The Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood opened today, 24 May, and is set to transform the everyday journeys of passengers across London and the South East, and the communities the line serves, with Siemens Mobility technology at its heart.
The company pulled on the skills and people at its sites in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire and Chippenham, Wiltshire as well as across the UK and leveraging the expertise within the global Siemens Mobility business, to deliver digital technology that revolutionises the way the line will run.
The communications-based train control (CBTC) signalling and control system for the central section of the Elizabeth line has been designed, manufactured, installed, tested and commissioned by Siemens Mobility. The CBTC system enables high-frequency and automated train operation in the central section.
The communication and control systems delivered by Siemens Mobility provide a host of systems that touch virtually every part of the railway. Passengers will be informed effectively throughout their journey with this technology developed at the company’s Ashby technology centre and run from the Elizabeth line’s Romford control centre or stations operations rooms on the route.
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “We are delighted to open the Elizabeth line for passengers today, which is a truly historic moment for the capital and the UK, showcasing this stunning addition to our network. The Elizabeth line will help transform life and travel in London and the South East by dramatically improving transport links, cutting journey times, providing additional capacity, and transforming accessibility with spacious new stations and walk-through trains.”
Rob Morris, Managing Director, Rail Infrastructure for Siemens Mobility said: “Our digital signalling and station management technologies are transforming the everyday journeys of Elizabeth line passengers in London and the South East and we’re proud that much of the technology was developed and tested right here in the UK.
“Hundreds of our people at Siemens Mobility’s Chippenham and Ashby engineering and manufacturing facilities, as well as colleagues in Germany and global R&D centres, have been crucial to bringing the Elizabeth line into service.
“Working to integrate so many different systems from different suppliers has needed a truly collaborative approach.”
The Siemens Mobility systems link seamlessly with the main line railway signalling systems to the east and west of the central section. The CBTC system, Trainguard MT, was extensively tested in Braunschweig, Germany. This was then integrated with other elements of the signalling and the platform screen door systems at Siemens Mobility’s manufacturing and testing facility in Chippenham, Wiltshire. Using digital technology to simulate other elements of the railway over many months of extensive testing against multiple scenarios ensured that everything would run smoothly on the live railway.
Testing was also crucial for the highly complex huge station / central management systems, which links up over 30,000 connections from CCTV, public address, passenger information systems to rail and station systems, many speaking different computer languages. A huge number of real-life scenarios were tested virtually first, at Siemens Mobility’s manufacturing and testing facility in Ashby, Leicestershire.
The result of this ground-breaking integration is safe, reliable travel and constant access to the information passengers need to travel easily, and for staff to manage stations efficiently, identifying and avoiding crowding, responding to incidents quickly, ultimately giving the best possible passenger experience.