HomeBusinessNetwork Rail greenlights new signalling contract for Alstom

Network Rail greenlights new signalling contract for Alstom


Alstom has won a design and delivery contract worth £130 million as part of a programme to modernise signalling systems in Cambridge.

The £194 million Cambridge re-signalling project will see engineers get rid of systems which hark back to the 1980s and replace them with state-of-the-art tech that should provide better reliability for passengers and reduced maintenance. The new systems will also provide a platform ready for digital technologies, including the European Train Control System (ETCS).

This £130 million contract awarded to Alstom is the biggest yet by Network Rail under the Major Signalling Framework Agreement (MSFA) during the current five-year investment cycle.

Alstom’s contract includes the replacement of almost 700 items of life-expired signalling equipment with a modern signalling system and the:

  • Upgrade of the signalling control equipment at Cambridge power signal box with Alstom’s control systems and workstation
  • Upgrade of 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
  • Upgrade of 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 of three mechanical signal boxes

This signalling renewal project covers 125 miles of track, stretching from Meldreth and Elsenham to the south, through central Cambridge, up to Ely and Thurston to the east. 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 has already got underway, 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.

Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, Ellie Burrows, said: “Signalling systems are crucial to operate a safe and efficient railway for passengers, freight and everyone that uses or interacts with the railway.

“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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