Alstom  has been awarded a contract by Network Rail for the full re-signalling of the Great Western Main Line between Reading and Paddington in the west of London. This major contract is worth over €100 million .
Network Rail and Alstom have worked in close collaboration to develop an interlocking solution based on Alstom’s Smartlockrange that will be ready for ETCS installation allowing trains with ETCS capability to operate on that section of the line. Smartlock interlocking proven solutions has been developed for the most complex and challenging major railway re-signalling projects. The works, which include both the renewal of the existing Interlocking and some track remodelling, have already started in order to maintain the tight delivery programme. They are due to reach completion by the end of 2017.
“ Alstom is very proud to take part in this project and will provide Network Rail with state-of-the-art, proven and reliable solutions” declared Nick Crossfield, Managing Director Train Control solutions in UK.
In February 2014, Alstom joint venture, ABC Electrification Ltd, had been selected as one of four suppliers to deliver a €2.4 billion electrification programme which will electrify more than 3000 kilometres of Britain’s railways over the next seven years. In November 2015, Alstom was awarded a Network Rail framework agreement to design and develop European Train Control System (ETCS level 2) using Alstom’s proven Atlas technology, and was awarded recently a first contract to deploy ETCS trainborne solution on intercity trains.
Alstom is now responsible for providing signalling renewals and enhancements as primary supplier in three out of eight geographical regions in the UK: Central East, Great Western Inner and Great Western Outer. Alstom also is the secondary supplier in four other geographical regions: Scotland, Central West, Wales and Western and Kent and Anglia.
 Through SSL: Alstom acquired 100% of Signalling Solutions Ltd (SSL), in the United Kingdom in May 2015. On 1 April 2016 SSL was formally integrated into Alstom.
 Booked in Q4 of fiscal year 2015/16
About Smartlock 400
The latest generation in computer-based interlocking systems for station and line control, Smartlock 400 reduces operating costs through the full automation of route settings and direct links to station services such as passenger information systems. The fully integrated train detection system, direct interface with point machines and signals (no need for traditional signalling relays) and remote diagnostics help to reduce maintenance costs. Installation can be simplified thanks to the system’s modular architecture and extensive factory testing of the final configuration.
At about 11:13 hrs on Tuesday 12 May 2015, a tram collided with and seriously injured a pedestrian, shortly after leaving Market Street tram stop in central Manchester. The pedestrian had just alighted from the tram and was walking along the track towards Piccadilly.
The accident occurred because the pedestrian did not move out of the path of the tram and because the driver did not apply the tram’s brakes in time to avoid striking the pedestrian.
As a result of this accident, RAIB has made three recommendations. One is made to Metrolink RATP Dev Ltd in conjunction with Transport for Greater Manchester, to review the assessment of risk from tram operations throughout the pedestrianised area in the vicinity of Piccadilly Gardens.
A second is made to UK Tram, to make explicit provision for the assessment of risk, in areas where trams and pedestrians/cyclists share the same space, in its guidance for the design and operation of urban tramways.
A further recommendation is made to Metrolink RATP Dev Ltd, to improve its care of staff involved in an accident.
At around 21:40 hrs on 26 July 2015, a passenger train derailed after striking eight cows that had gained access to the railway at Godmersham in Kent, between Wye and Chilham stations. There had been a report of a cow on the railway an hour earlier, but a subsequent examination by the driver of the next passing train did not find anything. There were no further reports from other trains that passed before the accident occurred.
The train involved in the accident was travelling at 69 mph (111 km/h) at the point of impact. There were 67 passengers on board plus three members of staff; no injuries were reported at the time of the accident. Because the train’s radio had ceased to work during the accident, the driver ran for about three-quarters of a mile towards an oncoming train, which had already been stopped by the signaller, and used its radio to report the accident.
The accident occurred because the fence had not been maintained so as to restrain cows from breaching it, and because the railway’s response to the earlier report of a cow on the railway side of the fence was insufficient to prevent the accident. In addition, the absence of an obstacle deflector on the leading unit of the train made the derailment more likely.
As a result of this accident, RAIB has made five recommendations addressing the fence inspection process, clarification of railway rules in response to reports of large animals within the boundary fence, the fitting of obstacle deflectors to rolling stock (two recommendations), and the reliability of the train radio equipment.
RAIB has also identified two learning points for the railway industry, relating to the railway’s response to emergency situations, including the response to reports of large animals within the boundary fence and the actions to take following an accident.