The right signals
From April, Eurostar trains continued to stop at Ashford International Station thanks to new signalling upgrades installed by Amey. 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.
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.
Open to all
A disused rail track in Largs has been transformed into a vibrant community garden, thanks to the dedication of local volunteers. Located next to platform two, the new community garden was created by local group Largs Organic Garden as part of ScotRail’s ‘adopt a station’ programme, and includes flowers, plants, a path which is fully accessible for wheelchairs, and the bow of a Viking long boat. The project took around 12 weeks to complete from design to finish with many of the supplies and labour donated in kind by local trade businesses.
More than 275 ScotRail stations across the country are part of the ‘adopt a station’ programme, with projects across Scotland ranging from garden displays to charity bookshops, art galleries and model railway clubs.
ScotRail Alliance Head of Social and Economic Development James Ledgerwood said: “Largs Organic Garden adopted this area of the station in January 2017 and, since then, they have transformed the look and feel of the station.”
Ambitious plans are afoot on the North Coast of Ireland as work gets underway on a new modern train station in Portrush, which is designed to attract and enable future growth of rail passengers travelling to and from the seaside resort. The scheme represents an investment of approximately £5.6 million, with funding secured from the Department for Communities (£4.7m) and Department for Infrastructure (over £900K).
The new station will allow for further passenger growth at Portrush station, with over 620,000 journeys per year currently being made to and from the existing station. It will also contribute positively to the ongoing regeneration in Portrush town centre and surrounding area. Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, added: ‘‘This fully accessible station will offer modern waiting facilities, improved passenger information and signage to local amenities and attractions as well as enhanced cycle storage to encourage active travel and ‘greener’ tourism links.”
Attended by representatives from train operating companies Great Western Railway (GWR) and CrossCountry, a new platform at Bristol Parkway station has been opened, which will allow for a more frequent train service on a more resilient network.
The installation of the new platform is part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan in the west of England, representing a multi-million-pound investment and including its biggest ever signalling upgrade which has already taken place in the Bristol area. The brand-new platform 1 will allow for an increase in capacity on the network, enabling new services to be introduced and reducing delays.
Bristol Parkway is an important station in the west, servicing passengers from Wales and south west England as well as Birmingham, the Midlands and beyond. Train operating companies GWR and CrossCountry will benefit from the increased capacity on the network, and improvements to the track layout will be advantageous for freight companies such as Freightliner.