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Winner. Rail Team of the Year.

Issue 182 / January 2013


David Tonkin is new Chairman of RIA


Heavy metal legislation New legislation now in force makes it harder for rogue traders.

Rail plan heralds £37 billion spend The railway industry has drawn up a comprehensive plan to take forward a £37 billion investment in better capacity, electrification and efficiency. The Industry Strategic Business Plan comes as the Coalition Government committed itself to High Speed Two, Crossrail’s fifth tunnel boring machine, Sophia, started work and young people lined up to join the fast growing rail industry. Rachie-Ann Owen, 21, heads a host of apprentices and new staff building fast moving careers on the railway.




Leadership needed Richard Brown’s report on Rail Franchising is published.

Continued on PAGE 4

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Every January the media carry stories of commuters bellyaching about the latest rise in rail fares. Trains, they claim, are packed and unpunctual. In a bizarre parallel new projects like High Speed 2 are derided, even though it will create additional capacity for seat-seeking passengers. Every perceived failing of the railway is gleefully lit up and reported. In spite of this the resurgent rail industry has caught the imagination of the Coalition Government, the business community, school leavers and second careerists alike. The Rail Technical Strategy, Industry Strategic Business Plan, outstanding station retail performance and soaring passenger volumes may not be the stuff of sensational headlines. However, the excellence of the news we report continues to inform a confident upbeat industry that has confounded the doomsayers. A negative press culture may continue to rejoice at the half empty glass and make heavy weather of industrial discord. Railway staff will be encouraged by the announcement of the Industry Strategic Business Plan, Crossrail’s continuing progress and renewed commitment to expanding the railway’s infrastructure and building HS2. The secret of success is the


Soaring passenger volumes The secret of success is the railway’s ability to pull together

“Investing £37 billion in the rail industry will boost the economy immeasurably”

railway’s ability to pull together. The early completion of projects like Paisley Canal electrification demonstrates what can be achieved by working together and going beyond the constraints of contractual aspiration. This power comes down to the strengths of the men and women who make up the industry. Judith Biggs BEM and Les Hoey MBE are ordinary people making an impact over and above the aims

of their job. The railway of the future will draw heavily on the strengths they represent. The resurgent railway creates jobs, spreads ideas and commerce. This is why the Coalition Government is supporting railways. Investing £37 billion in the rail industry will boost the economy immeasurably. Our supporters should be commended for having the stomach to stick with it.



Training Matters In February’s RailStaff

The Fall and Rise of Britain’s Railways

Honours for Rail Heroes

Training and education are the sure fire ways to success, not only for individuals entering the rail industry but for railways as a whole. The skills gap could prove a real constraint as more major projects come on line and Crossrail, HS2, new tram ways and stations need ever more new staff. Please contact Danny, Paul or Tom on 01530 565701.

This year sees the fiftieth anniversary of Richard Beeching’s “The Re-shaping of British Railways.’ Colin Garratt of Milepost 921⁄2 reports.

A welcome host at Warwick Parkway station, Sir Peter Hendy CBE and Howard Collins were among railway staff who received new year’s honours.


Rail Plan launched by Industry Leaders Launch of TBM Sophia at Plumstead Portal.

Strategic Freight Network will accommodate expected growth of 30% in rail freight tonnage by 2019. Many of the projects are familiar to railway staff. The plan takes forward electrification of over 850 miles of railway including the Great Western and Midland Main Lines, the Cardiff Valley lines and the Glasgow – Edinburgh route. The Northern Hub goes ahead as does the East West Railway connecting Oxford – Bletchley – Bedford.

Future-proof railway infrastructure


worth of investment, stressing a commitment to cut costs and a determination to work together


In a comprehensive display of unity, rail industry leaders have outlined strategies to take forward £37 billion worth of investment, stressing a commitment to cut costs and a determination to work together. Says Jeremy Candfield, directorgeneral, Railway Industry Association, ‘This plan is not more of the same; it marks a shift to a fundamentally different railway. Suppliers are working with the

other industry parties to seek to ensure that it is delivered as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.’ The plan takes forward delivery of government transport proposals outlined last summer and covering CP5 - Control Period Five, 2014-19. The plan aims to double capacity for passengers, attract more freight and make the railway more reliable and customer friendly. £200m investment in the

The plan also recognises the need to future-proof railway infrastructure against bizarre weather including heat waves, cold snaps and flooding. Says David Higgins, Network Rail chief executive, ‘One million more trains run every year than ten years ago, more passengers arrive on time than ever before, our safety record is one of the best in Europe and, despite the daily challenges we face, customer satisfaction is at record levels. ‘Successive governments have made this possible by looking beyond the short term and recognising the critical importance of the railway to Britain’s future. As our railway gets busier the challenges get bigger and more complex. ‘We have entered an era of tradeoffs. Increasingly we have to balance the need to build more infrastructure, run trains on time and cut costs, and in many areas choices will need to be made.’ Minsters have been encouraged by the Paisley Canal Electrification project which saw ScotRail waiving compensation claims boosting the speed of the project and substantially lowering costs. Says Tim O’Toole, chairman of the Rail Delivery Group, ‘We are moving forward together as an industry, which is a significant development.’ Higgins underscored the value of working together. ‘As an industry we have achieved a huge amount and we are already seeing the benefit of working more closely together with our customers and suppliers and that must remain at the heart of everything we do. ‘Our aim is to be a trusted leader in the industry as we work to build a better railway for a better Britain.’


Fast race for HS1 High Speed Rail is popular with the public. That’s the happy new year message from HS1. Over 25 million domestic passenger journeys have been made on Southeastern’s High Speed One services between London and Kent since the launch of the service. December saw the three year anniversary of the introduction of Britain’s first domestic high speed service. Hard working staff at Southeastern have achieved some of the best records in punctuality and customer satisfaction in Europe. Says Charles Horton, managing director of Southeastern, ‘The service has been an overwhelming success. In the three years since the launch we have extended the

service to more destinations such as Maidstone West, and to Sandwich and Deal with the support of Kent County Council, and we’ve boosted the number of services in the timetable to meet the increased demand.’ The service was launched in December 2009 and achieved 7.2 million passenger journeys in its first year. Journeys grew to around 8.2 million in the second year, and it now transports over 9 million people a year.

Says Nicola Shaw, chief executive of HS1 Ltd, ‘The world class reliability of High Speed 1 infrastructure keeps delays to customers down and delivers very fast journey times from Kent to London.’ Punctuality is high and the service consistently scores over 90 percent. The service achieved international recognition last summer during the 2012 London Olympics carrying over 2.4 million people to and from the Olympic Park at Stratford.

Athletes, officials, VIPs and thousands of members of the press joined the millions of spectators who left their cars behind to use the Javelin service during the Games. Half the fleet of Hitachi 395s are named after Britain’s fastest athletes. Southeastern is set to honour the stars of the London 2012 Games and will name the remaining trains after top Olympic and Paralympic Champions as voted by Southeastern employees.



Paisley pattern for Unified Railway A railway electrification project in Scotland has been hailed as the way forward for railway co-operation. ScotRail waived its right to disruption compensation payments from Network Rail during extensive engineering works. Both organisations worked together to maximise time engineers had available at evenings, weekends and during a nine-day closure of the line in mid-October. A fully electrified service is now running on the Paisley Canal line after Network Rail and ScotRail completed the £12m upgrade of the route on time and on budget. The award-winning project, which only started last August, has been delivered in just four months and at less than half of the £28m the upgrade was originally expected to cost. The electrification of the line is the first major project to have been delivered under a landmark new

“Paisley Canal is the new benchmark…” STEVE MONTGOMERY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SCOTRAIL

alliance between Network Rail, ScotRail and main contractor Babcock Rail, with all organisations working closely to save time and money. Says David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, ‘The successful on-time completion of this scheme demonstrates how, by working closely together, the rail industry

can enhance the service it provides the public while cutting the cost of projects. Delivering a project of this size in just four months is a significant achievement for all involved and one that will have real benefits for those using the line and those living alongside it.’ The project involved electrifying five miles of the route from Corkerhill to Paisley Canal station,

as well as rebuilding the platform at Hawkhead and lowering sections of track along the route to allow the new overhead power cables to run beneath bridges on the line. Significant cost savings were made on the scheme by using extended ‘neutral’ sections when passing under overhead structures. This meant no bridges needed to be raised as part of the works, reducing costs by millions. Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail, added, ‘Paisley Canal is the new benchmark for collaborative railway projects. We need this flexibility and commitment to become the norm to ensure that we continue to offer the best combination of services, facilities and value for money for customers.’


Play it again - tram The king of Morocco has launched the first tram line in Casablanca. King Mohammed VI joined Alstom staff to wave off the first of 74 Citadis trams. The 20 mile line connects east and southwest districts of Casablanca with the city centre and has 48 stops. Citadis trams are 65 metres long in double units and can carry up to 606 passengers with a capacity of up to 250,000 passengers per day. Metallic red livery contrasts with the brightness of the city and interior designs are in accord with Moroccan style. Air conditioning, large tinted windows and information displays in Arabic and French all guarantee a good trip for passengers. The Casablanca Citadis trams were manufactured and assembled in France at the Reichshoffen factory.

Orbital Link The official opening of a 1.3km section of line near Surrey Quays in December now means that passengers can make use of London’s first orbital railway. Already dubbed the M25 on rails, the new route allows commuters to make short journeys around the capital without having to travel into central London. Orbital journeys mean avoiding busy stations like Victoria, Waterloo and London Bridge. With four trains in each direction


an hour, some 12.3 million passengers are expected to make use of the new link. The new section of track, which cost £75m to install, commences just south west of Surrey Quays station and links the East London line section of London Overground with existing track just north east of Queens Road in Peckham. Funding has come from the DfT (£40m), TfL (£15m) and Network Rail supplying the remaining £20m.

New Chairman for RIA The Railway Industry Association has appointed David Tonkin as chairman. Mr Tonkin is the chief executive of Atkins in the UK. In his role as Chairman, Mr Tonkin will lead the RIA Council, which is formed of senior representatives of member companies and directs the activities of the association. He takes over from Colin Walton, formerly Chairman and Chief Country Representative of Bombardier Transportation, UK and Ireland, who has completed his two-year term as RIA Chairman. David was appointed CEO of Atkins’ UK business in October

2010. Prior to this he was managing director of the company’s rail division. The job included delivering complex signalling projects on the West Coast Main Line upgrade, Port Talbot resignalling and the North London Rail Infrastructure Project, and winning tunnelling design contracts for Crossrail, as part of a joint venture with Arup. A qualified cost and management accountant David has worked in the brewing, leisure and financial services industries as well as in construction. A firm supporter of rail he said, ‘Governments around the world continue to invest in infrastructure as a means of driving economic growth. With its ability to provide safe, reliable, fast and green links between cities and regions, rail

Richard George to head Interfleet Richard George is taking over as managing director of Interfleet Technology following the retirement of David Rollin after almost 20 years at the helm. Mr George will take up the position at the end of February 2013, fresh from his recent role as Director of Transport at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). Richard George has had a long and distinguished career at a senior level in the transport industry. As Director of Transport for LOCOG, the organisers of the London Olympics, Mr George was responsible for the planning and delivery of transport services in support of the Games. Prior to his LOCOG role he had been Head of Public Transport for the Olympic Delivery Authority. Before the London Olympics he was a director of the strategic rail consultancy firm, First Class Partnerships. George spent three years as the High Speed 1 Project Director for Eurostar. Other roles with FCP included: Corporate re-structuring of Eurostar; ‘Operator of Last Resort’ at South Eastern Trains when the Connex franchise was withdrawn by the DfT and an advisory role to the DfT on the creation of Network Rail on the demise of Railtrack. Richard started work with Freightliner Ltd in 1977 and undertook numerous management roles in the passenger, freight and engineering divisions of British Rail until becoming the Business Strategy and Planning Director for InterCity in 1990. He served on the board of FirstGroup plc and as UK Rail Director was Chairman of First Great Western, First Great Eastern and First North Western Trains. As Managing Director of Great Western trains in 1997 he was involved in the aftermath of the Southall train crash and later on the aftermath of the Ladbroke Grove train crash of 1999. At rail privatisation George 8

“As pioneers of train travel, UK companies can provide valuable skills and experience to support the enhancement and growth of the railway worldwide…” DAVID TONKIN CEO, ATKINS

remains a high priority for many of them. As pioneers of train travel, UK companies can provide valuable skills and experience to support the enhancement and growth of the railway worldwide.’

Eversholt Rail move Andrew Haines has become a non-executive director of Eversholt Rail. Currently chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority, a role he has held since August 2009, Haines previously spent 23 years working in the rail industry. A graduate trainee he worked for parliamentary affairs at the BR board and rose to become managing director of South West Trains and head of FirstGroup’s Rail Division. Says Graham Love, nonexecutive chairman of Eversholt Rail, ‘We are looking forward to welcoming Andrew onto the Board and working with him. His wealth of experience will provide us with an invaluable insight in helping to meet the needs of our customers.’

led the Management Buyout of the original Great Western franchise in 1996. Career railway man David Rollin took up his position at Interfleet Technology in 1994, also after a successful management buy-out of the company from British Rail in 1996. The company grew from a 99-employee Derby-based operation to an internationally-operating industry leader with more than 20 offices around the world and over 650 staff.


New role for Andrew McNaughton to head Balfour Beatty Ruth Waring Ruth Waring has joined the board of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. Previously she has worked for Exel Logistics, Gefco UK and Pearson Education, before becoming managing director of Labyrinth Logistics Consulting. Ruth Waring founded Women in Logistics UK (WiL) which has grown exponentially. Ruth started the organisation in 2008 as a group on the professional networking LinkedIn website. Within three years it sported 2,000 members and was hosting educational and industrial networking events. Women in Logistics continues to grow yearly and now has over 3,000 members including 600 men. Waring is a longstanding member of CILT. ‘I am honoured to be joining the Board of the CILT to represent the interests of women in the logistics sector,’ says Ruth.

Andrew McNaughton takes over from Ian Tyler as Chief Executive of Balfour Beatty on 31st March, 2013. Andrew is currently Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer. He joined Balfour Beatty in 1997 and was appointed to the Board in 2009 as Chief Operating Officer. Andrew is a chartered civil engineer and Vice-President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was involved with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, East Kent Section and has played a leading role in project management. Says Steve Marshall, Chairman, ‘Andrew has a deep understanding of our customers and operations, and the relentless drive necessary to successfully deliver the strategy that he has been intimately involved in developing.’ Between 1985 and 1997 he worked for the Kier Group, starting out as a site engineer. Andrew was educated at the Royal Hospital School, Ipswich, Suffolk, the University of Nottingham, where

he read civil engineering and the University of Reading, where he took an MSc in Project Management. He lives in London and has two teenage daughters. ‘It has been a privilege to be part of the leadership team at Balfour Beatty for several years only now surpassed by the opportunity to take over from Ian as Chief

Stansted Star joins Network Rail The commercial director of the hugely successful Stansted Airport is to join Network Rail’s property division.

Jonathan Crick will be commercial director of retail, focusing on boosting retail investment at Network Rail’s 17 managed stations, including Britain’s busiest, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street and Waterloo.

The role also oversees advertising, car parks and other commercial contracts at stations. Says Network Rail’s director of property David Biggs, ‘Britain relies on rail, and commercial revenue is a vital funding stream for Network Rail. We are at a crucial phase in delivering our vision for retail, as we work to create ever better environments for passengers and shoppers, transforming stations into destinations in their own right.

‘Jonathan’s extensive commercial experience across the travel sector will be a major asset to our team, helping us to achieve our commercial goals and deliver even greater value for the British people.’ Joining from BAA, Jonathan currently holds the post of commercial director at Stansted Airport, responsible for retail, property and aviation. He was previously chief executive of easyBus and before that was sales and marketing director,

Executive. ‘We have a strong company and are in a good position to meet the short term market challenges and take advantage of the longer term opportunities. I am looking forward to building on the solid platform that we have created and leading us to the next stage of strategic growth,’ said Andrew.

Monarch Airlines. During the last three years, Network Rail has generated over £390m of revenue from retail activity. The total revenue forecast for all property activities over a five-year period ending March 2014, including business estate and developments, is £1.3bn. All profits are reinvested straight back into the railway. Network Rail has over 520,000 sq ft of high footfall retail space at its 17 managed stations. Retail sales results at these stations have outperformed the high street during much of the recession.

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Join the Rail Alliance now Rail Alliance membership starts from just £500 per year

log on to email or call 01789 720026.

2013 and all that Without doubt 2012 was a remarkable year for us as an organisation. We saw our membership sprint past the 250 mark and we have seen more members at our events than ever before; both are trends

that we are confident will continue through 2013. From our membership survey it seems that many feel that we have at last turned a corner but that business confidence is still fragile so more work for us all to build on our

strengths. We have an exciting program going forward into 2013, with plenty of variety and a place for everyone. The highlights are below, but see our website for the details. I would like to take this

opportunity to thank the many people and organisations who have helped us throughout the course of last year and look forward to their continued support this coming year. If 2012 was Great then let’s make 2013 Greater! Happy New Year…

Rail Alliance events

Members Networking inc Link-Up 31st January Derby Conference Centre

Members Networking Feb TBC Glasgow TBC

Members Networking March TBC South East/Midlands TBC


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Aerial proof for Crossrail Aerial pictures released by Crossrail show progress made on the major new railway being created across London. The aerial images show progress and huge transformation at Crossrail sites in central and southeast London. New stations are under construction at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf. Tunnelling sites are well advanced on either side of the capital. Four huge tunnelling machines, Ada and Phyllis in the west, and Elizabeth and Victoria in the east, were launched in 2012. Over two miles of tunnel have been constructed to-date.

Huge excavation works Work continues on the new 1,500 acre nature reserve at Wallasea Island in Essex. Huge excavation works are creating a 25 metre-deep station box at Woolwich. The new facility at Old Oak Common is producing 75,000 concrete tunnel segments to line Crossrail’s western tunnels. The 135 year old Connaught Tunnel in southeast London is being refurbished for use by Crossrail. The Crossrail project will move into peak

Hitachi acquisition Hitachi Europe has acquired the Railway Engineering Company Ltd from James Fisher and Sons plc. TRE supplies train simulators and automatic routing systems. The move will strengthen Hitachi’s presence in the European Traffic Management Railway (TMS) sector. Hitachi Rail has over 30 years’ experience in this market, from high-density commuter networks to very high speed. Hitachi’s railway arm in Europe, Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. earlier this year was one of the three companies to be awarded a contract to provide a TMS prototype to Network Rail. Says Kiyoshi Yamamoto, Managing Director of Hitachi Europe Ltd. ‘We are delighted to be announcing this new acquisition, in line with our plans to build a greater presence for Hitachi in the European Infrastructure Systems Business, including the rail industry.’ 12

construction mode between now and 2015. Sophia, Crossrail’s fifth tunnelling machine, starts work this month followed by a sixth tunnelling machine, Mary, this summer. Both machines will tunnel from Plumstead. Says Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail’s Chief Executive, ‘These striking new aerial images provide a glimpse of how Crossrail is transforming the London landscape with worldclass new stations and transport links. From major new developments in central London to a range of transport improvements across the southeast, this unique bird’s eye view shows how Crossrail is taking shape. Over 20 million hours have now been worked on the project and 2013 will see further important milestones including the completion of our first tunnels, further progress to construct the new central London stations and upgrades to the existing rail network.’

“These striking new aerial images provide a glimpse of how Crossrail is transforming the London landscape…”

Heavy metal legislation New legislation now in force makes it harder for rogue traders to deal in stolen scrap metal, including cabling. All cash transactions for metal at recycling yards will be outlawed removing the ‘cash-in-hand, no questions asked’ culture which has persisted in the trade. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act closes loopholes which have allowed criminals across the country to make money from the theft of metal. Changes to the Act mean the upper limit of fines has been removed for those scrap metal recyclers which are found to break the law or breach the conditions of their licenses. The new legislation follows a year of relative success for police hard on the heels of metal thieves.

Says British Transport Police Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther, ‘Despite recent reductions in offending, metal theft remains a serious threat to the infrastructure of Great Britain and we will only make a real difference if we continue to take positive action in conjunction with strengthened legislation. ‘For several years metal thieves

and unscrupulous metal recyclers have exploited outdated legislation to make profit from criminal activity. This stops now. Changes to the LASPO Act have outlawed all cash transactions at metal recycling yards across England and Wales and there has been a significant increase in fines for those dealers who fail to abide by the rules.’



Leadership needed Drive and leadership at the most senior level will be needed to strengthen the DfT and deliver the next round of passenger railway franchising. In his report on franchising, commissioned by Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, Richard Brown also recommends more local involvement and a simplified structure for evaluating franchise proposals. Reporting in the wake of the West Coast fiasco Brown argues there is no credible case for major structural change of the current franchising system. Passenger numbers have grown by 92% since privatisation testifying that franchising works well on balance. However, Brown advises strengthening the DfT so that it can manage future franchising awards effectively. This could

mean bringing in more rail planning specialists and local railway managers to address individual rail operations. ‘The franchising system is not broken, but rather it has made a major contribution to Britain’s increasingly successful rail network. It is therefore essential for both passengers and the wider

Riders raise

rail market that the franchising programme is restarted as soon as possible,’ says Richard. Plans for three franchises, Essex Thameside, Great Western and Thameslink, (which will be combined with Southern and Great Northern) will be announced in February. Virgin continues to operate West Coast.

A group of cyclists from Network Rail Infrastructure Projects’ Supplier Engagement/Assurance Team donned cycling shorts, wigs and comedy moustaches to complete an 80-mile bike ride in aid of Action for Children last month. Cyclists Neill Carruthers, Leigh Dawkins, Graham Trueman, Kishan Savjani and Allan Tillman rode from London Euston to Network Rail’s new headquarters in Milton Keynes to raise money for the charity. The team raised £542.92 on the day, which topped up the £20,800 already raised by the Finance and Commercial team. Fundraising to date has included climbing Mount Elbrus, sailing across the Atlantic and kayaking up a river dressed as Batman and

Passenger numbers have grown by 92% since privatisation testifying that franchising works well on balance…

Robin. Throughout the gruelling ride from Euston to Quadrant MK the team were supported by Gillian Scott, Sary Parmar, Katie Ferrier, Rosemary Pinnock and Dave McLoughlin who were on hand with drinks, collection buckets and spare tyres. Supporting the challenge, Simon Lubacz, from Gore Products for Workwear Associate said, ‘Action for Children is a vital charity which does such amazing work in the UK to support vulnerable and neglected children and young people.’ Simon helped by supplying the team with snug waterproof Gore Bike Wear kit. With three months left to go and just £8,601 short of their target, there’s till time to make a donation by clicking on


Blitz on an LMS marshalling yard near Willesden, Septembe

THE FALL AND RISE OF BRITAIN’S RAILWAYS Photographs supplied by Milepost 921⁄2

Part 1: A Rough War Colin Garratt reports

This year sees the fiftieth anniversary of Richard Beeching’s ‘The Re-Shaping of British Railways’. 2013 also sees the thirtieth anniversary of the Serpell Report. These two events mirrored the tempestuous undertones of railway policy in the years following World War Two. In this eight part series Colin Garratt, of Milepost 92½, outlines the turbulent events which led up to the privatisation of British Rail in 1993, concluding with an analysis of the current situation and where it might be heading.

Part 1: A Rough War The mid 1930s saw Britain’s railways at their zenith, operating at a high level of efficiency. Safety, comfort, punctuality and speed were self imposed commitments of all true railwaymen. The network was dense and embraced everywhere that was anywhere. Closures were almost unheard of and unimagined. The last main line to London, the Great Central, which had been built some thirty five years earlier was engineered to the continental loading gauge and it had been intended to link the industrial cities of northern Britain with those of the continent by means of the Great Central and Channel Tunnel on which work had begun as far back as the 1870s.

Romantic and Exciting In the 1930s railways were a widespread source of fascination and were considered to be both romantic and exciting. The LNER A4 Pacifics and the LMS Princess Coronations were the Concordes of their day and worked prestigious 14

Anglo Scottish trains like the Silver Jubilee and the Coronation Scot. Thousands of people would flock to the trackside to see these magnificent trains pass at speed. In 1932 one of the LMS’s Princess Royal Pacifics ran the 401 miles non-stop from Glasgow to London Euston in 5 hours 44 minutes, an average start to stop speed of 70 mph. The LMS alone had 67 daily trains scheduled to run at speeds above 60 mph in 1938 whilst the Great Western proclaimed its Cheltenham Flyer to be ‘The Fastest Train in the World’ and on one occasion this express, headed by a Castle Class 4-6-0, ran the 77 miles from London Paddington to Swindon in 56½ minutes, an average start to stop speed of 90 mph.

The most intricate railway network in the world Despite increasing competition from road transport, the 1930s saw the railway still carrying a vast diversity of freight and the Big Four companies, London Midland & Scottish, London & North Eastern, Great Western and Southern, all operated at a profit. The system was impeccably maintained. It was the most intricate railway network in the world - a fact of enormous strategic importance in the war that was to come. To be a railwayman was a source of great personal pride. The railway was absolute; if the railway stopped, Britain stopped. The advent of World War Two plunged the railway into deep crisis. Never again would it assume its rightful supremacy as the nation’s lifeline. The inevitability of

war saw the government take control of the railway on September 1st 1939. Inevitably the network would become a constant target for German bombers and locations such as railway works, running sheds, major stations and marshalling yards were all subjected to relentless bombing by a ruthless enemy, as the Germans attempted to smash the railway into inoperability and with it the nation’s morale. Air attacks on important installations such as railways invariably wreaked a litany of problems as, apart from the severing of operations, came the risk of fire, which frequently spread to neighbouring buildings. Hundreds of tonnes of masonry could be left hanging in extremely hazardous conditions and not infrequently with people trapped beneath it.


r 1940.

Damage to installations like electricity, gas and water all brought their special problems, invariably requiring specialist engineers who were in constant demand 24 hours a day. A Leicester knitwear manufacturer, who got through to London St Pancras - having stood on a heavily laden train which crawled all the way - proceeded to see five clients in the city. She found only one of them in an undamaged building. The other four had all disappeared in an air attack earlier that week.

Unprecedented demands World War Two was to kill forty five million people, the sheer horror of which was caused primarily by one man. The six year war put unprecedented demands on Britain’s railway network and by the end of hostilities in 1945, the railway was physically and

mentally worn out. It had been the willing workhorse of both the civilian population and the allied forces and the adversities faced were legion, not least the loss of the major workshops, which were given over to the building of munitions. Railway works the length and breadth of the country were largely engaged in manufacturing armaments and military equipment: tank manufacture at Crewe; guns and gun mountings at Doncaster; shells, bridges and landing craft at Eastleigh and Swindon and aircraft wings at Wolverton. Repairs to aircraft were also carried out in railway workshops. In addition, the railway had to cede 110,000 staff for military service and whilst outside people were brought in to help relieve the deficiency, including many

The blitz on London. William Barlow’s arch at St Pancras received a direct hit from the Luftwaffe.

women, they were inexperienced; a railwayman is not made in a day. The demands on the system were hard to imagine in today’s context. Many factories went on twenty four hour, seven days a

week operation. Raw materials had to be delivered to the places of manufacture and finished products taken out and delivered. A centralised wagon control centre was established to co-


1939; half a million schoolchildren evacuated in four days.

whereupon many railway embankments were turned into allotments to help with the ever present risk of food shortages as the Nazis had a plan to starve Britain into submission. Infrastructure and rolling stock became increasingly run down, as did the locomotives, but the steam locomotive is a simple robust machine of rugged construction, characteristics which enabled it to take inordinate punishment without actually breaking down.

‘The engines which won the war’ Tanks loaded on Warwells.

ordinate the availability of one and a half million wagons. The War Office had stores throughout the country necessitating movements from the factory to depots and depots to ports.

Hell on earth The Black Out, which was strictly enforced, created a hell on earth. One errant fire glow from a locomotive could release a hail of bombs from Hitler’s Luftwaffe, causing untold damage. 16

In addition, the war years were characterised by some of the worst weather conditions of the century with frosts and heavy snow for three consecutive seasons. Lines were blocked whilst everything that could freeze froze - points, the brake gear on freight wagons, signal wires snapped, locomotive injectors iced up and grease in the axles of wagons solidified. In the early days of the conflict, evacuation specials took vast

numbers of children from cities to safe residences in the countryside and in 1939, half a million school children were evacuated in four days. Ambulance trains ran throughout the nation and troop trains, each averaging up to five hundred personnel, were a common sight. During the evacuation of Dunkirk over 300,000 military personnel were carried by rail. A gentler manifestation of war was the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign

The phenomenal loads carried by such types as Gresley’s V2s on the LNER and Stanier’s Black 5s on the LMS gave rise to these locomotives being known as ‘the engines which won the war’, an appropriate description, especially when one considers the many situations when locomotives were more important than guns. It will ever be remembered that virtually all of Britain’s wartime railway was powered by steam. And the railway fought back. Fully manned emergency permanent way trains were stabled at strategic junctions throughout the country ready, by day and night to repair bomb


damage. Accident wreckage, which today might take three days or more to repair, would often be cleared in a matter of hours with little more shortcoming than a speed restriction. Throughout the agony of the war years, Britons had one constant thought, D Day, to get back once more across the channel and rid Europe of the Nazi menace. And when that day finally arrived train load after train load of equipment, supplies and men were taken from all over Britain to the eastern ports from which this unparalleled operation would begin. As George Nash wrote in his magnificent book ‘The LMS at War’; “What about the movement of equipment, munitions, armour and food for the fighting men? There was porridge for his breakfast, shells for his guns and boots for his feet - beer to bulldozers, pencils to purgatives, saucepans to cement, together with special equipment for service anywhere from the Arctic Circle to the tropical jungles or from the near stratosphere to the depths of the sea.”

“In the early days of the conflict, evacuation specials took vast numbers of children from cities to safe residences in the countryside and in 1939, half a million school children were evacuated in four days…”

The needs of a country at war brought an immense increase in freight traffic.

The Great Western’s iconic Cheltenham Flyer approaches Paddington proudly bearing the

So far as the railways were concerned these had to be drawn to or from the ports and also from place to place within the country to keep Britain’s mighty military machine in operation. As Winston Churchill proudly proclaimed, “This was their finest hour”.

headboard ‘The World’s Fastest Train’.

Part 2: State Ownership and Reparations will follow in a future issue.

LMS streamlined Princess Coronation Class 4-6-2 No.6220 ‘Coronation’ at Euston with the Coronation Scot in 1937.



Honours for Rail Heroes A welcome host at Warwick Parkway station, the man who designed the InterCity 125 nose cone and a legendary rail manager in the west country were among railway staff who received new year’s honours. In London, Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy CBE (pictured right), received a knighthood for services to transport. London Underground’s Chief Operating Officer, Howard Collins received an OBE for services to the London 2012 Games. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said, ‘Congratulations too to Howard Collins for his OBE and (bus controller) Nana Nyarko for his MBE. I am sure Sir Peter will be the first to join me in paying tribute to them and to the thousands of London’s transport


workers, whose hard work every day is also recognised through these honours.’ Judith Biggs has been awarded a BEM, British Empire Medal, for her services to railway passengers at Warwick Parkway station. Says Judith, ‘This is something I will never forget. I never imagined I would ever get this kind of award. I just never expected it. I love my job and talking to the passengers, they are like my extended family.’ First Great Western’s regional manager Julian Crow, received the MBE. Says Mr Crow, 61, ‘It is a lovely thing to happen towards the end of a long career. My wife is thrilled and deserves at least half of it. Having spent so long in the rail industry you just keep your head down and get on with it.’ Julian Crow joined British Rail as a trainee and rose through the ranks. Under his stewardship passenger numbers have soared on branch lines in the south west. Kenneth Grange, 83, (pictured left) who designed the nose cone of the British Rail InterCity 125 high speed train, received a knighthood. He described himself as chuffed to bits and says he has always been a

monarchist and a fan of Prince Philip. British Rail’s former general manager of the Eastern Region based in York, Frank Paterson, 82, has been made an MBE for services to museums. Mr Paterson has chaired the Friends of the National Railway Museum for ten years and until earlier this year had been on the museum’s advisory board since 1978.

Les Hoey, 51, (pictured above & right) who works for Network Rail in Motherwell, was awarded the MBE for his phenomenal efforts at charity fund raising. Over the last 20 years Mr Hoey has helped hundreds of children with life threatening illnesses. It all started when his daughter Shelley, aged 12, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 1992. Realising the depth of the problems children and parents faced, Les set about raising tickets and funds for concerts, shows, football matches and pantomimes. Examples of his work are legendary. Colin McLaren, as a very ill 14 year old, was terrified at the

prospect of undergoing a transplant. Colin was surprised to receive a telephone call just before the op. On the line was Les and the Scotland football team, who had joined together and called Colin up to wish him well. Les Hoey said, ‘This is a significant award and I am very appreciative. But as I have said many times before, the reason I do this is to put a smile on children’s faces. That is reward enough for me.’ Les Hoey’s daughter, Shelley, survived her illness and is now a fit healthy 32 year old working as a care assistant.

“This is a significant award and I am very appreciative. But as I have said many times before, the reason I do this is to put a smile on children’s faces…” LES HOEY, NETWORK RAIL

Youngest Trainee Driver after being interviewed on local radio. Rachie-Ann first worked in the rail industry at just 16 when she carried out work experience in the ticket office at Bangor Station. Says Rachie-Ann, ‘I’ve loved trains ever since I was 10 or 11 and always knew I wanted to work in the rail industry. When I worked on the Snowdon Mountain I was dedicated to one of the Garratt

A dream come true To work as a train driver for First TransPennine Express is a dream come true for me. The Class 185s are beautiful looking trains. I’m excited to start my training. To be one of the youngest female train drivers is amazing and my family and friends are all really proud. Since working on the Welsh

Highland Railway, four women have now joined the team as rail guards. I’d like to think that this role proves you can do anything you want to do, if you put your mind to it.’ Rachie-Ann will be trained to drive the Class 185 and Class 170 trains, joining the FTPE team to serve 25m passengers a year. Based at Manchester Piccadilly, she will be trained on all FTPE routes, visiting key destinations including Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Scunthorpe, Cumbria into Scotland. © MATT BUCK

Rachie-Ann Owen is preparing to start training as a driver with First TransPennine Express. It’s a dream come true for the one time guard on the Snowdon Mountain Railway. Says Chris Nutton, FTPE Programme Director, ‘I am absolutely delighted that Rachie-Ann is joining us in February. She is not only fulfilling a personal ambition but she is going to be part of a fantastic project that will see more capacity and better journey choices for customers across our network. Rachie-Ann is a young talented lady who has excelled in our recruitment process. Her enthusiasm to succeed is infectious and I know she will deliver great service every day. She will be a real asset and I look forward to travelling with her when she completes her training.’ Thought to be one of the youngest women drivers on the metals, Rachie-Ann Owen attracted national media coverage

engines called 87, everyone knew me as Rachie7 so in the end I changed my name from Rachel to Rachie to suit…

Ring in the new

Hogmanay hurrah

Old apprentices mixed with new at the first ever Southeastern Passenger Service Apprenticeship Scheme graduation at St Pancras International Station recently. The graduates, the first cohort from Southeastern’s new program have now completed a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 2 in customer services. All have been offered full time permanent jobs. The ceremony offered the second intake of apprentices the opportunity to hear first-hand about a career on the railways and meet with senior executives of Southeastern. Says Southeastern’s managing director, Charles Horton, ‘Although we have a solid history of recruiting engineering apprentices, this is the first time we’ve run a scheme that’s focused on customer facing roles. It’s been a great success and the enthusiasm these young people

West of Scotland MSP, Stewart Maxwell, has praised ScotRail’s modern apprenticeship scheme after a visit to the train operator’s Training Academy. Education secretary, Stewart Maxwell, met graduates of ScotRail’s Modern Apprenticeships in the Customer Service scheme including Gabby Di Marco and Michael McElhinney, both aged 20. The duo, from Paisley and Linwood respectively, are among the second group of 16 to 23-year-olds to join ScotRail’s 18-month programme. Says Mr Maxwell, ‘It was a pleasure to meet Gabby, Michael and their fellow apprentices and to hear all about this excellent youth skills programme. The Scottish Government is working hard to combat youth unemployment and improve opportunities for young people through record investment in apprenticeships and training. ‘ScotRail has recruited a motivated group of young people


have shown has been infectious. ‘In the past 12 months we’ve watched them become more confident and mature into young professionals. We’re proud to help these young people gain qualified skills and find employment here at Southeastern. These apprentices have covered all aspects of the railway as part of their training and they’re now prepared for a lifelong career. We now welcome the second tranche of 10 new apprentices and look forward to having them onboard.’ The year long programme sees apprentices working on gates and platforms as well as in ticket offices. The scheme leads to a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 2 in customer services. Aged between 16 and 19 each apprentice will be paired with a station manager and allocated to a specific region of the network.

who are being offered a valuable opportunity to improve their skills and employability.’ Gabby Di Marco recommends the scheme. ‘Doing this apprenticeship is giving me a great opportunity to get on-the-job customer service experience. I’m really enjoying it. The programme is very diverse and includes everything from helping customers at stations and on trains to entering the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award and meeting MSPs,’ said Gabby.

“ScotRail has recruited a motivated group of young people who are being offered a valuable opportunity to improve their skills and employability…”

TRAINING... sponsored by Vital Skills Training

Unity Vital for ERTMS training

with the arrival of new trains and electrification between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport, Oxford, Newbury and Bristol. The East Coast main line (commencing 2018) and Midland main line (commencing 2020) are scheduled to follow soon after. Meanwhile the National Skills Academy for Rail Engineering (NSARE) and Network Rail are scoping out the scheme’s impact and the range and volume of future skills needed to support the roll-out of ERTMS. Training staff for the changeover will demand huge resources. However, the Railway Technical Strategy (RTS) recognises the importance of resourcing the new technology. Network Rail and ATOC are working with RSSB and the rest of the industry as a whole to make sure it is understood, safe and sustainable.

Lawrence Dobie, Education and Training Director, Vital Skills Training.

Lawrence Dobie reports Although the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) will revolutionise railways it poses demanding training challenges for the industry. Already training specialists are preparing for the job ahead. ERTMS is a tried and tested signalling system which will replace traditional line-side railway signals with a computer display inside the driver’s cab. Advantages include reducing costs of maintaining the railway, improving performance and

enhancing safety and capacity. ERTMS will impact on almost every role from drivers, to trackside workers, train controllers and signallers.

Great Western main line Last April, suppliers started progressing their designs of ERTMS Level 2 signalling systems. These

will be demonstrated on Network Rail’s new testing facility on the Hertford loop with contracts for the delivery of the programme scheduled to be awarded in 2014. The first drive to install ERTMS will take place on the Great Western main line starting in 2016 as part of the large-scale resignalling of the line, coinciding

New Year start for apprentices A partnership between Vital Rail and Transport for London (TfL) has led to the creation of more than one hundred apprenticeships for 16 to 18 year olds across Greater London. More than 100 teenagers, including eight former offenders, have been recruited to take an apprenticeship in railway engineering. Following 12 months training and hands-on experience the first 65 apprentices are now set to begin new careers in the rail industry after completing their qualifications. The apprenticeship initiative, backed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was set up in response to unemployment among the young. In London one in four young people aged 16 to

24 is out of work. With responsibility for most of London’s transport network, TfL and its supply chain has provided valuable work placements for the apprentices, including the popular project to maintain the Epping Ongar Railway heritage line. A number of apprentices have already completed their qualifications and have moved on to a range of rail business projects with Network Rail and London Underground. Says Gary Hardaker, managing director of Vital Rail, part of Kennington Park-based Vital Services Group, ‘Young people are the future of the rail industry and we’re delighted to have provided opportunities for such a keen

group of young people. ‘Transport for London has been a fantastic partner and we’re so pleased to see our apprentices at the end of their first year. They have gained some valuable knowledge and experience and made some excellent foundations in what can be a long and rewarding career.’ Says Yasin Ali, an apprentice from Newham, ‘I started my apprenticeship with Vital in January and am really enjoying it.

I’m learning lots of new things and have made some good friends. It’s been great to develop new skills and put them into practice on an actual railway and I can’t wait to see what else the course has got in store.’

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Derby debut The first vehicle of Southern’s 26 five-car class 377/6s has been completed at Bombardier’s Derby works. Static testing of the first train commences in February. The completed unit is expected to leave Derby late spring with testing on the mainline taking place in Kent. Their introduction into passenger service will allow class 456s to be cascaded to South West Trains after they have received a C6 overhaul. All of the 130 vehicles are expected to enter traffic in time for the December 2013 timetable change. On 14 November Southern announced that it was exercising

Just Super!

The new suburban 377/6s were ordered because the 23 377/5s, and three of its own 377/2s, currently sublet to First Capital Connect are not due to be returned to Southern before 2015 as originally planned. This is as a result in

delays in procuring the new Thameslink stock. All of the 34 new units are being funded by Porterbrook. The contract for the first 26 trains is worth £188.8 million and for the other eight around £34 million.

Appy appy Birthday Northern Rail celebrated its eighth birthday in December by launching its latest customerempowerment tool, a free app for the iPhone. The app, free to download, allows passengers to plan any journey in Great Britain, check live running time information and will save details of up to 20 previous journeys, making it quick and easy for passengers to find the information most relevant to them. Customers can also purchase tickets through the app, which automatically finds the cheapest available tickets for any journey across the country. Customers can collect their tickets from over 1,000 stations 15 minutes after purchase, with no hidden charges, such as booking or credit card fees. Says Ian Bevan, Managing Director of Northern Rail, ‘More and more of our customers are using smart phones and we are delighted to launch this app, providing them with the most relevant and upto-date information at their fingertips. It’s our

To celebrate their eighth birthday Northern Rail gave away free smartphone gloves to customers.

eighth birthday and we have achieved much to be proud of since 2004. This app is another example of how we are striving to improve our passengers’ journey experience with us.’

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Staff at Newton Heath depot have been praised for their efforts to smarten up Northern Rail’s fleet of 156s. The refurbished cars feature new flooring and upholstery with better lighting. Newton Heath can refit two carriages in three weeks. Work includes new carpets and toilets. The DMU super sprinters were built in the late 1980s by Metro-Cammell at Washwood Heath. Northern Rail operate 18 Class 156s, owned by Porterbrook.

the option, which was due to expire on 31 December, to order 40 more ( 8 five-car sets ) Electrostar vehicles from Bombardier. These will be delivered in 2014 and, unlike the 377/6, will be dual voltage.


News addict?



Military wives serenade train staff Passengers on a London-bound East Coast train were treated to an impromptu concert by the Military Wives Choir. The choir, which shot to number one with their single “Wherever You Are” and were among the most popular performers at the London 2012 Olympic Games, were travelling to London for an appearance on today’s ITV1 This Morning programme in December. They decided to serenade passengers as a thank you to staff for the good customer service they received during the journey. Members of the choir gathered in the aisle of a First Class carriage on the Edinburgh to London train and performed a selection of favourites, including In The Bleak Midwinter and Hallelujah. The choir said afterwards, ‘It’s fabulous, we really

“We’re delighted that the Military Wives enjoyed their journey with us…” JOHN GELSON, EAST COAST SPOKESMAN enjoyed ourselves and the staff on the train were fantastic.’ Says East Coast spokesman John Gelson, ‘We’re delighted that the Military Wives enjoyed their journey with us and chose to thank our staff with this wonderful impromptu performance. Staff and passengers alike thoroughly enjoyed the music and there was a really great festive atmosphere on the train as it headed for London.’

Cab drive for Albert

Top performer, c2c, has been named again as the most punctual train company in Britain over the past year. Results show that over the past year 97.3% of c2c trains were on time. This is well ahead of the national average of 91.5%. Almost as good as Swiss Railways

managed, 96.6%. Says c2c managing director, Julian Drury, ‘We’re delighted to be named as the rail industry’s Christmas number one and to complete our year of success. We’re now looking ahead to 2013, where we want to make sure more of our trains are on time than ever before.’

“I had a wonderful day. I can’t believe how realistic it was. I’ve always wanted to drive a train or ride in the driver’s cab and I can imagine it was as close to driving the real thing as I could get…” Edinburgh Waverley route. The former coalman, originally from Garelochhead, would make a great driver. ‘Albert was brilliant. He picked everything up really quickly and had no problem handling all the scenarios we gave him. He drove through fog, snow and rain, more than most drivers have to handle in a single day,’ said Malcolm Cook, the simulator centre manager. ‘We were delighted to help in making his boyhood dream


come true.’ Shirley, Albert’s youngest daughter, said, ‘I never expected the staff at ScotRail to go out of their way so much to give my dad this experience. He helps care for my mum and I try to arrange some unusual days out to give him a break. This was perfect. ‘I would like to say a huge thank you to Malcolm and the other staff

at the simulator for helping to set the visit up and for being so welcoming on the day.’ Albert McLean still works part time for an estate agent. He said, ‘I had a wonderful day. I can’t believe how realistic it was. I’ve always wanted to drive a train or ride in the driver’s cab and I can imagine it was as close to driving the real thing as I could get.’

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A Helensburgh man has realised his boyhood dream of driving a train, at the age of 86. Albert McLean’s daughter set up the trip, at ScotRail’s train cab simulator centre underneath Glasgow Central Station. The simulators are detailed and realistic showing scenarios ranging from a blizzard in winter to a train rounding a bend where a potential problem could lie ahead. Under the guidance of simulator centre staff, Albert took control of a Class 170 diesel train, often seen on the Glasgow Queen Street-

Swiss role for c2c

Keep up to date at:


The Rail Delivery Group

Tim O’Toole, Chairman of the Rail Delivery Group.


Continuing our series looking at people and organisations in the rail industry, RailStaff asks the question: What do they do?

Marc Johnson reports on the Rail Delivery Group Set up in the wake of the McNulty report, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) was tasked with analysing the 77-page document and working out how the recommendations could be applied to save the industry money whilst delivering a better service for passengers. Sir Roy McNulty’s thoughts are just the start for a group that is looking to establish itself as one of the industry’s major driving forces. According to the group’s chairman, Tim O’Toole, the RDG was formed to fill the leadership vacuum which had been exposed by McNulty. ‘There was no forum for putting together all of the issues such that the government could feel it could turn to someone and get answers,’ says O’Toole On January 4, the Transport Committee published its Rail 2020 report in response to The Rail Value for Money Study. In it, the committee singled out the RDG as the body to spearhead the introduction of new ticketing technology and improve retail facilities for passengers on the network. 2013 looks set to be a big year for the RDG, with the formalisation of the group and the government’s Brown review into franchising all due to dominate the agenda at the start of the year.


What do they do


‘Realising the Potential of GB Rail’

Fixing franchising The RDG brings together industry leaders on a voluntary basis, with members including Network Rail, FirstGroup, Virgin, Arriva, Freightliner and National Express. Meetings have so far looked at asset, programme and supply chain management, technology and innovation, passenger information, and train utilisation. Members have also sought to help with franchise reform. Franchising is high on the group’s agenda, with the West Coast Main Line fiasco generating

countless column inches of uncomfortable reading for the DfT. The need for smarter franchises, however, was championed by the group back in November 2011 almost a year before the West Coast competition was cancelled. The RDG had recommended the introduction of longer franchises, where the risk is shared fairly between the DfT and the operator. As the chief executive of FirstGroup, O’Toole knows better than most the impact a mistake in the franchise letting process



can have on a business. O’Toole believes his desire to see a reformed system is no greater than anyone else’s in the industry. ‘We as a group have come together and given Richard Brown our views as to what should be done in franchising. We will hear his report and then we as RDG will make a decision.’

Words into action Some of the RDG’s most successful work so far has come from its asset, programme and supply-chain management working group, particularly in the area of access management. The RDG found that a switch to six-and-a-half hour access periods during the weekdays was a more efficient way of maintaining the network. Says O’Toole, ‘It was eye opening. Though Network Rail has done a lot of work on access planning, it didn’t have the TOCs in there putting the revenue side in. Never before had progress been made so quickly.’

Stakeholders have been canvassed and within the coming months the group’s future is likely to be secured. The ORR, however, is keen to point out exactly how the process of becoming a company limited by guarantee will impact on what the group does and the powers it has to do it.  Formalising won’t give the RDG any additional authority, but by ensuring the forum continues to operate it will derive power from

the industry executives who make up the organisation’s working groups. The group’s funding will also be secured. Network Rail will fund the RDG until the end of CP4 at which point members will cover the costs. Says O’Toole, ‘We seem to have a greater purpose. It will have this ongoing life and not just depend on us doing rightminded things for a short period of time.’

“We as a group have come together and given Richard Brown our views as to what should be done in franchising.” TIM O’TOOLE, CHAIRMAN, RAIL DELIVERY GROUP

Life after McNulty Formalisation will ensure the RDG continues its work even if the current voluntary system breaks down.


NEW YEAR RESOLUTION? Personal committed management and supervision and timely safety briefings following accidents Bring ORR and RAIB together to stop the delays

My favourite definition of management is a simple one“getting things done through people”. If done successfully the staff working for you enjoy what they are doing, the team spirit and morale of the group becomes high and they feel committed to giving of their best and doing a good job. My New Year resolution is to do what little I can to suggest that the rail industry changes its focus onto improving safety by valuing and trusting skilled staff more than we do. All too often the industry strives to achieve zero accidents by improving equipment, training etc. and issuing more and more instructions - generally to little avail! If the investment being made in improving hardware was instead channelled into better line management the results would surprise many. I know because I began as a cynic and lived through the British Rail Board’s track safety campaign that resulted decades ago in well over a year without a single fatality.

Why we have “Human Factors” specialists The generation of greater enthusiasm and commitment to

safety has to become our top priority this year. Traditionally railways were led by operators and engineers. But before the development of specialist machinery the management and skills of large workforces were even more essential than they are today. Now our privatisation has added commercial, procurement and contractual issues and attracted the attentions of lawyers and accountants looking for new “fee earning” opportunities. I believe our stubbornly static safety statistics will only be improved when we rediscover the art of motivating people. Merely paying bonuses is not the answer. Growing, encouraging and where necessary recruiting supervisors and managers who have the gift of inspiring others is part of what we need. “Human Factors” specialists I have spoken with say the problems are at lower management and supervisor level. If managers and supervisors were good enough we wouldn’t need those specialists?

27 recurrent issues and 66 two years old! In December the Rail Accident Investigation Branch published their 2011 annual report. It is in two sections; their work in 2011 and the recommendations made


SAFETY Colin Wheeler

A lookout stands watch for a gang of railway workers at the north end of Watford Junction railway station.

from that year. Given that their target is to publish their reports within a year of each incident (the average for the year was ten and a half months) the timescale for the report is understandable. In her foreword their Chief Inspector Carolyn Griffiths says that she wanted to highlight matters which “warrant further consideration and action from the industry and the Office of Rail Regulation”. In the year 20 investigation

reports and 6 bulletins were published whilst another 27 investigations were begun. The recommendations made included “27 recurrent issues.” The report highlights the factors again identified which had been the subject of previous recommendations. There were no fewer than 66 recommendations made two years earlier and were still not closed out at the end of the year. Half of the outstanding recommendations

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were ones where the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is “still evaluating the adequacy of Network Rail’s response”.

“Staff hit by train” Investigations begun in 2011 categorised as of “staff hit by train” included the injury accident at Torworth (January 2011), the near miss at Clapham/Earlsfield (March) and the injury at Stoats Nest (June). The report identifies the “important recurrent issues as “level crossings, red zone working, track quality, maintenance and inspection, runaway trains, fatigue and safety management on heritage railways. My concerns are evidently shared by the RAIB’s expressed concerns about “safety behaviour and quality of leadership” together with the comment that “a national initiative to address safety behaviour in local work groups has yet to reach staff at local depots”. I believe it will not do so until management takes the lead, not just at Board level but by earning the loyalty and respect for a safety commitment from all who supervise and lead within the industry. Savings would be achieved as a result including a reduction in the workload of RAIB and ORR.

Level Crossings Concerns over the number of accidents at level crossings is understood, but reading the reports published I have formed the view that the behaviour of road vehicle drivers and pedestrians is a major factor. The signage and fencing we stipulate compares well with other European countries. As long as the current standards are maintained I see little need for money being spent on upgrading.

Manning levels and possession planning The report into the incident at Ufton Level Crossing is a little different. At 1228 on 4th September 2011 the 1113 Paddington to Bedwyn train (3-car DMU Class 165) went over the level crossing at 61 mph whilst the barriers were raised. An approaching car had to stop rapidly to avoid a collision. The automatic half barriers were

disabled at the time as engineering work was being done. Although the report identifies the lack of instruction from the signaller to the appointed crossing attendant as the immediate cause, it goes on to indicate that the high workload etc. of the signaller was a contributory cause. This raises questions about the possession arrangements including manning levels of signalling. A very recent and tragic fatal accident occurred at level crossings since my last article for RailStaff was published. On 4th December at Beech Hill Crossing near Finningley, between Gainsborough and Doncaster a car was struck by a passenger train resulting in fatal injuries to a four year old child. This is still under investigation.

December 2012 Fatality On the same day, and as I reported in December a trackworker employed by SkyBlue was struck by a Northern Rail service at Saxilby Lincolnshire and killed. The accident occurred at 1350 in the afternoon and involved the 1119 train from Scunthorpe to Lincoln. The track-worker was acting as Site Warden for the maintenance gang doing the work. As Site Warden his duties were to monitor the working of the gang members and warn them if they moved too near to the adjacent track which was open to traffic or indeed to anywhere else where they could be struck by a train. The investigation is on-going as I write.

work was immediately made aware of the factual circumstances. I should like to see the Network Rail Safety Central website use their knowledge of each and every accident and incident to provide the basic facts about what happened so that work groups and depots across the industry receive a timely briefing. In my experience such briefings almost always strike a chord with staff doing similar work and are more effective than any HQ written advice issued months later- if at all! Visiting the “Safety Central” website on January 7th I was dismayed to find no mention of the 4th December Saxilby track worker fatality but only a 29th December bulletin about reporting flood conditions!!

Gangers were safety committed I recall incidents when gangers and sub-gangers (without prompting) offered to personally brief other gangs in their areas about accidents and near misses.

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My memory – still no report on that fatality As regular readers know I have a long memory. As a railway civil engineer I managed 2,500 people. They were great people working with commitment. When I took a new post I often found an entrenched group who were not pulling their weight. They changed or left. I had excellent management teams working with me. We made frequent unannounced site visits and listened to those doing the work to hear their concerns and aspirations for better working. When incidents or accidents occurred we not only tried to ensure no recurrence, we made sure that everyone doing similar

Not only was this very effective, it also illustrates the degree of trust and co-operation with staff that had been built up. Our local efforts were supported by regular briefings from both Regional and National HQ level. The views of the then Chairman of the British Rail Board were heard from him directly by us all using videos and later DVD’s etc. There are lessons to be learnt for today. Meanwhile we all need to read and re-read the RAIB annual report and in view of the delays caused by differences of opinion between RAIB, Network Rail and the ORR I suggest that now is the time for the remits of the RAIB and ORR to be reviewed so that a single organisation makes recommendations and takes the required actions implementing them by imposing improvement/ prohibition notices or taking legal action as may be appropriate. It is evident from the RAIB report that both time and money are being wasted by delays whilst leaving more people at risk.





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“Meeting the challenge” Annette Gevaert and Richard Sharp talk about their roles in helping supplier assurance and procurement in the rail industry. An initiative has been underway throughout 2012 to re-shape the way buyers and suppliers use prequalification and tendering processes to improve rail industry procurement. Link-up is the UK rail industry’s supplier registration and qualification scheme and is used by 115 buying organisations with 2,700 individual buyers and 3,500 supplier organisations. Link-up is in the midst of a transformation to support the rail industry with the aim of making the scheme more efficient, effective and accessible to the whole industry on a collaborative basis.

Is this a new scheme? Annette Gevaert, Director Rail and Transport at Achilles, says, “Link-up has been established for many years, having its origins in the state-run British Rail. Whilst Link-up’s current version was launched in 2007, Network Rail and Achilles were keen to create a more collaborative and balanced Link-up Governance structure. We’ve been delighted by the great level of interest in the last 12 months from all members of the industry who have been keen to get involved. The priority has been to ensure that we work to include wider representation so that it meets the needs of the industry as a whole.” Richard Sharp from J. Murphy and Son said, “My objective as the Link-up Steering Group Chair has been to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to have their say and that the regular meetings we have to define the way forward are for the benefit of the industry.”

Will this truly reflect what the industry needs? Richard said, “From infrastructure managers, through to Train Operating Companies, contractors, trade bodies and the 28

RSSB, all 21 industry representatives are working together to ensure that Link-up fulfils its core aims as a UK rail supplier registration and qualification scheme. It is important that the value of Link-up for procurement and as part of the supplier assurance framework are understood and delivered.” The Steering Group consists of 21 representatives from all different parts of the industry and is supported by Working Groups dedicated to defining the requirements for the new platform, a revision of the product codes and the Link-up Audit programme as well as to introduce a sustainability module. The latest addition has been the forming of a Working Group to set the overarching Rules for the Scheme. The Working Groups have been open to anyone in the industry so that the new version of Link-up can incorporate areas that are important to the industry, not just those of members. Richard added, “The Link-up Steering Group and Working Group members have invested a lot of time and energy to agree what’s important for the industry, what aspects of the current process can be streamlined and how to gain further efficiency improvements. This included finding the best platform for the process of registering and updating supplier information. We chose the new platform developed by Achilles because it best meets our needs, will ensure a smooth transition and will deliver great benefits to companies working also in other industries such as Construction and Utilities.”

So what’s changing? Annette says, “The expansion of Link-up to better align with procurement needs is both content and process related. Link-up’s new technological platform will bring an improved user interface and a host of new features for buyer and supplier users. “For the 2,700 buyers using the system, the process streamlines and shortens the pre-qualification questionnaire and provides a more flexible search facility with a dynamic way of requesting additional information from selected suppliers. Suppliers will find it far easier to provide and update information because the questionnaire will be significantly shorter and enhanced data entry tools will be provided. “The vast majority of suppliers will also see a reduction in price as tiered pricing will be introduced, offering SMEs a cost-effective way to join the community.”

When is it all happening? Annette said, “Over the last twelve months, key decisions were made to re-define the way suppliers are pre-qualified and how audit protocols for the industry are formulated. The coming months will be devoted to implementing and realising the transformation, with a ‘go-live’ for the new platform set for March-April 2013.”

What does the future hold for Link-up? Annette said, “The focus of the transition team is on the

implementation of the new version of Link-up, ensuring a smooth and safe migration to the new platform for all members of the community. In parallel, work continues to identify and define future scheme enhancements and areas for greater collaboration – such as the new Link-up audit programme development and roll-out.” Richard added, “The aim is to reduce the audit burden for suppliers through an overhaul of the prevailing audit practices but also through greater information sharing. In the Arthur D Little report published by the RSSB a possible saving to the industry of up to £35 million in supplier assurance was identified. With the implementation of the agreed changes, Link-up will deliver a great portion of that saving potential.”

Can organisations still get involved? Richard said, “Buyers and suppliers to the rail industry have an opportunity to get involved in the Working Groups of Link-up, to shape supplier qualification for the benefit of the whole sector, and to make rail procurement fast, efficient, and cost-effective. The opportunity is there for the taking.” Annette concludes, “I am convinced that greater collaboration is the most effective way to reach better alignment and recognition of supplier qualification in the industry.”

Hitachi Rail Europe says “Thank you” to the 100-strong team at the Hitachi Ashford Train Maintenance Centre. Looking back over 2012, you pulled out all the stops to ensure that the Class 395 trains were ready for the Javelin® train service – every day of the Games!

From left to right: Craig Pengilly, Stephen Dunn, Rhys Smith, Steve Collins, Matt Lumb and Steve Crosby, representing the 100-strong team at the Hitachi Ashford Train Maintenance Centre.

New Platform for Railtex

“There will be a full programme of seminars running throughout the show hosted by the rail engineer…” HEIDI COTSWORTH, EXHIBITION MANAGER, MACK BROOKS EXHIBITIONS

New Year 2013 means another confidence-boosting rail industry exhibition to look forward to. Railtex takes centre stage at Earls Court in London from 30 April to 2 May. The show will be opened by Transport Minister Simon Burns MP. Railtex brings together designers, engineers, railway staff, planners and leaders with a full programme of displays and seminars. RailStaff talked to Heidi Cotsworth, Exhibition Manager, Mack Brooks Exhibitions, which organises Railtex and its sister show, Infrarail.

RailStaff: What will be new at Railtex this year? Heidi Cotsworth: There will be several significant innovations. As an added feature of the exhibition itself, we are introducing The Yard. This is a display area for vehicles such as RRVs and larger items of rail plant, supplementing the established On Track Display for rail-mounted machinery and tools. 30

Your readers will remember The Yard first appeared at Infrarail last year, where it was very well received. Also new to Railtex will be The Platform, organised in partnership with Rail Champions to provide an interactive discussion forum on topical themes with panels of industry experts, with visitors welcome to join the discussions. Another key development this year will be the first Railtex Awards. This will take the form of a dinner on the evening of 1 May celebrating the achievements of Railtex exhibitors. Also new is an initiative to highlight career opportunities in the rail industry for engineering students and graduates. Supported by the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering and Young Railway Professionals, a programme we are calling ‘Rail – The Next Generation’ will bring together budding professionals and leading companies at Railtex to help respond to a recognised need to bridge the skills gap in the rail industry.

RailStaff: These will be in addition to established features of Railtex? Heidi Cotsworth: Yes. There will also be a full programme of seminars running throughout the show and hosted by your sister publication ‘the rail engineer’, the Project Update Theatre, where project directors will outline the status of major UK rail schemes, and the opening day’s Networking Reception. Everyone attending Railtex will be welcome to take part in all of these.

RailStaff: What sort of exhibitor numbers can we expect? Heidi Cotsworth: At the beginning of this year the number of companies that had confirmed their participation or reserved space at the show stood at 280. By the time the show opens we would expect that figure to rise to more than 400. Your readers can always check the list of exhibitors at, which we keep updated. They will find plenty of familiar leading companies listed as well as many significantly important smaller firms, including new names bringing fresh ideas to the industry. The Rail Alliance and Derby & Derbyshire Rail Forum will also have their own ‘hubs’ formed by members’ stands.

RailStaff: Mack Brooks continues to run both Railtex and Infrarail in the UK? Why the two shows and can you explain the differences between them? Heidi Cotsworth: Taking the second question first, Infrarail is specifically concerned with the fixed assets of the railway – track, signalling and communications, civils, stations, security and so on. All those sectors are also covered by Railtex, but in addition that show includes the many products and services relevant to train operations, notably rolling stock, so it encompasses the entire industry. We have been successfully running the two shows in alternating years for almost two decades now. Support from the industry for


both remains very strong and with major schemes ongoing and positive signals from the government regarding long-term rail investment, we are confident that there is plenty of future demand for both events.

RailStaff: What are your plans for Infrarail 2014? Heidi Cotsworth: Dates have now been set for this. The show will be at Earls Court in London from 20 to 22 May next year. And as well as including all the familiar features of previous shows, there is a significant development. Infrarail 2014 will take place alongside a new event we are planning – the Civil Infrastructure & Technology Exhibition – CITE 2014. This will cover all the products and services needed by the UK’s transport, construction, utilities and communications infrastructure sectors, which are poised to benefit from major investments. We feel there is a lot of common ground between these markets, and staging the two exhibitions together will offer benefits both for companies taking part and for people visiting them.

RailStaff: So why are you moving Infrarail to London? Have you considered the impact of this on visitors from the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland?

Heidi Cotsworth: We are very aware that both Infrarail and Railtex need to be accessible for visitors from all over the UK and we feel that London meets this need very well. Recent Railtex shows have also been in central London and it has proved an excellent venue in terms of accessibility. London is also an attractive destination for the foreign visitors that many exhibitors are keen to see at our shows. It’s worth noting that visitors from 49 countries came to the last Railtex and for Infrarail the figure was 36 countries.

Bristol. Light Rail grew into Railtex, which was held for the first time at Wembley in 1993. This year’s Railtex will be the eleventh. Infrarail was launched in 1994 at Manchester’s then G-Mex Centre. Introducing a second exhibition to meet the needs of the rail infrastructure sector was prompted by developments in the industry at the time, notably impending privatisation and the planned creation of a separate company responsible for track and signalling.

RailStaff: What does staging Infrarail in London mean for Railtex in 2015?

Heidi Cotsworth: Much has changed since they were first launched but both shows have stood up well to developments on both sides of the industry. In terms of what the exhibitions look like, they are very similar, though naturally they reflect company changes and industry consolidation over the years. The big change has been in the additional features they now incorporate. The focus has been on increasing the value of a visit to Railtex or Infrarail by providing opportunities to learn about developments in policy and technological innovation. Seminar programmes and discussion forums like The Platform are examples.

Heidi Cotsworth: We are in constant contact with the industry and a decision on Railtex will be made in due course. The show has a history of running very successfully in any venue or location it has been staged in. As with the initial planning for all our exhibitions we will listen to the industry and make plans dependent on the needs and aims of exhibitors and visitors to the show.

RailStaff: How long have you been running these shows? Heidi Cotsworth: Mack Brooks’ first UK rail show was Light Rail 89 in

RailStaff: How do you feel these shows have changed over the years?

Introduction of the On Track Display has also proved popular with exhibitors and visitors. Adding The Yard to this year’s Railtex will be another way in which visitors can inspect some of the products that the industry has to offer. We also now have the Recruitment Wall (managed by at each show to enable exhibitors to publicise their skills needs. Overall, both events are now much broader and offer more opportunities for people to get together.

RailStaff: Mack Brooks also has rail shows abroad. What are your plans for those? Heidi Cotsworth: We organise established exhibitions in France, India, Italy and Russia, mostly taking place every two years. Our corporate website has details of all these.

RailStaff: When can people register to visit Railtex? Heidi Cotsworth: Visitor registration is live on the show website from 14 January. It’s worth adding that registering in advance avoids an on-site entry fee of £20 and provides faster access to the exhibition. We look forward to welcoming RailStaff readers to the show.



Decision To Quit

Five million people still smoke tobacco in the UK alone. Health experts estimate up to a million of them will try and kick the habit this January. Just how hard is it to stop smoking? Richard Wilcox an ex-smoker at Express Medicals reports. I am old enough to remember when GPs surgeries had ashtrays in their waiting rooms and often the doctor would smoke while seeing you. Patients could smoke in a hospital. Adverts for cigarettes 32

were everywhere, on billboards, television and magazines. Tobacco company sponsorship of sport was widespread. Smoking was permitted on the railways and the London Underground.

A considerable minority The world has been trying to give up the evil weed for some time. Smokers are now in a considerable minority. Some will give up smoking on a whim; others will struggle for weeks and

months. What worked for me might not work for you but it’s worth a try. I was a smoker for over 40 years. Actually let me rephrase that. I am a smoker who has not had a cigarette for three months, with a view to becoming a non-smoker. This is to let you know I am not on some holier-than-thou crusade to stop everybody smoking. It’s a free country and it’s your choice, as it is mine. On the other hand I have never encouraged

anybody to smoke and there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that continuing to smoke is unwise. Why did I give up? Whether it was age or smoking-related, I don’t know but I wasn’t feeling healthy. However the real reason was the cost, 35p for a single cigarette. On 10 a day that’s the equivalent of a week’s holiday for every two years. I like my holidays. Others, I am sure, will find something else to spend it on.


What’s so hard about giving up? The important thing is what you tell yourself. Decide who is bigger, you or the cigarette. Decide why you want to give up. It has to be your decision, not a response to others who want you to give up. Then set up a date. Don’t worry if you miss a date, extend the time frame a little. Just don’t give up giving up - ever. What made it easier for me was giving up with my partner. We all respond well to rewards. Promise yourself that frivolous expensive treat you have wanted for so long when you have stopped for three months. After all you will now have some cash that can be wasted in other ways other than on cigarettes. There is plenty of support for people serious about giving up smoking. Local GPs will help and put you in touch with support groups. Discussing how you are doing with other smokers can also be very helpful. On the web see • • health/Smoking-Tips-to-Helpyou-Stop.htm •

‘Easy Way to stop Smoking’ by Allen Carr available from Penguin Books

Tips for Quits Check out the various web sites and doctor’s guides. Here are ten common tips you may find helpful: • Decide. The power of decision is crucial. Only you can take the decision and own it. • Set a date to stop. • Plan for the challenge of quitting and read up about it • Keep trying: you are stronger than any chemical. • Tell family and friends and enlist their help. • Junk ashtrays, all tobacco, lighters and matches. • Expect to feel off-colour physically and make allowances for this. • Avoid social situations where you light up. • Alcohol is often the adjunct of a smoke and lessens self control so avoid it. • Reward yourself. What you’re doing is not easy, so you deserve a reward. Promise a meal out or a new movie. Look forward to it.

We are told time and again that exercise is good for us. Few doubt this. Yet by the time you read this, mid-January, you may already have quietly let slide that new year’s resolution. Our editor has completed a year of running every day, started 4th January 2012. If the track shoes are back in the box, the gym card tucked away at the back of your wallet what follows might help you. Andy Milne reports.

This sport is for free New Year’s resolutions are all very well but imply a massive effort of will sadly beyond most of us. Factor in 12 hour shifts and late night booking-on and a visit to the gym sinks rapidly down the agenda. What I discovered is a little known secret which once grasped makes exercise easy. Joining a gym is expensive and yet many new members will never return after a visit or two. This sport is for free. Most people switch off at the mention of running. However, the sport is misunderstood. What I mean by running is ambling along a park or country lane breaking into a trot every now

and again. Forget pelting round a cinder track or competing in a race. The majority of runners are not finely honed Olympians but horizontally challenged men and women who have stumbled on the most peculiar secret. The human body implies movement. We are born to run. Millennia ago men and women moved on every day, keeping up with herds of animals. They ran from predators and towards animals they would catch and eat. The instinct to run is still with us, albeit hidden beneath the girth in many cases. Look at children and their endless games of tag. Buried deep within us is a delight in running. Running for sheer exuberance. Running is inherent in our make up. Don’t grit your teeth and say: I’m going to do this, I have to, I shall…’ Better to say, ‘I shall go out the door and move for a hundred metres, a quarter of a mile. That’s all. Easy.’ Teach yourself to run by walking. Walk at your own pace and run lightly down hills. Run on a walk for a 100 metes or so. Go every day, but try not to get out of breath. Walk easily and run slow. Wear the lightest shoes you can and learn to

land on the front of your feet, the bones behind the toes are spring loaded to bounce you along. Slamming down on the heel jars your entire skeleton, damaging ankles and knees, splaying hips and hammering the spine. The foot is a natural spring, let it cushion the step. Make this step a small ballet dancer of a step. When starting to run stand up straight and lean very slightly forward. You will feel your feet step forward to adjust balance. It is this movement that is the key to effortless running - falling with style.

A better physical future


Recommended reading

Run for your life

Forget the need to break records or win races. When we run we run away from the person we became, the fears and regrets that smother the immobile. We leave behind the over weight underachiever. To run is to enter a better physical future. We run because being outside in the rain and the wind feels good. The natural world is a great healer. Never mind what you wear. Throw on old tennis shoes, your brother’s rugby shirt, baggy trackies, an anorak and a bobble hat. No one cares what you wear. John Bingham, who took up running as a 43 year old very heavy couch potato, once said, ‘People say you can’t run away for your problems. I say you can.’ If the gym is crowded and embarrassing, the pool full of orange tanned supermen, then go running. Step out of your own front door in your own time. Tell yourself you will walk the difficult bits. The great thing about running is that as you improve it becomes expedient to run more of the route, to move better. You do it because you like to. The wind at your back, the sun on your face, the snow pinching your ears leaves you feeling good, alive. It is then, bouncing along the road, that you discover the great secret peculiar to all runners. We run because we enjoy it. Even if you only have time for a mile the run is an escape, a road to freedom. Once you realise that you run because you enjoy it, because you want to run, not because you have to, you’ve cracked it.

Recommended reading ‘The Courage to Start’ by John Bingham ‘Born to Run’ by Christopher McDougall



Procurement procedure recognises Sustainability

Network Rail Infrastructure Projects has made sustainability a formal part of its procurement process, with five per cent of tenders now hinging on a bid’s green credentials. The move is part of Network Rail’s ‘Sustainable Development Vision’ which looks at how future major rail infrastructure projects can address pressing environmental and social challenges. Waste and carbon reduction, protection of the natural environment and the creation of a level playing field for local firms to bid for contracts are among the types of initiatives the new five per cent requirement will judge suppliers on. ‘We, as an industry, are contributing massively to this issue in the UK,’ says Katie Ferrier, head of supplier engagement, Network Rail. ‘It’s a scary thought that we’re not doing enough to solve these issues.’


The new procurement requirement was revealed to Network Rail’s Tier 2 supply chain at Westwood Heath in December. During the event, delegates were shown examples of the kinds of social enterprise groups that can work alongside organisations to help them attain their five per cent. One of the groups was REDS10 a social enterprise set up in 2009 to find local apprentices to work on construction projects in their area. Managing Director Paul Ruddick believes groups like REDS10 will help the rail industry boost its sustainable employment practices. ‘With Network Rail now including five per cent sustainability requirements in their tenders, we are excited about bringing our services to the rail industry. We already work with most of the Tier 1 main contractors but in different sectors such as retail, residential, infrastructure, and education, so we believe there is no reason why we can’t bring added social value to the rail industry.’ The latest change to Network Rail’s procurement framework is part of a growing focus on sustainability within the organisation. Between 2011-2012,

85.9 per cent of Network Rail infrastructure waste was diverted from landfill, a step closer to the organisation’s target of 97 per cent by 2014. In April 2011, Network Rail began sourcing all its track timber from certified sources who work in accordance with standards set by the WWF Global Forest Trade Network (GFTN). Globally recognised as one of the greenest transport modes the rail industry is increasingly committed to sustainability. Last year Balfour Beatty pushed recognition of the subject by launching the Sustainability Award at the RailStaff Awards 2012. The Sustainability Award was won by Tahir Ayub (pictured right and below) a Senior Design Engineer at Network Rail based in Birmingham. The rail industry looks set to improve its environmental and social credentials this year.

Last year Balfour Beatty pushed recognition of the subject by launching the Sustainability Award at the RailStaff Awards 2012…


14th March 2013 Loughborough University The Rail Safety Summit has become THE conference for rail safety executives, infrastructure owners, train operators, rail stakeholders and training professionals, with all leading figures from the rail safety, security, risk assessment and training professions all in attendance.

Confirmed Speakers include: Colin Wheeler, Chairman Alistair Dormer, CEO, Hitachi Rail Steve Diksa, Assurance Services Director, Bridgeway Consulting Colin Dennis, Director, RSSB Carolyn Griffiths, Chief Inspector, RAIB Allan Spence, Director of Safety Strategy, Network Rail (ORR) Richard Sharp, Chairman, Infrastructure Safety Leadership Group

Tickets now on sale at

Sophie seas

Rail heroes honoured

British Transport Police has paid tribute to its brave officers, rail staff, members of the public and a police dog in a special commendation ceremony at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow. Four nurses who saved the life of a man after he had suffered a

heart attack at Glasgow Central station were among those honoured. Alison Aitken from Ayr, Gary Hewitt from Beverley in East Yorkshire, Alison Murray from Bishopton and Sarah Taylor from Cannock in the West Midlands, performed CPR and used the heart defibrillator

stored at the station to revive the Ayrshire man. Almost 100 BTP officers, rail staff, members of the public and police dog Bruce received an Area Commander’s Commendation. David Cunningham, a Glasgow Subway driver, was praised for his prompt actions in removing a suspect package from the train, taking it to a place of safety and alerting BTP. Two railway staff from Strathclyde transport, Alan Clark and Douglas McConnell, received a commendation for saving an elderly man who had fallen on to the tracks at Shields Road Subway station. Says Chief Superintendent Ellie Bird, area commander for the Scotland area of BTP, ‘These officers and public-spirited individuals are extremely deserving of their accolades. The Scotland area is grateful for their hard work and assistance and this ceremony is our chance to say a big thank you and recognise their contributions.’

Track and Train makes good

search out new talent. Says Patrick Butcher, Network Rail’s group finance director, responsible for the scheme, ‘We know that there are many smart, talented individuals out there that haven’t had their break yet and as a growing industry we can work together to provide challenging, valuable and paid work experience to kick start their careers. ‘What sets this scheme apart is those involved will work across the rail industry and by linking it all together, develop a fantastic

knowledge and understanding of the challenges we all face and the opportunities for the future.’ Network Rail received 2514 applications. Typical roles in Track and Train will be in network operations, station and train teams, customer service, sales and marketing, route strategy, asset management and project management. There will not be roles in corporate functions such as finance, IT or engineering, where the industry has bespoke graduate schemes already in place.

Sophie Williams, who works for Greater Anglia’s finance team in Colchester, braved icy seas for charity. With friends Sophie took part in a fund raising dip for the St Elizabeth Hospice, in Ipswich, Suffolk. On Christmas Day Sophie leapt into the North Sea off the Felixstowe seafront with around 400 other participants. The St Elizabeth Hospice improves life for people living with a progressive illness and is an independent charity which provides services free of charge. Says Sophie, ‘I wanted to help the hospice after seeing the fantastic support they gave my Mum, so I decided to take part in their annual Christmas Day Dip. My colleagues at Greater Anglia have been a great help and together with my father and uncle, we’ve raised around £1500 for the Hospice.’

Greater Anglia has welcomed two new graduate interns under the rail industry’s Track and Train paid work placement scheme. Michael Asare (pictured right), from Edmonton and Alexander Barker-Singh (pictured left), from Harrow, will undertake a wide range of roles during their time at Greater Anglia and are currently working with the Asset Management team. The Track and Train scheme, funded by Network Rail, provides an all-round industry experience over 18 months, where graduates will enjoy three six-month placements: one at Network Rail and two at either a passenger or freight operator or another company within the rail sector. In total 85 young men and women joined the Network Rail scheme this year. All have graduated in the last two years but owing to tough economic times have found themselves either unemployed or more likely under36

employed in a non-graduate level role. Track and Train offers them opportunities to gain valuable experience to then take the next step in their careers. Says Michelle Smart, Greater Anglia’s Director of Human Resources and Safety Assurance, ‘We are very pleased to be a part of the Track and Train scheme which is helping to attract talented people to the railway. Our interns have all been of a very high quality and we wish them every success as they take the next step in their careers.’ Funded by Network Rail, the scheme involves 28 partner companies based across Britain providing local employment opportunities. Graduates living in Glasgow, York or Manchester, for example, will be placed with companies in those areas. Those on the scheme will be paid a salary of £22,000 per annum and 21 days holiday for each of the years 2012 and 2013. The rail industry is keen to


Plastic fantastic for Dawlish Newton Abbot MP, Anne Marie Morris, has officially opened one of Britain’s first Grade II listed plastic footbridges at Dawlish, the seaside station on the south coast of Devon. The footbridge was part of a £1m improvement project. The event

follows the demolition of the old steel footbridge last October and the installation of the new polymer footbridge. Says Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail’s Western route managing director, ‘The coastal railway line from Exeter to Newton Abbot, part

“Dawlish station was originally designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1830 and is Grade II listed…” PATRICK HALLGATE WESTERN ROUTE MANAGING DIRECTOR, NETWORK RAIL

of Network Rail’s Great Western main line, is noted for its particularly scenic qualities and

for being one of the most exposed in the country, constantly battling the effects of coastal erosion and salt spray corrosion. ‘Dawlish station was originally designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1830 and is grade II listed. The station’s 17.5 metre long covered steel footbridge, reconstructed in 1937, had deteriorated beyond economic repair so any similar form of replacement probably would have met the same fate in due course. Its replacement is a lightweight plastic structure weighing only five tonnes, about one third the weight of the old footbridge. We are hoping that it will require considerably less maintenance than the structure it has replaced.’

...making changes during 2013.




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Signal School clears 100 years Former railway signalmen and women are getting together at the Signal School at York’s National Railway Museum to celebrate its centenary in January 2013. The Signal School looks like a gentleman’s train set but has been used to train would-be signallers since 1913. The track, signals and levers and even the table it sits on were all made by apprentices at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway in 1912. The locomotives, carriages and wagons were supplied by the Basset Lowke Company. On Friday, 18 January, to mark its centenary, the NRM will be launching a new film about the history of the layout. Then on Saturday 19th January past students who trained on the

simulator are invited to the museum for a trip down memory lane and a party. From 1913 trainee signallers used the equipment to signal the movement of trains around the layout and learn the rules and regulations that ensured that train travel remained the safest form of travel in Britain. In 1995, redevelopment forced the signal school to close but thanks to the efforts of museum volunteers, it was recovered from Victoria Station in Manchester and

brought to the National Railway Museum. The lay out has now been restored to its 1925 configuration. This was the year of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley. Says Russell Hollowood of the NRM, ‘Mention simulators and most people think of flat screens and futuristic technology; however this model is still used to train signallers of the future. We are proud to have been part of its 100 year history. Having a team of enthusiastic volunteers restoring this has been testament to the


Worthwhile cause Volunteer staff worked a charity train ‘The Worth Valley Wanderer’ and raised over £37,000 for the Samaritans and Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity in Sheffield. Volunteers from Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity travelled on the train, which ran from St Pancras to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway on Saturday 3 November. A raffle carried out on the train helped raise an additional £960. The special train was arranged by East Midlands Trains and the money raised split between the two charities. Ticket sales, a special commemorative brochure and a real ale bar provided by local breweries all helped to contribute to the huge amount raised for the two charities. East Midlands Trains staff 38

crucial past that this simulator has provided. ‘Restored, the model has returned to doing what it was built for, turning the complex world of railway signalling into an engaging learning experience. We are hoping to see many ex-signal school students and enthusiasts in January when we celebrate this acclaimed milestone.’ Signallers and former students interested in coming along should contact Matthew Hick:

supported the event by donating their day’s wages, or working on their day off, to help raise the maximum amount of money. Says Sarah Cross, fund raiser at Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, ‘We are delighted to be one of the benefiting charities from the Worth Valley Wanderer train journey. We would like to thank everybody who helped raise such a fantastic amount, both the passengers and the staff of East Midlands Trains.’ The Samaritans raised a further £2,800 through a silent auction giving bidders the opportunity to win a footplate ride and a special

headboard which was displayed on the front of the Worth Valley Wanderer train. Says Catherine Johnstone, Chief Executive at Samaritans, I would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to East Midlands Trains and their staff for giving up their time to run the special service and for raising such a fantastic sum of money. The day is testament to the strong relationships Samaritans has built with the rail industry, and East Midlands Trains, and their staff, in particular, over the past two years since we embarked on our partnership with Network Rail, to help tackle suicides on the railway.’

Water stop for ACoRP After almost a decade in the West Yorkshire village of Slaithwaite, ACoRP, the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, has moved to a new base at Huddersfield station. ACoRP’s new HQ is a Grade 1 listed building and was originally a water tank for steam locomotives. Lying empty and derelict for almost twenty years, ACoRP managed to obtain European funding to renovate it as a demonstration project of environmentally sound conversion of historic structures. Using the latest techniques and materials ACoRP hopes to reduce energy use to near-zero. Principal funding came from the European ‘CAP’EM’ project and the Railway Heritage Trust, whilst matchfunding and other support was provided by Network Rail and train operator First Transpennine.


FAWLEY HILL STEAM AND VINTAGE WEEKEND Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May 2013 The event will celebrate the Centenary of Fawley’s resident Hudswell Clarke 060 Saddle Tank Engine No 31.

This will be a celebration of all forms of transport: from BICYCLES to PLANES and MACHINERY: from HORSE-DRAWN PLOUGHS to PLOUGHING ENGINES to JCB’S

She has worked for Sir William’s family all her life and for the past 48 years has been happily pulling wagon loads of visitors up the steepest standard gauge gradient in the world at Fawley Hill.

and, being Fawley Hill, (animal sanctuary) there will be ANIMALS too.



At the simplest level: we envisage charities hosting hospitality areas - to which they will sell tickets: to include entry of course. Obviously they can do more than this if they wish. This works well and gives everyone a slice of the cake.



Fawley Hill, Fawley, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 6JA | 01491 571373 |


Bedwyn celebrates 150 years Passengers at Bedwyn station in Wiltshire celebrated its 150th birthday by presenting the driver of the first service that day, Chris Boyce, with a commemorative mug. The Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group organised the presentation. Chris works for First Great Western. The mugs have been printed with a copy of Bedwyn’s 1862 timetable. Profits from the sale of the mugs will be donated to the Bruce Trust, a local charity providing canal boat holidays for disabled, disadvantaged and elderly people. The boats are moored in Bedwyn. First Great Western has pledged £150 for the trust and donated two first class tickets for the charity to raffle as a prize.

Driver Chris Boyce receives a 150th anniversary commemorative mug from Steve Smith, Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group who also baked the cake (right).

Headboard tradition revived

The railway at war The National Railway Museum in York has launched a database containing the details of 20,000 railway workers who died in World War I. The comprehensive resource lists names, ranks, military numbers, rail departments and occupations, addresses, family details, dates of death and which war memorial they are on along with 4,500 references to photographs in staff magazines. While highlighting the massive losses in the industry during the war, the list also draws attention to the role women played in keeping Britain moving. The NRM plans to add to the database.


Drivers Nigel Williams and Martin Raine prepare the two 1930s headboards at London Paddington, prior to departing to Plymouth and Carmarthen.

Two of First Great Western’s specially named trains serving Carmarthen and Plymouth have been fitted with their original 1930s headboards. The Mayflower operates Monday to Friday between London Paddington (1106) and Plymouth (1500) and is named after the famous ship that transported 102 pilgrims from Plymouth on a 66 day voyage to America in 1620. The Red Dragon runs Monday to Friday between London (1715) and Carmarthen (0730) and is named after the mythical Red Dragon, known in Welsh as Y Ddraig Goch, that appears on the Welsh

national flag. Although the flag was only granted official status in 1959, it is claimed to be the oldest national flag still in use. FGW Drivers Nigel Williams and Martin Raine helped publicise the two 1930s headboards at London Paddington, prior to departing to Plymouth and Carmarthen. Says Julian Crow, First Great Western’s regional manager, ‘So little is known about the history of the services we are privileged to run from London Paddington to the West of England and Wales. Tying in with the launch of the winter timetable, we decided to put together an e-leaflet detailing

“So little is known about the history of the services we are privileged to run from London Paddington to the West of England and Wales…” those services, explaining their names, and re-installing a sense of tradition behind their names.’ First Great Western runs 18 named services between London, Wales and the West Country.

Play your part in railway history Here at the National Railway Museum we are very proud to be recognised as the world’s leading railway museum and the most visited museum outside London with over 800,000 visitors each year. Our visitors come from all over the world because they are fascinated by our collections and the story they represent. As a national charity, we rely on the support of people young and old to preserve and care for our collections now and for the generations to come. One way of supporting our work is to leave a gift to the National Railway Museum in your Will. A legacy gift of any size really does make a huge difference to our work and the future of the Museum. As a Railway Magazine reader, we know that you care as much about our railway heritage as we do, so if and when the time is right for you to include a legacy in your Will, please remember us. The National Railway Museum Development Team • Leeman Road • York • YO26 4XJ • 01904 686 285

Rail heritage for Hobbits

Overhead boost for Derby

As the movie, ‘The Hobbit : An Unexpected Journey’ sweeps cinemas, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books have pointed to Shugborough Tunnel as the possible inspiration for the original home of Bilbo Baggins, the film’s unlikely hero. Engineers from Network Rail worked in the tunnel over Christmas and New Year renewing tracks and drainage. Shugborough is on the heavily trafficked WCML between Rugeley and Stafford. Tolkien is known to have stayed in the area at the village of Great Haywood, on the edge of the Shugborough Estate whilst recovering from fever picked up in France during the First World War. Tolkien started writing whilst convalescing. He walked daily through the Shugborough estate and nearby woods. An early story, ‘The Tale of the Sun And The Moon’ drew upon the landscape and Shugborough Hall itself.

Following the announcement of plans to electrify the Midland Main Line, Network Rail has expanded plans for a new maintenance centre in Derby. Revised plans will accommodate the team required to support the electrification of the Midland Main Line. The depot will bring together up to 400 maintenance staff from existing offices and sub-depots across the east midlands. That team will now be joined by around 50 new electrification maintenance specialists. Says Martin Frobisher (right), route managing director for Network Rail, ‘This maintenance depot is central to our plans to help sustain a modern, reliable railway in the east midlands. The new depot will bring our frontline teams into a single location so we can better plan and resource the maintenance of the railway. It will also allow more focused, rapid and flexible response to incidents.

The tunnel portico, a Victorian mock up of a castle, is thought to have intrigued the author and future Oxford don. With the old tracks removed Network Rail renewed the drainage through the tunnel. New tracks have been installed.

Colleagues remember Ged Mahon Big-hearted London Midland staff held a fund raiser for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice just before Christmas. Former colleague Ged Mahon was looked after at the Selly Park hospice. The fundraiser was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Club in Yardley Wood. Ged Mahon, a London Midland train technician, died of cancer aged just 48. The care provided touched Ged’s friend and colleague Bob Glover, inspiring him to start organising fundraising events in support of the hospice. Says Bob, a fellow technician who worked alongside Ged for nearly a decade at London Midland’s Tyseley depot, ‘I went to see Ged a few times at St Mary’s and saw what an amazing job the staff did for him. They were so accommodating to everyone who visited and created such a nice atmosphere for him. I think it helped Ged and his family a lot. ‘He was kept as happy as he could have been. The events are to 42

‘The government’s proposal that it plans to fund the electrification of our main line is fantastic news for the region, giving us a railway which will be cheaper and greener to run. It also means we will need to recruit electrification maintenance teams who will join the team at Derby to look after the new equipment.’ Work gets underway on site this winter and the new depot should be ready by December 2013.

“I went to see Ged a few times at St Mary’s and saw what an amazing job the staff did for him…” BOB GLOVER, GED’S FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE

raise money for Birmingham St Mary’s but also to keep Ged’s memory alive. He was great on the shop floor, he loved a joke and was as popular at work as he was outside it. We miss him.’ Bob’s charitable efforts have seen him gain national recognition after he was named a finalist for the Rail Person of the Year at the RailStaff Awards 2012. Says Bob, ‘I

was really surprised and honoured to be nominated. It was nice but the fundraisers are not about me, they are about Ged and Birmingham St Mary’s.’ Held for the first time in December 2009, the event has grown year-on-year to become a fixture in the calendar at the depot. Staff efforts have raised thousands of pounds for

Birmingham St Mary’s, through admission fees and items donated by football clubs, businesses and celebrities such as darts champion, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. Says Ged’s widow, Elizabeth, ‘Gerard loved Bob and had great respect for him as a friend and a colleague. He would feel most humble that this charity night is held in his name. He would have loved to be there as Gerard loved a good party! It has been fantastic to see how much they have raised each year. Bob, his friends and colleagues work very hard over the year to make the evenings a success. I admire them very much.’


Chocolate Express A group of Belgian chocolate makers headed by Andrew Farrugia, originally from Malta, has created the world’s longest chocolate train Next call will be the Guinness book of records for the train. The idea is to boost the country’s superb chocolate industry. The 110-foot long chocolate sculpture shows a steam locomotive hauling several carriages. The sculpture used 2,755 pounds of chocolate and took 784 hours to complete. Says Mr Farrugia, ‘I had this idea for a while, and I said what do you think if we do this realisation of a long chocolate train, you know, because a train you can make it as long as you like… Actually it was going to be much smaller than it was, but I kept on adding another wagon, and another wagon, and it’s the size it is today.’

Chas Bellchamber, a ticket examiner based at Norwich station, is retiring after 61 years service on the railway.

Final Tickets Please

Faulkner Steps Down

Railways are a family affair for the Bellchambers. Both his sons work for Greater Anglia, John as an Operations Manager and David as a Train Driver. His grandson Devin, also works as a conductor. Devin and Chas recently worked their first train together. The Bellchamber family has served the railway for almost 180 years. Chas was inspired to join the railway by his father Sidney, who drove steam trains on the Great Eastern Mainline between Norwich and London. Chas Bellchamber joined the railway in 1951 as a fireman, stoking steam engines and moved on to become a driver. Later he became a guard and Senior Conductor. Chas briefly retired at the end of the 1990s, but soon returned as a ticket examiner, as he missed the railway so much. Says Andrew Goodrum Greater Anglia’s Customer Service Director, ‘Chas has an enormous level of experience and a huge pride in his job. His enthusiasm, no matter what time of day, is remarkable. I think it is safe to say that we could get Chas to do almost any job on the station and he’d get on with it well. It’s a fantastic achievement in this day and age to have reached 61 years in the job. We all wish him a very happy retirement.’ Chas is now 77 years old, he is a keen sports fan and is looking forward to having a bit more time to watch cricket, especially watching his grandsons play.

Colleagues at Greater Anglia’s Ilford Depot bid a final goodbye to long serving Alan Faulkner who has retired after half a century of dedicated service to the railway. Born and bred in Essex, Alan says he was inspired to join the railway when as a youngster he watched steam trains go by at Ragmarsh Farm, in Wrabness. At 15 he began an engineering apprenticeship based at St Pancras before working at Ilford Depot and then London Liverpool Street station as a fitter. Later in his career Alan returned to Ilford Depot, where he worked as a yard assistant. Says Dave Lupton, Greater Anglia’s Fleet Production Manager, ‘Alan has given 50 years of dedicated service to the railway. He is unique, very generous and always ready to help. We would like to thank him for his efforts and wish him a very happy retirement.’



Joyeux Noel


Eurotunnel’s rail-borne Le Shuttle service broke its previous volume record over Christmas and New Year. Between Friday 14 December 2012 and Sunday 6 January 2013 a total of almost 200,000 passenger vehicles crossed the Channel in both directions between Folkestone and Calais. This is the equivalent to approximately 1 million passengers.

Vital-Eye Vital Technology, part of the Vital Services Group, has successfully completed an integrated CCTV surveillance system project to deter cable theft and vandalism at Cricklewood railway depot in North London. To ensure the success of the project, Vital Technology installed a combination of PTZ and fixed cameras in nine locations across the site, and the recorded footage was streamed back to a central

control centre. Software developed by Vital Technology’s sister company, Sicura Systems, was utilised to detect trespassers and raise alarms to enable remedial action to be taken. Site security was further enhanced through the installation of an automated gate security access system for pedestrians and vehicles, and this, together with the CCTV surveillance system, has greatly reduced theft and vandalism at this site.

Shakin’ all over

Vorsicht! Railway staff in Scotland have appealed to walkers in the Highlands to keep off railway lines. Two German fishermen were hit by a train in Perthshire. Says Constable Mike Tunney, of BTP, ‘Hillwalking is becoming so popular and the general perception is people are in a remote area with few trains and there is nothing wrong with doing it. They may include tourists from other countries where it is not illegal.’ The father and son team were hit on the Glasgow-Fort William 44

line on their way back from a fishing trip. Paul Kolarczyk, 52, sustained serious leg injuries and his father, Gerhard, 87, suffered cuts and bruises to his head. Walkers take short cuts across the tracks assuming the railway is lightly used. Aslef’s Scottish secretary Kevin Lindsay, ‘The railway is a dangerous place and people should not be accessing it. Hillwalkers and fishermen should not be endangering their lives and those of people on trains.’ We can see you: railway staff urge hill walkers to keep off the tracks.

A group of students at Stony Brook University in New York has developed a way of converting the vibrations produced by trains on railway tracks into energy. The energy harvester could save money and help reduce CO2 emissions and has already won an award. Says Professor Lei Zuo (right), who leads the team, ‘Our invention…can harness 200 watts of electric energy from traininduced track deflections to power the track-side electrical devices. By using two one-way clutches, the innovative mechanical motion rectifier converts the irregular upand-down vibration motion into unidirectional rotation of the generator, thus breaking the fundamental challenge of vibration energy harvesting and offering significant advantages of high efficiency and high reliability.’ The Railroad Energy Harvester has been licensed and is expected to be put on test in the new year.

By using two oneway clutches, the innovative mechanical motion rectifier converts the irregular up-anddown vibration motion into unidirectional rotation of the generator, thus breaking the…


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