UK rail infrastructure operator Network Rail has awarded a contract to Siemens Rail Automation to develop system architecture, as well as install an European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 over the existing signalling infrastructure on the Great Western Main Line.
The six-month deal will allow Siemens to move the project to Stage 3 of Network Rail’s Governance for Railway Investment Projects (Grip) process.
The GRIP 3 contract will cover interlocking areas commissioned by Siemens for the Reading station area redevelopment, Swindon B and Berkshire and Hampshire signalling programmes.
Project manager Pete Ratcliffe said: “This GRIP 3 contract is a great opportunity for us to work closely with Network Rail to investigate the challenges, scope the work ahead of us and define how the system can deliver the maximum benefit for the operation of the railway.”
The company is already working with Network Rail under its ETCS framework contract and has successfully showed the UK’s first on-track radio block centre to radio block centre (RBC to RBC) handover between two suppliers.
Siemens also provided a full simulation of an ETCS overlay (both ETCS Level 2 and conventionally signalled trains) running a representative timetable on the Reading final layout under the control of Siemens Trackguard Futur RBC and Westlock interlockings.
As part of the Thameslink programme, Siemens will install its ETCS and automatic train operation (ATO) solutions across the London Bridge area, which will allow all train movements to be controlled automatically, delivering 24 trains an hour in each direction on the Thameslink core route at the programme’s completion in 2018.