S Stock in platform
Victoria line control room
09TS in build
S Stock in build

Obituary - Glyn Roberts

It is with regret we have to inform you that we have learned that Glyn Roberts died on 23rd January 2021. He was 69 and had been suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. He leaves a widow, Martine.

Glyn joined London Transport as an apprentice in 1967. He was a Signaller early on in his career, and spent some time as a staff representative on Sectional Council 4. He was hand-picked to be part of the operating team for the new Metropolitan line Service Control Centre in the 1980’s and by encouraging close dialogue between the control system developers and the operators, was instrumental in the creation of operating concepts that were decades ahead of those on other railway systems, and are still used as a benchmark by other projects over 30 years later. He became LU’s Control System Training Manager in 1989, which included developing user requirements for the British Transport Police and Network Control Centre control rooms at Broadway, and for the Central Line Project control room, control system and simulator at Wood Lane.

He joined London Underground’s Railway Extensions Directorate in 1991 as Client Operations Manager, providing user requirements primarily for Jubilee Line Extension, as well as for Crossrail and the Chelsea/Hackney project (later known as Crossrail 2). He acted as Business Client for the Jubilee Line Extension, bringing a strong operational voice to a colossal engineering programme and ensuring that following the opening, the line’s systems and processes were fettled to improve operability and reliability. Following JLE, the Public-Private Partnership saw Glyn working for Tube Lines, first as Systems Engineering Delivery Manager, then as Senior Human Factors Delivery Manager. As Tube Lines merged back into Transport for London, he took on system-wide roles ensuring holistic system operability and ensuring that both drivers and service control staff were ready to operate with new CBTC technologies.

When he retired from TfL in 2013 he undertook consultancy work, much of which took him overseas. This work included providing operational guidance to the team developing the European standard for Automatic Train Operation over ERTMS and leading the development of Operational Principles, Requirements and Scenarios for upgrading the Stockholm Red Line with driverless trains. Closer to home, he supported development of operational requirements and the creation of signalling and rolling stock specifications for the UK’s High Speed 2 programme.

Glyn was a strong advocate for disabled access on transport systems, and personally championed demonstrations of how portable ramps could be used to enable wheelchair users to access trains within constrained metro dwell times – this was a major benefit when London hosted the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2012.

He regularly attended the Technical Society events, wholeheartedly joining in discussions both in the meetings and in the pub afterwards. In 2006 he presented a paper entitled “Integrating Human Factors into the development of an In-Cab Signalling System” covering his work on Seltrac provision on the Northern and Jubilee Lines.

His work, and the guidance and training which he gave to others, form a legacy that will permanently benefit both passengers and railway staff in London and around the world.