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Presidential Programme Seminar: Future Communications Systems, London

  • Institution of Civil Engineers One Great George Street London, England United Kingdom (map)

Our first technical seminar in the Presidential Programme for 2019-20 will question whether we are doing enough to lead a paradigm shift in the role of telecommunications within the railway signalling domain and challenge how we formulate a long lasting legacy of technology led solutions for signalling and other operational services.

The seminar will be introduced by George Clark, IRSE President and Director of Engineering (TfL). Our key note speakers include Harvinder Bhatia (TfL).

Costs and booking details: TBA

Metro and mainline are on different “requirements pages” but share a largely common signalling and rolling stock supply community.  Metros are heavily locked into rolling stock, signalling and telecommunications vertical supply chains and this methodology is ingrained in the commercial approaches of both metro and its supply community.

There is no denying that railway signalling solutions have, for many years, benefitted from greater exploitation of  telecommunications based services, but to what extent are we able to visualise and steer innovative ways of making enterprise and commercial telecommunications approaches as synonymous with railway signalling as they have become with other industries?

This one-day seminar is aimed at railway signalling professionals; engineers; signalling and rolling stock vendors, technology vendors, project and contract management and railway strategists.  The seminar aims to reinforce today’s reality that increases in operational performance and revenue streams are no longer able to be derived from historic approaches and that new signalling technical strategies are inextricably linked with current and future telecommunications capability and advancements in automation / intelligent technology.

Seminar Objectives

To lead the audience down a reasoned and informative journey with a view to a lasting legacy benefitting both metro and mainline environments.

The purpose of the seminar is to explore three elements which heavily define railway signalling for an infrastructure operator; optimising future implementation and operating costs of railway signalling deployment; achieving the right level of quality of service to meet operational demand; and the changes required in the mindsets of those individuals involved.


·      Moving towards scalable and interchangeable modular building blocks.

·      Moving towards a managed (internally / externally) telecommunications service, distinct from the railway signalling provision.

·      Dismantling silos and enabling signalling system component inter-operation

·      Unification of metro and mainline approaches for standardisation, specification simplicity and predictability of out-turn cost.

Quality of Service

·      Does the architecture of today’s signalling and train control system support optimisation to meet future demand?

·      How can we exploit the range of telecoms technologies to deliver improved customer and operator experience and agility?

·      Do we have the ability to do something innovative with new approaches matured within other industries e.g. industrial cloud or edge computing?


·      Changing the industry mind-set, both within the metro community and within signalling and telecommunications vendors.

·      How do we address the future skills requirements and deliver a sustainable skills pool across the workforce.

The seminar will be hosted by engineering leads from TfL and Network Rail, and will include key note speakers from both signalling and telecommunications vendors.

Seminar Outcome

To elicit the willing co-operation and support of a representative selection of all areas of the attendees to establish three task groups to propose outcomes and roadmaps under the themes:

·        Building the business case

·        Defining common interfaces

Embracing technology 14.2

The authors for the 2019-20 programme have been invited by our President, George Clark, to present papers linked to this year’s theme, Delivering Change.

We warmly invite you to join us for this event, and to engage in the discussion that follows.  These meetings provide an excellent opportunity for networking supporting your professional development.  Non-members are very welcome.

The programme for 2019-20 also includes our ASPECT technical conference in October 2019 in The Netherlands, with the special theme of "Resilience". 95pt;