Banbury Depot Control System Project Update

Fenix Signalling has successfully completed the sign-off for the GRIP 4 signalling works and GRIP 5 is well under-way; the detailed design for the first stage of the Banbury Light Maintenance Depot project is intended to complete an interface to the Network Rail mainline and will be commissioned at the end of a nine-day blockade from 30 July to 08 August this year.

The project is both interesting and challenging, it requires detailed consultation and discussion with all the disciplines involved in the project including track, telecoms, civils, buildings and M&E, not to mention the environmental considerations in handling rainwater and local wildlife.

The new depot will be controlled by a system manufactured by Pintsch-Tiefenbach (Germany), this will be the first direct interface to the mainline infrastructure; Fenix Signalling are delivering and project managing all aspects of the signalling works project delivery including design, installation, testing and commissioning working in Germany and the UK. Pintsch-Tiefenbach are also working with Fenix on the interface design and there is an enthusiastic engagement with the manufacturers ‘ product experts.

In addition to installing the new depot signalling system, Fenix Signalling will be providing a technical interface to the mainline signalling system, the first time that this has been done. This interface, via volts free relay contacts, has the potential to be a standard interface between electronic (SSI) depot and mainline signalling systems.

Over the next few months Fenix Signalling engineers will travel to Germany for technical review meetings, receive product training, validate the factory testing programme and build a solid working relationship in readiness for the system implementation in August. The Fenix team are looking forward to the challenges and learning opportunity.

Project Manager Eddie Murphy commented; “a lot of effort has been made to tailor the depot signalling system to the needs of the operator and provide a flexible system whilst ensuring that the system delivered is easy to maintain and be cost effective now and in the future. The depot signalling system specified enables the operator to deliver a more efficient movement of trains thanks to improved visibility/knowledge of train location and length (car counting function); powered point operation and automatic routing of trains via wayside signals. The car counting function is provided on stabling tracks that enables the operator to decide if another vehicle will fit into the same section. The depot signalling system will also improve safety by reducing the need for lineside working by hand-shunters.”

The continued emphasis on track-side safety makes these automated features a step forward in reaching the safety standards demanded by Network Rail systems of work.

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