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Network Rail awards £90m re-signalling and power upgrade contracts on GWML

27 April 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

Network Rail has awarded two contracts worth £90 million to increase capacity and reliability on the Great Western Main Line (GWML) between London and Reading.

Network Rail awards re-signalling and power upgrade contracts on GWML

Network Rail has revealed it has awarded contracts to install a new signalling system and upgrade power supplies on the line between London and Reading. The upgrade work will also play a crucial part in preparing for Elizabeth line services.

The first contract, worth approximately £79 million, has been awarded to Alstom for the final stage of the signalling system that will control trains between Reading and London Paddington. In a separate £11 million contract, Amey will be responsible for installing and assuring resilient signalling power supplies.

Alstom and Network Rail develop interlocking solution that will be ready for ETCS installation

Both contracts have been awarded under existing Network Rail framework agreements which allow suppliers to invest in the skills and resources needed to deliver large projects efficiently. Alstom will be responsible for delivering the final stage of full re-signalling work on the GWML between Reading and Paddington in the west of London. The contract includes the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of a state-of-the-art train control system. Network Rail and Alstom have worked in close collaboration to develop an interlocking solution based on Alstom’s Smartlock range that will be ready for ETCS installation allowing trains with ETCS capability to operate on that section of the line.

Once complete, the signalling work will allow Transport for London’s Elizabeth line trains to operate on that section of the railway along with other services on the Great Western Main Line.

Amey contract to replace obsolete power supplies on GWML with fully resilient supplies for signalling equipment

The £11 million contract awarded to Amey for signalling power works between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington includes replacement of obsolete power supplies and crucially, fully resilient new supplies for the signalling equipment. This enables the system to be automatically supplied from separate supplies in the event of a power failure anywhere between two points. This will reduce train delays whilst maximising reliability for trains on the approach to and from Paddington.

The planned upgrade of the signalling on the Great Western Main Line is being carried out by Network Rail as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan and is also a key enhancement required by Crossrail which will fully open in 2019.

“This is a vital step in the delivery of a bigger, better, more reliable railway for London and the South East”

Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail, said: “This is a vital step in the delivery of a bigger, better, more reliable railway for London and the South East. By ensuring the new trains can run seamlessly amongst existing rail services and by building in resilience at the outset, we increase the capacity and reliability of the railway meaning that passengers benefit from quicker and easier journeys they can depend upon. To deliver this work in the safest and most efficient way possible, we need to make the most of the huge potential within our supply chain so we look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Alstom and Amey in the delivery of these crucial elements of the Great Western Main Line upgrade and our preparation for Elizabeth line services.”

“Alstom is very proud to take part in this project”

Commenting on the awarded contract, Alstom’s Managing Director of Train Control solutions in the UK, Nick Crossfield said: “Alstom is very proud to take part in this project and will provide Network Rail with state-of-the-art, proven and reliable solutions”

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