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Better for Business

Exclusively for rail industry leaders

The inside track‌ Anthony Smith The mission to get the best deal for passengers Emma Dymond Becoming better as a team EDI Charter A pledge for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Louise Cheeseman The MD of the open access operator Hull Trains on weathering the lockdown storm

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

November 2020 Issue 3

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Building Resilience Across Britain’s Railways I

hope that you are all keeping well. As this edition of RailDirector goes to press, England has entered a second period of coronavirus lockdown, bringing the country into another tailspin with millions of people feeling anxious about the future. We speak to hundreds of rail companies each month and we know how worrying and challenging this year continues to be. If we can help you we will. We have an extensive network of contacts and the means to help you reach them from a business development perspective. Please get in touch if you think we can help you via our extended rail industry community. We are here to support you. One company that has been very badly affected by COVID-19 is Hull Trains – an organisation whose revival plans have been knocked sideways several times throughout the year. We are grateful to Louise Cheeseman for speaking so candidly to us about the company’s challenges. Despite these, however, she remains incredibly optimistic, exhibiting great leadership skills and resilience in the face of the most difficult period in the company’s history. Building projects continue apace across the industry and this underscores how resilient Britain’s railways can be. We cover a number of these stories inside this edition. We try to feature as many aspects of railway operations from track to train as we can, including light rail and steam. Thank you to all contributors. We are grateful for your time and your support. We couldn’t produce the magazine without you. Following on from its recently published long-term environmental sustainability strategy, we also showcase how Network Rail has committed to independently verified science-based targets to help in the process of climate change mitigation. It is an important initiative and we wish the business and its supply chain partners every success. Just before we went to press, we were terribly sad to hear of the untimely passing of Stuart Baker OBE. Stuart, the acclaimed author of the Rail Atlas of Britain and Ireland, was a lifelong rail devotee who made a hugely positive difference to the industry having held senior positions for more than 35 years. A lovely man, his loss will be felt strongly throughout the industry. We thank Hugh Chaplain for his moving tribute. Our thoughts are with Stuart’s family. Rest in peace Stuart. My final line is the positive news that the line between Aberdeen and Dundee reopened on November 3, after the completion of work to repair the railway following the derailment at Carmont near Stonehaven on August 12. Well done to all involved. It must have been incredibly challenging. Our prayers remain with the families of the three people who died in what was a terrible accident. May this never be repeated. Please keep in touch. Send us your stories and let us help your organisation to grow and prosper. We look forward to working with you. Keep safe and well

David McLoughlin Chief Executive Business Daily Group (incorporating: RBD Publications and

Thank you to all contributors. We are grateful for your time and your support. We couldn’t produce the magazine without you 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 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 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.

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content is published in good faith.

November 2020 | 3

Contents Better Betterforfor Business Business

Exclusively Exclusively for for rail railindustry industryleaders leaders

Optimism key for Hull Trains future 5

Here for the industry

Louise Cheeseman on her determination to make sure the business is in great shape.

New RBF CEO Claire Houghton outlines the challenges facing the industry.

An inclusive journey for everyone


Stephen Brookes MBE on the challenges facing the industry.



Reopening of the Aberdeen to Dundee trainline, and tunnelling complete at Bank tube station.

Getting people back on trains



Kate Jennings and Adeline Ginn MBE discuss the new charter set to transform the rail industry.

Boots on ballast to the boardroom 20 Motion Chief Executive Officer Emma Dymond on becoming better as a team.

Welsh Government to take rail franchise under public control


Ken Skates on the new arrangements for the Wales and Borders rail franchise.

Emma EmmaDymond Dymond Becoming better as a team Becoming better as a team EDI Charter EDI Charter A pledge for Equality, Diversity A pledge for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Inclusion



Lee Armstrong speaks of investment and optimism when it comes to ABP. Station NewRobroyston Arriva Cross Country contract 34

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

Tel: 0800 046 7320 Sales: 020 7062 6599


Editor Dean Bruce Laura Campbell talks about her role as the first Writers suicide prevention manager at GTR. Danny Longhorn Combating global warming 54 Dave Windass Print Manager Network Rail sets science-based targets to limit Dan Clark global warming. Distribution Manager Leading diversity across rail 56 Luca Goaten Advertising Team LNER’s Abu Siddeeq on the need for open, honest Christian Wiles leaders who prioritise how their people feel. Freddie Neal Funding lifeline for heritage rail 58 Published by RBD Publications Ltd., Vernon Blackburn discusses the importance of Suite 37, Philpot House, Station Road, funding for Bluebell Railway. • 87% weight saving vs. SS6 traditional Rayleigh, Essex, 7HH. build due to lightweight superstructure Printed by Stephens & George and

2020 Queen’s Award those recognised in the 26 Celebrating Queen’s Birthday Honours list 64 Michael Anderson and Peter Cushing discuss Winners in Innovation the Midland Metro Alliance. Some of those working in the railways recognised for going above and beyond. for Dura Platform Prime time for freight 32 West Midlands transport

Louise Louise Cheeseman Cheeseman

The MD of the open access operator Hull Trains The MD of the open access operator Hull Trains on weathering the lockdown storm on weathering the lockdown storm

Jeremy Acklam on leading the charge on the use of smart technology.

Saving lives on the railway

The The inside inside track… track… Anthony AnthonySmith Smith The The mission missionto toget getthe thebest best deal deal for for passengers passengers

Simon Blanchflower says East West Rail is a key component to the government’s Build Back Better.

Smart North Ecosystem

Anthony Smith on the mission to get the best deal for passengers.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Charter

Delivering a better railway in a better way


November November2020 2020 Issue 33 Issue

GRP panels

2020 adjustment for future • Allows for©rapid All rights reserved. Reproduction of PTI requirements

International news

Including Hitachi Rail and Bombardier.

Movers and shakers

the contents of this magazine in any

• Low maintenance surfaceis prohibited tested to manner whatsoever +1 millionwithout footfalls prior consent from the

publisher.can be rapidly installed • 66 Modular panels on convex concaveenquiries platforms Fororsubscription and to make suresteel you get your copy Rail Director • Hybrid GRP system hasofdesign life please ring 0800 046 7320 or email of up to 120 years

70 The views expressed in the articles Tom Joyner on the plans for extra seats and a greater A round-up of some of the movers and shakers Tel: +44 (0)1255 reflect440291 the author(s) opinions and do Unlocking the Power of Composites focus on more environmentally friendly services. in the rail industry. not necessarily reflect the views of the for the Rail Industry publisher and editor. The published Rail Wellbeing Live 36 Obituary 74 material, adverts, editorials and all other content is John Halsall says the wellbeing event is here to stay. Hugh Chaplain pays tribute to Stuart Baker OBE. published in good faith. content is published in good faith.

GRP End of Platform Gates and Fencing Solutions

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H u l l Tr a i n s

Optimism key to the long-term future of Hull Trains Louise Cheeseman, MD of the open access operator, on weathering the lockdown storm

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

• 87% weight saving vs. traditional build a new £60m Hitachi fleet, due toith lightweight superstructure andrecord GRP panels numbers of customers and extreme


•confidence Allows for in rapid adjustment for future its on-board service, Hull Trains PTI requirements

was poised to make a big splash in 2020. Until,

• Low maintenance surface tested to that is, a global pandemic changed rail travel +1 million footfalls

beyond recognition.

• Modular panels can be rapidly installed With a second lockdownplatforms now taking hold, the on convex or concave

access operator has temporarily suspended •open Hybrid GRP steel system has design life up to 120 years in a move to safeguard its itsofservices yet again, long-term future. for440291 Hull Trains, Managing Director Tel:Thankfully +44 (0)1255 Louise Cheeseman is an eternal optimist and,

while concerned about the impact COVID-19 will have on her team and under no illusions about the tough times ahead, is already looking is published in good faith. beyondcontent lockdown. “This is the biggest challenge Hull Trains has faced in its history,” said Louise. “That probably without saying we’ve fencing had someand difficult •goes Lightweight, high but strength times the years. I am determined to make gateover solutions business isand in great shape when this •sure Nonthis conductive non corrosive period is overcan andbe we’ll get there with our •awful Modular design rapidly installed determination andCAD optimism.” •resilience, Bespokedogged Structural Design and Services available That dogged determination has already been evidence. August, on Hullstandard Trains ‘relaunched’ •inSame day In dispatch stock holdings following the first lockdown period that saw the company’s trains stop running on March 30. Before restarting services, risk assessments on all Hull Trains’ working environments and practices were+44 carried out440291 and stringent safety plans and Tel: (0)1255 health and safety measures were put in place. During that period of hibernation, “there was a lot of hard work to do,” Louise said, and after the forced time-out Hull Trains’ crew had to refresh • Low maintenance surface tested to +1 million footfalls • Built-in risers and fall eliminate water pooling on surface • Single unit construction and lightweight nature means rapid installation • Produced to BS 476 Part 20/21 Fire Rating • Can span up to 2.1m achieving a 5kn loading at L/300

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H u l l Tr a i n s

their competencies before services resumed. While business travel numbers continued to suffer a significant downturn, and social distancing reduced on-board capacity by 50 per cent, the company’s loyal customer base was swift to return to Hull Trains for leisure and pleasure, with weekend travel seeing trains running at almost full capacity. This second period of lockdown has knocked Hull Trains’ revival plans sideways, then, although Louise is keen to stress that suspending services is exactly the right move. She said: “It was certainly not an easy decision to make but it’s one that ultimately protects the long-term future of Hull Trains and that is our priority. We believe we have a good business model that serves the economy of the region and we will be needed when Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire comes out of the other side of the pandemic.

I am an optimist and you can’t afford to be anything other than that when you’re in business during difficult times

Employer and educator “We’re so much more than a train operating company. We offer a great selling point for big business making inward investment in this region and ultimately that will enable the region to get back on its feet. We’re an employer, an educator,

6 | November 2020

we support the local supply chain, we support local charities and we have a huge role to play in the community that we serve. “I am an optimist and you can’t afford to be anything other than that when you’re in business during difficult times. I felt sad when this second lockdown period became imminent because I knew how worried colleagues in the business would be. In my time as MD I’ve tried to deflect anything that could cause colleagues concern, in particular communicating with our teams and enabling us all to see the positive in everything. Here, though, we could all see what was coming so I couldn’t protect them from it. As long as we have plans in place for the short, medium and long-term – which we do – and we communicate those plans to everyone, we can keep the team upbeat and confident regarding the future and they will know that they are a part of a very good business.”

Inevitably, given Hull Trains’ open access status meaning that it relies on ticket sales as its main revenue source and without any of the level of support in 2020 offered to franchised operators via the Emergency Measures Agreement, the latest service suspension will have an impact on staff, with 95 per cent of Hull Trains’ people expected to be furloughed. Louise explained: “The only support we can access is that to enable us to furlough staff. Again, that’s the right thing to do, our people deserve some level of stability, they have a career in rail and we want to keep them. So we will utilise that.” Regular conversations with fellow open access operator Grand Central have helped Louise remain buoyant in recent months, along with sympathy, empathy and kind words of support from franchised operators. Louise also praised the local MPs and cross party politicians who called on the Government to help the train operating company resume its services in August, along with stakeholders who expressed their support for the role the company plays across the region, all of whom will no doubt fight Hull Trains’ corner in the future. Weathering the storm Louise added: “When the Government say that only essential travel should take place it’s clear that passenger numbers will decrease rapidly. We will do as we did in the first period of lockdown. We put the ship in to dock, dropped the anchor and let the storm carry on outside. Once the storm subsided we had a look outside to see what was going on and when we felt there was a market, particularly in leisure, that was sufficient to warrant bringing some trains back out that’s what we did. We’ll stick with that strategy because it worked, and while we’re in hibernation we’ll plan our comeback and instil confidence in our team

H u l l Tr a i n s

and the region. We’re all itching to get the new fleet running in all its glory. Nobody is prouder than me to see an Hitachi 802 sat in London King’s Cross with the name of the city of Hull emblazoned on the side, and a livery that incorporates all of the iconic places we serve on the side of our trains. We represent the region so well, and with our new trains we have taken major strides and we’ve received nothing but praise for our team and on-board service. We know we can be best in class and we know we have a very talented and resilient team. “The difficult part of these periods in lockdown is that at the beginning of March we had a record breaking number of customers, we’d turned our reputation around, we were running state-ofthe-art trains and the business was flying. The demise of the market over the last few months has been so fast you couldn’t have written this or prepared for this. “The joy of open access is that, as we move forward, we can do what we need to do to make sure we remain financially viable. We have flexibility based on what customers are

demanding, we will be able to amend our timetable to strengthen services or amend our times, and it will be important to be innovative with travel for leisure purposes. “When our trains do return people can be confident in traveling on them. We will come back and deliver our timetable, the market will increase

and we will increase our services. There will be an opportunity to grow further when things do improve so the future is very bright, we just need to get through this period in time. Our business is built on the strength of our talented team of local people and this business has to stay strong for them.”

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November 2020 | 7


Making train travel an inclusive journey for everyone Stephen Brookes MBE, the Disability Champion for the Rail Sector, on the challenges facing the industry


e’ve all walked through train stations and transport interchanges with their futuristic glass and steel ceilings propped on Corinthian columns, stood confused at the foot of a timetable board listing departures, arrivals and cancellations while simultaneously processing bellowing announcements from clusters of speakers informing us of platform changes, and panicked about how we’ll get to our final destination. Imagine how the same experience feels for those with disabilities. Stephen Brookes MBE, Rail Sector Champion for the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, does more than imagine this experience. Stephen is, himself, disabled. His role means that he also provides a voice for those with disabilities making journeys via rail.

As Rail Sector Champion a regular feedback to me is that disabled people using assisted travel suffered inconsistent messaging during the course of the journey

In September, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) announced new safeguarding measures to improve reliability of over a million requests for passenger assistance received each year on Britain’s railways. The new rules are now in force for all train and station operating companies following a successful trial by Network Rail, GTR and South West Railway. The requirements focus on improving the way staff communicate and coordinate passenger assistance between stations. Naturally, Stephen welcomed the news. 8 | November 2020

He said: “As Rail Sector Champion a regular feedback to me is that disabled people using assisted travel suffered inconsistent messaging during the course of the journey. “Many assisted travel bookings fail at interchange stations as any information relating to a delay to an interconnecting service has not been available to staff, due to staff relying on inconsistent communication. “These information failures all too frequently ended with assistance staff not being in the right place at the right time to deliver the alighting assistance complicated by those staff being

either unsure of what telephone number to call to start the handover process; or when they did know, getting no answer. Now, train and station operators will have a dedicated assistance telephone number for every station and a ‘responsible person’ for every station whose job is to ensure that when those calls are answered, the essential information needed to coordinate the assistance delivery is provided, such as the passenger’s assistance need, what train they are travelling on and their location on the train.” Good news. But for Stephen, there is much more work to do to ensure that train


travel is an inclusive journey for everyone. He said: “Any journey is as good as its best part but remembered for its worst part. What I attempt to do is ensure that all disabled passengers get fair treatment and, by ensuring that, everyone that uses the railways benefits. It is not about making disabled passengers a priority, it is about a travel experience that is equally accessible to all, and each and every one of us getting the service that we deserve.” Communication is key Communication, says Stephen, is key to bringing about the necessary change in thinking around passengers with disabilities, and also breaking through the difficulty people have with discussing and understanding disability in all its forms. “So many of the issues we face are because train operating companies (TOCs) are unable to talk to each other because there is no channel to do so. The Department for Transport’s policy cannot work unless there is communication. I was asked by Northern Rail, when it was part of Serco-Abellio, to look at forming the Northern Access User Group, a group of pragmatic

disabled users of all kinds to look at access to rail and who worked with Northern on all kinds of issues. It was very successful and other companies should take up that same model, and some have. If TOCs can work on getting access right, we’re talking about inclusion at all levels because if

The issue itself first and foremost is the word disability. People think of that universal symbol for disability – the wheelchair it is right for disabled passengers then it’s right for everyone. “One key area of my role is getting across the message that all disabilities should be taken into account and given equal importance.

Nobody should have more or less than another. The issue itself first and foremost is the word disability. People think of that universal symbol for disability – the wheelchair. That’s one aspect, access to trains. We also need to think of those with sight impairments, hearing impairments, those with anxiety issues, mental health issues, dementia. They all have barriers to overcome and can affect a person’s ability to travel. “Someone with a hidden disability or a mental health problem can be seriously unbalanced by travel disruption. Improving the customer experience “For those with dementia, and a limited memory, the last thing you need is added confusion. If there is disruption it has to be handled correctly, not presented as a fait accompli as if there’s nothing that can be done about it. Rail doesn’t give bad news well but you can mitigate that and improve the experience of passengers. “For those, like me, who have hearing impairments, most audio systems at stations are a nightmare. At Blackpool, for example, which is a 1950s concrete edifice, all I can hear is feedback because the speakers are not situated

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November 2020 | 9


have an equal opportunity to travel and are not put at risk or targeted because they appear to be different. During COVID-19, a lot of people might have been targeted by accident, rather than design, but they have been denied the freedom of travel. It’s about fairness and ensuring that, during a crisis, there is an ability to travel for all.”

correctly, so I depend on visual boards. But there are some people with both hearing and sight issues and they stand no chance at all. Under the right circumstances and with the right use of technology disabled passengers don’t necessarily have to ask for assistance. There should be clear visual signage and train departure boards. “We need to involve disabled people on the design and implementation of technology. By listening first, by taking on board the views of disabled rail users and understanding the issues they face, you get things right at the start and save money because you don’t have to go round putting things right afterwards. “All major stations on the rail network should have neutrally tabarded information staff and you should be able to ask for the information you need and get it. That’s not currently the case as staff only know about their operations and then the confidence of passengers in staff on the railways goes. There’s no benefit in any company having information about its own operation that can’t be shared to ensure the safe and smooth journey for disabled people. The linking of all of that information is vital.” One worrying aspect of COVID-19, points out Stephen, is that disability discrimination has crept back on to platforms and trains. He explained: “Around 48 per cent of disabled people don’t have access to a car. The messaging from everyone during COVID-19 has been don’t use public transport unless it’s absolutely essential. Then we were told the opposite.”

time to understand them, you make things easier for everyone. “We’ve had to fight quite a big battle over the issue of face masks. There are certain people for whom it is quite dangerous, including

... let’s work with TOCs and others to make the railways accessible and so that people can make totally understandable transport arrangements those with mental health and anxiety issues, so we had to fight to get certain exemptions. It’s all part of the same journey. We need to constantly strike a balance between the needs of disabled people and other passengers, to make sure the disabled

Looking ahead While Stephen will continue to work hard in the coming months to overcome such discrimination, he remains optimistic that, in the long term, the industry will transform itself in order to provide equality of travel. Stephen added: “On my watch, we will keep disability high on the agenda. COVID-19 has given us some time to pause so that rail can improve engagement with all passengers. Like many people with disabilities, I have to trust rail because it’s the only way I can get around. So let’s work with TOCs and others to make the railways accessible and so that people can make totally understandable transport arrangements. Let’s make sure staff are aware of the issues and are trained in dealing with a range of disability problems. You can’t treat everybody in the same way, there are very specific issues. “There is a need for a conversation around disability right across the transport industry, not just rail. The journey starts when we leave the front door, from the taxi, to the station and on to the train, and then at the other end of the journey. “We don’t expect millions to be spent and, in fact, that’s not necessary at all. We just need to use what exists more wisely and develop strategies that enable us to overcome issues. Let’s provide a fair opportunity to hear the voice of disabled passengers and for their issues to be aired, and work towards inclusive strategies.”

Individual needs The experience of those with sight impairments during COVID-19 highlights the need for a greater understanding of the needs of individuals. Stephen added: “Guide dogs don’t know how to socially distance, they’re unaware of the rules. Understanding that is imperative and a good example of some of the issues being faced. There are nuances with disabilities that, if you take the 10 | November 2020

I n sFue raat nu cr e

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

Why is my premium going up? E

mployers Liability and Public Liability insurance is bought by every trading railway company – it covers injury claims from employees/agency staff and injury/damage claims from third parties arising from the negligence of the insured business and those that work for them. There can be many reasons why premiums increase over time. Insurers tend to use wages and turnover as the main indicators of the size of a business, to which they apply a rate to calculate a premium. As a business grows and wages and turnover go up the premium will usually increase but not always proportionately. Insurers tend to increase their rating either because of factors affecting the sector that the business is in, or factors relating to the specific railway company insured. Some railway companies may be insured by insurers who do very little in rail. This can make them vulnerable to large rate increases if the insurer decides that they have been undercharging for the risk that a railway company brings versus others that never go near a railway.

These non-specialist EL PL policies tend to have a lot of cover restrictions versus a rail-friendly insurers wording. The number of insurers that write large amounts of rail business is actually quite small but there is a considerable variety in pricing. The onus is on the broker to understand and explain the railway company’s activities and

contractual liabilities in order for the insurer to charge lower rates. Another premium factor is claims. Where there have been accidents and claims made for injuries, then this can lead to an increase in rates. Additionally, the way courts handle injury claims has changed in recent years making injury claims settlements more expensive for insurers, thus leading them to seek higher premiums to cover the higher costs. To mitigate price increases, it is important to try and present positive risk information about the business and how liabilities may be limited in contract. Article by Clare Brecknell, Dip CII, Client Director at Jobson James Rail 07794 019669

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November 2020 | 11

F eeawtsu r e N

Train line between Aberdeen and Dundee reopens after August’s tragic derailment T

he line between Aberdeen and Dundee reopened this month after the completion of work to repair the railway following August’s tragic derailment. The railway had been shut since August 12, when the 06:38 ScotRail Aberdeen-Glasgow service struck a landslip with the devastating loss of driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury. The incident caused extensive damage to the track, bridge, embankments and drainage systems at the accident site at Carmont, near Stonehaven. Engineers have been working day and night since the incident, initially supporting the accident investigation before beginning work in September to recover the derailed train carriages and repair and reopen the railway. The work has included: Building a new 900-metre road and temporary bridges over the surrounding farmland to bring specialist lifting equipment to the site.

Constructing a 600-tonne crawler crane to carefully lift the derailed carriages from the railway. Replacing over 500 metres of damaged track, 70 metres of bridge parapets and relaying 400 metres of telecoms cables. Repairing and enhancing drainage systems and flood defences above and below the line. Rebuilding the railway embankment beneath the accident site. Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Scotland’s Railway, said: “We continue to work closely with accident investigators as we seek to

learn the lessons of this tragedy and make our railway as safe as possible for our people and our passengers. “Our thoughts continue to be with the families and friends of Brett, Donald and Christopher and with the other passengers and colleagues who were affected by the accident. Our engineers have been working around-the-clock to repair and reopen the railway and we thank all our customers and lineside neighbours for the understanding they have shown during this difficult and distressing event.”

Tunnelling complete at Bank tube station with 200,000 tonnes of materials excavated


unnelling work at the project to modernise and expand Bank Underground station has been completed, marking a major milestone in the project. The tunnelling, which forms part of the programme to expand the size of the station by 40 per cent, has seen more than 1.3km of tunnels constructed since May 2017. The project to enlarge the station has involved constructing a new southbound running tunnel for the Northern line, with the existing tunnel to be converted into a passenger concourse with six new cross passages linking to the platforms on either side. Three new escalator barrels have also been excavated to link the Northern line to the DLR and to the new entrance that is being built on Cannon Street, and a new link tunnel will connect the Northern and Central lines. The tunnelling has seen more than 200,000 tonnes of material excavated from under the City of London. By the end of winter, the civil work on the new station entrance on Cannon Street will also be completed, with work on the new platforms also well underway. 12 | November 2020

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 to find out how we can help you, or visit Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, known as TBF, is a registered charity in England and Wales, 1160901, and Scotland, SC047016.

F eeawtsu r e N

Three years of transformation enters final phase at Queen Street L

ast month marked three years since Network Rail began the main £120 million redevelopment of Glasgow Queen Street station, creating a contemporary and fully accessible transport hub. Since October 2017, engineers have transformed Scotland’s thirdbusiest station without closing it to passengers with the new station concourse, entrances and facilities now nearing completion. Work also started this week to paint 10 cast-iron pillars that support the A-listed 142-year-old barrel shaped, glass roof. Kevin McClelland, Network Rail route delivery director for infrastructure projects, said: “We are now in the final phase of the redevelopment work, with our focus over the remaining weeks on completion of the high level foyer area to platforms eight and nine, and also painting several of the Victorian pillars within the station, which have been unveiled for the first time in decades.”

A new dawn! East Midlands Railway new Intercity fleet to be named Aurora


ast Midlands Railway’s new Intercity fleet will be known as Aurora after the name was chosen from more than 2,000 competition entries. The Aurora fleet includes Japanese bullet-train technology and will provide fast, comfortable and state-of-the-art journeys between London, Sheffield and Nottingham from 2023. Aurora appealed to the judges who were won over by the name’s two meanings which mirror the ethos and technological advancements of the new trains. Aurora is the name of the Roman goddess of the dawn, representing the new start Aurora provides for the railway serving the

14 | November 2020

East Midlands and South Yorkshire. It is also inspired by the Northern Lights, created by the transfer of the sun’s solar energy – matching Aurora’s ability to run under electric power. The new state of the art Aurora trains, are financed by Rock Rail East Midlands and will be built by Hitachi Rail UK in County Durham. They have the ability to run using electric overhead lines wherever possible, taking advantage of the £1.5 billion Midland Main Line Upgrade and will ultimately replace the diesel train fleet. Construction is due to start later this year with the first units due to start Main Line testing in mid-2022 and the first entry into passenger service due in early 2023.

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Transport Focus

Getting people back on public transport Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of Transport Focus, discusses the challenges facing the industry


ransport Focus is the independent statutory watchdog for Britain’s transport users, with a mission to get the best deal for passengers and road users. With its strong emphasis on evidence-based campaigning and research, Transport Focus provides useful and trusted insight into the experiences and feelings of the public it represents. In terms of rail, this insight is then used to improve services and ensure that railways serve the people that use them. Chief Executive Anthony Smith has worked at Transport Focus for over 20 years. In that time he has seen the organisation go through various incarnations, including the 2014 move from representing rail, bus, coach and tram passengers to widening its role to represent all those who use motorways and A roads. Anthony, however, remains a self-confessed fan of the railways – his dad was a steam fanatic and engineer and Anthony’s own 1,900 mile journey by train from Sevenoaks to Istanbul in the mid-1970s further fuelled his passion. He said: “What I love about trains is the shared experience and communality and the fact it does such powerful things for society. As well as taking you to a nice place it connects you to other people. Trains are incredibly romantic.” The right person, then, to represent the voice of rail passengers. Key influencer Against a backdrop of a Comprehensive Spending Review, 2020 was always going to see Transport Focus play its part in influencing the key improvements required by the rail industry. Recent months have, of course, ramped up the importance of Transport Focus’s role, as it has provided essential insight to guide government decision-making and to a rail industry coming to terms with a somewhat different future, economic outlook and demand for services than anticipated. Anthony said: “We have a job to help government make the right decisions and there’s always a job to do to reflect back what people on the ground think and are saying. We’ve been responsive to what has happened. “In March, when people fled from cities and towns like the plague had landed, we tore up our work plan and asked how we could be useful in this new world. Obviously there were far fewer people using public transport initially. We thought the best thing we could do is to start to think deeply regarding how to get people back on public transport.” 16 | November 2020

Transport Focus quickly established a new weekend omnibus survey of 2,000 adults regarding their transport experiences during the week. In addition, a series of online panels with transport users also took place and will continue in the future. Together, these initiatives have provided crucial information on how and why people are making their transport choices. Anthony said: “It was important that we captured this feedback as people started to travel

We have a job to help government make the right decisions around the country. It wasn’t just about asking people about transport but also understanding the broader context of what was going on, the impact of what was happening on behaviours. Then we could provide that research to government and the transport industry to get things right in terms of services, punctuality and messaging. “The transport industry has rallied round and there’s been a good response to what people

wanted in terms of the travel experience. The reality is that most people think things are alright on public transport. Things look and feel clean, which is important, and the main concerns are what you’d expect to hear, a lack of visible enforcement of face coverings and the ability to social distance. The industry has done a pretty good job in providing the right level of reassurance. “The voice of passengers is always important and it’s never been more important to listen to people who travel around the country. All of the old assumptions are out of the window. People are viewing life through a new lens therefore messages have to land in the right way as people are really attuned and they certainly don’t like it if things are wrong.” There are differences in what people want and expect from rail now compared to pre-COVID-19 but, said Anthony, one word is always high on everyone’s agenda: Reliability. He explained: “There’s a subtle difference compared to how people felt before but if you take all of our work and boil it down we always come back to reliability. People are buying the timetable and want that to work 19 times out of 20. For one in 20 of their journeys they will understand that disruption happens but if you give people that reliability they’ll forgive you everything else. It’s the same across all modes of transport –

Transport Focus

reliability is key and other factors are nowhere near as important. “Reliability is the key driver of satisfaction on railways while the key driver regarding dissatisfaction is how disruption and delays are dealt with, so the two go hand-in-hand. If you ensure that more trains are on time the less people you irritate in times of disruption.” Anthony is of the opinion that the rail industry has improved its ability to listen to what its passengers need and act on it, following the “sea change” at Network Rail brought about by Sir Peter Hendy and Andrew Haines. “They get it, most definitely. Train operating companies, too, they’re incentivised to listen because they want to have happy passengers. I think there are always reasons for optimism in rail because people will always want to move around and want options. “Rail does a number of things really well, moving people long distances at high speed and large amounts of people over shorter distances. It’s started to look clear that the future of rail will look very different. “The leisure market will be increasingly important and there will be a thinning out of peak services. Inter-regional and inter-town and city links

will be more important because roads are already full and getting busier.” Selling insight All of which makes Transport Focus’s ability to hold a mirror up to the industry and what it offers to passengers increasingly important. The organisation has 40 staff based around the country, in London and Manchester, from Glasgow down to Frome, and from Swansea to Ely. While 80 per cent of its income comes from the taxpayer, 20 per cent is generated by selling insight. The good news for everyone involved in transport is that every piece of research, even when it is privately commissioned, is placed in to the public domain for everybody to use. Anthony added: “We have no axe to grind and no vested interest. Our job is just to make sure there are more happy passengers and to fulfil the need for more independent views in an era when opinion is so polarised. It is really important to have a centre of gravity that publishes fully independent, representative, top quality research that everyone can use that is safe and we have a clear role to play there. “Fares reform and value for money remain big issues for people. Some of the old and existing

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products are really not fit for purpose. In terms of fares, it’s clear that people think we reached peak price a while ago and that now it often feels like a tax to pay for travel. We need to have strong revenue incentives for operators as they need a reason to fill up their trains and provide a good service. Post-lockdown the sense of feeling safe on trains has now crept up in terms of the visible management of cleanliness and social distancing and safety management. “The government is clearly still optimistic about and committed to rail, putting a huge amount of money into running it day-to-day and there’s huge investment in the future. So there’s a very positive outlook but also a massive job to do to increase revenue and reduce costs. “There are some big choices to make and rail won’t want to make the wrong ones, which is where we come in because we can inform those choices. People want to move around the country and want sustainable options. Staffing, fare reform, reliability and the concerns of passengers is what I spend most of my time worrying about and that’s where we can make a difference. But rail remains an enduring and really clever technology – even Brunel would recognise what it is, still. It’s a really neat way of getting people around.”

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November 2020 | 17

EDI Charter

A Pledge for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion across the UK rail industry Kate Jennings, of the Railway Industry Association, and Adeline Ginn MBE, of Women in Rail, discuss the new charter set to transform the sector


here is more than a hint of excitement in the air as Adeline Ginn and Kate Jennings discuss the launch of a new charter set to transform the UK railway industry. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Charter has been officially launched this month, showing a collective passion and commitment for change. “EDI is not only about fairness, it is also the right thing to do from a business perspective,” said Adeline, MBE, Founder of Women in Rail. “If you have a more diverse workforce and diverse group of people making the decisions it is going to improve the business performance and allow for more innovation.” Joining forces Coincidently whilst Woman in Rail were drawing up their own plans earlier this year, the Railway Industry Association were also doing something similar, leading to both organisations joining forces. “There are lots of great initiatives in the industry and lots of things companies are doing that are really good, but equally we all know that rail is seen as a sector that is quite male and maybe not as innovative and diverse as it can be,” said Kate, Policy Director at the Railway Industry Association. “There’s a lot of evidence that diversity, innovation and inclusion drive financial performance, investors care about it and clients care about it. The Charter has all 18 | November 2020

happened very quickly. As we were reaching out to clients we discovered Adeline was doing something similar so it made sense to collaborate. It’s all been going really well and it is great to be working with Women in Rail.” Within weeks of being launched dozens of companies had already signed up to the Charter, a commitment which supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. “There has been an amazing response from the rail industry to the Charter which shows how much our sector cares for the EDI agenda,” said Adeline, who juggles her role for Women in Rail with her full-time job as Group Strategy and Legal Director at CPMS.

Committment to EDI “Our industry has worked hard in the last few years to improve EDI within the sector and many companies have done a lot of great work to create a more diverse workforce and foster an inclusive culture. In these difficult times with more people feeling vulnerable, we felt it was important to send a message openly and publicly to the rail workforce that we, as an industry, do care about EDI and are committed to strengthening our efforts during the crisis. “I’m really pleased so many companies have signed up. The tremendous reaction

so far shows the passion for change that was already there and just had to be harnessed. It demonstrates rail companies’ commitment to working together and build on, if not accelerate, the progress we, as an industry, have made in the last few years, to create opportunities for everyone and build an inclusive culture in a more official way, learning from each other, sharing and exchanging ideas and best practice.” Signatory companies recognise that an inclusive workforce is good for business, and that it brings diversity of thought, innovation and a positive workforce culture as well as improved customer relationships. “The scope very consciously covers all forms of diversity from diversity of thought through to innovation,” said Kate. “Sometimes people also find it quite hard to come into rail from other sectors. Even at a leadership level there is a sense that if you’ve been in rail forever you’re going to get the top jobs, whereas if you come from another industry sometimes we might be losing those people and with that these ideas. “I think clearly BAME, gender and other priority characteristics are important, but so is social mobility – and I think rail is probably quietly a lot better than some other sectors on social mobility – and we should celebrate this as we create opportunities for a new generation of rail colleagues across the country.”

EDI Charter

Commits signatory companies to lead by example and make a difference, publicly reporting on their progress. Promotes positive change within the signatory companies and across the railway industry by empowering and educating leaders, making employees feel comfortable to challenge negative or discriminatory behaviours in the workplace, and collaborating to share best practice. Commits signatory companies to support the progression of diverse individuals into senior roles, develop the talent pipeline and improve representation at senior and executive level of the railway industry. Recognises that each signatory company will have different starting point and available resources and that progress will not look the same for every organisation.

A new phase Those signing up to the Charter are urged to commit to publicly reporting on their progress, promoting positive change and supporting the progression of diverse individuals into senior roles. “We see the Charter as the beginning of a new phase in the rail industry’s EDI journey, underpinned by a strong public commitment,” said Adeline. “There are no EDI targets imposed by the Charter. It is a voluntary initiative based on goodwill, an industry-wide coordinated effort to promote positive changes for everyone’s benefits, people and businesses, with everyone working collectively together under the same umbrella. We will support and guide companies that sign up to the Charter, help them draw up their EDI plan if they so wish, share best practice and celebrate the success stories. “In a year’s time, we will reach out to all the signatory companies and ask them if they are willing to share any lessons learned since signing the Charter, such as new innovative and efficient ways they may have identified to promote EDI within their workforce, any feedback from their staff on steps taken that help foster better inclusion and, if possible, evidence of the business case, the correlation between a diverse and inclusive workforce and their company’s financial results. “One of the objectives of the rail sector is to attract the younger generation and more diverse people into rail. Attracting new diverse talent is one thing, but retaining it so as to foster the next generation of leaders

in our sector is more challenging. A public industry-wide commitment to EDI evidenced by proactive action, good results and success stories should go a long way towards enabling us to achieve this goal.”

Appoint a member of the senior leadership team as an ‘EDI Champion’ Agree an action plan Provide opportunities for training and education of employees to help tackle unconscious bias and negative behaviours within workforces. Create a culture that fosters inclusion, including at industry events and in meetings, thus providing a safe space for all employees to talk openly Make recruitment and progression processes accessible and attractive to all to attract, retain and develop people of all backgrounds, ages, genders and identities

An action plan for success The Charter is open to all companies in the UK railway sector who wish to play a role in promoting innovation, agility and positive change in the industry. Among the aspirations for companies includes appointing a member of the senior leadership team as an EDI champion, agreeing an action plan and providing training and education opportunities, although Kate and Adeline accept not all companies will be able to make the same commitments. “The Charter is about people making a pledge that is right for them,” said Kate. “It’s not about us dictating to companies how they do this, it is about them realising there’s an opportunity here. The Charter is open to companies of all sizes and disciplines, from major contractors to small businesses. So you might be a tiny micro company and you can’t just change your board to add people to it or simply hire a more diverse team, but you can do something and we can help you to do that. We also want to support and celebrate small businesses with diverse ownership. “In a world where people are worried about jobs, the economy and there’s a lot of uncertainty, especially for young people, it has left people worried about how to find a career. We need to promote the diversity of opportunities in rail and recognition for rail as a secure career option. “I think one of the great things about rail is that you might not stay in the same organisation the whole way through, but there is an amazing career if you want it in rail with an excellent diversity of roles and opportunities across the country. You can start as an apprentice and end up on the board of a major global company. “There’s a risk that people think rail is all about wearing a hard hat and being on a building site and, of course it is and that is an important and exciting part of it, but it’s not only that. You can be in finance or law, or you can be in a passenger-facing role looking after accessibility. There is a whole plethora of jobs and we need to celebrate and promote that.” Sign up to the Charter The Charter is open for all organisations in the rail industry to sign. Email to find out more.

November 2020 | 19

Te a m w o r k

Boots on ballast to the boardroom! Motion Chief Executive Officer Emma Dymond on becoming better as a team


mma Dymond, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Motion, admits she was shocked when she discovered her colleagues had nominated her for Inspirational Woman of the Year at this year’s Women in Rail Awards. To ultimately then have won may have come as a huge surprise to Emma, but it didn’t for the many others who have benefited from her work taking the railways to the classroom, inspiring the next generation, working to promote diversity and tirelessly championing the fair treatment of SMEs. “I was shocked and quite embarrassed to be called inspirational, as I just thought I was really stubborn, refusing to give up and finding ways to overcome the challenges I have faced along the way,” she said. 20 | November 2020

“It was a huge moment of pride when I won – for both me and my family, especially when people started sharing experiences of how I’d helped them. I was completely overwhelmed by everyone’s reaction. “If it wasn’t for my family and in particular my grandparents – who played a huge part in me becoming an engineer and have always supported me – I wouldn’t have had the confidence or opportunity to start Motion.” Changing the railways for the better Despite her modesty, Emma has undoubtedly changed lives and the railways for the better. It was Motion that initially developed the pioneering virtual reality (VR) gaming technology Motion Reality, teaching workers and now young people

the dangers posed by the railways. Beyond that, her specialist railway communication services company has worked on prestigious projects such as Crossrail, Thameslink, GWEP and Liverpool Lime Street, with Emma personally helping to get young people into work and, before COVID-19 struck, regularly visiting schools and attending STEM events to promote engineering as a career. “My telecoms career started as a bet when I was waitressing in a pub,” said Emma who is, in fact, a third-generation female engineer. “I saw some cable pulling guys bragging about how much money they made and, being a bit cheeky, told them I could do that. “I talked them into taking me on a shift and assisted with a fibre joint. I thought ‘Wow’, as I’d always loved science, and thought it was fascinating.

Te a m w o r k

I went home and told my mum, who was a welder on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, that I wanted to be a fibre optic cable jointer.” Following her epiphany moment, 18-year-old Emma pursued and secured funding from The Prince’s Trust to support her training. She joined the railway 17 years ago and went on to become a maintenance cable jointer, local delivery manager and tester in charge before setting up Motion in 2009. Her story has been described as ‘a real boots on ballast to the boardroom career journey’. She said: “I don’t think of myself as inspirational, but I do feel my career has had some pinch me moments where I’ve thought I have an opportunity here that not many people get. “The cool part for me is being involved in teaching children how to use a level crossing safely through Motion Reality. We bring the railway to communities, providing a safe and real-life educational experience with a difference; watching their faces and reactions is so rewarding. My involvement with Jobs Growth Wales is something else I enjoy and am proud of, helping young people thrive and develop because they

know I believe in them is special. It has also shown me that good things do happen to good people, a mantra I now live by. “I didn’t have the best time at school, I had a condescending teacher telling me I’d make nothing of my life, and I became a mum at a young age. But I was determined to make something of

my myself and provide for my family, which I did and why I champion not giving up. You have to believe that your voice will be heard.” The journey of Motion Starting off with just Emma and a van, Motion has gone from strength to strength, providing

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November 2020 | 21

Te a m w o r k

specialist services for the likes of Network Rail and London Overground. Like many, the company has suffered in recent months because of COVID-19, but Emma has taken the opportunity to transform Motion for the better. “It’s been a scary last seven months. It’s the uncertainty for both the business and the team. They are not just my employees they are an extension of my family,” she said. “COVID didn’t kill us, but it did paralyse us like the rest of the industry. Pre-COVID we were having an amazing year and went from living ‘day-by-day’ to financially stable. We have had to review our strategy going forward and are working hard to reshape the business to ensure COVID compliance and to keep the team safe, which is my priority. “The last few months have also been a time of reflection. We’ve reviewed all of our processes, looked at what we have done well and not so well to improve our service offering, submitted the relevant information for our ISO accreditations and Principal Contractor Licence (PCL).”

I love the rail industry, I really do, and I want to do what I can to help suppliers grow and to make sure SMEs are treated well Although it is a challenging time, it is also an exciting one for Motion as the company is not only working towards becoming a principal contractor but also a Tier 1 status SME. “Looking to the priorities in the future, I want to continue to support our industry, put passengers first, improve our offering to secure further work to provide job security for the team and continue inspiring others to consider a career in rail,” said Emma. “I am really proud of what the Motion team has achieved by working together to deliver quality engineering and projects. I have always and will continue to embed that in my team – that we are all equal and we look after each other. “Getting our PCL and working towards being a Tier 1 will provide a more diverse supply chain for the industry and give SMEs more of a voice. “My resources will be focused on our opportunities, understanding the intent behind what we are delivering because we will be 22 | November 2020

responsible for it and it will give us an opportunity to help develop individuals, other SMEs and continue our work within the communities we serve. “What I want is to help build and diversify the supply chain to deliver quality innovative solutions, safely and compliantly, knowing we are doing it really well to set an example for others.” Championing SMEs Fair treatment of SMEs is particularly important to Emma and it is a principle she is championing. Emma has already been working with Network Rail and the Railway Industry Association to define an SME strategy. “I love the rail industry, I really do, and I want to do what I can to help suppliers grow and to make sure SMEs are treated well,” she said. “I truly believe our industry’s success is based on

collaboration and working together. I sometimes describe it like a marriage – understanding your strengths, weaknesses, compromise, communication and longevity. There will be times when you’re not going to perform as well as you would like, you need to hold your hands up and work through it together, otherwise we don’t learn from our mistakes and they will keep happening with other partners. “It is about how you fix them, being proactive to become better as a team, deliver value and continuous improvement. You’ve got to nurture those supply chain partners because they matter. You’re only as good as your weakest link. For me it is about becoming more efficient, resilient and innovative, to deliver value, nurture people, give back to others and being the best possible delivery partner. I want Motion to set a good example to others.”

A d v eFretaotrui a r el

Yellow Rail, but not as you know it From nurturing apprentices and investing in highly qualified and experienced staff, to implementing quality processes and driving innovation, the Yellow Rail team believe learning and development are key to business growth


nshrined in Yellow Rail’s vision is the desire to have a more significant role in their customers’ success. Andy Kevins, the founder of Yellow Rail, believes success comes from “continually learning from and improving what you do, investing in people and the services you deliver and making sure you have the right business tools to succeed.” This mindset has produced a valued team – over 100 strong – trusted by clients to provide safety critical services in both passenger and freight sectors. Customer focused and trusted From humble beginnings as a depot-based installation provider during the 2007 financial crisis, the company has developed into an engineering products and service business providing a diverse portfolio, underpinned by an order book in excess of £30m – an ideal platform for further investment and brighter ambitions. Described by Nigel Day, Engineering Director at VTG, as “an adaptable and responsive SME” who have “made significant investment and increased their capability considerably”, Yellow Rail has been supplying VTG with bogie overhaul, material supply, mobile wheel re-profiling and turnkey field services for over two years. People-oriented and professional As an SME, it is Yellow Rail’s highly skilled people and their ability and drive to adapt which has been key to its continued growth – despite the challenges 2020 has seen globally and

Richard Close, LNER Head of Engineering – Commercial believes “Yellow Rail has consistently delivered good quality services for the past four years and worked collaboratively with LNER to deliver maintenance solutions”

within the sector. Focusing on quality, QHSE Manager Susan Westbrooke PCQI, TechIOSH is very busy pursuing ISO 45001, RISAS and EN 15085 accreditation, while Software Engineer Wasen Melhem MSc is developing the mYstro Business Management System, alongside a material supply portal for freight customers - with E-commerce her ultimate goal. Production Manager Lee Manley is working with an external consultant implementing lean production processes within bogie overhaul and material supply service operations, while business process enhancements (including a daily work-tracking system, aptly named ‘Ytrack’) are overseen by Planning and Business Performance Director Helen Kevins. Continual investment and growth has been most evident in the company’s engineering team. Led by Engineering and Technical Director Zeph Grant MSc, CEng, MIET, who is responsible for ensuring engineering capability to support all products and services and to deliver engineering design to the market, ably supported by Head of Engineering Richard Birkhead CEng, BEng, FIET, MAPM. Safety & Innovation ‘Safety – before everything’ is the core value underpinning all Yellow Rail’s activities, including Advertorial

Andy Marden, Head of Transformation – Engineering at Northern says he is “Extremely pleased with Yellow Rail’s performance on the sixfleet Digital Train project and looks forward to a continuation of the service levels seen to date” their innovative RaiLatheTM Mobile Wheel Re-Profiling Service (MWRS). Key to their mission to become the ‘AA’ of mobile wheel turning in the UK, this project – alongside the RaiLaser wheel measuring system and the latest Wheel Lathe system – represents an exciting future for Yellow Rail’s stakeholders. None more so than the people who are making it possible. Fortunately, Yellow Rail’s site is geared to facilitate growth, meaning the company has managed to create a safe working environment for all staff through the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not been effortless though, and MD Andy Kevins now believes “it’s time the Company’s tremendous staff, based in Derby and at our remote sites, take credit for what has been achieved and what the company is today.” Visit for more information November 2020 | 23

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Welsh Government to take rail franchise under public control Welsh Transport Minister Ken Skates says the move will help secure the future of passenger services


he Welsh Government will bring the Wales and Borders rail franchise under public control from February 2021. Welsh Transport Minister Ken Skates said the move will help secure the future of passenger services, protect jobs and maintain the Welsh Government’s ambitious plans for Metro. “The last few months have been extremely challenging for public transport in Wales and across the UK,” he said. “COVID has significantly impacted passenger revenues and the Welsh Government has had to step in with significant support to stabilise the network and keep it running. “We have decided to transfer day-to-day rail services to a new publicly owned subsidiary of Transport for Wales.” The move comes after a challenging period in which COVID-19 has significantly impacted passenger numbers and rail revenue. It follows the collapse of rail franchises across England as the privatised model comes under strain from the ongoing pandemic. Commitment to provide high-quality public transport In Wales, the new arrangements will see day-to-day rail services become the responsibility of a new publicly owned subsidiary of Transport for Wales (TFW), which includes a new partnership between Transport for Wales, Keolis and Amey.

Ken said: “There are some difficult decisions as we come to terms with the new economic reality of the coronavirus. “Many public services across Wales are now more expensive to provide than they were before the crisis, and this is true of the railways as a result of the sharp fall in demand, which is a vital source of funding for the public network. “However, our ambition to continue to provide a high-quality public transport system remains, to ensure that climate change and wider social justice priorities are met. “Our ambition to continue to provide a highquality public transport system remains, to ensure that climate change and wider social justice priorities are met. Whatever the future, high-quality integrated public transport is vital.” What the changes will mean The agreement includes three key components: From February 2021, a new governmentowned subsidiary of Transport for Wales will be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of rail services, allowing government to play a greater role in delivering rail services in Wales and the Marches, reflecting the new commercial post-COVID-19 environment. Infrastructure management and transformation of the Valleys Core Lines owned by the Welsh Government will

24 | November 2020

continue to be delivered under the same contract. This will provide stability to the program to ensure the effective delivery of the South Wales Metro transformation which has already begun. A new partnership with Keolis and Amey, led by Transport for Wales, will be developed, which will allow the people of Wales to continue to draw on the international experience and expertise of these partners to help TfW to deliver important commitments. These include integrated ticketing, on-demand transport systems, cross modal design and delivery, in addition to the ongoing integration of light and heavy rail.

Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said: “There are no easy answers to the challenges we face in rail and in public transport over the next few years – passenger numbers have fallen and there will be difficult days ahead as we navigate through the challenges of COVID. We are bringing the Wales and Borders services into public hands because it is a vital asset, critical to the future of our economy and our communities. “I want us to maintain our ambition for a high quality and integrated public transport system with model shift at its heart over the next few years and I believe that the announcement is vital in helping us do that.”

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Light Rail

Transforming Transport in the West Midlands Michael Anderson and Peter Cushing on the Midland Metro Alliance


he Midland Metro Alliance (MMA) is a team of planning, design and construction specialists building a number of new tram extensions over the coming decade on behalf of the Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). The alliance consists of the WMCA, which owns the West Midlands Metro; a consortium of design experts from Egis, Tony Gee and Pell Frischmann; and rail construction specialists Colas Rail – supported by Colas’ sub-alliance partners Colas Ltd, Barhale, Thomas Vale and Auctus Management Group. With around £1.3bn being invested in extending the tram system across the West Midlands over the next decade and long-term ambitions and plans in place up until 2040, this is an unprecedented light rail infrastructure project to help deliver a lasting legacy that will enable social and economic regeneration across the region. This complex partnership is packed with dynamic individuals and the duo of Michael Anderson, the Director of Projects for West Midlands Metro at TfWM and Peter Cushing, Midland Metro Alliance Director, are two vital and well-experienced cogs in the machine delivering this transformational project. Industry experience Michael joined TfWM in June 2019 from Alstom Transport where he worked for 22 years. At Alstom, Michael held a number of roles both in Business Development, Sales and Projects delivery internationally, including ten years in Paris. In the UK, he led the delivery of Alstom’s scope for the Nottingham Express Transit tram extensions and was involved in setting up joint ventures for the delivery of infrastructure projects in UK. Peter was appointed Director in January 2020 having spent several months as acting Director, and has vast experience of the delivery of tram systems having overseen the development of much of the Manchester Tram network during his time at Transport for Greater Manchester. The two, as expected, work together closely and are in contact on a daily basis in order to 26 | November 2020

understand all aspects of this complex project. Both share a positive outlook and absolute belief that the work of the alliance will reap enormous long-term economic and societal benefits for the

These extensions will provide enormous benefits to everyone for years and decades to come Peter Cushing whole of the West Midlands – both men also share a high level of ambition. Michael said: “Our ambition and that of the alliance partly comes out of being a combined authority with seven local authorities all playing a participating role. When you balance all of those different local needs and ambitions, take a bipartisan approach and work together for a

bigger goal you simply get away from the kind of stop-start approach that would prevent a project of this scale being realised. Everything works well and the stability of a combined authority has helped with forward planning. We also have a mayor, in Andy Street, that promotes this way of working and can really see the benefits to the wider community and that this will enhance and expand the region. We know from experience that projects of this scale will lead to new business development, new housing developments and better housing and more inward investment.” Peter added: “If you look at what’s happened in Manchester, the subsequent increase in ridership and all of the economic benefits that came about as a result, it’s clear to see that the West Midlands Metro extensions will be a real catalyst for the region’s development. “The intention is to drive this forward in a similar way to Manchester. I’d be delighted if the West Midlands went on the same journey and I’m convinced it will. We have great plans in Birmingham and the region that will drive the expansion in the city centre, connect the West Midlands and will drive passengers on to the network. This whole thing will develop a life of its own.”

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Extensions underway The MMA will deliver four extensions to the West Midlands Metro and all four are underway. Three new tram stops, connecting passengers to Brindleyplace, Five Ways and Hagley Road, will follow from the current Library terminus, which opened for passenger service ahead of schedule in December 2019. As a result, by the end of 2021, West Midlands Metro services will then operate between Wolverhampton and Hagley Road in Edgbaston Village, improving transport links across Birmingham and parts of the Black Country, making journeys faster and more accessible. Also by late 2021, the last connection to a new station in Wolverhampton will be complete. Well into its design and with construction underway, an 11km extension will branch off the current West Midlands Metro line just east of the Wednesbury Great Western Street Metro stop, before heading through Tipton and Dudley on its way to Brierley Hill. There are plans for up to 15 Metro stops, with provision for two additional stops, an extension that is as big as the current network, described by

Michael as “a big step in terms of expanding from a single line to what we’d consider to be a proper network.” Funding has also been provided via DfT to start an east side extension out to Digbeth which will pass through the HS2 station to be located at Curzon Street. Further expansion in the future will also extend through north Solihull and out to the NEC and Genting Arena, connecting with HS2 and a redevelopment of the Wednesbury depot, doubling its capacity. A new fleet of 21 trams is on order and will be delivered over the next three years to feed these lines. Michael said: “One of things we’ve been able to do, sitting across the seven authorities, is put together a co-ordinated plan of where we want to expand and to consider which sections are better covered by bus or Metro or the Sprint high speed bus. We’ve also looked at integrating cycling. All of that allows for a more co-ordinated approach that links up areas of residential, work and study across the West Midlands and vastly improves connectivity.

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“Of course Brierley Hill allows people to get to work or college easily but it also allows people to get to Dudley, the Black Country Living Museum and other attractions. We’ve developed a picture in the round of all the various modes of transport linking up. We have an ambitious plan running up to 2040 of huge connectivity with a number of extensions in view and, with funding in place, we will go on to develop the ones that deliver the best for the West Midlands. There will be no end of connections.” Working in different ways COVID-19 might have threatened to slow down the rate at which the West Midlands Metro was expanding but, while there was a brief hiatus as adjustments to working practices were made, work then carried on apace and, in some respects, lockdown had positive effects. Peter explained: “Our initial focus was on what we could do while maintaining safe working conditions. We made changes to working practices but we’re back at 100 per cent productivity now. “The converse of COVID-19 is that it gave us an opportunity to work in different ways. Because 28 | November 2020

the bars and restaurants on Broad Street were not open we were able to take more sections in to work where previously more phased work was planned and the bulk of heavy construction is now virtually complete. “We’re pretty much on target to keep the original completion dates. A lot of people have put a lot of effort in to maintain that progress. Some of the ways of working we’ve innovated we will now do every time because it made things easier and there’s clear potential to work smarter and save money.” Michael added: “There’s a huge sense of pride in the Metro. You just have to look at the local news, the programme’s titles start with the tram coming through. It is a part of West Midlands landscape now. “The transformation when we deliver services to Dudley and beyond, east to Digbeth, and finishing up at the station at Wolverhampton will mean that this will become a proper network rather than just a spine. And that will make such a big difference. “People are very proud, they feel as if it is their own. People have taken it to heart and are looking forward to the new sections to take them further

There’s a huge sense of pride in the Metro. You just have to look at the local news, the programme’s titles start with the tram coming through. It is a part of West Midlands landscape now Michael Anderson

afield and for this region to be totally connected and fulfil its potential.” Peter added: “These extensions will provide enormous benefits to everyone for years and decades to come.”


Cost-Efficient Electrification Meeting the cost challenge of electrification through research


esearch by the University of Sheffield, Furrer+Frey and Network Rail is helping to embed cost-efficient electrification in the UK’s rail network. After four years, two PhDs have been completed both focusing on different areas of cost efficient electrification and improved reliability. New electrification is seen as an essential step to decarbonise core rail routes as part of the UK government’s Net Zero 2050 decarbonisation targets. Sheffield engineers with the support of Furrer+Frey and Network Rail have conducted extensive research that will improve the reliability of both current and future electrification schemes. The University of Sheffield, Furrer+Frey and Network Rail are all members of the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN). The research demonstrates that collaboration between universities and industry can play a vital role in bringing innovation to Britain’s railway. Ultimately the work shows how engineering research can help underpin electrification of the UK’s rail network, improving reliability for

30 | November 2020

passengers and driving innovation in the industry. The PhDs, undertaken by Sam Hayes and Özgün Sunar from the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, were both supported by Furrer+Frey and Network Rail to focus on cost efficient electrification of UK’s rail network. The PhDs were jointly funded by the University of Sheffield, Furrer+Frey and European Union funding, as part of programmes to improve research with industry in the railway. Professor David Fletcher, head of the research group at Sheffield, said: “The engagement with Furrer+Frey has been really great in funding and steering these research projects. Their expertise has ensured the research stayed focused on industry needs, ensuring impact from the academic input of our PhD students.” The first PhD undertaken by Sam Hayes, with support of Prof. David Fletcher, as well as, Katherine Chan of Furrer+Frey, examined the effect of wind, train speed and gradient with the aim to avoid bridge reconstruction on future new electrification projects.


Package of works Performance of the wires was recorded using both large scale wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics to create a digital twin of wiring geometry. The digital twin was then validated with realworld testing at Network Rail’s test track Melton Rail Innovation and Development Centre. The PhD looked at the maintenance impact of steeper gradients, in order to determine ultimately if fewer bridge reconstructions are required. The work is part of a package of works the industry is undertaking to reduce the need for bridge reconstruction on future electrification schemes. Bridge reconstruction has been a key driver in increasing electrification costs, and reducing the need for these reconstructions is key to reducing costs as highlighted in the Rail Industry Association’s Electrification Cost Challenge. There are a number of industry projects designed to reduce the need for reconstructions, this PhD will further reduce the need for these reconstructions.


Engineering Director at Furrer+Frey, Rob Daffern said: “I studied at The University of Sheffield, so to be working with cutting edge research back at Sheffield has been tremendous. The whole industry is focused on reducing costs and research is key.” The second PhD was undertaken by Özgün Sunar, with support of Prof. David Fletcher, as well as industrial supervision by Chris Bryan of HS2. The focus of this PhD was to improve the reliability of overhead line electrification equipment, when short-circuits and arching occurs. The research used both modelling and mechanical/electrical testing to establish intervention points and understand when maintenance is needed prior to service interrupting failures. The research also trialled innovative new conductor materials. The ultimate aim is to improve the performance of electrification and enhance passenger journeys, by preventing failures. Supporting decarbonisation Director of Furrer+Frey, Noel Dolphin said: “We’re proud to be supporting decarbonisation through electrification. Research and study are the keys to making electrification cost efficient. However, as the Railway Industry Association’s Electrification Cost Challenge Report has shown we need to remember that implementing a rolling programme of electrification would have the biggest impact on costs.

By reducing costs and improving reliability, we make this business case stronger.” Dr Patric Mak, Senior Engineer for Network Rail’s Technical Authority, said: “It’s really important for Network Rail and the wider rail industry to continue to look for ways to bring innovation to Britain’s railways and at how we can address new challenges, such as more extreme

To be working with cutting edge research back at Sheffield has been tremendous. The whole industry is focused on reducing costs and research is key weather. On behalf of Network Rail, I’ve been delighted to support both of these PhD students with their research, which will help us to create a more modern and resilient railway meaning fewer delays for both passenger and freight services.” Demonstrating cost efficient electrification has been a key component of moving away from boom-and-bust infrastructure building. The railway industry has called for a rolling programme of electrification. Electrification is the most efficient method Advertorial

of traction power for railways, specifically electrified railways: Are better for the environment, with carbon emissions 60% lower than diesel trains today and 80% less with the estimated 2040 grid mix, and are the only option for decarbonising intensively used lines; Produce no air pollutants at the point of use Are quieter, reducing noise pollution for those living and working near the tracks and reduces noise and vibration for passengers Have a strong economic and business case – compared with diesels, electric trains cost less in the long term when compared to the whole-life costs of diesel services, are cheaper to build, more reliable requiring less maintenance, and are cheaper to operate and longer-lasting Are lighter weight, meaning less wear to the track and therefore less maintenance, and carry more passengers; also, acceleration is better and journey times shorter, even with relatively frequent stops Reduce passenger delays, as electric trains are more reliable than diesel trains Will be vital in decarbonising rail freight, which is already a low carbon mode of haulage and delivers benefits in excess of £1.7bn each year to the economy. Joint academic research in collaboration with industry could be key in delivering future cost efficient electrification and a reliable railway. November 2020 | 31


Prime time for rail freight Lee Armstrong, Group Head of Commercial (Rail) of Associated British Ports, speaks of investment and optimism when it comes to rail freight


ee Armstrong is leading Associated British Ports’ (ABP) vision to develop and drive the company’s new rail strategy. The company is the UK’s leading and bestconnected port owner and operator. Of its 21 ports, 16 are connected to the national rail network, generating nearly 100 rail freight movements a day. This is only set to grow under the leadership of Lee, who is driving the strategy forward in his role as Group Head of Commercial (Rail). “There are some exciting opportunities happening when it comes to rail freight and we want to make sure we have everything in place to capitalise on that,” he said. “On a general level, some of the key focuses for the sector are promoting decarbonisation, rail reform and developing integrated logistics strategies.”

Rail strategy is key to each of the ABP Ports, and investments to implement our plans are well underway

services to customers at the Port of Immingham. It is likely that Brexit will see more volumes diverted from the Dover Straits and a mode shift from roll on roll off to load on load off, from trailers to containers.” Investing for future growth ABP has also been boosted by the recent government announcement of £17 million into track and signalling infrastructure to support the lengthening of freight trains to boost the efficiency of cargo travel through Southampton port. Lee explains the investment means freight services, currently restricted to a length of 520 metres in the area, will increase to 775 metres, allowing up to an additional 36 trailers to be transported on a single service. “This investment will allow more freight to be transported between Southampton and the Midlands, boosting national supply chains and the wider economy. Longer freight trains also offer a greener solution, reducing traffic congestion and cutting air pollution. Having that increased capacity is

crucial for several reasons including price points, as the bigger the train the more product you can get on it, the cheaper it is to the customer, and the more competitive we can be. A consequence of that is also the reduction in emissions as the more product you move by train, the less that will be being moved by lorry in and out of the port.”

An exciting time for rail freight It’s an excitement shared by many industry leaders and government officials. In recent weeks the Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has spoken of the “significant and environmental benefits” of rail freight, while addressing the Annual Rail Freight Group Conference. He also says the industry has a key role to play in the recovery from COVID-19. “Rail freight is a sector of strategic importance to ABP,” said Lee, who was brought in to deliver this strand of ABP’s strategy. “Rail strategy is key to each of the ABP Ports, and investments to implement our plans are well underway.” “ABP has invested £50 million in the Humber Container Terminals, including new cranes as part of a newly completed £33 million investment to future-proof, maximise efficiencies and improve 32 | November 2020


My plan for tackling the role was to pick up my laptop, say hi to everyone and then get out and about seeing the ports and meeting the customers ABP handles more than 80 million tonnes of cargo per year and around £149 billion of trade. The company owns and operates Hams Hall, the country’s busiest inland rail freight terminal, handling in the region of 120,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) each year. Lee was appointed in May, this year, bringing 34 years’ experience in the rail sector, latterly as Commercial Director of GB Railfreight. He said: “I’m enjoying it, but it certainly hasn’t been the start I was expecting with the coronavirus pandemic. My plan for tackling the role was to pick up my laptop, say hi to everyone and then get out and about seeing the ports and meeting

the customers. It was about three months before I saw anyone face to face, as ensuring the safety of employees has been and continues to be a priority for ABP. It is tricky to manage strategic roles through Teams, but so far it it has worked well and on the plus side Teams has meant I’ve been able to meet the ABP team a lot quicker than I otherwise might have done. Over the last two months I’ve been to the majority of the key locations and it’s been fascinating.” The track ahead Despite the challenges surrounding the current pandemic, there is a lot of optimism surrounding rail freight, particularly as a low-carbon transport

mode and the role it has to play. “Our vision is to offer a rail freight carbon-friendly solution to all our customers through ports so that as legislation changes they have got that environmentally friendly connectivity to key hinterland locations in the UK,” he said. “The Trans Pennine upgrade is really important to ABP, so part of my role is to make sure we’ve got those connections, the gauge clearance and capacity to get train paths on the network and also for this to happen in a timely manner. “Ideally we want to be able to deliver a Humber to Trafford Park and another location in 24 hours, because maximising efficiency is key. It is also about thinking a little bit differently to how traditional rail freight markets have delivered. If you’ve got the volume and you can deliver the frequency, you can get the price point to where it needs to be. “ABP’s strategy will offer our customers cost and carbon efficiency transport solutions across our network.”

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November 2020 | 33


“We can start looking to the future again and begin preparing to welcome our customers back” CrossCountry MD Tom Joyner on the new three-year contract between the government and Arriva CrossCountry


ital long-distance rail services that people the length of Great Britain rely upon will continue to run and support the UK’s recovery from COVID-19, thanks to a new contract. Arriva CrossCountry will continue to operate the franchise until October 2023 with a commitment to introduce an extra 20,000 seats per week and more operational staff with a greater focus on more environmentally friendly services. “Getting this contract signed was really great news,” said Managing Director Tom Joyner. “With everything going on at the moment the security of this three-year deal is positive for our people and our customers, as it provides stability to focus on what’s needed now. We’ve achieved a lot at CrossCountry since 2007 by focusing on supporting our customers and stakeholders. Despite the uncertainty about what lies around the corner, this deal means we can start looking to the future again and begin preparing to welcome our customers back.”

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Moving forward It is a challenge Tom is more than up for. He took over as MD at the UK’s most extensive rail network from Aberdeen to Penzance in June 2019 from Arriva UK Trains Division, where he was involved in developing the customer strategy and providing leadership in several key operational areas. It follows previous high-profile roles at Silverlink Metro, First Great Western, First Capital Connect, Network Rail, London Midland, before joining Arriva as Managing Director at Arriva Trains Wales, leading the team and ultimately overseeing the successful end of the franchise. “Like every new contract there’s a mobilisation period to start delivering what we’ve promised,” he said. “Some of the work, like ensuring we’re able to deliver the extra seats on our routes in the Midlands, is already progressing and on track for delivery in May 2021. Others will require recruitment to ensure we get the best people involved, or further

work with suppliers to pin down delivery dates. But there’s a solid plan and a strong team here ready to deliver it, and we look forward to the benefits these investments will deliver.”


The environmental agenda As well as more train drivers and on-board staff to improve services and performance, the contract also has a renewed focus on tackling environmental impacts, something Tom is particularly passionate about. “The ongoing pandemic took attention away from the environmental agenda as people focused on keeping everyone safe,” he said. “However, we were determined not to lose sight of the future and the need to address some of the issues that will be just as important when this terrible period is behind us. We were determined to see what we could do with our fleet of diesel-powered trains, and advances in battery power mean we can now trial their benefits in fossil-fuel use and reducing emissions during parts of a journey.”

... we were determined not to lose sight of the future and the need to address some of the issues that will be just as important when this terrible period is behind us Adapting to COVID challenges This new contract complements the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) announced in September, in place for up to 18 months, where the government pays train companies a small management fee to keep services running through the pandemic. It will see the government take on the revenue and cost risk associated with the franchise and pay Arriva a performance-linked fee to run the service. He said: “COVID-19 has really challenged our industry and I cannot say enough about how hard everyone has worked at CrossCountry and elsewhere to keep our colleagues and customers safe. Passenger numbers are low now, and that’s to be expected. But it’s inevitable that as restrictions are eased, especially when a vaccine becomes available, people will want to resume travelling. He said: “The focus now is to ensure we’re ready to welcome them safely back, and to ensure we’re adaptable to any changes in their expectations. “We may see people wanting to travel at different times, or reduced business travel replaced by more leisure use. Being ready for this by offering the high-quality services they expect will be a big part of how our industry helps society and the economy come back from these dark times.” Despite the challenges that lie ahead, Tom, who first started work in the railways as an 18-year-old for British Rail in 1993 as traincrew, is confident moving forward. “This pandemic has changed our industry and society in so many ways that it will be a long time before we understand what the new ‘normal’ will look like,” he said. CrossCountry services have been a part of our nation’s railway history for over 100 years; through wars, economic and social change. It’s clear there are more changes to come in how the industry is managed and operates, but the services it provides to help people get to work, school, go shopping or on holiday will still be there.”

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We l l b e i n g

More than 13,000 people join the first Rail Wellbeing Live Chair of the Rail Wellbeing Alliance John Halsall says the event is here to stay


t has been described as the start of an opportunity to revolutionise attitudes to wellbeing in the rail industry. This month saw the first ever Rail Wellbeing Live, one of the biggest free wellbeing events in the history of the sector. More than 13,000 people joined 80 online sessions covering physical and mental wellbeing. But as John Halsall, Chair of the Rail Wellbeing Alliance and Managing Director of Network Rail’s Southern region says, this has to be just the start. “I’m delighted the first ever Rail Wellbeing Live has been such a huge success,” he said. “With over 13,000 people joining us over the two days, we have undoubtedly helped to improve the wellbeing of a significant proportion of people across our industry. “But this is about much more than the event, it’s about us as an industry saying our personal physical and mental wellbeing is important, we value it and we must protect it. “Putting wellbeing at the top the agenda is good for all of us, not least the passengers and freight users we serve, because a happier, healthier workforce is a more efficient, successful workforce.” Revolutionising attitudes to wellbeing A drive to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of the railway family can’t come soon enough. The working pressures, hours, shift patterns and exposure to potentially traumatic events can lead to many struggling. As well as costing the sector hundreds of millions of pounds a year through illness-related absenteeism, more importantly than that is the impact on members of the railway family. It is estimated that the absence rate in the railways is more than double that reported across the private sector. Even more worrying is the suicide rate, which is 1.6 times higher than the UK average. John said: “Rail Wellbeing Live is here to stay and we are already thinking about next year’s event, so I would ask everyone to please continue to care for your own wellbeing, and your colleagues, and crucially, keep talking about it. “Rail Wellbeing Live has the opportunity 36 | November 2020

to revolutionise attitudes to wellbeing in our industry. It’s about starting a conversation and encouraging everyone to share and talk about issues relating to health, creating an irresistible positive energy across the industry that will make it easier and better for all of us.” From laughing yoga to money worries Rail Wellbeing Live was set-up by the Rail Wellbeing Alliance, a cross industry group with the involvement of dozens of train operating companies, suppliers and bodies. Seven topic areas were covered at the event each with their own speakers and panel discussions which subscribers participated in. They covered healthy behaviours, occupational health, mental health, occupational hygiene, fatigue, health and wellbeing in business and musculoskeletal disorders.

I would ask everyone to please continue to care for your own wellbeing, and your colleagues, and crucially, keep talking about it Among the speakers included mental health advocate and entertainer Ruby Wax, BBC Breakfast’s resident doctor Dr Rangan Chatterjee and Embarrassing Bodies star Dr Dawn Harper, alongside entrepreneur Carole Spiers, the ‘Sleep Scientist’ Dr Sophie Bostock, nutritionist Nicki Williams and pain expert Dr Lorimer Moseley. John said: “The event was aimed at everybody, as broad as you can think of in terms of the rail industry, from contractors, supply chain, material providers, train and freight operating companies, ROSCOs, Network Rail, and everybody and anybody that does anything in the rail industry.

Ripple effect of destruction “It really was a lovely mix of fun stuff and the serious stuff, from laughing yoga, what to eat when you’re on shift, through to money worries and a great night’s sleep.” Unfortunately, John has experienced the devastating consequences of those struggling with their mental health. In the last two years, four members of his team of 7,000 have taken their own lives. He said: “It is truly heart-breaking. I knew one of them well. When that happens you’ve lost one life and family and friends of those people are left wondering ‘what should I have done’. It is this ripple effect of destruction. “I’ve spoken to a few people, some of whom have attempted to take their own lives and they have said it is hard work talking and they don’t want to talk. “I suspect every case will be different, but for me the more stuff that is going on, the more conversations taking place, the more we are talking about it at all levels, then the more chance there is that we might just say something that will help somebody.”

We l l b e i n g

Mick Cash: “Prevention is better than cure” Earlier this year one of the most powerful leaders in the rail industry, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash, suffered from a sudden and debilitating ‘meltdown’


s part of the closing session for Rail Wellbeing Live, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash bravely spoke publicly for the first time about what happened. “When I had what I call my meltdown – that’s a euphemism – it was actually pretty serious, but it was clear to me afterwards that actually it had been going on for a period of time,” he said. “A particular cause, a phone call, turned me into having that meltdown and being in a pretty wretched place.” Mick, who is now back in his role as General Secretary, told the interviewer John Halsall, that he was quickly placed under the care of his local NHS crisis team for the next two months. “My wife made me call a doctor immediately who then contacted a crisis team,” he said. “Within what felt like minutes, two nice practitioners sat down and talked through with me about what

was going on. I was in a bad way but what they did was an intervention. A mixture of phone calls and meeting people meant I didn’t go within myself.” Mick said a combination of factors led to his illness, including work pressure and the national lockdown, following the COVID-19 pandemic. “I was in a place where I got used to all the stresses and strains, and the job I have is very stressful and constant,” he said. “When people spoke to me I used to say I was fine, when I wasn’t fine.” “Lockdown and working from home didn’t help. Simple things like walking to the station, getting the bus – things that allow you to break out of the place you are in. “When I was in work I’d walk around and talk to people – that helps and those things being absent didn’t help.” Mick said three things the crisis team did was make sure he was sleeping properly, eating properly

and making time for himself. He said: “A doctor said that you’ve got to learn to be kind to yourself. They started to help me with strategies to not get into that place again. “There is no easy solution to solve this as different individuals have their own difficult problems, so it is actually creating the atmosphere and space for people to deal with it. “Prevention is better than a cure, and my one piece of advice would be that when you’re feeling down, talk to someone. “In the industries we work, it is the people that make the railways run. There’s lots of machinery, but the most important cog in that machinery is the human beings that make it work effectively. “The fact we are now talking about health and wellbeing and welfare, rather than just health and safety is a crucial change. We need to create a climate where it is ok to be unwell. It is an illness. It is curable.”

November 2020 | 37


Railway Benefit Fund: Here for the industry New CEO Claire Houghton outlines the challenges facing the charity


laire Houghton joined the Railway Benefit Fund (RBF) in April 2020 as CEO. Heading up the charity that supports railway workers and their families right across the industry, Claire’s mission is to lead the organisation and its future strategic direction. Joining the charity just as the country went into full lockdown, Claire experienced first-hand the essential supporting role that RBF plays. It was and still is a difficult time for railway people and RBF’s team worked hard to cope with demand. “We really had to step up as the crisis unfolded, as people needed us more than ever,” said Claire. “For that to be happening so early in my tenure was a real eye-opener but it allowed me to see the scope and breadth of the charity and the importance of what we do. We were approached by every part of the rail family that we are here to support, from people working in stations, on trains, in offices and the supply chain, to family members. People from right across the industry came to us for help and support.” Increase in support since pandemic RBF saw a 60 per cent increase in people making contact for support in April and May of this year, mainly with requests for financial assistance. The RBF model has been developed in a way that makes making contact a simple process, as most of its services can be accessed via a simple phone

call or online form. Claire explained: “Everything that we do continued during the crisis in exactly the same way. However, what we did find, with our limited resources, is that our team was really stretched. We received more calls and more enquiries than ever before as people were facing a crisis of their own and sometimes desperate situations. Every seven minutes, someone makes contact with RBF via our website, our social channels, our app or by phone.” These moments of crisis are the reason RBF and other support services in rail exist. One positive benefit of recent times is that, as a result of the support given, more people in rail are now aware of RBF’s work. Claire and the team are now focusing the charity’s strategic vision on the future, to ensure RBF is resilient and always there for future generations of the rail family. Claire said: “One of our main and ongoing challenges is raising awareness of the fact that we are here for the industry. A lot of people think, ‘I don’t work for a train operating company or Network Rail so I’m not eligible’, but RBF is there for everyone who works in rail: current, former or retired workers and their families. So it really is a positive that people are now more aware of how we can help. “What we’ve found, as people have turned to virtual working, is that there is an increased need for digital and online services. So certainly, one of

our objectives now is to improve our virtual offer, which is a big project for us, requiring investment and further fundraising so we can offer more online services in line with what people need and want. We are all using technology more than ever and we need to respond to that need.” The vision moving forward With Claire now settled in her post, she has spent time working with RBF’s board of trustees and the staff team to develop a strategy including more digital services and to make sure that RBF remains fit for purpose. With most people turning


PLEASE CALL +44 (0)1604 622 865

38 | November 2020


to RBF for help with their financial resilience, understandably the charity wants to extend its grants programme, which helps people with one-off payments and a Family Support Fund. Again, this has been vital in recent months as people adjusted to both home working and home schooling their children. In several cases, with finances stretched, some could not afford the necessary equipment to make this ‘new normal’ a reality and turned to RBF for support. RBF places high value on the need to provide support around health and wellbeing and as part of its plans, the charity is exploring how digital portals can help to ensure information is readily available and easily accessible. Claire said: “We do our financial work really well, so we asked ourselves: ‘How else can we help? What does the industry need?’ As an independent charitable organisation we can offer support in a trusted, confidential and impartial way. “Those who work for train operators and bigger rail industry employers do have lots of support in the workplace so the vision is for RBF services to become another part of the jigsaw. Sometimes people working in rail are not aware of the employer assistance that is in place already. People in the industry tell us that if we can work alongside what is already on offer and add to that, there will be a real package of support for everyone working in rail. “People who face difficult times, whatever the circumstances, need to know there’s somewhere to turn. We acknowledge that we can’t be experts in everything so where we can, we will collaborate and signpost to other charities and external agencies so even if we can’t directly help someone, we can advise on where to go and can point them towards the help that is needed.”

Claire is no stranger to health and wellbeing initiatives, coming to RBF with over 20 years of experience in health charities and previously with national cancer charity Myeloma UK. Her shift to rail has made Claire realise the tight bonds that exist across the industry. She said: “People within rail look after each other and if you work in rail you know the problems that your colleagues and others face. The amount of support shown and extended across the industry is incredible and the biggest surprise for me is that rail really is one big family.”

As an independent charitable organisation we can offer support in a trusted, confidential and impartial way Raising vital funds to survive The current crisis and its financial impact has hit the charity sector hard, with one in ten of the 140,000 charities in the UK predicted to go bust. RBF is not in that position but still needs funding to maintain its level of financial support. With no statutory funding, RBF relies on donations and fundraising activity. Without the opportunity for face-to-face fundraising events that generate high levels of support from those with deep pockets, those in the industry who donate small but regular amounts via payroll or direct debits are highly valued.

Claire added: “Without our fundraising events we’ve had to come up with different ways of generating income. Christmas will be really important for us this year. We would like to talk to anyone who can support our future plans. We’ve had good support over the years and we want to build on that. “RBF has a highly dedicated team delivering high impact. We also have a really committed group of ambassadors and volunteers working on our behalf to promote what we do. The rail industry employers and others do a great job of raising awareness of our work. That’s our extended rail family. “When you consider the history of RBF, all 160 years of it, our work is cause for celebration. We want to continue to be sustainable long-term because our work is needed now more than ever. At a time when the whole world feels a sense of ‘What next in this crisis?’, our industry has rallied round. There’s a real sense that the rail industry is keeping moving despite all that is going on, and that there are charities like RBF in place to serve people is a fantastic cause for celebration and optimism. RBF is a charity with a huge heart – and one which continues to make a really positive difference to people in our industry.”

To support RBF and help a railway family in need, visit The charity has also launched a Christmas Party Pack. Visit christmas-party


November 2020 | 39

F e a itnuirneg Tr

CTM puts businesses on the right track with new competency management and training marketplace platform Effective competency management by businesses of all sizes is essential in ensuring a project is completed on time and within budget


hen teams are planning works to ensure the right people are in place, spotting upcoming competency expiries and booking people on training can be extremely time-consuming. It is no surprise then that both large organisations and SMEs are signing up to use Sopra Steria’s Competency Training Marketplace (CTM) since the platform’s launch just a few months ago. The marketplace is born out of a need to develop a better way for businesses in rail and construction to manage workforce training. It is tailored to manage people and their competencies – by using smart tracking technology to notify users when competencies are expiring. This reduces the need to manually update training records and demonstrates better compliance. CTM works with training providers to bring courses into one place to reduce the need for HR teams to extensively search the internet for a course on the right date at the right price. For training providers, it provides a win-win situation – an opportunity to promote their training courses. This means that training providers have

nothing to lose when it comes to advertising their courses to businesses actively looking for training. Companies like Arcadis are already signing up to the free platform at a time when buying organisations like Network Rail and HS2 are asking companies to demonstrate effective competency management through robust systems.


40 | November 2020

CTM allows me to maintain and have full visibility over my workforce’s training accreditations and training needs CTM shows that by combining competency management with the booking of training, companies can reduce their reliance on spreadsheets and shift to a smarter way of working. The training marketplace alone will significantly


reduce time for businesses to find the right courses and provide a benchmark to determine value for money against other providers. Arcadis’ Andy Barnes said: “CTM allows me to maintain and have full visibility over my workforce’s training accreditations and training needs. The website links me directly to a marketplace where I can easily search and book the training courses we need. “The system lets me keep track of my workforce’s competencies to support me to allocate people to projects on the basis of their knowledge, skill and experience. That is a key part of managing the risk to railway users when we are planning railway renewals or enhancements. There is also tangible evidence of competence management arrangements for our customers and auditors.” CTM is free to sign up for organisations – with the ability to add multiple users to try the system for themselves and implement it into their systems and processes. To find out more and register, visit

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Frequently asked An questions integrated competency

management platform and training marketplace? Brilliant. Make finding the right training, in the right location easier with CTM’s user friendly and free to access marketplace Reduce administration time and resource with the platforms’ integrated and free to use competency management system Innovative tools simplify forward planning helping employers to ensure a more productive workforce with fewer lost days Advanced analytics assist employers with informed decision making and highlight revenue opportunities for training providers

How CTM is helping other organisations “The website links me directly to a marketplace where I can easily search and book the training courses we need. The system lets me keep track of my workforce’s competencies and this makes it easy to provide details to our auditors and customers.”

“CTM has the potential to deliver a step change in how training providers connect with employers. It poses to simplify and streamline the training procurement process and deliver clear benefits for employers and training providers alike.”

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CTM is free to use and takes minutes to set up - so what have you got to lose? If you would like to find out more information or request a demo please visit the CTM website or contact the team.

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Business Development Manager +44 (0) 7841 368923

E a s t We s t R a i l

Delivering a better railway in a better way Simon Blanchflower says East West Rail is a key component to the government’s Build Back Better


he CEO of East West Railway Company wants the creation of the new strategic railway linking Oxford and Cambridge to become an exemplar for others. Simon Blanchflower CBE is on the eve of his two-year anniversary in leading the project forward, joining shortly after it became an independent company. “We’ve come a huge way in the last two years, both as an organisation leading and promoting this scheme, but also in terms of where the scheme is at,” he said. People can physically see progress being made on site, from the deconstruction of Bletchley flyover, through to the increased presence of the East West Rail Alliance, particularly between Bicester and Bletchley. “The main earthworks will start next year, with bridge and environmental works already taking place.” East West Rail has been a concept in development since the late 1990s and in 2018 East West Railway Company was set up by the Department for Transport. It is being built progressively in sections: Western Section Phase 1 (Oxford to Bicester) Western Section Phase 2 (Bicester to Bedford) Central Section (Bedford to Cambridge)

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E a s t We s t R a i l

Simon said: “I think in a sense we’re ploughing into fertile ground because the East West Rail consortium has been there for decades in terms of campaigning for this route to be re-established after it was closed back in the 1960s. Like us, stakeholders see this as a key component in improving transport links across the region. We need to be setting a new benchmark, not just with the customer experience that we are offering, but also what this says in terms of the climate emergency that this planet is facing at the moment. The whole agenda around net zero carbon and biodiversity net gain, these are key elements of what we must be delivering as an exemplar project. The aim is that by the end of the decade the railway will be fully operational.” A well-respected figure in the rail industry, Simon has considerable leadership experience from major infrastructure projects, from the early stage development of Crossrail to the innovative delivery of Heathrow Express. More recently he was Programme Director for the £5 billion Thameslink project – work which led him to being awarded a CBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

“For me East West Rail has enabled me to bring together a number of the experiences I’ve had over the last 20 years in terms of delivering transformational rail programmes in the UK,” he said. “I’ve had the opportunity to draw together some of those threads of experiences I’ve had in

the past and to build a really capable, innovative, exciting team of people who are committed to delivering this scheme. “The outcomes that we will be able to achieve, not just in terms of what we deliver, but how we deliver, is really important to me.

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November 2020 | 43

E a s t We s t R a i l

My ambition is that what we do becomes an exemplar for others which they can learn from. “Looking back at what we did on Thameslink and Heathrow Express there was some groundbreaking stuff there, but there is still ground to be broken, still things we can do differently and better, and I am excited about the opportunities that East West Rail provides to be able to do that.” Resident ownership An important element of that is how East West Rail works with the supply chain and the communities that the project will be serving, with Simon stressing the railway has to be something owned by the people. As well as holding several consultations with stakeholders, there has been an emphasis on resident involvement and an open mind to the ideas of the supply chain. He said: “We are already working with some SMEs in terms of exploring how they can help with the project – how we can use data, use machine learning and artificial intelligence on the work we are doing. “We have an open mindset that we want to

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learn and we want to draw others into the journey with us. If you’ve got something you believe that we can leverage to the advantage of this scheme and the outcome, then come and talk to us and help us go on this journey to deliver a better railway

I’ve had the opportunity to draw together some of those threads of experiences I’ve had in the past and to build a really capable, innovative, exciting team of people in a better way.” Looking to the year ahead, the priorities will be to carry on with construction on the western section of the route and on the

central section undertake further non statutory consultation ahead of a full statutory consultation towards the end of 2021, prior to submitting the development consent order application in 2022. Simon said: “It is going to be a hugely challenging year ahead with an awful lot to do. But we’ve got a great team of people that we’re able to grow. We’ve also started some market testing around bringing in our development phase partner. We issued some notices in September around that and have had a good response from people interested in coming on the next phase of the journey with us. “Although the COVID cloud is hanging over the world at the moment I think we have to take a broader perspective that we will bounce back from the short-term downturn. “People will still need to travel and if you look at the economic growth and the housing growth that is planned across this region people will need the connectivity that East West Rail provides. “I am confident as a nation we will bounce back and that East West Rail is going to be a key component of Build Back Better.”



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Smart North Ecosystem Transport for the North’s Jeremy Acklam on leading the charge on the use of smart technology


eremy Acklam, Transport for the North’s (TfN) new Director for its £150m Department-for-Transport-funded Integrated and Smart Travel (IST) programme, is playing a lead role in driving forward TfN’s strategic vision for the region. In October, TfN launched an Innovation Partnership Procurement to inform the development of a potentially transformative ‘Smart North Ecosystem’. The ‘Smart North Ecosystem’ would digitally connect the region’s different transport networks and ticketing systems, enabling new incentives for using public transport and other forms of greener, shared and active travel. Through this procurement, the Sub-national Transport Body is seeking to partner with tech leaders and other innovators from around the world in order to understand what new and near-

46 | November 2020

to-market smart technology solutions could deliver this. Jeremy said: “We are excited to be launching our search for partners to join TfN and demonstrate how we can incentivise more of the 15m citizens in the North of England to use a digitally connected ecosystem of transport across our region. We want to work with the best innovators from around the world so that we can deliver something truly innovative.” Collaboration, agility and speed are crucial to the initiative, with a first round of potential suppliers to be chosen by the end of November and technology demonstrators planned for March 2021. But it is not the only project Jeremy is overseeing. As well as the Innovation initiative, the IST programme is currently progressing a project to support the North’s transport authorities in

enabling and further developing their own local smart ticketing initiatives. The programme has previously delivered smartcards for rail season ticket customers and open-data-driven tools to enhance the availability of digital travel information across bus and light rail. Furthermore, Jeremy’s role also includes overseeing the proposed delivery of smart flexiseason tickets and contactless pay-as-you-go travel on rail right across the North – initiatives that were recently included as priority schemes in TfN’s ambitious Economic Recovery Plan to rebuild and transform the region post-COVID-19. Jeremy’s appointment is a smart move for TfN, as he comes with an impressive track record in smart travel, including co-leading on the development and launch of Trainline and working on the early development and delivery of the national ITSO smartcard system.


Over his 35-year career, Jeremy has gained extensive experience of working with operators, regulators, government and suppliers to develop account-based ticketing. He ran a project across Europe to remove borders across different rail networks, getting 450 rail companies signed up and working collaboratively. At Virgin, during the Trainline project, he was also mentored by Sir Richard Branson, which has influenced his approach to challenges. Jeremy explained: “An entrepreneurial background means that I don’t let things get in the way. In the public sector there are a whole range of things we need to achieve and processes to follow but with an entrepreneurial spirit you just find a way through those challenges. That background offers the approach that there must be a way, always. “There are two angles to my approach. One, to make sure we’re delivering things for the people that travel now, our passengers in the North, and two, to look at the future prospects and ask where

do we want to go? How are we going to be as prepared and adaptable as we need to be?” Jeremy’s view is that the impact of COVID-19 and the flexible working patterns that many have adopted may well have transformed the needs of transport users permanently – which presents both challenges and opportunities. “Lockdown demonstrated exactly why flexi-seasons are required. In partnership with colleagues at Northern we’ve enabled those on certain routes and now one of our roles is to make sure we have a consistent approach as operators look to introduce throughout the region – that’s really important for the customer. So, we are working with government and the wider industry to ensure we can move the same approach forward across the entire North of England. “Recent events have also drawn attention to the role of active travel and how we can incorporate all modes of transport into an integrated travel journey. What will replace traditional commuter journey patterns?

November 2020 | 47


What will new journey opportunities look like? What happens to the public transport market if we don’t enable flexibility? How does all of this feed into decarbonisation? Jeremy’s role at TfN is to ensure the North has the technology infrastructure ready for future travel patterns. Asked how you define ‘smart ticketing’ or ‘smart travel’, Jeremy’s view is fundamentally you have to have enabling technology that supports access and validation for paid-for modes of transport. “If there is no smart enablement already in place it doesn’t matter what you want to do around flexibility, it won’t deliver flexibility. TfN’s starting point is enablement of smart travel, on the rail network in particular, and it is a core part of our programme that we’re delivering, and delivering successfully.” Having joined TfN in June this year, as the entire nation was beginning to come out of lockdown, Jeremy’s entrepreneurial flair sees him view the changes that have been imposed on everyone in a positive light. “This is a great opportunity and a fundamental tipping point in the history of travel and transport. In the public sector, it’s tricky to reset quickly but we are determined to lead the process with our colleagues and have adopted a new method of procurement to inform the future options. Whether it’s a smart unit on a platform, working with our bus colleagues to introduce Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) payment readers or building a data collection process for operators and local authorities, it’s those layers that start the whole question of what reset looks like. And that’s what we’re going through presently.” Beyond ticketing, part of TfN’s push for modernised travel experience is also based around improving information for passengers, who want to log-on, check their train or bus is on time or discover how late it is running and how much it will cost. To this end, TfN has built

a disruption management tool and open data hub that allows the publication of this essential information and is helping bring the standard of information available for bus and tram passengers in line with the current offer on rail.

This is a great opportunity and a fundamental tipping point in the history of travel Jeremy added: “This is all about levelling up. These types of open-data driven information services have been available for quite a while elsewhere, across TfL for instance, so we’re

making sure with our programmes that the levelling up agenda is applied to everything we do.” Jeremy also recognises that, while we’ve never been more connected to information and via smartphones and other technology many people have online access within the touch of a button, a one-size-fits-all approach is not always appropriate. “Accessibility and inclusivity are really important considerations for us. We take a lot of external advice and we work with other organisations that represent people who are more at risk of being excluded and take on board all of that to decide how we should move forward. If there are specific needs for specific groups of people we have to address issues that meet their requirements, rather than get them to fit our solution. Not everyone has to go in the same restaurant and have the same meal, as long as there is a door that lets everyone in, then you can choose what you want.” Although the projects ahead of him are complex, Jeremy is confident in smart technology’s benefits and the potential in the IST programme to deliver long-lasting, positive change for the North. “If you make transport work for people the economic and social value is significant. To be able to bring that to the North, while meeting the many challenges along the way, is what gets me up every single day to do this.” More information about the Innovation Partnership initiative, including how to apply to take part in the procurement activity, can be found at https://transportforthenorth. com/ist/ist-innovation

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A d v eFretaotrui rael

Rail Storage Specialists MCL Rail is an independent, family run company dedicated to providing the highest quality rail storage solutions across the UK


ith over 24,000m of stabling at a number of rail vehicle storage facilities, all directly connected to the national rail network and conveniently located across the UK, MCL Rail offer unrivalled storage solutions to the rail industry. MCL Rail’s site facilities offer platinum level protection. Tracks are situated in busy railway complexes and are fully staffed by trained security professionals on site that operate around the clock. CCTV, including thermal imaging, monitors each facility 24/7, while palisade fencing, security gated access, motion sensors and dog patrols ensure that MCL Rail offer the very best security for all vehicles in storage.

The mission is to deliver the best in rail logistics and bring innovation to the industry Now is the time to act With winter approaching, dark nights and cold weather setting in, MCL Rail’s engineers and fabrication facilities onsite ensure that all vehicles in storage are kept in excellent condition and can be thoroughly maintained. Sites feature: Cold and warm storage options Undercover workshops A 50m maintenance pit Overhead cranes Refuelling and wagon maintenance Shot blasting and painting facilities Professional cleaning services Welfare and office facilities can also be modified to suit your requirements, with a full range of amenities provided. Although most rail vehicles will eventually be returned to service, MCL Rail also has the expertise and infrastructure to dispose of rolling stock at their licensed disposal facility.

A glowing track record This wide range of services has helped to established the MCL Rail as a premium provider of flexible rail storage solutions within the industry. Company Director Mark Lickley said: “We are incredibly proud of our facilities and work hard to maintain our reputation as a reliable, flexible partner to our customers. Above all, at MCL Rail we are passionate about trains and so the protection of your assets is of paramount importance to us. “We treat your trains as if they are our own, delivering the best rail logistics and bringing innovation to the industry. Advertorial

“In the challenging times we are going through, the last thing you need to be worrying about is about the storage of your trains, which is why we offer a convenient, safe and secure solution. “We continue to grow the business, but have always maintained the family feel when it comes to customer service. “We’re here to serve and look forward to looking after your trains.” For more information, please visit or email

November 2020 | 49

F edavteurrteo r i a l A


Leading timber specialist strengthens manufacturing capabilities with the introduction of acoustic fencing Arnold Laver, a leading timber specialist, has significantly strengthened its timber products manufacturing capabilities, following the launch of its dBFence acoustic fencing range. The acoustic barrier system, which is manufactured in a dedicated 56,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility in Hebburn, North East, adds another string to its bow and sets apart Arnold Laver from other national merchants.

Arnold Laver is part of the National Timber Group, the largest Arnold Laver, a leading timber specialist, has significantly strengthened itsSPECIALIST timber LEADING TIMBER STRE independent added-value timber distribution andproducts processing group in the UK. National Timber Group’s market-leading manufacturing capabilities, following the launchCAPABILITIES of its dBFence acoustic fencing range WITH THE INTRODUC brands also include Thornbridge Sawmills, NYTimber and Rembrand, in addition to Arnold Laver.


he acoustic barrier system, which is manufactured in a dedicated The Group already serves a diverse customer base, including Arn 56,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility in Hebburn, North East, joiners, housebuilders, and contractors, and is a favoured stre adds another string to its bow and sets apart Arnold Laver from other supplier of large-scale infrastructure projects. follo national merchants. The Arnold Laver is part of the National Timber Group, the largest With extensive warehousing, processing and distribution ded independent added-value timber distribution and processing group capabilities the Group provides customers across the UK Nor in the UK. National Timber Group’s market-leading brands also with a full range of the highest quality timber, panel, Arn include Thornbridge Sawmills, NYTimber and Rembrand, in addition decorative surfaces, joinery and engineered wood products, supported by comprehensive timber knowledge and expertise. to Arnold Laver. Arn The Group already serves a diverse customer base, including Arnold Laver already has a solid reputation for offering a ind joiners, housebuilders, and contractors, and is a favoured supplier of strong portfolio of timber products, with a clear focus on quality gro large-scale infrastructure projects. and meeting industry standards. bra With extensive warehousing, processing and distribution Rem dBFence is a high-quality, high-valueacross fencing which capabilities the Group provides customers thesystem UK with a has been designed with the aim of creating a sound-reducing fencing solution which would help to eliminate noise travelling through gaps in high-traffic and/or high-noise environments, full range of the highest quality timber, panel, decorative surfaces, The close to residential areas. dBFence has been independently tested to achieve an acoustic rating of up to 28dB for use in joinery and engineered wood products, supported by comprehensive Road and Rail environments. join timber knowledge and expertise. sup ArnoldThe Laver already has a solid reputation for offering a strong features using premium heavy-section timber system is suitable for installations of up to 2.5m and has Product been manufactured portfolioboards of timber products, withof aweather clear focus on quality and are designed Acousticto rating: up tostay 28dBtightly Road and Rail*– forcing so that regardless conditions, the joints always locked Wit waves over the top or around the fence and acting as a noise reflector wellload as of a 0.4 sound barrier. meetingsound industry standards. Wind: A designas Wind kN/m2** cap dBFence is a high-quality, high-value fencing system which has Snow: A design Wind load of 0.4 kN/m2** with With its with low visual impact, the timber fencing easily fencing blends into localproduced environment and makes a peaceful and been designed the aim of creating a sound-reducing the Panels using 32mm thick “V”forboards dec disruption-free setting. The high privacy barrier hinders trespassers/intruders and is even suitable for use on slopes and solution which would help to eliminate noise travelling through gaps Slotted-post uprights uneven surfaces. sup in high-traffic and/or high-noise environments, close to residential Pre-treated timber boards, posts,capping and counter rails areas. dBFence has been independently tested to achieve Uses special fixings component which interlinks thebusiness board between The acoustic fencing is designed to last at leastan 10acoustic years, making the asystem a worthwhile investment for any or the Arn rating ofcommunity up to 28dBthat for use in road and rail environments. posts,comes for improved performance is experiencing high noise levels. The system, which in a modular design allows quick and easy stro installation, helping to reduce labour on-site. The system is suitable for installations of up requirement to 2.5m and has been Steel posts available, providing additional strength and support to the and manufactured using premium heavy-section timber boards so that slotted post regardless of weatherFEATURES conditions, the joints are designed to always 10-year guarantee Class 3 Standard PRODUCT is a high-quality, high-value stay tightly locked – forcing sound waves over the top or around the dBFence 25-year Guarantee Class 4 Treatment Standardfencing availablesystem which has b • Uses solution a special which fixings component which interlinks noise the • Acoustic rating: up to 28dB Road and Rail* fencing would help to eliminate travelling thr fence and acting as a noise reflector as well as a sound barrier. (extended lead times) board between the posts, for improved performance • Wind: A design Wind load of 0.4 kN/m2** close to residential areas. dBFence has been independently teste With •itsSnow: low visual impact, the timber fencing easily blends into dBFence is perfect for the following applications • Steel posts available, providing additional strength A design Wind load of 0.4 kN/m2** Road and Rail environments. the local• Panels environment and makes for a peaceful disruption-free and Rail, support Highwaysto&the Motorways slotted post produced using 32mm thick “V”and boards setting. •The high privacy barrier hinders trespassers/intruders and is • 10-year Commercial & Industrial guarantee Class 3 Standard Slotted-post uprights system is suitable for4installations of up to 2.5m and has bee even suitable for use on slopesboards, and uneven surfaces. and The Venues &Guarantee Sports Stadiums • 25-year Class Treatment Standard available • Pre-treated timber posts,capping boards so that regardless of weather conditions, the joints are de (extended lead times) counter rails The acoustic fencing is designed to last at least 10 years, making Residential sound waves over the top or around the fence and acting as a no the system a worthwhile investment for any business or community Construction Sites that is experiencing noise levels. TheTHE system, which comes inAPPLICATIONS a Airports DBFENCE high IS PERFECT FOR FOLLOWING modular design allows quick and easy installation, helping to reduce With its low visual impact, the timber fencing easily blends into th • Rail, Highways & Motorways • Commercial & Industrial • Venues & Sports Stadiums disruption-free The high privacy barrier hinders trespasse labour requirement on-site. Visit: for more information • Residential • Construction Sites • Airports uneven surfaces.

fencing designed to lastwith at BS least 10 years, *Laboratory results: rating in accordance with BS EN 16272-2. CategoryThe B3. acoustic ** Laboratory results:israting in accordance EN 1794/1

making community that is experiencing high noise levels. The system, wh installation, helping to reduce labour requirement on-site.

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TEE • 10 Y AN E R A





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Saving lives on the railway Interview with Laura Campbell, the first Suicide Prevention Manager at Govia Thameslink Railway


hat gets me up in the morning is helping people and being able to stop someone from taking their life. That’s what makes the important job I do worthwhile.” Those are the words of Laura Campbell, who has the unenviable job title of Suicide Prevention Manager for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). Laura, a year into this vital and essential post, has implemented a raft of measures that will play a part in reducing fatalities on the railways by suicide, supporting those contemplating taking their own lives and those affected by trauma after witnessing such sad events. The most recent project with Laura at the helm was GTR’s Affirmation Art, timed to make a serious and effective impact on World Suicide Prevention Day in September. Clusters of temporary statements sprayed on the main thoroughfares of some of GTR’s busiest stations – Blackfriars, St Albans, Brighton and East Croydon – helped raise awareness of the company’s ongoing support and understanding for those who may be feeling vulnerable. Laura said: “The idea is to get people talking around suicide. It’s obviously a difficult subject to broach but the more people talking about suicide the less of a problem it will be. As a physical piece of art, the messages were there to encourage people to talk to each other and to keep an eye out for each other. “Those of us in the industry know what a serious problem suicide on the railways is, but for the majority of the general public their encounters with suicide are about the impact on the journeys they are making. The Affirmation Art was a much better approach than us saying that this is an issue and we’re doing something about it. By opening up the conversation we’re making sure that everyone, from rail staff to passengers, could intervene if they notice that someone appears to be vulnerable.” The three simple messages of the day to start this important conversation were: “We’re with you”, “Don’t suffer in silence” and “It’s OK not to be OK.” A crew of artists at each of the four stations worked in the early hours of the morning to spray the work, using stencils, in readiness for passengers hitting the concourse and other areas of high footfall at each of the stations. Social media was full of praise for the campaign on Suicide Prevention Day, with people tweeting positive responses and appreciation.”

52 | November 2020

While the key messages are designed to fade over time, the stencils will be used again on a poster campaign with signatures from staff at GTR stations and the company’s executives as part of an ongoing commitment to continue to focus on suicide prevention 365 days a year.

The idea is to get people talking around suicide. It’s obviously a difficult subject to broach Laura added: “The Affirmation Art started a conversation and a thought process. It’s rare for a TOC to take this on in such an overt way and there are many reasons for that due to the sensitivities around the subject. While the artwork appeared overnight we worked on this for many months and in a single day there were so many personal stories shared and a willingness to talk. Now we need to keep that level of conversation going.”

Laura is GTR’s first Suicide Prevention Manager and GTR is the only TOC to have someone in such a role. Her background in emergency planning for London Underground and Transport for London and training in emergency and crisis management planning and preparedness makes her the perfect person for the job but Laura also has very personal reasons for taking on the role. Laura said: “My grandmother took her own life on the railways when my mum was four years old; she just left mum holding her handbag and never came back. Obviously this was a big part of my mum’s life and it was difficult to broach the subject growing up and also very upsetting knowing that she’d lost her mum. “It’s really important that we talk about it now. My mum didn’t get the support she needed but we can do everything we can to support staff, train drivers and others who witness these things and often don’t come back to work.” Laura works closely with partners such as Samaritans, Network Rail and the British Transport Police to support people across the GTR network. Best practice is shared with other TOCs and the wider industry via the quarterly Suicide Prevention Steering Group and there is a spirit of collaboration across the rail family to reduce incidents of suicide. While COVID-19


has affected everyone’s working routines it also presented an opportunity for Laura and GTR to roll out an essential e-learning programme of training. Additionally, GTR has a number of TRiM (Trauma Risk Management) practitioners trained, as well as an in-house occupational health service, with further support available to all employees so that they are able to look after passengers, themselves and each other. GTR has also trained more people to take on TRiM practitioner roles within the business in recent months to increase the level of support available, allowing staff who suffer from trauma after witnessing incidents to talk to others who have experienced similar events in their lives. Laura said: “Our key message is actually that people don’t need a high level of training to intervene – it could be as simple as saying hello and talking to someone and breaking their train of thought. People have a misconception that they can make things worse by stepping in but that’s not the case. The only thing you can do is make it better, your sole purpose is to get

someone to a place of safety so they can then receive professional help.” During lockdown, additional CCTV was utilised by GTR to enable them to actively monitor vulnerable people on the

Our key message is actually that people don’t need a high level of training to intervene – it could be as simple as saying hello railways, with volunteers increasing the viewing of CCTV. Other adjustments brought about during the global pandemic were changes to the support offered to people following fatalities due to restrictions on talking to people face-to-face,

an issue also dealt with by Samaritans and other support agencies. Laura explained: “We’ve done things remotely that we didn’t expect to be able to do. Surprisingly some people are more likely to open-up emotionally in a virtual environment, rather than face-to-face so, when we come out of this period, we’ll look at retaining some of the new approaches we’ve taken.” In the last year there have been 426 GTR interventions and 35 fatalities, with a 57 per cent increase in lifesaving interventions since 2019 across GTR’s rail network. Suicide Prevention is a core part of the operator’s ‘Zero Harm’ safety programme which has the philosophy that no one working or travelling on the railway should come to any harm; GTR aims to reduce the number of incidents by 50 per cent by the end of 2021. Laura added: “It’s too early to tell whether the long-term impact of COVID-19 will affect suicide rates but we’re all very concerned. There’s never been a more important time for us to focus on opening up the conversation and it’s important that people talk, now more than ever.”

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

November 2020 | 53

Network Rail

Network Rail sets world-first targets to combat global warming Network Rail becomes the first railway company in the world to set the most ambitious science-based targets to limit global warming


he targets – and the plans to achieve them – have been independently verified, meaning the company will be the first railway to commit to cutting emissions which limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, below the 2 degrees scientists declared necessary to meet the Paris Agreement. Chief Executive Andrew Haines said: “Rail is already the cleanest and greenest mode of transporting large numbers of people and goods, but we’re committed to cutting our carbon footprint even further. That’s why we’ve set carbon reduction targets backed by science rather than simply ones we think are easy to achieve. We are the first railway in the world to set targets that will help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and this shows our commitment to change. “We’re on an important journey – to support the government’s target of being net-zero by 2050, to help the country build back better as we recover from the pandemic and to help passengers and freight users make the greenest choices they can.” Network Rail is already making progress in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. All of the energy used to power its stations, depots and offices comes from renewable sources, and a trial to move its road fleet – such as the vans needed in rail maintenance work – to electric vehicles is happening now. In addition, the company is looking

54 | November 2020

at how it can use its land to generate renewable electricity as well as support biodiversity, whilst an extensive community tree planting scheme is also underway. Around two-thirds of the railway’s emissions are generated by suppliers, so as well as working on elements within its control, the organisation is keen to work with its wider supply chain, such as manufacturing and construction companies, to help them to set their own targets.

we’ve set carbon reduction targets backed by science rather than simply ones we think are easy to achieve Andrew Haines Building supplier confidence Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s Safety, Technical and Engineering Director, said: “Most of our carbon emissions come from our supply chain, so we need to give our suppliers confidence that we are serious about this and must make the changes

needed to meet these challenging targets. Many of our suppliers are already making great strides to this end which we can learn from. Working with them to find creative engineering solutions and clever ways to reduce the energy we consume, for example, is key to delivering these targets.” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Rail is one of the greenest forms of transport going and these ambitious targets will keep the UK as a world leader in low carbon travel. “The objective is clear – every step of every journey, from entering the station to travelling by train, will be more environmentally friendly. This Government has made the pioneering commitment to be net-zero by 2050 and part of making that happen is ensuring every journey taken becomes a little greener.” Cynthia Cummis, Director of private sector climate mitigation at World Resources Institute, one of the science-based targets initiative partners, said: “We congratulate Network Rail for becoming the first railway company in the world to set a science-based target aligned with limiting warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. By taking ambitious climate action, Network Rail are playing their part in supporting the UK government’s target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

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Leading the charge towards diversity across the rail industry LNER’s Abu Siddeeq on the need for open, honest leaders who prioritise how their people feel


ail is one of many industries championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace and looking at how best to attract and retain a more diverse workforce. Influencing change and creating a space in which discussing, questioning and challenging attitudes towards diversity across the industry is, at times, an uncomfortable task. Winning the hearts and minds of a future workforce is, however, vital. Some people are cut out for leading the charge on this important work and Abu Siddeeq, Head of Customer Experience at LNER, is certainly one of them. Abu, who lives in Essex, is an Asian Glaswegian. He has worked in rail for seven years, holding positions with Great Western and First Group prior to moving to LNER in January 2020, with another six years in transport at Transport for London before that. Workplace bias Abu has encountered racism in various guises and seen the impact of conscious and unconscious bias in the workplace. He is a member of the Women in Rail Board, was winner of the Women in Rail Inspirational Man of the Year Award in 2019 and is passionate about opening up opportunities in rail. Abu said: “It’s really positive that we’ve unearthed data and stories around underrepresentation of various groups across the industry. It’s through that data and insight that we can truly start to target the issues that some

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people are facing and more importantly we can start to develop robust action plans and really begin to address those issues. “We need to recognise that there are various types of privileges and disadvantage in life – these can often be over-simplified to gender, race, disability and sexual orientation, but there are many more too. It’s just that these attributes are easier to identify.” Recognising our biases While this isn’t just a job for a handful of industry experts but an industry-wide challenge that involves everyone, Abu’s opinion is that leaders in the rail industry need to be at the forefront of this attitudinal change. “We need industry leaders to continue to lead by example as they have been doing particularly recently by talking openly about the barriers faced by some in getting their foot into many industries and then the barriers faced trying to progress within those sectors. It’s also true that often we don’t understand or see why someone may feel disadvantaged – and whether we agree or not with how they are feeling, we have to acknowledge that this is their perspective and we have to tackle that, as it can be really quite self-limiting. “At LNER, we used National Inclusion Week to discuss the very uncomfortable subject of unconscious bias and how we tend to naturally gravitate towards others who are like us and that we all hold unconscious certain preferences because of our life experiences. The main message is that it’s ok to have these biases, in fact it’s only natural – but it’s even more important that we recognise them, how they can limit us and the types of things we can do to minimise the impact of these biases into how we conduct ourselves in our personal and professional lives.” LNER is working with Work180 and Together Comms to craft advertising that is targeted to RDB-Rail-Director-Qtr-Pg-Ad-Mayarail-FOR-PRINT.pdf minority groups and drive recruitment. By giving

people the confidence and inspiration that rail will welcome them to the family, they will apply for positions, explained Abu. And recently, Women in Rail created a joint Charter with RIA (Rail Industry Association) which has seen a joint approach around improving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and has already seen a large number of organisations sign up to show their commitment. Yet the industry also has to understand the complexities that individuals experience. Abu explained: “It could be a new mother returning to the workplace in a part-time capacity. They may feel that they aren’t adding the same

We need to recognise that there are various types of privileges and disadvantage in life – these can often be over-simplified value or may feel as though they could appear less committed than they did previously. It could be a disabled colleague who feels that they need more time or adjustments than others and therefore may start to worry if the value of their contribution is lesser than others. “We don’t want to end up in an ‘affirmative action’ situation where companies feel obliged to recruit or promote people based on their attributes and not their knowledge, skills, experience and general competence. That would actually undermine the longer term aspiration for truly diverse teams and it would create real resentment among those who would feel as 1 though 26/10/2020 13:24:17 they are being discriminated against and

even those who would benefit from such moves, as their ability would always be called into question and their authority undermined.” Events in the transport industry in living memory, such as the Bristol Bus Boycott following the refusal of the Bristol Omnibus Company to employ Black and Asian crews in 1963 and the fight for Asquith Camile Xavier to become the first non-white train guard, ending the ‘colour bar’ at British Railways, in 1966, might be history but are important moments to draw and reflect on, said Abu. Historic change “We are very lucky that we are living in a time a world away from what great people before us like Asquith Xavier had to face and to fight so that others could benefit from their efforts. It was fitting to see him recognised recently at Chatham Station too with a plaque commemorating what he achieved. But we have to be honest and reflect that this was the 1960s we are talking about – not the 1860s. Yes, serious progress has been made in many ways but we’d be foolish not to look closely at our own history and understand why people feel the way they do. When we understand how our fathers, mothers and grandparents were being treated for their skin colour or gender, it can start to explain why many people enter the workforce and life in general feeling that they are at a disadvantage, whether that’s our shared view or not. “If we want truly diverse and inclusive workplaces, then for me the most important ingredient to making that happen is the need for open, honest, compassionate leaders who prioritise how their people feel and put systems in place to address any perceived unfairness. This approach helps everyone to feel their very best at work and means that they can bring their whole, true selves to work and not worry about trying to compromise themselves by just blending in.”









November 2020 | 57

Heritage Railways

Funding lifeline for heritage railways The impact of the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage on Bluebell Railway


crucial lifeline has been thrown to heritage railways to help them survive over Christmas – it’s news that has put a smile on the faces of the hundreds of people involved in the running of the Bluebell Railway. The £727,200 grant from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage hasn’t just secured jobs but is a much needed lifeline after a tough year for heritage railways. “This grant means we will survive through the winter months,” said Vernon Blackburn, chairman of the Bluebell Railway Trust, the charity that supports the railway. “The money will help us bounce back from COVID, pay for some of the railway’s costs between now and next March and give the Bluebell Railway a chance to modernise as a business.” The railway, which runs from Sheffield Park in East Sussex to East Grinstead in West Sussex, is one of 36 heritage railways awarded grants totalling more than £10 million. Protect and save The grants – which range from £20,000 to £906,000 – aim to protect rail heritage and save jobs from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. In the case of the Bluebell Railway, Vernon says it will cover staff salaries, overheads, an improved online presence, some special events and financial assistance to generate additional revenue beyond steam train rides. “It is very important because it’s spread over a large number of items, but crucially it is meeting a lot of the general overheads during the winter months,” said Vernon. “This includes staff salaries. One of the locos we’re running is 125 years old, another 115 years old and some of our coaches are well over 100 years old, which aren’t cheap to maintain. “Our heritage skilled staff know steam locomotives and old rolling stock inside out, so without them how would we have a chance of opening up again? “The grant also provides us with resources in the ‘new normal’, whatever that will be, to adapt and attract visitors back again. The latest grant follows £250,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to cover some of the costs for the period from August to November and £400,000 raised from the railway’s own emergency appeal from members, supporters and the public. 58 | November 2020

“Our turnover is around £4 million a year and with grants we just about broke even last year,” said the chairman, who heads a team which annually raises around another £1.5 million to keep the railway going, mostly for capital projects.

We are pretty confident that with the grant, which will cover the first three months of next year – we will survive “I don’t think some people appreciate the cost of running these railways – they are absolutely enormous. “A steam locomotive has to have an annual inspection and then every 10 years it has to be dismantled. For an overhaul of a loco of any reasonable size you’re not going to get much change from half a million pounds.

“That is just one element – there is also the infrastructure, track and carriages etc, therefore you need to generate this income and without the income you’re in trouble. “This year we’ve probably lost about half our income, although we’ve managed to make some savings through furloughing all of our staff and looking to how we can reduce costs. It’s also been really helped from the fantastic support from members of the public.” This year marks one of the first preserved heritage lines in the country’s 60th birthday. It did manage to open up on its birthday, on August 7, following a 20-week closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We are planning adaptations and introducing new products and services to bring in a COVID-safe way, as we assume social distancing will be in place for most of next year,” he said, “We are budgeting to hopefully break even next year, keeping a close eye on costs. We are pretty confident that with the grant, which will cover the first three months of next year – we will survive. “Unfortunately, I don’t think every railway can say that after the problems because of the pandemic. It is very much a case of adapting,

Heritage Railways

making things attractive and keeping ourselves on the front line.” It is thinking about different streams of income that Vernon believes will be vital in the railway’s survival. He said: “There is an emphasis on digital – making website improvements and generally making us more visible to a new audience. “We’re also very fortunate to own our freehold and we are now using some of our facilities for training Network Rail’s new employees. We are adapting our training facilities and part of our track to allow the training companies to come in and use our railway to learn on. We also have an idea to put in a miniature steam railway because that way you can have a seven-and-a-quarter inch gauge line, which allows you to bring in younger people. This could attract them as future volunteers, or maybe for people looking for careers in the railway.” A 55-year journey For Vernon, his journey with the Bluebell Railway began when he was in his teens in 1965, when he worked in the station buffet and would also help out polishing the carriages.

He took charge of the charity side six years ago. “I am very lucky to be involved,” he said, “although I’m not responsible for running the railway my role does let me get involved with all different parts of it. I’m in and out of the locos and it is fascinating for someone who is a layman, but who has always had an interest in railways – but not on the technical side - to learn more.

“I didn’t know one end of a boiler from another – I do now – a bit! Despite the challenges, like all the staff and volunteers, we are passionate about the railway – we just love it. There’s a lovely atmosphere and I’m very optimistic for the future.” For more information visit

November 2020 | 59

F edavteurrteo r i a l A


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ith an unrivalled proven track record (30+ stations this year alone) and increased turnover year on year, proves the Sunderland-based company is continuing to head in the right direction. Despite the ongoing pandemic and uncertain times that we are all facing, Viztek is in the process of moving to a new purpose built factory which will not only treble its current manufacturing capacity but also bring in more new jobs, something which is a rare commodity during these testing times for us all. Viztek works hand in hand with Network Rail in ensuring that passenger safety is put first, as any product that is installed as close to the platform edge as tactile paving is has to be more than compliant in both quality of product and installation. This is why we pride ourselves as being the only company in the UK that can both manufacture and install, allowing for the added bonus of single point guarantee. New innovative tactile paving products are set to be launched soon that will revolutionise the tactile paving standards across the UK . System and product benefits:

Manufactured/supplied/installed by Viztek Cost effective installation – 30lm+ per hour Complete all-in-one system, actively endorsed by network rail and many TOCs Single point 10 year guarantee Available in 400mm, 600mm, 930mm, 1220mm and 1515mm widths Standard buff or hazard yellow (bespoke colours and sizes available) Ideal for replacement of failing poorly installed tactile paving Vastly reduces any potential slips/ trips/falls Way-finding specialists New innovative products being launched soon.

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Delivering integrated solutions from a single supplier - RSS Infrastructure have an expert for that


ince lockdown on the 23rd March 2020, RSS Infrastructure (RSSI) has adapted and overcome the challenges of social distancing to continue and support their customers with expert solutions. During this period, they have supported rail renewals and enhancements across the UK. Over the last six months, RSSI has delivered over 223,052 site-based hours incident and accident-free. One of the significant benefits for clients working with RSSI is their ability to combine services to offer an integrated solution from a single supplier. Their vision is to provide customers with a complete solution while improving the functionality and safety of sites. Sean Harrison, Managing Director, commented “Working with one supplier, who has a complete overview of the project requirements, reduces the client’s management time, creates more clear reporting lines, increases productivity and improves delivery of the agreed objectives.” Impressive statistics The operating divisions across the business have delivered some impressive statistics this year. Construction and civils have installed over 2,500m of fencing, over 20 road rail access points and 15 level crossings were removed and reinstated. Also, they have installed temporary access steps and UTX chambers for single and twin track crossings, removed and reinstated sixfoot crossings and carried out site clearance at numerous locations across the UK. Magnetic Track Safety Solutions have over 4,000m of magnetic safety barrier fencing on hire weekly across the UK. You can use magnetic fencing in the majority of railway infrastructure areas. It is simple, safe and fast to assemble, with a simple magnetic attachment to the web of the rail. OLE has delivered turnkey isolation services, including Bonding and OLE surveys, to a variety of clients and registered zero incidents over the last 12 months. The Kilsby Tunnel upgrade was both a challenge and a highlight for all the suppliers involved. The OLE team, supported Network Rail and CRSA, delivering 742 staff-hours, issuing 119 Form C’s with zero accidents on the project. Safety-Critical Resourcing combined with other RSSI divisions to complete over 50 IBJ recoveries 62 | November 2020

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ॹॴ९঍আ঎৅শ঵নদলহন঵নধ ব঱দযসধব঱পযলপবশষবদশ॰঵তবয঵ন঳যতদনরন঱ষ॰ শষ঵নশশব঱পত঱ধ঺নযধব঱পশন঵হবদনশ including logistics, rail replacement, stressing, welding along with the handback file. Signalling has experience of providing SMTH and points testing support across all Network Rail routes. Their team is fully equipped with all tools and equipment to deliver the works. They can support clients from the planning stage through to completion. Increased productivity Track Warning Services are the UK’s foremost provider of track warning systems. Their experienced teams have enabled over 240 worksites to be accessed safely, increasing productivity for their customers without compromising on safety in the last year. They can offer the most appropriate protection methods, including ATWS, SATWS and LOWS to meet any project requirements. Vegetation Management has cleared 330,000m of lineside vegetation and 110,000 m2 of construction site vegetation over the last 2


12 months. Our qualified Arborists combined with our De-veg teams to provide a wide range of specialist services, including tree surveys and management, tree felling and vegetation control and management. Welding Services consistently delivers over 9,000 welds each year with 99% of all welds approved the first time. Strong client relationships have led to their Welding division being the longest-serving Network Rail welding subcontractor. An ongoing commitment to training and development, adopting the latest welding techniques and maintaining the highest standards means they are always in high demand. Operating from offices in Birmingham, Doncaster and Newport, they are focused on providing high levels of customer service, quality, safety and value-driven engineering solutions and advice to all their customers across the UK. When it comes to bespoke infrastructure solutions, RSSI has the people, experience and capability to deliver consistently every time.

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Celebrating those recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list Rail professionals and operational staff who have helped to keep transport links moving or volunteered in their local communities have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Below we highlight the stories of just a few of those honoured... Recognising sustained leadership and commitment to the industry Colin Flack has been made an OBE, recognising his contribution to championing and supporting the UK rail supply chain. This is in addition to his role as Independent Chair of the Birmingham Airport Consultative Committee (ACC) and national chairman of the UKACC, which is the body representing all airport consultative committees (ACCs). After leaving the military Colin and his wife Ruth set up Quinton Rail Technology Centre and he led the original team that transformed Rail Live into the success it is today. Among just a few of several other achievements includes being one of the key players in forming the Rail Supply Group and his fundraising for the likes of The Railway Children. He said: “I am humbled beyond belief and feel honoured that the work I’ve been involved in over the years has been recognised in one of the most significant ways possible.”

The train driving paramedic Northern train driver Jolene Miller has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. From March to the end of June, Jolene was driving Northern trains for one week transporting key workers to their workplace, the next week a paramedic with the NHS. She said: “It’s been so surreal, I can’t believe it, I’m really proud but still in shock. There’s still lots of people I know working in the NHS and fighting coronavirus day in day out, while I spent a few months working back in a hospital. I just wanted to use the skills I had.” Transforming trackside safety Network Rail project director Brian Paynter has been made an MBE for his incredible charity fundraising efforts and for his dedication to safety in the rail industry. He has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to transforming the rail industry’s approach to safety, steering the improvement of standards and conditions for track workers across the UK. Among his achievements includes his passion about the provision of defibrillators across the network, leading a Safety & Immediate Treatment (SIT) campaign and working with friends and colleagues to raise more than £1.2 million for charities. He said: “I do feel a little awkward and embarrassed by it all, but it has been really nice to read all the positive messages from friends, family and colleagues and on social media. It’s been a tough year for us all and I have had the cancer battle too, so telling my mum and my daughter about the award is the proudest thing I will ever do.”

Devotion to improving the way infrastructure is designed, delivered and operated Mott MacDonald’s Mark Enzer and Mike Brown have been recognised with Mark becoming an OBE for his services to the national infrastructure and Mike a CBE for his services to transport. Mark has worked with Mott MacDonald for over 30 years and has championed the use of digital technology to improve infrastructure design and operation. Meanwhile Mike (pictured), who is currently overseeing the modernisation of the Palace of Westminster, is an independent member of Mott MacDonald’s shareholders’ committee and was previously commissioner for Transport for London. Mike Haigh, Mott MacDonald’s Executive Chair, said: “Both Mark’s and Mike’s devotion to improving the way infrastructure is designed, delivered and operated is outstanding, as is their desire to share their learning across the industry.” 64 | November 2020

Coming out of retirement to train reserve signallers Phil Graham can now add an MBE to his name after the former Network Rail Operations Manager was recognised for helping train serve signallers during the COVID-19 pandemic. He retired in 2014 and returned to the job he loves back in March retraining 20 retired or former railway signallers in preparation for any staff shortages. He has also run evening classes for people for the past 34 years. He said: “I am incredibly proud to have been recognised in this way, and the true reward comes from seeing the progress made by those who I have helped.”


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International Rail

Hitachi Rail’s $883m Monorail Project Crosses Panama Canal H

itachi Ltd, Hitachi Rail STS S.p.A. and Mitsubishi Corporation have signed an $883 million contract with HPH Consortium, the prime contractor for Panama Metro Line 3. Line 3 is a 25 km, elevated double-track monorail system, which will include 14 new stations and trains that use re-generative power. Hitachi and Hitachi Rail will provide 28 six-car vehicles (168 cars), the signalling systems, telecommunication systems, power systems, control centre, platform

screen doors and depot equipment for the monorail while Mitsubishi Corporation will manage the administration of the project. Approximately 800 local jobs are expected to be created during the development of Line 3. James White, Executive Officer for the Americas at the Hitachi Rail Group, said: “With highperformance and energy-efficient vehicles, the new monorail will deliver a greener future with better mobility for all.” Enzo Carpanetti, Director of

Sales and Project Management for Latin America at Hitachi Ltd in its railway systems business unit, said: “In Panama, as in many urbanised areas of the world, heavy traffic congestion impacts economic

activity, public health and quality of life. “This line will reduce traffic and carbon dioxide emissions, and the trains themselves are designed of energy-efficient materials.”

Bombardier celebrates the delivery of the 800th MOVIA metro car to Delhi Metro Global mobility technology leader Bombardier Transportation recently celebrated the delivery of the 800th Bombardier MOVIA metro car to India’s Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC). Together in partnership, Delhi Metro and Bombardier have been

supporting Delhi’s National Capital Region’s ambitious expansion plans since 2007 and the new metros have delivered a huge capacity boost to Delhi’s metro network. The 800th metro car left Bombardier’s state-of-the-art railway vehicle manufacturing site at Savli near Vadodara, India and it will now undergo rigorous testing and commissioning processes before starting passenger service. Rajeev Joisar, Managing Director for India at Bombardier Transportation, said: “We appreciate the tremendous effort from our Indian team to deliver 800 metro cars to Delhi Metro. We greatly value the trust and support received from Delhi Metro in this 13-year journey. This achievement of delivering the 800th metro car highlights the large scale and magnitude of Delhi Metro’s operations and we are extremely proud to be Delhi Metro’s long-term partner. “These 100 per cent locally manufactured energy-efficient trains have been moving 1.5 million people in Delhi safely every day and the remaining 16 metro cars from the latest order (RS16) will be delivered to Delhi Metro by the end of this year.”

Knorr-Bremse expands its stake in Rail Vision Knorr-Bremse has subscribed a capital increase in the Israeli company Rail Vision. The global market leader for braking and other systems for rail and commercial vehicles has acquired an additional 19.8 per cent of the shares for USD 10 million. As a result, Knorr-Bremse now holds a 36.8 per cent stake in the start-up, which specialises in sensor technology and obstacle detection based on artificial intelligence and deep learning. Dr Nicolas Lange, Chairman of the management board of Knorr-Bremse

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Rail Vehicle Systems, said: “We are delighted to further strengthen and expand our strategic commitment to Rail Vision. “The systems developed by Rail Vision hold great potential for numerous new applications as train operation becomes progressively more automated in the future.” Sam Donnerstein, Executive Chairman of Rail Vision, said: “Having Knorr-Bremse as a partner gives us the opportunity not only to think big, but to further develop our systems and execute our projects on a bigger worldwide scale.”

A d v eFretaotrui rael

Letting the light in at Pembroke Dock station With its team of experts in the polycarbonate and roof glazing fields, Twinfix works on developing the best, newest and most cost-effective roof glazing products


family business, Twinfix has been involved in the polycarbonate roof glazing market for nearly 30 years. This year, Twinfix worked with principal contractor AmcoGiffen restoring Pembroke Dock Station. Twinfix supplied its non-fragile roofing system the Multi-Link-Panel to replace the old tired, discoloured glazing at Pembroke Dock Station. The station at Pembroke Dock is steeped in history and character. It opened in 1863, and was later adapted as the station grew, with fully glazed canopies added over the station entrance and platform in early 1900s, following the takeover of Pembroke and Tenby by Great Western Railway. Paul Childs, Company Secretary for the Railway Heritage Trust commented: “The Railway Heritage Trust supported Network Rail’s decision to use Twinfix in the restoration of the canopies, which was carried out in a sympathetic and considered manner on this historic structure.” The innovative Georgian wired MultiLink-Panel NF (non- fragile) roof-glazing was an ideal fit for the refurbishment project at Pembroke. It is important to retain the feel of a station, so a sympathetic restoration is crucial.

However, it is also essential to not just replace like with like, while traditional materials may look the same there are often disadvantages associated with them. Georgian wired polycarbonate is a 6mm solid polycarbonate sheet with a dimpled surface that mimics the Georgian wired glass that it will be replacing, but it will not break over time. Substantiality is a key advantage of the Multi-Link-Panel and this long lasting, very low maintaince material will ensure the station glazing needs very little maintaince as these panels will not break. As well as ensuring the new glazing looks in keeping with the historic Pembroke Dock station, it is also important to improve the safety of the roof and the Multi-Link-Panel system is classified as non-fragile in accordance with the ACR(M)001:2014 roofing test. This is an important feature of the roof and brings It up to date with modern day safety requirements. In addition, the access hatches at Pembroke Dock are designed to allow access from underneath, rather than on top of the roof, enhancing the safety of the roof. These access hatches are also designed to blend into the glazing and fit the heritage requirements of this historic station. Off-site construction is very important in rail and as the panel is made and assembled in the Twinfix factory it allows for a very quick installation and also results in fewer errors on the install than other systems as any corrections are carried out before it hits the site. Advertorial

Twinfix have delivered a fantastic canopy at Pembroke for the community and our passengers, being brighter, better and of course, in keeping with the station itself Chris Howchin, Capital Delivery Programme Manager at Network Rail added “Twinfix has delivered a fantastic canopy at Pembroke for the community and our passengers, being brighter, better and of course, in keeping with the station itself. The safer access panels alongside the incredibly resilient polycarbonate panels and fixing mechanisms mean that the canopy will be in good condition for the years to come, thank you Twinfix.” Now finished, it’s a wonderful example of the Georgian wired Multi-Link-Panel system and Twinfix, AmcoGiffen and Pembroke station can all be very proud of the refurbished premises. Visit for more information November 2020 | 67


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We provide high quality signalling support for plain line and S&C renewals, as well as signalling assistance for civil work in the rail industry. Installation, maintenance, points fitting and testing to SMTH and G110 standards. 01303 764344

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Movers and shakers

Trainline CEO Clare Gilmartin to step down after seven years


lare Gilmartin will be stepping down as CEO and a board member at Trainline plc at the end of February 2021. She will remain involved in the business thereafter as a Senior Advisor, supporting the management team and Trainline’s wider industry partners in continuing to drive industry digitisation and long-term growth. Clare will be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Jody Ford. Jody previously held the role of Chief Executive Officer at Photobox Group, encompassing the Moonpig and Photobox brands, and led global growth at eBay Inc. Clare said: “The decision to step down next year is a personal one; after seven years at the helm the time has come for me to spend more time with my family. I am immensely proud of our progress over the last several years – including driving the advancement of digital ticketing

and the customer shift online, our international expansion and our track record for meeting and exceeding expectations, particularly in our first year as a public company. “I work alongside an amazing team, who I know will continue this strong performance, innovating for customers and driving growth for the industry.” Jody Ford, COO, said: “I joined Trainline because I believe it is a tech innovator with huge growth potential and a purpose that is central to its business: to encourage greener travel choices. “I am very much looking forward to bringing my digital experience to bear as CEO and continuing Trainline’s focus on working with the rail and coach industry to make travel as easy and friction-free as possible for millions of customers in Europe and beyond.”

New MD for Unipart Rail & Unipart Manufacturing Group


nipart Group, the leading independent manufacturing, logistics and consultancy group, has appointed Neil Walker as the Managing Director of Unipart Rail and Unipart Manufacturing Group. Neil joins from MTR Corporation Limited and is an accomplished leader, whose extensive career spans the rail, transport and infrastructure sectors including a technology led e-mobility start-up. He said: “Unipart Group is one of the most well-respected brands in the market whose people are passionate and successful in deploying the Unipart Way to deliver real value for customers. “I’m thrilled to be given the responsibility to lead the rail and manufacturing businesses and leverage the synergies we have in rail and automotive for the next exciting stage of Unipart’s evolution.

“Unipart has been at the forefront of corporate sustainability, and often, the most important corporate innovations. I look forward to leading and growing the rail and manufacturing businesses in doing their part to develop the company whilst driving Unipart’s digital transformation to a technology led company.” Commenting on the appointment, Unipart Group Chairman and CEO John Neill said: “I’d like to warmly welcome Neil to our company, his leadership and vision will be a great asset to our strong leadership team in Unipart Rail and Manufacturing. “Neil’s appointment represents our ongoing commitments to the growth of our rail and manufacturing businesses. Supporting the transportation infrastructure with safe, reliable and resilient service has never been more important that it is today.”

Gautier Jacob to become CEO of Imtech


aul Kavanagh is stepping down as CEO of Imtech 27 years after jointly founding the business. Gautier Jacob, who has been Strategy Director since 2017, will take over as CEO in November. He will head up a UK-focussed group of businesses including Imtech Engineering Services, Imtech Inviron, Capula and Breathe. Steve Wignall will become Managing Director of Imtech Engineering Services, reporting to Gautier. The remaining business unit heads are unchanged with Noel Clancy, MD Imtech

70 | November 2020

Inviron; Dave Pickles, MD Capula, and Gary Parke, MD Breathe. Gautier said: “I am very proud to succeed Paul in the role of CEO of Imtech. I am fully confident that the quality and the commitment of our teams, our broad range of skills and our ability to deliver value-added services for our clients will continue to drive positive results across the business. Longer term, the aim to achieve net zero and fight against climate change will be a priority for all of us. Imtech, within EDF and with the support of our parent company Dalkia, is ideally positioned

to mobilise our great talents in support of this ambition.” Current CEO Paul Kavanagh said: “Like all businesses in the built environment sector, Imtech has been impacted by the unprecedented challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has brought this year. Our people and businesses have risen well to those challenges. I want to thank them for this and for what we have built together over the years at Imtech. “I wish Gautier every success and know that the business will continue to thrive under his and the team’s leadership.”

Movers and shakers

Campaign for Better Transport appoints new Chief Executive


ampaign for Better Transport has revealed that Paul Tuohy will take over as its Chief Executive, replacing Darren Shirley who has left to lead the Department for Transport’s new Acceleration Unit. Paul joins this month having worked for six years transforming the former Cyclists’ Touring Club into Cycling UK, an active travel and campaigning charity supporting cycling and influencing government policy. Paul instituted the ‘Big Bike Revival’, which engaged an estimated quarter of a million people back to cycling, in collaboration with the Department of Transport. He was also instrumental in creating the Walking and Cycling Alliance with like-minded organisations that convinced government to commit over £2 billion towards more walking and cycling infrastructure and education programmes. Prior to Cycling UK, Paul worked with YMCA and RNIB and was the CEO of Missing People. Paul said: “The

work of Campaign for Better Transport has never been more important than it is today. The pressing need to bring transport’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with net zero targets has been joined by the need to recover and renew transport networks after COVID-19 and reverse the trend of people returning to cars. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Campaign for Better Transport at this crucial time as it works for a transport system that is sustainable and fair, that connects people with opportunities and improves community life. I want Campaign for Better Transport to work alongside the government to ensure effective, reliable, sustainable transport systems are in place as soon as possible.” John Stewart, Chair of the Trustees, said: “We are delighted that Paul is joining us. At what will be a critical time for transport, he will build on the excellent work that our outgoing Chief Executive, Darren Shirley, has done for the organisation.”

Arcadis appoints Ben Harris as UK Climate Change & Sustainability Director A

rcadis has appointed Ben Harris in the new role of UK Climate Change and Sustainability Director, demonstrating the company’s commitment to its climate response. Ben is an experienced senior manager and strategy advisor specialising in sustainable development and climate change. He has proven experience in successfully building and leading large teams to achieve business growth aims. For the past three years he has managed the funding and investment deployment of Europe’s largest Climate Innovation Programme, EIT Climate-KIC, with responsibility for the programme’s strategy and funding allocation from the European Commission of over €200m of funding across 28 countries. Prior to this in-house role he spent nearly 15 years in consultancy, leading teams advising on the integration of sustainability in the public and private sector. At Temple Group he established a new unit focused on strategy

and sustainability, building a proposition to integrate sustainability into strategic decision making. Prior to that, he was seconded as Head of Thought Leadership to help build the five-year business plan and secure £50 million of funding for start-up of the Transport Systems Catapult. He brings a unique combination of commercial, leadership and technical expertise. Ben will be working on Arcadis’ Climate Response Proposition, ‘Securing our Future’, which has been developed to  tackle the ‘how’ part of pledging to become net zero, working with business leaders to implement strategic planning and establish what’s possible, and what to prioritise, with a roadmap of how to get there. He said: “I’m really excited to join Arcadis and to see the company’s agenda, with sustainability at the heart of its strategy. I look forward to working with teams to take our proposition to clients and identify how we can respond to challenges and requirements.” November 2020 | 71

Movers and shakers

Stephen Dale becomes Cundall’s first Global Rail Director


ulti-disciplinar y engineering consultancy, Cundall, has appointed Stephen Dale as Global Rail Director, a brand-new role which will see him taking on responsibility for developing the company’s global rail sector. Stephen brings more than 30 years’ valuable experience as a civil and structural engineer to his new role. He has worked with both design consultants and contractors on a range of mixed-use building developments and transportation projects. Throughout his career, he has taken on roles across the globe and been based in Hong Kong, Sydney, Dubai, Doha and the United Kingdom. Prior to joining Cundall, Stephen was based in Hong Kong as Head of Engineering at Leighton Contractors (Asia) Ltd, where he was

involved in the ongoing expansion of Hong Kong International Airport and a mass-transit railway depot in Singapore. Other notable projects include the Etihad Rail Project, Doha Metro, Dubai Metro, the EppingChatswood Rail Link in Sydney and West Rail in Hong Kong. Stephen Dale said: “This is a really exciting opportunity and I am delighted to join such a talented team. Over the past 30 years, I have been fortunate to have helped deliver a number of high-profile rail projects and I am extremely proud of some of the schemes I have been involved in; the nature of which is a legacy for the countries in which they are built. “I am looking forward to the challenge and the opportunities ahead to grow Cundall’s rail sector business globally, starting with our

work on the Etihad Rail Project in Dubai. It’s a great opportunity to combine my experience and passion for excellence in rail engineering, with Cundall’s strong values, innovation and client focus.”

New Asset Director for GB Railfreight


avid Golding has joined GB Railfreight as Asset Director. David does not have the traditional rail background having served in the British Army for 23 years as an engineering officer that culminated in 2008 with a job that put him in charge of the military logistics supply chain and equipment support, maintenance and engineering organisation in Iraq during combat operations in Basra. His career in the business world has included supply chain, operations and continuous improvement director roles with British Sugar and The Silver Spoon Company, both part of the AB Foods conglomerate, before his last appointment as the Group Corporate Services Director with the Go-Ahead Group.

Outside of work, David is married with two teenage boys and the family are very active, spending their free time skiing, walking, and going for long bike rides. John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said: “A big GBRf welcome to David Golding. We are delighted to have him joining our team and I can’t wait to work with him. We continue to grow our business, despite the economic uncertainty. We are also attracting top talent from beyond the rail industry which demonstrates the good work we are doing. We are at the cutting edge of the industry and the appointment of a new Asset Director will help us improve even more.” David Golding said: “It’s a privilege to join GBRf and to become a part of such a successful and growing business.  The company has an outstanding reputation in the industry and the team spirit and willingness to do a great job for our customers is evident wherever you look.  I look forward to playing my part in the team and helping the business to continue to grow and play an increasingly important role in providing carbon-efficient logistic solutions.”

RDB-Rail-Director-Qtr-Pg-Ad-Mayarail-FOR-PRINT.pdf 1 26/10/2020 13:24:17









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Stuart Baker OBE – Reflections on the life of a great friend and colleague T

ributes have been paid to Stuart Baker OBE, who sadly died earlier this month. Friend and colleague Hugh Chaplain has written about the man who dedicated his life to improving and inspiring the railways and its workers. S K Baker, author of the Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland, was a name well known to the many that owned a copy of Stuart’s set text for railway folk. As a graduate trainee joining BR in 1984, I, like all of my fellow trainees, referred to it often. The gricers among us would mark in pink highlighter the routes we had ridden over. I followed Stuart into a management role at Preston Station where all of the staff spoke positively and enthusiastically of their times working with Stuart. It was not until a year later, in 1988, that we actually met and began working together. Stuart was immensely knowledgeable and extremely good at building and motivating teams. He was always held in high esteem, respected and looked up to by his colleagues. He was not afraid to challenge established ways of working, ensuring that a focus on delivering the right solutions was not hindered by institutional obstacles. This created some fascinating industry dynamics at times, before and after rail privatisation. I have been fortunate to work alongside and opposite Stuart at a number of points in my career; at all times, Stuart applied a consistent, positive, outcomes-focused, whole industry perspective. Many of the achievements of PTEs across the North were facilitated by Stuart’s involvement and desire to do the right thing. When Stuart joined the Strategic Rail Authority in late 2001, he completely transformed the capability within that

74 | November 2020

The sum total of the benefit to the rail industry is immeasurable, but that is an integral and lasting part of Stuart Baker’s legacy organisation to demonstrate leadership and engender cross-industry collaborations to deliver. His legacy extends across the rail network, whether it be major route upgrades, service enhancements, Reading flyover, West Coast Route modernisation, new train fleets, alternative services during major engineering blockades or enhancing stations and services on the Settle and Carlisle Line. In discussions with friends and colleagues since first hearing the awful news on Wednesday 4th November, a realisation has dawned: Stuart’s legacy includes many people that he recruited, trained, shared his knowledge

with and mentored. All of us have benefited greatly from his interest in our careers, his kindness, generosity, leadership, his drive and his infectious enthusiasm. The sum total of the benefit to the rail industry is immeasurable, but that is an integral and lasting part of Stuart Baker’s legacy. Lastly, I cannot think about the great times spent with Stuart without mentioning his passion for Sheffield Wednesday FC; we travelled far and wide, enjoying long journeys, late nights, all weathers, occasional elation and no small amount of bemusement and disappointment. Attending Wednesday matches without Stuart is just not the same; his humour, resilience, implacable optimism made matchdays very special occasions. I would go as far as to say, even the occasional 90 minutes of dreadful football or heavy defeats (there were a few) could not spoil a matchday with Stuart and his son Mark. My friend, Stuart was a great railwayman who leaves an enduring legacy. He was much more than that: a wonderful human being, hugely intelligent, positive, imaginative, creative, dedicated, caring and thoroughly honest. That leaves a massive hole in many lives but he will be remembered with tremendous fondness and I am smiling as I write this.


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