OREANDA-NEWS. Network Rail has awarded a contract for the final stage of the signalling system that will control trains between Reading and Paddington to Alstom and a separate contract for resilient power supplies to Amey.  The upgrades are crucial to the future operation of Elizabeth line services as well as the modernisation of the Great Western Main Line.

Both contracts have been awarded under existing Network Rail framework agreements which allow suppliers to invest in the skills and resources needed to deliver large projects efficiently. A ?79m contract with Alstom is for the final stage of the full re-signalling of the Great Western Main Line between Reading and Paddington in the west of London. The contract covers the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of a state-of-the-art train control system. The signalling work, which is already well underway, will allow Transport for London’s Elizabeth line trains to operate on that section of the railway along with other services on the Great Western Main Line.

The ?11m contract awarded to Amey for signalling power works between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington includes replacement of obsolete power supplies and crucially, fully resilient new supplies for the signalling equipment. This enables the system to be automatically supplied from separate supplies in the event of a power failure anywhere between two points. This drastically reduces train delays whilst maximising reliability for trains on the approach to and from Paddington.

The planned upgrade of the signalling on the Great Western Main Line is being carried out by Network Rail as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan and is also a key enhancement required by Crossrail. Network Rail is a key partner in delivering the Crossrail project and is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of the route that are on the existing rail network.

Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail, said: “This is a vital step in the delivery of a bigger, better, more reliable railway for London and the South East. By ensuring the new trains can run seamlessly amongst existing rail services and by building in resilience at the outset, we increase the capacity and reliability of the railway meaning that passengers benefit from quicker and easier journeys they can depend upon. To deliver this work in the safest and most efficient way possible, we need to make the most of the huge potential within our supply chain so we look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Alstom and Amey in the delivery of these crucial elements of the Great Western Main Line upgrade and our preparation for Elizabeth line services.”

Crossrail will be known as the Elizabeth line from December 2018 when services start running through central London. The full route will open in 2019. Brand new trains will allow passengers in west London and Berkshire to travel right through central London and all the way out to Essex, reducing journey times and making it quicker and easier for people to get to a range of destinations across London and the South East.

About Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail’s ?40bn spending plan for Britain’s railways for the five year period up to 31 March 2019. The plan is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to tremendous growth the railways have seen – a doubling of passengers in the past twenty years. The plan will deliver a bigger, better railway with more trains, longer trains, faster trains with more infrastructure, more reliable infrastructure and better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.6bn journeys by rail every year - double the number of 1996 - and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We're investing £40bn in the railway by 2019 through our Railway Upgrade Plan to deliver more frequent, more reliable, safer services and brighter and better stations.