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Crossrail starts tender process for signalling system

By Peter MacLennan

Crossrail starts tender process for signalling system
  • New signalling system will enable operation of 24 trains per hour during the peak between Paddington and Whitechapel

  • Signalling system to be designed to support enhancement to 30 trains per hour through central section at a later date

Crossrail today announced that a contract notice has been placed in the Official Journal of the European Union seeking expressions of interest for the central section signalling system. The value of the contract is in the region of £75m.

Crossrail will operate a high-frequency metro service of up to 24 trains per hour during the peak between Whitechapel and Paddington through new-tunnels under central London. Construction of the new tunnels will get underway in spring 2012 when the first tunnel boring machine is launched from Royal Oak.

The new signalling system will incorporate Automatic Train Operation to support the delivery of a reliable, high-frequency metro service and must also be capable of enhancement to 30 trains per hour through the central section at a later date.

Crossrail Programme Director Andy Mitchell said: “Following the award of the remaining tunnelling contracts and the recently announced rolling stock shortlist we now need to turn our attention to procurement of the central section signalling system that will enable the operation of Crossrail services through central London. Crossrail’s preference is to adopt a Communications Based Train Control signalling system as it is technically and operationally proven and is successfully used by many metro systems around the world.”  

Crossrail is currently preparing the technical specification for the central section signalling system. The Invitation to Tender will be issued in late 2011.


Notes to Editor:

The closing date for expressions of interest is 27 May 2011.

This contract covers the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commission of an automatic train control system for Crossrail’s central section. The successful contractor will work closely with Crossrail’s rolling stock provider to deliver compatible on-board equipment capable of reliable operation. In accordance with normal practice, the rolling stock will also be capable of operating with the European standard ETCS Level 2 signalling system and with the principle legacy signalling systems found on UK rail infrastructure.

The new signalling system will be installed along the Crossrail route between Portobello Junction (west of Paddington) on the Great Western Main Line, Pudding Mill Lane Junction on the Great Eastern Main Line in the east and Abbey Wood sidings in the south-east.

Crossrail’s services will operate in Automatic Train Operation (ATO) mode with Automatic Train Protection (ATP) in the central operating section from Portobello Junction to Pudding Mill Lane / Abbey Wood.

Due to the integration of Crossrail’s central section with the existing National Rail network, Crossrail services will need to operate with signalling and safety systems installed at either end of the Crossrail tunnels. As a result, the Crossrail signalling contract will also cover the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of any equipment required on Network Rail maintained infrastructure to ensure a safe and efficient transition between Network Rail and Crossrail signalling systems.

Network Rail currently operates the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) on the Great Western Main Line and the Automatic Warning System (AWS) on the Great Eastern Main Line.  

As Crossrail’s central section is deemed to be subject to the Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2006, Crossrail is currently exploring the possibility of non-application of the Technical Specification for Interoperability (TSI).

On 30 March 2011, Crossrail confirmed the shortlist of companies to be invited to tender for rolling stock and depot services.

To deliver Crossrail services to the 37 stations along the route, around 60 new trains will be required. Each train will be around 200 metres in length and able to carry up to 1,500 passengers. It is envisaged that the contract for new Crossrail rolling stock and depot facilities will be let in late 2013. Shortlisted companies will be invited to submit bids in late 2011. The capital cost of new Crossrail rolling stock and depot facilities is in the region of £1bn.

About Crossrail:

Crossrail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts. 

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London's position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city.

Crossrail will deliver substantial economic benefits for all of London and the South East. Latest economic forecasts suggest that Crossrail will add £42bn to the economy. Previous estimates were that Crossrail would deliver up to a £36bn boost to the UK economy.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.