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In the running again LOROL MD Peter Austin on why he feels it has the edge over the competition

Light Rail Breaking records - why light rail has more street cred than ever

The IRO All the news and events from the Institution of Railway Operators

Rolling stock What does the election result mean for this industry?

Inspiration delivered.

Welcome DECEMBER 2014 ISSUE 208 £3.95

JULY/aUgUst 2015 IssUe 214 £3.95



Love your markets. Love your passengers. Head of Passenger Services, Peter Wilkinson, on humanising rail

In the running again LOROL MD Peter austin on why he feels it has the edge over the competition The customer experience Do you have a vision of service?

Light Rail

Avoiding the politics Will the golden age of rail continue?


Rolling stock

Why it has more street cred than ever

What does the election result mean for this industry?

Diary of events

Become a member…


Our Annual Lunch for Members and Guests will be held at The Mermaid, Puddle Dock, London. On Friday 19th April 2013 from midday. Our guest speaker is the Rt. Hon. Simon Burns, Minister of State for Transport.

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1 South West Area:

CHRISTIAN WILES STEVE FRYER PATRICK McDONNELL RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING DEAN SALISBURY LYNDSEY CAMPLIN SUBSCRIPTIONS LISA ETHERINGTON ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT DESIGN & PRODUCTION MILES JOHNSTONE Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may be submitted, but, while every care will be exercised, neither the editor nor the publisher take responsibility for loss of, or damage to, material sent. Submission of material to Rail Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine. ISSN 1476-2196 © All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the copyright owners. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor does it accept liability for any printing errors or otherwise which may occur.

2 South West Area:


here to begin and what to cover? A month in the rail industry equates to six months of news in any other. Allegations of fleas on Greater Anglia trains, Abellio’s Jeff Hoogesteger being shown the door, First Great Western on C4’s Dispatches programme being shown to hide cheaper ticket options, Patrick McLoughlin saying a vote for the Conservatives was a vote for HS2, TfL Rail blaming Greater Anglia’s trains for a disastrous start to its Chingford to Liverpool Street service, LU drivers voting to strike over pay and the all-night tube, Boris Johnson being asked what he can do to help commuters claim back £56 million in unclaimed refunds...the list is endless. Speaking of refunds, it’s great, as David Sidebottom says on page 20, that the industry is now offering them in cash, and any initiative that makes payment and refunds more user-friendly can only be a good thing. But a colleague raised an interesting point. He used his debit card as his Oyster card, and when, as can happen at the other end of his journey, there was an error which meant the barrier would not open; the TfL staff member could not tell him why, because, he claimed, he was not cleared to access bank details for security reasons. My colleague was billed £8.60 return for his peak time journey from Zone 4 to Old Street in Zone 1, but after the barrier issue was then charged £9.20 for the return leg of the same journey, which he assumed was a penalty, maximum fare. On speaking to his bank, it refunded him the £9.20 without issue, because it was ‘not cost-effective to raise an internal dispute process.’ The operator told my colleague this is a common problem which usually comes from double tapping. Referring to the TfL guard telling my colleague he couldn’t help him, she said it ‘doesn’t ring true’ and that the guard should and could have raised the issue and investigated it. With fewer ticket offices, this is exactly the kind of issue that concourse staff are going to have to deal with. That’s if they’re available. And are the banks going to get fed up with the situation I wonder? Lorna Slade Editor

EDITOR Your local IRO Area runs events all year round. There are opportunities to see how others LORNA SLADE work, broaden your experience and add to your professional development. Visit the website to find out more… ASSISTANT EDITOR DAVE SONGER DISPLAY ADVERTISING

editor’s note Check the Area events online on the new IRO website

Wednesday 27th February 2013 REF Seminar 2013

REF Railway Engineers Forum

Full details of Area events are now on the new website. Take a look and login to see and do lots more too. If you haven’t received your login details get in touch with us.

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July/August 2015 Page 3


ISSUE 214 • JULY / AUGUST 2015



Record figures for light rail; National Express wins two more German contracts; government asks investors to supply Network Rail’s power; TfGM head of rail wins at First Women awards; University of Southampton establishes rail research centre with Chinese high speed manufacturer; dangers of tram surfing highlighted in safety campaign; crime crackdown on Greater Manchester’s trams and buses a success; Centro joins autism awareness campaign

In the passenger seat


The industry’s agreement to make passenger refunds available in cash is great news, says Transport Focus’s David Sidebottom, but there is more that can be done

Delivering the goods


Don’t overlook the effect on freight of rail industrial action, says FTA’s Chris MacRae

Laying down the law


David Chant looks at what new guidelines around health & safety and corporate manslaughter offences mean for rail companies

Go the distance


Jim Steer explains why high-speed rail matters for Scotland

Tailored to fit


What does the emergence of Intelligent Mobility mean for rail, asks Atkins’ Philip Hoare

Post-election challenges


With a new Conservative government in place, Brioney Thomas and Nicola Campbell consider what lies in store for the rail industry

Rolling stock information looks ahead


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Improving rolling stock information recording is set for this September. RSSB’s technical director, Colin Dennis tells us more

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Follow us on Twitter RailProMag@twitter’s that constant change that has made this place an Interview - page 52 incredibly exciting place to be Women in rail


Women in business could do with enhancing their confidence levels, says Adeline Ginn

IRO news and diary


Latest news and events from the Institution of Railway Operators

Rail Professional interview


LOROL will be in the running again for the London Overground franchise in 2016. Managing director Peter Austin spoke to Dave Songer about the problems it has overcome, and why he feels LOROL has the edge over the competition

Step into the light


James Harkins says light rail and trams offer an almost complete answer to the problem of urban air quality

What a ride!


Edinburgh Trams has been a contentious project to say the least. Tom Norris explains how it is now in a ‘more healthy place’

Lightening up the spilt ends


John Parry makes the case for a ‘small is beautiful’ periphery to the rail network

A move to the forefront


With increasing demand and shifting mobility needs, Martin Lamb explains why now is the time to revisit light rail as a viable solution to urban transport requirements

Keep on rolling


What does the Conservative win at the 2015 general election actually mean for the UK’s rolling stock industry, asks Martin Horsman contents continues...

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ISSUE 214 • JULY / AUGUST 2015



Nearly half a million tweets expressing negative sentiments about the commuter experience were sent last year according to a new paper from CommuteLondon

There and back again


With operators coming under pressure to invest in on-board digital upgrades, Barry Larcombe outlines the improvements needed to keep customers happy

Lessons learned?


The TUC remains concerned that the Fourth Railway Package will repeat and embed the mistakes of UK rail privatisation across Europe, says Sharon Sukhram

Time to embrace the information revolution


Richard Jones reports on the recent Transport Systems Catapult Imagine Festival 2015

Signalling a new direction


What lessons does the Dutch experience provide for the roll-out of ERTMS across Europe? Lion Wildenburg explains

Business news


Hitachi Rail Europe; Saft; Railways of Great Britain; TfL; Capco; Nexus; Garrandale; Achilles; Lanes Group;; new members of the Rail Alliance

Business profiles


Jafco Tools; JSP; Macrail Systems; PBH Rail; RPS Group; Perpetuum; Spelsberg; 3Squared; Burges Salmon; Cyclepods; Forbo Flooring Systems; HARTING; KlĂźber Lubrication; Railway Convalescent Centre; Senceive; Centurion Traffic Management; Telent; Teleque; Unipart Rail; Saferoute



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News in brief... This is Me right outhern has launched a campaign to promote the assistance it offers passengers with disabilities. The poster and video series ‘This is Me’ sees passengers talking about the assistance they receive when travelling and what this allows them to do. The Toc is also near to completing its £1 million programme of accessibility improvements. Recent work jointly funded with the DfT’s Small Schemes Fund (part of Access for All) has seen work at more than 20 stations.


Arty farty outheastern is trialing turning its toilets into ‘cistern chapel-style’ art displays – by showing Kent inspired artworks on the walls. The new murals are being tested in four of its class 375 trains. Barbara Thomas, passenger services director, said: ‘Passengers tell us the environment and cleanliness of our on-board toilets is extremely important to them. If this project proves practical we will ‘roll it out’ to more trains.’


The OOH factor xterion Media, Europe’s largest privately held Out-ofHome advertising business has partnered with telecoms firm Telefónica UK to support the London Underground media estate. Exterion will use Telefónica’s Smart Steps Solution to access rich audience data that will allow it to provide ‘unparalleled’ insights into LU advertisers, so that OOH campaigns can be executed ‘to maximum effect’.


Vision and strategy ransport for the North, the body set up to transform connectivity across the North of England and drive economic growth, has announced


Page 8 July/August 2015

Record figures for light rail Light rail usage in England continued to rise in 2014/15 according to new annual figures from the DfT, with record numbers of passenger journeys and vehicle miles since comparable records began in 1983. Top line figures are: • 239.8 million total passenger journeys on the eight light rail and tram systems in England, a 5.6 per cent increase on the previous year • Docklands Light Railway, Tyne and Wear Metro, and Manchester Metrolink saw the biggest annual increases • 59 per cent of journeys were inside London on DLR and London Tramlink, 41 per cent across the rest of the country • Transport Focus survey responses show passenger satisfaction levels at 90 per cent •  Nottingham’s NET tram system was most popular, with 96 per cent satisfaction The Tyne and Wear Metro – recently the subject of a complaint to the transport minister about its service from South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck – had the fastest growing passenger numbers in the country outside of London (bettered only by DLR), adding around two million new passengers in the last year in like-for-like growth with no new lines or stations added. Metro had 38.1 million passenger journeys – a 6.3 per cent rise in passenger numbers to March 2015. Revenue increased by 4.4 per cent to £47.9 million. Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, attributed the growth to ticket prices being kept low and the improving economic climate. Director of rail and infrastructure for Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: “The growth in Metro passengers has been matched by growing revenue from ticket sales, which is good news because while Nexus makes no profit from Metro, we also do not need to ask for a penny from local councils to support running costs in the year ahead. Metro remains the most affordable light rail network in the UK.’ However LewellBuck wrote to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin after a number of constituents contacted her with complaints about the quality of service on Metro including severe delays, broken ticket machines and poor customer service. Raymond Johnstone agreed in a meeting with the MP that the service was not up to the standard passengers expected and said Nexus was determined to improve it. But, according to reports, several months on there has been little sign of improvement with customers still reporting disrupted journeys on an almost daily basis. Huw Lewis, corporate manager for customer services and communications at Nexus told Rail Professional: ‘There are issues with reliability in the train fleet, which is among the oldest in the country, and a sustained focus on fault-finding and quality maintenance is having a positive impact.’

July/August 2015 Page 9

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News in brief... plans to develop a Northern Freight and Logistics Strategy. A tender has been issued inviting businesses to contribute to the plan, which will inform future development of transport investment and capture economic value added by freight in the North. Currently, 90 per cent of containers enter the UK through southern ports – despite up to 60 per cent being destined for the Midlands and the North. A constructive record onstruction goods moved by rail increased by 10 per cent in the year to April 2015 according to the Office of Rail and Road, reflecting an upturn in building activity as the economy returns to growth. A record level of 3.93 billion tonne-km of traffic was moved, including quarried stone, cement and other products. But there was a 19 per cent decline in the movement of coal for power generation, which Rail Freight Group’s Maggie Simpson, said is ‘of major concern to freight operators’.


Southern gives up he Toc will ban e-cigarettes across its services and at stations from 26th July, bringing it in line with other companies in the GTR franchise. A spokesman said: ‘We have a no smoking policy regardless of the type of device customers would like to smoke. Our concern is that e-cigarettes will unsettle other passengers or cause people to think that smoking real cigarettes is allowed.’ The Rail Delivery Group said: ‘It can be difficult to know the difference between real and e-cigarettes, which can cause confusion and be unpleasant for passengers.’


High satisfaction lower ridership While they all maintained very high journey satisfaction levels according to Transport Focus, there were three systems that saw a decline in ridership: Sheffield Supertram, which carried out disruptive engineering works, saw passenger journeys fall 8.5 per cent to 11.5 million between April and September 2014. Midland Metro saw a 6.1 per cent decrease to 4.4 million due to an unplanned six month closure of services into Wolverhampton city centre after old mine workings were discovered. Journeys on this system have actually fallen year-on-year since 201112, but a Centro spokesperson said a fleet of new Urbos 3 trams is now running and permission has been granted to expand the system. Blackpool Tramway, which recently completed a major £100 million upgrade, saw passenger figures fall by 5.9 per cent to 4.1 million in the last year. The decline has been attributed to Lancashire County Council withdrawing a discretion it funded whereby all English NCTS card holders could use the free pass on trams. Now, only Blackpool NCTS card holders are permitted. Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: ‘The fact that passenger numbers on tram and light rail are at record levels shows our investment has been worthwhile. ‘The improvements we are making to these services are part of our long-term economic plan to create a transport system people can rely on, which has the added benefit of creating jobs, growth and opportunity.’ To see the report Light Rail and Tram Statistics 2014/15 visit government/statistics/light-rail-and-tram-statistics-england-year-ending-march-2015

National Express wins two new German rail contracts Continuing its expansion into Germany, National Express Group has received confirmation from local transport authorities in North RhineWestphalia that it is the preferred bidder for two rail contracts which are expected to generate revenues of around €1 billion over their lifetimes. The company, which operates the UK’s best performing service, c2c, is attempting to expand by capitalising on the liberalisation of Germany’s lucrative train network, and is already set to begin running two contracts there in December. The latest contracts are for two of the three that cover the Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX) services which operate between cities including Cologne, Dusseldorf and Dortmund, in Germany’s most populous region. National Express’s services will carry around 30 million passengers a year. The first contract starts in December

2018 and the second in December 2020. Both will run until December 2033 and both serve the same region and some of the same cities as the two contracts starting later this year. Dean Finch, National Express Group chief executive, said: ‘I am very pleased with the progress that our strong local team is making. They are focused on delivering rigorous proposals that will provide excellent services for passengers, a fair deal for local taxpayers and good returns for shareholders.’ In February, National Express was named preferred bidder for two contracts to run services in Nuremberg’s S-Bahn network, although that win has been thrown into doubt after incumbent Deutsche Bahn appealed. Finch said the company hopes to win more work in Germany and plans to bid for three franchises in the BadenWurttemberg region over the summer.

July/August 2015 Page 11

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News in brief... Connecting California arsons Brinckerhoff is to lead a partnership with Network Rail Consulting and management consultants LeighFisher, for California’s £453 million high-speed rail programme. The line will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours by 2029 and eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totalling 1,280km with up to 24 stations.


Jail time for graffiti vandals ive members of a graffiti crew have been handed custodial sentences. The men had spray painted letters and vulgar expressions over Thameslink trains for the past ten years, sometimes rendering trains unserviceable for days. The successful prosecution was achieved thanks to evidence from Thameslink staff at Bedford and Cricklewood stations and BTP. Detective constable Ross McAlpine said: ‘Those who scrawl graffiti often think their work is art – but it is simply vandalism, damage that costs thousands of pounds to clean up.’


RAIB chief resigns hief inspector of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, Carolyn Griffiths, has stepped down from the role. ‘I feel I have accomplished what I set out to do,’ said Griffiths, who was appointed in 2003 to set up and lead the Branch, which has been operational for ten years now. In the foreword to the tenth annual report, she thanked those she has worked with, including the families and colleagues of those involved in the accidents RAIB has investigated, ‘who have joined forces with us to make the railways in the UK ever safer.’


Page 12 July/August 2015

Network Rail losing power? The government will try to tempt infrastructure investors to pour hundreds of millions of pounds into supplying Network Rail’s power at a meeting early this month. According to The Independent newspaper, Infracapital, the infrastructure arm of M&G Investments and Australia’s Macquarie Group are among the firms invited to help the government start an ‘overhaul’ of Network Rail so that it can concentrate on its core work of maintaining the railways. Any deal is expected to be worth at least £500 million. Aside from handing over the role of power supplier to a private investor, officials are also said to be looking at getting the private sector to run major stations and telecommunications, including wifi on trains. Network Rail responded to Rail Professional’s enquiry by pointing to a recent Parliamentary communication between Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, who asked the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had on the sale of the telecoms and power supply functions of Network Rail; and what plans he has to sell those functions. Patrick McLoughlin replied that officials have held discussions under the aegis of the Cabinet Office-led Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Portfolio Board (TDIP) on the potential exploitation of any spare telecoms capacity to benefit the public. ‘No decisions for any changes have been taken and there are no current plans to sell Network Rail’s telecoms or power supply assets,’ he said.

Greater Manchester rail professional wins First Women award Greater Manchester rail executive Amanda White has been named a winner at the First Women Awards, hosted in London recently by Clare Balding. White, head of rail at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), won the Young Achiever Award, which was created to celebrate the success in business of women under 35. Beginning her career in the rail industry as a graduate electrification engineer, White was appointed head of rail at TfGM in 2014 and is now responsible for working with Greater Manchester’s rail operators, overseeing franchises and developing strategies for future rail growth – including working with HS2 and Transport for the North.

Said White: ‘I’m particularly proud that I’ve won for my work in the rail industry. Few people get the opportunity to see and understand what it means to work in this fascinating and rewarding sector in which I’ve built my career, and I’m passionate about raising the visibility of rail to future generations.’ Jon Lamonte, chief executive of TfGM, said: ‘Transport and engineering have traditionally been thought of as male-dominated professions, but that’s certainly changing. Amanda’s success in the rail industry – and at such a young age – should send out the message that there are great career opportunities to be had for everyone in transport.’ The First Women Awards are created by Real Business and supported by the CBI.

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Southampton establishes rail link with China The University of Southampton has signed an agreement with Chinese high-speed train manufacturer CSR Qingdao Sifang (CSR Sifang) to establish a new centre for railway research and development. The China-UK Rail Transit Technology Joint Research and Development Centre, which also involves Imperial College London and the University of Birmingham, will undertake research to develop new technologies, materials and manufacturing processes for high-speed trains and metros. The University of Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) is collaborating with CSR, which has manufactured around half of China’s entire high-speed rail fleet, on research and development into biodynamics and ride comfort, vibration and noise reduction, human factors and staff training. The ISVR established an initial collaboration with CSR two years ago. Two joint projects on cabin active noise control and passenger sound quality are currently ongoing. The main focus of the new project is the development of an active noise control seat to improve ride comfort and to reduce noise in the passenger’s head area. The research will be conducted using the unique range of test facilities within ISVR’s Human Factors Research Unit.

Dr Yi Qiu, associate professor in ISVR, said: ‘The implementation and outcomes of the project will help advance our understanding of the characteristics of passenger ride vibration and acoustics to develop better solutions for reducing vibration and noise to improve ride comfort for high-speed trains.’

Safety campaign warns of dangers of ‘tram surfing’ Following a number of incidents where young people have been seen clinging to the end of trams while they are in motion, Stagecoach Supertram, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and South Yorkshire Police have launched a poster campaign to deter people from taking part in the dangerous activity. The poster, shown at police station waiting rooms, tram stops and on social media, shows an animated picture of a person clinging to the back of a tram. The destination of the tram reads ‘Accident and Emergency’ and the vehicle is flanked on one side by a police car and on the other by an ambulance. In the background passengers can see the skyline of Sheffield and the headline reads ‘Don’t be a fool. It may be the last ride you ever take’. South Yorkshire roads policing inspector, Steve Askham, said: ‘Not only could people seriously injure themselves, they are also putting other road users at risk.’ Stagecoach Supertram head of customer services, Claire Ansley, said: ‘The campaign sends a clear message that this activity is not safe and is irresponsible and selfish.’ Fifteen incidents of tram surfing were reported between June and December last year, and twenty-five incidents have been reported from January 2015 to present. July/August 2015 Page 15

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Crime crackdown off to flying start A new unit set up to help make Greater Manchester’s buses and trams even safer by tackling crime and antisocial behaviour has made a significant impact in its first two months. Under the three-year pilot scheme, a 16-strong team of police constables, police and community support officers, special constables and security personnel regularly patrol the region’s travel networks. Between 1st April and 28th May, the Travelsafe Unit provided a presence on 1,652 vehicles, made 23 arrests, identified more than 1000 invalid tickets, issued 1,074 penalty notices and conducted 64 gateway check operations. Led by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Greater Manchester Police (GMP), the scheme uses crime and antisocial behaviour data from contributing operators – Metrolink RATP Dev Ltd (MRDL), First Bus and Stagecoach – to deploy patrols in specific areas at key times to respond to identified demand. The pilot is also focusing on preventative measures and youth education. Uniformed officers have already visited Manchester Health Academy and are planning further visits to schools across the region.

West Midlands transport authority leads the way on autism awareness Centro has become the first organisation in the West Midlands to join Connect to Autism – a national campaign designed to improve access to facilities and services for people with autism. As part of the project, funded by the Department of Health, the authority has signed up to an Autism Charter highlighting its public commitment to becoming more autism-friendly. Centro will receive a range of specialist consultancy and training from regional charity Autism West Midlands, including training to enable customer-facing employees to better understand and deal with passengers with autism, and a further review of the company’s Travel for Disabled People application form and accessibility communications policy. Chief executive of Autism West Midlands, Jonathan Shephard said: ‘People with autism often feel anxious in social situations, for example on public transport, yet their concerns and behaviour may be misunderstood or misinterpreted by staff or members of the public. Centro is responsible for 332 million passenger journeys a year in the West Midlands, so to have its buy-in and commitment is phenomenal and will result in real improvements to the experiences of people living with autism in our region.’ Cllr Judith Rowley, Centro lead member for Fair, Accessible and Sustainable Transport, said: ‘We want to ensure that our network offers the best service for as diverse a range of people as possible.’ July/August 2015 Page 17


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In the passenger seat David Sidebottom

Big win for passengers? It was great news last month that the rail industry has agreed to make passenger refunds available in cash, says David Sidebottom, but there is more that can be done


n acquaintance who was recently delayed on a rail service was initially delighted when the company swiftly sent her the full £105 of her fare. However the vouchers cannot be used online, despite each one having its own reference number, and station staff cannot access the best online-only deals. Contact centre staff can access online deals for the vouchers, but only at least 14 days in advance as the vouchers need to be sent to them before the tickets can be sent. The upshot was that this customer had a refund that would cost more to use on another journey – completely frustrating.

Transport Focus has been pushing for some time to make passenger refunds available in cash. It was great news last month that the rail industry has agreed to do this. While the details are yet to be announced, the industry’s promise to revise the Conditions of Carriage is a big win for common sense. Passengers will now want to see the changes publicised and introduced quickly. Passengers tell us that a delay can seriously inconvenience their whole day, and yet around three quarters of them don’t even claim a refund. Our report Understanding rail passengers – delays and compensation showed that, for many passengers who were entitled to claim but didn’t,

‘We want train operators to recognise the impact on commuters’ work and home life of frequent delays under 30 minutes. Five minutes may not sound too bad but when it is every day, and it means being late into work or for evening appointments, of course it has an effect’ they simply didn’t know they could or thought it wouldn’t be worth it. So, cash refunds are a step in the right direction but there is more that can be done. The top issues raised by passengers contacting us with an appeal complaint continue to include refund conditions and levels of compensation. We have long said that the rail industry has got to make it easier for passengers to claim. Whether it be announcements on the train when it has been delayed for a certain amount of time or posters at stations, or notices on web sites after disruption, passenger rights shouldn’t be hidden away as

Page 20 July/August 2015



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‘If you know a ticket has been bought for a delayed train - and with the increase in online sales this must be the case more often than not – why not automatically email the passenger with a link?’ contractual ‘small print’. As well as publicising it better, rail operators need to make claiming refunds more straightforward. Some operators allow online applications, others insist on a letter with tickets enclosed. But why even require a claim? If you know a ticket has been bought for a delayed train - and with the increase in online sales this must be the case more often than not – why not automatically email the passenger with a link? From the end of this year c2c will be trialling automatic compensation for delays over two minutes – this is very

positive. While almost half of train companies have adopted the Delay Repay guarantee which entitles passengers to compensation after 30 minutes, some companies are yet to sign up. Isn’t it about time the train companies got together and took the same stance on this? We want train operators to recognise the impact on commuters’ work and home life of frequent delays under 30

minutes. Five minutes may not sound too bad but when it is every day, and it means being late into work or for evening appointments, of course it has an effect. We also think compensation should be calculated in a much fairer way – currently the formula used assumes that people never take any holiday, and work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day even when trains don’t run.

David Sidebottom is passenger director of Transport Focus

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Delivering the goods Chris MacRae

Consider this... Don’t overlook the effects on freight of rail industrial action, says Chris MacRae


n times of difficulty on the rail network the mainstream media focuses on stories of the effects on the travelling public. This is perhaps inevitable given the human interest angle that will catch the attention of viewers, listeners or readers. But understanding and explaining the effects on freight of such events is vital, and is a key role of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) as Britain’s leading logistics supply chain trade association, to promote understanding of the role of freight and the effects of external events like this upon the logistics supply chain to the media, as well as politicians and statutory decision makers. While it is not the place of FTA to comment on the rights or wrongs of an industrial dispute between an employer (in this case Network Rail) and certain of its employees, it is our place to point out the effects of planned industrial action on freight. Planned strikes and other

industrial action short of strikes during two separate weeks in the first fortnight of June by Network Rail workers could have meant up to nine days without rail freight deliveries across Britain. Talks between the conciliation service ACAS and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union entered their fourth day and transport customers had already planned to re-route rail freight deliveries by road in case the industrial action went ahead. RMT signallers and maintenance staff planned to strike for 24 hours from 17:00 on Thursday 4th June, and again a week later, but in that case for 48 hours. While Network Rail would have been able to deploy contingent signallers on a Key Route Strategy to limit the effect of the strike action on the travelling public, the different requirements for running freight trains would have inevitably led to a significantly greater impact on the logistics industry. >

‘Planned strikes and other industrial action short of strikes during two separate weeks in the first fortnight of June by Network Rail workers could have meant up to nine days without rail freight deliveries across Britain’

July/August 2015 Page 25


Freight not forgotten The planned industrial action was called off on the Monday before the 4th June action. FTA did put out a press statement in advance of the first of these planned strikes and to be fair this was picked up by one of the serious broadsheets. We made the point that events like this inevitably grab the media headlines about their effects on the travelling public, but, what must not be forgotten is the effect on freight, with rail playing an increasingly important part in the major import flows of consumer goods from our ports to distribution centres for onward delivery to the shops. Rail also plays a key role in transport of export goods to foreign markets via the main container ports, and large quantities of construction materials for major projects are transported by rail, as well as coal to power stations. While industrial action like this is as regrettable as it has been rare, it highlights the importance of rail freight in the British economy. It is also important to remember that while the previous threatened industrial action planned for 24 hours from 17:00 hours on Bank Holiday Monday 25th May to 17:00 hours on Tuesday 26th May was called off before it took place, freight traffic had already been re-planned for road and could not be reversed so disruption took place even though the strike did not. Again, with the threatened action in early June that was repeated. FTA is engaged in developing the Agenda for More Freight by Rail that sets out the industry challenges set by major shippers for rail to win more freight market share from other modes of transport, and a key element of this is building confidence among major shippers that have yet to try rail as a part of their logistics supply chains. A copy of the Agenda for More Freight by Rail can be found on our website: downloads/rail_freight/14094_agenda_ for_more_guide.pdf The Freight Transport Association can trace its origins back to 1889 and is recognised as the voice of the freight and logistics industry, representing the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate more than 220,000 goods vehicles – half the UK fleet – and consign more than 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and 70 per cent of sea and air freight. For further information on FTA’s rail freight policy work contact: Chris MacRae, rail freight policy manager, Freight Transport Association Email: Tel: 07818 450353 Visit: Page 26 July/August 2015

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Laying down the law David Chant

Let the punishment fit the crime David Chant explains the significance of new guidelines around health & safety and corporate manslaughter offences that are likely to mean a significant rise in fines, particularly for larger companies


n November 2014 the Sentencing Council published draft guidelines for sentencing health & safety and corporate manslaughter offences. A four-month consultation process has now closed and confirmation of the definitive guidelines and the date of their introduction is awaited. Once in place the new guidelines will assist both magistrates and Crown Court judges in determining penalties for defendants charged with corporate manslaughter and breaches of health & safety legislation. The aim of the new guidelines is to promote a consistent approach to sentencing for these types of offences and to ensure that all sentences are proportionate to the offence committed and to the financial circumstances of the offender. There has been criticism that fines imposed for health & safety offences have been too low in relation to the harm caused, the culpability of the offender and to the means of the offender. The new guidelines encourage the courts to ensure that fines are sufficiently high to have a ‘real economic impact that will bring home to an organisation the importance

of operating in a safe environment for those affected by its activities.’ What the guidelines mean for rail companies It is clear that this is going to mean larger fines for larger companies. Fines for fatal health & safety offences could be as high as £10 million and for corporate manslaughter could reach £20 million in the most serious cases. There are separate guidelines for organisations and individuals. In the case of organisations (like rail companies) the guidelines set out a starting point and range of financial penalty depending on the turnover of the organisation, the culpability of the offender and the harm caused. For example a ‘large’ organisation is one with a turnover in excess of £50 million. In a case involving the breach of health & safety legislation involving ‘very high’ culpability (a deliberate breach of, or flagrant disregard for, the law) resulting in ‘harm category 1’ (a high likelihood of death or serious injury) then the starting point would be a fine of £4 million with a range of between £2.6 million and £10 million.

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Concern has been raised that the promotion of consistency of approach will come at a price. The flexibility of judicial discretion is likely to be sacrificed as a result of the more prescriptive and formulaic approach to sentencing Fines, particularly in respect of large companies, are likely to rise significantly

There is likely to be an increase in Newton (fact-finding) hearings for guilty pleas as defendants seek to argue that they fit into a lower category of culpability and so lower the starting point and range of financial penalty It is arguable that, rather than achieving better consistency, the guidelines will lead to less certainty as to the level of financial penalty, particularly for large (>£50m turnover) organisations. The range of potential fines in each category is as high as £7.4 million and so predicting the likely fine will be very difficult


The guidelines are likely to be introduced in late 2015 and will apply retrospectively to any case which comes before the court for sentence after their introduction (not just new cases involving offences committed after their introduction). Page 28 July/August 2015

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At the other end of the scale a ‘micro’ organisation is one with a turnover of less than £2 million. Between the micro and large organisations there are guidelines for small organisations (turnover £2million - £10 million) and medium organisations (£10 million - £50 million) again setting out starting points and category ranges depending on the level of culpability and the risk of harm. In respect of individuals the Sentencing Council has proposed that deliberate actions that put others at risk of harm should have custodial (i.e. prison) starting points unless the risks of harm are low. A custodial sentence is also the proposed starting point for cases where the individual is reckless (wilfully blind to risks) and there is a medium or high risk of a fatality or catastrophic injury. Recent Cases On 9 September 2014 Balfour Beatty Rail Projects Ltd was fined £350,000 at Harrow Crown Court. A rail worker suffered 45 per cent burns following contact with a high voltage overhead power line which had not been isolated. If that case came before the court following the introduction of the new guidelines it is likely that the turnover of the defendant organisation and the degree of harm would result in a much higher financial penalty.

BAM Nuttall Ltd was fined £140,000 at Southwark Crown Court on 30 September 2014 following an accident involving a worker whose legs were crushed by a six-tonne concrete beam. Again, while the court will always look at the level of culpability of the defendant organisation, the degree of harm and size of the defendant organisation in a case like this is almost certain to result in a higher fine under the new guidelines. Effect on corporate manslaughter prosecutions There have only been four convictions for corporate manslaughter in England and Wales since the legislation was introduced in 2007. One potential consequence of the new guidelines is that prosecutors will choose the relatively easier option of pursuing a health & safety offence knowing that the financial penalties are going to be considerable, rather than go for the less straightforward corporate manslaughter option where it has proved challenging to secure a conviction. Avoiding prosecutions All employers have an obligation to ensure the health and safety at work of their employees, and to ensure they are not exposed to risks to their health & safety. This duty is not absolute. Employers

must do what is reasonably practicable to achieve this. In particular employers must carry out risk assessments in the workplace as well as instruct and train staff on how to deal with the identified risks. The employer does not have to contemplate risks which are trivial or fanciful. The law does not aim to create an environment that is entirely risk-free. It is directed at situations where there is a material risk to health and safety which any reasonable person would appreciate and take steps to guard against. If an accident occurs the HSE or ORR will look at all the circumstances and if they take the view that it would have been reasonably practicable for the employer to do more then a prosecution under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 is likely to follow. The burden of proof is then on the employer to demonstrate that it has done all that is reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of the employee. If it is accepted that there was a material risk and that there were reasonably practicable steps which could have been taken then the employer will soon be facing financial penalties in accordance with the new guidelines. David Chant is an associate solicitor in the Insurance Law Division at Langleys LLP

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Go the distance Jim Steer explains why high-speed rail matters for Scotland


rom a Scottish perspective, high-speed rail matters. Scotland will benefit from the start when HS2 opens, with planned London services over the West Coast Main Line (WCML) for Glasgow – and possibly Edinburgh. But this will only edge up rail market share. With further investment transformation is possible. Greengauge 21 is organising a special conference in Glasgow on September 3rd 2015 to debate the options. Even one of HS2 Ltd’s harshest critics, Simon Jenkins, writing for the Guardian on June 2nd (‘HS2 is not a useless railway, merely the stupidest’) acknowledged that: ‘the one sensible route for [high-speed rail] in Britain is from Scotland and Yorkshire to London’ because, he says: ‘high-speed rail is about long distances.’ Since he goes on to tell us which route it should follow – a long way from the planned HS2 alignment – it might be that Jenkins is just playing mischief, trying to appear balanced while trying to stop HS2. But his comment, of course, has an element of truth in it: one of the key advantages of high-speed rail does only take expression over longer distances, and in the UK this means when Scotland enters the picture. The 400 miles that separate London and Glasgow/Edinburgh is an enticing market for airlines. This is the nation’s only intensive multi-operator domestic air corridor. Rail has a rising but still modest market share of 15 to 25 per cent. Highspeed rail would largely wipe out the air market, taking pressure off airspace, off runway capacity in the South East and hugely reducing carbon emissions. Not

Page 32 July/August 2015

to mention providing business travellers with the opportunity to prepare for meetings en route. For these reasons – plus several others – as I shall outline, Scotland has been, from the start a strong supporter of highspeed rail. But first note that HS2 has been attacked relentlessly for its name rather than its expressed purpose. The main challenge HS2 has to address is lack of network capacity. The fast services enjoyed today on the WCML – and the faster services that may yet come on the East Coast – share tracks with slower trains, both freight and passenger. All of these rail markets – commuting, longer-distance and freight are growing strongly and consistently, through recessions and periods when fuel prices have fallen. Since 2007 alone, rail travel has increased by 144 per cent between London and Glasgow, 191 per cent between Manchester and Scotland, and 261 per cent between Birmingham and Scotland, and cross-border rail freight is growing as well. We understand that growth on Virgin’s West Coast franchise increased by seven per cent last year alone. The question is: how best can this growth be accommodated? Not because it must be a case of ‘predict and provide’ but because the alternative is putting even more pressure on congested and more polluting highways and – in the case of Anglo-Scottish passenger travel, pressure on airspace and runways. Providing more rail capacity is simply the most sustainable answer. And the choice is whether to do this by line-ofroute upgrade or by building new lines – and if the latter, whether to build them to contemporary world standards at

‘a [not yet published] study on the case for linking Edinburgh and Glasgow with high-speed rail has concluded that there is no case for such a link unless it forms part of a wider high-speed development with a link southwards to the border and to HS2’ higher speeds, safety and resilience, or to replicate what exists today. In summer 2009, two reports were published on this subject. Network Rail’s New Lines report of August 2009 concluded that there was a good business case for a new line from London to Manchester and Glasgow. A month later, Greengauge 21 published Fast Forward, the result of a collaboration sponsored by all of the English regional development agencies, transport authorities in Scotland and London, key city councils and Network Rail. Having looked at all of the options, it identified a need for a national programme of high-speed rail with two north-south lines, one of them extended across the border to serve Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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Time to get key issues debated The Greengauge 21 report showed that a national programme of high-speed rail would have a good business case, and the benefit-cost ratio for the route between Manchester and Glasgow was particularly strong at 7.6:1. In May this year, HS2 Ltd announced that it didn’t believe there was a case for extending HS2 to Scotland. No details have emerged of its assumptions – including those made about how the capacity crunch on the long twotrack section from Wigan to Glasgow/ Edinburgh would be addressed, where it is already very difficult to path additional services, in the ‘without HS2 case’. The costs are likely to be considerable. Ministers have made clear that they have not made any decisions based on AngloScottish high-speed rail. It is time to get the key issues debated. In our view, the economic benefits of high speed rail are valuable, while the alternatives are dire to contemplate. Of course there are choices to be made. It isn’t simply a case of deciding to build a new high-speed line from Wigan (where HS2 runs out – although this is under review and may be cut back in Phase 2 to Crewe) to Carstairs and Glasgow/ Edinburgh. A three hour target journey time to London doesn’t need a new

line for the whole distance. If there are sections where capacity isn’t a constraint, line speeds of 125 or 140 mile/h will suffice. So the question of blending lineof-route upgrade and new build needs to be considered. This would be novel. Although a feature of high-speed rail in Germany and France, HS2 Ltd’s terms of reference seems to have precluded this kind of blended approach in its work to date. Then there is the question of programming. Just like the national motorway network before it, as soon as a blended design concept is adopted, there are choices about where the best return on investment can be gained earliest. It leads to the idea of a programme of projects not of a single scheme. And there’s the question of route. In the North East of England it seems obvious that the route should be via the East Coast corridor (weight of population being a key argument). But while Edinburgh can be well-served this way, Glasgow will always be 30 minutes slower. Within Scotland, a study has been carried out to look at the case for linking Edinburgh and Glasgow with high-speed rail. Although not yet published, it is known to have concluded that there is no case for such a link unless it forms part of

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a wider high-speed development with a link southwards to the border and to HS2. The need for dialogue between Holyrood and Westminster could hardly be more apparent. Scotland has strong ambitions on energy policy and tackling global warming. It has a national spatial plan too, alongside which there is commitment to major transport infrastructure investment. This includes a long-term plan to electrify its entire rail network. Its investment in new (or re-instated) rail lines (Alloa, Galashiels) puts English efforts to shame. In its thinking about high-speed rail development, Scotland will want to consider: • where the rail network has capacity bottlenecks that HSR can help overcome • where the existing rail network fails to deliver competitive journey times (Edinburgh – Perth/Dundee/Aberdeen, for example) • whether HSR can serve Scotland’s main international airport and, of course: • how best to feed into and benefit from investment in HS2 in England. Jim Steer is director of Greengauge 21

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Tailored to fit What does the emergence of Intelligent Mobility mean for rail, asks Philip Hoare


n the transport sector we are starting to hear more and more about intelligent mobility and the future of transport. The government uses the term frequently, often referring to the driverless vehicles projects currently underway such as VENTURER consortium’s 36 month trial which will assess the feasibility of using driverless cars on the UK’s roads. This trial will see BAE Systems’ Wildcat vehicle used as the main driverless car and a virtual test environment for new sensors and driverless technologies. In the wider context work is also being done by a number of organisations including the Transport Systems Catapult as well as Atkins’ where we have a growing Intelligent Mobility business within our Transportation division

‘Why isn’t the transport sector more like the utilities sector where the infrastructure is looked after by one set of companies, while the end user has a relationship with another set? Mobility companies could provide new models of service contracts with users, better tailored to our individual requirements, leaving transport service companies to deliver the capacity and network infrastructure’

looking at how transport and the sector will evolve over future generations. Intelligent Mobility (IM) is often used to refer to driverless cars, smart ticketing and intelligent transportation systems. But it refers to a lot more than that and includes rail in a number of interesting ways. I am excited to see IM really pushing traditional transportation thinking in a new direction and really pressing the point that the user has to be absolutely central in the design and delivery of all products and services. Furthermore, the demand of IM to work towards a completely integrated transport system sounds obvious as a passenger but in practice it is often put into the ‘too hard to achieve’ category. The challenge of looking at that longterm vision of enabling people to travel with their sole focus being on getting to the destination rather than the journey itself is enlightening. The rail sector (in common with all others) is being challenged by IM to look at its offering to customers in a new way. Why can’t passengers be offered an alternative (such as an Uber ride) if their train is cancelled rather than waiting 30 minutes for the next one? Why are passengers expected to commit to a year of train travel between two fixed stations, rather than buying a service contract and paying on a monthly basis to get from their home to their job by whatever means best suits on any particular day? In Atkins we outline our thinking on this in the recent publication Journeys of the Future, Introducing Mobility as a Service. That is a fascinating point; why don’t we buy our travel like we buy our mobile phone calls and data? In fact, why isn’t

the transport sector more like the utilities sector where the infrastructure is looked after by one set of companies, while the end user has a relationship with another set? Mobility companies could provide new models of service contracts with users, better tailored to our individual requirements, leaving transport service companies to deliver the capacity and network infrastructure. Re-imagine the role and purpose of transport The world is changing fast and the

July/August 2015 Page 37


barriers to entering the transport market are dropping, with new businesses establishing new products and services that are meeting changing customer requirements. On-demand services and a personalised offering are seeing customers build better relationships with those businesses. So how can the rail sector respond? I think there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed. The first, and biggest, is to re-imagine the role and purpose of transport and the sector, recognising that change is happening. Customers expect better information and communication, there are many more channels for informing and communicating and these should be exploited. Rail must also integrate with its wider context – every station serves

a purpose and should integrate with the surrounding offerings, the shops, schools and offices that give people the reason to use that station. The rail sector should seek to collaborate beyond purely transport means. There should be a recognition that we need to understand the customer and their requirements in order to provide a better-focused and more personalised offering. Rail is one major component of a transport network that provides everyone with the chance to travel for many different reasons. We need to place our purpose within that context and imagine how best to do that for every single customer. The transport sector is going to see transformational change as new technologies enable new services to meet evolving customer expectations. A greater emphasis on collaboration, a demand for more dynamic routes and timings to meet the expectation of more personalised services, as well as the need to develop new business models for investing in transport services and the network mean that IM is a timely development. The railways will continue to play a critical role in delivering mass transport but it would be wrong to think it will not be affected by the new approach and

‘I think there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed. The first, and biggest, is to re-imagine the role and purpose of transport and the sector, recognising that change is happening’ thinking that IM brings to the transport sector. I am excited at the prospects that IM can bring to make our railways provide an even better service to customers in the future, but how will we encourage the sector to respond to this opportunity? Philip Hoare is Group managing director of Atkins’ Transportation Division



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Post-election challenges With a new Conservative government in place, Brioney Thomas and Nicola Campbell consider what lies in store for the rail industry


he election of a majority Conservative government might be expected to have the least impact upon the policy and strategy for rail’s legal framework. Labour’s proposals for public sector bidders for franchises or a complete overhaul of the franchise system are unlikely to feature highly in the current government plans (except in relation to Scotland). However, there are a number of policies and influences on the industry that the new government will have in its in tray. Some of these are driven by Conservative policy (now it’s no longer in a coalition) and some by shifting public, European and passenger requirements. On the subject of HS2, in February 2015 Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, said: ‘We need to make sure that all parts of the country benefit from what is a large-scale investment.’ The completion of Phase One (LondonBirmingham) was in the Queen’s speech at the State Opening of Parliament, when she said that the government would continue to legislate for high-speed rail links between the different parts of the country. HS2 The government’s notes leave open questions related to extending the project onto Leeds, Manchester and Scotland, and does not address the timing and viability of HS3, which the Chancellor has publicly supported. It has been reported that the team behind HS2 has found that there is no business case for the extension of HS2 into Scotland. In response, Scotland SNP Transport spokesman, Drew Hendry, said: ‘It would be outrageous if the UK government planned to snub Scotland on HS2.’ With a small majority, the government is now dependent upon the decision of its backbenchers on HS2 or other high speed construction. Among that group are individuals who have expressed doubts about the benefits of high speed rail. A topic more likely to gain support in principle on the backbenches is the potential reform of Network Rail, following its recent reclassification as a public sector entity. Industry speculation about the options is building both on the conference circuit and in mainstream business media. Page 40 July/August 2015

Total privatisation appears unlikely given the historical spectre of Railtrack. More vertical integration also feels to be against the government’s instincts but, from a legal standpoint, it may become steadily more feasible given the likely softening of vertical separation requirements in the Fourth Railway Package. Regionalisation Options around partial privatisation and/ or regionalisation feel more realistic. Variants being speculated on in the media include the ‘sale’ of the major stations (or concessions within them), land sales and developments (particularly around stations or HS2 interchange hubs) and hiving off digital services (such as ontrain Wi-Fi). Regionalisation more widely is expressly a policy of the new government and may swiftly take two forms, with Scotland gaining more control over its network. Referendum promises of greater devolution were reflected in the Smith Commission report, which said: ‘The power will be devolved to the Scottish government to allow public sector operators to bid for rail franchises funded and specified by Scottish ministers.’ The SNP will not willingly see retrenchment and a Scotland Act is expressly part of the Queen’s Speech. Will there also be a separate Network Rail for Scotland in due course? Parallel regionalisation and devolution of powers to city regions are likely to reinforce regional networks in England and Wales, not only in the north of England where Transport for the North (TfN) is already establishing itself. Will any new shape for NR reflect this? Whatever the option selected (other than status quo) from any review, the operational and legal complexity of implementation will be demanding.

Key issues Other key issues facing the new government will include promises it made to consumers freezing rail fares in real terms; better digital services on trains (covered explicitly in the Conservative manifesto); and pressure from Europe to adopt the Rail Passengers’ Rights regulations and greater interoperability. Another issue is a changing suppliers market to accommodate the significant investment in infrastructure and rolling stock expected in the next five years. Overall, the current government is likely to adopt a ‘steady-as-she-goes’ approach to industry evolution, but it’s likely that

‘A topic more likely to gain support on the backbenches is the potential reform of Network Rail’

during the next five years the industry will still have to go a long way under that approach. Brioney Thomas is chair of the rail sector group and Nicola Campbell a solicitor at law firm Burges Salmon

Contact Burges Salmon to find out more about its work in the rail industry Brioney Thomas Tel: 0117 902 6677 Email: Nicola Campbell Tel: 0117 307 6888 Email: Visit


Rolling stock information looks ahead Improving rolling stock information recording is set for September. RSSB’s technical director Colin Dennis tells us more


onday 1 June 2015 marked the 100 day countdown to the launch of a new database for rolling stock information. The existing Rolling Stock Library (RSL) and the Rail Vehicle Records System (RAVERS) are set to be replaced with a new application known as R2. RSL and RAVERS are both ‘legacy systems’ originating from the British Rail era. Given their age, current high running costs and lack of industry ownership it was recognised in 2011 that both of these systems were in urgent need of modernisation and upgrading. RSSB, the Traction & Rolling Stock Systems Management Group (T&RS SMG) – the industry governing group for the RSL and RAVERS – and Atos Worldline are working together to develop a new, modern application to replace RSL and RAVERS. The system is being delivered under research and development project Development of an Upgraded Rolling Stock Library/RAVERS

‘Input to the RSL is mandatory as required by Railway Group

(T1027). The new R2 application will include all the functionality of the RSL and RAVERS but will also include new functionality designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of rolling stock information recording and maintenance planning. Once the system goes live in September, R2 will be provided for the industry in a similar way as RSSB currently does for the Safety Management Information System (SMIS). Input to the RSL is mandatory as required by Railway Group Standard GM/RT2453 Registration, Identification and Data to be displayed on Rail Vehicles providing an essential facility for the sharing of rolling stock information and the successful operation of key industry systems such as TOPS and TRUST. The associated Rail Vehicle Record System (RAVERS) provides a common industry system for vehicle and component maintenance information and maintenance planning. While the data recorded in RAVERS is not mandatory, the recording of wheel profile and diameter data, which is mandatory in GM/RT2453, is in many cases, achieved through RAVERS. The same mandatory/ non-mandatory requirements will remain

in place for R2. There are many benefits that arise from the introduction of this new application. These include: • providing a significant reduction in operating costs when compared to the current cost for operating RSL and RAVERS

Standard GM/RT2453 Registration, Identification and Data to be displayed on Rail Vehicles providing an essential facility for the sharing of rolling stock information and the successful operation of key industry systems such as TOPS and TRUST’ July/August 2015 Page 41

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• the introduction of a simplified structure for the payment for R2 and the R2 managed services through RSSB which will replace the existing payment arrangements for these services between individual companies and Atos Worldline • RSSB, on behalf of the industry, obtaining joint ownership of R2 (Atos Worldline is currently the sole owner of the Intellectual Property Rights for both RSL and RAVERS). • integration with other key industry systems including TOPS, Gemini, GENIUS, Integrale, PADS, IMACS and NVR • New functionality including: * a user-friendly application that reimagines and extends the functionality of RSL, RAVERS and maintenance planning * improved business intelligence capabilities for trending and detailed analysis * enhanced maintenance planning * meets European interoperability directives (TAF and TAP TSI’s) * provides functionality that allows for the ATOC Component Tracker system to be replaced in due course should the industry desire

* facilitates the sharing of important vehicle data • a primary source of vehicle and vehicle defect data for the national DRACAS (for CCS) • facilitates improvements to data quality • facilitates innovation * business intelligence developer licenses * adhoc services contract There are a number of key milestones for the users to bear in mind over the course of the next few months; Monday 29th June marked the beginning of user acceptance testing, where volunteers were asked to test the new ‘R2’ system to validate that the functionality of the system will work. The ‘Verification and Familiarisation’ period then begins on Monday 3rd August. At this stage users will be able to verify that they have been set up correctly and have the appropriate access. This period will also see checking that there are no local access issues and ensure that RAVERS/RSL data is present and correct in R2. During this time users will be also be asked to familiarise themselves with the application, to mitigate the possibility

of impacting live data in RSL/RAVERS or downstream systems. On Monday 31 August, the Rolling Stock Library functionality of R2 goes live with the RAVERS functionality of R2 following shortly afterwards on the 7th September when the existing RSL and RAVERS systems will be shut down. The maintenance planning functionality of R2 will be rolled out from the middle of October through to April 2016. We advise users of the rolling stock information recording to take note of these key dates and contact us via with any questions or concerns they may have. We will also be offering ‘train the trainer’ sessions on the new system for the users over the course of the next few months. Should you wish to sign up for a session please contact the R2 project manager David Smith via Regular reminders and project updates will be sent to user organisations over the next few months. Follow us on Twitter via @RSSB_rail for further information.

July/August 2015 Page 43




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Feel the fear and do it anyway If you aren’t confident of your own skills and capabilities, who else will be? In general, women in business could do with enhancing their levels of this vital belief. Adeline Ginn explains


e have all felt that gut wrenching feeling that comes with walking into a room of executives awaiting your presentation; or the one that puts you off approaching your line manager to discuss a promotion. Fear is not uncommon in business. Business is about taking risks, and taking risks can be daunting. At some point though, we all have to cross our fingers and take a leap to get to where we want to be. According to WISE1, this is much easier for one half of the population than the other. Its study found that females have a greater level of fear of failure than their male counterparts when it comes to seizing business opportunities. Often, this is due to women questioning their ability to identify, assess and act on an opportunity. The International Labour Organization found that the number of women in senior and middle management positions around the world has increased over the last 20 years but women are still

under-represented in top management. Yes, it can be argued that there are still not enough flexible options for women higher up the career ladder, and that there is an emotional tug between a woman’s home and work life. But there is also a wider issue at hand.

‘It’s not just the problem of women being too sceptical of what they can achieve; it’s also that men haven’t been sceptical enough to understand this. A Women Corp Survey has shown that while 51.7 per cent of women think lacking in confidence holds them back – only 17.9 per cent of men consider that this could even be a problem’ Most women who are in business today began their careers with smaller responsibilities and progressed upwards when their confidence levels matched their capabilities. Studies believe this is because most women don’t naturally dispose themselves to higher positions in the same way men do. But why is it, that in an age with role models such as Sheryl Sandberg and Angela Merkel, a lot of women are not backing themselves to spearhead many of the important July/August 2015 Page 45


decision-making positions? It’s not just the problem of women being too sceptical of what they can achieve; it’s also that men haven’t been sceptical enough to understand this. A Women Corp Survey has shown that while 51.7 per cent of women think lacking in confidence holds them back – only 17.9 per cent of men consider that this could even be a problem. This is worth mentioning as men who have aspiring women in their teams can only offer sufficient guidance and support if they understand that this is an issue that many women face. This lack of female gusto has been analysed by the likes of Sheryl Sandberg who tackled the ‘ambition gap’ in her book Lean In. Katty Kay and Claire Shipman also attributed female self-doubt as a prime reason for men dominating business boards after interviewing some of the world’s most business-savvy females. Even Katty herself noted that with a top university degree and an ability to speak several languages, she didn’t believe she had the intelligence to compete for journalism’s top jobs. Similarly, even Sheryl Sandberg admitted that ‘there are still days I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.’

A confidence booster For both women and men, self-confidence is the most essential trait for business success. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you convince someone else to put their faith in you? Confidence issues can plague a variety of business tasks, especially dealing with people. For some, networking can be as intimidating as executing policies, planning strategies and making decisions that affect the company. These decisions need confidence behind them in order to be executed effectively, efficiently and professionally, as you need to be confident of your own capabilities. Networking is akin to this. Both men and women need confidence to successfully wear the face of the business they are representing. Personal networking is just as important, and vital to an individual’s career progression. Building up a personal network with the help of sites such as LinkedIn, and putting yourself in the uncomfortable position of facing a room of professional associates you don’t know, is crucial to enhancing career options. A Bullhorn Reach Report suggests that 97 per cent of users registered with LinkedIn use it to source candidates for jobs. According to the Taylor & Francis Group in London, you have as little

as 50 milliseconds to make your first impression and impress those that are viewing your page. Offline, there is more of a science to meeting people. It becomes more about how you treat someone rather than focusing solely on how you put yourself across. Women in Rail’s event last month aimed to make both men and women in the rail industry masters of this art. By tackling common concerns, the event aimed to equip everyone with the confidence to chat, charm and circulate their way to securing any opportunity that may come their way. After an afternoon of networking, the event was followed by an evening of cocktail making to put those new skills into practice. We network every day, be it a room full of name badges, or meeting new people at a party. We therefore encourage everyone to sign up to similar opportunities to ensure we all have the confidence to release our potentials. Adeline Ginn is founder of Women in Rail and general counsel at Angel Trains.

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Become a member… IRO members visit Voyager simulators


in difficult situations, they also identify what revolution in how the railway operates. training is needed to ensure a driver is fully Timetabling rules will be re-written, and the prepared in the event of an incident. This allows entire project is operations and not engineeringCrossCountry to ensure the safe operation of its led. It will also be essential to design in all trains and the safety of staff and customers. possible and necessary operation requirements Our Annual Lunch for Members and Guests will be held at After a comprehensive briefing, each at the outset and this will herald a change of The Mermaid, Puddle Dock, London. On Friday 19th April member was given the opportunity to take culture that will be a major step forward. Our guest speaker is the Hon. the controls. They 2013 were from faced midday. with a variety Timescales are Rt. quite challenging but robust. Simon Burns, Minister of State for Transport. of incidents while driving the given route Trials are already taking place, including a and, despite their lack of driving experience, number of years on the Cambrian Coast route, they all took actionTickets in the incidents that were and a test facility has now also been provided in – £47.00 per head placed before them. Our thanks go to Simon the Kings Cross Power Box area on the Hertford of 10 – £470.00 per Thursfield and theTable team at CrossCountry trains Looptable line. (Ticket pricesvisit are inclusive VATa@ 20%) for a memorable and testing which of gave The programme for installation starts with valuable insight into the steps taken to ensure commissioning at Kings Cross and Moorgate a booking form the safe operation Download of a Voyager train. from at: quarter one 2019, continuing to Doncaster South by quarter three 2020. Doncaster and north thereof will follow. Call: New rolling stock will aid the programme Introducing ERTMS on01785 the East248113 Coast with 700 class Thameslink stock operating from Main Line London to Peterborough, and 800/801 IEP stock n mid-May Nigel Cay (programme on Virgin East Coast services. All these will be sponsor, Network Rail) and Tom Hanham, ERTMS fitted from new. Existing stock will be (alliance manager, Virgin Trains East fitted where there is a need for operations south Coast) updated members of the IRO of Doncaster, including locomotives which North East Area on the introduction of ERTMS operate freight services. (European Rail Traffic Management System) on Reflecting on the event one IRO member the East Coast Main Line. commented: ‘The prospect of dual running The whole project, which is being jointly in the early phases will bring an interesting delivered by both Network Rail and VTEC, concept to our operations!’ represents a sharing of operational knowledge Our thanks go to Nigel and Tom for their and expertise. interesting and informative presentation that At the event members learnt that the provided IRO members with an up-to-date ERTMS project is the keystone of the Digital events all year round. There are aopportunities to seeofhow others understanding the project. Railway Strategy. It will drive forward

embers of the IRO Midlands Area were recently given the coveted opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat and have a go on CrossCountry’s Voyager simulators at its Derby training centre. As all Voyager drivers are assessed at the training centre on a three-year cycle, the simulators are continuously updated as and when any changes are introduced to operational trains. The control software can also simulate three different routes over which CrossCountry trains pass which allows all drivers to be tested on a route they currently, or will, sign. During the visit members learnt about the difficult and challenging scenarios that are often presented to the drivers in the simulators. These can vary from a lorry stuck on a level crossing to a train on fire on an adjacent running line. While the scenarios test the reaction of drivers


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July/August 2015 Page 49

Mobilising East Coast At a recent South East Area event a packed audience was addressed by Virgin Trains East Coast’s managing director, David Horne about the mobilisation of the new VTEC franchise. Unusually, the Virgin (10 per cent)/ Stagecoach (90 per cent) marriage actually bought the shares in the East Coast Mainline Company Ltd which were formerly owned by Directly Operated Railways (DOR). David explained that this was different in mobilisation terms to a traditional franchise takeover, simplifying the process as it avoided the need to TUPE staff, or to apply for a new Safety Certificate. David gave meaningful comparisons between this experience and when he was mobilisation director for East Midlands Trains. David looked back on the process, citing his two-week tour of the network as particularly helpful for staff engagement and explaining the plans of the new company to stakeholders. DOR was praised particularly for its helpfulness in the handover - providing cooperation that not all new franchisees have the benefit of. IRO members heard about issues with social media during the handover and the somewhat low-key (for Virgin!) launch to turn King’s Cross red. David also touched on the alliance that VTEC is to build with Network Rail. Looking forward, we heard about certain aspects of what we can perhaps call the

To get involved with your regional IRO Area please get in touch using the contacts below Irish Area Hilton Parr Scottish Area Jim Douglas North East Area David Monk-Steel North West Area Carl Phillips Midlands Area Rachel Heath South West Area Martin Bonnington South East Area Omar Soares Young Operators Petr Mikyska

Page 50 July/August 2015

‘Virginification’ of the line including a £21million refurbishment of the current fleet as a precursor to the raft of improvements involved in the Intercity Express Programme (new trains, new signalling...), hot food in standard class, a three hour 59 minute London to Edinburgh journey time and customer service improvements. Following his presentation David also took questions from the floor which invited him to discuss why the franchise is branded Virgin rather than Stagecoach, and how the new trains will match the HSTs’ performance north of Edinburgh. ‘An attentive audience learned about an aspect of the industry that is little known, and

even those involved in the bidding process will have gained a great deal from the insights that David provided,’ commented the IRO’s Martin Ward. He further added that ‘we are grateful to David for his ongoing support of the IRO, and this talk exemplified how the IRO creates a unique platform to share knowledge and best practice across the whole industry.’ One thing is for certain - there are some exciting times ahead, and once again (building on the vital stability that the DOR team created) the East Coast Intercity operation is going to flourish. Written by Robin Morgan To find out about upcoming IRO Area events visit:

Saturday 4th July – All Day Family Day – Crewe Heritage Centre, Crewe North West and Wales Area Join the North West Area for a family day out at the Crewe Heritage Centre this summer. This event will feature a variety of activities to suit all ages. Attendees will have full access to the exhibits and attractions which include: advanced passenger train – prototype, exhibition hall, North Junction signal box, Crewe station ‘A’ signal box, Exeter West signal box, miniature railway, standard gauge, model railway and NMRA ‘Calder Northern’. There will also be plenty of time to visit the various themed cafes and the shop. If you would like to book or find out more information please email Tom Cox: northwest@railwayoperators. *Please note: there will be a small cost of £5 per person at this event.* Monday 6th July – 18:00 - 19:30 The Rise of Non-Technical Skills London, South East Area Dr. Ann Mills, professional head of human factors for the RSSB, will be speaking to IRO South East area members about the vital role a focus on non-technical plays in the safe operation of the railway. Dr Mills will be outlining the history of non-technical skills in the industry and how and why the focus on human factors has evolved. This event is free for anyone to attend and would be particularly relevant to those who manage safety critical staff including driver, conductor and station managers. Tuesday 14th July – 17:00 - 20:00 Social evening North East Area Join your fellow IRO members at The Windmill Inn for an informal social evening. Monday 28th July – 17:00-19:00 Track Relaying System and Ballast Cleaning System talk York, North East Area A talk by Dougy Blakeley on the Track Relaying system (TRS) and Ballast Cleaning system (HOBC) and their application. To book your place at this event or to find out more please email David Monk-Steel.


July/August 2015 Page 51

I don’t think we’ve ever had a year of steady state here…but it’s that constant change that has made this place an incredibly exciting and rewarding place to be

LOROL will be in the running again for the London Overground franchise when it comes up for tender in 2016. Managing director, Peter Austin, spoke to Dave Songer about the problems it has overcome, its drive to make more stations accessible and why he feels LOROL has the edge over the competition Page 52 July/August 2015


oes the fact that LOROL has been running the Overground since 2007 give it an advantage over rival bidders? It should do, yes. We like to think we know the business incredibly well, we know our customers well and we know the client very well. I think we’ve done an exceptional job at running the Overground on behalf of TfL over the past eight years or so and I’m sure that both MTR and Arriva will be putting in superb bids on our behalf. What are the pressures of retendering? I would say the impact on the staff. With us being operators it clearly brings a degree of uncertainty among them; they know the contract ends in November 2016 and inevitably we get questions from them asking ‘What will happen to our jobs if we don’t win it?’ Not everybody understands the protection they get under TUPE Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) and that brings challenges. Some people just don’t like that uncertainty, so what we’ve really been trying to do is to look beyond November 2016 and get everybody to share that same long-term view, which I personally believe is the right way to run a business. That approach, ‘We’re in the last couple of years of our franchise, why should we invest?’ is not the right thing to do for the railway. We’re confident that one of our shareholders is going to retain it so we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and try to improve what we do on a daily basis. I’m not entertaining the thought of us not being involved in this after November 2016. Clearly, franchising creates a little bit of a distraction to the day job but we’re an organisation that thrives in an environment of constant change. There have been so many changes since 2007 and in many ways this tender should just be treated as another project. Is there anything that you’ll be doing differently for the process? (Laughs) I’m sure there will be changes and how we plan to

make further improvements but clearly I’m not in a position to tell you what those might be because they’ll be unique to the bid. It also depends what TfL might want as well – before we see their final specification – and I’m sure there will be some changes in there. The contract will be ten years old by the time it’s up and it’s fair to say there are things that have worked that they’ll want to keep; some that haven’t that will go; and some that they’ll want to do better. Rest assured though, it will be about delivering a quality railway to consumers. What notable changes and problems have arisen and what did you do to overcome them? I don’t think we’ve ever had a year of steady state here, be it introducing new train fleets across the network; opening up the east London line; introducing driver-only operations; the Olympics; the West Anglia route; or five-car trains. But it’s that constant change that has made this place an incredibly exciting and rewarding place to be. As an executive team I suppose we have two hats – taking care of day-to-day operations but also keeping a strong project focus. TfL’s vision for the Overground has been very clear and when you’ve got a client who tells you exactly what they want it gives you a really big headstart to actually go out and deliver it. We’ve had to be very careful in how we plan, making sure we understand what the challenge is for the year ahead – we have a rolling five-year plan – and also that we have the resources in place to deal with specific projects. We effectively treat each major change as a project, with one of the directors normally acting as a sponsor for that change, and we’ll have parallel executive meetings; one for day-to-day business and one for the project. Doing it this way ensures that the project does what it’s supposed to, dovetailing into the business. It’s an approach that has stood us pretty well. However, two projects spring to mind that proved the most difficult. The first was the refurbishment of the stations that we undertook in the early years, which was a very, very difficult project to deliver. To be entirely honest, I think we may have July/August 2015 Page 53


‘We’re confident that one of our shareholders is going to retain it so we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and try to improve what we do on a daily basis. I’m not entertaining the thought of us not being involved in this after November 2016’ underestimated the amount of work when we put that bid together because we were so focused on day-to-day operations and the expansion of the railway that not enough attention was given to that project. It was successfully delivered but we actually posted quite a considerable financial loss on that project, which with my being finance director at the time was particularly challenging! There was quite a bit of fallout afterwards, with suppliers and different people having different views of the value of the work that was done. When we did finally close it out, however, there was a real sense of achievement because of the massive step change in the quality of the stations. The second, which was the most difficult to introduce, was driver-only operations. Most of the other LOROL projects have been good news stories: new trains, more services, new routes and more gate lines. Drive operations, I suppose, is one that can be viewed as an efficiency project. It was certainly viewed by our conductors as a bad news story, as instead of creating jobs it put 140 of them at risk. Due to the impact on our staff and the possible impact on people’s livelihoods, it was difficult to Page 54 July/August 2015

explain. There were a lot of safety considerations to go through, making sure we got it right and that we looked after the staff properly. Again, we treated that as a project, appointed a project director and made sure it was resourced properly. The key was having a clear implementation plan and time scale, knowing how to understand and support the people involved and also trying to be as open and clear as possible to protect them and keep them in the business. Our conductors involved in this were very good people and important members of our workforce. Unfortunately, we did lose some of them but I’m glad to say that there were no compulsory redundancies. Were they redistributed within the business? That’s correct. Some of them became drivers and some customer service ambassadors, which is a pivotal role for us because, as we get busier, we want more people on platforms interacting with passengers and keeping services moving. So from that perspective it was rewarding to do it, do it relatively quickly. During this period there was very little disruption to the service and I think we got the human side right as well by trying to do the best by the staff. How is the running of the West Anglia line going? It’s had a mixed start but we’re delighted with the project team and the effort and planning that went into it. Everything that needed to be in place was in place for day one. We’ve rebranded all the stations, with the majority looking much cleaner and brighter, and we’ve got staff out 15 minutes before the first, and 15 minutes after the last train (first-to-last staffing). We have to be honest though and say that we’ve had some trouble with train reliability. Some of the issues that you get with devolution and splitting up franchises are the short-term diseconomies – we’ve ended up with a mixed fleet of Class 315’s and 317’s, the latter of which haven’t been in service since 2012. We’ve done a good job of getting them back in but there have inevitably been a few teething problems. We’re working hard with Abellio Greater Anglia (the company that maintains the


‘We’ve had to be very careful in how we plan, making sure we understand what the challenge is for the year ahead – we have a rolling five-year plan – and that we have the resources in place to deal with specific projects’ trains) to get the reliability up to speed and to see what we can do around train planning. What else can be done on the Overground to deal with the rise in passenger numbers? On the east London line we’ve completed the roll out of the five-car trains and we’re about half way through with the north London line. The five-car trains have given us some breathing space; I jumped on a five-car at Clapham Junction in the morning peak and it was full but has kept up in the face of quicker-than-normal growth due to the ongoing problems at London Bridge. In terms of capacity, the Gospel Oak to Barking electrification enables us to operate longer trains that will help us double the capacity along that route. There’s an aspiration to move to four trains every hour on the Euston to Watford branch and also to increase the frequency along the north London and, potentially, the east London line. As the railway becomes busier it becomes more difficult to manage crowds at stations and we’ve got to get better at managing the flows of people getting on and off. There’s still scope for further growth, as it’s still not as busy as a Zone 1 tube station, but it’s not easy. I think that part of the value of TfL using us – a private operator – to run the network lies in the solutions we have to manage that demand and maximise capacity.

No plans to close ticket offices then? No, we have no plans to close ticket offices. We have increased the number of staff on platforms to deal with over crowding, creating a new grade of staff called customer service ambassadors. It’s their job to act as the ears and eyes of the railway, to meet and greet customers on the platforms and to provide a security presence. In times of disruption, they get information to and from the customers and the control room and they also help with mobility-impaired passengers and ill passengers. It’s a key role. Other than more staff, what impact will the upcoming 24-hour services have on operations? 24-hour travel isn’t expected in the current concession but when it does arrive, the place it’s likely to happen first would be on the Highbury to New Cross Gate – a core section of the east London line. That’s partly because TfL controls the infrastructure there, so it’s in their gift to arrange that. As for the impact on operations, I think it will bring challenges. We operate from early in the morning to late at night anyway but I think getting security right will be vital. When serving the night-time economy we know that a lot of people will have been out partying and enjoying themselves and that will create challenges. In the morning, getting people to work will have to be thought about because not all the other elements will be working. It will also change the way that trains are maintained; Bombardier do a lot of their maintenance overnight so they’ll potentially lose that window – could that mean a need for bigger train fleets to facilitate a 24-hour timetable, I wonder? Our work patterns will need to be looked at, do we bring in dedicated night links or do we bring in some degree of night shift for drivers as well? On balance I think it’s a good thing but there are lots and lots of questions to think through and there’s a degree of inevitably about it. It’s a success in other cities, such as Stockholm, so I don’t see why it couldn’t be here. Does improving accessibility for disabled and elderly passengers feature more prominently than when you began the franchise? Yes, absolutely. We’ve been running Turn Up and Go for July/August 2015 Page 55


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mobility and visually-impaired passengers since TfL introduced it in March 2014, and since May 2015 on the West Anglia line. It’s now not necessary to have to book for assistance anywhere across the TfL network and we’re very proud of the success rate, it’s not 100 per cent quite yet but it’s certainly 99 point something. Passengers who need assistance can turn up at any one of our accessible stations with a degree of confidence that they’ll get assisted onto the train and most importantly when they wish to get off it. Having first-to-last staffing gives a big advantage but clever processes and techniques also need to be in place to help people throughout their journey. It’s not part of the bid but we’re always looking to see how we can improve the service. I was just talking to some of the staff this morning and it’s one of the issues that came up: how do we provide better information to staff about passengers who need assistance? As part of the Access for All programme, I think we’ve installed 38 lifts since 2007 – there were only ten accessible stations when we started and there are more than 44 today. We’ve seen the benefits of making stations more accessible in terms of passenger growth and we’re going to continue what we’ve been doing in that area. Doe that include further training for staff so they know how to deal with the changes? That’s right, every single member of staff will receive special training on improving accessibility, particularly the use of the ramps that are now in operation at every station, be they accessible stations or not. It falls to the member of staff to be able to identify if someone needs assistance and be able to intervene politely and with empathy if they do. It helps us make sure that our customers’ journeys are as smooth as possible. You mentioned the work at Gospel Oak to deal with rising demand, can you tell me more about that? We recognise that that line is massively overcrowded at the moment. It used to be half-hourly service run by a very old fleet of Class 150’s and we’ve introduced some new Class 172’s,


providing a service that now runs every 15 minutes. It also runs earlier and later than it used to and we’ve tried to exploit a few gaps but it is a busy freight route so we’ve done what we can. Unfortunately, it’s still not enough and the line remains very, very busy. The answer is to extend the platforms and the plan is to electrify the whole route, which should be complete by 2017, whereupon the new trains will need to be brought in as quickly as we possibly can to enable four-car trains to run. It’s not just an electrification project though, there are many bridges and viaducts and, with electric freight due to run as well, there’s a lot of civil work, such as track lowering and bridge strengthening. Inevitably, with a project of that size there is going to be disruption while the improvements are made but a long-term solution for that route is needed and electrification is the answer. What have you most enjoyed or been most proud of during your time with LOROL? It’s been a huge part of my professional career. I think I started working on the Overground project back in 2005, when I was part of the original bid team. Before the pre-qualification questionnaire even came out I was carrying out research and having a look at the old north London line, when the line only went as far as Woolwich, so for me to be part of this transformation has been an absolute privilege. I can’t pick out one specific moment; many people would say the Olympics because of the buzz factor but, for me, it’s just been a continual journey. After winning the contract, I remember turning up at the Swiss Cottage headquarters on the first day and there was literally one member of staff in there. Now we’ve got around 1,500 people working for us. I look forward to coming to work, which I never thought I’d say. There are good and bad days, but there is such a positive feeling about where we’ve come from and where we’re going, it’s an exciting place to be. July/August 2015 Page 57

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Light rail

Step into the light James Harkins says light rail and trams offer an almost complete answer to the problem of urban air quality


nfortunately ‘Light Rail’ has now become polluted by subconscious thoughts of over-engineering, overcosts and general urban blight etc., whereas the term ‘Tram’ is more acceptable in human and affordable cost terms. Since there is confusion in the terms used to describe Light Rail, as the scope of this and other operations is very wide, I will use ‘Light Rail’ in specific references and ‘Tram’ in general. Light-rail transit (LRT) or Trams is a relative newcomer to the world of mass transit. This is a mode of transport which uses rail vehicles that are more versatile than conventional heavy rail trains and have street running capabilities. A light rail vehicle can negotiate sharper curves

than a conventional train (both vertical and horizontal), can take on steeper gradients and can stop much faster, so can operate in line-of-sight mode without major signalling requirements. The systems available provide the ability to follow the curves and gradients of the urban environment which a conventional train cannot do. Light Rail offers an attractive and effective system, reducing congestion and pollution by offering motorists an alternative to car use, for example Manchester Metrolink registered a modal switch approaching 32 per cent, helping to create pollution-free zones in cities (clear zones). It moves large passenger flows in a more cost-effective way than buses, but at a fraction of the cost of a full urban railway. Light rail/tram is mainly

July/August 2015 Page 59


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Light rail

‘Light Rail vehicles can provide the ambience of a train, but can run in places where a train cannot. They are thus able to attract motorists out of cars where a bus would not be successful’ appropriate in urban or inter-urban systems in medium-sized cities where full metro systems are inappropriate. In the largest cities underground/ metro systems tend to be the mainstay of public transport but such cities might use a light rail solution to supplement the metro system. Light Rail vehicles can provide the ambience of a train, but can run in places where a train cannot. They are thus able to attract motorists out of cars where a bus would not be successful. Even

when running on former rail alignments, light rail vehicles can offer a better service because they can offer a more frequent service. They can stop at more places because the stops are much easier and cheaper to construct than railway stations. On roads as trams, they can offer attractive journey times in comparison with cars and buses by taking advantage of segregated alignments and the latest traffic engineering techniques to avoid road congestion. A frequent light rail/tram service

provides security in city streets throughout the day, both on and off the vehicle. Low-floors together with a spacious layout provide easy access to mainstream public transport for everyone including parents with buggies and disabled people using wheelchairs. Trams are generally electric vehicles which produce no pollution at the point of service delivery, may use locally produced ‘green’ electricity and the visible path makes sharing precincts with pedestrians a safe option. Thus pedestrian July/August 2015 Page 61






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Light rail

Light Rail – the facts Light rail usage increased in 2013/14. Passenger journeys and vehicle miles reached the highest figures recorded in the modern era, continuing two decades of growth without any direct operational subsidies, unlike a significant number of Toc’s at the moment Across the eight light rail systems in England there were 227 million passenger journeys in 2013/14, a two per cent increase on the previous year. The rising passenger journeys and vehicle miles can at least in part be attributed to network expansion, for example route miles on the Manchester Metrolink increased by 15 per cent from 2012/13 to 2013/14. A recent report launched by UKTram at the summer meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group shows significantly higher regeneration and jobs created in the eight city regions of UK with this mode, which will power the rebalancing and growth of the economy. Light rail and tram revenue increased by six per cent in real terms to £290 million in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13. Average revenue per journey has increased 4.6 pence (3.8 per cent) in real terms to 128 pence between 2012/13 and 2013/14.

precincts with trams can provide access to city centre areas where buses and cars would be obtrusive. A significant part of the success of any system is the demonstration that changing people’s lifestyles away from the car and its choking consequences can be of considerable benefit to them and their

surroundings In some situations, where conventional tramway systems are not appropriate, intermediate rail can be considered. Intermediate rail vehicles can be a tram-train which can run on main line railways but have some of the characteristics of light rail vehicles. Typically they would have (in the UK) a floor height of 950 mm to give level access on standard Railtrack platforms and the flexibility for street level platform; magnetic track brakes and balancing; the capability to run on line-of-sight, interworking with conventional trains and freeing up capacity at main stations This would enable them to run on non-segregated alignments providing better access in places where the railway route is not near to the destination of passengers and where it would be difficult or prohibitively expensive to construct a conventional railway. In the meantime, LRT technology has made great advances. It’s clean, relatively quiet, and can be quicker to build than heavy rail systems, for example Manchester Metrolink Airport line which came in significantly under-budget and a year early Tram-trains have the potential to encourage new passengers to rail while reducing overall costs to UK plc. They represent the development of a new service to rail users, providing new journey opportunities, taking the railway to where people want it to go to, both origin and destination and providing easier access to trains — in effect taking the railways to the people again. They may have higher upfront costs but they deliver lower whole-life costs. Substantial

evidence from Europe shows that this develops into significant revenue streams and enhances the modal switch from road to rail in urban areas, but this will only be delivered if the wider industry works in partnership to make it happen Examples in the UK are: Greater Manchester with plans for tram-train in the Stockport/Marple area, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Leeds, London, Bristol, Cheshire, Cardiff Bay development to name a few who are almost tram-train ready On-board fuel A recent development in light rail/tram is the growth of on-board fuel supplied vehicles giving catenary-free vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Foshan, a city of some eight million in southern China, has rolled out the first of what will be many trams powered by hydrogen. When they enter service, each will carry up to 380 passengers, have a range of 100 km, and a top speed of 70 km/h. Refuelling it will take just three minutes. Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity by creating a chemical reaction using hydrogen and oxygen. That means their exhaust is nothing but water. The trams are manufactured by Sifang, a subsidiary of state-owned China South Rail Corp. If the new trams turn out as planned, China plans to spend US$32 billion in the next five years to build and equip 2,000 km of lines. At the other end of the scale, several relatively low-cost hydrogen trams have been developed in service. One successful example is operating in the Caribbean island of Aruba linking the Port with the capital city Oranjestad.

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Light rail

Affects the health of everyone Deaths from air pollution are usually put at around 29,000 a year in the UK, bur recent reports suggest that figure could be substantially higher because the lethal effect of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), emitted during fossil fuel burning, has not been taken into account.  Air pollution has been linked to coronary artery disease, heart attacks and strokes, with studies showing that traffic-related air pollution affects lung function in children and older people. Diesel vehicles emit more of the dangerous pollutants than petrol

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vehicles. Sixteen cities and regions including London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow have illegal levels of air pollution long after they were obliged to comply with agreed limits The government must take immediate action to tackle high levels of NO2 pollution in the UK following a recent landmark court ruling. Supreme Court justices announced their saying that ministers must draw up new air quality plans to meet obligations under European law on pollution limits. A panel of five judges, headed by the court’s president Lord Neuberger, ordered that the government ‘must prepare and consult on new air quality plans for submission to the European Commission, no later than December 31 2015.’ The Secretary of State ‘admits in this case the UK has failed to comply with the nitrogen dioxide limits first laid down by EU law in 1999, now contained in Article 13 of the directive.’ A DEFRA report from 2014 has lain unheeded until this court case Some areas such as London, Birmingham Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Liverpool, Bristol and Leeds would not meet pollution limits until 2030, 20 years after the original deadline of 2010. The government should be forced

to urgently clean up pollution from/ and including diesel vehicles by implementing, as France has done, light rail and tramway systems which are emission-free and can use energy from non-polluting means of power generation. All governments have tried to sell us the low-cost options of more efficient roads, cars, buses and trucks etc., but the evidence shows that these do not work on the scale now needed. And while it appears that lip service is paid to ‘saving the planet’, a step change with this new government, now that the facts are in the public domain, is the right thing to do morally, to enable families, our very young and older citizens to enjoy healthy, happy longevity. We have the money and the experts, and this nasty nettle has to be grasped and a statesman’s view taken over several generations on funding, and then we will go a very long way to cleaning up and regenerating our cities.

James Harkins FCILT MTPS of Light Rail (UK) is also secretariat of The All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group


What a ride! Launched on Saturday 31 May 2014 at 5:00am, Edinburgh Trams has been a contentious project to say the least. Tom Norris explains how it is now in a ‘more healthy place’


aunching a new tram service was never going to be easy. When there has been a challenging construction project preceding the launch, that makes it even more important to get everything right. The scrutiny that Edinburgh Trams has been under in Scotland has been incredible, like nothing I could have imagined, but now I’m pleased to say it feels like we are coming out the other end. So after a year of operation, what can I tell you? Well it’s been pretty good. Our key indicators are all either exactly where we want them, or in a more healthy place: • our first year key safety KPI’s were achieved or beaten • we moved 4.92 million passengers, which is 10 per cent above our expectations • our revenue was approximately three per cent ahead of target • passenger satisfaction was 95 per cent (Passenger Transport) • employee engagement is very high • fare evasion is extremely low – less than 0.5 per cent • reliability of 99 per cent and a similarly high punctuality rate

From a reputational perspective our brand and our business has very quickly become one synonymous with Edinburgh and Scotland. We have a far more balanced and positive coverage from the press. That is really down to one thing, the hard work of our staff. When I first started building the team at Edinburgh Trams I had one thing in mind. We had to be significantly different to our competitors and the key focus we took forward was customer service. That way, over time, the reputation of the business would move. But I didn’t quite foresee it moving as quickly as it did. Our style had to embody not just Edinburgh, but Scotland. Our on board staff are trained as ‘Ambassadors of Edinburgh’, spending time in the city learning about tourism, onward travel and the city generally. They spend as much time training to be ambassadors as they do learning about our business and their job. That way, the personal on-board offering creates a significant difference to our competition. No high penalty fares Our approach to customers is to be as helpful as possible. Not just when they meet staff, but in how they interact with our business. We have a great ticket

app, paper tickets from ticket vending machines and smart cards. Our ‘on board fare’ is £10 (platform fare £1.50 city single or £5 to the airport). If you don’t have a valid ticket you can step off the tram and buy one, or pay £10. The customer has a choice and it is usually a very quick transaction, one that rarely involves conflict. This allows our staff to have more time giving great customer service and making sure we check every ticket. You won’t find high penalty fares here and we have no need for a back office to process them. We’re incredibly proud of our fare evasion rate.  For the sake of a few seconds, our drivers will wait for passengers they see quickly trying to buy a ticket or running for the tram – our performance regime is built around

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The back story

T the customer, which allows us a little flexibility to be that bit more helpful. We listen intently to our customers. We react, change things and keep an uncompromising focus on improving the experience they have. This year we have started accepting bicycles on trams as part of a pilot and we relaxed food and drink restrictions and developed our ticket offering. These all may seem like minor changes, but they are things that matter to our passengers, so they matter to us. Down to staff But for me, this is all really down to the approach our staff have taken in delighting our customers over the past year. The recruitment process includes a variety of tests and interviews that make sure we get the most customer-focused people we can find. People who I know will think about the reputational impact their decisions will make on a day-to-day basis. People who can be empowered, responsible and discrete when it is appropriate. People who understand the success of the business will allow sustainable employment and opportunity for development and promotion. These are the type of people we employ and who are being absolute superstars in delivering services for our customers. We do have a commitment to internal promotion, and since the business started three years ago more than 10 per cent of our workforce has achieved a promotion. That doesn’t mean we won’t recruit externally, we do, but we always look inside the business first. In terms of infrastructure and trams, the teams supporting our service have delivered a very reliable system. Things happen - like any transport operator we have to deal with the unexpected. But the underlying performance, particularly of the infrastructure has been very strong, meaning incidents causing widespread disruption are few and far between. So the first year has gone well. But we’re not being complacent. There are many more improvements, developments and changes we need to make to delight our passengers even more and help develop a business that Edinburgh can be proud of. For me, it’s been an absolute privilege to lead this team into service. At the time of writing, Tom Norris was director and general manager, Edinburgh Trams Page 66 July/August 2015

rams returned to Edinburgh for the first time in almost 40 years when Edinburgh Trams was launched. But in the decade since the first money was allocated, the price of the project doubled, the network halved, and it took twice as long to build as first thought. In September 2003, the Labour-led Scottish Executive earmarked £375 million, indexed for inflation, for the proposed tram routes linking the city centre with both Leith and Edinburgh Airport. It was hoped trains would be operational by 2009. When it was launched in 2014 – more than five years behind schedule – Edinburgh Trams had just one route - not the network that was envisaged. This 8.7 mile (14km) route stretches from Edinburgh airport to York Place in the city centre, with 15 stops along the way. The entire project has been marked by disputes. It was set to be scrapped by the SNP when the Nationalists formed their first minority at Holyrood in 2007, only for the decision to be overturned by the other parties in the Scottish Parliament. Five years ago, a bitter dispute between the arms-length company responsible for bringing trams to Edinburgh, Tie Ltd, and its main contractor, Bilfinger Berger brought the project to a halt for months. When David Mackay quit as chairman of Transport Edinburgh Limited he branded the project ‘hell on wheels’. He described Bilfinger Berger, as a ‘delinquent company that smelled a victim’. But there is little doubt that BB’s executives were similarly frustrated by the now defunct Tie Ltd’s handling of the project on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council. Added to this, vital roads in Edinburgh city centre and Leith were dug up for the best part of seven years causing congestion, inconvenience and financial harm to businesses. As Edinburgh’s elegant streets were transformed into a giant building site, initial scepticism was replaced by downright opposition. At first the tram project was dependent on the revenues from a road-charging scheme that the City of Edinburgh Council wanted to implement, similar to that introduced in London in 2003. But when the controversial road tolls were rejected after a public outcry, the tram scheme sailed on, backed by cash from the Scottish government of the time. By September 2005, as the parliamentary bills for the line made their way through Holyrood the cost was put at £539 million. The new estimates proved too much for the council which shelved the Granton-Newhaven and Edinburgh airport-Newbridge sections. In March 2006 the legislation was passed in parliament, with completion now put back to 2011 and the first work to divert utility pipes and cables in Leith began in March 2007. But work stopped as the Scottish Parliament elections arrived and in May 2007, the new SNP administration at Holyrood tried to press ahead with its pledge to scrap the trams project. However, opposition parties outvoted the minority government and it was forced to handover almost £500 million for the project. The Scottish government’s finance secretary John Swinney said he would give the project the cash already agreed and ‘not a penny more’. Any further cash would have to be found by the City of Edinburgh Council. Construction could now begin, but a whole new range of problems arrived. The city centre was left gridlocked when work began on Princes Street at The Mound due to a ‘catastrophic failure’ of traffic management, and similar stories arose wherever the tram works went. Princes Street, the main route through the centre of Edinburgh, remained closed to traffic for most of 2009, an annus horribilis for the project. In October 2010 council officials admitted the tram line would only run to St Andrew Square in the city centre, the plan to continue to Leith and Newhaven was no more. 2011 saw some sort of resolution with Bilfinger Berger but a fresh crisis emerged as the council realised it did not have the money to complete the project. City of Edinburgh Council came up with a plan to stop the line at Haymarket, more than a mile west of the city centre, a decision labelled as ‘bonkers’ by the city’s Chambers of Commerce. The Scottish government had to wade in again and refused to provide the final £72 million of its funding if the line did not go to the city centre, forcing the council into a u-turn. In contrast to the troubled history of the project the final two years before its launch were relatively smooth. Last month a date was set for the first preliminary hearing of the public enquiry into Edinburgh Trams. Lord Hardie will chair the hearing in the capital on 19th August 2015. It was announced last year that the public inquiry had been awarded statutory powers to allow the senior judge to compel witnesses to participate. The Scottish government took action after some of those involved in the project refused ‘point blank’ to cooperate. Lord Hardie will announce on 19th August, those persons and organisations who have been designated as core participants. After extra interest payments are factored in, the final cost of the system is expected to be more than £1 billion. City of Edinburgh Council is now looking to extend the network to Newhaven, Ocean Terminal or the foot of Leith Walk.

Light rail

Lightening up the split ends John Parry makes the case for a ‘small is beautiful’ periphery to the rail network


resh ideas for the railways are not needed exclusively on the high glamour applications. Once neglected regional lines are now carrying passengers in unprecedented numbers. Growth in patronage does not happen automatically simply because there is a railway line, other factors must pertain; a reason to travel, the prospect of services getting commuters or leisure visitors conveniently to their destinations at the times they wish to arrive, providing a return journey which is equally convenient, and implementing technical changes that will drive down costs. The simple solution which can double line capacity Increasing the capacity of a single track railway line is surprisingly simple. Twice the number of train services can be run by cutting one line into two with a halfway point at which passengers change trains. Where the two sections of line meet there will be a common platform, with the heavy line one side and a ‘light’ line the other. The measure becomes practicable if the less well-patronised end of the railway is operated with smaller, lighter, lowercost equipment and less heavily-regulated procedures (as a light railway). Costs are further reduced by engaging community railway support for the care of stations etc.. Consider the evening peak. A mathematical model would be one of a four carriage train which frequently departs from a major town station with a crush of 400 passengers on board, and these disembark at stations along the route until reaching a halfway point station, by which time there are only 100 left. Instead of continuing to the end of the line, the four carriage train could discharge all its passengers at the halfway station, returning straightaway to the town in order to begin the next service in half the normal time. At the halfway point station a light single carriage train is waiting to pick up the remaining passengers to continue their journey home. Operating at twice the

previous frequency, the lightweight unit will on average have only 50 passengers and all get a seat. Equally popular will be the fact that the four carriage train running twice as often will have only 200 passengers, all seated. They will have greater comfort and the convenience of double the number of services to choose from. If there are more than four services an hour, passengers will ‘turn up and go’, not bothering to consult the timetable. The interchange environment should be pleasant, covered-in, with toilets, restroom, shop and even a cafeteria. This is the ‘Nirvana’ that people seek from public transport and if it is no problem getting to stations along the light section, the alternative of driving in to work begins to look like an expensive, stressful, time-wasting mug’s game. Hang up the car keys, except when running late, at which time your partner drives you to the station (to ‘Kiss and Ride’ in transport planners’ parlance.) Reviving the Light Railway concept, but unlike Colonel Stephen’s rickety Ford Railbuses of the 1920’s, Britain in 2015 requires an intermediate mode

rolling stock to be fully contemporary in appearance and performance, but designed accordingly to radically different specifications: • light vehicles below 20 tonnes, saving energy • plain, not electrified track to avoid capital expenditure normally involved in converting to light rail • slow line speeds, max 50-60 mph, with simplified rules • low wear and tear of the track because of light axle load • low carbon hybrid driveline and ‘clean’ prime mover with braking energy recovery • engineering, part-rail, part-automotive so suitable to be subcontracted to a bus or taxi firm • maintained at, or close to, the operating line avoiding empty journeys to remote depots By adopting a ‘retro’ theme, very modern vehicles can be given a reassuringly familiar appearance. Trains and railcars built to the

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Light rail

‘Embarking on early measures which have the potential of creating millions of new passenger journeys is not something that can be done without proper means’ above specifications will provide the opportunity to be operated rather differently. Operationally the rail industry has a precedent, the ‘Community Railways’ where local people get involved in supporting local train services. Public enthusiasm will be generated by the possibility of the service frequency being at least doubled as a result of having a small fleet of local railcars which remain in the vicinity, meeting every arrival and departure of a heavy rail service and, if further demand exists, providing additional services to what will become the rail — at the town where the heavy rail service terminates.

many wins do you need? So what’s to stop it? Well, the Victorians’ ‘get stuck in’ spirit seems to have emigrated to New Zealand and with crowds of new, quite well-educated but not very practical youngsters joining a mob of similarly qualified predecessors (but few Brunels, Telfords or Stephensons) we have created a vast proving ground for Parkinson’s Law, that ‘Work expands to fill the time available to do the work’. The governor of the Bank of England is troubled, with good reason, about productivity and low investment with the current aversion to risk and the economy being based too heavily on consumption. Growth in productivity has flatlined so the country is becoming less and less competitive and sooner or later there will be a balance of trade crisis. Much business activity takes place during train journeys, far more than if the same people were driving. Modification to the extreme ends of the rail network doubling passenger capacity will increase productivity and must surely be a case for rapid implementation. So if there is a bandwagon to get on it should be moving in the right direction, not manoeuvred to block the road ahead by a conspiracy of slowness involving people who gain more from stringing out processes than by moving as quickly as possible. • a working template providing real evidence of costs and benefits • a training facility covering all aspects of marketing, system planning, operation and maintenance • incremental R&D activity realising the stretch potential of proven systems • a strategic planning capability based on detailed knowledge of the UK public transport industry • a window into prime export markets, and • recognition by the relevant authorities of the validity of the ambition and the prospective importance to the UK Given all the above is in place it is then down to leadership and the recognition that actions speak louder than study, so the programme must be driven by those whose interests lie in achieving the highest possible operational results rather than academic attainment.

Logical… but can it be done? So it’s obvious; the train companies will not lose out and no jobs will be sacrificed, the track owner will collect more access charges, it will be better for the passengers (more services and less overcrowding) private car journeys will be fewer, better for productivity levels; and we must not forget the environment, and the DfT’s Rail Executive will see the railway success story marching on. How

What next? Embarking on early measures which have the potential to create millions of new passenger journeys is not something that can be done without proper means. The endeavour requires: • a base to work from • powerful leadership by a respected public figure • academic rigour and scrutiny

And it can be done... There has been a pathfinder operation. The scene (left) is at Stourbridge in the West Midlands where low-cost Class 139 railcars have, since 2009, been successfully providing passenger services on one of the ‘split ends’ of the railway network, the Town Branch. Passenger journeys have almost doubled as a result of a 50 per cent increase in the number of services. John Parry is chairman of Parry People Movers

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Light rail

A move to the forefront With increasing demand and shifting mobility needs, Martin Lamb explains why now is the time to revisit light rail as a viable solution to urban transport requirements


t’s been over a month since the Conservative Party won an unexpected outright majority in the general election. For the transport sector, the result promises a £5.2 billion investment in better transport with a £38 billion spend on our railways over the next five years. But while electrifying main rail routes, improvements to and from East Anglia and HS2 are high on the Tories’ agenda, what changes can we expect to see within light rail? Unsurprisingly perhaps, there is nothing specific in the Conservatives’ manifesto on light rail. However, there are some clues in other policy areas, particularly HS2 and City Deals, as to how light rail might fit into an integrated and sustainable transport network. Support for HS2 and possibly a future HS3 rail link are designed to increase connectivity between core cities. City Deals, on the other hand, are geared towards giving cities more control on how best to deliver local solutions to stimulate job creation, and other areas including local transport provision. Considering that around 80 per cent of the UK’s population lives in urban areas1 and our four largest cities – London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow – account for 23.6 per cent of the total population2, it is clear that there is an obvious link between the two. In fact, in England, 74 per cent of the population and 78 per cent of the jobs are within cities3, so having a reliable and integrated transport network that can support movement in and around these cities is vital. In England the first wave of City Deals has focused on the eight largest cities outside London with a second wave planned to focus on the next fourteen biggest cities and the six fastest growing cities from 2001 to 2010. Meanwhile, in Scotland, Glasgow and the Clyde Valley has been awarded a £1.2 billion City Deal, with Cardiff Capital Region also understood to be developing a business case for one. However, with an increasing

focus on job creation in cities and city regions in the UK, there needs to be a corresponding improvement in urban transport provision. Catering for changing mobility needs Few people now believe that the best way to get large numbers of people into city centres is based on the car. Today, there is an increasing realisation that leisure and business travel can be more usefully spent on public transport. Wi-Fi coverage can now enable users to access work or entertainment, while travel apps support multi-modal transport opportunities. So the focus now needs to be on integration. Trams and light rail present an excellent opportunity to form part of an integrated transport system for urban areas. Not only are they are fast, quiet and produce no tailpipe emissions, but they have been shown to promote a modal shift from car to public transport in a way that buses do not. Moreover, the benefit of HS2 will only be fully realised if there is an efficient public transport system at the destination city. Yet too often there is a silo mentality

related to transport systems, both in terms of the modes themselves, e.g. heavy rail, roads, bus and light rail, and what they are meant to deliver. However, it should not be a case of one or another. Light rail should not be seen simply as a transport option, but as a facilitator of economic development, namely development opportunities for

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Light rail

to improve the cost-effectiveness and attractiveness of light rail systems through new methods of charging, such as wireless power transfer. By energising the vehicle through inductive roadbased systems, the need for unsightly overhead wires can be removed and power consumption reduced. This in turn will help drive-down costs, reduce vehicle weight and offer an even greater opportunity to develop lightweight trackforms. Furthermore, new DfT figures5 show that light rail usage in England has risen to its highest level since records began, with a 5.6 per cent increase in passengers from the previous year. So it’s clear that there is a growing appetite among consumers for light rail systems.

housing, leisure and education facilities or commercial property. By investing in better transport solutions and an integrated network, there’s no doubt that commercial and residential development will follow. You only have to look at existing light rail infrastructure to see the benefits. In many cases, light rail has been shown to increase land values, as people opt for houses and offices near permanent transport infrastructure like rail rather than bus routes which can change overnight. This is not however to dismiss the important role that buses play in public transport. Currently buses account for 63 per cent of passenger journeys compared to just three per cent for light rail and trams, as well as 29 per cent of

Page 72 July/August 2015

passenger kilometres compared to just one per cent for light rail4. Therefore, the key message here is not that one mode is better than another, but that both modes, along with heavy rail, have their part to play in an integrated urban transport system. So why then are there so few light rail systems in the UK? Benefits versus barriers The slow adoption of light rail is in part driven by the fact that previously the development of light rail systems in the UK has proven to be disruptive, time consuming and expensive, particularly in urban centres. The requirement to divert utilities in the corridor of the track (£5 million for the one mile extension in Birmingham) is a major reason behind this, along with a relatively wide construction corridor and associated requirement to replace the urban realm. Additional costs can also be attributed to over-engineered and bespoke solutions, partly as a result of a lack of common standards for light rail and a tendency to use heavy rail standards in their place. However steps have now been made to counter some of these issues. For example, TRL has been working on possible solutions for trackform construction which have the potential to greatly increase construction speed, while also significantly reducing construction costs, the requirement for utility diversions, and any associated disruption. This is achieved through the construction of shallow prefabricated trackforms that can span utilities and can be placed on top of, or flush with, the existing road surface, subject to sufficient foundation strength. There are also further opportunities

Bringing light rail to the forefront As traditional barriers to adoption are removed, light rail is becoming an increasingly attractive and viable option for cities looking to cater for increasing demand and shifting mobility needs. Steps are being taken in the right direction and the government clearly recognises the value of public transport in driving development in modern cities, but it’s time now to get rid of misguided perceptions and bring light rail to the forefront of today’s urban transport requirements. While more funding is needed for research, progress is being made with innovation and testing on novel and cost reducing systems for light rail construction and operation as well as on the development of common, performance-based standards. Many cities are under increasing pressure to improve energy efficiency and find more efficient ways of moving people around. Given the role that light rail can play in delivering connectivity, economic development and social cohesion, the opportunity to position light rail as part of an integrated transport solution is something that simply shouldn’t be ignored. Martin Lamb is business development manager at TRL, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory 1. Office for National Statistics. 2011 Census Analysis - Comparing Rural and Urban Areas of England and Wales, ons/dcp171776_337939.pdf 2. Centre for Cities; City Outlook, January 2015. 3. City Deal Policy. government/policies/giving-more-power-backto-cities-through-city-deals%20 4. system/uploads/attachment_data/file/389592/ tsgb-2014.pdf 5. Department for Transport. Light rail and tram statistics: England, year ending March 2015. statistics/light-rail-and-tram-statistics-englandyear-ending-march-2015

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National HSR Conference 200 St Vincent Street, Glasgow Thursday 3rd September With the HS2 Phase 1 Bill returning for completion in the new Parliament, it is timely to look again at how high-speed rail should be developed to serve the whole country. The question of Anglo-Scottish cross-border routes is particularly important. Early evidence from Greengauge 21 and Network Rail showed there was a business case for high-speed rail, but HS2 Ltd announced in May 2015 that they had concluded otherwise. Meanwhile, highspeed trains running over existing tracks are expected to extend the journey time benefits of HS2 to Glasgow and potentially Edinburgh from Phase 1 onwards. Within the central belt of Scotland, Transport Scotland studies are reported as having concluded that the case for investment in HSR depends on there being a crossborder component. From a Scottish perspective, the contribution HSR can make to improving connectivity extends to links with the great cities of northern England as well as London; its role in reducing carbon emissions through reduced need for short-haul aviation may be critical too. Greengauge 21 is holding this conference so that the various parties involved can discuss and debate the issues arising. We contend that a long term strategic plan is needed so that all parties can see how best to exploit the advantages of capacity (for long distance and local passenger services and for increased freight provision on rail) , improved resilience and performance reliability as well as faster journey times that high-speed rail can bring. Confirmed speakers include Keith Brown, MSP Minister for Infrastructure, Investment and the Cities, Duncan Sutherland, Director, HS2 Ltd, Graham Leech, Group Commercial Director, Virgin Rail Group and Sir Richard Leese, Chair of Transport for the North Partnership Board and Leader Manchester City Council

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Rolling stock

Keep on rolling Now the dust has settled, what does the Conservative win at the 2015 general election actually mean for the UK’s rolling stock industry, asks Martin Horsman


he Conservative government has labelled its future rail spend the ‘biggest investment in rail since Victorian times’. Is this actually the case? Looking at its plans, possibly so. However, as a comprehensive spending review is being carried out this summer there is always the danger that schemes could be scaled back, delayed or even cancelled completely. This would be a major blow for the UK, as major investment in the rail network and rolling stock is definitely needed. According to recent Office of Rail and Road (ORR) figures, passenger journeys on franchised operators have reached their highest recorded level and this growth is set to continue. A report issued on 3rd March 2015 by the Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group has estimated that, based on future passenger demand, an increase in the size of the rolling stock fleet of between 52-99 per cent will be required over the next 30 years. The proportion of vehicles using electric traction is expected to rise from 69 per cent today to 92-95 per cent in the next 30 years. This equates to a requirement for between 13,000 and 19,000 new electric vehicles. So how do the Conservative government’s plans help to achieve this future rolling stock requirement? Well,

a huge investment in the rail industry is currently proposed, with electrification at the heart of the Conservatives’ plans. Network Rail will be investing £38 billion in electrification, upgrades and renewal of the rail network, with a Transport for the North (TfN), established by the autumn to work on delivering a northern transport strategy. This will include managing the £13 billion government investment in transforming the northern

infrastructure over the next five years, including main route electrification, the building of a northern hub and providing new trains for the north. Let’s also not forget that the construction of the £50 billion HS2 from London to Birmingham and Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds will now start in two years, and then there are plans for HS3 to connect Liverpool to Hull. The government has also committed to improving

‘Until train operating franchise lengths increase significantly, there is little incentive or opportunity for train operating companies to purchase vehicles directly themselves’ July/August 2015 Page 75

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Rolling stock

‘The expertise and purchasing ability of Rosco’s should not be dismissed; their involvement should lead to a long-term rolling stock strategy that gives the industry value for money - vital in this age of austerity’ rail connections to East Anglia and completing the construction of the new east-west Crossrail across greater London. There are, of course, lots of additional improvements and continued steady investment planned by Transport for London. 2014/15 saw half a billion more public transport journeys on

the TfL network and so additional capacity is required. In addition to the Thameslink and Crossrail projects, London Underground is carrying out a large programme of modernisation, with the aim of increasing capacity by 30 per cent. This modernisation is well underway, with major stations, trains, track and control systems being updated or replaced. In addition, the highly successful London Overground will receive a large number of new vehicles. Simplified procurement system All of this planned investment leads to a requirement for lots of new rail vehicles over the next 30 years and this has to be superb news for passengers, rolling stock manufacturers, suppliers, leasers and operators. The Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group in its March report stated that 3,350 new electric vehicles will need to be delivered by April 2019. With 90 per cent of these already ordered and a further 428 vehicles for Crossrail, Intercity Express and Essex Thameside already committed for delivery after this time, things are definitely looking positive in the industry. With such a high level of investment and growth proposed over the next

few years, the need for a simplified procurement system is obvious. In our view, the fleet owners and operators should be at the centre of all planning and delivery. To meet the anticipated need for 19,000 new electric rail vehicles, it is vital that Rosco’s continue to play their part. There are some new players in the Rosco market, like Beacon Rail, helping to ensure that operators have a good selection of companies to turn to for vehicle finance. Until train operating franchise lengths increase significantly, there is little incentive or opportunity for train operating companies to purchase vehicles directly themselves. Perhaps, the industry should consider having more open access operators that are not subject to franchising, such as Heathrow Express. This would allow real, long-term investments to be made directly by Toc’s. However, the expertise and purchasing ability of Rosco’s should not be dismissed; their involvement should lead to a longterm rolling stock strategy that gives the industry value for money - vital in this age of austerity. Martin Horsman is managing director, ESG Rail

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Social media

Tweet-to-woo Nearly half a million tweets expressing negative sentiments about the commuter experience were sent last year, according to a new research paper from CommuteLondon looking at passenger well-being


hile examining key commuter concerns around crime and poor services, the paper also provides recommendations on how Toc’s can use this data to improve services and reduce the amount of unhappiness with the rail network. ‘Rail journeys are frequently the cause of negative twitter sentiment and a frequent subject of complaints,’ said Daren Wood, director of and creator of the CommuteClub app, ‘but the industry should recognise that social media analysis can help guide it to improve services, by enabling it to spot the worst affected services and take meaningful action, as soon as possible.’

CommuteLondon makes three recommendations: Recommendation one Toc’s should use their social media channels to turn around commuter complaints and reduce negative sentiment. Too often, unsympathetic responses are given to problems reported, from delays to hot trains, batted away with operational logic that creates more bad feeling. Evidence that action is being taken and a few goodwill gestures can go a long way to restoring passenger confidence. Sites like Twitter are being used to report incidents, such as a fight, and alert the necessary authorities to take action.

They can achieve this by developing a closer online relationship with authorities such as the British Transport Police, to gather evidence and close down incidents. Recommendation two The temperature of rail journeys is essential not only to the comfort of passengers, but to their health and wellbeing. Twitter provides rail providers with a constant source of real-time information about their services. Therefore, when seeking to improve this area of service, social media analysis should be used to pinpoint particularly challenging services and take action to improve them. Recommendation three The relationship between commuters and rail providers simply has to develop, and the astonishing number of tweets using negative language indicates that there is still much room for improvement. This relationship needs to be fostered by rail providers seizing the initiative and making an effort to engage the public with regular updates online: moving beyond timetable and departure updates to providing evidence that customer reported issues, ranging from comfort to compensation to anti-social behaviour are being addressed. CommuteLondon’s analysis of key negative language wording included terms such as ‘fault’, ‘profit’ and ‘greedy’, emotive terms like ‘angry’ and ‘frustrated’ and more colourful phrases. In total there were 473,661 tweets using negative language.

Of these findings, 72,861 negative references came from Greater Anglia users, with 64,302 negative tweets directed at First Great Western. CommuteLondon suggests that Toc’s use Twitter handles to answer criticisms, improve the handling of disruption, share advice and reassure commuters that problems are being dealt with as and

when they occur. How Twitter is reporting crime CommuteLondon examined usage of crime language on the rail network, key words for this search included ‘pickpocket’, ‘thieves’, ‘fight’ and ‘drunk’. There were 7,408 tweets using crime language during the last year. Of this figure, 1,322 tweets using crime language were on the Greater Anglia service, followed by South Western Trains with 894 tweets and Virgin Trains with 892 tweets, while c2c and London Midland

‘CommuteLondon examined usage of crime language on the rail network, key words for this search included ‘pickpocket’, ‘thieves’, ‘fight’ and ‘drunk’. There were 7,408 tweets using crime language during the last year’ July/August 2015 Page 79

Social media

investigated and fixed.

had the highest proportions of their total tweets referencing crime. Passengers are rapidly becoming experts at flagging incidents and capturing evidence for the rail authorities and BTP according to CommuteLondon, and rail providers should use this data to assess occurrences of reported crime and liaise with the relevant authorities to

tackle it. Too hot for comfort A frequent customer complaint, during the spring and summer is the provision of adequate cooling systems. A particularly hot period, such as the summer in 2014, inevitably raises questions for rail providers in terms of effective air conditioning and cooling systems. With the summer sun and overcrowding causing commuters to overheat, and in some cases faint, ensuring properly regulated heating and cooling during different seasons is of paramount importance. A potent mix of delays, crowding and heat creates some deeply uncomfortable situations for customers, often creating strong reactions on services which are reflected through Twitter. CommuteLondon’s analysis showed that there were 11,179 tweets from users using heating-related language over the last year. Of this figure, Greater Anglia had the most references at 1,677 followed by First Great Western at 1,524, while c2c and Southeastern had the highest proportions of tweets compared with their total tweet volumes which Page 80 July/August 2015

referenced heating. A chilly reception from commuters Examining phrases such as ‘sub-zero’, ‘freezer’ and ‘icicles’, there were 12,076 tweets directed at rail operators complaining about being ‘too cold’ due to poor heating systems or long, cold waits. Of this figure, Greater Anglia received the most tweets, at 1,702 followed by First Great Western at 1,565, while Great Northern and c2c had the highest proportions of tweets that referenced cold temperatures. According to CommuteLondon, ‘If Toc’s are looking to prioritise maintenance or upgrades to air conditioning or heating systems, social

media analysis can help to identify times and train services of most concern.’ Crowdsourcing in this area can help to identify those ‘difficult to reproduce in the depot’ faults. It can be used to identify how such improvements positively impact customer sentiment and also gives operators an opportunity to openly share what measures they are taking to address this common complaint, such as the number of incidents raised,

Feeling the strain CommuteLondon also looked at how customers describe situations that make them feel uncomfortable, anxious or lead to accidents. Examining words such as ‘slip’, ‘injured’, ‘panic’ and ‘first aid’, it found there were 7,977 tweets talking about health and safety issues, with Greater Anglia and Virgin Trains receiving the most tweets in this category, while Thameslink and Great Northern received the greatest proportion of tweets about this issue. Twitter is a great source of data, provided by the crowd, not only to identify potential hazards, from narrow and slippery platforms to out-of-date first aid boxes on trains, but also to understand those conditions that cause the greatest stress for the customer base. ‘As with all these areas, the key to encouraging users to contribute this data willingly and constructively is empathy and the evidence of action being taken to alleviate concerns’, says CommuteLondon. Twitter Trains of Thought: How social media sentiment can be used to transform rail services for commuters Part Two: Smoother rail services, happier commuters

TwitterTrainsofThought2015.pdf The data science team analysed hundreds of thousands of tweets from passengers using the 14 main rail providers into London during April 1st 2014 to March 31st 2015.

July/August 2015 Page 81

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Rolling stock

There and back again With operators coming under rising pressure to invest in on-board digital upgrades, Barry Larcombe outlines the improvements they need to make to keep customer satisfaction levels high


or the current generation of rail users, the process of travel is increasingly becoming a digitised experience. Getting from A to B is now far more about the journey than the destination. To ensure passenger satisfaction levels remain high, operators must guarantee free on-board Wi-Fi as a minimum requirement to allow passengers a seamless continuation of their digital lives while on the move. Research backs this assertion – higher connectivity is ranked as almost the most important priority Toc’s should consider when it comes to improvements both on the platform and on the train1. Following this evolution in customer expectation, more operators are embracing digital upgrades as part of their target to achieve high ratings in the crucial National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) results. Going forward, all Toc’s bidding for new franchises and direct award agreements in England and Wales from 2017 need to include plans to provide free Wi-Fi for passengers in their bids. This comes hot on the heels of David Cameron’s promise to roll out free WiFi across selected networks from 2017. His pledge to invest nearly £50 million to ensure rail passengers are better connected is driving further investment across the sector. We’ve seen an accompanying rise in queries for upgrades by operators looking

‘Tomorrow’s conductors will operate more as on-board journalists in the event of delays – painstakingly reporting each aspect of the progress being made to rectify the problem’

to jump on the digital train as part of their quest to improve their NRPS scores. Simple digital service enhancements and tweaks can help operators to make significant gains in this area, both in terms of improving customer satisfaction and also with regards to boosting ticket

sales. In assuring commuters they will be able to work while travelling, guaranteed Wi-Fi provision is an important marketing tool for any operator. Information underload However, Wi-Fi provision isn’t the only July/August 2015 Page 83

Rolling stock

‘There is a strong link between information provision and customer sentiment. Tomorrow’s conductors will operate more as on-board journalists in the event of delays – painstakingly reporting each aspect of the progress being made to rectify the problem’ service operators need to make available to keep their passengers happy. The provision of more information on board to keep them up-to-date on journey status, arrival time and potential delay points, is also becoming crucial. In April 2014, a report issued by the

Office of Rail and Road highlighted growing dissatisfaction among customers regarding the quality of information provided about their journeys. In fact, passenger information provision on trains is the one area where satisfaction levels are falling. Current on-board systems don’t provide information on arrival times, or report any expected delays. They are no longer meeting customers’ rising expectations. This is all set to change. At the RTPI (real-time passenger information) conference in 2014, it was suggested that trains of the near future will have to be far more focused on keeping passengers well informed. There is a strong link between information provision and customer sentiment. Tomorrow’s conductors will operate more as on-board journalists in the event of delays – painstakingly reporting each aspect of the progress being made to rectify the problem. Rail Order has recently launched an on-board passenger information system, Beagle, which uses real-time data taken from National Rail Enquiries’ Darwin system to update on delays and ongoing connections at calling points. Beagle has undergone a successful live trial with Northern Rail on a West

Yorkshire route from Todmorden on a Class 153 train. We believe more operators will look to on-board information systems as a way to meet the demand for providing passengers with the same level of information on the train as they receive on the platform to boost satisfaction levels. Fully charged: the convenience of USB An additional upgrade operators are considering is the provision of on-board USB charging points. On the majority of the UK’s trains, passengers must slot in the old fashioned, three-pin plug socket to stay fully charged on the move. But USB has become the more ubiquitous power socket of choice for most electronic devices as they are compact, versatile, quick to install and easy to use. Our own solution can be retrofitted, which we believe is an affordable and speedy method of improving passenger experiences – and thus translating into those vital NRPS increases. Rail Passengers’ Priorities for Improvements report (2014).


Barry Larcombe is managing director of ADComms’ on-train business, Rail Order

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Lessons learned? The TUC remains concerned that the Fourth Railway Package will repeat and embed the mistakes of UK rail privatisation across Europe, says Sharon Sukhram


head of European Union debates on the Fourth Railway Package, policy makers, legal experts, industry representatives and unions met in Brussels on 28 May to discuss lessons to be learned from rail liberalisation, particularly in the UK and Sweden. The briefing panel featured Jens Nilsson (MEP), Per-Ola Fällman (Swedish Union for Service and Communications Employees - SEKO), Dr Ian Taylor (Transport for Quality of Life), Gordon Nardell QC, Kevin Rowan (TUC), and was chaired by Lucy Anderson MEP. Jens Nilsson shared the experience of local authorities working in collaboration to successfully run the railways in Northern Sweden, despite facing challenges of a dispersed network and comparatively lower passenger numbers. While he supported the decision to split

‘trust in the Swedish railways has declined regarding punctuality, although actual decline in performance has been less easy to observe as cancelled trains are no longer recorded in statistics and only delays over 15 minutes are counted. Passengers also report feeling increasingly unsafe on the railways, partly due to the reduction of on-board staff’

infrastructure management and train operations, Nilsson argued that the state company responsible for infrastructure should have sole control and not be fragmented across multiple contracts. Per-Ola Fällman showed that trust in the Swedish railways has declined regarding punctuality, although actual decline in performance has been less easy to observe as cancelled trains are no longer recorded in statistics and only delays over 15 minutes are counted. Passengers also report feeling increasingly unsafe on the railways, partly due to the reduction of on-board staff. Between 2000 and 2011 there was little increase in investment as a share of GDP, and this remained lower than the average invested by 15 other European countries, including Austria, the Netherlands and France. Turning to the UK, Kevin Rowan highlighted that the promises of privatisation have not been brought to bear. Cheaper rail fares, lower public subsidy, greater private sector investment and a better railway for the UK economy remain elusive goals. Instead, passengers have seen increasing fares, taxpayers now put twice the amount of public subsidy into rail, investment on any scale remains publicly resourced, and the fragmented network is not delivering for passengers, workers or the economy. Dr Ian Taylor highlighted that fragmentation and profit-taking are an unavoidable outcome of rail

liberalisation. Analysis shows that there is now a cost-efficiency gap, with UK railways spending 40 per cent more to deliver equivalent levels of output when compared to France, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland. The costs to UK rail of fragmentation and privatisation are conservatively estimated at £1 billion per year and arise due to factors including multiple interfaces, Toc and Rosco shareholder dividend payments and Network Rail outsourcing of renewals and maintenance. Dividend leakage is significant. Between 2003/4 and 2011/12 £555 million was paid out

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‘The EU has played an important role in strengthening social and environmental protections, but it should be up to member states to decide how to run their railways’ in dividends by five regional Toc’s alone – while £300 million is urgently needed to replace the entire Merseyrail electrics fleet. The return on capital employed (ROCE) for the Toc owning companies can be remarkably high over the lifetime of the franchise contract – well over 100 per cent in many cases. Between 2011/12 and 2013/14 only two train companies out of 19 succeeded in operating with no net subsidy. One of these was publicly owned Directly Operated Railways (DOR) which provided much better value than comparable inter-city operators such as First Great Western and Virgin West Coast. Not-forprofit DOR achieved better reliability and punctuality performance than many private operators, while returning a surplus on its budget after paying around £200 million per year back to the Treasury. Little or no risk Claims that liberalisation would result in a new era of improvements from private sector investment have not been borne out. Analysis by Transport for Quality of Life shows that genuine at-risk private finance represents approximately one per cent of total annual investment in rail. ROSCO’s achieve high profit levels for little or no risk, only purchasing new stock when they are guaranteed that it will be underwritten by a franchise contract. Despite high profit margins, regional trains are getting older and there are severe levels of overcrowding on parts of the railways. Under liberalisation, ticket prices have risen consistently, amounting to

an average rise of 23 per cent above inflation. For long-distance operators, the average increase has been over 40 per cent. According to Transport Focus data, an unrestricted UK return fare is 109 per cent more than continental European comparators (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland). In addition to high fares, the impacts of liberalisation on passengers include contending with complex ticketing, trains that do not connect, bewildering rules about ticket validity and a lack of integrated smart tickets. Proponents of open access operations claim that it will lead to many more trains and service improvements, but in reality there are a limited number of train paths and open access rights make it difficult to plan public service obligations in order to make the best use of the railway. In terms of the workforce, the frequency of industrial disputes went up after liberalisation – with networkwide collective bargaining and dispute resolution destroyed, removing a major economy of scale. The resulting disparities in pay and conditions appear unfair and are a recipe for industrial disputes. But it is the taxpayer that has carried the added cost of industrial disputes because the UK government has compensated train operating companies for lost revenues. A record number of people now use the railways, and passenger growth has been attributed by some to rail liberalisation. However, evidence indicates that passenger growth has largely been driven by growth in economic activity (GDP), changes to commuting patterns and increased levels

of, mostly public, investment. Passenger growth in the UK between 1995 and 2012 rose along a similar path to that for France’s publicly-owned railway. Over this same period, France increased rail use considerably more than Germany, which since 1996 has undergone increasing liberalisation. On the draft Governance Directive, it was stated that open access is in conflict with a number of factors including developing the railway to a strategic vision, minimising day-today costs, retaining revenues in the rail network and using public service obligations effectively and efficiently. Separating infrastructure and train services also conflicts with minimising costs and delivering a strategic vision. In terms of the draft Public Service Obligation Regulation, removal of the right to directly award a contract to a not-for-profit publicly owned operator would conflict with factors previously mentioned and also with achieving intermodal integration. The experience of liberalisation in the UK is that it is at the expense of services to passengers and additional cost to the public purse. Setting the benchmark From the legal perspective Gordon Nardell QC, of Essex Chambers, stated: ‘The very fact that so many undertakings controlled by public sector incumbents bid successfully to run UK services – in the most deregulated rail environment in the EU... suggests that those bodies are well able to hold their own and even out-perform the private sector in terms of meeting PSC [Public Service Contract] specifications.’ It is counter-intuitive to suggest the role of public sector operators should be restricted further in the name of competition, when they are competing successfully and setting the benchmark. The TUC remains concerned that the Fourth Railway Package will repeat and embed the mistakes of UK rail privatisation across Europe. The evidence presented indicates that liberalisation and the enforced separation of infrastructure management and train operations is not in the best interests of passengers, taxpayers and the workforce. The EU has played an important role in strengthening social and environmental protections, but it should be up to member states to decide how to run their railways. The TUC and rail unions’ Action for Rail campaign is building support for opposition to the Fourth Railway Package – as part of our long-standing campaign for an integrated, national railway under public ownership. To download presentations visit Sharon Sukhram is TUC rail policy officer

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Time to embrace the information revolution A panel of experts in data, innovation and policy discussed the opportunities for rail to advance at the Transport Systems Catapult’s Imagine Festival 2015. Richard Jones reports


ne thing we all agree on is that rail infrastructure cannot keep up with growing customer demand, so the challenge is to improve efficiency, capacity and routes. Data and computing have huge potential to do so. But as well as exciting opportunities, there are technical and policy challenges to overcome. Demand outstrips supply – how do we cope? Patrick Bossert, director of digital transformation at Network Rail, outlined the challenge. Network Rail moves more than a billion people per year and a lot of freight. Passenger numbers have doubled over recent years and will double again over the next 30. Adding tracks and trains becomes harder. Meanwhile, lots of trains are already full. There are two main challenges and corresponding opportunities: connectivity and capacity. Connectivity relates to allowing people to connect via the most direct routes. Barriers come from trains not stopping at key hubs, so people have to go back on themselves or take less efficient routes. Capacity relates to overfilled stations or trains. Building more infrastructure is not a complete solution. We also need to evolve intelligently. Many delays are caused by old signalling systems. There is no reason why we can’t get rid of these and manage all trains digitally, using software and sensors to ensure they run efficiently. This would also allow us to know exactly where trains are, thus ensuring information at stations and online is always accurate. Similarly with timetables, these are currently developed with a lot of manual input and then fixed for six months. If we introduced intelligent scheduling combined with real-time monitoring, we could optimise train’s schedules dynamically and hence more efficiently. For example if a train routinely waits outside London Waterloo for a minute under the current timetable, it could have

spent that minute stopping at another station on the way, making the journey easier for customers. Combining the experience of our planners and the latest thinking on game theory could produce clear benefits. Digital transformation offers huge potential here, and is being spearheaded by Network Rail’s Digital Railways programme. This is an ambitious plan – no one else has gone through a journey like this. Network Rail believes this could increase capacity dramatically on key sections of network. In doing so, we clearly have much to learn from the aviation industry. It has used a digital approach to ease air traffic flow through airports and optimise throughput of aircraft. Heathrow has successfully implemented new technology enabling movement of 48 planes every hour, so there must be things the rail industry can learn about scheduling and managing services more efficiently. The information opportunity The opportunity here comes from more information and greater connectivity and greater ability to capture information. Xavier Quayzin, head of rail services at QinetiQ, explained OptaSense, a new technology which turns telephone fibre into an intelligent listening device which can monitor any long linear asset such as railways. This provides an acoustic footprint allowing information about the nature of disruptions and threats to be delivered in real-time, so train companies can react accordingly – potentially saving millions of dollars in avoided accidents and/or maintenance. It is being trialled in Germany but after two years of conversations, nothing has yet been decided in the UK. Darren Wood, solutions development director at Delta Rail discussed how social media could be used to better understand the context of commuting and the frustrations customers face. If we listen, he said, rather than ask through surveys, we gain different insights. For example we found changing how information is displayed caused lots of dissatisfaction.

In fact generally big well-intentioned investments often cause lots of short-term pain. The reality is that the rail industry doesn’t really understand its customers. In complex systems with lots of moving parts, faults and subsequent disruption will happen. But with better information we can better manage services, crowds and individuals. A key part of harnessing data is opening it up. As was highlighted, a lot of very useful data is being kept behind closed doors. We need to understand how we can incentivise people to open up data and reward them for it so others can benefit from it. TfL is a shining example here that others should look to. Creating innovation Simon Smith, director of the Rail Executive at the Department for Transport, discussed how rail might create the innovation needed to make advances in efficiency, customer service and emissions. While public investment in rail infrastructure is at record high levels, this cannot fix all of our problems. There are various good reasons for this – public spending constraints apply everywhere, and rail infrastructure investment is often expensive and disruptive to passengers. However he explained that the DfT is looking at how Toc’s could be encouraged to do more by improving the way franchise contracts are awarded, and designing in economic incentives to invest in innovation. For example DfT is looking at a mechanism whereby companies making

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investments with benefits accruing beyond the length of the franchise would get paid back for value that the investment delivers over and above the terms agreed. Other programmes involve grants for proposals that address key challenges, and shared innovation schemes where all operators invest in projects that benefit whole industry. DfT is also experimenting with new technology. For example continuous electrification can be expensive on certain routes, which means diesel trains would still be necessary in some areas. To address this, there have recently been successful experiments with the IPEMU battery powered train built by Bombardier in Derby. This would enable discontinuous electrification and make services more affordable. Rail is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport, but it needs to innovate to maintain that advantage. Aerospace and automotive have significantly reduced emissions in recent years, so we can definitely learn from other sectors on fuel efficiency. Quayzin echoed this, adding that he would like to see a coordinated approach with a portfolio of innovation, rather than a piece by piece approach.

Security implications of connectivity No discussion of connected transport is complete without discussing security. Xavier Quayzin shared his experience of the rail sector, acknowledging that the threat is nothing new, but that there is an increasing risk as rail becomes more connected. With the Internet of Things, everything is inter-connected. We start with good intentions but it doesn’t always work out. Shodan – a search engine to find a ‘thing’ in the Internet of Things – highlights that connectivity creates new and unwanted opportunities for attack. However Quayzin concluded that if managed properly, security is not impossible, we just need to understand and control the risk. The future of rail Rail customers are changing. We are increasingly urban, connected, older, and have higher expectations. Rail must adapt to that. It must provide a fast, seamless, safe, clean and comfortable service.

And customers must find it easy to use through their personal devices. The rail industry must rise to meet the challenge of these expectations. Other areas of transport, and even some innovate areas of rail, provide great examples; from Heathrow to TfL to autonomous vehicles. So far procurement and innovation in UK rail has been relatively timid – we need to think harder about radical innovation. With the current pace of change, we can’t afford to delay. Richard Jones is rail business sector director, Transport Systems Catapult

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Signalling a new direction What lessons does the Dutch experience provide for the roll-out of ERTMS across Europe? Lion Wildenburg explains


he Dutch government has decided to proceed with the nationwide rollout of ERTMS. After an intensive 18 month analysis, the viability of ERTMS implementation in the Netherlands was sufficiently demonstrated; in addition to improving the interoperable access of the network, goals for improving safety, speed, and capacity could be met within the budget constraints. Despite this decision, the actual implementation still has numerous hurdles to overcome: implementing ERTMS on an existing national network is much more complex than installing the new technology on a new network. Addressing these issues is a challenge as the key stakeholders have different and often opposing goals, which is not unique to the Netherlands. This article maps the landscape for ERTMS implementation in the Netherlands and explains why system integration is the key to success.   The government’s viewpoint The government has a strong interest in the introduction of ERTMS on routes that are on Trans-European Transport Networks. The so-called TEN-T corridors are defined by the European Commission and must comply with interoperability specifications, including the phased introduction of ERTMS, with first routes to be compliant in the period from 2015 to 2020. The TEN-T corridors facilitate international freight transport by rail, improving economic development. They also allow for open access for international passenger traffic. In addition to complying with EU regulations, governments have an interest in an efficient railway system as part of their overall mobility plan and responsibility for safety. In most countries, introduction of ERTMS provides improved safety and allows for greater route capacity. Improved rail systems will attract more customers and can alleviate some road traffic issues. Reduced travel times lead to higher

productivity and therefore support economic growth. The train operator’s viewpoint For the train operating company, for passengers and for freight, the safety of operations is of ultimate importance. The type of automatic train protection system ensuring this is not really of importance to the Toc.  It is believed that ERTMS provides additional safety, as many existing signalling systems do not function at lower speeds, although alternative patches for these situations are being introduced in some countries. On the busiest routes, the potential capacity increase may benefit the Toc, as the number of trains could be increased or the reliability of the timetable could be improved. Many of the passenger Toc’s are the dominant players in their markets and have a strong national focus. The majority of their fleets are not interoperable, not only due to the differing signalling systems, but also because of differing gauge, traction voltage, and many safetyrelated issues. The interoperability aspect of ERTMS is particularly of benefit to open access operators that provide cross-border service as uniformity of the signalling systems eliminates at least one cost variable. For that very reason, incumbent Toc’s may even consider the introduction of ERTMS as a threat. Two further important aspects for Toc’s are the reliability and continuity of the train service. Changing the existing signalling system to ERTMS is a severe threat to both reliability and continuity. Rolling stock needs to be taken out of service to fit European Train Control System (ETCS) on-board units, maintenance processes need to be redeveloped, and training must be provided to maintenance staff and train crew to work with the new technology/ system. It is further likely that both onboard and wayside systems will suffer from teething problems, realising a reduced reliability at least for some time. A further issue is the cost aspect. 

Installation of the onboard equipment and training staff require a significant investment. Only in specific circumstances can the operational benefits offered by ERTMS yield a positive business case for the operator. International freight train operators will have a completely different position. All efforts undertaken to eliminate cross-border operations make them more competitive compared to other modes of transport and are therefore much welcomed. The economic importance of the freight operators is relatively small compared to the national passenger Toc and benefits to them will have a modest effect on the government’s overall business case. The infrastructure manager’s viewpoint The goal for the infrastructure manager (IM) is to make safe and reliable train paths available at the lowest possible cost. Considering that most European countries have an existing signalling system that is considered to be safe, there is not an automatic impetus to introduce a new signalling system. As for the Toc, ERTMS implementation requires a significant investment on the infrastructure side. At the same time, it does not July/August 2015 Page 89


provide additional revenue. Elements like improved safety at lower speeds, interoperability, and increased timetable reliability cannot be translated into higher access charges. And until ERTMS Level 3 becomes available, real reductions in operating expenditure cannot be realised. On the more positive side: most existing signalling systems are aging and/ or are facing obsolescence issues and will therefore require replacement in the near future. Introduction of a new European standard may provide an interesting option.

The passenger’s viewpoint The passenger is probably the most indifferent party of all. His or her interest is solely to get from points A to B safely, comfortably, and on time. It will be difficult to explain how ERTMS implementation will yield a significant improvement for passengers. At the same time, provided that the investment cost will not lead to increased ticket prices, passengers will not oppose the introduction of a new signalling system and, as such, they are not a powerful stakeholder group in the whole implementation strategy. From a business case point of view, the passenger group is very interesting. It does not incur any of the cost but reaps many of the benefits. An important element of the social cost benefit analysis is the monetized value of travel time savings for passengers, something the individual passenger will find difficult to quantify. Outlook The biggest challenge of implementing ERTMS on the national networks in Europe is not so much a technical

challenge as it is an organisational and economic challenge. It is clear that there will not be a natural catalyst from the key railway stakeholders and existing passenger Toc’s and IM’s, nor from the passengers, to introduce ERTMS on their existing networks. The fact that Toc’s and IM’s cannot build a positive business case together implies these two parties will not be able to proceed with implementation at least not without strong support. This support should come from the government. It is the government that has the interest (and obligation) to realise interoperability and open access and, as it is responsible for the overall mobility plan, it can capitalise on the opportunity to benefit passengers. Therefore, governments should not only take the initiative for ERTMS introduction, but also should take responsibility for leading the full implementation. Under the lead of the government, the activities of the Toc and IM can and must be aligned and even integrated. Only then can a true integration of systems and a positive business case be achieved. Lion Wildenburg is a senior consultant at LeighFisher

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House of learning itachi Rail Europe has opened new offices in Milton Keynes that will house its learning and development division and the team delivering rolling stock for the ScotRail franchise. Holding up to 50 staff, the offices will bring Hitachi Rail Europe closer to Network Rail to enable the train manufacturer to develop skills in signalling, traffic management and the digital railway. Keith Jordan, managing director at Hitachi Rail Europe, said the buildings highlighted the company’s continued investment in the UK and were an example of its determination ‘to be a major player in the UK rail sector’. ‘Milton Keynes is a strategic geographical location with easy commuting from the south and the north of the country. Having offices there is a key part of our ongoing strategy to provide more job opportunities here in the UK.’ Visit


All charged up ndustrial battery designer and manufacturer Saft will supply Vossloh Spain with onboard battery systems for Sheffield’s tram-trains. Saft’s MRX nickel-based battery systems will provide backup power for critical safety and control systems, including emergency braking, if there is an interruption to the main electrical supply from overhead catenary lines. Seven tram-trains have been ordered from Vossloh Spain for use on services between Sheffield City Centre and Rotherham. The dual voltage units will run on the Sheffield Supertram and national rail networks, making them the first in the UK to run on both.


Travelling through time definitive, historical guide to all the railways in Britain between 1807 and 1994 has been republished after being ten years out of print. Available this month, the Railways of Great Britain: A Historical Atlas maps all


train lines in operation between 1807 and 1994. Each line is illustrated in colour and set against an Ordnance Survey grid, alongside the names of the companies that built them and the opening and closing dates of the stations they connect. Created by cartographer and railway historian Colonel Cobb, it required around 18 years’ research and involved travel on every train line in the country. The latest edition, which has been edited and updated by Cobb’s son, includes more than 600 pages of reproduced maps and consists of two volumes. The atlas is available to buy from the Railways of Great Britain website. Visit

Certified assets ondon Underground (LU) has become the first rail authority in Europe to achieve certification against ISO 55001, the new international standard for asset management. LU manages a varied asset base, including a train fleet nearly three times larger than any other UK train operator, 274 stations, signalling and depots. The certification was awarded by auditors from Lloyd’s Register, who visited locations across the Tube network and interviewed a range of different members of staff across all areas of the asset life cycle. Andy Jinks, head of asset strategy and investment at LU, said: ‘Receiving ISO 55001 certification proves we are spending our funds effectively and taking a whole-life cost approach, finding the right balance between maintenance and renewal.’ Visit

L Three onboard battery systems will be fitted to each of the Sheffield tram-trains, with two 130 Ah capacity batteries providing 90 minutes’ support for critical functions, such as lighting, door control, communications and

raising of the pantograph. Deliveries of the 21 systems, which began in December 2014, will continue until the end of 2015. Visit

Capital regeneration apital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco) has taken over Kier Limited’s share of a regeneration joint venture with Network Rail. Solum Regeneration was established in 2008 by Network Rail to attract private investment into the rail network and breathe new life into land around major station sites in London. Stuart Kirkwood, property development director at Network Rail,


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said: ‘Network Rail’s partnership with Kier has already delivered three major mixed-use developments at Christchurch, Epsom and Walthamstow Central and secured planning permission for three more. Capco’s expertise will help us unlock further regeneration opportunities in London in the next phase of Solum’s work.’ Visit

Lanes keeps trams on track rainage specialists Lanes Group is providing support for Sheffield’s light rail tram to keep the service going during periods of heavy rainfall. The company’s Sheffield depot is delivering a programme of planned maintenance for the Supertram, which is used by more than 13 million passengers a year. Taking place in spring and autumn, Lanes Group deploys a jet vac tanker team every night for a week at a time, jetting clear track drainage pipes and points boxes. When necessary, a CCTV drainage survey team is also involved, to inspect and survey the pipework that includes plastic pipes and concrete gullies. Stagecoach Supertram maintenance team leader John Kolchuk said: ‘One of the main priorities is to make sure the rail points systems are kept clean and clear, so they can’t be affected by water, which could cause signalling problems and so disrupt services.’ Visit


All booked up has teamed up with travel technology company, the Sabre Corporation, to make its UK rail content available to nearly half a million travel agents around the world. With this new solution, travel agents can now provide travellers with rail options in the same way they offer airline and hotel travel. The content is made available to travel agents using the Sabre Red Rail App, which enables agents to efficiently shop, book and manage UK rail journeys all in the Sabre Global Distribution System (GDS). Harald Eisenaecher, a senior vice president for Sabre Travel Network, said: ‘Our API Red App will bring’s online platform to our marketplace, helping travel buyers book their rail content faster and more efficiently, and driving new revenue streams.’ Visit


Showing signs of Wear he head of the transport executive responsible for the Tyne and Wear Metro has called for new trains for the line (see News pg8). The request for new rolling stock was made after the first trains to begin operating on the line were recognised for 40 years of service. Tobyn Hughes, managing director of Nexus, said it was ‘vital’ that the anniversary was marked, which included a commemorative journey for passengers and former staff, but stressed the region’s requirement for a new fleet. ‘This anniversary has demonstrated the fact that we need to replace the current Metro fleet in the coming years. That is our priority. ‘We are talking to the government about the need for new trains and we will be bringing forward a detailed business case for ministers to examine.’ The two original Metro prototypes, Metrocars 4001 and 4002, travelled on a special journey from Newcastle Airport to Percy Main on May 31st, in recognition of service that has seen the units travel more than three million kilometres. Visit


A visit from the Exchequer he Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, visited rail engineering company Garrandale to outline the government’s economic strategy for the UK. Focusing particularly on the East Midlands’ economy, the Chancellor chose the company’s Derby factory as the location for his first major speech following the State Opening of Parliament. Calling Garrendale ‘part of a growing and great cluster’ of businesses in Derby that enable others to grow, the Chancellor said: ‘This company tells a story of our country, of the Midlands, of a company whose management and brilliant workforce have turned things around, trebling turnover, winning your biggest ever order and exporting.’ Malcolm Prentice, chief executive officer at Garrandale, said that with a major order from Bombardier to manufacture and support the Crossrail fleet, the launch of a partnership with


Datum to build the cabs, and a range of other contracts, the company was having ‘an amazing year’. Visit July/August 2015 Page 95

Upshot are experienced in a wide range of railway infrastructure inspection tasks ranging from structures such as bridges, viaducts, retaining walls, communication masts and station canopies. Our unique capability is our use of ground based aerial solutions to collect high quality information through imagery to enable Network Rail staff to gain a detailed picture of the structure or location. Benefits include: • • • • • • •

Reduces the need for “tactile” inspections in places where access is very difficult or impracticable Reduces the risk to the inspection workforce as it removes the need for cherry-pickers, roped access or scaffolding Removes the need for possessions to gain access The majority of tasks can be carried out from outside of the operational railway infrastructure Inspections can be arranged and carried out at short notice It can provide comparative “before and after” imagery to verify successful completion or progress of works It is very cost effective.

Upshot have grown steadily over the last few years as a result of our work with main contractors, such as Amey Rail, under contracts from Infrastructure Projects and Network Rail Routes,. Our reputation for safety, quality and competitive costs has been crucial in winning work on a repeat basis.


Cintec International Ltd, Cintec House, 11 Gold Tops, Newport NP20 4PH Tel 01633 246614 Page 96 July/August 2015


Counting the cost lmost a third (32 per cent) of large UK companies have experienced issues due to a supplier’s financial instability over the last year, according to an Achilles survey. The market survey found that nearly one in five (17 per cent) experience fallout from incidents related to suppliers’ health and safety. Companies serving the UK rail sector have suffered from a series of suppliers ‘falling down’ on financials and health, yet remain complacent that they are adequately managing supplier risk. More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of UK companies polled said they were confident that the way they managed their supply chain helped them successfully identify and manage risk. The survey was conducted by independent research company IFF, which interviewed 106 UK companies. In 2013/14, there were more than 6,000 workforce injuries on the mainline infrastructure, according to the Office of Rail and Road’s Safety Key Statistics 2013/2014. Suzanne O’Keane, rail and transport community manager at Achilles, which


provides services for the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS), said: ‘Safety is paramount in the rail industry. In our experience the most effective way for rail companies to

effectively tackle risks associated with suppliers is by working together to apply common standards across all contractors.’ Visit

Recent New Members of the Rail Alliance as at end May 2015 University of Southampton: rail research and consultancy carried out under banner of Southampton Railway Systems Research (SR2) JFC Plastics: plastic drainage manufacturer and roto moulder Servotech: provides electronic repair support across UK and Ireland to many train and tram manufacturers and operators Taylor Construction Plant: supplies compaction and lighting products to the rail and construction industries Horizon Utility Supplies: supplies tools and equipment to the electricity supply industry, as well as specialist products for the rail industry Francis Brown: welding engineer and fabricator United Springs: manufacturer of hand-coiled pieces for a variety of rail fixtures, from circuit breakers and switchgear to bogeys and braking ATL Transformers: UK manufacturer of specialist wound products for rail and a range of other industries

Common Time: mobile app development for business Thermit Welding: manufacturer and supplier of aluminothermic welding portions, moulds and equipment B-Hepworth & Co.: designer and manufacturer of bespoke windscreen wiper systems for the rail and marine industries DW Windsor Lighting: UK manufacturer of exterior lighting and urban furniture TRE: supplies products and services designed to improve the supervision and control of railways worldwide Scott Bader Co.: manufactures composites products and structural adhesives for rail and other industries On Systems: designer, manufacturer, repairer and life cycle manager of power supplies and power systems York EMC Services: provides consultancy, product testing, certification, training and instrumentation for companies in the UK and worldwide

July/August 2015 Page 97

Standing out from the crowd VolkerRail is one of the UK’s leading multi-disciplinary railway infrastructure providers. We have over 70 years project experience in both the heavy and light rail sectors. We are proud of our heritage, our record of dependable delivery and our relentless focus on safety. Our approach is firmly founded on working in harmony and in partnership with our clients. We aim to stand out from the crowd in everything we do whilst ensuring we exceed our clients aspirations and vision.

In addition to the delivery of major projects, we are sector specialists in the following disciplines: • • • • • •

Electrification HV power distribution Signalling Plant and welding Track construction, renewals and maintenance Metro and light rail projects

VolkerRail Ltd Carolina Court Lakeside Doncaster DN4 5RA Page 98 July/August 2015

t +44 (0) 1302 791 100 f +44 (0) 1302 791 101 e

Business profile

We have the technology Technology is on track to boost customer service at lightly manned or unmanned stations. Paul Dobbins explains


et’s face it, many of us have been there... the late night train journey which starts or ends at a seemingly desolate, isolated station either in the middle of nowhere or a part of a city you wouldn’t normally frequent outside of daylight hours. There is no-one about, the few staff available are tied to their workstations for information. Thankfully technology is reducing such experiences and has the potential to make rapid strides as the digital railway evolves and develops in the next few years. Handheld devices and wireless networks are making it possible for staff to be out of the office to help the public, and still have all the information they and their passengers need – quite literally at their fingertips. Network Rail alone has more than 2,500 stations in its network today. They range from the magnificence of locations such as St Pancras, Liverpool Street and King’s Cross to much less desirable inner city or rural places which nevertheless

need maintenance, upgrading and customer service. London Underground has similar issues, as well as the DLR. The need for using technology will only increase as the years go on. Network Rail tell us that nearly 50 per cent more people use the railways today compared to a decade ago and they predict an additional 400 million passenger journeys across the UK by 2020. Of course a great number of these journeys will start or end at well-manned, busy stations. But many won’t – and this is where technology comes into its own. We are all seeing in our daily lives that communication is going through a transformation of the like the world has never seen. Just a few years ago, most people had access to mobile phones but now we also have tablets, and the world of apps gives access to services barely considered possible in the past. This technology is allowing companies like ours to arm Network Rail, the operating companies and also London Underground with not just better

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Business profile

‘One of the challenges with the UK network – both overground rail and London Underground – is that there is an awful lot of legacy equipment out there’ dynamic lighting, CCTV and information display systems but actual smart devices to be given to customer support staff to put station management and information literally at their fingertips. Much more than ‘leaves on the line’ Imagine if during the recent Dawlish sea wall collapse, which literally cut off parts of the South West of England from the rest of the network, staff could have used smart devices to view pictures of the events to show the public or even push onto information displays. By

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actually showing the levels of devastation, passenger frustrations could be at least a little placated knowing that this was much more than ‘leaves on the line’. Advances in technology now give the potential for station customer systems to be controlled from a smart device. Actual work on achieving this started at telent back in 2009 – mainly geared to support London Underground with stations which were going to be lightly manned. We are now used to seeing Ticket Office Closed signs at some of the stations around London and this is usually because customer support staff are actually doing their inspections or out on the station but they need to have eyes and ears everywhere – and this is what technology can now give them. One of the challenges with the UK network – both overground rail and London Underground – is that there is an awful lot of legacy equipment out there. So it is the system integration of these older technologies with the very latest smart devices that has been the greatest challenge – therefore literally putting lots of ability into the hands of staff as they go around their stations. The real drive to utilise technology this way began a few years ago but really moved forward in a major way when London hosted the Olympics in 2012.

We now have devices out there, where staff can flick between CCTV cameras instantly – thanks to streaming capabilities over the WiFi network. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The Passenger Awareness Monitors advise passengers that they are on CCTV – a good deterrent for those individuals who may be there for the wrong reasons, but can also act as a CCTV display for staff manning the gateline. Public address announcements can be scheduled at a touch of a button, or recorded and uploaded to play repeatedly – train arrival data not only gives basic arrival information but tells staff whether they need to be on hand for that arrival – to help disabled passengers for example – and we are looking at remote gate entry capability too. Because these innovations are using technology that people use in their daily lives anyway, staff have felt able to embrace the solution and have done so very positively. It is helping them to offer a better level of service to customers, and in the process making that growing customer base feel safer, more confident and better informed as they travel anywhere on the UK networks. Paul Dobbins is chief technical officer at telent

Tel: 0800 783 7761

July/August 2015 Page 101

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Business profile

Look - no wires! Monitoring the condition of rolling stock and managing its maintenance has been transformed thanks to onboard wireless technology, explains Justin Southcombe


en years ago Perpetuum engineered, produced and commercialised the world’s first practical electromagnetic vibration harvesting microgenerator. Today, this truly wireless technology is transforming asset management in the rail industry as it delivers the power required to reliably transmit large amounts of data from sensors fitted onboard rolling stock. Vast amounts of valuable condition monitoring information can be transmitted right from the most hostile places where issues can occur and temperature can be monitored and analysed, straight to the PC’s, tablets and mobiles of asset managers. Powerful software then puts the data to work, producing snapshots of the health of a fleet, degradation rates and real time condition monitoring. Needless to say, train operators have already seen huge value in the powerful nature of the system and have deployed the technology and used the enhanced analytics to great effect. Indeed, Perpetuum’s technology is established in the UK rail network and has been fully deployed on the trains of one of its largest operators, Southeastern. In Kent alone, Perpetuum monitors over 1.8 million data points per day. More than 5,000 sensors have monitored over 250 million service miles on over 600 cars. This means significant statistical models are produced upon which to build and create powerful life cycle management processes, enabling asset managers across the rail industry to save cost, increase safety and plan more efficiently. EMU and DMU cars are now being deployed with the system on the adjacent Sussex network with the respective train operator, Southern. Overseas, Perpetuum has been working closely with SJ in Sweden and has a project to monitor 80 wheels on their X2 high-speed fleet. In Australia, Metro Trains Melbourne has ordered a pilot of Perpetuum’s services on its Alstom X’Trapolis trainsets to effectively monitor bearings and wheels, as the company intends to significantly extend maintenance overhauls by moving to condition monitored maintenance. Traction motor condition monitoring, using Perpetuum vibration sensor nodes, is also now being deployed on a

metro fleet in London to extend motor overhauls safely while two projects have started in the USA with a Class 1 railroad manufacturer and a leading freight operator. Better awareness As these operators have found to their advantage, adopting Perpetuum’s onboard condition monitoring system can lead to a better awareness of the operational and maintenance needs of assets. This includes the swifter identification of poor performance, faults and impending failure, so that sounder decisions can be made regarding the operation and maintenance expenditure, based on actual asset performance and status. Email alerts can also be provided to the train operator - correct and on time - and alerts are escalated up a pre-specified hierarchical chain, if they are not responded to. Armed with the rich information the sensors transmit, it is possible for maintenance programmes to become smarter and increasingly efficient because asset life cycles can be extended according to the actual health of the asset, rather than being based purely upon the time it has been in service. This in turn has major benefits for customer service as well as the bottom line, especially as the data can be used to monitor not just the rolling stock but the track too, at exactly the same time. The key to collecting such valuable

data lies with the Vibration Energy Harvesters, which are fitted onboard and convert mechanical energy produced by vibration into electrical energy. These in turn power wireless sensor nodes that transmit vibration data for longterm failure prediction and temperature data for short-term monitoring, back to the desktop or mobile device of the asset manager. There is no need for high maintenance batteries or unreliable hard wiring connections - yet wheel bearings, wheels, gearboxes, traction motors and track can all be monitored. The technology has been designed to survive the harsh realities of life on the rails too. The energy harvester powered sensor node developed by Perpetuum is

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Business profile

designed to last 20 years, significantly outlasting other battery-only powered systems. The electromagnetic-energy harvesters work by converting mechanical energy (vibration) to electrical energy via an oscillating mass (magnet), which traverses across a coil creating a varying amount of magnetic flux, inducing a voltage according to Faraday’s law. The sensor nodes can be easily retrofitted in around 15 minutes and without any modifications needed to the wheelset. The real-time data and trending information can then begin to be assimilated into a train operator’s future planning, maintenance and buying decisions. Vibration Energy Harvesters The use of Vibration Energy Harvesters allows monitoring functions to be deployed without worrying about the problems associated with batteries. This makes it a perfect solution for freight vehicles, which often have no power supply. Perpetuum supplies Vibration Energy Harvesters with high levels of power suitable not only for monitoring the wagon but also its cargo for temperature, pressure, leakage and security. The data can be communicated over a long range through GPRS or satellite transmissions. Alternatively, the power can be used to drive wireless networks that communicate all the data, including wheel and bearing data, to the locomotive cab. GPS tracking is also a practical solution for tracking the progress and position of wagons. Many applications have different requirements, and Perpetuum can provide a turnkey system from data to information or even use existing telecoms backbones and front-end displays. All this Page 104 July/August 2015

is backed up with comprehensive on-call technical support and failsafe monitoring along with data protection and recovery systems. Perpetuum also provides ongoing training and operational assistance backed up by its expertise and knowledge. There are even more advantages to using onboard condition monitoring services which add significant value. As the sensors are located on the rolling stock, the data provides constant monitoring of not just the condition of the rolling stock itself, but the track too. By collecting track condition data directly from rolling stock, which is in service and earning revenue, Perpetuum provides a much more frequent, reliable, extensive and therefore valuable real-time information management system than traditional track monitoring systems, such as conventional measurement trains or manual inspections. There are many exciting opportunities to be investigated using this dynamic and actual information around the wheel and rail interface including derailment and bogie hunting.

The interface between the wheel and the track can be analysed too, so wheel flats can be identified and questionable ‘rough ride’ calls can be instantly checked and if necessary, eliminated, thanks to the use of the data as a decision support tool. Unnecessary and costly track maintenance based upon unreliable information can be eradicated, with all the improvements to service and revenue that can bring. In conclusion, Perpetuum’s proven wireless condition monitoring technology enables train maintenance, condition monitoring and asset failures to become easier to manage and predict. With no wires, no batteries and no maintenance required, the information sent directly to the PC’s, tablets or mobiles can be configured exactly to the users needs. Justin Southcombe is commercial director of Perpetuum

Tel: 023 8076 5888 Email: Visit





































0800 4 101 101 ...alternative reporting for your health and safety concerns.

Freepost CIRAS Text 07507 285887

BEST CONTACTS FOR YOUR SUCCESS Telegartner UK – A key supplier and distributor of high quality products meeting the rigorous demands of rail industry • • • •

Telegärtner RF and Datavoice components – STX M12x1 IP67 connectors, MFP8 Field Assembly RJ45 plugs, Easy to Install TOC-Series RJ45 and FO Customised Cable Assembly Solutions – RF, multiwire & overmoulded assemblies and wiring harnesses Pei tel Handsets, Microphones & Loudspeakers – IP68 waterproof hand held single or three button microphones, Handsets with push-to-talk buttons, LCD display and keypad Hummel Cable glands and Enclosures – IP68/IP69K HSK K polyamide V0 glands, HSK M and HSK EMC nickel-plated brass glands Tel: +44 (0)1707 636 600 • Email: July/August 2015 Page 105

Silver Fox Labelling Solutions

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Relevant approvals according to type.

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Future proofing railway technology with robust jumper cables and customisable connectors

Band width expansion for reliable, efficient inter-car technology  Full 10GigE transmission tested to IEEE 802.3 utilising CAT 7 cable and Han-Modular® connector with ground disconnect  Compliant with fire regulation EN 45545 – 1, 2 & 5 and EN 50155:2007 to ensure reliable application on rolling stock  Leading IP68 and IP69K sealing capability  Ability to mix signal, data and power in one customisable connector plus the flexibility to incorporate up to 6 x10GigE in one connector For more information, phone +44 (0) 1604 827500 or email

Page 106 July/August 2015

Business profile

Wire-free access Senceive announces further advances for remote condition monitoring in rail tunnels, using proven solutions that harness state-of-the-art wireless technology


enceive’s wireless sensor networks have become an established means of wireless condition monitoring for rail assets over the past 10 years. They offer considerable benefits over many alternatives in terms of ease of deployment, speed of installation and the ability to be readily reconfigured and redeployed. Advances have been made that include extending battery life to in excess of 15 years and equipping systems that have hundreds of sensor nodes with integrated high-precision, stable sensors. Deployments are typically used on remote and difficult-to-reach assets, such as bridges, earthworks, retaining walls and viaducts, and more recently in tunnels and on trackbeds. An installation of hundreds of sensors can be achieved in a single shift or less, and data can be accessed remotely before even leaving the site. This minimises track possessions and staff working in hazardous locations. Recent large-scale deployments have brought about advances in the use of wireless technology for monitoring railway track and tunnel deformation. In tunnels, wireless has proven itself through its speed of installation and flexibility during intense engineering works, and also offers a long-term monitoring solution in confined spaces where there is no viable alternative. Introduction to wireless monitoring Senceive has recently launched its upgraded FlatMesh platform following a long period of testing and field deployments. While use of wireless is an often confusing area for those not familiar with the pros and cons of what is reliable and what is proven for geotechnical monitoring, there are generally two types of system: true mesh networks and point-to-point/hub and spoke (contact Senceive for a paper on different systems, written by S.Maddison). The latter needs all sensors to be able to ‘see a gateway’ so that the data can exit to the user, which also means they often need additional mains-powered nodes to extend the network’s range. Wireless mesh networks are widely recognised as a smarter and more robust solution. They have a self-organising

‘flat structure’, whereby every node communicates with its neighbours on an equal status basis. This process is without hierarchy or the need for any specialised router or concentrator nodes (Figure 1). This enables smart, flexible and robust operation and – with no wires – simple and quick installation. The firmware in each wireless sensor node enables a network to form and communicate efficiently, providing an integrated monitoring system. In the case of Senceive’s FlatMesh, proprietary algorithms enable extremely low power consumption that enables 15 years’ operational life, powering high precision sensors and wireless communications from one D-cell battery. In the event of a node failing or radio paths being blocked, data is automatically rerouted to ensure a seamless flow of information back to the user, with more than 99.9 per cent data transmission reliability.

Tunnel monitoring during works London Underground/Tube Lines is undertaking a challenging three-year project for tunnel lining replacement on a particular section of the network. A 200m length of tunnel lining comprising concrete segments is being progressively replaced with steel segments, shift by shift using two specially-designed trains. Senceive’s wireless tilt sensors are deployed ahead of the works to monitor

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Business profile

advantages over optical methods, in terms of exceptional stability, resolution and accuracy (Figure 4).

for possible tunnel deformation, with sensors ‘leapfrogging’ ring by ring as the works progress. More rings of sensors are deployed behind, with some following the work as it moves along the tunnel and some being left behind long-term to validate the tunnel stability after the works have been completed.

London, and in close proximity to major demolition and construction projects. For long-term stability monitoring, nodes are deployed around the tunnel rings on patented fixings in order to determine distortion (see figures 2 and 3). The nodes are fitted along the middle of the track and on the crown (Figure 3)

Summary After 10 years of deployments and significant development work, Senceive has shown that its wireless sensing is able to perform reliably, with precision and stability. Its experience with geotechnical and structural deployments over that time has helped the company learn practical lessons that it now incorporates into its wireless sensor platform. The system is a widely used means of wirelessly monitoring structural railway assets in a variety of different applications. Step-change improvements have been made in terms of reliability, battery life, robustness and stability of sensor readings, with deployment speeds, flexibility and the ability to easily reconfigure and redeploy also improved upon. These factors make the system invaluable for problem areas on the railway, such as trackbeds, retaining walls, earthworks and tunnel engineering, and it can be used in small spaces and/ or where there is no viable monitoring alternative, including labour-intensive manual systems. In the future, wireless is complementing – and in some cases displacing – other wired or optical solutions where they might previously have been seen as the only choice. Clearly, the prime benefit of wireless is the lack of wires or mains power. In the railway environment in particular, this minimises personnel hazards, track access and possessions, and allows for the

This is a demanding environment where sensors are installed in the immediate proximity of heavy engineering activity (Figure 2), where they are then deployed and redeployed by operatives. The system has been further developed for this project, enabling the data to be wirelessly accessed at any time both from the nearest platform (as originally required) and also by engineers on the train. The system is demonstrably easy to use and the sensors are showing long-term stability, in terms of the measurements taken and the data generated. Tunnel deformation and settlement systems have also been installed in many other tunnels running underneath

in order to determine tunnel and track heave and settlement longitudinally. In this particular case, the long-term stability of the wireless sensors in an easy deployable package is absolutely essential to determine the behaviour of the tunnel and ensure that it is within the predicted bounds of movement. In these cases, wireless has displaced the use of optical methods, based on automated total stations (ATS), due to very limited space. Although backed up by routine manual surveying, the latter is not only highly labour-intensive, it only provides snapshots in comparison to the much more frequent measurements carried out automatically by the wireless system. The FlatMesh system has other

monitoring of difficult-to-access assets, where it might not be cost-effective to install automated monitoring. The speed of installation and removal is so quick that it allows straightforward short-term deployment, as well as longer-term asset monitoring on a wide range of assets. From earthworks, bridges, viaducts and retaining walls to trackbeds and tunnels all are benefiting from this affordable and precise solution. Senceive’s wireless sensor networks have been developed to help change the face of remote condition monitoring of railway assets. Tel: 0207 731 8269 Email: Visit July/August 2015 Page 109

As one of a handful of companies that supply the UK Government with Home Office Approved technology which includes the Stingray system used by the DVLA, Futronics have a proven and trusted track record. TM

The Futronics Group are innovators, who through consultation and technology solutions improve operations, safety and security to the Rail Industry, Traffic Management and Emergency Services internationally. The Futronics Group are leading the way in developing technology for a safer society worldwide. Contact us now for a consultation. Page 110 July/August 2015 +44 (0)8456 43 9990

Business profile

Building connections with rail RPS is one of the UK’s leading multi-disciplinary consultancies. It has the expertise to support clients throughout the development process of construction projects; from planning, through to design and implementation


PS Group has more than 5,000 employees and associates based in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, USA, Canada, Brazil, the Middle East and the Australia Asia Pacific region. RPS advises on all aspects of the built and natural environment and energy resources and infrastructure and has a network of 52 offices across the UK that offer a wide range of professional and technical skills. The company has become the consultancy it is today by maintaining local connections that are underpinned with the resource and knowledge of a global business. RPS delivers value through combining its service with breadth of capability that offers a joined-up approach to development. A fully-integrated, multidisciplinary service is managed and

controlled through a single point of delivery to avoid the disjointed silo-style service that has become all too familiar among large consultancies. Expertise offered by RPS in the UK is focused on three complementary primary areas: • as one of the UK’s foremost planning consultancies, expert knowledge is provided to steer development projects through the ever-more complex planning system, whether that be conventional town and country planning, permitted development, development consent order or public enquiry • a full range of environmental specialisms – from noise to newts and asbestos to air quality – that can be applied to assess and mitigate the impact of development projects

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Dedicated lines of communication If the smooth operation of a rail network is your goal reliable communication is key to staying on track. Telecom Products

Telephone companies throughout the world use Hosiden Besson test equipment. Handset Type 46 A rugged and versatile Handset that can be customised to suit all applications.

Transmission Products

Expertise in OEM Exchange-based transmission equipment allows us to offer design and manufacturing packages for Broadband, Video, and Audio Transmission equipment. The line powered high output Bedlam Loud TonecallerTM has been designed for installation in large



 trackside environments.

Fire & Security

A complete range of sounders designed to meet all the latest regulations including EN54-3. The IS28 Mk4 (Atex Approved) is the industry standard for sounders used in hazardous environments. Intrinsically Safe Intrinsicly safe versions are available.

Hosiden Besson Making industry standard equipment since 1950 Page 112 July/August 2015


Contact Damon Cadman: for more information T: +44 (0)1332 258823

Business profile

Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal and Alconbury. Environmental expertise Of particular relevance to the railway industry is the environmental expertise that RPS provides in assessing noise and vibration. More than 300 study sites were assessed for noise and vibration impact in the development of the Channel Tunnel and a similar number of tests were analysed for Crossrail at its sites across London. RPS is now on the HS2 framework for the provision of geotechnical and geo-environmental ground investigation and is currently negotiating to provide wide-ranging environmental support to contracting organisations undertaking the main HS2 works. RPS has developed an established and successful presence in the rail industry and has been involved in a range of large-scale projects. The services that RPS provides are ideally suited to the multi-disciplinary and complex nature • a broad base of design expertise covering all stages of a development project’s life cycle, from brief definition and concept, through reference and detailed design, to project completion. RPS also provides extensive and wideranging occupational health support and screening services, which are particularly relevant to the railway industry. Infrastructure design In the UK railway sector, RPS has been involved in the design of train and infrastructure maintenance depots for many years and has become a specialist in this area. Numerous projects have been successfully completed, with RPS design services that include civil and structural engineering, architecture, building services, permanent way and overhead line equipment (OLE). The company is currently undertaking design roles on train maintenance depot projects for Agility Trains on the Intercity Express Programme East Coast route; for Crossrail on both east and west sides of London; and for First Great Western in the south west. Other RPS railway building design projects have included a signalling control centre; driver training facilities; stations (newbuild, redevelopment/retail enhancement, accessibility or parking/highway upgrade); and multimodal transport interchanges. RPS is also one of the market leaders in the design of large-scale logistics developments, many of which are connected to rail. Available civil engineering design experience and expertise covers major earthworks, bridges, permanent way and OLE.

King’s Cross RPS’s involvement in the planning of the King’s Cross area redevelopment included extensive planning and historic buildings services to Network Rail. The company project managed applications to redevelop London Bridge station on the site that had two listed buildings and one building identified as a positive contributor to the Tooley Street Conservation Area. RPS applications relating to the redevelopment sought and obtained the necessary demolition of the positive contributor and one of the listed buildings to reveal the significance of other areas of the station’s fabric. Planning advice has also been provided by RPS in connection with development proposals at the North Pole and Old Oak Common depots. In the rail freight sector, RPS has experience of planning applications for a number of strategic rail freight interchanges, including those at Radlett, St Albans, Rossington, Doncaster,

of railway sector developments, offering opportunities to add value to project delivery and outcomes. The rail industry offers the potential for growth in the range and depth of professional services provided, therefore making it a specific target market for RPS. Growth is expected to be generated organically by a combination of continuing to deliver a highquality service and targeting business development activities together with strategic acquisition, where appropriate. With many opportunities on offer for RPS to gain more recognition and respect in the railway industry, the company’s future looks bright. For more information, contact Alan Skipper, technical director Tel: 01636 605700 Email: Visit July/August 2015 Page 113

Business profile

Seeing the wood for the trees For work completed in forested environments, EVOLite’s Forester helmet protects against the common dangers, offering complete head protection on five counts


he new EVOLite® Forester kit combines JSP’s flagship EVOLite safety helmet with an array of integrated accessories, including ear defenders and a mesh visor. With a high-visibility neck cape, the helmet is perfect for all landscaping and high-risk forestry work, including work at height, groundwork, chipping and sawing.

shell that makes it perfect for work being undertaken in forested environments. It features JSP’s trademark four-point mounted Linesman chinstrap and its Revolution® wheel ratchet, with six-point suspension harness, making it one of the most secure-fitting and comfortable safety helmets on the market. JSP’s Class 2 reflective CR2 kit is also incorporated on the helmet for all-round visibility.

Head protection The comfortable and robust EN 397 EVOLite® safety helmet has a light ABS

Hearing protection The EVOLite® Forester comes equipped with JSP’s InterEXV™ high-visibility

helmet-mounted ear defenders, which have an SNR of 28dB that is ideal for very noisy environments and loud machinery, such as chainsaws and woodchippers. The ear defenders offer extreme protection for extreme environments. Eye and face protection Eye protection is vital in a situation where stray branches may be hanging and wood chips flying, so the tightly-knit and robust Surefit™ Mesh Visor is included in the package. The large 20cm visor, with wire gauze mesh, offers protection from particles travelling at 12m/s. Neck protection Also included in the Forester kit is a high-visibility, waterproof neck cape to safeguard the wearer from both rain and sun, with a UV protection factor of 50. All of the Forester’s components are designed to work seamlessly together, removing the need for different pieces of equipment for head and neck protection in one fell swoop. About JSP Established in 1964, JSP is one of Europe’s leading independent manufacturers of above the neck personal protective equipment (PPE), height safety equipment, road safety products, spill management and environment protection products. It exports to more than 100 countries and has been producing safety equipment in the UK and selling it across the world for more than 40 years. Tel: 01993 826050 Email: Visit

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THINK: INTELLIGENT ZF Services UK are shaping the future of the aftermarket industry. As components and units become more advanced we are meeting change head-on by being equally ingenious in our approach to providing innovative solutions and services for our customers. We have embarked on a wide ranging initiative, part of which is to embrace the world class technology and global heritage of ZF and apply it locally. For ZF Services UK, intelligent thinking for our customers is a key part to our future. Visit to find out more.

We provide specialist support focusing on a number of key tasks and processes to develop growth opportunities through new products, market sectors and, where required, between multiple organisations, ultimately providing the creation of long-term value for an organisation from a customers, markets, and relationships perspective. Our rail experience has been developed over more than 15 years in the industry. Over this time we have acquired excellent insight into the industry and a network of high level contacts within it that stretches from the Department for Transport (Dft) through to key OEM’s in the supply chain, covering train operating companies (TOC’s), Freight Operating Companies (FOC’s), Rolling Stock owning companies (ROSCO’s) and the technical service consultancies to the industry. Due to the complex and historic nature of the Railways in the UK, our knowledge, experience and relationships within this industry will help companies to maximise their effectiveness in the development and entry to opportunities within the UK rail industry.

Our Specific areas of value in Rail:

Our Products and services:

Comprehensive understanding of the UK Rail market and stakeholders, including: • Rolling stock ownership and funding (ROSCO’s) • Department for Transport & Refranchising Process (Dft) • Infrastructure & Network Rail • Train Operating Companies (TOC’s) • OEM’s & Train builders • Heavy maintainers & Change Project providers (KBRS etc.) • Industry bodies - ATOC, ORR & RSSB • Comprehensive understanding of the supply chain • Strong relationships across industry. • High business understanding of Sales process and business development, Rail and non-rail

• • • •

Build and support your business development strategy Client & Stakeholder management Market development Supply and support Bid’s and Tender Management services

We strongly believe in detailed and focused effort for high outcomes adding value to client

Contact Mobile: 07801 773934 Tel: +44 (0)2476 271093 Email:

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Closer to you. To meet your challenges you need a strong partner. Operating conditions in the rail industry can be tough with cold, heat, rain and high mechanical loads all impacting on reliability. Under these circumstances standard lubricants quickly reach their limits, which is why you need a speciality lubricant manufacturer to rely upon at all times. Being closer to you as a trusted specialist with extensive experience, we support you in overcoming your challenges. Share in our experts‘ experience to ensure you achieve optimum performance whatever the operating conditions.

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your global specialist

Business profile

RailSmart 3Squared, developing powerful business applications to support the operations of today’s train companies


oftware development company 3Squared has more than 10 years’ experience in providing technology consultancy and developing software solutions to the rail industry. It works with some of the major rail companies to develop technologies that help them to improve efficiency, ensure compliance and save money. Operating from offices in Sheffield and London, 3Squared helps rail companies to take advantage of digitisation, utilising innovative software solutions that help bring fundamental changes to their operations. New developments Collaborating with train and freight operating companies, 3Squared has recently released RailSmart, a collection of innovative business solutions that help to reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance performance for train and freight operators. RailSmart enables the management of documents, forms and roster information and is designed for use by all rail staff, including train drivers, crew, operations managers and maintenance staff. The suite of products was released in response to demand from rail companies to increase efficiency and reduce reliance on paper-based systems. RailSmart turns the

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Business profile

tablet computer into a powerful business tool for operators, drivers and shoreside staff via a range of innovative mobile apps. RailSmart also features a suite of tools specifically designed to improve efficiency, transparency and reporting, which include: HUB: A noticeboard for the 21st century, it provides a single location for updates to documents, access to notifications and the capability to book on and off shifts. RailSmart Hub brings together roster details, updated and new documents, forms and notifications into a single location. This functionality allows drivers and other staff to proactively respond to matters that need attention. EDS 3Squared’s Employee Development System (EDS) is a software solution that allows for the management of employees’ competencies, competency cycles, performance criteria and assessments. A web and mobile App, EDS provides rail companies with the tools needed

DOCS This is a document management application that enables the rail operator to digitise the distribution of documents, notices and communication. It features built-in workflows for read receipts and document acknowledgements, meaning that managers can be sure that important information is disseminated quickly and effectively, while at the same time providing assurance that it has been received and reviewed. FORMS Forms is a customisable data capture application. It boosts data accuracy in the field with digital forms for defect reporting and other field-based data capture activities, such as incident logging. As a result, a rail operator can make more informed decisions and can dramatically speed up the time it takes to respond. TM This App gives drivers and crew access to diagrams and work rosters, giving them the capability to book on and off shifts.

to proactively manage and improve the skills and competences of their staff. It is designed to reduce the administration burden of compliance, as well as helping lower business risk and reduce incidents.

IFM IFM is a quick and easy real-time incident capture tool for the control room and reliability-centric train and fleet asset management.

TIS Timetable Information System (TIS) is a form of Driver Advisory System (DAS) that runs on tablet devices and provides the driver with information on how the train is progressing relative to timetable. This intuitive, user-friendly software offers a wider range of time and efficiency benefits compared with many other DAS systems.

Tim Jones, managing director of 3Squared, said: ‘RailSmart provides a solution to any rail operating company looking for time and efficiency benefits and cost savings, which are achieved through the use of software that allows for the management of a range of functions. ‘There is huge scope for digitisation in the rail sector. Train operators are recognising the inefficiencies of paper-

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based systems and are actively seeking an alternative. It’s here that RailSmart is already starting to make a huge difference to the operational efficiency of many rail companies.’ The future Working closely with rail operators, 3Squared plans to expand the RailSmart software suite to include other applications to improve efficiencies in the rail industry, both nationally and internationally. Visit the company website for more information on RailSmart, or call to request a demonstration Tel: 0333 121 3333 Visit

Railway surveying for professionals

Amberg Rail: IMS 1000/3000 based on IMU technology  Absolute track accuracy up to 1 mm  Survey performance up to 4000 m/h  Up to 90 % cost savings compared to traditional methods

Amberg Technologies AG 8105 Regensdorf, Switzerland

Business profile

Leading lights Centurion Traffic Management is a company that year-on-year wins and maintains contracts with some of the UK’s biggest organisations


enturion is an organisation with a wealth of rail industry knowledge that helps its clients achieve their required results to the highest standards possible. While customer service and the quality of its work remains absolutely key to Centurion’s beliefs, ensuring the safety of its employees and customers is paramount. The company continues to show a serious commitment to achieving this through its investment in the most up-to-date equipment and the continual improvement and training of its staff. Formed in 2000, Centurion is accredited by ISO 9001:2008, CHAS (The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) and RISQS (formerly Achilles Link-up) and its training school is a Lantra Awards-approved centre (no. 1528). Urban and rural roads – 12D Centurion is accredited to the highest

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standard of 12D works and holds the National Highway Sector Scheme for 12D, covering single carriageways up to 60mph and any carriageways 40mph and under. For works that are required on rural and urban roads, Centurion can provide the complete 12D service from start to finish. Centurion plans and delivers a quality service, giving its customers peace of mind that all works have been fully approved by the relevant authorities, and it also installs, maintains and removes temporary traffic management. From manual and remote-controlled stop/go systems to multi-phase traffic signals, full road closures to low speed dual carriageway lane closures, Centurion can offer a service to meet the demands of any site. High speed – 12A/B In 2012 Centurion moved into 12A/B works by gaining National Highway Sector Schemes 12A/B accreditation,

Building on Experience Celebrating over 50 years Walker Construction (UK) Ltd provide Civil & Construction solutions to the Rail Industry

Tel: 01303 851111

Specialist rail advisers “Their industry knowledge is second to none.” Chambers UK 2015

Burges Salmon has ‘unparalleled industry expertise’ and provides ‘excellent, well thought out advice in a client-friendly manner’ Legal 500 UK 2014

n Industry policy and structure

n Rolling stock

n Franchising

n Safety and incident management

n Rail property development

n Industry disputes

and planning Page 122 July/August 2015

Business profile

covering works that are required on motorways and high-speed dual carriageways. Centurion has invested heavily in this area, employing management professionals with many years’ experience. The company’s in-house Lantraapproved Training Centre means it can ensure the best training is given to its employees, guaranteeing that the safest standards are upheld in this dangerous working environment. Further investment in equipment has ensured that Centurion enjoys a reliable and upto-date fleet of vehicles, with a total of five Impact Protection Vehicles (IPV’s) dedicated to carrying out 12 A/B works. As with its 12D works, Centurion prides itself in providing a personal service to its customers. This begins with the initial site survey from which it makes recommendations for suitable high-speed traffic management, allowing its customers to safely undertake the programme of works. Site meetings can be carried out as required. A close working relationship with the network organisations responsible for the highway network, together with the production of detailed plans, ensures the smooth booking of traffic management for all Centurion customers. Whether for jobs of a few hours, or longer-term jobs that last months or years, Centurion is able to provide its customers with a bespoke service that meets expectations. Traffic management plans Centurion knows that efficient and detailed planning is vital to getting the right traffic management in place and at the right time. Part of this process

is the creation of traffic management plans. In order to ensure that works are fully approved by the relevant authority, Centurion’s in-house CAD department uses the latest CONE software to create schematic and scaled plans that will ensure the works are undertaken safely and to a high standard. Bookings department With a detailed knowledge of local councils across the UK, Centurion takes all the stress and confusion out of organising traffic management requirements. The bookings department is key to the success of Centurion; it’s aware that maintaining good relationships with local authorities means it can give its clients the best possible service.

From completing applications, liaising with the local authorities and arranging legal and approved works, Centurion aims to give the complete booking service. Training school To complement the primary business, Centurion has invested in its own Lantraapproved training centres, with bases in Wakefield and the north and north east of Lincolnshire. The centres are built around a commitment to providing quality systems - an approach that enables a wide range of training services to be delivered to its own personnel and also external parties in operational and managerial activities. As a duty of care towards its employees, Centurion doesn’t just meet minimum requirements, it exceeds them. The company is accredited by the national awards body, Lantra Awards, which approves nationally recognised qualifications in the range of traffic management practices required by the Health and Safety Executive, the Highways Agency and the Highway Authorities. VMS Centurion operates a fleet of solarpowered variable message signs (VMS) available for customer hire. They are fully compliant with Highways England (previously Highway Agency) and EU standards and can be used to display a range of messages. From advanced warning of upcoming works to helping divert traffic along alternative routes, the VMS signs are a more visible and effective way of informing road users. Tel: 01924 372957 Email: Visit July/August 2015 Page 123

Business profile

21st century storage Cyclepods manufactures space-saving and secure bike storage and cyclist-friendly facilities designed for everyday use. Since 2005, it has installed more than 65,000 bike spaces across the UK, 8,000 of which have been taken up by the rail industry


n the last few years Cyclepods has been developing and producing state-of-the-art cycling infrastructure and technology for the rail industry, including secure access control, public bike pumps, repair stands and bike hire. Several ‘Cycle Hub’ projects have been designed and installed using this technology, an initiative that Cyclepods has called Cycology. As well as providing technology and facilities to equip Cycle Hubs, Cyclepods also designs and builds its own Cycle Hub buildings and enclosures. Constructed with carefully selected materials, the buildings have a modular and configurable design that can be adapted for different sites and requirements. Secure and enclosed Cyclepods Cycle Hubs are secure, enclosed structures in a key location that act as a central storage facility for bicycles. The structure can accommodate various facilities and amenities to assist cyclists and offers services that help offset build and maintenance costs. A hub is essentially of steel construction with walls made of glass, polycarbonate or steel depending on the client’s requirements and the unit’s location. Cyclepods’ director, Pat McCarthy, said: ‘The benefit of our design is that it’s flexible enough to give a bespoke product at an off-the-shelf price. Unlike car parking, it’s very difficult to profit from cycle parking, so while the hubs need to provide first-class facilities, they also need to be affordable. ‘Every hub has to be carefully designed to fit bespoke requirements and needs, so there is no such thing as a generic cycle hub. This is why we have made it possible to customise our hubs by designing the individual components, which means that clients can pick and choose exactly what goes into their hub.’ Easylift+ Cyclepods believes the first thing to focus on when considering a hub project is the cycle parking. ‘Letting the racks decide the space and not the other way around’ is how Cyclepods bases all of its designs for its hubs, whether new builds or working with existing spaces. Page 124 July/August 2015

The Easylift+ is Cyclepods’ solution to maximising storage space; it has a two-tier system that doubles the amount of available space. Of the 8,000 spaces Cyclepods has installed at UK railway stations, around 7,000 of those

are Easylift+ storage. User-friendly, due to its gas-assisted lift and lightweight aluminium frame, the Easylift+ is fast becoming the most space-efficient yet economic bike parking system on the market.


Where? On your intermodal bottom line. We claim that our offering for the UK industry is SMARTER WHERE IT MATTERS. That’s because we offer the UK’s widest range of container handling equipment and service for intermodal container handling. Our offering includes RMGs, RTGs, reach stackers, container lift trucks and straddle carriers. And our UK service network brings us closer to you. Not just lifting things, but entire businesses.

For SMARTER WHERE IT MATTERS intermodal container handling equipment: Tel: 0808 168 3832 Email: Web:

Setec delivers high quality training and assessment solutions, with specialist professional provision for the rail industry. Our range of products is ever evolving and we offer high quality, dynamic training in all areas of railway engineering, safety, health and environmental subjects. We don’t believe in a one size fits all approach and as such spend time with our clients designing the most cost effective and beneficial training intervention based on their business needs. As a one stop provider we can cater for all of your learning & development needs from apprentice to chartered professional using a mix of learning styles and delivery patterns. A selection of training areas we cover includes: • Signal Engineering, (Design, Installation Skills, Testing & Maintenance) • Railway Communications Systems • Track Engineering Training (Permanent Way Skills from Apprentice to Senior Engineer) • Electrical Engineering (LV, HV Switching & Transmission, Rail Electrifi cation, Solar) • Rail Operations and Rail Vehicle Engineering Training • Engineering Apprenticeships (Track, Signalling, Rolling Stock, OLE) • Safety, Health & Environmental Training (Approved by IOSH & NEBOSH) • Control Systems Training (PLC and SCADA) • Small Plant and Tools Training/Assessment For further details please contact or mobile 07748328831

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With cycling growing in popularity and becoming a key mode of transport, Chris Tsielepi, rail sales manager at Cyclepods, said that for train operating companies and station facility owners, the two-tier system is the way forward. ‘They future-proof bike facilities, double the number of bikes that can be parked and, when dividing the cost of the hub by the amount of bike spaces provided, are economical too.’ Cycology – access technology Part of the flexible and configurable design for Cycle Hubs is the Cycology range that includes the development of specialist access control and LED lighting. Also included is a CCTV system, which uses the latest technology to drive down costs. They are specifically designed with cyclists in mind, and make access quicker and easier, increasing the feeling of security while also lowering costs. Cyclepods’ access systems are highly secure and can be easily adapted to suit any environment, with several access options available, including key fobs, coded locks and key cards. The technology can also be used for measuring data, with entry/exit information that can be recorded and maintained with remote software. The software makes it possible to manage which individuals can have access to the hubs while also blocking others, and all entries and exits are measured, meaning that any reports of bike theft or damage can be checked against access data. Security lighting is another great theft deterrent, as well as having obvious practical uses. Cyclepods uses LED lighting systems that can be adapted to use solar power or low voltage electricity, making them energy-efficient and very low-maintenance. The lights can be configured to be triggered with PIR motion sensors, keeping the light on for as long as the movement is occurring. Cycle repair stands and pumps are finishing touches that show a commitment to the users of the hubs, providing them with easy-to-use tools for basic bike repairs. The stand-alone Air Kit bike pumps are designed for heavyduty use and Air Kit bike pumps include wrenches, screwdrivers, and other tools. CCTV The latest addition to the Cycology range for hubs is the wireless CCTV system developed by Cyclepods. Using a cloud-based service for off-site storage and management of visual data from analogue or IP cameras, the system can be used across multiple sites regardless of location. It has been designed using bank-level security standards and, once connected to the system, the user can record, view live footage, download and distribute visual data from any of the connected cameras, and using any

browser device. Cyclepods’ system allows both existing and newly-installed CCTV systems to connect to the cloud-based service, meaning that the cost of upgrading existing CCTV can be kept to a minimum. Southern Rail Cyclepods has installed Cycle Hubs that use a range of Cycology elements at Brighton, Lewes and Horsham stations. All three of these hubs are secured with access technology systems and are configured to work with the operator’s ‘The Key’ smartcard (Southern’s card that allows travel on trains, buses, trams and London Underground), all of which can be maintained by Southern using a central software programme. Brighton station’s Cycle Hub is one of Cyclepods’ biggest projects, with storage for 500 bikes, and Lewes’ and Horsham’s facilities have been designed and built

entirely by Cyclepods. The steel and glass structure at Lewes Cycle Hub is future-proofed, allowing for its extension should the number of cyclists using the station increases, and is currently fitted with 100 Easylift+ bike parking spaces. It is also equipped with a bike pump and repair stand, CCTV and lighting. Only eight car park spaces were lost to build the Cycle Hub. A 130-space hub is due to be completed at Horsham station and uses the same modular build system used at Lewes, with the walls modified slightly to use polycarbonate sheeting instead of glass. Contact Chris Tsielepi, rail sales manager at Cyclepods, for more information Tel: 0845 045 0940 Email: Visit July/August 2015 Page 127

Business profile

Deck the floors Forbo Flooring Systems recently fitted out Dutch Railways’ modernised fleet of trains with its sustainable floor coverings. The company gives a detailed account of the material’s environmental benefit and the improvements it has brought


utch Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen), the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands, recently undertook a major fleet modernisation project. 250 intercity double-decker trains were stripped back to their shells and had all interior furnishings, fixtures and fittings replaced. Every train was fitted with Marmoleum Striato FR flooring, a recent addition to Forbo’s extensive collection, and features a modern yet retro linear design with a natural colour scheme. Product safety, quality and durability were critical to the flooring specification, explains Dutch Railways train formula manager, Brigitte Matheussen. ‘Following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (the pattern that human motivations generally move through) we started out with safety – an absolute must – and other basic customer and staff needs that had to be fulfilled. ‘In relation to the flooring, this also had to meet high legal safety requirements, be easy to clean and maintain and be very durable. On average, a train has a lifespan of around 30 years. Halfway through its life we will carry out this kind of full scale modernisation and refurbishment, meaning therefore that we needed flooring with a 15-year lifespan. ‘We then looked to create the

‘satisfiers’ element of Maslow’s hierarchy, which will make travelling with Dutch Railways more enjoyable for customers and staff alike,’ added Matheussen. ‘The appearance and ambience in a train are very important. Like in other types of interior, the floor is a critical area and the choice of floor coverings forms the basis for an entire design. The Marmoleum Striato FR collection arrived at just the right time for us because it fits neatly into the new concept that we devised for this modernisation programme.’ Sustainability Dutch Railways places a high importance on the sustainability of its interiors. ‘Dutch trains predominantly have hard floors and we have traditionally used a lot of linoleum and, in some cases, rubber flooring. Linoleum is environmentally friendly, as it’s made almost entirely from natural materials,’ said Matheussen. ‘Forbo’s linoleum flooring is durable and easy to clean and, now that Forbo has substantially modernised their linoleum designs, we have opted to use them as they fit in very well with the contemporary look that we want to achieve.’ Refurbishing and upgrading 250 trains was a major project. It was undertaken as a collaborative process between Dutch Railways and industrial design agency,

Puur|Ruimte, that Matheussen says has ‘become specialised in translating our ideas into a concrete design’. Puur|Ruimte’s Marion Rovers, who has been working on train carriage designs for Dutch Railways for around 15 years, said: ‘For Puur|Ruimte, designing a train covers everything down to the very last detail. Using the initial rough outline that’s based on the requirements of travellers and staff we can create two or three concept designs. These will eventually be developed into a final sketch design with rough layouts, colour combinations and product characteristics. We then work out how will we design the chairs, which fabric we will use and with what stitching. This process also applies to the ceiling, lighting, luggage racks, walls and floors. ‘Concerning the flooring, quality and durability are critical. It’s relatively easy to replace the upholstery of a chair or table but if something turned out to be wrong with the floor, we would have to redesign and refit the entire interior of the train and that would be very expensive.’ ‘We believe we have created an attractive train for our client,’ added Rovers. ‘The lower floor is designed as a meeting space, which has larger seats, and the top floor is for those who wish to rest and work, with a light, quiet and intimate ambience.’ Marmoleum Striato FR ‘Forbo’s new Marmoleum Striato FR range is ideal for operators looking for a sustainable and attractive floor covering that will perform on all fronts in the most challenging passenger transport environments,’ said Stephan Plomp, previously Forbo Flooring Systems’s international key account manager for transport flooring. ‘Marmoleum FR is a well-established product but we are continuing to innovate, in terms of aesthetics, function and performance. We have completely reformulated the surface finish so that it can cope with heavy traffic and our Topshield2 finish has superior durability and improved resistance to scratches and stains. ‘Environmental concerns are increasingly determining specifiers’s product choices,’ said Plomp, ‘and in Marmoleum FR we have products that

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Business profile

Create a greener environment with Marmoleum


s part of a more sustainabilityconscious and eco-friendly society, the rail industry is increasingly using green and naturally sourced products. Also the big increase in people moving from car travel to rail travel has less of an impact on the environment. According to recent studies by the EU Environment Agency, rail travel produces the least amount of CO2 emissions out of all modes of passenger transport, making it the most environmentally friendly. Designing rail vehicles to be greener is not just about using more efficient engine parts antd electrical components; it also means using environmentallyfriendly products in the interior of the train. It’s important to consider the impact of the supply chain and how suppliers manufacture their products. Forbo Flooring Systems’ Marmoleum FR floor covering is made from 85 per cent natural materials. 68 per cent of these materials are rapidly renewable, which makes Marmoleum FR a sustainable product that has less of a longterm impact. An increasing number of consumers are actively looking to reduce their own carbon footprint by changing their behaviour and buying from more sustainable businesses. Creating an environment that is inviting, stylish and, most importantly, eco-friendly is vital in encouraging people to travel by rail. Marmoleum FR’s high sustainability values are not at the expense of style and performance; it is durable, actually toughens with age, comes with extensive colour and design options and is certified to meet rail standards. Marmoleum FR is available in two ranges: Real FR and Striato FR but bespoke solutions are also available. To view Forbo Flooring Systems’ full range of floor coverings visit the company’s website.

contain 85 per cent natural raw materials (68 per cent rapidly renewable) and 50 per cent of the finished floor covering is recycled material. ‘Furthermore we’re continuing to innovate and improve the products’ environmental credentials by adopting a life cycle assessment approach that strives to reduce our impact on the environment. It’s one of the most sustainable floor coverings that money can buy.’ Contact Forbo Flooring Systems to find out more about its range of transport flooring solutions or to arrange contact from one of its flooring representatives. Tel: 01773 744121 Email: Visit July/August 2015 Page 129

Business profile

The perfect Ethernet pairing Keeping up with passengers’ changing technological demands on trains calls for the latest components and equipment; something that HARTING can help with


assenger information systems that transmit audio and video signals are standard equipment on most of today’s trains and increasing numbers of travellers expect to have high-end infotainment systems with internet access. All of this presents rail operators with the need to enhance transmission capacity on board trains, requiring existing rolling stock to be adapted to reflect the changes in user requirements. The transmission of high-speed signals and data is a key challenge on state-of-theart trains as well as on upgraded rolling stock. Users have turned to Ethernet technology to deliver viable solutions, using a central Ethernet backbone that supports structured networks throughout the entire length of the train. The Ethernet backbone links equipment such as CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi networks and passenger information systems. Inter-car connections in such systems are achieved using jumper cables and connectors, which provide sufficient bandwidth to allow future expansion to accommodate these developments. Using HARTING Han® Modular connectors with ground disconnect, these solutions provide full ten-gigabit transmission tested to IEEE 802.3, utilising CAT 7 cables. Meeting stringent demands The cables are compliant with fire regulation EN 45545 (1, 2 and 5) and EN 50155:2007 to ensure reliable application on rolling stock, and offer one of the industry’s leading IP68 and IP69K sealing capabilities. HARTING connectors also carry IRIS certification to meet the stringent demands of the rail industry. This improved inter-car connection allows for faster and more reliable onboard connectivity that improves the customer experience. Supporting CAT 5, 6 and 7Ea, this offering from HARTING allows train operators to future-proof rolling stock. Latest product developments for the rail industry from HARTING include

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preLink®, for fast on-site termination. The preLink® installation system, together with Ha-VIS EtherRail® cables specially configured for railway requirements, allows future-orientated data networks to be quickly and reliably installed. The fundamental idea behind the preLink® technology is the separation of the cable connection and the mating face. At its core is a cable termination block in which the stranded wires are inserted separately. The assembly process is completed with pliers that ensure reliable results on-site. Reducing errors The contact block’s small size means that the data cables can be prepared ready for use outside the car and then installed, reducing installation time and error rate. The Ha-VIS preLink® terminal block can then be fitted to any of the various HaVIS preLink® mating faces, including M12, RJ45 and PullPush. Given the long periods of use in railway technology, these products offer a high level of flexibility and a safe investment. HARTING continuously develops products specifically for the rail industry that are designed to withstand the ongoing shocks and vibrations common

in tough rail environments. The range includes heavy-duty connectors, electrical connectors, industrial grade Ethernet switches and cable assemblies that are produced to the highest standards to enable fast, secure connections throughout the train.

Contact HARTING to request a free Transportation User Guide with full details on the products, applications and certifications Tel: 01604 827500 Emaill: Visit

July/August 2015 Page 131

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Business profile

Well-informed technology Since 2001, MacRail’s system has been providing the industry with real-time reporting from railway worksites, helping streamline the entire process


ver time, Macrail’s system has evolved to incorporate new technologies and support clients in assuring safety, improving efficiency and reducing operational costs. It’s also unrecognisable from the first use of site access controllers (SAC), which involved sitting at an access point with sign-in sheets and a pen. Complementary to the essential site access control function and at no additional cost to clients, the system is able to deliver a whole raft of additional functionality to ensure effective track maintenance operations, including: 1. equipment and assessment management For example, where a MacRail SAC is given custody of radios, dect comms (digital european cordless telecommunications), My Zone equipment, or spare PPE can be issued and, where returnable, custodianship formally tracked using the MacRail system. This process allows any reported loss to be assigned to an individual or company. Online, clients are able to generate simple e-mail format reports, identifying discrepancies to recover losses, accurately charge costs and improve processes. 2. equipment maintenance checks Users can identify a number of checks that they want the MacRail SAC to initiate or carry out. Are checks needed on the fuel in generators every six hours, the water level in a bowser every 12, or a toilet check every hour? By instructing MacRail prior to the start of the job, the SAC can either carry out these checks or initiate them through the person assigned to the job, recording the results on the MacRail system.

4. payroll management Ever thought about linking the company payroll system to the MacRail System register? Doing so could end the need for timesheets and internal process, requiring only a download of the register from the MacRail website and paying the workforce against it. Third party labour suppliers can get controlled access through the MacRail portal to view their own staff hours and check against their supply requirements. Office staff can book on and off through the MacRail Command and Control Centre over the telephone, providing fatigue management of all members of staff and payroll in one place. 5. site document management Uploading all site documents, including new e-permits, onto the MacRail website gives easy access to anyone who needs to see them. If it’s necessary to amend an e-permit through the course of the works, upload the amended document and inform the MacRail SAC to print off the site hard copy for the safe work leader. 6. close call reporting MacRail can manage all close call reporting and recording. The company hopes to train its site access controllers as close call champions, meaning that they can be record close calls direct from staff or reporting cards onto the MacRail System. The company will then transfer them onto the client’s chosen platform or send them all out to a designated distribution list in an excel spreadsheet,

ready for further attention/action. MacRail has a facility that enables photographs taken directly from site to be uploaded – either into the site documents or directly linking to a diary entry. Seen something unsafe? Take a photo and let MacRail do the rest. 7. operational planning The MacRail system has captured a wealth of historical data relating to the conduct of past work activities. This information is available to accurately inform future planning in validating the time and resources required, as well as informing any statistical analysis to confirm any anticipated benefits from improvement initiatives. The MacRail System has real potential to transform business operations, and users are encouraged to use it to its full potential. The above examples are just some of the areas where integrating MacRail’s system may help businesses to perform better, safer and save money. To discuss any of the above options or see a demonstration on what the MacRail System can do and how it might help on your project, contact Eric Hill Tel: 01934 611736 Email: Visit

3. plant reliability management Plant problems can now be recorded by supplier and serial number, and the details can also be linked to schedule items that may have been affected by the issue. Data is stored in perpetuity on the MacRail system and can give answers to questions such as who is the most reliable plant supplier, which piece of kit keeps failing and how much time has been lost through plant failures? July/August 2015 Page 133

Business profile

A tool for every job Enabling workforces from a range of industries to keep working, Jafco has an enviable range of tools; from the most common to some of the lesser-known ones…


hen most people think of hand tools, hammers, spades, spanners and crowbars spring to mind. Those such as the Japanese cant hook, pansetter,

panlock pullers and tangye hydraclaw jack are little known and only recognised by those connected to, or familiar with, the rail industry. However, at Jafco Tools in Wednesbury in the Black Country, these tools along with an exhaustive list of other industry-specific tools are supplied for use in day-to-day business and production. Since being founded in 1981, Jafco Tools has become one of the leading specialist hand tool manufacturers and, since its acquisition by P F Cusack in 2013, has continued to increase its range, client diversity and market share. Jafco Tools’ three primary industry sectors are rail, fire and rescue and highways and infrastructure, the latter encompassing both local government and contractor usage, but it also has an array of forestry hand tools. Off-the-shelf service Today’s ties with P F Cusack mean that Jafco Tools is able to offer a rail-specific

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July/August 2015 Page 135

Over 25 years servicing the rail industry... The logical choice for professional glassfibre manufacturing, painting and refurbishment solutions

T. 01322 350097 | E. |

Business profile

railway standards-compliant PPE wear range as well as an off-the-shelf rail sign service to its customers. In fact, to put it simply, Jafco doesn’t just make hand tools, it creates working relationships with companies and assists them on a day-to-day basis. ‘We’re committed not only to our own ongoing product development, but also to our customers’ project development activities, working with them to constantly improve and innovate,’ said Jean Wilkes, Jafco’s general manager. Innovation is a byword for Jafco; in 2015 the company added three new ranges to its already large and diverse inventory. The core feature of the company’s professional tool ranges are the pultruded

fibreglass handles, which give its tools an unprecedented mix of strength, durability and electrical insulation properties – potentially saving lives in safety-critical situations. All the professional range tools are batch tested to – and in most cases above – industry standards, with a comprehensive array of strength and load tolerance, abrasion, insulation, soaking and flammability tests, making them among the finest and most durable hand tools available. London Underground and Network Rail One of the company’s flagship ranges is its BS 8020:2011-approved track tool range, which has been developed over

many years of partnership with London Underground and Network Rail. Currently in development in conjunction with Network Rail, complementing Jafco Tools’ existing trough tilter (pictured), is a two and four-man Total Lift trough lifter that makes the sometimes hazardous task of removing trough lids – due to hand and foot injuries – simpler and safer. Making clear the company’s commitment to improving, Malcolm Latham, works manager at Jafco Tools, said: ‘Working with our clients and suppliers, we’re happy to take on any new challenges and design projects created by the ever-growing demands of the industries we serve.’ Contact Jafco Tools for more information on any of its products or services. A copy of its new insulated tools product guide, giving a complete overview of the products and services on offer, can be downloaded from the company’s website. An insight into Jafco’s day-to-day operation and its staff in action, can be gained at the following YouTube video: Tel: 0121 556 7700 Email: Visit





350 Lumen USB Rechargeable 3M Mountable Headlight

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Business profile

Slippery efficiency Proper lubrication on rail infrastructure can influence the entire railway system by improving the performance of components. Klüber Lubrication explains


ess expensive lubricants may bring savings initially, but consider the cost if they fail to cope with vibrations, shock loads, or weather; it would create delays, cancellations and timetable disruption. The correct lubricants will reduce operating costs and increase reliability and efficiency. It’s for this reason that Klüber Lubrication has dedicated more than 85 years to developing high-performance, speciality lubricants – in collaboration with manufacturers and operators – to ensure the smooth functioning of components. High friction forces between the wheel flange and the rail flank, particularly on curves passed at high speed, cause high wear of wheels and rails if lubrication is insufficient; damage that reduces the life of wheels and rails and increases maintenance costs. ‘Klüberrail LEA 62-2000 is a lubricant that offers excellent wear protection of wheels and rails, significantly reducing wear and tear on these components’, explained Thomas Kamprath, market

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manager rail at Klüber Lubrication. ‘It reduces downtime and increases operational reliability.’ Good adhesion Klüberrail LEA 62-2000 is an ecocompatible, fully synthetic and speciality lubricant for the treatment of wheel flanges on rail vehicles. Its chemical composition ensures good wear protection for wheels and rails, significantly reducing the unpleasant squeaking noises generated with stick-slip effect on curves that have been poorly lubricated. The additives used in Klüberrail LEA 62-2000 ensure good adhesion to the wheel flange, meaning that the lubricant does not fling off, even at high speeds (passed DB test PA-0001). The lubricant has a wide service temperature range, offers good water resistance, and is suitable for use in automatic spray systems (approved for use in wheel flange lubrication systems manufactured by Bijur Delimon and REBS). The grey fluid grease is based on

readily-biodegradable oil (acc. to OECD 301 F) and has an inorganic thickener and a combination of selected additives, making the efficient, fully synthetic wheel flange lubricant an economic choice, as well as an environmental one. Benefits of application: • significant wear reduction on wheels and rails • noise reduction, especially on curves • good adhesion for full effect at high speeds • good rain resistance • environmentally-friendly, with readilybiodegradable base oil. On track for reliable operations Not just a lubricants supplier, Klüber Lubrication is a global specialist for innovative tribological solutions, working with its customers to find the right lubricant solution that offers maximum technical and economic benefit. Whether requiring advice on speciality lubricants, support on their application, training, or guidance on used lubricant analysis,





Complete cable management solutions – more than you imagine Unistrut’s engineered steel cable management offer includes; welded and swaged ladder, traditional and splice tray, wire basket, steel trunking and complete ranges of supporting accessories, selectively available in a wide variety of finishes including; PG, HG, SS, ZD designed to suit the environmental demands of the modern day market sectors.

For more information contact us by email or by phone on 01215 806300

Business profile

Klüber Lubrication helps keep businesses running smoothly. To ensure the trouble-free running of trains and trams and the maintenance of infrastructure it’s essential to use the correct lubricant. Using Klüber Lubrication’s in-depth knowledge of the lubrication requirements for railway applications and through collaboration with manufacturers and operators, the company has developed products that

allow users to reduce the number of lubricants required. Doing so increases the service life of components and machines, achieving longer maintenance intervals that are more efficient; thus reducing overall operating costs. Big choice In the railway industry, customers can choose from more than 2,500 oils, greases, pastes, waxes, bonded coatings,

tribo-system materials and corrosion inhibitors for all kinds of components and requirements. Klüber Lubrication’s speciality lubricants are recommended for use by rail and tram OEM’s, such as Stadler, CAF, Alstom, Siemens, Hitachi, Bombardier; CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. and Wikov MGI. They are also approved for use by rail operators that include Deutsche Bahn, SNCB-Infrabel, STIB, ADIF, SBB, OBB, SNCF, and Renfe, covering an array of applications from door mechanisms to current collector. They can also be used on the following: • rail vehicles: door guides, door spindles, and door seals • infrastructure: switch plates, and switch drive linkage • railway stations and platforms: escalators • bogies: all assembly points, contact points, plain bearings, screws, seals, linkages, traction motors, rolling bearings, gears, wheelset bearings, and brakes • compressed air generation. Contact Steve Worth for more information Tel: 07802 415593 Email: Visit industry/railways

July/August 2015 Page 141

Business profile

Keeping design on track PBH Rail has a dedicated multi-disciplinary design team that has been established for 11 years, giving it the expertise to undertake a range of permanent way, survey and overhead line equipment design projects with confidence


BH has experience with all types of track design through all GRIP (Guide to Rail Investment Process) stages, including S&C (switches and crossings), remodelling, depots, platform rebuilds/extensions, plain line and high output renewals. In 2014 PBH expanded its track division to incorporate OLE (overhead line equipment). The company can now provide a complete service within OLE that offers the following: • GRIP 1-3 feasibility studies and option selection • GRIP 4 outline design, including: * site surveys * OLE condition assessments * height and stagger analysis • GRIP 5 detailed design, including: * wiring layout design * cross-section production * bonding plans * isolation documentation updates * material bills of quantity (BOQ) * construction methodology and planning * testing and commissioning * documentation * basic design production, including foundations, main steelwork and SPS • support services, including: * technical specifications * in-house CAD services * section proving test engineers.

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To complement its successful track and OLE disciplines, PBH has a dedicated specialist survey team that operates throughout the UK. With Network Rail’s Control Period 5 underway and with the demand for a skilled workforce across all disciplines at a premium, PBH is committed to working closely with framework providers to give support across key areas, ensuring projects are delivered safely, efficiently and to the specified remits. Full spectrum of support PBH’s team provides the full spectrum of survey support services. It has a wealth of knowledge and experience within the survey team that enables the company to plan, manage and execute surveys, maximising the tight time constraints on the railway and helping to ensure ‘right first time’ delivery. The team is also experienced in the delivery of coordinated survey data tied into local, national or bespoke railway control grids and can cater for surveys ranging in length from 300 yards to more than 100 miles. Fully Link-up approved for survey, permanent way design and consultancy, PBH has a focused approach to the management of permanent way projects. All lead surveyors hold a minimum of COSS (Controller of Site Safety)

competency, with a high percentage of staff qualified as protection controller and engineering supervisor. The photo below shows the current capability of PBH Surveys. All survey vehicles are custom fitted internally to ensure that survey equipment is secure while in transit and every team is supplied with the latest equipment to allow track, gauge, coordination and processing of data to be undertaken remotely. Services include: In-house planning PBH’s in-house planning team allows for safe access to be planned and managed and is able to react at short notice to late programme changes. The company believes that the key to the successful completion and delivery of quality, high precision survey data is timely planning and constant client interaction, both of which are values that are central to PBH Rail Surveys’ operations. Control networks PBH has high precision 3D control network installation and existing network validation capabilities. Installations

Business profile

level of detail is captured. 3D high definition laser scanning The company’s staff are experienced in the use of kinetic scanning to carry out large-scale gauge clearance schemes as well as static scanning using the latest scanning technology. 3D point clouds are fully coordinated to existing survey grids and run through rigorous quality assurance checks. Data can be provided in .E57, .pts and .pod format to be used in various design packages and 3D wireframes of survey data can also be provided for use in designs. Overhead line height and stagger surveys PBH’s OLE design team is able to carry out OLE condition surveys and are experienced in all types of overhead line. Gauge clearances surveys Structure clearance is carried out using LaserSweep, RouteScan and kinetic trolley surveys on lineside structures, railway infrastructure, railway station platforms and tunnels. Gauging clearance is carried out to Network Rail specification to provide detailed clearance information. Gauge clearance information can be provided either as a .sc0 or can be run through clear route by the PBH design team. Datum plate surveys Datum plates are measured using Abtus RouteScan to provide as-built checks against the design. GNSS Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) utilising static receivers are employed to measure control stations to provide coordinated survey grids on the railway corridor where loop traversing is not available. Survey grids can be provided on either Quasi OS grids or SnakeGrids for larger surveys (more than 10km). VRS and RTK technologies are also used for measuring large areas of soft detail where conventional survey methods are less efficient. range from small closed loop traverses to large-scale SnakeGrid installation implementing primary, secondary and tertiary control stations in line with client specifications. The company has broad expertise in the installation and coordination of TMG networks on railway infrastructure. Coordinated topographical track surveys All surveys are carried out using 1 inch Total Stations surveys, which are internally calibrated on a daily basis and externally checked annually. Survey integrity is maintained by strict orientation checks at regular intervals, with validation of survey data carried out by the delivery team in the office.

Current projects include a CP5 plain line work bank for London North Eastern and London North Western routes, bridge deck replacement schemes, station extension/refurbishment and drainage schemes. Project surveys vary and include plain line, boundary-to-boundary, highway and drainage. Detailed S&C surveys More than half of PBH’s surveyors are trained in the surveying of complex S&C layouts. The company invests time and training throughout its workforce, with the design staff working with the survey team on detailed projects to ensure the correct

In-house delivery team PBH’s in-house team ensures survey data is processed and delivered to the client using the latest processing software, without the need for site survey staff to have downtime in the office. Rigorous checks are carried out by the processing team that follow a strict quality and assurance process before any data is submitted to a client. Quality assurance utilises a three-step checking system with final directorship approval. PBH Rail (Darren Pudsey): 07739 379109 PBH Surveys: (Rikki Morrow) 07487 717901 (Matt Chilton) 07487 717900 PBH OLE (Warren Bain): 07779 605388 Visit July/August 2015 Page 143

Times House, Bravingtons Walk, Regent Quarter London N1 9AW. Tel: +44 (0) 7042 9961

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Business profile

Rail haven For rail employees who want to get away from it all, Dawlish’s Bridge House offers hospitality and facilities that are 100 years in the making


ridge House is a charity owned by the Railway Convalescent Homes (RCH) that is located in Dawlish in south Devon. It was set up for workers and retired personnel of the railway industry, especially those who need a gradual return to health after illnesses or operations. The charity also provides breaks for people in need of recuperation, including from trauma, bereavement or loss, or those just needing a break. With a nurse adviser on call within the building 24/7, guests have peace of mind if assistance is required. The charity operates a collection and dropoff service from the local train and bus/ coach stations; part of a service that aims to ensure that every guest is well-rested and recharged after their break at Bridge House.

Organised day trips to visit other parts of the county are included within the weekly activity programme, as well as evening entertainment and a licensed bar for guests. Breaks run from Tuesday to Tuesday for one or two weeks and are offered on a full-board basis. Bridge House Led by a group of nine railway men, RCH began as an institution in 1899 and Bridge House opened in 1918. With more than 35,000 members of Great Western Railway by 1929, the house was very popular with rail workers and was extended to cope with demand. With close links to the railways, RCH provides an ideal setting for rail employees – both working and retired – to enjoy a relaxing break at concessionary rates. All food is freshly prepared, with special dietary requirements catered for, and every room is en suite with television and hot drink making facilities. One of the real treasures of Bridge House is its four-acre grounds, which have a Koi pond and a stream running through it, that are maintained by a staff of gardeners. Flowers are in abundance, whether blooms of spring bulbs, camellias and azaleas or late summer displays of herbaceous borders, bedding and hanging baskets. The area A ten-minute riverside walk leads into Dawlish town centre where there are a range of independent and national chain shops and cafés. During August, the town

has a carnival procession, including an aerial display from the world-famous Red Arrows. Many coastal and wildlife trips depart from Dawlish’s beach and there is a ferry at nearby Starcross for those who want to cross the estuary to visit Exmouth. Torquay, Exeter Cathedral and Powderham Castle are also close by. Contact Bridge House for more information on this well-kept secret Tel: 01626 866850 Visit

July/August 2015 Page 145

Business profile

The Safe Route to safety Safe Route designs and formulates pedestrian protection systems. Matthew Robinson gives a short, simplified take on the design, installation and maintenance of construction site hoardings that keep the public and site personnel safe • ‘Is the work fenced off from the public?’ • ‘Are the public protected from falling material?’ • ‘It cannot be over-emphasised that the main aim is to ensure everyone reaches safety if there is a fire.’


he above quotes are from health and safety guidance notes published by the Health and Safety Executive for fire safety in construction (HSG168) and health and safety in construction (HSG150).

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In practice, the steps are obvious and straightforward: segregate construction from the public, provide protection from above and compartmentalise from the risk of fire to form a safe route of escape.

fire separation and a variety of loadings – such as material, wind, crowd and vehicle. The combination of these loads can be enormous and therefore require a significant structure to support them.

Design A site hoarding is a temporary structure and therefore should be treated as an element of temporary works, meaning that hoarding works need to be coordinated with the permanent works and the sequence of construction. The overall design needs to be geometrically planned and assessed for

Installation The transition from available land or building to construction site occurs in an instant; therefore it’s important to simplify the installation process and/or sequence of operations. Modularise where possible and construct off-site so it can be easily assembled on site. Hoarding or public segregation

Business profile

electrical services • weather or waterproofing of a gantry or temporary tunnel structures may be a requirement. Likewise, water or slurry may be present or even against the hoarding, therefore a bund or seal will be required to contain the risk of fluids leaving the site • Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). Corners need to clearly identified with either a contrasting colour or texture for the visually impaired and any changes in height or ramps need signage and/or handrails • acoustics treatment. Unavoidably noisy activities on site, such as demolition or piling, will require a risk assessment and may also require attenuation or sound absorption at the boundary to protect the public or absorb sound back into the site. Proprietary blankets are available from specialist hire firms that specifically deal with these hazards. These products are heavy and therefore consideration will be required at the design stage to assess the loads imposed on the temporary structure • environmental constraints and targets. Minimise waste with a propriety reusable system and consider the next phase or even the next job.

proposals will be designed and specified using the information presented, leaving works packages that need to be purchased using a trade specialist. Numerous companies exist for this, ranging from traditional builders to specialist proprietary product suppliers, but they will all need to meet the specification. They include fire and structural performance, the capability to deal with interfaces above and below ground and being mindful of the programme/ sequence of installation and respectful of the finish and quality required. Below ground services and obstructions pose significant risks; risks that can be minimised with a modular hoarding systems, many of which come with a simple yet heavy kentledge arrangement. Maintenance The construction sequence may change, unforeseen circumstances will happen and quick access will inevitably be required through what’s already been built; all factors that will influence the

ongoing maintenance of the installed system. Provisions need to be built into the design to accommodate any future changes, such as new or revised graphics/artwork; a height change; revised geometry or setting-out; or the removal and reinstatement of sections, which often has to take place overnight. During this period it’s also important to establish a regime of regular inspections, ensuring that damage has not occurred, and checking for unauthorised attempts at alterations. Taking these steps ensures that materials from within the site are not creating additional loads on the structure. Other considerations: • technical standards and specifications behind fire separation. This is relatively straightforward, however, when forming temporary partitions/hoardings within heavily occupied buildings, complex design considerations are required • temporary lighting or signage and the containment and protection of

The list above is a simple snapshot of consideration when designing, installing and maintaining a hoarding or a proposed public interface scheme on any construction site. The project conditions will vary, as will the intended scope of the permanent works. All the above considerations will apply in some way, shape or form and if handled properly, will improve safety and reduce cost. A number of issues have not been mentioned due to the nature of this article, however, issues commonly encountered include design responsibility; construction design and management regulations (CDM); smoke and toxicity testing; interface with existing services; electrical; CCTV; and public address and voice alarm. Also needing consideration are: vibration control from train or vehicle movement; assessment of crowd loading; security and robustness of materials; impact or blast resistance; pedestrian flow analysis; local authority requirements; planning conditions; and verification of design. However straightforward a painted temporary site hoarding can appear, it’s as serious as the crane 50 metres in the air. It needs to be diligently designed, planned methodically and implemented safely. Matthew Robinson is managing director of Safe Route Facilities Management.

Tel: 0207 619 3470 Email:

July/August 2015 Page 147

Business profile

Safe from harm Manufacturing a range of electrical enclosures and accessories, Spelsberg has now added heavy duty GRP enclosures to its portfolio of products, keeping their contents safer than ever


pelsberg has extended its enclosures portfolio with a new line of heavy duty GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) products that are robust and reliable enough to cope with the harshest industrial environments. Available in a range of sizes, the GRP enclosures boost application flexibility through a wide range of accessories, which can be CNC (computer numerical control) modified, and a host of customisation options. Trackside dangers Life by the trackside can be very tough; fumes and brake dust can be incredibly abrasive and debris is often sent flying at extremely high speeds. When designing any external electrical application one of the first, and most vital, considerations is the choice of enclosure. It is also important to think about the location of the product and any possible hazards that it may face during its lifespan. Spelsberg’s GRP enclosures provide effective corrosion resistance for electrical and electronic controls in the harsh environments typically found in marine, offshore, petrochemical, paper and water treatment industries. Sealed to IP65 standard to protect against the ingress of dust and liquids, the GRP enclosures are securely constructed with features that include an integral drip shield that directs liquids away from the unit’s door. GRP’s benefits GRP has ideal characteristics for heavyduty enclosures, offering a high level of rigidity at minimal thicknesses. This equates to increased protection for a wide range of housed equipment and instrumentation but in a lightweight, attractive design. After having subjected the enclosures to rigorous testing, it was found that the tough GRP and polycarbonate construction provides improved protection against knocks when compared with traditional metal enclosures. In addition GRP provides high IP protection, is resistant to the corrosive effect of brake dust, fumes and the weather, and has excellent electrical insulation properties – improving safety for maintenance crews. Page 148 July/August 2015

Working trackside will always be a dangerous place for maintenance crews and a harsh environment for equipment. In an effort to protect both, various manufacturers have designed solutions to make the trackside as safe as possible and have found that plastic enclosures provide significant benefits to the protection and longevity of trackside electronics. Manufacturers have now committed to investing in this technology to provide complete electrical insulation at every stage, and on all systems. The enclosures are available in seven standard sizes from 250x300x170mm up to 810x1060x350mm, have doors that can be left or right mounted, and come with hinging that allows doors to open to up to 240 degrees – providing easy access to the enclosure. Optional extras include key locks for added security and a stylised window door, which provides a clear view to inspect the interior. To maintain IP65 sealing, the glass window is made from impact-resistant 3mm polycarbonate that is permanently bonded in place. Moulded-in mounting rails For ultimate flexibility, Spelsberg offers a huge range of accessories for the enclosures, including mounting plates, inner doors and modular kits, which can be readily installed using the moulded-in mounting rails. Spelsberg can also offer in-house CNC modifications and a full customisation service, enabling enclosures to be tailored cost-effectively to meet specific application requirements.

Modifications can include anything from milling, drilling and engraving to custom cable entries, brand logos or simple instructions. The customisation service means that Spelsberg’s GRP enclosures can be fitted with DIN rails, bus bars, electrical components, clip-on terminals and more. Tel: 01952 605849 Visit



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Tools are given Jafco’s unique markings for full traceability with customer branding also an option. Should your rail application be adjustment, fitting, lifting, removal, cleaning, striking or digging, Jafco will have the rail tool you need for the task.

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Business profile

Get your message across Telecommunications company Teleque has designed, developed and manufactured the T101 wireless announcer, a system that enhances customer service, safety and performance across the UK’s stations. Elloa Atkinson explains


cross the UK, numerous Toc’s are now using Teleque’s T101 wireless announcer system, the 21st century railway tool that enables staff to make PA announcements on the move. The system was first employed at First Great Western stations to communicate with passengers attending events at the 2012 Olympics. It’s now used across Virgin Trains, Northern Rail, London Midland, LOROL, First TransPennine Express, Merseyrail, Southeastern, South West Trains and Virgin East Coast, with other Toc’s trialling or considering the system. The wireless system is also in use at Network Rail managed stations Birmingham New Street and Reading. Teleque was established specifically to address the requirement for platformbased wireless announcements, its engineers having had extensive prior experience of designing and developing specialist RF communication products. The company aims to meet the rail industry’s demand for well-built, reliable electronics that, while being easy to install, also enhance the customer experience. The T101 system consists of a robust, ergonomically-designed handheld unit that allows live announcements to be made to designated zones (often to one or two platforms) or across all zones, including the station concourse, at the push of a button.

commissioning of the system at 17 stations, including Crewe. The system provides a host of benefits. Firstly, it improves communication between staff and passengers, giving staff the ability to communicate directly to both individual passengers and large groups directly from the platform or concourse. This functionality has noticeably improved customer responsiveness, as noted by Andy Penrose, performance manager at First Great Western. ‘The system is an excellent tool for interacting with the general public, as people react better to a more personalised message than automated CIS announcements. Every station that uses the system benefits from it,’ said Penrose. Platform safety strategy In addition to improving customer service and customer information systems, Toc’s such as Virgin, First TransPennine Express and Northern Rail are utilising the system

as part of their platform safety strategy. Stations with a lot of foot traffic are able to direct customers and manage crowds more efficiently, improving safety and the customer’s overall experience. Some train operators, including Northern Rail, use the system to improve performance alongside enhancing customer service. Simon Greaves, Virgin Trains’ station manager at Birmingham International, said: ‘From a customer experience and safety point of view we are now able to provide a much enhanced level of service, allowing us to provide timely and tailored announcements to customers.’ Elloa Atkinson is business development manager at Teleque

Tel: 01483 273768 Email: Visit

Technical support Being modular, the system is easily adapted to fit individual station requirements, ranging from a simple two-platform solution to complex multi-platform installations like those encountered on the Virgin West Coast line. In this instance, Teleque conducted site surveys together with Virgin contractor TDM to establish individual station requirements. The communications company provided technical support throughout the installation process to final operational July/August 2015 Page 151

Business profile

Supporting continuous operations Unipart Rail provides obsolescence management processes and essential industry components using a distribution network that covers the whole of the UK


nipart Rail is a global supply company of products and services for the rail industry. It has broad expertise in providing comprehensive supply chain management services, engineering support and consultancy services that improve the effectiveness of the complete supply chain. Its wide range of more than 700 global suppliers deliver to specific points exactly when required. Working with customers and suppliers, Unipart Rail organises and delivers a logistics solution that is designed to make its client’s operations as efficient as possible. This is achieved through exceptionally high levels of material availability and a fully-aligned supply chain backed by extensive engineering experience. Comprehensive technical management service From an engineering perspective, Unipart Rail has a wide range of customer support services, including management options for quality and risk, warranty and reliability, and safety and incidents. However, one key service that is in

increasing demand is for obsolescence management, to ensure continuous operations of customer’s train fleets. The company has a proven track record in providing complete turnkey obsolescence management services to train operators and owners, delivering specific future-proof solutions that

support and enhance vehicle life and minimise the potential for operational disruption. The company has dedicated fleet engineers who work closely with train operators to understand and anticipate their needs. This engineering experience is then used to introduce replacement and enhanced products that are technically more reliable in service. An early identification of potentially obsolete products enables a timely resolution to be developed without any impact on vehicle availability. Three-step process The company has also developed a unique three-step process to assess, identify and resolve potential obsolete parts. The steps are initial asset assessment, the creation of customer asset models and database management monitoring. The initial asset assessment part of the service determines what aspects within the fleets will become, or are likely to become, obsolete and provides a structured approach where obsolescence can be effectively evaluated or predicted. The customer asset model uses the information gathered from the initial assessment to create a detailed model of all the major systems and individual

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Quality products for the modern overhead contact line

Conical couplings and collar sockets Catenary suspension Clamps / Turnbuckles Material for safety and earthing Section insulator Neutral Section / Phase Break Insulators and installation material Miscellaneous railway tools

ARTHUR FLURY (UK) LTD Unit 218 Milton Keynes Business Centre Foxhunter Drive Milton Keynes Tel: 01908 686766 MK14 6GD Email: July/August 2015 Page 153 URL:

Business profile

components. Unipart Rail is able to create an effective, bespoke work breakdown structure for individual fleets and vehicles, from complete assemblies to individual components. The third part of the obsolescence management service, database management monitoring, uses software tools developed by the company. The tools are specifically designed to record and monitor obsolescence issues, with full product assessment and monitoring provided by fleet engineers. The benefits of this comprehensive customer-focused approach are a reduced risk of service failures through evaluation and an evolution of systems and components that helps improve performance and reliability. In many cases the replacement of obsolete components is with newly developed technological and innovative products, offering improved safety and performance. The Unipart Rail pro-active perpetual obsolescence management service has been used by many of the UK train operating companies in the past five years with hundreds of obsolete parts having been restored or replaced to date using a combination of original design, reverse engineering or the application of new innovative products and technologies. Replacement parts for obsolete components are fully certified as part of this process in accordance with relevant regulations and standards. Obsolescence management in practice A good example of how the Unipart Rail obsolescence management service works in practice is the replacement of the brake code conversion units for Class 313 EMU vehicles. The original part was no longer supported by the manufacturer and Unipart Rail, in conjunction with First Capital Connect (now GTR), designed a new unit that was a direct replacement with improved performance. The new Code Conversion Unit (CCU) product is functionally identical to the original but also utilises modern relay components in place of the original contactors. This improvement means that it has lower power consumption and a reduction in the potential failure modes that could result in wrong side failure. Mark Sharman, asset engineer for the fleet, said: ‘The fit and performance of the CCU’s have been exactly as expected with no increase in labour or difficulty, and as a result we have placed an order to fit the new components across the fleet.’ The Unipart rail obsolescence management service offers a proactive rather than reactive approach to ensure continuity of the supply chain and delivery of spares under an effective programme management system. It reduces the whole life operational and commercial risk to all stakeholders throughout the franchise period, Page 154 July/August 2015

maintaining and improving asset value. Supply chain management Unipart Rail is one of the leading stockists and distributors of an extensive range of rail industry products. Its stocks and supplies of more than 70,000 parts can be shipped to more than 100 delivery points in the UK 365 days a year. More than 90 per cent of its products are available for next day delivery, enabling customers to quickly handle unplanned maintenance issues. Stock can be supplied as total component packages, for kitting solutions and scheduling, and for complex material packages to achieve overhaul and maintenance milestones. By understanding the requirements of the depot’s activities, materials can be delivered at the right time, at the right place to ensure critical work is completed to schedule, such as C4 and C6 exam work. A key part of the supply chain management service is effective inventory management. This includes the integrated control of systems, people and logistics from initial customer demand all the way through to final delivery. The operational processes incorporate systemic insights of industry demand to ensure stock availability and service level achievement. Bespoke software packages are designed to bring together the key aspects of delivering sustained inventory performance. They do this by recording demand and using this information to provide future forecasts and stock requirements, incorporating new re-order points and minimum/maximum levels. The management of materials by Unipart Rail provides customers with reduced overall costs and improved operational performance. For example, where materials are particularly inexpensive; where the costs of placing the order outweighs the minimum stock levels required; or where there is poor supplier performance, the company can provide the stock for the next day. This means that Unipart Rail can deliver the target service level with minimum customer expenditure.

Working a different way Unipart Rail has a strong culture of employee engagement that helps to deliver improved operational performance and customer satisfaction. This way of working is called the Unipart Way. It is a philosophy of working that is underpinned by a set of tools and techniques that form part of our knowledge management system. It is designed to continuously improve processes based upon experience and learning and to enable the company to be more responsive to changes in the customer’s expectations. Aware that every client has its own individual requirements, Unipart Rail ensures satisfaction through a holistic approach to the railway industry. It integrates the skills of its 800 employees to offer a specifically tailored service that has been developed from its industry experience and a desire to offer the best solution. The company finds new innovations that benefit not only the customer but the industry as a whole. This collaborative approach has been a major driver in the company and has lead to Unipart Rail being one of the first companies in the rail industry to gain certification to the official standard for Collaborative Business Relationships, BS11000. Being awarded the 2015 UKRIA national rail award for Collaborative Working, recognises the company’s commitment to this style of working, delivering superior solutions at good value. Tel: 01302 731400 Email: Visit

Providing Assurance for the Rail Industry

An established market leader for EMC Consultancy, Testing and Training services. Years of expertise, experience and a solid track record of solving EMC problems and demonstrating EMC for railway projects in the UK and worldwide. Visit



+44 (0)1904 324440 RP0515

WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult Addressing the Global Challenge of Low Carbon Mobility

Looking to fill a key management vacancy? A recruitment advertisement in Rail Professional is the most direct route to the biggest pool of quality rail talent in the country. If you’ve got a key post to fill, Rail Professional is the magazine read by the professionals – 59 per cent of readers are managers or board-level executives. Call Dean Salisbury on 01268 711811 or email


WMG at the University of Warwick works collaboratively with business to incorporate cutting-edge research into commercially successful products and services. Research at the WMG centre of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is focused on the global challenge of Low Carbon Mobility within the two specific themes of Lightweight Technologies and Energy Storage and Management.

Lightweight Technologies Centre of Excellence WMG is developing the next generation of lightweight solutions. Research includes detailed material modelling and validation, design methods, manufacture (forming, joining and assembly) and product performance. We work with structural and functional materials including metals, ceramics, polymers, nanocomposites and multi-functional materials.

Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) The Centre includes an open access, £13m Battery Materials Pilot Line, which provides a one-stop-shop for the development of new battery chemistries from concept to fully proven traction batteries. There is also a battery characterisation laboratory plus abuse testing chambers, and an electric/hybrid drives testing facility.

T +44 (0)24 7615 1667 w E

July/August 2015 Page 155 WMGcatapult-88x130mm.indd 1

12/05/2015 15:14

People News BTPA chair to step down after six years Millie Banerjee, chair of the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA) is set to leave the governing body in August having spent more than six years guiding the work of the railway’s national police force. Banerjee, who sits on a number of boards, has timed her departure to allow for the recruitment of a new chair well ahead of the Authority’s stakeholder event in September. As the second chair in BTPA’s history since its creation in 2004, she said: ‘After a great deal of consideration I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave. I am very proud of what has been achieved during my time and the countless achievements of BTP. ‘I have a number of other interests that I would like to turn my attention to and I feel I can do that now, secure in the knowledge that BTP is in the best shape it’s ever been.’ Andrew Figgures, chief executive of the BTPA said: ‘We are very sad to be losing Millie and it has been a great honour to serve under her chairmanship. Millie has earned the respect of the industry and has led the Authority through some very challenging times.’ Chief Constable of BTP Paul Crowther said: ‘BTP has been able to achieve these results due to the continued support, investment and belief of the BTPA. Millie’s stewardship, guidance and astuteness have been a real driver behind our success. In particular, she has been instrumental in building extremely positive relationships with the industry and convinced them that BTP is an enabler to their businesses that adds value. ‘Millie leaves BTPA in the knowledge that the Force is in a very strong position to continue to evolve and meet the demands of a growing railway and its passengers.’

Peter Maybury retires as chairman of Freightliner Group Maybury has announced his retirement after 18 years with the company. Joining Freightliner from the Ford Motor Company, where he worked for more than 20 years, Maybury’s initial role was to establish a port-based, customerfacing commercial organisation. He subsequently became commercial director for the Intermodal business before becoming managing director in 2005. Soon after the sale of the business to Arcapita, he was made Freightliner Group CEO in 2009. After his retirement as CEO in 2013, Maybury supported the Group and executive team through his position as chairman. He was also chairman of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) Freight Group and has been influential in promoting rail freight across the UK. Maybury said: ‘I have enjoyed my time with Freightliner enormously and I am delighted with the tremendous progress the company has made since privatisation.’ Russell Mears, Freightliner Group CEO, said: ‘I congratulate Peter on a hugely successful career. I wish him all the best for a very happy and well-earned retirement.’

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People News New technical director for RIA Stephen Collicott has been appointed by the Railway Industry Association to focus on the areas of safety, innovation, research and technical standards. He takes over from Francis How, who is set to become chief executive of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE). Collicott is currently head of stakeholder management at the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE). ‘We look forward to Stephen developing this key role, but we cannot overstate the tremendous work put in by Francis over the last seven years,’ said RIA’s director general, Jeremy Candfield. Translink names new group chief executive The chairman of the Board of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company, John Trethowan, has named Chris Conway to the role. Trethowan said: ‘Chris is the right person to lead Translink, one of Northern Ireland’s most high profile businesses and which provides an essential service to so many.’ Conway will take up the post on 7th September. Until then, David Strahan will continue in the role and leave Translink on 18th September. A native of Northern Ireland, Conway is currently managing director of Tata Steel’s sales and distribution business in Ireland. Mark McCole joins RATP Dev Metrolink RATP Dev has appointed McCole, previously with Serco, to the position of project director as it steps up its bid to retain the contract for Greater Manchester’s light rail system, Metrolink.   McCole will sit alongside the existing management and report to Tim Jackson, CEO of RATP Dev’s operations in the UK and Ireland. 

Emma Head joins HS2 Ltd Currently director of safety strategy at Network Rail, Head will take up the position of corporate health and safety director in August, reporting directly to HS2 Ltd chief executive, Simon Kirby. With 16 years’ experience in UK rail, Head has worked on both the client and contractor side of the industry across major engineering schemes like the West Coast Route Modernisation Project and London’s Crossrail.

Edinburgh Trams boss leaves for Abellio Director and general manager Tom Norris, who guided the service through its launch and first year of operation has now taken up a senior operations role at ScotRail operator Abellio. Norris, who was appointed to the Edinburgh Trams post at the age of 26, said: ‘It’s been an absolute privilege for me to lead the team for the last two-and-a-half years. Thanks to our brilliant staff, passengers and supporters for making it such a positive experience. ‘I’m looking forward to the next step in my career at Abellio Group and will always look back at my time with Edinburgh Trams very fondly.’ According to the Edinburgh Evening News, the move will be seen as a blow for Edinburgh Trams, with Norris regarded as an ‘energetic and capable executive’ who has helped improve the image of the service following its troubled construction (see page 65). City transport convener Lesley Hinds, who also chairs umbrella group Transport for Edinburgh, wished Norris all the best in his new role and said the search for a new tram boss had begun.

New role at RBF Simmy Akhtar has been appointed to the new role of RBF services manager, to manage the charity’s new information services. A former solicitor, Akhtar joins RBF from Citizens Advice. She will lead the introduction and management of the charity’s ‘one-stop-shop’ where those in need can call and either receive direct assistance or be directed to a partnering organisation. Said Akhtar: ‘To me, RBF is a modern, forward thinking organisation, firmly focused in its purpose. The pace and scale of change it is implementing is impressive.’

July/August 2015 Page 157


Shaping the North of England’s railways Rail North’s vision is to provide first class rail services to support sustainable economic growth across the North of England by improving the quantity and quality of train services. You will work and partner with the Department for Transport, Local Transport Authorities, Train Operating Companies and other bodies to deliver high-quality rail services across the region. From April 2016, the new Northern and TransPennine Express franchises will be jointly managed by Rail North and the Department for Transport. The roles below require demonstrable strategic leadership and a track record in senior management, ideally with regulatory/policy, senior stakeholder engagement, programme management and commercial contract experience. You will have sound commercial and business planning skills to provide effective support and quality advice in a brand new structure.

Rail North Director

Rail Director, North of England

Utilising your outstanding interpersonal, communication and influencing skills to ensure that we develop the relationships across the Rail North network, you will truly be at the centre of the delivery and strategy of Rail North. Working with the Rail North Board and the joint Rail North/Department for Transport Strategic Board, you will be responsible for the delivery of Rail North’s key deliverables. You will direct a multi-disciplinary team and maintain key relationships with the Rail North Members, the Local Transport Authorities, franchisees and rail stakeholders.

This role is crucial in managing the future franchises covering the North on behalf of the Department for Transport and Rail North. Commerciality is at the heart of this role which is responsible for the effective management and delivery of the £500m per annum rail franchise contracts. You will lead on the strategic contracts and partnerships, reporting to the joint Rail North/Department of Transport Strategic Board facilitating progressive improvement for future services. You will lead the joint Transport team managing the new franchises and assist with the development of the future plans for the railway of the North of England.

Competitive package

Competitive package

This is an exciting time to join a new organisation that will shape the future of rail in the North of England. For further information please visit or call Pete John on 0113 205 6075. Closing Date: Wednesday 15th July


Civil Rail Solutions have been awarded several major new contracts, whilst also securing a 3 year National framework agreement to supply skilled labour to Balfour Beatty Rail. We are now recruiting for all disciplines within our PTS team to support our ever expanding client base. We welcome applicants from all regions, but are particularly interested to hear from individuals who are located in and around the following regions: • London North East • London • South East • Wessex CRS is a Rail & Construction recruitment specialist with vast experience in placing permanent and contract staff across major rail and construction projects. To apply please send a CV to or call our Rail team on 01233 625464

Page 158 July/August 2015

Arbil Rail

Regional Sales Managers Arbil Limited, a well established business with ambitious growth plans, is looking to recruit Regional Sales Managers for its Rail Division based in Lye, West Midlands. As the OEM of key track maintenance equipment and with a varied and innovative product and service portfolio, covering a wide array of rail industry applications, the successful candidates will have the ideal opportunity to proactively add value and measurable growth to the division. Covering either the North or South of the UK the role will be to promote and grow the Sales, Service, Hire and Engineering disciplines of Arbil’s rail business to a broad range of existing and new customers. The ideal candidates will possess the following attributes: • Proven experience of developing relationships with key customers and winning new business. • Excellent communication skills with stakeholders at all levels. • Persuasive, with good negotiation skills and the ability to close a sale. • A flexible and conscientious approach. • Initiative and personal motivation with the ability to manage own call schedules. • Previous experience within the rail industry. Package: Basic Salary - £Attractive with performance related bonus Benefits - Company Car, Pension, Private Health Insurance Please apply confidentially enclosing your CV to: Or by post to: HR Department, Arbil Limited, Providence Street, Lye, West Midlands, DY9 8HS

About Arbil Limited Established in 1963, Arbil Limited has over 50 years experience in the provision of Lifting, Rail and 4x4 equipment and associated products. Arbil prides itself on its industry knowledge and engineering expertise. Arbil uses this knowledge to manufacture and deliver leading high quality products, brands and services at competitive prices. With a comprehensive understanding of a wide variety of industries, Arbil can create a solution suitable for any organisation through one of its dedicated Lifting, Rail or 4x4 divisions. Sales | Service | Hire | Engineering

Lye | Cradley Heath | Coventry | Bristol

Recruitment Here at RATP Dev Manchester, we’re used to a faster way of life where change is firmly on the agenda. As the award-winning operator of the Metrolink network, we’ve helped to operate and deliver its rapid expansion which has seen it treble in size to become the largest light rail system in the UK. As an employee of RATP Dev, you’ll be part of a global network of more than 14,000 employees across our subsidiaries which operate in 14 countries worldwide, making us the world’s largest transport operator. Currently we have the following vacancies at RATP Dev Manchester in our Metrolink infrastructure department: • Electrical Engineer – Ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of electrical and mechanical systems and assets for Metrolink’s substations, overhead line equipment as well as station and depot equipment. • Assistant Electrical Engineer – Supporting the Electrical Engineer in improving productivity while developing and refining maintenance procedures and instructions. • Assistant S&T Engineer – Support the continued delivery of a safe and reliable public transport system via S&T infrastructure and Tram Management System (TMS). • S&T Technical Engineer – Developing and improving S&T infrastructure maintenance procedures and systems as well as the ongoing programme of change and network expansion. • Asset/Project Managers Technical Assistant – Working closely with the Asset Manager and Engineering Projects team to effectively manage and maintain Metrolink’s light rail infrastructure assets. • Network Management Centre IT Technicians – Maintaining, analysing and rectifying faults associated with signalling, telecommunication and IP Systems to industry standards.

Hong Kong Florence

If you would like to join our expanding team and find out more about the roles available, please email



Rolling to success... Proactive Technical Recruitment is a specialist rolling stock consultancy partnering with prestigious organisations across the UK. Our core area of expertise lies in the supply of qualified and experienced M&E professionals, including: • • • •

Fitters Technicians Engineers Supervisory & Management

With offices based across the UK, and benefitting from over 50 specialist recruiters, we pride ourselves on supplying an excellent service to our clients. Our business employs an award winning back office infrastructure which includes payroll, HR, compliance and legal. This ensures our contractors always receive up to date and correct advise on any queries that arise.

For more information on the services we can offer, please contact our team on 0203 017 5119

Page 160 July/August 2015

An Alstom Company


A passion for innovation… and a passion for people Frazer-Nash is a rapidly expanding systems and engineering technology consultancy with offices throughout the UK and Australia. We specialise in delivering engineering solutions to clients across the rail, defence, nuclear, power and transport sectors. Our commitment to innovation was recognised at this year’s Rail Business Awards, where we scooped the prize for Technological Innovation. We’re looking to recruit skilled and experienced engineers to work on a variety of projects: • •

Rail Operational Engineer Rail Safety Engineer

• •

Rail Systems Modelling Engineer Rolling Stock Engineer

Our staff are rewarded with a competitive salary, generous benefits package and the opportunity to work as part of a dynamic and successful team. To find out more about Frazer-Nash and how to apply (quoting ref. RP0715), please visit our website. Due to the nature of the work that Frazer-Nash undertakes we will require successful candidates to gain UK security clearance.

Our market sectors aerospace • transport • nuclear • marine • defence • renewable energy • oil and gas Our offices UK: Bristol • Burton • Dorchester • Dorking • Glasgow • Gloucester • Plymouth • Warrington Australia: Adelaide • Canberra • Melbourne


FNC_RP0715 130 x 183mm.indd 1

FirstGroup plc. is the leading transport operator in the UK, Republic of Ireland and North America with revenues of more than £6.9 billion a year. As the world’s leading Transport Company, we help 2.5 billion passengers every year get to where they want to go. The world of FirstGroup is incredibly diverse with our coaches, buses, trams and trains helping school children, commuters and passengers go on all kinds of journeys. Our vision is to provide solutions for an increasingly congested world… keeping people moving and communities prospering. Enabling people to live ever closer together, yet still move about and prosper is a major challenge. However, we’re one of the few organisations in the world with the scale and expertise to meet this challenge. From our bus to our train drivers to our customer service and support teams, we all work as one big family to shape the future of travel and provide better journeys for life. With over 117,000 employees across our offices, bus depots and train stations, we provide our customers with a great experience and are looking for likeminded individuals to join our business every day.

Page 162 July/August 2015

18/06/2015 12:18:34

Influencing your energy strategies with integrated solutions UK Power Networks Services is a leading provider of electrical infrastructure with significant experience of working on high profile transport projects such as High Speed 1, High Speed 2 and Crossrail. UK Power Networks Services: • Consistently delivers results on the most challenging projects • Can undertake the total requirements of any strategic infrastructure project • Has access to a wealth of international experience in providing finance solutions

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