Essential work to upgrade communications systems across the HS1 rail network has been completed with minimal disruption at some of the UK’s busiest international rail stations.
Telent was contracted by High Speed 1 (HS1) to upgrade all critical systems from legacy analogue to modern IP solutions at St Pancras, Stratford, Ebbsfleet and Ashford international stations. These improvements better protect the station and assets, grow the business through better management of station operators and provide the ability to meet future system demand.
Around 176 thousand hours were spent on this project overall and, thanks to early detailed planning, no unplanned operational impact was experienced. There was a 50/50 split between time spent on design/planning and on-site work.
Telent designed a new core Station Data Network (SDN) and, using an industry leading approach, drew on best in class practices and the very latest tools and standards. This helped ensure the assessment and mitigation of any identified cyber threats and vulnerabilities across the estate. Telent also designed and installed CCTV, Public Address, Public Help Points, Electronic Access Control and IP telephony systems. The building management system which controls and monitors the station environment was updated as part of the project.
As part of the project a Station Management System (MICA) was designed and installed. MICA allows the station operation team to efficiently manage all refreshed systems from a central location during both normal operations and disruption.
“This was a unique and complex project, as can be imagined on such a large-scale project at international stations including the iconic grade 1 listed St Pancras station” said Telent’s Programme Manager Station Comms, Dean Clarke. “There were a significant number of stakeholders to liaise with, and ensuring their individual needs and requirements were addressed as part the of project was crucial. We also had to deal with the complexities and disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”
As well as the train operating companies that were involved – which includes four at St Pancras Int. – Telent worked with security agencies within the international terminals at the stations alongside local councils, and heritage advisors due to the historical significance of St Pancras station. Other challenges included working in a live rail environment, with passengers needing access for 24 hours a day, the works had to be well planned and carried out with minimal disruption.
The success of the project was also dependent on Telent ensuing that all interested stakeholders were kept aware of the progress and planned work, as well as being kept up to date with all key milestones. In addition, we ensured that all stakeholders aspirations are considered and communicated within the right channels through every step.
“We’re very proud to have renewed critical communications systems with minimal impact to station operations during an already difficult time, ensuring passengers continued to receive timely and accurate information. This is key to an enhanced experience, and to ensure that passengers and staff stay safe and informed during their travels,” added Dean Clarke.
Telent stayed true to the project values – including a collaborative approach, providing a future proof system, minimised disruption and effortless hand-back of the system – defined at the outset and always had the goal of achieving the project purpose of ‘safely protecting and seamlessly integrating secure station communications for everybody’.
Head of Programmes and Sponsorship at HS1, Owen Virrill said: “The stations on the HS1 route welcome thousands of passengers every day. Making sure our security and communications systems are of the highest quality and reliability is of maximum importance to us. Designing and delivering the renewals across all four stations with minimal interruption to our passengers and customers has been key to its overall success”
Telent, working with main subcontractor Fourway Communications, applied robust planning, and testing practices to ensure all systems were successfully migrated and handed over to the maintainer whilst minimising the disruption to all Stakeholders. These complex works in this unique rail environment, including high profile government agencies, and working throughout the pandemic were achieved without any disruption to the core operation of the stations.
To find out more information about Telent, please visit: https://telent.com/.
Image credit: iStockphoto.com