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the rail

engineer by rail engineers for rail engineers

MAY 2014 - ISSUE 115




Critical investment in this route could see 750,000 lorries a year taken off UK roads.

UNSTONE’S SLIPPERY SLOPE A tale that started 45 years ago



Thameslink progressing steadily

Long Term Rolling Stock Strategy


The challenge facing rail engineers TECHNOLOGY � DESIGN � M&E � S&T � STATIONS � ENERGY � DEPOTS � PLANT � TRACK � ROLLING STOCK

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the rail engineer • May 2014



Unstone’s slippery slope

News 6

A tale that started 45 years ago

The rumour mill; Sub-surface signalling to Thales.

Ipswich chord and freight yard 


Opened on time and on budget from March 31.

24 Looking to the future

Canal Tunnels 


A major project that will link St. Pancras low level with the ECML.

A fine balance 


New equipment may be incompatible with earlier devices.

Delivering an engineering advantage 


Driving performance improvements and reducing operating costs.



VAB - we look at a more efficient way of managing engineering change.

Communications Based Train Control


Finding a common approach is going to be difficult.


Space - the final frontier


Gauge clearance at Conisbrough Tunnel.

Managing obsolescence

Treating gas with respect


Chris Parker reports from the annual welding conference.

Effective obsolescence management helps rail engineers

Signal Engineering Resources Seminar


Having the right number of skilled signalling people.

Infrarail 2014 - At Earls Court from 20-22 May



Technical Seminars speakers and key exhibitors.

Traffic Management Systems


See more at

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



in the July issue of the rail engineer.

Got a fantastic innovation? Working on a great project? Call Nigel on 01530 816 445 NOW!

Things just got real‌ the rail

engineer by rail engineers for rail engineers

iPad Edition

the rail engineer • May 2014 Editor Grahame Taylor

Production Editor Nigel Wordsworth

Production and design Adam O’Connor

Engineering writers

Names, tantalising technology... and managing old age There are two new names to add to the lexicon of curious railway place names. ‘Canal Tunnels’ – two tunnels, one location - and Bacon Factory Curve. They join an august list that includes such wonders as Gas Factory Junction, Linger-and-die, Stoats Nest and many others.

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Part of

Collin Carr has been to look at two bare tunnels under the Regents Canal – hence the name - that were driven ten years ago between Belle Isle Junction and Canal Junction ending behind a retaining wall just outside Kings Cross. They’ve remained largely undisturbed ever since, but now they’re being fitted out as part of a major project that will link St Pancras low level with the ECML. The new Bacon Factory Curve is on the outskirts of Ipswich on part of the former site of the Harris Bacon Factory. It forms a vital link between Felixstowe and the rest of the world – or rather it provides a link that doesn’t involve reversing moves in and out of Ipswich yard. David Bickell shows us what’s involved in this complex project and how we owe it all to the Victorian Colonel Tomline – who wasn’t a colonel or even linked to the military but, because he was very rich, felt the rank was appropriate. “Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) means different things to different people.” Thus starts Clive’s piece on CBTC, which just about says it all! It’s an ambitious and tantalisingly achievable technology, but there are so many bits of inherited legacy ‘stuff’ on the railways that finding a common approach is going to be ‘difficult’. Clive looks at yet more tantalising technology colliding with real life. This time it’s Train Management Systems (TMS). Over the years, vast swathes of train running information has been made available. It’s all been piecemeal as spin-offs from other requirements. The challenge is how to integrate it all – or at least

some of it. If dealing with humans and the weather wasn’t tricky enough, then have a read of Stuart Broadbent’s thoughts on managing legacy equipment and obsolescence. He looks at the consequences of designing trains and railway equipment for tomorrow using today’s cutting edge technology which will undoubtedly be obsolete in less than a decade. The consumer electronics industry just relies on mugs like us to throw our purchases away after a few years. It’s a little more serious when dealing with a train, the peoplecarrying bit of which should last up to forty years or more. David Shires is also looking into the misty future. This time he’s covering a conference that was looking at rolling stock strategy – how many vehicles do we need, what sort, diesel or electric? It starts to get complicated if there’s uncertainty about traffic growth or electrification strategy and gets murkier still when on-board signalling is involved. Never mind signalling on trains, what about having the right number of skilled people to look after signalling equipment wherever it sits? David Bickell heard the views of many in the industry at the recent Signal Engineering Resources Seminar. And the general consensus? “This is pretty urgent, guys!” But take heart, there is a plan. Indeed, there are several of them. The class 158 DMUs have been around since 1990. In their early days, one disgruntled operating manager compared them to Scud missiles. You were never sure if and when they’d turn up at their


Grahame Taylor

destination. They’ve markedly improved over the years – apart from their air-conditioning perhaps - and it’s time to fit new gearboxes. As Nigel Wordsworth discovers, selecting an off the shelf lorry version would have meant only one reverse speed. Time for some modifications! But changing from mechanical to electronic controls will lead to issues with obsolescence one day. Acetylene bottles in a fire have sent the emergency services into paroxysms. Set up an exclusion zone – which often includes a railway – and keep everything shut for a couple of days. Terrific! But Chris Parker has been to the annual Welding Conference and now knows better – as do many in the emergency services fortunately. It’s a report full of facts you never knew – well worth the read. And you’ll hear about a lightweight gas bottle. Can there ever be such a thing?! Apparently there can. In Graeme Bickerdike’s words, gauge clearance projects are ‘all or nothing’. And so there was nothing for it but to sort out Conisbrough Tunnel which was just that little bit too small for W12 wagons. We’re introduced to the concept of risk-based data analysis versus absolute gauging and how very careful work to the invert of Conisbough tunnel bought the right amount of spare fresh air for the Doncaster to Water Orton route to be cleared. Don’t forget to put Infrarail in your diaries. If you pre-register you’ll get in for free, otherwise it’s £20 a pop. As usual, The Rail Engineer is running a series of technical seminars throughout the exhibition and these too are free with no need to book. So, see you at Earls Court 2, London from 20 to 22 May 2014. This will be the final year at this venue before it’s knocked down to make way for housing.



the rail engineer • May 2014

The rumour mill Two very-different rumours are going around at present

The first is one that is potentially damaging to Abellio, the train operator which currently holds the Greater Anglia franchise amongst others. Abellio is owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), the Dutch state railway company. After criticism of its domestic services, Dutch transport minister Wilma Mansveld made a statement that NS must concentrate on the main lines and reduce its involvement in regional services and abroad.

The British mainstream press immediately assumed she was talking about Abellio UK, and that the company had been told to pull back from its current franchise bids. In fact, Ms Mansveld was talking about domestic regional lines and cross-border operations. Abellio UK is not solely controlled by the Ministry of Transport but also by the Ministry of Finance and has had no such restriction put on it, as group CEO Abellio Group’s CEO Jeff Hoogesteger has been at great pains to point out.

Alstom to go to the US? The second rumour doing the rounds is that American conglomerate General Electric (GE)

has been talking with the French Government about acquiring Alstom for around $13 billion. Neither party was commenting as The Rail Engineer went to press, but Alstom has promised that its annual results will be published on 7 May at which time it will comment on “the prospects of its activities”. In railways, both companies manufacture locomotives, but of quite a different style, and both are involved in signalling, so there is quite some synergy for such a takeover. However, GE may not have everything its own way as latest reports have German group Siemens jumping onto the takeover bandwagon.

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The Wildlife Trusts believes that the preferred HS2 route will impact on around 500 wildlife sites, including areas of Special Scientific Interest, ancient woodland and nature reserves. Research carried out by Newcastle University has estimated that a ‘ribbon of natural areas’ along the route could be delivered for around £420 million. Although the trusts’ director, Stephen Trotter, is still against the plan, he said: “HS2 would be England’s biggest infrastructure project in modern times so, if it goes ahead, we think it should be implemented alongside England’s biggest nature restoration project.” This new statement is another sign that resistance to HS2 is weakening. More people now seem

to be proposing modifications to the scheme that will enable them to work with the proposals than are now expressing outright opposition. PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM


As The Rail Engineer goes to press, the HS2 Hybrid Bill’s second reading has spawned a report from The Wildlife Trusts which recommends the UK government spend an additional £420 million on wildlife restoration along the route to mitigate the high-speed line’s environmental impact.


the rail engineer • May 2014


Trains are getting longer A debate recently took place in The Rail Engineer office about the maximum length of freight trains in the UK. It varies depending on the line but the general feeling was that it was about 680 metres. That pales into insignificance when compared with a recent experiment in France. The Marathon project has been testing trains of 1,500 metres length weighing 4,000 tonnes. Two locomotives, one at the front and one halfway back along the train, have pulled these monsters between Sibelin near Lyon and Nimes – a distance of around 200 km. The first test in January 2014 used two Class 37000 ‘Prima’ electric locomotives, built by Alstom

for Fret SNCF. Last month, two Vossloh-built EURO 4000 diesels pulled a train of 72 wagons which was 1,524 metres long. One of the challenges of the project is to perfect the control system for the second locomotive

which uses a radio-control link to gives the driver full and reliable control over both the power and the braking of the entire train. It’s not new of course, long iron-ore trains on heavy freight railways have been doing it for years. But

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this is the first attempt on Europe’s crowded and mixed-traffic railways. If the project is a success, there are plans to lengthen freight loops on key routes to enable these long trains to run across Europe at speeds of up to 100 km/h.



the rail engineer • May 2014

More alliancing Following on the success of the Network Rail/South West Trains deep alliance, which has effectively created one integrated organisation to maintain and run the railway, comes news of another collaboration. Network Rail, Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express have signed a formal agreement which will see the three companies sharing expertise to develop capacity improvements at Leeds station and in the east Leeds area. Both schemes are due to complete by spring 2019. Phil Verster, route managing director at Network Rail, explained:

“We have exciting plans to increase services in to and around

Artist’s impression of Leeds station.

Leeds over the next five years. These plans are vital if we are to meet demand for services which continues to grow ahead of forecasts. Investment in rail is expensive and this agreement sets out a formal framework to allow us to share resources and reduce inter-railway compensation costs in order to maximise value for money.”

The principles of the agreement were developed by the Rail Delivery Group and follow requirements from the Office of Rail Regulation for the development of all CP5 enhancement projects. Where cost savings can be found over and above those already planned in the project, these will be shared among the partners.

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the rail engineer • May 2014


Sub-surface signalling to Thales

London Underground has announced that it has invited Thales to tender for the contract “to transform capacity and reliability on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines (Sub-Surface railway)”. This is the contract that, by mutual agreement, Bombardier handed back in December 2013.

LU issued an OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) notice at the beginning of the year asking

for expressions of interest. Thales responded, and has experience of working with LU on recent Jubilee and Northern line contracts. LU’s managing director Mike Brown said: “This is an important step in ensuring that the delivery of this vital upgrade remains on

course. The signalling system on these lines is some of the oldest in use anywhere in the world, with some of it dating back to the 1930s. The modernisation work will mean more frequent, more reliable and less crowded journeys for our customers and will help us meet rapidly growing customer demand. “At the same time, it is vital that modernisation is delivered cost effectively for our passengers and taxpayers. We will only enter in to a contract if I am absolutely certain that Londoners are getting value for money and if I have absolute confidence in the delivery schedule.” That last statement could prove interesting. This is the third attempt to re-signal the subsurface lines (SSL) since 2003.

recently. Sue also felt that train operators have a significant role to play in areas such as reducing SPAD (signals passed at danger) risk and improving the platform-train interface.

“Meeting the challenge of moving towards a ‘zero’ target requires the industry to work together to manage interface risks and to allow sufficient track access for Network Rail to maintain its infrastructure to minimise asset failures,” she said.

ORR safety plans Sue Johnson, deputy director – railway safety at the ORR, has laid out four priorities for improving safety for passengers, the workforce and the public in CP5. A speaker at the recent Rail Safety Summit in London, Sue lists these four areas as: »» Level Crossings –£99 million has been provided to secure further risk reduction; »» Track workers – £163 million to improve electrical isolations and reduce the risk of electric shock and electrocution and a further £10 million to improve the protection and warning systems for people working on the track,

to prevent them from being hit by trains; »» Road rail vehicles – £70 million to replace existing machines and £10 million to develop new safer machines, to reduce the risk to track workers from runaway and overturning machines; »» Occupational health management – new incentives for Network Rail to improve an area which has been neglected by the industry until fairly


the rail engineer • May 2014

Ipswich chord and freight yard



n 24 March, GBRf locomotive 66733 hauled the 11:33 from Felixstowe North Terminal to Doncaster Railport, becoming the very first revenue earning freight train along the newly commissioned Ipswich Chord. Following the running of this ‘test train’, the Chord opened to commercial traffic on time and on budget from 31 March. In railway operating terms, the Chord is now known officially as the ‘Bacon Factory Curve’, named after the Harris Bacon Factory which previously occupied part of the triangle created by the new line.

Changes over time A brief step back in time reveals that the development of Felixstowe as a port came about in the nineteenth century thanks to the vision of one man - the wealthy Victorian George Tomline. He believed that Felixstowe could be developed to rival the port of Harwich on the opposite bank of the Orwell and Stour estuary, and drafted infrastructure plans for the railway and docks. Parliamentary approval was given in 1875 for the building of the Felixstowe to Ipswich line, which transformed Felixstowe from a small seaside village into what would become the UK’s largest container port and the sixth largest in Europe. However, over the years, the rail infrastructure has struggled to keep pace with the rapid expansion of the container port. This is being

addressed and the new Ipswich Chord forms part of the Felixstowe to Nuneaton (F-N) capacity upgrade project. Felixstowe’s train services are now dominated by freight traffic to and from the port. Although Felixstowe remains a popular seaside town, the days of hundreds of trippers alighting at the station are long gone. The passenger service between Ipswich and Felixstowe is a shadow of its former self. The once extensive Town station, with four long terminal platforms, has been cut back to just one shorter platform that is sufficient to serve the hourly Class 153 shuttle. Nevertheless, these trains have to share the single line with the container trains serving the three Felixstowe freight terminals.

Main line snarl-up at Ipswich Container trains from Felixstowe generally proceed via East Suffolk Junction into the Yard at Ipswich for a crew and/or traction change before continuing via the Great Eastern main line (GEML) to Stratford and thence via the North London line to join the West Coast main line. Some trains reverse in Ipswich Yard and initially head north before veering west at Haughley Junction on their way cross country towards Nuneaton. The GEML route is already very busy with a mixture of InterCity, semi-fast and stopping outer suburban trains. The container trains have to be accommodated with these passenger services on what is basically a twin-track railway from Liverpool Street to Ipswich, with limited opportunities for fast trains to overtake at Chelmsford, Witham and Colchester. Stratford is a challenging pinch-point for signallers. Whilst there is a second pair of tracks (‘Electric Lines’) between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, these are due to be handed over to Crossrail services in 2015. It seems unlikely that operator TfL will be

the rail engineer • May 2014

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see the offering of paths for freight trains as being compatible with the running of a reliable metro-style service. Furthermore, there is a local ‘Norwich in Ninety’ campaign underway to reduce InterCity journey times between Norwich/Ipswich/London. The best time today of 100 minutes is achievable with only one train in each direction with specially crafted paths. Given the mixed-traffic nature of the twin-track main line and the knife-edge performance of the intensive morning and evening peaks, achieving such a reduction in journey time is likely to be challenging. However, this is where the Ipswich Chord can help increase paths for faster and/or more passenger trains by reducing container traffic routed via Stratford.

October 2012 - March 2014 Devised as part of the F-N capacity upgrade, the Ipswich Chord is a brand new double track section of railway 1.2 km long with double junctions at each end. It cost £59 million, cofinanced with a contribution of £10.7 million from the European Trans-European Network (TEN-T). Prior to the opening of the Chord there were 28 freight trains per day in each direction, 18 via London, 10 via Peterborough. When the Chord is at full stretch in 2030, after other infrastructure improvements are complete, it is anticipated that there will be 56 paths each way, though some may still be routed via Stratford.

The new chord line is the first Network Rail line to be authorised under ‘The Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2011’. Certification will be achieved by the Network Certification Body, an independent subsidiary of Network Rail. NCB is accredited to act as a Notified and Designated Body (NOBO) to certify project compliance. Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs) are drafted by the European Railway Agency and mapped to Railway Group Standards in respect of UK railway standards. At the time of application, Network Rail envisaged that interoperability as a freight line was appropriate. Subsequently it has been realised that passenger services may use the chord. Indeed, several charter rail tour operators are already advertising tours that traverse the new chord line for the benefit of ‘track bashers’. Accordingly, now the line is open, application will be made to reclassify the line as ‘mixed traffic’.

Continuing around the chord, after a new bridge across the River Gipping the line runs alongside the Norwich main line in a north-westerly direction for some 650 metres. This is to ensure that the length of chord is sufficient to stand a 775 metre long freight train clear of the main lines in both directions. A long retaining wall with soak away segregates the railway from various properties including a supermarket and bowling alley. Another new bridge takes the chord across the Sproughton Road. The line then converges with the main line at the new Europa Junction where freight trains, after awaiting a suitable path, continue on their journey westwards via the cross-country route. Europa Junction is designed for 50 mph and provides for the shortest possible time for a train entering the Up curve to clear the junction and avoid delaying a following passenger train. The curve itself is limited to 30 mph.

Taking the chord

The principal contractor for the scheme was the Spencer Group working jointly with Network Rail. Spencer Rail constructed the four new bridges on the Chord. Jacobs Engineering UK Ltd delivered consultancy services including preparation of documentation and environmental considerations. CSL provided project management and delivery consultancy for the SMEs involved and structures work. The existing Underbridge 404 across the River Gipping on the East Suffolk line was in poor condition and, as the new crossover would occupy much of the bridge, a wider structure was required. Network Rail’s standard half-through Type E design with steel deck was chosen for the

Container trains from Felixstowe docks approach the Ipswich suburbs from a north easterly direction along the East Suffolk line from Lowestoft which is joined at Westerfield. An existing bridge over the River Gipping has had to be replaced with a new wider structure known as Boss Hall Bridge. The track bed on this structure incorporates the switches of the new Boss Hall Junction. Freight trains taking the chord then veer right onto new embankments - which even include reptile basking areas. A new underbridge provides maintenance access to the land that is now enclosed by the new triangle of lines.

The Works


the rail engineer • May 2014

new span, which is 23.9 metres wide. The new abutments and wing-walls are clad with bricks chosen to replicate the blue engineering bricks of the original, now demolished, abutments piers. Other works included a further three new bridges, a long retaining wall, and tunnel construction to re-route a sewer. Design of the new River Gipping bridge had to make provision to allow the Environment Agency to gain access to the sluice gate and the embankment and for the future provision of a cycle path. Sustrans had requested that the new River Gipping bridge should provide the necessary engineering to allow the cycle track to be extended and to offer a continuous path and DDA compliant ramp for the benefit of pedestrians. National Cycle Network 51 is constrained by the existing bridge/sluice structure and this should not be made worse by the scheme.

Electrification ready Although there is an aspiration to electrify the cross-country route from Felixstowe to Nuneaton, at present OLE work is limited to the modification of existing wiring where the chord intersects the GEML at Europa Junction. The building of the new embankment parallel to the main line would have destabilised the OLE stanchions. Accordingly, new catenary has been installed along the embankment and across Europa Junction. The junction tracks have also been wired plus a 150 metre section of the Up Curve. This is part of future proofing and will obviate the need for complex alterations to the catenary here if electrification of the chord

proceeds at some point in the future. The short wiring on the chord covers the scenario of an Up electric train being mis-routed onto the curve, providing a margin for a driver to react to a signal displaying the route indication for the Up curve and being able to bring the train to a stand before the pantograph runs out of catenary causing damage and the train becoming powerless. The chord is ‘electrification ready’ in that the proposed positions and clearances of OLE masts has been taken into consideration with the design of the

various retaining walls and structures. Pod-Trak Ltd has provided the AWAC MkIIIb catenary. This utilises an aluminium conductor with two aluminium-coated steel cores for strength. AWAC uses a different suspension arrangement compared with earlier steel types. At the pulley wheels, stainless steel bridles are deployed as the aluminium would wear rapidly if it ran over a pulley.

Modular track Ian Clark, Alma Rail’s project track engineer, explained that the track sections were built at Doncaster, to the design radius of 203m and pre-drilled at Doncaster by VAE, consisting of twenty-seven 60-foot panels on the Up and Down lines with breather switches at each end. A McCulloch Rail HD panel-moving machine was deployed for this work. The chord has been designed at the maximum radius possible and a lubricating system will be used to mitigate any possible noise. CEN56 ‘FV’ IBCL switches have been installed at each junction. The junctions include the first use on Network Rail of modular switch diamonds. The original plan was to install the S&C at Europa Junction during Easter 2013 but, due to snow, this work was postponed. Prudent contingency in the planning of the project allowed for this work to be rescheduled. During the Christmas 2013 blockade, due to the phasing of the signalling commissioning, three dummy plain line panels were installed at Boss Hall Junction with the real switches following a week later.


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the rail engineer • May 2014

Signalling Previously, Ipswich station area was provided with four-aspect signalling, with three-aspect signalling on the approaches to East Suffolk Junction from both the Norwich and Lowestoft lines. To allow for adequate junction signalling onto the new chord from both Norwich and Lowestoft lines, four-aspect junction signals have been provided for both new junctions with the provision of flashing aspects on the approach to the junction signal at each divergence. Signals on the curve are three-aspect. Visible on the chord are the new lightweight LED signals, clamp lock points, and apparatus or ‘location’ cases. However, out of the pubic gaze, in relay rooms and the signal box, the project has required significant and complex signal engineering works. Ipswich is on panel 5 at Colchester Signal Box. It is a combined near vertical control and indication NX Type and was manufactured by Henry Williams Ltd and commissioned in 1983. The panel consists of small individual battleshipgrey ‘Domino’ type tiles which slot into a metal lattice in the rear of the panel. The company has returned 30 years later to incorporate the curve into the track layout diagram. The section of the panel that the new chord line affects is at the bottom right hand side. It is already quite congested as the lines towards Norwich and Lowestoft are skewed to allow alignment with Panel 6. As the new layout incorporates new signal sections on both Up Main and Up Lowestoft lines as well as the Chord lines, there are new Train Describer (TD) windows, track occupied/route indications and buttons to be provided.

The main commissioning was in March 2014 but enabling works took place late last year during which the existing panel tiles were relocated to free up sufficient space for the Ipswich Chord lines. Henry Williams Ltd also provided signalling Class I power supply location cases.

Signal interlockings The Ipswich interlocking is situated in a room on the station. Unfortunately, the distance to the new junctions is just outside the maximum 1.25 miles distance for lineside multicore 50V DC signalling safety circuits. Beyond this distance, repeater relays would be required to ensure that induced currents from the 25KV OLE do not create a potentially dangerous false feed. There was insufficient space to locate the interlocking at Ipswich station for the new junctions, and this would anyway require long runs of multicore cables. The novel solution adopted has been to build a new relay interlocking in a relocatable building near Hadleigh Road bridge. Incidentally, for a small scheme such as this, a new relay interlocking is a more cost effective solution than a computer based version. This interlocking is linked by a new Time Division Multiplex (TDM) data transmission system to Ipswich relay room. The controls and indications data is then transferred via the existing TDM connecting the existing Ipswich relay room with Colchester. GE Transportation Systems (GETS) was the contractor for the TDM and TD systems. The existing interlocking at Ipswich is a GEC geographical relay system. Some minor modifications have been necessary for the chord, but this interlocking will be extended during this summer in conjunction with the East Suffolk Junction remodelling, of which more anon. Amaro Signalling Ltd was responsible for lineside signalling equipment, new interlocking and alterations to existing interlocking.

Ipswich Yard and East Suffolk Junction remodelling This project, also funded under CP4 and part of the Spencer Rail portfolio of works, will create a new longer reception siding. Currently the yard cannot take 775 metre long trains. When resignalled in 1984, the layout of East Suffolk was rationalised from a double junction to a single lead. This prevented a freight train arriving in the yard from the docks simultaneously with a passenger train heading for Lowestoft or Felixstowe. A new line will be installed using a disused arch of the Hadleigh Road bridge, thereby restoring the facility of parallel moves at the junction. This work is due for completion in August this year.

CP5 and beyond Further improvements on the F-N route are funded under the CP5 package including Haughley Junction doubling from single lead, Ely to Soham doubling and provision of Ely Dock Junction long freight loops. As well as increasing capacity for freight trains, Greater Anglia has aspirations to increase the current two-hourly Ipswich to Peterborough passenger service to hourly. As described above, the all important Felixstowe branch suffers from the severe capacity constraint of the single line. At GRIP Stage 2, options currently under consideration include a new dynamic loop, passing loops and the relocation of Westerfield station. Complete redoubling is unlikely, not least due to the Spring Road viaduct which would be very costly to replace. The Network Rail project team is hopeful of match funding from the Port of Felixstowe and that capacity improvements should be completed by 2030. Investment in this route is critical to improve the distribution of goods from Britain’s largest container port with the potential to take up to 750,000 lorries a year off the roads by 2030.

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the rail engineer • May 2014

Canal Tunnels

Exercising Foresight


n 2004, Great Britain won nine gold medals at the Athens Olympics. In 2005, Tony Blair won a third term as Prime Minister and then there was the World Cup in Germany in 2006 - but we won’t dwell on that.

Whilst the world was focussed on these and many other events the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), as part of the Thameslink Programme, was quietly digging underground, constructing two bored tunnels between the East Coast main line (ECML) at Belle Isle junction, just north of Kings Cross, and the St Pancras low level station at Canal junction. As the two tunnels pass about 15 metres under the Regents Canal, they are known as the Canal Tunnels. Each tunnel was constructed with a six metre diameter bore and fitted with a pre-cast concrete lining, and they are both more than 660 metres in length. At the King’s Cross end there is a 100 metre cut-and-cover concrete box which leads up to an open area which, in total, forms a 1km length of new twin track railway.


Thameslink progressing Since they were built, the tunnels have remained dormant. Elsewhere, the Thameslink project has been progressing steadily reconstructing Blackfriars Station, building a new viaduct through Borough Market and developing the London Bridge Station and railway layout are just a few of the many schemes that make up this incredibly complex £6 billion project. However, one of the key benefits that will be realised when the Thameslink project is completed will be the ability to run 24 trains per hour between Blackfriars to St Pancras Low Level which is known as the ‘core area’. This target will include 16 trains coming from the Midland main line route and eight trains from the East Coast main line, hence the need for

the rail engineer • May 2014


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the rail engineer • May 2014

the Canal Tunnels now to be fitted out and integrated into the operational railway. In addition, the new Thameslink Class 700 rolling stock is due to begin arriving in 2015, and is expected to be used on both the existing Thameslink and Great Northern routes. One of the Thameslink depots will be at Hornsey on the ECML. Therefore, the tunnels will be essential to enable the new trains to utilise the link for stock movements.

To ensure compliance with noise and vibration commitments, the track was designed using the Sonneville Low Vibration Track (LVT) system supplied by the Swiss manufacturer Vigier. This system is a duo block, slab track system with a rubber boot and concrete block pad. It has been tried and tested on other systems throughout the world but it is the first time that it has been used by Network Rail. The rubber booted blocks are cast into concrete exposing the concrete block pad which is designed to hold in place the rail and the pandrol E clip housings and insulations.

Challenging tolerances

Contract awarded Consequently, in August 2012, an announcement was made by Network Rail naming Carillion as the principal contractor for fitting out the tunnels and connecting them into the main lines. Balfour Beatty Rail would be responsible for the 25kV overhead line electrification (OLE) installation work and Carillion would install the slab track, associated emergency walkways, signalling and telecoms equipment, fire services and pumps and other associated safety equipment throughout the tunnels as well as being the overall site management. Kevin Sullivan, Network Rail’s project manager responsible for this work, recently showed The Rail Engineer around the site. He explained that the work was progressing very well and that the construction of the slab track work in both the tunnels was now complete. Also, the installation of OLE equipment by Balfour Beatty Rail, using its innovative reduced-depth overhead conductor beam electrification system, was going to plan. Kevin explained that they were now concentrating on connecting the new emerging Up and Down Canal Tunnel lines into the existing mainline routes.

Collaborative working Carillion appointed ARUP for all the design work. The tunnels are only six metres in diameter, which is a challenging space to fit everything in and the aim was to maintain W6A gauge. In addition, the tunnels will connect two different railway systems together so there is a need to design out any potential interference. For example, it would not go down well if, upon connection, there were track circuit failures on the ECML. As Kevin outlined, there has to be effective collaborative working between all parties and to ensure that this happened. “We have instigated weekly design integration meetings between all disciplines and Network Rail, a process that has proved to be very successful and invaluable,” he explained.

The final positioning of the rails is very precise with only 1 to 2mm tolerance for gauge, rail incline and cant. As Kevin pointed out, this could only be achieved on a dedicated engineering site, as opposed to a track possession. The design life chosen for the concrete surrounding the rubber boots is 50 years and the design life for the sub base concrete is 125 years. The signalling and telecommunications design is integrated with the Thameslink programme’s High Capacity Infrastructure (HCI), which ensures that the signalling system will deliver the targeted 24 trains per hour capacity in the core area. A GSM-R radio system is being installed throughout the network to replace the Cab Secure Radio system currently in use. To ensure this will work well inside the tunnels, a ‘radiating cable’ or ‘leaky feeder’ is being installed throughout. Walking through the tunnels, it is obvious that there is a steep gradient dipping down 1 in 34 toward the centre of the tunnel bores. This encourages any rain or seepage water to gather at this low point. Also, there is a 150mm fire main that runs through both tunnels with regularly spaced hydrants that can be accessed from the constructed walkway. So, if there was a fire and the fire main was utilised, the tunnels could be subject to flooding. Therefore, to cope with such a potential high volume of water, a 60 metre long sump has been installed incorporating fixed pumps that will pump water up the gradient to another intermediate sump which, in turn, has the capacity to pump water up into the existing East Coast main line drainage system. The fixed walkway provides a continuous platform to enable day-to-day maintenance to take place and to provide a passageway in case of emergencies. A lighting system has been installed throughout the tunnels with lights spaced at every four metres above the walkway.

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the rail engineer • May 2014

On the opposite side of the tunnel, there are two GRP troughing routes dedicated to signalling, telecoms and other mechanical and electrical equipment ensuring that everything looks neat and tidy and well ordered.

Continuous working Work continues around the clock in two 12-hour shifts. Carillion works the day shift installing the slab track and other equipment, then the site changes over to Balfour Beatty Rail activities, using rail mounted access platforms to install the Conductor Beam OLE equipment. Kevin said that this system works very well and that each contractor has tried hard to ensure that its activity does not impede other work that has to take place. So, the fitting out work in the tunnels appears to be progressing very well and targets are being met. The next challenges for the team were the connection work at each end of the tunnel into the main lines. The junction at Belle Isle is conventional ballasted track whilst, at the St Pancras Low Level station end, the junction is on LVT concrete slab track. Kevin described the project as being unique in that there is a fascinating and challenging engineering project in the tunnels, a site that they have control of 24 hours a day. However, at the two end connection points of the site, there is a railway so it is necessary to work in possessions, being aware of hazards such as adjacent line working where traffic is running. This introduces a whole set of different risks and challenges. At Belle Isle Junction, existing structures have had to be demolished and new ones installed. The existing sheet piled wall of the ECML railway has to be removed to make way for the new connection. The junction is situated in a fairly confined location between Copenhagen Tunnel and the Gaswork Tunnels just outside Kings Cross station. In preparation for the connection of the new junction, a set of switches has had to be moved six metres north to accommodate realignment of the North London Incline. In addition, 140 metres of plain line has had to be renewed and a crossover was repositioned 30 metres north of its original position during an Easter 2014 blockade.

Connecting into the main lines So, the site is nearly ready to receive the new double junction which will be installed using a Kirov crane to lift track panels that are being constructed alongside the running railway. After the new junction is in place, it will be connected to plain line track that will be laid on a transitional formation of ballast. This will then lead onto a formation of glued ballast, then onto slab track, before running into the Canal tunnels. The completed work will then be ready for commissioning with control located in the Kings Cross Panel. The Canal Junction end of the site is now all LVT slab track, installed some time ago. It is where the Moorgate lines emerge from the lower station at St Pancras, switches and crossings had to be relocated and aligned and replaced by plain line. Once this work is complete, the junction can be commissioned onto the new Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre (TB ROC) which will then incorporate the whole of the new railway. The target date for the completion of this work is early 2015. The commissioning of the tunnels is yet another step in this most fascinating project known as Thameslink, and one has to admire the foresight exercised in 2004 which ensured that the two tunnels would be ready and in place. The fitting out work will be completed this year, the Hornsey Depot will be completed in 2015 and the Siemens Thameslink Class 700 trains will begin delivery and then in 2018 services will run through the Thameslink core. Meanwhile, there is plenty to do, both within well-defined engineering sites and alongside the operational railway, which will provide more unique opportunities for the engineering teams involved.



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the rail engineer • May 2014

(Lead) First train passes following completion of the first phase of remedial works and the re-opening of the Up line. (Below) Twist fault developing at the tow of the landslide.


slippery slope


n 14 January 2013, a routine run by Network Rail’s New Measurement Train on the Up Midland main line between Sheffield and Derby threw up an anomaly. There were signs of a very minor track fault on the cess rail resulting in a slight twist in the track. The fault was flagged up so that an eye could be kept on it. On 10 June, another run showed that the defect was slightly worse but the amount of twist was about the same. Further runs on 11 November and 9 December showed that the twist was slowly worsening and the track maintenance engineer (TME) made a comment on the fault during his periodic review of the traces, noting that it appeared ‘static’ and should be monitored.

Worsening situation There was no other indication at that time that anything out of the ordinary was happening until, following a prolonged spell of heavy rain over the Christmas period, a ‘rough ride’ was reported on 1 January 2014. The fault was manually corrected by the permanent way team but, unfortunately, re-appeared several times over the next three weeks. Every time that the track was lifted and packed to correct the fault, there was rapid deterioration afterwards.

By 21 January, a 50 mph temporary speed restriction (TSR) was imposed. Track patrollers noted that the cutting slope appeared to have lowered, the catchpits were leaning and they suspected that the earthwork might be the underlying cause. Meganne Paul, Network Rail’s asset engineer, visited the site on the following day and the scale of the problem became clear. Network Rail’s Infrastructure Projects (IP) team were engaged to start work the same day and Principal Contractor Construction Marine Limited (CML) was on site the next morning.

Understanding the problem It was clear from the initial visits that an area of the hillside about 100 metres wide and 100 metres long, the bulk of which was outside of Network Rail’s land, was moving down the slope in a series of slips. The lowest slip had moved into the cess area and was pushing the cess rail up.

There were some spoil heaps of recently tipped material in the upper slope immediately below the backscar. Aerial photographs taken using Network Rail’s helicopter were very useful in helping the team to visualise and understand the slip.

It had happened before Records retrieved from Network Rail’s National Record Group (NRG) in York revealed some very interesting history. In 1969, the old Broomhouse Tunnel, located a few hundred yards south of this site, was opened out into a cutting and the contractor who carried out that work was paid to remove the spoil. The notes stated that “after a winter’s experience it was found necessary to carry out further excavation to stabilise the cutting”, and this work was carried out by the same contractor as an extension of the original contract.

The site for the tipping of the spoil from the original contract had been restored before the additional work was authorised, so the contractor therefore found it necessary to negotiate for another site for this additional spoil. A private arrangement was made with a local landowner to place the material in an area of ground adjacent to the railway known as Thorpe Spring Wood or Spring Bank Wood. The slope was stepped and the spoil material placed in September 1970. Three months later, a landslip occurred which resulted in a caution being put on the trains due to slight movement in the rails. Urgent remedial works discovered that the spoil had been placed on top of two natural springs, one in the upper slope and one in the lower slope. Ground investigation and monitoring instruments installed at the time indicated that movement in the upper slope was occurring

the rail engineer • May 2014

at the interface between the fill and the natural ground and that movement at track level was caused by the weight of the additional spoil on to the natural weathered rock which had previously been softened and saturated by the lowest spring. Movement of the lower slip was therefore occurring through the natural soils. The remedial works included removal of some of the tipped material and installation of drainage designed to intercept the natural springs and dry out the lower slope. Ongoing monitoring of the slope continued from 1970 and included measurement of groundwater levels, installation of slip indicator tubes to pick up depths of deep-seated movement, and the monitoring of pegs to pick up surface movement. Over the next few years, it was found that, although further slight movements were recorded in the hillside, the slip was no longer affecting the railway and that the previous remedial works and drainage measures appeared to be effective. The British Rail civil engineering department continued to monitor the slope and, by 1977, movements in the hillside had become sufficiently large that further work was proposed to safeguard the railway. These included additional drainage improvements and the installation of an automatic trip wire landslip detector, both of which were put in place during 1978/79.

It appears from the available archive information that, following these works, British Rail considered the landslip was no longer affecting the railway. There are no further records of monitoring of the slip indicators or groundwater levels after 1986 and the landslip detector had became redundant by the 1990s.

Back to today Although it was hoped that the line could be kept open with the movements being managed by the track maintenance team, the Train and Freight Operating Companies (TOCs / FOCs)


Engineers undertaking ground investigation were advised within the first week that they should start preparing plans for line closure. Track maintenance engineer Mark Owens and his section manager Phil Milner developed a detailed and clear plan to react to deteriorating twist levels and ensure the safety of trains. In this particular situation, and given the number


the rail engineer • May 2014

of unknowns, the plan included limits for reduction in speed and line closure which were set at more conservative values than those mandated by Network Rail Standards. Phil Milner and his team visited site daily and, when movements increased, maintained a 24-hour presence on site, monitoring for track movement and lifting and packing as required. In addition, CML were on site surveying the hillside daily. As an extra precaution, a system of remote monitoring was installed on the sleepers to give 24-hour twist values and text alerts if these deteriorated. All of this monitoring information was reviewed, as it was received, by the geotechnical, track and project teams so that correct decisions could be taken regarding safe line speed. To make sure that the operators could fully understand the situation and the potential impact it might have on their customers, Clare Brint, Network Rail’s senior geotechnical asset engineer, provided a daily email update and attended frequent teleconferences to keep everyone informed. These updates included information on the amount of movement in the hillside and at track level, and predicted the deterioration rate so that an estimate could be made on how much longer the line could be kept open. As understanding of the landslip, its history, behaviour and effect on the track increased, CML and their design engineers developed a plan to address the lowest part of the hillside first, in order to halt further movements at track level. This would be followed by remediation work to the whole hillside.

Rock filled ‘Shear Key’ stopped slope movements at the toe of the landslide which enabled the railway to be re-opened.

Closure and reopening Following several more days of heavy rainfall, there was significant further movement at track level. The decision was taken to give the TOCs and FOCs 36 hours notice that the Up line would be closed on the morning of Tuesday 18 February 2014. At that stage, the programme for the works to allow the line to be re-opened was six weeks from the date of closure, which would mean it would not reopen until the end of March. This was due to the anticipated length of time to excavate the shear trench in short lengths to protect the stability of the hillside and constraints both with on-site materials storage and vehicle movements into and out of the site. The lowest slip was remediated by the installation of a ‘shear key’ - a 100 metre long stone-filled excavation, five metres wide and five to six metres deep, which went below the level of the slip.

This work took just three weeks and successfully prevented further movements at track level. It had been anticipated that a full track renewal would be required due to the clay material having been pushed up, contaminating the ballast. This would have required plant, equipment and staff to be diverted from planned track renewals as well as up to two days of full line blockade for both lines. However, in response to a request to speed up the process, a number of various other options were explored. It was decided to use the High Output Ballast Cleaner (HOBC) to excavate and replace the contaminated ballast as an interim measure.

Following confirmation that the shear key was effective and the slip had stopped affecting the track, the HOBC was used on the night of Friday 7 March, allowing the line to be re-opened on Saturday 8 March 2014 at 50 mph and returned to line speed the following week. The hillside continues to move, and work is still underway to remove up to 100,000 tonnes of soil and ensure that these slips do not affect the railway again. It is estimated that this will take a further three months, after which a full track renewal is being planned for 2015/16. That should put an end to the story of Unstone’s slippery slope, a tale that started forty-five years ago.

View from the crest of the landslide. Earth moving equipment removes failed material from the landslide.

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the rail engineer • May 2014


Looking to the future


anish atomic scientist Niels Bohr is reputed to have said: “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future”. This observation is supported by other classic comments such as: “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” by H. M. Warner in 1927; “We don’t like their sound” by Decca executive Dick Rowe as he turned down the Beatles in 1962 and “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” by Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corporation in 1977. The ‘Long Term Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry’ (RSS), published in February 2014, predicts that by 2043 there will be between 18,964 and 24,756 UK rail passenger vehicles - excluding London Underground and Eurostar. This compares with the current 12,647 vehicles. So, is the RSS prediction likely to better those made by Messrs Warner, Rowe and Olson? And why is it predicting rolling stock numbers so far in the future? The Rail Engineer was curious and decided to find out more. The RSS is published by a Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group (RSSSG) which comprises senior members of Network Rail, the train operating companies and the three principal rolling stock owners (ROSCOs), all of whom have jointly funded this work. It forecasts passenger rolling stock numbers over a 30 year period and is also intended to promote better value for money from the rail industry.

From micro-management to market driven Rolling stock procurement after privatisation was a mess. The 5,988 vehicles built since 1994 make up 47% of the current fleet. However, as most of this new stock replaced withdrawn vehicles, the total number has only increased

by 11%. Yet it has to accommodate a 102% increase in passenger miles over the same period. The result is overcrowding and inability to meet demand. Furthermore the large annual variation in rolling stock orders since privatisation has, according to the Rail Industry Association, resulted in a loss of UK jobs and a 20% increase in costs.

Within the industry there was concern about micro management by the Department for Transport (DfT). The 2011 McNulty study observed there was “a level of Government involvement in railway affairs which many observers consider is now greater than it was under the nationalised British Rail”. It was against this background that the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) published its ‘Rolling Stock and value for money’ discussion paper in 2011 which concluded that a more market-led approach “within a high-level strategic context” was required. Its eight point plan also included the requirement for a highlevel rolling stock strategy.

the rail engineer • May 2014

This approach was endorsed in the 2012 Government Command Paper “Reforming our Railways” which was shortly followed by the publication of the first RSS in February 2013. In the 2014 RSS, the previous rolling stock predictions are essentially unchanged. However it has more detail about the next ten years, standardisation, depot and berthing requirements. Both the 2013 and 2014 strategies are endorsed by a Government Minister. Thus it would seem that Government now recognises the need for market-driven rolling stock provision.

How many vehicles? The RSS predicts future fleet sizes at the end of each five-year control period up to 2043 using forecast route-specific peak period passenger volumes from other studies. These include those published by Network Rail in October 2013 for London & South East, Long-Distance and Regional Urban markets up to 2043. It also considers the various options in Network Rail’s 2009 Electrification Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS). The RSS contains a timeline of key activities relating to franchises as these drive rolling stock procurement.


In addition, the number of new self-powered vehicles required will depend on future emissions legislation. With no change, no more than 100 new vehicles will be required. However more stringent legislation could result in up to 1,500 new self-powered vehicles being required.

The next ten years

The RSS recognises the importance of a detailed forecast for the next ten years i.e. Control Periods 5 and 6 (CP5 & CP6). During this time, current orders for Thameslink, Crossrail and IEP dominate rolling stock procurement. By 2019 it is estimated that 3,050 new electric vehicles will be delivered including 2,250 vehicles for these three major projects. This, and the electrification programme, will release current diesel and electric vehicles for much-needed cascades to provide more stock throughout the network. However this will not happen until the end of CP5. The RSS forecasts that fewer new vehicles will be delivered in CP6. During this time the forecast is for 2,100 and 2,800 additional vehicles. This assumes that government policy will continue the currently committed rolling electrification programme beyond CP5. As far as diesel stock is concerned, it is considered that no new vehicles will be required in the next ten years. By 2024 many HSTs will have been replaced by IEP trains and around 500 (50%) of shorter distances DMU vehicles will have been withdrawn including many of the class 14x ‘Pacer’ vehicles.

Electrification The current rolling programme of electrification is a relatively recent development with only nine miles electrified between 1997 and 2010. In 2007 the Government Command Paper ‘Delivering a Sustainable Railway’ noted that “it would not be prudent to commit now to ‘all-or-nothing’ projects such as network-wide electrification for which the longer-term benefits are currently uncertain”. Fortunately, industry lobbying and the increasing political acceptance of the need for rail investment led to a change of heart. As a result, plans for electrification in the North West and of the Great Western route to Wales were announced in 2009. These were followed by plans to electrify the Midland main line and an ‘electric spine’ from Southampton. Currently, 7,960 single track miles (41%) of Network Rail’s network is electrified and there is a commitment to electrify a further 1,900 track miles by 2019. Although the DfT cannot yet commit to an electrification programme beyond 2019, government policy indicates the programme will continue into CP6. The RSS has reviewed Network Rail’s 2009 Electrification RUS to rank route sections that might be electrified in CP6 and beyond for inclusion in its low, medium and high growth scenarios and concludes that, by 2043, between 4,000 and 6,900 track miles will be electrified as shown in table 2. All these factors are incorporated in a spreadsheet that categorises the existing fleets into one of seven generic types of train as shown in table 1. This forecasts fleet sizes for low, medium and high growth scenarios with low and high growth being ± 30% of medium growth. Forecast numbers are the total required. There is no detailed prediction for new vehicles as the RSS considers decisions such as life extensions are best left to the market. There is, however, an estimate of the number of new electric vehicles required based on the expansion of electrification, HS2 and the assumed withdrawal of most BR-procured vehicles. »» In this way the RSS concludes that over the next 30 years: »» The passenger fleet will grow by between 53% and 99%; »» The proportion of electric (and bi-mode) vehicles will rise from today’s 69% to more than 90%; »» Between 13,000 and 19,000 new electric vehicles will be required. This is equivalent to a build rate of 8 to 12 per week (compared to four per week over the last five years).

The RSS does not consider possible conversion from DC to AC electrification as this would not affect total vehicle numbers.

Value for Money According to the McNulty ‘Rail Value for Money’ study, rolling stock accounts for 19% of railway operating costs. Maintenance and financing UK rolling stock is £1.9 billion per annum with traction energy costs estimated to be £0.55 billion. The RSS considers that rolling stock unit costs can be reduced through a combination of electrification, growth, standardisation and other factors.


the rail engineer • May 2014

Cost comparisons between diesel and electric stock show an average saving of £1.04 per vehicle mile (38%) as shown in table 3. In the medium growth scenario this amounts to £438 million per annum or a saving of 18% of total rolling stock costs. The RSS notes that standardisation will achieve economies of scale in production, technical support and maintenance but might inhibit innovation. It does not quantify these benefits but does consider how standardisation can be improved without inhibiting commercial train procurement. This includes a description of the work of three key committees: Vehicle / Vehicle Systems Interface (V/V SIC); Vehicle / Track Systems Interface (V/T SIC) and Vehicle / Structures Systems Interface (V/S SIC).

Maintenance - Where and Who The increased fleet will require additional berthing and maintenance depots. Provision of these facilities is well advanced for CP5. Beyond this, the RSS considers that further increases in berthing capacity of 10% will be required to 2024 and 50% to 2043. With a forecasted high demand for regional services, the largest increase in berthing capacity will be in the North West, on western routes and in Scotland. Although there will be a smaller increase in London and the South East, this is likely to be more difficult to achieve and will require advanced planning. The provision of skilled personnel to maintain the increased fleet is a critical issue. In its 2013 report ‘Forecasting the Skills Challenge’, the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) notes that Traction and Rolling Stock (T&RS) is the industry sector facing the biggest skills shortage. This is because its workforce has significant numbers over 55, the large amount of new rolling stock on order and the forthcoming ERTMS rollout. The report forecasts that, within the next five years, T&RS maintenance will require an extra 4,500 technicians and 4,000 artisan staff - around 35% of the current workforce. The RSS considers that short-term franchises do not provide the required incentive to invest in recruitment, training and development of engineering staff. It also highlights the need for long term investment to provide the necessary skills.

Creating the future 3,050 new electric vehicles and 1,900 miles of electrification over the next five years is good news indeed for the rail industry. However this level of investment has to deliver value for money as well as providing extra capacity. Looking further into the future, the RSS becomes increasingly important in facilitating long-term value for money savings. This is because its production helps create a consensus between Network Rail, TOCs, ROSCOs and Government to ensure that the requirements for infrastructure enhancement and rolling stock provision are matched. In addition it highlights opportunities to get better value for money. Finally the RSS gives manufacturers and the supply chain the confidence to develop their production capacity. Underpinning the RSS is its vehicle numbers forecast for the next 30 years. Forecasting as far ahead as 2043 might be thought to be an academic exercise. However this is part of a new industry long term planning process intended to take advantage of future strategic investment in the rail network of which Network Rail’s market studies are a further example. Of course such long-term predictions involve uncertainties, but this is no reason for not looking to the future. Indeed, it may be that, in seeking a consensus view of the future, the RSS makes it more likely to happen. Or, to quote Abraham Lincoln, “The best way to predict the future is to create it”.


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the rail engineer • May 2014

A fine balance



here is no doubt that modern engineering and technology are more advanced than those of the past, even of a few years ago. Today’s equipment is lighter, more economical, more powerful and more versatile. It is also more complex, and can be more expensive. So there is a natural inclination for engineering managers who look after older equipment to want to upgrade it to the latest model and take advantage of those economies and the increase in performance. But that is not always so easy. New equipment may be incompatible with earlier devices. A prototype will need to be developed and tested, to see if the new system works as intended and to allow the actual costs to be calculated so that a business case for the upgrade can be formulated. Sometimes things are best just left alone. Or a more radical approach to opportunity may need to be taken, potentially replacing a whole system as that may work out more cost-effective than modifying part of it.

New gearboxes for old However, there are times when an upgrade seems to be both desirable and affordable. A recent case in point is that of South West Trains’ fleet of Class 158 diesel multiple units. When built by British Rail in Derby around 1990, they were fitted with Voith hydrodynamic gearboxes attached to Cummins diesel engines. These work well, but are not energy efficient at low speeds, generating a lot of heat. Now, twenty-five years later, other gearboxes are coming onto the market that solve this problem. Automatic mechanical gearboxes, as used on heavy goods vehicles

and rail applications in Europe, are reliable and don’t have that lowspeed efficiency problem. This attracted the attention of both South West Train’s engineering director Christian Roth and Alex White - operations director of the trains’ owner, Porterbrook. If one of these new gearboxes could be fitted to a Class 158, operational savings could be made in terms of fuel consumption. But would that saving pay for the new gearbox? “The current Voith box is a reliable piece of equipment,” commented Alex White. “However, it is inefficient up to about 40mph. About 30% of the energy is wasted as heat in that phase. “With the cost of energy (fuel) being what it is we started to look at options to combat this issue back in 2010.” Christian Roth takes up the story. “Changing the old hydro-dynamic box for a new one wouldn’t have given us the energy savings we were looking for, so we had to go for something different. ZF make a good mechanical gearbox which has been used on electric multiple units in Germany and given reliable service. It seemed to be what we were looking for. “However, being originally designed for a truck, it only had a single reverse gear. That didn’t matter for the EMUs - to go backwards they simply reverse the motor. However, for our DMUs, we would need to be able to go as fast in reverse as forwards - and that was new.”

Working together To develop this concert, a fourparty group was formed of South West Trains, Porterbrook, ZF and Vossloh Kiepe - which would engineer the installation. Each two-car train set has two engines and gearboxes - one on each car. The new gearbox would fit on the underframe in the same space as the old hydro-dynamic box, although a new housing would be required to fit the current mounting points. This would drive a new reverser gear in a separate casing, solving the bi-directional problem. Additionally, new drive shafts were introduced to transmit the output from the gearbox to the existing power bogies. With the paper-exercise looking promising, the green light was given to undertake a trial. It would not have been sensible to change both gearboxes on one train to start with as, if there were reliability issues, the operator didn’t want the set to be stranded. So the first stage was to exchange one box only.

Although it is mechanical in operation, the new gearbox is controlled by an electronic management system. In an HGV application, this talks to the engine’s control system. However, the 25-year-old Cummins R1 doesn’t have one. The new box, therefore, had to be set up to run itself in isolation. Moreover, on the first tests, it also had to be set up to operate at similar speeds and power levels as the old hydro-dynamic box that would still be operating under the other car. Once all of the design work had been finalised, and a gearbox obtained from ZF with the new casing, unit 158885 was withdrawn from service and sent to the South West Trains depot at Bournemouth.

First one, then two “Installing the new gearbox took a bit longer than we anticipated,” Alex White admitted. “Most of that was software-related. We

the rail engineer • May 2014


Long-term trial

hade to ensure that the new ZF-gearbox was set up correctly, then that it synchronised with the Voith box under the other vehicle.” Once everyone was satisfied, the unit went off to the nearby Swanage Railway. There it was run under varying conditions, including on rails covered in liquid soap, so that the wheel slip/slide protection (WSP) could be checked. Finally, unit 158885 went back into passenger service. Apart fromz some minor adjustments, this was not performance testing but purely so that the reliability of the new transmission could be assessed. When South West Trains was assured that the reliability of the new installation didn’t present a risk to their service delivery, permission was given for the second transmission to be swapped. This was done over Christmas 2013. It went more swiftly as the majority of the wrinkles had been ironed out the first time around, but now the two ‘intelligent’ gearboxes could be programmed for optimum performance - not just synchronised with the old hydro-dynamic transmission.

The complete train is now back in service, and a close check is being kept on both performance and fuel consumption. The aim is to save at least 10% of fuel consumption, primarily due to the better efficiency at low speeds. However, there are likely to be other improvements as well. “We can alter the parameters in the software to give us different performance,” Alex White explained. “We can set it for more fuel economy, or different performance parameters, including acceleration. Currently, drivers tell us they can feel more acceleration up to 75mph, but then it backs off. When we finalise the design we will need to take all of this into account. But the primary objective is that of a greater than 10% energy saving presently.” Christian Roth concurred. “Once we had two gearboxes running together, only then could we start to understand both the economy and performance. We can directly compare the modified train with unmodified ones working the same diagrams.” The trial will last around six months. Then, an assessment will be made of the actual fuel savings achieved, and a business case prepared weighing that saving against the cost of the installation. The hydrodynamic boxes will shortly need an expensive rebuild anyway, so that will also get factored into the equation. Alex White and Christian Roth seem confident that the fuel saving can be achieved, and the financial benefit of that will justify the expense of fitting the rest of the fleet. But it seems to be quite a finely-balanced case. A little more economy and it will be a no-brainer; a little less, and it potentially won’t be worth doing. But if everything works out, Bournemouth will be busy changing gearboxes for some time to come.

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the rail engineer • May 2014



the rail engineer • May 2014


he increased use of electronic systems in rolling stock and rail infrastructure undoubtedly improves operational efficiency and safety for the rail operator as well as enhancing the passenger experience. For the rail engineer, however, these electronic systems come with the added challenge of managing obsolescence. Most component and equipment manufacturers are focussed on their next-generation products and on emerging technologies. This reliance on research and development to provide new revenue streams means that today’s hot new products quickly become commodity and then legacy parts as the manufacturers follow timescales which are driven by fastmoving consumer markets. Consider the mobile phone industry for example. Mobile-phone users will expect to upgrade their handsets every 18 to 24 months, whereas the planned lifecycle for rolling stock usually stretches to 30 or 40 years. There is also a significant difference in the volume of units shipped to the consumer and rail industries. Analysts predict that global shipments of mobile handsets will reach 2.5 billion units in 2014. Compare that to the amount of components used in rolling stock, signals, rail infrastructure and passenger information systems and the difference in the production volumes of the two sectors becomes apparent. The disparity in the expected operational lifetimes and the production volumes means that the focus for most manufacturers will be on the high-tech, high-volume markets rather than legacy, lowvolume parts. The expected lifetime of software also falls short of the life expectancy in the rail industry. Microsoft withdrew support and automatic upgrades for Windows 1998 after just 8 years and ceased support for Windows XP after 12 years.

Figure 1 - Short component lifecycles make obsolescence inevitable in equipment with a long life-cycle.

As Figure 1 shows, the challenge facing rail engineers is to ensure the continued operation of electronic systems far past the point at which the manufacturers no longer produce or support the components within them.

Functional or technical The types of obsolescence which need to be managed can be described as either technical or functional. In technical obsolescence, the correct operation of the equipment cannot be guaranteed because spare parts or technical support is no longer available from the manufacturer. Examples of technical obsolescence occur when a component manufacturer withdraws a legacy part in favour of one built on a newer technology, or when an industry-standard format evolves into a different footprint or data transmission moves to a different protocol. In addition to the obsolescence of electronic components, the rail engineer may also have to consider the obsolescence of materials, such as asbestos, or changes in production tools and even workforce skills. As older employees retire, the younger recruits may not have been trained on the legacy systems and technologies which are still operating successfully throughout the rail industry. Functional obsolescence, on the other hand, occurs when the equipment cannot be adapted to meet new standards or regulations for issues such as quality of service and efficiency. Examples



of functional obsolescence include updated regulations for People of Reduced Mobility (PRM), increased use of the radio network resulting in limitations in capacity, or the lower processing power of a legacy computer being unable to support greater demand for sensor inputs or system intelligence.

Managing obsolescence Whilst obsolescence will remain a daily reality for rail engineers, the risk, impact and cost of obsolescence can and should be mitigated if rail operators and asset owners are to recoup the investment in new equipment and systems. Obsolescence management falls into two categories: reactive management which occurs after an unplanned obsolescence event, and proactive management which aims to predict future obsolescence events and plans strategies to reduce the impact if and when each event occurs.

A typical electronic control system from the 1990s.



Sub System

the rail engineer • May 2014

Electric Traction & Brake

Air & Brake System

Auxiliary Supply

High Voltage Switchgear

Air System

Auxiliary Converter

Traction Inverter

Mechanical Brake

Traction Control System

Brake Control System

Figure 2 - Risk assessment by sub-system and equipment.

Sophisticated electronic systems increase the risk of obsolescence.

Train Control & Mgmt System

Information Systems & Services

Door System

Bogie System

Main Processing Unit

External Doors


Saloon HVAC


Signalling Interface

Electronic Control System

Cab Display

Internal Doors

Bogie Mgmt System


Passenger Counting

Event Recorder


Remote Interface Modules

Door Control System

HVAC Controller

Onboard CCTV

Track to Train Comms

Reactive management techniques vary widely in both risk and cost. The lowest risk/cost scenario is to use existing inventory or to take advantage of a Last Time Buy (LTB) from the original supplier. If neither of these options is available, purchasing stock from the grey market can be a relatively low-cost option but will inherently increase the risk of buying components which are counterfeit or which have a higher failure rate due to incorrect storage conditions. Finding an alternative component with the appropriate fit, form and function certainly minimises risk but could also incur the cost of a minor re-design. If none of these options is available, then a relatively high-cost complete re-design or reverse engineering may have to be considered. A coordinated obsolescence management plan is essential for proactive management. It is also important to create a business-wide culture of obsolescence awareness, particularly in the R&D, engineering, maintenance and purchasing departments.


Proactive obsolescence management should start during the initial stages of product design. Here, the risk of obsolescence can be mitigated by making technology as transparent as possible and by undertaking technology assessments and risk-mapping. Figure 2 shows a typical risk assessment map. Anticipating and planning for upgrades and considering the roadmap for each technology are also crucial. When the product is in service, obsolescence should be monitored at component, product and system level. This is achieved by periodically reviewing the market for emerging technologies and generating a watch list of critical parts.

Sharing information and best practice Membership of an organisation such as the Component Obsolescence Group provides opportunities to network with people from other companies and industries and to share information about best practice in both obsolescence management and counterfeit avoidance. The quarterly COG meetings provide a mix of formal presentations and informal events at which obsolescence engineers, buyers and solution providers can exchange ideas on key issues such as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), conflict minerals and counterfeiting. The meetings also provide access to the latest tools and systems developed to reduce the administrative costs of obsolescence monitoring and management.

Safety Systems

Alstom Transport has set up an obsolescence management service as a central function to support all of its businesses in rolling stock, signalling and infrastructure, and the associated service business - and Alstom monitors the obsolescence status of more than 75,000 components. Obsolescence services, including audits, monitoring and solutions, are offered to customers for both Alstom and non-Alstom equipment. As an example, Alstom is currently developing a GTO gate drive for a major customer to replace a 20 year old product for which electronic components are no longer available. The new product uses Alstom’s original design knowledge combined with the latest technology to deliver a more reliable product. A reactive obsolescence management strategy is appropriate for low risk sub-systems such as bogies, but a proactive Obsolescence Management Plan is needed to protect the most critical and vulnerable systems against the inevitable changes in technologies and software. Effective obsolescence management also helps rail engineers to ensure that, throughout the rail industry, the operational lifetime of equipment can be extended far beyond the timescales supported by component manufacturers and software suppliers. So, despite the increasingly throw-away culture of consumer markets, the rail industry should still be able to measure the operational lifetime of its equipment in decades, rather than just years. Stuart Broadbent is obsolescence director of Alstom Transport and member of the Component Obsolescence Group (COG)

Inf S rar ee ail us St at an dF 6



the rail engineer • May 2014

Delivering an

Engineering Advantage A

s the drive to reduce the costs of maintenance and replacement components continues to gather pace, the demands on those who supply critical components become more stringent too. Rail operators and maintenance contractors are increasingly seeking to foster partnerships with companies which can guarantee product quality and availability, and an innovative approach based on deep market understanding which can drive performance improvements and reduce operating costs. One example of this type of company is Norgren, a global market leader in pneumatic motion and fluid control which has more than 30 years’ experience in delivering a combination of high-performance products, innovation and technical excellence to the rail industry.

As simple as drying air To understand how a company such as Norgren, which is backed by the global resources and expertise of the IMI group, can offer an ‘engineering advantage’, just consider the supply of compressed air. Moisture and other contaminants make operating compressed air applications very problematic in rail. Air dryer packages are widely utilised to clean and dry compressed air before it reaches critical downstream applications, such as brakes, door systems and pantographs. Two air dryer types - membrane and desiccant - are currently used. Both have their problems when used in rail applications. Membrane dryers use fibre tubes suspended between two columns to form a semi-permeable membrane, allowing water vapour to pass through to the low concentration outside.

To maintain lower moisture concentration on the fibre bundle’s exterior surface, much of the dry air produced is employed to sweep away collected water vapour into a small vent which releases it into the atmosphere. This sweeping action is continual so the membrane self-regenerates with no cycling, pressure changes or maintenance. Membrane dryers are lightweight, have no external power requirement and create no dust. However, the fibres are susceptible to contamination and, if one fibre should break, others tend to follow, causing catastrophic failure. With a life cycle of up to 24 months, membrane dryers require monitoring and replacement through regular maintenance schedules. Desiccant dryers, on the other hand, adsorb moisture and contaminants using two canister towers or columns. These are filled with beads combining adsorbent material mixed with a clay binder, which is formed into spheres of various diameters. Although tightly packed, train vibration causes the beads to rub together, eroding them and forming dust which can then contaminate the air and damage downstream equipment. An additional downstream filter is usually installed to collect dust near the dryer output, but this is not totally effective.


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the rail engineer • May 2014

As the beads erode, they become less tightly packed, allowing more moisture-laden air to pass through gaps in the desiccant bed and flow into downstream equipment. Some manufacturers use a spring to compress the canister stopping the gaps between the beads - this can restrict air flow and cause a pressure drop, making the dryer work harder to push air through, reducing efficiency. As the desiccant bed’s size reduces, it can become over-saturated, with the beads irreparably damaged. Depending on the application, desiccant air dryers have a life cycle between six and 36 months. The frequent replacements mean additional costs, extra maintenance (it is usually a two-person activity, sometimes requiring special lifting equipment) and unnecessary downtime.

There is a better way Harnessing the best of existing desiccant and filter drying systems, Norgren’s latest generation of air dryers feature Adsorbent Media Tube (AMT) technology which employs a desiccant substance housed within

an extruded polymer tube. During manufacture, the desiccant crystals are mixed with the polymer – although the polymer plays no part in the drying process, its molecules are wider than the clay binding molecules found in a regular desiccant dryer, allowing moist air to get to the drying agent and be adsorbed more quickly. During regeneration, the moisture is removed just as quickly, leading to a reduction in air volume required for the purge cycle. The polymer tubes are tightly packed into their housing, but are more uniformly shaped than beads, making them unaffected by vibration. This also means consistent air flow through the tubes, while the unit’s performance does not degrade over time. No clay component also means no dust. AMT polymer tubes are extruded into a water bath during manufacture so they are essentially ‘born’ in water, meaning there will be no by-product or chemical reaction if they become saturated. The tubes are simply dried, returned to their original state and reused as normal, so no maintenance is required.

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These new dryers are lightweight but also flexible, being mountable horizontally or vertically. Tests show they collect more moisture per m3 than traditional desiccant or membrane dryers. They also last up to six years or 18,000 hours in most applications, changing their status from regularly serviced items to major refurbishment items. With a considerably lower cost of ownership, they dry better to ensure a reliable flow of clean air to downstream applications, keeping the railway network moving.

And there’s more… Having dried the air, Norgren also use it. Developed specifically for use with circuit breakers in electric rail vehicles, VR24Z solenoid valves are direct acting, fast response products delivering optimum reliability and safety for a range of applications including cam shaft contactors, line breaker contactors, vacuum and air blast circuit breakers and shoe gear controls. They have recently been specified by a major international rail operator which was experiencing issues with its existing technology. Norgren’s approach was to modify one of its proven core technologies based on the specific application requirements, and then supply samples to the customer for testing and validation. These products met all specifications over a four-month live train test, resulting in a highly prestigious contract. A pioneer in door control systems, another of Norgren’s innovations is a reduced force cylinder for external and internal door control. The cylinder has been developed to meet the needs of purchasers who are finding it hard – and often expensive – to source and service OE products. Already, these products have been specified by major train companies and suburban network operators. So a dedicated rail sector team with good practical experience, such as the one at Norgren, can make a difference by developing and specifying items which are best suited to a railway application. And that’s how you can gain an ‘engineering advantage’.



18-19 June 2014 Long Marston Warwickshire

The Largest Outdoor Rail Event in the UK Network Rail, in association with The Rail Alliance, the rail engineer and Macrail, is proud to present Rail Live 2014: a showcase for railway infrastructure. 2014, which marks the start of Control Period 5 (CP5), will see the whole rail industry continue to embark on one of the longest sustained periods of investment the railway has seen since Victorian tim es. Network Rail will be continuing its focus on safety and delivering value for money through working more closely with suppliers.

In partnership with


the rail engineer • May 2014



ver the past four years, the regulations and standards that govern the assessment of rail vehicles have progressively changed. Traditional processes based on the accreditation of individuals as technical ‘experts’ (or signatories) have been liberalised to allow a more diverse approach, underpinned by robust management systems. This is paving the way for a more efficient, but equally safe, way of managing engineering change, but is the UK railway industry taking advantage of this?

A change in approach Before 2010, engineering acceptance by an accredited Vehicle Acceptance Body (VAB) was the mandatory method of confirming that, before they entered service, rail vehicles conformed to UK technical standards. This applied to all types of rolling stock, including passenger, freight and on-track plant and machinery. To establish an industry standard, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) created and managed the accreditation of VAB organisations and VAB signatories. However, Group Standard GM/RT2000 changed in 2010, allowing alternative ways to provide certification for rail vehicle acceptance. The process fundamentally relies on a competent entity assessing vehicle conformance with a prescribed set of standards. Under the interoperability regulations, this is the function performed by a Notified Body (NoBo) or Designated Body (DeBo) making these organisations now ideally suited to operate in the domestic rail vehicle certification market. Accreditation of organisations to act as NoBos and DeBos (carried out in the UK by United Kingdom Accreditation Service) is based on a competence management system, rather than unique individuals; so is this a more efficient approach? If so, why are VAB signatories still in demand four years later? Why are so many organisations finding it difficult to move on? Is

there uncertainty about the robustness of the standards? Are commercial arrangements lagging behind, using outdated service providers? Or is it because the benefits these changes can bring are simply not understood?

Efficiency and added value Accreditation of certification bodies, based on rigorously tested competence management systems, allows an approach that’s more flexible and equally robust. Having more people with the required competencies distributed between them increases the reliability of service and reduces costs. The competence management system can be shared across all certification activities, removing requirements to maintain (and accredit) multiple systems. Many believe that the resulting process is cheaper, more sustainable and just as safe.

Independent bodies - particularly those employing a diverse group of people - can also add value in areas such as compliance assessment with project requirements, general fitness for purpose and vehicle reliability. The Network Certification Body (NCB) fully understands the fundamental role of a conformance assessment body in maintaining the safety of the railway system. While it is possible to use accredited individuals, NCB prefers to use the management system approach, to provide certification across the full range of vehicle types. Customers need to have these services delivered efficiently. Using its detailed understanding of the regulations, NCB helps customers explore the best options, always recognising that the final decision must rest with the proposer of the change. In addition, in-built flexibility means that extra services can be added as part of a ‘package’, thus reducing the cost of the project overall. Those interested in discussing these changes will be able to meet the NCB team at Rail Live 2014, being held at Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon, on 18/19 June 2014. For more information visit

We’ll get you on track NCB (Network Certification Body) is the choice for rail vehicle conformity assessment. You’ve done the hard work of identifying the technical specifications, standards and safety risks that apply to your vehicle. You’re now looking for someone to provide you with the independent assurance that you’re ready to roll. Look no further than NCB. NCB has the experience, accreditation and railway industry connections. We operate with locomotives, passenger vehicles, on track plant and machinery, freight wagons and rail vehicle components. Whether you are a manufacturer, owner or operator, we have the ability to deliver conformance certification to meet your needs.


Accredited as a Notified Body and Designated Body in Europe and as a UK Vehicle Acceptance Body we can cover the full scope; from engineering modifications through rail vehicle new build to train and plant operations. Working as an Assessment Body under the Common Safety Method, our knowledge of processes throughout the railway industry gives us unparalleled ability to provide assurance and certification solutions that work for you.

NCB – for whatever you put on rails. Give us a call to discuss how we can help.



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the rail engineer • May 2014

Traffic Management Systems Train Regulation Made Easy?


egulating trains so that they run in the right order and do not delay other services has been a challenge ever since railways started in business. In early times, the decision-making was left to local signalmen who, by their intricate knowledge and years of experience, got it right most of the time. Everything was relatively easy if trains were running to the timetable, but the challenge came when disruption occurred, maybe a failed locomotive, a section of track needing maintenance, a member of crew not being available, even the insertion of an extra train at the last moment. At such times, the capability of signalmen to sort things out was severely stretched, and running order mistakes could quickly cripple a train service.

Early steps The advent of Traffic Control Offices in the early part of the twentieth century helped considerably, but having only telephones and telegraph instruments at their disposal severely

limited what these offices were aware of and the ability to get things changed. With the introduction of power signalboxes in the 1950s, a much greater area of control could be viewed with all train movements actively seen on a display diagram. The positioning of regulators at ‘back row’ desks enabled much greater accuracy in the regulating process but, even here, it was a human decision as to how trains should be scheduled to minimise disruption. Big as they became, power boxes still had a limited area of operation and the ability to see the order of approaching trains was restricted. In later years, computerised systems have been developed to aid the decision making by signallers and controllers. These include:


»» ARS (Automatic Route Setting) whereby trains signal themselves according to the timetable and their train description, thus minimising signaller intervention but with limited facilities for prioritising the order in which trains are processed; »» JOT (Junction Optimising Technique) in an attempt to look at the order of trains approaching a junction point and then signalling trains through the junction according to type, speed and importance; »» Computerised Train Graphs - produced primarily for timetable compilation but used in real time for modifying the train service on a daily basis according to need, including the insertion of additional trains;

the rail engineer • May 2014

»» TD NET (Train Describer Networking) whereby Train Describer systems in the various power boxes have their information distributed to a common database so that other signalling centres and control offices can see the real time movement of trains over extended distances; »» Timetable and train describer interaction for the updating of passenger information.

Various uses Other systems have been developed to make use of this computerised information external to the signalling centre and control office. Project Darwin is one example. An ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies) initiative, it captures real time train running information and links this into web sites and social media systems as well as improved displays / announcements at stations. The intention is that customers receive current and relevant data for their intended journey (issue 83, September 2011). DAS (Driver Advisory Systems) give guidance to drivers on the optimum speed to be observed such that a train arrives at a particular timing point on time having used the least amount of energy by avoiding excessive acceleration and braking (issue 104, June 2013).

Traffic Management Systems With past developments yielding so much relevant data, what further work is foreseen and needed to improve on the present situation? Current information systems have been designed as separate entities with the potential for data to be both disparate and missed, thus causing inconsistency. There are, however, many other factors that impact on train service performance which need to be integrated into the decision management process.


The result is the Train Management System (TMS) and it is not just a UK requirement as many other railways have invested in the development of such systems. The concept is to produce a single source of data for train timetabling, rolling stock allocation and train crew deployment and to use this data for operations planning and comparison to real time operational events, thus automating the signalling of trains in the optimum way. Included is the detection of potential conflicts and their best resolution, plus probing ‘what if’ scenarios on train running with consequent decision support. Such a task is clearly challenging and effective results will be most needed at times of severe disruption. Achieving this will essentially be by marrying the signalling control panel with the computerised train planning graph. This will yield a map of train whereabouts over a wide area, derived from both traditional train describers and GPS radio tracking, from which information can be sent to a variety of systems that react to the data. The result will have impact way beyond the basic objective of running trains to time. The overall TMS will include: »» Web based distribution with configurable information management applications; »» Travel information dissemination including display maps to show disruption; »» Possession management and reduction of human based protection methods; »» On-site communication to local terminals and smart phones; »» Rolling stock re-planning; »» Train crew scheduling and re-assignment when needed; »» Insertion of additional trains and optimum pathing of these; »» Feeding of live train running data to DAS so as to alter driver advice to take account of potential junction conflicts.


the rail engineer • May 2014

Network Rail plans and trials Network Rail operates 24,000 trains per day and passenger demand is expected to increase by 30% in the next 10 years. Around 8,000 people are employed to operate the railway and a high percentage of operator’s time is unproductive. Managing these quantities so as to achieve maximum efficiency will be a challenge. Network Rail thus wants a TMS facility that is already proven on other rail networks. Trial applications are underway with three providers: Hitachi, Thales and Signalling Solutions Ltd (SSL). All have reached the stage where demonstration systems have been set up, modelled on a particular operating area and including simulations of SSI interlockings and train movements. This is allowing Network Rail engineers and operators to evaluate the effectiveness of the offering. Part of the testing is to see whether the decision-making algorithms are better than an experienced railway controller. Unsurprisingly, controllers see this as something of a challenge! The trials aim to show various combinations of how TMS might assist signallers, ranging from full intervention to advising on the best route settings. The chosen area for modelling is Leeds, as this contains a multitude of routes and a complex station layout. The Rail Engineer was shown all three systems by Richard Beddow, Network Rail’s project manager, and Gary Pierce, one of the ‘challenged’ controllers, in conjunction with the three manufacturers.

Hitachi TRANISTA The Hitachi TMS, known as Tranista, is based on experience in Japan where Hitachi systems are used on both Shinkansen high-speed lines and busy commuter and mixed traffic lines, notably in the Tokyo area. On this simulation, trains are shown on entry and exit routes as the next three in running timetabled order. This list is displayed adjacent to the appropriate train describer window. If a train fails or is stopped for an unduly long time at a platform, then that train is ‘suspended’ from the system and the next three trains are re-ordered. This process takes account of the types of train, their permitted speed, the ongoing stopping patterns and the impact of delay. Thus the recommended sequence of dispatch may not be the same as per the timetable. Once the problem with the ‘stopped’ train is rectified, then it is re-inserted into the system and a revised running order calculated.

Thales ARAMIS Thales offers a similar simulation structured around a single operating information system that gives re-configurable control and use of decision support tools. The system is branded ARAMIS and has a modular architecture that

can be structured for links to interlockings, radio block centres, fringe train describers, alarms and so forth. It is aimed at providing help in several rail activities: planning, station management, passenger information, controllers and train crew, and will cover timetable, despatch, movement authorities, network availability, incident / delay management and service information. To link to the several types of interlocking that currently exist, Thales intends to use the WestCad system originating from Invensys (now Siemens Rail Automation) as a programmable interface. The Leeds simulation includes for normal, degraded and emergency working as defined by the nominated controllers. ARAMIS will not optimise train crew or rolling stock diagramming / rostering, these being achieved by links to other systems.

SSL ICONIS The proposal from SSL centres around Alstom’s ICONIS and Atos’s Integrale products with the emphasis being on the management of a mixed traffic railway. This offering is based on a consortium approach involving Alstom (one of two parent companies of SSL), Atos (an international IT organisation that acquired significant elements of CAP and SEMA Group) and Parsons Brinckerhoff. The ICONIS TMS system is used in a number of countries but the deployment in Bologna, which is one of 12 signalling centres in Italy using different manufacturers’ equipment, equates best to the Network Rail scene. Here, TMS has enabled a significant improvement in punctuality whilst having to cope with a 30% increase in traffic. A shadow system is included to allow final validation of upgrades and changes in the live environment before loading to the operational system with no down time. The Atos Integrale product provides a high level, national management solution to co-

ordinate local TMS systems provided at individual signalling centres. For the UK proposal, linkage to other existing IT and signalling equipment such as rolling stock, crew rosters, etc. will be via the LINX integration layer, this feeding both local and overview TMS architecture. Train running is shown by + or - minutes for early or late against the individual train descriptions on the signaller’s route setting screen. From this, optimised ARS will be advised. Any change to planned timetable routing will require human intervention. A mouse click on the description will establish a voice call to the train using GSM-R. Conflict detection currently compares only one train to another (Pair Wise Comparison) but more variables will be developed as the system matures. A key factor will be the time taken to assess what options are available; the optimum solution might not be best if too much time is taken

Common elements All three suppliers envisage electronic train graphs on the signallers’ desks so that they can compare the dynamic timetabling to the normal route setting screen. This element will potentially give the signallers more information and expert advice on the optimum routing of trains. The train graph will show both the planned path and the real time actual running time of a train. From this, future conflict points will be determined with advice as to the best running order to be followed. The use of this facility is likely to be split between the signallers who have around a 10 minute window to change things, and the train planners on the ‘back row’ desks who will view the likely changes and train movements at greater distances from the immediate station area. The train graph can be used to block out sections of route if a major problem is


the rail engineer • May 2014

encountered. Options will then be to terminate, turnback or divert according to the nature of the blockage. Dealing with a suicide or a broken rail are instances where this can occur inside a normal day. The TMS programme will be aligned to the introduction of the Regional Operating Centres (ROCs). Current plans show 12 of these nationally, with 5 already open and the remainder all due to be in partial service by the end of 2015. The ROCs are intended to cover the majority of Network Rail but it will take many years before all rail routes are controlled from these places. TMS however, to be effective, must take account of the whole railway so TMS information and applications must be made available to the existing Integrated Electronic Control Centres (IECCs), older style Power Boxes (PSBs) and even to the remaining mechanical signalboxes whilst they remain in service. Current thoughts are to display optimised train running orders at these places with instructions to signallers to maintain this order unless exceptional circumstances intervene. This will need careful handling and a lot of lessons will no doubt be learnt in the process.

Capacity With the ever increasing ridership and the need to run more trains, capacity on the network is becoming a real problem. Building more infrastructure is expensive and takes time, so are there any quick fixes that can help? TMS is envisaged as a tool for improving train running sequences and minimising delay at pinch points and from this, more train paths should become available, thus increasing capacity. Exactly how beneficial this can be will be part of the evaluation period but a broad order assessment is that 10% more throughput can be obtained at the busiest parts of the network.

Other applications and the future Once train operation is known in real time on a national scale, it will enable much improved information to be given to travellers at times of disruption. The portrayal of information by digital maps on displays boards at stations has been tried in the past (at Peterborough) and was judged to be successful. By using TMS the maps can be made more dynamic and can show for example a line being closed and the diversionary routes that trains will be taking. Getting information into web sites and social media will continue to be a feature of Project Darwin, but the feeds to the system will have greater accuracy. DAS is a technology that is being adopted by many of the train operating companies, but it is currently limited to the provision of data for a specific train journey. It has always been foreseen that information given to drivers on optimum running speeds needs to take account of other train movements and TMS will be a natural feeder in the accomplishment of this aim. DAS set-up information such as train set, platform diagramming and suchlike will be fed into TMS, whence the data will have to be centralised at some kind of hub and then distributed in processed form to trains via a 3G or 4G mobile network. Information on freight trains will be particularly important as the locomotive type, speed, weight and loading all vary from train to train. Since freight trains rarely run to the same rigorous timetable of passenger services, ‘queue paths’ may be created to show available capacity if a freight train is running late or indeed to offer a path to another train should a cancellation or significant late running occur. Possession Management is an ongoing challenge with the present methodology seen as inefficient and carrying big safety risks caused by human error. With the ability to know the real

and predicted whereabouts of every train within an area plus the capability of networking this information to a local terminal (iPad or tablet), it should become possible to present more timely information to persons responsible for managing a possession. This will be aimed at planned possessions in the first instance but could potentially be useful in enabling work to be done between trains and taking emergency possessions. Another consideration is how TMS will fit in with the future ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) programme, and some form of integration will be necessary. By electing to have a TMS system that is already in service, it is anticipated that this will have been used in conjunction with ERTMS on another rail administration.

Deployment Once the test room simulation period is completed, one of the TMS products will be chosen for deployment in Cardiff and Romford (Essex Thameside section) ROCs to gain realtime experience. These will become operational in Dec 2015. At some stage, a high-level national system has to be included to get a UK overview on how trains are running. An individual ROC will probably only need to see approaching trains within a 60 minute time period for conflict detection purposes but a three hour window will be possible if required Just how the ultimate procurement will evolve has still to be worked out but if a multi-supplier scenario is chosen then interoperability will be required between the different products. The single national overview system must be capable of seamlessly linking all of the ROC-based equipment. A collaborative effort from suppliers will be needed. There is a lot at stake so keen eyes will be watching progress with interest.


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the rail engineer • May 2014

Communications Based Train Control


ommunications Based Train Control (CBTC) means different things to different people, so says Tom Lee from the Rail Standards and Safety Board who chaired a recent conference in London on the subject organised by Sagacity Media. The engineering / technical aspects are often not seen in the context of operations or passenger service and, whilst CBTC systems are becoming more widespread, they will never be a mass market offering such as road vehicles and public communication networks. The mix of capacity and energy usage is crucial and far too many examples exist of trains transporting fresh air around for parts of the day. Availability and reliability go alongside safety and using proven technology is often best - being the second application might be preferable but remember someone has to innovate. So what is CBTC, what does it offer and where are the shortfalls? A number of speakers attempted to provide the answers.

History, standards and broad perspective David Dimmer, from Thales but working for European railway industry association UNIFE on its NGTC (Next Generation Train Control) project, started the conference off. He commented that, whilst most people associate CBTC with urban metros, it can also embrace ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) technology, particularly where this will be used in high density urban operations. The technology really began back in the 1960s with the opening of London’s Victoria line, but CBTC only became a recognised terminology in the 1980s. At that time it used track loops as the

transmission method although radio became the natural choice in the 1990s. CBTC consists of three elements - ATP (Automatic Train Protection), ATO (Automatic Train Operation) and ATS (Automatic Train Supervision). Attempts to standardise the functionality and technology have had mixed success. Results so far include: »» IEEE 1474.1 - Functional and Performance Requirements »» IEEE 1474.2 - User Interfaces »» IEEE 1471.3 - Recommended Practice for System Design »» IEEE 1474.4 - Recommended Practice for Functional Testing. None of these are mandatory and fall way short of getting standardisation in equipment practice. The intended specification IEC 62290 ‘Urban Guided Transport Management - Command and Control’ has too large a scope, thus making little progress. The ModUrban project had an objective to create an interoperability specification but this was not achieved other than a definition of system architecture. Nonetheless the need very


much exists and in New York, as an example, the operator has demanded inter-equipment testing from two suppliers. The NGTC project started in 2012 with a budget of €11 million aiming to produce a European standard that embraces ATO, DTO (Driverless Train Operation) and UTO (Unattended Train Operation) requirements. Its 21 members comprise UNIFE, manufacturers, operators including London Underground and Paris Metro’s RATP, the ETCS (European Train Control System) Users Group together with various universities and consultants. It sees a growing commonality between CBTC and main line technology, setting out tasks as a series of work packages. These include: technical coherence, common message structure, moving block requirements, IP-based radio communication beyond GSM-R and satellite train positioning (main line applicability only). The focus appears to be on merging ETCS and CBTC technology; perhaps not the right priority at the present time. It might be concluded that CBTC is more a broad conception rather than a specified technical and operating system. This creates uncertainty

the rail engineer • May 2014


CBTC The Dos & Don’ts

amongst both existing and potential users as to what type of system to choose and how much to specify.

The London Underground vision LU has had a somewhat mixed experience of CBTC over the past few years. The first application (although not known as CBTC in those days) was the use of Automatic Train

Operation in the 1960s on the then new Victoria Line. Designed in house, this was a world leader with the system lasting until 2012. Later implementations were not so smooth. The original intention to equip the Jubilee Line Extension prior to the Millennium went horribly wrong and it was to the credit of LU that a conventionally signalled fall back was designed and installed in record time. More recently the

Jubilee Line has been fitted with the Thales Seltrac system similar to that on Docklands. This project proved to be far from an easy upgrade and much press criticism resulted from the prolonged delay and periodic weekend line closures. The system now works well and, from the lessons learned, a similar technology is being installed on the more complex Northern Line. This project is going remarkably smoothly and will be complete by mid 2014 giving a 20% increase in capacity. Disruption to the public has been minimal, most people not even realising the work was progressing. In parallel, the Victoria line has had its original ATO equipment replaced by the then Invensys Distance-to-Go radio system. This was uncharted waters as it was an upgrade from one CBTC system to another. Hugh Bridge, who works for LU on its Automatic Train Control programme, described the solution which was based around overlaying the new infrastructure upon the old, so allowing new and old trains to run together on the line. The conversion is heralded a great success


the rail engineer • May 2014

(Above) Crossrail will have CBTC control through the central section. (Below) CBTC displays in the cab of a Madrid Metro. and a significant increase in capacity - 33 trains per hour - has resulted. Current reliability levels are 4,000 hours for train equipment failure equating to three per week. More recently, however, the contract to equip the Sub Surface Routes (Metropolitan, Circle, H&C, District) with CBTC using the Bombardier CityFlo system has had to be abandoned. The reasons for this are unclear but sufficient to say the complexities of the layouts with many flat junctions and joint running with other lines, will stretch the technology of any system that is eventually chosen. As to the future, George Clark, the engineering director at LU, gave the current view on CBTC system capability to fit in with future London requirements. Ridership is expected to

increase by 26% between now and 2024. CBTC introduction will impact on track, train, power, ventilation, signalling, EMC, tunnel cooling, platform management, telecoms, information distribution, ticketing and internet linkage. Put succinctly, the logical progression of a CBTC is Operating Concept » Functional Requirements » Systems Architecture » Physical Structure. Following from this comes: »» Level of Automation »» Change to Operating Philosophy and Rules »» Migration Strategy (duplicate infrastructure or train equipment?) »» Simulation and Provision of Test Track »» Integration of Different Suppliers Equipment »» Reliability Growth by both Technology and People.

Once the system is decided upon, there come the key decisions relating to standardisation, cost benchmarking, interoperability, interchangeability, maintainability, information from diagnostics and finally obsolescence. The information opportunities from CBTC are enormous since there is a mass of inherent data. Using this effectively should enable more innovation to be achieved plus obtaining better security of future infrastructure. The Piccadilly, Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City lines will all need CBTC technology within the next few years, so the challenge will be to deploy the best system design without encountering major engineering problems.

The Crossrail Challenges Choosing the right signalling system for Crossrail is challenging since this railway has to interconnect with existing lines east and west of London, each of which will have its own type of signalling. Equipping the central core section has caused some serious heart searching; should it have a proprietary CBTC system or try to adapt from what will eventually exist on the outer routes? Duncan Cross from the Crossrail team explained that, once the infrastructure is completed and the trains built, to then not having a reliable control system would be disastrous. Thus the decision is to provide a proven CBTC technology for the central section. This will

the rail engineer • May 2014

Canadian experience Many countries have deployed CBTC systems. One of the first was Canada with the Vancouver SkyTrain. Since the opening of the 1986 Expo Line, many lessons have been learned. Ian Graham from British Columbia (BC) Rapid Transit described the Seltrac S40 technology with full dependence on the primary system and no axle counter train detection back up. Being a ‘greenfield’ railway with no regional line interoperability made implementation easier but whilst trains were fully automated, removing a ‘driver’ was thought to be a step too far in terms of public confidence. Later line extensions have moved towards UTO but staffing levels are still considerable at stations since PSDs have not so far been provided. UTO offers many advantages as it minimises human error, eliminates rest time periods at end stations and offers an increased service frequency with less trains.

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A system must be in place to handle train failures? Roving attendants are deployed who can get to trains quickly but provision of on-train intercom, alarm buttons and CCTV is part of the safety scenario. The current throughput of 108 seconds between trains (33 tph) is capable of being decreased to 80 seconds. SkyTrain adopted linear induction motors for trains on the first lines but a later line has conventional AC motors. In comparison, the former offers better reliability. Understanding how well the system is performing is vital and Chris Moss, responsible for the systems engineering services, explained how the technology has progressed from the transmitting of simple fault codes that were printed out on paper, to trains that have continuous data logging on to a memory stick that then acts as a ‘black box’ recorder. An instrumented test train is timetabled to traverse all lines and continually check the health of all systems, including the linear induction propulsion. PHOTO: ROBERT SMITH

ensure a 24 tph capability with 30 tph as a future prospect, plus a reliable interface to platform screen doors (PSDs). Two complications arise from this however: Interfaces and changeovers will need to happen when the trains transit to and from the existing lines The trains must be equipped with all the signalling systems of the routes concerned. This will include: CBTC, TPWS, AWS, ETCS Level 2 and possibly the extant GW ATP system put in as a trial back in BR days. In the fullness of time, some of these can be removed once the main line sections are equipped solely with ETCS. Initially, however, the rolling stock will have to host a bizarre collection of signalling kit. The alternative would be to adopt the Thameslink solution for the central core by using ETCS with an ATO overlay. The fact that this does not yet exist as a proven combination makes people nervous when so much is at stake. Thus the die is cast and at least functions such as the driverless reversal of trains at Westbourne Park will be a formality.


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the rail engineer • May 2014

French progress From France, Dr Pierre Messulam, the director for innovation and research at SNCF, gave a pragmatic account of French ETCS progress, now running some eight years late. Testing software between different suppliers / countries and the braking characteristics of older rolling stock have been major problems, as has the high cost of retrofitting trains with ETCS equipment that already have TVM or KVB - these being train protection systems developed by SNCF. Bug fixing has led to successive versions of the software. More recently, interference from public GSM networks into GSM-R has meant reliability problems on the radio link, which is a serious concern. Authorisation processes are slow and complex with national authorities having different requirements and procedures. One positive outcome is that drivers are enthusiastic about ETCS, but degraded mode working needs a lot of attention and close cooperation with signallers. Ideally a simulator is the best way of training staff on how to handle emergencies. Introducing CBTC is seen as essential to run more trains on the existing infrastructure since civil engineering enhancements are just too expensive, so said Said El Fassi, the technical director in SNCF responsible for system modelling. Optimising the interface design with existing infrastructure is vital, especially where more than one train service operates on the same line. Station dwell times are crucial to performance and human factor studies are important in understanding this. Modelling can save enormous amounts of time in the future and enable a better understanding of both risk and interfaces for

trackside and train interworking, operating rules, environmental considerations and maintenance policies. A new innovation in Paris is project Nexteo, a joint RFF / RATP exercise to produce a control and communication system based on CBTC principles but capable of operating on main lines where there is high density traffic. This is being designed for a new mass transit line being built but will need to integrate with ETCS as well. Something similar to the Crossrail situation comes to mind.

be understood. Elaine Thompson from Mott MacDonald explained some of the factors. Full integration means everything on a single screen including controls and speedometer. The likelihood of confusion where different types of Train Protection System are required is considerable. The choice between touch screen, soft keys or separate keyboard may be influenced by local preferences. Options are being evaluated on a Class 43 HST, with the results intended as important for when the cab design of Crossrail trains is finalised

Safety assessment and human factors

More than just signalling

A big factor in introducing new CBTC systems is obtaining safety approval. Paul Cheeseman from Technical Programme Delivery Systems explained the processes. The need to independently assess systems by competent people not associated with the project is insisted upon and must focus on design, development and safety measures. It should be risk rather than compliance based, as the latter does not necessarily mean being fit for purpose. Caution must be used in using standards to mitigate risk. Two elements prevail:

In summing up, Alan Rumsey from Delcan in Canada pronounced that installing CBTC is much more than a resignalling project, it can be considered as a total line upgrade. It is essential to focus on the real ‘needs’ (capacity, trip times, flexibility, enhanced safety, automation, lower maintenance cost.) while challenging the ‘wants’ (historic practices, need for fall back system). A migration plan to minimise service impact during implementation is important. Operators should start with what they want to end up with and work backwards, they shouldn’t work out the first stage first. The train is key and integrated factory testing followed by trials on a test track is the best solution. A CBTC system may be regarded as a distributed computer network so it is essential to ensure there is a stable transmission network and reliable computer hardware. At the end of a fascinating day, Alan and his fellow speakers had done much to dispel many preconceptions as to what CBTC really entails. It really has a part to play, in fact in many cases it is essential, in keeping high-density metro rains running.

The Generic Application Safety Case (GASC) The Specific Application Safety Case (SASC) Cross-acceptance from similar systems in use elsewhere can be relevant to the GASC and need to tease out the differences from what has been approved before. Getting a GASC is tantamount to having a ‘go anywhere’ ticket. Whilst many CBTC applications will aim at DTO or UTO operation, some systems, particularly where main line running is required, will retain a driver. Designing the DMI (Driver Machine Interface) is a science in itself and the gap between technology and adoption needs to

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the rail engineer • May 2014


space: T H E



the rail engineer • May 2014







ize really is everything nowadays when it comes to bulk freight movement. For evidence, look no further than the Maersk Triple E class, the latest generation of energy-efficient container ships. Carrying 18,270 20-foot boxes, these 400-metre monsters motor along optimally at 19 knots, consuming a comparatively frugal 21,200 gallons of diesel daily. Yet even these vessels have limitations despite their hefty $185 million price tag: with a draft of 14.5 metres, they are too deep to navigate the Panama Canal. On Britain’s railway, delivering similar economies of scale for container traffic has been consistently hampered by the less-than-generous approach taken, for perfectly legitimate practical reasons, by the Victorian engineers who gifted us our network long

before the SS Ancon became the first ship to officially take the short cut from Atlantic to Pacific. Our inherited structure gauge is a function of the requirements prevailing at the time of construction, so recent years have seen a number of schemes to steal 20mm here and 50mm there, adapting the infrastructure with care and precision or, when that has failed, by means of a wrecking ball. This has allowed today’s containers to boldly go where no container had gone before. Please excuse the clumsy stumble from steamship to spaceship there. The latest corridor to benefit heads cross country from Yorkshire to the West Midlands. The Doncaster to Water Orton W12 Gauge Clearance Enhancement project - or D2WO to save time - has been funded by the Strategic Freight Network and delivered by Network Rail’s IP East Midlands team through the multi asset

framework agreement (MAFA) awarded to Carillion Rail in summer 2011. Since then, a challenging programme of 50-plus interventions was delivered through the highly collaborative approach adopted by the two parties and their key partners. Costing £25 million, the 102-mile route was cleared for W12 on time, from the end of March 2014. It’s worth making the point that, in terms of meeting the contractual end-date, gauge clearance is an all or nothing venture: if an external force had thrust a spanner into any one of those interventions, not a single W12 wagon could have been accommodated. Success then is testament to the team’s tenacity in the face of occasional adversity. No, I can’t be more specific. And it was all done with little disruption to the network. Despite significant changes and increased scope, more than 95% of the work was delivered within existing disruptive and Rules of the Route possessions. As things should be, of course.



Overview map of the Doncaster-Water Orton route.





the rail engineer • May 2014


Too close for comfort

Removing the track prior to the skim dig.

Proving one of D2WO’s more problematic structures was Conisbrough Tunnel, driven through a spur of land that falls southwards to the adjacent River Don. Part of the busy 75mph railway connecting Doncaster and Sheffield, the 235-yard bore comprises masonry sidewalls with a brick arch and invert, the eastern end having been constructed by cut-and-cover. Opened in 1848, the uneven load exerted on the lining has brought distortion with it over the years, resulting in a number of remedial works. One of these saw two sections of secondary lining inserted - possibly during the 1870s - involving circumferential riveted wrought iron ribs at 8-foot centres and dished, infill brickwork. At 7.5 metres, the shorter section was thought to coincide with a geological fault near the tunnel’s midpoint; the other, 46 metres long, was further towards Sheffield. Their effect was

to reduce clearances, prompting the imposition of a 50mph permanent speed restriction (PSR). In 2001, to provide some track alignment flexibility and improve clearances, the secondary lining was taken out above ballast level and replaced with an array of rock anchors, between 8 and 12 metres in length, and steel mesh. The removal revealed that an 18 metre section of original lining had been pushed upwards at the crown by 750mm, the chosen solution entailing its reconstruction with heavy-duty lattice girders and fibre-reinforced sprayed concrete. Substantial voids above the brickwork were also grouted. Fast-forward ten years and a proposal emerges to introduce W12-gauge wagons over the route. Initial assessment work found that threading such traffic through the tunnel was feasible without substantive civils work, subject to a track lower. The involvement of Carillion Rail, the principal contractor, came as the GRIP Stage 4 (single option development) process was concluding and the firm was asked to complete an ‘early contractor

involvement’ review to assist Network Rail in identifying any delivery risks and determine a target cost. Contract award came in March 2012. Jacobs was brought in to undertake the design, development of which included a reappraisal of designs which had previously been completed. This investigation was enhanced by a walk-through and survey of the tunnel followed by an evaluation of the findings with the track and civils construction teams. This early incursion revealed that where the secondary invert was still in place, short-ended sleepers had been used which were sitting in notches cut into the brickwork. The implications of this were considerable. As things stood, in order to provide normal upper sector clearance of at least 100mm and a minimum ballast depth below the sleepers of 200mm, there was insufficient space to meet standard design tolerances. This completely changed the complexion and complexity of the project, placing evermore emphasis on that alliance between client and contractor as they sought to manage the associated risks and costs.

the rail engineer • May 2014


Room for manoeuvre With a history of ground movement impacting on the structure, the key now was to determine whether a partial removal of the invert could be progressed without compromising the tunnel’s integrity. To that end, Jacobs procured the services of Donaldson Associates - with its recent experience modifying Conisbrough Tunnel - to support the design. Involved was a review of records gathered during the company’s previous encounter with the tunnel as well as a series of detailed site investigations. These entailed lifting the track and ballast to fully expose the secondary invert before carrying out a cloud burst survey and coring to establish its thickness and condition. Based on this work, it was concluded that the ribs and brickwork could be safely removed providing at least 300mm of lining remained and the interface between sidewalls and invert was strengthened to relieve the stresses there.

Also contributing from an early stage was DGauge, a specialist consultancy offering access to a third-generation W12 gauge providing tighter tolerances for gauge clearance parameters, typically buying designers tens of critical millimetres. Achieving this demands refined data interpretation methodology and deeper analysis of the output, as well as a risk-based approach that helps to overcome some of the conservatism associated with ‘absolute gauging’. Authority to use the tools as an alternative to industry-standard ClearRoute has to be sought from Network Rail for specific problem structures - of which Conisbrough Tunnel was certainly one - thus minimising both the track lowering and civils work needed to achieve W12 clearances. All this analysis came together to confirm that removal of just the secondary invert would provide sufficient space. With this knowledge, Jacobs was able to create a new series of track alignment iterations to identify the optimum design. Amongst the final requirements

were shallow-depth, short-ended EG47 sleepers and cutting back bolt threads on several steel rock anchors which infringed on structure gauge. Fortunately the tunnel is generally dry, so passive drainage was proposed using the natural fall of the primary invert (1:559 towards Sheffield), there being no room to accommodate compliant pipework above it. Improvements have, however, been made at the lower end of the tunnel to collect any water and carry it away to the existing p-way drain. It’s worth stating that consideration was given to a high-fixity solution (slab track) but this was quickly ruled out due to the higher costs and disruption it would have brought. The tunnel forms part of a key route, not just for local and cross-country passenger services but also overnight freight traffic.

(Left) A rib is removed during one of the main possesions.

At the races It was recognised at an early stage that, due to access constraints, the longer section of secondary invert would have to be removed in two parts. To facilitate this, during







(Above) An invert rib is revealed during site investigations. Note the short-ended sleepers.


Cross section through the invert showing the track lift and slew.


the rail engineer • May 2014 S IAM WILL HEL : RAC TOS PHO

(Above) Tamping the relaid track through the tunnel. (Inset) Skim dig at the Doncaster portal.

preparatory works from October to Christmas 2013, its 20 ribs were uncovered along the six-foot and the surrounding brickwork broken away, allowing them to be cut in half. At the invert-sidewall interface, the secondary invert was saw-cut to leave a stub of 450mm, through which 20mm diameter steel dowels were inserted into the primary invert at 400mm centres to provide the required strengthening. A monitoring system, installed by Carillion’s sister company TPS in early December, comprised 65 prisms arranged radially through 13 crosssections. With baseline coordinates established, these were checked automatically by a wall-mounted EDM (Electronic Distance Measurement) device four times a day during the substantive works and twice daily at other times, the results then being emailed to an agreed distribution list. Allied to this was an alert strategy and response plan for different thresholds, appreciating of course that the tunnel naturally breathes just as we do. Movement tended to peak during or after the main possessions, with readings of 8-10mm - more than what was anticipated - recorded on several occasions. Subsequent reviews and inspections confirmed sighting issues to be the main culprit, a function of penetrating water and the plethora of furniture on the sidewalls and arch. Some prisms also succumbed to misplaced boots from time to time.

Fulfilment of the core works took place over seven 27-hour possessions through January and February 2014. Given the space restrictions imposed by the tunnel, choreographing which train or machine went where and in what order obviously proved critical, with a ‘racecard’ produced on each occasion detailing all the movements and associated logistics. “It’s a work-ofart in terms of the track construction chain and liaison with the civils team,” asserted Andy Robinson, the project’s design manager.

Highs and lows First to be removed was the shorter 7.5 metre section of invert, RRVs lifting the track whilst two mini-diggers - one with a breaker, the other with a bucket - were used to tackle the ribs and brickwork. As previously stated, the 46 metre section was done in two halves starting on the Down side - but here trains were needed to deal with the substantial arisings. Following the removal, the track was returned to its original line and level, but with EG47 sleepers. Work to implement the new alignment took place the following weekend. Attention then turned to the Up side with the process being repeated. Subsequent to these invasive works, a cloud burst survey was performed to confirm that the structure gauge had been left clear, the onus being on the project team to demonstrate to Network Rail that the work had delivered its objectives.

This applied not just to the tunnel and those 50 other interventions, but to the whole 102-mile route. Having originally been budgeted at around £400,000, the emerging cost of £900,000 might raise the eyebrows of anyone just crunching numbers. Back in 2012 this looked like a basic track lower; in reality, getting to the realignment stage has demanded investigations, design, civils work and monitoring that no-one had anticipated. “If we hadn’t been able to clear the tunnel in time, it would have put everything else we’d done to waste,” Alan Sheffield, Carillion Rail’s senior project manager, reflected. “And for a long time it’s fair to say that there was some uncertainty. So the headline here is that delivering it really has been a huge team achievement. There’s a great degree of satisfaction getting it signed off as clear.” And removal of the 50mph PSR - the works’ other key objective - is currently being progressed. Giving birth to the railways brought social and economic revolution to Britain in the 19th century but has disadvantaged us in the 21st. Others learned valuable lessons from our pioneering and now find themselves better placed in terms of infrastructure. We still have to compete though. With a few obvious exceptions, we don’t build new lines anymore - that ship has sailed - so we’re faced with the prospect of evolving what we’ve got. Doing so challenges our engineers, but history proves that’s how you drive progress.

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the rail engineer • May 2014

respect Treating gas with


he recent twenty-third technical seminar to be organised by the Institute of Rail Welding focussed, not on technical matters, but safety and welfare.

Mick Downing of Renown Rail Welding Services chaired the day which was entitled “Gas Safety - Risks, Remedies and Requirements” and was held at BOC’s premises in Wolverhampton.

Acetylene cylinders and fire - don’t panic! The first presentation of the day was possibly the most important presentation. Jointly delivered by Doug Thornton, chief executive of the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) and Peter Gustafson of the London Fire Brigade, it concerned the question of the safety of acetylene cylinders when involved in fires. The BCGA represents the compressed gas industry and has some 78 member companies. One of its major roles is the development and publication of guidance about the handling and use of compressed gases. Some 99 such publications have been issued, all endorsed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and some are even incorporated into UK law, making compliance a legal requirement. Liaising with regulatory authorities such as the HSE and the Department for Transport, the BCGA works to drive necessary changes in the law. New UK Regulations covering all aspects of Acetylene manufacture, storage, transportation and use will come into force in October 2014 - including an important new provision, making flame arrestors mandatory in oxy-acetylene sets.

Everyone will have heard horror stories about what has happened when acetylene cylinders have been involved in fires. Motorways, stations and railway lines have been closed down because a nearby fire involved acetylene. The infamous example quoted by Doug closed King’s Cross Station for a long period when four acetylene cylinders were in a fire eight storeys above ground on a nearby construction site. Following this event there was even talk of


the Mayor of London banning acetylene from the area under his jurisdiction. As a result, the BCGA and the London Fire Brigade co-operated to establish what could be done. Any gas cylinder will explode if heated sufficiently in a fire. The material of the cylinder weakens as it gets hotter whilst the compressed gas expands and increases the pressure within. Steel cylinders will fail due to this combination of events at around 3000C. Cooling is an effective remedy, as it reverses both the weakening of the cylinder and the increase in gas pressure. The good news is that gas cylinders are all heat-treated during manufacture so that, if they fail, they do so in a ductile fashion. They do not shatter into pieces throwing “shrapnel” around, but peel apart, releasing their contents relatively gently (though it’s not good to be close when this occurs).

Decomposition The cause of the fear over acetylene is the process called ‘decomposition’. This refers to the splitting up of the acetylene molecule into solid carbon and hydrogen gas under the influence of heat. Decomposition is exothermic, that is it releases heat as it occurs, in much the same way as burning coal or other fuels in air. The reaction can therefore become self-sustaining once it starts, the heat from the process causing further gas to decompose, releasing yet more heat, and so on.

the rail engineer • May 2014

In addition to the heat, there is a significant increase in the cylinder pressure. The acetylene in cylinders is not held as compressed gas, rather it is dissolved under pressure in a solvent (normally acetone). The solvent is itself locked up in a porous ceramic foam material. The cylinder is therefore under relatively low pressure compared with, say, an oxygen or LPG cylinder. However, when decomposition creates free hydrogen, this is gaseous. Being subjected to the heat generated during the process, this gas rapidly raises the cylinder pressure. So, whereas for other compressed gases removal of the heat and appropriate cooling removes the risk of explosion, this isn’t necessarily the case with acetylene. Stories abound of acetylene cylinders that have been removed from the heat of a fire exploding hours later without warning, or becoming hot again after being cooled. There have even been claims that physical shocks to hot cylinders have resulted in explosion.

As a result, fire brigades were establishing a 200 metre exclusion zone around any acetylene cylinders and either extinguishing the fire or removing the cylinders from it. The cylinders were then cooled with water for 24 hours whilst being kept under observation, only after which time could they be regarded as safe and the exclusion zone removed.

Temporary hazard zone The investigations by the BCGA and the London Fire Brigade showed these stories to be inaccurate. Extensive and exhaustive research by reputable international bodies eventually confirmed that, in fact, all that is required is to cool the cylinders for an hour and then keep them under observation for a further hour. Decomposition cannot occur below 3500C and, as it occurs near the cylinder walls, it can be reliably detected by checking the cylinder temperature externally. If by this point there is no sign of the cylinders reheating through decomposition, they are totally safe. This shortened timescale means that creating a long-term exclusion zone is unnecessary. Explosion due to physical shock alone to a cylinder which has not been fire-exposed was also shown to be impossible. To prove this, tests were even conducted in the USA which involved detonating 90g of plastic explosive attached to a cylinder. A new fire brigade protocol was introduced in November 2012 and has been a great success. It requires the establishment of a temporary 200 metre hazard zone whilst the situation is assessed, not an exclusion zone. Cylinders should not be moved, but cooled where they lie, for an hour only. After a further hour under observation with no sign of heating by decomposition, they can be treated as safe. Aside from saving fire brigade resources that can now be better deployed elsewhere, this also avoids the problems caused by the exclusion zones. The King’s Cross incident, for example, caused serious safety problems and delays at nearby London Underground stations due to the crowds of displaced passengers from the main line terminus. At



the rail engineer • May 2014

the same time, ambulances had to be diverted from their regular routes. These two examples alone show that there were probably greater risks to society at large from the exclusion policy than there might have been from the potential explosion. Add in the personal and business losses, and it can be seen that the changes of the new protocol will be very beneficial.

Gas equipment testing Terry Askham of Truflame described the testing of railway gas equipment, referring to the relevant international, national and industry (particularly Network Rail) standards. He looked at the range of equipment used to carry out the CAL 501 tests, from a simple but properly calibrated pressure gauge through to comprehensively equipped test benches as used at his own company facility. Tests include leak tests, pull out tests on connections and axial load tests on flexible hoses, and delegates were shown details of each. Terry then described the CAL 411 test applicable to Thermit welding pre-heaters, again looking at the test equipment and procedure.

Hazards of compressed gases Another Terry, in this case Terry Broughton of Gas Safe, gave a thought provoking description of the hazards of compressed gases. He showed examples of typical dangerous situations, acts and equipment, and did his best to frighten everyone into going away to check their own circumstances Allowing combustible gas to leak, mixing with air to form an explosive mixture in a confined space, when the necessary spark is all that is needed to cause an explosion, is not a good idea. The potential results were illustrated graphically by Terry’s picture of what was once a mess room and store in a shipping container. Only 2% of gas in air is necessary! Other bad ideas include oiling threads on gas fittings, failing to treat oxygen with the respect that it deserves as a potential cause of fires, the use of incorrect regulators, the

misidentification of gases, the use of incorrect nozzles or other inappropriate equipment, and the use of incorrect gas pressures. Containers and vehicles used to store or carry gases need sufficient top and bottom ventilation, together with the correct number and type of fire extinguishers. The appropriate gas data sheets should be available and used. Risk assessments and operating procedures should be produced, used and kept up to date. Equipment should be regularly tested and this should be documented. Replacement should be undertaken at recommended intervals. Staff should be properly trained, equipped with relevant PPE and should know the appropriate emergency procedures. Terry ended by saying: “Remember, what you permit, you promote”.

New vehicles Network Rail’s Steve Duffy, Alan Forrester and Isaac Adjei demonstrated how their company is complying with many of Terry’s injunctions by supplying its welders with new vehicles for their work. The seven-tonne IVECO high roof vehicles, one of which was at the conference, are being fitted out by Bri-Star, the first time the two companies have worked together on such a contract. The original remit was for a vehicle for a three person Thermit welding team, but this is now being adapted to cater for wider welding roles. The plan is to deliver 800 of these vehicles to the company’s teams, about 60 having been made available thus far.

The vehicles are equipped with load indicators which ensure that operators keep below the permitted load limit. Tail lifts are

the rail engineer • May 2014

are likely to be handled more sensitively given their lightness and this should ensure that damage is unlikely.

Weight lifting

fitted for the safe loading/ unloading of heavy equipment. Network Rail has worked closely with VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) over the introduction of these vehicles ensuring that they are registered in the category of ‘Special Vehicles/Engineering Plant’. This puts them outside of the EU regulations on drivers’ hours and operator licensing.

‘Genie’ oxygen cylinders Piers Capper from hosts BOC introduced the company’s new lightweight ‘Genie’ oxygen cylinders. Using a thin steel cylinder wall reinforced by a carbon fibre wrap, and with a smart, tough HDPE (High-density polyethylene) outer cover, these 20-litre cylinders are 30% lighter than a comparable conventional cylinder and half the weight of a conventional 30-litre ‘BR’ cylinder. Genie cylinders have digital displays which show both

On show

Two interesting pieces of kit were on display.

Hydrogen fuel cell The Ecolite H2 is claimed to be the world’s first low energy hydrogen fuel cell powered LED lighting tower. Produced by TCP Ltd from Maldon in Essex, the tower features a nine metre high mast topped by unique “prismalence” LED lamps with optical lenses. The fuel cell technology makes it completely silent in operation, and the use of hydrogen as fuel ensures that there are no toxic emissions. Depending upon the size of

pressure and the quantity of gas remaining (as a percentage of full) and give alarms at 25% and 10% remaining. In July 2014, BOC will be able to fill these cylinders to 300 bar (currently only 230 bar is possible), increasing the quantity of gas that each can carry. It is estimated that whereas four or five welds can be made using the contents of a cylinder charged to 230 bar, the higher fill pressure will increase this to about seven (based on trials completed by Network Rail). Five Network Rail sites have been using the new cylinders under a trial programme. They have proved very popular due to their reduced weight, good handles and digital displays, and none of the sites apparently wish to return to the old cylinders. There is admittedly some concern that the Genie is less robust than the BR type, and BOC will be keeping a close eye on this. They do consider that the cylinders

The seminar closed with an interesting presentation from an organisation called Pristine Condition. Stuart Cruickshank explained that his company specialises in training companies and their staff in how to manually handle loads in a safe way. The founder of the company was an Olympic weightlifter who became involved when a friend asked for his help. The friend had problems with manual handling injuries amongst his staff, and wondered why weightlifters handling far greater loads appeared not to suffer the same. From this discussion came a company that now has over 3,000 business clients around the world. Stuart described such things as the importance of the weight of the torso when lifting, and how this weight means that someone may be injured just picking up a light object like a pen. Pristine Condition takes a realistic approach to the problem, engaging directly with the individuals involved. They can train people directly, or train company trainers, and they will produce training DVDs created in the client’s own environment.


They can focus on one activity at a time and train to eliminate the injuries it causes, making a bespoke DVD for each activity in turn. This might be done on the basis of one activity a month, starting with the worst problematic area and working through all in priority order. Pristine Condition has a “tracker” system that gives managers and supervisors the knowledge to spot poor behaviours themselves and instruct staff in how to improve their technique. They will back up all of this with appropriate support visits to make sure all is going well. They claim unparalleled success with their unique approach to this ubiquitous problem.

Don’t try this at home… As an aside, Doug Thornton made a brief appeal to people not to get involved, nor permit children to do so, with ‘amusing’ activities with compressed gases. He mentioned helium and carbon dioxide as examples of gases that get abused for fun, and he described the risks attached to things like ‘squeaky voice’ tricks with the former and fogged drinks with carbon dioxide. All very amusing when nothing goes wrong but tragic when someone dies from suffocation or loses their stomach through ingesting liquid gas.

hydrogen cylinder selected, a continuous run time of up to 900 hours can be achieved and both mast and fuel cell are mounted on a small trailer so it can go literally almost anywhere.

Weld testing TWI Ltd’s latest RAILECT aluminothermic (AT) weld inspection development is a phased array ultrasonic device that clamps onto the rail over the weld to be examined. The operator simply deploys it at two static locations to achieve volumetric inspection of the full welds. Including set-up, the

overall time needed to inspect one weld is less than 15 minutes. This is one of the first systems available to railway infrastructure operators that will enable them to detect and remove AT welds with internal, invisible defects, before they fail under traffic.

Developed initially under a European funded project managed by TWI Ltd, the patented device is now managed under a development agreement by that organisation and is available for trials in the European rail industry.


the rail engineer • May 2014

Signal Engineering Resources Seminar


t the end of March, Network Rail unveiled its programme of works for CP5, covering the five years from 2014 to 2019. Introducing the £38 billion programme, Mark Carne, Network Rail’s Chief Executive said: “As a result of the investments we will be making in the next five years, by 2019 the country’s rail network will be delivering 225 million more passenger journeys each year. More trains per day will run between our northern cities. 170,000 extra seats will be available on trains going into our large cities nationwide. 500 more level crossings will be closed.


“In London, the Thameslink programme, and in Birmingham the New Street development, will both be completed, as will main line electrification in Wales and the West Country. In Scotland, the Borders project will reconnect the Scottish Borders to Edinburgh for the first time in 50 years. “At the same time, we will be trying to deliver ‘more for less’ in the way we operate and run the railway on a daily basis. In the next 10 years, passenger and freight traffic is forecast to increase by over 30 per cent. Simultaneously, we are aiming to reduce the cost of running the railway. In the next five years, our target is a 20 per cent reduction on top of the 15 per cent reduction achieved in the last five years - a saving of over 30 per cent in a decade.”

Signalling in demand Within Network Rail’s £38 billion, signalling will have £3.2 billion to spend over the next five years, within which an efficiency gain of £580 million will be expected - a significant challenge. Major work will be undertaken to develop a national

traffic management system, migrate signalling control to Rail Operating Centres (ROCs) and install modular signalling on secondary lines and ERTMS/ETCS on the main trunk routes. On top of all this there will be signalling work on London Underground (which has a £1 billion budget), the installation of signalling in Crossrail’s new tunnels and its integration with national systems at either end, and the planning of HS2. In the summer of 2013, Network Rail commissioned the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) to undertake a detailed review of existing signal engineering resources in the light of the planned workload for CP5. Recently, one hundred delegates from the industry gathered in London to hear the results of this review and to participate in a discussion on the key issues.

Industry view Setting the scene, Jeremy Candfield of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) explained that there was considerable apprehension about skills shortages for signalling and that this was a particular concern with

particular significance in the context of the delivery of CP5 works. In the RIA Business Survey of 2010, 50% of business respondents indicated that they would be affected by a skills shortage. By the 2012 and 2013 surveys, that had risen to 100%. At a recent meeting of the RIA Infrastructure Clients Interface Group, two major signalling companies spontaneously made a clear statement of the difficulties of securing and retaining skilled staff. Why should this be? Jeremy alluded to the investment history of ‘feast and famine’, not helped by the major upheavals of privatisation and Railtrack going into administration. Electrification “has been lumpy” since the 1940s with periods of no new work. Orders for new rolling stock have been hugely variable. All sectors have been affected by what was described as an investment roller coaster without the fun.

The review Elaine Clark, NSARE’s head of training and skills, introduced the report by explaining that its scope had been to baseline existing resources and compare them against both renewals and maintenance projects, to identify the effects of international work by UK companies and of international resources available to work on UK projects, to review the IRSE (Institution of Railway Signal Engineers) Licensing Scheme and to identify any skills gap.

the rail engineer • May 2014

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the rail engineer • May 2014

The study was specific to signal engineering, not including telecommunications. A steering group was set up and 45 supply chain companies were invited to provide input via a questionnaire. The results highlighted problems that suppliers faced with up to 30% rework at the project design stage, poor visibility of future workload, a lack of detailed information from projects that would aid understanding of future resources and the need for better processes to support nonlicenced trainees gaining experience on site. Training and assessment issues were also identified with a lack of consistent training programmes and no standard training modules, not all training provision being ‘quality assured’ and a shortage of partnerships with training providers, colleges, universities. The IRSE Licensing Scheme was seen as providing a positive contribution. Assessment and accreditation was seen as being independent and the rigour/regime of the log book works well. It has a good modular approach and, in general, the ‘levels’ of categories of licence were correct. However, a few issues were identified. The recertification process could be simplified, there is a variation in the time and cost of competence assessment, and there are difficulties with cross-licensing for signalling design and testing.

The current situation. At present, there are over 900 projects in the forthcoming workbank and an existing workforce of around 9,200 people (4,200 doing maintenance and 5,000 engaged on projects). Of these, 4,539 hold IRSE licences. The age profile is such that 400 are over 60 years old and another 700 are in the range 55-59.

In 2013/14, the industry is just about coping but there is going to be a significant shortfall in two years time with an identified work gap of 2,600 3,400 of which 47% are at technician/ engineer level. Delegates discussed the problem of design rework and inefficiencies within the Governance for Railway Investment Projects (GRIP) process. Mark Southwell of Network Rail explained that these issues were being tackled with the ‘TARDIS’ initiative, the benefits of which will be a new GRIP 1-4 process which will: »» Improve the robustness of client remits with clear scopes and outputs identified and ‘locked down’, minimising the risk of subsequent scope change; »» Reduce GRIP 1-4 timescales resulting in lower project costs and shorter project duration between first authority and commissioning; »» Help to deliver the stretched efficiency target within the strategic business plan (SBP) submission over and above the 16% identified through existing initiatives; »» Increase expectation that there will be further benefits in the future as a result of ORBIS due to improved/easier-to-access asset and condition data being available without the need for ‘walking the ballast’, thus reducing the level of seed funding required; »» Facilitate undertaking these works early which will also help to de-risk the programme/project; »» Minimise the risk of abortive costs as these schemes are condition-driven projects and therefore the likelihood of these schemes progressing to full authority once the GRIP work has been undertaken is very high.

IRSE Licensing Scheme Colin Porter of IRSE outlined the principles of the scheme. He explained

that it came into being in 1994 following the setting up of a cross industry group facilitated by the IRSE to address competence issues flagged up in the report of the Rail Accident at Clapham Junction (issues 111 and 112, January and February 2014). The Scheme is considered to provide useful benefits and is a nonprofit making venture for the IRSE. However, as it is twenty years old, recommendations for improvement include modularisation to facilitate mobility and multi-tasking, the introduction of new categories for train-borne systems, other software based systems and signal sighting, and a common standard for competence at specific equipment/task level and the issuing of Authority to Work. 6,000 people (many of them overseas) hold competence certificates issued by the IRSE of which 5,020 are members. Delegates suggested there should be more transparency on the basis of charging as there was some variation of time/cost of assessments. The need for higher level categories such as ‘Senior Engineering Manager’ was also challenged and some perceived the scheme as overly complicated and complex and this needs to change. Colin stressed that the IRSE is keen to continue to work within the industry and make sure that the Scheme should not be a barrier to increasing the workforce.

Aspirations Following the presentations and discussions, the things that the industry needs to do can be summarised as: »» Plan better to remove the boom and bust and smooth out the work profile; »» Collaborate better and share best practice; »» Reduce rework by improving specifications; »» Solve the brain drain and stop talented people leaving the industry; »» Attract good people into the industry including more graduates and apprentices; »» Have better utilisation of people within the industry; »» Improve the IRSE Licensing Scheme. If it adopts these actions, the signalling industry should go a long way towards meeting the challenges of CP5, and beyond.

the rail engineer • May 2014



Presentations at Infrarail Online registration to visit Infrarail 2014 free of charge remains open until 19 May. Taking place at Earls Court in London from 20 to 22 May, the show will bring together more than 180 companies presenting products and services for the entire rail infrastructure sector. As well as giving visitors a chance to discuss with suppliers their latest product developments, this year’s event also features a very extensive range of supporting activities intended to provide insights into policy trends and developments in technology. Included in this is a series of technical seminars hosted by The Rail Engineer featuring presentations by senior figures from Amey, Balfour Beatty Rail, Siemens Rail Automation and Transport for London, as well as papers on product innovations by firms taking part in Infrarail. Daily keynote speeches will help to clarify the current rail investment environment. This year’s speakers are Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer, who will open the show on 20 May, Simon Kirby, Network Rail’s Managing Director, Infrastructure Projects, ahead of his move to HS2, and Clare Moriarty, Director General Rail Group at the Department for Transport. There will also be a series of

project updates covering major Network Rail and Transport for London programmes and the latest on HS2. Full details of all these, plus a full list of exhibitors, can be found on the exhibition’s website. And an added bonus for visitors will be the opportunity to visit Mack Brooks’ new event, the Civil Infrastructure & Technology Exhibition (CITE)

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2014, to be located alongside Infrarail at Earls Court. This will feature equipment, products and services needed for constructing and maintaining vital infrastructure such as roads, ports, utilities and communications networks. Together the two events represent the UK’s largest infrastructure show this year. Registration to visit this tenth Infrarail is via a link on Pre-registering speeds up entry and avoids a £20 charge payable by nonregistered visitors.

Both Linbrooke Services Ltd and Network Training Resource Solutions will be exhibiting at Infrarail 2014 on Stand E24. Please come and talk to us about our Signalling, Telecommunications, Electrical and Power Supply projects. We have a reputation for delivering safely and on time, we have our own training and resource business, ntrs, providing training and recruitment solutions to the telecommunications sector and can help individuals looking to train and find employment in this dynamic industry. We have City & Guilds 3667/7574 Telecommunications Network Engineering cabling Level 3 Courses covering Railway Telecommunication Systems to Network Rail standards available

Course 05/14 Course 06/14 Course 07/14 Course 08/14

Monday 23rd June


Friday 1st August

Monday 4th August


Friday 12th Sept

Monday 15th Sept


Monday 27th October to

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Friday 24th October Friday 5th December


the rail engineer • May 2014

Collaboration into CP5 11:10 Tuesday 20/05/2014

With unprecedented levels of investment in the railways, the challenge the industry faces is improving safety, reliability and capacity whilst demonstrating value for money for customers and taxpayers. Cross-industry collaboration is key to meeting this challenge and, as the industry enters CP5, there is a strong emphasis on frameworks and alliances to improve efficiencies and generate greater levels of innovation. With over 70% of Balfour Beatty’s contracts being executed in alliancing or collaborative relationships, Mark Bullock will share an insight into how tier one contractors are working with their clients and supply chain to create successful relationships which drive improved levels of performance. Best practice case studies will include:

Electrifying the Great Western main line 12:30 Tuesday 20/05/2014

Electrifying the Great Western Railway is a fantastic challenge and a great opportunity, not only because it is the first in the huge programme of electrification during CP5, but because it is being delivered using the Windhoff high output wiring train purchased by Network Rail and it incorporates the new high speed Series 1 OHLE system. The train will operate from the High Output Operational Base or HOOB in Swindon, where it will be stocked during the day ready for its night-time operations. Material logistics will be a key factor in ensuring the train can operate at full capacity so we have a materials depot about a mile away from the HOOB with around six weeks worth of stock. While we will operate the trains using some staff already

Vehicle safety and compliance in Rail 15:10 Tuesday 20/05/2014

To fulfil the requirements of the numerous Crossrail construction sites, Keyline Builders Merchants complies with stringent regulations whilst ensuring deliveries are sourced and delivered at the right time, to the correct locations, and always in full. Providing an exceptionally high level of service is essential to ensure a steady product supply, thus avoiding costly delays to the selected specialist contractors working on the project. As a key supplier, Keyline conducts all Crossrail deliveries using a fleet of compliant vehicles. Each vehicle has a wide-range of safety, security and performance features including side sensors, white noise reversing alarms, a reversing camera, unbreakable mirrors, Fresnel Lenses, a load security system and vehicle tracking.





»» Track Partnership - a strategic alliance between London Underground and Balfour Beatty Rail which undertakes vital track renewal and drainage works to keep four million passengers moving every day in London. »» Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace Capacity Improvement project (F2A). Hailed as an excellent example of collaborative working in practice, F2A was among the first rail projects to demonstrate compliance to BS11000, the national standard for collaborative working. »» The National Electrification Programme - a collaborative supplier community is being formed to share best practice and lessons learnt to meet the delivery targets on the most ambitious programme of national electrification in a generation.



experienced in electrification construction, a significant proportion of our workforce will be new to the railway, bringing with them different skills and experience. Delivery of the wider electrification programme during CP5 will need us to work collaboratively with other organisations that we would normally see as competitors. The Rail Electrification Delivery Group (REDG) is key in this collaborative process and the GWEP team wholeheartedly endorses this collective approach.



The Keyline National Rail Office ensures that all transport, safety and compliance measures from Crossrail, TfL, Network Rail and London Underground are met. In his presentation, Graham Bellman will detail the changes that Keyline had to make to its operating procedures to comply with these requirements, and explain how it has improved the business as a whole.


the rail engineer • May 2014



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the rail engineer • May 2014

Using composite inventions for track-side speed and efficiency 15:50 Tuesday 20/05/2014

Composite products are now becoming more widely specified as the advantages of fibreglass reinforced plastic (FRP) materials, in particular, are recognised by clients and contractors alike. Whilst traditional materials will always have their place, as the emphasis on speed and durability increases, FRP engineered composite products will become more and more mainstream for specific applications. In his talk, Stuart Burns will consider the reasons that many contractors are already choosing FRP for raised walkways. Quality suppliers can provide mesh structural flooring systems rated to high load capacities that will not rot, fade or warp, never need painting, can be worked on site and are light enough to be man handled as required. They can also offer one of the highest levels of slip

Intergrated control for mass transit combining multiple systems 11:10 Wednesday 21/05/2014

As increased ridership on mass transit - and mainline - railways requires every last drop of performance to be squeezed from the infrastructure, it is essential to consider the network as a ‘system of systems’. CBTC and ERTMS-based systems allow near-optimum throughput of trains for a given infrastructure. However, it is essential to use automatic train operation, highly advanced train supervision and traffic management solutions in close federation with other elements including communication systems, lifts, escalators, passenger information and public address to get the most out of the railway. Modern systems can use networking techniques to carry out integration in a way that has been difficult in the past.

Demystifying EMC in Railways 11:50 Wednesday 21/05/2014

Electromagnetic Compatibility, EMC, has always attracted an aura of ‘black magic’. The reality is that EMC results from good application of physics, but we are confronted with difficulties resulting from the complexity of electrical/ electronic systems existing within the railway environment. Network Rail has produced NR/L1/RSE/30040 and NR/ L2/RSE/30041. These documents set out the strategy and process to achieve EMC and to meet the fixed installation legal requirements of the EMC Directive and the UK implementing legislation. Recently, however, there has been a spate of EMC documentation under the guise of EMC Strategies, EMC Management Plans and EMC Control Plans, for different projects and with differing requirements. This proliferation leads to confusion.





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The upgrade of existing railways without disruption is crucial. This requires detailed analysis of the sub-systems supporting the railway and the interaction between them. Only when the initial and final states- and all stages in between - are fully understood, can the upgrade be efficiently realised. Detailed systems engineering of the overall railway is important to delivering demanding levels of performance and availability - whilst always maintaining a safe railway. The industry’s challenge is to provide systems that allow people to move smoothly, reliably, predictably and safely not just to move trains from station to station.



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the rail engineer • May 2014

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Education - Getting Rail on the Curriculum 12:30 Wednesday 21/05/2014

It’s now a year since TfL became a principal sponsor to the Royal Greenwich UTC (University Technical College) where 14-19 year olds can gain technical qualifications to boost their job prospects and meet the growing demand for rail industry workers. Students spend the equivalent of two days a week on practical study and three on academic study, an approach which offers students a high quality, rounded, technical education which can lead to apprenticeships, foundation and higher degrees. The school offers expert tuition in all aspects of engineering alongside core GCSEs and A-Levels. Students at the Royal Greenwich UTC are also working with industrystandard technical equipment to help them develop the skills and techniques they will need for future careers.




Staff at TfL have helped to develop the curriculum and provide industry expertise to train and mentor the students, in addition to arranging visits to engineering and construction sites. Patricia and James will discuss the benefits to TfL, its staff and the industry. In addition, alongside Bill Templeton from Network Rail, they will also discuss how TfL is working to support Network Rail with the opening of Westminster UTC and ways in which the two organisations are collaborating to enable a fit for future rail workforce.


Illuminating the route 15:10 Wednesday 21/05/2014

Variable Message Signs has now installed the first in its latest generation of route indicators and this presentation describes the approach to the design of these innovative signals. Route indicators are used, in conjunction with other types of signals, to provide drivers with routing information by displaying combinations of alphanumeric aspects. VMS has used its extensive experience in optical and electronic engineering obtained from designing signals for European road networks and applied this to rail signalling.



There are many applications where customers have a need to show more aspects than the existing technology allows with a single signal. During this presentation. Mark Johnson will describe both the technology used within these signals and the challenges which have been overcome during the development and approval process.

Employing latest computing to provide preventative maintenance to existing rolling stock



15:50 Wednesday 21/05/2014

One of the big challenges to a modern rail network and its associated Train Operating Companies is to constantly improve its maintenance regime. With a large proportion of rolling stock being of a ‘certain age’ and not fitted with the latest technology, it is important to find ways to retrospectively fit data collecting equipment to enable the monitoring of key components. This information can then be used to predict likely failure.

Maintenance and support departments can plan to resolve these issues before they become critical. Diamond Point International helps train and network operators install the latest technology to collect data, detect issues and create the infrastructure to deliver this data for both track and train defects.

the rail engineer • May 2014


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A totally new approach from Variable Message Signs has produced a system of lightweight signals and structures that delivers both high performance and significant cost savings. The comprehensive range of signals and indicators complies with all standards, requires no routine maintenance, and is backward compatible. All signals can be mounted on existing infrastructure or to the VMS lightweight support structures that are quickly and simply installed without machinery. Structures are offered for ground mounting and any height up to 5.1m, for cessmounting or

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the rail engineer • May 2014

Whole life cost implications for the OLE manufacturer 11:10 Thursday 22/05/2014

Whole Life Cost is now widely accepted as the preferred philosophy for assessing components of the rail infrastructure. In reality, making that assessment is complex and involves a number of unknown factors. It is as much an art as a science. CP5 will see one of the biggest investments in electrification in the history of the UK network. Future rail professionals will look back on the implementations of today and judge us on what value we truly did deliver, in terms of value through the life of the OLE system. So how does a manufacturer approach this challenge and what factors influence the design decisions they take? In this presentation, Brian and Jon Cullum will look at the changes that have come to the modern railway and

Shhh... no need to shout! Rail solutions for a quiet life 11:50 Thursday 22/05/2014

Tata Steel has developed a range of rail products to address the challenges of different track environments and reduce associated life-cycle costs. Today’s intensely-used railways are under extreme pressure. Track challenges surrounding noise in built-up environments and operating in corrosion-prone areas necessitate innovative solutions to deliver performance in increasingly constrained maintenance windows. Growing public concern about noise nuisance, particularly in urban areas, is resulting in the introduction of noiserelated legislation. We anticipated this move at Tata Steel and developed SilentTrack® - a complete system of tuned rail dampers - to help our customers reduce railway noise. Tramway networks wind through city centre streets

Lessons learned from HS1 that can be applied to HS2 12:30 Thursday 22/05/2014

Tim Smart, a chartered civil engineer with over thirty years’ experience in the design and management of major infrastructure projects, heads the engineering and operational functions at HS2. His earlier career includes holding senior positions in the construction of railways in the UK and Europe, in particular the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (now HS1) and the Jubilee Line Extension to London’s Underground network. In his talk at Infrarail, Tim will draw on his experience developing high speed rail in the UK in his position as Engineering Director at HS1, which links London at St Pancras with the continent via the Channel Tunnel. He will explore how lessons learnt from HS1 can be applied to HS2, focusing on the engineering and overall system





how this influences OLE infrastructure. They will then go through all the costs that need to be factored in and how the Omnia Cantilever addresses these. They will look, not only at the current state of play, but at the lessons of the past and potentials of the future. Finally, Brian and Jon will examine a new logistics approach that is being implemented and discuss how this will deliver better value to the upcoming projects.



containing many tight radius curves often embedded in road surfaces. In this environment, standard grade rails have short lives. Our new Multi-Life grooved rail offers increased wear resistance which extends the first life of the rail and then, combined with in-track weldrestorability, delivers multiple lives, offering significant life cycle cost savings. Our Railcote® is providing essential corrosion protection on rails used in corrosive environments including coastal areas, tunnels and level crossings. Meet the team and find out how we can help you have a quieter life - together we make the difference.



network aspects of the project. Although separated by nearly 20 years (HS1 opened fully in November 2007), many of the engineering principles of building a high speed line in the UK will still apply and Tim, with his involvement in both projects, is ideally placed to compare the two in what promises to be a fascinating presentation.

STAND A01 Get an insight into Whole life value and the Omnia Cantilever at 11:10 on Thursday May 22nd at Infrarail’s Technical Seminar Theatre.


the rail engineer • May 2014


Intertrain UK - Stand A21

Practical training for a solid start Intertrain (UK) Limited is an established professional railway safety training and assessment provider which is NSARE, City and Guilds, LinkUp and NVQ approved. The company employs a number of experienced trainers who can deliver all railway safety training in various locations including Doncaster, Burton-Upon-Trent, London, York and Newcastle-UponTyne. There is also a working site at Barrow Hill, near Chesterfield, which is ideal for all practical and machine/crane controller and attachments courses as it enables training in a realistic environment. As well as providing training, Intertrain can also deliver a wide range of consultancy and railway professional services, including competence management and audit preparation. Working with partners and employers, Intertrain offers an 18-month apprenticeship scheme

enabling young people to gain the necessary qualifications to start a career on the railway. This opportunity is for 17-24 year olds and is available in Doncaster, Burton-upon-Trent, Barrow Hill, Colchester, Chelmsford and

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Individuals who join the scheme are trained in general permanent way maintenance and renewal tasks both in the classroom and in the practical environment aiming to qualify for a Level 2 certificate in Railway Underpinning Knowledge and Level 2 Diploma in Railway Engineering (Track Maintenance). The apprentices are work ready



by week 12 of their apprenticeship programme and will be certificated in PTS, DCCR, Track Induction, a range of small plant including rail saws, rail drills, Kango and emergency first aid at work. Whether you are looking for training for yourself or your workforce, come along to stand A21 and find out more about Intertrain.


Portwest Construction supports Tier 1 contractors to Network Rail with services which include: Ÿ Drainage Ÿ Embankment Stabilisation Ÿ Platform Extensions Ÿ Footbridges (Civils work) Ÿ Cable Route Works Ÿ Structural Repairs Ÿ Demolition Ÿ Car Parks

Based at our Head Office in Hertfordshire, we also supply coverage in the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West with our operational office in Manchester. We have the experience, people and knowledge to deliver the best results. Contact:

Portwest Construction Ltd, Ivory’s Business Park, Harper’s Lane, Radlett, Herts WD7 7HU

John Owen, Head of Rail 07712 150677


the rail engineer • May 2014


ATL Transformers - Stand B56

Transforming energy and carbon consumption With the recent signing of the Network Rail Infrastructure Projects Sustainability Charter, reducing operational CO2 emissions whilst at the same time improving the energy efficiency of the assets on the route in CP5 is not an easy task. Route asset managers and, to some extent, route managing directors, are under constant pressure to improve the efficiency of the assets on their routes. Drawing less energy to power signals may not seem like the most obvious place to start. However, consider the number of signals on a route and then imagine the amount of power that all those transformers will draw down, both when sitting idle and working at full load. Making them more efficient will have a considerable impact on the cost of the whole system. A new product at Infrarail this

year will be the eco-rail® range of 0.25kVA to 4kVA transformers manufactured by ATL Transformers Ltd of Manchester. Neville Haide, the company’s managing director, explained: “We have been designing and manufacturing electrical transformers for over 35 years. When we designed the new ecorail ultra-efficient transformer for Network Rail, we not only wanted to meet their standards, we recognised how we could add real value to the network by using less energy in idle mode and being more efficient when fully loaded.” ATL Transformers will be pleased to welcome all those involved

eco - rail

in signalling power supplies to stand B56 for an introduction to the range of green eco-rail® transformers.






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the rail engineer • May 2014


CUBIS Industries - Stand C13

MULTIduct - low cost security for cables Plastic ducting is used extensively in railway infrastructure for carrying and protecting cables for telecommunications, signalling and power. These are commonly buried alongside the track in linear routes as an alternative to cable troughing or underneath for under track crossings (UTX). Traditionally, this has been achieved by laying connecting lengths of single duct which can be supplied either as twinwall or smooth wall. This product can be problematic for the installer when there are multiple ducts required in a run as it requires plastic spacers, specialist imported backfill materials and wide and deep excavations. Furthermore, the ducting does not lay flat and straight, making it difficult to subsequently pull cables through due to the cable ‘pinching’ as it travels. All of these factors have an impact on time and cost of installation.

Quick installation CUBIS Industries’ MULTIduct™ system eradicates these issues and provides a faster, easier and more cost effective way to install multiple duct banks. MULTIduct units are one metre long and feature a configuration of 4, 6 or 9 spaces, which are equivalent in capacity to 110mm or 160mm single ducts. Units are quickly connected with a push-fit joint or clip to form long lengths that run flat and straight. The range is manufactured in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) which has excellent strengthto-weight properties. MULTIduct possesses exceptional strength under load, outperforming other forms of plastic ducting, which means that the product can be buried shallower and without the same grade of technical backfill, reducing the cost of installation. Due to the material and innovative design, each unit weighs less than 25kg, making it possible to be lifted into a trench by one person. MULTIduct is manufactured from 70% recycled material and the product is fully recyclable. HDPE is

not affected by frost, acids, alkalis and diesel in the ground, and it has a typical lifespan of over 50 years when buried. Furthermore, the multi-compartmental nature of the MULTIduct means that, if additional cabling has to be performed in the future, it is easy to use an available free space without extensive excavation. All products are manufactured in the UK and Ireland. Network Rail is one of many national rail authorities which has approved and specified the system for use for a variety of applications. It has also been used extensively in light rail projects such as the recent development phases of Manchester Metrolink and Nottingham Tram.

Simple UTXs When used for under track crossings, MULTIduct interfaces with CUBIS’ preformed, plastic access chambers which are used as draw pits at either side of the track. These are supplied with MULTIduct spigots pre-installed, allowing for the contractor to excavate and drop the chamber into position. MULTIduct is laid, connected and surrounded with pea gravel up to 100mm above the duct and then ballasted to surface level. This

trouble-free installation, lack of spacers and the requirement for a narrower and shallower trench significantly saves time and labour costs. Network Rail has also used MULTIduct for buried cable routes in an attempt to eliminate cable theft, an issue which costs Network Rail tens of millions of pounds per year. Rather than being left exposed, cables are laid in MULTIduct for 100 metre runs, where they interface with STAKKAbox™ access chambers for cable pulling. Typically, the MULTIduct is installed in a one metre deep trench (dependant on soil conditions) and buried under as-dug material and a layer of ballast to match track conditions. As with UTX installations, each access chamber system is supplied with a short MULTIduct spigot, allowing the contractor to quickly connect to the next unit when the chamber is installed.

Using this system, over 1km of multiple duct bank can be completed in a 20-hour possession, an enormous benefit in a time-critical environment. This has a direct impact on cost; using the 4-way 160mm duct MULTIduct™ product as an example, the finished-install costs were found to be 23.5% cheaper than conventional twinwall ducting per 100 metres, when installed to the manufacturers’ own installation instructions. Most importantly, when used to bury cables, there have been no successful attempts to break into the system. CUBIS Industries also manufacture the Network Rail approved STAKKAbox™ and MONObox™ access chamber systems, along with a range of access covers to suit, and the RAILduct™ range of lightweight plastic cable trough as an alternative to the traditional heavy concrete sections.


the rail engineer • May 2014


Dura Composites - Stand D21

Non-slip walking surfaces Composite products are now becoming more widely specified as the advantages of materials such as fibreglass are being recognised by clients and contractors alike. Whilst traditional materials will always have their place, fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) engineered composites products will become more and more mainstream as the emphasis on speed and durability increases. FRP is increasingly being used for walkway gratings. Suppliers can provide square-mesh structural flooring systems rated to high load capacities that will not rot, fade or warp, can be worked on site and are light enough to be manhandled as required. Further, the material is non-sparking, non-conductive, fire resistant and also offers one of the highest slip resistances ever measured for a walking surface.

Bridge walkways Several projects to install this type of decking have recently been completed. Warden Bridge across the River South Tyne has recently been decked with Dura Grating

50mm in a grey colour to provide a safe walking surface to allow maintenance access in all weathers. Crucially, it was installed without significant additional equipment keeping possession time to a minimum. The Grand Sluice Railway Bridge in Lincolnshire was constructed in 1885. Today, this Richard Johnson bridge is listed as being of national significance and is still in use. This particular project required much preparation to ensure that suitable fixings were used to suit not only the particular configuration of the bridge from a structural perspective, but also from a conservational point of view.

Both Queen Adelaide Bridge and Cookspond viaduct have benefited from recent refurbishments due to the weathered condition of the traditional wooden walkways. Dura Grating pedestrian walkway panels were supplied including all the necessary parts to complete the install including Anti-Vibration Fixings.

Depot trench covers Another instance where composite flooring product solutions have been adopted to great effect is at Reading Train Care depot. Dura Slab trench covers were selected to allow quick maintenance access to pre-cast concrete trough utilities with a bespoke packing system to ensure the trench cover finished flush with the surface level. Multiple DuraSlab Trench Covers were engineered to suit various trough designs, meeting Network Rail requirements with

EN 124 Class B125 as one of the main criteria. The solution had to be developed to allow a rapid installation process as the project required a total of three kilometres of covers. There are exciting times ahead for suppliers, contractors and end clients alike as companies such as Dura Composites invest in innovative new technology to bring new and better solutions to the market that were once the preserve of traditional materials. For example, tens of miles of FRP Ballast Retention Systems have been supplied by Dura Composites and installed across the network by appointed specialist bridge works contractors to facilitate easier and more effective Hidden Critical Element inspections. Once again, the crucial criteria were speed as well as the durability and longevity in the face of major pressure loadings and frequent vibration.

Innovators of underground network access Manufacturer of products for buried railway infrastructure Network Rail approved | Link-Up approved MULTIduct™

Drainage Catch Pits

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Complete, readyto-install system for inspection of drainage networks


Cable Trough

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Lightweight cable troughing to replace concrete alternatives

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the rail engineer • May 2014


Express Medicals - Stand C20

The complexities of D&A testing The issues of drugs and alcohol in the workplace are both important and complex. They are important as part of maintaining a safe working environment and complex by virtue of the ever-expanding range of substances available for misuse. Testing programmes for alcohol and drugs are a well-established feature within the railway sector. Specific pieces of legislation are in place and most employers understand the rationale for implementing a formal drug & alcohol policy. Advice about policy drafting and workplace testing is widely available from suppliers of such services. However, there does remain a huge amount of confusion and misunderstanding and this is evidenced by the enquiries received. This is not too surprising when one considers the complexities around the issues of workplace drug and alcohol screening and testing.

Side-effects Employers have much to contend with. Some of the issues to consider are as follows: »» A - alcohol abuse; »» B - illicit drug abuse; »» C - so-called ‘legal highs’; »» D - side-effects of legally prescribed drugs (medicines); »» E - side-effects of over-thecounter medicines; »» F - drug interactions; »» G - combinations of some of the above (a) – (f). For employers, the first important step is to ensure that a robust drug and alcohol policy is implemented. It needs to take account of all the above issues [(a) – (g)] and so allow for companies to be able to manage, both fairly and legally, drug and alcohol-related workplace situations. The effects of abused substances are both short and long-term. In the short-term, there are issues of poor concentration, impaired co-ordination, poor decision-making and an increased likelihood of mistakes and accidents. Longterm effects may happen more

insidiously, but can have very serious implications. One example is that of reduced workplace morale leading to impaired customer service and productivity which together impact adversely on a company’s image. On an individual level, there are a wide range of health implications, and the addressing of such issues can be considered as part of an employer’s approach to “health and wellbeing” within a workforce. Whilst it has been true that safety has been the understandable pre-eminent focus of health & safety managers /directors in the past, it is certainly now the case that health is enjoying a rightfully heightened focus of consideration. Many employers, including their commercial and finance directors, are realising that a healthy workforce is a more productive one and that investment in employee health and wellbeing can positively benefit company performance and thus profitability. As more research is done to formally demonstrate the financial benefits of investment in employee health, so the emphasis on health in the workplace will continue to increase. With respect to the problems caused by alcohol,

illicit drugs, legal highs, drug side-effects and interactions, testing programmes will benefit from, and be complemented by, supportive educational and training programmes including talks, wellbeing days, seminars and podcasts as well as posters, leaflets and other literature.

Cross-reactivity Prescription drugs (prescribed medicines) are often ‘overlooked’ as a source of significant problems. Many of us take medicines - and often multiple prescriptions, too. Common conditions, for which medicines are prescribed by health professionals, include high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, raised cholesterol, depression, anxiety, sleeping problems, skin conditions and joint problems such as gout and arthritis. All medicines can cause side-effects in the population. Furthermore, an individual medicine may interact with one or more other drugs. Some medicines will complicate the results of occupational drug screens and tests by virtue of something termed ‘cross-reactivity’, hence the importance of the availability of an experienced medical review service. A doctor who has been trained as a medical review officer will be able to consider the result of a drug test and take into account medications

and possible cross-reactivity issues. The problem of crossreactivity can lead to false positive and negative results when PoCTs (‘instant’ drug testing kits) are used in occupational screening. Crossreactivity is a significant issue that must not be overlooked when interpreting PoCT results. The importance of sideeffects and drug interactions is emphasised by looking at a copy of the BNF (British National Formulary). This publication is a definitive reference of available medicines that is used by doctors and nurses. In the edition for September 2013 – March 2014, almost 10% of the text is devoted to lists of drug interactions (in Appendix 1). Furthermore, each listed drug in the BNF has comments about side-effects and a complementary note as to when to prescribe any given medicine with caution. In summary, issues around alcohol, drugs and various other substances including ‘legal highs’ are many and complex. There is more to the subject than initially ‘meets the eye’. Employers require professionally informed support from appropriately qualified suppliers to ensure that the many ‘hidden pitfalls’ are avoided. Dr Dan Hegarty is medical director of Express Medicals Ltd

the rail engineer • May 2014



Variable Message Signs - Stand E20

Lightweight LED signals Expanding on its innovative, comprehensive range of LED rail signals and lightweight structures, Variable Message Signs Limited (VMSL) has now introduced updated versions of the SARI and MARI signals. This update significantly increases the flexibility of its Route Indicator range as these new signals incorporate a full matrix of LEDs to display up to 20 different aspects on each signal, potentially delivering huge savings to schemes where multiple units would have been required to achieve the same specification. The Standard Indicator can be configured to display up to 20 aspects of any single character, one of the seven position arrows, or the numbers 0-19 within a single Standard Indicator enclosure. This allows a single LED indicator to replace many of the old fibre-optic signals which, due to the lack of a suitable LED variant, may not have been replaced. The Miniature Route Indicator can also display up to 20 aspects in any combination of up to three alphanumeric characters, or the seven position arrows. Mark Johnson will be presenting

a technical paper on Wednesday 21st May at Infrarail 2014 Earls Court which will describe in detail how these new innovative signals operate. Complying with all standards and requirements, the whole range of lightweight signals and indicators requires no routine maintenance and is backwards compatible. They can be mounted on existing infrastructure or to VMSL’s lightweight support structures that are quickly and simply installed using only hand tools. Structures are offered for ground mounting and for any height up to 5.1 metres,

for cess-mounting or for inter-track applications. VMSL can also announce that it is extending its range of Colour Light Signals to include medium range and narrow beam versions to complement the existing long range wide beam signals. VMSL specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of

a comprehensive range of LED based light technology solutions for road and rail applications. The company’s key strengths are innovative design, in-house engineering capability, depth of industry and technical knowledge, and 25 years’ experience delivering solutions in transport information systems.


Railway medical examinations? Railway drugs & alcohol testing?

Nationwide providers of medical examinations and drugs & alcohol testing to the railway industry. We look forward to seeing you at InfraRail: Stand C20

0 6900 Call us on 020 750 th@expressmedical al he k or w l ai em or


the rail engineer • May 2014


Fibrelite - CITE Stand E15

Bespoke access solutions All railways across the globe have a common problem - that of aging infrastructure. Bridges, tunnels, stations and other structures are all deteriorating at a rapid pace. And one of the principal reasons for this deterioration is corrosion. Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) products are now being widely used for applications where corrosion can destroy underground infrastructure. Perhaps the prime reason for using GRP products is because of their inherent corrosion resistance. In many cases, they are the only materials that will handle a given service environment. In others, their corrosion resistance is combined with their lower unit cost to make them the most economical acceptable solution (for example when compared to high grade stainless steel). The corrosion resistance of GRP is a function of both the moulding technology and the specific resin used in the laminate. Today, various resin systems are available which can provide long-term resistance to almost every chemical and temperature environment. One area in which GRP has been particularly successful is access covers and modular trench covers. By helping to reduce the costs of corrosion, composite covers can allow utilities and other operators of underground infrastructure to improve the financial strength of their enterprises.

Customised coloured covers However, GRP can offer more than just corrosion resistance. In response to customer demand, leading manufacturer Fibrelite now offers company logos and other brand markings on its covers. Any style logo or other marking can be permanently moulded into the upper surface of the cover in single or multiple colours. For additional brand or product identification, or to blend in with the colour or layout of a facility, Fibrelite can mould its composite covers in nearly any colour or combination of colours. By introducing the pigment directly into the resin system during the moulding process, Fibrelite ensures that the colour is not merely applied on the surface of the cover. Instead, the colouring is evenly and completely infused throughout the composite cover and will not fade or wear over time. Customers have utilised Fibrelite’s moulded marking and colouring process to identify underground systems in a unique and highly visible way. Colour can also be used as a quick and reliable method of identifying underground systems, thereby providing maintenance or emergency personnel with

more accurate information about any hazards or special conditions related to the underground infrastructure.

the challenges of a safer and ‘higher tech’ world is causing the designers of underground infrastructure to specify them.

Safe manual handling

Highly engineered

With RIDDOR (Reporting or Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) statistics attributing over half of injuries (resulting in absence from work) to manual handling, lightweight Fibrelite composite covers have a role to play. They provide safe and easy access and are replacing aging concrete and cast iron manhole and trench covers worldwide. The design of these lightweight covers incorporates up to two lifting points for specially designed lifting handles. These allow the operator to remove the cover without trapping fingers or bending over thus maximising the safety of the lifting technique. The weight is kept close to the body preventing back injury; one of the main causes of absence from work and personal injury claims. Fibrelite’s composite covers are tested to BS EN 124 and are available with load ratings from A15 up to F900 depending on the application. The company has held accreditation to both the ISO quality standard and British Standards Kitemark since 1998. Fibrelite’s covers are manufactured using hightechnology production methods to create a highly engineered, monolithic composite product. While not every application for access and trench covers currently requires a composite alternative,

Fibrelite’s access covers are lightweight, durable and very strong. They are manufactured using high-technology Resin Transfer Mounding (RTM) production methods to create a highly engineered, monolithic composite product. This offers the best strength to weight ratio in the industry, allowing for maximum load bearing strength and durability while remaining lightweight and easy to handle. Technical experts from Fibrelite will be on hand at Infrarail to demonstrate innovations including the recently launched F900 load rated trench cover (an industry first). David Holmes, Fibrelite’s Technical Director and Head of Product Development explains: “Having re-configured the internal fibreglass architecture we can meet the permanent set and test load requirements of BS EN 124, Class F900 (when tested in accordance with the Air BP test footprint)”. Located on stand E15 of the colocated CITE show, Fibrelite will be showcasing new innovations in lightweight composite access covers and modular trench covers. David Holmes will also be speaking in the CITE seminar theatre at 13:10 on Thursday 22 May. Come and visit, and find out just how lightweight Fibrelite covers are.


the rail engineer • May 2014


KOREC Group - Stand C14

80mph hand back Last July, major improvements to the West Coast main line between Warrington and Preston included the renewal of three miles of track and four major junctions - Golborne, Bamfurlong, Wigan Springs Branch and Balshaw Lane. By carrying out the work in a nine-day intensive, continuous spell, Network Rail engineers were able to complete the work around 16 months early, consequently avoiding disrupting rail travel plans for many weekends (issue 109, November 2013). Whilst blockades are used infrequently and typically tracks are returned to use at 50mph, the Wigan to Preston blockade was completed on time with the team achieving the UK’s first Switch and Crossing renewal handback at 80mph at Wigan Springs Branch. This was recognised within the industry as a significant engineering achievement.

Selecting the right kit Track engineer Colin McAteer and programme manager Paul Marshall spent considerable time in advance of the blockade establishing how an 80mph hand back could be achieved. As part of this strategy KOREC was asked to supply four different types of technology: 3D Trimble Machine Control through Babcock and A P Webb, Trimble GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and Total Station site positioning technology, Trimble GEDO Vorsys, a pre-measurement system for tamping machines, and finally Imetrum’s Video Gauge, a system for precise dynamic measurement of track under loading. “Our aim on this project was to deliver the blockade on time with the additional challenge of returning the line at an 80mph opening speed and this was always foremost in our minds,” Colin explained. “If we were to achieve this, then we had to look at innovative techniques, at how we could make them work for us and finally, because this project was very much a team effort, how these techniques would affect other elements of the team on site from those responsible for electrification to those supplying materials.” As a long term user of Trimble

Machine Control, Colin was convinced of the system’s ruggedness and suitability for rail work so he opted to use single mast 3D GCS900 systems on dozers supplied through Babcock and A P Webb. Although this had been used previously only on smaller, less sensitive projects, Colin and the team were confident that a single mast, assisted by the 100% slope sensor fitted on the blade to control the angle of the cant, would be sufficient for the dozer operators to dig the formation and place ballast at +/15mm using GNSS or +/- 5mm with a UTS (Universal Total Station). The single mast systems would also be run off a single Trimble GNSS base station - keeping costs down. Whilst all four sites were comparatively open and free from any heavy tree cover or bridges that could impede the signal, a single mast system also provided Colin and the team with the facility to switch to a total station guided system as and when required. The switch from antenna to prism could be made in just 10 minutes, minimising down time. Although this option was not used on the Wigan Springs Branch it was used elsewhere during the nine days. A single mast system also provided more flexibility and reduced down time when Network Rail needed to switch from using GNSS with machine control to using a total station for the final fine trimming. Regarded as a relatively new way to work in S&C and line renewal, the use of the single mast GNSS contributed considerable time savings, but more importantly, provided a high quality job that

enabled the ballast to be placed more accurately in preparation for the rail panels. “The Trimble GCS900 single mast systems delivered precision and accuracy, allowing us to achieve our design exactly as specified,” stated Colin. “The fantastic quality of the base meant that we could position the rail panels within 15mm of final position and in fact only needed to tamp once, again saving us much needed time.”

Reducing tamping Fast, accurate measurement of existing track geometry is a key component of productive tamping operations if costly waiting time for tamping machines and operators is to be avoided. Trimble’s GEDO Vorsys is a premeasurement system for tamper machines utilising two TMD’s (track measurement devices) working together, one with a Trimble S-Series total station and the other with the prism and control unit. Both TMDs have sensors to measure both the gauge and the cant. These are then continually transferred wirelessly to a control unit (a Trimble TSC3 in this case) which combines the data from

both TMD’s sensors with positional information from the total station to enable real-time data to be displayed live in the field. Measurements are made using control points positioned along the track. Since the full track design geometry is stored in the TSC3, Gedo Vorsys field software can calculate and display the lift and slew values to final design, cant and gauge information, as well as all the significant points where the track geometry changes live in the field. This is a big advantage over other methods which require manual recording of the lift and slew values. Additional time can be saved by using the Gedo Tamp software to create a front offset file for the tamper from the measurements taken with Gedo Vorsys. This method also minimises the chance of human typing errors when entering data manually into the tamper. Network Rail had already trialled the KOREC supplied Trimble GEDO Vorsys system and were confident that it would enable them to have better control of their tamping operations by providing much more information and improved productivity.


the rail engineer • May 2014

“Simply, Trimble Vorsys doubled our sampling rate and halved our survey time,” explains Colin. “We could sample every five metres compared to every ten with pegs, so we were easily surveying 500600 metre stretches in just 40 minutes, rather than the half day it would have taken with traditional methods.” Following the work, one of the factors that contributed to the 80mph sign off after a single tamping run is the speed raiser report generated by the Vorsys system. Horizontal and vertical tolerances along with twist and gauge parameters are all used in the calculation that generates the final chart and Colin cites that having this measure of information was of huge importance in providing an extra level of confidence to the handback engineer to open the track at 80mph.

A unified process In recent years Trimble has set out to unify the rail process and, under Paul and Colin’s guidance, the combination of 3D machine control, site positioning systems (GNSS and

Total Station) along with Trimble Vorsys has proved a successful one. “It’s not just the hardware that has made this technology work for us, it’s the software as well,” states Colin. “Our engineers are all working from the same design data and using the same software interface whether they are carrying out a grade check or an as-built survey. Using the same handhelds with the same software brings familiarity which means the team can skip between tasks seamlessly. There is no additional training required and that cuts site down-time and improves the quality of work. The Trimble Business Center (TBC) software has also played its part. The ballast and formation data is prepared in TBC as is the root data that goes into Vorsys. TBC also allowed us to visualise the design beforehand with the drive through function which allowed us to spot issues on the DTM another great time saver.”

Monitoring with Video Gauge KOREC was also able to introduce Paul and Colin to Video Gauge, a non-contact precision-


measurement video monitoring system ideal for occasions when there is a need to accurately measure dynamic deflection at a distance, and under train loading, all with sub-mm accuracy. Video Gauge comprises a PC running dedicated software used together with one or more high-resolution digital video cameras. Recorded video data can be stored for analysis later, or analysed live for real time monitoring. Network Rail is required to monitor track after hand back to check for any displacement that may lead to voiding. This is usually done by placing void meters under the track. However, due to Video Gauge’s ability to monitor a greater range of movement, and because of the freedom that the system offers to monitor anything it can ‘see’ without time-consuming sensor installation, it was decided to trial the system alongside traditional methods at two sites, Wigan Springs Branch and Balshaw Lane. At both locations the camera was set well back from the track. Once the targets were identified, the parameters to be recorded

were set in the system - vertical displacement in this case. Recording was manually started a few seconds before the train passed the targets to give a ‘datum’ status for the track. The video was allowed to run for a few seconds after the train had passed to ensure the track had returned to its starting position. For each video a text file was created showing the data captured for each of the measured parameters at each of the target locations. The system captured the magnitude of any movements as a number of pixels which were then converted to millimetres. “This was the first time we had ever seen dynamic deflection and had real-time feedback - it was superb!” Colin continued. “We now know how the track performs or deteriorates under load and I can’t understate how good this is for peace of mind. The key concern when assessing a railway line is whether it is fit for purpose - will it carry a train at the designated line speed safely? We now had a clear indication that the track wasn’t deteriorating under load which is of paramount importance in our decision to go with an 80mph opening.”

Single supply source KOREC backed up the supply of Trimble systems and Video Gauge with extensive support both before and during the blockade. “KOREC’s back up was invaluable and they were with us every step of the way,” concludes Colin. “We had a single point of contact do deal with any issues and that meant they were dealt with quickly and efficiently. The quality of installation on all sites was superb and I, along with the Babcock engineers take great pride in that. The Trimble systems we used are tried and tested technology and delivered exactly what we required. “We pushed the boundaries and thanks to a combination of great systems, great people and great team work we delivered the UK’s first ever 80mph handback.”

the rail engineer • May 2014



Husqvarna Construction Products - Stand H67

On track to the perfect cut

Cutting rail tracks is tough work, so it takes a machine that is both efficient and powerful. The K 1260 Rail Saw from Husqvarna is the most powerful and lightest rail saw on the market. With an impressive 5.8 kW of power and torque, cutting rail tracks becomes quick and easy work. The saw is equipped with Active Air Filtration™, one of the market’s most efficient centrifugal air cleaning systems that delivers up to a year’s operation without a filter change. It also has a highly efficient vibration dampening system, making the saw easy to handle and allowing an operator to make over 25 cuts through a standard rail profile before the AVL is reached. For best results, the K 1260 is combined with an RA10 attachment, which provides fast and stable mounting to the rail track ensuring a perfect right-angle cut. It also has the advantage of double attachment mountings to enable cutting from both sides. . As the RA10 attachment fits easily to standard rail profiles, and there is an optional RA10S for large (tram rail) profiles, the K 1260 Rail Saw can be used for almost any application. It is even available with an integrated cut-out switch, meaning that it meets LUL standards.

Husqvarna Construction Products, which is celebrating 325 years of manufacturing, is pleased to have recently supplied an additional 200 K 1260 Rail Saws to Network Rail. They join an already impressive fleet of Husqvarna power tools that are used daily for the construction and maintenance of the UK rail infrastructure. The K 1260, and other tools from Husqvarna’s impressive range of specialist hand-held power tools suitable for the rail industry, will be on show at both Infrarail in May and Rail Live 2014 in June.

Keeping the Rail Industry on track to the perfect cut! Husqvarna Construction Products are celebrating 325 years of manufacturing and marketing a vast range of professional equipment making us the expert in our field. Our equipment has been frequently used for the construction and maintenance of the UK rail infrastructure. Cutting rail tracks is tough work so you need a machine that is both efficient and powerful. The K 1260 Rail Saw is the most powerful and lightest rail saw on the market. With the K 1260’s impressive 5.8 kW of power and torque, cutting rail tracks becomes quick and easy work. It is equipped with Active Air Filtration™, one of the market’s most efficient centrifugal air cleaning systems that delivers up to a year’s operation without a filter change. It also has a highly efficient vibration dampening system, making the saw easy to handle, allowing the operator to make over 25 cuts through a standard rail profile before the AVL is reached.

to standard rail profiles, there is an optional RA10S for large (tram rail) profiles. Furthermore the K 1260 Railsaw model is also available with an integrated cut-out switch meaning that it meets LUL standards. Husqvarna is pleased to have recently supplied an additional 200 K1260 Rail Saws to Network Rail’s existing fleet of powerful and efficient Husqvarna rail saws.

The K 1260 is combined with the RA10 attachment, which provides fast and stable mounting to the rail track ensuring a perfect right-angle cut. It also has the advantage of double attachment mountings to enable cutting from both sides. The RA10 attachment fits easily HUSQVARNA CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS UK Tel: 0844 844 4570 - Email: - Copyright © 2014 Husqvarna AB (publ). All rights reserved.


the rail engineer • May 2014


ZÖLLNER - Stand B94

Track Warning Systems ensure worker safety For years, ZÖLLNER has been developing and manufacturing the TWS Autoprowa® and been supplying it to customers in the United Kingdom, Germany and many other European countries. ZÖLLNER UK Ltd. in Leeds, as a subsidiary of ZÖLLNER GmbH in Germany, offers excellent local service and support to UK customers. The overall safety risk on track work sites caused by human failure can be widely excluded by using ATWS. ZÖLLNER’s system Autoprowa has proven its reliability in countless installations. Its modular concept is the key for flexible application. The system offers tailored solutions for all possible work sites, including long and short duration sites, sites up to several kilometres in length, and short or mobile worksites. One of the most important advantages of the system is the Autoprowa effect which

automatically adjusts to the ambient noise to generate a safe warning signal at each warning device, guaranteeing a safe warning and avoid unnecessary high signal levels. In addition, the modular concept means that all components, hardwired or radio, can be combined with each other. As a result the system can be used as ATWS, SemiAutomatic TWS, LOWS or even Signal Controlled Warning System (SCWS). The system is easy to handle due to its modular nature and the reduced amount of cables.

Radio warning Systems ZÖLLNER’s Autoprowa ZPW radio-based personal warning device can be used in conjunction with the hard-wired system. As a system for warning all staff on track work sites, the ZPW is best used on short-term work sites of up to 30 metres, or by machine operators . The Autoprowa ZPW can be automatically activated by train detectors, such as the new electronic F500, or manually by a

lookout using a ZFH hand switch - an application which is known as LOWS (Lookout Operated Warning System). The latest, second-generation radio warning system is a further development of the current system. It uses bi-directional radio communication, LED flashing beacons and lithium batteries. An intense training programme and a 24-hour UK-based service hotline guarantees good customer support.

Your competent, flexible and reliable partner for safety on track worksites

Autoprowa® - Safety for today and tomorrow!

We develop innovative, pioneering solutions for your individual rail infrastructure requirements. • • • • • • • • • •

ZÖLLNER Mobile Radio based Warning System, future orientated, economical and innovative Already field-tested and approved in various European countries ATWS, LOWS, SEMI-ATWS, SCWS, Permanent TWS Full NR Product Acceptance Maximum Safety and Flexibility Quick and easy installation as well as safe start-up High Availability UK based customer service, support and training Latest bi-directional Radio or GSM-R based Technology available Infrastructure products: Mobile level crossing TH-BÜP, train speed check facility ZGP

ZÖLLNER UK Ltd. - Leeds - Tel.: +44 (113) 2703 008 • -

the rail engineer • May 2014



ENGINEERING DIRECTOR BIRMINGHAM | £ATTRACTIVE REMUNERATION PACKAGE Vossloh Kiepe UK was formed by the German based Vossloh AG group acquisition of Transys Projects Ltd in mid-2012. The business is a leader in railway rolling stock engineering, enhancement and systems integration and provides high quality turnkey project and consultancy services to maximise vehicle utilisation and performance. With excellent rail engineering, production and project management skills, Vossloh Kiepe UK operates from design and engineering offices in Birmingham and from a range of project facilities to suit vehicle and fleet locations. Vossloh AG is an MDAX-listed global player in rail technology markets with 5,000 employees generating over £1 billion in sales. Vossloh manufactured rail vehicles are supplied to the UK market, complementing the Vossloh Kiepe UK activities. The requirement is for an Engineering Director to join the leadership team of Vossloh Kiepe UK taking full responsibility for all engineering functions, reporting to the Managing Director.

“An outstanding opportunity in a subsidiary of a strong, multinational engineering group” The role will include managing a permanent team of around 20 people, providing technical leadership across the business and representing it from an engineering point of view to customers, suppliers and third parties, as appropriate. The engineering function supports a wide range of projects with design, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering input and also contributes to tendering processes. Managing resources and developing staff and teams are key duties together with close liaison with other senior colleagues across the business and key contacts elsewhere. Candidates should have professional engineering qualifications to Chartered Engineer level and have worked in the rail sector or possibly other similar

Be the first to hear about and apply for exhibitors’ vacancies at the


WALL 2014

project oriented, complex capital equipment sectors involving maintenance, upgrade and refurbishment activities. Experience of working with changing industry standards, approvals processes and legislative requirements will provide a base from which to provide leadership in areas of engineering development and innovation. The business wishes to grow its’ engineering offering and candidates should have the ability to develop the existing function and its’ capabilities to suit. Candidates should be living, or prepared to live, within regular commuting distance of Birmingham and a relocation package can be arranged if required. A fully expensed company car and other benefits will be available as part of the remuneration package.

Please forward your cv and covering letter to or call Rod Shaw on 0115 959 9687 with any particular queries.


London Bridge Station. 54 million people pass through it every year so closing the station was not an option. We redesigned it so things could be kept running as it was remodelled. It wasn’t easy, but we love a challenge. And we like people who can crack challenges, too Our rail team is growing. So if you’d like to help shape the future of rail travel, we’d like to hear from you.


We’re looking for rail experts across the UK, to work in Rail Planning, Track, OLE, E&P, Lineside Civils, Telecoms, Systems Engineering, Signalling, and Bridges & Civil Structures. Visit #brainstopick

Fast track your career



the rail engineer • May 2014



“A key role in a leading rolling stock engineering company” Wabtec Rail in Doncaster is a leading railway

high levels of customer satisfaction and to develop

use of initiative.

engineering company undertaking the overhaul

and maintain strong working relations with train

and repair of rolling stock including locomotive,

operating and rolling stock leasing customers as

The Wabtec Corporation has a track record for career advancement at all levels.

passenger and freight vehicles together with

well as the supply chain and third parties.

component and sub-assembly refurbishment.

Working with colleagues across all business

The company employs about 1000 people and

functions, the role will include project planning,

forms part of the global $2.5 billion turnover

risk analysis and mitigation, financial and

Wabtec Corporation. Other Wabtec Rail oriented

budgetary control, project reporting and the

businesses in the UK include the Brush Traction

development and mentoring of project

and LH Group activities. There are also several

managers. The company adopts lean processes

other group businesses that manufacture

and policies of continual improvement and the

products such as braking systems, locomotive

role provides excellent opportunities to

cooling systems, train data recorders and a

contribute in these important areas.

range of electronic equipment.

project managers with strong communication skills

together with a commitment to business

and ability and experience in business relationship

years and a strong market position.

management sufficient to exert influence at all levels. A track record of delivery and a

A Senior Project Manager is now sought to

commercial orientation will also be necessary

ensure that fleet vehicle projects are delivered to

and the role will provide opportunities for the

Project Delivery Opportunities TRAC is a specialist engineering contractor delivering engineering solutions from minor works through to complete turn-key engineering solutions to the rail sector. Holding Plant Operators Scheme Licence, TRAC have the management capability and operating systems to effectively control and deliver projects safely, on time and to budget.

Candidates should live or be able to relocate to within reasonable commuting distance of Doncaster.

Candidates should be graduate level engineering

A reputation for high performance and quality investment has led to continual growth in recent

This is an outstanding opportunity to join Wabtec Rail in a key role and to make valuable contributions. The company has a strong development programme that can lead to other role opportunities at Doncaster or elsewhere in accordance with ambition.

Please forward your cv and covering letter to Rod Shaw at RGS Executive via or call him on 0115 959 9687 to discuss any queries that you may have.


Currently we have vacancies for the following:-

• • • • • •

HSEQ Coordinator Resource Planner IRATA Technicians RRV Operators Machine/Crane Controllers De vegetation Control Personnel

If you would like to apply for any of the above vacancies, please send your CV to Plant Operators Licence

The Rail Engineer - Issue 115 - May 2014  

The Rail Engineer Issue 115 May 2014