With Siemens Mobility Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) and rail systems technology at its heart, the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood opened today, 24 May, and is set to transform the everyday journeys of passengers across London and southeast England. Siemens Mobility delivered the central section signalling and the communication and control systems for the new line on behalf of Crossrail Ltd. The CBTC signalling and control system will enable high-frequency and automated train operation for the central section of the Elizabeth line. The technology was designed, manufactured, installed, tested and commissioned at Siemens Mobility facilities in both the United Kingdom and Germany.
Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “We are delighted to open the Elizabeth line for passengers today, which is a truly historic moment for the capital and the UK, showcasing this stunning addition to our network. The Elizabeth line will help transform life and travel in London and the South East by dramatically improving transport links, cutting journey times, providing additional capacity, and transforming accessibility with spacious new stations and walk-through trains.”
Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility said: “We are so proud to have contributed to this landmark project, one which will significantly transform mobility in London and across southeast England. Our digital signalling and station management technologies are transforming the everyday journeys of Elizabeth line passengers in London and the South East and we’re proud that much of the technology was developed and tested in the UK. The railway has capacity for over 200 million passengers per year and it will provide an enhanced travelling experience featuring superior service reliability and availability.”
The Siemens Mobility systems link seamlessly with the main line railway signalling systems to the east and west of the central section. The CBTC system, Trainguard MT, was extensively tested in Braunschweig, Germany. This was then integrated with other elements of the signalling and the platform screen door systems at Siemens Mobility’s manufacturing and testing facility in Chippenham, England. Using digital technology to simulate other elements of the railway over many months of extensive testing against multiple scenarios ensured that everything would run smoothly on the live railway.
The communication and control systems delivered for this project provide a host of systems that touch virtually every part of the railway. Testing was also crucial for these highly complex station/central management systems, which links up over 30,000 connections from CCTV, public address, passenger information systems to rail and station systems, many speaking different computer languages. A huge number of real-life scenarios were tested virtually first, at Siemens Mobility’s manufacturing and testing facility in Ashby, England.
Passengers will be informed effectively throughout their journey, which will result in safe, reliable travel and constant access to the information passengers need to travel easily, and for staff to manage stations efficiently, identifying and avoiding crowding, responding to incidents quickly, and ultimately providing the best possible passenger experience.