Red-M and Network Rail Work Together to Successfully Complete Phase 1 of the Railway Communication System Tunnel Radio Design

In early 2006 Network Rail appointed Red-M for the initial design phase of in-tunnel solutions across the UK rail network.
Railway tunnels vary in length, gradient, width and height, so the design of an in-tunnel wireless system that ensures full radio coverage is non-trivial. An in-tunnel system must provide the necessary signal strength whilst a train is inside a tunnel but also enable seamless and uninterrupted connectivity with the external railway communication system network when the train enters and exits the tunnel. Providing effective radio coverage within and throughout a tunnel poses a number of technical challenges that requires specialist skills and knowledge to solve.
Under the guidance of Red-M’s Radio Design Manager, Red-M based a team of experienced RF Engineers and Tunnel Surveyors at Network Rail’s offices in London. Red-M’s team supported the survey and design process, ensuring that the strict specifications needed for the railway communication system and required by Network Rail within tunnels were met: namely, to operate safely and have reliable wireless communications. The solutions are designed utilising radio repeaters in order for the most cost-effective deployment to be implemented.
In the first phase of the project, Red-M has delivered 176 desktop tunnel designs: but as every tunnel is unique, Red-M then had to assess and evaluate the nature and scope of each. This resulted in Red-M carrying out site surveys on 165 of the tunnels and, after analysing the surveys, the company has now completed full, detailed designs for 115 of these tunnels across the UK.
Red-M’s involvement with Network Rail was part of the national rollout by the UK’s rail infrastructure operator of a new essential safety system, using a telecommunications network consisting of fixed (FTN) and wireless (GSM-R) technology.
Commenting on the first phase completion, Neil Clark, Red-M’s CEO, said: “This project highlights Red-M’s expertise in working in environments that are difficult and challenging ones for wireless to work properly and effectively. Red-M is proud to be the chosen professional services partner of Network Rail in such a prestigious project, delivering the first phase on time to assist in improving its infrastructure for the benefit of rail travellers across the UK.”
Notes to the editor
About Red-M
Red-M is a wireless professional services company that provides consultancy, audit, design, implementation, systems integration and management services. Through its services, Red-M provides insight into the benefits and challenges of current and future wireless technologies and creates mission critical wireless networks that are delivered to requirements, right, first time.
Red-M has successfully completed 1000s of radio projects including over 300 major wireless systems in a range of diverse and challenging locations, including corporate buildings (e.g. Canary Wharf), most of the major airports in the UK (Heathrow), large shopping centres (Meadowhall), key UK sporting venues (Millennium Stadium), train stations (Waterloo), and hospitals (Bristol).
The company’s capabilities span all wireless technologies including Cellular (2G, 3G & GSM-R) PMR, Wi-Fi and WiMAX, and its customers include 3, Airwave, BAA, British Land, Bullring, Network Rail, O2, Ofcom, and T-Mobile.
Independent of equipment vendors and technologies, Red-M enables organisations to fully realise the benefits of wireless systems by delivering high quality solutions through an integrated five step cycle of best practice.
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