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APRIL 2019 Issue 251 ÂŁ7.95


Franchising, the unsolvable riddle We take a look at every angle of the franchising system

HS2 Getting funds into the UK supply chain

Cooperation Transit orientated development

Franchising What’s best for the customer, passengers and freight


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Rail Professional



APRIL 2019 ISSUE 251 £7.95


Franchising, the unsolvable riddle We take a look at every angle of the franchising system

HS2 Getting funds into the UK supply chain

Cooperation Transit orientated development


editor’s note

What’s best for the customer, passengers and freight

PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LTD Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Telephone: +44 (0)1268 711811 EDITORIAL EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE DISPLAY ADVERTISING CHRISTIAN WILES BEN WARING ADAM OVERALL RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING MARKETING AITANA BRETON SUBSCRIPTIONS ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT LISA ETHERINGTON GILL DUNN KIRSTY CARTER DESIGN & PRODUCTION MILES JOHNSTONE 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


hen I set about commissioning features for this issue, I made it clear that (as we were focussing on franchising in April) I wanted as many different responses to the ongoing Williams Review as possible. And I was very happy with the results. You’ll find several different opinion pieces on the Review both under the ‘Franchising’ banner and from our regular columnists. Dan Large of the CBI, a not for profit, non-political Royal Charter company, writes on page 88 that the Williams Review is a golden opportunity to create a sustainable railway industry. Back in February Tom Thackray, CBI Infrastructure Director, commented that ‘Business seeks ambitious recommendations from the Williams Review for the private sector.’ Keith Williams himself, in a speech to the Institution of Civil Engineers, said ‘the industry needs to fundamentally realign itself to its customers – passengers and freight’ which was echoed in a paper published by Transport Focus in January. All the talk seems to be around fundamental change and a new direction, incremental ‘death by a thousand cuts’ attitudes are clearly not in vogue right now. Whether or not this extends to simply scrapping the entire franchising system all together is less clear though, as Andrew McArthur and Professor Ruth Allen remind us in their article on asset management on page 85, the Brown Review of 2012 concluded that, although there are clearly opportunities for improvement, the franchising system is not ‘fundamentally flawed’. Our regular columnist Chris Cheek believes that unforeseen growth in demand and the difficulty in changing the industry’s culture are the two main contributing factors behind the failure to attract private sector funding for infrastructure investment – which Chris sees as the principal cause of the continued cost of the industry to the public purse. So, it would seem that franchising as a system is doomed to be constantly tinkered with but not done away with entirely – at least not yet, we await the Autumn release of Keith Williams’ findings. The other element of this is freight which is covered in our ‘Delivering the goods’ column from the Freight Transport Association. Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy at the FTA believes the Government should freeze or reduce Track Access Charges (TAC) to protect the benefits of rail freight to the British economy. The FTA has called upon the Williams Rail Review team to undertake an impartial study to assess whether a reduction in TACs for rail freight would lead to higher volumes of freight on the network, and ‘payback’ in social, economic and environmental terms. Sticking with franchising just briefly, my interview this month is with Mark Barry, Professor of Practice in Connectivity at Cardiff University’s School of Geography & Planning and M&G Barry Consulting, who has written for us before about the Swansea Bay Metro. I wanted to see if Mark was confident that the Williams Review would offer up any answers for the problems that are specific to Wales, chiefly the lack of enhancement investments and what he sees as a disproportionately low level of interest in Wales’ rail infrastructure and organisation. We are also debuting a new feature this issue: ‘Cooperation’, which will look at the different ways rail cooperates with other transport modes and other industries that rail can complement. We have features on Transit Orientated Development, people movers at airports, breaking the silo mentality around productivity, and how HS2 is helping to upskill an entire generation. Enjoy! Sam Sherwood-Hale Editor

Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine and online. ISSN 1476-2196 © 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.

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Women in Rail



Striking new images of a future ‘world class’ Birmingham Moor Street station revealed, Signalling upgrade of the Wherry lines continues with track works at Brundall junction, Scottish freight community launches plan to boost freight on the network, First section of brand-new Tube signalling goes live, Eurotunnel entrusts the mid-life renovation of its Passenger Shuttles to Bombardier Transportation, Major breakthrough completed at complex Bank Station Upgrade, ‘Hitachi trains for Happy trains’ – ScotRail replaces Class 365s, FirstGroup and Hitachi announce new partnership for high speed trains linking London and Edinburgh, HS2 completes biggest demolition challenge yet at site of new Old Oak Common tunnel crossover box, New measures of train punctuality only ‘half the battle’ says Transport Committee Chair, Securing next generation with recruitment showcase at Railtex 2019, Rail Alliance and University of Birmingham announce combined service offer to the rail industry

Founder and Chair of Women in Rail, Adeline Ginn, discusses the importance of any recruitment drive

The Cheek of it


Chris Cheek considers the future of passenger rail operation in the wake of the statement by the leader of the Government’s review of the railways, Keith Williams, that rail franchising needs drastic change

Delivering the goods


Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy, at the Freight Transport Association outlines the FTA’s hopes for the Williams Review

In the passenger seat




Laying down the law




Transport Focus’s latest research to inform the Williams Rail Review confirms that most passengers don’t feel the railway is run for their benefit

The use of confidentiality clauses in an employment context is well known and provides a level of security for an employer

Eli Rees-King of the Rail Alliance writes on an Industry pulling together for safety on the railway

In June an impressive number of colleagues from across the railway community, including Lucy Prior, will be embarking upon the annual Three Peaks by Rail challenge in order to raise vital funds for the Railway Children charity



Sir Andrew Cook explains why he believes Britain’s domestic supply chain should receive the lion’s share of the money for HS2



In the third of four articles on common areas of dispute in the rail industry, Paul Thwaite and James Hammond of Stephenson Harwood LLP consider the issues that arise when a bidder for a public contract wants to challenge the scores awarded by a procuring authority

Rail Professional Interview


Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Mark Barry, Professor of Practice in Connectivity at Cardiff University’s School of Geography & Planning and M&G Barry Consulting



Clare Linton, Researcher at Urban Transport Group, makes the case for placing public transport at the heart of residential and commercial development

Rail Professional



How many Local Development Plans are really considered at the heart of rail planning – or vice versa for that matter. I would argue not; rail planning has become a bit of a centralised ivory tower exercise




The Williams Rail Review is a timely opportunity for reform at a critical juncture for the UK’s railways, Dan Large of CBI explains



Lucy Battle from Freshwater asks if rail franchising is running out of steam

Business Profiles





Zonegreen, Nexus Alpha, Adomast, RPB Safety, Bridgeway Consulting, Qualitrain, Kee Systems, Leo Workwear, UK Power Networks Services, Arvill, CPM Group

The figures for passenger travel by air are continuing to grow. Nearly 250 million passengers travelled within the UK last year, and this is set to grow to 465 million by 2030


Malcolm Holmes, Heather Blevins, Rhys Griffiths, Howard Smith



The productivity gap is one of the most serious and vexing economic problems facing the UK, says Geoff Lippitt of PD Ports



Kate Myers, Head of Skills, Employment and Education at HS2 Ltd explains how investment in Britain’s railways will create a lasting skills legacy and how HS2 is at the forefront of this activity



Phil Bulman, Director at Vendigital, believes changing the franchising system is key to harnessing the power of big data



Franchising – can we fix it? Yes we can! Railfuture Chair Chris Page agrees with Rail Review Chair Keith Williams that franchising cannot continue in the way it is now, but must change to achieve customer focus and efficiency



Andrew McArthur, Asset Management Lead and Prof. Ruth Allen, Managing Director at RSKW discuss the importance of asset management

Rail Professional



News in brief... Lighting the way at London Liverpool Street Over 3,500 lights have been replaced at London Liverpool Street station, saving energy and helping Network Rail to reduce its carbon footprint. The station – which is Britain’s second busiest with 66 million passengers annually – now has LED lighting on the concourse and on all of its 18 platforms and other public areas. Positive signals for Carnoustie level crossing upgrade Network Rail has successfully completed a £5.5 million upgrade of the level crossing on Station Road in Carnoustie, Scotland. Work included replacing the existing two long level crossing barriers with four barriers, enhancement of signalling equipment and complete renewal of the level crossing surface. Rail industry: Electrification can be delivered at 33-50 per cent lower cost A new report launched on 14th March by the Railway Industry Association (RIA) has found that electrification can be delivered significantly more cost

Striking new images of a future ‘world class’ Birmingham Moor Street station revealed Striking new images of a radical yet respectful transformation of Birmingham Moor Street station have been revealed by West Midlands Rail Executive, as part of proposals for an ambitious redevelopment to create a station that’s fit for the future, linking seamlessly with Birmingham New Street and HS2 services at Curzon Street. The concepts include options to more than double the size of the concourse from 910m2 to 2,000m2 and introduce two new platforms to meet growing passenger demand at the station. New platforms will, alongside other network infrastructure improvements, allow extra services to stop at Birmingham Moor Street from across the region, under Midlands Connect’s Midlands Rail Hub proposals to increase rail capacity to and from the East Midlands, Hereford, Worcester and the South West. Passenger numbers at Moor Street are expected to grow from seven million to twelve million a year by 2043, with further increases expected as a result of the Midlands Rail Hub and the arrival of HS2 in 2026. The vision for Moor Street future-proofs the station to cope with its growing popularity. The vision puts Moor Street at the heart of Birmingham’s ‘One Station’ strategy to ensure seamless links with Curzon Street and New Street stations. The plans include an iconic new transfer deck with access to every platform and links to a new footbridge taking passengers directly to HS2 services from Curzon Street via a new public square. There are also several options to improve pedestrian access between Moor Street and New Street, including a safe, well-lit and direct route via St Martin’s Queensway; new steps and a ramp at Swan Passage, adjacent to the new Primark development; and a new ramped route from Rotunda Square to New Street Station. A second entrance to the south of the station is proposed to improve passenger flow, avoid overcrowding and create better access to the revitalised Digbeth area and proposed £1.5 billion Smithfield development. The plans maintain and respect the historic, Grade II listed entrance and concourse of the station, dating back to 1914, with modern architecture that complements the existing building. These initial concepts – developed by West Midlands Rail Executive in collaboration with Transport for West Midlands, Midlands Connect, Network Rail, HS2 Ltd, Chiltern Railways, West Midlands Railway and Birmingham City Council – is the first stage of a long-term plan to transform Moor Street in to a world class station experience, and place the station at the centre of Birmingham’s unprecedented regeneration.

Enclosures from the smallest to the largest. ENCLOSURES




News in brief... effectively than some previous upgrade projects, at between a third and half less. RIA’s Electrification Cost Challenge report uses examples from both the UK and internationally to show the cost of rail electrification has already reduced, and that with a rolling programme of work could be brought down even further. South Woodford Tube station becomes fully step-free Transport for London (TfL) has announced that South Woodford Tube station is now fully step-free, improving

Signalling upgrade of the Wherry lines continues with track works at Brundall junction The next phase of works to upgrade the signalling systems and track as part of the Norwich, Yarmouth, Lowestoft (NYL) re-signalling project began on Saturday 23rd March. Engineers will continue to upgrade some of the oldest signals in the country, improving safety and reliability for passengers travelling on the Wherry lines. The works will take place over nine days, focusing on major track remodelling at Brundall junction. This work will involve replacing all the track, reconfiguring the junction and installing powered switches delivering improvements to reliability and operational efficiency. Other work will include: • Constructing a new access ramp at Brundall station and reconstructing 50 metres of platform to bring it into use for the new Greater Anglia trains • Revised signalling control arrangement between Brundall and Reedham • The provision of new power supplies and cable installation. This work is being done in preparation for the switch over from a Victorian era signalling system to a modern system. The date for the new signals to come into operation is currently being reviewed. This is to allow the engineers to complete rigorous testing and validation of the new signal control programme to ensure it meets the strict safety requirements for a modern, operational railway.

access to the transport network for thousands of people. The station serves the Central line, one of London’s busiest Tube lines, and sees almost 5.3 million customer journeys each year. Step-free access has been delivered at the station’s westbound entrance, ahead of schedule, via a new ramp. New independent rail body would boost accountability, say industry leaders A new, independent organisation should be established to enhance






News in brief... accountability and enable a more joined-up, long term approach to decisions about the railway, Paul Plummer, the Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, told a conference of senior industry figures. A new organisation would be a ‘guiding mind’ ensuring the network works as a whole, decisions are aligned and the right targets are set. Translink welcomes planning approval for Belfast Transport Hub Translink has welcomed the announcement from the Department for Infrastructure that planning permission has been granted for the new Belfast Transport Hub. This transport led regeneration project is

Scottish freight community launches plan to boost freight on the network The Scottish freight community has launched a joint strategy to grow the amount of freight on the rails, as part of plans to meet a target of 7.5 per cent growth set by the Scottish Government last year. Network Rail, Freight Operating Companies, freight users, industry bodies and hauliers came together to build the ambitious plan, which sets out what is required to support rail freight growth as well as looking at improving the average speed a freight train can travel at and increasing reliability, meaning that more trains reach their destination on time. The plan sets out four actions for growth, aligned to workstreams, covering four areas that the rail freight industry believes we collectively need to improve upon: • Encouraging customer confidence • Developing growth • Doing things differently • Achieving simpler solutions. Moving goods by rail boosts productivity and brings in around £200 million in benefits to Scotland’s economy. There are over 600 freight trains running on Great Britain’s network every single day, with around 50 of these trains running in Scotland delivering goods 24 hours of the day. Over four million tonnes of product was transported by rail in the last twelve months. Rail freight also boasts significant environmental benefits and as part of this plan the rail freight industry commits to work in partnership to transfer at least 1,700 lorry movements a year from Scotland’s road network to rail over the next five years. Each tonne of freight transported by rail reduces carbon emissions by 76 percent compared to road and each freight train removes between 25 and 62 HGVs from Scottish roads.

one of the NI Executive Flagship Projects and a key element in delivering the outcomes of the draft Programme for Government. It will be a key driver of economic growth and prosperity for Belfast and Northern Ireland. Go-Ahead reveals industry-first supply chain sustainability charter The Go-Ahead Group announced on 14th March its Sustainable Procurement Charter, the industry’s first comprehensive supply chain policy that establishes minimum criteria in core areas of corporate social responsibility. Under the charter, suppliers must demonstrate a commitment to sustainable innovation, employee wellness and company diversity. Fascinating drone footage reveals extensive damage on Conwy Valley Line Drone footage released by Network Rail Wales and Borders shows the extensive damage caused by Storm Gareth on the Conwy Valley Line. The line, which runs between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestniog, will remain closed for a number of months.

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First section of brand-new Tube signalling goes live The first section of brand-new signalling set to transform nearly half of the Tube network has begun operation, Transport for London (TfL) has announced. The new Thales signalling system, which will boost capacity on four Tube lines, is now operating between Hammersmith and Latimer Road, the first part of the network to benefit from the improvements. The new signalling system will allow trains to run closer together on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, meaning the train frequency will increase in central London from 28 to 32 per hour when complete. It will also improve the reliability of these lines. The frequency increases will be

introduced from 2021, with the project targeted for completion in 2023. This will lead to a capacity increase of a third on the four lines, equivalent to the space for an extra 36,500 customers during peak times. This modernisation programme will eventually transform the oldest parts of the Tube network into one of the most modern railways in the world, providing better customer information and making journeys quicker and more comfortable. The new, state-of-the-art signal control centre at Hammersmith is already operational, and the new S-stock Tube trains have been running exclusively on the four lines since 2017.

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News in brief... Mammoth project to move 50,000 tonnes of earth on West Cumbrian coast line A £4 million project is underway to move thousands of tonnes of soil to protect the railway in West Cumbria from landslips for the next 120 years. 50,000 tonnes of earth is being moved by a 30 strong workforce using specialist diggers on the steep coastal slope at Lowca. RSSB co-funds new Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair A leading railway engineering academic has been appointed the new railway Research Chair by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and is being co-funded by rail industry body, RSSB. Professor Roger Lewis is renowned for his work at the University of Sheffield on how train wheels interact with the rails. His work includes examining the issue of low adhesion, often caused by weather conditions, vegetation, other debris and contamination on the line, and which costs an estimated £345 million a year to the UK’s rail network. Rail regulator underlines role of industry-agreed standards Compliance with ‘voluntary’ Rail Industry Standards is proposed to become a condition of rail operators’ licences with the Office of Rail and Road. An industry consultation is underway aiming to end potential confusion about how Rail Industry Standards should be applied. Changes underline the requirement to apply relevant standards in individual companies’ safety management systems.

More at

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Eurotunnel entrusts the mid-life renovation of its Passenger Shuttles to Bombardier Transportation As part of the 2018-2026 mid-life programme, Eurotunnel has signed a contract with Bombardier Transportation to renovate nine ‘PAX’ Shuttles. Composed in total of 254 wagons, each 800-metre long shuttle is made up for passengers’ vehicles with passengers remaining in their vehicles during for the 35-minute Channel crossing. In the 25-year period since the opening of the Channel Tunnel, these Shuttles have each travelled an average of 300 round trips per month and have enabled over 236 million passengers to travel very comfortably between France and Great-Britain. The contract is valued at £128 million over a period of seven years. Deliveries of the newly refurbished Shuttles will start in mid-2022 and continue until mid-2026. Teams from Bombardier France and Belgium originally designed and built these unique vehicles in the 1990s and launched Bombardier’s activities in France. This year, the company celebrates 30 years since its establishment at the Crespin facility in the Hauts-de-France Region. Bombardier will be responsible for the renovation of 26 wagons on each of the nine Shuttles, including twelve single-deck carriages for coaches, minibuses, caravans and vehicles over 1.85 metres high, twelve double-deck carriages for cars and motorcycles, and two double-deck loader wagons, in addition to two spare loader wagons. As project technical advisor, Bombardier will lead the integration and renovation operations except for the single-deck loaders and will lead on engineering design and procurement for onboard equipment. Eurotunnel will undertake design and procurement of key equipment such as brakes, doors, fire doors, fire detection, HVAC and the double-deck loaders. Eurotunnel will manage the homologation process of the renovated Shuttles with the appropriate authorities. Bombardier will provide the technical support to prepare the required documentation.

Major breakthrough completed at complex Bank Station Upgrade The modernisation of Bank Tube Station has reached a significant new milestone, with the first breakthrough between a new entrance on Cannon Street and the newly constructed Northern line Tube tunnel made on Friday 15th March. The breakthrough will make further construction work easier, helping to ensure the hugely important upgrade is delivered by 2022. The project to upgrade Bank Tube station, which is being delivered alongside contractor Dragados, will increase capacity by 40 per cent by 2022, making journeys quicker and easier for the 120 million customers who use the station every year. Bank and Monument stations are interlinked, with an incredibly complex array of tunnels underground and surrounded by a number of historically important buildings above ground, making upgrade work difficult and complicated. Engineering and construction teams have been working at two separate sites, 24 hours a day underground, since 2016 to

excavate over 1,000 metres of tunnels and build a new station entrance. An escalator will run through the tunnel that was broken through at the end of March, enabling customers to enter and exit the station more easily. All the tunnels have been excavated using two diggers as the confined tunnel space prevented the use of a tunnel boring machine. In some instances, tunnelling has been undertaken by hand, using traditional mining techniques used on the Tube for over one hundred years. The tunnelling has produced nearly 200,000 tonnes of material, equivalent to nearly 16,000 New Routemaster buses and capable of filling 52 Olympic-sized swimming pools. This material has been repurposed and transported to Dartford, where it is being used as part of a housing development. At the site of the new entrance, the project has excavated an area 30 metres deep in order to connect to the tunnels below.

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‘Hitachi trains for Happy trains’ – ScotRail replace Class 365s The Class 365s, dubbed as ‘happy trains’ due to their yellow front, windscreen and curved grill resembling a smiley face, are being replaced by brand new Hitachi Class 385s. ScotRail introduced ten Class 365s last Summer as a temporary measure, while it prepared for the arrival of its new, state-of-the-art, Class 385s. The happy trains added an extra 17,200 extra seats each day on the Glasgow – Edinburgh via Falkirk High route and have since been used on the recently electrified lines between Glasgow/Edinburgh and Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa. By introducing more brand-new Hitachi Class 385s in the Central Belt, ScotRail will deliver faster journeys on more reliable trains. The first Class 365s was withdrawn from service on Tuesday 12th March, with the remainder to be phased out over the coming week.

HS2 completes biggest demolition challenge yet at site of new Old Oak Common tunnel crossover box HS2 has cleared a key construction site close to the new Old Oak Common ‘superhub’ station, as work to deliver Phase One of the UK’s new high-speed rail project continues to ramp up. The 42,000 square metre site, equivalent to the size of six football pitches, is where HS2 will build the Victoria Road Crossover Box, a huge underground structure designed to allow trains passing through the London tunnels to switch tracks. The clearance of the site, delivered by HS2’s London enabling works contractor, a Costain Skanska joint venture (CSjv) and subcontractor McGee, involved the careful demolition of eight separate buildings, with more than 98 per cent of materials sent for reuse and recycling. More than 6,500 cubic meters of rubble from the clearance of the old warehouses and light industrial units was processed on site and will be reused during construction of the tunnels and crossover box. The team will now move on to clearing hardstanding, completing utilities diversions and collecting geological data that will feed into the detailed design of the crossover box.

FirstGroup and Hitachi announce new partnership for high speed trains linking London and Edinburgh A new high-quality, low fare rail link between London and Edinburgh has come a step closer for customers with news that FirstGroup has confirmed an order for five brand new AT300 125mph intercity electric trains and ongoing maintenance, following completion of a £100 million deal for the trains between FirstGroup and Hitachi Rail, financed by Beacon Rail. FirstGroup has secured rights from the Office of Rail and Road to run a new ‘open access’ service between the two capitals, with the aim of encouraging people to use trains rather than planes. Currently twothirds of journeys between the two capitals are made by air. Under the plans, customers will benefit from an average fare of less than £25, onboard catering and free Wi-Fi, all offered in one high-quality class of travel. FirstGroup already operates an open access service, the award-winning Hull Trains. Hitachi will build the five electric intercity trains of five carriages each. As part of the agreement, the new trains will be fully maintained by Hitachi for ten years.

New measures of train punctuality only ‘half the battle’ says Transport Committee Chair Reacting to the news that, from April 2019, Britain’s train operators and Network Rail will publish new measures of train punctuality, the Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said: ‘We support the tightening of standards of punctuality for train operators – this is one step towards restoring trust after the punctuality of UK trains sank to a 13 year low in 2018 amid the May timetabling fiasco. ‘But it’s only half the battle. Now the Department for Transport and rail

operators must complete the circle, introduce Delay Repay 15 across the rail network, make it much easier for passengers to claim compensation and ideally, automatic. Today’s (Friday 22nd March) announcement helps the DfT hold companies to the standards set down in their contracts, but we want the same for paying customers, who fund the vast bulk of improvements to the railways. We’ll reserve our celebrations for when rail passengers travel in the knowledge that delays aren’t costing them time or money.’


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Securing next generation with recruitment showcase at Railtex 2019 Recruitment, training and retention of rail staff will be a key focus of Railtex 2019, it has been announced. The 14th international exhibition of railway equipment, systems and services, returns to Birmingham’s NEC this Summer, taking place over three days between the 14th and 16th May. A series of features and seminars will be taking place around the topic of recruitment, as the industry strives to bridge the skills gap and replace an ageing workforce with the next generation of talent. Returning to the exhibition this year will be the Recruitment Wall, powered by Rail Media’s Railway People. The Recruitment Wall will provide access to an extensive range of exhibitors’ job opportunities, helping to match them with the skills of visitors seeking career development. Supported by the Railway People’s stand team, the Recruitment Wall is an ideal space for both employers and new school leavers, graduates and experienced staff to meet and network and learn more about opportunities within the rail and associated sectors.

Elsewhere, at Railtex’s Seminar Theatre, a panel of industry leaders will be taking part in a discussion to address the key issues facing organisations recruiting in the rail industry. Taking place on the final day of the show (TBC), the discussion will explore topics including: • Bridging the skills gap over the next five years • Tools and initiatives required to diversify the industry • Accommodating the labour needs of major rail projects over the next five to ten years • How to improve the attractiveness of rail careers to younger people, parents, teachers and career advisors • How to equip the next generation of rail staff to work in an everchanging sector. Register online for Railtex 2019 now at: http://www.railtex.

Rail Alliance and University of Birmingham announce combined service offer to the rail industry The Rail Alliance and Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) have officially announced the formal integration of the two organisations to an audience of over 300 industry leaders and professionals at Millennium Point in Central Birmingham (next to the site of the future High Speed 2 station at Curzon Street). The coming together of Rail Alliance and BCRRE, both highly respected organisations in the rail industry, sets out a powerful new approach where industry and academia work in partnership to directly address real railway challenges, providing access to leading edge R&D and innovation supported by practical knowledge and experience. Cannon Technologies Ltd Queensway, Stem Lane New Milton, Hampshire BH25 5NU T: +44 (0)1425 632600 E:

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In the passenger seat David Sidebottom

Accountable leadership for the railway is key for passengers Transport Focus’s latest research to inform the Williams Rail Review confirms that most passengers don’t feel the railway is run for their benefit


ike most people using the railway, passengers who participated in this research know they are not getting the train service they are paying for. This research underscores that passengers want a more reliable service that is better value for money and – whichever model is selected to run the system – that they want to know who is in charge of their railway. For many, the issue of accountability – or a lack of it – coupled with a perceived lack of ‘customer-focus’ leads passengers to believe the system is based around the needs of the railway rather than their needs. This has to change. Speaking to an audience of rail industry professionals and passengers at Transport Focus’s Board meeting in public, Keith Williams acknowledged that the rail industry has lost sight of its passengers and must put their needs and experience at the heart of what it delivers. This focus on improving the passenger experience, improved access to compensation and driving better value for money outcomes from the substantial passenger and taxpayer investment is certainly a step in the right direction.

Focus groups ran by Transport Focus in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff in January confirm that passengers have limited and vague understanding about how the railway is structured and care more about outputs and the travel experience than structures.

Passengers in the research see rail as a public service where there is a role for market forces and regulation, sometimes in tandem. They think any structure or model used to manage and deliver the railway needs to accommodate and embrace the social purposes of rail as well as other



Having consulted promptly, Keith Williams knows that passengers want to know that there is someone in overall charge of delivering their service and that they are accountable to passengers for the quality of those services. This does not necessarily have to be a single body for the whole country – there is scope for devolving this to regional or national administrations – the key point is that there should be clear responsibility and accountability attributes. No one form of public/private sector involvement in the railway will suit the entire railway. While public or private models offer simplicity that is attractive, the ‘hybrid’ franchise and concession models could harness strengths from both sectors. Passengers have different expectations and experiences when commuting compared to when they travel for leisure. Commuters often feel hard done by – captive on busy services for which they must pay more each year even if performance is going down. Passengers in our focus groups said they are noticing the benefits of investment

in better trains, onboard services and stations. Increasingly they see the ability to use travel time productively (whether for work or social purposes) as one of the main competitive advantages of rail over other travel modes. Having consulted promptly, Keith Williams knows that passengers want to know that there is someone in overall charge of delivering their service and that they are accountable to passengers for the quality of those services. This does not necessarily have to be a single body for the whole country – there is scope for devolving this to regional or national administrations –

the key point is that there should be clear responsibility and accountability. More research from Transport Focus is also on the horizon, looking at what nonusers of rail want before they are likely to be tempted to use the train and a new analysis of what has happened to trust among passengers over the past few waves of the National Rail Passenger Survey. Passenger needs Most passengers on Britain’s platforms today may not be waiting for the Rail Review. They are waiting for trains – hoping they will come and arrive on time. Against the backdrop of the news that several operators are taking longer than planned to implement the use of new rolling stock, many will be wondering why so much of the long-awaited investment is proving so painful and challenging to bring to life? Or after the problems of last Summer, fare rises, or perhaps with the awareness of ongoing patchy performance on their particular route, they will just want to see changes ensure things get better. First and last, passengers will judge the success of this Rail Review on how far it meets their priorities for improvement: more punctual and reliable services, more chance of getting a seat or standing in comfort and better value for money.

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Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood

Keeping it quiet – confidentiality clauses The use of confidentiality clauses in an employment context is well known and provides a level of security for an employer


onfidentiality clauses can be used in an employment contract to provide protection over trade secrets which an employee may have access to or to keep control over sensitive financial and other business information. In addition, they can be used as part of a settlement agreement in an employment dispute, allowing each party to draw a line under a disagreement and provide a clean break. However, there has been an amount of publicity in the past year about the use of confidentiality clauses to try and block the disclosure of information showing illegal activities or in order to stop legitimate debate. In order to try and clarify the situation, the Government has recently issued a consultation on measures to prevent the misuse of confidentiality clauses in situations of workplace harassment or discrimination. Existing legal limitations Within the UK, the general basis of contract law is that parties are free to agree on the terms of their agreement. However, to avoid unequal bargaining power between an employer and an employee, there are various legal safeguards which apply in the employment arena, including limiting the extent of confidentiality clauses. As a result, it is not possible to: • Remove an employee’s statutory employment rights as set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996 • Override anti-discrimination law under the Equalities Act 2010 unless in a settlement agreement where the employee has received independent legal advice

• Remove a worker’s right to disclose wrongdoing in the public interest (‘Whistleblowing’) as set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996. Where an agreement has clauses in them which purport to remove these rights, the clauses are ineffective and were the agreements to be brought before a court or employment tribunal the restrictions would be struck out. However, the majority of employees are unlikely to know the minutiae of the Employment Rights Act or the Equalities Act and may believe that simply because the confidentiality clauses are in their agreements, they must abide by them. For this reason the Government has been keen to highlight areas where confidentiality clauses have been misused, particularly where they have been used to intimidate or silence victims of harassment or discrimination. With a number of workers coming from outside of the UK, there is a clear risk that such a worker may not be fully aware of their rights. The legal drafting of the confidentiality clause may also mean that it is difficult for the worker to understand the effect of the clause and what they are entitled to disclose. They may believe that they cannot disclose any information about what is happening in the workplace to anybody, notwithstanding their whistleblowing rights. Proposed additional limitations In its consultation, the Government has stated that it is looking at three areas where it believes that the law should be made clearer. These are:

• Making it clearer where a person can disclose information to the police or to other specified organisations • More explicit guidelines and requirements for drafting confidentiality clauses • New regulations on how to enforce the new forms of confidentiality clauses proposed by Government. In the first area, the Government wants to make it more difficult for confidentiality clauses to be used to stop an employee disclosing information about harassment or malpractice. It does not want to stop the legitimate use of confidentiality clauses to protect trade secrets or other businessspecific information. As a result, it is considering requiring confidentiality clauses in employment contracts to specify those areas and activities which are not covered by the clause. The exemption from whistleblowing will still apply even if not expressly stated. The bigger concern for Government has been the use of confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements, to prevent disclosure of harassment or discrimination. Although confidentiality clauses are designed to help draw a line under the dispute to allow both parties to move on, a balance is needed between providing an employer with a basis for a settlement and a legitimate need to disclose a culture of harassment or discrimination. With this in mind, the Government is proposing setting out a list of organisations who can be contacted by an employee without falling foul of the confidentiality undertaking. The initial proposal is to allow disclosure to the police, who would Rail Professional



Whistleblowing A protected disclosure under the Employment Rights Act 1996 which cannot be restricted under a confidentiality agreement provided that the disclosure satisfies the following criteria. The worker holds a reasonable belief that: • They are acting in the public interest (not just a personal interest or grievance) • The disclosure tends to show past, present or likely future wrongdoing or covering up of wrongdoing. The disclosure is made to an employer or other responsible person or a person identified on the Government’s list of ‘prescribed persons’. Wrongdoing includes criminal offences, dangers to health and safety and failures to comply with legal obligations. themselves be subject to their normal restrictions on disclosure following a complaint to them. The Government would consider widening the group of organisations to whom such information could be disclosed, but it will need to be carefully controlled to ensure that the general goal of the confidentiality clause is not undermined. The second area of concern is that

currently, like most parts of a contract, there is little control over the words actually used in a confidentiality clause. Words can be used which indicate that the confidentiality clause covers any type of disclosure, despite certain rights enshrined in law. The Government considers that there should be a requirement to state which areas of disclosure cannot be prevented but is reluctant to require specific wording to be used. This is because specific drafting could become outdated over time. The third area looks at enforceability and when confidentiality clauses should not have any effect. Employment contracts usually cover areas of commercial sensitivity so making a confidentiality clause void could have serious effects on a company. It could leave all of the trade secrets of a company exposed. The Government’s proposed solution is that the limits of any confidentiality clause should be included in the written statement of particulars that must be given to all employees. This is because written statements to employees already have an enforcement mechanism through employment tribunals. The employment tribunal would be able to consider the restrictions of the confidentiality clause in respect of the complaint before it, which is unlikely to be about a restriction on the use of a company’s trade secrets. In the case of settlement agreements,

the Government is proposing a different approach, under which a confidentiality clause which does not meet the relevant wording requirement would be void in its entirety. This would mean that the restriction on any disclosure in the settlement agreement would not apply. The reasons behind the dispute could be made public but the general protection against disclosure of trade secrets, etc. within the employment contract would still apply. However, it would still provide an adequate incentive on the employer to get the drafting right. The Government’s consultation is open for responses until 29th April. It provides companies within the rail industry an ability to put their own view on this area of law and to help shape the results. It is likely to affect most, if not all employers in some way, so it should not be ignored. Martin Fleetwood is a Consultant at Addleshaw Goddard’s Transport practice. The Rail Team has over 30 lawyers who advise clients in both the private and public sectors across a wide range of legal areas. As well as employment issues, the team advises on operational matters, franchises, concessions, contracts, finance, regulatory, property, environmental and procurement issues.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

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Women in rail


Adeline Ginn

Exploring the benefits of a tailored recruitment campaign Founder and Chair of Women in Rail, Adeline Ginn, discusses the importance of any recruitment drive


ecruitment is key for every organisation and how we look to attract new talent is critical to the diversity and growth of our business. As an industry, we have witnessed a tremendous effort to redress the gender balance over the last couple of years and it is always important to consider whether we are taking the best approach to recruitment in order to attract the most diverse pool of candidates. Across the network there are some brilliant examples of organisations who have addressed this issue head-on including Virgin Trains, the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Northern Rail, to name just a few. One such example is at MTR Crossrail where they have put in place tailored recruitment campaigns to ensure they are reaching a wide audience base in order to attract the best candidates. Research has shown that the role of a trainee train driver is often perceived as a career choice only for men. Tackling this misconception, the team at MTR Crossrail redesigned their advert, hosted an open day where interested parties could gain first-hand experience of the role, and in collaboration with TfL, ran a two-week

placement scheme specifically aimed at giving unemployed women the opportunity to gain a further understanding of the role. Across the UK rail industry, currently just 6.5 per cent of train drivers are female, with over eight per cent of train drivers nationally

Black, Asian or Minority Ethic (BAME), and 15.8 per cent under the age of 35. Through adopting this new recruitment approach, MTR Crossrail saw a significant shift, with 12.5 per cent female train drivers, 28.4 per cent BAME and a staggering 47 per cent of Rail Professional



drivers aged 35 and under now employed. The importance of organisations adapting to ensure they are reaching and speaking to a potentially new and interested audience is critical for our industry. We have made great strides as a sector to improve gender diversity across our networks but more can still be done. Understanding how our audiences consume information is hugely important to enable the industry to combat perceived career stereotypes. After a successful campaign to increase female representation on their trainee train driver programme, MTR Crossrail partnered with organisations who support underrepresented groups across London, to ensure adverts for new opportunities were being shared widely within local communities, who may not otherwise have accessed them. Diversity and Inclusion Partner at MTR Crossrail, Kelly Forrest recently discussed the importance of their tailored recruitment campaigns, highlighting how creating a unique supportive application process had led to over 13 per cent of their Customer Service roles being offered to members of targeted partnerships: ‘We trialled the initiative in 2018, through organisations we were working with to ensure we reached the widest range of people with our opportunities.

‘The new application process allowed applicants to ask questions, gain confidence and removed many of the barriers that have deterred under-represented individuals from applying in the past. We looked to incorporate paper applications, group assessment days and ran interview and assessment skills workshops, showcasing what people could expect from a career with our organisation.’ For the UK rail industry, it is important that we continue to position ourselves as an attractive career option for both men and women, to attract the best talent and develop a strong and diverse workforce.

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The Cheek of it... Chris Cheek

Franchising is dead: long live... er... franchising? Chris considers the future of passenger rail operation in the wake of the statement by the leader of the Government’s review of the railways, Keith Williams, that rail franchising needs drastic change


ast year marked the 25th anniversary of our publication of the first edition of Rail Industry Monitor, establishing a long tradition of monitoring and commenting on the outcome of rail privatisation. It is interesting to set the current debate over the future of passenger rail services in the context of what was going on then. It is perhaps worth recalling what objectives John Major’s Government was trying to achieve when it embarked on the process in 1993. 20 years ago, in the editorial to the 1999 edition of our publication, I suggested that there had been a number of key objectives, being: • Improved management focus – including local investment decisions, better industrial relations and improved marketing • A stable funding regime – the franchise agreements locked the Treasury into a more stable funding regime for the railways than it had known since nationalisation • Improved efficiency – breaking down an old-fashioned public sector bureaucracy to bring better, faster decision-making • Lower costs – previous privatisations resulted in substantial reductions in unit costs of production • Transfer of risk – in return for a stable funding regime, almost all revenue risk was transferred to the private sector • Better value for money – the combination of greater efficiency, lower cost and risk

transfer should mean better value for taxpayers’ money in the long term • Tighter regulatory regime – transfer to the private sector would allow the railways to be more tightly and transparently regulated. This included safety, service specifications, and the sanction of fines or loss of franchise for quality failures. None of these sanctions had ever applied to BR, since there had been no alternative provider • Higher investment – with the industry’s investment needs judged on a business case basis, rather than limited by the overriding needs of Government fiscal policy • Improved quality – greater efficiency and higher investment would lead to the provision of better quality services, especially with train operators incentivised to improve passenger numbers. 25 years on, many of those objectives seem just as sensible as they did then: many have been delivered to a greater or lesser extent – though, with the benefit of hindsight, I think it would be fair to say that there were three things that the regime did not allow for: 1. The unprecedented and largely unforeseen growth in demand, which has seen rail patronage more than double since 2. The costs of devising and implementing the sort of safety regime that the network quite clearly needed – this

I do not believe that there is a single ‘one size fits all’ model for railway operation. Talk of ‘returning’ to a single integrated national network is completely misplaced. Even under a fully public sector model, management was always devolved to regions and divisions had been identified by inquiries into crashes at Clapham Junction and Purley in the run-up to privatisation and were highlighted by Southall, Ladbroke Grove and Potters Bar in the years following. 3. The difficulty in changing the industry’s culture and its long history of adversarial industrial relations.

I would argue that it was the Rail Professional


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combination of these three that derailed the attempt to attract private sector funding into infrastructure investment. This has been the real problem, and the principal cause of the continued cost of the industry to the public purse. Thanks to cross-subsidy between franchises, railway operations have been self-financing for a number of years – an outcome which few could foresee back in 1993 and 1994. The Labour Government elected in 1997 pursued a more interventionist approach. In fairly short order, Messrs Prescott, Byers and Darling made three sets of changes to the railway: the creation of the Strategic Rail Authority, followed three years later by the effective re-nationalisation of Railtrack and then within five years of its foundation the abolition of the SRA and its replacement by ‘direct rule’ (aka micro-management) from Whitehall via the Department for Transport. Alistair Darling’s concept of the Government providing a High Level Output Specification for the next five years, which the Regulator and Network Rail would then price seemed to answer many of the strategic issues which previous Governments had dodged or failed to answer – and that element of the structure has now survived for 15 years – though it has been brought into some disrepute by Network Rail’s seeming inability to deliver projects on time and on budget – though, as Crossrail and other schemes are proving, this problem is not unique to that company, or indeed to the UK. So, if Williams is going to replace or radically reform franchising, what has a new system got to do? I would give four broad answers: maintain private sector involvement; enhance competition and provide effective incentives for downward pressure on operating costs and to deliver continued long-term investment. It follows from that there must continue to be strong, genuinely independent regulation (if for no other reason than to keep the Treasury’s nose to the grindstone). Rail Professional

It also seems to me likely that the Treasury’s price for maintaining a contractual structure for funding the industry will be a continued transfer of risk to the private sector. Some provision for time-limited contracts will continue to be needed, I suspect, even if timescales are longer with specified break points. All that should be achievable at reasonable cost but would need to allow for much greater flexibility in risk-sharing than DfT has been willing to show in the past. This seems to argue for the creation once more of an arms-length body to organise and regulate passenger operators – and for an approach which allows different regimes for different types of service: competition for paths on profitable InterCity routes,

Alistair Darling’s concept of the Government providing a High Level Output Specification for the next five years, which the Regulator and Network Rail would then price seemed to answer many of the strategic issues which previous Governments had dodged or failed to answer


for example, as advocated last year by the Competition and Markets Authority. At the same time, TfL-style concessions might be let for urban operations that will always require public subsidy (and might benefit from light rail or tram/train conversion). There should be room, too, for experimentation with micro-franchises and other innovative approaches to the operation of rural routes and self-contained lines. We need to remember that a strong element of the rail market is very local, and that – as Community Rail Partnerships have shown – strong brands can be created which deliver a wide range of benefits. Big is not necessarily beautiful: in light rail over the last 20 years, we have seen how fleets of 25 to 30 vehicles can deliver local services, be cost-effective and make a powerful contribution to their local communities. I do not believe that there is a single ‘one size fits all’ model for railway operation. Talk of ‘returning’ to a single integrated national network is completely misplaced. Even under a fully public sector model, management was always devolved to regions and divisions. Eventually, British Rail came to recognise the benefits of stronger devolution into the local profit centres that eventually formed the framework for the original train operating companies. That was even achieved whilst giving the profit centres control of their own infrastructure as well. Whatever solution Keith Williams offers, the nine issues I flagged up in 1999 remain at the heart of the debate about the future of our railways. There are severe political, regulatory and financial constraints, and in promising change, he needs to beware of overpromising. Doing nothing may not be an option, but doing something just to please politicians – especially ones with as little credibility as Mr Grayling – is even more dangerous.

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Delivering the goods


Alex Veitch

FTA’s response to the Williams Rail Review Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy, at the Freight Transport Association outlines the FTA’s hopes for the Williams Review


n an ever-expanding global marketplace, rail freight is set to play a more important role in the movement of goods in the UK and internationally, due to its low environmental impact, the growth in intermodal movements and containerised imports, and ongoing network improvements. And while around 30 per cent of the traffic carried on the British rail network is freight, too often the needs of the sector are sidelined in any political discussion on rail, which tends to prioritise passenger transport. While the political imperative behind a focus on passenger traffic is understandable, it is vital that our elected representatives and businesses consider freight as an equally important part of the rail network’s offering to the British economy. Any reorganisation of the railway, due to passenger rail problems, must not jeopardise the future of rail freight. To highlight the importance of rail freight, and identify where further investment is needed, FTA, which represents the UK’s logistics industry, has submitted a response to the Williams Rail Review, the Department for Transport’s (DfT) call for evidence to support a review of the organisational and commercial frameworks of the UK rail industry. DfT invited written contributions to six principles but FTA focused its response on the first three, as these have the most direct relevance to rail freight. These are: fostering a rail sector with the agility to respond to future challenges and opportunities; developing a system that is financially sustainable and able to address long-term

cost pressures; and developing rail industry structures that promote clear accountability. Responding to future challenges and opportunities Rail freight operators are dealing with challenging market conditions, caused by the decline of the coal freight market, and more recently, the impact of online shopping and demand for next day, localised delivery. But this has been – partially, at least – offset by a growth in newer sectors for rail, such as containerised transport and construction traffic. These opportunities can be maximised by expanding capacity across the network, unlocking under-utilised resources, improving the effectiveness of urban planning, and adopting a more agile approach to capacity. For example, a more flexible approach to train paths could be adopted, enabling freight operators to bid to take over paths allocated to certain off-peak passenger services which can be proven to have low load factors. Developing rail hubs into distribution centres from which goods can be unloaded and distributed into urban areas would also boost efficiency. The need for the rail sector to comply with ever-tighter restrictions and the Government’s zero carbon goal poses both challenges and opportunities. Obviously, there is significant cost involved in replacing the locomotive fleet to operate using cleaner, lower-carbon fuels. However, the opportunities are also significant given that rail freight is already per tonne/km a far lower environmental polluter than other forms of surface transport; and meeting the Government’s challenge would ensure that

rail maintained this leadership position. To make real progress in this area, further electrification is crucial and the Williams Rail Review team should actively look for structural adjustments which help deliver a more electrified network. Consideration should also be given to developing a range of funding provisions for freight operators, including Government-backed low or zero interest loans and/or capital grant funding, to help with the capital cost of replacing locomotive units to meet Government’s ambitious

While the political imperative behind a focus on passenger traffic is understandable, it is vital that our elected representatives and businesses consider freight as an equally important part of the rail network’s offering to the British economy. Any reorganisation of the railway, due to passenger rail problems, must not jeopardise the future of rail freight Rail Professional



environmental targets. Environmental grant funding is commonplace in the passenger car and road freight sector and there seems little justification for excluding rail freight from these policy options. Finally, given that rail freight operators use broadly similar types of locomotive units and wagons, there may be opportunities for Government to coordinate bulk orders to reduce unit costs. Managing financial pressures The Government should freeze or reduce Track Access Charges (TAC) to protect the benefits of rail freight to the British economy. There is a noticeable policy gap between the treatment of road transport – which has seen a fuel duty freeze for the last nine years – and rail, which has been targeted with year-on-year RPI (Retail Price Index) increases in TACs. Rail freight operators are private companies with squeezed profit margins and are fully exposed to the increases in TACs. This contrasts to most of the passenger rail sector, where many Train Operating Companies (TOC) which operate under some form of Government contract are loss-making and run under public-service obligation contracts. FTA calls upon the Williams Rail Review team to undertake an impartial study to

assess whether a reduction in TACs for rail freight would lead to higher volumes of freight on the network, and ‘payback’ in social, economic and environmental terms. Ensuring clear accountability In terms of allocating responsibility for issues that occur in the day-to-day operation of the railway, accountability between rail freight stakeholders and National Rail is relatively clear. Freight customers expect freight operators to take responsibility for their relationship with Network Rail – this reflects usual expectations in business to business relationships. And regarding the financial accountability for network delays, FTA fully supports the capping of penalties at a reasonable level. FTA is concerned, however, that most of National Rail’s funding and control resides within the geographical routes, with the central Freight and National Passenger Operator (FNPO) team acting as the inhouse ‘champion’ of freight and other crossboundary operators. It is not clear to the rail freight sector that the geographical routes have the right incentive structures in place to actively promote freight. FTA also submitted evidence to a fourth principle, ‘Improving industrial relations to reduce disruption and improve reliability for

passengers’, and responded to a variety of other issues affecting rail freight, including: improving value for money for passengers and taxpayers; increasing integration between track and train; and improving transport services across UK regions and devolved nations. There are many steps the Government can take to future-proof rail freight and maximise its potential. FTA and its members are in constructive dialogue with the Williams Rail Review Team, to review the issues raised in its response. Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.   For more information on FTA, including how to join, please visit or call customer services on 03717 11 22 22.


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Rail Alliance


Eli Rees King

An industry pulling together for safety on the railway Britain now has one of the safest railways in Europe – for passengers and for workers, but there is no room for complacency


here is always more the industry can do to improve this country’s health and safety record even further. I recently attended SafeStart – an event that continues to grab the attention of those working in the rail industry who care passionately about keeping themselves and the people around them safe on the railway, a highlight in the calendar I might add for the Rail Alliance too! So, what does it take to make working on the railway even safer than it already is? The atmosphere at SafeStart I can only compare to that of a family reunion – albeit a rail family reunion – and I was delighted to see the twitter feed full of supportive and encouraging tweets from exhibitors and visitors attending all pledging their commitment to safe working practices in the industry. A coming together of rail colleagues far and wide to reinforce and demonstrate safety as a key concern and always at the forefront of best working practice methodology. The mix of exhibitors attending SafeStart truly exemplifies how the rail supply industry not only adopts but puts into practice safety on the railway. Whether it is working in low light or dark conditions, at height, with dust from ballast, using power tools or machinery in the correct way, or managing fatigue and welfare – safety is not left to chance. Although mental wellbeing is not a new subject by any means, it really did feel that this previously taboo subject is now being taken very seriously by the industry to break down the barriers that prevent issues affecting the mind being brought out into the open and addressed and treated appropriately. Something that Ian Prosser, CBE, Chief Inspector of Railways and Director of Railway Safety, Office of Rail and Road

(ORR) spoke passionately about during his keynote speech. Keynote speaker line up The high quality conference organised by SafeStart alongside the exhibitors really adds to the event and the impressive calibre of keynote speakers certainly contributes weight to the message and importance of safety as not only integral but imperative. First to speak was Katie Healy, Stakeholder Manager at CIRAS who presented on challenging behaviours and the reasons why people don’t report or raise their concerns. She concluded that the only way to improve safety is to create an environment where all staff feel they are able to voice their concerns and be able to challenge unsafe practices. Ian Prosser CBE, ORR followed next and

spoke ardently about the challenges and wins in reducing injuries and fatalities on the railway. It was an impressive statistic to hear that the risk at level crossings has halved over the last ten years and 1,100 have now closed. However, he was also very clear in his message that this is still not good enough and there is a lot of change needed in the industry – ‘we need to be learning the lessons.’ So, the focus going forward Ian says will be: ‘On our people – promoting competency (leadership, management etc.), looking at workload and environment (managing stress), fatigue management (inside and outside work), and looking very closely at the strengths and weaknesses of human intervention. Also, technology to implement the extra safety barrier in addition to



developing tools to make the job safer and more efficient (for example through the use of Remote Condition Monitoring, IT etc.). We want to remove people from harm such as being unnecessarily exposed to moving trains and improve performance reliability and predictability.’ It was encouraging to hear Ian say that he wants to see horns and whistles removed recognising this as an antiquated method appropriate for the 1800s but not applicable to today’s railway safety ethos. He concluded by saying: ‘Being able to predict and prevent is a real way to improve reliability and safety with top to bottom engagement and placing the importance of trust and not being afraid of reporting issues. Creating a culture where people care about one other is the aim. It is a great industry but there is a long way to go

poor nutrition can pose both short-term safety risks and long-term health risks. Jim Adshead, Network Rail / Track Safety Alliance addressed the issue of avoiding driver fatigue stating that drowsy driving is suspected to be a primary cause in more than 20 per cent of road fatalities. IP Track has had its fair share of near misses where fatigue has been proven to be the issue and driving whilst fatigued is a choice people make which can result in an outcome where the consequences can be fatal. Ciara Pryce: Group Services Director, VGC highlighted the growth in modern slavery – describing it as a crime hidden in plain sight. The Global Slavery Index 2016 estimated that around 11,700 people in the UK are living in modern slavery and the distinct lack of awareness of who is working in global supply chains, organisations and companies. Concluding the conference, David Hughes, Development Director, SafeStart International Complacency, highlighted the advances in Neuroscience on when and why every one of us has the tendency to go on autopilot from time to time, even when we are doing potentially risky activities and the huge implications this has on safety and the tools to counteract ‘mind wandering’.

to reach a standard of excellence.’ Clair Mowbray, Chief Executive, National College of High Speed Rail followed on from Ian and spoke about the new generation of the rail workforce including new emerging roles and how the college responds to the challenges of building a diverse workforce. Encouraging female students into the college is a prime objective. Hearing again from Mark Davies, Founder, 7Futures and Nathan Douglas, Double Olympian Triple Jumper and former Captain of Team GB Athletics – they talked around the typical challenges to mental and physical wellbeing such as commonplace issues like fatigue, sedentary lifestyle and

Putting practical steps in place It was fantastic to hear Ian Prosser announce a new initiative with the Samaritans called the ‘Million Hour Challenge’. Stemming from a conversation with Samaritans Chief Executive, Ruth Sutherland and previous Chief Executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne, 18 months ago, over the next five years the rail industry will come together to volunteer one million hours to help reduce the number of people taking their own lives. The Million Hour Challenge will help Samaritans be there for even more people who are struggling to cope and also aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of

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rail industry employees. This will cover a multitude of areas including online learning, fundraising, being a listening volunteer or even running branches. It is a fact that three out of five people experience mental health issues at work but rarely tell managers and it is about time people start to talk – small talk saves lives. Not only helping Samaritans and suicide but also helping health and wellbeing of people working in the sector. There are already six organisations signed up – Network Rail, ORR, Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Rail Safety & Standards Board (RSSB), MTR Crossrail and Transport for London (TFL). The pilots and the launch took place on the 27th March. Another initiative which has been successfully running for a few years now is Rail Safety Week, the brain child of Alan Tarrent and supported by Rail Safety Week Secretary and Enterprise Partner, Tracy Barber. The event will run from the 24th to the 30th June as part of the Rail Safety Summit at the RSSB HQ in London (RSW19), Monday 24th June. Companies interested in getting involved to support this initiative can email alan@railsafetyweek. James Steele, founder of SafeStart and event organiser Liesa Coates, Managing Director, InGlobal again pulled off a magnificent event. What is clear is that this is no ordinary trade event – it is predominately about safety and how the industry works together and commits to making sure everyone goes home safe every day. The zero tolerance approach to anything that puts people in danger whether they are working or traveling on the railway is incredibly reassuring and evident of an industry working together to achieve this. It will be interesting to see how digital technology plays a larger role in reinforcing safety on the railway. This is an area that ties in with a lot of the work BCRRE and Rail Alliance are involved in and we would welcome any company looking for support in research and development of digital technologies to get in touch eli.rees-king@ Eli Rees King is Marketing Director Rail Alliance The Rail Alliance is now part of Birmingham Centre of Rail Research and Education (BCRRE) – an integration which aims to strengthen links between the two organisations and build on connections with the wider railway sector. Not only will this ensure that research and teaching draws on real-world situations, it will further reinforce relationships with SMEs for the benefit of the railway supply chain. As the rail sector’s largest dedicated B2B rail community organisation, the Rail Alliance is all about bringing customers, suppliers and supply chain opportunities together. Its broad spectrum of members extends way beyond rail and positions the Rail Alliance as the go-to organisation for B2B diversity, ingenuity and innovation.

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Next stop: Yorkshire In June an impressive number of colleagues from across the railway community will be embarking upon the annual Three Peaks by Rail challenge in order to raise vital funds for the Railway Children


lready this year the charity has encouraged more than 180 people to sleep rough on one of our coldest nights, they have also taken a team of hardcore cyclists out to India. Alongside this they are working on expeditions out to Vietnam and Tanzania next year. But behind the excitement that these high-profile events and far-flung trips offer there lay some stark truths. Safeguarding on transport The Railway Children charity exists to fight for vulnerable children who live alone and at risk on the streets in India, Kenya, Tanzania and the UK where they suffer abuse and exploitation. Their aim is to reach children as soon as they arrive on the streets and intervene before an abuser can. Their pioneering work enables them to get to street children before the streets get to them. In the UK, Railway Children has a strategic partnership with British Transport Police (BTP) and since 2015 have worked together to develop and deliver the Safeguarding on Transport programme which identifies and supports vulnerable children on the transport network, an area no other agency or statutory body is tackling.

As a result of this partnership the charity was able to launch a project in Manchester that has to date supported 148 children and young people across the region. In July 2018 this project expanded into London. Railway Children’s next stop is Yorkshire which is where the charity and vulnerable children need the Rail Community within the region and across the country to help. I recently had the opportunity to spend time with Dave Ellis, Railway Children’s Corporate Partnerships Manager. Naturally I was interested in what the charity does, and where event sponsorship goes, but I was not clear on the wider reach that Railway Children has. Talking specifically about the Safeguarding on Transport project and working in and around UK stations he explained to me that the children that they are reaching out to ‘are either not meeting the threshold to receive support from social services or are being allocated services that do not meet their complex needs. Our partnership with BTP enables us to connect with some of the most vulnerable children in the country and provide them with a service that genuinely turns their lives around for good. ‘In June 2017 we launched our first safeguarding project in Manchester, supporting children across the North West who BTP identified as being at risk. In July 2018 we expanded into London and May 2019 sees us expand into Leeds. These stations are among the top ten for receiving the most referrals which is where we have concentrated our efforts on as a priority. ‘84 per cent of children we work with experience abuse (physical, sexual or emotional including grooming), domestic violence, distress, neglect and poor parenting, or physical and mental illness. 16 per cent suffer from psychological or

Every five minutes a child runs away from home in the UK. In 2017/18 British Transport Police dealt with over 8,000 child safeguarding incidents on the rail network and this year that number is anticipated to increase by 25 per cent to 10,000. A third of children identified had run away from home or care; other issues included sexual exploitation, abuse, addiction, poor mental health and suicide.

behavioural issues, often related to abuse, violence or neglect or due to bullying, loneliness, family breakdown and unhealthy relationships. We also support children who are growing up in poverty and deprivation who feel unsafe and insecure, with few opportunities.’ So why am I compelled to take this as my topic this month? First of all, I am but one of very many people tackling the Three Peaks by Rail challenge this year. I am excited by the personal challenge, but genuinely inspired by the work of Railway Children. To learn that as well as protecting countless lives overseas the charity also works increasingly across the UK really brings it home to me. Kids are kids and regardless of where they live, there will always be too many kids in horrendously Rail Professional



vulnerable positions. Last month I talked about Gracie, a future PM and the inspiring face of Transport for the North’s inaugural conference. This month I am talking about Peter (saved from drug-running and gangculture, now back in mainstream education), Emma (who ran away from home to escape bullying and drug-use) and Liam (who went missing from care and began stealing to fund his own drug-use). These are kids who represent so many more that none of us will ever even see, who will never step out of our peripheral vision. Not because we are bad people ourselves, but because we are not equipped to spot these victims nor to help them rebuild their lives. Peter, Emma and Liam are as important to us as Gracie; they all now have more positive futures ahead of them. But Railway Children needs more help. Lovely as it is to walk up hills, ride bikes or revel in the camaraderie of a mass sleepout, the charity needs more sustainable sponsorship support. I have been blown away by the generosity of the people and companies that have sponsored my Three Peaks team (please do check out @summit_north and #NorthernSoles on social media, we would appreciate any further donations, no matter the size), but this is a personal plea to ask

you to ask your companies to consider an annual sponsorship. The Railway Family is a wonderful community, but in terms of its reach as a charitable contributor consider this: according to the Institute of Fundraising’s ‘Good Values’ report the railway sector lags behind. Broken down the report shows that Banking represents 23 per cent of UK giving to charity, Retail represents another 23 per cent, Technology and Communications: ten per cent. These are admittedly quite mature industries when it comes to charitable giving and Corporate Social Responsibility. However, Rail does not factor into the statistics as a charitable industrial sector in its own right. Rail falls under ‘all other industries’. This segment only accounts for four per cent of the total giving within the UK. To get the Yorkshire project off the ground, the Railway Children charity is only asking for 19 companies across Yorkshire to donate £2,500 this year. If this is achieved, they will be able to fully fund the first year of the project, boosted by Comic Relief funds, and play a vital role in protecting vulnerable children in the community, setting them onto a brighter path. Please, if you can help, contact Dave Ellis on D.Ellis@ and help us do #SummitUpNorth. For further information

on Railway Children please visit Lucy Prior MBE is the Business Development Director of RTS Solutions, a specialist transportation software engineering company delivering stable and resilient, web-based, realtime safety critical applications. RTS’ software supports the railways, metros and road network infrastructures to meet the ever-growing operational demands for increases in capacity, reliability and availability of their networks by providing a suite of products and applications. Lucy was awarded an MBE for services to rail exports in last year’s Birthday Honours, the nominations for which also cited her work in support of the YRP and encouraging EDI within rail. She also has two young children who hear an awful lot about just how cool the rail sector is.

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Getting HS2 funds into the supply chain Sir Andrew Cook explains why he believes Britain’s domestic supply chain should receive the lion’s share of the money for HS2


e’ve got to have this thing… whatever it costs… we’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack on top of it!’ So said British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin in 1946. The ‘thing’ which Britain had to have was the Atom Bomb, to defend herself against the aggressive power of the Soviet Union. Work began, and five years later, following enormous expense and effort, Britain had created her own nuclear deterrent: a deterrent which helped bring over 60 years of peace, won the Cold War and kept the country safe from nuclear annihilation. We could say the same of HS2. Britain’s got to have it. Our motorways are choked with traffic, our regional cities are in decline, and huge sums have already been invested with nothing to see. Why stop now? Get it built, whatever it costs, and get it built now! It is a historical fact that with very few exceptions no railway line ever justified the initial expense of constructing it. Construction costs were almost always underestimated and projected passenger revenues artificially inflated to make the numbers work. Seldom was a line busy from the start. Had it not been for the coal traffic, railways such as the Great Western and the Midland would never have made money. In our own time, the Channel Tunnel was a financial disaster, applying for bankruptcy protection in 2006 before traffic levels eventually rose and revenues stabilised at profitable levels. Today, 30 years later, just as the Channel Tunnel is now taken for granted as an essential element of our transport infrastructure, so in parallel a renewed bout of negativism focuses itself on HS2. Costs are rising. The naysayers bray their hostility to the project. Corners are cut with the specification to save money. All the time there is delay and doubt. The end result, if it

ever happens, will be inadequate. Let us step back and assess the HS2 project. I start with the specification. My rule in determining large capital projects is, get the spec right first, and then look at the costs. Recent railway history is littered with the mistakes of doing it the other way around, putting cost first and tailoring the project to fit the budget. The Channel Tunnel, now at capacity, could have had a third track added at very little marginal extra expense. As an alternative, a much more expensive bridge could have been built, as was done over the Great Belt between Denmark and Sweden. Costly, yes, but traffic problems would have been solved for generations to come. And it’s not just in this country that the ‘cost-cutting at the expense of specification’ mistake is made. Even the Swiss, whose legendary rail system is the envy of the world, made the mistake of reducing half the new Loetschberg base tunnel to single track to save money. Capacity is already saturated and many benefits have been lost. Fixing HS2 HS2 is making four bad ‘cost-saving’ mistakes, which will dog it and its users for all time if not rectified now. First, the absence of a Heathrow chord. Do we seriously expect passengers heading from, say, Birmingham to Heathrow to bother with the hassle of changing trains at Old Oak Common? No, we don’t. They will just call a taxi at source, pile in with their luggage, and risk the M1’s chronic congestion. Secondly, the Euston terminus. Euston is one of the worst-connected London termini. Adjacent Kings Cross, with its four underground lines, the Thameslink, Midland and Great Northern main lines and, last but not least, its neighbouring Eurostar terminal, is infinitely better. So, instead of HS2 ending in a truncated terminus, its lines should be carried down underground

to a through station beneath the Euston Road – let’s call it London Central – eventually running back to the surface the other side to connect with HS1 somewhere around Stratford. Travellators would connect the subterranean platforms with the existing Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross passenger infrastructure. There are recent examples of just such developments in continental Europe. The newly opened subterranean through platforms for the trunk lines at Zurich Hauptbahnhof is one, and the above-ground through stations of Berlin and Vienna Hauptbahnhofs are others. An early example is Tokyo Central on the original Tokkaido high-speed line in Japan. Through stations are far more efficient than termini. Why not follow these examples with HS2? Thirdly, the Chilterns. This is a political and environmental problem rather than a design mistake. Why not cut the gordian knot, and silence the nimbys, who do at least have a point: the Chilterns are a beautiful part of the home counties, and their proximity to London make them of especial value to the inhabitants of that hugely populous capital city. So why not put the whole trans-Chiltern section in a 30mile tunnel? The environmental problem is solved at a stroke. Lastly, and here I declare a special interest, HS2 should be routed through Sheffield city, not some out-of-the way station several miles away. In the city of my birth there still stands the derelict but intact infrastructure of the former Great Central Railway, built, uniquely in Britain until HS1 was constructed, to the international UIC profile. This infrastructure could be restored at moderate cost and a new city centre ‘Sheffield HS’ station built on the foundations of the old Sheffield Victoria. ‘Cost!’ the deniers cry. ‘It will cost too much!’ What nonsense. The current estimate of the cost of HS2 is £60 billion. Let us Rail Professional



double this, to £120 billion. £120 billion is a little less than the NHS budget for just one year. Build a decent HS2 for £120 billion, and what have you got? A piece of pivotal infrastructure that will last for at least a century. Spend £120 billion on the NHS, and what have you got at the end of the year? Another gaping black hole, ready to devour another £120 billion, most probably more. As Bevin said, ‘We’ve got to have this thing, whatever it costs’. You could not have an effective nuclear deterrent and count the pennies at the same time. In its own way, the same applies to HS2. We can’t have an effective high-speed rail system on the cheap. Rebuilding industry Now I turn to Bevin’s conjunctive clause ‘… we’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack on top of it!’, I see this as a bigger problem. Yes, the civil engineering will, to a degree, be undertaken using British labour and materials. The concrete will come from British plants. But examine this more deeply, and one realises how much the British economy has been hollowed out. The reinforcing bar for the concrete will of necessity be imported, as there is no re-bar plant left in Britain. The construction equipment will likewise be mainly imported. With one exception, Britain does not make heavy off-highway vehicles. The rails? Can they all be rolled in what is left of our steel industry? Look too at the labour required. Traditionally, great construction projects require significant numbers of migrant workers. In the 19th Century, it was the Irish in Britain, the Italians in continental Europe and the Chinese in North America. Today, Rail Professional

the net is cast wider still: most notably into eastern Europe. Where will the additional workforce for HS2 come from if not from across the Channel? What will Brexit and its attendant restrictions make of this? But that is only a small part of the ‘Union Jack’ difficulty. What of the trains? Uniquely among the major countries of Western Europe, Britain has no domestic train builder. Yes, Bombardier still has an assembly shop in Derby, and Hitachi, Alstom and Stadler have factories in various stages of completion. But I wonder if these are ‘Potemkin factories’ with near zero actual manufacturing activity within: mere sheds, to keep the rain off the occupants as they bolt together imported kits of parts. For the new trains themselves are coming in from the builders in Japan, Spain and Switzerland, at best as flatpacks, at worst as complete ready-to-run units, requiring only some final furnishing in their new British assembly shops. The supply chains in Japan, Spain and Switzerland are working flat out to make the bits and pieces needed, while what’s left of the British supply chain scratches around for orders. This is the difference between Bevin’s diktat and the present day. The Department for Transport has resolutely avoided making a contractual requirement that HS2 has got to have the Union Jack on it. For whatever implausible or insufficient reasons, be they EU rules, competition or whatever, HMG is plundering the taxpayer to pay for the project without making the slightest attempt to direct this money into the British supply chain. I myself, having spent £15 million of my own money creating a world class bogie and coupler component factory at Leeds that

successfully exports high value products to blue chip customers across the world, am obliged to see complete new trains trundling on lorries past my factory gates, en route to their gleaming new assembly shops where they will have little more than the seats fitted and stickers applied prior to being put into service. How can this be good for the economy? And how can it be stopped? Is it too late? Well, better late than never. Firstly, we should take a leaf out of the books of our neighbours and insist on a high proportion of UK content in all new trains. Start off with 65 per cent and increase it every time a new train fleet is ordered. Our continental counterparts go even further. You will look in vain for non-French trains running on the SNCF, or for nonSpanish trains on Spain’s RENFE. Mr Trump has just specified maximum US content for the new trains he hopes will one day be running somewhere on the US system. If anything, he will have an even greater difficulty finding domestic suppliers than is the case in Britain. Secondly, ensure all maintenance contracts are placed with UK firms, at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary. When it comes to railway engineering, Britain has fragmented into a host of small and medium sized garage-type operations, taking in bits of trains, taking them to pieces, mending them and putting them together again. A deeply unsatisfactory activity when compared with building new trains, but at least it is something. And thirdly? One of the reasons we are in this mess is that British railways had become a political tool. The underlying reason behind privatisation was to reduce the damaging abuse of union power. Privatisation has brought certain benefits, yes, but it has also caused many problems and contributed to many more. Those who don’t remember the dark days of the 1970s call for renationalisation. That is not the answer, but a halfway house along the lines of the Grouping in 1922 might be. In parallel, there is an equal case for de-unionising the rail industry. Returning to that apogee of excellence, the SBB, you will never find a single employee who is not proud of his job and his position. Strikes are unknown, because there is a system to prevent and address grievances. Above all, there is an esprit de corps. If the Swiss can do it, so can the British. We should be proud of our railways, and they should be a testimony to a British revival. Britain invented the passenger railway. We have forgotten what we did. We should cast our minds back, look at our more successful neighbours and restore our long-lost status as world leader in rail transport. We need a thriving domestic rail engineering industry to achieve this. Sir Andrew Cook is Chairman of William Cook Holdings

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Settling the score In the third of four articles on common areas of dispute in the rail industry, Paul Thwaite and James Hammond of Stephenson Harwood LLP consider the issues that arise when a bidder for a public contract wants to challenge the scores awarded by a procuring authority


ou have just received a notification via the e-portal of a public contract award worth many millions of pounds. You know you have a good chance of winning. You have one of the best track records of all of the bidders in the competition and you spent countless hours working on your tender with a team of bidding specialists. After you recently won a similar contract against the same competitors, you must be the favourite. You open the notification on the e-portal: you did not win. When you look at the enclosed scoring summary, it gets worse; you lost out because you received low scores in categories where you usually score well. The winner’s scores seem too high. Something is not right, but what can you do about it? Act quickly Public procurement disputes have a very short timeframe in which legal proceedings can be brought against the authority. You have 30 days from the date you first knew or ought to have known that there were grounds for a challenge. If proceedings are

One of the biggest hurdles for any challenger in a procurement dispute is the information imbalance in favour of the authority. The authority knows the content of each bid and holds all of its evaluation records as well as its evaluation policies and procedures. All the bidder has is the award notice and scoring summary of its own and the winning bid, plus knowledge of its own bid and its view of how it was likely to have been assessed in the procurement

not started within this period, they cannot be brought at a later date. So that unsuccessful bidders can assess the outcome of the procurement and decide whether or not to challenge the decision before the contract is signed, there is a ‘standstill period’ for a minimum of ten days following the decision notice by the authority. During the standstill period, the authority is unable to enter into the contract with the winning bidder. This is crucial for the challenger, as the remedies available to it depend on whether the contract has been let. If court proceedings are started before the contract has been signed, the procurement is automatically suspended until the proceedings have ended. This means that the authority is still not allowed to sign the contract, even after the original standstill period has expired. However, the courts have shown a general willingness to grant applications made by authorities to lift the automatic suspension. Most recently, in Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd v Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd & Ors [2018] EWHC 2926 (TCC), the court granted the authority’s application to lift the automatic suspension on the basis of the ‘balance of convenience’. In this case, it was because delaying the contract would likely cause disruption to the Piccadilly line Tube services and the public interest lay with replacing the existing fleet of trains as soon as possible. Possible remedies If the contract has not been signed, the challenger can seek damages or an order setting aside the award decision. The calculation of the damages is based on the loss of profit the unsuccessful bidder suffered from losing the contract. If the contract has already been entered into the challenger can still claim damages but cannot seek to set aside the contract award. However, the challenger can sometimes seek a declaration of ineffectiveness which means that any part of the contract not already performed will be cancelled. A declaration can be obtained where the contract was awarded by the authority without publishing a valid contract notice or where the contract was entered into in breach of the standstill period, automatic suspension, or an order of the court.

The remedies available also depend on the stage of the procurement at which the challenge arises. For example, if a bidder has been eliminated at the pre-qualification stage of the tender, damages are unlikely to be a satisfactory remedy as the bidder has lost the chance to submit a bid for the contract rather than lost out on the contract itself. For pre-qualification stage claims, the remedy of being readmitted to the process Rail Professional



should be preserved. In these circumstances an expedited trial is often ordered by the court, so that the claim can be resolved prior to the submission of tenders. Re-scoring bids In recent years, the courts have shown a willingness to undertake re-scoring of bids. In Energysolutions EU Ltd v Nuclear Decommissioning Authority [2016] EWHC 1988 (TCC) the judge carried out a detailed re-scoring exercise after finding that manifest errors had occurred in the procurement. The result of the exercise was that an unsuccessful bidder was determined to have submitted the most economically advantageous tender. The judge also found that the bidder that entered into the contract should have been disqualified from the process. In this case damages were awarded. In Woods Building Services v Milton Keynes Council [2015] EWHC 2011 (TCC), the judge corrected various scores where manifest errors were found to have occurred. The judge’s corrections to the scores meant that the claimant’s bid outscored the winning bidder’s bid. The court set aside the award decision, amended the authority’s records to reflect the judge’s version of the scores, and ruled that the challenger was also entitled to damages. Most recently, in Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust v Lancashire County Council [2018] EWHC 1589 (TCC) the court held that it was unable to undertake a rescoring exercise. A distinguishing feature of the Lancashire Care case was the lack of reasoning provided by the authority for the scores it had given to the bids. If the authority had provided cogent reasons for the scores, the court would no doubt have been more willing to re-score. Nevertheless, the lack of reasoning from the authority either in contemporaneous records or evidence from witnesses resulted in a successful claim to set aside the award decision for lack of transparency without the need to show manifest error and to re-score. What is clear from these cases is that, while the court is not a forum for all disappointed bidders to seek re-scoring of their tenders simply because they did not win, there is scope for the court to reassess the scores awarded by the authority in the case of manifest error when sufficient information is available. Getting information One of the biggest hurdles for any challenger in a procurement dispute is the information imbalance in favour of the authority. The authority knows the content of each bid and holds all of its evaluation records as well as its evaluation policies and procedures. All the bidder has is the award notice and scoring summary of its own and the winning bid, plus knowledge of its own bid and its view of how it was likely to have been Rail Professional

assessed in the procurement. This information imbalance leaves potential challengers in the dark with only a ten-day standstill period in which to issue a claim or risk the contract being entered into with the winning bidder. One way to address this imbalance is to request and obtain early disclosure from the authority. Often, the early disclosure will include the authority’s evaluation reports and notes of consensus and moderation discussions. These might show the challenger that its scores were actually fairly awarded, and it will decide not pursue its claim. Alternatively, the reports may increase the challenger’s conviction that there has been a breach by the authority. A failure to keep adequate records can itself be a ground of successful challenge as in the Lancashire Care case. The authority is expected to provide full pre-action disclosure to a potential challenger and the courts have repeatedly made clear that they will penalise an authority that fails to do so. In the recent case of Serco Ltd v Secretary of State for Defence [2019] EWHC 515 (TCC) the court again reiterated that authorities must respond promptly to information requests. Indemnity costs were awarded against the authority that had refused to provide basic information about the reasons for the scores given to the bidder, meaning that the authority was ordered to pay all of the costs claimed by the challenger in relation to the application for disclosure. If requested, authorities should provide the key decision materials to the challenger without delay and, if refused, the bidder is very likely to get a court order for disclosure. Once legal proceedings have been started, the authority is obliged to provide relevant documents as part of the litigation process and this will often determine the outcome of a procurement claim as it is the point at which the challenger finally gets access to all the documents it needs. Tips for unsuccessful bidders If you are considering making a claim, scrutinise carefully the award notice and any other information provided about the decision at debrief and consider whether you might have a claim. At this stage, it can be useful to ask an independent third party to objectively consider how it would expect your bid to have scored in each category. Act quickly as you may have only a tenday standstill period from the date of the award notice until the contract is signed, and 30 days in total before any claims are time barred which means that they cannot be brought after the 30 day period has expired. You should instruct lawyers as soon as possible if you think you might have a claim so that you have as much of the little time available to prepare a claim. Request more information from the authority so you can better understand the result. Again, this must be done quickly given the timescales involved.

Examine the processes adopted by the authority and measure these against the standards set by the courts and the authority’s own procedures. There are increasing numbers of procurement claims that change the outcome of the initial decision and unsuccessful bidders are more frequently seeking redress where there has been a breach by the authority. Consider requesting an extension to the standstill period from the authority if you need more time or information to assess your position. Advice for procuring authorities In order to minimise the risk of a claim from an unsuccessful bidder procuring authorities should: • Keep thorough records so that the reasons behind scoring decisions can be fully justified and evidenced and are readily available if requested by an unsuccessful bidder • Provide early disclosure. There is often reluctance from procuring authorities to give voluntary early disclosure, but failure to do so can result in costs penalties from the court. Also, failing to give voluntary disclosure creates suspicion from unsuccessful bidders that the authority is hiding something and may encourage a claim • Make sure that internal guidance on running the procurement is followed by those conducting it. We have seen authorities produce detailed guidance materials on how the evaluation will take place only for those performing the evaluation not to follow it. This creates a bigger problem for the authority than if there had been no guidance at all. Conclusion In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of rail related procurement disputes, which is a trend we expect to continue. With very high value contracts at stake, unsuccessful bidders are increasingly willing to challenge the scoring of their bids and the courts are open to performing a re-scoring exercise where manifest error can be shown. For unsuccessful bidders, it is important to make a realistic assessment of your score and to take quick action if there appears to have been an error by the authority. For procuring authorities, it is important to ensure full record keeping and compliance with internal procedures if the procurement process is to be defensible and stand up to the scrutiny of a court challenge.

Paul Thwaite is a Partner and James Hammond is an Associate in the rail dispute resolution team at law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP

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The Williams Review and Wales Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Mark Barry, Professor of Practice in Connectivity at Cardiff University’s School of Geography & Planning and M&G Barry Consulting


ark conceived and has been working on the South Wales Metro project since 2010 and in 2017 outlined proposals for a ‘Swansea Bay Metro’; he is currently leading the development of strategic business cases for the Welsh Government on further rail investment. Mark has written previously in Rail Professional (October 2017, issue 236) regarding the Swansea Bay Metro. As this issue of the magazine focusses on franchising I wanted to get Mark’s views on the Williams Review and what he hopes will be the outcome for Wales. What are your thoughts on the Williams Review? Yet again the UK rail industry is subject

How many Local Development Plans are really considered at the heart of rail planning – or vice versa for that matter. I would argue not; rail planning has become a bit of a centralised ivory tower exercise

to a forensic review of structure and performance. In the last ten years we have had McNulty (Rail industry efficiency), Laidlaw (WCML franchise failure), Brown (post Laidlaw rail franchising and risk) and Shaw (The Future of Network Rail). Before that the now archived Eddington Study took a more holistic look at UK Transport and produced a very good report which stressed the economic important of intra-city/region connectivity. There are probably others. We also have the framework for rail in the UK set out by the DfT in their vision paper in 2017. Now we have Williams whose perhaps narrower remit focussed on organisational and commercial frameworks but not infrastructure and services, overlooks a more important issue for us in Wales, investment or lack thereof. I support Williams and hope, as I am sure many others do, that we navigate a route out of our current ‘franchising difficulties’. However, I think (my assertion) that perhaps and certainly from a Welsh perspective, bigger issues are being overlooked and some obvious truths understated.

What are these bigger issues that you believe are being overlooked? On the latter and whilst I have no doubt there are weakness in the current system, the biggest problem that I can see in UK rail have been failings in execution; specifically: specification, procurement and contract management. Unless we address the underlying causes of this phenomena, we will still have a problem no matter how we are organised and incentivised. I think Brown touched upon this in his 2012 report. More relevant, it seems to me, decisions on rail investment in enhancements and services (which is the important thing as far as the passenger is concerned – not how we organise the industry) are often completely divorced from wider planning considerations. How many Local Development Plans are really considered at the heart of rail planning – or vice versa for that matter. I would argue not; rail planning has become a bit of a centralised ivory tower exercise. The traditional industry ‘five year’ soviet style plan and the seven or 15-year franchise, which has been the norm for years

Rail Professional



– reminds me of a Pravda published fiveyear grain harvest plan – has not helped and changes to that approach are to be welcomed (without damaging the need for strategic and longer-term thinking). This is not just a rail industry issue, it is a UK planning issues (including in Wales). Too often we see major developments (houses, retail, schools and hospitals) built in locations with poor public transport access (rail and/or bus) and with no refence to rail planning. We need some thought applied to address this issue; climate change and sustainability demand we plan and build better places that reduce our dependency on cars and reduce barriers to public transport. We are trying to break that mould in Wales through the work of Transport for Wales and the Office for Future Generations. How about issues that are specific to Wales? In Wales we also have some serious issues I am not sure Williams will fully address. The commercial and organisational issues are secondary for me. There is a more

For the two mainlines in Wales to be restricted in their capability in comparison with the mainline railways elsewhere in the UK is at best questionable and points to an institutional weakness in the process that determines rail investment in the UK Rail Professional

fundamental issue (due to the fact that, unlike Scotland, rail infrastructure is a non-devolved matter) is a long-term lack of investment. In May last year the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, announced that I would lead a programme to explore the strategic case for rail investment in Wales. Since then I have been working with Welsh Government officials, stakeholders and others to explore the potential wider benefits that could be realised; my report was published in November 2018. The emerging reality is that although new improved rolling stock will be delivered and operating across the UK over the next few years, disappointingly, these vehicles will only be able to operate in ‘second gear’ at best in Wales. For example, the new Intercity Express Trains (IET) used for GWR services between Swansea and London are capable of 140mph and whilst they operate at 125mph between Bristol and London, they are only be able to operate at typically 90mph or less between Bristol and Swansea (See Figure 1.) There are over three million people living on the corridor from Swansea through

Cardiff to Bristol. There are two trains an hour between Cardiff and Bristol Temple Meads (BTM), taking nearly an hour and none from Swansea to BTM. NR have also set out in their route planning that the market for rail services between Leeds and Manchester is broadly similar to that between Cardiff and Bristol Temple Meads. The former already has six trains per hour and is subject to a £3 billion Transpennine upgrade. The UK Government’s ambitions for a ‘Western Powerhouse’ (See Figure 2) have limited chance of success with such poor rail connectivity between Swansea, Cardiff and Bristol’s city centres. The line speeds and capacity of the north Wales mainline is also similarly constrained. For the two mainlines in Wales to be restricted in their capability in comparison with the mainline railways elsewhere in the UK is at best questionable and points to an institutional weakness in the process that determines rail investment in the UK. Where should investment be focussed? Do you think Wales gets an appropriate amount of investment overall? I am particularly concerned about the long-term lack of enhancements (which are typically focussed on improving network capability, reliability and capacity) and the stark fact is that the Wales route (eleven per cent of the UK network) has not received an equitable proportion of UK rail enhancement investment over many years. Since 2011, the figure has been a little over one per cent of the UK total and this disproportionality low level of enhancement investment actually goes back much further, decades in fact, as a review of Network Rails historical High-Level Output Specifications will demonstrate. This at a time when the UK is committing £56 billion to High Speed 2 (for which there is no Barnett consequential for Wales as


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there is in Scotland – which actually benefits from the scheme) and potentially £39 billion to Transport for the North over the next 30 years to deliver major schemes like Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR). I originally raised the issues related to HS2 and its economic impact on Wales in my submission to the Westminster Transport Committee’s review of High-Speed Rail in 2011. What causes this disparity in enhancement investments? I believe that there exists a fundamental bias impacting the method by which rail enhancement investments are determined across England and Wales by the Department for Transport (DfT) in London, which has responsibility for such matters on an England and Wales basis. It would appear some parts of the network have been locked into a virtuous cycle of ongoing enhancement whereas some parts have been completely overlooked over many years. It’s easy to see why – investing in more reliability and capacity generally leads to more demand and so pressure on capacity and reliability, leading to a stronger case for further enhancement investment (The £9 billion WCML upgrade generated a significant uplift in demand which has helped the case for HS2). If your network is not on this ‘enhancement conveyor belt or has a smaller economic case for enhancement it will always get swamped by the big-ticket items. This is an issue for Wales (and other parts of the UK); as any business knows, you can’t compete and maintain margins if you operate on depreciated assets when compared to your competitors. The result is a less efficient railway with lower capacity in Wales versus the UK as a whole, leading to lower demand and higher subsidies per passenger; more worryingly it is also having a detrimental impact on the Welsh economy. My conclusions, which are consistent with the findings of both the Welsh Affairs and Transport Parliamentary Select Committees at Westminster, is that enhancement investment is needed, is justified and can deliver economic benefits; the initial proposals set out in my work for Welsh Government could contribute, conservatively over £2 billion to the Welsh economy. Wales’ economy needs faster and more frequent services between its major towns and cities and to other key UK commercial centres such as Bristol, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Liverpool as well as to major international gateways like Heathrow and Manchester airports. What improvements do you hope to see on the different routes in Wales? Our ambition (See Figure 3) is to see our main lines operate at 100mph or above enabling journey times of: Cardiff to Paddington in 90 minutes, Swansea to Cardiff in 30 minutes, Carmarthen to

London in 3 hours 15 minutes, Cardiff to Bristol Temple Meads in 30 minutes, Holyhead to Chester in 60 minutes and Llandudno to Crewe in 60 minutes. We need to upgrade the SWML and create a 100mph railway from Bristol through Cardiff and Swansea into Carmarthen and Pembroke in west Wales, we need to expand the South Wales Metro and develop metros in Swansea Bay and NE Wales. The long overdue Western Rail access to Heathrow would also help. How can this be achieved? I think it’s a glaring devolution anomaly that the Welsh Government does not have responsibility for rail infrastructure in Wales. It is overwhelming clear that the current England and Wales arrangement,

I believe that there exists a fundamental bias impacting the method by which rail enhancement investments are determined across England and Wales by the Department for Transport (DfT) in London, which has responsibility for such matters on an England and Wales basis under the stewardship of the DfT in London, has not served Wales well. This is a bigger issue for me than Williams. Full responsibility to develop and implement schemes in Wales must fall to the Welsh Government and in doing so the UK Government must recognise that sufficient funding needs to be transferred to discharge these responsibilities and to address many years of ‘underinvestment’. The UK Government has already established similar arrangements via Transport for the North, and Scotland secured this arrangement, which included a block grant adjustment, over ten years ago. Is it too much to ask for Wales to get the same treatment? Getting back to Williams, what are some success stories the Review can draw from in Wales? I think there may be learning opportunities from how the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales have approached the development and procurement of the South Wales Metro.


For example, the output-based procurement used to secure the Wales and Borders franchise in 2018, the capping of profits in that contract and the transfer of the core valley lines to TfW from NR to be managed as a single vertically integrated railway by the operator. All potentially can lead to better outcomes for both passengers and taxpayers – let’s keep a watching brief as there could be lessons for other parts of the UK. Looking more broadly I think we need to change how we plan transport across the UK so that it is better integrated with wider planning processes; I would go further and say that aside from planning and maintaining the main lines in the UK (which NR should perhaps lead) that local rail planning should be much more aligned (and perhaps integrated) with city region and local authority transport planning – this is theme that emerged from more than one of the recent reviews. However, as I opened, I think for Wales and the UK as a whole, the real test will come down to how well we execute. So, investing in ensuring we execute as well as we can is perhaps as, if not more important, than how we are organised. I also confidently predict that given the current rate of UK Government rail reviews we will have another one in progress by 2025! Mark Barry is Professor of Practice in Connectivity at Cardiff University’s School of Geography & Planning. You can reach him using the below contact information and read his blog via the link. 1 – realising-the-potential-of-gb-rail 2 – 3 – uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/49453/ cm-8526.pdf 4 5 uk/20081230093524tf_/ strategy/transportstrategy/eddingtonstudy 6 uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/663124/ rail-vision-web.pdf 7 8 Extract from a Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport: Ambitions for Great Western and North Wales Main Lines, 08 May 2018 http://record. 9 publications/2018-12/the-rail-network-in-wales-case-forinvestment.pdf 10 11 12 TfN-Strategic-Plan_draft_lr.pdf 13 cmselect/cmtran/1185/1185we44.htm Rail Professional

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How cooperation is critical to delivering transit-oriented development in cities Clare Linton, Researcher at Urban Transport Group, makes the case for placing public transport at the heart of residential and commercial development


t’s a shocking statistic that between 2015 and 2017 more than half of the planning permissions for new homes in England’s city regions were more than two kilometres from a railway station, with only 20 per cent within 800 metres. Research by Transport for New Homes has found that new housing developments are being built without considering public and active transport options, are prioritising car-based travel, and are failing to provide community services. This approach to building new homes is simply unsustainable. ‘Transit oriented development’ however, is an approach which places public transport at the heart of high quality, dense residential (and commercial) developments. It’s a way of encouraging walking and cycling through attractive urban realm, discouraging car use and urban sprawl, whilst achieving a whole range of public policy goals, from improving health and meeting housing demand, to minimising congestion and pollution. It’s a practice that has been popular in the USA, Latin America and Northern Europe, but a term which has not widely been used in the UK (despite the fact there are some excellent examples of transit-oriented developments here too). This is something we hope to change with the publication of our recent report ‘The place to be: How transit oriented development can support good growth in the city regions’. In it, we make the case for transitoriented developments: demonstrating what they are, explaining why they matter, showing where they currently exist, and how they can be achieved – in a bid to encourage new developments to be built with transport front and centre. Our report considers seven key success factors for transit-oriented development: 1. Transit should be at the heart of the development, whether that’s heavy rail,

light rail or bus. This should be provided by high quality, high frequency services, making public transport a viable, and desirable, alternative to private car use. 2. Developments need high density of housing and commercial properties in order to provide critical mass for transit use. Density is also necessary to enable short local trips using active travel. 3. Transit oriented developments should support walking and cycling as the first choices for accessing public transport and other services. This encourages healthy lifestyles and mode choices which have lower environmental impacts. 4. Driving and ownership of private vehicles should be discouraged, though alternatives, like car clubs, can be included. This maximises public transport use and supports walking and cycling. Public realm could include traffic calming measures and parking restrictions. 5. Services should be integrated into the development, such as shops, healthcare and schools, in order to encourage more localised trips. Evidence shows that residents of transit-oriented developments in the USA make a greater number of shorter trips, ideal for active travel choices. 6. Use of brownfield sites (generally

recognised as previously developed land) should be first choice locations for transit-oriented developments. 7. Public sector involvement is a key enabler of transit-oriented developments and helps to ensure they are high quality and deliver across multiple policy objectives. The case for transit-oriented development is strong as it can help to deliver improved outcomes across a range of strategic public policy areas, including local economies; housing; air quality and carbon emissions; congestion; social inclusion,

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employment and skills; public health; and public transport patronage. And our report demonstrates this through a number of case studies. Take, for example, the new Kirkstall Forge development in Leeds, which transformed a brownfield site adjacent to an existing railway line. A new railway station has opened at the site, and, on completion, the development will provide 1,050 new homes, 300,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail, leisure and community facilities, including a school. The public realm will support walking and cycling within the development and access to the nearby Leeds and Liverpool Canal path enables longer active travel trips. Kirkstall Forge station connects the site with Leeds (a six minute journey) and Bradford (15 minutes), as well as other local stops. The development has had a positive impact on rail patronage, with the station exceeding the projected demand of 20,200 passengers in the first year, achieving those numbers in the first five months of operation, and prompting service frequencies to be increased. The property developer CEG is leading the development, working with Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority. It secured £10.3 million from the Department for Transport to support the new stations at Kirkstall Forge and nearby Apperley Bridge, with additional funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership. CEG has been active in engaging with the local community, including holding a stall at the local annual festival and working with resident associations and community groups. The Local Government Association suggests that the approach taken at Kirkstall Forge demonstrates the power of stakeholders working in partnership and cooperating to deliver positive outcomes across multiple objectives. The redevelopment of Salford Quays in the late 1990s to early 2000s transformed a former dockyard area into the flagship ‘MediaCityUK’ site. The 81 mixed use development, lying five kilometres west of Manchester City Centre, includes the BBC and ITV, as well as other commercial, residential, retail and cultural organisations. Patronage has risen here too. Manchester Metrolink Tram serves Salford Quays, and additional services and stops have been added to cope with increased demand from the redevelopment. New bus services were also introduced to provide public transport access to residents in North and West Salford. House prices have also risen faster in Salford (at 8.4 per cent) over 2016/17 than most other areas in Greater Manchester (6.4 per cent). According to property site Zoopla, house prices in Salford have increased 48 per cent over the last five years, compared to 23 per cent for the wider northwest of England. The improved employment opportunities and increased transport connectivity have Rail Professional

contributed to this uplift in property prices following the investment at Salford Quays. Further south, Northstowe, in Cambridgeshire, is part of the NHS Healthy New Towns programme, which aims to encourage active lifestyles and incorporate healthcare facilities into new town developments. The site is being developed by Gallagher Estates and Homes England, with close partnerships with the area’s local authorities. Good public transport options are available here via the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway and the nearby Cambridge North Railway Station. At completion, it will provide 10,000 new homes as well as community facilities such as schools, leisure facilities and healthcare. Of the first 5,000 homes, 2,000 will be designated as affordable. The developers at Northstowe are promoting public transport, walking and cycling to new residents by offering subsidised bus tickets, walking and cycling equipment vouchers worth up to £50 and cycle taster sessions. The cooperation and collaboration between the developer, local authorities, Homes England and the NHS should deliver a successful transitoriented development. And in Germany, the Vauban neighbourhood of Freiburg is a transitoriented development which prioritises walking and cycling by having low vehicle speed limits. The area is served by a high frequency tram and all homes are within 400 meters of a tram stop. This integration of sustainable transport has resulted in low car ownership, at 150 cars per 1,000 residents, compared to 270 for Freiburg as a whole. What all of these transit-oriented developments have in common is the notion of cooperation between the wide range of partners required to deliver them, from local councils, transport authorities and neighbourhood groups, to planners, property developers and housebuilders. London’s King’s Cross development (to the north of the station) – often considered a flagship transit-oriented development – has a partnership of nearly 50 companies, spanning architects and designers,

masterplanners and contractors, all working together with local agencies. City region transport authorities are, of course, a key partner in these developments as they are often some of the biggest land and property owners in the cities they serve. But a number of barriers – particularly with regards to the planning framework - impede their ability to deliver high quality transitoriented developments. In order for transport authorities to make more transit-oriented developments happen, they need: • A national planning framework that favours transit-oriented development rather than car-based low density sprawl • A national funding framework with more options for ensuring that value uplift from new developments can be used to improve transport connectivity – like we have seen with Crossrail in London and internationally, in places like the San Francisco Bay Area • More influence over land held by agencies of national Government which would be prime sites for transit-oriented development schemes. City region authorities in England need to have the same veto powers over Network Rail land sales that the Scottish Government currently enjoys • More devolution of powers over stations where a city region transport authority has the ambition and capacity to take on those responsibilities • Measures to improve the planning capacity of local authorities in order to respond effectively, rapidly and imaginatively to opportunities for high quality transit-oriented development. By overcoming these barriers, and by working more closely with all those involved in the delivery of new developments, we can embark on a new era of transit-oriented developments and realise the widespread benefits they can bring. Clare Linton is Researcher at Urban Transport Group



Why choosing rail is the answer for regional airports The figures for passenger travel by air are continuing to grow. Nearly 250 million passengers travelled within the UK last year, and this is set to grow to 465 million by 2030


ondon Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, and the UK is alongside China and the US in terms of volume of passenger travel. Alongside this the volume of passenger journeys over the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s railways is 1.7 billion, following a trend of growth. Taking these factors together there is a natural alliance between rail and air in creating a seamless passenger journey from home to destination. That said, not all airports are physically located near to an existing rail network. For larger airports such as Gatwick and Southampton they are linked up to the rail network, having dedicated stations such as Gatwick Airport Station and Southampton Airport Parkway. For others including Heathrow and Stanstead there are main line rail links in place. However, for the smaller regional airports building a business case and securing funding to link the airport into the rail network is usually prohibitive. Regional options Many smaller scale airports are not well connected to public transport systems, with buses being the only connection between the nearest urban centres, rail stations and the airport terminals. There are alternatives to consider other than building a main line rail link and relying on buses. The key objective is to facilitate passenger flows to and from the airport by linking up with the rail network, and people movers provide an obvious solution. People mover options The term people mover applies to small scale automated guideway transit systems. They cover the rail technology of monorail, duorail, automated guideway transit, light metro and maglev. They are usually powered by onboard electric motors, linear motors or

by cable traction. The type of people mover used by airports usually have fleets of small vehicles and supply a continuous service to passengers. Traditionally the vehicles have a capacity for carrying 20-40 passengers. Who else is using them? There are over 50 airports globally which are using people movers to help handle passenger flows. These typically carry 2,000-20,000 passengers travelling up to 35mph on short journeys. The AirRail links at JFK and Newark airports linking these airports to major rail hubs in New York, and the Orlyval system linking Paris Orly airport to the RER are all in excess of four kilometres in length and yet offer effective public transport connections for significant proportions of the airportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s users. Within Europe there are also a number of successful people movers operating including Pisaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PPP funded project which

has a rope-hauled system linking the airport with the city centre, and Bologna, another PPP project, which has a five-kilometre system linking the high-speed rail centre in the city with the airport and an additional stop at an economic regeneration area. However, within the UK the only such systems currently in operation are the short and free AirLink system between Birmingham International station and Birmingham Station, and the shuttle Rail Professional



between Gatwick Airport Station and Gatwick Airport North Terminal. There is a growing following though; Luton Airport has recently started work on the more ambitious DART link, a 2.1-kilometre people mover route between the Luton Airport Parkway station and the airport which they are self-funding and which will be free of charge to use. Benefits The people mover solution provides a number of benefits for both the regional airport and the local economy as the seamless journey between airport and the wider rail network is accessible to passengers via the people mover. There are environmental considerations, such as reduced congestion and less intensive construction, although the visual impact can be greater. There are also financial benefits around improved attractiveness (ease of access, lack of bottle necks) to increase numbers of passengers. Is the people mover viable for you? Evaluating whether a people mover provides a viable transport solution to link a regional airport to the rail network requires five key steps to be considered when drawing up the business plan: 1. Carry out an engineering feasibility study

to identify if a people mover is practical; i.e. is the land available; are there steep gradients or tight curves. 2. Identify the cost: carry out a demand and revenue forecast. If there is existing public transport providing access (such as a bus) then it is possible to both determine the demand levels and potential revenue for paid-for service. 3. Establish where the people mover will link into the rail network, and whether the network infrastructure is capable of handling the forecast increase in passenger usage. 4. Decide how the people mover will be funded; i.e. will it be self-funded because the airport believe it will see a benefit from increased passenger usage and improved attractiveness or will funding be sought externally either from a local authority or a third party because of the potential revenues from fares. 5. Engage with key stakeholders. People movers are all about integrating the airport into the larger transport networks, it is not something that the airport should be carrying out in isolation. Engaging the major players (i.e. the railway, local authorities, transport bodies, third party funders) will help determine support for the success of the people mover project.

People movers are not new – one of the first instances in the UK was in 1924 when the ‘Never-Stop-Railway’ was built for the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley. They offer regional airports a cost-effective solution for landside connections to heavy rail. When the regional airports are competing for handling around 40 per cent of UK passengers, the people mover provides a real competitive advantage, particularly where there is no immediate rail network link, such as at Bristol and Glasgow. The people mover allows the airport to increase capacity of arriving/departing passengers, increase the frequency of massmovement to remove pinch-points and gives a more comfortable passenger experience. As the number of air passengers increases and competition intensifies, identifying integrated transport solutions that provide a competitive advantage is something that should be considered. After all a strong multimodal connection should be a strategic consideration for any airport looking to future-proof itself.

Ben Wilson is Associate Director at SNC-Lavalin Atkins Transport Consulting & Advisory

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Breaking the silo mentality The productivity gap is one of the most serious and vexing economic problems facing the UK, says Geoff Lippitt of PD Ports


f we close the productivity gap between the most and least successful areas of the UK then the GDP of UK PLC will invariably rise. Allowing it to remain at the current levels or, even worse, letting the gap widen will mean that not only will the UK’s place in the world rankings suffer, but it will also affect the UK’s economy, infrastructure, educational standards and health. Put simply, productivity fires the engine of our economy. Compared with other OECD countries, the UK has had low productivity performance since the 1970s. The UK’s productivity growth has been negative (-1.1 per cent per year for 2007–9) or very low (0.4 per cent per year from 2009–13), and the gap with other OECD countries has increased again despite employment rates remaining relatively strong, leading to the so-called productivity maze. Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that labour productivity in 2016 was significantly above the UK average in London (33 per cent) and the southeast (six per cent), but below average in all other regions and nations, and particularly low in the northeast (-11 per cent), the West Midlands (-13 per cent), Yorkshire (-15 per cent), and Wales and Northern Ireland (-17 per cent). To address these imbalances should be a priority and infrastructure will have a significant part to play in the solutions. But it needs a new way of thinking and behaving; collaboration and cooperation across entities to solve the urgent needs of rebalancing the UK. Often talked about but not so easily undertaken, is the need to stop silo mentality thinking and this is something that has certainly been done at PD Ports. We embraced and took portcentric logistics to a new level and are still pushing the boundaries to raise it even further. A great example is Teesport which today, is very different to even two years ago,

blending container, Ro-Ro and bulk services harmoniously together. In the world of transport planning, there are concerns about this silo mentality and rarely do we see road, rail passenger and freight, sea and air working together to share information, knowledge and tackle infrastructure needs in the UK. In fact, whether it’s a Government department or industry there is a disconcerting attitude within these entities of not working together in an effective and pragmatic way for the wider good. There has always been a trade-off between freight needs and those of passengers: in the way cars are built, in the construction of ships and in particular, in the way the passenger and rail freight services are distinguished. Northern Powerhouse One recent cause for concern is the reported decision to upgrade the 76-mile Trans-Pennine route between Leeds and Manchester at a cost of £3 billion without any provision for freight traffic. This suggestion is both unwelcome and deeply

troubling for the economy and businesses in the North of England. In 2016 Paul Maynard MP, then Rail Minister, said in the Department for Transport’s Rail Freight Strategy document: ‘All too often, rail freight may feel it has been forgotten. This is understandable when the emphasis inside and outside the industry is very often focussed on passenger needs. But we must not lose sight of the very important role that freight plays in our railways. That is why I am delighted to welcome the Rail Freight Strategy which seeks to make sure freight plays a full role in our railways.’ The demands of passengers are compelling and understandable but the necessity of pure passenger services on fixed routes fails to recognise the ongoing debate about taking freight off the road and putting it onto rail. Removing freight from the road network is as much a case of environmental protection as it is a productivity solution. Around ten per cent of domestic shipping is carried out using the rail network and over the past six years, rail freight in the UK is estimated to have saved two million tonnes Rail Professional



of pollutants, by removing 31.5 million HGV journeys and saving almost four billion HGV miles. The much needed productivity improvement means we must embrace the demand for freight in the North which is clear and measurable. Teesport experienced more growth in volume than any other UK port in 2017 with a number of recordbreaking results at its container terminal facilities, handling more than half a million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit) a year. In November 2014, a £3 million+ intermodal rail terminal opened at the port, initially designed to service existing container business which has delivered consistent growth in volumes of some twelve per cent year-on-year for the last seven years. This growth was a catalyst in PD Ports’ decision to build the rail terminal, which continues to see a significant modal shift amongst customers with rail volumes surpassing 40,000 units mat (moving annual total) with an anticipated 50 per cent uplift by 2029. Failing to invest in additional rail freight capacity on the Transpennine route, could seriously damage the economic aims of the Northern Powerhouse. Frans Calje, CEO of PD Ports, sees the issue of transport infrastructure as a vital element in any resilient solution.

‘There is a significant demand from our customers to be able to move freight east to west through this Northern corridor allowing shorter distances to be covered by rail. Without a viable alternative route for rail freight with the necessary capacity and gauge, the growth we are experiencing will be limited and at risk of reducing due to transport restrictions’ Frans said. Avoiding overreliance So back to our silo mindsets: by not working on a solution collectively and allowing freight on this route, it will leave an even greater reliance on the heavily congested M62, a motorway that cannot cope with present demands, let alone the additional volumes we believe will be put onto it by this decision. This is why we need a resilient transport structure that works for business. At the moment it is clear that the ongoing lack of HGV drivers is impeding supply chains in the UK and constraining the growth and development of our ports. So, this proposed decision to remove an alternative option of rail transport for freight and adding to road haulage on the M62 and northern motorways, could have a devastating affect on freight distribution and productivity. Already the M62 has the highest share of road relative to rail freight

(around 98 per cent road share) of any of the freight routes identified in a recent report by the UK Major Ports – Identifying the multimodal strategic freight network. PD Ports is calling for a collaborative approach where we look at the whole, sea, road and rail infrastructure to make the Northern Powerhouse a real productive area which embraces the needs of the environment and goes a long way to meeting these needs. We can bring together all those needed to design a solution that can only be good for the North, UK and the planet, working together collaboratively instead of as individual elements disjointed from each other. Geoff joined PD Ports as Group Business Development Director in 2011. He has over 30 years’ experience in the logistics and transport industry with a background in operational and general management, as well as in business development. In his role at PD Ports, Geoff is responsible for driving the commercial business development activities across the Company. He has been instrumental in driving forward relationships with Transport for North and continues to play a key role in lobbying for critical improvements to UK transport infrastructure as part of the Northern Powerhouse agenda.

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Upskilling the nation to build HS2 Kate Myers, Head of Skills, Employment and Education at HS2 Ltd explains how investment in Britain’s railways will create a lasting skills legacy and how HS2 is at the forefront of this activity


he benefits of delivering a new backbone for Britain’s railway extend far beyond 345 miles of new track from London to Leeds and Manchester. Investment in major rail projects like HS2 will, without doubt, rebalance the economy and deliver a more reliable, integrated transport network that improves the overall passenger experience. But let’s rewind and consider what it takes to get us on that journey. The stop-start nature of major infrastructure in Britain has contributed to leaving us with a huge skills shortage. One quarter of the UK’s rail engineers are now over 55 and are predicted to retire in the next ten years. Major construction on HS2’s London to Birmingham route will start this year, taking us to the mid-2020s. But with two further phases of the programme extending

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construction well in to the 2030s, we have been ahead of the curve in understanding that Britain simply does not have the skilled workforce in place to meet this enormous challenge – and that we need to play a pivotal role in doing something about it. Our Skills, Employment and Education Strategy (SEE), which we launched in September 2018, outlined not just our intention but the pathway to delivery, and commitment to this agenda really does come from the top at HS2. Both our Chairman, Allan Cook and CEO, Mark Thurston began their careers as apprentices and advocate the value of investing in future talent. With challenge comes opportunity and that’s something we grasp tightly at HS2. We’ve already got over 250 work locations on the Phase One route, delivering early works packages that cover everything from land clearance, habitat creation, tree

planting, demolitions, archaeology, road improvement works, utility diversions, compound creation and line upgrades. Already the project has created 7,000 job roles and 2,000 businesses across the country are already making HS2 happen – and that figure will keep on growing. We’ll need 30,000 people at the peak of construction to design and deliver Britain’s new railway and much of that is talent that we’ll invest in upskilling. The pendulum started to swing when the project achieved Royal Assent in February 2017 and it’s now moving at pace. Added to that momentum is a growing realisation that delivering HS2 requires much more than just the traditional engineering and construction roles that first spring to mind. We’ve been able to demonstrate, that through the creation of hundreds of training and employment opportunities for people who


never considered they would be working on HS2, that there are simply so many avenues of opportunity. Working in partnership with local and combined authorities, third sector organisations, colleges and local enterprise partnerships allows us to reach out and ensure that we capture every chance to bring underrepresented groups, and those who have been out of work for some time, on to the project. Whether through direct employment with us, jobs within our supply chain, or access to education and training to give people life-long skills, we’re committed to ensuring that HS2 reaches out to create and improve work prospects for as many people as possible. Local engagement Earlier this year, in conjunction with our West Midlands-based early works contractor LM-JV and archaeology specialists MOLA Headland, we opened the doors for ten trainee archaeologists to work on our major sites in Birmingham. All of them were completely new to the profession but are now receiving training and working as part of a highly qualified team dedicated to delivering the most extensive archaeological dig currently underway in Europe. Their ages range from 18 to 58, demonstrating that it’s never too early or too late. That local level of engagement is where we can and will make a real difference. For us, it’s about ensuring that communities right along the line of route, and beyond, get the opportunity to be part of this once in a generation project. We know that London has seen falling unemployment in recent years, but what we also know is that there are still parts of the city where certain groups face above average rates of unemployment. Young people, ethnic minorities and those with health conditions or disabilities are among them. We’re working closely with London Boroughs and specialist third sector groups

to ensure we reach out to those people and do everything possible to get them on board this great journey. And we’re succeeding. Through our London-based early works contractor CS-JV, the Danny Sullivan Group and C4WS Homeless Project, we were delighted to appoint two individuals who were not only out of work, but were previously homeless. One of them, 26-year-old Nahom who is now working on HS2 at its Victoria Road site as a labourer said: ‘My favourite thing about this job is all the new things I am learning on a daily basis. On HS2 there are always opportunities to try new things and see another aspect of construction being undertaken. It makes me excited to get up and come to work every day.’ It’s a similar story at the heart of the route too. In the West Midlands, as part of our commitment to encouraging disadvantaged and under-represented groups, we are working in partnership to develop a Women into Construction pilot project. The programme promotes the job roles currently available and also helps women, who are traditionally under-represented in the sector, to achieve accredited skills


through the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. Following an initial two-week employability programme, candidates move directly into work experience placements for four weeks in various roles and disciplines both on and off-site, so they get to experience the broad range of what HS2 can offer. Extending that same level of inspiration is exactly what we strive to do through our schools-based programmes. We know that today’s secondary school pupils, and those facing choices over whether college, work or

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university is the right path to take, are the ones that could be playing a role in bringing the full HS2 route into fruition over the next 14 years. That’s why our education team is out there, getting into schools and delivering workshops to inspire the next generation about what’s possible. It’s about delivering the message that ‘there are opportunities out there for everyone’ and guiding them on that career pathway to success. The curriculum-based activities delivered as part of our schools programme are designed to highlight to pupils how their strengths or interests in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) subjects link to the wide ranging job roles that projects like HS2 create. It’s how we break down misconceptions if a young person is concerned that they don’t have the skills required for a particular career path – by showing what is possible in line with the things they love and the subjects they enjoy. That early engagement with young people

is crucial. We know that, as it led to some of our own young people joining us in 2017, when we welcomed our very first cohort of apprentices at HS2 Ltd. Apprenticeships We’ve committed to creating at least 2,000 apprenticeships over the lifetime of the project and we’re delivering on that promise. Across our supply chain, over 250 apprentices have now worked on HS2. They include apprenticeships at firms working on the delivery of Phase One across the country, including Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham. This demonstrates that it’s not about waiting for the first trains to arrive in those areas until HS2 delivers benefits – it’s already happening. Companies working on HS2 are offering apprenticeships in roles spanning from Driller and Site

Investigation Technician (on our ground investigations programme) to working on the production of track drawings for our Phase 2b programme. At our offices in Birmingham and London, we’re bringing 25 new apprentices into the business this year. The Level 3 to Level 5 apprenticeship vacancies will offer the opportunity to join our IT, Finance, Commercial, Project Management, Public Relations and HR teams, with many of those joining the business spending time studying at the National College for High Speed Rail, which itself is playing a significant role in upskilling Britain’s workforce. Our apprentices have taken a leading role in highlighting the benefits to young people to attract them into the profession. 35-year-old Naomi, who is now in the second year of her project management apprenticeship, is a shining example of how the apprenticeship pathway is suited to people of all ages – helping to change the perception that apprenticeships are only targeted at 18 to 25-year-olds. Naomi is always keen to point out that apprenticeships are open to everyone, no matter what stage of life they’re at. The journey to creating Britain’s new railway is without doubt one that’s brimming with opportunity, and our skills, employment and education programme is where the early signs of the wide ranging legacy that HS2 will create is rapidly gathering pace. Our drive to deliver a world-class railway, a better-connected Britain and to unlock the economic potential in towns and city regions is happening – and it’s happening because people from all walks of life are joining HS2 and are making it happen. Kate Myers is Head of Skills, Employment and Education at HS2 Ltd

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Short-term thinking is holding back big data opportunity Phil Bulman, Director at Vendigital, believes changing the franchising system is key to harnessing the power of big data


ranchise extensions were once thought to be a rare necessity but have now become a common event across the UK rail industry and while some train operating companies (TOCs) might welcome them, they have added to a culture of short-termism, which is holding back modernisation and digitisation. A massive amount of big data is already being harnessed, which could help to drive efficiency and enhance passenger experience – so why isn’t it happening? These are challenging times for the rail industry. Sustained under investment in ageing infrastructure, combined with a funding structure that is limiting long-term planning, is preventing the industry from onboarding digital technologies as quickly as some other industries, such as the airline industry. While there are some pockets of exemplary practice, the rail industry urgently needs clear direction and investment to deliver the performance improvements that passengers are now demanding. One problem with digitisation is that it means different things to different people. For some it might centre on improvements in passenger information and a shift to paperless interfaces, whilst for others it means enablers and improvements in train signalling or an opportunity to provide the insights needed to predict when track and catenary renewals and maintenance work is needed. As much of the industry’s existing data is gathered from disparate sources and is often

stored on discreet, out-of-date systems, in a format that lacks standardisation, its integration would require considerable investment. In many instances, it may be more cost effective to scrap it and start again. For manufacturers and asset owners this is highly frustrating, as the lack of industryapproved data systems and open systems makes it difficult to invest in data-based solutions that will work across the UK rail network, let alone those in Europe too. Flawed franchise model is to blame While TOCs might welcome franchise extensions, as they extend the term available to them to leverage the value of their assets over a known route, this way of operating is holding the industry back and slowing down the introduction of technology and digitisation. Such extensions are also adding to the cost of running the country’s railways, without bringing any value in return. Some franchises, such as the West Coast Mainline have been extended several times since 2012 and meanwhile, income from operators fell by 71 per cent to £226 million in 2017/18, down from £776 million in the previous year, according to data compiled by the Office of Rail and Road. Bearing in mind, the cost of running the UK railway rose to £2.1 billion in 2017/18, this is obviously leaving a widening shortfall. For cash-strapped TOCs, these extensions provide an opportunity to sweat their assets whilst causing the unintended consequence of limiting any capacity for train and

infrastructure upgrades. Many are also chasing revenue targets, based on optimistic expectations of increasing passenger numbers, which is stretching their operations to the limit. To help balance the books, they are increasingly reliant on payments from Network Rail, compensating them for any infrastructure disruption. The dramatic second collapse of the East Coast Mainline franchise last year highlighted just how bad the situation has become for TOCs and prompted the current review of the franchising system by Keith Williams, former boss of British Airways. The review is due to publish its recommendations later this year. While these recommendations are likely to be welcomed, it is hoped that they will go far enough to attract private investors to the sector, so they can help to bring forward changes that will improve efficiency and reliability across the UK railway. This is likely to mean calling time on the existing franchising system and adapting or replacing it with something more conducive to entrepreneurship, for example, a system that relies more on alliances and creative partnerships, whilst limiting bureaucracy. Bringing in newcomers will be an important aspect of any modernisation programme. The big data opportunity A considerable amount of data is already being gathered and could potentially be used to drive efficiencies and performance improvements. Network Rail has many infrastructure Rail Professional



databases, developed over many years, and whilst some of this data is potentially useful, much of it is well off the mark for sophisticated analysis and manipulation and relies on obsolete or incompatible systems. However, the ORBIS programme has developed a Track Decision Support Tool, which is attempting to integrate these data sets to provide the insights needed to inform Network Rail’s strategic decisionmaking regarding investments in renewals/ refurbishments, preventative maintenance and repairs or improvements to its operational efficiency. There are some promising pockets of activity, where Network Rail is involved in projects that are harnessing big data to drive much-needed improvements. For example, the company has recently opened a second Plain Line Pattern Recognition facility near Derby to help monitor, inspect and fix track faults, as part of its ‘predict and prevent’ strategy. The facility is making use of five New Measurement Trains, which are helping to improve efficiency by replacing the need for manual inspections. In another example, South Western Railway has recently announced plans to become the UK’s first 5G railway, through a partnership with BluWireless, Network Rail and the Department for Transport (DfT). As well as improving onboard WIFI services for

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passengers, the initiative aims to harness the data-processing capabilities of 5G to improve rail infrastructure. Despite these examples of best practice, there is also a lack of pace, and even evidence of neglect, where big data opportunities are being ignored altogether. For example, the lack of data captured from out-of-date signalling systems is contributing to the high incidence of train signal failures; causing significant disruption for passengers. Modernisation is urgently needed to improve the efficiency of these vital operating systems. Even when data is being captured, it is often not easily downloadable or available on a real-time basis, which compromises its usefulness. In an attempt to accelerate the way to digitisation, Network Rail has made certain datasets freely available to developers, so they innovate software capable of delivering valuable insights to minimise disruption and improve reliability. Among the case studies that have emerged since 2012, Raildar offers accurate, real-time train-tracking software, which plots trains on a digital map as they move around the rail network. Currently, the software informs passengers of delays and provides comparative performance data on TOCs. However, it could potentially be used to help reduce delays in the future. While these initiatives are positive, the

outcome in terms of the capability of the software and its usefulness to rail operations managers is limited, and Network Rail could be doing more by making many more of its datasets available. The key to unlocking lasting improvements is to share as much of this information as possible across the industry, with TOCs and OEMs. Time to catch up The UK railway should not have fallen so far behind other industries just because the franchise system is encouraging shortterm thinking and is a barrier to private investment. Those managing assets and operating passenger services must take responsibility for harnessing and sharing data-based insights capable of transforming the UK railway. The inherent complexity and disparity of existing datasets demonstrates that this won’t be easy and specialist expertise will be needed to mine data that will deliver accurate and meaningful real-world insights and lasting value. Phil Bulman is a Director and cost-based Management Consultant at Vendigital. He specialises in advising businesses in the transport sector

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Franchising – can we fix it? Yes we can! Railfuture Chair Chris Page agrees with Rail Review Chair Keith Williams that franchising cannot continue in the way it is now, but must change to achieve customer focus and efficiency


n his Bradshaw Address on 29th February 2019, Keith Williams, the independent Chair of the Williams Rail Review, said: ‘Put bluntly franchising cannot continue in the way that it is today. It is no longer delivering clear benefits for either taxpayers or farepayers.’ Railfuture has produced a detailed response to the Williams Review. We don’t think that there is a magic bullet, but a combination of changes could make a big difference to how effective the railways are. Why is franchising broken? Franchising has evolved considerably since privatisation. Franchise bidders are encouraged to provide benefits to passengers, but the competition is judged on franchise value, i.e. minimising the cost to the taxpayer or maximising premium paid to the taxpayer. This approach subordinates passenger priorities and incentivises bidders to overbid on revenue, as well as bidding service improvements that the industry cannot deliver in a timely way. The key challenge is to retain the benefits of competition whilst avoiding unbridled optimism, increase overall output efficiently, and focus on what is important to the passenger or freight customer. In parallel the political direction has been to increase fares so that more funding comes from the farepayer and less from the taxpayer, leading to passengers rightly demanding more for their money in return. One size doesn’t fit all in the rail industry, so we need a set of different models that work for different rail environments – for example franchises for intercity operations and devolved concessions for urban operations. The industry hasn’t been agile enough to deliver on its promises so far, and it needs to rise to the challenge of both meeting growth and improving passenger service.

Increased accountability for franchise holders The Department for Transport (DfT) should be an informed buyer in respect of franchise bid evaluation, not rely heavily on consultants who will tell them what they want to hear, and the appraisal should take a strategic view on what is actually being procured rather than be process driven. By being more specific about the outcomes that the Government wants from a franchise rather than seeking detailed compliance, the cost of the bidding process can be reduced and the chances of achieving the desired outcome increased. Franchisees would be more committed if they had more skin in the game in terms of capital invested in the franchise, and it is only in these circumstances that long franchises are warranted. Far more weight should be added to current performance and customer perception during the franchise bidding process, assessing the incumbent operator, other franchises that their parent operates, and also bidders who have other franchises or relevant experience elsewhere. There should be a two-stage process with a pre-shortlist evaluation based on past performance and how the operator is seen in terms of the stakeholder interface, i.e. not just on initial compliance to the ITT. Track record should count far more than grand or indeed peripheral ideas. Devolution and concessions for urban operations Devolution of responsibility for urban operations puts decision making and risk management where the issues are best understood. Devolution allows provision of rail services to be seen as directly part of an economic or transport plan for a city or region. This provides the accountability required when choices have to be made on local services which require a subsidy, as the

choice can be based on their contribution to the regional economy. This fits well with the concession model, where the devolved authority (e.g. Transport for London) sets the service level, performance targets and fares and takes the revenue risk, whilst the operator (e.g. Arriva Rail London for London Overground) focuses on meeting the targets at maximum cost efficiency. This does require the authority to have the necessary expertise to act as an ‘intelligent client’. Worldwide benchmarking suggests that concessions are lower cost and more customer focussed than direct public sector control, showing that this model gives a better outcome for both the passenger and the taxpayer. Management competence Many current problems can be attributed to the loss of career development over the long term for management. For all its faults, BR had a good management development process and proper succession planning. That has all gone. Nationalisation is not proposed as the solution, but a way has to Rail Professional



be found to nurture talent and develop it. The DfT has a similar problem – the system incentivises civil servants to change roles frequently to achieve career progression, so they do not have enough time in their role to build the experience and expertise necessary to become effective as an intelligent client. Employee involvement The John Lewis Partnership has a reputation for good customer service because its employees are actually partners in the business – they own it and have an interest in its success. Many customer service problems could be resolved if employees of the rail operators had a minority share interest and were seen as the company by their customers. As shareholders or partners employees could have a say in how the business is run, and a provision would be needed for this interest to transition at franchise change in parallel to a TUPE transfer. Shared objectives and incentives Effective joint working between operators and Network Rail needs the right incentives as well as the experience of an established management structure. This is difficult when senior management changes upon franchise change, just at the point when it is most needed. A standard model of joint working that can transition seamlessly across franchise changes is required, based on shared objectives of increased performance and cost efficiency with less focus on internal processes such as delay attribution. It is the delay that matters to the customer, not who caused it. Currently Schedule 4 and 8 compensation payments from Network Rail are keeping many train operators afloat where fare revenue is below budget because of over-optimistic franchise bids and economic uncertainty. A detailed analysis of the cost of this ‘trading’ between rail companies might reveal that it is a significant driver of rail industry costs and management focus. In some cases it may also encourage perverse behaviour which is not in the customer’s interests, for example by acceding to engineering possessions which result in unnecessary bus substitution. This suggests that compensation arrangements should be changed so that decisions are based on the service delivered to the customer rather than the financial benefit from compensation payments, and wasteful activity by train operating companies on attributing delay payments and detailed reporting to DfT is reduced. None of this suggests combining operations and infrastructure into a regional structure helps, where new complexity replaces the current interfaces. The key here is simplifying the interfaces, increasing the customer focus, and allowing the operators to be responsive to devolved government.

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realising, and convincing his civil servants, Rebuild trust with passengers that Government should be clear about The Autumn 2018 Transport Focus survey what it wants from the railways and how showed that passenger satisfaction with much money is available, but no more. The the railway has dropped to 79 per cent, Department for Transport should not be the lowest level since 2008. 21 per cent micromanaging the railway. of passengers are dissatisfied with their The Williams Review has a very open journey because of poor performance, remit to recommend how delivery and strikes and the timetable fiasco. Railfuture accountability should be implemented. has set a challenge to the rail industry – In addition the Rail Delivery Group has companies, Government and staff – to recommended a sweeping reorganisation rebuild trust with passengers by fulfilling the ten key customer demands set out in our of the fares system, and the Office of Rail and Road has recommended that Network Rail Challenge 2019: Rail should have a system integrator role on Customer service – put rail users first, be proactive and responsive, keep promises and cross-industry programmes such as major timetable changes. show you care. This system integrator role must have Industrial relations – find solutions and the necessary information and authority to sort it! ensure that systemic risks are identified and Punctuality – focus on operation. managed so that the scenario of ‘no-one was Seven day railway with no cancellations – willing to give bad news upwards’ does not reform rostering. happen again. The direction of travel has Fares and ticketing – a commitment by changed. Government to move from RPI to CPI on regulated fares in January 2020, having retreated from this in January 2019. Railfuture is Britain’s leading independent Information – provide help to passengers related to the train, service and stations that voluntary organisation campaigning for better rail services for passengers and freight on they are using. Resilience – focus Network Rail investment behalf of rail users on maximising resilience. Projects – every programme must have an intelligent client and the necessary calibre of leadership with the authority and information to manage risk effectively. Government working with devolved government – accelerate the transfer of powers to devolved bodies such as Transport for the North and Transport for the southeast. Specialist Civil The Williams Engineering Services Rail Review – make tactical improvements in 2019 and sharpen Tel. 01159 225218 performance incentives to focus all parties on performance delivery. The railways have scored a lot of own goals in the past few years, for which Secretary of State Chris Grayling has taken a lot of stick. However, he has learnt from the experience and now deserves credit for

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Asset Management : the next evolutionary step for rail franchising? Andrew McArthur, Asset Management Lead and Prof. Ruth Allen, Managing Director at RSKW discuss the importance of asset management


or a little over 20 years the GB rail franchising system has driven year-on-year growth. Passenger numbers up; revenues up. But in recent times this trend has slowed and, on some routes, it has started to decline. Could asset management reinvigorate franchise success? Commercial agility vs regulated accountability The former British Airways chief executive Keith Williams is currently leading a major review of the rail industry, supported by an expert challenge panel. The Williams Review is considering the structure of the whole industry, including looking at increasing integration between track and train, regional partnerships and improving value for money for passengers and taxpayers. The subsequent plans for reform will be implemented from 2020. The Williams Review was preceded by a series of rail reports including the McNulty Report (2011) and the Brown Review (2012). The Brown Review concluded that, although there are clearly opportunities for improvement, the franchising system is not ‘fundamentally flawed’. It has after all driven significant year-onyear growth, however, this growth has slowed in recent times, and even declined on some routes. Why? There is no single reason, but some commentators suggest that the terms of the franchise and the way it is rigidly enforced are too restrictive; that Government needs to be more commercial and offer some flexibility in the franchise model so train companies can respond to future challenges and opportunities in a timely way. These two competing factors do not necessarily sit well together and so a balance must be struck in order that train companies can be as agile as they need to be, whilst still being held accountable for delivering their committed obligations.

Sustainable bids To make informed decisions in a dynamic environment, and to shape franchise agreements that deliver optimal value, train companies require up-to-date and reliable information at all stages of the franchising timeline – from tender to handover and beyond. In this way, risks and opportunities may be identified and managed to the benefit of all stakeholders at any given time. Improving asset management capabilities and introducing asset management system frameworks in a form that is consistent and transferrable between franchises, provides the potential to improve partnership working at various levels of the industry. Through improved asset data quality and availability, it can also stimulate the agility needed to build and deliver robust and sustainable bids that could help to reinvigorate franchise success. Franchise commitments The good news is that the asset management movement has started in the rail industry. Network Rail has been developing its approach to asset management for several years and beginning to look beyond the immediate Control Period. Similarly, mirroring trends in other industries, the DfT has started to mandate the application of ISO55001 – the international standard for asset management – into franchise agreements. Station Asset Management Plans with up to 40-year horizons are also becoming more prevalent as committed obligations. This focus on common asset management approaches, based on whole-life principles and as mandated in the standard, improves the opportunity for partnership working. Importantly, it also means that there is a mechanism to better understand the asset base, creating the potential to find the optimal balance between cost, risk and performance. From a property perspective, this should lead to incumbent franchisees being able to

build objective data-led maintenance and renewals requests. Network Rail in turn can then present a more robust business case to DfT for future funding, looking not only at their sphere of responsibility, but of the wider rail system, including the impact it has on those stations and depots not immediately under their stewardship. And, of course, during the franchise tender process, bidders Rail Professional



can more confidently shape their bids based on reliable, current information and a better understanding of risks and opportunities. Although in its infancy, what can be seen is a general movement towards improved asset management practices and cultures in the rail industry as train companies further embed serviceability models and really begin to realise the ‘value’ of the assets they manage. Asset management and the search for value Value is one of the central tenets of good asset management and is aligned to objectives, the nature and purpose of the organisation and the needs and expectations of its stakeholders. Indeed, ISO 55000 defines asset management as: ‘the coordinated activity of an organisation to realise value from assets’. This would suggest that asset management should be used as the means to effectively control and govern assets such that, in delivering against objectives, the optimum balance of cost, risk and performance is pursued. The strength of the asset management approach is to accept this juggling act and build continuous feedback loops to adjust the way assets are managed across their lifecycle so that a reasonable approximation of ‘optimum’ is achieved at any given time. At the same time, the lifecycle principle of

ISO55001 forces the hand of those that implement it to look far beyond traditional business planning timeframes. This outlook may traverse two, three or more franchise terms and so committing asset management to train company franchises really pushes the need for partnership working. Fundamentally, asset management is about knowing what assets you’ve got, where they are and what condition they are in. On the back of this information, decisions on risk and opportunity, criticality and timeliness of intervention can be made. Against a backdrop of serviceability measures, value can start to be realised at an asset level. For example, with appropriate asset information the quality and availability of station seating can be linked to National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) scores and so the impact of capital or maintenance intervention can be quantified. The upshot of this is that customer experience improves, reputation is strengthened, and financial return is more likely assured. Delivering franchise success Despite many methodologies to the contrary, asset management needn’t be complicated. Asset management maturity must be developed so that people, systems, processes and procedures act to maintain balance in a dynamic environment. Strong feedback loops will allow appropriate and timely response to

change, allowing train companies to continue to realise value and deliver against objectives. This is the now and it will support future franchise success. So CP6 really should be about consolidating the basics and building strong asset management practices. There is a great deal of technological and industrial change coming and franchises (and the wider rail industry) need to be ready to take advantage of them. Has Government found an approach that finds an appropriate balance between promoting commercial agility and regulated accountability? Well, potentially – yes! Through mandating ISO55001 as a franchise commitment, Government has not only kept accountability for delivery with the train operators (as it should), but by endorsing an asset management approach it has promoted freedom for train operators to react to change founded on needs-based asset intervention. The key to success will be to ensure that the asset management practices and the frameworks that shape them act to present up to date asset information across multiple control periods so that bidding franchisees can shape, and then deliver, robust and sustainable bids. Andrew McArthur is Asset Management Lead and Prof. Ruth Allen is Managing Director at RSKW

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Business has high hopes for Britain’s railways The Williams Rail Review is a timely opportunity for reform at a critical juncture for the UK’s railways, Dan Large of CBI explains


t would be rather an understatement to say that the rail industry has faced considerable challenges in recent times. With last year’s timetabling issues and trains routinely failing to turn up on time, passengers can easily be forgiven for presuming the system has failed. However, it is important to pause for thought and look at the evidence. Since privatisation, the UK rail industry has considerably improved its performance across a number of key indicators. The UK invests over €1 billion (£850 million) more than France, and over €3 billion (£2.6 billion) more than Germany, in its railway infrastructure. In addition, the UK’s spending on rail projects has increased by an estimated 255 per cent since privatisation, including an increase of 63.5 per cent in

private sector investment. This increased investment has resulted in real benefits. Compared to 1996/97, there are 2,500 more carriages on the railway: an increase of 25 per cent. It has enabled train companies to run more services on the track, increasing by over a quarter (28 per cent) since 1997/98. And planned investment will enable rail companies to commit to running 7,000 new carriages by 2021. The UK’s highly-utilised network also boasts a stellar safety record, second only to Ireland, which has a much lower rail usage. This is despite passenger numbers more than doubling since 1997/98. The Government benefits directly from the current model, being the only country in Europe that receives a net payment from private railway companies, rather than

The Government benefits directly from the current model, being the only country in Europe that receives a net payment from private railway companies, rather than paying a net subsidy to them. For example, in 1997/98, the UK rail industry operated at an annual loss of £2 billion. Today, the industry provides the Government with a net payment of approximately £200 million Rail Professional

paying a net subsidy to them. For example, in 1997/98, the UK rail industry operated at an annual loss of £2 billion. Today, the industry provides the Government with a net payment of approximately £200 million. While these improvements should not be underplayed, we also need to make an honest assessment of where the current model is underperforming. Fragmentation and lack of accountability have hit the network and the passenger experience. The most recent example is the timetable changes of May 2018. In its inquiry into timetable disruption, the Office of Rail and Road found that there were ‘systemic weaknesses in the planning and delivery of major network changes’ with ‘a gap in accountability for major network changes, which led to no one taking control’. Whilst positive steps have been taken to resolve these issues, the Williams Review must find a long-term solution to this fragmentation, and it’s good to see the Review has the joint operation of track and train in its remit. With record levels of investment in the pipeline, it is important that improvements to the network result in minimal disruption whilst delivering maximum benefit to both passengers and freight. Clearer roles and accountability would benefit not only passengers, but providers too. In the 2017 CBI/AECOM Infrastructure Survey, rail providers were the least satisfied with their delivery and policy environment, with, only 22 per cent satisfied – and 61 per cent dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. Given the challenges in delivering the CP5 rail investment programme, providers


We don’t need to look far from home to see the major problem with a nationalised service, which is that those industries are forced to compete for a limited pot of funding annually, invariably leading to a deteriorating service and poor outcomes will be looking for continuing signs that lessons have been learned in CP6, and a demonstrable effect of Network Rail’s delivery and procurement reforms. One political intervention that may

appear an easy-to-grasp comfort blanket – but would prove hugely damaging for consumers and the economy – would be to bring the industry back under state ownership. The 1970s was a decade notorious for chronic under-investment in the railways, poor industrial relations, and counterproductive Government interference. We don’t need to look far from home to see the major problem with a nationalised service, which is that those industries are forced to compete for a limited pot of funding annually, invariably leading to a deteriorating service and poor outcomes. France’s railway, SNCF, is a state-run entity. In recent years, the network has encountered financial difficulties, accruing annual debts of £44 – 48 billion. These debts are estimated to be growing at a rate of approximately €3 billion (£2.6 billion) annually. French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, recently stated France’s rail situation was alarming and untenable: ‘Whether or not they take the train, the French are paying more and more for a public service that works less and less well.’ In October 2017, former Air France Chief Executive, Jean-Cyril Spinetta, was commissioned to assess the future of the network. Published in February 2018, the


report concluded that France’s network is ‘unsatisfactory’, its operating costs were rising ‘ceaselessly’, and its funding model was ‘seriously and fundamentally unbalanced’. It recommended that French passenger services should be opened to competition, with a view to having the first new operating companies in service by 2021. And it’s not just France. Deutsche Bahn has shown increasing signs of strain following years of underinvestment in its infrastructure. This has prompted passenger groups in Germany to suggest there is not enough money available for the investment the network needs, leading to investment decisions being delayed. So, the Williams Review is a golden opportunity to create a sustainable railway industry. Looking to the white paper this Autumn, business wants to see ambitious recommendations, to ensure the UK rail industry works in the best interests of passenger and freight customers and helps deliver prosperity for the whole of the UK. Consumers will be the real winners if we have a debate based on evidence, not ideology.

Dan Large is CBI Head of Infrastructure

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Is rail franchising running out of steam? Last Autumn’s announcement of a root and branch review by Keith Williams to transform Britain’s railways had an immediate impact, Lucy Battle asks if franchising has run its course


here was a collective sigh from weary and long-serving railway people, who perhaps saw the can being kicked even further down the road. There were also some restless days for those who invest in the certainty of return that a cohesive and efficient transport infrastructure – and associated franchises – can deliver.

The DfT stated that ‘this direct award will ensure a smooth transition from the current operator to the next franchise which is expected to deliver significant passenger benefits including more services and seats across the franchise, in addition to better facilities and further improved accessibility at stations…

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The Government’s own objectives for the review are to: ‘Build on the Government’s franchising strategy – bringing track and train closer together to reduce disruption and improve accountability, and considering regional partnerships and how we can use innovation to improve services and value for money for passengers.’ Chris Grayling has been pretty explicit since the last conference season that the current process is not ‘fit-for-purpose’. He has also been known to voice criticisms of his own department, where, according to Williams, micromanagement of franchisees frequently occurs. Prior to the review, in June 2018, the InterCity East Coast franchise had made one of its regular swerves between public and private ownership, when Virgin handed back the keys. The Department for Transport (DfT) – under the guise of LNER - took over the operation, stating an intent to create a new public-private partnership, perhaps next year. Although who, other than the DfT, will be holding the keys when the Williams Review concludes remains to be seen. The Review will not be published until later this year but another early casualty could well be the Cross Country franchise. Because Cross Country has a wide geographic spread, covering Aberdeen to Penzance and over one hundred places in between, it cuts across multiple parts of the railway. The award – due in 2019 – could hinder any activities or actions that

the review recommends. So Cross Country customers are likely to be travelling on the unloved Voyager trains for some time to come, and the existing franchisee, it seems, will continue on a ‘caretaker basis’ until further notice. But when the Review was announced in September 2018, the Department also stated that: ‘All other ongoing franchise competitions and other live rail projects are continuing as planned.’ Fast forward to February 2019, and the announcement of a direct award made to East Midlands Trains, went relatively unnoticed against the political turbulence being experienced elsewhere. The direct award means that trains between London St Pancras International, Northamptonshire, the East Midlands, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire will continue to be served by East Midlands Trains until the middle of August 2019. The Secretary of State also has the legal power to extend this agreement by up to a further six rail periods. The DfT stated that ‘this direct award will ensure a smooth transition from the current operator to the next franchise which is expected to deliver significant passenger benefits including more services and seats across the franchise, in addition to better facilities and further improved accessibility at stations…’. This would, however, appear to be only half the story. As the curtain comes down on the use of high-speed trains on most


long-distance routes, East Midlands seems curiously exposed, as – in contrast to Great Western and LNER – there are no concrete rollout plans for a new fleet. This wouldn’t be a great concern were it not for the fact that time is running out for ‘slam door’ rolling stock. In effect, accessibility legislation bans the fleet as of 31st December 2019. There is a workaround – used on heritage trains – but that requires staffing each door to operate them manually. And in these straitened times, who will foot that bill? This is in stark contrast to the announcements made back in 2017 that the ‘…next operator will be required to deliver modern, fast and efficient intercity and commuter trains, including a brandnew set of bi-mode intercity trains from 2022, maximising the benefits of the largest upgrade of the Midland Main Line since it opened in 1870…’. The contradictory approach continued with a claim that continuing use of diesel trains ‘…will improve journeys sooner, without the need for wires and masts on the whole route…’. Although it would be interesting to understand how this aligns with the Government’s own environmental aspirations. Whether these actions are carefully

contrived elements of a wider, unstated plan to anticipate Williams’ recommendations – and quietly sideline the existing processes – or just Whitehall taking its collective eye off the ball in the face of bigger issues is yet to be revealed. However, there are some potentially serious implications of delaying the franchise processes, with the main one being that there are no significant rolling stock orders made until after the Williams review. Replacement of rolling stock appears to be a pre-requisite of a successful franchisee, yet such stock cannot be conjured up from thin air. A successful rolling-stock replacement programme can take years, and, assuming that off the shelf stock from overseas is not the default, provide muchneeded employment for UK workers. A botched replacement plan leads to a feast or famine situation, where factories either lay off workers, or close down entirely. In such a case, the real victims wouldn’t be weary commuters on ancient trains, it would be the skilled UK workers put out of work through no fault of their own. This places the UK at a disadvantage once orders resume and new off the shelf trains are purchased from overseas manufacturers – or shipped over in crates as kits – denying opportunity to the supply chain. And in the


A successful rolling-stock replacement programme can take years, and, assuming that off the shelf stock from overseas is not the default, provide much-needed employment for UK workers... A botched replacement plan leads to a feast or famine situation, where factories either lay off workers, or close down entirely UK’s current precarious position, can we really afford to let that happen? Lucy Battle is a Director at Freshwater, a fullservice corporate communications and public relations consultancy with over a decade’s experience advising organisations in the rail sector. To get in touch, email lucy.battle@ or call 020 7067 1595.

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Zonegreen continues to provide staff safety in Doha’s driverless trains depots Qatar Rail has commissioned 75 highly sophisticated, fully automated trains to run on the new Doha Metro network, reaching speeds of 100kph


hese vehicles will be among the fastest of their type in the world and by far the fastest in the region. These trains will be maintained at three new state of the art depots. Fully automated metro systems offer a plethora of advantages, including improved capacity through tighter scheduling, more predictable running times and automated detection of faults. Alongside their numerous benefits, however, comes a whole new set of challenges, not least the hugely complex infrastructure required to retain safety levels and passenger confidence. Driverless trains and depot protection Staff at Doha Metro’s maintenance depots will be among the safest in the world, thanks to innovative depot protection technology from Zonegreen. The Sheffield-based safety specialist has been commissioned to install its flagship Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS™) at all three facilities serving this major Qatari infrastructure project. Zonegreen is part of an international rollcall of rail experts coming together to create the world-leading metro system. The firm is working with turnkey solution providers, Design and Projects International Limited, on the installations, having collaborated previously on the Dubai Metro project. Following on from the completion of the 18 road ends of DPPSTM at Al Wakra Heavy Maintenance Depot, which serves the red line and which were commissioned in 2018, Zonegreen has proceeded to install DPPS™ at the remaining two facilities. Al Rayyan Stabling Yard The Al Rayyan stabling yard consists of three maintenance buildings and has the capacity to house 90 three-car trains. This depot serves the Green Line, also known

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they wish to work, without disabling the entire depot. Those with higher access levels are able to use their datakeys to authorise vehicle movements in and out of the sheds. The use of electronic datakeys makes it easy to instantly identify where staff are working, enabling the safe and efficient control of vehicle movements into and out of the maintenance sheds. Four of the roads are protected by Zonegreen’s state of the art powered derailers. The derailers provide physical protection to staff working in potential areas of risk within the depot. Warnings are provided with audible and visual safety alerts in the form of beacons and klaxons to notify staff of vehicle movements.

as the ‘Education Line’ as it moves through Education City during its 65.3-kilometre stretch. Staff are protected on the seven single ended roads housed in this maintenance buildings by the innovative DPPSTM. Zonegreen’s control panel allows staff to log on with personalised data keys, allowing them to protect the specific areas in which

Ras Bu Abboud Stabling Yard The Airport/City North line, also known as the ‘Gold Line’ remains under construction, however the single road maintenance building at the line’s Ras Bu Abboud Stabling Yard has already had its DPPSTM installed and commissioned. The facility is equipped with the highest level of depot safety, ready for when staff are appointed to maintain the fleet of advanced rapid transport vehicles. Doha Metro is due to be completed and open to commuters by 2020 and is already recognised as one of the most prominent transport projects in the Middle East.

Zonegreen’s innovative depot technology has now contributed to ensuring that Doha Metro’s maintenance facilities will be among the safest and most efficient in the world. Tel: 0114 230 0822 Visit:

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Turn data into information and help crew help customers New ARRAKIS interface to Worldline data platform means frontline staff automatically get the information they need to help passengers


rossCountry is one of the UK’s leading train operating companies (TOCs). It is highly focussed on customer service but, with trains running across the length of the UK, one of the challenges it faces is that its services can be impacted by a lot of different factors. Although frontline staff have access to a wealth of information about their own services, connecting trains, stations and any route issues, the sheer volume of information can be overwhelming and makes it difficult for them to wheedle out pertinent factors that can help them advise onboard customers more effectively. Jack Bissell, Train Crew Control Team Leader at CrossCountry, comments: ‘All

TOCs face the challenge of dealing with scenarios that are often out of their control. As our trains run the length of the UK, CrossCountry can be more exposed to external factors than most. There is a vast quantity of data available: our crews were receiving so much information they couldn’t see the ‘wood for the trees’. ‘We needed a way to make information relevant to crew and the services they were working on, so they could better help passengers on our trains. The solution to this problem lay with the ARRAKIS software from Nexus Alpha.’ A new information interface CrossCountry approached Nexus Alpha to

develop an interface that could present more targeted and relevant information. As part of its ARRAKIS software communications suite, Nexus Alpha has developed the new ARRAKIS Staff App. This has been enhanced further through development of an interface to the Worldline Integrale service used by CrossCountry. The ARRAKIS App currently allows a user to manually select a head code or station on which they are working. The new interface between ARRAKIS (Nexus Alpha) and Integrale (Worldline) automatically populates a crew member’s working services, as crew diagram data from Integrale is downloaded and updated periodically throughout the day. This means the ARRAKIS App is aware of what a crew

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member is working for the day, meaning CrossCountry staff will receive targeted notifications about the services they are on, with the ability to add more services if needed. With this new interface in place staff using the app will be alerted to targeted and relevant information. Bissell goes on to say: ‘Nexus Alpha is an industry leader in data systems and we have had a very positive relationship with them. Our crews were getting a lot of information that was of no direct relevance to them. The ARRAKIS software suite provides a huge improvement in the way data is presented to frontline staff, readily arming them with information they need to help passengers in a timely manner.’ The ARRAKIS suite was designed to take the masses of data available across the rail network, as well as data from anywhere else that may impact a customer’s journey and turn it into meaningful information to help staff run the most operationally efficient railway service possible, especially at times of disruption. The information transmitted

to crew members is pertinent, targeted and even predictive, which means they can help customers with knowledge that is accurate, consistent and helpful. Patrick McDougall, CEO at Nexus Alpha, comments: ‘Using an existing application programming interface (API), the new service with Integrale removes the need for manual set-up by staff and as a result of knowing which service crew members are working, automatically presents onboard staff with notifications and information relevant to the services they are working on. ARRAKIS is a highly flexible platform and now has the capability of interfacing with stock and crew software packages.’ ARRAKIS is in fact specifically designed to easily interface with third-party systems and present the data in the most appropriate form to TOC staff. It provides the relevant information they need for the services on

which they are working for that day. Having easy visibility of the data needed, empowers the onboard staff with readily available, accurate information about factors that impact the train service, enabling them to enhance the experience of passengers on the train. Bissell says: ‘The ARRAKIS Staff App is currently being tested on the CrossCountry network and initial feedback is consistently positive. By way of example, if a Train Manager is working on a train from Reading through Manchester and there is disruption in the Leamington area, his/her phone vibrates and immediately informs them about what is happening, enabling them to give the best possible advice to passengers, helping with a smoother end to end journey. We are delighted with the performance of the system and hope to fully roll out the application at the end of February.’ McDougall concludes: ‘There is so much data available across the UK rail sector, but it is not being used to its full potential. The interface into Integrale developed for CrossCountry is just one example of the power and flexibility of the ARRAKIS communications suite and how it can help TOCs better serve their customers and drive operating efficiency.’ Bissell finishes by saying: ‘From a CrossCountry perspective, the key strength of the ARRAKIS App is it can take all of the data available across our industry and pinpoint what is relevant to frontline staff, so they are informed almost immediately. This gives them the informational advantage they need to truly enhance the passenger experience. The software can give information about stations, facilities, connections – everything needed to help our customers get where they want to be. ‘The way the ARRAKIS software engine works means it is fundamentally flexible and can consume any relevant data made available to it. There is so much more we could potentially do with this technology going forward – everything from booking disabled assists to finding the best tickets for our customers. This is only the tip of the iceberg for a tool that is unique in its capabilities in our marketplace.’ About Nexus Alpha Nexus Alpha is a leading provider of transport information systems to the public transport sector, in particular to the UK rail sector, focussing on the management, presentation and distribution of disruption information. With more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, Nexus Alpha has been at the leading edge of the customer information revolution in the public transport sector, delivering high-quality integrated products and services to transport operators, allowing


them to keep their staff and customers fully informed at all times. As well as supplying information distribution and presentation tools, Nexus Alpha also provides business analysis and performance reporting so that clients can measure all aspects and impacts of service disruption distribution. Nexus Alpha’s Low Power Systems (Nexus Alpha LPS) complements Nexus Alpha’s supply by providing innovative, LCD and low power information displays suitable for installation at public transport interchanges, rail station, bus stops and on-vehicle. CHRONOS Displays, which are connected 24/7 over GPRS/3G/4G/Wi-Fi, can be solar powered, significantly reducing the cost of installation and commissioning. Nexus Alpha LPS supplies systems internationally. The focus is on usability, sustainability, and inclusivity across the entire range of products and services. The Nexus Alpha Group has offices in London and Rochester, Kent. Tel: 020 7652 2051, 020 3409 5090 Email:, Visit:, www.

The ARRAKIS suite was designed to take the masses of data available across the rail network, as well as data from anywhere else that may impact a customer’s journey and turn it into meaningful information to help staff run the most operationally efficient railway service possible, especially at times of disruption Rail Professional


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Supplying the Crossrail project In late 2012, Adomast was directly approached by some of the key contractors to the Crossrail Underground Project to offer a range of construction chemicals to help in the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s construction process


domast has continued to supply the project for the last seven years with high performance construction chemicals designed to assist in the building of the new underground railway stations and tunnels. The products that were manufactured and supplied for the Crossrail project include formwork release agents, surface aggregate exposing retarder solution and high efficiency curing compounds. The majority of the construction work was carried out underground, therefore the chemicals supplied were all non-hazardous and VOC free to ensure that the safety of the workforce. All of this was achieved without any loss in performance or compromising

the quality of the work undertaken. All of the products supplied were WRAS approved, which allows their safe and approved use near water. These products are Safecure Super, a high efficiency concrete curing compound, Safetard Liquid, an environmentally safe, non-toxic and fully biodegradable surface retarder solution to expose aggregate for construction joints or decorative purposes and Safelease, an environmentally safe and non-hazardous chemically active formwork release agent. Safelease is an emulsified mould release agent that is suitable for use on most formwork types. It can also be used to help create a high quality, clean and sharp finish on fair faced concrete and concrete

containing up to 70 per cent fly-ash/GGBS. It works by reacting with the freshly poured concrete to create a chemical release layer between the formwork and the concrete. Safetard Liquid is a spray-on retarder solution that is applied to horizontal surfaces once the initial bleed water has disappeared. The retarder solution is absorbed into the concrete and effectively stops the cement from hydrating for up to 24 hours or so. This allows the un-hydrated cement to be easily power-washed away to expose the aggregate at surface level. This process is used to create a suitable surface for a construction joint or for a keyed surface for a subsequent pour. This second feature is vital in creating the seamlessly

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quality. Adomast is proud to have had its products chosen to help create this high quality concrete appearance and play a small part in this tremendous construction project beneath the streets of London.

joined tunnel network between the stations. Safecure Super is an aqueous film forming curing compound that retains over 90 per cent of the hydration water within the concrete, which allows the concrete to develop to its maximum compressive strength, helps prevent plastic shrinkage and surface cracking. It works by creating a moisture tight barrier layer across the whole surface of the freshly laid concrete and effectively stops the vast majority of the water present within the concrete from escaping to atmosphere and retaining it to optimise the curing of the concrete. From the many photographs of the construction process, it can be seen that a great deal of the cast concrete is the finished item, so it is paramount that the appearance and finish of the concrete is of the highest


Company profile Adomast Manufacturing has been manufacturing and supplying an extensive range of construction chemicals for todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s demanding construction requirements for over 40 years now. Originally based in Waltham Abbey, Adomast has been based in its new production facility near Barnsley since 2016. Adomast Manufacturing has built a strong reputation for supplying high performance construction chemicals which are used extensively across all categories of construction from pre-casting and civil engineering projects to general site work. Adomast is continuously looking to update and improve its product technology by working closely with its customers and chemical suppliers. Over recent years Adomast manufacturing has progressively been replacing traditional solvent based products with new environmentally and eco-friendly technology offering either very low or zero VOCs, with no compromise in product

quality or performance, as well as lessening health, application and storage concerns as the industry becomes more environmentally conscious Adomast Manufacturing has been an ISO 9001 : 2015 approved company for many years, where top-quality customer service is at the heart of the business, offering next day delivery service to over 90 per cent of the UK, including direct to site delivery if required. As a manufacturer Adomast also offers a bespoke product scheme. A new or existing product can be developed to suit a specific application or construction project. Working closely together with the contractor and their team Adomast can design and develop products created to give the highest performance for all construction and civil engineering applications. Adomast Manufacturing manufactures an extensive range of products including formwork release agents, concrete curing compounds, surface-aggregate exposing solutions, admixtures and a wide range of cementitious concrete repair grouts and mortars. Tel: 01226 707863 Email: Visit:


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Respiratory protection For over 40 years, RPB® Safety has worked to provide the world’s industrial workers with comfortable, high-quality respiratory protection


ll RPB® products are manufactured from a purposebuilt facility in the USA, which allows the company to quickly and efficiently serve customers worldwide. With two key international offices in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, RPB® has grown to become a globally trusted name in the respiratory protection market. Most recently in the UK, RPB has worked with a major rail industry safety supplier to offer a solution for their numerous issues with respiratory protection; in particular, having respiratory protection which adheres to Network Rail’s hard hat colour coding standard. Before contacting RPB, the supplier’s previous respiratory protection of choice came only with a black head top, which is used to indicate a site manager or supervisor. When the supplier approached the manufacturer and asked for them to change the colour, the answer was no. Furthermore, they could not attach coloured vinyl stickers to distinguish between workers, as the manufacturer told them that sticker

application would void certifications. Moreover, the respirators the supplier was previously using did not come with a lighting system, resulting in workers buying separate lights and mounting them to the helmet using a screw. However, they were advised by the manufacturer that penetrating the helmet with the screw voided the certifications. Lastly, the supplier was required to make their own in-helmet communications system and attempt to fit it into the helmets, as their

previous manufacturer offered no standard communications system option for their respirators. RPB met with the rail safety supplier and, after listening to their needs, swiftly agreed to produce the RPB Z-Link® powered air respirator in the required Network Rail hard hat colours. The Z-Link offers general dust and silica protection, along with safety capabilities for welding and grinding applications. For the rail industry, the head tops would come in the required black, white, and blue options. Additionally, the Z-Link offers a standard lighting option – with mount – to solve the supplier’s light issue, as well as an in-helmet communications system that fits directly in the Z-Link with no modifications required. Within a month of first meeting the supplier, RPB produced and delivered manufactured samples for workers to trial. Immediate feedback stated that the Z-Link was significantly more comfortable than the previous respirators. Workers wore them throughout their entire shift, as opposed to removing the old respirators whenever they had the chance – often within an hour of putting them on. Following the successful trial period, RPB manufactured the Z-Link in the three required colours. There are now 300 Z-Link units in use on tracks across the UK. RPB believes in providing its customers with the best service possible. As technology and industry progress, RPB will continue to innovate and offer revolutionary solutions, ensuring workers make it home safely at the end of the day. With a focus on comfort, productivity, and – most importantly – safety, RPB is here to protect workers for life’s best moments. Tel: 080 0689 5031 Email: Visit:

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Infrastructure monitoring for asset protection Works carried out on or adjacent to the railway have the potential to put both rail assets and the assets of third parties neighbouring the railway at risk


round 22,500 trains run every day in Britain with over 1.7 billion passenger journeys completed each year. It is estimated that a further 400 million passenger journeys will be undertaken by 2020 and while major projects aim to deliver increased capacity, they also highlight the need to ensure that where the works interface with existing assets, the railway network remains safe for its users. In addition to construction works, numerous environmental factors may affect the railway network and it is important that these do not threaten the safety of passengers or trains. Bridgeway Consulting has worked in the rail environment for over 25 years and has extensive experience delivering engineering services, geomatics, structural inspections, geotechnical investigation access planning, safety critical staff and training. From its head office in Nottingham Bridgeway delivers projects throughout the UK and abroad. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s multidisciplinary approach allows it to deliver a variety of services including the provision of monitoring and inspection solutions to help assure the safety and integrity of railway assets. Its teams have

a range of experience utilising techniques from traditional manual monitoring and scheduled inspections through to the deployment of large-scale automated monitoring schemes. Periodic inspection and monitoring In many cases periodic inspection and measurements may be sufficient to monitor assets. Bridgewayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inhouse teams carry out all types of structural examinations and inspections for condition monitoring. Its examiners are competence assessed in accordance with Network Rail standards and Bridgeway offers fully qualified STE/04 and STE/07 bridge examiners and STE/02 qualified structural engineers. For movement monitoring the geomatics team can advise on the most appropriate solution based on the predicted movement of the asset and risk factors relating to the site. Traditionally, periodic monitoring has been undertaken using instrumentation such as total stations or precise levelling. While these methods are still applicable, Bridgeway Consulting is always looking to adopt new and innovative approaches. Recently it has carried out monitoring at a number of locations using LiDAR data. LiDAR offers a number of benefits over traditional methods and in particular it

offers a non-contact form of measurement. This approach is particularly applicable to environments such as the railway where access may be restricted. Bridgeway Consulting has carried out a number of schemes using LiDAR monitoring including the use of terrestrial laser scanners, trolley mounted kinematic scanners and most recently it has mounted a LiDAR scanner to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor inaccessible rock faces. LiDAR monitoring is particularly well suited to environments where large areas need to be covered such as earthworks and embankments or for structures where sub centimetre rather than sub millimetre accuracy is sufficient. Real-time continuous monitoring Where there is an increased risk of movement, periodic monitoring may not be sufficient to accurately mitigate risk and real time monitoring may be appropriate. Typically, real-time monitoring is required where there is an increased risk of movement due to factors such as construction works adjacent to the assets or where an increased risk of a failure has been identified. Bridgeway Consulting can offer a variety of solutions for real-time monitoring ranging from optical total station measurements through to automated electronic systems. Optical systems offer high accuracy and are well suited to projects where the duration of works is relatively short. Bridgeway Consulting has a range of experience offering this type of system particularly for track monitoring during the installation of new under track crossings (UTX) where continuous track monitoring is required for a short period of time. For projects of this type Bridgeway can put surveyors on site to carry out readings and can also compliment this service with its own track quality engineers, handback engineers and fault rectification teams. Bridgeway has worked closely with the Network Rail Asset Protection teams and can provide engineers to act as CRE on behalf of its clients if required. For longer term projects or where Rail Professional



access is problematic Bridgeway can offer automated systems that once installed on site will operate continuously without human intervention. While optical systems offer a number of benefits, they also have some limitations. Two limiting factors particularly relevant to the railway are that an optical system requires regular maintenance to ensure that the instrument remains calibrated and also that accurate readings are obtained from the targets. The linear nature of railway assets often means that multiple instruments are required to cover a relatively small site which can make the system less cost effective. To obtain quality measurements, readings need to be taken to targets fixed to the assets being monitored. The targets can be small prisms or reflective stickers however experience has shown that a key issue with this approach is that the railway tends to be quite a dirty environment, and this leads to a requirement for targets to be cleaned on a regular basis. If access is an issue regular cleaning may not be practical and over time the quality of the readings may degrade. The second issue with an optical system is that it is relatively power hungry. Much of the monitoring Bridgeway has carried out in the railway environment has been in remote locations. Where this is the case providing a power supply to continuously operate an automated system has required agreements with third parties which can be problematic. The geomatics industry is constantly evolving, and Bridgeway Consulting is dedicated to employing the most innovative and appropriate methodologies. As an alternative to optical systems Bridgeway was an early adopter of wireless tilt sensors for continuous monitoring. Wireless nodes offer a number of key benefits and are well suited to the railway environment. Power supply issues are mitigated by sensors having their own longRail Professional

life battery built in allowing them to operate for extended periods without maintenance. Nodes are robust being both water and dust proof and once installed they require little or no maintenance. Nodes can be installed in a variety of configurations allowing a variety of assets to be monitored with one system. Systems are easily scalable which allows expansion of the system if work scopes change during the project. With all automated systems Bridgeway can provide data links from site so that results can be uploaded to a web portal in real-time and made available to all relevant stakeholders. Trigger levels can be set within the portal and automated alerts can be issued if these are breached. One stop solution The diverse nature of the Bridgeway Consulting teams means that beyond supplying monitoring solutions to the rail industry it can also offer a full range of complimentary services. Bridgeway offers possession planning and delivery inhouse and it works closely with its NR counterparts to ensure that a clear and workable possession plan is in place. Bridgeway’s site teams include a COSS/SWL as standard and based on its experience the company has found that this approach works well ensuring that staff have a complete understanding of both the task being undertaken and the safety critical constraints associated with working on the

railway. Having dedicated safety critical resources means that Bridgeway is not reliant upon safety critical support from other organisations and can structure delivery without the risk of ‘safety critical staff supply’ that other organisations experience. Specialist access teams can assist with the installation and maintenance of the monitoring system and Bridgeway can offer IRATA competent staff, PASMA Operatives and MEWPs from its own inhouse resources. Examiners and Permanent Way Engineers can carry out structural examinations and pre and post project dilapidation surveys plus handback engineers and emergency response teams can be supplied should emergency rectification works be required. This multidisciplinary approach coupled with being an independent monitoring contractor means that Bridgeway can always offer the most appropriate solution for each site without being tied to a specific system. The company offers a full range of services so that projects can be completed without the need for clients to engage multiple contractors. For further information, contact Geoff Kenney, Associate Director – Geomatics Tel: 0115 9191111 Email: Visit:

Fibre-optic TX/RX

HV magnetics & wirewound resistors

High-current foil resistors

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Rail Challenge #1: Legacy system upgrades Challenge Charcroft to help you to overcome obstacles to designing upgrades for electronic systems in rolling stock or signalling. The flexibility to customise standard products can enable new components to become drop-in replacements for legacy parts, or provide additional environmental protection against harsh environments.

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Proven Capability Eldapoint specialise in the manufacture of Re-Locatable Equipment Building’s (REB’s) all manufactured to the BR1615D specification or bespoke to meet your specific requirements. We also manufacture Specialist Housings, Fire Rated Cabins, Blast Resistant Units, Welfare Units, Shower Blocks, Toilet Blocks, Canteen/Mess Units, Secure Stores, Changing Rooms, Modular Buildings, Sleeper Units and Portable Accommodation, all the above can be manufactured to our standard specification or your own corporate specifications. We are an accredited ISO 9001 2015 company and RISQS approved for the supply of REB’s to the Rail Sector.

Charley Wood Road, Knowsley Industrial Park North, Knowsley, L33 7SG Tel: 44 (0)151 548 9838 Fax: 44 (0) 151 546 4120

Eldapoint, specialise in the manufacture of Re-Locatable Equipment Building’s (REB’s) all manufactured to the BR1615D specification or bespoke to meet your specific requirements.

We also manufacture Modular Equipment Housings (MEH’s) Specialist Housings, Fire Rated Cabins, Blast Resistant Units, Welfare Units, Shower Blocks, Toilet Blocks, Canteen/Mess Units, Secure Stores, Changing Rooms, Modular Buildings, Sleeper Unit and Portable Accommodation, all the above can be manufactured to our standard specification or your own corporate specifications. We are an accredited ISO 9001;2008 company and RISQS approved for the supply of REB’s & MEH’s to the Rail Sector.



Training the train makers For the last ten years the Engineering and Business Improvement training provider Qualitrain has been helping TOCs and rolling stock manufacturers to develop high performance teams in engineering, management, customer service and train presentation


ualitrain began life as a training provider serving engineering and manufacturing companies in the East Midlands, but notable success has allowed rapid growth and the company now supports businesses throughout the UK, with rail industry clients strongly represented. Since the arrival of the Apprenticeship Levy the business’s focus has been on helping customers to access measurable benefit from their levy contributions. As one of the first UK providers to gain Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) accreditation, Qualitrain now develops the sort of creative and flexible training partnerships that provide long term success across a wide variety of training needs. ‘Correctly identifying the vital training requirements of a business and then responding imaginatively and vigorously to them, has helped us build lasting partnerships with our rail industry customers’ MD Leon Bowler said.

‘Off-the-shelf training packages are often a disappointment for both candidates and their employers. They still require the difficult commitment of making candidates available, but they often don’t bring identifiable and long-lasting benefits. Consequently almost every programme we deliver is bespoke. ‘We like to work closely with our rail customers before any training begins so that we can develop meaningful interventions which are fundable via the levy, or from other funding resources we can access, but which target real and lasting improvements in areas such as process efficiency, cost, quality or safety. That way we can develop a training strategy of genuine worth and our customers can measure the outcomes. From there it’s simply a matter of delivering the training in an engaging, sustainable and even enjoyable way.’ Innovative approaches to solve real-world training problems A key feature of recent years has been the development of new working partnerships with rail industry customers many of whom are not yet ready, or simply don’t want, to deal with the compliance requirements of Ofsted and the ESFA. The Qualitrain Group has expanded since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy to create a wider

range of services and to provide the greatest flexibility in the various ways customers can choose to deploy them. ‘For instance,’ explained Sales Director Mike Perkins, ‘many of our customers wish to continue their own inhouse training provision – which is only to be expected when they have invested heavily in the skills and facilities to do so. By working in close partnership with them, however, we can create jointly-delivered programmes, or else simply provide the necessary backoffice, quality, and compliance support to make the training workable within the new systems and structures. Alternatively, we can completely manage their Levy, ensuring compliance alongside a bespoke training package using internal and external resources.’ Core Competency Training at BTRS and Bombardier At BTRS Qualitrain has implemented Business Improvement Training for frontline Team Leaders, in addition to developing a Core Competency programme which included PMO (Performing Manufacturing Operations) at Level 2 for the entire work force. Then, when BTRS had a sudden requirement to employ 300 new staff, Qualitrain was called on to develop a single-week training course covering all the Rail Professional



this approach, using the new Improvement Technician and Improvement Practitioner Apprenticeship standards to drive existing continuous improvement initiatives. ‘The SWR Fleet Engineering teams started using the BIT apprenticeship and I soon realised that the rest of the business could benefit from understanding Lean principles’ said SWR’s Apprenticeship Compliance Manager Kirstie Thompson. ‘I worked closely with the team at Qualitrain to develop an apprenticeship programme using the Improvement Technician and Improvement Practitioner standards. Colleagues working in HR, Project Management, Sustainability, Performance and Operations are all now enrolled on the programme and are identifying improvement projects and initiatives that will benefit both themselves and the business.’

key processes of building electrical wiring looms. ‘We were delighted with the way Qualitrain met the challenge’ said BTRS Operations Manager Steve Slater. ‘They developed a series of practical tests which could feed performance data back to management so that improvements could be made accurately with no overlap or wastage. In my opinion they are a first class supplier who really know their business and are tenacious in seeing a project through successfully.’ Also at Derby, Qualitrain assisted Bombardier Transportation with Business Improvement training linked specifically to the company’s extensive inhouse training programme. Qualitrain worked with Bombardier’s own trainers to ensure the high standards set throughout the business were successfully mapped across into all training activities, with no fewer than 170 managers passing through the programme. At Level 2, the pass rate was one hundred per cent and the programme has since moved to Level 3. Currently Qualitrain is delivering a programme of Team Leading training at Level 3 for supervisors with progression to higher level programmes at Levels 5 and 6 to follow. Rolling success at Great Western Railway Qualitrain was asked to assist with a pilot scheme which had already been put in place by the manager at the then FGW’s St. Philip’s Marsh maintenance depot to promote and improve Health and Safety within an inevitably hazardous working environment. It was possible to formalise and fund the initiative by delivering a Business Improvement Techniques (BIT) programme using the apprenticeship route of Improving Operational Performance as a vehicle, but ensuring the delivery would meet the business’s specific needs. The programme quickly achieved Rail Professional

excellent results, with the St Phillip’s Marsh depot reporting an award-winning reduction in accidents. Indeed, the scheme was so successful that, long before these results were reported, the training was rolled out to the six other depots. Following on from this, GWR used a BIT apprenticeship to support the aims of its ‘Exemplar’ programme, driving improvements in customer experience with a truly innovative training intervention. Driving return on apprenticeship investment at SWR As training providers with an extensive background in engineering and manufacturing, the Qualitrain team feel they have the inside track on creating a valuable return on training investment. Increasingly, this has meant developing programmes that not only enhance skills and influence positive customer experiences, but actually drive performance benefits measurable in time, quality and cost. First Group businesses such as SWR and First Bus have been early adopters of

Lean Six Sigma training for future-proofed operations ‘Our directors, trainers and assessors all come from industrial backgrounds and have many years of shop floor and production management experience, so we talk a language that our TOC, rolling stock manufacture and rail supply chain customers understand’ said Qualitrain CEO Richard Bates. ‘Within our business and within our group we have the skills and experience of some of the UKs foremost Lean Six Sigma experts and so we can understand exactly which process, cost and quality improvements will mean the most to our customers. ‘We want to develop training relationships that can continue for many years, so that our provision can get better and more tailored as the industry changes and develops. That’s why we always seek to deliver programmes with clear and measurable results.’ Tel: 01332 345205 Email: Visit:

Electro/Mechanical Engineers

your G carriage awaits...

Your partner for a fast, comprehensive and cost effective service for the UK railway industry. We overhaul and maintain rolling stock nationwide. ordon Services UK Ltd is an Electro-Mechanical engineering company providing a fast, comprehensive and cost effective service for the railway industry. Established in 1993, Gordon Services is now a leading force in the overhauling of components and products from all types of rolling stock throughout the UK. The Company has comprehensive workshop facilities, which comprise both cabinet shot blasting and external pot blasting facilities, (used for cleaning heavily soiled components) and spray booth facilities with controlled heat and humidity (for the spraying of various components). E-mail: .........................


Skilled Workforce Unit 8, Dawes Farm, Ivy Barn Lane, Q M Ingatestone, Essex. CM4 0PX. Our fully skilled workforce consists of engineers, electricians and coded QS M S ................................ ................................ Telephone: 01277352895 Facsimile: 01277 356115 9002 ISO 14001 weldersISOwho are certificated to BS EN 287 level for Pressurised Vessels; Registered Office: 276 London Road, Westcliff-On-Sea, Essex. SS0 7JG. Registered No. 3030153 and the company itself is accredited with ISO 9001/2008 Quality Assurance and ISO 14001 Environmental Policy to ensure that our procedures are maintained to a recognised standard. ................................




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Quality Components All components and products are overhauled to specification, and on safety critical components records are kept to show full traceability to comply with the Railway Group Standards GM/RT2450. All new replacement parts are supplied from accredited suppliers recognised within the railway industry. SEMVAC AS UK Agent Gordon Services UK Ltd is the UK agent for SEMVAC AS Toilet systems, with a full after care maintenance and overhaul service for the whole range of SEMVAC products, including toilet systems and C.E.T tanks. They are also the sole UK distributor for all SEMVAC parts. Full Transportation Facilities Our transportation capacity is equipped for full nationwide service, comprising of HGV, Truck, and Vans to ensure a speedy and direct delivery and pick up service. | tel +44 (0)1277 352895 07768 941829




The steel to steel connection alternative for rail When steel connections need to be made anywhere in the rail sector, whether it be in stations or external operational buildings, the most common solutions many reach for are welding, drilling and bolting


owever, just because a solution is popular, it does not always mean it is the best for your needs. In the fast paced, highly regulated and passenger focused world of rail, these common solutions often fall short and can create further problems, making the lives of designers, managers and maintenance workers much harder, creating extra cost and risk to passengers. If there is any doubt as to whether welding, drilling or bolting is the best solution for you, then it might be worth considering BeamClamp® from Kee Systems. BeamClamp® is an innovative and alternative solution to making steel connections and in many cases is cheaper, easier and more efficient than the standard industry solutions, whilst solving many of the issues that come hand in hand with them. BeamClamp® vs welding Though it may be economical in some situations, such as if the connection can be made off site, welding comes with many flaws and drawbacks. Welding requires expensive equipment and skilled labour, and the quality of the weld can be entirely down to the skill of the welder. Once made, the connection is permanent, and there is no room for on-site adjustment or temporary works, making it a hugely restrictive solution. If the steel has a protective coating, for example if it is hot-dip galvanised like many Kee products, this coating will need to be removed and then replaced afterwards, which could affect the integrity of the coating and the overall structure. Finally, welding creates heat and sparks that can be hazardous, meaning a hot works permit will be required, accompanied by costly and time-consuming fire-watches after the completion of the work. Areas of station concourses may need to be evacuated to keep travellers clear of the sparks, and platforms might even need to be closed for a short period of time. This can be expensive in both financial terms and efficiency.

BeamClamp® avoids all of these issues: the solution is simple and straightforward, meaning there’s no need for specialist labour, and as it clamps directly to the existing structure, any corrosion resistant layers are unaffected as there is no need to drill or penetrate the steel. The connection will last and provide peace of mind for years to come. There is also no need to run on-site power to run welding gear, and reduces installation time by removing the need to move power cables and hoses, which in some cases could pose a risk to passengers or railway employees. BeamClamp® can be temporary or permanent, and the lack of required permits or fire-watches can save time and money. It also means BeamClamps can be fitted in areas where there may be flammable or hazardous cargo waiting to be moved. BeamClamp® vs drilling and bolting Another common solution for steel connections is drilling and bolting. As with welding, where the design allows for off-site fabrication, this can be a quick and simple way to make connections. However, drilling steel on site can be expensive and complicated, requiring heavy drilling – again with power cables and wires – equipment and skilled labour. Drilling can damage the integrity of any existing coating as much as welding can, and perhaps even the integrity of the structure itself. Drilling through thick steel sections can be costly and timeconsuming, as standard drilling speeds must be adhered to, and drill bits can wear out quickly and be costly to replace. With no need for drilling or bolting, BeamClamp® once again comes out the clear winner in terms of ease of installation, time and cost savings.

By using a series of individual components, BeamClamp® can provide a bespoke connection which is fully guaranteed and third party approved. The flexibility of BeamClamp® allows for full on-site adjustment, ideal for secondary steel connections, and steel members can be easily realigned, eliminating the need for remedial work due to steel misalignment. Though there are other solutions available for making steel to steel connections everywhere from train stations

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the supporting steelwork and therefore ensure that the galvanised surface of the steel remained unbroken, and the integrity of the structure as a whole was maintained, providing the best possible lifespan. The Hot Dipped Galvanised nature of the fixings also allowed them to match the surrounding steel structure and ensure a continuous aesthetic. By opting for BeamClamp® over the standard solutions, Rother Valley Railway have created a secure, aesthetically pleasing structure that will last for years to come, saving money and time in the process. Steel to steel connections in the rail industry BeamClamp®, and its sister product BoxBolt®, can be used in a wide range of applications within the rail sector, providing secure fixing solutions whilst minimising shut down time and maximising passenger safety, two critical concerns. The wide range of applications include: • Connection of overhead catenary for trains and tram carriages • Structure supports for travel information screens • Securing of shielding for construction work to protect passengers • Unobtrusive hanging of pipework and cables • Connection of Tannoy systems • Securing of support brackets for glass facades • Connection of guard railing for queuing systems • Connection of edge protection in dangerous situations • Hanging of walkways / securing of grating to walkways.

to depots and external railway buildings, we believe BeamClamp® provides the best results and cost benefits by far. BeamClamp® has received third party accreditation for use in tensile and frictional applications, and is approved for use by Lloyd Register Type, meaning you can be confident all literature is accurate and the solution will perform as stated. With a guaranteed loading and safety factor, there is no need to rely on the skill of the installer, reducing your installation time and increasing peace of mind. Kee Systems also provides a one stop shop for steel to steel connections, offering a wide range of BeamClamp® configurations suitable for the vast majority of steel to steel connections, reducing sourcing costs, and Kee’s experts are always on hand to help you find the right system for your requirements. As with the Kee Klamp® product range, BeamClamp® features a Hot Dip Galvanised Finish, with high-quality corrosion protection as standard, removing the need for post-installation touch ups, and providing confidence in the finish. Hot dip

galvanised steel fittings can last up to 50 years or more before they need replacing, even in hostile environments.

Tel: 0208 874 6566 Email: Visit:

BeamClamp® in practice BeamClamp® has already been used in many places throughout the rail industry both in the UK and across the world, and the flexibility of the product means it has endless possible applications throughout the sector. Type BB BeamClamp® fixings were used in combination with suitable packing pieces to connect railway sleepers to the supporting steelwork for a railway bridge on the Rother Valley Railway line, a heritage railway project based at Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. BeamClamp® fixings allowed final adjustment of the sleepers to the supporting steelwork before they were finally tightened into position, providing a flexibility which would have been otherwise impossible with welding, drilling or bolting. They also allowed the sleepers to be secured without the need to drill through Rail Professional



Leo Workwear: the high visibility clothing specialists Leo has almost 40 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of high-quality high visibility workwear


eo now offers one of the most comprehensive and exciting high visibility clothing ranges available in today’s European PPE market. Covering waistcoats, warmth layers and foul weather garments, you’ll find Leo garments worn in many sectors, including rail, construction and highways. Safety and conformance All high visibility products in the range conform to ISO 20471, the international standard for high visibility clothing and every all-orange product conforms to RIS3279-TOM for use on the rail. This standard requires that garments must be a specific orange colour to ensure rail workers are visible to approaching trains or traffic. In addition to this, Leo have an extensive range of waistcoats designed specifically for the rail industry, featuring burstable side and shoulder seams to help eliminate the risk of entanglement.

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A garment for everyone Whether you’re trying to stay seen, warm and dry in the winter, or cool and protected from the sun in the summer, there is a Leo garment to keep you safe. There are over 200 lines of product in their offering, with all the following ranges containing products suitable for use on or near the track: • Railway waistcoats • Flame resistant and anti-static waistcoats • Poly/cotton cargo trousers • Polo shirts and t-shirts • Sweatshirts • Fleece and softshell jackets • Foul weather anoraks • Foul weather overtrousers • A full ladies’ and maternity range. A focus on design Leo Workwear puts a lot of focus on the design of its products to ensure it works for the wearer. Where some garment manufacturers may aim to produce a

product at the lowest possible price, this often compromises quality or conformance. Leo focusses on wearer safety and wearer satisfaction, which is achieved through garment performance, durability and styling. The company is always looking to see ‘what’s next’ in fabric innovations and reflective tape technologies, whilst also ensuring that its existing product range is evolving and improving through upgraded fabrics, better components and improved garment construction. Performance range Many of Leo’s newest products are some of its most innovative and highest performing. This includes the new Marisco Jacket and Lundy Overtrouser, which sees Leo pushing the boundaries of performance on

CALL US NOW ON 01206 396 446


Fencing Track- side ladder

Step on Safety have been on track since 2009, providing innovative turn-key solutions within the Rail Industry. Utilising GRP’S lightweight, durable, low maintenance, non-conductive and non-corrosive properties to deliver out-standing design, supply, fabrication and installation to all of our clients. Boasting a long line of prestigious projects from extensive work on GRP Access Solutions in the Euro Tunnel to 220m of MultiStorey fully Composite Access Platforms at Stewarts Lane Depot. GRP Step Over

GRP Grating

GRP Substructure

GRP Handrail Trench Covers

GRP Deck

OUR KEY SYSTEMS • GRP Track Side Walkways.

• GRP Ramps.

• GRP Station Platform.

• GRP Single/Multi Story TCD

• GRP Bridge Decks and Treads.

• GRP Grating Panels.

Access Platforms.

• GRP Embankment Stairs.

• GRP Station Platforms/Platform

• GRP Dagger Boards.

• GRP Fencing.


• GRP Ballast Retention/HCE

• GRP Trench Covers.


• GRP Hand Railing/Barriers.



Airborne 10RT is an absorption technology that has been designed to absorb total suspended particulate matter (TSPM) when introduced in to the atmosphere via an APPS Track Side PIRA (TSP) or an Airborne 10RT nozzle dust suppression system which have been specially designed and manufactured to ensure that the correct micron size and volume are delivered allowing the hydrophilic and hydrophobic tails within the Airborne 10RT to help remove particulate matter.

APPS UK Ltd are much more than a speciality dust suppression and odour control supplier, every day we help our customers tackle their toughest challenges. We undertake this by providing solutions

The Track Side PIRA has been specifically designed for the Rail Industry to deliver Airborne 10RT into the atmosphere. This will help absorb particulate matter generated from a multitude of operations from, ballast drops, tamping, DEEE, vehicle movement and general dust and odour related issues. The TSP is a self-contained mobile unit which will produce a 40 micron water droplet from the rotary atomiser and when infused with Airborne10RT will absorb total suspended particulate matter. The frame is constructed of mild steel which is situated on wheels along with 4 x lifting points for easy manoeuvrability around stations, platforms, track, rail trolleys and tunnels. The TSP is fitted with a self-contained water tank, generator, pump, control panels and a multifunctional 285 degrees rotary atomiser head and hydraulic arm with a height restriction of 2400mm and offering fantastic versatility for any operation.






product quality, protect plant assets and minimise environmental impact. We implement and support these solutions through our experienced team of consultants who work side-by-side with project managers to ensure a total managed solution.

DustMac77 TrackSeal is formulated to form a strong bond that seals loose particles that would normally become airborne when disturbed by wind movement from trains or vehicles. The coating is applied after the new ballast has been laid sealing the loose dust particulates with a semi-permanent shell which protects against wind erosion, reducing atmospheric dust particles being emitted from air movement from passing trains and improving your safety. APPS UK encrusting products provide excellent pile sealing, slope control and rail car topper solutions.


Unit 3, Paisley Works,14 Windover Road, Huntingdon, PE29 7EB T: +44 (0)1480 458888 E:



waterproofness, breathability and modern design and fit. Whilst the introduction of its Performance T-Shirts, featuring COOLMAX® wicking polyester, offers its highest specification tops to date. PPE for women Leo Workwear is proud to have the most comprehensive ladies’ high visibility clothing range on the market. Historically, women have had no option but to wear ill-fitting men’s clothing onsite, with loose fabric being a potential safety hazard, especially in the rail industry. Leo carried out extensive research with women working throughout many industries and concluded that garment fit, and quality were the two most important factors in delivering a successful ladies’ range. Over the last three years, Leo has developed 13 individual styles, which have proved incredibly popular, including products for foul weather protection, warmth layers, polo shirts and waistcoats. Focus on inclusion Leo has recently focused on inclusion; working on some of the largest current infrastructure projects in the UK has revealed where people are unable to work due to the limitations of their PPE. To combat this, Leo introduced the first maternity garments to the market that conform to ISO 20471 and the first high visibility Modesty Tunic, meaning ladies can now adhere to their religious beliefs without compromising their safety. Ticking all the boxes Leo works hard to tick every box when it comes to conformance, sustainability and is committed to the ethical and responsible conduct in all its operations, is a member of SEDEX and performs regular audits on its factories to ensure their practices are in line

with the ETI base code. The company is a member of the REMA trade association and is a registered safety supplier with the British Safety Industry Federation, meaning it has signed a binding declaration that its products meet the appropriate standards, fully comply with the PPE regulations and are appropriately CE marked. In addition to this, it has been ISO 9001:2015 certified for many years and works with a number of resellers who are RISQS (Railway Industry Supplier Scheme) accredited. Leo cares Leo Workwear is a company that cares about the world we live in and is always looking for ways to reduce the impact it has on the environment. The company believes that providing garments that last longer due to their quality and durability reduces the need for replacement and waste. Recently, Leo took the decision to change the fabric used on its established Coolviz range of polos and

t-shirts, Coolviz range of polos and t-shirts, to EcoViz®rp, a one hundred per cent recycled conforming polyester. Available from next Spring, this move will result in a 50 per cent reduction in the emissions produced by the manufacturing process. Amongst other progressive moves, all the garment packaging is to become one hundred per cent biodegradable to ensure discarded plastic packaging is not sat in landfill for years to come. Stock and speed Leo holds over £3 million worth of stock in its factory in Barnstaple, North Devon and delivers to its customers on a next day basis. It sells through a long list of approved resellers throughout the UK and the rest of the world. Tel: +44 (0)1271 378904 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Working collaboratively to deliver infrastructure improvements safely, to programme, whilst minimising disruption to operations. BRIDGES

倀爀漀瘀椀搀攀爀猀 漀昀 愀 眀椀搀攀 爀愀渀最攀 漀昀 愀挀挀爀攀搀椀琀攀搀 琀攀猀猀渀最  猀攀爀瘀椀挀攀猀 琀漀 洀愀渀甀昀愀挀琀甀爀攀爀猀 漀昀 攀焀甀椀瀀洀攀渀琀 昀漀爀 琀栀攀  爀愀椀氀 椀渀搀甀猀琀爀礀⸀ ∠  䘀爀攀攀 愀搀瘀椀挀攀 愀渀搀 最甀椀搀愀渀挀攀⸀ ∠  吀攀猀猀渀最 攀渀猀甀爀攀猀 爀攀氀椀愀戀椀氀椀琀礀 愀渀搀 挀漀洀瀀氀椀愀渀挀攀⸀ ∠  䄀挀挀爀攀搀椀琀愀愀漀渀 椀渀挀氀甀搀攀猀㨀 䔀一 㘀㄀㜀㌀㜀Ⰰ 䔀一㄀㈀㤀㘀㘀Ⰰ 䤀匀伀 㤀㈀㈀㜀Ⰰ      䔀一 㘀  㘀㠀ⴀ㈀ⴀ㈀㜀 ∠  吀攀猀猀渀最 猀漀氀甀甀漀渀猀 昀漀爀 嘀䴀匀 猀礀猀琀攀洀猀Ⰰ 瀀愀猀猀攀渀最攀爀 椀渀昀漀爀洀愀愀漀渀      搀椀猀瀀氀愀礀猀Ⰰ 戀漀搀礀 洀漀甀渀琀攀搀 攀焀甀椀瀀洀攀渀琀Ⰰ 戀漀最椀攀 洀漀甀渀琀攀搀 攀焀甀椀瀀洀攀渀琀     愀渀搀 琀爀愀挀欀 猀椀搀攀 攀渀挀氀漀猀甀爀攀猀 愀渀搀 攀焀甀椀瀀洀攀渀琀⸀      愀渀搀 琀

⬀㐀㐀⠀ ⤀㄀㤀㄀ ㌀㜀㠀㐀㘀㔀㌀ 眀眀眀⸀愀砀椀猀琀攀猀琀氀愀戀漀爀愀琀漀爀椀攀猀⸀挀漀⸀甀欀

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Kilborn Consulting Limited is an independent railway engineering consultancy and design business. We specialise in the design of railway signalling and telecommunication systems for the UK and Ireland railway infrastructure. Our core services cover technical advice, consultancy services, feasibility studies and concept, outline (AiP) and detailed design (AfC) of both signalling and telecommunication systems. We can provide all Signal Sighting activities and signalling risk assessments, including SORA and Suitable and Sufficient Risk Assessments for Level Crossings. We also provide EMC and E&B studies to complement our core services. We very much look forward to working with you.

Tel: +44 (0)1933 279909 Email:




The power to deliver safely As rail projects move off the drawing board and into reality, together we have the opportunity to deliver the safest price control period (CP6) in the UK’s history


his ambition can only be realised through an unrelenting focus on safety, innovative processes and training programmes for colleagues and clients, and a culture where safety always comes first. An organisation’s safety programme needs to challenge employees’ beliefs about safety, helping individuals and teams to make better choices. Programmes also need to involve delivery teams in the development of plans which can improve the safety performance in their own organisations, ensuring a safety-first culture extends across the ecosystem of clients and contractors. In order for safety programmes to be successful, managing health and wellbeing must also be addressed, including the influence energy levels can have on performance and safety. An impactful programme creates tools and techniques which are pragmatic and accessible and helps teams to improve energy levels through improving physical and mental fitness, diet, hydration, rest and recovery. Healthy teams are safer teams. It’s crucial that these programmes are underpinned by a culture that prioritises safety above anything else. A blame-free environment, where all issues are taken seriously, investigated thoroughly and mitigations are put in place to prevent future hazards builds trust and sustains safety.

A culture of continuous improvement has allowed UK Power Networks Services to embed safety as everyone’s priority – not only for staff, but also for contractors and clients. Continuous improvement is driven by analytics which inform proactive action. Safety pervades through design, implementing rigorous safety practices and learning from incidents, hazards and near misses. UK Power Networks Services leads in health and safety, with over 2.7 million working hours, and more than eight years providing the traction and non-traction power to High Speed 1 without a single lost time injury. This exceptional safety record on High Speed 1 and across the rest of the business isn’t luck, it’s the result of a safetyfirst culture that permeates everything the organisation does. The implementation of one hundred mental health first aiders across the business to support the wellbeing of its teams is a recent example of this. UK Power Networks Services’ innovative design of the power distribution systems on High Speed 1 includes system resilience to allow planned maintenance to be undertaken during the working day. This has reduced risk and improved safety outcomes, contributing to maintenance goals and achieving a culture of safety. The business has also incorporated interactive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality to increase the effectiveness and accessibility of its training. Not only do UK Power Networks Services manage the associated risks of working with electricity, but it delivers safely for its clients in the most complex and challenging environments every day. Whilst working on Europe’s busiest runways, trackside on the UK’s fastest mainline railway, at nuclear sites, and military facilities the company has achieved an unprecedented safety record. UK Power Networks Services’ commitment and relentless focus on safety goes beyond just aiming for zero harm and moves to a focus on ‘beyond zero’, where its staff’s physical and mental wellbeing, and quality of life is actively improved at work. This leads to healthier, stronger, smarter and better trained teams that are also engaged with safety at all levels and who arrive home in better shape than when they left. UK Power Networks Services’ impressive safety performance is a direct result of the dedication of its people who keep safety their top priority when they come to work

each day, ensuring their colleagues and clients go home to their families safely each evening. The design, build and ongoing maintenance of national rail infrastructure projects brings significant challenges to those teams working on these projects. Safety should not be one of those challenges. Future projects have the opportunity to be the safest projects in the UK’s history. This ambition can be realised through innovative processes and programmes, and a culture where safety always comes first. Email: Visit:

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Signalling the future Henry the forefront of railway innovation since 1883 For all your engineering and signalling needs. • Signalling: fully wired Location cases Reb’s • Power: FSPs, Switchgear, DNOs, SafeBox • Enclosures: Location cases, Dis boxes, Power annexes ELDs • Signalling panels, control panels • PW: Fishplates, Clamps • Treadles and Treadle gauges

Contact us today!

T: +44 (0) 1325 462722 E:



Signalling Maintenance Services Ltd

RISQS qualified by AUDIT Supplier id 4305 Construction Line Registration no. 00365934


Pleased to support the UK Rail Industry with the Provision of Skilled Signalling Resource including Signalling Managers, Testers and Installers Visit us at th

NEW: Series PCMDS400 • Output power: 400 W; Efficiency: ≥92 % • Input voltage range: 77,0...137,5 VDC • Output voltage: 24 V • Ambient temperature: -40...+70 °C / +85 °C 10 min • Transient protected, vaccum encapsulated • EN 50155 / EN 50121-3-2 / EN 61373 • EN 60950-1 / EN 61000-6-4 / EN 61000-6-2 • Fire protection acc. to EN 45 545-2

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Railtex 2019 Booth J0 3

Contact: David Shakesheff

Signalling Maintenance Services Ltd

Suite 5 Crown Business Centre, Ardleigh, Colchester C07 7QR Email: Phone Office : 01206 615980 Mobile : 07790 074076



A one stop shop Arvill’s Managing Director – Arthur Shevill created a successful first-generation owned and managed business, built around an intimate knowledge of engineering


rvill was first established in 1985, born from Arthur’s drive and enthusiasm and an understanding of every aspect of the management and practical operation of the business and this is reflected in the company’s product range. Arthur believes in and is committed to building personal relationships with customers. The mainstay of the business is rental services of plant and equipment with an aim to provide excellent service and equipment to customers, including: • Local authorities • National rail contracts • Large construction projects • Small builders and DIY customers. Whilst the central belt constitutes the bread and butter source of business, Arvill ensures that regardless of geography – customer service is paramount, as is minimising customer downtime through rapid response in both supply and service. Arvill is now one of Scotland’s largest independent plant hire businesses, with over 4,000 items in fleet it prides itself on being a ‘one stop shop’ for both the trade and private customer. Tel: 01236 760 070 Email: Visit:

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WEDGE GROUP GALVANIZING Your Galvanizing Partner

RISQS approved, Wedge Group Galvanizing is the UK’s largest galvanizing organisation. With 14 plants across the UK we offer a national service, processing steel from a 1.5mm washer to 29m beam. Our plants are designed and equipped to set industry-leading standards for sustainability and low environmental impact. E: T: 01902 600704


Head Office: Stafford Street, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 1RZ




01923 777 777 FREE NEXT DAY DELIVERY OF FASTENERS, FIXINGS & TOOLS* National suppliers to rail, civil engineering & construction projects specialising in London delivery. Huge stock & product expertise! Olds Approach, Tolpits Lane, Watford, Herts, WD18 9XT *ON ALL ORDERS OVER £25 +VAT. (Own van area) or free national delivery on orders over £60 +VAT.

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A stitch in time, saves time on the line Every contractor knows how precious time is and how important it is to ensure that projects are finished within set periods, which is why more and more contractors are opting for the Marshalls CPM Redi-Rock™ modular walling solution


he ‘big block’ option offers time savings, as well as cost savings, to customers and a range of possibilities to design changes on site when needed. The concrete block system was first used by Dean and Dyball for Network Rail on the Blackboy Tunnel/Exmouth Junction where a section in a cutting, approximately 20 metres long, required stabilising. Historically, there had been several small slips which resulted in a timer post and sleeper retaining wall being constructed and this was in the process of collapsing onto the

S&T through route. The Marshalls CPM modular block retaining wall was designed to replace this arrangement, using an installation gang of three men and an excavator (with an operator), the blocks were transferred to the worksite by a Road Railer towing a trailer, under the supervision of a Machine Controller and excavated material was removed from site using the same resource. One of the three-man gang was tasked to act as a slinger and the Redi-Rock™ blocks were collected from the trailer and placed directly onto the compacted lean-mix

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DEPOT SOLUTIONS FOR SAFE MAINTENANCE Furrer+Freyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s innovative Moveable Overhead Conductor Rail System for railway workshops and depots ensures safe maintenance work on rail vehicles and enables free access to the train roof. The overhead conductor rail is retracted away from the track, switched off and earthed. An integrated control system contributes towards efficient and safe working procedures. This revolutionary system has been supplied and is operational in over 125 depots worldwide. @furrerfreyGB @FurrerFreyGB


concrete foundation by the excavator, the work was completed during the night-time possessions, with less than a four-hour working window. The location for the retaining wall also suffered from ingress of water from natural springs and fissures in the rock. Due to the nature of the mass concrete blocks, temporary control of the water was easily dealt with by forcing the water around the blocks to the existing track drainage by forming small bunds. The design called for a second wall constructed behind the main wall with a small void between the two walls, which was filled with concrete. This greatly reduced the volume of loose material which would require compacting, thus enabling the works to be completed within the planned possession programme. Since this first project, the concrete block system has been used extensively on other Network Rail projects, due to its strength and earth retaining capabilities, keeping both the train and track safe whilst offering a pleasant viewing experience. This includes the ÂŁ87 million contract for the design and build of the Chiltern Railways route, between London Marylebone and Oxford, which involved the widening of the existing track bed and building a new one kilometre long section of railway. It was the fast installation and natural Cobblestone look of the concrete block that appealed to the Carillion Buckingham JV and since

the project has been completed it has won applause from those taking the train. Discover more about the Redi-Rockâ&#x201E;˘ modular walling solution by visiting the website (see right).


Tel: 01179 814500 Email: Visit:

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Fox Williams strengthens travel sector capability with appointment of new partner Rhys Griffiths City law firm Fox Williams has announced that Rhys Griffiths, a travel law specialist, joins the firm as Partner and Head of the Travel Group in the firm’s Commerce and Technology practice. Rhys joins Fox Williams from Fieldfisher, where he was Partner and Head of the Travel Group. His expertise lies in advising travel clients on the complex web of laws and regulatory requirements that apply to the sale of travel services in Europe. Malcolm Holmes appointed Executive Director West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) has announced the appointment as Malcolm Holmes as Executive Director. Reporting into both WMRE and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), Malcolm’s permanent appointment comes after filling the interim role for the past few years.

Nexus appoints a new Head of Learning Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has underlined its commitment to training and development with the appointment of a new head of learning. Heather Blevins, who has returned to her native northeast England from the Midlands to take up the newly created role, will head up the delivery of training programmes for Nexus.

Rail Professional

All change at the top of the IRO The role of IRO Chair has transitioned from Alex Hynes, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance, to Howard Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Crossrail, Transport for London. Alex, who is currently the Managing Director of ScotRail Alliance – a partnership between Abellio ScotRail and Network Rail Scotland - joined the IRO Board in January 2013 and served two terms of three years, the most permitted by the IRO Members’ Agreement.

THE VOICE OF TORQUE CONTROL • Leading specialist in torque control • Manufacturer of electric, battery, pneumatic & manually operated torque multipliers, torque wrenches & torque measurement equipment • Designed & made in UK • Example shown: bespoke bolting tool designed for limited access application on Hitachi Rail Class 800/801 using Norbar PTSTM & special offset gearbox reaction plate

Contact: +44 (0)1295 753600

Authorised Rail Partner


Guaranteed performance – end to end. Get graphics that deliver aesthetically, improve performance and come with a warranty for the duration of their product life thanks to our new 3M Authorised Rail Partners. 3M rail graphics not only offer you engineering excellence, but peace of mind for the life of your wrap – guaranteed. For more information visit

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Freightliner is hiring! We’re recruiting for: Qualified Train Drivers Experienced Rail Managers GroundStaff (South only)

Freightliner Group Ltd


Freightliner Group Ltd

+44 (0) 207 200 3974

Searching for a bright future? Opportunities with Frazer-Nash, UK-wide At Frazer-Nash, we support moving people and goods around and between the big cities of an increasingly urbanised society. Our clients choose us as they have come to expect the very best in knowledge, innovation and teamwork. With opportunities across the rail sector, we’re keen to hear from specialists with safety, design, power, rolling stock, environmental, cyber/information systems, software or fleet management expertise. So, if you’re searching for a bright future and want to benefit from working in a culture that recognises and rewards your technical expertise, we want to hear from you.

At Frazer-Nash, our experts are renowned for their work in the transport, aerospace, nuclear, marine, defence, power and energy sectors and their security, resilience, cyber and information technology expertise. Our offices UK: Basingstoke • Bristol • Burton • Dorchester • Dorking • Glasgow • Gloucester • Middlesbrough • Plymouth • Warrington Australia: Adelaide • Canberra • Melbourne


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The power of industry-leading safety performance Our industry-leading safety performance is achieved through focus and always putting safety first in everything we do.

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