INCOSE Webinar: Terminal 5 Rail Project: An Untold Success Story
Date: 15 Jul 2009
Time: 15:00 UTC
Presenter(s): Philip Bartholomew and Paul Cooper
General Webinar Details:
The publicity surrounding the opening of Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 on 27th March 2008 quickly focused on the operational problems associated with the baggage handling system. The media had a field day reporting what went wrong whilst overlooking those things that had gone right. There was little reporting of the successful opening and smooth operation of two new railway extensions (LU’s Piccadilly Line and BAA’s Heathrow Express) and a combined station under the new terminal building. As we all know, from the media’s perspective, successful delivery of a major project does not always make such a good story. Sadly, therefore, the major contribution systems engineering can make to a major project is not always well publicised.
The purpose of this presentation is to summarise how systems engineering contributed to the successful delivery of the T5 rail projects. It explains how a Systems Engineering and Assurance team was formed at the outset and was proactively involved until handover of the railways to the operators. The team’s objectives were to ensure compliance with requirements and standards, problem-free integration of the many workstreams and subsystems, and the smooth commissioning of the railways through a systems engineering approach that included Human Factors, EMC, RAM and System Safety. The T5 rail extensions presented a unique challenge, involving the creation of four new tunnel bores under the operating airport, and the fitout of the two railways and the station. The project involved the full range of rail disciplines, from heavy civils through to complex control systems, and integration with two live railways.
The presentation also comments on the challenges that exist in making the wider engineering community aware of systems engineering ‘success stories’ when failures to apply systems engineering are much more likely to grab the headlines. This presentation was originally given at the INCOSE UK Spring Conference in April 2009, where it won "best paper".
Paul Cooper started his career in the Defence industry, designing automatic test equipment for missile fuzes. Since then he has been involved in the medical, offshore, nuclear and rail industries, moving from hardware and software design roles to systems assurance and systems engineering. Currently he leads the systems engineering team in Mott MacDonald's Railways Division and in recent years has been working in assurance roles on the Terminal 5 Rail Projects, Crossrail, Docklands Light Railway and London Underground upgrades.
Phil Bartholomew began his career as a Trainee Engineer with British Rail's Signalling and Telecommunications engineering department, joining British Rail Telecommunications project office on completion. Following privatisation of BR, he has worked in various roles within telecommunications and systems engineering with Racal, overseas with Feba Radio, and then joining Mott MacDonald's Transport Technology Services team. He is currently a Principal Engineer, working on transportation projects, mainly Railways, which have included Terminal 5 Rail, Crossrail, London Underground's Victoria Station upgrade and various tunnel projects.
Information to join the webinar is posted in the INCOSE Product Area, within the webinar Archive folder:
The publicity surrounding the opening of Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 on 27th March 2008 quickly focused on the operational problems associated with the baggage handling system.