Indra implements London’s street tunnels operations and management system


Leading Spanish transportation technology and consulting company Indra, has designed, installed and launched the new London Streets Tunnels Operation Center (LSTOC) for Transport for London (TfL).

The LSTOC is integrated within the advanced transportation center at the city’s Palestra building. From here, TfL manages London’s entire transport system, including the UK capital’s buses, subways, and streetcars, as well as a network of 360 miles (580km) of roads and the city’s 6,000 traffic lights. Indra’s technology already controls and permits the centralized operation of 12 street tunnels in London, critical for mobility and security in the city, and over 56 miles (90km) of metropolitan streets connected with these.

The transition from the old legacy systems has been a success and has demanded a tunnel-by-tunnel migration, an exhaustive compliance with the required closures and traffic deviation for tests, in addition to the analysis of works for special situations. This migration and start-up plan led by Indra has guaranteed TfL service continuity of the tunnels over the duration of the installation, and has reduced the impact that any incident in the tunnels would generate in London’s transportation network.

Indra’s Horus intelligent management platform has integrated into a single system, all the monitoring and control of the tunnels and the different subsystems currently in place, such as video surveillance, automated incident detection, sensors, traffic systems, variable signaling, lighting, ventilation, and communications. Its graphic interface complies with the leading international standards for user friendliness and usability. Horus provides TfL with the operation and control over infrastructures and traffic, ensures full operability in both daily management and emergency situations, and improves road users’ security.

Horus offers operators information in real time and indicates the preferred actions for each situation, thereby contributing to decision making. Its high level of automation improves emergency detection and response to shorten reaction times; this is a critical aspect for tunnels in the event of a fire, when the first seconds are crucial. By collecting data related to emergency situations, the platform also supports the analysis and consolidation of information to help shape the best policies and actions in the event of other incidents. The Horus platform also provides a collaborative ecosystem across the different bodies in charge of traffic and mobility in a city, such as maintenance teams, and emergency and police services.

To increase the system’s reliability, security and flexibility, Indra has also equipped a secondary control center and two redundant data centers. Despite its magnitude and complexity, the project for modernizing the control technology of London’s tunnels has been executed in under two years. An exemplary collaborative effort, a team from both Indra and TfL have tackled and monitored all aspects of the project. The team’s work includes a review of TfL’s tunnel operations manual, and the design of a tool for mobile devices that grants access to system-related data from any point along the infrastructure, simplifying maintenance tasks and response to incidents. The configurable nature of the Horus platform allows Indra to incorporate any new system required by TfL in the future.

Share this story:

About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).