Railway technology transformation set to benefit millions

MICA Station Management System



A technological transformation across more than 70% of the UK rail network is on its way, delivering faster, more frequent, safer services to millions of passengers across the country and due for completion by the time HS2 arrives in Manchester.

Network Rail’s vision for the Digital Railway was announced in York on 10th May 2018. telent's Transport Division MD, Stephen Dalton, was pleased to join the round table discussion led by Mark Carne and the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon Chris Grayling MP, who set out their ambition for Digital Railway.

telent has over 30 years’ experience in designing, delivering and maintaining railway communication systems. telent’s industry expertise and professionalism make the company a partner of choice for organisations at the forefront of the digital revolution. MD Stephen Dalton said: “telent are delighted to be involved in the discussions on the exciting future of the railway.”

Speaking at the strategy launch, Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, said: "Not since the railway transformed from steam to diesel in the 1960s has a technological breakthrough held such promise to vastly improve our railway for the benefit of the millions of people and businesses who rely on it every day”.

“The age of a digital railway has today moved from the drawing board and into reality."

Services through London Bridge, into London King's Cross, Waterloo and across the Pennines are to be the first to reap the benefits of this technological leap as the blueprint earmarks these routes for transformation over the next five years.

Mr Carne continued: "In a world first, digital train is now a reality on Thameslink services through London Bridge. We now have a plan, impetus and the funding, to introduce these systems across large swathes of our railway network over the coming years. This is a turning point in the history of our railways as we move firmly into the digital age.” telent, working with the Thameslink team, provided the last mile connectivity of the IP Network to support the Traffic Management system on Thameslink.

In the five years to 2024 the industry is planning to introduce the digital train control that is already a reality on the Thameslink core through London Bridge and on Crossrail cross the Pennines, on the southern end of the East Coast main line into London King's Cross and onto some of the major commuter routes that feed London Waterloo.

Within 15 years, the aim is to see 70% of journeys benefit from digital railway technology. At the launch of the 'Digital Railway' strategy, Mr Carne concluded: "Transforming our railway into the digital age offers the chance to deliver huge benefits for our passengers and the freight that this country depends on. It is the most cost-efficient way to deliver the future railway Britain needs."

telent is already involved in projects that are delivering digital infrastructure; on 12th February this year, TPCMS (Traction Power Centralised Management System) went live in Romford Electrical Control Room as part of the National SCADA Renewal Programme for Network Rail, which enables the integration of electrical control into a new single system across the country. telent created TPCMS as a single platform for the control of the entire traction power network, integrating over 50 different technologies into this project with the new system being rolled out across the UK in a staged process.

Stephen Dalton concludes; “From the original roll out of GSM-R on the West Coast mainline through to our current digital transformation projects such as TPCMS we have worked closely with Network Rail and we are excited about the vision Mark outlined for the future of Britain’s railways. My team and I look forward to our continued involvement in the Digital Railway programme”.

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