New station control room goes live at London Bridge
Fri 27th May, 2016
Our team working on the London Bridge Station Redevelopment has been significantly involved in the successful delivery of the new integrated control room or iSCR which opened in mid-May. This achievement is a defining milestone of the programme and the culmination of the 4 year system engineering package undertaken by Fourway with their client NG Bailey. Our role was to deliver the renewal of all SISS and telecommunications systems as an integrated partner of the project. The opening of the new control room was the result of extensive preparation in the months preceding the operational changeover.
We developed a testing strategy that ensured as much system functionality as possible was proven prior to the changeover weekend. This included duplicate feeding arrangements so that new systems could be demonstrated in parallel with the existing operational legacy systems. This significantly reduced the risk of going live with the new control room. To assist this we developed a control room test facility in a temporary building which provided an offline environment to trial the control room equipment. The result was a very smooth transition for the station staff and other stakeholders with minimal impact on the operation of the station and railway.
We provided operator training and familiarisation to Network Rail and train operator staff. Our test facility provided a comfortable environment allowing trainers and station staff to explore the equipment more fully and over a much longer period of time than might otherwise have been the case. We were able to simulate the operational condition so effectively the need for training in the operational control room was almost completely negated.
For the ‘go-live’ event, we developed an hour by hour programme for our system engineering activities and co-ordinated this with other critical participants including NG Bailey, Costain and Network Rail. Points of no return and fall back measures were established and included in this process. Over the critical changeover weekend we deployed engineers to support each new system being brought into operational service. In all 12 systems engineers provided a round the clock shift roster to ensure there was always cover in the event of a problem.
The completed iSCR allows the co-location of staff from Network Rail and the train operator across five new control desks. Each desk incorporates a station management system workstation, an IP based PA microphone and radio despatcher terminal. Collectively, these provide the operator with all the controls necessary to monitor and manage their associated elements of the station. A mixture of axonometric and plan view layouts are presented at their local monitors allowing the operators to quickly navigate to any area of the station and select any system asset for interrogating or controlling. This includes fixed and PTZ cameras, video wall, Public Address zones, Customer Information displays, Fire system call points, Electronic Access Controlled doors, bollards and gates. Having interfaced each of the sub-systems with the station management system, each system event or alarm was configured to trigger an action such as switching camera views or selecting a particular PA zone; effectively enabling sub-systems to interact with each other.
With so many systems receiving the ‘moment of truth’ scrutiny from operators and maintainers alike the Fourway team were very much under the spotlight of the project and the successful outcome was only achieved by the planning carried out in the preceding year and of course the tremendous team approach created by N G Bailey, Costain and Network Rail.