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APRIL 2020 Issue 261 £7.95



Rethinking transport Is it time to disrupt the financing of major transport infrastructure?

COOPERATION Alight here for the future of rail

FREIGHT North vs South is a false debate

TRAMS Trams to Newhaven

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APRIL 2020 ISSUE 261 £7.95



editor’s note

Rethinking transport Is it time to disrupt the financing of major transport infrastructure?

COOPERATION Alight here for the future of rail

FREIGHT North vs South is a false debate

TRAMS Trams to Newhaven


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EDITORIAL EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE editor@railpro.co.uk DISPLAY ADVERTISING CHRISTIAN WILES chris@railpro.co.uk BEN WARING ben@railpro.co.uk AMY HUDSON Amy@railpro.co.uk RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING recruitment@railpro.co.uk SUBSCRIPTIONS subscriptions@railpro.co.uk ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT info@railpro.co.uk LISA ETHERINGTON admin@railpro.co.uk GILL DUNN office@railpro.co.uk KIRSTY CARTER projects@railpro.co.uk DESIGN & PRODUCTION MILES JOHNSTONE production@railpro.co.uk

Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may be submitted, but, while every care will be exercised, neither the editor nor the publisher take responsibility for loss of, or damage to, material sent. Submission of material to Rail

he month of March began with the Government taking over the running of services across the Northern network as an Operator of Last Resort. Franchising was a hot discussion topic throughout 2019 and that looked set to continue into 2020, but all that seems a distant

memory now as our country is focussed on tackling COVID-19.

It is a great time, then, to highlight the altruistic nature that runs through our rail society which

is why I am delighted that our regular columnist Lucy Prior chose this month to interview Gaynor Little of Railway Children. The charity works extensively in the UK in partnership with the British Transport Police to help identify and support vulnerable children who use the UK rail system to escape their problems through its Safeguarding on Transport programme.

One of Gaynor’s examples in her interview on page 29 was of an East Midlands Guard

who, acting on instinct alone, was able to identify a young person in trouble. This instinct is a combination of feeling and training which I believe can be applied to the current situation by using the advice being provided to make sensible decisions.

It is also an opportunity to show the best side of the rail community, as I am writing this

Network Rail has just announced that they will cancel all first quarter (25th March – 23rd June 2020) rent payments due from tenants in their commercial estate portfolio, providing significant relief for 1,000 small and medium business tenants who are worried about the impact of the virus on their footfall. Transport for London have also said that all small and medium businesses on their estate, which make up 86 per cent of tenants, will get one hundred per cent rent relief from their rent for the next three months.

In that spirit, this April issue of Rail Professional focusses on the topic of Cooperation. We have

a piece from the West Midlands Growth Fund on what researchers and industry leaders in the West Midlands are doing to help the country to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Sam Mullins OBE, Director of London Transport Museum, explains what is in the Museum’s report ‘Rethinking Transport Finance and Funding’.

Cllr Phil Smart of Ipswich Borough Council and Rail Future explains why he believes North

vs South is a false debate when it comes to freight and Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes at Edinburgh City Council provides an update on the city’s Trams to Newhaven project.

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

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09 News New technology set to transform railway performance on Transport for Wales network, Reduced or revised timetables, First of Greater Anglia’s brand new electric commuter trains goes on test run, Motherwell station redevelopment to create gateway to Glasgow, Rail industry responds to Chancellor’s Budget, Britain’s first digital railway takes major step forward as funding and partners announced

14 The Cheek of it Chris believes investment in new regional transport projects must not be at the expense of badly needed schemes to increase capacity in London

19 Laying down the law In the rail industry disputes occur. They can be relatively simple, regarding an unpaid invoice, or high profile like a disqualification from bidding for a passenger franchise

22 Delivering the goods Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy at FTA explains why the rail freight sector relies on private investment

27 Women in Rail Ruth Busby, Committee Member of the Women in Rail South Regional Group and HR Director at Great Western Railway

29 Rail Professional Interview The international charity, Railway Children, is doing more than ever in and around UK stations. In this interview with Railway Children’s Gaynor Little, Lucy Prior learns more about their Safeguarding project, its impact to date and their plans for the future

35 Viewpoint Peter Greenhalgh, Associate Director - Turner & Townsend, looks at the investors and investments in UK rail


The consequences of rushing health and safety training can be fatal. So Managing Safely takes exactly the right amount of time to get participants up to speed. That’s why our three day health and safety course is the most popular for line managers, in any sector, worldwide.




71 Cooperation Martyn Brunt, Land Manager at Sustrans, explains how better integration of cycling and rail services can help cities achieve a zero-carbon future

75 Cooperation The second part of a two-part article continuing on from David Jones’ article published in Rail Professional in February

79 Freight 39 Viewpoint

North vs South is a false debate argues Phil Smart – The North needs F2N

Richard Pill, Chairman of The English Regional Transport Association (ERTA), analyses the preferred railway route for a new Bedford-Cambridge rail link

83 Book Review

43 Franchising Phil Bulman of Vendigital considers the nationalisation of Northern Rail and explores the United Kingdom’s franchising model

47 Franchising Earlier this year, the rebranded Northern Trains marked the first time since the privatisation of Britain’s railways in the mid1990s that two operators will be under Government control

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive at Transport Focus reviews Paul Salveson’s new novel ‘The Works’

85 Business Profiles Welfare Hire, RSG Structures Ltd, TXM Projects, Zonegreen, Altro, Totalkare, Diamond Point International, RAIL Asia expo

110 People & Recruitment Rosie Illingworth, Dan Bishop, Charlene Wallace

51 Cooperation Liam Johnston, Executive Director of the Railway Mission, explores the design and function of multi-faith rooms

55 Cooperation From lighter rail vehicles to hydrogen-powered trains, researchers and industry leaders in the West Midlands are changing how we think about rail for the future

61 Cooperation Lesley Macinnes,Transport Convener Councillor on Edinburgh City Council, on unearthing Leith’s past and unlocking its future potential

65 Cooperation Sam Mullins OBE, Director of London Transport Museum, reflects on the funding and finance opportunities explored in the Museum’s latest thought leadership report


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News in brief... Network Rail announces new measures to support retailers and tenants Network Rail is cancelling all first quarter (25th March – 23rd June 2020) rent payments due from tenants in their commercial estate portfolio, providing significant relief for small businesses who are worried about the impact of the virus on their footfall. Further, Network Rail will cancel all base rent payments for retailers in our managed stations for


New technology set to transform railway performance on Transport for Wales network A pioneering video system is set to dramatically improve safety and performance on the railway in Wales and across the Borders. Transport for Wales has partnered with One Big Circle Ltd to fit smart cameras on trains to automatically record, analyse and report vegetation risks on the Wales and Borders routes. It will be the first time technology has been used in this way in the rail industry. The Automated Intelligent Video Review system (AIVR) is a lightweight train-borne device that sits inside the windscreen of the train cab and automatically captures video data and other telemetry as the train travels the network. It is designed to measure changes in the infrastructure each time a train runs the route, as vegetation changes naturally it can be tracked through an early warning heat map which is used to allocate resources. This way, hazardous leaf fall, signal sighting and intrusive growth can be managed proactively and without the need to put people on the track. In poor weather if a tree had been damaged by gale force winds and was leaning closer to the track than normal or at risk of blocking a driver’s view of a signal, the system would pick this out and alert the management team, before an incident was to occur.

the first quarter of the new financial year (April-June 2020). Step-free access now available at four western TfL Rail stations Customers using Hanwell, Iver, Langley and Taplow TfL Rail stations now benefit from step-free access from street to platform for the first time, alongside other station improvements. These upgrades have been part of a wider programme of accessibility improvements across the TfL Rail network in preparation for the Elizabeth line, which will bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London, transforming accessibility, boosting housing and jobs as well as delivering new and better journeys. HS2 uncovers world’s oldest railway roundhouse at Curzon Street archaeological site HS2 Ltd has unearthed what is thought to be the world’s oldest railway roundhouse at the construction site of its Birmingham Curzon Street station. The roundhouse was situated adjacent to the old Curzon Street station, which was the first railway terminus serving the centre of Birmingham and built

Reduced or revised timetables The Government and the UK rail industry have agreed a plan that will see a gradual reduction in train services across the country to reflect lower passenger demand, while keeping vital rail services running. Operators will continue to run core services ensuring people remain able to get to work, can travel to access medical appointments and the flow of goods continues across the UK. Reducing the number of trains in service also creates opportunities for additional cleaning activities on trains, and in depots, and allows more targeted cleaning at stations. With more railway staff being affected by the impact of the Coronavirus, revising services also accommodates infrastructure changes, and allows safety critical roles to be performed across the country. Transport Focus and London TravelWatch Chief Executive Anthony Smith commented: ‘This is a pragmatic response to the dramatic fall in passenger numbers and rising staff illness – there is no point in running empty trains and buses. But the remaining service must meet the needs of those who still have to travel, including key sector workers.’

Rail Professional



News in brief... during a period of great significance and growth for the city. Built to a design by the 19th century engineer Robert Stephenson, the roundhouse was operational on 12th November 1837 – meaning the recently discovered building is likely to predate the current titleholder of ‘world’s oldest’ in Derby by almost two years. Over 220 additional car parking spaces now available at Manningtree rail station A £3.1 million extension of Manningtree rail station’s car park is now complete. 220 additional spaces opened on Monday following work by Greater Anglia to expand the existing one-storey decked car park and develop wasteland, bringing the total number of spaces to over 800. An additional 20 Blue Badge spaces have been created and new more energy efficient LED lighting has also been installed throughout. GB Railfreight invest £3 million in new Peterborough office GB Railfreight has unveiled plans for a £3 million new ‘operational and training facility’ in Peterborough. To meet increasing demand for rail freight, GBRf are expanding

First of Greater Anglia’s brandnew electric commuter trains goes on test run Greater Anglia has now started testing the first of its brand-new electric commuter trains which will provide thousands of extra seats for commuters on their journeys to London. British company Bombardier is making 111 electric trains for Greater Anglia, which will replace all of the company’s existing electric trains on all services except for the Norwich-London intercity and Stansted Express services. The trains are all longer with hundreds more seats than the existing trains on all of those routes. In the early hours of Tuesday 17th March, the train was taken for a test run on the Southend Victoria line in another significant milestone in the progress towards getting the trains into passenger service. New trains have to undergo a series of performance and safety tests before they can come into passenger service. Tests include checking they interact properly with the network such as points and signals, testing performance at different speeds and checking in at every station and platform to see if any signs or platform furniture needs to be relocated. Greater Anglia staff including drivers and station staff also need to be trained to work with the new trains. The new electric trains are all five or ten carriages – with each carriage longer than carriages on existing trains. The five carriage trains have 544 seats and the tencarriage trains have 1,145 seats.

Motherwell station redevelopment to create gateway to Glasgow

operations by investing in new offices and training facilities. At present their fleet management and control centre is located in Peterborough, with a resource centre in Doncaster and additional offices across the UK. Nationwide GBRf have a 900 strong workforce. GBRf was granted planning permission for the development in December 2019, with Peterborough based construction company Lindum involved in the project since the early stages. The scheme will be completed in November 2020.

ScotRail, North Lanarkshire Council, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), and Transport Scotland have teamed up to create a gateway to the Glasgow City Region at Motherwell station. Work on a new regional transport integration hub at Motherwell station is set to begin this year, following the appointment of contractors, Balfour Beatty. The £14.5 million project will see the station undergo redevelopment work, as well as an overhaul of the public realm outside the station building, improving links between bus and train services as well as reducing congestion. Once complete the project will deliver: • An enhanced station forecourt and building with glazed roof and brighter, larger concourse. • Improved ticket retailing facilities. • Enhanced retail environment with food and drink offering. • Refurbished customer toilets and waiting facilities. • Improvements to pedestrian and cycling access. • Expansion of bus facility on Muir Street. • New facilities for taxis, car drop-offs and disabled parking. • Expansion of nearby park and ride facilities at Farm Street. The project will be delivered in two phases, with work on the station redevelopment due to start by Summer 2020, and the transport integration works following in 2021.

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Rail industry responds to Chancellor’s Budget Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: ‘It has been a particularly difficult time for this Budget, with coronavirus rightly being the Government’s number one priority. Looking to the long term, though, it is clearly welcome that Chancellor Rishi Sunak has re-committed the Government to infrastructure spending and rail investment, including backing major projects like Midlands Rail Hub, HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and others. We also look forward to seeing the upcoming National Infrastructure Strategy, which we encourage the Government to publish as soon as possible. ‘From the railway industry’s perspective, rail suppliers are excited and ready to deliver this ambitious programme of investment to ‘level-up’ opportunities and unlock the full potential of UK rail. However, as we set out in our submission to the Budget last month, there are five ‘crunch points’ which could act as a barrier and hamper the sector’s ability to deliver the world class railway everyone would like to see. ‘These ‘crunch points’ are renewals, rolling stock, enhancements, decarbonisation and digitalisation. Investment in each of these areas can be characterised in terms of ‘boom and bust’, with some not ramping up until the middle of the 2020s meaning a real shortfall in the next five years, when rail businesses need to be boosting capabilities and investing in people to deliver. ‘So we urge the Government to work with the Railway Industry Association and our members to find solutions to these crunch points – for example, by bringing work forward from CP7 into CP6 – and to smooth out ‘boom and bust’ investment so that we can continue to develop customer-focussed rail in the UK and to increase UK plc’s offer abroad.’


Britain’s first digital railway takes major step forward as funding and partners announced Network Rail has confirmed Siemens and Atkins as its partners in a major programme to introduce incab signalling on the southern section of the East Coast Main Line – a scheme that will reduce passenger delays by thousands of hours. The partners will play a critical role in delivering the East Coast Digital Programme (ECDP). The first £350 million investment in the ECDP by the government is already being used to begin the introduction of real-time digital signalling on the route, and lay the foundations for wider national roll-out. The ECDP will be the first intercity digital railway in the UK, fitting trains with the latest in-cab signalling technology and removing the old lineside signals. It will mean that signallers will be able to talk to trains continuously rather than only at fixed points, instructing and responding in real time and reducing delays and significantly improving performance. Network Rail launched a procurement process to find private sector partners to help deliver the programme back in September 2018. It was an entirely new way of working, to team up with suppliers from the start to design, develop and deploy the European Train Control System (ETCS) technology. The procurement has concluded with Siemens confirmed as the programme’s train control partner (TCP) and traffic management partner (TMP), and Atkins as rail systems integration partner (RSIP).

Rail Professional



The Cheek of it Chris Cheek

Rail investment must level up, not down

The investment in new regional transport projects must not be at the expense of badly needed schemes to increase capacity in London


was profoundly disturbed the other day when reading an article in a national newspaper about Crossrail 2, when it was suggested that the scheme might not get Government backing because such a decision would be criticised elsewhere, especially amongst PM Boris’s new pals in the North – the voters who gave him his majority last December. It is true that politicians and other civic leaders in the North are fiercely critical of the imbalance of transport spending between London and the rest of the country. And that’s not just about mega projects like Crossrail and the Thameslink upgrade, but also more mundane everyday things like the £700 million annually that is spent on the bus network. To the rail passenger still bouncing along in a Pacer or an elderly Sprinter in the wilds of South West Wales or Northern England, this imbalance is painfully obvious. Rolling stock in the South East, even though much

of it is upwards of 20 years old, feels like a Rolls Royce by comparison. But it’s not just about new trains, it’s also about signalling, platform lengths, line speed restrictions and archaic working practices – all of which can combine to make rail journeys in the North slower, less attractive and much less efficient. As a resident of Yorkshire for almost 30 years until last December, I know all about these issues. Fortunately, governance in the regions has both changed and improved. National politicians are on board – hence the decision to devolve power in the first place and the creation of initiatives such as the Northern Powerhouse. Elected mayors have moved transport up the agenda, and have proved much more effective than the old Passenger Transport Authorities in getting Whitehall to listen; meanwhile, the creation of Combined Authorities has at least blurred some of the contradictions of multi-tiered local government and ensured that (in some

areas at least) people are singing off the same hymn sheet. There are those who doubt that the Treasury is yet on board – hence all the talk since the turn of the year of changing the Green Book rules – the government bible that assesses rival investment schemes. By focussing on schemes with the highest benefit to cost ratio, it is argued, projects in London and the South East are always going to get priority. Change those rules and you can rebalance everything. Well, yes... Up to a point. And here is my concern: we cannot and should not ignore the very real problems of transport in London and the South East for the sake of some mythical form of ‘rebalancing’ the economy. London’s problems arise at least partially from the massive growth in population that’s happened since the turn of the century. Between 2001 and 2018, Office for National Statistics figures showed that

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the population of Greater London has risen by 21.7 per cent. The 2018 estimate of 8.9 million is 1.6 million above the 2000 figure. That means that the population of London has grown by more than the entire population of Merseyside in less than 20 years. The population of Inner London has grown by more than a quarter, and the population density of the old LCC area is now almost 11,300 people per square kilometre, with Tower Hamlets just short of 16,000 – that’s three times the density of Portsmouth, the next most densely populated place in the UK. The growth is expected to continue – the ONS’s central forecast has London growing by another eight per cent over the next decade – that’s the equivalent of the entire population of Leeds moving into the capital between now and 2029. By 2041, the total is expected to have risen by 630,000 – more than the population of Sheffield. In other words, the population of the capital is expected to grow by another 15 per cent over the next two decades. Then there is the question of demand. According to regional rail usage statistics published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), London is either an origin or a destination for 42 per cent of all interregional trips – and of those almost half are from the South East. When looking at intraregional trips, London accounts for over 52 per cent of the UK total, with the South East accounting for a further eight per cent. In summary, the commuter rail network in and around London accounts for some 63 per cent of national rail demand. This of course excludes the 1.4 billion passengers who use the London Underground system and the 122 million on the DLR. Even aside from any future growth in demand because of population increases and modal switch, it is inevitable that the intensive nature of these networks will account for the lion’s share of renewal investment. The pressure to improve performance and capacity on the existing network inevitably also requires enhancements to infrastructure. The three systems’ ability to cope with very high levels of demand can also be improved by introducing new, faster rolling stock with higher capacity. Then there is the question of new lines. The National Infrastructure Commission has already given its backing to the £27 billion Crossrail 2 scheme on several occasions – most recently in its first National Infrastructure Assessment, published last month. It called upon the Government to recommit to the project as a priority. It is accepted that London businesses and residents will need to provide the lion’s share of the money, but some Government backing will be necessary. The original plans envisaged the line being completed in 2033, but this is now slipping backwards. The Government’s National Infrastructure Strategy had originally been scheduled for publication alongside last month’s Budget, but this has now been Rail Professional

postponed – at least partly the result of the decision about the third runway at Heathrow delivered by the Court of Appeal last month. This reinforced the Government’s need to ensure that policies are in line with its commitments on climate change. Quite how much these plans will also be derailed by the crisis over the Coronavirus remains to be seen. At one level, there is no competition between north and south over infrastructure investment. Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, and Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive of London First wrote a joint article in the London Evening Standard just before the election. They pointed out that the North benefits ‘from the presence of a global city of London’s importance on its doorstep’ and

that the country as a whole needed Crossrail 2 as well as Northern Powerhouse Rail to relieve existing capacity pressures and unlock new development that would provide new jobs and homes. It’s clear that we desperately need all the new investment in public transport projects that are on the table in order to meet our climate change objectives and to rebalance the economy. But the Government must prove that it means what it says about ‘levelling up’ – that means maintaining investment in renewals and enhancements in the existing network as well as ‘mega projects’, and it means ensuring that London’s transport network does not grind to a halt in order to fund schemes in other parts of the country.

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Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood

Protecting legal advice privilege In the rail industry disputes occur. They can be relatively simple, regarding an unpaid invoice, or high profile like a disqualification from bidding for a passenger franchise


or a number of disputes, there is a process set out in the contract, such as requiring parties to use an industry specific dispute resolution scheme or using arbitration. The intention is to keep the mechanism for resolving the dispute relatively simple and to reduce the time and cost which is associated with litigation in the courts. However, some cases do end up before the courts. As part of the process for a court hearing the other side in the case can ask for documents relating to the case to be disclosed to them. This can include emails between people within the company and between the company and its advisors. Where legal advice is provided to a company by its lawyers, it is often presumed that such correspondence will be covered by legal privilege and can be kept confidential. This is not always correct and the recent case of Civil Aviation Authority v R Jet2.com Ltd (the ‘Jet2 Case’) has provided some helpful clarification on this point. Beware what you ask for The Jet2 Case maintained the broad scope that legal advice privilege will protect communications between lawyers and their clients where the communication is created for the purpose of giving or receiving legal advice. However, in order to be effective the

following four factors must have been met: • There is a communication (whether written or oral). • The communication is between a client and their lawyer or between a lawyer and their client. • The communication is made in confidence. • The dominant purpose of the communication was the giving or obtaining of legal advice about what should prudently and sensibly be done in the relevant legal context. It is the fourth point which is the most important here. Simply sending a communication to a lawyer does not automatically protect it from being disclosed. This is particularly important where the communication is sent to both lawyers and non-lawyers. With the majority of communications being sent by email it is very easy to send a single request for advice to both lawyers and non-lawyers at the same time. If the dominant purpose of the email is to seek the non-lawyer’s commercial views on the situation and a subsidiary purpose is to obtain legal advice from the lawyer, the communication will not be privileged in its entirety. The court in the Jet2 Case decided that where a communication is sent to a number

of recipients, it should be treated as a series of separate communications between the sender and each recipient. • The request for information to the nonlawyers does not have legal privilege and would need to be disclosed. • The responses from the non-lawyers would not have legal privilege and would Rail Professional



need to be disclosed. • The response from the lawyer would be given legal privilege provided that it contained legal advice rather than commercial advice. • If the lawyer’s response was mainly commercial advice, the dominant purpose of the response was not giving or obtaining legal advice, the response would not have legal privilege and would need to be disclosed. A particular risk is where a communication is sent to a company’s inhouse lawyer. Often the in-house lawyer will have a dual legal and commercial role in the company and the way the response is drafted could affect whether the reply will be given legal privilege. Where an email has an attachment, the Jet2 Case confirmed that the attachment is to be considered separately from the email. Just because the email attracts legal advice privilege the attachment will not automatically also get that privilege. It needs to be considered in the context of the communication and cannot be used to try and create legal privilege for an unhelpful document. Notes of discussions in meetings are also subject to the same legal privilege test. Just

because there is a lawyer at the meeting, the entire meeting will not automatically receive legal privilege. If the dominant purpose of the discussions is non-legal, the meeting will not be privileged at all. If legal advice has been given at the meeting and is clearly a specific part of the meeting, those parts of the meeting notes will receive legal advice privilege and can be redacted. Steps to protect advice Before sending out communications or including lawyers in a meeting, a company should consider the following: • Legal advice should be sought separately from any requests seeking commercial views on a case or transaction. This ensures that there is no doubt as to the dominant purpose of the communication. In-house lawyers should consider whether requests for advice are primarily in connection with their commercial or legal function. If it appears that it is largely commercial, the communication is unlikely to attract legal advice privilege. • If legal advice is sought or given in a meeting where both lawyers and nonlawyers are present and will discuss legal and commercial matters, consideration should be given to providing the legal advice in a specific part of the meeting so

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that the advice can be severed from the other matters recorded in the meeting note. • Consider any attachment being added to an email and whether it would be given legal advice privilege in its own right. If it would not, attaching it will not gain any additional protection. Emails with many recipients are a great way to save time in communicating with many people but, in certain circumstances, spending longer to write separate emails may save more than just time in the end. 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 contractual issues, the team advises on operational matters, franchises, concessions, finance, regulatory, property, employment, 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.

Rail Professional



Delivering the goods Alex Veitch

Rail freight needs investment : will Government provide the right framework? Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy at FTA explains why the rail freight sector relies on private investment


he value of private investment in the rail network is well documented, and last month, two of FTA’s members operating within the rail space – Tarmac and Maritime Transport –announced projects funded heavily by both public and private bodies. But to ensure rail freight continues to attract vital private investment, the right policy framework must be in place. In this article, I will explain why the rail freight sector relies on private investment and how Government policy, including the landmark Williams Rail Review, can be developed to drive uptake of this more environmentally friendly method of freight transportation. A vital source of investment Rail is more environmentally sustainable than many other forms of freight transport, and its use should therefore be incentivised across logistics businesses. For example, the Scottish Government recently provided Tarmac, the UK’s largest supplier of construction materials, with a £1.49 million grant to expand rail operations at its Dunbar plant. The enhanced rail distribution capabilities will allow the company to transport as much product as possible on the rail network and not the roads, thereby reducing carbon emissions and road congestion, while mitigating the company’s environmental impact. Any business wishing to move freight through the use of more sustainable modes, including rail or water, are able to apply for funding from Rail Professional

the Scottish Government. This project is a perfect example of private sector businesses growing the rail freight sector with the help of government support. Another recent private sector investment initiative is the partnership between SEGRO and Maritime Transport which has seen a new strategic rail freight interchange open at the Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway. Capable of handling up to sixteen 775-metre-long freight trains each day, the terminal provides direct access to the UK’s network of rail freight interchanges and all major UK Ports. In addition to the environmental benefits, it will remove seven million lorry journeys a year from Britain’s roads, according to Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris MP who formally opened the new facility in February this year. The challenges ahead There is a marked difference between private and public investment into passenger rail and freight. The UK Government closely manages passenger rail franchises and management contracts and is also a major investor in passenger rolling stock; Network Rail itself is also fully nationalised. By comparison rail freight naturally leans more heavily on private investment; the Freight Operating Companies are private businesses without the same level of government involvement and financial support as is found in passenger. And while rail freight continues to attract interest from the private sector, there are significant challenges for private companies to overcome when

making a business case for investment. These include high and rising track access charges; uncertainty over the future tax regime for diesel fuel; stop-start mode shift grant schemes; congested infrastructure; and complex network access arrangements. The forthcoming Williams Rail Review will chart the course of how the Government wants to involve the private sector in passenger rail going forward, which is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the freight sector too. Too often, the needs of the rail freight sector are side-lined in any political discussion on rail, which tends to focus on passenger transport. And while the political imperative behind a focus on passenger traffic is understandable, it is vital that our elected representatives consider freight as an equally important part of the rail network’s offering to the UK economy. As such, FTA highlighted the importance of rail freight to the UK economy within its submission and clearly identified where further investment is needed. The right framework FTA is campaigning to ensure the review provides certainty for rail freight operators and allows private sector-led, innovative businesses to flourish. For example, FTA and its members are urging the government to freeze or reduce Track Access Charges (TAC). 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)

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increases in TACs. The Williams Rail Review team should undertake an impartial study to assess whether a reduction in TACs would lead to higher volumes of freight on the network; it is our belief the study will reveal this would deliver significant payback to UK PLC in both economic, social and environmental benefits. Other solutions recommended by FTA to boost investment include a programme of electrification to future-proof the network; improve the way rail capacity is allocated; provide greater contractual flexibility; and incentivise National Rail to drive freight growth in each geographic area. With rail set to play a vital role in transitioning the logistics sector to a netzero emission industry, the Government must ensure the right frameworks are in place to attract investment from private companies. While rail freight naturally lends itself to private investment – in comparison to passenger which relies more heavily on public funding – FTA is urging Government to address the key barriers preventing further interest. From simplifying complex access arrangements to reducing prohibitive

While rail freight naturally lends itself to private investment – in comparison to passenger which relies more heavily on public funding – FTA is urging Government to address the key barriers preventing further interest. From simplifying complex access arrangements to reducing prohibitive track access charges, FTA will be working hard to ensure the Government understands how best to unlock additional private investment into rail freight track access charges, FTA will be working hard to ensure the Government understands how best to unlock additional private investment into rail freight. Efficient logistics is vital to keep the UK 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





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Women in rail


Ruth Busby

Each for equal Ruth Busby, Committee Member of the Women in Rail South Regional Group and HR Director at Great Western Railway


wo years ago, I joined the Rail industry. I’d moved sectors before, so wasn’t too concerned when people were telling me the railway is hugely complicated and that it is heavily male dominated. That was true of most of the sectors I had worked in. I was nervous about taking up my first role as a Director and being the only woman on the GWR Exec team. I need not have worried: I was, and continue to be, greeted with kindness and support, with my nonrail perspective still welcomed. I also have another thing on my side: the community of Women in Rail! I was incredibly blessed that, in my first month at GWR, Women in Rail South launched in Reading. As a passionate advocate for inclusion and diversity, I popped along and was welcomed by Anna and the team. It was inspiring to know there were many people in the industry determined to make a difference, to raise awareness amongst young women about the opportunities to work in rail, to address practical challenges including PPE, uniform and access to toilets and to champion women to be confident to thrive in our industry. I was delighted when invited to join the Women in Rail South Committee in 2018. The team brings together people from a wide range of organisations and roles and has delivered fabulous events on networking skills, personal brand, superstar communications skills and wellbeing. These events have an impact that lasts much longer than the day. They create relationships and connections that lead to further change. Much like a strawberry plant, once it has produced its own fruit, it goes on to seed new plants that thrive in their own right. Within GWR, and inspired by the Women in Rail South event, we’ve had two Personal Brand sessions for those who couldn’t attend the Oxford session, and

Steve Carr, the inspirational speaker at the Women in Rail South wellbeing session will be educating all of our managers on mental health at our Leadership conferences this spring. This is what excites me most about Women in Rail – the potential for great ideas to go viral. It has been fantastic seeing the all-female crewed, signalled, despatched trains for International Women’s Day – from the LNER Flying Scotswoman to the GWR Odette Hallowes, and the Southeastern Victoria to Faversham. Rail to refuge is another great example: a truly lifesaving scheme, in partnership with Women’s Aid, that provides women who

are the victims of domestic abuse free train travel to refuges where they can find safety. This initiative was the brainchild of a station manager at Southeastern. It was launched in GWR and is now on the cusp of being introduced within many other TOCs. When we stand shoulder to shoulder to champion the cause of women across our industry, and beyond, we are all the better for it. Women in Rail gives us that platform and I’m proud to help play just one small part in it. To find out more about Women in Rail South Regional Group, please e-mail South@ womeninrail.org. Rail Professional


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Runaway trains The international charity, Railway Children, is doing more than ever in and around UK stations. In this interview with Railway Children’s Gaynor Little, Lucy Prior learns more about their Safeguarding project, its impact to date and their plans for the future What is the safeguarding project? Wasn’t the charity created to help vulnerable children in India and Africa? ailway Children has been fighting for children alone and at risk on the streets for over 25 years. During that time, we’ve reached more than 275,000 children. Yes, when David Maidment first created the charity its focus was on children living at railway stations in India and on the streets and then the work moved to East Africa, but we now also work extensively in the UK in partnership with the British Transport Police (BTP). Here in the UK 100,000 children run away each year and 18,000 sleep rough or with someone they’ve just met. They are at extreme risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Our Safeguarding on Transport programme focusses on identifying and supporting vulnerable children who use the UK rail system to escape their problems. We aim to reach them before abusers can.


What is your role in the programme and how did you get involved? Have you always worked in the railway sector? My official title is Head of UK Programme, Safeguarding on Transport, and it’s safe to say that I’ve not followed the most obvious route into railway. After mainstream schooling I went to study at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. In the last year there I fell in love with community arts, music and art as therapy. I felt that the stage was not the place for me: I am such a home bird. In my final year I worked on a community arts project working with varied clients: the elderly, Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND) students, young children and those in care. In all instances it was about introducing light and laughter and I loved it. From there I moved on to study for my Masters in Dramatherapy, and to work on supporting people through bereavement and loss. I ended up working with another children’s charity in a project supporting runaways charity and I loved it. It was there I met Andy Rail Professional

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McCullough, Railway Children’s Safeguarding Director. He came to speak to the team at the charity I worked for at the time, and I knew then that I really wanted to work for Railway Children one day. I moved across a number of years later, as a project coordinator for the Manchester team, and then a few weeks after I moved into this role. How does the Safeguarding programme make a difference? In so many ways, but what is crucial is that we know we cannot and should not do this alone. We engage with so many others to design, deliver and roll out this programme. The rail community is so supportive, and we as a charity succeed on working with others and support what they are doing, supporting the operating companies for example, and vice versa. The key thing for me: the safeguarding project really is making a difference. The project and the people involved have had such a positive impact through intervention, and made massive changes to young peoples’ lives, but we can do more together. One of our key offerings is helping to support more staff, e.g. on-board crew, platform and station staff. We can offer awareness training about vulnerable young people using their service and the key concerns to look out for and what to do. This training helps open peoples’ eyes, helps them pick up on subtle cues or signifiers, and understand if and when to intervene themselves for example, or understand which other agencies ought to be alerted such as BTP. So many of these signs be hard to see, or to see through. For example, when train staff encounter overt antisocial behaviour, i.e. youngsters being loud or intimidating, we help people be more confident in picking up on the signs. Signs that there is perhaps something more serious behind the behaviour and help them to know when to act upon such behaviour themselves, or when it is safer to call in support from the British Transport Police. Why do you think the railway, and perhaps trains and stations in particular are places where kids at risk find themselves? They can be a safe place. Children can gravitate towards stations because they are well lit, have CCTV, are generally staffed and have facilities. Basic facilities such as clean toilets, but also Wi-Fi. And unlike in a café they can blend in a bit. They’re not an obvious nuisance in a station, and they might also think they’re less likely to be noticed, or watched, as they would be in a smaller space. They can mingle in a station, and they can try and make themselves almost invisible. And this is where our support and training for railway staff really comes into its own. We help staff recognize those finely nuanced behaviours and traits that indicate that these aren’t just youths hanging around. Such as how they are dressed, thinking about the time of day, who they are with or where they are travelling too. The awareness training that we provide is accessible to almost everyone; we have developed an e-learning platform which is an easy to use, twenty-minute course, and we of course offer face to face training as well that can be delivered in-house. This entails scenariobased training that helps staff learn to pick out the subtle signs in behaviour that indicate that someone needs help, but crucially it helps them act upon this insight safely. At no point do we wish any individual to put themselves at risk, so a train crew member for example would be confident to ask for help from British Transport Police who they can call upon if it is not safe to intervene themselves. And this training can be offered to almost anyone within the railway community, not only TOC or Network Rail staff. Are there any limits to this training? In terms of accessibility, no, but in terms of face to face delivery, yes. We are exceptionally grateful to the TOCs that give us so much support each year which can be in terms of help with travel, fundraising, sponsorship and events etc. There are so many people to mention and thank yous to give it would be difficult to name them all but for example Northern Rail and Aviva help us with travel passes so we can deliver training across their route, attend key meetings and complete home visits and sessions to the children

engaging in our programme. This is also a great example of the goodwill we receive, and how supportive the railway community is at large. I can cite countless examples of how the rail community is supporting our work, and of cases where people have been able to intervene with our help, or through our training, all of which have made a real change for the young people in question. But we can do more. We can do more together, and we can do more to support those front-line staff who come across these youngsters. Small pockets of people will help as much as they can which is great, but we want to get the message to a bigger audience if we can, and I would love to speak to anyone that is interested in supporting the UK work we are doing.. Can you give any examples of the impact both your safeguarding training and the Safeguarding programme has already had? Loads! One lovely example from our London team was where a young runaway had been picked up through the programme; he’s autistic and loves trains. We discovered he was struggling with

Our Safeguarding on Transport programme focusses on identifying and supporting vulnerable children who use the UK rail system to escape their problems. We aim to reach them before abusers can Rail Professional



neglect at home, and once this was realized GTR gave him a day’s free travel and accompanied by their training director he was able to have a go on their training simulator. Using reward and incentive we were able not only to intervene in the domestic situation, but also to drive home a really important safety message; it was just brilliant. An East Midlands Guard made a referral which really helped support a family at a time of crisis. Acting on instinct alone the guard discovered that this was a missing person; through Safeguarding we have subsequently been able to provide significant support to the young person and the family. The youngster was agoraphobic and suffered mental health issues. By being more aware and knowing what signs to pick up that Guard has enabled us to help rebuild that person’s home relationships. Gut feelings can have a massive impact; teamed with our Safeguarding training this impact is amplified. Where does the safeguarding programme operate? Is this just in our major cities? We rolled this programme out starting in 2017 in the North West focussed around Manchester Piccadilly, but whilst we centre on one station, the programme will cover a much wider region and also smaller stations. Manchester is a centre for the North West for example and our Leeds project, launched in October last year, spans from Sheffield to Hull and supports the smaller stations across that region. Our London project based in Euston station covers 15 inner boroughs. We recognize the county lines problems that exploit vulnerable kids, so we are active across routes and regions to help tackle that problem. Other TOCs that have referred young people to BTP who have then had support from us include all of those operating in the Yorkshire area, including LNER, TPE, Northern, EMR and Network Rail staff, and these interventions have uncovered issues such as

bullying, missing persons, assault-victims, and runaways. We are hoping to roll the programme out next in Birmingham and then hopefully Glasgow. Essentially, we pick the ‘hot spots’ were the highest number of vulnerable children are referred and use our five-year strategy to create a project and commitment to offering support. We ensure that there is an overarching support across these hot-spots, and then based on finances we apply for trusts and grants. As an example, the Leeds project will cost in the region of £120,000 per year. This covers the cost of two full time staff and one coordinator. Where we are able, we access funding to make these projects possible and more affordable and link in with local business both rail and non-rail for support and help. Business support can be in the form of shared funding, but Volker Rail for example sponsor our Big Station Sleepout event, which this year raised over £155,000 which contributes towards the programme nationally. The work that we do is primarily about protecting the vulnerable: making the invisible visible as we say. It is so much more than stopping kids from causing trouble at stations; we uncover the reasons behind the behaviour and provide long-term support to help them get back into school, stop them from going into care, end bullying, break free from grooming etc. But I would like to add that we are also supporting those that support us. Our interventions, our training and our collaborating with operators, Network Rail, the BTP and others, is also having a positive social effect, and is reducing the impact of these youngsters’ behaviours on staff and the public. And we want to do more. If you wish to know more about the Safeguarding Project or the Big Station Sleepout please visit www.railwaychildren.org.uk or follow Gaynor on @GaynorLittle @RailwayChildren

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Open returns: driving private investment back into the railways Peter Greenhalgh, Associate Director - Turner & Townsend, looks at the investors and investments in UK rail


he national political agenda is once again dominated by discussions around the UK’s ageing rail network. With talk of reopening lines and stations closed during the Beeching Cuts in the 1960s and the creation of new nationally significant routes, there are encouraging signs of the new Government’s support for rail. Regionally, the call for investment is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Pressure in particular is coming from regional leaders such as Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, and Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, calling for greater support for rail outside of London as part of Downing Street’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. Echoing these calls, the work by the UK2070 Commission has highlighted the need for the creation of a ‘national network which creates renewed levels of connectivity between cities’. The challenges facing the network are well documented. The need to modernise ageing infrastructure is often brought face-to-face with the harsh reality of minimising the cost to the taxpayer. To realise the ambition of creating a world-class rail network – with export-ready skills to match, more must be done to attract private investment alongside Government spend. This has been an ambition of Network Rail and government for many years, with the Shaw Report (2016) raising the subject of opening railway investment up to third party funding and the Hansford Review (2017) providing detailed recommendations on how this might be achieved. With major programmes coming forward and Government backing for rail, we have a golden opportunity to do so. Shifting perceptions The reality is challenging. Perceptions of infrastructure, and the railways in particular, as investable propositions for private capital are low. Regaining investor confidence relies on innovative thinking, but also taking stock of past lessons – bringing together a coherent route map for attracting private funding and finance and delivering new projects and upgrade works. Working in Manchester, we know the possibilities of what can be done. The creation of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company (L&MR) in 1824 proved to be a financial success, earning backers of

the project an average return of 9.5 per cent on their investment. The line solved a real problem for communities and businesses and boosted regional business activity and growth. The promise of this kind of profit encouraged a massive increase in railway construction across Britain. Although the financial landscape is very different today, the L&MR’s clear business case and replicable model for delivery is as relevant as ever – as the combination of programmes like Northern Powerhouse Rail and East West Rail recapture the spirit of the Victorian railway age. Diversification of funding Critically – and as noted by Hansford’s review in particular – private finance must draw on a variety of different models to make it stack up. We need to see innovative thinking of the type that has supported Crossrail in London, where 60 per cent of funding is being generated by local businesses – a solution that won’t work for all schemes, but which could contribute to many in some form. Bigger still, there is a real opportunity to channel institutional investment and even private household wealth into dedicated infrastructure funds which are suited to stable, long-term returns. In other sectors, Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) had become widespread prior to the Government scrapping all new PF2 programmes last year. Despite high profile criticism of some projects – from hospitals and schools to roads – work by Turner & Townsend for the World Economic Forum shows that globally PPPs can work and work well, providing that they are well set-up and managed. The same logic can be applied to funding models of diverse types – dramatically reducing risk profiles and lending rail an investability boost. Building confidence Investors need reassurances that programmes are set up for success – navigating the pitfalls of past initiatives and demonstrating a strong business case for funding. This has been reinforced by the National Audit Office report on Modernising the Great Western Railway, which highlighted the importance of prioritising strategic objectives and accurately predicting cost and scope. The first – and arguably most critical –

area of focus should be on the creation of a whole-life business case which lays out a transparent route map on returns for decades to come. Early-engagement between privatepublic stakeholders helps ensure this business case is sound and doesn’t contain surprises down the line which could dent credibility in the railways as an investable proposition overall. This partnership approach then needs to be maintained throughout the programme – ensuring that transition and management from investment case to construction to operation is smooth. Our work with the WEF highlighted the ongoing need for contractually framed, resilient partnerships to maintain collaborative rather than combative working relationships. This includes a recognition of the risks of scope creep. The best cases – from the 1824 L&MR onwards – have a clear business case and scope which is brought to fruition. Although we should always be alive to opportunities over the course of a programme to upgrade or amend the scope, this needs to be adequately factored into the wider economic case for the project, minimising the risk of financial loss to either the public or private purse. Understanding complex outcomes The conundrum for rail is balancing the hard economics with the wider concerns, outputs and benefits of good connections. The success of attracting investment into schemes such as Northern Powerhouse Rail relies on identifying detailed rules and transparent processes that will guide the project to meet Rail Professional



the needs of each partner. While private investors will understandably be driven by financial returns as a metric of success, there is a need among all contractual parties to attach more weight to the importance of whole-life economic, social and environmental values. For instance, a new railway line could serve to connect marginalised communities that have lost transport and basic local services – encouraging the connectivity revolution called for by the UK2070 Commission. While forms of multi-criteria analysis (MCA) are already in play in the UK, cost remains the dominant factor in long term decision-making. Work by the Institution of Civil Engineers points to other global regions, including Australia, as adopting increasingly sophisticated MCA, while in Germany federally funded infrastructure also includes a spatial impact assessment which gives extra weight to programmes serving low-income regions. The changing nature of infrastructure development means that these considerations need to be factored into business cases for our own network and will play a significant role in the balance of private funding plus public spending. By putting the end-user first and looking beyond profit, funders could find that they unlock further opportunities with their initial investment.

Rail Professional

Building capability Beyond specific schemes and investment, this process of setting up programmes for success provides a generational opportunity to drive consistently higher performance – improving how it learns from experience and building capabilities in the sector. Rather importantly, but seemingly missing from the lexicon of some within the industry, is the need to conduct expost analysis of rail projects once they are completed. This is difficult, but by assessing the project’s actual outcomes against those proposed at the start, lessons – good and bad – from the process can be understood to ensure that future project management considers all possible points of failure. Post completion analysis has been recognised as a means of driving cost and performance efficiency. In the (March 2019) Railway Industry Association Electrification Cost Challenge Report, it was highlighted how learning from the lessons of past mistakes could deliver a 33-50 per cent saving on financial costs. This could be achieved by establishing a ten-year rolling pipeline of electrification works that build on the learnings of successes of past projects by transferring skills from one project to another. This model – replicable across multiple types of capital projects – not only lowers headline costs but reduces financial risk

terms that ultimately determine a yes/no investment case. Exporting expertise For UK plc, establishing programmes and technical expertise of this type offers a bigger prize. In the same way that the UK’s tunnelling expertise is now being exported internationally to assist with the design and delivery of projects around the world, coordinated investment in the UK network could once again put the UK at the forefront of international rail delivery as it was in 1823. To achieve this, the industry needs to sit up and listen to where projects went wrong and build on the success of those that go right. The devil will – as with all major investment schemes – be in the implementation. But with three major rail programmes coming forward we have a real opportunity to build capacity and expertise in the sector that in turn can unlock a wider stream of smaller but critical projects across the network. Doing so will depend on building and maintaining cohesive and stable publicprivate partnerships – delivering predictable returns on investment for partners, alongside clear environmental, social and economic benefits for fare payers. Peter Greenhalgh is Associate Director at Turner & Townsend, based in Manchester



People flow assessment is one of those fields which is complex to acquire but key to understanding and optimising many areas of activity, in particular railway transport and metro stations. Only experts are able to extract the relevant data and synthesise it to produce real operational intelligence tools or simply to use as decision-making support in real time.


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New route is chosen for a Bedford-Cambridge Rail Link heralding a new dawn Richard Pill, Chairman of The English Regional Transport Association (ERTA), analyses the preferred railway route for a new Bedford-Cambridge rail link


n the 30th January 2020 the Government and East-West Rail Company Ltd announced a preferred railway route for a new Bedford-Cambridge rail link. The new route would serve Bedford Midland Station (integration) but then go north of the town and veer off to the east somewhere in the Milton Ernest area, arc across to a new station with the East Coast Main Line (ECML) somewhere north of Tempsford and somewhere south of St Neots and head off eastwards to serve

I was also on the national reopenings committee of the RDS and wrote to all councils asking for their views on a restored Oxford-Cambridge rail link and got mixed views. One of which was Bedfordshire County Council who wrote to British Rail, which in turn said there was no case for a BedfordSandy rail link

Cambourne (a new town growth settlement west of Cambridge) and then roughly across country and via the M11 corridor link to existing lines at Shepreth Junction. We are informed that there will be either a flying junction or an underpass linking the three lines and four tracking into Cambridge, doubling the current twin track arrangement. In addition, the consultation for a Cambridge South Station (Addenbrookes) will have four platforms to accommodate optimum train movements. The background as to why it was a shock, albeit welcome clarification was because Other issues we have raised for design consultants to take into account are: • Will there be a physical rail connection with the East Coast Main Line (ECML) to enable Peterborough, Stevenage, East Bedfordshire and Thameslink integration with same east-west tracks and vice versa? • What about freight – will the new railway be fully conversant from day on? • Will you now consider electrification throughout? • Will you include NorthamptonMidland Main Line/BedfordCambridge in the frame? For readers around what is happening with and associated concerns please see our Blogspot and scroll down: https://ertarailvolunteer.blogspot.com/ For further news please see: https://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/

we had been campaigning for the old route (Bedford-Sandy-Cambridge) to be used as a foundation. Sadly, since the original route was closed in 1967 the fallow years were peppered by piecemeal and ribbon development and no formal protection of the route, making it vulnerable to blockages. From north of Sandy since the 1970s, Station Court Blunham (1985), development at Potton and elsewhere, the old route was increasingly under attack, a story of many an old railway formation and many a campaigner’s headache! The first reference to the idea of Rail Professional

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protecting the old route from BedfordSandy was listed in the 1983 Bring Back the Trains Booklet published by the then Railway Development Society (RDS, now Railfuture). However, in those days, reopening lines where tracks existed had a different status and regard than the notion of rebuilding lines where the track was lifted and the route compromised. None-the-less in October 1987 I called a public meeting at The Bell Pub Hall opposite Sandy Station and founded the Bedford and Sandy Rail Reopening Association (BASRRA). I was also on the national reopenings committee of the RDS and wrote to all councils asking for their views on a restored Oxford-Cambridge rail link and got mixed views. One of which was Bedfordshire County Council who wrote to British Rail, which in turn said there was no case for a Bedford-Sandy rail link. This set the standard reply from both the County and Borough Councils at Bedford for the next seven years, but other councils in the East Anglia and a handful like Luton and Milton Keynes were more open minded and indeed wrote to the 1993 Side Roads Order 199 Bedford A421 Bypass Inquiry to say in their view a bridge over the trackbed should be provided in the bypass design, but both the County as Transport Authority and

Borough and Planning Authority objected and thus the road was built across the old formation adding another blockage. We soldiered on, but these other councils formed the East-West Consortium in 1995 of which Bedford Borough and County Councils agreed to be a part and the rest, as they say is history. On the new Bedford-Cambridge rail link, ERTA, like its predecessor organisations believed in the absence of a formal route option, you hold onto and promote what you have as a basis for variations on a theme. Indeed, like a curate’s egg, parts of the old route were in good tact. Hence, we were keen to see the new railway reverse out of Bedford Midland and go east via the old St John’s – Willington trackbed which remains as a walkway cum cycle way. New raised bypass with a bridge and then from there new route interpretations could follow. Likewise at Cambridge we saw that coming from the west, the blockages of the M11, River Cam, Trumpington Meadows Development, Trumpington Park and Ride and the Guided Busway were impediments but could with a will and a way be overcome and new routes need to have their costs pitted against the original with interpretations as a benchmark.


On the new Bedford-Cambridge rail link, ERTA, like its predecessor organisations believed in the absence of a formal route option, you hold onto and promote what you have as a basis for variations on a theme

New routes will still encounter more cost and blockages from ancient woodlands, conservation, NIMBYS and select other developments. Richard Pill is ERTA Chairman

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Nationalisation: it doesn’t have to be this way Phil Bulman of Vendigital considers the nationalisation of Northern Rail and explores the United Kingdom’s franchising model


orthern Rail’s nationalisation is yet another reminder that the industry’s franchise model and the way that the various organisations involved work together is flawed. In order to deliver the service and improvements that passengers, Government and the companies providing key services need, longer-term thinking and improved collaboration between key stakeholders are urgently required. Since Arriva was awarded the nine-year contract in 2016, a perfect storm of factors have resulted in delays, cancellations and poor financial performance at Northern Rail. Like many other struggling train operating companies (TOCs), the operator has been finding it difficult to make money from the farebox, despite the fact that passenger

Disruption linked to Network Rail infrastructure upgrades, timetable changes, and a prolonged period of industrial action led by the RMT, has been compounded by a number of cancelled or delayed infrastructure projects

numbers across the network have more than doubled, from 735 million in 1994-5 to 1.7 billion in 2018-19. At the same time, the operator has been facing rising operational costs, with huge amounts of investment needed to update rolling stock and digitise services. Disruption linked to Network Rail infrastructure upgrades, timetable changes, and a prolonged period of industrial action led by the RMT, has been compounded by a number of cancelled or delayed infrastructure projects. In particular, completion of the much-needed electrification programme was pushed back, due to a lack of Government funding. This forced Arriva to arrange alternative rolling stock, leading to delays to passenger services and overcrowding across the network. With the addition of a timetable change, this proved too much for the operator to manage. With recent figures from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), stating that just 56 per cent of Northern Rail’s trains arrived at stations within a minute of the time stated on the timetable, in the twelve months to 7th December, the Government’s decision to intervene comes as no surprise. While the need for essential infrastructure improvements has not gone away, Northern’s nationalisation could provide the fresh perspective needed to identify the operator’s underlying issues. However, in order to improve services in a cost-efficient way and future proof the industry, a radical rethink of the whole rail network - its structure and the way it operates – is vital. The long-awaited Williams Rail Review, commissioned by the Government following the failure of several large rail franchises, is expected to outline a number of proposals for improving rail services. One of its confirmed recommendations is to implement a longer-term approach to delivering sector improvements by

transferring management of the franchise model from the Department of Transport (DfT) to a new independent national rail organisation, to control budgets, manage risk and supervise operating contracts. Williams is also expected to recommend removing the profit motive from traditional train operating contracts, making them passenger service contracts instead, and removing financial risk for rolling stock and improvements. While a shake-up of the franchise model is urgently needed, both suggestions fail to address the real elephant in the room; the industry’s routine misalignment of stakeholder objectives. According to figures from ORR, Northern Rail can only really be held responsible for around 40 per cent of its problems; a higher proportion than some other TOCs. In order to improve passenger services, other stakeholders need to take greater Rail Professional

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In order to stop history repeating itself, Network Rail, Government and TOCs need to become better at working collaboratively and aligning their objectives. There are lessons that could be learnt from countries such as Japan, which has a much longer-term perspective in how it brings public and private organisations together. For example, often, Network Rail’s focus on delivering safe UK infrastructure, at any cost, is at odds with the TOCs’ need to drive revenue by growing passenger numbers accountability for their failings. For example, the Government’s decision to put the brakes on its electrification programme has done nothing to improve the efficiency and reliability of services. In order to stop history repeating itself, Network Rail, Government and TOCs need to become better at working collaboratively and aligning their objectives. There are lessons that could be learnt from countries such as Japan, which has a much longerterm perspective in how it brings public and private organisations together. For example,

often, Network Rail’s focus on delivering safe UK infrastructure, at any cost, is at odds with the TOCs’ need to drive revenue by growing passenger numbers. Similarly, it is important to be aware that focussing solely on passenger experience, with no incentive to get passengers onto services, will inevitably result in the need to increase ticket prices over time. As such, there should be a strong incentive for Government to work closely with TOCs to run rail companies efficiently, which may require a rethink of their performance-


first approach. Greater collaboration with Government in areas such as timetabling could also help TOCs to drive long-term cost improvements, at the same time as ensuring changes are implemented quickly and without unnecessary disruption. Access to trustworthy and reliable data should also form an essential part of driving improved outcomes, both in terms of revenue and cost reduction strategies within the rail sector, allowing TOCs to easily identify which service areas are the most profitable and opportunities to improve efficiency. For example, access to data about the number of passengers using a particular part of the network could allow operators to improve efficiency by switching to shorter carriage formations. While the decision to re-nationalise the Northern Rail franchise has once again highlighted the urgent need to make changes, wholesale reform of the rail network is going to take time. Only by introducing a more collaborative culture and thinking beyond franchise timescales, will the sector succeed in delivering muchneeded improvements to infrastructure and services, while keeping ticket prices down. Phil Bulman is a partner and cost-based management consultant at Vendigital. He specialises in advising businesses in the transport sector

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UK rail franchise and cooperation – present and future Earlier this year, the rebranded Northern Trains marked the first time since the privatisation of Britain’s railways in the mid-1990s that two operators will be under Government control


he decision to nationalise the franchise was taken by Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, terminating the nine-year contract five years early. The problems are symptomatic of a wider demise of the rail franchising system that was put in place at the time privatisation almost a quarter of century ago. Other franchises are facing problems caused by overbidding for the contracts and repeated government failures to deliver on infrastructure upgrades, delays in the delivery of new rolling stock and industrial action. The UK rail industry employs more than 190,000 people, from train drivers and station staff to those responsible for managing and maintaining the network’s 20,000 miles of track. The UK rail network includes more than 2,500 stations and more than 40,000 bridges and tunnels. Every year, there are more than 1.3 billion passenger journeys, including nearly 270 million business trips. Contribution to railway franchising The UK railway franchising is determined by various parameters such as profitability per service, level of railway station services, train upgradations, performance targets, facility provision, fares and ticketing procedures, and level of passenger service.

When a company is appointed to a franchise, they usually obtain the right to operate passenger services over certain proportion of the UK rail network. Usually the performance standards and railway fares are set up by the company running the services considering due attention to potential running charges behind the railway system. Times since privatisation Fares have risen at a significantly slower rate since privatisation than during the last 20 years of British Rail. The average annual real terms increase between 1996 and 2011 was 1.3 per cent compared to a 2.7 per cent increase during the last 20 years of British Rail. The average price paid per mile is 19p – in real terms, the lowest level in five years. Season tickets, as measured by pence per mile, are now lower in real terms than at privatisation. In contrast, according to the RAC Cost

of Motoring Index 2010, car travel costs £48.91p per mile. Sales of cheap Advance tickets have risen 80 per cent in the last four years and the number of journeys made on Railcards has risen by 70 per cent in the last decade. Although fares are high on most UK wide routes especially on anytime return fares (which contributes approximately two per cent of total journeys), people still are keen to use advance rail fares to save money wherever possible, and plan journeys well in advance. Cost distribution Most of the money earned from rail fares, mainly goes toward operational and running charges. The operational and running charges comprise of train rental charges, staff salaries, train maintenance costs and incurrence of fuel charges. Due to the vast distribution of railway fares into various entities, the passenger service providers Rail Professional



are forced to go at higher fares to recoup any losses, which results in higher costs for people travelling. Despite various protests to cut down the level of railway franchising the UK government has done a brilliant job over the last five years to keep the industry afloat, and introducing special fares, railcards, season tickets etc. There are currently over 2,500 railway stations across the United Kingdom with more than 20,000 daily train services running through them. About half of the railway fare revenue is estimated to come from regulated fares, whilst the other half from un-regulated fare means. Importance of stakeholder engagement on UK railway franchising system The stakeholder engagement plays a vital role in UK railways franchising, and keeping passengers thoroughly informed about any developments in the UK railway market. To do this, the government starts the process of engagement by trying to identify and inform as wide an audience as possible because this is the time where there is the most opportunity for stakeholders to shape the franchise. As the process goes on it gets much more restrictive and harder to do so. The views and opinions of all stakeholders are listened to and then used to design the public consultation stage.

Gauging success in UK railway franchise system Strong feedback loops should be considered to allow appropriate and timely response to change, allowing train companies to continue to realise value and deliver against objectives. The designing and architecture of the railway franchising system determines the success behind the brand. CP6 and further stages should be about ensuring that the UK rail system learns from previous shortcomings and push towards a greater brand value, and better level of technological and commercial service. In addition, sustainability is becoming a prominent contribution and should be taken on board by railway franchise companies to keep on top of certain carbon footprint commitments. There must be a strong assurance of quality, compliance, delivery, health and safety, and most importantly strong passenger/customer service. The UK railway industry has a massive potential to

enhance their railway industry and making it modern in line with other world class railway infrastructure similar to Japanese and swiss railways. High Speed 2 is a good example of which phase 1 i.e. London to Birmingham route have been given a go ahead by the Government. Sid Grover is the

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Multi-faith space and design in a railway context Liam Johnston, Executive Director of the Railway Mission, explores the design and function of multi-faith rooms


n recent years the railway industry has seen unprecedented levels of investment in both infrastructure and rolling stock. This investment will more than likely continue as the UK develops and increases the capacity for the safe transport of passengers and freight. Equally important to the safe and efficient transportation of people and goods are the dedicated and professional staff members of the railway. It has been widely recognised by organisations that understanding and accommodating the religious beliefs of colleagues helps foster a better and more motivated team. Perhaps the most notable expression of this is found in the provision of multi-faith rooms. In multi-faith rooms, people of all faiths, and those of no faith, share a space that takes on a set of sacred modalities. Multi-faith is now the default form of religious space in hospitals and airports and has introduced sacred spaces to places like shops, football grounds, offices and railway stations where they have previously not existed. Multi-faith spaces are a new kind of sacred environment in which anyone can find a quiet refuge or pray regardless of their religious beliefs. The railway has a number of these multi-faith spaces; however there appears to be two distinct problems with them; one of design the other of function. The very nature of diversity brings its own problems. Many religious groups pray and worship with shoes off, for example most Muslims and Sikhs, or with special shoes designed for worship spaces such as Hindus, whilst others keep their shoes on. Similarly, the uses of religious icons such as statues are common to some groups and strictly prohibited by others. Added to this complexity is the huge variety in religious practice of people within the same faith tradition. Beyond the religious complexities, the design also appears to be problematic; so what is the architecture of this new

type of universal space? Usually they are mundane spaces that ironically are often ‘soulless’, typically an empty white room, the architectural equivalent of white noise. There is an assumption that if it can be avoided, people should not be exposed to the symbols of other people’s faith. In practice the most important issue in multi-faith room design has become how to prevent a space becoming meaningful in an inappropriate Rail Professional

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A multi-faith room should not look like a church or a mosque or a temple; but nor should it have the appearance of an empty void. This is a problem for which architects seem to have no answer; it is a problem of how to represent the unrepresentable way. A multi-faith room should not look like a church or a mosque or a temple; but nor should it have the appearance of an empty void. This is a problem for which architects seem to have no answer; it is a problem of how to represent the un-representable. Nevertheless, with careful thought from the outset, these shared spaces can be places

of peaceful contemplation and yet they are more likely to have all the appeal of a broom closet. Another issue for the concept of the multi-faith room is that of function. This question has two elements, the first relates back to the austere design. Multi-faith rooms should be places of refuge, inviting, calming and inclusive environments that are open to all, including those who have no religious affiliation. If the railway is committed to providing such spaces then the design should reflect its intent; they should be spaces of quiet reflection that are inviting and pleasing to the eye and the soul. Religious expression is increasingly visible and diverse, with staff representing the major world religions, new religious movements such as neo-paganism and atheist, secularist and humanist societies. While there is no legal requirement to provide multi-faith rooms; the 2010 Equality Act made religion a protected characteristic. This legislation requires public institutions to not discriminate against religious groups, which includes accommodating reasonable religious practice. With the advent of HS2 and other major station refurbishments, consideration should be given to the question, ‘should

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the railway industry be providing space for the wider community to worship or should the focus be for the provision of facilities only for passengers and staff?’ whichever is decided, then thought should be given to the location of such facilities. Railway Stations are not public spaces but privately operated facilities with a specific set of functions. If the industry is willing to allow a multi-faith room to become a focal point for local faith communities, then there is also an imperative that the facility remains available for all. The management of this naturally falls on the operating business, either a Train Operating Company or Network Rail or some other organisation. But if it is intended for the use of staff and transient visitors for whom the station is a brief calling point, then perhaps space should be provided beyond the barriers in a more restricted environment. This is not a suggestion for exclusion but one for exclusivity, where the provision is focussed on providing a legitimate resource for passengers and staff. Liam Johnston is Executive Director of the Railway Mission

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Rail Professional



Alight here for the future of rail From lighter rail vehicles to hydrogen-powered trains, researchers and industry leaders in the West Midlands are changing how we think about rail for the future


he advent of more advanced technology, coupled with growing pressures to improve our carbon footprint and meet emissions targets, has accelerated the demand to transform traditional modes of transport on a global scale. In the UK especially, government laws to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 have set the countdown clock ticking. Developing more eco-conscious, interconnected solutions is an urgent priority for transport providers everywhere, including in the rail industry. While trains are considered the more environmentally-friendly way to get around – compared to road vehicles and aeroplanes – getting existing infrastructure up to speed is the most pressing challenge for the industry’s future. 42 per cent of track in the UK is currently electrified, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers reports. This, combined with the demand to increase capacity for growing passenger numbers, complicates the industry’s ability to assemble a fleet of rolling stock ready for the net zero era. The race to decarbonise and create more space on Britain’s railways by 2050 is on. But what will get the industry over the finish line? Powering ahead A community of researchers and industry leaders in the West Midlands is seeking to develop the answers. As one of the largest hubs for the rail sector in the UK, the region is more than familiar with the challenges ahead. 49,000 railway-related jobs are based in the West Midlands. Its diverse local supply chain includes international heavyweights Siemens, CAF, Alstom and DB Engineering & Consulting. Companies often favour the region because of its long history in transport innovation; the West Midlands is the birthplace of both the first fuel-burning and steam engines. Now, with mounting ambitions for the UK to become a global leader in the future of mobility, the region is revolutionising rail for a new generation of travel. Selected as the UK’s first Future Mobility Zone (FMZ), the West Midlands has secured £22 million of Government funding to bring new travel solutions to market. Launched

in late 2019, underpinning the region’s proposition is a commitment to delivering the smarter, cleaner and safer movement of people and goods in the future. Chris Lane, Head of Innovation at Transport for West Midlands – the organisation leading the rollout of the programme said: ‘We see the Future Mobility Zone as more than a programme – it’s the fitting title for the West Midlands as the place to come to develop and demonstrate new products and services with the UK’s best. ‘With our leading organisations and research centres working across technology, automotive, rail, air, electrification, inclusivity and policy, we’ve built the networks, people, assets and support programs to compete internationally for business and deliver real benefits for our people while we’re doing it.’ The FMZ forms part of the region’s wider investment strategy for accelerating innovation in new mobility trends. The West Midlands’ Local Industrial Strategy – the first region to develop its own version of

the national Industrial Strategy – identifies opportunities in rail as essential for enhancing the local economy. David Fisken, Head of Business Attraction at the West Midlands Growth Company – the region’s inward investment agency said: ‘Developing the sector is a crucial part of strengthening our inward investment offer. ‘As well as showcasing our ability to innovate and pioneer real-world changes, it’s also about delivering on reliable and enhanced transport connections to foster long-term inclusive growth and prosperity across the whole region. ‘Quality of life is a hugely important aspect of why investors choose to move here. Being able to offer them and their employees quality-engineered, high-performing travel options boosts our credentials as a dynamic and sustainable place to live.’ The region has experienced peak popularity on its railways in recent years. Last year saw a significant increase in the number of people using the West Midlands Trains network.

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line – developed by Parry People Movers – and the research has remained West Midlands-orientated ever since. Progress is well underway on the first of two VLR projects to come forward, titled ‘Revolution VLR’. Being developed for use on traditional, heavy rail branch lines, the ambition is to create lightweight railcars with a mass of just one tonne per linear metre to reduce track damage and maintenance costs. Construction of a prototype is scheduled to complete in April 2020 before it is exhibited to industry. Running alongside this is a dedicated VLR scheme in Coventry, aimed at developing a low-carbon, low-cost tram-style mode of transport for the city. The project came about after Coventry City Council approached WMG to see if the design and technology involved in Revolution could be applied to trams, as a solution for reducing traffic congestion and associated pollution in the city. Following initial feasibility studies, Coventry City Council secured funding from various local authority partners in the region to support the R&D of a brand new approach to vehicle and track form design. The design of a demonstrator has recently been completed and components are being procured. The vehicle will be smaller than a traditional tram and battery powered to eliminate the need for overhead power cables. Passenger capacity is forecasted at 50, with plans for the vehicles to eventually run on a five-minute headway, providing a hop-on, hop-off service. The long-term goal is for the vehicle Added to this is the region’s status as an established destination for onward travel. Positioned at the heart of the country’s national railway network, the West Midlands bridges the gap between the UK’s northern and southern regions, and is home to the UK’s most used regional train station. In 2019, Birmingham New Street overtook London Euston in popularity, with upwards of 47 million passenger entries and exits – roughly seven million of which were interchanges. All this means the region is well placed to shape the next phase of rail innovation. But what does this look like, and how will it impact the future of the industry? Keeping things light One of the most radical projects to emerge from the region is a brand new Very Light Rail concept. Led by WMG at the University of Warwick, in conjunction with a number of industry partners, the research is shaking up traditional approaches to rail car development by applying technologies and techniques from the automotive sector. Harnessing its world-renowned academic expertise in automotive R&D, WMG is transferring its knowledge around propulsion, battery development and powertrains in cars to design the VLR Rail Professional

concept. Researchers are also investigating use of lighter weight materials usually employed by car manufacturers. The idea was born out of a response to the Rail Safety & Standards Board’s Radical Train competition, which called on investors and industry leaders to propose alternative approaches to innovation in the rail sector. Dr Nick Mallinson, VLR Programme Manager at WMG, said: ‘WMG has a track record of driving disruptive innovation in transport, and VLR can benefit significantly from technology advances in the automotive sector.’ Inspiration came from the shuttle operated on the Stourbridge Town branch

to be autonomous, reducing additional operational costs. Current timescales could see the prototype ready for testing in late 2020. Speaking about the benefits of VLR for the city, Coventry Councillor Jim O’Boyle says: ‘This Very Light Rail work, combined with our work on driverless and connected cars puts us right at the forefront of creating new, ground-breaking solutions for future transport needs. They will be safer and more environmentally friendly and I hope go on to provide good job opportunities for local people too.’ Underpinning this programme of work is the Very Light Rail National Innovation

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Centre (VLRNIC) in Dudley – a dedicated facility to support the development and growth of the VLR industry. Supported by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, the Centre will be a hub for industry and academia to advance R&D in the sector. It will include a 2.2 kilometre test track, conference and exhibition spaces, research labs and an advice bureau to help local authorities and transport planners understand the benefits of VLR. Construction on the centre is underway, with a provisional opening date of April 2021. ‘VLR is a fantastic example of how we are diversifying our local economy to capitalise on new opportunities in traditional industries’ Fisken comments. ‘With VLR, we have a brand new manufacturing sector that is completely unique to the region. The programme presents huge opportunities to expand the expertise of our local supply chain, making it a really exciting chapter in the region’s industrial story.’ Fuelling change WMG is just one of the region’s powerhouse of universities exploring alternatives in rail. The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham is making

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significant progress in researching different options for fuelling rail vehicles by developing the UK’s first Hydrogen train. The HydroFLEX project – in partnership with rolling stock company Porterbrook – aims to demonstrate how hydrogen could be deployed across the UK’s rail network as a cleaner alternative to diesel trains. The project involves the retrofit of a hydrogen fuel cell to an existing Class 319 train. Eventually, the train would be operated on traditional electrified routes and independently, making it a highly flexible train solution for different sections of the railway network. HydroFLEX achieved a major milestone in June last year when it was given the green light to be tested on the UK’s mainline railway network. Alex Burrows, Director at BCRRE, adds: ‘This is a great success story for rail in the UK, which shows our capability and commitment to helping the government meet decarbonisation targets. ‘Key to this success is the close partnership between academia and industry, which has enabled us to pool the expertise needed to rapidly progress this technology from concept to full-scale working demonstrator.’ BCRRE is the largest university-based centre for railway research and education in Europe. It is also leading the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network’s (UKRRIN) Centre of Excellence in Digital Systems.

As well as HydroFLEX, the group is advancing research in railway control and operations simulation, data integration and cyber security, and condition monitoring and sensing. Commenting on the value of its work, Professor Clive Roberts, Director of BCRRE, says: ‘With our focus on improving capacity, reducing energy consumption, and enabling significant cost reductions, BCRRE’s work results in improvements to services benefitting all rail users. Rail has a vital role in creating the world of tomorrow and we are looking ahead to the next phase of railways transformation. ‘BCRRE will play a key role in the largescale international collaboration needed to digitise the railways and deliver the innovations required to ensure their future success as a safe, fast, high capacity and environmentally-friendly transport mode.’ Picking up the pace Alongside its universities, a number of other key initiatives put the West Midlands in a unique position to tackle issues facing the industry. The West Midlands will be the epicentre of HS2. Cementing its position as the UK’s most centrally connected region, HS2 will increase capacity on the existing railway network at a local and national level, preventing major upgrades and widespread passenger disruption. An additional two new stations will be purpose-built to accommodate the new line, including the HS2 Interchange Station near Birmingham Airport and Curzon Street in Birmingham’s city centre. Birmingham is already a focal point for the scheme as the home of HS2 Ltd.’s headquarters. The National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure is also based in the city. In tandem, the region’s status as the UK’s first multi-city 5G testbed will open up a host of exciting opportunities for rail companies to trial and test new systems and technologies. Driving forward The 2020s are set to be a significant era of change for the rail industry. Harnessing the opportunities that these new, future mobility technologies will bring, the West Midlands is on the cusp of becoming a global destination for rail innovation. Already there is a buzz around the region’s qualities as a place to make, create and innovate. ‘The region is making its mark as the country’s hub of innovation in transport manufacture and infrastructure’ says Stephen Bick, Project Director at Siemens Mobility Limited. ‘With major offices across the West Midlands, we’ve been a core part of that development from day one, and our collaborative work with partners such as the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN), Midlands Future Mobility and UK CITE, is helping to realise the region’s potential in cutting-edge, connected transport systems.’

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Trams to Newhaven Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes on unearthing Leith’s past and unlocking its future potential


he turning of another year – indeed, decade – is always a time of both looking back and looking forward. Here in Edinburgh, we’re definitely in that position as we progress our plans to reintroduce a tramline from the city centre down to the seafront at Newhaven – a project which heralds a bright future for the whole of north Edinburgh while simultaneously providing a fascinating glimpse into the area’s rich and varied history. As Scotland’s fastest growing city, things simply cannot continue as they are, transport-wise – our public transport system MUST evolve to cater to a rapidly growing population. Growth forecasts for the city show 102,000 more people making it their home by 2039, with a quarter of this growth in the Leith docks and Western Harbour areas. We must make sure Edinburgh has the infrastructure to continue to grow in a way that safeguards a sustainable future for our communities – so they can achieve their potential. Bringing trams back to Leith and on to Newhaven marks a major milestone in our city’s public transport journey and holds the key to an enormous wealth of opportunities for north Edinburgh and beyond. High tech, 21st century trams, each carrying up to 250 passengers, will complement and support our excellent bus services so that we can move as many people as possible reliably and safely to and through the busy city centre, helping cut congestion and air pollution. Timetabled to start carrying passengers in 2023, trams will be a safe, convenient and fully accessible way for many thousands of north Edinburgh-dwellers every day to connect with major centres of employment in the Capital and the airport, as well as giving those same job hubs access to one of Scotland’s most densely populated residential areas and creating numerous jobs during construction to boot. Edinburgh Trams have built an awardwinning reputation since services launched in May 2014, with passenger numbers outstripping forecasts. Patronage in the business case for Trams to Newhaven is forecast to nearly double to just under 16 million in the first year of services between the Airport and Newhaven. Fully mindful of the lessons from

the ill-starred first phase of Edinburgh’s reintroduction of trams, the project has been scrupulous in taking ample time and care to finesse plans and designs in consultation with local residents and businesses. There was also a productive and mutually beneficial six-month ‘Early Contractor Involvement’ period with contractors and

project managers working in one location to finalise plans after the scheme got the green light in spring 2019. Construction work got under way at the tail end of 2019, with Swept Path contractor Morrison Utilities Services beginning work on utilities in Constitution Street, while Infrastructure and Systems

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Contractor Sacyr, Farrans, Neopul JV create a running lane on Leith Walk ahead of main construction works starting there later this spring. Inevitably a project on this scale can be disruptive and unsettling for local businesses, which is why we spent months talking to all the traders assessing what support they needed to maintain the vibrancy and accessibility of the area during construction and beyond. A wide-ranging £2.4 million Support for Business package is up and running, with £5 itison vouchers offering £10 to spend in shops, bars and restaurants around Constitution Street proving very popular and a multi-channel ‘open for business’ marketing campaign promoting the area to the whole city. Logistics hubs and cargo bikes to facilitate deliveries, a business continuity fund, street art projects and free business improvement courses are also in the mix. While we work to link Leith up to an exciting, connected future, we’re also eagerly anticipating a rare glimpse into the area’s past through the extensive archaeological works set to get under way in earnest in the next couple of months. This is one of the most densely rich urban

archaeological sites in Scotland and our City Archaeologist predicts the unearthing of artefacts dating back to medieval times, including part of the medieval parish of South Leith, the 16th century Siege of Leith




and evidence of the defences built against Oliver Cromwell’s forces. We know there will be great excitement in the local area about this aspect of the project and we’re looking forward to involving the community as much as possible in the archaeological excavations. Edinburgh’s incredible history is also a source of inspiration to us as we grapple with the twin challenges of population growth and the climate emergency. Throughout the centuries, we’ve consistently punched well above our weight, facing into the winds of change to adapt and thrive. Another period of major change is upon us now. We’ve set the city an extremely ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and taking Trams to Newhaven is a vital first step on the journey. You can read more about our transport vision in our draft City Mobility Plan – a ten-year strategy to rethink the way people, goods and services move about the city. None of this is going to be easy, but the status quo is quite simply not an option. To Newhaven – and beyond! Lesley Macinnes is Transport Convener Councillor at Edinburgh City Council


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Rethinking transport financing Sam Mullins OBE, Director of London Transport Museum, reflects on the funding and finance opportunities explored in its latest thought leadership report


s societal trends and new technologies disrupt how and why we move around, changes are afoot in how we think about funding and financing major new transport infrastructure. Our latest thought leadership report, ‘Rethinking Transport Finance and Funding’ was published at the end of February. It explores some of the opportunities and challenges

ahead as city governments, and others, look to raise additional resources for new transport schemes, known for being notoriously ‘greedy’ for capital. Produced with Arup in partnership with international law firm Gowling WLG and global technology company Thales, it brings together views shared at our recent Interchange events by leaders from across the transport sector, policy makers and academics. It outlines how models to generate longterm financial gains exist for the taking at a city and metro level, but also highlights that generating revenue and securing borrowing is only one side of the equation. And this is all part of a picture further complicated by an uncertain political environment, changing passenger trends and disruptive new technologies.

Can we take growth for granted? Looking back at the historical growth of transport in the UK reveals how a complex relationship between public funding and private finance has evolved to provide investment to meet increasing travel demand. But can we afford to take this growth in demand for granted? And what are the risks if we do? It has become all too easy to assume that demand for efficient, flexible and sustainable modes of transport will continue to increase with the ongoing global trend toward urbanisation. But analysis by Arup reveals that despite population and economic growth, world cities including London, New York, Paris and Toronto have seen fluctuations – and in some cases a decline – in ridership on their respective metro systems in recent years. New technologies, changing working practices, increased car ownership, better digital connectivity, pressure on people’s real incomes and concerns for the environment are amongst the societal shifts playing a major role in shaping how and why people travel and the modes of transport they choose. Rail Professional

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A potential long-term decoupling of population growth and passenger demand could have a considerable effect on farebox income. But paradoxically, these trends also mean that opportunities to generate additional value from new transportorientated development is becoming increasingly important. With this in mind, the report explores the balance between public and private finance; why harnessing innovation is essential; and how embracing new usercharging schemes can unlock additional financial resources. Private partnerships for public good Sustained government funding will remain essential to the future of transport infrastructure, including the creation of new national and urban railways. But what emerged from our conversations was an overwhelming sense that now is the time to investigate ways to unlock additional income at a much more local level. Developing public/private partnerships with a greater focus on land and property value capture provoked much debate. One hundred or so years ago, Britain’s big cities typically raised around four-fifths of their resources from local property taxes, but today that figure is more like 20 per cent. As we look to the future, tapping into the wider economic and financial gains generated by transport infrastructure offers huge opportunities. Partnerships between public authorities and private investors that align new transport routes with real estate development can ‘lock in’ future demand for transport services, for instance. We are already seeing this alignment taking place in cities such as London to some degree, with the redevelopment of railway station carparks for high-density housing. However, what became clear in our conversations, and is drawn out in the

report, is that key to lasting value creation, and the long-term sustainability of models like this, will be giving city authorities greater fiscal powers. Powers that enable them to tap into the wider real-estate value transport infrastructure helps to create, such as premium rents, property prices and capital values. Establishing mechanisms to successfully enable city authorities to borrow and retain at least some of the taxes generated by their transport investment needs to be explored further. But if these can be successfully established, then embracing this model has huge potential to create a virtuous circle of economic growth in which city authorities gain the ability to garner funds for future projects, and attractive financing opportunities are open to the private sector.

Harnessing disruptive technologies One challenge the conversations at our Interchange events returned to regularly was the risk of stifling innovation within the development of public infrastructure projects supported by private capital. Where this happens, it was felt that the allocation of risk down the supply chain had potential to jeopardise collaboration between suppliers. As such, the report highlights that when private capital is attracted and secured, it remains essential for innovation to be incentivised from the outset, particularly with the view to capitalising quickly on the advent of disruptive new technologies. As the world of transport changes at an unprecedented pace, technologies we once considered the stuff of science fiction draw closer to reality. In London, for instance, driverless trains have served the Docklands Light Railway since the late 80s, but as technology advances at an ever more rapid pace, the possibility of self-driving cars, airtaxis and solar roadways becoming part of daily life is no longer outside the realms of possibility. How transport authorities embrace and manage the uncertainty that these technologies bring will undoubtedly influence the infrastructure projects brought forward and receive central government funding. And, as the government charts a course to a carbon-free future, competition could increase further as the environmental impacts of transport are looked at within a much broader set of complex challenges to decarbonise other public infrastructure first. Enabling user choice To help mitigate against increased competition, the move towards a world of ‘Mobility as a Service’ opened up an Rail Professional

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interesting debate about the introduction of dynamic pricing into what and how people pay for transport. The report highlights that such schemes could offer consumers a rich variety of options for travel, from choosing the type of vehicle, a guaranteed journey time, a reduced environmental impact level and so on. By capitalising on increased consumer choice, models like this have the potential to benefit both the user and provider: At an individual level, increased choice offers customers the opportunity to ‘mix and match’ modes of transport to suit their needs with appropriate pricing, as well as giving greater control over their individual environmental impact. And for the transport provider or city authority, revenue raised through these dynamic pricing structures can be reinvested into infrastructure improvements and developments. The report also outlines how an additional benefit will in turn be the ability to harness ‘big data’ from these multi-model passenger journeys. Understanding detailed real-time information about the modes of transport taken across an individual’s daily, weekly and monthly journeys could become a powerful tool to better inform the future design of urban spaces and transport services. Embracing user charging Alongside the opportunities offered by interconnected passenger journeys, we also explored how road user charging has the potential to enable city authorities to raise new funds. International schemes such as

Stockholm’s congestion tax and Singapore’s electronic road pricing both offer interesting models for consideration. In Singapore, for instance, the creation of a barrier free dynamic road pricing system has resulted in a substantial and consistent income stream for Singapore’s Land Transport Authority. With 60 per cent of this revenue reinvested into transport improvement projects, replicating similar models is certainly an attractive prospect for other city authorities – although not without some challenges over, for example, persuading the public to back such schemes. Some road users are wary that ‘things will (actually) get better’ in return for payments. And so, a key takeaway from the report is the need for schemes to be ‘sold’ to the public in a way which demonstrates the immediate benefits to individuals, as well as long-term benefits to towns and cities. Looking forward Ultimately, transport projects must be as attractive as possible to secure the resources


they need to get built, whether that is by securing public sector backing, attracting private financers who will share in future capital gains, or winning over the users who pay for existing services. And if transport infrastructure is to continue being a longterm strategic driver for economic growth in our towns and cities – helping to attract new businesses and residents – then it is vital to keep our sights on the creation of finance and funding models which are resilient and adaptable to future disruption and passenger trends. But, as the report concludes, what stood out strongly in our discussions with leaders from across the transport industry is the vision for the future city. It is important to remember that how we pay for projects has a long-term impact on the shape, density and attractiveness of our cities as places to live and work. The sort of cities we are creating, therefore, is just as, if not more, important a consideration than working out how to secure the long-term financial security of our transport authorities and service providers. Alongside our partners, we will be continuing these discussions on the future of transport in the UK and internationally over the coming months. Our next Interchange series will explore themes from the Rail Sector Deal in partnership with the Railway Industry Association. Sam Mullins OBE is Director of London Transport Museum

To read the report and for information about upcoming Interchange events visit: www.ltmuseum.co.uk/interchange Rail Professional



Bicycles and trains in tandem Martyn Brunt, Land Manager at Sustrans, explains how better integration of cycling and rail services can help cities achieve a zero-carbon future


n the UK’s biggest assessment of urban cycling, 39 per cent of residents in twelve major cities supported the development of more cycle routes to public transport hubs such as train stations. There are many issues our society is facing due to the way in which the transport system currently operates. For years, we have known about the detrimental impact air pollution has on both public and environmental health, yet little has been done to combat these issues. The transport sector is currently the biggest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, and in 2017, it accounted for 27 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, with private motor vehicles playing a huge role. Despite these sobering statistics, transport’s contribution to the climate crisis is being largely ignored. The UK Government’s recent budget announcement

The transport sector is currently the biggest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, and in 2017, it accounted for 27 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, with private motor vehicles playing a huge role

prioritised motor vehicles over other modes of transport, with large scale investment promised for road building and maintenance rather than funds being dedicated to more sustainable methods of travel, such as walking, cycling and public transport. And it’s not the environment that is suffering as a result. Air pollution generated by motor vehicles is causing a public health crisis, with an increasing number of recently published studies outlining the damaging effects to the health of individuals, and an overall threat to human life. Moreover, our car-dependent society has resulted in high levels of physical inactivity, where town planning that has focussed on cars has meant individuals are encouraged to choose motor vehicles for short, everyday journeys. This, in turns, costs the NHS around £1 billion per year in serious longterm health conditions that could otherwise be prevented through walking and cycling. The negative impacts everyday car use has on the environment and wider society are therefore clear. Findings from our Bike Life 2019 report, the UK’s biggest assessment of cycling in twelve cities and urban areas, reveals that gaining public support for radical change of the transport industry may be easier than one may initially assume. An independent survey of residents was conducted in each city. For the majority of cities, it was conducted by NatCen Social Research. The survey aimed to gather a representative sample of at least 1,100 respondents aged 16 and above in each of the twelve UK cities.

that they would like to see the development of more cycle routes to public transport hubs such as train stations. This therefore suggests people would like to use multiple modes of transport in order to travel more sustainably. However, despite this clear public support, motor vehicles still remain the dominant mode of transport for everyday journeys. What is stopping people from ditching the car? Bike Life reveals that there are a number of elements that would encourage people to cycle more, with fewer cars on the roads and enforced 20mph speed limits ranking high

What do the findings suggest? The Bike Life report reveals that there is an appetite for a change in the way people move around the areas in which they live and work. Out of 16,900 respondents, over half (58 per cent) agreed they would like to see more government spending on cycling, compared to just 42 per cent of those who would like to see more investment dedicated to motor vehicles. Likewise, 39 per cent of residents agreed Rail Professional



amongst them. Interestingly, 67 per cent of those surveyed also suggested that better cycling links to public transport, including secure cycle parking at train stations, would encourage them to make the switch from motor vehicles to cycling. These results therefore show that there are currently gaps in the way active travel and public transport work together, that prevents both of these elements of the transport industry from delivering an effective network of sustainable travel opportunities to rival motor vehicles. Solutions to healthier, better connected cities As transport professionals, we need to work harder to ensure that transport system is designed to benefit everyone, by creating healthier, happier and better connected towns and cities. Whilst findings from our Bike Life report highlight the desire for change, it is clear that there is not enough in place to make it easy for people to make the switch from cars to cleaner, healthier alternatives. There are many benefits that come with cycling to the train station, including the lower cost of travel than by car, and the convenience and speed. Whilst cycles are allowed free of charge on most British trains, different rail companies have different rules about cycle carriage, including restrictions on particular services at certain times, such as commuter trains

into London. Therefore, the need to ensure that active travel and public transport can work in partnership is a clear solution to many of the problems society faces as a result of the current transport system. At Sustrans, we believe that making it easier for people to access public transport by foot or by cycle is essential for people to reduce car use. Sustrans are involved with continuous work with the Department for Transport and the Train Operating Companies through the Cycle Rail Working Group, in order to improve rail cycle facilities for everyone. The proportion of rail journeys involving cycles has increased 75 per cent since 2010, and in 2019, the Department for Transport announced new investment in the Cycle Rail programme that is expected to add thousands of cycle spaces to rail stations. However, despite the existing work that is taking place, the public appetite for change indicates more needs to be done to ensure that people are able to easily use a mixture of walking, cycling, and public transport to complete their journeys. In order to make this vision of efficient sustainable travel a reality, we need to see integrated plans for active travel and public

transport, all the way from infrastructure to ticketing, and to facilities. Large scale investment in cycling infrastructure is necessary to ensure that safe and sufficiently signed cycle routes, separated from road traffic that lead directly to public transport sites such as train stations, are available for people needing to make out of town journeys. Likewise, in cities and regions where cycle share schemes operate, different ticketing options that would ensure users are able to use multiple modes of transport such as cycles, trains, and buses at a discounted price, should be widely rolled out. Initiatives, such as these, would ensure that cleaner and more sustainable modes of transport are the easiest and most convenient options for people. Only when public transport and active travel work together, will we be able to truly influence policy and drive forward the radical change that is so desperately needed, and wanted, within the transport industry, that will give people genuine choice over the way in which they move. For more information and to view the Bike Life report, please visit www.sustrans.org.uk/ BikeLife

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Near misses This is the second part of a two-part article continuing on from my article published in Rail Professional in February


hat first part setting the scene of almost farcical incompetence at the interface between urban construction and rail operation; at the very crossing point of two hazardous industries – shortly before noon on an ordinary Wednesday 13th March 2019, when a passenger train passed over Mucking automatic half barrier level crossing only six seconds after a partially loaded concrete delivery lorry had reversed clear as part of a manoeuvre to enter an adjacent Network Rail construction site. The lorry driver had followed hand signals given from a railway worker when he drove onto the crossing after it had been automatically activated by the approaching train and red stop lights had begun flashing. The crossing barrier then came down just behind the driver’s cab on the lorry and wedged itself down in the gap by the water tank on the revolving drum of wet concrete - that lorry wasn’t going anywhere until one of the construction staff saw the problem and quickly manually forced up the bar to free the trapped lorry before it was able to reverse off the crossing! Although none were injured by this extremely close call event, it was within a six-second whisker of being a major catastrophic rail disaster it serves well for me to develop thoughts around the culture of competence. So, as most can imagine the inertia of a passenger train travelling at 57mph impacting into a static fully loaded concrete lorry directly across the track in its path – of course, trained engineers can do the maths and are able to calculate the forces and their vectors but all will understand the carnage! – mercifully, it was a miss! – but for the fact that the rail level crossing and both the train driver’s cab and the concrete mixer lorry had working CCTV monitoring, this ‘near-miss’ might never have come to light! We may never know the true number of near miss events across the construction

sector generally that go unreported, but from the surroundings that created this six-second moment we can learn so much ... in a blink of the eye moment of barely two seconds the driver in the cab of the 11:11 GMT London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central passenger train saw a trapped stationary lorry directly in his path with no way to stop the train in time to avoid a catastrophic collision – an unimaginable horror! The warning lights had begun to flash and neither the lorry driver nor the banksman had exchanged any words but as the lorry arrived, with the red warning lights flashing, it was beckoned forward under the control of a banksman and out onto the tracks as part of a manoeuvre to reverse back into the nearby Network Rail construction site where there was a signalling power supply upgrade project. The lorry next had to stop briefly on the tracks while the lorry driver needed to shift into reverse gear – but at that point the barrier came down behind the driver’s cab and became stuck behind the water tank and revolving mixer – trapping the driver in his cab side on to the fast

approaching train! The lorry driver in his cab was stuck for a total of eight seconds only; what luck the site staff had the instinct to manually lift the barrier to allow the lorry to reverse clear of the crossing with only six seconds to spare before the train passed at 57mph. Six seconds! There are actually over 210 million periods of six seconds in an average 40-year working lifetime when working around 36 hours each week, this is just one of those six second slots out of the millions during the working lives of a small team of construction workers but, so important and easily missed. The learning from any near miss should never be a missed opportunity that could better protect for the other periods of danger. The RAIB investigation summarised that this incident happened because staff involved in the work planning, and staff on site, did not recognise and manage risk associated with working near level crossings. Simplistically and thoroughly the RAIB reported that following the incident, Network Rail highlighted this risk in a published briefing note and

There are actually over 210 million periods of six seconds in an average 40-year working lifetime when working around 36 hours each week, this is just one of those six second slots out of the millions during the working lives of a small team of construction workers but, so important and easily missed. The learning from any near miss should never be a missed opportunity that could better protect for the other periods of danger Rail Professional



issued responsibly to organisations and staff working on its infrastructure. The joint venture organisation working at the particular construction site did modify their procedures and briefed staff on the risk which is the responsive expectation but, whilst I accept those action points would be in line with procedures and would address the factors identified, I do find it extraordinary given the amount of manuals, rules and procedures published for works around rail. The corrective actions encouraged the RAIB not to make any recommendations for further action or even punitive measures which is understandable but, for me, does preclude understanding how statutory duty holders failed in their respective duty to comply competently with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations? The RAIB identified four learning points covering compliance with the Highway Code, the control of construction vehicles near level crossings, taking account of nearby level crossings when planning construction work and effective management of small construction sites. The ORR (Office of Road and Rail) is the enforcer created by The Railways Act 2005 when Schedule 3 made provision for the transfer from the HSE to the ORR of safety functions conferred by or under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Since 2005 the ORR operates as an independent statutory body and regulator within the framework set by UK and EU legislation and are accountable through Parliament and the courts. The powers are vested by Parliament in the ORR governing board which is responsible for setting strategy and overseeing delivery. ORR Board members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport for a fixed term of up to five years. Its team of executive directors is responsible for delivering the board’s objectives and business plan, in line with its legal duties. ORR staff work from six offices across Britain, for flexibility and coverage to perform their functions efficiently. Many of its people work away from the office, for example by conducting on-site inspections across the rail network. Two regulators; one set of specific regulations – the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations [CDM] – but, seemingly applied so differently? Immediate positive actions taken by the parties involved meant that the RAIB was satisfied with that level of outcomes and made no recommendations, the investigation has identified the following important learning points intended to disseminate safety learning not covered by a recommendation. Learning points are included in a report when the RAIB wishes to reinforce the importance of compliance with existing safety arrangements (where the RAIB has not identified management issues that justify a recommendation) and Rail Professional

the consequences of failing to do so. They also record good practice and actions already taken by industry bodies that may have a wider application: Irrespective of any signals provided by banksmen or other people, drivers of road vehicles must always comply with all Highway Code requirements relating to the use of level crossings. All vehicle drivers must obey the flashing red stop lights. Banksmen, traffic marshals, and others involved in the control of construction vehicle movements should ensure that any manoeuvres near level crossings do not interfere with the safe operation of the crossing. If there is a risk that vehicle movements could interfere with normal operation of a level crossing, guidance must be obtained from railway operational staff. Construction site planning and briefings for road vehicle movements near level crossings must take account of hazards associated with manoeuvring vehicles close to level crossings. Effective planning, management support and supervision is essential for all construction activity on or near the railway, including short duration works on isolated and/or small sites. The RAIB report confirmed a construction phase plan was prepared by the project manager using pre-construction information provided by Network Rail and that was accepted by the Network Rail project manager. Under a heading ‘Significant construction health and safety risks’ it states: ‘A detailed traffic management plan will not be required at the PSP (construction) sites’. The RAIB reported the project had a high-level traffic management plan which was authorised by the JV project manager. This comprised less than two pages focussed on the project’s main compound and office at Grays where most deliveries would be made. The traffic management plan includes the following statements: ‘Mucking has a level crossing adjacent the site. A space exists across the track at Mucking which can be used for reversing.’ The work package plan was written by the project’s senior construction manager for civil engineering work based on his records from visits to each of the project sites, but he overlooked the need to identify that the level crossing was a specific risk and had not been issued with the project’s traffic management plan and did not request it either. So there was no prompt to even consider the level crossing at Mucking; the construction phase plan indicated that detailed traffic management plans were not required; no explanation could be provided as to why the project’s traffic management plan was not issued to staff responsible for managing the construction work; the work package plan was signed off by the project’s engineering manager without comment. To add to all this, a note on the front cover

of the document states ‘This Work Package Plan does not require acceptance by Network Rail/Client’. The interface between the two hazardous sectors of industry sharing same duty around a common set of statutory duties – the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) – with two distinctively different enforcers with different objectives has triggered my thoughts and purpose of this short article. I come at the thoughts from the perspective of a chartered construction professional in the building industry with limited, but enough, working knowledge of rail. The same duty holders: Client – Designer – Contractor are in both sectors so, for the purpose of this article I look at the common basics and not the specifics of each. The essence of the introduction of CDM is to design out or minimise risk. I was one of the very first tranche of 200 or so UK construction professionals around at the time during 1994 when the UK government had to enact EU Directive 92/57/EEC into UK law that became CDM so I have been involved through several substantial iterations in the UK but the original Directive remains unchanged. The construction sector seems to have reached a low point where professional bodies are questioning if we are now experiencing signs of an institutional acceptance of error – not happening everywhere, but it’s happening enough to ring alarm bells and, it’s unlikely that this acceptance of error (incompetence?) can be self-correcting without a change in culture. My closing thoughts here hopefully trigger more – in order to effectively deal with risk in both sectors any person around any construction project first has to know what hazards exist or will be created in any new design. When all the hazards are ascertained, can they be eliminated? If not, how can they be effectively minimised to a level that is practicably achievable with reasonable effort and resources? If minimised, this situation will leave some residual risk that others must be made aware and informed of otherwise an unknown hazard is an accident waiting to happen! Thus, with the right information of the risk that must be managed, effective controls must then be put in place and effectively managed – it really is that simple! The client at the head of any project is best placed to make the most effective early focus on any hazards; was there a different way to achieve the same? In this case, of course there is – why bring ready-mixed concrete to the site when the same could be achieved mixed on site in the confines of the site using bagged small delivery vehicles and hand application. There would have been no need to have gone anywhere near the level crossing; the passenger train would have passed by safely – the cultural failure here is laid bare; let’s hope to drive up competence!

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Our friends in the south North vs South is a false debate argues Phil Smart – The North needs F2N


ransport campaigners in the North often point to a two to one spending disparity per capita between London and the North in the last decade and to the anticipated widening of this gap in the next. But with much talk of ‘levelling up’ and of diverting investment northwards we should caution against using expenditure envy to determine priorities, as many projects built in the south yield their greatest benefits further north. HS2 is an obvious example. Phase one between London and Birmingham requires major construction in the south, where the anti HS2 lobby are most vocal. Yet it is the north that enjoys the benefit of improved journey time, which increases as later phases are added. Should its cost therefore count as a southern project or northern? Applying geographic labels to rail investment is

Freight does not complain on social media when it is late or forced to use replacement road transport, yet insufficient network capacity makes these a daily occurrence. A successful economy brings together both people and products and the need to move goods and materials is equally important in generating wealth

misleading, it’s called a network for a reason. Besides any geographical bias, whether actual or perceived, there is also a bias towards passenger focussed projects. This is understandable in an environment where enhancements are approved by the treasury and hence by politicians whose approach to railways is shaped by lobbying from their constituents. Freight does not complain on social media when it is late or forced to use replacement road transport, yet insufficient network capacity makes these a daily occurrence. A successful economy brings together both people and products and the need to move goods and materials is equally important in generating wealth. In the 19th century railways were invented to answer the need to move coal and iron ore to feed the industrial revolution which built the great cities in the north. Today, much of this activity happens overseas, particularly in Asia, and both manufacturers and distributors rely on importing components and consumer goods via the southern ports of Felixstowe and Southampton. To many people this may seem counter intuitive, surely the North has ports of its own so why do we need a north/ south link for freight? To understand this paradox, we need to appreciate what is happening at sea, where the Far East dominates international trade. Economies of scale Economies of scale have increased the size of deep-sea cargo vessels. The newest ships carry upwards of 20,000 TEU (20-foot Equivalent Units – although most maritime containers are 40-foot long) and call at multiple ports on their route around the North Sea. Think of this as a gigantic milk round, delivering full containers and picking up empties before returning home. The principal UK ports on this ‘Far East to Northern Europe’ shipping rotation are Felixstowe, Southampton and DP World on the Thames Estuary. Of these the busiest is

Felixstowe which handles 42 per cent of the UKs deep sea container business and of this traffic, 70 per cent is for the Midlands and Northern England. Although ports such as Liverpool and Sunderland lie further north, shipping economics dictate that the deepsea ports of choice will be in the south as straight lines save both time and fuel. Felixstowe is steadily increasing the proportion of containers it sends by rail to a growing number of inland distribution centres. Although about 30 per cent of traffic currently goes by rail, this represents around 50 per cent of container miles as rail favours longer distances. The port’s ambition is to double this volume, as traffic sent by rail is already three times more fuel-efficient than road and, with electrification could be up to ten times more so. This becomes ever more significant in the light of the climate emergency as up to one million tonnes of CO2 could be removed from the UK road network if we switched this traffic to rail. Moving the blockage further up the pipe Progress so far has, however, been slow due to constraints in the rail network. The opening of the Ipswich freight chord in 2014 permitted trains to access the Midlands and north via Ely without reversal at Ipswich thus increasing the number of freight trains from around 20 per day to 34. The recent provision of a loop at Trimley on the singletrack line to Felixstowe will see this rise to 45. But of these extra train paths, just four can be taken up until the removal of two major pinch points on the Mid Anglia line, the junctions at Haughley and Ely. Haughley is a single lead junction with the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML). Doubling therefore is in the interests not only of the Felixstowe to Nuneaton (F2N) freight route, but also the eastern section of East West Rail and the ambition to run regular ‘Norwich in 90’ services. But by far the biggest bottleneck in East Anglia is Ely North Junction which was ‘rationalised’ in 1992 to save maintenance Rail Professional

Photos : F. BOURCIER



costs. There is growing demand on this junction and in future it will need to accommodate hourly passenger services between Oxford and Norwich/Ipswich, Norwich and Cambridge/Stansted, Stansted and Birmingham, Norwich and Nottingham, Cambridge and Wisbech, Ipswich and Peterborough and two per hour between London and Kings Lynn. Up to three freight services an hour in each direction are forecast and these can take longer to clear the junction due to their 700-metre length and the fact they are often starting from a stand at Ely. The solution is more complex than simply reinstating the former layout. The Prickwillow road runs east-to-west across the Peterborough, Lynn and Norwich lines intersecting all three at level crossings where lowering the barriers at one creates a traffic tailback that can foul the next. Network Rail’s 2015 Anglia Route Study even suggested building a new line to the south and west of Ely to link the line from Ipswich to the south-east with the Peterborough line to the north-west. Railfuture believes a grade separated solution must be provided to meet both freight and passenger growth. Single line to Soham Besides the considerable problems at North Junction, the line to Ipswich is single track as far as Soham. Various plans to double this section have been mooted since before


the second world war and must now be included in the Ely Area Improvements. Along with junctions at Syston and Wigston (near Leicester) and further doubling of the Felixstowe branch, these works all form part of the F2N strategic freight route providing a modern, reliable link between Britain’s premier container port and the rest of the country. Electrification Electrification is usually advanced in response to passenger priorities but its true value lies in the avoided cost of fossil fuel. The lines to Kings Lynn and Norwich were electrified for a passenger market of one or two trains per hour each weighing around 600 tonnes and yet the potential for moving three freight trains per hour, each of about 2,000 tonnes, northwards from Felixstowe must become a national priority if we are serious about decarbonising the UK economy. There is currently no rolling programme of electrification in the UK as recent schemes have fallen foul of cost over-runs. However, the electrification cause is gaining ground and Railfuture is calling for its return in response to the climate emergency. What’s in a name? Although F2N has a BCR of around 4:1, both Ely and Haughley junctions are stuck at the ‘decision to develop’ stage (the first of five

in the RNEP process) which hardly reflects their national importance. Neither Felixstowe or Nuneaton are major population centres and so don’t figure in the nation’s consciousness. But if F2N stood for ‘Far East to Northern Powerhouse’ its role and significance becomes clear. Better still why not badge it as ‘HV1’ (High Volume 1). Since 1983 Phil Smart has served on Ipswich Borough Council, joint founders of the East West Rail Consortium. In 2000 he drew up plans for the Ipswich Freight Chord, regarded at the time as ‘undeliverable’. It opened for traffic in 2014. Phil is a member of Railfuture.

The Railfuture publication from which this article is drawn can be found at: https://www.railfuture.org.uk/east/docs/ Railfuture-East-Anglia-20191030-Mid-Angliafrom-branch-to-main-line-proposals.pdf Rail Professional

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The Works by Paul Salveson Anthony Smith, Chief Executive at Transport Focus reviews Paul Salveson’s new novel ‘The Works’


aul Salveson is, as anyone who knows him will testify, committed. Professor Paul Salveson’s interests, passion and actions range from, among other things, the founding of the highly successful Association of Community Rail Partnerships to all things Lancashire, railways, dialect, real ale, politics, community action, literature and the power of walking up hills. All these themes surface in this highly personal, direct, angry and, at times, funny book. ‘The Works’ is an eloquent elegy about change. Change in the main protagonist Dave, as his right of passage takes him from dropping out of university, to starting on the bottom rung in a factory on to a well-deserved MBE. Change in a place like Horwich, where the closure of the Locomotive Works was a death knell for a town and change for the railway industry as the then British Rail contracted as Government attention and money went elsewhere. This is hard edged nostalgia, the works are dirty, noisy and dangerous but foster a virility and self-reliance that creates strong communities. You care about Dave’s progress through various adventures, pints, union and local politics, the works revival, eventually being

Seeing the union and local politics of the 1970s and 80s is like staring through the frosted glass of history. We recognise shapes and outlines, but the detail has long since eluded us as life has changed at a dizzying pace

part of running the workers cooperative, the are all going ahead. Sleek, new electric trains are helping more people choose rail. Climate eventual interesting and topical twist of the change has given a new urgency to debates Chinese takeover and the personal story. about taking carbon about of transport and Love looms large, as does illness and loss air quality. of partners and parents. Dave comes across This book also makes you realise how as admirably human with all the good and difficult it is to predict the future: trends slightly fewer good roles that humanity change very quickly indeed as works like allows and requires us to play. Horwich were closing the The dialect does not get clues, the seeds of future in the way or reading or shifts were already there understanding – it really but just not being heeded. adds to the flavour, smells The As the railway stands on and tastes that permeate Works the edge of more change the book. The detail is Paul Salveson with the Government Rail lovely. The drunken union Review looming this book trip to Blackpool, the acts as a great reminder of walk up the Pike, grotty why the railway exists: to clubs and pubs, students serve the communities it is dropping in for a bit of based in and around. working class action and a We need rail-based great session in that pretransport more than ever cursor of Weatherspoons; and you cannot help but ‘Say what you like about be captivated by this story Yate’s Wine Lodge, they about the survival and knew how to handle large revival, in a novel form, of groups of determined one works. That is not what boozers. It was like a happened as the Horwich military operation’. Works has now all gone. Seeing the union and But this is a story of hope of what could local politics of the 1970s and 80s is like have been. It is a story about a community staring through the frosted glass of history. that gets motivated and organised to take We recognise shapes and outlines, but the control of its own destiny. It is a story about detail has long since eluded us as life has ordinary people and the difference they can changed at a dizzying pace. However, the make. masculine world of union committees, This is a good book, a good read. The ballots, strikes and confrontation still black and white photos help illuminate that seems to be present in parts of today’s largely lost world. The look ahead of 2022 rail workforce, so the book still has a has a green tinge that will resonate. It is contemporary feel. not a polemic as the political twists and The change on the railway is well turns leave Dave ‘politically homeless’. I documented. Works like Horwich shut as recommend it. Take it on your train-based recently as 1983. The railways underwent profound change under British Rail but were holiday this year! The final line sums up the determination still probably viewed as the management and energy that Paul Salveson has displayed of decline as roads and air took up an throughout his life: ‘Food banks? The world increasingly important part in the transport we’re in. The point is, still, to change it.’ mix. However, now only 30 odd years later, Published by Lancashire Loominary £12.99 shiny new train assembly plants and ISBN 978-0-9559171-6-5 maintenance facilities are springing up, www.lancashireloominary.co.uk often foreign-owned. Huge amounts of You can also purchase the book for £12.50 taxpayer’s money continue to be invested in including post and packing when ordered direct what may well be a Golden Age of rail. HS2, from Lancashire Loominary Crossrail and the Trans Pennine Upgrade Rail Professional

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Quotes from Welfare Hire Nationwide’s end users and customers ‘We’ve been working with Welfare Hire Nationwide for over a year now and are very happy with the service. The cabins are well designed and spacious with useful amenities like plugs and mini fridges which make working on site much more comfortable.’ ‘The quality of the welfare provided enable our teams to work smart and deliver a much higher standard of work in a modern, comfortable environment. The fast and easy service means we can focus on the job at hand.’ ‘From my time at Network Rail, their cabins are more reliable and more environmentally friendly with less set up costs like the need for any power generators and water supply, with these they deliver and park it where you want it and service it once a week, they also come with flood lighting etc. already built in.’

and on-demand running hot water, Welfare Hire Nationwide offers comfortable facilities for the work force. Drying rooms, space to change and multiple WCs also help make sure that the mixed teams working on site have the best facilities to do the job well. Service With premium levels of customer service and nationwide support, all of Welfare Hire Nationwide’s units are towable and delivered by the company’s own drivers and vehicles,

enabling delivery anywhere in the UK within 24 hours. We pride ourselves on having the largest and most modern fleet of mobile welfare units in the market, supported with on-call service and support teams and next day water and WC servicing. Environment Up to 15x lower CO₂ emissions and running costs from our Eco products, using the latest in on-demand, start/stop hybrid smart power systems and solar, the units are also the greenest on the market, affording huge carbon and running cost savings on the job. Value The most competitive and innovative solutions in mobile welfare. Work smart, work well and optimise profitability with great value. Modern site wellbeing With an ever increasingly diverse workforce in the rail sector, including a high percentage of female workers on site, the demand for modern and suitable welfare to enable smart and safe working has never been higher. As such, multiple WC facilities, with ondemand running hot water and unique porcelain water-flush toilets, have proven to be a real game changer with the Eco Welfare units. In particular, the Eco14, offering welfare for up to 14 people and two separate WC cubicles matching the function and quality of an office, are highly sought after. Safe and smart working With HSE and good working practices being of the utmost importance, the ability to provide a good working office and briefing room is highly valued when working trackside. Equally, working with limited access and space along the lines creates demand for a smart and neat unit with the

versatility to meet welfare demands without compromising. A unique retractable tow bar system and integral shutters mean the Eco units take up to 34 per cent less footprint onsite with optimum security. Integrated tower lighting in the Xeco10 model takes the smart use of space one step further, providing 360° multiangle site illumination, all in the Eco welfare unit. Fast and reliable availability and service As the market-leader in mobile welfare units, Welfare Hire Nationwide specialises in the delivery, set up and servicing of its modern Eco fleet using its own delivery vehicles and drivers to tow in the units, avoiding cost and complication with HGVs. Moreover, with its own specialist team of CSE and customer services, Welfare Hire Nationwide ensures responsiveness and agility to offer 24-hour availability for reliable trackside welfare to optimise work output. With a set down time of just six seconds, no time is lost when setting up for working during limited track possession. Space magic! With up to 34 per cent smaller footprint externally, due to the unique retractable tow bar system, Welfare Hire Nationwide’s offer the smartest and safest mobile welfare to minimise space taken onsite, trip hazards and other HSE challenges onsite. On the inside, paradoxically, the Eco units are the most spacious owing to the unique design on profiled bulkhead space optimisation. Therefore, seating and welfare spaces with the Eco range are up to 18 per cent larger, creating a more comfortable and practical environment for welfare and working. Tel: 0845 600 6670 Email: info@welfarehire.co.uk Visit: http://www.welfarehire.co.uk/

Rail Professional

rail mancHe finance

RMF is a leading provider of railway reservation based international settlement and clearing services, providing sophisticated revenue and cost allocation, including business critical management information

Times House, Bravingtons Walk, Regent Quarter London N1 9AW Tel: +44 (0)20 7042 9961 david.hiscock@rmf.co.uk


Get on track with Elite interlocking blocks and barriers

British made

Workforce protection barriers avoiding all line closures with adjacent line open

Rockfall prevention with our multi-purpose Jersy barriers

Hoarding stabilisation utilising Elite Duo interlocking blocks

Large ballast bays with walls constructed from our Legato interlocking blocks

Large scale embankment retention using the versatile Legato blocks

Workforce safety refuges built from Elite Duo blocks

Everywhere on rail networks Elite products are seen in use For more information phone 01952 588 885 or browse www.eliteprecast.co.uk or email sales@eliteprecast.co.uk

KM 642263 BS EN 1917 & BS 5911-3

KM 658166 BS 5911-6

Suppliers to 2012 London Olympics, 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and approved suppliers to Tideway, Crossrail and HS2 (fully compliant transport)



Concrete Legato blocks RSG Structures Ltd was recently contracted to undertake construction of a new bunker facility for a client in Stoke, which is part of a larger contract involving demolition and rebuild


he bunker was to have very durable 6.4-metre-high walls and was being built onto an existing yard with an undulating concrete surface. Not wanting to break through this concrete and create more issues, the solution was an in-situ plinth with concrete blocks on top, which RSG have used many times. The plinth acts in two ways, spreading the load of the walls above and also levelling up any change in levels so the walls sit straight and true. Elite Precast concrete Legato blocks were a perfect choice for this type of construction, being fast build and cast from high strength concrete makes them exceedingly hardwearing. RSG Director Gareth Neale explains why

RSG use Elite Legato blocks: ‘We know what we are working with when we use Legato blocks from Elite. There are other block manufacturers out there, but we personally wouldn’t touch them, as you don’t know what’s arriving on site. ‘Legatos don’t have any recycled materials in them which is critically important because when I’m building six to seven-metre high walls and then sticking a building on top, I want to know what the blocks are made of and what strength the concrete is. Everything we build is fully engineered and so we need to know what we are working with and my engineer needs to know what he is designing with. With a build like this, timing is critical with deliveries and also having the right blocks on each load,

otherwise we end up with a site full of blocks we can’t use yet. ‘We had just under 600 blocks to install of varying sizes in many different positions, but as always, working with Elite was simple and easy. The loads arrived when we wanted them and with the blocks we wanted on them. Both Elite and the blocks are always a joy to work with and the result is what you see in the video, a great team effort by all involved.’ For further information on Elite’s Legato blocks (or anything else from Elite’s range) Tel: 01952 588885 Email: sales@eliteprecast.co.uk Visit: www.eliteprecast.co.uk For further information on RSG Structure’s extensive range of services contact Gareth Neale Tel: 08452 997597 Email: gneale@rsgstructures.co.uk Visit: www.rsgstructures.co.uk Rail Professional


Refurbishment. System Installation. Structural Repair. Maintenance & Overhaul. TXM Projects are industry specialists in the provision of Project Management, Consultancy and Resource Solutions to the Rail Sector (Passenger and Freight Rolling Stock, Operation Delivery and Engineering Services). TXM Projects offer high-quality solutions encompassing all areas of onsite installation and rail vehicle care; enabling rail vehicle operators or owners to complete projects safely, on budget and on time. To find out more about TXM Projects, get in touch today by calling 0121 600 7440, emailing info@txmprojects.co.uk or visit www.txmprojects.co.uk



Projects with Pete Jennings – TXM has the complete solution Within its leadership team, TXM Projects boasts more than 150 years of collective experience in rolling stock and engineering industries, Director Pete Jennings explains what ‘Projects’ delivers


XM Projects is a provider of project solutions for rolling stock, specialising in ‘on-site’ installation and rail vehicle care. TXM Projects has worked continuously to build up the brand over the last ten years, gaining vital experience, targeting best in class talent and building a huge network database of first-class engineers, designers, project managers and more. We’ve had a great start to the year and have some exciting months ahead. We’ve been doing the ‘hard yards’ over the years; building up our experience in every aspect of rail vehicle care, so we can confidently say we’re industry leaders in many areas.

I work closely with TXM Projects Managing Director Bryan (Bennett), and we’ve identified seven core areas covered in our full Turnkey Solution for all things vehicle care for rolling stock. First up we have ‘REFURBISHMENTS’, where we undertake the task of taking worn out fleet interiors and upgrading or refurbishing them. Tasks typically include an examination of units and where needed or requested; replacement, refurbishment, redesign or deep cleaning of all interior components such as: flooring, carpets, seats, doors, windows, toilets and more. All deliverables including reconfiguration of units have a passenger experience focus and

Rail Professional



are finalised as a highly visible upgrade. Our second area of expertise is ‘SYSTEMS’ installation and maintenance where we have over ten years’ experience in areas such as: passenger information (audible and visual), digital railway technologies like GSMR and ETCS, passenger benefit tech such as Wi-Fi (with media servers driving rich onboard content) and more practical applications such as USB or 240v connections for devices. We also install and maintain driver/safety related systems such as CCTV, driver assistance, passenger counting technologies and train management. Then we have ‘CLEANING’, the world is currently dealing with the Coronavirus (Covid-19) so having a state-of-the-art deep cleaning solution for TOC’s, their driving cabs and passenger interiors is crucial for the health and wellbeing of both staff and customers alike. Our partnership with Hydro Pro Clean (HPC) Ltd is currently offering the industry an unparalleled service solution for this international issue. Another core competency is our knowledge supporting our unit ‘STRUCTURE’ services. Metal built carriages unless treated regularly will corrode and require attention during their lifetime. With assets required to perform longer and many changes to safety regulations, we deliver Rail Professional

repairs and upgrades to the structure of a train. From an initial engineer’s survey through to the process of drawings, permits and sign off to the physical works of cutting, replacing and re-preparing structural sections of the vehicle. We then move on to ‘HEAVY MAINTENANCE’. Vehicles require overhaul and maintenance from time to time. We have the right resources and project management teams at the right time to be able to deliver the peak workload of a heavy overhaul, including the management of spares, creation and application of VMI’s, component supply chain repair cycles and updates to manuals. This allows the operators to plan effective resource strategies over the medium term, as TXM Project can deliver fixed packages of effort during those peaks clearing and leaving the site once done. We also cover the many aspects of DESIGN in rolling stock rail care. Working with recognised and respected partners across the engineering design community, TXM can deliver support during the bottleneck stages leading up to the installation during the design and engineering phase. We can take out the short-term peak workload requirements for businesses by taking the design of solutions with its partners under a single point of

control, working collaboratively with all stakeholders to deliver on time creative solutions. Our final area of serviced deliverables is ‘CONTROL & MANAGEMENT’. Teams are made up of multiple layers of competence and management. We’re experienced in bringing together the right project management leaders, engineers and competency assessors to compliment the vehicle technicians and deliver projects on time and on budget. We have a bespoke cloud-based project management system developed in collaboration with our software partner to support a project giving 24/7 visibility to stakeholders on project progress, safety and cost. To finish off we’re extremely excited by what the future holds for TXM Projects, we have teams ready to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in. We believe the rail industry has an exciting period ahead of it and we’re looking forward to playing our part and helping it grow. To find out more about TXM Projects full suite of services check out their Turnkey Solutions Resource page by CLICKING HERE or visit their website at www.txmprojects.co.uk Tel: 07741 666812 Email: pete.jennings@txmprojects.co.uk Visit: www.txmprojects.co.uk

PULSAR The #1 choice when selecting a garment to keep you both protected and comfortable in the toughest of working environments

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Zonegreen is the jewel in the crown of point safety upgrades As the transformation of Norwich’s Crown Point depot continues, the project team are pulling out all the stops to create the safest work environment possible for its personnel


he facility is the latest recipient of rail safety specialist, Zonegreen’s, Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS*). So far, the Sheffield-based firm has installed its flagship technology on three roads, with the remainder to be completed before upgrades at the depot are finalised. Flirting with the future Zonegreen’s Crown Point project is part of a £40 million upgrade that commenced in 2018, to ready the depot for the introduction of 58 Stadler FLIRT bi-mode trains that will replace aging rolling stock on the East Anglian line.

Depot operator, Greater Anglia, is to provide servicing, maintenance and stabling for the new trains. The FLIRT’s will not only provide increased resilience and reliability, but will offer an enhanced customer experience with features such as air conditioning, USB points, and lowered floors to offer improved accessibility. Main contractor, Vinci Taylor Woodrow, has been coordinating the upgrades, which have been carried out in phases to accommodate ongoing depot operations. Phase one gets green light Engineers from Zonegreen were first tasked with installing DPPS on roads 16 and 17 last

year. The system guarantees the protection of workers by automating safety procedures, thereby removing the margin for human error. Staff are issued with personalised electronic datakeys, with varying levels of authorisation depending on their job role, that replace the traditional padlock. The keys operate DPPS, via road end panels which identify personnel working in different zones. Strategically located powered derailers are prevented from being lowered when staff log onto the system, providing physical protection against train movements. Vehicles can only be permitted to move in and out of the depot when all personnel are logged off and maintenance

Rail Professional

“Our e-commerce platform provides accurate and real-time data improving engineer efficiencies in the rail sector when ordering parts online. There are significant reductions in stock returns through easy and precise identification of the right part every time, and real time information provides an accurate stock profile, improving obsolescence management. Proven success highlighted by its use by over 3000 field engineers across a number of sectors managing over 1.3 million parts worldwide.” Steve Clark TVS Chief Technology Officer

Contact us today www.tvsscs.com rail@tvsscs.com +44 (0)1257 265531


equipment is stored securely, preventing injury and damage to infrastructure. In addition, beacons and klaxons have been fitted to provide audible and visual warnings of vehicle movement. Risks posed by the overhead lines on roads 16 and 17 have been mitigated by the installation of Zonegreen’s interlocking solutions. The gantry gates are interlocked, preventing access to high-level areas until the overhead line has been isolated and earthed through a key operated panel. Fume extraction equipment and a crane on road 16 are also interfaced with the system, ensuring neither can be operated whilst the overhead line is live and inhibiting train movements until they are in a safe position. Onto phase two Zonegreen was recently asked back to site to complete its second phase of work at Norwich, installing DPPS on Road 14. The system provides physical protection at both ends of the through road. As before, workers’ log onto the DPPS using personalised datakeys preventing the removal of the physical protection whilst they work. Beacons and klaxons have, again, been fitted to give audible and visual warnings of train movements. A signalling interface has been integrated


on all three of the protected roads to control outbound train movements. This allows vehicles to leave the depot seamlessly, without the time-consuming stop-starts that plague a traditional depot operations. The technology means it is only possible to initiate a route when it is safe to do so, i.e. all staff have logged off the DPPS and interlocks are in the safe position. Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s technical director, said: ‘The vast changes taking place at Crown Point are continuing apace and it is a privilege to be a part of such a significant rail industry project. We look forward to returning to site soon, to install our hightech system on the remaining roads. ‘Greater Anglia chose DPPS as it can be tailored to the facility’s unique layout, installed whilst operations continue and is dynamic enough to adapt to this everchanging industry, guaranteeing a working environment that will protect personnel for years to come.’ For more information about Zonegreen’s work at Crown Point, or its New Generation DPPS technology contact Zonegreen using the information below. *DPPS is a registered trademark of Zonegreen. Tel: (0114) 230 0822 Visit: www.zonegreen.co.uk.


zonegreen safe working solutions

Renowned as the global market leading depot protection system, the SMART DPPS™ delivers physical protection from vehicle movements to rail depot staff whilst providing visual and audible warnings.


The Smart DPPS™: • Protects staff and equipment • Ensures safe and controlled movement of rail vehicles into and out of the depot • Allows train maintenance operations to be conducted without endangering the safety of staff or damaging infrastructure

Tel: +44 (0)114 230 0822

It is: • Fully configurable, flexible and functional • Proven in use and installed globally • Capable of interfacing with third party equipment including signalling systems. • Adaptable to the safe requirements of the depot

info@zonegreen.co.uk Rail Professional

Designed for possibilities. Made for people.

NEW – Altro Transflor Motus™ High performance EN45545 HL-2 with high powered design options. • High performance HL-2 compliance • PUR coating for easy cleaning • No extra surface treatments needed for maintenance • Extensive colour palette



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Inviting, safe, and compliant environments Altro is a family-run business based in Hertfordshire, UK, with manufacturing plants in the UK and Germany


global company with offices across the world including Melbourne, Shanghai, Boston, Santa Fe, and Dessau, Altro is proud to have celebrated its centenary year in 2019. Across its one hundred years of operation, Altro has been an innovator and industry leader, credited with the inventions of safety flooring and adhesive-free flooring. Altro has always held the customer at the heart of everything it does and takes great pride in its Voice of the Customer programme, which allows the company to listen and partner with customers to ensure it continues to get what it does right. Originally manufacturing for the construction sector, Altro has applied its innovative streak and passion for safety to transport. The company has been engineering and manufacturing high quality transport flooring for over 60 years and has supplied flooring to a range of rail applications such as intercity, trams, and commuter services across the world. Altro’s current rail flooring portfolio is supported with a wide range of value-added services.

Enhanced cleanability An inviting interior is the key to a positive passenger experience. No matter how captivating or well thought out your interior

design, if it is difficult to keep clean it will soon start to look worn and dirty. As the floor is the area where most dirt sticks and settles, Altro has ensured that every product in its portfolio is engineered to help you keep it looking its best – whether that be with Altro Easyclean™ technology, as with Altro Transflor Tungsten™ or a resilient PUR coating, as with Altro Transflor Motus™. Altro was delighted to be included in the 2019 Porterbrook Innovation Hub showcased at Rail Live. As Altro Transflor Tungsten and Altro Transflor Motus were in place on a busy exhibition car at an outside event, Altro undertook a post-event clean to remove all the mud tracked through during the show. Thanks to the thoughtful engineering of Altro products and the expertise of its sister company, Autoglym, the flooring innovation cleaned up as good as new. Enhance installation efficiencies with Altro solutions Altro offers a range of solutions with its flooring products specifically aimed at making your life easier. Reduce waste with its kit cutting solution and receive your flooring pre-cut in smaller, safer rolls ready for installation. Save adhesive curing time Rail Professional


and a minimum of 60 per cent adhesive weight with Altro’s self-adhesive solution. With no adhesive curing time, Altro’s selfadhesive solution could be a real gamechanger for your installation. For the future Altro’s overarching aim is to partner globally with leading rail operators and manufacturers to help create environments for both passengers and staff which are inviting, safe, and compliant. The company

continues to develop industry-leading rail flooring products with the user in mind, so that its products make a positive impact on both passenger and employee experience with ease of cleaning and reliable safety credentials. Throughout 2020 Altro will expand its EN45545-compliant portfolio,


while continuing to offer rail flooring products with easy maintenance and reliable slip resistance. Tel: +44 (0)1462 707700 Email: transportenquiries@altro.com Visit: www.altro.com

Delivering Innovative Product Solutions GateLock Significantly reduces risk at User Worked Crossings, GateLock encourages correct and compliant user behaviour and produces basic maintenance diagnostic information.

Optical Data Link Module Replaces the standard Solid State Interlocking (SSI) Data Link Module (DLM) with a physically compatible unit that transmits the SSI signal over optical fibres as well as copper cabling.






Rail Professional

Size doesn‘t matter to be a hero. Han® 1A - Compact, robust and versatile.

Space-saving universal connectors for railway vehicles ■ Compact and lightweight: EN 45545-2, R22-24, HL1-3, IEC 61373-Cat.2, IP20 / IP65 rating. ■ Flexible applications: Options for data, signals and power ■ Highly versatile: Door systems, sounders, lighting, wipers and more

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Hitachi Rail looks to Totalkare for lifting jacks Hitachi’s rail vehicle manufacturing facility in the North East has recently been boosted by the installation of railway lifting jacks from Totalkare


itachi Rail is a fully integrated, global provider of rail solutions across rolling stock, signalling services and turnkey. Its manufacturing and assembly plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, employs 700 people currently building rolling stock. The introduction of eight new 15,000kg railway lifting jacks from lifting and testing experts Totalkare will provide Hitachi Rail with flexibility for future projects, with the jacks initially being used to lift metro style carriages during the manufacturing process. ‘We’ve manufactured these lifting jacks in line with Hitachi Rail’s bespoke

requirements, with attention paid to the size of the outriggers, height of the anvil and the lifting capacity of each lifting jack’ said Totalkare Area Sales Manager Adam Bowser. ‘These will be supported through our comprehensive Afterkare service package which includes two visits per year. ‘We have an existing relationship with Totalkare’s European manufacturing partner Emanuel, having previously used their lifting jacks in Italy’ said Wayne Abbott, Manufacturing Engineer for Hitachi Rail. ‘Totalkare was the only supplier who could tailor a solution specifically to our requirements and we look forward to the added flexibility they will provide to the

Newton Aycliffe facility.’ Totalkare is a new face in the rail industry supply chain, having partnered with Italian manufacturer Emanuel early in 2019, but is the UK’s market-leading supplier of mobile column lifts in the bus and coach and commercial vehicle markets with a network of field service engineers covering the UK. This year sees the company celebrate 40 years of supplying mobile column lifts in the UK. Tel: 0121 585 2724 Email: sales@totalkare.co.uk Visit: www.totalkare.co.uk

Rail Professional

THE VOICE OF TORQUE CONTROL • Manufacturer of electric, battery, pneumatic & manually operated torque multipliers, torque wrenches & torque measurement equipment • Large range of standard tools & equipment designed & made in the UK • Bespoke torque control solutions specially developed for the rail industry • Contact Norbar for all your rail infrastructure & rolling stock applications Example shown: bespoke bolting tool designed for limited accesss application on Hitachi Rail Europe Class 800/801 using Norbar PTS 72-2000 & special offset gearbox reaction plate

Contact: rail@norbar.com +44 (0)1295 753600




Good vibrations The hidden role of embedded computing in rail passenger safety and comfort


few years ago, a guilt-ridden Melbourne train commuter’s note warning other travellers not to sit in their spilt coffee puddle made the international news. Actually, ‘the spilt coffee effect’ is nothing new in the rail industry, referring to bumps and jolts that cause passenger discomfort. Mark Jeffrey, Technical Director at Diamond Point International, explains how its printed circuit boards (PCBs) help passengers ride comfortably and safely, with their coffee intact. PCBs are used everywhere, in all but the simplest of electronic products, to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components. A basic PCB consists of a flat sheet of insulating material and a layer of copper foil, laminated to a substrate. The copper is divided into separate conducting lines – called tracks, circuit traces or pads – through chemical etching. This allows connections to pass between the layers of copper between solid conductive areas. It creates a more compact and reliable system compared with discrete wired enclosures, and also improves the overall reliability of the system. Typical rail applications for PCBs include media converter boards that are copper to fibre, isolated power supplies, multimedia gateways, or systems that monitor vibrations and other data from train engines or the rails of the track. The latter scenario is where we might encounter the ‘spilt coffee effect’. In such instances, data from vibration measuring computers, that are bolted inside the train, can be referenced. These log the amplitude, position and time of the fault. The data can then be assessed to determine whether the disruptive vibration was caused by the train’s wheels, the track or damaged components or infrastructure.

Another requirement is that some power signals to the board’s inputs and outputs (I/O) must be isolated; after all, extreme rail environments can present extreme voltages in some cases. Diamond Point tries to ensure that all analogue or digital I/O requirements are satisfied, within the desired voltage widths and ranges. This is where power filters designed for use with direct current to direct current (DC-DC) connections can be used, according to the RIA12 standard for protecting electronic equipment from transients and surges in DC control systems. Cost is another primary driver, of course, and Diamond Point puts cost-effectiveness at the forefront of its design, development and supply for customers. This entails quick turnarounds, in terms of designs and prototypes, at a good price. Also integral to this is the company’s policy to develop long term relationships with customers by providing reliable products, quality system builds and responsive after sales services — all in line with BS EN ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System requirements. Diamond Point’s product development is reinforced by extensive testing. Specifically, through the use of a temperature chamber that tests the PCBs, operating normally while specially designed software exercises the memory, at temperatures of between

40 and 100oC. Testing can take place over periods of 24 to 48 hours to ensure there are no errors or out of the box failures. Going underground A good example of a system designed for the harshest of rail environments is the D2666 rugged rail computer. Essentially a boxed PC, the D2666 can be fitted under train carriages and used to record data from cameras and sensors – in the case of the latter, to monitor sound, vibrations or other data. The boxes have been shown to work reliably for many years. The design and development of the

Flexible design Since 1983, Diamond Point International, part of the international Addtech group, has been at the forefront of designing and manufacturing bespoke computer systems, including PCBs and enclosures, for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators. Heat is usually the biggest consideration when designing PCBs for extreme applications, like rail environments. In terms of designing the board, this entails laying out the components in such a way that heat generating components are not near other components that may be affected by heat. Rail Professional

EMS RAIL LU Multi-track Natural Rubber and Aluminium Grid Entrance Matting System

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Delivering award-winning, multidisciplinary infrastructure services in the UK and Ireland

Pod-Trak Group is a highly-talented engineering specialist, carrying out multi-disciplinary works within the railways, airports and power sectors. We employ more than 300 very skilled people and have a large fleet of road and rail vehicles available for projects of all sizes.






D2666 arose from an instance where a customer, the operator of a large underground rail network, approached Diamond Point with a requirement for customised boxed PCs. These were to be fitted to trains and used to record data from cameras and sensors, including accelerometers and microphones, within the underground network. The operator’s existing units had contained circuit breakers with a manual trip; a person would have to get under the train and flip it back on. The customer’s requirement was to replace this circuit breaker arrangement so that, if the resettable fuse tripped, it would only need to cycle the power – or, turn the computer off then on again – to reset the fuse. As well as being designed to fit to the underside of a train carriage, the boxed PCs needed to be able to work effectively in all conditions. Again, heat was the primary consideration here and certain fuses had to be selected that would work at high temperatures – as the hotter resettable fuses get, the lower the trip value. The system would also have to use off-the-shelf I/O cards equipped for CompactPCI – the computer bus interconnect for industrial computers – with the assurance they would work reliably within the sealed, rugged and compact system enclosure. Furthermore, it would have to link up to a modern PC running Intel Core i7 and solid-state drives (SSDs), and be compliant to EN50155, the international standard covering electronic equipment used on rolling stock for railway applications. The development of the D2666 therefore married readily available components with bespoke design. Diamond Point took an off-

the-shelf CPU board and conduction-cooled enclosure as a basepoint. The customer wanted all Ethernet to and from the box to be run over fibre, so a converter card was designed for this. To meet RIA12 railway requirements, a customised power input filter board was designed. Additionally, an I/O transition card was designed to sit between the external connectors and the various internal CompactPCI cards. The boxed PCs are connected together by multiple MILDTL-3899 connectors. These are designed for power, signal and fibre optic applications in harsh environments, and are used frequently in military-grade applications. Passenger comfort While a passenger carriage or driver compartment isn’t as ‘extreme’ an environment as under the train, there are very strict regulations around power isolation, extended temperature range – again, units are sealed away from others to avoid ‘interaction’ – and radio frequency interference (RFI)/electromagnetic interference (EMI) emissions and immunity. This is so that these systems don’t interfere with any of the train’s safety critical systems. The D2557 railway grade computer can be used in these circumstances. The system was originally designed for passenger WiFi service provision; but Diamond Point is now working on new designs to support 5G modems and provide more computing power, still in environmentally sealed and rugged units. This type of system combines a powerful embedded processor, Ethernet switch with Power over Ethernet (PoE, where electric


power passes along with data through twisted pair Ethernet cabling) support and a removable SSD. Such systems are commonly deployed for on-train CCTV applications, where Wi-Fi or long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity is sometimes also needed, to enable offload of the video content without physical access to the drives. Because of the power and space constraints of a train and the need for controlled emissions and power filtering, it’s common to design bespoke systems for on-train applications using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) building blocks. They include COMexpress, the computer-on-module integrated and compact PC that is used much like an integrated circuit component. Specifically, Compact Type 6 modules or, for smaller units, COMexpress Mini Type 10 modules. Looking ahead Going forward, DPI predicts an upswing in demand for PCBs driven by requirements surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) and the need to mechanically support and electrically-connect components. Britain’s exit from the European Union may also help in driving more inward investment towards UK companies, like Diamond Point. For now, its support continues in varied applications where PCBs can prove so crucial – whether it’s monitoring vibrations in underground rail tunnels or ensuring that passengers’ cappuccinos remain unspilt.

Tel: 01634 300900 Email: sales@dpie.com Web: www.dpie.com Rail Professional



$17.7 billion for Thailand’s high-speed rail projects RAIL Asia expo returns to its November dates in 2020 to best capture the cycle of business in Thailand and its neighbouring rail markets of Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam


ver 3,000 rail professionals are expected for RAIL Asia’s most important edition with over $17 billion spend on highspeed rail, multi-city metro systems and vast regional interconnectivity and upgrade projects rolling out. Be a part of all of these developments and hear from and meet the industry stakeholders at the world-class exhibition and free-to-attend co-located conference hosted by the State Railway of Thailand and endorsed by the Ministry of Transport and the Department of Rail Transport. Three highspeed rail projects in Thailand will begin with the Eastern Economic Corridor, linking three international airports at a cost of $7 billion, and followed by the Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima railway at a cost of $4.1 billion and Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai ($6.6 billion). High-Speed rail will be a focus topic at RAIL Asia 2020’s free-to-attend technical conference programme, alongside the expo, welcoming the suppliers to the industry and the contractors, consultants and investors that are a part of the rapid developments taking place in Thailand and its neighbouring countries. It is where the government and private organisations, meet, present technology and discuss the latest business opportunities. Gregory Enjalbert, Managing Director, Bombardier Transportation Thailand said: ‘RAIL Asia is important because we can meet with various partners here who are all present. We can meet with our customers, we can meet with our suppliers and we can meet with various stakeholders who are responsible for moving forward the rail industry in Thailand.’ New for 2020 is RAIL Asia’s endorsement from the government’s newly formed

Department of Rail Transport. RAIL Asia 2020 is the only international trade exhibition and conference fully supported by the Ministry of Transport, as well as the Office of Transport Planning and Policy, Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand, Airport Rail Link, SRT Electrified Trains, as well as other related organisations to include Bangkok Mass Transit System, Bangkok Expressway and Metro, KU Rail, the European Association for Business & Commerce, the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers Thailand Chapter and the Centre for Excellence for Road and Railway Innovation. RAIL Asia 2020 exhibition and conference in Thailand from 25-26 November at Makkasan Expo Halls in Bangkok has become the important meeting place if you want to be a part of Asia’s rapid rail expansion. Timing RAIL Asia Expo has moved to its traditional dates at the end of November for its 6th edition in 2020 to best capture the project cycle of opportunities in Thailand and the interconnecting projects throughout the region, the event will also stage the pre-expo technical site tour to Bang Sue. Support RAIL Asia 2020 is the only official international rail and metro exhibition to be held in Thailand with the full support of the Ministry of Transport, the State Railway of Thailand and the newly formed Department of Rail Transport, plus the regional operators and the related industry organisations and government institutes.

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the rest of Asia are expected to attend RAIL Asia 2020 at the State Railway of Thailand’s Makkasan Expo Halls in Bangkok city centre interchange station of the Airport Rail Link, metro and mainline rail lines.

Visitors Over 3,000 trade professionals from throughout Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam,

Email: rail@aesexhibitions.com Visit: www.RailAsiaExpo.com Facebook: Rail.Asia Rail Professional



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Director for National Passenger & Customer Experience joins Network Services Charlene Wallace has joined Network Rail as Director for National Passenger & Customer Experience in the Network Services Directorate. Rail Professional

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