Better for Business September 2020
Exclusively for rail industry leaders
September 2020 Issue 1 railbusinessdaily.com
The inside track… Andy Lord Keeping the London Underground moving Adeline Ginn MBE Leading the diversity and inclusion agenda Martin Kearney The game changers for the North East of England Maggie Simpson Increasing the volume of goods moved by rail
Sir Peter Hendy CBE Network Rail’s Chair reflects on the Stonehaven tragedy, the challenges facing the rail industry, and the need for reform 1
A platform for success… railbusinessdaily.com
Releasing the latest industry news Bringing companies and customers together Delivering business-leading analysis and views
Dear rail industry friends and colleagues I
hope you are all keeping well and that business continues to remain strong – despite the incredibly challenging times we have all faced in the last six months. Although I am sure there are still a great many challenges ahead, it never ceases to amaze me how the railway family always pulls together in testing times. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the very first edition of RailDirector magazine, part of the Business Daily Group of companies, which includes the hugely popular railbusinessdaily.com. We deliver more than 70 stories a week to +50,000 rail industry professionals who now subscribe to our 7am daily newsletter. We are delighted to champion the industry – positively promoting what is happening now and in the future and showcasing the fantastic work of thousands of supply chain partners here in the UK and overseas. If you don’t subscribe already, you can do so by visiting our website: www.railbusinessdaily.com. RailDirector magazine is designed to bring industry influencers, decision-makers and supply chain partners closer together. Exclusively delivered to more than 2,000 company directors, RailDirector gives you the opportunity to see, before anyone else, the rail industry’s latest news and views. It is also a chance for industry suppliers, involved in everything from track to train, to showcase their work. Our aim is to help the industry, and its constituent organisations, to grow and flourish by getting everyone involved in the business of the railways talking to each other. Please engage with us and we will always help you to tell your story. Let us try to help to connect you.
I would like to thank all contributors to this first edition of RailDirector. We couldn’t have launched this magazine without your support and feedback on publishing gaps in the current marketplace. I hope you like what you see. Our aim is to continually improve and grow stronger with each monthly edition. Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention what happened at Stonehaven in August – a subject that is covered by our headline contributor, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, on page five. Thankfully, these terrible accidents are rare on Britain’s railways, but when they do happen there is a profound effect on us all – as with any family where friends, colleagues and love ones are lost. We must continue to work closely together to make sure that everyone who works or travels on our rail network arrives home safely, every day – managing and mitigating risk and acting swiftly. Our warmest thoughts are with the families, friends and colleagues closest to those who lost their lives and to those people who were injured. We would also like to thank the emergency services and rail industry colleagues involved in the response for their tremendous work. Please continue to deliver safely and deliver well and I look forward to catching up with you again in October. Best wishes
David McLoughlin Chief Executive Business Daily Group (incorporating: RBD and railbusinessdaily.com)
RailDirector magazine is designed to bring industry influencers, decision-makers and supply chain partners closer together
RailDirector magazine is part of the Business Daily Group of companies, which includes the hugely popular railbusinessdaily.com. We deliver more than 70 stories a week to +50,000 rail industry professionals who now subscribe to our 7am daily newsletter. Please subscribe and encourage your colleagues and team members to do the same. It’s free and it’s easy: www.railbusinessdaily.com. This is the very best way to keep abreast of what is happening on Britain’s railways. There is a digital copy of RailDirector on our website.
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September 2020 | 3
Tackling the train brain drain 44
Chair of Network Rail, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, on the challenges facing the rail industry.
Cath Bellamy outlines the new organisation tackling a shortage in train drivers.
Creating a better rail industry 8
The 25 First of a Kind
Adeline Ginn MBE on supporting the diversity and inclusion agenda.
We look at the projects receiving DfT funding to transform the railways.
Approaching the finish line
Including the major upgrades to the Welsh railways and Island Line transformation.
CEO Mark Wild on leading Crossrail through its final stages.
Andy Lord on his role in keeping the London Underground moving.
Siemens Mobility Limited work to improve Hither Green.
Making the right connections 20
The return of Grand Central
Lucy Prior MBE talks about her work in rail and the people who have inspired her.
MD Richard McClean on the future of the open access operator.
Getting Britain moving again 24
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on the new Acceleration Unit.
Helen Smith on Severn Valley Railway getting back on track after COVID-19.
Martin Kearney on his move from Australia to England for Nexus.
Including Deutsche Bahn billion-euro order and Etihad Rail fleet increase.
The bedrock of UK rail
Green light for HS2
Tel: 0800 046 7320 Sales: 020 7062 6599 Editor Dean Bruce firstname.lastname@example.org Writers Danny Longhorn Dave Windass Designer/Production Editor Chris Cassidy Print Manager Dan Clark Distribution Manager Luca Goaten Advertising Team Christian Wiles Freddie Neil email@example.com Published by RBD Publications Ltd., Suite 37, Philpot House, Station Road, Rayleigh, , Essex, SS6 7HH. 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.
Rail Freight Group’s Maggie Simpson on the vital role of freight for the industry.
The Interchange that will lead the way for its eco-credentials.
For subscription enquiries and to make sure you get your copy of Rail Director please ring 0800 046 7320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridging the generation gap 38
Movers and shakers
The views expressed in the articles reflect the author(s) opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher and editor. The published material, adverts, editorials and all other content is published in good faith.
Dyan Crowther talks to us about her aspirations as the new chair of the NSAR.
Some of the big arrivals and retirements in the rail industry.
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Pulling together Sir Peter Hendy CBE, current chair of Network Rail, outlines his plans for the future of UK rail
s a regular user of Rail Business Daily’s website and newsletter, I was pleased to be asked a couple of months ago to mark this landmark first print edition of RailDirector magazine with some thoughts on the current state of the rail industry – our response to COVID-19, some of the things that we’re already doing really well, and other areas where we need to improve and reform if we are to properly meet the needs of passengers and freight users. There is, however, nowhere else I can begin than with the heartbreaking events near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire on 12 August, where a derailment led to the tragic deaths of driver Brett McCullough, conductor Donald Dinnie and passenger Christopher Stuchbury. I, like everyone else in the railway family, remain completely and utterly devastated by this accident, and my thoughts are with everybody affected – particularly the families and friends of Brett, Donald and Christopher.
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September 2020 | 5
We will of course do whatever we can to support investigators at the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, Office for Rail and Road and British Transport Police so that we can properly understand the circumstances that led to this tragedy. Mercifully, accidents like the Stonehaven derailment are incredibly rare on Britain’s railway – indeed this was the first incident resulting in a passenger fatality since 2007 – but I know that will be of absolutely no comfort to those affected. I have been around long enough to remember the days when accidents and passenger fatalities on the railway occurred with alarming regularity. Those days are thankfully long gone, and our railway now is one of the safest major railways in Europe, but Stonehaven shows that we cannot afford to take safety for granted. Something went badly wrong on the morning of 12 August, and we must learn lessons to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The exact circumstances of the incident are subject to continuing investigations – and it’s important I don’t pre-empt what they might find – but it is clear that the weather in the area was poor, with heavy rain and floods. In the immediate aftermath of the incident we put extra precautionary measures in place, including inspections of known high-risk sites
and working with meteorologists to improve real-time information about prevailing weather conditions. Additional challenges Climate change presents a significant challenge to the safe and reliable running of the railway. That is why three years ago we put in a significant bid for funding specifically to invest in our Victorian embankment and cuttings, and we were subsequently allocated a record £900m to strengthen our earthwork portfolio. The tragic events of 12 August have only strengthened our commitment to making our railway more resilient to climate change.
Accidents like the Stonehaven derailment are incredibly rare on Britain’s railway I have been touched, but not surprised, by the railway family’s response to Stonehaven, and the offers of support and condolence I’ve seen across the industry. Over the years we have consistently shown an ability to pull together in the most
challenging of times – something that has also been evident in our response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Over recent months we have worked closely and effectively together – for example on multiple re-writes of the timetable with exceptionally quick turnarounds, by introducing new measures at stations to keep passengers and staff safe, and carrying out hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of maintenance and upgrade works to improve the railway as other industries closed down, and doing so while keeping our frontline workforce safe. Our staff have also helped build and equip several Nightingale hospitals with NHS supplies and logistics, giving our PPE to health workers, as well as various donations to support local communities, and celebrating frontline workers by lighting up our stations and bridges. I am so proud of our collective response to this awful virus. As a passionate advocate of the railway, it was difficult to see empty trains and desolate stations in the first few months of the pandemic, but we did a brilliant job of keeping services running reliably so that doctors, nurses, police officers, carers and supermarket workers could get to and from work, and helping to move critical goods by freight.
We can make sure the rail sector bounces back and emerges stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic
6 | September 2020
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07494 477 966 • email@example.com • www.pep.ltd • 152-160 Kemp House, London, EC1V 2NX Now we are welcoming more passengers back to the railway, reassuring them that it is safe to travel by train if they follow public health guidance, such as wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing and travelling at quieter times wherever possible. The new normal At the time of writing, we are back up to around 30 per cent of pre-coronavirus passenger numbers. Realistically we know that it will be quite some time before we get anywhere near back to ‘normal’. Many commuters will have enjoyed the flexibility of working from home and may never return to the Monday-Friday commute, while others might be anxious about returning to public transport. We cannot afford to just assume that people will come back en masse, and must instead work together to deliver the reform that has long been overdue, and make the railway attractive again for passengers. That means reassuring people that they can use the railway with confidence. It means building robust and reliable timetables. It means embarking on a revolution in customer service, fares, ticketing and information. It means making sure our offering reflects the modern working habits of Britain’s workforce. And it means providing a properly sustainable railway that is the cleanest and greenest way to travel. railbusinessdaily.com
Working with government, train operators, the Rail Delivery Group and all our partners across the industry, we can make sure the rail sector bounces back and emerges stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. Together we can seize the opportunity to deliver meaningful reform and build a railway that works in the interests of passengers in a post-coronavirus Britain. However, we can all be forgiven for
putting all of that aside for a moment, and taking some time to reflect and remember our colleagues Brett and Donald, and passenger Christopher, who we so sadly lost in the Stonehaven tragedy. They will not be forgotten. This article was written on 24 August 2020.
September 2020 | 7
Creating a better rail industry Adeline Ginn MBE believes supporting the diversity and inclusion agenda is key to the rail industry thriving in the future
We need to showcase the industry’s full potential and make it an inspiration for people to want to work in
espite the vast array of opportunities and the rail industry experiencing billions of pounds worth of investment, recruitment is still a major challenge facing the sector. There is a deficit of talent and diversity of skills, with an estimated one in six of the UK rail workforce women; something which is threatening the industry’s future growth and prosperity. Leading the change is the founder of Women in Rail, Adeline Ginn MBE, who along with an army of passionate volunteers and supporters, men and women, is transforming the way the rail industry is perceived and offering strong support to help carve out a career. “Most of the women I speak to admit to falling into rail by accident rather than intentionally. But they stay in the industry because they develop a passion for it and they realise all of the career opportunities available within it,” she said. “We need to showcase the industry’s full potential and make it an inspiration for people to want to work in. A key part of that is making sure rail is an industry that embraces diversity and is inclusive of everyone within its workforce. We are moving in the right direction, but we continue to do so very slowly.” 8 | September 2020
Adeline set up Women in Rail over eight years ago as a network platform to stop women feeling isolated in a male-dominated industry. Fast-forward to 2020 and you can add workshops, regional groups, a prestigious awards’ ceremony and an incredibly successful mentoring scheme as strings to the charity’s bow. Paradigm SWIFT The charity is currently embarking on its latest addition, entitled “Senior Women In (or Formerly) in rail and/or Transport” (SWIFT). Adeline, who was last year made an MBE for her services to the rail industry, said: “SWIFT’s purpose is two-fold: to provide space and support for its executive members through a peer to peer network and to help high potential women in rail progress their careers and transition to more senior roles. “SWIFT members get the chance to meet people of the same grade, but SWIFT also offers support and guidance to women looking to progress their career to senior management level and give them the confidence to take that next step and to build that network. railbusinessdaily.com
“As you get more senior the challenges become different and it can become really tough. We want to offer support and will potentially in the future look to expand the mentoring programme to an executive level as well.” The power of three SWIFT Membership is split into three categories: Green – Career development platform. Blue – Leadership development platform. Teal – C-Suite, peer-to-peer networking memberships. SWIFT is just one of several exciting initiatives being run by Women in Rail. This includes a survey sent to 350 people at senior level about what needs to be done to promote diversity and work is also underway to create a Women in Rail Charter. Adeline juggles her work for the charity along with a full-time role as Group Strategy and Legal Director at the CPMS Group, a company at which the workforce is 49 per cent women.
As you get more senior the challenges become different and it can become really tough She said: “At CPMS we’ve reached the stage at which we don’t need to talk about increasing diversity and inclusion internally because it is just there. That is something we need to achieve as an industry. Although I’ve not experienced any negativity myself working in the rail industry, I know some women who have, and some who have really suffered. That needs to change. “We need to embed inclusivity and diversity into the culture at all grades and hold senior leadership accountable for progress – that has to be a priority. “We still have a long way to go, but we are heading in the right direction. I’m hoping SWIFT will be successful so it will show that leaders at the top are truly committed to inclusion and diversity. While the Charter will be more of an open pledge to drive change. By not having a diverse workforce for all grades and roles, you are potentially missing out on opportunities. It is time to unite in our approach to promote rail as a career of choice, to redress the gender and diversity balance, fill our ever-growing pipeline with the best talent and give them a voice through an inclusive culture throughout. “I want the rail industry to be the career path talked about in schools and to be the sector people are passionate about getting into, rather than falling into.” Further Information To learn more about Women in Rail, visit womeninrail.org
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September 2020 | 9
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Work on a new, modern design for Cardiff Central station will be funded through the release of £5.8 million. It will focus on improving access and ensuring platforms are suited for longer trains, boosting space and capacity for passengers. £3 million to advance plans for upgraded signalling on the 241km Cambrian line from Shrewsbury Sutton Bridge Junction to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli. The planned state-of-the-art digital signalling system will modernise the network, improving the reliability of services, and support the introduction of a new fleet being rolled out across the network in December 2022. Almost £2 million has been made available for the next phase of development work on proposals to speed up journeys between Cardiff and Swansea, Chester and Llandudno Junction, and the Severn Tunnel and Cardiff, through better-aligned tracks and exploring putting additional services on the lines. UK government Minister in Wales David TC Davies said: “Communities will benefit from this multi-million package of rail investment, aimed at delivering rail services that are fit for the future. “From proposals to speed up services, improving access for those who need it most and boosting connectivity, these improvements form part of our broader plans to level up the nations and regions of the UK as we rebuild our economy following the coronavirus.” 10 | September 2020
South Western Railway has announced the dates of the engineering works that will be taking place on the Island Line in advance of the introduction of the Class 484 trains in 2021. From 4 January 2021 until 31 March 2021, no service will run on Island Line whilst work is carried out to deliver the biggest transformation to the line’s infrastructure since the line was electrified in 1967. This work includes the construction of a new passing loop at Brading allowing for a regular 30-minute service enhancements to the track to improve the quality of the ride, upgrade to platforms to improve access to the Class 484 trains, and the installation of new ticket vending machines at Shanklin, Sandown and Ryde St John’s Road.
Photo: South Western Railway
Major progress has been made on ambitious upgrades to Wales’ railways following £343 million of investment to help deliver better journeys for passengers. The raft of schemes to be funded by the UK government includes:
Three-month Island Line work to transform travel on the Isle of Wight
Alan Penlington, Customer Experience Director at South Western Railway, said: “This is a very exciting project for Island Line and will transform travel on the Isle of Wight. Whilst this work will be disruptive, we will keep our customers moving with replacement buses.”
Vital rail link protection approved Teignbridge District Council has approved Network Rail’s plans for the remaining section of the new sea wall at Dawlish, which will provide increased protection for the railway from extreme weather and rising sea levels for generations to come. Network Rail is due to begin construction on the second section of wall, which runs for 415 metres between the Coastguards and Colonnade breakwaters, later this year. It follows the opening of the first section at Marine Parade in July and will complete the £80m
Photo: Network Rail
The multi-million pound boost for the Welsh railways
Government-funded project. Construction is expected to take around two years and deliver a £10 million boost to
the local economy, on top of the £5 million spent on local labour, materials and accommodation for Marine Parade.
Soham station contract awarded
J Murphy and Sons Ltd has won the contract to build Soham’s new railway station. The £18.6 million funding package for reconnecting Soham to the rail network after more than 55 years has been provided by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. The work includes the construction of a single 99-metre platform, a stepped footbridge and car park. Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s Route Director for
Anglia, said: “Awarding the contract provides us with the means to be able to start delivering this important transport gateway for Soham. “This project is a prime example of what we can do when we work in partnership with other organisations to improve the railway for the benefit of local communities and businesses.” The enabling works are due to begin in autumn, with the main construction phase starting in early 2021 and completed by the end of the year.
I n sFue raat nu cr e
Advice for Railway Companies – monthly feature by Jobson James Rail – The Rail Broker
Why do you need Cyber Insurance? Protection against email hacking
mail hacking could place your business at risk. Cyber-crime is becoming increasingly sophisticated and a common scam is for an email account to be hacked. The hackers will often monitor emails coming in and out of your account for some time before striking, taking careful note of when your suppliers get paid and how much each invoice is for. They will then impersonate a supplier who is owed money by sending an email copying the supplier’s email style and personality, notifying you of a change in their bank account details just before a large invoice is due to be paid to that supplier. When the supplier is paid, the money goes to the hackers’ bank account and the money could be lost forever – the theft is only discovered when the real supplier complains of non-payment. This is why it is important to always ring your supplier to
check every bank account change. Cyber insurance is still a relatively new concept but it provides financial protection if your business suffers a cyber-attack. A basic policy pays for own business financial losses (first party risk) arising from hacking, viruses and ransom demands; typical losses are theft of funds, theft of data and interruption to your IT systems. Most policies provide
a cyber expert response to diagnose the cyber-attack and remedy it by removal of the virus. The experts will also advise upon improved firewalls to stop a repeat attack. Wider policies can cover your own loss of revenue and third party costs, for instance where the virus may have been sent to a customer. A cost-effective way to obtain low-level cyber cover can be to purchase an extension to your existing computer hardware insurance. The more your business relies on electronic means of trading, the greater the risk of significant disruption and cost to your business. Keven Parker ACII NEBOSH Director, Chartered Insurance Risk Manager Jobson James Rail – The Rail Broker 07816 283949
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September 2020 | 11
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Transport for the North (TfN) has revealed plans for a Northern Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), a 30-year investment plan of infrastructure projects to underpin greener Northern growth. This £5 billion pipeline includes rail, road, active travel and smart ticketing proposals, some of which could be started over the next 6-18 months to help the economy ‘build back better’, and help create around 20,000 construction and design jobs in the North of England. Barry White, Chief Executive at Transport for the North, said: “Our Economic Recovery Plan outlines quickfire ways to rapidly invest in shovel-ready infrastructure projects and initiatives, helping rebuild and transform the North over the next few years.
Unblocking the UK’s most challenging railway junction Proposals are being drawn up to remove the UK’s most operationally challenging railway junction. The flat railway junctions, located to the north of East Croydon station, regularly cause delays to the 1,700 trains that pass through the area each weekday as trains often need to stop to allow others to pass in front of them. This creates a bottleneck that amplifies delays on the Brighton Main Line, its branches and the wider network. Network Rail is proposing to replace the flat junctions with new viaducts, bridges and diveunders to separate the tracks, creating clear routes for trains and removing the current need for trains to wait at red signals for others to pass in front. John Halsall, Network Rail’s Managing Director, southern region, said: “We know these proposals are critical as they are the only way to deliver a combination of more reliable, more frequent and faster services for passengers on the Brighton Main Line and its branches.” The public consultation will close at 11.59pm
Photo: Network Rail
The £5bn Northern Infrastructure Pipeline
on Sunday 20 September. To find out more about the proposals and provide feedback visit networkrail.co.uk/Croydon
Mace to manage Brent Cross West Station project Photo: South Western Railway
Specialist construction and consultancy company, Mace, has been selected to provide project management services for the £40 million Brent Cross West Station development in North London. The project – being brought forward by Barnet Council – is part of ambitious urban regeneration plans for the wider Brent Cross area. It involves the construction of a new rail station that will be linked to the nearby Brent Cross South scheme and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022. The news comes hot on the heels of another Mace win in the rail sector, after the firm secured the Programme Support Office partner role on the £39 billion Northern Powerhouse Rail scheme in June. Jason Millett, Mace’s CEO for Consultancy, said: “Securing this role enhances Mace’s reputation as a leading consultant in the rail sector, adding to a portfolio that includes the new HS2 Euston Station.”
Photo: Avanti West Coast
The UK’s first fully wrapped Pride train
12 | September 2020
Avanti West Coast has launched the UK’s first fully wrapped Pride train entirely staffed by an LGBTQ+ crew. It has been billed as the biggest Pride flag the UK has seen, covering the 11-carriage, 265-metre-long train. With a strong focus on LGBTQ+ education, the train is filled with literature, stories and colourful posters. Sarah Copley, Avanti West Coast’s Executive
Director, Commercial, said: “It is a symbol of our commitment to diversity and inclusion as it travels up and down the West Coast Main Line. “I am so proud to be part of a business where our people represent the communities we serve. “We are always listening to them and customers to ensure our diversity and inclusion strategy is relevant. “Our new train livery is a powerful example of keeping the conversation going.” railbusinessdaily.com
F eaaf et ut yr e S
Safer Access S
ince 2007 Suffolk-based company Step on Safety (SoS) has been supplying the UK’s rail industry with bespoke access solutions to help keep trackside employees safe as they carry out their maintenance and repair tasks. Working exclusively with GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) composite materials, Step on Safety was one of the first businesses in the country to offer a genuine alternative to traditional steel construction for access platforms, trench covers, foot bridges, walkways, ramps and more. Fully accredited by UKAS ISO 9001, SoS is a leading specialist in the design, manufacture, fabrication and installation of GRP and the first and only one to become an NVQ Training Centre. Priding themselves on providing a traditional and professional service to all their clients, the SoS teams aim to produce same day quotations and technical advice, with next working day delivery for many of their products. So why choose GRP? Steel comes with a multitude of inherent issues that can mean costly and disruptive ongoing maintenance. It’s heavy, susceptible to corrosion, conductive and hard to cut, the sparking requiring hot works permits. On top of that it’s slippery – the majority of deaths within the construction industry are attributed to slips and falls – and doesn’t always meet fire regulations. GRP on the other hand is non-conductive, doesn’t corrode and doesn’t spark when cut. It’s much lighter than the steel equivalents, reducing the heavy lifting costs and it never needs repainting. The embedded glass keeps it non-slip in all but the worst conditions and its lifespan can be measured in decades. Key product ranges for Step on Safety are QuartzGrip Grating, Solid Top and Anti-Slip Plate for non-slip floors, Stair Treads and Nosing for safer stairs and the SafetyClamp modular Handrail System which has the added benefit of being warmer to touch in icy conditions. All the framework for each construction is built from pultruded profile GRP. It can also be used for fencing. Find out more by visiting steponsafety.co.uk or call 01206 396 446 to discuss your next project.
14 | September 2020
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Rear of Platform Access Stairs
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Capital planning Managing Director of London Underground Andy Lord, talks about maintaining and upgrading the world’s oldest metro system ndy Lord, who took up the role of Managing Director of London Underground and TfL Engineering in November 2019, is used to being responsible for moving large numbers of people around. By the time Andy’s 25 years at British Airways drew to a close in 2015, by which time the Peak District native was Director of Operations, the airline was carrying 40 million passengers a year. But those stats pale into relative insignificance compared to the five million passengers a day that the Tube has capacity to carry. Andy was at the helm as the Tube hit new record heights, with 5.1 million passengers in a single day. Then COVID-19 struck, and Andy found himself staring at the opposite end of the spectrum and the lowest passenger numbers using the Underground since the 1880s, with just 68,000 passengers travelling on Easter Sunday. R e m a r ka b l y the London Underground, despite facing significant challenges, has maintained its services right through the global pandemic. Andy said: “There was never a point that we thought we’d have to close down operations for safety reasons. There were times when we wondered whether staff absences, which had increased to over 30 per cent because of isolation, shielding and some of our people contracting the virus, might have an impact on our ability to maintain consistent services across all of our lines. “However, staffing levels stabilised and we made significant changes to schedules to adapt to the situation. Passenger numbers dropped to as low as 3 per cent of what they were, which also resulted in a financial fallout. It has been an incredibly intense period in our history. In the last few months our people have truly been heroes in the manner in which they have kept the Tube running.” Andy entered the industry as a sponsored Engineering undergraduate, rose through the ranks and followed his 16 | September 2020
TfL by the numbers Annual passenger numbers: 1.35 billion Annual train km travelled: 83.6 million km Annual Longest continuous tunnel: East Finchley to Morden (via Bank) – 27.8km Length of network: 402km Source: TfL
long BA tenure with the Executive Vice President role for Menzies Aviation, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. He has held complex operational roles and handled crises throughout his career in transport. At the outbreak of the pandemic, along with a fellow TfL director, Andy also took on operational responsibility at executive level for the whole of TfL. Now, with something resembling normal service returning, with service levels back up to 97 per cent and, as of August this year, passenger levels back to 30 per cent, Andy has had chance to reflect on his new job. “The first three months were very much a learning experience. They were about getting out and about and meeting people and showing some personal leadership, face-to-face. I’m immensely honoured to be the MD of the London Underground, it’s the most amazing public transport system in the world.” While the financial implications of a drop in revenue have inevitably led to revised budgets and some delays and setbacks to projects, London Underground’s investment continues apace.
The Northern Line extension (NLE) between Kennington and Battersea will help regenerate the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea areas by supporting new jobs and homes and is scheduled to be completed in autumn 2021. Signalling improvements New digital signalling is currently being installed in London as part of the £5.4 billion Four Lines Modernisation programme (4LM). Covering the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, this upgrade will boost capacity by a third on 40 per cent of the London Underground network, transforming one of the oldest parts of the tube into one of the most modern. A new fleet of trains will be introduced on the Piccadilly line, the Bank Station redevelopment will also increase capacity by 40 per cent and improve connectivity for passengers changing tubes or heading onwards on the DLR, while at Harrow-on-theHill, £7 million is being spent to provide step-free access. A continued focus on accessibility will also see step-free access increased at a number of other stations. railbusinessdaily.com
Andy said: “We have a clear plan around ensuring we deliver a safe, consistent, reliable service for our customers. We’re investing heavily, despite the financial challenges we now face, in our assets and infrastructure to continue to improve the customer experience and drive capacity needs. “Underpinning everything is a significant investment in our people. How do we give them the best opportunities to focus on their own development and the service they provide to customers? We place a real emphasis on people, leadership and delivering a world class tube for a world class city.” The long-term implications of a COVID-19 world is yet to be fully understood. Andy, though, believes that recent experiences put the London Underground in a good position. “We have had to be incredibly agile in decisionmaking and operational response and, in terms of the way the organisation and its operations have been run since COVID-19, it was something that had never been seen before at TfL and London Underground. We had to find new ways of doing things and in some cases question historical ways of working. We’ll be embedding
Photo: Edward Crawford / Shutterstock.com
some of what we learned going forward to make sure we continue to work in the most effective and efficient way possible. A priority is reassuring our customers that the network is safe, reliable and continues to provide a consistent service. Our team has also spent a lot of time listening to different employers and sectors, and those involved with our key customer groups, to find out when staff will be heading back to work and around changes to working patterns so that we can adapt accordingly.
“Mass transit will be back, it’s just a question of when. The profile of passengers will change, everyone commuting at the same time might become a thing of the past, and rather than peak travel times we might see more of a plateau across the day as people spread their journeys. “We’re also working very closely with City Hall and the Department for Transport regarding how we encourage people to head back into London for leisure and retail in order to help drive the economy forwards. “We’ll clearly be a big part of that, along with our bus network and people walking and cycling. “Any recovery for the city has to be green-led and London Underground has a significant role to play. “London Underground has an incredible history and faces an exciting future. The Tube has been around for over 150 years, has survived all sorts of crises and the spirit of the people that work in it is just incredible. The Tube will play an absolutely critical role in rebuilding London’s economy and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it.”
September 2020 | 17
Fea Te c ht unroel o g y
UV-C technology that kills COVID-19 is being ignored Rail passengers and staff are facing an increased risk of catching COVID-19 despite there being a proven solution – UV-C light, writes Paul Tweedale, Managing Director, TenBroeke Co Ltd
ARS, MERS and now COVID-19. The list from hell. The first two caused what seemed like huge disruption and many deaths, but in comparison to COVID-19, seem quite tame. Despite having a lower fatality rate, COVID-19 has resulted in more deaths than SARS and MERS combined. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has acknowledged ‘evidence emerging’ of the airborne spread of COVID-19. This was, in part, driven by a study in China in a paper published July 2020 by Dr. Li, a clinical doctor at the Dept. of Infectious Disease, Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, China. The paper identified how 10 people from 3 families who had all eaten at the same air-conditioned restaurant in Guangzhou, China on January 23, 2020 were infected by COVID-19 – due to the virus being spread by unsterilized air through the restaurants’ Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) system.
COVID-19 is new, but we can look to previous coronaviruses for insight – studies on SARS and MERS over the last few years show that ‘far UV-C’ light is safe for humans and kills viruses. UV-C technology from PP-L is proven to kill COVID-19 Whatever the reason, pride, naivety or the desperate hope that a vaccine will be produced – which may take years – the result is that an effective, low cost solution available today is being ignored. The TenBroeke / PP-L partnership is delivering UV-C solutions that kill bacteria, micro-organisms, coronaviruses and deadly pathogens in the air, on surfaces and in liquid. The PP-L technology and systems, proven over 80 years, continually sterilises the air in closed spaces by either being fitted in enclosed areas or installed within the heating and ventilation system. This graphic identifies the places where viruses breed and how the PP-L solutions stop the spread of COVID-19 and over 35,000 viruses and bacterial infections. 1. Air sterilisation 2. Surface sterilisation 3. Water sterilisation
This happened in a restaurant, hence it can and is happening in any enclosed space – train carriage, station waiting room, office, ticket buying areas, schools and places of worship. Recent studies – China, Germany
PP-L solutions will continuously sterilise the air whilst passengers and staff are using the facilities. Surfaces can be sterilised when not in use. The products can be integrated into existing HVAC systems or new build projects.
The risk of COVID-19 transmission in train passengers: an epidemiological and modelling study: Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
COVID-19 has a high transmission risk among train passengers…(and)... is heterogeneous by co-travel time and seat location, with the highest risk seen among passengers adjacent to an…infected…patient
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Investigation of a superspreading event in the largest meat processing plantrelated COVID-19 outbreak in Germany.
“Our results indicate climate conditions and airflow as factors that can promote efficient spread of SARSCoV-2 via distances of more than 8 meters.”
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UV-C light kills COVID-19 The germicidal properties of sunlight – ‘nature’s disinfectant’ – were established in 1877 during proven research by British researchers who found that bathing bacteria-filled test tubes in sunlight killed microbes. 18 | September 2020
CE marked for conformity and compliance with all relevant European Laws and Regulations FDA approved in the USA
Typical cost of £1 per hour for an average office I challenge the rail industry to be open-minded and explore how UV-C solutions will help keep passengers and staff safe and get this country moving again.
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Making the right connections Lucy Prior MBE talks about her work in rail over the last 15 years and who inspires her
n 2018, Lucy Prior MBE was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to rail exports and cited for her work on career engagement and for supporting the Young Rail Professionals and Women in Rail. Two years later, the prospect of adding the MBE suffix to her social media profiles is still not taken lightly by Sheffield-based digital technology consultancy 3Squared’s Business Engagement Director. “Well, I never wanted to appear arrogant, that was always a worry,” said Lucy. “Although I also thought that I could use it to make a positive difference in the industry. When I received the MBE I thought, right, now I have to prove myself, I have to work even harder.” The MBE was, of course, recognition of Lucy’s hard work to date. Over the course of 15 years, Lucy has held domestic and international business development roles within manufacturing, infrastructure, rolling stock and software related companies. She has also had various roles at the Rail Alliance, including the enviable position of working with hundreds of companies of all sizes and disciplines within her Membership Development role, as well as heading up the Alliance’s relationship with the Department for International Trade, managing the Trade Challenge Partner status. Lucy added: “From a company point of view I’ve maintained a number of volunteer roles. 3Squared are very happy for me to sit on various committees, groups and boards that I have been a part of for years because it enriches what I do, so we all benefit.” Lucy joined 3Squared in September 2019. 3Squared was recently awarded a major contract working on HS2, working with direct contractors Skanska Costain STRABAG JV, who are delivering the tunnelling programme for the route between London Euston up to the M25. The three-year contract will see the company supplying BulkSmart, a component of the company’s RailSmart 20 | September 2020
product suite, providing a supply chain management system, giving visibility of the complex freight supply chain, and providing live performance, cost management information and operational control data in real-time. Understandably, Lucy is excited about this recent contract win. “It’s fantastic, it’s a really massive deal for us as a small company in the north, working with one of the biggest contractors in the world. And with Sheffield-born technology at the heart of everything.” On the right track Lucy’s route into rail was an interesting journey and one that has made her consider ways of encouraging others to follow in her footsteps. She explained: “I’m a language graduate and I wouldn’t be in rail without the arts. I’ve always worked in sales, whether that was flipping burgers, pulling pints, selling catalytic exhaust systems or working in recruitment. I wanted to use my sales and language skills, so I had some very specific ideas and that was coupled with a commercial bite. I was very happy to fall into rail and it’s a natural home for me.” While a science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education presents a clearly defined route into the industry for graduates considering their career path, the addition of the arts
Career highlights 3Squared Ltd. (2019-2020) RTS Solutions (2018-2019) Rail Alliance (2014-2018) L. B. Foster (2011-2014) Mechan Limited (2006-2011)
and softer skills is, according to Lucy, absolutely the way forward. A few years ago a twitter conversation with rail engineer and STEM supporter Gareth Dennis led to an interesting online debate regarding the case for creative thinking in the rail industry that very recently resulted in a Rail Natter podcast that allowed Lucy to expand on her thinking. Lucy said: “We need to change our thinking when it comes to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths). Art influences and has an affect on everything we do. STEM Ambassadors are talking about bringing ‘design’ into the STEM agenda and if that’s not art, what is? You can cut off opportunities in recruitment if you restrict every candidate to a STEM background but if you open up to STEAM you will acquire a richer and more diverse workforce and compete on the skills base.” “There is no such thing as a typical day with 3Squared,” Lucy explained. The work is, she said, “a really cool job.” Lucy added: “The day job is, as my job title suggests, about engaging with new clients and collaborators for the organisation that can lead to potential future business. But it is never just transactional; we truly believe in building and nurturing relationships, partnerships. railbusinessdaily.com
“There’s overarching work to do in terms of policy, politics and the devolution of the rail industry. There are a lot of conversations and communications every day. “We are a small company that is just one part of a behemoth of an industry. So we still ask ourselves big questions, such as ‘If this is happening in tech, what does it mean to rail?’ ‘What does the industry need, what are the problems and how do we solve them?’” Naturally, for someone committed to rail export, the importance of the international market remain high on Lucy’s agenda. “We’re in an industry that is not just about the domestic market. We’re not just a small, straight forward railway network that operates in isolation, we are part of an international market. How many train manufacturers, for example, are not international? There are very few UK parent companies in rail. HS2 is the biggest infrastructure project in Europe. We have to be aware of the fact that we can’t just trade at home. We can develop the right products in the right place for the export market. We (the UK) can provide turnkey rail transport solutions to the Middle East and
elsewhere overseas. That’s what makes the industry so exciting.” Understandably for someone working in rail in South Yorkshire, unlocking the economic potential of the north of England via Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) is viewed by Lucy as an absolute essential.
Better rail connections make for improved, interconnected cities and integrated, multi-modal travel results in better lives “We absolutely need NPR. We need it all, every innovation and improvement. If we’re serious about levelling up, levelling across, achieving social value, effectively moving people and goods around, we need to be fit for purpose. “NPR allows people to travel around, gives everyone options and freedom of choice. Better rail connections make for improved, interconnected cities and integrated, multimodal travel results in better lives.”
Lucy devotes herself to all of this with high amounts of passion and energy while simultaneously managing the demands of family life with two young children. She applauds 3Squared’s approach to flexible working for those, like her, with a host of commitments outside of the workplace. Lucy also draws inspiration from significant figures in rail and engineering. “In terms of women I admire, Anne Wilson MBE is definitely an inspiration. I met her attempting to sell her a membership to the Rail Alliance (she joined) and she’s became my unofficial mentor. “Mike Noakes, Head of Rail in the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, is someone I look up to as he is giving huge voice to supporting equality and inclusivity in the workplace. “Then there’s Nina Lockwood, who made the journey from banking to rail. Just look at how Nina manoeuvres, she is a rail politician, in the most positive way, without being one and she is very generous when it comes to sharing her knowledge. I often call her for advice.”
September 2020 | 21
IFnenaot u va r et i o n
Linbrooke – Accelerating connectivity and new technology integration L
inbrooke is a business on the up and ready to deliver 21st century infrastructure upgrades across the UK. 5G across the rail network, anti-suicide measures on platforms using artificial intelligence (AI) and drive-through EV chargers at railway station car parks are just a few of the next generation projects underway by the team at Linbrooke. With longstanding core engineering specialism in telecoms, power and signalling Linbrooke has grasped leading edge technology and innovation with both hands and is using it to support its customers in transforming UK railway infrastructure. The company is connecting and integrating the next generation of digital-based systems to move UK passengers safely and faster across the UK by putting them first. Rail Managing Director Martin Wright said: “Linbrooke is at the core of innovation and systems integration bringing new technology to the railway. “There are some exciting prospects at the minute which include working on the deployment of 5G across our clients’ network, as well as new depotbased systems to support the digital and capacity enhancement required to support new trains. “We are also working with a technology provider who looks at anti-suicide measures on platforms and predicted behaviour through AI. It is just a flavour of the innovative nature of several projects we are working on. “At Linbrooke we’re keeping a close eye on innovation within the digital sphere and are actively looking to partner with new technology providers accelerating the digitalisation of the railway. Expect more to follow as Linbrooke continues on its journey.” A bright future The company has a major role to play in the transformation of the railways – particularly for Network Rail during the CP6 period. Linbrooke is on the Signalling and Telecoms framework in the Eastern Region and the Major Signalling and Enhancements Framework in Western and Wales. “We’ve successfully secured a number of frameworks and are now making sure we deliver the work through those frameworks that Network Rail need and by doing so become a Tier 1 supplier,” he said. Martin, who joined in April, leads the company into a period of expansion and growth. Its specialist signalling design services team in Swindon is seeing substantial growth from internal and external clients. 22 | September 2020
Meanwhile a new, larger and more centrally based York office is on the horizon in September, opening up the base for the recruitment of more staff and developing closer working relationships with clients such as Network Rail.
At Linbrooke we’re keeping a close eye on innovation within the digital sphere and are actively looking to partner with new technology providers The company has also recently re-opened its National Training Academy, following the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic, welcoming students and businesses looking to upskill their workforce. Right now the academy is developing a common quality platform for its fibre solutions, and actively supporting blue chip clients with a modular approach to their technology integration, driving consistency in quality and reducing site integration risk and error. Advertorial
He said: “The training academy is a specific strength with Linbrooke and helps with our sustainability. We need to bring new people into the rail industry to facilitate the growth of our workforce. Those people need to be adequately trained in the basic skills and our training academy allows us to ensure this. “It is excellent to see our training academy back up and running with people upskilling themselves, and it comes at a really exciting time for the business. This is one of growth and opportunity and one in which technology will be at the forefront of what we do.” The UK’s 2050 net-zero target — one of the most ambitious in the world opened an opportunity for Linbrooke’s existing multiutility power business to expand into the renewable energy market. Martin said: “The automotive industry is transforming at a rapid rate with the use of electric vehicles (EVs) nationally. As an independent connection provider, we’ve been working with our EV technology partners to roll out new rapid EV chargers across the nation, providing both our rail and non-rail clients with the latest connectivity and installation solutions to meet the government’s target to reach netzero carbon emissions.” railbusinessdaily.com
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Getting Britain moving again Transport Secretary Grant Shapps reveals the new team of specialists to drive forward infrastructure projects
24 | September 2020
“When it comes to build, build, build, the A14 really does have a lot to tell us.” The creation of the team follows the establishment of a new Northern Transport Acceleration Council, which aims to level up infrastructure across the North’s towns and cities, forming a direct link between Westminster and local leaders. “People across the north rightly expect action, progress and ambition and this government is determined to accelerate improvements as we invest billions to level up the region’s infrastructure,” said the Transport Secretary.
We want to accelerate Britain’s recovery by investing in vital infrastructure that will help get businesses back on their feet “We are determined to build back better at pace, and this new council will allow us to engage collectively and directly with elected northern leaders to build the vital projects the region is crying out for.”
Photo: J M Ritchie / Shutterstock.com
ransport Secretary: “Our new Acceleration Unit will ensure we build back better, greener and faster.” Vital rail upgrades will be delivered more quickly thanks to the launch of a new Acceleration Unit announced by Grant Shapps this month. The new team of specialists will join the Department for Transport in order to tackle delays to projects and drive forward progress for passengers. “As Britain begins to get moving once again after four months of lockdown, no-one should underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead,” said the Transport Secretary. “We want to accelerate Britain’s recovery by investing in vital infrastructure that will help get businesses back on their feet, create jobs to replace those that have been lost and level up our country. “The creation of our new Acceleration Unit and investment in our roads and railways will ensure we build back better, greener and faster in the future.” The unit is being led by Campaign for Better Transport Chief Executive and consumer champion, Darren Shirley. It will also engage with experts in delivering infrastructure projects, including Highways England’s Director of Complex Infrastructure projects, Chris Taylor; and Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace. Mark oversaw the construction of the Nightingale hospital in East London in little over a week and Chris the construction of the £1.5 billion A14 scheme, delivered on budget and months ahead of schedule – something the Transport Secretary hopes they can take inspiration from. “We’re taking lessons from building the Nightingale hospital in nine days and the A14 eight months ahead of schedule,” he said. “The A14 Huntingdon to Cambridge, a £1.5 billion mega project which is on budget and eight months ahead of schedule – how can we build other big projects faster, how can we deliver for communities quicker and how can we level up. “The lessons of what happened here are really the key to us so we set up the Acceleration Unit to make sure we take every single project – and we have hundreds of different projects at the Department for Transport – and put them through our Acceleration Unit to work out how we can replicate what has been done here with the A14.
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Crisis management Martin Kearney of Nexus talks about confronting the challenges of a worldwide pandemic
artin Kearney left Australia behind to head back to the North East and took up the role of Chief Operating Officer of Nexus in January 2020. It is an exciting time for Nexus, which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, and Martin, a railwayman for the majority of his 31 years in Public Transport who brings with him a wealth of international experience. He ran transport services in Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, and now turns his attention to playing a leading role at Nexus and making the Metro the backbone of transport interconnectivity in the North East. Six weeks into his new job, however, and a global pandemic threw a spanner in the works of the man charged with directing the day-to-day activities of Nexus and leading the public body’s senior management team. Martin said: “I was enjoying getting out and about and meeting people and settling in to the role and then it was a 26 | September 2020
Career highlights Nexus (2020) Transdev Australasia (2012-2020) Northern Rail (2003-2012) Arriva Trains Northern (2001-2003) Northern Spirit (1997-2000)
case of ‘Wow, what’s happening?’ You look at a crisis like this and you try to look for opportunities for improvements whilst assessing how we can possibly come out of this a stronger organisation. I’ve learned a lot in recent months because I’ve created opportunities to talk to drivers and frontline staff and understand some of the challenges they face. Almost overnight we had over 300 people working from home. So it has been a great opportunity to learn and our connectivity and communications across Nexus and our 1,200 staff have never been as strong as they are now.” Global transfer Martin, originally from Leeds, has absolutely no regrets about switching continents. The job was always going to be challenging and that challenge was a big factor in deciding that he’d head back to home turf with his wife and daughter.
“I saw this as the perfect job. I wanted to move on to something different, a new challenge and the projects and ambition here are phenomenal and will be real game-changers for the North East of England.” Those projects include a new train fleet for the Tyne and Wear Metro. 42 new Metrocars, built by manufacturing partner Stadler, are on their way from 2022, entering passenger service in 2023 and will completely replace the existing ageing fleet by the end of 2024. The new trains will transform performance, reliability and the customer experience on Metro. In addition, the new fleet will reduce high voltage power consumption by 30 per cent and offer 15 times better reliability. The Metro’s turn up and go timetable already provides trains to customers with a maximum wait of 12 minutes, with additional services on the service’s central corridor and at peak times. railbusinessdaily.com
Those 12 minutes will reduce to a 10-minute offering when the new fleet is fully integrated into service. In what is great news for passengers, the £500m contract with Stadler will also see the Swiss train builder work with local suppliers from the North East of England to produce the new trains, the maintenance of the trains for 35 years and the construction of a £70m new depot. A temporary satellite depot at Howdon in North Tyneside is being used in readiness for the construction of the Tyne and Wear Metro’s main Gosforth fleet depot. This main depot facility will be constructed by VolkerFitzpatrick, appointed by Stadler. Then there are Nexus’s Driver Schools, training the next generation of Metro drivers for the industry which, over six months, take trainees from a foot in the industry to driving. Key to this is the Nexus Learning Centre in South Shields, which opened in July 2020 and delivers a wide range of rail infrastructure and operations training, providing training for apprentices, front line leadership and management development. The new three-storey training centre houses a Metro driver training simulator, in preparation for the delivery of the new Metrocars.
Long-term, Nexus’s Metro Flow project will see an existing freight line upgraded and electrified in South Tyneside from September 2022, making it capable of carrying Metro services, boosting the capacity for an extra 30,000 passenger journeys every day and increasing the frequency of services.
You look at a crisis like this and you try to look for opportunities for improvements whilst assessing how we can possibly come out of this a stronger organisation Three sections of single track covering three kilometres will be dualled between Pelaw and Bede Metro stations, removing the remaining pinch points in a mass transit system that aims to be the pride of the North East. Despite lockdown seeing the Metro suffer a declining patronage in recent months with people
working from home and following guidance on the use of public transport, and two Driver Schools cancelled, Martin is confident that these projects, and others, will continue apace. He said: “Even though we’re working through a crisis, all of these things are happening now and will happen. We don’t have any specific delays as yet although in some respects we’re aware that the supply chain might experience some problems. The opportunities going forwards are really exciting. “Our training will get back on track as the team has found a way of increasing the amount of Metro driver schools we can run, so we’ll be back to where we’d expect to be by mid-March 2021. “The Metro is the backbone for the North East community and can play a major part in driving the local economy as life returns to normal. We’ve only been carrying 40 per cent of our normal patronage although we are operating 91 per cent of our services, which is good compared to elsewhere. We’re expecting growth as schools and offices start to return to normal. We’d love to return to 100 per cent before the end of the year but realistically we’d imagine we’re looking at 75 per cent of our
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September 2020 | 27
customers returning by then depending on the virus recovery. “Long term we firmly believe we can grow our patronage numbers. We want to create more spaces for park and ride and cycle hubs for people to connect with the Metro. Those aspects of connectivity can take us forward rapidly to get above the 36 million journeys our customers take each year and with the new fleet, added services, improved reliability and the Metro Way initiative the Metro will be better and stronger.” Career in rail Martin began his career in rail as a trainee with British Rail in 1989. He spent around 15 years in control positions from the mid 1990s. The move to New Zealand happened in 2012, when he moved from leading the Operations for Northern Rail based in Leeds to leading the operations for Transdev railways in Auckland. He explained: “It was a massive project and I admit to arriving a little naïve, but the hard work and dedication from the team delivered a great outcome. We introduced 57 new electric multiple units (EMUs) onto the newly electrified Auckland network that resulted in double the amount of patronage and incredible performance improvements. I loved New Zealand, but after four years another great opportunity came my way.
28 | September 2020
“For a railway man to be offered to lead Sydney Ferries, one of the most iconic transport operations in Australasia, if not the world, I couldn’t turn that down. “The Manley ferry is phenomenal, carrying 1,000 people a time, and to have done that for three years, introducing new vessels, new wharfs and winning new contracts in that time was just a dream.
We engaged with 3,000 members of the public when it came to choosing the internal aspects of the new fleet, to give the people here a sense of ownership of the trains “The team at Balmain Shipyard will always be remembered along with some very memorable moments on a beautiful harbour. “After seven years away, we said, ‘Right, we’re ready to come back to the UK now, ready to settle down somewhere and not keep jumping from one country to another.’” Martin ruled out a return to his Yorkshire roots – he’d been there and done that, and
even the lure of his beloved Leeds United held no sway in his decision making. The potential to make a difference at Nexus sealed the deal when the opportunity came his way. The North East, he added, is a great place to land. “The pride of the team at Nexus and the pride of the people that live here is something else and you can see, hear and feel that. The people of the North East are very proud people by nature. Proud of what they’ve got and what they do. “There’s also an incredible amount of pride in the Metro service from the people that use it. They can be quite harsh in their critique when they need to be but that honesty is good. So many cities in the world would like a service like this. “So we engaged with 3,000 members of the public when it came to choosing the internal aspects of the new fleet, to give the people here a sense of ownership of the trains.” Martin added: “Over the course of recent months innovation has just happened, some of it overnight. Bringing in new ideas is critical to us as we change and modernise. These are exciting times. I truly believe what we do is all just about people. How we lead our people and how we communicate with our customers so that they get the service they want and need. That’s the positive nature of what we do. I am very lucky to be here.”
TXM Projects are industry specialists in the provision of Project Management, Consultancy and Resource Solutions to the Rail Sector.
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F eEaSt u T 2 r0e0 0
Surviving coronavirus Staff safety and confidence from clients has been the key for rail infrastructure contractor TES 2000
ES 2000, a principal contractor and managed service provider to the rail industry, has experienced many positive times and overcome many challenges throughout its 27-year history; however one that the business would never have predicted was the threat of a pandemic which not only affected the UK, but the entire globe. Wind the clock back to March this year, the founder and current owner of TES, Tony Evans, was thinking the unthinkable, “How will many businesses large and small survive the UK going into a substantial lockdown period?”. Unfortunately, some great businesses have been forced to close their doors and others will count themselves lucky they are still trading today. 30 | September 2020
At TES, it became apparent very quickly that its largest client Network Rail was continuing to operate at similar pre-COVID-19 levels where the business holds key framework contracts. TES mobilised a COVID action plan to ensure
As the business goes from strength to strength, the company certainly values its most important asset which is the people of TES first and foremost the safety of its staff was always the priority and never compromised and secondly to ensure clients were supported Advertorial
to meet their needs in such challenging and unfathomed circumstances. Tony added: “It has brought to us at TES, a level of confidence and certainty that has enabled us to plan and effectively retain our general level of business operations and to maintain our primary focus on the safety and wellbeing of our people. “Our objective is to maintain this focus and also continue to offer employment to people from all walks of life whether new to the industry or experienced people which may have recently been made redundant from their previous employer.” Since the early days of TES establishing themselves as a leading contractor for possession management, the business has railbusinessdaily.com
T EFSe2a0 t u0r0e
diversified its portfolio of services over the past 15 years. Project related works for track (including off-track), heavy maintenance and overhead line equipment (OLE) campaign changes broadened the scope for winning new business. Since 2014 the isolations division has grown year-on-year establishing itself as a Tier 1 supplier to Network Rail including principal contractors across the country. This has opened up career opportunities for the staff, many of whom have been upskilled and are now part of the successful isolation team who spend upwards of 2,250 person hours per week planning and managing the safe delivery of Isolations across the country. Without doubt the biggest milestone the business reached in 2018 was the award of its full Principal Contractors Licence. TES is currently delivering some principal contractor works for Network Rail, building on its reputation as a company that delivers safely, on time and to budget, supported by a high level of quality and efficient management of the clientsâ€™ expectations throughout. Strongest assets As the business goes from strength to strength, the company certainly values its most important asset which is the people of TES. Ongoing investment in its people by CEO Tony Evans and MD Paul Austin is testament to their commitment in supporting individual development not only to meet the everchanging needs of the business but to ensure people remain engaged, challenged and rewarded for their commitment and personal achievements within the business. In addition to upskilling and personal development of existing employees, TES is currently offering a number of apprenticeships within various parts of the business. The company strongly believes investment in its people is key to the future successes of the business. This is supported by recent new appointments within the senior management team. As part of the ongoing business development strategy and further investment in people, TES has made some new appointments at board railbusinessdaily.com
level and would like to introduce its Operations Director Marc Booth and Projects Director Mark Hallett. Marc Booth joined the business last year as the Operations Director bringing a wealth of experience in the labour market. Innovation, recruitment and delivery are key skills Marc brings to TES. Having qualified as a railway engineer through the Network Rail degree programme, Marc has been involved within the railway industry for over 20 years. Marc has gained significant experience in contract negotiation and has delivered on many high-profile contracts to ensure operations deliver a robust service without compromising on safety. He strives to deliver a world-class service and looking at new and improved ways of delivery for the benefit of all stakeholders. Advertorial
Mark Hallett recently joined the board as Projects Director. His long-established and successful career within the capital delivery arena adds strength to the existing team on bidding for new work and delivering safely, on time and to budget. Mark brings to the business over 18 years of successful major project delivery and stakeholder management. He has vast experience as both the client and as the contractor delivering for the client. This is further enhanced by an in-depth knowledge of possession management AC and DC isolation services, which complements and strengthens the wider TES business. Both appointments will drive and support the companyâ€™s excellent safety record ensuring the frontline staff are continually engaged to the business and supported throughout their careers. September 2020 | 31
The bedrock of UK rail Maggie Simpson of the Rail Freight Group speaks about the vital role freight plays in the UK rail industry
aggie Simpson, Director General of the Rail Freight Group (RFG) has a clear vision when it comes to moving goods around the nation: rail freight should be at the core of an integrated transport strategy. Maggie’s accompanying mantra is a simple one: “I want more people to understand why rail freight matters.” Which naturally ties in perfectly with RFG’s aim to increase the volume of goods moved by rail. The most recent rail freight usage and performance stats from the Office of Road and Rail might be a worry for many. The volume of rail freight moved in the UK dropped to 16.6 billion net tonne kilometres in the 2019-20 financial year – the lowest in 23 years. But Maggie is in no doubt that the appetite from customers to do more is growing and that the freed-up capacity for freight experienced in recent months should be part of the new normal. “The compelling arguments for rail freight are repeatedly made and government ministers do understand the opportunities that exist. So, how do we focus on modal shift from road to rail right now? How do we actually get on with decarbonisation?” A vital link The declining rail freight usage figures, Maggie points out, are really the story of coal going offline – the amount of coal being moved via rail in 2019-20 dropped by 68 per cent. Construction and intermodal domestic freight continues to show persistent growth, while the importance to the nation of moving freight by rail has never been clearer. Maggie explained: “Recent events have underlined the importance of moving freight in a really tangible way that people have benefited from positively. Extra trains have been carrying medical supplies and food, retail goods, domestic waste, biomass, and, as domestic use of power consumption has gone up, rail has ensured that demand has been satisfied. “Part of building the case for freight is that business has to have the confidence to invest. We need to work through a host of factors around transport but there’s a chance now to reset.” As a low-carbon transport mode, rail has massive potential to take the leading role in reducing carbon emissions. Rail freight already emits 25 per cent of the CO2e gases released by road freight. While HS2 and other schemes promise to release capacity for freight services, ever-increasing demand for passenger services will continue to limit access for freight unless modal shift is everyone’s priority. 32 | September 2020
Career highlights Rail Freight Group (2005-2020) Strategic Rail Authority (2001-2004) OPRAF (1998-2000) Arthur D. Little (1992-1998) Graduate of Loughborough University (1992) Mathematical Engineering
Maggie said: “We need confidence that we can get access to tracks for freight and can give certainty to the sector. Those in road freight are exploring innovation options to reduce carbon emissions but, for those of us in rail, electrification can solve a lot of the problems we face using existing technology and there is no need to invent anything new. The fleet is already there, some routes are already electrified in full. Even with today’s traction mix there are options to reduce carbon levels. Better journey times, longer trains, improved productivity, we can do all of that in order to make progress at the right pace. “We do need to reset in two ways with rail reform that looks at both the mechanics of the railway and how supply chains work.” A new mindset Maggie also suggests that the sector needs to ask questions of itself. “Do we need to look at some things differently? Have we got the right rolling stock for the future? “We’ve shown our resilience in recent months but as Brexit becomes a reality this will change how people do business, with shipping moving away from Dover to other ports, so that needs considering too, as it may create opportunities for new services. “Ultimately, we need to incentivise rail use for freight, tied to a commitment that the nation wants to use rail for freight and changes to legal governance in order to drive rail freight use.” railbusinessdaily.com
A wider viewpoint Maggie believes that rail should take on best practice from other industries in order to be at the heart of UK business well into the future. “We could certainly learn more from other sectors in order that we build on the impetus for change we have now, and in order that our industry’s voice is heard. You know, RFG is a small organisation in terms of full-time staff but our membership is what gives us our strength. Our 100+ member companies are involved in all kinds of areas in rail, from TOCS to operations, from those involved in maintenance to lawyers.
Photo: Kev Gregory / Shutterstock.com
As the representative body for rail freight in the UK, RFG’s membership comprises rail freight operators, logistics companies, ports, equipment suppliers, property developers and support services, as well as retailers, construction companies and other customers. Maggie’s dynamic approach to railway culture is driven by her early experience within the industry. It is a journey, she says, that happened by accident when she worked for Sir Alastair Morton at the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA). “There I was, working in passenger rail, basically as a bag carrier for Sir Alastair. It quickly became clear that he could look after himself and I was under-utilised. So I started to ask other people at SRA how I might be useful and that was that. “It’s such a privilege to be involved in freight and such an interesting area because it is important to the global economy, trade and shipping, planning, waste management, hitting decarbonisation targets. Few jobs offer such a wide variety of work and I would never get that anywhere else.”
“We work with all of the major ports in the UK. We’re able to represent the widest possible set of interests in the rail freight and logistics sector. “We campaign on behalf of our members to ensure that politicians and key decision-makers are informed and make the right decisions for rail freight.” The global pandemic might have forced RFG’s team to work from home, shift their awards dinner and other forums and networking events online, but it has otherwise been business as usual in terms of influencing policy on behalf of their membership.
British innovation for rail. Lightweight Concrete, Retaining Wall Systems, Trough Security and Handling. Anderton Concrete Products Ltd is a market leading manufacturer of concrete rail products, and retaining wall systems with an unrivalled reputation for quality, design and innovation. Our products include Anderlite™ lightweight troughing system, cable route security systems and signal bases – with full support from our experienced sales and technical team. To find out more about a pioneering company that is now part of the Ibstock family, get in touch today by calling 0333 234 3434 or visit www.andertonconcrete.co.uk
September 2020 | 33
F eoal ltaubr eo r a t i o n C
Together we are stronger – jcpii providing the strategies to make collaboration work
he key to the future of the success of the railways in the UK is making sure we all move forward working closely together. That is what we at jcpii have a proven track record in achieving – helping organisations and people to collaborate to create mutually beneficial and profitable relationships. This includes helping to develop strategies and to develop the right business relationships, both internally and externally, ensuring success and value for money. Over the past nine years jcpii has developed its own brand and philosophy of collaborative leadership and team development. This continues to be adapted to lead collaboration into the new reality. “As we all start to feel our way in this new separated world, the desire and demand for real collaboration will grow at the same time as the difficulties of implementing it increase,” says Diarmid de Burgh-Milne, who leads the team. “Any change is hard – our beliefs, learning, habits, assumptions, relationships and comfort level all conspire to oppose it, perhaps even more so today. “And culture change is the hardest. It will not happen on its own. We have to work at it with courage and determination while adapting to the new challenges and leading by example.” 34 | September 2020
We’ve all become accustomed to Teams and Zoom meetings as the new normal, and so verbal behavioural skills will become even more relevant. “Our behavioural model has been thoroughly tested in this new environment and has proven powerfully relevant,” says Diarmid. “The need for facilitation of meetings continues to grow and we have had to learn and adapt our approach.
The often hidden and unrecognised benefit of collaboration, namely safety, health and wellbeing – people who care for each other, look after each other. Our purpose is to make that collaboration real, to ensure it works “Similarly, large workshops in a real room are now, certainly for the short to medium term, consigned to virtual rooms, with the norm becoming smaller groups in two-hour sessions rather than two-day sessions. Advertorial
“We have some 20 of our team working on developing and refining new modules, to help our clients, and new exercises to support the experiential learning for which we are known. “In this world of back-to-back virtual meetings, which are more tiring than physical ones, for a variety of reasons, one area that we have explored is the missing social interaction piece: the ‘watercooler’ or ‘coffee’ chat, unstructured but often highly productive, while fulfilling that need for human contact. “We have now added a facilitated (light touch control) informal get-together to our portfolio. We believe this may prove one of the most important offerings we have.” jcpii aims to help your team understand the what, why and how of successful collaboration starting with the procurement, either supporting clients in their procurement strategy or helping consultants and contractors with their bidding strategy. This includes all stages from pre-qualification through selection assessment workshops, mobilisation and beyond. He said: “The inspiration, excitement and simple joy of team working and socialising is, for many human beings, the very heart of their motivation and wellbeing. Isolation, a sense of loneliness and even exclusion can be damaging. railbusinessdaily.com
C o l l a bFoer a t u i or ne
“A huge part of the job and satisfaction that we have been lucky enough to experience, helping people change the mindset, culture, relationships and behaviour at work, comes from seeing how the transformation to collaboration has helped bring a smile back to people’s faces. “As a consultancy, we have to understand that while many businesses may recognise the human aspect of our work, the primary motivation for engaging us comes down to such matters as added value, certainty of delivery, risk reduction, more efficient and effective working – often through greater integration, which without collaboration rarely, if ever, truly works. “We should not forget the often hidden and unrecognised benefit of collaboration, namely safety, health and wellbeing – people who care for each other, look after each other. Our purpose is to make that collaboration real, to ensure it works.
One of our lead behavioural analysts, Anais, with our verbal behaviour model
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September 2020 | 35
IFnenaot u va r et i o n
Widest portfolio of floor and wall coverings for rail vehicles Forbo Flooring Systems has a truly comprehensive and compliant floor and wall covering product offering for the global rail sector. Whether you are sourcing floor coverings for high speed, intercity, regional, light rail, trams or metro vehicles, we can provide you with an exceptional range of products and services. Our rail portfolio offers a wide range of solutions with custom design and colour flexibility and our service ensures efficient time and cost management. We offer: • Cut to shape/size • Bespoke labelling • Custom packaging • Material scheduling • Just in time logistics Coral FR
An effective entrance system reduces premature wear and tear to interior floor coverings, minimises cleaning and maintenance costs and protects passengers by reducing slip hazards. Coral FR (Classic FR/ Brush FR/ Duo FR/ Welcome FR) is a collection of textile clean off products for entrances with heavy traffic.
Coral Move FR
A unique, textile, flocked floor covering, combining the cleaning properties and durability of a resilient flooring with the comfort, slip resistance and acoustic properties. Flotex FR can be rotary or high definition digitally printed, the latter allowing for far greater design freedom. Bespoke design service
Stops up to 95% of dirt and moisture Excellent dirt storage/soil hiding Available with Pro-Fit backing for quicker installation Reaction to fire EN45545-2: HL2/ HL3 (depending on design) Marmoleum FR2/ Marmoleum Striato FR
A natural linoleum floor covering that is associated with sustainability, durability, high quality and innovative in colour and design. They use a high percentage of natural raw materials, with renewable and recycled contents. Independently confirmed as CO2 neutral (cradle to gate)
Lightweight at approximately 1225g/m2 Excellent acoustic properties up to 22 Db Impervious backing making it suitable for wet cleaning Reaction to fire EN45545-2: HL2
Extensive customisation possibilities, including high definition digital printing Premium cut pile carpet specification achieving luxurious ambience and underfoot comfort Natural latex backing from renewable source Available with Pro-Fit backing for quicker installation Reaction to fire EN45545-2: HL3 Fleet FR
Tessera FR is a collection of attractive, hardwearing carpets, offered in various pile constructions and textures, all designed to deliver specific aesthetic and performance benefits. This collection adds significant warmth, comfort and acoustic benefits.
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An exceptionally versatile, premium cut pile carpet solution offering extensive design possibilities and colourways to complement a wide range of interior design schemes. This solution offers aesthetic styling, durability and long lasting appearance retention.
The robust, hard wearing properties of Fleet FR textile wall and ceiling covering, meets the demands of high traffic rail environments that require long lasting performance and ease of maintenance. Durable, high quality polyester fibres Reduces ambient noise Lightweight at 550g/m2 Self-adhesive backing allows for simple, costeffective installation, saving time and money Reaction to fire EN45545-2 (R1): HL2
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For more information visit forbo-flooring.com/rail or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
36 | September 2020
Bridging the generation gap Dyan Crowther speaks about her role in increasing diversity and creating opportunities in the rail industry
yan Crowther, Chief Executive of HS1 Ltd, took up the role as the new Chair of the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) in March 2020. Dyan’s senior industry experience, together with her commitment to skills and productivity make her the ideal leader to steer NSAR’s pivotal industry role into the future. NSAR’s function is one of co-ordination, to bring the rail family together before the industry implements change itself. NSAR provides best-in-class data that allows the Department for Transport, Network Rail, HS1 Ltd and others to make accurate predictions for the future, enabling workforce planning two decades in advance. NSAR also works with Network Rail as the industry’s independent assessor to ensure the quality of apprenticeships and training. Following Dyan’s appointment NSAR led the industry consortium announced as the preferred bidder for the National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure (NCATI), which is now being progressed by Birmingham University. NCATI will provide the higher-level training required to create HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and other rail projects, as well as supporting the skills demand from employers who are facing skills challenges such as digitalisation of the railway and an ageing workforce. In her words, Dyan is currently in “sponge mode” as she listens to NSAR colleagues and absorbs the organisation’s research and freshly developed strategy documents. She said: “The team has done some
38 | September 2020
extraordinary work on NSAR’s strategy which I consider a gift in terms of setting our future direction. “The industry is really leaning in to NSAR and realising the active role that we play. We’re seeing the work and planning that NSAR has done come to fruition and a firm platform has been established that allows us to move forward. Our strategy looks at how we can best support the industry in terms of its workforce upskilling, promoting diversity and how we make rail an open and accessible career choice.” Dyan, who has been in rail for 34 years, wants everyone involved to play a part in promoting rail as a diverse and exciting industry. “We need to send out consistent messages about why this industry is so great to be a part of. Let’s not do it in a piecemeal way because we can be a lot more powerful if we do this together. This
is a fresh and young industry and is no longer just about hard hats and orange vests. We need to promote the diversity of opportunity that exists, and the opportunities to enter rail from the grass roots to graduate training schemes. There is a massive opportunity across the sector.” New horizons Two projects will play a major part in this consistent messaging. Launching in October, the new Routes into Rail website will help people navigate the complexities of entering and working in the industry and also increase the visibility of job opportunities, training on offer and increase the pool of diverse talent. Routes into Rail will promote the message that a career in the rail industry is exciting, challenging and rewarding. In addition, the action research project, the
Living Lab, will look at how the skills of the workforce can be used to drive productivity. For Dyan, it’s important that the industry recognises that young people entering the job market now do so with a different mindset. “Young people want flexibility. There are changing work patterns, more choices and young people expect that they’ll have different careers throughout their working life. Rail is secure and stable and that’s not what young people want. For young people, what is appealing is the exciting digital platforms and the fast pace of change. We’re on the cusp of delivering on a massive digital agenda and we have a skills shortage when it comes to digital system experts. We can help with that in terms of apprenticeships. “The messaging is inconsistent and confusing now, but we need to promote this as a sector where you can get your hands around something that matters. We need to change the language and the tone of voice we use. There’s a big role for us all to play to make rail more accessible and
attractive, to give people working in the industry the opportunity to up-skill and for schools to understand the sector so that they can also promote rail as a career.
We need to promote the diversity of opportunity that exists, and the opportunities to enter rail from the grass roots to graduate training schemes “It’s about taking a holistic view of recruitment to attract people, retain them by making it easy for people to move around within rail and, if they do leave, to make it easy for them to return when they’re ready to do so.” The Living Lab project will provide enablers and facilitators with the framework for innovation, and benchmarking to provide resources.
Dyan added: “The Living Lab will become an industry think tank, a lab of ideas, innovation and drive productivity, which is fundamental. “The industry has an opportunity to rethink the way it works because what is emerging now, post-Covid-19, is a different operating model. “We’re interested in how we can use Living Lab to help make those key decisions around whole life costs. When to renew and replace and build productivity into the decision-making process by looking at everything as a whole. When we make a decision we also need to consider, ‘What next?’” Dyan’s focus is set to make a positive and lasting impact on NSAR and its role across the industry. She also remains happy to shout about the success of HS1. She said: “I’m enormously proud to be CEO of the UK’s only high-speed railway. We have an iconic, globally recognised station in St Pancras, we measure our delays in seconds not minutes, we make an excellent return to shareholders, and from the government’s perspective HS1 demonstrates a successful private financing scheme and is a really successful asset. We take out 750,000 tonnes of carbon from the air annually because of Eurostar’s market share, 6,000 cars off the road every year and provide £2bn of benefit to the UK’s economy thanks to the tourism we bring in. HS1 is a critical and very valuable asset and it is simply brilliant to be associated with it.” Dyan, whose sterling career began as an operations management trainee with British Rail, added: “I enjoy the sheer mixture of what we do in rail. This is a great industry to be associated with. There’s a common unity we all share when we provide a public service. That’s something I’m passionate about, along with helping develop our ability to do what we do better.”
September 2020 | 39
F e a itnuirneg Tr
Revolutionising how companies manage workforce training and competency
A streamlined marketplace platform to optimise training accreditations, maximise compliance and reduce risk in the rail industry
s the rail industry is starting to see projects resume that had been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to ensure that all colleagues are up to date with the right competencies and accreditations to effectively undertake complex programmes of work on our national infrastructure. Sopra Steria’s Competency Training Marketplace™ (CTM), has been developed specifically for the rail and construction industries to connect businesses with the right training providers to keep their teams fully operational, compliant and safe. The free-of-charge platform allows businesses to monitor their employees’ compliance against thousands of industry accreditations from a wide range of professional accrediting bodies as well as an unlimited number of internal, company competencies. Sopra Steria is working with early adopters as the platform continues to evolve in order to maximise the benefit to users within the industry. Optimising competencies and managing workforcess As the number of projects that companies work on throughout CP6 intensifies, so does the challenge of managing workforces. Where competencies have expired, the platform’s marketplace is ideal for organisations of all sizes to freely access, filter and select suitable training courses. By optimising and simplifying the training selection process, there are opportunities to bridge skills gaps in the rail industry, critical given the tens of thousands of skilled workers required to complete necessary rail projects over the next three decades. CTM is set to become a key tool for businesses managing thousands of individuals seeking to maximise workforce productivity. Improving access to training providers Sponsors need quick and easy access to training provision for their workforce to remain compliant and productive. 40 | September 2020
CTM helps businesses save money, reduce risk and forecast budgets more effectively, essentially allowing them to plan better and optimise compliance A simple and automated enquiry process enables rapid access to quality training providers who can register and upload courses in a matter of minutes. Managing the here and now is important but forecasting and mitigating future risks can mean the difference between a company surviving and thriving. The platform’s PowerBI™ analytics help businesses visualise competency gaps and forecast training budgets months in advance. Dashboards also provide training providers with an anonymous view of future market Advertorial
demand across the country, helping them proactively plan new courses and in turn, alleviate industry capacity issues. CTM will be an essential tool for all businesses and provides a unique platform which makes it easy to provide competency compliance details to auditors and customers. Not only will this help businesses to easily satisfy industry audit requirements, but having a fully compliant workforce with the right skills will also help businesses complete crucial projects on time and within budget. railbusinessdaily.com
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CTM allows me to maintain and have full visibility over my workforce’s accreditations and training needs. The website links me directly to a marketplace where I can easily search and book the training courses we need. The system lets me keep track of my workforce’s competencies and this makes it easy to provide details to our auditors and customers.” Mike Andrews, Director, DWG Infraco Ltd
If you would like to find out more information first, visit the CTM website or contact the team.
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F eWaG S t uRr e
Specialist Industrial Supplies – a strong team delivering for the railway industry
pecialist Industrial Supplies (SIS) is an SME with the rail and construction industries at heart. Founded by a team working predominantly in these industries, the PPE and supplies provider truly understands how the industry works and tailors its service to help companies run projects as smoothly as possible. The team is headed up by Linda Strang and Fiona Baggley. Fiona has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry as a Director of Support Services and is proud to be associated with a business that protects industry colleagues. SIS has developed longstanding relationships with businesses to understand their niche requirements to deliver. It is a business that can provide throughout the UK and is absolutely focused on delivering excellent products to a high quality and with an immense degree of sincerity and customer focus. The business has an unparalleled product line with 24/7 on-call service, a dynamic branding facility, and a culture where the team promises to deliver. As major businesses in the UK look to work 42 | September 2020
more with SMEs after the development of a Network Rail SME action plan earlier this year, SIS has expanded its range and is working hand-in-hand with customers to deliver any requirements as CP6 projects start to pick up pace after the pandemic.
Our message is clear – we are open for business and standing by to support you Fiona said: “As projects start to return back to some normality, the development of SMEs during this time is crucial for the railway. We have adapted to meet the needs of our customers and want to work with companies of all sizes to play our part in that development, as well as grow ourselves to do more and provide more. “The number of projects will grow as we head into winter and there will be a significant amount of infrastructure work to Advertorial
be undertaken. SIS is keen to support that challenge.” The success of this SME has come through its responsiveness. The team’s deep-rooted understanding of how the industry works and its demands means that it can work as an extension of its customers’ business to provide PPE quickly, anywhere in the UK. On-call emergency supplies It has developed an on-call emergency supplies facility to react to demand where it is needed, working closely with customers to deliver to any site within hours, where possible. SIS’s ‘can do, will do’ mentality helps its customers to complete jobs on time. “SIS has continued to develop its offer to ensure customers have what they need, when they need it,” Fiona said. “Our ‘can do, will do’ attitude has been integral to our strong foundations that demonstrate our responsiveness and costeffectiveness. “Our message is clear – we are open for business and standing by to support you.” railbusinessdaily.com
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Tackling the train brain drain As the rail industry is facing a skills crisis, Cath Bellamy of The Rail Academy speaks about reversing this trend
he Rail Academy has been established by SLC Operations to help tackle the shortage of train drivers head-on. The first Office of Rail and Road (ORR) approved, independent Training & Examination Centre for Train Drivers launched in August 2020. The Rail Academy’s programme of seven courses will steer recruits through Part A driver qualifications, covering relevant Rule Book sections. Successful students will leave The Rail Academy as part-qualified, licensed train drivers ready for specific traction/route training and to begin accumulating driving hours. Managing Director Cath Bellamy views The Rail Academy as the perfect solution for an industry facing serious skills shortages while also seeking to reduce the financial burden of training drivers. For candidates, this new training route makes it easier to take the first steps to becoming a train driver while also addressing accessibility and diversity across the industry. Cath said: “I’m really excited about what The Rail Academy can deliver. I have been part of the rail family for 28 years and I think this is a fantastic industry but it is worrying, due to the shortage of drivers we are facing, that there are threats to the industry around the quality and reliability of services. Our view was that this can be solved with innovation and an open mind.” Improved teaching methods Innovation comes in the form of adopting an Open University-style approach to learning, with training accessed through The Rail Academy’s own online Learning Management System. Cath explained: “We are the the first independent company to offer distanced learning for trainee train drivers. All our students will be able to do their training at home or any other environment they choose, for a range of safety critical jobs. This method of learning opens up this career path to those that desperately want to pursue it. We’re opening our arms and saying this is an avenue by which to pursue this professional career.” It has taken a year of work behind the 44 | September 2020
scenes, working with NSAR, to develop all of the necessary training materials to the high standards required. The Rail Academy has also been consulting with industry partners regarding the sponsorship of students and hope to launch a scheme that allows people to fund their own training. Cath said: “It is not uncommon for the costs to fully train a driver to be as much as £125,000, when taking into account the trainee’s salary, the cost of training and those training them. Because of these costs the marketplace for train drivers is incredibly competitive and it is a lot cheaper for TOCs to recruit existing qualified drivers than to train their own.
We are opening up the avenues for careers in rail and helping to tackle specialist skill shortages right across the industry “But the vacancy gap is getting larger and the industry could be facing a potential disaster as drivers leave the industry unless people are trained to replace them. Practical experience Courses are all being verified by the National Skills Academy for Rail. In addition to distance learning, students will also benefit from practical experience, including moving locomotives, coupling, shed and depot work and driving a locomotive up to track speed, at a purpose-built training academy in the West Midlands. Cath explained: “This isn’t just a book course. Train Driving is a craft and every one of our students that comes through will have at least two days on a professional train simulator and also drive, off the main line, up to track speed. Frequently this doesn’t happen in the first half of training with TOCs.”
Via rail industry technical grade recruitment specialist Ford & Stanley, trainees will have to satisfy stringent industry-focused medical, psychometric, and safeguarding tests and other eligibility checks before being accepted into The Rail Academy. Annual target Training full-time could see it take as little as three months to complete all seven courses but, realistically with part-time study, should see trainees become part-qualified train drivers within the year. Online learning will not be a solitary experience, with team workshops, discussion forums and face-to-face meetings with instructors also taking place. All training will be delivered by fully-qualified, experienced train driver instructors. Candidates can and will come from all walks of life but Cath feels that those departing the airline industry, including qualified and partqualified pilots, and those re-entering civilian life after a career in the military would find the switch to rail the perfect move. Initial capacity will provide training for up to 15 candidates each month but that, and the number of assessors and trainers, will be increased in line with demand. Those that go on to meet The Rail Academy’s high standards will have their Part A European Train Driving Licence application sponsored. Cath added: “We want to improve the quality of training that is on offer in the industry and modernise it using the latest technology to attract a more diverse and younger talent pool. My ambition is that when people come out of the Rail Academy they are incredibly proud and that future employers know they are getting an exceptionally high-quality candidate that is fully equipped to contribute to the industry. I have been an employer of train drivers most of my career and I want people to see our part-qualified drivers and say, ‘Wow!’” Cath’s role at the forefront of addressing the skills gap and industry training needs for The Rail Academy is just one aspect of her work as the MD of SLC Operations, established in railbusinessdaily.com
Career highlights The Rail Academy (2020) Vintage Trains (2018-2020) DfT (2014-2017) Hull Trains (2011-2012)
February this year and part of the SLC group that also includes SLC Rail, SLC Property and SLC Investments. In addition to offering a range of independent training services, SLC Operations aims to be a fully-licenced TOC, operating main line services and stations. For Cath, it looks set to be the latest high-impact move in her three decades in rail. Cath joined SLC Operations from Vintage Trains, providing main line steam charter services, was previously MD of Chiltern Railways and
Hull Trains, and has led various large commercial projects for the Department of Transport. Expansion Already, SLC Operations is hiring out train drivers, route conducting, working with Vivarail to deliver their mileage accumulation and technology testing and was recently appointed by Balfour Beatty to provide drivers for water jetting, stone blowing and other industrial train driving jobs. As for the timing of The Rail
Academy’s launch, Cath added: “We are in the right place at the right time to do this. “We’re hoping to make a big impact because we feel that this is a really positive innovation. “We are opening up the avenues for careers in rail and helping to tackle specialist skill shortages right across the industry.” For more information visit therailacademy.com
September 2020 | 45
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The 25 projects that will transform the railways in the future An indepth look at the winning projects from The Department for Transport competition which encourages innovation in the rail industry
he Department for Transport, in partnership with Innovate, has awarded 25 pioneering projects a share of £9.4 million in the 2020 First of a Kind competition, which encourages innovation in the rail industry and presents another step towards cleaner, greener and more passenger-friendly rail. Several of the winning projects will help the government reduce the railway’s environmental impact and support decarbonisation. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says that the ambitious projects funded in this fourth round of First of a Kind, “will support better, more environmentally friendly journeys. Crucially, these pioneering projects will also ensure that passengers have a more efficient, reliable and responsive railway, making their journeys simpler and easier.” Environmental Sustainability Prototype zero emissions Trac Rail Transposer (TRT-e) Unipart Rail was selected for its development of the world-first TRT-e zero-emissions Trac Rail Transposer developed in conjunction with McCulloch Rail, Hyperbat, Williams Advanced 46 | September 2020
Engineering and Advanced Electric Machines. Using the base McCulloch Rail TRT, the versatile, rail handling machine, Unipart Rail and its partners will work together to remove the current diesel power unit and develop an electric motor, battery power pack and electronic control system with remote condition monitoring to produce the zero-emissions machine. This will enable it to be worked more extensively on rail infrastructure where diesel emissions and noise pollution are a particular problem, such as in underground systems, tunnels and enclosed stations. The project will result in a fully working prototype, performance-tested, certified and ready to be worked on the UK rail network by McCulloch Rail and demonstrated to potential customers worldwide. Noel Travers, Managing Director of Unipart Rail and Unipart Manufacturing Group said: “This is an example of how joint innovative thinking drives massive value for the rail industry. I am very excited to see this development happen and look forward to the product launch in 2021, when I expect it to have a strong uptake with our customers.” The range of other winners in this category
will also drive environmental sustainability. Riding Sunbeams Ltd’s Daybreak project focuses on decarbonisation and has developed a direct connection between renewable energy generation and overhead lines of the railway systems. Steamology Motion Ltd’s project will develop a hydrogen-based steam turbine system to deliver zero-emission power solutions for existing rail freight locomotives. Also exploring hydrogen-based tech, BCRRE’s HydroFLEX Raft Production is a power pack design to enable a hydrogen train to work in service, minimising the loss of passenger saloon space. Porterbrook Leasing’s LoCe project will enable mid-life diesel engines to become more environmentally sustainable by transferring retrofit technology into a Porterbrook Class 170 Turbostar, while Far Ltd’s Resi-Glaze aims to develop an innovative and resilient glazing solution to ensure passenger safety on trains and potential CO2 emissions saving. Associated Utility Supplies (AUS) Ltd will develop the first railway footbridge made entirely from fibre reinforced polymer. Easier to install than the equivalent steel bridge, the footbridge will reduce network disruption and local environmental damage. railbusinessdaily.com
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Optimised and Cost-Effective Maintenance OptRail-PRO rcm2 Ltd’s OptRail-PRO project will develop the application of novel fibre-optic sensing technology for continuous structural health monitoring of rail tracks, switches and crossing and automated maintenance planning. OptRail-PRO will be developed as a highly resilient and collaborative system, equipped with advanced ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) communication, artificial intelligence for automated decision support and risk-based inspection approach. OptRail-PRO promises to combine high precision with low installation costs. The project will optimise the processes of risk based inspection and maintenance, improving the measurement of multi-point strain, displacement and temperature, as well as the accuracy of distributed sensing of stress state of the track. OptRail-PRO has been designed against rcm2’s mission of Putting Passengers First. While the system provides operators with the monitoring of S&C defects for condition-based
maintenance and the whole range of rail traffic parameters (axle counting, loading), this will also benefit passengers due to improving the reliability of infrastructure assets and reducing asset lifecycle costs. OptRail-Pro represents another step in rcm2’s development of its innovative OptRail system, the research and development of which was funded by Innovate UK in 2018 and looks set to benefit rail globally. The system will increase the efficiency of rail traffic and lower its risks, keeping costs low despite the very high accuracy of the data provided on a continuous basis. Other successful projects also look set to provide high-quality, cost-effective maintenance solutions. Perpetuum Ltd’s TAMON (Train Axle Crack Monitoring) project will help to reduce returns to depot by using sensors and pattern-recognition technologies to monitor for cracks in train axles, while Rail Innovations are set to use thermal radiometry camera technology to measure temperatures of mechanical systems on moving trains, enabling automatic alarms to be sent over the internet in the event of an over-temperature occurrence. The University of Sheffield is developing
a high-speed cryogenic cleaning system for tracks to prevent low adhesion and slow running of trains, while Fugro’s InnoTamp project will gather data to ensure the maintenance of optimum rail alignment. Optimised Railway Operations RODIO-TSM Award-winning Welsh tech business Vortex IoT will provide the fully operational and validated RODIO-TSM (Rail Optical Detection of Intrusions and Obstructions – Tunnel and Station Monitoring Solution) to be demonstrated on Network Rail’s infrastructure by March 2021. Working in partnership with Network Rail, Balfour Beatty and Transport for Wales, the first stages of the new development will focus on key software components and AI training including implementing and testing RODIO-TSM on a Network Rail test track. Following this, a one month live trial with RIDC will take place in November 2020, followed by a three-month live trial in Bargoed, Wales, ahead of the 2021 launch.
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RODIO-TSM can accurately detect, differentiate and classify intrusions – human and animal movements, obstructions – rock fall, tree fall, brick fall, debris fall and geotechnical asset failures – localised rapid earthworks, flooding, landslides and then sends real time situational alerts to the rail control centre to prompt further investigation as an advisory system, in turn improving safety across the rail network, reducing rail closures as well as a decreasing costs across the rail industry.
RODIO-TSM can accurately detect, differentiate and classify intrusions Pete Ellis, Principal Engineer at Network Rail’s Research and Innovation Development Centre said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to once again assist Vortex IoT to further develop their (RODIO) LiDAR sensor and Artificial Intelligence infrastructure monitoring system. I am excited to see how this technology can be extended to monitor, and be mounted to, other assets such as bridges and tunnels; and also to understand the benefits that it will contribute towards helping to keep our network operating safely and reliably for passengers and freight users.” Other projects set to optimise railway operations include Associated Utility Supplies’ span wire clamping system to enable rapid, low-cost overhead line equipment headspan renewals with minimum network disruption. Cogitare Ltd will user test its Trainserv software, which integrates multiple sources of real-time data for use by rail workers to help them improve services and respond to incidents, ahead of preparing for commercialising the project. Liverpool John Moores University has developed IRIS, an information system for frontline station staff to enhance communication and enable them to help passengers plan their travel more effectively. JBA Consulting aim to develop a first-of-a-kind surface water flood forecasting and early warning system for Network Rail using technology and data to map the likelihood of surface flood water ahead of any event. In addition, CoCatalyst Limited will improve railway operations through trainmounted water spraying when slippery rails are detected to improve train traction and braking, and prevent subsequent services 48 | September 2020
from being affected. Garrandale Limited will train test Cleartrak, its innovative and efficient system for processing toilet waste, reducing cost and maintenance requirements. Customer Experience Seatfrog Train Swap Seatfrog Train Swap allows passengers to quickly and remotely update their seat reservation to a new service. Developed by application software designer and developer Seatfrog, the Seatfrog Train Swap app aims to take the stress out of commuting by letting passengers remotely update their seat, alongside several other innovations. The Seatfrog app enables customers to upgrade tickets either by taking a ‘buy now’ option or taking place in an auction-style bid for an upgrade when travelling on an eligible train. Using the app, customers who hold the highest bid when the Seatfrog auction ends will win the upgrade for the journey they are making. Seatfrog is already available on a large number of long-distance rail routes in the UK and the London-based travel-tech company founded in 2014 works with Cross Country, LNER, GWR, Avanti West Coast and others. Seatfrog can play a part in maximising revenue, by targeting moments to up-sell, while the platform is designed to scale rapidly and integrate seamlessly into existing sales systems. Operators
can achieve unmatched revenue performance through dynamic pricing powered by artificial intelligence. In addition, due to the power of social media, happy customers can become advocates for rail when winning bids and buying upgrades. Other projects funded in the Customer Experience category included Sheffield Hallam University’s project to develop illuminated and heated low-energy concrete slabs used on railway platforms that automatically switch on in freezing conditions to help prevent passengers from slipping on ice. Esoterix Systems Ltd’s Dynamic Capacity Management project introduces utilitystyle ticketing that adjusts to travel patterns and helps customers save money. Iproov’s LAMINAR project will demonstrate how biometrics can dramatically enhance the passenger experience, reduce congestion, improve safety and enhance security. Hive Composites Ltd will install the next generation of lightweight composite poles along railway lines, putting in place essential infrastructure to improve Wi-Fi speed, consistency and 5G connectivity on the rail network. Ingram Networks Ltd’s lab-based study into high-speed communications technology for railways will demonstrate cost-effective, high speed track to train communications infrastructure across the length of the heritage railway in Leicestershire.
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Collaboration is the key as Spencer Group completes major Stevenage rail project a year ahead of schedule
pencer Group says collaboration has been at the heart of the completion of a major Stevenage rail project a year ahead of schedule. Agility and flexibility have been vital for everyone working in the rail industry during the coronavirus crisis, but it is doing so collectively that is changing the sector for the better. Rail infrastructure specialist Spencer Group has reaped the benefits of collaboration with the client and key stakeholders completing major capacity enhancement works a year ahead of the scheduled opening, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. The complex £40 million project to enable two additional services per hour into London’s King’s Cross from Stevenage has provided critical support to Network Rail as the immediate client and end user Govia Thameslink Railway. It included constructing a 130m-long platform, complete with approximately two kilometres of new electrified track and signalling. Long-distance trains can now use the Hertford Loop to connect to Stevenage Station without using existing timetable space on the East Coast Main Line, which, in turn, allows the two additional services into London. Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris opened the platform and track, saying the improvements “will mean more frequent and reliable services for passengers who use the line day in, day out”. The project saw a 200-strong multi-disciplinary team from Spencer Group complete extensive works during a ’blockade’ period across three days last Christmas and a further blockade involving a 160-strong team over three days in January. Joe Bennett, Production Director at Spencer Group, said: “We’re proud of our industry-leading 50 | September 2020
capabilities on complex major rail infrastructure schemes and this project has been a prime example of our expertise and performance. “We completed the design and build of this project using our multi-disciplinary experience, in-house capability and close partnerships with our specialist supply chain. “By completing the major milestones over Christmas and in January, we minimised disruption to rail commuters and we also engaged with the community throughout the project, including site tours for local residents and regular letter drops to keep them updated. “It has been a really successful project and that is also testament to outstanding collaborative working with the client.” Following the installation of new switches and crossings in late November and early December, these intense and time-critical periods of work saw the team modify the existing signalling power supply to increase capacity for the new railway line.
This work included installing five new signalling posts, signal post telephones and engineering electrical supply points, while civil works involved carrying out essential construction works to the existing platform and installing a cable troughing route. New Year blockade The January blockade period saw part of the track completed and installation of new points and structures for the overhead line equipment. In addition, a new platform was put in place with a passenger lift and stairs connecting into the existing station footbridge. Facilities on the platform include a heated waiting room, external seating, a ticket vending machine, ticket barriers with a canopy and welfare facilities for train drivers. Earthworks and soft finishings, including soil seeding, have been completed in recent months, despite the significant challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
S t eFveeantaugr e
Phil Daniel, Network Rail Project Manager, said: “This project has been delivered thanks to the excellent teamworking ethic developed between Network Rail, Spencer Group, their supply chain and the major stakeholders. “These strong relationships and the working practices they have permitted have allowed the platform to be opened over a year ahead of the original planned date, which would have been improved further if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 pandemic. “The safe and secure way the team has adapted and re-planned the remaining works since the pandemic took effect is testament to the quality of the people working on this project and is representative of the approach seen over the past two years, throughout its design and delivery.” Variety of skills The project’s scope and requirements ranged across earthworks, signalling, mechanical and electrical, structures, tunnelling, sustainable drainage, new electrification equipment and one mile of new track, as well as a new turnout from the Hertford Loop. Alterations to the existing interlocking, including six signalling stages, operational and station telecoms, and new customer information systems were also part of the project. In total, 286,000 hours were spent working on the project, with 71,000 tonnes of soil removed from the site. Andy Beach, Spencer Group Operations Director, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the delivery team, our supporting supply chain and the collaboration we have with our client, Network Rail. “This has been a benchmark project for all involved and truly highlights the skill, expertise and knowledge we have in this sector.” Spencer Group has delivered large-scale, multi-disciplinary projects to enhance the UK’s rail network for more than two decades and is a principal infrastructure contractor for Network Rail. From designing and building new platforms, to constructing whole stations and depots, to improving and extending network capacity and reliability, the company has established an industry-wide reputation for successful delivery of rail infrastructure projects. railbusinessdaily.com
Stevenage station in numbers
Cost of project
metres Length of platform
286,000 hours Time spent working on the project
Length of new track
71,000 tonnes Amount of soil removed from the site
Spencer Group team complete extensive works during ‘blockade’ period across threedays last Christmas.
September 2020 | 51
Approaching the finish line Leading Crossrail through its final stages – CEO Mark Wild on one of the UK’s most complex projects The whole cost of the project is also estimated to have risen by as much as £1.1 billion. Crossrail says the reasons for the latest delay is due to three main factors:
Photo: Crossrail Ltd
Routeway – lower than planned productivity in the final completion and handover of the shafts and portals. Eight of the ten have been handed over to Transport for London with the final two expected to be completed this autumn.
t consists of 42km of new tunnels, 10 new stations, over 50km of new track, the integration of three signalling systems and upgrades across existing infrastructure. Taking that into account, it will come as no shock that the Crossrail project through London has been described as one of the UK’s most complex infrastructure projects. It has also faced several delays. Delivery of the Elizabeth line is now in its complex final stages, with the completion of the remaining construction and systems integration followed by intensive operational testing. “We are working tirelessly to complete the remaining infrastructure works so that we can
Stations – as more detailed plans for the completion and handover of the two central section stations have developed, Crossrail has revised previous schedule assumptions about the pace at which these large and complex stations can be handed over to Transport for London.
fully test the railway and successfully transition the as an operational railway to Transport for London,” said Crossrail CEO Mark Wild. “Delivery of the Elizabeth line is now in its complex final stages and is being completed at a time of great uncertainty due to the risks and potential impacts of further COVID outbreaks. “We are working tirelessly to complete the remaining infrastructure works so that we can fully test the railway and successfully transition the project as an operational railway to Transport for London.” Last month it was revealed that the Elizabeth line, initially due to open in December 2018, will now not be ready until the first half of 2022.
COVID-19 – further exacerbated the schedule pressures due to a pause of physical activity on sites during lockdown. Now there is a maximum of around 2,000 people on the sites, less than 50 per cent of the pre-COVID complement. Mark, who became CEO in November 2018, said: “A programme of this scale and complexity was already challenging, with pressures on the schedule before COVID-19 became a factor. The impact of COVID-19 has made the existing pressures more acute. “Despite the challenges presented by
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Photo: Crossrail Ltd
“Once software testing is completed 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.”
COVID-19, good progress continues to be made 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. “Progress during the last six months includes all central section stations, except Bond Street, now certified as ready to support Trial Running; eight of ten shafts and portals completed and handed over to the operator. “We’ve also completed the handover of the first central section station, Custom House, to TfL, the introduction of the first full-length Class 345
train in passenger service between Paddington and Heathrow and a viable signalling software product available for Trial Running. “To recover some of the lost time we’ve been undertaking a period of intensive construction activity to complete the remaining construction works in the routeway for Trial Running. “The construction blockade is progressing well and achieving targeted levels of productivity. “Following the completion of the blockade this month, we will then commence testing of the next evolution of the signalling software, helping to further build operational reliability.
Turning point Trial Running marks a key point in the project’s transition to an operational railway and is a critical step forward in making possible the opening of passenger services between Paddington and Abbey Wood. It will see multiple trains operating in the tunnels to fully test the timetable and build reliability while the final works to the stations are completed. Following the central section opening, full services across the Elizabeth line from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, will be introduced. Full services will be aligned with National Rail timetable changes in May and December each year. Mark said: “I want to reassure my colleagues in the transport sector that everyone working on the project knows how important it is for us to get the Elizabeth line completed. “Now more than ever Londoners are relying on the capacity and connectivity that the line will bring, and we are doing everything possible to deliver the railway as safely and quickly as we can. “We know that in this time of social distancing the space provided by the line, both on the new trains and on our platforms and ticket halls, has never been more needed. “Getting the railway opened is our absolute priority and when we do we believe the experience of using the Elizabeth line will be one which builds confidence in passengers again, as well as exciting and delighting them.”
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September 2020 | 53
Siemens Mobility safely commissions new signalling system at Hither Green ollowing the final commissioning of the Hither Green Area Resignalling Project, technology from Siemens Mobility Limited is now helping provide an improved service to passengers. The new signalling system will mean greater reliability and better journeys for passengers, not just through Hither Green, but also into Lewisham, Central London and into Kent. The work is a key part of Network Rail’s £250m programme to improve signalling and track reliability through the busy Lewisham area of South East London and was the first major commissioning to be delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic. After a nine-day blockade, the new signalling system was signed into operation last month, covering the route from Hither Green to Grove Park, Sidcup and Bromley North. As a result of the work, control of the route has been transferred from the London Bridge Signal Box to Network Rail’s state-of-the-art Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre (TBROC). Network Rail route director for Kent, Fiona Taylor, said: “The only reason we were able to get this crucial work completed is because of the effort, commitment and can-do attitude from everyone in our supply chain, our TOC partners Southeastern, freight companies and within Network Rail. “The original commissioning in April was postponed due to COVID-19 and in less than eight weeks, when it would normally take six months, we planned and delivered more than £100m of work, that will mean more reliable journeys for our passengers for years to come. It really shows what we can achieve as an industry.” Rob Morris, Managing Director Rail Infrastructure for Siemens Mobility Limited, said: “This two year project has been a great example of effective collaboration, with our delivery team working extremely closely with Network Rail and the other project contractors to safely deliver the scheme. “This was especially important given the new working practices and procedures that were introduced to keep the teams working on the project and our neighbours safe and well. I’m incredibly proud of everyone involved in the delivery of these works which has set the standard for other projects to follow.” 54 | September 2020
Photo: Network Rail
The scheme enables 12-car trains to now stop at platform three at Grove Park and for turnback opportunities to be created at Hither Green, Grove Park and Lee, enabling trains to turnback in the event of delays or during engineering works, so improving reliability and performance for passengers and the operator.
This was especially important given the new working practices and procedures that were introduced to keep the teams working on the project and our neighbours safe and well The project has seen the old 1970’s signalling system replaced by modern, robust, safe and reliable architecture and equipment. Siemens Mobility’s Trackguard Westlock Computer Based Interlocking and Westrace Trackside System are at the heart of the scheme, replacing the interfaced solid-state interlocking at Hither Green and remote relay interlocking at Bromley North. Over the course of 21 stages across the two-year programme, Siemens Mobility has installed 58 signals (50 of which were new
and eight were re-used), with the existing track circuits being replaced by 254 axle counter heads to provide more reliable train detection. All of the Siemens Mobility equipment was manufactured in the company’s UK factory. Core Valley Lines Transformation programme contract Siemens Mobility Limited has been awarded a three-year contract by Transport for Wales to improve the connectivity for the 1.5 million people who live and work in the Cardiff Capital Region. It is part of the Core Valley Lines Transformation programme which will cover the renewal and replacement of lineside signalling infrastructure. There will also be the creation of a new integrated control centre which will ensure the safe running of trains, improve the reliability of the infrastructure and increase the operational flexibility of the railway. Once complete in 2023, the new intelligent infrastructure will enhance the passenger experience, by offering improved journey times and increased train frequency. Rob Morris, Siemens Mobility Limited’s Managing Director of Rail Infrastructure, said: “This important programme will deliver a wide range of benefits, helping to improve both the passenger experience and operational performance and we are looking forward to railbusinessdaily.com
Photo: Siemens Mobility
working closely and collaboratively with our supply chain partners in Wales to safely deliver the work.” All the equipment for this contract will be manufactured at the Chippenham factory in the UK. Alongside the installation of the new
integrated control centre, Siemens Mobility will be manufacturing, installing, testing and commissioning 50 new signals, over 300 axle counter sections and 98 signalling location cases. Work is now underway on-site in the Cardiff Valleys, coordinated from the project depot at
Treforest, and Siemens Mobility will be working in close partnership with Transport for Wales, KeolisAmey Wales, Balfour Beatty plc and Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd to deliver the scheme, which forms part of the wider South Wales Metro programme.
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Back on track: The return of Grand Central
Grand Central has entered the next chapter in what has been an incredibly tough and challenging year
t was only in March that the train operator, which runs services between Sunderland, Bradford and London King’s Cross, was adding services to the network, running longer trains, and was on the brink of launching a new service along the west coast. That was until the coronavirus pandemic struck and passenger numbers were decimated. Operating under an ‘Open Access’ business model and not receiving support from the Government, the tough, but necessary, decision to suspend services was made. For nearly four months the trains stood silent and the vast majority of staff were furloughed. But towards the end of July there was light at the end of the tunnel, the staff were back and services started to resume. Managing Director Richard McClean, who has remained positive and optimistic throughout, was there at York Station to greet the first customer-carrying train. “For me it was a pivotal moment and one which concluded a huge amount of planning and preparation, but also opened the next chapter for us,” he said. “It was extraordinary to think that before the coronavirus pandemic all kicked off our challenge was capacity. “It was necessary that we suspended services temporarily, as continuing to operate without revenue was not sustainable and it would have been reckless to continue doing so.
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“There are pros and cons with being an ‘Open Access’ operator, the cons being that we don’t have a state safety net when things go COVID-shaped.
It was necessary that we suspended services temporarily, as continuing to operate without revenue was not sustainable “But not being franchised means we have a lot more freedom than many train operators and can take a longer-term view and plan for recovery when things are tough.”
The need to find flexible solutions to the increasingly complex challenges of meeting franchise requirements and delivering on passenger expectations has never been more crucial. In these difficult times, many operator’s are finding that it is their ability to rapidly adapt their strategy to suit uncertain circumstances, to be a huge key to their continued success. At TrainFX, we have always taken pride in our flexible and bespoke approach to our product integration. Our approach of tailoring our integrations to create bespoke, turn-key solutions, enables us to directly support our customers in their goals, delivering a solution that is the very definition of a perfect fit:
56 | September 2020
In the beginning... Grand Central started as just an idea 13 years ago and through the hard work of all the team has become a vital and much-loved service. During lockdown the operator was revealed as passengers’ favourite in a national survey of rail users. Before the lockdown the company was operating 18 daily services between the north and London (16 on Sunday) every day and welcoming nearly 30,000 passengers per week. As well as building back up to its original levels, as passenger numbers continue to increase, Mr McClean hopes to get back underway with plans to start operations on the west coast at Blackpool, which were just nine weeks away from starting before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
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He said: “We always planned this to be a measured and sensible return to service; we know rail travel has changed a lot since we last welcomed passengers on board in April, but the demand is slowly returning. “As we continue to increase services it also means we’re bringing much-needed extra capacity to the rail network, which helps maintain social distancing on board.” Coast to coast As well as restarting the east coast operation, the Grand Central team has also been working on developing plans for the west coast project.
He said: “We have been able to start operations on the east coast pretty quickly. On the west coast the challenges are different. It’s going to take us longer to work through how to move forward. “At Grand Central we consider ourselves a vital cog in driving local economies as a service provider and as an employer – something which is going to be essential as the country eases itself out of lockdown. As a business we face the same challenges as sectors like retail, accommodation and hospitality where we’re having to work even harder than before to meet the expectations of customers.
The bottom line? Because our systems are engineered with integration and bespoke design in mind, we know our clients will benefit from features which help satisfy franchise requirements as well as faster installations, minimising disruption and service downtime.
renowned after-sales care, we continue to work closely together to ensure we provide a solution fine-tuned to fit your exact needs. With TrainFX as your partner, you’ll deliver the experience and results your passengers, staff and stakeholders deserve.
At TrainFX, we know the perfect solution is always the one designed with you in mind. That’s why, from initial consultation to our
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“Building customer confidence is key and that’s why we’ve introduced extra measures to ensure our carriages are clean with on-board distancing and plenty of guidance for passengers. “This is an area where the whole rail industry and transport authorities need to work together to make rail relevant to passengers and communities. “I feel confident society can adjust and that when the time comes, ‘Open Access’ operators like us, and our friends over at Hull Trains, can continue to evolve, grow and open up the world to even more communities.”
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September 2020 | 57
Photo: Tony Bending
Heritage rail is back in steam, but the impact of coronavirus could be felt decades down the line
here were tears of joy at Kidderminster when GWR 2857 hauled Severn Valley Railway back into life. For more than 120 days the heritage railway had sat idle because of the coronavirus pandemic. General manager Helen Smith was one of those who may have had something in her eye as No 2857, smoke billowing out, hauled the first reopening service through Worcestershire and Shropshire. It was only in November last year that she became the first woman to take the helm at the railway, on the eve of its 50th anniversary of its official opening in preservation. “It was really exciting and quite emotional to see trains moving again and to see the enthusiasm and excitement on the faces of visitors, volunteers and staff,” she said. “It has been a long four months. Initially we thought it was going to be a six-week close down, but we soon began to realise that the world was changing, and we’d have to as well. “We’ve had to completely reinvent how we operate as a business, re-write safety procedures, risk assessments, even how 58 | September 2020
Further Information To learn more about Severn Valley Railway, visit svr.co.uk
we plan staff training. There isn’t anything that hasn’t been looked at.” Helen came to the role with a wealth of experience within the visitor attraction sector, previously working as deputy director at the Tank Museum at Bovington in Dorset. But nothing could have prepared her for the months ahead in charge at Severn Valley Railway. Flooding in February, an arson attack to a railway building last month, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic have all put the very existence of the railway at risk. “Drawing on experience in my background working with the military for the last 10 years we put in a gold, silver and bronze command system in place when the pandemic struck,” said Helen. “Dealing with a crisis it is a good way of making sure all the decisions are dealt with properly and at the right level, and that the communication of those decisions is done effectively. “In terms of some of the big changes we’ve implemented for the safe reopening, we have gone from using open stock to compartment stock carriages, making three trains up. We’ve left one
carriage in there for disabled access, but the rest are all compartment stock. “Instead of selling individual tickets we’ve been selling compartments for up to six people in each. We’ve also been providing hand sanitiser and asking people to wear face coverings in all our station buildings, in our visitor centre and on our platforms.” Long-term planning Although services started back running again last month, there are concerns about the long-term implications not just on Severn Valley Railway, but heritage railways generally. Helen said: “A lot of planning has gone into future spending. During the uncertainty of whether we’d be open or not, we predicted as a worst-case scenario we could lose up to £6 million of our £8 million annual turnover. “Although we have managed to get some services up and running, turnover is nowhere near what we would normally do in August, with the reduced numbers and reduced secondary spend. “We still have a mountain to climb. One of the worst things about this pandemic is railbusinessdaily.com
that I think we will still be talking about the impact in 20 years when looking at the investment into the infrastructure. “We would normally spend between £3 million and £4 million a year on projects, whether that’s on engines, infrastructure, rebuilding things or plans for preventative maintenance. Some of the stuff we know we won’t be able to afford now, in five years’ time we’ll be saying if we’d have done that five years ago it wouldn’t have been this expensive to fix. Whole sections of the business that were making a considerable contribution for us, I don’t know how we’ll operate these as things stand. On-train dining as one example. I don’t know how it will pan out as I don’t want to put up plastic screens on the heritage carriages.” But despite the challenges which lie ahead, Helen is optimistic for the railway’s future. She will take Severn Valley Railway forward with the backing of 200 staff, 1,800 volunteers and members of the public more than willing to put their hands in their pockets to ensure it survives.
The last few months have made us look at all the nuts and bolts of what we do and how we are going to do it moving forward Helen said: “The public support has been phenomenal. We were inundated with donations, handwritten letters coming in offering help and people have been travelling from all over the country to support the railway. At best I hoped we might be able to raise around £250,000. Thanks to the incredible support we’ve raised £900,000. “I’ve said to staff on a number of occasions the one thing that has struck me about Severn Valley Railway has been the amount of enthusiasm and support. I’ve been offered help, advice, support, counselling. Everything I’ve needed someone has come forward and there has been some great collaboration with other heritage railway operators.
I am optimistic for the future. The last few months have made us look at all the nuts and bolts of what we do and how we are going to do it moving forward. It has been a massive shock to everyone, what you have taken granted in the past, you’re not going to take for granted moving forwards. “For us we’ll be looking at absolutely everything moving forward to make sure we are doing the best we can to look after our staff and volunteers to be a fantastic and safe place to work and visit. “As for the future we are literally looking at things week by week. We started with private compartments in August, and we’ll look to bring back more of a normal timetable this month, ghost trains in private compartments in October and we will be doing something at Christmas, but with the ever-changing picture, we’re not sure what that will look like yet. “Whatever happens, I know from the last few months that the support we will continue to get will be fantastic and help us through these tough times.
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September 2020 | 59
F er a B i dt g u er es
GRAHAM begins Western Route framework upgrades in Warwickshire and Gloucestershire
ollowing the announcement of Network Rail’s Western Route Control Period 6 (CP6) framework, which covers projects from London to Cornwall, contractors are now undertaking projects on the route. Workload of the framework consists of asset renewals covering design and construction of all rail categories, including building and civil engineering, electrification, power, signalling telecommunications and track, and is part of the framework’s strategic plan to deliver 140,000 more trains every year by 2024. Proud heritage GRAHAM, a construction and civil engineering specialist that has proudly delivered ‘lasting impact’ on projects since 1778, has been one of the first organisations to announce the award of contracts on the Western Route framework, which runs over a period of five years with three further one year options to extend into CP7. GRAHAM’s first contract wins will see the firm deliver works at Stocks Overbridge and the River Avon Evesham bridge and Kelston Park embankment works. Stocks Overbridge is 60 | September 2020
a single span elliptical masonry road over a rail arch structure between Kingham and Moretonin-Marsh in Gloucestershire. The project will involve the demolition of the existing masonry arch to be replaced with a new superstructure. The new structure will be installed by GRAHAM’s project team over the course of three 30-hour rail possessions.
To be selected for the Western Framework contracts is a recognition of the excellent collaborative relationship we have developed with Network Rail River Avon Evesham bridge is a two-span rail underbridge spanning the river. The work involves structural repairs to both abutments and the central pier and scour protection works in the river with associated works.
The second project at Kelston Park, which comprises a 1.75-mile-long embankment that is situated on the flood plain of the River Avon, is to install a cantilevering kingpost wall at the toe of the embankment on both sides of the railway. Network Rail’s Western route stretches from London Paddington to Penzance, through Bristol and up to the boundaries with Wales, Worcester and Basingstoke. The framework forms part of Network Rail’s route-based delivery strategy, which sees it fully focused on customer outcomes. GRAHAM’s civil engineering expertise and bridge capabilities were key to securing the contracts, with Network Rail seeking partners to bring innovation to the projects to align with its efficiency and reliability goals. Growing rail portfolio The framework award follows GRAHAM’s work to deliver three projects under the Crossrail West Enhanced Stations Phase 2 programme. Last year, the firm was appointed to construct two brand new stations in West railbusinessdaily.com
B F er a i dt g u er es
Ealing and Acton Mainline, and significantly remodel Ealing Broadway, as part of Crossrail, which has introduced a new railway system fully integrated with the existing transport network in central London. The new Elizabeth line will stretch more than 60 miles from Reading and Heathrow in the west, and through central tunnels across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. GRAHAM’s Managing Director for Civil Engineering, Leo Martin, explains that the award of contracts on the CP6 framework has built on the success of the Crossrail projects, which have seen the firm help the railway maintain a full service throughout the work programme: “To be selected for the Western Framework contracts is a recognition of the excellent collaborative relationship we have developed the development of the new Scarborough with Network Rail. We have a growing rail Train Care Facility, which all demonstrate our portfolio with transformative projects such as capabilities in the sector. 2008 RailDirector Half Page AD.pdf 1 13/08/2020 13:20:06 “Our work on the Great Western Main Line will Kenilworth and Portrush Train Stations and
help transform the public transport experience for the people of Ealing and we are proud to have played our part in Crossrail’s legacy. “Both GRAHAM and Network Rail are committed to creating a safe and inclusive workplace, one which recognises and respects differences between people and facilitates a culture which embraces innovation and change and where collaborative working practices are passed down through the entire supply chain, benefitting the wider industry. ” Leo added: “The CP6 framework awards will enhance our presence in the West of England on the back of our work at Marsh Barton in Exeter. “They also provide the opportunity to develop our rail team further. This is an exciting time to be involved in rail for GRAHAM and we hope these works will further strengthen our ties with Network Rail and build our profile as an industry-leading civil engineering contractor.”
September 2020 | 61
F emaat rutr eTe c h n o l o g y S
The pull of Gravity - the railway project at the Tom Curtis - Co-CEO of Gravity “Now, more than ever before, our world needs new thinking and new technologies to solve some of our most pressing economic, environmental and societal challenges. That is why we created Gravity. The high-quality natural landscape, mixed with exciting opportunities for leisure, creates a wonderful location for business and their employees, on a scale never seen before in the UK.”
A £50 million railway restoration is at the heart of the UK’s first commercial Smart Campus, redefining the way we work, live and play for a cleaner, more sustainable future.
Gravity will see 635-acres, with direct access to Jct 23 of the M5 and a reopened rail connection to the Bristol-Exeter line, transformed into a flagship Smart Campus. Network Rail has confirmed in a now completed feasibility study that the rail link will connect both passengers and freight to Bristol, Exeter, Bristol Port and beyond, and is both deliverable and has sufficient paths to run the new rolling stock. The Smart Campus will be served by the Gravity HUB – an integrated transport mobility centre at the heart of the site. It will connect strategic infrastructure with mobility as a service and where interconnection of the rail will maximise the use of future micro-mobility. Providing an ‘end to end’ transport solution, creating access to new opportunities, it will be facilitated by a Gravity travel app, reducing commuting by road and attracting new employers and employees from urban areas via the rail network. Gravity will also provide a test bed for micro mobility product development and trials, with the ability to manufacture and distribute to the wider UK and beyond via on-site rail freight. There will also be the opportunity to host university partners to participate in live lab trials and transport research, examine, experiment with and advise on travel behaviours within the surrounding sub-region along the M5 Growth Corridor. 62 | September 2020
As for the site generally, Gravity will shape the economic future of the South West of England and beyond with the creation of 4,000 jobs with new key worker housing and serviced accommodation to support the site. The team behind this smart campus are committed to ensuring that Gravity will be at the leading edge of sustainable transport and mobility providing walking, cycling and public transport options to the site and future mobility options on the site, now. Pioneering approaches to sustainable smart mobility are a critical element at Gravity. The vision ensures a large part of both freight and passengers are brought to and from site by rail with the objective to restore the former rail connection to Gravity. This will link to the main line connecting to Bristol and Exeter and Bristol Port tipped to be one of the ‘freeports’ announced later this year. This ‘freeport’ status combined with innovative digital architecture led by Bristol University through the 5G Create programme and rail restoration from Bristol Port to Gravity will open up a new advanced manufacturing destination for inward investment.
Lord David Triesman - Director of Gravity “Gravity exemplifies the UK’s ambition to decarbonise, diversify and grow our economy, as a progressive approach to a changing climate. As the UK transitions to a low-carbon future, the grand challenges of digital, clean growth and the future
S m a r t Te c hFne oa ltougr ey
heart of major Smart Campus of mobility will play an integral role in meeting our commitments at Gravity whilst aligned with the Government’s industrial strategy.” This is a future element to drive efficient, cost eﬀective and future-proofed distribution of freight to and from the site by connecting it to Bristol deep sea port, and the rest of the country, and also ensures the employment capture for the site includes the cities of Exeter and Bristol within 45 minutes. This element is vital to reduce reliance on road transport for both freight and employees. Gravity has ambitious deliverables, drawing on the foundations of the investment made through national infrastructure projects in Somerset, to further the legacy into sustainable economic growth for the South West: Gravity is already well on their way and welcome support in working to explore this potential and to accelerate delivery to connect people and places to new opportunities – linking cities and people to jobs - using end to end micro-mobility enabled by strategic transport.
Ian Liddell-Grainger - MP for Bridgwater & West Somerset “Bridgwater is an industrial heartland. When BAE shut up shop, we didn’t want a piecemeal development. We wanted to have a company which took the site and turned it into a visionary scheme that would stand the test of time.”
Key Facts Location: Scale: Owners: Partnerships;
Bridgwater, Somerset 635 acres This is Gravity Ltd + Sedgemoor District Council + Somerset County Council + Heart of the South West LEP + DIT & BEIS
+ E.ON to deliver the UK’s first Ectogrid in the UK Advanced manufacturing and associated Clean Growth uses
Site Attributes + 635 acres with direct access to the M5 J23 + Outline planning consent B1, B2, B8 and leisure + Plot sizes can accommodate up to 7,500,000 sq ft / 697,000 sq m + On-site rail for passenger and freight; direct access to Bristol Deep Sea Port + Proximity to Bristol and Exeter International Airports + Designated Enterprise Zone status + Talented labour pool; proximity to worldleading research universities + Significant grid connections together with renewable / low carbon on-site energy solutions provided by E.ON + Large scale water abstraction licence + Resilient dark fibre connectivity
For more information on locating to Gravity or how to be involved in the mobility planning. Contact Tom Curtis Email: Info@thisisgravity.co.uk Tel: 0207 160 0006 Sign-up to our newsletter to find out the latest news at Gravity at www.thisisgravity.co.uk
September 2020 | 63
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has awarded a €1 billion order for 30 new highspeed trains to Siemens Mobility. The trains will initially run on routes between the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Munich via the high-speed Cologne-RhineMain line. The new trains will increase DB’s daily passenger capacity on these mainline routes by 13,000 seats. Dr Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG said it marks a big step for a strong and environmentally friendly rail system. He said: “Our fleet will be getting state-of-the-art additions with the new ICE trains, and our passengers will benefit from more seats, greater comfort and higher speeds by the end of 2022.
Photo: DB AG : Siemens
Deutsche Bahn invest €1 billion in new ICE
“The entire DB fleet will grow by 20 per cent over the coming years. Even though demand has sharply declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everything speaks
in favour of climate-friendly rail transport for the longer term. That’s why we’re committed to growth.” By 2026, 421 ICE trains with
220,000 seats will be operating on Germany’s rail system. In addition to the 30 new ICE trains just ordered, there is an option for an additional 60 trains.
Hitachi Rail SpA and Bombardier Transportation have signed a contract with Italy’s primary train operator Trenitalia to supply 23 Frecciarossa 1000 trains for the new Intermodalidad de Levante (ILSA) rail operation. The contract value is around €800 million. The Frecciarossa 1000 is the fastest and quietest very high-speed train in Europe. The 23 new trains for ILSA will be designed and built by Hitachi Rail and Bombardier in Italy. Each train will be approximately 200 metres long with capacity for around 460 passengers and capable of commercial speeds of up to 360 kph. Andrew Barr, Group CEO, Hitachi Rail, said: “The ETR1000 train, widely known commercially as the Frecciarossa 1000, has transformed passenger transport on high-speed lines in Italy, setting the 64 | September 2020
Hitachi and Bombardier awarded contract to supply very high-speed Frecciarossa trains to Trenitalia
standard and becoming the fastest and most admired train in Europe. “It is a platform that we are
very proud of and is proof of our continuous and positive collaboration with Trenitalia to the
benefit of passengers and society in terms of comfort, sustainability, style, performance and low noise.” railbusinessdaily.com
Etihad Rail’s annual transport capacity expected to reach up to 59 million tonnes Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, is tripling its fleet by announcing the award of a contract for the manufacture, supply and commissioning of 842 new wagons. It will bring its total fleet to more than 1,000 units to serve the whole network. This expansion paves the way for the rail transport to become a principal platform for freight haulage in the UAE. The contract has been awarded to CRRC Corporation Limited, a global leader in providing solutions for the sustainable development of the railway industry. His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed Al Nahyan said: “Etihad Rail is building a sustainable national railway network designed to
transform the UAE’s freight transport and logistics mode of operation by modernising the haulage map for the end users, customers as well as operators.” Work is underway to extend the network 605km from Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah and Khorfakkan on the UAE’s east coast, while connecting the ports of Jebel Ali in Dubai, Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi, ICAD / Mussafah in Abu Dhabi and the Port of Fujairah, with the existing Stage One line at Ruwais. When complete this will effectively unite the major industrial ports and trading centres of the country while opening up cross-border rail traffic to the GCC.
Russian railway operator RZD extends Talgo services to its most popular routes Rossiyskie Zheleznye Dorogi (RZD) will use Talgo compositions to expand the capacity of one of its most popular passenger routes – connecting Moscow and St Petersburg. Aside from this new service, which began
operating last month, Talgo’s compositions will provide an additional service between St Petersburg and the city of Samara. The company’s exclusive technologies, such as the lightness and natural tilting of
its cars, in addition to its unique system of independently rotating and self-guiding wheels, will help reduce journey times without the need for new investment in infrastructure.
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September 2020 | 65
The HS2 Interchange leading the way for its eco-credentials The new HS2 station, being built near Solihull and the NEC in the West Midlands, has been granted planning approval
The planning application for the station and the surrounding landscape and public realm, along with the Automated People Mover, were approved by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council last month, with the planner’s report saying the design creates ‘an exciting contextual response to its setting’. Birmingham links The Automated People Mover will link to the NEC, Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport, carrying up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction, with a service every three minutes along a 2.3km route. HS2’s design consultants ARUP have worked closely with their landscape architects Churchman Thornhill Finch to develop a design which celebrates the local context and biodiversity of its native landscape associated with the Forest of Arden. Kim Quazi, Director at ARUP Architects, said: “Creating the world’s most sustainable station has always been at the heart of HS2’s design vision and this planning approval is testament to everything we have been working towards.
HS2 by the numbers 343 miles of railway track 45 miles of tunnels 37 miles of viaducts 120 miles of embankment 30,000 workers Source: HS2
“This represents a significant milestone for station design and a step forward in our quest for greener rail. “From the striking roof supported by light-weight glulam timber – inspired by the form of a leaf - to the green open spaces, everything has been selected to minimise the station’s carbon footprint and ensure that it reflects its surroundings and unique location. “Equally significant is the approval for the Automated People Mover, which links Interchange Station directly to the NEC, Birmingham International Rail Station and Birmingham International Airport. A truly modern, world-class, elevated connection has been designed to complement its varying settings and includes new crossings of the M42 motorway and the West Coast mainline.” Looking ahead Next steps include continuing to work with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and stakeholders on maximising the development opportunities around the site, awarding the construction partner contract in 2022, and construction is planned to start in 2024. Photo: HS2
he interchange, which will be at the heart of the high-speed network in the Midlands, has been praised by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for its green credentials. It recently became the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification at the design stage – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings. The station’s design makes use of renewable technologies, and in operation the station will use natural ventilation, daylight, harvested rainwater and solar energy to cut carbon. Matthew Botelle, HS2’s Stations Director, said: “Interchange will be netzero carbon in operation and adopts the latest eco-friendly design and sustainable technologies. “The operation of our stations will play a key role in the UK’s fight against climate change and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “Our architects and engineers have worked together with landscape architects, soil scientists, ecologists and water specialists to develop a truly unique, landscape-led, contextual proposition which draws on the local Arden setting for its inspiration, with lots of new habitats for wildlife.”
66 | September 2020
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Specialist suppliers of anti-slip bespoke GRP access solutions for the rail industry including access platforms, trench covers, walkways and stepovers.
STRAIL (UK) Limited is the UK supplier of vulcanised rubber level crossing systems, with a range that include heavy duty and sleeper spacing independent systems.
Three Shires Limited are a leading Ecological, Vegetation and Fencing contractor across the Railway, Civils and building sectors.
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September 2020 | 69
Movers and shakers
Raj Sinha joins SWGR as Group Managing Director
aj Sinha has joined SWGR as the company’s new Group Managing Director. SWGR is a leading supplier of civil, welding services and fabrication, personnel to a wide range of household names and specialist clients in the oil and gas, engineering, rail, construction, bridges and marine/ports sectors. This executive role sees Raj appointed to the Board of the 32-year old Glasgowheadquartered business, which operates both UK-wide and overseas. Founded by George Nixon in 1988, SWGR has developed a strong reputation for innovation and added value across multiple sectors, responding safely and efficiently to customer needs – 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The addition of Raj to the SWGR Board will add further strength to the market-leading business. George said: “We are absolutely delighted that Raj has agreed to join SWGR as both a shareholder and a Board member. With his incredibly strong track record of success in project delivery, and his excellent reputation for growing businesses, Raj’s appointment will be
pivotal in helping our fantastic team to achieve our ongoing and ambitious growth aspirations. “We constantly look for ways to expand and grow and this new chapter for SWGR builds on three-decades of delivering performance through our people, providing teams and services that have helped innumerable companies and individuals secure their own success.” Raj Sinha is a Chartered Civil Engineer with 30 years of experience in the civil engineering, construction, energy, contracting and rail
sectors. He has led on some of the largest and most challenging corporate and private infrastructure rail projects in the UK. Raj said: “I am really pleased to join the SWGR Board. This is a company that has a long and proud history for great operational delivery. I am delighted that I am now able to play a leading role in the continued success of a reputable and premium business that delivers high-calibre operations, people and projects as a single, focused solution to a vast international client base.” Raj will be based at SWGR’s headquarters which sit on a 130,000sq ft site just on the outskirts of Glasgow city centre. It is home to around 500 people and a nationally accredited training centre, including a welding academy and a full size railway line with points, signalling and overhead lines. There is also a large industrial supplies store selling safety clothing and equipment at the site. Raj was formerly the managing director of SSE Enterprise Rail. Terry Flynn, who has been managing director at SWGR for more 10 years, will become the company’s new Chief Executive.
Chiltern Railways employee retires after 50 years on the railway Chiltern Railways Customer Service Inspector Neville Royce has retired five decades to the day that he started working on the railway. Neville joined the railway as a booking clerk in Luton in 1970 before moving to the booking office in Oxford six years later, where he met his future wife Glynis. In 1980 he began work as a ticket inspector in Aylesbury and remained there until his retirement. To mark the occasion, colleagues at Chiltern Railways surprised Neville with special sociallydistanced presentation ceremony at Marylebone Station last month, where speeches were made over the announcement system and a guard of honour was performed by staff.
Chiltern Railways Interim Managing Director, Mary Hewitt, presented Neville with
a certificate, plaque, and class 68 model in Chiltern livery. Neville said: “Five generations of Royce’s have now worked on the railway – it’s in my genes. The sight of a train rushing through a station still gives me a buzz and the sound of a steam engine fighting its way up Hatton Bank or accelerating out of Princes Risborough will always send a shiver down my spine. “I have learnt that you learn something new every day and if you think you know everything about the railway, you don’t. While I won’t miss the early mornings, I will miss the comradery and being able to tell people with pride that I work on the railway.”
Network Rail appoints new lead for Centre of Excellence for capital delivery Network Rail has appointed a new lead for the Capital Delivery Centre of Excellence to continue to improve the delivery of major projects and investment on the railway. Stuart Calvert took on the role last month in addition to his position as Capital Delivery
70 | September 2020
Director for the for the Wales and Western region. The Centre of Excellence was established as part of the Putting Passengers First (PPF) programme and focuses on the planning and delivery of projects, providing confidence that
benefits will be delivered for passengers and freight users. Stuart Calvert said: “I am really looking forward to the challenge of leading on the Delivery Centre of Excellence as we continue to try and improve the way we work for passengers.”
Movers and shakers
Network Rail’s Mark Langman announces retirement Mark Langman says he will leave Network Rail proud and with many happy memories. The Wales and Western director retires in December after 34-years working in the rail industry. Having joined in 1986 on the Youth Training Scheme (YTS) as an apprentice, he has gone to work in a number of roles from managing stations in London, through to control rooms, performance management, strategic change management then operations management and directorship.
He said: “It’s been exhilarating, and I have absolutely enjoyed every moment of the 34 years I have spent working at Network Rail. “On a personal level, working here has enabled me, with a sprinkling of my own determination and ambition, to achieve so much more than I could have imagined when I started in 1986. “I am extremely grateful for this and it is testament to the rail industry and Network Rail, as an employer, who took me on as a young apprentice and helped me grow into
the leader I have become. I will leave proud and with many happy memories. “It wasn’t an easy decision to retire this coming December, but it is the correct decision for me at this time. I would like to thank all my colleagues, who I have worked alongside over the many years at the organisation and wish them, and indeed Network Rail, all the very best for the future.”
Trisha McAuley becomes Board Member for Transport Focus Trisha McAuley has this month started her four-year role as Scotland Board Member for Transport Focus. Trisha was a senior leader in national consumer organisations from 1995-2014 including the Scottish and National Consumer Councils, Consumer Focus and
Consumer Futures. She received an OBE for services to consumer affairs in 2015. Jeff Halliwell, Transport Focus Chair, said: “I am delighted to welcome Trisha McAuley to the Board of Transport Focus. She brings great experience in consumer affairs, especially in passenger
transport, and I know she will help make a difference for Scotland’s transport users with skill and dedication. “I also want to pay tribute to the huge contribution made by Trisha’s predecessor, Philip Mendelsohn, who served in this role with distinction for the past eight years.”
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September 2020 | 71
Movers and shakers
Experienced director to lead the railbusinessdaily.com expansion
ean Bruce has been appointed Managing Director of railbusinessdaily.com Dean brings over 20 years of marketing experience to the rail industry’s leading media and profile raising service. David McLoughlin, CEO of Business Daily Group, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Dean to the business and for him to bring his expertise of the retail, leisure and finance industries and leadership skills to a different market place. This is an exciting appointment for us.” Dean said: “This is a great time to play a part in the rail industry. There are lots of opportunities and a great deal happening, with significant rail infrastructure projects, the opening up of new routes and tracks and important work around decarbonisation. I look’ forward to applying the skills and experience I have to this different and innovative industry.”
Dean lives in Morley, West Yorkshire with his wife and two young children. Prior to taking up the position with RBD, Dean spent 21 years with Leeds-based marketing company DMB Group,
where he was a director. For over two decades, Dean has worked with some of the UK’s biggest brands and smaller businesses across a host of industries and sectors. He has a reputation for loyalty from clients coupled with his skill for business acquisition and business growth. Brought up in Wakefield, Dean is a graduate of the University of Leeds and has an MBA in Business from the University of Huddersfield. Dean added: “I’ve always enjoyed providing clients with tangible benefits, developing brands, developing campaigns and playing a part in articulating the stories of clients in order that they enjoy businesses growth and they become more profitable. “I’m passionate about rail and my love of trains was instilled in me by my father, Ronald. Rail is a force and I’m very happy to be a part of the industry.”
Jeremy Long retires after 15 years at MTR This month marks the end of the line for Jeremy Long’s time as CEO of European Business at MTR. His retirement on September 30th brings to an end a successful 15 years that has seen him establish a business for MTR in Europe, as well as leading its progressive development in the UK and Sweden.
Under Jeremy’s leadership, MTR has won a number of contracts including London Overground and the Elizabeth Line (TfL Rail) in the UK. He said: “I am very proud of what we have achieved over these last 15 years, and want to say thank you to all the brilliant colleagues who have played their
part in this. “MTR has established a deserved reputation for customer service and operational focus. There is considerable potential for MTR to continue to grow its business here as the European rail markets evolve.” Jeremy will be replaced by Steve Murphy.
SLC Rail announces two new appointments to key management positions
Ashley Gierth SLC Rail welcomes Ashley Gierth as Head of Programme Controls and Mark Finney as HSEQ 72 | September 2020
Manager. Ashley’s key role will be to further improve the company’s project controls, he joins from Geobear Infrastructure where he was the UK Rail Director. Prior to that, he held a number of senior positions in the rail industry and on UK PFI projects, including at Van Elle Rail, AMCO, Carillion Rail, Balfour Beatty, Jarvis Rail and John Laing Plc. Mark Finney joins from West Midlands Trains, although he also brings a wealth of experience of health and safety knowledge from
Mark Finney him time in the construction and offshore sectors. This has included extensive
experience in Construction (Design and Management) regulations and in developing continuous improvement programmes. Ian Walters, Managing Director of SLC Rail, says both bring a huge amount of experience. He said: “Ashley is going to be key to supporting business growth through further developing our controls and processes. “While Mark’s full experience will ensure the delivery of industryleading health and safety systems.” railbusinessdaily.com
Movers and shakers
Eurostar CEO Mike Cooper confirmed as new Arriva Group CEO Arriva has announced that Mike Cooper, the current CEO of Eurostar, will take over as the new Arriva Group CEO, effective from early October 2020. He will succeed Dr. Manfred Rudhart who is stepping down as Arriva CEO following almost five years in the role. Arriva is already well known to Mike, who worked for the business for nine years. He left the business in 2014 to become the CEO of Yodel and then the CEO of Eurostar, the high-speed rail service between the UK and Mainland Europe. Prior to Arriva, Mike was the Chief Commercial Officer of easyJet from its flotation in 2000 until 2005, and before that the Managing Director of the direct sales business of the Thomson Travel Group. Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Levin Holle, CFO at Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Arriva PLC, said: “I am excited to welcome Mike Cooper back to Arriva in his new role as Group CEO. His track record and significant pan-European industry experience combined with his leadership experience in customer facing industries makes
him the ideal person to lead Arriva through the next phase of its development. “The global pandemic has affected all industries, including the passenger transport sector which is going through an unprecedented period of change and challenge. Mike’s background in strong consumer travel brands will be invaluable to us as we look to rebuild passenger confidence in public transport. I can think of no one better placed than Mike to
lead on adapting and developing the Arriva businesses for long-term success.” Mike Cooper commented: “I am really looking forward to rejoining Arriva. Recent events have disrupted all forms of transport, but it has also brought into sharp focus the important role passenger transport plays in the modern world, from keeping people connected and supporting key workers in the fight against the coronavirusvirus through to aiding economic recovery. “At a time of uncertainty, Arriva’s aspiration to be a trusted mobility partner has never been more important. I am looking forward to working with the Arriva team and in partnership with DB to ensure Arriva adapts to the changing market conditions.” DB CFO Dr. Levin Holle has thanked Dr. Manfred Rudhart for his great commitment to DB Arriva, saying: “He has been leading the company successfully for the last five years and most recently through the immediate impact of the Coronavirus crisis. He will continue to run the business at DB Arriva and ensure a smooth transition.”
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Movers and shakers
South Western Railway welcome new recruits Return to Angel Trains for Malcolm Brown Malcolm Brown has returned to Angel Trains as the Chief Executive Officer, replacing Kevin Tribley. Kevin, who has been at the heart of its success and industry-first investment, retired this month after 21 years with the business. Malcolm returns from AMP Capital, where he has spent the past two years as a Partner in the infrastructure asset management team. Malcolm will once again lead a wellestablished senior management team, including David Jordan, COO, Alan Lowe, CFO, and Matthew Prosser, Technical Director. Kevin said: “I am immensely proud to have been part of such a successful organisation and to have played my role in shaping the business and its achievements during my 21-year career at Angel Trains. I leave the company in very safe hands.” Malcolm said: “Angel Trains has always been at the forefront of investment and innovation in UK rail, working alongside industry partners and government. “I am delighted to be back with the business, and to continue the collaborative efforts needed to address industry challenges and realise the opportunities of an accelerated decarbonisation programme.”
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South Western Railway has welcomed new employees to the railway family as it looks to rebuild local economies on the network. Nicole Russell joins the train operator after being made redundant by Arriva Bus. She will put her skills to the test as she
becomes a guard manager at Waterloo. Matthew Bambury will become a platform assistant at Aldershot station following working at Virgin Atlantic. Kyle Evans joins as a route revenue manager from the aviation industry following
redundancy at British Airways. Sharon Johnston, Human Resources Director at South Western Railway, said: “We’re excited to welcome our new recruits to the railway family, especially those from other areas of the travel industry hit hard by COVID-19.”
Skanska reveals new UK infrastructure lead Jonathan Willcock is to lead Skanska’s UK infrastructure business from next month. He will also be a member of the company’s senior leadership team. Jonathan joins from integrated transport system specialist Alstom, where for the last seven years he has led its systems, signalling and infrastructure business. Jonathan, who has also held senior roles at Go-Ahead Group and Vinci, said: “One of the things that really attracted me to Skanska is its values and its commitment to responsible business. I’m excited about joining the company and realising the huge potential in the infrastructure market.” Skanska UK President and CEO Gregor Craig said: “Jonathan has a proven track record of leading successful businesses. His senior leadership experience in the construction industry will add greatly to Skanska’s infrastructure expertise. We look forward to welcoming him and working on some exciting upcoming opportunities.”
RailDirector magazine is designed to bring industry influencers, decision-makers and supply chain partners closer together. RailDirector giv...
Published on Sep 17, 2020
RailDirector magazine is designed to bring industry influencers, decision-makers and supply chain partners closer together. RailDirector giv...