SURVEY & DESIGN
Cable Route Management Systems (CRMS)
Cost-effective and well-designed Cable Route Management is critical to ensure that power, signalling and communications systems remain safe and operational. A thorough understanding of London Underground (LU) and Network Rail standards and processes is essential in ensuring new cable route installations are not only compliant with standards but can be efficiently constructed and maintained.
SRC has built up significant experience in designing new cable routes, both schematically, using our power and signalling expertise to capture requirements, plan routes and feeding requirements, and at detailed design stage issuing ‘for construction’ designs, verified using SRC’s EMC, electrical and civil and structural expertise. Effective CRMS design requires a range of key issues to be taken into account. These include verifying that the route does not clash with any existing assets. The route must also comply with the allowable bending radii for each cable. It is important to fully understand how the cables will be installed, particularly if (as is often the case) space is limited and the area is already congested with cables and other infrastructure. When designing CRMS, potential electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) issues must be taken into consideration and adequate EMC control arrangements put in place.
On railway property it is essential to bear in mind the heritage of the existing infrastructure and ensure that any new cabling or modifications to existing routes do not compromise heritage requirements. It is also vital to ensure that the systems for fixing cable routes to existing structures are acceptable. For example, when cables are to be fixed to existing walls structural checks must be carried out to verify that the strength of the walls is adequate.
In order to ensure that these challenges are overcome close coordination with LU, Network Rail and third party stakeholders is necessary. Innovative solutions, based on careful analysis of existing assets and appropriate standards, are often required. SRC’s knowledge and experience of railway cable routes (and the critical systems that they support) makes SRC an invaluable partner for Network Rail and LU CRMS projects. This competency is reflected in SRC’s recent inclusion in TfL’s framework for CRMS design for the upgrade of sub-surface LU lines.
Civil & Structural Enabling
SRC provides the design of Civil and Structural Engineering work, which allows railway infrastructure projects to commence safely, whilst providing minimum disruption to public areas and existing infrastructure. Temporary structures can be constructed to separate work sites from public areas, and existing structures and systems can be assessed to ensure that they will not be adversely affected by the works. SRC’s enabling designs have allowed clients to proceed confidently with works in public or critical operational areas while fully adhering to its responsibilities under CDM, British Standards and its own corporate standards. SRC’s knowledge and familiarity with the systems and procedures used on rail infrastructure allows work to start quickly and focus on key issues from the beginning, saving clients time and money.
SRC has a highly experienced team of domain experts, with extensive experience on infrastructure projects. SRC employs specialist engineers with knowledge and experience of civil and structural engineering as well as the unique combination of challenges faced in the rail environment.
SRC understands the importance of adopting a collaborative approach to projects and aims to work together with the client and contractor from an early stage to ensure that all parties are in agreement about the work to be undertaken. The team has a full understanding of LU and Network Rail standards, procedures and working practices as well as an excellent awareness of available structural information in SRC’s and LU’s archives.
Station Modernisation & Asset Stabilisation
For Railway Operators and infrastructure controllers to provide a network and service suitable for the 21st century, and the anticipated future rises in passenger numbers, they have to manage a continuous programme of station upgrading and ongoing maintenance of all existing assets.
Station Modernisation and Asset Stabilisation projects involve assessing the existing condition of all aspects of Railway Stations, in order to determine ways in which their operational lives can be extended safely and cost-effectively. This presents many engineering challenges including civil aspects, such as assessing the strength and (if applicable) spare load-bearing capacity of existing structures; or electrical in terms of assessment and modification or upgrading of lighting, PA and other station systems.
Both Network Rail and London Underground are naturally keen to develop cost effective ways of ensuring that their existing assets are maintained effectively, and they have an obligation to ensure that any enhancements or modernisation works do not cause adverse effects on the safety or operational integrity of the existing stations. The combination of SRC’s knowledge and experience of Railway infrastructure and procedures, and their engineering expertise, has allowed innovative solutions to be developed which have enabled clients to save time and money in station works.
Equipment Room Development and Design
Equipment Rooms provide secure, environment controlled locations for safe and reliable operations and maintenance of critical systems, such as signalling, communications and electrical distribution. Antiquated relay rooms need to be refurbished and replaced in the upgrade and modernisation of London Underground and Network Rail infrastructure and systems, with signalling functionality in particular transferred to new dedicated Signal Equipment Rooms (SERs). SRC has built a specialist team to pull together the expertise needed to deliver the design and management of Equipment Room projects. The team has a detailed understanding of the unique challenges of the operational railway. This requires a deep understanding of the complex requirements of installation, operation, maintenance and reliability of critical systems equipment. Key challenges in specifying and designing equipment rooms successfully include lack of available existing space, heritage issues, asbestos (and other hazardous materials) and fire protection.
SRC offers this specialist expertise to clients in two ways; successfully managing equipment room projects and developing cost-effective, compliant designs. SRC’s approach to the design and timely, economic delivery of equipment rooms has been established through involvement with both the management and design of these projects. SRC understands the importance of a multi-disciplinary and integrated design approach, with effective stakeholder management and the definition of clear project requirements. These are crucial to ensure a successful outcome. This has been learned through experience of managing the delivery of equipment room design and build projects for clients.
SRC has consistently demonstrated the ability to perform as a ‘one stop shop’ for design and project management, producing an integrated design package covering all engineering disciplines. SRC is an effective partner collaborating in working towards shared targets and meeting client requirements.
SRC, as part of a number of commissions, has designed a large number of temporary works including further technical or assurance requirements such as phased migration strategies and independent checks of third party designs. SRC has developed an expertise in the handling of temporary works and the required reinstatements.
Construction in the railway environment very often requires temporary works to be undertaken together with the planned permanent works. This may take the form of hoardings to separate worksites from the public or scaffolding to facilitate works at high level. Often temporary lighting is required to allow works to proceed safely, or to replace light sources that are blocked by the work. Mechanical or electrical assets sometimes need to be moved, and subsequently moved back to their original position once work has been undertaken.
Temporary works must be designed with the same diligence and care that goes into permanent works: they need to be just as safe and usable as something designed to last a century. At the same time, further considerations come into play such as safe and rapid construction and dismantling strategies, and specific load conditions depending on the activity to be undertaken. The temporary works will commonly impinge further onto the public areas of the station than permanent works, so the crucial challenge is in making sure the station remains usable for the travelling public.
In order to ensure that continuous operations are maintained on the London Underground (LU) network it is essential that a traction power supply and a Low Voltage power supply to signals and other critical systems are sustained. Through extensive experience of working with LU, SRC has built up a comprehensive understanding of existing power systems and provided designs for modifications to existing supplies. These projects involve not just the design of the supply, but interfacing new systems with ageing infrastructure, feeding arrangements, determining the resilience of existing systems and liaison with third party stakeholders.
SRC engineers understand that in order for designs for modifications to existing power supplies to be effectively achieved, knowledge of LU infrastructure and environment is essential. SRC has a thorough awareness of the existing systems and how proposed new systems will function and interface with them. When designing modifications to LU’s power assets, it is imperative that hazards such as working in the vicinity of live rails, the presence of asbestos and working in confined spaces are considered. An understanding of the need to maintain and enhance the many heritage features on the LU Network sympathetically is crucial.
It is vital that when modifications to power systems are designed, standards and the associated processes are investigated and understood by the designer. Key aspects to be considered include electromagnetic compatibility with existing systems such as signalling and communications, earthing & bonding, bending radii of power cables and maintainability.
SRC is now established as a power engineering consultant offering a full range of services including civil design, power supply design and cable route management.
Service Control Centres (SCC)
The Service Control Centre (SCC) is the brain of a rail network. On the London Underground system they act as nerve centres with each SCC controlling an entire line’s operation. SRC has developed into a specialist in the analysis, design and modification of SCCs. The scope and function of an SCC is complex and the challenges are huge. SRC tackles these with skills that have been built-up over time through a number of SCC-related commissions. Work ranges from design delivery to consultancy and training. The key to success is the co-ordination of new technology with existing equipment, ensuring that network operations continue smoothly throughout installation and operation. This must take into account site specific conditions and incorporate lessons learnt from previous projects.
SRC’s range of work has included the specification, management and delivery of the control systems and build of a new SCC for the Victoria Line at Northumberland Park Depot and of a new Backup Control Centre at Blackhorse Road; undertaking an extensive analysis of the power and systems integrity of all SCCs on SSL and BCV, and running training courses for Control Centre Duty Engineers.
Engineers within the SRC team have SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) expertise and extensive experience of Communications, Signalling and Power control systems. SRC is the ideal partner for all SCC design, installation and modification projects.