A year of progress… with the prom­ise of more to come

Rail (UK) - - Letters -

This is a time of ma­jor op­por­tu­nity for the UK rail in­dus­try, with an un­prece­dented num­ber of trans­for­ma­tional projects re­cently in­tro­duced or in the pipe­line.

How­ever, the past few months have also been chal­leng­ing for the in­dus­try, with rail timetabling is­sues hav­ing a detri­men­tal im­pact on pas­sen­ger con­fi­dence.

But while it’s im­por­tant to recog­nise the chal­lenges our in­dus­try faces, there is also plenty to cel­e­brate given all the great work the UK rail in­dus­try has pro­duced over the past year. We are see­ing more in­no­va­tion in the sec­tor than ever be­fore, with ad­vance­ments in rail tech­nolo­gies and man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques promis­ing to rev­o­lu­tionise the pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence and con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween UK towns and cities.

Siemens Mo­bil­ity Lim­ited is proud to be play­ing its part in driv­ing for­ward the UK rail in­dus­try. As we come to the end of the first three months op­er­at­ing as a sep­a­rate en­tity in the UK, it seems apt to re­flect on some of the ways we’re con­tribut­ing to the in­dus­try’s suc­cess: mak­ing in­fra­struc­ture in­tel­li­gent; in­creas­ing value sus­tain­ably over the en­tire life­cy­cle; en­hanc­ing the pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence and guar­an­tee­ing avail­abil­ity.

Our rail-fo­cused busi­nesses have reached a num­ber of key mile­stones over the past year. For ex­am­ple, in March, our Rail Au­toma­tion team suc­cess­fully com­pleted the com­mis­sion­ing of the fi­nal stage of the North Wales Coast Res­ig­nalling Pro­gramme. This was fol­lowed by our Thames­link sig­nalling sys­tem go­ing live last month, fa­cil­i­tat­ing 24 trains per hour through the cen­tral sec­tion at Lon­don Bridge.

We also wel­comed Wil­liam Wil­son as the new UK Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of our Rolling Stock Divi­sion, and con­tin­ued to de­liver state-of-the-art rolling stock for UK pas­sen­gers. This in­cluded: the Class 717 fleet, the first of which ar­rived in the UK in July and will be shown at In­no­Trans in Septem­ber; the in­tro­duc­tion of Eurostar e320 ser­vices to Am­s­ter­dam; and build­ing and hand­ing over the 115th and fi­nal Class 700 train for Thames­link. In fact, most of the new com­muter fleet of trains in the past ten years are ei­ther made or main­tained by Siemens.

And there is more in the pipe­line. In March we also an­nounced plans to build a new fac­tory in Goole, in the East Rid­ing of York­shire, to man­u­fac­ture and com­mis­sion trains. We hope to in­vest up to £ 200 mil­lion and cre­ate up to 700 skilled jobs in en­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing through the project, if we are able to meet cer­tain in­vest­ment cri­te­ria.

Mean­while, our Rail Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion busi­ness is at the heart of the East Coast Main Line Power Sup­ply Up­grade Project, work­ing as part of the Rail Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Al­liance to en­hance the power sup­ply and over­head line equip­ment on the line. And then there’s our In­tel­li­gent Traf­fic Sys­tems (ITS) busi­ness, which has been win­ning ma­jor projects in Lon­don - in­clud­ing the con­tract to de­liver a new Real Time Op­ti­miser (RTO) traf­fic con­trol so­lu­tion for Lon­don’s en­tire road net­work.

It has been a very ex­cit­ing year so far, and there is plenty more to come as we fo­cus on driv­ing for­ward the dig­i­tal rail­way. We are con­fi­dent that we can con­tinue to build on the suc­cesses of the past year, and play a key role in ma­jor trans­port schemes that de­liver tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits for pas­sen­gers and demon­strate the cru­cial con­tri­bu­tion which rail makes to the UK.

“We are see­ing more in­no­va­tion in the sec­tor than ever be­fore, with ad­vance­ments in rail tech­nolo­gies and man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques.”

CEO Siemens Mo­bil­ity Lim­ited Gor­don Wake­ford,

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