Siemens to the Rescue!

Posted by Barry Pearson on March 18, 2014  |   Comments Off on Siemens to the Rescue!

When the Great Western Main Line between Twyford and Maidenhead stations was overcome by flood water last month, rail services through the area were severely impacted, causing major delays to passengers travelling between London Paddington and the South West.

Working under the direction of the government’s COBRA emergency committee, Network Rail approached Siemens Rail Automation and asked for support from the Reading Station Area Redevelopment project team. Working in close collaboration, Siemens designed, installed and commissioned a rapid-design, overlay axle counter system.

Over the weekend of 15 February, four, long axle counters (one for each running line) were installed, with approximately 15,000 metres of cable run out and installed. The new axle counter overlay system was then fully commissioned on the up and down relief lines at 05:15 on 21 February, enabling Network Rail to remove the people from the lines who had been manually controlling trains, connect the affected railway back to the interlocking and run a much improved service.

Commenting on the work, Paul Copeland, Managing Director of Siemens Rail Automation UK, said: “The application design left our design floor less than 24 hours from receiving the initial enquiry. Then over the following seven days our installation and civils teams worked around the clock to install, pre-test and commission into passenger service a new 650 feeder and entirely new signal section/axle counter arrangement.

“The work represented a truly collaborative approach between Network Rail and Siemens and an astonishing effort from all concerned, particularly in the face of the continuing adverse weather conditions and flooded working areas”.

The main elements of the work on site included the installation of eight axle counters; 12,000 metres of axle counter and core signalling cable and 3,500 metres of two-pair cable. The axle counter evaluator and power supply have both been installed at Ruscombe Relay Room.

Network Rail’s Route Managing Director, Patrick Hallgate commented: “Without a doubt, this is the best example of team working that I have seen in Network Rail – and we will need to continue to draw on this over the coming weeks as the options unfold for the relief lines. I would like to congratulate everyone involved for getting us this far so quickly, and for minimising the service disruption over the last few days.”