Project Description

Heathrow Rail is the principal rail connection between the UK’s principal airport and Central London. It is seen as a key asset by the airport operator, Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL), and their major Airline customers. With the increased reliance by passengers on cellular data applications, the ability for Heathrow Rail users to have on-board access to LTE services throughout their journey was seen as key.

Work Streams

  • Undertook visual surveys within the Heathrow Rail tunnel infrastructure and shafts, to identify and validate equipment / fiber location.
  • Establish cable lengths required for the installation.
  • Produce design for DAS / Leaky Feeder solution to support LTE within the rail tunnel network for both HAL and Network Rail sign off and approval.
  • Create a build management plan for the install of the required equipment and to execute the project.
  • Liaise and arrange all necessary track possessions with Network Rail.
  • Prepare and gain approval for all Risk Assessment & Method Statement documentation necessary to execute the project
  • Installation of Antennas, Optical Master Unit and all Remote Units
  • Installation and connection of all Fiber, Co-axial and Radiating cable
  • Cleaning and refurbishment of existing radiating cable and connectors

Description of Works Carried Out

The Heathrow Rail Tunnel system is the first part of the UK rail network to support below ground use of commercial LTE services. It will be part of the new Emergency Services Network due to become operational in 2018.

The project upgraded the current Cellular infrastructure in the following Heathrow Rail locations – Tunnel Portal, North Tunnels, Heathrow Central Rail Station, South Tunnels, Terminal 4 Rail Station, West Tunnels and Terminal 5 Rail Station. On completion, the cellular infrastructure will carry 4G services at 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800 MHz.

LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a 4G wireless communications standard designed to provide up to 10x the speed of 3G networks for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and wireless hotspots.

DAS is Distributed Antenna System.

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