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Romford ROC to have fully integrated TMS by November, but no date set for Wales yet

Fully integrated traffic management functionality at Network Rail’s Romford Rail Operating Centre (ROC) will be delivered in November 2016, rail minister Claire Perry has stated.

However, in a Parliamentary answer to shadow transport secretary Lilian Greenwood, Perry said that a commissioning date for the Wales ROC had not been finalised.

Back in May 2014, Network Rail awarded a combined contract worth £28.8m to Thales to provide its ARAMIS TMS to the two centres in Romford and Cardiff.

The £32m Romford ROC will control the Anglian rail network, as well as London’s Crossrail route, when in full operation. UMC Architects has worked as lead designer with Volker Fitzpatrick, co-ordinating the design of the facility using Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Greenwood asked the transport secretary for confirmation on the value for Network Rail’s traffic management first deployment contract covering Wales and Romford, what the commissioning dates are under the contract, and when full functionality would be available.

“The installation programmes for the two Rail Operating Centres have values of circa £35,000,000 each, £70,000,000 combined,” said Perry. “Romford has a planned commissioning date of November 2016. All contracted functionality will be delivered on that date. A commissioning date for Cardiff has not been finalised. “

Last November, RTM reported that Rugby ROC had opened to take over Stafford Area signalling as part of Network Rail’s long-term strategy to replace antiquated signal boxes and streamline the signalling workforce.

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.

In May last year, Network Rail told RTM that the Cardiff Area Signalling Renewal (CASR), originally due for completion in 2015, had slipped by two years until January 2017. In the Hendy Review, it was reiterated that CASR would be complete in early 2017.

When rolled out nationally, TMS technology will help Network Rail safely integrate, operate and manage the UK rail network through 12 state-of-the-art ROCs.

(Top image: c. UMC Architects)


John Grant   10/06/2016 at 15:39

So they're finally getting back to implementing the vision that got canned at privatisation 25 years ago? Back then I was talking with BREL about a plan to run the WCML from a few IECCs which would be linked together so that if necessary the whole line could be run from one location.

Jerry Alderson   10/06/2016 at 17:19

Re: 12 TOCs in Britain. As I understand it IE in the Irish Republic will have just one ROC. But its network is a tenth of the size of Britain's (just 1,900km) and passengers are about a quarter as dense (i.e. taking passenger total and dividing it by ten). At least the ROCs will have the ability to failover to a neighbouriung ROC.

Lutz   11/06/2016 at 15:37

It is possible to hazard a guess at the reasons, but a little explanation for the Cardiff deployment delay would have added a little clarity. NR has still not got it's act together regarding the ROC migration plan; 30 years is not acceptable, but then it was not fully funded (who can blame the government for that when there were no solid plans) and has seen funding cuts for the program (due to NR's under-performance). Hendy needs to step-up, and get the details finalised; by the 2020s we will be relying on traffic control technology to be providing extra capacity on routes now that virtually all of the easy wins have been exhausted.

Andrew Gwilt   16/06/2016 at 10:33

Romford ROC will improve the Great Eastern Main Line with new overhead wires being installed and more trains will be using the GEML including Crossrail trains using the slower lines between Shenfield-Heathrow and Reading once the whole network opens in late 2019.

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