A major project undertaken on the Glasgow Subway has won the prestigious IEE Award for Advancement of Railway System Safety. This was presented by John Armitt, Chief Executive of Network Rail, when he gave the Annual Lecture to the Railway Professional Network.

The project for the Glasgow Subway was the result of co-operation between Henry Williams Ltd, Hyder Consulting UK Ltd and Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) and involved the replacement of a traditional Electro-Mechanical Trainstop System, which is used to stop the trains on the subway if they should try to pass a signal at danger. Whilst the exisiting trainstop system has been successfully operating for many years, it was becoming increasingly onerous to maintain and was resulting in 150 disruptions a year to the travelling public.

The new system is based on an electronic beacon mounted in the track and a sensor on each train to achieve the same protection but, as it effectively has no moving parts, the reliability and maintenance are dramatically improved. In practice, there have been zero failures and a saving of 5000 man-hours of maintenance in the first 12 months of operation.

The IEE award was won by three engineers who work for the organisations involved in the project, Ed Gerrard (Hyder Consulting UK Ltd), David Hughes (Henry Williams Ltd), and Watson Peat (SPT), and recognises the considerations given to the functionality required, the whole life costs, simplicity of approval and ease of maintenance.

The photograph shows John Armitt presenting the award to representatives of the three participating companies:

(left to right)
Jim Douglas, General Manager Subway, Strathclyde Passenger Transport
Alan Puddick, Managing Director Electrical Projects, Henry Williams Ltd
John Armitt, Chief Executive, Network Rail
Ed Gerrard, Principal Consultant, Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd