Although Doncaster North Chord was very much a civil engineering job, like all railway works there were S&T ramifications.

Morgan Sindall contracted Optilan to carry out the necessary telecommunications work. This involved lifting and shifting the FTN (Fixed Telecoms Network) and legacy cables at Applehurst Junction and Haywood Junction to make way for the new chord, a cable diversion of approximately 1.5km.

The new telecoms infrastructure required to support the chord includes; 11 phones, 2.6km of 10pair copper cable connected through 5 box on posts, which will ultimately be connected in to the existing FTN copper trunk cable at either end of the chord. Optilan will also undertake the modifications to the HiPath telephone concentrator in the controlling signal box, Doncaster PSB.

Then the new chord had to receive its telecoms infrastructure. A total of 11 phones (SPT, PZT and crossing phones) were connected across 2.6km of 10-pair copper cable and 5 boxes on posts (BoPs), which were ultimately connected in to the existing copper trunk cables at either end of the chord. Modifications were needed to the HiPath telephone concentrator in the controlling signal box, Doncaster PSB.

Also working at Doncaster PSB are TICS – the signalling designer for the project. Work commenced in late 2012 and is being undertaken in 18 discrete stages, each of which is interspersed with numerous P-way, OLE, M&E and civil engineering stages. It all requires careful integration of the various programmes and activities.

Already complete are the reinstatement of a ground frame at Thorpe Marsh, to enable the import of fill material by rail, and associated cable diversions. Then there were signal renewals at Skellow, new points and interlocking recoveries at Shaftholme, and new S&C at Thorpe Marsh Junction and Haywood Junction. Even the removal of the Joan Croft crossing needed work as the equipment was taken out of the system.

The really interesting works are just starting with the installation of a brand new panel at Shaftholme, extensive alterations at Doncaster PSB, interface change to Norton GB, re-control of Haywood LC and the commissioning of the new chord.