Transport for Wales Signalling and telecomms: The Core Valley Lines

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The “Developer” element of the contract includes programme management, design, integrate and in part self-deliver the implementation of the “Transformation” Project, enabling the significant upgrade of train services in the Central Metro area. The Core Valley Lines (CVL) Transformation is an extensive, billion pound project which includes significant signalling, telecommunications, track, civil and electrification enhancements (see Figure 1) which serve to deliver the fundamental client requirements, some of which include:

  • Four trains per hour from each valley head.
  • Maximum journey time of 50 minutes between Cardiff Central and each valley head.
  • Minimum of 10 years between completion of the Transformation and any asset renewal.
  • Enable the introduction of two new types of state of the art rolling stock (Stadler CityLink bimode and Stadler FLIRT Trimode).

The signalling and telecommunications enhancements to deliver these requirements included:

  • Complete resignalling of the whole CVL area (over 70 track miles).
  • New signalling control centre at Taffs Wells – the Core Valley Lines Integrated Control Centre (CVLICC).
  • New train care depot at Taffs Wells.
  • Off-street tramway section at Cardiff Bay with seamless integration with mainline services.
  • New fibre communications backbone.

Such extensive enhancements could not be delivered by a single organisation therefore the client entrusted us to be the Operator & Development Partner​ (ODP), responsible for delivering the full scope of the project which was allocated to thirteen packages of work based on engineering discipline. Our role (as AIW) included the management of each package of work, including the Infrastructure Delivery Partners (IDP) contracted to deliver each package and systems integration and assurance to ensure that combined delivery of all of the individual packages resulted in delivery of the fundamental client scope. The relevant signalling and telecommunication packages were No’s 4 (Rail Control Systems) and 5 (Rail Control Systems (lineside) & Operational Telecoms) both packages were awarded to Siemens. We were also responsible for stakeholder management and statutory engagements under the Network Code.

In order to embed collaborative working practises and to ensure that all parties involved on the CVL Transformation have aligned objectives, we, as the ODP, formed a formal collaborative alliance with the client (TfW) and the IDPs. The Craidd (Core) Alliance Collaborative Working Relationships Policy requires all members to demonstrate collaborative leadership competencies and behaviours, share best practice and knowledge, joint approach to risk management and innovation, processes and governance to enable effective performance measurement and continuous improvement. The Craidd Alliance achieved ISO 44001 accreditation and is subject to audit to maintain accreditation.

Our other key role on the project was that of the Lead Design Organisation (LDO) for the project which entailed responsibility for all design, including majority of signalling design for PACE stages ES1 to ES5. Signalling design included the following:

  • Timetable modelling as well as signalling sketches to enable modelling.
  • Scheme plans including supporting documents and risk assessments (18 No. excluding stage scheme plans).
  • Signal sighting forms (enabled by the use of HD video and VR modelling)
  • Signalling design specifications.
  • Location area plans, TFM and datalink specifications.
  • Detailed design of location cases stagework designs and recoveries.
  • Tracklink beacons for Permanently Earthed Sections (PES), Catenary Free Sections (CFS) and Side Door Operation (SDO) – production of design rules for infrastructure implementation and actual outline and detailed design.

Our involvement from an early stage, our ability to effectively liaise with key stakeholders (particularly operators) enabled us to drive significant efficiencies in support of delivering a minimum viable product for the client. An example of this is the ability to rationalise circa 90% of lineside telephones with an estimated cost saving of £1.5m. The methodology including mitigating risk of sustained primary (GSM-R) and secondary (GSM handhelds in lieu of signal post telephones) driver to signaller communication through demonstration of GSM-R coverage through CVL routes and our own surveys to confirm at least one of the 4 x Mobile Network Operator (MNO) GSM networks would provide service at a recovered or non-provisioned telephone. The proposal was agreed following extensive stakeholder engagement.

The CVL Transformation was a significant multi-discipline project and successful integration was fundamental to achieving successful delivery. We developed the project design proposals, implementation plan, stageworks and programme to deliver the project, and the Amey Engineering Management Manual (EMMa) defines the Amey systems engineering and integration processes used throughout the CVL project.

As part of the system design, we identified the dependencies and interfaces with other systems and subsystems both inside and outside of the infrastructure system. Their requirements were incorporated in the Technical Interface Database (TID) (hosted by Bentley ComplyPro) to develop and assure all system interfaces, each of which were defined along with all necessary controls to ensure successful integration. Compliance to requirements was monitored within the V&V process defined in the CVL System Integration and Requirements Management Plans.

We undertook a three-tier approach to Requirements Management from the bid stage:

  • Level 0: Identify fundamental business requirements derived from client remit, funding constraints, reference legislation and standards.
  • Level 1: Define solution commitments; e.g scheme sketches supported by modelling.
  • Level 2: Sign off Approval in Principle (AIP) designs following Contract Award.

Upon completing the Preliminary Design Stage, all requirements were captured in the Requirements Management Database (RMD) (also hosted by Bentley ComplyPro) to provide a single source of truth across the project. The RMD allows parent/child linking of requirements and progressive tracking, tracing and V&V throughout the project lifecycle. We used it to apportion requirements to the design and delivery work packages, which indicated which deliverables could be used as evidence of compliance to the requirements. We maintained all main engineering registers - including the Hazard Record, safety requirements, derogations and technical interface database – in ComplyPro to support progressive assurance.

This approach demonstrated that overall project scope was sufficient to meet client requirements and secured TfW’s commitment. The recording and acceptance of evidence in ComplyPro in each stage of the project enabled progressive and auditable demonstration of compliance to the project requirements as part of the V&V process. This ensured our designs would deliver and validate the requirements prior to project close out, which were subsequently proven through evidence collated throughout the construction, testing and commissioning phases.

The project delivery structure was integrated with requirements management using ProjectWise. We identified the Delivery Organisations’ (DOs’) responses for design, construction, commissioning and other activities. The DOs’ work packages were defined and allocated within Requirements Packages according to work scope. The DOs were responsible for providing project deliverables and interface evidence to regular Interdisciplinary Design Checks (IDCs) within ProjectWise, with delivery assurance in ComplyPro.

The CVL Transformation shows Amey’s capability in managing infrastructure and delivering projects of all sizes, in partnership with numerous clients and stakeholders. The project demonstrates our multi-discipline design capability and how we can plan, manage, coordinate and deliver a large multi-discipline project which includes infrastructure, rolling stock, operational and maintenance changes.

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