Rail Professional Asia Pacific March 2021

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MARCH 2021 Issue number 21



Being bullish on rail in the Year of the Bull Rail projects scheduled for completion in 2021 remain on track, with the Putrajaya Line MRT set to open in July

Light Rail Recruiting light rail talent

Events RAIL Asia 2021 returns to Bangkok

Maintenance and Refurbishment FlixTrain refurbishment project

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MARCH 2021 Issue number 21



Being bullish on rail in the Year of the Bull Rail projects scheduled for completion in 2021 remain on track, with the Putrajaya Line MRT set to open in July

Light Rail Recruiting light rail talent

Events RAIL Asia 2021 returns to Bangkok

Maintenance and Refurbishment FlixTrain refurbishment project

Rail Professional

PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LIMITED Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Tel: +44 (0)1268 711811 EDITORIAL EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE editor@railprofessional.com ADVERTISING ADAM OVERALL adam@railpro.co.uk ADMINISTRATION LISA ETHERINGTON CHERIE NUGENT info@railpro.co.uk DESIGN & PRODUCTION NICK FOGDEN ALISHA GENT REBECCA GOLDBERG production@railpro.co.uk

Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may be submitted, but, while every care will be exercised, neither the editor nor the publisher take responsibility for loss of, or damage to, material sent. Submission of material to Rail Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine. ISSN 2397-8287 © All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the copyright owners. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor does it accept liability for any printing errors or otherwise which may occur.


elcome to the first issue of 2021 and the year of the bull! An exciting year is ahead for many of the countries of the Asia Pacific region. Whilst much of the world continues a gradual reopening many rail projects in Asia are on track, with a significant stretch of the China-Laos high-speed railway on target to be completed by this December. To the south, Bang Sue Grand Station – the new central railway hub in Bangkok, Thailand – is set to start running trains on the newly established Red Line in July. There is also the return of rail in-person industry events to look forward to at the end of this year. Continuing southwards, another megaproject in Indonesia has remained on schedule with a key stage in the construction of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway being recently completed. The 142.3-kilometer railway is being built by railway developer Kereta Cepat Indonesia China, a joint-venture consortium of Chinese and Indonesian firms. The biggest story is of course Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. Alstom announced at the end of January the completion of the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. The new, now enlarged Group has a combined proforma revenue of around €15.7 billion (USD$18.8 billion) and a €71.1 billion (USD$85 billion) combined backlog. It employs 75,000 people worldwide in 70 countries. Turning to this issue. We have stories from Dr Stephen Fletcher, Occupational Psychologist and Director at the OPC who talks about innovative and enlightening work from major Light Rail organisations. Traco Power share their experience with power supplies being used in harsh environments. We also have all the latest news from across the region and a lookahead to the 2021 edition of RAIL Asia.

Sam Sherwood-Hale Editor

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ISSUE 21 • MARCH 2021

06 News LTA Awards Civil Contract for the Cross Island Line Phase 1, MTR launches East Rail Line new signalling system and 9-car trains, Multiple contracts awarded by Singapore LTA, Ho Man Tin Station Package One Property Development Project, Powering metro projects across top ten Chinese cities with Alstom’s sustainable mobility solutions, CRRC secures new order for locomotives from KiwiRail of New Zealand, China-Laos high-speed railway to open this year, Central Vietnamese city plans metro, Testing on the Putrajaya Line

11 Viewpoint


While all eyes are on Alstom and Bombardier, TMH is becoming a force to reckon with in the rail industryw

12 Tram and Light Rail Dr Stephen Fletcher, occupational psychologist and director at the OPC talks about innovative and enlightening work from major Light Rail organisations that are best practice across the sector and for the wider rail industry


21 16 Maintenance and Refurbishment German start-up FlixMobility is a mobility provider, offering travel service FlixBus and more recently FlixTrain, which operates its own distinctive lime-green branded trains

19 Power Supply Trains and other outdoor vehicles are permanently exposed to the toughest environmental conditions

21 Events After a successful 2020 the date for RAIL Asia 2021 has been announced for Makkasan Expo Halls from 25-26 November

8 Rail Professional



More news at www.railprofessional.com/news

LTA Awards Civil Contract for the Cross Island Line Phase 1 Singapore – The Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) has awarded the civil contract to design and construct the bored tunnel between Aviation Park station and Loyang station for the Cross Island Line Phase 1 (CRL1) to Taisei Corporation – China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited Singapore Branch Joint Venture, at a total contract value of SG$356 million. Taisei Corporation and China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited Singapore Branch have established track records in providing design-and-build construction services which include rail stations and tunnels locally and abroad. Taisei Corporation is currently involved in the construction of Marina Bay station and tunnels for the Annex A Thomson-East Coast Line while China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited Singapore Branch is currently working on the construction of of Keppel Cantonment stations forLoyang Circle Station Line 6, as Location map tunnel and between Aviation Park Station and

*All station names are working names

Location map of tunnel between Aviation Park Station and Loyang Station

well as tunnels for the North East Line Extension. The company had previously completed the construction of Kaki Bukit and Geylang Bahru stations for Downtown Line Stage 3 and Canberra station for the North-South Line. Construction works for the 3.2-kilometre tunnel between Aviation Park Station and Loyang Station is expected to start in the second quarter of 2021. For the first time, LTA will use a large-diameter tunnel boring machine to construct a single tunnel with two tracks in it. CRL1 is slated to commence passenger service in 2030. The CRL, Singapore’s eighth MRT line, is the city state’s longest fully underground line at more than 50 kilometres long. It will serve existing and future developments in the eastern, western, and north-eastern corridors, linking major hubs such as Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and Changi region. When fully completed, the CRL is expected to have a daily ridership of at least 600,000 in the initial years, growing to one million in the longer term. The CRL will have almost half of its stations as interchanges with other train lines, making it easier and more convenient to travel across the rail network. It will be constructed in three phases. CRL1 is 29 kilometres long and comprises twelve stations from Aviation Park to Bright Hill. This will serve residential and industrial areas such as Loyang, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Defu, Hougang, Serangoon North and Ang Mo Kio and benefit more than 100,000 households. With CRL1, common recreational spaces such as Changi Beach Park and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park will be more accessible by public transport. Studies on the details of subsequent CRL phases are ongoing.

MTR launches East Rail Line new signalling system and 9-car trains Hong Kong – MTR Corporation has commissioned a new signalling system and 9-car trains on the East Rail Line (EAL). At the same time, MTR has established a dedicated Shatin to Central Link (SCL) Technical and Engineering Assurance Team, directly accountable to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to monitor the SCL project from both a technical and service readiness perspective and to identify

important unknown issues of the remaining works of the SCL project for timely reporting and follow up. The establishment of the team is an initiative of the Corporation after reviewing the Report of the Investigation Panel (the Report) into the postponement of the commissioning of the EAL new signalling system in mid-September last year.

Multiple contracts awarded by Singapore LTA The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded the second civil contract for the construction of Johor Bahru – Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link to China Communications Construction Company Limited (Singapore Branch) at a contract value of around SG$180 million. This contract covers the construction of the RTS Link viaduct and tunnels in Singapore. The viaduct will stand above the Straits of Johor within Singapore’s territory at a height of 25 metres. It will then continue inland and transition to underground tunnels connecting to the RTS Link Woodlands North station. China Communications Construction Company Limited (Singapore Branch) has 15 years of experience in infrastructure construction, specialising in large-scale rail, road and bridge projects. It has previously completed rail projects in other countries such as China and Kenya. The company is also currently constructing the Boon Lay station on the Jurong Region Line. Construction for the RTS Link viaduct and tunnels is expected Rail Professional

to commence in the second quarter of 2021. The first civil contract to construct the RTS Link Woodlands North station, tunnels and the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) building in Singapore, was awarded on 26 November 2020. The RTS Link is expected to commence passenger service in end 2026. The RTS Link is a four-kilometre rail shuttle service between the Singapore terminus at Woodlands North station and the Malaysia terminus at Bukit Chagar station in Johor Bahru. It has a large capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction. Passengers will enjoy a fast and seamless travelling experience between Singapore and Johor Bahru on the RTS Link, and a journey time of about five minutes between the two stations. Furthermore, the CIQ facilities will be conveniently co-located at Woodlands North and Bukit Chagar stations, so that passengers will only be required to clear both Singapore and Malaysia immigration authorities once, at the point of departure. Upon arrival in Singapore, passengers can seamlessly continue their journey by


More news at www.railprofessional.com/news


Visuals of the Jurong East Integrated Transport Hub


transfers between the North-South and East-West Lines and the future Jurong Region Line at the Jurong East station. The construction of the JE ITH is expected to start in the second quarter of this year and complete around 2027. Like all the other ITHs, inclusive facilities have been incorporated into JE ITH, including barrier-free alighting areas and toilets, priority queue zones with seats, and a nursing room. This is part of the Government’s efforts to create a more caring and inclusive public transport system. The ITH will feature a 27-storey tower block connected by a sky bridge to an eight-storey podium block. The development will have offices, public facilities as well as retail spaces.

Annex A Location map andA artist’s impression of Hume station Annex Location map and artist’s impression of RTS Link viaduct

Visuals of the Jurong East Integrated Transport Hub


transferring to the Thomson-East Coast Line, which is adjacent to the RTS Link Woodlands North station. When operations commence, the RTS Link will significantly improve connectivity eight-storey podium building (left) will be connected between Singapore and Johor Bahru and ease congestion along 27-storey the Causeway. tower block (right) by a 90m sky bridge The LTA also awarded the contract to complete the civil works for Hume station on the Downtown Line to JSM Construction Group Pte Ltd. at a contract value of SG$34,338,000. Hume station is located along Upper Bukit Timah Road between Hillview and Beauty World stations. A station box with basic structural provisions had earlier been constructed for this station. The new contract covers the construction of a station entrance, ventilation shaft and fitting-out works for the new station. In addition to serving existing residential developments along Hume Avenue, the station will also provide more convenient access for members of the public to the Rail Corridor (Central) and Former Ford Factory. Hume station is targeted to open in 2025. JSM Construction Group Pte Ltd. has wide-ranging experience in the construction sector, including a strong track record in MRT station upgrading works. The company is currently carrying out addition and alteration works for Pasir Ris station along East-West Line and had previously worked on providing additional platforms at Choa Chu Kang MRT/LRT station. In order to fit out the underground station into an operational one, the contractor will be carrying out extensive installation works including architectural, plumbing and sanitary requirements. As the station is along an operational line, majority of these works will only be carried out after train services have stopped running, and when the operator is not carrying out maintenance works. Beyond civil works, the station will also require the installation and testing of rail systems and electrical and mechanical (E&M) services. The contracts for the E&M services will be awarded later this quarter while the rail systems will be procured from the incumbent contractors who had earlier supplied them for the Downtown Line. Once the installation works are completed, testing will also be carried out before the station can open for passenger service. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded the tender to design and build the Jurong East Integrated Transport Hub (JE ITH) to China Communications Construction Company Limited (Singapore Branch) at a contract value of SG$477.4 million. The ITH comprises community and civic institutions, an office tower and a bus interchange. With its opening, commuters in the area can look forward to direct connectivity and more convenient

Artist’s Impression of RTS Link Viaduct Artist’s Impression of RTS Link Viaduct

to a

Location map of DTL Hume Station Location map and artist’s impression of RTS Link viaduct

Location of RTS Link Viaduct and Tunnels

Artist’s Impression of DTL Hume Station Rail Professional

Artist’s Impression of DTL Hume Station



More news at www.railprofessional.com/news

Ho Man Tin Station Package One Property Development Project Hong Kong – For the Ho Man Tin Station Package One Property Development project, a novation agreement has been reached between MTR Corporation Limited, Goldin Properties

Holdings Limited and Great Eagle Group. The Corporation will work together with Great Eagle Group to bring this project to completion.

Powering metro projects across top ten Chinese cities with Alstom’s sustainable mobility solutions Chengdu, Shanghai and Xi’an – The last two months have seen seven metro projects entrusted to Alstom across three of Mainland China’s top ten populous cities – namely Chengdu, Shanghai and Xi’an – come to fruition. This follows the Chinese tradition of opening new transit lines during the New Year period. From Shanghai’s Grade of Automation 4 (GoA4) driverless metro lines 10 (phase two), 15 and 18, Xi’an Line 5 (phases one and two) to Chengdu’s metro lines 17 (phase one) and 18 (phase one), as well its first GoA4 driverless Line 9 (phase one), Alstom and its joint ventures in China, Shanghai Alstom Transport Electrical Equipment Co. Ltd (SATEE) and CASCO Signal Ltd celebrate their continued contributions to the country’s urban transit development. With the successful opening of these four GoA4 driverless lines, Alstom brings its wealth of experience and advanced traction technologies to the Chinese market. Between December 2020 and January 2021, SATEE supplied its OptONIX and ONIX metro traction systems for 1,088 metro cars of four metro lines – Chengdu Line 9 (200 cars), Shanghai Line 10 (156 cars), Shanghai Line 15 (324 cars) and Xi’an Line 5 (408 cars), with support from Xi’an Alstom Yongji Electric Equipment Co. Ltd (XAYEECO). It was also responsible for the train control monitoring system (TCMS) of Shanghai Line 10 and Shanghai Line 15, and the latter line’s train electrical design. During the same period, CASCO has successfully put into service its Urbalis 888 signalling solution on six of these metro lines in Chengdu and Shanghai. ‘We are humbled and excited for the various opportunities across major Chinese cities to provide a reliable, efficient and comfortable connectivity experience for their commuters. We remain committed to supporting the country’s bold ambition of urban rail transit expansion while delivering our service proven and sustainable mobility solutions to even more travellers’ said Olivier Loison, Managing Director for Alstom in China & East Asia.

Alstom has been operating in China for over 60 years. Today, 30 per cent of the radio communication based train control (CBTC) solutions are supplied by CASCO, cementing its lead in China’s railway signalling sector. Alstom has provided traction systems for more than 40 per cent of the GoA4 driverless metro lines in China, and is currently delivering for the Nanjing Line 7 project. Designed and developed specifically for the Chinese market in 2009, OptONIX is in operation today on 4,422 metro cars across six cities. This experience enables Alstom to innovate and implement an upgraded OptONIX system for the four metro projects in Chengdu, Shanghai and Xi’an, achieving higher levels of energy efficiency and electrical braking while remaining 98 per cent recyclable.

CRRC secures new order for locomotives from KiwiRail of New Zealand CRRC Dalian has received an additional order for ten diesel locomotives from KiwiRail of New Zealand. This is the fifth locomotive order following the previous four orders for 63 locomotives, bringing the total locomotive export of CRRC Dalian to New Zealand to 73 units, which accounts for about one-third of the total number of locomotives used by KiwiRail.

Rail Professional

More news at www.railprofessional.com/news

The newly signed ten locomotives will build on the mature design and concepts of the previous generation, and leverage the experiences accumulated in the onsite technical support services and the user application habits of the previous locomotives. More exploration and study will be done to further optimize and improve the reliability design and maintenance convenience design, and



further optimize the locomotive processes and production to provide high quality products and services. During the negotiation, the company overcame the impact of Covid-19 and spent much effort in planning. Through the innovative ‘cloud negotiation’ and collaboration, the company finally won the recognition of the customer.

China-Laos high-speed railway to open this year Vientiane – The long anticipated high-speed railway connecting Kunming in southern China with Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is expected to complete construction in December this year. The Laos-China Railway Company (LCRC) held its annual meeting earlier in the year, reporting that construction of rail infrastructure is set to be largely finished this year, with the remaining tunnels and bridges and rail track base by the end of the year.

So far, over 170 kilometres of the total 198 kilometres of tunnels have been bored and over 36 kilometres of bridges accounting for 59.3 per cent of the total have been constructed. The laying of rail track will begin this year with the developer expecting to complete laying track from the Chinese border to Luang Prabang by the end of the year, according to CRC General Manager Li Bing Xuang.

Central Vietnamese city plans metro Da Nang – The central Vietnamese city of Da Nang is seeking investors for a proposed rail transit system. At present, the plans call for three lines – an East-West Line, a South-North Line

and line that would run to the nearby historical town of Hoi An. The estimated cost of the project is USD$2.57 billion.

Testing on the Putrajaya Line Kuala Lumpur – The Putrajaya Line MRT trains are busy undergoing testing and commissioning in preparation for the opening of Phase One of the Putrajaya Line. With 13 MRT stations

from Kwasa Damansara Station to Kampung Batu Station, Phase One is expected to begin operations by mid-July 2021. Similarly to the Kajang Line, RapidKL will also be the operator for the Putrajaya Line.

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New players and growing markets While all eyes are on Alstom and Bombardier, TMH is becoming a force to reckon with in the rail industry


ast month, Alstom completed the acquisition of its Canadian rival Bombardier Transportation. The announcement came with a tranche of dizzying numbers: a deal worth between €5.8 billion to €6.2 billion, creating the second largest train maker in the world, in what was one of the biggest deals approved by the European Commission last year. Not only will the takeover translate into considerable growth for Alstom, many will also view it as an attempt to mount a credible challenge to the dominance of the world’s largest train manufacture, China’s CRRC. But whilst the acquisition has been couched in terms of the existing competition between industry heavyweights, this is not the only driving factor. TMH, one of the rail sector’s emerging companies, are playing a key role in shaking up the industry, deploying innovative strategies in emerging markets, and leading the charge against the established order. TMH International, a subsidiary of the privately-owned Russian rail manufacturing group Transmashholding (TMH), has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the past two years. With a differentiated strategy that seeks to develop a local presence in specific target markets, TMH now operates in six countries across three continents. TMH has partnered with local companies on the ground, enabling them to better understand the market, its customers, and the local nuances, while keeping a very light management structure at its international Swiss headquarters. It has already successfully implemented this strategy in Argentina, Cuba, Egypt, Hungary, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. Despite being Russia’s sixth largest company, few have taken TMH’s growth seriously. This is an important misstep, perhaps borne out of an out-of-date perception that Russian industry is predominately state-run. TMH’s rise demonstrates how global barriers have been broken in the past 20

years, enabling new players to compete with established rivals. As a result, the rail rolling stock manufacturing sector is at an interesting crossroads. Established companies in the industry will have to make moves if they wish to survive; Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier Transportation could be viewed as an attempt to reassert its control on a changing sector. Likely to accelerate Alstom’s growth and establish the company as a standard-bearer for the rail sector, the acquisition will enable the expansion of reach and influence, thanks to Bombardier Transportation’s geographical presence in key growing markets. Of course, Alstom’s acquisition will also be viewed in the context of China, as it attempts strengthen its position against its largest rival, CRRC. Unlike 2019’s abortive attempts to create a European rail champion with Siemens, which was blocked by regulators, Alstom’s CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge is clear eyed about his companies intentions: it is all about making Alstom stronger. However, this is a stiff challenge; CRRC’s annual revenue last year was greater than that of Alstom, Bombardier, and Siemens combined. The Chinese giant is increasingly perceived by experts in the sector as a threat that needs to be blocked. Many point to CRRC’s unchecked rise over the past decade, during which time they have penetrated the international market through Africa as well as in Europe. It has won tenders with technology that is strong and prices that are hard to match. While the European Commission has been sceptical about China’s ambitions, arguing as recently as 2018 that there was no prospect of Chinese entry into the European market, European companies have nevertheless begun to understand that they must adopt a more aggressive strategy in order to truly compete with the Chinese giant. However, whilst Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier has been viewed within the existing context of major industry players, it is clear that other players have also


News in brief Multiple new lines open across China New lines are continuing to open up across China, with the long-awaited sections of Line 1, Line 6 and Line 7 in Hangzhou opening on 4 March. The Hangzhou Metro is now 306 kilometres long. Meanwhile in Xi’an, the city’s 3 lines, Line 5, Line 6 and Line 9, were officially launched together on 3 March. The trains on all 3 lines use CRRC’s B2 type car, with six cars for a train. In Shanghai, Metro Line officially opened on 2 March. It is the city’s fourth rail transit line that is fully automated and driverless. The trains are produced by CRRC Changchun, with an A-type aluminum alloy body. It has six cars per train and can go up to a maximum speed of 80kph. On 25 February Taiyuan Metro Line 2 officially brought Shanxi Province and Taiyuan city into an era of subways. The trains have smart functions that allow them to automatically ‘wake up’ and ‘sleep’. The trains also can make predictive maintenance suggestions. Guangzhou’s Huangpu Tram Line 1 opened on 23 February. The vehicles have supercapacitators, which allow charging to be completed within 30 seconds as passengers get on and off the vehicle, restoring more than 80 per cent of the energy storage.

pushed it to play its hand. The significant strides made by newcomers to the sector, driven by innovative strategies that challenge traditional modes of operating, have broken down traditional operating barriers that existed 20 years ago. For the old guard, this is forcing major changes to the market paradigm. Patrick Landau is the founder and chairman of Maydex AG. He specialises in defence, security, infrastructure and transport. Since 1986, has advised leading multinational companies and governments in International Development and M&A.

Rail Professional



Leading Lights in Light Rail Dr Stephen Fletcher, occupational psychologist and director at the OPC talks about innovative and enlightening work from major Light Rail organisations that are best practice across the sector and for the wider rail industry



he Occupational Psychology Centre (OPC) and its sister company OPC Assessment have been working with light rail organisations for over 15 years. Their experience extends to Tram Operations and Light Rail organisations both in the UK and internationally, including Australasia and the Middle East. During that time, they have been able to undertake some leading edge and innovative consulting programmes designed to help improve business efficiency, effectiveness and safety performance. This article explores two areas of their light rail consultancy work; the first focusing on recruiting safe and effective employees; and the other focusing on redesigning an organisation along with new jobs. Rail Professional

Helping to recruit the best, safest and effective light rail employees Our light rail employees have a critical role to play in determining the effectiveness and safety of our light rail organisations. A key focus needs to be on talent acquisition of employees who match the job requirements and can undertake their roles effectively, efficiently and to the highest safety standards. Many light rail clients have drawn on the OPC’s expertise to help recruit the best employees and identify those who may be unsuitable or who may struggle to perform the role to the required safety standard. A key, and leading-edge piece of job profiling work in the light rail sector was undertaken with Tram Operations Ltd to review the effectiveness of their recruitment

and selection processes for their tram drivers. One of the first and most important building blocks in this process was that of job profiling. Job profiling is all about analysing a role to identify the key Non-Technical Skills (NTS) that will be required by a successful employee. These NTS might include abilities e.g. the ability to concentrate; or interpersonal characteristics e.g. the propensity to assert yourself, and motivational qualities i.e. an inclination towards personal development and continuous learning. Andy Wallace, Head of Safety at Tram Operations Ltd told us ‘The role of tram driver differs to that of a mainline driver. There can be more recurring tasks, but which are essential for safe operation. It also carries an entirely different set of risks which may often be much more dynamic in

Tram Operations Ltd


Tram Operations Ltd

nature due to the mixed traffic and pedestrian environment that trams operate in. Following a review of our recruitment processes we wanted to ensure that the selection tools and processes we were using were the best fit according to the high standards required by our organisation. ‘In order to do that, going back to the basics of job-profiling was essential. The profiling work was also enhanced by using findings from some previous incidents and a review of the types of hazards some of our drivers were experiencing.’ Once a job profile has been drawn up and authenticated, the OPC uses this intelligence to design a safe and effective selection process that can include psychological tests, interviews and/or role plays. For example, we may suggest tools specifically for assessing

concentration, trainability and/or safety behaviours for a tram driver role, or a role play for customer service jobs. Once assessment tools have been recommended then the organisation is able to implement them as part of a new talent acquisition process. Andy Wallace went on to say ‘We’ve worked with the OPC for a number of years. We wanted to be absolutely confident we were using the right set of assessment tools and we had a process that could help predict the right kind of candidate for our safety-critical roles. At the moment, due to the pandemic, it’s a bit difficult to see clear statistical outcomes, but we are going on to validate the process. This piece of profiling work was really affirming and has given us a greater assurance that our newly recruited drivers really are safe on the job.’

What hard evidence is there that a selection process is really working? It’s not uncommon for recruiters to implement an assessment and selection process for a key role and then continue to use the same process indefinitely.


However, a key question for psychologists is, do we really know if the assessment process is working? Is there clear evidence that shows a link between performance on the assessment tools and successful performance in both training and on the job, especially safety performance? This is what psychologists refer to as validation. Unfortunately, in the OPC’s experience this is rarely done. However, when it is undertaken the results can be very enlightening. Validation can improve and enhance the selection process still further. For example, we may find some assessment tools are very effective in predicting future performance. So, these tools can be given more weight in the selection decision. Other tools may be less effective, so we can either give them less weight or replace/remove them completely. This validation helps refine and improve a selection process and can help increase the chances of recruiting the best candidate into the role.

Discover potential. Drive performance. With over 25 years’ experience working in the rail industry, specialising in the safety sector, the OPC provides practical, reliable ways of improving performance and assessing ability.

For more information, visit www.theopc.co.uk or email us at admin@theopc.co.uk One Wellstones, Watford, Herts, WD17 2AE

+44 (0)1923 234646

Rail Professional


Leading the way: validating the tram driver selection process for a major light rail organisation OPC psychologists have worked alongside another major light rail organisation to help them validate their tram driver selection process. A number of OPC Assessment’s tools were used as part of their selection process – the SCAAT (https://www.theopc. co.uk/assessment/test/scaat) and the RAAT (https://www.theopc.co.uk/assessment/test/raat). They found strong statistical links between performance on the SCAAT and the RAAT used at selection and driver’s subsequent performance in training and safety performance on the job. This validation study provided confidence and reassurance that its selection process for tram drivers was indeed fit for purpose and was helping to recruit drivers that were easy to train and less likely to have safety incidents on the job. The OPC is using these findings and is currently working with another light rail operator to undertake an identical validation process for their tram driver’s selection process. Using historical psychometric test results from drivers recruited over many years they are analysing the data to find potential links with actual safety performance on the job. Job profiling and validation work doesn’t just apply to tram drivers. It can be applied to other key roles such as revenue protection officers, customer service roles, apprentices and controllers. Validating your selection processes can provide real benefits There are real benefits to undertaking validation work. Although it may take time to do the initial validation analysis, in the long run it is a time-saving, as organisations are more likely to recruit better quality candidates. There are also clear cost benefits to this in terms of recruitment time and frequency; plus, staff retention and importantly, improved individual and organisational safety performance. Additionally, if a light rail organisation is challenged at law regarding the fairness of its selection process then the results from a validation study can play an important Rail Professional

role in supporting and justifying the use of the selection tool and the organisation’s selection decision. Validation evidence can also be called into play if an employee has a safety incident e.g. whilst driving a tram Andy Wallace, Head of Safety, from Tram Operations Ltd said ‘As an organisation we wanted to raise the bar and our recruitment pass levels for tram driver roles, but we didn’t want to do so at the expense of our fairness and diversity policy. Validation is a clear way to ensure this.’ Leading the way: using psychological expertise to help redesign a light rail organisation and its job roles Light rail organisations change, develop and grow just like any other organisation. This is particularly the case in the UK light rail sector where tram companies have grown and continue to extend their networks. One of the challenges for many light rail organisations is how to ensure that any changes and developments they implement are fit for purpose, effective and most importantly safe. OPC psychologists had the opportunity to collaborate with another forwardthinking light rail organisation that was

implementing tram trains onto its network. They were keen to ensure that the new organisational structure, its processes and job roles were efficient, effective and safe, particularly in light of the cross-over from road to rail track. OPC psychologists worked alongside job experts to map out all of the key tasks, activities and organisational processes that would be required to operate the tram trains including operations, control, maintenance and engineering. They supplemented this work with extensive scenario testing to check it was really robust. Once the mapping and scenario testing were complete the organisation used all the intelligence to design, adapt and update its organisational processes, procedures, tasks and activities. This included the development of new jobs, profiles and the adaptation of existing roles as part of their talent acquisition process too. The outcome was a light rail organisation that evolved into a strong and safe state ready to implement its tram trains effectively, efficiently and safely. As a final reflection, Dr Stephen Fletcher said ‘The tram-train project was pretty unique. In over 25 years I have only worked on a handful of projects where rail clients have drawn on our expertise to help design or redesign their organisation and the accompanying job roles. There can be real tangible benefits to drawing on the expertise of occupational psychologists to help with organisational growth and change. The independent psychological principles, and research and statistical methods they bring can be applied to improve organisational functionality, performance, safety and satisfaction.’

Tel: 01923 234 646 Email: admin@theopc.co.uk Visit: www.theopc.co.uk




Signet Solutions are continuing to follow government guidelines, keeping our staff and clients safe by delivering courses online. We’re all in this together, so our aim is to support our industry by keeping us all connected. We’ve had great success with our courses so far and we’ve been so overwhlemed by the willingness of our staff and clients on adapting to this new way of training . So from all of us thank you and stay safe!

+44 (0)1332 343 585 enquiries@signet-solutions.com www.signet-solutions.com Rail Professional



FlixTrain refurbishment project German start-up FlixMobility is a mobility provider, offering travel service FlixBus and more recently FlixTrain, which operates its own distinctive lime-green branded trains


s FlixTrain continues to expand they have added to their fleet of refurbished vehicles. Forbo Flooring Systems has played a key part in the FlixTrain refurbishment project of 135 cars, providing floor covering solutions for saloons and vestibules areas. The refurbishment project will take place between March 2020 and May 2021. There can be few environments more challenging for floor coverings than inside busy saloon carriages and vestibules, where a hard wearing yet attractive textile floor covering is required, that also works well with the interior design scheme. It was highlighted by FlixTrain that it was important for the floor coverings to be hardwearing and able to withstand heavy foot traffic, wheelchairs, wheeled luggage and standardised cleaning methods.

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Two products were specified for the refurbishment project to meet FlixTrain’s requirements, the first being Coral Classic FR to be used in the vestibules. Coral Classic FR is the ultimate moisture absorbing entrance system meeting the European fire regulation EN45545-2 (HL2), preventing up to 95 per cent of dirt and moisture entering the saloon from passengers’ feet and luggage at point of entry. Coral Classic FR provides an effective entrance system to help reduce premature wear and tear to interior floor coverings, minimising cleaning and maintenance costs and protects passengers by reducing slip hazards. Coral Classic FR is available in a range of colourways, but Raven Black was selected to fit the interior design scheme and help hide dirt and soiling. Flotex FR Metro Anthracite was also

specified to be used in the saloons. This unique, textile, flocked floor covering combines the cleaning properties and durability of a resilient flooring with the comfort, slip resistant and acoustic properties normally associated with textile flooring. It also meets EN45545-2: HL2 standard. Flotex FR offered several unique advantages which were of importance to FlixTrain. Excellent acoustic properties up to 22dB along with Flotex FR’s impervious backing making it suitable for wet cleaning when required. Thomas Vetter, Procurement Manager for FlixTrain commented: ‘We hadn’t worked with Forbo before this project but were happy with the finished refurbishment and were very pleased with the great service Forbo were able to offer.’


Coral FR The market leading textile entrance flooring brand for over 50 years, offering more choice than ever before with attractive and sustainable clean-off systems in styles and constructions to suit all rail applications. Benefits include: • Stops up to 95 per cent of dirt and moisture • Excellent dirt storage/soil hiding • Available with Pro-Fit backing for quicker installation • Reaction to fire EN45545-2: HL2/ HL3 (depending on design) • Cut to size/shape option Flotex FR There are two collections within the Flotex FR product range: Flotex Colour FR and Flotex Vision FR. Flotex Colour FR consists of four semi-plain type designs (Metro, Penang, Calgary and Canyon) that are rotary printed. Together they form a rhapsody of



colour across a broad spectrum, to work with most interior design schemes. Flotex Vision FR is digitally printed with high definition quality allowing for large pattern repeats and vivid lifelike colours. This provides a new dimension for Flotex FR and provides ultimate design flexibility for rail environments. Benefits include: • Bespoke design service • Lightweight at approximately 1225g/m2 • Excellent acoustic properties up to 22dB • Impervious backing making it suitable for wet cleaning • Improved indoor air quality (independently proven by Allergy UK) • Reaction to fire EN45545-2: HL2 • Cut to size/shape option Tel: +44 (0)1773 744121 Email: transport@forbo.com Visit: forbo-flooring.com/rail

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Reliable. Available. Now.










Ruggedized Power Solutions

DC/DC from 3–300 Watt ¡ EN 50155: Isolation and EMC immunity ¡ EN 45545-2: Fire protection ¡ EN 61373: Shock and vibration immunity ¡ Input voltage range: 2:1/4:1/12:1 ¡ 3-years warranty For more information, datasheet and certifications please visit our website www.tracopower.com Rail Professional





Traco Power launches new railway approved DC/DC converters Trains and other outdoor vehicles are permanently exposed to the toughest environmental conditions


n order to function reliably over decades, the demands on electrical components are enormous. Traco Power proudly presents their new, comprehensive range of highly reliable and certified DC/DC converters for those applications. Our railway product portfolio of certified dc-dc converters ranges from 3 to 300 Watt and includes models with 4:1 as well as 12:1 input voltage requirement. These reliable converters are available in different PCB and chassis mount package styles. For additional protection, Traco Power also offers dedicated surge filters to protect your application from over voltage transients commonly found in railway applications. Those DC-DC converters are carefully engineered and fully compliant with the latest railway and industrial standard. All products are also tested to the max in order to cope with hardest shocks and vibrations and fire safety according to the latest railway standards Our experts know all the details and support you with all your power challenges like EMC, providing application notes and support with Design-Ins and Certifications

Model overview

Features • 4:1 and ultra wide 12:1 converter available. • EN 50155 railway approvals. • EN 62368-1 approvals. • Extended temperature range: –40 °C to +85 °C. • Ruggedized designs, EN61373 compliant for shock & vibration. • Ultra wide input voltage range: 9 – 36, 18 – 75, 43 – 160, 14 – 160 VDC. • Suitable for applications in harsh environments. • RIA 12 surge filters. • 3-year warranty. Application • For all applications in harsh environments. • For all applications where reliable and safe products are needed.

We at Traco Power have gained a lot of experience over the last decades with power supplies used in harsh environments

Florian Haas, Director of Global Marketing and Product Management states more precisely: ‘The demand for mobility is increasing day by day. Trains and other transport vehicles must function reliably and safely for years. We at Traco Power have gained a lot of experience over the last decades with power supplies used in harsh environments. With this experience we have developed in-house test centers where all converters are tested to the toughest standards. Only in this way can we promise the highest guarantee and safety.’ More infos and video, documents, articles and datasheets can be found at https://www.tracopower.com/railway-campaign. For further information and reader enquiries, get in touch with Florian Haas via the contact information below. Tel: +41 43 311 45 11 Email: f.haas@tracopower.com Visit: http://www.tracopower.com Fax: +41 43 311 45 45 Web: Rail Professional

25- 26 November CHINA

Dali Kunming



Mandalay LAOS Vientiane MYANMAR Yangon



Kuala Lumpur MALAYSIA


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Ministry of 25- 26 November Transport hail RAIL Asia 2021 an important success Dali






LAOS Vientiane





After a successful 2020 the date for RAIL Asia 2021 has been announced for Makkasan Expo Halls from 25-26 November Kuala Lumpur




osted by the State Railway of Thailand and opened by the Ministry of Transport, RAIL Asia 2020 expo and conference highlighted its importance and strength in the region with a successful eighth edition in Bangkok as the industry ‘reconnects’ and business rebounds. Opened by the Mr.Pisak Jitviriyavasin, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport and hosted by the State Railway of Thailand, the RAIL Asia 2020 international conference and exhibition welcomed a global line up of world class technology, solution providers and 1,276 of the region’s stakeholders and other related industry professionals to meet, network, see the latest technologies, learn about the latest developments and trends and reconnect with the rail and metro industry in this new business environment we embrace.

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RAIL Asia 2020 attracted a diverse attendance of industry with rail and metro operators making up 13 per cent of the visitors, government five per cent, contractors 15 per cent, consultants 17 per cent, professional and academic organisations nine per cent, suppliers 24 per cent and investors three per cent. Visitors to the event represented projects and budgets reported to be worth over $2.426 billion in Thailand and the region. ‘The event brings the industry together across Asia-Pacific, it is an excellent opportunity to exchange information, to meet new partners and bring all the key innovation trends into one place, it’s a great pleasure for us to be here’ explained Dr. Katrin Luger, Head of Sales for Bombardier Transportation Rail Control Systems in Asia-Pacific. It was further explained by Mr. Surawut Sakulhiranrak, Managing Director of Talgo Country Representative, SVS Worldwide, who enthused that ‘for Talgo this is our first time at RAIL Expo and we’ve met a lot of new clients from the industry to including

top executives and government. This is the exhibition that gathers the people from the rail sector, not only from Thailand but Rail Professional

from throughout Southeast Asia. Talgo will definitely exhibit again next year.’ Main product areas of interest to the trade visitors to RAIL Asa 2020 were rolling stock and maintenance (35 per cent), signalling (29 per cent), civil engineering (24 per cent), passenger experience for PIS, ticketing, station management (19 per cent), information technology (18 per cent) and other related sectors to include tunneling, OCS, trackwork, multi-modal integration, investment, tooling and consultancy (five per cent). ‘RAIL Asia held significant importance this year as the railway industry comes together for the first time in 2020 within an international business environment to re-connect, re-position and re-establish in this very important period of developmen’ explained Prof. Dr. Wichai Siwakosit, Director of KURail and Chairman of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, Thailand. Highlight conference papers in the fully attended two-day programme included the Ministry of Transport’s industry vision and direction over the coming years, the State Railway of Thailand’s

investment and planning for double track, the ASEAN infrastructure review, the UIC’s interoperability for ASEAN, special features on the Eastern Economic Corridor development, Transport Orientated Development, high-speed rail, plus the highlight focus on the urban rail projects and the technical papers on the supporting technologies for rail in ASEAN. ‘RAIL Asia is very important for us as it gives a very good chance to catch up with all our customers at the same time to introduce new products and to discuss new projects, it is also a very good chance to meet new potential customers from the rail authorities and operators. Overall, it is very beneficial to us and we very much appreciate the exhibition’ explained Mr. Hannes Saurug, Chief Commercial Officer of Voestalpine Railway Systems. During the sponsored evening reception at RAIL Asia 2020 organisers, Asian Exhibition Services, alongside the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau under the Office of the Prime Minister, the EEC (Eastern Economic Corridor) Rail Committee and KURail launched the inaugural EEC edition of Transport Infrastructure Asia from 10-11 August 2021 in Chonburi. RAIL Asia 2021 returns to Makkasan Expo Halls from 25-26 November for the 9th edition in Bangkok with full government and industry support, book your place at rail@aesexhibitions.com For further details and supporting media please contact Ms. Vilawan via the contact information below.

Tel: +66 (0) 2147 1643 Email: vilawan@aes-exhibitions.com Visit: www.RailAsiaExpo.com

LNER’s newest intercity interiors Created and realised by DCA Colour, material and finish | Graphic design | Industrial design | Interior design | Production support Prototyping | Testing and evaluation | Usability and HF | Virtual reality

www.dcatransport.com | transport@dca-design.com Rail Professional

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