Network Rail give a huge design and delivery contract to Alstom as part of a £194m signalling system renewal investment for the Cambridge area.
The Cambridge re-signalling project will see the replacement of the current signalling system with up to the minute technology and will bring improved reliability for passengers with less need for maintenance.
The new system will also include a platform that is ready for digital technologies like the European Train Control System (ETCS)
The £130m contract for Alstom is the biggest single contract to be awarded by Network Rail as part of the Major Signalling Framework Agreement (MSFA) in the course of the current five-year investment cycle. As part of the programme, Alstom will oversee the complete renewal of the signalling system in the Cambridge area, replacing the current equipment which was first installed in the early part of the 1980s.
Alstom’s contract will see the replacement of approximately 700 items of life expired signalling equipment for the modern signalling system which will include:
- An upgrade to signalling control equipment at Cambridge power signal box using Alstom’s control systems and workstation
- An upgrade of signalling safety interlocking equipment in the Cambridge area with a modern signalling technology using the Alstom Smart Lock 400GP Computer-Based Interlocking (CBI) system
- An upgrade to seven level crossings from half barrier to full barrier, which will improve safety for crossing users
- The renewal of telecommunications and power supplies to support the new systems
- The relocation of control for signalling to the Cambridge power signal box alongside the decommissioning of three mechanical signal boxes
The vast project covers 125 miles of track from Meldreth and Elsenham to the south, right through to central Cambridge, up to Ely and Thurston to the east. The work being carried out will also enable the provision of wider re-signalling works for the Anglia region, which will include future integration for the proposed new Cambridge South station alongside the potential future integration with East-West Rail.
Design work is already underway and work on the ground will take place over four key commissioning stages in order to keep disruption to a minimum for the operational railway. The final commission of the new signalling system is set to take place during the winter of 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.”
Jason Baldock, Alstom’s Managing Director, Digital and Integrated Solutions, said:
“We are very excited to have been awarded the largest single contract to be awarded by Network Rail under the Major Signalling Framework Agreement during this control period, and a project that will deliver significant benefits to rail users in Cambridge and across the Anglia region.”