Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre
A new rail operating centre was required at Three Bridges, in Crawley, that would become one of twelve to operate the entire rail network across Britain, replacing over 800 signalling boxes and other operational locations.
Spencer Group was contracted to build the first three signalling control centres in the UK. We were subsequently awarded this prestigious, high value contract to deliver the Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre – the first ‘second generation’ facility of its kind in the UK.
Innovation and value creation were at the heart of Spencer’s approach, overcoming a number of challenges including a single point of access to the landlocked site. The three-storey building design incorporated blast mitigation features in line with guidance from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.
Architectural features include a full three-storey glazed entrance atrium, with a corridor light well running the full length of the building. The team installed a multiple-level electrical distribution system with UPS back-up, providing power redundancy to maximise system resilience for signalling, ECO and route control systems.
State of the art security systems were also incorporated to manage and maximise the safety of personnel in and around the building.
The facility at Three Bridges achieved a BREEAM ‘Very good’ energy rating – the best of its kind.
Tim Robinson, Network Rail’s route managing director for Sussex, said: “This new rail operating centre, and the nearby new Thameslink depot, mean that Three Bridges will be one of the most important places on the railway map in the south east.”