Network Rail takes first steps with wireless safety project

Network Rail has completed the first phase of a project to ensure full radio coverage in all its tunnels, working with Red-M to tailor bespoke wireless-coverage designs for 115 tunnels so far.

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Network Rail has completed the first phase of a project to ensure full radio coverage in all its tunnels, working with Red-M to tailor bespoke wireless-coverage designs for 115 tunnels so far.

The project is part of a national roll-out by the UK’s rail infrastructure operator of a new essential safety system, using a telecommunications network consisting of fixed (FTN) and wireless (GSM-R) technology.

Once implemented, the technology will be used to provide secure train driver-to-signaller communications with contiguous radio coverage on all of the UK's railways.

Red-M has carried out sites surveys on 165 tunnels and delivered provisional designs for 176, of which 115 have progressed to become full designs.

Back in March Network Rail launched a major shake-up of its IT department to refocus it on core activities, annoucing plans to outsource its enterprise operations and distributed computing workstreams.

Under the plan, Network Rail’s infrastructure support services department are due to continue managing and supporting applications and equipment across the organisation, while the IT helpdesk, incident management and operations bridge units are to be amalgamated into a new service centre to support Network Rail’s 20,000 IT users.

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