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1  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: 2019 Predictions on: January 17, 2019, 01:56:29 pm
This is not the sort of reply any member needs to receive on this forum. What I put above, was a prediction, it could happen as I have heard from sources that some did find these seats hard, like sitting in a JCB bucket, and too wide. So it seemed to be appropriate. Also some questions on the Filton bank thread I asked, still not answered.

Well, I'm afraid that post really 'takes the biscuit'....  Before you joined the forum we got on reasonably well and we are quite happy to share information on the forum to 'enlighten' posters who ask genuine questions out of curosity to 'learn more'.  I've tried to help where possible, but with that post I won't be contributing to the forum anymore.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: January 17, 2019, 09:44:51 am
According to reports elsewhere there have been a number of pantograph 'interface' issues resulting in the trains being restricted to diesel mode only.  Oh well at least Grayling can claim to have kept the train service going...... Tongue
3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: January 15, 2019, 10:09:18 pm
Because we are coming out of Europe now it seems, Are Network Rail going to have to abandon E.R.T.M.S. Also confused as to what it is, but sounds ever so expensive.

We could do, but since the main manufacturers will be making all their products ERTMS compliant - as a large number of the customers will require that - it will probably be more expensive in the long run to abandon it here in the UK. To specify non-standard products would add expense.


...and who would actally manufacture any alternative system?  We don't have any such manufacturers in the UK now  Roll Eyes

Why don't unipart?. They are making other signalling systems.
Unipart don't manufacture anything.  They are a supply chain organisation.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: January 15, 2019, 06:37:03 pm
Because we are coming out of Europe now it seems, Are Network Rail going to have to abandon E.R.T.M.S. Also confused as to what it is, but sounds ever so expensive.

We could do, but since the main manufacturers will be making all their products ERTMS compliant - as a large number of the customers will require that - it will probably be more expensive in the long run to abandon it here in the UK. To specify non-standard products would add expense.


...and who would actally manufacture any alternative system?  We don't have any such manufacturers in the UK now  Roll Eyes
5  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: January 15, 2019, 06:34:55 pm
This does not sound to be very safe to me, I feel a lot safer on a train if a driver can see an actual signal and a route indicator.

In-cab signalling is a proven technology. Its in use on High Speed 1 in the UK, on lines across Europe, China and Japan use it on their high speed lines, and it is being introduced in many other countries on their 'classic' lines.

.....and the London Underground Victoria Line has had such a system since 1968..... Roll Eyes

Did not think that it had already been used. For arguments sake. For example, if it was already installed between Birmingham New Street and Westerleigh Junction, how would a driver know which route he is given at signal G50 at Barnwood Junction. At the moment he has a four Aspect signal with a Pos 4,5,6 Junction Indicator. No indicator is down avoiding, pos 4 is up avoiding + avoiding loop via extra stencil, pos 5 down loop, pos 6 down main into Gloucester. Then another signal with the same indications G52, but with routes to the platforms. So what type of screen or device would he have for the routes described and does he have some sort of marker board where the block section is.

Suggest you put the kettle on and have a little read of this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Train_Control_System
6  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: January 14, 2019, 11:45:32 pm
This does not sound to be very safe to me, I feel a lot safer on a train if a driver can see an actual signal and a route indicator.

In-cab signalling is a proven technology. Its in use on High Speed 1 in the UK, on lines across Europe, China and Japan use it on their high speed lines, and it is being introduced in many other countries on their 'classic' lines.

.....and the London Underground Victoria Line has had such a system since 1968..... Roll Eyes
7  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Major Disruption Stevenage - 14 January 2019 on: January 14, 2019, 10:59:14 am
Major disruption at Stevenage today.  This unusual note on the National Rail site caught my eye:
Quote
Rail Replacement transport is running between Welwyn Garden City and Alexandra Palace. These buses will not run to a schedule and will be operated by station staff.
8  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: Penzance local services - May 2019 on: January 13, 2019, 11:29:21 pm
Thats because the St.Ives Park and Ride site is moving from Lelant Saltings to St.Erth.  I suspect the remaining services at Lelant Saltings are 'Parlimentary Trains' to avoid closure.....
9  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Six MONTH closure will overrun. on: January 13, 2019, 10:56:24 am
What, has SandTE retired and no one has noticed until now?  Grin Grin

I'm still here, but working on a preserved railway signalling system, so don't have any spare time for all that mainline nonsense... Grin
10  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: January 12, 2019, 08:03:45 pm
Reported elsewhere that an attempt was made last night (11 January) to steal the contact (or return) wire from an substantial length at Newport.....
11  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: 3rd Feb 2019 - excursion Bristol to Lose on: January 12, 2019, 09:37:56 am
Lose...wheres that then..... Grin
12  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: January 11, 2019, 09:26:01 pm
Presumably the "Autumn 2020" opening is now in doubt ?

Well it does say three years in that report, so even being optomistic I think we might be looking at early 2022...... Shocked
13  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: Fatality at Bristol Temple Meads on: January 11, 2019, 02:08:58 pm
I don't think we should be speculating on what will come out of the investigation.
14  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: January 11, 2019, 02:05:57 pm
Its not looking very good.....and appologies, its a very long read..... Roll Eyes

Quote
Just posted on New Civil Engineer website

True scale of Crossrail problems laid bare


The full scale of Crossrail’s problems have been laid bare with stations now revealed to be at the centre of ‘‘three more years’’ of work needed to open the catastrophically delayed metro.


In his new capacity as Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild told the London Assembly today that there remained ”thousands of hours” of construction to be done. None of the line’s central stations have yet been completed while crucial dynamic testing of trains and signalling systems has yet to begin in earnest.

He tore into the efforts of his predecessors and their key main contractors before unveiling a catalogue of work still to be done. Wild took charge of Crossrail in November having moved over from his role as managing director for London Underground at Transport for London (TfL).

The revelations have shattered previous Crossrail statements that the complex integration of multiple signalling systems was behind the severe delays. Wild, rather, stressed that there were actually “two dominant critical paths” on the job and that station construction was now more critical.

Construction far from complete

He added that while systems testing was also critical path activity this had been impacted because tunnel fit-out was still not complete.


“We have many, many thousands of hours to do in the tunnels,” he said. ”Every station has many, many months of work to do.”

He said the intention now was to get main contractors to complete works by a deadline of June or July, with Bond Street likely to drag on much longer. This would then allow work to begin on station fit-out, but he stressed that this itself will be an extremely challenging and time-consuming job.

Wild revealed that at the time of the announcement of the then one-year delay last September, Crossrail’s revised programme was “a country mile away” from where it stands today and that no-one understood the magnitude of the unfolding problem.

“I think the enormity and complexity of Crossrail in all manners: the stations; the trains; the signalling systems; the software integration; the control systems; the interface with Network Rail; the truth is that the complexity was not fully understood,” he said.

“All that was understood at that point was that there was a fundamental risk which was starting to crystallise. If I knew then what I know now, I would have set the fire alarm off.”

This lack of understanding was demonstrated in the £211M estimate made at the time of how much it would cost to complete the remaining work, he suggested. In October it was announced that a £300M bailout was being provided to complete the project. Now the estimate stands at £2.5bn.

“The Crossrail executive and even the Jacobs [Crossrail’s client representative] project reps were talking about numbers of £300M to £400M. I spend £120M every four weeks. So £211M was only a seven week delay. Now I’ve got to bottom of it its £2.5bn.

“The challenge I now face, that I need to get on with actually, is one, to two…, to three years of work ahead of me, not six or seven weeks of delay.

Wild offered some sympathy to axed chairman Terry Morgan and other non-executives on the Crossrail board.

“To be fair to non-exec directors and chairmen you are relying on experienced executives and project representatives telling you what the truth is and it is clear that something has gone wrong in valuation and estimation of work to come.”

New programme unclear

Wild said his team was now working furiously to devise a programme that gets the stations finished and tunnels fitted-out, but would also allow for effective dynamic testing of trains, track and signalling systems to begin.

He suggested the central section of the line could be opened by “omitting” one or two of the stations. This could allow fit-out efforts to be focused and equally would be less disruptive to systems testing.

Equally, the plan could be to open them all at the same time but with limited functionality.

Revised plans will be tabled to the TfL board next month.

“The precise sequence is difficult: you’ve got to go to every single contractor, every subcontractor. And if I was going to be critical of the past, then it’s the work we should have done a year ago. Because then it would have been revealed a year ago that they wouldn’t have been ready for two years.”

Wild said that he hoped to publicly reveal the latest revised opening strategy by the end of March.

Tier ones and bosses under fire

Wild was critical of some tier one suppliers who he said failed to offer ideas on how to mitigate the delays. Referencing a meeting held in August to flush out ideas, Wild said: ”Siemens, Bombardier, Costain/Skanska, Balfour Beatty – they are the people actually delivering the work. They were asked if they had any ideas. It became clear they didn’t.”

London Underground director of strategy & service development David Hughes also added his criticism of previous management, referencing earlier evidence to the committee given by ousted chairman Sir Terry Morgan. “When [Morgan] sat here this morning and said ‘I recognise where these extra £2bn costs have come from’, in a nutshell that’s the problem,” he said.

Signalling setback

Dynamic testing on the line is due to restart next month after a failed attempts to get up and running last year – an event that up to now has be largely held up as the cause of delays to the programme. Two voltage transformers failed during the initial energisation of electrical equipment at Pudding Mill Lane sub-station – this was then used as a reason for the delay to the dynamic testing.

Wild rejected this claim, saying that the real reason for the delay was simply that the systems being tested were simply were not complete enough to carry out the work.

“The reason dynamic testing didn’t work a year ago is two simple reasons: the signalling integration hadn’t been completed, and you can’t test something which hasn’t been installed; and the the software systems on the train weren’t mature,” he said. Crossrail’s trains have a complex on-board signalling system to cope with the up to four operating systems they must work with, and feature software from train-maker Bombardier and signal sytem provider Siemens. This is “novel”, admitted Wild, but not a world-first.

“That is an important myth to bust,” he said. “People talk about this as a world first. It’s not. We have a standard Siemens signalling product in the central section and standard Network Rail systems to the east and west.

“The most important reason [that testing has not worked so far] is that they were trying to test something that wasn’t installed.”

He did accept that there were serious challenges at the western end with the spur to Heathrow, where the signalling has already been upgraded to the higher quality ECTS – a system that is also being rolled out by Network Rail nationwide.

“The complex thing, that everybody is scratching their heads about, is the ECTS,” he said. “It can work in the lab in Zurich. There may be 1,000 people around the world working on this,” he said.

With this in mind he warned that the dynamic testing phase could take anything from three to 15 months to complete.

Overground unready

Wild also revealed that contracts for three out of the six Network Rail stations on the western section of the route were still to be let. Southall, Hayes and Harlington and West Drayton stations had been let, with the remaining three stations Acton Main Line, West Ealing and Ealing Broadway still to be awarded.

Case for Crossrail Ltd

Earlier, Morgan presented his side of the story to the committee. He insisted that an 18 month delay to delivery of the trains from Bombardier was key. This severly impacted Siemens’ and Crossrail’s ability to work on the signalling interfaces. This, he stressed, was a TfL contract and therefore Crossrail executives should not be held accountable.

However, Wild completely rejected this defence and said that going forward he was happy to be held fully accountable for all aspects of the project.

“There is no easy way to say it – Crossrail Limited is the system integrator. Crossrail Limited didn’t have a grip on the systems integration,” he said, before citing as an example how TfL commissioner Mike Brown was making all calls to Bombardier senior management because Crossrail executives would not.

“As [chief executive] of Crossrail I find myself fully responsible for all integration. In future I’ll be doing all the calls with Bombardier.

“And looking forward with dynamic testing starting again in a few days time… I will be accountable,” he said. 
15  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Four track for Filton Bank - ongoing discussion on: January 11, 2019, 11:31:25 am
Yes, and Bristol Parkway looks completely different to how I last saw it. Next due to see it on 27 January 2019.  Still some signalling works to complete there.
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