“The challenge on the Ferriby to Gilberdyke (F2G) resignalling project was how to replace life expired signalling assets with a new signalling system in a safe, passenger efficient, reliable and sustainable way. Step forward a Network Rail collaboration with its suppliers and a consortium of Hitachi Rail STS, Linbrooke Services Ltd plus Arup signalling designers to successfully achieve this goal in December 2018. Covering 22 miles of railway between Saltmarshe and Gilberdyke and between Howden and Hessle, the project required the installation of over 50 new LED signals and associated equipment cabinets for signalling, telecoms and power plus upgrades to 12 level crossings in the project area. A conventional signalling system would require 17 relocatable equipment buildings (REBs) to be installed.
The team achieved an amazing 75% reduction in both concrete use and earthworks and eliminated the need for security fencing around the equipment. The carbon savings from this measure alone was more than 11 tonnes. Improved equipment reliability with better passenger service came from developing a new, smaller, temperature-controlled location case (TCL) to reduce the number of REBs required. This was done by introducing the ability for sensitive signalling equipment to be located lineside in an alternative controlled temperature environment, cooled by natural ventilation instead of air conditioning. Removing the need for REBs with associated air conditioning and having naturally air cooled TCL saves over 300 tonnes of carbon emissions over their design life. The TCL is a Hitachi Rail STS product. It was designed to minimise the number of REBs yet maintaining a high level of capacity to control various types of signalling assets throughout the scheme.
TCL comprises a ventilated Location Case designed to host signalling equipment of different types (Relays, Power Supplies, Electronic Racks and others) as an alternative temperature-controlled environment with a smaller footprint than an REB. This change enabled the new signalling system to be efficiently deployed by the project Consortium supported by Arup and in collaboration with Network Rail. Introducing the TCLs reduced the requirement for 17 REBs to utilise 17 TCLs instead.
The TCLs contain three compartments, which are open to each other on the inside for an easy access to different parts of the installation and wiring. Two compartments are dedicated mainly to 19-inch Racking to install object controller racks, axle counter racks and similar; DIN rails are present in these Two compartments to allow easy installation of various DIN rail mounted devices. The Third compartment is an equivalent of a half width BRB Location Case which can be used to install Relays, TPWS and various signalling components. This compartment is where external wiring cable terminals as well as fuses are located.
TCLs are 2.2m by 1.2m whereas REBs are 6m by 2.4m. A REB would also require a fenced compound minimum of 8m by 3.5m and associated earthworks, access points and associated air conditioning requiring distribution network operator electricity supply (DNO). In contrast a TCL requires a small hardstanding 3.5m by 2.6m with no requirement for a security fence. This leads to substantial reduction in rail civils works including volume of concrete, fencing and earthworks as well as Carbon saving due to the lower power requirements on the signalling feeder and size of the corresponding backup generator. The table below summarises the reduction in key civil volumes due to the overall reduction from replacing 17 REBs with TCLs. The TCL is a IP54 rated enclosure, which reduces the likelihood of equipment failing. This improves reliability and leads to a better passenger service.
REB TCL Reduction (%)
Volume of Concrete (m3) 53 m3 10 m3 75%
Length of Fencing (m) 390 m 0 m 100%
Volume of buildings for cooling (m3) 560 m3 41 m2 93%
Area of earthworks (m2) 462 m2 110 m2 76%“