Signalling success at Hornsey Depot

VolkerRail, on behalf of Siemens, has installed and commissioned a fully integrated and interlocked depot signalling system at the newly developed train care depot, in Hornsey.


Working closely with Network Rail and train operating company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), this four-year project culminated with signal testing and installation completion works over the two May Bank Holiday weekends.

The depot’s new signalling system replaced the existing hand-worked points with a fully interlocked route relay interlocking signalling system; fully integrated with an innovative depot personnel protection system (DPPS). These newly installed systems operate from a new NX panel, located in the depot’s newly purpose built signalling Control Centre.

The depot’s new signalling system consists of 45,000m of line-side cabling, 31 locations cases, relocatable equipment buildings, 72 signals and 60 motorised points each fitted with an innovative hand mechanism. The interlocking consists of 2,200 relays and 33,000 wire runs, totalling 155,000m in length.

Simon Linnemans, Hornsey project director for Siemens, complemented the achievements to date: “These latest upgrades mark a major milestone in the Hornsey Depot project, part of the wider Thameslink Programme. We are delighted that the work will help to increase the depot’s operational efficiency and safety. I congratulate the delivery team on meeting the challenge and thank them for their continued dedication and effort.”

Erik Twigt, project manager at VolkerRail, said: “The successful commissioning is the result of four years of careful planning; working closely with all stakeholders to ensure the depot signalling system is fully integrated with the mainline signalling system and with a DPPS system. The successful delivery and commissioning is a credit to all the teams involved”.

The new depot, currently under construction by VolkerRail’s sister company, VolkerFitzpatrick, also benefits from increased stabling capacity, new roads equipped with controlled emission toilet facilities, a new maintenance facility building and two train-washes. The new train washes use reclaimed water from the washing cycle plus rain water harvested from roof drainage to reduce environmental impact and minimise the use of mains water.

Hornsey traincare facility is part of Siemens’ wider investment in the UK through the Thameslink Programme. The upgraded facilities at the Hornsey depot will enable more trains to be maintained and serviced to meet the increase in passenger demand in the south east. The depot, which will stable the new Class 700 fleet being built by Siemens, is on target to open in Summer 2016.