FTNx approaches handover

Date: February 2015

ADComms’ work on the rail industry’s transition to an FTNx network with partners Telefonica and Cisco is nearing completion.

ADComms is preparing to facilitate handover on its signalling upgrade as part of Network Rail’s installation of its new world-class optical and internet protocol (IP) network, FTNx.

A robust and world-class IP network is a key deliverable of the 10 to 15 year programme to ensure the digitisation of the UK’s rail network. The upgrade, which began in spring 2014, includes support to enable future crucial signalling, including the transition to ETCS (European Train Control System). This will increase safety and capacity across the rail network to meet increasing passenger demand for journeys, while improving safety and reliability.

Partnering with Telefonica and Cisco to deliver this world-class platform, ADComms has been at the forefront of the upgrade. Using its vast experience in deploying telecoms across the world, ADComms is supporting Telefonica with commissioning and handover of the 90-site UK network with an eight terabyte capacity.

ADComms is currently working to connect a significant amount of devices across the network, as Network Rail and TOC continues on its journey to rail digitisation, ranging from areas such as WiFi on trains to the wider asset management system.

The transition will deliver the rail industry a vital cost-cutting deliverable that will eliminate reliance on third party suppliers. It will also yield substantial safety improvements, enabling workers to operate smarter and safer through the use of internet-enabled devices. Improved connectivity for passengers on board is also guaranteed, as is the enhanced delivery of real time information.

“What’s involved is far more than a mere WiFi upgrade,”
explains Mike Hewitt, head of next generation networks at ADComms.

“FTNx is far more than a network transition. Indeed, it is the foundation of the UK’s digital railway strategy, and essential to progressing the operational capability of our railways. It’s the only way in which we will ensure passenger capacity can deliver the three billion journeys forecasted per year by 2035.”

“Much of the physical work of installation and upgrade is now completed, and what remains is down to testing, snagging and finally, handover. Spanning the entire operational network, what we are witnessing is the development of the highest capacity, most resilient, most secure network the UK rail industry has seen to date. A project of huge scale and complexity, this modern marvel has the power to revolutionise the rail industry – and with work almost complete on site and ready for handover in April, it’s certainly on track to deliver,”
Hewitt concludes.

For more information, please contact St John White or Natalia Gameson at Prova on 01926 776900.