BACKGROUND – AN OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT SITUATION
In March 2015 RSS were approached by SRA working on the North Lincolnshire Re-signalling Scheme. The project limits are from Scunthorpe Foreign Ore Junction, through Wrawby Junction to Barton Upon Humber, Immingham and Cleethorpes. Due to the amount of freight traffic travelling through the area, access was limited to standard rules of the route access of Saturday nights only. Siemens requested the support of RSS to assist in increasing the track access available to their signalling engineers, but without disrupting any strategic freight services in this key transport corridor.
Initially, Siemens requested RSS to provide either a fully Automatic Track Warning System (ATWS) or a Lookout Operated Warning System (LOWS) which would allow their teams track access for testing purposes of level crossings, AWS and other various signal testing procedures. Their current SSOW being employed was by way of line blockages which meant long stand down times between trains of up to 30 minutes. As the majority of work was undertaken during daytime hours this presented genuine challenges in terms of productivity.
SOLUTION – HOW WE IMPROVED SAFE TRACK ACCESS
Following several meetings with the client it was decided to use a LOWS option due to the flexibility of the system allowing sites to be moved around in a more cost effective way to the client. This system would also be used at night, again negating the need for line blockages and the associated paperwork and time constraints.
The next step was for RSS to map the whole project finding the best locations for the LOWS Lookouts and central processing units to ensure signal strength and continuity of the system. Additionally RSS monitored train movements through Barnetby Station which gave an indication of the stand down time.
With this information we generated 35 LOWS plans that were issued to the LOWS teams and the client to assist their own teams on site, SSOW planners and provided the exact location needed by SRA. The client would then be able to arrange for the LOWS teams to be in the right place just by informing us of the LOWS site plan number they wished to use at the planning stage.
|FIG 1: EXAMPLE OF LOWS PLAN KILLINGHOLME TO BROCKLESBY||FIG. 2 – LOWS WORKER OPERATING A HANDSET|
CONCLUSIONS / RESULTS – WHAT BENEFIT WAS THIS FOR THE CLIENT
We have now been working with Siemens since 20/07/2015 covering Monday to Friday day shifts and Sunday to Thursday night shifts. The equipment provided by RSS has proved to be very reliable in this area and has allowed access without the need for line blockages – resulting in a significant increase in productivity for the signalling teams.
Feedback from the client is that SRA feel confident in the equipment and that the LOWS teams are very professional whilst carrying out their duties. The flexibility of the LOWS system has increased access to the track, therefore increasing productivity in a very cost effective manner.