Project Specifications:

  • Type: Electrical and Communications Design
  • Client: Network Rail / Bam Nuttal
  • Value: £1.7Billion

The Project:

In an ambitious modernisation scheme, Network Rail is implementing a new £1.7billion railway communications system.

The new system will provide significant performance and safety benefits, utilising a technology called ‘Global System for Mobile communications – Railways’ (GSM-R) which will, for the first time, provide a single national system of secure driver-to-signaller communication.

The project involves the installation of approximately 2,000 new steel tower radio masts and base stations across the entire UK rail network.

This will provide faster contact between drivers, signallers and control centres in emergency situations, as well as simultaneous broadcast capability and more accurate and timely reporting of every train’s whereabouts.

At the same time, the Fixed Telecoms Network, used for all operational railway communications, is receiving a comprehensive overhaul, which involves the laying of thousands of miles of fibre optic and copper cable routes along the railway.

Vitec Operations:

Each of these 2000 new mast installations and associated base stations requires an energy supply, so Network Rail selected Vitec to complete the design consultancy for the electricity supply network covering the whole of the project.

Working closely with utilities consultants, Vitec is responsible for identifying the best power provision solutions and designing the distribution, backup and safety systems required to power the masts and ensure the network offers comprehensive rail coverage.

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