Latest facts and figures:
- London Overground Rail Operations are now live on GSM-R
- CA15 Goes live, this concludes South of the Severn-Wash GSM-R network
- Steam locomotives - Flying Scotsman and Olton Hall are now GSM-R ready
Our library of useful documents covers a number of subjects. It is updated regularly to help you keep up to speed with the GSM-R project.
NEW Training videos
Network Rail has produced a range of training videos for GSM-R users that show details on how to use the fixed terminal.
29 March 2012
Industry gives green light for Network Change
In a ground-breaking approach to Network Change, the UK rail industry has cleared the way for nationwide introduction of GSM-R cab radio communication.
With a process for addressing Train Operating companies’ objections identified and a framework for compensation in place, the Train Operators are now clear to sign commercial agreements that will see drivers’ cabs in the south fully fitted for GSM-R and using the new system by the end of 2012. The switch to GSM-R north of the Severn-Wash line will be completed before the end of the Control Period (March 2014).
Dave Palmer, Programme Sponsor of the FTN/GSM-R project, says collaboration and innovation have resulted in a neat solution that allows NCN5 – the formal Network Change notice for the rollout of GSM-R into every cab on the railway – to proceed without financial risk to Train Operators. “There are two pre-requisites for implementation of change: resolution of all reasonable objections and agreement on compensation or a method of calculating it. We are now able to implement NCN5 as we have the tools to complete these commercial agreements. As a result, Train Operators will be able to proceed with full fitment and operational use of GSM-R radios.”
He says: “After extensive collaboration involving Network Rail, ATOC and a consultative group of Train Operators, we have developed Operator-specific Network Change Delivery Plans that build confidence in the Programme and address all reasonable objections by setting out actions and timescales for all deliverables. We have also produced a template Compensation Framework Agreement to overcome the ‘risk’ element for Train Operators. Together, these developments allow us to reach formal agreement on Network Change with each of the Operators.”
The principle of Network Change was introduced with privatisation to provide a mechanism for protecting a Train Operator’s interests if the infrastructure owner initiated changes which have the potential to impact an Operator’s costs or performance, says Dave Palmer.
“GSM-R is the biggest Network Change to date, affecting the entire infrastructure as well as every Train Operator, train and driver. The introduction of GSM-R depends heavily on Train Operator support in terms of fitment and training ahead of the actual implementation of the change. As a result, instead of a ‘big bang’ Network Change, we have adopted an incremental approach based on completion areas with a primary go-live involving the lead Operator and secondary go-lives for other Operators in the area.”
He says achieving the universal agreement on Network Change has been a slow and difficult process – complicated by the inflexible deadline at the end of 2012 when frequencies used for existing NRN cab radios are being reallocated. NCN5 began as a collaborative exercise between Network Rail, ATOC and FirstGroup (whose Strathclyde services were used for GSM-R trials). The draft notice was informally discussed with other Operators, and formally published in April 2010.