Brighton Mainline is a key commuter line, quadruple track for much of its length. Historically this section had been operating a simplified Bi-Directional signalling system. This means during periods when only a single track was available only one train could pass in the reverse direction every 10 minutes.
Passing traffic and trains stopping at Balcombe meant the capacity was at best 3 trains per hour in each direction. The poor condition of Balcombe tunnel meant that major works were inevitable in the future. Kier were commissioned by Network Rail to a design a new system to:
- Provide signalling solutions to solve the line capacity issues in the section between Balcombe Junction and Haywards Heath during periods of ‘reverse’ working.
- Provide extra safety systems to keep trains moving through Balcombe tunnel.
- Deliver the project with maximum safety and minimise disruption.
Kier's internal signalling team of IRSE licensed designers devised a new Bi-Directional signalling system. Civils design was also completed in-house.
The client required a minimum of six trains per hour in each direction utilising one line. This was facilitated by the provision of additional wrong direction signals on both lines. 36 new signals were provided, utilising lightweight, hinged posts with LED heads to improve maintainability and reliability.
To reduce line possessions and minimise safety risks and help sustainability targets, we planned and coordinated the build and testing of 34 new location cases offsite. A dual detection facility, consisting of axle counters and track circuits, was provided in Balcombe tunnel. This system was identified to allow services to continue if one failed.
Design was completed to a high standard which resulted in minimal test logs for the whole commissioning.
We achieved ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) status with Network Rail prior to the commissioning through detailed project planning and collaboration to reduce project risks. This ensured critical decisions were made at the right times.
Installing Siemens’ Westplex vital transmission remote control system allowed Network Rail to achieve significant savings in signalling multicore cables.
" Thank you everyone, great job! A great team to have worked with and really well done. "Asset Protection Project Manager Network Rail
Delivering a 100% BIM3 compliant utilities design at one of London’s busiest interchanges, Bank Station. Serving 73 million passengers annually, situated between London Bridge and the Bank of England.
Constructing two railway tunnels that run for 6.4km between the Royal Oak portal and the new Farringdon Crossrail station in Central London. Huge scale building of station tunnel caverns at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon for the new Elizabeth line.
Working with Network Rail to keep the line between Ipswich and Lowestoft up and running. Replacing the line's Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) system after the frequencies were allocated to the MOD, coming up with a workable solution with the client and ensuring this vital rural connection remained in service.
A high profile 3km route clearance of 1500 utility conflicts through Edinburgh city centre, delivered within budget and achieving all programme milestones, whilst minimising disruption to local businesses and residents.
Supporting the power requirement for ongoing Brighton Main Line signalling renewal works. We installed a Westplex System in order to upgrade a key commuter line to increase the quantity of trains able to utilise the line.