Fully covered: Heathrow Express GSM-R award pioneers ETCS development

Date: August 2015

ADComms has won a prestigious contract to install GSM-R coverage across Heathrow Airport’s rail tunnel infrastructure. The project win will see ADComms working to install one of the UK’s first functioning ETCS compliant systems.

ADComms will be extending GSM-R coverage from the Great Western Main Line into Heathrow’s tunnels from the tunnel portal to the central terminal area and into terminals 4 and 5. The installation is essential for the introduction of Crossrail services through to Heathrow Airport.

Working with Heathrow Airport, Network Rail and Crossrail, ADComms’ work will also enable European Train Control System (ETCS) level 2 compliance. The existing Cab Secure Radio (CSR) will be replaced by GSM-R as a means of allowing communication between signaller and driver on the line.

As Crossrail trains are only fitted with GSM-R, the successful completion of this project will allow Crossrail to deliver on its pledge to provide ten trains every hour on the Great Western Main Line at peak time, which includes two trains to Reading, two to Maidenhead, four trains to Heathrow and two trains to West Drayton.

The project will involve the installation of 15,000 metres of leaky feeder technology, 15,000 metres of fibre, nine repeaters and antennas at the tunnel portal and the stations within the tunnel infrastructure.

Tunnelling work across London for the £14.8bn Crossrail scheme has recently been completed, with prime minister David Cameron hailing the project as an “engineering triumph”.

As an enabler for Crossrail, the project will contribute towards massively increasing consumer choice, making Heathrow a more commutable option for many travellers, says ADComms’ senior project manager Fay Neill.

“This is an important project which, by enabling Crossrail trains to run, will deliver an improved experience for passengers. Commuters will have more choice as to their preferred route in and out of the city of London, with the option to use Heathrow Connect, Heathrow Express or Crossrail.”

“Our contract win is a testament to our established industry expertise and follows on from our highly successful leaky feeder installation across Merseyrail in Liverpool,”
adds ADComms chief executive Jason Pearce.
“We are delighted to be involved and are looking forward to getting started.”

Awarded to ADComms in June, the project is scheduled to complete in July 2016.

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