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22 | the rail engineer | november 2010


Adrian Hicksonreports Victoria’s technological leap

The Victoria Line is one of London’s busiest transport arteries, carrying 183 million passengers every year. Passenger demand is forecast to rise by 15% on today’s capacity levels by 2025. The line has recently seen substantial investment with new track, signalling and trains being introduced as part of a major upgrade. This will mean passengers have a more frequent service, reduced journey times and a smoother ride, and the line will have nearly 20% more capacity.

LMS replacement As part of that upgrade, there was a need

The LMS enables all the line’s communications systems, such as help points, to be managed.

to improve the line management system (LMS). The route’s existing controller systems were not suitable for a modern railway so the decision was taken to replace them with a new LMS. Siemens was contracted to provide this in a project led initially by Metronet and then by Transport for London. The contract was valued at £7.5 million.

Siemens has designed, implemented and

commissioned a complete, integrated turnkey system, and was also responsible for procurement, management, installation and commissioning of the subsystems. The work includes elements of design to SIL2 standards for the safety-related parts. The LMS provides everything needed to manage the line including communications systems such as CCTV, public address and telephones. These are integrated via London Underground’s Connect data highway. A common user interface is offered for all of these functions as well as reporting, data analysis tools and line KPI (Key Performance Indicators) management. Ensuring safety is a vital part of its

function. The new system incorporates connection to the emergency telephone network in the tunnels which takes power from the rail. The LMS monitors a traction earth detection system (TEDS), detecting power faults and providing background status monitoring of other safety-related equipment such as overheating and intruder alarms.

Integrated system All the functions are brought together in a fully integrated system. At Osborne House, the new control centre located at London Underground’s Northumberland Park depot, a dual Siemens CROMOS server manages the LMS. The system, based on Siemens RailCom Manager software, provides access to a central ‘data warehouse’ where the line’s activity is recorded. The company has also provided the local area network (LAN) which carries data for the LMS and other services for the Victoria Line.

The control centre provides eight fully equipped workstations for simultaneous use by up to eight operators as well as comprehensive back-up facilities in the event of building evacuation. Each workstation uses a single touch screen to give control of alarms, announcements and all other features while a separate one controls the telephone system. Operators also have a mouse option if they prefer. The workstation is integrated with the

signalling control system provided by Westinghouse, thus ensuring the operators have an ergonomic, easy-to-use solution. A common login means that when an operator logs-in once, they have access to all of the appropriate information and services across all systems. This system also ensures that there is always someone logged-in to cover all areas of the line. As part of the LMS, Siemens has installed a

full, standalone training suite. This includes two operator workstations as well as space for a trainer. It accurately simulates real- world events to provide a convincing learning experience. Siemens tutored London Underground’s training staff who are now using the simulator to teach the operators themselves. The system was designed to be as easy as possible for operators to adapt to and the touch screen interface was given the same generic look and feel as the mechanical interface from the previous control systems. Siemens undertook a full human machine interface (HMI) review with London Underground, incorporating user feedback into the final design. Extensive information from the Victoria Line is collected by the LMS’s data



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