How technology has revolutionised the railways

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The use of technology has revolutionised the railways over the past couple of decades.

  • Station Information and Security Systems (SISS) have been installed at hundreds of locations across the country and continue to be rolled out as part of station improvement and refurbishment schemes.
  • Customer Information Systems and Long Line Public Address provide real-time train running information alongside special notice and announcement capabilities. Widespread use of CCTV with network recording capability contribute to providing a safe and secure travel environment.
  • Ticket vending machines and contactless smartcard validators are facilitating more flexible payment options and accelerating a move away from cash.
  • Customer information is available not only at stations, but also on web-based platforms and mobile devices. Back office systems ensure data consistency and compatibility.

Sam comments “Following the phases outlined in the Network Rail GRIP (Governance for Railway Investment Projects), process is key to successful railway programme management. Covering output definition and feasibility study, through option selection and development to detailed design and construction, procedures are in place to ensure processes are followed and railway standards adhered to.

Having the oversight to the feasibility of a chosen solution, means we can offer advice in relation to the station surroundings or adherence to railway group standards. We specialise in providing project and programme management and consultancy services for all manner of SISS projects through all GRIP stages.

Involvement in site surveys and working with the client and stakeholders ensures requirements are captured and common design pitfalls are avoided. Appointment of suitable Designers and Principal Designers (PD) and liaison with their technical teams ensures all this information is presented in a detailed and compliant to obtain all necessary consents.

Vextrix also offers a wealth of experience in the management of GRIP 6-8 programme phases. This typically covers construction, test, commissioning and scheme hand back. From appointment of Principal Contractor (PC), through site inspections, technical assurance and quality checks.

Sam has almost twenty years of experience in transport telecommunication systems, covering the rail, tube and bus sectors. During this period he has led projects as the Principal Contractor for key clients in the local authority sectors, Network Rail, Train Operating Companies and London Underground. Many of these were ‘turnkey’ schemes covering all design and build elements at new and existing railway and bus stations.

His current role provides technical assurance, Contract Administrator and Quantity Surveying services for the installation of platform validators at over 90 stations across the Northern estate, along with Project Management services for the Station Improvement Fund CIS, CCTV and TVM roll out at many other locations across the North.

Having experience as PC and PD provides Sam with a valuable insight into the technical and operational aspects of a communications project and experience he can share in his current role as client PM and stakeholder representative.

For more information of how our consultancy services can help the roll out of any technology project, please contact Sam at sbutcher@vextrix.com.