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JUNE 2018 | ISSUE 247






For more information: Call 0844 669 1860 Visit @PULSARHIVIS @PULSAR_UK






Find out who was named Network Rail’s Supplier of the Year.


New trains, investment in infrastructure and hundreds of additional staff have been promised in the new 15-year Wales and Borders franchise.


Progress continues on Crossrail as its December opening draws into view.



Network Rail major programme director Chris Montgomery explains how a collaborative approach will deliver the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU).


2011 RailStaff Awards winner Shauni McDonald talks about her career and her ambitions for the future.





32 LINESt|lines D E S O s L lo E FOR eCstory of Britain’s NEW LicIF s th s. kell tell ing trail David B as walk ir rebirth and the



Start lacing up your boots and pumping up your tyres because the 2018 RailSport Games are fast approaching.



SEMINAR SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Andy Doherty, Chief Technology Officer Network Rail Ivan Curties, Principal Project Engineer (Control & Information) Transport for London Daniel Achermann, Senior Expert on Traffic Management Systems Swiss Federal Railways

Railway Division Seminar

Pio Guido, Head of the European Rail Traffic Management Systems (ERTMS) Unit European Union Agency for Railways (ERA)

26 June 2018 One Birdcage Walk, London



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The Rail Partnership Awards this month was a celebration of what the industry can achieve when it works together, said Mark Carne, delivering his swansong as Network Rail CEO. In September, he will step down and Andrew Haines, CEO of the Civil Aviation Authority and an experienced railway executive, will take his place. It will be the start of a new era.

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Mark is right; there’s plenty to be proud of from the past year and there was one winner from the night which perfectly illustrated the rail industry at its best. Dealing with fatalities on the railway is a harrowing task for our colleagues around the network. During my time in the industry, it has become clear that these incidents have a lasting impact that we’re only now starting to appreciate and understand. Following a particularly difficult incident in 2016, the British Transport Police (BTP) were left questioning their processes for recovering bodies on the railway and, as

a result, developed the Incident Response Stretcher (IRS). The way the IRS was designed and rolled out demonstrates great technical ingenuity but it also shows a level of compassion and consideration for wellbeing that we can all appreciate. There are plenty of other examples in this month’s issue of the industry working together to achieve extraordinary goals. Our projects issue includes schemes at very different stages in their development. We look back at the Crossrail programme as it approaches the final straight and speak to Network Rail major programme director Chris Montgomery about the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU). The June issue also includes news about the new Wales and Borders franchise and Colin Wheeler gives his assessment of the RAIB’s annual report, which was recently published. But for everything we have to celebrate, it comes at a time when the railway isn’t working well for many people. Regular users of GTR and Northern can be forgiven for not sharing Mark Carne’s enthusiasm. Staff safety was also brought sharply into focus with the fatality in Glasgow earlier this month. Investigators at the ORR and HSE will determine if there are lessons to be learnt, but the loss will be felt by the railway community around the country. All of us at RailStaff extend our deepest condolences to their family, friends and colleagues. It isn’t for me to dismiss the concerns of passengers. Late or cancelled services aren’t just an inconvenience - they disrupt our lives. But, as an insider looking out, I know that Network Rail and the train operators want to find a solution as much as passengers do. There’s no pride in running a railway if it’s failing its passengers, and few take as much pride in their work as the men and women of GB rail. FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.UK




Infrastructure specialists Rail Safety Solutions (RSS) has announced the acquisition of Carillion Welding.

RSS acquires Carillion Welding

The move sees 63 jobs secured and all pre-existing framework contracts transferred over. Richard Toy is the CEO of RSS’s parent company, Auctus Management Group. He said: “This acquisition forms part of our strategic development to expand our range of services and specialisms within the rail and infrastructure sectors, and the ability to provide a specialist welding capability further enhances the strong reputation we have for the provision of niche services.” Karl Dean, former head of welding at Carillion Rail, said that the move is a win for the company, for its clients and staff. He added: “Together we will be better positioned to focus on our mission to provide clients with an extensive range of welding services whilst delivering great customer service. Furthermore, this agreement will ensure support continuity for our client base

and meet all their infrastructure requirements as we move into Control Period 6. “Employees will also benefit from comparative contracts to what they had in place at Carillion along with opportunities to expand their skillsets through training, apprenticeships and staff development courses. The success of the Group, and its subsidiary businesses within the market over the last six years, meant that this merger was our preferred route and the success of this agreement offers our supply chain immediate value as it means that all contracts will be secured.” Elsewhere, train operating company Northern secured almost 250 jobs from Carillion by bringing its Sheffield-based customer experience team in-house and through securing a new contract with facility management firm ISS.

BALLAST UNDERCUTTER. Delivering safety and efficiency. The Stobart Rail Ballast Under Cutters and the process in which they are used has been developed and improved so that ballast can be excavated and replenished without the requirement to remove the track from the infrastructure. The machines working alongside road rail excavators and a team of highly qualified operators can efficiently remove ballast from beneath all track categories: Plain line, single line, switches and crossings, 3rd and 4th rail. They’re also used for: Track lowering, wet beds, removal of contaminated ballast, applying cross fall to the formation, improvement of drainage.



International expansion for TfL Transport for London (TfL) has appointed WSP’s operations director to lead its new international consulting business. Helen Murphy will join TfL as director of commercial consulting and international operations. TfL has said it wants its consulting arm to build on the commercial success it has had licensing its Oyster ticketing technology overseas, which has resulted in Sydney, Miami, Boston and New York all now using the system. TfL said it has carried out market testing and has completed several trial projects. The consulting business will specifically focus on transport planning services, the establishment and management of integrated control centres, and fares and ticketing systems. Earlier this year, local media in Argentina reported that TfL Consulting was part of an international consortium planning to bid for a 12-year concession to operate the Buenos Aires urban rail network. The story was later picked up by The Guardian in the UK. Helen Murphy said: “It’s hugely exciting to be joining TfL and leading such an important business. “TfL is such a highly trusted and world-renowned brand and this is a fantastic opportunity for me to transfer my experience and knowledge to help make a significant contribution to TfL’s commercial revenues.” This won’t be the first time TfL has looked to share its expertise overseas. London Transport International (LTI) was established in 1976 to pursue the same aim,

delivering projects in Dublin, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. According to TfL, although the business was initially profitable, it was eventually wound up in 1992 as it was losing money because of a failure to manage its costs. TfL said it would learn lessons from LTI and will be able to avoid high fixed costs through a partnership model. TfL has also sought to reassure passengers that its international business won’t affect its operations in the UK and that revenue generated will be invested back into its London services. Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at TfL, said: “Our role in delivering for London means that we have developed deep knowledge and experience of integrated transport, complex capital investment programmes and modern digital technologies in signalling, ticketing and data. “It’s great to have Helen on board to help us leverage this expertise to generate new revenue which we can reinvest in further improvements to our services for the millions who rely on them each day.”




A railway in partnership Rail companies of all sizes came together to recognise the industry’s greatest achievements at the Rail Partnership Awards on 7 June. Last held in 2015, the relaunched event was organised by Rail Media on behalf of Network Rail and provided the perfect platform to showcase and celebrate the supply chain’s outstanding work. The resurgence of the ceremony comes at a time when an ever greater emphasis is being placed on nurturing partnerships between the public and private sector.

Difficult two weeks

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne touched on two recent issues - the death of a colleague at Bearsden station in Greater Glasgow and the May timetable change disruptions - during his evening speech and stressed how together the industry must work to ensure they do not happen again. He said: “Together, tonight, we must resolve as leaders in our industry to learn the lessons from this tragedy and to make our mantra of everyone home safe every day a reality and not just an aspiration. We owe it to that young man, we owe it to the thousands of workers in our industry who look to our collective leadership.”

He added: “The last two weeks have also been very difficult for passengers on the network. As an industry, we did not fulfil the promises we made with the May timetable change. I’m not going to explore the reasons for this today, they are multiple, complex and interrelated across the whole industry. “Just like in safety, small, isolated failings have combined in a way that has not delivered the performance that customers rightly expected of us. You have probably all heard me say over the last few years that my number one business philosophy is that safety and performance go hand in hand. When we work together in partnership, we can deliver outstanding safety performance and outstanding business performance.”

15 awards up for grabs

Hundreds turned out for the awards ceremony, which was compered by Pointless show host Alexander Armstrong at the Vox conference centre, Birmingham, hoping their company would bag one of 15 awards up for grabs. The British Transport Police took home the top safety prize for its Incident Response Stretcher, which is designed to run on a rail track yet can be folded to fit into the boot of a car. The equipment was developed Continues on page 8...

Rail staff join the honoured The rail industry has once again featured highly in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne has received a CBE for services to the industry. Two of his Network Rail colleagues, Ian Stevens and Scott Heath, have been awarded an OBE for services to suicide prevention and a BEM for services to the LGBT community respectively. Mark Carne said: “Ian and Scott are tremendous role models and inspirations for our 38,000 employees and the difference we can make in our daily lives.  “Ian has transformed the rail industry’s approach to the difficult subject of suicide on the railway which has included the training of 15,000 railway workers in suicide prevention. His work has contributed to a reduction in suicides on the railway.  “Scott’s work has played a vital role as we strive to become an industry where everyone is treated equally and is able to bring 100% per cent of themselves to work every day.” Others to be recognised included Ian Prosser, the director of railway safety at the ORR, was awarded a CBE, and David Joy, chief executive of London and Continental Railways, was also awarded an OBE. FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.UK




Continued from page 7... by folding bike manufacturer Kinetics following a physically demanding fatality in 2016 in which incident responders had to carry a deceased person in inclement weather over an extended distance to the nearest safe access point. Elsewhere, Buckingham Group was rewarded for its proactive approach to company-wide staff learning and development by taking the Investing in People title. Amey, the first in the industry to gain Leaders in Diversity accreditation, was triumphant in the Diversity and Inclusion category and Rail Safety Solutions was named SME of the Year. Story Rail’s Eden Brows repair works was labelled Best Small Project in a hotly contested category; Siemens’ Birmingham Phase 4&5 work as part of the Birmingham New Street renewals bagged Best Medium Project; and the REAL Alliance (Siemens, VolkerRail, J. Murphy & Sons, TSP and Jacobs) took home the Best Large Project for its work on the East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade. The most coveted award of the evening - Supplier of the Year was judged from the winners of each of the other 14 categories by Mark Carne and former Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme and was this year presented to Siemens. Tom O’Connor, director of event organisers Rail Media, said: “What an honour it has been to bring back an awards ceremony that is held in such high esteem by the industry - and what an incredible night it was. All of the winners, highly commended, runners-up and shortlisted companies should be so proud of their achievements and be so proud of this industry we work in.”

The full list of winners is as follows: Best Collaboration GWR and Network Rail (The Western Alliance) Best Large Project REAL Alliance (ECML Power Supply Upgrade) Best Medium Project Network Rail, Siemens, S&C Alliance South (Birmingham New Street Area Renewals) Best Small Project Story Contracting (Eden Brows Repair Works) Best Use of Technology Siemens Rail Automation, Network Rail (Thameslink High Capacity) Community Engagement Friends of Ally Pally station (Sleepers Awake) Diversity and Inclusion Amey (Creating Better Careers) Driving Efficiencies BCM Construction (ENABLE) Investing in People Buckingham Group Contracting (Company-wide Learning and Development Programme) Preserving History Galliford Try (Carlisle Station Roof Refurbishment) Putting Passengers First WSP (The Thameslink Programme) Safety The British Transport Police (Incident Response Stretcher) Supplier of the Year Siemens SME of the Year Rail Safety Solutions (Working in Partnership with Local Agencies) Sustainable Excellence Panasonic Business, AD Comms, PowerOasis (Off-grid Energy Solution, Worlaby) For more information, head to the Rail Partnership Awards website:


Neil halfway through mudder of all challenges Neil Wightman, a track quality supervisor at Network Rail, is halfway through a year-long, 160-mile fundraising challenge to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. Over the course of 2018, Neil will complete nine Tough Mudders, two MacTuffs, two Tartan Warriors, a Badass Mucker, a Winter Wolf Run, the Great Glencoe Challenge, the Cumbernauld 10k and a Santa Dash. Neil, who is doing all of the endurance courses while wearing a kilt, is raising money for Parkinson’s UK because of his dad, Bert Wightman, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2016. Like his son, Bert also worked on the railway, spending 42 years in the industry. Bert was the area signalling and telecommunications engineer for Scotland East when he retired. Neil, who is based at Glasgow MDU (Maintenance Delivery Unit) in Cowlairs, said: “The railway is a strong presence in our family, as well as my dad and I, my brother and nephew also work in the industry. As a happy coincidence the combined distance of all my events works out at roughly 160 miles, which is the equivalent of running from one end of the section that I cover to the other; Glasgow North covers from Drumgelloch near Airdrie, to Mallaig at the end of the West Highland Line. “I love doing obstacle course races – the dirtier the better! And we are so lucky that there are loads to choose from around the UK. My wife Clair, daughter Abbie and son Logan are also joining in on some of the events so it’s a real

family affair. “The charity does lots of great work to support people like Dad, and I’m delighted to be able to do something that helps them out. “I’m just halfway through my programme of events and I’m delighted to have passed my original target of £1,000. £1,175 so far - all thanks to the support of family, friends and complete strangers who have been so generous. I may still add some more events in, and just to make things a little bit more interesting I am doing all of them wearing a kilt, which usually doubles in weight once it’s wet and covered in mud.” You can follow Neil’s progress and donate on his Just Giving page: fundraising/neil-wightman

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Porterbrook continues recruitment Porterbrook has continued its recent recruitment drive with the appointment of a new director for engineering services and a new head of structured finance. In the last eight months, the Derbybased rolling stock operating company has appointed a new CEO, chief commercial officer, general counsel, head of communications and engagement and head of procurement.  Chartered engineer Jason Groombridge, one of the latest additions, will join Porterbrook on 6 September from SNCLavalin, where he was most recently director of rolling stock. Jason has extensive experience of the rolling stock sector in the UK and Australia. In his new role he will take responsibility for all engineering activities delivered by the business, including day-to-day customer support, whole-life asset management and future strategy. CEO Mary Grant said: “This new role, director of engineering services, will help deliver on our commitment to proactively

support our existing and future customers. “Jason will also be responsible for ensuring that we deploy the very latest technology and engineering solutions to make our trains attractive to the passengers, operators and stakeholders of tomorrow’s railway.” Jason added: “I am very excited to be joining Porterbrook, which has a growing reputation for both technical innovation and customer service. My role will be to drive both these forward by ensuring our fleets meet the developing needs of our customers and the future demands of their passengers.” Last month Porterbrook also appointed Stefan Rose as head of structured finance. Stefan will leave his current role in UBS Asset Management’s infrastructure debt team in July. Over the course of his career Stefan has accumulated more than 18 years’ experience in pan-European infrastructure projects, including the financing of a number of landmark rail and rolling stock projects. Prior to joining UBS Asset Management, Stefan worked at Edmond de Rothschild and also Mizuho Bank.

Heathrow Southern Railway appoints CEO The board of Heathrow Southern Railway Limited (HSRL) has announced the promotion of Graham Cross to CEO. Graham joined HSRL in 2017 and has worked closely with Steve Costello as a co-executive director. The HSRL board decided to promote Graham at Steve’s request to recognise the importance of clear leadership at the next critical stages for the project. HSRL is an independent venture leading a project to

build around 13 km of new rail infrastructure along the M25 from the west side of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 station to Chertsey. Creating a new link to the existing Windsor-Staines line will allow direct services to run between Heathrow and London Waterloo via Clapham Junction, Putney, Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond and Staines. HSRL chair Baroness Jo Valentine said: “With the UK Department for Transport and other stakeholders now actively engaged in securing a privately financed railway to Heathrow and resolving this decades-old issue, HSRL is pleased to be able to place its full trust and executive authority with such a seasoned infrastructure development expert as Graham Cross. “We also look forward to continuing to work with Steve Costello whose drive and vision has brought us to where we are today. Steve will continue to be heavily involved as an executive director as we go forward.”


In his new role Stefan will be responsible for Porterbrook’s relations with the financial community, as well as managing the financing of the business. His focus will be to ensure that Porterbrook is at the forefront of financing developments in the UK rolling stock sector. Stefan Rose added: “I look forward to joining Porterbrook as it embarks on this journey to secure substantial new investment in the UK rail industry. “I will work with the team to ensure maximum value is delivered to our customers from these investments and build strong and long-term relationships with our financial stakeholders and across the financing community.”

O'Toole calls time FirstGroup’s Tim O’Toole has stepped down from the company’s board and as CEO with immediate effect. The news comes after the firm announced losses of £327 million in the year to 31 March, a stark contrast to the profit of £153 million the previous year. FirstGroup chair Wolfhart Hauser, who will become executive chair until a successor is appointed, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Tim for his distinguished leadership of the company since 2010. “During that time the Group has reinvested in its businesses, restored free cash generation and substantially strengthened its balance sheet. “The Group is now a more stable and resilient enterprise, with a growing ability to capitalise on its leading positions in diverse transport markets.” O’Toole added: “The time is right for me to step aside. Today’s results clear the way for the new approach sought by our

chairman and the board. “I should like to thank the 100,000 employees who work so hard to deliver for our customers every day. It has been a privilege to work with them.” Matthew Gregory will be appointed interim chief operating officer with immediate effect, and will also continue his responsibilities as chief financial officer. FirstGroup owns TransPennine Express, open access operator Hull Trains, Great Western Railway and operates London’s Tramlink system. It also owns the train company South Western Railway alongside MTR.

London Bridge attack hero set to return to work A British Transport Police (BTP) officer who tackled armed terrorists during the London Bridge attack has spoken of his ongoing rehabilitation a year on. On 3 June, 2017, three terrorists drove into pedestrians and then stabbed people in the London Bridge and Borough Market area, killing eight and injuring 48 others. PC Wayne Marques was stabbed repeatedly and left with major knife wounds after confronting the trio armed with only a baton. The story of Wayne’s extraordinary bravery in the face of grave danger stole the headlines and saw Wayne receive overwhelming messages of support from the public. Marking the first anniversary of the tragedy, BTP has released an interview with the officer, in which he talks about his recovery. “I’m just trying to get as much of me back as possible,” said Wayne, who is currently undergoing a run walk programme. “I’ve still got far to go but I’m on my way.” Wayne is planning to return to work in July but admitted that he tries not to plan too far ahead as he suffers setbacks –

such as from the cold weather experienced earlier this year and days when he wakes up in so much pain that he is unable to train. Putting the physical recovery to one side, Wayne said it is a “completely different ball game” trying to convince his “ma and pops and partner” that it is the right thing to return to work. But the touching letters and words from the public have helped. Wayne added: “The public, they’ve been inspiring. “I can only say thank you very much. It was both needed and appreciated.” On 3 June, a minute’s silence was held across the country in memory of those lost and harmed in the London Bridge terrorist attack.

Frazer-Nash strengthens rail team Frazer-Nash Consultancy has appointed Mark Leech to its growing rail business. Mark, who has 25 years’ experience in the industry working for the likes of London Underground and Balfour Beatty, will work on the development of maintenance optimisation strategies. Phil Harris, Frazer-Nash Transport and Infrastructure Group’s senior business

executive, said: “With expertise in asset management, cost and budget models for track assets, concept development and risk management, Mark’s skills and knowledge will provide a great complement to those of our existing strong team of rail consultants. His appointment into our rail team, led by Richard Wheldon, will support the ongoing growth in our rail business, and further broaden our capability across infrastructure systems.”




Cutler to head Van Elle Nottinghamshire-based piling and ground engineering specialist Van Elle has appointed a new chief executive. Incumbent Jon Fenton, who announced he was stepping down in November because of a serious illness in the family, is to be replaced by Mark Cutler. Cutler joins from Balfour Beatty, where he was the managing director of the construction and engineering divisions and was recently managing director of the Balfour Beatty and VINCI HS2 joint venture. He has also worked at Tarmac and Carillion from 1990-2006 and was chief executive of Barhale Construction between 2010-2014. Fenton left Van Elle on 18 May and will be replaced by Steve Prendergast on an interim basis until Cutler starts out in his new role. Chair Adrian Barden said: “We wish Jon and his family well for the future, and thank him for his contribution to the company over the past eight years, including the

successful IPO in 2016. “We are delighted that Mark is joining Van Elle. He is highly regarded across the industry and will be bringing with him a wealth of valuable experience across all our major sectors, especially in rail and housing where we have many opportunities to build on our already strong market positions. “Ensuring a smooth leadership transition process has been a key focus of the board, and we are pleased that Steve will be able to step in to support the management team over the next few months.”

Experienced tunneller to lead HS2 JV The Align joint venture (JV), which is delivering the C1 works package in the central area of HS2 Phase One, has appointed a new project director. Senior Bouygues civil engineer Daniel Altier takes over from Jérôme Furgé, who has returned to one of the JV’s companies, Bouygues Travaux Publics, to run their UK business development division. Daniel has significant tunnelling expertise from his 30-years-plus working on major infrastructure projects, including work delivering Lok Ma Chau station in Hong Kong. Daniel Altier said: “HS2 is one of the most important highspeed rail projects in the world, and I am proud to be entrusted

with such a challenging and inspiring enterprise. “I have inherited a team of closely collaborative and expert individuals at Align, all of whom share boundless enthusiasm for the communities we serve, and the innovative thinking that goes behind the design and delivery of this momentous legacy for Britain’s future.” Align consists of: Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick. The C1 works package covers the Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley viaduct. This includes 21.6km of high-speed rail infrastructure, a 3.37km viaduct, 15.75km twin-tubes tunnel and five vent shafts handling both piston effect and tunnel ventilation.





Olympic legacy for Hackney Wick A £25 million redevelopment of Hackney Wick station on the London Overground’s North London Line has been completed.


BTP opens first regional counter-terrorism unit The British Transport Police (BTP) has opened its first regional counter-terrorism unit as part of a “major uplift” in its counter-terrorism capabilities. BTP said the introduction of the unit at Birmingham New Street station is in response to the terrorist incidents that took place in 2017, which saw BTP at the forefront of the national policing response. Superintendent Chris Horton, BTP specialist operations, stressed that the Midlands hub is not being introduced in relation to any specific intelligence or threat but as part of longer-term plans. A second regional unit is expected to open in the North West later this year. A team of firearms officers and a specialist support dog and handler will work from the unit alongside regular BTP officers. Supt Horton added: “We want the public to be reassured that wherever they go on the rail network, we have highly trained people there to protect them if needed. “The opening of the Midlands hub provides us with a regional base for our specialist operations teams which means we can better respond to incidents should they occur, as well as patrol the network more effectively, reaching


The principal funder for the project is the London Legacy Development Corporation - an organisation which was set up in 2012 to deliver a positive physical legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games. The footbridge at Hackney Wick has been replaced by a new underpass which runs north-south beneath the railway. A new ticket hall has also been built with new stairwells and lifts providing access to the station platforms. Tower Hamlets Council and Hackney Council, which have both provided £1 million for the scheme, hope the station’s redevelopment will boost employment and housing in the area. Hackney Wick was officially opened by Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail and London Legacy Development Corporation, on 24 May. Sir Peter Hendy CBE said: “This is not only a timely investment for the increasing number of passengers who use the station every day, but it’s also a boost to the local economy and community. “This upgrade will bring new homes and businesses to the area as well as support the existing ones to thrive even further. Passengers can access services and local businesses more quickly and easily than before and it’s clear to see how this station will play a vital role in the transformation of this area of east London.” Rosanna Lawes, executive director of development at London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “The redevelopment of Hackney Wick station forms the first phase part of the overall delivery of a vibrant new mixed-use neighbourhood centre for the area. “Over the coming years, we will work with Tower Hamlets Council and Hackney Council to deliver Hackney Wick Central; a new development providing low-cost studios, new employment space, retail and community facilities, and around 900 new homes. “It’s fantastic to see the Wick’s industrial heritage in buildings and the waterways reflected in the design of the revamped station, which will serve not only the existing community but all those attracted to the new homes and jobs being created.”

most of the country in a relatively short space of time. “Our specialist officers are there to reassure, protect and respond to any incident should the need arise. They will be highly visible on the network and particularly around Birmingham New Street station, engaging with the public every day so people will get used to seeing them around.” Specialist BTP officers have been patrolling stations and on trains outside London since 2017. They receive training on working in confined environments, such as trains and stations, and take part in regular exercises across the network.

Engineers working on the remodelling of Liverpool Lime Street were transported back in time after coming across a plate layers’ hut hidden deep in the station tunnels. The small shelter, thought to be more than 100 years old, has its own fireplace and chimney. Track gangs would have taken their breaks in the hut and, even now, there is an old kettle, cups and tongs. With the onset of the final major phase of the Grade IIlisted station’s transformation, engineers had the opportunity to pass along the track and take a photo of the historic hut, which is only accessible when no trains are running. Network Rail project manager Graeme Whitehead said: “In years gone by, track maintenance gangs would have come here, they’d have had their lunch, a cup of coffee, lit the fire, and waited in-between trains. “We have no plans to do anything with it, it will stay here, it’s protected beneath the tunnels




Lime Street history unearthed

and will remain locked in history forever more.” Permanent way huts or plate layers’ huts were built to provide track gangs with a place to shelter from the weather and store tools. The huts vary in size and construction, and can still be spotted around the network today.

Automatic braking system for Croydon A new system that automatically applies the brakes if the speed limit is exceeded at high risk locations on London’s Tramlink tram network could be installed by the end of 2019. The new safety measure is one of a number of changes Transport for London (TfL) is introducing in the wake of the Croydon tram crash. Seven passengers died and more than 50 were left injured when a tram derailed and overturned at Sandilands junction on the London tram network on 9 November, 2016. Marking the beginning of the tender process for the new system, TfL rail director Jonathan Fox said that the organisation’s thoughts remain with those affected by the tragedy and that these initiatives are to ensure that “such a tragedy never happens again.” Following the qualification process, an official invitation to tender will be issued in the summer with the contract due to be awarded by the end of 2018. Work began on the feasibility of introducing an automatic braking system shortly after the tragedy as part of a wider programme that has already seen: a permanent speed reduction across the tram network, more speed monitoring, enhanced signage at significant bends, and the installation of a driver protection device that alerts to any incident of fatigue, distraction or speeding. The new system will automatically bring a moving tram to a controlled stop if it were to exceed the speed limit at a designated location. It will also automatically alert the operations control centre. Although initially configured to 'priority' locations, identified by the Rail Accident Investigations Branch, the system can be introduced elsewhere on the tram network.

Waking up to fatigue RSSB has published new guidance to help railway businesses to better manage the risk of fatigue. The project, which was sponsored by Costain, has been delivered to make staff at all levels aware of their responsibility to manage fatigue. Resources include self-check manuals for individuals to assess fatigue levels, symptoms to look out for in colleagues and models for planning time effectively. These materials are available on the RSSB website. Data gathered by RSSB illustrates the size of the problem. It found that 20 per cent of highrisk incidents can be caused by fatigue resulting from long working hours, heavy workloads and lack of sleep. Ian Parker, Costain sector director for rail, said: “For the safety of both the industry’s workforce and those using our rail networks every day we must stay informed on how best to manage fatigue and its symptoms. It is positive to see more companies across the rail industry re-evaluating and developing their current fatigue standards and we, together with RSSB, hope the materials we have created will play a key role in their training. “Fatigue can develop both

quickly and over time and so ensuring that everyone is aware of how to not only manage the impact of their own tiredness and workload but others around them could help reduce the number of high-risk rail incidents going forward.” Dan Basacik, lead human factors specialist, RSSB, said: “Fatigue is one of the 12 priority areas in the rail industry’s health and safety strategy, and we are proud of the work we have done with our members to create practical resources to help companies and individuals manage fatigue. We hope that the RSSB website will become the one-stop-shop for our industry’s fatigue management needs.” For more information you can contact RSSB’s fatigue team on .





TRANSFORMING WALES AND BORDERS New trains, investment in infrastructure and hundreds of additional staff have been promised in the new 15-year Wales and Borders franchise. KeolisAmey, the same partnership which runs Manchester Metrolink and Docklands Light Railway, will take over the franchise later this year from Arriva Trains Wales as the Operator and Development Partner (ODP) - a new kind of combined operator and infrastructure manager. MTR was the only other bidder left in the running after Arriva and Abellio both withdrew their bids. Abellio’s decision was prompted by the collapse of its infrastructure partner, Carillion, in January this year. The new operator will work closely with Transport for Wales (TfW), which was given greater powers by the Department for Transport to shape the specification for the new franchise, to deliver the Welsh government’s vision for a new South Wales Metro. The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, and transport secretary Ken Skates officially announced the new contract and disclosed a detailed franchise brief at the Railway Training Centre at Coleg y Cymoedd, Nantgarw, on 4 June.

New trains

Wales will benefit from £5 billion worth of investment in its rail network over the life of the new franchise, according to the Welsh government, including £800 million for new trains - half of which will have to be assembled in Wales. The average age of trains on the Wales and Borders route is 27 years old. Under the new franchise deal, 95 per cent of journeys will be made on brand new trains by 2023. KeolisAmey has revealed that its new fleet will include tri-mode trains for services from Penarth, Barry and Bridgend to destinations north of Cardiff Central.


CAF, which is currently building a new site in Newport, has confirmed that it has been chosen as the preferred bidder to supply new vehicles for the franchise. More details are expected to be announced later this month. Vivarail has also been selected to supply five of its Class 230 D-Trains. Richard Garner, CAF’s UK director, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by KeolisAmey as the preferred bidder to supply vehicles for the Wales and Borders rail franchise. “We look forward to working with the company and playing our part in its commitment to transforming the railway and

supporting the growth of the local economy and improving the environment. Our high-quality, reliable and comfortable vehicles will enhance customer experience across this important rail network.”

New services

As well as the huge financial investment in infrastructure and rolling stock, the announcement describes a raft of additional services and improvements for passengers, including smart ticketing, and by December 2023, an additional 285 services will run each weekday - an increase of 29 per cent. As well as free Wi-Fi on 85 per cent of journeys by 2024, Sunday services will be increased by 61 per cent, with an additional 294 services to be introduced, creating a seven-day-a-week service. Alistair Gordon, chief executive of Keolis UK, said: “We are excited about the transformation we’re going to deliver here in Wales, working alongside Amey once again and in partnership with Transport for Wales. “For too long the railways in Wales have suffered from under investment and, while the changes we need to make will take time, we are creating a platform for future economic growth and prosperity that will benefit all of Wales now and for generations to come.


“We are also looking forward to working with the very proud and dedicated men and women running the railway in Wales today, who will join us on this exciting journey.”


“In five years’ time, the railway will be unrecognisable from what it is today thanks to the vision of the Welsh Government. We can’t wait to get started.” An extra 600 members of staff will be recruited - 200 of which will be on-train customer service staff - to deliver the additional services and 30 apprenticeships will be created each year over the duration of the franchise. Keolis UK plans to move its headquarters from London to Wales by 2019, and its global rail division from Paris to Wales by 2020. Seven new community rail partnerships, which will employ around 30 ambassadors, will be established as well. Andy Milner, Amey’s chief executive, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to use our joint capabilities to deliver a first-rate service for Wales and its communities. As well as creating new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities, we will be focused on upgrading the existing infrastructure and introducing new trains to significantly improve the passenger experience.
We are looking forward to working with Transport for Wales in a partnership which will see the full replacement of all trains, and major upgrades.

The announcement provided further details about the South Wales Metro proposals. KeolisAmey suggested that new light rail connections on the Core Valley Lines will form part of the proposals, which will primarily focus on reducing journey times and increasing service frequency. At least four new light rail stations will be built in Cardiff (Gabalfa, Crwys Road, Loudoun Square and the Flourish) as part of the new Metro system and a £194 million fund will be used to upgrade the existing 247 stations around the network. Outside Cardiff, £738 million will be spent electrifying and upgrading the valley lines to



Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymney and Coryton. The Welsh government is also looking to follow the Dutch railway’s lead and use only renewable energy sources to power its overhead line electrification and stations. Carwyn Jones said: “The way we shaped this procurement was different. We put passengers’ priorities at the centre of our thinking and threw out a challenge to all of the bidders to address the concerns they had about seat capacity, journey times and service frequency. “People said they wanted affordable fares and newer, cleaner trains and we have worked hard to ensure this is reflected in what we are launching today. “This is a chance not simply to build a modern, forward-looking transport system, but to use it as an important tool to shape the life of the nation around us.”

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n 17 May, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) published its annual report for last year. In many ways it is their best yet in the way it is laid out and the information it contains. I hope it will serve as a useful reminder to all those involved in working on our railway systems, both light and heavy!


Inevitably it begins with the Sandilands Junction Croydon incident which RAIB’s Chief Inspector Simon French describes as a “tragic and momentous event” that resulted in “our most complex and extensive investigation to date”. That accident resulted in the deaths of seven passengers, serious injuries to 19, and psychological trauma to many others. The

report acknowledges the cooperation of other statutory bodies including specifically the British Transport Police and the Office of Rail and Road. It also mentions the short video RAIB has produced, based on their investigation findings, and the recommendations they made as a result of the investigation.

Five categories

During 2017, RAIB published 18 investigation reports and 19 Safety Digests. In terms of the potential consequences, the report singles out the September 2016 Watford Tunnel derailment as the most significant. It highlights landslips, earthworks management and extreme weather as areas of particular concern. It picks Twyford station out as the most unusual accident, where a wheelchair moved on the platform and was struck by three freight wagons in turn. It goes on to summarise the investigations completed in 2017 as falling into five categories:

1. Signallers actions and level crossings 2. Earthworks and structures failures 3. Narrowly avoided accidents with track workers and moving trains 4. The actions of fatigued workers 5. Potential accidents during the installation and commissioning of new infrastructure, especially when working under pressure.

Level of harm still dropping

Back in 2014, the average time to investigate and then publish a report was around a year, with much of the time being spent on consultation with those involved. However, whilst adhering I believe to the same standards, the average time taken (excluding Class



FOR 2017

Investigations) fell last year to under 10 months. In 2017, 71 recommendations were made in the 19 published reports. The annual report notes that, “it is now four years since a track worker was last killed by a moving train” and that overall what it describes as the “level of harm” has been steadily dropping since the 1980s. However, Simon French adds that the RAIB “remains concerned about the number of narrowly avoided collisions between trains and track workers”.

He lists no fewer than eight such incidents from his 2017 reports including their class investigation into accidents and near misses involving track workers outside possessions. I am aware and indeed every month find myself writing about such occurrences.

Driver did not understand The most recent near miss I know about happened on 2 March this year at Stafford station and involved a train

driver. He was driving the 12.35 pm Manchester to London Euston Virgin Train service and stopped at Stafford station to attend to a fault. It was around 1.34 pm when an “unsolicited brake application” caused the train to stop. When the driver released the brakes they automatically applied again. He spoke to the signaller and asked for the train to be routed into platform 1 for examination. However, the signaller could not do so as another train was already routed onto the Up Stafford Fast line.



Colin Wheeler.

What (as described in the report published on 23 May) followed was a lengthy conversation with information repeated back several times including point numbers and listings of protecting signals. However, the driver did not understand that he was not being provided with protection on the Down Stafford Fast line. The signaller did not record the line blockage details at the time nor did he read them in summary from to the driver reminding him that the Down Stafford Fast line was still open to traffic.





Driver laid down on the track

The driver accompanied by another member of the train crew walked round the end of the train and began examining it from the Down Stafford Fast line. The northbound train was approaching at 85 mph when its driver saw someone on the track at the back of the stationary train as he passed the front of it! The driver on the track moved clear just three seconds before the other train passed him. To do so he resorted to lying down on the track adjacent to his own train! The RAIB report comments that “this incident demonstrates the importance of signallers and drivers reaching a clear understanding when a driver needs to arrange protection on the track and examine their train”. The driver avoided injury but was badly shaken by the incident.

240 volt cable injured passengers

Whilst not a structural failure, the incident that occurred at Y Fenni (Abergavenny) station on 27 July last year is the subject of the recently published RAIB report 06/2018. At 6.05 pm that day the Cardiff Central to Holyhead train (a Class 67 hauling four coaches and a driving van trailer [DVT]) entered the station on its northbound journey. As it did so a cable drooping down below the footbridge soffit got caught up on the train roof. The train movement then dragged the cable free from the distribution cabinet. The flaying free cable end then struck a group of passengers who were on the footbridge stairs injuring three of them. A member of the station staff ducked as it passed over his head to avoid injury.

Cable drooping by 17 cm

The cable was a 240 volt AC power cable supplying Abergavenny signal box. This cable had become detached from the footbridge cable tray to which it had been attached by nylon cable ties. The other cables in the tray were secured by metal cleats. The investigation discovered that the electrical wiring had not been periodically checked nor had there been a report of the cable drooping below the footbridge. It adds that “Network Rail had no controls in place for the management of low voltage electrical supply cables crossing operational railway lines via over-line structures”.


Train operators responsibilities

Arriva Wales were the train operator and they also run the station under a Network Rail lease which includes responsibility for the steps and handrails of the footbridge. Photographs taken in 2011 show the grey cable drooping from the cable tray. A February 2016 picture shows the telecommunications cable drooping by around a metre and the power cable by 10 cm. This had increased to 17 cm by July last year. The RAIB recommendations include the replacement of the cable tray, the documentation of controls for cable management across operational lines, and the identification of cabling with the potential to droop and be struck by trains!

Trapped by closing door

A passenger becoming trapped in closing doors is another emotive and current concern for us all. Another such incident occurred at around 9.24 pm on 26 March at Bushey station in Hertfordshire. A passenger attempted to board a train as the doors were closing. He became trapped by the doors as the train started to move away. The train ran on for 27 metres before it was stopped. The passenger remained on his feet throughout but suffered minor injuries to his arm. RAIB are investigating.

They thought the line was blocked

On 15 May, Network Rail posted a report on their Safety Central website which I suggest underlines the RAIB’s concerns on avoiding collisions between track workers and trains. On 27 March, a team of four were patrolling over the Four Arch Bridge near Boxhill in Surrey. At short notice the direction of patrolling had been reversed. Both the Person in Charge (PIC) and the Controller of Site Safety (COSS) had been advised and had received “a number of Safe Work Packs for the patrol”. As the team began their inspection over the limited clearance bridge, they believed that the line was blocked. Fortunately the advanced lookout saw a passenger train approaching them on the Down Line and warned the team so that they all reached a place of safety in time. The COSS had earlier requested and been granted a blockage and this had been given for a location two miles away to be taken later in the patrol!

Are there too many heavy rail rules and processes?

I share the concerns of the RAIB about people working on the track and moving trains. Arguably we now have too many documented procedures and processes many of which originated from incidents that were developed as Rule Book amendments following accidents and incidents in the past. The plethora of rules is of limited use to those who work on the tracks, and the same may be said of the amount of information included in work packs. The ways in which work is planned and carried out have changed radically in recent years. Has the time come for us to move using digital railway and more rail specific safety planning tools and a paper free system which is more easily understood by those doing work? Fundamentally, I suggest the length of the Rule Book now undermines its usefulness and relevance.

A short single volume Rule Book

Surely the time has come for a major overhaul and rewriting of a much simpler and shorter set of rules? The legal profession might not like it, but I recommend a return to rules which can easily be read and understood by those who do the work; a situation which arguably the industry abandoned many years ago. (Just imagine how long it would take now to read aloud every relevant rule to track workers on days when the weather prevents working on track!) When this is done and endorsed by local supervisors and management the degree of commitment of the staff concerned will surely increase and we will become even safer? I am looking for the spirit of the past when, even if you were working for an unpopular boss, you did all that you could every day at work, “for the good of the railway”. If that culture had existed at Abergavenny surely the staff who saw and, I guess, commented on the untidy cables on the footbridge would have taken the initiative to get things put right! If workers are skilled, the written briefings per shift should surely result in just a single one-sided sheet, and I can remember working with just such a system.





Left to right; Stephen Docherty (S&T Technician), Alex Fleming (Welding Manager), Jim Stevenson (Pway Works Manager), Scott Mayle (Head of Rail, Sco


ith more than 2,000 sponsored staff, Vital is one of Britain’s largest suppliers of rail contingent labour. Its clients rely on it to supply the highly skilled people required to build and service the railway and these staff rely on it to plan their futures. In 2016, Vital established a new projects division which would harness the skills and experience of its contingent labour force to directly deliver a variety of infrastructure works, including planning, design, surveying, construction and compliance. As well as being able to deploy sponsored staff on projects for clients, it would have its own pipeline of work to provide stability in what can, at times, be an uncertain market. “When I came to the business I didn’t really understand what it was to be a contingent labour worker,” said Scott Mayle, who was appointed in 2016 to head up Vital’s Projects alongside career railwayman James Stevenson.

SUSTAINABLE CONTINGENT LABOUR Vital Projects’ first opportunity to prove its credentials came on the Motherwell North Signalling Renewal (MNSR) project. Siemens was mid-way through its preparatory schedule for the commissioning of new signalling workstations (1 and 2), when its existing p-way contractor was forced into closure. Although it was up against a number of more established contractors, Vital submitted its tender for the remaining packages and was successful. Shortly after that, the next phase of MNSR (workstation 3) was tendered and won, securing Vital’s place at the side of Siemens in Scotland. RAILSTAFF.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF

Vital Projects has gone on to win packages of work for clients including Taziker, Costain and Network Rail, allowing the Vital Projects team to grow exponentially to meet the needs of its key clients. The business is now looking to acquire its principal contractor license and pursue new opportunities in the North West, South West and on the LNW route. “The Vital Projects business has succeeded due in no small part to the well-established infrastructure and personnel Vital, as a labour supplier, had in place,” said Scott. “On the successful award of a contract, we build a project team in its essence, with a number of key direct staff, project managers, supervisors, engineers, supplemented by our Vital Rail labour pool of skilled track, civil and S&T staff. “These supplementary staff join the project, and enjoy regular hours, building and delivering a programme of work, and being part of a team trusted to deliver. They will often be upskilled, either through training to suit a role, or more readily by working continually in a set environment with a consistent experienced team. They move out of the realm of contingent labour to critical labour, as they are at that point an essential part of the team, and are treated as such.” Scott talks about the need for sustainable contingent labour. Both sustainable for businesses that need reliable skilled labour and the individuals who want consistent employment. “We often forget what it is to be a contingent worker,” said Scott. “These hard-working individuals are often viewed as a pair of hands on site, rarely engaged in a plan, and even more rarely aware of the requirement for what they are doing in the first place.  “The spark we see in a new member of a project team as we talk them through a plan and ask for their opinion is incredible. Equally incredible is the number of good ideas and opportunities these contingent workers offer when they are finally given the chance.”





otland), Dylan Miller (PWay Supervisor), Andy Kelly (Resource Manager)


The labour supply and projects businesses naturally support one another, said Scott. He believes that the project delivery function is helping to enhance safety standards and skills development. Scott said: “The benefit Vital Projects has in being supported directly by one of the largest suppliers of rail labour and professional service staff is unquestionable, but what we have found is that the benefit in return to the divisions of Vital which we engage and borrow from is equally measurable. “On the completion of a project or contract, the team which we have built return to their contingent or professional division with a wealth of experience, an understanding of project delivery, from cradle to grave, and undoubtedly better behaviours and understanding of rail projects. I have no doubt this will be the foundation of many men and women changing their view on the rail industry from being a stop gap to a career.” To aid the development of its sponsored staff, Vital has introduced a mentorship programme where experienced team members help guide newly trained staff. Scott believes the programme prevents scenarios where trainees are put into challenging, time-critical possessions only shortly after swapping their blue hard hat for a white one. “Our mentors are typically longer-serving team members, usually at supervisor or engineer status, who are skilled at the task at hand, but also on how best to coach an individual on the job. Not just how a tool or machine is used safely, but why the work needs to take place at all, who the client is, what to look out for on a site, where to go for a break, make them feel comfortable and supported. “The programme enables two key factors. Firstly it allows us at Vital to understand what works the individual has undertaken and competent to deliver – to the benefit of the client. The mentors record shifts and works delivered by each mentee along with a level of competence. 

“Secondly, it is to the benefit of the mentee and Vital, as shifts are undertaken the mentor can see through the app how much on-site practice their mentee’s have at these types of works, allowing them to gauge how much assistance they will require and either sign off as competent when the time is right or raise note for requirement for further training; eventually giving us a more confident and capable team member who is generally more able to understand not only the how when it comes to tasks, but also the why.”

BEST MOVE Scott began his railway career with Network Rail in 2001, working on the issue of gauge corner cracking, which came to

prominence following the Hatfield rail crash the previous year. “Certainly it’s the best move I could have made and I’m glad I made it,” said Scott, reflecting on the opportunity he was given in 2016. “It’s great to have that comfort and support but just that free rein to do what needs to be done.”







All photos © Crossrail

he may have a lifetime of royal engagements behind her, but in December Her Majesty The Queen will experience a first as she opens a brand new railway bearing her name. There are now only six months to go until the opening of the tunnelled section of the Elizabeth line between Paddington and Abbey Wood. It has taken just six years from the launch of the first Crossrail tunnel boring machine to excavate and fit out the 42 km network of tunnels for one of Europe’s biggest construction projects but, for many contractors and suppliers, it will feel like the end of an era.


The project has reached a stage where major milestones are being celebrated on an almost daily basis. The overhead line has now been switched on between Westbourne Park and Stepney, fully energising the Elizabeth line tunnels, and testing of automatic train control is underway between Abbey Wood and Canary Wharf. The May timetable change provided another surge towards the finishing line. Elizabeth line Class 345s are now operating between Paddington and Heathrow. Known as stage two, it sees TfL Rail taking over the Heathrow Connect services between Paddington and Heathrow terminals 2/3 and 4, and a half hourly Great Western Railway (GWR) service from Paddington to Hayes & Harlington. At Infrarail 2018, Crossrail’s engineering director, Chris Binns, neatly summarised the project’s journey to date, detailing the engineering challenges faced.


Following the opening of the tunnels in December, the next big milestone will be to connect the central core with the western and eastern approaches in May 2019. The weekend before the opening of the 2018 Infrarail exhibition, signalling and platform clearance testing was being completed outside the ExCeL venue at the nearby Custom House station. Chris said engineers were still working on the complicated interface between the three different signalling systems used across the route. It is a reminder that the Elizabeth line will be one of the most advanced railways in the world and that its construction has facilitated various advances in design and construction practices.

LEARNING LEGACY Through the Innovate18 programme, which will live on outside of the project as the i3P

innovation scheme, Crossrail and its contractors have developed and trialled various new construction techniques. Crossrail was one of the first rail projects to employ drones to carry out inspections and certainly one of the first to embed building information modelling (BIM) so deeply in the construction of a new railway. Crossrail has taken steps to ensure this knowledge is not lost. Through its dedicated website, Crossrail’s Learning Legacy has shared a huge bank of resources on topics such as skills, health and safety, procurement and engineering. It provides a template to help guide future transport schemes and, no doubt, will provide a solid foundation for Crossrail 2. Crossrail’s Learning Legacy programme was modelled on the legacy scheme launched off the back of London 2012. The different departments within Crossrail were asked to collate useful guidance and resources which could be added to the programme’s website every few months. The first batch of material was uploaded in 2016 and there are now almost 600 documents online. Some of this material has also been disseminated by the professional institutions and associations. “You can’t just take it and say do all of that and your major projects will work, but it more or less covers everything your organisation needs to set up,” said Simon Bennett, head of learning legacy at Crossrail.





S SHOW THE ELIZABETH HAPE AHEAD OF ITS ENING The two most popular items cover project governance and performance assurance. The latter included a document which showed how Crossrail’s contractors were performing against a number of key measures. As a result of its publication, the project experienced a 47 per cent increase in performance from its delivery partners. “A lot of projects and a lot of companies do a ‘lessons learned’ at the end of the project and put it on a shelf,” said Simon. “It should be possible to make those shelves more visible.” HS2 is looking to learn from Crossrail’s approach and Simon believes Learning Legacy could be a useful resource for major projects around the world, but only if projects are willing to learn from their mistakes and

share information openly and honestly. Simon said: “It should be a total no brainer - if we’re going to transform construction and major projects we’ve got to share knowledge.”


As each station starts to resemble the CGI graphics that have become so familiar, the modern approach to station design which has been employed on the Elizabeth line becomes apparent. Very little was left to chance, with designers and ergonomics experts carrying out a significant amount of prototyping to help finalise the look and feel of stations. A mock-up station was even built at the Crossrail test centre in Leighton Buzzard to test out different materials and finishes. Many of the stations have incorporated design elements that reflect the appearance and culture of the surrounding area. Canary Wharf has been designed to look like a huge ship moored in the North Dock and the theatre-style lighting at Tottenham Court Road reflects the surrounding West End.

The design of Tottenham Court Road also demonstrates the forward thinking that is required with major transport schemes. The station has been built with passive provision for the pedestrian tunnels which will connect the shared ticket hall with the future Crossrail 2 platforms. It is a reminder of how London’s surging population will allow little time for engineers to look back and admire what has been achieved with Crossrail. Chris said it had been “such a privilege“ to work on the project, which will hand over the first completed infrastructure to Transport for London later this year. A period of trial operation and commissioning will follow ahead of the opening of the Elizabeth line in December. It will no doubt be a proud day for each one of the tens of thousands of people that helped deliver it.






THE INSTITUTE OF RISK MANAGEMENT (IRM) ASKS ITS MEMBERS WHAT WORKING IN RISK IS REALLY LIKE AND WHAT HINTS AND TIPS THEY’D SHARE WITH PEOPLE LOOKING TO MOVE INTO THE INDUSTRY. How did you get your job? I joined Network Rail five years ago in an assurance role setting up second line audit and assurance within a department. However Risk and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) were really the areas I wanted to continue working in so when an opportunity came up to join the Group Risk team I took it. With my background and knowledge I took over the head role within a year.

My journey into risk is different to most I think as I come from a production/manufacturing background. I started off on the shop floor straight from school, moved into test and inspection and from there into quality assurance. I often worked for companies that produced equipment for the MOD so that gave me an understanding of compliance and assurance regimes far more rigorous than general manufacturing. My foray into risk came from information assurance but it was through the various compliance frameworks I was responsible for (ISO9001, ISO27001, ISO22301 etc) and assurance against them that gave me a privileged view of the business and access to the most senior people. A Head of Risk role is a fantastic role as you can influence strategy and also play a key part in the success of the business.

What’s a typical day like as head of group risk?

Mainly meetings…. This can be frustrating when you have reports to write and would like at some point to read at least one of the dozen Economist magazines piling up. However, risk isn’t managed via spreadsheets and IT systems. People manage risk and therefore the more I can get people to talk and understand the environment, the current controls, the key causes and potential impacts the better. I see one of my key strengths as the ability to join people up with each other. Sometimes we forget that we have an oversight that most others do not so they may not know who else is working on something that could help them.

What do you enjoy most about your job? I love to know what’s going on, not just because I’m nosey (aren’t we all) but because I truly love business and love being part of business decision making.



What are the challenges? There are many as with all jobs but in both a senior leader role and one such as head of risk you feel an enormous obligation to the business and ownership if anything goes wrong. With a business as complex as Network Rail visibility of risks and their management across and at all levels of the business is difficult. The administrative side of risk is necessary but often done last or not at all as people are busy dealing with the day to day operational challenges. So providing people with opportunity (time) to step back and think more broadly and strategically is often hard but always appreciated.

In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant? Enormously – I took the Diploma and could not have got to the position I have without it.



How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions? Has being linked to the IRM helped?

What would you say to others thinking about joining IRM as a member? Definitely join! This is still a relatively new profession and we need more people with more diverse backgrounds to

input into debate. There are still many areas of ERM that need improving and there is a huge opportunity through IRM membership to improve and add to the tools, methodologies and thinking.

As you will have read on how did I find myself in risk? I started at the bottom and a career in risk management didn’t enter my head. Now there are great university courses and of course the IRM diploma – however real experience cannot be underestimated in the field of risk management. You learn a lot from your mistakes in business but for a risk professional that learning is gold dust as you fully appreciate all the things that can go wrong as well as right! You can often find yourself on your own in risk management especially in a smaller organisation so it’s often difficult to benchmark ideas or just chew the cud with other like-minded people this is where the IRM can provide access to many other practitioners and help build your professional network.

Top tips

• Take one of the IRM qualification the Certificate is a



good start. • Find out where the risk team sit in your organisation, how big the team is, what they do etc and make contact! Express your interest, many organisations find it difficult to find people who want to ‘do risk’. If you are enthusiastic and willing to get involved then they will probably bite your hand off. • Join a special interest group, local if you can so that you can meet others – IRM have details of groups already established. If there isn’t one near you why not set one up?  That’s what we did in Milton Keynes and it’s great. Helen has also appeared in IRM’s Enterprise Risk publication in a feature on how Network Rail is spending £40 billion on an ambitious plan to upgrade the UK’s rail infrastructure, where she explains how her team are building a risk platform to support the project. Read the full article here: https://enterpriseriskmag. com/departure-platform/ Find out more about the Institute of Risk Management and our Training, Membership and Qualifications.








f you’ve ever caught the 17.49 train from Leeds to Manchester on a Friday night, you’ll understand how essential the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) is to the region, explained Chris Montgomery, Network Rail’s major programme director for Northern Programmes. As someone who regularly makes the journey between Network Rail’s offices in Manchester and York, Chris should know. TRU sits at the centre of the Great North Rail Project. It will increase capacity on the route and improve journey times between the North’s major cities. Network Rail has spent the past two years carefully planning the scheme having learned lessons from some of the difficulties faced on previous large, multi-discipline projects. The options are now all on the table and the delivery team are ready to get started. “Now the hard work really begins,” said Chris.


INCREASE IN SEATS Following government approval, TRU will become one of Network Rail’s flagship project for CP6 and has been welcomed by passengers across the North. The transport secretary has described a £3 billion investment in the Transpennine route “Just to give you the scale of how big TRU could be when finished, there are currently 800 seats traversing the Pennines every hour. That will increase when we’ve finished our work, to over 1,500,” said Chris, who oversaw the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street station before leading the latter phases of the North West Electrification programme (NWEP) and delivery of the iconic Ordsall Chord. What will TRU actually entail? The route itself comprises 122 km of track, eight tunnels, 15 viaducts, 25 stations and 270 bridges. The engineers involved face numerous challenges, not least the location. Chris compared the project to

turning a hillside B-road into a dual carriageway. Network Rail has worked on potential infrastructure options for the Transpennine Route Upgrade and has now submitted several options to the Department for Transport (DfT) for consideration. On 10 May, transport secretary Chris Grayling and chief executive Mark Carne, presented Network Rail’s digital strategy at a launch event in York. TRU will see the first application of traffic management outside of the South East but, to be effective, the extensive infrastructure works will still be required to deliver the required capacity improvements. “Once we have provided the ability for trains to overtake one another, then digital comes into its own and you’ll really be able harness the power of digital to actually create a more efficient timetable.




design stage which, according to Chris, put tremendous pressure on the electrification programme’s fixed end date. Chris said: “Unforeseen challenging ground conditions, changes in the electrical regulations while the project was in full flight and the demise of Carillion have slowed progress on the Manchester-Preston upgrade. With Amey now our main contractor, we are making good progress towards completion this autumn.”


Each of the planned interventions for TRU will deliver tangible improvements, said Chris, comparable to the benefits that have been achieved with the commissioning of each phase of the North West Electrification Project (NWEP). Phases one and two were delivered by March 2015, electrifying the route between Manchester, Manchester Airport and Liverpool. Phase three - the electrification of the line between Blackpool North and Preston - has just been commissioned and phase four is expected to be completed by the December 2018 timetable change.

A 16-day blockade was also recently completed to improve line speeds between Manchester and Stalybridge - part of the final section of work for Phase five. “It’s not one big project. It’s lots and lots and lots of separate interventions,” said Chris. Although the project is delivering benefits to passengers in the North West, Chris believes there are a lot of lessons to learn. Phase four has encountered numerous challenges, including poor ground conditions, collapsing structures and the demise of its principal contractor, Carillion. Like several other major schemes committed to during CP5, NWEP suffered from deficiencies at the

As with Ordsall Chord, TRU will adopt an alliancing model. Two alliances have been awarded contracts for the East of Leeds (VolkerRail, J. Murphy & Sons and Siemens) and the West of Leeds (Amey, BAM Nuttall and Arup). Chris believes alliances are the natural approach for complex, multi-disciplinary schemes. They bring contractors into the process earlier and ensure all parties are working to a set of shared objectives. Even though alliances don’t suit every project, said Chris, they give Network Rail the opportunity to move away from a traditional hub-andspoke model where Network Rail holds all the FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.UK




risk and collaboration between contractors is less forthcoming. Chris said: “When we are given the time to plan and develop a scheme properly and have a proper alliance where all the contractors and the clients have bought into the same objectives you then have the opportunity to perform.” He added: “In our industry - with our large, complex, multi-discipline schemes - it’s got to be seen as the way forward.” Unlike Ordsall Chord, designers have been included in the TRU alliances. Chris believes this will result in fewer issues during the construction phase and give designers a better understanding of how they can potentially maximise possession periods and minimise safety risk. Network Rail undertook a 12-month tender period for TRU, setting out the scope of the works to the supply chain and encouraging


businesses to form their own alliances. “If we went out and procured lots and lots of individual contractors and just threw them all into the mix together, it wouldn’t work,” said Chris. “It’s far better for them to form their own teams and then come to us and that’s just what we’ve done.”

SKILLS OPPORTUNITY Work is due to start on TRU next year and will continue deep into the 2020s. The length of the programme will allow Network Rail and its alliance partners to invest more in training and resources, said Chris, and will provide the supply chain with the stability it craves. Asked whether he thought having an alliance model provided more opportunity for staff development, Chris said: “Massively - because when we have an alliance we end up with the best person for the job, so in many cases that

will mean Network Rail staff actually stepping into the world of the contractor and contractor staff understanding better what Network Rail do. In terms of building your broader skill level and competence level up, there’s a real opportunity.” However, Chris is mindful that TRU is competing with the likes of HS2, Thames Tideway and Hinckley Point to attract the best engineering workforce possible. “The biggest skills challenge we have is the rest of the market,” said Chris. “What we’ve got to do is make our work attractive to the supply chain and the operatives to want to come and work for us. I see alliancing as going a long way towards doing that. A much better working environment, a more stable working environment where we can train and bring that competence level up.” Chris said he had spoken to his team about the opportunity to leave a legacy with TRU, something they can be proud to say they were part of. TRU promises to be a scheme which will offer unmistakable benefits for passengers, particularly those on the 17:49 train to Manchester.




Advance TRS takes on Three Peaks by Rail An intrepid team from Advance TRS will be taking on the Stadler Three Peaks Challenge by Rail this month for the children’s charity Railway Children. As long-term supporters of Railway Children and specialist suppliers of skilled personnel for the rail industry, this is an ideal challenge for the quickly growing team to take on. We are delighted to take part in this year’s challenge. Our team is looking to raise over £3,500 for the charity. Railway Children is an international children’s charity, with outreach teams operating out of the UK, India and East Africa. Donations help to fund street teams that seek out children living in squalid conditions on the streets, where the charity’s team of experts can meet the child’s immediate needs and attempt to reintegrate them back into normality. “Railway Children has always been a cause close to my heart,” said group managing director Andy Ridout. “Having already completed a number of personal challenges to raise money and awareness for the charity, I am delighted that the Advance TRS team are taking on a big challenge like this as their latest fundraising event.” Giving back to those less fortunate and advancing others has been a central motivator for founder Ridout and the growing Advance TRS team since the business was established in 2012. To date, he and the Advance team have climbed some of the world’s highest mountains including Mt Everest and Kilimanjaro, completed Iron Man triathlons, marathons and cycling challenges to raise money and awareness for the charity. Some staff have even been out to Africa to visit the projects and witness what money

raised can do to help vulnerable children in person. The Three Peaks Challenge is a well-known gruelling test of fitness and determination. Over 24 hours, the teams will climb the three highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland, totalling more than 30 km of walking and more than 3,000 metres of ascent.

to smash our £3,500 target! Advance TRS is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in the provision of highly skilled technical professionals. Since 2012, Advance TRS has grown rapidly and now provides permanent, contract and temporary recruitment solutions to both candidates and Advance TRS Ltd.

They will start from Mount Snowdon, climbing throughout the night of 14 June before getting the train to Dalegarth and climbing Scafell Pike. They will then head to the third, final and highest peak, Ben Nevis. This will involve over 1,325m of climbing and a 7.5 km trek from start to summit before heading back down the mountain. We wish all four of our colleagues the best of luck on their challenge and we will be working together to raise as much as possible FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.UK






he rail industry is living in the eye of a perfect storm that is signalling major problems ahead unless a solution is found, and with some urgency, according to talent acquisition specialist Sam Ford. On the surface, it is a fantastic time for the industry, with huge projects including HS2, Crossrail and Crossrail 2 coming online, as well as major train builds and line upgrades all over the UK. With that though comes an ever-growing need for specialist skills that still shows little sign of being met. While shortages in the industry have been highlighted for some time - and long-term steps have been taken such as establishing the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) and the newly

opened National College for High Speed Rail to hopefully safeguard the future of the industry, it is the here and now that is pressing. “There are students coming through the education process, but they won’t be ready and available for a number of years,” said Sam Ford, head of Ford & Stanley Interim, the rail recruitment brand specialising in contract employment. “Older ones are retiring, former rail engineers have drifted away to other industries perceived as more innovative and exciting and, with social mobility decreasing sharply, people are more reluctant to relocate. “All this leaves the industry with such a shortage of skilled workers that it could have a significant impact on the speed in which the industry can move forward, at a time when much needs doing and major projects are underway.”


Sam Ford.


The solution, according to Ford, has to lie around reengaging engineers who have moved to automotive, aerospace, construction and other industries,

and bring them back. Part of the issue, he said, revolves around the perception of the rail industry: “Other industries have seemed to have driven ahead in terms of technology and the digital revolution, leaving rail behind. “But while Britain has been run on a Victorian railway, that is changing. The growth is happening now, so the pressure now is enormous, and growing. The industry is looking to modernise but will struggle to do so at the pace it wants if there are not enough people to work in it. “Rail has caught up and in some cases is leading the digital revolution. That is the message we need to get across to attract those who have left. There are plenty of crossover jobs around digital and electrical that are now required in rail that were not available or relevant only a few short years ago.”


Another issue, according to Ford, is a cultural shift away from a willingness to relocate. While travel is highly accessible and modern technology makes it easy to communicate effectively, people can increasingly do their jobs without having to move home. That though throws up problems when trying to attract people to move to a new plant, office or other workplace environment. That view is supported by a demographic study recently completed by Queen’s University Belfast, which highlighted that at least a million fewer people in England and Wales moved between 2001 and 2011

compared with 1971 to 1981. Ford & Stanley’s chairman, Peter Schofield, said his companies have been tracking changes in worker attitudes and behaviours since the late 1980s and that the end of the perceived “job for life” culture had a significant influence on the workforce’s attitudes towards employment, switching towards a project-by-project lifestyle. He said: “In many cases, people had seen parents lose their life-time jobs and, over a relatively short period of time, we saw many engineers conclude that, as they had no real job security anyway, they might as

well regard their skills as being portable between companies who need them most. They are now amongst the most valuable talent assets as they learned to instantly adapt to new environment challenges.”

GRIND TO A HALT According to Ford, while we wait for the long-term solution of skilled young engineers to become available, contracts and interim have a “very, very strong part to play” in rail. “If this means raiding sectors like automotive, oil and gas, nuclear - anything that has complementary skills - and



bringing those engineers across, and making it easy to do so, then companies must be willing to do that,” he said. “Often the argument against utilising interims or contractors is the additional cost compared to that of a full-time, permanent employee. “Our advice to employers is always consider ‘business need’: the costs and wider implications of not delivering your project due to the lack of appropriately skilled permanent resources set against the benefits of successfully delivering the project; then making a commercial decision on that basis. “The government has a longgame strategy for the rail industry and should be applauded for that. The biting question is what we do in the meantime. “If we stand back and do nothing about it, in this real time of boom, the industry risks coming to a grinding halt.”







ictorian Britain witnessed the creation of a 20,000 route mile national railway network, of which about 10,000 route miles remain today as an operational railway. Closed lines were sold off to the highest bidder with a considerable variety of new uses to which the land was put, including an extensive network of multi-use trails which are a great way for everyone to take to the outdoors and enjoy the countryside.


Railway in Britain started with the building of local wagonways with wooden tracks on which small horse-drawn trucks ran (14th – 18th centuries). Longer distance travel was by horse and cart or stagecoach over rough roads, with a canal network mainly for freight traffic. The first steam locomotive to run on rails, built by Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick in 1803, was a major breakthrough. Following the success of the Stockton & Darlington Railway (1825) and Liverpool & Manchester Railway (1830) deploying steam locomotive haulage, enterprising businessmen seized the opportunity to create a network of railway lines serving almost every town and city in Britain. From the early days of the S&D and L&MR, the construction process was to occupy the rest of the 19th century to substantially complete the network of about 20,000 route miles. The last classic main line was completed in 1903 linking Sheffield and Nottingham Victoria with London Marylebone, and a few more local lines were constructed in the early part of the 20th century.

Railway Ramblers explore Burbarge tunnel mouth, High Peak Trail.



Incidentally, plans developed by the various entrepreneurs were not generally co-ordinated by government, although an Act of Parliament was necessary to authorise construction. Thus railway companies were selfcontained, including ownership of all the infrastructure and trains, each company having their own train building factories, and producing their own style of buildings, structures, track and signalling systems. There was much competition between companies to cashin on lucrative freight and passenger traffic on offer, and this led to duplication or triplication of routes. In the Leen Valley in Nottinghamshire, for example, the Midland, Great Northern and Great Central companies developed three independent separate routes from Nottingham towards Sheffield. True competition on the railways that free marketeers dream of today!

UNREMUNERATIVE LINES Some railway promoters were hopelessly optimistic in their traffic forecasts, and companies went bust with some lines having a short life. However, after the First World War, the go-anywhere flexibility of cars and lorries powered by the internal combustion engine were starting to make inroads into rail traffic and from the late 1950s the downturn in traffic was seriously affecting the finances of British Rail (BR). More than 2,000 route miles had already been closed by the time the ‘Reshaping of British





LINES Leaderfoot viaduct. Railways’, otherwise known as the Beeching Report, came out in 1963. This envisaged the closure of a further 5,000 miles in order to make the railways pay, an objective that has never been realised. During the 1960s, the perception was that ‘car is king’. The Conservative transport minister of the day was Ernest Marples who had road construction interests. The closures were actually implemented by the incoming Labour administration. Under a subsequent transport minister, Barbara Castle, at last there was recognition of the social need for some railways that did not pay, and grants were paid to keep these lines running. In total, 4,500 miles on the Beeching list were closed and others reprieved but more, not on the list, subsequently closed. Plans for further mass closures have surfaced including the Serpell Report of 1983, with an option to reduce the network to 1,630 route miles. It met with a hostile reaction and was hastily put in the ‘too difficult’ basket. In more enlightened times today, the value of the railway to social and economic wellbeing is recognised.

ROADS, HOUSES, SUPERMARKETS In hindsight, the Beeching closures were over-done and, sadly, no strategy was put in place to safeguard potential routes for future transportation or leisure purposes. Land was offered initially to local authorities or sold off to developers. Former railway

land at prime sites was usually purchased for the construction of roads, new houses, supermarkets, or industrial premises. This was good for British Rail as it helped to support the bottom line in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Unfortunately, it has meant that the sites of former conveniently located town centre stations were lost, making future re-instatement of the railway difficult or impossible. Another weakness of the Beeching era was failure to recognise that railways do well when stations are conveniently situated in relation to the town centre. No consideration was given to ensuring that the most conveniently located station was retained in towns with more than one even though some modest expenditure may have been necessary to realign or divert the retained line. Blackpool is an example where the direct fast route to the town from Preston to the ideally located Blackpool Central station was destroyed in favour of a new M55 motorway,

leaving the circuitous route to Blackpool North, and the route via Lytham St Annes, inconveniently cut short nearly two miles from the town centre. Cheltenham Spa and Yeovil are further examples of centrally located stations being lost to redevelopment in favour of stations more than a mile from the town centre, making rail a less attractive mode of transport for commuting, shopping and leisure.

GUIDED BUSWAYS, TRAMWAYS AND HERITAGE RAILWAYS Cambridgeshire trailblazed a new guided busway in 2011, utilising the formation of the closed branch line from St Ives to Cambridge. A busway is perceived as a cheaper alternative compared with a light rail option, although the cost savings may be illusory in view of the significant installation and maintenance challenges of keeping the rigid concrete ‘permanent way’ in perfect alignment. FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.UK




Other busways utilising closed railways are Luton Bute Street to Dunstable, Gosport to Fareham in Hampshire, and Leigh – Tyldesley – Manchester. New tramways utilising old trackbeds have proved popular in Manchester. Metrolink opened in 1992, revitalising rundown BR suburban routes between Altrincham and Bury, penetrating the city centre with on-street running. Extensions include the re-use of old BR lines in the Oldham, Rochdale and East Didsbury areas, the latter route having been closed several decades previously. The pioneering well known Bluebell Railway in Sussex re-opened the first section of the closed Lewes and East Grinstead Railway in 1960 from Sheffield Park to Bluebell Halt just 100 yards south of Horsted Keynes. Relying heavily on volunteer labour by enthusiasts, plus grant and share offers for capital projects, meant slow progress on extending the line back to East Grinstead which was triumphantly completed in 2013. There are some 83 preserved standard gauge railways in Great Britain. In most cases, the lines don’t offer a traditional public transport service, rather they are tourist attractions, providing a nostalgic train trip through the countryside, offering the unique opportunity to see historic stream locomotives in action at stations restored to their former glory, deploying traditional semaphore signalling systems. Today, most heritage lines flourish, and some are multi-million pound businesses.

THE TIDE TURNS Since 1960, more than 370 route miles have been added to the railway network and 400 stations opened. This has not come about by any government or industry initiative but is a result of local/regional initiatives and rail campaigners. The lobby organisation Railfuture has been instrumental for many years in campaigning for re-openings. The many lines, chords and stations that have been re-instated are too numerous to list but completed this century thus far are Barry – Bridgend (2005), Newport – Ebbw Vale (2008), and Edinburgh – Tweedbank (Borders Railway 2015). Several more lines in the pipeline, including Bristol to Portishead, Bicester to Bletchley, and Bedford onwards towards Cambridge, are taking time to come to fruition. Unfortunately, parts of the original formation of the latter are occupied by housing, a guided busway, and travelling radio telescopes on rails. A new railway route is thus required for the Oxford-Cambridge ‘Varsity line’ East-West Rail project to reach Cambridge.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling recently announced that he wanted his department to identify disused railways which could be re-opened to passenger traffic, and there are already several feasibility studies under way around the country. The reality is that re-instatements to modern standards, of lines that have been unused for many years, is challenging and very costly.

The local authority planning, and the industry GRIP processes, must be followed, and the discovery of bats in disused tunnels and great crested newts may lead to setbacks. Then there are protestors. A rich local resident may commission a consultancy, with no previous industry experience, to produce a report attempting to discredit the scheme, though in a couple of recent cases it is good to see planners wise up to nebulous claims of some vociferous objectors. A good business case will need many houses, shops, and places of employment near stations to ensure ‘bums on seats’ though future traffic levels are difficult to predict.

DECAYING LEGACY Building the railways involved huge financial resources and the manpower of ‘railway navvies’, the forerunners of today’s orange army. Sadly, despite the aforementioned developments, a considerable mileage of closed railway is depicted on Ordnance Survey maps as ‘Dismantled Railway’ and left to nature, with many tunnels, viaducts and bridges uncared for. However, many old stations still stand and have been converted into RAILSTAFF.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF





private houses, pubs, and restaurants or are in industrial use. Lines not sold off, including all the associated infrastructure, continued to be owned by the British Rail Property Board. Upon privatisation, this division continued as the British Railways Board (BRB) (Residuary) Ltd, known as the ‘Burdensome Estate’. This body was abolished by the government in 2013, the Highways Agency’s Historical Railways Estate then taking responsibility for the burdensome estate including legacy bridges, abutments, tunnels, cuttings viaducts etc, and sales. Network Rail manages land in railway use, and sells land declared surplus to operational requirements. Railway Paths Limited was established in 1998 in the wake of the privatisation of BR. Sustrans, the charity developing the NCN (National Cycle Network), had previously acquired old railway routes from BR on a project by project basis. The idea of transferring a large portfolio of disused railway routes came about as a way of making expansion of the NCN through using land previously owned by BR quicker and simpler. Thus Railway Paths Ltd was set up as a focussed organisation, independent of Sustrans, with specialist staff to manage a large amount of land and structures. Railway Paths works closely with Sustrans. The two organisations share similar objectives and refer to each other as “sister charities”.  Nevertheless, Railway Paths is an entirely independent charity, with its own board of trustees. It receives no financial support from Sustrans, or government, and the two organisations are financially independent.


The trackbed of an early closure, the narrow gauge Leek and Manifold Railway in Staffordshire, was handed over by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway to Staffordshire County Council which created a linear footpath and cycleway in 1937. Today the tarmacked path with a slight gradient is also ideal for wheelchair users, prams, for example. The Peak Park Planning Board and Derbyshire County Council bought respective sections within their boundaries of the 17-mile, freight-only line from Dowlow near Buxton to Cromford Wharf, creating the High Peak Trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders, affording splendid views in an exposed area. At lonely Parsley Hay, the High Peak Trail joins up with the 13-mile Tissington Trail on the branch line from Ashbourne. The two authorities opened these trails to the public in stages during the early 1970s. The success of these early schemes has encouraged local authorities elsewhere, and the process of converting old trackbeds into multi-use trails is ongoing. Many have been incorporated into the National Cycle Network (denoted on Ordnance Survey maps as NCN) or long-distance trails such as the Pennine Way. Projects currently under consideration include the Wye Valley line from Chepstow to Tintern, and the repair and re-opening of the long closed tunnel at Queensbury in Yorkshire, the Rhondda Tunnel in South Wales, and the wrought iron Bennerley viaduct in the East Midlands Erewash Valley.

If you enjoy walking, there are plenty of official railway paths throughout Great Britain and the definitive guide is Vinter’s Railway Gazetteer. The walking is easy going as railway gradients are limited to what was achievable by the steel wheel on steel rail adhesion of steam locomotives. There are some spectacular scenic routes to enjoy and the potential excitement of walking through tunnels such as at Ashbourne on the Tissington Trail, and Devonshire and Combe Down tunnels between Bath and Radstock on the former Somerset and Dorset Railway. Please be mindful that apart from old railways that are marked on a map as having public access such as official trails, museums and visitor centres, old railway trackbeds and infrastructure is generally in private ownership and you must not trespass. However, for those wanting more exploration, Railway Ramblers have a comprehensive programme of walks that combine the best of the official routes with specially pre-arranged visits, with landowners’ permission, to lines, stations and infrastructure not normally accessible to the public, though this sometimes involves scrambling up embankments, or crossing fences where the old trackbed has become disjointed. Prior to a walk taking place, the walk leader researches local land ownership, and engages diplomatically with the landowner/s, in order to obtain access. The group has members from all walks of life, including active and retired railway staff. The walks are inevitably linear, but the walk organiser arranges ‘car shares’ and plans the walk around connecting bus and train services. If there is a conveniently situated hostelry, a pub lunch may be arranged, otherwise participants take a packed lunch. The organisation offers an excellent way of getting plenty of fresh air and exercise in the company of likeminded people, as well as the opportunity to discover some of Britain’s lost railways. With thanks to Jeff Vinter of Railway Paths Ltd, and Mark Jones of Railway Ramblers for helping with this article. FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.UK






JUNE 2018

JULY 2018







13th June London

27th July London



28th June - 1st July Stapleford Miniature Railway, Leicestershire

JULY 2018

RFEM ANNUAL SUMMER BBQ 13th July Pitcher & Piano, Derby

RAILSPORT ANGLING 15th August Makins Fishery, Wolvey





7th-9th September Loughborough


18th-21st September Berlin, Germany




18th September Pride Park Stadium, Derby



22nd November Bird & Bird, London

25th July Sutton Coldfield

1st November Addleshaw Goddard, London

29th November The NEC, Birmingham

November TBC


2018 Better every year It takes a great deal of effort to organise and host a major awards event like the RailStaff Awards. It is a logistical juggling act with little room for error. Taking place on 29 November, the RailStaff Awards will be held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. With less than six months to go until the night, the deadline is looming to submit nominations for this year’s awards evening. Twenty awards will be handed out to deserving winners, with categories rewarding the best Station Staff, Customer Service, Engineer and Train Driver, and we’re pleased to announce that a familiar face has returned hoping to build on the evening’s success as it enters its 12th year. Events manager Gemma King, who was part of the original team that helped established the RailStaff Awards as the leading dedicated staff awards event for the rail industry, said she was always proud to be a part of the event. “What I really used to enjoy was catching up with winners a few weeks after the evening to see how they were getting on,” said Gemma. “It was always touching to hear how much it meant to them to be recognised by their peers. Sometimes it would be for a particular achievement or project but, often, it was just for something they did every day without thinking about it. The amount of tears we’d have from our winners always surprised me. They were so happy to have won.” Gemma has plenty of experience of overcoming the numerous challenges that major events like this can encounter. From a celebrity presenter forgetting their suit to unruly table decorations, Gemma knows that anything that can go wrong will always threaten to. This was particularly true during the first two years of the awards event when postal strikes meant there was a real risk

that many guests wouldn’t receive their tickets on time. Thankfully, PDF versions were created and emailed out in time, averting a potential panic on the door. “It can be stressful on the night but having such a great team of helpers made it so much fun to do and we had a lot of laughs,” said Gemma. For all the challenges that we face as organisers, the success of the evening often rides on the support of our colleagues in the industry and the inspiring nominees that are put forward. Fortunately, the RailStaff Awards has always been championed by staff across the network. Every year, hundreds of nominations arrive through the website for individuals and teams from every type of company you could imagine, covering the length and breadth of Great Britain. Jolene Price, Rail Media events director, said: “It’s great to have Gemma back and helping to drive the awards to become better and better. She has a wealth of experience and an enthusiasm for the industry that reflects the values that underpin the RailStaff Awards. “One thing we’ve always tried to do with the RailStaff Awards is to dispel the perception of rail that is created through the mainstream media. The industry has faced challenges recently in introducing new services on some routes but it would be unfair to extend the criticism to the industry as a whole when other parts of the network are consistently performing well thanks to their hardworking, dedicated staff. “The rail industry is a community of enthusiastic people who are passionate about what they do. Gemma and the rest of the team understand this and I know they will work hard to ensure that the rail community is shouting about its successes.” To submit a nomination for the 2018 RailStaff Awards, visit







uring the past 12 months, TBF has paid out more than £2.5 million in benefits to its members. The demand for its support is as great as it ever has been, illustrating the challenges facing many of the individuals and families of those who work on the railway. The Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, known as TBF, is a non-profit making membership charity offering a wide range of financial, health and welfare benefits to those working in public transport, should need, hardship or distress arise.


Anyone engaged in the public transport industry in Great Britain is eligible to join. Membership costs just £1 a week, covering the member, their partner and dependent children. The membership fee can be deducted through the company payroll facility or, if this is not possible, paid by standing order. Increasingly, membership is being paid for by the employer; acknowledging the advantages of membership in helping to improve members’ work-life balance and reducing staff turnover. The fund is run by a board of trustees, the majority of who work in the industry and decide on all benefits. Members’ needs and circumstances are all different, so the discretionary awards are made on the individual merits of each case. TBF’s Patrons are numerous and include leading figures in the major transport groups and trades unions.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE TBF development director, Ian Barlex, explains: “TBF is different and makes a difference. Membership is not an insurance policy; the Fund does not make loans, so the money granted is for the beneficiary to keep. Each family member is considered separately and benefits paid are not cumulative for whole family. There are no different levels of membership fees, there’s no catch - the £1 a week is a flat-rate membership fee giving the member and their family access to the extensive range of financial, health and welfare benefits. “These include, cash grants to help cover short-term hardship from sickness [typically 2 weeks or more] for example, debt advice, legal help on non-employment matters and also bereavement grants. “We also offer medical benefits such as second opinions, scans and tests, a wide range of complementary and alternative therapies, medical equipment, prescription pre payment certificates, help with the cost of laser eyesight correction and convalescence. RAILSTAFFAWARDS.COM | @RAILSTAFFAWARDS | FACEBOOK.COM/THERAILSTAFFAWARDS



MAKE RENCE “There is no age limit for joining TBF, but the person must be engaged in the industry on the day they apply to join. There is also no bar on pre existing conditions so there’s no need for a medical. Where members have contributed for long enough, they may gain free membership in retirement. TBF is once again sponsoring the Station Staff category at the 2018 RailStaff Awards. Last year, the category was won by the team at London Bridge station for their handling of the Borough Market terror attack last year. “TBF is all about helping people, people in the public transport industry and we at TBF are proud to sponsor the Station Staff of the Year category at this year’s RailStaff Awards,” said Ian. “The awards provide a great arena to showcase the invaluable service and exceptional achievements of all those working in the rail sector. We are proud to promote the outstanding work carried out by all station staff – whether customer facing and behind the scenes – providing help and support to the travelling public, sometimes in very difficult circumstances. That’s why TBF is here to help our rail staff members when they find themselves in need or distress.”

THE FUTURE The fund was originally formed in 1923 to support families of those who served in the First World War. “The needs of today’s members are very different to those of 95 years ago, but there are still cases of hardship among those who work in the public transport industry. The continuing relevance of the fund’s work is best illustrated by the volume of awards



to members which are regularly over £600,000 a quarter,” Ian said. “TBF currently has over 59,500 members, making it the fastest growing charity exclusive to the industry. This is partly due to the hard work of our nine recruitment organisers who cover all areas of England, Scotland and Wales. We do not pay commission to anyone, so members’ contributions go further to helping those in need. “If the current trend of need continues we would very much like to further expand membership enabling the fund to help all those in need.” Whenever the need for help does arise, members simply call 0300 333 2000 to speak direct to the friendly team of advisers who will do whatever they can to help. TBF does not have a call centre or lots of push button options for callers. The Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, known as TBF, is a registered charity in England and Wales, 1160901 and Scotland, SC047016.

Helping to make a difference

TBF is proud to sponsor the 2018 Station Staff of the Year Award With the help of the TOCs, Network Rail and other employers throughout the industry, we now have nearly 60,000 members. For just £1 a week, a wide range of financial, health and welfare benefits are available to you, your partner and dependent children if you work in the public transport industry...people just like you!

0300 333 2000 etd 00 38571 Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, known as TBF, is a registered charity in England and Wales, 1160901, and Scotland, SC047016.


07/06/2018 08:59






hauni McDonald picked up her first award in 2011, quickly followed by another two in the same year. In 2012, she was presented with one more and then in 2013 she received yet another. Shauni has enough awards to fill out a trophy cabinet and she’s only 25 years old. The Transport for London (TfL) manager is no newcomer to the industry, having started out as a sprightly 16-year-old operational apprentice. After roles in customer service, as a station supervisor and driving London Underground trains, she took up her current position as duty train staff manager at the Harrow on Hill depot in 2016.

WORLD DOMINATION A self-described ‘busy bee’, Shauni’s list of achievements doesn’t end there. She’s also become a TfL ambassador for apprenticeships and women, to help open people’s minds to the possibilities and opportunities available in the sector. As she approaches her 10-year industry milestone, Shauni has already come so far and achieved so much, but she’s not stopping there. “From the beginning of my career, I’ve worked really, really hard, but I’ve also had people that have been willing to give a little bit extra to help me achieve something too,” said Shauni, who is currently self-funding parttime studies in psychology to improve her HR employability credentials. “My husband actually asked me where I was thinking of stopping a few weeks ago. He said: ‘You wouldn’t stop until you had world domination.’ “Well, I don’t think that’s quite achievable, but I would definitely like to see how far I can go.” Harrow on Hill is one of the busiest train depots on the Metropolitan line and is the base for around 130 drivers. As duty train staff manager, it is Shauni’s responsibility to manage the train operators assigned to her depot while supporting the service delivery of the line and network. She has to ensure that train crews are in the right place should there be service RAILSTAFFAWARDS.COM | @RAILSTAFFAWARDS | FACEBOOK.COM/THERAILSTAFFAWARDS


disruptions. She’s also in charge of driver performance management, dealing with on shift issues, general admin and booking staff on - a mixture of welfare and operational duties. She is a young train staff manager, but not the youngest, and rests on her years of operational experience, including four years driving trains on the Metropolitan line, to understand what it is like to be in the shoes of her drivers and do her job to the best of her ability.

BAPTISM BY FIRE With various complex and wide ranging challenges to tackle, it all sounds rather stressful, but it’s an environment she thrives in - as she proved on the first week on the job. “My first week was like a baptism by fire,” said Shauni. “I was getting married in about two weeks and I just thought ‘I just need a really easy, nice way to start this new job.’” But not everyone got that memo. A huge fire near to the Preston Road Tube station caused severe delays because no trains could pass through the plumes of smoke. Weighing up the cost implications against further delays, she liased with the central communication centre and, acting on initiative, organised a shuttle taxi service for drivers to ensure they could get to where they needed to be.

RAILSTAFF AWARDS That early promise had been identified back in 2011 when Shauni scooped the Best Newcomer gong at the RailStaff Awards, one of her first award wins. “I remember thinking ‘I’m just a normal person from a normal background and I just come to work and do my job and I love my job and do it to the best of my ability but, you know, is that enough to win?’”



It was. With her friends and family watching on - including her grandma, one of Shauni’s most avid supporters - the teary-eyed thenapprentice stepped on stage to accept the award. “My nan literally talked about it forever.” “The RailStaff Awards is a very prestigious awards ceremony, in my opinion, because it’s got quite a reputation. So when I won one I was just like ‘Oh my god, this is the best thing ever’ - especially because of the people I was measured against, it was a really lovely feeling that, whatever capacity, I was deemed the person most appropriate for that award.”

CLIMBING THE CAREER LADDER Shauni is one of many RailStaff Awards winners who have gone on to achieve so much more. But, what heights does Shauni think she can reach? “If one day I was sitting in Mike Brown’s office as the commissioner [of TfL] I would probably be thinking - ‘Why did you want this job?’ And also thinking ‘Yes, you finally did it!’ But I’m sure that, me being me, I’d get that job and think ‘right, what’s the next step?’. “One of the main things is don’t ever tell yourself that you can’t do something because the moment you’re telling yourself that, that’s it, you’re setting yourself up to fail, it’s not going to happen. So, even if you think ‘how the hell am I going to do this?’ Just tell yourself that you can do. It might take you five attempts or you might have to really knuckle down and make certain social sacrifices but as you go along it gets easier.” With Shauni’s thirst to succeed we might one day not only see her name etched on an industry award but above the office door of the commissioner of one of the largest transport authorities in the world.






RAIL SPORT201 START LACING UP YOUR BOOTS AND PUMPING UP YOUR TYRES BECAUSE THE 2018 RAILSPORT GAMES ARE FAST APPROACHING. There are only a couple of months left to book your place at the ultimate sporting contest for rail industry employees. Remember, it’s the taking part that counts, but nothing beats winning.

HOW TO ENTER Competitors can enter an event through the RailSport website. Click ‘Enter Now’ and then choose which of the nine sports on offer you want to take part in. Depending on the event, you will then have the option to make single, double or team bookings. In some cases it may be possible to compete in more than one event. Just let us know and we’ll see what we can do. Please note that accommodation will need to be booked separately but the website does include a list of nearby hotels and guest houses. You don’t have to be taking part in a sport to attend. Spectators can book their place online free of charge to support friends and colleagues. Detailed information about rules and requirements for each sport are available on the website, including routes for the cycling and running events. Remember to take regular water breaks, particularly if we experience the same hot conditions that competitors had to contend with in 2017, and don’t push yourself beyond your limits. For example, if you’ve only just taken up road cycling the 160km EPIC route may be a little ambitious. RailSport is a competitive event but it is also an inclusive competition which should be played in a friendly spirit.










ABOUT THE VENUE This year’s competition will be held at Loughborough Endowed Schools (LES), which is located off the A6 when approaching Loughborough from the south. The site is also only a 10-minute drive from Loughborough station. The history of LES dates back to 1495 and comprises four different schools. All of the LES venues are located within a short walk of one another. The car park is located off the school’s entrance on Leicester Road where competitors will also find the registration area.

SUPPORTING CHARITY By supporting RailSport, you’re supporting the rail industry as RailSport is a community interest company (CIC) and any profit the organisation makes is reinvested back into the industry. This could be through the industry’s various charitable organisations or through other worthwhile social/community projects.

PROMOTE RAILSPORT We’re actively encouraging everybody who works in the rail industry to think about their health and get into sport. Contact your company’s health and wellbeing manager to find out about any existing sport initiatives within your business and please get in touch to find out how RailSport can help promote the benefits of sport within your organisation.

WHAT TO BRING Anyone wishing to take part in the RailSport Games should be sufficiently trained and fit to compete. An activity waiver will be provided in your pack and needs to be filled out and handed in on the day before you’re allowed to take part. Additional forms will be available on the day. Although water will be available on site, it would be a good idea to bring water and snacks to consume throughout the day. No alcohol is allowed on site and anyone found under the influence won’t be allowed to take part. Competitors should wear appropriate sportswear for their event and there is more information available in the sport manuals about what footwear is required for specific sports. For example, football and rounders matches will be played on grass pitches while the tennis tournament will be held on outdoor hard courts. Many of the events will take place outdoors and are therefore exposed to the weather so it would be a good idea to bring a change of clothes. Bags and other items can be left at the registration area, which will be supervised by a member of the RailSport team throughout the day. Information about exactly what equipment competitors will need to bring with them is included in the individual manuals for each sport, which can be found on the RailSport website.



Reel experts can tackle anything…


Set in and aroun d beautifull y m a n ag lakes, we ll stockeedd with fish!



WEDNESDAY 15TH AUGUST 2018 For more details visit or go to or contact John Hewison on 01908 227 307 or email


✃ ✃


ENTRY FORM (Please complete all sections in BLOCK CAPITALS). Entry fee, which include a pool, is £22.00 per person. An optional super ENTRY FORM (Please all sections BLOCK should CAPITALS). Entrytransfer fee, which include as a pool, is £22.00 pool is also available at complete an entry fee of £5.00.inPayment be by BAC or cheque shown below. per person. An optional super pool is also available at an entry fee of £5.00. Payment should be by BAC transfer or cheque as shown below. TEAM/INDIVIDUAL ENTRY TEAM/INDIVIDUAL ENTRY TEAM NAME TEAM NAME Captain/Individuals Home Address Captain/Individuals Home Address

Postcode Postcode

Contact Telephone No Contact Telephone No Team Details (Names) Team Details (Names)

Email Address Email Address Employer Employer

Optional Optional Super pool Super Entry pool (ü) Entry (ü)

Employer Employer

Optional Optional Super pool Super(ü) pool Entry Entry (ü)

1. (Captain) 1. (Captain) 2. 2. 3. 3. 4. 4. Individual Individual

Team Captain’s Declaration: As far as I am aware, none of the above individuals suffer from any medical condition that would endanger Team Captain’s Declaration: As far as inI am of the above individuals from any medical condition that would themselves or anybody else participating this aware, event. Inone confirm all team members are suffer rail industry employees/or a dependent of a railendanger industry themselves or anybody else participating in this event. I confirm all team members are rail industry employees/or a dependent of a rail industry employee/or retired from the rail industry. employee/or retired from the rail industry. Captain’s Signature Date Captain’s Signature Date Individual Declaration: I confirm I do not suffer from any medical condition that will endanger others or myself by participating in this event, and Individual Declaration: I confirm I do not suffer from any medical condition that will endanger others or myself by participating in this event, and agree to abide by the rules of the competition. agree to abide by the rules of the competition. Date Signature Date Signature FEES (Please indicate below) FEES (Please indicate below) Team Entry Team Entry Individual Entry Individual Super poolEntry Entry (Optional) Super Entry (Optional) Date ofpool BAC transfer Date of BAC transfer

£88.00 £88.00 £22.00 £22.00 £5.00 per person £5.00 per person Reference Quoted Reference Quoted

Total to pay Total Total to to pay pay Total Total to to pay pay Total pay Fee to pay Total to Entry Total Entry Fee to pay

✃ ✃

Name of Bank Barclays Bank PLC Name of Bank Barclays Sort Code 20-25-85 Bank PLC Sort Code 20-25-85 Account No. 00958301 Account No. 00958301 Account Name Railsport GB Account Name Railsport GB PLEASE RETURN THIS COMPLETED FORM TO: PLEASE RETURN THIS COMPLETED FORM TO: 9 Knoll Close, Littleover, Derby, DE23 3SG. or by post to Cliff Robinson, or by post to Cliff Robinson, Littleover, DE23 3SG.227 307 If there are any problems please contact Cliff Robinson9 Knoll 077 57Close, 923902 or JohnDerby, Hewison 01908 If there are any problems please contact Cliff Robinson 077 57 923902 or John Hewison 01908 227 307 *CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES: 31ST JULY 2018* *CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES: 31ST JULY 2018*

£ ££ ££ ££ £






RP in collaboration with IMechE young members recently held a successful technical tour to the Netherlands. Forty young professionals spent two days visiting and hearing from a number of Dutch rail institutions. The first day consisted of a presentation and tour of Utrecht Centraal station which has undergone a major reconstruction in the last decade as part of a general reconstruction of the Utrecht station area, and through the NS-led project Wereldstations. Utrecht Centraal has been rebuilt - three times its original size - to one new integrated station complex, which regulates the transport of train, tram and bus. The station hall was replaced by a new glass structure and the sheltering roofs on the platforms were restored. The bus station, which was located on the east side of the station (city side), has been split in two, with buses and trams arriving from the west of the city and terminating on the west side of the station to reduce traffic congestion. It also has the largest bicycle parking facility in the world, accommodating 12,500 bicycles. The station tour was then followed by a presentation from Movares, an engineering consultancy, where the tour heard about how they had developed a plugin signalling interlocking solution to reduce costs for resignalling solutions on the Dutch rail network. The group then met with the representatives of young professionals organisations from various Dutch rail companies, including ProRail, Ricardo Rail and NS, and enjoyed an evening of networking.



The second day started with presentations at the Utrecht operational control centre, where the group heard about how the national control centre operated. It was interesting to hear how representatives of all rail companies both track and train were in the operating center and there was one accountable person who could make decisions in an incident. The group also heard from an innovation manager from ProRail who spoke about the company’s innovation timeline and how it was embracing technology to make the Dutch railways more sustainable, efficient and better for passengers. The final activity was a visit to the NS Watergraafsmeer maintenance facility in Amsterdam. For more than 178 years, NS has ensured that trains operate safely and as they were designed to do. The NS Amsterdam Watergraafsmeer celebrated its 10th year in 2017. It is one of 35 NS maintenance and service facilities in the Netherlands. It is a major, high-tech site providing

many rolling stock maintenance services and capability, from regular maintenance and adhoc repairs to overhauls and refurbishment. The group enjoyed a tour of the facility as well as a quiz hosted by some young members of the NS staff. Attendee feedback on the tour was overwhelmingly positive and those who went were engaged and learned a lot about the different aspects of the Dutch rail network. This will hopefully assist with their professional development and hopefully some of the ideas and lessons learned from the tour will benefit members in their own organisations back in the UK. Plans are already in place for the next technical tour in 2019! Watch this space!

UPCOMING EVENTS YRP East Midlands is looking for volunteers to support the Big Bang Fair East Midlands, an event which showcases the very best of STEM across the region, as well as raise awareness of the fantastic STEM careers and opportunities in Derby.




For more information about future YRP events, visit and click on upcoming events. The event will be held on 28 June at the Roundhouse in Derby. Volunteers will exhibit at a YRP stand, showcasing the great work going on in rail, promoting the rail industry as a great place to work and inspire the next generation of railway talent.

 More information about the event can be found on the Big Bang Fair website. If you would like to volunteer for this event, please email the YRP Ambassador Programme manager, Mina (, to find out how you can get involved.


It's time, once more, to congregate in the sunshine, eat delicious food and discuss the future of the railway world. Our annual YRP BBQs are being organised and many of the regional events are on the website. • East Midlands- 22/06/2018 (Derby) • West Midlands 04/07/2018 (Birmingham) • London and South East BBQ 26/07/2018 (London) For further details, dates for other regions and to sign up – visit our events section on the website. We look forward to seeing you there!




MEMBERSHIP Young Rail Professionals promote, inspire and develop the careers of young people in the rail industry. Membership is free and entitles you to attend our annual black tie dinner, seminars and be part of the fastest growing online rail community.







SPECIALIST RAIL RECRUITMENT A niche recruitment consultancy providing highly skilled, technical professionals. 01483 361 061

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Global Scale. Local Focus. – Rail and Infrastructure Vacancies Currently Available – Quantity Surveyors / Commercial Managers London / Birmingham / Bristol £40,000-£65,000 p/a + package

Project Delivery Manager – Station Enhancement Norfolk

£300 per day / £55,000 p/a

Senior OLE Engineer - HS2 Birmingham £425 per day - Inside IR35

Lead Geotechnical Engineer –HS2 Birmingham £425 per day - Inside IR35


Station Enhancement / Redevelopment background

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Contracts Manager –HS2

Unique Rail opportunity, based UK Wide £60,000-£69,000 p/a

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Track Project Manager

Estimator – HS2

Client based position, based UK Wide £55,000-£69,000 p/a

Birmingham £400 per day - Inside IR35

TRS Staffing Solutions are international engineering recruitment specialists. We recruit for major national and international projects for leading national rail organisations, main contractors and consultancies.

Please email your CV to or if you’d prefer to discuss any roles call +44 (0)20 7419 5800 RAILSTAFF.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF


Due to the expansion of RRV and Vegetation Management Projects, QTS is looking to recruit a selection of permanent roles in Scotland North East & North West England.












QTS is one of the UK’s leading rail contractors, providing specialist services in vegetation management, drainage service, fencing, training, civil engineering, earthworks, geotechnical services, industrial rope access and specialist plant fleet hire. NPTC applicants should also hold PTS / OLEC1 / ICI but this isn’t essential. Applicants must be flexible for working nightshifts / weekends and away from home as required.


QTS is continually looking to recruit people who share our values of excellence, integrity, teamwork and respect. So, if you think you have what it takes to join us, please send your application and CV stating the positions and locations you wish to be considered for to or apply online at QTS Group is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability or age.




Due to expansion in its vegetation division, QTS is looking to recruit a selection of roles throughout the UK. ROLES REQUIRED:





Preston / Wigan & surrounding areas

• LNE NORTH YORK / LEEDS / HUDDERSFIELD & surrounding areas





Gloucester / Swindon & surrounding areas LUTON & surrounding areaS

QTS is one of the UK’s leading rail contractors, providing specialist services in vegetation management, drainage service, fencing, training, civil engineering, earthworks, geotechnical services, industrial rope access and specialist plant fleet hire. Ideally, candidates will have 3+ years’ experience in a similar role and hold PTS certification (with the exception of apprentices). QTS will provide opportunities to upskill where required. Please note that shift work is required for all roles including nights, weekends and working away when required.

QTS is continually looking to recruit people who share our values of excellence, integrity, teamwork and respect. So, if you think you have what it takes to join us, please send your application and CV stating the positions and locations you wish to be considered for to or apply online at QTS Group is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability or age.



Ready, set, go! Fast track your rail career in Australia. With new and existing rail networks constantly being developed, there has never been a more exciting time for qualified rail professionals to join us. Our experienced teams in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are growing and we’re seeking passionate individuals to come on board. Are you a UK rail professional or expat interested in moving abroad and settling in Australia? In June and July, we will be interviewing in London for the following permanent positions:

• • • • •

Technical directors rail Rail project managers Rail design managers Signalling engineers Traction power/OLE engineers

• • • •

Rail systems assurance engineers Rolling stock engineers Permanent way engineers Rail communications engineers

All positions require strong knowledge of UK and international rail systems engineering design standards, guidelines and practices as well as considerable experience in your chosen field. We are open to applications from people with all levels of seniority. We will be offering competitive salary packages as well as relocation to Australia on an immediate family basis and visa sponsorship. To find out more and apply for these roles please visit and search for reference number 33735BR.






The UK’s Showcase for Construction Equipment, Tools, Plant & Services and (NEW for 2019) Rail

TEL 020 8253 4517


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RailStaff June 2018  

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