Railway Control Room Design Ergonomics

Case Studies Railway Control Room Design Ergonomics

As part of the upgrade of the UK railways known the InterCity Express Programme, the giant Japanese corporation Hitachi is building new maintenance depots all over the country for its high-speed trains. Volker Fitzpatrick, the premier engineering company, asked CBRNE Ltd to analyse the design proposals for the control rooms against the requirements of the Control Room Human Factors standard ISO 11064.

The first requirement for Human Factors was to obtain input from the end-users. To do this, we visited the Ashford depot in Kent.

Then we analysed the issues raised by the Volker’s design proposals, including sightlines to the plant, equipment layout, screen real-estate, manning levels, workstation design and access.

At the North Pole depot, which is near King’s Cross, space is quite tight for the train controllers and so problems of access and communications were particularly difficult to resolve.

The situation at the Swansea depot is similar, but fewer trains have to be handled each night.

The work for the Doncaster depot is still continuing. However the space allocation there is much more generous, and we believe the train controllers will have a very pleasant working environment.

Overall, we believe that CBRNE Ltd has contributed to the safety, well-being and efficiency of the InterCity Express Programme, and we look forward to providing similar advice to future projects on the railways or elsewhere.