GSM-R involves the design and installation of new infrastructure to support the provision of secure voice and data communications over Network Rail Controlled Infrastructure.
The Fixed Telecom Network (FTN) works involves the replacement of the existing cable and transmission network on Network Rail Controlled Infrastructure to support GSM-R.
The project based on the West Coast mainline involved the construction of a number of base stations comprising steel tower masts - MONO or LATTIS - 15 / 29m high and Relocatable Equipment Buildings (REBs). The works also included the installation of TEH cabinets, PES / metering cabinets, aqua chambers / Stakka boxes, troughing and permanent access required for Network Rail maintenance.
The GSM-R base station sites were linked to each other and to Core Nodes by fibre optic cables. The main challenges faced on the project were coordinating the construction works with the “live” rail network to minimise disruption and providing power supplies to the REBs from the existing electrical infrastructure, or arranging new connections from the grid.
Paul Osborne was employed by contractors BAM Nuttall and Finchpalm to coordinate the electrical works including specialist earthing and lightning protection measures, and was appointed by Network Rail as Contractors Responsible Engineer (CRE) for the project.