Rail News

Increasing Capacity on the London Underground

The population of London is set to grow by around 2 million between 2014 and 2041, to somewhere between 10 and 11 million.

moving block signalling will increase capacity
© luisfraguada under licence

The UK capital’s transport network is already very busy and needs to be expanded and modernised continuously to cope with increasing demand. The Crossrail project currently under construction will enter full service as the Elizabeth Line in 2019, with 10 wholly new stations and 30 upgraded ones, thereby giving London a new east-west connection.

Increasing access points throughout the city by constructing a new line and improving platforms by making them longer, allowing trains with more carriages to operate are two ways of increasing capacity on the network.

Related Posts:  Thales Secures Maintenance Contract in Saudi Arabia

Reducing ‘Headway’

However, the existing network can itself be improved to run trains more efficiently. RSSB, the Rail Safety and Standard Board, note that the main challenge for UK railways will be to reduce the gap between trains, known as ‘headway’, without compromising on safety. The answer is to move away from fixed block signalling to moving block signalling.

Fixed Block Signalling vs. Moving Block Signalling

In Fixed Block Signalling, the section of track between two signals is one block. It is stationary – fixed. This means a train cannot enter a block until it is empty. However, with Moving Block Signalling, the block is the train and computers maintain a safe gap in front of and behind trains to allow them to run as closely together as possible without making them less safe.

Related Posts:  Bombardier Celebrates 25 Years of Rail Control Excellence in Bilbao

Please watch this Thales Transportation video on the work TfL will be undertaking to improve capacity in this way on the London Underground:

RSSB Research

The research conducted by RSSB on having trains running closer together has identified the technologies necessary to make this aim a reality.

RSSB found they are:

  • ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) Level 3 ‘moving block’, Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC)
  • ‘Predictable braking’ to allow certainty that close running trains will all behave in the same way when braking
  • ‘High-integrity switch technology’ currently under development to help reduce the time for authorisation for movement across junctions of a subsequent train
  • Significant improvements to traffic control and train flow information
Related Posts:  Alstom to Equip Adif's Laboratory Trains With Latest ERTMS Technology

FOR ALL THE LATEST INFORMATION, NEWS, IMAGES, VIDEOS AND ARTICLES ON ALL ASPECTS OF INFRASTRUCTURE – SIGNALLING, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

 

News categories

06 Dec 2017
TfL and Thales on Track to Boost Capacity on Londo ...
30 Nov 2017
Bombardier Celebrates 25 Years of Rail Control Exc ...
29 Nov 2017
Alstom to Equip Adif’s Laboratory Trains Wit ...
28 Nov 2017
Thales to Install Security Systems at 61 Railway S ...
20 Nov 2017
Egypt National Railways Relies on Thales to Modern ...
09 Nov 2017
Tunnelling Complete on London Underground’s ...
17 Oct 2017
New Signalling System for the London Underground S ...
10 Oct 2017
Thales Secures Maintenance Contract in Saudi Arabi ...
Subscribe to Railway-News
Get the latest contract alerts and Railway News emailed directly to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously.