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Old Dalby rides again

Old Dalby Test Track Installation and Test Teams for Thales and London Underground won this year’s Signalling & Telecommunications Person or Team of the Year Award.

The Thales Ground Transport Services (TGTS) team and Old Dalby Test Track Installation team were asked by London Underground to install, test and commission their radio-based SelTrac system at Old Dalby Test Track (ODTT) – all to a tight timescale.

ODTT, owned by Network Rail, is managed and maintained by Serco. The site is situated just outside Melton Mowbray and is a 12-mile track with approximately 2.5 miles fitted with DC conductor rails.

The Transmission Based Train Control (TBTC) System is a new adaptation of the SelTrac S40 system developed for the Jubilee and Northern Line Upgrade Project.

The TBTC system is being installed at ODTT to validate the integration of Radio TBTC with the new London Underground S Stock Trains. This is to demonstrate both the generic design and its functionality in preparation for the LU Sub-Surface Railway Upgrade Project which will upgrade around one third of the network.

Gareth Harrison, installation manager, and Lee Tarr, tester in charge, and their teams were given the challenge of delivering the facility to London Underground for the initial demonstrations in August 2015.

The site presents a number of challenges. Old Dalby is a hybrid site with Over Head Line Equipment (OHLE) and electrified rails. Previous TGTS signalling projects have been on LU infrastructure. Safety was the number one consideration.

Says colleague Jason Bourke, ‘Gareth, Lee and their teams have taken a proactive attitude towards safety, identifying the relevant standards they need to work to and ensuring that all staff have been thoroughly briefed and have a high safety awareness. This is demonstrated by our excellent safety record to date.

‘They have clearly set out the expected safety behaviours whilst on site to staff and contractors thus setting the standard for future works. They have demonstrated a commitment to programme delivery without compromising safety whilst working with new equipment and installation methods, as well as managing subcontractors.

‘Throughout the compressed programme they have maintained strong lines of communication with Serco and have provided specific input for new activities.’ This in turn has inspired Serco to update its entire Safety Management System to maintain the high levels of safety that TGTS expect. TGTS Health Safety and Environment (HSE) has been fully embedded within the project teams.

The teams have played a major, if largely unrecognised, part in the major upgrade of services on the London Underground. Future generations of passengers will travel in safety and comfort thanks to the hard work of Gareth and Lee and their teams.

Signalling & Telecommunications Person or Team of the Year Award is sponsored by Westermo. In the UK, Westermo has been supplying Ethernet and serial industrial communications devices to the rail industry for many years.

Says Phil Mounter, who heads the rail division for Westermo UK, ‘The industry puts a lot into our business. It supports a lot of our business, it gives us jobs. It enables us to put more money into research and development, so in response we want to put something back into the rail industry and this is a good way of doing it.

‘This is the third time we’ve sponsored it, and we will continue to do so because it rewards individuals, not the companies they work for, and it’s the individuals which make the business what it is.’

Highly commended

  • Claire Beranek, Network Rail
  • Junction Lighting Design Team, Network Rail

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