BBC TWO’s The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway returns for a fourth series in June 2022 following work to complete and open the Elizabeth line. Crossrail and Transport for London provided exclusive access to the BBC’s producers Windfall Films over ten years as construction of the railway progressed beneath under London.
Find out more about some of the stars of the series below.
PRADEEP VASUDEV - HEAD OF SYSTEM INTEGRATION
With over 38 years of experience developing and integrating computer software for transport systems - from military aircraft to London Underground's Victoria line, Pradeep leads system integration at Crossrail.
The Elizabeth line is one of the most advanced railways in the world, with purpose-built trains, three signalling systems, 42km of new tunnels under London, ten new stations and 31 stations which have been upgraded. Software is vitally important to ensuring the railway works reliably day-in-day-out for passengers.
Pradeep said: “What we’ve built with the Elizabeth line hasn’t been done anywhere else in the world. The complexity and novelty of the railway has required a significant amount of software development. My focus has been to make sure all the technology systems of the railway work together and in harmony with the operator, ironing out any issues before we open.”
You can learn more about the signalling systems in this video with Pradeep:
CAMILLA BARROW – ROUTEWAY DELIVERY DIRECTOR
Camilla has 14 years’ experience working on large complex international construction projects - from a state-of-the-art metro in Silicon Valley, USA to a new airport in Doha, Qatar.
At Crossrail, Camilla led the team that installed and commissioned the railway systems for the 42km of new tunnels that form the central section from Paddington to Abbey Wood, including track, overhead line and communication and signalling systems. Following the completion of the tunnelling in 2015, Camilla’s team converted the new rail tunnels and the Victorian Connaught tunnel into a fully functional railway with connections to the National Rail lines in the east and west of London.
Camilla said: “Working on the Elizabeth line was a fantastic experience, providing the opportunity to work with the best people in the industry to deliver a state-of-the-art railway. The complexity and scale of the project were significant and reflected in the level of design and planning. An example of this is the 250,000 holes that were drilled at precise locations throughout the tunnel, required to support the installation of the systems – from 15,000+km of cables, fire main and emergency walkways to the 25kv overhead line. It has been a project like no other and a very proud moment to now see customers using the railway.
You can learn more about the systems installation on the routeway in this video with Camilla:
LEWIS GEORGE - OPERATIONAL READINESS MANAGER AND REBECCA EDWARDS - VOLUNTEER EXERCISE MANAGER
Lewis has worked in the railway industry for twelve years, and for Crossrail for more than six years planning and preparing for Trial Operations, the final stage before opening the railway with trial simulations of real-life situations such as points failures or evacuation of customers from a train.
Lewis said: “I’m immensely proud of our work helping to prepare staff across the network to deal with not just the day-to-day issues any railway experiences, but the less frequent issues which we absolutely must get right. The success of the Trial Operations programme has been down to extensive collaboration between a range of organisations including Transport for London, railway operators and the emergency services, all with one focus - to operate the Elizabeth line and give our customers a service they can rely on, even when things go wrong.”
Rebecca joined Crossrail in 2019 with a background in project management, most recently in employee volunteering. This stood her in good stead to recruit over 5,500 staff volunteers from Crossrail, Transport for London and other organisations involved in the delivery of the Elizabeth line. These staff volunteers took part in four simulated customer evacuations from trains to rescue trains, stations and shafts. The largest operational trial involved simulating a 24 trains per hour service with just under 2,000 volunteers, with all exercises passing successfully.
Rebecca said “Managing the delivery of five large scale operational evacuation exercises with up to 2,000 volunteers per exercise has been a major challenge which I have thoroughly enjoyed. The fact that all live volunteer exercises passed, and we enabled employees from all across the railway sector and their family and friends to have a hand in bringing the Elizabeth line to life makes me so proud.”
You can learn more about the Trial Operations programme in this video: