Case Studies



November 2015

First incline lift opens on London Underground at Greenford Station

Thu 12th November, 2015

First incline lift opens on London Underground at Greenford Station image First incline lift opens on London Underground at Greenford Station image First incline lift opens on London Underground at Greenford Station image

By Nick Wiley

Earlier in the month Greenford became the first station to operate one of five incline lifts being brought into use on the London Underground network. The incline lift provides the advantage of transportation for mobility impaired people but operating on an angled plane as opposed to within a vertical shaft. LU worked jointly with Crossrail on this major innovation which resulted in significantly better value for TfL ensuring increased delivery of world class levels of reliability to customers. The work forms part of Greenford Station's overall step free access programme.

As one of LU's STAKE frame work contractors, Fourway have been involved with delivering communications engineering at Greenford Station for two years.

Fourway undertook the design and construction of all the new station communication systems including public address, CCTV, visual electronic information display, station clocks, station management system, local area network and refuge points. The innovative nature of the inclined lift presented engineering challenges that had not been encountered previously. One in particular was aligning the lift car docking positions with lift entrances. These difficulties added pressure to the deadlines. We responded by reprogramming our system testing sequence so all our integration testing was undertaken in parallel with the lift commissioning.

Fourway worked closely with London underground on the project which included both the SSP and Lift and Escalator departments. LU appointed a number of contractors to deliver the project including other STAKE contractors responsible for cable management systems, mechanical systems and the incline lift. Throughout the work we promoted the STAKE ethos of a collaborative ‘one team’ approach to conquer the myriad of interfacing issues. Towards the end of the project Fourway took a strong leadership role bringing together Commend, Telent, Kone and Otis to ensure all the call point systems and associated alarms were functioning correctly and being presented appropriately at the Station Management System HCI.

Station Management System
Our works included designing and installing a station management system (SMS). Initially we derived the requirements for this by assessing the tasks of the station manager and different items of communications equipment in the station control room. The objective was to integrate as many of these as possible onto the SMS and single touch screen. This removed much of the clutter and confusion from the Supervisor's routine. However we still retained hard wired equipment so each system could be operated on an individual basis if the need arose. This provided an important operational back-up for LU.

Further information about LU's step-free access programme:
Around 40 more Underground and Overground stations will become step-free over the next 10 years as part of a £326m investment, which includes funding from the Mayor and London Underground. This will include major stations such as Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Vauxhall and Victoria and those delivered through the Step-Free Access Partnership Fund.

By 2018, when the projects at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road will be complete and Crossrail opens, customers from Greenford will have a step-free rail route into the heart of the west end, with interchanges to Crossrail and the Jubilee and Northern lines.
The number of journeys made by step-free routes each year is expected to almost treble, from 77 million now to 227 million in 2023.