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FEBRUARY 2020 Issue 259 £7.95



A bold new era begins Make the 2020s a decade for investment in a new railway

Dust Suppression Specialists

TRAM AND LIGHT RAIL Prospects for light rail in 2020

DEPOTS GRAHAM completes multimillion-pound Scarborough train depot for TransPenninel

TRAM AND LIGHT RAIL The light rail revolution in the North of England

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FEBRUARY 2020 ISSUE 259 £7.95



A bold new era begins Make the 2020s a decade for investment in a new railway

Dust Suppression Specialists

TRAM AND LIGHT RAIL Prospects for light rail in 2020

DEPOTS GRAHAM completes multimillion-pound Scarborough train depot for TransPenninel

TRAM AND LIGHT RAIL The light rail revolution in the North of England

PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LTD Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Telephone: +44 (0)1268 711811

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

editor’s note


hey say that hindsight is 20/20 and I am sure that many commentators will be using the expression to discuss what happened in 2010s and how accurate predictions made during the ‘noughties’ were. I have never liked the expression, because often analysts are consistent and were actually saying the same thing prior to the event in question. And instead of being praised for having foresight, are accused of using the benefit of hindsight. Equally, those who fearmonger about a planned project are free to have the slate wiped clean as soon as their fears are proved unfounded. Consider the Channel Tunnel, whilst I’ll admit to not being around to recall these stories from memory, raking through the headlines from that time revealed to me some pretty alarmist assessments of the Channel Tunnel. Fears about rabid animals being brought over from the continent, people deserting the city to brunch in Paris and even fears of a military invasion. Those of you in the business at the time can perhaps comment as to how seriously these fears were taken. A slightly more sober point would be the cost of the project, with parallels to contemporary scrutinising over the budget for HS2. The Channel Tunnel ended up costing 80 per cent more than predicted but now we cannot imagine this island without that tunnel – responsible for £120 billion of trade in goods between the UK and continental Europe each year. Those in our industry who are most vocal in championing HS2, many of them found within the pages of this magazine and indeed in this column most months, will perhaps find themselves being accused of having ‘the benefit of hindsight’ when, once HS2 is completed and up and running, all the naysayers are proved wrong. And, whilst we haven’t seen forecasts quite as crazed as those made in the early 1990s, the one that has me most confused is the suggestion that HS2 would be bad for the environment. I can’t see how anyone could believe that a non-rail solution to transportation and connectivity issues would be more environmentally friendly than a new railway. Anyway, Happy New Year to you all and enjoy this issue which focusses on trams and light rail and depots. In this issue, Rail Future looks at prospects for light rail in 2020 and Samuel Knight International explores how businesses can tap into the tech talent pool. Our depots features look at the construction of a major multi-million-pound train care facility in Scarborough in Yorkshire and IOSH helps to bring depot safety into the 21st century. Finally, our Supply Chain Directory for 2020 is available now – you can order copies by calling 01268 711811 or emailing info@railpro.co.uk

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09 News Redhill-Tonbridge railway to reopen by the end of March, New benchmarking tool for the rail supply chain launched, Network Rail unveils updated plan to protect vital south west rail line bordered by steep cliffs and the sea, South Western Railway reintroduces refurbished trains with more space for customers and modern facilities, Work begins on new station at Bow Street, Record investment delivers improved service on trains and at stations across Scotland, DB Cargo UK to run new service to East Midlands Gateway

17 Delivering the goods Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy, FTA explains how the OBOR and TIR are transforming Europe-China freight travel and how the global rail industry is reacting to this development

21 The Cheek of it Demand growth smashes yet more records with five TOCs seeing a fall but five growing by more than five per cent

25 Women in Rail Let’s continue to work together as one team in 2020 and give our industry the workforce it deserves, says Adeline Ginn MBE, Founder and Chair of Women in Rail

27 Laying down the law It is relatively common for an employer to protect itself from an employee moving to a competitor by having a number of noncompete requirements in its employment contracts

30 Viewpoint Katie Hewson, commercial, outsourcing and technology associate and Darren Fodey, rail partner at law firm Stephenson Harwood explore some consequences of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

33 Viewpoint Karen Holden, founder of A City Law Firm, explores the impact of Brexit on contractual agreements

35 Prior knowledge Lucy Prior MBE asks: What is it to be engaged? To engage with others? And how do we ensure that the engagement messages we send correlate with what we need, or think we need?



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39 Viewpoint

57 Depots

Claire Walker, Co-Executive Director, British Chambers of Commerce explains why businesses feel that railway services are not currently meeting their needs

When future generations look back at the 21st century, they will see a time of exponential growth, of technological advances, of environmental progress and even the changing landscape of the British railway system

41 Viewpoint In a recent study, scientists from UCL forecasted yet another extreme winter for 2019/20. Those who had their lives turned upside-down by the infamous Beast from the East in 2018 will have hoped for a milder winter

59 Depots The construction of a major multi-million-pound train care facility in Scarborough in Yorkshire has been completed by award-winning construction firm GRAHAM

45 Viewpoint

62 Viewpoint

As the new Government gears up to spend an extra £100 billion on infrastructure in this Parliament, Andy Meaney of Oxera asks how rail can ensure it gets its fair share

David Jones looks at the intersection of hazardous industries

46 Rail Professional Interview


64 Tram and Light Rail

2019 was a stellar year for TXM Projects, and for those inside the business, they are ready to kick on into 2020

Sid Grover, Associate Director for environment, health and safety at environmental and engineering consultancy RSK, provides an insight into RSK’s work with the Manchester Metrolink Project Franchising

50 Tram and Light Rail

67 Franchising

Railfuture has an international group, structured to understand international best practice and use it in advancing our arguments in Britain on railway development. Light rail is a case in point where Britain has not exactly been a world leader

The financial health of the train operating companies

54 Tram and Light Rail

Paul Atterbury reviews Martyn Pring’s new book, Luxury Railway Travel: A Social and Business History

Light rail, much like many other sectors across the world, is being drastically shaped by technological advancements

73 Policy Possibilities for the new Government

71 Book review

The decisive outcome of the December 2019 General Election means there will be definite consequences for the rail industry in Great Britain writes Mark Walker, Chief Executive of Cogitamus Public Affairs

76 Promotion Why do we not provide better passenger information during service disruption?

79 Business Profiles Wedge Group, Elite Precast, Altro, Goodlight LED, IOSH, FUTURE Designs, Majorlift, Relec, RSA, RISQS, TVS Supply Chain Solutions, ACCON UK, Fenix Signalling Limited

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News in brief... Vital weekend improvement works for West Coast Mainline Network Rail will be delivering a multi-million-pound programme of maintenance and renewal work on the West Coast Mainline over ten weekends between April and June this year. Engineers will refurbish or renew more than 17 kilometres of track at 20 locations along the line between Carstairs and the border with Scotland. Building begins on Metro Control Centre Transport for Wales has reached another key milestone as building work begins on their £100 million Metro Depot at Taff’s Well. The new depot will include a modern maintenance facility to service and home brand-new Metro Vehicles (Tram-Trains). The control centre overseeing Metro operations, including signalling and train movements will also be based at Taff’s Well. The South Wales Metro will significantly improve connectivity throughout South Wales and provide access to jobs, leisure and other opportunities for the people of Wales, through unifying rail, bus and active travel routes. London Overground ticket office changes introduced due to customer needs The hours at some London Overground ticket offices will change to better match the times customers use them. These changes reflect the way customers now pay for their travel as many people choose to use contactless payments and mobile devices instead of paper tickets. Currently fewer than two per cent of London Overground


Redhill-Tonbridge railway to reopen by the end of March Network Rail and engineers from contractor BAM Nuttall have begun work to repair a landslip at a remote location between Edenbridge and Godstone on the RedhillTonbridge railway. The railway has been cut in half since 22nd December, when a train driver noticed the track starting to dip on a twelve-metre high embankment that carries the railway over the Eden Valley. The slip is one of the largest the railway of the South East has faced in many years and it has taken several weeks to plan a response. To get access to the slip, engineers have built a road across a field and cut a section of the embankment out, while building a temporary bridge to carry vital cables over the gap. Around 40 trains are being planned to bring 40,000 tonnes of recycled railway ballast to site – the weight of almost one hundred Jumbo Jets – as the local roads are too narrow to allow lorries access. While that work is going on, Network Rail is working on plans to reinforce the longer, 400 metre section of railway that crosses the Eden Valley at this location, to stop any future slips. This work will continue without affecting trains. The landslip followed a month of rain in one week, on already saturated ground. This winter has seen a total of six months rain in the space of three months. The plan is to reopen the railway as soon as possible by fixing the existing slip and simultaneously work on a longer-term fix to stop any further slips happening on this stretch of line.

New benchmarking tool for the rail supply chain launched Buyers in the rail industry can now compare suppliers’ capabilities using a new benchmarking tool through the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS). Network Rail and Transport for London are set to unlock £50 billion over the next five years. Both will be looking to work with the best suppliers to improve the railway for passengers and freight customers. RISQS is home to nearly 4,000 suppliers, all of which have had their credentials verified through the official rail industry scheme, managed and overseen on industry’s behalf by RSSB. Around one hundred buyers already use RISQS to identify suppliers that meet their key requirements. RISQS is now offering suppliers the chance to stand out from the competition through a new on-line benchmarking tool. This provides a measure of suppliers’ maturity based on information acquired through the verification process. This supports buyers’ decision making by enabling them to benchmark the companies they have shortlisted. Suppliers will be able to see their own results and measure their performance against their peers. With this information, suppliers can focus on improving areas of lower maturity and drive up standards across the supply chain. RSSB hopes that the tool will help to raise the bar and ensure that suppliers fulfil the government’s commitment to make this a year of action on rail. Rail Professional



News in brief... journeys involve a ticket sale from a London Overground ticket office, with sales through ticket offices having reduced by a million compared with 2016. Merseyrail named most punctual rail operator in the country for second year running Merseyrail, a 50/50 Joint Venture between Serco and Abellio, has been named as the most punctual rail operator in the country for the second year running – with 96.36 per cent of its trains running on time. It also achieved its best performing year ever in 2019 – with the oldest passenger fleet in the UK. The past year has seen Merseyrail scoop coveted awards across the industry, including being named Greatest Place to Work at the National Rail Awards and winning the Excellence in Sustainability and Society Award at the British Quality Foundation Awards in May.

Network Rail unveils updated plan to protect vital south west rail line bordered by steep cliffs and the sea Updated proposals have been published for a series of potential changes to a section of railway line in south Devon that is bordered by steep cliffs on one side and the sea on the other. Views are being sought from residents, communities, businesses and rail users across the south west as part of a second round of public consultation which runs for six weeks until 1st March as Network Rail looks to protect a 1.8 kilometre stretch of railway between Parsons Tunnel, near Holcombe, and Teignmouth. The vital rail artery is the only line which connects Cornwall and Devon with the rest of the country and the plans would see the railway realigned away from hazardous cliffs. The updated design means that most of the beach is retained as it only moves the railway away from the most potentially hazardous areas of the cliffs and keeps the existing railway alignment at both Parsons Tunnel and at Teignmouth end of this stretch of railway. A realigned coastal footpath, which is one metre wider and safer than the current South West Coast Path, as it will have edge protection, will also be built with the new coastal path not extending any further out than the current extent of Sprey Point. Further, a landward footpath will also be created with the new enhanced coastal path with more than one kilometre of new path with full coastal views will be added to the landward side of the railway between Holcombe and Sprey Point, where users can cross over the railway on a new, accessible footbridge. The vulnerable section of railway was closed for six weeks following a landslide in 2014 and it needs to be better protected from cliff falls, landslips and damage caused during extreme weather. For the proposal to go ahead Network Rail need to make an application for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to the Secretary of State for Transport in order to secure the necessary permissions and rights to carry out the works. The TWAO is likely to be submitted later this year once feedback is received from this round of public consultation.

Grand Central unveils new customer lounge at Hartlepool station Train operator Grand Central has installed new waiting room facilities for passengers at Hartlepool station as part of a £2.6 million station investment programme across its network. The investment is one of a raft of schemes underway at stations along Grand Central’s North East and West Riding routes, which are due to be completed in early 2020. The programme is part of the train operator’s ongoing commitment to enhance customers’ experience on board, online and at stations.

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South Western Railway reintroduces refurbished trains with more space for customers and modern facilities South Western Railway (SWR) customers are benefiting from the reintroduction of refurbished ‘Class 442’ trains. Four 10-car Class 442s have been running on the London to Portsmouth & London to Poole routes since the new year, with customers benefiting from more spacious ‘2+2 seating’ and modern facilities. The trains have refurbished interiors including quality Axminster carpets, at-seat power for mobile devices and real-time passenger information displays. Additional benefits for First Class customers include new leather seats and tables. The environmental benefits also extend to the vehicle interiors with the installation of LED lighting. Wi-Fi is provided throughout and there are universal accessible toilets and seating facilities for disabled passengers.

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News in brief... New trains start passenger service on Sudbury-Marks Tey route Brand new longer trains went into passenger service on Greater Anglia’s Sudbury-Marks Tey route on 21st January. Now all of Greater Anglia’s rural routes previously operated by old diesel trains have new bi-mode trains in service, which are powered by diesel and electricity. Made by Swiss manufacturer, Stadler, the new trains are much greener than Greater Anglia’s old diesel trains, with lower emissions, and modern brakes which release less brake dust into the environment.

Work begins on new station at Bow Street Transport for Wales has begun work on the new £8-million railway station at Bow Street in Ceredigion. Opening to passengers in 2020, the station, which is funded by the Welsh Government and the Department for Transport, will include park and ride facilities, cycle storage and a multi-modal transport interchange. The scheme is being delivered by TfW, Network Rail and Ceredigion County Council. Part funded by the Department for Transport via the New Stations Fund , the new station will provide a link to the national rail network for the community of Bow Street for the first time since the former station was closed in 1965. This will transform transport for local residents, providing links for employment and educational opportunities. Through providing alterative travel, it will also help ease road congestion on local roads supporting the sustainability agenda. Located close to the UK Innovation and Research Campus that is being developed by Aberystwyth University, the station will provide access between the site and the University’s main campus in Aberystwyth itself. The station will be served by trains on the Cambrian Line between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury, and will be the first of several improvements to services on the line as part of TfW’s transformation of the Wales and Borders rail service. Bow Street will benefit from the introduction of brand new trains and an hourly weekday service from 2022, and other stations along the line will benefit from investment as part of TfW’s £194 million Station Improvement Vision.

19 month-high for trains running on time The number of trains running on time across Scotland’s Railway has reached its highest level since June 2018, as customers reap the rewards of investment in infrastructure and £475 million on new and upgraded trains. New figures for the most recent period of performance (8th December – 4th January) show that 86.7 per cent of trains met the rail industry standard public performance measure (PPM) – up 2.5 per cent on the same period last year. This means that the PPM MAA (Moving Annual Average), a key performance target for the Scottish Government, is now 88.5 per cent – the highest it has been for 19 months.

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Record investment delivers improved service on trains and at stations across Scotland Record investment across Scotland’s Railway, including £475 million on new and upgraded trains, is delivering a better service for customers, according to new figures published in January. The Service Quality Incentive Regime (SQUIRE) report released by Transport Scotland has shown that the service on ScotRail trains and at stations improved significantly between 15th September to 7th December 2019 compared with the same period the previous year. Continued investment in CCTV, station environments, customer information and train cleanliness has led to a £190,927 year-on-year reduction in contributions to the SQUIRE fund; from £814,002 during 16th September to 8th December 2018 to £623,075 (excluding RPI) in the same period in 2019. Customers have seen improvements in security on trains and at stations following the upgrade of ScotRail’s CCTV network, with station and on-train CCTV availability improving by an accumulative seven percentage points compared to the same period last year. Litter and contamination at stations continues to improve thanks to a closer working relationship with Network Rail. This has contributed to a 20 per cent improvement in the repair of platform surface issues, from 59 per cent to 79 per cent compared with the same period in 2018. The availability of on-train toilets has improved as a result of new controlled emission tank facilities at Yoker depot. The new equipment means more trains can be serviced simultaneously and has resulted in year-on-year improvement of four per cent. Customer service from ScotRail staff on trains and at stations has improved by an accumulative five percent points. SQUIRE is used by Transport Scotland to assess facilities on ScotRail trains and at stations. If something is found during routine SQUIRE inspections that does not meet the expected high standard, ScotRail contributes to the SQUIRE investment fund. All money raised through the SQUIRE fund is reinvested into projects across Scotland’s Railway. The regime is the toughest of its kind in the UK and is a fundamental part of both Transport Scotland and ScotRail’s efforts to improve customer experience. Other improvements include the trial of integrated transport information screens Livingston North and North Berwick.



News in brief... DB Cargo UK runs first trains into Washwood Heath for Tarmac DB Cargo UK has made its first delivery of aggregate to the site of a new stateof-the-art asphalt facility under construction by Tarmac, at Washwood Heath, Birmingham. The city centre plant, which will provide essential materials to support the ongoing delivery of infrastructure projects in Birmingham and the wider region, is being entirely supplied by rail, resulting in a significant reduction in HGV traffic on the local road network. GWR launches mobile assistance service Train operator GWR has launched a mobile Customer Assistance Team to help those with reduced mobility to be able to travel with confidence. Until recently those needing additional assistance are helped onto a train by one colleague and met at their destination by another, meaning that customers can become anxious about being met, and in some instances are unable to alight at smaller, unstaffed stations. The new ten-member mobile team means that a member of staff can travel with the passenger, taking care of the entire journey experience and ensuring continuity of service.

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DB Cargo UK to run new service to East Midlands Gateway Terminal DB Cargo UK has launched a new route for Maritime Intermodal to its new East Midlands Gateway (EMG) Terminal in Castle Donington. The first commercial service arrived in to the new terminal from the Port of Felixstowe on Tuesday, 7th January and will operate five times per week. The new 17-acre interchange is capable of handling up to sixteen 775metrelong freight trains daily. Planning permission was granted earlier this year for a three-storey, 20,000 sq ft office at EMG that will act as a headquarters for Maritime’s rail subdivision. In addition, planning permission has also been granted for a vehicle maintenance unit, enabling Maritime to carry out container repairs and conversions as well as trailer servicing and minor vehicle repairs to its fleet. Refuelling and reefer points will also be installed on the terminal.

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Europe-China: road / rail competition heats up Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy, FTA explains how the OBOR and TIR are transforming Europe-China freight travel and how the global rail industry is reacting to this development


n 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping embarked on what is arguably the largest infrastructure development plan in modern history: the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), a multimodal transcontinental route connecting Europe and China. While the OBOR has led to dramatically improved rail connections between the two regions, it has – in conjunction with China’s decision to sign up to the TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) transit system – also made road travel across this route a new possibility for businesses; the position of rail and air as the dominant mode of travel along this stretch is no longer secure. China’s global trading ambitions The OBOR, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, is China’s most ambitious foreign policy and economic initiative in recent history. The former connects the country’s underdeveloped hinterland to Europe through Central Asia, with the latter connecting the fast-growing Southeast Asian region to China’s southern provinces through ports and railways. And with China’s decision to sign up to the TIR, journey times have been dramatically reduced: trucks can now transit from Germany to China on road in just twelve days. The TIR transit system allows for approved trailers or containers to move securely across multiple customs territories under a single guarantee, substantially reducing border procedures and monitoring of international journeys. The IRU

(International Road Transport Union), the facilitators of the TIR programme, claim that China-Europe road transport under TIR could save transport companies up to 50 per cent on door-to-door costs compared to air, and at least ten days delivery time compared with rail. After successful trials of intermodal container travel by sea and road, in November 2018, the first ever TIR truck completed an eleven-day, 7,000-kilometre journey from Khorgos in China to Poland, via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus; this ground-breaking trial heralded the start of regular overland China-EU truck services from early 2019. Rail reaction Despite improved road connectivity under the OBOR, rail is expected to continue to dominate the space. Container volumes on the four main China-Europe rail routes are expected to climb to 742,000 20-foot

equivalent unit (TEU) by 2027 (from 324,700 in 2018), equating to more than 20 trains a day each hauling 82 TEU, according to a report by the European Commission in

After successful trials of intermodal container travel by sea and road, in November 2018, the first ever TIR truck completed an elevenday, 7,000-kilometre journey from Khorgos in China to Poland, via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus; this ground-breaking trial heralded the start of regular overland China-EU truck services from early 2019 Rail Professional



In the view of FTA, any new project that provides businesses with more options for trading internationally – while boosting efficiencies and reducing costs – is good news for both the logistics sector and wider global economy February 2019. Maersk Line, an international container shipping company, plans to double the volume of containers moved by freight trains from China to Europe in 20192020. Intermodal rail prices have fallen in response to the increase in container volume; according to The Journal of Commerce, rates have fallen by almost 70 per cent as of September 2019. As China and its neighbouring countries – in particular, Kazakhstan – commit to improving the efficiency of operations at their borders, volumes are likely to continue increasing for years to come. The relevance of this project to the FTA

Rail Professional

is not simply limited to changes in the way our members may be trading in the future; we have a direct link to the project via our membership of the IRU (the global road transport organisation), which facilitates this new trade by means of the TIR customs transit system. FTA is one of only two authorised UK guarantor associations of TIR customs carnets and works in partnership with HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) and the IRU to oversee the national administration of the system. Despite various geopolitical challenges, OBOR has the potential to transform the nature of future global logistics modes as well as connectivity to and from the UK.

As such, FTA is very supportive of the initiative. While businesses in the logistics sector may be under immediate strain from the uncertainties of the UK’s departure from the EU, economically the world is becoming better connected and our industry remains at the forefront of innovation and change. In the view of FTA, any new project that provides businesses with more options for trading internationally – while boosting efficiencies and reducing costs – is good news for both the logistics sector and wider global economy. And, regardless of any new Brexit customs requirements, it is feasible that we could see an extension of this Asian service to continue all the way to the UK in the near future. Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc.

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The Cheek of it... Chris Cheek

Golden summer on the railways Demand growth smashes yet more records with five TOCs seeing a fall but five growing by more than five per cent


emand for passenger rail services in the UK rose during the summer, smashing yet more records. Performance continued to vary across the country, though, with five TOCs seeing small falls, offset by five showing patronage increases of more than five per cent. Overall, demand rose by 3.4 per cent during the third quarter of 2019, according to National Rail Trends statistics, published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). The five TOCs that saw a reduction in passenger numbers were Transport for Wales, East Midlands Trains, LNER, South Western Railway and Southeastern. The remainder carried more passenger journeys than in the same quarter last year. The provisional figures were published in mid-December, and cover the second quarter of fiscal year 2019/20, finishing at the end of September: across the network,

448.4 million passenger journeys were made during the twelve-week period, up from 433.8m in 2018. Between them, they covered 17.5 billion passenger kilometres, 3.5 per cent ahead, and paid a total of ÂŁ2.7 billion in fares, 4.4 per cent more than in 2018. Looking at demand by ticket type, the biggest increase came in anytime peak tickets (8.7 per cent) followed by advance purchase tickets (up 8.2 per cent). Sales of anytime off-peak tickets were 2.7 per cent ahead. Other products saw a 21.7 per cent rise. These increases were offset by a 1.5 per cent fall in journeys by season ticket holders. The growth during the quarter was driven by Regional services, which saw a 7.4 per cent rise in passenger numbers. The troubled Northern business saw growth of 12.8 per cent, followed by Transpennine, up 7.6 per cent. Scotrail was 2.5 per cent ahead, whilst Merseyrail saw a 2.3 per cent

rise. The Welsh franchise was the only one to experience a reverse, down one per cent. The InterCity sector carried 3.2 per cent more people during the quarter, led by Great Western which achieved growth of 5.7 per cent. CrossCountry saw 4.8 per cent more people, whilst Virgin gained 2.5 per cent during its last full quarter in charge of the InterCity West Coast franchise. Over on the East Coast, though, LNER saw numbers dip by 1.7 per cent. The East Midlands saw a small fall too during the quarter that saw its transition from Stagecoach to Abellio, but only by 0.6 per cent. London and South East services saw the smallest quarterly increase of the three sectors, at 2.1 per cent. The West Midlands operation saw the highest increase, 11.7 per cent, followed by GoVia Thameslink on 7.4 per cent. The pre-CrossRail TfL Rail operation saw a 3.9 per cent rise in patronage, whilst Greater Anglia carried

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an extra 1.6 per cent. Three operations were virtually becalmed, with small rises of less than one percentage point – c2c (0.5 per cent), London Overground (0.3), Chiltern (0.2). These gains were offset by falls at South Western (1.7 per cent) and Southeastern (0.7 per cent). In terms of passenger kilometres, largest growth came on the regional routes (up eight per cent), followed by the longdistance InterCity franchises (3.8 per cent). The commuter routes in London and the South East saw growth of just 1.3 per cent. Overall, income grew by 6.3 per cent, driven by rises of 8.7 per cent on the regional routes, 4.5 per cent on InterCity and 3.5 per cent in London and the South East. Rolling year figures The national totals for the twelve months ended 30th September 2019 show the number of passenger journeys rising by 3.2 per cent to 1.8 billion. Passenger kilometres

markets, with London and the South East leading the way on 4.6 per cent, followed by Regional services (3.8 per cent) and InterCity (2.7 per cent). After allowing for inflation, yields grew in real terms by 0.9 per cent on InterCity and the London commuter routes and 0.3 per cent in the Regional sector. The overall change was a rise of 0.8 per cent. Comment The start of the New Year always brings a clutch of railway stories into the media, driven by the implementation of the annual change in regulated fares. This year, it was accompanied by yet more tales of woe over new timetable introduction, especially at Northern Rail and Transpennine Express. Even though much of the blame can once again be laid at the door of Network Rail and the train manufacturers (who’ve only been building trains for 170 years, so couldn’t possibly be expected to deliver trains that actually work on the day they say they will),

The fall in season ticket use continued for the second successive quarter after two in which numbers had recovered slightly. The decline in the quarter was 1.5 per cent, bringing the rolling year figure to 1.4 per cent. The rolling year figure for journeys by season ticket holders stood at 615 million in 2018/19, which is the lowest since 2011 travelled rose by a similar amount to 68.2 billion, whilst passenger revenue was 5.9 per cent higher at £10.5 billion. The rise in the latter was sufficient to deliver real-term growth: after allowing for inflation, revenue was four per cent higher in real terms. The annual totals for sales of different tickets saw advance booking tickets leading the charge, with growth of 7.5 per cent, whilst anytime peak sales were 6.9 per cent ahead. Anytime off-peak sales were 5.1 per cent up. There was another fall in season ticket use, this time of 1.4 per cent. Looking at the individual sectors, passenger journeys on the London and South East routes rose by 3.5 per cent, with passenger kilometres slightly behind on 3.2 per cent. On the InterCity routes, passenger journeys saw a two per cent increase, whilst 2.7 per cent more passenger kilometres were travelled. On the regional routes, there was a 2.6 per cent rise in the number of journeys, whilst the number of passenger kilometres was 3.9 per cent up. Revenue yields were up by 6.9 per cent in cash terms. There were increases in all three Rail Professional

it is nevertheless the poor old train operator who gets it in the neck from both customers (who don’t care about whose fault it is) and politicians (who should know better, but of course always look for somebody to blame other than themselves). This latest PR FUBAR rather overshadows yet another stellar performance from the industry in attracting and carrying ever higher passenger numbers. The 448 million passengers carried is a record for the summer quarter and the second highest total for any quarter ever. On the regional services, the 103.1 million passengers carried was the third highest of all time, and it is the first time ever that the rolling annual total topped 400 million. The fall in season ticket use continued for the second successive quarter after two in which numbers had recovered slightly. The decline in the quarter was 1.5 per cent, bringing the rolling year figure to 1.4 per cent. The rolling year figure for journeys by season ticket holders stood at 615 million in 2018/19, which is the lowest since 2011. However, growth in sales of other ticket

types means that the proportion of demand accounted for by this number has fallen from 43.2 per cent in 2011 to 34.5 per cent in 2019. As we’ve noted before, the switch to capped Pay As You Go on Oyster and contactless cards in London is a big factor in this, and the trend for this method of ticket purchase will only be upwards as other multi-modal schemes in the conurbations follow this pattern. There is inevitably pressure on the industry to expand this approach to all areas – but it is too soon to call for the abolition of season tickets, as the British Chambers of Commerce argued recently. Modern ticketing should be about expanding options for customers, not reducing them. Matters have moved on considerably in political terms over the last few weeks. After its delay for the General Election, the publication of the Williams Review is now imminent. We have a government emboldened by a hefty majority, which has already announced in the Queens Speech that there is a slot open for a bill to implement his recommendations – and a Prime Minister who seems determined to take transport seriously. The way is now clear for further organisational change in the industry and for new operating arrangements to be put in place. As always, the devil will be in the detail, and it remains to be seen whether the new regime comes up with as many perverse incentives and gaming opportunities as the previous ones have. There are still uncertainties ahead, too, not least the still unresolved pensions issue and the associated Stagecoach/Arriva court case. Unchanged amidst all this will the fundamental economics of running a railway (or any transport business, for that matter). In other words, the industry has to earn sufficient income to cover its costs of operation: as former Transport Secretary Alastair Darling reminded us a few years ago, the railway has only two sources of income – the users and the Government. Whatever emerges from Williams must take this fundamental fact into account – and we have to recognise that writing blank cheques for revenue support to the rail network to keep the fares down is not going to be high on any government’s list of priorities. There are too many other issues demanding attention, including the demands of the NHS, social care imperatives and climate change. Campaigners and trades unions may huff and puff every January as much as they like, but nothing is going to change that. And that is where these latest passenger numbers come in: while the public is voting with its feet and using the trains in ever-increasing numbers, it is frankly difficult to see why fares should be cut or further subsidised.

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Women in rail


Adeline Ginn

Women in Rail in 2020 Let’s continue to work together as one team in 2020 and give our industry the workforce it deserves, says Adeline Ginn MBE, Founder and Chair of Women in Rail


teve Jobs wrote: ‘Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.’ This is certainly true of Women in Rail (WR). The success of the charity in the seven years since it launched is the result of great teamwork: the passion, commitment and hard work of the WR board, Regional Leaders, their Steering Committees and of all the volunteers who support us. I hope you enjoyed reading about our 2019 achievements in the Report we issued last December. For my part, nothing is as rewarding as being part of a great team. I feel privileged to be working with such dedicated, committed and passionate colleagues, men and women, who deeply care about pushing forward the gender balance, diversity and inclusion agenda in UK rail alongside their day job. The strength of the WR team is that we share not only the same passion for the charity’s vision but also the same values. We treat each other with respect and our behaviours are aligned. I therefore look eagerly into the New Year,

continuing to work with such fantastic colleagues, supporting women across the country, creating new partnerships and strengthening existing collaborations. So what do we have planned for 2020? Our Regional Groups have spent the last few weeks planning exciting networking events and development workshops for this year to continue supporting WR members across the country, so watch out for their news on the WR website. We are expanding our Never Mind the Gap initiative nationally. Please support this life changing initiative by reaching out to Sarah Reid, Chair of WR East Midlands, and offer two weeks work placements to women in transition, on leave or out of employment. This year, we have opened our crossindustry mentoring programme to male mentees to foster diverse thinking and cross-fertilisation of ideas in rail. We will kick-off the mentoring relationships at an event in London on 27th February, having completed the matching process and training of Programme Partners, mentors and mentees. In March, SWIFT will launch on the WR

This year, we have opened our cross-industry mentoring programme to male mentees to foster diverse thinking and crossfertilisation of ideas in rail

website, delivering a first in class peer to peer network to women in executive roles and their male allies and a robust support and development platform to high potential female talent in UK rail. On 6th May, we will host our third Women in Rail Awards in Camden, London, to showcase and reward men, women, teams and companies who are going the extra mile to promote gender balance, diversity and inclusion in our industry so hurry up and submit your entry now as nominations close on 7th February! On 25th June, we will encourage diverse teams to compete in head-to-head mental and physical challenges at our fourth Big Rail Diversity Challenge at Newark Showground. A great day of fun and a fantastic opportunity for team building and cross-industry networking. The WR team is passionate about working with you to create a gender balanced, diverse and inclusive workforce for UK rail. Let’s strengthen our partnership in 2020.

To find out more about Women in Rail visit our website wr@womeninrail.org or register to receive news from your local regional group at www.womeninrail.org/contact-us. Adeline Ginn was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours list 2020 for services to the rail industry Rail Professional

Photos : F. BOURCIER


Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood

Enforcing noncompete covenants of departing employees It is relatively common for an employer to protect itself from an employee moving to a competitor by having a number of non-compete requirements in its employment contracts


hese need to be clear and unambiguous. Where there is a limited market for specialised skill sets, such as the rail industry, the non-compete requirements need to be drafted in a way which still allows the former employee to be employed elsewhere. The restrictions need to be reasonable and proportionate, both in location and time. Often this can be achieved by the

the courts will generally be unwilling to find in favour of the employer if there is any doubt as to what the undertakings covered, whether that be working for a particular company or in a particular area

employer and employee agreeing a set of undertakings around the time of the employee’s departure. However, it is important that the undertakings are clear and unambiguous, as the courts will generally be unwilling to find in favour of the employer if there is any doubt as to what the undertakings covered, whether that be working for a particular company or in a particular area. This situation was recently highlighted in the case of Affinity Workforce Solutions Ltd v McCann and others. Be careful on what you agree Affinity Workforce Solutions Ltd (‘Affinity’) is a recruitment services provider in the education sector who agreed contractual undertakings with five of its employees (the Employees) moving to a new employer, Tradewind, that each of the Employees would not, for an initial period, solicit or deal with specific lists of identified schools and candidates. The undertakings that the Employees and Affinity agreed did not include (nor has Affinity ever sought) a non-compete provision, to prevent the Employees from competing with Affinity by working for Tradewind. After the Employees had moved to Tradewind and had started to compete with Affinity, although still complying with their individual undertakings, Affinity threatened court proceedings to enforce a set of noncompete provisions which had been in the Employees’ original contracts with Affinity. The Employees disputed the validity of

the non-compete provisions in their old contracts and as they had already started to work for Tradewind, the Employees refused to give the non-compete undertakings requested by Affinity. Affinity applied for an injunction against the Employees to prevent them competing against Affinity and to confirm the non-compete undertakings. Non-competition to be reasonable in space and time The Court agreed that a non-competition clause may be the most satisfactory form of restraint but that it needed to be considered in the light of the facts applying to Affinity and the Employees. When the Court examined these it decided that: • Affinity had previously agreed undertakings on the basis of the Agreed Lists which Affinity must have believed could be effectively ‘policed’ and sufficiently protected its legitimate business interests without the need for a non-compete provision which had not been specifically sought. • Affinity had been prepared, for a significant period of time, to accept the agreed undertakings without there being a non-competition provision. Affinity had not provided satisfactory additional evidence which justified its change in stance. • If the Employees were now required to provide a non-compete undertaking, their employment at Tradewind would be at risk, which would cause obvious Rail Professional



Do not delay in applying for an injunction if there is a concern that an employee is about to breach a noncompetition provision. There is a greater chance of success if the application for the injunction is made prior to the former employee joining the competing business disruption to the lives of the Employees and practical difficulties to Tradewind’s business. • An interim injunction, if granted, would risk substantial injustice to the Employees if at a later trial the court decided that a non-competition undertaking was not required. The risks facing Affinity if it was successful in claiming that non-solicitation and nondealing undertakings were required were far less and Affinity had delayed acting to prevent the Employee’s employment with Tradewind for a significant period of time. The Court was reluctant to intervene where there was no clear evidence produced by Affinity that a non-compete provision was necessary to protect Affinity’s business and it rejected the application for the injunction.

Practical steps for employers The case demonstrates that care needs to be taken at the outset when an employer requests undertakings from departing employers to protect their business. • Where the undertakings sought are precisely framed, for example by reference to customer lists or specific confidential information, the Courts are more likely to find that these can be accurately ‘policed’ without a general non-compete prohibition. Consider who should be on such a list and stress test the list as the Courts are unlikely to allow a ‘second chance’. • If an undertaking was initially provided, seeking to increase its scope at a later date without good reason is unlikely to succeed. Ensure that any undertakings have a broad enough scope, while meeting the requirements of being

reasonable in both space and time. • Do not delay in applying for an injunction if there is a concern that an employee is about to breach a non-competition provision. There is a greater chance of success if the application for the injunction is made prior to the former employee joining the competing business. As is often the case in business protection cases, acting at an early stage can be the difference between a successful outcome and a major challenge to the business. 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.

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Rail-tech and data protection Katie Hewson, commercial, outsourcing and technology associate and Darren Fodey, rail partner at law firm Stephenson Harwood explore some consequences of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)


he General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has revolutionised customers’ expectations of how service providers handle their personal data over the past year and a half. This applies across all industries – and the railway is no exception. Increasingly, personal data is being used to better tailor services to customers and we can expect this to continue with rail-tech projects. Big data and smart ticketing technology creates tremendous opportunities but it must come with a degree of caution: handling customers’ data in compliance with data privacy rules poses complex challenges. This is something to which customers are increasingly alive, particularly with high profile breaches in other industries gaining prominence in the national headlines. Facing large fines if they get it wrong, organisations in the rail industry need to consider GDPR compliance in all aspects of their passenger data handling, from the security they put in place around passenger data to their sharing of customers’ contact and journey details with ticketing companies, Network Rail and service providers. Innovation with data The rail industry is moving towards greater, and more novel, uses of personal data. Recently, industry submissions to the Williams Rail Review have emphasised the need to improve passenger experience and to innovate, perhaps with tailoring the passenger experience to each individual. The rail industry, and train operating companies (TOCs) in particular, are making use of increasing amounts of passenger data and new technologies. The industry is exploring novel methods of obtaining and analysing passenger data and train operations, for example through on-train sensors, trackside signals and smart ticketing apps. Smart ticketing involves the collection of far more passenger data points than TOCs could previously access. Such data can be put to a wide variety of uses, from behavioural analysis to targeted marketing and profiling. Big data covering millions of customer journeys can also be used for purposes such as transport and infrastructure planning. Increased amounts of personal data The development of technology has also Rail Professional

allowed the industry to tie much of the data that they hold to identifiable individuals. This means that, from a legal perspective, more and more passenger data qualifies as ‘personal data’. The GDPR and related data protection laws regulate only personal data. These laws impose particular requirements for the protection of personal data, which do not apply to regular, non-personal data. Non-personal data may be covered by other requirements (such as information security and/or confidentiality), but it does not fall within the scope of data protection law. This does not mean that GDPR obligations can simply be bypassed by removing people’s names from a dataset: the Public Transport Victoria case study below demonstrates that removing individuals’ names does not necessarily prevent data from being personal data. Even data that does not contain identifying information can be personal data, if there is more than a slight hypothetical possibility that it can be reconstructed in a way that identifies an individual. Technological developments are allowing rail sector bodies to identify more and more people from pieces of data, thereby bringing increasing amounts of information under the tighter data protection regime. For example, cookies and online identifiers can be classed as personal data, since they often uniquely identify a person (whether by means of an ID number, code or otherwise). Biometric information such as fingerprint data used for payments also qualifies since it is unique to each passenger. Even information that a TOC only sees in aggregated form, but has someone process and strip out the raw data on its behalf, such as usage analytics, may be personal data for which the TOC is responsible, depending on the exact terms of the collection and handling of this data. In the days of paper tickets, all that a TOC may have known about the purchase of a ticket was which machine it was issued from and when, and what the destination and ticket type was. However, now (particularly if a ticket was purchased online or through an app), the TOC may know the traveller’s email and postal address, name, phone number and that customer’s previous purchases and interactions with the TOC. They may even have built a profile of that customer, predicting their future

journeys and including information about their interests derived from their website browsing activities or interactions with adverts. All of this information is likely to be personal data and it will all need to be handled in compliance with the GDPR requirements. Increased risks While many of these developments in technology have clear benefits to TOCs and others, including convenience and cost reduction, those using passenger data need to be aware of their responsibilities when innovating and the dangers of getting it wrong. In particular, technological advancements bring increased risk and exposure to cyber-crime. With more personal data in use, there are greater risks of cyber criminals or commercial organisations misappropriating it.


The security landscape is constantly changing, with more complicated attacks being developed all the time and it is imperative that the rail industry keeps pace with these developments to protect their data and critical infrastructure. The more the industry relies on digitisation, the bigger the possibility of attack and the higher the risk to passenger safety and security of rail assets. Breakdowns, signal failures, software failures, and passenger data breaches are all potential consequences of a cyber-attack, let alone the possible reputational and financial damage. This is a very real risk for TOCs, as Great Western Railway discovered when its accounts were hacked a couple of years ago. No financial information was compromised in the attack but approximately 1,000 GWR accounts were accessed using an automated system, which harvested password details from other areas of the web. For further thoughts on cyber security in the rail industry, please see our previous article in this series. Increased regulation As the uses to which rail data can be put have grown, and the risks themselves have grown, regulation of those uses has also become more onerous, in an attempt to ensure that data is used and kept responsibly. There is also far more scrutiny over whether companies are fulfilling their legal obligations in relation to data, both from regulators and from customers themselves, who have greater awareness of their data rights. The key area of legal regulation here is the GDPR. This applies throughout Europe (and beyond, where goods and services are supplied to Europeans, or they are monitored). It has also been incorporated into domestic UK law, so it will continue to apply, even after Brexit. Key GDPR requirements that must be borne in mind in a rail-tech context are: • scope • accountability and design • consent • consent/direct marketing • breach notification • privacy notices • rights of data subjects • fines. Scope The GDPR’s definition of personal data includes pseudonymised personal data. This means data to which pseudonyms have been allocated to conceal the identity of the data subject. It also includes location data and online identifiers. For TOCs, this means that a wide range of data processed falls within the remit of the GDPR’s obligations: many types of cookies and trackers, for example, will be personal data. Accountability and design There is an emphasis on being able to evidence compliance with the GDPR,

including by carrying out Privacy Impact Assessments for high risk projects to help assess and minimise their effect on privacy rights and keeping detailed records of consents obtained. TOCs must also implement so-called ‘privacy by design and default’ internal processes that embed data protection principles into every stage of a new rail-tech project. Consent When a TOC is relying on obtaining consent to process data, the consent given must be a very clear and explicit statement, which must be separate from other terms and conditions. Consent also must be a positive opt-in and consent should not generally be a pre-condition of signing up to a service. TOCs must check that their consent practices are in line with this high standard. Consent/direct marketing Under separate legislation, prior opt-in consent is required for the placing of any cookies (or similar technology) on a device, and for the sending of a direct marketing message. Any consent to receive cookies or direct marketing must also be to GDPR standard. Consent opt outs must be honoured. This can have a big impact on railtech projects, particularly as they often rely on the placing of cookies, pixels or similar. Breach notification Organisations will need to report a personal data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours and inform data subjects of a high-risk breach. With TOCs increasingly using information of value to hackers in rail-tech projects – such as card and bank account details and journey information – security is of the utmost importance and security lapses are likely to be subject to enforcement action. Privacy notices The requirements for the content of privacy notices are fairly lengthy and prescriptive, meaning that most rail-tech projects are likely to require a review of the existing privacy terms to make sure they give transparent information about the new project’s use of personal data. New notices may need to be developed, or methods of giving ‘just in time’ fair processing notices at the point data is collected. Rights of data subjects Data subjects have wide-ranging rights, including a more extensive ‘right to be forgotten’ and strengthened rights to object to processing. There is also a right of portability allowing for free transmission of data in commonly used formats. There have been a greater number of complaints about data protection since the GDPR was introduced and these broader rights were widely publicised. Companies undertaking a rail-tech project need to ensure that they comply with and help people exercise their


Case study: Public Transport Victoria Just because individuals’ names are not included in a dataset does not mean that the data is not personal data, if there are unique identifiers or characteristics of individuals that can be ascertained from the data. The Australian train operator Public Transport Victoria discovered this to its cost when it released what it claimed was ‘de-identified’ travel history data (tap in and out information) from smart cards to assist with a data science company’s big data “datathon”. Although there were no names, addresses or similar obvious personal information included in the information published, the unique travel histories of particular individuals could be traced over time and could in theory have been used to re-identify people and to give insight into their movements and behaviours. Obviously, Australia is not subject to the GDPR, but the Australian test of ‘identifiability’ is similar to those used under the GDPR to consider whether information is personal data and therefore subject to the GDPR. rights, including by fully informing them of what those rights are and designing systems to make sure that requests are quickly acted upon. Fines Maximum fines are now up to four per cent of an organisation’s worldwide turnover, or €20 million (£17 million). This represents a huge increase on the previous maximum sanction of £500,000 and provides a big incentive to comply. What next? Rail companies need to carefully consider their privacy obligations before launching a rail-tech project. All this data protection regulation can sometimes be seen as putting the brakes on innovation. This need not be the case. In fact, rail-tech innovations can assist with embedding privacy rights into projects that can have real benefits for the public. This could include by providing data subjects with the ability to manage their consents and privacy settings on the go, through a TOC’s app. What the regulation around personal data does mean is that it is more important than ever to bear in mind the protection of personal data from the very start of a railtech project. The Information Commissioner herself has frequently said that ‘privacy does not have to be the price we pay for innovation. The two can sit side by side. They must sit side by side’.


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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Brexit planning: consider your commercial contracts Karen Holden, founder of A City Law Firm, explores the impact of Brexit on contractual agreements


n the wake of the recent election result held on 12th December 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to deliver Brexit and, in his words, ‘get Brexit done’ and has gained the trust of voters after he led the Conservatives to an historic general election win. Remaining in the EU is not foreseeable and so businesses should start making Brexit plans to ensure they are prepared. Consider your commercial contracts If you are a business owner, there are relevant concerns that you should have as a contracting party for both pre-existing contracts and contract arrangements that are upcoming. In order to safeguard your position, you should have regard of the following issues, particularly if: • The contract has a cross UK-EU border element to it for example for business-tobusiness supply of goods or services. • Do you have a commercial contract with a business in the EU which will be affected by Brexit? And need to have this reviewed. If any of the above applies, you should consider inserting a Brexit clause or contractual Brexit Addendum contract into your existing or future contracts as failing to do so could have serious implications. What would a ‘Brexit clause’ achieve? A ‘Brexit clause’ or a ‘Brexit Addendum’ is a contractual clause or document that triggers some change in the parties’ rights and obligations as a result of a defined event occurring i.e. Brexit itself, this would state that for example Brexit would not act as a force majeure event and would not be able to end or frustrate a contract. The effect of such a clause or agreement is very similar to any other ‘if/then’ or force majeure clause that may attempt to govern what will happen should the legal and business environment

change in the future. Although Brexit could affect almost every aspect of doing business, its actual impact is still unknown and uncertain for businesses. For some contracts the most a Brexit clause may offer is a binding requirement that the parties will attempt to renegotiate relevant aspects of the contract and that business will continue as normal between the parties. For other contracts, where it may be possible to specify consequences of certain events, the risk remains that events may occur for which the parties have not made a provision. A Brexit clause is not a ‘silver bullet’ which will solve all Brexit-related issues and problems, but it at the very least provides parties with certainty that the other party will not hold it to onerous terms without the possibility of negotiation. Is doing nothing an option? The risk to your business of not drafting

to address Brexit is that a party could be obliged to continue to perform its obligations in full, even if, as a result of Brexit-related events, doing so has become commercially unattractive or worse and the cost could be unaffordable. An affected party may be unable to renegotiate its contract and so may find itself in breach of contract and facing termination for default and an action for damages or litigation could commence. Karen Holden is an award-winning solicitor and founder of A City Law Firm

Follow A City Law Firm on Twitter at: @ACLFkaren Suggested Twitter hashtags to use @ACLFStartup @ACLFBrexitclauses @ACLFBrexitcommercialcontractsreview


Prior Knowledge


Lucy Prior

Shall we get engaged? What is it to be engaged? To engage with others? And how do we ensure that the engagement messages we send correlate with what we need, or think we need?


am writing this article having just received an update on an Industry Day being held by HS2 at the end of January. The event will provide HS2 with the opportunity to ‘engage with the market and outline the strategy for the design and construction of HS2’s rolling stock depot at Washwood Heath, which will also include the Network Integrated Control Centre’ (source: Rail Alliance and RFM). Within the same 24-hour period

Amidst rising media speculation that the project may be curtailed, if not halted, the two organisations, RIA and HSR Group, are rightly concerned that the Government might reach a decision that could prove devasting for the country

of receiving news of this industry day, I have also been contacted by the Railway Industry Association, in conjunction with the High Speed Rail Group. The reason for their engaging with me was to join in on a plea to encourage the senior leaders of all their members across rail and construction to come together to sign a letter to be sent to the Prime Minister. The need for this letter: to remind the Prime Minister of the importance of HS2 to the country’s economy. Amidst rising media speculation that the project may be curtailed, if not halted, the two organisations, RIA and HSR Group, are rightly concerned that the Government might reach a decision that could prove devasting for the country. Before you read any further this is not a political commentary on the pros or cons of HS2. As ever this is a subjective article based on my genuine passion for rail and transport, and not simply as industrial sectors. Rail and transport are also means through which society and communities can travel for work or play, companies can move their goods and regions can interact with one another and develop economically. As you are still reading, I am hoping you’re with me in that respect. In fact, I hope you are actively engaged. I live in Sheffield, I travel regularly across the country. Maybe a bit too often to London (more industry engagement up here please), but I rely on good, dependable transport of all modes to be able to do so. The two communications above are examples of how we in rail talk amongst one another. We are actively engaged in

the conversation, because we have a vested interest. Be that to commute or be that because we are all part of an increasingly complex, and diverse supply chain. It’s this diversity of supply chain that brings me back to the whole concept of engagement. We are engaged because we need to be and want to be. You have chosen to carry on reading, thank you. You have chosen to play an active role in rail (or transport, or construction). But how can we engage with the wider populace? Why should we? Should we? Emphatically: yes If you sit in a commercial role of any type, you must know what the market needs, if it needs your products and services, and who you are up against. So, I hope you managed to book onto the Washwood Heath day for example. Please let me know if you found it engaging. If you are in any form of procurement role, you need to be able to define what you need now, or in the future, where you can obtain these things, and how. However, this is all spectacularly business to business (B2B) level engagement. Last year Andrew Haines, at the start of his tenure as CEO of Network Rail, rolled out an inspiring ambition to bring track and train together. To see the operators alliance better and more closely with Network Rail, and to ensure that as an industrial community we lifted our head above the transactional parapet and considered the needs of the passenger. We have all be urged to ‘put the passenger first’. This is as it should be. Rail Professional



It is my personal opinion that we need HS2 and that we need Northern Powerhouse Rail and that increasingly we need to engage with our regions and communities. We must shift our thinking from B2B to B2C (Business to Consumer). Now more than ever we need to be engaged with the people and products that our own products and services move Keith Williams in his ‘Bradford speech’ of July 2019 echoed the instruction, stating that: ‘What comes next must be anchored in the regions and communities – and nearer to the people – the railway serves.’ For regions like the North and cities across the country, this would mean ‘greater opportunities to influence and inform decisions about services and upgrades’ in their area.’ (Source:gov.uk) It is my personal opinion that we need

Rail Professional

HS2 and that we need Northern Powerhouse Rail and that increasingly we need to engage with our regions and communities. We must shift our thinking from B2B to B2C (Business to Consumer). Now more than ever we need to be engaged with the people and products that our own products and services move. I believe this because without an engaged consumer, a consumer who appreciates the reason why we need better transport, why the short-term disruptions

are worth the longer-terms gains, we will be constantly at risk of selling ourselves short. We will certainly never ever truly engage with our future workforce without such thinking nor will we solve our shared skills gaps, challenge our regional productivity gaps or see the UK economy perform as well as it might. Lucy Prior MBE is Business Engagement Director at 3Squared, a specialist SaaS provider to the transportation and construction markets. Lucy also sits on the steering committee of Northern Rail Industry Leaders, and the RSG’s export workstream.

Lucy was awarded an MBE for services to rail exports in the 2018 Birthday Honours, the nominations for which also cited her work in support of the Young Railway Professionals and encouraging diversity and inclusivity within the sector. She is a full-time working parent to two young children who hear an awful lot about just how important the rail sector is.

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‘Part time penalty’ leaves UK talent stuck in the sidings Claire Walker, Co-Executive Director, British Chambers of Commerce explains why businesses feel that railway services are not currently meeting their needs


ommuters are groaning as they continue to pay higher fares for the same journeys. They might be reflecting that the world-class infrastructure our politicians are rightly promising won’t be of much use if nobody can afford to use it. Our railways play a vital role in connecting businesses to customers, supply chains and labour markets – but many business communities in London and across the country are up in arms about the state of our rail network and will want to see election promises to improve it turning quickly into action. BCC research shows that fewer than one quarter of businesses (24 per cent) agree

my job share partner Hannah pays £5,000 a year for her season ticket, yet she’s in London only two or three days per week. Pro-rata rates could bring her costs down to £3,000. In effect she, like many thousands of other workers, pays a ‘parttime’ penalty

that the UK’s railway services are currently meeting their needs: a substantial decline on 2018, when that figure stood at an already pitiful 34 per cent. As the nature and structure of work changes, with agile and part-time working becoming increasingly prevalent, we need rail travel to be accessible, flexible and affordable to everyone. Along with investment in new lines and rolling stock, we need a fairer and more adaptable pricing system so that people who don’t work the old-fashioned nine-to-five routine aren’t penalised unfairly.  The recent announcement of flexible fares on some lines is welcome. But firms and their employees need to see these rolled out across the country. With 75 per cent of British businesses reporting difficulties in finding people with the right skills for the job, the economy can’t afford to exclude talented people of any age or background because of rigid pricing structures. We know that 65 per cent of women on maternity leave do not return to their previous employer; prohibitive transport costs will doubtless have been a factor for many of these new parents. A case in point: my job share partner Hannah pays £5,000 a year for her season ticket, yet she’s in London only two or three days per week. Pro-rata rates could bring her costs down to £3,000. In effect she, like many thousands of other workers, pays a ‘part-time’ penalty. Many people would not be able to absorb such a ‘part-time penalty’ and therefore may take jobs closer to home, at a lower level or remain out of workplace all together.  Given that two in five businesses surveyed by the British Chambers of Commerce last year reported an increase in agile and flexible working practices, our fares and ticketing system needs to

urgently evolve. There are some examples of good practice that could inform new approaches: including fully integrated smart ticketing solutions such as we see in London – but progress is stuck in the slow lane.  As we await the conclusions of the Williams review of rail travel in the UK, businesses are demanding an end to regulatory barriers that result in complex, unpredictable and unfair ticket prices so that businesspeople and their employees can pay fair prices, whether they purchase their ticket in advance or at the station. If we want to get on the fast track to a diverse, inclusive and productive workforce our rusty ticketing policy needs a real overhaul. Claire Walker is Co-Executive Director of British Chambers of Commerce




Is the UK transport sector ready for winter? In a recent study, scientists from UCL forecasted yet another extreme winter for 2019/20. Those who had their lives turned upside-down by the infamous Beast from the East in 2018 will have hoped for a milder winter


he forecast summary at the end of last year read: ‘We anticipate the North Atlantic Oscillation will be negative and that United Kingdom temperatures will be colder than normal during JanuaryFebruary 2020.’ The jet stream that blows in from the west above the Atlantic, bringing frosty weather, is predicted to plunge the UK into an average temperature of 3.9°C this February. This is 0.5°C below the average winter temperature in the UK between 1981 and 2010. Our climate is becoming more extreme and unpredictable. To avoid any inconvenience to travellers, local authorities and the transport sector have a duty to British citizens to keep things running smoothly. Let’s take a look at how public transport has improved in light of the Beast from the East, and how to best prepare for an extreme winter. The Beast from the East: lessons learnt High pressure over Scandinavia often results in a polar continental air mass hitting the UK. This is what happened in 2018, causing transport systems to be stretched to maximum capacity and face unprecedented challenges. Despite the measures put in place, Britain was not prepared for such extreme circumstances. Most forms of transport were ill-advised due to the weather conditions and, according to Transport for London, one in five regular commuters forwent their commute altogether in England’s capital. Despite the efforts of the transport sector, the extreme winter created difficulties for the general public all over the country. Local authorities and transport companies did what they could during the cold winter: roads were gritted and extra help was brought in. In central and greater Manchester, military forces were deployed to

help clear snow-covered roads. Although the reaction was fast and as efficient as possible, people across the country agreed that more could have been done to prepare if we had better anticipated the weather conditions. Winter 2019/20: a nation prepares Train systems are particularly challenged by

turbulent weather conditions. One reason why extreme weather can be detrimental to train travel is that in cold weather or winter periods, direct current line inductors can be exposed to moisture from snow and ice. This leads to many electrical flashover faults. Overheating and short circuiting due to excessive moisture can also cause severe



damage to coils. In extreme cases this causes the aluminium conductor to melt and erode away, leaving a gap. Once damaged, the current flow through the conductor is forced to bottleneck through the now smaller cross-sectional area of the conductor. This results in higher resistivity and an increase in temperature. One solution to this problem was developed by electro mechanical services company, Houghton International. Using

pioneering technology, they designed HiTIG, a technical welding solution for the repair of high current aluminium windings. HiTIG restores functionality to an otherwise unserviceable unit. Using a standard highquality tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding procedure, they can create a filler weld. This weld utilises an inert gas with a tungsten tip to create a repaired portion. This process allows the solution to be delivered repeatedly, and to a consistent

standard. Commenting on the innovation, Hodi Mirafsari, Engineering Director at Houghton International said: ‘Having worked in the rail sector for over 15 years, Houghton International understands the requirements of the sector and the needs of our customers. HiTIG is the perfect example of Houghton International working collaboratively with customers to solve complex engineering problems and extend the life of electromechanical assets across their vehicles.’ With technological advancements like this one constantly under development, we will see a transformation in our transport sector. Due to climate change, extreme weather conditions are only going to become more common in the UK. Preparation and adaptation are key when it comes to navigating cold winters.

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How and where to improve rail services? As the new Government gears up to spend an extra £100 billion on infrastructure in this Parliament, how can rail ensure it gets its fair share?


ew year, new Government, new Parliament, new fiscal rules. With the Conservative manifesto promising not to borrow to fund day-to-day (resource, in government accounting parlance) spending, while investing ‘thoughtfully and responsibly in infrastructure right across our country’, we are now expecting Government to spend an additional £100 billion between 2020 and 2024 on infrastructure projects. This is on top of existing commitments, such as rail funding during the current Control Period 6 (CP6). And, one suspects, there will be a ‘redistribution’ angle, with the aim of enhancing productivity in less well-off regions of the country. Interestingly, only £22 billion has already been allocated in the manifesto, leaving £78 billion potentially to disburse on flood defences, rural broadband, hospitals, potholes and, of course, rail enhancements. It’s easy to get lost in such large numbers, but that £78 billion would have paid for the (now abandoned) M4 Corridor Around Newport new motorway 60 times over. Or, if the numbers are to be believed, five of the mooted bridges from Larne in Northern Ireland to Stranraer in Scotland. What does this mean for rail? Well, with an enhancements pipeline worth around £10 billion, covering schemes both at early stages (viability testing) and those heading for detailed design work, rail is already committed to developing 58 major projects during CP6, which spans most of the new parliamentary term. We are also expecting further funding to be required for HS2, should the full scheme be given the go-ahead at the maximum cost (£88 billion) declared in the recent Chairman’s stocktake. This is £32 billion (over three times the current value of the rail enhancements pipeline, for context) more than the current allocated budget

for the scheme. Some basic maths (assume the additional spend is spread evenly over the next 20 years, and ignore discounting) means Government could be spending around £8 billion of the additional £100 billion on HS2. There are three points to note about all this money up for grabs: 1. There won’t be much to see by the end of this Parliament: any new rail scheme, outside of the current commitments, will barely have reached DfT’s ‘decision to initiate’ stage gate by 2024, let alone being delivered or seeing new services. Even those involving private finance – DfT received a number of ‘market-led proposals’ in 2018 – are unlikely to get through operational and planning hurdles any time soon. 2. Relatedly, what about resource spend? If capital spend isn’t going to make much difference by the end of this Parliament, then what’s needed is more of the day-today expenditure to pay for more passenger services. Putting aside the need to change franchise agreements, and make sure any new services are operationally viable, then arguably the biggest boost in rail connectivity that can be achieved in this Parliament will be from substantial increases in frequency of trains along lesser-used lines and to or from lesser-used stations. Turning an infrequent service into 2-3 per hour to and from the local attractor provides tangible benefits today, rather than ‘jam tomorrow’. But resource spend isn’t increasing, unless tax revenues rise, according to the new fiscal rules. 3. Rail is genuinely competing with other sectors: the new capital spend could be allocated anywhere (and rail hasn’t got the best track record for delivery in recent years). So rail needs to be able to make the case as to why its additional schemes are better than those elsewhere in transport (playing on rail’s green credentials, perhaps), and better than those in other sectors

(from export potential, or productivity perspectives, for example). And we shouldn’t forget all the effort that went into producing the Rail Sector Deal, which anticipated the supply chain being able to deliver more investment for the same level of funding, with a more stable pipeline from Network Rail and other client bodies. Digital signalling (which might deliver more of the connectivity I mentioned above) was to be a key beneficiary of the give and take between industry and Government. It seems to me that there’s a big opportunity for rail here to access the additional funding, if there are enough good schemes ready, and if Government can be convinced not only to ‘invest in infrastructure’, but also to use some resource spend to ‘invest in connectivity’.

With an enhancements pipeline worth around £10 billion, covering schemes both at early stages (viability testing) and those heading for detailed design work, rail is already committed to developing 58 major projects during CP6

Bryan Bennett TXM Projects on track in 2020


019 was a stellar year for TXM Projects, and for those inside the business, they are ready to kick on into 2020. A provider of project solutions for rail vehicles and specialising in ‘on site’ installation and rail vehicle care, TXM Projects are again looking to continue their incredible growth arc into the new decade. They’ve built their reputation by taking the client’s vision and making this a reality, providing the skills and resources to create onsite workshops to deliver on all projects they’re challenged with. But with any business it always starts with the people, so we caught up with TXM Projects’ Managing Director, Bryan Bennett, to find out more about him and what’s the key to TXM Projects’ success. Bryan, tell us a little bit about yourself. I joined the rail industry from the military; I was an engineering advisor and my background is as a chartered engineer in mechanical engineering. An opportunity arose to join the railway industry through Rail Care where I was given my first insight into the rail industry. I learned everything from how the mechanics of a train works to actually refurbishing all the systems that are incorporated into this very complex system. I went onto the shop floor very quickly with the team to understand the makeup of refurbishment, how maintenance works on the units, what operator requirements were and what their key deliverables would be. Finally learning how to work that back into engineering expectations and how design installs compliance is met by a real operating company. It was a bit of an eye opener to be honest, coming from a very structured and forward-thinking military world, into an environment which was at that time antiquated and set in its ways. It was interesting to see how things were being delivered on shoestring budgets and how poor time constraints were inevitably leading to a lack of control and quality. Utilising my 25 plus years of experience as a military engineer, I felt I could offer real value by bringing my skill set to the rail industry and offering a new way to approach challenges. Did you use your experience in the military to help TXM projects develop? Without a doubt, we quickly incorporated changes into TXM Projects to restructure the processes, making them more methodical and offering us vastly improved control. I’ve been in the rail industry nearly ten years

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(four with TXM Projects) and I learnt quickly there were many ‘out of date’ methods being applied because this is the way ‘it has always been’. My first challenge was to change mindsets, which is always tough but change management is a strong skill acquired from my time in the forces and it was this I called upon to achieve transformation. Having those skills, changing those processes and now further developing them within TXM Projects, we’ve been able to drive the company to a position where our professional structured and managed service is recognised as an industry leading deliverable offering first in class value. TXM projects has enjoyed exponential growth over the past eight years what has that come down to? The growth has coincided with the changes in the industry and the fact we have applied a flexible business model adapting our services to our changing client needs. In the early days we focussed on smaller tasks, gradually stepping up to larger projects and gaining valuable experience along the way with ‘hands on’ practical learning for both technical excellence and importantly client expectations. These years of experience means we can now deliver full ‘turnkey’ solutions managing everything from the engineering and installation design, controlling the material delivery, project management, quality management, managing the delivery, controlling the teams and then outputting the unit. So, taking what was a one trick pony, to coin a phrase, we’ve now turned it into a business that has got more flexibility and you can turn on or turn off any element I’ve just mentioned to provide a turnkey solution. So that’s really a big change in the focus where TXM Projects are today and want to increase and improve in the future.

What does 2020 look like for TXM projects? 2020 is setting up to be an exciting year and it’s also the start of a five-year plan. We’re looking to build on this platform of remarkable growth to reaffirm our position as an established service provider to the rail industry and as a partner of choice. We enjoy managing full client output, so taking the unit from a depot, working it at a separate location (and in some cases on their depot) but managing the full project from start to finish, a ‘from cradle to grave solution’ to provide our clients with a high quality finished unit in a cost effective manner. The services and manpower we now provide include assessed and highly qualified talent including electricians, mechanics, authors to write the specs, and on the

ground engineers to mention a few. We now have the foundations in place to move forward and are looking at even larger operations with multiple industry sectors. What is your secret sauce? What makes TXM projects the partner of choice? I think we have a number of USP’s unique to the industry but in particular TXM Projects is part of a dynamic group that over the years has developed and delivered a wide range of projects, building up an experienced and competent talent pool that are accessible and loyal, and this is important because the recruitment of talent is part and parcel of what the TXM brand is all about. Part of that ability to access talent is to understand client needs run further afield than just the major conurbations like London, and it’s one of our strengths that we can deliver best in class resources and services anywhere in the nation. Furthermore, the experience we’ve gained applying a full turnkey solution and managing the entire supply chain is a first in our sector. We believe we are a better valued supplier as we do not have the overheads that others in the industry have, leaving them to increase cost where we don’t have to. We can deliver our services at any location, share locations, and also go into the depots where required. To bring it all full circle, we are an incredibly flexible service provider, with the ability to turn on the staff to the size and magnitude of the opportunity needed and then be able to provide the quality output that the business and the industry deserves.

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Prospects for light rail in 2020 – a Railfuture view Railfuture has an international group, structured to understand international best practice and use it in advancing our arguments in Britain on railway development. Light rail is a case in point where Britain has not exactly been a world leader


astern European countries including those in the former Russian Federation kept their tramways but this was a mixed blessing as most networks had a huge maintenance backlog as a result of decades of underfunding, leading to casualties. As recently as 2016 the huge tram system in Tashkent, now a modern capital city, closed down, consigning the future of the city to traffic congestion. Samarkand (pop 500,000), just up the Silk Road, didn’t have a light rail system and started one in 2017 without the burden of antiquated infrastructure. France, mainland Spain and the UK, either didn’t have tram systems or closed them down. In the UK the last tram ran in London in 1952. The final city system to

So, France, Spain and the UK commenced light rail development using a blank canvas. The similarities end there. The devolution agenda in France and Spain started far earlier and every city mayor wanted a light rail system as a way of revitalising their city, economically and environmentally Rail Professional

close was Sheffield in 1960. Maintenance backlogs were quoted here on account of World War Two, certainly in London but in many other cases the cities were changing. Trams owned by city corporations traditionally ran to the ‘Cemetery Gates’ on the city boundary. People were moving out of grimy cities so promoting ribbon development served by emerging private bus services. So, France, Spain and the UK commenced light rail development using a blank canvas. The similarities end there. The devolution agenda in France and Spain started far earlier and every city mayor wanted a light rail system as a way of revitalising their city, economically and environmentally. The planning system was designed to facilitate such development and land use was arranged to place large footfall activities such as hospitals, retail and universities along light rail alignments. The French Government, through their own suppliers, produced standard trams in any colour and front nose shape so facilitating city procurement. The French and Spanish light rail industry thrives. As a result, just about every city in France and many in Spain have fully

integrated transport systems based on light rail. Paris realised that upgrading the rickety Metro was a long haul, so built new express rail routes, like Crossrail in London (the RER) but vastly increased their catchment area by a ring of light rail routes right round the city. 29 French cities now have new from scratch light rail systems, Spain has 13. This didn’t happen in Britain although trips by councillors to look at European cities became the norm. We simply just didn’t have the client-side project governance, the financing and funding structures to undertake such city-based capital schemes. Manchester broke ranks first at a time when two urban national rail routes to Bury and Altrincham had to be renewed or closed down. The case was made to join them together running on the street through the city centre, European style. Metrolink was born in 1992. Since then Manchester has acquired proper city government and the planning and financial tools and project delivery skills to go with it. The result is that this wasn’t a one-off in Manchester. Everybody loves ‘their’ light rail system which has since grown to 62 miles and 93 stations. A new dawn for light rail in Britain might have occurred then. Indeed, modern light rail systems have since been constructed in five other British cities (Croydon,

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Birmingham, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Sheffield, plus an upgrade to the Blackpool seafront tramway to modern standards). Similarly, Dublin is now viewed as a thoroughly modern European city with its modern LUAS light rail system – evolution certainly, but not revolution. Could 2020 be a second new dawn for light rail in Britain? Although a blank canvas is preferable to attempting to adapt an old system with a huge maintenance backlog and routes not optimised around modern commercial development, starting a new system has not proved easy from just about every perspective – planning, obtaining authority, financing, funding let alone physical construction with all that entails in terms of city centre disruption including negative effects on local businesses. The most recent light rail construction in Edinburgh demonstrated that we had not learned much in terms of setting up the client side to undertake such projects, so bringing the city to its political knees in terms of cost overruns and physical construction disruption. Once opened, having been curtailed in scope and nearly abandoned mid project, the Edinburgh Tram system has been a huge success beating ridership projections. The result in 2020 is that we have three light rail schemes set to be commissioned, all of which are extensions of existing systems rather than new starts, and yet cities the size and economic strength of Leeds have no light rail, no Metro and really only a limited national rail suburban service using a single twin track route across the city. The three extensions are however significant. The extension of Manchester Metrolink to the INTU Trafford Centre, is to the second largest shopping mall in the United Kingdom. Trafford City, which includes other largely leisure facilities employs 16,500 people (12,000 in the shopping centre) and has 43 million visitors (30 million to the shopping centre) per annum. The French experience demonstrates that routing light rail into traffic objectives of this magnitude, is key to the viability of light rail. This route when opened will be a huge commercial success with a better, faster alignment than the Salford Quays line, also a commercial success serving Media City. It will surely lead to other Metrolink extensions such as to Middleton and Stockport. Before embarking on this project, Manchester took the precaution to increase the capacity and resilience of the City centre operation by building an additional route across the centre – the ‘Second City Crossing’. Strategically, the four largest retail centres in Britain – Gateshead, Trafford Park and the two Westfield centres in London at Shepherd’s Bush and Stratford are all rail served. This is a far cry from the big complexes built on the motorway network outside London at Bluewater and Lakeside

serving the Volvo estate generation. Birmingham and the Black Country also have a light rail line with an extension opening in 2020. This is also strategically significant for different reasons. The first new light rail line from Wolverhampton to Birmingham, like the two original Manchester Metrolink lines, was built along a railway alignment. Unlike in Manchester, the new light rail line terminated in the rather rundown Snow Hill railway station, out of sight, out of mind, so was not a commercial success with annual ridership at around five million pa. Birmingham learned the lesson about city penetration and took the tramway out of the station and through the city centre to New Street Station. Although only short, ridership grew to seven million pa. 2020 will see the line extended to Centenary Square and on to Edgbaston, so creating a cross Birmingham city centre route like in Manchester. Light rail in Birmingham is likely to take off in 2020 and is likely to develop into a comprehensive network based on success, with a whole series of extensions in the Black Country, to the East of Birmingham, to Solihull and also linking up with the new HS2 railway at Curzon Street and International stations. The third 2020 light rail extension opening is in Blackpool, a traditional sea front tramway running eleven miles from Star Gate, south of Blackpool along the promenade to Fleetwood, the only survivor in Britain from the tramway age, since it was redeveloped to meet modern light rail standards. It is transforming from a fun ride for visitors to a meaningful transport system for the Fylde coast by provision of a new extension inland to Blackpool North station. The national rail route to Blackpool was recently electrified and now has direct all year electric services from Manchester, Liverpool and London. The Blackpool system in linking to the national rail network will therefore provide a viable distribution system from the elevenmile seafront catchment area, so joining the ranks of the other six British light rail systems all of which feed and interchange with the national rail system. 2020 will probably also see a start of further developments on the other four British light rail systems. Edinburgh has got over the trauma of its first stage with the focus moving on from inquiries into cost overruns towards building a comprehensive network for the Capital of Scotland. Nottingham with a cross city light rail line splitting into two branches north and south of the city will not resist adding more, possibly in conjunction with HS2. Sheffield tried a different approach – Tram Train, in the form of extending the network not by using defunct railway alignments but by running on a live national freight and passenger railway via the Meadowhall shopping centre to Rotherham. Merging tram and main line technologies was not easy – the project cost four times


the original budget and is still having problems. The people of Rotherham who have endured Pacers for 40 years and a steep uphill walk into Sheffield City centre from the station now travel by tram train right into and through Sheffield city centre. Like Edinburgh, the perception is changing. 2020 should see considerable thought on how to apply this technology elsewhere so that the national rail network can penetrate urban centres far more effectively also mitigating city rail terminal congestion. This would be the case in Leeds if a tram train network were developed. The betting is that Manchester will be first to adopt tram train on a larger scale based on the Sheffield experience for these reasons. There are now twelve tram train operations in mainland Europe, mainly in Germany and France, whereby light rail has extended out of cities onto the national rail network with the active cooperation of the German and French national rail networks (DB and RFF). The prospects for light rail in Britain are bright for all seven existing systems. All political manifestos for the December election contained strong commitment to devolution and to investment in rail infrastructure. Devolution to cities is critical to replicating the French experience in Britain. 2020 will also see the transfer of the Welsh Valley Lines rail network to local control with expansion and electrification leading to far less distinction between light and main line rail. We are a long way off in providing London with a light rail ring around the city like Paris but the true test will be whether we see new starts in other British cities, such as Leeds, Bristol and Cambridge. Railfuture will continue to work alongside our trade partner, UK Tram, to assist sponsors in making strong cases for light rail development in Britain. Ian Brown CBE FCILT is Policy Director at Railfuture

Railfuture is an independent organisation campaigning for a bigger, better railway in Britain. To do this it makes sustainable arguments based on the contribution railway development can make to addressing economic, social and environmental concerns and opportunities. Rail Professional



Why we need to attract tech talent to the light rail industry Light rail, much like many other sectors across the world, is being drastically shaped by technological advancements


hile governments cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and instil lowcarbon goals, businesses and consumers are demanding that transport services are environmentally friendly and sustainable to operate. This, of course, requires the sector to attract leading tech professionals who have the ability to create innovative new systems. In addition to clean energy commitments, consumers now expect services to operate at the highest of levels and with efficiency – again requiring the best tech talent to help meet demand. This decade will undoubtedly see the industry be transformed by the increased use of AI, robotics and machine learning. Increased popularity of light rail Light Rail Minister, Jesse Norman, has stated that new light rail and other rapid transit solutions could be integral to future transport networks across England’s towns

and cities. Revolutionary track technology looks set to make light rail an even more attractive option for cities looking to provide clean, reliable transport solutions. In England, overall light rail and tram use

increased by 1.9 per cent in 2019 compared to the year before, clocking a record number of passenger journeys and vehicle miles since comparable records began in 1983. Outside London, these figures increased by 2.8 per cent to 121.9 million and in London by 1.2 per cent to 150.5 million in the year ending March 2019. What are the advancements in technology? There has been a wave of technological advancements in UK light rail and tram systems. For example, recently it was announced that a project to develop a very light rail system in one of the UK’s major cities is moving forward with the development of an innovative composite which is made of a braided and woven frame. Driven by the rail sector’s challenges to achieve what the industry and academia known as the 4Cs – reduce cost and carbon emissions and improve capacity and customer satisfaction – project BRAINSTORM aims to develop and demonstrate the applicability of braided composite structures to a novel, lightweight,

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modular railcar solution. The £14.7 million three-year project brings together academia, industry and the local authority with the goal of developing an affordable, environmentally friendly, autonomous transportation solution. Headed by Warwick University’s ‘Warwick Manufacturing Group’ (WMG), the turnkey project will develop a lightweight, battery-powered vehicle running on specially designed rails throughout the city. WMG is working with industry specialists TDI and Far UK, along with Composite Braiding on the vehicle design. Another project driven by technological advancements is the Midlands Metro extension, which added an additional five tram stops. The development has benefitted from a £60 million government grant and uses battery technology, with part of the scheme constructed without overhead lines. The extension is helping to provide faster, more frequent and environmentally friendly journeys across the city. While these are certainly great projects, and moving the industry in the right direction, this now makes addressing the sector’s fundamental problem of a dearth of talent even more urgent. How severe are the skill shortages in light rail? For far too long now, the rail and engineering industries has been suffering from acute skill shortages. The lack of young people choosing STEM careers has now been recognised as a critical problem and businesses and the government have been urged to help attract more talent to the sector in what can be described as Britain’s biggest industrial recruitment drive since the 20th century. It is estimated that businesses in the UK will need around 203,000 new engineers every year until 2024. Right now, the nation is falling short by around 49,000 engineers a year. The rail industry faces even further skills shortages, with one in five rail

engineers currently aged over 55. To counteract the number of individuals expected to retire soon, the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce estimate that 50,000 new people are needed in rail. The transport sector is also changing at a rapid pace, with technological advancements creating new roles and demands every day, meaning there are further potential skills gaps, particularly at higher technical levels. How businesses can tap into the tech talent pool The tech talent pool is one of the most indemand groups sought out by employers across various sectors. Light rail will be competing with more ‘glamorised’ industries, and companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon which are household names for these individuals. Unfortunately, too few people see rail as an exciting career, despite those involved in it knowing what an amazing industry it is to work in. As a case in point, rail has suffered from negative stereotypes of being ‘dull’, masculine and antiquated. But as the examples above show, this is certainly not the case. In order to attract digital talent, it’s vital that this incorrect image is addressed and changed. Many people are unaware of the latest tech developments happening in the industry and that light rail is, in fact, driven by innovation. New projects must be shouted about more and promoted in ways which target millennials and Gen Z – the digital native demographic. It’s more successful – and important – to spark interest early. By visiting schools and speaking with students, you can ignite passion and position the sector as a career of choice. Also, introducing young people to the industry, they will be more likely to keep up to date and be interested in the latest developments, and inclined to choose light rail when considering further education and job options. For this reason, it’s also important that businesses visit career fares


and engage with graduates in order to stay relevant to this audience. Tech talent, much like many employees today, now also seek careers with a purpose. According to BetterUp, a career and life coaching platform, more than 9 out of 10 employees are willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for greater meaning at work. Rail companies must leverage this and convey the importance that light rail plays in communities, and how individuals with advanced engineering and tech capabilities are needed to contribute to creating new, eco-friendly systems. To attract more highly skilled candidates, it’s also vital that the sector sheds its ‘masculine’ reputation and embraces diversity. It’s no secret that younger generations expect an inclusive environment, and many will certainly be dissuaded by firms which do not have an obviously open culture. To encourage more candidates from diverse talent pools, companies should offer flexibility, actively try and close the gender pay gap and address unconscious bias in the recruitment process. Internships and apprenticeships are also fantastic ways of introducing tech talent to the light rail industry. Having opportunities to learn and develop will attract people

with a growth-mindset and ensure that businesses have professionals available to be taught by senior, retiring members and nurtured into emerging roles. As technology continues to adapt and evolve at a rapid pace, the rail industry will undoubtedly transform. In order to keep the UK’s light rail systems as one of the best around the world, it’s vital that skill shortages are addressed, and that we ensure that there is a pipeline of tech talent available to continue growth and innovation. Craig Charlton is Business Development Manager at Samuel Knight International Rail Professional

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Bringing depot safety into the 21st century When future generations look back at the 21st century, they will see a time of exponential growth, of technological advances, of environmental progress and even the changing landscape of the British railway system


rom steam to electric, gas lamps to signals and women in bikinis to fully-fledged safety campaigns, how is depot safety being brought into the 21 century? The likelihood is that the first thing that sprung to mind is an 1800s steam train instead of the electric models you see on the tracks today. Whilst the change in aesthetic is recognised there are many underlying factors that are responsible for revolutionising Britain’s railways. Developments in engineering, awareness, and training have drastically improved the safety for staff and passengers. As Britain holds the title for the safest railways in Europe, it’s not surprising that our tracks rely on up to date infrastructure to function.

Whilst one may assume that the largest advances were made during the appointment of the British Railways Board in 1963, it wasn’t until 2002 that Victorian engineering was cast aside. In 2002 the Telegraph confirmed that Victorian Oil Lamps were still being used on Britain’s railways. The lamps which were still being lit by hand were used to light trackside signals across Britain, using technology that dated back to 1830. Improving infrastructure is something that has been well documented throughout depot history, one of the most groundbreaking being Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS). The DPPS used across the UK, incorporates the use of intelligent distributed control and communication technology. The system which eliminates the risk of single-point failure by providing increased system resilience has played its part in reducing delayed and cancelled journeys since the turn of the millennia. Prior to the widespread introduction of DPPS, switch failures cost Network

Rail more than £120 million-a-year and account for more than 3,800,000 minutes (63,300 hours) of delays. Another advance preventing delays is the Fenix Tie-FenLock Depot control system. The innovative solution assists Depot Operators by reducing their workload and increasing safety, allowing them to set multiple routes within the depot in just a few seconds to optimise the operation of the depot. A simple yet vital piece of technology that has changed depot operation for the better is Front and Rear Facing CCTV (FRFCCTV). Whilst in 2020 CCTV would not be considered revolutionary by any means, the implementation of FRFCCTV is helping to reduce risk in depots. One of the greatest priorities of the British Railway Boards has been raising the standard of safety and health. In the 19th century, the railway company’s safety concerns were limited to its passengers. Whilst companies felt a responsibility to cautioning its passengers their workers were often responsible for their personal safety – an unimaginable concept in Britain today. Rail Professional



A shift in the attitudes of safety and health came when the Health and Safety Executive recognised that the ALARP principle has been overtaken by the specific requirements of the Technical Standards for Interoperability (TSIs). Roger Kemp a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Technical and Safety Director in ALSTOM Transport UK, explains: ‘This advice represents a major change to the railway safety regime and moves the train building industry closer to the motor vehicle industry, where compliance with European safety standards is deemed adequate and where manufacturers are not required to demonstrate that their products have

reduced risks to a level ‘as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP)’.’ This progression led to a new way of the way professionals and business leaders started to perceive safety and health, a far cry from the stereotypical imagery of hard hats and steel cap boots. Awareness surrounding occupational illness has been paramount to raising the standards of education within the workplace, and they are not always visible. Railroad workers have an elevated risk of occupational exposure to asbestos due to the presence of the material in ageing railcars and tracks. When working with or coming into contact with these materials, workers are put at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma. Recent research from the HSE has estimated there are around 13,500 new cases of cancer caused by work every year and over 8,000 deaths, over half of which are due to past exposures to asbestos: making the protection of railway workers imperative. The No Time to Lose Campaign which was launched in 2014 by the Institution of Safety and Health acted as an international flagship for raising awareness and campaigning for Occupational Cancer. The campaign, now in its sixth year has been such a success that its research has been presented at UN agencies around the world Rail Professional

and is set to launch in West Africa this year. Campaigns like this ensure that employees, as well as business leaders, are aware of the causes of occupational cancer, and what can be done to prevent risks that claim the lives of 742,000 lives a year – just by going to work. The HSE, who are big supporters of the campaign said: ‘We are actively supporting the ‘No Time to Lose’ campaign to raise awareness of carcinogenic exposure issues and help businesses take action. Prevention really is better than a cure and health needs to be managed like safety.’ However asbestos and silica are not the only risks that have come to the attention of organisations. The Rail Safety and Standards

Board (RSSB) point out that the cause of accidents in depots today is fatigue, signals passed at danger, and management of change. When asked to look back over the past one hundred years, Adrian Ling, the ORR’s longest-serving inspector, stated: ‘The HSE must take a lot of the credit for raising the profile of health and safety generally (and it’s disappointing that health and safety has got a bad name because of risk aversion and misrepresentation) but I think that a lot of the improvement has been brought about by the activities of HMRI by nagging the industry to keep health and safety at the top of the agenda.’ Adrian believes there have been some significant improvements in passenger safety brought about by changes in legislation as a result of disasters, but the improvement in staff safety has been mainly brought about by a change in culture. A culture that has begun to recognise the importance of mental health as on par with the seriousness of worker safety. A major factor of bringing depot safety into the 21st century has been cultivating a healthy working environment, in all its forms. The rate of suicide in the rail workforce is 1.6 times higher than the UK average, with over 60 per cent of workers having experienced mental health according to statistics to the Office of Rail and Road.

In a move to embrace this way of thinking the Samaritans have united Britain’s railway by bringing the second together in a campaign that is set to redefine the perceptions of mental health in the industry: The Million Hour Challenge. Over the next five years The Million Hour Challenge will help prevent suicide within the industry, through volunteering with the Samaritans, raising awareness as well as creating fundraising opportunities. Aimee Skelly-Burgess a committee member of the IOSH Railway Group said: ‘Suicide prevention is high on the agenda for the rail industry. It is so important we continue to raise the profile of mental health and encourage everyone to feel confident to have the conversation. Just reaching out and asking how someone is doing (a stranger or a colleague) can make all the difference.’ The five-year campaign builds upon the existing rail industry suicide prevention programme which was founded in 2010. The new changes brought in by the One Million Hour project have meant that 19,000 depot staff have received training by the Samaritans including prevention and support courses. Collaboratively, advances in engineering, ground-breaking research in occupational cancer, and cultivating an open platform for mental health reform, have started to bring innovative change to the industry: for what we hope is the beginning of bringing depot safety into the 21st century. If you would like to find out more about the No Time to Lose Campaign or the Million Hour Challenge, please visit: https://www.notimetolose.org.uk/ or email millionhourchallenge@samaritans.org Emma Guy is Communications Officer at IOSH



GRAHAM completes multimillion-pound Scarborough train depot for TransPennine The construction of a major multi-million-pound train care facility in Scarborough in Yorkshire has been completed by award-winning construction firm GRAHAM


he new facility has been built on the disused sidings on the North TransPennine route at Scarborough and includes a facility to carry out fuelling, tanking and interior carriage cleaning and stabling for two trains. Andrew Henry, Contracts Manager for GRAHAM’s Civil Engineering division, said: ‘The number of different disciplines and subcontractors involved in this project made it challenging, but everything has come together and we’re very pleased with the final outcome. ‘The greatest challenge was access, with the site itself being long and narrow, with access only from one side. The team had to adopt an approach working from north to south, ensuring we encompassed everything as we went, because there was

no opportunity to go back in if we did miss anything.’ The facility will support TransPennine’s brand new trains, providing light maintenance services including fuelling for trains on the route between Scarborough and Liverpool Lime Street. The scheme has resulted in the creation of 15 jobs to help service the trains. Andrew added: ‘This new facility will allow TransPennine to run their new larger, more modern trains on the route which will mean increased capacity, but also more frequent trains in the area to and from Scarborough. It will also help improve services throughout Yorkshire. ‘This project further demonstrates GRAHAM’s capabilities within the rail industry. We have a long-standing reputation for delivering complex projects

like this and delivering lasting impact.’ Among those working on the site in Scarborough have been employees through the GRAHAM Academy. Those on the scheme receive world-class training and development programmes for the next generation of industry professionals. Nick Sworowski, Depots and Infrastructure Project Manager for TransPennine Express, said: ‘The completion of this new depot in Scarborough represents a significant investment for TransPennine Express (TPE), not only for the North of England, but also the local community in and around Scarborough. ‘The fantastic work that Graham have done in completing this new depot

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standard ballast formation • installation of 80,000 litre fuel storage and distribution system • provision of modular welfare facility • canopy construction to encompass CET and refuelling facilities. About GRAHAM GRAHAM is a privately-owned company that specialises in the delivery of awardwinning building, civil engineering, interior fit-out, facilities management and investment projects. A truly national business, with an annual turnover of £735 million (2019), it operates from a network of 23 regional offices throughout the UK and Ireland and employs over 2,200 colleagues. Proudly ‘delivering lasting impact’ since 1778, it is currently completing over 100 live projects across a range of key sectors

will enable TPE to service longer trains, providing a significant capacity increase for customers travelling to and from Scarborough, but also support the local economy with the creation of new jobs at the depot.’ The works delivered by GRAHAM, valued at £4.55 million, included: • 310 metres of track – both track slab and

including education, healthcare, commercial, retail, highways and rail. GRAHAM was the first contractor in the UK to achieve Investors in People (IIP) Platinum and IIP Wellbeing accreditations. It was also the first UK wide company to achieve the British Standards Institute (BSI) Kitemark™ certification for both BIM Design and Construction (PAS 1192-2) and Asset Management (PAS 1192-3). With an exceptionally strong £1.2 billion pipeline, GRAHAM was ranked 95th in the annual Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100 – a league table which ranks Britain’s top 100 private companies with the biggest sales. For more information, visit the website: www.graham.co.uk


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The intersection of hazardous industries My own lengthy and varied professional life has been mainly focused in the property construction and built environment sector over a fair few decades both internationally and in the UK. For me personally the end of 2019 marked another new and exciting waypoint on my journey I would like to share with you


long the way over a few decades I’ve won a number of awards – Constructing Excellence in 2007 for authoring online training that equipped over 4,500 local authority in-house property officers plus over 1,500 in-house officers across the 33 Highway Authorities across London all with tested knowledge of their various statutory duties to comply with the Construction

The interface between railway companies and contractors can create significant risks if it is not properly managed. It is important that railway staff, who should know how to do the job safely, take the lead in making contractors aware of the hazards that go with working near the track Rail Professional

(Design and Management) Regulations and other statutory instruments that competent construction teams need to know. After that heady start, in 2008 I proudly received one of only three HSE nominations across the UK as a Health & Safety Champion of the year and, unexpectedly, last year the Institute of Construction Management award me Manager of The Year. So as we start off 2020, I thought I would use this article to build on my previous article that appeared in Rail Professional about the important industrial progression of mass passenger transport and the greater integration of light rail systems of urban rail transportation into our communities roads networks and highways systems. Shortly after that first article appeared in Rail Professional (February 2019 edition) a ‘near miss’ event occurred when a passenger train travelling from London to Southend narrowly missed colliding with a concrete mixer on a level crossing in Essex that had become trapped in the crossing in Mucking near East Tilbury after site workers had waved the driver onto the crossing even after red stop lights had begun flashing. In this article I will concentrate upon that interface between urban construction and rail operation; at the crossing point of two hazardous industries! Although none were injured this extremely close call event was within a whisker of being a major catastrophic rail disaster – the inertia of a passenger train travelling at 57mph impacting into a static

fully loaded concrete lorry illustrates the vital importance of understanding the interface in my earlier article. As the lorry 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 stopped to shift into reverse at the 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 approaching train! The lorry driver in his cab was stuck for eight seconds until the site staff manually lifted the barrier to allow the lorry to reverse clear of the crossing with only six seconds to spare before the train passed at 57mph. But then, immediately after the train had passed, the lorry driver again drove forward still guided by the banksman to again stop on the crossing before reversing clear of the railway and into the compound – all totally unaware that another train was going to arrive at the crossing less than three minutes later! The interface between railway companies and contractors can create significant risks if it is not properly managed. It is important that railway staff, who should know how to do the job safely, take the lead in making contractors aware of the hazards that go with working near the track. No matter how small the job or the site, it only takes one concrete mixer to create the conditions for a catastrophic accident. Although the road


vehicle driver had a legal duty to stop at the red flashing lights, in this case he should not have been put in such a position by taking his lead from a railway worker waving him on. Proper planning prevents poor performance. It does concern me when I think on the under-reporting of near misses – we have no way of knowing how often such events might be occurring? Fortunately, in this case, because of the presence of CCTV systems both mounted in a static monitoring situation on the level crossing itself and another recording from the train driver’s cab, the whole train of events (no pun intended!) the captured evidence triggered a formal Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) investigation and the report was published in December 2019. The RAIB Report is extremely detailed in its findings and, I realise its useful importance as learning for those involved in construction – as I explained in my article last year, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations are applicable to both construction and rail which is defined for the purpose of those regulations as a structure but the enforcement agency in each sector is administered by different agencies. I will be referring to the detail from RAIB to support this article and my views. When considering any post-event report, it is worth holding the thought that in the report into the 1988 Clapham Junction rail disaster wherein the Judge who chaired the Inquiry, Anthony Hidden QC said: ‘There is almost no human action or decision that cannot be made to look flawed in the misleading light of hindsight. It is essential that the critic should keep himself constantly aware of that fact.’ In that sad event a crowded passenger train crashed into the rear of another train that had stopped at a signal just south of Clapham Junction railway station in London, and subsequently sideswiped an empty train travelling in the opposite direction. A total of 35 people were killed in the collision, while 484 were injured. The legacy of that 1988 Inquiry was that testing was mandated on British Rail signalling work and the hours of work of employees involved in safety critical work was limited. Although British Rail was fined £250,000 for breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, there was no prosecution for manslaughter but, eventually in 1996 that 1988 collision was one of the events cited by the Law Commission as reason for new law on manslaughter, resulting in the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 and sentencing guidelines could start at £3 million+ in 2020! This article forms part one of a two-part series, in this first article I initially will look at incompetence and its consequences using principally the excellent RAIB investigation report and will use other examples that explain. Later in the second part I will

explore to understand attaining levels of competence; the journey from unconsciously incompetent through to consciously incompetent, then to consciously competent and on to unconsciously competent! The purpose of a Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) investigation is to improve railway safety by preventing future railway accidents or by mitigating their consequences. It is not the purpose of such an investigation to establish blame or liability. Accordingly, it is inappropriate that RAIB reports should be used to assign fault or blame, or determine liability, since neither the investigation nor the reporting process has been undertaken for that purpose. The RAIB’s findings are based on its own evaluation of the evidence that was available at the time of the investigation and are intended to explain what happened, and why, in a fair and unbiased manner. Before looking at the detail of the event, it’s worth understanding the terminology around the descriptions of factors linked to cause. Where a factor is described as being linked to cause and the term is unqualified, this means that the RAIB has satisfied itself that the evidence supports both the presence of the factor and its direct relevance to the causation of the accident or incident that is being investigated. Where the RAIB is less confident about the existence of a factor, or its role in the causation of the accident or incident, the RAIB will qualify its findings by use of words such as ‘probable’ or ‘possible’, as appropriate. Where there is more than one potential explanation the RAIB may describe one factor as being ‘more’ or ‘less’ likely than the other. In some cases factors are described as ‘underlying’. Such factors are also relevant to the causation of the accident or incident but are associated with the underlying management arrangements or organisational issues (such as working culture). Where necessary, words such as ‘probable’ or ‘possible’ can also be used to qualify ‘underlying factor’. Use of the word ‘probable’ means that, although it is considered highly likely that the factor applied, some small element of uncertainty remains. Use of the word ‘possible’ means that, although there is some evidence that supports this factor, there remains a more significant degree of uncertainty. An ‘observation’ is a safety issue discovered as part of the investigation that is not considered to be causal or underlying to the accident or incident being investigated, but does deserve scrutiny because of a perceived potential for safety learning. It is vital to ensure clear understanding that the terms used in any part of the documented information flows are intended



to assist others’ interpretation to provide suitable explanations where uncertainty remains. The RAIB protocol produces clarity across the important interfaces when information flows effectively and appropriately through the project procurement process. Consideration to personal privacy is important to be aware of and may mean that not all of the actual effects of any event are recorded in a report. It is important to recognise that sudden unexpected events can have both short and long-term consequences for the physical and/or mental health of individuals involved, both directly and indirectly, in what actually happened. The RAIB’s investigation (including its scope, methods, conclusions and recommendations) is uniquely independent of any inquest or fatal accident inquiry, and all other investigations, including those carried out by the safety authority, police or railway industry – this unbiased detail provides excellent insight. The RAIB found the incident occurred due to a combination of two causal factors; the lorry driver drove onto, stopped and reversed on the level crossing and site staff did not recognise the need to take account of the level crossing when managing the large road vehicle at the site entrance. The RAIB reported many incompetent finding e.g. although the concrete lorry fleet operator provided drivers with an induction including banksman signals; every truck carried a pack which includes the Highway Code, company safety handbook, and banksman signals; and the employer expects its professional drivers to be familiar with the Highway the driver breached the law! Highway Code (rule 293) refers to level crossings and states: You MUST always obey the flashing red stop lights. You MUST stop behind the white line across the road. Keep going if you have already crossed the white line when the amber light comes on. Do not reverse onto or over a controlled crossing. The lorry driver had not delivered to the site before, but knew the road and had been informed that the site was near a level crossing before he left the depot but was not given any specific instructions about the level crossing. Video evidence shows that the lorry slowed to walking pace as it approached the site entrance. The lorry driver was waved forwards and given a ‘thumbs up’ by the banksman who was standing on the lefthand side of the road and was dressed in orange reflective clothing (as worn by many railway staff). This first part indicates what can only be described politely as a complete incompetent mess where only six seconds separated a near-miss event from a catastrophic loss of life! In part two that will be published next month I will explore and explain about safe systems and competence.

Rail Professional



The light rail revolution in the North of England Sid Grover, Associate Director for environment, health and safety at environmental and engineering consultancy RSK, provides an insight into RSK’s work with the Manchester Metrolink Project


he Manchester Metrolink Project is regarded as the most extensive light rail system in the United Kingdom. The Metrolink system is owned by Transport for Greater Manchester and operated/maintained under Keolis-Amey Joint Venture. RSK have assisted numerous contractors i.e. Laing-oRourke, MPact and Keolis Amey JV on both construction and operational aspects of this project. The project, which is worth approximately £850 million, will help to establish a world-class tram network in the region and enhance commuting options for the public by providing a reliable tram network across Manchester and Greater Manchester regions. In addition, there is also an important interface with the TransPennine and HS2 projects planned. The aim is to enhance the social and economic markets across the already

thriving Manchester region and the Tier-1 contractors regularly engages with local businesses, schools, colleges, small and medium sized enterprises, start-ups and various stakeholders to provide essential community services, while putting safety and sustainability at the forefront of every activity they undertake. Role of the environmental consultant and engineer International environmental and engineering consultancy RSK was commissioned to undertake the role of environmental consultant and engineer for the major tram line extension and refurbishment schemes in Manchester Metrolink programme. The project deliverables involved the production of Section 61 Applications; noise and vibration monitoring; air quality monitoring; pre-condition structural

surveys; ground penetrating radar surveys; topographical, geophysical, asbestos, trackform mitigation design and floating slab assistance. We have shared an excellent relationship with Tier-1 contractors throughout the project, assisting them with fulfilling the environmental minimum requirements, design and engineering support, stakeholder engagement and liaison with local authorities across the region. The RSK team is also fully engaged with the various local authorities and stakeholders along each route, as well as the local community, to ensure a smooth and efficient delivery throughout the project. The RSK team is also fully engaged with the local authorities and stakeholders along the route, as well as the local community, to ensure a smooth and efficient delivery throughout the project. From RSK’s perspective, the project is jointly being led by Sid Grover (Environmental, Health and Safety team) and Antonio Sanchez (Acoustics team). Adding sustainability at the heart of RSK’s environmental monitoring As part of this role, RSK is also providing noise and vibration monitoring services and construction monitoring reports for the project and has been engaging with the project construction team in the formation of site-specific mitigation and Best Practicable Means (BPM) measures. This has

Rail Professional


involved detailed barrier placement maps, night-time working stand-off allowances (from nearest residential receptor), measures of plant noise reduction and contractor toolbox talks. The RSK team, by virtue of its extensive experience on previous projects, such as Crossrail, Midland Metro Alliance, London City Airport etc. has established an in-house consent, risk assessment and reporting software tool which ensures efficient and high-quality delivery of the project objectives. RSK carried out extensive engagement with the construction team and local authority to agree the scope of the initial Section 61 Applications, and in order to aid the successful production of this phase, the RSK environment team posted a consultant to the client’s offices to ensure close liaison with the project team and efficient delivery of the applications. They could also easily deal with any issues that may arise. Upon submission, RSK further engaged with the local authority in the agreement of a suitable monitoring strategy throughout the life of the construction works and conducted various meetings and workshops with both stakeholders and the local communities to discuss the project from a noise and vibration perspective, as well as areas where mitigation would be in place. Currently, RSK has developed and implemented a strategy for the continued monitoring of noise and vibration. Successful stakeholder engagement has allowed the monitoring to be conducted at close receptor locations, including residential, commercial and Grade II listed buildings. The monitoring equipment provides real-time data capture and trigger alerts, enabling the construction team to be notified of any exceedances of S61 levels or COCP criteria. The system also enables RSK to complete weekly reports from any of our UK offices through a secure web server to retrieve data. Assessing operational noise and vibration nuisance at central locations RSK’s acoustics and vibration division has also contributed to the validation of trackform mitigation design for the Manchester Metrolink tramline extension. The tramline was routed through the famous Salford Quays region with sensitive receptors such as ITV studios, media centre etc. With such several sensitive buildings, tramway vibration prediction became paramount. RSK tested the transfer mobility functions of each building along the route to determine the rate at which vibration amplitude would decay with distance. The resulting predictions enabled the engineering team to better understand how the tramway would interact with the existing ground conditions and generate vibrations to the nearby buildings. The results showed that an alternative rail technology, rather

than the floating slab design, could be used, which offers a strong potential in saving substantial costs. Supporting Manchester Metrolink’s initiatives In order to support the project’s initiative, as well as RSK’s own sustainability goals, RSK actively encourages employees to use public transport when practical, such as trains, buses and trams, as well as electrical cars when undertaking site visits. They are also encouraged to assess all safety, health and environmental (SHE) hazards and any other environmental concerns during their time on-site. This usually includes items such as dust, water and contamination. We are also accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards for quality, environment and health and safety management. All the acoustic and electronic equipment used by RSK is fully compliant to British Standards, but it is also powered through sustainable means such as solar panels and Lithium-ion batteries, wherever possible, to minimise construction carbon on-site. None of RSK’s equipment is powered through a non-renewable resource and we are committed to implementing the project’s Sustainability Policy and assisting Manchester Metrolink in meeting their sustainability targets. In addition, RSK has a company-wide energy plan to ensure that all electricity procured by the company is certified ‘green’. An energy efficiency campaign is currently being conducted and key offices are being metered with smart meters, as well as a Carbon Trust audit. An energy management system compliant with BSEN 16001 is also being implemented and we are investigating investment in a bio-diesel plant at one or more of company sites to provide fuel for machinery and vehicles. The future The working relationship between


Manchester Metrolink team and RSK is strengthening on a daily basis, and we expect it to last until the overall project’s final delivery. The project is expected to have a significant number of interfaces with the likes of High Speed 2 (HS2), the TransPennine Route, Northern Power-house rail and various train and tram station refurbishments across the northern England. The ultimate objective is to build a reputable, sustainable and outstanding tram network across northern England to boost the rating of this central region, which Manchester Metrolink is on the right track for. Sid Grover is the Associate Director in the environment, health and safety (EHS) team at environmental and engineering consultancy RSK. RSK is the UK’s leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business employing over 3,000 staff in offices across the UK and worldwide. In 2016, RSK was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade, one of the UK’s highest accolades for business success. With a turnover of over £250 million, the company was ranked the seventh largest UK environmental consultancy by Environment Analyst in its 2018 Market Assessment Report. RSK provides independent environmental consultancy and technical services in the areas of the environment, health and safety, engineering and sustainability management to industrial, financial and public-sector clients in the UK and abroad. RSK has a diverse client base but mainly services key accounts for clients in energy, property, manufacturing, water, government and transport. The company is certified to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 international standards for quality, environmental management and health and safety management.

Visit: www.rsk.co.uk For further details, please contact: Sid Grover – sgrover@rsk.co.uk Antonio Sanchez – asanchez@rsk.co.uk Rail Professional

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The financial health of train operating companies With falling revenues and increased spending the UK railway industry is undeniably in a state of flux. With passenger satisfaction at a ten-year low and the number of journeys declining in 2017-2018, the train operating companies (TOCs) are facing serious challenges to their current business model


he result is pressure on the TOCs to run their businesses effectively. The Office of Rail & Road (ORR) reported that the TOCs had received a net subsidy from the UK Government of £417 million, the first time since 2010. This is in direct contrast to the net payment of £227 million made the previous year. With squeezed income and growing expenditure the financial health of the TOCs is a growing concern. The losses of Virgin Trains East Coast were well documented, and the subsequent termination of the franchise and the enactment of Section 30 was a prime indicator of the levels of financial stress the TOCs are facing. Analysis carried out by Company Watch, a credit reference organisation, looked at the financial health of the TOCs on behalf of Rail Professional. This analysis is based on the TOCs within the UK. Due to the nature of rail franchise many of the train operating companies are part of larger organisations (including First Group plc and Deutsche Bahn AG), however the analysis is based on the operating company to give a more likefor-like representation of the industry. As these are typically purely operating companies, they are not required to invest in significant long-term assets which limits their requirement for major funding. It is interesting to see that despite the downturn in revenue and the increase in spending that

Above industry average performers Grand Central Railway Company Limited – part of the Deutsche Bahn/Arriva group, this is an exceedingly strong company with an H-Score® of 90 primarily due to growth in passenger revenue. The company has enjoyed year on year growth in profits including a very robust balance sheet. Hull Trains Company Limited – the company is a non-franchised, open access intercity train company which operates direct services between Hull and London King’s Cross and is owned by FirstGroup Plc. The company’s health profile remains strong with an H-Score® of 79. Arriva Rail London Limited – as part of the larger Arriva group, Arriva Rail London has strong profits through the TFL fixed concession payment and balance sheet resulting in an H-Score which has been on the rise since 2017. The Chiltern Railway Company Limited – the Chiltern Railway Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of M40 Trains Ltd, part of the Arriva Group. Despite profits having halved from the previous period-end (due to increased operating costs), it still has a reasonably solid balance sheet and a rising H-Score®. XC Trains Limited – part of the Deutsche Bahn/Arriva group, this TOC has increasing earnings together with a strengthened balance sheet means the H-Score® is steady and has been in the 70s range for three consecutive years. Arriva Rail North Limited – Arriva Rail North, also known as Northern, has seen the profits decreased within the profit and loss account over the years due to lower than anticipated revenue growth although the balance sheet remains stable. Overall though the H-Score® is strong at 72. London North Eastern Railway Limited – set up by Government on 24 June 2018 after the Department for Transport enacted Section 30, it is the only TOC whose ultimate parent is the Secretary of State for Transport. The current accounts show good profits and a high H-Score® of 73. First Greater Western Limited – it is part of FirstGroup Plc, operating under a direct award which runs to the end of March 2020 although there are discussions about a subsequent extension to the contract to at least 2022. The company continues to generate good profits, although the balance sheet remains below average. Overall, their H-Score® is 53.

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Below industry average performers Abellio Scotrail Ltd – incorporated in 2013, Abellio Scotrail’s H-Score® has declined from 49 in 2015 to 25 in 2017 due to increased losses. Also the balance sheet shows the company to be somewhat undercapitalised with growing debt levels. However as part of the wider Abellio group its ultimate parent is the Dutch-based Nederlandse Spoorwegen. Abellio East Anglia Limited – it originally operated the franchise as Abellio Greater Anglia in 2012, then in 2016 the franchise was re-tendered as East Anglia franchise. It resumed trading as Greater Anglia in 2016 when the new franchise commenced. They reported a loss in 2018. However, due to their balance sheet being in a reasonable state, the company still achieves an H-Score®w of 45 out of 100. West Midlands Trains Limited – West Midlands Railway is run as part of a joint venture between Abellio, East Japan Railway Company and the Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. Despite its balance sheet being undercapitalised, it has demonstrated good profits giving a reasonable H-Score® of 46. Transport for Wales – the company is wholly-owned by the Welsh Government and has seen the company’s revenues grow rapidly over the years – revenues doubled in 2019. The company operates at close to breakeven levels – so profits are minimal. According to the company’s latest annual reports, the increase in expenses reflected the growth in activities. Overall the balance sheet remains strong although undercapitalised and has an H-Score® of 33. First Transpennine Express Limited – although the company holds the TransPennine Express franchise until March 2023, the Secretary of State has the right to extend for another two years. The company has been making year-on-year losses and the balance sheet remains very vulnerable with negative net worth (its liabilities exceed its assets). The company is in the warning area with an HScore® of 14 out of 100. Govia Thameslink Railway Limited – Great Northern is the trading name for Govia Thameslink Railway Limited which is part of the Go-Ahead Group Plc. It operates passenger services on the Great Northern, Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express routes. The company’s revenues have been growing ten per cent year on year to 2018. Their H-Score® is 44. London & South Eastern Railway Limited – part of the Go-Ahead Group plc, the company’s revenues and profits have been increasing year-on-year and the balance sheet shows large cash reserves. Overall, the H-Score® is strong at 75. Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited – the company who provides overnight sleeper services between Scotland and London has been loss-making for years. Their balance sheet shows its liabilities substantially exceeds its assets. Not surprisingly, the H-Score is deep in the Warning Area with its latest H-Score® at 4 out of 100.

many train operating companies remain financially strong. Using a common rating to show the performance of individual companies, such as the H-Score® (which shows the financial health of a company on a 0-100 scale, where 100 is excellent and 0-25 is a warning zone) it is possible to see that overall the average for the industry is 50 – which matches the overall average for all companies. There are a number of TOCs who exceed this including Hull Trains with an H-Score® of 79 and Grand Central with an impressive H-Score® of 90. They have seen continued growth, helped no doubt by the previous trend in rising passenger numbers. Not all TOCs have built up the same strong position; while First Greater Weston has an above average H-Score® of 53 it still has a weak balance sheet. The company with the lowest H-Score® is Serco Caledonian Sleepers which has an H-Score® of only 4 – putting it firmly in the warning area. Overview of the financial health of TOCs Looking at the financial health of individual TOCs show some interesting results; the trends around growth are in line with the Rail Professional

rise in passenger journeys (excepting the dip in 2017-2018) over the past decade. This has resulted in many being able to exceed the industry average score. A summary of the above industry average performers and below industry average performers is shown below. Summary Overall, the financial health of the train

Using a common rating to show the performance of individual companies, such as the H-Score® (which shows the financial health of a company on a 0-100 scale, where 100 is excellent and 0-25 is a warning zone) it is possible to see that overall the average for the industry is 50 – which matches the overall average for all companies operating companies continues to be relatively strong – many companies in the sector are showing increased revenues and are able to generate reasonable profits. As these are operating companies, they are generally not required to invest in long term assets, so less onus on a significant longterm funding requirement. However, the demands for specific companies show that liabilities can build up and are reflected in the weaker balance sheets. The challenges of predicting passenger numbers, being able to keep to timetable schedules and the investment requirements means that the franchise requirements are sometimes unable to be kept (the East Coast Main Line as an example). However, the performance of companies such as Grand Central, Arriva and LNER show that it is possible for train operating companies to establish and grow financially sound businesses within the UK rail industry.

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Luxury Railway Travel Paul Atterbury reviews Martyn Pring’s new book, Luxury Railway Travel: A Social and Business History


ne of the more over-used words in travel and transport history is luxury, a long-established favourite with marketing departments freely applied to vehicles, clothing, luggage and many other consumer products, along with a particular type of lifestyle. All this has made it quite hard to define exactly what the word means, though frequent associations include comfort, elegance, opulence, exclusivity and expense. There have been many books written about luxury trains, both individually and collectively so at first sight, Martyn Pring’s new book, Luxury Railway Travel, is headed into an already crowded shelf. However, the key here is in the subtitle, A Social and Business History, and this takes it into a broader market, and away from the specialist railway shelves. Pring calls himself a marketing professional, and his extensive experience of the travel, leisure and catering industries outweighs his self-confessed train buffishness. The approach is essentially historical, a study of the gradual emergence of the luxury train in the late Victorian period, thanks both to technical improvements in trains and their operation, and to the social revolution represented by increased social mobility and the breaking down of tradition class barriers, defined particularly by the expansion of middle class influence and activity. The luxury train came of age in the Edwardian era, helped by the spread of the Pullman concept, and in the 1920s and 1930s this turned into a golden age. This was the era of the named train, many of which became household names in railway history, a litany that includes the Flying Scotsman, the Golden Arrow, the Cornish Riviera Express, the Atlantic Coast Express (though whether that was ever a luxury train is debatable), the Brighton Belle, the Coronation Scot, the Jubilee and many, many more. What is less familiar is the contemporary emergence of the named locomotive, and how closely these names, and the classes they represented, were linked to marketing, obvious examples being the Southern Railway’s King Arthurs and West Countries, and the GWR’s Castles, Halls and Manor, all designed to promote the regions they served. In fact, the backbone of this book is the rise of modern ideas of

advertising, marketing and publicity, in which the railways, both before and after the First World War, were pioneers. Familiar are the posters and visual publicity associated with this era, but the marketing package was much wider, and included merchandising material such as guide books, postcards, jigsaws and much else, along with the central idea that the railways were modern, fast, efficient and luxurious, a vital USP in an age when road and air transport were becoming more competitive. Pring works hard to distinguish the differences between first class, Pullman, and other types of superior rail travel, but the boundaries seem to have been both flexible and porous over a long period. The streamlined LNER and LMS Scottish expresses, for example, seem to have had a higher standard that the conventional Pullman train, but this again may have been more about perception and marketing than actuality. Important elements in the story are catering and sleeping, and the railway definition of luxury is firmly linked to the former, to which to latter is an adjunct. This book explores thoroughly the history of on-train catering, with many railway companies seeing this as the area in which they could overcome their rivals, both on the rails and in other areas of transport. The regular serving of five course meals, prepared and served immaculately, was part of the railway experience. This point naturally underlines the links between trains, ships and hotels, all of which shared a similar concept of luxury, and whose development, notably in the Edwardian era, was closely intertwined. Pring also makes the point that, while the interwar years were a golden age, the achievements of that era were inherited and further developed by nationalised British Railways, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. He is not alone in thinking that British Railways, and later, British Rail, was an adventurous, creative, efficient and much maligned organisation defeated by politicians rather than market forces. BR maintained the luxury image in the famous Blue Pullmans, which in turn became the springboard for the HST 125, one of Britain’s greatest and most enduring trains. Ironically, this classic vehicle, and the rise of the InterCity concept with its emphasis on the business traveller, did mark the end of the traditional idea of a luxury train.

In some ways the most interesting part of the book is the final section, which looks at the renaissance of the traditional luxury train idea, the pioneer of which was James Sherwood’s Venice Simplon Orient Express, which first ran in 1982. Since then the luxury train has become a global phenomenon but it is something new, a combination of opulence, elegance and nostalgia that is all about the journey. Historically, the luxury train was just a better way of travelling from A to B, but now the focus is on the experience of luxury for its own sake. Clever marketing has made these journeys seem very desirable, particularly for that special occasion. These journeys are very expensive, but a successful and more accessible spin-off, again pioneered by James Sherwood’s British Pullman set, has been the luxury day trip with at seat catering. Another part of this development, a bit overlooked by Pring, has been the steam special day trip, where the combination of a classic steam locomotive running at speed on main lines matched with a rake of Pullman-style carriages with an at seat catering service, has proven to have a popular appeal far beyond the railway enthusiast. These are also very accessible, thanks to the different forms of catering on offer. The last part of the book is a series of appendices, looking at more detail at the classic British luxury routes and trains, London to Scotland, London to the West Country, and Pullman services to the coast. By presenting these separately, there is inevitably some repetition and overlap with the main text. It might have been better to have included these in the main text. This book is about social, economic and business history and as such offers a new way of exploring the story of luxury train travel, while leaving plenty for the dedicated railway historian and enthusiast. Paul Atterbury is a British antiques expert, known for his many appearances since 1990 on the BBC TV programme Antiques Roadshow and for his travel writing. Martyn Pring is a career marketing professional having worked across both private and public sectors, as a researcher at the Department of Tourism, Bournemouth University, and more recently, as an independent researcher with interests in culinary tourism, destination marketing and luxury branded sectors as well as travel writing. A self-confessed railway buff from a young age, and as a result of family connections, retained interests in maritime and aviation travel sectors. Martyn lives and works in Dorset. Luxury Railway Travel: A Social and Business History is available at Pen and Sword: https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Luxury-RailwayTravel-Hardback/p/16752 Rail Professional

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Re-election of a Conservative UK Government raises new policy possibilities The decisive outcome of the December 2019 General Election means there will be definite consequences for the rail industry in Great Britain writes Mark Walker, Chief Executive of Cogitamus Public Affairs


irstly, the review by Keith Williams into the ‘most appropriate organisational and commercial frameworks to support the delivery of the government’s vision for the railway’ is now certain to be published. Perhaps a little ironically for the Conservative Government under Boris Johnson’s premiership which has been so keen to demonstrate a clean break from its predecessors, the Williams Rail Review was entirely conceived by Theresa May’s administration and her Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling. Yet its publication will be one of the earliest domestic policy declarations of the Johnson era. The Government is committed to publishing the Williams Review as a White Paper – a format which is as close as possible to a parliamentary bill without actually being one. The idea is effectively to cut and paste the recommendations into legislation as quickly as possible with the minimum amount of scrutiny. This

approach may yet prove somewhat naïve as industry stakeholders, commentators, user representatives, devolved and local government as well as parliamentary committees and Whitehall departments are certain to wish to explore its implications in minute detail. For readers of Rail Professional, a key development to watch for after publication of the White Paper will be scrutiny of the Williams recommendations by the House of Commons Transport Committee, energetically chaired in the last Parliament by Nottingham South Labour MP Lilian Greenwood. The Committee could decide to hold its own hearings into the proposals or could be asked to carry out an investigation by the Government of a Draft Railways Bill under a process known as pre-legislative scrutiny. In either scenario, the Cogitamus team is ready and able to help organisations to draft written evidence for submission to the Committee and to assist witnesses in preparing to answer questions in person. Even in the brief period since the

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outcome of the General Election, the need for swift action by the UK Government on rail has become evident. With the Conservative Party having gained many seats in the ‘Red Wall’ of former Labour territory in the North and Midlands of England, Ministers now have an even more compelling need to deal with the crisis of service reliability in several of the passenger rail franchises serving those areas. This has been compounded by the rail industry’s annual public relations disaster of fare increases which only serves to exacerbate the anger of many frustrated customers – although Wales has bucked this trend by announcing a ten per cent fares reduction for 2020 on lines in the North and dropping them by even slightly more for some Cardiff and Valleys stations. The demands of users in England for swift action have been met by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps with a promise to bring the Northern franchise in its present form to a swift end, yet it remains to be seen whether the fundamental reform of the operating model expected to be recommended by Williams leads to delays in creating a long term solution for the issues faced by passengers, businesses and communities. Few rail operators are loved by their users, and it will not be long before the opposition Labour Party picks itself up from its catastrophic General Election defeat and seeks, under a new leader, to maximise the discomfort of the Government in areas that it still regards as its natural territory. Secondly, the changed political landscape of Great Britain will also have implications for decisions on rail infrastructure investment. The other great review for which the industry waits with bated breath is by Douglas Oakervee into HS2. This is truly a product of Boris Johnson’s own Government and reflects the Prime Minister’s notable lack of enthusiasm for the project in the past. Yet HS2 is a scheme strongly supported by many political and business leaders from across the political spectrum in the Midlands and North of England. Elections for Metro Mayors in England’s city regions take place this coming May, and it could prove a devastating blow for Conservative candidates to be landed with a decision of their own Government to cut back, delay or cancel HS2. A crucial factor influencing the Government’s reaction to Oakervee’s recommendations will be the attitude of its newly-elected MPs from the Midlands and the North, some of whom appear at least in the past to have advocated cancelling HS2 in favour of investment in the existing rail network. Once again, parliamentary activity in reaction to the Oakervee Review is likely to be intense, and could well take the form of investigations by committees of MPs and Peers. We are here to assist organisations making their own representations. Less noticed by the media than the Conservative gains in England have been Rail Professional

the seats won from Labour in Wales at the General Election. Although the distinct identity of Welsh Labour and the popularity of many policies of the Welsh Government under its leadership seem to have protected the party from the rout seen across Scotland and much of England, the Conservatives nevertheless edged forward, notably in the North of the nation. This places an interesting new spotlight on the longargued case for major investment and even electrification of the North Wales Main Line which enjoys cross-party support. The Welsh Labour Government has a more ambitious agenda for devolution of powers and funding over the rail network to place it on a more equal footing with the Scottish

Were relationships between London and Edinburgh to be even a little more cordial, a recommendation from Williams along these lines might be seen as a formality. Now, with the Conservatives having lost seats in the Westminster Parliament to the SNP, it becomes a much more politically charged process Government’s rights, going well beyond the significant transfer of control over the Wales & Borders franchise agreed under the last Conservative UK Government. Just what Williams recommends for Wales is likely to be the prelude to further negotiations between the governments in London and Cardiff on a final settlement and will test the Prime Minister’s promise of levelling-up the Union post-Brexit. That dialogue will be made even more interesting by the determination of the Welsh Government to push forward public transport initiatives to address its declared climate emergency – the first administration in the UK to do so formally – as manifested in its decision in 2019 to cancel the M4 Relief Road in South Wales. The Conservatives were elected at a UK level on a programme of reaching net zero carbon by 2050 but locally in Wales they still pledged to build the new M4. The position in Scotland is potentially even more politically fraught as the UK administration is locked into a multi-fronted

conflict with the Scottish Government led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party. The Scottish Government has long argued for completion of the rail devolution process – which has already advanced much further than in Wales – with the complete transfer of powers over Network Rail north of the border. Were relationships between London and Edinburgh to be even a little more cordial, a recommendation from Williams along these lines might be seen as a formality. Now, with the Conservatives having lost seats in the Westminster Parliament to the SNP, it becomes a much more politically charged process. With the debate over devolution and the investment of public money being drawn towards the Midlands and North of England and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, it is for once the areas with the most extensive passenger networks and the highest volumes of rail use that are in danger of being forgotten. Greater London has become almost a foreign land to the Conservatives in terms of political culture, while they also suffered a less wellnoticed erosion of support in some of their own hitherto strongest heartlands in the commuter belt around the capital. The last Conservative Government made great play of seeking ‘Market-Led Proposals’ for private sector rail infrastructure investment, and it may well be that London and the South East need to look in this direction for their salvation. This is an interesting policy area in which Cogitamus has played a significant role in recent years. About Cogitamus Established in 2007, Cogitamus is an awardwinning public affairs and communications consultancy firm supporting rail businesses of all kinds in their political, stakeholder and community engagement – including the rollout of major infrastructure projects. The team has extensive experience of working with UK, Scottish and Welsh government institutions, MPs and Peers of all parties at Westminster, Members of the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and the London Assembly, senior civil servants and local government. Consultants are located throughout Great Britain For further information on our services, please visit www.cogitamus.co.uk or contact Illiam Costain McCade, Deputy Chief Executive on 01733 767244 or via info@cogitamus.co.uk. Mark Walker is Chief Executive of Cogitamus Public Affairs

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Why do we not provide better passenger information during service disruption? A complicated question with a simple solution…


e’ve all been there… you’re stood on the platform, waiting for the 10:32 to take you to a meeting or to see friends in the city. All of a sudden, the board empties, and you’re left wondering why you’re delayed and what your alternative options are to ensure you reach your destination. This lack of information is frustrating, and with more than 1 in every 5 complaints made in 20182019 relating to punctuality or reliability of trains, I think it’s safe to say the rest of the UK agrees. Service disruption encompasses delays caused by varying issues; things like fatalities, infrastructure problems, signalling and staffing issues - which result in trains either being cancelled, or not arriving at their scheduled destination on time. As a rail operator, minimising your average delay time, and increasing the number of on time trains across your network is crucial to maintaining a positive reputation and customer retention. So how can businesses achieve this without breaking the bank or negatively affecting their brand identity? The short answer is with data. IDC predicts that by 2020 there will be around 40 trillion gigabytes of data in existence. Buzz words like “Big Data” and “Automation” are dominating the corporate world, making it staggering to hear that Forrester Research

With 517 train accidents in 201819, an increase of 17% on the previous year, its undeniable that improving processes around disruption is crucial Rail Professional


previously predicted most companies only analyse around 12% of the data they have. With all this data at our fingertips, why are rail businesses not gaining better insights to provide information and a more proactive response to passengers during times of disruption? The simple answer is because they don’t fully know how. The longer answer centres around the challenge, perhaps even an unwillingness, to drive digital transformation, stepping away from the norm and adopting new ways of working: utilising tools and technologies that automate manual processes, empower operational teams and ensure frontline staff are equipped with the information they need to ease passenger frustrations. One operator who decided to take a leap of faith and lead the way in innovation around disruption is Virgin Trains (VT). VT have operated in the UK for the last 22 years; they employed around 3,500 people and operated long-distance passenger services on the West Coast Main Line (now under the stewardship of Avanti West Coast). The service connects 6 of the UK’s largest cities: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Edinburgh delivering 37 million passenger journeys over 22 million miles a year. Over the last three years, Virgin Trains transformed their business using the latest technologies to move faster, make better decisions, and innovate - creating industry first solutions in the process. John Sullivan, CIO, attributes his team’s success to a relentless focus on improving colleague and customer experiences. So, what drove the disruption initiative? After a long and challenging day of major service disruption in May 2018; with the majority of VT staff working on the frontline to help passengers in stations and on platforms until the early hours of

Since they started this initiative, they’ve seen calls to control reduce by as much as 70%, with staff noting that their ability to think more clearly is a priceless advantage of using this tool

the morning, VT decided there had to be a more effective way of managing these situations. For John and his team, they knew innovative technologies could help to solve the problem and decided enough was enough – the days of manual processes and stress inducing procedures needed to end. From this moment, the idea for the Rail Disruption (Back on Track) solution was born. The tool is the first of its kind in the industry, to help manage, communicate and report incidents; create and update response plans; and communicate response tasks to key staff and customers. The overall aim is to support colleagues across the business, reduce the impact of disruption and build trust with customers. The team got to work and joined forces with ServiceNow, the leading digital workflow platform, and UP3, a specialist rail solutions provider, to bring the vision to life. After months of design, development and integration of disparate data sources to enable the end to end control, response and communications processes - the application was launched! With 517 train accidents in 2018-19, an increase of 17% on the previous year, its undeniable that improving processes around disruption will help counterbalance the negative effects of an increase in disruption instances. General industry conversations with key UK rail operators provide evidence that passenger disruption is a key issue that needs to be tackled collectively to maintain the momentum around other technological advances and increase the popularity of rail passenger transport. VT, now Avanti, is exceeding ORR targets for performance and passenger satisfaction and there are numerous examples of efficiencies that have been gained with ‘Back on Track’. In September 2019, VT faced issues between Crewe and Stratford when an overhead dropper struck a train - a situation that would usually need engineers on site before the train could proceed. Thanks to the automation achieved through their Back on Track application, they were able to coordinate the incident between multiple parties and take appropriate action within a matter of minutes, minimising any disruption to services and customers. This is just one of many benefits that have been gained through pre-defined response plans that can be quickly actioned, implemented and communicated to resolve incidents efficiently. Since they started this initiative, they’ve seen calls to control reduce by as much as 70%, with staff reporting a significant reduction in stress, noting that their ability to think more clearly is a priceless advantage of using this tool. VT has promoted customer-centric initiatives, such as Delay Repay, more than any other TOC. Their obsession with customer service and innovation has driven them to find ways to tackle industry


problems such as disruption, showing what is possible… what is normal. This embrace of change, and willingness to innovate and put their customers’ needs above that of the business, has allowed them to stand out from the crowd, driving industry change for the better. As we look to the future – 92.7% of business are now investing in Big Data and AI initiatives to help them streamline their business processes and increase the ease of analytics in a data centric world; but is jumping on the bandwagon and investing for the sake of “staying on trend” really the right approach to take? Businesses need to understand their pain points, and work to address these in relation to their own KPI’s, systems and objectives. So do your research, understand your business processes and work with engaging and reputable partners to understand what areas you can automate to increase agility and put power into the hands of your staff and customers. If you’d like more information with examples of rail automation solutions, including service disruption and how the rail industry is tackling this hot trend, visit www.up3.co.uk/railpro and check out the content available. This article was written by Matthew Shears, founder and Commercial Director at UP3, a leading ServiceNow partner within the rail sector. For more information around how your business could benefit from automated workflows to optimise your customer experience, visit www.UP3.co.uk or contact rail@up3.co.uk Rail Professional




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Milestone shows major rail project is on right track A leading galvanizing business has reached a significant milestone as part of its work on one of the biggest rail projects in the UK


orksop Galvanizing is playing a key role in a major programme to upgrade the Midland Main Line, which runs from London to Sheffield. Huge sections of infrastructure used to support new electric cables are first being sent to the plant for the application of a protective coating. And the amount of the steel galvanized so far has now reached 3,000 tonnes. State-of-the-art facilities at the plant include the largest acid bath in the UK, which enables sections as long as 30 metres to be galvanized at once. Paul Robinson, Commercial Manager at Worksop Galvanizing, said: ‘The upgrade programme on the Midland Main Line is a massive scheme that includes the electrification from London to Corby with plans to extend further north. ‘We’ve been galvanizing sections of steelwork that will support the new cables for more than a year and have now reached a figure of 3,000 tonnes. ‘It’s a significant project that’s still ongoing and I believe we’re only roughly halfway through. ‘But we have some of the best facilities in the UK, including the largest bath in the country, and that means we’re able to turn around projects like this very quickly.’ Network Rail’s £500 million-plus upgrade and electrification programme is designed to reduce journey times and increase passenger capacity on the entire length of the line which bypasses Luton, Leicester, Derby and Nottingham. It includes the erection of 6,000 main steel components to support the overhead line equipment and current focus is on the section running from Bedford to Corby. Supporting infrastructure is being supplied by Adey Steel. Jim Hatherley, Head of Rail for Adey, said: ‘The vast majority of steelwork for rail projects is galvanized as it’s a process that massively extends the life expectancy of structures, ensures maintenance is minimised and provides significant protection in a high-impact environment. ‘We’ve provided around 95 per cent of the main steel for the Bedford to Corby section of the upgrade since it started in

November 2017 and the majority of that has gone through Worksop Galvanizing. ‘We expect to supply around 5,500 tonnes for this section in total and that could yet be extended, so it’s certainly a significant amount of work for them. But the plant has the largest bath in the UK so it has the ability to cope with such large-scale projects. ‘It also offers good rates, a quick turnaround and the level of customer service we want. They’ll go out of their way to accommodate our needs and are the kind of people who’ll do anything for you.’ The entire Midland Main Line improvement will include the electrification of 639 kilometres of single track, the modernisation of signalling systems and the expansion of platforms leading to the introduction of new trains with more carriages. The Bedford to Corby project scope is scheduled to be completed in 2023. Tel: 01902 601944 Email: info@wedge-galv.co.uk Visit: www.wedge-galv.co.uk

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Elite links up with new logistics partner One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of precast concrete has teamed up with a new logistics provider


lite Precast Concrete will work in partnership with flatbed haulage specialists Shropshire Express Deliveries to ensure its nationwide delivery operation runs like clockwork. The exclusive relationship will create a transport solution tailor-made for the precast concrete industry and underline Elite’s ethos of providing the highest levels of customer service. Owen Batham, Sales and Marketing Director of Elite Precast, said: ‘Our logistics operation is very important to us, so it was vital to find the right partners. ‘We wanted to build a long-term relationship with a company we can fully rely on and, in Shropshire Express Deliveries, I’m confident we’ve found just that. ‘They’ll provide a really cost-effective service carried out by experienced drivers in the highest standard of delivery vehicles. ‘But they also place great value on topquality customer care and that’s something we’re absolutely passionate about.’ Elite also works in partnership with logistics specialists Hallett Silbermann, based in Hertfordshire. The relationship enables the company to provide deliveries that are FORS Gold, Silver and Bronze compliant and that are approved for HS2, Crossrail, CLOCS and Tideway projects in London and the South East. The business, which operates from two factories in Telford, focuses on providing the best possible value within the precast industry. A uniquely lean business model enables it to drive down costs and pass savings directly on to customers. The company manufactures a vast range of semidry and wet-cast products for every sector

of UK industry and a portfolio that includes interlocking blocks, ballast blocks, safety/ security barriers, service protection and drainage products. The deal will also have significant implications for Shropshire Express Deliveries, according to owner and Director Neil Bennett. The company, also based in Telford, has taken on a string of new drivers as well as office staff as a direct result of the new partnership. It has brought in five new 44-tonne tractor units, together with trailers featuring side protection, to supplement its fleet of fully Euro 6 compliant vehicles. And it has installed a state-of-the-art booking and tracking system that enables the company to pick up Elite orders automatically. He said: ‘The new partnership is fantastic news for the company and a big step forward for us. It’s the biggest contract we’ve won since we launched the business six years ago and it’s a real vindication of how we operate. ‘We’re very much focused on quality of service and that was crucial to Elite, which insists on putting customers first.’

About Elite Precast Elite Precast Concrete is one of the leading precast concrete manufacturers in the UK. It supplies a wide range of industries including domestic and commercial construction, quarrying, the rail sector, waste recycling and waste-to-energy operations as well as temporary on-site works and in-site security. The company has major contracts with some of the biggest companies in the country. Tel: 01952 588885 Email: sales@eliteprecast.co.uk Visit: www.eliteprecast.co.uk


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A passion for safety 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 that one hundred years of operation, the company 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 team to listen and partner with customers to ensure Altro can continue to get its work right. Originally manufacturing for the construction sector, Altro has applied an 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 consists of three expertly engineered

products: • Altro Transflor Met™, a 2.5mm rail floor with custom design options • Altro Transflor Tungsten™, a 2mm acrylic rail floor and the lightest, safest EN45545-HL2 option on the market • Altro Transflor Motus™, a high performance HL-2 compliant rail floor available in 2mm and 2.5mm. New for 2020: Altro Transflor Motus Altro’s rail flooring portfolio covers a range of materials and compliance coverage and is delighted to add to this in 2020 with the launch of the high performance EN45545HL2 compliant product, Altro Transflor Motus™. This homogenous rubber product is available in 2mm and 2.5mm and features PUR enhanced formulation for easy cleaning which negates the need for any extra surface treatments or maintenance. Choose from twelve vibrant standard colours to create your ideal rail interior. Enhance installation efficiencies with Altro solutions Altro offer a range of solutions with its flooring products specifically aimed at making your life easier. Reduce waste with the kit cutting solution and receive your flooring pre-cut in smaller, safer rolls ready for installation. Save adhesive curing time and a minimum of 60 per cent adhesive weight with the self-adhesive solution: make your installation as easy as peeling, sticking, welding and walking. With no adhesive curing time, Altro’s self-adhesive solution

could be a real game-changer for your installation. For the future Altro’s overarching aim is to partner globally with leading rail operators and manufacturers to help create environments across the globe, for both passengers and staff, which are inviting, safe, and compliant. The company will achieve this by continuing to develop industry-leading rail flooring products with the user in mind, so that the products make a positive impact on both passenger and employee experience with ease of cleaning and great safety credentials. Altro will expand its EN45545compliant offering, while continuing to offer rail flooring products with easy maintenance and reliable slip resistance. Keep an ear out throughout 2020 to stay up to date with all Altro’s exciting new developments! Tel: 01462 707700 Email: transportenquiries@altro.com Visit: www.altro.com Rail Professional

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Station illumination Goodlight and NeuxPark light up four major international railway station car parks with 3,000 LED luminaires


euxPark has completed a major Goodlight LED project to refit the lighting in four international railway station car parks in the South of England with long life, energy efficient LED lamps and luminaires from the Goodlight range. 3,000 LED luminaires including 400 emergency kits were installed in multistorey and open car parks across these sites, providing the car park owners with up to 80 per cent energy savings. NeuxPark is a specialist contractor providing bespoke products and niche projects in the commercial and industrial sectors, who have a vast amount of experience within the rail sector, so welcomed this opportunity. NeuxPark was commissioned to replace the outdated fluorescent and metal halide luminaires in the car parks at St Pancras, Ebbsfleet, Stratford and Ashford, with a total capacity of up to 8,000 spaces. The new luminaires reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint as well as providing brighter illumination for increased safety and security. The operators of the car parks sought longer lasting lights to reduce the frequency of replacement thus eliminating maintenance costs. Commenting on the project, Richard Jenkins, Technical Director at NeuxPark said, ‘Knowing the client’s requirements within the rail industry, the Goodlight LED

luminaires and lamps were the ideal solution to address the client’s stringent security and safety specifications. It was at the forefront of the clients specification to deliver the following end result – reduced carbon footprint, lower energy consumption, commercial cost reduction, safer working

and public environments, zero maintenance cost, quality well-built products, increased lumen output and enhanced lux levels for this high risk environment. The Goodlight LED products met every requirement and together Goodlight and NeuxPark delivered an exceptional end result.’ NeuxPark, an approved partner for Goodlight, installed a selection of Goodlight LED lights which supports a five-year guarantee and a specified 50,000-hour lifespan. These included G360 LED SON Lamps (Daylight and Natural) in 20W, 30W and 60W which deliver a high lumen output of 140Lm/W brightness from its 360° beam angle. Due to its advanced cooling system, the G360 LED chips can be run up to 30 per cent brighter, which is perfect for a car park environment. Also specified were T8 LED Tubes (Natural) in 5ft 25W that achieve up to an impressive 120Lm/W brightness. These were the perfect replacement for the standard fluorescent fittings in the car parks as they are robust, impact resistant and glass-free. The T8 LED Tubes easily retrofit into existing lamp fittings and operate independently of external control gear. Once installed, they deliver a superb even light spread with no shadowing. Eco LED Battens were also chosen (Natural) Rail Professional

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in 5ft 50W together with Emergency SelfTest versions, delivering up to 110Lm/W. They are ultra-reliable and designed to replace outdated fluorescent fixtures with brighter, more energy efficient LED battens. In addition, 120W GX1 LED Low Bays (Daylight) were selected, delivering a bright output of 110Lm/W. These new Goodlight LED light fittings are glass-free and were direct replacements for the standard SON lamps and fluorescent tubes that were in situ across the four car parks. ‘The installation procedure varied from each site dependant on the existing electrical infrastructure’ explained Richard Jenkins. There was a variation of retrospective modifications and luminaire replacements across the four sites, all would require wiring and containment modifications and technical implications to be taken into consideration. ‘We have worked with Goodlight on many successful projects in the commercial sector and we are very familiar with their products which helped simplify the installation process.’

He continued, ‘At one of the sites, we were tasked with installing the Goodlight GX1 LED Low Bays on 22 16-metre-high mast lighting columns which required bespoke bracketry to be designed and manufactured. High level access requirements and the use of a custombuilt rise and lowering power tool were also required to carry out our installation process. This was a challenging project, but we delivered on time and all car parks are fully commissioned, tested and certified.’ Saima Shafi, Sales and Marketing Director at Goodlight commented, ‘Our LED lighting technology offers car park owners more efficient light at a lower cost. The LED lamps and luminaires reach full brightness instantly and are virtually maintenance free with no ballasts or starters needed. This is especially beneficial in external areas, such as in car parks, where the environment is harsher and light fittings may be hard to access. Our products are already specified in exterior installations including London Underground, Liverpool Street Station and a major supermarket chain’s car park.’


Whilst the financial gains and environmental reasons for making the switch to energy efficient LED lighting are clear, as importantly, it is as essential to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the users. About LED Eco Lights Founded in 2006, LED Eco Lights celebrates 13 years as an award-winning LED lighting and wireless lighting controls manufacturer. Their Goodlight™ range of LED lamps and luminaires are recognised as the most reliable, bright LED lights on the market, suitable for commercial, industrial, amenity, leisure and hospitality environments. Goodlight LED luminaires are compatible with Light Boss Wireless Lighting Control for the ultimate energy efficiency. Light Boss, a wireless lighting control system that automates a building’s lighting, was launched in 2018 and is triggered by occupancy or daylight. It dims down the lighting when an area is unoccupied, or when it detects enough natural light and turns it back on wherever it is required, reducing energy consumption and delivering light where it is needed. Light Boss reports on energy consumption, monitors LED and emergency lighting and connects to other building services wirelessly. Suitable for existing and new buildings. Goodlight Tel: 01276 691230 Visit: www.goodlight.co.uk www.lightboss.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




Keeping your workplace safe The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) believes in providing the best training, guidance and support to equip your staff with the knowledge and competencies they need and make your workplace a safer and healthier place


o achieve this, IOSH works with more than 47,000 members across 130 countries acting as a champion, adviser, advocate and trainer for employers and employees working in organisations of all shapes and sizes. Founded in 1945, IOSH is a registered charity with international NGO status providing world-leading professional development programmes, events, and up-to-date technical advice: making it a hallmark of professional excellence in workplace safety and health. Over the past 75 years, our Chartered members have seen the ground-breaking work we do to educate OSH individuals worldwide. As a charity, we also campaign on important work-related safety and health issues, including ways of preventing illhealth caused by work. IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign tackling exposures to occupational carcinogens was presented by invitation to key UN agencies recently following five years of growing support and successful launches with foreign partners in Australia, Canada and Malaysia in 2019. There are many factors influencing change within the OSH industry, including increased business complexity, technology, and constantly evolving business processes. Due to this, IOSH have updated it competency framework. New to 2020 the framework is comprised of Behavioural, Core and Technical competence following a in depth, evidenceled research project. As a result, IOSH have broken these three categories into twelve areas, with a total of 69 competencies, that the OSH professional needs to demonstrate. In addition to the launch, IOSH have released Blueprint 2.0, a new CPD scheme, new technical guides and a free Career Hub for members, with access to thousands of learning resources and career planning tools. IOSH Training and Skills products and other IOSH-approved courses provide valuable knowledge, skills and qualifications for members and their colleagues. With accredited courses spanning across Core Skills, Management Education, Executive Education and Professional Development, delegates can be assured they are in safe hands. IOSH connects its members to likeminded professionals giving them access to regional and industry-specific groups and

networks. This unique opportunity gives members the opportunity to share, insights, ideas and experiences. The Institution unites 18 industryspecific groups with over 40 branches and districts, which are supported and driven by a group of member volunteers. Our network of branches, strengthen the relationship between IOSH and the global health and safety community at a local level, ensuring that we work collaboratively with members to ensure OSH needs are met. To stay connected, members benefit from a range of resources including conferences, webinars, IOSH Magazine and IOSH Connect. IOSH recognise the risks posed to the OSH profession and as a result, launched its five-year strategy, WORK 2022. This sets out IOSH’s vision and defines the steps that need to take. WORK 2022 sets out the steps to reduce the human cost of failures to protect people at work and support business in shaping safe work environments. IOSH has an unwavering dedication to its members which is proven through the hard work that takes place under the IOSH Benevolent Fund. The fund offers practical assistance to members who are experiencing hardship. The fund offers practical help, including education or training fees, during long periods of illness, disability (temporary or permanent) or unemployment.

Moving forward into 2020, IOSH has an array of exciting announcements, to ensure you don’t miss them and to find out more visit the website at www.iosh.com. To find out more about IOSH including membership enquiries contact us via the information below and to stay up to date on events, news and much more follow our social media accounts listed below. Tel: 0116 257 3198 Email: courses@iosh.com. Visit: www.iosh.com.

Rail Professional



Lighting up Crossrail With its appointment to Europe’s largest infrastructure project, Crossrail, 2015 saw FUTURE Designs expand into the transportation market


UTURE Designs was approached by Crossrail to review the design of specific luminaires, that at the time proved to be a challenge to other lighting manufacturers in delivering a viable solution. In response FUTURE Designs created key elements of the LED lighting solution for the scheme, providing bespoke, purpose made luminaires for this subterranean infrastructure. The use of LED exclusively will ultimately reduce energy consumption and maintenance, leading to a reduction in whole-life cost for the project. Crossrail’s Elizabeth line is a £14.8 billion venture that will see a new railway for London and the South East with 42 kilometres of new tunnels connecting the East to the West. The new service will speed up journey times, increase central London’s capacity by ten per cent and bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London. The lighting concept for the station concourse areas, escalator tunnels and platforms was to emphasise the spatial

envelope rather than draw attention to the luminaires themselves. As a result, the concept uses the light-grey, matt-textured, glass-reinforced concrete lining of the station and escalator tunnels to reflect light onto the passenger areas, to create a sense of spaciousness within the underground environment whilst still providing excellent visual comfort for passengers passing through the space. The ground-breaking approach by Crossrail presented one key difficulty; very few existing suitable LED fittings met Crossrail’s specific requirements. In response to this, and with a reputation for innovation, FUTURE Designs created new products: IKON, IKON EMERGENCY and PLINTH. IKON is positioned on top of wayfinding totems creating a focal element within the station, making it easy for passengers to navigate through the station; IKON EMERGENCY is seamlessly integrated within the vertical faces of the totems to guide Crossrail passengers to safety; and PLINTH is located within the

deck area between individual escalators, providing glare free illumination to the area through the use of specially designed bespoke diffusers which eliminate glare to passengers using the escalators in both directions. All have been developed specifically for Crossrail, addressing the technological difficulties presented with the design brief for this challenging environment. IKON was recently recognised at the LUX Awards where FUTURE Designs recently won the Industrial and Transport Lighting Project of the Year. Leon Ellis, Technical Director, FUTURE Designs said: ‘This award recognises over three years of research and development by FUTURE Designs to take the original concept to functionality and reality. We are delighted to have been involved in such a prestigious project which strengthens the FUTURE Designs brand. Our clients and potential clients will be more aware of our abilities to deliver bespoke luminaires to this type of project and we also expect that off the back of this we will be considered serious contenders for other rail projects of this magnitude.’ Supported by a carefully managed programme of research and development, FUTURE Designs is committed to the very best in lighting solutions from concept through to installation and after sales service. Established in 1991, FUTURE Designs is an internationally acclaimed designer and manufacturer of best quality luminaires and bespoke lighting solutions for all sectors including property, construction and infrastructure. It currently delivers and services its products throughout Europe and the Middle East. Tel: 01732867420 Email: light@futuredesigns.co.uk Visit: https://www.futuredesigns.co.uk

Rail Professional





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transport and build in minutes Forma-Stor is the new quick-assembly, modular solution for trackside and station secure storage. We’ve come up with a walk-in vault that can be quickly transported without a HIAB and easily set up anywhere on-site - preventing delay minutes, requirements for possessions, stoppages in work and associated costs.

ticks the box for... • Trackside, stations and depots • Flat-packed for easy transportation and minimal cost • 5-lever deadlocks and jemmy-proof joins






For more details about the Armorgard Forma-Stor range or to find your nearest distributor contact Jasmin Walsh on 023 9238 0280



Innovative maintenance kit Majorlift, a relatively new name in rail, provides kit to assist in maintenance operations – such as the removal and refitting of couplings, air-conditioning units, braking components and alternators in rail yards across the country


ail is well served with heavy duty lifting equipment – lifting entire locomotives or carriages is commonplace and done quickly and safely, but it is the smaller items which can prove challenging. One product that is already selling well is Majorlift’s ‘Rail Pit Jack’ featuring an extending, three-stage ram with a one tonne lifting capacity. The jack can be rolled along the floor of the pit and then locked in position. The ram can then be slid across the top of the frame to access all points above the full width of the pit and be raised under the component to be removed or refitted. The ‘tilt and turn’ head makes for easy alignment while the load is secured safely. Because of the modular design, it can be lifted out of the pit at the end of the job, or just be closed up and wheeled out of the way at the end of the pit to wait for the next job. Another feature is that the same tool can be used for lifting many different assemblies – it might need a specialist cradle to go on the head, but the base unit can be used, making it a very cost-effective solution for infrequent servicing jobs. Majorlift’s Managing Director, Tristram Southgate, said: ‘We are being contacted by more Health & Safety professionals within the rail industry, who have been charged with finding safe methods of work for maintenance tasks such as removing brake actuators or parts of the transmission. We can use our experience from automotive to respond quickly to produce equipment to suit. Because we are using proven

Outside their traditional markets, Majorlift might be a new brand, but some big names rely on their products – every AA & RAC patrol van has a Majorlift trolley jack on board for roadside assistance and SKF use a specialist pump for fitting marine bearings

technology, the risk is much lower and so too is the unit cost – often we can use components that are already in stock or manufacture to keep the cost down. We can also CE mark these products and they are manufactured under our ISO9001:2015 Quality Assurance system, which gives new customers confidence in what we are doing.’ Majorlift has been in business since the early 1970s and owns its own 30,000 square

foot factory near Bristol and operates CNC machinery, including two robotic welding cells. By turning and milling steel from billet to make components such as hydraulic rams and pistons that you might expect would be bought in by now, they can ensure that product is made to specification. Tristram explains: ‘It’s all about control and safety – we need to know that the operator, working under a vehicle, using our Rail Professional



see in rail maintenance, Tristram replied: ‘If there’s one thing I could change, it would be to see all new inspection pits fitted with a tool rail. This might seem a bit odd, given that the permanent way is all about rails, but it would mean that servicing equipment could be easily moved around under rolling stock with the bogies still in place. A lot of our design work is about overcoming this issue. In road vehicle inspection pits, it’s common place to have a pit jack rail and it is quick and inexpensive to fit when the pit is going in and makes for much more flexibility later on. Jobs such as removing couplings can be quickly completed, without working out a way of bridging the pit to support the load.’ Majorlift are exhibiting at Rail Live in June 2020, where it will be bringing the Rail Pit Jack, the R8250 and the turnbuckle. The company will be pleased to talk to potential customers, without obligation, beforehand. Tel: 01454 299299 Email: sales @majorlift.com Visit: www.majorlift.com equipment is going to be safe. If we have bought the raw material and controlled it all the way through the manufacturing cycle, then we know that it will work reliably. We even have our spraying facilities so, although our house colour is signal yellow, we can spray it any colour the customer wants at no additional cost.’ Outside their traditional markets, Majorlift might be a new brand, but some big names rely on their products – every AA & RAC patrol van has a Majorlift trolley jack on board for roadside assistance and SKF use a specialist pump for fitting marine bearings. Majorlift exhibited at Railtex in May 2019, at the NEC in Birmingham with its R8250 Brake Actuator removal tool causing a lot of interest. The tool is designed to securely hold the actuator while it is removed from – or refitted to – the bogie. A simple carriage allows the tool to bridge the pit and allow the operators to work safely, without fear that their fingers are going to become smashed against the running line. This is one example of the work that Majorlift is being asked to review and a good example of the rugged, safe and costeffective solution that the company is able to offer. Having its own, in-house design team, means that solutions can be rapidly developed and standard parts are used wherever possible. Within rail, companies like Siemens, Freightliner and GWR have become customers for Majorlift’s range of rail jacks and some other specialist equipment, such as the turnbuckle, used on class 150 and the new Final Drive support, which has been developed for the class 143. Although a simple product, the turnbuckle needed to be certified to a specific load and Majorlift were able to arrange this at a reasonable cost. When asked what change he’d like to Rail Professional



The role of DC-DC converters in vehicles of the future DC-DC converters contribute to intelligent transportation which relies on efficient battery management systems


ntelligent transportation goes deeper than the typical image of autonomous vehicles, detecting and evading obstacles, or navigating the best routes around a busy area. The future of vehicles on our roads includes electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid EVs (HEVs), and for these vehicles, which rely on battery power for propulsion, intelligent power management is critical. An effective battery management system (BMS) in an HEV or EV is comprised of circuits that monitor battery charging and discharging and also the communications with other in-vehicle systems for driver assistance and passenger safety functions. The BMS is responsible for the reliability, longevity and protection of the car’s battery supply. It monitors the state of the battery (e.g. its function, charge and capacity states), controls and balances the battery to prevent over-charging and communicates primary and secondary battery data to other in-vehicle systems, such as controlled area network (CAN) communications and engine control systems (ECS), as shown in Figure 1. In other words, the BMS performs a vital function in intelligent transportation – if it fails, not only is the vehicle in danger, but so are its passengers and those nearby. Intelligent transportation modules design When designing the circuitry for the various systems involved in an intelligent BMS,

it is important to consider the operating temperature range in which it will operate, in accordance with automotive applications. Engineers should also consider the battery management system’s compatibility with standard current and voltage requirements. The high isolation voltage and protection against potential problems such as short circuits should also be factored in. The BMS must also be reliable and highly efficient to ensure optimal efficiency of the whole vehicle system. It should also be approved to AEC-Q100 and be IATF16949compliant. Further constraints are placed on the engineer by the fact that the vehicle is weight- and space-constrained. The engineer is therefore typically looking for compact designs that are compatible with standard pinouts. DC-DC converters in automotive design The circuitry components in a standard BMS include DC-DC converters. The CF0505XT series of AEC-Q100-approved DC-DC converters from Mornsun are ideal for

various intelligent automotive applications, including BMS (Figure 2). The compact DC-DC converters have a wide operating temperature range of -40oC to 105oC and are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of automotive applications. They are fully IATF16949-compliant and provide continuous self-recovery shortcircuit protection. Isolation voltage is 3,500VDC and the DC-DC converters operate at an average efficiency of 88 per cent. Finally, the CF0505XT DC-DC converters feature an SMD design and an international standard pin-out for ease of integration in the often confined areas of EV/HEVs. In addition to BMS, the DC-DC converters can be used in motor vehicle communication system controllers, engine control systems (ECS), ignition systems, motor voltage monitoring and tyre pressure detection systems – all critical aspects of intelligent transportation involving EV/ HEVs. The CF0505XT DC-DC converters are available from Relec Electronics. Relec is a specialist in power conversion and display products, representing leading brand names including Mornsun in power conversion alongside Bel Power, Chinfa, Cotek and Premium with key display partners, Digiwise and RockTouch. Relec’s team of specialist advisers can refine an initial specification for a given application to include bespoke features to meet the needs of a particular project. Tel: 01929 555700 Email: sales@relec.co.uk Visit: www.relec.co.uk Rail Professional



Managing risk for the digital railway As the rail industry moves to a more digital-forward system, RSA brings the insurance flexibility required to meet changing business needs


he UK rail network is under pressure, and there’s a real need to increase capacity as population growth, urbanisation and climate change begin to have a fundamental effect on transport systems and how they are managed. An outdated infrastructure is often full at peak times, putting pressures on performance and timetables. This undermines the customer experience and prevents operators from achieving their performance goals. There’s little room for error, with a ten-minute morning rush-hour delay at Cheltenham, for example, having a major knock-on effect over a large part of the network, including Scotland, over the next 18 hours. At the same time, lack of capacity impairs the ability of the rail freight industry to deliver to potential and position itself as a viable, safe and clean alternative to HGV transportation. Increasingly, the industry is turning to digital technology to address and overcome the challenges, supporting rail delivery systems in diverse ways: • Business systems include rostering, timetabling, passenger services and information, telecommunications, ticketing and revenue.

• Operational systems include the control of network infrastructure and rolling stock, train movements, signalling, power, telecommunications, and station management. As is being seen in other industries globally, digital transformation is driving convergence of these systems, with information more consistent and available in real-time, increasing performance and efficiency, and reducing costs. All helping to create a rail experience that delivers for leisure and business travellers, and for freight distributors. Inevitably, the changes have implications for the way operators insure these businesses. At RSA, we help our customers address new and emerging risks as well as existing challenges. Partners from the start, we intelligently share our expertise and broader insurance data to devise innovative and pragmatic solutions so that whatever happens, our customers are well prepared. So how is the industry changing? Understanding and responding to customer needs Creating a positive passenger experience is central to a successful rail service.

Passengers want convenience, comfort, speed and punctuality. They want to feel safe and have the reassurance that they’ll get to where they need to be, on time and with no delays. Increasingly, they want a personalised, integrated experience that goes beyond the journey itself. One that they can control from mobile devices. Rail systems need to be aligned with other forms of transport to provide an end-to-end hassle-free journey with real-time information and seamless connections. Big data and the Internet of Things are enabling truly integrated and inter-modal transport solutions, where smart technology provides travellers with the information and services they demand, offering the potential for interoperable tickets valid for trains, buses, car-sharing schemes and bicycles to provide a seamless travel experience. Adding digital capabilities has huge advantages for operators and user expectations, but it presents challenges around management and business processes and protection. Connectivity means vulnerability, with infected malware Rail Professional



potentially threatening network operations. It also means that failure of just one element, not necessarily cybersecurityrelated, can have a huge knock-on effect. Stations, reliant on digital information boards and ticketing systems, face huge disruptions that affect the wider infrastructure when these systems fail. In Sweden in 2017, for instance, cyber-attacks brought down the IT system that managed train orders and caused significant delays. Realigning the physical network for the digital world In response to changing expectations and technology innovation, the industry is benefiting from advanced digital capabilities. Though the fully digitised signalling systems are perceived as new technology, the original system is over 30 years old. The digital railway is central to increasing the capacity of a congested railway system, helping to increase the number of trains that can be run without having to build additional lines. The European Train Control System incab signalling, as an example, has helped increase network capacity under Network Rail’s Digital Railway programme. These signalling advances move conventional signalling forward, enabling trains to run closer together and faster. It removes the need to recognise coloured signals trackside and moves the technology into train cabs, giving drivers and operators location, speed and fault information relating to every train on the network in real time. As just one example, the European Rail Traffic Management System has allowed for the London Underground’s Victoria Line to run at 90 second intervals. A digitally-powered system helps to address many of the challenges the industry faces, helping more trains to run, more quickly, safely and cost-effectively. Services become more reliable, with fewer issues. Where, currently, a problem in one area can impact the entire network, a digital infrastructure helps to mitigate the risks and maintain service efficiency and reliability. This also marks a positive step towards the use of fully automated trains. Adapting rail industry insurance to meet changing needs Though the digital railway is an inevitable and positive progression, it introduces new risks to stakeholders. Software and communication systems become central to the efficient running of the network, but they are also vulnerable to cyber-attacks. These include the digital systems that are at the heart of business and operational systems, along with the sensitive data these networks transfer. There are also the systems that deliver operational functions like signalling, power, rolling stock and customer communications. Actively managing and controlling the risks has a direct and significant impact on the insurance premiums paid by rail Rail Professional

operators. But achieving this demands an in-depth understanding of these risks and how they’re evolving alongside the industry itself. From an insurance perspective, this means looking at the technology, products and services that will help to prevent these risks from materialising, taking a proactive approach in order to help customers mitigate the risks. Insuring the world’s leading railway companies RSA has had involvement with three of the top five railway companies in the world, providing cover for over 65 clients across 20 countries. Whether our customers are building and maintaining trains, operating or financing passenger and freight services or keeping the network running, we take the time to understand their challenges and their priorities. This is fundamental to providing the right cover and capacity with the capability to create bespoke, flexible solutions, identifying any gaps in cover that could leave a business exposed. Insurance plays a significant role in

any solution as it can provide immediate and relevant responses in the event of an incident and give access to wider services including IT forensics, legal services, incident management and communication specialists. At the same time, insurance teams have the experience and specialist expertise to work with clients to provide preventative risk management services. This approach helps to inform exposures and improves disaster recovery and communications plans, which are critical for the protection of a client’s reputation and business operations in the event of a cyber security breach or failure in any part of the digital ecosystem. With a broad appetite for risk, an innovative approach and substantial rail industry experience, RSA is a partner you can depend on in this changing industry. Helping our customers face the digital future of rail and guide the way through the emerging risks. To learn more about RSA and our rail capabilities, visit rsagroup.com/rail

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Empowering the supply chain through RISQS RISQS is the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme, and helps buyers get the assurance they need that suppliers are capable and qualified to work in rail


he global rail business is worth £130 billion a year, representing significant spend in both private and public sectors for sustainable transport solutions. In the UK alone, the next five years will see £42 billion of investment on the mainline railway through Network Rail. Other agencies are also spending, with TfL committing to £7.5 billion capital investment over the same period. To ensure this money is spent wisely and efficiently, buyers need to have confidence in their suppliers to deliver what they need safely and reliably. Britain’s railway remains one of the safest in the world. Ensuring that track record is maintained requires industry to manage the risk in the supply chain. RISQS helps the UK rail supply chain do this, by contributing to the assurance that buyers need. The scheme helps provide evidence that suppliers are suitably competent, adequately resourced and

can deliver their products to the right specification. So how does it work? Suppliers register their details on the portal along with the products and services they provide. Some products require a straightforward verification provided via the portal – for example, uploading a relevant certificate or documentation. Higher risk products prompt an audit by an official RISQS auditor, who can provide independent assurance that the relevant services are provided reliably and safely. Buyers can then search the portal to identify appropriate suppliers, knowing that their credentials have been verified and proven through the RISQS scheme. RISQS is managed by RSSB to ensure it remains an independent industry scheme, working in the interests of safety. RSSB provides oversight, coordination and a team of dedicated specialists to manage

the necessary industry interfaces, service provider delivery and coordination, and ongoing system improvements. The benefits are significant Both buyers and suppliers save time and money by avoiding duplicate audits as RISQS provides independent qualification through a trusted source. Buyers can understand the capability of their suppliers better and use the RISQS portal to identify and reach suitable suppliers, while demonstrating compliance with procurement regulations. For suppliers, RISQS provides an official industry mechanism to be visible and credible in the marketplace. Network Rail and Transport for London both use RISQS to find the suppliers they need. Other major tier one suppliers then also use RISQS as buyers with their own suppliers meaning more and more companies benefit from a reduced cost burden and effort in managing supply chain risk. Rail Professional



through the on-line benchmarking tool. This provides a measure of suppliers’ maturity, showing how they compare to others on performance against key criteria, based on information acquired through the verification process. Buyers will be able to see the benchmarking results for the companies they shortlist to aid decision making. Suppliers will be able to see their own results, allowing them to measure their performance against their peers. They can then focus their efforts on improving areas of lower maturity, driving up standards across the supply chain. The tool has been developed as part of RSSB’s programme to further improve RISQS for the scheme members’ benefit. It follows industry consultation, with buyers and suppliers. This will help to raise the bar and ensure that suppliers fulfil the Government’s commitment to make this a year of action on rail.

RSSB has a positive track record in bringing industry together to solve complex issues and provide the space for collaboration leading to improvements for the whole sector. RISQS is another example of that model in action. And what’s more, the scheme, like everything else RSSB does, is an authentic rail industry scheme. In May 2019, the price of membership and audits for suppliers was reduced, and the scheme continues to build on an ambitious programme of improvements. Overall, the scheme services are costing members about 20 per cent less in real terms since RSSB took over the governance of RISQS in 2012.

A new benchmarking tool Buyers in the rail industry can now compare suppliers’ capabilities using a new benchmarking tool in the RISQS portal. With Network Rail and Transport for London set to unlock £50 billion of investment over the next five years, there is a clear opportunity for suppliers to aim high. Buyers will be looking to work with the best suppliers to improve the railway for passengers and freight customers. RISQS is now offering suppliers the chance to stand out from the competition

Improving supplier assurance Another benefit of an industry-backed scheme like RISQS is that it won’t stand still. Instead, continuous improvements are being built to ensure it moves with the times and continues to meet industry needs. A new audit reporting tool is being developed to make it easier for buyers to review outputs through the portal. In another improvement suppliers will soon be able to select the buyers that they work for, or who they aspire to work for, via the portal. This will enhance the visibility of suppliers to buyers, as well as allowing buyers to add specific questions relevant to their specific requirements. It will also demonstrate how cost-effective the scheme is to the marketplace where suppliers work for more than one buyer. Beyond RISQS, RSSB is developing a range of new products and services designed to support supplier assurance. These will integrate into a unified supplier assurance programme, which will also feature RISQS’s sister scheme RISAS (the Railway Industry Supplier Approval Scheme) which focuses on high-risk, critical product and service accreditation. The ambition is to continue to empower the supply chain – much of which is SMEs – with the right tools so they can do business with the railway. All in all, there’s plenty to be excited about if you’re in the railway marketplace. Companies who buy, supply or who are considering future involvement in the rail market should consider joining RISQS.

Tel: 0800 4101 300 Email: info@risqs.org Visit: www.risqs.org Rail Professional



Leading and supporting businesses through transformational change Andy Lawrence, Business Development Manager Rail Sector at TVS Supply Chain Solutions, explains how TVS views transformational change


any successful companies and organisations have reached a point in their development when they have come to a crossroads. They can either carry on doing the same thing, being successful while watching their competition catch up, or even surpass them, or they can take a bold step to reinvent themselves. There are some classic examples of major brands which took courageous decisions and embraced transformational change to redefine themselves and their fortunes – IBM for example who moved from manufacturing mainframe computers to now being the world’s leading cloud based technology solution provider. While others either didn’t see the opportunity or were unwilling to embrace transformational change and were left behind. The word ‘transformation’ usually strikes a degree of fear into the minds of anyone who has ever worked in an organisation in any industry sector. It raises concerns of grand, large-scale disruptive projects that often cause a degree of pain before they deliver any noticeable improvement. It does not need to be so. Having a clear vision of the end-state or ‘transformation’ that you require to achieve is key. Easy, right? Some organisations can see the opportunity but haven’t got the expertise or the resources in-house to realise the benefit, some cannot divert the necessary attention away from the core business, and some haven’t identified it yet. TVS can support an organisation to identify the steps needed to drive value from the supply chain. It can include reducing ‘touch-points’ in the supply chain, optimising inventories to remove waste and taking cost out of product through strategic purchasing; while all the time ensuring high availability and uncompromising quality. TVS provides practical and experienced

support to develop the steps needed to implement, embed and then drive continuous improvement in the supply chain either as an outsourced service provider or as an integral part of your existing team. The company can tailor each of its solutions to meet your specific requirement. Transformation in progress TVS is currently underway with delivering the transformation of Network Rail’s supply chain for its Indirect Infrastructure Materials and Consumables. Network Rail had identified its ideal end-state, which was to deliver supply chain efficiency and improved availability of products. In recognition that Network Rail needed support to make the end state work to its

fullest potential, TVS was appointed to work alongside Network Rail in providing an improved demand management system and supplier management process. TVS is deploying its Msys Information Technology System and can conduct localised Demand Forecasting Planning and Direct to Site deliveries to ensure that the right product is available where and when it is needed. This capability enables optimised cash flow and service levels, where critical rail-side spares and consumables are required. TVS has helped a number of large multi-national companies transform their business, starting with creating the necessary visibility of the end-to-end supply chain. By collating data at every stage, TVS Rail Professional

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can diagnose blockages and inefficiencies and then work collaboratively with the client to develop a risk-managed transformation programme which drives value, improves performance and reduces cost. The UK Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) has recently taken a transformational journey in respect of the sourcing, inventory management, warehousing and transport under a Logistics, Commodities and Services (Transformation) contract. TVS’ role, as a subcontractor to Leidos Europe, provides for the Data management, Inventory management and procurement of c: 130,000 Nato Stock numbers spanning a wide range of categories. DE&S recognised that to keep pace with political and social demands on military funding; best value could be achieved through outsourcing procurement, inventory management and supply chain logistics. The project began with a three year initial Transformation Phase, which included the

development, testing and roll out of TVS’ propriety Information System, Msys. During the transformation phase, TVS has played a key part in improving the availability of products by 27 per cent and delivered savings of over £12 million through strategic purchasing activity. As the roll out of the IT solution is now complete, the potential to realise further savings is possible through a fully automated demand management process. Post Transformation, TVS continues to work as part of Team Leidos to ensure service levels and demand forecasting and planning continue to deliver year on year savings through Continuous Improvement activities. An evolving process With the ability to capture and analyse data at every stage of the supply chain, TVS can work with customers to identify pain points, priorities and improvement opportunities within the as-is supply chain. TVS takes a diagnostic approach


to understand each of our customers’ organisations from our perspective as a procurement and supply chain expert. We work across a number of industry sectors where synergies exist, predominantly in engineering and automotive spares; Rail, Defence, Utilities and Beverage have similar requirements from their supply chains. Through collaborative workshops, best practice sharing and innovation development TVS will design a solution that draws together the elements of support that is specific to your organisation. The modular Information System can be deployed to deliver targeted support as and where it is needed. Transformation is an evolving process; if you stop transforming, you fall behind. TVS continuously evaluates its performance through the use of Business Data Analytics which is integral to the Msys system. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) capability, Msys. BDA can learn more about your organisation through the collation of demand data. With this heightened level of information, TVS can make ongoing recommendations for step change improvements to service provision and the product range throughout the duration of the service provision. Making recommendations on procurement capacity As an expert practitioner of procurement, supply chain and logistics services trusted as an outsourced service partner to some of the largest organisations in the UK across the defence, automotive, utilities, beverage and rail sectors TVS has developed an enviable reputation as a business that can successfully lead and support an organisation through transformational change. Taking into consideration the desired outcome required, the markets in which their customers operate, they provide the tools, knowledge and skills that are needed to deliver quantifiable results. Plans for the future Delivering transformational change doesn’t stop. TVS has a strong track record of continuing to innovate inside a contract, rather than just managing business as usual, by introducing new ways of working, new needed activity and bolting on additional services and processes to deliver both cost reduction and service improvements. TVS’ solutions are not off the shelf, but adaptable to suit customer’s requirements, allowing the transformation process to evolve continually. TVS will continue to deliver transformational change to all of its customers and for new clients establishing itself as an innovator and disrupter within the rail sector. Tel: 07342 999504 Email: andy.lawrence@tvsscs.com Visit: www.tvsscs.com Rail Professional

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Noise from construction and maintenance works – benefits of a Section 61 consent ACCON UK is an independent consultancy that specialises in noise and vibration, air quality and other environmental disciplines


CCON UK and its principal noise experts Steve Summers and Graham Parry have been involved with noise and vibration issues on many significant railway projects, including Crossrail and HS2 (See Business Profile April 2016, Rail Professional). Management of noise from railway construction and maintenance work is important for many contracts. One of the services ACCON offers is predicting noise from construction works and preparation of Section 61 applications. Assessing the expected levels of noise is often required when works will be carried out in close proximity to residential properties, especially where there is potential for noise disturbance at night. The calculated levels of noise and vibration form the key part of a Section 61 application under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, along with details of methods that will be adopted to control noise disturbance. The Control of Pollution Act 1974 (COPA) provides regulatory powers for controlling noise and vibration, among other environmental impacts. Under Section 61 of COPA, an application may be made to the local planning authority for ‘prior consent’ for construction work. Once approved, this is known as a Section 61 consent. A Section 61 application sets out various details of the proposed works including the working hours, programme of works, plant and machinery to be used and the predicted levels of noise and vibration at sensitive property locations. The application must also explain the methods, or ‘Best Practicable Means’, that will be employed to minimise noise, and where relevant, vibration. Why apply for S61 Consent? The advantages of obtaining S61 consent are most clearly illustrated by considering the powers a local authority has in the case where a prior consent under S61 has not

been obtained. Section 60 of COPA provides a legal mechanism for a local authority to impose controls on construction noise emanating from a site, before or after works have started. If noise impacts from construction work are deemed unacceptable by the local authority, for example following complaints, the works may be subject to a Section 60 notice. The notice can impose fines and in extreme cases an injunction or ‘stop notice’ may prevent work from taking place. Obtaining S61 consent provides the clear advantage of significantly reducing the likelihood of a Section 60 notice being served. It would be very unlikely for a Section 60 notice to be served if the works are managed to remain in compliance with

the Section 61 consent. The S61 consent also provides some degree of protection against local authority action under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act or private action under Section 82 of this Act. The Section 61 prior consent process also has the advantage of obtaining the buy-in of the local authority to the agreed construction methodology and sets a framework by which any public complaints will be dealt with. Often any initial complaint investigation is the responsibility of the organisation carrying out the works, rather than the local authority. Because obtaining a Section 61 involves defining the construction programme and plant up front and the associated noise Rail Professional



levels, this places the company managing the works in the driving seat, and so minimises the potential of claims from contractors for additional costs. This generally results in a greater likelihood of the programme of works running to time and budget. Best practicable means A Section 61 application should demonstrate to the satisfaction of the local authority that appropriate measures will be taken to minimise noise, complying with the definition of ‘best practicable means’ (BPM). The definition of BPM is set out in Section 72 of COPA. ‘Practicable’ is defined as ‘reasonably practicable having regard among other things to… the current state of technical knowledge and to the financial implications’. COPA states that the ‘means to be employed include the design, installation, maintenance and manner and periods of operation of plant and machinery, and the design, construction and maintenance of buildings and acoustic structures’. The definition of BPM acknowledges that mitigation measures must be compatible with any duties imposed by law, including relevant health and safety requirements. In practice, the concept of BPM attempts to strike a balance between the contract works proceeding unhindered, with the need to take reasonable care to mitigate the potential impacts of noise and vibration on residents. Importantly, BPM does not mean ‘gold plating’ the degree of noise mitigation, only that it should be relevant to the scale of the works and have regard to the costs of implementation. The process of preparing a Section 61 application British Standard 5228 provides a code of practice for controlling noise and vibration from construction sites. As well as presenting general guidance on managing and mitigating noise and vibration, BS 5228 sets out calculation procedures for noise predictions of construction works. The British Standard usefully includes a set of tables listing source noise levels of typical construction plant items and construction activities. Predicting construction noise levels requires details of the numbers and locations of each item of plant within the construction site and their durations of operation. The process of developing this information generally involves the construction engineers preparing a detailed construction plant schedule covering each phase or activity of the construction works. It is necessary to specify an estimated on-time and a source noise level for each item of plant, either from BS 5228 or from a reliable noise measurement or from manufacturer’s data. This data may be prepared by the construction team or by the acoustic consultants carrying out the noise predictions. Rail Professional

In ACCON’s experience the construction plant schedule often requires close review and several iterations to ensure that realistic noise levels are calculated. The noise predictions may be carried out using a proprietary noise model or by utilising spreadsheet methods, depending on the complexity of the works and the layout of the site and surrounding area. Detailed discussion between the acoustic consultant and the engineers can be needed to ensure that that the proposed BPM mitigation is likely to be approved by the local authority while not placing unrealistic constraints on construction. As well as the consideration of specific control measures, such as the use of temporary noise barriers or enclosures, it may be necessary to consider the use of less powerful, quieter items of plant. In some circumstances, alternative approaches to particular construction methods may need to be considered where very high noise or vibration levels are predicted in the first instance, for example from sheet piling. However, if noise and vibration has been considered at an early stage, it is unlikely that major alterations to the methodology will be required during the Section 61 process. Noise monitoring There may be requirements for noise measurements at various stages of a scheme. Baseline noise monitoring data is typically

needed in order to inform the setting of noise limits at receptors for a Section 61. A programme of noise monitoring during the works is typically required and would be specified in the Section 61 consent. This can comprise short-term attended noise measurements that may be repeated at regular intervals or the installation of semipermanent noise monitors to measure noise levels continuously. This type of monitor can be connected to a live web-based monitoring system and can also be set to send alerts if noise level limits are exceeded or approaching an exceedance. ACCON has recently prepared a number of Section 61 applications for enabling works for HS2 in London and carried out construction noise and vibration assessments for Section 61 applications on the eastern Section of Thames Tideway Tunnel. ACCON’s capabilities include assessing ground-borne noise and vibration from tunnelling. The consultancy regularly carries out noise and vibration monitoring across a range of projects. Importantly, its extensive experience allows the company to recommend innovative, cost effective mitigation and noise management solutions to the benefit of its clients. Steve Summers is Associate Director at ACCON UK

Tel: 01273 573814 Email: steve.summers@accon-uk.com Visit: www.accon-uk.com



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Depot control made easy As in any depot, yard or indeed maintenance facility, it is essential that trains depart on schedule


here are several activities that are undertaken before a train returns into service each day including cleaning, re-watering, re-fuelling, CET service and small repairs. Therefore, Depot Operators require a simple, easy-to-use Rolling Stock Signalling Control System which provides them with a realtime overview of all train movements within a maintenance depot. Depot Operators have a busy workload involving setting routes, entering train describer codes and communicating with Train Drivers. They also need to be able to communicate with the production teams, adjacent mainline signalling control centres, operations staff as well as contractors working on site. All these activities and actions require to be automatically recorded for incorporation within daily reports and entry into the train register. Fenix Signalling Limited is the sole provider of the Tie-FenLock Depot Train Control System (TF-DTCS), which comprises of a Signalling System using Computer Based Interlocking, Trailable Point Machines, Axle Counters, Signal Aspects and, depending on the type of system specified, Point Indicators. Fenix is currently working collaboratively with a variety of customers delivering solutions at Rolling Stock Maintenance Depots and Freight Yards throughout the UK. The principle benefits of a TF-DTCS system include:

• The use of innovative, ‘four-foot’ mounted trailable point machines, currently in use on both Network Rail and private railway infrastructure in the UK. Locations include, Banbury, Central Rivers and currently being installed for Buckingham Construction at Nexus’s Howdon Satellite Depot. • The Tie-FenLock Depot Control system only requires one Depot Operator

• •

• •

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Supervisor working from one central control console. Point and system maintenance is simplified, greatly reduced and extremely cost-effective. The Digital system with internal monitoring enables easy fault diagnosis, saving time and money on investigation and fault diagnosis. The system has established a proven track record for its outstanding reliability. The system is compact with location cases being able to be positioned adjacent to walls, fences and buildings whilst still providing suitable access to the equipment from one side. The system points and signals are directly fed from one location. The Innovative point machines are SI-4 accredited and require only one cable for control and detection, saving on both material costs and installation time. A bespoke technical interface to enable the system to be integrated with any mainline signalling interlocking used in the UK.

System technology and architecture The Tie-FenLock Depot Train Control assists the Depot Operator by minimising the time to set a route (a few seconds) and to organise the traffic in the depot in a safe and reliable way. As the Depot Operator goes about their daily tasks, in the background, the SIL Rail Professional



the Track Section SIL-4 control circuits. These are purely hardware-based and is a hybrid FPGA-relays-based dual channel design. The modular design with plug couplers enables and assists the integration of the system into existing depot in stages thereby allowing a quick and easy modification to the next stage commissioning.

accredited Computer Based Interlocking (CBI) continuously and automatically checks the current traffic and operations permanently checking for conflicts or dangerous situations. The system also checks that the operator’s commands are safe and do not conflict with the Depot’s operating rules and procedures. The system communicates with the Depot Operator via a Visual Display Unit (VDU), ensuring safe operations at all times by not permitting the setting of conflicting train movements. The system is designed to make operations as stress-free as possible. The Visual Display is designed to suit individual depot requirements, while information about the depot and messages are displayed permanently on the screen. The command level waits in the background

to appear when the mouse hovers over a symbol, keeping the screen clear for a good overview of the depot situation. Point control All Points Control Circuits communicate via a serial bus with the Central Control Unit (CCU). Each Control Circuit has its own Micro-controller card for communication and individual functions. Up to 256 points can be controlled one Central Processing Unit (CPU). There are a number of cost-saving benefits to be had by using the Tie-FenLock System. In order to reduce cabling cost over long distances or to overcome specific local cable route problems on existing infrastructure, splitting the total number of control circuits into smaller local sub-groups to communicate with the main logic via serial data cables also saves on project time and costs. Signals Six individual Signal Controllers can be housed in one 19” Rack. Each Signal Controller card is the interface between CCU and local shunt signal, normally a Dorman LED type head in the UK market. This modular design enables a system to control hundreds of signals that can be modified or upgraded with minimal software and hardware changes by plugging in a new signal control card. This also provides a significant time and cost saving when implementing a system in stages, as both the hardware and software are of a modular design, meaning that the software can easily be updated for each stage, with information on the additional control cards input and output addresses. Train detection The Tie-FenLock system receives the vital track occupation or clear information from

Rail Professional

Axle counter detection The Axle Counter head is a SIL-4 accredited Dual-Proximity-Switch Unit designed and manufactured to detect the wheel flanges passing over the two proximity switches. With each detected wheel, the axle counter detection systems send one package of data to the Switching Amplifier. The evaluating electronic Switching Amplifier is located within cabinets inside REBs or buildings, far away from any Electro Magnetic (EMI) or lightning impacts. The Tie-FenLock axle counting system is, therefore, far more resilient to EMI and any overvoltage issues than systems in the UK market. Point machines The point machine for the system is SIL-4 certified, normally mounted in the ‘four foot’ but can be mounted in the ‘six foot’ if there are space constraints. A mechanical locking system contains an integral facing point lock obviating the need for an external locking system. Point Detection is achieved with independent point blade detection using dual micro switches for each point blade. Due to its short height, the point machine can be fitted without alterations being required to the existing rail obviating the need for additional drilling. The machine mounted in this arrangement has the added benefit of increasing on-site safety by eliminating potential trip hazards within adjacent walking routes. The mounting arrangements enable the machine to perform in unison with the track system when traversed by rail traffic. The machine mechanically is an integral part of the track system as mounting bars tie the machine to the rail rather than the bearers, therefore ensuring proper track alignment and reducing the strain on the points. The point machine has a robust, compact construction and is suitable for both passenger and heavy freight rail traffic. The machine is trailable, which means that if the train travels through the point machine set in the wrong direction, it will not cause a derailment nor damage nor bend the mechanism. The machines internal locking prevents any such events and safely detects the trailing move, immediately notifying the Operator, which is recorded within the Computer Based Interlocking System (CBI). Tel: 03300 580180 Email: enquiries@fenixrailsystems.com Visit: fenixrailsystems.com



Costain appoints Simon Ellison as Rail Sector Director Costain, the smart infrastructure solutions company, has appointed Simon Ellison as rail sector director.

New managing director for West Midlands Trains welcomed The West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) has welcomed the appointment of Julian Edwards as new managing director for West Midlands Trains.

Porterbrook appoints experienced operator as new Head of Fleet Services Porterbrook is delighted to welcome Duncan Wilkins as its new Head of Fleet Services (South). Duncan will join the business from c2c where he is currently Engineering Director.

Southeastern makes two new senior appointments Alicia Andrews has been appointed as Commercial Director, moving from her previous position as Transformation Director at Arriva Rail London (ARL). Scott Brightwell has joined the company as Train Services Director from Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). Rail Professional

Climate Change and Carbon Footprint top of the agenda for new Business in the Community Chair Business in the Community Northern Ireland (BITCNI), the responsible business network, has appointed Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway as its new Chair.


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