Finger on the pulse

Since deciding to refocus its efforts on the rail and transportation industries, Multipulse Electronics has become an invaluable partner when it comes to establishing and modernising communications systems

When British Telecom became the first nationalised company in the UK to undergo privatisation in the 1980s it kick started a boom period for the telecommunications sector. This coincided with the establishing of Multipulse Electronics, which quickly became a key infrastructure contractor to the mobile telecoms industry, working with some of the biggest players at the time, including Motorola, Nokia, Nortel and Ericsson.

Two decades later, the company would refocus its technical skills towards the rail and transportation industries, and today the company provides a range of contract electronics products and services to those two areas, plus the public telecoms, aerospace, defence and infrastructure markets. Multipulse’s offering is wide and various, but includes Energy Management Systems, Project Management, Programmable Logic Controllers, On Site Services, Trainborne Systems, Rail Spares, DAS Systems, Stock Management, Cable and Harness Solutions, Kitting and Logistics, Test Services, Repair and Refurbishment and Acoustic Handsets.

The Rail sector is one where Multipulse has really focused its energies and it has secured, and successfully delivered, a wide range of key programmes for large public transport organisations, including energy metering for HVAC PLC, Southern Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), and the Radio Electronic Token Block (RETB) contract on behalf of telent for Scotland’s Far North and West Highland Lines.

For this last contract, Multipulse is telent’s main contractor to Network Rail – to manage the design, installation and commissioning of the trainborne system, together with recovering the legacy equipment after the migration period ends. telent also requires ergonomics support to include the development of the new equipment, which forms part of a wider stakeholder management programme.

Multipulse is delivering a turnkey programme service for RETB, which covers the following:

  • Project management
  • Stakeholder management
  • Human factors
  • Installation design
  • Development of maintenance training
  • Recommendations and documentation for driver training
  • Approvals
  • Trainborne installation and test

In another major contract, Multipulse is also the exclusive nationwide supplier of GSM-R train installation kits to Network Rail for this critical communications programme. GSM-R enables secure, reliable communications between drivers and signallers across the network, improving safety, punctuality and real-time passenger information. The company has been involved throughout the programme, and will continue to work with Network Rail on the system after completion.

The works feature:

  • Installation kits including cabling, connectors, fascias and housings, relays and circuit breakers and terminal rail assemblies
  • System elements including Uninterruptible Power Supply, multiple configuration antenna, loudspeakers and driver control
  • Test equipment including antenna, signal and radio test, GSM-R tooling and calibration services
  • GSM-R handsets, with UK sales and support for SED operational purpose handsets

It is Multipulse’s work across these most complex programmes that has proven its ability to deliver a complete project management package from initial design to implementation and test. Furthermore, its team of skilled staff has earned enviable experience in delivering projects at the cutting edge of rail refurb technology, and this knowledge is invaluable when it comes to multifaceted processes and installations. Multipulse highly values these skilled employees and they are both trained and nurtured at its Woking facility, supported by team leaders based around the country, as well as senior project managers, and specialist single-line partners, including software companies and design houses.

Alongside building the abilities of existing staff, Multipulse is also proactive when it comes to adding new skills and fresh talent to the company, and reflecting its sterling reputation, over 50 applicants got in touch recently for an apprenticeship role. Samuel Gater was the lucky candidate to win the job, and he will spend the next two years working his way through all departments to gain a thorough understanding of the business. In his first few days at Multipulse he was learning to test Energy Meter transducers and to configure access points, switches and routers for train-borne wi-fi systems. Samuel’s IT apprenticeship will be mentored at Multipulse by Production Manager, Peter Faulkner and Quality Manager, Tony Baxter. The academic modules will be overseen by Brooklands College, at nearby Weybridge.

It is clear that Multipulse is determined to continue to expand going forward, adding new staff and helping to build on the skills of the existing team as well. It has many exciting contracts in the pipeline, including manufacturing and supplying LED lights for Crossrail platforms, but never content to rest on its laurels, the company recently exhibited at Railtex in May, where its on-board monitoring systems and the training simulator both received an enthusiastic response. Networking at such events is of great importance for any company of Multipulse Electronics’ ambition, and they have long been the source of business growth. By reaching both existing companies and new clients in this established forum, Multipulse built on its reputation as well as highlighted its capabilities. It looks set to keep clients moving well into the future.