Firstco, one of the UK’s leading technical consultancy, project management and systems integration specialists, has completed initial Functional Design Specifications (FDS) to enable London Crossrail to submit its plans to the UK’s Parliament for approval.

Working in partnership with Mott MacDonald, the worldwide management, engineering and development consultancy which has been placed 11th in The Sunday Times’ ‘Top 20 Best Big Companies’, Firstco acted as specialist consultants for the control and communications systems to be used in the stations and tunnels of the proposed cross-London rail link.

“Firstco is heavily involved in leading the extension of existing rail lines into a new, world-class integrated transport facility,” said Firstco’s chairman, Mark Calnan.

This includes:

  • Providing specialist input to the project leaders for controls and communication systems, and systems engineering
  • Ensuring the systems requirements of the stakeholders (user, operator and maintainer) are fully understood
  • Helping to clarify the briefs to enable the sub-project teams to move forward with their definition and detailed designs
  • Assisting in interfaces with specialist client and supplier systems teams and the existing rail stakeholders (train operating companies: London Underground and Network Rail)

Crossrail is a new railway proposal for London and the South-East, which aims to deliver a world-class railway, with a frequent and reliable train service across the capital from 2015. The proposed route, from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west across the capital into Essex and Kent in the east, travels underground through the city centre between Paddington and east London.

“Crossrail should make travelling in the area easier and quicker, as well as reduce crowding on London’s transport network,” Calnan, explained. “It will operate with main-line size trains, carrying more than 1,500 passengers in each train. We’re now at phase two of the design process. This precedes the final decision on the project in Parliament, sometime in early 2008.”

According to Transport for London, Crossrail will deliver substantial economic benefits in London and the South-East and across the UK. The estimated benefit of Crossrail to the UK economy is some £30 billion.