Exclusive: Network Rail to delay fully integrated TMS at Romford ROC
Network Rail is to delay fully integrating traffic management functionality at its Romford Rail Operating Centre (ROC), as there are a still a number of risks that need to be mitigated before full commissioning.
At the beginning of June, then rail minister Claire Perry MP said that Thales’s ARAMIS traffic management system (TMS) would be fully integrated at the ROC by November.
However, Network Rail has now said that despite the TMS being “close to completion”, the infrastructure owner needs more time to “iron out the final software bugs, complete the training of staff, carry out trial operations on the simulator and enable the development of our staff’s capability and confidence in using the new system”.
A Network Rail spokesperson told RTM: “We have recently completed a detailed review of all the elements of this complex programme. With no technical rehearsal opportunity to change over the old and new control systems, test, and change back, there remain a number of risks that we still need to mitigate before fully commissioning.”
In order to carry out and complete all of the tasks, the Anglia route managing director, IP signalling programme director and Digital Railway managing director have decided to commission full TMS “at a later date”.
The £32m Romford ROC will control the Anglian rail network, as well as London’s Crossrail route, when in full operation. When asked how long the delay would be, Network Rail said it will be “working with our train operator partners to identify a future date when we can get a suitable closure (potentially up to 27 hours) of the route to commission the signalling system”.
Back in July, David Waboso told RTM that Network Rail is also set to revise the Digital Railway’s Norwich – Yarmouth – Lowestoft (NYL) pilot which was being designed to showcase the full deployment of digital technology by the end of CP5.
Network Rail added that the new TMS simulator has been fully installed at Romford ROC and it is working with its integrated team, including the supply chain, to get this fully commissioned.
The infrastructure owner said that in place of a standard signalling simulator, “we will deliver a full pod simulation suite, and later this year, we will also install the operating pod in the Romford ROC”.
According to the spokesperson, the full pod simulation suite will enhance the training experience of Network Rail’s frontline teams by fully integrating the multiple systems involved onto single platform. However, this means that some staff training may have to be revised.
In total there are 12 ROCs which will eventually control the entire rail network in Britain, replacing over 800 signal boxes. Six of them – Rugby, Manchester, Basingstoke, York, Romford and Three Bridges – are brand new.
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