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New Railway Communication Mast in Chorleywood

posted 12 Mar 2011, 03:44 by Tomo   [ updated 1 Apr 2011, 12:45 by Annette Naughton ]
Network Rail is currently rolling out a new digital Railway Communications System (RCS) across Britain’s rail network. This will allow direct, continuous and secure communication between train driver and signaller, which will considerably improve safety, reliability and punctuality for all passengers. RCS is replacing the existing legacy system, Cab Secure Radio (CSR), which is outdated, does not provide the required coverage and is becoming increasingly more expensive to maintain. This new network is solely for the delivery of the Railway Communications System and will not be used by commercial mobile telecoms operators.

In order to implement the new system, around 2,200 railway communications masts are required, one of which is needed near Croxley Green and one near Chorleywood station to provide 100% coverage on this section of the Chilterns line. The siting of any communications mast is sensitive. Before a site is selected they consider a number of factors:
  • maintaining the required coverage to enable direct, continuous and secure communication between train driver and signaller;
  • visual impact on the surrounding area – making use of existing tree cover;
  • minimising vegetation removal;
  • proximity to residential properties and sensitive land uses;
  • available Transport for London (TfL) land;
  • access to a secure power supply; and
  • safely accessible during both the construction phase and when the site is operational to enable maintenance of the site.
The sites

Over recent months Network Rail has been investigating a number of possible locations for the railway communications masts and equipment cabins in the area.  During this time they have held a meeting with planning officers at Three Rivers Council about these proposals.  Following this and after a number of site investigations they have identified two sites that fit their criteria.  These are:

Croxley Green: just west of the intersection of the Chilterns line and Grand Union canal a 20m lattice mast is proposed.  Please click here to see a PDF document detailing a map with the proposed location indicated by an “X.”

Chorleywood: approximately 230 metres east of Chorleywood station platform a 20m monopole mast is proposed.  Please click here see a PDF document detailing a map with the proposed location indicated by an “X.”

Each location was chosen for the following reasons:
  • the required level of radio coverage is provided;
  • the visual impact of the site on nearby properties has been minimised;
  • it is an acceptable site for TfL – Network Rail needs to acquire land from TfL, and;
  • there is safe access for both construction and maintenance.
Network Rail are planning “drop-in” sessions, attended by members of the project team, to be held towards the end of March and they will invite local residents through a leaflet drop over the next couple of weeks. If you have any queries or would like be briefed on these proposals please do not hesitate to contact Simon Hopkins/Communications Executive directly on 020 3356 8727 or email: Simonhopkins2@networkrail.co.uk
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