Summative Assessment B
You work for Optimal Rail (OR), a TOC owning company which is bidding for the twenty year East Central passenger train franchise. As part of its franchise bid OR proposes to upgrade the Olland Valley Line . The route is currently single track and is signalled using a mixture of TCB and RETB . Your operations and engineering colleagues have sketched out a proposal for redoubling and upgrading most of the line. The aim is to reduce journey times and increase capacity to support a major improvement to the service. The briefing paper provided (see below) provides a plan of the route and the proposed changes to track layout. It also outlines the services to be operated and provides background information. Your Operations Director is about to meet with Network Rail’s signalling engineers to discuss the proposed upgrade and has asked for a briefing paper which sets out the resignalling options for the line as you see them
1. Summarise the issues which need to be considered in coming up with a solution.
2. Critically analyse the strengths and limitations of the current RETB system.
3. Consider resignalling options and prepare a shortlist of not less than three candidate solutions
4. Rank your candidate solutions in order of preference, based on a summary of the benefits, order of magnitude costs and risks of each.
a) the order of magnitude cost estimates should be derived from a high level cost model for each option. The cost models may be placed in an Appendix which will not be included in the word count.
b) In order to answer this assignment within the word count you are encouraged to make use of diagrams, maps and tables to convey your ideas concisely. See the guidance in the Module Handbook.
Total 800 words (50% of total module marks)
– Supporting Information Olland Valley Line – Briefing Paper.
The Olland Valley Line runs for 44 miles from Primrose Bank Junction, north of Leicester on the Midland Main Line (MML), via Tarnby and the Olland Tunnel to Claypole South Junction on the East Coast Main Line (ECML), south of Newark. (See Fig 1). The route was built in 1869 and was originally two track throughout. The Olland Tunnel was singled for gauge clearance reasons in the 1950s. The rest of the line was singled in 1983, with passing loops at Tarnby, Easton, South Welland, North Welland and Penhill. The section from Claypole South to Langton was resignalled in the late 1970s using route relay interlocking with colour light signals and controlled from the PSB at Doncaster. This equipment is planned for renewal in the next 5 years. The plans for ECML include deployment of ERTMS Level 2. The section from Langton to Tarnby was converted to RETB in 1983, controlled from the remaining signal box at Easton. The line from Tarnby to Primrose Bank is controlled from Leicester SCC (SSI interlocking). The current passenger service, operated by Class 15x diesel multiple units, runs hourly from Leicester to Tarnby, with four trains per day going through to Newark. Up to three multimodal trains run per day from the Midland Main Line to the container terminal at Easton, onward distribution being currently by road. Until 2018 four heavy haul coal trains per day ran from the East Coast Main Line to Gaddesby power station, now closed. Government has provided incentives for the construction of a new “garden city” at Tarnby and is prepared to guarantee funding for an upgrade to the route as part of its overall strategy for economic growth in the region. The franchise ITT asks bidders to work with Network Rail to develop a preferred solution for this. OR’s proposals to expand the current service are as follows: · Four trains per hour from Leicester to Tarnby, with one of these trains per hour running through to Doncaster, stopping at all stations. · Hourly service from Birmingham to Hull, calling only at Leicester, Tarnby, Newark and Doncaster. The expansion requires substantial reductions in journey time in order to attract traffic. Easton container terminal has plans for a major expansion, requiring up to twelve movements per day to be handled. Half the trains will be routed via Primrose Bank and half via Langton. Your engineering colleagues propose the following track layout enhancements to deliver the enhanced service (see Fig 2):
1. Replacement of the single lead 25mph layouts at Primrose Bank and Claypole South with 60mph double track junctions (primarily to minimise impact of diverging trains on the main line)
2. Double track reinstated throughout, except through the Olland Tunnel
3. Increase in line speed throughout to 75 mph (except in the Olland Tunnel where structural problems require retention of 40mph).
4. New reception sidings and facilities for locomotive run-round at Easton (cost to be covered by terminal operator)
5. Gaddesby power station siding (currently OOU) formally abandoned and turnout plain lined Operations have studied the layout and are satisfied that it can carry the prospective traffic, subject to signalling arrangements. Planners have developed a draft timetable which requires a 5 minute planning headway between Primrose Bank and Tarnby and a 15 minute planning headway between Tarnby and Claypole South.
Use Diagram below for Lodon to Doncaster Route Knowledge
GUIDELINES ON ANSWERING ESSAY QUESTIONS
1. Read the question carefully. Check that the draft response meets the requirements and answers the question.
2. When answering the question, presume the reader knows nothing about your proposals, but does understand basic railway terminology and the assignment background. This helps to demonstrate to the tutor that you know the full facts of what you are seeking to explain but avoids unnecessary words.
3. Think carefully about what you want to explain, and how to present facts in a logical order. Start with an introduction and finish with a conclusion (except in multiple short question assignments).
4. It is a good idea to make preparatory notes in rough. Prepare an outline of what you want to include. Check you’ve included relevant facts and examples you want to mention. Then think about how to present them by writing a draft answer, which you can check before writing your final version.