Telent has taken a key role in the network upgrades across the West Coast Mainline (WCML) as part of a transition of telecommunications infrastructure.
Network Rail North West and Central Project team based in Birmingham are driving this transition, to a new IP-based network, that will support better services along the route. It is part of Network Rail Telecoms’ (NRT) ongoing migration of services across the country to its FTNx Network.
Telent has been subcontracted by Volker Rail, a UK railway infrastructure contractor, which was awarded the contract through the NW&C Signalling and Telecoms Framework.
Telent’s work includes splicing and testing new fibre optic cabling and transmission equipment and replacing legacy infrastructure. This will enable the migration of services – including data transmission circuits, telephony, signalling and electrification alarms – to a modern, better performing telecoms network.
The services also include SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition, which gathers data in real time from remote locations to control equipment and conditions.
WCML is one of the most important railway corridors in the United Kingdom, connecting the country’s major cities, and is one of the busiest mixed-traffic railway routes in Europe. Owned by Network Rail, operators include Avanti West Coast and West Midlands Railways.
The work is being undertaking on two main sections of route. The first is between Rugby and Northampton, covering 60 route miles and 51 transmission sites. Telent has completed the survey stage and is currently in the design stage for this route.
The second phase is between Bletchley and Wembley, which is across 50 route miles and includes 37 sites. The survey stage for this phase has commenced.
All of the services on the WCML routes go to either Rugby Signal Control Centre (SCC) or South Wembley SCC, which is where the rail line signallers and all signalling control circuits are based.
Currently there are a large number of services running over point-to-point circuits which are using obsolete technology. As well as completing the overall goal of the WCML project to migrate these services onto NR’s FTNx Network, Telent will also plan for the recovery of any obsolete equipment.
Ken Kyle, Business Development Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Volker Rail to support the migration of the national rail infrastructure to an IP network, this is a key project to improve the services on the rail network”.
Volker Rail’s Kevin Doherty, Head of Telecoms for Volker Rail Specialist Businesses said: “As a leading railway infrastructure contractor, with over 70 years’ experience on rail networks, working with Telent, an experienced Rail Telecoms integrator and provider was the right choice for us. Our two companies are committed to improving infrastructure for clients and communities and we strive to provide a best-in-class service for WCML”.