May 30, 2014

Railway SoftwareAccording to a recent press release, Network Rail’s plans to develop a higher performance railway across the nation have taken a step forward as they have awarded contracts for the first phase of their innovative traffic management system for Britain’s railways.

Contracts have been awarded to Thales UK, one of three global suppliers who have been working with Network Rail since 2012 to develop and test a traffic management software prototype to deploy traffic management technology at Network Rail’s Cardiff and Romford operating centres by December 2015.

Traffic management technology is at the core of Network Rail’s operation strategy, as they are in the midst of a project that will consolidate control of Britain’s rail network from more than 800 signal boxes into 12 state-of-the-art rail operating centers over the next 15-30 years. Once this project is completed, industry efficiency and passenger safety should be increased along with reduced delays and more accurate and timely information being sent to staff and passengers.

Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s managing director of network operations, said about the project’s development in the release, “As the number of people and businesses relying on rail continues to grow, it is vital we have the technology to make the best use of Britain’s rail infrastructure. The traffic management which will be deployed on the network uses tried and tested technology used on railways around the world to help deliver a leaner, more efficient and reliable network.”

Embedded software will likely be the driving force behind the highly automated system that will allow larger areas of the network to be controlled from fewer locations. Network Rail’s project has been inspired by the successes of various traffic management systems around the world, and they hope through the use of embedded software and other technologies, Britain’s complex rail network will be safer and more simplified.

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