An animation from Firstco showcasing their railway products and services.
Since Firstco was established in the UK in 1998 the company has become a leader in the areas of control systems design and integration, technical consultancy and project management, particularly in the rail sector.
Firstco works with a range of blue-chip clients in the UK and abroad. Recent rail projects where we have been responsible for many elements of the design include: London Underground’s Cooling the Tube programme, Crossrail, the Heathrow POD system, Tramlink and the Heathrow Express extension to Terminal 5.
Firstco offers turnkey solutions for systems communications and controls infrastructure on rail projects. As specialists in station and tunnel systems integration, we have teams of expert engineers who are able to design and deliver state-of-the-art technological solutions enabling operators to efficiently, cost effectively and safely run their station.
Typical delivery projects include the design and supply of integrated control systems where a multitude of subsystems, such as CCTV, access control, public address, radio, telephony and PLC / SCADA applications, are all brought together on a single user-interface.
Project management, detailed design and commissioning of rail and tunnels systems
Firstco is heavily involved in developing existing rail lines into new, world-class integrated transport facilities. This includes:
- Providing specialist input for controls and communication systems and systems engineering
- Ensuring the systems requirements of the stakeholders (user, operator and maintainer) are fully understood
- Clarifying 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 company and Network Rail)
- Supporting and facilitating progress of the sub-project teams by aiding communication and identifying possible solutions
- Designing, commissioning, testing and project managing the delivery and integration of station and tunnel control systems into a single control room
Control room design and systems integration
Firstco has extensive experience in control room design, systems integration and control room relocation. By fully engaging with the client and operating staff, Firstco can apply its considerable expertise to the technical and planning aspects of the project. Furthermore Firstco designs all aspects of the communications infrastructure, desk and video wall layout.
The designs are required to be flexible and maintainable. Allowing for easy upgrade and future-proofing enables operators to have full control and monitoring of all sub-systems via a single fully integrated workstation.
- Control rooms
- Cable and space
- SCADA and PLC networks
- BMS and HVAC controls
- Energy saving
- Passenger information displays
- Public address / voice alarm
- Fire detection
- Access control
- Intruder detection
- Wireless communications
- Fixed line voice communications
- Data communications
Value assured engineering
Firstco offers clients an alternative method of systems procurement and delivery. By separating out the three primary elements of a typical large systems project and applying individual expertise to each of these, a more commercially focused solution can be obtained.
The three primary elements are engineering design, assurance / compliance and cost management. By forming a team drawing expertise from each of these disciplines Firstco enables the client to realise huge potential savings in overall delivery costs.
Firstco is able to use the equipment best suited to any job and therefore always provides scope for cost savings, as well as ensuring that the integration is seamless.
Firstco Middle East and Firstco Mauritius
Following demand for high standards of engineering and relationship management, Firstco has recently opened a Middle East regional head office in Oman. Firstco has also set up offices in both Dubai and Mauritius to benefit clients in the rail, airport and BMS sectors.
Control and communication system specialists Firstco have been awarded a Manchester Airport Group contract to replace the Automatic Train Operation central control system of the driverless track transit / people-mover system at Stansted Airport.
Heathrow Terminal 5 Rail and Tunnels
The Bakerloo Line extension project is a proposed expansion of the London Underground Bakerloo line from its existing terminal station at Elephant & Castle to Lewisham, via Old Kent Road and New Cross Gate, in the UK.
Crossrail is a capacity enhancement rail project centred on London. It involves the laying of new 118km rail track from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.
Generically referred to as 'the Tube', London is the oldest and remains one of the largest metro systems in the world, carrying over one billion passengers a year.
Croydon is part of the London conurbation, 15 miles south of the capital's centre. The most populous London borough with a population over 330,000, due to its proximity to central London and own concentration of commercial property, Croydon has heavy outward and inward commuter traffic.
Firstco was delighted to sponsor a presentation entitled 'Ultra - Heathrow and Beyond' at the IET in Central London. The evening presented industry peers and students with the opportunity to meet the people behind the ground-breaking Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) system, now running at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5.
Firstco won two major contracts from Morgan Sindall and Birse Metro for the detailed design and delivery of the control systems for station-cooling projects at Green Park and Oxford Circus. Completed at the start of the summer, these two initiatives form part of Transport for London's (TfL) ongoing Cooling the Tube programme, transforming commuter rail services in the Capital.
Firstco has successfully integrated Heathrow Express' CCTV network into the British Transport Police's (BTP) London CCTV Hub system.
Following their recent multi-million pound contract with Ultra Electronics Airport Systems in Oman, Firstco has announced it will be opening an office in Muscat.
Firstco has been awarded preferred supplier status, becoming one of three contractors to undergo further competitive competition to design and build a 10G IP network linking the sixty stations of the Tyne and Wear Metro.
The Cooling the Tube programme has been established to minimise the problem of increasing temperatures across the London Underground network, which can surpass 30°C at some locations through the summer months. As part of this programme, ventilation shafts are being upgraded on the Victoria L
Transport for London (TfL) is investing in the future of Tramlink and is developing a comprehensive programme of enhanced maintenance, renewals, upgrades and capacity enhancement for implementation between now and 2018. Firstco was recently approached by TfL to undertake a study into t
Ian Fugeman has joined the board of Firstco, the specialist controls and communications systems company, as a non-executive director. Firstco chairman Mark Calnan said: "We are absolutely delighted to welcome Ian onto the board of Firstco. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and e
Firstco Appointed At Gatwick Airport for Specialist Systems at the North Terminal Landside Redevelopment
Firstco have been appointed by Costain as systems integrator for the specialist systems work across the programme; these systems involve security, wireless communications and operational systems as well as innovative work managing the new forecourt facility. The four man Firstco team, headed up b
Firstco are pleased to have successfully completed their Way-Finding project for the Heathrow Express. The project involved delivering 11 new digital displays throughout Heathrow Express rail stations. As well as providing valuable way-finding information, the live web-based displays wi
Firstco are delighted to announce that Adam Anderson has joined the company as a senior engineer. For the last six years Adam has worked with or for BAA. Most recently he has been the development leader for Airport Operational Systems. This has involved managing a systems portfolio wort
Firstco are delighted to announce that, following a competitive tender process, Heathrow Express has chosen Firstco to support all their communication and control systems. The contract will run for three years with an option of extending it to ten. Heathrow Express has been in operatio
Firstco devised ways of saving Heathrow Express money and time by helping them to reduce their carbon burden by 200t/year, saving them annual charges of over £30,000 at Heathrow Central and Terminal 4. In compliance with their environmental philosophy, Heathrow Express are endeavouring
Firstco has been continuing its work with the London Crossrail project throughout 2008 and 2009. Currently work is being performed on the design of intervention and escape shafts which need to be positioned before any tunnelling can begin. Firstco are producing early designs of the comm
Between the end of October and early December 2008, Firstco carried out improvement works to enhance the PA systems at Heathrow Central and Heathrow Terminal 4 stations. Heathrow Express were looking to increase the sound quality of their public address systems, which also work as emerg
One of the main responsibilities of Firstco recently was to test and commission the telephone and public address / voice alarm systems within the new T5 rail station and tunnels. The phone systems there consist of over 100 analogue telephone lines. These serve general-purpose telephone
Firstco has been responsible for the passenger information systems at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 rail station. This includes the PA, clocks, and four train-information display systems. The work at Terminal 5 has been markedly different to the previous projects for most Firstco emplo
The advertising at Heathrow Central and T4 previously was in the form of static illuminated posters, scrolling illuminated posters and tunnel-mounted posters. The scrolling posters could only cycle through three different advertisements at a time. The posters had to be physically replaced in orde
Seven members of staff at Firstco, the technical consultancy, project management and systems integration specialists - Rupert Exham, Darren Grey, Steve Haynes, Peter Laing, Stephen Nuttall, Richard Tirrell and Colin Reynolds – have completed the Three Peaks Challenge and, in the process, raised s
Firstco, the technical consultancy, project management and systems integration specialists, have recently completed an upgrade to the Heathrow Express (HEx) Optical Transport Network (OTN) system. The OTN system carries all of Heathrow Express's data and communication links and the loss of any pa
When Union Railways North (URN), a subsidiary of London and Continental Railways (LCR), needed some experienced engineers on site to report on progress and advise on problems involved in building part of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), also known as High Speed 1, it turned to Firstco, the te
Firstco, one of the UK's leading technical consultancy, project management and systems integration specialists, has just completed the customer factory acceptance testing of a ControLogix PLC system that is believed to be one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The PLC network architecture was
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 Mo
Firstco, the technical consultancy, project management and systems integration specialist, has opened companies in Dubai and Mauritius. Firstco in Dubai and Firstco (Mauritius) Ltd offer the same services as Firstco currently provides for its clients in the UK. These services include a
Thanks to the application of Value-Assured Engineering (VAE) by Firstco, technical consultancy, project management and systems integration specialists, the Heathrow Express station at Heathrow's new Terminal 5 has seen an initial systems budget of £25m reduced to an anticipated final cost of