Lewes & Newhaven GRIP 4

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Lewes & Newhaven Signalling Renewal is a mixture of Re-lock, Re-Control and an element of Re-signalling. As part of the National Operating Strategy the scheme was to close three Signal Boxes (SB): Lewes SB; Newhaven Harbour SB and Newhaven Town SB. The areas controlled from these Signal Boxes were to be consolidated and controlled from the new Three Bridges Regional Operating Centre (TBROC). Amey produced a GRIP 4 Reference System Design based on the GRIP 3 design, produced by others.

High Availability Systems Used for Rail Operational Telecommunications

Amey produced the GRIP 4 design, which involved the re-control and provision of High Availability Signalling circuits such as ‘Solid-State’ Interlocking (SSI) and Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) interlocking, as well as Time Division Multiplexer (TDM) circuits that required resilience and diversity.

Data Only Systems

SSI protected circuits where provided using G.703 64Kb/s Contra-direction circuits between lineside Long-Distance Terminals (LDTs) and the TBROC.

Amey provided the GRIP 4 design to include the transmission of signalling data circuits (e.g. interlocking to trackside) to ensure full diversity and flexibility for the routing of all necessary links. The transmission of any lineside telephones proposed were to be routed over FTN to three bridges Regional Operating Centre (ROC). The transmission of fringe box circuits (Direct Line, Emergency Alarm, and Train Describer) were routed to TBROC.

Voice Only Systems

In the GRIP 4 design, both 4 wire and 2 wire Voice Frequency (V/F) circuits were provided for signalling TDM circuits as well as Train Describers and Emergency Alarms. All Relocatable Equipment Buildings (REBs) had a 4 Wire V/F circuit provided to enable REB alarm reporting back to the relevant ROC.

Voice & Data Systems

Direct Line circuits were provided back from trackside to the TBROC concentrators including uplifts to the existing telecoms Human Machine Interface (HMI) layouts. Extension Trunk Dialling (ETD) circuits where also provided for all signalling and Power REBs. At the signalling REBs a voice circuit was provided for the data logger system allowing remote dial in enabling alarm gathering etc.

Amey’s Telecoms Capabilities On The Delivery Of This Project:

  • The designs produced for this project by Amey compliance with the latest Network Rail and Group standards.
  • As per the Target Zero philosophy, Amey took a rigorous approach to health and safety from behaviours, to equipment, to processes and empowered staff to speak up when they spotted an issue on site.
  • Amey demonstrated a capacity to provide Telecoms design and build Contractor’s Responsible Engineer (CRE).
  • Amey planned surveys including providing an Engineering Supervisor for the surveys.

Risk Management & Mitigation

During the project, Amey’s Contractors Engineering Manager (CEM) and Network Rail’s Designated Project Engineer (DPE) organised regular engineering meetings, in which the multidisciplinary Contractors Responsible Engineers (CRE), and the client Network Rail, got the opportunity to discuss any technical issues arising from the implementation of the multidisciplinary designs.

Amey also followed the Inter-Disciplinary Checking (IDC) process which included the multidisciplinary CREs and Network Rail, this included NRT’s Technology Engineering & Network Engineering (TENE) department. In house Risk management and Mitigations were captured using the Amey Engineering Management (EMMa) process. With the client, Amey followed the Document Review Notice (DRN) process.

Interface Management & Integration

  • Amey Project Management held bi-weekly meetings with the clients PM and DPE, Engineering Progress Meetings were held by the Amey CEM, with the various disciplines CRE’s and their Network Rail opposite numbers.
  • Between meetings close collaboration between the various CRE’s and their associated PE’s was ongoing using email and phone calls. This allowed for a smooth design process integrated with the client’s requirements which helped facilitate the approval and sign-off of each design stage.
  • The Management and Integration processes followed the Network Rail Standard Engineering Management for projects, NR/L2/INI/02009/1 & /2, CV’s and signed-off copies of the various CRE’s and Design Engineers were signed-off by the Amey CEM and then submitted to the Clients DPE for final approval matching each engineer to their specific roles to enable the delivery of the project.


  • Design, Reworks of another contractors GRIP 2 & 3 submissions to respond to NR comments on the previous contractor’s work, followed by the production of the GRIP 4 Telecoms Reference System Design was issued to Network Rail – Amey Telecoms achieved a Category 2 from Network Rail.
  • E&P Low Voltage GRIP 4 Design.
  • Signalling GRIP 4 Design.
  • Civil engineering GRIP 4 Design.
  • Track GRIP 4 Design.
  • Surveys including Topographical, Geotechnical and Signalling Correlation and Cable Management.


At Grip 4, Amey carried out a full non-intrusive asset condition survey of the areas, currently controlled by the 3 signal boxes that were to close and be recontroled to the Three Bridges ROC as part of the National Operating Strategy, The GRIP 4 Reference Systems Design was then produced based on the (CRT) with major input from the signalling discipline with Scheme, Loc, signal sighting and signage forms as well as the signalling Network Architecture Drawings.

Outcomes & Benefits

The Lewis to Newhaven Re- lock and Re-control project allowed Amey to maintain its expertise in the delivery of this type of design. It also allowed Amey to gain experience in working towards the Digital Railways as part of the National Operating Strategy. As well as enabling the more senior engineers to maintain their competencies in this type of design it has allowed several junior engineers to improve their competencies and Authority to Work in this area of railway telecoms design.

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