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Better for Business

Exclusively for rail industry leaders

The inside track…

Kate Jennings and Neil Walker New export opportunities John Larkinson Adapt, change and grow

Colin Flack OBE Supporting SMEs

Jenny Nunn Delayed birthday celebrations

Ellie Burrows Leading the £2.2 billion transformation of Anglia’s railways

A platform for success… Releasing the latest industry news Bringing companies and customers together Delivering business-leading analysis and views

January 2021 Issue 5 railbusinessdaily.com

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very happy New Year. I hope you and your families are keeping well and had a restful and enjoyable festive break, despite the challenges that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continue to place upon us all. At the time of writing, the UK has just entered a third national lockdown, and the gravity of the situation appears to be intensifying. However, with the vaccine programme gathering momentum and fairer weather on the horizon, there is hope for a return to normality soon whilst we adapt to the new normal. In the meantime, it is worth recognising the invaluable contribution that our nation’s key workers, including those in the rail industry, continue to make to keep the country moving during this turbulent time. Perhaps against all odds, last year was an exceptional year for us at railbusinessdaily.com and we are looking forward to continuing this momentum during 2021. This month we launch a brand new website, designed to make it even easier for you to access all of the latest rail industry news. Our daily newsletter continues to go from strength to strength, reaching over 50,000 subscribers every day, along with our daily 11.00am podcast ‘In the News’. Meanwhile, RailDirector has quickly become established as the leading magazine for rail industry leaders, covering everything from track to train. We have more exciting plans for the year ahead, and I look forward to sharing them with you. This edition of RailDirector leads with an exclusive interview with Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s Route Director for Anglia. Ellie is leading the £2.2 billion transformation of the railways in Anglia and she shares her experiences in managing such an ambitious and impressive large-scale infrastructure renewal programme. Co-operation and teamwork are critical to success, and we examine how the power of collaboration has been vital to the major Clacton-on-Sea resignalling works throughout COVID-19. Good communication and excellent planning between multiple parties has ensured that works have been delivered successfully and safely, and the project is a leading example of the benefits of behavioural change. This month also marks the beginning in earnest of a post-EU UK. The Railway Industry Association’s Policy Director, Kate Jennings, and Exports Director, Neil Walker, have shared with us their thoughts on how the UK’s rail supply chain can ensure it is prepared for new export opportunities. I hope you enjoy this edition of RailDirector. Please do not hesitate to talk to us about how we can help you to tell your story and help your business succeed in 2021. Best wishes

David McLoughlin Chief Executive Business Daily Group (incorporating: RBD Publications and railbusinessdaily.com)

RailDirector has quickly become established as the leading magazine for rail industry leaders, covering everything from track to train Once you have finished reading this issue of RailDirector, please pass it to colleagues to enjoy or put it in your reception area.

RailDirector magazine is part of the Business Daily Group of companies, which includes the hugely popular railbusinessdaily.com. We deliver more than 70 stories a week to +50,000 rail industry professionals who now subscribe to our 7am daily newsletter. Please subscribe and encourage your colleagues and team members to do the same. It’s free and it’s easy at www.railbusinessdaily.com. This is the very best way to keep abreast of what is happening on Britain’s railways. There is a digital copy of RailDirector on our website.

2020 Queen’s Award Winners in Innovation for Dura Platform Robroyston Station

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content is published in good faith.

January 2021 | 3

Contents Better for Business

Exclusively for rail industry leaders

Anglia’s £2.2 billion transformation 5

Cracking on and delivering growth 40

Network Rail’s Ellie Burrows on her role in transforming the railways.

The new Chair of the Rail Freight Group, Neil Sime, looks ahead to the industry’s exciting future.

January 2021 Issue 5 railbusinessdaily.com

The inside track… Kate Jennings and Neil Walker New export opportunities John Larkinson Adapt, change and grow Colin Flack OBE Supporting SMEs Jenny Nunn Delayed birthday celebrations

Rising star of the light rail world


RIA’s Kate Jennings and Neil Walker on preparing for new export opportunities.

Tom Rowe receives global recognition for keeping the West Midlands Metro safe.

Ellie Burrows Leading the £2.2 billion transformation of Anglia’s railways ww

Post-EU transition & trade missions 8

A platform for success… Releasing the latest industry news

News 12 Including Bombardier’s landmark deal, rail fares and steam railways.

The exclusive agreement to bring battery power to Great Western Railway’s trains.

Relentless focus has to be maintained 16 John Larkinson, Chief Executive of ORR, on the need to adapt, change and grow.

The power of collaboration

Levelling up funding for Welsh railway projects



Northern Powerhouse Rail’s Tim Wood on the need for the project to come to fruition as soon as possible.

Using the latest techniques to monitor railway infrastructure

Highlighting products and services that are set to transform the railways.

2020 Queen’s Award 50 not out for Seaton Tramway Nasir Khan says we need to move beyond Winners in Innovation Chief Executive Jenny Nunn on the challenges mission statements, policies and strategies. of the last 12 months and the delayed birthday for Dura Platform Working through Christmas 34 celebrations for Seaton Tramway. Inspiring Muslims to seek a career in the rail industry 32

Some of the major projects completed over the festive period. Robroyston Station

International news Featuring Knorr-Bremse, Bombardier and a

A hands-on approach to new rail link between Iran and Afghanistan. championing rail’s supply chain 36 Unlocking the Power of Composites Colin Flack on the vitalIndustry role of supporting Movers and shakers forOBE the Rail the industry’s SMEs.



Network Rail’s Simon Abbott and Sat Sense’s Matthew Bray discuss the technology driving earthworks asset management.

Platform 1

A round-up of some of the new appointments in the rail industry.

GRP End of Platform Gates and Fencing Solutions

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Stephen Crabb MP discusses the inquiry examining the country’s railway infrastructure.

How a behavioural change is helping the major Clacton-on-Sea resignalling work stay on track.

The Northern Powerhouse

Hitachi and Eversholt Rail develop intercity battery hybrid train 46


Editor Dean Bruce editor@rbdpublications.com Writers Danny Longhorn Dave Windass Print Manager Dan Clark Distribution Manager Luca Goaten Advertising Team Christian Wiles Freddie Neal chris@rbdpublications.com Published by RBD Publications Ltd., Suite 37, Philpot House, Station Road,

• 87% weight saving vs. SS6 traditional Rayleigh, Essex, 7HH. build due to lightweight superstructure and Printed by Stephens & George GRP panels •64 Allows for©rapid 2020 adjustment for future PTI requirements All rights reserved. Reproduction of

the contentssurface of this magazine any • Low maintenance testedinto whatsoever is prohibited +1 millionmanner footfalls without prior consent from the

• Modular panels publisher.can be rapidly installed on convex or concave platforms

For subscription enquiries and to make

• 68 Hybrid GRP system hasofdesign life suresteel you get your copy Rail Director of up to 120 years please ring 0800 046 7320 or email

subscriptions@rbdpublications.com The views expressed in the articles Tel: +44 (0)1255 reflect440291 the author(s) opinions and do info@duracomposites.com not necessarily reflect the views of the 71 www.duracomposites.com publisher and editor. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in good faith. content is published in good faith.

• Lightweight, high strength fencing and gate solutions • Non conductive and non corrosive • Modular design can be rapidly installed • Bespoke Structural Design and CAD Services available • Same day dispatch on standard stock holdings

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Network Rail

Leading the £2.2 billion transformation of the railways in Anglia Network Rail’s Ellie Burrows on the major work involving over 2,600 workers and • 87% weight saving vs. traditional build 1,700 miles of track due to lightweight superstructure and

2020 Queen’s Award Winners in Innovation for Dura Platform

Robroyston Station

Unlocking the Power of Composites for the Rail Industry

GRP End of Platform Gates and Fencing Solutions

Unlocking the Power of Composites for the Rail Industry

Dura Slab Composite Stair Treads & Landings with Built-in Riser for Rapid Install Unlocking the Power of Composites for the Rail Industry


GRP panels


• Allows for changes rapid adjustment future ajor are wellforunderway PTI requirements

to provide a safe and high-performing • Low maintenance surface tested to railway for passengers in Cambridge, Norfolk, +1 million footfalls Suffolk, Essex and East London. • Modular panels can be rapidly installed Theconvex £2.2 billion transformation, which runs until on or concave platforms is focused onsystem renewing maintaining •2024, Hybrid GRP steel hasand design life of up infrastructure, to 120 years leading to fewer delays and existing improved reliability for passengers. the project is Ellie Burrows, who this Tel:Leading +44 (0)1255 440291 info@duracomposites.com month has marked her first anniversary since www.duracomposites.com being appointed as Network Rail’s Route Director for Anglia. “It certainly wasn’t the normal first year in the content published in good faith. job,” said Ellie.is“It has been challenging but also a great opportunity to quickly understand how the organisation works under pressure and get a of our strengths and areasfencing for improvement. •grasp Lightweight, high strength and “We solutions have delivered a lot over the last year gate all and of thisnon delivered a high level •and Nonthroughout conductive corrosive reliabilitydesign to our passengers and users. That’s •ofModular can be rapidly installed to theStructural amazing teams Anglia, who •down Bespoke Designacross and CAD Services never fail toavailable impress.” In theday lastdispatch 12 months, Network Rail has • Same on standard stock holdings completed many large-scale projects as part of the Anglia transformation. This has included replacing the overhead wires on the Southend Victoria line, replacing 57 pairs of wheel timbers across bridges near Manea and capacity has Tel: +44four (0)1255 440291 info@duracomposites.com been doubled on the Fen Line. www.duracomposites.com This has been alongside maintenance work such as track renewals on the Wherry Lines

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Network Rail

and East Suffolk Line and at Somerleyton, Maryland and Brampton. Two consultations have also commenced for Ely area enhancement and Cambridge South. Making a difference “I’m very excited to be Route Director for the transformation,” said Ellie. “This is a really ambitious plan in Anglia that will make a difference for our passengers, freight services, stakeholders and teams and we are all really focused on doing this. “We have installed new overhead wires on the Great Eastern Main Line and on the Southend Victoria line, which is already improving reliability throughout the summer months. “It’s not just the large-scale projects that make a difference for passengers. This year we have installed new seating at Liverpool Street, something that might seem small in comparison to a large-scale renewal, but it’s something that is really important to our passengers. “This work continues throughout 2021. We are continuing to invest in and improve Liverpool Street station, we’re installing a new signalling system on the Clacton-on-Sea branch line and we continue to work on plans for improvements at Ely and a new station at Cambridge South. “Our operators all have really ambitious plans around new rolling stock introductions. The investment and opportunity this provides to our passengers across Anglia is huge and really exciting.” The major changes are a big and complicated undertaking involving over 2,600 colleagues – plus many more from the supply chain – and in excess of 1,700 miles of track, as well as signalling systems, control rooms, sets of points, level crossings, bridges, viaducts, overhead electrical lines and new stations. “We want to deliver the safest, best possible service to our passengers and freight customers,

6 | January 2021

and that means putting ourselves in their shoes,” said Ellie. “We know that ultimately when passengers get on a train they want to arrive on time, and that’s why we’re investing in track renewals, overhead wire renewals and structures

This is a really ambitious plan in Anglia that will make a difference for our passengers, freight services, stakeholders and teams work, to improve reliability across the network. But in addition to that, we want to offer the extras that make journeys even more enjoyable and convenient, and at Liverpool Street this year (2021), we’ll roll out free unlimited WiFi, smart new entrance matting to help reduce slips and trips on the concourse and upgraded cycle storage with

increased capacity. We have incredible teams of people who are crucial to delivering this. We want them all to go home safe every day and that’s why we have invested in a programme to ensure safety is at the heart of planning and delivering.” Using her experience Ellie’s up for the challenge that lies ahead, using over 20 years’ experience in the UK rail industry in a wide variety of roles, including Area Director at Network Rail, and more recently, as Train Services Director at Southeastern. She said: “I didn’t have trainsets as a kid, but I did study economics and was interested in the environmental and economic benefits of railways whilst studying. I then ended up temping as a telephone operative for Rail Enquiries whilst at university, and when leaving university applied for a role in Network Rail. The rest is history. “My previous experience has helped with the current role. Apart from being a really great job with a fantastic team, the time I spent at Southeastern also enabled me to really understand the motivations, pressures, and challenges that our train operators experience. “This has really helped me to understand how we can work better together to deliver safely for our passengers. I am able to support my team to put themselves in our operators’ shoes and consider better ways forward. “Having worked outside of Network Rail, I understand those non-intentional frustrations that train operators and stakeholders have with working with a large organisation – which is something I am working to improve. The railway is a system, far greater than just what Network Rail, train or freight operators do individually. Being able to understand this more fully is really valuable to me and hopefully my customers.” Another passion of Ellie’s is to encourage more women to aspire into a career in the railways. As well as people taking inspiration from her success, Ellie is also mentoring individuals and supporting railbusinessdaily.com

Network Rail

programmes that are encouraging diversity in the industry. In recent months, over 100 organisations in the industry have joined forces in signing the Women in Rail and Railway Industry Association’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion charter, and it is this kind of initiative that is accelerating change. Female role models “When I joined the industry nearly 20 years ago, there weren’t many senior female role models,” she said. “I’m really proud of how much that has changed over this period though there is still lots more to do to make the leadership of our industry more diverse and inclusive. I haven’t had too many issues over the years, but when I’ve had issues, I’ve called them out. “I have been lucky to meet lots of great people along my journey who have supported me to deal with some of these artificial boundaries and who have pushed me to keep going. I try hard to repay that kindness now mentoring individuals and supporting programmes. It is so important that we are all part of the change. It’s still true to say that many young girls don’t dream of

joining the industry. We know lots of areas of our organisation are still perceived to be male dominated and in some areas they still are. “We need to change that narrative, make sure we talk about and demonstrate the great opportunities in rail, demonstrate that you can do senior roles in our industry with children, and

that it’s a place where it’s really possible to make a difference. I really enjoy my job – I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. I learn every day, I work with fantastic people and every day we make a difference. There aren’t many industries and roles that can offer so much and so many opportunities and we need to get that message out.”

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Post-EU transition, trade missions and being at the centre of negotiations RIA’s Policy Director Kate Jennings and Exports Director Neil Walker give their thoughts on how to ensure the UK’s rail supply chain is prepared for new export opportunities


he railway has a key role to play in postBrexit, post-coronavirus economic recovery, the UK’s economic growth and in generating the inward investment the UK needs to support the much-heralded ‘Build Back Better’ agenda. Four and a half years on from an EU referendum which saw Britain vote to leave the EU, and, since 31 January 2020, a 12-month status quo transition period, companies are now preparing for changes to the way that business is conducted with European countries as well as new trade partners around the world. Preparedness is, of course, key to business survival but this has been difficult due to the protracted, and then extended, trade talks between the EU and the UK. As 2020 drew to a close, a post-Brexit agreement on trade and other issues was finally agreed on Christmas Eve, avoiding the anticipated disruption of no-deal. The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community and has some 300 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people. It spent the transition period planning for different scenarios in an effort to support its members and the wider industry. Kate Jennings, RIA’s Policy Director, and

Neil Walker, Exports Director, are leading the association’s efforts on post EU transition work, providing essential support for RIA members. Both are determined to work with members to fully understand what the rail sector needs in order to navigate the challenges and flourish in a post-transition environment, and also to seize

upon the opportunities that exist in trading with non-EU countries. Kate is no stranger to strategic thinking on relationships with the EU, having been the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Head of Rail Strategy Projects Division and, from December 2019 to February 2020, working on the development of transport policy for the EU exit. She joined RIA in March 2020. Key trade asks In 2020, RIA called on the Government to consider rail as a key part of future trade policy, highlighting five key trade asks: For rail to be included in the negotiation of free trade deals Access to an appropriately skilled workforce and mobility for skilled UK workers The consistent application of standards with mutual recognition/equivalence and nondiscrimination as core principles in all trade agreements Smooth cross-border trade rules Reciprocal rules on market access and domestic content

8 | January 2021



These asks, said Kate, should remain at the core of Government thinking on rail’s ability to play its part in an economic recovery and the sector’s objective to double exports by 2025. She said: “What we want is to be included in the conversation, so that if there are rail specific issues we can make the Government aware of them and if there are policy issues then we can influence those. “We’re very concerned about the access to a skilled workforce and the mobility of workers because a lot of the rail expertise that is employed in the UK comes from Europe and elsewhere. Similarly, for a lot of our consultant members they need to visit other countries for business so they have to be easily mobile.” Reciprocity needed Kate said: “We want consistent standards and mutual recognition of standards, for this to be as simple as possible and for there to be no discrimination. Generally, in terms of market access, we want reciprocal rules. It has been relatively simple for UK companies to seize on

European rail investment opportunities but in the future that will be different, so we need to make sure there is reciprocity to enable UK companies to keep exporting. “There are other areas where it would be good to understand what Government policy is. One of which is inward investment and what that means to the UK’s capability and content. With the levels of investment in rail in the UK there is a big opportunity for UK companies to grow, hire and develop people and skills and to grow their companies. It was positive to see in the UK-EU Trade Deal that we will remain part of Horizon Futures, the EU’s Research and Development Programme. While things will be different, there will remain many opportunities to learn, innovate and network. Generally, throughout 2020, our role was to flag information so members knew what to prepare for.” In addition to ongoing conversations with Government and members throughout 2020, RIA continued to participate in Rail Sector Group (RSG) efforts to strengthen the capability and competitiveness of the UK rail supply chain and

fed into the Rail Sector Deal strategy, including contributing to the RSG Exports Pillar. For Neil Walker, there are big market opportunities on the horizon for rail supply businesses. He said: “RIA undertook an Oxford Economics 2018 Rail Report and that highlighted that over £800m in exports flow from the UK to international markets per annum. There’s the

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January 2021 | 9


objective to double exports by 2025. RIA has an active export arm, and we work closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT) and provided a host of essential online information and businesses awareness sessions, international webinars with potential new trade partners, and we are now planning virtual trade missions to some countries.” Global rail vibrant “We’ve held nine different international webinars covering around 20 different markets talking about the many opportunities that exist. UNIFE’s recent World Rail Market Study predicted world rail market growth of up to 2.3 per cent by 2025 and an annual volume of around €240bn. So rail is vibrant around the world and can provide lots of opportunities with the right support for UK companies.” The RSG’s recently released export survey highlighted that the top priority markets for UK rail companies were USA, Australia, India, Germany, France, Canada, UAE and Ireland. And, said Neil, the feeling across the exports sector is that, by working with Government, a lot more can be achieved in the markets that have been identified.

Understanding customs tariffs, standards, entry barriers and taxes is key to doing business... we can help UK companies export more RIA, and Neil, have been busy planning a supportive programme for 2021. Working with DIT, the first joint virtual trade mission to Canada has been arranged, providing companies with access to in-market presentations and one-to one meetings. In March, a virtual trade mission to Australia is planned and will be followed, should rules and guidance on public gatherings allow, with physical exhibitions and conferences in 2021, including Rail Solutions Asia, TRAKO in Gdansk, Middle East Rail in October and AusRAIL Plus in Brisbane in December. Neil added: “This is all about helping UK companies network, giving them an opportunity to demonstrate what their products are and build and open up market opportunities for them, with support from RIA and UK Government officials in these markets. 10 | January 2021

“Understanding customs tariffs, standards, entry barriers and taxes is really key to doing business and working together we can help more UK companies export more. “There are mutual recognition agreements in place with Australia, New Zealand and the USA and that is very encouraging. Also, the DIT has signed many trade agreements. So we are keen to get the information from Government on what is happening in those markets so we can signpost the right information to our members.” Peer-to-peer mentoring In addition, the RSG has been working with RIA and the Government to enable exporters to obtain Network Rail references to be used when bidding for overseas work, and RSG are hoping to roll out the same facility with other organisations, including Transport for London. The RSG are also developing a peer-to-peer mentoring scheme for exporters and carrying out a mapping of the UK, due to be completed this year, to gain an overview of what aspects of rail business are represented across the country with support from RIA and other organisations in the RSG Exports Pillar. RIA’s transition planning and support dovetails with the association’s new ‘10 reasons to continue to invest in rail’ report, which explains why coronavirus should have a negligible impact on the long-term prospects of UK rail. Passenger numbers historically always bounce back after economic shocks and recessions – the railway is demonstrably safe for those using the network during the pandemic, and will continue to be so subsequently – and the Government needs serious investment in the railway to continue in the months and years to come if it wants to deliver green growth which can ‘level up’. Taken together, all

this provides many reasons to remain optimistic about what the future holds, whether we are talking about rail at home or abroad. Investing in rail Kate added: “Globally, everyone is talking about rail as an industry that can help rebuild postrecession and following the hit we’ve taken from coronavirus. If you take a 50-year view of the rail industry it is clearly central to Zero Carbon targets, accessible travel, levelling up and jobs, it’s clean and green, why wouldn’t you invest in rail? What we’d like is for UK investment to have a legacy on exports. How we can celebrate talent in the industry and support the companies that have the capability to export and maximise their potential? We’re optimistic and considering what we can do to support this work. Whether it’s trade missions or helping with negotiations, how can we help?” Neil added: “We have a very good relationship with the Government in terms of export markets, great support from DIT and DfT, and work very closely with TfL and other organisations. We’re keen that this support continues. We’ve been very privileged to have ministers support us on overseas trade missions and attending overseas exhibitions, while embassies have been exceptional at facilitating visits, hosting receptions and networking so companies in market can take those discussions further. “The Government financially supports SMEs with Trade Access Programming (TAP) grants and we’d like that to continue at the current budget level and even for that budget to be increased if possible. Looking at other areas where the Government can show its support to the UK’s rail supply community will be very, very important in the coming years.” railbusinessdaily.com

I n sFue raat nu cr e

Advice for Railway Companies – monthly feature by Jobson James Rail – The Rail Broker

Site accident injury – who pays ? T here is a contractual chain between the parties on any railway contract site. Typically Network Rail will issue the main contract written on one of their NR wordings. The PCL will divide the work into smaller subcontracts and pass them down on a subcontract wording to the Tier 2 contractors. The Tier 2 may use a labour agent who contracts either direct with the individual operative or via an umbrella/payroll company. Courts considering a site accident will look at who provided supervision direction and control, who wrote the method statement, safe work pack and risk assessments. They will also look at causation. These are all factors in determining where blame for the accident lies. However, the liabilities accepted under the contracts interfere with where the insurance claim is directed. Many contracts push liability to the labour agents even though they were not supervising the work.

Many labour agents buy cheap EL PL insurance from recruitment schemes whose insurers are not intending to accept railway contractual liabilities. So the labour agencies can find themselves badly exposed if they have accepted contractual indemnities for site injuries and site damage but have no insurance to back them. The courts very rarely accept that liability can be passed down to the COSS operative who may have failed to do their job and caused the accident so their own personal IR35 mini PL insurance policy rarely has to pay. So the insurance held by

PSC Ltd company operatives actually provides no protection to the labour agents or Tier 1 and 2 contractors that employ them. The good insurance broker will understand these complex indemnities and will give advice on each contract wording to their labour agent and rail subcontractor clients. They will also ensure that there is full disclosure to insurers of these material facts so the railway company is not in breach of their statutory disclosure obligation as defined in the Insurance Act 2015. Keven Parker, Chartered Insurance Risk Manager ACII NEBOSH Head of Rail, Jobson James Rail. Contact Keven on 07816 283949.


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January 2021 | 11


Bombardier signs landmark deal to fit digital signalling to Electrostar trains B

ombardier Transportation has signed a framework agreement with Porterbrook to fit digital onboard signalling to Bombardier Electrostar trains in the UK. This project falls under the UK’s Digital Railway Programme funded by the Department for Transport through Network Rail and is managed by the National Joint ROSCO Programme (NJRP). Under the framework agreement, Bombardier will deliver the design work needed for the fitment of the European Train Control System (ETCS) equipment and the Bombardier EBI Cab 2000 onboard Automatic Train Protection (ATP)

system, to all Electrostar fleets in the UK – the most numerous Electric Multiple Unit type currently operating on Britain’s railways. The initial agreement is worth £11.3 million, to design and fit First in Class (fic) ETCS equipment to a Porterbrook-owned Class 387 Electrostar train operated by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). Richard Hunter, President Rail Control Solutions, Bombardier Transportation said: “As a market leader in ETCS technology worldwide, our EBI Cab 2000 onboard system supports drivers to operate at safe and optimal speeds.

This is a further example of strategic investment to enable the roll out of digital solutions to enhance efficiency, capacity and safety in the UK rail network.”

DB Cargo UK and Network Rail conduct landmark track-testing of HVO fuel


‘carbon-busting’ Class 66 locomotive fuelled with 100% renewable Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil (HVO) has made a landmark journey on the UK rail network. The Class 66 locomotive (66150) operated by DB Cargo UK transported a consignment of long-welded steel track from British Steel’s plant in Scunthorpe to Network Rail’s depot in Eastleigh, Hampshire. Network Rail was the first of DB Cargo UK’s customers to trial the use of the environmentallyfriendly fuel on one of its services, following

12 | January 2021

earlier successful load bank trials carried out by the freight operator on a Class 67. It is estimated that substituting traditional red diesel for the new HVO fuel reduced the train’s carbon emissions by as much as 90%. DB Cargo UK’s Head of Sales Roger Neary said: “We are delighted that Network Rail agreed to work with us on this exciting project that could ultimately lead to a significant reduction in our carbon footprint and that of our customers.” DB Cargo UK now plans to carry out further live tests on its fleet of Class 67 and 60 locomotives. HVO – Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil – is marketed as ‘one of the world’s purest and greenest fuels’. It’s synthetically made through the hydro-treatment process from vegetable oils or animal fats, which significantly reduces harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions when used in diesel vehicles and machinery.


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Scottish Government to extend EMAs and lower than average increase in rail fares


he Scottish Government has announced plans to extend the current Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) for the ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper franchises. It has also confirmed that the 2021 increase in rail fares will be deferred to March, with a lower average increase in Scotland than elsewhere. A further £8 million of emergency funding will also be provided for Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams in response to the ongoing

financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EMAs which were put in place last September

are due to expire in January. The additional support for Scotland’s railway is estimated to cost around £108 million and will be in place until the 31 March 2021. Plans are also in place to defer the implementation of the annual inflation-related increase of Scottish fares. This will see off-peak fares increasing by 0.6% and peak fares increase by 1.6% on 1 March 2021. This is a lower average increase than being applied elsewhere.

Thirteen companies chosen for £200 million contracts to help build a better railway for passengers


hirteen companies have been awarded contracts to deliver buildings and civils work across Network Rail’s Southern region. The three-year contracts which started at the end of November 2020 cover things such as upgrades to station canopies and platforms, footbridges, earthworks which includes drainage and repairs when there has been a landslip, rewiring at stations, lift and escalator renewals and station information. The contracts have a combined

estimated value of around £200m. Network Rail selected companies which are leaders in innovation and sustainability and could demonstrate a proven track record of delivering social value across the communities in which they work. John Halsall, Managing Director Network Rail Southern region, said: “We have chosen suppliers to allow us to deliver vital new infrastructure and support the overall aims of providing a safe, reliable and efficient railway for passengers.”

The selected companies are: General building and civils: Balfour Beatty Rail; VolkerFitzpatrick; Amalgamated construction Mechanical and engineering specialist: B&M McHugh; Quinn Infrastructure Services Fabric specialist: BCM Construction; Lundy Projects

Footbridges specialist: Nationwide Rail; Taziker Industrial Metallic structures specialist: Dyer and Butler; Freyssinet Earthworks specialist: Dyer and Butler; Taziker Industrial Masonry and concrete specialist: Nationwide Rail; Kier Integrated Services

Refusal of coal mine plans means British steam railways may look to Russia to stay in business


ewcastle City Council has refused planning permission for a new surface coal mine at Dewley Hill. The decision means an end to UK-based coal production and has dashed the hopes of Britain’s heritage railways, who need affordable coal to continue operating. Steve Oates, Chief Executive of the Heritage Railway Association, said: “The decision is a huge disappointment. We spoke at the planning committee meeting and we had argued a strong case. UK-produced coal generates a fraction of the CO2 emissions created by extracting and then shipping coal half-way round the world to

14 | January 2021

the UK. And it costs less in money terms, too. “Keeping Britain’s heritage railways running with affordable locally-produced coal would secure the future of a sector which sits at the heart of the country’s industrial and cultural heritage, and generates millions for the leisure and travel sector.” Without domestically-produced coal, the heritage steam sector will have to find ways to import, store, handle and distribute the coal it needs. Steve said: “Maintaining consistent and reliable supplies of coal is difficult and expensive. That burden will now fall on our members, whose finances have already been hard-hit by the

COVID-19 pandemic. The inevitable increase in the cost of coal may well be too much for some of our members to bear.” Existing stocks of English steam coal will last into early 2021, while coal supplies from Wales are currently expected to end in 2022.



Relentless focus has to be maintained John Larkinson, Chief Executive of ORR, on the need to adapt, change and grow


he Chief Executive of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) says that the focus on the core efficiency of Network Rail should not be lost amid the ongoing impact and repercussions of COVID-19. John Larkinson, talking to RailDirector in the week that the regulator’s mid-year report praising Network Rail’s COVID-19 response while raising concerns on capacity planning and approach to timetabling was published, said that rail should “never lose focus on the absolute essentials.” He continued: “In 2019-20, for first time in eight years, Network Rail hit its efficiency targets which is such a big deal, and I can’t overstate how important that is for the rail industry’s credibility. We’re talking about enormous levels of expenditure and for many years those efficiency targets were not met.

Even in 2020, that most difficult of years, it looks like they’ll hit their targets. Now there can’t be any ifs and buts – there has to be relentless focus “If you’re seeking public funding you are jeopardising your position if you do not meet your targets. You talk to the Treasury and quite reasonably they ask whether this public sector company is actually delivering efficiently. “Why would they put more money into a business if it wasn’t? ORR has spent a significant amount of time and energy developing new indicators on delivery and getting Network Rail focused and now they are. Even in 2020, that most difficult of years, it looks like they’ll hit their targets. Now there can’t be any ifs and buts – there has to be relentless focus.” Reflecting on the first half of 2020-21, the midyear report praised Network Rail’s timetable planners for their extraordinary work in delivering four major timetable changes in six months during a very challenging time. ORR also highlighted 16 | January 2021

the dedication of Network Rail’s workforce in delivering vital maintenance works to ensure the continuation of safe operations and its continued focus to deliver planned maintenance and renewals work in a challenging environment. However, ORR raised concerns about plans to deliver 2021 timetables in a significantly more condensed timeframe than the industry’s established timescales, calling for greater assurance that it has fully considered the risks of this condensed approach, with reference to

passengers being able to plan their journeys with confidence as they return in greater numbers to travel by train. Network Rail improvements ORR has also required Network Rail to improve the promptness, accuracy and transparency of how it conducts capacity allocation, so that operators and ORR can make informed decisions about potential new services for passengers and freight. railbusinessdaily.com


Despite its powerful regulatory role in rail, ORR is a relatively small-scale operation, with just 300 staff spread across six offices covering a wide remit of work. Naturally, it was also hit by the impact of COVID-19 on its day-to-day work, not least because in the early weeks of lockdown questions about the implications on health and safety, finance and requests for help, guidance and support were coming thick and fast. Industry support John said: “Fundamentally we support the industry and overall I was very pleased with how we were able to provide that support. The whole industry was adapting at remarkable speed and, for us, keeping up with the industry was a challenge in itself. We didn’t want to be the ones holding things up so we made some necessary changes including making a seamless shift to remote working. We were able to be pragmatic with the guidance we offered. If you have an experienced team like ours it’s possible to make some very detailed judgement calls.” While the big issues made the headlines, ORR also carried out a lot of work behind the

scenes to maintain rail’s direction of travel. The ORR’s staff’s work on safety, cost and revenue issues around ElecLink, the Getlink (Eurotunnel) project to design, install and operate an HVDC 1000MW electricity interconnector between France and Great Britain via the Channel Tunnel, continued, as did providing the essential analysis and statistics that underpin the rail industry’s every move. ORR’s market study into the rail signalling market, a large part of Network Rail’s

cost base, was paused due to COVID-19 and then restarted in November, while the hugely relied on station usage statistics, which officially records the annual total of passenger entries and exits, were published as normal, although the statistics made for unsettling reading. Predictably, although hardly forecastable, the decline in station usage across Great Britain was partly attributed to the dramatic fall in passenger numbers towards the end

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of March 2020 following the impact of COVID-19. Nationally, journeys fell by 51 million (11.4 per cent) compared to the previous year, while Waterloo station topped the chart for the sixteenth consecutive year despite the decrease in numbers, with Glasgow Central (32.5 million) remaining the busiest station in Scotland. The busiest station in each region of England in 2019-20 was the same as in the previous year, while there were six stations with fewer than 100 entries. John added: “That day-to-day work occupies a huge chunk of our time and rail relies on us to do that. Whatever the circumstances, people need analysis and that needs to continue. Naturally there’s a whole area of work around passenger information, timetabling changes and, even accepting that these are very unprecedented times, whether train operating companies are doing everything they reasonably should and could do.” Capability assessments ORR has carried out capability assessments in different Network Rail regions, looking at their capability in the early design stage of enhancement projects to ensure that ‘big decisions’ are the right ones, and has also provided consultancy to the National Infrastructure Commission around asset management for HS2. It is also focused on passenger-facing conditions, particularly around improving accessibility, working with the industry on improving assistance to passengers that need it. John added: “The industry has many initiatives around improving staff training and improving accessibility provision, but at each point on a journey the assistance can fail, causing significant inconvenience to the passenger. So how does the industry get better at that? “We’ve been working with operators to trial a new system to improve this, and we’re pleased with that work. The industry

18 | January 2021

is rising to the challenge and we will see the benefits of this as passenger numbers grow again. “More broadly the technological innovations that are being developed across the industry present a huge opportunity to reduce costs and improve productivity. During our last periodic review of Network Rail we established a research

If some form of new rail body covering track and train is established, what does that mean for the role of ORR? and development fund. If you’re trying to get the focus and plan 10-20 years ahead then Network Rail needs to be funded to do that work, and it doesn’t do that work alone but with universities and research organisations. This is an area where, through the effective processes we run, we can help the innovation cycle.” As attention turns to rebuilding the economy in 2021, tied to the Build Back Better agenda, ORR is looking at its role in the authorisation process for new trains and infrastructure and wants to change the conversation around reducing costs and maintaining a safe and reliable railway, debugging some of the myths that have built up around its role. As John pointed out, there are many assumptions made that ORR always seeks the

most expensive ‘gold plated’ solutions when it comes to assets, thus playing a part in driving up expenditure, which is far from the truth. As a result, ORR is reissuing guidance in an effort to improve communication and encourage proper analysis and risk assessment ahead of projects. John added: “Detailed work on appropriate lower cost solutions that deliver required outputs more effectively is what’s needed and what we want. There’s a very good debate about building better, faster and more cost-effectively. Attention to detail is important, as is changing some of the arguments and the way we all communicate with each other. What we want is proper risk assessment, not assumptions. We want reasonably practical options in line with the law. So we’re trying to change the nature of the conversation with Network Rail. We have a really key role to play to be at the heart of discussions around reducing costs and changing attitudes. We’re also asking ourselves what we can do better.” In light of rail reform, ORR is also asking even bigger questions of itself. For John, a keen runner and cyclist when away from the day job, it’s a challenge he’s moving towards. John said: “If some form of new rail body covering track and train is established, what does that mean for the role of ORR? That’s a discussion we’ve having with Government and the conversation is good and cooperative. In some ways our role will probably expand. Our key purpose is effectively to provide oversight and assurance of an industry in order to protect the public interest while ensuring transparency. So we need to consider how we adapt, change and grow in some areas.” railbusinessdaily.com


The power of collaboration How a behavioural change is helping the major Clacton-on-Sea resignalling work continue through COVID-19


t was just over 12 months ago that Network Rail’s geographic regions took on accountability for the delivery of all projects within their borders, including track and signalling. The move by the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in the UK was part of a drive to be more customer and passenger focused, allowing the regions to be better able to respond to local needs and demands. “Clacton is another story that just shows that we can only deliver value for our customers if we all pull together,” said Boris Lucic, Network Rail’s Capital Delivery Director, Anglia. “It is a story about integrating the supply chain, it is a story about integrating technology, it is a story about working closely with the industry partners to come up with the right logistics plan in terms of access and station operation that causes minimum disruption to passengers and users. “As we are getting through the crisis of COVID-19, it is that mentality of together we stand, divided we fall that is more critical than ever to our joint industry success. We are sharing best practice, learning from each other and working together to deliver value

for the customer. The Clacton story is the proof that devolution has happened here in Anglia.” It is a view shared by Charles Newlands, Director of Signalling and Telecoms Operations at Atkins, a top 10 supplier to Network Rail. “We have embarked on an ambitious transformation in relationships and behaviours since the devolved regions came into play. “The badges are off and there is a real sense of teamwork with an overwhelming desire to achieve common programme dates. Everyone is digging deep to find a new way of working so we can keep the infrastructure running through some very challenging times.” £37 million system As Principal Contractor, the Atkins team has been working with Network Rail on the new £37 million signalling system in the Clacton-on-Sea area to replace the Victorian equipment with modern technology. The project will upgrade a mix of semaphore and 1950s colour-light signals equipment to modern standards, controlled centrally from the existing Alstom Modular Control System at Colchester Powered Signal Box. The team has risen to the challenges surrounding COVID-19, delivering every project milestone, with the successful installation of 13 new OLE structures, two new relocatable equipment buildings, a new power supply, six new signal foundations and over 25,000m of new cables during the recent preparatory works. “It isn’t different in terms of the general principles

20 | January 2021

of how a project is done; but what is different is how it is done in terms of behaviours and dialogue that has taken place between all the industry partners,” said Boris, who has worked in the industry for over 20 years. “It is more a behavioural change. The drivers are always the same, these jobs are always about integrating technology and they’re about logistics which ultimately means that they are

The badges are off and there is a real sense of teamwork with an overwhelming desire to achieve common programme dates about people and industry partners working together. Unless you have that team of all parties involved, then you really will struggle to navigate these waters.” As it stands, everything is on track ready for the major February works, something Gary Green, Network Rail’s Senior Programme Manager in Capital Delivery Anglia, says is largely down to this behavioural change. “There has been a desire for us to change from previous projects, and despite plenty of challenges we’ve worked collectively to overcome them,” he said. railbusinessdaily.com


“Timescales were very tight on this project and needed a different type of collaboration. The team has really set about having a joint approach of making sure that, when we find problems, we work collectively and quickly agree the solution and move forward. “Rather than a commercial battle, an ongoing debate, it was a forum that we would use to look at issues and tackle them together and come up with the best solution. “That has been the real change with this project. We’ve got a really good process in place commercially for early warnings and progressive assurance for engineering. It is that kind of approach really that has so far meant that we’ve been able to keep this project on track towards its commissioning date.” It is a change which has been welcomed across the board, as Marco Lombardelli, from Global Rail Construction Ltd, confirms. The company is a sub-contractor delivering the D&C civils/ structural requirements on the Clacton project on behalf of Atkins. “Excellent planning, collaboration and the ‘one team approach’ has ensured that works


were delivered safely, successfully and without serious issue, even with the impacts of COVID-19,” he said. “Very early in the pre-construction phase of the project, Network Rail, Atkins and ourselves held regular, weekly telecoms to identify the risks and to discuss control measures, mitigation and additional support, aiming to deliver a safe working environment for everyone. “It has been an excellent project to be involved with, mainly due to the close working and good communication by all parties involved. Importantly, our teams feel part of this project and they feel they have contributed in a major and inclusive way.” (See page 23 for more information) Collaborative working John O’Boyle, Managing Director of OSL Rail, the multidisciplinary signalling contractor for the delivery of the Clacton resignalling works, said: “OSL began work with Atkins and Network Rail on the Clacton project in June 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. “The government guidance and rules were changing by the day and our main challenge was to ensure all parties on site were kept safe.

January 2021 | 21


The uncertainty also had the potential to affect our supply chain, but by collaboratively working together the Clacton resignalling project remains safe, efficient and ahead of schedule. “The one-team approach on this project has increased efficiency, removed the possibility of conflict and has ensured that every milestone is achieved safely. It is a great example of what trust and collaboration can deliver.” Whilst Network Rail is upgrading the signals and track, Greater Anglia is introducing brand new trains as part of the plan to improve rail journeys for passengers. Tony Gordon, Infrastructure Delivery Director at Abellio, owning group of Greater Anglia, which runs the railway in Clacton, said: “It is working really well generally. What might seem on the surface to be quite minor issues are being escalated relatively quickly to someone within each of the organisations to get them resolved. “There are also regular board meetings, so we are all getting answers quickly. As an industry, things had to change and that is happening. As Charles has pointed out, it is really important that we get better at delivering projects more efficiently. “We need to be more efficient to

Key Stages

keep the levels of delivery up and the only way to do that is collaboration. Everyone has bought into that and are more willing to be flexible and agile in our approaches.” Across weekends in September and October, the teams completed the preparatory works ahead of the intensive works in February and March. “Because of COVID-19, we could have quite easily said everything has to stop, we just have to wait six months,” said Charles. “But what we’ve done is said ‘No, we will put Clacton at the top of our agenda. It is being delivered within budgets and timeframes to ensure Clacton will be safely delivered on time. This is all down to this behaviour change and collaboration. “The Atkins model has supply chain embedded within our team and stripped out layers of man marking. The use of smart technology like ‘iAuditor’ is a real game changer, building a transparent, progressive assurance and trust at all levels within the project.” It is a view agreed with by Boris, who finished by saying: “Clacton is a good example of being creative and looking at different ways of working to outwit the virus and be able to continue with the

work safely. We haven’t missed a single milestone on Clacton, and if you go to the sites this has been done whilst maintaining very good, safe working practice. I think Clacton is a testament to that creativity and that ability that if we come together, use all of our brain power, good behaviours and good leadership on site we can keep moving with these vital projects and deliver for customers, even during COVID-19, and build back the economy.”

Enabling works throughout the Clac Clacton Station area up nd ssite preparation ready to Burrs road level crossing, and for major works or installation installa

Winterr 2019/20 2

Clacton on Sea

Set up of site facillities. Civils works to accommodate new modern signals and equipment

Spring 2020 Works ongoing

Materials deliveries for track and signalling equipment and set up of new power supply

Autumn 2020

Full commissioning of new Signalling system controlled out of Colchester. All track works and electrifications works completed

Winter 2020/2021 ANGLIA ROUTE

22 | January 2021



Infrastructure Group - an international collective of trading companies whose design and build services all fall under the banner of ‘infrastructure contracting’.

Global Rail Construction Limited’s broad discipline specialisms comprise civil and structural engineering, building, signalling, track and mechanical, electrical and power solutions within the rail industry. The UK arm of the group is now entering its twentieth year and is going from strength to strength in its core markets of rail and transportation. Having been awarded a Trackside Principal Contractors Licence in 2014, it operates not only on Network Rail’s infrastructure, but also with TFL on London Underground’s infrastructure. Offering either discipline specific services or a fully managed turnkey solution across its range of activities, Global Rail Construction Limited specialises in the design, installation, commissioning and testing of railway critical infrastructure. Leveraging on its considerable in-house team, which combines 600+ years of combined D&B infrastructure experience, with recent successes such as the Feltham Resignalling Project under their belt, Global Rail Construction Limited continues to demonstrate how it employs innovation to add real value for its clients. Global Rail Construction has a proven track record in providing a fully managed service in a live railway environment. Its point of difference over many of its competitors lies in its deep-rooted understanding of the UK network’s requirements, the need for meticulous planning and collaborative co-ordination. Its USP is without doubt its people, with a long-term strategy in place to invest in and develop all staff to enable customers’ expectations to be met and exceeded, in an efficient and consistent manner. The company has always empowered its people to grow, develop and achieve their full potential whilst providing

platform and support to enable this growth potential. Global Rail Construction Limited takes its responsibilities Global Rail Construction Limited is the UK arm of the Globalthe seriously and operate a policy that incorporates a programme of continuous improvement and on-going staff education and development. Its continued focus is to maintain and foster a safe, healthy and inclusive environment Global Rail Construction Limited is the UK arm the Global Infrastructure Group our people can learn and develop their full potential. Infrastructure Group - an international collective of trading whereof Global Rail Construction Limited’s knowledge, experience considerable capabilities ensures that it provides an - anwhose international collective of trading companies whose design andand build services companies design and build services all fall under the in-house solution to meet even the toughest challenge, whilst its core values ensure that its delivers each and every project, on an individual basis. banner of ‘infrastructureall contracting’ . the banner of ‘infrastructure fall under contracting’. For joint owners Marco Lombardelli and Ivan Holloway, using the collective strength of the group of trading companies under the ‘Global’ banner is very much to the advantage of the worldwide rail industry.

GlobalGlobal Rail Construction broad discipline specialisms comprise and structural engineering, building, Rail Limited’s Construction Limited’s broadcivil discipline signalling, track and mechanical, electrical and power solutions within the rail industry. Global

specialisms comprise civil and structural engineering,

Rail Construction Core Values

The UK arm of the group is now entering its twentieth year and is going from strength to strength in its core building, signalling, track and mechanical, electrical and markets of rail and transportation. Having been awarded a Trackside Principal Contractors Licence in 2014, itWe have five core values that express our shared understanding of what we believe, how we aim to behave and what we aspire to be as operates not only on Network within Rail’s infrastructure, also with TFL on London Underground’s infrastructure. power solutions the railbut industry.

an organisation.

Offering either discipline specific services or a fully managed turnkey solution across its range of activities, Global The UK arm of the group is now entering its twentieth Rail Construction Limited specialises in the design, installation, commissioning and testing of railway critical infrastructure. year and is going from strength to strength in its core

markets of rail and transportation. Having been awarded a infrastructure Leveraging on its considerable in-house team, which combines 600+ years of combined D&B experience, with recent successes such as the Feltham Resignalling Project under their belt, Global Rail Construction Trackside Principal Contractors Licence in 2014, it operates Limited continues to demonstrate how it employs innovation to add real value for its clients. not only on Network Rail’s infrastructure, but also with TFL

Global Rail Construction has a proven track record in providing a fully managed service in a live railway on London environment. Its point Underground’s of difference over manyinfrastructure. of its competitors lies in its deep-rooted understanding of the UK network’s requirements, the need for meticulous planning and collaborative co-ordination.

Offering either discipline-specific services or a fully Its USP is without doubt its people, with a long-term strategy in place to invest in and develop all staff to enable managed turnkey across its range of activities, customers’ expectations to be metsolution and exceeded, in an efficient and consistent manner. the company specialises thedevelop design, installation, The company has always empowered its peoplein to grow, and achieve their full potential whilst providing the platform and support to enable this growth Rail Construction Limited takes its responsibilities commissioning and testing ofpotential. railwayGlobal critical infrastructure.

seriously and operate a policy that incorporates a programme of continuous improvement and on-going staff education and development. Its continued focus is to maintain and foster a safe, healthy and inclusive environment considerable in-house team, which where ourLeveraging people can learnon and its develop their full potential.

combines 600+ years of combined D&B infrastructure

Global Rail Construction Limited’s knowledge, experience and considerable capabilities ensures that it provides an in-house solution to meet even the toughest challenge, whilst its core that its delivers each and every experience, with recent successes such asvalues theensure Feltham project, on an individual basis.

Resignalling Project under their belt, Global Rail

For joint owners Marco Lombardelli andcontinues Ivan Holloway, to usingdemonstrate the collective strength of the Construction Limited how it group of trading companies under the ‘Global’ banner is very much to the advantage of the worldwide rail industry.

employs innovation to add real value for its clients.

Global Rail Construction has a proven track record in providing a fully managed service in a live railway environment. point of difference over many Values of its Global RailIts Construction Core competitors lies in its deep-rooted understanding of the UK network’s requirements, theour need for meticulous We have five core values that express shared understanding of whatplanning we believe, how we aim to behave and what we aspire to be as and collaborative co-ordination.

Passionate Committed in heart and mind to whole-heartedly embrace our core values and culture, without exception. People Growing our organisation from within, promoting and empowering our people, inspiring them to be the best they can be. Professional At all times we act with integrity, providing quality service, reliably and responsibly.

Teamwork Working collaboratively whilst supporting and respecting each other’s views.

Responsible To consistently deliver quality, on time, safely and to budget whilst protecting our communities and the environment.

an organisation.

Its USP is without doubt its people, with a long-term strategy in place to invest in and develop all staff to enable customers’ expectations to be met and exceeded, in an efficient and Passionate consistent manner.

Committed in heart and mind to whole-heartedly

Global Rail Construction Limited’s knowledge, embrace our core values and culture, without experience and considerable capabilities ensures that it exception. provides an in-house solution to meet even the toughest challenge, whilst its core values ensure that its delivers each and every project, on an individual basis. People

Growing our organisation from within, promoting and empowering our people, inspiring them to be the best



Coral Classic FR & Flotex FR specified for 2020 FlixTrain refurbishment project G

erman start-up FlixMobility is a mobility provider which offers the travel services FlixBus and more recently FlixTrain, operating its own distinctive lime green branded trains. As FlixTrain continues to expand, it has added to its fleet of refurbished vehicles. Forbo Flooring Systems has played a key part in the FlixTrain refurbishment project of 135 cars, providing floor covering solutions for saloons and vestibule areas. The refurbishment project will take place between March 2020 and May 2021. There can be few environments more challenging for floor coverings than inside busy saloon carriages and vestibules, where a hardwearing yet attractive textile floor covering is required that also works well with the interior design scheme. It was highlighted by FlixTrain that it was important for the floor coverings to be hard-wearing and able to withstand heavy foot traffic, wheelchairs, wheeled luggage and standardised cleaning methods. Two products were specified for the refurbishment project to meet FlixTrain’s requirements, the first being Coral Classic FR to be used in the vestibules. Coral Classic FR is the ultimate moisture absorbing entrance system, meeting the European fire regulation EN45545-2 (HL2) and preventing up to 95% of dirt and moisture entering the saloon from passengers’ feet and luggage at the point of entry. Coral Classic FR provides an effective entrance system to help reduce the premature wear and tear to interior floor coverings, minimising cleaning and maintenance costs and protecting passengers by reducing slip hazards. Coral Classic FR is available in a range of colourways, but Raven Black was selected for

the FlixTrain to fit the interior design scheme and help hide dirt and soiling. Flotex FR Metro Anthracite was also specified to be used in the saloons. This unique, textile, flocked floor covering combines the cleaning properties and durability of a resilient flooring with the comfort, slip-resistant and acoustic properties normally associated with textile flooring. It also meets the EN45545-2 (HL2) standard.

Flotex FR offered several unique advantages which were important to FlixTrain. It possesses excellent acoustic properties up to 22dB, along with Flotex FR’s impervious backing which makes it suitable for wet cleaning when required. Thomas Vetter, Procurement Manager for FlixTrain, commented: “We hadn’t worked with Forbo before this project but we were happy with the finished refurbishment and were very pleased with the great service Forbo were able to offer.” Coral FR By removing wet and dry soiling from the soles of shoes and wheel treads, an effective entrance system reduces premature wear and tear to interior floor coverings, minimises cleaning and maintenance costs, and protects passengers

24 | January 2021


by reducing slip hazards. Coral FR (Classic FR/ Brush FR/Duo FR/Welcome FR) is a collection of textile clean-off products for entrances with heavy traffic. Coral FR features include: • Stops up to 95% of dirt and moisture • Excellent dirt storage/soil hiding • Available with Pro-Fit backing for quicker installation • Reaction to fire EN45545-2: HL2/ HL3 (depending on design) • Cut to size/shape option Flotex FR The Flotex FR is a unique, textile, flocked floor covering, which combines high-quality cleaning and durability with comfort, slip-resistance and textile acoustic properties. The Flotex FR can be rotary printed (Flotex Colour FR) or high definition digitally printed (Flotex Vision FR); the latter allowing for far greater design freedom. Flotex FR features include: • Bespoke design service • Lightweight at approximately 1225g/m2 • Excellent acoustic properties up to 22dB • Impervious backing making it suitable for wet cleaning • Improved indoor air quality (independently proven by Allergy UK) • Reaction to fire EN45545-2: HL2 • Cut to size/shape option

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Watch what the North of England can do Tim Wood, Director of Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) at Transport for the North, on the need for NPR to come to fruition as soon as possible


he Government underlined its commitment to rebalance the British economy and level up investment spending in the North as part of November’s Spending Review, with more cash and a new strategy to kickstart the northern renaissance announced. The review revealed a £4bn Levelling Up Fund and an intention to shift spending to the regions of the UK, with investment in the North, Midlands and South West helping to rebalance the UK economy. This comes alongside a restated commitment, in the accompanying National Infrastructure Strategy, to improve connectivity between northern cities. The National Infrastructure Commission’s assessment of rail needs beyond the South of England was published last month, followed by the Integrated Rail Plan for the Midlands and the North of England. These two documents will ensure that Northern Powerhouse Rail, Phase 2b of HS2 and other planned rail investments in the North and Midlands are scoped and delivered in an integrated way. This will bring transformational rail improvements more quickly and to more places.

26 | January 2021



It will also make sure the benefits of investment are felt more quickly. The National Infrastructure Strategy chimes with Transport for the North’s (TfN) priorities to close the economic divide, fast-track the delivery of strategic projects and slash carbon emissions as quickly as possible. There’s still a lot more detail to come before spades hit the ground on NPR but the sense, according to Tim Wood, Director of NPR at TfN, is that the planets are aligning at precisely the right time. The NPR network will span from Liverpool to Hull and Sheffield to the North East. It will integrate fully with HS2, sharing track, stations and junctions. NPR will use around 80km of HS2 track, which emphasises the importance of HS2 to both the eastern and western legs of NPR. Half of the routes will see new lines in Liverpool, Warrington Central, Manchester, and from Manchester to central Bradford and up to Leeds. The rest of network is on Network Rail-owned infrastructure, with a series of major upgrades and interventions planned to increase capacity and reduce journey times.

A huge step was taken in November when TfN’s board voted for its initial preferred NPR network. That means the North was speaking clearly with one voice to say what was needed to allow the North to throw off the straitjacket of poor infrastructure. Route preferences have been

The North is talking on this with one voice. Our board members are key civic leaders, mayors and members of the business community outlined and sent the way of the Secretary of State for Transport ahead of the Integrated Rail Plan’s publication. Phasing scenarios for NPR were also approved by members of the board in November while final agreement from the board regarding

the NPR network will take place in February. TfN will then continue to work with the Department for Transport to jointly update the NPR’s strategic outline case ahead of submission in March. It will also work with the Government to look at ways in which a number of further options can be shortlisted and delivery accelerated to benefit the North’s communities and its future. Biggest project for decades Tim Wood said: “This is the biggest project planned in the north of England for decades. The development work continues at pace with big decisions being made and others fast approaching. The TfN board has agreed on an initial preferred way forward for the NPR network, one that will create thousands of jobs and provide a significant upturn in the region’s economy. “The North is talking on this with one voice. Our board members are key civic leaders, metro mayors and members of the business community via Local Enterprise Partnerships, and they have all agreed on a rail future that requires funding and commitment for NPR, which is a critical part of the Government’s desire to level up the


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North and the rest of the country. We have some great people focused on bringing this to life and who want NPR to come to fruition as quickly as possible.” TfN has been crystal clear regarding the importance of HS2 to the North, the need for the project to be delivered in full to ‘build back better’ and bridge the North-South chasm, and how vital it is for both HS2 and NPR to move at pace to provide the economic levelling up the nation needs. TfN also wants the Phase 2b eastern leg of HS2 to be built at the same time as the western leg. If everything moves with the speed the NPR board hopes, spades will hit the ground ‘up north’ in 2024-25. Construction on NPR will commence on two new stations at Barnsley Dearne Valley and on the Rotherham Midland Main Line and the work associated with fully electrifying the Leeds-Hull route. Tim added: “The next stages of development will see the NPR broken down into manageable projects, aligned to the preferred phasing scenarios and this will allow us to accelerate projects on the corridors. More widely, we’re looking to commence ground investigations on certain routes to gain a better understanding of the assumptions so far on the development work and we’re really progressing the development of the two new stations.” Badly connected Tim said: “An example I often use in terms of the need for NPR is that, if you go between Bradford and Leeds, which is only around eight miles, that journey takes nearly 30 minutes on a train. That is just not right in the 21st century. Bradford has a population of some 540,000 people and yet it is so badly connected it is not even on the mainline. Since the early 1960s to today we’ve lost half the railways in the north of England and that’s left us a twin track railway where fast intercity services are unable to overtake slower regional services and freight trains.” Tim is keen to stress that NPR is an economic scheme; it’s not simply about speed. It’s primarily about opening up capacity, connectivity, then the speed and the opportunities for some mph running to follow. “It is no good having trains rushing to the hubs if the hubs are not fit for purpose and are unable to cope with the volume of traffic,” he said. “So, we can’t forget about the stations, they are the real centres of activity and big economic drivers. The station is part of the offer, part of the town, part of a city region, and we need to get that right as well. “Then these new stations will offer local businesses, people and the economy far greater 28 | January 2021

access to a really good, strong public service offering. It is important that this project continues at pace to bring economic benefits as soon as possible to the people of the North.” “The planets do seem to be aligning. The Government has demonstrated its commitment

It is no good having trains rushing to the hubs if the hubs are not fit for purpose and are unable to cope with the volume of traffic to rail and, with their concern for value for money, we’re focused on talking to the industry and engaging early with innovators to drive a far stronger value-for-money proposition. “The Government will only see that come through in spades by giving continuity to the

programme. Bringing new infrastructure as quickly as possible to the North will give us the economic bang that we so need up here. It’s a long-term proposition, as it is for people coming to work on the project.” Tim is keen to stress that the benefits of NPR will be felt long before the first services start running and will be felt throughout the North’s economy. “In construction alone NPR presents a fabulous opportunity, and this will mean tens of thousands of jobs,” he said. “Then there are all of the other developments and wider business opportunities that will materialise as a result of this connectivity. “It is exciting to be a part of this opportunity and work with some fantastic people, drive value for money and to make sure the North of England and its people really see an economic transformation and a world class service, finally. The investment in NPR and HS2 will drive through the North’s potential. I’ll be out there on the first survey possession then when spades hit the ground on NPR in 2024. Then just watch what the North can do – this is where the railway story started back in 1830 with the first intercity passenger service between the great cities of Manchester and Liverpool.” railbusinessdaily.com

Accelerate Your Digital Strategy We are often told that innovation can improve operations, reduce costs, and provide an excellent return on investment. However, digital transformation in itself is not a magic wand that will fix all of your problems. Rail Directors can often become disillusioned and overwhelmed with the investment and process which leaders must go through to attract, recruit, and retain top talent. Furthermore, the candidates that can be recruited rarely have the subject matter expertise needed to apply rail context to an organisation’s data. After all, data science alone can only take you so far in understanding what is really happening to business assets. Rail Directors must then walk a knife-edge when implementing or accelerating digital initiatives. This is where Infinitive Group can help to kick-start digital initiatives and accelerate teams within the rail industry. Infinitive Group are positioned at the intersection of operational know-how and information technology with years of collective experience from working within the transport sector.

customers’ teams have the knowledge transfer they need so that technology, people and processes can work in harmony to deliver the business outcomes required. In the vast majority of cases, it is possible to begin collecting valuable data from rolling stock using existing sensors, systems and sub-systems already deployed. Ultimately, the first thing you need in order to make better decisions is the data! In order to offload this data, Infinitive Group recommend using its own data harvesting device, the Ramus remote terminal unit, to collect and store data until such time as the it can be communicated to the wayside. Once the data is communicated to the wayside a data lake storage solution is needed to store that data. A data lake can be defined as a data repository for storing massive amounts of raw data in its native form, in a single location. Infinitive Group are happy to work with customers’ existing technology infrastructure or have their own data lake offering, Pithoi. Once the raw data resides in a data lake Infinitive Group can initialise Artemis, Infinitive Group’s data analytics platform. Artemis uses real-time data from fleet assets to deliver alarms and predictive insights into the asset’s health. This insight can be guided by Infinitive Group’s subject matter experts with specific transport domain knowledge to ensure the validity of the findings.

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Infinitive Group work with maintainers, train operating companies, and rail asset owners with a focus on data and analytics in order to extract, transform and visualise information from complex datasets to ensure that customers are able to deliver their obligations. Injecting Infinitive Group’s Engineering Technology and Management Advisory services into your digital projects ensures that your teams are well supported and equipped to architect, mobilise and manage digital transformation projects. Infinitive Group understand what is possible, what ‘good’ looks like and how transformation can be achieved in order to improve reliability, availability, and maintainability while reducing cost and improving efficiency.

Developing and maturing your digital strategy is a challenge. It is made more difficult having to find the right talent and prepare existing teams in order to drive the innovation required to get the outcome desired. Infinitive Group is able to support businesses at every state of their digital transformation by collecting data and turning it into information, disseminating information into knowledge, and consolidating knowledge into wisdom. Contact us to find out more and accelerate your digital strategy.


Infinitive Group’s customers often supplement their own digital transformation team with our systems engineers, software developers and data scientists as innovation champions in order to architect solutions that will deliver value back to the business more quickly. Detailed knowledge transfer is locked into this approach, so that at the end of the project the customers’ teams are left upskilled and well prepared to take over the project once Infinitive Group’s work is complete. Infinitive Group understand that in order for a project to be deemed successful the technical solution is only one aspect. Infinitive Group ensure that the

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SWGR eyes significant growth in 2021 as it creates new jobs nationwide I

nfrastructure support services provider SWGR is looking forward to 2021 as it continues to deliver on isolation services, possession management and more across the UK. The company is delivering on substantial projects and is a primary contractor of choice for many isolation and possession management works. Working across all of Network Rail’s regions, SWGR has been creating new roles and developing individuals to strengthen an already knowledgeable and experienced team. This intense period of recruitment is an indication of the ambitions the company has to build on its strong foundations as a respected and trusted partner and work with companies of all sizes to deliver on the huge level of projects available over the next few years. Group Managing Director Raj Sinha said: “We are dedicated to doing a fantastic job for our clients by developing strong relationships. Our recruitment underlines our dedication to complete rail projects with experienced individuals who do their job safely and do it well. “Thanks to the nature of our business, we nurture and develop our teams to diversify them and adapt to the requirements of any project. Our message to the industry in 2021 is clear – we are ready to do a fantastic job for you in 2021 and beyond, wherever your project is in the UK.”

SWGR has a longstanding history of developing strong teams for rail projects. Fraser Boyce, who is celebrating his sixth anniversary with the company this year, joining as an Earthing Assistant in 2015. His positive attitude, willingness to learn and ‘can do’ work ethic has helped him to progress to an OLEC 1, OLEC 2 and Authorised Person, learning through Scot-Train courses. SWGR is a sister company to Scot-Train, which can provide training and support to anyone working for a rail company.

“I would like to think I have progressed well in the company and SWGR has given me plenty of opportunities to develop and progress my career” Fraser said: “When I first started with SWGR, I was looking for a career change due to previously having been diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2011. The treatment was going well, and I was getting back to full fitness – so,

at this point, my consultant advised a change in career. “I was eager to start on the railways because of the opportunities and the fact it is a good career. Working on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Project (EGIP) project helped me to understand how the railways worked and I took more courses so that I could take on different roles. I completed my Working at Heights ticket, Machine Operator licence and my OLEC 2 qualification. “I would like to think I have progressed well in the company and SWGR has given me plenty of opportunities to develop and progress my career.” Frank Tierney, Head of Electrification Services North, said: “Fraser is a perfect example of someone who has started their career from scratch in rail and, with the right attitude, can progress far in the rail sector. “I am sure that Fraser has the ability to progress to be an excellent manager for our division in time to come.” SWGR specialises in a range of rail services including Possession Management, Electrification Services, Rail Labour provision, Rail Welding, Track Renewals and Maintenance, and Ancillary Services such as Vegetation Management.

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30 | January 2021



Muslims in Rail

Inspiring Muslims to seek a career in the rail industry Nasir Khan MBE on the need to move beyond mission statements, policies and strategies to make inclusion a reality


ritish Muslims face universal barriers to employment and the rail sector is no different. Muslims in Rail (MIR) believe prejudice is a contributor as to why unemployment rates among Muslims generally are more than double that of any other community in the UK. However, the railway is an industry trying to change that, and among those leading those efforts is Nasir Khan MBE, recently recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his pledge to improve diversity in rail. “My experience of working in the rail and construction industry has been fantastic,” said the Director at global consultancy, Currie & Brown. “Although I have witnessed prejudice first-hand, I have seen it tackled in an impressive way. “As a first-generation immigrant in the UK, coming from Pakistan where I was the majority, the scenario here was different. For the first time in my life I was a minority with people around me who did not understand why I did certain things. “I was asked questions such as ‘What, prayers again?’, ‘Why are you not eating pork?’, ‘Is fasting a punishment since you can’t eat all month?’, ‘Why can’t you drink or go to the pub with us?’ and even when I was married I was asked ‘When

and strategies. There is a greater need to develop certain plan of actions that make inclusion a reality.” Nasir is an experienced end-to-end commercial professional with added engineering, procurement project management, business and legal qualifications. He is currently a Director at Currie & Brown, a global consultancy where he leads procurement advisory, commercial claims and dispute resolutions. “There was always something that wanted me to serve in the rail industry despite being the survivor of a fatal crash in Pakistan,” he said. “12 years on from that experience I was working on the Manchester Metrolink and when I was offered an opportunity to work for Network Rail leading their buildings and civils commercial strategy, it was an opportunity and personal satisfaction that I could not have said no to.”

are the next three?’ Luckily I had stock answers for all the questions. “The rail industry is one of the most diverse in the UK because it serves every region and every community. I think though that we do need to move beyond mission statements, policies

Prestige projects Nasir continued: “Now, working for a consultancy, I am utilising my 20 years of experience to improve efficiency and generate value for money. My current commissions are on some of the most prestigious projects in the world with HS2, major rail upgrade programmes with Network Rail and


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Muslims in Rail

train operations companies and Tilbury Port, etc.” Nasir is co-founder of Muslims in Rail (MIR), a national network of professionals drawn from leading rail and transport organisations. Since being established in 2017, its membership has grown to 700, spanning 25 plus rail and transport organisations. The group grew out of several discussions, debates and arguments on the topic of whether the rail industry is representative of modern Britain. “It was apparent that there were not many senior Muslim colleagues in senior leadership roles,” said Nasir. “We needed a platform to connect people where we can help each other out with career development, mentoring and coaching, whilst at the same time reaching out to communities who are not represented enough in our industry.” Connecting employees Nasir continued: “As a group, we started on the journey of having discussions to create networking events and awareness campaigns amongst people working in the industry. We continue connecting rail employees with one another through social events and providing training and guidance in the form of coaching and mentoring. “We are growing our presence in the local communities as knowledge builds better understanding. That’s why we advise employers and their staff on faith issues related to Muslims, through our outreach collaborations. “We are also inspiring the next generation through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education, as well as early engagement for all young people across the UK by reaching out to primary and secondary schools

in communities through our railway professionals, who volunteer and carry out interactive workshops, career events and support our family days out.” Equality, Diversion and Inclusion As part of MIR’s role in creating change under the values of opportunities, relationships, qualities and ethics, the organisation advises on Equality, Diversion and Inclusion (EDI) matters related to Muslims in the workplace. As well as the hard work going on with MIR, Nasir is also encouraging fellow rail colleagues to play their part. He said: “MIR recommends that the rail industry EDI plans include ‘Positive Action’, which is an initiative used in the police force to better

We advise employers and their staff on faith issues related to Muslims, through our outreach collaborations represent BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) make up of its work force. This can be achieved through a proactive programme to target recruitment and enable training and coaching of candidates from under-represented communities to integrate them into the fabric of the organisation. “We believe that the rail industry should take this initiative further to ensure BAME including

Muslims in rail are fairly represented in both junior and senior roles across the rail industry.” Key message “MIR is a strong advocate of driving economic benefit through jobs and prosperity by investment and improvements to the railways. Our key message is that the benefits must be shared by all communities and that the rail industry should proactively engage marginalised and hard to reach communities in the UK, specifically many Muslim communities. “It is important to train, advocate and set up some safeguards to ensure the engagement policies and large infrastructure plans capture input that directly benefits communities with protected characteristics. Furthermore, the make up of the rail industry and its leadership should represent the diverse communities they serve. “It is excellent to see that gender diversity has improved significantly. We believe that the diversity and inclusiveness policies should be far reaching, and the rail industry should take improvised actions to remove barriers to achieve this aim.”



January 2021 | 33

Christmas works

Major rail upgrades completed across the UK over the festive period Network Rail has completed a range of essential upgrades to the railway throughout the UK over the festive period


undreds of engineers worked over the Christmas and New Year period with work to improve track, structures and equipment to make rail travel safer and more reliable. Here at RailDirector we have highlighted just some of the work that has been successfully completed.

railway more resilient and more reliable and are part of a £4bn investment being made in our network between now and 2024. “Our engineers worked around the clock in very challenging weather conditions – including freezing temperatures and snow – to complete these vital enhancements that will provide long-term benefits for our passengers and freight customers.” Yorkshire Work on the £161 million brand-new platform, Platform 0, at Leeds station has been completed. The project began in 2018, with the final touches carried out by hundreds of Network Rail workers between the last service on Christmas Eve and early morning on Sunday, December 27. Over the 2.5 days, final work to the overhead lines, track and signalling systems took place, as well as rigorous testing to make sure the platform was ready for train services.

Scotland Engineers in Scotland have worked around-theclock at dozens of locations to complete £16 million of enhancements to renew key pieces of infrastructure, including:

Over 1km of track replaced and the renewal or refurbishment to 12 sets of points at Cadder, to the north of Glasgow. The team also renewed signalling and overhead power equipment and upgraded points heaters. Engineers worked from New Year’s Day until the early hours of January 4 to renew junctions and life-expired tracks at Pollokshields East and on the approaches to Glasgow Central station. Elsewhere across the country, engineers were relaying track near Inverness station and in Edinburgh, and upgrading track, signalling and level crossing equipment in Stirling.

Kris Kinnear, Network Rail Scotland’s Capital Delivery Director, said: “The projects delivered over the festive period will help make Scotland’s 34 | January 2021

The platform initially will be available for trains to use during times of disruption, helping to minimise delays for passengers, and will see timetabled services call there next year. Matt Rice, Route Director for Network Rail’s North and East Route, said: “Over the last two years, we have invested heavily into Leeds railway station to create a transport hub which the city can be proud of and which offers a warm welcome to visitors. “The completion of the platform is a huge part of this work and will make journeys more punctual and reliable for all those travelling to, from or through Leeds. The platform will help to make

things easier during times of disruption, meaning fewer delays for passengers and getting them on the move again more quickly.” London A central London sewer was diverted and rebuilt in just nine days during major Christmas works on the £1.2bn upgrade of the East Coast Main Line. As part of the huge project, the way trains enter and exit King’s Cross station is being completely revamped – meaning major work on a sewer running beneath the tracks. A hugely complex engineering challenge meant teams had to remove all four tracks into the station for the first time in 40 years, dig out

Camden Sewer from beneath them, divert, rebuild and strengthen the sewer, and then finally relay the tracks in time for passenger services to resume on Monday morning. Work was also carried out to install new overhead line equipment, renew some of the tracks around the station and install over 100 new pieces of signalling equipment, which will bring more reliable journeys for passengers. Ed Akers, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade, said: “This was an incredible, industry-leading piece of work by Network Rail engineers and our suppliers. “Digging out and rebuilding a major sewer would have been a complex engineering challenge at any time, even without all the additional problems of working during the pandemic. But it was delivered without a hitch and without causing any extra disruption for passengers.” railbusinessdaily.com


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Taking a hands-on approach to championing rail’s supply chain Colin Flack OBE on continuing to champion rail’s supply chain and support the industry’s SMEs


olin Flack OBE has now had several weeks to reflect on being the recipient of an award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. These honours are never inevitable, but for someone who wears so many hats in the transport industry it was more a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ his sustained leadership, commitment to rail and his contribution to championing and supporting the UK’s rail supply chain would be recognised in such a high-profile manner. Yet getting the advance warning that an OBE was heading his way was not as simple a process as one might expect. Given lockdown, the Cabinet Office had taken to notifying recipients via email back in April, and such is the unusual nature of the email address such official missives are sent from that most of these messages were filtered as spam. Colin received a follow-up call to stress the importance of reading the email, which is when the penny dropped. Colin said: “I hadn’t seen it up to that point and then there it was. When I got the call a part of me thought, this better not be a wind up, then I looked at the screen and realised it was real. Getting the OBE still hasn’t sunk in and it was certainly not something I expected so it was a really humbling moment. “Given my military background I’m pretty good at keeping secrets but this was a difficult one to keep to myself. Then when the announcement was made I had a wonderful reaction from people I know and some I don’t know at all who sent some lovely messages of support.” Simple outlook Colin continued: “It is important to me that this honour can be used positively. I have a simple outlook on life and my career in both the military and business is founded on pretty basic principles, at the top of which is trust and loyalty. The OBE will help me to continue to do my work and gives people trust in what I can do.” Following a career in the British Army, which started in 1978 and saw him serve in Northern 36 | January 2021

Ireland, Hong Kong with the Gurkhas, the Gulf War, Kosovo and elsewhere in the world, and ultimately rise to the rank of Colonel, Colin then set up Quinton Rail Technology Centre (QRTC) with his wife, Ruth. QRTC is one of just four

Getting the OBE still hasn’t sunk in and it was certainly not something I expected so it was a really humbling moment Testing Centres of Excellence in the UK and the largest specialist off-lease rolling stock storage site in the country. QRTC is also the home of Rail Live, an event recognised as Europe’s largest outdoor railway show. Colin was responsible for transforming Rail Live into its current format, which benefits

from a strong partnership with Bauer Media’s Rail Magazine and brings the entire rail industry together in a working railway environment. Colin was also one of the key players in forming the Rail Supply Group, which is now working on delivering the Sector Deal. He was the founder of the West Midlands Rail Alliance via his work with the West Midlands Manufacturing Advisory Service, which subsequently evolved into the national and international body that is the Rail Alliance. In 2019, the Rail Alliance became a fully integrated part of University of Birmingham’s Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Innovation, where it continues to support industry and academic rail activities. Colin explained: “The Rail Alliance’s integration with the University will reap some really big, positive benefits in the future. “The whole point about the Rail Alliance is that it came about to address the void that existed for the large percentage of companies that would not describe themselves as ‘rail’ businesses because they supported and supplied a whole variety of industries, and therefore the rail industry did not really support them.” Catch-all for companies Colin said: “There were a lot of businesses that didn’t feel loved. So our role was to fish deeper and more broadly and be a catch-all for those companies that wanted to get involved. That’s more in vogue now, of course, but we changed things. Now, there’s a new evolution, with the UK Rail  Research and  Innovation Network (UKRRIN), so we’re all working in a different space and the University will provide opportunities and routes in for companies to engage with rail. “The railway industry is a difficult place to do business because it is, inevitably, dominated by some very large players so it’s not an easy place for the SME to work. Yet it’s that space that I find absolutely fascinating and working with the Rail Alliance, supported by a brilliant team, we made the inroads required because OEMs, Tier 1 contractors, ROSCOs, they’re not really set up to nurture the supply chain and frankly do not railbusinessdaily.com


suffered some postponements and delays. Key partners supported at the site – notably manufacturer Vivarail and rolling stock service supplier Chrysalis – have been further helped in order to keep functioning at close to full capacity, with adaptations to shift patterns and production schedules. Rail Live wasn’t so fortunate, cancelled as it was in 2020, although a comeback in June 2021 promises “a triumphant return” for the event. Colin said: “Everything is gently optimistic around the return of Rail Live in 2021. We have so much space at the site that we’ll be safe and it is all perfectly doable, it will just come down to whether the rules allow the event to take place.”

understand the world of the SME, despite their protestations otherwise. We’ve managed to work with those larger players to enable them to work effectively with SMEs, and to help them develop the moral courage to be honest and fair. Just having innovation days or supplier open days isn’t enough, it’s how SMEs can be pulled through and continue the business relationship. “Honesty and openness are really important, actually giving people reasons why this work might be a difficult process because often, SMEs are hanging on for years. They’re thrown a hurdle, they overcome it, then they’re thrown another hurdle. In many ways my role is mentoring people and listening to them and to get common sense to prevail. “The safety critical aspect of the industry allows rail to mire things down and slow progress, development and genuine innovation. But there’s an awful lot that isn’t safety critical and that’s the space SMEs can work in and innovate in.” No such thing as the railway Colin said: “You know, in the same way that Margaret Thatcher didn’t quite say there’s no such thing as society, there is arguably no such thing as the railway. The ‘railway’ is grouped together in a big lump, in a way that we don’t do with the automotive sector or aviation. That makes life difficult for the supply chain because it never quite knows who it is supposed to be addressing.” For Motorail, another company owned by Colin and Ruth and led by Steve Dunmore, Ruth’s brother, which services and maintains 95 per cent of all the UK’s railway tank wagons, working through a global pandemic hasn’t proved to be an insurmountable hurdle, not least because the site is a large, open space. For QRTC changes to working procedures and practices were modified in line with guidelines in 2020, while testing and trialling work has railbusinessdaily.com

Sense of importance Colin said: “From where we’re sat at the moment, though, by the time we get to early spring, with the flu and cold season behind us, and the combination of the brave new world of Brexit and companies getting back on their feet, Rail Live will be a great way to go charging into a new era. So there is a great sense of importance we’re feeling around the event, we’re going for it and feeling confident that we’ll get things sorted.”

The Rail Alliance’s integration with the University will reap some really big, positive benefits in the future While an OBE might serve as a good punctuation point to take stock of a career, Colin has no plans to change track. While he’s taken advantage of lockdown to indulge in his passion for carpentry and working with his hands – he is currently refurbishing a five bedroom house, making oak furniture to order and recently rebuilt the bar in a friend’s historic public house – there’s still plenty of work in rail to deliver. Colin added: “We have a lot going on at QRTC and I’ll continue in the business development space helping and supporting others. Careers are a haphazard journey. My old dad, who is in his late 80s, has never been able to understand what it is that I do. I’ve always been entrepreneurial and that’s the arc of my career, to constantly be on the lookout for opportunities. “I’ve lost none of my passion for rail, it is an interesting sector with good people and a great sense of national purpose.”

New Year’s Honours List recognises railway workers


ongratulations to several workers in the railway industry who have seen their efforts recognised in the latest New Year’s Honours List. Lee Hallam OBE, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Sheffield-based Linbrooke Services – for his inspirational industry leadership, philanthropy and tirelessly championing the disadvantaged. Mark Hopwood CBE, Great Western Railway’s (GWR) Managing Director – for his services to the railways. This month he returned to GWR after he spent the year at South Western Railway as Interim Managing Director. He has held numerous roles in the railway since starting in the industry aged 17. Martin Frobisher OBE, Network Rail’s Group Safety and Engineering Director – for his work supporting the railway response to the coronavirus, the construction of the Nightingale hospitals and supporting the army reserves. Loraine Martins OBE, Network Rail’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion – for her work to improve diversity throughout Network Rail and her voluntary work with the National Mentoring Scheme. Debbie Francis OBE, City Executive for the North at Arcadis – for her contribution to raising the profile of women in rail over the last decade. During her career in rail, the former Chair of Women in Rail North West has championed the promotion of diversity and inclusion. Shane Andrews MBE, Network Rail’s Project Operations Interface Specialist, Wales – for his work improving inclusivity within the rail industry, particularly with the LGBT+ community, and for volunteering in various roles within his local community for more than a decade. Sharon Sear and Mat Sullivan, both received BEMs – the London Underground staff have been recognised for their work to protect both colleagues and customers from the spread of coronavirus, with their actions helping those needing to make essential journeys. Andy Savage MBE, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust – honoured for his work supporting railway heritage and for more than 40 years of volunteering with the Ffestiniog Railway.

January 2021 | 37

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‘Zero to Landfill’ approach to the removal of Japanese knotweed N

etwork Rail is being urged to put plans in place to control invasive, non-native plants such as Japanese knotweed, which have become a difficult and potentially expensive burden to remove on major rail projects. Japanese knotweed’s reputation is not without substance. It can grow rapidly because of the way it reproduces quickly through its underground rhizome system and has impressive regenerative potential if treated incorrectly. If left unchecked it can be both difficult and expensive to remove. The identification of Japanese knotweed is further complicated as its appearance changes according to the season, it can be hard to identify and can be mistaken for less harmful plants. However, a site infested with Japanese knotweed need not be an issue when effectively managed by a competent, trade accredited specialist company. Henderson & Taylor delivers value to Network Rail through innovation and by helping them to achieve their environmental and sustainability goals through the provision of low carbon, cost-effective solutions for the treatment of Japanese knotweed and other non-native invasive species.

Henderson & Taylor is at the forefront of providing effective treatment and eradication solutions for the removal of Japanese knotweed and other invasive species on rail projects throughout the UK. The company’s innovative approach is tailored to reduce risks, minimise costs, be environmentally sustainable and legally

“By working closely with its clients, Henderson & Taylor ensures that its clients are fully aware of their environmental responsibilities” compliant. Its collaborative approach saves money for its clients by developing new ways of working that drive down costs, reduce contract duration and deliver more value. In order to continue to develop, Henderson & Taylor continually challenges its working

methods to ensure that its practices and procedures meet its clients’ business needs. The company also strives to identify, monitor and manage the impact its activities have on the environment and is fully committed to environmental accountability and protection. By working closely with its clients, Henderson & Taylor ensures that its clients are fully aware of their environmental responsibilities and the company always considers the environmental impact of its own work. Environmentally responsible Operating in an environmentally responsible way is at the heart of Henderson & Taylor’s corporate and management planning. It recognises that sound practices in waste minimisation and management, together with materials management, can lead to significant financial efficiencies which benefit all stakeholders. The company also recognises its duty to protect the environment and to minimise the effect that its work may have on the environment. It is aware of the potential for treatment and eradication methodologies to produce large volumes of waste material and is committed to dealing with them in the most cost-efficient and effective manner. Instead of using the traditional ‘Did and Dump’ methodology, where excavated material is sent to landfill incurring a high rate of tax, Henderson & Taylor removes the Japanese knotweed by excavating, screening and incinerating it in Environment Agency approved mobile incinerators. Rhizome segregation is achieved via a two-stage screening process and incineration renders the rhizomes completely inert, the resultant ash can be backfilled on site. Zero to Landfill This ‘Zero to Landfill’ solution is a low carbon, bio-secure and environmentally friendly solution that effectively addresses Network Rail’s environmental objectives. It delivers lower capital and operational costs and is an environmentally sustainable solution which reduces waste, diverts material from landfill, minimises carbon footprint and protects the environment through the avoidance and prevention of air and noise pollution. It also reduces the impacts on local residents, businesses and road users and

38 | January 2021



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contributes to the circular economy through the re-use of decontaminated soil material on site for landscaping. The ‘Zero to Landfill’ solution was successfully employed by Henderson & Taylor whilst working for Taylor Woodrow, the Civil Engineering Division of VINCI Construction UK Ltd (VCUK) on the Dr Days to Filton Abbey Wood Capacity Improvement Project. Filton Bank was a design and build project, reinstating two former tracks between Dr Days Junction to the South and Filton Junction to the north (approximately five miles). The location of the project was in a densely populated residential area of Bristol. One of the key challenges was minimising the impact on local residents, hence the use of the ‘Zero to Landfill’ solution. CEEQUAL Good Construction Award The project received a CEEQUAL Good Construction Award in recognition of its reduction in carbon emissions through the use of innovative construction methods, procurement of local workforce and utilisation of trains for material deliveries. Reduced impacts on residents, businesses and road users was also acknowledged through traffic management options, as was the reduction in waste sent to landfill through on-site incineration of Japanese knotweed rhizomes and other excavated wastes sent to reclamation projects.

The award also recognised those elements of the project that highlighted best practice and innovation in respect of ecology and biodiversity. Henderson & Taylor was highlighted for its innovative solution of excavating material containing Japanese: separating the rhizomes from the soil and incinerating on site, allowing

“Henderson & Taylor is uniquely positioned to deliver a wide range of vegetation management and invasive non-native species remediation services direct to Network Rail” for the treated soil to be returned to the same location and therefore avoiding the need for disposal off site. Additional benefits of a reduction in disposal costs and carbon emissions and traffic congestion of muck-away wagons was also highlighted. Henderson & Taylor is uniquely positioned to deliver a wide range of vegetation management and invasive non-native species remediation services direct to Network Rail. Its experience of railbusinessdaily.com


working within the Network Rail supply chain has been as a nominated specialist supplier and its client list includes: Alun Griffiths Amco Giffen Buckingham Group Colas RAIL Hochtief Rail Taylor Woodrow Vinci Henderson & Taylor now has a Principal Contractor (Provisional) Contractor licence, is RISQS accredited, is an Environment Agency (EA) Upper Tier registered Waste Carrier and possesses an EA Recycling Permit. Its management systems are ISO accredited to 9001, 14001, and 18001. It is corporate members of IEMA, CHAS, BASIS, Construction Line registered and possesses EL / PL insurance to £10 million. Henderson & Taylor is ready to provide you with the very best treatment and eradication solutions for the removal of Japanese knotweed and other invasive species for your rail projects throughout the UK.

Visit www.henderson-taylor.co.uk for more information

January 2021 | 39


Cracking on and delivering growth The new Chair of the Rail Freight Group, Neil Sime, looks ahead to the industry’s exciting future


eil Sime, Managing Director of Victa Railfreight, was elected as the new Chair of Rail Freight Group (RFG) in November 2020. For Neil, who served as Vice-Chair of RFG for the preceding two years and , has been a board member since 2003 and RFG member since Victa Railfreight was formed in 1995, it is an appointment that has made him both flattered and incredibly proud. The Maidstone-based businessman is looking forward to facing the enormous challenges that the coming months will present, while also helping RFG members embrace the big opportunities that are materialising in rail freight. Neil said: “It’s very nice to be recognised by my peers in what is a challenging time for everyone working in rail freight. The freight industry is very used to challenges but we simply just crack on and deliver growth. “We are also facing a very exciting future, as more businesses look to move their goods off the roads and onto the rail network and, given the restructuring that will also take place, that will bring with it some fantastic opportunities. All we need now is some strategic certainty so that we can look 20 years ahead and consider what technological advances we can bring to make rail freight services more efficient, resulting in a vision that we can all be equipped for accordingly.” The board of RFG has the experience to lead the way, along with RFG Director-General Maggie Simpson OBE. Andrew Harston, Regional Director, Wales & Short Sea Ports, Associated British Ports, has been elected Vice-Chair and new board members Liam Day, GB Railfreight (GBRf); Peter Graham, Freightliner; John Hall, Davis Wagon Services; and Geoff Lippitt, PD Ports join the 16-strong board. Neil said: “We’ve got a very strong board and a fantastic executive team led by Maggie, and there’s some really good work being done. My aim for the next 12 months is to do what I can to make the board as effective as possible in support of the whole rail freight sector, pulling everyone together to lead on key strategic issues and making sure that we’re talking as one voice. We’re a strong unit and we will work together to bring about even greater things.” 40 | January 2021

Supporting RFG Members Neil continued: “The RFG’s role has never been more important in tackling the current issues such as the decarbonisation of the transport sector and

We are facing a very exciting future, as more businesses look to move their goods off the roads and onto the rail network in helping the Government meet its environmental targets. I look forward to helping carry the debate forwards and supporting RFG Members.” Neil enjoys wearing more than one hat and the positive benefits that the ‘day job’ bring to being Chair mean that his two leadership roles in the industry go hand-in-hand. His role as MD at

Victa Railfreight – a “microcosm” of the rail freight sector – provides him with strong insight into what other member businesses are experiencing. He added: “The day job also provides me with plenty of opportunities to lobby for the sector, so it will be integral to what I do on a day-to-day basis as RFG chair.” That lobbying will, necessarily, have a focus on the need for more electrification, including some ‘quick wins’ linking Felixstowe with the Electrified trunk route from Ipswich, wiring London Gateway from the port through to the London Southend line, electrification of the routes from Teesport to the East Coast Mainline and associated power supply upgrades, along with other short stretches of line that link adjacent electrified routes. Neil explained: “The entire rail industry is in flux right now given the fall-off of passenger numbers and the huge amount of financial support the Government has had to provide to support passenger operators. Freight has fared much better. Understandably there was a fall-off in April and May 2020, but freight volumes have railbusinessdaily.com


now recovered back to pre-coronavirus levels. The decarbonisation agenda is picking up speed and we firmly believe that the rail freight sector has a major role to play in decarbonising the supply chain. We’ll be lobbying the Government hard for more electrification – from the infill schemes already mentioned to a wider electrification strategy to unite more of the trunk routes. With the impact of reduced passenger services there may well be some opportunities for running more freight trains on routes that were previously congested with passenger trains.” Proven track record Neil said: “Retailers and major supermarkets see the benefits of using rail increasingly as part of their supply chain. Going forward we all know that our withdrawal from the European Union will bring some challenges. “A lot of shippers are moving from accompanied trailers to unaccompanied trailers and they are much easier to convert to containers that rail can move, and we clearly have a proven track record there. In the same way that we’ve

built our deep-sea container volume, there will be significant growth in shorter sea that’s previously been road hauled as it transfers to rail. “Rail freight is poised to relieve some of the logistical challenges that Brexit presents us with

and the Channel Tunnel has capacity, and now could be the time for the tunnel to come to the fore once again. “There are also huge tonnages forecast of construction materials in conjunction with

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HS2 but some big challenges to overcome in providing the resources to do that. There are going to be some significant structural changes in passenger rail but rail freight, which is driven by private enterprise, is a success story. We will keep up the lobbying and push for rail freight to be considered equally with the passenger sector in any reshaping of the rail industry.” Investment continues Investment in rail freight is continuing apace, although attention is turning to the replacement of Class 66 locos which are now mid-life, further emphasising the need for clarity around the Government’s intentions regarding electrification before orders are placed for new fleets and other equipment. Neil said: “The sector is clearly very willing to invest further to secure its future place in rail so that’s one aspect that RFG is focused on. We definitely need to have confidence in the Government’s intentions because everyone wants to make the right investment. We can cope with some short-term uncertainty but long-term multimillion pound investment is not something the sector can take lightly, so we need some vision on what the future network will look like. “At Victa Railfreight, we’re particularly focused on working collaboratively across the sector. We’re supporting safety improvements, developing logistics solutions by changing operational processes, looking at what the decarbonisation agenda means away from the mainline and 42 | January 2021

holding discussions regarding battery shunting and hydrogen locomotives. We’re asking how we service routes that will never be electrified but still need freight capability in a decarbonised world. What sort of equipment do we need to invest in? How can we devise solutions to promote growth across the market? And these are all issues being asked across the sector.” Showcasing technology Neil said: “While RFG must remain independent, it can promote technical innovations from its

members and we’re particularly keen to showcase technology, new services, new terminals and other developments, so there’s a lot going on to provide members with opportunities to engage with the wider membership and the wider industry. “RFG’s role is to support and be supported by freight operators and the wider freight community to make sure rail freight is represented as a solution for many of the challenges ahead and that the Government is persuaded of the case for a vibrant and sustainable rail freight community.”


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Abellio ScotRail 380 Refurbishment ‘facelift’ undertaken by TXM-Projects A

bellio ScotRail’s Siemens Class 380 will be celebrating a decade of sterling service with a refurbishment by TXM-Projects. The company has been selected as the preferred supplier for the electric multiple-units interior refresh and LED installation with the job of refurbishing a fleet of three-car and four-car units. The overhaul is taking place at the train operator’s Shields Road Depot in Glasgow, with each unit taking six days to complete. The 38-strong fleet of trains consists of 130 carriages and is ScotRail’s second largest fleet of electric trains. Class 380s were introduced to Scotland’s Railway in December 2010, operating in Ayrshire and Inverclyde initially, but now serve customers on routes across the country. Managing a project during COVID-19 lockdown The primary issue facing this turnkey project was that of COVID-19 and the fact that the UK was managing ongoing restrictions. This project was going to be very different; the first in class unit was initially to be decontaminated by one of TXM-Projects partners Hygiene Pro Clean (HPC). HPC also delivered training, so staff could competently decontaminate all subsequent units safely. This would be a requirement before any of the teams entered the unit and after hand back to ScotRail. HPC’s product eliminates the COVID-19 virus from working surfaces making it a safer environment for workers. In addition, all staff were depot-inducted and introduced to several briefs for physical distancing and ScotRail’s COVID-19 policy to keep everyone safe.

Abellio ScotRail’s detailed scope The outline scope included the deep clean of the carriages, seats and flooring plus replacement of the vestibule flooring, all seat upholstery and repair of all tables and corroded areas including the grab poles. These units would also be upholstered with the innovative prominent priority seating covers which allows for better identification of priority seat locations. In addition, new energy saving LED lighting would also be installed. Supporting local Scottish businesses As ScotRail Shields Depot is an active depot, the team needed to work efficiently and with minimum disruption to other workers on site. TXM-Projects also engaged with Eurospray, based in Fife, to undertake the surface coatings of the grab poles, litter bins and peripheral items to bring them up to an as-new standard again, delivering on time and in full. TXM-Projects skilled workforce was also brought in to paint the interior of the train. Driving efficiencies It was noted during the strip down that in order to meet the customer’s challenging schedule, the removal of seating, tables and grab poles was completed during the day shift and all painting of the interior was undertaken on a night shift. Tip up seats were sent away to be recovered, whilst the remainder of the seating was re-covered in situ and tables were repaired and painted by partners. Despite the tight schedule and COVID constraints, by utilising LEAN techniques TXM-Projects is delivering the refurb within six days at steady state. Key elements of the ‘makeover’ include the installation of new flooring, new seat upholstery including prominent priority seating, a paint refresh, and general repairs to tables, bins and handrails. Executive comments Syeda Ghufran, ScotRail Engineering Director, said: “Since their introduction, our Class 380 trains have been incredibly popular with customers right across the country. This work to refresh their interior demonstrates our commitment to delivering the highest quality service, and helps make rail travel a more



modern, comfortable and popular option for customers.” Steve Timothy, Eversholt Rail Stakeholder Director, said: “We are delighted to continue working in partnership with ScotRail to improve our fleets in Scotland. Our investment in the overhaul of the Class 380 fleet demonstrates our commitment to delivering safe and high-quality trains to our customer and their passengers.” Jamie Borgeat, HPC Managing Director, said: “As one of our first major projects in the rail industry, HPC are very pleased to be able to offer this decontamination service and provide to the workforce and the public a refreshed unit, safe and COVID-19 virus free, on delivery back into traffic.” Bryan Bennett, TXM-Projects Managing Director, said: “TXM-Projects is proud of the work being carried out in collaboration with our Scottish partners to deliver this important project for Abellio ScotRail. We continue to work effectively to complete these units to the highest standards set by the customer and it is credit to the entire team that we continue to provide these high levels on a weekly basis to achieve the results.” Stakeholder engagement TXM-Projects, Abellio ScotRail, Eversholt Rail and our numerous suppliers are working hard and collaboratively to get these much-needed units back into service to run for another decade with their new upgrade.

Visit www.txmprojects.co.uk for more information or call 0121 213 6411

January 2021 | 43

Light rail

Rising star of the light rail world Tom Rowe receives global recognition for his work to keep the West Midlands Metro safe for staff and passengers


om Rowe is a man on a mission to make a difference for customers and staff on the West Midlands Metro. Those efforts have been recognised with the prestigious Rising Star award at the recent Global Light Rail Awards. Based at Metro’s Wednesday depot, he has played a vital role in making travelling by tram an even safer experience, working closely with the police to further reduce the already low levels of crime reported on the network. “I was honoured at just being nominated for the award, but to be recognised for the work that I do every day is surreal,” Tom said. “I have always wanted to make a difference for our customers and staff, and it has been a long road with many challenges and one we must walk every day. “I smile when I see the award in my office, as in my mind it isn’t a win for me, it is a win for everyone who has helped to make the tramway even safer. I couldn’t do any of this on my own, and the team I work with is not limited to the MML (Midland Main Line); it expands so much further. I would though like to thank my manager, Anthony Stanley, who has supported me and believed in me from day one.” 44 | January 2021

This month marks Tom’s fourth year as Security and Insurance Officer at the West Midlands Metro tram network. It was a journey which actually started with National Express as a bus driver, where his CV grew as he took on roles related to CCTV and insurance.

Although a lot of my work is reactive, I’m looking to develop new systems to help reduce the chance of incidents being repeated “The three main aspects of my role are security, CCTV and insurance, and each has different challenges and responsibilities,” he said. “I also look after the partnerships with the police, local authorities, BIDs and other organisations, and together we’ve made a positive impact,

further reducing already low levels of crime and anti-social behaviour across the network. “Fortunately, serious incidents on the Metro are rare, and trams offer one of the safest modes of transport. However, when I receive reports from a member of staff of an incident, whether it is crime-related or a case of anti-social behaviour, I’ll report to the police or the Safer Travel Partnership (STP) with as much information as possible, if it has not already been reported. “Once I’ve reviewed the CCTV, I will prepare the footage as potential evidence, capturing stills of the offender/s before sending them to the police or STP so they can start trying to identify those responsible as quickly as possible. “If I see a trend or pattern forming, I also look to work with the police and other partners to set up operations or additional patrols. I look after all aspects of CCTV for the business, including those onboard trams at stops and other key locations such as the Wednesday depot, and thanks to the support of network managers I’m now able to download footage even quicker.” As well as reviewing the CCTV, securing it and sharing it with the relevant managers via the railbusinessdaily.com

Light rail

digital system he set up a few years ago, Tom is also responsible for writing the CCTV reports within the digital system. “The digital system we use details every reported incident we have,” said Tom. “Each entry has its own designated file and all relevant information is stored in there. This is key for accessing information quickly and understanding incident types. I have also been involved in upgrading the Metro depot’s CCTV cameras and new installations to increase security. “The final part to my job is managing our insurance claims. If I receive a report that requires the insurer to be notified, I will send them all the relevant documentation and data that they require. If a claim is submitted against the company and it is one we are not liable for, I will look to provide further evidence to support our case. “I am also responsible for creating a cost of repair for each loss. This captures all the losses as a result of the incident. I am also involved in the renewals of the insurance policies that the Metro hold and will liaise with our insurance broker if any changes are due to happen within a policy.”


Despite the recognition at the Global Light Rail Awards, Tom has his feet firmly on the ground, with his priorities very much focused on the work he does at MML. Future plans “I really want to build my knowledge and experience in the role I am currently in,” said Tom. “I’m still learning and remain committed to making the network even safer for everyone. Although a lot of my work is reactive, I’m looking to develop new systems to help reduce the chance of incidents being repeated. “We have some fantastic partners that we work with and explaining that is key. Uniting partners together is essential for best working practices and for resolving security, crime or anti-social behaviour issues, and I’m looking to building on these moving forward. “I am always looking at ways to develop the role and would welcome the opportunity to take on more responsibility. The greatest reward for me is knowing that colleagues believe in the work I do, and that customers feel safer and confident we are doing all we can to keep them safe.”

High praise for Tom Rowe Anthony Stanley, West Midlands Metro Head of Quality, Health and Safety and Environment, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement and thoroughly deserved. “Tom always works tirelessly and often comes to work out of hours so he is able to secure highquality CCTV footage as quickly as possible to help police carry out their investigations and prosecute offenders. “His tenacity and attention to detail has also enabled us to successfully pursue a number of significant insurance claims relating to accidental and malicious damage to our network.”

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Hitachi and Eversholt Rail to develop Great Western Railway intercity battery hybrid train


itachi Rail and Eversholt Rail have signed an exclusive agreement aimed at bringing battery power – and fuel savings of more than 20 per cent – to the modern Great Western Railway Intercity Express Trains. The partnership will develop a plan to install batteries on a modern Intercity Express Train and it is hoped the trial will demonstrate that the innovation meets passenger service and safety standards. Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “This is an exciting partnership to develop technology that can make rail travel more sustainable across the UK’s network. Battery powered trains will support us in our battle against climate change and poor air quality and improve the overall passenger experience. “As we continue to build back better, developments like this are major stepping stones towards achieving the UK’s 2050 net zero emissions target.” Bi-mode train The Penzance and London line is only partially electrified, with the majority of the 300 mile journey requiring diesel power. The partnership is looking at batteries replacing a diesel engine as a power source on an existing Hitachi-built fivecarriage train – currently known as a bi-mode for its ability to switch seamlessly between electric and diesel power. Adding a battery creates an electric-dieselbattery hybrid train (tri-mode). On non-electrified 46 | January 2021

sections of the route, the batteries will supplement the power of the engines to reduce fuel usage and carbon emissions by more than 20 per cent, whereas when travelling in and out of stations and surrounding urban areas, the train would rely on battery power only. This has the benefit of improving air quality and dramatically reducing noising levels.

This partnership is an exciting opportunity to unlock new greener trains for passengers, reduce running costs for operators and cut carbon Jim Brewin, UK & Ireland Country Lead at Hitachi Rail, said: “This partnership is an exciting opportunity to unlock new greener trains for passengers, reduce running costs for operators and cut carbon. “At Hitachi Rail we share the UK’s ambition for a net zero emission future. Britain is in a unique position to become a global leader in battery trains; we want to support the UK’s green economic recovery and levelling-up.” Great Western Railway’s Intercity Express Train fleet currently calls at 15 non-electrified stations on its journey between Penzance and London,

all of which could benefit from trains running on battery-only power. Matthew Golton, Interim Managing Director at Great Western Railway, said: “We are committed to reviewing emerging technologies such as battery power and assessing feasibility for services and rolling stock on the GWR network. “This is a really exciting development and we look forward to working closely with both Hitachi Rail and Eversholt on this trial.” Big in Japan Hitachi Rail says it will draw upon market-leading expertise in Japan and the support of its battery partner – Hyperdrive Innovation. The two North East-based companies reached an agreement in July 2020 to create and develop battery packs for mass production at Hyperdrive’s HYVE facility in Sunderland, the UK’s first independent battery pack manufacturing facility. The ambition is to create a fully electricbattery intercity train – that can travel the full journey between London and Penzance – by the late 2040s, in line with the UK’s 2050 net-zero emissions target. Mary Kenny, Eversholt Rail Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to continue working in partnership with Hitachi to investigate the conversion of our Class 802 fleet to tri-mode by introducing battery technology. “Eversholt Rail is committed to ensuring our fleets meet the UK railway’s decarbonisation commitments.” railbusinessdaily.com

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The digitalisation of the rail industry is full steam ahead Embrace the digitalisation of your business by bringing your competency management online


n 2020, the rail industry took steady strides towards a more digital future. Across Europe, research is underway to develop digital automated couplers, and Network Rail’s Digital Railway programme to further improve the rail infrastructure is well underway. With the ‘new normal’ undoubtedly including a technology-driven future, digitalisation is the theme of the moment. These technological progressions have the capability to help ensure the operational safety of rail and construction workers – and both rail leaders and business owners have the responsibility to make the most of these by improving their business processes.

“CTM is a truly fantastic product for the rail and construction industry. The platform offers a solution that is different from other competency management tools with the addition of the marketplace.” Joel Pennington, OMS With massive rail infrastructure projects, huge investment in rail transport, and increasingly more complex workforce compliance requirements, there is no doubt that the rail industry needs a smarter way of managing workforce competencies to keep them safe. Recently rebranded, Competency Training MarketplaceTM (CTM) has been developed by Sopra Steria, a European leader in consulting, digital services and software development. It offers the solution for this as it allows a simpler way for companies to keep track of workforce training records in real time, making sure they are up to date and safe to work. The platform couples this with a training marketplace, which, in conjunction with training providers across the 48 | January 2021

UK, lists courses available to book in one location. This combination of a marketplace and easyto-use management software is an industry first which not only ensures the safety but also allows significant savings in time for HR teams and project managers. This is why more and more companies are turning to CTM, the smarter way of managing workforce competencies. Joel Pennington from OMS said: “CTM is a truly fantastic product for the rail and construction industry. The platform offers a solution that is different from other competency management Advertorial

tools with the addition of the marketplace. It’s a tool that has clearly been designed to help both training providers and customers alike by combining many important aspects of the training process on one central platform.” CTM has been developed to help keep the industry on the right track. If you are interested in finding out more, the website contains information, and you are able to request a free demo from the team. www.competencytrainingmarketplace.com Call Luke Adams on +44 (0) 7841 368923


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F edavteurrteo r i a l A

Award-winning architects with a wealth of experience in the rail sector T

he principals at Seed Architects got into the business of designing buildings for much the same reason as many: to provide the opportunity to improve the built environment for their users. For the past 20+ years the focus has been largely on the design and delivery of rail sector buildings. Outside of these strange times, the station buildings are seen as being at the heart of our communities and as such the impact of good design can be profound upon the promotion of sustainable travel. As a practice, Seed Architects covers the whole of the UK with current projects in Luton, Birmingham, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. These can range from small unstaffed station refurbishments, station building refurbishments, Access for All schemes through to new station projects. There is a tenacious commitment to approaching any project with no pre-conceived solution and the customer experience as the focus of attention. They have developed an excellent working relationship with Network Rail, TOCs, PTEs, local and county authorities, framework contractors and engineering disciplines to provide a quality of service to surpass the expectations of the

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customers. This is evidenced by the firm’s many national industry awards which have spanned 14 years. Delivering a service Services cover anything from single architectural support direct to clients or through external multidisciplinary design teams, project management to full lead design and delivery. Stages covered include the lead and production of Option Selection Reports for such programmes as Access for All resulting in DfT funding submissions, wider scope diverse customer experience surveys capturing vital pieces of issues faced by customers in their transport journeys through stations and finally, improvement planning. In addition to providing the architectural drive through all GRIP Stages, the experienced team bring their enthusiasm and design flair to add value to any project. In-house BIM capabilities utilised on all projects coupled with a deep understanding of the constraints of the rail sector aid to enhance the offer provided by the practice in a pro-active manner. Dealing with listed station buildings has also become a large part of Seed Architects’


experience with the restoration of a wide variety of unloved station stock. This ranges from small interventions in bringing the technical aspect of a station up to current standards all the way through to major regeneration works such as at Wakefield Kirkgate station. Seed Architects sees the huge potential that these pivotal


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buildings present in bringing them back into used spaces for rail users, community groups or commercial ventures. Example projects Newton-le-Willows Station Seed Architects was originally commissioned by Network Rail to produce the GRIP Stage 2 options for the rail station element of the interchange being developed by Merseytravel. Following the single option selection, their appointment was novated to the delivery framework contractor to provide the architectural support through to completion. The fully accessible scheme has seen the introduction of a new station building

facility along with a new underpass, stairs and lifts service both platforms and new platform canopies. In consideration of the various physical and ownership influences, the station building sets out to interconnect each element into the ticket office at Southern ground level, facilitating a focal point for the various pedestrian streams to converge. Here form follows function and said functions have been composed to allow sufficient light penetration and visibility into the routes at the same time as providing protection from the elements. Pedestrian routes are clearly defined by the geometry of the building design and in the materials and systems applied to these forms. In response to the dramatic level change the Southern stair access to platform 2 has been stepped back against the embankment, reducing excavation and expensive piling foundations at the same time as allowing light and direct lines of sight into these often enclosed and hidden areas. The concourse to the ticket office is heavily glazed to allow maximum natural daylight within, yet shielded from potential solar gain by a distinct projected aluminium eaves design that identifies against the differing roof typologies applied elsewhere. This roof drops in level as it interfaces with the masonry clad lift shaft, breaking down the otherwise overwhelming vertical component and finally wraps down to terminate into the floor. Accrington Eco Station Accrington is a medium sized station used by about 240,000 passengers per year. As architects Seed were engaged by Lancashire County Council to act as lead consultants to provide a new ‘eco’ station to replace the existing station building. The design was to follow on from the principles as defined by the client in



the 2006 report entitled ‘eco-stations’, to fit with the County Council’s climate change and procurement strategies and provide an example of best practice in the delivery of a sustainable station to a BREEAM Excellent level. The station was to act as a gateway to the town and to pose as an iconic symbol of ecologically and socially sustainable design thinking for the region. The project was built as part of the Sustainable Stations (SusStations) Interreg IVB Project and is the first eco-station on the Northern Trains network. The primary approach to energy conservation was in the passive design of the building by reducing heat loss and solar gain along with reducing the operational electrical demand. The design incorporates the wide use of reclaimed local limestone, glulam beams, glazing, natural insulation and recycled metals to work towards a zero-carbon build. Renewable technologies are incorporated to complement the passive design solutions being employed to reduce the heating and cooling loads through consideration of the building orientation and form.

“Determination and clear understanding of clients’ requirements is treated as fundamental to delivery of a commission by Seed Architects. Professional, friendly, engaging approach adopted throughout delivery led to a good working relationship which has borne a most satisfactory output” Merseytravel Accrington Awards: National Rail Innovation awards winner, Network Rail Partnership Awards winner, RTPI NW Awards joint winner and Community Rail Awards runner-up. Current client list Network Rail, Northern Trains, First Transpennine, LNER, Merseytravel, Community Rail Lancashire, Arup, Mott MacDonald, HBPW, Matrix, Arcadis, Galliford Try, Buckingham Group, AMCO Giffen.

Visit www.seedarchitects.co.uk or call Gary Seed on 0161 832 5750

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We l s h r a i l

Levelling up funding for Welsh railway projects Stephen Crabb MP discusses the inquiry examining the country’s railway infrastructure


n inquiry is underway looking into how levels of funding for Welsh railway projects are decided and infrastructure needs identified. As part of this, it is also examining the impact of COVID-19 and the potential opportunities of the Union Connectivity Review. It comes as ministers in Wales have expressed concerns of underinvestment in Wales, which Transport Minister Ken Skates says has impacted productivity and economic performance, as well as contributed to other transport bottlenecks. Opportunities for Wales Stephen Crabb MP is Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, which is leading the inquiry. He said: “The idea behind our inquiry is to take a comprehensive look at how decisions are made regarding rail infrastructure in Wales, understand what factors influence the way funding is distributed within the UK, and see what opportunities exist for Wales to secure additional investment in its rail network in the future. “As we seek to meet our net-zero ambitions, it is clear that a reliable and modern rail network will be of increasing importance. However, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, rail operators face unprecedented challenges and uncertainty regarding their funding and levels of passenger demand. This in turn raises important questions about the sustainability of existing

routes, let alone investment in new services and infrastructure. “We’ll be looking at the challenges the pandemic has posed, as well as the effectiveness of UK-Welsh Government cooperation, and the question of where responsibility should lie for rail infrastructure in Wales.” Challenging times The inquiry comes at a time of great change for the railways. In September, the UK Government announced that it was ending rail franchising to bring in a new model more focused on service reliability and passenger outcomes, while the Welsh Government will nationalise Transport for Wales services from February next year. Meanwhile, the Union Connectivity Review, which is looking at ways of improving transport links across all four UK nations, is due to report next summer. Stephen said: “This inquiry comes at a time of unprecedented challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic and when the UK is resetting its relationship with rail operators. It is also, therefore, an important opportunity for us to examine Wales’ rail infrastructure and investment needs, and we are particularly keen to ensure that our findings can inform the work of the Union Connectivity Review. “Our committee is keen to make sure that Wales’ priorities are represented and to offer

Terms of reference Where does responsibility lie for rail infrastructure in Wales? How effectively do the UK and Welsh Governments cooperate with one another in the management, and funding, of rail infrastructure in Wales? Should responsibility for railway infrastructure in Wales be fully devolved? What share of investment has Wales secured in its rail infrastructure since privatisation came into effect in 1994, and how sufficient is that level of investment?

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How is funding allocated to rail infrastructure projects across the UK and how are the different infrastructure needs of the regions and nations of the UK assessed? What will be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for the railway network in Wales (including the sustainability of services and potential impact on investment in the railway infrastructure)? What opportunities are there for Wales as a result of the recently launched Union Connectivity Review?

constructive, cross-party recommendations on how they can be made most effectively.” As part of the inquiry, the committee wants to hear peoples’ views, welcoming submissions from anyone to the questions in the call for evidence, until February 26, 2021. Stephen said: “The level of rail infrastructure investment over the years is an important question that we’ll be looking at as part of the inquiry. We’ll consult the evidence we receive from the widest possible range of stakeholders before reaching a conclusion on this. It’s important we take on board all views to reach a constructive consensus. That’s why we’re calling on anyone with a view on the levels of funding in rail infrastructure in Wales, how decisions are and should be made, or anything else covered in our inquiry’s terms of reference to submit their evidence on our website. “Whether or not Wales has got its fair share, the critical point is that investment reaches the levels needed to bring services more on par with those of the rest of the UK going forward, especially considering the ‘levelling-up’ agenda.” railbusinessdaily.com

Here when you need us... TBF continues to offer help and support to its members during these unprecedented times. Helping to make a difference. Just ÂŁ1 a week covers you, your partner and dependent children Email help@tbf.org.uk to find out how we can help you, or visit www.tbf.org.uk Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, known as TBF, is a registered charity in England and Wales, 1160901, and Scotland, SC047016.

F edavteurrteo r i a l A

Planning for the future D

elivering the future will require a stable, reliable and consistent fleet of vehicles that are not only safe, but also maintained to meet customer expectations, says the MD of EngPro Solutions Ltd, Howard Leach. Most Depot Managers will report that there is simply insufficient time to deliver on this expectation and they would be right – at least, that is, today. In many organisations that EngPro engages with, the organisational planning capability is not strong enough. The best approach to find more time for maintenance is through the practical use of technology and data in a proactive plan-led environment. The Transport Secretary has indicated that the ‘Future of Rail Report’ will be published as the outcome of the pandemic becomes clearer. The present ERMAs, however, are doubtless indicative of the future. A future that will have a higher downward pressure on costs, whilst needing to squeeze more service from existing and new fleets, with a continual upward pressure on passenger experience. A big change for all, and one that Engineering and Operations might not be ready for. The prize for improving fleet planning and maintenance efficiency is compelling. Any organisation has finite ‘fleet time’; the number of vehicles deployed multiplied by 24 hours per day. This can be used in three ways: in service, idle (stabled) or on maintenance. Improved fleet planning will yield higher asset utilisation rates through lowered idle time. Improving maintenance efficiency will reduce the time vehicles are in maintenance. Centralised professional planning To achieve this, the control of maintenance needs to migrate to a centralised professional planning team that is more closely aligned with the daily and strategic Operations teams. This links the train plan with the maintenance

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plan, illuminating the path toward maintenance efficiency. Traditionally the control of maintenance is managed locally within depots on a fleet-by-fleet basis. In the plan-led model,

“Rail is a team game, and although engineering face significant challenges, to truly make the difference there is a cultural shift required in operations, too” the depot planning teams will instead schedule the work such that all materials and tooling are ready and available to complete the work in the most efficient manner – thereby making more


time for maintenance. EngPro’s analysis reveals that the average depot output productivity is 42%, which means for every eight hours a technician is on site, only 3.4 hours is productive, and the rest perishes. Raising productivity from 42% to 50% liberates the equivalent to an additional four heads per shift. Cultural shift Rail is a team game, and although Engineering faces significant challenges, to truly make the difference there is a cultural shift required in Operations, too. The second largest cause of reduced productivity within the depot is rolling stock arrival instability. If the plan has train 123 due to arrive at Depot A, then this changes to arrive at Depot B instead – all the spares and tooling that has been pre-prepared at Depot A is now needed at Depot B. The only way to cope with this is the presently adopted approach: wait until the train physically arrives before preparing for it. The plan-led philosophy requires that


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stability in the plan is developed – or as much stability as is possible, which is significantly higher than most believe possible. In one organisation that EngPro has helped to embed a plan-led approach, the input plan stability measured is 75% – zero operationally caused. In the service/cost/quality balance, most organisations find their ‘dot’ is more servicebiased than centrally balanced. This is understandable in a transport business, as without a stable service there are fewer passengers and reduced revenues, so service naturally sits very high on the executive table. There is less executive management focus observed on the cost and quality of maintenance. Technical quality is guarded by the technician, often with a slightly over-cautious approach. The quality of customer-facing items has significantly less focus at technician level. In the desire to meet service tomorrow, trains will often be dispatched with Wi-Fi and catering failures. Cost control The competitive nature of the commercial landscape normally drives how much management focus is placed on cost control. High competition sees high cost focus; lowered competition sees reduced cost focus. EngPro witnesses the highest proactive cost control in the bus sector and the least in rail, with aviation in the mid-range. A plan-led approach, with enhanced planning horizons improves focus on maintenance quality and costs without damaging service. Although the technical aspect of maintenance is relatively complex, the business of maintenance is fairly simple. Consider taking a car into the dealership for service: maintenance is triggered

in some manner, it is scheduled where parts, labour and tooling are made available in advance. This is termed pre-input. The car is taken by the service manager, prescribed work is undertaken, and defects are fixed. This is termed production. Finally, the car is valeted, brought back to the collection point, the service manager goes through the paperwork, takes the client to the car, removing the seat protector. This is termed release. Generally, EngPro observes insufficient effort or energy is placed (or wasted) in each of these areas. This leads to reactive maintenance; high repeat defects, “no fault found”, “no time to complete”, defects not systematically actioned, inconsistent service availability.

Push Planning During pre-input, the role of the planner is to gather all the available intelligence from around the business and craft an agreed and shared plan that delivers the business objectives and utilises all the resources of the business in the most effective manner. This plan must match load and capacity, build contingency and be cognisant of constraints. To control the asset to service and the maintenance line, robust understanding and application of ‘Push Planning’ techniques aligned to MRP are required. Productionising maintenance borrows the practices from the manufacturing productionline, applying those that are applicable to maintenance. Tools such as LEAN are highly useful in identifying time wasted in gathering materials, collecting instructions and tools. The release phase is added to ensure there is a point in the flow of work that considers the customer. Think back to the car service – at the end, the service manager simply removes the seat protector. Why do they leave it until then? So that the customer can see that care has been applied. The perception of the customer is everything. Killer question to test planning readiness: “What is the forecast service availability next week?”

Visit www.engpro.co.uk or call Howard Leach on +44 (0)7841 029276



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Modernising the industry with efficient, sustainable and green machines S

ince 2005, Railcare has brought new technology for maintenance work on the railway to the UK. The core business for the Swedish company is the Railvac, a rail-mounted machine that excavates using vacuum technology. The Railvac was the first innovation from Railcare back in 1992, and since then the company has continued to gain experience and produce even more innovations. Developing the UK business Last year, Railcare worked all over the country, across all of Network Rail’s routes. With a framework contract from Network Rail as a base for the business, Railcare offers various services with its Railvac and Ballast Feeder. The Railvac offers great versatility, and it is efficient, safe, and cost-effective. Everything from switch and crossing work, re-ballasting prior to renewal and for heavy refurbishment

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works, through to level crossings, wet spot areas, drainage works, excavation for undertrack crossings, sleeper and bearer change, and much more. The Ballast Feeder System is well proven and has demonstrated itself as safe and reliable. The Ballast Feeder System is designed to operate together with the Railvac, and the removal/ backfilling setup offers a unique industrial approach to the time-consuming removal, re-ballasting, or backfilling process. The front belt conveyor, used for material distribution, can swing 180 degrees from side to side to drop the material exactly where it is needed, in the correct volume, and with a high level of precision. Railcare believes the key to a successful project is to work closely with the customer and plan together. Railcare has an office along with a hub at Loram’s yard in Derby where customers can visit and see its machines’ capabilities in action.


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“I’m very proud of all my staff for the work they have delivered to the customer, with the highest quality, safety, and efficiency provided even during a pandemic” New innovations Railcare continues to innovate, having recently developed a new machine: the Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV). This is the world’s largest battery-electric powered railway maintenance vehicle. The MPV is equipped with its own power source, vacuum pumps, hydraulics and operator cabs. It is a self-propelled, battery vacuum excavator with 1100 kWh capacity, zeroemissions and with reduced noise. The new machine can be used to vacuum away stones, trash and other obstacles from the tracks, melt snow, as well as function as a towing vehicle for, among other things, ballast wagons


during track work. The prototype is in final testing at this moment and is planned to work on the Swedish railway during springtime this year. It has been a difficult time for all during the pandemic; however, the railways have continued to operate throughout this crisis as a result of the determination of the rail industry’s key workers. The industry has worked extremely hard to ensure that the railway is kept in excellent condition and functioning as it should, despite the challenges. Daniel Öholm, CEO of Railcare


Group, said: “I’m very proud of all my staff for the work they have delivered to the customer, with the highest quality, safety, and efficiency provided even during a pandemic. To help in the fight against COVID-19, we have also helped various charities in a variety of different ways.” Visit www.railcare.co.uk for more information or call 01332 647388

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Engineering, consultancy, design K

ilborn Consulting Limited is an independent railway engineering consultancy and design business. It specialises in the design of railway signalling, control systems, level crossings and telecommunication systems for the UK railway infrastructure. With over two decades of experience, Kilborn Consulting delivers outstanding railway engineering solutions to a wide variety of clients. There are seven defined areas for which it supplies its services: Signalling and telecoms consultancy, including technical advice and support Asset condition assessments, correlation and surveys Signalling and level crossing risk assessments Feasibility, optioneering studies, concept and outline signalling design Telecoms option selection reports (including AiP), reference system design and detailed design Detailed signalling design Competency management and assessments. All of the above services are qualified by RISQS Audit. Upgrades to signalling and train control systems feature strongly in Network Rail’s improvement plans and are part of ongoing plans to install modern technology to improve services for passengers and freight operators. Signalling is a crucial and sophisticated part of the railway infrastructure, enabling trains to move safely around the network. The complexities of moving trains around such a

large network, keeping them safely apart, and allowing for their long stopping distances, means that signalling and control systems are vital components of the railway system. Kilborn Consulting’s experience and reputation as an organisation that prioritises safety and quality has established the business as a leader in railway engineering constancy and design. Based in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, Kilborn Consulting carries out works nationwide, with previous projects taking place across the length and breadth of the UK. Through recruitment, the company expanded significantly in 2020 and recently moved to a larger, professional premises. Alongside a growing reputation as a professional signal and telecoms engineering consultancy and design business, Kilborn Consulting has developed excellent working relationships with other organisations and individuals in the field. As a result, where assignments dictate, the business is able to call on the support of competent resources in closely related disciplines to the benefit of its clients. Increasingly, the company has also become more involved with railway feasibility studies for new stations or line upgrades for Third Party/ RNEP projects. Kilborn Consulting’s philosophy places collaboration as an integral key to success, and this extends to its approach with both partner organisations and clients. The company is led by Managing Director, Paul McSharry. Paul is a professional railway signalling engineer and systems engineer with 40 years’ experience. His effective project management, project engineering

and communication skills are key to the business’ success and desire for further and growth. Paul said: “We are currently living through a period of unprecedented modernisation of the UK railway network. Here at Kilborn Consulting, our experience in system specification, modern and traditional signalling systems as part of both renewal and enhancement projects, and

the implementation of safety-critical processorbased systems means that we are perfectly placed to provide these design and application engineering solutions. “The work we carry out provides important benefits to passengers, meaning more reliable journeys and fewer delays, and we pride ourselves on the delivery of safe and efficient projects.”

Contact Paul McSharry on 01933 279909

ENGINEERING • CONSULTANCY • DESIGN Kilborn Consulting Limited is an independent railway engineering consultancy and design business. We specialise in the design of railway signalling, control systems, level crossings and telecommunication systems for the UK and Ireland railway infrastructure. Our core services cover technical advice, consultancy services, feasibility studies and concept, outline (AiP) and detailed design (AfC) of both signalling and telecommunication systems. We can provide all Signal Sighting activities and signalling risk assessments, including SORA and Suitable and Sufficient Risk Assessments for Level Crossings. We also provide EMC and E&B studies to complement our core services. We very much look forward to working with you.

Tel: +44 (0)1933 279909 Email: pmcsharry@kilbornconsulting.co.uk Visit: www.kilbornconsulting.co.uk

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Te c h n o l o g y

Using the latest techniques to monitor railway infrastructure Simon Abbott from Network Rail and Matthew Bray from SatSense discuss the technology driving earthworks asset management


magine knowing how much the ground was moving around your line, embankment, station, bridge or tunnel from the comfort of your desk. It was the vast untapped potential of highresolution ground movement data from radar satellite, using a technique known as InSAR, that was the calling for Matthew Bray to take up the post of Chief Executive Officer of SatSense. InSAR, or interferometric synthetic aperture radar, is a remote sensing technique which uses multiple radar images to detect changes in surface deformation down to rates of 1mm/year. The InSAR dataset is automatically updated every six days and stored for online access by customers and partners. The nature and frequency of this data means it may be possible to identify and highlight areas of the railway that are subject to progressive movement, enabling a more effective treatment of risk by Network Rail. This could lead to less disruption and improved passenger safety. “We are passionate about helping people to understand what’s happening on the ground, and structures on the ground,” said Matthew, who is still amazed at the broad appeal of such a niche technology. “In essence we provide information from satellite data to help people figure out how their area of interest and structures on the ground are moving. The use of satellite data means we can cover large geographic areas such as entire countries and continents.” Freely available data The raw satellite radar data is freely available from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellite constellation. SatSense’s know-how coupled with recent technological developments means it is now possible to apply this data to user cases such as rail, highways and utilities. It has caught the attention of Network Rail. The organisations are working together to determine how the data could help in the management of the organisation’s 190,000 earthwork assets, which includes the likes of slopes, embankments and railbusinessdaily.com

cuttings – excavations in the ground composed of rock and soil. “Earth observation techniques are something being talked about more and more today,” said Simon Abbott, Network Rail’s Professional Head of Geotechnics. “That’s a good thing because there’s an opportunity there to change the way that we look at infrastructure within the realms of what is practicable from those types of technologies.” Using the InSAR technique, radar images with a standard resolution of 4 by 14 metres can cost effectively cover tens of thousands of square kilometres, making it suitable to monitor ground movements across a large range of spatial scales. “Rail is an ideal candidate for our technology and the team have been talking to Simon at

Network Rail since the very early days of the company in early 2018,” said Matthew, who joined SatSense as CEO just as the country went into lockdown in March. “Our technology is well suited to rail because it is remote sensing, covering large geographic areas that include the rail corridor and the adjacent land, without having to send staff on site – i.e. fewer boots on the ballast. Artificial reflectors can be installed where natural signals are insufficient. “We’ve struck a good relationship with Simon and he’s put us in touch with his team of geotechnical and mining engineers. Working alongside Simon and his team we can identify the information that is of most benefit by applying our bespoke algorithms to the raw InSAR data.” January 2021 | 59

Te c h n o l o g y

Open and honest Simon, who has been at Network Rail since 2006, has praised the open and honest conversations held between the organisations. “Some of the challenges that the industry have in terms of earth observations is that they don’t always think they pitch the capabilities back into the engineering sector in a way that is a solid reflection of how they can be used by the industry,” said Simon. “One of the refreshing things I’ve had from SatSense is just an honest appreciation of our business challenges and how its techniques could assist us but also where the techniques aren’t going to be able to assist us. It’s trying to look at our business problems and working with us.” Network Rail’s earthwork portfolio is as old as the railway itself – with most of the infrastructure slopes more than 150 years old. This is why such importance is placed on the network’s earthworks and their condition. Its team of specialist geotechnical engineers use examination data and monitoring results to determine the appropriate interventions at the right time needed to help minimise risk, damage and disruption. “The cost of the construction of slopes is quite expensive and we’ve got a very diverse asset base across all parts of the UK and all sorts of different terrain and topography,” said Simon. “We have a whole load of existing business processes that are fairly good, but as technology advances we are always looking at how we can strengthen our existing controls to make them more effective.” Regional deformation Simon continued: “Techniques that are coming into the frame more, such as InSAR and earth observations, start to give us that opportunity

to look beyond the boundary fence at more regional deformation. This could be in response to ground water changes or through large ground displacement and movement, and that is all really positive – it’s information that could go into our existing processes to make better decisions.” By examining geotechnical data and the results of monitoring instruments, Network Rail teams can determine the appropriate interventions needed to help minimise risk, damage and disruption. Matthew said: “I think our technology comes into its own for detecting more subtle shifts over a period of months and years. It is updated every few days – but it is days, so we’re not in the business

of detecting rapid or instantaneous events. “But what we can do is detect even very small movements that can be precursors to significant geotechnical events or just areas that need further investigation. “There might be an historic mine or a spoil tip, or someone on land adjacent to the corridor engaged in construction work that may have an impact on the railway. You’d be surprised what we can see with the data.” The potential benefits of the technology of SatSense has already been put to good use in the railways. The company processed Sentinel-1 data over a site on the Dover to London mainline near Folkestone, analysing the data from four different tracks to build up a more complete picture of the deformation. Network Rail was able to connect specific features identified in the SatSense results to ground-based observations. Operational consumption Matthew said: “I think we’re still a little way off operational consumption of the data, but what we’ve hopefully done is demonstrated a really honest appraisal of what the data is and isn’t capable of. “We’ve outlined a way of further exploring the potential, and Simon and his team have given us some direction into how we need to tailor that offering and make sure it is easily consumable and easily understandable by people.” Simon said: “It is about looking at how we take the data and make it so that it is useful in an efficient and effective way to those who are

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Te c h n o l o g y

looking after the infrastructure at a more tactical level at a regional basis. “But we have a limited amount of funding and we want to make the best use of that funding, so any data that can come in and inform us and maybe challenge or reinforce where we are planning to investigate, that is only a good thing. “I think the challenge for us is to kind of start to work up some locations to really try and test the water in a robust process to see whether this is not going to confuse those at the coalface so to speak. “It needs to bring value in an effective and efficient way for our evaluation process.” The conversations come as Network Rail has recently published its Environmental Sustainability Strategy – looking at the steps to be take over the next 30 years to see rail powering Britain’s green economic recovery. The document details the vision to serve the nation with the cleanest, greenest mass transport, with four core priorities: A low-emission railway A reliable railway service that is resilient to climate change Improved biodiversity of plants and wildlife Minimal waste and sustainable use of materials.

For us to be a critical service for transportation, we need to have focused activity in areas that we recognise have a particular vulnerability and target investment accordingly Simon said: “There is always a drive to do more with technology. We need to make the railway fit for the future and we’re going to be watching the Environmental Sustainability Strategy with interest as to what does that mean for infrastructure investment as we move into future control periods. “This is particularly around the kind of strengthening activities to physically make the asset more resistant to adverse and extreme

weather. There will be some interesting times ahead. We’ve all seen the impacts of the likes of excessive rainfall and flooding and how that can bring parts of the country to some challenging positions. For us to be a critical service for transportation, we obviously need to have some focused activity in areas that we recognise have a particular vulnerability and target investment accordingly. “As the technology develops, we are able to monitor the performance and condition of our infrastructure more closely and accurately, putting us in an even better position to handle the consequences of climate change which is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events. “The space sector is a real growth area for the UK. Only last week we heard how the Leeds region has secured funding from the UK Space Agency to help spearhead a national programme of technological revolution, through regional space hubs” added Matthew. “We can see that continued support of space technologies will not only improve safety, reliability and value for money for customers, but will benefit the UK economy as a whole.”

Signet Solutions continue to follow government guidelines, keeping our staff and clients safe. We are offering courses online as well as operating from our training school. We’ll be altering class sizes to comply with social distancing measures, we can also use bigger classrooms if required. We’re adapting, maintaining safety and delivering learning in the ‘New Normal’. Please look out for courses coming up online and at our training school. From all of us thank you for your support and stay safe!

+44 (0)1332 343 585 enquiries@signet-solutions.com www.signet-solutions.com


January 2021 | 61

Platform 1



The first point of call for rail industry innovation

his month sees the return of Platform 1, our new service that provides organisations with the opportunity to showcase their latest innovations and products to the rail industry in a short, concise business pitch. We are shining a light on the latest products and services that are set to transform the rail industry. Embracing innovative ideas is vital if the rail industry to continue to thrive, however far too often these ideas never see the light of day.

Platform 1 is the place for these ideas to be highlighted as they embark on their journey of revolutionising the rail industry. By promoting collaboration and investment, Platform 1 is connecting innovators with investors, ensuring that these ideas reach the people and organisations to help them achieve success. This month we feature a select range of excellent ideas, as One Big Circle, IoT Horizon and Repay Solutions showcase their innovations.

If you have a product or service you would like to promote using Platform 1, please email chris@rbdpublications.com

One Big Circle – AIVR (Automated Intelligent Video Review) AIVR – Automated Intelligent Video Review - enables you to continually review and monitor the lineside environment using an easily accessible online platform. Video and sensor data is regularly captured using our rapidly deployable camera device on operational trains or integrating with onboard Forward Facing Video and transmitted via 4G to the cloud. Machine Learning is applied, deriving the intelligence you need on data mapped to ELR. Powerful digital tools enable you to easily mark-up, measure and share data with teams and stakeholders securely and remotely. Delivered by One Big Circle, specialists in Intelligent Video in challenging environments, AIVR provides you a cost-efficient and rapidly deployable solution to see what you need to see. To find out more visit: www.aivr.video Email: emily@onebigcircle.co.uk Tel: 0845 838 7178 / 07878 758662

IoT Horizon – MPWR : Track for Safer Workplaces IoT Horizon’s MPWR:Track Solution provides a digital and automated approach to track and control the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Employees and visitors can be issued with a device that alerts and encourages a safe and social distance. With many organisations manually recording COVID-19 cases, it is difficult to alert other employees at risk. The MPWR:Track Solution logs all interactions between employees for 14 days. This data can then be used to identify social distancing policy breaches and automate contact tracing, so that businesses can make informed decisions on the threat to their employees. To find out more visit: www.iothorizon.com Email: sales@iothorizon.com Tel: 01706 318110

Repay Solutions Ltd – Automated Refund Platform The Automated Refund Platform (APR) is a first of a kind rail solution that automates the ticket refund process and enables train operators to remotely receive refund applications, saving customers a trip to the station. Customers submit refunds through an intuitive webform which uses real-time ticket validation, making it quick and easy to submit a refund. Refunds are calculated automatically with a visual inspection before being approved or rejected. For the few that require extra support, this can be handled through the platform. APR supports all ticket types and sales channels, including uncollected tickets and refund rules (important during COVID-19). Customers are kept informed on the progress of their refund via email and SMS notifications and a live status page. Payments are then processed back to the original payment method and reconciled with LENNON and GoldSTAR. As a result, the APR reduces the time to process a refund from days or even weeks to hours and enhances the customer experience. To find our more visit: www.repay.solutions Email: george@repay.solutions Tel: 020 3026 2468 or 07811334466

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Pod-Trak digs in to keep Britain’s railways running The engineering specialists completed a number of works over Christmas, including reacting to a land slip


he festive period for Pod-Trak was as busy as ever, regardless of the challenges of the pandemic. Pod-Trak completed significant station works, alongside on-track works across the entirety of the UK. Various teams from Pod-Trak mobilised to deliver works at King’s Cross Station, Liverpool Street Station, Paddington Station and Leeds Station as well as on tracks in the South East, South West, Midlands and the North of England. Pod-Trak is renowned for specialising its skillset to provide unique solutions for transport infrastructure, using its huge fleet of on-track and Civils plant to be able to deliver a range of diverse projects. The team has been built up using experienced individuals – the strength of the team has been determined through the sheer amount of projects completed over the festive period, and into the New Year. All projects were completed with extra precautions implemented due to the pandemic to ensure that teams remained safe at all times. Paul O’Donnell, Managing Director for PodTrak, said: “There has been some great work completed across the country over this festive period, resulting in solutions which will make significant differences to passengers, freight and organisations working in the rail industry. “I am delighted that the projects were completely successfully. It is down to the collaboration between Pod-Trak and its customers that these projects have been completed on-time, within budget and with little disruption to rail users.” Alongside working on projects across the country, a team was mobilised to work with Volker Fitzpatrick to assist with a land slip in Surrey on 27 December. Site visits and clearance works were completed before commencing work on the 30th, working around the clock with on-track and Civils plant. The dedicated team ensured that the line was open for normal service on 4 January 2021. Paul said: “It is testament to our team that they have been able to react to the incident and deliver this support in one of the busiest times of the year for our business. railbusinessdaily.com

“It is the combination of railway knowledge and plant available that we have been able to deliver this so quickly. Despite having teams working nationwide, we were able to pull together an experienced team at short notice to assist Volker Fitzpatrick. “Ultimately, it means that service was resumed as normal just a few days after the land slip Advertorial

and reduced any disruption for passengers. Our thanks go to the team that worked on this to deliver quickly and deliver well.”

Visit www. pod-trak.com for more information

January 2021 | 63

Heritage rail

50 not out for Seaton Tramway Chief Executive Jenny Nunn on the challenges of the last 12 months and the delayed birthday celebrations


he last year will be one most people will want to forget, particularly those working on heritage railways. Timetables have been thrown into chaos, with services forced to stand still for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic. With incomes decimated without services, heritage railways have worked around the clock looking into support and new income streams, whilst keeping updated to make sure everything is in place ready for re-opening – not just for the sake of jobs, but to secure the future of the railways themselves. “For fear of using a cliché, it has hit everyone hard and we’re not alone there,” said Jenny Nunn, Chief Executive of Seaton Tramway, a three-mile route through East Devon’s Axe Valley. “In March, as we entered the previously unknown territory of lockdown, we were watching every news bulletin and daily briefing from the Government to try to glean a bit of light at the end of the tunnel as to when we could reopen and salvage some of the season. “We were working through copious amounts of information, looking at all the various legislation 64 | January 2021

and guidance that was coming out for the hospitality industry and passenger transport and piecing it all together, so when tourism and leisure businesses could re-open on 4 July, we were ready. “We’d lost some of the key trading months so it was a really difficult time, but everyone was in the same boat. Our priority all along was to reopen as soon as permitted, not just from a cash flow and income generation point of view, but it was also important to get the staff and volunteers back. Initially it was a tough time getting everything together, with the extra risk assessments, staff training and additional COVID-19 measures; but with all that in place, it meant we were, to an extent, ready when it came to the second lockdown, although unfortunately we had to cancel our popular The Polar Express™ Tram Ride.” 90,000 passengers It was certainly not what Jenny and the team had planned. 2020 was the year Seaton Tramway was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary of operation in Seaton, following the acquisition railbusinessdaily.com

Heritage rail

of the closed railway line. The first tram, No. 8, departed Riverside Depot on 28 August 1970. Now, in a normal year, the service carries 90,000 people. “My mantra is that cash is king, and obviously without cash you can’t operate for very long,” said Jenny. “In March, when lockdown was announced, we’d just come out of winter having done various projects, but the bills were still coming in, so even stricter financial controls had to be put in place. “We’ve basically been managing the cash flow day to day. That’s what we’ve had to do to get through this. And obviously the detailed information from the announcements on the various job support schemes and funding packages have always come later on, so you’re forecasting ahead and not knowing the finer detail until days, if not weeks, later. “All of us have learnt a lot. You’ve got to be flexible, got to diversify and you’ve got to be able to rip up one business plan and start with another, moving with the times and being able to take the staff and volunteers along with you. That is the key – being up to date with everything, trying to get ahead of the curve, pre-empting a lot of the Government announcements and applying for all available funding.” Special events postponed She said: “As for our 50th anniversary celebrations we had lined up, we realised early on that we wouldn’t be able to do those because of social distancing requirements, so we’ve postponed the special events until 2021, when hopefully we can go ahead with the celebrations.” Keeping a close eye on the Government’s announcements and guidelines, Seaton Tramway was ready to re-open on July 4, with everything in place to keep both staff and passengers safe. In a bid to increase the revenue, staff also organised a Tramathon fundraiser – a 24-hour event running trams with wall-to-wall commentary.


Jenny said: “Of course the last 12 months have had an impact on trading figures, but it was imperative we re-opened on the 4 July. It was slow to start with, as businesses needed to build confidence with the public to come back out after lockdown, but in September and October we had really good visitor numbers that beat previous records for those two months. October, for example, was better than July, which we probably won’t see repeated in future years.” Jenny, who has been involved with Seaton Tramway for 16 years, is full of optimism for its future, and so she should be. In recent years the attraction has been boosted by the completion of a new £3 million station in Seaton to create an allyear-round facility, café and gift shop. Plans also remain on track for the opening next Easter of two new halts as part of the Travels through Heritage and The Axe Valley project. Work will also take place in January at Seaton

Tramway’s level crossing at Colyford with the removal of the existing tramway tracks, to be replaced with new rails and foundations under and across the carriageway. Heritage Lottery project “My time at Seaton Tramway has very much flown by, with something different every day, and the flexibility to try new things,” she said. “Despite the challenges of 2020, none of the projects has been shelved. We are really fortunate to be midway through our Heritage Lottery project, which will see two new halts going in, so we’ll have a total of five. “The two new ones are one at the Riverside Depot – giving people the opportunity to alight and view the river with all the wonderful wildlife and see the workings behind the depot – with the second stop at the Wetlands – which is run by the local authority and there’s lots of trails and boardwalks. There are lots of spin-offs from this, with educational and community projects bringing with them many benefits. “So overall looking to the future I am cautiously optimistic. We are working from a very consolidated basis and we’re looking forward to 2021. There is still the same degree of uncertainty and caution, of course. But there will eventually be an upturn in demand and there is the still the potential of future staycations. “Whatever happens, there are always ways to carry on and we’ve always had the philosophy here in which we will do our utmost to open and give people the high-quality service they know us for. It’s a question of carefully monitoring every eventuality and embracing each opportunity that arises.” January 2021 | 65

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Train operation for 2021 Lockdown gives rise to more ways to reduce wastage and increase revenue


here can’t be many organisations in the rail sphere still consistently investing and growing after all that 2020 has wrought on the industry. Yet that’s what ITAL, a company bringing technology improvements to everyday processes, has been steadfastly doing. More than a leap of faith, for ITAL the innovations it has been working on are practical and necessary improvements that will help railway operators improve and simplify revenue protection and train service management for staff and customers. A sure way to a more profitable future, whatever the landscape for new franchises or the industry post-COVID might be. CEO Derrick Bilsby, a railwayman with more than 45 years under his belt, knows well the pressures facing rail professionals today. “In ITAL’s 17 years in business, we have seen the tension between reducing budgets while increasing performance and productivity,” Derrick said. “We’ve always worked closely with commercial and operational teams to find ways to maximise resources and reduce wastage. When lockdown happened last year, and it felt as if everything paused for a while, we took the chance to tune in even more with our customer and find ways to develop and test new ideas and developments. Far from slowing down, lockdown was a busy period for us.” Examining problems Productivity improvements come by examining the problem, not force-fitting technology. This approach to continuous improvement has

brought practical benefits to many commuter, short and long haul rail and bus operators. “We always start with the problem, not the technology,” continues Derrick. “We know it is highly unlikely that what worked for one company will work for another, so we have to approach a problem with fresh eyes, fitting an ‘out of the box’ base model with bespoke technologies and processes that fit with the client’s unique business. “That’s how we can bring cost savings, productivity improvements and enhance customer service even in areas of the railway operation that seem to be hard to update.”

“ITAL has modernised our revenue protection system from a paper-based system to a fully electronic one which has reduced the number of errors considerably. In turn, this has increased our chance to collect outstanding debts and prosecute those that do not want to pay” Iain Palmer, Revenue Protection and Security Manager, C2C Rail

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A classic example of ITAL’s speed of innovation and problem solving was last summer’s conundrum of the mandatory wearing of face coverings. In the front line of enforcing the Government’s stringent advice to slow the virus, rail and bus staff at Transport for London were relieved to find their prosecution software speedily adapted to enable them to issue fixed penalty notices on this lapse, as well as for traditional fare evasion offences. Better franchise performance Nowhere is ITAL’s rich rail heritage brought to better use than through Sheila Evolution, an intuitive train management system that requires no capital investment, but which brings operational improvements across a historically telephone and mainly paper-based industry. This truly unique application finally bridges the gap between train and crew. ITAL’s cuttingedge software has been proven to enable TOCs to prevent and mitigate delays. Independent analysis also shows the management system can reduce associated operational costs while improving reputations as customer service gets better and operational inefficiencies diminish. railbusinessdaily.com

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In 2021, the software is being further enhanced with on-the-day information on rolling stock availability and with semi-automated information on infrastructure problems and associated delays. It works by bridging the gap between long-term planning and on-the-day realtime planning. Control room operators can see relevant information faster and send in-application messages to the right people, saving time, money and customer hassle with potential disruptions. Managers can have realtime access to schedules and resources, speeding up communication and allowing quick changes to scheduling that helps to keep the timetable on track. Finally train drivers and conductors can get instant information at their fingertips through a web-based app that shows schedule amendments, delay information and safety notifications direct to their mobile tablet while on duty, with or without a data signal. Protecting revenue, people and customers A serious consequence of the pandemic has been the reduction of fare-paying customers, something which could have long-term effects on our industry. Protecting revenues is always fraught with difficulty, and never more so when social distancing and unclear rules add to the challenges. ITAL Mobile brings efficiency and safety, as well as independence, to the process of issuing penalty fares. Field workers can issue and print penalty notices directly to customers, even in areas with little or no mobile data. They can issue notices while maintaining social distance and have the protection of back-up evidence with the addition of access to on-the-spot railbusinessdaily.com

historical offence intelligence. More efficient and sustainable than any paper-based system, ITAL Mobile brings technology enhancements to many notoriously challenging areas of transport management. Greater Anglia, West Midlands Trains, c2c and latest client West Midlands Combined Authority have all found their revenue teams and managers enjoy the secure system, which also offers survey and bespoke reporting tools so senior managers can better understand and oversee the trends and hotspots in their areas.

“Greater Anglia, West Midlands Trains, c2c and latest client West Midlands Combined Authority have all found their revenue teams and managers enjoy the secure system” Real time, real data demo “Like everyone we’re glad to see the back of 2020,” said Derrick. “For us, 2021 means a return to normality, but it also means we can at last roll out some of the tools and processes we worked on all last summer. MTR Elizabeth Line goes live with Sheila Evolution early this year, with trials taking place with Greater Anglia and with South Western Railway early in the first quarter.” Looking to the future, as many of us are now, ITAL is making its demo processes available Advertorial

SHEILA Evolution delivers two critical benefits: Delay prevention: Improved digital communications between operations management and traincrew reduces the risk of delays usually brought about through unclear, missing or uncommunicated information. Delay mitigation: Faster information helps operations managers assess the practical options and make wellinformed decisions to get the service back on track as quickly as possible, especially in times of disruption. to all rail operators who want to see what improvements might be possible, using their own data as part of a demonstration. Quick and simple to set up, it is immediately clear the potential and scale of the benefits that could be delivered in all parts of the business. For more on the ways Sheila Evolution can impact the modernisation, efficiency and reputation of your business, visit www.ital-uk.com/sheila-evolution. For more about ITAL, its innovations and approach, and to see what others have to say, visit the website. Visit: www.ital-uk.com www.ital-uk.com/sheila-evolution

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IFnetaetrunraet i o n a l r a i l

Knorr-Bremse secures its largest ever multi-system order in Chinese metro history


norr-Bremse is delivering braking and entrance systems to equip Beijing’s new metro line 17, as well as HVAC systems for the city’s line 19. The deliveries started in the third quarter of 2020 and continue to the end of 2023, with the company providing technologies worth a mid-double-digit million-euro sum for 78 trainsets. Manufactured by Chinese train producer CRRC, the rail vehicles will be operated by Beijing MTR. Dr Jürgen Wilder, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Rail Vehicle Systems division, said: “Concluding our

largest ever multi-system order in Chinese metro history is a tremendous success for Knorr-Bremse, and it enables us to further strengthen our foothold in the Chinese rail market.” Dr Jonathan Paddison, Member of the Board of Directors of Knorr-Bremse Asia Pacific, said: “Public transportation is essential for the functioning of megacities, and it shapes how millions of people move around urban areas every day. Therefore, we are all the more pleased to contribute to better mobility by rail, help increase transport capacities and improve passenger comfort for the people of Beijing.”

Bombardier to modernise S-Bahn Stuttgart’s 430 and 423 series fleets


ombardier Transportation has been awarded a contract by Deutsche Bahn (DB) to modernise its current S-Bahn Stuttgart fleet, which consists of 423 and 430 series trains. The contract is valued at approximately €103 million. The contract includes the provision of engineering services to redesign the fleets, along with modernisation and delivery of three converted prototype vehicles per series. Dr Dirk Rothenstein, CEO of S-Bahn Stuttgart, said: “With the interior elements of our redesign, we are meeting the latest requirements for urban mobility. For passengers in the Stuttgart region, this means better passenger service and more

space for wheelchairs, strollers as well as bicycles through additional multi-purpose areas.”

François Muller, Head of Services at Bombardier Transportation in Germany, said: “We are proud that our long-standing customer and partner S-Bahn Stuttgart relies on us as the vehicle manufacturer to modernise the existing Stuttgart area fleet. “The fleet currently consists of 157 trains, many of which have been in reliable operation in the Stuttgart area for more than two decades and will be extended to 215 trains. “They cover more than 23 million kilometres every year and bring more than four hundred thousand passengers safely to their destination every day. We look forward to making them fit and more comfortable for decades to come.”

Completion of rail link between Iran and Afghanistan


he first three parts of a 140km rail route which links Iran and Afghanistan have been inaugurated. Construction of the Khawf-Herat railroad has been described as one of the key infrastructural projects by Iran’s Ministry of Roads and Urban

68 | January 2021

Development in the economy and development of the country and Afghanistan. The route in total will be 225km. Phases 1 and 2 are from Khawf to Shamtiq in Iran and is 78km long, while Phase 3 is from Shamtiq to Rozanak in Afghanistan and is 62km long.

The project includes Rozanak Station, which is being constructed using Iran’s funding for the development of Afghanistan. The construction of Phase 4, which is from Rozanak to Herat, is under consideration by Afghanistan’s authorities.


International rail

Wabtec and Keolis Group sign a Global Cooperation Agreement


abtec Corporation and Keolis have signed an international business development agreement to partner on commercial activities and the development of innovative products for the transit and freight industries. The three-year agreement combines Wabtec’s product portfolio and Keolis’ transportation expertise in local markets to offer tailored solutions focused on HVAC energy efficiency, smart solutions for brakes, rolling stock monitoring systems and pantographs, as well as enhanced passenger information systems. Lilian Leroux, President of Wabtec’s Transit business, said: “This agreement builds on the strong relationship between our two companies over many years. “Our partnership reinforces the commitment to accelerate the deployment of solutions for a more sustainable and ‘greener’ world. It also underlines the value of our innovative product and solutions.” Wabtec and Keolis have a shared vision of fostering sustainable operations. This agreement aims to provide operators with technologies that reduce energy consumption, accelerate the shift to green, and enhance reliability and performance. It also seeks to improve safety and comfort SwitchPoint Heating Ltd for passengers. Industrihuset

Claire Martin, Executive Director Industrial Division, said: “For Keolis, this partnership with Wabtec is part of a strategy to structure the relationship with the major equipment manufacturers in the sector so that the group can continue to be seen as a global mobility operator. “Given the Wabtec group’s presence in the various modes of transport – bus and coaches and guided transport – and on a multitude of systems, this agreement will enable the development of joint projects to improve the experience of our customers.”

S-430 64 HÄLLINGSJÖ, SWEDEN Phone: + 46 (0)301-418 50 Mail: info@vkts.se www.switchpointheating.se

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January 2021 | 69


Recruitment specialist Coyle Rail is one of the largest suppliers in the UK. The Company offers everything from weekend supply to a fully managed service. info@coyles.co.uk www.coyles.co.uk 020 8861 3000

Jobson James Rail is a national specialist railway insurance broker, the market leader in the UK by a huge margin with over 270 rail clients across the UK, Middle East and Australasia. keven.parker@jjrail.co.uk jjrail.co.uk 07816 283949

Payme is a national payroll (intermediary) provider specialising in the rail and construction sectors. Its services are accredited by FCSA and Professional Passport guaranteeing compliance. andrew.mitchell@payme.co.uk www.payme.co.uk 0333 200 0845 / 07850 350645

Pre Metro Operations works with UK transport companies and investors to provide low-cost light rail solutions that connect communities across the West Midlands. Future-proofed. Green. Reliable. Award-winning. info@premetro.org www.premetro.co.uk 01384 441325

Radius is a service orientated plant installation, contract lift and tower crane hire solutions provider. Our service is not about what we do; it is all about what you need. info@radiusgroup.co.uk www.radiusgroup.co.uk +44 (0)1604 62 28 65

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® TrainFX specialises in bespoke, turn-key, fully integrated on-train solutions, incorporating real-time, PRM-TSI compliant passenger information, dynamic messaging media display, communications and monitoring systems. sales@trainfx.com www.trainfx.com 01332 366 175

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Twinfix’s product portfolio includes its modular polycarbonate roof panel system, the Multi-Link-Panel Non-Fragile – a popular choice for rail and depot rooflights. enquiries@twinfix.co.uk www.twinfix.co.uk 01925 811311

The UK’s leading supplier of Surface Mounted Tactile Paving. The only company in the UK to both manufacture and install these products. Endorsed by Network Rail. info@viztekltd.co.uk www.viztekltd.co.uk 0191 516 6606


Movers and shakers

Chris Stevens appointed as Kier Construction Managing Director for the Midlands and Performance Excellence


ier has appointed Chris Stevens as Managing Director Midlands and Performance Excellence in its Construction business. Chris is a Chartered Civil Engineer and joins Kier from his role as Board Director and Managing Director at Bouygues UK. He started his career in construction at Sir Robert McAlpine in 2001 before joining Warings, which was acquired by Bouygues in 2007. Chris joins Kier this month, heading up its new Midlands region, which encompasses Birmingham, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire, and has been created to grow the operations in the region. Liam Cummins, Group Managing Director, Kier Construction said: “I am delighted to

welcome Chris to Kier. We continue to attract great talent and Chris’ appointment follows on from our recently announced appointment of Helen Samuels who will join us as our Technical Director in January. “This new role will accelerate the implementation of our Construction strategy with a specific focus on growing our business in the Midlands as well as implementing our Performance Excellence agenda, which underpins our successful operational delivery to clients and partners. Chris will be working with our operational leadership across the business to embed our Performance Excellence framework to bring new levels of certainty to our project delivery.”

Construction industry leader steps down from CEO role


fter a period spanning more than 30 years, Rudi Klein is stepping down from his role as CEO of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group. His support for the sector will continue in an advisory capacity through his own legal consultancy which will also provide support to industry groups and firms across a wide range of procurement-related and payment issues. Professor Klein is particularly noted for his work in leading campaigns against payment abuse, which has been a major barrier to achieving a more efficient and productive UK construction industry. He is generally regarded as the leading UK authority on the use of project bank accounts which

ensure that payments for construction SMEs are protected in ring-fenced accounts from losses due to upstream insolvencies. In announcing his stepping down, Professor Klein said that he was extremely proud of SEC Group’s achievements over the years. He said: “I had a very small team but we were always keen to deliver on a number of priorities that would be of tangible benefit for the majority of firms – mainly SMEs – in the industry. “I also had an incredible amount of support from my Chairman, Trevor Hursthouse OBE, and from the late Lord O’Neill who died in August after having been President of SEC Group for over 15 years.”

Atkins appoints Dave Bennett as Operations, Improvements & Innovation Director


tkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has appointed Dave Bennett as Operations, Improvements & Innovation Director for its UK and Europe business. A civil engineer by trade, Dave has held a number of senior positions in the public and private sector, most recently as Head of Operations and Business Continuity at AECOM. He joined Atkins on 4 January 2021 and will be based at the company’s European headquarters at Nova North in London. In his new role, Dave will be responsible for leading continuous operational improvement across the


business and overseeing Atkins UK and Europe’s digital transformation, which forms part of company-wide focus and investment into digital solutions that have the potential to revolutionise infrastructure delivery. Atkins UK & Europe CEO, Richard Robinson, said: “Dave brings a wealth of experience in running large, complex engineering services organisations, and has an outstanding track record in business and operational improvement. This will be invaluable as we continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of clients and help drive up productivity across the wider industry through the effective adoption of digital technology.”

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Movers and shakers

New Managing Director for South Western Railway


laire Mann has been appointed Managing Director of South Western Railway and will take up her post early this year. Claire has more than two decades of experience in the transport sector and has held a number of senior leadership roles in the rail industry, including Director for Docklands Light Railway (DLR) at Transport for London (TfL), where she led the DLR team; Operations and Safety Director at Arriva Trains Wales; General Manager East at the former First Great Western (now GWR); and Customer Service Director at London Overground. Most recently, she moved within TfL to become Director of Bus Operations, where she was responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the capital’s 9,200-strong bus fleet.

Mark Hopwood, currently Interim Managing Director of SWR, returned to be Managing Director of GWR earlier this month. The role of SWR Managing Director is being covered by Mike Houghton, Chief Operating Officer, until Claire joins. Matthew Golton, who has led Great Western Railway since last January, will be seconded to First Rail in a new interim role as First Rail Business Development Director. Matthew will join the First Rail leadership team and will focus on the development of the future rail businesses and contractual arrangements. Claire Mann said: “I’m really looking forward to joining the SWR team. This is a railway close to my heart and one that is vital for connecting so many diverse communities. I am passionate about delivering an excellent customer experience

and building on the great work already underway to transform this railway. People are the most important part of any successful operation and I am looking forward to meeting the teams and individuals across the SWR network.”

Christian Göseke named as new CFO for Arriva Group


hristian Göseke has taken on the role of Arriva’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The role has been overseen by Iain Jago – Group Finance Director – since Martin Hibbert announced his retirement last year after having spent 18 years with the company. Christian most recently held the position of Group CFO at Swissport International AG, based in Zurich, Switzerland, where he was a member of the Executive Management Team. Prior to that, Christian was Managing Director of Gate Gourmet, part of the Gate Group,

with responsibility for the airline catering business across Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. He has also held CFO and senior management positions at Rhenus Logistics GmbH (previously Wincanton GmbH), Delton AG, and Orbit Software Holding AG. He graduated from OttoBeisheim School of Management and started his career with McKinsey and Company. Christian Göseke commented: “It is an incredibly exciting time to join Arriva. I look forward to working with the Arriva team and its shareholder DB to ensure Arriva adapts to the changing market conditions and delivers the group’s strategy. I am excited about leading its finance organisation to contribute to Arriva’s success.”

Lucy D’Orsi selected as new British Transport Police Chief Constable


he British Transport Police Authority (BTPA) has announced that Lucy D’Orsi has been appointed as Chief Constable of the British Transport Police (BTP). Lucy is currently the Metropolitan Police’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC) for Specialist Operations.  The current BTP Chief Constable Paul Crowther CBE is set to retire in February 2020 after 40 years of distinguished continuous service with the Force. Lucy joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1992. She has extensive experience working across multiple London boroughs and held the role of Commander  East London.  Lucy is currently Counter Terrorism Policing’s Senior National Coordinator for Protective Security and Preparedness. She works closely with UK businesses, UK military and international law 72 | January 2021

enforcement agencies. Lucy is a gold public order commander and has led the policing of multiple events. She said: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as the next Chief Constable of BTP. I am looking forward to building on the legacy that Paul is handing over and I would like to thank him for his dedication to policing. “Whilst policing the nation’s capital has given me a wealth of operational experience, I am excited to lead a force that deals with the unique nature of policing Britain’s rail, underground and tram network. “Working with industry partners and government to  keep  passengers  safe, the railway moving and protect our critical national infrastructure, particularly during these uncertain times, will be very rewarding.  I very much look forward to working with the exceptional officers

and staff of BTP, and the Police Authority. Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends and colleagues who have supported me throughout my policing career.” railbusinessdaily.com

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Movers and shakers

Faithful+Gould strengthens transportation leadership team in the North F aithful+Gould, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, has added to its senior team in the North as it looks to increase its footprint in the transportation sector. Rob Whitham joins Faithful+Gould as Regional Director from Turner and Townsend to help drive growth in the North West transportation sector. Rob will be focused on bringing his industrywide transport experience to key clients in the North, including his extensive work with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Highways England and Network Rail. Rob’s appointment follows a number of other key transportation

appointments for Faithful+Gould in the region including Lee Askew, Huw Oeppen, Richard Shore and Phil Lynch. Mike Odling, Director of Transportation in the North at Faithful+Gould, said: “We are strengthening our transportation team to focus on clients across the North and ensure that we can address their needs by providing exceptional people with a breadth of experience. Our focus on this region and sector will continue in 2021 as we further bolster our teams and deliver the transformational transportation projects the North needs.”

Stewart Signs appoints new Managing Director


K branding and graphics specialists Stewart Signs  has appointed Gareth Livingstone as its new Managing Director. Gareth assumes the role from Anthony Townson, who has spent more 37 years in the business since taking over from his father, Roy, in 1983. With over 23 years’ experience in the industry, Gareth was previously Operations Director and Director of Rail at Ast Signs where he worked since 2005.RDB-Rail-Director-Qtr-Pg-Ad-Mayarail-FOR-PRINT.pdf 1 26/10/2020 13:24:17

Gareth has been working alongside Anthony since February to allow a smooth transition of the business. Anthony will continue to support Stewart Signs in his new position as​​Chairman of the Board. Anthony said: “Gareth has already added a lot of value since joining earlier this year. He’s got the knowledge and experience of the industry, he’s a great relationship builder and I think he’s the shot in the arm this business needs. “It became apparent very quickly that he shares our values and understands our clients’ needs. He’s an innovative thinker, solution driven and a great team builder. I cannot think of anyone better than Gareth to re-energise Stewart Signs and lead it into this next phase.” “Anthony is leaving a great legacy. His passion and expertise has made Stewart Signs one of the most trusted names in branding and vinyl graphics in the UK. “The company has already achieved so much, and I’m looking forward to building on those strengths to become unrivalled in our technical knowledge and exceptional service. I want every client, every partner, every person that works here to have the best possible experience and feel special, valued and appreciated.”









74 | January 2021




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