Thameslink – The Incredible Journey

Summary

Lessons learned report from the Network Rail Thameslink project.

Apart from the visible civil engineering challenges of major station reconstructions through the heart of London and the complexity of London Bridge redesign. Thameslink Programme has pioneered the Network Rail Digital Railway capability. The operational achievements of sustaining services during these changes and meeting throughput targets for Thameslink Programme of 24 trains per hour can easily be overlooked.

There was no precedence for the size and complexity of re-signalling London Bridge station and certainly not for maintaining operational running whilst it was being updated. In addition, the installation of a range of technology and assets underground has meant that normal GPRS systems could not be used, particularly in Snow Hill tunnel. The programme has pioneered the use of 3D modelling techniques to manage the location and deployment of asset replacement in the Snow Hill tunnel as it was out of the range of GPRS.

This enabled an understanding of the “As Is” position and where new assets should be installed. Post installation, the asset location can be validated and accurate drawing provided as part of acceptance. A management challenge that was overcome was the traditional approach of having DPEs from different disciplines. This made final authority for the design too difficult. Thameslink Programme have deployed an approach whereby there is a coordination of DPE per work package, this has meant an increase in multi-skilling across the engineering disciplines.

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