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the rail


AUGUST 2013 - issue 106


by rail engineers for rail engineers

Supplier of the year NETWORK RAIL PARTNERSHIP AWARDS 2013 8

National Rescue Class 57 locos to recover stranded trains. 20

Thameslink on track

Railway Challenge The Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ annual Railway Challenge. 16

Steve Scrimshaw reports exclusively. 22

Next stop Rotherham Sheffield’s new Tram Trains. 28 technology � design � M&E � S&T � stations � energy � DEPOTS � plant � track � rolling stock

the rail engineer • August 2013


Contents Railway Challenge David Shirres reports on the IMechE’s Railway Challenge.

News 6


New route to Letchworth

National Track Plant Exhibition.

Network Rail Partnership Awards


The annual awards for partners and suppliers.

Thameslink on track


Steve Scrimshaw of Siemens reports exclusively.

Bluebell’s ‘Big Dig’ completed 


The challenge to clear Imberhorne cutting.

Next stop Rotherham 


Sheffield’s new Tram Trains.


Dinmore Tunnel - suck it and see


Network Rail decided to use Railvac machine.

Crossrail Thames Tunnels


The rail engineer writers check out the TBMs.

Back foot forward


Martin Gallagher Level Crossings update.

London Rail Conference 2013

1 down - 33 to go... London Bridge station Structures Strengthening Programme.


Collin Carr reports.


Last lap for Russian Railways

Nottingham Station Renewed, Refreshed and Revived


Chris Parker and Nigel Wordsworth explain.

Safety down the line


New technology in complete safety

See more at


(Cover image) Installing the new service spine at Birmingham New Street station which was designed and manufactured by NG Bailey Network Rail’s Supplier of the Year 2013.

We’re looking to highlight the latest projects and innovations in

Track & Drainage

Rolling Stock/Depots

in the October Issue of the rail engineer.

Got a fantastic innovation? Working on a great project? Call Nigel on 01530 56 57 00 NOW!

Ele ctri fyin Gre at W g th e est ern M



We’ve w contra on the Lead D ct for t esign O he Gre rganisa at Wes Now w tion an tern M e’re loo d Syste a king fo i n deliver l i m Inte n e electrifi r experi this and grator e c nced ra a other e t i o n progra il e xciting mme. projects ngineers to h www.a elp us . Find o tkinsgl ut more at m/care ers/ele ctricati on-sou thwest

Plan Design Enable

the rail engineer • August 2013

Editor Grahame Taylor

Production Editor Nigel Wordsworth


Hold the presses and the winner is...

GrahamE Taylor

Production and design Adam O’Connor

Oh the suspense! Can I tell you the winner of the Rail Partnership awards? Well, not yet as they haven’t been announced. I’ll have to add the result at the end of this editorial……

Engineering writers

Advertising Asif Ahmed

Paul Curtis

the rail engineer Ashby House, Bath Street Ashby de la Zouch Leicestershire, LE65 2FH

Telephone: 01530 56 00 21 Fax: 01530 41 21 66 Email: Website: Editorial copy Email: Free controlled circulation Email:

The small print the rail engineer is published by RailStaff Publications Limited and printed by Pensord.

© All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright owners.

Part of

In the meantime here’s a summary of where our intrepid reporters have been this month. Chris Parker (and several other Rail Engineer writers) went to Plumstead recently to meet up with Sophia and Mary. Normally we’d say it was up to them what liaisons they explored, but this time The Rail Engineer took more of an interest as these two ‘ladies’ turned out to be Crossrail tunnelling machines. Clearly very impressed, Chris also explored how the portal box was constructed close to existing running lines. As a penance for going to see Sophia and Mary, Collin Carr spent a possession in the mucky single bores of Dinmore tunnel near Hereford watching an impressive machine suck up ballast. Working in a very confined working area, over 200 metres of reballasting was achieved without the need to take out track or use trains. Nottingham is Chris Parker’s home base and it’s also not far from our offices and so both Chris and Nigel Wordsworth have made trips there recently. Chris tells us about the track remodelling necessary to accommodate modern patterns of traffic and how a summer blockade is being managed to reduce the undoubted impact on passengers. Nigel hovered around the station buildings marvelling at the refurbishment works which are all part of the Nottingham Hub project. Pay attention to the platform renumbering! Off now to Sheffield to look at developments in the tram/train concept. Dr Robert Carroll, major projects manager, Stagecoach Supertram, tells us about vehicles

being made in Spain by Vossloh which will roam both tramway and the national network. It’s a pleasure to have Steve Scrimshaw, managing director Siemens Rail Systems UK, write a piece for us. From fixing the finance to building the depots, there’s a deal of work to be done before the new Thameslink stock takes to the rails. Many years ago I used to commute through Hitchin. ‘Through’ was the operative word as I just rushed past on the fast lines towards Huntingdon without waiting to get across the junction to the Cambridge line. Oh for a flyover! But now there is one and I flew over it on its opening day. It’s 18 months since we first looked at how Network Rail manage their stock of level crossings so it’s time to see how they’re getting on. This is a really tricky area with many parties and conflicting interests. Martin Gallagher tells us about some of the ways in which technology can be used to reduce risk without breaking the bank in the process. (And I managed to be so wrong with my cricket predictions!) Remember the Thunderbird fleet of Class 57 locomotives that rescued Pendolinos and Voyagers? They’ve turned up in Eastleigh where Nigel Wordsworth was shown how they’ve been taught to communicate with the brains of EMUs. Hands up who can define ‘sustainability’. Really? Are you sure? Check out Tertius Beneke’s take on it all. He’s Network Rail’s principal environment specialist. If you’re tendering for work you’ll need to swot up on this one!

London Underground have an intriguing quandary to solve when it comes to reducing their consumption of energy. As Stuart Marsh notes in his account of the IMechE seminar that debated whether ‘carbon matters to rail’, LU’s electric trains are already remarkably efficient and yet there are pressures to add more gizmos rather than reduce them. Now, here’s a project that should be encouraged - young engineers attempting to build and run a 10.25 inch gauge locomotive. David Shirres went to the IMechE’s Railway Challenge event to see the trials and tribulations, the successes and the ‘learning opportunities’. But further afield, David completes his summary of the strategic railway business forum for 1520 mm gauge railways in Sochi last year with details of the new high capacity road/rail corridor being built to reach the Olympic mountain venues. It’s not all about infrastructure of course, there are new trains to build too. It’s not easy to get your head round the number of projects in London that are either underway, due to start or on the drawing board. Collin has been to the London Rail Conference to get a feel of schemes that are both above and below the capital. “A tube train full of new Londoners will arrive in the capital each week between now and 2021” was one strap line! Clive Kessell covers a significant heritage railway milestone. The Bluebell railway has finally broken through the wall of domestic rubbish that was in the way of its latest expansion. After many months of digging and an impressive feat of fund raising, trains are running again. And wait, just as we put the magazine to bed the winner is - NG Bailey. Phew, run the presses!



the rail engineer • August 2013

More on bonuses… The thorny question of board members’ bonuses dominated proceedings at the recent Network Rail Annual General Meeting in Cardiff. The subject occupied five of the final press communiqué’s seven paragraphs as 88% of Network Rail’s members, its equivalent to shareholders, voted in favour of the new scheme which recognises outstanding and exceptional performance over the three years to 2015. Any future awards will be measured against train performance, savings made for the taxpayer and the successful delivery of congestion-easing projects. Network Rail is required to have a long-term incentive scheme in place as a regulatory licence condition and the Office of

Rail Regulation has confirmed that it meets those conditions. Network Rail chairman, Richard Parry-Jones (pictured), said: “Network Rail has had another solid year of progress and we intend to continue on this path. As our annual bonus announcement earlier this year clearly

demonstrated, Network Rail senior executives are rewarded only when exceptional performance exceeds tough targets which have been approved by our members through an open and transparent process. If targets are not met, or safety compromised, no bonuses are paid. “Discussions with our members and stakeholders and feedback from customers highlight their concerns about the cost of operating Britain’s railways and the cost of fares. These rank as highly in their minds as the punctuality

of the train service. The proposed new long-term incentive scheme addressed these concerns, with a focus on safely bringing down the cost of the railway while building capacity for the future.”

Interesting plant Network Rail staged a successful National Track Plant Exhibition at the end of July. Held at the Rail Alliance’s base at Long Marston near Stratford-upon-Avon, over three thousand track engineers from around the country visited the show where more than two hundred exhibitors had their latest equipment on display. Demonstrations of track renewal were complemented by other live-action and static displays as well as a series of seminars and presentations. Network Rail infrastructure maintenance had its own stand, and manufacturers, contractors, hire companies and service providers were all in evidence.

Lost buses Rail replacement buses took the place of trains from Nottingham station on 20 July as the five week closure of the railway west of the city took effect. A fleet of buses was ready to take passengers to East Midlands Parkway station ten miles away. Other services also carried passengers to Leicester and Derby. In general the service ran smoothly, although there were early reports of bus drivers getting lost and letting passengers out in the wrong place. No doubt this situation will improve as the drivers make 750 trips a day to and from Nottingham. Meanwhile work started to rebuild station platforms, the track layout and signalling to make the operation of the station much more efficient. The blockade finishes on 26 August and all the station work will be complete by early 2014. A more complete description of the project is included later in this issue.

The Rail Engineer was media partner for the show. Staff were on hand to meet with readers and exhibitors alike and the editor had a good look around at the latest innovations and to see what caught his eye. Too late to be included in this issue, The Rail Engineer will give a detailed report on the show in September.


the rail engineer • August 2013


Grey imports Class 66 locomotives are a familiar sight on Britain’s railways. They are also in demand, and GB Railfreight has just imported three from the Netherlands.

IET moves The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has temporarily moved to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers premises at One Birdcage Walk, Westminster (above). This temporary co-location is likely to last until mid-2015 while the IET’s London headquarters at Savoy Place are extensively refurbished. IET president Professor Andy Hopper CBE said: “We are delighted to have temporarily relocated to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Between us we represent over 250,000 engineers and technicians right around the world and this co-location will be a major opportunity for us to work in collaboration in the interests of the professional engineering community.” His opposite number at the IMechE, Patrick Kniveton, said: “It is my pleasure to welcome the IET to our historic building in the centre of Westminster. Over the next two years we will look for more opportunities which can be exploited, either bilaterally or within the greater engineering community, which will benefit our respective memberships and, more importantly, the engineering profession as a whole.” The IET has been based at Savoy Place since 1909 when it was a society of just over 5,000 members. Today its members form an international community of over 150,000 engineers and technicians.

Removing choice The Department for Transport (DfT) put an end to speculation that future bidders for the East Coast franchise would be able to choose the trains they want to employ on the line. In recent months, Eversholt Rail, owner of the current fleet of InterCity 225 trains, showed off a

mock-up of refurbished carriages which would be powered by a Bombardier TRAXX locomotive in

Of course, that’s not as simple as it sounds since the locos were built to the European loading gauge. However, working with manufacturers Electro-Motive Diesel, the locomotives have been successfully converted for UK use. This is the first time locomotives have moved from the continent into the UK to support rail freight growth. In the past, over 70 British class 66s have moved to mainland Europe. One reason for the move is that, as used locomotives, the locos won’t need to comply with the new emissions regulations that come into force across Europe in 2014. From that date, newly-built locomotives will need to comply with tighter

controls which will make them much more expensive. So it is cheaper to convert an existing loco which only needs to comply with the regulations in force when it was built. GB Railfreight is in the process of converting two more locos from Germany to go into service later in the year.

place of the current Class 91. Meantime, East Coast had run a Virgin Trains Pendolino down the line from Edinburgh to London so as to prove the feasibility of using those trains as an option. Now none of that will be possible as the DfT announced the procurement of a further 30 nine-car IEP electric trains from Hitachi. When asked why that decision had been made without reference to the potential franchise bidders, a DfT spokesman said: “The Secretary of State took the decision to exercise the previously competed Option to procure the remaining Hitachi trains designed to replace the electric IC225 fleet operating on the East Coast. This creates all the benefits of a homogeneous

fleet for this economic corridor. The Department believes it is in the best long term interests of the rail industry and the wider public both from a transport and an economic perspective. Furthermore, it gives clarity to franchise bidders for the train service proposition on the east coast.” In other words, the DfT knows best. Eversholt Rail stated that it was “disappointed that the Department for Transport has decided to proceed with IEP Phase 2 and prescribe what rolling stock will be used on the new East Coast Mainline franchise. We continue to believe that the best option would have been to let the market decide.”


the rail engineer • August 2013

Working in partnership


NG Bailey and Network Rail - working in partnership.

Network Rail’s annual awards for partners and suppliers


very year, Network Rail recognises and awards its suppliers for excellence over the preceding twelve months. 2013 was no exception, and the fifth Partnership Awards took place on London at the end of July.

Over 500 people gathered for the ceremony, held near Waterloo, representing Network Rail as well as its suppliers and contractors. Opening the evening, Simon Kirby, managing director - Network Rail Infrastructure Projects, commented: “These awards have become an important part of our calendar, and provide us with a chance to take a step back and look at what our industry, working in partnership, has achieved over the last year. “Three years ago, we publicly set out a strategy to change how we work as an industry to achieve a truly collaborative relationship with our partners. This year we plan to invest over £5 billion in rail projects right across Great Britain. Indeed, the level of investment up to 2019 will be the largest scale investment since the Victorian times. “To meet our challenges on safety, delivering more for less and delighting customers, we need more innovation through even greater levels of partnership. That couldn’t happen without the hard work and commitment of the people in this room and many others.” Twelve awards were to be presented on the night, and the shortlist contained an interesting mix of projects and companies.

Many have already featured on the pages of The Rail Engineer, and hearing about them again, and talking with the people involved, was like meeting old friends. Television personality Hugh Dennis was host for the evening, and in a witty introduction he reminded the audience that he had started his career as a brand manager at Unilever. He was therefore pleased to help recognise excellent performances in industry.

Immersed in safety The presentations commenced with probably the most important topic of all - Safety. Laurie Haynes, non-executive director and chairman of the Safety, Health and Environment committee, set the tone. “Safety should be at the heart of every project, from plan through to commissioning,” he said. “This award recognises teams and projects that have shown a continuous improvement towards safety within the workplace and on - or near - the railway.”

The winner was Mission Room for its unique way of preparing track workers for site activities by physically immersing them in 360-degree video and stills of real and future sites. Better site understanding and spatial awareness increases efficiency, reduces operational risks and improves safety. First installed on the Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace project in January 2012, the positive response to the technology has led to further installations at Network Rail sites in Swindon, York, Peterborough and Scotland. Improvements in the technology continue as media captured from trains and real-time 360° monitoring are being developed in conjunction with Network Rail.


Mission Room

Network Rail’s

Supplier of the Year 2013 NG Bailey has been named as Network Rail’s Supplier of the Year. We are delighted to have our commitment to customers recognised in this way. NG Bailey is the market leader in the design and installation of mechanical, electrical and telecommunications services across the UK mainland rail and underground network.

Birmingham New Street

For more information please contact Paul Parkinson on 07971 157317 or email


the rail engineer • August 2013 Farringdon - Co

From a strong field, Nottinghamshire County Council was highly commended for its ‘Ditch the Distraction’ road safety campaign which encouraged young people aged 11-18 not to be distracted by their mobile phone / mp3 player when leaving school and college.

wcross shop fro


Engaging the local community Martin Arter, programme and technical services director and head of Network Rail’s charity panel, was next on stage to present the award for Community Engagement. This is an important one for Network Rail. “With over five million lineside neighbours, we are always mindful of the potential our large programme of work has to bring real benefit to those local communities and the positive impact that can have. This award recognises those partnerships that have made an outstanding effort to improve their local communities and in doing so help build the reputation of Britain’s rail industry.” The presentation was made to Signalling Solutions for its work on the Bletchley remodelling project. This delivered a package of environmental initiatives that provided a lasting legacy within local communities. Vital local community support was secured at every stage of the planning and, in one case, hundreds of members of the public even gave up a day to help plant a new woodland.

Combining old with new Heritage was the subject of the next award. Jerry Swift, head of community rail, was called upon to make the presentation. “Throughout our work we must be sensitive to the rich railway heritage we operate around,” Jerry told the audience. “This award celebrates the conservation, restoration and promotion of this heritage, recognising the particular regard shown to Network Rail’s buildings and structures of national importance.” From a short list of six, Skanska Civil Engineering was the winner for Borough Viaduct.

Construction of this key element of the Thameslink programme required the complete demolition of a section of Borough Market and its roof structure. The market is of particular historical importance to the Southwark area and is defined by the intricate cast-iron roof structure which shelters it. It was decided that rather than rebuild the market roof using modern materials, the existing cast-iron structure would be carefully removed, refurbished and rebuilt to retain its historical significance to the market and the surrounding area. Carillion Rail was highly commended in this category for Ouseburn viaduct, as was Balfour Beatty Rail for the restoration of the Forth bridge.

Sustaining Farringdon Sustainability is the subject of an article elsewhere in this issue, and the fourth award was for Sustainable Excellence. Safety and sustainable development director Gareth Llewellyn was on stage for this one and, being Welsh, he was able to correct Hugh Dennis’ pronunciation of Loughor viaduct after he had read out the short list. Gareth then turned to the serious business of the award. “With record growth, performance and investment in the network comes ever greater pressure to deliver outstanding value for

money and service, and achieve the highest levels of both safety and sustainable development. This award recognises exactly that - organisations that clearly demonstrate sustainable and responsible ways of working.” Judge John Alker, director of policy and communications for the UK Green Building Council, had selected Costain Laing O’Rourke (CoLOR) and Network Rail Infrastructure Projects for the Thameslink Programme Farringdon station. The Farringdon station project is a £290m complex major redevelopment at the hub of London’s transport investment, the point at which north-south Thameslink meets east-west Crossrail. The project team received commendations from English Heritage for the standard of historic building recording undertaken, and delivered a programme of high quality restoration and enhancement works to the Grade II listed building far above that which was originally envisaged. The success in these areas was due predominantly to establishing successful stakeholder relationships and having the right level of specialist resource to support the project. And to revert to Gareth’s opening comment, Carrilion Rail’s Loughor viaduct project was picked out as highly commended by the judges.

Piling on the technology Network Rail’s chairman, Richard Parry-Jones, was up next to make the award for the Best Use of Technology. This is a subject very dear to Richard’s heart and it showed in his introduction. “Today we stand on the verge of a quantum leap in the application of technology. Investing in technology will transform our knowledge of

The roof of Bo

rough Market.

Aspin Groups







the rail engineer • August 2013

the railway making us better at targeting when, where and how we improve it.” The award went to Aspin Group for trackbed enhanced axial micropiles. As a result of increased linespeeds on UK railways, localised sections of track (particularly on the West Coast main line) suffer from a phenomenon known as ‘critical velocity’ - where soft ground is unable to dissipate the dynamic loading generated by trains travelling at high speed, resulting in damage to track components, high levels of required maintenance intervention, and speed restrictions. To reduce the number of imposed linespeed restrictions, Network Rail and Aspin engineers have developed an enhanced piling solution for the trackbed which offers a cost-effective alternative to deep excavations. That allows works to be undertaken in short possessions, and without signalling disconnections or track removals. Two other entries were highly commended. Spencer Group was recognised for its work on Sudbury Phase 1. After a train was derailed at a user-worked crossing in Sudbury, injuring more than 20 people, Spencer Rail delivered a sophisticated, colour-coded tracking system that would show signallers exactly where trains were. Telent Technology Services Ltd were also singled out for improving Network Rail’s sitesurveying capabilities by developing a modular build application that enables surveyors to take photos on-site, then drag-and-drop codes onto the photo to illustrate the works required.

The new turnta

ble at York pict

ured below..

Opportunities for people “This industry will only ever be as good as its people, and this award recognises projects and partnerships that promote accountability, opportunity and diversity.” That was group asset management director Jerry England introducing the Investing in People Award. Because track designers are in short supply, and with the future looking ever brighter in terms of opportunities for the UK rail network to grow, a team of industry leaders joined forces as the Track Design Alliance to tackle the issue In making the award, the judges recognised a clear focus on collaboration to solve a common problem across multiple organisations with evidence of working together to create the “next generation of track design employees”. The concept of a training passport that blends formal training alongside practical experience was seen as an effective way of tracking development. They also recognised the clear commitment to long-term people

development, with all trainees offered a permanent role at the end of their programme. Babcock international was highly commended for its development of the Network Rail Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme.

Innovative and efficient Efficiency is very often the name of the game these days, and the award for Driving Efficiencies is a reflection of that. Group finance director Patrick Butcher is naturally very keen on the benefits of efficiency improvements, so he was on stage to present this award. “We all have a part to play in reducing public subsidy of the railway. This award recognises organisations that have made real strides in their work to help create a more efficient railway,” he explained. Aspin Group’s innovative axial micropile solution to trackbed instability, already recognised with the award for Best Use of Technology, also produces marked efficiency improvements. It therefore impressed judge Bridget Roswell (a Network Rail nonexecutive director) sufficiently to bag the Driving Efficiency trophy.

Outstanding projects The awards for Best Project are split into three categories based on value. Simon Kirby, as managing director of Infrastructure Projects, presented all of them.

the rail engineer • August 2013 Best Medium vensys Rail -

First came small projects, In valued at under £3 million. That award went to a project “that has truly embraced collaborative working, to achieve a common goal”. BAM Nuttall’s team on the York Engineer’s Triangle, an engine turntable installation, worked in true partnership to seek and deliver an alternative solution after original plans were cancelled. Working with a 150-year-old piece of equipment, the team was able to refurbish, install and deliver a new solution which was fully operational within six months. Two other small projects were highly commended. ScotRail for the reopening of Conan Bridge station, on Scotland’s remote Far North line, marked the return of rail services to the village after more than five decades, much to the delight of local people. Telefonica O2 designed and built the new LAN network to support corporate computing services at the Quadrant:MK. A medium project is defined as being between £3 million and £20 million in value. The winner of this one was Invensys Rail for Reading station remodelling: Main western


ading Station.

Project for Re

line, Resignalling stage F. Simon described it as: “A project that has taken collaborative working to the highest standard and safely delivered some outstanding achievements”. Invensys Rail has been supporting Network Rail in the delivery of the revised signalling system since 2009. From the outset the whole team adopted a ‘one team’ mentality, with a shared approach to location, resources, and

problem solving - helping to ensure the successful and safe delivery of each stage. The judges also chose to highly commend Osborne with the Marcon Place underbridge replacement. These works required the construction of new bridge abutments, in front of the existing abutments at high street level, whilst carrying out the demolition of the platform slabs above the same work area using scaffold crash decks.

Solution Providers Rail Projects include: » Over Head Line Electrification » Re-Signalling » Civil Engineering Aspin Substructure Solutions include: » OLEMI Piles » Piling: Open Bored and Driven » Sheet Piling » Steel Pins » Platforms » Track Bed Toolbox » Geotechnical and Earthworks » Site and Ground Investigation Superstructure-Design, Build and Construct: » Signal Gantry Supply and Erection » Cantilever Structures

Civil, Structural, Mechanical and Geotechnical Engineering Hemel Hempstead Huthwaite Preston Glasgow

+44(0) 1442 236 507 +44(0) 1623 446 100 +44(0) 1524 792 787 +44(0) 1413 363 118



the rail engineer • August 2013

Borough Viad


Large projects, over £20 million, produced another success for Skanska Civil Engineering and Borough Viaduct. The project team achieved completion of a major civil engineering and building project in a central London site which was rich in cultural heritage. Engaging the workforce and minimising the impact of the project on the community was key to the safe and successful delivery of the project which operated under a Collaborative Planning system and involved one of the first Network Rail contractors to gain BS11000 accreditation.

collaborative efforts have brought real and demonstrable benefits to both Network Rail and Britain’s railway. The award went to another company which had embraced the new BS11000 for collaborative working early on - Hochtief (UK) for its work on the Hitchin grade separation. This 2.5km railway chord was delivered under a ‘pure alliance agreement’. It was also viewed by Network Rail management as a demonstration project and the model for future procurements. The collaboration and associated innovation helped bring the project in five months early. Babcock and ScotRail were highly commended for the electrification of the Paisley Canal line, a project that has been hailed as a groundbreaking alliance, setting the standard for the delivery of rail projects in Scotland.

More collaboration

And finally…

Following on that same theme, the final category award was for Best Collaboration. It brought the only non-Network Rail presenter to the stage, Jeremy Candfield of the Rail Industry Association. A long-time supporter of collaborative working, Jeremy both judged and presented the award which recognises organisations and stakeholders whose

So that was the end of the judged categories, and it was time to find out who Network Rail considered to be its Supplier of the Year. Chief executive Sir David Higgins made his only appearance of the night to make the presentation. As usual, the build up had everyone working out who the recipient would be.

“This supplier is currently working on a number of major station projects with Network Rail and their key suppliers including King’s Cross, London Bridge, Reading and Birmingham New Street. At Birmingham they have recently completed Phase 1 of the Gateway Project in collaboration with Mace and Network Rail and are currently embarking on Phase 2 involving the creation of the Eastern Concourse, and the new Grand Central shopping centre. Their positive behaviour in finding solutions to site challenges has brought many benefits to the scheme. The quality of work has been to a very high level which in turn has delivered an excellent safety record.” By that time most of the audience had deduced that the Supplier of the Year 2013 was NG Bailey. It was good to see Network Rail recognise a truly innovative engineering company which works both as a first and second tier supplier. Speaking afterwards, David Hurcomb, CEO of NG Bailey, said: “This is an outstanding achievement and demonstrates our strength in the rail sector. The sector is a key growth area for the business and the division currently boasts an impressive forward order book worth £250 million. “Network Rail is a key customer for us and I’m delighted that we have been recognised as their Supplier of the Year.” So that was the 2013 Network Rail Partnership Awards. They gave everyone present, both successful and unsuccessful, plenty to consider and talk about. But as Hugh Dennis had said earlier in the evening, everyone there was a winner in their own way.



...for a National Railstaff Award and they could be on their way Back to School at the ICC on the 5th October 2013 and in with a chance to win ÂŁ1000! Nominate online at David Maidment Award for Charity

Rail Safety Person of the Year

Depot Staff of the Year

Rail Team of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award

Recruiter / HR Person of the Year

Newcomer / Graduate of the Year

Samaritans Lifesaver Award

Outstanding Customer Service Award

Signal Engineer of the Year

Rail Engineer of the Year

Station Staff of the Year

Rail Infrastructure TEAM of the Year

Project Manager of the Year

Rail Manager of the Year

Train Driver of the Year

Rail Person of the Year

Trainer of the Year

s n i k r e P Mr .


Nominations close: 4th August 2013 Public vote closes: 8th August 2013


in association with


the rail engineer • August 2013

Rising to the

Railway Challenge K

amil Hashmi is struggling to find his locomotive’s control system fault. He explains that in the laboratory he could listen to relays clicking but in a noisy environment he can’t diagnose faults this way. Kamil’s University of Birmingham team is taking part in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)’s Railway Challenge. His problem is one of many encountered by those taking part who have to make their technical solutions work on a real railway.

Setting the standard

DAVID SHIRRES Small railway - big challenge The real railway in question is the 10.25 inch gauge Stapleford miniature railway, near Melton Mowbray run by the Friends of the Stapleford Miniature Railway (FSMR). With an impressive collection of locomotives and two miles of track, it is one of the UK’s largest such railways. The IMechE considers it ideal for their Railway Challenge, one reason being that the railway is not normally open to the public although it has an open weekend on 24-26 August. Held during the last weekend in June, this was the IMechE Railway Division’s second Railway Challenge (see issue 94, August 2012, for the first). It requires teams of engineering students, graduates or apprentices to design and manufacture a miniature railway locomotive to a technical specification.

The teams were judged on their design (100 points), business case presentation (100) and performance challenges for traction (150), ride comfort (150) and energy storage (250) to regenerate traction power from energy stored during retardation. The last challenge has the highest weighting as it both demands an innovative approach and is a highly relevant research topic. On-board energy capture offers significant potential benefits to operators of selfpowered mainline rail vehicles. For maximum design flexibility and to encourage innovation, the technical specification is performance driven. Specific requirements include systems assurance, refuelling in 90 seconds, 95% recyclable materials and the preparation of detailed drawings and maintenance manuals.

Introducing the teams This year’s entries were from the University of Huddersfield, Interfleet Technology, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of

the rail engineer • August 2013

Birmingham. Huddersfield was the only newcomer while the other three teams used locomotives first seen last year but which had since been subject to impressive levels of development. The teams varied in size and experience. Interfleet, led by James Edwards, consisted of its intake of eleven first-year graduates and four secondyear graduates from last year’s competition. Birmingham, on the other hand, was led by Rob Ellis and made up of two MSc students and two PhD students, only one of whom had competed last year. Manchester was represented by a team of six students, two of whom had taken part last year, led by Chris Adams. The Huddersfield team originally comprised eleven students whose contribution to the locomotive was part of their course. Five students actually took part in the challenge and were led by Siddiq Albusmait from Bahrain which, as he pointed out, is a country with no railways.

Hydrogen is the new diesel Railway Division chairman, Chris Moss, was impressed by the range of technologies in the teams’ locomotives. For example, Manchester’s locomotive used a spring for energy storage. Birmingham’s used hydrogen fuel cells with a continuous output of 1.1kW feeding batteries of 4.3kWh

capacity to provide traction power. This compares with a typical 4kW output of the generator sets in the other locomotives. Rob Ellis demonstrated this to be a practical power source by using it to cook his team’s campsite dinner. He felt that “Hydrogen is to diesel what diesel was to steam”. The need for control systems for both traction and energy recovery had been a challenge. Huddersfield used a programmable logic controller supplied by its sponsor, Rockwell Automation. Interfleet Technology and Birmingham had both replaced the previous control systems on their locomotives. Interfleet used a seamless four quadrant control system whilst Birmingham developed a low cost system using a Raspberry Pi, a credit-card-sized single-board


computer developed for basic computer science teaching. This year the competition was sponsored by the Enabling Innovation Team (EIT) and Technology Strategy Leadership Group (TSLG) whose role was described in the article ‘Inspiring Innovation’ (issue 90, April 2013). David Clarke, the EIT’s director, was impressed by the teams’ real innovations such as hydrogen fuel cells, super-capacitors for traction energy storage and mechanical regenerative braking, which have potential for the real railway. David commented: “The Railway Challenge is a great way to promote innovation and provide young rail engineers with the opportunity to show what they can do as well as giving them the necessary skills to promote innovation.”

(Above) Huddersfield under test. All Locos lined up.


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New this year Rachel Pearson, the IMechE’s project manager for the challenge, explained how the competition has evolved from last year’s pilot scheme from which much has been learnt. One improvement was the use of IMechE and FSMR Controllers through whom all railway movements were made. This year’s event was made more attractive to spectators by providing a refreshment area with a scoreboard next to the trials to which spectators travelled on a steam hauled spectator train. Around 50 spectators attended the event including potential entrants for next year. Last year’s competition showed the rules and technical specification to be generally sound. The few changes included a maximum speed increase to 15kph and the energy challenge trial taking place on level track.

A testing time Saturday was the team testing day with each given two 45-minute time slots to test their locomotives against the three performance challenges. For most, this provided the first opportunity to run their locomotive over a distance on a railway with curves and points. It is fair to say that, for most, this day did not go smoothly. On one occasion the rescue train, hauled by FSMR’s Warship diesel locomotive, was used to propel a failed locomotive back to the station. Problems experienced included: failed drive chains, loose electrical connections, electronics overheated by the adjacent generator set and a low drive chain causing a derailment (not such a problem on a 10.25 inch railway). It

was significant that, as last year, Interfleet’s locomotive did not suffer from such teething problems. Prior to the competition their team had commissioned their modified locomotive on the Rudyard Lake miniature railway where they ironed out some minor problems. This was also the day for scrutineering, which locomotives must pass to compete in the trials. Head scrutineer Tim Poole explains that this is done by confirming design calculations, physical inspection and tests when the locomotives are running including proving that the locomotive cannot exceed 15kph. As each of the six scrutineering categories (Indication, Brakes, Safety, Fuel, Calculations and Demo) are passed the locomotive collects a sticker. The full set shows the locomotive is fit to compete in the trials. Business case presentations also took place on the Saturday. This required teams to consider themselves as representatives of a design consultancy producing a prototype locomotive for sale to a large corporation. This assessed each team’s ability to deliver a presentation to convince a group of executives of that ‘large corporation’ (the judges) that their design best met the customer’s demands and could be profitably manufactured and marketed.

The Stapleford Trials Locomotives were assessed against the three performance challenges on the Sunday. The ride test used a vehicle body-mounted accelerometer as the locomotive ran around the railway’s half mile main loop and was assessed in accordance with EN 12299:2009. Energy recovery was measured by the distance travelled using energy stored by braking from maximum speed. Traction ability was measured by the time for a measured distance up the railway’s maximum 1 in 80 gradient from a standing start. A judge rode on the train during each test to ensure rules compliance. For example, for the energy challenge, the judge had to ensure that the locomotive had no stored energy prior to braking.

After each challenge, results were displayed on the scoreboard. An initial surprise was Birmingham’s small locomotive with its 1kW fuel cell taking an early lead in the traction challenge, only to be narrowly beaten by Huddersfield. The University of Huddersfield also comfortably won the ride comfort challenge, proving the benefits of their use of VAMPIRE software (DeltaRail) to model vehicle dynamics. Manchester’s mechanical energy storage won the energy challenge, covering twice the distance of its rivals who used electrical storage. Huddersfield could not take part in this trial as their impressive looking axle mounted energy storage system was not quite complete.

And the winner is …. There was tension in the air as everyone waited for the judges to complete their deliberations as there was no obvious winner. In making his deliberations, chief judge Bill Reeve said that it had been an absolute pleasure to deal with the teams whose abilities greatly impressed him. That pleasure lasted up to the point when he had to give the scores, because not everyone could win and the scores were very close. Giving the results in reverse order he considered that Birmingham was an extraordinarily creditable fourth. The judges were impressed by the way they had reduced costs with a design that used standard components. Third was Interfleet with a locomotive that Bill felt was the most practicable machine even if others had beaten it at specific challenges. Manchester’s second place was largely due to it having the best energy storage system. Announcing Huddersfield as the winners Bill made it clear that this was not beginner’s luck. The judges were impressed by the quality of engineering from first principles and the clear way engineering designs had been presented.

the rail engineer • August 2013

The winner’s cup was then presented by Network Rail technical director Steve Yianni. Accepting the award, team leader Siddiq Albusmait said it made the team’s hard work over the past nine months all the more worthwhile and that he was particularly thrilled as the other teams had done so well. “Taking part in this competition has been fantastic - giving us first-hand experience of the entire process of developing a locomotive”.

Winning tips Having observed the competition it would seem that successful teams need to: »» Test their locomotives before the challenge. There are around fifty 10.25 inch gauge railways in the UK which could potentially offer testing. »» Understand the limitations of standard components. A failed chain, for example, could undermine all the hard work done to develop an innovative feature. »» Effectively project manage their time. A component that is

(Above) Winner’s accept cup from Steve Yianni. (Top left page) Interfleet under test. (Bottom left page) Scruitineers stickers. (Bottom inset) Scoreboard.

99% complete is useless. »» Make a good business case presentation that includes engineering, reliability, cost and other benefits that would make the customer want to buy the locomotive. With the possibility of single component failure preventing

a locomotive’s participation in the challenge, The Rail Engineer hopes that these points may benefit future entrants.

Future Challenges The Railway Challenge is a great success. This was evident from the enthusiasm of everyone concerned and the smooth


running of the event, in no small part thanks to the Stapleford Miniature Railway. Offering a small team the opportunity to design and build their own locomotive is a particularly effective way of developing young railway engineers which must ultimately benefit both the rail industry and their employers. For the IMechE, the challenge is to grow the competition. This year the teams were largely provided by universities, with the exception of Interfleet for whom work on its locomotive is an integral part of its graduate training programme. The IMechE hopes that other rail companies will see the benefits of participating in this challenge next year. If so, expanding the competition brings its own challenges with operational constraints for FSMR and IMechE to overcome. For future competitors, the Railway Challenge will no doubt continue to provide an opportunity to produce innovative locomotives with technologies that may eventually find use on standard gauge railways.


the rail engineer • August 2013





any regular rail travellers will have experienced that sinking feeling when the train they are waiting for doesn’t arrive. First of all interest, then concern, followed by worry, despair and finally anger.

With the modern passenger information systems at stations these days, at least people know what’s going on. “Points failure at Peterborough”, “Signalling problems at Slough”, “Wiring down at Watford” and, worst of all, “Leaves on the line at Leatherhead”. All of these are infrastructure failures. Network Rail, as infrastructure owner and as reported many times in The Rail Engineer, is working hard to minimise these problems and the delays they cause. And the train punctuality figures are slowly creeping up as a result.

Failed trains But some 20% of delays are actually caused by the trains themselves. Often that is simply what it is, a delay, but a completely brokendown train can cause real headaches, not only for the passengers on or waiting for that train, but for all the other trains that get stacked up behind the failed one. What is needed is a way to get a dead train off the running line as quickly as possible, so that the following services can continue on their way. Also, any passengers on that train

have to be taken to a safe place to disembark. The obvious way of doing this is to use another train to drag the failed one out and take it to the next station. However, that’s not as easy as it sounds. Modern trains are complex animals. They are designed to work as a unit - even adding extra coaches is a complicated process which has to be carried out in a workshop over several days. That means they aren’t really set up for receiving outside assistance. For a start, different train manufacturers use different couplers. So, just fastening on to a train can be problematic. Then, in these days of ‘fly by wire’ systems, everything is controlled by train management systems and those are different for every class of train out there. The easiest way to collect a failed train is therefore to send a sister train out to connect to it. This will have the correct couplers and the correct electronic systems. However, one may not be available. The rescuer will use the same power source (overhead wires, third rail) as the stranded train and, if there has been some damage to that or the power has been switched off, then it will be useless. And finally, having a rescue vehicle that could be 250 feet long may be unhandy in some circumstances.

the rail engineer • August 2013


Thunderbirds at Manchester’s Longsight depot.

Thunderbirds have gone To address these problems, Virgin Trains kept a fleet of rescue locomotives close to the West Coast main line. These Class 57/3 locomotives, known as Thunderbirds with names such as “Scott Tracy” and “Lady Penelope”, were fitted with Dellner retractable couplings and could connect to both Pendolinos (Class 390) and Super Voyagers (Class 221). In addition to rescue duties, they were used to haul Pendolinos along routes without overhead wiring, extending the range of these trainsets. However, as these requirements decreased, the locomotives were returned to leasing company Porterbrook towards the end of 2011. Network Rail acquired six locos for use hauling its winter de-icing trains, earning them the nickname “Snowbirds” - a reference to their Thunderbird origins. They were also used on test trains. However, the rescue role was never very far from Network Rail’s mind. Mick Stewart, senior fleet engineer, and his team at NDS (National Delivery Service) worked on a plan to use these locomotives to recover stranded trains, mainly electric multiple units (EMUs) in the south of the country.

The Dellner couplers were retained on four of the locos, although they were lowered by about 100mm as Pendolinos have a particularly high coupling. The other two locomotives were fitted with Tightlock couplings. Planned by Network Rail in conjunction with Porterbrook, the work was carried out by Brush at Loughborough.

Compatible systems A bigger challenge was to get the locomotives ‘talking’ to the electronic brain of the stranded EMU. Originally built as Class 47s in the 1960s, they were rebuilt as Class 57s at the end of the 1990 with the original Sulzer diesel engines replaced by EMD units. As a result, they are fairly unsophisticated locos with mechanical controls, ideal for accessing areas of the network where electrical power may be out, but not much good at interfacing with a modern, electronic, train management system. So the project team (NDS working with Porterbrook and Atkins) concentrated on fitting pressure switches and pickups so that control commands could be sent to the stranded train. Using various adapter cables,

the Class 57/3 can now feed 110V power to the EMU and also control both brakes and door opening systems. Compressed air can be fed to the train if its own compressors are offline. The rescue locos normally deploy from their base at Eastleigh with a crew of two. All necessary frames and cables are stored in the old boiler compartment. To connect to the stranded train, the driver handles the loco while the crew oversees the coupling up and other connections. These are best done by two people, removing the need for anyone to duck through under the coupling, so the driver of the stranded train is usually drafted to assist under instruction. Once connected, there are two possibilities. If the train is completely dead, it can be hauled out to a place of safety at low speed. However, if all systems are running and controlled from the 57/3, then the consist can operate at line speed. Although it will probably only run to the closest station, it is actually quite capable of operating the originally intended service. To test this capability, a four-car Class 377 was hauled from London to Brighton and back last summer, at service speed, with no problems. It ran round at Brighton in 15 minutes, ready for the return leg, with a crew of four (Class 57 driver, Class 377 driver and two fitters). The fleet can currently rescue the Electrostar family of Class 375, 376 and 377 trains (including Class 357 operated by C2C), the Desiro family (Classes 350, 444, 450), and Classes 317, 319 and 455. With the ability to couple up to a stranded train and be on the move again within 15 minutes, the speed of recovery has noticeably improved since the new fleet was commissioned. There are plans to stable these useful locomotives around the network, reducing response times still further. Not a bad use for a class of locomotives that is now fifty years old.


the rail engineer • August 2013

Thameslink on track



n June, Siemens concluded the largest deal in its 170-year UK history. Steve Scrimshaw, managing director Siemens Rail Systems UK, reflects on a turbulent couple of years for the company and the highs and lows of one of the most important rail contracts of recent times.

It’s easy for me to say this now, but I never had any doubt that we would achieve contract closure on Thameslink. It is such a strategically important infrastructure project - for us, for UK Government and for the future of the UK rail industry. All the parties involved were 100% committed to getting it right first time. I’ve said many times, and I’d still reiterate, that I don’t think it is unusual for projects of this size and complexity to take some time to finalise. Having said that, I’m not sure that the sheer complexity of the deal - commercial, operational and financial - was fully anticipated when we were appointed preferred bidder two years ago. And I think it’s fair to say that a large number of people have lived and breathed this contract for a long period of time; not only those who’ve dealt with the detail but also our UK employees who have been instrumental in keeping our business running efficiently day in, day out, without being distracted by speculation or gossip. After all, we play a key role in keeping UK passengers moving by putting 353 trains into service every day around the country. That requirement doesn’t diminish just because we have some additional challenges to deal with.

Contracts and more contracts The significant number of stakeholders involved makes this project very different and challenging. In addition to the Department for Transport and other project partners, a key contractual relationship is with First Capital Connect, the current Thameslink route train operator. They are closely involved in the design and manufacturing process, ensuring the needs of the operator and passengers are met. If we start to look at the financing aspects of the deal, well then we need to consider the teams from the three equity investors and around 20 banks, plus the various advisors, all of whom had to be completely aligned and in agreement at every stage of the process. Although it’s easy to refer to ‘the Thameslink contract’ I think it’s also important to highlight that we’re not just talking about one contract, we’re talking about dozens covering the procurement and subsequent maintenance of the trains, the construction of the depots and the financing

Steve Scrimshaw with Matthias Schlelein, Siemens’ Finance Director. related to everything! The number of different contracts and documents that needed to be completed and signed were laid out across eight different rooms. All with multiple copies. In total, the final contract signing process covered around 100 different documents, took two and a half days to complete and involved some 60 people. This was certainly not your average deal.

Depots as well as trains Two of the contracts covered the construction of the new depots that are being built at Three Bridges (Crawley) and Hornsey (London Borough of Haringey). It’s appropriate that I mention these new depots as they will play a key role in ensuring that passengers benefit from a greatly improved, more reliable service every day. We’ve appointed VolkerFitzpatrick as our construction partner for these projects as they have a huge amount of expertise in this area and over 70 years’ civil engineering experience in the UK. Three Bridges depot, which is split into east and west-side facilities either side of the London to Brighton mainline, comprises a five road, 12-car maintenance building with associated stores, workshops and offices, eleven train stabling and servicing roads, two under-bridge widenings, two carriage washing machines, a wheel lathe and all associated depot infrastructure. It is due for completion in 2015. Hornsey depot, which is expected to be completed in 2016, is being constructed within a live operational rail environment adjacent to the East Coast mainline and the current associated depot. As part of the development, work will be carried out at the existing site and the derelict

the rail engineer • August 2013

railway sidings to the north. Work here involves widening two existing bridges, a new three road, 12-car maintenance shed, two carriage washing machines, offices and all associated depot infrastructure. It’s always tricky to complete works on an existing site so we’re working in close cooperation with First Capital Connect to minimise disruption throughout the project.

Second generation Perhaps something else that’s not clearly understood by people looking in from the outside is the industry-changing elements of the Desiro City - the Thameslink train. I think it’s fair to say we see it as a game changer, the first second-generation platform that will run on our UK network. It has been designed to cope with the demands of high capacities and frequent stops and starts across diverse routes with an ‘out of the box’ implementation. The McNulty report, published in 2011, focused on ways in which the whole industry could work together to deliver a safe and more efficient railway whilst achieving significant savings. The use of innovation and new technology was a central theme, with a recommendation that the rail industry should be 30% more efficient by 2018/19. By the time this report was published, Siemens had already spent several years developing the Desiro City with a focus on weight reduction, track friendliness and a broad drive towards energy efficiency (the Desiro City can reduce energy consumption by up to 50%). This means that this platform optimises whole life costs and provides significant benefits in line with Sir Roy McNulty’s aspirations for the industry.

Designed for the UK The Desiro City is a train that incorporates feedback from UK train operating companies, cleaning staff, train crews, maintenance teams and technicians. We see that as essential to ensure that this is a UK train designed by and for UK people and we have sought to incorporate the UK supply chain where possible, selecting key suppliers to provide components


and technology for the train. It also means that, whilst it is truly innovative and state-of-the-art, it is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, building on the success and experience of the UK Desiro that runs a million passenger miles each week in the UK to make the best even better. We have been making excellent manufacturing progress with the new platform following a €50 million development programme. The first production body shells will be manufactured this year. From mid 2014, the trains are scheduled to go through a comprehensive testing and commissioning programme on our dedicated test track that is designed to replicate the very latest standards. The first train will enter service in the UK in early 2016. By the end of 2018, the full peak service of 24 trains per hour in the Thameslink London core comes into operation and, on such busy routes, minimising any downtime is key. Our objective for the Desiro City is to achieve best-in-class service performance with outstanding reliability and intelligent equipment redundancy to allow maximum availability. One of the key examples of innovation in practice is the fact that the Desiro City features ‘fly by wire’ technology. Now this has been very successfully introduced into parts of the aviation industry, so much so that it is now recognised as industry standard. Applying this technology on a train, using coded digital signals to control equipment, reduces weight (far less cabling is required), increases precision and helps to lower maintenance costs (as electrical controls are less complex and easier to maintain than mechanical ones). As a company we’re really proud of our new train and look forward to seeing it take pride of place on the UK network over the next few years. It will not only change the journeys of the passengers who travel on the Thameslink routes, but will revolutionise the rolling stock and maintenance market. A more comfortable and technologically advanced train for passengers and drivers that is energy efficient and provides great value for money - I’d say it can’t come soon enough.


the rail engineer • August 2013

Bluebell’s ‘Big Dig’ completed


nyone familiar with Boston in the USA ten years ago may know of the project to put the city’s overhead viaduct road system into tunnels. Known as the Big Dig, it became notorious because of its late running and huge overspend.


Equally notorious has been the Bluebell Railway’s own Big Dig - to clear Imberhorne cutting of waste and allow the railway to reach East Grinstead. There have been many spectacular achievements in the history of heritage railways but this project must rank as one of the most ambitious ever attempted. Its notoriety did not mirror the Boston problems but the challenges that had to be overcome were equally taxing. The Rail Engineer met with Chris White, the Bluebell infrastructure director, to understand exactly how it had been achieved.

Project history The line had closed in 1958 but the double track section from East Grinstead to Horsted Keynes was kept on a care and maintenance basis until 1964 and used to store surplus rolling stock. It was lifted soon after and the Imberhorne cutting, just south of East Grinstead, was acquired by the local authorities. During the late 1960s and early 1970s it was used for the dumping of domestic waste until it was completely full. The cutting is 380 metres long, 18 metres wide at the bottom and around 40 metres wide at the top, and had a maximum depth of 13.5 metres. An estimated 125,000 cubic metres of waste was dumped, protected by clay capping to an average depth of 3 metres. Vegetation soon took over with little evidence that a cutting had once existed. Meanwhile, the Bluebell Railway had acquired the section of track between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park and began running trains in 1960. Even then, a fanciful vision was always to extend northwards to East Grinstead but, in the early days of the preservation movement, noone quite knew how to go about this, let alone where the finance would come from. Many years were to pass before the ‘Northern Extension Project’, or NEP as it became known, was to progress to planning stage. Eventually the railway was re-instated in stages to Kingscote by 1994 with rails laid to the south cutting face by 2003

Environmental requirements Planning permission had been granted in 1985 for the Northern Extension but with strict conditions relating to Imberhorne cutting. Condition 7 of the agreement stated that the cutting must be ‘sufficiently cleared of domestic waste to allow the railway to be re-instated’. This wording was to prove fortuitous once work actually started. Other requirements were that the Bluebell had to demonstrate to the Local Authority and the Environment Agency that the work would be carried out safely, not interfere with local residents and that waste must be taken away to an appropriate and registered landfill site. Environmental requirements loomed large as planning of the actual work took place. Control of odour and prevention of leachate escape (contaminated water in waste) were dominant and this required a survey of all underground and surface waterways to ensure none could or would be polluted. Trial borings in the late 1980s had indicated that only domestic waste was present, officially classified by the EA as municipal solid waste (MSW), and in 2004, following the drilling of more extensive bore holes and detailed analysis, nothing toxic was found.

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Waste removal was still going to be a major undertaking and a feasibility study by Atkins in early 2000 explored alternative means of the railway reaching East Grinstead. One idea was to create a diversionary route on adjacent land and another was to create a tunnel. Both would have been much more expensive. Thus the big dig was the only practical way forward and acquiring the right expertise and people would be crucial. Atkins became the principal contractor for the design and with its team came environment director David Barry, whose knowledge was to prove invaluable. All the key civil engineering guidance came from former railway engineer Dick Beckwith who is Bluebell’s regular professional advisor. Also involved was Jonathan Atkinson, the Environment Regulator for the South East, with these experts having the task of supporting the Bluebell and satisfying the Mid Sussex District Council Environment Officer that the project was fit for purpose. One significant consideration was the cutting ownership as the owner (West Sussex County Council) was liable if things went wrong. Thus ownership had to transfer to the Bluebell Railway who then took on the associated risks. It took five years to get ‘ticks in all the boxes’ but eventually agreement to proceed was given in 2009.

Removal process Further test bores in 2004 revealed that the south end of the cutting either side of Imberhorne Lane bridge contained only earth and not waste and was thus suitable for use on other engineering projects rather than go to landfill. This saved considerable cost and was dug out by Bluebell staff and volunteers. Transported by rail to Horsted Keynes, it was used to build up the embankment for the future re-instatement of

the Ardingly branch to an Atkins design. This was a useful starter and gave visual evidence that things were happening. A pilot scheme at the north end led to a contract being let to Land and Water of Guildford who took 5-6 weeks to dig out 10 metres of waste. This was very successful but the use of road transport involved extensive infrastructure fixed costs including provision of a weighbridge, a wheel wash facility and the use of banksmen. 10,000 tons over the full cutting width were taken away at a cost of £45 per tonne. A cost review indicated that this method was never going to be affordable. A decision was then taken that the Bluebell Railway would become the main contractor, employing subcontractors to provide plant and carry out the work. This saved a considerable sum but required the railway to take on all the risk and fulfil CDM (Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007) requirements for a construction site including the production of all documentation and the provision of training for the large volunteer workforce which would provide all the on-site support. In parallel, various former senior railway managers were able to facilitate

a deal with GB Railfreight to take the waste material out by rail and a contract was arranged with Shanks Waste to unload the waste at the landfill sites. A trial of this arrangement in 2010 showed the cost could be reduced to £24 per tonne and thus it became the chosen method. The East Grinstead line has weight limitations imposed by the various viaducts along the route so the make up of the spoil train had to be carefully controlled. At midday, a train with 20 wagons would arrive at East Grinstead and, via the access siding, move


south to the Bluebell station. Using the newly constructed run-round loop, the train was split in half with 10 wagons being propelled to the loading dock some half a mile southwards. Once loaded, the 10 wagons would be exchanged for the empty ones, these being loaded in a similar manner. No wagon was permitted to carry more than 70 tons. The train would depart at 21:00 for the land fill site and be unloaded at 02:00 the next day. Once empty, it would return to East Grinstead and thus a daily cycle was created. Initially the waste went to Stewartby on the BedfordBletchley branch and later to Calvert on the erstwhile GC main line. The reason for the change was to accommodate land fill operators licences that permit only so much to be dumped each year and the considerable volumes produced by the Bluebell cutting caused the first site to reach its quota. Superb co-operation was given by both Network Rail and Southern

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the rail engineer • August 2013

in terms of granting paths and alternative berthing arrangements for EMU stock at East Grinstead. To dig out the rubbish, the Bluebell employed L&W (Billingshurst) for the provision of plant and operators. Three excavators were supplemented by dumper trucks to take the waste to the loading dock. Every day, the machines would dig longitudinally into the cutting side. Moving the waste around and loading it into the wagons was almost as big a task as the actual digging work. Early on it was realised that the waste material was very stable as it did not contain granular material and had been kept dry by the clay capping.

Smart thinking The original cutting width was very generous even for a double track railway but, with planning permission only allowing the reinstatement of a single track, the question was asked, did the railway need to dig out the full width? By having slightly steeper gradients on both the north and south approaches, it was possible to reduce the cutting depth from 13.5 to 11 metres. These two factors considerably reduced the amount of waste that had to be removed, hence the importance of Condition 7 in the planning agreement that only sufficient waste need be removed to allow the railway to be reinstated. Another critical factor was the Landfill Tax Credit legislation that was to be abolished in April 2012, after which the removal cost would rise to £94 per tonne. A certain focussing of minds resulted and all necessary waste was removed by the due date. Between April 2012 and March 2013, the remaining waste was re-engineered within the cutting site. Work was due to finish in October 2012 but the appalling weather during the year prevented the planned completion until almost opening day. The cutting sides are profiled to about 60º and are capped in Mypex, a horticultural product that encourages

growth of vegetation and prevents any surface material blowing away. On top of this is a geotextile grid that provides the necessary reinforcement and through which the vegetation will grow. The tops of the cutting are clay capped, it being realised that preventing ingress of water is vital. Good drainage has been installed throughout the Northern Extension, there being seven miles of drains in the two mile section, plus all culverts being repaired. ‘Look after your drains and the rest looks after itself’ being an adage worth remembering.

Costs, opening and ongoing work Test trains were run for two weeks before the opening on 23 March 2013. Safety verification was undertaken in accordance with the ROGS procedures (The Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems (Safety) Regulations 2006). This demonstrated that the railway had been built in accordance with the design, crew training was performed, a maintenance regime was in place and the whole railway could be operated safely. The opening day duly took place in a snowstorm and patronage of the railway since that time has increased significantly.

A project of this magnitude was never going to be cheap and, for a heritage line, could be viewed as mountainous. Digging out the cutting has cost £1.75 million, the provision of the railway and the new Bluebell station at East Grinstead cost £450,000, repairs to the brick Imberhorne viaduct since 2002 have cost £400,000 and the track from Kingscote through the cutting has worked out at £1,500 per 60’ panel. Although expensive, it is actually less than the original estimate of around £6 million. Reducing the cutting size has been the key factor. Raising funds to pay for it all has been an inspiration to the heritage movement. The initial share issue produced £700,000, the ‘tenner for the tip’ and ‘fiver for the finish’ initiatives raised £120,000 and there have been some very significant donations by individuals as the work progressed. No grants were received from public bodies other than one from East Grinstead Town Council for some station work, and there has been no borrowing from banks. The Big Dig project officially closed on 19 July but some rearrangement of soil and waste within the site are continuing. What do they do next? Well, reinstatement of the line to Ardingly is on the cards and other than a bridge replacement, should not pose the same challenge as that of the Big Dig. A station at West Hoathly is a possibility but, with a longer bigger railway, keeping it all in fine fettle could well be the challenge for the next few years. Particular thanks are extended to the army of Bluebell volunteers who have given hundreds of man hours to support the contractors’ work and without whom, this project could not have happened. In addition to Chris White, mention must be made of Matt Crawford, the infrastructure manager and to the previously named experts who steered the project in the right direction.

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the rail engineer • August 2013


he concept of Tram Train is a vehicle that operates as a tram on the tramway and a train on heavy rail, offering a seamless journey to the passenger into the heart of city centres and relieving capacity from mainline stations while taking the passengers where they want to go. The first Tram Train was in Karlsruhe, Germany, in the early 1990s and has spread successfully to several other European cities - but not yet to the UK. The Tyne and Wear extension to Sunderland tackled many of the challenges that arise with the interworking of light and heavy rail but has resulted in operational limitations that reduce track capacity and limit future development of the route.

Pilot project To demonstrate that the benefits of Tram Train can be realised in the UK without the limitations imposed at Sunderland, the Tram Train pilot project was set up by the Department for Transport (DfT) with Network Rail, Northern Rail, Stagecoach Supertram and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) as partners. In June 2013, Transport Minister Norman Baker gave the final approval for the contracts between project partners. In 2016, the project will deliver the operation of Tram Trains three times an hour from Cathedral tram stop, in the centre of Sheffield, to a new stop at Parkgate retail park in Rotherham. The vehicle will operate on the tramway to Meadowhall South then utilise a new connection on to Network Rail calling at Rotherham Central station. Stagecoach Supertram will operate the new service on behalf of SYPTE as part of its current concession that runs until 2024. The challenge set by the DfT is to introduce the pilot service while learning as much as possible about the

application of Tram Train on the national rail network, allowing the operation of light rail vehicles to be spread to other locations in the UK. Where necessary this includes challenging current practices and standards after a risk-based analysis to allow safe operation.

The trams (or trains) To operate the service, seven new vehicles are being procured by SYPTE from Vossloh España of Valencia, Spain. That factory’s previous products for the UK include the class 67s (when the works were part of Alstom) and the class 68s for DRS which are currently being built. The Tram Train vehicles are part of the Citylink family and are similar to those currently being supplied to Karlsruhe. However, those for Sheffield-Rotherham will be a dual voltage version (750V DC and 25kV AC) to allow for continued operation once future electrification of the Midland Mainline north of Sheffield has been approved and implemented. Three vehicles will be used to operate the Tram Train service every 20 minutes, three vehicles will be used to provide

additional capacity on the tramway, and the seventh vehicle will be a maintenance spare. Maintenance will initially be carried out by Vossloh using the current tram maintenance depot at Nunnery which will be modified to accommodate them. The three-section Citylink vehicles are 37.2 metres long, 2.65 metres wide and are low floor at the doors - providing level access - with raised seating areas above the four conventional bogies. They are able to accommodate 88 seated and 150 standing passengers with wheel chair spaces provided between the doors. The vehicles will be compliant with Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (RVAR) 2010 and will be fitted with saloon air conditioning and an integrated passenger counting system. The tramway in Sheffield presents some challenges not normally encountered on railways including 25-metre radius horizontal curves, 165-metre vertical curves (sag) and gradients of up to 10%. The vehicles are to be equipped for both tramway and railway operations requiring duplication of certain systems such as communication and safety equipment and will include GSM-R, TPWS/ AWS and OTMR as well as tram radio and routing equipment. For safe tramway operation under line of sight rules, magnetic track brakes are fitted to all bogies providing deceleration rates of over 2.2m/s². Delivery of the first vehicle is expected in mid 2015.


Next Stop Rotherham

Sheffield’s new Tram Trains

the rail engineer • August 2013


Infrastructure The infrastructure changes required to accommodate the new service are being led by Network Rail on the national rail network and by SYPTE and Stagecoach Supertram on the tramway. The tramway infrastructure at the Meadowhall South Junction will be installed by Network Rail. The design for the infrastructure is at the end of GRIP 4, Single Option Development, and will progress to GRIP 5, Detailed Design, later in the year. Carrilion has been awarded early contractor involvement but the actual GRIP 5 contractor is still to be confirmed. The junction between the two systems is being designed and constructed by Network Rail with support from the other partners. This will have a double-lead junction from the tramway into an island platform that will be used by Tram Trains only, and then onto a bidirectional line over the river Don that connects with the existing single track line (Engineers Line Reference WME) on the Rotherham side of the M1 Tinsley Viaduct. The signalling at the interface will be designed to ensure that the changeover between the two systems is safe and requires minimal interaction for the driver and signaller. Network Rail will also be building a turn back siding with a tram stop at Parkgate and low level platform extensions to Rotherham Central station. The line will be electrified throughout at 750V DC. An assessment of whether some or all of the route should be electrified at 25kV AC in anticipation of Midland Mainline electrification north of Sheffield, which is not yet a committed scheme, revealed that this was not cost effective due to the different systems required. The design is being implemented taking into account the future requirements and delivering synergies where possible. Although the gauge of both Network Rail and Stagecoach Supertram tracks are 1,435mm, there are key differences which require a wheel profile

to be designed that allows safe through running while minimising the degradation of both wheel and rail on both networks. The initial work by Huddersfield University has demonstrated that the tyre profile of the current Supertram vehicle would present a derailment risk on Network Rail’s switch blades, therefore a deeper wheel flange is required that reduces this risk. As the Supertram system is now 20 years old and the rails have been maintained in accordance with the tram wheel profile, certain locations require rail replacement to accommodate the Tram Train service. However SYPTE and Stagecoach Supertram are just commencing a programme of rail replacement to replace 22km of embedded track over the next five years that includes all areas where the Tram Train will operate. VolkerRail is carrying out phase 1 of the replacement work in 2013. The remainder of phase 1 and rail supply in 2014 is still to be tendered by SYPTE. Phase 2 will start in 2017/18. The rail profile chosen for replacement is 55G2 which has a wider and deeper groove than the originally installed 35G-TF ensuring future compatibility for the Tram Train. Following the start of service in 2016, a pilot period will run where the performance of the Tram Train on both Network Rail and the Supertram networks will be monitored. This will be holistic and ensure that data is captured to allow others to learn from the operation. This data will include such things as operational performance, public and staff feedback, maintenance costs, wheel and rail wear. More important will be capturing and sharing lessons learnt from the project as it is set up, ensuring that the wider industry benefits from this experience and learning. To allow other Tram Train promoters to maximise the benefits of the project, a website will be set up to disseminate what the partners learn from the project.

New route to Letchworth 30

the rail engineer • August 2013


Hitchin Flyover: key facts »» Principal contractor HOCHTIEF working in a ‘pure alliance’ with Client Network Rail »» Steelwork supplier Mabey Bridge »» Designers Tony Gee and Partners »» 29 spans »» 239 bored piles typically 24 metres long »» Overall steel tonnage - 2300 tonnes

»» Very high skew for the span over the ECML (over 60°) »» Shallow structural depth to accommodate overhead electrification »» Designed to accommodate abnormal loads from rail mounted cranes »» Main span landed within 3mm of design »» Tight radius of curvature - 425 metres


the rail engineer • August 2013


t the very moment the 13:57 Moorgate to Letchworth train pulls out of Hitchin making its way to the Cambridge branch, a south bound express thunders over the ECML junction. Up until Monday 26 June this year, this is something that just could not have happened.

The local train would have had to wait or the express would have been stopped. But now the long

HST adds to the cacophony of trains passing through the station. The Letchworth train serenely accelerates northwards, unperturbed by the movements on the two fast lines following the ‘feather’ of the newly commissioned starting signal.


awaited Hitchin flyover is open for passenger traffic. As if to emphasise the point, a north bound


the rail engineer • August 2013

An announcement is made by the driver to reassure those regular passengers expecting to turn right over the existing flat junction. “This IS the Letchworth train, ladies and gentlemen. We are being routed via the flyover that has just been opened.” Words of reassurance surely needed as the local train is travelling north on the down slow into open countryside on a track normally used by Peterborough trains. The panic-point for many on board has long passed!

Punctuality gains The view from the front cab seems to be unchanged at first, but then the diverting route over the flyover comes into view. The gradient is foreshortened making it appear like a switchback ride. It’s an illusion of course, but the rate of climb at 50mph is still impressive. Curving over the main line below, the extensive approach structures come into view followed by the descent on the now poppy-covered

embankment to the junction with the existing Cambridge line. Passengers see familiar scenery again and anxiety is allayed. The announcement was right after all. The whole trip takes about a minute longer than via the flat junction at Hitchin, but the gains in overall punctuality will be inexorable.

Curved, skewed and precambered The new flyover is a classic piece of pipe-dream infrastructure. It’s been something that has been needed for generations. Work finally started in 2011 to a design by Tony Gee and Partners with Hochtief as the main contractor working in alliance with Network Rail. The new 2.3km stretch of railway just north of the town’s station (837 metres of which is on a viaduct) crosses the existing main line and re-joins the old Cambridge route a kilometre to the east. The elevated section is constructed of steel beams

with a concrete deck and piers. Whilst simple in concept, this solution presented considerable design and installation challenges as the elevated span is curved, skewed and pre-cambered. It was critical that manufactured steel elements were engineered to fit perfectly and were expertly installed. The viaduct was fabricated by Mabey Bridge in spans of twin plate girders ready to be lifted into position.

Critical main line possession Mabey Bridge delivered the steelwork to site for assembly alongside the track. Starting with the main span of the viaduct, the 29 pairs of girders were lifted into place. The main span - constructed of a pair of braced beams weighing 300 tonnes required the use of a 1200-tonne capacity crane. As we reported in our August 2012 edition, the project programme was saved when a critical main line possession had to be put back a week to accommodate the hordes likely to be travelling to and from a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ rock concert at Knebworth. Saved by a delay? Indeed it was as the original weekend’s weather was dire and would have stopped the critical crane lift. In the end, an astonishing brief period of dead calm conditions occurred the next week and all was well.

Finishing off So, with the new route open, what else is there to do? As Network Rail’s project manager Nick Hilton said, “It’s just a matter of finishing a few offtrack elements and general tidying up. The temporary cabin city has gone and the fairly extensive temporary road junction into the site is being removed. The hill that was ‘borrowed’ for some of the fill material is being regraded and the area is gradually getting back to normal.” The next Cambridge train pulls into the down platform. The starter signal is held at red. There’s no feather, no route indication over the flyover for this service because, so far, only a few of the 300+ drivers using the route have gone through their route learning. It waits. A north-bound main line train passes. It waits. A south-bound train passes. And still it waits. Passengers are getting twitchy. Another north-bound train thunders through. Finally the route across the existing junction is cleared and the Cambridge train pulls away six minutes late. The flyover may be a project that has been a long time coming but, at this rate, it will prove its worth very quickly.

the rail engineer • August 2013



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the rail engineer • August 2013

Pennington Beck C

umbria. An area of truly outstanding natural beauty famed for its hills, unspoiled countryside, and water. Water exists in all its forms in Cumbria. There are magnificent lakes, functional yet still beautiful reservoirs, rivers, streams and becks. Bek is a middleEnglish word for a brook or small stream, and it stems from the even earlier Norse word ‘bekkr’. Clearly, becks have been around in Cumbria for a long, long time.

A question of scale Rivers are grand watercourses. They meander across country, often forming a natural boundary between parishes or counties, and certainly acting as an impediment to land-based travellers. When the railway reaches one, it soars across on a significant bridge which is often a work of architecture in its own right. Streams are much less significant. They still need to be bridged, but often these are small and can’t even be noticed by passengers inside their comfortable trains. But what of a beck? Does it rate a bridge? Pennington Beck did. Pennington is the name of a village near Ulverston, not far from the old Furness Railway line to Dalton. Pennington Beck runs past the village and then north to Pennington Reservoir. Upstream of the village, it passes under the railway by way of a small bridge. However, even bridges over becks cannot be overlooked. The running water erodes the banks and can cause scour around the abutments while the deck itself deteriorates just as fast, if not faster than that on a sizeable bridge. The bridge at Pennington Beck had reached the end of its life. It had a timber deck supported on steel beams and then on masonry abutments which were also time expired. Replacing everything would give

Network Rail the opportunity to increase the span so as to improve the flow capacity of the structure. The existing steel plate girder and timber deck along with the abutments would therefore be demolished in possession before being replaced with pre-cast reinforced concrete box culvert units. Story Contracting was brought in to carry out the work, and started on site at the end of March 2013.

Environmental concerns (fish & donkeys) The site’s remote rural setting meant that environmental and access issues became key factors in developing the construction methodology. The bridge is situated in the middle of farmland that is currently home to a donkey sanctuary. Story Contracting’s site manager, Keith Sanderson, worked with the landowner to ensure that disruption was kept to a minimum and the sanctuary’s residents enjoyed a short holiday in a neighbouring field.

the rail engineer â&#x20AC;˘ August 2013


Cumbrian weather

Because a temporary diversion of the stream would be needed, it was essential that Story worked with the Environment Agency to conduct a full ecological study. This identified the presence of several species of fish and prompted a programme of fish rescue. Temporary dams were erected and any fish were carefully captured and relocated further downstream. Once the area was clear a mesh screen was installed that prevented any further fish from entering the work area. With environmental measures in place, the water passing underneath the bridge could be diverted to create a dry workface. This was done in the traditional manner with hefty pumps delivering the flow downstream through pipes passing beneath the track. However, once again the location of the worksite needed to be taken into account. While the rural setting was undoubtedly beautiful, the Lake District is home to its vast lakes for a reason - it is prone to high levels of precipitation. With this in mind, contingency plans were put in place to ensure that, in the event of a heavy downpour during the works, the site would be safe from flooding. Extra pumps were installed that allowed for double the normal river flow.

With the excavation came wind and rain - rain that was persistent, heavy and unrelenting. The worksite quickly became muddy and working conditions less than desirable. Thankfully, the pre-planned extra water pumps were able to handle the deluge of water so work could continue and no time was lost to the unpredictability of Mother Nature. In order to mitigate against the chance of any high winds, the culvert units had been brought in early. With the Kirow being lower to the ground than a traditional crane, the risk of being affected by high winds was reduced. The river bed, covered with compacted foundation material, lay ready to receive the six pre-cast reinforced-concrete culvert sections, two headwall and four central units, that were to form the new route for the water flow. With these lifted into place, the Story Contracting team set to applying adhesive strips and pointing all of the joints between the precast in order to secure the structure. Finally the culverts were sealed, waterproofed and fill was placed and compacted around the sides. With the new structure now in place and secured, the team set about re-instating the track. Bottom ballast was delivered by RRV and trailer from the compound, dumpers tipped the ballast onto the structure and it was distributed, levelled off and compacted using triple wacker plates. The Up line sleepers and rails were installed first, allowing the Down line to be completed by RRVs running on track. Finally, an RRV fitted with a clamshell and hauling a trailer full of new ballast dropped the top stone before the tamper arrived, completing the job. The site was handed back at line speed, 45 mph. Story Contracting has a great deal of experience in delivering schemes of this nature. Combined with careful planning and programming, this meant that, despite the less than desirable weather conditions, Pennington Beck was a success and its future is secured for the next 120 years. The possession was handed back on time, within budget and most importantly without any accident or incident, and the donkeys and fish were restored to their regular habitat.


Work begins The 51-hour possession began just after midnight with the removal of the track. These were sequenced so that the Down line was removed by roadrail vehicles (RRVs) working on the adjacent line. Once this first track was out, the Up line was then lifted using road-rail tracked excavators working on the ballast bed. With all of the rail and sleepers removed the spoil ballast and fill material was excavated from the bridge deck exposing the deck ends and the ballast removed to the trackside compound via RRV. With the track gone, the old bridge and abutments could be removed to make way for the new culvert units. The existing steel bridge connections were cut using thermic lances to break them up into manageable sections which were lifted out by a Kirow crane. Finally, the remaining abutments could be broken down and removed and the river bed excavated.

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the rail engineer â&#x20AC;˘ August 2013

A row of jacks on the abutment of Butterley Station overbridge.

A typical Freyssinet jack.


or years, Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s railways have lived with the restrictive loading gauge that was established 150 years ago by Victorian engineers. Bridges and tunnels which were perfectly adequate for small locomotives pulling four wheeled coaches have often been enlarged and expanded as far as they will go. Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trains are built to run under those restrictions. They go through bridge arches and tunnel portals, often with only inches to spare.

However, not only is railway usage increasing these days, but the railway itself is getting bigger. As the electrification of more routes gets underway, clearance is needed for overhead wires and pantographs. In addition, freight containers are getting bigger, and these too demand larger clearances. All this has resulted in a range of measures to make the envelope surrounding the railway bigger. Tunnel floors have been dropped. Special solid-busbar electrification systems have been developed which take up less room

than conventional wiring. And some old and soon-to-be time expired bridges have been demolished and replaced by new, slimmer structures. However, there are some perfectly sound bridges which are simply in the wrong place. Even with track lowering, which is sometimes not possible due to drainage problems or the fact that the bridge is over a station and track lowering would cause problems with platform height, the bridge is still too low. Fortunately, technology exists to rectify this. For some time, many bridges have been raised by a few millimetres using hydraulic jacks to facilitate replacement of padstones or bearings. And if that is possible, it can be raised by a larger amount to give extra

Jacking corbels are stressed onto the abutment using horizontal Freyssibars.

Silver locking collars support the deck of Valenton bridge in its raised position.

More height

clearance beneath it. Such rehabilitation is significantly more sustainable than demolishing and rebuilding, not to mention the economic benefits. Either way, the process will be similar. Design temporary works to support the jacking positions, consider the effect on any services in the ground or crossing the bridge, assess whether any strengthening is needed in the bridge deck at the temporary jacking positions, determine whether lateral or longitudinal restraint needs to be temporarily provided and calculate the amount of space needed to safely remove and replace the components.

Jacking up Butterley A good example is Butterley Station overbridge, which has a 15-metre long deck with eight riveted steel girders spanning onto concrete abutments. Kevin Bennett, sales and technical director of specialist contractor Freyssinet, commented that the existing

the rail engineer • August 2013 Precast ballast walls being lifted in at Valenton Bridge.

bearings were badly corroded and needed to be replaced with new ones made in the company’s own Telford factory. “Fortunately, the bridge abutment was deep enough that we could get our 260-ton pot ram jacks in with only local modification of the abutment,” he explained. “We only lifted the bridge by 2mm, controlled by dial displacement gauges, with no more than 0.5mm difference between adjacent beams. Once the load has been relieved from the original bearings, the concrete around them can be removed by one of our Aquaforce specialist hydro-demolition teams. Fast-setting high strength grout and concrete is used to bed in the new bearings.” Further work carried out at Butterley included the removal, by hand breaker, of the concrete casement to the main steel girders where this has cracked. The steel girder was cleaned back to metal and epoxy corrosion protection applied before finishing off with new hand-applied repair mortar. The work beneath the bridge required Freyssinet to remove the existing smoke deflection barriers and these were later replaced with new stainless steel baffles. Above the deck, brickwork repair to the parapets and pilasters, resurfacing works to carriageways and footways and replacement of the bridge deck joint completed the job. In this instance, the requirement was only to raise the bridge by a small distance while these bearing replacements were carried out. However, to raise it by several inches, or even feet, would have been perfectly possible using the same techniques.

400mm at Valenton Valenton rail bridge allows the Great Belt Line, which diverts TGVs and freight around Paris, to cross the tracks of Villeneuve yard, in the Val de Marne south-east of Paris. To allow track improvements in the area, and to permit the passage of a new type of larger rail carriage, the Valenton bridge had to be lifted by 400mm. Preparatory works involved the construction of support corbels to carry the lifting jacks. Recesses were cut into the face of the abutment and new cantilevers cast. These were tied back to the abutment wall with horizontal, high tensile steel Freyssibars. Then, immediately before the lift, the jacks (blue cylinders in the photographs) and locking collars (silver cylinders) were installed, the hydraulics connected and the system tested. The lifting operation took place over 30 hours during the Easter weekend. It began at midnight on Sunday with Freyssinet removing the track and ballast and terracing back the ballast at the rear of the abutments. Then the jacks were activated and the deck was raised by 100mm using computer-assisted lifting to ensure equal distribution of lift. 100mm shims were inserted below the locking collars which were then manually wound down to take the load. The jacks were retracted and a 100mm shim inserted beneath each of these. The operation was then repeated four more times to achieve a total lift of 500mm. The next operation was to install precast concrete ballast walls of six tonnes apiece to prevent the fall of ballast into the space between the embankment and the deck. These were installed using two 100-tonne mobile cranes. Elastomeric bearing pads were installed and the deck


lowered by 100mm to its final alignment. Replacing the ballast and track completed the 30 hour possession and trains were back running on Monday at 12:00 following the reinstatement of the catenary. As well as its work with bridges, Freyssinet has developed a range of capabilities for tunnels. One of these also involves hydraulic jacking, in this case compensation jacking to counter the ground movement effects of tunnelling or sinking a shaft. The latter is illustrated by a recent contract to preload the props of Farringdon Station shaft using 80 Freyssinet flat jacks. These steel capsules are inflated with oil for temporary use or grout for a permanent inflation and can achieve thrusts of up to 1000 tonnes for the larger sizes. So, with expertise and a few jacks, it is quite feasible to stretch our Victorian loading gauge just enough for the next generation of railway vehicles.

Preloaded props of Farringdon station shaft.


the rail engineer â&#x20AC;˘ August 2013

Dinmore Tunnel - suck it and see!


inmore tunnel is actually two railway tunnels located on the former Shrewsbury to Hereford line between Hereford and Leominster. The tunnels are split level with the track on the Up line to Leominster being higher than the Down line to Hereford. The Up tunnel was built in 1853 and the Down tunnel in 1891. Both tunnels are approximately 1,000 metres long. The line speed through the tunnels is 80mph.

Maintaining track It would be difficult to think of a more challenging location for Network Rail engineers to carry out maintenance than in a long single bore tunnel. If the drains are clogged up, the formation saturated, the ballast riddled with pumping red clay and there is nowhere to move the CWR or the concrete sleepers, there are not many options. They could spend the next twelve months hand-digging the contaminated ballast out but it would be tedious work, progress would be slow, temporary speed restriction would be necessary for long periods of time and it would be expensive. A Kirow Crane could lift sections of track out in front of itself and then diggers could remove the contaminated ballast, but how would they get the ballast out of the tunnel? They might have to consider welding rail (in a tunnel) and then possibly destressing the track. It all gets very complicated, expensive and, whatever method was chosen, the effect on the train service would be detrimental to say the least. Worst of all, it is quite probable that the drainage system through the tunnel, often the root cause, will still remain ineffective.

Newly-designed RailVac


Ian Harris, Network Railâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assistant track maintenance engineer, Hereford, was the man with just this problem. The track formation within the Down tunnel was suffering from poor drainage and contaminated track ballast which was making it very difficult to maintain the track within acceptable parameters for the line speed specified. To address these problems, Network Rail decided to utilise a RailVac machine owned by Railcare, Sweden. This machine gained product approval just over twelve months ago and

the rail engineer • August 2013

it is a development of a Swedish UIC model which has been used in this country since 2006. However, that machine had to be transported by road because it did not comply with the UK structure gauge. Railcare, working in partnership with Bridgeway Consulting, successfully steered the newly-designed machine through Network Rail’s robust product approval process. It is now classed as a flat wagon when forming part of an engineer’s train so can travel at up to 100km/hr. When working independently within a possession it will travel at a maximum of 16km/hr. Steve Mugglestone is Railcare’s project manager responsible for the RailVac, its performance, productivity and future workload. He explained the scope of work that Network Rail wanted carried out during a 48hour possession. The work included the excavation and re-ballasting of approximately 200 metres of plain line situated in three separate areas, to clear the channel drain and remove the contaminated ballast shoulder throughout the length of the tunnel. Steve explained that a road-rail vehicle (RRV) fitted with a clamshell


bucket, located at the south portal of the Down tunnel, loaded ballast that had previously been stock piled in the cess onto a road-rail dumper. This was fitted with a conveyor belt that could offload ballast across the formation, in front of the dumper. It is a simple but very useful item of plant supplied by A P Webb Plant Hire Ltd. At the north portal of the tunnel was another RRV, also fitted with a clamshell bucket. Its role was to manage the excavated material, dropped off by the RailVac after working in the tunnel. When all the work in the tunnel is completed the RRV would then load the material into empty wagons to be taken away. The RailVac itself was brought to site as part of an engineering train, along with the wagons. They were detached ready for work whilst the train completed a run round so that it was in position to pick up the RailVac and wagons at the end of the possession. So when all movements of the machines and train have been completed the engineering supervisor gave permission for the RailVac machine to commence work.

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the rail engineer • August 2013

The ‘Manipulator’ The RailVac is similar in size to a tamper. It has an engine, cab, generators, pumps and valves designed to create the required vacuum and suction as well as two hoppers, all neatly designed and packed away. Then you notice the vacuum machine ‘Manipulator’ which has a long 250mm diameter flexible tube with two metres of hardened steel nozzle at its end. It is a bit like an elephant’s trunk and its function is very similar in that it sucks up anything that is within 50mm of the nozzle end. Nothing gets missed, especially life-expired ballast contaminated with wet pumping clay from the formation. The RailVac has all the necessary requirements for safe working - cameras, lights and electric sensor beams that can stop the machine if it is moving too close to another object. It can move in either direction but is planned to reverse away from the excavated track with the operator standing at the cab end of the machine where it is possible to control the movements of the vacuum manipulator by means of a ‘remote control box’. This is clearly a skilled activity, preferably performed by a person who has gained considerable experience using game machine controls. Certainly the operator in control at Dinmore was very adept, ensuring that everything from around and under the sleeper was sucked up by the Manipulator down to a depth of between 250 and 300mm below sleeper bottom. Depending on the condition of the ballast being removed, the machine will work for about 1.5 hrs sucking up about 18 cubic metres of spent ballast and clearing about 15m of track and shoulder. Try doing that with a shovel! There are two operators who share the task of operating the control box. The

debris is sucked into the hopper positioned in the middle of the machine. The RailVac then travels out of the tunnel, the hydraulic hopper doors open, deflector plates are extended out below the hoppers and vibration helps the spent ballast to be discharged for the RRV to deal with. Although the machine moves at a very slow pace an exclusion zone of six metres is set up and maintained around the machine as it works. The only personnel working in the immediate area of the machine are the operator, the machine controller and technical personnel. However, because of the nature of the work, usually two additional track workers follow the machine with rakes to ensure that all the debris is sucked up. If necessary the machine stops to enable this work to be done safely. It is a tight operation with only 5/6 additional support staff needed. Steve uses people who are now familiar with the process, supplied by Quantum Construction Leeds.

Ballast vibrators To ensure that line and level of the track is maintained, Duff jacks are placed between the RailVac and the ballast discharging dumper which is distributing the ballast from its conveyor belt in 100mm layers across the excavated formation. The ballast is then vibrated using handheld Robel tamping machines that are similar in size to Kango packers and are designed to vibrate rather than compact the ballast. They only recently started to use these machines but, so far, they are very pleased with their performance. Once the heavy excavation work is complete, the RailVac removes the ballast covering the drainage troughing lids which are then manually removed so the machine can suck out all the debris. It’s a simple job with the

RailVac but it is often the critical job that does not get done when other methods of repair are used. When all the work is complete and the site cleared, a tamper runs through the tunnel to ensure line and level are within tolerances, ready to receive the first train at the end of the possession. A TSR of 50/30mph is applied initially then raised to 80mph the following week after a further tamp. As Steve explained, the beauty of this process is that at the end of the shift you have a clean, tidy site and the track is fit for purpose. They have never overrun a possession with this or the previous machine. No cables need to be disconnected so there is no signalling involvement and, if need be, they could hand back a possession at short notice. The process is ideal for all those locations, such as S&C layouts and underbridges, which are most difficult to maintain. Certainly Ian said he was very pleased with the work that they were doing. A few more of these machines may be seen around the network in the future. For maintenance engineers with a problem that possibly keeps them awake at night, they might want to try the RailVac. Suck it and see!

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the rail engineer â&#x20AC;˘ August 2013



Thames Tunnels


hen Paul Baker of Hochtief Murphy Joint Venture (HMJV) was kind enough to invite me to visit the Plumstead portal of the Crossrail Thames Tunnels I was delighted. I spent most of my career maintaining Victorian rail tunnels, and have visited the interior of some more modern tunnels such as the Channel Tunnel, but I had never been close up to a tunnel boring machine (TBM) in action. This was not to be missed. My colleagues Colin Carr and Graeme Bickerdike felt the same when I let them know that Paul could take several of us along.

the rail engineer • August 2013

The joint venture of Hochtief AG of Germany and Murphy Group Ltd. had previously delivered the HS1 Thames Tunnel further downstream and from this success they were awarded this contract for Crossrail.

View from the sewer Paul introduced us to the site by making us visit a Victorian structure, an old Metropolitan sewer! There was logic to this though. At Plumstead, the sewer runs above ground under an earth bank that gave a good vantage point to allow us to look each way along the alignment of the Crossrail tunnels. First we looked west towards the cranes that indicated the site of the construction of Woolwich Crossrail station, then the eastward view showed us the spoil disposal site where slurry is delivered from the TBM cutter faces by

pipeline, dried and loaded away for disposal. The Plumstead Network Rail DC traction substation “Cathedral” building of 1920’s vintage was clearly evident in the latter view, and this became of interest again later in the visit. As we approached we saw that adjacent to the site offices were stacked piles of tunnel ring segments ready to be taken down to the TBMs. Each pile contained the eight segments


required to form a complete, 1.6 metre long, 6.2 metre diameter ring. The segments are being fabricated in Ireland by Shay Murtagh and brought to Plumstead by road and ferry. Each set for a ring comprises a full lorry load. Crossrail Contract C310, for the construction of the Thames tunnels, was awarded to the Hochtief Murphy Joint Venture. Paul’s involvement was in the railway interface


the rail engineer • August 2013

liaison between the client, HMJV and the railway authorities. This meant managing the interfaces with Network Rail and Docklands Light Railway (DLR). At Plumstead the North Kent Line, carrying an intensive service from London Bridge to Woolwich Arsenal, Plumstead, Abbey Wood and beyond, runs immediately adjacent to the portal box over some 600 metres. It also involved liaison with the DLR since the Crossrail alignment passes directly over its Thames tunnels as they approach Woolwich Arsenal. The two TBMs that have started their journeys from Plumstead are named Sophia and Mary. Sophia began her first drive to Woolwich, about 1,200 metres away, in January 2013 and this phase of the work clearly shows the joint venture in its true sense as Hochtief AG’s Stephen Assenmacher is tunnel construction manager while Murphy’s Chris Ashton supports him as assistant. Sophia had completed this a few days before our visit and attention had shifted to Mary. This second TBM had been erected and tested in the portal box and had begun her drive towards Woolwich on 19 May, although her first complete tunnel ring was not installed until the following day as we were able to see on the progress whiteboard in the site office.

Both Sophia and Mary are slurry machines, meaning that their 7.1 metre diameter cutting shields are filled with a pressurised slurry of bentonite. This prevents the ingress of water from the surrounding ground and is mixed with the cut material at the TBM face to enable it to be pumped back to the slurry treatment plant at the Plumstead site. At the treatment plant the slurry is separated with the spoil extracted being dried and then taken away for disposal. The bentonite from the slurry is cleaned and refreshed before being pumped back to the TBM face to repeat the cycle. At the early stage of the drive that we saw, the material being produced was gravelly as it was driving through gravel beds, but as the TBM gets down to the levels required for the main drive it will enter chalk and the spoil will become brilliant white.

Heavy machinery Like the other TBMs being used on the Crossrail project, Sophia and Mary were supplied by the German firm Herrenknecht. This company has grown since its inception in 1975 and is now the world’s leading supplier of tunnelling machinery. Whilst the Crossrail TBMs are not as big as the largest yet, which was over 19 metres in diameter and drove a tunnel in St Petersburg, Russia, they are massive. Each is over 100 metres long and weighs about 1,000 tonnes. They are operated by 20 people, 12 on board the TBM and eight in the tunnel behind it. Typically a rate of 100 metres per week is being achieved on the Crossrail tunnels, with a total of eight machines being needed to create the 42km of rail tunnels on the whole project. TBMs Phyllis and Ada, working on the western tunnels, have peaked at speeds of around 215 metres per week. The Thames tunnels are each 2.6 km in length, with the opportunity to pause each drive at Woolwich to refurbish the TBMs in the station box after the drive from Plumstead before each machine starts to tackle the second section beneath the river to North Woolwich. Sophia will start this phase of her drive once Mary is well on her way from Plumstead. Today’s TBMs are an amazing contrast with the techniques used by Brunel for the first Thames tunnel, not far away from the current site. They are full of sophisticated equipment and monitoring systems, all intended to maximise safety, minimise disturbance to the surroundings and ensure accuracy in the alignment of the final structure.

Sophisticated steering In a typical day, Sophia and Mary are each likely to progress by fifteen 1.6-metre long tunnel rings. The accuracy of their progress is checked by means of an inertial navigation system (Gyromat) and an automated total station, on the tunnel wall,

the rail engineer • August 2013

checking prisms at monitoring points within the TBM and on the tunnel walls. There is a “window” within the TBM, in the upper left hand quadrant of its circular section, which is kept clear at all times throughout the machine’s entire length. This allows the total station to “see” right down the length of the TBM to read a prism at the very front of it. We were shown, on a computer screen in the site offices, the TBM driver’s view of the outputs from this (pictured right). In a circle on the screen was a symbol shaped a bit like a four finned paper dart. The driver can interpret this to see where the front and rear of the TBM lie in relation to the planned exact centre position of the tunnel. The aim is to remain within 50mm of the target in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions, although the drivers apparently compete to better this by the greatest margin on each shift. The positional data updates every 11 seconds, and the system can be used to give predicted positions based upon the current position and direction of travel. How I wish


that the canal engineers of old had had such systems when our canals were built - it would make steering my narrowboat so much easier in tunnels like Blisworth and Braunston!

Hydrostatic control One of the most interesting engineering aspects of these particular works is the monitoring system in use. It is usual these days to cover such a site with


prisms and automated total stations to establish a network of survey control points. These are monitored frequently and regularly. There will be set thresholds for movements, with alarms automatically triggered should these be exceeded. The HMJV have elected to use, as an alternative in many areas, a different system. The principles are the same as regards thresholds and alarms,

Being at the forefront of rail safety, TES 2000 are pleased to have supported the Hochtief Murphy Joint Venture on the Crossrail Thames Tunnels project by providing specialist surveying engineers undertaking regular tunnel / track monitoring and detailed trend analysis for track quality degradation.

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the rail engineer • August 2013

(Left) Mary enters the tunnel portal. (Below) Hydrostatic level cell attached to a nearby building.

but the measurement technique is totally new and far more accurate. The system is called “HLC”, Hydrostatic Level Control. At each point to be monitored, on a sensitive structure, say, or on the TBM, hydrostatic control cells are fastened at chosen points. These are small boxes containing the hydrostatic sensors which are connected back to the central monitoring system. In certain cases, tiltmeters are also applied. The accuracy of this set-up is claimed to be 10-times better than a system based upon total stations and prisms, being in the hundredths of a millimetre. The system at Plumstead is set up to take measurements every second, and to record measurements at 15 minute intervals. The difference in periodicity is odd at first sight, but makes sense when one considers the volume of recorded data involved even at the chosen rate. There are a huge number of points being monitored, and so it is sensible to limit the recorded information, which is after all likely only to be required as an audit trail. The greater frequency of real-time monitoring does permit very early detection should there be an alarming movement somewhere, but it is not really necessary to record every measurement if they are all within the agreed acceptable limits.

Monitoring other structures One structure which is being monitored by HLC is the Network Rail DC traction sub-station, a tall cathedral-like structure built of brick on a concrete raft that sits above the line of the tunnels close to the portal. This is clearly a sensitive structure and significant movement would not be acceptable to both the structure and equipment therein. Indeed, it was agreed that in order to reduce any settlement as the tunnelling proceeded, it would be lifted 3mm in advance by grouting beneath its foundations. The effects of this grouting were clearly visible on the HLC records we were shown by Dieter Scherenberg, HMJV’s monitoring engineer. He and his colleagues had set up HLC on the building prior to compensation grouting and have been monitoring it throughout the subsequent passage of the TBMs beneath it. They expect it to finish up back at its original level after tunnelling is complete, but if it doesn’t, further compensation grouting will be used to re-level it as necessary. That is not expected to be necessary, however. Similar measures have been taken for other sensitive structures and buildings along the route. One that is being watched closely is a bridge carrying the North Kent Line over

White Hart Road. The structure dates back to the opening of the line, with a later span addition for the sidings, and with little information on the actual foundations was of particular concern. The DLR Thames tunnels, built as recently as 2009, are also being monitored. The Crossrail tunnels have to pass over the DLR ones with not much more than two metres clearance between them. This restricted dimension is dictated by the need for the Crossrail tunnels to pass under some building foundations a short distance away whilst rising to enter into the Woolwich station box, limiting the vertical room for movement. DLR required that the project monitored its tunnels and the track within for a whole year before the new tunnelling works approached close enough to influence them. Carried out by specialist surveying teams of TES2000, this included both

track geometry measurements using a track trolley and, leading up to and during the period of TBM overpass, laser profiling of the tunnels to check for any structural movement. This monitoring is required to continue for at least six months after the last tunnelling work in the area of influence has passed clear of the DLR tunnels. In practice the area of influence is being taken as a zone 100 metres each side of the DLR tunnels.

Unexpected movement During the monitoring beforehand, DLR was apparently quite concerned by the movements being reported by the HLC system as it had not previously been aware that its tunnels were moving. However, discussions with Hochtief demonstrated that the movements were quite normal for structures like these, it was just that previous survey methods were not sensitive enough to show them.

the rail engineer â&#x20AC;˘ August 2013

In fact the sensitivity of the HLC system is such that the small movements caused by the tidal water level changes in the Thames are readily apparent in the records for the tunnels, showing as a waveform in the level plots at the same frequency as the tides. The effects of sunlight-driven temperature changes are also observable in structures exposed to the sun, and looking back at such records one can readily distinguish sunny days from cloudy ones by noting the differences in the recorded movements. In the event, when Sophia passed over the DLR tunnels no untoward movements of track or tunnels were detected, and after 14 days the JV had still seen nothing reportable. The effects of the TBMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passage were actually significantly less than the tidal effects. The third structure affected by the Crossrail project is Network Railâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s North Kent line and and adjacent Plumstead sidings on the line out of London Bridge between Woolwich and Dartford.

Crossrail was required by Network Rail to install detailed monitoring systems to detect any disturbance of its track and structures. The overall 24/7 track monitoring has been carried out by Crossrail, under contract C701, using conventional automated total stations. This was backed up by HMJV carrying out regular planned track geometry measurement trolley runs delivered by TES 2000 Ltd. Under Contract 310, the JV is responsible for checking this, and for undertaking any further special monitoring necessitated by their activities. A crucial part of that last responsibility concerns the massive portal box structure within which Sophia and Mary were assembled before starting their drives. Some 300 metres long and 23 metres deep at the portal, the southern side of the box runs almost parallel to the route of the South Eastern and Freight trains passing every few minutes about six metres away. Disruption of the train services along the line due to track or


structure movement could not be tolerated, but it was necessary to install both secant and diaphragm wall piles parallel to the line to form the wall for that side of the box structure. In addition, the piles were to be re-enforced with steel cages and all this presented a challenge both to the engineers, and more importantly, Network Rail standards. What could be done? The solution is an interesting story of its own, and one which is addressed in a separate article in this magazine. Suffice to say that it was a major challenge for the Network Rail asset protection team, led by Geraldine Quinn and colleagues.


the rail engineer • August 2013


portal box construction CHRIS PARKER


s was highlighted in the accompanying article on Crossrail’s Thames tunnels, one of the challenges involved was agreeing a way to construct the portal box at Plumstead. The box was to be some 300 metres long and, at the deepest point adjacent to the portal itself, around 25 metres deep. Its south side was to lie parallel to the railway out of London Bridge towards Woolwich and Dartford and was to be only about six metres from the nearest track. These tracks carry South Eastern Trains’ services and freight traffic, at very frequent intervals, and disruption just could not be tolerated.

Falling foul of standards Network Rail standards concerning works like these alongside the railway were very restrictive, following the same principles as had applied for many years back to British Rail days. Cranes and similar plant were not permitted to work where they might fall foul of the running lines. Detailed provisions applied, but in essence, no such equipment was to work facing the line or at an angle to it such that the jib, load or other part it would foul the line should the machine fail or overturn. The portal box sidewalls were to be constructed in a combination of secant and diaphragm piles. The secant piling rig was considered and deemed acceptable to work even in this tight spot, since it was a hydraulic machine which could have the check valves and hydraulic fall arrest systems that Network Rail required in order to agree to its use in such circumstances. The diaphragm wall piling rig was a different beast. It is considered a crane as the grab it carries, three metres long and one metre wide, is suspended on ropes - just like a crane. The sort of constraining equipment used on the secant rig was just not applicable to this machine. Further, the piles required steel reinforcement cages, around 20 metres long, to be lowered into them using an auxiliary crane. With 150 piles along the side of the box, constructing the track side wall under night time track possessions was not a feasible solution to this problem, and some other ideas needed to be considered.

Working through the problem


Fortunately the Crossrail team, led by John Kinnear and Simon Chittenden, foresaw the problem in advance, and in September 2010 discussions began between them and Network Rail’s principal engineer Crossrail, Steve Brame. He involved the Network Rail asset protection team led by Geri Quinn. When the Hochtief/Murphy Joint Venture (HMJV) was appointed in April 2011, the discussions began in earnest as the HMJV was able to suggest realistic, practical options for mitigation of the problem. Andreas Raedle, HMJV technical risk manager, and Paul Baker, HMJV rail interface manager, represented the JV while engineers George Christou and Tom Smith took the technical lead for Network Rail.

the rail engineer • August 2013


the daylight hours restriction, meaning that it was not as effective in reducing risk as had been thought. For example, there was the risk that pile excavations could be left incomplete overnight because of the short working day, resulting in the additional risks of excavations left open. It was agreed that the restriction to daylight working be removed with the installation of a reactive warning system which triggered both audible and visual alarms should the asset protection barrier be breached, alerting the attendant safety staff. After several iterations between the parties, an agreed draft derogation against the Standard was finalised. This was submitted to Steve Brame, who accepted it on Network Rail’s behalf.

Successful result

It was quickly established exactly how the HMJV preferred method of working would be non-compliant with the relevant Network Rail standards. Collaborative, open discussions ensured that all parties understood the options that had been considered in arriving at the preferred method of working, the reasons why certain of these had been rejected, the resultant non-compliances and the mitigations that might be adopted. Everyone was clear that the mitigations adopted must not just transfer the risk somewhere else, they had to achieve genuine and significant risk reductions. An iterative process developed the final derogation that was proposed to Network Rail for their acceptance and ratification. It was clear early on that the two key aspects were the diaphragm wall rig and the auxiliary crane, either of which might fall foul of the line.

Implementation involved the documentation of the derogation and the necessary revised working methods, a significant effort devoted to the review of things like crane operation diagrams and a comprehensive programme of briefing staff about their responsibilities. The latter gave particular emphasis to the agreed emergency procedures, and included regular auditing and reviews to ensure that everyone knew their roles. Paul Baker was heavily involved in this element on behalf of the HMJV. The outcomes were good. The work was completed on schedule in mid 2012, a pretty good result in itself. There was only one occasion when the emergency procedures were implemented ‘for real’. This involved a minor spill of bentonite onto the track. Fortunately, no train was in the vicinity and the spill was not great enough to require any suspension of the train service. HMJV reacted very responsibly, suspending work for 36 hours whilst the causes were reviewed and for revised procedures to be agreed and put into place. The negotiation and successful implementation of this derogation to the Network Rail standard was a very significant step. It was the first time that such a derogation had been attempted, and it showed that such a change in approach was achievable by agreement and in action on site.

Proposals and derogations

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Consideration was given to relocating the portal box away from the line, but the constraints imposed by the listed status of White Hart Depot precluded this option. Construction of such a massive wall would have meant so many night-time possessions that the disruption to the rail service would have been unacceptable, whilst the delay and cost implications for Crossrail would also have been intolerable. Risk assessments also suggested that so much night time working would have caused a very significant increase in risk compared with predominantly day time working. The suggested mitigations to support the proposed derogation included: »» Additional inspection and maintenance regimes for the diaphragm rig and its auxiliary crane, to reduce the risk of failures; »» The use of heavier machines downrated to the required capacity, again to reduce the failure risk by ensuring that the machines were significantly less stressed than normal; »» The construction and use of substantial reinforced concrete platforms for the machines to stand on to work, to reduce the risk of overturning; »» The provision of attendant rail safety staff to monitor the works and carry out emergency procedures in the event of an incident; »» The production and implementation of detailed, comprehensive emergency procedures and communications systems in case of an incident; »» All working to be restricted to daylight hours. The HMJV found this last mitigation to be too restrictive given that the work was going on in winter, when the days were very short. Evidence was produced which actually showed some increases in risk resulting from


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uch has been written about the Thameslink Programme which will give an enhanced rail service through the centre of London. It is being delivered in three phases. Key Output 0 (KO0) allowed a consistent eight-car train service to run at 15 train paths per hour (tph) between St Pancras International and Blackfriars station. This work was completed in March 2009. KO1 provided for an improved train service of 12-car train formations from December 2011. Farringdon and Blackfriars Stations were reconstructed during KO1 with overall completion during 2012. The final stage, KO2, will allow the introduction of the enhanced Thameslink service by the end of 2018. KO2 includes the reconstruction of London Bridge station and the construction of the infrastructure to allow up to 24 tph through the Thameslink core area. The programme will require major infrastructure works and significant adaptations and improvements to existing stations along the proposed enlarged route.

Diving under Bermondsey It is critical to the successful delivery of Key Output 2 that the Thameslink lines (South Central Sussex Fast lines) are separated from the South Eastern and South London lines to minimise conflicting crossing moves on the eastern approach to London Bridge station. The separation of these lines will be achieved by the

construction of a dive-under in the Bermondsey area of South London, known as Bermondsey Dive Under, (BDU). The BDU is the re-alignment of the South Eastern, South Central (Sussex) and South London lines between Rotherhithe New Road to the East and the East London line to the West to provide grade separation between the South Central Fast lines and the South Eastern and South London lines. This will be achieved by mainly raising the vertical alignment of the South Central Fast lines whilst in turn lowering the vertical alignment of the four South Eastern, South Central Slow and South London lines to dive under the South Central Fast lines. A key element in the provision of the BDU is the Structures Strengthening Programme (SSP). A total of 43 structures were

identified between Bermondsey and Waterloo East station of which at least 34 require work ranging from minor strengthening due to track realignment to major renewal. Stobart Rail, working as a specialist contractor for Skanska UK and Network Rail, has spent the last year developing detailed design and option reports for the SSP. This early engagement by Stobartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s construction teams has enabled them to provide crucial information to assist in the design, planning and methodologies for the delivery of each structure.

A variety of structures The existing structures include brick arch underbridges/ viaducts, steel and timber deck underbridges. The scope of the metallic structures works at the bid stage were likely to include strengthening, deck replacement, abutment strengthening, painting, waterproofing and the conversion of timber to ballasted decks. The aim of the scheme is to achieve at least a Route Availability (RA) rating of at least RA08 on all the structures. The main problem, as always, is the limited time available to carry out the works. The first two bridges

the rail engineer • August 2013

on the scheme, namely Crucifix Lane and Whites Ground - structures deep in the throat of London Bridge station - were planned to be delivered over the spring and summer Bank Holiday weekends in May and August 2013. To minimise risk, the plan was to undertake as much preparation work midweek as possible and so reduce the works to be delivered in the allotted possession times utilising rules of the route possessions. To this end, Stobart Rail worked hand-in-hand with Skanska, Network Rail and Cass Hayward to reach a buildable conclusion. Crucifix Lane was the first bridge to undergo the improvements. The original structure consisted of longitudinal timbers supporting the tracks over a steel bridge deck. In order to accept the new track alignment, the timbers needed to be replaced with standard ballasted track. The ageing bridge deck was unable to carry the additional loads as the deck plates were suffering from corrosion. The design solution was to remove the track and longitudinal timbers from the bridge deck and replace them with new steel deck plates supported directly on the existing cross girders. Rivets were removed from the cross girders, new steel cheese plates fitted and the new deck plates placed. The whole assembly was fixed by Stobart Rail’s steel fabrication team drilling vertically through the holes of the previously removed rivets and bolting the new components in-situ.

Planning and preparation Midweek, prior to the bank holiday, scaffold was erected to provide access for the installation teams and also provided a secondary catchment area for any potential falling debris. A Haki staircase was also positioned at the end of the structure enabling access from road to track level. Detailed planning went into the positioning of the crane, not only to facilitate the lifts required to deliver the works, but also to minimise the disruption caused to the residents of Whites Ground estate. Balfour Beatty Rail Systems provided unhindered access in their worksite enabling the smooth delivery of the project, also providing some support by way of removing the conductor rails and carrying out disconnections. Susan Fitzpatrick, Skanska project director, said: “This is a technically complex project and it took a huge amount of planning to get it right. We worked closely with Network Rail to make sure that we could time our works to coincide with the possession order for the bank holiday weekend. We also engaged closely with the community to prevent disruption to local residents.” The first possession, on the Spring bank holiday, went without a problem, with the first half of Crucifix Lane receiving the overplating solution. Stobart Rail’s RRV plant placed the new components working in conjunction with the road mobile

crane which was lifting the plates to bridge deck level. The second possession, on the Summer bank holiday weekend, will be a little more involved as both Whites Ground and Crucifix Lane undergo remedial works in tandem. The bridges are in close proximity, with less than thirty metres separating the two. This could cause accessibility concerns but Stobart is very experienced at all aspects of logistical delivery. Network Rail programme manager Andy Jenkins said: “It was important from a team momentum perspective that we successfully delivered the first of the 32 rail bridges that need strengthening as part of Thameslink’s KO2 programme. The success was further compounded by being achieved with no accidents, incidents or environmental complaints.”


In preparation for the August bank holiday works on the Whites Ground bridge, the team is extending 24 cross-girders, accessed on underslung scaffold in sections encompassing a skate park, pedestrian footway and road. This will significantly reduce the work required to be delivered in the disruptive weekend. Stobart Rail’s managing director Kirk Taylor commented after the May bank holiday work: “It’s a successful start to a hugely important project for us here at Stobart; we are happy to be associated again with Skanska following on our ten-year working relationship. We are fortunate to be working together with a fully integrated and collaborative bunch of people, on an interesting and diverse project that will enable us to use our experience to the full.”


the rail engineer • August 2013

Listening for failures



Installing a sensor.

Photo: john lucas

remature corrosion of steel tendons in post-tensioned pre-stressed concrete, cable stay and suspension bridges can cause them to fracture, compromising the strength, integrity and service life of the structure. There are many bridges of these types not only in the UK but worldwide, so how can infrastructure owners obtain information on the condition of their structures, whether they are deteriorating and, if so, the rate at which they are deteriorating? Currently, to obtain information on their condition, these structures are subjected to in-situ special inspections which include intrusive drilling into a sample of the ducts of post-tensioned concrete bridges or, in the case of cable stay and suspension bridges, unwrapping the protective covering and undertaking a visual examination of the tendons. While such inspections give an indication of the extent of the damage caused by corrosion, the risk of further fractures then has to be managed. Where there is deemed to be a risk of corrosion and fracture of tendons, interim measures such as lane closures or weight restrictions may be applied. However these measures can increase congestion, extend journey times and increase CO2 emissions. An alternative is the use of asset management tools such as SoundPrint®. This is a non-destructive acoustic monitoring system originally developed by the Canadian company Pure Technologies Ltd to detect wire breaks in unbonded (ungrouted) tendons in the floor slabs of office buildings. When applied to bridges, this system can assist the bridge owner in developing a management strategy for the structure. Research and application by Pure Technologies Ltd, in conjunction with TRL, has seen the system being used as a structural monitoring tool in the United Kingdom since 1998.

Development of SoundPrint In 1992, the Department of Transport (DoT) placed a moratorium on the construction of post-tensioned concrete bridges with internally bonded tendons and initiated a programme of special inspections of this type of structure. This followed concerns about the premature corrosion of the steel tendons. In addition, the DoT, and subsequently the Highways Agency (HA), undertook a programme of research into methods for detecting corrosion and fracture of wires in post-tensioned tendons. As part of this research, TRL was commissioned to undertake trials to investigate the use of SoundPrint for detecting wire fractures in tendons in grouted ducts. The findings from the trials provided independent verification that the SoundPrint system could be used to detect and locate wire fractures in steel tendons in grouted and partially grouted post-tensioned concrete beams. Supplementing the laboratory tests, the HA also funded a one-year field trial of the system which was implemented at the Huntingdon railway viaduct - a six span post-tensioned bridge in Cambridgeshire carrying the A14 (Cambridge to Kettering section) over the electrified East Coast main line and a local single carriageway. Initially, an array of 32 acoustic sensors was installed, predominantly on the northern cantilever span but also on the

northern backspan of the bridge. Trials of the system, including blind trials using facsimile breaks and external wire breaks, proved that the system was working as intended. The field trial proved so successful that HA commissioned TRL to continue monitoring the structure using SoundPrint to assist with the long term management of the viaduct. In 2009 a major upgrade of the system was undertaken and the monitoring now comprises 112 acoustic sensors encompassing the north and south cantilevers and the north and south backspans. Monitoring of this structure is now in its 16th year.

Acoustic monitoring For acoustic monitoring to be useful and effective, it has to provide information over many years and has to be continuous, effectively being able to capture critical data 24 hours a day. In addition to this, certain challenges have to be overcome and a number of important conditions must be assured, including: »» Independent verification of the applied techniques - SoundPrint is currently the only independently verified system in the UK;

the rail engineer • August 2013

»» The ability to monitor operational structures and have a high system uptime; »» The ability to manage large volumes of data and diagnose system problems using state of the art techniques; »» Comparing data to known acoustic events; »» Timely reporting of the information to owners and engineers. Within the structure, the post-tensioning strands contain a significant amount of potential energy in the form of prestress. When a wire in a strand breaks, the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy, which is suddenly injected into the structure, detectable as a dynamic response. The result is a series of multimodal vibrations of the concrete structure itself. These events are detected using an array of sensors and the resulting data continuously analysed using proprietary software/hardware to detect acoustic signatures similar to known wire breaks. Flagged events are compared to a database of over 2000 wire breaks, and confirmed by an experienced data processor. Active failures are reported to decision makers responsible for the structure. The measures used to analyse the signals are manyfold, and are derivatives of timefrequency analysis popularised in electrical engineering disciplines over the past 30 years.


An important parameter used to discern between ambient noise and wire breaks is an autocorrelation of the time-frequencyenergy representation of a signal to known wire breaks captured on similar structures. Another useful parameter that can be calculated using time-frequency analysis is the absolute amount of energy captured, which is proportional to the size of the wire break. Where the structure remains ‘quiet’ (low number of wire breaks) it gives an assurance to the bridge owner/operator that it is not deteriorating rapidly. If failures are detected, and taking structures out of service immediately would cause largescale disruption, continuous monitoring will allow structures to remain in-service while maintenance or replacement options are developed and budgeted.

Huntingdon trials The Huntingdon railway viaduct was constructed in 1975 and crosses a local single carriageway, the electrified East Coast main line and part of the passenger platform at Huntingdon Station. It is a six-span structure which forms part of the Cambridge to Kettering section of the A14 dual carriageway. Spans 1, 2 and 6 are simply supported reinforced concrete beams and spans 3 to 5 are of post-tensioned beam construction. The

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the rail engineer â&#x20AC;˘ August 2013



main span (span 4) consists of a 32 metre-long suspended span which sits on half-joints formed at the end of two 16m long cantilevers extending from the adjacent piers. The remaining five spans are 32.3 metres in length. A special inspection undertaken in 1994/5 discovered the presence of voids, water and chlorides in the tendon ducts of the cantilevers (span 4) and back spans (spans 3 and 5) of the viaduct but no significant corrosion of the strands. There was concern that such conditions could allow the corrosion of the post-tensioning strands to develop to such an extent that they would break. However, as the prestressing system was apparently in a good condition, the structure had a long potential life but required careful management. The high volume of traffic using the route made it essential to maintain the structure in service with minimum interruptions whilst maintaining an appropriate level of safety.

The half-joint was the region considered most likely to benefit from an assurance about tendon condition as half-joints are difficult to inspect. Also, the two cantilevers contained no geometrical redundancies in respect of shear failure in the half-joint and failure over the pier in hogging flexure. It was therefore decided that early detection of wire fractures, or evidence that none were occurring, would assist the long-term management of the viaduct. The western cantilever was preferred to the eastern cantilever for monitoring as access to the cantilever section and half-joint only required lane closures on the local carriageway and a hydraulic access platform. This was considerably more straightforward than obtaining access to the eastern cantilever which partially spans the railway line. A SoundPrint acoustic monitoring system was installed on the viaduct in mid-1998. As this was the first installation of the SoundPrint acoustic monitoring system in the UK, one of the objectives was to assist in the evaluation of the system as well as providing data on the

condition of the viaduct. It was anticipated that the presence of the noisy expansion joints at the two half-joints of the viaduct would provide a great many acoustic events and present a considerable challenge to data collection and analysis. This was investigated prior to installation of the system on the bridge using a sensor installed temporarily on the deck. A Schmidt hammer impact was recorded and played back through the acoustic monitoring equipment, and it was found that the impact could be readily discerned from the background noise. In addition a number of facsimile wire break events were created as part of the commissioning trials. In total, 36 sensors were installed on the western cantilever and anchor span. The sensor array was designed with the objective of detecting wire breaks in partially grouted tendons at the half-joint and over the cantilever span, but nevertheless was expected to detect wire breaks in fully grouted ducts. The monitoring system was extended in 2009. Sixteen additional sensors were installed on the anchor span of the western cantilever and the

sensor array was replicated on the eastern cantilever and anchor span. The structure is still in service 15 years after the installation of the system. For the period between its installation in 1998 and 2005 no wire breaks were detected. This provided a reasonable level of certainty that prior to the installation of the system in 1998 no wire breaks had occurred in the area covered by the system. Since 2005 a small number of wire breaks have been detected but not enough to cause concern about the integrity of the structure.

Alternatives If the acoustic monitoring system had not been available, it would have been necessary to have installed a broader regime of strain measuring devices around the structure to detect changes in behaviour that reflect losses of post-tensioning. It may also have been necessary to take routine x-rays of key areas of the structure to try to detect wire breaks. Such an approach would not have provided the same level of confidence as the acoustic monitoring system and would have required a number of closures of the structure.

Level Crossing Installations Level Crossing Installations Ltd are skilled installers of all types of crossings and experienced providers of associated construction services. Our expertise, backed up by excellent service, has enabled us to build an ever expanding client base and reputation as a company committed to delivering work of the highest quality. We carry out the installation, repair and maintenance of crossings for both the rail and tram networks and are able to offer a bespoke cut to fit installation service allowing us to overcome the problems presented by crossovers, bonding cables and points. We are also able to install crossings on curved track up to 50 meter radius and carry out all associated crossing interface works, including the installation of tarmac, kerbs and line marking.

For more information, please visit or contact our office on 01684 278022.


the rail engineer • August 2013

Back foot forward O

n the back foot. What does it mean? Being on the defensive, unable to make real progress. It’s an appropriately topical cricket expression particularly as the 2013 Ashes test series has just started and England is, of course, on the back foot in their first innings. Whether or not they will be able to make real progress is something we will all know by the time this month’s edition of The Rail Engineer is printed, but at the moment the home side’s 185 for 6 does rather look like back foot territory. But abruptly turning the narrative to the railway industry, it’s probably true to say that all railway infrastructure owners have been on the back foot when it comes to level crossing safety. Whatever sound progress is made to improve matters, there’s always a ghastly tragedy to deflect attention to the immediate rather than to the strategic. And accidents at level crossings are nearly always horrible and involve heartrending human losses. As with track safety issues, trains rarely injure people, they kill them - and news coverage is always bad.

700 crossing closures Eighteen months ago, when we last interviewed Martin Gallagher, Network Rail’s head of level crossings, there were signs of progress but the industry was still on the defensive, still fending off awful publicity whilst still trying to work out how to make a real and lasting change for the better. So has there been a change? Well, 18 months is a long time and it is true to say that the groundwork is now complete and there’s something to see at last. But in a way perhaps there is less to see for there are fewer level

GRAHAME TAYLOR crossings out there to cause the grief. Martin’s take on closing 700 crossings is: “If you said to any sensible railway person three years ago that Network Rail was going to close 10% of its level crossings in the next three years, they would have said that it would cost hundreds of millions of pounds. We’ve managed to close 10% of crossings for £20million or so, and that gives a huge improvement in performance with a reduction in operational costs and, of course, risk.”

£130 million funding package But going right back to the beginning of the story - long before the aggressive closure programme started and long before the introduction of new and pragmatic technical solutions - we need to look at how the current regime of level crossing risk management came into existence. It took the carrot of a 25% reduction of risk at level crossings by the end of March 2014 to secure a £130 million package of funding from the Network Rail board. The target was ambitious and there were some in the industry who doubted whether it could be achieved. Well, with no apology, here is a spoiler. At the end of period 3 this year, the reduction was 24.1% so, by the target date, it is likely that a figure of 30% will be achieved.

Level crossing managers Again, going back to the beginning and with the funding secured, there was a need to look critically at how these items of infrastructure should be managed. They have always been



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the rail engineer • August 2013

tricky. They have always been the point at which a whole range of interests coincide. They are installed by specialists on the civil engineering side, they sit in the permanent way, they may be controlled with signalling equipment. They are considered as part of the operational railway, travelled over by trains driven by drivers but, worst of all, used by the general public - many of whom work to no rules, regulations or standards and who generally come off worst when hit by a train at speed. There are parties that want crossings to stay and those who want to see them abolished. Pulling together all these interests and disinterests needed a single point of contact with influence in every department and faction in and out of the railway industry. So, that’s what the funding has provided - level crossing managers who are responsible for all aspects of a crossing’s management. It’s a job with none of the other sideshow responsibilities that have blighted how level crossings have been looked after in the past. “We’ve developed and implemented a four week training course so all these 100 plus people have been trained to understand our legal responsibilities, the concept and the practice of inspection, of risk management, of stakeholder management and of project management,” Martin explained.

Data cleansing

Technical solutions

“We also set up projects to cleanse all of our data. There were many different systems in Network Rail and very few of them were integrated. So if you wanted to find out information on a particular crossing you normally had to go into a number of different systems and you found that the level crossing information was different everywhere you looked!” By going right back to the original historical documentation, new ‘clean’ databases have been created. This has taken more than two years, but has resulted in over 4,000 anomalies being eliminated. This, along with the migration to paperless mobile technology, is the type of backup being given to these level crossing managers. By next month, all the crossing information and supporting documentation will be accessible through one integrated portal. So, these are the foundations. But what actual measures are appearing on site? This is where there has been a structured approach to risk reduction. It’s always tempting to rush around spending cash to patch up the latest crisis. In fact, that is pretty easy to do but, in the end, all the old systemic problems would still keep reappearing.

It’s vital to get reliable information on who uses a crossing and how often it is used. ‘Smart’ cameras are being installed at 500, mainly userworked, crossings to determine real risk areas. In the past some of this information has been gathered from private users, but often the information proved unreliable. Many of these crossings appear to be rarely used, but in reality the opposite is often the case where they give access to crop harvesting. In these cases a level of control for that short period of time at least can lower risk considerably. Several systems of train detection are being trialled at the moment including that provided by Wavetrain Systems Ltd. There are other systems, all of similar cost and all giving about a 75% cost reduction on traditional systems. Some of them are axle counter based, others use radar. They will enable protection to be put in at the huge number of unprotected crossings. There has been no business case to spend £250,000 each on adding barriers to a load of lightly used footpath crossing, but there is a business case to spend 10% of that at the same locations to provide something that will tell a user to be aware of an approaching train. These are not signalling systems, but information systems that are far, far better than having nothing at all. Barriers on open crossings have been installed at many locations and new ones are going in every week. This is a short term solution as it’s an area that has been heavily scrutinised because open level crossings make up something like 2% of the total crossing population but account for 30% of accidents. However, one of these barrier installations can be installed at something like 20% of the cost of a full upgrade to a half barrier crossing. Red light enforcement cameras have real muscle as these are a Home Office type-approved system. This means that the

the rail engineer â&#x20AC;˘ August 2013


camera data can be used as a primary source of evidence. There is no need for any corroboration from signals, staff, train drivers or members of the public. There are trials going on at the moment at six locations and by March of next year 300 will have been installed. With a fully automated process it means that every time a vehicle driver runs a red light or drives round or under a barrier, there will be virtually no human intervention before the letter drops through the post box announcing three or six penalty points and a fine.

been on the front foot in terms of innovation and not just reacting to something on the back of a recommendation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even the Rail Regulator who, 18 months ago, had a very different view from its recent press release, has said that excellent progress had been made!â&#x20AC;?

Barrier inhibition system In 2010 a signaller, distracted by phone calls, raised the barriers of the level crossing at Moretonon-Lugg on the Shrewsbury to Hereford line as a train was approaching. The result was a fatal accident as cars were struck as they passed over the crossing. Over the years, many controlled crossings in the UK have been fitted with devices that detect a train in section and which prevent barriers being lifted. But some, mainly in the West of England for a variety of historical reasons, were not - Moreton being one of them. Despite the accident, full retrospective fitting of traditional approach locking is extremely expensive and very difficult to justify. However, Network Railâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in-house engineers have designed a solution that overlays the existing signalling and provides a generic barrier inhibition system. It incorporates a timer and a train-activated treadle that provides critical thinking time to

the signaller to prevent impulsive decisions being made. About fifty locations have now been fitted.

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On the front foot at last As Martin acknowledges, many of the level crossing initiatives have been as a result of accidents, being on the defensive, being on the back foot. But for once there is work going on that is driven by the wish to get ahead of the game. Working with the RSSB, Network Rail is delving into human factors - to start designing level crossings in the way that would be more intuitive to pedestrians and vehicle drivers by looking at the layouts and approaches to level crossings. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been looking at new lights, new signage, new types of decking, new coloured danger zones - testing all of these different things to see what actually creates better awareness to somebody as they approach and use a level crossing. For the first time in a couple of years that I can remember, we have really

(Above) A footbridge has replaced the level crossing at Moors Gorse, Cannock Chase. (Left) The new footbridge at Thorne South replaced a crossing.





the rail engineer • August 2013

Trenchless replacement T

his is the third article in a series describing the use of trenchless technology in the rail industry. These techniques, used on pipes, ducts, conduits and culverts that run under the railway, remove the need for digging up the track and disrupting services but instead work from both ends with all the cleverness taking place underground. The previous two articles have looked at installing new pipework and renovating existing installations. This one will cover using trenchless technology to replace deteriorated or lifeexpired pipes and ducting.

Replacement options Where crossings already exist and are in a state of disrepair and where their condition excludes the possibility of a renovation technique, a new pipe/casing/ duct may be installed using various pipe replacement techniques. There are three main options: »» Pipe bursting using impact hammers; »» Pipe bursting using expansion shell systems; »» Pipe bursting using static pulling techniques. The principal behind the impact hammer technique is simple.

Pass a tow wire through the existing pipe. Take a hammer that is slightly larger than the diameter of the existing pipe. Attach the hammer to the wire and the new pipe to the rear of the hammer. Insert the hammer into the end of the pipe opposite to that into which the tow wire was placed, tension the wire and start the impact hammer. As the hammer works it cracks the old pipe into shards and displaces them around the hammer shell. The tow wire maintains the course of the hammer through the old pipe. As the hammer advances, the new pipe is drawn into the void created by the destruction and displacement of the old pipe. Once the hammer reaches the exit side it is removed, leaving the new pipe in place. The disadvantage of this technique is that, as the old pipe pieces are

displaced into the surrounding ground, there is potential for heave at surface if the operation is not at sufficient depth to prevent this. The expansion shell option is very similar except that, instead of using the hammer, a hydraulic expansion shell is pulled through the old pipe section by section, and expanded to break down the old pipe and push the shards into the surrounding ground. The lack of vibration may be an advantage, but there is still the potential for heave if the installation is too shallow.

Static bursting Static pipe bursting techniques have become increasingly popular. Recent projects have shown them to be very effective in replacing old pipes beneath rail tracks. For this technique, depending on the size and length of the replacement required, a suitable size rod pushing/pulling unit is set up on one side of the track. A bursting rod is fed through the old pipe to a reception pit which has been dug on the opposite side of the track. In some instances, where the old pipe has deteriorated

the rail engineer • August 2013

considerably, a drilling head has been used on a rod unit with rotational capacity to ensure that the rods can access the full length of the old pipe. Once in place, a busting head suited to the old pipe material is attached to the far end of the rod, followed by an expansion shell which will ensure that the broken shards created by the bursting operation are pushed outwards. The new pipe is attached to the rear of this assembly. The rods are then pulled back towards the pulling machine and the bursting head advances through the old pipe breaking it up. The expansion shell pushes the shards aside and the new pipe is pulled into pace immediately behind. As the amount of expansion can be accurately determined before the run starts, the potential for surface heave can be precalculated and so accounted for or countered. However, such heave is a rarity if the technology is applied correctly in the first place. Where smaller diameters are involved, or where site footprint is very small, a bursting system that is rope-based instead of rodbased can be used.

Other techniques In more recent years, techniques that started out as trenchless systems have undergone what might be termed


‘technology transfer’. A prime

the systems can be employed

limited to the railway industry.

example of this is the vacuum excavation system (Vac Ex). Vacuum excavation uses a truckmounted suction unit attached to an extended arm to clear excavated soils from holes in the ground. Some systems have ‘airknives’ attached that undertake ground cutting at the same time as the vacuum removes the spoil. This technique can be utilised in a variety of ways by track engineers. Where relatively shallow trenches might be required to position track-side cabling, these can be dug using a Vac Ex system. The advantage here is that the spoil is collected in the vacuum truck storage unit and can usually be recycled as backfill once the cable/duct has been installed in the trench. This limits the amount of plant and time that is needed to complete a track side job. Whilst this may not be classed fully as a ‘No-Dig’ technique, it does come under the nomenclature of ‘Lo-Dig’ (limited excavation options) because of the limited time and equipment requirements the systems offer. Furthermore, the use of Vac Ex systems is now also finding application in the movement of track ballast because the systems are capable of handling ballast sized rock chips with relative ease. This means that

to transfer ballast between transport systems or storage facilities or remove and store ballast at a track side work site whilst track is repaired or maintained, again reducing the need for trackside equipment. Trenchless technologies are not

The same techniques are used to pass cables and ducts under roads, canals and other waterways, and even buildings. However, as railways become busier, more nondisruptive methods will be used to avoid closing lines wherever possible.

A E YATES Trenchless Solutions Ltd.



the rail engineer • August 2013


recent newspaper article included a quote from the Transport for London (TfL) managing director of planning, Michele Dix. She stated that the equivalent of a tube train full of new Londoners will arrive in the capital each week between now and 2021. It is a good visual picture that emphasises the need to build an effective case for yet more investment to develop, upgrade and extend the London rail system both over and underground. Alongside this trainload image of population explosion in our capital is the announcement from the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) that Network Rail should give its supply chain more details about potential future workload in order to improve efficiency, all part of

the drive to reduce its forecasted spending over the next five years by £1.7 billion. These emerging issues have to be considered alongside the huge amount of investment that is currently being spent in the capital on projects such as Crossrail, Thameslink and various tube upgrades. Also, it makes it possible to appreciate and understand why the recent London Rail Conference was greeted with such anticipation by the contracting industry, its supply chain and, of course, by The Rail Engineer.


Crossrail stations The first part of the conference focused on London stations and how new Crossrail stations are being successfully connected to the existing ones. Nigel Hayward, major projects director for Hyder Consulting, talked about the developments at Whitechapel station where the Hammersmith & City lines cross the East London line.

Vision for Paddington

The station itself is in a very busy part of London, space is at a premium and it is being redesigned to accommodate the passengers who will use the emerging Crossrail route. Nigel explained how Hyder and BDP identified significant improvements to the original concept which would benefit both passengers and the local community and be easier and

less risky to construct. Rather than persevere with the original station plans to develop an eastwest passenger corridor, it was decided to make a radical change and develop a revised scheme that would provide a shorter, more direct passenger concourse that would span from north to south of the station. This scheme would reduce walking distance, provide step free access and a better link with the high street. It also enabled Crossrail to make a 15% saving which is not to be sniffed at!

Following this positive message, architect Rob Naybour of Weston Williamson talked about the “Vision for Paddington”, a Grade 1 listed main line station which interfaces with numerous London Underground lines including the Hammersmith & City line. Recently-bored Crossrail tunnels have already passed below the south side of the station. The adjacent road has been closed, taxi ranks repositioned and a new Crossrail station is under construction. Attention to detail is essential and the new station is being built on a 10ft grid which is similar to the mainline station, creating a consistent feel from new to old. It is no longer possible to travel east past Edgware Road on the Circle and District lines, so the role of the Hammersmith & City line at Paddington has changed considerably with a significant increase in passenger usage of the underground station at the west end of Paddington station. To address this change in passenger flow, a new, linear concourse has been built alongside the north side of the station, catering for the significant change to the station footfall. Back in 2010, there was still a level of uncertainty about whether the Crossrail project would get final approval and the

the rail engineer • August 2013


Growth exceeding forecast

project was in danger of losing momentum. Rob explained that, during this period, the architect became the custodian of the Paddington station project and it wasn’t until the Paddington Integrated Project (PIP) enabled collaborative working between London Underground, Network Rail, Crossrail and TfL Property that rapid decision-making became possible. The PIP Board met monthly, so key decisions could be made immediately which maintained the momentum that is essential for such projects. Rob suggested that the model of a joint project board could be usefully applied to other complex infrastructure projects. This was a lesson to be learnt that was supported by many contractors present at the conference. Lee Davies, operations director of Costain, a contractor that is involved in many of the London station projects including London Bridge, stated that “uncertainty about a project can slice up the procurement process”. He went on to add that “the longer we have to plan, the more efficient the construction”. Wise comments. So will the government help to create a

sense of certainty for HS2? It didn’t happen for Crossrail and as a consequence, it experienced a very uncertain gestation period before the green light was given.

Innovative procurement process for Bank This theme of collaborative working, bringing together the client, architect, design engineer and contractor, was enhanced by Simon Addyman, programme manager for the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade. He outlined London Underground’s innovative approach to contractor engagement for this project. Instead of presenting contractors with a proposed scheme, a contract document and 12 weeks to prepare a bid, London Underground went through a process of developing ideas with a select group of four contractors. All ideas adopted by the scheme were financially rewarded, whether the contractor concerned

was chosen or not. Contractors were reimbursed some of their costs for participating and the eventual invitation to tender (ITT) to construct was based on the scheme developed by this process. The evaluation and scoring process for the ITT was weighted in accordance with the criteria considered by the client to be most important when developing the business case. This means that a contractor which develops a scheme that addresses those issues, for example congestion and journey time issues, might submit a more expensive bid but the informed weighting process would ensure that the bid remained competitive. This is a complex and lengthy process but it tries to address many of the concerns that are frequently raised and it is certainly worthy of consideration and development.

The conference was reminded that the underground railway in London is now 150 years old and that this Victorian railway now carries 1.2 billion passengers each year. The challenge, presented by Mike Ashley, London Underground’s programme director for Crossrail and stations, is how we can create a sustainable underground railway to last for another 150 years. Mike highlighted the fact that growth figures consistently exceed forecast and added that “if you build a new line then development will follow”. He cited the Jubilee Line as an example, with the recent development of the south bank and more significantly Canary Wharf. Bank station was closed 67 times last year due to overcrowding and Mike commented that capacity is becoming a critical issue for more than 30 London Underground stations and, by 2026, these stations will be beyond capacity. This is clearly a strong argument for maintaining the momentum gained from work currently underway at Paddington, Bond Street, and Whitechapel with a continuous programme of improvement over the next decade and beyond. This workload, alongside plans to extend the Northern line and

London Rail Conference 2013

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T ay de , F ew Hig il N roj er pa str ai il ru E ct t R re ati U Fr s, H ig ai ail in pa y N l B l E as op k a ne ai on gh igh , St s a rg ra s, h e ec a n y l O n s t S w t ti ie N B ve u l n n r u v t n i Q ai gh ons de an er h S N Pr pe nie ew si en ru le, nd ts, l O , H Ra t, S ati d ou ch He pe s, s, T ng s, R ew usi nt re, , L l, t, Pe , S rg ch ita pe ew oje ra s, il & on Un nd is ri ed Ra ra Co a s, ne s, s ne ts ctu Ro C T pe S , H igh Ra S & ub ro ise ge ed s, ct tin Ra , R ss, , In re lli om ech ra EQ , R T s, S de , F e N tag R il in m il I Ra ss, Inf op t i SE t R l F T, wa un N , H Ra Ra s, T g C il I ail Ra fra , P ng po no ion , L ail , St ub rgr ra ew e, ail Pro Op pan nd il Ra ras le, H ,R j i d e i n n e tr R e i i u B l O Q ai rei St ys , F ws igh il, l P rai om nd Bu il E str op Sto en log s, gh Fr ati wa ou ch s, ig a ec ra es st us l E u o o pe , Li l, R gh atio an ra , H Sp Ra roj n O pa ust sin ve uc le, ck ts, y, HS t R eig ns ys nd ise He h S il ts, tin , R ry ine ve ctu llin y, ra gh ai t, S n d U nc er e il ec p n ry es nt tu R a T Ra EQ ai ht , S an , F N rit p Ne T g ai N ss n re g R ti t l F & s, nd his ita ed Ne ts, era ies Ne s, R s, I re, oll nd ech il O , L l, R , S ub d U ran ew ag eed ws rai Co l In ew , R ts, , P St R a S o s i e R n , w T t m d , s, il n a re T u a & w a In e oc e e g c s i , R w a n P n C n R , Te O s, il, ig , S bw rg Ne e, H ail s, R rai ing ai s, il fra eo g S om olo per gh il F T, ay nde hi , H Hi ai Ra Op pa us Ra il E fra op k H a l p s , p h t E r m ch er SE Ra t, tat ay ou ws ig Ra ai n O Co l In Ra ve str le toc po gy ati R re Sta s a rg e N eri gh l, R il P era nie try il B ve str e, R nd ne , R on ai ig t nd ro io s , i i t l S h u , po no at n S n u m s r t k l N p d n i a l a u R e Q H S l N Pr e a c w g pe il oj in , R e s ts ct ol Co a s l, h io o a n n l io , F & ns n d, U u r p u B ts t nd en ogy ns Li rei T, , S d U Fr eri pee ew oje at an str us , In ure lli nd ts, il O , H Ra t, S ns, nd nd, s, e, H ed Ne ect g C ai ws ine , In ure lin mp g t i n H y i l i g g , , C ts, , R H ht ht Sta ub nd anc ag d R s, cts ng es, N nes fra , P g Co Tec pe SE il F & Su er Fr er ig Ra ws s, T om In Ra ss, fra , P St on ol om Tec ail SE Ra , S tio wa er hi e, H ai Ra , T Co Ra ew s, st eop Sto mp hn rat Q, re T, S bw gro an ita h S il, , R ra pa du il Ra str eop oc ent g k r s l, i p l s R ru c u a m s & n y u c g p R a in n s B i o o i L ig h O Q Pe ing on no pe , L il, R T s, s a rou e N igh Ra l Pr ain pa il I , R ai ct le, k a ne log on igh ht tati ys nd his e, ee ai il P O ies try us l E ctu le, an , T l n n v l d s R S e , , H i e u R i a p a o n , d ec , n e t N n r op S n lo ra gh a S u d nd w S il oj O ni d , y r e E N S i r e n n o R t F R o N o i d e , H R e l n t p i C h e ra le, oc ts, gy, tio t R l F tati bw Un , F s, ee Ne ect per es, ust Bu ven , P llin C s, T Ra SE ai & T s, S d U ra ew gh ai ew jec rat ail ew ss ts , P llin om no l, st R k a Te R ns a re on ay de ra 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er igh il N ail s, T atin , R s, R s, R nfr e, P Sto om no rat a , s g t o O & e u , n i s d H w in ts , a po o E il un h er e , R T lo io a r p P e i c in nt c , R C , p t y S g c S r R a a a e o c U s a a p C ra o a s, Te e SE il & n s, es s, tu o es , I Pe k a ne log era Q, F T, s a gr hi ge pe ws roj in C il I il il tr opl k a on gy ns nd d ise ita ed a o , s i r R e r u o m B i n l E o o , i R s, In re li m ch a Q R T , S e F N g R l lI ec O m nd u v c e, n ed , n e St n t L n ,R ,H u se , p n n y f a s, l I ail Ra fr , P ng po no tion , L ail , St ub rg ra ew e, ail Pro Op pan nd il Ra ras le, d C ts, , R ion igh igh ati d U nd N Hig R Ra ts, pe pa us si en tur Ro d C ts, ai SE ra n tr ne ts e o T l nd Bu il as eo St ne lo s ig F at w ro nc s Hi , R je er ie us Bu il tr R o Te ail s, t R t, on nd , F ew h ai il T l ss , I , P lin mp ec Op Q, o n g , H ht re io a un h , H g tr s s S l, Pr ra ti ie y E u ol m c a c a s O H e r s u s E tr p a S

66 the rail engineer • August 2013

More Crossrail

increase the capacity of the sub surface lines by 60 percent, is not only providing work for London. It is estimated that investment in London’s rail systems is creating an additional 44,000 jobs outside of London, helping to boost the economy elsewhere in the country.

Orbiting the city

It’s not just the underground railway that is experiencing significant passenger increases. So is the London Overground railway that was formed in 2007. Since its creation, passenger journeys have increased by 350 percent, a huge increase even when you take into consideration the expansion of the overground network because of the East London line development. To accommodate this increase, it was recently announced that Bombardier has won a contract to build 57 additional vehicles to create five-car trains. Plans to extend the platforms to accommodate the longer trains

are well advanced with ITTs in circulation and similar tenders for the North London line will be sent out this autumn. Additional sidings are being designed and there are proposals being developed for the electrification of the Barking to Gospel Oak route, partly due to demand on this route doubling during the last five years. London Overground claims to be one of the most punctual railways in the UK with a vision to complete the orbital route around London. This would be a significant engineering achievement in itself!

From a railway around London we moved back to Crossrail, the new 118km railway with 42km of 6.2 metre diameter tunnels, which is being constructed across London from east to west. At present there are five tunnel boring machines driving, on a good week, more than a total of 500 metres of tunnel. Over 3,500 apprentices have been trained at the new tunnel training school in Ilford, a good investment for the future. By April 2014, contracts will be let for new rolling stock which should be in service by 2017. Announcements were recently made stating that there are now four organisations shortlisted for the Crossrail operating concession. They now go forward to tender for final selection, a process that should be completed by the end of the year.


From east to west, discussion switched to the north-south route and Thameslink, a project which is now well advanced.

Keep up to date with the Global Rail Market

The Borough Market viaduct is in place ready to carry lines to Charing Cross. The ticket office at London Bridge has been demolished making room for the link to the viaduct and a temporary ticket office has been constructed. Blackfriars, a new station that straddles the Thames, has now been completed. The old station roof at London Bridge has been removed and the arches are being demolished ready to receive the largest concourse in the UK, creating a fully integrated station at London Bridge for the first time. Cables and services have been relocated without fuss or mishap and a comprehensive programme of track remodelling is underway, as is a new dive under at Bermondsey. It is a complex programme and a testament to good planning.

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chi e, H ed ew s, T era s, R ust , R ss, Inf le, ck nt ogy ns ig re tio Un , F ws , H Ra ail ra i R in s, ra ti a ry ai R ra R an s, , R , H ht gh ns de ra , H ig il, g nd R ai nfr opl S pon ogy , H t R eig Sta ay un se i a T g i n a o a s R , r l R C d N t, d N h il R in g l S e t i l a S S g n l a e to e h B i e , a h ti s o u a in m str l B Ev str , R ck nt Ra EQ il, t, S on an , F ew Sp , R ail O C Ind ew us l E ruc lin Co chn il O EQ ail, S & ub rou chi rit Sp il se ag ee w O pa y N usi ent uc oll an s, T il O , L Ra & s, S d U ran s, ee ail Pr per om us s, in ven tu g S mp ol p , L R n T a d d a e e i H n r R e p ct er ie ew nes s, I tur ng d C ec pe igh il F T, ub nd ch er d R Ne oje ati pan try ai ss ts, e, toc on ogy ra igh il , S ys , Ne , w S n s, at s, t F ta a w e is i r S o h s s n e , ti I P k e a w c N l , s, in R , R , R fra , P to m no ati t R rei tat ay rg e N tag il, s, ts, g C ies ew Bu Ra nf eo an nts Ra on Ra rei tio nd T ra pl P ra g ai a a eo ck po lo o ai g io s ro ,R i R s T g , e R n i s l i s d o , ro i h e l Te l O H , h s, in E s e ns l, r g , l I il il tr p a u s n m a C a n w a C t a n t H i a y , , t , R jec O om nd Bu Ev uc le, nd en , R , H Ra , S s, S nd nd, s, ig il N l P in pa il I Ra ess ven ru Ro om ch pe SE Ra , S & ai ts, per pa us sin en tur Ro C ts, ail SE il F & T ub Un Fr He h S ew roj Op nie nd il B , R ts ctu lli po no ra Q, il T, il l P Tr at nie try es ts, e, P lli om Tec O Q, re , S wa de an rit pe s, ect era s, us us ai , In re ng ne log tio Li , R r ai in s N s, In e ng po h pe Li ig ta ys rg ch ag ed Ra s, ti Ra try in l E fr , P St nt y, ns gh o , n g n R o n e , h r r f e t ed ail jec O C Ra ew a ra p St ne ol at gh t, tio an ou ise , H R il Tr g il N ess ve ast op oc s, Ra l il R Ne ts, pe om il s, R il E str e, ock nts og ion t R S & ns d nd N ig ail Pr ain Co Ind ew , R nts ru le k a R , o , U , c y ai w T ra p In e n u , ai s Su n , F w h R je O mp us s, ai , In tu R d e, l, a d ai ve ct ol an T , R , S s 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the rail engineer • August 2013

As well as running a day-to-day service for millions of passengers, Network Rail is heavily involved in all of these projects. Fiona Taylor, route managing director for Network Rail Kent, outlined plans for the next five years and beyond. Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan 2014/19, was submitted to the ORR earlier this year outlining its plans, investment and priorities. This is against a backdrop of 50% more passengers using the network than 10 years ago and a cost per train km reduced from £8.82 in 2003/4 to an anticipated level of £4.15 by 2014/15. Also, public subsidy in 2004 was £7 billion and Network Rail is on target to reduce this figure to £3.5 billion by 2014. Alongside these impressive statistics there is a projected growth of 36 percent

by 2031, further emphasising the capacity challenge in London for rail. Fiona stated that passengers are already seeing many of the benefits from the list of current schemes with Blackfriars and Farringdon stations now complete and the rejuvenation of the King’s Cross station area continuing. HS2 will have a huge impact on London, and especially Euston station. It will also create the opportunity for radical

development at Old Oak Common to the west. The HS2 scheme is gathering real momentum and there is a plan to submit a Hybrid Bill for Phase 1 to Parliament in November 2013. If this is successful, it will grant powers to acquire land and build and operate a high speed railway to Birmingham with work commencing in 2016/17 and the route opening for passengers in 2026.

slow it down for a while but more needs to be done and Crossrail 2 is emerging as a serious option. Will it be a metro scheme or a similar scheme to Crossrail? This has yet to be decided, but feasibility studies are well underway and the idea is gaining credibility. As was made clear at the conference, London cannot stand still. If it is to remain one of the leading capital cities in the world, it must continue to invest and it is beyond doubt that rail has to play a major role to ensure that the city can cope with the increased capacity that is anticipated.

considered worthy of investment. One need look no further than the stuttering start that Crossrail experienced which, in hindsight, probably added significant initial cost to the project. The second is the need for an effective procurement process that involves all parties at an early stage, recognising the values that each can bring to the project. This then underpins the need for a sustainable, skilled and competent workforce.


A couple of interesting themes surfaced throughout the conference. Firstly, it is critical that plans are developed with confidence and that they are

A second Crossrail

If that’s not enough, detailed discussions are underway for Crossrail 2. At present there is an outline route between Wimbledon in the south-east and Epping in the north-west of London. One of the arguments for this additional project is that all the existing investment will not stop congestion increasing. It will

These are topics that many have been arguing about for ages, so it is reassuring to know that the conference speakers not only are thinking about them as well but are actually addressing them. However, it will be election time in a couple of years, and that is not an ideal process for supporting and approving long term projects and strategy plans, especially for rail. Could this be an opportunity for change? Let’s hope so!



the rail engineer • August 2013

So what is sustainability? Sustainability. It’s the latest buzz-word in railway circles and everyone is talking about it. But what is sustainability? Is there a definition? Or is it another word like ‘existentialism’ and ‘serendipity’ that clever people use to confuse more normal mortals? It seems that there is indeed a definition. What’s more, Network Rail is now using sustainability as one factor when assessing tenders for contracts. So it’s important to understand what it’s all about. Then who better to ask than Tertius Beneke, principal environment specialist for Network Rail Infrastructure Projects, what it’s all about?

Sustainability defined “We often get asked what is sustainability or what does sustainability mean?” Tertius explained. “There is a well established definition of sustainability that was a product of a United Nations document entitled Report

of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future.” That definition is: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” On the face of it, that doesn’t help much. However, to simplify this information and to spread and implement the concept of sustainable development, Tertius uses a Venn diagram to explain the interdependencies of the sustainability concept. Taken from Network Rail’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2013 - 2024, the diagram illustrates that sustainability is only achieved when economic, social and environmental aspects of a project are in balance. “The spheres are also of equal size, an often overlooked part of the diagram,” Tertius explains further. “The purpose of this is that



An integrated approach to balancing environmental, social and economic impacts

- Lineside management - Noise and vibration - Climate change adaptation

ENVIRONMENTAL - Waste and pollution - Land use - Biodiversity

SOCIAL - Community relations - Social inclusion - Community investment


- Resource efficiency - Energy efficiency - Global energy issues


- Value for money and affordability - Asset stewardship - Whole life costs

- Regional economic development - Diversity - Accessibility - Safety - Capacity and train service performance - Employee wellbeing

you cannot trade the one for the other, so rapid economic growth cannot be pursued to the detriment of the environment or to the detriment of people. The reverse is that economic development should not be sacrificed for the preservation of the environment at all costs. “The definition also integrates the notion of intergenerational equity where we leave a world behind for our children that can support their needs in the same way that we had the opportunity to meet our own needs.”

Sustainability working group Network Rail has embraced this definition of sustainability and has incorporated it not only into its policy and strategies, but also into how it actually does business. To identify the main areas of sustainability to focus on, the same approach is used for environmental management systems where the activity of the organisation is reviewed and the areas of impact and opportunities are identified. These then form the starting point of developing robust measures including measurable quantitative data and qualitative discussions to track progress along the sustainability path as a company matures in delivering its sustainability goals. The Commercial Directors Forum, chaired by David McLoughlin as part of contracts and procurement, has created a sustainability working group that involves the Network Rail supply chain with the aim of embedding sustainability into the work carried out by Infrastructure Projects. This group defined a list of sustainable procurement principles and has initiated a 5% sustainability score as part of all tender evaluations to drive the consideration of sustainability from the earliest phase of the project. “Following the introduction of our sustainability strategy, Infrastructure Projects has developed objectives and targets to measure quantitative data on how we are performing in regards to our

the rail engineer • August 2013

sustainability aims,” Tertius continued. “This takes sustainability from a misunderstood concept to right to the forefront where we and our supply chain can look at actual data and measure our performance. As expected, the targets measure a wide range of issues from opportunities for local employment, health and safety, biodiversity, waste management and financial efficiencies. These targets are reported on, reviewed and shared throughout Network Rail and our supply chain.” To embed these targets and sustainability into the business and the wider supply chain, Network Rail will be implementing an integrated management system, including environmental, quality and health & safety, to formally track these targets and drive continuous improvement. Network Rail will also be using various other methods to assess performance such as PRISM (Performance and Registration Information Systems Management) and sustainability assessment schemes including CEEQUAL (Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Award Scheme) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

CEEQUAL standard. CEEQUAL is an awards scheme developed by the Institute of Civil Engineers and is now in its tenth year. It is another way to show practically what sustainability means and how one can implement it on projects. Infrastructure Projects already has a very good track record with its major programmes achieving a number of CEEQUAL awards. The Network Rail Thameslink project (TLP) has registered seven major projects and already won two Excellent Whole Project Awards for Farringdon and Blackfriars (90%-93%), three Excellent Interim Design Awards for Borough Viaduct, two awards for London Bridge (83% to 96.9%) and two Outstanding Achievement Awards for energy/carbon (Blackfriars) and ecology/biodiversity (Farringdon). The TLP is also the first programme in Network Rail to register its track & signalling project to CEEQUAL Term Contracts. The Norton Bridge Grade Separation project has recently achieved an Excellent Interim Client and Design Award with a score of 97.4% which, at the time of writing, is the highest ever score on an interim award. The Crossrail Programme has registered six of its major projects with CEEQUAL.


World Environment Day

Sustainability in civil engineering projects can be measured against the international

“However, it is not just about what we do at work that matters and it isn’t just about


systems and processes,” Tertius stressed. “To really connect and drive change, the sustainability agenda process must be supported by hearts and minds. We need to engage people in issues that are not necessarily aligned to their working lives but which also touches on life outside of work.” This year, for the first time, Network Rail celebrated world environment day to start bringing together all three of the spheres into the hearts and minds campaign. Events were held all over the country to support the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that focussed on food waste. Every area put its own interpretation on the celebration with activities ranging from volunteers handing out pamphlets to information tables and chilli-growing contests - anything to make people aware of World Environment Day and force them to think about the impact that their food buying and discarding activities have on the environment. “Sustainability is not an intangible concept,” Tertius finished. “The main way of implementing it is to simply focus on where your business, or you as an individual, has the largest impact and the largest opportunity to improve the balance between people, pounds and the environment. Set some measurable targets and strive to improve on these, year on year.”


the rail engineer • August 2013


Lastochka EMU by Sochi Airport.



hilst attending the strategic railway business forum for 1520 mm gauge railways in Sochi last year, The Rail Engineer had the opportunity to see the construction work on new lines and stations being built for Russia’s 2014 Sochi Olympics (issue 94 - August 2012). This year’s forum was held on 30/31 May at the Olympic venue of Krasnaya Polyana which is at the end of a new 48km line built for the Olympics. Opening the event, Vladimir Yakunin, President of Russian Railways (RZD), told delegates that holding the forum at Krasnaya Polyana was part of RZD’s support for the games.

Building Siemens trains in Russia Attending the forum provided an opportunity to see how RZD’s Olympic projects had progressed over the year. What a difference a year makes! An immediate indication of progress was travelling on the first passenger train to run on the new line in a Siemensbuilt “Lastochka” EMU which was laid on for the large media contingent. A year ago, a tunnel boring machine had only just broken through the last tunnel. Although the line is complete, it still has to be tested and commissioned. As a result the media train to the forum was hand-signalled and travelled at a stately 60 kph, well below its maximum speed of 160 kph. These trains had only started running on the line a few days earlier, shortly after the first of two traction substations went live. The Lastochka is part of the Siemens Desiro EMU family. With its intelligent control system, Siemens claim it will use 30% less energy than current Russian

EMUs. Power cars at each end of the five coach unit deliver a total of 2,550kW. It has regenerative braking and a dual voltage power supply, 3kV DC and 25kV AC. This is essential for the new Olympic line which is electrified for its first five kilometers at 3kV DC, the voltage of existing railways around Sochi. The remainder of the line is 25kV AC.

the rail engineer • August 2013


Last lap

for Russian railways The current trains were manufactured at Siemens’ Krefeld factory. Due to their size, the first 38 five-coach trains were delivered by a tortuous journey involving Rhine barges, coastal shipping and a train ferry with deliveries commencing in 2012. However, the £1.7 billion contract between RZD and Siemens requires localisation of production to both reduce cost and develop Russia’s manufacturing capability. Hence the next 1200 coaches are to be produced in Russia with an eventual 80% local content. To produce these EMUs, Ural locomotives, a joint venture of Sinara Group and Siemens, have built a £160 million factory at Yekaterinburg. In a ceremonial production startup on 27 May, a button was pressed to start the first bodywork welded seam - the first welding of an aluminum bodyshell for a rail coach anywhere in Russia. The Yekaterinburg plant is expected to be fully operational in November.

New river valley corridor To reach the mountain Olympic venues, a new high capacity road/ rail corridor is being built. Currently, Krasnaya Polyana can only be reached by a twisting narrow road through the deep valley of the fast-

flowing river Mzymta. This project comprises a new 50km road with six major junctions and a 48km railway with two new stations. It climbs to 560 metres with a maximum gradient of 1 in 25. It is single tracked in the mountains with four dynamic loops, giving a capacity of four train pairs per hour. Due to the demanding nature of the terrain, 46% of the new line consists of bridges (11.5km) or tunnels (10.4km). This explains why the project’s cost is £4.5 billion, of which 60% is the railway. At a press conference held at Alpika-Service station, Russian Railways vice-president Oleg Toni confirmed that the new line will open in October.

With such a narrow corridor, road and rail construction is inseparable. For example, there are three tunnel complexes where parallel road and rail tunnels share the same service tunnel. There are twelve tunnels with a combined length of

(Above) May 2012 Bridgeworks from AlpikaService station and May 2013 - Lastochka about to leave Alpika-Service station over the same bridge.


the rail engineer • August 2013

Work at Alder station, with original station building marked in green.

27.4km. The project won New Civil Engineer’s Major Tunnelling Project of the year in 2011. Other rail infrastructure works required for the games include a new 2.8km long railway to an elevated station at Sochi Airport, opened in February 2012, and increasing capacity along the existing coast railway. The line through the 100km long Sochi conurbation along the coast between Tuapse and Alder had eight single-track sections totalling 30km. From 2008 until April 2012 these sections were progressively doubled, requiring significant structures along the shore and two additional single track tunnels of 1km and 0.8km.

Olympic stations Venues for the games are in two clusters. The Sochi Olympic Park on the coast is served by a new Olympic Park station, to be opened in September. The mountain cluster is in Krasnaya Polyana at the end of the new line and has two stations - Esto-Sadok and the terminus at Alpika-Service. This 15,000 square

metre rail hub has three 300 metre long platforms and is expected to handle 8,500 passengers an hour during the games. Now complete, its first passengers were the forum delegates. By far the greatest station work is the £180 million expansion of Alder, which increases in size from three platforms to nine. Russian contractors Transyuzhstroy started work in 2010 and, now virtually complete, it is due to open in August. With the completion of the airport line in 2012, Alder has become a key interchange station. Its new 32 metre high, 16,000 square metre terminal dwarfs the old station building which will become a railway museum. The terminal is built on 1,500 piles that penetrate the alluvial soil of the Mzymta delta to a depth of 30 metres. It is in an earthquake zone and, with cross bracing, is built to withstand a quake of magnitude nine on the Richter scale. With lifts, escalators and full DDA access, it will handle 15,000 passengers an hour and even accommodate the expected 24,000 during the games. The terminal is designed to minimise energy usage with solar panels on its roof. Additional construction work in the area includes public spaces, a bus station, a 600-space car

park, a 60-bed hotel, a harbour for boats from the Black Sea and a new ring road around the whole complex. As a result, the station will become more than just a rail interchange station.

Almost at the finish line The Winter Olympics, to be held in February 2014, will be the first to be held in Russia since the widely boycotted 1980 Moscow Olympics. Hence the Russian Federation has invested a great deal to ensure their success. The huge amount of work is readily apparent - indeed, the Sochi area is described as the world’s biggest building site. With the games just over six months away, much still remains to be done. However, for their part, Russia’s railways have almost completed their new and improved transport links that are essential to the success of the games. After the games, the congested Sochi conurbation, squeezed between mountains and the sea, will benefit from muchneeded improved rail services. Slashing journey times to the Krasnaya Polyana mountain resort should also promote the area’s development. As a result, Sochi’s residents should be glad of their games for many years after 2014.

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the rail engineer • August 2013



ottingham station is unusual in a couple of ways. For a start, it is comparatively new. Whilst many of Britain’s major stations were built in the middle of the nineteenth century, the current Nottingham Midland station didn’t open until 1904, which makes it Edwardian rather than Victorian. It was known as Nottingham Midland as there were several other Nottingham stations at that time. Nottingham Victoria was opened by the Great Central Railway (GCR) in 1900, designed by Albert Edward Lambert - the same architect that the Midland Railway employed a couple of years later for their own project. Perhaps the GCR’s impressive new station shamed the Midland into rebuilding theirs? Nottingham Victoria is now the site of the Victoria Centre shopping mall. The Great Northern Railway had a station at London Road, just at the eastern end of the current Nottingham station and now a health spa. When Nottingham Victoria opened in 1900, the Great Northern moved there and the London Road station declined. Passenger services

ceased in 1944 and it finally closed as a parcels office in the 1970s. The other oddity is that, for a station which serves London in one direction and Sheffield and Leeds in the other, it is orientated almost exactly east/west. This is all down to the triangle of tracks between Nottingham and Derby which surround Trent Junction. With lines coming in from Birmingham, and going out to Newark and the Lincolnshire coast, it is as much a cross-country station as anything else. Be that as it may, Nottingham’s station on Carrington Street is overcrowded for passengers and complicated to use for train operators. Too many tracks cross or interfere with each other to make for efficient operation, and this causes delays and restricts the timetable.

A recent overview

Nottingham currently has six platforms which run parallel to Station Street. An earlier station building was accessed from this street, hence the name, before the 1904 building moved the entrance around the corner and onto the Carrington Street overbridge. The northernmost platform is an island. Platforms 1 and 3 are the two through faces and there is an easternfacing bay platform which is used by train services to Skegness, Newark and Boston.

The second, central island forms platforms 4 and 5, and there are two through roads between 3 and 4. Platform 6 is the northern face of the southern island. The platforms are quite long and are split into A and B zones. However, the track layout means that departing trains often have to cross other lines and that two trains cannot leave at the same time as they will foul each other. The station building runs across the western ends of the platforms on the Carrington Street bridge. It consists of three major areas.

the rail engineer • August 2013


Fronting the street is the porte-cochère, or ‘coach gate’. This is a highroofed area with four entrances, two on Carrington Street and one at each end, where carriages, hansom cabs and latterly taxis could drop off passengers in the dry. The glass roof allowed a lot of light into this space. From the porte-cochère, passengers would move into the concourse, a smaller area which included the ticket office and more open space. Both of these were constructed in a mixture of red brick and terracotta tile in a flamboyant style. Beyond the concourse is the wooden dispersal bridge, giving access to the three island platforms. Partway down those platforms is a second footbridge which not only interconnects them but is also a public right of way across the station footprint. This walkway was moved from a third footbridge, even further down the platforms, which was demolished in the 1990s. Just south of the main station buildings is a brick ‘house’ which is the British Transport Police (BTP) building. Further along Queen’s Road, on the south side of the station, there was rough open-air parking outside what had been the Red Star Parcels office.

The trams are coming The last hundred years has taken its toll on the building. Although it was cleaned several years ago, the acid wash had left marks on the terracotta tiles and there were buddleia growing on the roof. In addition, the trackwork through the station and the nearby Mansfield Junction to the west did not make for easy operation. Nottingham City Council introduced a tram network to the city in 2004. NET (Nottingham Express Transit) operates one line from Hucknall and Phoenix Park to the north-west of the city, through the centre, to Station Street. The tram terminus is on the opposite side of the road to the station and a footbridge connected the two.

teamwork still delivers....

Structures | Rail Systems | Stations

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the rail engineer • August 2013

renumbered as Platform 5, with 5 becoming 6 and 6 becoming 7. The other through road between the existing Platforms 3 and 4 will be removed. Incidentally, passive provision is being made for a new Platform 8, the southern face of the southern island, if it should be required at a later date. Platform 6, soon to be 7, is currently the only platform not to have a canopy, so one will be installed. The canopies on the other platforms, which had originally

Plans were drawn up for a second phase of the tram network as early as 2006. Funding was approved in 2009 and work started in 2011. The new plans would extend the line southwards, over Nottingham Midland station and out to Clifton and Toton. The Great Central Railway had also run over the Midland station on a 170 foot long bowstring bridge which was removed in the 1980s. However, it offered the perfect alignment for the second phase of Nottingham tram. So a new bridge had to go in over the top of Nottingham station (not Nottingham Midland any more as it’s the only one left). The tram stop would then be moved from its site on the north side of Station Street to the middle of the new bridge, right over the station and linking with it to form a transport hub. There was no point in doing that without reworking and remodelling the station buildings to accommodate the extra traffic, and while that was going on it made sense to modify the track layout and make the whole thing more user-friendly.

Three projects in one Plans were drawn up for three separate packages of work all interlinked into one overall project to deliver Nottingham Hub. The three partners working together to deliver it are Network Rail, East Midlands Trains and Taylor Woodrow (Vinci Construction). Nottingham City Council is funding the tram work and the Railway Heritage Trust is also contributing. The tram bridge was one of those three packages. A two-part bridge was built adjacent to the site and slid into place over two weekends. The first was described by Chris Parker in issue 101 (March 2013) and left the

bridge suspended halfway over the station while the second half was attached to the first. When that was complete, the bridge was slid the rest of the way in April. At the same time, Taylor Woodrow started work on the station buildings. A temporary station was built on the south side of Station Street, the first time the station had actually been on that street since 1903. The cabins used to construct the temporary ticket office were recycled ones previously used for the regeneration of Farringdon Station. The porte-cochère was closed and is being refurbished, cleaned and completely glazed to form a new pedestrian area with enhanced levels of retail. In future, taxis will make use of a remodelled Station Street rather than enter the station buildings themselves. The existing concourse is undergoing the same restoration process and the ticket office is being relocated to a more centralised position in the refurbished concourse. The dispersal bridge remains open and can also be accessed using a protective pedestrian tunnel from the front entrance, through the worksites of the porte-cochère and the concourse. The BTP has been relocated from the building on Queens’ Road to a temporary location further down the street whilst the new southern concourse is built to connect the new multi-storey car park, Platform 6 and the dispersal bridge.

Platform changes To increase capacity, a new platform face will be constructed by stepping Platform 4 out to one of the through roads part way along. This will create a new, shorter Platform 4, and the remaining western end of Platform 4 will be

been fully glazed, were rebuilt using corrugated steel in the 1970s. This has left the platforms somewhat dark, so glazed panels will be reintroduced partway through the canopy span, adjacent to the buildings, to brighten everything up. Most of this work has been taking place over the last few months while the station remains open. However, the new stepped Platform 4 will be constructed between 20 July and 25 August when the whole station will be completely closed for trains running westward (to Derby and London) and partially closed for eastbound trains (Newark, Lincoln, Grantham and Skegness). During this period, passengers for destinations on the Midland main line will be bussed to East Midlands Parkway. The track layout and signalling at Nottingham station and at Mansfield Junction will be radically overhauled at the same time, but that is to be the subject of another article. (page 77) By Monday 26 August, when Nottingham will fully reopen, the new platform 4 will be in operation as will the revised track layout, and further platform work will have been done. However, there will still be much work to do. The obvious change, so far as passengers are concerned, will occur early in 2014 when the main station buildings will reopen and the East Midland’s leading city will once again have a station of which it can be proud.

the rail engineer • August 2013



Nottingham area remodelling


ottingham Station is used by seven million people each year, the city itself has a population of about 300,000, and there are significant populations in each of the many surrounding boroughs. The station buildings themselves are currently being refurbished, as is described elsewhere in this issue. However, passengers have also been frustrated by some of the deficiencies in the layout and signalling. These shortcomings are also currently being addressed, and The Rail Engineer met with Peter Luniw, Network Rail’s project manager, his engineer, Graham Thompson, and senior commercial scheme sponsor Kevin Newman, to discover what their team is doing to radically improve the rail infrastructure of the Nottingham area. It is a large scheme, with track and signalling works totalling something like £100 million in value. In parallel with these works, there are significant works to enhance the station itself and its surroundings, and there is also the separate but significant NET tram extension scheme taking place.

Poor layout The current track and signalling layout is accepted as being badly sub-optimal for the current services using it. For example, the Robin Hood Line services towards Mansfield currently have to cross and recross most of the layout west of the main station in order to get to/from the Mansfield route at Mansfield Junction. This causes significant delay and wastes network capacity, but is essential as the Robin Hood services have been extremely

popular and successful. They were introduced long after the current layout was conceived and installed, which is why the layout provides for them so inadequately. Much of the track in the area has become life-expired, but the decision was taken to delay its renewal until the signalling also needed replacing. In consequence, significant track life-extension work has been done in the last few years, to keep the track going. Finally, there has been for a while an evident need for more platform space and better platform utilisation in the station itself. Now this is all coming to fruition in the big project that has begun recently. Some years ago, Network Rail began planning the project, taking account of the additional strategic requirement to relocate control of the whole area to the East Midlands Control Centre (EMCC) at Derby. When the planning began it was known that it

would be necessary to keep the works clear of the Olympics, to dovetail the project with the To Radford Jn NET tramway extension works and to ensure passive compatibility with the expected future electrification of the Midland main line (MML). Even the date of the Ashes Test at Trent Bridge was altered to avoid the work in the station.

Forward-thinking TOC During Network Rail’s early planning, the MML passenger franchise renewal was going on, and one of the bidders, Stagecoach Rail, To Beeston came to see Network Rail to discuss the future of the Nottingham area. They brought along their proposal for a new layout, which tied in closely with one of Network Rail’s own options. The agreed final scheme bears a close resemblance to these two proposals, and Stagecoach won the franchise (as East Midlands Trains).

Existing Track New Track Work Removed Track

To Radford Jn

Wilford Road Bridge

To Beeston

Mansfield Jn 125.64/124.22

Nottingham West Jn 123.52

Nottingham Station 123.39


the rail engineer • August 2013

is by Network Rail and the installation of these systems will be by telent. Finally, DeltaRail is providing information systems (CCF and TRUST). Network Rail is responsible for the scheme design and its Investment Projects organisation is the principal contractor.

Closed crossings and boxes

Most of the funding for the project comes from Network Rail’s CP4 track and signalling renewals budgets, but it was agreed by all parties that significant enhancement works were desirable in addition to those that could be funded in this way. In the end, after some effective lobbying by stakeholders including local councils and Network Rail, the DfT agreed to provide the extra £11 million for the enhancements. The scope includes the renewal of the complete four-track railway between Nottingham West and Mansfield Junctions, with associated re-signalling work, to make four bi-directional lines, A, B, C and D. From Mansfield Junction to the start of the twotrack section at Beeston, there will be two Fast and two Slow lines, and the second pair only will be bi-directional. Nottingham West and Mansfield Junctions will be totally remodelled to permit higher line speeds and to eliminate the need for the conflicting crossing movements.

there is no recognition of this in the signalling system. The signaller at Trent PSB depends entirely upon telephone conversations with station staff for information about the occupancy of these sections of the platforms. The track circuits are the full length of each platform, and so cannot distinguish between one train occupying the whole length, a train at the ‘A’ end only or a train at the ‘B’ end only. In the new layout there will be three sections to each full length platform, each section having a separate track circuit. The sections will be marked clearly by platform signage too, ensuring that staff and customers are clear about exactly where each begins and ends. All this should make for a safer situation, speed up working in the station and assist passengers to find their trains more easily. In total, over a mile of new track is to be laid, together with junction renewals at three sites, the renewal of six miles of track and other track works, all of which will be undertaken by Babcock Rail.

Platform arrangements

Signalling and civils

In the station itself, an extra platform face will be provided by means of a ‘wing platform’ on one end of Platform 4, the new platform becoming Platform 5. Current Platform 5 becomes 6, and 6 becomes 7. There will also be passive provision between the new Platform 7 and the car park (on the south or Queen’s Road side of the station) for a future Platform 8. Where necessary the tracks and platforms will be lowered to provide electrification clearances under Carrington Street bridge. A full canopy is to be provided on the new Platform 7 where there is currently none. The installation of the new Platform 5 will make it necessary to remove one of the existing through lines from the centre of the station. At present the full length platforms are each split into two ends, designated ‘A’ and ‘B’, but

The new signalling will combine Smartlock, supplied by the signalling and power systems contractor Signalling Solutions (SSL), with WestCAD controls supplied and installed by Invensys (now Siemens). This will be the second Network Rail installation combining these systems in this manner, the first is at Hertford North. It will mean that at the EMCC there will be SSI, Westlock and Smartlock interlockings in the one control centre. Signals will have LED heads and be driven by a modern version of SSI. General signalling civil engineering works are being undertaken by WS under sub-contract to SSL, and specialist works such as gantry bases are by Aspin Group. Signalling design and the control of signalling plans is by the Network Rail signalling design group. Telecoms design

Two level crossings will be closed, Sneinton and Trent Lane both of which will be replaced by footbridges. Carlton and Colwick level crossings will be totally renewed as MCBs (manually controlled barriers). Netherfield Junction, Rectory Junction and Sneinton signal boxes will close, as will Trent Power Signal Box, with all control transferring to the EMCC in Derby. To the east of Nottingham, Bingham and Lowdham signal boxes will become the fringe boxes to the new system. For some time now, work has been proceeding during the week and under conventional planned possessions undertaking advanced works to ‘de-risk’ the main project. Redundant equipment has been removed and some S&C has been renewed in this way.

Blockade is the best answer The main works, however, will be undertaken in an almost complete blockade from 20 July to 25 August inclusive - almost complete, because for most of the time there is to be a very limited service to/from Skegness and Lincoln to the east. This blockade is somewhat controversial, and the project team was keen to explain the reasons why it had been decided to implement the works in this way. A key issue appears to have been the intensity and complexity of the normal working of the station. This includes the use of the station itself as the facility for overnight stabling and cleaning of

the rail engineer • August 2013

many trains. It just would not be feasible to continue this at the same time as allowing conventional possessions for the project to go ahead. Additionally, the planners concluded that conventional possessions would be required between July and December (or more) to do the work in that manner. Restricted access to Eastcroft Depot during conventional possessions would also have been an issue as many of East Midlands Trains (EMT) trains are maintained there. It was considered that when these factors were added to the speedier completion and greater efficiency of the works as a result of using a blockade, then this was the better alternative of the two available. Network Rail, East Midland Trains, CrossCountry Trains, Northern Rail and the freight operators have all been co-operating for some time to agree the detailed working arrangements. Trains will be stabled in Derby, at Chaddesden Sidings and in Etches Park Depot. Trains normally serviced at Eastcroft will be serviced at Etches Park instead. During the first 54 hours of the blockade priority will be given to commissioning the first three interlockings, numbers 16, 17 and 18, in the EMCC. Completion of these works will permit the running of trains to Beeston, and allow the resumption of freight services as far as Sims Metal Management scrapyard sidings at Dunkirk.

1926 693000


Some weekdays and some weekends, an hourly service will run into Nottingham from Skegness. Between Netherfield and Nottingham these trains will run under pilot working “one train in section” with all points clipped so that only one route is available into a single platform at Nottingham. Otherwise, there are complex arrangements involving

24 /25 August 2013, with a near normal train service resuming on the following day. The improvements should make the disruption well worth it if the project team are right. As for them, they already know what they should be doing in several years’ time, with further work on the East Midlands signalling due in the Derby and Leicester areas.

bus services to/from East Midlands Parkway, Grantham, Newark, Beeston, Loughborough, Alfreton, Mansfield and Derby according to one’s intended journey. Final commissioning of the full system is due to occur over the weekend of

Passengers travelling to London, Birmingham and elsewhere are looking forward to being able to rely on rolling straight into Nottingham Station from the west without the normal few minutes wait at the final signal that they’ve become used to over many years.


the rail engineer • August 2013


the rail engineer â&#x20AC;˘ August 2013


Safety down the line


he GoldenPass line panoramic train pulls away from the station at Montreux on Lake Geneva at precisely 08:45. Over the next two and half hours, the train will wind its way over mountain passes and valleys through one of Switzerlandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most scenic and attractive regions. It will call at Zweisimmen at 10:43 and arrive in Lenk im Simmental at 11:21 - on time. On its journey, the metre-gauge train will have passed a total of 36 villages and around 50 level crossings.


the rail engineer • August 2013

The Compagnie du Chemin de fer Montreux Oberland Bernois (MOB) has been operating a 75-kilometre rail network in Switzerland since 1901, including the line between Montreux Zweisimmen - Lenk. To survive and prosper, it has to keep costs down in all areas, including railway engineering. Operating and control systems must optimise processes and traffic flow, but in complete safety. This is particularly important in areas of potential hazard, such as those 50 level crossings.

Industrial automation technology for railway systems Intelis SA is based in Bussigny-prèsLausanne and has specialised in all-round railway control and safety concepts for both private and public train operators since 2007. It developed the INIS-TC remote control system which is responsible for ensuring that rail traffic on the 75 kilometre line from Montreux to Lenk runs smoothly and safely under an operating permit from the Swiss Federal Transport Office (BAV). At the heart of the system is the real-time Ethernet SafetyNET p, running in conjunction

with the PSS automation system, both from Pilz. First developed to be flexible and versatile enough to be used on cable cars and dockside cranes, this automation solution is now also being put to use in rail transport. SafetyNET p connects subsystems over long distances and using various media. PSS 4000 includes various aspects of standard automation and safety within one system, offering the benefits of a decentralised control structure without the complexity that is normally associated with such a system. In detail, the automation system PSS 4000 consists of multiple hardware and software components, such as the PSS 4000-R rail approved PLC, decentralised I/O system PSSuniversal, plus the real-time Ethernet SafetyNET p and corresponding network components. These can be used to connect other decentralised control systems and input/output modules. Modules with -R (Railway) in the product name have a particularly robust design. The overall system meets increased safety and environmental requirements up to SIL 4 of CENELEC 5012x.

Phasing out relays Classic relay technology with positive-guided contacts is still widely used in railway and signal engineering. As part of modernisation measures, however, it is becoming the trend wherever possible to replace this electro-mechanical, cable-intensive hardware with powerful software coupled with an easy-to-use network. This solution is not only more cost-effective, it is more reliable and flexible to future changes. The initial tasks for Intelis were to work out the potential for automation and to identify all of the potential risks along the single-track route. All points, signal boxes, level crossings, signals, track parts and block signalling systems were considered, along with specific customer requirements, as part of an overall assessment. “How can we simplify the system? How can we replace automated and conventional relay technology with software? How do we integrate the relay technology that’s still necessary and how can we guarantee safe operation?” asked Roland Balimann, technical manager at Intelis, summarising the questions that were posed at the start of the project.

the rail engineer • August 2013


Intelis started by conducting a feasibility study to look at potentially suitable products and systems on the market. These were assessed to safety level SIL3 for safety-related commands and feedback, adaptability to new and existing protection systems and the ability to use industrial products and systems. The result showed a clear case for the flexible PSS 4000 and SafetyNET p modular automation system from Pilz which Intelis ultimately chose.

Safe data transfer Today, 17 stations are equipped with the PSSuniversal programmable control unit which has an integrated interface to the signal box. This sends information to the communication server and also to the programmable safety systems via SafetyNET p. It was here in particular that the modularity of the components proved to be a particular advantage; the inputs and outputs could be configured, in both standard and failsafe modes, with the minimum of wiring. The SafetyNET p network is a closed loop - a fibre-optic cable connects all the components that communicate with each other across the whole route. Today, dispatchers monitor and control all rail traffic on the line safely and reliably from two central control stations in Montreux and Zweisimmen. They receive regular as well as safetycritical messages which display the status of rail traffic and the signal boxes without feedback and in real-time. If necessary, the dispatcher can actively control rail traffic or take appropriate measures if faults should occur. Data exchange is via SafetyNET p which is approved by TÜV to SIL 3.

If a fault should occur anywhere on the loop, data exchange is still guaranteed through intelligent switches. Appropriate operator panels are used to visualise information and operating states, graphically represent the stations and display alarm and event messages. But safety is always the priority - the PSSuniversal head modules on site check whether a half barrier is closed or a track section is actually free, for example.

Easily integrated into existing networks Intelis has been using products and solutions from automation

specialists Ostfildern, near Stuttgart, for some time. Ultimately, it’s to do with having industry-proven products that have already demonstrated their safety and reliability. “The modular design of the PSS 4000 automation system offers users many benefits: they only buy what they actually need; the system is future-proof and can grow to suit requirements. What’s more, solutions can easily be integrated into existing networks and can also be quickly installed using SafetyNET p. Ultimately, the price/performance ratio is simply right,” explained Roland Balimann.

“Something else that we value in our co-operation with Pilz is the fact that the company is always open to suggestions on ways to optimise the system. As a result, we are always able to offer customers solutions that use state-of-the-art technology,” Roland Balimann summarised. It’s a partnership of equals which, with new projects coming up, is set to continue. Soon, the funicular that connects to the railway line in Les Avants will also be integrated into the INIS-TC remote control system, adding even more control and flexibility to the network.


the rail engineer • August 2013

Rail’s Carbon Footprint STUART MARSH


oes carbon matter to rail? This was the question posed at a recent seminar hosted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Delegates from across the rail industry gave their response, presenting a mixed message on how the UK’s railways need to adapt to reduce their carbon footprint … or not. When it comes to green credentials, or to be more specific, the size of its carbon footprint, the UK’s railways have a pretty good start. Let’s try to put it into context. The UK churns out 520 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. That sounds a lot, and it is, but on the global scale it’s a relatively minor amount. In the league of carbon producers, China takes the lead with 7,711 million tonnes per year, followed by the USA with 5,425 million tonnes. By comparison, the UK is a mere ‘also ran’, accounting for just 1.7% of the total world output. Roughly 25% of the UK’s carbon output can be attributed to transportation and rail is responsible for just 1.8% of that. Without becoming too much bogged down with the figures, suffice it to say that the UK rail network accounts for about 0.0076% of the world’s CO2 production. So, in terms of carbon, is rail a problem, or might it provide a solution?

Published targets As part of the Kyoto agreement the EU has set targets for the reduction of greenhouse gasses (GHG) - mainly CO2. For 2050, the EU objective is to reduce Europe’s GHG emissions by 80-95% compared to 1990 levels. The Climate Change Act 2008 reinforces this - indeed goes beyond it - and the UK is committed to a 34% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The objective is to offset the massive increases in emissions from developing industrial countries such as China, India, Brazil and others. The EU says that developing countries have a right to develop. In China, emissions are up 170% since 2000, but there can be no limitation until GDP per capita (the value of goods produced per person) reaches $25,000. Currently, it is £5,000. Meanwhile, car ownership is rising and China plans to build another 363 coal fired power stations. India plans to build 455, the worldwide figure is something like 1,200 and, as is common knowledge, greenhouse gas emissions have been linked to global warming and climate change. Although the UK has been cutting emissions at home, it imports goods that produce CO2 in these other countries, pushing up emissions from there. The UK

the rail engineer • August 2013


The vast opencast coal mine at Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia on the Russian border in north east China. The coal and spoil is brought out by steam trains and the tracks slewed to follow the working of huge diggers. A fleet of standard SY Class Industrial 2-8-2 Mikados operate the system. The lines zig zag down to a depth of 260’ (80m) along terraces some 30’ (10m) in depth. The outcropping coal is clearly visible.


is the second highest importer in the world of these so-called ‘embodied’ emissions. Bearing that in mind, strong action is needed in transport if the 2030 and 2050 targets are to be met: transport is the only sector in which GHG emissions have risen since 1990 (by 19% overall). The European Commission’s strategy for meeting the 2050 reduction goal in transport was set out in the 2011 Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area - Towards a Competitive and Resource Efficient Transport System (the ‘Transport White Paper’).

Cleaner transport A key point in the Roadmap for all transport modes is that transport needs to use less energy and to use cleaner energy. Future development in transport must rely on improving the energy efficiency performance of vehicles and developing and deploying sustainable fuels.

It is recognised that standards are needed for CO2 emissions of vehicles in all modes, supplemented by requirements on energy efficiency where necessary. Significantly, energy use reduction goals are to be considered for cars, road freight, and aviation but not for rail! Specific Roadmap targets for the rail sector are: »» Facilitate ‘efficient and green freight corridors’; »» Triple the length of the existing high-speed rail network by 2030, and complete the network by 2050; »» By 2050, the majority of medium-distance passenger transport should go by rail. In terms of carbon emissions, rail movement is somewhere between two and five times more energy efficient than road transport. Rail’s share of transport GHG emissions is 2%, while rail’s market share is 6% (passenger) and 10% (freight).

Modal switching in favour of rail therefore seems to make sense. In fact, it is an important part of emission reduction strategy. The target is to shift 30% of road transport over 300km onto rail by 2030, and 50% by 2050. Through maximising use of existing infrastructure alone, a 30-40% growth in trainkilometres by 2020 could be accommodated. Taking into account projected demand for 2020, rail freight traffic could still grow by 28% and passenger transport by 38% over the whole European network. There is particular scope for rail to increase its market share in certain segments such as international containerised transport. In freight transport, up to 20 million tonnes of CO2 (7% of freight transport emissions) could be reduced by modal shift of traffic from road to rail by 2020.

Electrification is the answer The de-carbonisation of the EU’s electricity supply is targeted for 2050 - although how this will be achieved isn’t fully explained. With full electrification of the rail network, rail transportation can therefore be fully decarbonised. With other transport modes, such as road and air, this is clearly not possible. Decarbonisation offers obvious opportunities for rail - but the rail sector needs to develop the capacity and ability to meet the challenge. Some 80% of total European rail traffic already travels on electrified lines. In the UK, only 35% of the network is electrified although it carries 55% of passenger journeys. At the same time, other transport modes are becoming greener. Improving efficiency within the road sector is reducing GHG emissions and narrowing the gap with rail. The rail sector therefore must continue to improve efficiency in order to retain its low-carbon advantage. It must also develop

Photo: Photo:


the rail engineer • August 2013

capacity to absorb new traffic as a result of modal shift. As Libor Lochman, executive director of the CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies) put it: “The rail sector is in a strong position to both contribute to, and benefit from, the decarbonisation of transport.” To ensure maximum benefit it must: »» Actively support EU transport policy goals; »» Set targets in electrification and high speed lines to accommodate growth and modal shift; »» Make further improvements to retain advantages over other transport modes; »» Articulate and communicate its case publicising the low carbon strengths of rail and use marketing to make rail more attractive. In order to persuade car users to leave their cars behind, the rail sector needs faster services, more comfort, less crowding and lower fares. And how about easy parking and reduced parking charges at stations? Not least, the trains and infrastructure need to be reliable and efficient.

Urban rail Ian Walmsley is engineering development manager for Porterbrook. He also examined what he sees as the biggest opportunity for rail, namely the reduction of urban road congestion by means of trams and metro systems. The CO2 figures certainly stack up. In terms of CO2 grammes per passenger kilometre, the figures he presented were as follows: »» Car - 151 »» National Rail - 65.1 »» Tram - 80.9 »» London Underground - 83.3 »» Coach - 36 Importantly, these figures have to be adjusted for load factor effect. Many trains, for instance, could accept more passengers. Service increases would be targeted at reducing road traffic where it is least efficient. With a high load factor, rail can achieve 50g/, giving a modal transfer saving from private cars to rail of 100g/ According to Ian Walmsley, the rail sector needs to assert its carbon credentials, actively promote modal transfer and plan for double the number of passengers.

New technology So in what ways can rail become more efficient in terms of energy usage and reduction of GHG emissions? In his opening address, Professor Richard Parry-Jones, Network Rail chairman, outlined them. Longer and more frequent trains with greater reliability would clearly be a help. Technical

advances will contribute too, such as intelligent traffic control, driver advisory systems (as recently introduced by First Great Western), lighter train body shells and optimised regenerative braking. Aerodynamics too will be

braking efficiency of about 35% of the traction energy consumption and the challenge is to get the entire LU network to this level.

given greater attention in train design. Saving energy, and therefore GHG emissions, in these ways will present interesting challenges to engineers, but there is an opposing view. It was outlined by Iain Flynn, lead sponsor train systems and upgrades, strategy and service development, London Underground (LU). As he put it, “There is an inconvenient truth. No matter how we cut the numbers, delivering more capacity is the key priority. This means greater energy consumption - mostly it makes sense to run our trains flat out.” On London Underground, energy consumption is 80-90% for traction. “Lighter trains don’t help much either,” said Ian. LU’s electric trains are already remarkably efficient, although the need for air conditioning makes the energy situation worse. Here, the real issues are modal shift and economic growth that LU’s services facilitate. Year on year, LU needs ever more capacity, which means more energy. What goes in tends not to come out, so the net effect is that the deep tunnels are heating up. Only the Victoria Line and Jubilee Line Extension have numerous ventilation shafts. Standard upgrades put 25-45% more energy in to give more capacity, resulting in a 2-3°C rise in tunnel temperature. According to Iain Flynn, the cost of removing this heat is three times the cost of the original energy. There is a complex trade-off between capacity, cost of cooling and/or improved efficiency. Regenerative braking offers the single biggest efficiency opportunity. It works best with newer trains operating on lines with no older trains, although LU is investigating this. The Victoria Line achieves a regenerative

Therein lies the rub. We’ve seen how rail has inherently green credentials and yet it must meet emission targets and save energy. And if UK rail meets its CO2 reduction target of 10% by 2030, what would that mean on the global scale? As we saw at the start of this article, UK rail presently accounts for 0.0076% of the total world output of CO2. Ian Walmsley has pointed out that a 10% saving would equate to just 14 minutes of China’s output which amounts to 15,000 tonnes of CO2 every minute. It is widely recognised though that it is through modal shift that rail offers one of the best ways of reducing CO2 emissions. To accomplish that there needs to be an incentive in persuading people out of their cars and getting long haul freight off the roads. Energy saving methods are well and good (some would say vital) and they are being embraced, but if the bottom line (rail fares and freight charges) become loaded as a result, that is not good. If our railways were to become more accessible, more efficient and yet less green, would that be a bad thing? Surely the overall effect would still be to the common good - an overall reduction in CO2 emissions for transportation. Perhaps road and rail should be considered together? So does carbon matter to rwwail? The answer seems to depend on your point of view. Certainly the effects of climate change matter to rail, as we have seen recently. What if we were to turn the question around and ask, does rail matter to carbon? The answer then has to be no, but if and when the CO2 reduction targets are met, at least we’ll have an efficient, electrified railway network that costs a lot less to run. And there will be fewer cars on the road… maybe.

Is it worth the effort?

the rail engineer â&#x20AC;¢ August 2013





















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The Rail Engineer - Issue 106 - August 2013  

The Rail Engineer Issue 106 August 2013

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