Thales SelTrac technology plays key role in DLR upgrade success

Thales UK has supported Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in its recent multi-million pound upgrade works to enable it to run its first public three-car services in the capital. The project, which involved extending platforms and upgrading track and infrastructure, saw teams from Thales UK and Thales Canada upgrading its communications-based train control technology, SelTrac, to accommodate the change from two to three-car services. The upgrades have resulted in a 50% increase in capacity on the DLR.

Thales’s signalling project and engineering teams achieved the technology upgrades on time and on budget allowing DLR to initiate the service as planned in February. The success was achieved by Thales UK adopting a process of advanced testing and proving that simulated the working conditions, time constraints and key tasks that would need to be accomplished over the 2009 Christmas down-time period, and guaranteed a full return to normal operations after the work was completed. As well as the new the three-car configurations the signalling system had to be adapted to handle extended platforms at some stations.

In the longer term this upgrade work will be vital in addressing the anticipated increased demand of sports fans, tourists and Londoners during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to be held in London in 2012, and is crucial to meet the predicted growth of the DLR system in the future.

Peter Batley, Vice-President of Thales UK’s transportation systems business, says: “The upgrades to the Docklands Light Railway are essential for the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Thales UK is committed to helping DLR meet its commitments for London 2012. Our SelTrac technology is already proven on the DLR network since 1995 and the upgrade work means that it will continue to provide safe and reliable train control for London 2012 and beyond.”

About SelTrac
Thales’s communication-based train control technology, allows operators to minimise lifecycle costs while maximising capacity, reliability and safety. SelTrac is a service-proven solution that supports everything from speed and signal supervision through to fully automated operation without a driver. Internationally, SelTrac is operational in many countries including: Canada, China, Korea, Malaysia, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the USA.

About Thales and Thales UK
Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace and Space, Defence, Security and Transportation markets. In 2009 the company generated revenues of £11.5 billion (12.9 billion euros) with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers as local partners.

Thales UK employs 8,500 staff based at 40 locations. In 2009 Thales UK's revenues were around £1.5 billion.