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Author Topic: Parlimentary Transport Committee Meeting 26/02/2018 - Infrastructure Investment  (Read 4112 times)
SandTEngineer
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« on: February 27, 2018, 02:23:12 pm »

This may be of interest (not had a chance to view it all yet): http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/990db01e-b4d7-4a41-86ef-cc816cc07a68
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2018, 09:41:56 pm »

Well, I have had a watch of some of it and my analysis is that in no uncertain terms the industry is damming of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) and NR» (Network Rail - home page) approach to current infrastructure and train investment.  The industry is basically saying that it can do a better (cheaper) job if DfT/NR produced high level specification requirements and let the industry deliver and run it for a number of years (10-20).  Lots of talk about the digital railway. They are also calling for the integration of train/track.

More watching to do (its a long session Tongue).
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ellendune
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 09:43:43 pm »

Well, I have had a watch of some of it and my analysis is that in no uncertain terms the industry is damming of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) and NR» (Network Rail - home page) approach to current infrastructure and train investment.  The industry is basically saying that it can do a better (cheaper) job if DfT/NR produced high level specification requirements and let the industry deliver and run it for a number of years (10-20).  They are also calling for the integration of train/track.

More watching to do (its a long session Tongue).

Well they might well say that, but what evidence is there that they can do any better?  After all TOCs (Train Operating Company) make franchise bids and one or two recently have lost a lot of money and broken the contract.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 09:46:57 pm »

Well, I have had a watch of some of it and my analysis is that in no uncertain terms the industry is damming of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) and NR» (Network Rail - home page) approach to current infrastructure and train investment.  The industry is basically saying that it can do a better (cheaper) job if DfT/NR produced high level specification requirements and let the industry deliver and run it for a number of years (10-20).  They are also calling for the integration of train/track.

More watching to do (its a long session Tongue).

Well they might well say that, but what evidence is there that they can do any better?  After all TOCs (Train Operating Company) make franchise bids and one or two recently have lost a lot of money and broken the contract.

I think the key words in my post are "high level specification requirements".  I also didn't mention that it was quoted that NR has 5000 people in its projects delivery organisation, and still can't deliver...... Roll Eyes
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 01:32:57 pm »

...well its taken over two years to get this far.  I'll comment later.

From the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) website.

Quote
Thousands of hours in delays to be saved as UK (United Kingdom)’s first mainline digital railway introduced

The East Coast Main Line is set to become Britain’s first mainline digital rail link with £350 million of new investment to install state-of-the art electronic signalling designed to cut journey times and slash delays.

This huge cash injection – on top of £1.2 billion already earmarked to upgrade one of the country’s most important rail arteries – will fund the replacement of conventional signalling with a digital system that allows trains to talk to the track. This will smooth the flow of trains, make journeys safer and reduce signal failures that every year result in thousands of hours of delays.

The upgrading of the line is just one element of the government’s plan for a 21st century rail network that will help spread prosperity to all parts of the country. A third of the United Kingdom’s population lives within 20 minutes of an East Coast Mainline station and together they produce 41% of GDP.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has accelerated the roll-out of digital signalling to speed up Britain’s economic recovery as we climb out of the COVID-19 crisis. It’s part of a wider national plan aimed at introducing digital signalling on to the entire rail network in Great Britain.

The new technology allows signallers to know exactly where each train is at every minute of every journey. The East Coast Main Line is a mixed-use railway, with trains of different sizes and speeds, both passenger and freight, all using the same tracks. This smart signalling recognises these different trains, allowing train and track to talk to each other continuously in real-time. This ‘in-cab’ system will mean an end to conventional signalling at the side of tracks – first used in the Victorian era.

The introduction of digital signalling is also set to create high-skilled jobs across the supply chain, helping boost the economy as the country builds out of COVID-19.

More than 80 million journeys are made each year on the East Coast Main Line, linking London with Edinburgh, with congestion on the route compounded by signalling nearing the end of its useful life. The upgrade, between London King’s Cross and Stoke Tunnel in Lincolnshire, will ensure that more travellers reach their destinations on time. Delays in the south of the route have a knock-on effect further north, so the modernisation work will make life easier for people along the entire length of this vital national asset.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

As the country recovers from COVID-19 we want to speed up our economy and reap the benefits of new transport technology. The Victorians gave us the world’s first great rail network and now it’s our turn to be modern transport pioneers and build on that great tradition.

Upgrading this country’s conventional signalling system, and giving drivers technology fit for the 21st century, will boost train performance, cut delays, improve safety and support the supply chain.

This is just the beginning. In time, we will digitise signalling right across the country to make good on our promise of better reliability and punctuality for passengers.

Passengers shouldn’t have to worry about missing connections or being late home to see their children, and I’ve been clear that getting the trains to run on time is a personal priority.

Today’s funding comes on top of the government’s investment of £1.2 billion between 2014 and 2024 to improve passenger journeys on the East Coast Main Line, creating capacity for up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services, speeding up journeys and improving reliability for passengers.

Development work is already underway with Network Rail to roll out digital signalling on further routes including sections of the West Coast Main Line, Midland Main Line and Anglia from 2026, leading to safer, more reliable, more resilient railways. The government also announced today that £12 million is being invested in fitting out 33 new trains for the Midland Main Line with digital signalling equipment.

Toufic Machnouk, Programme Director of the East Coast Digital Programme, said:

Today’s announcement is a big step towards transforming the network for the millions of passengers that use the East Coast Main Line and a welcome endorsement of the partnership approach that the rail industry has adopted to deliver Britain’s first inter-city digital railway. The funding detailed by the Secretary of State is very significant and will enable the vital building blocks needed to build a modern, right time railway.

David Horne, London North Eastern Railway (LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about)) Managing Director and Chair of the East Coast Digital Programme’s Industry Steering Board said:

After LNER and other operators on the East Coast successfully introduced brand new fleets, in-cab signalling will be the next exciting step we take to maximise the benefits of the technology that Azuma (Brand name for Class 80x trains on LNER) and all the trains on this route offer. This investment is good news for all customers, who will see even more improvements in services, reliability and sustainability.

Will Rogers, Managing Director of East Midlands Railway, said:

This vital signal investment is great news for the Midland Mainline and all the passengers we serve. Our new state of the art bi-mode trains will now come into service during 2023 with digital signalling technology ready to take advantage of the greater efficiency and flexibility this route upgrade will offer.
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Celestial
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2020, 01:43:24 pm »

I'm intrigued by the description that trains will be able to talk to the track. Although I suppose Thomas and his friends have been doing it for years, so maybe I shouldn't be.

The announcement that £12m is being spent on equipping 33 new EMT» (East Midlands Trains - about) trains for digital signalling is also a bit of a revelation. So that's £360k per train. Presumably it costs less as the trains are new. How much extra will it be to retrofit older trains.

At that rate, how much will it cost to equip the majority of the fleet, assuming the plan is to eventually roll this out over most of the network? Feels like a lot to me. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2020, 01:58:09 pm »

It's been clear to me for a long time that with the right team things could be done a lot quicker. Fast forward to 1:32 if you're in a hurry...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrmZIgVoQw4
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2020, 02:18:25 pm »

Well, first of all, a 'Digital Railway' is nothing new.  Mechanical interlocking lever frames have been around since the late 1800s and they are essentially a mechanical computer, all 0s and 1s, but processed with lumps of metal rather than electrons.

"Cynic mode" on....

...and I suppose it will lead to the abolition of the need to point lots of coloured lights, or wave bits of wood or metal at train drivers, and end up with lots of bits of reflectorised metal signs to point at them instead....

We have also had electronic interlockings since the early trails in 1960.

I really get annoyed by all the NR» (Network Rail - home page) claims of being a first.  But perhaps they don't have anybody left who remembers what was achieved in the past.

"Cynic mode" off  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 05:28:09 pm by SandTEngineer » Logged
Surrey 455
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2020, 09:18:11 pm »

I hope the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) don't make any fancy claims about the new systems capabilities and then have to backtrack to a different system. I'm thinking of the NHS tracing app here.
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trainbuff
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2020, 11:31:54 pm »

I'm intrigued by the description that trains will be able to talk to the track. Although I suppose Thomas and his friends have been doing it for years, so maybe I shouldn't be.

The announcement that £12m is being spent on equipping 33 new EMT» (East Midlands Trains - about) trains for digital signalling is also a bit of a revelation. So that's £360k per train. Presumably it costs less as the trains are new. How much extra will it be to retrofit older trains.

At that rate, how much will it cost to equip the majority of the fleet, assuming the plan is to eventually roll this out over most of the network? Feels like a lot to me. 

Wont Cross country trains, local services using the route and freight locomotives also have to be so equipped?
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2020, 10:08:02 am »

I'm intrigued by the description that trains will be able to talk to the track. Although I suppose Thomas and his friends have been doing it for years, so maybe I shouldn't be.

The announcement that £12m is being spent on equipping 33 new EMT» (East Midlands Trains - about) trains for digital signalling is also a bit of a revelation. So that's £360k per train. Presumably it costs less as the trains are new. How much extra will it be to retrofit older trains.

At that rate, how much will it cost to equip the majority of the fleet, assuming the plan is to eventually roll this out over most of the network? Feels like a lot to me. 

Wont Cross country trains, local services using the route and freight locomotives also have to be so equipped?

Depends which level of (E)TCS they (eventually) decide to go for. Its not mentioned in the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) announcement. If its going to be a real 'Digital Railway' then it will be Level 3 which completely abolishes all trackside equipment, but then all traction units using the line will need to be fitted, highly unlikely.  It will most likely be Level 2 which retains existing trackside train detection systems, but for fitted traction passes the movement authorities to the cab, but can retain lineside signals/signs if needed for non-fitted traction.  Thats how the current HS1 (High Speed line 1 - St Pancras to Channel Tunnel)/THAMESLINK works (i.e. conventional signals on the outer shared sections but cab display authorities in the core section with fixed block signage for other non-fitted traction use).

By the way, I understand we are not allowed to call it the European Train Control System now.  Perhaps it should be called BTCS (BREXIT Train Control System)..... Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 10:13:32 am by SandTEngineer » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2020, 05:21:29 pm »

Depends which level of (E)TCS they (eventually) decide to go for. Its not mentioned in the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) announcement. If its going to be a real 'Digital Railway' then it will be Level 3 which completely abolishes all trackside equipment, but then all traction units using the line will need to be fitted, highly unlikely.  It will most likely be Level 2 which retains existing trackside train detection systems, but for fitted traction passes the movement authorities to the cab, but can retain lineside signals/signs if needed for non-fitted traction.  Thats how the current HS1 (High Speed line 1 - St Pancras to Channel Tunnel)/THAMESLINK works (i.e. conventional signals on the outer shared sections but cab display authorities in the core section with fixed block signage for other non-fitted traction use).

The ECML (East Coast Main Line) project has been anounced before, and I'm sure I read (to my surprise) that they were going for the full level 3. However, I'm not sure where I saw that, and just now all I can find is this NR» (Network Rail - home page) page - if that was it, it really counts as PR (Public Relations) not proper technical stuff:
Quote
Friday 20 Mar 2020
Britain’s first digital railway takes major step forward as funding and partners announced

Network Rail has confirmed Siemens Mobility Limited and Atkins as its partners in a major programme to introduce in-cab signalling on the southern section of the East Coast Main Line – a scheme that will reduce passenger delays by thousands of hours.

The partners will play a critical role in delivering the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP). The first £350 million investment in the ECDP by the government is already being used to begin the introduction of real-time digital signalling on the route, and lay the foundations for wider national roll-out.

The ECDP will be the first intercity digital railway in the UK (United Kingdom), fitting trains with the latest in-cab signalling technology and removing the old lineside signals. It will mean that signallers will be able to talk to trains continuously rather than only at fixed points, instructing and responding in real time and reducing delays and significantly improving performance.
...
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 08:31:14 pm by stuving » Logged
SandTEngineer
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2020, 05:42:03 pm »

Well, good luck to them.  Its LEVEL 3 if they are going to remove all lineside signals.  Hope the freight companies and other users are aware of that..... Tongue
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bradshaw
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 08:20:57 pm »

This appeared in the Railway Magazine un March 2018
https://www.railwaymagazine.co.uk/4797/etcs-in-cab-signalling-for-750-uk-freight-locomotives/
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2020, 08:25:12 pm »


So, less than eight years to go then.  Cynical me says no way, based on recent trials on even the most basic of lines (aka CROSSRAIL)!  However, I really do look forward to having the experience of travelling up and down the ECML (East Coast Main Line) without a single signal in sight..... Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 08:42:17 pm by SandTEngineer » Logged
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