Thameslink gets comms upgrade contract

A Network Rail project to double capacity on the Thameslink line by 2012 has awarded a contract to upgrade its operational communications systems and cable network.

Exact figures for the multi-million deal were not disclosed, but it covers the design, install and commission of upgraded communications infrastructure to support a new signalling system as track and stations are modernised.

But the rail infrastructure operator said the whole Thameslink project represents a total of 3.55 billion of investment.

The project aims to cater for increased commuter demand on the route between Bedford, Central London and Brighton.

It is rolling out longer 12-car trains with 50 per cent extra capacity by the end of 2012, to also benefit the Olympics. And a 200 per cent increase in the number of trains running through the heart of London by then is also planned.

The contract was awarded to communications support services provider telent, which will also provide new communications facilities for operational staff and emergency services, install new trackside telephones, tunnel radio systems and associated fibre and copper data cable networks.

Steve Pears, general manager of telent's rail division, said: "The Thameslink route is one of the busiest in the UK and is required to remain in operation during the upgrade. This places additional responsibilities on the team to ensure that the travelling public are not inconvenienced during the upgrade work."

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A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

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