Jubilee & Northern Line Upgrade Project

  • The Client: Engineers in-house to Tube Lines and Thales
  • The Project: Jubilee and Northern Line Upgrade Project
  • Project Period: 2005 – 2010

XRAIL has a number of engineers which are well versed with the application of the Thales TBTC System which was commissioned in 2010 for the Jubilee Line and which is now being implemented on the Northern.

The project entailed the design, installation and testing & commissioning of a moving block signalling system and associated communication systems upgrade on the Jubilee and Northern Line Upgrade Project JNUP. The engineers which are associated with the XRAIL team provided a wide range of design solutions and assurance whilst at Tube Lines and once seconded to Thales under the Tube Lines SA7 Contract.

This was a complex project, involving safety critical systems, which had to be brought into service in a staged process, whilst maintaining safe railway operations.

The engineers undertook work across the whole of the Thales TBTC system providing design solutions and design acceptance. Some of the major areas of the system worked on are as follows:

  1. Wayside – Axle Counter Subsystem, TBTC Loop Subsystem, Route Secure, Rail Gap Indicators,, Signals at Transfer Points.
  2. SER – Relay Rack Design, Vital Signalling circuits design, Interface to Existing Point Systems via the Change-over Cubicle, Interface to Legacy Interlocking Machines in areas such as Neasden and Wembley.
  3. Generic Design – Volume 1 and Volume 2 Bookwiring, which encompasses all the vital subsystem design.
  4. Control Centre – VCC and SMC for hardware and Fibre Optic Splicing routes.
  5. Design Acceptance and Assurance. Provided design acceptance for the TBTC system and created the design acceptance criteria for Tube Lines design assurance to the JNUP Project.

The engineers held a number of high profile roles for Tube Lines and Thales. The following roles were undertaken whilst at Tube Lines and Thales:

  1. Design Acceptance Engineer for Tube Lines
  2. Lead Design Acceptance Engineer for Tube Lines
  3. Design Acceptance Manager Jubilee and Northern Line for Tube Line.
  4. System Application Design Manager for Thales under secondment from Tube Lines.
  5. Design Delivery Engineers for Thales under secondment from Tube Lines.
  6. Chair for the Hardware Change Control Review Board (CCRB) UK for Thales under secondment from Tube Lines.
  7. Accredited Asset Engineers representative for Design and Design competence.
  8. The Engineers are all recognised as Approvers under the Tube Lines Asset Competency system.

The project ran for nearly five years, but the team regularly faced technical and programme problems. These are the challenges that were faced and resolved:

  1. Bookwirings and Signal Plan presentation which were acceptable to LU standards and LU operations. Formats provided by Thales were present but did not meet the requirements of Tube Lines. These had to be created and be accepted by Tube Lines Operations so it would be usable during fault finding and maintenance.
  2. Implementation of Change-over Cubicle. A method of transferring existing LU assets over to the Thales TBTC System needed to be devised. The method of transfer needed to be available to allow a switch-over of vital signalling functions between systems during testing, without disturbing normal service operation after the closure periods.
  3. Capacitive Coupling on vital signalling circuit. Issues with the use of conventional LU concentric cable with interfaces to long distance assets on the wayside caused errors in the vital signalling circuits. Solutions were provided to use multicore cable circuits with circuit modelling to overcome this issue.
  4. Building the experience with the Sub contractor for Thales. Sub-contractors utilised by Thales were working on the LU infrastructure and therefore development was required to ensure the design meet LU standard requirements from a signalling principles and operations perspective. Monthly progress and development sessions were provided to ensure the delivery of the sub-contractor was at an acceptable for Tube Lines.
  5. Seltrac Scheme Plan. Challenges were faced with applying the LU signalling principles to develop a TBTC Scheme which provided Automatic Train Control. Development of the Seltrac Scheme were produced over 3 years.

Over the course of five years the engineers overcame some of the challenges above and many more as expected on a complex project like the JNUP. The outcome was successful as the engineers were instrumental in the delivery and assurance of the design produced whilst at Thales and Tube Lines.

In summary during the secondment at Thales, the engineers delivered approximately 220 design packages (Bookwirings and modifications) through Thales during a period of eleven months. As a result the Jubilee was commissioned at the end of 2010.