London Bridge Station Redevelopment: 2013 - 2018
Written by: Business Communications | Published:

(Advertorial) London Bridge Station was first opened in December 1836 and is the capital’s oldest as well as one of Britain’s busiest railway stations. Back in 1836 the station was a simple building providing a booking hall, company offices and only two platforms.

During the 1850s and 1860s passenger numbers steadily increased as new lines were developed taking the railway further into the City and West End. By the late 1960s London Bridge Station had reached capacity causing British Rail to undertake a major redevelopment of the station which included a new signalling system.

In 2013 a £1bn redevelopment was started, with Network Rail proclaiming it was a ‘shining example’ of investment. The redevelopment was to be carried out over a 5-year period and throughout this time it was crucial that 100% two-way radio coverage of the site was maintained. This was to include the vast network of interlinked tunnels and existing platforms and concourses.

Business Communications, an experienced supplier and installer of Motorola Solutions two-way radio systems, was awarded the 5-year contract in 2012 to provide, install and maintain the radio network system. The radio system planning phase took from December 2012 - January 2013 with Business Communications beginning the work in February 2013 and completing the initial works in May 2013.

Following discussions with Costain, the main contractor, it had been decided to have one system for all contractors, providing emergency communication in the event of an incident and daily critical communication, in either group, private or all call format. It was also imperative that there was constant and reliable two-way radio communication between management and various work groups. Each Tower Crane and the Crawler Crane operated independently with the Banksmen via separate back to back channels.

Business Communications designed and installed a three repeater, 6-channel MOTOTRBO™ Capacity Plus system from Motorola Solutions which provided radio coverage throughout the site via a Distributed Antenna System (DAS). This system supported more than 330 MOTOTRBO DP4400 hand portable radio users.

As the redevelopment progressed the DAS had to be modified due to the continuation of the demolition and building works. Each modification necessitated a redesign of the system. Where lengths and direction of the cable runs changed, recalculation of the signal losses resulted in substitution of directional couplers and antenna types. By this stage the use of folded dipole antennas had become the norm.

During the contract period the ongoing building work made it necessary to relocate the repeater cabinet three times, approximately 20 - 50 metres each time. When a coverage problem did occur, usually due to damage caused during demolition, Business Communications would investigate the issue using sophisticated test equipment to determine the exact location of the damaged cable within this vast and complex site.

RF coverage was also required for the immediate surrounding highways and the adjacent project site offices. The local council had decreed that the adjacent highways could not be closed or blocked for haulage entering or leaving the site and this was overcome by providing RF coverage to the holding area located some distance away in Druid Street. The radio system then provided a simple method to prepare and time the entrance and exit of haulage, significantly improving site logistics and enabling project timelines to be met.

The strategic location of London Bridge Station in Central London means it is an extremely busy area for vehicles, including buses, taxis, rail and London Underground. As a result, the station and surrounding streets can be congested. This added to the complexity of the environment and the radio system helped to facilitate safe working in such proximity to the public.

Maintenance and the on-going management of the system was required during this mainly 24-hour operation and during this time the station remained, by and large, open throughout these works.

On 9th May 2018 Prince William officially opened the new redeveloped London Bridge Station which now has 15 platforms and is set to serve 54 million people a year.

For more information please contact Business Communications via enquiry@businesscomms.co.uk or 01252 617 116 or visit www.businesscomms.co.uk



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