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MARCH 2020 | ISSUE 265



(PAGE 20)















As Tim Dugher stands down as chairman of the Network Certification Body, he speaks with Malcolm Dobell about his time with the company and what it has achieved.


New train fleets are being introduced to the network on an unprecedented scale. It’s all carefully planned by very clever people, so why are they almost all late?




Colin Wheeler asks whether infrastructure inspection, maintenance and renewal need to be improved and should individual railway engineers be held accountable?


Two articles look at the question of competency. Colin Wheeler considers the case for personal responsibility while James Fox of 3Squared explains how to manage competencies.


Retiring Railway Industry Association policy director Peter Loosley reflects on how things have changed during his time in the industry, and also how they haven’t.


34 36



| 20 as EOPLE- popularly knownthe P D E E f YS N le Rail one o RAILWAoombs visits Coyhat it takes to be C t just w encies. Graham find ou pply ag to u s ’ r s u le o ‘Coy g lab ’s leadin industry


330 railwaymen and women slept out in nine stations across the country to promote the work of Railway Children, which helps children who find themselves alone, at risk and on the railway.




12 - 14 MAY 2020

The full scope of infrastructure sectors on display, including: Track construction and maintenance Signalling Communication and passenger information Measuring, monitoring and testing systems Station equipment

Tel: +44 (0)1727 814 400 infrarail@mackbrooks.co.uk



Register to attend at:


*On-site Registration £20



Times of change?



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Contact us: Publisher:

Paul O’Connor


Nigel Wordsworth

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Adam O’Connor

Matthew Stokes

Track safety:

Colin Wheeler


Asif Ahmed

Craig Smith

Contact email addresses News: news@rail-media.com Track safety: colin@rail-media.com Pictures: pictures@rail-media.com Adverts: adverts@rail-media.com Subscriptions: manda@rail-media.com Contact details RailStaff Publications, Rail Media House, Samson Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3FP. Tel: 01530 816 444 Fax: 01530 810 344

The railway industry never stands still there is always something happening, which is what makes reporting on it in these pages so fascinating.

Web: www.railstaff.co.uk Email: hello@rail-media.com Printed by PCP Ltd. RailStaff is published by RailStaff Publications Limited A Rail Media Publication


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Last month, I wrote about the difficulty of including real, up-to-the-minute news in a monthly magazine. That issue went off to print on 7 February. I received my copy on 11 February – the same day that the Prime Minister announced that HS2 would go ahead. So, when readers received their copies of the rail industry’s leading magazine a few days later, it of course made no mention of HS2. That’s the way of things with monthly magazines. Still, it meant we could include a short piece on the Oakervee report, HS2 and the Prime Minister’s comments in this issue. Interestingly, he hinted that Phase 2b of the line – the connections between Crewe and Leeds/ Manchester, may not be built by HS2 Limited and may not even be built at the same time! We shall have to see. Northern has gone into public ownership, joining LNER. Other companies are reportedly either in trouble or on last warnings for poor performance. Naturally, the unions are pushing for the whole operation of the railway to be taken back into public hands. Others remember the days of British Rail, where the advantages of a unified railway were outweighed by one starved of cash. The government still seems to be committed to franchising in one form or another, albeit with an overall guiding mind, dubbed by some the ‘Fat Controller’. Should that be a ‘controlperson of indeterminate size’ in these PC days? We shall have to wait

for the report of the Williams Review and the white paper that will come from it to find out. It will probably be published while we are at the printer… Of course, not everything is rosy. Crossrail has gone back to the middle of next year, storms have played havoc with the railway (not mentioned here in RailStaff as, by the time we could report on it, it would be fixed!) and two major derailments tore up the railway. Still, that’s all bread and butter to track engineers – stops them from getting bored! There are also grumbles from the supply chain. Network Rail’s Control Period 6 is slow to get started, leaving contractors waiting for contracts that either haven’t appeared yet or have been placed but without any significant work. The Railway Industry Association is on the case, calling for an end to ‘Boom or Bust’. Currently, we seem to be in Bust but, hopefully, Boom is just around the corner. There are still safety problems, and this month’s issue of RailStaff looks not only at safety in general, with Colin Wheeler’s widely read column, but also at competencies, what they are and how to manage them using modern software such as 3Squared’s RailSmart. There is also ‘news’ of a change at the Network Certification Body. We meet Network Rail’s oldest employee and consider how the railway can make a difference by supporting charities such as Railway Children and Women’s Aid. It’s a full issue. I hope you get as much from reading it as we did from putting it together. Let us know what you think. nigel@rail-media.com FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.CO.UK




Rail Minister opens East Midlands Gateway New London Overground trains enter service London Overground has now introduced its new Class 710 trains onto routes from Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town into London Liverpool Street, bringing passengers a welcome boost in capacity. Manufactured by Bombardier in Derby, the electric trains will increase capacity by around 10 per cent. Their walk-through design gives them an open and airy feel, while other benefits include air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, real-time information screens, USB charging points and more wheelchair spaces, making accessible travel easier. The new trains will be introduced on a phased basis on these routes to ensure there is a smooth transition for customers and make sure they are operating reliably. It is expected all the new trains will be in service by the end of June. Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “I’m delighted that London Overground services into London Liverpool Street are now being served by electric trains. These new stateof-the-art trains will improve reliability, boost capacity and deliver a range of additional benefits to passengers including free Wi-Fi and real-time information screens.”

Clayton Equipment to build two new locos for Sellafield Clayton Equipment is to supply two innovative Hybrid+™ Diesel CBD80 locomotives to Sellafield Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. These will enable Sellafield to realise significant commercial savings from reduced operation and maintenance costs as well as the greener benefits of reduced emissions from the cleanest diesel engines, a reduced carbon footprint, reduced noise levels, greater haulage capacity and increased reliability. The CBD80 locomotive is a selfcontained 80-tonne Hybrid+ Bo-Bo locomotive with on board battery charging. Battery charging is undertaken from a threephase supply, providing emission-free solutions, or from the low emission, EU Stage V diesel engine. Clive Hannaford, managing director of Clayton Equipment, RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF

said: “We are very privileged to supply Sellafield Ltd with sustainable, low emission, environmentally compliant equipment which meets their commitment to invest in technology and provide cost savings with long term durability”. Founded in 1931 and now based in Burton upon Trent, Clayton Equipment is the only British independent locomotive manufacturer in the UK capable of designing and manufacturing locomotives up to 150 tonnes. It ‘leads the way’ in offering low emission rail locomotives with the additional benefit of UKbased customer support.

Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister of State at the Department for Transport with particular responsibility for rail, has officially opened the new strategic rail freight interchange at SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway. This followed the introduction of the first dedicated service to and from the Port of Felixstowe, operated by Maritime Intermodal, a subdivision of Maritime Transport. The 17-acre open-access terminal, capable of handling up to sixteen 775-metre-long freight trains daily and providing storage capacity for over 5,000TEU, is the first to connect to the Castle Donington freight line, providing direct access to the UK’s network of rail freight interchanges and all major UK Ports. Opening ceremony guests included representatives from global shipping lines, rail freight companies, UK Ports, retailers, freight forwarders and trusted suppliers. The Maritime Intermodal Two locomotive was also present on the day, joined by three other locomotives hauled by DB Cargo (UK), GB Railfreight and Freightliner. Commenting on the new terminal, the Rail Minister said: “The rail freight sector is vital to the UK, not only supporting economic growth and international transport links, but driving down emissions by removing around seven million lorry journeys a year from Britain’s roads. This new Gateway provides direct access to the UK’s major ports, demonstrating that Britain is open for business and our commitment to boosting jobs and trade while cleaning up our air.”




It's HS2, but not as we know it So, HS2 is going ahead, much to the relief of many in the railway construction industry. The report of the Oakervee Review has been published, and it recommended that, “on balance”, Ministers should proceed with the HS2 project, subject to various qualifications. Then, later that same day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stood in the House of Commons and declared: “The Cabinet has given high-speed rail the green signal. We are going to get this done.” However, thanks to Oakervee’s conclusions and to the government’s concern over delivery times and costs, the HS2 that goes ahead won’t be quite what was expected. In his address to the House, the Prime Minister criticised the management of the project to date. “When it comes to advocating HS2, it must be said that the task is not made easier by HS2 Ltd - the company

concerned,” he stated. “Speaking as an MP whose constituency is on the route, I cannot say that HS2 Ltd has distinguished itself in the handling of local communities. As everybody knows, the cost forecasts have exploded. “I will be appointing a Minister whose fulltime job will be to oversee the project. A new Ministerial oversight group will be tasked with taking strategic decisions about it. There will be changes to the way HS2 is managed.” That minister will be Andrew Stephenson MP. Then he added: “So that the company can focus solely on getting phases 1 and 2a built on something approaching on time and on budget, I will be creating new delivery arrangements for both the grossly behindschedule Euston terminus, and Phase 2b of the wider project.” Did that mean that HS2 Ltd might not build Phase 2b - the route to Manchester and Leeds? The Department for Transport (DfT) later announced that it is working on an integrated rail plan for the Midlands and the North. Working with HS2 Ltd and local leaders, and informed by an assessment from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), the DfT will draw up an integrated rail plan for the Midlands and the North, as recommended by Oakervee. It will also proceed with the legislation that is needed to allow for the development of Phase 2b’s Manchester leg, so long as it does not prejudge any recommendations or decisions that will be taken in this plan. The announcement pointed out that legislation for Phase 2b can be put through Parliament in two or more hybrid bills, which may run concurrently. The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) will now conduct a review of the lessons that can be learned from HS2 Phases 1 and 2a and that can be applied to Phase 2b as part of the integrated rail plan, which should be published by the end of the year.

Rail to refuge GWR has launched a partnership with the Women’s Aid charity to help women fleeing an abusive relationship and travelling to safety at a refuge. Quite often, one of the ways that women feel trapped is that they don’t have freely available cash and so can’t afford a ticket to travel away from home. Some may need to travel a considerable distance to be able to find safety, either due to limited places at women’s refuges or the need to move away from their abuser. To help women in this situation, the new ‘Rail to Refuge’ collaboration between Women’s Aid and Great Western Railway will offer free rail travel for those fleeing domestic violence and who are travelling to a refuge. Adina Claire, acting co-CEO of Women’s Aid, said: “Access to cash is a major barrier for women escaping an abusive partner, and free train travel will be one less thing for these women to worry about at a time of acute crisis.” A special supportive pin badge is available, and GWR will make a financial donation to Women’s Aid in recognition of the work they do.





Help for those with hidden disabilities TransPennine Express (TPE) and Hull Trains have introduced Sunflower Lanyards and assistance cards to make journeys easier for customers who have non-visible disabilities. The scheme, which was developed at Gatwick Airport in 2016 and is now used in other airports in the United Kingdom along with supermarkets chains, allows those with hidden disabilities, such as autism and visual impairment, to make themselves visible to railway staff, indicating that they may need some extra assistance while travelling. Nicola Robinson, co-founder and trustee of Aim Higher, commented: “Just because you can’t see a disability, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Sunflower Lanyards are a great way of giving hidden disabilities a voice, as well as offering a safe, inclusive journey, give the ability to someone with a hidden disability.” Charlie French, accessibility and integration manager at TransPennine Express, added: “One of our main aims at TransPennine Express is to make rail travel accessible and comfortable for as many people as we can. For those with non-visible disabilities, rail travel can be a daunting experience, which is why we are delighted to be launching Sunflower Lanyards and assistance cards for our customers to try and make their journeys as comfortable as possible. “By wearing one of these lanyards, or using the cards, it helps our station and on-board colleagues know who may need a little extra assistance and ensure that their journey is a smooth and enjoyable one.”


New Heathrow Express trains revealed Heathrow Express revealed the first glimpses of its new fleet of trains which is due to launch in the summer. Featuring at-seat USB power, new Business First seating and work tables and a striking external livery, the fully electric trains will be formed into 12 four-car units and thence into six eight-car trains, each 160 metres long with a total of 374 seats, including 44 Business First. Originally built by Bombardier in Derby, and having previously served customers on the GWR network, the specially converted fleet of Class 387s will be stored and maintained by GWR at its Reading depot as part of a partnership announced in March 2018. Heathrow Express Director Les Freer said: “Our new fleet of trains will offer the same fast, frequent and reliable Heathrow Express service for years to come. Complete with at seat USB power, fast Wi-Fi, ample luggage space and the option of Business First the new trains deliver a dedicated airport experience for both business and leisure travellers.” The new Class 387 trains will replace the current Class 332 fleet, which have been in service for 22 years carrying more than 115 million passengers over 44 million miles.

Quattro signs TT legend Quattro Plant chose the MCN London Motorcycle Show to unveil its new challenger for TT glory on the Isle of Man in June. John Murphy of Quattro Plant introduced both the new bike and its new rider - 23-times TT winner John McGuiness who will chalk up his 100th TT start this year. Unchanged will be the team behind the entry. Pete Extance’s Bournmouth Kawasaki outfit has been highly successful in road racing, a record of 56 finishes out of 60 starts showing how reliable his machinery is. McGuiness will join team-mate Alastair Seeley at Northern Ireland’s North West 200 in May. Alastair has had 24 wins at the event in the past, so the new pairing, riding for the team that gave James Hillier a win last year, will be a force to be reckoned with. Team Principal Pete Extance said:

“It’s absolutely incredible news that we can welcome road racing legend John McGuinness onto our Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki machinery. To me, John is Mr TT with his road racing feats elsewhere, at the likes of the North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix, simply superb and what an honour it is to have our Bournemouth Kawasaki dealership associated with him. “Hopefully, we can put John McGuinness back on the podium at the Isle of Man TT and North West 200 in 2020, the place where we know he belongs. Together with Alastair, we have a simply stunning line up of riders for the International road races and we can’t wait for it all to start.” Quattro will also be the title sponsor for this year’s British GP2 Championship, which runs alongside the British Superbike series. And one of the GP2 riders this year? Alastair Seeley, riding for Quattro Team ABM!

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New company, new challenge Cath Bellamy has been appointed to establish and lead a new company - SLC Operations. Part of the SLC Group, it will be a sister company to SLC Rail, which has spent 10 years supporting local authorities to develop and deliver rail infrastructure projects, particularly new and refurbished stations, route upgrades and freight projects. Cath will create and lead the new SLC Operations business that will seek to operate mainline train services, stations, and offer a range of independent training services. She joins SLC from Vintage Trains, where she helped establish and then lead the charity owned train operating company, providing

main line steam charter services. Previously Cath, has been managing director of Chiltern Railways and Hull Trains, as well as leading various large commercial projects for the Department of Transport. Ian Walters, managing director of SLC Rail said: “It’s an exciting time at SLC, as we continue to grow our business, services and expertise. We’re delighted that Cath - who has a strong track record has joined the SLC group of companies to establish this new offering for our organisation. “We have worked with Cath over many years in her previous roles and we are pleased to bring her capabilities, energy and ambition to lead this new business.”

New head of rail for Ramboll

Greg Salisbury to MECX as Group CEO MECX Group, the UK-based contracting organisation and technical services provider, has announced that Greg Salisbury will be its new group CEO. Greg Salisbury is a highlyregarded infrastructure specialist, and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the rail and civil engineering sectors, both nationally and internationally. He has undertaken numerous leadership roles, from project

manager, as part of the Balfour Beatty UK rail business, through to executive operations manager in Australia, roles that have seen him deliver large scale multidisciplinary projects. Commenting on his appointment, Greg said: “I am extremely excited to be joining MECX, and very much looking forward to working with both the board of directors, and our various business units. We will set out what the vision and strategy need

to be for MECX to fulfil the huge potential it holds, and to deliver on the development plans we have for the business.” Founding director Chris Mariner will now step up to more of a strategic lead for the group, focussing on business development activities and acquisitional opportunities in addition to supporting Greg in his new role as CEO.

New commercial director for GB Railfreight Liam Day, currently GBRf’s head of contracts, has been appointed commercial director. He joined GBRf in August 2014 as terminal development manager, responsible for the maintenance of GBRf depots across the UK, including setting up new facilities. Following a short spell as head of estates, Liam moved to the position of business manager (and latterly general manager) in the commercial department in April 2016, managing a team of

account managers looking after GBRf’s client relationships and contractual arrangements with its bulk-freight customers. Liam began his railway career with Network Rail, as part of its graduate management training programme, before joining the Freight and National Passenger Operator (FNPO), where he held the positions of customer manager and route freight manager. GBRf managing director John Smith said: “I am absolutely delighted to appoint Liam Day to the post of commercial director.


Liam has played a key role in securing long term contracts with Cemex, Hanson Aggregates and Hanson Cement whilst expanding GBRf’s bulk portfolio to its current worth of circa £75 million per annum. “As a business we are entering an exciting time and I will be working closely with Liam as we continue to grow.”


Mike Birch has joined engineering, design and consultancy company Ramboll to lead its growing portfolio of work in the UK rail sector. Ramboll is looking to build on its successful appointment to the Network Rail Design Services Framework and its role on the Digital Rail programme on the East Coast main line, as well as a strong portfolio of work on High Speed 2. Mike moves to Ramboll from Capita Infrastructure where he was head of rail, project and cost management, following thirteen years at Halcrow, CH2M and Jacobs where he held various roles including project delivery director - highways, director of projects, development director - UK North, and head of rail Europe. Dan Harvey, transport director for Ramboll in the UK, said of Mike’s appointment: “I am delighted to welcome someone of such high calibre to our team. Our transport business continues to grow and Mike’s strong leadership and relationship skills, together with his technical expertise, will be crucial in helping to accelerate further growth.”





McGowan joins Porterbrook Nick Donovan to run Porterbrook has appointed James McGowan to be its new director of public affairs. He joins the train-leasing company from the world of politics, where he was most recently transport policy advisor to Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald. Prior to that, James was head of policy and communications at rail union ASLEF. James will work alongside Rupert Brennan Brown, who will take up a new role as Porterbrook’s director of stakeholder engagement. Working together with Rupert, James’ ability to communicate and engage with an array of stakeholders, including industry groups, MPs and regional administrations, will ensure that Porterbrook is attuned to the needs of its stakeholders. CEO Mary Grant said: “2020 is

fast becoming a year of exciting change for the UK’s rail industry, and as a long-term strategic partner we are committed to playing our part and delivering for our customers. At this critical time, James will help us deepen our engagement with key decision makers across the political spectrum, on a national and regional level, ensuring that Porterbrook’s private finance and asset management model continues to serve the whole industry.”

Northern under public ownership As Northern Trains takes over running trains on the Northern network on behalf of the government, it has been revealed that Nick Donovan will join as managing director. For the last two years, Nick has been advising the ScotRail Alliance on train service performance. Before that, he worked on making the case for Northern Powerhouse Rail and he was interim engineering director at Arriva Rail North in 2016. He is also the independent chair of the Network Performance Board and successfully led TransPennine Express from 2011-2015. Robin Gisby, chairman of Northern Trains and CEO of the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort Holdings Limited (DOHL), said: “Nick’s widespread experience, leadership of TPE and his role as chair of the industry’s National Performance Board has given him a first-class insight into all the issues and challenges we face, not just as Northern but for all operators across the Northern region. “Given the current circumstances and environment we are operating in, I am very confident that Nick is the right person to lead the business going forward.”

Kenny Burton heads up rail at Resourcing Solutions Limited (RSL) Resourcing Solutions Limited (RSL), the specialist provider of UK and international recruitment in rail, power and the built environment, has appointed Kenny Burton as its new rail and construction director. Kenny has been with the company for the last five years. Now, he will work alongside sister company Matchtech as part of the Gattaca Group to develop workforce solutions within the industry. He brings a wealth of experience to the role, having had 15 years’ rail industry experience, the last five with RSL. He said: “I look forward to taking on the challenge of working with some of the best and most experienced recruiters and growing a business that will continue to serve the industry for many years to come.” RSL, which counts many of the

biggest names in the industry amongst its clients, is proud of its rail recruitment experience. Complementing the Matchtech offering, the group offers full life cycle resourcing and supports clients in every grip stage. Kenny will be working with those clients to ensure that their hiring needs are met at this pivotal time. Matchtech and RSL infrastructure director Russell Otter commented: “It’s a fascinating and exciting time for the rail industry; modernisation meets long-established infrastructure, major projects integrate themselves into the network. The challenges these create mean that our clients need people with a diverse range of skills. “Kenny is passionate, focused and hardworking and will ensure that we continue to bring enthusiasm and passion to the industry and its staff for the foreseeable future.”

tchtech a M / s n io t lu So Resourcingor of the RailStaff Awards s proud spon

Kenny Burton (right) presented the 2019 RailStaff Award for Rail Person of the Year to Pete White of GWR.

way People.com







Two new directors at Southeastern

New role for Duncan Wilkins at Porterbrook

Southeastern, which runs train services into London from Kent and East Sussex, has made two new appointments to its executive board and reappointed a third.

Later this year, Duncan Wilkins will be leaving his current post of engineering director at Trenitalia C2C to take on a new role as head of fleet services (south) at Porterbrook.

Alicia Andrews joins the company as commercial director from Arriva Rail London (ARL), where she was transformation director. Before that, she worked as commercial director at Condor Ferries, where she was accountable for passenger ticket and onboard revenue. She was also instrumental in the introduction of a new type of ‘fast ferry’ unique to northern Europe - refitted and brought in to service in just six months from purchase to the first passenger service. She began her career at the Financial Times and now takes over her role at Southeastern from Diane Burke, who is taking up a new role in Scotland. Scott Brightwell, the other new appointment, joins Southeastern as train services

director from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), where he was operations planning director. He has previously worked in a number of senior roles, with experience in a variety of operational, customer service, bid and project related positions. He replaces Ellie Burrows, who has taken up a new post as Network Rail’s route director for Anglia. The third change in the executive is Mike Boden, who has re-joined the board in a new role as business development director. Having led Govia’s bid for the South Eastern rail franchise, Mike is now leading on Southeastern’s work with the Department for Transport on the future of rail services in Kent, East Sussex and south east London.

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Having started his career as a British Rail apprentice at Reading, Duncan has almost 30 years of front-line operational and rolling stock experience, most recently as engineering director at South West Trains before joining C2C. Duncan’s new role will see him taking on responsibility for Porterbrook’s rolling stock that operates with GTR, Great Western Railway, C2C, Chiltern, Greater Anglia and South Western Railway, as well as freight customers and Network Rail, reporting to Porterbrook’s fleet services director, Neil Foster. As well as being the engineering support lead for

Porterbrook customers, he will also work with the internal commercial team to enhance the portfolio of products and services designed to support passenger and freight train operators on a day-to-day basis. Porterbrook’s director of engineering services, Jason Groombridge, said, “I am delighted that Duncan has decided to join the business. He brings a wealth of front-line operating experience and expertise; skills that will help Porterbrook continue our absolute focus on partnerships designed to deliver a more reliable and sustainable railway.”

Gavin rejoins Osborne

Gavin Pritchard has rejoined Osborne, which he left in 2002, as commercial director of its infrastructure business. He moves from ABB, where, as project director, he led the team delivering the £500 million Caithness Moray highvoltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link. He has a wealth of experience in large multidisciplinary infrastructure, power generation and transmission projects. The new appointment will support Osborne’s progressive


growth in major multi-disciplined transport infrastructure projects where annual sales have increased by nearly 50 per cent to £175 million in the last two years. Osborne managing director John Dowsett commented: “At Osborne we strive to do things differently and provide more efficient and effective outcomes for our customers. Gavin’s introduction will further strengthen our leadership team and provide us with learning and best practice opportunities from outside our industry sector, which can be translated into our customer’s programmes.” Since Gavin left Osborne as commercial manager, he has spent time with Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering and Alstom Power. He now returns to replace Simon McCausland, who will be taking up a new role at Osborne as group projects director.

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Alstom to buy Bombardier Transportation? Alstom has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bombardier Inc. and its shareholder Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) with the view of acquiring Bombardier Transportation for around €6 billion. Announcing the agreement, Henri PoupartLafarge, chairman and CEO of Alstom, spoke as though the takeover was already a done deal. “I’m very proud to announce the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation,

which is a unique opportunity to strengthen our global position on the booming mobility market,” he said. “Bombardier Transportation will bring to Alstom complementary geographical presence and industrial footprint in growing markets, as well as additional technological platforms.” However, an agreement to combine Alstom with Siemens Mobility in 2018 was later derailed by the European Commission due to competition concerns and the possibility that the merger would have resulted “in higher

prices for the signalling systems that keep passengers safe and for the next generations of very-high-speed trains”. The new deal will have to go before those same competition policy commissioners, although, as it is a takeover by Alstom rather than a merger, the situation is slightly different. The combined Alstom/Bombardier operation will have an orderbook of some €75 billion, which will give it a strong global position. The next step is now down to the market competition authorities.

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The organisers of Infrarail 2020, the UK’s premier rail infrastructure showcase, have revealed details of a new highprofile networking space at the 13th edition of the international railway infrastructure exhibition. This year’s event will be held at London Olympia from 12 to 14 May. Along with the new venue will be an exciting new feature - ‘Infrarail Matchmaking’. The one-to-one business networking service will enable registered users to search and connect with new and existing business contacts, manage event schedules and arrange meetings on exhibitor stands and in a new, dedicated matchmaking lounge. Anyone who registers for Britain’s leading showcase for every aspect of railway infrastructure will be able to

Matches to be made at Infrarail 2020 To find out more about Infrarail 2020 or to make a stand reservation, visit www.infrarail.com access their profile online and search for connections by their interests, sectors, products, services and geographic location. This year’s event will attract visitors and exhibitors from around the world, including key decision makers, government bodies, buyers, managers, project leaders and engineers in the supply chain. Natig Asadullaev, exhibition

manager for Infrarail, said: “Our new complimentary matchmaking service is the perfect way to make valuable leads with new and existing contacts. The programme will provide free access to our dedicated matchmaking team and onsite meeting concierge, making planning meetings and networking a simple and hassle-free process. “Infrarail Matchmaking’s

personal planner also allows you to pre-book meetings to suit you and your colleagues’ show schedule. At such an important time on the UK’s rail network Infrarail 2020 is the essential meeting place for the industry’s biggest names. Anyone with an interest in the railway infrastructure market should be in attendance at Olympia London this May.”

Management buyout at Ford & Stanley Ford & Stanley Recruitment has been bought from its previous owners by its senior management. Specialising in rail, but working across a spectrum of sectors such as digital technology and infrastructure, the company now has its own training academy at its head office on Derby’s Pride Park, as well as offices in Birmingham and London. Pete and Kate Schofield founded Ford & Stanley in Derby in 2008. 10 years later, Ford & Stanley Group specialises in performance improvement and has several business areas, including GENIUS Performance, which works on improving performance through coaching, leadership development, teamwork and occupational mental ‘healthiness’. It has 35 staff and a £13 million turnover. Schofield will continue to drive the GENIUS Performance area of the business, while the recruitment side will now be run by senior managers Sam Ford, Daniel Taylor, Chris Jones and Eoin Grindley. Director Daniel Taylor said: “Employers and candidates recognised right away we were bringing a different approach to recruitment and one that brought them the results they wanted. It’s been an incredible experience so far and genuinely rewarding that the Ford & Stanley team and our customers buy-in to what we set out to do.

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TBF membership costs just £1 a week and covers the member, their partner and dependent children.

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Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, known as TBF, is a registered charity in England and Wales, 1160901, and Scotland, SC047016. TBF_Banner_Adverts_18X3_190x50.indd 3 RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF

29/08/2018 16:40



NEWS IN BRIEF Railway Benefit Fund offers to help The Railway Benefit Fund (RBF) has launched a new help and advice pack that encourages rail industry workers and their families experiencing difficulties to seek its expert advice. The charity’s ‘How We Can Help’ folder is available free of charge for anyone in the rail industry - past and present - whose lives might be adversely affected by issues ranging from debt management to bereavement. Championed by Pete Waterman, the famous record producer and RBF president, who has long-standing links to the rail industry, the help pack also contains a three-point plan for HR departments and managers in the rail industry to spread the word about RBF and encourage workers and their dependants to seek its help in times of need.

Worcestershire Parkway opens Britain’s newest station, Worcestershire Parkway, opened at the end of February, delivering increased connectivity to London, the Midlands and South Wales. The station is Worcestershire’s first brand-new station in more than 100 years. It serves both the North Cotswolds Line and the Cardiff to Nottingham route and forms part of a wider £50million rail investment programme in the county. A 500-space car park (which includes disabled parking) lies adjacent to a fully-accessible modern station building. The single platform on the North Cotswolds Line and the two platforms on the Cardiff to Nottingham route are also fully accessible. The new station also includes secure cycle storage, motorcycle parking and electric car charging points, as well as a taxi rank and direct access to local bus services through a bus/ rail interchange.

Freight grant for Tarmac The Scottish Government has allocated a Freight Facilities Grant worth £1.49 million to Tarmac. It will be used to expand rail operations at Tarmac’s Dunbar cement plant. Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson announced the funding at the Rail Freight Group’s Annual Scottish Conference 2020. He said: “This award is the first Freight Facilities Grant for rail for a number of years and will help ensure that rail remains the key mode of transport for much of Tarmac’s operations. “The recently published National Transport Strategy sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for a sustainable, inclusive,

safe and accessible transport system where our businesses make sustainable choices to support the reliable delivery of goods and services. “That is why we are leading the way in support for rail freight with clear policy support, innovative regulatory targets to encourage growth and backing this with general investment and specific funding. Our dedicated £25 million Rail Freight Fund and our Mode Shift Grant support schemes, which include the Freight Facilities Grant, will help to unlock opportunities for rail freight across the country.” The fund is open to companies looking to move freight by the more sustainable modes of rail or water instead of road.

RDG appeals for a joined-up railway As Northern becomes the latest train operator to be taken over by the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort, Rail Delivery Group chief executive Paul Plummer has called for an overall approach to railway operations. “The Northern franchise change is an opportunity for all parts of the industry to work differently to deliver the services people need and want,” he said. “Urgent reform is needed to make sure different parts of the railway aren’t pulled in different directions again. “Our proposals to the government’s review would boost accountability, ensure all parts of the railway are joined up and better deliver for passengers in the long term. The industry is looking forward to the proposed white paper to reform the railway and we stand ready to facilitate smooth implementation with a clear focus on customers.”

VolkerFitzpatrick engineers achieve qualifications 10 engineers from across VolkerFitzpatrick have been presented with their EngTech (Engineering Technician) and CEng (Chartered Engineer) professional qualifications by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) at a graduation ceremony in London. In order to become qualified, engineers must follow a structured application process that involves a written application for review, a presentation and an interview with two engineers allocated by ICE. To achieve CEng status, an applicant must also complete a 5,000-word report, followed by a professional review and presentation. Sally Hill, emerging talent manager, commenting on the achievement: “The dedication shown by all is outstanding. VolkerFitzpatrick runs a fantastic ICE training scheme and the continued achievements of all our engineers is what drives its success.” FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.CO.UK





wo years after joining Network Rail’s fledgling Network Certification Body as a nonexecutive director, Tim Dugher took over as chairman. On the eve of his retirement, he met with Malcolm Dobell to reflect on the organisation’s progress over that time. In the April 2019 issue of RailStaff, Sam Brunker, managing director of the Network Certification Body (NCB), talked about the development of the company since 2012, when he became one of its first employees. Another early appointment was Tim Dugher, a 40-year veteran of the rail industry, who was recruited as a non-executive director with the remit of ensuring the company’s independence and impartiality.


After two years, Tim became chairman of the company. Six years later, and he is standing down from his role as chairman. Has he accomplished his mission?

LOOKING BACK In the early days of NCB the Interoperability Regulations and the Common Safety Method were new and, although Network Rail had taken the courageous step of setting up its own inhouse but independent subsidiary, it was challenging both to build the company culture and to persuade potential customers that they needed NCB’s (or some other certification body’s) services if they were to comply with the new regulations. If you are not familiar with certification bodies, their role is summarised on page 19.

One of Tim’s early roles was to set up and chair a board committee to ensure impartiality by making certain that NCB staff worked ethically avoiding conflicts of interest (by not marking their own homework!) and that NCB did not exploit its position as a subsidiary of Network Rail. This committee, said Tim, populated by well-respected industry independents (your writer is one of them), has proved invaluable to the company, throughout its development, in challenging some of the processes and practices which are in daily use. Tim recalled the first year, always challenging for a new company, during which staff had to be recruited, work sought, and systems and processes set up and accredited. He said that it wasn’t surprising that NCB made a loss that year, but he has been delighted to see the company grow rapidly to a turnover (2018/19) of almost £7 million with a workforce of 60 people and a healthy profit. Possibly the biggest challenge, Tim recalled, was developing the culture required for an accredited certification company with a strong business ethic. Tim paid tribute to the board: “I have been very lucky to have a small but strong board of independent, shareholder and executive directors with a collective focus on driving the business culture needed to transform NCB from large parent department to independent subsidiary, operating in a competitive market place. I must mention James Collinson, the managing director for the majority of my tenure as chairman, for leading that challenge at executive level, and who was very ably succeeded by current MD Sam Brunker.”






PROFESSIONAL CULTURE Tim outlined a unique requirement. Staff involved with certification need to be experts in their field and must retain a professional distance from the projects they are assessing. This can become an issue for specialists, Tim said, as they need to “keep their hand in and avoid becoming professional markers of others’ homework”. He said that NCB has plans for this - more anon. Moreover, the role of certification bodies is to assess compliance and, Tim added, this has the potential to cause conflict if the assessments uncover problems, especially if found late in a project lifecycle. Like audit, it is a necessary function that has to be paid for, but which sometimes has to deliver unwelcome news. Tim said that he has been delighted to see how the company has developed this respectful, professional culture with complete integrity. It now has a strong business ethic that focusses on delivery for clients, together with making a profit and growing the company - quite different from being a department of Network Rail. Tim added that a current focus is on encouraging project teams to engage certification services

WHAT DOES A CERTIFICATION BODY DO? The European Union Interoperability Directive required member states to develop legislation to promote standardisation of key properties of Europe’s Railway. This legislation came into force in the UK in 2012. The key properties, or, in ‘Europe speak’, the essential requirements, are conditions relating to safety, reliability and availability, health, environmental protection, technical compatibility and accessibility. This applies to all elements of the UK’s main line railway (approximately, but not exclusively, Network Rail’s infrastructure and the trains that run on it). The legislation applies to significant new projects or significant alterations to existing projects. New stations, new trains and new signalling are clearly covered, whereas track renewal generally is not. Significant projects must be authorised by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), following the submission of a technical file demonstrating that the essential requirements have been complied with. This demonstration has to be certified, and this is the role of certification bodies. There are three aspects: • Notified Bodies (NoBo) that certify that essential technical requirements have been complied with. These are contained in the Technical Specifications for Interoperability. • Designated Bodies (DeBo) that certify that Notified National Standards have been complied with. These are contained in Rail Group Standards issued and managed by RSSB. • Assessment Bodies (AsBo) that certify that safety management has been appropriately carried out in compliance with the EU’s Common Safety Method and that hazards/risks have been appropriately identified, assessed, managed, closed and/or transferred. Certification Bodies themselves have to be accredited by UKAS, the UK’s National Accreditation Service, and be notified by the Department for Transport. NCB carries out all these functions and is also a Certifier of Entities in Charge of Maintenance - an activity currently required under EU legislation for freight vehicle maintenance that will soon be extended to locomotives and passenger vehicles if recent EU legislation is transposed into UK law.





Tim Dugher discusses the future with NCB managing director Sam Brunker. early, so that certification proceeds hand-inhand with all forms of assurance, such as GRIP (Governance for Railway Investment Projects). To this end, he said, NCB is developing alternative products to add more holistic value to the compliance process around major projects. Identifying an issue early in a project lifecycle, he stated, can lead to the problem being fixed quickly and with little cost. In this respect, he was delighted that NCB had won a contract with HS2 - in the face of strong competition - as this has resulted in being able to start working on this project from the pre-construction phase. “I’m particularly proud of the fact that the NCB team won the HS2 contract,” he said. “It’s such a tangible illustration of the maturity gained by NCB since start-up in 2012, and the fact that new customers value what NCB has to offer and its market reputation.” Tim also noted that, where certification services are purchased as a “bolt on activity” towards the end of a job, “issues identified during assessment have sometimes led to assets not being brought into service on time, causing extra cost and much embarrassment”. He then turned to some of the internal challenges and successes. He said that NCB is a ‘people business’ and it is a continuous challenge to recruit enough people with the right skills to meet market demand whilst maintaining a healthy order book and pipeline to keep them busy. He also highlighted the necessary but time-consuming work to achieve and maintain accreditation to the various requirements and standards that certification and assessment bodies must work to. There is also a day-to-day focus on competency, making sure everyone keeps up-to-date technically. RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF

PEAKS AND TROUGHS As Network Rail is a major customer, NCB’s workload, just like many other suppliers, tended to mirror Network Rail’s work cycle. Thus, in the run up to bank holidays and the financial year end, workload tends to peak, with possibly more lean times in between. Keeping staff productive in these lean times is a challenge, but the sales and marketing department has developed robust plans to maintain a broad range of clients and projects, large and small. Lean times are even more marked at the end of control periods - again, there is a peak on the run-up to the end with a lean time immediately after. With CP6 having an emphasis on maintenance and renewals rather than enhancements, Tim wondered aloud where the work to replace projects such as Thameslink and Crossrail might come from, hence the thoughts of diversification and an emphasis on doing a good job for HS2. It was obvious that Tim has enjoyed working with NCB and, concluding the conversation, he said: “It’s been a great pleasure to have been part of the evolution of the NCB business from its inception to its current position, where it’s an established player in the certification market. “I’d like to pay tribute to all the staff in the NCB team (past and present), who have played their part in making the business what it is today; they should all be very proud. “I’d particularly like to thank the leadership team, with whom I’ve worked closely on the board over the last eight years, for embracing the challenges that have emerged along the journey. NCB is in good hands with Sam at the helm, and I wish him, and the whole team continued success as the company develops to meet market demands.”

TIM DUGHER'S CAREER Tim joined British Railways as an apprentice in 1977 and followed this with a three-year degree course at Aston University. Between 1984 and 1995, Tim carried out various roles within British Rail, managing rolling stock maintenance including being depot manager at Wembley and Oxley depots. Privatisation saw Tim become head of projects at Angel Trains, later becoming its group engineering director and then chief operating officer. He retired from Angel Trains in 2011, having been involved in the purchase of a very significant number of new vehicles, including the large Desiro fleet leased to South West Trains (now South Western Railway) and Silverlink (now West Midlands Trains) and the Pendolino fleet leased to Virgin Trains (now Avanti West Midlands). As well as his appointment as nonexecutive director and chairman of NCB, Tim has also been active in other non-executive roles including chairman of the Railway Division of the IMechE and chair of RISAS (the Rail Industry Supplier Approval Scheme). He is currently a nonexecutive director of Porterbrook Leasing. Tim is a chartered engineer and is a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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201 2018


Best Collaboration

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Contribution to Railway Heritage

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Regional Partner of the Year – Scotland’s Railways Regional Award for Exceptional Community Engagement

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ack in the days of British Rail, temporary hire of staff through labour agencies was regarded as something of a last resort. But things have very much moved on and specialist companies arranging effective supply of skilled personnel to meet the constantly-changing demands of railway engineering are now a key part of the industry. To succeed and thrive, they need to fulfil much more than an agency function, taking on training, management and career development of their workers and meeting all the safety and operational requirements of the railway. In order to find out just what is involved, RailStaff went to meet one of the leading companies, Coyle Rail, part of Coyle Personnel but more familiarly known throughout the industry as ‘Coyles’. Coyle Personnel was formed in 1988 to serve the construction sector, but it quickly moved into a wide range of specialist markets including rail, where privatisation and a radically-changed industry structure meant that additional labour resources were needed. Company headquarters is just across the road from Harrow-on-the-Hill station, with another 11 regional bases strategically spread around the country. Each office has a dedicated management team focussed on rail, but able to call on assistance from other sectors, for example when there is construction work away from the operational railway. Where necessary, sectors work closely together, transferring skills to meet demands. The company itself employs more than 300 people, with an almost even split between male and female, and about 50 work on rail specifically. The active workforce on their books is over 4,000. RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF

Coyle Personnel office locations: • • • • • •

Ashford Cardiff Central London Chelmsford Chester Glasgow

• • • • • •

Harrow Manchester Milton Keynes Reading Walsall York


OUR PEOPLE ARE OUR STRENGTH We asked Coyle Rail director Roger Stewart and his senior management team how Coyle Rail has managed to succeed. Roger told us that Coyles’ key strength is its people. “We have tremendous loyalty and staff retention is high,” he said. “Many of the Coyle Rail team have worked for the company for more than 10 years, while, in the workforce, around 450 of the 750 active rail specialists have been with us for a similar length of time. “This has enabled us to build great relationships with both workers and clients and, in turn, provide a better service to both.” “Having a proven track record is important, and we also have the benefit of being privatelyowned, so we can respond quickly to changing needs. We are also entirely self-funding, with no direct costs to clients,” he continued. Coyles’ main client is, of course, Network Rail, and the company is a preferred specialist supplier of contingent labour. Much of their activity is supporting contractors and, over the years, they have worked with pretty well all of the Tier 1s and other key players, as well as working directly for HS2 and Crossrail. More than 1.45 million hours of workers’ time was supplied to the rail sector in the last 12 months. Roger tells us that the main focus of activity at the moment is Control Period 6 (CP6), Network Rail’s five-year programme of work that started in April 2019. “We invested in gearing up for high levels of expenditure in CP6, which unfortunately have proved to be rather slow starting,” he explained. “As our activities are mainly at the delivery end, we have to wait through the planning processes until work actually starts on the ground, and we

are looking forward to this getting under way in earnest. “We have continuing work with the major projects, notably HS2 and Crossrail, while, in the longer term, the Department for Transport has published the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP), a welcome approach to developing a rolling programme of projects away from the rigid 5-year structure.”

SECTOR HEADS A recent development within Coyles has been the appointment of additional specific sector heads to focus activities in the different disciplines. These include David Hares as telecoms manager and Andy Morris as highways manager. With responsibility for both rail and non-rail activity, they are well placed to transfer staff resources to meet emerging needs. Within the rail sector, operations manager Billy McNeill is focused on developing track



maintenance and renewals, in addition to tunnelling and major civils. A significant development is the Coyles Managed Service, which offers major clients and projects cost savings, planning expertise, efficiency improvements, fatigue management and continuous improvement. The difference with traditional recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is that the process is only a small part of the service, with management expertise, problem solving and developing client’s performance standards adding value and quality. Nick Markwell manages the business unit in the South East and takes the lead role in national overhead line electrification activities, an area that is particularly busy at present with a growing number of renewals and maintenance projects. Workers supplied to the rail industry cover a wide range of engineering and operational jobs, from basic civils labouring work up to highly-qualified signalling and design





engineers, and with operational roles including signallers, points operators and crossing attendants. Not all assistance is in temporary supply of labour. Coyles’ professional and technical head Karen Meager assists clients with permanent placings, particularly where specific skills are required. The specialisms she has covered range as far as interoperability, rolling stock, assurance, thermodynamics, configuration management, design, public health, electrification and plant.

SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT As with any activity on the railway, safety is paramount, and ensuring compliance with all the relevant requirements and regulations is essential. According to HSQE manager Simon Shaw, one of the key tools in the management of safety is Coyles’ shift booking system. “This specially-created software is the gatekeeper for all compliances, ensuring that staff have the correct competencies and, where necessary, local knowledge, and that they are not working excessive hours,” he stated. “Any potential fatigue concerns are immediately flagged up. “It works as a planning tool also, so managers using it are shown the availability of appropriate staff before they are selected. It will simply not allow persons not meeting all requirements to be allocated to a job and covers all the needs of fatigue management.” But there is much more to effective management of the workforce, according to Nick Markwell: “To start with, it is getting the recruitment right. Where there is a specific demand for additional workers, Coyles will take on staff without rail experience and provide PTS training. A particular focus is staff with transferrable skills, for example telecoms workers, who can be introduced into the railway sector. All new recruits have a face-to-face meeting with a manager and are thoroughly briefed.” An online resource platform is used to keep staff up-to-date, with an email alert to new content including industry updates and general


H&S topics. This is tailored to individual staff members, so they receive information related to their own skills and areas of activity. “Knowledge of the Industry and safe working culture is paramount when supplying safety critical staff:” said Phil Cambridge, rail manager North. He feels it is important to have strong working knowledge, so he keeps his safety critical competencies up to speed. This enables his staff and team to deal with any safety critical issues as they arise. Coyles have a proven record of developing people on a career path, for example more than 50 people who started as track workers are now IRSE-licensed signalling installers. “Staff come in on general civil work and then have the option to move into other areas, such as signalling, telecoms and safety critical duties,” Nick added. “In some cases, this will be as a result of requests from the individuals concerned, who see new work opportunities from others working alongside them. In other cases, candidates suitable for advancement are spotted by Coyle managers.” The management team are tasked with undertaking regular site visits, supporting both workers and clients and ensuring that work is being delivered safely and efficiently. Training staff with new skills is a vital part of addressing skills shortages.

HAPPY AND EFFECTIVE Keeping its workforce happy and effective is just as important as if they were permanent employees, and looking after the welfare of all

staff is vital. For all people on its books, Coyles offers an employee assistance programme, known as Health-Assured. This provides free, confidential and non-judgemental support for a whole range of areas, such as health, financial issues, relationships, lifestyle addictions, bereavement housing and legal issues. Accessed through a 24-hour helpline or an online portal, this service is also available to the families of staff. In February 2019, Coyles launched a new apprenticeship scheme, in collaboration with key clients including Balfour Beatty and Siemens. “The emphasis is in taking local people, not previously working on rail, and giving them the skills needed to join the sector,” commented Nick Markwell. A 14-month programme includes day release to college, combined with practical work experience in the railway environment. This will lead to a level 2 groundwork qualification in addition to gaining railway skills. “At the end of the programme, the client has the option of taking them on full time, but, in any event, they will be a valuable future resource to the industry,” Nick added. “And we are looking to expand the scheme in 2020, bringing in more major clients and moving into new areas.”

LOOKING FORWARD Roger Stewart sums up Coyles’ future plans. “We aim to grow steadily, continuing to improve our systems and processes to give greater efficiency, and ultimately providing a better service to our clients. “An important step will be the continuing development of software systems to further simplify and automate operations, including a new digital timesheet system. From early next year, timesheets will become fully electronic, with workers easily able to sign on and off on any mobile device with full automation of the system, including GPS location, fast digital authorisation by the client and reminders of entries needing completion. This will radically transform payroll administration. “We are also working to strengthen our presence in some areas of the country, notably the South West and Scotland, and we are considering possible expansion into Ireland.” Roger and his team at Coyles make an excellent example of how the rail industry evolves to meet changing needs and show that a strong focus on people is still as important as ever.

‘Support on Life’s Journey’ Railway Mission - Supporting Railway People Since 1881 www.railwaymission.org

Your chaplains offer face-to-face year around support, during times of loneliness, stress, depression, bereavement, illness. or distress. “Emotional and spiritual support in a time of crisis is one of the most valuable things you can give to a person. The Railway Mission provides this help to railway staff, the British Transport Police and the travelling public – taking care of the mental welfare of our railway family both day-to-day and following traumatic incidents.” Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Chair Newark Rail

Please support your chaplaincy service. To make a donation, text 'RAIL 5' to 70085 to donate £5. This costs £5 plus a std rate message. Alternatively, you can opt to give any whole amount up to £20. Charity number in England and Wales: 1128024 Scotland SC045897








ith an unprecedented number of new vehicles ordered since 2010 - over 8,000 - and with more orders to come, getting them safely, reliably and efficiently into service is a priority. However, challenges with testing, acceptance, software, stabling, depot facilities and long fixed formation trains seem to result in almost all of them being delivered into service well after they should have been. A recent conference organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers tackled the reasons behind this and the possible solutions. The speakers were in an unusually candid mood and the overall conclusion was “could, should and must do better”. No one actually used the word “crisis”, but “late”, “more costly”, “more risk” and “not performing as well as hoped” were all terms that featured in the presentations. Bill Reeve, director of rail at Transport Scotland, said he was embarrassed by the record of new train introduction over the last few years and it was an inconvenient truth that the last three rolling stock projects sponsored by his department, and those for Northern and TPE, where he is independent chair of the Rail North Partnership, had all been late and had suffered teething troubles. This had led to customer and other benefits being delayed. As an engineer himself, Bill said that he understood that things can go wrong, but he emphasised that government ministers do not understand why rolling stock suppliers appear to promise what they cannot deliver. Moreover, they remember these problems when they determine the next round of investment, and the rail industry often fails to recognise that it is in competition with other transport modes. He did admit, however, that government is at the heart of the challenge, as incentives between the infrastructure manager and the train operators have often been misaligned. He speculated that the output of current reviews might well recommend simplified processes, aligned incentives and joined up railway undertakings. Such a move would lead to problems and issues falling away as people tackle problems in teams. RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF

Thameslink Class 700.

THAMESLINK Dave Hickson from GTR and Hans Benker from Siemens reviewed lessons from the Class 700 fleet introduction onto the Thameslink routes. This was the second biggest individual order in UK history, a total of 1,140 vehicles made up into 115 trains, in a programme from start of procurement to final delivery lasting over ten years. The sheer length of the programme brought its own problems. For example, it was only six years after procurement started, and one year after contract placement, that GTR was appointed, and the opportunity to influence important aspects of the train design had passed. Details, such as aspects of the cab design, led to issues with signal sighting that caused additional infrastructure cost. With such a large fleet, two new depots, many new stabling points and dependency on the Thameslink infrastructure programme, there were a huge number of risks to manage. Offsite testing at Siemens’ test track was highlighted as a key benefit, something noted by others, but it was emphasised that offsite testing was not a substitute for the rigours of passenger operation. As was seen during the aftermath of the May 2018 timetable introduction, driver training was a major challenge, both for stock and route learning. Stabling was

also a major challenge during the transition process, when there were more trains on the network than usual. The Class 700 is a software-driven train. This means that Siemens can monitor service trains from the depot and improve predictive maintenance by collecting additional data. However, the focus shifting from hardware to software does mean that adjustments are needed by both operator and maintainer since every train has a collection of subsystems, each with its own operating system, application and communications interface. Keeping software up to date is significantly affecting how change control is managed.

DRS CLASSES 68 AND 88 Andy Martlew from Direct Rail Services talked about the procurement and authorisation of Class 68 and 88 locomotives. His approach was refreshing. He believed firmly in engagement and relationship building, with the supplier, with the operating staff and with Network Rail, that assurance is something that needs to be planned as part of the design, development and testing process, and that the customer - the railway undertaking (RU) - should be helping the manufacturer to succeed, especially where

the manufacturer has limited UK experience. Andy talked particularly about the network compatibility process, emphasising that the RU must deal with this and, whilst elements might need to be done by others, the overall responsibility cannot be sub-contracted. Using the example of gauging, Andy outlined how he worked with Network Rail to resolve an initial list of nearly 5,500 “tight spots” by prioritising assessment and, if absolutely necessary, by modifying the locomotive gauge or by fixing the tight spot. Andy stressed the importance and value of off-network testing. This allows a much shorter testing programme on UK’s crowded railway - a recurring theme of the seminar. Things can and do go wrong, leading to what Andy euphemistically described as “in-field product development”, especially with brand new designs. Which is when the relationship built with the supplier pays off!




A VIEW FROM OVER THE WATER Peter Smyth, Irish Rail’s chief mechanical engineer, presented his experience of buying new trains. Irish Rail is state owned but organised into two accounting groups - Railway Undertaking and Infrastructure Manager. Irish Rail is roughly a “medium size TOC”, carrying nearly 50 million passengers per annum with a fleet of 900 vehicles. It has purchased over one billion Eurosworth of rolling stock since 2000 from Europe, Asia and the USA. Two tenders are currently in progress - for electric/battery electric vehicles for an expansion of the Dublin Area Rapid Transit network and for additional vehicles for diesel units bought from Hyundai/Rotem. Irish Rail has purchased trains from Europe, Asia and the USA.

Direct Rail Services Class 68.





New trains take a while to become reliable.

© Crossrail

Peter outlined the process used in Ireland which will be familiar to anyone who works in an organisation that owns and operates its own vehicles: specify, procure, design, develop manufacture, take delivery and get into service, all over a period of approximately five years. He emphasised the importance of the specification: “If it’s important to you, include it in the specification.” He highlighted particular issues he faces in a country with no local rolling stock builder, often having to work with suppliers building for Ireland for the first time, and the difficulty of getting any significant off-site testing due to Ireland’s unique 1,600mm gauge. Steve Mitchell warned of difficulties with driver training. © Greater Anglia

DRIVER TRAINING Steve Mitchell from Abellio Greater Anglia discussed the complications surrounding driver training. The company is introducing three classes of new train and its original plans would have delivered 10 to 16 trained drivers per week, enough for the May 2019 timetable while keeping driver training off the critical path and avoiding the “three-month refresh”. In reality, there was a delay in having a train ready for driver training, leading to a large number of drivers who had been Part A trained, but who could not do Part B, causing “re-training due to three months”. Even when trains were available for part B, the automatic selective door-opening system was still not available and a catch-up plan was needed. Finally, training was sometimes cancelled due to no units being available. As a result, driver training became near critical path, emphasising the need for very close liaison between the project and operations teams on train status for driver training. Since then, many of the routes operated by the new bi-mode trains have suffered delays caused apparently by wrong-side track circuit issues and a serious near miss at a level crossing, currently under investigation by the RAIB. Beware of emergent properties!

RELIABILITY Mark Molyneux from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) explored the reliability impact of so many new trains. He presented this against a background of a) generally improving fleet reliability, b) about 15 per cent of delays being down to fleet issues and c) new trains taking a while to grow their reliability, although they are, generally, more RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF

reliable than the trains they replace in the long term. With about half the national train fleet being replaced, the industry is rightly concerned that overall fleet performance will take a hit before recovering. Typical issues highlighted include software function and validation (it is apparent that software developers and train engineers do not understand each other!), the need for clear pass/fail criteria for the demonstration of compatibility, and improvements to specifications and contracts so that trains are specified in terms of reliability, against realistic timescales and using industry guidance such as Key Train Requirements and Key Interface Requirements. All this is necessary as it is unacceptable to subject the railway’s customers to debugging in public! Several further speakers followed this theme. Some comments seemed so blindingly obvious that it was almost a surprise that they had to be mentioned - for example, when buying faster and more powerful electric trains, it is important to calculate whether the power supply has enough juice to run them! A number of speakers questioned whether standards were out of date, appropriate or flexible enough, and whether designers could react quickly to discovered problems. These ranged from train surfers discovering they could use the inter-car connecting cables as a ladder to climb onto the train’s roof, curved windscreens showing ghost reflections of signalling and trains with automatic doors having to be risk-assessed at every platform they could visit. This very frank and open conference illustrated the scale of the challenge that the UK rail industry has over the next two to three years. It is one that will have to be solved.

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ith two recent derailments having caused extensive damage to the railway infrastructure, RailStaff’s safety expert Colin Wheeler looks back to how track inspections used to be managed and considers whether further changes need to be made in the future. As I write, we are still waiting for the delayed publication of the Williams report that is to shape the future development of our railways. One of the issues needing review is the balance of spending between the railway infrastructure and rolling stock. Being a retired rail infrastructure engineer, I may be prejudiced, but I question whether more should be done to inspect, repair and renew trackwork at the expense of commercially driven train-set replacement. Looking at the details of reported accidents, it becomes clear that the working life of passenger-carrying trains on major routes is

being significantly reduced, although I cannot recall seeing any publicity heralding the purchasing of new freight wagons. How do they decide when to replace train sets anyway? I remember working on the design and construction of new train maintenance facilities at Neville Hill Leeds, Heaton Newcastle and Bounds Green as servicing requirements were released prior to the delivery of the new High-Speed Train (HST) sets in the early 1970s. Those trains have only recently been replaced on the East Coast main line. However, judging by recent reports from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), investment in the renewal and upgrading of the rail infrastructure has fallen behind. Worse still are the rising number of incidents where inadequate rail infrastructure inspection and maintenance is leading to derailments. I suggest this may also be a factor in near misses occurring as rail staff under pressure do their utmost to keep our railway running!

© Network Rail

Eastleigh derailment.


Colin Wheeler.


Near miss at Foxton, Anglia route on 14 February

Network Rail’s Safety Central website posted a Safety Alert on 20 February following a near miss at Foxton at 11:01 on 14 February. The track worker involved was from Network Rail’s Tottenham Delivery Unit and they were working on a track defect on the Down line. A train, travelling from Cambridge to Brighton, approached on the Up line at between 70 and 80mph. The driver saw the worker in the four-foot of the Up line and realised that the worker was not moving to a place of safety. At the same time, a second train was approaching on the Down line and the other gang members had moved to a place of safety in the Down cess. The lone trackworker in the Up line reacted when the approaching train was just six seconds away and reached a place of safety with a mere three seconds to spare.

Rail engineers spoke to the BBC! In the middle of February, the derailment at Eastleigh, now under investigation by the RAIB, was described on the BBC South news as being “due to inept maintenance”. Network Rail was quoted as saying that “the fault was not visible during inspections”. Its regional managing director said that “fastenings had given way leading to gauge spread”. Four Network Rail engineers spoke with the BBC. One of them said in a radio interview: “The official line is that this is a component







Previous problems with fastenings The Eastleigh accident happened at 11:31 on 28 January, when a freight train derailed on a set of points just south of Eastleigh station whilst moving at just 12mph. It was travelling from the Down slow to the Down fast using a crossover. The locomotive partially derailed but then re-railed itself. Some wheels on four of the five following wagons also derailed and the track was substantially damaged. The driver was able to stop the train before the other 25 wagons reached the damaged track. There were no injuries, but both track and signalling were severely damaged. RAIB’s investigation will focus on “design and installation of fastenings, the industry’s response to previous problems identified with the fastenings during their service life and underlying factors”.

Freight train derailed on waybeamed (longitudinally timbered) bridge Only five days earlier, on 23 January at 06:00, another freight train derailed near Wanstead Park. It was travelling from Barking to Calvert with a Class 66 locomotive hauling 22 wagons of what is described as “material excavated from a construction site”. The train carried on for a further two and a half miles after derailing before the effect on the braking system caused the driver to stop. It came to rest between Leyton Midland Road and Walthamstow Queens Road stations. One wheelset of the 16th wagon had derailed, resulting in extensive damage © Network Rail

failure, which is true. But it is shockingly inept maintenance.” Network Rail’s reported response was: “We know some staff are concerned about the general upkeep of the railway in and around Eastleigh and so we have brought in some extra staff.” Maybe Eastleigh will, in future years, be seen as a turning point. I am content to await the RAIB report, but there is something very wrong managerially when local engineers feel the need to resort to speaking anonymously to the media!

to the track, other infrastructure and the wagon. RAIB’s investigation will focus on the condition, inspection, maintenance and loading of the track including the longitudinal timbers supporting the rails, wagon condition, inspection, maintenance and loading and “any underlying factors.”

MEWPs collide at Rochford in Essex At 10:57 on the morning of Saturday 25 January, there was a collision between two Skyrailer Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) between Rochford and Southend Airport stations. One of the MEWPs was stationary, the other had travelled over 150 metres at nine or ten miles per hour Damaged bridge waybeam.




before the collision. The RAIB reported simply that the railway was “closed to traffic” while the MEWPs were being used to renew overhead electrification power lines. Two people in the stationary MEWP were working on the overheads at the time of the impact. Both received severe bruising and back injuries due to being thrown against the handrails of the machine. The single worker in the moving MEWP was unhurt and the machines were only slightly damaged. The RAIB investigation will focus on the arrangements for managing movement of the MEWPs and the organisation of the works, management of the MEWPs, management of machine operator and controller competences, braking performance of the MEWPs and underlying factors.

“Very high-risk safety incidents” On its Safety Central website, Network Rail’s safety bulletin number 20-03 issued on 2 February describes an incident that occurred at Adswood junction on 19 January. “Whilst an engineering train was being worked on, an RRV (rail/road vehicle) was propelled on the adjacent road which could have injured an employee. “Reviewing previous similar occurrences, there have been several very high-risk safety incidents that have occurred in recent years. This is due to incorrect movement of engineering trains, on-track machines, and on-track plant when entering, working within or exiting worksites and possessions.” Whilst the grammar in this bulletin may not be perfect, the message is clear! Nonetheless, I suggest the author would be more effective if he or she asked the workers involved face-to-face (not by email), or via a bulletin, why they failed to follow the rules. Were they not personally involved in the detailed planning? How far into the, presumably, voluminous safe system of work plan had one to delve to find relevant “how and when” details?

© Network Rail


The MEWPs that collided at Rochford.

Prohibition Notice with which it had been issued. Why had local staff members, managers, supervisors and local safety representatives not ensured that places of safety were adequately maintained?

Face to face management, workforce involvement Following graduation, my railway life began with a few months working on the shovel with a variety of track gangs. I believe it gave me a first-hand insight into the real world. Recent visits to Network Rail’s Safety Central website leave me concerned that today’s methods of communicating are, in many ways, less effective than face-to-face open discussion, including listening! I believe that the rail industry needs technically and professionally qualified individuals to whom engineering responsibility and accountability is delegated. I vividly remember the day when a regional deputy chief engineer joined the local track gang, of which I was a member, at lunchtime in a lineside cabin and listened to their concerns. During that time, I still remember the day when the chief permanent way inspector told me that getting injured by being hit by a train was very difficult, but being killed by one was easy!

Between tunnels, place-of-safety prohibition notice

Delegation and accountability

Network Rail’s safety bulletin 20-01, issued on 30 January, followed a site visit with ORR inspectors to Dover Priory on 9 January. The objective was to observe TOWS (Train Operated Warning Systems) in Priory and Charlton tunnels. The inspectors were satisfied with the TOWS operations, the safety refuges, method of operation and staff training/briefing. However, at the tunnel mouths and between the tunnels, the positions of safety were found to be limited by cess narrowness and vegetation growth! Consequently, a further site visit was arranged to take place during week commencing 27 January at which Network Rail demonstrated its compliance with the requirements of the

My experience of the inspection, maintenance and renewal of both track and structures included checking the skills and performance of track patrollers and bridge/structural examiners. I recall the use of a system for the selection of track patrollers which included inspecting and reporting on a section of line in an area remote from their usual places of work. Their reports were then checked against a report from an inspection the previous day carried out by the local engineer. They need to have delegated authority to restrict or even stop rail traffic when justified. They must be personally responsible for their actions which will normally include identifying problems and recommending action - sometimes immediate, but usually early enough for remedial work to be fully planned after a qualified supervisor and/or engineer has agreed the details.

Safety of the line I recall funding problems that resulted in the imposition of both speed and axle-weight restrictions. Such restrictions may produce reactions both from train operators and senior engineers. Furthermore, I had personal experience of commercial and political pressure being applied when speed restrictions or closures became necessary due to restricted funding. I recall being challenged on my professional engineering judgement by commercially minded train operators who, when asked to sign a declaration relieving me of my personal responsibility for “the safety of the line”, refused and backed down! I also recall the support we gave to our patrollers, examiners and local engineers, as well as the backing we received from senior engineers based at head office. On one occasion, when a patroller was required to attend a court case after a serious accident, I was pleased that the judge agreed that my evidence on the suitability and quality of the trackwork was sufficient. This resulted in the patroller not being called to the witness box. He was not disappointed. RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF






rained competences are essential for the safe and reliable operation, maintenance and renewal of our heavily used railways. RailStaff safety commentator Colin Wheeler considers whether personal responsibility rather than corporate liability is the way to go when things go wrong.

I recall an amazingly good cartoon, produced decades ago, showing a very long-armed ape wearing a huge number of competency armbands before starting work. His companion was captioned saying he was the only willing individual they could find with long enough arms! The problem is not new. Multiple certification, I suggest, only adds to record keeping without improving safety performance. A better method is surely the use of registered professional, technical and operational bodies whose membership is restricted to those who can adequately demonstrate their abilities. Before the current privatisation, I recall appointments being made when the initial briefing of individuals included, not only going through the responsibilities and accountabilities, but also being advised by lawyers. We were told that, whilst our employer would organise legal representation if things went wrong, we could be sacked and lose our pensions if found guilty of failing to comply with current legislation, including the Health and Safety at Work Act. Subsequently, it was confirmed to me that, whilst all technically or professionally trained staff employed to use their skills on rail infrastructure were accountable for their own professional work, the ultimate responsibility went upwards to British Rail’s board directors, who were supported by suitable professional indemnity insurance. I do not believe that carrying a pile of tickets, wearing lots of armbands or merely seeing others doing the work is sufficient. Being human, we are all liable to make mistakes for which we ought to accept responsibility.

BEING HELD TO ACCOUNT In the earlier days of the Health and Safety at Work Act, those of us whose work was categorised as “safety critical” drafted our own “Safety Responsibility Statements”, detailing how, as individuals, we would personally comply with the legislation. I remember being interviewed, following incidents and accidents, by my local inspector from Her Majesty’s Railway Inspectorate. I also recall the prosecution and acquittal of one of my supervisors and the subsequent increased safety focus we all had following a prosecution resulting from an ontrack fatality.

The most recent prosecutions brought by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) have resulted in companies being fined millions of pounds. The legal representation will also have cost a considerable sum. If rail infrastructure owners, consultant designers, contractors and train operators are involved, the end result sometimes includes the payment of administration costs by two government-funded bodies for funding to be transferred between them. If a commercial company is involved, it is still the company that is prosecuted. The publicity should affect those working on our railways, but is this really the best way? Organisations owning rail infrastructure may lose funds as a result. I think not. Individuals who fail to do their best to comply with safety regulations and work safely should be held personally responsible for their actions. The competence of individuals should be evidenced by training and testing leading to independently assessed competency skills awarded by professional bodies.

BONUSES TARGETED At the end of March last year, the Office of Rail and Road published a document entitled “Holding Network Rail to account”. In the section describing the organisation of Enforcement Orders, Fig 5.2 reads as follows: “Reflecting Network Rail’s ownership and funding, ORR may decide to scale any penalty to make it capable of being funded from Network Rail’s management bonuses” (Fig 5.2). It also refers to the “Financial Performance Measure” used by Network Rail as “an important component of its management bonuses, which may therefore be adversely affected”. Clearly, the current regulation provisions provide for penalties to be levied on individuals who fail to carry out their work as they should. As routes take over day-to-day responsibilities, the timing, I suggest, is right for a change of focus and usual practice to be required by the ORR. FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.CO.UK






rganisations at all levels of the railway supply chain are increasingly seeking to improve both the understanding and competence of their operational staff. From train drivers and publicfacing crews, to factory and depot engineering teams, railway companies need to support their teams with consistent and reliable training and competency management, and in real time. The need for heightened dependability in competency management can be considered to go back to the 1999 Ladbroke Grove train crash. Since that incident, train operators have been focused on reducing their level of SPADs (signals passed at danger) and introducing systems to ensure consistently high levels of competency. While there are many factors which can lead to SPADs, they often occur at low speeds when the driver has applied the brakes too late. This is usually down to poor judgement by the driver or a dip in competency level and understanding, leading to human error. Traditional paper-based competency management systems are still widely used to generate a safety critical portfolio for each driver that could be hundreds of pages long. This valuable information often sits on a shelf and, while it may well get updated, assessors do not have the time to sift through all this data to plan future assessments. Thus, with these paper-based systems, it can be difficult to identify areas of concern where future training is required, leading to gaps in knowledge or a need to refresh staff competency in specific skills.

A DIGITAL SOLUTION Rail operators, train builders and contractors are therefore looking to digitalisation to provide them with a much safer solution to the issue of competency management and compliance. 3Squared’s RailSmart suite is an excellent and proven tool that helps to improve operations by providing an accurate, easily accessible and mobile picture of an individual’s overall competency, which is fundamental to enhancing the safety of the rail network. One major advantage of using digital solutions is that an assessor’s time is freed up to support, develop and manage safety-critical employees better. Managers can increase the amount of time they spend on in-line management and are thus enabled to identify individuals in need of training. A direct result of this digitalisation of the training and recording schedule is that the risk of any further operational incidents is reduced. This gives managers the time and ability to understand team members on a personal level and discover how human factors and other influences may be affecting or influencing their work. RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF

A SAFER INDUSTRY Using an app to provide the formal grading process and consistent feedback helps to raise the bar of competency. It is a well-known fact that the more competent individuals are in performing their work, the less likely they are to have an operating incident. As well as the obvious safety benefits, it also means better organisational performance and, in the case of the driver-scenario mentioned above, improved punctuality, better vehicle performance and reduced wear and related maintenance costs. As these apps are fully integrated, they involve everyone within the business and, as a result, improve employee understanding of their roles in relation to one another, which supports the delivery of a safer railway system. East Midlands Railway, Bombardier Transportation and GBRf, long established clients of 3Squared, are experiencing many benefits from using RailSmart software. It helps to reduce both assessment planning time and the amount of time spent on completion and mapping of competency against formal assessment paperwork, which represents a potential saving of several thousand hours per year. Recording assessments digitally using iPads means benchmarks can be set and areas for development can be identified, driving up the standards of competency for the rail industry and so reducing operational incidents and their associated performance delays. Using apps of this type, assessors can include a greater number of competencies within a system and manage them consistently across the business. They can also carry out live assessments and give real-time feedback to employees, whereas, in the past, paper-based systems meant it could take days, if not weeks, before staff received feedback on their performance. Software apps such as RailSmart also remove the risk of administration errors and provide real-time reporting of compliance against standards. These reports are crucial for rail management to understand how assessors are grading their teams, driving improvement within a business. These apps therefore allow rail assessment teams to spend more time with their drivers and less time on administration, while simultaneously providing reassurance to the rail operator that it is actively managing its operational risks. For more information about the RailSmart suite of products, call 0333 121 3333 or email hello@3squared.com.










took the decision to retire in December after 17 years - almost to the day at RIA. A mixture of circumstances led to this decision: some minor health issues, the need to play guitar like Frank Zappa and the fact I became the oldest person on the regular train commute into London Victoria by some margin (based on my own visual evidence and increasing offers of a seat from people who didn’t look much younger than me).

When I started at RIA in December 2002, two of the biggest supply chain issues were the lack of a stable and visible work profile and the fact that relationships between key stakeholders (mainly clients and suppliers) tended to be transactional (that is to say, confrontational) rather than collaborative. As a testament to the cracking job I have done, they are probably still two of the top issues. But it would be wrong to say that nothing has changed in that time. Back in the 1990s, when privatisation was being implemented, not even the most pointy-headed of those involved expected rail to become successful - indeed, most predicted a managed rundown. So, we had a rail network, previously starved of investment by both the main political parties, which was suddenly pitched into a period of massive and totally unexpected passenger growth. As a result, performance unsurprisingly began dropping off - indeed I remember organising the Department for Transport’s (DfT) first ‘Rail Summit’ in 2000, which had been ordered by the then Secretary of State because he felt that an overall performance of around 95 per cent was “a national disgrace”… And then there were the reviews. All of them. Just as we were getting to grips with the jigsaw, someone would throw all the pieces up in the air and gave us a new picture to follow.

Peter Loosley.

Some - if not all - of this led to significant change to Network Rail’s structure and operating model. I will remember Network Rail changing from a system of semi-autonomous satellites into a much more centrally driven command and control organisation. And now we are seeing Network Rail moving back to a regionally devolved structure. But enough of the context. In my time at RIA I have seen a significant shift in how the importance of the supply chain in delivering our railway is perceived and understood. When I joined, RIA was viewed as a bit of a gentleman’s club, but, thanks to the largely below-the-radar work of its then director general Jeremy Candfield, it became a serious industry player. This was a major development, but RIA’s good work was not always visible to all.

THE PRESENT DAY So, more recently under new chief executive Darren Caplan, RIA has developed a much stronger lobbying and PR focus to publicise what we do on behalf of the supply chain, which has created several successful industry campaigns, particularly around a visible and stable work profile. However, neither of these two approaches can be applied in isolation - as with most things, a balance must be struck. I believe we now have that balance, but we need to ensure that it is maintained. RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF




Frank “Peter Loosley” Zappa.

I retire with some regret that I didn’t help the railway industry improve as much as I would have liked. However, I believe the building blocks are now there. The industry needs a strong RIA, and I believe we have that. Most of all, the industry needs to move towards a more collaborative culture. For an industry with so many moving parts, it is critical that stakeholders understand each other’s roles and drivers and use that understanding to inform their actions. Establishing that will go a long way towards improving the efficiency and performance of the railway for both customers and taxpayers, which is, after all, what we are all here to do. The Williams Review will also be important. It seems to be widely accepted that one of the main outcomes will be the establishment of an arm’s-length body (similar to the old SRA - the Strategic Rail Authority) to oversee, inter alia, the franchising of the train companies

and, in doing so, decouple from DfT some of its current micro-management of the railway. I believe this would be a sensible approach, but one of the main reasons the SRA failed was the blurring of responsibilities between it and the government. So, my plea would be that, in setting up such a new body, the respective roles of the two protagonists are made pellucidly clear and, more importantly, adhered to. In summary, I think at least four key important things need to happen: 1. Collectively, we need to keep moving towards a more collaborative culture; 2. We all need to work together to ensure the new Network Rail structure settles in as quickly and efficiently as possible and that, as part of that, there is frequent constructive dialogue between Network Rail and its suppliers; 3. That one and two above, in conjunction with the industry renewals roundtable process and the ‘Rail Sector Deal’, smooth out the volatile work profiles for both renewals and enhancements we have seen over every control period to date, which has been a constant thorn in the side of the supply chain and a huge barrier to more efficient delivery; 4. The post-Williams arm’s-length body is set up as quickly as possible with very clear terms of reference which are understood, accepted and enforced.

FAREWELL, BUT NOT GOODBYE I have really enjoyed my time in the rail industry and, despite its occasional frustrations, I have made many valued, longterm friendships - there are many people that I shall miss but I hope to stay in touch in a limited way in 2020. It’s rather like the Hotel California: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!” This is a great industry, full of people with pride, passion, professionalism, expertise and integrity, which I shall miss very much. I wish it well and know that it will deliver. Meanwhile, to paraphrase Mr Zappa, I will “Shut Up ‘n Play My Guitar”. Listen to him go. FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.CO.UK







ailway stations and the railway network are like magnets, attracting vulnerable children and young people who may have run away from home or care and have nowhere else to go. Over 8,600 children were identified by British Transport Police as being at risk on the railways last year. Specialist charity Railway Children, which is working with Network Rail and others to combat this growing problem, recently held a sleepout event to draw attention to its work. Stations are a natural attraction to those unfortunate enough to be on their own with nowhere to go. Enclosed and sheltered from the wind, they are mostly dry and, in some cases, heated. The crowds also tend to make ‘loners’ more anonymous and, of course, they are destinations to those travelling by train. It’s a problem across the country and for people of all ages. However, the situation is particularly problematic when it affects children and young people. In 2018, the British Transport Police (BTP) recorded that a third of the children that were identified as at risk had run away from home or care, while others had issues including sexual exploitation, abuse, substance misuse, poor mental health and suicide. Often, these children end up in vulnerable situations either because they have slipped through the safety net and are not receiving statutory support, or because that support is not sufficient to address their complex needs. The Railway Children charity works in partnership with British Transport Police and with station owner Network Rail, aiming to connect with some of the most vulnerable children in the UK and, hopefully, turn their lives around for good.

INCREASING NUMBERS As stations are known ‘hotspots’ that attract these young people, 330 people got involved as this year’s Railway Children Sleepout took place in nine stations across the country on one night in January. Railway staff chose to sleep ‘rough’ in Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street, Glasgow Central, Leeds, London Bridge, London Waterloo, Liverpool Lime Street, Milton Keynes and Derby stations to draw attention to the plight of children and young people at risk and also to raise money for the Railway Children charity. £135,000 was raised nationally with many senior industry figures involved. RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF



Mark Wild (chief executive, Crossrail) and Anna Delvecchio (commercial director, Amey) raised a very creditable £12,000 between them (pictured left). Both have been asked to act as Patrons for next year’s event. The second annual Railway Children Sleepout was sponsored by VolkerRail and supported both by Network Rail and food travel experts SSP UK. Temperatures were low but spirits were high as the participants gathered up and down the country to spend the night sleeping in one of the nine stations. It was only one night of hardship, but having no bed, sleeping on hard and cold floors and having to deal with limited facilities gave the volunteers some insight into what runaways go through. Naturally, it was not a completely authentic simulation. There were some high-end sleeping bags, yoga mats and other forms of padding, thermos flasks and sandwich boxes in evidence. Still, 330 people gave up one comfortable night to sleep - or try to - in a cold station and they must all be given credit for that. “We should all try to help and play our part helping vulnerable children and young people to turn their lives around,” said Anna Delvecchio and Mark Wild from their spot at Waterloo station. “In our minds, it’s absolutely the right thing to do. “Stepping in and giving the right support to a vulnerable young person can mark a turning point in their lives and the rail

network provides a unique environment to identify and offer these life changing opportunities. This is what Railway Children do, in partnership with others. “Railway Children’s objective is to create a national safety network for vulnerable children at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. They work in partnership with British Transport Police, enabling them to connect with some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.”

CHILDREN AT RISK Railway stations and the railway network attract vulnerable children and young people. BTP predicts that, this year, it will file nearly 9,000 reports of children at risk on the railways. Many will be running away from care or home and often they are trying to meet someone who has been grooming them online. But one area of concern, and one that is growing rapidly, is children being exploited by criminals, forced to transport drugs or






Liverpool Lime Street.

Derby. money around the country for ‘county lines’ gangs. In response to this increasing concern, Railway Children has worked with BTP to develop a specific face-toface county lines training module to enable railstaff who come into direct contact with young people to identify if they are being exploited. It is essential to have trained eyes and ears on the ground to identify and support vulnerable children. The more children identified and reported to BTP, the more can be referred to Railway Children or other services for ongoing support when required. Railway Children

also has other face-to-face and eLearning training modules that train and encourage railway, security, retail and office staff to be its eyes and ears and to support BTP by identifying children who are at risk. Thanks to funding from BTP, Railway Children will be able to provide these new training sessions focussing on ‘county lines’ problems free of charge. Each session will run for one and a half hours and staff members from several train companies have already signed up to take part and learn more about how to spot the signs of county lines exploitation.

DS Gareth Williams from British Transport Police said: “Making safeguarding interventions with young people who are being exploited and coerced into this type of criminality is the best way to protect the vulnerable and tackle county lines offending.”

STATION PLANS Network Rail, as owner of almost all of the UK’s main line stations and manager of the 20


largest ones, is taking its own steps to safeguard children. In partnership with Railway Children and several other charities its forthcoming programme “Routes out of homelessness” is understood to focus on tackling the issue of homelessness through a series of local and national charity partnerships. Railway Children will be part of this programme and will continue to work to improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people and prevent them from becoming the next generation of adult homelessness. Various fund-raising activities take place throughout the year, with the latest being the ‘Yorkshire Three Peaks’, a 39.2km circular hike that takes place on 15 May 2020 and climbs all three mountains in the stunning countryside of the Yorkshire Dales - Whernside (736m), Ingleborough (723m) and Pen-y-ghent (694m). Then there will be the 2021 Big Sleepout - already being planned. As Patrons, Anna and Mark are hoping for an even larger turnout than this year. Will you be there?






any roles on the railway today are hidden from the public. Passengers see station staff and on-board hosts and train managers. They are aware that the trains have drivers, though they don’t often see them, and, through their train’s windows, they catch glimpses of people - too far away to take in whether they are men or women - in orange suits standing alongside the railway as they pass. They don’t see all the work that goes on in offices - some of which are railway jobs and some more-conventional company management roles - to keep the railways running. As a result, many young people do not consider the railway when looking at their career options - they do not appreciate the wide range of roles available. Diversity is also a problem and a survey, conducted by the Rail Delivery Group, found that 81 per cent of women in Britain have never even considered the rail industry as a career path. A number of organisations and programmes have been created to understand and overcome the tradition of gender disparity and to encourage young people to consider rail as a career. In January, Community Rail Lancashire, with the help of Network Rail, organised a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) event with a difference. Around 32 young women from four different Manchester schools joined a number of senior female rail managers on a normal service train from Manchester to Liverpool. On the train, over ten Network Rail managers moved around the groups of young women who had prepared interview questions to ask. With just under 10 minutes allocated to each interview, the idea was to give the groups as much information about the managers’ railway roles as possible - their path into the role and their thoughts surrounding the industry as a whole, both positives and negatives. The initiative was a great success as it did not take much time from the managers’ diaries (some were travelling to Liverpool for a business reason anyway) and the young people were able to experience the railway for themselves, rather than hear about it in a classroom. The fact that some of the young people had never ridden on a train before was one of the first (surprising) observations. Rebecca Styles, community and sustainability manager for the North of England, said one of the young women told her they assumed all train drivers were male. Rebecca said that Manchester Piccadilly “now has RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF

Rebecca Styles.

Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain with a student.




Karen Hornby explained the variety of roles available in the rail industry.

Network Rail’s Claire Beranek manages 50 engineers.

On arrival at Liverpool, the group was met by Lord Mayor Ann Rothery.

about 10 per cent female train drivers”, up from the two per cent when she first started as a train conductor in 2011. She became an assessor a year later and went on to be the conductor team manager at Manchester Piccadilly. “Now I’ve gone back into what I enjoyed doing most, which is working in the community and working with stakeholders,” Rebecca added. Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain - equality, diversity and inclusion lead at Community Rail Lancashire - said she had never thought of working in rail and had only applied for a role in the industry while working as a teacher. She felt that diversity is incredibly important for any industry: “We know that the more diverse a company is, the more efficient and creative it is, and it’s a happier place to work in general. “Not only are we trying to get more women in rail because it’s the right thing to do, but, factually speaking, it should make the industry more efficient and should bring in new perspectives that we need as we move into the future.” Karen Hornby, head of performance and customer relations, said that many of the young women she spoke to during the journey didn’t realise the variety of roles available. She explained: “There’s people who do

accountancy, big HR departments, you can drive a train, you can be a conductor, you can work on a station, there’s a lot more to it and they didn’t know that.” Karen is responsible for London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Piccadilly stations on a day-today basis. She said she “absolutely loves” the role, but did often struggle in her early days. “I would go to a meeting and I would be the only woman - things have changed in that respect and there are a lot of female managers now. “I didn’t have the confidence when I started work on the rail industry and, without people supporting me and encouraging me, I wouldn’t be where I am now.” Karen now wants to do the same for young people today. Claire Beranek, senior route asset manager for signalling and telecoms, explained to the group that she joined the railway in 1990 and, 30 years on, it’s now very different. When Claire started her career, it was strange to have a woman working out on the track doing engineering jobs. There were no female toilets, so she had to ask permission to go to the men’s toilet and check there were no men in there before entering. Today one

of Claire’s teams is responsible for providing new trackside facilities for both men and women. She now manages around 50 engineers, but says she would often be the brunt of a joke at the start of her career - because she is a woman. “The men would try to have a bit of a joke, saying predictable things like ‘shouldn’t you be doing the washing up?’ “At the time, I just joked back and didn’t get offended, but some people today would find that offensive and it wouldn’t be accepted.” Claire added that women “only make up about 10 per cent of roles in engineering. For a lot of years, females have been underrepresented in engineering and we want to increase it. The way to do that is to educate people around the opportunities available to them - especially to young girls who might not be aware.” Once the group arrived in Liverpool, they were welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Ann Rothery, before heading to the museum to continue researching and write up the day. The group has entered Community Rail’s writing competition, which communicates young women’s views of rail and launches on 9 March at the National Railway Museum, York. FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.CO.UK






019/20 has been a very successful year for Young Rail Professionals and David Westcough feels honoured to have been chosen to lead the organisation that was founded in 2009. The former naval cadet, now a project engineer with SNC-Lavalin Rail & Transit, will be stepping down as National Chair next month and considers the achievements of his year in office. As we approach the new financial year, my term as the National Chair of Young Rail Professionals (YRP) draws to a close and, as such, I wanted to use the YRP spread in this month’s edition of RailStaff to look back on the highlights of the past 12 months. It was in March 2019 that it was announced that I was to be the next National Chair of YRP, then it was straight into action as soon as I found out. In April alone, we had two major events - our flagship annual black-tie dinner and dance as well as a collaborative technical tour with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) to Munich, which was attended by 46 delegates.

It came as an absolute relief that both of these events were a resounding success, although all of those involved in their organisation were certainly feeling the pressure in the preceding months. The joy of volunteering for YRP lies in making events such as these happen, hence it always feels amazing when they go well.

AROUND THE REGIONS I then took the opportunity to visit events organised by our various regions - so far, I’ve managed to visit seven out of our eight regions throughout the UK. I’ve been very much impressed by the quality of these events, as well as the effort put in by our volunteers in their delivery, and I’m very grateful for their hard work in delivering what YRP sets itself out to do. My personal regional favourites were: London & South East’s Politics of Rail, Western’s Career Paths with Nick Millington, East Midland’s collaborative Cinema Evening with Women in Rail, West Midland’s Engineering the Future of Urban Mobility, North East’s Summer Social, North West’s Helping to Deliver a Better Railway for the North and Scotland’s Summer Barbeque. I must apologise to Wales for not making it out

to one of their events, but I am very proud of that region’s launch this year! In July, 30 of our volunteers from across the country came together for our Annual Leadership Conference, held at Aston University in Birmingham. There, we discussed all things YRP with a view to look into how we can improve the organisation for our volunteers and members, both individual and corporate. It was once again a very enjoyable occasion and we came away with some incredible ideas of how to make YRP even better!

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL Over the summer, in collaboration with the IMechE and the Institutions of Engineering Technology (IET) and Railway Signalling Engineers (IRSE), we launched the Young Rail Tours (YRT) initiative, which seeks to deliver a programme of affordable, accessible and inspirational railway study tours for young people, as well as to facilitate visits by our international railway colleagues. As part of this, we hosted 40 delegates from the Chinese rolling stock manufacturer CRRC at four networking events across the UK and delivered a weekend study tour to Scotland. This month, we’re looking forward to our first intercontinental tour to Japan, with thanks to our sponsor Eversholt Rail and travel partner Trainline. RAILSTAFF.CO.UK | @RAIL_STAFF | FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF




support with its maintenance tasks and YRP’s members benefit from the developmental experience. Finally, since the turn of the year, we’ve been gearing up towards our 10th Annual Dinner, which is to be held in Manchester this year the first time that it’s ever been held in the North West. I am extremely excited for this event as we appear on course for a sell-out, with a huge number of organisations throughout the industry represented! For all the above, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody that’s volunteered for YRP over the past year. Without the hard work of our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we do. It’s been incredible to work alongside so many enthusiastic and driven people. I very much appreciate all the effort that’s been put into YRP by our volunteers, and I hope that they’ve managed to benefit from it too.

October saw a successful Rail Week, a pan-industry initiative of dedicated railway activity that aims to address the skills shortage in rail-related roles and inspire a generation of young people through a series of events, visits and talks. We reached a huge number of young people through this initiative, showing them what a great career one can have in rail. Following on from a successful trip in 2018, in November 2019, we once again conducted a working trip to the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway (F&WHR), supporting the heritage railway with various maintenance tasks. There, attendees gained experience in hands-on infrastructure maintenance work and even got the opportunity to test drive one of its steam locomotives! This collaboration with the F&WHR railway has proven to be considerably productive for both of us, as the heritage railway gains FACEBOOK.COM/RAILSTAFF | @RAIL_STAFF | RAILSTAFF.CO.UK








s staff shortages start to appear with the increase in work on the railway, specialist recruitment agency Matrax is becoming the name to call when contractors are looking to fill white-collar and technical vacancies. Despite the slow start, it now seems that Network Rail’s Control Period 6 (CP6 - 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2024) workbank is starting to be turned into one-off and framework contracts. As the principal contractors and their main subcontractors gear up to meet the demand, they are turning to recruitment and contingentlabour suppliers to make sure they have enough skilled staff available to meet those requirements. Matrax is an established rail-specialist agency that works with high profile clients in the UK, delivering contract and permanent staffing solutions across all disciplines in the sector. Predominantly focussed on white


collar engineering and technical recruitment, Matrax is a Sentinel approved agency that also provides trackside workers to projects all over the UK. The staff at Matrax have a wealth of experience, having racked up over 40 years in the industry between them. This has resulted in the company making its mark - it won awards for Best Newcomer and Best Performing Supplier to Capita / Network Rail in 2019, across a wide variety of disciplines, including engineering, commercial, project control and project management. “We try to establish a relationship that inspires confidence in the profiles we are presenting to our clients,” explained account manager Matt Roberts. “A reliable qualification process is paramount to providing a timeefficient service to everybody in the supply chain.”

BENEFIT OF EXPERIENCE Matt, himself, has 15 years’ experience in the sector. He emphasised that Matrax has built its reputation on providing a good experience for applicants and an ability to engage with candidates knowledgeably about the projects and disciplines they work within. “We are thoughtful about the communication channels we use and the way candidates like to engage about new opportunities in today’s job market,” he said. “We also constantly adapt our approach to best suit the candidate or client we are working on behalf of.” As well as the slow start to CP6 last year, the industry was further hit by uncertainties over Brexit, doubts about HS2 and the introduction of IR35 - the new off-payroll working rules from HM Revenue and Customs that can apply if a worker provides their services through an intermediary. “We recognise IR35 has been a dominant feature of the year so far,” Matt continued, “but it’s a transition we have previously navigated with our public sector clients in 2018, so it’s not

new to us. We can therefore offer candidates advice and clarity, whether it's remaining compliant outside IR35 or making the change to an Umbrella PAYE contract and how that will affect their take-home pay.”

LOCAL SERVICE, GLOBAL REACH Because of this experience, and their personal approach, Matrax is now first choice for many companies that are looking for a trusted, knowledgeable and innovative recruitment partner. From a single permanent placement to managing high volume multisite contract requirements, Matrax has the expertise and the passion to deliver a recruitment process as straightforward as

"Matrax was very efficient and provided an exceptional service. Matt, my Consultant, was friendly, approachable, helpful and understanding, he demonstrated professionalism and passion in his work. Throughout the whole process he supported me, called me to see how each stage of the interview went and was prompt in following up with any of my questions or concerns. I would highly recommend Matrax and will return to them in the future if the requirement arises."





possible, taking all the pressure away from their clients. Based in Portishead, on the Severn Estuary close to Bristol, Matrax works throughout the UK and overseas. One of its specialities is providing rare skill-set candidates to projects in the UK, Europe and the USA. “We operate within candidate-short markets and work closely with the best professionals in the industries we work within,” Matt clarified. “Our ethos is based on delivery and adding value to the clients and candidates we work with. “To the rail industry, we offer bespoke, professional and fully comprehensive services to each and every client we work with. We adapt to our clients’ unique needs and understand that finding the right candidate isn’t just about matching the qualifications and experience, they need to fit into the culture and be fully committed to the success of the project and the people they are working with. “As a specialist, we attract and retain the very best people in the sector and, as a result, can provide quality personnel at short notice for both contract and permanent roles. Our candidate database stretches the globe and is continuously updated to ensure speedy access to available staff.”


Matrax works with leading clients, consultancies and contractors in the UK rail sector, supporting all major programmes of work. If you operate in the rail sector and would like to explore the possibility of working on a contract basis or if you would like to advance your career on a high profile project we would love to hear from you. Our areas of expertise: ENGINEERING AND TECHNICAL COMMERCIAL AND CONTRACT PROJECT MANAGEMENT ELECTRIFICATION | SIGNALLING TRACK CIVILS AND CONSTRUCTION PLANNING AND PROJECT CONTROLS ESTIMATING AND QUANTITY SURVEYING QUALITY ASSURANCE HEALTH AND SAFETY ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT DESIGN AND CONSULTANCY

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ith the relaxing of age discrimination legislation, more and more people are choosing to work beyond the traditional retirement age of 65. Often, this is to supplement an insufficient pension, but it can also be to keep the brain in gear and remain involved with the latest technology, at the same time offering-up years of experience to the younger generation in the progression of their careers.

One such person is Paul Taylor, who, at 80, lays claim to be the oldest person still on Network Rail’s payroll. Paul (who has a younger brother Grahame Taylor, the erstwhile editor of Rail Engineer magazine and still a writer on civil engineering matters) has been a signal engineer for all his working life. He comes from a railway family, with his father being the freight manager on Southern Region until 1971 and his grandfather also being a train crew member. Starting out in 1956 at the then London office of Westinghouse, near King’s Cross, as a technical assistant trainee with a salary of £4-10s a week, he quickly learned the rudiments of relay interlocking and miniature lever frames (Type L) which were being installed on BR’s Southern Region in readiness for the Kent Coast electrification. The last one of these remains in main line service at Maidstone East, but L frames continue in use on some heritage lines, the Bluebell and Ffestiniog to name but two. Paul also had involvement with the first push-button panel at Beckenham, which controlled the short distance from there to Shortlands. Westinghouse had won the contracts for Birmingham New Street and Guildford power boxes and Paul became part of the design team for these. Basingstoke power box was another contract at that time, with the initial requirement to rewire the pneumatic points, signals and detection within the existing signalling, another technology that has disappeared.

JOINING BRITISH RAILWAYS Maybe Westinghouse was not close enough to the ‘real railway’, so Paul chose to join BR Southern Region in 1964 as a senior technical officer (STO) in signalling design, initially at Wimbledon and then on the 12th floor of Southern House in Croydon. During his long time there, he worked on Guildford stage works, learning the rudiments of locking alterations on a Stevens frame.

This was the time of the Bournemouth electrification, where a new box at Eastleigh was being built. The electrification switch-on was the May timetable change in 1967, but the signalling was far from ready. The general manager of the day dictated that nothing must stop the electric trains from running, so the power box was brought into use with the functional testing being done later. Imagine that happening in today’s world - but perhaps Crossrail should take note. The train describer was not finished so train identities were passed along the panel on pieces of paper! Paul had the challenge of getting the emergency block bells to work during the Dartford box commissioning, but he became the specialist engineer developing signalscheme plans for the constant stream of little jobs, mainly on the South West division and particularly the Portsmouth Direct Route. He had a brief secondment with Transmark, which sent him to Ireland to work on planning the DART Dublin suburban network. This was similar signal-planning work for relaybased interlockings but he had the luxury of being granted the overseas spending money allowance of 6 shillings per day (30p in today’s money). He still has the relay-based documentation for Dublin Westland Row (now Pearse) signal area. Paul Taylor worked on the design team for Birmingham Power Box, seen here in operation in 1964.





RRIER Paul Taylor (L) with Clive Kessell.

FIRST RAILTRACK, THEN NETWORK RAIL In 1995, with the coming of Railtrack, Paul was offered the chance to take redundancy which, in view of his years of service, was a lucrative package, and so he entered the ‘wilderness’ for about six months. Very soon, the brighter people within Railtrack realised that they had thrown the baby out with the bath water and a recruitment drive was started to get back some of the lost expertise. Paul was offered a six-month work package as a consultant

design engineer (signalling) and started his own company (Astwick Controls) to facilitate the employment. He ended up staying until the demise of Railtrack in 2002 but immediately transferred to Network Rail. His work remained essentially the same - doing scheme plans for small signalling projects around the country - but his previous computer knowledge from the 1990s, based on Windows 3.1, enabled him to adapt to the modern technology with ease. CAD and screen-based working, plus

also the basics of solid-state interlocking (SSI), are all part of his portfolio. The use of video images to produce signalling plans has made the work a lot easier and saves having to go to site. When the use of contractors was being outlawed, Paul was offered the job on a permanent basis at age 64, dropping down to three days a week when 65 and now doing two days a week in Network Rail’s Croydon office. He has no plans to retire, but has a small problem with Parkinson’s disease which does

not stop him doing the commute from Bookham to West Croydon and the walk from there to the office. Due to this, he is no longer allowed track side. He is a Member of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) and regularly attends the member’s lunch each summer. Paul has a wife and a daughter at home, the latter being into horses, a very expensive hobby he says. What advice would he give the youngsters of today? Try to keep signalling scheme layouts simple and easy to understand but learn and remember the basics of signal engineering flank protection, point-to-point locking but beware of swinging overlaps as they are a mixed blessing. Is Paul a model for others? Maybe. As indicated in the article on the FRS&TE at Crewe elsewhere in this issue, there is certainly a wealth of untapped experience amongst retired engineers, but this must not be used to negate the need for training the next generation. Horses for courses perhaps?


22nd - 26th June

Building Safety Together Want to know more? Then visit railsafetyweek.org or call 0161 302 0575 or email alan@railsafetyweek.co.uk

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Shaping Melbourne Australia Are you interested in joining the project team at Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) that is involved in multibillion dollar city-shaping infrastructure projects? Did you know? Metro Trains Melbourne is part of the MTR family, with global reach across Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Can you bring your wealth of experience to help us support the delivery of Melbourne’s two largest rail infrastructure projects? THE METRO TUNNEL PROJECT The A$11 billion Metro Tunnel will untangle the city loop so more trains can run more effectively across Melbourne. The Metro Tunnel scope includes twin nine-kilometre rail tunnels, five new underground stations as well as new high capacity signalling. The Metro Tunnel Project is being delivered in three work packages, with a programme-level team assisting each package. The three work packages are: Rail Systems Alliance, Rail Infrastructure Alliance and the Tunnels and Stations Public Private Partnership.

> KEY METRO TUNNEL PROJECT ROLES: Delivery Manager – Systems

Operations & Maintenance Readiness Manager

Lead the business change required to support Victoria’s ‘Big Build’ Infrastructure Program, specifically relating to the Metro Tunnel Project (MTP). You will ensure the safe delivery of the MTP Systems, a team of over 100 people and a turnover of over A$50m, acting as the alternative Alliance Leadership Team (ALT) for MTM, supporting the Project Director.

Provide a line-based focus to the various O&M team members across the MTP packages and High Capacity Metro Trains. The line-based focus will comprise full line trials prior to revenue service and managing the change impact of the MTP across the line and the wider business.

Enabling Services Manager

Senior Engineer – Train Control & ATS

Responsible for the efficient and effective support to the Rail Projects Victoria Programme (RPVP). This roles provides key leadership across a range of programme-level disciplines which include: financial governance, legal, commercial and financial risk management, programme planning, control systems, stakeholder and communications and people management.

As a Subject matter expert in Train Control systems, including Automatic Train Supervision (ATS), and their interface to signalling/ CBTC and other network control systems, the role is responsible to review designs relating to the proposed systems and changes to existing systems.

THE LEVEL CROSSING REMOVAL PROJECT The Level Crossing Removal Project (LXRP) was established by the Victorian Government to oversee one of the largest rail infrastructure projects in the state’s history. LXRP is part of the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority and our projects fall under Victoria’s Big Build. Central to the project is the elimination of 75 level crossings across metropolitan Melbourne by 2025, in addition to other rail network upgrades such as new train stations, track duplication and train stabling yards.

> KEY LXRP PROJECT ROLES: Programme Delivery Manager – LXRP

Project Manager – Signalling

Responsible and accountable for the delivery of Projects within the Level Crossings Removal Portfolio (LXRP). They shall ensure that the Program Managers, Project Managers, Engineers and the other team members involved in the LXRP Projects achieve the goals within the safety, time, cost and quality parameters determined for the Projects.

To provide effective project management of LXRP signalling requirements, drawing together MTM’s needs as a client and assisting the Department of Transport ensuring OH&S, quality, cost, time and scope parameters of the projects are adequately set out and achieved.


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Project Engineer – Overhead Line Project Engineer – TCMS Project Engineer – Signalling Supervisor – Signalling Technical Lead – Commissioning and Completions Senior Project Engineer - Structures Track & Civil Design Review Engineer Signalling & Overheads Design Review Engineers Maintenance Planning Specialist

» » » » » » » » »

Senior Systems Assurance Engineer Human Factors Advisor Senior Systems Engineer / FRACAS Engineer Project Engineer – OCS / ICT Design Review Engineer - Traction Power Occupation / Possession Planners & Managers Rail Safety Coordinator / Advisor & Rail Safety Managers CBTC / PSD Experts Delivery Manager – Disruptions

INTERESTED? If what you’ve read resonates with your values, experience and career aspirations then we want to hear from you. Successful candidates and their families will be offered sponsorship and be provided with relocation assistance as part of the MTM’s Global Mobility Framework.

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