Alstom wins Network Rail largest signalling framework deal

Network Rail has awarded a £130m design and delivery contract to Alstom as part of a wider £194m investment for the renewal of the signalling systems in the Cambridge area.

This is the largest single contract to be awarded by Network Rail under the Major Signalling Framework Agreement (MSFA) during the current five-year investment cycle.

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The Cambridge re-signalling project aims to upgrade existing signalling technology, which was installed in the early 1980s, covering 125 miles of track and stretching from Meldreth and Elsenham to the south, through central Cambridge, up to Ely and Thurston to the east.

It will also provide a platform ready for digital technologies such as the European Train Control System (ETCS).

Alstom will deliver the complete renewal of the signalling system for the Cambridge area, which includes:

  • replacement of almost 700 items of life-expired signalling equipment with a modern signalling system
  • upgrading the signalling control equipment at Cambridge power signal box with Alstom’s control systems and workstation
  • upgrading the signalling safety interlocking equipment in the Cambridge area with a modern signalling technology using the Alstom Smart Lock 400GP Computer- Based Interlocking (CBI) system
  • upgrading seven level crossings from half barrier to full barrier to improve safety for all crossing users
  • renewal of the telecommunications and power supplies to support the new systems
  • relocating control of signalling to the Cambridge power signal box and decommissioning three mechanical signal boxes

The project also enables the delivery of wider re-signalling works within the Anglia region, including future integration with the proposed new Cambridge South station, as well as the potential future integration with East West Rail.

Design work has commenced, with the work on the ground expected to be delivered during four key commissioning stages to minimise disruption of the operational railway. The final commissioning of the new signalling system is scheduled for winter 2024.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: 'This project will provide a signalling system fit for a modern 21st century railway in the Cambridge area, and working with Alstom we will improve the reliability and performance of the railway now, and for future passengers in the decades to come.'

Jason Baldock, Alstom’s managing director, digital and integrated solutions, said: 'We are very excited to have been awarded the largest single contract to be awarded by Network Rail under the Major Signalling Framework Agreement during this control period, and a project that will deliver significant benefits to rail users in Cambridge and across the Anglia region.'

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