Manchester Metrolink

UK: Transport for Greater Manchester has appointed rolling stock engineering consultancy DB ESG and hardware manufacturer Sella Controls to design, install and commission driver vigilance devices and a Tram Overspeed Protection Systems for the 147 Metrolink light rail vehicles.

DB ESG previously worked with Sella Controls to deploy a Physical Prevention of Over-Speeding system on the London Trams network.

The Metrolink DVD and TOPS will be based on Sella Controls’ Tracklink III and EKE Electronics’ Trainnet technologies, with GPS and other information used to determine tram location and speed. The driver will be alerted in the event of over-speeding, and if there is no response the brakes will be applied automatically.

The protection system will operate independently of other tram monitoring systems.

The LRVs already have a device that applies the emergency brake in the event of a driver becoming incapacitated, and a modification to the traction brake system will enable a response to be requested from the driver if no movement is detected.

The deployment comes in the light of recommendations made by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch after its investigation of the fatal derailment on the London Trams network at Sandilands in Croydon in 2016.

TfGM and network operator KeolisAmey Metrolink have worked to implement RAIB recommendations, with lower speed limits in certain locations, additional hazard signage, an improved driver training simulator, enhanced medical standards and proactive speed monitoring.

New technologies were explored on behalf of the Light Rail Safety & Standards Board to develop specifications for the safety systems.

‘Metrolink has an exemplary safety record, but following the tragedy in Croydon, and through the subsequent RAIB recommendations, we have taken steps to enhance this even further and have played an industry-leading role by participating in trials of innovative technology to monitor driver attention and vehicle over-speeding’, said TfGM’s Head of Metrolink Danny Vaughan on May 24.

’Metrolink is the largest and most complex light rail system in the country, and we’ve worked very closely with leading industry experts to ensure we get the right solution.’