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Network Rail awards its ‘largest-ever signalling contract’ to Alstom

Posted on 04 Mar 2022 and read 2074 times
Network Rail awards its ‘largest-ever signalling contract’ to AlstomNetwork Rail’s Cambridge re-signalling project aims to replace the existing systems with modern ‘state of the art’ signalling technology that will provide better reliability for passengers and reduced maintenance. It will also provide a platform ready for digital technologies such as the European Train Control System (ETCS).

The £130 million contract awarded to Alstom is the largest single contract to be awarded by Network Rail under the ‘Major Signalling Framework Agreement’ (MSFA) during the current five-year investment cycle. As part of the project, Alstom will deliver the complete renewal of the signalling system for the Cambridge area, replacing the existing equipment that was installed in the early 1980s.

The contract covers a wide range of work, including: the replacement of almost 700 items of ‘life-expired signalling equipment’ with a modern signalling system; the upgrade of the signalling safety interlocking equipment in the Cambridge area with a modern signalling technology; the renewal of the telecommunications and power supplies to support the new systems; and relocating control of signalling to the Cambridge power signal box and the decommissioning of three mechanical signal boxes.

This signalling renewal project covers 125 miles of track — stretching from Meldreth and Elsenham to the south, through central Cambridge, up to Ely and Thurston to the east. The project also enables the delivery of wider re-signalling works within the Anglia region, including future integration with the proposed new Cambridge South station, as well as the potential future integration with East West Rail. Design work has commenced, with the work on the ground expected to be delivered during four key commissioning stages, to minimise disruption. The final commissioning of the new signalling system is scheduled for winter 2024.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Signalling systems are crucial to operate a safe and efficient railway for passengers, freight and everyone that uses or interacts with the railway. This project will provide a signalling system fit for a modern 21st century railway in the Cambridge area; and working with Alstom we will improve the reliability and performance of the railway now, and for future passengers in the decades to come.”