Thales and London’s Docklands Light Railway Celebrate 30 Year Anniversary

This July marked 30 years since the opening of London’s Docklands Light Railway (DLR). As we celebrate the history of this railway to date, we look at the key involvement of Thales in making this success a reality and the example that the DLR sets for the rest of London’s transport network.

London’s DLR

Launched in 1987, the DLR was created to connect London’s Docklands area to the rest of the city. Initially covering eight miles of ground, with fifteen stations, the line connected to Stratford, Tower Gateway and Island Gardens. Although its initial capacity was less than it is today, the automated service greatly increased passenger traffic to the Docklands, with only a single member of staff required on each train for any assistance and emergencies. The DLR received considerable investment as it expanded over the years to reach additional locations such as Bank, Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal. The line now visits 45 stations, has tripled in length to cover 24 miles of track and carries an annual total of 122 million passengers.

Autonomous Railways

The DLR is an example of an autonomous railway delivering benefits not only to passengers, but to operators and London as a whole. Reliable and secure, passengers consistently have positive journey experiences as they visit places, such as the ExCeL centre, that were inaccessible or non-existent beforehand. Through increasing capacity and reducing costs, operators benefit by having a more effective service that transports greater numbers of passengers. Additionally, and arguably the greatest benefit to autonomous railways, the technology greatly complements the priorities of London over the coming years.

Making Travel Greener

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, states in his manifesto that he aims to ‘make travel greener’ and, with his commitment to reducing London’s CO2 emissions by 60% by 2025, his plans to achieve this reinforce his statement. With Sadiq Khan prioritising the environment, transport and housing for the rapidly growing population, a more capable and cost-effective railway infrastructure will be vital to London. Through developing London’s infrastructure and by encouraging the use of a modernised public transport system, autonomous trains will continue to have crucial advantages as London advances towards becoming a ‘low-carbon beacon’.

Thales’s Technology

Thales’s technology has formed a key part of the DLR’s history and has been in service on the line since 1994. Known as the SelTrac signalling system, the service uses communications-based train control (CBTC) to operate trains without the need for a driver. In addition to the installation of this service, 2007 saw Thales teams in the UK and Canada upgrade the system’s technology to enable a three, rather than two, car service on the DLR. These upgrades resulted in a 50 per cent capacity increase, a significant improvement for the railway line.

To learn how SelTrac (CBTC) technology works, watch Thales’s video below:

Increased Capacity

In addition to installing its SelTrac signalling system, Thales has also made significant upgrades to the vehicle control centre (VCC) at Beckton. Installing third generation VCC technology in Beckton in 2011, Thales’s work on the DLR helped greatly towards the success of the London Olympics and was also the first operational 3GVCC installed in the world. Carrying double the amount of passengers than usual, the DLR was able to effectively handle an enormous surge in traffic as passengers travelled to the global sporting event. SelTrac CBTC performed successfully during the event, supporting a record-breaking number of passengers. Additionally, following Thales’s upgrades to the signalling technology, the Jubilee line performed exceptionally well during the Olympics, being described as ‘the star of the show’.

With Beckton’s upgrade to third generation technology proving successful, 2014 saw plans established to make similar changes at Poplar control centre. Updating technology that had previously been used for twenty-five years, the upgrade was a significant advancement that has contributed to the further success of the DLR. In combination with the SelTrac CBTC system, these developments have provided safe, reliable, short headway between trains to enable greater capacity on the line, whilst greatly reducing operating and maintenance costs.

Thales – A Trusted Partner

Since their involvement in the DLR, Thales has been co-located in the same buildings as the DLR team. This has provided the opportunity to work very closely over the years and is part of the experience that forms their expertise in London railways. Thales is a trusted partner for developing the future of London transport.

Original article © Thales.


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Main Line Rail, Urban and Metro Transport Solutions

Transport networks around the world rely on Thales technology and systems expertise for safe, reliable, efficient operations that deliver optimised capacity and reliability. Thales Transportation Buisness is a global leader in main line rail, urban and metro transport, offering advanced signaling and control, integrated communications and supervision systems, revenue collection systems and a comprehensive services and support offer that set the standard in the transportation industry. We help our customers operate infrastructures at higher capacities so passengers and goods can reach their destinations more quickly, more safely, more ecologically and at a lower cost. [gallery ids="12694,12693,12692"] Thales partners with major transport operators in over 50 countries cementing a reputation as a world leader in the provision of mission-critical information systems. We have a unique ability to innovate in partnership with customers to provide smarter solutions and deliver turnkey products, combined with key enabling technologies and a full range of services to the ground transportation systems market.

Rail Traffic Management Systems (TMS)

With an unmatched pedigree in delivering rail Traffic Management Systems (TMS) in mainline, urban and metro transport globally, Thales TMS transforms railway operations by increasing capacity, reducing delays, and keeps staff and passengers better informed. Train control systems using Thales’s AlTrac inter-operable European Train Control System (ETCS) signalling improve energy efficiency, and provide seamless cross-border movement of people and goods. Thales ETCS is used to manage 16 000 km of track - 30% of the world’s railways - with its ETCS signalling system, and more than 1700 stations use Thales electronic interlocking technology. Around the world, Thales ARAMIS manages 60,000 trains per day in complex mixed traffic environments across 16 countries and 72,000 km of track.

Urban Transport Networks

In the urban environment Thales ability as a world class systems integrator improves mobility for passengers and freight within and between urban centres. Over 80 metro lines and 2,200 km of track around the world benefit from our SelTrac Communications Based-Train Control (CBTC) system and we are ranked No. 1 in the world for such solutions, maximising capacity, efficiency and reliability. From door-to-door and depot-to-depot, Thales offers one of the most comprehensive portfolios of public transport solutions on the market. We provide intelligent systems and services for multi-modal transport needs across: As the world’s only supplier of nationwide multimodal fare collection systems,  Thales fare collection systems handle €15 billion worth of ticket payments every year in over 100 cities around the world, on 2000 stations and 20 000 metros, buses, and tramways. [gallery ids="12691,12690,12689"]

Intelligent Road Traffic Management Solutions

Thales has more than 35 years of experience as a designer of centralised traffic management systems. We provide highway authorities and road operators with state of the art solutions and technologies to build better traffic infrastructures.  Our products offer high levels of operational safety and security for people, data and all associated financial transaction. Tollgates are inefficient, disrupt traffic flow and decrease road capacity. Contactless technology offers an intelligent road charging solution, connected via secure systems of data management and control. To this end, we design and manufacture: To help meet demand for increased traffic capacity and make road networks more efficient, we offer integrated technology solutions with: For successful multi-modal transport systems, we produce interoperable systems for co-operation between rail, tram, bus and car parks, including:

Major Areas of Operation

Thales has a truly global reach with our systems helping major transport operators in 50 countries maximise their network capabilities, efficiency and passenger experience. Please read more on our references on our website. Examples of our successes across the world include: Mexico 1st ETCS application on a commuter line Canada As a technology leader, Thales has proven numerous market firsts: Asia Pacific 3 railway lines into revenue service simultaneously - a world first– Shanghai lines 6, 8 and 9. Our solutions have also been successfully deployed in Auckland (regional and national), Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Singapore, Taipei and Taiwan High Speed Rail. Europe 1st ETCS cross- border link – Vienna to Budapest. 1st Neighbour Radio Block Centre (NRBC) interface into service – Netherlands and Belgium 1st national ticketing systems – Denmark and Netherlands 1st fully integrated operation control centre – Bilbao UKs largest light rail network – Manchester Metrolink World’s largest re-signalling programme – London’s Jubilee and Northern lines Our solutions have also been successfully deployed in Cagliari, Coimbra, Denmark (nationwide), Lisbon, Madrid, Monaco, Naples, The Netherlands (nationwide), Olbia, Oslo (regional), Paris, Sardinia (regional), Strasbourg, Turin and Vicenza." ["post_title"]=> string(21) "Thales Transportation" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(21) "thales-transportation" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2019-10-25 15:48:47" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-10-25 14:48:47" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(45) "" ["menu_order"]=> int(105) ["post_type"]=> string(9) "suppliers" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" }