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Better for Business October 2020

October 2020 Issue 2

Exclusively for rail industry leaders

The inside track… Pete Waterman His determination to raise the RBF profile Rajinder Pryor Helping others in the railways find their voice Andrew Stephenson HS2 will provide a vital economic stimulus John Smith The challenges facing the rail freight industry

Chris Burchell Arriva’s UK Trains MD on the need to move quickly to a new model for the railways


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Thank you for your fantastic feedback T

he response to issue one of RailDirector has been incredible. Thank you to everyone who has written, emailed, called and messaged me. I am very grateful for your kind comments. I am also incredibly appreciative for our advertising partners’ support. Thank you. My concern, having received such plaudits about the first edition, was the risk of ‘second album syndrome’ – could we emulate the first one and/or go one step further and make the next version even better? I hope you agree with me that issue two ‘hits all of the right notes’ and our excellent team have created something very special once again. Our aim is to get better with every edition. Recent news has been dominated with what is set to be the biggest change on Britain’s railways in the last 25 years – the government’s announcement that it now plans to keep running passenger services until the end of the franchise system. Our cover story in this edition of RailDirector is by Chris Burchell, outgoing Managing Director of Arriva UK Trains, who talks about the need to look further into the future for a better solution. Thanks to Chris and all other content contributors for sharing your thoughts – it is important to know and understand the views and opinions of important influencers and decision-makers. Our aim is to cover as much as we can from different parts of the industry, including as many aspects from track to train as possible, as well as giving supply chain partners a platform to promote who they are and what they do. We want to be recognised as a force for good in the rail industry as well as being better for business – creating a strong and vibrant community that connects people and organisations. We will always be an advocate for positive change in the industry, supporting innovation and new technology. Please use RailDirector to tell your story. If you need something that’s more frequent, please use our daily online title: We reach 50,000 rail industry subscribers each day. With 9,000 organic LinkedIn followers, our engagement rates continue to be some of the best in the rail industry media. At the time of writing, the impact of COVID-19 doesn’t show any signs of slowing down so please keep safe and well. I look forward to hearing your views on issue two. Enjoy! Best wishes

Da vid

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

We will always be an advocate for positive change in the industry, supporting innovation and new technology When 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: 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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October 2020 | 3


End of the line for rail franchising 5

Build Back Better – with HS2

Chris Burchell on the biggest shake-up of the industry for 25 years.

HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson writes about the importance of the project.

Stand a little taller


The railway helped Rajinder Pryor find her voice – now she’s using it to inspire others.



Including £216.2m East Coast power supply contract and coasting to keep trains moving.

Movin’ On


Pete Waterman OBE’s lifelong love affair with trains and his role at the Railway Benefit Fund.

Not the end of the line


Encouraging innovation across the rail industry

A helping hand

The next generation

Creating a greener and cleaner HS2

Martin Frobisher discusses Network Rail’s 30-year vision to drive green standards.

Team building


Danny Vaughan details his approach to improving infrastructure in Manchester.

Transforming the future


Welsh Transport Minister discusses the plans for the Global Centre for Rail Excellence.

A life in rail


Sally Shellum on the great sense of pride in making a positive difference to the railways.

The next generation


Alison May on the new initiative in south London aiming to reduce the skills gap.

Hydrogen train is a game changer for rail UK embraces hydrogen-fuelled future as transport hub and train announced.

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Editor Dean Bruce

Liam Johnston and the team at Railway Mission have become an increasingly used asset for UK railway workers.

John Smith explains the challenges facing the UK freight industry and why he’s not ready for retirement yet.

A look at the latest technology being used on HS2 to cut carbon emissions.


Michael Davies on the Transport for Wales innovation and accelerator programme.

The 12 new recruits getting on track for Siemens Mobility’s pioneering rail facility.



Looking ahead

Running out of steam

Writers Danny Longhorn Dave Windass


Designer/Production Editor Chris Cassidy Print Manager Dan Clark


Distribution Manager Luca Goaten Advertising Team Christian Wiles Freddie Neal


Steve Oates talks about the coal mine refusal saying it is a ‘hammer blow’ to heritage rail.

Railway station projects

Published by RBD Publications Ltd., Suite 37, Philpot House, Station Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 7HH.


New station for Thanet, final piece of the jigsaw for Camp Hill line and Wrexham-Bidston upgrades.

The final countdown

Printed by Stephens & George © 2020 All rights reserved. Reproduction of the contents of this magazine in any manner whatsoever is prohibited without prior consent from the publisher.


Governance of the Crossrail programme transfers to Transport for London.

International news

For subscription enquiries and to make sure you get your copy of Rail Director please ring 0800 046 7320 or email


Including Bombardier’s new train design and news from Knorr-Bremse and Rail Vision.


Women in Rail Awards


Those working hard to promote gender balance, equality and diversity are recognised.

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Tr a i n f r a n c h i s i n g

End of the line for rail franchising system Arriva UK Trains MD Chris Burchell says the real work now begins to find the optimal future


he rail franchising system is coming to an end, after the government announced the biggest shake-up of the industry for 25 years. It was confirmed last month that emergency measures introduced to keep trains running after the outbreak of COVID-19 had been partially extended for up to 18 months, with the new agreements designed to bring the system to an end. Making the announcement the Transport Secretary says they are the first step in creating a new kind of railway. One which is customer-focused, easy to use, good value and where the trains run on time. It is a move welcomed by Chris Burchell, outgoing Managing Director of Arriva UK Trains, but one he stresses has to be a stepping stone to a new way of running the railway. “The one thing that is very clear is that a post-pandemic UK railway can’t go back to that which preceded COVID-19,” he said. “Demand patterns, passenger volumes and expectations have all changed and we expect this to continue for the long-term. “We know that the old model of operating can’t serve the needs of our customers so we must take stock and quickly to understand how to provide a service for the new world we live in. “We would urge that changes needs to come in the form of fares reform, ticketing reform and greater efficiency of our railways – these are all necessary requirements for post-pandemic success.”

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October 2020 | 5

Tr a i n f r a n c h i s i n g

Operators are now working under far more demanding management agreements, with tougher performance targets, and lower management fees. Management fees will now be a maximum of 1.5 per cent of the cost base of the franchise before the pandemic began. “The franchise worked for many years, but we were talking about the need for reform well in advance of the pandemic and COVID-19 has simply brought this even more starkly to the fore,” said Chris, who has been MD at Arriva UK Trains for the last six years. “The franchise contract was based on operators taking on both costs and revenue risk. This meant that train operators would forecast their revenue and their financials dependent on being able to hit both the cost and revenue targets. “COVID-19 caused a sudden and rapid decline in passenger numbers by 95 per cent – something that no-one could have predicted within their original business planning. “The circumstances this pandemic has created made franchise financials undeliverable. COVID-19 has created the context for the ERMA’s (Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement) and accelerated the

need for reform to meet the new, emerging travel patterns of the public and address the problems that have arisen in the old system.” The Department for Transport (DfT) has taken on franchise holders’ revenue and cost risks since March, at a cost of several billion pounds. Key reforms Grant Shapps says the new contracts allow the Department for Transport to make an early start on key reforms, including requiring operators to co-ordinate better with each other and driving down the railways’ excessive capital costs.

The circumstances this pandemic has created made franchise financials undeliverable It links to Keith Williams’ root-and-branch review of the railway. The new measures have his full support, and will pave the way for a White Paper on the wider future of the railway

during the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements period. “Because we have experienced such a dramatic system-wide and ongoing decline in revenue, it was inevitable that Government would need to step in to stabilise the railways,” said Chris. “While we are grateful for this support, we recognise that it is a stop-gap and the bigger question remains about how we can move quickly to a new model for the railways. “It needs to be one which provides value for money for customers and taxpayers, ensures continuity of service and brings a dynamic partnership structure between public and private sector so the industry can thrive, innovate and progress into the future.” Exit from Arriva Chris spoke to RailDirector ahead of his move away from the railways as the new Managing Director for SSE’s electricity distribution business, SSEN Distribution, a role he starts in November. He began his career at Railtrack in 1996 and following a period as an official in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, joined the Go-Ahead Group, where he was Director

COVID-19 caused a sudden and rapid decline in passenger numbers by 95 per cent – something that no-one could have predicted within their original business planning

6 | October 2020

Photo: Jacques Segrott /

Tr a i n f r a n c h i s i n g

of Operations, Thames Trains and Managing know from research conducted by Transport Director for the Southern Rail franchise. Focus that customers are unlikely to go back to Whilst at Arriva he was also appointed chair their old commuting habits. of the industry body, the Rail Delivery Group, “Two in three former commuters say they pushing for rail reform to ensure the railways expect to work from home more from now on, work better for everyone. so we must ensure our system and products are He said:Vivarail “I think reform plays a critical role agile and can adapt 13:15 to their changing needs. for Print Half Page 240920.pdf 1 24/09/2020 in attracting back rail passengers. We already “Trying to sell old products against a new set

of requirements is not going to work and could stifle potential recovery and create frustration amongst passengers. “It will be an environmental and economic tragedy if people go back to using their cars in and around our cities – public transport must be the backbone of economic and environmental recovery from COVID-19.”









October 2020 | 7


Stand a little taller The railway helped Rajinder find her voice – now she’s using it to inspire others


Moment of inspiration In 2015, a workshop by Women in Rail’s mentoring programme gave Rajinder the courage and confidence she needed to move forward with her life. On International Women’s Day 2017, she spoke publicly for the first time about her difficult journey. “I told my story to a crowd at this Women in Rail event because I wanted to show how support from those around you can change your life,” she said. “I still feel indebted to the many people who have mentored me at Network Rail and across the industry. “The trauma never really goes away, but the intense experiences have shaped me – I’ve tried to turn things into positives. “An important part of this is how I’ve managed my mental health and built up my resilience levels. It hasn’t been easy and it’s something I work at constantly. The focus on mental health in the rail industry helped me to open up, but there is still so much to do. 8 | October 2020

Photo: Phil Adams beetroot for Network Rail

t took Rajinder Pryor over 30 years to find the courage to tell her story. A true survivor, she has overcome honour-based abuse and domestic abuse at the hands of those she loved. Rajinder, who works for Network Rail as a customer relationship executive, was first abused by her own family and later at the hands of her partner. The trauma left her lacking confidence and feeling low. But, driven on by her late aunt’s wish for her to study hard, get a good job and shine, Rajinder has come out on top. She tells RailDirector about the experiences that shaped the woman she is today, her 15-year career in rail and why she wants more women and BAME colleagues to pursue a career in the industry. “I grew up with a father who didn’t want me because I was a girl, in an environment where I could only speak when spoken to,” she said. “This, and later an abusive relationship with my now ex-partner, had a profound impact on me. “Just six years ago, I was quiet and lacking confidence. At work, I was reluctant to share my ideas. I felt trapped and couldn’t progress.”


“Talking about difficult experiences can leave you feeling very vulnerable. You’re also opening yourself up to judgement. What matters to me is that by doing this, my strength inspires others.” Her bravery in speaking out was recognised in 2018, when she was named Inspirational Woman at the inaugural Women in Rail Awards. Throughout the pandemic, reports of increased domestic abuse in Britain have brought back painful memories for Rajinder. She is now on the Board of Women in Rail, which is among the supporters of the Rail to refuge scheme, launched by Women’s Aid in March this year. It has helped hundreds of survivors of abuse reach safety by providing free rail travel to refuges across the country. For more information on the scheme and how it works, please visit the Rail to refuge FAQs on the Women’s Aid website. Reaching out Rajinder champions diversity and inclusion and takes an active role in Network Rail’s employee networks. Inspire promotes gender equality in the organisation and Cultural

It is very strange when people describe me as an inspiration. I’m just me. But I guess that is what people appreciate – my authenticity Fusion works to raise awareness of diverse cultures and issues that can affect employees from BAME backgrounds. A mother to two daughters, she is also part of a team of STEM Ambassadors working to inspire girls to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and maths. “There’s a world of opportunity in the rail industry, and that’s the message we need to spread – particularly to women and the BAME community, who are hugely underrepresented,” she said. “There’s plenty of work going on to drive this, but we need role models to speak up. We need action. “Network Rail and Women in Rail have given me a safe platform to talk about the issues I’ve

faced and have helped me reflect on the kind of leader I want to be. My strength is to inspire others, and I know it has made a difference. “My story is all about self-empowerment. I took control to change the course of my own life. There are lessons for us all to draw from. “It is very strange when people describe me as an inspiration. I’m just me. But I guess that is what people appreciate – my authenticity. “I’ve still got barriers to break and things to achieve. I was raised in a Sikh family and in Sikhism one of the principles is ‘sewa’ which is undertaking selfless service for others. “What better way to serve others than by putting my all into an industry that connects communities and by telling my story so people know they’re not alone?”


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GTR and Porterbrook announce £55m rail fleet modernisation programme ovia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Porterbrook, the owner of trains leased by the operator, have announced a five-year, £55 million programme to modernise the Southern, Gatwick Express and Great Northern ‘Electrostar’ fleets, delivering 270 trains in all. Enhancements range from real-time passenger information screens and USB/power points to high-tech on-board operation systems. The trains include 214 ‘Class 377s’ that provide suburban and commuter services on the Southern network between London, Surrey, Sussex and the south coast, and 56 ‘Class 387s’ working on Great Northern or

Photo: GTR


Gatwick Express routes. While parts of the fleet, including the Gatwick Express Class 387s, are just five years old, most have been in service

for between 15 and 20 years. This upgrade will bring all 270 trains up to the same level of passenger facilities and the latest “smart” on-board diagnostic systems. GTR’s engineers will install features such as USB/power sockets and on-board real-time information through media screens. The trains will also be fitted with new energy-saving LED lighting to make them more environmentally friendly. To improve reliability, the trains will be fitted with an upgraded On-Train Data Recorder that will help predict and diagnose faults and streamline maintenance.

The East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade is to power forward into its second phase to enhance the East Coast network, bolstered by a £216.2m contract award for the Rail Electrification Alliance. The Rail Electrification Alliance, comprised of VolkerRail, J Murphy & Sons, Jacobs, Systra, Siemens Mobility and Network Rail, is to continue its plans to upgrade the power capabilities of the East Coast Main Line between Doncaster to Edinburgh, as part of its ambitious plans to optimise one of the UK’s most popular passenger lines and reduce inefficiencies across the network. The East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade Project, which has been five years in the making, is part the wider £1.2billion East Coast Upgrade programme. Once complete, the upgrade will deliver improved reliability and punctuality for passengers, and will ensure the

route has the electrical power capacity to deal with future passenger volumes. Whilst the power infrastructure at the southern section of the route was upgraded in the last few years, similar work is now needed at the northern section, which this project will provide. This enhancement will be funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) in conjunction with and in support of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) and will help deliver future timetable changes. The Rail Electrification Alliance Board commented: “The Power Supply Upgrade of the East Coast Main Line is a significant piece of work. We have been working together as an Alliance for the past five years and the team delivering the project have gone from strength to strength, continuing not only physical works during COVID-19 but also delivering a contract

Photo: Network Rail

£216.2m contract to increase East Coast power supply

proposal which will secure the project for the next four years and deliver the power upgrades needed for the full route from London to Edinburgh.”

Rail industry leaders support new Rail Aid fundraiser Senior leaders from across the rail industry have committed to supporting Rail Aid 2020 by becoming ambassadors of the fundraising initiative in aid of Railway Children. Rail Aid is marshalling the entire rail industry from frontline staff to senior executives to fundraise in support of the vital life-saving work done by charity Railway Children. The 10 | October 2020

event will culminate in a live online broadcast at the end of November showcasing the very best efforts and fundraising achievements. Among those to sign up include Andy Byford, Commissioner, TfL; Lisa Coleman, Chief Executive Officer, Worldline UK&I, Susan Cooklin, Route Services Director, Network Rail; and Dyan Crowther, Chief Executive Officer, HS1.

Rail Aid ambassador, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, said: “I’m delighted to support Rail Aid and Railway Children. The charity’s vital work saves the lives of young people both in the UK and overseas. The COVID pandemic has hit the vulnerable hardest and it has never been more important to ensure people can get the help they need when they need it.”.

I n sFue raat nu cr e

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

Professional Indemnity – what’s gone wrong P

rofessional Indemnity (PI) insurance is bought for three main reasons – either a contract or legislation demands it or the business feels they need it because of what they do. Any railway business ought to consider PI where it is paid to provide advice, designs, carry out surveys, issue inspection certificates or provide input into drawings. The insurers that sell PI tend to cover mainly general construction companies like builders, cladders, electricians, architects, surveyors, structural engineers and the like. Over the last decade the number of PI insurers grew, attracted by profits, and the price of PI reduced over time. Many insurers had been using pricing software and internet systems to provide quotations to brokers with very little human intervention. Grenfell led to many housing entities bringing actions against contractors and designers about costs to replace cladding on tower blocks blaming them for bad advice and design. We have since seen an increase in cases brought to court as financial pressure on large contractors on thin margins has led to more claims upon their supply chain.

The extra claims in recent years led some insurers to stop writing PI. Human intervention in the PI quote process returned and insurers became more selective and started charging a lot more as their costs were going up. Many mainstream PI insurers decided that railway companies presented a lot more risk and they started reducing cover and increasing premiums far more so than previously. Some insurers now give “rectification costs only” to rectify bad designs and not to provide cover for customer consequential losses that the railway company may be liable for in contract leaving them badly exposed.

Many insurers have reduced cover from “any one claim” to “aggregated”, which may put policy holders in breach of contract. It is critical to disclose ANY matter immediately that you are aware of that might lead to a claim. If you fail to notify by the renewal date then you forfeit the right to claim. Beware the fine print in commercial contracts which commonly demand that PI cover is bought for up to 12 years after the completion of the contract. The PI market has hardened in the last year meaning that premiums are going up quickly and insurers are reducing cover. Rail-friendly PI insurers and lower prices do exist – the onus is on the broker to thoroughly understand the contractual liabilities to ensure that the PI premium is fair and not punitive. John McNeill, NEBOSH Dip Cii Client Director at Jobson James Rail 07867 459054

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F eeawtsu r e N

12 | October 2020


ail Minister Chris HeatonHarris has officially opened the first section of the new Dawlish sea wall, which will help protect the vital stretch of railway connecting Devon and Cornwall with the rest of the country from rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions. The structure forms part of an £80m project in Dawlish to protect the vital rail artery for the next 100 years. The Rail Minister took part in a socially distanced opening ceremony, beginning with a tour along the new 360m-long promenade which runs for the entire stretch of the new wall. The new sea wall is 2.5m higher than the previous one and includes a new curved top to deflect the waves back towards the sea. The tour included a look towards the next section of

Photo: Network Rail

Avanti West Coast has operated its Pendolino fleet without power under damaged overhead wires for the first time in order to run its planned timetable. This method of operation utilised a technique known as coasting, following the discovery of a defect with the Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) near North Wembley – saving thousands of delay minutes and minimising disruption on the West Coast Main Line. Generally electric trains are unable to pass through these affected areas, as they could significantly damage the OLE, causing extensive disruption. But the inter-city operator worked with Network Rail to arrange for its electric Pendolino trains to coast underneath the damaged section to keep them moving without using power from the overhead wires, until repairs were carried out. To coast, the pantograph (the apparatus which collects power from the overhead wires) on top of the train was lowered by drivers, so that it was no longer in contact with the wires. This allowed trains to move using their own momentum, for just over three miles without traction power at a speed of 80mph. Once the train passed the affected area (Harrow & Wealdstone to Wembley Central), drivers simply raised the pantograph to restore power to the train, continuing their journey with speeds of up to 125mph. This temporary solution, which was in place for five days, enabled Avanti West Coast to operate a full timetable until Network Rail, which is responsible for the overhead wires, could arrange a permanent fix. Gus Dunster, Executive Director of Operations at Avanti West Coast, said: “This is the first time we have used coasting to operate a full timetable and is a great example of our collaborative efforts to put customers at the heart of everything we do. “By utilising our ability to coast we were able to keep our trains moving through the affected area, minimising the impact to customer’s journey and preventing further damage to the overhead wires.”

Official opening of the first section of Dawlish sea wall

the project – a 415m stretch between Coastguards and Colonnade breakwaters – which received planning approval from Teignbridge District Council in August, before the ceremony concluded with the unveiling of a plaque to mark the official opening of the first section. Rail Minister Chris HeatonHarris MP said: “Our investment in this new sea wall will provide a resilient railway for generations to come, delivering for the

thousands of passengers that rely upon this vital link every day, and the residents whose homes and businesses must be protected. “This rigorous set of defences forms part of our ambitious plans to deliver reliable, punctual journeys across Devon and Cornwall, improving connections between communities to help the South West build back better, boosting the local economy and tourism.”

Network Rail announces investment in busy Wessex route this Christmas A busy railway junction in London will be rebuilt this Christmas as part of an investment programme to improve punctuality on trains into Waterloo. It means there will be a reduced train service on the South Western Railway route as engineers from Network Rail install new equipment at Nine Elms junction near Vauxhall over ten days. Between Christmas Day and 3 January 2021, engineers will make journeys more reliable for passengers by replacing the points – which are moveable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another – at the critical junction between Clapham Junction and London Waterloo (Britain’s busiest railway station). Platforms 12 to 20 at Waterloo will be closed for the work and there will be alterations to train departures. Vauxhall and Queenstown Road stations will be closed for the duration and there are likely to

Photo: Network Rail

Avanti West Coast uses coasting to keep trains moving

be queuing systems in place at Waterloo and Clapham Junction stations to manage passenger journeys safely. Passengers travelling on the Windsor line towards central London will need to change at Clapham Junction for onward services. As there will be a significantly reduced service, passengers are being asked to plan their journeys if they’re travelling over the festive period and to use alternatives where they are available.

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Movin’ On Pete Waterman OBE’s passion for and dedication to rail is no secret – the President of the Railway Benefit Fund has enjoyed an almost lifelong love affair with trains


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hen Pete left school in 1962, long before he sold 500 million records worldwide and enjoyed 22 number one hits with Kylie Minogue, Bananarama, Donna Summer and others, he worked for British Rail (BR), becoming a steam locomotive fireman at the Stafford Road depot in Wolverhampton. Despite Pete’s musical prowess, rail never left him and, when he was in a position to do so, he amassed his own collection of locomotives. He also revived the LNWR name, establishing a rail vehicle maintenance business, purchasing the Special Trains Unit from BR and operating LNWR Heritage, restoring and renovating trains and carriages. He is also an avid fan of model railways and sold the bulk of his personal collection to fund the training of rail apprentices via his Railway Exchange Training Academy. As such, he is the perfect man to preside over the Railway Benefit Fund (RBF): larger than life, high profile and dedicated to supporting the rail workforce with a hands-on approach. Living Legend Pete, born in Stoke Heath, Coventry, said: “I was born next to a railway line at the end of the war and in one of the worst snowstorms ever. When I was two I would listen to the engines coming out of Coventry, when people were desperate for coal. That was the sound of my youth and that’s when I realised the importance of rail to the country. I’m not just a trainspotter. I’m a golden anorak.” RBF, based in Crewe, is the only UK charity solely dedicated to supporting current, former and retired railway people and their financial dependents in times of need. When Pete was in discussions regarding the role, which would see him succeed the late Sir William McAlpine, he made it clear that he would not just be a figurehead.

Pete said: “I wanted to be of practical use and said that I wanted to be actively involved. I had a business with Bill and in some ways I was an obvious successor. It would be no use to anyone if they just used my name, so that’s what we agreed.

RBF is a completely independent charity not allied to any company, and that independence gives people some security if they need to turn to us for support “I’ve enjoyed being President so far and the profile of the RBF and the work it does has increased. I’m a big fan of the RBF, I have been for 25 years. There are other schemes that exist but the history of the RBF is just incredible – some of

its patrons in the past include Charles Dickens. It’s just amazing to be a part of this important work and to open it out to all staff in the industry so they know what the RBF is all about. “The rail industry does look after its people really well but not all staff are on big wages. RBF is a completely independent charity not allied to any company, and that independence gives people some security if they need to turn to us for support. “They’re not going to their employer telling them that they need help, which is really important for people. And since March obviously the RBF phone lines have been busier than ever before.” One of the many ideas that have materialised since Pete became President is the well-received ‘Meet Pete’ sessions, which gives the RBF the opportunity to talk to new recruits and staff in training and explain more about how the RBF helps the industry and supports people throughout their railway career.


October 2020 | 15


Pete added: “For me it’s like giving a donkey strawberries. I get to go all over the network, meet staff and our Ambassadors, and talk to people about how important the RBF is. I even get to go into signal boxes, it’s just great fun.” Great fun it might be but there’s a serious message that Pete imparts throughout. For rail industry staff, affected by the decrease in passenger numbers on rail since COVID-19, the RBF, says Pete, also has a role to play in restoring confidence in the network and getting everyone back to business. Respectable Pete is determined that the profile of RBF is increased in the months and years to come in order that everyone in the industry can understand the support needs, bespoke care and advice the charity offers. RBF offers financial assistance, practical help and wide-ranging advice in the strictest of confidence to both current and former railway employees. Pete, currently restoring his Great Western Railway Prairie when not engaged in RBF activity, was also active in his support for the future of rail with HS2.

16 | October 2020

He said: “I received criticism for being proHS2 but I was used to that level of criticism from my work in the music industry, so it was all water off a duck’s back to me. Now we’re seeing the work starting after all those years. “Rail has provided me with the most amazing times of my life. When I joined the railway I couldn’t read or write so, in terms of training the

next generation, I always draw on the knowledge that you can teach everyone anything. “We need a mix of people entering the industry and we still need people that know how to put three pounds on a spanner. This is an industry based on teamwork. If you build great teams around you, they work and then everyone is happy.”

If you would like to arrange a #MeetPete visit


A d v eFretaotrui rael

Returning to a High-Performing Railway


he UK passenger railway has been running well during the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the ORR Passenger Rail Performance statistics, a reduction in train services and passengers on the network led to a 96.2% improvement in punctuality and 86.4% in reliability. However, as passengers start to return to work, demand for train services is starting to increase. As we return to a state of ‘new normal’ and more trains than ever will be operating on our railways, carrying more passengers, there will inevitably be challenges for the UK rail industry. The introduction of longer, higher-capacity trains also poses issues for infrastructure performance around planning cycles and potentially longer dwell times at stations. The infrastructure in stations hasn’t been amended to cope with these trains as many have shorter platforms and there are overnight stabling issues. As an industry, organisations struggle with defined strategies to deal with all these challenges. Now is a great opportunity for the industry to stop and reconsider how it moves forward. The solution is not about running more trains, but more about improving the current rail services. Trusted and reliable Passengers are happy when a train is reliable, isn’t cancelled and runs to time. There is a need for rail operators to optimise the timetable and focus strongly on strategies to improve customer service. Everyone working in the railway has a similar drive to reduce incidents and improve safety. There is potential to reduce incidents through a better understanding and management of infrastructure and asset performance.

Passenger and freight users are working in a changing contractual landscape where the emphasis will be on working collaboratively and putting passengers first to create a better performing railway

Protecting and improving the reputation of the national bodies and rail organisations is critical for a high-performing railway. Strategies are required to ensure they protect AND improve their reputation as we move forward. As well as these three key benefits, there are also financial benefits to be had from a high performing railway. Head of Rail Performance at AssessTech, David Hewer said, “In anticipation of the Keith Williams review and the impact of lockdown, the focus should move away from financial implications and more onto safety, reputation and performance. Passenger and freight users are working in a changing contractual landscape where the emphasis will be on working collaboratively and putting passengers first to create a better performing railway. AssessTech are in a great position to help.” AssessTech’s Rail Performance Improvement Service AssessTech are the UK’s leading provider of competence management services, training and consultancy focused on delivering a safer Advertorial

railway for the UK, working with 85% of the UK’s rail network. To deal with the challenges around rail performance, AssessTech has recently launched a new Rail Performance Improvement service. Delivered by expert consultants, this service will help operators analyse and identify rail performance issues and develop bespoke improvement strategies. Specialist rail performance training will help management and staff upskill in the areas required to deliver the improvements around performance, safety and reputation. This service aims to help operators create robust, industry-aligned strategies to reduce risk, maintain business reputation and meet their contractual requirements. AssessTech are offering a free initial consultation with all TOCs and FOCs to discuss their current challenges and explore potential solutions. To access this, email

October 2020 | 17


F edavteurrteo r i a l A

Structural repairs specialists launching services to UK rail industry


pecialist structural and concrete repair contractor Composites Construction UK (CCUK) is bringing its services to the UK’s railways, as it seeks to protect and strengthen the assets that are essential to keeping Britain’s rail services operational. Operating throughout the UK and Europe, CCUK specialises in structural strengthening and repairs to concrete, timber and masonry structure, also providing concrete repairs, crack injection techniques and other ‘out of the box’ services.

18 | October 2020

Established in 2010, CCUK operates nationally from its headquarters in Hull, Manchester, Edinburgh and London. The firm boasts a reputation in the industry for high quality service and innovative engineering solutions underpinned by a commitment to safety and sustainability. Strengthening and repairing the UK’s rail assets It is widely acknowledged that rail infrastructure engineers and local authorities


face a constant challenge in maintaining and upgrading their assets to meet modern day use. CCUK specialises in extending the lifecycle and increasing capacity of assets such as bridges and abutments, supporting their use by passenger and freight rail for an ever-increasing number of journeys. Darren Woodcock, Managing Director of CCUK, explains the challenges of strengthening and repairing these structures and how the company approaches its projects: “Targeted actions are needed to repair, rehabilitate and strengthen railway infrastructure. “At the same time, all necessary rehabilitation and strengthening construction work needs to be completed while maintaining the operational status of the facilities. “Using Advanced Composite Strengthening Systems like carbon and glass fibre can cover a wide range of issues related to the strengthening and integrity of transportation structures. “Structural repair and rehabilitation, structural upgrade, protection against environmental factors, corrosion and emergenc y repairs are some of the common problems now easily tackled with the use of such advanced materials and techniques.”

A d v eFretaotrui rael

CCUK offers a range of rail infrastructure solutions including:  ehabilitation of corroded or distressed R members to restore lost capacity S tructural upgrades to improve loadcarrying mechanisms. Additional shear and flexural capacity can be added to beams, columns, slabs, and walls of any transportation construction (bridge, tunnel, etc.) P reservation of historic structures, such as arch bridges, with a variety of materials that can be used to repair and strengthen while preserving their appearance Emergency repairs  esign and/or construction error D remediation Innovative building strengthening – Advanced Composite Strengthening Systems All buildings, whether private or public will require repair or strengthening work at some point during their life cycle. This can be caused by various factors, such as structural deterioration due to corrosion, change of use, an increase of loading demands, compliance with new design codes, design or construction errors and emergency repairs. CCUK’s Tyfo Fibrwrap Systems are the only carbon fibre solution that meets the International Building Code® (IBC®) requirements. In the last 20 years, Tyfo Fibrwrap Systems technology has proven to be a formidable solution to a variety of structural demands posed by structural engineers, designers and asset owners. It has the added benefits of being both cost and time effective. The system’s state-of-the-art material technology combined with purposely developed application methods, provide efficient structural repairs, rehabilitation or upgrades. Examples of CCUK’s building strengthening solutions include:  olumn, beam, slab and wall to increase C shear strength, flexural strength, ductility and improve confinement Structural upgrades to improve the load-bearing capacity of a building. Additional shear and flexural capacity can be added to beams, columns, slabs and walls

 hange of use in buildings which results in C increased demands for strengthening  ehabilitation of corroded or distressed R members in order to restore lost capacity.  estoration to the design strength level R of buildings where construction errors have resulted in structural deficiencies (missing or misplaced rebars, low concrete strength, or inadequate concrete cover)  lightweight, low-profile rehabilitation A system which is installed very fast and results in minimum disruption

Targeted actions are needed to repair, rehabilitate and strengthen railway infrastructure

CCUK’s Concrete Repairs division also offers specialist services tackling difficult repairs with innovative solutions including: Sprayed concrete services Waterproof barrier systems Hydrophobic & hydrophilic leak sealing Crack injection systems Specialist surface preparations Advertorial

Gathering momentum As Network Rail continues to announce renewals and enhancements projects across various routes on the UK’s railways, CCUK is making preparations to launch its services to the industry. Discussions are already underway for the firm to provide protection and repairs to several assets in the North-West and Darren says the scope of further opportunity for CCUK is huge: “Works to renew ageing infrastructure on the railways have become vital to improve reliability for passengers and we believe our expertise can have huge benefits for the rail industry. “At CCUK we fulfil the toughest requirements for structural preservation, corrosion related repair and rehabilitation and environmental protection. All rehabilitation construction is also carried out with minimum disturbance to traffic and normal everyday operations.” Darren adds: “With the huge range of buildings, bridges, viaducts, stations and other major structures on the UK rail network requiring protection and strengthening, there is a massive opportunity for us in the industry. “Our insurance backed design and build service is backed by the knowledge and capability to facilitate a full technical specification for the procurement and implementation of any composite strengthening system. “This full-scale package offers clients the peace of mind that their services will be delivered by highly qualified and experienced engineers.”  October 2020 | 19


Not the end of the line John Smith, Managing Director and founder of GB Railfreight, explains the challenges facing the UK freight industry and why he’s not ready for retirement yet

We need the right infrastructure in order to ensure that rail freight can play a major part in growing the economy


ith 44 years in rail under his belt, John Smith, Managing Director and founder of GB Railfreight (GBRf), could be forgiven for having his eyes fixed on retirement. However, even with a Lifetime Achievement Award presented to John at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Technology Annual Awards for Excellence signalling five decades of a job well done, he’s still not ready – yet – for his career to be brought to a halt. With John at the helm since 1999, GBRf have enjoyed continued expansion in the intermodal market. The business is the third largest rail freight operator in the UK, with over 900 employees and a turnover in excess of £200 million a year. GBRf operates over 1,000 trainloads a week, moving approximately 23 per cent of the UK’s rail cargo. The purchase in 2019 of GBRf by new owners Infracapital, the infrastructure equity arm of M&G Prudential, was followed swiftly in July 2020 by the announcement that GBRf’s new intermodal service from the Port of Southampton to East Midlands Gateway, Derby has commenced. 20 | October 2020

This is GBRf’s fourth daily service from one of the UK’s leading deep-sea container ports, running five days a week and represents GBRf’s 20th intermodal service to date.

People talk about the good old days of freight but we need to ensure that we’re thinking about our role right now and what it looks like in the future SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway (SLPEMG), a 700-acre development, is home to a 50-acre intermodal terminal, managed by Maritime Transport, that operates 24/7 and is able to accommodate up to 16 775m freight trains per day.

It also provides storage capacity for over 5,000 TEU – which is equal to approximately 45,000 pallets of cargo. ‘Door-to-door’ delivery GBRf is able to offer both loaded and empty storage and final-mile delivery, in order to provide a seamless ‘door-to-door’ opportunity with a combination of rail and road resources. This new service offers the market an additional rail destination and cost-effective transport solution. GBRf is also set to start operations at its new intermodal sidings at Peterborough. The investment provides GBRf with much needed track capacity – which will be doubled – in order to facilitate the business’s growing intermodal sector. All of which puts John, who clearly has unfinished business, in a positive frame of mind about GBRf’s direction of travel. He said: “Infracapital have stepped in to what we do and, given their background in terms of buying infrastructure and fixed assets, have taken a huge leap of faith investing in an operator.


“We need the right infrastructure in order to ensure that rail freight can play a major part in growing the economy going forwards and can also play its part in the decarbonisation agenda. “There is massive investment in huge inland terminals but we also need massive investment

in electrification. We also need priority on the rail network. “National Rail don’t always understand the logic of our services, how they rotate through 24 hours, and freight can be marginalised on the tracks. Each train is massively valuable and if you lose a path, you lose a cycle a day.

Photo: M Barratt /

They’ve certainly been reassured in recent months by the way we’ve worked through COVID-19, playing our part in keeping the nation’s lights on, ensuring that products get on shelves, and seen why we describe ourselves as the umbilical cord that connects ports to other industries, essential goods and people. “They are interested in a growth model, that’s their business, and our intent is that GBRf continues to grow by doing what we do, both organically and by seizing on the other opportunities that exist in the logistics supply chain.” Despite his long career, John wants the industry to look forward and for the importance of shifting freight by rail to be apparent to everyone. He said: “People talk about the good old days of freight but we need to ensure that we’re thinking about our role right now and what it looks like in the future. We play a vital role in the economy and that needs to be recognised. We need key investment in rail freight corridors.” Lobbying for that investment remains key, says John, as is a need for National Rail to prioritise and understand the importance of track access.

October 2020 | 21

Photo: Kev Gregory /


“We can carry anything on intermodal but we need to consider the custodianship of rail access, the logic of our lobbying efforts and to keep up the momentum we do have in order to make the case for continued investment. We all need to modernise our thinking.”

National Rail don’t always understand the logic of our services, how they rotate through 24 hours, and freight can be marginalised on the tracks “Sometimes that aspect of rail is lost on people. We can charter trains to the seaside, name trains after football clubs, people in the

office or their family members. We have a lot of fun at work and that’s very important because we’re at work for a big part of our lives.” Another of GBRf’s core principles is communication, and getting this right has been key to business growth, allowing staff to trust how GBRf is run and also invested in its ongoing success. Now, John is committed to at least another five years heading up GBRf for its new owners. He added: “I’ll be pushing for more growth and I’m still very driven by that. I want the GBRf success story to continue. The niche that we exist in really works, we make a return, we have spent millions on rolling stock, investing in our headquarters and staff. “Railfreight offers the opportunity for experienced railway people to get a much broader commercial understanding both of rail and the sectors that we deal with.”

Photo: M Barratt /

Looking back John’s 44 years in rail to date have been packed with fun. Entering the industry with British Rail in 1977, John cites some of the influential figures of the day – John Ellis and Ivor Warburton amongst them – as inspiring his attitude to rail. “I like trains and I was able to look up to and admire some of those iconic names in rail. One of the things we don’t emphasise in rail is how much fun it can be. Yes, we’re doing a safety critical job and we need to be professional in everything that we do but it’s a great laugh, too. “Doing what we do, doing deals day-in

and day-out, that’s exciting and makes me smile and enjoyment is one of GBRf’s five core principles.

22 | October 2020

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14/03/2018 17:52

HS2 News

Creating a greener and cleaner HS2 The latest technology being used on HS2 to cut carbon emissions


S2 will be a cleaner, greener way to travel, offering some of the lowest carbon emissions per passenger kilometre. The stations will be amongst the most sustainable in the world, with the four built between London and Crewe designed to utilise renewable technologies to minimise carbon. As part of the commitment to managing the carbon footprint, HS2 has set ambitious targets for the supply chain, with a 50 per cent carbon reduction target on construction baselines for Phase One civil assets (such as tunnels, viaducts and cuttings), stations and the railway system. A key part of the commitment is greener construction sites and the latest in technology to dramatically cut carbon. HS2’s Environment Director Peter Miller said: “HS2 is supporting the UK’s green economic recovery and ensuring the UK is on track to achieve its commitment to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050. “We aim to dramatically cut carbon on our construction sites, and constantly challenge our supply chain to introduce innovations by using the latest green technology.” Driving innovation HS2 has trialled solar and hydrogen powered welfare cabins across its work locations run by enabling and main works civils joint ventures CSjv (Costain, Skanska) and SCSjv (Skanska Costain STRABAG) including Camden, West Ruislip and Uxbridge. The EasyCabin EcoSmart ZERO product is the world’s first solar and hydrogen powered welfare unit, combining solar and hydrogen power to eliminate carbon emissions from construction sites, and is set to be rolled out further across the HS2 project. Data gathered from 16 Ecosmart ZERO cabins over a 21-week period on HS2 sites in Camden, Ruislip and Uxbridge showed that 112 tonnes of carbon were saved – the equivalent of what would be absorbed by over 3,367 trees over a whole year. In comparison, a standard diesel generator running would have used 40,000 litres of diesel fuel. HS2 has been pioneering the UK’s first electric forklift on one of its major construction sites in London. With zero pollution, the Eco Telehandler vehicle has been trialled on HS2’s site at West Ruislip by main works civils contractor Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint 24 | October 2020

Venture. It’s estimated that over the course of a week, it saved over 400 litres of fuel compared to a traditional combustion telehandler. Manufactured by Faresin and supplied by plant hire company Flannery, the environmentally friendly electric drive unit provides the same performance as an equivalent conventional model but without the noise and emissions of a combustion engine. A new carbon and cost estimating solution powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being trialled on a number of HS2 sites managed by the Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture.

We aim to dramatically cut carbon on our construction sites Using the AI tool, the building information modelling (BIM) processes are automated so that different design options can be simulated using different types and quantities of construction materials. This means carbon emissions and environmental impacts of construction can be visualised, measured and compared, resulting in the design of a more environmentally-friendly solution. BIM is a collaborative process coupled with the use of the latest technology trends in 3D Computer Aided Design and Engineering to develop digital representations of HS2’s railway assets such as bridges and stations.

The new solution is an innovation which will replace the current method of manually measuring 3D drawings, and will assist the design process in reducing carbon emissions throughout the life of a building. The results will deliver carbon and cost savings not just across HS2, but across the whole sector. Pioneering low carbon concrete HS2 contractors in London have begun using a new low carbon concrete product which provides a reduction of 42% in CO2 in comparison to a standard concrete. In addition, the remaining carbon emissions from using the concrete are offset to provide a CarbonNeutral® product, in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol. The product, used for the first time in London, has been supplied to HS2’s enabling works contractor, Costain Skanska joint venture, and Lydon Contracting Ltd by global building materials manufacturer CEMEX, from their plant based in Wembley. After engineering carbon reductions into the concrete mix design, CEMEX calculates the embodied carbon generated from extraction and processing of raw materials, product manufacturing and distribution. The residual carbon is then offset, making the concrete carbon neutral from manufacture to use. The first use of the Vertua Classic Zero concrete in the capital recently took place at a HS2 site in North West London, ready to prepare the ground for an electricity substation which will power the tunnel boring machines excavating HS2’s London tunnels.









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Team building

Photo: TfGM

Danny Vaughan, the Head of Metrolink for Greater Manchester, details his approach to improving infrastructure in Manchester


anny Vaughan, the Head of Metrolink which is owned by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), is an expert in Light Rail Engineering, Asset Management and Operations. He has worked on projects in Australia, Ireland and the UK in consulting, public sector and private sector organisations. Danny has spent most of his career introducing new light rail and tram infrastructure into passenger service and has spent the last seven years leading the Metrolink operation through a significant phase of expansion and transformation. Like all good leaders, the former rail engineer at the helm of the day-to-day running of Metrolink, which is operated and maintained under contract by the Keolis/Amey consortium, puts the success of the biggest light rail network in the UK down to those around him. 26 | October 2020

Career highlights Transport for Greater Manchester (2013-2020) Railway Procurement Agency (2006-2013) Alstrom Transport (2003-2006)

Danny said: “There are huge teams of people making Metrolink work, people who are far more skilled at the capital programme side of what we do, and those far more skilled at operations. They make my job simple – I just have to concentrate on co-ordinating everything.” Metrolink has enjoyed a £2bn decade-long expansion programme, which has seen new lines to East D i d s b u r y, A s hto n-u n d e r- Ly n e, Rochdale via Oldham and Manchester Airport. The April 2020 opening of the new £350m Trafford Park Line (TPL) is the final project of that expansion and the first to benefit from the region’s ‘Devolution Deal’, signed by Greater Manchester leaders and central government in November 2014 with a £20 million contribution from Trafford Council.

The new line has six new tram stops, offering sustainable transport links to some of Greater Manchester’s busiest visitor destinations including Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, Imperial War Museum North, EventCity and intu Trafford Centre. It also runs through Trafford Park, Europe’s largest trading estate and home to more than 1,300 businesses employing over 35,000 people. The impact of coronavirus Had COVID-19 not dealt a significant blow to public transport passenger numbers, the opening of TPL, which increases the number of stops on the light rail network to 99, would have resulted in Metrolink hitting the 50 million passengers per year mark in 2020.

Danny said: “Metrolink is a successful model and one that heavy rail is considering adopting in many places. We’re not unique in our public sector ownership and private sector operating model but together we definitely provide a fantastic bespoke solution for Manchester and Greater Manchester. “We’ve tripled the size of the network since 2010. We have three times more trams and, prior to COVID-19, we had more than doubled our patronage through the decade. The £2bn investment is the biggest investment of its kind in recent years outside of London. “We agonised over the decision to open TPL in March for obvious reasons but went ahead on the basis of its importance to key workers’ who would use that route. So there was not much fanfare on launch but for me it’s our best quality piece of infrastructure.” The opening of the new line also highlights the successful decade-long relationship between TfGM, contractor MPact Thales and delivery partner WSP. Danny added: “What we have proved is that if you make the right partnerships and have the right construction partner these projects just keep getting better and better.”

Photo: estherpoon /

Light Rail

There are huge teams of people making Metrolink work, people who are far more skilled at the capital programme side. They make my job simple The expansion project also threw up some interesting innovations thanks to the needs of another Manchester-based icon, Coronation Street. Programme makers were concerned about the impact of sound levels from Metrolink

on filming the soap opera, while sensitive manufacturing businesses located along the line also had to be considered, leading to innovation in terms of friction modifications and the use of lubricants to minimise noise and vibration levels.

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October 2020 | 27

Danny at the final Concrete Pour on Metrolink Trafford Park line, with Barry Flutter, Senior Project Manager for contractor M-PACT Thales

The opening of TPL represents a significant step towards ‘Our Network’ – Greater Manchester’s vision for an integrated public transport system that makes travelling around the city-region easy, accessible and affordable, something that Danny considers regularly. “We are constantly looking at future-proofing in terms of expansion and how it relates to cityto-city connection and moving people around Greater Manchester. We see the positive impact on house prices when houses are located in close proximity to public transport and there has been a lot of property development here riding on the significant investment made in transport. Manchester has a micro-economy going on, there’s a lot of growth and transport infrastructure that enables that. “Manchester is punching above its weight in terms of the level of investment in transport. Metrolink connects seven of the ten local authority boroughs of Greater Manchester and connects the major urban centres. People are able to get from anywhere to anywhere with relative convenience and there is a fantastic sense of pride in Metrolink across Manchester. We have our critics, who doesn’t in transport? But there’s always an equal number of people who spring to our defence and that’s rare.” 28 | October 2020

Constraints in the city centre might make life difficult for Danny in terms of bringing increasing numbers of trams through the heart of Manchester – currently 40 trams per hour in each direction run through St Peter’s Square – but further expansion plans populate an evergrowing ‘wish list’.

Normal life will soon resume. Good public transport is key to all that. We are seeing signs of life returning This list includes route options to connect with heavy rail, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and extending the Manchester Airport line into Terminal 2. Danny explained: “We have plans that we could implement in almost every leg of the Metrolink network, including tram/train schemes

Photo: TfGM

Light Rail

to join up the dots of Greater Manchester and upgrading existing lines. Extending the airport line into T2 is shovel-ready and we can get cracking if our long term application for funding with Department for Transport comes through. “As all of these lines converge on Manchester there is also the bigger transport problem regarding the capacity to get people on their onward journeys. The stops are just the start.” Danny remains cautiously optimistic regarding all of these plans in light of the impact of a global pandemic on the use of public transport. In recent months, Metrolink has benefited from a £44m emergency cash injection from central Government. Danny added: “Up to March this year things were looking incredibly buoyant regarding revenue and our capital expansion plans. COVID-19 has had an absolutely devastating impact on what we do and revenues dipped to five per cent of what they should have been. “We’re now back to 50 per cent but we need to get back to a break-even point. In the long-term COVID-19 will go away. Normal life will soon resume. Good public transport is key to all that. We are seeing signs of life returning.

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Guardian – A Complete Managed Compliance Service for the rail sector Why is a Complete Managed Compliance Service necessary? There are a number of reasons but certainly in our experience at Guardian Electrical Compliance Ltd (Guardian), since the advent of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, there has always been an ad-hoc approach to inspection and testing. A programme of testing is complete by one supplier, another supplier completes remedial works, but records are rarely consolidated by the client’s dutyholder. The dutyholder changes his job, the cycle starts again and the end result more often than not is a lack of record traceability, accountability, or even an awareness from management of the position they could find themselves in, should there be a breach of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EaWR 1989). Unfortunately, the situation is commonplace throughout all working environments, including in the rail sector, which simply shouldn’t be the case in today’s marketplace, given technological advancements combined with a collective knowledge of the legal requirements. A little more detail All clients have, I’m sure, several suppliers of fixed wire electrical inspection and testing services. The suppliers come to site, undertake the work, supply reports on time and everyone is happy. The client has discharged their dutyholder responsibilities under Regulation 3 of EaWR 1989, i.e. ‘matters which are within your control’. The client rarely bothers the supplier regarding the accuracy and content of the reports. From his perspective, the periodic inspection and testing box has been ticked. But too often, clients don’t receive records and when they do, they are full of limitations, lack of testing and non-identification of circuit designations. Unfortunately, this is an endemic problem within the electrical compliance industry, which ultimately leaves the dutyholder exposed should there be a breach of the EaWR 1989. A Complete Managed Compliance Service – how has it been achieved? Customer care and customer service are not phrases that are generally used in our sphere of business. However, Guardian saw this as an opportunity and began in earnest developing a customer-focused service in 2010. Over several years and with significant investment, Guardian developed TraQit, our standard medium of real-time interactive website reporting. This ensures dutyholders are in control of items such as reports and drawings at all times. Together with this industry-leading technology,

Guardian authors a dutyholder handbook and a suite of practical guidance notes, which, amongst other issues, illustrate how compliance with EaWR 1989 can be achieved in a 24/7 working environment. Over the years our service delivery has evolved: Testing specifications and technical documents have been written for many hospitals, universities and blue chip organisations, including in the rail sector We chair a number of client dutyholder committees We teach the industry – BS7671: 18th Edition, EaWR 1989 and dutyholder courses We provide a total cradle to grave solution Guardian Technology – TraQit & QR Codes During the testing programme, clients could be adding additional circuits or certifying corrective remedial actions, which give rise to additional certification. For example, if there have been 15 changes to a distribution board over a three-year testing programme, there will be 15 electrical installation condition reports stored in chronological order. We thereby deliver continuous evidence of monitoring and maintenance as required by EaWR 1989. A recent addition to work in tandem with TraQit, are Quick Response Codes (QR Codes). Each individual distribution unit subjected to inspection and testing or drawing will have a visible and accessible QR code affixed on the relevant unit. The TraQit app is available as a free download on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Once downloaded, you can simply scan over the QR Code with your device, input your assigned TraQit login details and the electrical installation condition report for the relevant distribution unit will open via your TraQit website. The result is a far more efficient and safer system of working. By Ian Carnall, Managing Director of Guardian

30 | October 2020


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Transforming the future Welsh Transport Minister on the Global Centre for Rail Excellence


he Global Centre for Rail Excellence (GCRE) is set to transform the UK railways for the next 50 years. The GCRE is a facility that is set to cement Britain’s position as a global leader in rail technology. The plans for a GCRE will see the creation of a world-class research, development and testing facility in South West Wales. “This project would have genuine UK-wide benefits and a facility of this quality, so close to home, would make it a much easier and faster process for the industry to innovate,” Welsh Transport Minister Ken Skates has told RailDirector. “There would be enormous cost savings and efficiencies delivered to the sector, not least in the way we deliver rail projects here in the UK. “We can expect better outcomes and experiences for passengers, reduced network disruption, greater Wales and UK export potential and a better return on R&D investment.” Pressing ahead The Welsh Government is leading forward the projects for sites of the Onllwyn washery and Nant Helen open cast mine. Two electrified oval tracks will allow for testing speeds of up to 110mph with the option for a tunnel section and a full platform environment for testing and training. “This would be a world class train testing facility,” said Ken. “The integrated design and functionality makes it unique to Europe so it will be an important strategic asset for Wales and the UK as we ‘re-set’ international relationships and collaborations after leaving the EU.

“To have these kinds of facilities here in Wales, here in the UK, would generate real benefits for our rail network. The academic and rail research sector has also expressed a profound interest in adding to the ‘core’ test facility proposition. “If all the project phases and ancillary opportunities are realised we can expect circa 200 permanent and high quality jobs to materialise on site over the next five years. But we also have an eye on the longer term.

“This is a facility that will serve the rail industry for the next half-century. Over time it is entirely reasonable to anticipate further and significant growth with additional job opportunities emerging both on site and by way of connected, ‘satellite’ developments elsewhere in Wales. “The UK rail industry is a big beast – comparable in size and scale to the telecoms industry. GCRE will bring some of the focus of that major sector closer to Wales.”

Proposals include: A 4.5km high tonnage rail infrastructure testing circuit (Unique to Europe)

An R&D innovation accelerator 32 | October 2020


A rolling stock testing circuit

A large, well equipped maintenance facility

Education centre with laboratories

Secure, warm, powered storage for around 400 vehicles

Office space and training facilities in a dynamic environment


An outline business case was submitted to the UK Government in July. More recently a Joint Venture Agreement with Neath Port Talbot and Powys local authorities has seen consent granted for the earthworks programme with a pre-application consultation into the infrastructure also launched recently. Ken said: “The key step now is around the business case. The Welsh Government has demonstrated its commitment. Some timely reciprocity at the UK Government level is now required for this ‘shovel ready’ project which is an important part of our COVID-19 recovery strategy here in Wales. We also want support from as many sources as possible. Amey and Serco were part of an independently chaired ‘Industry Evaluation Group’ that looked in detail at the project plans last Autumn and have fully endorsed both the site and the opportunity. They have since played an important role in detailed business case development bringing significant industry knowledge and experience to the table. It is important to remember that this project was developed because of a need identified by the rail industry. At every iterative stage the plans have been developed in collaboration with the industry and senior rail research stakeholders.

“Put simply, our role is that of enabler. So to this point this has been a Welsh Government project supported by industry. In due course it will become an industry led project supported by Government.” The Welsh Government has outlined a three-stage construction programme that will see phase one operational and in revenue by 2023, and the site fully complete by 2025.

Ken said: “There are of course a lot of hurdles to clear between then and now. The key thing at the moment is the UK Government approving the outline business case, formally endorsing the GCRE project and allowing the Welsh Government and its partners to proceed without delay. As I said right at the start of this exchange – the ‘shovel is ready’.

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October 2020 | 33


A life in rail Sally Shellum on her role helping to transform the railways


hen Sally Shellum started working in the rail industry she was told she’d probably either last a fortnight or be here forever. Starting in Railtrack during its final days, spending over a decade at Network Rail and currently Divisional Director at Mott MacDonald, it is fair to say it is the latter that has proved to be the case. “I think it is one of those industries that grabs you,” she said. “I’ve always counted myself incredibly lucky and incredibly honoured to have the opportunity to make a difference through the work I’ve done in the rail industry. “I’m really, really proud of some of the projects I’ve worked on. When you go over a junction that you’ve worked on, or you look at a station that is different because of something you’ve done, there is a great sense of pride in making a positive difference.” The rail industry was not an obvious career path for Sally. But a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and European Studies has stood her in good stead in her roles helping to transform the railways. “That’s the great thing about working in the railways,” she said. “It is such a diverse and inclusive industry that you don’t have to be an engineer or a STEM focused person. “I’ve always gone the languages, sociology and arts kind of way and that has actually stood me in good stead when dealing with the engineering environment around being able to talk to people, communicate and get ideas across and write proposals.” Rising through the ranks Over the last 18 years Sally has undertaken a range of roles including Project Management and Sponsorship for Network Rail. She has also found time to achieve a master’s degree in Transport Planning and is currently completing an MSc in Major Programme Management. “I’ve been very lucky and I’ve done project management in the traditional delivery sense and I’ve done sponsorship in the Network Rail sense of really early development works scoping requirements, securing funding and working with stakeholders,” she said. “In my last few years at Network Rail I did a lot of strategic planning associated with getting the signalling business ready for CP6 (Control Period 6). “One of my proudest achievements has been 34 | October 2020

working on the West Midlands re-signalling programme. I spent a lot of time working for Network Rail in my hometown of Birmingham. “I was basically centralising all the 1960’s signalling in the West Midlands area in modern operating centres. That was my first real introduction to the world of project management in the world of railway work.

One of my proudest achievements has been working on the West Midlands re-signalling programme “We did so many different projects within that programme and I think I had about four different roles at various times. I learnt so much from such a great group of people. That has to be one of the highlights so far.” Sally is currently Account Lead for Network Rail within Mott MacDonald and also heads up the rail account within APD.

Like every business, new working practices have been adapted overnight with a view to remote distancing and, remarkably, in the case of Mott MacDonald, without any real drop-off in terms of work. “It is about getting really close to the client and talking to people involved in the projects on a day-to-day basis just to understand the likelihood of the work and the changes,” she said. “I think overall it is such an exciting time for rail at the moment. Just look at what is coming in the next couple of decades with Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2, East West Rail, and the Transpennine route upgrade. “It is such an exciting thing to be able to watch and to be at the beginning of some great, great things for the UK rail industry. “With the current situation it is really interesting to try and guess which way things are going as it is hard to understand the role of rail going forward from an infrastructure perspective. “You have to cling to what you know is going to happen as a baseline and then you can start adding on the unknowns a little bit and start playing the contingencies and the planning side of it.”


Looking to the immediate future, Sally is hoping to build on the success of the last few months in delivering in these unprecedented times. She said: “We have a common vision around really wanting to provide good social value and social outcomes in everything we deliver and to make sure the projects we are involved in are shovel worthy as well as shovel ready. “Mott MacDonald is able to offer that combination of huge engineering experience combined with the advisory project management/commercial management world so the future looks promising. “I have a focus very much on the Network Rail side of the client world and the opportunities that we are starting to see come through the design services framework, which we won earlier this year. “We are seeing some of the frameworks really getting underway with CP6 well into its second year, plus we are working with partners in the world of HS2 and hopefully East West Rail in the future. There is also the work we’re doing to support Northern Powerhouse Rail as part of Network Rail and Transport for the North.

“So overall it just feels really exciting and the ability to be able to inform some of these huge infrastructure projects as part of my role in Mott MacDonald just feels amazing. “I really believe that rail infrastructure has such a huge part to play in the socio-economic future

of the UK and the wider levelling up approach. We have a major part to play in that by either working on projects directly or making sure that we have good people to be able to provide their experience, knowledge and support to these programmes of works.”

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October 2020 | 35

F edavteurrteo r i a l A

UK-based engineering excellence can help build supply chain resilience T

he ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, combined with continued uncertainty surrounding a trade deal with the European Union, has exposed the frailties of many engineering supply chains. But this presents a unique opportunity for British engineering firms says Charles Conroy, Managing Director of the Greenbank Group. Since 1954, the Greenbank Group has built a solid reputation for excellence across a wide range of industries, particularly power generation, where our bulk materials handling, fuel balancing and monitoring systems are in operation at coal and biomass-fired plants across the globe. Following a decade of unprecedented change in our traditional markets, we took a strategic decision to look at opportunities to diversify, with an emphasis on building closer relationships and partnerships with other UK manufacturers and engineering companies. As we are based near Derby, a city long associated with railway engineering, for us the rail sector was a natural focus of our efforts to explore new opportunities closer to home. Although the business continues to operate globally, we found that many businesses are now looking to develop closer, shorter and more resilient supply chains. At the same time, we discovered the expertise we’ve acquired across many industrial sectors, and the skills of our manufacturing team, were transferable between different industrial sectors. However, it’s important for any business planning to diversify to recognise that an established reputation for engineering excellence isn’t enough on its own to gain an entry foothold in an established, highly competitive market. Significant investment is also required, and, in our case, this meant achieving a globally recognised Rail industry standard. Certification Following a thorough audit of its manufacturing facilities, Greenbank has become one of just a few UK firms to be awarded EN 15085 Manufacturers of Railway Vehicles and Components Certification Level 1. The coveted certification, issued by TÜV SÜD, a Europe-wide standards body, recognises welding as a ‘Special Process’ in the manufacture of railway vehicles and their components. 36 | October 2020

It sets down clear requirements on testing and documentation as well as processes and procedures to ensure the quality of welded components and competence of employees carrying out the work.

We discovered the expertise we’ve acquired across many industrial sectors, and the skills of our manufacturing team, were transferable between different industrial sectors

This enabled us to step up our engagement with other suppliers to look at ways we can work together to provide added value for operators and organisations responsible for rolling stock and infrastructure. These efforts to build relationships with other suppliers were also made possible through membership of organisations including Rail Forum Midlands and the Rail Alliance. Clearly, we’re still relatively new to the rail sector, but we’re already seeing the benefits of the investments we’ve made. Advertorial

Earlier this year we secured a supplier partnership with another East Midlands company, Datum of Derby, to build 170 cab assemblies for trains destined for a rail franchise in the south of England. Ahead of schedule After landing the order, we completed its first main cab structure assembly in record time – finishing the cab in under four weeks, and four weeks ahead of schedule – and work on the contract has continued through the coronavirus pandemic. Although the exact value of the main contract remains confidential, it’s providing a major boost for the firm’s manufacturing facilities, with around four cabs a month currently rolling off our Derbyshire production line. This is expected to rise to around six cabs per week as production is ramped up, and, under a separate contract, we’re also manufacturing all the sub-assembly and final assembly jigs and fixtures involved in their assembly. This success demonstrates that medium-sized British engineering firms such as Greenbank are ideally placed to take advantage of a unique opportunity to help build greater supply chain resilience to a sector that’s vital to the UK’s economic and environmental future.

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The next generation A new initiative in south London is aiming to reduce the skills gap as well as increase diversity in the UK rail industry


etwork Rail and London South Bank University (LSBU) are working in partnership to close the skills gap in the rail industry. It is, says LSBU’s Director of Apprenticeships Alison May, a perfect match between industry and educator. The partnership brings together a higher education provider, still dedicated to its founding mission of growing engineering for the benefit of London and the world, and the owner, operator and infrastructure manager of Britain’s main railway network. LSBU is the only institution in England offering the three-year Level 5 Rail and Rail Systems apprenticeship and the four-year Level 6 Rail and Rail System Senior Engineer apprenticeship. Alison May said: “One of the reasons this programme is so exciting is that Network Rail are the pinnacle of the industry and really knows what a rail engineer needs to be and the competences they need to have. They are the ideal partner. “As a university we bring our specialist knowledge in terms of the academic foundation in electrical engineering and electronics and will work with apprentices to develop their skills and knowledge of the software requirements, tools and systems they will need throughout their careers to deal with complex problems.” LSBU’s School of Engineering was the founding discipline of the University in 1892 and its staff have since continued to train subsequent generations of engineers. There are currently just under 2,000 higher education and degree level apprentices enrolled at the university, which has its main campus in the borough of Southwark with another campus at Havering, and engineering is the institution’s fastest growing area.

Due to its expertise in engineering, the built environment and construction, LSBU will play a large role in addressing the needs of a changing employment market and is also ideally placed to help tackle diversity in the workplace. Drawing the bulk of its domestic students from the boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham, Croydon and Newham, along with 12 per cent of its student intake from overseas, LSBU knows more than most about diversity. “To put it bluntly, if employers and businesses want to access the talent we have in south London, which is really diverse, then working with us is a way to do that.

“A major part of our mission is to diversify entry into education, and for our offer to be as inclusive and wide ranging as possible. We are able to help our partners take a strategic approach to the issues around diversity.” Course expansion While developing the new courses, LSBU has also generated interest from other household names in the rail industry looking to engage with the new learning programmes and other higher education training specifically tailored to the needs of their future workforce.

First day at school The new courses commenced in April this year, with 47 apprentices from Network Rail and six apprentices from WSP comprising the first intake. “We worked with Network Rail from the inception of the courses,” said Alison. “Network Rail were particularly keen to work quickly to address the shortage of skills in the industry, particularly in light of the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union and changes in the labour market.” 38 | October 2020


”We’re very happy to explore partnerships with other rail industry partners. We feel that we are at the start of something that will develop into something much bigger. “People are looking at rail to take a lead on decarbonisation and ethical and sustainable working practices, and that is also something that is on the minds of those looking at career and university choices. So, with our partners, we’ll continue to develop innovative programmes that will attract students who are interested in how we build greener, how we can develop and engineer big infrastructure projects such as HS2 or the extension of the Bakerloo Line, in order that they are as environmentally compatible as possible. “Rail is a forward looking industry and, for us, this is part of a joined up approach to training right across the board of engineering and rail. “We see ourselves as a key organisation, ideally placed in London, for technical and professional education. “Not only is engineering our strength but we’re also a higher and degree awarding organisation. That’s where LSBU really sits uniquely placed to deliver these programmes.

To put it bluntly, if employers and businesses want to access the talent we have in south London, which is really diverse, then working with us is a way to do that

We have a real passion about technical education and we have that engineering specialism.” “Network Rail is committed to removing barriers to entry in the industry and supporting talent. What we’re both looking for from apprentices is a real commitment and drive that makes people a good employee for those like Network Rail who are driving their organisation forward.” Alison added: “These apprenticeships will ensure Britain will continue to have the skilled

workforce it needs to deliver a rail network fit for the 21st century. “This is just one example of how LSBU is setting graduates up for a successful career and preparing them to hit the ground running.” For more information visit business/apprenticeships/ apprenticeship-standards

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

October 2020 | 39

F e a itnuirneg Tr

Changing the face of booking training in the rail industry


he launch of comparison-based websites many years ago completely revolutionised how people bought their insurance. With one click, the user can find costeffective solutions that meet their exact needs and, as a result, everyone has better access to insurance. Imagine this – but rather than insurance, there is a system that specifically caters to the training and competency needs of the rail and construction industries. Sopra Steria’s Competency Training MarketplaceTM (CTM) has been built with the needs of rail and construction businesses in mind – giving them greater access to the training courses they need, when they need them. Not only that, it integrates this marketplace with competency management software. This is combined with smart tracking to manage competency expiry on a project-by-project basis. More than 20,500 railway staff delivered 386 projects in rail over the festive period in 2019, according to Network Rail. During periods like this, being on top of competencies and booking the right training courses are 40 | October 2020

CTM has the potential to deliver a step change in how training providers connect with employers essential to ensure these projects run smoothly during tight timescales. Delivering a step change CTM is designed to reduce admin time for your HR teams, whether that is through eliminating the need to manually check for expired competencies or search the internet for the right courses. Training providers have a platform to help them maximise course attendance and promote them to promote them to an audience of rail and construction businesses looking for training. Ian Pretty, CEO of Collab Group, a further education membership body, said: “CTM has the potential to deliver a step change in how training providers connect with employers. It streamlines the training procurement process Advertorial

and deliver clear benefits for employers and training providers alike.” Adrian Fieldhouse, MD Government, Sopra Steria UK said: “Our digital marketplace has the potential to significantly disrupt the training market. “With organisations preparing staff for the ‘new normal’, CTM is ideally placed to help organisations better manage their workforce accreditations and control budgets. “For training providers, it offers 24/7 access to new customer insights and a marketplace where organisations are actively seeking new and relevant training.” Using CTM for businesses is free, with just a 5% referral fee for training providers once a course is booked. Companies can register now or preview the marketplace on

UKVCAS Identity Verification (IDV) app

Frequently askedIntroducing questions your essential

competency companion A marketplace of relevant courses which is free to access and advertise training Integrated and free to use competency management tools Talent finder and project building tools help maximise workforce productivity Intuitive Power-BI dashboard to drive informed decision making

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An integrated competency management system reduces the risk of non-compliance

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If you would like to find out more information, visit the CTM website or contact the team.

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Hydrogen train is a game changer for rail UK embraces hydrogen-fuelled future as transport hub and train announced


he first-ever hydrogen-powered train has run on the UK mainline in a big step forward towards the UK’s net-zero targets, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced, visiting the start of trials in Warwickshire. The trials of the train, known as HydroFLEX, which have been supported with a £750,000 grant from the Department for Transport (DfT), follow almost two years’ development work and more than £1 million of investment by both Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham. Unlike diesel trains, hydrogen-powered trains do not emit harmful gases, instead using hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water and heat.

The next stages of HydroFLEX are already well underway, with the University of Birmingham developing a hydrogen and battery-powered module that can be fitted underneath the train, which will allow more space for passengers in the train’s carriage. Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “The mainline testing of HydroFLEX achieves another important milestone on this journey. I’m also delighted to be able to announce our intention to start producing HydroFLEX trains, creating the world’s first electric and hydrogen-powered bi-mode rolling stock, as well as generating significant opportunities for the UK supply chain.”

We’re embracing the power of hydrogen and the more sustainable, greener forms of transport it will bring

Green commitment The department is developing even more ways to slash emissions across transport, as work to create the transport decarbonisation plan continues. The plan will develop a first-of-akind approach to decarbonise every mode of transport and is due to be published before the end of this year. Professor Stephen Jarvis, Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, said: “The HydroFLEX project is a great example of how world-class R&D, together with the right industry partnerships, can deliver decarbonisation technologies that are both innovative and practical. “Successful mainline testing is a major milestone for HydroFLEX and is a clear demonstration of the important role hydrogen has to play in the UK’s rail industry. Through the University and Porterbrook, we’re looking forward to delivering this technology into the UK transport market, ensuring a cleaner future for our railways.”

The aim would then be for the region to become a global leader in industrial research on the subject of hydrogen as a fuel, as well as research and development (R&D) hub for hydrogen transport more generally, attracting hundreds of jobs and boosting the local economy in the process. Through our £23 million Hydrogen for Transport Programme, the plans announced also include £6.3 million of funding for a green hydrogen refuelling station and 19 hydrogen-powered refuse vehicles in Glasgow, a world-first for the size of the fleet. This will give a post-COVID boost to local economies through the creation of green jobs while also decarbonising the transport network.

Photo: BCRRE / Porterbrook

Decarbonising the network The ground-breaking technology behind the trains will also be available by 2023 to retrofit current in-service trains to hydrogen, helping decarbonise the rail network and make rail journeys greener and more efficient. The Transport Secretary also announced the ambition for Tees Valley to become a trailblazing Hydrogen Transport Hub. Bringing together representatives from academia, industry and government to drive forward the UK’s plans to embrace the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel could create hundreds of jobs while seeing the region become a global leader in the green hydrogen sector. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “As we continue on our road to a green recovery, we know that to really harness the power of transport to improve our country – and to set a global gold standard – we must truly embed change.

“That’s why I’m delighted that, through our plans to build back better, we’re embracing the power of hydrogen and the more sustainable, greener forms of transport it will bring.” To kick-start this exciting development in Tees Valley, the DfT has commissioned a masterplan to understand the feasibility of the hub and how it can accelerate the UK’s ambitions in hydrogen. The masterplan, expected to be published in January, will pave the way for exploring how green hydrogen could power buses, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), rail, maritime and aviation transport across the UK.

42 | October 2020

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Build Back Better – with HS2 HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson writes about the importance of the project in providing a vital economic stimulus


t’s been designed and developed for more than a decade, but last month HS2 reached its biggest milestone yet – the start of full construction. The move from preparatory work to laying the first section of track between London and Birmingham not only takes us a step closer to joining up the North, Midlands and London – but heralds a jobs boom in Britain. More than 20,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships will be created in the coming years to build the Phase One route – creating new, highly skilled roles and providing a vital economic stimulus at exactly the time the country needs it. From the development of Birmingham Curzon Street Station to the Nottinghamshire factory making sections of tunnel, and across the 250 active work sites, HS2 will provide an estimated 400,000 contract opportunities for the UK’s supply chain during the first phase of construction alone. HS2 is the green shoots of our economic regeneration. An opportunity not only to recover, but improve. To build back better. That means changing the way we construct, challenging ourselves to be more innovative and environmentally focused. To mitigate and compensate for lost wildlife habitats along the route, HS2 Ltd is undertaking a major exercise in woodland and habitat creation through its ‘Green Corridor’ initiative. Over 60 such sites have already been created, allowing them to become established in advance of main construction works.

Pushing the Boundaries of Excellence

tel 01204 366333 44 | October 2020


We’ve also seen the Solihull interchange station, the heart of the HS2 network in the Midlands, become the first railway station globally to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification for sustainable design. And more recently the arrival of the first freight train moving tonnes of aggregates to a HS2 site in Birmingham – one of 15,000 that will run during the course of the project taking the equivalent of 1.5 million lorries off Britain’s roads. I’ve also been clear that there must be other changes in the way HS2 is delivered, including tighter cost controls and more consideration and compassion for the communities impacted by this project. If people are losing their homes or being forced to relocate their businesses they’ve poured blood, sweat and tears into building, HS2 Ltd have a legal and moral duty to do the very best by them. That’s why earlier this year I commissioned the Land and Property Review, to examine HS2 Ltd’s approach towards acquisitions. The review has shown that there’s been too much time spent on wrangling over pay-outs to home and business owners. That’s in no one’s interests. So, building on lessons learned, we are publishing the review’s findings, including proposals on how to reform and transform the way those impacted by HS2 are treated.

Photo: HS2 Ltd.


HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson (left), GAP Group Regional Operations Director James Anderson (centre), HS2 Environment Director Peter Miller (right)

Our Integrated Rail Plan, which will be informed by the NIC’s Rail Needs Assessment, will outline by the end of the year how we can deliver better rail services across the Midlands and the North, as quickly as possible. The legislation for Phase 2a of the project

– the section from Birmingham to Crewe – is progressing well through Parliament, and we will soon start the next phase of consultations for the Western Leg of Phase 2b to Manchester. HS2 is full steam ahead to help deliver economic recovery, and a better Britain.

Better connected As the dedicated HS2 Minister, I’m focused on ensuring we deliver better rail connections to improve connections between our towns and cities, with strict oversight. We’ve comprehensively reset this project, implemented a taskforce and adopted the most innovative methods of construction. As we move forward, community engagement will be at the core of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Cross Passage Door Specialist, and Proud Supply Chain Partner of HS2

Twitter: @industriesbooth linkedin:

October 2020 | 45

Te c h n o l o g y

Encouraging innovation across the rail industry

Transport for Wales introduced innovative measures to ensure its innovation and accelerator programme continued apace during lockdown


ransport for Wales (TfW) could have been forgiven for placing its innovation Lab on hold during the unprecedented period that saw people unable to work together, face-to-face. Not least because the start-up innovation businesses involved take their ideas to new heights when working in a room with like-minded creatives. However, ideas and products from businesses have continued to be developed, and interaction between different businesses continued, as the Lab switched to a virtual model. The switch for the programme, established in 2019 in Newport to ensure innovation was at 46 | October 2020

the forefront of TfW’s planning over the next 15 years to improve the customer experience and deliver real customer benefits, occurred for the first innovation Lab cohort’s ‘Demo Day’. During July’s Demo Day, at the height of lockdown, the first cohort of 11 tech companies successfully pitched their ideas to TfW and other stakeholders, including Keolis Group. As a result, Clever Citi, Brite Yellow and Passageway were awarded a share of £30,000 and the chance to take their ideas forward with TfW, while another two companies are continuing to develop their ideas alongside TfW, and other ideas are being developed further by the remaining

start-ups involved. The Demo Day is the culmination of the 12-week programme that sees businesses responding to a series of challenges and ‘problem areas’, and, working with mentors and embracing feedback from customer panels, taking their ideas to develop a proof of concept or minimum viable product. The majority of those embarking on the programme have no prior connection to the rail industry and many are tech start-ups based in Wales. Michael Davies, Innovation Manager for TfW, said: “A lot of companies are not from rail backgrounds. Naturally we want to support Welsh businesses and love to see them

Te c h n o l o g y

involved and naturally the Welsh language is important to us but there are also those with no connection to Wales at all. Innovation: RazorSecure RazorSecure provides mission-critical cyber security solutions designed to address the most challenging environments with a particular focus on rail. RazorSecure builds relationships and works with trusted brands across the transport and critical infrastructure industry. “Start-ups don’t come at it from any preexisting perception about the rail industry and they don’t see any barriers, they look for solutions. Often in rail we’re told, or we believe, that things can’t happen. These companies work the other way round, and ask themselves how can we make it happen? Through the lab process we let them think outside of the barriers that the industry often puts in the way.” The growing reputation of the Lab saw a raft of applications for Cohort 2. TfW highlighted 26 challenges and had 106 applications, doubling the number that had applied for Cohort 1.

From Wales, elsewhere in the UK and as far afield as Israel, California, Montreal and Paris, 11 companies were then selected to join this second stage of the programme, which got underway at the end of August. “It is a virtual cohort,” explained Michael. “We didn’t want to put anything on hold, not least because there were a lot of problems and challenges that came up as a result of COVID-19 that we would like to focus on. So we can see how solutions can fit and be tailored to that. They will build it for us in a way that works for us, rather than something off the shelf.”

The heart and essence of the programme is all about enhancing the customer experience, about safety and security, things that customers want to be assured of Some of the challenges highlighted include enhancing the information available

Shapes AI AI video analytics platform that detects events and behaviours of interest. Examples include, recognition of violence, theft, loitering, social distancing, occupancy levels and face covering compliance. at stations, presenting information to passengers regarding the scenery and landmarks outside of the train they are travelling on, promoting rail use, acting on insight from qualitative data intelligently, automatic passenger counting and seat allocation, payment solutions to allow for advanced ordering and table ordering on trains, predictive delays and, importantly as the ‘new normal’ becomes a reality, the essential information customers require to feel safe and assured both during their time board and for their onward journeys. Michael added: “The heart and essence of the programme is all about enhancing the customer experience, about safety and security, things that customers want to be assured of. The solutions that Cohort 2 will come up with will have long-term and short-term customer benefits.

Smart, Powerful Monitoring & Analysis of SSI Interlockings A replacement for the original Technician’s Terminal which is directly compatible at the electrical interfaces. Park Signalling has developed a modern, graphical user interface which is more intuitive, easier to use and displays information more clearly.

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October 2020 | 47

Te c h n o l o g y

“We really want to show what innovation can really do.” While all of the businesses involved will clearly build strong relationships with TfW through the 12 weeks and beyond, being involved in the programme also has additional networking benefits. “This is a genuinely fantastic opportunity for these start-ups as there are potential avenues for them everywhere. They think they’re coming to the Lab to work with TfW but when we explain Keolis Group to them, their 18 different companies and how enthusiastic they are about the programme, they’re quite blown away by the global potential. Amey are working with Cohort 2. So while these businesses are developing something as part of the Lab it might be a really good fit for someone else, somewhere else.” Emu Analytics Create better services, places and communities by understanding your location data through the use of cuttingedge products and solutions. Their primary product is our cloud-base, real-time geospatial data analytics solution: Flo.w. TfW’s Lab has strong links with Innovate UK, who were also present at the recent Demo Day, and Rail Delivery Group. Michael added: “We want to share what we have and share it as widely as possible, via our links with other TOCs. We share what we do with RDG and a cross network group of peers. LNER has its own innovation demo day

coming soon and we’ve been invited along so it’s reciprocal and we all want to work together. What works for us will work for other TOCs and across the industry. “As an industry we need to keep innovating, and that’s what is great with Innovate UK and the DfT working with big companies and start-ups. Rail is really making strides now, in terms of innovation, having taken a steer from other industries. Customers might not see that yet but there will be a big shift over the next 18 months.” Looking ahead TfW has committed to the Lab for the next three years, with two cohorts a year joining the programme, October to October. And those TfW staff observing this innovation and harbouring their own solutions for the issues that they see on a day-to-day basis will also be getting involved. Cohort 3 will comprise an intake of internal participants. Michael explained: “Within TfW there is a lot of creative energy so we will bring our creative minds across the business together to solve problems internally and develop more products. “Looking to the end of 2021, as the Metro becomes more of a reality, there will be further problems to solve, work to do around the introduction of new trains, and the programme will adapt and evolve over time. We’ll highlight successes, highlight the benefits and then, if all goes according to plan, we will look at extending the programme further. “Right now, as a result of what has happened in recent months, we need to get people back

Window Seater A mobile app that delivers amazing stories about what travellers see outside their windows. They want all travellers to better understand and connect with the amazing countries they move through, so they travelled and roamed and searched to produce amazing stories about the things that you can encounter. They believe they have a new approach to storytelling: handmade, high quality, researched and reliable audio stories that better connect us to the world and its people. on trains and a lot of the work in the Lab feeds into that. A lot of reassurances are needed to get people back on trains but it is 100 per cent crucial to get them back, for them to feel safe, secure and in the knowledge that we’re innovating in order to enhance their journeys. We’re looking at very real challenges and also for real outcomes.” Cohort 2’s Demo Day will take place in November 2020, with three successful pitches awarded a contract of work and a share of the £30,000 development prize fund to enable the remainder of the project and produce a product or service that has real world impact across Transport for Wales Rail. For more details visit or follow @waleslab on Twitter

You. Smart. Thing. The Travel Assistant is a cloudbased ‘travel assistant’ for organisations that need to manage people-flow and travel demand whilst delivering worldclass visitor experiences. The s e r v i ce of fe r s: personalised, curated travel advice to and from events; creates tailored travel options, routes and visitor experiences; manages accessibility, event times and related travel queries; reduces demand frontline staff. Captures granular analytics: who’s coming, where from, why and how; and generates revenue though transport operator affiliate deals.

48 | October 2020

Through the window of a train you can see the world People from all walks of life, inner cities, towns and village churches There’s time to reflect ... Our railway makes this happen ... it connects us

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F edavteurrteo r i a l A

Expert solutions, no compromise R

CU Solutions carries out a variety of services ranging from electrical, telecoms and civils works where our higher management and teams have vast experience of delivering and working on multi-discipline projects. Whether it’s an innovative turnkey solution, or the provision of skilled labour to get the job done, the RCU Solutions team prides itself in its quality, reliability and availability. A long-standing partner for many companies across the UK working in rail, construction or utilities, our 25 years of experience has enabled us to provide a firstclass service every step of the way. Bringing a fresh approach to multidisciplinary projects on the railway With more than £4bn worth of renewals and enhancement projects both underway and scheduled to take place in the south of England over the next four years, the need for multi-disciplinary contractors on the UK’s railways is increasing. Network Rail’s CP6 multi-disciplinary frameworks have called on Tier 1 contractors to step up and deliver on the promise of improving capacity and efficiency on the railway, but these firms cannot achieve these ambitious goals alone. They often rely on the support of suppliers with experience in many disciplines, like ourselves, to deliver on projects including stations, buildings and civils, electrifications, power, signalling, telecommunications and track works. At RCU Solutions, we pride ourselves on providing a fresh approach to projects using our expertise in the civils, E&P and telecoms disciplines. Whether working independently or as a supplier of specialist staff from senior management down to site staff, we offer a tailored solution to projects in the rail sector. Rail telecoms – a digital railway The telecoms infrastructure is a key part of meeting the demands of the ever growing rail network for Network rail and other stake holders. As part of a turnkey service, RCU specialises in complex rail telecommunications projects, including operational telecoms, digital transmission networks, ETCS, SISS, DOO and more. 50 | October 2020

Notable projects delivered in recent years include:  GEML – Beaulieu Substation  Reading 10 Car – Buckhurst TP Hut  Sussex PSU  HS2 – Old Oak Common

projects, including but not limited to: removals and decommissioning of fence lines and crossing gates, installing GRP walkways, foundations, fencing, gate lines and handrails, cattle grids, signage and road reprofiling.. Our signalling installation projects in recent years have included:  VaMoS UWC Upgrades – AMCO

Signalling a brighter future As Network Rail continues to deliver improvements to public safety around Level Crossings and User Work Crossings, signalling upgrade projects are playing a huge role in the network’s efficiency. With up to £2.4bn of signalling work set to be made available by Network Rail over the next five years, the need for high quality, reliable and knowledgeable contractors is ever growing. To facilitate these upgrades, the importance of a seamless delivery of work packages cannot be underestimated. We work alongside Technotrack Engineering and other signalling installation contractors to assist their expertise with E&P, telecoms and civils elements of signalling projects. With the collaborative working approach, our staff provision on signalling schemes includes qualified supervisors, team leaders and installers, all fully trained and experienced in installation, testing and handover. We’re proud to have worked with major tier one contractors such as Alstom, Atkins, Costain, Kier and Volkerrail to name just a few, and we continue to develop partnerships with organisations on signalling installations across the UK. At RCU Solutions, we are vastly experienced in the delivery of civils elements of signalling Advertorial

 orwich/Yarmouth/Lowestoft N Re-signalling – Technotrack Engineering  Woodbridge Axle Counters – Kier  Cable Protection on Anglia Framework – J Murphy & Sons Civil engineering and utilities We also supply experienced skilled civil teams which are self-contained, complete with vans and small tools. We can undertake a variety of works ranging from concrete equipment bases, GRP elevated route, trackside cable routes, buried ducting, compound fencing, access footpaths and cable pulling/dressing. Our civils capabilities are bolstered with our Utilities division where we have in-house tarmac gangs, grab lorries, 1.5t– 3t excavators and various small plant. This means we can take on a variety of multi-discipline civils works, such as cable route refurbishments and installations, concrete troughing routes, road reprofiling, fencing, ballast board retaining wall installation and much more. Accreditations RCU Solutions Limited has been audited and certified by BSI for operating a Quality Management System – ISO 9001:2015, Environmental Management System – ISO

A d v eFretaotrui rael

14001:2015 and Occupational Health & Safety Management System – ISO 45001:2018. We are also RISQS approved and hold Construction Line, Builders Profile accreditations. Our scope, which we were audited on for the above management systems, covers the assembly, installation, inspection, test and commissioning of electrical and telecoms equipment and associated civil works for the railway, construction and utilities industries, along with the supply of contingent labour. Fully equipped teams We believe in the importance of supplying qualified staff to our clients. As a business working within this ever-evolving industry, we fully appreciate the demand for continuous training and development. All of the staff we provide whether working on our own or clients’ projects are fully equipped with PPE, job specific calibrated tools and reliable vehicles to enable them to complete the planned work package. Our staff also have 24/7 access to fully stocked stores at our HQ. Our aim is always to supply clients with a fully, self-sufficient team which constantly delivers the highest quality of installations.

Nurturing new talent It is no secret that in the rail industry an ageing workforce, changing technologies and lack of diversity compared with other sectors means that we are facing a significant skills shortage unless we find a way to recruit from the next generation. RCU Solutions is offering paid placements with practical work experience for students currently undertaking college studies. Due to our rapid growth, we have placements both

office and site-based, with a wide range of roles and experience on offer. We’re excited to be in a position to recruit young talent and we hope the opportunities on offer can help us find candidates that could potentially grow into permanent positions with the business. To learn more about RCU Solutions and how the firm can support your project requirements, call 0203 0316 511 or email 

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October 2020 | 51

Railway Mission

A helping hand Liam Johnston and the team at Railway Mission have become an increasingly used asset for UK railway workers


s everyone in the industry knows, there is more than one route to a career in rail. However, Liam Johnston’s journey taking him from working for a household name in Scottish supermarkets to being the head of the specially trained team of people that work tirelessly for the Railway Mission is a unique swerve. Liam, the Executive Director of the charity, looked destined to take charge of his own church when he left William Low – or Willie Low’s as it is fondly referred to in Dundee and beyond – in 1996 to head to theological college. He had a church to go to once he’d acquired the necessary qualifications, but unfortunately, a full salary was not forthcoming and Liam had to take an additional job. This led him to the Railway Mission, the essential charity that was founded in 1881. Starting work as the chaplain for the West Midlands, Liam quickly realised how far and wide the Railway Mission’s work spread. 52 | October 2020

“Well, it was a bit more than the West Midlands,” he said. “My patch went from Aberystwyth to Staffordshire, down to Hereford, then to Marylebone, and across from the West Coast Main Line to the Bedford and Bletchley line. It was a whole chunk of the country. Not quite the West Midlands you’d circle on the map.” Important work The Railway Mission has the entire UK rail network covered. 20 chaplains provide friendship and a listening ear to anyone connected to the country’s railways who suffers bereavement, loss, anxiety, fear and trauma. They are, quite simply, there for everyone and anyone. The charity’s work is critically important against a backdrop of fatalities on the railway. It is sobering for everyone connected to the industry that there are in excess of 250 deaths by suicide a year on the railways and that number is also a chilling statistic that underlines the importance of the Railway Mission’s work.

Rugby-based Liam explained: “Our aim is to follow up every incident and be there for people if they need us, connecting with families and staff 100 per cent of the time, that is what we aim to do. “95 per cent of the time, 95 per cent of people don’t need or want a chaplain, but you never know in your life when you will be in that five per cent that need us. We are there for that moment and if you do need us, if that time comes, we are there.” While the Railway Mission is explicitly a Christian charity, they deliver their work in a secular environment and are there to support everyone regardless of faith and background. Liam added: “We’re there for everyone. We’re certainly not there to impose faith, we’re there to support people and facilitate their grief, to give them an outlet and to shoulder the pain and loss that they have.” There are countless examples of the Railway Mission’s team being deployed at major incidents.

Railway Mission

The most recent was the fatal derailment near Stonehaven in August, when the driver, conductor and a passenger died when the Aberdeen to Glasgow service crashed after heavy rain. It is in these moments when the people at the heart of the charity rise to the tough challenge ahead. Supporting families Three chaplains based in Scotland, along with Liam, attended the scene and the line of route, talking to the families of the passenger and rail staff, along with witnesses and other staff impacted by the incident. “We supported the industry through that, that is what we do. When there is a major incident resources are drafted in from across the industry, so it is not necessary that the local chaplain is on site, we want to support the entire line of route. “When family members came to visit the crash site, we were able to be with the family of the passenger. The reason we support those from outside the industry is that by supporting them we’re removing that work from members of the railway who are not geared up to offer the level of support needed, and might themselves be in shock. “At such incidents, as was the case at Stonehaven, British Transport Police (BTP) tell people the chaplaincy service is available to them. These referrals from BTP for family and witnesses take away the need from members of the industry, such as station staff or Network Rail, to support these people as they can turn to us and have the support of a chaplain. “The driver and guard were known by rail staff of all kinds in the area and they also needed support as they were shocked. In that situation it’s no good bringing in someone from outside the area, we want the local chaplain to support local people.” The never-ending work of the Railway Mission was highlighted just a few days after the crash, when Aberdeen was hit with a murder of a member of staff and, again, the team was deployed. Liam added: “What we are repeatedly told is that having us there is what is important. Sometimes it is very clear that people don’t want to talk, so we don’t, we hold back and wait for people to approach us.” Understandably, BTP’s Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team view the Railway Mission’s chaplains as essential support. “We had a debrief with BTP after a series of horrendous incidents – the Manchester Arena Bombing, London Bridge, Grenfell tower.

“We were told that, from their perspective, our chaplains are worth their weight in gold and that, whenever DVIs are deployed, we will be too, because they need our support. It’s not always what is said, it is about being present.” In addition to BTP, referrals come from TOCs, FOCs and Network Rail. Rail staff who might be suffering issues and problems both at work and home that cause anxiety, stress and could affect their work in this safety critical industry can also directly contact the Railway Mission, who will offer support, practical advice and signposting to other services.

Sometimes it is very clear that people don’t want to talk, so we don’t, we hold back and wait for people to approach us Inevitably, with the high number of suicides on the railways, a lot of work is devoted to dealing with the aftermath of such incidents. “Sadly there continues to be fatalities on the railway and most are suicides. In addition to being there for everyone in these tragic moments we also want to play our part in reducing these numbers. So we work with others across the industry, such as the Samaritans, BTP, Network Rail, wherever there’s a synergy to reduce the risk of suicide on the railway. “If you have a loved one who’s taken their life and you feel grief-stricken, you may decide you want to take your own life, to be with them. If you have the support there, that reduces that risk. We also support the industry by preventing further loss of life and trauma to rail staff.” There are some concerns that, as the furlough scheme ends and redundancy levels rise, there will also be a rise in the number of people

contemplating taking their own life. Which is something the Railway Mission is pro-actively considering and planning for, along with the impact this could have on its own team. “There is a cumulative effect on staff. We need to make sure as chaplains that we’re looking after one another, as one chaplain might not have any fatalities for weeks on end, where others might have several in one week. It’s not evenly spread, there are hotspots, but those come and go, too. So we need to make sure we look after one another. “While my role sees me dealing with the strategy of the Railway Mission and making sure we operate within the guidance of our trustees, along with chaplaincy on major incidents, I’m very happy to be a sounding board for our chaplains. We’re very mindful of the need for peer-to-peer support, how we can support one another and also have a pastoral trustee we can turn to.” Liam also points out that the work is rewarding. “When you help someone, when you make a difference, that is its own reward. There is a lot of joy out there. There are a lot of good things happening on the railways.” Goodwill The Railway Mission is reliant on the goodwill of the industry and the many TOCs who support them financially. Clearly an essential part of the rail family, there remains a need to highlight the charity’s work. “We need to constantly remind people that we’re there for them. We have 20 chaplains and there are 150,000-200,000 people working in rail, with new people joining every day. I do wish everyone knew that we existed.” Liam added: “Our key message is that we’re there for everyone, regardless of lifestyle and position in their company. We provide independent, confidential, impartial, short-term pastoral care. We’re not there to replace the chain of care in companies, we’re there to supplement it. We will continue to work with the industry to support those who desperately need us.” October 2020 | 53


The next generation The 12 new recruits getting on track for Siemens Mobility pioneering rail facility


hen she was just 14, Kate Rodley knew she wanted to work for Siemens. This was four years ago, after she had just taken part in an electric kit car race, organised by Greenpower and supported by Siemens. Fast forward to now, and a Double Distinction and a Distinction in Engineering later, and the 18-year-old has just started as one of the first apprentices to join the workforce at Siemens Mobility’s rail facility in Goole. “During the Greenpower electric car project at the KCOM Stadium in Hull we worked closely with Siemens and I’ve wanted to join them ever since,” she said. “I’m so excited to start my career and looking forward to entering an adult environment, being practical and independent, while learning with the other apprentices. “The apprenticeship offers travel opportunities too, which is also exciting.” Kate is one of Siemens’ first cohort of apprentices since revealing Selby College as a training partner for its rail facility in Goole.

“This is brilliant for Goole because Siemens Mobility is such a big company and there isn’t anything like it in the area,” she said. “It will create a lot of new jobs, bring more people into the town and encourage people to relocate to the area.”

The first step The 12 apprentices, picked from over 200 applications, are the first of up to 700 employees who will work at the pioneering rail facility when it opens in 2023. For fellow apprentice Milly Johnston, perseverance has paid off after she had begun a car mechanic apprenticeship at a local garage, which came to an end when the business ceased trading. The chance in her hometown was one she didn’t want to miss.

The new starters are undertaking a Level 3 Rail Technician Apprenticeship programme. They will spend their first year at the college developing core engineering knowledge and competencies. In their second year, they will spend one day a week at college and four days a week on placement at Siemens Mobility traincare facilities, building up their practical skills and experience. Their third year will be split between working full-time at the Goole facility and a six-month placement at the company’s rolling stock factory

54 | October 2020

I’m so excited to start my career and looking forward to entering an adult environment, being practical and independent, while learning with the other apprentices


in Vienna, Austria. This will enable expert knowledge transfer from colleagues in a well-established, global manufacturing operation. Phil Sayles, Principal and Chief Executive of Selby College, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for them to be a part of an incredibly exciting project and develop the engineering skills which are so vital to the UK’s future. “Our significant engineering facilities and partnerships with industry mean that we offer unparalleled training opportunities for apprentices in the sector, and we hope our new joiners gain maximum experience and knowledge from the programme during their time with us.” In July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Goole site to mark the start of construction, visiting construction workers and some of the new apprentices. New tube trains When complete, the state-of-the-art factory will manufacture and commission trains – the first of which will be new Tube trains for London’s Piccadilly line with plans for additional train manufacture in the future. This could include additional vehicles for the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City line Tube trains, plus mainline suburban and intercity trains. Siemens Mobility’s Goole plant will be complemented by research and development, digital innovation and supplier facilities, together forming a unique ‘rail village’. Sambit Banerjee, Managing Director, Siemens Mobility Limited, said: “The onboarding of our first apprentices at Selby College represents

another major milestone for our Goole facility and our plans to create and develop local jobs. “With an outstanding track record of delivering apprenticeship and excellent facilities, Selby College is a brilliant place for these ambitious people to train and grow their skillset in engineering.

It will create a lot of new jobs, bring more people into the town and encourage people to relocate to the area

“The government has a clear commitment to ‘levelling up’ and rebuilding the nation’s economy following COVID-19 and employing and training local people is key to this. “As supporters of this ambition, we are committed to upskilling the next generation of engineering talent so they can play a key role in delivering important UK infrastructure projects, like TfL’s new underground trains.”

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October 2020 | 55

Network Rail

Looking ahead Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s group safety, technical and engineering director, discusses the company’s 30-year vision to drive green standards for the railways


he railway is on a journey to a cleaner, greener future. That is the message from Network Rail as it has revealed its 30-year Environmental Sustainability Strategy. It is the accumulation of lots of conversations with stakeholders, passengers, frontline teams, hundreds of interviews and dozens of workshops. Leading the project is Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s group safety, technical and engineering director. “Our carbon commitments will shape the way the railways are powered, but we also need to work hard to improve biodiversity on our sites, improve the way we manage waste and adapt to the challenges from climate change,” he said. “We are keen to show some leadership in these areas with the new environmental strategy setting out the plans to make a big difference in the long term. “The vision is for rail to be the cleanest, greenest form of transport. That is the goal around which the strategy is written.” This is the way The industry is making great strides. Some of the busiest parts of the system have been electrified and rail freight continues to move huge loads with a fraction of the impact of road transport. But this strategy goes further in the acceleration to leave a positive environmental legacy for future generations. Martin said: “Physics and engineering will always be in favour of rail. Metal wheel on metal rail will always beat rubber tyre on tarmac, long trains covering long distances better than lorries, and direct power through renewable electricity at high voltage is always going to beat vehicle charging batteries in cars and lorries. “But that is just the starting point and other sectors have already started to advance. We have to step up to this. “COVID can do us long term harm because rail’s real strength is moving large numbers of people – empty trains aren’t green trains so we really need to work on the environment and we really need to recognise the need to change. There needs to be energy and pace – our environment plans are the response for that.” 56 | October 2020

The strategy details the commitments and describes the work that will take place to meet these targets, including: Use of electric trains to reduce carbon emissions. Make stations, tracks and trains more resilient to extreme weather. Plant more trees to offset carbon emissions. Send zero waste to landfill. Martin said: “The strategy covers how we reduce reliance on diesel traction and support the Department for Transport’s decarbonisation strategy. It will also look at how we are going to help nature thrive on the land we own. “We’ll use some amazing satellite technology to look at our entire land estate,

rather than just counting specific species in a specific area, and when nature moves into that habitat we can manage what is needed to help it thrive. “We’re also creating green corridors and think we will be able to make a big difference with areas of natural grassland. We’ve been running a trial in Kent on some 70 trials sites and it is something we’re keen to learn from and roll out more widely.” Looking ahead In some cases the plans will expand on some of the schemes already being implemented by Network Rail, particularly when it comes to improvements to infrastructure with climate change in mind – the Dawlish sea wall and Conwy Valley projects just two examples. Martin said: “This is a key area so we’re keen to make sure we manage climate change adaptation, especially when you look at the

Network Rail

forecast for how severe climate change could become across the nation. Looking at rainfall, flooding, high winds and extremes of heat, these all could impact on the operations of the railway. “We need to invest more and more carefully in making sure our assets become more resilient and we provide reliable service for our passengers making our infrastructure more resilient to client change. “The climate emergency is real and pressing. We’ve got to play our part in shaping the railway for many years to come. “We are the cleanest, greenest form of mass transport. That is what we must be, must stay and must always strive to be. We see this as a great strategy to create the greenest, cleanest form of mass transport and we’re really committed to doing that.” One area which would play a big part in the UK railway plans to be greener and better for the environment is electrification of the railways and more electric trains. Network Rail is working towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 (2045 in Scotland) and deliver continual improvements to air quality. Martin said: “We are looking at options

Proposals include:

A low-emission railway

A reliable railway service that is resilient to climate change

for various schemes and we’re also doing a huge amount of work to make electrification cheaper.

Empty trains aren’t green trains so we really need to work on the environment and we really need to recognise the need to change “When people think about electrification most people think about wires, but electrification isn’t really about wires, it’s about big heavy civil engineering.

Improved biodiversity of plants and wildlife

Minimal waste and sustainable use of materials

“What we’ve been doing and targeting our research around is how you reduce those clearances, and how to reduce the space between the high voltage wire and the bridge, as an example. “With the technology developments we’ve made we’ve now got those clearances down to about four inches. That has been a massive technical leap forward in the last couple of years and we think this will enable us to deliver some of those electrification schemes of the future much more cost effective. “So I think we’ve got a real opportunity with some of the technology development we’ve had coming together with a real need on the environmental side. There is a real opportunity to build some great infrastructure projects.”

Re-Railing, Recovery and Wheelskating Specialists Class 08 Locomotive Hire and Maintenance Permanent Way Inspection, Maintenance and New Build projects undertaken

Contact Andrew Goodman on 07794 480410 Montpellier House, Montpellier Drive, Cheltenham GL50 1TY

October 2020 | 57


Running out of steam Coal mine refusal a ‘hammer blow’ to UK heritage rail


t has been an incredibly tough year for heritage railways throughout the UK. For several months during lockdown the industry ground to a halt – with several operators still unable to run any kind of service due to COVID-19. Those that have managed to get back on track have had to redraw operations with fewer services and much reduced capacity to adhere to social distancing guidelines to keep staff and passengers safe. However, the industry has been dealt a further blow following the Government’s refusal to Banks Mining’s new mine proposal. The planning application was for a new open cast mine at Highthorn, Northumberland, which promised three million tonnes of coal over several years. The refusal now means coal for heritage steam will have to be imported from abroad. Steve Oates, CEO of the Heritage Railway Association (HRA), was among those backing the plans. He said: “The decision is a blow to Britain’s heritage railways, many of which may be forced to reduce or even cease operation as a result.” End of the line Heritage railways – as well as traction engines, steam boats and ships, and historic static steam engines – all need coal to function. The kind of coal needed is different to that used by industry or power stations, but can be sourced from the same mines. England’s last mine producing washed bituminous lump coal – important for heritage steam – ceased extraction in August, spelling the end of washed steam railway coal from coal mining in England. “The mine would have assured continuity of UK coal supply for heritage steam,” said Steve, who has been lobbying government for clarity on the future of coal. “The government has been encouraging, stating it has no wish to see the end of heritage steam in the UK. But while it has clearly understood the huge problem facing a key player in the UK’s leisure, tourism and heritage sector, it has yet to offer a solution. “The UK needs five million tonnes of coal every year for steel and cement production. The decision to end coal production in the UK is driven by CO2 reduction targets. 58 | October 2020

“But the CO2 generated by importing coal from countries like Russia and the USA produces ten times more emissions than producing it domestically.” While importing coal may be a practical solution for the nation’s coal and steel industries, Steve says it presents huge challenges for heritage railways.

2020 has been a brutal year for all of Britain’s heritage railways. The COVID-19 pandemic forced them all to close for what would have been their best months of the year “Steam engines need washed lump coal,” he said. “It’s different to the more finely-grained coal the steel and cement industries need. “Britain’s heritage railways use just 26,000 tonnes of coal a year. Such coal can be imported, but it will come at prices most railways simply won’t be able to afford.”

UK-produced coal for famous and muchloved railways like the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Bluebell Railway, Dart Valley and the Ffestiniog came by a relatively short road trip. No UK heritage railway was more than 400 miles from a dependable source of the right kind of coal, with most having coal available within 200 miles. However, the HRA says that with imported coal, those distances multiply: 5,000 miles from Russia, 4,700 miles from America, 13,500 miles from Australia. Steve said: “The heritage rail sector is mindful of the environmental impact of its work, but UK heritage railways produce just 0.02 per cent of the UK’s CO2 emissions.” For that very small amount they not only preserve and promote the great enabler of Britain’s proud and industrial and social heritage, they provide work for thousands of people, attract some 13 million visitors annually, and bring an estimated £400 million to the British economy every year. “We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously, and work at best practice as well as offset schemes, to mitigate the impact of the very small account of CO2 we produce.”


There are more than 150 operational heritage railways in the UK, running trains over almost 600 miles of track, with almost 500 stations. They provide 4,000 fulltime equivalent jobs, supported by 22,000 volunteers. Steve said: “2020 has been a brutal year for all of Britain’s heritage railways. The COVID-19 pandemic forced them all to close for what would have been their best months of the year. “Many run on a shoestring – but with a full load of commercial overheads like any other business. “Some may not survive the stoppage, while those that have reopened in the last few weeks are emerging financially bruised and bloodied. How many will be able to swallow a big increase in the price of coal is unknown. “The Highthorn refusal is massively disappointing. The Heritage Railway Association is considering how to proceed. We’re already taking the lead in evaluating options for securing supplies from overseas, and ways of combining the buying power of our sector to make it happen.

“In their day, the railways enabled so much of Britain’s proudest history. Today they entertain and educate millions of people every year. We can’t allow them to suffer the unintended consequences of policy decisions.”

The HRA is a trade association representing, protecting and promoting the interests of heritage and tourist railways, related museums, tramways, cliff lifts, railway preservation groups and related organisations.”


Seeing Red – Star Fasteners New Lockbolt Coating


tar Fasteners has developed a clever colour-changing indicator that visually verifies that Lockbolt two-piece fasteners have been installed correctly. Lockbolts are installed using a direct tension technique in which the pin is pulled and the collar is simultaneously swaged into the locking grooves of the pin. The material is clamped together, which creates structure and strength. The new red coating on the collar improves final product quality checks, crucially making pre-assembled, uninstalled fasteners much easier to identify. The colour-changing Lockbolt collar coating is applied by Star Fasteners, explains Dan Starbuck, Director at Star Fasteners. “We were initially asked to remove welding from a customer’s production process in a safety-critical application. We worked with them to specify in a Lockbolt pin and collar fastener and introduced the colourchanging collar feature. They were so pleased with the outcome; manufacturing times were

LockBolt and Collar

halved and health and safety issues associated with welding were completely removed. There was just one further concern and that was at the final quality inspection stage (PDI). Their question of how to tell that a Lockbolt has been installed completely needed to be addressed. To a trained eye this is simple, but our customer wanted further assurance. We developed the Lockbolt colour-changing collar coating to give a clear visual warning; if the collar is red it is an instant indication that the fastener hasn’t been correctly installed or fully swaged”.

In most cases, Lockbolts can replace welding. They are faster, safer, more productive and an environmentally friendly alternative method of joining. This method of joining ensures a consistent clamp which is the key to a strong, reliable hold – so users know that the joint is permanent and vibration-resistant. While a relatively new development, the colour-changing Lockbolt collar has proved to be popular and is already in use with a number of chassis builders. With the implications of product recalls in terms of time, monetary cost and brand reputation, this innovation appears likely to be a requirement in rail, automotive, agricultural, commercial vehicle and many more safety critical applications. For more information on Star Fasteners unique products and services: Email: Tel: +44(0)115 9324 939

October 2020 | 59


Photo: Kent County Council

New station to boost growth in Thanet


new railway station at Cliffsend to unlock and boost economic growth in Thanet and Dover could be open in 2023. The £34 million scheme, known as Thanet Parkway, was approved last month by Kent County Council’s planning committee. KCC Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Michael Payne said: “Accessibility in East Kent has been a critical barrier limiting the potential of the area to attract investment and regeneration. Improving connectivity is

a vital step in attracting investment and job opportunities and I believe the Thanet Parkway project will help those aspirations. “This means that the growing population could have better access to the rail network, as well as promoting economic growth by providing better journeys to other towns in Kent and London. “We’re grateful to Government for funding and recognising Thanet Parkway as a shovelready infrastructure project which will boost economic growth.”

The station will have two platforms connected by an existing underpass, with stair and lift access. The plans also feature 317 car parking spaces, which include 16 accessible bays, a dedicated area for motorcycles, electric car charging points, and a dedicated area for pick up/drop off for 20 vehicles, including taxis. There will also be two bus stops and a shelter for storing 40 bicycles.

Plans for Moseley Station have been approved by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee. All three proposed stations on the Camp Hill line – Moseley, Kings Heath and Hazelwell – now have planning permission marking a major step forward for plans to reopen the line to passenger services. The new Moseley Station will include platforms with a canopy, stairs and lifts, a forecourt drop off/pick up area, covered cycle storage, lighting and CCTV installed. Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The new station at Moseley will provide residents with easier and faster connections to Birmingham city centre and the wider West Midlands and now with planning permission secured for all three stations we can move on to the next stage.” Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) along with rail industry partners including Network Rail and West Midlands Trains are leading the development of the new stations. 60 | October 2020

Photo: Transport for West Midlands

Final piece of the jigsaw for Camp Hill line

Councillor Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “These long-awaited stations will offer commuters in south Birmingham an alternative to sitting in traffic on the busy Alcester Road and will play a major

role in helping us reduce pollution and improve our air quality. “This is just one part of our unprecedented investment in rail, tram, bus and cycling across the region which will help transform the way we travel.”


Transport for Wales (TfW) is continuing to deliver their Station Improvement Vision on the Borderlands line between Wrexham and Bidston and moving forward with their plans to transform transport throughout the Wales and Borders network. The investment has improved 13 stations in total between Wrexham Central and Upton since October 2019. Despite challenges faced by COVID-19, TfW is keen to move forward with their transformational plans for transport across the Wales and Borders network and they are all following all government and industry advice. The improvements include deep cleaning, the rebranding of shelters and station furniture, the relining of car park bays, repainting and renewing stair nosings, and cutting back overgrown vegetation. James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, said: “I’m delighted to see great progress being made on the Borderlands line as part of our Station Improvement Vision.

Photo: Transport for Wales

TfW continue with Wrexham-Bidston upgrades

Despite the challenging circumstances, we’re committed to delivering short and long term improvements on this important rail route linking communities in North Wales and on the Wirral, as part of our wider vision of delivering a public transport network that the people of Wales and the Borders are proud of.” The work is the first phase of improvements on the line as part of the Station Improvement Vision.

Future improvements will include new CCTV cameras, improved customer information screens, additional seating and refurbished waiting rooms. The Borderlands line will also benefit from additional services and rolling stock as part of the wider transformation of the Wales and Borders network and the development of the North Wales Metro.

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The final countdown

Governance of the Crossrail programme transfers to TfL


he Crossrail programme has been handed over to Transport for London (TfL) as the operator and maintainer of the railway. TfL and the Department for Transport (DfT), joint sponsors of Crossrail, have worked with Crossrail Ltd to agree the transition plan to move the project to TfL. The transition simplifies responsibilities, with a single Elizabeth Line Delivery Group comprised of senior members of TfL, London Underground and Crossrail Ltd, under the Chairmanship of Transport Commissioner Andy Byford. High-level oversight will be provided by a Special Purpose of the TfL Board, to be known as the Elizabeth Line Committee, that will meet in public every eight weeks. It will also be attended by a special representative from the DfT. Andy Byford said: “I would like to thank Crossrail Chair Tony Meggs and the Crossrail Board who have led the delivery of this vital project through the remaining construction and systems testing to a point where increased testing of trains in the central tunnels will begin shortly. “As it gets closer to becoming an operational railway the time is right for the responsibility for Crossrail to transfer to TfL and the people who will run it. “Mark Wild (CEO of Crossrail Ltd) and his team will now work with me to safely achieve the earliest possible opening date for what will be a magnificent addition to London’s transport network.” 62 | October 2020

Delivery of the Elizabeth line is now in its complex final stages with a comprehensive plan to complete the railway focused on the remaining construction and systems integration, followed by intensive operational testing, known as Trial Running, at the earliest opportunity in 2021.

This is truly one of the greatest transport programmes in Europe today, and it will transform the lives of many people for generations to come Construction for the Elizabeth line is largely complete with handover of the completed rail infrastructure to TfL now underway. Recent progress includes: Eight of ten shafts and portals completed and handed over to TfL. Handover of the first central section station, Custom House. The introduction of the first full-length Class 345 train in passenger service between Paddington and Heathrow. Crossrail Ltd continues to make good progress with completing the remaining construction works, with much of this work coming to an end, along with software testing for the signalling and train systems.

Photo: Crossrail Ltd


The testing of the next evolution of the signalling software is due to commence shortly, helping to further build operational reliability. Once software testing completes later this year, Crossrail will then begin an enabling phase for Trial Running with testing in the tunnels undertaken with an increased number of trains. Journey’s End Tony Meggs CB, Chair, Crossrail Ltd said: “As the Elizabeth line moves into its final phases we have always planned that the governance of Crossrail would transition into TfL, and now we are executing that plan. “The new structures will simplify and align decision making over the coming months as the railway is brought to completion and commences intensive operational testing. “I am very pleased that, in addition to the Crossrail executive team, a number of our highly experienced Non-Executive Directors will continue to provide their support and expertise to the programme under the new governance arrangements; this continuity is vital. It has been a privilege to have served as Crossrail Chair since January 2019. “This is truly one of the greatest transport programmes in Europe today, and it will transform the lives of many people for generations to come.” TfL, the Greater London Authority and government continue to have constructive discussions around the additional funding needed to complete the Crossrail project.

International Railways

Bombardier unveils new train design lobal mobility technology leader Bombardier Transportation and India’s National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) have celebrated the unveiling of train design for India’s first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS). The train design was unveiled by Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India in the presence of Vinay Kumar Singh, Managing Director leading the NCRTC team and Rajeev Joisar, Managing Director leading the Bombardier Transportation team in India. Bombardier was awarded the contract by NCRTC earlier this year to design, build and deliver the regional commuter and intracity transit trains with comprehensive maintenance services for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut semihigh-speed rail corridor under RRTS Phase 1. The fresh, modern and advanced nature of the new train design is inspired by Delhi’s iconic monument, The Lotus Temple, resonating a unique amalgamation of sustainability and India’s rich heritage. Vinay Kumar Singh, Managing Director of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), said: “These energy-efficient trains with exceptional ergonomics and low life cycle costs will contribute towards making India’s first RRTS futuristic and sustainable. Clubbed with state-ofthe-art commuter centric features, RRTS is going to transform the way people travel in NCR and set a new benchmark for similar projects in the future.”

Photo: Bombardier Transportation


The new trains will accommodate around 900 passengers in the three-car train configuration for the Meerut local transit services. When configured into six-car trainsets for RRTS, the trains will be able to accommodate as many as 1,790 passengers to significantly increase public transport capacity between Delhi and Meerut. With their modular design, the RRTS trains can be expanded to nine-car trainsets. Meanwhile sticking with Bombardier Transportation and the mobility technology leader has also signed a new contract with Singapore’s rail operator, SMRT Train Ltd (SMRT), supported by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), to provide 10 years of long-term service support for 636 BOMBARDIER MOVIA

metro cars currently in delivery for the NorthSouth and East-West Lines (NSEWL). This order comes with an option to extend the agreement for a further 20 years. The new integrated fleet services contract includes technical support and spares supply at the NSEWL. Jayaram Naidu, President of Southeast Asia Region for Bombardier Transportation, said: “We are proud to continue playing such a major role, contributing to Singapore’s public transport network and supporting our customer’s ambitious expansion plan to grow its rail network to 360km by the 2030s. “This order demonstrates the confidence LTA and SMRT have in our industry-leading services capabilities.”

Australia: Parkes to Narromine Rail complete History has been made at Peak Hill when the final golden clip was hammered into place to signify the completion of the first section of Inland Rail. “What a significant and momentous day,” declared Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack. “Inland Rail is nation-building and today recognises a great milestone in this transformational infrastructure.” Member for Riverina Michael McCormack, who was joined at the Parkes-Narromine section milestone event by ministerial colleague and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, said Peak Hill was an appropriate location for the achievement as it was here on 15th January 64 | October 2020

2018 that the first shipment of Australian-made steel was delivered to begin the project. “Inland Rail is an investment in Australia – in our economy, in our regions and in the capacity of our future freight network,” Michael said. “This is real progress on a project which has been talked about since federation, already our Government has delivered more than 1,800 jobs and $100 million in local stimulus through Inland Rail. “The corridor of commerce we are building with Inland Rail stretches 1,700km from Melbourne to Brisbane – we are turning steel into stimulus as we lay the tracks that will deliver jobs and opportunity. “We have invested $25 million in ballast and capping (800,000 tonnes) from Parkes-based

companies Calvani Crushing and Ausrock Quarries – a great example of how local procurement is at the heart of Inland Rail.” Finance Minister Mathias Cormann described Inland Rail as a once-in-a-generation project that delivers major benefits to the nation. “Long-haul rail is cheaper, safer and more reliable than road, that’s why the Australian Government is enhancing the national freight rail network through our investment in Inland Rail,” Minister Cormann said. “The shift from road to rail builds resilience in our freight network – not only will Inland Rail deliver a long-term freight solution for Australia to meet the needs of our growing population – it is also a critical investment supporting an efficient Australian economy.”

International Railways

Knorr-Bremse, the global market leader for braking and other systems for rail and commercial vehicles, and Israeli startup Rail Vision will equip multiple Swiss SBB Cargo shunting locomotives with Rail Vision’s Assisted Remote Shunting system for obstacle detection. After prototype testing is successfully completed at the end of the first quarter of 2021, the partners will be looking into addressing additional business activities to adopt obstacle detection systems for cargo vehicles. Based on electro-optic sensors, artificial intelligence and deep learning capabilities, Rail Vision’s systems are expected to make shunting processes of cargo vehicles more efficient. Detecting obstacles and interfacing with the Remote Control from Schweizer Electronic, the prototype system can enable a single person to control shunting from a remote location. Today, by contrast, shunting generally takes Dr Nicolas Chairman of the two people: a locomotive driver and a signaller, SwitchPoint HeatingLange, Ltd who notifies of any possible obstacles and the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Rail Industrihuset SWEDENsaid: “These systems remaining distance to other vehicles S-430 to the64 HÄLLINGSJÖ, Vehicle Systems, Phone: + 46a(0)301-418 50 avenue to further driver via radio from outside. of fer promising Mail:

Photo: Rail Vision

Knorr-Bremse and Rail Vision to test obstacle

support operators in managing their fleets, and they are a building block in realising the future scenario of automatic train operation.”

Winter protection for turnouts Keeping turnouts free of ice and snow ensures trains continue to run safely during the cold winter months. Our IP68 power supply system connects plugs with a 4-way distributor in moulded rubber which is both simple to install and maintain, even in hard to reach environments. Easily transportable flexible elements with protective channels and barbed ‘knock on’ clips reduces the time to track to a minimum.

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October 2020 | 65

Wo m e n i n R a i l

Rail industry celebrates the Women in Rail Awards Those working hard to promote gender balance, equality and diversity in the rail workforce have been recognised by a special awards ceremony


he Women in Rail Awards received over 300 entries from a wide range of individuals, teams and companies in the railway industry, spreading across nine awards categories. Adeline Ginn MBE, Women in Rail founder and Group Strategy and Legal Director at CPMS, said: “A huge thank you to everyone who supported the Women in Rail Awards. “I am delighted we have been able to recognise and celebrate, albeit digitally, the inspirational contribution of all the winners of this year’s Women in Rail Awards.” Social Inclusion Award Costain Skanska Legacy Team What the judges said: “Costain Skanska joint venture has demonstrated a strong commitment and a pro-active mindset to social inclusion and developed innovative ways to reach out to local communities which success was supported by tangible evidence.” Highly Commended: The Parc Prison Collaboration Project Top Employer Award Southeastern Railway What the judges said: “Southeastern demonstrated a real drive to improve gender balance, diversity and inclusion in UK rail.” Highly Commended: AEGIS Engineering Systems (AES) Limited Best Apprenticeship Scheme Bombardier Transportation What the judges said: “Bombardier has developed a scheme specifically targeted at attracting women into rail.” Best Graduate Programme Rail Delivery Group What the judges said: “RDG has developed a Programme where graduates are given the chance to experience many parts of the industry, thus exposing them to the wide range of engineering roles available. Given its crossindustry focus, and the age profile time bomb of engineers who will exit our industry in the years to come, the Programme addresses a real issue.” 66 | October 2020

Inspirational Woman of the Year – Emma Dymond What the judges said: “We were impressed by Emma’s amazing achievements in compelling circumstances, her infectious energy and her determination to support the development of others around her. There was solid evidence of her being a role model to many and her contribution to improving gender balance, equality, diversity and inclusion in UK rail was undisputable.” Highly Commended: Heather Waugh – Train Driver, Freightliner Female Apprentice of the Year – Rachel Halliday What the judges said: “We were impressed by Rachel’s rate of progress and the amazing testimonials from long-serving (and no doubt mostly older) staff that she now manages. This must have been very hard to achieve and is a testament to both her strong technical and interpersonal skills.”

Rising Star of the Year – Vanessa Jasmine Burton What the judges said: “We found Vanessa’s nomination very powerful. There was a tremendous amount of positive comments around her personality and nurturing approach, as well as many solid examples of tangible technical delivery.” Highly Commended: Gemma Andrews, Design Manager, SCS Railways

Women in Rail Award – Paul Plummer Adeline Ginn MBE, Founder and Chair of Women in Rail, said: “Paul is truly committed to the gender balance, diversity and inclusion agenda in our industry and to the promotion of women of all backgrounds within the rail workforce.”

Inspirational Man of the Year – Simon Gallagher What the judges said: “We were struck not just by the actions and results in his current senior leadership role, but the actions he has taken across his entire career. It is clearly something embedded in him and earlier in his career, these would have been particularly bold steps to take.”


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Movers and shakers

First UK engineering director for Stadler Rail tadler Rail Service UK has appointed Paul Patrick as its first UK Engineering Director. He will oversee Stadler’s five live contracts up and down the country, reporting to Rob Baxter, UK Managing Director. Paul Patrick, previously head of fleet engineering at Nexus, will be responsible for live contracts in Liverpool, East Anglia, Wales, Glasgow and Newcastle upon Tyne. He will also lead on the service and maintenance of the Tyne and Wear Metro legacy fleet and, ultimately, the new trains that replace them. He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to lead the engineering team in the UK, which will deliver the highest possible service to our customers. It will be an honour to be part of the SRSUK leadership team, to help enhance the service we offer and to develop a structure that enables us to continually get better. I only have fond memories of my 25 years at Nexus. I wish them every success with the project to introduce 42 new trains on to the Tyne and Wear Metro, which will transform rail travel in the north east region.

Photo: Stadler Rail Service UK


“I look forward to meeting all the team around the UK and working with them to improve services for the benefit of both our clients and rail passengers up and down the country.”

This appointment follows Stadler’s rapid UK expansion, which has seen the Swiss rail-builder secure five contracts in this market in four years. These include 58 new FLIRT trains for Greater Anglia, 52 Metro trains for the Liverpool City Region, 17 Metro trains for Glasgow Subway and 71 trains for Wales & Borders. At the beginning of the year, Stadler won the tender to supply 42 new Metro trains for the Tyne and Wear Metro. Paul has enjoyed a long and successful career at Nexus, starting in 1995 as an apprentice fitter. Since then, he has progressed within the organisation and was appointed head of fleet engineering in 2017. Metro Operations Director, Chris Carson, said: “Paul is a great example of someone who has worked their way to the top. He joined us as an apprentice at a young age and has gone on from there to flourish. “He is a great role model for other people who are starting out in the railway industry and he has demonstrated just how far you can go if you work hard and stay dedicated.”

Arcadis appoints new City Executive to drive northern growth agenda A rcadis has further reinforced its commitment to Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and the Northern Powerhouse with the appointment of Debbie Francis as the new City Executive for the region. Debbie will also represent Arcadis on the board of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, where Arcadis is one of the founding partners supporting the need for rail investment to connect Northern cities and delivering the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. Debbie brings more than 20 years’ experience at executive and board level across a range of sectors, including education, health, infrastructure and utilities. She has previously led large-scale cultural and operational change initiatives for a number of organisations, including Network Rail and the infrastructure and utilities support service company, Enterprise Managed Services.

Debbie joins Arcadis from Direct Rail Services, a rail freight business where she was Managing Director for four years. She has also held NonExecutive Director roles at Cumbria Education Trust, Clatterbridge Cancer Care NHS Trust in Merseyside and, currently, Lancashire Care Foundation Trust. With a strong interest in areas of leadership and team performance, Debbie has proven experience in improving business processes and bringing

together diverse teams to underpin strategic success. Last year she was named in the Top 50 Northern Power Women List, won the 2019 North West & IOM Director of the Year for Inclusivity, and received the ‘Woman with Edge’ award – which recognises business women who challenge the status quo – at the 2019 Women of the Year awards. She said: “From Teesside to Merseyside, there are so many exciting growth and investment opportunities across the region, and with our great northern cities playing a key role in the Northern Powerhouse agenda, the potential for long term prosperity is huge. “I’m really looking forward to working with the Arcadis team, clients and partners and building on these strong foundations to ensure that the benefits and opportunities from a renewed investment in the North can be fully realised right across this dynamic region.”

Jacques Damas appointed CEO of Eurostar Jacques Damas is the Chief Executive Officer at Eurostar, taking over from Mike Cooper who joins Arriva as Group CEO this month. Alain Krakovitch, Director General of Voyages SNCF, said: “Thanks to his solid experience in leading his in-depth knowledge of the railway world, as well as his valuable international experience, particularly within Eurostar and Thalys, we are fully confident in the ability of Jacques Damas to lead Eurostar to meet the challenges of exiting the COVID-19 crisis and lead it towards future developments.” Jacques Damas joined the SNCF Group in 1982, where he held several positions of operational management including Managing Director of Eurostar Operations from 2000 to 2005, with the launch of the first high-speed line in Great Britain. October 2020 | 71

Movers and shakers

High level changes at Rail Delivery Group S

teve Montgomery has taken over as Chair of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), replacing Chris Burchell, whose four-year term has come to an end. In a move delayed from last autumn, Chief Executive Paul Plummer will retire from executive roles at the end of the year. Steve, the MD of First Rail, said: “With the railway at a critical point, facing as it does the twin challenges of recovering from the COVID crisis and major structural reform, strong leadership on behalf of the industry is crucial and the changes being made at RDG will deliver this. “Over recent years, Chris and Paul have built the RDG’s voice and its capability to deliver key services for the industry and they leave it in a strong position to navigate the

future within a reformed system. I would like to thank them both for their tremendous

contribution to the industry over many years.” RDG is taking this as an opportunity to restructure so that it is fit to engage with and support industry reform. Whilst continuing to be a centre for collaboration across the rail system, RDG will be structured to ensure the continuity of high quality services to the railway and also to act as an effective voice for key sections of its membership, such as Train Operators and Freight Operators, and the industry as a whole. Changes in RDG’s leadership are being made to reflect the move to these new structures. Jacqueline Starr will lead Service Delivery and be overall RDG Chief Executive Officer and Andy Bagnall will lead Advocacy & Change as RDG Director General.

Kier appoints new technical director Kier, a leading provider of construction and infrastructure services, is appointing Helen Samuels as Technical Director, a newly created senior role within its Construction business. Helen, a Chartered Civil Engineer and fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, will join Kier on 4 January 2021, from her current role as CEO of Bibby Marine. She has previously held senior roles in the built environment, including as engineering director for Network Rail’s £6 billion per year capital programme, where she also led the 700 strong multi-

discipline design team. Prior to this, she was Engineering Director at United Utilities, where she created a new technical authority for full asset lifecycle. She has also held the role of Managing Director, Water Europe for CH2MHill (now part of Jacobs). Liam Cummins, Group Managing Director, K ier Construction said: “I’m very pleased to welcome Helen to Kier. I know she will be a great new addition to our Construction senior leadership team. Helen’s o ut s ta n d i n g e n g i n e e r i n g, technical and leadership

experience and drive will be key to the implementation of our longterm strategy which has technical excellence at its heart.”

Helen said: “I am delighted to be joining Kier at such an exciting time for the business. There are huge opportunities to close the productivity gap in the built environment through improved data and design, new technologies and modern methods of delivery.” “I’m looking forward to driving this forward, ensuring Kier is at the forefront of this transformation, working with our fantastic in-house teams as well as establishing strategic relationships with key consultant partners.”

New Business Development Director at GB Railfreight Tim Hartley is GB Railfreight’s (G B R f ) new Business Development Director. He has extensive experience in the rail sector and over the last 20 years has advised on the appointments of many of the most senior leaders in the UK rail industry. This includes the CEOs of the Rail Delivery Group, the Office of

72 | October 2020

Rail and Road, Crossrail and HS2. Tim also has experience in providing leadership and organisational consultancy not only in the rail industry, but also in the infrastructure and the real estate market. He said: “I am delighted to be joining GBRf, a company that I have always known as an

outstanding business, delivering innovative, reliable and highquality services to its customers. “GBRf is leading the way in decarbonisation, sustainability and has a long-term commitment to building collaborative relationships with its customers. It is a brilliant team that I feel privileged to be part of.”

Movers and shakers

New MD for Chiltern Railways Chiltern Railways, the Arriva UK Trains company, has announced the appointment of Richard Allan as its new Managing Director. Chiltern, which has recently signed a new agreement with the Department for Transport (DfT), runs services between London Marylebone and the Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Richard Allan, formerly People & Strategy Director and Deputy Managing Director at Northern Trains Limited, will join the train operator in early October following a short handover. In his role as Deputy Managing Director, from 2016, Richard demonstrated his ability to lead a business in challenging times whilst shaping future strategy and engaging stakeholders. “We are delighted to welcome Richard back to the Arriva family,” said Chris Burchell, Managing Director UK Trains at Arriva. “This is a crucial time for Chiltern Railways and the rail industry with an urgent need to deliver accelerated change. I’m confident that Richard will be able to build on Chiltern’s strong track

record of punctuality, reliability and customer service and shape the future evolution of the network.” On the subject of his appointment Richard said: “I am delighted and proud to be joining the Chiltern team and look forward to meeting

and working with colleagues, customers and stakeholders to build on previous successes. There is a lot to do as we enter a new era for Chiltern with a new arrangement with Government and the challenge of attracting customers back to their railway.” Mary Hewitt, UK Trains Strategy and Policy Director, has been acting as Interim Managing Director since the beginning of this year. Mary will now return to her role at UK Trains on a part-time basis whilst she also undertakes a secondment to Network Rail, on behalf of RDG members, to lead the industry engagement in shaping the new 30 year Whole Industry Strategic Plan. “I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to Mary for undertaking the interim MD role,” said Chris Burchell. “She has led the business with great skill through the allencompassing operational and contractual challenges that have been encountered over the last nine months. I know that her personal leadership of the business has been warmly appreciated by everyone at Chiltern.”

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October 2020 | 73

Movers and shakers

Andy Swift Balfour Beatty appoints Tracey Wood joins HS2 as B project client for Euston Joint adventure Mace Dragados moved onto the construction site adjacent to Euston station to begin work on the new high speed station in central London in July. M ace D ragados were appointed as HS2’s Construction Partner for Euston station in March last year and have been working closely with HS2 to prepare for the early works. The new station will provide much needed capacity at Euston station, doubling the number of peak time seats available on Britain’s new rail network. A new concourse is being built, alomg with platforms for the low-carbon, high speed trains and improved connections to Euston and Euston Square Underground stations. Confirming the appointment, a HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “We are pleased to welcome Andy Swift as Project Client for Euston, leading the HS2 team within our Euston Integrated Partnership Team. The arrival of HS2 at Euston will create the opportunity for up to 19,000 new jobs and 1,700 homes as part of a wider masterplan for Euston as well as new public spaces.” He will be joining in midOctober.

alfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has announced the appointment of Tracey Wood as Group General Counsel and Company Secretary. Tracey will report directly to Group Chief Executive, Leo Quinn, as a member of Balfour Beatty’s Group Executive Committee, responsible for the Group’s Legal teams as well as acting as the Company Secretary. Tracey joins from Costain Group plc where she was General Counsel and Company Secretary. Having joined the company in 2006, she has been responsible for Legal, Company Secretariat, HR and Internal Audit & Risk. Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that Tracey has agreed to join Balfour Beatty at such a pivotal time – when the company is perfectly positioned to capitalise on positive infrastructure markets across our chosen geographies.

Tracey Wood, Balfour Beatty Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, said: “Over the last 15 years, I have watched with interest as Balfour Beatty has transformed into the market-leading organisation it is today. I am therefore thrilled to be joining Balfour Beatty.”

New CEO for Taziker to drive growth strategy Steve Corcoran has this month taken over as Chief Executive Officer of multi-disciplinary specialist contractor Taziker. Steve has a distinguished career in the construction sector, operating at board level in both public and private businesses, including nine years as CEO of Speedy Hire plc. More recently Steve has been advising on a number of investment opportunities in the UK and Europe. He said: “I am delighted to be joining Taziker at this exciting time.

“Taziker is a long established, well-respected specialist contractor, led by an experienced

m a n a g e m e nt te a m a n d supported by highly skilled personnel across the business. “As an organisation, Taziker is held in high regard by its clients and I look forward to working with them and the team, as we look to grow and develop the business to meet its true potential.” Steve joins Taziker to lead its growth strategy, as a leading provider of protective coatings, structural refurbishment and strengthening projects for the UK’s critical transport, utility, industrial and marine infrastructure.

Ex-HS2 Chief Executive joins Nichols Group Simon Kirby has joined the Nichols Group as Managing Partner. The former Chief Executive of HS2 will join the strategic change specialists to deliver the biggest and most complex major projects. Simon first became an adviser to the Nichols Group in 2018 providing advice on large, iconic programmes, complex projects and

74 | October 2020

major business change initiatives, operating in a wide range of industries. His new role will see him support Nichols’ clients across a variety of areas, with a particular focus on accelerating the delivery of infrastructure projects, the development of net zero infrastructure and promoting

infrastructure delivery in the north of England. He said: “As an industry, we are at a pivotal moment. Infrastructure lies at the heart of improving the prosperity of the UK, and as such answering the government’s call to speed up infrastructure delivery has never been more important.”

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