Delivering enhanced passenger experience for Virgin Trains East Coast

“As well as being one of the UK’s busiest routes, the East Coast Main Line also boasts some of the country’s most historic stations – five of the nine stations included in this project have listed status. We therefore needed a provider capable of fully addressing these needs in their approach and tailoring quite precise details, even down to the colour of equipment and cabling in order to be specific to the surroundings.

“Synectics Security more than met this challenge and, in the solution they have proposed, also reflected our commitment to limiting any potential disruption to passengers or services through providing an ‘out of hours’ works schedule active between the hours of 9pm and 5am.”
David Byrne, Head of Property

Project Overview

Synectics Security has recently completed the replacement of Virgin Trains East Coast’s CCTV infrastructure – spanning over 200 miles of railway line and incorporating nine key stations; Berwick, Doncaster, Durham, Grantham, Newark, Peterborough, Retford, Wakefield and Darlington.

The fully-IP solution was completed in May 2017 in line with our tendered proposal. The solution implemented saw Synectics Security replace 489 analogue cameras as well as installation of new camera locations and provisioning a new, substantial, fibre-based communications infrastructure.

Customer Benefits

These upgrade works provided VTEC with substantially increased picture quality, functionality and future proofing. Due to the age of the existing system our client wanted a cutting edge solution to provide a secure environment at their stations to counteract the ever increasing security threat in the UK’s travel infrastructure.

Another key component of the solution designed and deployed was the level of integration with other technologies such as data analytics systems capable of detecting virtual boundary breaches – such as track trespass – and other potential features such as left object detection. Multiple levels of system resilience and redundancy built into the surveillance solution will also ensure highly secure operations, mitigating the risk of data loss or system downtime.

Project Challenges

Ensuring continuous security operation
Throughout the installation process it was imperative that the security profile of each site was functioning at 100% during operating hours. A comprehensive project management process was implemented to ensure there was 24/7 escalation and constant communication with station managers to ensure adherence to these requirements

Network rail environment
There are a number of significant risks when working within a rail station environment and it was important that all of our employees were aware of their responsibilities when working at each station. All engineers were trained to relevant standards and comprehensive risk assessments carried out to ensure a safe working environment for Synectics Security and Network Rail staff

Listed building consent
A number of stations required listed building consent for some buildings. Where possible Synectics Security designed out any requirements for any consents, without impacting the security requirements. If this was unavoidable Synectics Security worked with the client to ensure this consent was granted without impact to the programme.