New trains and tunnels for the Jubilee Line extension
A GEC Alsthom case study

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Page 4: Engineering department

Engineering is a core activity of Metro Cammell. It is important to develop a centre of excellence in engineering which serves all projects throughout the business. Each train is being built as a six-car unit - combining two sets of three cars. Of the six cars, four are powered. Some of the features of the new trains include:

  • developments in passenger safety
  • improved passenger features
  • air-conditioned cabs
  • central nervous system known as the train management system (TMS)
  • a ‘black box’ incident recorder
  • improved traction drive and braking.

Gec Alsthom 2 Image 4The Engineering Department is responsible for the technical integrity of company products. This includes product compliance with the statutory and legal requirements which apply to the customer’s railway. All matters which relate to technical performance of the train are the responsibility of the Engineering Department. These include the integration of different systems in the manufacture of the product, the application of all equipment and parts used in the manufacture and the proper interfacing of all on-board train systems with each other.

Each train is made up of many thousands of components, each of which has to be designed to high specifications. The Project Engineering team convert specifications into plans, sketches and drawings to provide a pictorial representation of a train showing each part within a system. The requirements for trains are complex and there are occasions where trade-offs have to take place in design requirements. The latest design technology including Computer Aided Design help to ensure designs meet specifications.

Systems Department

Rolling stock is part of a railway system which carries safety and reliability risks. The Systems Department within Engineering is a specialist analysis department. It has rigid routines with inescapable ‘flags and handles’ to ensure safety and reliability. Other key responsibilities include the compatibility of electrical equipment to interface with other equipment on each train, product software design assurance, air conditioning and  the design and installation of communications equipment.

Systems engineering involves a much wider role than equipment ‘engineering’ covering the full range of engineering activities within the company. It is a logical process employed in the orderly evolution of a system from the point where the contract is awarded, through planning, design, construction, testing and the ultimate deployment and operation by the user.

GEC Alsthom | New trains and tunnels for the Jubilee Line extension