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LONDON UNDERGROUND & OVERGROUND


Chris Evans, marketing & operations group manager for Mitsubishi Electric UK, discusses the company’s history in the rail industry and its recent involvement.


M


itsubishi Electric’s involvement in the UK-based rail industry started


back in the late 1980s with the London Un- derground network and has continued for mainline, underground and overground in- frastructure projects over the last 30 years. Mitsubishi Electric is a registered and ap- proved supplier to the UK rail industry and a member of the Rail Alliance.


Diverse applications


Over this period, there have been many in- teresting and diverse projects dealing with many issues faced by the industry.


The London Underground escalator and lift refurbishment programme was es- tablished to replace the old and generally unreliable DC motor technology. The cost of refurbishment and supplying spares had been the primary drivers for the pro- gramme. Replacement with AC motor and Inverter Drive technology, complemented by a modern control system and operator terminals with remote access, has deliv- ered cost savings and increased reliability.


Ventilation and air management in tun- nels is clearly a high priority and presents a number of challenges. Innovative methods of air and pressure management have been used in areas of the Underground network and also in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link


70 | rail technology magazine Jun/Jul 11


(CTRL) tunnels between Ebbsfl eet and St Pancras.


The objective was to manage the fl ow of air such that harmful fumes would be diverted away from public areas and escape routes. In addition, on the CTRL, ‘pressure rooms’ were included to provide safe havens.


Some developments are driven by the need to extend the general infrastructure. This was the case when the Heathrow T5 pro- ject prompted a redesign of the routing and timetable management system in the ‘southern half’ of London Underground’s Piccadilly Line.


Previously, the system had been reliant on a ‘punched tape’ and optical light source system. This was replaced by an integrated control system for the Heathrow loop and the control centre at Hatton Cross, deliv- ering increased reliability and improved control of train routing and timetable man- agement.


It doesn’t always have to be a ‘high tech’ solution that brings signifi cant benefi ts. Traditionally, the standby generator sets used for signalling systems on the over- ground rail infrastructure had been hard- wired interlock systems using standard control gear. As part of a refurbishment programme, these have been replaced by


programmable controller technology. The benefi ts of this are reduced maintenance, increased fl exibility and the ability to col- late alarm conditions and other informa- tion and send this back via remote connec- tion technology, for analysis and action.


Innovation going forward


The rail industry has always driven the adoption of new technologies and open standards.


For example, recent project discussions have focussed on the need to provide se- cure and distributed database manage- ment, a fl exible and high level program- ming environment and the interface to communication protocols such as IEC 61850 and DNP3.


Mitsubishi is well-placed to work with and react to the needs of the UK rail industry and we will continue to build on a proven track record and sound industry knowl- edge and experience as we move forward, whilst seeking to bring innovation and reli- ability through our products and solutions.


FOR MORE INFORMATION


T: 01707 276100 E: automation@mitsubishi.meuk.mee.com W: www.mitsubishi-automation.co.uk


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