Securing and Networking London Underground's Mass Transit System

Marconi, VisioWave and others implement high-level networked communications and surveillance system


Enhance Communications -- a joint venture between communications company Marconi and engineering firm Amey -- and Tube Lines are working together to improve the networking and security on some of London's busiest rail transit lines, and the companies have turned to recent GE acquisition VisioWave to upgrade the CCTV systems.

The upgrades will be handled by Tube Lines, which is overseeing improvements on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. Combined, the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines see nearly 600 million passengers a year, and Tube Lines is in charge of maintaining and upgrading 100 of those lines' 129 total stations.

The project's focus is a major communications system, and Tube Lines brought the combined force of Amey and Marconi aboard for a 13-year contact for upgrades, new installations and maintenance for the communications systems of all the Tube Lines stations on the three lines.

Goals of the new communications system include an improved information system for passengers, as well as new public address systems, and enhanced network-based CCTV capabilities. Typical to so many of today's cutting edge projects, the system needs to share resources and perform a variety of different networking functions.

As part of the CCTV upgrade, VisioWave will be rolling out a system supporting 350 cameras in eight different stations as part of the first wave.

"Through partnership with Marconi, VisioWave is proud to be part of and to contribute to the ambitious modernisation projects on stations and as well as to increase safety and security passenger on the London Underground network," said Peter Wolstenholme, sales director of the Northern European Region for VisioWave, in a statement on Thursday.