Amey completes vital signalling work at Ashford international

17 May 2018
Image of the Eurostar going under a walkway.
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Eurostar trains have continued to stop at Ashford International Station from April 2018 thanks to new signalling upgrades installed by Amey, a spokesperson announced today.

The upgrades include delivery of the French based KVB ATP (Contrôle de Vitesse par Balise  Automatic Train Protection) Signalling System, which checks and controls the speed of moving trains to ensure their safe operation in the event of human failure.

The new system was essential to keeping Ashford on the Eurostar route map as the previous train protection system used at the station was incompatible with the new Eurostar Class 374 rolling stock. Had the new system not been installed at Ashford, the new Eurostar trains would have had to bypass the Kent station and travel directly to St Pancras, which has used KVB since 2007.

Amey provided a design solution for the safety system, working closely with a specialist French engineering company, Systra, who provided the data for the system based on Amey's design. Amey also carried out the design surveys to calculate the exact positioning of the new equipment, in addition to producing a wide range of technical reports including the crucial safety case, which allowed the new technology to be permitted on Network Rail's infrastructure for the first time in history.

Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, joined teams from Network Rail and Amey at Ashford International in April to commemorate the reopening of the station, saying: “We are investing in the biggest modernisation of our railways since Victorian times delivering faster, more direct services and more comfortable journeys. This includes significant signalling and station upgrades to enable this new fleet of high speed international services to stop at Ashford, which will offer a massive boost to the local economy.”

Mark O’Neill, Amey's Signalling Technical Director, commented: "This was a highly collaborative project with Amey staff work side by side with Network Rail staff throughout the entire project to bring it to a successful conclusion.

"Our management of the design and installation process meant the works could be completed within very tight deadlines, whilst offering the client significant savings by reducing the complexity of the works.

"We're extremely proud of the team for turning this project around so efficiently and I'd like to thank each of them for all their hard work."

David Lindsay, Senior Project Manager from Network Rail, added: “This was a true collaborative partnership from contract award to successful delivery with one team (formed from NRIL, NRHS1 and Amey) with one delivery vision: ‘On Time, On Budget, No Accidents’. 

This ‘benchmark’ Project Delivery Team resolved huge technical challenges within an accelerated 12 month design, install and commission timeframe to complete the first KVB ATP System for Network Rail.  A massive achievement from one team with one purpose: collaboration and partnership at its best.”

The £4m upgrades were contracted by Network Rail and paid for by the European Commission and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.


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