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COMPANY NEWS


ETCS test proves a success for Hitachi


Hitachi has successfully tested its onboard ETCS (European Train Control System) with Network Rail’s Cambrian Line signalling system and achieved ETCS level


2 operation.


The Class 97301 locomotive has been retrofitted with the system to prove interoperability with other systems currently in use. The Verification – Train 3 project is trialling the equipment and the locomotive was driven under its own power with ETCS Level 2 via the GSM-R radio network in various operational modes such as ‘Staff Responsible’, ‘On Sight’,


‘Shunting’ and ‘Full Supervision’ without any operational failures.


Network Rail is implementing ETCS in a phased programme of trackside and associated train fitment.


Richard Tomlin, signalling project manager at Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “We have been working towards this key milestone for some time now and are delighted that we achieved this operation at a very early stage in the project. It gives us the opportunity to


prove to the industry that our technology has full interoperability and can communicate with other suppliers’ systems. We are now able to move into the next phase of test running.”


Jim Doughty, project manager at Network Rail, said: “The success of the Hitachi trials demonstrates Network Rail’s continued commitment to supporting the purveyors of ETCS Onboard Systems and to providing a fully interoperable ETCS system within the UK.”


Virgin Trains ‘a five star business’


Virgin Trains has renewed its five star certification in the Recognised for Excellence (RfE) programme.


The assessment by the British Quality Foundation (BQF) found Virgin Trains improved its overall score by around 20% since it originally achieved the status in May 2011.


Andy Cross, business support director, Virgin Trains, said: “This award is a fantastic result for us and shows that, despite everything that happened with the franchise bid last year, thanks to


our people, Virgin Trains has been formally recognised once again as a 5 star business. It will further build our credentials for the next franchise bid, and clearly shows that we are not standing still in the pursuit of excellence in customer service throughout every part of our business.”


The BQF feedback report stated: “From senior leadership to front line staff it was clear that everyone we spoke with during the site visit has a focus on the customer and seeks to add value wherever possible.”


Great Western electrification preparation to begin


Network Rail has awarded contracts for the planned electrification of the Great Western Main Line.


A joint venture between Atkins and Parsons Brinckerhoff will install around 20,000 overhead line support structures along the route.


The work will allow Hitachi’s new IEP trains to run on the Great Western Main Line from 2017. Preparation will also include modifications of platforms, bridges and track lowering.


Douglas McCormick, managing director of Atkins’ UK rail business,


said: “Electrification is vital for the UK railway network.


“It will enable greater capacity, shorter journey times, less maintenance, lower energy costs and will boost the economy by providing better connections between towns and cities.”


Darren Reed, head of rail UK/ Europe at Parsons Brinckerhoff, said: “The combined strength of Atkins and Parsons Brinckerhoff creates a market leading electrification design and engineering capability – and it is an area in which we both continue to invest heavily to meet future anticipated industry demand.”


10 | rail technology magazine Jun/Jul 13


IT frameworks agreed by Network Rail


Network Rail has signed five framework agreements with IT suppliers to reduce complexity and allow suppliers to take more ownership of designing, building and implementing IT solutions to support the company.


The agreements are with Accenture, BAE Systems, Detica, Cognizant, CSC and TCS.


Network Rail’s chief information officer Susan Cooklin said: “We run one of the busiest railway networks in the world and rely heavily on IT


to keep everything moving.


“By creating this framework we will be able to scale more flexibly our resources to meet demand, while retaining our vital assurance role. In this way we can improve our efficiency while continuing to allow 24,000 trains a day across the rail network.”


“Virgin Trains has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of its customer base, both existing and potential, and their needs and expectations.”


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