First phase
Morrison Utility Services (MUS), the UK’s largest dedicated utility service provider and part of M Group Services, is set to begin the enabling swept path works as part of the first phase of work of the Edinburgh tram extension project.

Peter Carolan, Executive Director, Morrison Utility Services, noted how delighted he was that the project has had final sign off from the Council. “During the ECI period, we have demonstrated our ability to work in a collaborative manner, offer real depth of experience in delivering large scale utility contracts and the ability to deploy innovation which will deliver tangible benefits to the successful delivery of the project,” he said. “As we move to the next phase of the project our goal will be to build on the strong relationships formed with our construction partners and City of Edinburgh Council during the ECI period and deliver the project to the highest safety and delivery standards, while driving a positive customer experience.”

Enabling works will start on Constitution Street with the main programme of work beginning in spring 2020. A joint venture between Farrans and Spanish-owned Sacyr and its subsidiary Neopul will deliver the £90m main works contract to design and construct the new route from York Place to Newhaven.

Passenger services are timetabled to begin in Spring 2023

Connected underground
Cobham Wireless, a provider of advanced wireless coverage and capacity delivery systems, has announced that its idDAS (intelligent digital Distributed Antenna System) is now providing 4G coverage in Berlin’s U-Bahn for subscribers of all three of Germany’s major mobile operators.

This follows an initial deployment with Telefónica, the biggest telecom operator in Europe; which involved replacing legacy equipment with Cobham Wireless’ idDAS, and delivering 2G, 3G and 4G cellular coverage for passengers using Berlin’s historic underground rail route.

The project has now been expanded, with the multi-operator, multi-frequency idDAS providing secure, reliable, high-bandwidth 4G cellular connectivity for subscribers of Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom.

“We’ve been working with Telefónica for a number of years now to phase out old equipment and deliver a much-needed upgrade to the U-Bahn – so phasing in both Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone was the logical next step,” said Ingo Flömer, CTO, Sales, Marketing and Business Development. “Now, subscribers of Germany’s ‘Big Three’ operators can all enjoy a better passenger experience, and access 4G data services. The benefits extend to other stakeholders involved too; the digital nature of idDAS means it’s straightforward to configure and to upgrade to 5G when commercial services are fully rolled out.

“Connecting underground routes comes with its own set of unique challenges, including limited physical space to house hardware. However, the BTS hotel concept means we’ve been able to locate these outside of the U-Bahn in a separate technical room, from which capacity can be directed to the metro,” added Ingo.

Upon completion, the system will cover the entire Berlin U-Bahn; one of the biggest metros in Europe. The wholly digital architecture is accompanied by Cobham Wireless’ Active Element Manager, a management, operations and support centre which facilitates system upgrades and network configuration changes. 4G coverage is currently available on almost half of the U-Bahn network, with other areas being phased in over the coming months.

Lighting the way
Infrastructure158 bFUTURE Designs won the Industrial and Transport Lighting Project of the Year at the Lux Awards 2019 for its bespoke lighting solution, IKON, for Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

FUTURE Designs developed and manufactured IKON to deliver a bespoke 50,000 lumen uplight within this subterranean infrastructure.

Renowned for its innovative and technical expertise FUTURE Designs created several bespoke products including the IKON uplighter luminaire. IKON is positioned on top of wayfinding totems; IKON EMERGENCY is positioned within the vertical faces of the totems helping to guide Crossrail passengers to safety; PLINTH is located within the deck area between individual escalators. All have been developed specifically for Crossrail addressing the technological difficulties presented with the design brief for this challenging environment.

Leon Ellis, Technical Director, FUTURE Designs noted that the team was delighted to win this significant award. “This award recognises over three years of research and development by FUTURE Designs to take the original concept to functionality and reality,” he commented.

Complex project completes
Infrastructure 158 cAs part of the extensive upgrade of London Waterloo Station, specialist contractor Prater delivered a full envelope package to the infill connection between the main station and the redeveloped Waterloo International Terminal.

With 99 million people using Waterloo station every year and that number projected to increase by 40 per cent by 2043, an extensive upgrade scheme was proposed to increase capacity and improve the customer experience. The scheme was delivered by the Wessex Capacity Alliance (WCA), a collaboration between Network Rail, Mott MacDonald, AECOM, Skanska and Colas Rail.

A significant part of the work was converting the Waterloo International Terminal (WIT), the UK terminus for Eurostar services until 2007, for use by domestic train services. This included creating a covered infill section to connect the iconic London Waterloo Station with the equally recognisable and award-winning international terminal. The Prater scope of works covered the construction of the infill section, which consisted of a bespoke curtain wall glazing system and Prater designed and fabricated glass louvres integrated into the façade to provide ventilation.

Prater worked closely with the WCA professional team during the extended Pre-Contract Service Agreement period to ensure that the design would meet all the detailed project requirements. The Schüco FW 80+ XR façade system was selected and, in collaboration with Schüco, Prater developed a solution to enhance the system’s standard performance. Steel reinforcements were added to ensure the required level of blast resistance from both the outside and inside of the façade A further challenge for the project was the integration with the buildings that surrounded the new section on three sides. The cantilever steel structure of the WIT meant that the significant natural building movement had to be factored into the design, with tolerances carefully calculated and considered. This required close co-ordination with both the main contractor and structural steelwork provider.

The Schüco façade system was fabricated by Prater at its Thurrock facility, and due to limited on-site storage facilities, all materials had to be delivered to site on a Just in Time (JIT) basis. Additionally, Prater built a full-sized prototype of a façade section to test the buildability of the solution and provide a demonstration of the completed aesthetics for the WCA professional team. Prater worked to a challenging timescale, starting on site in October 2018 and completing the work in time for the opening of the station in December 2018.

European standards in China
Beijing Metro Construction Administration Corporation Ltd has appointed Ricardo Certification to provide Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) services for the new metro line in the eastern side of the city.

Beijing’s new Line 17 will offer a new north-south route through the city’s eastern districts, extending from Changping’s Future Science Park North station to Yizhuang Zhanqianqu South station in Tongzhou.

The first section is planned to enter into operation in 2021. Ricardo is assessing the new Line 17 against European standards EN 50126, 50128 and 50129, and Ricardo Certification will be responsible for assuring the safety of passengers, staff and surrounding communities is accounted for during the construction, installation, testing and eventual commissioning of the new line.

New product launch
FDB Panel Fittings with sales partner DIRAK have launched a new slam latch for sliding doors and panels. These have been designed especially for the broad range of industry, light commercial and high-quality residential sliding doors that are widely used on specialist vehicles, caravans, motorhomes, railways, office cabinets, domestic light doors, cupboards and storage units.

This new development in slam lock design offers convenience and reliability with oblong mounting holes which make it possible to use aluminium profiles of different profile widths and may also be used for adjustment. A sufficiently large rear grip makes it easy to open the door simply by pulling on the handle – the design makes it easy to close the door by sliding shut. Plus, lockable versions are optionally available keyed alike or keyed different.

Expanded connectivity
Following its acquisition of the Kathrein rail antenna portfolio in May, HUBER+SUHNER has introduced an expanded connectivity offering for customers in the railway market.

“The Kathrein and HUBER+SUHNER railway antennas are a perfect marriage of complementary products,” said Daniel Montagnese, Product Manager Rail Antennas at HUBER+SUHNER. “The merged portfolio now covers all possible radio frequency (RF) service applications for railway needs. Combined with a complete offering across wire and cable, radio frequency and fiber optic technology, HUBER+SUHNER can now satisfy all connected mobility needs for the railway industry from electrical to fibre-optics.”

Both HUBER+SUHNER and Kathrein have been innovation leaders in the railway antenna segment for a number of decades. The most recent development is a new SENCITY Rail rooftop antenna which is compatible with all global navigation satellite systems – GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, and GALILEO.