National SCADA

The project

Network Rail are installing a new SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, which will control traction power and distribution across the national network. The fully integrated system will include full voice and data communications that will operate over Network Rail’s fixed transmission network system.

The new system will provide the complete control interface for the power network operators, enabling Network Rail to carry out isolations, provide HV phase synchronisation and implement automatic execution and service restoration. The system will also provide maintenance information and training and replay modes to support migration from existing systems.

What we did

Centralisation of SCADA control for the UK rail network into two operating locations added difficulties to the assurance of system implementations on local sites. The centralised software also introduced challenges to the design, integrity and configuration management. Overall, the project changes the risk profile of the business, introducing additional hazards at a national level that need to be managed.

To tackle these challenges we;

  • Introduced two teams one focussing on site specific SCADA implementations and another to collate assurance and risk information

  • Tasked site teams with reviewing and improving implementation processes.

  • We used Site issues and risks to build up an end-to-end system risk profile for the programme.

  • Put in place FRACAS processes for managing defect resolution.

  • Provided feedback on SCADA design for consideration in future releases.

  • Provided advice to senior management on best practice risk and assurance management.

  • Managed the day-to-day meetings for system maintenance management.


Our involvement has resulted in business risk information now being presented at programme board level. Risk decisions now address the end-to-end delivery of the system. Allied to this there is a clearer understanding of the assurance activities required to implement the centralised system, an improvement in site processes for system entry into service and improved FRACA processes for resolution of defects.