Siemens Completes Winter Commissionings

Posted by Barry Pearson on February 8, 2016  |   Comments Off on Siemens Completes Winter Commissionings

Siemens delivery teams were engaged in a range of high profile signalling and control schemes over the holiday period, successfully commissioning schemes for Network Rail as part of the North Lincolnshire, Thameslink and Anniesland programmes.

At North Lincs a 17-day blockade between 24 December and 11 January (during which Immingham Port was closed for five days), saw at its peak a 600-strong Siemens team working to re-signal 60 miles of railway. Delivered on time, this Network Rail and Siemens-led project will future proof the port for the next 30 years. With 25% of the UK’s rail freight entering the country via Immingham Port, replacing the 100-year-old signalling enables more services to run and helps boost economic growth in the region.

Covering multiple changeovers, critical recoveries, principle testing and test-train running, the work within the blockade represented the last stage in the migration of signalling control to Network Rail’s new Rail Operating Centre (ROC) in York and the completion of the programme to upgrade the rail infrastructure throughout North Lincolnshire.

By re-controlling the area to the York ROC, Network Rail will also benefit from a safe, reliable system that reduces its annual operating costs via the use of Siemens centralised Trackguard Westlock interlocking and Controlguide Westcad control, manually controlled barrier with object detection level crossings, and closure of 13 signal boxes.

Between 24 December and 4 January, one of the major stages of the Thameslink Programme at London Bridge station was also commissioned. Three new lines through the high level section of the station and the new Borough Market viaduct were all brought into use on programme (although the new platforms on the lines will remain out of use until the next major stage in August 2016).

The project marked a major milestone for Siemens, with the company’s new Zone Controller system commissioned for the first time in the UK. The Zone Controller is now controlling the signalling system at London Bridge, with additional deployments planned as part of later stages of the Thameslink Programme.

Commenting on the programme, Siemens Rail Automation UK’s Managing Director, Paul Copeland said: “Although it may be slightly unusual to introduce a new system for the first time on such a high profile project, the performance requirements of the London Bridge area were such that traditional technology would have been too slow in operation, adversely affecting the timetable.

“Although developed to meet the particular requirements of the Thameslink Programme, Zone Controllers are already being specified on other projects, with the technology now forming part of our core solution”.

The final project saw a 70-strong team of Siemens’ installers and testers make alterations to two solid state interlockings in the Anniesland station area between 24 and 27 December. New signalling infrastructure was installed and the associated signalling works completed.

The work was carried out in preparation for the 20-week closure of Glasgow Queen Street High Level station in April 2016, with layout improvements made to provide a new connecting line at Anniesland Station. This advanced work will minimise passenger disruption in April by allowing diversionary services from the north and east of the city to enter Queen Street low level station during the blockade.

Paul Copeland continued: “Working in close partnership with our colleagues in Network Rail and across the supply chain, we are delighted to have successfully delivered such a range of projects and to build on the success of the major programmes of work at Gresty Lane and Farnworth tunnel that we delivered earlier in December. We’re now confidently looking forward to the next major tranche of commissionings over Spring and Easter 2016, including significant work at London Bridge, Manchester Central, Sheffield, Banbury and the East West line.”