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During September, a number of HICSE engineers attended a kick off meeting for the Hitachi STEM Champion Scheme.  Here is what one of them had to say following the event.

“I along with other HICSE colleagues attended the Hitachi STEM Champion Scheme kick off meeting in maidenhead in late September 2019. This scheme is a new professional development opportunity for early career engineers from all Hitachi Group Companies, starting with those in the UK. It will run in collaboration with the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize), the scheme provides opportunities for external skills development, networking, attending prestigious events, publishing articles and thought pieces. It also offers internal STEM Champion Forum Meetings with peers from across the Group, training and access to senior business leaders. It will also provide us with a forum to run STEM awareness sessions in schools around the UK.”

 

To many people, STEM isn’t something they have heard of before, so below is an outline of what the STEM scheme is all about.

What is Hitachi STEM Champion Scheme?

STEM Champion Scheme is Hitachi’s approach on the STEM education program which encompasses schools, summer programs, science centres, museums and a variety of environments that make up a collection of learning opportunities.  The Hitachi mission is to ‘Inspire the Next’ generation of pioneers through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and is committed to making a difference.

The idea of STEM Education is to excite and engage students by providing them with a hands-on experience with research grade scientific instruments they wouldn’t usually have access to.

 

What does STEM stand for?

S – Science – ‘Explore a new gateway into the minds of students’.  By showing students what science can do, it expands the boundaries or their potential and possibilities for the future.  Through STEM, students will learn about innovative and challenging scientific activities that helps them understand the value of science.

T – Technology – ‘Magnify the importance of Technology’.  Challenging students to familiarise themselves with innovation will encourage their sense of curiosity.

E – Engineering – ‘Science, math and technology are among the tools engineers use to create solutions serving people and society’.  The students are inspired by the creativity of engineering and the opportunities it provides to make a difference.

M – Mathematics – ‘Math is the language of the sciences’.  Giving students a hands-on way to understand real-world problems will lead to a brighter tomorrow.

 

To find out more about the Hitachi STEM programme, please visit the Hitachi Inspire STEM Education website https://www.inspirestemeducation.us/

 

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Tomorrow, 23rd June 2018, is International Women in Engineering Day and takes place on this date every year. 

It is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focuses on the variety of career opportunities which are available for women to move into.  The idea of the day is to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world.

What a lot of people don't know is that less than 11% of the engineering sector in the UK is made up of women and with a large skills gap and the need for a more diverse workforce, it has never been more important to inspire and encourage more people, especially women, to choose a career in engineering and by supporting International Women in Engineering Day you are helping.

Women in Engineering

There was a huge success with the level of engagement on websites, Twitter and the official hashtag, #INWED17, which received over 34,000 impressions on the actual day alone.

This year the hashtag is #RaisingTheBar (as well as #INWED18) with the aim to raise the awareness of the day even more than last year.

Like many other engineering companies HICSE has a familiar historically-skewed demographic, but we are making good progress and wholeheartedly support the WES initiatives. To recognise the day (and the challenges) we have spoken to a couple of our female engineers and asked them to write a bit about themselves and being an engineer in such a male dominated environment. 

Women in Engineering

The first one is Mel Sutcliffe's article who is currently a Test Engineer at HICSE:

My first job in the IT Industry was working on an IT Help Desk – an experience I’m sure lots of people in this industry will be familiar with. Spending a couple of years in this type of (largely thankless) support role is something of a rite of passage for many - and inevitably, it’s made me much more sympathetic towards the voice at the end of phone when I’m calling any kind of Help Desk or Call Centre! At this point in my career, I was working with a fairly equal mix of men and women.

Having paid my dues on the Help Desk, I moved into the Test Department of the same company, and qualified as a Test Engineer. I subsequently took increasingly senior jobs with different companies, and initially didn’t notice the ratio of men to women changing. However, the more technical my role became, the less women I encountered in the workforce. Eventually, I found myself working as a Senior Test Engineer in a company which consisted of 44 men, and me - the only woman! Soon after starting, I was taken aside and offered the option of having one of the two toilets on my floor assigned exclusively to me. I was tempted to ask them to paint the walls of ‘my’ toilet pink, and hang pictures of frolicking kittens (in tiaras) on the walls, but instead I declined their kind offer, and continued to share the somewhat limited facilities equally with the rest of the workforce. I sometimes dream of that little pink palace I could have created for myself…

I’ve continued to work in environments which consist mainly of men; I previously had a team of all male Test Engineers working for me, and my current department comprises 11 men and just 1 woman – me!

Writing this article has made me question how and why I’ve stayed the course, when other women haven’t; what have I done, or what have I got? I’d love to end this piece with some fantastic moment of self-realisation – Eureka! I’ve found the holy grail of female equality - but I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint you on that one... I don’t know why I’m sitting in a room with 11 men and no other women – we’re as intelligent, driven and determined as men, but the numbers simply don’t add up.

I hope one day that the ratio of men to women in the IT industry will become more equal, but I’m afraid that goal seems to be a very long way off at the moment.

Women in Engineering

The second article comes from the HICSE Head of Company Assurance:

How I managed to have it all – just not all at the same time!

Most of the people I work with have very similar back stories. They left school, went to university, graduated and started full time work. As graduates the one thing they had in common was that the jobs they went into were a stepping stone to better things. They had Prospects!

At the same age I had left school with no plan, direction or ambition and had three children in four years. This kept me busy for a while. Had my partner been a millionaire I would probably had a few more children and continued to aimlessly potter on. That wasn’t the case so given that children grow out of their clothes and shoes and require food and shelter on a regular basis it became apparent that paid work would have to come into the equation somewhere along the line. So paid work I did! Over the years I pulled pints, flipped burgers, stacked shelves, cleaned things, delivered free papers and sold coffee over the phone. The one thing all these jobs had in common was that they could be fitted in round the children and they paid, albeit badly given that this was before the minimum wage came along.

Fast Forward: I’m broke, shattered and bored. Also older and wiser. There’s no shame in being poor but it’s no picnic either. I decided I wanted to change things so did some research. It seemed that anything to do with computers was the way to go. As I had never even touched a computer at that point I decided to go to an open evening at the local college to find out about evening classes with the vague idea that if I could find out how to use a word processor it might be a Good Thing. Judging by the hourly rates quoted in the Sits Vac columns of the time it would certainly be a way of earning a lot more money.

I went along to the open evening and met the person who would be my tutor for the next two years while I completed a full time HND in Business and Information Technology. Quite how I went from finding out about learning a skill that would pay at evening classes to signing up to become a full time mature student for two years is probably a whole book in itself but without the guidance and support I received that evening it would never have happened. I couldn’t see it happening when I signed up for the course but two years later I walked out of college with an HND and the confidence to sign up for a further year of study – a conversion course leading to a BSc in European Software Engineering.

The new course involved a term a term each at an English, Irish and French university. After I had spent the first 12 weeks driving up to Huddersfield on a Sunday night and back home on a Friday I was ready to quit! The family, children included, spent the fortnight’s Christmas holiday giving me ‘pep talks’. Mainly of the JFDI variety!

Early the next January the children and I loaded as many of our possessions as would fit into my battered Skoda and boarded a ferry to Ireland to spend three months in Cork – me at college and the children at school. It did us all the world of good and we got on the ferry to come back to England in a distinctly tearful mood.

The scene above repeated itself for the final term of the course, this time France. A condition of starting the course modules in any location was passing all those at the end of the previous term I had scraped through (just) at Huddersfield but did much better in Cork. The third term in France was the decider but when I put the last full stop on the last exam paper I couldn’t have cared less about the end result – I had stayed the course! (I passed.)

A big reality check followed on returning to England. I had a brand new shiny degree but now had to decide what to do with it. The HND and degree course timetables gave me the same long holidays as the children. I couldn’t possible hold down a full time job during the school holidays could I?? Think again. Plenty of other people were doing just that – how did they do it? I did some more research, worked it out and went to an agency. They found me a full time job as a Technical Assistant for six months. Four months in I was offered a permanent position which I declined. My long-suffering (they must have been – I was there for 13 years in the end) employers asked why. I explained that I had left one thing off my CV when applying to the agency – my degree. My reasoning at the time was that if the childcare thing didn’t work out I wouldn’t have a blot on my record – or rather my hard-won shiny degree. I figures I would get round to using it eventually but it might have to wait.

Much to my surprise instead of dismissing me as one of the terminally faint hearted my employers offered to sign me up for their graduate trainee programme. I said ‘Yes please!’ I had a riot! I was never bored at work, I learned a lot, I got promoted a lot, I traveled and I met many interesting people.

Fast Forward 13 years: All good things come to an end. The company I was working for was taken over by a much larger company and when voluntary redundancy was put on the table I was one of the takers. Walking out of the place for the last time without a job to go to was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. However, the week before I left I had attended an interview at a very small company – headcount 40 – and the only ray of hope was a second interview the following Monday. I got the job!

Fast Forward 7 years: Today I am Head of Company Assurance for Hitachi Information Control Systems (Europe) Ltd (HICSE), the new name of the small company I went to work for, following its acquisition by Hitachi. My youngest child is 30 and I have a 14 year old granddaughter. I have learnt a lot over the course of the years, the most important things being;-

  1. It is NEVER too late to do anything. There are eighty year olds (and older) running marathons!
  2. You can have it all but probably not at the same time. The hard part for me was working out what ‘it’ was. ‘It’ is different for all of us. Step 2 is working out the ‘when’.
  3. Other people’s opinions are nice to have if good and awful if bad. Don’t ignore either but learn to be your own best critic. If I had listened to other people all those years ago when they said I was crazy to consider going back to college ‘at your age’ I probably would still be broke, bored and exhausted!

If you would like to find out more information about the day, please visit www.inwed.org.uk and keep an eye on all social media tomorrow where you will find a lot activity going on

(22/06/2018)

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Written by Stephen Hawkins, HICSE Senior Test Engineer

This winter, whilst everyone else was staying in the warm and dry, avoiding the cold weather, I was doing some major work on my classic car, in a barn/workshop on a windswept hill, in the Cotswolds.

 One of the major issues that was spoiling my enjoyment of my 'classic' 1975 Scimitar SE5a, was that the gearbox was jumping out of 2nd (sometimes with a disconcerting bang!) when the throttle was feathered.  Whilst this was not an issue when on a run, it was a pain in the town.  Not only that, but everywhere I parked the Scimitar, it left its calling card - oil.  In my case both transmission oil and engine oil.  My driveway was suffering and you could 'smell it' on a warm day.  Although, to be fair, the oil was doing an excellent job of preserving the chassis!

 However, something had to be done.  This sort of thing takes planning, a working gearbox had to be sourced.  This was accomplished during the previous August where a working, oil tight, gearbox was pulled from a wreck, one weekend, for the princely sum of £100, including propeller shaft and all other linkages and fittings (the Propeller shaft was later sold to a needy Scimitar owner in Finland, for a very small consideration).

 So then came the big day in early December, after all connections and mounts had been undone and the bonnet removed, to pull the engine and gearbox out of the car.  A two man operation, to do it safely.  The old iron Ford Essex V6 and gearbox are a heavy old lump, when connected together.

classic car

 The engine was then split from the gearbox, where it became obvious that a new clutch would be required, as bits of spring from the friction plate, dropped out of the bell housing.

 The engine was always fine, with good compression and good oil pressure.  So the plan was to just flush out all the waterways, replace the core plugs, and rear main seal.  Then just service it, paint it, and pop it back in.  Simples!

Classic Car

 The 'new to me' gearbox, just needed a filter clean (overdrive), new oil and a clean and paint.  A messy business, but an easy one, for the budding mechanic.

Classic Car

 The engine was then painted a rather fetching shade of green, and then re-attached to the gearbox, with the new clutch, ready to go back in.

Classic Car

The engine bay was then cleaned up, including the scraping off of all the congealed oil and dirt as far as I could reach.  It became obvious that a new radiator was required, along with all new pipe-work for the cooling system, with all new stainless jubilee clips (ouch!).  Also, there are a lot of panels in the engine bay, in front of the engine, that duct the air to the radiator, all these were powder coated and replaced where necessary.  As a bonus, we managed to flush out the heater matrix, which had never, in my experience, allowed water through, to get the heater working again.

 As you can imagine, it was some months before I was ready to put the engine back in, with 'new to me' tubular header pipes for the exhausts.  But in it went, if rather gingerly. 

Classic Car

 After reconnecting all the mounts, electrics, pipes (water and fuel), etc, it was soon time to try the restart.  This was a surprisingly underwhelming affair, as it started on the second try.  So after a thorough warm up, bleed and checking that the cooling fan came on when the engine was hot, we were done.

Classic Car

 Now all I had to do was wait.........The law has changed this year (20th May 2018), as this car is now well over 40 years old, it no longer requires an MOT.  Yes, you heard right, not only is it free tax, as a Classic Car, but an MOT is now only voluntary and can be avoided by declaring the car as VHI (Vehicle of Historic Interest), a tick box on the new tax form.  However, I will be having the car inspected by a third party at some point this year, just for my peace of mind, and to get my next list of jobs to do.

(01/06/2018)

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Suleman Qazi, a Project Engineer working on the Thameslink Traffic Management project, was asked to prepare and give a presentation about Traffic Management Systems (TMS) (Introduction and Architecture) to the West Wiltshire U3A (WWU3A) Science and Engineering group in Trowbridge on the 8th May 2018.  

WWU3A

The WWU3A was launched in Trowbridge in June 1989 and has approximately 610 members who participate in over 60 group activities.  The Science and Engineering group focus on a large diversity of subjects from railways (including model railways), to refurbishing canals and old mills.  They meet once a month to either listen to a speaker or take a visit to a different site. 

Suleman's presentation included a high level of architecture of the TMS systems and how it will be changing the Railways of the future.  Suleman made sure that his audience was engaged in the presentation and in return there was a half an hour questions and answers session.  Some of the group members have a good understanding of railway control systems which made the questions more interesting, however this didn't phase Suleman who, like the true professional he is, was able to answer all of the questions asked whilst promoting Hitachi's TMS systems.  

WWU3A

Dominic Choi, a Data Engineer also working on the Thameslink Traffic Management project, accompanied Suleman during the afternoon and spoke to some of the group after the presentation.

There was a lot of positive feedback following the presentation.  One member of the group said 'The presentation was very interesting with loads of questions from our members'.

WWU3A

The group leader Yvonne Doonan added 'The group were very pleased that Suleman was given time to do a presentation to this group of WWU3A retired people who mainly have backgrounds in the Science or Engineering fields.  The purpose was to enlighten them to the advancements in this particular technology and its advantages.

The presentation was well received and was considered well planned, pitched at the right level for the attendees and informative.  It was agreed that Suleman answered the varied and probing questions succinctly showing great technical knowledge.

We will follow the future development with great interest.'

WWU3A

We also had great feedback from an ex-HICSE employee, Bob Page, who said 'Suleman had obviously done a lot of preparation and collated numerous slides, graphics and videos, all very impressive and the timing of his presentation was precise to the minute.  Suleman faced some challenging questioning, none of which fazed him and where he didn't have a ready answer, he responded like a true politician.'

Suleman's final words were 'I thoroughly enjoyed my presentation and am looking forward to further such opportunities to promote Hitachi's TMS systems in the UK'.

(10/05/2018)

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The last week in February saw the entry into service of TREsa for the Paisley and Ayr workstations at the West of Scotland Signalling Centre (WSSC).  This completes the first major milestone of the TREsa for MCS rollout into WSSC.  As one of the longest running TREsa projects, this is a huge achievement for the company and the many dedicated engineers who have worked to deliver this system.

TREsa was initially switched on at 10am on Monday 26th February and the initial impressions from the signallers have been very positive. The system has quickly proven its capability in a number of different operating conditions, including the morning and evening peaks, and also during severely disrupted operations due to the weather.

paisley

Network Rail’s plan was to phase the introduction of TREsa by first working the off-peak periods of Monday and Tuesday, and then enable full-time operations on Wednesday to include the peak time services. However, the Signallers were so pleased with the system’s performance on the first day that they asked for it to start full-time operation before the Tuesday evening peak. This demonstrates how well the TREsa system is working and their growing confidence in the system.

paisley

Wednesday morning saw severe disruption to rail services due to heavy snow.  With the rail network suffering significant issues including points failures, TREsa continued to support the Signallers to keep services running as efficiently as possible.  TREsa was automatically routing trains in the less affected areas, which allowed the Signallers to focus their efforts on the network failures requiring their attention.  This is great example of the benefits TREsa brings to the rail network, showing the difference it can make during degraded operations.

paisley

The project team will now be looking to commission the next phases of the project where the Shields, Cathcart, Polmadie and Glasgow Central workstations will see the same benefit of having TREsa support their busy operation.  The company would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of this commissioning and their continued efforts in supporting this project.

(26/03/2018)

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Today (Thursday 8th March 2018) is International Women’s Day and the theme for this year is #PressForProgress.  The aim is to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.

This day is a global day which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women which started in 1908.  In 1908 there was a critical debate amongst women and their oppression and inequality was driving women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change.  15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. 

international women's day

World-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist, Gloria Steinem once said ‘The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights’.  Because of what Gloria said, International Women’s Day is about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.

Four colours now signify International Women’s Day and all have their own meaning:

  • Purple – Signifies justice and dignity
  • Green – Symbolises hope
  • White – Represents purity however it is no longer used
  • Yellow – Represents ‘new dawn’ which is commonly used to signify a second wave of feminism

international women's day

On the day before World War 1 campaigning for peace, Russian women recognised their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913 and following discussions, the day was transferred to the 8th March and has stayed this date ever since.

To the present and future, International Women’s Day has now become an official holiday in a lot of countries, such as Afghanistan, Cuba, China (for women only), Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam to name a few.  In some countries, International Women’s Day has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day.

We were able to download for #PressForProgress selfie cards which HICSE colleagues had a look through and chose their favourite one out of the collection to then have their photograph taken and for them to be uploaded onto social media with the hashtag #PressForProgress.

international women's day

If you would like to find out more about International Women’s Day, visit www.internationalwomensday.com #PressForProgress

(08/03/2018)

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The Automatic Route Setting (ARS) capable version of the TREsim Simulator for the Birmingham Proof House workstation has been successfully delivered to the West Midlands Signalling Centre (WMSC) in Saltley (Birmingham).

Birmingham

The Contract, variously referred to as Birmingham Proof House, or Birmingham New Street (BNS) Phase 6, or more snappily as BNS Ph 6, is with Siemens Rail Automation. A Non-ARS version of the simulator has previously been installed, enabling initial signaller training. The ARS enabled Simulator will now allow Network Rail Operations to progress Signaller Training in the ARS aspects prior to commissioning of the TREsa ARS system for Proof House at the end of May.

Senior Data Engineer Simon Oscroft developed the system whilst establishing a positive working relationship with the technical team at Siemens, resulting in very fast turn-around of updates.

The Proof House workstation controls a very busy area fringing with Birmingham New Street and including Birmingham International Station. Simon has developed complex fringe logic to simulate the traffic in and out from BNS. Experienced Network Rail Signallers and Trainers have been impressed at the ability of the ARS system to cope with the high volume of traffic, even when running the simulator at faster than real-time.

Timescales for the development were severely condensed, but deliveries have been achieved to the original schedule without any dramas.

The Proof House TREsa is currently undergoing final formal testing in preparation for factory acceptance test on the deliverable hardware in April and subsequent site acceptance test at end of May.

Proof House will be the first TREsa system to go live at WMSC. The Cherwell Valley system will be switched on soon after once Signaller Training is completed.

(07/03/2018)

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Written by Suleman Qazi

As a member of TMS Thameslink team I work very closely with our colleagues in Japan and I was honoured to receive an invitation to Visit Omika, Japan. The main purpose of the visit was to get a better understanding of the overall TMS systems and to discuss the ways and means to improve our working methodologies in order to carry out the production tasks in a more efficient manner.

During the first week, our hosts Ohta-san & Murakami-san introduced us to the wider Hitachi Omika data production team and we were provided with an opportunity to address to hundreds of people during the monthly team meeting.

We went through some exciting and extensive seminars and workshops on Traffic Management Systems in Japan and overseas. We learned about the system architecture and its applications, we were provided with tutorials and factory visits to look at their Traffic Management Systems closely and in detail. 

Omika

During the second week I ran several workshops and lectures to share the knowledge with our colleagues and to give them in depth understanding of UK railways ARS systems.

Through collaborative brain storming sessions between myself, Mizukawa-san (Researcher in Japan) and Noboru-san we managed to come up with some improvements in our working methodologies which will be implemented in our future TMS projects and will result in time and cost savings.

My third week was all about summarising our work from first two weeks and to devise a plan on how to drive the changes forward, opportunely our (HICSE) directors were in Omika as well during my third week and I was able to demonstrate my findings to them as well.

Overall I was in Japan for three weeks and over the weekends my aim was to explore Japan as much as possible. On my first weekend I went to Ueno, Tokyo with Paul Jones and we explored Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree tower.

Omika

Sensō-ji Temple Asakusa.

Omika  Omika

On my second weekend I decided to go to Tokyo again and this time Miki Morifuji was kind enough to offer me to take to Kamakura, to see breath taking Temples and shrines during the day.

Omika  Omika

And in the evening, Shimura Akitoshi and Miki Morifuji took me for an amazing dinner in Shibuya and I was stunned to see the Shibuya crossing where thousands of people are crossing the road at the same time.  It was the busiest crossing I have ever seen in my life. The next day I visited Ginza area in Tokyo, where you can easily spend your year’s salary within hours on branded clothing and accessories, certainly the most expensive shopping district I have ever seen.

During my third and last week, I was invited by senior management in Omika to attend the annual ritual of going to shrine and praying for the prosperity for Hitachi during the year.

Our colleagues in Omika are definitely amazing hosts and they arranged a farewell dinner for me.

Omika

And then came my last Friday in Japan, when I visited the Omori office for a meeting and afterwards Satoko Fujimori invited me for lunch among other colleagues.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Japan, it was very interesting and educational from work perspectives. Our colleagues in Omika are excellent hosts and from day one they made me feel at home and supported me all the time at work and outside work and they made sure that I learned how to use Chopsticks (which I had learnt by end of my trip).

 

I would like to extend my special thanks and gratitude to all of our colleagues in Japan, who supported me throughout and made this trip extremely valuable.

(09/02/2018)

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Huddersfield TREsa went Live this weekend (20th-21st January), the first successful Relay Interface TDM Application (RITA) integrated TREsa system!  The project has been underway over a year, with fantastic commitment from the main project Data Engineer Ben Pennington and everyone at all levels of HICSE coming together to support this complex project. 

Network Rail, Siemens, Hitachi & its suppliers have successfully completed its planned Phase1 Re-Control Commissioning this weekend (wk43) Safely.  During the 54hr disruptive possession, seven existing interlockings were changed over to correspond with the new Siemens WestCAD Control System at York ROC.  In addition, the Automatic Route Setting (ARS) functionality was successfully commissioned and the new Signalling System 'Signed In To Use' during the early hours of Monday morning. The project stays on course to commission the Re-signalling (Phase 2) in Oct 18. 

huddersfield

Not only was RITA a significant hurdle to overcome, but we have also seen through revised requirements from Network Rail whereby Huddersfield Controls are exclusively controlled by TREsa without SIL4 interlocking protection, which has drawn experience from across the company with designs led by our Technical Authorities Dave Biss, verified by Velu Shanmuga.

Huddersfield

The impact of this project is significant as many of our current and future projects are relying on the same technologies, so to have this switch on first time is a great milestone to have reached.  

Huddersfield

Siemens have also passed on their thanks for our work on the project.

Many thanks for all of your efforts which have culminated in the successful commissioning of Huddersfield-Bradford Phase 1 this weekend. 

The commissioning wouldn’t have gone as smoothly as it did without everyone’s efforts in the design stages and through the enabling stage and rehearsal.

Particular thanks to everyone involved in the big push since Christmas to get everything ready for the commissioning.

Thank you.

With best regards,
Caroline Warrington

Control Systems Manager

Siemens Rail Automation Holdings Limited

 Many thanks to ALL who contributed both before and during the weekend.

(24/01/2018)

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Over three days in January (9th - 11th), Mark Herron, HICSE Technical Authority and Tony Prankett, HICSE Technical Trainer, delivered the new TREsim Train the Trainer course at Network Rail's Rugby Rail Operating Centre.  The course was delivered to 5 Network Rail Trainers, including a Digital Railway Trainer.

The training course was a mix of classroom based learning on some already configures laptops so the delegates were able to follow the functionality being demonstrated.  The delegates also got to have a go on the full simulator rig taking it in turns to have a go as an Assessor and a Signaller.  All of the delegates were former Signallers.

Train the Trainer

The new course covered tasks such as starting the Simulator, Timetables, TREsim Overview, Track Menu and Actions, Signal Menu and Actions, Point Menu and Action, Train Describer Menu and Actions, Train Menu and Actions, Localised Actions and an overview of ARS (Automatic Route Setting).

 

Train the Trainer

So the delegates were able to put what they learnt from the course into practice, they were tasked with writing their own scripts to practice upcoming areas for Signaller assessment.  These included divided trains, wrong direction moves, various infrastructure failures and replaying communications for assessment purposes.

 

Overall the course was very well received with maximum marks given on the feedback sheets 

(18/01/2018)