually driven from a temporary cab created by a partition wall that will be removed after UTO starts. As platform screen doors will be controlled by the CBTC system, they will only be installed once all the new trains are in service and the current trains are withdrawn. Once the PSDs have been installed, it will be possible to introduce UTO. UTO offers many benefits including the flexibility to introduce additional trains for short periods to move exceptional crowds. If required, the normal four-minute headway can be reduced to as little as 90 seconds, something that will no doubt be appreciated by the thousands

of Rangers fans who use the Subway’s Ibrox station to get home from a match. Introducing the first UTO service in the UK is a challenging project, not least in respect of the approval process for which SPT is in constant contact with the ORR. DfT is also being consulted about cyber-security. SPT also has very close ties to all metro operators across the world through its membership of UITP and is constantly learning from other operators which have converted to UTO, in particular the Paris Metro. SPT expects to have its UTO trains operating in 2021 to bring significant business benefits and customer improvements. No doubt the diminutive new Subway trains will also attract much attention and might perhaps encourage standard-gauge operators to follow the SPT’s trail-blazing approach to train operation.

Driven by Dynamics - Engineered for Rapid, Reliable Rail Transit. Stadler Rail Group Ernst-Stadler-Strasse 1 CH-9565 Bussnang, Switzerland Phone +41 71 626 21 20

190x130 The Rail Engineer_e.indd 1

19.08.2016 11:41:58


Rail Engineer • September 2016


Gospel Oak to Barking Plan of route showing the four track lowering sites.


lthough listed in the 1963 Beeching report as “All passenger services to be withdrawn”, the fourteen mile Gospel Oak to Barking (GOB) route, hitherto something of an urban backwater, managed to survive. Today, like the North London line to which it is connected at the western end, it is experiencing a dramatic resurgence. To double passenger capacity, a £133 million project (GOBE) to electrify the line is being managed by Network Rail. The sections being electrified include the core route from Gospel Oak to Woodgrange Park Jn, Harringay Park Jn to the East Coast main Line and the short run into Barking bay platform. Short stretches at South Tottenham and Woodgrange Park to Barking are already wired.

Traffic development The role of the route has evolved significantly in the last half century. Once, it played host to a variety of suburban services including North Woolwich to Palace Gates and St Pancras to Barking, not forgetting the ‘bucket and spade’ specials heading to Southend-on-Sea and boat trains between St Pancras and Tilbury, all now long withdrawn. By 1980, the passenger service had reached the nadir of an unreliable hourly service between Kentish Town and Barking operated with ageing DMUs. In 1981 this was replaced with a new hourly Gospel Oak to Barking service which has gradually improved

over the years with newer rolling stock and today deploys modern Class 172 two-car Bombardier Turbostar DMUs running at four trains per hour. With passenger ridership doubling since 2008, there is an urgent need to increase capacity, and the project will facilitate the introduction of four-car EMUs to double capacity. The route also plays host to intermodal freight traffic from Tilbury and the London Gateway deep-water port towards the West Coast main line, and this is also showing strong


growth. However, GOB is a nonelectrified island with connectivity to many other key routes that are energised at 25kV AC. This limits the usefulness of the line. Electrically hauled freight from the aforementioned sites in east London have to travel from Barking via the flat junction at Forest Gate, a manoeuvre difficult for signallers to execute without causing delays to trains on the Great Eastern main line. Eliminating these moves will improve infrastructure capacity and performance on the GEML and the Elizabeth line (Crossrail). The strategic value of this route, facilitated by electrification, was recognised in the Network Rail Electrification Route Utilisation Study

Rail Engineer • September 2016


(RUS) of October 2009. The scheme showed a Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of 2.4, representing high value for money. Funding was not included in the High Level Output Specification for Control Period 5 and the high price tag for electrification, the reason for which will become apparent in a moment, led to some misgivings, but was eventually forthcoming with a contribution of £108 million from Department for Transport (DfT) and £25 million from Transport for London (TfL).

Collaboration Network Rail is the self-appointed principal contractor, which ensures that access can be given to contractors according to rail business priorities. In order to undertake this role, Network Rail has brought in additional project management resources from Collaborative Project Management Services (CPMS), which specialises in the delivery of complex, multidisciplinary projects where a number of different contractors are required to work in close collaboration. J Murphy and Sons is the main contractor, undertaking track and civil engineering, including bridges and provision of viaduct brackets for the OHL masts, and the minor S&T works. Stobart Rail is carrying out track work with Rhomberg Sersa brought in for its slab track expertise. A joint venture between Amey and Inabensa is providing the works for traction power and Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) design. Network Rail’s in-house Overhead Condition Renewals (OCR) team is providing the OLE installation. This new national resource was in-sourced from the West Coast main line delivery project

in 2006 to address the growing electrification workload in CP5 and provides a full package from design to installation including planning project resources and possessions, and fabrication of components. Last, but not least, the Aspin Group is installing the OHL mast foundations.

Reinforced concrete base under construction to take slab track.

Keeping ahead of conflicts and pitfalls Freeform has provided an advanced 4D Modelling tool using in-built Synchro software. Visualising the construction process is easier to follow and enables faster project decision-making than Gantt charts would otherwise do. The model includes engineering train arrangements and all plant and machinery.

Rhomberg Sersa V-TRAS

g ineerinack g n e g n Bringi nce to slab tr e l l exce nstallations i

Innovative solution that deals with the transition between fixed structures and ballast // Deals with settlement and stiffness associated with adjoining trackforms

Universal application for transition from any fixed structure to ballasted track Improved ride quality and reduced dynamic forces Can be retro fitted to existing structures Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group I T +44 300 3030230 I I


Rail Engineer • September 2016

Bombardier Aventra Class 710 on order for the route.

Rhino software creates 3D elements whilst Grasshopper runs dashboards to display key data and conflict analysis, generating a virtual construction sequence. Network Rail reckons the cost of the 4D model is paid for by identifying and avoiding conflicts in advance. A general problem is that Victorian infrastructure is not always accurately recorded on plans. Detailed site investigations were carried out to try and identify the location of services in order to minimise the risk of any nasty surprises during construction, although some unforeseen issues do still arise.

Track and civil engineering The project is ostensibly one of ‘electrification’, but installing and powering the Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) actually comprises only about 22 per cent of the work. So what is absorbing such a significant chunk of the time and budget? The line, built by two separate companies between Gospel Oak and Tottenham North in the 1860s and from South Tottenham in the 1890s, presented costly engineering challenges. There are at least forty structures of various configurations that pass over the railway, typically road, rail, utility services and footpath

overbridges. These are concentrated in four major sections where cuttings were created by cutting a slot through the London clay. The concept of electric trains powered by a pantograph drawing power from an overhead conductor didn’t come about until a trial in Baltimore in 1895, so future-proofing the line for electrification wasn’t a consideration of Victorian railway builders. Hence the legacy for today’s project is many structures with insufficient clearance for the OLE, insufficient clearance for rail vehicles at the haunches of the arch, insufficient space to pass overhead line catenary and insufficient parapet heights. Consideration was given to bridge jacking or reconstruction. This has an impact on services and utilities such as telecommunications, electricity, water, gas and sewers - which are numerous and buried in the bridge. The sheer number of diversions that would be required, and the extensive collaboration between the various authorities necessary to meet project timescales, means that this is the non-preferred option. However, four bridges are being rebuilt including the A1 Holloway Road overbridge which is being raised at Christmas as a separate project by TfL. Parapet walls are being raised to a height of 1.8 metres at over 22 bridges to improve safety. The preferred solution of track lowering is taking place at four significant sites, the biggest at Walthamstow Queens Road involves 16 overline structures in quick succession, including an unusual

Rail Engineer • September 2016 lattice retaining wall support structure and a bridge with inverted arches. Typically, track is lowered by 200-250mm with a worst case of 500-550mm. To achieve longevity of the ballasted track to 40-50 years, and maximise the maintenance intervals to 10-15 years, a 100mm layer of sand is over-laid with a geotextile layer to prevent clay pumping. Ballasted track has the disadvantage that it is a little flexible, giving rise to a vertical movement as trains pass over which may compromise the required electrical clearances. Also, when tamped, ballasted track may get lifted, thereby compromising clearances. One particular challenge is Pretoria Avenue Bridge 57, which contains a Victorian main sewer leaving only 200mm available to lower. This is only just sufficient, but the solution here is the provision of slab track which, by virtue of its rigidity, holds the track absolutely firmly in position, reducing the need for maintenance tolerances.

Slab track solution The slab track solution is deployed in three sections under bridges and in the tunnel at Crouch Hill, totalling approximately 1,400 track metres. Slab track is quick and easy to install, the pre-fabrication process reduces manhours on site and requires less future maintenance, lasting for 60 years before maintenance intervention is necessary. The project team would like to have installed slab track on the entire route but, at a cost considerably higher than that of ballasted track, a business case is not justified on this commuter railway, whereas on a high revenue route like high speed rail, slab track achieves a big return on

investment. However, on the authorised extension at the eastern end of the route to Barking Riverside, slab track will be used throughout as the capital is available. The Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group is the slab track specialist providing the STA (Slab Track Austria) product which has recently been installed on the EGIP Project at Winchburgh and Queen Steet. The principal element of this system is the elastically supported slab blocks of 5.6 metres length. The slab is an untensioned reinforced precast slab with integrated rail support seats. Holes with a threaded bolt enable fine lift and cant adjustments to the track. A set of steel shims can be put on one side to allow cant transitions from one horizontal curve to another. The bottom of the slab, as well as the tapered openings, are attached with an elastomeric layer. The result is double-layered elasticity, attenuating vibrations or structural-borne noise, and decoupling from its structural supports.


Short closure section of slab track.

ing gineer rack n e g n i t Bring nce to slab excellenstallations i

Rhomberg Sersa - Slab Track The UK’s leading slab track design and build specialist

// Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group have introduced SLAB TRACK AUSTRIA (STA) to the UK infrastructure, Winchburgh Tunnel, Queen Street Tunnel, Gospel Oak to Barking Reduced Construction Times Cost effective Maintenance Free Low Construction Height Future oriented modular slab system Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group I T +44 300 3030230 I I


Rail Engineer • September 2016

A joint width of 40 mm separates two slabs and compensates any deformations caused by creeping, shrinking or temperature changes. The joints serve also as surface water drainage or spaces for cable-crossing. The slabs are supported and fixed on a 250mm base layer of reinforced concrete onto which is put 40-80mm of grout beneath a rubberised layer. This grout is poured through holes to key in the slab section to the concrete below. Should a defect arise, it is possible to break out the pocket, re-insert the key, take out a 5.6 metre section and replace. Rhomberg Sersa will also be installing twelve V-TRAS transition units, one at each interface between the slab and ballast. These units deal with the normally problematic areas where the change in track stiffness can cause long term performance issues.

OLE structures The line is to be electrified with the Network Rail Series 2 catenary system, which has capacity for speeds up to 100mph and is designed with fewer component parts than Series 1 which is fit for 140mph. In addition, it has greater maintenance tolerances and is less obtrusive, which offers the added benefit of creating fewer signal sighting conflicts. During ‘Safety by Design’ workshops, the structures were designed to be sited further away from the track at 2.5 metres, rather than the typical 1.6 metres from running edge, to aid signal sighting and to obviate the need for moving cable routes and created unobstructed walking routes. This adds cost but has large safety benefits. Single span OLE structures are being used where possible to reduce impact on neighbours.

Network Rail’s OCR team has planned the OLE and is delivering masts, booms and wires. Amey and Inabensa are providing all traction power, taken in from the west at Gospel Oak and east at Barking with a new section switching station in the middle at South Tottenham. This allows the route to be split electrically into two: Gospel Oak South Tottenham - Woodgrange Park. Foundation installation has been undertaken by Aspin, working during weekend possessions ahead of the main blockades. 550 piles will be needed for OLE support structures.

S&T work Electrical interference from 25kV AC electricity may cause S&T equipment to fail, so appropriate measures of immunisation must be applied. Parts of the route already pass near to 25kV AC lines and will already be AC immune. However, on the long plain line sections of GOB, earthing has to be installed at every equipment location case and every signal. In addition, a new return screen conductor will be installed to remove stray currents from both railway infrastructure and lineside neighbours. Six miles of new cable troughing route are required, whilst older asbestos troughs are removed. Where the track lowering groundworks impacts the cable

Rail Engineer • September 2016


route, cables have been lifted out and temporarily suspended in protective black plastic tubes. One signal is being repositioned and one new banner repeater provided where sighting of the associated stop signal has been compromised. Currently, the line is controlled from four signal boxes at Upminster, Upper Holloway, South Tottenham Station Jn and Liverpool Street. The project is not realising any additional train path capacity but a resignalling scheme is under consideration for the next control period (CP6) to increase throughput and line speed. For reasons of signalling braking distances, line speeds will also remain the same as at present, varying between 20 - 55 mph although the track works will facilitate higher speeds when the resignalling is implemented.

Accommodating new trains Where track lowering has taken place, as at Walthamstow Queens Road, platform heights have also been correspondingly adjusted. With the recent upgrade of some sections of the Overground from four to five car operation, the project team is ensuring that the sponsor’s remit to operate four-car EMUs will be future proofed against any future operation of five-car units, though a return to 12-carriage trains, as in days gone by, will be for another generation of engineers to manage. Although operating at the same four trains per hour frequency as now, the new Bombardier Aventra Class 710 four-car EMUs currently on order for the London Overground will double passenger capacity on GOB and should start to enter service in December 2017.

Closures and possessions The project has been split into two major blockades to facilitate 24-hour working within which the track lowering work is proceeding. The most complex lowering is at Queens Road, hence this section of route had the benefit of this summer’s blockade. Preliminary access prior to the blockades, mainly undertaken at weekends, has enabled foundations for OLE masts, 95 per cent of the pile foundations and the track lowering at Hornsey Road to be completed.

Rail Providing solutions to industry Our dedicated innovative Rail division specialise in infrastructure, enhancements, renewals and civil engineering projects Contracts are managed, designed and installed by collaborative Aspin teams utilising our own specialist and continually developed plant and equipment Civil  Structural  Mechanical  Geotechnical Engineering

Head office: Hemel Hempstead - 01442 236 507 Hertfordshire  Nottinghamshire  Derbyshire  Lancashire  Staffordshire  Glasgow  Somerset


Rail Engineer • September 2016

Track lowering.

Barking; »» Early February 2017 - Line reopens; »» March to June 2016 - Weekend closures for testing and commissioning; »» Early 2018 - New Class 710 electric four-car trains enter operation. So the line will, at least in part, be closed for eight months between 4 June 2016 and early February 2017. Network Rail’s route managing director, Richard Schofield, commented: “Electrifying a Victorian railway like this one is major engineering work to create the extra space needed for overhead power lines. It would be impossible to do this without closing the railway and I would like to thank passengers and

Timelines for the project are as follows: »» October 2015 - Preparatory work started; »» 4 June 2016 to 23 September 2016 - No service between South Tottenham and Barking on weekdays and no service between Gospel Oak and Barking on weekends; »» 24 September 2016 to early February 2017 - No service on the entire line between Gospel Oak and

Future London Overground map.

local residents in advance for their patience and understanding while we carry out this vital modernisation.” TfL’s director of London Overground, Mike Stubbs, was equally positive: “Customers along the line will reap the benefits when work to electrify the route is complete. It will allow for new longer walk-through trains to operate from January 2018, which will double capacity to meet growing demand on the route. It will also enable a new rail extension to Barking Riverside, which will support up to 11,000 new homes.” Thanks to Tim Galvani, senior project manager, and Neil Hamilton, designated project engineer, both of Network Rail Anglia, for help in the preparation of this article.

Cheshunt Watford Junction


Theobalds Grove

Enfield Town

Turkey Street

Watford High Street

Bush Hill Park


Edmonton Green



Silver Street Carpenders Park

Highams Park

White Hart Lane Hatch End

Wood Street

Bruce Grove Seven Sisters

Headstone Lane



Harrow & Wealdstone

Harringay Green Lanes

Crouch Hill

South Tottenham

Upper Holloway

Hampstead Heath

North Wembley

Gospel Oak

Finchley Road & Frognal Wembley Central

West Hampstead Brondesbury

Stonebridge Park

Highbury & Islington

Caledonian Road & Barnsbury

Dalston Kingsland

Hayes & Harlington

West Ealing

Southall Hanwell

Ealing Broadway Central District

Acton Mainline

Willesden Junction

Kensal Green

Old Oak Common*

Shepherd’s Bush

Central 100m

Kensington (Olympia)

Heathrow Terminal 4


Kew Gardens

South Hampstead


Northern Victoria


Bond Street

Bakerloo Circle District Hammersmith & City

Central Jubilee

Central Northern

District Hammersmith & City

Liverpool Street

Farringdon Circle Hammersmith & City Metropolitan

Hackney Wick

Woodgrange Park

District Hammersmith & City


Cambridge Heath

Shoreditch High Street


Tottenham Court Road



Central Circle Hammersmith & City Metropolitan


DLR 100m

Central Jubilee DLR Trains to Southend

*Barking Riverside

Canary Wharf

Custom House for ExCeL

Jubilee DLR



Wapping District line open weekends, public holidays and some Olympia events

River Thames




West Brompton Piccadilly

Kilburn High Road


South Acton

Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3

Queen’s Park

Forest Gate Homerton

Bethnal Green


Acton Central


London Fields




Manor Park

Wanstead Park

Hackney Central

Dalston Junction

Kensal Rise

Chadwell Heath

Seven Kings


Leytonstone High Road

Hackney Downs



Brondesbury Park



Rectory Road

Camden Road Kentish Town West

Jubilee 100m 100m Trains to Luton

Upminster Goodmayes

Leyton Midland Road

St. James Street

Stoke Newington

South Kenton

Emerson Park


Walthamstow Central

Walthamstow Queen’s Road


Stamford Hill


Towards West Drayton Iver Langley Slough Burnham Taplow Maidenhead Twyford Reading

Blackhorse Road

Towards Harold Wood Brentwood Shenfield

Gidea Park

Canada Water


Peckham Rye

Imperial Wharf Clapham Junction


Trains to Gatwick

Wandsworth Road

Queens Road Peckham

Denmark Hill

Clapham High Street

River Thames


Abbey Wood

Surrey Quays

New Cross

New Cross Gate Northern

Clapham North 100m

Brockley Honor Oak Park Forest Hill Sydenham

Crystal Palace

Key to lines and symbols London Overground

Penge West

Elizabeth line Interchange stations


Step-free access from street to train Step-free access from street to platform

Norwood Junction

National Rail Riverboat services

* Barking Riverside and Old Oak Common station names to be confirmed

London Trams

West Croydon August 2016

@StobartRailLtd /stobartrail


Project Overview Stobart Rail is the track delivery partner for J Murphy & Sons on the Network Rail Gospel Oak to Barking Electrification project. Our delivery teams will call upon their previous permanent way and track slab experience to ensure successful installation of all the track lowering sites contained within the scheme. During the project: • 5,101m of track will be lowered • 13,911 tonnes of ballast will be installed • 5,550 new sleepers will be installed • 1476m of new slab track will be installed • 5,200m of drainage will be installed • 6,182 tonnes of spoil will be created

Craig Jones Senior Project Manager e.

Craig Jones Stobart Rail Senior Project Manager

“It’s very pleasing to see that the commitment and hard work of the team working on the Gospel Oak to Barking Project is paying off. We are on schedule to complete the TLS8 Up Line Track Lower despite the challenges the team has faced.”

Andrew Sumner Contracts Director e. David Richardson Plant Manager e. Stobart Rail Head Office t. 01228 882 300

We are bringing our safety message to the Gospel Oak to Barking Electrification Project. STOBART RAIL HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELLBEING CAMPAIGN IS A HUGE SUCCESS!

For more information visit



Rail Engineer • September 2016

moving Story



et’s give full credit to the designers and builders of the Settle and Carlisle railway. Having set out to construct a line it didn’t really want, the Midland Railway Company didn’t hold back. Everyone is familiar with the spectacular result - a railway that is justly famous for its viaducts, tunnels and grandiose wild scenery. So proud and confident were the Midland Railway directors of their new line that they boasted it would endure for a thousand years. Built largely by muscle power, the quality of this Victorian engineering marvel was, and still is, truly outstanding. …or might there have been a few bodge jobs along the way? That’s probably an unfair question, and we probably shouldn’t criticise, but, in the line’s 140-year history, there have been some ongoing problems. Excepting the inevitable viaduct, bridge and tunnel repairs, the problems have been with landslips, formation sinking, and at least one cutting that should perhaps have been a tunnel. Now a location, never before much heard of, has gained notoriety - Eden Brows.

Desmond On the night of 6 December 2015, Storm Desmond did its worst. The flooding and devastation in the north of England, and especially in Cumbria, were unprecedented. It followed three days of torrential rain that had fallen onto already saturated land. Many rivers

reached record levels, overtopping defences, swamping towns and villages and washing out bridges. On the Settle and Carlisle, things didn’t seem too bad at first. Heavy rainfall in Cumbria is nothing new, after all, but this was to turn out to be something rather different. Eight miles south of Carlisle, the railway passes through a steep wooded gorge near to the Eden Brows estate. Some 200 feet above the River Eden, the railway runs along a ledge cut into the valley side - or at least it seemed that way. Down at the base of the slope, the flooded river, by now well out of its normal channel, was busy eroding material with great effectiveness. The result, widely reported, was a slow-moving land slippage triggered by the unloading of the embankment foot. The entire hillside was on the move, and with it the Settle and Carlisle railway!

Early problems It soon became clear that the ledge, rather than being cut into the hillside, had been built up using material excavated from nearby cuttings and tunnels. Even as the line was being built, there were landslip problems here. A contemporary account reported: “Shortly after we began to tip, a landslip took place and the whole ground - some five acres - began to move. The ground between the line and the river

blew up, on account of being unable to resist the pressure of the embankment; and the whole thing slid down towards the water.” The Midland Railway engineers, led by John Crossley, had considered a tunnel further to the west, but this was deemed impractical. It was only after a ‘massive drainage scheme’ was instigated that tipping to form a ledge could recommence. It involved sinking vertical shafts with deep drains connecting them. These shafts were afterwards filled with rocks and, as well as providing drainage, were intended to act as a ‘friction bed’ to prevent further land movement. Both the drainage scheme and the built-up ledge have given trouble ever since.

Moving down On Tuesday 9 February, Network Rail closed the Carlisle to Appleby section. Subsequent periods of heavy rainfall had only added to the problems. Ongoing ground and aerial drone surveys showed that, in the two months since Storm Desmond, the railway formation had dropped by 1.5 metres due to a rotational slump. The ledge, and indeed the entire hillside, initially estimated at 500,000 tonnes of material, was still on the move. Subsequent borehole testing has shown that figure to be an underestimate, with the area of land involved measuring approximately 150 metres by 70 metres.

Rail Engineer • September 2016


Story’s challenge Network Rail was quick to announce that the problem would be repaired and Story Contracting was employed to undertake investigative and preparatory work. The location is remote and difficult to reach, so Story’s work would include the construction of a large compound, tree clearance and the laying of extensive access roadways. On 7 July, Network Rail announced that the Settle and Carlisle railway would be fully reopened by the end of March 2017, following the construction at Eden Brows of a massive steel and concrete structure to support the tracks. Story Contracting has been appointed to undertake the work. This £23 million engineering solution was one of six that were considered. Other options included: »» Significantly moving the course of the Settle and Carlisle railway; »» A less major alteration to the course of the railway; »» Building a bridge; »» Digging out the entire gorge embankment and filling it with solid material; »» Ground works involving multiple crisscrossing rock-anchored supports. The structure to be built will be almost completely buried. It will comprise two rows of contiguous bored piles supporting a one metre thick by 75-metre long concrete slab. Upon this the new track formation, three metres thick, will rest. It is thought that 230 piles will be required, with approximately 130 of these on the failure (river) side and 100 on the cutting (rear) side. The piles themselves will be mainly

Jerry Clelford, soil condition tester, abseiling down the embankment . 660mm in diameter and formed of reinforced concrete protected by steel outer casings. The reinforcement will comprise seven B40 bars with 16mm shear reinforcement. All piles are to be sunk into the bedrock, with rock sockets being used to form a stable base. The piling depth will vary across the site. On the cutting side, the overall depth will typically be 18 metres, of which about 5.5 metres will be drilled into the bedrock. On the failure side, the overall depth will be about 20 metres, with 7.5 metres encased in the bedrock. They are to be installed at 750mm centres. Installation of the piles, using an air-drilled system, is subcontracted to Van Elle. The piling work is made slightly more difficult by the presence

of two fault lines that pass through the work site at right angles to the railway. There are differences in the bedrock material on each side of these fault lines. Extensive ground investigation works have been undertaken by Central Alliance, Geotechnical Engineering and others to build up a profile of the embankment and the geology beneath it. This has involved the drilling of many 30-metre deep boreholes. Story Contracting has divided the works programme into nine phases. The first of these has involved the construction of access ramps to bring the piling rigs onto site. This has been followed by the installation of temporary piles (steel tubes filled with concrete) to provide a stable platform for the piling rigs. Meanwhile, spoil trains have assisted in removing the old track bed. The piling work will take place four metres below rail level, which has required approximately 16,500 tonnes of material to be removed. Transportation of the spoil by rail has also ensured positive relations with the nearby village communities of Armathwaite and Cumwhinton. Another added bonus is that the unloading of the embankment has helped to stabilise the slippage.

Double row The first row of continuous piles is being installed along the cutting side of the site. After this, piling work will continue with the second row. The concrete slab, which incorporates a three-metre-high ballast retention wall along its front face, will be laid over the piles to form the structure. A layer of compacted aggregate three metres thick will cover the slab and then, finally, the ballast and tracks will be laid. Phase eight involves driver training prior to the re-opening of the shut section of line and the final phase will involve follow-up works, landscaping and restoration of the surrounding woodland areas. Once the railway is reopened,


Rail Engineer • September 2016 Network Rail plans to carry out earthworks improvements to the foot of the embankment below the line and above the River Eden. This is an additional £5 million scheme that includes the installation of rock fill and an elaborate drainage scheme. Rock armour will be added to prevent any further river erosion and a programme of tree planting will help to stabilise the land. As the work progresses, a close eye is being kept on the land movement by means of aerial surveys and ground monitoring. Through liaison with Leica Geosystems and design consultant Aecom, the latter is achieved by means of continuous automated laser scanning that is linked to a sophisticated alarm system. Environmental issues have been very much to the fore. The area surrounding the work site includes ancient woodland and there is a Site of Special Scientific Interest at the foot of the embankment. In addition, badger setts within the woods are protected by 10-metre radius exclusion zones. Both Network Rail and Story Contracting have worked closely with Natural England on these matters and continual monitoring takes place. Natural England will also advise on the tree replanting.

Brought forward

(Main) Test piling underway. (Inset) Track formation being dug out.

Whilst the line is closed, Network Rail has made use of this opportunity to bring forward other works on the line already planned for CP5. The installation by Babcock Rail of new level crossing barriers, wig-wags, fencing and road surfacing has been undertaken at Culgaith Crossing and at Low House Crossing. Meanwhile, just a few miles from Eden Brows in the Baron Wood area, J. Murphy & Sons has also been busy. Here the River Eden also cuts close to the railway in a situation not dissimilar to that at Eden Brows. The events further down the line dictated that preventive action be taken at Baron Wood. For passengers, freight operators and supporters of the much-loved Settle and Carlisle, the reopening can’t come too soon. Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s route managing director, said: “This is a vital rail link across the north of England and I am very aware of how important the railway is to the local community and local economy. I can assure everyone that we are doing all we can to design a lasting solution and to reopen the railway as quickly as possible.” It’s generally agreed, however, that, after these and other repairs are completed, the Settle and Carlisle railway will be in probably its best-ever condition. It should be good for at least another century. That’s still rather short of the Midland’s proud thousand-year boast, but things could have been worse. Crossley’s solution was problematic, but it did last for 140 years. He would surely have been impressed by today’s engineering solution. Rail Engineer will be revisiting this project as the work progresses.


Rail Engineer • September 2016

Class 707

breaks cover COLLIN CARR

Rail Engineer • September 2016


Class 700 bodyshells, Krefeld, Germany.


ou might have read about the Siemens Class 700 Desiro City trains that are under construction for Thameslink. A total of 1,140 of the vehicles are being built at the Krefeld factory in Germany. These vehicles will form 55 twelve-car units, each capable of carrying 1,754 passengers, and 60 eight-car units. The first of these new trains have already been delivered to the UK through the Channel Tunnel and put into service. At the same time, Siemens has been designing and developing a new class of train, the Class 707. This is also an electric multiple unit and it is being built by Siemens for South West Trains working in conjunction with Angel Trains, the leasing company involved. The contract, valued at £210 million, covers 150 vehicles, made up as 30 five-car trains, which are also currently being built at Krefeld. They are designed to carry a much-needed 18,000 additional peak-time passengers into London Waterloo. This undertaking is being linked with a project to accommodate a further 6,000 additional passengers on completion of associated infrastructure improvements. Construction of the first vehicles began in October 2015, and the first unit was completed in March 2016. Testing is now well underway at Siemens’ excellent testing facility at Wildenrath, which is about a one-hour drive away from their factory in Krefeld.

designed for all of the common DC and AC voltages that exist in Europe. The site is also connected to the main line. Six Class 707 units have already been transferred to the Test Centre and it is expected that the first unit will arrive into the UK as planned, through the Channel Tunnel by November this year. Steve Scrimshaw, UK Rail Systems Managing Director of Siemens, was pleased to state: “It is always great to see such a major contract progress and reach important milestones. The testing phase is the most important as it allows us to ensure that each and every unit we deliver is safe and reliable for passengers.” He added: “We still have a while to go before the entire fleet is complete, but sending the first units in for testing on schedule is a significant achievement that we can all be proud of.”

The design of the Class 707 is very similar to the Class 700. The bogies for both are of the same design and are being manufactured in Siemens’ factory at Graz in Austria. The aluminium bodies are both designed to carry seating cantilevered from the sides of the vehicles to make for easy cleaning. The refreshingly large panoramic windows offer travelling passengers light and open views and all electrical equipment has been moved from the end of vehicles onto the roof, increasing space. The open-ended vehicle design, referred to as ‘open gangways’, enables passengers to move easily throughout the train and provides increased security for lone travellers.

Flexibility The Class 700 has the Automatic Train Operation system (ATO), a requirement for Thameslink trains travelling through the centre of London. While the Class 707s do not have ATO, it would only require minor adjustments for it to be fitted. Both classes, however, do have the European Train Control System (ETCS). This is an emerging requirement for all UK trains as part of the Network Rail plan for a digital railway.

Test centre Wildenrath, due to its strategic location, had been an RAF base from 1950 to 1992 during the Cold War. Siemens took it over in 1997 and now boasts that it is one of the most modern and extensive rail test centres in the world. It is a boast that is hard to disagree with since there is 30km of track that form four interlinking circuits. These range from a 0.4km layout with gradients varying from 40 to 70 per cent, to a 6km circuit that can test at speeds up to 160kph. There are curved tracks, switches and crossings, third-rail power and overhead contact wires alongside power supplies The production manager can monitor progress on the fully integrated system.


Rail Engineer • September 2016 absolutely crucial part of our plans to provide the biggest increase in capacity on this network for decades. We are delighted manufacturing is now underway and look forward to welcoming the first units to the UK.”

Expanding Waterloo

Proud new owner - Tim Shoveller of South West Trains. Whilst working for South West Trains, the Class 707s will only use the third-rail power supply. However, they have been designed to work under 25kV AC wires as well. So, throughout the testing and commissioning process, the first two trains will be temporarily fitted with all the necessary equipment for overhead line operation, such as power converters and pantograph. This will enable the new train to be approved for both systems so that any additional order can run under wires, or the trains can be reallocated, without needing further testing. Thameslink (or the Department for Transport which ordered the trains) decided not to include Wi-Fi in the Class 700s, a questionable decision that has now apparently been reversed. Fortunately, Siemens had included the technology framework in the design so, hopefully, the upgrade will not require too much effort. Suffice it to say that South West Trains has included Wi-Fi in its specification for Class 707s. Reversing the story, Thameslink Class 700s are all fitted with toilets. However, South West Trains has decided not to include toilets in its Class 707 specification given that the longest journey time is less than one hour and their inclusion would reduce the overall capacity of the trains. The trains will be lighter than existing fleets and more energy efficient. Built-in carbon dioxide sensors will automatically detect when the air conditioning needs to be adjusted in a controlled manner that will cool passengers without them feeling that someone has suddenly opened a window.

A digital process Each vehicle is built using state-of-theart technology. There is a virtual 3D room based in the Siemens Krefeld factory which allows designers to discuss often complex amendments and modifications whilst actually visualising their intentions, thus dramatically reducing the time it takes to resolve such problems and knowing that the solution arrived at is the right one. This software system is fully integrated with both the design offices and with the production team building the vehicles. Once agreed, amendments to drawings are instantaneous across the company and, as the production manager was keen to point out, he can monitor the progress of work down to the fitting of the smallest item. Everything is logged and recorded on this system. Managing director for South West Trains, Christian Roth, said: “The introduction of the brand new Class 707 Desiro City trains is an

In conjunction with the introduction of the new Class 707s, an £800 million improvement programme for South West Trains was unveiled recently. The plan is for the improvements to take place over the next three years. This includes rebuilding the former Waterloo International Terminal, allowing Platforms 20 to 24 to be brought back into use with modern facilities. Also, the installation of new track and signalling and a new spacious concourse layout near to Platforms 20 to 24 will enhance facilities for the ever-increasing number of passengers using these services. As well as lengthening Platforms 1-4 at Waterloo to take 10-car trains, the project plan includes longer platforms at 10 further stations to accommodate the proposed longer trains on the Reading line. Additionally, improvements to associated train depots and maintenance facilities are being planned as well as enhancements at Vauxhall station to increase capacity and improve passenger journeys. The process of building a Class 707 vehicle in Krefeld through to final approval takes about nine months. South West Trains expects and plans for these trains to start arriving in October this year with the expectation that the entire fleet will be operational by the end of 2017. This will then free-up some existing trains on the South West Trains network to increase capacity on other key routes. For Siemens, the development of the Class 700 Desiro City trains doesn’t end there. A Class 717 is already being designed for Great Northern. So, for the 2,400 employees at Krefeld, there appears to be a Class 700 workstream emerging that will keep them busy for some time - a very reassuring message during this time of uncertainty.

New concepts can be visualised in the virtual 3D room.

& transportation

Bringing your organisation into sharp focus

About Mercury Mercury is a UK-based multi-disciplinary communications and work-winning consultancy that specialises in raising the profile of our clients to help them grow stronger and prosper. Our team of industry specialists has operated at primarily a senior level, and has vast experience supporting train operating companies, infrastructure providers, tier one contractors, SMEs, consultancies as well as regional airport authorities to deliver their business objectives. We have won more than 80 nationally recognised awards between us and we are members of the Chartered Quality Institute, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. We have worked for more than 800 organisations across the private, public and voluntary sectors. As a company, Mercury also brings value creation and best practice from a number of industry specialists working in FM, engineering, renewables, oil and gas, regional government and retail.

Our team’s track record 365/24/7 rail press office

Supported clients

in winning

£500m worth of work





with on call and out

of hours service




social media updates

MP and councillor meetings

1,400 media

case study and award bids written in the last 12 months




980 positive

90 events

80,000 customer surveys


stories published





We’ve won


award s

Our services include:

The difference we make:

• Strategic-level marketing and communications consultancy • PQQ, bid writing and bid co-ordination • Public relations • Public affairs • Graphic design • Website design and development • Social media • Printed material • Writing winning award bids • Stakeholder and community relations planning and management

Our objective is to make a positive financial difference to the organisations we serve.

With extensive experience of working with: • Train operating companies • Freight operating companies • Infrastructure providers • First tier infrastructure contractors • SMEs • Infrastructure consultants

Specifically, we: • Advise on the best way to promote an organisation’s work internally and externally • Advise on the best way to explain challenging performance and/or operational matters - helping to protect reputations • Build brands and make organisations more profitable • Enhance reputations through strong and effective community and stakeholder (including political) strategy and delivery • Deliver multi-award-winning marketing and PR campaigns • Prepare winning award bids and provide PQQ and tender support

With offices in: Yorkshire, London, Lancashire, Scotland and Sussex Please call on : 0800 1337320 Or email:

Reputation ∙ Business Growth ∙ Work Winning ∙ Defend ∙ Promote ∙ Advise ∙ Brand


Rail Engineer • September 2016



Liverpool Lime Street Resignalling L

ocated within the station throat at Liverpool Lime Street station, and standing in a deep cutting, is Liverpool Lime Street signal box. It was built to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Type 13 design and commissioned on 25 January 1948.

The interlocking is a 95-lever Westinghouse Brake and Signal Style ‘L’ frame and is believed to be one of the last such lever frames operated by Network Rail. It controls the layout in the station throat and on the approaches through Lime Street cutting. The deep four-track cutting extends to Edge Hill, just over a mile away, with seven short lengths of tunnel to support various roads and buildings. The signal box utilises miniature levers, special electric lever locks, lever bands and associated relay-based circuitry. Given that the equipment is nearly 70 years old, it is in remarkably good condition. However, the expertise to maintain and service the frame is now limited to a small number of staff, a number which is decreasing every year. The condition of the (newer) supporting signalling equipment, such as points, signals and relay locations, is becoming increasingly poor, so a large-scale renewal programme has been instigated.

As is often the case with a major resignalling, an opportunity to improve the railway during the development has been identified, but this would not be without some difficulties and challenges - and additional costs. It may be possible to simply re-signal the layout ‘as is’ (but to modern standards) as the cheapest option; however, there would still be a significant cost and this would not deliver a better railway. There are many stakeholders involved, including the train operators using the station, other local rail projects, the city of Liverpool and various organisations in the North West. Liverpool Lime Street is also key to the Northern Powerhouse strategy. Building Information Management (BIM), 4D modelling and video simulation are all being used extensively as part of the planning process. Most of the proposals are still being discussed and developed, and are subject to funding being authorised. Rail Engineer recently met the project team to learn about the development and the proposed designs.

Opportunities Looking from the station entrance into the station, the platforms are numbered left to right and from 1 to 9. Platforms 1 to 6 are used predominantly for local services and lie in the North Shed of the station, while Platforms 7 to 9 in the South Shed are used for longer distance services and longer trains. It is currently quite a complex layout, so a look at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ layout graphics could help understanding. The wide bay that contains Platforms 1 and 2 has an additional stabling siding - ‘A’ - running in between the two platform-facing tracks. Similarly, the bay for Platforms 3 and 4 includes siding ‘B’. There were originally two sidings between Platforms 5 and 6 - ‘C’ and ‘D’ - but siding C was removed in 1948. Platform 6 has quite a kink in it, which causes problems with signal sightings. In the South Shed, what would logically be platform 7 is in fact just siding ‘E’ - the support columns for the station roof are close to the platform edge and preclude it from being used for passengers. So Platform 7 is where you would expect to find Platform 8.

Rail Engineer • September 2016




Existing layout.

There is a wide space between the last bay for Platforms 8 and 9. Formerly, this space was used for an access road, with a short bay platform at the top end protruding through a small bridge. This has also been removed, as has the bay on the far right that used to be Platforms 10 and 11. The space between platform faces 7 and 8 is now used for waiting rooms and a redundant Post Office building. Removing the sidings will allow wider platforms to be provided in order to improve passenger flow and footfall. The current proposals under discussion are for platform 1 to be taken out of use, which will allow the remaining platforms to be lengthened to allow for a minimum of six-car trains. Platform 6 would be straightened to improve signal sighting and, after renumbering, will become platform 5. The buildings between Platforms 7 and 8 (pictured right) will be removed and the old short bay reinstated and lengthened, creating two new fulllength platform faces. This is not quite as simple as it may appear, as it will require extensive excavation through sandstone rock together with the infill of the GPO mail shaft tower and the service tunnel that connected it to an empty mail sorting office behind the signal box, which is now owned by Liverpool University. At least some of the excavated stone can be used for the infill, but it will still require many tons of rock to be taken away. The new layout will provide five platforms on each side of the station, with the long distance platforms in the South Shed extended to 266 metres.

Proposed layout.

There is an old service tunnel which linked all platforms and was serviced by lifts running under the station at the south end. It has not been used for some time and it will require infilling or strengthening to accommodate the new track layout. The tunnel was considered as a cable route across the station, but this was discounted due to its poor condition, flooding risk and working in confined spaces. The current layout is complex, slow and is unable to be maintained using mechanised plant. It could not be replaced exactly like for like as it would not comply with current standards. A number of options were considered, and the current proposal is to provide a layout which will allow trains to be predominantly routed to and from platforms 1 to 7 to the slow lines, and platforms 3 to 10 to the fast lines.



Rail Engineer • September 2016

The proposed layout will facilitate an increase in departure speed from 15 to 25mph and, with the switches and crossings spaced further away from one another, will improve access for mechanised maintenance. The existing shunt neck (in the centre of the layout) may be abandoned in order to achieve maintenance and track alignment improvements. Under the new layout, the home signals are closer to the platforms and most platform-to-platform moves can be done under a main route rather than a shunt move.

Overhead electrification works New Mk3D fixed tension overhead line equipment (OLE) to support the new track layout between Liverpool Lime Street and Edge Hill will be required. This will include a significant number (around 20) of motorised switches to be mounted within the rock-faced Lime Street cutting. Ahead of the main commissioning, new multi-track OLE structures will be mounted on preinstalled gallows brackets using road-rail cranes. In order to facilitate the new track and points layout stages, there will be a requirement to modify the existing fixed-tension OLE system by installing new wire runs and section switches, modifying existing wire runs and OLE switching, and moving section insulator limits. There may also be a need to install temporary OLE sectioning and switching for shuttle service during the main station blockade, and for the protection of platform construction works, although this is not agreed yet with all stakeholders. The project is considering the use of motorised earthing switches for the overhead line. This is on trial in other parts of the network and is a faster and safer way of providing local earths in order to carry out maintenance. If provided, this will be the first use of such technology in the North West.

Existing Lime Street signal box.

Signalling equipment New signalling equipment may include Frauscher wheel sensors, standard strength AWS (permanent, electro and suppressed), TPWS, LED signals and indicators, ‘right away’ and ‘train ready to start’ switches, and route lockout devices. All points operating equipment will be SPX In-bearer Clamp Locks (IBCL) with condition monitoring. The signalling will be connected via the FTNx IP transmission network back to the Manchester ROC (rail operating centre) where a computer-based interlocking will be provided. Lime Street Control is a signalling control method, used at a number of terminal stations, which uses the configuration of the train detection system to check that a platform has sufficient length before allowing the protecting signal to come off. It was first installed at Liverpool with the resignalling in 1948 and, needless to say, a form of Lime Street Control will again be provided, to enable the automatic route-setting system (ARS) to set into occupied platforms, subject to the train length conditions being proved by the system. Due to the limited clearances in the Lime Street cutting, consideration is being given to not providing ladders and walkways to the new Illustration of new signals in the cutting.

signal gantries. Therefore, once the gantries are in place, access will only be via work platforms or tower scaffold although, with LED signals and selfreporting equipment, this will be less of a problem. An interim signalling arrangement is being considered to support a single line shuttle service between Edge Hill and Liverpool Lime Street on the Up Slow/Platform 1 line during the main station blockade. A proposal is being developed to minimise the volume of abortive works and equipment (so the skills required to work on 60-year-old equipment are still required, even for a complete signalling renewal). The bi-directional single line working will involve alterations in existing location cases in the Liverpool Lime Street Interlocking area, although alterations to the actual lever frame and circuit controller wiring will not be needed. New relay circuitry will be cut into the route selection level of the signal levers, sometimes referred to as the track locks. This may require a temporary non-compliance and the provision of new sealed units around the locks to prevent any unauthorised tampering. The team is planning to make the bidirectional single line working switchable. During normal operations, the bidirectional controls will be disabled and normal controls restored to the signaller. The bidirectional working can then be switched back in again to support the requirements for the shuttle service during the main blockade. There is a significant amount of signalling stage works required for point laying - eight ends of points will need to be detected in the existing signalling system as well as new points brought into use. There will also be the requirement to relocate signals A (controlling the exit from Platform 7), B (Platform 8), C (Platform 9) and F (Platform 6) during the stage works while the platforms are being modified. This will also involve track circuit modifications, particularly for the introduction of the new Platform 8. The re-control of Edge Hill signal box to the Manchester ROC may be undertaken as part of this project and, if so, will require the

Rail Engineer • September 2016




replacement of the existing Electronic Route Setting Equipment (ERSE) cubicles at Edge Hill Relay Room. If this goes ahead, the plan is to carry out a significant period of rehearsal testing between Edge Hill and the Manchester ROC prior to the final commissioning and transfer of control. The commissioning of Edge Hill re-control would be carried out in the final weeks of the main Liverpool Lime Street blockade. As well as the FTNx IP connection back to Manchester ROC, the telecoms requirements will include customer information and public address facilities for the new platforms.

Equipment locations Currently, all the lineside equipment is housed in location cupboards deep within the Lime Street cutting. This makes maintenance difficult and a safety hazard. While modern equipment will require less maintenance, it will still need some. In particular, electronic switches and routers will require upgrading and replacing a number of times throughout the life of the overall signalling asset.

The project team was tasked with finding space for equipment located on the surface with safe, easy and maintainable access. Five locations have been identified on redundant bridges and areas of land, some of which will include leaseback or purchase. This will produce a benefit in that the inspection and maintenance of the structures will revert to Network Rail, and therefore the management of the assets and the associated risk that may affect the operational railway will wholly be in the control of the infrastructure manager. At St Andrews Street, an area of land has been identified in front of the ‘Bullring’ mural. This commemorates the life and times of people who lived in nearby St Andrews Gardens. The gardens were opened in 1935 under a city housing programme and the sweep of encircling balconies prompted the nickname ‘The Bullring’. The mural is an important local landmark and was unveiled by HRH Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip in July 1989. It is proposed to re-engage the original artist to create an improved mural as part of a curved security wall around the signalling equipment. While this is an additional expense to the project, it will contribute to the local

SPX Points Operating Equipment SPX Clamplock • Available in 54 configurations • Modular Compatible In bearer options in 1435mm & 1600mm gauge, other gauges upon request • Slips, Tandem slips, Switch Diamond, Compound and Double Compound geometries available • Wide To Gauge trap point version available • Hydraulic, pneumatic and electromechanical drive options, dual or single double acting ram versions • Rapid Commissioning version • Sacrificial Lockarm for unauthorised run through train movement

• Open Rail, Closed Rail, Lock Engaged, Lock Not Engaged independent detection on all versions SPX Clamplock Power Pack • 2016 brings the “New for Old” upgrade service exchange • New 1 year warranty on “New for Old” units • Whole Life Costs reduced • Point Machine condition monitoring sensors • Rapid Commissioning version • Zero maintenance & long service life design

SPX Clamplock Accessories • 998 Detector and Slides available ex stock • Rapid Commissioning 998 Detractor available ex stock • Power Assisted Mechanical Cranks for Mechanical Back drives (patented) • Wedgelock, powered, locking and detecting back drive for C+ length switch (patented) Wedgelock — one part number for all stroke positions • Worldwide Product support schedule

SPX Rail Systems can offer cost-effective retro fit in bearer replacement POE options and new works POE installations from Clamplock to back drive on a worldwide basis. Our approved and patented technology offers infrastructure owners the ability to increase reliability of railway infrastructure with standard ex works upgrade systems and new works renewals installations.

SPX Rail Systems Unit 7, Thames Gateway Park, Choats Road, Dagenham, Essex, RM9 6RH Tel.: + 44 (0)208 526 7100 Fax.: + 44 (0)208 526 7151

Rail Engineer • September 2016



Building a railway cutting in Liverpool 1881.

environment and community. There has already been local media and community involvement in the possible return of HRH, and the project team may have to contact the royal household to see who is available to unveil the new artwork - not something found on a normal signalling project task sheet! New power supply points and telecoms transmission equipment will be provided near to the existing Lime Street signal box. However, the signalling equipment at Lime Street could be placed on Platform 6, a central location from which cables can run to all the point ends and signals in the station.

Implementation The proposed model for delivery is hub and spoke, led by Network Rail IP Signalling (also responsible for signalling, operational telecoms, E&P and SCADA works), supported by Network Rail IP Central (for all civil engineering and station works) and Network Rail S&C Alliance (for all track and OLE works) A staged delivery approach will be required to reduce the disruptive access required to deliver this complex project. Civil engineering, track and overhead electrification activities will be delivered prior to the final blockade. This will provide the opportunity for the signalling trackside transmission system to be thoroughly tested prior to entry into service. The project may have interfaces with other commissionings as part of the Huyton and Weaver to Wavertree re-signalling, together with the possible delivery of the re-control of Edge Hill to the Manchester ROC.

The new crossover ladder at Crown Street will be installed early in the project but will not be commissioned until later. Switches and crossings will be installed at the entrance to the station to enable platform phasing in/out during the lead up to final commissioning. Ten of the total of 24 new point ends will be installed prior to the main commissioning. One advantage of bringing the points into service in stages is that it allows the significant platform alteration works to be carried out in a phased manner, which will keep the final blockade and station closure requirements to a minimum. The single bore tunnel at Lime Street provides a natural physical barrier to carry out works during the bi-directional shuttle service. This will be supplemented in the station area by sequencing the works in such a way that the boundary between the operational service and lines under possession is managed effectively, with physical barriers protecting construction staff. There is a high level of ballast contamination in the Liverpool Lime Street station area, predominantly asbestos and train discharge. The planning process will need take this into account to ensure its safe removal and transportation to a suitable waste facility. It is proposed that platforms 6 to 10 will have new buffer stops installed, with the reuse of existing buffer stops for platforms 1-5 subject to a risk assessment and a condition survey. Demolition and excavation works within the station will be undertaken with a material holding point near to the Lime Street signal

box before removal by road. This will require works to the existing road-rail access point, the relocation of existing GSM-R equipment on Platform 8, and a small section of the platform being taken out of use in order to demolish the redundant mail building and waiting rooms, although the exact staging strategy is still under discussion. The resignalling of Lime Street is a complicated, significant project with many interfaces and risks, but it also provides the opportunity for a much better layout to suit today’s railway and one that is maintainable, sustainable, and is able to support the Northern Powerhouse. Rail Engineer looks forward to reporting on the implementation and completion of the project once it is authorised. Thanks to Ian Fury, Chris James, Mick Turner, Colin Saunders and Claire Beranek of Network Rail for their help with this article.


Rail Engineer • September 2016

Safety, Sustainability and Security Polymer Cable Troughing




n the age of digital rail, with IP and radio-based communication and control systems, cable troughing can (on first glance) appear an uninteresting and low-tech subject. However, cable containment and protection is still an important part of the communication and control network. Over the last 10 years or so, the introduction of polymer-based cable troughing has contributed to safety, sustainability and security; and has been the catalyst for the introduction of other polymer-based rail products. With future rail communications and control systems being radio based, why are cable troughing routes and containment systems needed at all? Well, the answer is that radio systems, be they GSM-R, Tetra or Wi-Fi, all require fixed radio base stations connected to a central control system to manage the radio base stations and the data connection, typically using fibre optic cabling. There is also a need for cabling for level crossing treadles, wheel detectors, and point operating equipment. Often overlooked, or taken for granted, is that all this electronic equipment requires power, and we haven’t yet found a way around the laws of physics in order to transmit the required power by radio. Network Rail made significant savings with the Fixed Telecoms Network (FTN) on some routes by scratch burying a Double Insulated Super Armoured (fibre) Cable known as DISAC and not providing cable troughing. DISAC is no longer available, unless significant orders are placed, so cable troughing is still needed, especially if other cables require protection.

TroTred on the Paisley corridor.

Cable troughing history The traditional method of cable containment and protection is by using ground level concrete troughing. Concrete is heavy to carry and install, and is not a sustainable product. For embankments and viaducts, lighter post-supported products are available, but these are sometimes too light and are easily damaged. Where the earthwork quality is poor, there have been occasions when the cable holds the troughing up (sometimes at alarming angles!) rather than the other way around. Other materials have been tried over the years, including wood, asbestos and various plastics. Wooden cable routes were expensive to install and quickly rotted and asbestos was fragile, and of course led to another safety hazard and an expensive problem for current asset managers. Various plastic based products have been tried, but have all suffered from expansion and contraction problems and have not provided adequate cable protection. Some years ago, I was involved with the trial of a plastic troughing manufactured in Germany. We installed a significant length and monitored its performance. The results were mixed, but at the final on site decision assessment we asked the (sturdy) site supervisor to jump on the cable route - it broke, and several times. Not a scientific assessment but it justified the decision not to approve the product. In May 2014, Network Rail issued Safety Bulletin 323 which placed restrictions on the manual lifting, carrying and team handling of conventional concrete troughing. This was followed in January 2015 with

Rail Engineer • September 2016

TroTrof Trojan Services, based in Hove, Sussex, was the first to suggest a trough route constructed from recycled polypropylene. The product and material needed to be UV stable and tough enough to survive the installation process and the rigours of a 25-year-plus life next to busy railway lines. The material needed to have the correct processing characteristics to produce big, heavy mouldings in viable cycle times. There was some nervousness with introducing yet another ‘plastic’ troughing product. Initial samples were produced and exposed to rigorous testing and acceptance procedures through independent laboratories. The cable route was developed in collaboration with experienced Network Rail engineers who had learned dearly from mistakes in the past. Made from 100% high-grade recycled polymer, the system complied with HSE manual handling requirements and was awarded a green rating on Network Rail’s Manual Handling Assessment Chart (MAC). Being lightweight, the product also benefited from reduced handling and transportation costs. While initially more

expensive than concrete troughing, the whole life cost was cheaper. This illustrates how sometimes procurement and investment decisions should not be based on initial purchase costs. The cable route was designed to be compatible with the traditional C1/9 concrete cable troughing, which has not always been the case with other cable containment systems. The TroTrof product has won several awards for innovation and environmental performance (including the Network Rail Environmental Award for Innovation 2008) and all predictions suggest that it will outlast the specified minimum lifetime requirements. In particular, the product is well suited to areas where access is difficult or weight bearing is an issue. Cable theft and security has become an increasing problem with the price of copper rising. Buried cable routes are the obvious answer, but these are expensive and problematical if regular cable entry and exit to the main cable route is required.

An easy and simple mitigation against cable theft for the TroTrof product was simply to drill the trough and install tamper-resistant screws. To secure conventional concrete troughing would require expensive brackets to lock the lids together, or the use of clamps that compromise the trough capacity. A problem arose with the first generation design of the TroTrof C1/9 cable trough with the lids expanding and lifting. “Here we go again,” was the first reaction in the industry. However, as soon as the issue came to light, the Trojan designers quickly came up with a solution that did away with the problem and the need to manually gap the lid. The injection moulds were modified and a section of material was added to the underside of the lid. At the same time, a non-slip surface was also added. The re-designed units were re-tested at the British Research Establishment, confirming that their performance exceeded the original Network Rail specification for expansion.


safety bulletin NRB 15/01 which mandated a risk assessment policy for all concrete troughing products supported with a risk chart. On 22 April 2015 ORR issued Prohibition Notice PN40/22042015 prohibiting ‘’single individual employees or contractors manually lifting or carrying 10 or more units of troughing weighing 40kg or more in a 12 hours period’’ and Prohibition Notice PN70/22042015 prohibiting ‘’two employees or contractors manually lifting or carrying 10 or more units of troughing weighing 70kg or more in a 12 hours period’’.




Rail Engineer • September 2016

An elevated section of TroTrof.

TroTred Walking on ballast is extremely tiring and, of course, dangerous - even more so with modern quiet rolling stock and welded rail. It is often easier to walk on the concrete troughing route, but it is too narrow to be an official walkway and, while the location is safer than walking on ballast, loose or broken lids create another tripping and slipping hazard. In order to improve track worker safety, lineside walking routes have been introduced over the last 10 to 15 years, one of which was the West Coast main line with the introduction of the 125mph Virgin Class 390 Pendolino. Various construction techniques were used, but often it was the existing concrete troughing route that made construction of a walkway difficult. So why not create a combined walkway and troughing route? As a result of safety incidents, the Network Rail maintenance director asked the telecoms engineering team and Trojan to come up with a combined cable trough and walkway. There were initially some reservations with being able to provide a non-slip trip-free surface and what would happen to the walkway when the lids were off in order to run a new cable - isn’t that just the time when a safe walkway is required? Working closely together, the Network Rail engineers and Trojan came up with a solution based on two C1/43 cable routes side by side, but made from one mould with two separate lids and an overall width of 700mm. This provided the ability to segregate cables, for example power and communications, and the ability to maintain a reduced width walkway when laying new cables. Like the introduction of the TroTrof, the TroTred combined cable route and walkway was developed with the aid of scale mouldings and full size wooden models in order to refine the design. Knock outs were introduced for cable entry and exit, and to allow cables to run between the two sides of the route. Slots were provided in the trough for posts to enable a safe cess fence to be quickly and safely installed. This resulted in the removal of another safety hazard with the knocking in of fence spikes and the risk of coming into contact with buried services - yet another win win. Again produced from 100% recycled polymer, each TroTred section weighs 12kg and a complete unit 48kg. It was the winner of the Network Rail Partnership Award for Innovation 2010, which recognises excellence and best practice. TroTred offers significant cost savings in comparison to traditional separate cable and walkway systems and gained full Network Rail product approval in September 2012.

Airdrie-Bathgate rail link Retro-fitting a combined walkway and cable containment system to an existing railway route is not easy and will introduce the risk of damage to existing cables. Where the product really comes into its own is with installation on a new railway. This was the case with Airdrie to Bathgate in Scotland.

Completed in 2010, the 15-mile rail link between Airdrie and Bathgate was the country’s longest new railway for over a century, and the TroTred walkway and cable route was successfully installed throughout the route. One issue that arose on the first installation in Scotland was static shocks after walking along the route. It was identified that when it was dry, windy and sunny, personnel would build up static through PPE clothing. If they did not ground themselves before touching a conductive material, such as an Overhead Line Electric (OLE) mast, then they may receive a static shock. There were concerns that the TroTred unit itself was responsible for the build-up of static but this was not the case. The polymer material used was non-conductive and does not hold a charge. The solution was an ‘anti-static’ TroTred unit that could be installed before each OLE mast that would carry any static charge away from personnel before they came in contact with the conductive material. Another solution is for personnel to touch their boots onto the ballast or conductive material if they believe their PPE has built up a static charge before touching any metallic structure. The TroTred product has since been installed at Paisley Corridor Improvement, Todmorden Curve, Crossrail, Thameslink, East West Phase 1, East Coast main line electrification, North Staffordshire improvement programme, Redditch and many other maintenance and minor improvement projects.

TroBord TroBord was the third product introduced by Trojan to the rail industry using recycled polymer. Its interlocking design makes for a reliable and effective ballast retention system that can be easily fitted, especially at sites with steep inclines and where shoring is a key consideration. It provides the same light and strong construction characteristics as the other polymer products and, at 6kg per unit, the TroBord is easy to handle, requiring less manpower than conventional ballast boards. It can be fitted as a complete system or, being of the same dimensions as standard ballast boards, can be incorporated into existing concrete installations. TroBord was the winner of a Plastics Industry Award for industrial product design in 2011. Being manufactured from 100% polymer, all the Trojan products have a significantly lower carbon footprint than traditional concrete troughing. They are ISO 9001 compliant and each unit is individually hallmarked during manufacture, allowing traceability back to the raw materials used in its construction. During the manufacturing process all components undergo a demanding series of stress tests to ensure that quality standards are maintained. The units can be cut and screwed using standard hand tools, making them ideal for use on projects that require on-site adjustments. No wonder Trojan’s website boasts: “Tomorrow’s Technology Today.”

Suppliers of Polymer Cable Troughing Products

Visit us on stand d11 at infrarail 2016

100% British Innovation, Design & Manufacture to the UK Rail Industry

w/ e/ t/ 0845 074 0407

neTwoRK RaIl aPPRoveD

awaRD wInnIng PRoDUCT Range e:

oveR 500,000 UnITS DelIveReD anD InSTalleD

t: 0845 074 0407

SuppliersSuppliers of Polymer Suppliers of Polymer of Polymer Suppliers ofCable Polymer Cable Troughing Products Cable Troughing Troughing Products Cable Troughing Products Products

100% British 100% Innovation, British 100% Innovation, British Innovation, Design & Manufacture Design & Manufacture Design to the & Manufacture to the to the UK Rail Industry UK Rail Industry UK Rail Industry NETWORK RAIL APPROVED


OVER 500,000 UNITS DELIVERED AND INSTALLED / TroBord is a revolutionary product / TroTred is a @ pioneering cableinfo and / Winner of a Network Rail environment email: email: info email: award for innovation, TroTrof is a state-of-the-art cable troughing system.

walkway system. With the capacity to house the equivalent of 2 x C1/43 concrete troughs under a 700mm wide surface, TroTred also provides a safe walkway (safecess) for engineers.

intended to make ballast installation projects trouble-free. Its interlocking design makes for a reliable and effective ballast system that can be easily fitted, especially at sites with steep inclines and where shoring is a key consideration.

tel: 0845 074 tel:0407 0845 074 tel:0407 0845 074 0407

It has been specifically designed for the UK rail network and can be fitted as a stand-alone cable housing solution or integrated into existing concrete infrastructures. This versatility makes TroTrof perfect for maintenance installations and upgrade projects.

Produced from 100% recycled polymer, each component weighs 12kgs or less. It has been given a green status in Network Rail’s Manual Handling Assessment Chart (MAC) and conforms to HSE manual handling guidelines. TroTred is comprised of 5 components to make a full unit: 2 x half lid, 2 x sidewall, 1 x centre piece

At 6kg per unit, TroBord is easy to handle, requiring less manpower than conventional ballasts. It can be fitted as a complete system or, being of the same dimensions as standard ballast boards, it can be incorporated into existing concrete installations.

100% British Innovation, Design and Manufacture to the UK Rail Industry

Rail Engineer • September 2016





Sighting Siting? or

ell, in the context of the subject, both could be true, but it is signal sighting that is the basis of this article. Positioning and aligning signals so that train drivers can read and interpret them has been an important activity ever since signalling was invented in the early days of railways. To the uninitiated, this might seem a rather trivial task, but it is not a straightforward process and there are many factors, both physical and human, that have to be considered and agreed to achieve a good result that is acceptable to everyone. Within the UK, RSSB (formerly the Rail Safety and Standards Board) has been working for some time on a new rail industry standard (RIS) to achieve both nationwide consistency and a better understanding of signal sighting for the main line railway. Before 1999, regional practices, developed over many years, were still being used for signal sighting and subsequent positioning of signals. A Group Standard did exist, but it primarily set out the basic requirements without any of the detail on why they were needed or how they could be met. On 5 October 1999, two trains collided head on at Ladbroke Grove, on the approaches to Paddington, causing the death of 31 people and injuring more than 500. In the ensuing enquiry, one factor that emerged was the adverse effect of gantry-mounted signals and possible driver confusion for trains leaving the terminus. It became clear that better documentation and instruction was needed and a revised Group Standard (GK RT8037 Signal Positioning and Visibility) was published in 2001. This stabilised the situation and gave the necessary direction to the people carrying out signal sighting assessments. Since then, the UK has implemented the Railway (Safety) Directive, Common Safety Method Regulations. These changes to

legislation, together with ongoing changes to the structure of the UK rail industry, have highlighted the need to review and update signal sighting assessment requirements to take account of a further 15 years’ experience and understanding of the issues involved. The update will include an explanation of the need and rationale of each requirement along with guidance on how to meet these in terms of technical details, what needs to be assessed and who is responsible for the assessment.

Back to basics So what is needed in the process of sighting (and indeed the siting of) signals? In simple terms, the goal is to confirm that drivers can reliably read and correctly interpret the displayed signal aspects and indications taking account of the train service being operated. This might seem easy, but a number of people and organisations need to agree the suitability of each and every signal, indicator and sign. These include the signal engineer who provides and maintains the trackside equipment, the railway operators who plan the train services and the train companies who provide the drivers and operate the trains. These three are the nucleus of a Signal Sighting Committee (SSC), which brings together the necessary competence and experience to make the assessment. Cost, Removing Falsgrave signal gantry.

Rail Engineer • September 2016


New signal structure at Thorpe Le Soken station.

Positioning of new signals

More difficult to assess is what happens when unplanned changes, both within the rail infrastructure and adjacent to the railway, take place. These can ‘creep’ in without any real recognition of the effect on signal sighting. This was very much the case at Ladbroke Grove, where the signals had originally been sighted (and sited) to suit an all-diesel railway. The provision of electrification for the Heathrow Express service significantly altered the signal sight lines and worsened the readability of multiple signals on a gantry just outside Paddington.


When a resignalling scheme takes place, or when new signals have to be provided, the schematic plans show the signal layout that is needed for the train service to be operated, influenced by line speed, types of traffic, gradients, rolling stock characteristics and braking profiles, and other elements. The signal sighting assessment confirms that the proposed positions of signals and structures are compatible with the train service. Factors that can influence signal sighting are:

Impact of change to existing signals

New signal sighting.



safety and engineering practicalities all have to be taken into account as well as future-proofing for the planning of new services and introduction of new rolling stock. Key to reaching a good result is a good assessment plan that everyone agrees with and can support with the necessary resources. In order to set down the requirements for signal sighting, it is necessary to understand the needs of the ‘end user’. This is the driver who has to, in sequence, read the signal aspect and indications, interpret their applicability, decide if they apply to the train being driven, interpret their meaning, decide the action to be taken and then do it. Studies indicate that, on average, the time to assimilate all this for a simple signal is around seven seconds, taking into account conditions such as weather and day/night, although experienced drivers can do this more quickly. The actual time needed is assessed for each signal as the operational context is different for each location. From this a Required Readable Distance (RRD) is derived. In many cases, the signal sighting is relatively easy to agree but there are instances where the RRD is difficult to achieve for a variety of reasons and this makes the signal sighting decision more difficult. So how does it all work in practice?

»» Post or gantry position, left hand side, right hand side; »» Existence of other infrastructure such as electrification stanchions, bridges, level crossings and stations; »» Day and night conditions; »» Impact of weather conditions, for instance direct sunlight; »» Drivers’ cabs and viewing angles; »» Risk of over reading (seeing the next signal beyond the intended one); »» Intrusive local conditions including streetlights and traffic lights; »» Multiple signals in a driver’s field of vision, such as on a gantry; »» Type of signal: colour light (bulb or LED), semaphore, ground/shunt signal, banner repeater, route/stencil indicator, call on indication, trackside sign; »» Curvature of track; »» Tunnel signals and light/dark contrasts. The SSC takes all of these into account during the assessment and reaches a decision on the optimum sighting arrangement that can reasonably be achieved. This might be a recommendation that a signal is positioned in a different location to that originally envisaged. Ideally, the signal aspect should be positioned and aligned so that it appears close to the centre of the driver’s normal line of vision and the most prominent display should be the most restrictive (usually the red stop aspect).



Rail Engineer • September 2016

Other things that can adversely affect signal sighting include: »» Changes to the environment such as new buildings, roads, street lighting; »» Growth of vegetation; »» Changes to track geometry/position; »» Changes to track layouts - provision of double track, bi-directional working; »» Introduction of new trains with different driving positions or braking curves; »» Revised line speeds; »» New stations or revised station layouts; »» Changes to level crossing type or operation. There will be others, and most will hopefully be captured in the change process whereby signal sighting can be re-assessed. There is always the risk, however, that a change will occur gradually, so it is important that people remain vigilant and report emerging problems before anything untoward happens.

Means of sighting So how is signal sighting actually achieved? In former times, it meant the SSC going out to site with a mock-up of the signal and holding it in the position intended so that all could make a judgement. As indicated previously, most positions were obvious but the difficult ones could cause a lot of options to be tested with, invariably, a compromise being reached. Nowadays, with video wizardry, a more sophisticated method is available. Where a new signal is to be positioned on an existing and unchanged piece of track, signal positions can be superimposed upon a video showing the view from the cab. If, however, it is a new piece of railway or a substantially changed layout, then a simulated picture of the route is produced upon which the signals are placed. The level of certainty will depend on the sophistication of the video and the accuracy of the images shown. Where there is doubt, site visits once the infrastructure is in place might be necessary. It is for the SSC to decide what is needed to support a good assessment decision. At the end of the day, the drivers will experience the results of signal sighting ‘in the flesh’. A complementary article describing one innovation in the technology of signal sighting appears in this edition of Rail Engineer.

Signal testing at Stafford.

Shrewsbury to Crewe signal upgrades.

Mitigation, safeguards and risk assessments As hinted, the positioning of some signals can never be ideal and a compromise has to be reached. If the sighting of a signal is known to be poor, then a banner repeater indicator is sometimes provided on the approach to the signal. This enables the driver to know whether the as yet ‘unseen’ signal is showing a ‘proceed’ or ‘stop’ aspect and therefore whether or not to continue braking. Originally, banner indicators (effectively a black arm on a white background that moves through 45° when the main signal aspect is proceed rather akin to a semaphore arm) only showed ON or OFF indications, but recently ‘green’ banner indicators have been implemented on some routes that offer a three-state indication, thus giving the driver better information on the actual aspect being displayed on the main signal. Like all other lineside signals and indications, banner repeater indicators are also subject to signal sighting assessment. Signal sighting is one of many assessments that may be necessary before a change to the railway is commissioned. Others include the risk of signal overrun, permissive working and signal layout driveability. Drivers failing to obey signals or misreading them has been a problem for many years, with the term SPAD (Signal Passed at Danger) becoming a familiar word in the English language. Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems exist to mitigate the impact of a SPAD and range from the least sophisticated like AWS, through to TPWS with a degree of speed measurement and control, and up to ETCS with constant train supervision. Where a signal sighting assessment identifies that a signal has poor readability but it is not practical to improve it, other risk mitigations are available.

Signalling policy in the UK is always to build in an overlap for main line running signals that provides a safeguard in case the driver fails to stop in time, whatever the reason. Poor adhesion conditions in the leaf fall season can be a real risk, as can adverse weather such as dense fog. However, despite the additional protection that an overlap provides, it should not be used as a means of easing the sighting requirements.

Into the future As ETCS is gradually introduced with in-cab movement authorities replacing lineside signals, it could be presumed that signal sighting will become a thing of the past. This is not entirely true as even ETCS requires marker boards to define the places where trains may be required to stop, and these will need sighting criteria to apply as before. Ground and shunt signals are likely to remain in station areas and depots where sighting will continue to be important many minor train collisions occur in these places. Hence the need for improved documentation. Following a period of consultation, and with participation from a cross industry team involving Network Rail, RDG and the ORR, Rail Industry Standard RIS-0737-CCS was published by RSSB in June. It is very comprehensive and gives both detail and guidance on the multitude of situations that are likely to arise. RSSB members are developing their own briefing materials to support introduction of this standard into their organisations. The RIS is more a reference guide rather than something that should be read cover to cover, allowing a reader to pick out an area of interest and learn how it should be done. Thanks to Richard Barrow, lead CCS Engineer at RSSB, for both initiating and facilitating the article.


Rail Engineer • September 2016



g n i n i l m l a a e r t n S

g g i s htin g i s

Rail Engineer • September 2016


he purpose of signal and sign sighting is to ensure that a train driver is able to quickly and accurately read and interpret information provided by a signal controlling the movement of their train so that the driver can take appropriate action.

The problem with spreadsheets The existence of different tools (from paper to spreadsheets) with corresponding variations in sighting form layout and content, combined with local process variations across the Network Rail routes, signalling design centres and subcontractors, meant there was an inconsistency and a lack of standardisation. SSiFT v2 was a complex spreadsheet-based sighting form that attempted to address the issue of standardisation, with only partial success. This was because users were still able to edit the sighting form, increasing the risk of introducing computational errors as the spreadsheet increased in complexity. Spreadsheet-based sighting forms also suffered from manual version control and the industry had no easily searchable centralised repository for electronic sighting forms. It was also impossible to identify if parallel design activities were being undertaken on the same signalling asset by two different teams or organisations. The process of creating a signal sighting form was also time and effort-intensive with information having to be manually re-entered from other design tools. The sighting committee also could spend significant time on, potentially, multiple site visits, with their inherent safety risks.

Innovative approach Through the Network Rail Signalling National Innovations Portfolio (SNIP), SIG is delivering a suite of integrated signalling design tools. The purpose of these tools is to enable signalling scheme designs to be quickly, easily and iteratively created, updated and shared between different

design tools without any manual re-entering of information. This is achieved using Network Rail’s System Design Exchange Format (SDEF) XML schema. Another objective is to reduce the requirement to attend site visits by developing tools to allow site surveys to be undertaken from the designer’s desk. This removes exposure of staff to risk trackside, reduces cost and saves time. The SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit team delivered SSiFT v3 in April 2015 and it fulfils each of these objectives. It is a web-based solution powered by SNC-Lavalin’s rail industry portal. It can be accessed using any standard web browser (IE11+, Chrome, Firefox) and is available to any authorised organisation that undertakes signal-sighting activities in conjunction with Network Rail assets. It offers designers the ability to quickly and easily create sighting forms, either manually, using an Excel template batch-based import feature, or an SDEF import feature from other design tools. Automated form creation allows up to 70 per cent of the form to be created with no additional input from the user. Forms have defined versions and a workflow process manages draft, published, withdrawn and superseded forms. It also identifies and supports parallel design activities where this cannot be avoided. The user interface was designed to be intuitive, validated through user-driven human factors testing. Batch editing functions allow custom groups of forms or forms for a specific project to be edited in specific ways at the click of a single button. At any time in the design process, a sign or signal sighting form can be generated by the user, which delivers a professional PDF document in less than one minute, either by email or by download from the website. The designer is also able to generate an output SDEF file to allow additional design information determined using SSiFT v3 to flow onward into other design tools. A training version was also delivered, allowing users to practice, learn or experiment in safe environment away from the master database. To streamline the signal sighting process where there remains a need to visit a site trackside, there is also a fully integrated mobile application for iPad and iPhones. This allows the designer or signal sighting chairman to prepare the form in advance, download the data to their device and then undertake site based activities whilst updating the form (photos, geographic information, distances). Upon completion of the site visit, the form can be re-synced with the website seamlessly at the touch of a button.

Immediate benefits SSiFT v3 has enjoyed a high level of adoption across Network Rail and the wider industry, with currently 150 active users across 17 different organisations. Adoption within Network Rail continues to increase as projects and routes make the decision to switch to it. In the last 12 months 526 sighting forms have been published within SSiFT v3 with another 1,162 draft forms currently being worked on. Users have reported significant time savings being achieved with examples such as 20 sighting forms being produced in two hours (six minutes per form) rather than two days/14 hours (42 minutes per form). If this typical time saving is applied to the 1,688 active forms in SSiFT v3, it would represent an estimated total time saving of 1,012 person hours or 145 person days. These efficiency improvements lead to time and cost savings through SDEF integration, substantial automation and batch editing of forms. Savings are also delivered through the seamless and immediate integration between desk and site work offered by the SSiFT mobile app. Control and ownership of the form and the underlying data is clearly retained by the designer and the project. Through integration with other SIG design tools, fewer site visits are required and less time is spent on site. This increases safety and reduces staff exposure to trackside risks. During the first 12 months, a wide range of userdriven changes and enhancements have also been delivered by the SSiFT v3 project team, further increasing automation, standardisation and flexibility. Network Rail and SNC-Lavalin are keen to maintain the user community’s enthusiasm by remaining responsive to their needs.

Looking forward In July 2016, the project team will commence work on further user-requested high priority enhancements to SSiFT v3, due to be deployed in late summer 2016. A revised signal sighting standard at Network Rail is expected to be introduced in late 2016 and the impact of that on SSiFT is also being evaluated, with further substantial features (such as assessment plans, competence and electronic signatures) and enhancements being considered to more closely integrate with Network Rail’s design processes. Network Rail is also considering the use of SSiFT v3 for managing the master signal or sign sighting record nationally. Looking further ahead, it is possible that the SSiFT mobile app will be made more widely accessible via mobile phone devices and, potentially, other platforms. Simon Perkin is section head - systems and information solutions at SNC-Lavalin


At line speed, in variable lighting and weather conditions, with varying demands on the driver’s attention and with a multitude of other signal and signs controlling other adjacent lines, this is not a trivial task. The signalling design engineer (SDE) and the signal sighting committee, comprising stakeholders from multiple organisations, need to sign off the signal or sign sighting form. This is typically achieved by reviewing the proposed technical design, by considering operational use cases, assessing associated sighting risks and by the committee undertaking a site visit. The signal sighting process is undertaken either as part of a signalling scheme design process or following a reported Signal Passed At Danger (SPAD). Clive Kessell’s article elsewhere in this issue describes the latest thinking on this topic. Different paper and electronic tools exist across the rail industry to support the production of sighting forms to Network Rail standard ‘NR/L2/ SIG/10157 Signal Sighting’.


Rail Engineer • September 2016





s a vital part of the national economy, the rail industry in the UK is undergoing an increase in demand for transporting passengers and freight. Unfortunately, with the rise of sophistication of cyber attacks, Britain’s critical infrastructure, and its rail system in particular, is becoming more and more vulnerable. Due to interconnected systems, entertainment devices and services, and the integration of digital signalling systems, the attack surface of modern rail systems continues to grow. Cyber attacks on rail systems are no longer a hypothetical threat. As IT/OT (information technology/operational technology) networks converge in the digital railway, cyber security is paramount. In 2015-2016, four cyber attacks were reported on the UK railway network. In August 2015, Japan Railways Hokkaido was attacked by an allegedly Chinese-backed group. A more successful attack was conducted in December 2015 by (allegedly) North Korean hackers on a South Korean supplier of railway control equipment. Also in December 2015, a series of attacks took place (allegedly by Russian-backed groups) on a range of industrial targets in the Ukraine.

Fortunately, and despite this disturbing trend, there are ways to reduce the risks of cyber attacks. They can be diminished by following modern best practices for securing industrial control systems (ICS), with a major part of the new regulations including the deployment of unidirectional security gateways.

DfT guidance The British rail industry is preparing itself to take on cyber security as it embraces digital rail technology. As the threat landscape has changed for rail, all stakeholders must now have a shared responsibility of ensuring the safety and reliability of critical national infrastructure.

Particularly for rail, the industry needs strong cyber security guidance to provide consistency between organisations and interconnections. This year, the Department for Transport (DfT) released ‘Rail Cyber Security – Guidance to Industry’, stating clearly that signalling networks should be protected with unidirectional gateways and there should be a clear separation between enterprise and operational networks. The DfT is also engaged in an RSSB-led development of a cyber security strategy for the rail industry. Waterfall’s Unidirectional Security Gateways are hardware-enforced protection which enable safe network integration. The

Enjoy the benefits of a digital rail system‌securely. As part of its cyber security strategy for the rail industry, the UK Department for Transport recently released new guidelines stating that signalling networks should be protected with unidirectional gateways, and there should be a clear separation between enterprise and operational networks. Join the railroad systems and industrial sites worldwide that benefit from the highest standard of cyber security by deploying Waterfall Security’s Unidirectional Security Gateways. For your peace-of-mind around the safety & reliability of your control and signalling systems and everywhere your rails system is open and vulnerable to the Internet.

Contact us to learn more about the UK's regulatory recommendations and our field-proven Unidirectional Security Gateway family of products and solutions. Deployed in trains and rail systems around the world.

Visit: Write: Call: +972-3-900-3700

Rail Engineer • September 2016

unidirectional gateway allows data to flow out of a control network, such as the signalling system, into an external or corporate network, but prevents any flow of communications back. By deploying the application replication functionality of Waterfall Unidirectional Gateways, operational personnel are able to have real-time access to operational data and monitor their control system equipment as usual. The gateway makes it physically impossible to hack the control network through this external connectivity.

International solutions

The gateway makes it physically impossible to hack.

Instituting these measures can enable security teams both to eliminate the possibility of online cyber attacks from these links and to divert their resources to secure secondary and residual cyber risks. Following this best practice puts rail systems in the UK in line with defined blueprints for cyber security at industrial sites around the world. Moreover, unidirectional gateway technology has been adopted by international standards and best practices guidance by many governmental and industry standards bodies worldwide. In France, for example, the Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information (ANSSI) is responsible for the country’s digital security strategy. ANSSI discourages remote access and encourages the use of unidirectional gateways rather than firewalls.

On class 3 networks, including railway switching systems, they forbid the use of firewalls to connect any class 3 network to a lower class network. The only connection that’s allowed between a class 3 network and a lower class network is through a unidirectional gateway. Waterfall Security already protects a growing number of rail networks in North America and in other countries around the world. The company’s market-leading unidirectional security products are deployed globally by all segments of critical infrastructure including power plants, water and wastewater facilities, oil and gas on/offshore platforms, refineries and others. Andrew Ginter is vice president of industrial security, Waterfall Security Solutions

© Shutterstock

Network Diagram of a Waterfall Unidirectional Security Gateway.

© Shutterstock








W OM O N K GALA.C 6 O O B LEXEC 816 45 RAI 01530 L CAL



railexecclub @railexec

Rail Engineer • September 2016





gainst a background of increased urbanisation and longer commuting distances, railway operators around the world are witnessing unprecedented levels of demand in both passenger and freight transport. London is a typical example. With the city’s population forecast to grow from 8.4 million to around 10 million over the next 15 years, the city’s infrastructure and services will be under tremendous pressure to keep pace with demand. In Great Britain, more than 4.5 million rail journeys are now made every day on the railway - that’s 1.65 billion passenger journeys a year, double what it was 20 years ago.. As a result, large parts of the rail network are struggling to cope, many services are regularly overcrowded and station platforms are heavily congested at peak times. With these trends forecast to continue, the industry as a whole faces the challenge of how to match this growing demand with increases in capability and technology, providing much-needed extra capacity while continuing to deliver safe, comfortable, fast and efficient journeys. Clearly, one option is to build new lines. But this is expensive, takes a long time to deliver and causes significant disruption over a prolonged period. So the key challenge is to get more capacity out of the existing network, with the development of the digital railway and the provision of modern signalling and communication systems integral to success.

Metro technology For many years, Siemens has delivered automatic train protection (ATP), automatic train operation (ATO) and control systems to some of the world’s most complex metro systems. This technology is now increasingly being applied to main line railways, where the ability both to accurately position trains and develop a greater understanding of performance provides operators with significantly more control.

Delivering the Digital Railway For example, communications-based train control (CBTC) systems use up-to-date information sent by every train to allow other trains to safely move around the network in an optimal way. Instead of having conventional fixed blocks, based on trackside train detection, CBTC systems use flexible moving blocks to maintain safe distances between trains. This kind of architecture provides significantly more capacity within the railway, with more trains able to operate on the network as a result. In 2012, Siemens fully commissioned its CBTC system on London Underground’s Victoria Line, enabling 34 trains per hour (tph) to operate during peak hours. Already the busiest line on the London Underground network (carrying over 183 million passengers each year), Siemens is now working with the operator to increase capacity to 36 tph.

Path to the Digital Railway The company’s work with Network Rail for Thameslink is a prime example of the development, integration and delivery of complex systems on a mainline railway, with the project representing the starting point of the journey to a fully digital railway. Due for completion in 2018, the government-sponsored Thameslink programme will transform north-south rail travel through London with passengers set to benefit from more connections, more reliable journeys, better stations and new trains. Train frequency will increase from 16 to 24 tph in each direction through the core area, from Blackfriars to St Pancras, in peak times. As part of the overall programme, Siemens is helping to deliver the High Capacity Infrastructure project, which will provide the European Train

Intelligent solutions In addition to its work on Thameslink, Siemens is also developing intelligent control centres for main line application with, for example, systems able to optimise the use of infrastructure by scheduling freight trains between passenger trains. Recognising their different speed and braking characteristics, this allows the tracks to be more fully utilised. These control centres can also minimise the impact caused by any disruption, with a core team able to take a broad view of the railway as a whole to bring all elements quickly back into alignment.

Modern railways are a complex combination of systems working together. Many of these can operate automatically to set routes, regulate trains and make decisions about passenger flow, but performance and costs of the whole system are only truly optimised when they are fully integrated. This involves clear and detailed system engineering to ensure information is available to all systems that need it, including the operators who need support to make decisions quickly and efficiently. Having signalling and control systems in the same room as telecommunications, public address and passenger information is not necessarily new, but the additional integration of systems such as closed-circuit television, lifts, escalators, ventilation, power distribution and traction control systems is. Bringing all such functions to a small number of multi-headed workstations will also allow operational savings to be made through more efficient use of staff and more rapid and effective response to unplanned events.

Human factors The introduction of new technology must also be considered in the context of the environment in which they function; the world isn’t simply a model of clean, clear variables with defined

interactions. Trains move people around and people interact with one another, so human factors have to be considered. Commuters and tourists are very different customers, all of whom behave differently whether it’s sunny, cold or raining. Having a signalling system and highperformance trains capable of achieving a high-capacity service won’t help if a passenger’s umbrella gets stuck in the doors, or if escalators and stairways get congested and people can’t move quickly off the platform. And the more saturated the network gets, the greater this issue becomes. So, understanding how people behave, and then predicting and responding to those behaviours, is an area where mobile technology and data-farming can start to be used. Engineers can then be better informed in the design of systems to respond to such factors. Along with its supply chain partners, industry stakeholders and academia, Siemens is investing in finding and developing innovative approaches to respond to this challenge. Mark Ferrer is new technology director at Siemens Rail Automation.


Control System (ETCS) and enhanced signalling control systems needed to support ATO and timetable management. The Siemens system is ‘vertically integrated’, meaning that the company is providing the trains, train control and signalling systems that will allow safety, reliability and capacity to be increased. ETCS will be at the core of this, increasing capacity and energy efficiency through more effective train control. The introduction of ETCS and ATO follows a progressive programme of integration and system testing. The first stage of this was completed in the System Integration laboratory, the programme’s hardware test environment which was engineered and built by Siemens in collaboration with Network Rail. With successful results here, further extensive trials were undertaken at the ETCS National Integration Facility, where the new Siemens Class 700 train was also recently introduced. Finally, before its introduction into revenue service, a series of tests will be undertaken with the system in the Thameslink core. Thameslink will be the first operational application of full ATO over ETCS in Europe and represents Siemens’ first operational application of ETCS in the UK. Its introduction means that every train runs at the optimised speed and braking profile, performs accurate stopping, and maintains a strict adherence to station dwell times. The continuous automatic train protection (ATP) system, provided as part of the ETCS, means that it will do all of this with an increased level of safety protection. When deployed across the Thameslink core and London Bridge areas, the enhanced control system and ETCS protection will enable the train-borne ATO unit to achieve the necessary driving performance at closer intervals and greater throughput - both of which are required to achieve the 24 tph timetable.



Rail Engineer • September 2016

Rail Engineer • September 2016

Bristol area signalling renewals



Thames Valley Signalling Centre, IECC classic workstation.



n service for nearly forty decades, the iconic InterCity 125 High Speed Trains (HST) are soon to step back from front line service as the new electric twenty-first-century state of the art Hitachi Class 800/801 Intercity Express Programme (IEP) trains take over on the Western Route main lines. Network Rail’s ‘The Greater West’ programme is a multi-disciplinary investment programme to prepare the infrastructure from Maidenhead to Swansea. The programme is split into three separately managed geographical areas - Thames Valley, West of England and South Wales. Rail Engineer recently met up with Andy Haynes, project director for the West of England area, to hear about his £250 million project portfolio. Senior project engineer Matthew Spencer was on hand to explain the finer points of the signalling work. The West of England area includes the main line from Swindon through Bristol Parkway to Patchway and the approach to the Severn Tunnel, Swindon to Bristol Temple Meads via Bath, plus the route between Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads. It is controlled by the former Swindon, and existing Bristol Temple Meads panel signal boxes. The signalling system has to be immunised against the effects of electric traction but, as most of equipment is now well over forty years old, the opportunity is being taken to replace much of the equipment. The Swindon Area Signalling Renewals scheme was completed in February this year with the closure of the Panel there. The equipment

was renewed on the same basis as described below for Bristol. Incidentally, the project to remove the defunct Swindon signalling panel to Didcot Railway Centre, described in issue 131 (September 2015), was safely executed last April by the Swindon Panel Preservation Society, thereby preserving a working example of the historic BR Western Regionstyle of turn-push entrance-exit signalling control panel.

Bristol Panel box The Bristol Panel box was opened in March 1970 with the ‘Main’ panel controlling from near Chippenham, through Temple Meads and onwards to just beyond Bridgwater, including

the Weston-Super-Mare loop. A smaller ‘Stoke’ panel was added in 1971, controlling the South Wales main line from west of Wootton Bassett through Bristol Parkway towards the Severn Tunnel plus the section from Parkway through Filton Abbey Wood towards Temple Meads. The lines being electrified embrace most of the main lines on the Bristol Panel, ending at Temple Meads. There are no proposals to electrify beyond Temple Meads, so there is no technical requirement to immunise the signalling beyond, but it makes sense to extend the new signalling to Parson Street Jn, the junction for the Portbury Dock freight line and soon to be reopened passenger line to Portishead. However, this leaves the route south of Temple Meads, which will remain to be signalled by Bristol Panel for the moment.

Signaller training IECC simulation for Bristol.

Rail Engineer • September 2016


The work being managed by Andy’s team, under the auspices of the Bristol Area Signalling Renewals and Enhancements (BASRE) programme, involves 711 signalling equivalent units (SEUs) and is the biggest recontrol and relock exercise in the country.

BASRE compliance approach


The philosophy being adopted by BASRE is not one of complete resignalling. That would involve drawing up a signalling scheme plan from scratch, ensuring that the layout of signals complies with current standards and replacing everything including equipment on the track signals, points, AWS, TPWS and ATP. Finalising a new scheme plan takes much time and effort, involving many stakeholders including TOCs and FOCs. Furthermore, any redesign of the signal layout would, in order to obtain capacity improvements, need to be re-visited prior to the introduction of ETCS. Traditionally, trains are brought to a stand by the driver who, having observed a caution aspect and by using route knowledge and experience, brakes safely to a halt at the next red signal. With ETCS, it is the on-board computer that calculates and implements the braking curve. The consequence is that the ETCS block markers (equivalent to a traditional stop signal) do not have to be spaced apart to provide the necessary braking distance. With this constraint on signal positioning removed, as many block markers may be installed as necessary to protect junctions and station platforms, facilitating ‘closing-up’ and thereby improving flexibility, headway and capacity. With large volumes of signalling work proceeding all over the country, as well as on the Western Route, signal engineering design resources are under pressure. Given the need for the signalling work to keep pace with the electrification project, an alternative solution has been adopted. It was successfully argued that, as the existing layout has operated safely for 40 years, and on the basis of no initial step change in the timetable, it is sufficient to relock the existing layout with only limited renewal of lineside assets where justified by asset condition, electrification

immunisation, or reliability improvements. The existing relay interlockings, of Western Region ‘E10K’ type, would be replaced by a computer-based equivalent, of which more in a moment. Resignalling to modern standards is, however, planned for Bristol Parkway/Filton Bank/Bristol East Jn and will be completed before the new IEP service commences with the December 2018 timetable.

Complex scope The elements of the signalling renewal are: »» Recontrol of the layout to Thames Valley Signalling Centre (TVSC); »» Replacement of WR E10K relay interlockings with Alstom Smartlock 400 computer-based interlockings (CBI) situated at TVSC; »» Provision of DeltaRail IECC Scalable signaller interface workstations; »» Classic Solid State Interlocking (SSI) Track Function Modules (TFM) controlling trackside equipment; »» SSI data links connecting TVSC with TFMs via long-line data links using the Fixed Telecomms Network (FTN) interfaced by long distance terminals (LDT); »» An uplift to the FTN network to accommodate the required SSI data capacity; »» New lineside equipment location cases with new tail cables;

A previous generation of signal engineers test out the panel prior to commissioning in 1970.

Rail Engineer • September 2016



St Andrew's cross platform divider.

»» New 650V DC signalling lineside power supply; »» Lineside cable route: one third reused, one third refurbished, one third new; »» Track circuits replaced with Thales AzLM axle counters; »» All signal heads changed to LED type (mostly Dorman with the odd VMS banner repeater) by maintenance delivery team; »» Non-immune point machines replaced by maintenance delivery team. A collaborative working arrangement exists between the contractors, with project managers and engineers co-located at Bristol Temple Point. Network Rail, Alstom and Telent have a depot and yard here for storage of materials. The contractors are: »» Alstom is the main (framework) contractor, supplying signalling and signalling power supplies; »» DeltaRail for the Integrated Electronic Control Centre (IECC) Scalable and signaller simulations; »» Telent for implementing telecoms equipment including the FTN upgrade; »» Thales for supply of axle counters; »» Network Rail Telecoms (NRT) designing telecoms requirements; »» Network Rail Signal Design Group (SDG) developing the signalling scheme; »» Network Rail’s Bristol Maintenance Delivery unit, led by Roy Evans. The new LED signal heads are being placed on the existing signal structures where possible, provided the structure is sound, is not in the way of or has sighting issues relating to the Overhead Line Equipment (OLE), and still has at least fifteen years life remaining.

This approach also saves the cost of putting up brand new signal structures that will only become redundant when all trains are fitted and operating with ETCS. Some new structures have been provided, but the policy has been to minimise the use of huge structures by exploiting the Dorman lightweight folddown signal product that doesn’t need an access ladder. An existing gantry at Parkway would have been foul of the OLE and has been replaced with a new immunised equivalent. The bi-directional signals, located on the right hand side of the line, have been retained. As an aside, in the Swindon panel area, bi-directional signals were originally placed on cantilever structures in order that the aspect be displayed to the left of the driver. These structures are unsuitable for electrification and have now been replaced with single post signals on the right as per the Bristol area. Automatic Warning System (AWS), Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) and Automatic Train Protection (ATP) track equipment remains as now, albeit with new cables wired to new apparatus location cases associated with the Smartlock TFMs. The Great Western is one of the two ATP trial sites from the 1990s - it will remain in service until superseded by ETCS. ATP is provided between Paddington and Bristol Parkway, and via Bath to just east of Temple Meads.

More than just a relock Replacing the existing interlockings by Smartlock has the benefit that any subsequent layout alteration, resignalling or introduction of ETCS can be effected simply by making appropriate data changes to the CBI.

With a relay-based system, this would involve extremely complex wiring alterations, not least because the locking would have to be brought into compliance with modern standards. However, some alterations are being made to the existing layout design including the significant changes described below. The introduction of the IEP depot at the former site of Filton Tip requires two new connections. The main depot entrance connection will lead off the Avonmouth branch whilst the exit will be onto the Down Tunnel line and will be accompanied by a mainline crossover between the Down and Up Tunnel lines to enable access to platforms at Parkway. This, together with the re-quadrupling of the Filton bank line and remodelling of Bristol East Jn and Bristol Parkway, all to modern standards, provides the capacity and resilience for the December 2018 timetable. At Bristol Temple Meads, an unusual feature of the existing layout is the provision of ten St Andrew’s crosses, effectively splitting the through platforms into two. They are actually black crosses on a permanently illuminated background within a red case suspended from the station roof that act as car-stop marker for drivers. When setting a route into a platform, the signaller has a choice of midplatform or end of platform exit button to press. Through platforms are allocated separate numbers for each section and the actual exit button pressed will illuminate the platform number on the signal, thus advising the driver whether the train should stop at the St Andrew’s cross or continue along the full length of the platform. The disadvantage of this arrangement is that, even if the signaller sets the route to a St Andrew’s cross, the route is actually set and locked for the full length of the platform, including overlap at the far end which may restrict other movements. Secondly, this arrangement is not covered by standard signalling principles and could lead to confusion if the platform number displayed is contrary to what is expected or not correctly interpreted. Accordingly, this arrangement is not being perpetuated. All ten crosses will be replaced with back-to-back signals with position lights, meaning that each half platform will be fully signalled and so

Rail Engineer • September 2016



providing a safer and preferred design solution whilst allowing the existing service to operate. The position of some of the new platform sharing signals are being moved from the cross positions to suit present day train working and in anticipation of the IEP service. New Warner routes (delayed yellow) with zero overlaps are being provided up to the platform sharing signals if the far platform is occupied. If the far platform is clear, a main route will be given with a reduced overlap using the free platform. Clifton Down station is a passing place on the single line to Severn Beach. A new fixed red signal is being provided for Up direction moves into Platform 2, and two existing signals have been moved, allowing trains from Bristol to turn-back at this station, a movement desired by the TOC but not previously available. Charfield loops are to be upgraded for passenger moves incorporating full overlap protection and the removal of permissive working.

Project phases The project is being delivered in several stages (see map above): »» August 2016 - Filton diamond relock and recontrol to TVSC; »» February 2017 - Badminton line relock and recontrol, Stoke panel at Bristol defunct; »» November 2017 - Bristol Parkway resignalled in new layout configuration with a new platform; »» April 2018 - Bristol Temple Meads relock and recontrol to TVSC; »» December 2018 - new platform brought into service at Filton Abbey Wood and new signalling with requadrupling between Dr Days Jn and Filton Abbey Wood, new IEP timetable commences; »» April 2019 - Bath corridor relock and recontrol to TVSC; »» Control Period 6 - possible remodelling of Bristol East Jn. On completion of this work, Bristol Panel remains in service with just the south line from Parson Street towards Taunton. There is a plan to re-open the original terminal platforms at Temple Meads to provide more general capacity for trains terminating here, but the Panel

Box occupies the throat. To decommission the panel, proposals are in hand to recontrol Bristol south area to TVSC in CP6 after 2019. In addition, an FTN node is located within the box and would need to be relocated. There are also plans for a Bristol Metro, of which Stage 1 (service to Portishead branch) can be accommodated within the existing layout. Future phases will be helped by the proposed remodelling of Bristol East Jn. Further west, plans are afoot to resignal Cornwall and provide capacity for a half-hourly service between Plymouth and Penzance. This is expected towards the end of CP5 and on into CP6.

When is a ROC not a ROC? Network Rail’s National Operating Strategy lists TVSC as a Rail Operating Centre (ROC). However, the two-story building tucked away in a constrained site at Didcot was built as a signalling centre before the concept of the national ROCs was announced. Work continues apace to recontrol the Western Route signalling from life expired boxes and to date Paddington to Swindon is currently controlled with Bristol coming on stream as described above. The Oxford area is also being prepared for transfer. TVSC does not have all the facilities in the ROC specification, nor is there currently space in the building to accommodate Network Rail’s Route controllers who are based in Swindon. So it remains to be seen how TVSC is upgraded to become a ROC. TVSC exclusively uses the DeltaRail IECC signaller interface. The Swindon area was commissioned with IECC Scalable (issue 92, June 2012) as will Bristol, whilst the existing classic IECC workstations are gradually being converted - Reading has recently been upgraded. Interlockings are a mixture of Siemens Westlock and Alstom Smartlock 400. FTN is the carrier for SSI data links from TVSC to TFMs on site. Thanks to project director Andy Haynes, senior project engineer Matthew Spencer, TVSC operations manager Simon Ponter, local operations manager Graham Wells and control centre technician John Kai Kenyon-Noquet for their help in the preparation of this article.


Sav e up



Rail as a Eng read ineer er

HIGH SPEED RAIL TECHNOLOGIES 26 SEPTEMBER 2016 Supported by the National Rail Museum, this seminar will look at the 40-year history of high speed rail and how to plan the future infrastructure. Speakers include:

- Hitachi Rail Europe - Great Western - HS1 - HS2 - SNC-Lavalin

RAIL SUSTAINABILITY: PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE 11 OCTOBER 2016 Attend this seminar to learn how you can improve the environmental performance of the railway and how being sustainable can deliver real business benefits. Speakers include:

- Shaun McCarthy OBE - Helen Woolston, Transport for London

- Phil Hinde,

Crossrail - Richard East, Atkins


Book your discounted place today, in partnership with Rail Media T: +44 (0)20 7973 1251 E:


Rail Engineer • September 2016


Getting up to speed: rail asset information hits the fast track

SIMON BRIGHTWELL 3D point cloud data collected using Fugro’s RILA 360 can be viewed in RILA portal and used to analyse trackside assets and critical clearance measurements.


obust and timely rail asset data is essential for effective decision-making in the management of rail infrastructure - from trackbed evaluation, flood risk assessment and tunnel/bridge monitoring, to track renewal, electrification work and station modernisation. With these and many more network management processes hungry for information, there is pressure for quicker and more flexible acquisition of survey data that is also safe and accurate, and minimises disruption to rail services. Working closely with Network Rail and train operators, Fugro specialists are making significant strides in adapting survey technology - principally based around laser, radar and video methods - for train-mounted collection of asset information. The company has integrated track measurement, rail corridor mapping and trackbed surveys into its RILA package - as RILA Track, RILA 360 and RILA Trackbed respectively. Industry accreditation of Fugro’s RILA systems is the latest milestone in accelerating and streamlining the data feed to UK rail’s increasingly digital operating and management systems. Mounted on regular service trains, RILA Track carries out laser vision measurement scanning of absolute track position and geometry at line speed, incorporating high definition video. The RILA 360 system records 360 degree LiDAR point cloud data of the rail and is typically mounted on a dedicated locomotive. In May 2016, both systems were certified by the Central System Review Panel (SRP). More recently, RILA Track (in combination with RILA 360) has been approved for use by Network Rail under Band 1A, a newly created survey accuracy classification allowing its use for a wide range of design applications. It means the systems can now be deployed quickly and safely on a routine basis on Britain’s railways, supplying fit for purpose data whilst offering a clearly defined health and safety benefit.

Track measurement Unprecedented accuracy in absolute track positioning is achieved using advanced RILA processing software to relate sophisticated GPS and inertial measurements to a customer defined grid. Measurement of the X, Y and Z position of each rail is achieved by a twin-laser vision system. The volume and reliability of output is such that RILA data can be used for a wide range of purposes related to track geometry, condition and safety. Uses include measuring gauge and cant, identifying rail wear and the condition of switches and crossings, and determining ride comfort parameters. The ease and speed of data collection means that it is quite straightforward to survey before track improvement works to pinpoint where remedial action is needed and after to check its effects. Integrated video on the RILA Track system captures geo-referenced images of track assets, adding value to the assessment of track condition and logging of inventory. Meanwhile, RILA 360 uses two rotating laser scanners recording a million survey points per second per scanner to provide an ultra-high-density 3D point cloud of the surveyed corridor, enabling the user to analyse trackside assets and critical clearance measurements. Together, RILA Track and RILA 360 create the ultimate form of rail geo-intelligence. This leads to a more joined-up approach to rail surveys, where all outputs can be used throughout the full life-cycle of the project or life of the asset. Data is being used for track and signal design

and upgrade, electrification, vegetation and slope analysis, platform extension and many aspects of asset management. Users can access these high quality datastreams through Fugro’s RailData portal or they can be integrated with client asset management systems, including those using BIM.

Logistics Designed to be light and portable, the RILA Track system connects to the back of a regular passenger train in less than two minutes via a custom designed coupler adaptor. Survey personnel are removed from the track environment in the collection of survey data, improving safety and making data collection significantly quicker. The technology allows multiple data-streams to be harnessed at the same time and at lower cost than current alternatives reliant on separate surveys. By ‘piggybacking’ on scheduled trains, carbon footprint and pressure on network capacity are reduced. It is estimated that full RILA data capture for 100 km of track corridor saves in the region of 1200 hours’ conventional surveying time (assuming surveyors and safety personnel), while avoiding 200 hours of typical track possession.

Below the tracks RILA is bringing a new expediency and costefficiency to the creation and updating of high definition, 3D models of track assets and the rail corridor. Below the tracks, data collection is also speeding up.

Rail Engineer • September 2016 Impact This new speed and flexibility to mix and match diverse data-streams is making an impact in the UK and further afield. The Intercity Express Programme team is using RILA data taken from routes in Western region to support the introduction of Hitachi Class 800 trains and a region-wide project is supporting the Great Western Route Modernisation Programme and the Great Western Electrification Project. Fugro has also undertaken RILA surveys for design, QA and verification of high output track renewal sites in Scotland, acquiring survey data of 64 sites across the East Coast and West Coast main lines in just five days. Elsewhere, RILA track and RILA 360 surveys have been completed between Bedford and Kettering and Corby, for the Midland main line electrification project, and on the London and Norwich lines as part of the ‘Norwich in 90’ journey time improvement scheme. Across the Channel, Fugro is undertaking a four-year contract to collect GPR from some 1,500 kilometres of trackbed for French rail operator, SNCF. In the Netherlands, RILA and FLI-MAP® surveys have provided highly accurate 3D information to determine the position and geometry of 2,000 km of track (plain line and S &C) for national railway agency, ProRail. Facing

ever-tighter European legislation on railway safety, ProRail needed an affordable solution guaranteeing repeatable data, without the need for surveyors working trackside and without disruptive track possessions. These demands were more than met by Fugro technology.

Data flow With tough performance and cost targets to meet, the industry needs to acquire, share and extract value from asset data more efficiently than ever before. Fugro’s 3D rail information can be delivered via a web-based RILA Portal, where clients can remotely store, view and download data, inspect and analyse assets and provide inputs to engineering and maintenance operations. By providing a single point of truth (SPOT) and common dataset survey, specialists can speed up the critical data flow to engineers and network managers, helping them to reduce risk, maximise return on investment and improve operational efficiency across the whole asset life-cycle. As UK rail prepares for its biggest investment yet with HS2, Fugro’s RILA and other survey advances have arrived just at the right time. Simon Brightwell is head of marketing and business development at Fugro GeoServices.

1,000 MILES SURVEYED IN ONE DAY Fugro offers a safer, faster and more affordable way of delivering accurate, up-to-date rail infrastructure data and analysis. Our RILA Track, RILA 360 and RILA Trackbed train mounted solutions improve efficiencies in asset management and engineering.

Fugro RailData +31 30 755 1520


Fugro is having significant success with train-borne collection of ground penetrating radar (GPR), to help monitor changes in condition within the trackbed and plot the deeper subsurface, and to understand the asset and its residual life. Its rail experts have been working closely with the industry on a radar collection solution (RILA Trackbed) capable of scanning high-resolution, repeatable data at line speed that can be readily installed on different locomotives and engineering trains. Not only reducing reliance on intrusive sampling, GPR provides a comprehensive view of trackbed construction, ballast fouling and moisture variation, with options for bespoke (slower) surveys investigating buried services, structures and potential hazards such as voids. RILA solutions form part of a broad suite of ‘remote’ technologies for recording the location, attributes and condition of rail assets. Data from satellite, LiDAR and aerial mapping can add topographical and positional detail of assets, while targeted geophysical and intrusive site investigation can clarify the significance of suspected subsurface issues highlighted by the GPR sweep. Together, they allow engineers to assess and evaluate entire rail networks in fine detail, ranging from sub-millimetre rail wear measurement to detailed characterisation of underlying geology and geo-hazards.



Rail Engineer • September 2016


asset management


Control and communications


ngineering asset management is a collection of techniques, procedures, processes and skills that combine the technical issues of asset reliability, safety and performance with financial and managerial skills. The emphasis is on achieving sustainable business outcomes and competitive advantage by applying holistic, systematic and risk-based processes to decisions concerning an organisation’s physical assets.

(Below Left) Lever Frame. (Below Right) Entry Exit Panel.

Or, in simple terms, making the most of what you’ve got! Most engineering disciplines have similar challenges and requirements, and railway control and communications is no exception. There is a wide range and age of assets and technology, ranging from mechanical interlockings that are over 100 years old to state-of-the-art processor-based products. These assets have to deliver a high level of reliability and safety all day every day, with limited time to ‘switch off’ the assets to monitor, maintain, repair and renew. At the same time, they are competing with other assets for resources and finance. Successful asset management requires a number of key items including leadership, alignment with organisational objectives, engineering competence, good information, understanding failure modes and innovation. © David Enefer

Asset managers must be strong leaders. They need to have an open mind to new ways of doings things, be good communicators and keep abreast of what’s going on with an ability to listen and be informed. They must have a vision of the future and how to get there. Plans must be aligned through the asset management objectives, strategy and policy up to the organisational strategic plan. There must be a clear line of sight through all the documents. This will make sure that the assets support the company’s requirements and make investment cases easier to justify. Engineering competence must be demonstrated and will require a thorough understanding of the principals of rail control and communication systems. Asset managers will normally be charted electrical engineers (CEng) who have had their competence assessed against Engineering Council standards.

Control and communications assets The control, management and safety of train movements are fully dependent on the control and communications assets. Since the mid-1800s, these have evolved from basic principles into today’s highly complex electronic systems with many different types and technologies across the rail network. Interlocking of signalling assets with one another prevents conflicting or unsafe train movement. Interlockings were introduced following the Regulation of Railways Act of 1889 and range from the earliest mechanical variants, through a variety of electromechanical and electrical interlockings, up to modern computerbased software-controlled systems. In total, there are around 500,000 maintainable signalling assets on the network, situated in a wide range of environmental conditions, all of which have the potential to affect train services. These include: »» Signaller’s control systems - enable the signaller to monitor and control the signalling system for the purpose of route setting (using a mechanical lever frame, panel signal box or VDU-based system); »» Interlockings - ensure conflicting

Rail Engineer • September 2016



© David Enefer (Above) Barnetby - removing old signalling. (Below) Old signalling location showing condition deterioration.


»» »» »»

»» »»

routes are not set, as well as monitoring and controlling trackside equipment to assure a safe signalling product; Equipment housings - provide power, communication to the interlocking and an interface to trackside equipment; Points - route trains through a track layout; Signals - pass information to the driver, enabling safe control of the train; Train detection - provides train position information to the signaller and the control system; Level crossings - enable pedestrians and road vehicles to cross the railway safely; Other assets - including driver’s aids (AWS, TPWS, ATP and trainstops).

Telecommunications A significant part of the control and communications system relies on telecommunications assets to transmit information either between parts of the system or, in the case of ERTMS, between the infrastructure and the train. With the increasing use of open networks, and the ability for links to be re-routed, the control interface equipment has to provide a level of data security which ensures that messages intended for one part of the signalling system are not misrouted to, or misinterpreted by, other parts of the system. Cyber security is now a firm requirement for all control and communications systems, and the railway community is now on board with what is required and is learning fast from enterprise networks and other control system disciplines.

Renewals planning The volume of signalling interventions planned for any given year is primarily influenced by the condition of the asset and its ability to deliver the required outputs, together with any signalling related works to enhance the network. Many factors, including the availability of track access slots and design, installation, testing and commissioning resources, influence individual project schedules. Interventions can range from like-for-like renewals, through part renewal, to complete renewal and resignalling. Network Rail asset managers are responsible for instigating, remitting and sponsoring the required interventions.

SEU and SICA Network Rail maintenance activity is planned and reported at the individual asset level. For planning and delivery of signalling renewals, however, this level is too granular and so renewal plans are considered at a slightly higher level. The Signalling Equivalent Unit (SEU) represents a vertical slice through the system that is an interlocking area (with all the associated trackside assets). It is therefore a convenient sizing tool for a controllable function, such as a signal or set of points, including parts of the signaller’s control system, interlocking, comms system and apparatus housing in addition to the trackside equipment. When used for estimating the scope and cost of a resignalling project, the number of controlled functions (SEUs) can be used, along with the SEU renewal rate, to include alterations to the

signaller’s control system, the interlocking, train detection, power supplies and associated cabling. The SEU also includes an allowance for other associated assets that do not themselves constitute a unit. SEU volumes are used to justify budgets and funding requests, therefore it is vital that correct counts are made and recorded in order to make adequate budget provision. SEUs are also used as part of the contracting structure, with a significant effort to improve efficiency, both through scope reduction and a reduction in the SEU rate itself. The Signalling Infrastructure Condition Assessments (SICA) process provides a structured approach to determining the


Rail Engineer • September 2016


Asset performance

© Martin Westerman GSM-R site.

condition of a signalling asset by answering a set of objective questions regarding its physical condition, environment, reliability and maintainability. Within an interlocking area, samples are taken of multiple assets (such as signals) and a condition score for each asset type is determined by averaging the score of each asset sampled. This ‘remaining life’ gives an indication of the likely date an intervention is required to renew the asset type based on the currently observed condition, a set of predicted deterioration profiles defined within the tool itself, the currently observed environment and assuming no other interventions are made. SICA surveys are either primary or secondary - primary surveys are less detailed and occur earlier in the asset’s life. The timing and detail of condition assessments reflects the previously assessed condition, with more detailed and frequent assessments undertaken on those systems in the poorest condition. A similar system is used for telecommunications assets (with the unfortunate abbreviation of TICA not for the first time has some wag proceeded it with “Chicken”).

Control and communications assets are integral to how the railway operates and can therefore have a significant effect on train services. Not all failures will affect the reliability of the railway; for example, some components and sub-systems are designed to maintain availability under failure conditions (examples are dual filament signal lamps and duplicated transmission systems). A longstanding and consistent measure of the safety of the control and communication assets is the number of safety-related or wrongside failures (WSF) recorded in the signalling incident system (SINCS). These are sub-divided into high-risk events (hazard rating of 20 or more), other failures where the systems are unable to provide some restriction or protection (known as unprotected) and those where the system provides a degree of protection. Whilst WSFs have, by definition, the potential to lead to a safety incident, it must not be forgotten that any failure of the control and communication system may have safety-related consequences. With the assets designed both to fail safe and to supervise other parts of the infrastructure as well as staff, the result of failure can be to prevent or restrict train movements. Any loss of the signalling system leads to degraded working - with instructions passed verbally between staff and between signallers and drivers, assuming voice communications are still available. Whilst the procedures are robust, there is always room for human error that can lead to mistakes and incidents. Control and communication failures have a significant impact on the infrastructure with nearly 40 per cent of all failures attributed to these assets. Failures of points, track circuits, signalling systems and signals have the greatest impact. The good news is that there is a continuing downward trend in both the number of incidents and the resulting delay. Bringing maintenance in-house, and standardising both the maintenance regime and its application, has contributed to this improvement. Much work has been done to identify and eliminate latent

design and manufacturing issues which contribute to poor asset reliability. Improvements in the performance of signals are largely attributed to the progressive introduction of LED signal heads. For points, the introduction of master-class and supplementary drive set-up training, together with commissioning of remote condition monitoring, and the implementation of improvements to address emerging issues following the Lambrigg accident, have all had a positive impact. Track circuit performance has improved with the introduction of moulded tail cables, the development and upgrade of TI21 equipment, upgrading older installations to duplicated tail cables, and masterclass initiatives to share best practise and improve competency applied to insulated rail joints (IRJ). Signalling’s traditional failsafe approach - the ability to turn a signal to danger and prevent route setting - doesn’t help availability, and combining high levels of safety and availability within an affordable system is challenging.

Known areas of risk There are a number of known risks that the asset manager has to be aware of and manage, some of which are: Wire insulation degradation the degradation of wire insulation leads to the risk of circuits being unintentionally operated with the potential that train movements are authorised when unsafe. The main causes are excessive temperatures when, in very high temperature environments and with excessive current loading, cables can fail within a few months. There are no standards or specifications for the lifetime of a wire or cable, although a manufacturer will typically quote in the order of 20 years in the correct environment. Properly designed and managed cables can last well over 50 years, with some of the paper-insulated twisted-pair copper telecoms cables installed in the early 60s still providing excellent performance. The failure risk with wire degradation is mainly with relay interlockings, but it can occur on

Rail Engineer • September 2016 Reliability-centred maintenance Historically, all control and communications equipment was subject to a planned preventative-maintenance cycle designed to maintain the asset in its ‘as built’ condition, or to manage the rate of degradation of the asset to a level that is acceptable. However, the reliability-centred maintenance programmes for signalling and telecommunications equipment have both identified historic maintenance tasks that cannot be demonstrated to be beneficial either to performance or to the asset and have reviewed the desirable frequencies for the remaining tasks. The benefits of this are that the maintenance resource is utilised more efficiently and, where appropriate, the frequency of visits is adjusted to match the criticality of the asset. An example is two sets of points, one outside a very busy station which moves hundreds of times a day, and a lightly used set on a lightly used route which is only used occasionally. Do they require inspection and maintenance at the same frequency? The answer is no, and the more intensively operated set should require more. The asset manager is responsible for endorsing and approving any change to maintenance plans and monitoring that the change does not adversely affect the performance of the asset. The Network Rail asset manager also manages a team of specialist engineers that assists and mentors the maintenance technicians as well as carrying out independent competency assessments.

Intelligent infrastructure While processor software-based systems can be a problem with early obsolescence, the same technology, together with modern communications, has provided the ability to monitor the condition of assets remotely. Intelligent infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IOT) will take this to another level, with even more information available to assist the asset manager. In the future, this may include automatic input into the SICA system and to request maintenance interventions.

An example of severe wire degradation which was urgently replaced. BIM and other integrated asset information systems are also useful tools, but these need to be carefully designed and integrated to reduce manual input and interpretation, avoid duplication of effort and to provide only one version of the truth. Where substantial numbers of assets within an interlocking area are assessed as life expired, or there is a need to change the operational configuration of the assets, then an interlocking area approach is adopted. Projects are categorised to include conventional resignalling (where the interlocking and all associated assets are renewed and reconfigured, often with an update to, or replacement of, the signallers control system) and level crossing renewals (including alterations to associated signalling assets). Typically, the opportunity will be taken to incorporate network enhancements and introduce operational efficiencies by combining control areas. This will increase with the introduction of ETCS and traffic management. Historically, the rate of renewal of SEUs has been about 1.5% of the population per annum, indicating that many assets are being retained in service for over 60 years. So the asset manager has a very challenging, but important and rewarding, role - one that is vital to getting the most out of the railway’s control and communication assets. Suite of equipment locations.


all signalling equipment. Certain types of older cabling are known to be at greater risk. Mitigations against wire degradation are environmental controls, regular and automatic cable inspection and testing. It may be possible to replace individual wires one at time, but this can introduce additional risk. Often the only solution is complete renewal. Silver migration - some insulating materials enable silver, often used in contacts, to form conductive paths through the surface layers of the material. Relay interlockings of older designs, as well as certain types of relays, are at greatest risk although these have now largely been replaced. Single cut circuits - some lineside circuits only include controls within either the positive or negative leg of the electrical circuit. This simplified design, a legacy of differing approaches to the management of signalling principles and circuit design, increases the risk of protection circuitry being bypassed due to cable insulation faults. Level crossing approach locking - a legacy of differing approaches to the application of signalling principles has resulted in some manually controlled level crossings without approach locking circuitry. This increases the risk of human error with no safeguards in place. The majority of such installations have now been addressed. Relay failures - safety relays have a number of known failure modes that, whilst rare, can lead to significantly increased risk such as circuits being bypassed. This can affect all types of interlockings, track circuits and level crossings. Regular maintenance and servicing of relays is required. This is expensive and resource hungry but, as more solid-state systems are introduced, the problem will reduce. Track circuit rail-head contamination - a particular problem with autumn leaf fall and sometimes with other contaminants such as sand dropped for adhesion. This may also affect rarely used sections due to rust. The problem is best managed jointly with the rolling stock operator and with the assistance of track circuit assisters and wheel scrubbers. Equipment obsolescence - railways assets are required to have a longer life than in many other industries so equipment obsolescence can be a problem. In some cases, so long as there is no requirement to modify or change the configuration of the asset and spares are available, this is not an issue. It is becoming more of a problem with some very old mechanical assets as engineers with the expertise to manage and service them retire. Electronic software-based systems that are a few decades old can also be a problem. Solutions can require innovation and the input of specialists to retroengineer parts and subsystems.


Rail Engineer • September 2016

USA Positiv e Train


Contro l




t is not just Great Britain and Europe that struggles with the technology and financing of improved train protection systems, and a recent IRSE seminar in Tokyo hosted a paper by Robert Burkhardt from Isis Consultants llc on the problems being experienced in the USA to improve train running safety.

West side train yard for Pennsylvania Station, New York.

© Felix Lipon/

As is so often the case, the demand for improved train safety was triggered by a serious accident. This occurred in 2008 when a Metrolink train collided head on with a freight train in Los Angeles. The result was 18 people killed and many more injured. The scale of things in America is, however, different - the rail network is vast and the predominant traffic is long haul freight. But passenger train operation is on the increase, particularly suburban networks around the major cities, and there is the prospect of high speed lines being constructed to connect up conurbations on the eastern and western seaboards. In 2014, the USA had 142,636 miles of railroad of which 62,000 was in ‘dark territory’ - away from the main areas of population where distances can be vast. The logistics of providing British-style fencing just do not add up, so much of the railroad is in open country where access to the track is all too easy. This has always presented safety risks, and incidents are relatively commonplace when judged by European standards. Things reached a head after the Los Angeles crash. The Federal government duly passed an Act in 2008 that required a train protection system to be put in place on all Class 1 railroads, these being classified as any line carrying greater than five million tons of freight per year and any line operating inter-city passenger services. This accounts for around 70,000 miles of route, about half the total network.

Positive Train Control The result is the introduction of Positive Train Control (PTC). In European terms, the functional requirements embrace all of ETCS Levels 1, 2 and 3 thinking, the actual application being dependent on the type of line to be fitted. Funding such an initiative was never going to be easy, as American rail operations are all privately owned with many running very tight budgets. An initial allocation of $13 billion was costed, out of which the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) provided money for some demonstration projects. Also available was funding from TIGER (Transportation Investment to Generate Economic Recovery) to provide pre-PTC improvements on some lines. However it is not permitted to use TIGER money specifically for PTC, only for improvement works that might facilitate PTC. The original mandate was to have all lines equipped by Dec 2015, but this was to prove hopelessly optimistic in terms of timescale and available finance. Four main elements were identified when considering the main requirements: »» Control centre equipment (the back office) including the PTC server; »» On-board equipment with computer based intelligence on the locomotive; »» Wayside equipment to interface with existing signalling equipment; »» A communications network, primarily radio, to link these all together.

Rail Engineer • September 2016


Meteorcomm model 63020 locomotive radio.

Technical challenges The FRA did not detail the specific technology to be used and this could vary for the different types of railroad. A dense suburban line would not have the same needs as a long-distance freight operation. Fitting of rolling stock (mostly existing) would not be the same for a commuter EMU as for a powerful freight diesel. The use of coded track circuits could be applicable on a metro-type city line but would not be appropriate for lines in ‘dark’ territory. There was also a reluctance to fit speed control to freight trains as this could adversely impact on sensible driving techniques. The scale of network adds to the problem: 22,000 locomotives, 32,500 lineside interfaces, 2,600 points, 15,100 signals, 4,000 radio base stations. Without a single defined standard, a pragmatic solution has been needed to obtain the required level of interoperability, this being achieved by cross connections in the control centres for trains with differing radio or PTC systems.

Five different systems The result is that across the USA, five different types of PTC system have emerged. »» I-ETMS (Interoperable Electronic Train Management System). This has become the principal system of choice out of the five. Used on CSX, Norfolk & Western, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific - all primarily freight carriers. Produced by more than one supplier including Wabtec, Siemens, Alstom (ex GE) and Hitachi. Based around

GPS and radio communications. »» ETMS (Electronic Train Management System). Used on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad. A GPS and radio communications system. »» ACSES (Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System). Developed in the 1990s by Alstom as a traditional cab signalling system. In use on the NE Corridor network since 2002, this is a transponder-based system for location information with radio links for transmission. »» ITCS (Incremental Train Control System). Deployed on lines in Michigan and suitable for passenger trains up to 110mph. Originally a Harmon Industries design but taken up by GE following the takeover and now adopted by Alstom after the acquisition of the GE rail business. Also uses GPS and radio communications. »» E-ATC (Enhanced Automatic Train Control). An upgrade of existing train protection systems and already in use in mass transit type lines. Can be radio or fibre-based. Although most of these systems work to the same basic principles and meet the broad order FRA objectives, none of them are interoperable, hence the need to engineer interworking by transitions in the ‘back office’. The situation is unlikely to change and has to be lived with.


The overall PTC objective is for data to be constantly available to monitor train speed against line speed requirements, to show the presence of other trains and to identify work sites where operating/speed restrictions will be in force. This broadly results in a GPS signal keeping track of all trains, comparing this to data for the particular route and giving speed advice to the driver which, if not followed, will automatically brake the train. In short: keep trains separated, enforce line speeds and keep trackside workers safe. All of this will be very familiar to rail engineers where train protection systems are already deployed but, in America, both the operational and commercial considerations have led to confusion and difficult decisions.



Rail Engineer • September 2016

Glenview, Illinois.

Railroad tracks at San Diego.

Freight train in the Mojave desert, California.

© Joseph Sohm/

© Joe Ravi/

Radio communication


As in all countries, radio spectrum is a valuable commodity. This is particularly true in the USA. Radio frequencies are not allocated to the railroad business for free, so some spectrum bandwidth in the 220MHz band has been purchased but there is no mandatory requirement to use this. This is part of the public emergency band serving such as police and coastguard, and the railroads have to share with them. The allocation is sufficient for lines away from dense suburban areas but, in the big cities, another way of obtaining additional bandwidth was needed to maintain the required data rate to trains. Thus has emerged the concept of sharing spectrum in other bands, principally 3G and 4G cellular and Wi-Fi. This shared operation has meant complications in developing the train-borne radios’ software to enable searching for the strongest and most appropriate network. The work took time and was not completed until 2014. Meteorcomm is one of the main suppliers of PTC train data radios. The shared network idea has many implications and leads to future mobile network specifications being based on functional rather than technical specifications. The forthcoming 5G system will be the test of this and might indeed lead to it being chosen as the successor to GSM-R. Connecting up the radio coverage has demanded investment in landline provision and thus new fibre optics networks are being constructed across the railroads of America with opportunities for commercial exploitation of any spare capacity.

The PTC programme will happen, although it has (and continues to be) a tortuous path for roll out. The December 2015 date for completion was never realistic and Congress has agreed to extend the time for completion until 2018. If this had not happened, legal implications would have effectively forced the railroads to close, an unrealistic scenario. The project remains controversial but necessary and it is already yielding much-needed improved safety.

The PTC concept is not perfect. However, it has forced the various private companies to think more about rail operation and the expected increase in both passenger and freight traffic for which PTC will enable greater capacity. The system does not provide train integrity proving, this being a responsibility of the train crew. Reliability of some PTC equipment has been a problem. Getting permission to build radio towers has not been easy. A general lack of resources is a common difficulty and the lack of a single defined standard has not helped. Are there lessons for other countries? Almost certainly, yes. The two main attributes are the ability to interwork different systems in the same area and the use of multiple radio networks to obtain the necessary coverage and bandwidth. All should be taking note.

Manchester Metrology LTD Portable Measurement Solutions

Training on all Faro software, Delcam, Aberlink, Geomagic, onsite inspection services using arms and laser trackers



Rail Engineer • September 2016

ATACS The Japanese Level 3? CLIVE KESSELL

ATACS MMI on right of cab desk.


he concept of ERTMS Level 3 has been around since the vision for a standardised European signalling system came about in the 1990s. Reducing the amount of track-based signalling equipment and doing everything by radio seemed an admirable goal but, despite early predictions and the emergence of something akin on lightly used lines, very little progress has been made. The reasons are complex and contain technical, safety and commercial elements. But is it so difficult? A recent IRSE seminar held in Japan learned of the JR East ATACS system that seemed to have very similar characteristics to Level 3 and was already in limited operation, so are there lessons to be learned?

What is ATACS?

Undertrain balise reader equipment.

The acronym stands for Advanced Train Administration and Communication System, an English title so clearly the Japanese initiators have an export market in mind. Yuchi Baba described the origins of protected train control in the country. An ATS (Automatic Train Stop) system has been implemented on the nationwide 3’6” lines since 1966, this being equivalent to TPWS in the UK. The Shinkansen high-speed lines required something better and so an ATC (Automatic Train Control) system was designed in 1964 to give cab signalling with full train protection and has continued in development right into this century. However, with capacity challenges ever present,

and particularly on the city suburban networks, something that could give more trains per route without expensive infrastructure additions was demanded. The result is ATACS, still only deployed on one operational line but designed as a wholly radio-based system with a moving block capability so as to allow trains to close up in densely trafficked areas. The concept of the system originated as far back as 1985 and it has taken time to both develop the technology and obtain a workable result.

Earthquake events in 2011 had some impact on the long timescale owing to the diversion of both finance and resources. Nonetheless, the system is there to see in operation, so what are the technical elements and how does it work?

Engineering the system ATACS is designed to be used as a mixed-traffic railway system. It is entirely radio-based and there are no track circuits or axle counters to give train position information. Transponders mounted in the track at one kilometre intervals, give position reference points. These are passive devices that operate with a 1.7MHz uplink to the train and a 245KHz downlink that also provides the power for the in-built electronics. A train-mounted odometer measures

Rail Engineer • September 2016

Radio communication As in all countries, the allocation of radio spectrum can be difficult since this is a valuable commodity and there are many competing pressures for radio bandwidth. The result is a 50kHz allocation in the 400MHz band for train control purposes and an annual charge is levied. The 50kHz is sub divided into 6.25kHz slots, each of which will enable 12 simultaneous channels to trains in the immediate area of a radio base station using the latest channel sharing technology.

The basic transmission frequencies are arranged in four cyclic channels down the line of route to avoid the problem of co-channel interference in the overlap areas. The fifth base station can therefore have the same frequency as the first on the basis that the two will be out of range of each other. This arrangement ensures that, where lines intersect or in high-density city areas, there is sufficient channel capacity to maintain the required radio separation. In underground sections, centre-fed radiating cable will provide the necessary coverage, again with adjacent cable sections using a different frequency. The use of radiating cable was pioneered on the Shinkansen lines in the late 1960s where it was used as the means of providing the radio connection between ground and train.

Senseki line train in Sendai Depot.



Visitors to InnoTrans will be able to experience ‘Oktoberfest’ in September. Close to Hall 17, the Oktoberfest tent brings Bavaria to Berlin with a great atmosphere as well as beer, pretzels and sausages.

ou See eyrlin! in B

Exec In conjunction with recruitment specialist Ford & Stanley, Rail Engineer has FIVE FREE TICKETS for the Wednesday evening to give away. Just email us at and your name will go in the draw for tickets.


the distance from the last transponder which, when combined with near-continuous radio communication, gives the train position to the control centre every second. Movement Authorities (MA) are generated in much the same way as in ETCS but with the brake control profile calculated for each type of train and its position. The system has to cater for level crossing activation, as there will continue to be many of these on the suburban networks for years to come. The position and speed of the train will determine the crossing activation with the MA only allowing passage as far as the crossing location. Once the crossing is proved closed with the barriers down, a radio message is sent back to the train and the MA is updated to permit movement beyond the crossing. As soon as the train has passed, its onward movement generates the signal for the barriers to be raised. Should anything untoward happen during the train’s approach, such as the detection of an obstacle, then a warning ‘stop request’ can be transmitted.



Rail Engineer • September 2016


To achieve successful interworking between the two equipment manufacturers requires the functional and technical specifications to be accurate, particularly regarding features such as the air gap between the track-mounted balise and the train-borne reader, these tasks being carried out by JR East. Both infrastructure and trainborne equipment is fully duplicated, including power supplies. Fitting the trains involved positioning the equipment in both underfloor and carriage-mounted cubicles with the driver’s cabs having to be modified to include the ATACS and movement authority displays. ATACS equipment at Sendai.

This four-frequency-channel concept was also deployed in Europe in the early 1970s, as described in UIC Spec 751-3. However, whilst the UIC spec was designed for voice traffic, the ATACS usage is solely for train control and thus the application rules are very different. A 9.6Kbit data rate is used for the transmission of movement authority information and this is sufficient to ensure every train receives a radio message every second. Permitted powers are three watts for base station transmit and one watt for mobile transmit. Should a train not receive an update message within three seconds, then a brake application is made and the train is brought to a stop.

System supply Whilst the Japanese rail engineers designed the concept as a complete entity, the detailed design for infrastructure and train-borne equipment has been achieved by different suppliers. Hitachi is responsible for the control centre, radio base stations and balises, while Mitsubishi has designed and fitted the mobile equipment to the existing train fleet. The ATACS application is intended for use on the existing 3’6” lines in heavily trafficked suburban areas and this will involve retro-fitting many older trains. The parentage of these trains, and the knowledge that goes with that, lends an advantage to staying with the original manufacturer.

Deployment So far, only one route has been equipped with ATACS, this being the Senseki line between the city of Sendai and the town of Shiogama to the north east of Tokyo. The line is 18 km long and has required four ground controller positions in the control centre, eight base stations three kilometres apart, and the equipping of 20 trains. As such it is very much a test bed but has been in operation since 2011. Channel changing is carried out at predetermined points using the on-board map aligned to the distance travelled. Since the introduction into service, an availability of 99.99999% has been achieved - a radio interruption caused a 10-second failure in one six-month period. In the event of the train equipment failing, the driver is permitted to move the train at a maximum speed of 25kph under instruction from the control centre. The whole system is operated and maintained at the Miyagino depot in Sendai. The next deployment will be in 2017 on the Saikyo line connecting in to Shinjuku station, which is the busiest interchange in the Tokyo area. Further plans exist to expand the application into the Tokyo suburban areas in the future.

Ongoing developments and comparisons The Senseki line application, despite its incredible reliability statistics, has given hints that a more intense usage in busy suburban areas will require more attention to be given to having

stronger radio signals at the point of changeover between base stations. Also, greater care will be needed to mitigate against unwanted radio interference. Ongoing monitoring of the system continues, using service trains to ensure that no unwanted surprises emerge when ATACS is further rolled out to other lines. All of this represents the thoroughness of the Japanese approach. So what lessons are to be learned for other railways? ATACS can be likened to a system somewhere in between CBTC (as used on many metros) and ERTMS Level 3. Although claimed to be a system for a mixed traffic railway, it is primarily intended for suburban passenger networks but with a mix of rolling stock designs. It incorporates the functions of control centre operation, interlocking of routes, level crossing activation, train movement authority and train protection. The engineers do admit that the problem of proving train integrity for freight trains would remain a challenge if the system were to be deployed on a truly mixed-use railway, this being a continuing problem for ERTMS Level 3. Whether ATACS becomes the de facto standard for all lines in the Tokyo metropolitan area is still in debate. JR East has been moving forward to consider the introduction of a proprietary CBTC system from abroad as an alternative. The allocation of a small dedicated radio band just for train control differs from the current GSM-R practice of a wider allocation of frequencies for track-to-train voice, train control and lineside communication functions. Maybe the thinking as to what might replace GSM-R in around ten years’ time could be influenced by the ATACS approach. It is evident, however, that a safe and standardised train control system on a busy suburban railway, without track circuits or axle counters and with a moving block capability, is achievable from a multi-manufacturer supply base. It has taken a long time to come to fruition but it perhaps demonstrates that more effort should be put into getting ERTMS Level 3 into production as the savings to be achieved are very considerable.

THREE LETTERS. TOTAL QUALITY. NSK sets many things in motion – for example in the railway industry. As a leading global manufacturer of rolling bearings, NSK combines 100 years of success and a total quality approach.


Rail Engineer • September 2016


Heritage Signalling Aspirations CLIVE KESSELL

Damems signal box.


t is always surprising to see the level of ingenuity that exists on heritage railways to overcome constraints in both operating and engineering practice. These railways do not have big budgets and solutions to problems have to be realistic on cost and cover any safety implications. The Keighley and Worth Valley line is no exception to this situation and a recent visit by the IRSE Minor Railways Section revealed some interesting aspects as to how the railway is signalled. The line has been in the ‘preservation’ business for many years. Built by local mill owners but operated, and later taken over, by the Midland Railway to connect the main line through the West Yorkshire town of Keighley with the mills and associated communities up the Worth Valley, it was closed by British Rail (BR) in 1962 (pre Beeching). Most famous of these communities is Haworth, the home of the Bronte family where the famous sisters wrote their powerful novels in the Victorian era. The terminus is at Oxenhope, some five miles from the starting point, so it is not a long line in terms of heritage operations. BR management was blinkered to the tourist prospects of the area but local interest was not so short sighted and a preservation society was duly formed. It took until 1968 for the railway to re-open in a very basic form. Over time, a locomotive workshop and shed has been provided at Haworth, a carriage depot and exhibition shed at Oxenhope and a rail museum at Ingrow. The railway became famous when the ‘The Railway Children’ film was first shot on the line in 1970, using Oakworth station and tunnel as the centrepiece, traffic booming as a result. This created many capacity problems and new facilities including signalling became a necessity. In 2018, the railway will celebrate 50 years in preservation.

Operating the line Before the BR closure, the whole line had been worked as one single line section and this was how the preservation days started. A BR signalbox existed at Keighley and controlled the connection to the main Leeds - Settle - Carlisle line but, at all locations on the branch, ground frames were used for level crossing protection, for access to sidings and for the run round loops at Keighley and Oxenhope. The single line One Train Working Staff incorporated an Annett’s Key to release the ground frame control levers. With passenger levels rising following the Railway Children film, single section working could not cope with the crowds on busy days and thus, in 1971, an intermediate passing loop was provided at Damems, roughly half way along the line, to allow two train operation. This was a virgin site and had no electricity or running water when built. Initially, the two ends of the loop were controlled by ground frames to enable early implementation. A signal box was subsequently provided, coming from Frizinghall on the Shipley to Bradford Forster Square line. With no electric power or mains water, the facilities here were at first very basic and signalling power came from dry cells. Subsequently, both utilities have been installed, making it more comfortable for the signalman.

One Train Working continues to be used for operation of a single train over the whole line, but when the signalbox is opened the OTW Staff is locked in the frame and Electric Token Block Working using Tyer’s Key Token instruments is enabled on the two sections thus created. The signalled level crossing at Damems station (in truth a one coach halt) was originally groundframe operated but, again, crossing keeper comfort needed attention and a small gate box was recovered from Earby on the now closed Colne to Skipton line. The gates still have to be manually opened and closed. Treadle-operated annunciators alert the crossing keeper to an approaching train. Keighley Yard ground frame.

Rail Engineer • September 2016

Signalling technology As with most heritage lines, much of the signalling has been acquired after modernisation and closures on the main line network made equipment redundant. The railway has perpetuated some Midland Railway practice. The catch handle frame at Damems Junction passing loop box is of the Midland tumbler type, a locking technology requiring particular knowledge to modify and to record on drawings. The frame at Damems Crossing is a Midland tappet type. Home signals are a mixture of Midland lower quadrant (a type no longer seen on the main line) and LMS or BR(ER) upper quadrant semaphores with fixed distant signals. With Damems Station and Junction being very close to each other, there was considered to be a risk of trains going towards Keighley ‘reading through’ the loop outlet signal at danger if the level crossing protection signal was off. To prevent this, the level crossing signal is ‘slotted’ Keighley New Box frame and extension.

Damems Loop SB Tyers Token instruments. from Damems Junction. In technical terms, this means having two return weights, requiring a lever in both boxes to be pulled off before the signal arm clears to proceed; an example of past technology that is rarely seen nowadays. Another curiosity can be found at Oxenhope. The points leading to the carriage sheds and the run round loop at the North end have an ‘economical’ type of facing point lock mechanism developed by the Midland Railway to achieve movement and locking with only one lever. The point stretcher bar has a vertical roller that engages with a slot cut into a movable plate. When the lever is pulled, the plate moves parallel to the track, with the roller being moved sideways by the main diagonal portion of the slot to move the switch rails. At each end of the slot there is a short portion parallel to the track that imparts no further movement to the switches. The plate incorporates a pair of lock hooks, one of which locates behind part of the stretcher during the final stage of the plate’s movement in each direction. Thus the plate performs both a moving and locking action. This arrangement was always tricky to adjust and the points were often ‘heavy’ to pull. All other facing points on the railway have the more usual two-lever arrangement with the facing point lock activated separately.

The simple working method at Keighley is satisfactory for normal two-train operation but the use of both platforms for passenger movements enables more operational flexibility for special workings such as galas, including the running of Ingrow shuttle services. On such occasions, ‘Station Yard Working’ is introduced under the control of a Keighley signalman. An Outer Home signal (normally off) on the approach to Keighley is placed to Danger from an adjacent ground frame known as Globe GF after the adjacent public house. This releases a key for the signalman to release the two ground frames at Keighley station yard. Shunt signals in the Keighley station yard area, which are normally physically covered, have their covers removed and are also worked from the ground frames. The Station Yard Working key enables the signalman to operate the ground frames and control the run round and other movements within the station yard with a train in section, the yard being protected by the Outer Home signal at Danger. To allow a train to approach the yard from the section, the signalman clears a subsidiary signal beneath the Outer Home but controlled from Keighley West ground frame. The driver is


At Keighley, the railway controls two platforms (numbers 3 and 4) but, on most operating days, only Platform 4 is used for passenger trains. The connections to Platform 3 at each end, needed for locomotive run round purposes, are operated by two ground frames, North and West. These are operated by the train crew using the Annett’s Key on the end of the One Train Working Staff or the Keighley section token. When Platform 3 is also to be used for passenger trains, Station Yard Working is introduced, as described later. Sidings exist at Ingrow, Haworth (which also has a loop to facilitate entrance and exit to the locomotive shed from either direction, as well as local running round) and Oxenhope (for the carriage sidings and exhibition shed), all of which are ground frame controlled by Annett’s Key.




Rail Engineer • September 2016

Keighley North ground frame. thereby informed that Station Yard Working is in operation at Keighley, to approach cautiously, obey ground signals and deliver the Staff or Token to the Signalman on arrival. The signalman has to walk to and fro between each end of the station for run round moves, which is a bit time consuming. The intention is therefore to have the station fully signalled from a conventional signalbox, already erected and having previously been at Shipley Bingley Junction. Additional levers have been added to the original frame making 32 in all. The tappet locking has yet to be fitted and there is very much more work to be done in the box as well as outside, where ducted cable routes have been installed as a first step. The plan is to have mechanical signalling at the West end and power signalling at the North end with track circuits throughout. Signals have been recovered from various locations and a simple gantry is to be built. It is likely to be a five-year project at best. There is a main line connection at Keighley, used for stock movements and the occasional incoming excursion train. This is protected by a mechanically-operated derailer and requires mutual operation of the release by both K&WVR staff and the signaller in York IECC. Damems crossing box and (inset) frame.

Telecommunications No railway can operate without communications and, unlike the signalling, the telecom systems and equipment are surprisingly modern. Unusually, the line plant still uses an overhead pole route, with 0.5mm drop wire twins rather than open copper wire. Two electronic exchanges exist (at Haworth and Ingrow) of the ISDX type interconnected by digital trunks. These provide a data capability as well as connectivity to the BT network. To represent heritage practice, the exchanges still accept loop disconnect dialling and many old fashioned telephones exist to create the right ambience. 2.3Mbit data lines are provided to all stations, allowing a virtual network for credit card sales, and this will shortly be extended to gather data from EPOS terminals. Wi-Fi internet access is widely available to staff. An omnibus telephone line calling at all places is kept in place just in case all else fails! The railway does not have a dedicated radio network other than back-to-back portables of a modern design that can range up to two miles. Other radio communication relies on the public cellular networks. CCTV with digital recording

exists at the main places where passengers congregate and some vulnerable sites. Main stations have PA systems and there is a remote link to Ingrow for when that station is unstaffed. Traditional master clocks drive slaves at some stations and one also sounds a time signal on the omnibus circuit twice daily to provide a common time reference. Providing EPOS terminals on the trains is a planned next step using public Wi-Fi to link to the railway’s accounting system. All in all, the K&WVR is a fascinating heritage line that has adapted well to the local area and modern tourist requirements. It has a delightful mixture of old and new technology, with the former comprising equipment no longer seen on the main line. Due recognition is taken of occasional anti-social behaviour in the locality and valuable assets are protected appropriately for when the line is closed. The future sees some signalling challenges at Keighley and we will all watch with interest how this progresses. Thanks to Bruce MacDougall, David Harrison and staff from the railway’s S&T department for their patient explanations.

Rail Engineer • September 2016

InnoTrans 2016



very two years, the world’s rail industry packs its bags and travels to Berlin, Germany’s capital and, for four brief days, the capital of the world’s railway supply industry.

Convenient The first impression is just how convenient it all is. The South entrance is just a few hundred metres from Messe Süd S-Bahn station, while the North Entrance is close to Theodor-Heuss Platz on the U-Bahn. Most hotels in Berlin are within easy reach of one of the two metro systems. The show is open from 10:00 until 18:00 every day, and exhibitors often have receptions and entertainment after hours. Just listen for the music! There is even an Oktoberfest tent, close to hall 17, and Rail Engineer will be there, supporting recruitment specialist Ford & Stanley on the Wednesday evening, so look us up. We even have some free tickets to give away – email us at competition@ if you want one. But that’s for after closing time. During the eight hours of each day that the show is open, what will visitors be able to see? With so many exhibitors, it is impossible to preview them all. However, here is a selection that will hopefully whet your appetite for Berlin.

Alstom Visitors to the Alstom stand (3.2/308) will embark on a journey to discover how the company masters all phases of its customers’ railway projects: design, build, operate and maintain as well as renew. Alstom will demonstrate, through tangible examples, how it accompanies its customers from project conception, through manufacturing, operation and maintenance, to renovation and renewal.


InnoTrans is billed as “the leading international trade fair for transport technology” and it’s huge - 41 exhibition halls with 3,500 metres of track outside where everything from tank wagons to high-speed trains are on show. Inside, the show is split up into five divisions - railway technology, railway infrastructure, public transport, interiors and tunnel construction. 2,761 exhibitors from 55 countries will occupy 103,409 square metres of stand space. To use an alternative unit of measurement, that’s over 14 Wembley football pitches. 138,872 visitors from 146 countries will travel to Berlin and have four days to walk round that lot. So if you are going, wear comfortable shoes. And don’t pick up too many brochures as you will have to carry them all that distance!


Rail Engineer • September 2016

Alstom will also reveal its zeroemission train, for which it signed a letter of intent with Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, BadenWürttemberg, and the Public Transportation Authorities of Hesse in 2014.


Bombardier The highlight of Bombardier’s display (2.2/101) will be the Virtual Reality Lab, highlighting Innovation and offering a real-life view of the company’s latest products such as the Movia C30 metro for Stockholm. This will be the first time that an international audience can have a virtual tour of a vehicle before its rollout. Partnership, the second of Bombardier’s three main topics, will highlight the company’s longstanding customer relationships and added value to operators. From overhaul and modernisation to operations, maintenance and long-term supply agreements, Bombardier’s service solutions improve a fleet’s reliability and optimise its life-cycle costs. The Solutions exhibits will show Bombardier’s expertise in systems integration and connectivity. A Virtual Reality Integration Station will take visitors on an immersive journey into a city, enabling them to experience the full possibilities of system integration and see a sustainable city metro system come to life in the virtual world. The big product launch will be the new Movia Maxx platform. Designed for rapidly growing cities around the world, the high capacity Movia Maxx metro offers maximum value based on a modular and flexible single solution that can be easily adapted to the specific requirements of operators. Bombardier.

Bombardier will also be launching its Optiflo solution. This covers a full range of after-market services including help desk, technical support, obsolescence management and asset and configuration management. It will premier Bombardier’s Infrastructure Management service, which provides hardware and software to capture and analyse diagnostic and performance data from signalling systems and products.

British Steel Although the Tata Steel rail team has been exhibiting at InnoTrans for many years, this will be the first exhibition for the company under its new ‘British Steel’ brand. On stand 26/107, British Steel will be demonstrating its range of high performance rail products, designed to address specific industry needs and respond to customers’ needs for more rail life with less maintenance. Amongst products on display will be SF350 stress-free heattreated rail, offering exceptional wear resistance with uniquely low residual stress, minimising the risk of foot fatigue, and ML330 premium grooved rail, offering enhanced wear resistance and weld-restorable for multiple lives. For use in those aggressive environments where rail corrosion becomes a real problem, British Steel will be introducing Zinoco®, the most durable solution available on the market today. Experts from both the British manufacturing plant at Scunthorpe and the French mill at Hayange will be on the British Steel stand to discuss technical and commercial options with international clients from all markets. No matter where a

DWG. railway is, or what gauge it is, British Steel can help it run more efficiently and effectively.

ContiTech ContiTech (9/401) has developed support-point bearings especially for rail tracks in metropolitan areas. Fitted between the sleeper and the rail, they reduce vibrations in a light rail system as well as the vibrations that would otherwise be transmitted to any surrounding buildings. In addition, spring elements made from rubber and metal can be used as engine and unit bearings in order to dampen any shock loading or vibrations from the track. At the same time, they absorb static loads and engine torque and reduce structure-borne noise. With an extensive range of high-performance railway hoses, ContiTech is also helping to make modern rail transport safer. The hoses are made of high-quality rubber compounds which, as well as having a high level of flexibility, reliability, and durability, meet the latest fire-protection requirements. ContiTech’s Benecke-Kaliko business unit develops innovative floor covering materials that are extremely hardwearing and weigh 700 grams less per square metre compared to standard flooring. The material is made up of high-performance polymers in conjunction with synthetic fabric and simultaneously offers excellent flame-retardant characteristics and waste gas properties.

DWG DWG (25/222), suppliers of polyurethane life-extension products for track and infrastructure, will be featuring the WVCO range of maintenance equipment and materials at InnoTrans this year. Spikefast is now fully approved for use on the UK’s rail infrastructure and DWG is now working with Network Rail to introduce it at training schools around the country as part of S&C reliability briefings. In addition to the UK, DWG is now supplying Ireland, Belgium and Singapore, and has recently received approval to supply Zimbabwe. Fastpatch is also approved for rail and transport infrastructure. Major breakthroughs have been street-running remedial works for Nottingham Tram Phase 2 and repairs on slab track for both Network Rail and London Underground. Other infrastructure areas that are using Fastpatch are Freightliner, Southampton Airport and PotterLogistics while, working with partners, the product is being used to repair airport taxiways and runways in Delhi, Colombo and Istanbul.

Ericsson Ericsson (11.2/203 and 7.1b/215) is the driving force behind the Networked Society - a world leader in communications technology and services. Together with Bombardier, Ericsson has just completed trials of LTE networks for railway solutions at simulated speeds of

Small mobile to world’s largest solutions? Absolutely.

ABB’s regenerative static frequency converters (SFCs) for grid interconnection supply the rail operators efficiently and reliably with environmentally friendly energy. The SFCs are available as compact, mobile or large, fixed units. Either way, they connect three-phase public grids to single-phase rail power grids, at 16.7, 25, 50 or 60 Hz. Drawing on its long history of SFC technology, ABB is able to advise, engineer, install and commission the unit that’s right for you.

InnoTrans Berlin, 20-23 September 2016 Hall 9, Stand 310

ABB Switzerland Ltd Tel. +41 58 589 32 35 E-mail:



Rail Engineer • September 2016

up to 200 kilometers per hour. A total of 11 tests were conducted in a laboratory to determine the ability of the LTE networks to support communicationsbased train control (CBTC) and multiservice solutions. Examples of multiservice solutions are closed-circuit television (CCTV), voice, platform information, advertising and Wi-Fi for passengers. CBTC uses high-resolution location determination and highcapacity data communications - such as those enabled by LTE networks - to support automatic train protection, operation and supervision functions. With more accurate information about the exact positions of trains, operators can manage traffic in a more efficient and safe manner. CBTC systems are more reliable than older train control systems, require less wayside equipment, have built-in redundancy features, and enable operators to make optimal use of tracks and trains by responding to demand more swiftly and efficiently.

In the CBTC tests, the LTE networks achieved uplink and downlink latencies far below the threshold of 100 milliseconds and packet losses approaching zero (anything less than 0.5% was considered a pass mark). Quality of Service capabilities built into Ericsson’s equipment also allowed for the preemption and prioritisation of mission-critical railway services.

Faigle Austrian plastics manufacturer Faigle will present its portfolio of hanging straps on stand 8.2/105. From the simple basic version, through hanging straps with advertising space to a designer model with a stirrup shape, the Faigle portfolio offers a large choice of shapes and colours. The basic Igostrap model offers a safe hold in the standing areas of trains, providing an open loop which is ready to be grabbed and does not constrict the hand, even under load. The gripAd, which comes in five basic colours, includes space for an advertising

Find us in Hall 26 117H

Providing Assurance for the Rail Industry


message on the strap while the topAdstrap has the advert fixed to the grab bar. The stirrup shape of varioStrap is a modern alternative to the loop that provides a safe hold in emergency situations and offers a very comfortable and ergonomic grip.

Flexicon Flexicon (2.2/206) will be showcasing what it claims to be the world’s best flexible conduit fitting for rail electrical and data installations that demand continuity of supply for safety critical and other applications. The patented Flexicon UltraTM fitting combines a number of classleading performance criteria. Allround teeth provide 360o strength to provide the strongest tensile strength available of up to 70kg and the highest levels of anti-vibration and shock protection. Unusually for such a high performance fitting, Flexicon Ultra has a one-piece construction, so there is no risk of dropping parts on site and it minimises the risk of incorrect assembly. It is easily installed using a simple push and twist connection to the conduit and is tamper proof, but can be removed using a screwdriver if required. Frauscher.

An established market leader for EMC Consultancy, Testing and Training services. Years of expertise, experience and a solid track record of solving EMC problems and demonstrating EMC for railway projects in the UK and worldwide. Visit Email Call +44 (0)1904 324440


Frauscher Generating more relevant information with less effort, Frauscher Sensor Technology (25/232) makes it simpler for system integrators, as well as railway operators, to obtain the important information they need to operate, protect, manage and monitor their operational network. At InnoTrans, the latest versions of the FAdC advanced axle counter, with the latest innovative functionality, will be on display. So, too, will a brand new product line - Frauscher Tracking Solutions (FTS). Encouraging results from an evaluation of the use of fibre optic technologies within the wheel detection and train tracking industry, such as Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), convinced Frauscher to develop this new product line. “This exciting and proven technology opens up a wide range of applications with the capability to track trains, monitor asset condition, secure infrastructure and protect personnel in real time using one single solution,” explained Michael Thiel, CEO Frauscher Sensor Technology. Integrating DAS with well-proven railway technologies such as axle counters or wheel detection systems significantly


Whether we’re delivering new trains across the UK or ensuring our current fleets go into operation on time each day, at Hitachi Rail Europe we are driven by our values of harmony, sincerity and pioneering spirit. To find out how we’re leading innovation throughout our industry, visit us at InnoTrans 2016, Hall 4.2, Stand 304.


Proud sponsors of



Rail Engineer • September 2016

Frauscher. improves the way trains are tracked, unlike any other existing technology and will lead to a revolution in railway operation. The new Frauscher Alarming and Maintenance System (FAMS) offers operators a compact way to monitor all of their Frauscher axle counter components at a glance. Diagnostic information generated by one or more Frauscher Diagnostic Systems (FDS) can be managed via this interface, which enables detailed planning of preventative as well as regular maintenance tasks. As a result, the FAMS can help to significantly improve the cost efficiency of train operations.

2016 Rail Eng - September.indd 1

System integrators can speed up the configuration of the various components in their projects by using the new Frauscher Configuration Tool (FCT). This software supports users of varying experience with an intuitive approach for beginners as well as fast and direct configuration for experienced users. It provides immediate live information during configuration processes, in case an error occurs. For double-checking the configuration, an overview table can be displayed instead of individual text files. Additionally, the software allows project templates for common system layouts to be saved and reused. As a result, by using FCT, significant savings can be made throughout a project’s configuration phase by minimising working times during system commissioning. Both FAMS and FCT complement FAdC’s existing tools such as the Frauscher Diagnostic System (FDS), the Advanced Service Display (ASD) or the Adjustment and Maintenance Box (AMB). All of these tools and

features make it simpler for railway experts to get, transmit, sort and use all the information they need from their systems – in line with Frauscher’s motto “Track more with less”.

Hitachi Hitachi Rail Europe (4.2/304) will have a strong presence, focusing on its European successes and capabilities which draw on the Japanese headquarters’ expertise – from manufacture and maintenance of rolling stock to traction, signalling and digital railway products. For the

first time, the brand will also exhibit alongside recent acquisitions Hitachi Rail Italy (previously AnsaldoBreda) and Ansaldo STS on the same stand, displaying a truly global company. Centrepiece of the stand will be a large LED screen showcasing the new Hitachi global brand with full global production facilities. Interested visitors may take a seat and experience the systems for themselves whilst taking advantage of the latest augmented reality technology to walk through the new Hitachi metro trains and service delivery depot locations.


19-Aug-16 10:38:56 AM

Bombardier and The Evolution of Mobility are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries


Come and visit us at InnoTrans in hall 2.2, stand 101

Our smart mobility solutions keep people moving - safely, quickly and comfortably. In a rapidly changing environment we are continuously creating better ways to move the world, expanding and connecting cities, communities and cultures. At Bombardier we move cities - together.




Rail Engineer • September 2016

Mechan. Visitors can also receive a demonstration of the Traffic Management System, which recently won Hitachi Rail Europe and Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe a contract to supply Thameslink TMS in the UK. The system is tried and tested in many of Japan’s busiest train control centres. A display of the broader product range of the Hitachi Group, which includes metals and cabling systems, SiC traction and monorail solutions among many other products, will provide a more rounded picture of the breadth of the Hitachi offering.

Mechan Rail depot equipment specialist Mechan will be turning the spotlight on its flagship lifting jacks on stand 2.2/206E in the British Pavilion. A full-size working jack will form the centrepiece of the display and demonstrate its innovative Megalink controller. This patented system allows an unlimited number of units to be linked together and raised in perfect synchronicity by just one operator. Under car lifting systems – sometimes known as engine removal tables – work with Mechan’s jacks in depots with flat floors. They comprise a powered


lift table that travels laterally underneath the raised vehicle and engages with the engine raft. For other environments, under floor lifting equipment can be created to raise complete trains or single rail cars, reducing the time it takes to service components beneath the carriage. Mechan is making a name for itself in the production of large-scale bespoke installations. It built the largest traverser in the UK for the Port of Felixstowe and can design cost effective products for any size or weight vehicle. Some of the firm’s most popular bogie handling lines include turntables, lifters, lifting platforms and rotators, which provide access to all areas of a bogie in an ergonomic and safe manner. When space is at a premium, low or high level stands and stacking frames are also essential for stowing spare bogies securely and efficiently. Following build or repair, a bogie press is required to ensure the ride height is set correctly and Mechan usually advises clients to fit a spreader beam under the rails

that transfers the bogie’s weight to the press structure, for better performance. As maintenance times come under increasing scrutiny, equipment drops are a popular addition to depots, allowing the removal or replacement of complete bogies or under carriage equipment without decoupling vehicles. This makes a change feasible within two hours and can save valuable time on other under-floor work.

MTU Rolls-Royce is to present its current and pioneering MTUbranded drive systems and service solutions on stand 18/301, including the MTU Hybrid PowerPack, the MTU Series 4000 locomotive engines and the company’s enhanced service offering to rail customers. 
 The Hybrid PowerPack teams a diesel engine with a combined electric motor and alternator plus a battery system for storing energy reclaimed during braking. This enables fuel savings of up to 25 per cent and a significant



E: W: T: +44 (0)114 257 0563


INNOTRANS 2016 20-23 Sept 2016 Berlin ExpoCenter City, Germany Stand 206E Hall 2.2

us ns 222 e Se oTra nd # Inn , Sta t a 25 ll # a H

Rail Engineer • September 2016


Nextsense Nextsense (23/507), the optical sensor specialist known for its multifunctional Calipri C40 profile measurement device, has developed a product whose improved costbenefit ratio means that error-prone wheel flange gauges now face serious competition. Calipri Prime is based on advances in the laser light sectioning process, which projects a laser line onto the profile to be measured and captures the contour with a camera. The use of multiple laser lines to capture the shape of the profile, thereby eliminating the possibility that the device could tilt or distort the image, is a world first. The measurement device can be operated by hand

thanks to this 'trick', which eliminates the possibility of user interference, thus making the results more consistently reproducible. With this innovation, Nextsense has expanded its product range in the budget segment and is addressing the needs of workshop users, railway vehicle technicians and freight train operators.

The keystone of sustainability

s 7 an 0 tr / 3 no .1 In l 11 al

reduction in noise emissions. The MTU EnergyPack battery system is specially developed to meet the requirements of rail operators. It complies with all relevant rail standards and has proven its reliability during endurance trials. 
 MTU’s Series 4000 locomotive engines cover a power range from 850 to 3,300kW. They combine high reliability and high power output with a compact, space-saving design. Over 2,800 Series 4000 rail engines have been shipped since 1996. On show at the stand will be the most powerful member of the Series 4000 family: the 20V 4000 R63L, delivering 3,300kW, which is used in South Africa to power 232 goods locomotives made by Chinese manufacturer CRRC. The first locomotives were recently handed over to operator Transnet Freight Rail.




Nomad Digital The world’s leading provider of passenger and fleet connectivity solutions to the railway industry, Nomad Digital (4.1/215) offers a broad solutions portfolio to both train operators and train builders which facilitates a significantly enhanced passenger experience through improved fleet reliability and availability, energy efficiency, lower operating costs and improved safety. Daily on-stand demonstrations will cover a range of subjects, including how Nomad’s new suite of insightful, monitoring tools enables train operators and builders to gather data and make informed decisions to really understand the performance of their on-board connectivity solutions - both in real-time and with historical data. The suite includes ND Monitor for proactive real-time issue detection, ND Fleetview which enables shortterm aggregated fleet operations reporting and ND Insight for longterm performance analysis. In addition, Nomad Tech Nomad’s joint venture with EMEF - will also be showcasing the latest implementations of its portfolio, including live demonstrations of three active customer solutions. NT Eco supports energy saving and management techniques by putting drivers at the forefront of the energy management initiative – one customer has already recorded energy savings of 9·3% in the live environment. NT Maintain merges remote condition monitoring, reliability-centred maintenance methodology and in-depth railway industry knowledge to support operators to improve the cost and quality of the maintenance of their assets. This provides sizable business improvements,

DVM series • AC & DC voltage from 600VRMS to 4200VRMS • Improved accuracy & temperature stability • High partial discharge extinction voltage: 5kVRMS @ 10pC • 30% lower profile – 25% less volume – 56% lighter • Low sensitivity to magnetic fields • Unmatched performance for common mode operation • ± 50mA, ± 10V or 4 to 20mA outputs At the heart of power electronics.

Keeping you connected We’re the world’s leading provider of innovative, end-to-end, passenger and fleet connectivity solutions. Enhancing the passenger experience by providing WiFi, portal and on-board infotainment platforms. Delivering intelligent fleet management through remote online condition monitoring and maintenance solutions. Passengers benefit from: • reliable and available internet • faster connection speeds • media entertainment • and real-time journey information. Fleet operators gain: • increased customer satisfaction • lower operating & maintenance costs • improved fleet reliability and availability • real time fleet status & monitoring • higher energy efficiency • and improved safety.

See us on Stand 215, Hall 4.1

InnoTrans 2016, Berlin Nomad Digital Limited 5th Floor, One Trinity Broad Chare, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 2HF T: +44 (0) 207 096 6966 E:



Rail Engineer • September 2016

by increasing reliability (by up to 30 per cent) and availability (by up to 20 per cent), therefore reducing life-cycle costs. NT Power is a technological power traction refurbishment solution for power traction converters, with significantly economic, environmental and technical improvements - 12·5 per cent energy savings achieved by IGBT unit over GTO drive during in-service trials.

Plasser & Theurer Under a framework contract, Deutsche Bahn receives maintenance vehicles meeting both uniform design requirements and high quality criteria. The TIF tunnel inspection vehicle from DB’s new fleet programme demonstrates the outstanding manufacturing quality of Plasser & Theurer. The Unimat 09-32/4S Dynamic E3 on show travels and works with the new hybrid drive car. E3 stands for economic - ecologic - ergonomic. Visit the two machines in the outdoor exhibition grounds at T8/45 and T9/44.

Another focus will be placed on Plasser & Theurer’s diverse range of tamping machines, which offer applications for any field and different performance categories. Common features of all machines are their ease of operation and control including track geometry handling. In addition to the newly developed universal tamping unit for tracks and turnouts, Plasser & Theurer will introduce ‘the smart machine’ on stand 26/222. The diverse range of tamping machines provides the right machine for every field of application and different output categories. However, all machines have one thing in common: the simple operation and control including the handling of the track geometry.

Rhomberg Sersa Austrian track specialist Rhomberg Sersa (25/310) will be coming together with the Swissrail Industry Association to host a threefloor display with plenty of space for exhibiting products and holding talks with trade visitors.

Plasser & Theurer. Mechanised maintenance of tracks in all gauges is one of Rhomberg Sersa’s specialities measuring, aligning, levelling and compacting ballasted tracks using an optimum array of resources. Railway tunnels are particularly prone to problems so maintenance and replacement work requires extensive know-how. The Group’s expertise covers the restoration of track-bed and track, dampness elimination, and widening tunnels to increase clearances. Rhomberg Sersa ia a slab track specialist and has experience with systems such as Rheda 2000, LVT,

ÖBB/PORR and others, as well as the company’s own slab track technology (IVES) and state-of-theart solutions for the construction of transitions between slab track and ballasted track.

Rosehill Rail Rosehill Rail (21/203), the rapidly expanding manufacturer of modular rubber railway crossing systems, is expecting to welcome a record number of visitors to its stand following the announcement last month that its level crossing systems have been homologated in Germany.


See us at InnoTrans



Imagine you could detect the

tiny changes…


Keeping an eye on things for today and tomorrow

In a complex and ever changing world, providing technological services in complex communication environments is an immense challenge…


…that could have …and that’s what we do best. Asset Condition Monitoring +44 (0)1926 693 000

...with ACUMEN you can

■ measure ■ monitor ■ predict ■ prevent ■ save


S N A 16 TR 20 B y O N er 21 an IN mb all rm AT p t e - H G e S U Se 03 n T 3 2 rli SI 2 d e VI - an B 20 St se es






For more information, or to enquire about training, please call the Rosehill Rail sales team on +44 (0)1422 317 473, or email



Rail Engineer • September 2016

Andrew Knight, Rosehill Rail’s export manager, said: “We’re seeing strong demand for our products from around the world as rail authorities focus on improving efficiency and reliability, while minimising disruption and cost. With this, and the recent approval by the German Railway Authority, I’m confident that this will be our most successful InnoTrans to date. This event is an excellent opportunity to raise our profile even further and we’re looking forward to meeting new and existing colleagues from around the world.” The company will also be displaying its unique Anti-Trespass panels which can be used on-track or off-track to help reduce the risk associated with level crossings. The panels, which have been approved by rail authorities across the world, are a proven physical and visual deterrent to trespassers attempting to access the track and prohibited areas. Knight continued: “Our AntiTrespass panels are a cost effective solution to help reduce risk. Plus, they’re simple and quick to install, can be used with all crossing systems and can be cut-to-fit around track infrastructure, providing rail companies with the flexibility they need.”

noise and CO2 emissions of transportation. Addressing these needs, Siemens (4.2/203) will be focusing on “rethinking mobility” – digital innovations that will make the mobility industry more competitive and create more attractive mobility solutions. Using special connectivity solutions, Siemens technicians have regular access to vehicle data via redundant and highly secure wireless links. This data is then analysed to calculate fault predictions and identify its source. Siemens is the first company in the rail industry to operate a special data analysis centre for this purpose, located in Munich, Germany. It is also possible to automate functions on regional and longdistance rail transport. For this purpose, proven systems used in metros for the automatic acceleration and braking of vehicles (Automatic Train Operation - ATO) will be coupled with the European Train Control System (ETCS). Such an “ATO over ETCS” system is currently being installed for London’s Thameslink project. Such partly automated driver operation will be the basis for further developments. The goal is to also have fully automated operations in longdistance rail transport by 2030.

Telent. Thanks to comprehensive information and the extensive support of passengers, travel will be substantially simpler, safer and more comfortable. In addition to its stand in hall 4.2, Siemens will have six vehicles on display outside in area 0/400. These will be the new broad-gauge Vectron locomotive that will begin service in Finland in 2017, the ÖBB cityjet which can be used both as a light-rail variant for urban service or as a regional train, the Velaro high-speed train which is already in service in Turkey, one of 74 driverless metro trains for the Riyadh metro 
system in Saudi Arabia, an Avenio low-floor tram which will operate completely without overhead power lines in Doha, Qatar, and the new Desiro City Class 707 for South West Trains in the UK.



Siemens By the year 2050, an estimated 70 per cent of the world’s population will be living in cities. As a result, people will expect to have solutions available that make their daily mobility needs simpler, more flexible, faster, more reliable and affordable. Cities, on the other hand, face the challenge of reducing the costs, space requirements,

Digitalisation will revolutionise the way people get around. Connectivity is the key to providing greater passenger safety and comfort. Siemens offers state-ofthe-art communication solutions that enable the use of Internet and entertainment offerings, integrate video surveillance and travel information, and coordinate intermodal transport services.

Telent (4.1/223) will be showcasing how the company’s station management system, known in the rail market as MICA, integrates with call managers such as Cisco’s CUCM to provide management and monitoring of GAI-Tronics help points. Extremely simple to operate, MICA has the scope to integrate multiple applications and devices so they can be controlled through a single, customisable, comprehensive user interface. It has already been used extensively to aid migration from analogue to IP CCTV, and this is equally true for voice systems. Its ability to simultaneously manage

and provide alarm information for IP SIP, POTs and GSM-R devices give operations the ability to support a mixed implementation and a gradual migration between technologies. MICA has been designed to aid the management of mass transit environments where the operators are operational staff and not IT experts, and has been deployed on some of the busiest stations in the world such as Waterloo and Stratford underground stations, and at Reading, the most recently upgraded of Network Rail’s major stations.

Thales Thales (4.2/103) will be giving visitors to InnoTrans the opportunity to immerse themselves in a journey through its interactive digital walls and discover a unique portfolio of solutions for main line rail and urban transport. There will be the chance to discover Thales’ vision of a modern train-centric signalling system based on the European Train Control System (ETCS) standard, experience how video analytics can improve the security of transport infrastructure, see how cloud analytics and augmented reality technologies will reduce the cost of rail infrastructure services, compare SelTrac™ CBTC systems from over 15 different operators from around the world, learn from cyber-security experts how to protect critical systems from external attacks and prepare for the future with mobile ticketing application and proximity detection technology.

Rail Engineer • September 2016

Travel Catering and Comfort Services Travel today means a lot more than just getting from one place to the next, the journey is also something to be enjoyed. The Travel Catering and Comfort Services (TCCS) area, part of the Interiors segment, provides exhibitors with ideal surroundings in which to present catering equipment and services as well as comfort items since the dedicated TCCS themed route will bring interested trade visitors directly to the relevant exhibition stands. Key players as well as small and medium-sized companies are again staging wide-ranging displays of their ranges of catering products and services. The Travel Catering and Comfort Services area provides trade visitors with details about on-board kitchen equipment, disposable and re-usable tableware and bistro lifts as well as galleys, trolleys and coffee makers. The items on offer also include exclusive foods and beverages for serving on board. Sonatural - GL from Portugal is a new exhibitor with a range of juices, all made from fresh fruit. Some of them are obtained from the protected region of Alcobaça and have also been granted PDO classification by the European Union in recognition of the high quality of these products. In addition to a balanced range of high quality food and beverages, the ideal journey should also provide rail

customers with outstanding levels of service. Among the newcomers from this sector this year is Kaelis On Board Services from Spain. The company focuses on items such as headphones, blankets, cushions, care products and toys. Other new exhibitors in this field are bb-inflight GmbH from Germany, RONA from Slovakia and SZIC Industrial Company from China. “For us, InnoTrans is the most important event for our train business, and our presence gets larger every time,” states Laura Lane from the LSG Group, a leading international full-service partner from Germany. Other global players in the On-Board Catering and Services sector include Newrest Group International SAS from France.

Voith Special rail vehicles must be able to handle special requirements, and reliability, availability and flexibility are top priorities. The new S111 Turbo Transmission from Voith (1.2/220) fulfils these characteristics using proven technology and is already demonstrating this in China. Two-axle tender vehicles, which are equipped with a crane, flatbed or personnel cabin, are used in applications such as track maintenance and operators must be able to rely on these vehicles to start reliably, maintain availability, and avoid break downs. As a hydrodynamic transmission, the new Voith S111 Transmission ensures that these criteria are fulfilled. The Voith transmission is designed for maximum engine powers of 280 kW and 1800 Nm with one converter and one coupling. This

York EMC York EMC Services (YES – 26/117) is an established market leader in the provision of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) services to the rail industry with over 20 years’ experience of providing consultancy, training and testing services. The UK-based company counts many of the major rolling stock manufacturers, infrastructure contractors and other suppliers to the rail industry as its customers. YES has a proven track record in EMC Management, solving EMC problems and demonstrating compliance for major projects worldwide, including the London York EMC.


There will also be the chance for visitors to meet experts from Thales’ technology and integration centres and ask them all the questions they always wanted to on rail technology and systems.

Underground power upgrade, Crossrail, MTR in Hong Kong and the Gautrain in South Africa. Chief Executive Nick Wainwright commented “As our reputation and success grows, we are continually looking to expand our services into new geographical markets in order


Rosehill Rail.

is adequate for lower-powered special vehicles - robust, heavily driven machines which have to have a long service life and be easy to maintain. This is accomplished through hydrodynamics technology, which protects the engine and drive components as it decouples vibrations. Stepless starting and an automatic speed adjustment without interruption of tractive effort are other positive features. The extremely compact design, based on the innovative superimposing gear and an indirect bearing concept, has been particularly successful, particularly during maintenance. This is partly due to the fact that all controls related to maintenance and service are located on the left side of the transmission, making them easier to see and to access.


to take advantage of the huge levels of investment in rail in Europe and further afield. InnoTrans has established itself as an internationally renowned exhibition for the rail sector, with exhibitors representing almost 50 countries; the perfect platform for us to showcase our services to an international audience.” YES’s decision to exhibit at Innotrans 2016 was influenced by the opportunity to be part of the Great British Railway Infrastructure Pavilion in Hall 26, with its unique branding and presentation. Visitors will be able to see YES’s broad range of EMC services dedicated to the rail industry and discuss solutions designed to ensure a safe and reliable railway.


Rail Engineer • September 2016


Rail Infrastructure Engineers

enGauged Limited are a design and consultancy practice based in Crewe, Cheshire and operating throughout the UK. We have a mix of key Clients for whom we are delivering design and/or consultancy services to support their projects in the rail sector. We are looking to recruit forward thinking Civil and/or Structural Engineers to join our expanding design team.

Technician Engineer

Successful applicant will have achieved a Level 3 qualification in Civil Engineering or related subject, have excellent IT skills and be competent with CAD. Experience in electronic project systems and BIM is an advantage.

Senior Engineer

Successful applicant will have achieved a HND or equivalent qualification in Civil Engineering or related subject, be a member of a professional institution and able to lead the production of permanent or temporary works design.


Building, Civil & Environmental Contractors

Possession Planner

Design Engineer

Successful applicant will have achieved a HNC or equivalent qualification in Civil Engineering or related subject and be able to progress design and/or checking for permanent and/or temporary works design.

B & M McHugh is looking for a possession planner who has in-depth experience of the East Anglia rail routes. The individual will be part of a team which is responsible for the planning and coordination of access to the rail infrastructure, enabling our works to be carried out safely and in accordance with access rules.

Principal Engineer

Works will include: • Liaise with delivery staff to identify access opportunities to complete works. • Booking line blockages and possessions on GZAC/ PPS systems. • Attend Network Rail possession planning meetings as required and represent the company. • Completion of Safe System of Work Packs (SSOW). • Attend training courses as and when required. • Carry out site visits to ascertain site conditions prior to booking possessions and completion of SSOWP’s.

Successful applicant will be an established Chartered Engineer with the ability to grow and lead a team of engineers delivering a mixed portfolio of building and civil engineering projects.

Successful applicants will have excellent communication skills and will be able to work on their own initiative, with experience of design and development in the rail sector being an advantage. £ Packages are competitive and commensurate with experience. These positions are for permanent roles and we are open to discussion on geographic location.

Rates/Benefits • • • • • • • •

If you enjoy a challenge, have enthusiasm to make a difference and are an innovative thinker, then email to request further information and an application pack stating which position(s) you are interested in. Closing date for applications to be received is 23rd September 2016.




01270 255 731

Salary range (circa £40,000 - £50,000 per annum, depending on experience). Defined contribution pension scheme with 5% employer contribution. Transport provided. PPE supplied. Training supplied. Paid holiday. Job security. Progressive company.

Call 0208 859 7706 or email

Opportunities with Frazer-Nash At Frazer-Nash, we employ dynamic and original thinkers who challenge all boundaries to find the perfect solution for clients. This way of thinking has enabled us to grow into a rapidly expanding systems and engineering technology consultancy, with offices throughout the UK and Australia. We specialise in delivering creative engineering solutions to clients across the defence, nuclear, power and transport sectors. We are now looking to recruit the following roles:

• • • •

Control and Instrumentation Engineer Rail Safety Consultant Rail ERTMS and CCS Engineer Rail Systems Engineer

Our staff are rewarded with a competitive salary, generous benefits package and the opportunity to work as part of a dynamic and successful team. We always look for strong talent in our key business sectors and across all of our locations in the UK and Australia. To apply, please forward your CV and covering letter to, quoting reference RE0916. Due to the nature of the work that Frazer-Nash undertakes we will require successful candidates to gain UK security clearance.

Our market sectors aerospace • transport • nuclear • marine • defence • power and energy • oil and gas Our offices UK: Basingstoke • Bristol • Burton • Dorchester • Dorking • Glasgow • Gloucester • Plymouth • Warrington Australia: Adelaide • Canberra • Melbourne


Location – Wickford Office, Essex




In partnership with


The exclusive club for senior rail industry executives



Bernadette Kelly Director General, Rail Group – Department for Transport

Nigel Ash Managing Director, Network Rail Consulting


In partnership with

BERLIN Networking Drinks reception Rail

WEDNESDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER (18:00 ONWARDS) OKTOBERFEST TENT (adjacent to Halle 17) Innotrans, Messe Damm

Tel: 01530 816 444

Register your interest on the website


SECURITY OF ELECTRICITY OVER YOUR PROJECT’S LIFETIME UK Power Networks Services specialises in design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of electrical infrastructure, offering industry-leading asset management services, including funding. Our stewardship of your electrical network allows you to focus on your core business, rely on certainty of cost, ensure asset performance, and plan for the future. UK Power Networks Services - keeping your operations on track. The power to deliver a better future

Rail Engineer - Issue 143 - September 2016  

Rail Engineer - Issue 143 - September 2016