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the rail

engineer by rail engineers for rail engineers


June 2013 - issue 104

this issue q Electrification Focus q Plant & Equipment Focus q Managing Risk q Gauging and Surveying

Cutback or Transformation

David Shirres explains the changes to the Edinburgh-Glasgow


Improvement Programme. 10

Copper replaced by Aluminium Saving money and reducing theft.

Conductor Beam

10 Point Plan To improve the reliability of OLE.

Collaboration and innovation on Thameslink.

DAS - myths and reality

Driver Advisory Systems explained. technology � design � M&E � S&T � stations � energy � DEPOTS � plant � track � rolling stock

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the rail engineer • June 2013


EGIP: Cutback or Transformation? David Shirres explains the changes to the EdinburghGlasgow Improvement Programme.




Conductor beam collaboration and innovation


If Carlsberg built railway stations…

10 Point Plan


To improve the reliability of OLE

Conductor Beam collaboration and innovation


A successful innovation achieved on the Thameslink Programme was the introduction of a reduced depth overhead conductor beam electrification system.

Sparking the Midlands


Peter Stanton reports from the IMechE Railway Division’s Electrification event held at the Roundhouse, Derby.


Meanwhile, somewhere in Sweden…


Nigel Wordsworth reports on SPL Powerlines’ electrification programme, the largest single catenary renewal programme in Sweden since the 1930s.

A Tale of Two Metals

Meanwhile, somewhere in Sweden... The largest single catenary renewal programme in Sweden since the 1930s.


Network Rail’s ambitious plans to eliminate the use of copper and replace it with aluminium to reduce the costs of their overall signalling systems.

National Track Plant Exhibition


The first National Track Plant Exhibition, “The Track Innovation Show” is being held on 24th-25th July 2013 at Long Marston Business Park.


Holiday in the Bahamas

Plant and Equipment Showcase


The Plant and Equipment market is constantly changing. New kit is being introduced to be more efficient, more versatile, or even more specialist, than that which it replaces.

Driver Advisory Systems - Myths and Reality


A Driver Advisory System is a real time dynamic system designed to enable trains to achieve timetable compliance, with efficient energy usage.

Holiday in the Bahamas


Graeme Bickerdike reports on a steam locomotive which is undergoing a full inspection and rebuild.


See more at

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

Bridges & Tunnels

Level Crossings

in the August Issue of the rail engineer.

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

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Sound & vision Underwater Scanning

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Editor Grahame Taylor

Production Editor Nigel Wordsworth

Production and design Adam O’Connor

Engineering writers

From six trains to twelve days... It’s electrification, power, plant and equipment this month and can’t you tell! Not unexpectedly, we’ve included a wide review of the latest road/ rail machinery. These are spectacularly varied bits of kit able to carry out a wide range of operations. Thankfully their safe use is now taken seriously, no longer regarded as operational ‘toys’. But still there are mishaps as a recent incident has shown. Maybe we’ll find that, in the process of their metamorphosing from road to rail, they can take on an unexpected and unsafe temporary identity.

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

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But first, our cover story by David Shirres unravels the mysteries of press releases and political spin surrounding the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP). Now you see it, now you don’t. First it was going to be six trains an hour, now it’s not. But there will be longer trains, so that’s OK then. All in all, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal in the end, especially with a transformed Glasgow Queen Street station. Many articles these days are prefaced with remarks emphasising that electrification is back on the menu. As Peter Stanton reports in his piece about wiring up the Midlands, it was only a few years ago that the way forward was behind a diesel engine. How times have changed! The response of the industry to the new initiative has been to develop ever more imaginative ways of getting round the problems imposed by our Victorian infrastructure. All this is fine so long as there are people to make the schemes happen. It took the particularly difficult shock of a project that stalled over Christmas a few years back for recruitment and training to be taken very seriously. Our concluding piece on the (receding) woes of the overhead electrification equipment outlines the Network Rail ten-point plan that is grasping several unpleasant nettles. One of these is, of course, training. Facilities are opening up over the UK and Nigel Wordsworth’s article gives an account of specific ways in which

the industry is getting up to speed. A few issues ago we described how Network Rail embarked on removing the earth conductor from signalling power supplies not, of course without adopting some mitigating electrickery. That was the introduction of Class II equipment. Now it’s the elimination of copper that’s causing the next stir. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds, otherwise aluminium would have been widespread already on the railway network. But, with a whole suite of kit, it is all very possible. It knocks the bottom out of the scrap market as well. Has your train turned up on time recently? Did it then seem to dawdle further on in its journey and still arrive on time? Perhaps the driver was taking advice from an on-board computer. Clive Kessell has been hearing the latest on driver advisory systems and finding out what they can and can’t do. For a start they don’t drive the trains……yet. Surveying is now so complex as to be almost beyond comprehension. With techniques to cope with a curved planet, 3D modelling and narrow band pass filters it was timely that the PWI organised a seminar to explain the whole subject. Chris Parker was there to hear experts from the industry demystify it all - or as much as they could for mere mortals. Particularly fascinating was the principle of probabilistic analysis applied to platform clearances. This neat concept calms the nerves when platforms



appear to be ‘too’ tight when of course they aren’t. Simple. Ever tried to catch a train from Norton Bridge? It’s in the national timetable. There is a station, but look a little closer and you’ll discover that your next train is a bus. Apart from this slight ignominy, Norton Bridge junction has been described as being about as useful as a set of traffic lights on the M6. Look at the track layout in our article on the Stafford improvement scheme and you’ll see why. The solution? A whacking great flyover with new tracks that wander way out into the Staffordshire countryside. And look out too for the novel contractual arrangements. ‘Pure alliancing’ it’s called. Collin Carr reports this month on a workshop run by the RSSB covering the fraught subject of managing risk. Fraught because risk seems to mean different things to different people. Speakers from many parts of the industry gave their perspectives with an emerging underlying message of striving to manage risks whilst achieving understanding and balance. Pragmatic stuff. In our ‘and finally’ spot we have the tale of a fine steam locomotive that is undergoing a full inspection and rebuild. Graeme Bickerdike has been to a classically cramped and oily shed near Keighley to see how the Jubilee class locomotive 45596 Bahamas is being prepared for another ten years of service. Anyone who thought that workshop practice in the days of steam was relaxed or even slow should mark what Graeme says about the maintenance turnround time of a locomotive back then. Bahamas is due to be back in business in about four years time. In LMS days, a Jubilee’s “general repair” could be turned around in twelve days, Yes, twelve!

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the rail engineer • June 2013

If Carlsberg built railway stations…

Atkins is helping to redevelop the Carlsberg city district in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark with a contract to design a new station. The closure of the Danish Carlsberg Brewery in Vesterbro in 2008 left the 33 hectare site, characterised by historical buildings, narrow streets, alleyways and squares, an ideal location for a new district of Copenhagen. Atkins’ remit includes design and engineering of all rail disciplines including overhead catenary, signal technology and security surveillance, passenger information,

surveying and environmental studies. The work is being done in collaboration with Grontmij as the main consultant and civil engineer for the project, and architectural firm Gottlieb Paludan Architects. The major design and construction work will be carried out in two phases to allow the local rapid transit network which passes nearby to remain operational. Carlsberg city district is a part of Vesterbro district in central Copenhagen. Over the next 15 to 20 years, Carlsberg Byen P/S is developing and rebuilding the city, blending in its historical buildings of which many are preserved or deemed worthy

of preservation. Some 3,000 homes will be built, with sites for businesses, retail outlets, culture and sports facilities and institutions. A campus for 10,000 students attending the University College of Copenhagen is also planned. The new station, due to open in 2016, is expected to be one of the busiest urban stations in Copenhagen and will replace Enghave station which currently serves the district.

Next month, The Rail Engineer will include a Focus feature on Stations. Make sure that you see a copy by contacting today!

New locos for Amtrak The first of 70 advanced technology electric locomotives being built by Siemens for Amtrak in the USA has been completed. The first units of the $466 million order will be field tested this summer for entry into revenue service in the autumn. “The new Amtrak locomotives will help power the economic future of the Northeast region, provide more reliable and efficient service for passengers and support the rebirth of rail manufacturing in America,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “Built on the West Coast for service in the Northeast with suppliers from many states, businesses and workers from

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across the country are helping to modernize the locomotive fleet of America’s Railroad.” The Amtrak Cities Sprinter (ACS-64) locomotives are being assembled in Siemens’ Sacramento, California, rail manufacturing plant powered by renewable energy, with parts built from its plants in Norwood, Ohio, Alpharetta, Georgia., and Richland, Mississippi., and nearly 70 suppliers, representing more than 60 cities and 23 states.

The new locomotives will operate on Northeast Regional trains at speeds up to 125 mph on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) along the Washington New York - Boston route and on Keystone Service trains

at speeds up to 110 mph on the Keystone Corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In addition, all long-distance trains operating on the NEC will be powered by the new locomotives.

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the rail engineer • June 2013


Work gets underway at London Bridge The first tranche of major work that will transform London Bridge station got underway recently. Platforms 8 to 16 were closed over the late May bank holiday, and although 8-12 reopened on the Tuesday morning, platforms 14-16 remained shut. They will be the first to be redeveloped. The changes are a vital part of Network Rail’s plans to alter the number of terminating and through platforms at London Bridge to provide more capacity to, from and through the station. Currently there are six through and nine terminating platforms; by 2018 there will be nine through and six terminating platforms. As well as providing greater capacity, it will also reduce the number of trains having to wait outside the station for the next available platform.

Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s managing director of network operations, said: “We’re transforming one of London’s busiest stations. While we work, London Bridge will remain open for the thousands of people who use it every day and we are working closely with the train operating companies which serve London Bridge to keep passengers informed. “Once complete London Bridge will unlock the full benefits of the Thameslink programme and increase capacity through central London.”

HS2 goes for long tunnel Planners and designers working on HS2 have decided that it will be both quicker and cheaper to tunnel under north west London, between Ealing and Northolt, rather than build the railway above ground. Following the results of a study suggested by local residents and politicians, HS2 Ltd is now recommending a 9km bored tunnel between North Acton (near Old Oak Common) and Northolt. If adopted, this would mean the proposed route for HS2 would be in continuous bored twin tunnels from Old Oak Common to West Ruislip making it the longest tunnel on the route at 14km. This would also make the tunnel longer than any of the tunnels currently being built under London for Crossrail. The original route proposed following the little used, existing railway line along the Northolt corridor. However, the study found that, compared with using the existing rail alignment next to the Central Line, and taking into account bridge replacements

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needed for a surface route compared to the infrastructure required to accompany a tunnel such as shafts, the surface option involved greater design complexity, including replacing both spans of the Hanger Lane gyratory. A tunnel would also be an estimated 15 months quicker to build than a surface route. Apparently the Secretary of State for Transport is minded to take the option forward. Other tunnels are also being considered. There is a proposal to look at the whole Euston high speed station complex being built underground and then connecting to HS1. Meanwhile, another plan could extend the planned tunnel under East Midlands Airport so that it clears the site of a proposed inland freight distribution centre near M1 junction 24.

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Training first for Carillion As one of several initiatives to reduce the electrification skills gap in the UK, infrastructure and support services provider Carillion has opened a purpose-built indoor Overhead Line (OHL) training span at its projects and training yard in Crewe. The centre can provide both practical and theory learning and has just been chosen by the industry body Overhead Line Equipment Competency (OLEC) to pilot the first rail electrification course of its type. Engineers from both Carillion and external companies can now receive full training and qualifications to the OLEC Industry Standards 1, 2, 3 and 4. As part of a framework panel working with Network Rail on the electrification expansion, Carillion has already secured enabling work on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP). To extend its capabilities it has also entered a joint working agreement with Austrian-based SPL Powerlines,

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one of Europe’s leading specialists in electrically powered transport systems. Mark Davies, MD for Carillion Rail, said: “We were delighted to be selected by the OLEC committee to pilot the first course like this in the industry. Indoor facilities with year round training capabilities just aren’t readily available, but with a clear need across the sector for more skilled linesmen it made complete sense for us to construct the training span. It means we can now provide a trained, competent and safe workforce for our electrification and OHL contracts - and we can do the same for those organisations that use our training services here.”

More success for McNicholas Network Rail has awarded a further trio of electrification contracts to McNicholas. The first is for the design and installation of a 33kV rated high voltage (HV) feeder and associated pilot cables between Substations located at Sutton and Banstead in the Southern Region. The works will enable Network Rail to reconfigure its third-rail electrification to enhance power supplies in the area and thereby network reliability. The second two awards are for distribution design and installation for substations and track paralleling (TP) huts rewire. Renewal works consist of domestic rewiring within substations and TP huts and the provision of BS7671 compliant electric power supplies to the sites. These supplies will be derived either from DNOs (distribution network operators) via isolation transformers, from existing HV routes via auxiliary transformers, or from the use

of pilots to supply LED lighting and battery chargers with heating remaining on existing 750VDC supplies. McNicholas are responsible for all site surveys, design, installation, testing and commissioning. The total of 39 substations or TP hut renewal sites are a further phase of an enhancement programme within Network Rail’s Southern Region Kent, Sussex and Wessex routes. McNicholas were awarded earlier phases, comprising 67 sites, in 2012.

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Destination: Smart rail electrification The Smart Grid – Constant Energy in a World of Constant Change

Urbanisation and globalisation, climate and demographic change are the megatrends that will determine our future. By 2030, more than 60% of the world’s population will live in growing megacities and require accommodation and transportation systems to match. To help meet this challenge, Siemens provides tailor-made rail electrification solutions – from consulting, financing and system design to implementation and after-sales service.

Siemens is also setting new standards in connections between urban and rural areas with technology, economic efficiency, quality and environmental protection. The result: reliable and innovative traction power supply and contact line systems for mass transit and main-line systems – the precondition for efficient and highperformance transportation systems. To find out more, please contact James Goulding on 07808 826059 or visit

Answers for infrastructure and cities.

Issue 104 - tre June 2013.indd Rail Electrification advert V1.indd9 1

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the rail engineer • June 2013


E&G line with stations

1. Glasgow Queen St

5. Linlithgow

Already electrified

2. Croy

6. Haymarket

Cumbernauld electrification

3. Falkirk High

7. Edinburgh Waverley

Post EGIP electrification


Haymarket - Inverkeithing Headway Improvement

4. Polmont


Carmuirs Tunnel

St g in irl

NO LONGER PART OF EGIP Greenhill Flying Junction


Croy Turnback



Winchburgh Tunnel Newbridge Junction

2 1

6 7





Edinburgh Gateway

Dalmeny Chord

s ia Shott


GLASGOW Glasgow Central

Newton Junction

via C





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the rail engineer • June 2013


Rarely can the announcement of a £650 million rail investment package have been subject to as much criticism as July’s announcement by Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown of the

Not everyone was impressed as this

programme to transform Scotland’s flagship route

announcement cut the costs of the original EGIP

between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street

plan by £300 million “to take advantage of new

High Level, the E&G.

opportunities” and so abandoned much of the original plan, including the previously proposed

In doing so, Brown announced: “The Edinburgh-

increase to six trains per hour (tph). Are EGIP’s

Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) will take

critics justified?

train journeys on Scotland’s busiest commuter route into the next generation.”

The Rail Engineer decided to find out...

Cutback or Transformation? Image: New connecting line under construction at Newton Junction.

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Six trains per hour In 2007, the Scottish Government announced its intention to electrify the E&G, its diversionary routes and lines to Dunblane and Alloa. The current E&G service of four tph was to be increased to six and journey time reduced by ten minutes to thirty eight. A new Edinburgh Gateway station would serve Edinburgh Airport (via tram) with a new Dalmeny chord enabling Edinburgh to Glasgow services to use this station and by-pass the flat junction at Newbridge. This curve, the provision of a gradeseparated junction at Greenhill and a turnback at Croy were all essential requirements for the proposed increase in frequency. In 2009, the Scottish Government published its Strategic Transport Programme Review (STPR). This included 16 road and rail infrastructure programmes including the

six tph EGIP proposal from 2007 that was estimated to cost from £0.5 to £1 billion. Hence many thought this was a done deal, so the revised 2012 EGIP plan, which dropped the six tph proposal, came as a shock. However, closer reading of the STPR reveals the comment “In reality, the availability of funding over many years cannot often be predicted with accuracy and some degree of flexibility in the timing or prioritisation of projects will always be necessary”. The 2012 EGIP plan also dropped electrification to Stirling and Alloa and of the E&G diversionary lines. However, with the Scottish Government committing itself to a rolling programme of electrification after EGIP’s completion, this is more of a postponement. Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan includes post-EGIP electrification of around

100 single track kilometres per annum costing £171 million. The Edinburgh Gateway station remains but will not now be served by E&G trains.

New opportunity With EGIP 2012 maintaining the current train frequency, the Dalmeny chord, the grade-separated junction at Greenhill and Croy turnback are not required. What is new, however, is an increase in train length from six to eight coaches to provide 32 coaches per hour, a 33% increase in current capacity. Although this is less than the 50% increase in the original EGIP proposal, since then the Scottish Government announced its plan for high speed rail link that would provide a significant increase in capacity between the two cities around 2025 (see The Rail Engineer issue 100 - February 2013). Currently, Glasgow’s Queen Street High Level station can only accommodate a frequent sixcoach train service as it is constrained between the Cowlairs tunnel portal and buildings at the end of the concourse. It is also very close to the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre whose planned redevelopment presents one of the “new opportunities” Keith Brown referred to in his EGIP announcement. This is the redevelopment of Queen Street Station for an eight-coach train service. With EGIP’s recent change in scope and lack of a completion date, electrified E&G services might be thought to be some time away. However, with much already done, complete and committed work accounts for a third of

Works on Walton Road Bridge, north of Cumbernauld.

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the rail engineer • June 2013

the programme. The remaining contracts are to be let at the end of summer. It is only then that a firm completion date can be announced. Meanwhile, Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan for Scotland gives an indicative completion date of end 2017.

Work off the main line One of the first items of work is, perhaps surprisingly, on the West Coast main line (WCML), five miles from Glasgow Central. This is the Newton junction capacity improvement works, a £10 million contract awarded to Carillion which provides an additional connecting line between Kirkhill and the WCML. It requires four new S&C units being installed in weekend possessions in January, May and October with additional earthworks using a Tensar TriAx Geogrid. Work started last November and, when complete in December, will enable extra services between Edinburgh and Glasgow Central. Also off the main E&G route is Carillion’s £40 million contract for the Springburn to Cumbernauld electrification for which the design was done by Atkins as described

elsewhere in this magazine. Electrifying the Cumbernauld line enables the service to be operated from Queen Street Low Level station, removing two departures per hour from the High Level station. It also partly electrifies a future diversionary route. This project includes electrification of 44 single track kilometres, bridge clearance works, installation of additional S&C at Springburn to improve operating flexibility and extending the Cumbernauld platforms by 27 metres for six-coach EMU operation. Immunisation of signalling and telecoms equipment is also part of this work, although the screening requirement is reduced with the installation of fibre optic cables on the route. The programme is for the new layout at Springburn to be completed in December and the line energised in January 2014. The work at Haymarket Station, Scotland’s fourth busiest, is clearly apparent to the four million passengers who use it each year. In December 2011, Morgan Sindall were awarded a £25 million contract for the refurbishment of the existing station buildings, renewal of station canopies, constructing a new


modern concourse with a new access bridge having DDA compliant lifts and escalators to all platforms. The new concourse opens in December and will provide an integrated train, tram, bus and taxi transport hub.

The clearance challenge December 2011 also saw the announcement that BAM Nuttall had been awarded a £27 million contract for electrification clearance bridgeworks. For many of these bridges, Macrete Ireland Ltd provided its system of matchcast beams consisting of con arch units and associated pre-cast concrete elements. This work is also very apparent to local residents with work now complete or in progress at 44 sites. As this contract was awarded before the 2012 EGIP announcement, it includes bridges on lines no longer to be electrified as part of EGIP. This includes the £2.3 million reconstruction of Carseview Bridge near Stirling. This was done in partnership with Stirling Council which contributed £300,000 for road safety improvements. Bridge replacement work at Hope Street, Falkirk, also not part of EGIP electrification, will see the road closed for eight months.








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the rail engineer • June 2013

Queen Street Station currently.

Future electrification clearance challenges include Carmuirs and Winchburgh tunnels. Carmuirs tunnels are 40 metre long single-bore structures at a low point in the line underneath the Forth and Clyde canal. Unlike double-track tunnels, there is not the generous clearance in the centre of the tunnel for overhead line supports. Electrification solutions are still being evaluated. These include track lowering of 150 to 200 mm or replacing the tunnels with a canal aqueduct.


Length (m)

Number of 23m cars
















Winchburgh tunnel poses the greatest clearance difficulty. It has a very narrow six foot (1571mm) and so requires a high fixity solution for which a Rheda 2000 in-situ trackslab with VIPA baseplates and a Furrer+Frey conductor beam have been chosen. A constructability review is being undertaken to minimise the time taken to install this track slab, but it is clear this will be a matter of weeks. Closing a line carrying twenty thousand passengers a day for this time is a serious business. The strategy is likely to involve additional Edinburgh to Glasgow trains on other routes, for which the Newton capacity improvements will be put to good use. There will be a reduced service of trains on the main line using the diversionary route via Dalmeny that requires a reverse. A pre-requisite for this diversion is the planned Haymarket to Inverkeithing headway improvements which, despite being on the Fife lines, are also part of EGIP. These involve four-aspect signalling between Haymarket and Dalmeny with additional signal sections on the Forth Bridge and will give a 30 to 42 second headway improvement.




Queen Street transformation




Glasgow Queen St High Level station handles nineteen million passengers a year and is

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one of the busiest in Scotland. It has seven platforms, of which only one can currently accommodate a train of eight 23 metre long coaches as shown in the table. In a report for Transport Scotland, Jacobs offered a proof of concept showing a remodelled station could accommodate an eight-coach service. Key to this was Network Rail’s 2011 announcement of plans to transform the station as part of the expansion of the adjacent Buchanan Galleries shopping centre. The station work includes a new car park, new mezzanine level, link into the shopping centre and replacement of the 1960s front entrance with a modern glass frontage. It is this new frontage, with its associated removal of the Millennium Hotel extension, that creates the space to extend platforms 2, 3, 4 and 5 to accommodate eight-coach trains. Accommodating eight-car trains requires platform extensions of between 35 and 60 metres at the intermediate stations of Croy, Falkirk High, Polmont and Linlithgow. This will be done as the line is electrified. Selective door opening has been ruled out, partly because it would incur delays at these busy stations. Of the twelve Edinburgh Waverley platforms currently used for Glasgow Queen Street services, eight can accommodate eight-coach trains.

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the rail engineer • June 2013


How Queen Street Station will look.

of the headway constraint of the single line at Millerhill and its potential impact on Borders line services.

Unintended consequences

New electric trains When the E&G route is ready for its new fleet of electric multiple units (EMUs) passengers will experience an immediate transformation. A modern EMU, such as the class 380, accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 50 seconds. Whilst this is unlikely to impress Jeremy Clarkson, it compares with one minute 50 seconds for the current class 170 DMU. This illustrates how EMUs can give the required 10 minute journey

reduction on the E&G route with typically four intermediate stops and a 1 in 41 gradient up Cowlairs tunnel. Transport Scotland’s strategy is that the new EMUs required will be procured by the next ScotRail franchise due to start in 2014. They will be maintained at a new EMU depot to be built at Millerhill. As this is also the start of the new Borders railway, the design and operation of the depot needs to take account

With around seven million passengers a year, the E&G is by far Britain’s busiest rail route between city pairs. It is a worthy candidate for the electrification and capacity improvements provided by the multi-faceted EGIP programme. Other central Scottish routes, including secondary routes between Edinburgh and Glasgow, are also set to benefit from EGIP and the post-EGIP rolling electrification programme. The resultant increase in capacity cannot be regarded as a cut-back. Moreover, it is fair to say that faster, longer trains from a modern, spacious Queen Street station will transform the passengers’ experience and will do so in a way that offers the taxpayer best value. This transformation is also an example of the law of unintended consequences with longer trains being the result of a shopping centre extension. If Scotland can pull off its high speed rail plans, the transformation will be complete.

Our team. Your solution. McNicholas has been helping develop and maintain the UK’s infrastructure since the late 1940s. If offers multi-disciplinary railway and utilities capabilities with a proven track record of delivering safely, on time and within budget.

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the rail engineer • June 2013

ELECTRIFYING SCOTLAND, ONE PIECE AT A TIME In 2008, Atkins began the multidisciplinary design for EGIP. Working with Network Rail and ScotRail, the design team looked at how journey times could be reduced. A major part of this involved timetable modelling, to provide the extra trains needed to boost capacity, and power loading modelling to ensure that the sections of track would get enough power to deliver the faster journey times. This GRIP 3 to 4 work, which will be finished in a few months time, comprises design for overhead line equipment (OLE), structures, signalling, telecoms, trackside mechanical and electrical services, civils and track. As it had a great understanding of the project, Atkins was

approached by Carillion to be part of the bid to deliver Key Output 4, Springburn to Cumbernauld. In January 2013 it was announced that Carillion had won this £40 million contract, so Atkins set to work on the detailed design. This GRIP 5 work, which is also due to be completed in the summer, consists of 44 kilometres of new electrified track, one junction remodelling at Sighthill East and signalling works to transfer control of Cowlairs Signalling Centre to the Edinburgh Control Centre. There is also a range of civil engineering works that need to be completed to make way for the new OLE including the modification of nine bridges and platform modifications at four stations including the lengthening of those at Cumbernauld. In addition, Carillion will construct a turnback facility at Springburn.

Spacial reality and overlays Co-ordinating different engineering disciplines can be a challenge so, to streamline this process, the team used Ariel view of the Network (AvON) software. Developed by Atkins, AvON is a

Above: Springburn station, 1¼ miles from Glasgow Queen Street, will see the start of the electrification programme towards Cumbernauld.

geo-spatial modelling tool which allows designers to overlay different designs such as OLE, track and signalling along with aerial photographs of the work. This enabled the team to see how the multidisciplinary designs interacted with one another which allowed them to iron out any clashes and refine the design. Another technology in use on this project is spatial reality modelling which provided the team with a way of seeing how the OLE design would look in real life. It was also used for signal sighting and interdisciplinary co-ordination. High definition video footage is recorded and the OLE design is then superimposed over the top so the designers can see the position of the masts, cantilevers and wires. Similar to AvON, this technology meant that designers could address any issues with the design and, for example, change the position of masts if need be. One further benefit is that the footage taken for the design can also be used for driver training, giving drivers the chance to get used to how the line will look before it is completed.


Designing EGIP and Springburn to Cumbernauld


Earlier in this issue of The Rail Engineer, David Shirres described the history of EGIP (the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project) and its current status. He also mentioned electrification of the Springburn to Cumbernauld line, a £40 million contract which has been awarded to Carillion, working to a design by Atkins. In fact, Atkins has been at the forefront of the design for the whole EGIP scheme. Having provided electrification services in the UK since the 1990s, the company will complete the multidisciplinary design for all of EGIP in August this year. The Springburn to Cumbernauld line, which is the first significant infrastructure project under EGIP, was undertaken as part of that work.

Right: Cumbernauld station – platforms will be lengthened as part of the overall scheme.

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Power up!

Hillfoot 226

Garscadden 226 Westerton 226 Scotstounhill 226 Jordanhill 226

Hyndland 226 T Partick 226

Anniesland 226, 232

Ashfield 232 Charing Cross 226

Exhibition Centre 226

via Falkirk High

Bearsden 226

Cumbernauld 224


Bellgrove 226

Argyle Street 226 Bridgeton 226 Dalmarnock 226

Pollokshields West 223 East

Blackridge 226

Greenfaulds 224 Springburn 224, 226

Anderston 226 Glasgow Central 230, 223, 226

Bathgate 226 Armadale 226

Barnhill 226 Alexandra Parade 226 Duke Street High Street 226 226

Queen Street 224, 226, 232

Livingston North 226

Rutherglen 226

Stepps 224

Gartcosh 224

Ca rn ty Sh ne et 22 tle 6 Ga sto rro n w 226 hi ll 2 26

Drumry 226 Drumchapel 226

Ea st er ho us Bl e 22 ai rh 6 ill 22 6

Singer 226

P G S M K Pa oss ilsh um ary elv rk ilp oc me hi ind ho ar hi rs ll 2 al us k & ll 2 to 32 e 2 32 n e 32 23 23 2 2

Clydebank 226 Yoker 226

Caldercruix 226 Drumgelloch 226 Airdrie 226 Coatbridge Sunnyside 226

Coatdyke 226

Coatbridge Central 224, 226

Kirkwood 220 Whifflet 220, 224, 226 Bargeddie 220 Baillieston 220

Area affected by electrification, infrastructure and re-control Area affected by amended traction and service pattern

In order to slash journey times and increase capacity on the line, 25kV track feeders will be used. This type of electrification was chosen as it is a current industry standard and is ideal for railways that cover long distances or carry heavy traffic. In order to deliver this power, the Parkhead Feeder Station will be extended to supply two new feeds and connect onto the overhead line at Bellgrove Junction. This will feed onto the Springburn Up and Down lines, providing electricity for the whole section. Without a doubt, electrification is important for the UK as it will help stimulate the economy by providing better connections between towns and cities. Certainly this is the aim of EGIP by providing more trains and shorter journey times. Due for completion in February 2014, Springburn to Cumbernauld is over the half way mark and the team is working hard to ensure that the first piece of the EGIP puzzle is in place before the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in Glasgow.

Geographical scope of the EGIP key output 4 - Cumbernauld Electrification area

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the rail engineer • June 2013


Electrification is coming!

Skills shortage

In fact - it’s already here. Anyone who has read The Rail Engineer recently will know that. There are electrification plans in place for the Great Western main line, Midland main line, Cardiff to Swansea including the Welsh valleys, 300km of line in the North West, the transPennine route and the electric spine from Southampton northwards. It is a tremendous amount of work, some of which (the North West for example) is already underway. Plans have been, and are being, drawn up to undertake all this work. New machinery is being ordered, including a high-output electrification train which is taking shape at Windhoff’s factory in Germany. But the essential ingredient in all this will be people - trained and experienced technicians and engineers who can install the miles of wiring, posts, power feeds and control equipment which will be needed.

At the moment, Network Rail and its contractors have about 250 senior linesmen, and they have an age profile of about 50 years. What is needed is more, and younger, people in time for the peak of the project towards the end of 2016. It is no use waiting until then - things have to be put in place now. Which is why The Rail Engineer went to Vital Rail’s brand new and shiny training centre in Salford, Manchester. In fact, it was so new it wasn’t even open yet, although it will be by the time you read this. Gary Hardaker is managing director of Vital Rail, and sitting alongside him was Bertrand Devambez, his equivalent at Spanish electrification specialist Electren. Together, they have recognised the skills gap that, if left unaddressed, is likely to plague Network Rail’s programme, and they are working together to do something about it. Vital Rail is a leading supplier of skilled personnel to railway projects and is supported by approved training company Vital Skills

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Training. Currently, the company has about 500 staff working on the Network Rail infrastructure every week. It is therefore well suited to supplying skilled electrification teams, from linesmen to project managers, to the various schemes that are coming. Electren is an electrification contractor in Spain, France, Poland and several other countries. Last year it turned over €50 million, just on the construction and renewal of overhead lines and traction power, with a team of 250 people. The marriage is therefore ideal - Vital Rail has the facilities to train UK staff while Electren has the operational knowledge and experience. A joint venture agreement was signed last October.

How does the UK compare? When asked how different the UK market was from Spain, Bertrand commented: “The UK is a very different country. However, it is not more different than other countries we have worked in. Every country is different.” Questioned about European standardisation, which should make the requirement in each market quite similar, he just laughed. “When we moved into France, we had to spend €3 million on new equipment to meet their standards. So this is nothing new.” So what are the plans? Well, short-term, Bertrand is bringing a few experts in from Spain. Ten of his key workers have spent the last two months undergoing an intensive English-language course in Spain, eight hours a day five days a week. Now that their language is sufficient, they are in the UK and have undergone PTS training at Vital Rail’s base in London. Bertrand explained: “When

we started in France we had 25 workers, all Spanish. Two years later, 21 of them were French.” Medium-term, Vital Rail is training new people. The new training centre at The Soapworks (an elegantly-converted toothpaste factory about half a mile from Vital’s headquarters in a refurbished mill - they seem to like interesting old buildings) will become a centre of excellence for classroom training. Practical experience will be gained at other Vital training sites, including those at York, Leicester and Kidderminster. In time, training will be offered at other Vital Rail locations. In addition to Salford and Loughborough, the company already operates out of Glasgow, Doncaster, York, Warwick, Swindon, London and Dartford.

New kit Meanwhile, Electren will be investing in equipment for use on the UK network. Backed by its parent company ACS, which also owns railway infrastructure companies across the globe, Electren has the technical knowledge and the funding to have specialist equipment built. One of the more interesting examples of this is the pair of overhead wire replacement trains it runs in Spain and France. Four large reels are mounted on the bed of a wagon. Two reel in the old conductor wires (it can also be used on French DC systems), while the other two pay out the new ones. The axles in the bogies are interchangeable, allowing it to work on both Iberian (1668mm) and standard (1435mm) gauges. These existing machines are, of course, too large to work on the UK’s more restricted railway so Electren will be designing and

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developing new plant for that role based on their experience elsewhere. The company tends to use its own equipment rather than to hire it in as it can then have precisely what it needs.



Both Gary and Bertrand stressed the importance of having a skilled team on electrification. This is not only down to safety issues, although those cannot be stressed enough. It is also a factor of time.

Time critical The renewal of existing installations, as is currently being done in Essex, and new build both

tend to be carried out at night. Teams therefore have just five hours to get on track, do the work, and get off again before the first train in the morning. In the case of renewals, the new wires have to be tested and energised as well. Electren has a great deal of experience in this. Its teams recently renewed the cantilevers and overhead wires on the high speed line between Paris and Lyon - a total of 300 single track kilometres. Every day, the line had to be reopened at full line speed which put great pressure on the workforce. Bertrand was pleased to say that this was achieved, without exception, throughout the project. Sometimes the overhead system has to be replaced entirely on possessions, maintaining service for electric trains. In this case,

Building and Civils

foundations for new poles are needed and subcontractors are usually used to carry out the civils work. The work of the new joint venture will not be limited to just overhead wiring. Electren has developed the design for a new modular substation for traction power. Several have now been built and operate at 25-0-25 kV using SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) control systems another skill that Electren and Vital can offer to Network Rail. As the build-up to the big electrification projects continues, it is good that, for once, the skills shortage is being addressed in advance.



helping our clients get from A to B... If you’re going to help shape the next generation’s transport infrastructure, it pays to work with the most experienced contractors in the industry. Vital Rail is a major support services provider, completing enhancement, renewal and maintenance projects for the Rail, Light Rail and Underground sectors.

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the rail engineer • June 2013




Recently there have been some pretty spectacular failures of OLE in a number of high profile locations giving rise to some pretty dreadful ‘bad wire’ days. Well, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Network Rail has a plan. In fact it has a ten point plan. Grahame Taylor has a look at what’s involved...

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Quality products for the Quality products for t modern overhead contact line modern overhead con

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A AR Fa Un Te Fo ww Mi MK


the rail engineer • June 2013

If you look back at the April edition of The Rail Engineer magazine (issue 102), you will find our article on OLE (Overhead Line Equipment) trials and tribulations. How, over a period of about a month, the OLE failed spectacularly in a number of high profile locations, giving rise to some pretty dreadful ‘bad wire’ days. Our article explained how the ‘knitting’ is put together, what types there are out there and the root causes of some of the main problems encountered. If that was all there was to OLE design and management, then you’d be right in thinking that we’re in for a regular diet of equipment failures. It could just look as if that’s what always happens and there’s not much that can be done about it. Well, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes. Network Rail has a plan. In fact, it has a ten point plan and in this concluding article on OLE we’ll be having a look at what’s involved.

Building up a picture Our guide, as before, is Nigel Edwards, who is Network Rail’s reliability improvement manager E&P (Electrification and Plant) working in the maintenance services reliability team. His main focus is OLE and signal power supplies but he, Paul Ramsey and Steve Price also cover other E&P assets like points heating and distribution equipment. The reliability team is part of Maintenance Services in Network Operations and has been running the programme for a couple of years. It looks at all equipment failures and failure types, whether they are delay-causing or not. It would be easy to focus on just the last high profile incident, such as the St. Neots insulator failure, and then decide on a mass changing of all insulators. That would cost an absolute fortune and may not necessarily be the right thing to do in the light of all the other data available. “We try and develop a picture from everything we gather, right down to the ten minute failures, rather than just concentrate on the big incidents. So we’re trying to build up a picture of the reliability of the whole OLE infrastructure. The ten point plan was developed for OLE because we knew it needed to improve.”

Ten workstreams The plan focussed on reducing all delay causing incidents on OLE with a coordinated approach. The E&P community has been very good at doing things individually so this was an opportunity

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to identify ten workstreams with clear accountability and a focus - a leader - looking after each one. The idea was to discover and accelerate best practice around the business and flush out any ‘blockers’ or problems to secure capital funding. It was envisaged that the exercise would operate for a limited period. Addressing underlying causes would mean that, at the end of the process, there’s a return to ‘business as usual’ (or in fact ‘much better than usual’!) without the need for an ongoing ten point plan. The steering part of the programme is largely complete but the findings are still being implemented and monitored across the routes. So the workstreams (WS) were divided out like this: WS1

policy and standards


required data and information


future inspection techniques


best practice in maintenance management


failure modes and analysis


renewals planning


work delivery quality


staff competence and training


project interface issues


first response strategy

WS1 (policy and standards) - in many cases the basis of good maintenance is a quality set of work instructions and many of these have been improved by the route teams supporting the ten point plan. They also form the basis of training and development regimes. WS2 (required data and information) provided management information in the form of the period short circuit fault report and delivered the maintenance compliance report.

Test vehicles WS3 (future inspection techniques) was not straightforward. Before it is possible to look too far forward it’s necessary to check that current systems are up and running and fit for purpose. There are three test vehicles monitoring the OLE. There’s the NMT (New Measurement Train), the EMV (Electrification Monitoring Vehicle) and

Mentor. The latter is currently being refurbished. And there are up to three measuring systems on each of these vehicles: » Contact wire height and stagger position » Contact wire wear » Pantograph force and longitudinal acceleration. The wire wear system has been fine - that’s on EMV and NMT. But there have been problems with the height and stagger system. The NMT does an excellent job with track data, but perhaps E&P monitoring has been a poor relation over the years. So this was an early task in WS3 - to get the existing systems up and running reliably and repeatedly. There’s now an agreed improvement plan in place with the data collection services team that puts OLE monitoring back in the spotlight. Thereafter, new techniques can be investigated - and there are plenty to find from around the world. WS4 (best practice in maintenance techniques) is the gathering of all the maintenance procedures and evaluating critically which ones, over the network, are the most effective. The process for managing vegetation encroaching the OLE came from this workstream. WS5 (failure modes and analysis) has already been touched on. This is the careful analysis of the impact and frequency of component failures to assess what is best spent where to avoid knee-jerk expenditure. There are a total of 85 campaign changes which have been identified to improve the inherent reliability of original designs. WS6 (renewals planning) is linked to understanding asset condition, the risk of catastrophic failure and prioritisation of improvement works. A standard process and forms are available so that the routes see proposals in the same way. WS7 (work delivery quality) - the examination of work delivery quality is an interesting topic. Drawing from data revealed through the other workstreams, it had become apparent that roughly 30% of failures have been caused by the maintenance regime or maintenance interventions and another 30% by design or construction interventions. Some of these were effectively ‘own goals’. So, by focussing on construction and maintenance quality, it

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is possible to make significant reductions in failures, some of which might only occur some considerable time after the work was done. WS8 (staff competency and training) was another major exercise. Focussed initially on contractors, the need was to expand the numbers of competent staff available for major commissioning. Hard lessons had been learnt from the experience at Rugby a couple of Christmases ago. A brand new OLE training span facility has been built at Walsall. Peterborough and Romford training spans have been enhanced to be followed by the facility at Carstairs. There are now plans in place to deliver national training at these venues and at places such as Preston and, of course, there will be a need for whole new setups to serve the Great Western electrification scheme. WS9 (project interface issues) examines the issue of managing the interface and interactions between the existing railway and major schemes. This can be tricky as there

are rarely clear-cut boundaries between the maintainers and the installers. And finally there is WS10 (first response strategy) - the development of techniques and expertise that will cut down the time needed to restore systems to full working order if a failure occurs. A camera-on-a-pole has been developed in collaboration with KML (Kongsberg Maritime Ltd). It sounds like a simple device, and to some extent, it is. The advent of very small digital cameras with astonishing resolution with wireless connections to handheld devices has enabled problems to be examined in fine detail without having to get the ladders out - and without having to turn off the power. “Steve Price also developed a pole mounted cutter prior to the Olympics to respond better to faults. We work very closely with critical product suppliers like Arthur Flury who produce the single rod neutral sections, and WT Henley who produce the insulators, to make sure they design and build in reliability into their products.”


Devolution The ten point plan is a flexible system that can cope with anything that needs to be measured or monitored. “Vegetation management was a classic example where we put in a new process, rolled it out and now we’re monitoring how the routes are taking it up. We’ve got a system that’s flexible and that makes sure that the routes are focussing on things that are found to be important. Obviously, devolution has come along and ultimately the routes will make their own decisions, but we are still working closely with them, tailoring solutions to prevent the risk of catastrophic failure.” All these developments were already underway before the particularly awful ‘bad wire’ days at Hanslope Junction and St Neots. Failures of that magnitude just serve as a reminder that doing nothing is not an option best to have plan!

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the rail engineer • June 2013


collaboration and innovation

Not only is the Thameslink Programme one of the largest single projects currently being undertaken by Network Rail, but it has also been one of the most successful - promoting collaboration which in turn has engendered a culture that facilitates the development of innovation on the UK rail network. One such successful innovation achieved by this programme was the introduction of a reduced depth overhead conductor beam electrification system. This was installed on the Thameslink route between King’s Cross Thameslink (Disused) station and St. Pancras (Low Level) station, approximately 1.7 kilometres of twin-track

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railway running through a variety of infrastructure types including two stations and a series of tunnels. This special conductor beam, developed by Balfour Beatty Rail, provides the rail industry with a robust, easily constructible, low maintenance electrification system that can be fitted into locations where space is at a premium.

Capacity increase Thameslink connects Bedford, on the Midland main line, with Brighton on the south coast. The 140 mile route crosses London and the Thames, incorporating some of the most challenging infrastructure for the railway

electrification engineer. The programme, which is progressing well and is now into its second phase, Key Output 2, will deliver improved journeys and better connections through the capital, tackling overcrowding on one of the UK’s busiest routes. To achieve the increase in rail capacity on the Thameslink Service, scheduled for 2018 when up to 24 trains per hour will run in each direction through the core area of London, it was necessary for Network Rail to improve the reliability and robustness of the electrification equipment along the route. The area between King’s Cross (Disused) station and St. Pancras (Low Level) station, wired

with a Mark IIIB electrification system, had been identified in previous studies to be nearing the end of its normal life expectancy and a weak point in the route. Network Rail decided that the reduced depth conductor beam solution would provide a robust, low maintenance system and provided Balfour Beatty Rail with a design and build contract to replace the existing MK IIIB equipment. This installation was completed and commissioned at Easter 2013.

Lowest wire heights The Inner Core Area of the Thameslink route includes a series of low clearance tunnels,

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bridges and stations into which the overhead line systems must be fitted. This restricted height necessitates, in certain areas, the lowest permissible contact wire heights on the UK rail network of 3925mm. Consequently, this infrastructure is ideally suited to the reduced depth conductor beam system. At only 80mm in depth, it is 30mm shallower than a conventional conductor beam which is critical where headroom is at a premium as was the case on Thameslink. The Balfour Beatty reduced depth conductor beam is a hollow extruded aluminium profile supplied in standard 12, 10 or 8 metre sections. These can be

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cut to finished length and joined together using bolted splice plates, forming a continuous beam into which an un-tensioned conventional contact wire is inserted. To achieve a constant wear on the pantograph carbon strip, the conductor beam is installed laterally in a sinusoidal wave rather than adopting the usual staggering profile used on wired systems.

Increased asset life The use of an untensioned contact wire eliminates the need for bulky tensioning devices, such as balance weights or spring tensioners, which are used with

conventional electrification systems. As there is no tension in the system, it reduces the loading that is imposed by the electrification equipment onto the surrounding infrastructure.. The reduced depth conductor beam needs less maintenance as it has barely any moving parts to maintain and an increased wear allowance on the contact wire. In a conventional tensioned catenary electrification system, the contact wire life is limited to around 25 33% of the cross sectional area of the wire being allowed to wear. At this level, a limit is reached as the tensile stress in the wire caused by the tensioning approaches its maximum allowable limit. With

the reduced depth conductor beam system, the contact wire can wear in excess of 35% as there is no tension in the contact wire. This can extend the system life by up to 10%. In addition to increasing the asset life, with a short circuit rating of 45kA (compared to 6 or 12 kA for a conventional catenary system), the reduced depth conductor beam system provides a more robust solution. Furthermore, the system is more resilient to mechanical damage. As electrical sectioning in a reduced depth conductor beam system is achieved by creating an air gap between two sections of beam, there is no need for

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Installing the new conductor beams at St Pancras.

traditional section insulators which are a common source of maintenance issues in conventional overhead line systems.

The major challenge faced during the design and implementation of this project was the number of interfaces to be considered, and in some cases avoided, within the existing infrastructure. This was a wired MK IIIB solution with supports spaced at regular intervals of between 10 and 20 metres throughout the route. The schedule for the construction works required that around 160 new supports for the conductor beam would be installed while the existing wired overhead line system was still in place. Although this de-risked the installation works at Easter 2013, it provided a significant challenge for the design team to position the new supports in a way that would avoid clashes with all existing OLE supporting equipment and other infrastructure.

throughout the route is not all Network Rail owned and, as such, other asset owners had to be consulted to obtain agreement for proposed attachment locations and support type. Particular attention had to be paid to the new structures provided at King’s Cross Thameslink station as this was proposed as an emergency point of egress for train passengers in perturbed service conditions. These circumstances led to another innovative solution in the development of pre-cast concrete gravity base foundations for the overhead line support structures. These foundations were brought in on a trailer pulled by a road-rail vehicle and then craned on to the platform, avoiding the need for an excavation or the handling of wet concrete on site. The use of precast concrete foundations provided a safer and more sustainable engineered solution. This technique also facilitated the efficient use of valuable track access.

Base foundations

Wires out, beams in

To add to the complexity of the project, the existing infrastructure

The transition arrangement between the tensioned overhead

Installing new supports

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line system and the untensioned reduced depth conductor beam system also provided a challenge to the engineering team. The interfacing wired system is a twin contact system in which both the contact wires run at the same parallel height as the inrunning beam before terminating separately. The infrastructure between King’s Cross (Disused) station and St Pancras (Low Level) station is critical to the Thameslink route so once the existing wired system had been removed it was crucial that the new conductor beam system was installed and commissioned within the arranged 104 hour blockade. This was achieved by the project team with four hours to spare. As could be expected with the first major installation of an innovative product on a critical route, significant and detailed planning was undertaken along with a number of contingency plans being put in place to de-risk the project. Part of this process involved training staff on installing and maintaining the reduced depth conductor beam equipment

to develop familiarity and competence prior to the equipment being installed. This training was undertaken on test sites away from the operational railway prior to the blockade at Easter 2013. The new supports for the reduced depth conductor beam system were installed using major possession access in April and May 2012, along with reduced access on other weekends. This allowed a significant amount of preparatory works to be undertaken prior to the Easter 2013 blockade when the existing wired MK IIIB overhead line equipment could be removed and the new beam system installed. This process significantly simplified the works.

Production line As the conductor beam product is lightweight and easy to install, it lends itself to a production-line installation process. This was adopted during the installation at Thameslink. An ‘assembly line’ was set up on the Up and Down Moorgate lines with each road

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the rail engineer • June 2013


The transition from wires to beam.

profile locally and hold the contact wire in the correct position. After the device has passed, the profile closes elastically with the wire inserted into the beam. A protective grease was applied to the wire as part of the process. The ease of installation provided an advantage when, as on the Thameslink project in the core of London, the possession access is limited.

having six machines, aligned from north to south, in a ‘factory unit’ comprising one road-rail vehicle with three trailers, an SRS platform, Evo MEWP, SRS wiring unit, Evo MEWP and finally an SRS basket with pan. Since the majority of supports had been installed prior to the Easter blockade, the first operation in the construction sequence was to remove the existing overhead

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Throughout the project, a true spirit of collaboration existed between Balfour Beatty Rail and Network Rail with everyone focussed on achieving the project goal of completing the upgraded electrified system by Easter 2013. Without the focus and collaboration shown by the project team, the successful delivery of the project and the associated innovation would not have been possible.

line equipment and install any new conductor beam supports that had not already been installed. This was followed by the beam installation unit in which the beam sections were cut to length, drilled and installed. Once a continuous run of beam had been installed, the wire unit was used to fit the contact wire using a special tool that employs a series of rollers to open the conductor beam

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the rail engineer • June 2013

The Midlands Centre of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Railway Division arranges a business related colloquium in Derby every two years. With the announcements of expanding electrification in the United Kingdom and, in particular the Midland main line, the committee decided to organise the 2013 event around the emerging details of the project to wire the route. The Institution has excellent relations with Derby College and therefore a most appropriate event site chosen was the Roundhouse, the Guinness world record holder for the oldest surviving locomotive stabling roundhouse and a vibrant place to hold a rail related gathering. The programme for the day was built around a general overview of the current state of electrification design and construction in the United Kingdom followed by a walk-through of the Midland Line proposals and presentations on the design issues, and then wrapped up with a look at construction methods. With the developments in high-output plant, the Windhoff high output system train was an obvious choice.

State of the art The proceedings commenced with an introduction by the Centre Chairman, Allan Jones, Managing Director of QSS limited. The event had been organised by a section of the Centre and was timed to run through the afternoon. There followed a fascinating insight into the many aspects of the current state of the art, incorporating the challenge facing the industry and how this related to the environment and the transport mix in this country. This first session was ably presented by Peter Dearman, Head of Energy for Network Rail. Peter has been involved with rail electrification in the United Kingdom for longer than he cares to remember and is probably one of the most experienced electrification engineers to be found. Just six years ago electrification did not appear on the national agenda; indeed there were suggestions from the Department of Transport that the future was diesel and even that the wires north of Newcastle could be taken down! There was, however, a sudden Eureka moment in government and things began to move. There is now a thirty year gap to close and a massive construction programme to mobilise, all in a railway system which is busier than for many a year with restricted access. High output plant is becoming available but that will only tackle 80 % of the route mileage, the rest will require more conventional access. The audience was reminded that there is not enough plant in

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operators. The works will involve erecting two hundred overhead contact system structures and foundations a week, eight miles of overhead a week, a new substation every three weeks and a new grid intake point every four months. In summary Peter can be quoted as closing the session by telling those present: “The railway is responding to twenty-first century challenges, running a large and exciting programme and taking an opportunity to improve technology where railways are in a fundamental place in our national economic response to the new energy world order.”

Grip 3 and counting the country; there are not enough engineers in the country and there are not enough skilled workers and technicians in the country!

Energy is not cheap A basic statistic is that energy costs are rising and will continue to do so. India, China, Brazil and other fast developing countries have a sharp rise in their demand for oil and related products, and it is predicted that by the time the year 2050 is with us the price will rise dramatically. Electric railways are seen as clean technology and perceived to be very efficient and future-proof with varying energy / fuel sources. In addition, electric trains are lighter and inflict less track damage than much of the existing oil-fuelled traction technology. Nationally, there are a string of proposed electrification schemes from the currently active North West Electrification through to the Great Western, the Cardiff valleys and the useful link through from Gospel Oak to Barking. The most exciting and strategic project is the provision of the electric spine and here Peter emphasised the route available from the south to the north of the country, filling in electrified gaps to enable heavy electric freight haulage. The conference noted, however, that the energy equation does not necessarily stack up too well within this country and Peter issued a challenge to the traction and rolling stock sector of the rail industry. Air, private cars and foreign railways have all significantly increased their rolling stock efficiency and decreased energy consumption by a wide margin. British electric multiple units, however, have moved the other way. The example was given of a class 315 from the 1970s at 600 kilowatt versus a modern electric multiple unit at 1.7 megawatt. Efficiency is a concern for the whole industry. Notwithstanding that conundrum, the scale of the programme is sobering. The electrical rating of the electrified railway will be greater than one of the country’s current distribution network

The man who has to deliver the midland scheme took to the floor. Richard Walker is the route delivery director for the East Midlands and is based in Derby. His team will develop the project to delivery - it is currently in GRIP stage 3 but powering ahead. The scheme covers some extremely significant works. The original south end of the line from St. Pancras to Bedford incorporates 1970s technology while distinct capacity issues occur at Leicester, Nottingham and Derby. These have to be solved before the wires are put up. The evidence of current progress, however, is there in the shape of the Nottingham blockade this summer. Some of the project figures put the scope of the scheme into perspective. There are 600 single track kilometres to be equipped - that’s 10,000 foundations, 122 bridge modifications and three grid intake sites. The overhead catenary system (now known as OCS in Europe) is the currently emerging Series One. This is a new system for the UK, developed with the European Technical Specifications for Interoperability in mind. The system is a major advance on previous designs with simplified insulator provision, telescopic adjustable registration equipment and much less complex small-part steelwork. Even system tensioning will be achieved by the new system of Tensorex automatic tension maintenance. South of Bedford also presents a technical challenge in achieving fitness for high speed running and a quantum leap in reliability. The old obstacles of bridge and other structural clearance carry their usual baggage. Track lowering is not much loved by the permanent way engineers and Toadmoor Tunnel, with its metal ribs inside, is a particularly hard structure to deal with. Richard also noted that even Leicester station has very restricted headroom around the bridges at the north and south ends of the site. The GRIP 3 team is hard at work with several notable industry contractors participating. The point was made that the high output construction plant is not necessarily the right

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answer for much of this route so the build strategy remains to be finalised. Overall this was an illuminating description of a major project that was not even on the horizon a few years ago.

Four design stages Continuing the theme of putting the electric railway into the Midlands were Keith Orgill and Kevin Bruce, from Overhead Line Engineering Limited and Jacobs respectively. These extremely experienced gentlemen proceeded to educate the audience in the design issues related to overhead contact systems and their associated infrastructure. The processes are well defined in Network Rail standards but can be summarised as four stages. The first is system design, covering the preparation and integration of the power supply and overhead line equipment design specifications with the environmental requirements, other utility and statutory needs and constraints. The inputs are the rolling stock, the track, the power system and signalling systems interface. Secondly there is the basic design, incorporating the preparation of designs for overhead line equipment and traction power supplies based on the system design. This encompasses detailed technical illustrations, standards, specifications and dimensions of general arrangements, assemblies, subassemblies and components. These basic designs are used for allocation, purchase, manufacturing, installation and commissioning of an electrification project and allow the subsequent maintenance requirements to be developed and implemented. Following these phases is the allocation design. Here appears the geographical allocation of the basic design within an electrification project to meet the system design and performance specification, thus allowing the production of a bill of quantities for all components and associated materials. The completed allocation design enables all materials to be identified, purchased, assembled as necessary and installed on the project, and determines the detailed records of construction for maintenance purposes. Finally comes the construction design. This is the assessment of the allocation design, determination of the installation methodology and the identification of necessary change to the allocation design to meet changes in site conditions or construction constraints. Components supplied are matched with a bill of quantities and basic design to ensure

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compliance. Safety and quality of installation are managed to ensure safe construction and railway operation, and compliance with the allocation and basic design. Significant issues in recent developments include the wide ranging reduction in the number of components required in recent electrification design and a robust examination of the presentation of design for construction. A number of automated systems for design have been developed although it is felt these may well struggle with the application to complex areas. No doubt there will remain a strong demand for competent and skilled designers. Keith and Kevin predicted that the future would indeed see the minimisation of the number of components used with an emphasis on standard arrangements wherever possible. To achieve higher output, there will be a requirement to keep designs as simple as possible and reduce the need for checking of the design production.

High output After all the project management and design and risk assessments, the equipment has to be put into place. When electrification of the rest of the UK system became a reality, it was necessary to consider novel ways of construction which had not been seen in the country before. Very quickly, Network Rail was showing videos of the concept of a high output construction train. That train is now under construction, and Anne Watters from Amey gave the colloquium a progress report. The train will first come into use on the Great Western electrification scheme and is now under construction at Windhoff’s works in Germany. Once it arrives, and to achieve some practical experience, a twenty mile test section will be constructed on the route near Didcot.

This will follow initial UK commissioning at the Network Rail site at High Marnham. The plant will challenge many United Kingdom traditional methods of working, although practices on mainland Europe may not necessarily transfer to this country. The train is fitted with a ‘wall’ which may be erected to keep staff safe within its confines. There are three consists: to install foundations, steelwork and wiring. It will run for six shifts a week and the intention is minimal disruption to the operational railway. The Invitation to Tender detailed a number of key requirements for the equipment: » Meet a performance based specification; » Work with the adjacent line open to traffic; » Construct an average of one tension length of OLE per shift; » Transit in traffic at 60mph; » Be easily maintained with reduced whole life cycle costs. Other targets from the original specification included adjacent line open working (allowing trains to still run on adjacent lines), seven hour possessions and managing down the schedule 4 costs. Ninety two staff will work on the system on Great Western, operating out of what is called the HOOB (High Output Operating Base) at Swindon. The location will hold seven days materials but this will be backed up by an offsite storage location. The train is anticipated to bring a sea change in OCS erection costs. Allan Jones summed up the day by thanking the presenters and all those who had attended. The IMechE Railway Division is keen to promote the railway and the high-tech modern status that is not always seen in the media. The day had shown where the industry was going and how it would flourish in the new world where cheap energy is very much a thing of the past.

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A Huddig tractor raises the new wire which is attached by personnel on the two following SRS lorries.


Electrification, the construction and renewal of electrified railway lines, is an international business. While Britain has almost forgotten what electrification is all about, and is now hurriedly trying to fill a skills gap as a result, other countries have continued with a steady programme of both converting new lines and renewing installations that, in some cases, were first constructed many years ago. That’s not to say that every country in Europe has been spending a fortune. When Swedish Railways decided that the line between Mjölby to Nässjö needed an upgrade to allow 220 km/hr working, the logical step was to replace the whole overhead line. This would be a major undertaking as the 75km line is part of the main north-south route and the plan would take part of one of the twin tracks out of service for three years.

the team was assembled from Sweden, UK, Germany, Austria and Slovakia, although the project management was local. The basic requirement was for a like-for-like replacement of the existing catenary while the power supply would be upgraded to an autotransformer system to improve energy efficiency. Work would progress in stages between suitable crossovers. One track would be taken out of service and the old cantilever catenary system dismantled right down to ground level while the adjacent line was still open. New poles and cantilevers would be installed followed by the new contact wire and feeder cables. Once that section was completed, tested and energised the track would be reopened and the next section closed.

Biggest for decades

To assist in the work, some specialised machinery was procured. This included four Huddig machines. These are basically tractors which have been converted to road-rail operation and carry specialised attachments at both ends. In the front is a large cable reel. As this is unwound, the cable passes back over rollers on top of the cab to a finger on a special attachment on the back hoe which holds the cable up in position. Technicians standing on high work platforms on two large SRS lorries, following along behind, attach the new cable to the catenary system. Work started on the 360 million Swedish Krone (approximately £35 million) project in July 2011, commencing with the southernmost section between Nässjö and Flisby. As expected, progress started slowly as the team learned to work with each other and the necessary techniques were developed. It was mostly daylight working, seven days a week, using a single, twelve hour shift basis on a rota. The various nationalities were split up so everyone worked with everyone else - there was no British team or German team. Rotas varied slightly

Swedish infrastructure owner Trafikverket awarded the contract to SPL Powerlines, an Austrian group which has been active in other European countries, including Sweden, for some time. Simultaneously, the company received a contract to renew the electrification of the 80km single-track line between Hässleholm and Astorp in the south of the country, making the whole programme a total of 230 track kilometres - the largest single catenary renewal programme in Sweden since the 1930s. SPL Powerlines Sweden planned the Mjölby to Nässjö section meticulously. The route was divided up into four sections which would be worked on in turn from south to north, each section taking several months to complete. Following that, work would transfer to Hässleholm - Astorp. A team of around 45 linesmen, project managers and supervisors would work on site. As the programme moved north they would be housed in various rented accommodation along the route. To bring in the necessary skills,

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New kit

in the winter due to the shorter days and the inclement weather. Working with one line permanently closed meant that little time was lost at the beginning and end of each day. Machines could be left on-track and an efficient working procedure was soon established. Work rate improved and it was not long before production targets were being exceeded.

Logistics and supply All materials are being supplied by SPL Powerlines Sweden as part of the contract and the list is impressive. In total, 3,938 masts will be installed along with 230km of contact wire in 218 sections. Around 900km of new aluminium feeder cables will be required for the upgraded power supply. This all had to be transported to site, some of it to urban areas and others out in more rural locations, just when it was needed. Even in a Swedish forest it is not wise to leave reels of copper cable lying about for very long. Three of the four sections are now complete. Work on the last, between Sommen and Mjölby, is continuing well and the whole project is running to budget and a couple of months ahead of schedule. The international team continues to gain experience which will stand them, and their employer, in good stead for the future. Two other British technicians are working on another SPL Powerlines project, this time in Norway.

Working with Carillion in the UK Back in the UK, a new facility has been opened in Doncaster to consolidate the management team, road/rail plant, training span and OLE stores. This is in addition to the local headquarters at Coatbridge in Scotland. The company has a 52 week contract to supply four machine teams to Network Rail’s reliability improvement programme on the West Coast main line.

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A Sputnik work platform follows a Huddig tractor.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Sweden‌ FACTS & FIGURES In conjunction with partner Carillion, the Cumbernauld electrification scheme (part of the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme - EGIP - described elsewhere in this magazine) is just starting. A rigorous training programme has been initiated to make sure that both SPL Powerlines and Carillion staff will be up to the challenge. Following years of successful delivery as a key supplier on various projects throughout

the UK, the Carillion and Powerlines senior management have formed an equitable partnership to consolidate resources, experience and knowledge. This will enable the two companies to work even more closely together to deliver key programmes of work. The international experience gained by those British linesmen working in central Sweden will be invaluable.


3,782 masts and foundations 4,000 cantilevers 230km aluminium cable 100 isolator switches


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ome believe electrification has been a neglected subject in the UK for years. Now, as Network Rail rushes headlong into a major programme of new electrification projects, much has been written about contractors having to relearn old skills and develop new techniques. However, it must be remembered that, in any electrification scheme, there is more than just a need for power supplies and complicated overhead wiring. Traditional civil engineering is needed as bridge clearances are improved, trackbeds are lowered, station platforms and canopies are trimmed and countless other preparatory works undertaken. One of the first schemes to come to fruition is the North West Electrification Programme. Here, principal contractor J Murphy and Sons is using its expertise to tackle not only these electrification preparations but another of Network Rail’s initiatives, delivering a project through collaborative working.

Bridge clearances Murphy is currently working with Network Rail to deliver the Phase Three structure clearance works of the Preston to Blackpool North (PBN) bridges scheme which will be delivered during Control Period 4 and into CP5 from 2014 onwards. The first involvement by Murphy in the North West Electrification Programme was the reconstruction of three bridges on the Eccles section of the Liverpool to Manchester line. The company also completed Phase Two, from Newton-Le-Willows to Liverpool, and Huyton to Wigan. A total of eight bridge reconstructions within these two phases were successfully undertaken by the integrated project team. As work progresses into Phase Three, Preston to Blackpool North, Murphy is applying its expertise and lessons learned to deliver each project with significant cost and efficiency savings. The Preston to Blackpool phase of the £6.8 million structure clearance works project

focuses on bridges located in Preston, Kirkham and Poulton-Le-Fylde along a 17 mile route. Murphy was awarded the design and build contract for the alteration and reconstruction of seven bridges of varying size and complexity to provide sufficient clearance for the installation of overhead line electrification (OLE). The seven bridges in the scheme are in locations varying from residential areas to busy town centres. In addition, planning requirements determined that particular consideration be paid to the visual appearance of the completed structures. Paul Mohan, Murphy’s contracts manager, explains: “The project team’s experience of the previously completed phases and the collaborative relationship we have established for these schemes in the North West have been invaluable in terms of benefitting from continuity. We have taken the lessons learned on earlier projects to apply to new, more complicated structures this time. Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) has been significant in that respect and critical to delivery as some of the bridges involved in the PBN package of works have required extensive modification. “We understand the level of work involved and anticipate potential problems before they arise so that we have no surprises along the way. Innovation is achieved, not just in the use of new techniques, but also by the engineeringled approach and collaborative working to drive efficiencies, enabling the completion of work on time to high specification. It is these things that we can use to share best practice across our teams.” Two elements of the project particularly demonstrate the success of this approach.

Station Road bridge during the works.

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Two decks at Kirkham Station Road overbridge in Kirkham was initially recommended for demolition and replacement. However, during the ECI process, it was identified that the bridge deck had recently been strengthened by the addition of an over-slab arrangement and the loadings were isolated from the original structure. As it was that original structure which was snagging the gauge profile of the proposed OLE, a design solution was identified to remove it whilst allowing the new deck to remain in place, an approach that created a safer working environment for the team. Collaboration between Network Rail and designers confirmed the feasibility of removing the original deck from track level, reducing disruption. There were significant benefits that resulted as utilities did not require diverting and no road closures were required. The utilisation of a ‘Megalift’ bridge jacking technique resulted in the old bridge being removed in three 29-hour possessions.

1. 2. 3. 4.

The reopening of Tithebarn St, Poulton. Carr Lane, Kirkham - a 1,000t crane was used to allow for the design of heavier units. Carr Lane, Kirkham - The parapets were designed with an integral base. Parr Street, St. Helens – Pilkington glazed panel and paving slabs were reclaimed from the original structure.


Service support at Tithebarn Street Tithebarn Street bridge in Poulton was one of the bridges identified that did not have the required vertical clearance for the installation of OLE. It was therefore recommended that a deck replacement was the most appropriate solution to achieve the minimum 4640mm clearance. The design included modifications to reflect build-ability and best practice from previous projects. With a high skew, the bridge carries a single carriageway road and is surrounded by multiple residential and commercial properties and access roads which severely constrain the existing highway alignment. Prior to the diversion and access works, the team discovered multiple utilities that crossed beneath the bridge and could have potentially held up the project. In particular, fibre optic cables could not be diverted in timescales which suited the programme. Working with Network Rail, the utility owners and local stakeholders, the existing work plans were adapted so that the cables could be supported insitu which afforded considerable programme savings to the client. This close team work helped to identify and overcome all of the major issues, resulting in the bridge being reopened to traffic and pedestrians three weeks ahead of schedule. The Murphy Third Party Coordinators developed close relationships throughout the lifecycle of the project with stakeholders affected by the works, including community groups, local residents and businesses. Information boards used on each of the different bridge projects provided key project information with dates of road closures and artist’s impressions of the site to better illustrate the works to the public. The North West Electrification Programme is one of the many electrification projects underway in the UK, with the Great Western and Midland main lines and the Welsh valleys scheduled to begin shortly. Through the collaborative approach of Network Rail, Murphy and the supply chain, the team overcame the complex engineering challenges. This approach was critical to the overall success of the programme and underpinned the team’s ability to deliver the project on time and to budget. It will surely be repeated elsewhere in the near future.

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the rail engineer • June 2013



A ductile metal with very high electrical conductivity which has been used extensively in railway electrical supplies.

A fairly ductile metal with relatively high electrical conductivity (59% of copper) which has not been used extensively in railway electrical supplies.

On the face of it, copper wins hands down on electrical conductivity and it would seem that aluminium’s only advantage is its low density at just 30% of copper. But, and there’s a large ‘but’, copper is, and always has been, very expensive. By any standard, metal prices are volatile - sometimes wildly so. Copper has gone from an historic low in 1999 to today’s high level, but it has always been much more expensive than aluminium. In fact, the ratio is generally about 3:1 which has a couple of significant impacts on the railway industry. First of all, of course, there is the cost of raw materials in any signalling scheme involving power distribution. But secondly, there is the continuing high cost of disruption because of attempts, successful or otherwise, by villains to steal copper cable. High metal prices mean high scrap prices and for many the temptations are just too great. As several articles in The Rail Engineer have outlined, there are strategies to mitigate the risks of theft. Including identifying strips in the cables, the use of Smartwater, burying cables at depth, there are all sorts of measures but not everywhere can be covered.

The cunning plan Tahir Ayub, Network Rail’s senior design authority engineer working within the national signalling innovations group in Infrastructure

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Projects, is on the case. Last December you may have read our article on his successful launch of Network Rail’s strategy to use class II based signalling power supplies which reduces the copper required in distribution systems by a third. In the concluding seconds of our interview with Tahir, he alluded briefly to an ambition to eliminate the remaining copper and that he had a ‘cunning plan’. We were sworn to secrecy because, at that stage, the plan had not been announced to the industry. He shared the overall strategy at a signalling suppliers’ conference late last year. Since then he’s been working to firm up on detail and so we can now reveal what’s in his plan. “This is a particularly ambitious project. Our driver is firstly to reduce our cost base in line with the Regulator’s target of a year-on-year reduction in signalling costs. That is set at around 5% and, if we’re able to deliver our plan to eliminate copper, then we may make a contribution of around 20% to the target. So this presents a significant business opportunity for reducing the cost of our overall signalling systems. That’s our ‘tier one’ benefit. We’ve also been living with the menace of cable theft and, although we’ve adopted a range of offsetting measures, nobody has had a discourse about getting rid of copper altogether. This is probably because it’s not as easy as it sounds.”

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Real-life, long term experiment Indeed it is not as simple as it sounds. Switching over to aluminium has been tried already. Back in the seventies, oil prices hit the roof and many other commodity prices followed suite. The same imperatives worked on the railway industry then and the aluminium solution was tried out. The railways were not alone. The general power industry embarked on the same course. It is easy to say that mistakes were made then, but the move was a bold one at the time. Some of the original, solid core cables are still in use today and effectively the railways have benefited from the practical results of a real-life, long term experiment. There have been problems with material weathering, water ingress and connectivity issues. There is galvanic action where the two metals connect. This, along with thermal movements, leads to high-resistance connections and reliability issues. The outside world set about solving all the issues, but seemed to concentrate on high voltage cabling. This includes anything above 1,000 volts. So for high distribution voltages - 400kV, 33kV, 11kV, 6kV - aluminium is still widely used, and used successfully.

New system design strategy “What we’re proposing is a new solution that integrates aluminium. The cable is only one aspect of the overall solution. It’s an important

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part, but there’s a wide raft of other design methods, process improvements, products and tools that go around it that make the whole thing happen. “We can’t get rid of copper by just replacing it with aluminium. That’s what’s different about this workstream. It’s a complete system overview and overhaul that allows us to look at the removal of copper. There’s a new set of design rules that we’re going to develop which will be underpinned by a new system design strategy. As part of our engineering work, we will prepare a case which demonstrates that what we’re proposing is safe, operable and maintainable and will give an asset life exceeding 40 years.” Cables sizing involves making sure that there is sufficient capacity to take the required current, but there are also issues involving

Location Case manufactured by Ensto, Finland with ‘Power In’ via aluminium cable.

the ability to react to faults and the need for protecting devices to operate correctly. With cables of anything up to 20km long, this can have the effect of increasing the cable size needed. An aluminium cable is naturally larger than its copper equivalent. To give an idea, the equivalent of a 50mm² copper cable is a 95mm² aluminium one and, as cable sizes increase, so handling and installing difficulties increase. Cables above 120mm² or 150mm² become more impractical to install.

Supply point regulation Tahir’s team has come up with a range of measures that offset the increase in cable size. This includes not only new cables but also new protection devices, voltage regulators, booster transformers, soft starts for point machine motors and signalling transformers with enhanced inrush characteristics. One of the challenges for the railway network is that the supply voltage from a utility is typically 400 volts but, depending on where that supply transformer is positioned, there can be variations. For example, if it’s near a steel works or an industrial network, there can be

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significant fluctuations in voltage. So instead of it arriving at 400 volts, it may only be 380 volts. That’s still within the tolerances of the supplying utility but those supply variations really have a significant impact 20km down the railway. The hope is to offset and control such fluctuations by providing regulation devices at supply points so, regardless of the supply voltage, there will be a pre-defined voltage to start the distribution. In that way, the losses in the system can be controlled. While losses along long lengths of cable cannot be avoided, having sets of strategically positioned booster transformers is being proposed as one way of further offsetting the increase in cable sizes.

Soft-start circuits Point machines and level crossings are a challenge too. When called by the signalling system to set a route, some of these larger signalling loads cause significant start surges which can exceed three times the running current. Level crossings typically have four barriers and some routes may demand up to a dozen or so machines to operate all at the same time.

Existing power system design methodology has to ensure the voltage at location cases for all signalling objects remains in tolerance in the presence of frequent surges from motor starting. This leads to an increase in the size of signalling feeder cables and power source equipment to allow for the presence of the surges. There are also long term operational impacts which result in stress and wear on the associated DC contactors and motor brushes. Tahir is proposing that point machines and level crossing barriers are fitted with a softstart device in the motor circuits to mitigate against over-sizing of the power system. A longer life for motor brushes and motor contactors, together with reduced power distribution cable and power source size, is a target worth consideration. A couple of the suppliers are excited because there may be global opportunities for this.


In some places, the initial power surge for point machines is provided by a bank of batteries. These need to be charged and replaced when their condition deteriorates. New battery chargers are being considered along with, possibly, super-capacitors. This is technology that is appearing in hybrid cars and buses allowing them to accelerate without draining their batteries. There could be some opportunities to look at what’s going on in those sectors and draw some lessons. Another piece of kit that can demand a high initial power surge is a transformer. The ambition is to move towards even lower inrush transformers so that, when power is switched on and strings of transformers all start up, there is not the need for a large cable size just for the initial surge - before even any load is taken up.

Flexible cables Back in the seventies, the aluminium cables were solid core construction and pretty inflexible. They were difficult to install, especially at under-track crossings. This led to difficulties making good connections and so to reliability issues. Water used to find its way into cables and cause further problems.




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The new generation of cable may be a combination of stranded and solid conductor - to make them more flexible - and will incorporate a technology known as ‘water blocking’. This is something used as a matter of course in high voltage and telecommunications cable, but it doesn’t seem to be used in low voltage power cables. The technique involves using a gel that is sealed within the cable as well as a water blocking tape. The new flexible and weatherproof cable is, of course, very light so it is possible to get much more cable on a drum of the same weight. This increases the length of cable on a drum which increases the amount of cable that can be laid in possessions.

Connection solutions So, does this cable actually exist? Well yes, it does. A number of suppliers are currently at the late stage of finalising their developments. “I think it’s worth making the point that this is a cable that has not been seen before, and that it embraces much of the technology that has been applied in high voltage aluminium cables which we’re now introducing into low voltage cables. We’re looking to develop cables from 16mm² to 150mm².”

A range of specific connection solutions will be developed along with the various cable sizes. That wasn’t done when aluminium was installed in the seventies when the connection devices were the same for both copper and aluminium. The idea now is to use some of the jointing and termination technology that’s available for high voltage cables and OLE applications and adapt it for the low voltage equipment. Nothing new is being proposed. It’s a straight migration from what is available at present in the conventional power industry. The suite of solutions to support the introduction of aluminium even includes the cabinets containing terminations or other devices. These have to be designed to accommodate the new connecting devices and must take into account the flexibility characteristics of the new cable.

Test site Where will the cable be - quite literally - rolled out? Tahir hopes to carry out an industry trial at the Network Rail Leicester test site. That will give everyone the opportunity to get a feel of the new solution including all the new products. Soon after that it may appear on a couple of projects both of which are developing

aluminium options as a shadow scheme, before being rolled out through the infrastructure.

Three messages To conclude this tale of two metals, Tahir has some final messages. The first is to the project managers across the industry: “You’re all being challenged to reduce your costs, so this is something that’s relatively quite simple that delivers huge cost savings. We in the Network Rail IP Signalling Innovations Group are going to develop a whole power solution which will be supported by a number of products, so you don’t have to take any risks.” The second is to the supply chain: “We are seeking collaborative partners and manufacturers to support the development of enhanced unarmoured cable, aluminium termination and connection solutions, booster transformers, voltage regulators, battery chargers, super capacitors, DC soft starts and pluggable solutions for 650V power systems”. And then to the villains who steal Network Rail’s cables (and who probably don’t read this magazine): “Don’t bother with this cable. It just ain’t gonna be worth nickin’ at all!”

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and achieving the balance


o you think that you are a risk taker? When driving, would you carry on even though you are tired and should stop and rest? Do you always hold on to handrails when climbing stairs or escalators and do you always carry out a risk assessment before starting any practical work?

Your answer would probably depend on a number of factors. For example, are we talking about carrying out these activities at home or at work? Are we being asked these questions as an employee or are we asking these questions as an employer? Yes, you might drive whilst feeling tired but you would not want your employees to take that risk, or would you? It’s all about managing risk and the associated maze of issues and options that present themselves. As a company, this level of accountability demands significant input and an unrelenting commitment to continuous improvement, which is why the Railway Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) hosts an annual event known as The Risk Management Forum to help advise and guide the railway industry. This year, the event was held at Network Rail’s Westwood Training Centre near Coventry and it was well attended by representatives from all parts of the railway industry.

Discussion changing The first session focussed on emerging and changing safety risks. Gareth Llewellyn, Network Rail’s executive director for safety and sustainable development, outlined current thoughts on ‘what is risk?’ He also looked at how the discussion within Network Rail is changing quite significantly, from the reason ‘things’ happen to the controls that are in place and what progress is needed. As an example, Gareth talked about signalling, level crossing, tunnelling and track risks and how they were measured and monitored and, unsurprisingly, they are all measured differently. Well you all knew that, didn’t you? However, when one starts to consider how these

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different risks can be compared, it becomes very difficult to understand how this can be achieved and, just as importantly, where the money should be best spent to reduce the risk and improve efficiency.

Same scale In order to bring all the risks onto the same scale, Network Rail has embarked on a significant piece of work with Arthur D Little. One example of this conundrum is the management of Leaf Fall, which is most prevalent in the south-east of the railway network and, amongst other things, causes track circuits to fail. A tried and tested solution is to install axle counters which are immune to this seasonal hazard. The unanswered question is, once axle counters, which are not going to be affected by the Leaf Fall, have been installed, why not remove the track circuits? “No, no, no,” purists will say. “We need track circuits since they are very useful for detecting broken rails, another significant risk.” As Gareth stated, it is moving the conversation forward, involving a number of risks associated across a number of assets. The discussion moved on to new technology. Should Network Rail stay in its comfort zone of using and maintaining tried and tested technology or should it embrace new technology with the associated risks that will come with it. Gareth is determined that it should be the latter and Network Rail should not be deterred from making changes, introducing innovation and rising to this challenge. He outlined the situation regarding standards and non-compliances that needs to be addressed to ensure that progress is never compromised.

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Gareth Llewellyn, Network Rail’s executive director for safety and sustainable development, outlined current thoughts on ‘what is risk?’

Too many standards At present, there are more than 1,600 Network Rail standards coupled with 4,000 temporary non-compliances, the number of which clearly indicates that the workforce is severely constrained by the content of the standards. Network Rail’s vision is to have a small number of mandatory business-critical rules supported by guidelines on how to do the job. This, according to Gareth, will then enable the workforce to be effective and innovative and to embrace new ideas and technology with enthusiasm, knowing that they are working within a framework of flexible risk controls. As a final comment, Gareth stated that in the financial Control Period 5, Network Rail hopes to achieve a 50% reduction in train accident risk and to eliminate all fatalities and major injuries within its workforce.

Close Call An infrastructure contractor’s perspective was given by Stuart Webster-Spriggs. VolkerRail’s HSQE director, Stuart acknowledged that many infrastructure contractors had traditionally analysed reactive indicators such as slips, trips and falls but stated that they now analyse a much healthier range of indicators. This is partly achieved by the RSSB designed Close Call system which is now used throughout the industry to capture any information submitted by the workforce about potential incidents, hazards or concerns. The Close Call system is especially designed to encourage front line staff who are most exposed to risk to report each and every safety concern they come across. In conjunction with this, VolkerRail, alongside other infrastructure contractors, is working with RSSB on a research project named T953. This covers implementing and measuring safety performance from an infrastructure contractor’s perspective. The intention of the research is to provide contractors with guidelines on the effective use of both reactive and proactive safety related indicators. VolkerRail is trialling initial outcomes from this research. One key area of risk recognised by all contractors is fatigue, especially when associated with road accidents. Stuart explained the improvement which a change in management style and attitude can achieve. This has led to VolkerRail implementing new procedures to encourage drivers to tell the truth, which has helped VolkerRail review its planning processes and start using information such as hotel bookings as an effective indicator of measuring potential fatigue.

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VolkerRail has adopted the eleven Lifesaving Rules launched by Network Rail to highlight the core risks associated with working on the railway. The aim is to prevent serious harm to the workforce. Research covering the entire industry over the last 12 years highlighted where people’s lives were most at risk of having a life-changing or fatal injury. Network Rail asked more than 1,300 employees, contractors and unions to help write the rules which can be found on Network Rail’s and many other web sites.

Deep alliance The session then moved onto “the first deep alliance” which began in spring 2012. Mark Starkey from South West Trains (SWT) explained that this alliance is an alliance between SWT and Network Rail working together to improve performance and safety throughout the newly formed “South Western Railway.” There is one managing director for the train and infrastructure directorate but each company, SWT and Network Rail, is a legal entity and therefore has its own safety certificates. The alliance has the potential to create confusion for both staff and managers but the overall objective is to bring the two companies together, working as one team with the same objectives and sharing the same challenges. It is an exciting and worthwhile project. RSSB is facilitating a number of workshops required to develop common ground for the alliance. The intention is to harmonise standards and to develop a risk profile for their South Western Railway which is committed to sharing good practice, the Lifesaving Rules mentioned earlier and Close Call reporting. Already it is making significant progress with possession planning and running a train

service. The ultimate aim is one team with one solution. It is an important project that, hopefully, will be cascaded across the industry in time.

Risk management elsewhere The second session included a presentation from Maria Hedqvist, senior advisor with the Swedish operator Trafikverket, about a road/ rail vehicle that struck the side of a passenger train which was travelling at 133km/hr. The controls in place to manage the risks were minimal as were the standards. In fact, there were very few rules to protect the adjacent open line when such work was underway. It reminds us how far the British railway industry has progressed. It also reminds us why these rules were put in place in the first case and it is a challenge for Network Rail as they start to reprofile their standards. Chris Jackson, a partner in the firm Burges Salmon LLP, discussed changes to the regulatory framework and case law and considered how the legal process would play out if a major train accident, on the scale of Ladbroke Grove, were to occur today.

Dynamic risk assessment There was also a slot for London Underground Ltd (LUL) to talk about dynamic risk assessment during the Olympics. It relates to the future of standards and the ability for the workforce to show initiative and efficiency whilst not compromising the need for protection. Tony Matthews explained that, even though proper risk assessments were carried out and risk mitigating controls put in place, the volume of people involved was significant, the possibilities and options were endless and the risks stretched to the unthinkable. LUL decided

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the rail engineer • June 2013

safe manner. Dynamic Risk Assessment is a default safety position, one that appears appropriate for a progressively-minded railway industry.

Public perception

Close Calls were discussed by VolkerRail’s Stuart Webster-Spriggs

that it was necessary to create a default position where immediate, on the spot discussions with colleagues could take place and changes be introduced. This all happened in a Transport Coordination Centre specially designed for the Olympics. In addition, there was one person identified who had the authority to change the rule book. However, everything needed to be understood and recorded with clear accountability throughout the process. This additional flexibility enabled LUL to move an unprecedented 62 million people across London over 16 days. Throughout the Olympics, plans were amended to suit the immediate circumstances and risk controls were adjusted to suit the ever-changing scene. It was an excellent example of empowering people to do what is appropriate at the time, quickly, effectively and in a controlled and

Tim Rakow, reader in psychology at the University of Essex, gave an interesting insight to the public’s perception of risk. The results from an experiment showed how the public perceive risk differently depending on their reference point, i.e. they show more aversion to removing a safety system than introducing that same system even if the safety benefits and business case are identical. Finally Jens Rolfson, Specialist Advisor at DNV, closed the presentations by talking about safety culture and the importance of using structured interviews to gauge it instead of relying on questionnaires alone. A questionnaire can discover “what”, interviews find out “why”. The event, organised and presented by RSSB, was commendable and addressed many issues that a rail engineer has to address. The underlying message was about balance, understanding the risk, managing it and getting the best result possible whilst maximising productivity. In addition, it was also about knowing how safe you really are, not deluding yourself or your organisation, and listening to your workforce’s concerns.

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the rail engineer • June 2013 The current layout at Norton Bridge with the old station platform in the background.


BREAKING NEW GROUND Just look for a moment at a track layout in what we sometimes call a ‘modern railway’. The site is at Norton Bridge, some five miles from Stafford on the West Coast Main Line (WCML.) To the north is Crewe, to the south is Stafford and going off to the east is a two track branch to Stone linking the WCML to the almost parallel line to Stokeon-Trent. There isn’t much around Norton Bridge - a few houses, a couple of farms nearby with the word ‘Norton’ in their name. The only bridge is the bridge over the railway. Norton Bridge has a station - in name only. Since the footbridge was removed from the island platform, isolating it from the outside world, the only ‘train’ to call at Norton Bridge is a bus!

Something needs to be done At this location, the WCML has a pair of slow lines and a pair of fast lines. So it’s Up, Down, Up, Down. This is the sort of layout that

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makes movements across from the Down Slow to the branch difficult and disruptive. Coming off the Down Slow, with a line speed of 75mph, a train has to drop its speed to 30mph and wind its way across the Up Slow, the Down Fast, seek refuge in the Up and Down Recess and wait its turn to cross over the path of the Up Fast before making it to the Down Main of the branch. So, in the process of doing this, a move that is timetabled to occur every hour, the whole of the WCML has been well and truly stitched up. Every line stopped - and this is on a modern railway. Moves in the opposite direction are pretty much as disruptive, apart from the Down Slow getting off scot free. Something clearly needs to be done.

Additional capacity Something is being done, and in a very big way, with Stafford and the surrounding area (including Norton

Bridge) benefitting from a £250 million improvement scheme, care of the Stafford Area Improvements Programme (SAIP). The scope of the works is impressive, as is the way in which the contractual arrangements are being organised - but more of that later. But apart from the constraints of the existing track layout, what are the driving forces behind the improvements? Well, for a start, this is Britain’s busiest mainline railway, being a key artery connecting London, the Midlands, the North West and Scotland. It provides express, local, commuter and freight services, with three million passengers using it every day and numbers continuing to rise. There are 40% more passenger journeys and 60% more freight than 20 years ago and passenger demand is expected to double in the next 20 years. The vision for SAIP is to create additional capacity to run more services - two extra trains per hour

(each direction) between London Euston and the North West, one extra fast train per hour (each direction) between Manchester and Birmingham and one extra freight train per hour (each direction) through Stafford. This increase in capacity is being delivered through a mixture of new infrastructure to reduce congestion at key pinch points in the Stafford area and timetable re-casting.

The challenges ahead? Between Shugborough (which is about 5 miles to the London side of Stafford) and Norton Bridge, the existing signalling system is reaching the end of its operational life, bringing with it reliability issues. Until now, there has been no long term solution, with capacity constraints and linespeed limitations on the slows between Stafford station and Crewe. Then there is Norton Bridge itself. As Dominic Baldwin, Staffordshire Alliance manager explains: “It’s like putting traffic lights in the middle

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of the M6”. Extend the metaphor to LAYOUT LAYOUT TRACK include contraflows and the picture should be complete. Something needs to be done.

Stafford resignalling So, getting down to business, what is being done? SAIP is an amalgamation of three distinct elements. The first is the delivery of linespeed improvements on the slow lines between Crewe and Norton Bridge. This will involve some minor infrastructure improvements and OLE modifications to raise linespeeds on the slow lines from 75mph to 100mph. Phase 2 is the comprehensive resignalling of Stafford, including a revision of the Stafford station

110 LINESPEED track bi-directional working ENHANCED PERMISSABLE SPEED 125 layout, through platforms 4, 5 and 6 and a new 775 metre long freight recess. Train detection will be by axle counters and speed improvements, allowing 100mph running on the slow lines to be extended south from Great Bridgeford to Stafford station.

New flyover The challenge at Norton Bridge junction will be removed via the proposed construction of a new flyover. As this is a structure that will carry both the Up and the Down slow lines, and because it will do this maintaining 100mph, this is no minor project. It involves taking the slow lines out into open countryside, to swing gently across

the WCML, almost at right angles. This will involve almost 10km of new 100mph railway with twelve new bridge structures, four river diversions, earth bunds and run-off attenuation ponds. One million tonnes of earthworks are also involved, along with major pipeline and road diversions. The timescales are challenging. The linespeed improvements are due to be commissioned by Spring 2014, Stafford resignalling by Summer 2015 and Norton Bridge flyover by Autumn 2017, though the alliance is confident of shaving almost a year off this projection. As an infrastructure project of national significance, the flyover scheme is currently subject to a Development Consent Order, which provides the relevant powers and permissions to enable successful delivery of the programme. Once the Order is granted, main works are scheduled to run from spring 2014.

The ‘Pure Alliance’ So, that’s the engineering. Complex it may be, ambitious perhaps, but it’s all standard stuff. On the other hand, the scheme’s contractual arrangements are far from standard. Network Rail, under the leadership of Sir David Higgins, has realised that a new approach is needed to meet the challenges of delivering multi-disciplinary programmes. There has to be a radically different employer/

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contractor relationship. But whilst alliances have been used before in the rail industry, Staffordshire Alliance follows the Australian ‘Pure Alliance’ model, based around a single, truly collaborative contract. So who’s involved? Staffordshire Alliance comprises Network Rail, Atkins, Laing O’Rouke and VolkerRail, working towards a set of common values and behaviours with risks/rewards shared equally and decisions made on a win/win, lose/lose and best for project basis. The Alliance itself is a completely integrated team. This naturally leads to a different team dynamic, with an environment that encourages innovation, uses best practice throughout and enables a completely joined-up solution. It draws from all the Alliance members’ skills and experience. At the coal face level, the Alliance has but one bank account, one insurance company and one legal brief. So, looking again at the engineering and track layouts for Stafford and Norton Bridge, it’s noticeable that, apart from the obvious changes, there is a level of redundancy built in to give operational flexibility in case of failures. This, too, is something new and augers well for the train service reliability of the future. The Staffordshire Alliance is breaking new ground in more ways than one.

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Signalling Solutions supply the full range of ALSTOM transformers and transformer/ rectifiers to the UK signalling power market. We supply ultra-efficient transformers with multiple wound outputs allowing up to 6 isolated circuits from one unit. Use of these transformers in a signalling power supply allows 8 transformers to be replaced by 1. In addition, Signalling Solutions offer transformers and transformer/rectifiers to Class II specifications. Double insulated Class II products remove the need for cables with a circuit protective conductor (CPC). Reducing

the cable in this way benefits signalling projects, installers, maintainers and the environment. Our NT and NQ range of transformers and transformer/rectifiers have evolved to deliver tangible benefits to the market – • Fewer components in the system – reduced costs • Fewer location cases required – reduced costs • Reduced testing & maintenance requirements • More efficient components, improved system – more sustainable network

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the rail engineer • June 2013


BRINGS OPPORTUNITIES There is an old adage in business: “There are no such things as problems, just opportunities”. It is a great example of positive thinking.

Like many of these ‘old chestnuts’, it is also true - at least in part. Every business has its ‘opportunities’, even the successful ones. Growth is good but has to be carefully managed and matched to investment. If there isn’t enough investment, growth will be stifled. If there is too much, then the company can still get into financial problems (sorry, difficulties) despite its improved performance.

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Success Story One example of a carefully managed and successful business is Story Plant. It started out some 14 years ago when Fred Story, already well established locally with his decade old construction company, bought a rail labour supply company called Point on Trackwork. It was a small labour-supply concern and the type of work that it was delivering on the infrastructure usually meant that Road Rail Vehicles (RRVs) had to be hired in. This was a costly venture and quality and service could not always be guaranteed. Over time, the decision was taken to purchase the company’s first two RRVs (two JCB JS160 machines) and to train operators to their RRV competency. The company continued to win work on its reputation to deliver projects safely, to time and within budget. The fleet of RRVs grew as they were bought in pairs, specifically chosen for their capabilities matched to the type of work that they needed to deliver. As the fleet size increased, the requirement for new and innovative attachments grew. Story Plant’s equipment was not only amongst the most reliable on the infrastructure, but they were some of the best looking, cleanest machines around. A machine was not allowed onto a job without a full clean as part of its pre-delivery inspection, preventative maintenance also ensured that all machines were in the best mechanical shape possible. When the recession hit, the now established Story Plant continued to make progress. In 2008 a Provisional Rail Plant Operating License was granted, enabling Story Plant to operate within possessions on Network Rail managed infrastructure and a full licence was achieved on 17 December 2012.

Geographical base Being located in Carlisle, the company naturally concentrated on delivering work in Cumbria, Lancashire, Newcastle and south west Scotland. However, its reputation had spread and Story Plant was now being asked to tender for work in areas further afield. With diesel prices increasing on a daily basis, hauling plant to the more distant jobs was causing the company to be uncompetitive and less attractive to new clients as a result. This proved to be an increasing problem. However, this cloud had a silver lining, an opportunity for growth, so in 2011 a decision was made to look for an appropriate location in which to create a duplicate depot. A suitable location was sought, across the Pennines and about 100 miles further south. The company had always marketed its business on safety, reliability, collaborative working and the quality of the finished job. So, one of the largest challenges in opening a second depot would be to replicate the work ethos which ran through the headquarters at Carlisle. The answer was clear - people. Story Plant needed to recruit like-minded people from like-minded company backgrounds in order to bring in staff with the expertise, tenacity and drive to successfully deliver without compromising service levels. Over the past 18 months, the fleet of RRVs and associated attachments has increased considerably and there has also been considerable investment in new vans and lorries. The workforce is actively encouraged to up-skill by being offered professional development programmes and a clear career progression path. In 2012, the company was rebranded as Story Contracting. This incorporates three disciplines of Rail, Plant and Construction which, although separate and distinct, complement each other well and now provide transferable skills and expertise within the business.

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the rail engineer • June 2013


Now in Normanton Completing the exercise, Story Contracting has now opened its new depot at Normanton, near Wakefield in Yorkshire, with refurbished offices - spacious enough for the business to grow in this location. A secure yard will house the RRVs, attachments and other plant and the up-to-date workshops enable service and maintenance plans to be delivered in Normanton, without the need to haul the plant back to Carlisle. RRV operators and fitters have been recruited from the local area and the location has rapidly been turned into a (slightly smaller) carbon copy of the Carlisle operation. The new depot includes rest and washing facilities for drivers. All of the operators travel to site in their own designated vans which are part of the new investment programme. Fitters also have brand new vans, under a strict maintenance regime, which are fully kitted out to deal with most types of breakdowns and include facilities to make up hydraulic hoses. So, driven by of the issue of its location and its need to expand, Story Contracting has again shown that it is prepared to invest in its workforce, plant and business. Now, what’s the next opportunity?


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the rail engineer • June 2013



One of the management decisions that has to be made by any contractor on the railways is - to hire or buy?

The benefits of hiring in plant are obvious, and logical. The latest equipment is available, without a high capital outlay and with skilled operators. Someone else maintains it and ships it around the country, and it isn’t costing money if it is sitting idle. When costing out a job, the cost of plant on a daily basis is known and fixed, and if it should break down someone else will replace it. However, there is an alternative theory that, if the company can stand the capital outlay, owning its own plant can improve flexibility and give it a commercial edge over competitors, if it has plant no-one else does.

The WAD model Stobart Rail, formerly W A Developments (WAD), has been delivering projects on Network Rail’s infrastructure since 1997. There are many reasons why the business has been an effective deliverer, including a directly employed multi-skilled and experienced workforce and in-house training from an award-winning training school. But, in the

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opinion of the company’s management and directors, one of the most crucial elements is an understanding of and investment in plant and maintenance. Early on in the embryonic stages of WAD, when setting the foundations for a successful business, the management team identified the importance of setting up its own plant division. Having been let down on numerous occasions on civils sites, the fear of failure in the newlyentered rail sector drove the team toward the conclusion that investment in plant and the maintenance of it would be vital to their successful entrance and prolonged stability in this new sector. The first acquisition, in 1997, was a Daewoo 140 with a road-rail conversion by Philmor Rail, a compatible oil-braked trailer, flail attachment, rotator clam and grab and a selection of buckets. Using the supplier’s maintenance manual and adding in a number of additional checks, the plant department, assisted by AJ Hargreaves, devised a robust maintenance and preventative maintenance plan to give the company and its customers the assurance needed to ensure minimal disruption caused by plant failure. At that time, the business supported a number of clients delivering works directly and also providing operated plant for hire. The next step in its development was to draft a Railway Safety Case (Plant Operators License) for the operation of on-track plant in possession, a license for which was granted in 1999. This provided the business with greater opportunities and the decision was made to invest heavily in plant and equipment to complement its already experienced and multi-skilled workforce. Additionally, a twin test track was constructed with RRAP (road-rail access point), ramps and a test rig for achieving

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the rail engineer • June 2013


Delta-D readings and duty charts. The track enabled the in-house training of operators and testing of equipment. It also allowed the team to try out a number of innovative ideas without having to access Network Rail infrastructure.

Adaptable plant and good training WAD recognised that to achieve both goals, of running a profitable business and supplying its customers with a quality product at the right price, it needed to invest money wisely in its plant and equipment, making sure the kit it purchased was adaptable and specialist in the right measure. To further enhance this offering, a well trained and experienced, flexible workforce with the right attitude was required, hence the investment in a training facility focussing mainly on in-house personnel. Putting that all together, dedicated teams have been able to deliver specialist and multidisciplined projects as well as high-output schemes which require close attention to detail and planning. That philosophy continued after WAD was acquired by the Stobart Group in 2008. Plant fitters and engineers, depending on the size of the contract, are rostered to work either on-site on standby or off-site within an agreed call off period. In some cases, they operate the road-rail equipment they are maintaining as they understand intimately the equipment they look after. All the fitters have fully equipped service vehicles stocked with consumables such as spare pipework, oil and filters. All the workforce are trained in-house by staff from Stobart Rail’s award winning training school which carries out training in rail safety, rail plant, construction plant (CPCS), construction skills(NVQ), mobile access towers (PASMA), portable equipment and

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first aid. Training for the new Sentinel lift planner ticket has recently been added to the list as the company has been involved in the development of this training plan in conjunction with other organisations in the industry.

Nationwide deployment Due to the nature and diversity of works that Stobart delivers, staff and plant are often deployed all over the country. They are supplemented by the supply chain, making them easily capable of reacting within short notice should customers require. In the past, Stobart has reacted at short notice to incidents as diverse as mainline passenger train derailments, freight train derailments, culvert collapses, major and minor earthwork and embankment slips and the coastal erosion of embankments and retaining walls. Its workforce is used to working with plant and equipment in a pressured and sometimes hazardous environment, often at

night and in treacherous conditions, and to carry out the work without compromising on Safety or Quality. Stobart also realises the importance of maintaining good working relationships with its supply chain which can be called upon 24/7 to provide materials and supplementary plant and labour when necessary. All projects are monitored centrally using a control log which acts as an operational hub to relay information on live sites. This gives management constantly updated information on any issues or problems being encountered. Directors, senior management and safety representatives are rostered on call 24/7, and emergency procedures which are accessible to the log personnel are in place so they can manage different ranging events. Looking forward to CP5, Stobart Rail is relishing the opportunity to bring it’s innovative approach and adaptability to help develop new and old plant and delivery techniques to achieve the savings required.

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the rail engineer • June 2013

This month’s delving into Network Rail’s files of freshly-approved products has revealed some highly interesting entries. Some have

been covered in The Rail Engineer before, but all fill a need on the railways.

So here they are, fresh from Network Rail’s technology introduction team….

» PA05/05438

RA7 ballast vacuum excavation system The Railvac RA7-UK transports material from the rail head through a hose system by vacuum. Dry material such as sand, earth, cement, fly ash, ore, catalyst material, steel sand, as well as slurry or liquid substances can be transported, depending on their consistency and grain size. Site surveys are mandated prior to any work being undertaken to ensure that all excavations are within the safety scope of the Railvac Machine. The machine comprises a flexible suction hose mounted on a manipulator arm, a spoil storage hopper and air mover unit. This Railvac RA7-UK had been undergoing a trial phase for a couple of months and has now been issued a full acceptance certificate, allowing it to be used on Network Rail infrastructure. It is manufactured by RailCare in Sweden.

» PA05/05710

Solar-powered adapter The solar paddle is a robust solar powered adapter that can be retro-fitted to existing road and track signposts in order to provide illumination of signs independent of power. The LED lighting arm is aesthetically designed to illuminate a variety of sign sizes depending on the specified lens. The solar paddle uses 20W of patented solar panel with shade tolerant design. It also has custom extruded paddle designed to house solar panels and an electronic controller and is proven to operate 365 days a year - even in UK weather. This very useful and energy efficient product was manufactured by Eurosigns UK Ltd and was recently issued a full certificate of acceptance.

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the rail engineer • June 2013



CRAB 2100E Electrically-driven road-rail shunter The Zephir CRAB is a road/rail shunter designed to be used in the confined spaces in rail vehicle maintenance depots. Its compact dimensions and tight turning circle make it easy to manoeuvre within the depot and it is able to enter the tracks at 90 degrees. The shunter has the following rail performance specifications: » Drawbar pull: 26kW » Towing/pulling capacity: 520 tonnes maximum » Electric motor: 12kW, 80V » Battery: 520Ah, 80V » Speed: 7km/h maximum » Weight: 5.2 tonnes Two separate chargers are provided with the equipment. The on-board charger allows the CRAB to be plugged into any suitable three-phase mains socket for recharging.






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the rail engineer • June 2013


Trough Tec outdoor polymer cable route These are ground-level polymer cable troughs and lids for protection and management of cables at trackside. They conform to NR/L2/TEL/00013 and a full product acceptance certificate was issued after successfully undergoing a series of acceptance tests and meeting the set acceptance requirements. This product is manufactured by Furukawa, Japan.

» PA05/5530

URS Automated ballast sampling trolley This product is a significant improvement on the method used by URS for track bed investigation which did not have Product Acceptance. This product acceptance application follows PA05/05065 Automatic Ballast Sampler submitted by Network Rail maintenance in October 2011. It follows all the safety requirements specified in PA05/05065 and takes it a stage further by making the system fully automatic. It further reduces the manpower required to deliver the site investigation work (window sampling) and the need for a man to stand on the p/way trolley to operate the kit. There is a requirement for this equipment under the Track Bed Investigation Framework Contract recently awarded to URS. It will operate alongside the Network Rail ABS already approved through the Product Acceptance Process. It will reduce the time taken for track bed investigation by 15% - this has been reflected in a 30% reduction in URS’ rates for Trackbed investigation works. The automated ballast sampling trolley is manufactured by URS Infrastructure and Environment UK Ltd and has recently been accepted for full use on network rail infrastructure.

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the rail engineer • June 2013


» PA05/05428

Class II hybrid signalling transformer This is a class II hybrid signalling transformer for 400V or 650V signalling power supplies. The continuous output is equal to the traditional Type C points units and can simultaneously operate up to four Point Drive Mechanisms or similar performance point mechanisms, two High Performance Switching System (Point Mechanism) mechanisms or a single Hydraulic Drive Point Mechanism twin pump mechanism. This unit is suitable for, but not restricted to, Solid State Interlocking applications. This product is manufactured by Invensys Rail Ltd and is fully accepted for use on Network Rail infrastructure.

Magbox class II FSP switchgear composite enclosures This is a class II double-insulated FSP arrangement providing switch isolation, fuse and surge protection covering a range of single and three phase voltages. It helps to manage incoming and outgoing power supplies within signalling installations where a Class II installation is required, such as location cases, REBs, Signal Boxes and Relay rooms etc. This Electrical product is manufactured by MGB Engineering Ltd and was issued with a full certificate of acceptance on 10 May 2013.

Engineering Excellence & Innovation


Class II FSP Switchgear Assembly Network Rail approved PA05/05428

Robust polyester construction, 40 Years life

Innovative “MAGplate” slide in gland plate

Rated at 690V and Dielectric tested to 15kv

Full legacy compatibility fits BRS SM 440

Dual end fed and manually configurable versions

Light weight yet conforms to IK09 and IP4X

Built in surge suppressor option

Very cost effective installation and maintenance

Cable up to 120mm


“Ticks all the Boxes” Tel: 08450 702490 | Fax: 0845 702495 | | MGB House, Unit D Eagle Road, Langage Business Park, Plympton, Plymouth, PL7 5JY

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the rail engineer • June 2013

National Track Plant



he first National Track Plant Exhibition, “The Track Innovation Showcase”, is to be held on 24 and 25 July 2013 at Long Marston Business Park near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire.

The event is sponsored by Steve Featherstone, Network Rail programme director – track, and is being organised by Infrastructure Projects track innovation team in response to its suppliers’ requests to show off their capabilities. “We are looking forward to meeting our suppliers and seeing some great practical innovation that will allow us to be more productive, use less track access and hand back reliably at higher line speeds”

Live demonstrations Plans are still being finalised, but on show at Long Marston will be: » A rail and road connected exhibition area demonstrating track delivery methods and plant; » First hand innovative track construction methods; » Face to face networking across the track delivery supply base; » Showcase of UK Innovation; » Network Rail track inspection vehicle » Practical demonstrations of equipment; » A full eight-hour live track renewal; » Network Rail’s helicopter with its high definition cameras. All in all, it is intended to be an educational and thought provoking experience for all visitors. The exhibition area will be in zoned areas offering on-track plant, on-track machines, welfare, surveying, lighting and the practical

Issue 104 - tre June 2013.indd 56

Hands On test zone where visitors will be able to try using small plant, tools and equipment for themselves.

What will be on show? Over fifty of the industry’s main plant suppliers have already confirmed their attendance. The major contractors will be showing off what they can do with Amey, Colas, Babcock, Balfour Beatty Rail and Carillion all committed. There will be smaller plant from the likes of Geismar, GOS Engineering, SRS and Aquarius, surveying equipment from Topcon, generators from Aggreko, small tools from Torrent Trackside, Hilti and Clayton Equipment. There will even be the public launch of Pandrol’s new VIPA-VALIANT track baseplate, as mentioned in David Shirres’ article on EGIP elsewhere in this issue. There will be almost everything you can imagine – all in one location in the middle of England.

Where is it? The Long Marston Rail Alliance storage depot is just south of Stratford-upon-Avon. Honeybourne, Stratford-upon-Avon & Warwick Parkway are the nearest stations. Formerly a Ministry of Defence storage depot, it is now used by railway operators and leasing companies for short and medium term storage of redundant rolling stock. So there is plenty of

track for storage, and plenty of track and space to show off railway plant to its best effect. Uma Shanker, head of business improvement and engineering for the IP track programme said “We started off with our test site at Grange near Stoke and then moved to Gloucester as the demand grew. We have had to move again as the demand outgrew the space! Suppliers are keen to show off their latest innovations in action on a real bit of railway, and there is no other show that allows this. We are also not charging exhibitors for the space, rather working with them in partnership to put on a great show. I am grateful to the Rail Alliance and Rail Media for helping us out.” The site is easily accessible by road, it is 20 minutes from the M40 and 40 minutes from the M5. Just put CV37 8QR into your favourite map site.

You’re invited Invitation to the National Track Plant Exhibition has been extended to all rail professionals interested in track delivery, including Network Rail Track Delivery personnel and its suppliers. You will also have the opportunity to meet and network with the new ‘On Track Plant specialists. As there will be live demonstrations, all exhibitors and visitors are required to attend in PPE. Admittance to the exhibition will not be allowed without boots, high-viz trousers and jackets/vests... so don’t forget them! To book a free ticket, and to reserve car parking, visit the website.

29/05/2013 14:18

The UK’s Largest Track Plant Event Network Rail in association with The Rail Alliance and the rail engineer welcome you to the first National Track Plant Exhibition, 'The Track Innovation Showcase'. Ÿ Over 50 Suppliers exhibiting Ÿ A full 8 hour live 400m track renewal possession (Hosted by Babcock Rail)

24-25th July 09.00 - 17.00 Long Marston, Stratford on Avon Register for your free ticket on the website. Issue 104 - tre June 2013.indd 57

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Plant and Equipment


The Plant and Equipment market is constantly changing. New kit is being introduced to be more efficient, more versatile, or even more specialist, than that which it replaces. New controls and safety procedures are also being introduced. With another runaway having occurred recently, this one a MEWP that made off downhill through a tunnel and ended up in a station platform, we can expect more tightening of those in the future.

With the sheer variety of equipment, from large items of plant with interchangeable accessories to simple hand-held tools, and everything in between, it can be difficult to keep on top of it all. Network Rail is continuously being requested to approve new machines and tools. Some of the latest are shown in ‘Latest Technology’ elsewhere in this issue of The Rail Engineer.

More new equipment is included in this section which looks at the latest or most popular offerings from various suppliers as well as the services which they provide. A number of these entries will also be appearing at the recently announced National Track Plant Exhibition, being held by Network Rail at Long Marston, near Stratford-upon-Avon, on 24 and 25 July. Make sure that you are there!

» Allan J Hargreaves Engineers

Solutions designed and installed Allan J Hargreaves Plant Engineers will be celebrating its 30th year of business this year. Operating from a modern industrial unit in Lancashire with recently expanded workshop facilities and a team of 21 employees, extensive in-house facilities allow the company to carry out dynamic stability testing, brake testing, accident investigation work, insurance assessments, machining and fabrication. Specialising in designing and supply of bespoke engineering solutions to meet the demands of an ever changing rail industry, Allan J Hargreaves recently completed a major project for Network Rail, having designed and installed a direct rail wheel braking system for over 300 RRVs. This is just one example of 3D system design tailored to specific customers’ requirements that can be carried through to manufacture and installation covering FEA and FMEA to find solutions that meet offer a system that meets the latest remit MLD-

complete overhaul which could include re-spray,

003. It has also been upgrading RRVs to meet the

VAB approval, RCI calibration, new / re-profile rail

to develop a cost effective solution to working

latest requirements of RIS-1530-PLTiss4, with

wheels and maintenance plans.

Adjacent Line Open to traffic and is now able to

various levels of service from RCI upgrades to

specification and budget. AJH Plant has been working with Network Rail

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the t a us ck See nal Tra n tio io Nat Exhibi 013 y2 nt Pla 25th Jul h24t

innovation on the move


Low Theft Risk No Maintenance Increased Safety


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Unit 4, Tring Industrial Estate Upper Icknield Way Tring, Herts. HP23 4JX Tel: 01442 828387 email: Supplier No:24180

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the rail engineer • June 2013

» Dual Inventive

No longer a stranger to the British market Dual Inventive is no longer a stranger to the British market, thanks to the ZKL 3000. In addition to Network Rail, many others have come to know the company which is currently doing business with Babcock Rail, Amey Colas, Tes 2000 and Rail Safety Solutions. Dual Inventive´s ZKL 3000 is a Track Circuit Operating Device. It can be installed in just a few seconds and the railway worker doesn’t need to get into a kneeling position. The ZKL 3000 is installed whilst the worker stands upright, pushing the ZKL 3000 into the track with his foot. A green LED light will begin to flash, indicating the short circuit has been created. MTinfo 3000 is a web based management information system that synchronises data from the ZKL 3000 series to a server. The data on the server is arranged and can be retrieved by authorised users via a web interface using a PDA, mobile phone or computer. MTinfo 3000 provides authorised users

access to the available data on the server, such as real-time status of ZKL 3000 on Google Maps, status of the power supply and a report per product.

» GKD Technik

Specialists in Rated Capacity Indication GKD Technik leads the way in load control with the 3RCI system, the world’s most popular retrofit rated capacity indicator for road rail applications. Road rail vehicles fitted with the 3RCI load control system outperform conventional machines with sector based slew. Road rail vehicles (RRVs) are enabled to work to their maximum capacity with the number one electronic safety system for the rail market which features full motion cut-off of all booms plus slew on overload, full data logging of all functions and a telemetry unit which includes GPS, GRPS and WiFi modules and allows local communication between machines and controllers. With pressures on maintenance and renewals operations to complete works in shorter timescales or without line closure, the SpaceGuard advanced rated capacity indicator provides the solution. SpaceGuard increases productivity by enabling the machine to be able to operate at all times even under live overhead wires (OLE) or next to open traffic lines

SpaceGuard provides extra benefits for road-rail

working without full line closure resulting in reduced

(ALO). It is currently the only electronic safety system

applications, including full software control over the

costs for the rail operator and maximum utilisation

in use on the rail complying with UK requirements

limits. It is approved for use under live overhead

for the owner.

for live overhead wires and open traffic lines.

wires and next to live rails and allows overnight

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Rail Team of the year 2012

Civil Engineering Projects & Nationwide Plant Hire Stobart Rail owns and operates an extensive fleet of specialised plant that is available for hire with or without operators on a nationwide basis including road-rail equipment to match the special requirements of operations on, or near the permanent way. The Company has an extensive range of earth moving, excavation and earth removal vehicles, enabling Stobart Rail to tackle the most demanding of tasks - this significant investment is continually being added to and upgraded and is predominantly used on

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Stobart Rails own contracted works. Stobart Rail’s substantial fleet of road-rail vehicles provides a comprehensive series of machine-to-trailer combinations, and also accommodates a host of highly specialised attachments; ranging from tamping and cabling equipment to ground investigation and soil nailing rigs. To enquire about hiring our plant for use on your next project (can include POL) or for our most recent plant register contact:

Andrew Sumner Rail Contracts Manager t. 01228 882 300 e. Gary Newton Estimating Manager t. 01228 882 300 e. Dave Richardson Plant Manager t. 01228 882 300 e. 29/05/2013 14:18


the rail engineer • June 2013

» Hall Fuels

Onsite fuel solutions provider Hall Fuels is the only fuel distributor in the UK that works solely with commercial customers and has a particular focus as a fuel supply partner for infrastructure and maintenance projects. It is accredited with Achilles Link-up and has also achieved the TFL FORS Gold accreditation for work in London, which has included working closely with and supplying the Crossrail project. All drivers at Hall Fuels are Crossrail trained and the company has worked closely with the project to help develop the delivery vehicle safety equipment list. Hall Fuels provides comprehensive method statements and has extensive experience in delivering fuel to rail depots and locomotives. Deliveries can be made in load sizes from 500 to 36,000 litres and can utilise vehicles that are able to work with restricted access. Hall Fuels will work with suppliers to provide time specific deliveries to keep a project on time and is happy to provide training for the safe delivery of fuel to rail operatives in live


» Harsco Infrastructure

Scaffolding and access solutions Harsco Infrastructure’s range of support, scaffolding and access solutions is perfectly demonstrated by a project to create a new underground rail tunnel in the Netherlands. Due for completion in 2015, the new 2.3 km long, 4-track rail tunnel will replace an existing double track viaduct in the city of Delft. Harsco is supplying and installing a variety of support structures for the creation of concrete slabs which are now being used to construct the tunnel using the ‘wall-roof method’. This process sees the tunnel walls and ceiling slabs constructed at an early stage, after which the earth between the walls is removed to create the tunnel itself. Harsco is also providing scaffolding towers and stairs which allow access to different parts of the site, as well as 92,000m³ of GASS shoring and 19,200m² of formwork lining for the project. A full system of guard railings on the working deck are also being used to ensure maximum safety.

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  """ "!""!! ""! """!


+$.2 0',











112$,,21-/0,20-120/ &&&!*0-(%$.*/.1-/!)+#.0',

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+.2+"1.2210.*2&1"1211-2&+.'-2&'/%21)0"0/+. 0//0)%#1-/*20-(2+ 1.0/12/%12*2,0.1*/2(1(')0/1( 0//0)%#1-/2.1-/0,2,11/! 0,,2/%12(1 1-(0,12.1-/0,2*1."')122 12$.12+21/2+$.2+.2 +-1 Direct to Your Site From Your Area Depot Scotland / Fife • North East / Newcastle • North West / Manchester Central / Birmingham • South West / Bristol • London / S.East

'.12+)0,,220,,'-2 5425423666 &&&!*0-(%$.*/.1-/!)+#2 #0', '-+ *0-(%$.*/.1-/!)+# Issue 104 - tre June 2013.indd 63

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Âť Hilti

Improved track circuit installation Hilti has been supporting Network Rail for over a year in providing an alternative solution for the installation of Track Circuit connections. The Hilti X-BT is now industry approved and offers benefits including speed of installation, the use of lightweight small hand held tools and no requirement for an external power source (generator) or fuel. Hilti has three different type of jigs for the main rail profiles, which will be on show at the National Track Plant Exhibition. Make a point of visiting the Hilti stand and seeing this innovative system in operation.

Âť Kwik-Step

Modular Refuge Kwik-Step is well known for its range of versatile and modular staircases, often used for access to sites in cuttings and on embankments. Now it can help protect workers in other applications too. Increasing demands on the rail infrastructure from enhanced passenger and freight usage challenge inspection and maintenance opportunities. Degraded embankments, areas of red-zone working, prohibitions and unsafe cess walkways all present risks to the infrastructure maintenance teams. The Kwik-Step Modular Refuge can reduce these risks by providing positions of safety, look-out posts and cess walkways. Constructed in lightweight GRP composites with adjustable legs to accommodate most ground conditions and high visibility GRP handrails, the Modular Refuge also features a lift-up ramp with the decking available in Flowforge galvanized steel or GRP. Supplied with pre-assembled base frames, the Modular Refuge is designed to be installed quickly and safely at the trackside, assembly only requiring basic hand tools and

The Kwik-Step Modular Refuge and stairways continue

minimal site preparation. Once installed the Kwik-Step

to provide safe and simple access solutions to the railway

Modular Refuge is ready for immediate use.


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4 " ' &  t  3 & - * " # - &  t  7 & 3 4 " 5 * - &  t  ' - & 9 * # - &


THE BASE VEHICLE SRS wiring ‘trains’ are based on a single 26 tonne SRS road rail wiring unit. It carries two hydraulically operated cable drum carriers and is fitted with wire manipulating rollers both fore and aft. The drum carriers are designed to dispense wire at up to 75% full tension. They can push wire out and reel it in. The manipulating rollers move both laterally and vertically, and horizontal rollers within the roller assembly allow two wires to be dispensed simultaneously, one above the other. This versatile vehicle may be used for many different wiring tasks. Typical is its incorporation in an SRS ‘train’ for putting up catenary and contact wires together. Using four vehicles, the SRS wiring train eliminates the need for temporary rollers and slings. The vehicles are: One 26 tonne SRS wiring unit Two 17 ton SRS mobile elevated platforms (MEWPs) One 17 ton SRS scissors platform They proceed, at half span intervals, as follows: 1. The base vehicle carrying two cable drums, one with catenary and one with contact wire. This moves along the track dispensing both catenary and contact wires simultaneously, the catenary above the contact wire. 2. The first MEWP with the catenary wire running in a purpose made grooved roller which is fixed to the MEWP basket. It can be positioned precisely by moving the basket so that the linesman can clip it directly into the catenary clamp on the contact registration arm. 3. The second MEWP follows. This time the contact wire is running through a purpose made grooved pulley fixed to the MEWP basket. Again it is positioned by moving the basket and, if the span is long, fixed to the catenary by a temporary wire. 4. Finally, the scissors platform follows closely, carrying droppers to be clipped to both catenary and contact wires

Using this SRS procedure: Kinks and wire deformation are virtually eliminated because wires are run at 75% full tension. Also wire run at 75% full tension is unlikely to roll over. Thus the task of chasing and flushing out twists is removed. A single run through to check the groove is usually sufficient. Sag between rollers and temporary tie wires is minimised by running near to full tension reducing the risk of kinks and protecting the wire from the damage or contamination which may occur if it touches the ground. Flaking is made easy by the variable resistance of the hydraulic drum, particularly at the start of a new run. Correct positioning is ensured by hydraulically controlled guide rollers which may be manipulated both vertically and horizontally so that wire may be run out as close to the required route as possible Pulling or towing wire out is eliminated because the drum can ‘pump’ wire out. Safety is ensured by guide rollers which completely encompass the wire so that it cannot jump free, important for the safety of following linesmen. It is possible to dispense wire at 5 kph. Speed is usually limited by the rate at which linesmen can work.

This is just one of many wiring tasks which SRS vehicles can perform with their highly trained and motivated operators. Tell us the task. We will provide the tools and the people.



To hire or buy road rail at its best call: +44 (0) 870 050 9242, email, or visit our website

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the rail engineer • June 2013

» LB Foster Rail Technologies

Rail friction management LB Foster Rail Technologies is a specialist manufacturer, designer and supplier of rail lubrication dispensing equipment and top rail friction management control products. Its systems minimise costs and improve performance by reducing, increasing or controlling friction at the wheel/rail interface. The available range of trackside lubrication systems includes the compact PROTECTOR IV ® electric lubricator featuring an efficient design that allows for easy installation whilst offering the benefits of a capacious grease reservoir. Solutions to deliver lubrication to the gauge face include dual or single capacity tanks, a modular design for ease of installation, ‘in-street’ or ‘in-ground’ options for urban environments, and wall mounted solutions for use in restricted spaces such as tunnels. Also on offer is a range of hydraulic and mechanical lubricators to suit site-specific conditions. All units can be provided with anti-theft fittings, solar DC

with a variety of distribution bars. Each solution

wear-resistant distribution blades. All distribution

power or AC mains power options and Remote

provides outstandingly even flow as they share a

bars are designed to fit a wide range of rail sizes and

Performance Monitoring (RPM). LB Foster’s friction

patented, field-proven design featuring balanced

are also easily mounted to both new and worn rails.

management equipment can be configured for use

port layout, streamlined Teflon® coated channels and

» Lesmac

Lightweight foam access system Lesmac’s lightweight foam access system allows operators on site to construct a road rail access point (RRAP), simply and easily. The crossing or access point is made from twometre long foam sections, each of which weighs under 25kg so they can easily be hand-carried into position. Only simple site preparation is required and the completed crossing is approved for use by vehicles of up to 15 tons per axle (Network Rail Approval Number PA05/03446). Once the job is complete, simply lift the sections and put them back in the van.

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the rail engineer • June 2013


» Nixon Hire

Welfare vans and accommodation Nixon Hire provides the latest in plant, tool and accommodation hire equipment to a wide range of industries. It currently supplies products to the rail industry with many items including welfare vans and site accommodation. Having invested over £25 million into the hire fleet since 2011, Nixon Hire’s modern machines from leading brands such as Volvo, JCB, Bomag and Thwaites, are equipped with advanced technology and the latest health and safety features. All items also benefit from a regular servicing and maintenance programme which reduces onsite breakdowns and ensures that operations run smoothly and to schedule. Nixon Hire customers can also access the unique service offering from Nixon eXtra - the one stop hire solution. Nixon eXtra can provide one point of contact for all site hire requirements. Nixon Hire can source equipment, co-ordinate deliveries, and provide full support throughout the length of your

competitive prices and excellent service - Nixon Hire


understands how important it is to have a trusted

Operating 14 depots across the UK, Nixon Hire


can support customers on a nationwide basis with

Plant tyre repair services proven on rail projects nationwide Fast

• Rapid 24/7 response from experienced, fully-insured fitters • All specialist roadrailer and Gigarailer tyres ready in stock


• Agreed service level and fixed prices • Photographic evidence of tyre damage to eliminate third-party disputes


• Electronic job sheet delivered direct to your in-box • Paperless E-billing through Coins/Tradex hubs to Basda, Sap, Movex etc.

Can you afford to trust anyone else?

Plant Tyre Repair Services Rail Division

National Contact Centre: 01530 244441

Issue 104 - tre June 2013.indd 67

Visit us online:

29/05/2013 14:18


the rail engineer • June 2013

» Peli Products (UK)

Brighter Lighting Weighing only 3.81kg, Peli’s 9420 work light is ideal for trackside maintenance, particularly in remote areas. Offering instant, silent illumination the 9420 is compact and portable, folding down to just 74cm long. The mast extends above 1.5 metres, allowing a wide area of illumination. The upgraded Peli 9430 area light now puts out a powerful 3000 lumens while the 9460 and 9470 units are also 50% brighter with longer battery burn time, up to 40 hours. They feature an “intelligent control” panel which adjusts the light output according to length of light duration required, providing a real-time display and ensuring no-one gets left in the dark. Peli area lights offer powerful, rechargeable, LED lighting - a safe, economic and convenient alternative to generator powered units. With silent operation and no trailing cables to create a trip hazard, no fumes are emitted and no liquid fuel is required, improving safety and adding to the

environmental benefits of this range.

» Rexquote

Useful all-rounder, even under bridges Rexquote’s latest machine, the Dieci Pegasus 45.19, represents a useful all around lifting machine. The attachment range available covers pallet forks, crane jibs, hydraulic winch and two access options comprising an extendable three-man basket as well as a positive/negative jib arrangement with two man basket for carrying out under bridge inspections. All these features are available even before it is on the rails. The machine features built-in hydraulic extending stabilisers allowing the full capacity of the machine to be used in the most challenging of environments. Once rail mounted the machine can be used to manoeuvre materials around the worksite, it can be used as a crane with the stabilisers deployed, and can be used to load and tow rail trailers. The extending access basket can carry 3 men with a capacity of 600kg with 360 degree duty. An automatic control system limits the position of the basket when travelling but even this envelope allows

The additional option of a positive/negative jib

positioning of the basket to access overhead lines in

extension is probably the most interesting feature

a convenient position to travel along the length while

of this machine. The configuration allows a two man

inspecting or installing equipment.

basket to be deployed, when the machine is fully

Issue 104 - tre June 2013.indd 68

stabilised, to carry out under bridge tasks.

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the rail engineer • June 2013


» Robel

Hand-operated vertical tamper Robel’s new 62.05 hand tamper is available with either a petrol or an electric motor. It is tube-shaped with a motor seated on top and a handle running around the outside. Shock absorbing, rubber-metal elements are fitted at its head-end between the vertical tube and the drive unit. All moving parts such as the drive shaft and eccentric are hidden, as is the vibration decoupling. As a result, these parts are not exposed to potential damage or weather effects, and the user, too, is not at risk from rotating, vibrating parts. A special gear box transfers the rotary motion of the motor to the eccentric shaft. This carries an unbalanced mass at its bottom end, right on the tamping spade. Consequently, the high frequency circular motion of the spade is produced right where it is needed to do the work. This causes the ballast layer to flow so well that, as a result of compacting the ballast under the sleeper, a small cone-shaped depression is formed at the surface of the ballast.

with conventional power tampers, is coupled with

The tamping action is both effective and also

low hand-arm vibration, based on patents for the

doesn’t damage ballast or sleepers. This faster

vibration decoupling.

and more efficient mode of operation, compared

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the rail engineer • June 2013

» Sandhurst Rail

Low-profile 5-Tine grapple Sandhurst Rail, the specialist excavator attachment rental company, has introduced the compact PTF32(LH). This is a 360º rotation low profile grapple with five contoured tines allowing a machine operator to pick up sleepers, posts and poles directly from any type of surface. The specially shaped tines are designed with a profile to enable items to be picked up from track ballast and other ground with minimum, if any, surface disturbance. The PTF32(LH) weighing only 460kgs is suitable for excavators weighing 7.5 to 16 tonnes and features a 15º fixed angle baseplate providing the operator with valuable additional articulation, particularly beneficial when working in low headroom conditions. In its compact configuration, this attachment stands alone as the perfect tool for working under bridges, in tunnels, on embankments, where space and headroom is restricted. It is configured with five

the attachment height with jaws open / closed is

rental service and offers a comprehensive range to

tines (two over three) and will pick up items such

1120mm (approx 45”) / 1000mm (approx 40”). Width

maximise excavator productivity.

as sleepers to a minimum section of 125mm (5”).

is 600mm (approx 24”).

Maximum jaw opening is 1820mm (approx 73”) and

Sandhurst Rail operates a nationwide attachment

» Schweizer Electronic

Mobile track warning systems Schweizer Electronic is the leader in automated Track Warning Systems and Level Crossings serving rail infrastructure companies across the world. As well as its headquarters in Switzerland, the Group also has offices in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, Italy and Austria. All operating processes are governed and certified in accordance with ISO 9001 and CENELEC EN 50 126. Approved for use by Network Rail, Schweizer Electronic’s products include Automatic Track Warning Systems (ATWS), Lookout Operated Warning Systems (LOWS) and Signal Controlled Warning Systems (SCWS) which are designed to provide safe access to running rail, facilitating productive rail maintenance and construction techniques. This year, Schweizer Electronic launches Minimel Lynx, an innovative Mobile Track Warning System capable of running manually or automatically

radio reception through its use of high gain aerials

using treadles to provide higher levels of safety

and radio repeaters.

and productivity. Ideal for patrolling and short worksites, this cableless system has improved

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the rail engineer • June 2013


» Senator Security

Improve safety and sleep better! Senator Security is in the peace-of-mind business. It takes away the worries that can keep a site manager awake at night. When people think of rail security, the wellpublicised issue of cable theft is often at the forefront of their minds. However, theft of plant and tools, vandalism and trespass on or near the project site, depot, compound or yard also have a major impact on safety, effective operation and cost. Plant, power tools, ‘hand carry’ machinery and hand tools are a very real temptation for the petty, opportunistic and organised criminal alike. Then there are the many physical and mental threats to maintenance crews and rail engineers, from rock-throwing youths to drug dealers and suicide attempts. Senator Security is qualified, accredited, experienced and equipped to address these challenges and provide a cost effective, professional security deterrent and protection service on the rail, within the fence line or in close support of railway

IWA and COSS qualified teams. To operate any form of security needs a Security

operations. Senator provides a manned guarding

Industry Association (SIA) licence by law - don’t

security service with SIA licensed personnel plus PTS,

take the risk, an Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS)


security company is a vital and integrated part of any project and project team.

Principal Contractors Licence & Plant Operators Licence

Delivering your projects safely, on budget and on time.

TRAC is a specialist engineering contractor delivering engineering solutions from minor works through to complete turn-key engineering solutions to the rail sector. Holding both Network Rail Principal Contractor and Plant Operator in Possession Licences,TRAC have the management capability and operating systems to effectively control and deliver projects safely, on time and to budget.

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+44 (0)1698 831111

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Âť Specialised Tools & Equipment

New products and innovation Specialised Tools & Equipment Ltd (STEL) supplies tools, plant and consumables into the track maintenance and installation industry. The company distributes products for many leading brands such as Pandrol, Husqvarna, Klingspor and Bosch as well as supplying many products in its own name. Work is ongoing on new designs for several rail products following the successful application for approval for both trolleys and ironman with London Underground. These same products are now at an advanced stage of approval with Network Rail. Innovation is the way forward, and STEL has recently designed and developed a new lightweight Battery Rail Drill that is currently undergoing trials. A prototype Emergency Rail Clamp is also under development that is significantly different to any other designs in the market place. The list of new projects is extensive and will see STEL add to its range of own-branded products on an on-going basis.


Universal Services Ltd, Princess Royal Buildings Whitecroft Road Bream, Lydney GL15 6LY UNITED KINGDOM Tel +441594 560555 Fax: +441594560556

We at Universal Services Ltd are proud to present the RF System SE, part of the Kinshofer group, Lid Lifter attachment. The unit works on the end of a road rail excavator lifting concrete troughing lids and re-laying them behind as the cables are inserted. The Lid Lifter saves huge amounts of time and more importantly manual handling as the need to lift concrete lids is removed. The Lid Lifter is currently midway through its product acceptance with Network Rail and will be trialled shortly with the help of the wonderful people at L&W Contracting. This will be displayed at the plant demonstration being held at Long Marston in July so if you see us there please come and have a look. We will also have representatives from Kinshofer present who can answer any questions you may have and provide you with product information on this and all of their other products.

We always have a wide range of equipment available, see our website for latest listings

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the rail engineer • June 2013


» TRAC Rail

Innovative solutions and efficient delivery As one of the fastest growing and leading providers of specialist plant to the rail industry, TRAC Rail has a reputation for quality, investment, reliability and customer satisfaction. Creating innovative solutions to clients’ problems is what TRAC does best, using some of the most specialist plant around. Services are customer focused and TRAC’s staff is dedicated to delivering safe and efficient projects to its clients. In recent months, not only has TRAC made the addition of a few new items of plant to its fleet including ELANs, Rail Mover, Renault Lorry and Terex Excavator with its new drill rig, but it has also added a few new members to the TRAC Rail team. This is an exciting time for the company as it increases its profile throughout the UK, in particular its growing presence within the overhead line and electrification markets.

Power in your hands

At Morris Site Machinery our mission is to bring the world’s best onsite power brands to your business. Our Denyo and ArcGen ultra and super silent diesel generator ranges are the quietest on the market, available from 6kVA to 350kVA, whilst our ArcGen super silent petrol and diesel driven welder generators range from 165amps to 500amps, with unrivalled welding characteris�cs and reliability. Famously robust, offering the highest quality and always reliable, our top-class machines are only matched by our unparalleled service. Call: 0845 409 0277 Email:

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the rail engineer • June 2013


Improved track warning systems ZÖLLNER supplies Autoprowa® Track Warning Systems to the United Kingdom, Germany and many other countries. ZÖLLNER UK Ltd., Leeds provides local service and training to UK customers. The system’s modular concept offers solutions for all work sites, including long and short duration sites, static and mobile worksites. Autoprowa can be used as ATWS, Semi-Automatic TWS, LOWS or even Signal Controlled Warning System (SCWS). The Autoprowa effect automatically adjusts the warning signal level to the ambient noise to generate a safe warning signal and avoid unnecessary high sound levels. ZÖLLNER radio modules replace cables between units to reduce installation time. The radio based Autoprowa ZPW can be activated by treadles or by lookout using a ZFH handswitch (LOWS). Due to its lightweight design, it can also be used in a harness for patrolling or surveys.

The reliability and safety of the Autoprowa system have allowed ZÖLLNER to become the TWS market leader.


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Network Rail Infrastructure Projects’ second track engineers conference


was held at the Earls Court conference centre recently... It was attended by a broad spectrum of track engineers from the Network Rail renewals and maintenance communities, track renewal suppliers, consultancies and component and equipment suppliers. The scheduling of the event enabled delegates to attend Railtex 2013 on the same day, with the exhibition hall a short 5 minute walk from the auditorium. Conference themes included the promotion of Safer – Better – Faster - Smarter working and continuous professional development. It also provided an opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing.

Change and reliability In his opening remarks, Steve Featherstone, Network Rail programme director - track, covered diverse subjects including the effect of planning changes, plant reliability and the training of next generation designers.

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Timely availability of information will significantly reduce the volume of changes made during the planning stages of a renewal project. Each change made (for example, changing train plans, plant allocation, or labour resource requirements etc) has an associated cost or can import a safety or performance risk to the works. The volume of planning changes will be monitored to establish the scale of the problem. A railway plant reliability working group steering group, chaired by Steve, will oversee initiatives designed to improve levels of reliability currently available to the industry, and will include small plant, through to road / rail vehicles, on-track machines, and high output equipment.

Star Track and projects Network Rail has joined industry partners including Amey, Atkins, Arup, Babcock, Colas, Hyder, Jacobs,

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Mark Prescott provided an update on Adjacent Line Open working. Work is underway on a quantitative risk assessment for RRVs working in rail mode, from which the rake of Adjacent Line Open working options may be revised.

The chairman’s view The keynote speech was delivered by Network Rail chairman Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE. Safety remains the company’s primary objective, alongside delivering Network Rail’s customers with a well performing and cost efficient transport system. Richard acknowledged the problem of loss of corporate memory and that efforts were being made to capture tacit information held by its employees for the future benefit of the company through its corporate systems. Lastly, he promoted the adoption of techniques and technologies which had been successfully utilised in other industries.

Suppliers in the dark

Balfour Beatty, Tata, Tubelines (TfL) and URS, to develop the “Star Track” programme - intended to create the track design engineers of the future. Enrolment of the first candidates is expected in September this year, and the programme will combine practical learning with placements at Sheffield Hallam University. Trainees will study a Foundation Degree in Railway Engineering, as well as obtaining practical experience with installation and maintenance teams. Sean Murray and Ben Venables, representing the Reading Remodelling project, updated the conference on the significant progress made to date, including the recent Easter commissioning works. They outlined some of the logistical problems encountered, and described a few of the prominent details of the scheme including the construction of the new passenger transfer deck, platforms and viaduct.

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David Benton and Daniel Pyke from Tata Steel presented their High Performance hypereutectoid HP rail, which had been developed to contribute to the control of rolling contact fatigue and to reduce rail wear. Successful trials held in the UK had paved the way to its approval for use in Network Rail infrastructure, and although being a premium grade steel, the whole life cost benefits for specifying the rail where RCF, sidewear and rail head corrugation was endemic were compelling. Tata also presented their Railcote zinc coating protection system for rail, an alternative to epoxy / polyester barrier coatings, and one option which is less susceptible to handling damage. It was at this point that the venue and surrounding area suffered a total power cut, and while this could have put paid to some of the presentations, in true Dunkirk spirit, the presenters made best use of the situation, and carried on without electronic amplification or visual equipment. The other suppliers who made presentations included Topcon GB Ltd, Fiberweb Geosynthetics Ltd, L.B Foster Rail Technologies (UK) Ltd, Rotabroach, Willamette Valley Company, and Aspin Group. Fulfilling one of the aforementioned conference themes of continuous professional development, David Packer, CEO of the Permanent Way Institution, gave an introduction to the institution with benefits available to members, and an update on progress being made to attract young engineers into the institution, and discussions with the engineering council with regards to professional qualifications. Despite the premature plunge into darkness, the conference was well received by Network Rail personnel and suppliers alike who also appreciated the proximity to Railtex. This enabled them to visit two events on the same day and maximise the opportunity to learn more about both their own business and the industry at large.

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Recurring themes for the present day railway include ensuring that trains arrive on time with efficient energy usage, hence helping rail to reduce its carbon emissions in line with national and European targets, and obtaining more capacity from the network without the expensive purchase of new trains or infrastructure projects. Driver Advisory Systems (DAS), which are beginning to appear in the UK, can be an important element in helping both these challenges. It is not a complete solution, nor will it ever be, and care must be taken not to make false claims for the system. Understanding what DAS will not do is as important as knowing the benefits that can be gained. The Rail Engineer spoke with Mark Parsons, the energy efficiency engineer at FirstGroup and technical head of a small team dedicated to implementing TTG’s Energymiser DAS equipment across the FirstGroup franchises and operations.

So what is DAS? A Driver Advisory System is a real time dynamic system that can adjust to railway perturbations and is primarily designed to enable trains to achieve timetable compliance. In essence, this is achieved by driving a

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train at optimum speed to arrive at stations and junctions right on time. This will invariably mean running at less than line speed by recognising recovery time allowances. To do this, the driver is given an advisory speed in a cab display which takes account of the actual speed of the train and the distance to go until the next key timing point. To maximise the effectiveness of this ability, DAS is programmed with the traction characteristics, the track geometry and the timetable. These combine to produce complex mathematical algorithms in conjunction with the train’s GPS (Global Positioning System) location such that real time advice is displayed. The advisory speed is presented only after the train has commenced its journey, at the point where the driver would be expected to have attained the ‘normal’ speed. DAS will not impact on acceleration rates as a train is at its most efficient when a constant speed has been reached, but it will potentially avoid excessive braking since, if the train arrives at the station or junction at the correct time, it will have a better chance of not being affected by other conflicting train movements.

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Queueing for a platform means braking to stop at the protecting signal with consequential acceleration once the signal clears. All of this worsens fuel consumption and passenger perception of the journey. DAS should reduce the number of occasions on which this occurs. It must be emphasised that DAS is only an advisory system; the driver is free to ignore the advice being given. It will not impact on the train braking system or its interaction with train protection systems. The principal objective with the current system is lower energy usage and thus less green house gas emissions.

Train equipment and data provision Compared to the fitting of on board signalling systems, TTG’s DAS hardware kit is relatively simple. It consists of: » An on-board processor mounted under the driver’s desk; » A driver machine interface that is a small touch screen bolted on to the driver’s desk; » A combined GPS and GSM aerial; » A power supply connected to the train primary battery that is spike and surge free. Fitting of the First Great Western (FGW) HST fleet has been carried out primarily at Landore, with the GPS/SGM aerial mounted on the train ‘nose’, and each cab can be completed in a single shift. The equipment has been very reliable in service. Other train fleets will have their challenges as to cab layout and space but no insurmountable problems are anticipated. Information for the DAS system is derived from timetable data sources starting with the national UK timetable that automatically feeds the FirstGroup servers in the UK. By this time, all daily and weekly updates to the basic timetable are incorporated including permanent and temporary speed restrictions, dated trains, changed stopping patterns and any different routings. This data is available for downloading to every DAS fitted train. The public GSM system (3G) is used for this. The train knows its location and time at the beginning of the day, these being a given. The driver, after entering the appropriate PIN, keys in the headcode (train description) of the forthcoming journey. The DAS equipment will then automatically be programmed for that

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journey. Should there be a difference in the diagrammed make up of the train, e.g. a longer train, having to run on reduced power, etc. then these changes can be fed into the system and allows automatic adjustments to the predicted operational schedule.

In operation Once the train has reached a predetermined point, typically two miles out from the start, the DAS screen will show an advisory speed to the next timing point, usually a station stop but this is functionally adjustable. To obtain optimum power efficiency, the driver will adjust the main controller to get to this speed. The DAS will constantly monitor the train’s position from the GPS location data but it is unlikely that the advisory speed will change unless anything impacts on the train’s progression. The advisory speed is always less than line speed. Should the advisory speed be exceeded, then the DAS screen will ‘grey over’. Similarly if the route is changed from that which is diagrammed, e.g. the train is routed over the slow line instead of the fast with a different line speed, then the driver turns the system off, as the advice being given becomes inappropriate. Drivers will notice the DAS screen only occasionally since their prime role is to ensure the safety of the train’s progress in line with the signalling system. If adverse signals are encountered and the train is braked, then the DAS advice will ‘grey out’ so as not to distract the driver in any way. If the train is severely delayed, then DAS will not re-calculate and the screen remains blank. If it is a minor delay, then a new advisory speed will be calculated in order to get the train back to timetable as quickly as possible while still seeking to optimise energy usage. After a station stop, the same process applies; DAS will only kick in once a normal speed has been achieved.

Proving and deployment FirstGroup were quick to realise the potential that a DAS can bring. The open access operation, Hull Trains, was the first proving ground as early as 2009. However, this is a small fleet so a more relevant trial was thought to be the Great Western HST fleet. Being high speed trains, the potential for fuel savings was significant. A trial took place between Paddington and Bristol on an out and back working in the period 2009/10. Four proprietary systems were tested and the results were encouraging. After a competitive tendering process, the firm TTG was selected using its Energymiser product. Fitting took place initially on the Hull Trains Class 180 fleet (Adelantes), so as to learn the dos and don’ts, after which the entire FGW HST fleet of 119 power cars was equipped, completion being in 2011. The route data capable of being downloaded covers almost all of the FGW franchise, the only exceptions being the remoter ‘one train working’ branch lines. Getting the drivers to understand and use the system to maximise benefit was clearly going to be a big part of the programme. The need to work closely with the drivers’ trade unions was recognised from the outset. The driving community in general has supported the system in principle. It was emphasised that the system was not there to teach drivers how to drive, merely to act as an aid to driving that could avoid many of the journey perturbations that they typically encounter. Hands on training has been given, this being conducted in the cab on real journeys. A mostly positive response has resulted and with a feedback reporting system in place to suggest improvements. The compliance level is good. The integrity of the system must be understood. There is no interface to the signalling system, the train brakes, or the train protection systems that are found on FGW routes. The driver is in charge and, although the

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the rail engineer • June 2013

DAS provides advice, it is just that. The driver will take note and respond to any restrictive signal aspects and, once the train speed has dropped significantly below the defined limits, the DAS screen will ‘grey out’ until it is back within these prescribed limits. An additional useful feature of DAS, as a business tool, is its delay attribution function. The driver uses a pre-select list to enter reasons for delay incurred en-route, thus providing a better understanding of the causes for train running irregularity.

Future plans and results With the FGW experience well established, roll out to other FirstGroup routes is a logical sequence. Hull Trains has been mentioned and the next to be equipped will be ScotRail where the 118 cabs of the Class 170 DMU fleet have already been fitted, plus a commitment to equip the forty Class 334 EMUs. This will be a new venture, being the first electric trains to be fitted. Energy savings are, of course, just as applicable to electric traction as they are to diesel and the Class 334 equipment will have power consumption metering built in as well. On FGW, there are plans to fit the five Class 180 (Adelante) units and the Class 16x Turbo fleet

will be scrutinised for a business case. This may be more of a challenge since the opportunities for energy savings are smaller. Similarly, the Class 185 DMUs operated by First TransPennine Express already have selective engine shut down to achieve fuel savings, so fitting of DAS is unlikely in the short term. The demonstrable benefits so far are encouraging: on the FGW HST fleet, around 7500 tonnes of CO2 and 2600 tonnes of NOX (Nitrous Oxide) have been saved to date. Over the period 2007 - 2013, carbon emissions (expressed as grams of CO2 per passenger kilometre) have reduced by 16% across First Group’s rail operations from DAS and other energy reduction initiatives. Certainly, the DfT and ORR seem switched on to what the system can deliver and may call for DAS to be fitted in new franchise requirements. It does not stop there. The current TTG system is known as S-DAS meaning standalone. Each DAS equipped train is only programmed for its specific journey and this limits the system capability for junction optimisation and thus capacity. Development is underway for a C-DAS (Connected), whereby trains will be made aware of the position of other trains in the immediate vicinity. Calculations can then be made as to the


optimum speed for a train to arrive at a junction point and not be in conflict with other train movements. The GPS system used has an accuracy of about 20 metres, which is insufficient to distinguish between adjacent lines or indeed fast and slow lines on a four-track railway. More accurate GPS positioning systems are becoming available and these could lead to DAS being meaningful even if a train is routed away from its programmed track. The vision is to use DAS as part of a Traffic Management System, which Network Rail and FirstGroup are jointly keen to develop and trial. Other TOCs are seeing the benefits of DAS and its deployment is likely to accelerate. Maybe the ultimate will come when the increasing intelligence of signalling systems integrates with DAS so that the minute by minute progression of all train journeys can be optimised for both fuel efficiency and infrastructure utilisation. It all makes for an interesting scenario to watch over the coming months. + 44 (0) 20 7554 8804

Proven ProvenTechnologies TechnologiesforforEnergy Energycost costreduction reduction TTGTTG Transportation Transportation Technology Technology is anisinternational an international rail rail technology technology company company specialising specialising in energy in energy optimisation, optimisation, on- ontimetime running running and and network network capacity capacity solutions solutions for rail for freight, rail freight, passenger passenger and and heavy-haul heavy-haul operations. operations. Their Their corecore business business is inis in providing providing software, software, hardware, hardware, engineering engineering services services and and consultancy consultancy supporting supporting dailydaily railway railway operations operations and and maintenance maintenance activities. activities.

managers managers to easily to easily measure measure and and monitor monitor performance performance through through timetime – with – with web-webbased based reporting reporting and and the ability the ability to drill to drill down down to individual to individual traintrain journeys, journeys, and and options options for full for command full command and and control control (CDAS) (CDAS) - easily - easily integrating integrating withwith existing existing traintrain management management and and business business intelligence intelligence systems. systems.

TheThe company’s company’s group group headquarters headquarters is inisSydney, in Sydney, Australia, Australia, withwithTheThe company company is proud is proud of itsofinnovative its innovative solutions solutions and and is fully is fully regional regional offices offices located located in Beijing, in Beijing, London London and and Derby, Derby, and and a a committed committed to the toinvestment the investment and and continued continued deployment deployment of the of the growing growing number number of partners of partners and and agents agents in countries in countries suchsuch as the as the system system to meet to meet the growing the growing global global demand demand and and convergence convergence of of USAUSA and and India. India. TheThe foundations foundations of TTG of TTG are based are based on years on years of of technologies. technologies. In addition In addition to significant to significant investment investment in continuous in continuous extensive extensive research research and and a close a close working working alliance alliance withwith the the product product development, development, TTG’s TTG’s network network is currently is currently seeing seeing University University of South of South Australia, Australia, the world the world research research leaders leaders in the in the significant significant investment investment in engineering, in engineering, operations, operations, account account fieldfield of transport of transport energy energy optimisation. optimisation. management, management, salessales and and marketing marketing resources resources to meet to meet the growing the growing demand demand for energy for energy optimisation optimisation technologies technologies suchsuch as as OurOur clients clients are railway are railway owners, owners, operators operators and and suppliers suppliers in the in the Energymiser®. Energymiser®. public public and and private private sectors, sectors, operating operating in the inUK, the UK, broader broader Europe, Europe, Australia Australia and and NewNew Zealand, Zealand, China, China, Africa, Africa, IndiaIndia and and the USA. the USA. TheThe company company has also has also developed developed a field a field technical technical support support and and turnkey turnkey capability capability including including supply, supply, design, design, installation installation and and life life OneOne of the ofstars the stars of the ofTTG the TTG technology technology portfolio portfolio is theis the timetime technical technical support support to ensure to ensure the product the product is deployed is deployed in the in the Energymiser® Energymiser® Driver Driver Advisory Advisory System System (DAS), (DAS), which which is theisUK’s the UK’smostmost cost-effective cost-effective manner manner and and in conjunction in conjunction withwith our client’s our client’s leading leading retrofit retrofit solution solution and and is now is now deployed deployed on five on continents five continents operational operational needs. needs. WithWith global global energy energy costscosts spiralling, spiralling, increasing increasing for freight for freight and and passenger passenger fleets, fleets, in both in both electric electric and and diesel diesel pressure pressure to meet to meet climate climate change change strategy strategy targets, targets, improve improve on- onoperations. operations. It enables It enables reduced reduced energy energy consumption, consumption, emissions emissions timetime running, running, and and improve improve utilisation utilisation of rail of capacity, rail capacity, traintrain and and maintenance maintenance costs, costs, whilewhile improving improving on-time on-time running running and and operators operators turnturn to proven to proven technologies technologies to ensure to ensure theythey meetmeet the the utilisation utilisation of existing of existing rail network rail network capacity. capacity. challenges challenges and and quickly quickly achieve achieve a positive a positive return return on investment, on investment, embracing embracing technologies technologies designed designed specifically specifically for this for this purpose. purpose. Energymiser® Energymiser® is unique is unique in itsinability its ability to automatically to automatically and and precisely precisely adapt adapt to actual to actual conditions conditions throughout throughout eacheach traintrain In conclusion, In conclusion, Energymiser® Energymiser® is a win-win is a win-win solution solution for global for global traintrain journey journey - supporting - supporting drivers drivers withwith accurate accurate advice, advice, enabling enabling operators. operators.

Issue 104 - tre June 2013.indd 79

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London’s Southbank University was the venue for a fascinating seminar on Practical Surveying and Gauging, organised by the London Section of the Permanent Way Institution. The panel of speakers were all experts in their own fields so it promised to be an excellent event. The session was chaired by the Institution President, Steve Whitmore, and the keynote address was given by Network Rail’s senior survey engineer Chris Preston. Chris developed the theme that he had first raised in the January issue of The Rail Engineer (issue 99) and challenged his audience with the title of his address, “So you like taking risks?” The essential message of this was the seriousness of the risks that are implicit in conducting infrastructure projects without the right surveying. Good surveying need only take up two or three percent of a project’s budget, but the costs incurred by proceeding without the right information can far exceed this. Chris referred to Network Rail’s published standards for surveying, and briefly described how projects should work from these to ensure that they delivered surveys and survey data that were compliant. Finally he described some of the innovative survey systems the company is now using. These included vehicle-mounted and helicoptermounted LiDAR systems used for such purposes as assessing level crossings for vehicle grounding risk and looking for trees that are at risk of falling onto the line from adjoining land. He also outlined a system called RILA, a combination of laser scanner and GNSS receiver which can be mounted in minutes on the rear of a service train to survey track geometry.

Thameslink techniques Another Network Rail speaker, Barry Gleeson, survey systems engineer for Thameslink, described how that

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project is delivering the good practice that Chris had previously outlined in its Key Output 2 (KO2) phase. In his talk on “Survey for Track Alignment”, Barry spoke of the lessons learned from the mistakes of earlier phases of the project. He described the challenges of surveying and mapping infrastructure on a curved planet, the methods used to manage this within the tight tolerances required for railway track works and the management processes and procedures being applied by the project team collaboratively in order to deliver what is required. Attwell Mlilo, Balfour Beatty Rail’s survey manager for Thameslink KO2, went into some detail in discussing “Setting Out”. He gave a description of this process, described its purpose, and covered the standards and principles, good practices, methods and equipment that are involved. He described how setting out for track renewal today is undertaken using 3D modelling and laser control of machines in 3D, with 2D modelling available as a means of checking this process. Done well, setting out reduces installation costs, improves margins and cuts down the follow-up requirements whilst resulting in better quality track and lower maintenance costs in the future.

Track surveying and gauging Peter Roberts of Costain spoke on “Track Survey and Tamping” and covered his subject in a similar fashion. He looked back at the history of tamping, described its objectives and the elements of good practice. The current state of the art was defined and the methods of recording and verifying the quality of the results were outlined. Finally Peter discussed recent and likely future innovation in the field. “The Network Rail Structure Gauging Train (SGT)” was covered by Kevin Hope, principal engineer plant

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Practical surveying and gauging and T&RS in Network Rail’s Technical Services department. He described the limitations of the old SGT inherited from BR Research that had led to the decision to introduce the current system, SGT1, in 2009. The new system, LaserFlex from SGT, uses a clever arrangement of lasers and cameras, in which a combination of tight control of laser frequency, narrow band pass filters and pixel masking on the cameras virtually eliminates interference from ambient lights such as platform lighting on stations. It is mounted on the end of a vehicle, in between vehicles in the train. The system has been so successful that its software is to be modified to allow it to gauge platforms, something that would have been unthinkable with its predecessor. A second train is to be procured too, SGT2. Together these trains will allow Network Rail to fully implement a risk based structure gauging programme where those structures with tight clearances are re-checked more frequently, particularly those on high speed and busy routes. Previously the standards required re-gauging on a fixed frequency irrespective of risk. Kevin completed his presentation with a brief review of how Network Rail records and analyses gauging data, and looked at some current and future innovations. These include the TiCleD system that actually reviews the clearances on a route by vehicle type for each type cleared to run on that route.

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Looking forward The final speaker was the well known Dr David Johnson, formerly of LaserRail and now with DGauge. David looked to the future of gauging and the probable introduction of overtly probabilistic methods of route clearance. He showed the need for such an approach by describing how Platform 12 at Liverpool Street Station is frequently used every day by Class 321 trains without incident despite the fact that current route clearance procedures show that there should be a clash of about 75mm between train and platform! David showed how this arises as a result of current methodology, which sums the worst possible combinations of the variables to examine the clearance that remains. Variables include train loading, vehicle movement (sway), track variance from design position and so on. It is intuitively obvious that in reality it is unlikely that the worst values of all of these will occur at once, and so it is in practice for the Class 321 at Liverpool Street. Fortunately, these trains were running there before anyone applied the gauging rules and they acquired “grandfather rights� before they were stopped! How can this be avoided in future? Well, David was able to suggest an answer. This was the application of probabilistic analysis that would allow the derivation of numeric probabilities to given amounts of clearance (or clash) at the

point under consideration. This would permit the application of engineering judgement in a numerate and auditable manner. Thus it might be agreed that a clash of 5mm was allowable if its probability was less than, say 0.1%, or that a clearance of only 5mm was acceptable if it was 99.99% certain to be no lower than that. David’s presentation brought the proceedings to a close. Together, the speakers had

given a fascinating insight into various aspects of surveying and gauging which kept the audience enthralled.

Next month’s issue of The Rail Engineer will include a Focus feature on Surveying in which these and other topics will be covered in more detail. Make sure you see your own personal copy by contacting today!




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We were delighted at the response from the industry to this year’s Railtex. At 8,202, the number of visitors was up 19% on the 2011 figure. If you add in exhibitors’ stand personnel, the number rises to 10,634. This is an important figure too, as we know that a lot of business is done between exhibitors as well as with show visitors. With 434 exhibitors from 17 countries, this was also the biggest Railtex since 2007. The overall success of this year’s event certainly reinforces our view that Railtex acts as a trend barometer for the industry. Confidence in the future was well reflected in enthusiastic participation by exhibitors and in some very impressive stands. It was good to see the return of so many familiar names, and also to welcome an encouraging number of companies taking part for the first time. Helping to bring new products and ideas to the market is one of the key roles of the show. We thank the Railway Industry Association for its continuing support for Railtex. We similarly thank the Rail Alliance, which organised it members’ ‘hub’ at the show. We were also very pleased to see participation by the Derby & Derbyshire Rail Forum with its own dedicated hub area, plus a group stand for suppliers from Wales coordinated by the Welsh Government, both for the first time. In keeping with our policy of providing a wide range of supporting features to ‘add value’ to a visit to Railtex, there were several innovations this year. One of these was The Yard, organised in association with the Rail Plant Association to act as a display area for vehicles and plant. This proved popular and is certainly something we aim to build on at subsequent shows. The programme of seminars organised by The Rail Engineer magazine was also very successful. The keynote speeches by Transport Minister Simon Burns MP, Network Rail Chairman Richard Parry-Jones and Crossrail CEO Andrew Wolstenholme were particularly well attended. So too was a talk on the Sub Surface Lines signalling upgrade by London Underground, and presentations by 19 of our exhibitors on everything from training to traffic management. In addition, presentations in the Project Update

Theatre gave visitors insights into major UK rail programmes, plus some foreign business opportunities. Among other new features were The Platform, a series of stimulating interactive discussions covering various topics organised by the Rail Champions business development forum, and the RSSB Research and Innovation Showcase, with a programme of presentations by key industry figures. The recruitment wall, powered by RailwayPeople. com, was another popular attraction. Recruiters and those seeking work were equally interested in the employment prospects currently available in the rail industry. In another development, Network Rail co-located one of its Track Engineering Conferences with Railtex 2013 at Earls Court on 1 May. These are held every six months to get its track engineering community together for discussions, debates and sharing of best practice. More than 250 track engineers who attended the conference also had the opportunity to visit the exhibition to meet suppliers. Another innovation was the first Railtex Awards dinner, held at the nearby Copthorne Tara Hotel. As well as fulfilling its main purpose of rewarding achievements by exhibitors at the show, this sell-out event provided an opportunity for people to get together for a social evening of entertainment and good food hosted by former cricketer and now TV personality Phil Tuffnell and sports broadcaster Garry Richardson. We have received plenty of positive feedback in response to this year’s Railtex. This confirms our own view that it was a very successful show and we thank everyone who contributed to it - exhibitors, visitors, speakers at the seminars and participants in all our supporting events, as well as all our show partners and supporting organisations. Our focus has now turned to next year’s Infrarail exhibition, which will bring us back to Earls Court from 20 to 22 May. Planning for that is well under way and stand reservations are already coming in quickly. We hope that many of you who took part in Railtex will join us there.

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the rail engineer • June 2013


AS SEEN AT RAILTEX... What caught the editor’s eye If you’ve been going to the two main UK railway exhibitions (Railtex and Infrarail) over the years, perhaps you might have noticed a recent change. Certainly it was very evident this year. The change? Well, Railtex always seemed to be drivers’ seats, upholstery, platform signs, lighting - you get the drift? This year all the old favourites were there of course, but who would have expected rail steel, road rail machinery, PLC technology or permanent way tools? So it seems that Railtex is subsuming the rail infrastructure market as well. Can Infrarail do the reverse with rolling stock? Perhaps not so easily while its name starts with ‘Infra’. One of the more exotic tools to be found in a diehard DIY mechanic’s toolbox is a bearing puller. Used, abused, adapted, they sometimes work - they often fail because either they don’t fit or they’re not up to the task in hand. In contrast, the Betex HXPM 100 tonne puller supplied by Bega Special Tools can’t fail. It is a truly impressive bit of kit that’s used to pull wheels off rail axles. Mind you, the toolbox would take a little lifting. There was a stand proudly displaying chrome plated Mills clips - who on earth makes a clip for a fastening system that had its heyday back in the 60s? It’s Henry Williams of Darlington who not only make new obsolete fittings, but also manufacture a whole range of trackside cabinets for the railways - and motorways too it turns out. Displaying a product that seems so simple yet so effective was Kwik-Step who make modular galvanised staircases for embankments or cuttings. Bent strips of steel, long steel nails. Basically, that’s it - although refinements like handrails are added as well. Last month in The Rail Engineer we featured a range of radiocontrolled vehicle shunters

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manufactured by Zweihoff. A far cry from the rumbling 08 shunter, these machines are no larger than a dining room table. And, of course, similar machines were featured at Railtex. Chunky and bright yellow, there were examples displayed by Harmill and Windhoff. Exhibitions are great places to have a close look - a really close look - at components that would normally be well out of bounds in service. Anything to do with overhead line equipment comes into this category. Even more remote are the bits and pieces on top of electrified rolling stock. So, an exhibition is the time to have an up close stare at pantographs, and Brecknell Willis had one you could touch. There’s always a slight unease though - just in case! What’s the prime task of a permanent way engineer? Keeping a train on the rails is probably high up on the list. So it was a little un-nerving to see a bogie sat in the ballast. The Hitachi exhibit was impressive, shiny, technically perfect - but it wasn’t sitting on rails, it nestled cosily up to its flanges in stone. Odd. One of the treats of Railtex is seeing beautiful examples of heavy machining. They’re complete fantasy of course as in real life they’ll be well out of sight and probably a good deal grubbier. But as pieces of exquisite engineering sculpture I would mention DePe Gear with their display of assorted cogs, Lucchini wheel set and axles, Associated Rewinds with their polished traction innards, ZF with sectioned transmission systems and Sauter Bachmann AG with some huge precision gears. And finally, there were the folks striding round the hall in brightly coloured tee shirts emblazoned with their company details. But I can’t report who they were representing as everything was in a large square bar code and I’m not fluent in barcodese.

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Bahamas Holiday in the


Ones and noughts are now omnipresent, forming a thick digital cloud in the ether. Binary streams surge down optical fibres, pouring into data mines where prospectors pan for gold. Intelligence gathering brings rich pickings, 24/7. On-board your Pendolino, components submit to black-box interrogation: probing, collating, reporting. Tolerances measured, exceedances flagged. Analysts ‘predict to prevent’ in real time. Total logistics mobilise the night shift. Depots await their wanderers’ return with tooled-up technicians. Start again tomorrow, factory reset; a clinical, seamless merry-go-round. Meanwhile, in a cramped shed near Keighley…

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the rail engineer • June 2013



The world is very different in 2013. Today’s railway is tighter, sharper, cleaner, faster; more scrutiny drives more efficiency. And yet an apparent anachronism survives alongside it, evoking memories of that distant age when kids waved at passing trains rather than bearing their backsides at them. The heritage movement provides a portal through which we can time-travel back to the Fifties to enjoy - or should that be endure - jointed track and steamy windows again. Mmmm. But be honest, who can resist the evocative glory of a living locomotive? Its formula is so elemental: water + fire = power. OK, enough of the laboured nostalgia.


he public has largely fallen out of love with the railway, seduced by a loathing press which feasts on failures like hyenas around a carcass. But it hasn’t always been that way. Speak to folk of a certain age and they’ll recall with warm affection the role formerly played by the railway in communities across the land, bringing prosperity, employment and new horizons. It was often their beating heart.

Every penny counts That cramped shed is at Ingrow, alongside West Yorkshire’s Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, one of the preservation trail-blazers back in the late Sixties. Occupying one end of it is a museum telling the story of steam and the people whose lives it touched; the other hosts Jubilee class locomotive 45596 Bahamas - an imposing 135-ton hulk of machinery, though rather lifeless at the present time. Contrasting outposts such as this with the cavernous spaces where fleets are now maintained is futile, except of course they share a common goal: delivering safe, reliable traction onto their respective networks. A couple of dozen regular volunteers - members of the 350-strong Bahamas Locomotive Society - focus attention on 45596 and three other engines, freely and with a smile. It’s something of a holiday from their day jobs as doctors, dentists and vision supervisors. Don’t ask. But there is a structure and discipline to it, recognising the duty of care that comes with hauling members of the public around the countryside. And they spend the public’s cash too. Having raised over £200k itself, the Society recently had bestowed upon it a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of £775,800 which will fund Bahamas’ restoration back to running order, together with work on an Educational Resource Centre. No-one is under any illusions about the obligations that come with the money. Delivering value for it is imperative - a commitment engrained in the culture here. Some corners of the industry would do well to take note.


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Steve Allsop, the Society’s Chief Mechanical Engineer, in the confined gloom beneath Bahamas’ boiler.

Trials and tribulations The Jubilee class 6P 4-6-0 was a product of the London Midland & Scottish Railway, designed by William Stanier who joined the company as its Chief Mechanical Engineer in 1932, having been poached from the Great Western. These industrious engines did not attain the same profile as his Black 5 or 8F, but 191 of them worked express services across the LMS’s patch following their introduction in the mid-Thirties. No. 5596 rolled out of the North British Locomotive Company’s Queen’s Park works in Glasgow towards the end of 1934, acquiring its Bahamas title during a first service at Crewe in June ’36. It clocked up more than 1.4 million miles in its 32-year main line career, 72,000 of them in 1939 alone. Through 1956-57, a series of trials were performed at the Rugby Locomotive Testing Station on another Jubilee, No. 45722 Defence, the ultimate objective being to extend steam’s life and performance - fuelled by poorer quality coal - until new forms of traction could be developed. The approach, which involved fitting a double blastpipe and exhaust system, brought a 30% increase in the boiler’s steaming capacity. To gauge its day-to-day impact, Bahamas underwent modification during an overhaul in May 1961. But circumstances changed and the experiments were brought to a close a year later. 45596 had been the last to benefit. Stockport’s Edgeley Motive Power Depot offered Bahamas a final home before withdrawal from service in July 1966. After languishing on the scrap line for a while, a society was formed with a view to buying

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the rail engineer • June 2013

the engine and operating it on excursions. BR proved unwilling to allow this and a shortage of funds pushed the venture to the brink of collapse, only for a local businessman to step in with the offer of a £3,000 loan. In the spring of 1967, agreement was reached to sell Bahamas to a scrap merchant in Hull, but high-level intervention saved it. Secured by the Society, the engine was despatched to Leeds for refurbishment at the Hunslet Engine Company, emerging from its workshop in March 1968. A former Great Central steam shed in the shadow of Dinting Viaduct became the engine’s operational base. British Rail eventually relented on its steam ban, selecting Bahamas to form part of an initial collection of

locomotives which would haul embryonic enthusiasts’ specials over parts of the national network; its first such run was in October 1972. These popular early forays paved the way for the excursion traffic we see today. However the following year, expiry of its boiler certificate saw Bahamas taken out of service. Only in 1988, on completion of a seven-year overhaul by the Society’s members, did it make a return. For the past 16 years the engine has been off-line again, mostly in storage but latterly available for public inspection at Ingrow and York’s National Railway Museum. Not for too much longer though. Back in January 2011, an appeal was launched under the banner of Steam’s Last Blast to raise the

“You’ve got to make it enjoyable for them so


they want to get involved.”

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Bahamas currently resides in a shed at Ingrow, alongside two of the Society’s other locomotives.

funds needed for Bahamas’ next overhaul. Backing for the Society’s work is considerable, with a number of subscribers making regular and often substantial donations, boosting the income from membership fees, shop sales and talks which help to keep the shed’s lights on. Hiring out the other engines generates additional revenue. In support of the HLF bid, key partnerships have been developed with the adjacent Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, along with bodies such as Welcome to Yorkshire and the Great Yorkshire Brewery; even the Bahamas Tourist Office! All this

In May 1964, 45596 departs Preston for Blackpool North.

effort has been crucial in securing the grant and therefore the viability of the project.

Precision logistics For any steam locomotive, the milestones come every ten years with a full examination of the boiler, inside and out. As parts of it are usually hidden behind the frames, the only way to do that is by removing and dismantling it. This allows a visual assessment of what needs to be done, possibly accompanied by ultrasonic tests. The height of the bar is set by the insurance companies; by necessity with a pressure vessel, their standards are stringent and compliance with them has to be demonstrated through inspection, testing and documentation. When completion of the work is close, the boiler must pass a hydraulic test before it’s allowed to be steamed. Clearing those hurdles will bring the award of a boiler certificate, causing another tenyear clock to start ticking.

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the rail engineer • June 2013

Young blood injection An emerging challenge for the preservation movement is passing down the accrued knowledge and skills that are fundamental to the care of steam locomotives. Everyone acknowledges that the volunteer community’s age profile is…let’s say maturing…so the long-term sustainability of the sector - which is often crucial to local economies - relies on connecting with a new generation of people, filling the void at the bottom. Given the prevailing social culture and wealth of other attractions, nobody is under any illusions as to just how steep a hill there is to climb. “You’ve got to make it enjoyable for them so they want to get involved”, asserts George Bowler, one of the Society’s directors. “If they come along, usually they’ll try to figure out how it works. And once that seed is planted, they’ll talk to people about it and it rolls on from there, hopefully fuelling their desire for knowledge. Then they become addicted!” One positive step taken with the Bahamas project is to build-in the provision of employment, training and skills development opportunities. All being well, that

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will manifest itself in the recruitment of engineering apprentices at some of the heritage-related businesses contributing to the overhaul. From the outset, that investment in people has played a crucial part in the HLF bid, recognising the significance of the issue and the wider responsibilities that come with the grant. PHOTO: FOUR BY THREE

Back in LMS days, a Jubilee’s “general repair” could be turned around in 12 days, of which five were spent just sitting in the paint shop. The timetable was meticulous, involving a belt system with six stages of 10 hours 44 minutes each: the first entailed stripping the engine, the others reassembling it. Across the Crewe works, 6,000 men in 19 shops were driven in perfect synchronisation, ensuring each component would arrive at its specified place on the belt at the time it was needed. Relative to zero hour when the engine entered the shop, pistons were due at 28 hours 45 minutes, piston rings at 26 hours 45 minutes, reversing rods at 37 hours 15 minutes, piston valves at 39 hours 30 minutes… Overhauls today demand more compromise, offsetting time against capital and manpower constraints. Without the HLF grant, the Society would have looked at a ten-year timescale for Bahamas, but with upwards of £500k now available for the work, that’s been cut to four. The boiler repairs have been put out to tender, with four specialists asked to quote. Although Society members will still be getting their hands dirty, much of the remainder will also be outsourced. Programming is no less critical than it was in LMS days. To maximise the revenue-earning potential of the new ten-year certification window, the rest of the engine must be ready to accept the boiler as soon as the steam test is done. That means careful coordination of the various concurrent activities so that everything comes together at the same time. It’s worth making the point that the Bahamas standing at Ingrow today is not the one that came out of Queen’s Park works in 1934. Whilst many of its basics - wheels, frames, motion, pipework - are original, boilers would have been on and off as a function of the maintenance cycle. Additions have been made, such as AWS and the double blastpipe. The aim is to preserve that evolution, not reverse it: Bahamas will be restored as a BR engine, rather than an LMS one.


“The skills will be dying out if we’re not careful”, says George. “Steam locomotive boilers are different; maintaining them involves a particular skill and understanding. And that’s what we need to develop.”

Daunting task Anticipation mixes with a hint of trepidation at Ingrow. Surprises inevitably lurk in Bahamas’ darker corners. But the key to success with a venture like this is breaking it down to individual component level, quantifying the needs of each one and then matching them to the capabilities of the workforce. A lump of brass with a pin through it can be sorted by a volunteer - move forwards and upwards from there. Just as you’d expect, there’s quiet confidence. The bits and pieces that currently make up Bahamas should be fettled, rejuvenated and put back together again sometime in 2017. Who knows, when the locomotive returns for its first celebratory run, perhaps a few hardened detractors will be charmed to fall back in love with the railway again.

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ED CH UN LA AT 13 20

goes interactive


The Rail Engineer We are excited to announce that Rail Media is launching its first fully interactive iPad edition of the rail engineer in June. We have not simply created a PDF version of our monthly print magazine like most rail publications. Instead, we have designed an iPad edition from the ground up, that brings you up close and personal with rail engineering, allowing you to hear, see and interact with it in more high-definition, eye-popping detail than ever before. Each page in every issue will be individually designed for optimal viewing on tablets, in both portrait or landscape orientation. Navigation direct from the magazine cover; allows readers to tap cover lines to go directly to the specific article, giving direct access to editorial content. And, with the articles organised in vertical stacks rather than magazine-like spreads, you will never find reading the magazine a problem. Featuring all the news, reviews and features found in the print edition, as well as tons of new and exclusive content, it will be a truly interactive experience. So, whether you are looking for a 360째 view of a new station, video of machines in action, or a timelapse video of a project, the new iPad edition is for you. Available from the Apple App store from June. Available on other tablets and smart phones soon.


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the rail engineer â&#x20AC;˘ June 2013


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the rail engineer • June 2013



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the rail engineer • June 2013


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Operation & Maintenance



08/01/2013 24/05/2013 10:20 15:04

The Rail Engineer - Issue 104 - June 2013  

The Rail Engineer Issue 104 June 2013

The Rail Engineer - Issue 104 - June 2013  

The Rail Engineer Issue 104 June 2013