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JUNE 2017 Issue 233 £4.95


Bridgeway - access all areas

Rail Live 2017 Victory in unity

High speed HSRIL: a call to export

Signalling When things go wrong

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JUNE 2017 IssUE 233 £4.95


editor’s note

Bridgeway - access all areas

Rail Live 2017 Victory in unity

High speed HSRIL: a call to export

Signalling When things go wrong


PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LTD Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Telephone: +44 (0)1268 711811 EDITORIAL EDITOR LORNA SLADE BUSINESS PROFILE EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE DISPLAY ADVERTISING CHRISTIAN WILES HANNAH CARRATT ELLIOTT GATES KELVIN HOLT BEN WARING RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING DANIELLE BURWOOD SUBSCRIPTIONS AMY HUDSON ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT LISA ETHERINGTON GILLIAN DUNN 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.

elcome to this June issue, themed around high speed and signalling. I was interested to read that the metro mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool have ‘demanded’ that a high speed line for the north of England is prioritised over

Crossrail 2. Has it dawned on them how hard it will be to raise funding? Reading PWC’s Crossrail 2 Funding and financing study, the incredible complexity and range of factors to consider explains why the decision-making process is ongoing.

In his interview with me last month, Sir Peter Hendy talked about the requirement for an

evident and overt link between economic growth and planning railway enhancements, and that the people who benefit from enhancements, which will generally increase land values, ought to pay for some of it too.

Interestingly, looking at the global comparators in the PWC report, they consider the Sydney

Betterment Levy, introduced by the New South Wales government in 1970. The levy was imposed on land that was re-zoned from rural land use to a range of urban land uses, at a rate of 30 per cent of any land value increases that resulted from the land rezoning process. Revenues were ring-fenced for spending on infrastructure within ‘new urban areas’ in order to facilitate and support the city’s expansion. In FY 1972/3 the levy raised AUD9 million. However it also placed pressure on land values and further squeezed the supply of affordable land and housing in Sydney at the time. As a result the levy was abandoned on the back of growing political pressure in the lead up to the 1973 state election. As PWC says, ‘it is possible to generate revenues through the taxation of uplifts in property values,’ but it turned out to have very little potential.

A 2014 ComRes poll of more than 2,500 people across the five biggest city regions that were

expected to introduce metro mayors asked what they should prioritise in their first 100 days. The most popular answers were investing in road and rail and building affordable housing. I don’t envy the new mayors their job in working out how to fund the big new infrastructure project they want, because money isn’t going to be as forthcoming as they would like from the DfT.

The most sensible thing they can do is what Hendy recommended – to get on with developing a

strategic spatial and economic development plan and then a transport strategy which sets out what the transport links are to make those places work.

…However, spatial plans take time and will require strategic planning units, which had been

pared by local authority budget cuts. Agreement on them across the constituent councils may be difficult… As I said, I don’t envy them.

Lorna Slade Editor

— Sustainable technologies for rail transportation +44 (0) 333 999 9900 |

Rail Professional


| CONTENTS / ISSUE 233 / JUNE 2017



Support for HS2 unprecedented says HSRIL; Fewest deals between corporates and SME’s in transport; Rail volunteers promote East Anglia; Central Metro station twinned with Tower Hill; TfL begins search for new trains; Manifesto round-up

In the passenger seat


Southeastern passengers are calling for a service they can depend on in the new franchise, says David Sidebottom

Delivering the goods


The first freight train from China to the UK has captured the public’s attention, but for shippers in the UK freight still presents many opportunities, says Chris MacRae

Déjà vu?


Is the Department for Transport returning to Cap and Collar, and if so why, asks Andrew Meaney

Time for a shake up


Getting to grips with the new mayoral regimes is an investment worth making, says Ben Blackburn

A factor of three


A transformative force or ‘moving the deckchairs’? Ed Thomas identifies some of the critical factors for successful rail devolution

Growth in all parts


As the government widens the focus of its devolution agenda, a clearer picture of the infrastructure needs of each part of the country will be critical, says Michelle Hubert

Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood examines the action against Network Rail over Japanese Knotweek

What’s in the sandwich?


Rail Professional

How can the passenger experience really be brought to the forefront of the industry, ask Darren Fodey and Suzanne Tarplee

CONTENTS / ISSUE 233 / JUNE 2017 |


We know that other countries spot a successful project and want to replicate its winning features. We should not wait until the project nears completion before getting our export drive into gear High Speed Rail Industry Leaders page 77

Electrifying the railway of tomorrow


How do we develop a forward-looking view which allows us to effectively plan the future of rail infrastructure in the UK, asks David Brewer

Women in Rail


What hope does rail have if those outside the sector have no idea of the opportunities available, asks Adeline Ginn

IRO News


News from the Institution of Railway Operators

Victory in unity


Quinton Rail Technology Centre is host once more to Rail Live – the largest outdoor rail show in Europe

Additional flexibility


Matt Lovering looks at potential developments to franchise models which could offer a new approach to ensuring the sustainability of rail

Rail and cities: how can we capture the benefits from rail investments?


A new report from the ITC provides clues on how rail development can boost economic growth in our cities, reveals Matthew Niblett

What is wrong with Network Rail and HS2 Ltd?


Both need to sort out their costs quickly if the railway is to manage its operation in an efficient and effective manner, says Tony Berkeley

Space to learn


James Woodcock looks at developing leadership skills to make the UK’s largest infrastructure programme a success

Rail Professional


| CONTENTS / ISSUE 233 / JUNE 2017

A call to export


High Speed Rail Industry Leaders is calling for a new body that promotes and sells our high speed expertise and knowledge internationally

Clearing the air


Rebecca Foreman looks at transforming rail’s culture from old-school management to one that’s more accepting and willing to get problems into the open

Bank on it


Roger Bromley looks at Project Stefano, which aims to provide the world’s largest single source on insight into rail passenger experiences

That human touch


Automation is inevitable, says Anonymous, but good old-fashioned signallers will still have a big part to play dealing with the fallout when things go wrong

Full steam ahead for digitalisation


Operators that take an integrated approach to rail engineering and place digital at the heart of their innovation will profit in the future, says Viswanath Machiraju

Shared learning benefits us all


Keith Morey reports on a knowledge-sharing assignment with a national rail operator in Kazakhstan

A powerful opportunity


Leo Murray explains the Renewable Traction Power project as a way to run our railways more cost-effectively

An incredibly exciting time


Panasonic’s Tony O’Brien explains why the company is working with the industry to distil the innovative priorities that can meet the needs of future passengers

Climb on board


Simon Pont looks at keeping contact with customers through contactless

Business news


QTS; Holophane; SMTR Corporation and University of Birmingham; HARTING; 42 Technology; Beacon Rail; UKDN Waterflow; Transport for London; SELLA CONTROLS; new members of the Rail Alliance

Business profiles


Wago; Bridgeway Consulting Ltd; O.L.D. Engineering; Elwood International; Barkers Engineering; Elite Precast Concrete; Acorel UK; ABI Electrionics; Aegis Engineering; CPM Group; Fugro; Joseph Ash Galvanising; Kee Systems; Nord Lock; Rittal; Furrer + Frey; Snapper


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Support for HS2 unprecedented says High Speed Rail Industry Leaders


SRIL has welcomed endorsements from the three main political parties ahead of the general election to support the construction of Britain’s newest railway, saying it will ‘enable its members to continue to invest and deliver the project’. ‘This crucial cross-party support for HS2 will help the UK to build world-class expertise, cementing our status as a global hub for engineering, infrastructure excellence and architecture – essential as we exit the EU.’ HSRIL said its members are already investing to skill up their workforce to deliver ‘the most ‘important new piece of infrastructure in Britain for decades’. It continued: ‘Both the industry and the next government need to continue to work together to ensure the UK makes the most of the vast opportunities HS2 creates, using it to turn high speed rail into a model export product for the UK, selling our expertise to build and develop high speed lines around the world.’ (See feature on page 77) HSRIL director Will Roberts said: ‘The commitment from across the political spectrum, to keep HS2 on track, provides stability for UK rail and infrastructure and ensures that every part of the country will have a chance to play a part in this important new railway, whoever wins the election. ‘With cross-party support, it now means that HSRIL members can get on with construction, and deliver a huge economic boost to Britain, employing 27,000 people by the end of the decade, from right across the UK.’


Rail volunteers promote East Anglia as a tourist destination


he East Suffolk Lines and Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnerships and Norfolk-based Bittern Line and Wherry Lines CRP’s joined forces at London Liverpool Street station recently, to highlight tourism and travel opportunities across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk by train, as well as to help launch a nationwide campaign to encourage people to explore ‘Scenic Rail Britain’. The CRP’s, Toc Greater Anglia and partners are working to promote the many attractions the region has to offer, including the picturesque rural branch lines.

Fewest deals done in transport sector between corporates and SME’s


he transport sector, compared to other sectors, has the lowest number of deals between large organisations and UK SME’s, accounting for 1.7 per cent of total deals in the previous four years. The volume of deals in the transport sector rose from 20 during the 2013/14 tax year, to 28 in 2014/15 and to 29 in 2015/16, before dropping to 18 in 2016/17. The data, released by national law firm Bond Dickinson, shows that total deals, including mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures and minority stakes, between a large domestic or international company and a UK SME are known to have exceeded £1.86 billion between 2013/14 and 2016/17. The majority of these deals (60 per cent) involved two companies that both operate in the transport industry, rather than involving a company engaged in a different sector. Most of the deals (89 per cent) were a merger or acquisition – ten times the number of minority stake purchases (nine per cent). Across all sectors, between 2013/14 and 2016/17, large organisations are known to have invested more than £102 billion in 5,447 deals with UK SME’s. This exceeds the £62 billion corporates invested in UK research and development between 2013 and 2016*, and represents more than a seventh of the £683 billion total UK business investment. Based on analysis of four tax years of deal data, the findings are detailed in the report Close Encounters: The power of collaborative innovation, commissioned by Bond Dickinson from the Centre for Economics and Business Research. David Rewcastle, head of transport and infrastructure at Bond Dickinson, said: ‘The relatively low level of collaboration with UK SME’s is not surprising due to the traditional nature of the transport sector. ‘Yet what can’t be seen in these figures is the variety of unofficial collaborations between large transport firms and innovators, such as new supplier relationships sparked at innovation centres. Some transport companies such as TfL and London Midland are collaborating with SME’s, whether through innovation centres or more informal partnership structures. ‘At its best, collaboration between SME’s and corporates delivers swift and valuable innovation, which is something that all parts of the transport sector can benefit from.’

Martin Halliday, community rail officer at the East Suffolk Lines CRP, said: ‘Both the station event and the Scenic Rail Britain campaign are a great opportunity to promote the railways in our region to thousands of commuters and potential visitors.’ Jonathan Denby, Greater Anglia’s head of corporate affairs said: ‘The representatives from the Community Rail Partnerships did a fantastic job in raising the profile of the region and in particular raising awareness of our rural branch lines to people in the City.’

More news at Rail Professional



Central Metro station twinned with Tower Hill Tube


he Tyne and Wear Metro hosted a knowledge sharing day with London Underground staff recently, to boost customer care and share industry best practice. Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, welcomed a group of 18 frontline staff, including a team who work at Tower Hill Tube, which is used by 22 million passengers a year. The visit also saw a twinning of the stations to foster new links between the staff. Customer services director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: ‘This was about the people we rely on to give passengers the best possible Metro service meeting their opposite numbers from another city. It is a relationship we want to build.’

Metro services director, Chris Carson, said: ‘This visit has been a great experience for Metro staff. They have had the chance to meet with their colleagues from London Underground and talk with them face-to-face about a whole range of issues connected with customer care.’ Tower Hill and Central station were chosen for twinning because both are gateway stations close to visitor attractions and hotels as well as city centre offices and shops. Both stations also share a Roman connection – Tower Hill sits by the Roman

Wall of London and Central station is on the line of Hadrian’s Wall. Metro staff hope to visit the London Underground in the coming months on a reciprocal knowledge sharing visit hosted by TfL.

Transport for London begins search for supplier to build new DLR trains


ustomers on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) are set to benefit from new walk-through air-conditioned trains from 2022. The new trains, which will increase capacity by more than 30 per cent, will be more reliable and provide customers with real time information, air-conditioning and mobile device charging points. Significant redevelopment is taking place in and around the Docklands area which the DLR serves; in the Royal Docks alone, up to 36,500 jobs and 7,000 homes are being created. To support this Rail Professional

growth, TfL will replace two thirds of the existing trains, some of which are 25 years old, and order an additional ten new trains. TfL has published a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) seeking expressions of interest from the train manufacturing industry, and an Invitation to Tender is expected to be issued in later this year with the contract awarded in Summer 2018. The DLR will be celebrating its 30th anniversary later this year.

Time to upgrade your wipers? 13 NEWS |

... introducing PSV’s new replacement system News in brief... Not better late The proportion of trains cancelled or significantly late (CaSL) in the final quarter of 2016-17 was the highest-ever nationally since 2002-03 and the highest in London and the south-east sector (LSE) for more than 15 years, according to ORR figures. Almost four per cent of services were either cancelled or delayed by more than 30 minutes across the network, growing to 4.8 per cent in the LSE – the highest figure since 2001-02. Govia Thameslink Railway accounted for 73 per cent of the yearon-year rise in the national CaSL.

Manifesto round-up

Conservatives • review rail ticketing to remove ‘complexity and perverse’ pricing, with a passenger ombudsman introduced • minimum service levels agreed with train companies and staff during times of industrial action. A pledge to make this mandatory if a deal cannot be reached voluntarily • focus on creating extra capacity on the railways to ease overcrowding, bring new lines and stations, and improve existing routes – including for freight • continue investment in High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport, while ensuring these projects develop the skills and careers of British workers • increase services on main lines and commuter routes and launch new services to places which are poorly served or host major new housing projects replacement system • continue to support local authorities to expand cycle networks and upgrade facilities for cyclists at railway stations • invest in digital infrastructure; use digital technology to improve railways through developing smart grids and improving track access • create a national infrastructure police force, bringing together the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Ministry of Defence Police and the British Transport Police to improve the protection of critical infrastructure such as nuclear sites, railways and the strategic road network • modernise the railway infrastructure across Wales, including new and improved stations and exploring energy capability

‘We welcome the Conservatives’ commitment to a programme of strategic national investments, including High Speed 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, which will be vital to making sure that current flagship projects and proposed future projects such as HS3 and East West Rail, are a success and that an ongoing programme of rail investment delivers improvements for travellers, including the introduction of new rolling stock and station upgrades. However, we note with some concern that there is no prominence given to Crossrail 2 in the Conservatives’ manifesto and would urge the Party to offer a clear commitment to this important infrastructure project.’ ‘We also hope that the Conservatives recognise and share our concerns about the need for continuity of year-on-year funding for the rail supply sector, which faces the ongoing challenge of planned projects being postponed due to funding limits and which could ultimately lead to passenger and freight services suffering as a result. The current Control Period 5 (CP5) will see significant reductions in spending in 2018/19, which could lead to asset degradation, reductions in sectoral employment, SME’s in the supply chain going bankrupt, and a negative impact on productivity. This in turn could lead to capability gaps and increased costs when the delayed work is commenced, perhaps several years into the next Control Period, CP6.’ Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association

Heathrow ‘can’t have it both ways’ Responding to news that Heathrow Airport wants to charge Crossrail £42 million a year to run trains into the airport when the new Elizabeth line opens, Stephen Joseph, Campaign for Better Transport’s chief exec, said: ‘Heathrow can’t have it both ways. Increasing public transport is integral to ensuring the airport cuts pollution and meets air quality targets. This case shows Heathrow is making promises to deliver but isn’t prepared to pay their share of the associated costs. This doesn’t ‘The Conservative manifesto contains a bode well for its commitment to pay string of empty and vague promises to improve for surface access costs for a new third rail services. Anyone who relies on the UK train • Arms runway, which could top £18 billion, and network knows that the Tory promise of a rail • Wiper blades means taxpayers could be left footing ombudsman to sort all this mess out is the • Motors (24v and 110v) the bill.’ The ORR ruled Heathrow could weakest possible response. • Linkage systems ‘The only group standing in the way of the What they said: not charge Crossrail to recoup the • Control switches continued downgrade of the transport network ‘Over the next five years the government historical costs of building the Heathrow • Components & spares and the maritime industry issolutions unionised workers. must focus on delivering a world-class railway Whether trains operate in the heavy snow of We offer robustly engineered for train Express spur,your which the new Elizabeth The threat contained in the Tory manifesto to across all nations and regions of the UK, so we will use. Heathrowthe is challenging thelinemountains, heat of the desert, or the harsh builders, and system upgrades for operators limit industrial action shows up the lie that the welcome the Conservatives’ announcement to that decision in the High Court. A Tories areexperiencing workers’ new best a friend.’ £740 million of digital infrastructure salty environment of the coast... invest you need a wiper (especially those high LCC on RMT general secretary Mick Cash investment – a vital and welcome step to judgment is expected shortly.

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We offer robustly engineered solutions for train At PSV, we’ve been developing and manufacturing Our manufacturing facility in Worcester also has a builders, and system upgrades for operators ... introducing PSV’s new replacement system quality wiper systems for over 35(especially yearsthose (with 20 a high LCC onhighly experienced team of in-house designers experiencing years experience working withinoriginal theequipment). rail industry). and engineers who will work alongside you At PSV, we’ve been developing and manufacturing Our manufacturing facility in Worcester also has a to meet your individual needs. quality wiper systems for over 35 years (with 20 highly experienced team of in-house designers Weexperience are a proud supplier to international OEM years working within the rail industry). and engineers who will work alongside you to meet your individual needs. train builders, fleet operators and fleet support If you’re looking to replace or upgrade your wiper We are a proud supplier to international OEM train builders, fleet operators and fleet support If you’re looking to replace or upgrade your wiper distributors. systems, we’re just a phone call away. distributors. systems, we’re just asystem phone call away. Introducing PSV’s new replacement Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of the mountains, the heat of the desert, or the harsh salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper system you can rely on.

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PSV Wipers Ltd., Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE Tel. +44 (0)1905 350 500 • PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE, United Kingdom Tel. +44 (0)1905 350 500 Photo reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Credit:

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... introducing PSV’s new rep News in brief... No tolerance More than 300 new CCTV cameras have been installed across the ScotRail Alliance’s 359 stations as part of a commitment to improve facilities across the country. 76 stations previously not covered have seen CCTV installed since the start of the present ScotRail franchise in April 2015. Gold standard TransPennine Express has become the first Toc to achieve Investors in People Gold accreditation against the latest sixth generation version of the people management standard. The company was also recognised for its approach to workplace wellbeing with the Health & Wellbeing Award. Paul Devoy, head of Investors in People, said TPE ‘should be extremely proud of their achievement’. The Toc recently announced new evening services from Hull to Manchester and in both directions between Glasgow and Manchester Airport. Benefits all around Eversholt Rail and Back Up won in the Best Scheme to Encourage Staff Fundraising category at the Better Society Awards. The Eversholt team raised more than £42,000 in eighteen months, beating its initial target of £25,000 and enabling Back Up to provide services to more people affected by spinal cord injury. Mary Kenny, CEO said: ‘ Experiencing the work Back Up does has benefitted every individual involved and left the Eversholt Rail team a closer and more supportive workforce.’

Liberal Democrats Labour • invest in major transport improvements and • investment in a ‘modern, integrated, rail infrastructure accessible and sustainable transport system’ • continued commitment to HS2 and HS3 that is reliable and affordable including the development of a high-speed • bring the railways back into public network stretching to Scotland, and Crossrail ownership, as franchises expire, in other 2 and rail electrification cases, with franchise reviews or break • establish government-run companies to take clauses. Introduce a Public Ownership of the over the running of Southern Rail and Govia Railways Bill to repeal the Railways Act 1993. Thameslink • in public ownership, will cap fares, introduce • create new franchises devolving greater free Wi-Fi across the network, ensure safe powers to local government staffing levels, end the expansion of driver • shift more freight from road to rail only operations and introduce legal duties • deliver the Transport for the North strategy to improve accessibility for people with • improve connections to the south-west disabilities • complete East West Rail, connecting Oxford • public-owned railway will be the ‘backbone’ and Cambridge and catalysing major new of plans for integrated transport. It will be housing development built on the platform of Network Rail, which • support the takeover of metro services in will be retained whole, working with the London by London Overground devolved administrations • introduce a rail ombudsman with the power • ensure new rolling stock is publicly owned to sanction rail companies as appropriate and encourage the expansion of public freight services UK Independence Party • complete HS2 from London through • scrap all plans for HS2 Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, then • party does not have a view on reinto Scotland, consulting with communities nationalising the railways, or not, affected ... rail introducing new told replacement system spokesman Rail Professional • link HS2 with other investments such asPSV’s Crossrail of the North and on to the Durham ‘The white elephant known as HS2 is the biggest Freight Centre transport outrage of them all. • build a new Brighton Main Line for the ‘While our conventional railways remain South East woefully under-funded and ticket prices are • build Crossrail 2 spiralling out of control, it appears they are • complete the transport arc running from oblivious to the escalating cost of this vanity Oxford to Cambridge project. • deliver rail electrification and expansion ‘Most of us will never use HS2, but we will across the country, including Wales and the still be obligated to pay for it. This is not cheap – South West in fact, it works out to about £1,400 pounds for • consult with local communities to re-open every hard working family in the country. branch lines ‘While the Conservatives and Labour parties continue to support HS2, I simply do not find What they said: • Arms the arguments compelling, or proven. There is ‘Many residents tell •me of theblades misery of the Wiper no business case.’ trains to Brighton and the hit to our economy, • Motors (24v and 110v) Jill Seymour, UKIP transport spokesperson which is in danger of crippling our city. • Linkage systems ‘A second line will stop our city being held • Control switches The Green Party to ransom by an ineffective train operator, • Components spares • re-nationalise theheavy railway assnow existingof Southern, and allowWhether the economy your and&the trains operate in the We of franchises fall for renewal. Consult on the people of Brighton to grow and prosper. It will the mountains, the heat of the desert, or the harsh builde organisational details of rail operation also restore the link across Sussex to the Weald in public ownership and how it will link and reduce road traffic.’ salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper (espec democratic accountability at regional and Labour Brighton Kemptown candidate, Lloyd system you can rely on. origin geographic levels Russell-Moyle Looking to lower your city-region Life Cycle Costs? PSV can help. • electrification of the railway to levels seen in

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We offer robustly engineered solutions for train builders, and system upgrades for operators (especially those experiencing a high LCC on

Photo reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Credit:

PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE, Un

Time to upgrade your wipers 15 NEWS |

... introducing PSV’s new replacement system

Time to upgrade your wipers?

Germany (55 per cent of track), or Sweden (73 per cent) • new rolling stock, the design and manufacturing of which will be promoted in the UK • no support for HS2, instead spend money on improving conventional rail connections between major cities

are looking forward to working with the new government to make this work for customers and taxpayers. 

Closer industry collaboration ... introducing PSV’s new replacement system We are already working together to deliver a

Rail Delivery Group’s response to General Election manifestos: ‘We look forward to working with the next government, whatever its political colour, to deliver our promise of a railway that supports a stronger, more secure, skilled economy for the whole of the UK.   ‘Working together, by the end of the next parliament, we will be running 6,400 extra services a week and 5,500 new carriages. On top of this, train companies are making a range of changes to improve the experience of passengers from simpler ticket buying to better information. This is all part of a £50 billion-plus upgrade plan to improve journeys and to make local economies stronger and fairer, now and for the future.’  

£50 billion-plus Railway Upgrade Plan and there is a high level of appetite to coordinate and collaborate further for the benefit of passengers, freight customers, our employees and the country. We support collaboration locally, through NR routes and operators, and with devolved assemblies, and coordination nationally, including through improved alignment of RDG and RSG as well as with government.

Investment so that the industry can continue to support Government and the industry need to take stronger and fairer economies up and down a long-term, strategic view on investment the country. On the Southern network to maintain and reinforce rail’s success at the operator has faced a cocktail of issues delivering economic growth. Better links including decades of underinvestment in for passengers and rail freight are key to the railway, the huge upgrade to London fostering opportunity across the country, Bridge station and trying to introduce new particularly outside the South East. Digital working practices. The train operator and Railway is a key way to achieve this growth Network Rail are working closely together at an affordable price. The industry and its • Arms to improve the service for passengers and to funders should be wary of committing to deliver for the local communities the route specific projects before they are sufficiently Rail ombudsman and simplifying fares  • Wiper blades serves. Simple changes will not address the Of course, train companies support proposals developed so improvements can be delivered underlying challenges faced by whoever runs efficiently and effectively.  for a rail ombudsman and moves to make • Motors (24v and 110v) that part of the railway.   fares simpler to understand. Train companies Linkage Industrial strategy  have already• been considering systems how an Policing the railway  people are the foundation of a successful ombudsman scheme would work and how • Control switches Our It’s crucial that passengers feel safe and railway and securing the future of the it might be funded, and they have already secure when they are travelling and that the industry’s workforce is a priority of the Rail begun work on a series of trials to simplify • Components & spares Delivery Group. We want to see a government railway infrastructure itself is kept secure. fares. The rail industry is always ready to Train companies believe that there must plan which supports the industry, its supply work on initiatives aimed at giving customers continue to be specialist policing for the chain, and manufacturing, to access the skills better services and a better deal.   railway.  they need and to maximise the railway’s role in boosting British exports and creating jobs Renationalisation  Minimum service standards during Together our industry is investing, competing for our country.  industrial disputes  and innovating to improve as one team. Our The railway is ever more important to Promises on fares  current promise is to deliver 6,400 extra Britain and ensuring a minimum level of Any commitment that effectively stops the services a week and 5,500 new carriages by service for passengers during industrial railway from incrementally removing fares 2021, part of a £50 billion-plus upgrade plan disputes is important for passengers, anomalies or responding to changing market to deliver better journeys for passengers Whether your trains operate conditions in the heavy snow of to be bad Weforoffer robustly engineered solutions forrail train andengineered the economy. Together, has the potential andWhether make local economies stronger and your trainsthe operate in passengers the heavy snow of We offerbusinesses robustly solutions for tra theformountains, heat of the desert,and or for thetaxpayers.   harsh builders, and systemare upgrades for operators companies investing billions of pounds so fairer, now and the future. These vital the mountains, the heat of the desert, or the harsh builders, and system upgrades for operators we can experiencing make sure that our generation improvements are made possible because salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper (especially those a high LCC and on the those generation to follow will benefit from the rail’s big of a £2 billion improvement in the railway’s salty environment of the coast...Tackling you need a challenges  wiper (especially experiencing a high LCC on system you can rely on. original equipment). security of high skilled, well paid jobs and Rail companies are working together, finances since franchising was introduced. system you can rely on. original equipment). strong communities across the UK.  investing, competing and innovating to Nevertheless, we’ve been clear that the At PSV, we’ve been developing and Our manufacturing facility in Worcester also has a Paul Plummer, RDG chief executive tackle themanufacturing big challenges facing the railway franchising system needs to evolve and we

• Arms • Wiper blades • Motors (24v and 110v) • Linkage systems • Control switches • Components & spares

Looking loweryour your Life Life Cycle PSV cancan help. Looking to to lower CycleCosts? Costs? PSV help.

for overand 35 years (with 20 At PSV,quality we’vewiper beensystems developing manufacturing years experience working within the rail industry). quality wiper systems for over 35 years (with 20 years experience working within the rail industry). We are a proud supplier to international OEM

Time to upgrade your wiper highly experienced team of in-house designers Our manufacturing facility in Worcester also h and engineers who will work you ... introducing PSV’salongside new replacement system highly experienced team of in-house designers to meet your individual needs. and engineers who will work alongside you

We offer robustly solutions for train builders, andsupport system upgrades forIfoperators (especially those experiencing a train engineered builders, fleet operators and fleet you’re looking replace orneeds. upgrade your wiper to meet your to individual high LLC on original equipment). We aredistributors. a proud supplier to international OEM systems, we’re just a phone call away. Our manufacturing facility in Worcester also has a highly designers and engineers who will train builders, fleet operators and fleetexperienced support team of in-house If you’re looking to replace work alongside you to meet your individual needs.

or upgrade your w systems, we’re just a phone call away.


If you’re looking to replace or upgrade your wiper systems, we’re just a phone call away.

Why not discover the benefits of a PSV wiper system? • Arms • Wiper blades Call us today and ask for our Rail Specialist, Paul • Motors (24v and 110v) Curry.

Why not discover the benefits of athePSV system? Why not discover benefitswiper of a PSV wiper system? Call us today and ask for our Rail Specialist, Paul Curry. PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, WR5our 3DE, Rail UnitedSpecialist, Kingdom Call us today andWorcester ask for Paul Curry. • Linkage systems • Control switches • Components & spares

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Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE, United Kingdom the mountains, the heat of the desert, or the harsh salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper

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In the passenger seat David Sidebottom

‘Get the basics right’ Southeastern passengers are calling for a service they can depend on in the new franchise, says David Sidebottom ‘They don’t really take much ownership to be honest...’ ‘They need to tell you honestly how long the issue is going to take to resolve.’


hese are just some of the comments we received in our latest passenger research on Britain’s fourth largest franchise, Southeastern. Southeastern passengers are calling for a service they can depend on in the new franchise. Boosting the future ambition of the new services will be vital when the new South Eastern franchise starts in 2018. That’s why Transport Focus has carried out research asking passengers what they want to see improve with their service. We use this to influence the service specification, produced by the Department for Transport, and the selection of franchise bidders. This also helps us to assess the customer service part of the bids. In this way, passengers’ interests get to be at the heart of the new franchise. In the latest research, Southeastern passengers told us they are broadly satisfied

Passengers travelling in the off-peak are calling for cleaner, more comfortable trains, improved facilities at stations and visible, helpful and empowered staff. Station toilets, waiting rooms and shelters are often seen as not being good enough. Even at Rochester, a brand new station, passengers...find the platforms spartan and exposed to the elements

with the frequency and timing of services. However, commuters told us they want more punctual, reliable services with enough room to sit and stand. With commuters making up two-thirds of the demand, and most travelling into London in peak hours, Transport Focus is eager to see how future bidders for the franchise deal with passengers’ concerns about getting a seat. Commuters in London and the South East, who face particular challenges just getting on to some trains, say their main concern is space to board the train and stand in safety and comfort. The National Rail Passenger Survey reinforces overcrowding as a particular area of concern for commuters on Southeastern. Only 37 per cent of peakRail Professional



time Southeastern passengers are satisfied that there is sufficient room to sit and stand. The new operator must look seriously at how to address these issues, and work to provide a consistent level of space and comfort, appropriate to the journey type, that allows passengers to make the most of their time onboard. Link between punctuality and satisfaction When things go wrong passengers want the next franchise operator to deal with delays more effectively. Our research, Train punctuality: the passenger perspective, demonstrates a clear link between punctuality and overall satisfaction. Satisfaction declines one and a half percentage points for every minute of lateness for all passengers and three percentage points for commuters. Time and time again Southeastern passengers tell us they want to see trains running more reliably. In the most recent National Rail Passenger Survey, 62 per cent of Southeastern passengers travelling in peak times were satisfied with their journey. Notably, only 29 per cent were satisfied with how Southeastern dealt with delays and 40 per cent of Southeastern passengers were satisfied with usefulness of information during delays. Passengers are frustrated with the lack

of quality, accurate information during disruption to services. Passengers want better information when things go wrong. They want the company to take ownership and staff to be able to provide help and assistance. They want answers to how long the delay will last, when the next train will run and what the alternatives are. Passengers value highly the presence and visibility of staff, and they would like to see this enhanced. It’s vital that the new operator ensures staff, at the station and on trains, are better informed to help improve satisfaction with handling disruption. Passengers travelling in the off-peak are calling for cleaner, more comfortable trains, improved facilities at stations and visible, helpful and empowered staff. Station toilets, waiting rooms and shelters are often seen as not being good enough. Even at Rochester, a brand new station, passengers like the station building itself but find the platforms spartan and exposed to the elements. Such improvements as better shelter and getting the basics right will go a long way for passengers. High Speed different ‘I think as people who use the train for work WiFi is getting into the essential actually. That’s a couple of hours extra a day you can be getting work done without eating into your own time.’

The situation for the High Speed line, a relatively recent addition to the network, is rather different. While High Speed passengers perceive their service as a ‘premium product’ they expect to see improvements like Wi-Fi included as part of the service. Passengers view it as cleaner and smarter, with better reliability and comfort, as well as shorter journey times. Given that the basic needs of passengers using High Speed seem to be broadly met, expectations shift. Getting a good service for their money is key to future improvements on High Speed services. The ambition set out in the recent South Eastern consultation is a welcome step. As with other franchises we will be looking for innovation, modernising ways to buy tickets and improved compensation when things go wrong. Now, more than ever, South Eastern passengers have the opportunity to boost the quality of their railway and we will continue to work to get the passenger interest placed at the heart of the next franchise.

David Sidebottom is passenger director at Transport Focus Rail Professional

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Chris MacRae

Rail freight – not just an east-west solution A freight train making a 7,500-mile journey from east to west may have captured the public’s imagination, but for shippers in the UK rail freight still presents many untapped opportunities, says Chris MacRae


he first-ever freight train from China to the UK has ignited interest in this under-exploited method of moving goods from one side of the world to another. With the operator claiming savings of up to 50 per cent over sea freight, it’s easy to see the benefits for customers. But the benefits are not just international, and the time is right to explore rail freight opportunities closer to home. Rail freight services have been running from China to Madrid, Hamburg and other European cities for many years, but the arrival of ‘East Wind’ in Barking earlier this year has put rail freight firmly in the spotlight. The 16-day journey across countries including Kazakhstan, Russia and Germany involves several gauge changes but it’s still quicker than the route by sea, more environmentally-friendly than transporting the cargo by air – and cheaper than both. Clearly rail freight isn’t suitable for every shipment. Time-sensitive cargoes and

Rail freight services have been running from China to Madrid, Hamburg and other European cities for many years, but the arrival of ‘East Wind’ in Barking earlier has put rail freight firmly in the spotlight. The 16-day journey across countries including Kazakhstan, Russia and Germany involves several gauge changes but it’s still quicker than the route by sea, more environmentally-friendly than transporting the cargo by air – and cheaper than both

perishables need a faster alternative; thus East Wind’s 44 containers were packed with whisky, baby milk, pharmaceuticals and clothing. For importers and exporters it’s another option to consider but in the longterm, cost savings could be hampered by the additional loading and offloading required en route to accommodate the varying gauges. Untapped opportunities A freight train making a 7,500-mile journey from east to west may have captured the public’s imagination, but for shippers here in the UK rail freight presents many opportunities that are so far virtually untapped. Imported and exported deep sea containers make up the bulk of British rail freight but there are many more industries and operations that could capitalise on its benefits. Rail Professional



Imported retail goods from Asia and export products such as Scotch whisky already utilise rail freight. Such goods travel to and from the Midlands, North of England and Scotland to the main gateway international ports – Felixstowe and Southampton for East-West Asian trades, Liverpool for the Americas trades, and Teesport and Grangemouth for North Sea trades. Rail is also big in bulk extractive industry products such as stone and gravel for construction, feeding London and other capital projects from the Mendips and the Derbyshire quarries. Finished cars for export are another developing area and the government is keen to encourage growth. Air quality challenges and penalties for operating trucks and vans in city centres have created a need for viable greener alternatives. And while rail freight isn’t the complete solution, it can make a valuable contribution. Another area that has grown but faces challenges in terms of competing with road is retail supermarket traffic. Rail has established Anglo-Scottish flows from the Midlands logistics centres to their equivalent in central Scotland, including some flows further up to the Highlands of Scotland.

There is also investment both in England and Scotland to optimise the rail network for freight given its shared use with passenger services. Like passenger, rail freight has grown since privatisation but it is nonetheless undervalued and underutilised. In the past year, the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland have published rail freight strategies setting out their respective government’s aspirations for rail freight. This has been accompanied by commodity studies looking at growth potential on different types of traffic. Transport Scotland has gone one stage further and launched a guide aimed at those considering using rail freight to aid their understanding of how it could work for them, and is also organising a series of workshops aimed at potential shippers. The necessity for this is an indication of how rail is intrinsically more complex to use than road freight. With a truck, you just fill it with goods and drive – rail freight takes as bit more planning, but the benefits are extensive. Against this background, FTA has updated its own rail freight guide which is available to members. It contains sections on: • why use rail freight – how it could benefit your company

• what service is available? • is rail freight an option for you - the factors to consider • how to start: exploring rail freight further • case study on user of rail freight • further detail on how the rail freight industry works • glossary of rail freight terms • industry contact details • strategic and supplementary freight sites map FTA is a pan-modal and modally neutral organisation, representing its members to optimise their supply chains. Rail can play a part, no matter how big or small a piece in the freight journey jigsaw. For more information see export/sites/fta/_galleries/downloads/ rail_freight/making-use-of-rail-guide-forshippers-0916.pdf Chris MacRae is head of policy – rail freight and Scotland at the Freight Transport Association.

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Déjà vu? Is the DfT returning to Cap and Collar, and if so why, asks Andrew Meaney


n its response to the Transport Committee’s report into franchising (published in February), the Department for Transport states that it will introduce a new mechanism for sharing financial risk between franchised train operators and the government – the Forecast Revenue Mechanism (FRM) 1. This regime ‘offers protection against shortfalls in revenue relative to the winning bidder’s bid revenue line, and ensures operators share revenue with the government when revenue outperforms this forecast outside of predetermined variances.’ Those who follow franchise policy development may observe something familiar in that description; it’s a near perfect description of a predecessor mechanism – ‘cap and collar’. So why the rebranding exercise? There is good reason to disassociate this new regime with its not-so-distant cousin. Cap and collar led to some unfortunate outcomes including overbidding for franchises, and some perverse incentives for franchisees operating under the regime. For example, there were stories of operators leaving ticket gates open as the lost revenue was topped up by DfT, with the franchisee keeping the cost savings from not having to staff the gate. So why return to a regime with such a chequered history? Simple – franchising policy is a trade-off, and priorities have changed. In recent times, DfT has preferred to allocate financial risk between itself and franchisees based on the principle that risk should be borne by the party most able to manage it. If neither party can manage it, then government should bear the risk, as it can do so at a lower cost. This is a sound economic principle and (in theory at least) it should lead to the most efficient outcome (more revenue and lower costs). For franchises operating based on these principles, DfT retains most risk related to economic variables driving revenue – like GDP growth and changes in employment levels. All other risks remain with the

Of course, all of this ignores a more fundamental point about the allocation of risk in GB rail franchises, which is that Toc’s are heavily exposed (regardless of the contractual mechanism) on the revenue side, but are protected from the cost performance of one of their biggest suppliers (Network Rail). Given the interest in incentive alignment in the industry, arguably a better balance of risk would lie in taking much of the heat out on the revenue side, and giving Toc’s an incentive to bear down on Network Rail’s costs (with overall risk exposure left unchanged) franchisee. But, and here’s the catch, what risks can a train operator actually control? The truth is that this isn’t entirely clear, and many of the risks that may affect demand for rail travel fall into the middle ground of shared responsibility. If a new shopping destination

opens up on a franchisee’s route (attracting new passengers), surely this should not be readily attributed to the efforts of the franchisee (and vice versa for closures)? If it’s not clear what revenue risk an operator can control, should it all stay with government? If we recognise that some risks aren’t

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entirely within a franchisee’s control, but a franchisee is still required to take on these risks, what does that mean for potential bidders? In this case, a potential bidder has three options. Option 1 is to bid anyway but charge DfT a premium for taking on downside risk in the form of a high profit margin (and subsequently lower premium/ higher subsidy). Option 2 is to bid a margin based on historic bids to avoid pricing above the competition and hope that things go well or that if they don’t that DfT will be sympathetic. Option 3 is don’t bid. None of these options is particularly good for DfT, but the final one is arguably the worst; without bidders, there is no franchising. This is becoming more of an (uncomfortable) reality for DfT than it would like, with only two bidders shortlisted for the South Western and West Midlands franchises 2 (down from an average of five when franchising began 3). So it’s a trade-off – more risk to a franchisee (some of which it is best placed to manage), means some potential bidders will think twice about whether this is risk they are willing to take (particularly given that this means committing to high levels of parent company financial guarantees). Conversely, if government retains all revenue risk, overall efficiency could be reduced.

More appealing The DfT’s latest move suggests it is placing less emphasis on maximising the efficiency of the risk allocation. The priority is now the more pressing issue of how to make franchising more appealing to the market, and that means de-risking franchise contracts – cap and collar take two. A reduction in the pool of bidders poses a much greater threat to efficiency. DfT is not blind to the shortcomings of the old cap and collar model and so is wellarmed to design-in protections to the new model. That might mean more vigorous testing for overbidding (or alternative assessment criteria, like selecting the second placed bidder to account for the optimism bias likely displayed by the highest bidder 4), restrictions on future bids for those companies deemed to have overbid, or focusing the procurement process and bid evaluation on cost-savings rather than revenue growth. Of course, all of this ignores a more fundamental point about the allocation of risk in GB rail franchises, which is that Toc’s are heavily exposed (regardless of the contractual mechanism) on the revenue side, but are protected from the cost performance of one of their biggest suppliers (Network Rail). Given the interest in incentive alignment in the industry, arguably a better

balance of risk would lie in taking much of the heat out on the revenue side, and giving Toc’s an incentive to bear down on Network Rail’s costs (with overall risk exposure left unchanged). Given where franchising stands, the introduction of the Forecast Revenue Mechanism for some franchises seems like a sensible response to the issues facing the sector, but as always, the devil is in the detail and in this case the fine-tuning of the procurement process and franchise contract drafting could be the crowning glory or nail in the coffin for the FRM. Andrew Meaney leads Oxera’s Transport team

1. Rail franchising: Government Response to the Committee’s Ninth Report of Session 2016–17 cm201617/cmselect/cmtrans/1145/1145.pdf 2. House of Commons Transport Committee: Rail franchising, Ninth Report of Session 2016– 17 cm201617/cmselect/cmtrans/66/66.pdf 3. Preston (2016), ‘Deja Vu all over again? Rail franchising in Britain’. 4. See Oxera (2012) ‘Sold to the slyest bidder: optimism bias, strategy and overbidding’ downloads/Agenda/Optimism-bias,-strategyand-overbidding2.pdf?ext=.pdf

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Time for a shake up Getting to grips with the new mayoral regimes is an investment worth making, says Ben Blackburn


y announcing a snap general election – the third in seven years – the prime minister might have appeared to be doing her bit for the UK’s democratic vitality. But, in firmly pushing the year’s major electoral event out of the limelight, the opposite may have been achieved. With concerns over election fatigue and a lack of public awareness about the May 4th mayoral and local authority elections – not helped by the absence of a public information campaign to drive voter engagement – mayoral elections with significant implications for the transport sector were always at risk of underwhelming on the most basic of measures. An ideal world would have seen waves of popular support voting in six new combined authority mayors – with the successful candidates consequently enjoying the legitimacy that backing would bring. But the reality is that, almost irrespective of voter turnout, new mayors for Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City Region, and the West Midlands – not to mention for the West of England, the Tees Valley, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – have the potential to shake up the way in which transport policy for around 10 million people is developed, decided, and delivered. The big three In Greater Manchester, the new mayor and former Labour health secretary Andy Burnham will assume responsibility for franchised bus services, railway stations and smart ticketing, paving the way for a system of integrated ticketing across the combined authority region. Among a number of business controls, he will also assume responsibility for the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers. Like his counterparts in the West Midlands and, to a lesser extent, the Liverpool City Region, Burnham will be a prominent player on HS2,

with the hybrid bill for Phase 2b (Crewe to Manchester) currently scheduled to arrive in parliament by the end of 2019, within his first term. Time will tell the extent to which Burnham is able to deliver on his manifesto commitments, which include appointing an ‘active travel commissioner’ to help forge better cycling and walking infrastructure (including by breathing new life into neglected former railway lines and canal towpaths), reinvesting Metrolink profits into network expansion, and advancing a train station modernisation programme. Working with Rail North, he will also seek to improve the quality and capacity of rolling stock in the city region. Burnham’s win in Manchester, with 63 per cent of the vote, was always expected. The same was true of Steve Rotheram’s victory in the Liverpool City Region (59 per cent). His sights are set on making sure any forthcoming trans-Pennine ‘high speed’ rail link delivers maximum benefit to his new constituents. Echoing the party line, Rotherham will argue that HS3 should

be re-branded ‘Crossrail for the North’ and is expected to lobby Westminster for Crossrail 2 to be paused until HS3 reaches construction phase. He has also signalled his support for improving direct rail services between Liverpool and North Wales, a crossborder economy with significant growth potential. Within the city, Rotherham’s campaign promised to re-open Toxteth’s St James’ station to enhance the metro network, and open a new station in the Knowledge Quarter. Of the ‘big three’ mayoral elections, the West Midlands result was the most surprising. While the bookies had eventual winner Andy Street as favourite, the expectation of many was that Labour’s Siôn Simon would hold out by capitalising on the left-leaning character of much of the combined authority region. Indeed, staunchly-Conservative Solihull is seen to be ‘what won it’ for Street; the other boroughs having far more of a red tinge. It also seems plausible that the EUscepticism of significant quarters of the West Midlands, including Birmingham itself



(the only major city to vote Leave), helped to swing the final tally in favour of the exJohn Lewis MD. Street, with a campaign war chest of around £1 million and making the most of people’s positive associations with his former employer, now finds himself with the challenge of uniting a region marked by contrasts between rural shires and the UK’s second city. On transport, Street will be eager to put his mark on the strategy of Transport for the West Midlands (TfWM), the new transport arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority that was established last June, dissolving Centro in the process. We might expect him to pursue a plan which links the area’s cities and boroughs, perhaps by extending the Midlands Metro. However, his biggest challenges will include cutting through the traditional rivalries of the towns that make up the West Midlands. Fortunately, he will not have to start from scratch. TfWM has aided the concept of ‘West Midlands Rail’ – a partnership of fourteen metropolitan, shire and unitary local authorities – and has been quietly working on a strategy for ratification by the mayor. Beyond the mayors The local elections also threw up some interesting stories. In Glasgow, Labour

lost majority control for the first time since 1980. Yet the SNP failed to win overall control so will struggle to deliver its manifesto pledge to reform the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport – by bringing it under the direct control of the city government. With no overall control, there are valid concerns that city decisionmaking will slow down, with only the least controversial of policies finding traction. The subway is currently undergoing a near£300 million refurbishment including new trains and upgraded signalling and control systems being provided by a consortium of Ansaldo STS and Stadler. Challenges and opportunities Mayors overseeing combined authorities have a major role to play in rail policymaking. They will control important levers of devolved power over strategic transport planning and become influential in lobbying central government on, for example, rail franchise specification and supplier procurement. As recent years have shown, the Pandora’s Box of devolution is hard to close once unlocked – if combined authorities are effective, political momentum will see them acquire further powers. With Westminster consumed by Brexit, mayors will also be important for picking up

balls dropped by ministers – or for making sure they aren’t in the first place. However, creating a new tier of government also adds complexity and uncertainty. Each mayor will have their own strategy to implement and their own way of doing business, neither of which will be immediately obvious (to business nor to the mayors themselves). Those seeking to build dialogue – and maybe even forge behaviour change – will therefore benefit from a highly strategic approach to engagement, based on good intelligence and establishing effective relationships with mayors’ offices. The organisational personality of existing devolved bodies may also change to meet the reality of the new mayoral regimes. This will have implications for those who already work with sub-national transport bodies. Once embedded, each mayor, perhaps motivated by the white heat of localism, should be receptive to those who are offering them solutions to the strategic challenges they face. Businesses could also find mayors more open to dialogue than the ‘play it safe’ elements in Westminster. In this context, if the rail industry can be proactive partners with the new institutions created by devolution, it will eventually pay dividends. Ben Blackburn is account director at Freshwater




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A factor of three A transformative force or ‘moving the deckchairs’? Ed Thomas identifies some of the critical factors for successful rail devolution


here is a growing momentum for more local control of Britain’s railways. In operations TfL took over London Overground in 2007 and has since expanded its footprint. The devolved governments of Scotland and Wales now have the power to let their own rail franchises and in England, Rail North and Transport for the West Midlands played a key specification role in recent competitions for Northern and West Midlands and are poised to let these contracts themselves next time around. In infrastructure, following on from the Shaw Review, the Control Period 6 regulatory process has Network Rail’s eight routes presenting their own business plans to the Office of Rail and Road after extensive consultation with local stakeholders.

Ironically, given the number of interfaces in Britain’s railway, the more that is devolved, the easier it is from a contractual perspective... The picture becomes more complicated when only part of the system is devolved. For example, should rail stations transfer to TfGM without control over services and revenues, then additional fares generated from improving the station proposition will flow to the Toc’s and can only be diverted back to TfGM via negotiations with DfT

Previously this process had been run centrally within Network Rail. 2017 has also seen Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) submitting proposals to government to gain local control over the 97 stations within its boundaries. A number of factors have helped build this momentum for devolution. First, the doubling of demand since privatisation has seen rail travel become increasingly important to local economies. Cities such as Manchester and Birmingham, and the devolved governments, now see it as essential to have a strong rail offer. Second is a frustration that investment in the regions,

and in local services, has lagged behind that on intercity routes and on the key commuter lines into London. This is compounded by that fact that local stakeholders often find today’s industry structure, with its split of responsibilities between Network Rail, the Toc’s, the ORR and DfT, difficult to navigate – an issue highlighted by the Shaw Review. Where it has been successful, the benefits of devolution are clear. For example, few would dispute that the service offered by TfL on London Overground is barely recognisable from what went before. TfLdriven investments in rolling stock, security, station infrastructure and ticketing have


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transformed the passenger experience. As such, the Overground has become a critical part of the capital’s transport network. Three critical success factors However, devolution in itself does not necessarily result in better outcomes. Today’s secretary of state, while a supporter of devolution in principle, has expressed scepticism about proposals that ‘move the deckchairs’ and do not provide clarity as to what will actually change once powers are transferred. Given this perspective, what is it that has to be in place in order for devolution to be successful? From our experience, of advising both public and private clients across the rail sector KPMG has identified three critical success factors. The first is having a clear vision as to how the new powers from devolution will be capitalised upon. At London Overground for example TfL has implemented a distinct local service proposition. This includes a clock-face timetable with defined standards around station facilities, customer service and frequencies. Similarly, Transport Scotland used its 2014 franchising process to focus bidders on a distinct set of national priorities. These included better integration across modes, smart ticketing, improving inter-city connectivity and new trains on v2-half.pdf

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the critical flow between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The second factor is clarity around how devolution proposals will be funded. It is difficult to deliver a step-change in local rail services without additional funding, particularly in the regional railway where operations tend to be subsidised. Initially, the devolved body needs a clear financial baseline from which it can build its plans – what funds that flow nationally today will be devolved in the future. The devolved body then needs a strategy around how it will access additional funding to support its vision. This can come from a range of sources including fares, the commercial development of rail assets and other pots of regional public sector funding – whether in transport related, or wider growth funds. To access the latter, the devolved body needs the confidence to make the case that the economic returns from rail investment will be greater than those from other sectors. Finally, a robust contractual model needs to be put in place to deliver devolved rail operations and/or investment. Ironically, given the number of interfaces in Britain’s railway, the more that is devolved, the easier it is from a contractual perspective. For example, TfL has full powers around

the Overground service specification and revenues as well as operational assets such as stations and rolling stock. This has allowed TfL to develop its own concession model under which it retains revenues and directly receives the farebox benefit from any investments that it makes. The picture becomes more complicated when only part of the system is devolved. For example, should rail stations transfer to TfGM without control over services and revenues, then additional fares generated from improving the station proposition will flow to the Toc’s and can only be diverted back to TfGM via negotiations with DfT. Robust proposals To conclude, experiences in London and Scotland suggest that devolution is a powerful tool for improving services and making the railway more responsive to stakeholder needs. However, changing anything in Britain’s railway is complex. Proposals are most likely to be successful when they are driven by a clear vision and supported with robust proposals around both funding, and the contractual route for delivery. Ed Thomas is transport advisory partner at KPMG







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Growth in all parts As the government develops a modern industrial strategy and widens the focus of its devolution agenda, a clearer picture of the infrastructure needs of each part of the country will be critical, says Michelle Hubert


t’s a familiar feeling – sitting on the tracks, held up by delays, congestion or works, and wondering when our train will we ever get moving. More than being a minor inconvenience though, the state of the country’s infrastructure – from rail to roads to our digital connections – is actually vital to our economic future. It provides the essential foundations businesses up and down the country need to deliver and create jobs, growth and prosperity for all. England’s roads, rails, ports, airports and digital infrastructure are the beating heart of our economy. But with the latest CBI/AECOM Infrastructure Survey showing that only 26 per cent of firms are satisfied with the state of the infrastructure in their region, it’s clear that improvements are needed.

By making it easier to get from A to B, and by improving the links between our regions, firms will have access to a broader labour market pool, better connections to supply chains and a chance to really boost their productivity. Indeed, with higher productivity gains potentially being able to deliver £175 billion for England, improving infrastructure will be an important piece of the puzzle to achieving that. Rail is, of course, key to this. Our Infrastructure Survey shows that delivery of £38 billion of investment in the rail network through Control Period 5 is important to 99 per cent of firms, while 80 per cent of businesses feel the same about delivery of HS2. And it’s not just the railways themselves, but the digital connections available on

While we should not attempt to roll out a onesize-fits-all approach, it is essential that each part of the country has the means and ambition to take forward a shared vision of its own, which complements a long-term national strategy them, that become ever more important for firms on the move. The ability to work on the go is vital for firms, with 75 per cent saying their top rail infrastructure priority is better digital connectivity, such as Wi-Fi and 3G or 4G, on board trains. Meanwhile, as the government develops a modern industrial strategy and widens the focus of its devolution agenda, a clearer picture of the infrastructure needs of each part of the country will be critical. With this in mind, the CBI has engaged with its members in all regions of England to produce a new report, Shaping Regional Infrastructure. The report will inform conversations between business, the government and local stakeholders about how these groups can work together to deliver six key infrastructure priorities (including individual projects) for every region, as well as these four cross-cutting priorities for national policy-makers: Linking regions to harness growth Firstly, businesses across the country cite the need to improve connectivity within and between regions. For example, reducing Rail Professional



travel times between cities in the North of England, via the best mode of transport, could provide access to a working population of up to 16 million, matching the number within an hour of London today. Connections with international markets Firms also recognise, more than ever post Brexit, the need to link the whole of the UK to international markets to increase and encourage export capabilities. To this end, CBI members across all regions cite the need for long-term strategies for aviation and ports within a fully integrated transport system. Investment is now vital at a time when boosting UK trade and exports is arguably more important than ever. Regional governance In addition, CBI members across the country are seeking greater clarity on where future infrastructure decisions will sit for the region in which they operate. Business confidence in devolution is highest in the regions where there has already been the greatest clarity, for example across the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine, which would suggest a positive view of subnational bodies, such as Transport for the North and Midlands Connect. While we should not attempt to roll out a one-sizefits-all approach, it is essential that each part

of the country has the means and ambition to take forward a shared vision of its own, which complements a long-term national strategy. Joined up infrastructure Finally, businesses in all regions voice a need for a more joined up and strategic approach to planning and delivery across the different types of infrastructure. In particular, the need to better link up local housing plans with economic infrastructure was seen as a priority, with CBI members

also keen to highlight the role of technology in improving the UK’s infrastructure. As the UK begins its exit from the EU, improved infrastructure will be needed to better link our cities and regions with each other, as well as with the rest of the world. As highlighted by Shaping Regional Infrastructure, the CBI and its members will play a key role in this discussion to deliver growth that is felt in all parts of the country. Michelle Hubert is head of infrastructure at the CBI @AdvanceTRS

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Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood

A Knotty problem Martin Fleetwood looks at the recent action against Network Rail and notes there is no reason the judgement cannot be followed in future cases


arlier this year, a decision in the Cardiff County Court against Network Rail highlighted the issues associated with Japanese Knotweed (‘Knotweed’) growing on railway land and its potential cost to the rail industry. The court decided that Network Rail was not properly managing the Knotweed on an access path owned by it which ran alongside two residential properties in South Wales. As a controlled substance, and subject to specific restrictions under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the presence of Knotweed close to a property (even where it is not on the property), will reduce the value of that property. Outline of the case The owners of the two properties had brought an action against Network Rail on

the basis that the presence of the Knotweed had reduced the value of their properties and they wanted compensation for that loss. By not taking sufficient action to

Although in this case Network Rail was the landowner, it could have been one of the many other parties in the rail industry, which owns land which may harbour Knotweed. At the very least all landowners should be checking their properties... to see whether Knotweed or any of the other specified plants...are quietly growing. Although County Court judgements do not have binding precedent, there is no reason why the judgement of the Cardiff County Court would not be followed in later cases in the higher courts

control the Knotweed, Network Rail had created a private nuisance and interfered with the claimant’s enjoyment of their adjoining land. The court decided that the claimants were entitled to compensation from Network Rail to cover the reduction in the value of each property and the cost of each paying for the Knotweed to be treated by a specialist company who would also provide the claimants with an insurance backed guarantee. The guarantee provided additional comfort to the land owners that any later effects on the price of the property if the Knotweed was not fully destroyed would be covered by the insurance policy. Although a more expensive solution in the short-term, the use of specialist contractors with insurance backed guarantees to eradicate the Knotweed meant that there should not be future claims made against Network Rail in respect of that specific Knotweed clump. In this particular case, the compensation paid out by Network Rail amounted to slightly more than £30,000. Although not too substantial in itself, this was for just two properties. Given the many thousands of properties that are adjacent to Network Rail land and land owned by other rail industry Rail Professional



parties, the potential sums payable could be particularly large. The cost of eradicating Knotweed is currently estimated by the government to be around £2.6 billion, without taking into account the associate reduction in property values. As such the potential cost to the rail industry is unknown, but potentially very high. A need to take action A property owner who finds Knotweed on their land is under an obligation to prevent its spread, particularly onto adjoining properties. Guidance on managing Knotweed was published by the RICS and the Property Care Association in 2012/13 and Network Rail’s failure to take account of the requirements set out in the Guidance to control the Knotweed was one of the factors that the court took into consideration. In this case, having decided that the presence of the Knotweed could unlawfully interfere with the two property owners’ quiet enjoyment of their respective properties, the court considered (1) whether Network Rail had knowledge of the nuisance caused by the Knotweed (relatively clear given the RICS guidance available) and (2) whether it had acted reasonably in preventing or minimising the known risk of damage to the claimants’ properties.

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Network Rail’s knowledge of the Knotweed, which had been present for some 50 years, meant that it had an obligation to eradicate or otherwise remove the Knotweed, notwithstanding that originally no complaint had been made by the adjoining landowners. While Network Rail had undertaken some treatment of the Knotweed between 2013 and 2016 (after the original complaint in 2013) including spraying it with herbicide, the court decided that the treatment had been inadequate as the Knotweed has continued to thrive. Obligations on landowners Although in this case Network Rail was the landowner, it could have been one of the many other parties in the rail industry, which owns land which may harbour Knotweed. At the very least all landowners should be checking their properties, particularly the outlying areas of depots or storage yards, to see whether Knotweed or any of the other specified plants, such as Giant Hogweed, are quietly growing. Although County Court judgements do not have binding precedent, there is no reason why the judgement of the Cardiff County Court would not be followed in later cases in the higher courts.

Japanese Knotweed – nice plant turned bad • introduced into the UK as an ornamental garden plant in the 19th century • invasive, fast growing and able to re-grow from a small rhizome (root part) • bamboo-like shoots can cause considerable damage to buildings and infrastructure • often takes many years to fully destroy • plant is designated as controlled waste and specific destruction methods should be followed. • specific designation in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Martin Fleetwood is corporate partner at Shoosmiths

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

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What’s in the sandwich? How can the passenger experience really be brought to the forefront of the industry, ask Darren Fodey and Suzanne Tarplee


oliticians are known – and are often mocked – for their PRfriendly slogans. Anyone for ‘strong and stable leadership’ or ‘for the many not the few’? How about ‘change Britain’s future’? These are all slogans with which ‘the many’ are unlikely to disagree: soundbites which look good on paper but which can have far less substance than the infamous Milliband bacon sandwich. Is the railway industry equally guilty of using slogans without substance, the metaphorical equivalent of the British Rail sandwich? For a number of years, politicians and bodies such as RDG, the ORR and train operators have spoken about ‘putting passengers at the heart’ of the railway industry. Clearly this does not mean giving passengers the opportunity to

Is the railway industry equally guilty of using slogans without substance, the metaphorical equivalent of the British Rail sandwich? For a number of years, politicians and bodies such as RDG, the ORR and train operators have spoken about ‘putting passengers at the heart’ of the railway industry

drive trains or equipping them with shovels to clear the tracks following snow. But how can the passenger experience really be brought to the forefront of the industry? In this piece, we consider two potential ways of doing so: devolution and alliancing. Devolution models Devolution enables decisions to be taken closer to those who will be affected by them. Recent government policy suggests that there is a move towards devolution, allowing local priorities to be given more weight. This gives the opportunity for passengers to be placed at the heart of the decision making process. We currently see three devolution models (in decreasing order of the level of power devolved): • ‘Full’ devolution: the full delegation of powers and responsibilities from central government to the devolved body. As a result, the devolved body has substantially the same role as central government. In order to do this, amendments are needed to legislation (such as the Railways Act 1993). An example of this model is Transport Scotland • ‘Supervised’ devolution: the devolved entity largely has the same powers and responsibilities as central government but subject to the overall supervision of central government in certain areas (for example, budgets and consistency with overall railway policy). Again, legislation is typically needed to achieve this form of devolution. An example of this model is Transport for London • ‘Interested party’ devolution: this involves certain local authorities being able to input into and manage matters affecting the railway – perhaps by way of a partnership agreement with central government. However, the powers and responsibilities remain with central

government and are not devolved. This type of devolution does not typically require legislation to be passed. An example of this model is Rail North. What works? In principle, all three models can work. The ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper competitions undertaken by Transport Scotland did not follow the English franchising model to the letter. They were clearly tailored to the specific Scottish needs identified by Transport Scotland. TfL has been highly praised for its London Overground and TfL Rail services. Rail North is undertaking day-to-day management of rail services in the north jointly with the Department for Transport. In all three cases, decisions are being taken closer to those who use the services. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach – various factors will influence the decision: • what level of democratic accountability does the devolved body have? • what geographical area is covered by the devolved body and railway services? • does the devolved body have the expertise to exercise the powers and responsibilities of central government? • what timescales are involved - is there enough time to pass legislation? Currently, Wales is expected to be given ‘full devolution’ (except for the rail infrastructure) – which is the same as the Scottish model. Elsewhere, the final factor potentially explains why we are generally seeing the ‘interested party’ model as the current approach: if similar outcomes can be achieved through contracts without needing to pass legislation, why not do so? Of course, this then limits what the devolved body can actually do. The needs of one geographical area within the scope of the devolved body may not match the needs of another. This



is particularly relevant where there are a number of interested local bodies, elected by different electorates. Where the geographical area covered by the devolved body is more aligned with the electorate, there is arguably greater justification for more powers to be devolved. We see this in London, where there has been recent controversy in relation to the decision not to devolve certain Southeastern services to the Mayor of London. Potentially, TfL is a prime candidate for moving to the ‘full devolution’ model. It has proven to date that it is capable when it comes to rail and places passenger benefits at the heart of what it does. Alliancing models Can alliancing also place passengers at the heart of the railway? The secretary of state for transport certainly thinks so, given his proposed focus on joint working between franchisees and Network Rail. Again, there are three existing models: • ‘Deep’ alliance: this involves joint management, with a substantial proportion of the roles and responsibilities of both organisations being included within the alliance, the sharing of responsibilities and cost/ benefit incentive arrangements. An example of this is the original South West

   

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Trains – Network Rail alliance • ‘Medium’ alliance: this involves joint management at the top of the organisation, with links into the respective businesses, which remain more at arm’s length than in the ‘deep’ model. An example of this is the ScotRail – Network Rail alliance • ‘Light’ alliance: this involves the creation of a joint discussion forum, with the parties working together on specific projects. This is the model currently used most commonly between franchisees and Network Rail.

it seems unlikely in the short-term that the ‘deep’ model will be preferred if cost/ benefit sharing forms part of it. Grayling’s announcement indicates a preference for the ‘medium’ alliance – but there remains scope for the ‘light’ alliance for specific projects. This means there are a number of possibilities for: • First/MTR and Network Rail in the new south west franchise • alignment between devolved bodies and the potential break-up of Network Rail into a more route-based structure; and • franchise bidders going forward.

What works? Provided they are well-planned and the risks and rewards are carefully thought through in advance, any of the options could drive benefits for the passenger, drawing on operators’ experience of what the passenger wants. Existing alliances (including the abandoned ‘deep’ alliance) have driven performance and other tangible benefits for the passenger. For any alliance to be successful, behavioural change needs to be driven and attitudes need to be aligned. Ultimately, it will depend on the appetite for risk and potential reward which will lead the parties to a particular model. With Network Rail’s highly publicised cost overruns,

Can devolution and alliancing put passengers ‘at the heart’ of the industry? If carefully planned and well-executed, devolution and alliancing can both deliver tangible benefits for the passenger. If passengers are not placed at the heart of the industry, they are at least placed at the forefront of the mind when decisions are made. Devolution and alliancing can both provide some substance to the slogan: adding a little more filling to that British Rail sandwich. Darren Fodey is a senior associate and Suzanne Tarplee is a partner in the Rail team at law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP

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Electrifying the railway of tomorrow How do we develop a forward-looking view which allows us to effectively plan the future of rail infrastructure in the UK, asks David Brewer


hen we plan the delivery of large scale infrastructure programmes, such as electrification, we are making choices that we will live with for generations and it is critical that we adopt a long-term perspective. With multiple organisations potentially benefiting from infrastructure investments and bearing capital and operational cost, any resultsdriven decision must be taken within the framework of a guiding strategic intent. The implications of investments need to be assessed across the system as a whole. Electrification brings significant advantages to the operation of the railway, for infrastructure owners, Toc’s, and ultimately, the fare-paying passenger. Commissioned as part of a broader suite of improvement works, electrification optimises reliability and reduces the

maintenance and operational costs of running a fleet. It improves the travelling environment and air quality, reduces journey times and can enable the provision of more seats for passengers. So, how do we develop a forward-looking view which allows us to effectively plan the future of rail infrastructure in the UK, including electrification, efficiently delivering these advantages? Decisions to invest in electrification will be driven by the benefits generated and the cost of delivery. How can we capture the value generated by these outcomes? Can we predict with confidence the costs of all the work needed to unlock the benefits facilitated by electrification? These must justify the expense. The relative value of these benefits and the cost of achieving them varies with the physical characteristics of individual

To be effective, well-structured contracts will need the support of two things; policy and collaboration. In this context, by policy I mean a centrally defined rule-set, as light touch as possible, which creates the framework within which individual investment decisions are taken, which can be developed across organisational, geographic and contractual boundaries. Collaboration means all organisations with an interest recognising that, ultimately, a system which delivers is in all our best interests

routes, and crucially, will depend on the way large upgrade programmes are planned. Electrification is not, and should not be, planned in isolation, but rather as part of a broader scheme of works designed to achieve defined capacity, capability and performance outcomes. All elements of an upgrade, including civil engineering programmes such as platform extensions and station enhancements, as well as electrification, should be evaluated as one programme. A centralised planning process fuelled by a ‘one team’ mentality, devoid of silos and with timely project controls can curb upfront capital costs and provide new opportunities to innovate to drive efficiencies and reduce waste (often using digital design tools).



Developing investment programmes with a route-wide perspective should help to join some of these dots and enable a more aligned way of working. However, routes do not operate in isolation and the route teams operate within the constraints imposed by franchise and other industry arrangements. Franchise terms and arrangements can complicate decisions which optimise cost and long-term value; for example, where the remaining term of the contract is less than the pay-back period for the potential investment (although industry mechanisms do exist to mitigate the effects of this). Investment programmes can also be complicated by competing commercial rolling stock interests. Industry end goal A whole systems approach, in which the rail industry comes together to re-evaluate the levy of structural barriers should be the industry end goal. February’s Transport Select Committee report argued for reducing complexity in franchise contracts, but creating a system where incentives align in the best interests of tax and fare payers is inherently complicated. We should not pretend the complexity does not exist. The qualification of Occam’s razor, attributed to

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Einstein, springs to mind, that everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Rigid contractual mechanisms generate unintended consequences and however carefully structured, will never be sophisticated enough by themselves to drive the right behaviours over their lifetime. To be effective, well-structured contracts will need the support of two things; policy and collaboration. In this context, by policy I mean a centrally defined rule-set, as light touch as possible, which creates the framework within which individual investment decisions are taken, which can be developed across organisational, geographic and contractual boundaries. Collaboration means all organisations with an interest recognising that, ultimately, a system which delivers is in all our best interests. Planning properly at the start And finally, to make the right choices for the long-term we must discipline ourselves to set aside the unconscious bias created by the short-term loss of confidence and negative sentiment generated by recent poor experiences. Instead, we must ensure we learn from them.

Finding the optimum solution to the complex engineering questions we face necessitates planning properly at the start of the process. Short-circuiting this stage contributes towards the perpetuation of counter-productive industry dynamics, which are currently pulling for compliant solutions with the shortest lead time. Instead we should be encouraging the optimum solution, which meets the requirements for demand growth, with an appropriate mix of services, based on cost and long-term impact. Consequently, the cost of current programmes does not set a reliable benchmark for future work – as long as future programmes get off to the right start, with clear objectives and time frames, and are supported by the right structural framework and collaborative behaviours, there is no reason why they cannot deliver success for the UK railway.

David Brewer is market director, strategic rail at Atkins

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Adeline Ginn

A role to play What hope does rail have if those outside the sector have no idea of the opportunities available, asks Adeline Ginn


hat did you want to be when you grew up?’ Someone once said to me that this was one of their favourite questions to ask in a job interview because the answer always gave you an insight into the human side of the candidate. Competency questions are all well and good, but at the end of the day I’m hiring a person, not a robot. If I can ensure that some element of the role met a passion of theirs, everyone wins. So what would your answer be? Whatever your response, it is likely that you were inspired and influenced by seeing others achieve. This is the bedrock to many of the creative industries. Almost every successful musician, author or artist has credited their hero with inspiring them to pick up the guitar, pen or brush. For every John Lennon, there was an Elvis Presley. The sporting world has traditionally taken a lead in this regard: look at how the central objective and goal for the London 2012 Olympic Games was to ‘Inspire a generation’. Just four years later, many GB medalists at Rio credited seeing their peers achieve in London as a key driver for their success. Put simply, inspiration is one of the most powerful forces in human nature and role models play a central role in showcasing the opportunities that are available to us, many of which we wouldn’t have known existed. Unaware of opportunities In a previous article I highlighted how research had shown that unless there is an engineer or railway person in the immediate circle of friends or the family, parents are unlikely to encourage girls to go into STEM subjects or the rail industry. For many it’s not a view based on prejudice, often they just aren’t aware of the opportunities available to them.

It is for this very reason that we all need to do more with our peers to be role models and ambassadors for our industry, opening doors that many outside didn’t know

existed. This was a key driver behind our launch last year of the 20 Most Inspirational Women in the UK Rail Industry report, which was a huge success. It allowed us to tell the

People assume that to be inspired, you need to see and hear from those who are directors or industry leaders. But this doesn’t need to be the case. Inspiration can come from anyone, whatever their role. Our report showcased women from all areas of the industry, whether drivers, engineers, project managers or HR specialists. The key link between each finalist was that they were all influencing the future of rail and had a story to tell that could lead to someone else discovering an opportunity that they didn’t know existed Rail Professional



human side behind their achievements and show others what can be possible. People assume that to be inspired, you need to see and hear from those who are directors or industry leaders. But this doesn’t need to be the case. Inspiration can come from anyone, whatever their role. Our report showcased women from all areas of the industry, whether drivers, engineers, project managers or HR specialists. The key link between each finalist was that they were all influencing the future of rail and had a story to tell that could lead to someone else discovering an opportunity that they didn’t know existed. For example, finalist Charley Whitelock, community relations apprentice at Costain said: ‘I feel there is a lack of knowledge about what the industry can offer to young people, especially women. I wasn’t provided with information on the construction and engineering industry while I was at school.’ Similarly, Debbie Bewley, sustainability and assurance manager at Carillion commented: ‘To be honest, after I graduated I didn’t consider the rail sector as a career option as I knew very little about it.’ These two comments are indicative of the challenge that we face at a time when the rail industry is at one of the most defining points in its history. Over the next decade

it is expected to deliver some of the largest infrastructure projects this country has ever seen, and it needs to attract and retain the best talent, both men and women. But what hope does it have if those outside the sector have no idea of the opportunities available?

It is down to all of us to take the lead in reaching out to our peer groups. Everyone can be a role model. Let’s harness our own stories so others can create theirs.

Adeline Ginn is general counsel at Angel Trains and founder of Women in Rail







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june 21-22

Rail Live offers companies the unique opportunity to showcase products and services in a real rail setting OVER 300 EXHIBITORS

The highlight rail event of the year. A place where the rail industry gets together to do business, network and see real innovation in action on the railway.

an international event

Rail Live works closely with the Department for International Trade and has attracted the attention of many international visitors from overseas locations.

• 300+ exhibitors • 6000+ visitors • Innovation hub • Safe working practices • Collaboration in action • International visiting delegates • Signalling & electrification village • Business Zone • Light Rail feature

come & see the railway in action...

Traction & rolling stock, light rail, rail plant & infrastructure, electrification, signalling demonstrations, displays of engineering, rail maintenance materials, product development/ testing/rail safety, digital, technology & innovation.

For more information... call +44 (0)1789 720026 web @therailalliance


The Business Zone enables visitors and exhibitors the opportunity to find out what support & advice is available to the industry, including the RSSB Test Voucher Scheme & competitions such as Horizon 2020 & many more.



Become a member… IRO launches interactive online CPD system for railway operators he Institution of Railway Operators is pleased to announce that it has launched an interactive system for railway operators to record, monitor and plan their continuous professional development (CPD). The new system, which also includes an improved IRO membership upgrade experience, is centred on the Professional Operators’ Development (POD) framework. This is the professional map for railway


As operators, we are always learning and operators and captures what successful and finding safer, more efficient ways of running effective railway operators know about and our railway and delivering for our customers, deliver across every aspect and specialism of and the IRO is proud to be part of that learning the profession. It covers twelve areas set out experience. The latest website developments in four groups of related disciplines. Our Annual Lunch for Members and Guests will be held at allow a more streamlined recording of learning The new system will allow all IRO The areas Mermaid, Puddle Dock, London. Aprilmembers’ own point andOn it’s Friday tailored19th to each members to identify for improvement 2013 from midday. Our guest speaker is the Rt. Hon. in their career and membership level. In our against the POD framework and their own Simon Burns, Minister of State fordaily Transport. lives, we are increasingly using online experience. As well as this, the system will systems to store our personal data and this new provide users with a personal downloadable system maintains that momentum, and ensures report and a series of suggestions for future Tickets – £47.00 per head nothing is lost and is accessible at any time, CPD activity. Table of 10 per table from any device. We spoke to Jason Wade, head–of£470.00 loss (Ticket prices inclusive of VAT @ 20%) I know many members have more experience prevention at Northern, to are find out how and knowledge than their grade would suggest he thinks the new system will benefit so, ifat: you are in this position, why not give this IRO members and help those who want Download a booking form new system a go and upgrade your membership to upgrade their IRO membership to and give your skills the recognition they gain recognition for their experience and Call: 01785 248113 deserve.” knowledge.

IRO Annual Members’ Lunch 2013

“As chair of the IRO North East Area Council, one of the most common questions members ask is ‘How do I upgrade my membership level?’, and this fantastic new development on our website will make this so much easier to complete. I am also a mentor and I think this will really help those who want to develop their careers by making it simple to see where their gaps in knowledge are, and enabling plans to be drawn up to gain the required knowledge or experience.

Membership of the IRO is open to anyone working in, or associated with, any part of the railway industry worldwide and people outside the industry who wish to prepare for a career in it. What’s more, employees of IRO corporate members are eligible for free membership!

Valuable opportunities for members to learn and share knowledge

Visit to find out more. Alternatively, please email membership@

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

IRO Members’ Lunch 2017 1


Join IRO the industry South West Area:members and guests from South across West Area: Operations Experience Dayat – this year’s Modernising the Western Route – Swindon October 2012 West Somerset Railway, Minehead October 2012 Members’ Lunch in London at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms. Date and time: Wednesday 21st June from midday. Guest Speaker: Secretary of State for Transport Tickets £130 per person. Table of 10 £1300 per table (Ticket prices are inclusive of VAT @ 20%)

For more information or to book please visit

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C o

F n d lo



Victory in unity Quinton Rail Technology Centre is host once more to Rail Live – the largest outdoor rail show in Europe


he QRTC site has a long and interesting history dating back to its years as a Royal Engineers supply base for WWII when it was rapidly constructed in 1940 as part of Churchill’s plans to retake Europe; one of a number of ‘inland ports’ set to play a key role in the run up to and execution of the D-Day landings. Decommissioned by the MoD in the late 1990’s it then became a privately-owned site.  In 2005, Motorail Logistics (set-up by Ruth Flack CEO) took over the railway infrastructure now renamed the Quinton Rail Technology Centre. She and her team have transformed the site into what it is today. The QRTC has a key strategic role to play in the UK rail sector and on its vast site companies such as Motorail, Total Tank Solutions (a successful partnership between Motorail and LCM Environmental), Vivarail, Chrysalis Rail, the ABC Consortium, and of course the Rail Alliance, operate here and contribute a huge amount to the sector. It also boasts a wealth of strategic partners including top universities such as Birmingham, Coventry and Warwick each playing their part during this last decade.

Honeybourne – which is on the Worcester to London line and served by all of the Foc’s taking advantage of 24/7 access. There is storage capacity for approximately 1000 items of rolling stock, and it also has four hectares of open hard-standing based storage and approximately 2000m2 of covered workshops,  along with associated handling equipment and crainage.  QRTC is constantly looking to invest in new facilities and equipment to meet its many customers’ needs.

Motorail (a subsidiary of QRTC) currently has contracts in place for the storage of traction and rolling stock (passenger and goods) with all of the ROSCO’s (Porterbrook, Angel, Eversholt), VTG, GE, DB Schenker, DB Regio, Direct Rail Services, Vivarail and others. For a number of these companies they also store wheel-sets, bogies, internal furnishings, body shells, general components etc. This service in some cases consists of the management of the company’s entire stock of spares.

Development plans don’t stop The site at Long Marston is the largest and most extensive rail storage facility in the UK and its customers read like a Who’s Who of rolling stock ownership. It consists of some 20km of storage sidings and is connected to the national rail network at Rail Professional



Lloyds Banking Group – a partnership we are particularly proud of. In all, our active network has grown from its humble origins to reaching out to more than 50,000 companies in the UK alone. We are founder members of the Rail Supply Group, the rail sector council and are partnering with the RSG to provide the very first sector-wide mentoring scheme helping the rail supply chain develop its effectiveness ( ‘With the Rail Alliance regarded as an authority in matters relating to challenges faced by the UK rail supply chain and the challenges faced by SME’s supplying into the rail sector, the business is going from strength-to-strength, with more and more companies using Rail Alliance as a strategic tool to improve business effectiveness and competitive advantage. We are proud to say that we have become the go-to team when it comes to doing business in the rail sector’.

And the development plans don’t stop here. There are some ambitious plans in place to develop the site further and in particular to create a world-class test track facility within the CP5 period (yes CP5). QRTC is the UK’s leading facility for system-based testing trialling and product development purposes. Boasting the only endurance track (i.e looped) it can cope with maximum speeds of 50 kph and is ideal for a wide range of uses including the UK’s only crash test facility, product approvals, training, publicity/marketing etc. It is regularly used by the emergency services and Special Forces for technical training. It has the longest OHLE span away from the national network and is currently constructing the UK’s first light rail test facility which is a £1 million investment, to be opened at Rail Live.   Celebrating 10 years at the heart of the rail supply chain In 2007, soon after opening Quinton Rail Technology Centre,  Rail Alliance was launched by Colin Flack – a small organisation at the time, set up to support the rail industry chain with a motto that still rings very true today – Ubi Concordia – ibi Victoria (where there is unity there is victory), or more simply expressed, we Network, Collaborate, Innovate and Thrive. Said Colin: ‘We are very proud of the fact that the Rail Alliance was born in the same region that brought the world the Industrial Revolution and from that the railway. We are at heart an organisation that is very conscious of the fact that we came into existence through the drive and energy of the SME base, the backbone of the UK economy. ‘We remain very focused on the need to support companies large and small from Rail Professional

every sector in their endeavours to trade in and enrich the rail sector. Uniquely our membership spans all aspects of the rail supply chain and we have no barriers to entry. Over the last 10 years we have grown from an offshoot of the Manufacturing Advisory Service within the West Midlands to become the premier B2B networking organisation in the rail sector, with members drawn from all corners of the country and indeed the globe. ‘Our instinct is to collaborate not compete and thus we have strategic relationships with the likes of the Engineering Employers Federation, the British Chambers of Commerce, Rail Research UK and the European Rail Clusters Initiative, as well as more recently with

Rail Live over the years ‘Rail Live is now in its fifth year. It is considered to be one of the biggest and best rail events in the UK and a firm favourite among the industry to find out about the latest innovations across the rail supply chain. Each year it expands to include new features and demonstrations. Over the years there has been a real hunger from visitors to see more and the exhibitors have not disappointed. So many demonstrations take place over the two days – including surveying under water courtesy of Bridgeway’s dive tank demonstration, ballast vacuuming from Railcare Sweden, world-class welding from Thermit Welding, the 70m Robel-Plasser maintenance train brought onto site from the mainline for all to go on board and see, and so much more machinery taking centre stage due to the sheer size and height of some of the equipment.


‘We are very proud to be supported by Network Rail, which really values being able to see innovation in one place and witness the ‘railway in action’ due to show’s unique setting and the facilities available to exhibitors.’ Organised by the Rail Alliance, Rail Live 2017 offers companies the unique opportunity to showcase products and services in a real rail setting. With the Rail Alliance regarded as an authority in matters relating to challenges faced by the UK rail supply chain and the challenges faced by SME’s supplying into it, the show very much reflects and demonstrates support for all the Rail Supply Group workstreams and these will be integral themes to the entire show. Throughout the two days there will be a comprehensive timetable of events and demonstrations taking place. Seminars and presentations (as part of the RAIL conference) will be delivered by high profile industry leaders and also experts in their fields. This is a place to truly see the railway in action… traction and rolling stock, light rail, rail plant & infrastructure, electrification, signalling demonstrations, displays of engineering, rail maintenance materials, product development/testing/rail safety, digital, technology and innovation. ____________________________________ What some of the 2016 visitors said: Rob Davis, delivery director, NSC South at Network Rail: ‘I really enjoyed the event and was impressed by the range of suppliers and equipment on site as well as the quality of the speakers I saw’ Anne Wilson, managing director at Numill: ‘As a first time visitor to Rail Live I was blown away by the size of the event. The mix of high level and supply chain exhibitors was impressive. I will certainly look at visiting again or possibly exhibiting in members area’ David Deslandes, business development manager at Mecateamcluster: ‘Rail Live 2016 has been a terrific opportunity for us as a group of French rail infrastructure specialists, to meet with new UK suppliers and to discuss partnerships as well as new products and solutions for the industry’


What you can expect from Rail Live 2017, to be held 21st to 22nd June... MORE THAN 300 EXHIBITORS: ‘The highlight rail event of the year’. A place where the rail industry gets together to do business, network and see real innovation in action on the railway AN INTERNATIONAL EVENT: Rail Live works closely with the Department for International Trade and has attracted the attention of many international visitors over the years – with 2017 no exception. RAIL CONFERENCE: RAIL magazine will run the Rail Live 2017 conference.  Agenda and speakers to be announced SUPPORT & ADVICE: the Business, Networking & Media Hub enables visitors and exhibitors the opportunity to find out what support and advice is available to the industry, including the Rail Alliance Mentoring and Open Doors scheme, the RSSB Test Voucher Scheme and competitions such as Horizon 2020 and many more TRACK: this will include the chance to see working and static On-Track Machines (OTM’s) and On-Track Plant (OTP’s), as well as having practical hands on experience of small plant, tools and equipment among a host of other live demonstrations ELECTRIFICATION: due to the huge focus on electrification, there will be plenty of electrification equipment on show. We are making preparations to host a live demonstration of the construction of modern Overhead Line Equipment, from piling to SPS to final registration, staged over the course of the two days. In conjunction with leading suppliers, plant and products will be showcased at the event, with hands on displays and live demonstration UK’s LIGHT RAIL TEST TRACK IN PARTNERSHIP WITH UK TRAM and INNOVATE UK: come and see what’s new in Light Rail and view the test track recently installed on site at the Quinton Rail Technology Centre SIGNALLING & TELECOMMUNICATIONS VILLAGE: Network Rail’s SIG (Signalling Innovations Group) are running this entire area bringing the latest products and innovations in the world of signalling to Rail Live 2017. There will be plenty of live events for visitors to enjoy, from experiencing a level crossing to the installation of a Signal foundation. You will see the products in motion on the trackside simulation and a variety of methods for the installation of cable management. THE LLOYDS BANK BUSINESS ZONE + AXIS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKING & MEDIA HUB: the Business & Networking Zones will offer visitors and exhibitors access to individuals and companies who provide vital advice and support to rail sector companies. These include the Rail Supply Group, The Department for International Trade, UK Export Finance, The Intellectual Property Office, the RSSB Test Voucher Scheme, Finance Birmingham, Midlands Engine and the WMCA and of course the zones’ sponsors, Lloyds Bank and Axis Communications, with more to be confirmed. Visitors to the Business and Networking Zones will be able to access invaluable advice, free of charge, from experts in their respective fields, and crucially this is advice which aligns perfectly with the RSG’s workstreams of innovation, growth, trade and investment and skills VIVARAIL SHUTTLE TRAIN SERVICE FROM HONEYBOURNE: for the first time, visitors to Rail Live will be able to travel by train right to the show, courtesy of Vivarail’s D-Train. Passenger shuttles will run between Honeybourne station and a special platform inside the showground at the Quinton Rail Technology Centre. This will be the first time the Class 230 has been in passenger service. The prototype ‘230’ was built and tested at QRTC, and this will be a unique opportunity to see and experience the train first-hand.

Catherine Appleby, international trade advisor at DIT: ‘Vibrant, exciting, and jampacked, Rail Live delivered again – full to the brim with demonstrations, this truly is the place to really ‘see’ exactly how UK rail works, up close and personal. A wonderful display of capability and expertise rarely seen in more traditional shows, a show not to be missed’ For more information on Rail Live 2017, please go to Rail Professional



Additional flexibility Matt Lovering looks at potential developments to franchise models which could offer a new approach to maximising the value and ensuring the sustainability of rail


etween the 2013 Brown Review and the end of 2016, the Department for Transport signed seven contracts for passenger rail services with six different operators. Combined, these franchises will operate for around 60 years, serve around 8 billion passenger journeys, raise £42 billion of passenger revenue and deliver a combined premium of around £11 billion for the Treasury. The recent award of the South Western Trains franchise to First/MTR continues the franchise replacement and

In 2016, there were 20 franchises in total, 15 of which were let and managed by the DfT1. These 15 franchises have an average turnover of £744 million. Moreover, the nature of the companies operating those franchises has now changed due to consolidation in the number of owning groups, of which five current groups are directly owned or backed by international state operators

renewal process – again with an assumption of further revenue growth and increasing premium. When this is considered alongside the well-documented long-term surge in passenger demand and the increasing contribution fare box revenue makes to the operating cost of the railway seen since privatisation, these statistics could be regarded as an indicator of a flourishing franchising system. While the headlines of passenger growth are well known, the shift in the economic

importance of the railway is less wellpublicised – but even more dramatic. In 2002, 3.8 per cent of the UK labour force used the railway to travel to work and we estimate that 4.6 per cent of Great Britain’s GVA was generated by people who rely on the rail network to travel to work. By 2015, this had increased by 50 per cent to 5.9 per cent of the labour force, and 7.1 per cent of GVA – an increase of around £40 billion per annum of economic activity at current levels of GDP. Rail Professional



This growth in the industry has changed the size and scale of franchises beyond all recognition. In 1998, there were 25 franchises with an average turnover of £192 million. In 2016, there were 20 franchises in total, 15 of which were let and managed by the DfT1. These 15 franchises have an average turnover of £744 million. Moreover, the nature of the companies operating those franchises has now changed due to consolidation in the number of owning groups, of which five current groups are directly owned or backed by international state operators. More turbulent than indicated While the statistics suggest that rail franchising has had a positive impact on the industry, the outlook for franchising could be more turbulent than these headline numbers indicate. The threats to the current model are built around four key areas: 1.  Each franchise bid during this period has been predicated on an assumption of continued (and often accelerating) passenger growth, underpinning large franchise premia and a largely fixed cost base.  However, trends over the last two years suggest that rail growth may be slowing down, and the increased use of technology and remote working indicate that this may be a long-term social trend rather than a short-term economic impact 2.  For most franchises, the recent renewal has been set against a backdrop of falling customer satisfaction and low levels of customer trust – driven in large part by overcrowding and performance challenges tied to increased peak demand 3.  The railway is also struggling to connect with local economies and the national industrial strategy. The devolution process is intended to accelerate this progress, but is still at its infancy. Meanwhile the franchising system as a whole is struggling to deliver – or even facilitate – the change which the industry needs to overhaul a complex fares structure, better manage supply and demand and ensure effective integration with the national economic and industrial strategy. These factors would combine to create significant risks to the franchising model in any circumstances. In the context of significant macro-economic volatility, these factors import a level of risk into the franchising model which could ultimately make it unsustainable. The last thing which the industry needs is another period of uncertainty or a major structural review. However, the risks in franchising mean that one may become unavoidable.  It is therefore essential that the model (and the industry) proactively evolves from its current position of strength. Rail Professional

The last thing

which the industry needs is another period of uncertainty or a major structural review. However, the risks in franchising mean that one may become unavoidable.  It is therefore essential that the model (and the industry) proactively evolves from its current position of strength Four major challenges The franchising system cannot change in isolation in a way which will meet these challenges. It is essential that the next government defines the role of franchising in the context of three major challengers: First: the challenge of defining a new approach to rail franchising is intrinsically linked to a need to define the role of the railway. The rail network serves three key stakeholder sets – the customers who use the railway, the taxpayers who help fund the railway and the economy which is increasingly dependent on the railway to link centres of population and employment. At times the interests of these stakeholder groups overlap, but at times they diverge – and this divergence is one of the key sources of stress in the franchising system.  The government must clarify the economic and financial role of the railway and the appropriate balance between taxpayer and fare payer to fund the railway – and therefore the balance it is looking for from franchisees. Second: the government must recognise that the challenge of solving the fare structure in the industry is a policy challenge not a commercial challenge. Current fares regulation hampers any major changes to the fare structure, and that regulation must change materially in a way which removes the absurd complexity of current industry ticketing while ensuring that the fare structure can evolve to meet the needs of an increasingly flexible workforce

Third: the national and local government must discuss and resolve the conflicts between national integration of the rail network and effective integration of local transport networks. At present, national integration – especially of fares and ticketing – are considered to be sacrosanct. However, a greater regional focus may be necessary to ensure greater alignment with the needs of customer journeys and support innovation in fares and ticketing which will drive a step change in regular usage.  When this is defined, focus should shift to making the franchise model more sustainable, and ensuring that the specification and management process is centred on the needs of customers and the economy as much as any financial commitments to the treasury and taxpayers. Such an evolution could be based around four key themes: • changing the variable from finance to quality, asking bidders to offer a proposed service offer within a given affordability envelop rather than specifying requirements and asking bidders for financial quotes. • changing the evaluation process, to give quality more weight, consider whole network costs and ensure an evaluation of the economic benefits of proposals. • creating a fairer financial structure for the industry, to ensure that there is acceptable certainty on future franchise payments, that any ‘windfalls’ from ambitious bids are retained in the industry and ensuring that no franchise becomes too big to fail. • creating a better alignment of risks for the franchise model, with a common set of objectives for network development, a consistent view on the nature of competition and greater flexibility to link with the national industrial strategy and longer-term changes in travel patterns.  In the longer-term, a number of new types of franchise model could bring additional flexibility to the network, and thereby ensure the appropriate focus on capacity management and customer service, while providing a more effective way to integrate local rail networks into the local economy. Our new report Ensuring a Sustainable Rail Industry sets out the challenges facing the franchising model in more detail. Published by Tracks - Campaign for Better Transport’s new thought leadership programme, the report outlines a number of potential developments to the franchise models used to deliver passenger services, which could offer a new approach to maximising the value and ensuring the sustainability of the rail industry. Matt Lovering is partner at Credo Business Consulting






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Rail and cities: how can we capture the benefits from rail investment? A new report from the ITC provides recommendations on how rail development can boost economic growth in our cities, reveals Matthew Niblett


ransport infrastructure is usually perceived in terms of the benefits it provides to travellers. Yet we also know that the connectivity such infrastructure provides can bring wider economic and spatial benefits if planned and developed correctly. The Independent Transport Commission (ITC) has had a longstanding interest in understanding the wider connections between transport investment and urban renewal. Our 2013-16 research study exploring the land use effects of high speed rail (HSR) demonstrated, using a wide range of examples from north-western Europe, how the planning of HS2 could be refined in order to capture such wider economic benefits for those cities and regions it will serve.

The ITC recommendation is that the above principles are taken forward when planning new or upgraded infrastructure in the rail sector, and that that regional and local authorities actively engage with Network Rail, with train operators and other rail industry bodies to shape and develop the investment schemes that the industry proposes. By doing so, we can ensure that the benefits of rail infrastructure are shared as widely as possible among the people and places it will serve

In a new report – Classic Rail and Connected Cities: capturing the benefits from rail system development – the ITC has turned its attention to the rest of the national rail network, termed ‘classic’ rail to distinguish it from the specially constructed new high speed lines (with the capability to support travel at 250kph or faster). Drawing on the insights gained from the HSR study, the ITC has identified several principles that it believes would lead to better outcomes in terms of how our cities can capture the benefits of rail system development. With an investment of £38 billion in UK rail

infrastructure over the current Control Period 5 (2014-19), and similar or greater investment projected for the next Control Period, it is imperative that we ensure that the benefits of such spending are shared widely across cities, localities and regions. Six key principles The ITC report, which includes an insightful introduction from Sir Peter Hendy (See Rail Professional interview, May 2017), proposes six key principles that should be adapted and incorporated into rail infrastructure planning and delivery.



First, the report argues that rail planners need to be responsive to changing circumstances, in order that new infrastructure will stand the test of time. In Britain we have successfully adapted our rail infrastructure over a period of more than 150 years to meet shifting travel demands and changing technology. This adaptability will continue to be important as we enter an era of higher rail demand and reliance on information and communications technology. The second principle proposes that it will be important for rail authorities to work more closely with local, regional and national government than in the past. An approach that looks ‘beyond the red line’ of the infrastructure boundary, and encourages regeneration in the wider urban area, can ensure that stations and their immediate area act as a catalyst for growth for the wider city region. The report’s third principle notes that good connectivity both within the rail network and to other modes of transport is essential for capturing the widest possible benefits from new infrastructure investment. By making this a high priority it should be possible to achieve improved accessibility and passenger journey experience through swifter and smoother transport interchanges.

Fourth, the rail industry and local authorities should increasingly see their stations as civic assets, turning them into places of both arrival and exchange. As such, rail stations become attractive gateways to our cities as well as worthwhile destinations in their own right. If used successfully, stations can also be used for generating ancillary income streams and to support wider social and economic regeneration objectives. A fifth principle identified in the report is that major benefits arise when transport infrastructure providers, operators and local organisations collaborate, thereby integrating new rail infrastructure closely with the community it serves. If managed well, this collaborative approach results in far more captured value than when local stakeholders are alienated. The sixth and final principle highlighted is that rail planning processes need a stronger mechanism for delivery. Given the longevity of rail infrastructure assets it is essential that decisions are taken with a multi-decadal lifespan and funding in view, and complement national, regional and local planning strategies. Planning should strengthen the engagement of operators and communities at an early stage, develop alternative scenarios and test proposals for use, all of which can help future-proof

schemes for later development. Shared as widely as possible In conclusion, the ITC report emphasises the long-term effects of major infrastructure development and how decisions taken today will continue to resonate many decades ahead. As a consequence, the men and women who take decisions about the local and national stewardship of that infrastructure ought to reflect on future development opportunities beyond their immediate project or control period accountabilities. The ITC recommendation is that the above principles are taken forward when planning new or upgraded infrastructure in the rail sector, and that that regional and local authorities actively engage with Network Rail, with train operators and other rail industry bodies to shape and develop the investment schemes that the industry proposes. By doing so, we can ensure that the benefits of rail infrastructure are shared as widely as possible among the people and places it will serve.

Dr Matthew Niblett is director of the Independent Transport Commission

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Helping to make a difference. If need, hardship or distress should arise, TBF is here to support its members, helping them to keep the wheels of the public transport industry turning. A wide range of financial, health and welfare benefits for those working in the public transport industry, helping to improve members’ work-life balance and reduce staff turnover for the employer.

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Railway Engineering Conferences and Courses in 2017

Railway Electrification Infrastructure and Systems (REIS)

Railway Earthing and Bonding

ICRE 2018 - The 2nd International Conference on Railway Engineering

26 – 29 June 2017 IET London: Savoy Place

19 – 20 September 2017 Millennium Knightsbridge Hotel, London, UK

Call for papers deadline: 23 October 2017

REIS 2017 offers railway engineers the chance to extend their knowledge and skills in railway electrification, design and integration whilst engaging with an international programme of speakers and fellow members of the railway community.

Railway Earthing and Bonding is a new 2 day conference that offers railway graduates and engineers the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental requirements of earthing and bonding.

The course features a technical, peer-reviewed programme packed with practical information, case studies and technical guidance making this a must-attend for anybody working in railway electrification.

The course features a series of technical sessions, first hand insights into examples of earthing in practice and the chance to discuss and debate the key issues across the railway industry.

Register at:

Register at:

The Institution of Engineering and Technology is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No. 211014) and Scotland (No. SCO38698).

Are you working on an innovative project in rail? ICRE 2018 is the latest railway forum for sharing knowledge and experience; promoting collaboration among practitioners; and showcasing the latest developments and applications of new technologies in railway engineering. ICRE will take place on the 16-17 May 2018 at IET London: Savoy Place.

Submit your abstract by visiting:



What is wrong with Network Rail and HS2? Both need to sort out their costs quickly if the railway is to recover its credibility and ability to manage its operation in an efficient and effective manner, says Lord Tony Berkeley


he June general election has provided both uncertainty and time for reflection on the future of the railway, be it HS2 or Network Rail, their cost structure and their interest in improving efficiency and reducing costs while growing the market. HS2 Ltd is the new entrant onto the railway scene, but with so much transfer of staff, from Simon Kirby and David Higgins downwards, it would be surprising if the bad habits of Network Rail’s former no-limit credit card, the Regulatory Asset Base, had not moved seamlessly to HS2 Ltd. And given the inability of HS2 Ltd, Network Rail or their ministers to come clean on their cost estimates, it is no surprise that these are all over the place, some up and some down, to the extent that there is very little confidence in any of them now. The GW electrification debacle (£800 million to perhaps £4.2 billion); HS2 Phase 1 (from £24 billion to £49 billion) and the failure to allow for any earthworks in the estimate for redoubling the Felixstowe

branch line, all point to an industry that has forgotten how to estimate costs, as well as to be so uncertain about the scope or purpose of an enhancement that it accepts without challenge ‘advice’ from DfT officials to make changes, which cost a lot more, but for which there will be no more money. That is why the scope of a project needs such careful definition; it does not have to be in great detail but should concentrate on outputs needed. HS2 Ltd has done a scope, but unfortunately it is, for many, the wrong scope reflecting the original idea that the line should be a world-beater in terms of speed. It seemed to forget that adding 25kph to the maximum speed adds hugely to the operating and maintenance cost both of trains and track. By the time ministers started to say that HS2 was there to increase capacity, nobody bothered to look at the scope and downsize it to the common standard speed of around 300kph used on the continent and more easily integrated with the classic network. Secondly, having offered a cheaper and much more environmentally friendly station

HS2 Ltd is the new entrant onto the railway scene, but with so much transfer of staff, from Simon Kirby and David Higgins downwards, it would be surprising if the bad habits of Network Rail’s former no-limit credit card, the Regulatory Asset Base, had not moved seamlessly to HS2 Ltd

at Euston (Euston Express) for both HS2 and the WCML services, we found that HS2’s newly written standards prevented any curve on plan on the station platforms, which also had to have a minimum width of 12m to allow for three escalators sideby-side, in case one broke down! Why did nobody look at these newly invented specifications and check whether they were worth our estimated £4 billion more? Who will benefit, apart from the worldwide credibility of the designers? Who will suffer? Residents and the taxpayer, both massively. Where is the evidence? So, having calculated that the HS2 scheme from Euston to Old Oak Common would cost around £8 billion (and was never challenged by the Lords Select Committee), one had to wonder how the rest of Phase 1 – some 200km of tunnels, viaducts, junctions and stations, from Old Oak Common to Birmingham Curzon Street and the WCML, going through some challenging industrial areas and terrain – could be completed for £24 billion, as minsters told me in several debates and written answers. After many meetings, it transpired that they had no credible estimate of costs, in spite of Professor Andrew McNaughton, HS2 Ltd technical director, and others saying that their figure was correct. But where is the evidence? Worse still, they appear to be waiting for their partner contractors to tell them what the costs should be on a very sketchy scope and pay them accordingly, probably on a cost-plus basis. Network Rail seems to suffer from the same problems. I may be an old stick, as Sir Peter Hendy kindly referred to me in the last issue (Rail Professional interview May), but I do believe in the merits of competition to ensure that owners get the best value for money. This is also why the DfT, ORR and Network Rail have agreed Rail Professional



that NR, as a natural monopoly, should devolve into routes so that each route can be benchmarked against the performance of the others. It is easy to do this for train performance, but it will be useless without the evidence of the efficiency comparators of the maintenance, enhancements or new works as well as train delays, possessions etc. There is a problem with the rail freight and cross country ‘Route’ which needs resolving but, for the rest, how do you compare costs

I may be an old stick, as Sir Peter Hendy kindly referred to me in the last issue (Rail Professional interview May), but I do believe in the merits of competition to ensure that owners get the best value for money is certainly a serious lack of staff there capable of managing and operating the measurement and cost tool or of inputting costs from previous projects in a structured way. But, if there is a will to improve matters, why not devolve the projects to the routes, give then a budget and require them to implement them in a way that enables NR management and the ORR to compare their performance, in costs, efficiencies, performance and customer service. After all, they have the local knowledge, and competition for the best ‘Can do’ approach and results would be very welcome by the industry and customers. Of course, there needs to be some central co-ordination, as is happening on the System Operator role, but the responsibilities should be with the routes.

in a fair and transparent manner and use as a basis outturn costs on previous projects or activities? This is done regularly on building and civil engineering projects; the Standard Form of Cost Analysis (SFCA) providing cost data for the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) managed by RICS. And NR now has the tools, in the Rail Method of Measurement (RMM) suite, to record costs, in the proposed Railway Cost Information Service (RCIS), of previous projects, and can use these and the standard method of measurement, to bring some rigor and credibility into estimates, as well as into performance of each NR Route for the ORR to monitor. The lack of these tools and the evidence within them is probably behind the reported request by NR for more money in the next Control Period; in other words, they intend to become less efficient, with the ORR, in the absence of evidence, to be ‘captured’ by this argument. The lack of such a structure also delays projects and increases the tendering costs of contractors working for NR, but of course NR may not mind since it can then spend more money less efficiently on fewer projects. Either way, the industry is suffering from failure to complete projects on time, coupled with fear of higher charges in CP6 Rail Professional

Solutions One solution, particularly suitable for smaller upgrades and reopening, is to allow early contractor involvement, to design, get permissions, finance, build and operate a section of line, with the contract awarded on the basis on an output specification and competitive tenders. This could avoid the expensive and time-consuming GRIP processes. I hope it will be tested soon since initial evidence suggests that project cost would be around two thirds of that quoted by NR. The establishment of a complete RMM suite, including Volume 3 – Operational Maintenance and Interventions will go a long way towards simplifying contractor’s tendering processes and providing the method of measurement and valuation of projects necessary if contractors are to provide project finance, with confidence. One direct benefit of the compete publication of the suite would be to create a comprehensive professional standard of measurement and valuation that could be hosted by one or more of our major professional institutions, which could integrate the knowledge gained into the teaching programmes for new entrants to the industry – a win-win all round. Many in the industry suggest that NR’s central Investment Projects Department is the cause of all this unhappiness; there

Height of folly How does HS2 Ltd fit in to all this? It should adopt the same cost methodology to enable proper design and construction tender competitions to be held, including the options of adopting a more ‘Can do’ approach and alternatives within the limits of the HS2 Bill. There is no credibility or sense in HS2 Ltd rejecting alternatives which are cheaper and quicker than its design without any supporting evidence except ‘not invented here.’ There are many in the industry and some in government who believe our cost estimate of £49 billion for Phase 1 is nearer the mark than £24 billion but they are not allowed to say so. There are also other ways of cutting its costs, by reducing the scope; slow the trains to 320kph, terminate at Old Oak Common, omit the Hansacre connection to the WCML and continue to Crewe etc. We will see what the new or recycled ministers decide after the election, but giving HS2 Ltd a blank cheque to spend around £100 billion on Phases 1, 2A and 2B, without a second thought, while taking back to the Treasury the £2 billion from the sale of railway land that Network Rail thought could be reinvested in the network, does seem to be the height of folly. HS2 Ltd and NR are both part of the UK rail infrastructure and what is good for one should be good for the other. They both need to sort out their costs on a credible and transparent manner quickly if the railway is to recover its credibility and an ability to manage its operation in an efficient and effective manner.



Space to learn James Woodcock looks at developing leadership skills to make the UK’s largest infrastructure programme a success


ow do you make sure your leaders have what it takes to deliver the immediate priorities of a high-stakes, high profile programme, yet at the same time keep one eye on building the skills they will need for the future? If you are High Speed 2 Ltd, you take an innovative approach, blending digital resources to support the immediate performance needs; challenging face-toface simulations to set the standard for the future and simple habit-building tools (a

Through conversations with leaders early on in the project it was evident that a blended learning approach was needed to address the particular challenges. The result is a development programme that addresses performance on three levels, which we refer to simply as ‘heads, hearts and habits’ Rail Professional

leadership ‘fitbit’) to embed the learning over time. Building learning agility at HS2 Ltd With Royal Assent for phase 1 granted in February this year and the programme shifting from a design footing into delivery, the role and capability of leadership was recognised as fundamental to the future success of the programme. HS2 Ltd head of organisational leadership and development, Linda Litherland, was set the challenge of equipping leaders to deliver what is the UK’s largest rail infrastructure programme. Enabling leaders to perform at their peak, in a fast-paced and evolving organisation, required a more agile approach to learning that responded both to the changing demands of the programme and on its leaders. In 2016, HS2 Ltd appointed PA Consulting Group as its Learning Delivery Partner. PA’s role was to develop an overall approach to learning that would support the day-to-day performance of its senior leaders and line managers and set expectations about the future role of leaders. Giving leaders the right tools to perform Today’s workplace is characterised by rapid changes in roles, and the people undertaking them, which has exposed shortcomings in conventional learning. We know that as much as 95 per cent of learning isn’t done during classroom training, while only 25 per cent of training impacts performance at all 1. The approach taken by the joint PA and HS2 Ltd team has been to focus on improving performance and engagement, rather than memorisation of information. Through conversations with leaders early on in the project it was evident that a blended learning approach was needed to address the particular challenges. The result is a development programme that addresses performance on three levels, which we refer to simply as ‘heads, hearts and habits’.

Using your head – online performance toolkit Knowledge is still one of the principal barriers to performance. Either leaders cannot find the answer they’re looking for, or the information is so unwieldy that it takes significant time and effort to translate that knowledge into effective action. As a result, we developed ‘learning space’ – an online learning portal that leaders can access through their laptop or mobile, with learning resources (such as simple checklists, videos and how to guides) that leaders can draw on right when they need them. The result more closely resembles the digital experiences that people choose in their personal lives, rather than the educational experiences they strive to avoid – made possible by placing leaders at the heart of the user experience design. We are providing leaders with content that is quick to consume, accessible, compelling, and most importantly personal to their needs. From the heart – learning through real life scenarios The second area the team addressed was around motivation and engagement – put simply how the way we feel impacts our performance. We know that so much of what engenders great performance is driven by our personal motivations and intrinsic preferences to events. The team have developed a programme of ‘experiential’ sessions that place small groups of leaders in hyper-realistic, simulations and practical exercises, designed to raise what we call ‘personal performance awareness’. The emphasis is on exploring how an individual thinks, feels and acts in real-time when faced with some of HS2 Ltd’s critical leadership challenges, with time to reflect on the impact of the decisions they make. Sessions developed so far include leading through change, leading wellness, recruitment and inclusivity.



daily challenges designed to integrate and extend their learning back into their day jobs. Our approach leverages the psychology of habits by focusing on specific habitual activities rather than vague behaviours, to nudge those micro-behaviours that drive performance. Tasks range from initiating a coaching conversation with a team member to seeking feedback. Optimising the learning ecosystem to deliver real impact This innovative, blended approach is beginning to have a real impact. The learning portal has had more than 1000 visits since its launch in April. HS2 Ltd has witnessed first-hand how its leaders have immediate access to tools that help them perform every day. There has also been a shift in how their leaders view their longer-term role in shaping HS2.

Building new habits – in 20 days The team is also well underway to delivering a two day face-to-face development programme to HS2 Ltd’s top 300 leaders. Built into the programme is PA’s ‘20-days-

later’ habit building methodology. Habits are micro-behaviours, driven by the subconscious and which can have a significant cumulative effect on our lives. We tasked delegates with completing 20

James Woodcock is people and talent expert at PA Consulting Group

1. “Future of Business Learning”, Bersin, July 23rd 2009

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A call to export High Speed Rail Industry Leaders is calling for a new body that promotes and sells our high speed expertise and knowledge internationally


he government’s investment in HS2 is the most significant large-scale infrastructure project in the UK, and three months ago the project received Royal Assent – the powers to build the first stage from London to Birmingham and beyond. Just last month, prime minister Theresa May committed to delivering the high-speed rail link, recognising its importance and the value it can bring. But HS2 is about more than just engineering. With HS2, we have the chance to utilise the latest technology to make each journey as smooth and hassle free for everyone. We can look at innovative technologies to help change perceptions of rail travel and provide a whole new passenger experience.

... we have called for the creation of ‘HS2 International’ to sell our expertise and knowledge across the globe. We know that other countries spot a successful project and want to replicate its winning features. We should not wait until the project nears completion before getting our export drive into gear

Industry and government surely need to work together so that the UK makes the most of the vast opportunities HS2 creates. It can be used it to generate a gold standard export product for the UK, selling our expertise to build and to develop high speed lines and transform services around the world. The simplest way to safeguard this once-in-a-generation opportunity is to create a formal body that promotes the project’s expertise internationally. This is exactly what we at High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) have recommended in our response to the government’s Green Paper Building Our Industrial Strategy. HSRIL is made up of industry experts committed to supporting the successful delivery of a world-class high speed rail network in Britain, and we have

called for the creation of ‘HS2 International’ to sell our expertise and knowledge across the globe. We know that other countries spot a successful project and want to replicate its winning features. We should not wait until the project nears completion before getting our export drive into gear. With membership and experience across the rail and technology sectors, HSRIL is ideally placed to help coordinate efforts to develop the HS2 International concept and to promote the export of our expertise for the benefit of the UK. HS2 International would bring together companies committed to supporting the delivery of high speed rail alongside client body HS2 Ltd to create a public-private partnership. This would be the ideal vehicle to market the UK’s vast and growing skills base abroad. Rail Professional



As we leave the European Union, we will have the skills base to help support the industry in the run up to and beyond Brexit, leading the way through a gold-standard export opportunity, ensuring that this national investment works not once, but twice or more, for the benefit of the national economy

The investment which HS2 delivers offers the opportunity to create a high value growth sector in the global growth area of high speed rail. We believe companies based in the UK are already well-placed to support this. As we leave the European Union, having such expertise at our disposal will be vital to help achieve the aims of a ‘global’ Britain. Companies in the supply chain right

across the UK are taking part in the development of HS2, innovating and skilling up a new generation of engineers and other specialists, supporting local economies across the nation in the process. Sharing this experience will be vital, and not only for other rail projects across the country. As we leave the European Union, we will have the skills base to help support the industry in the run up to and beyond Brexit, leading the way through a goldstandard export opportunity, ensuring that this national investment works not once, but twice or more, for the benefit of the national economy. It is vital that UK suppliers continue to contribute to the development of European and international standards, ensuring that UK manufactured products do not require extensive re-work and testing for export. For example, EU work on interoperability around trackside and in-cab technology solutions has made exporting common products, technologies and skills into Europe significantly easier and enabled UK total rail systems providers to compete in this arena. By expanding onto an international footing, HSRIL is ready, through HS2 International, to help shape a dynamic export economy as we exit the EU. Jim Steer is director of High Speed Rail Industry Leaders

High Speed Rail Industry Leaders


epresenting companies with experience and a passion in rail, High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL) is a coalition of industry experts committed to supporting the successful delivery of a world-class high speed rail network in Britain. The group’s purpose is to coordinate and share the expertise and experience across the industry – with the aim of ensuring that Britain’s national high speed rail network is delivered efficiently and successfully to high quality standards. Our members are highly experienced in what they do and have helped deliver major infrastructure projects in the UK and around the world, ranging from creating entirely new high speed networks through to maintaining and improving the UK’s existing rail network. We aim to use this experience and expertise to ensure the extension of the high speed rail network leaves a lasting legacy for growth, jobs and skills that will be the envy of the world. Visit:

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High-speed apprentices Businesses urged to snap up remaining apprentice spaces at the National College for High Speed Rail as interest grows in first ever high-speed rail apprentices


ith a fifth of rail engineers on the cusp of retirement and the prospect of losing access to talented workers in Europe it has never been more important for rail companies to invest in the education and upskilling of their workforce in order to make our emerging high-speed rail industry a success. The National College for High Speed Rail is now calling on businesses to act fast to sign up their talented workers to the remaining spaces of its pioneering apprenticeship scheme which starts in September in order to future proof themselves for rail in the 21st century. Due to interest from potential apprentices who are keen to start immediately, the college is also working with businesses to identify and assess candidates for apprenticeship vacancies within their organisation. A new rail age The first cohort of pioneering apprentices will represent the human face of Europe’s largest infrastructure project, and will be the first recipients of the skills mandate from the largest investment in Britain’s railways since the Victorian age. The government created the National College for High Speed Rail in order to provide British workers with world-class skills. Among the businesses to have committed

to send its apprentices to the college is the Fusion joint venture, a partnership between Morgan Sindall, BAM and Ferrovial. The joint venture has a successful track record of delivering large infrastructure projects, having previously collaborated on projects such as Crossrail and Thames Tideway Tunnel. To ensure that the college can start the process of creating the engineers, leaders and managers of the future, it is now seeking firm commitments from other businesses which will help supply the college’s first apprentices for September 2017. Businesses that sign up their apprentices to the college are being heralded as the pioneers of Britain’s emerging high-speed rail industry by ensuring that the country has a pipeline of workers who can deliver HS2 and later phases of high-speed rail. Skills gap The apprentices who attend the college will be seizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to educate themselves at a state-of-the-art £40million college designed to train the workforce who will initially be part of HS2, British largest infrastructure project. The combination of an ageing work force and the development of high-speed rail has meant there is a growing skills gap in the infrastructure industry. It is estimated that businesses in Britain will need 182,000 new engineers every year but currently the

country is falling short by 69,000 engineers a year. The National College for High Speed Rail, the largest of five new National Colleges, being created by the Government, is going to help address this shortfall. The college is employer-led because it needs to ensure that students and apprentices graduate with the skills that businesses need as it tackles the acute skills shortage in rail and infrastructure head on. Going forward the college will produce 1,300 highly-qualified professionals each year, who will be ready to hit the ground running and deliver the infrastructure that Britain is investing in. The support it has received to date for the college has been incredible. More than £5 million worth of equipment and material that has been donated to the college during its construction phase to ensure that college students learn on the best equipment available. The materials - including 700 metres worth of rail track for the college’s external training grounds - has been donated thanks to the support of high-profile businesses including British Steel and Rhomberg Sersa. Pathway to opportunity Not only have businesses been generous with their donations of equipment but they have played a critical role in helping to write Rail Professional



What NCHSR offers The National College for High Speed Rail will offer learners apprenticeships and higher national certificate equivalents that specialise in the following areas: • operations and departmental management – project management, leadership and management, communication, organisational performance and finance • civil engineering – designing, planning, co-ordinating and supervising infrastructure works, as well as tendering, modelling, logistics and surveying for both onsite and off-site construction • track systems – designing, planning, construction, monitoring, inspection, maintenance and repair of conventional and high-speed rail track • systems engineering – engineering to manage the entire lifecycle of a project from conception to completion, systems architecture, hardware, software and interfaces

the college’s curriculum. Creating better connections between industry and education is essential to the college as a core-factor to create the next generation of workers that is needed to solve Britain’s productivity crisis. Apprentices at the college will receive industry-leading training giving them knowledge of the latest skills and techniques in high-speed rail. However, the college does not only focus on training for high-speed rail but will also provide transferable skills for those working on modernising Britain’s existing railways. In its first year, the college will offer three-year higher apprenticeships in highspeed rail infrastructure technician with pathways in civil engineering, track systems and systems engineering. The college will also offer Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in Operations and Departmental Management. This qualification is CMI accredited, and will develop managers and leaders of the future, right at the point where this skill set is most needed. Upcoming courses As well as the first intake of apprentices in September the college is also offering places Rail Professional

for courses starting in January and May 2018. Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail, said: ‘As a ground-breaking institution we want businesses to send us their brightest and best to help us create a workforce ready for the 21st Century. ‘Our first intake of apprentices are going to be the pioneers of high-speed rail in the UK and will be ambassadors for a bright future for the rail industry in Britain. Our apprenticeship programme will provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate the skills of these talented engineers and designers and the businesses they work for, providing us with a shop window to showcase British expertise in rail to the rest of the world. ‘We have heard that some businesses believe we are oversubscribed but we want to reassure the industry that there are still places remaining. However, businesses need to act to soon to register their apprentices for 2017. We’re also keen to hear from businesses with apprenticeship vacancies so we can support them to advertise their vacancies, and potentially match them with the talent pool who have applied directly to

the college. It’s fantastic that we’re able to bring new talent into the industry, just when it needs it most. ‘Our industry needs more forward thinking organisations like Fusion to commit their apprentices to the National College of High-speed Rail as the British rail industry is rapidly approaching its biggest investment in infrastructure for more than a century. It is clear that investing in the future workforce allows businesses to develop a competitive advantage, and this should form an essential part of every organisation’s plans to be HS2 ready.’ Nissar Mohammed, project director at Fusion, said: ‘To be one of the first organisations to sign up our apprentices is yet another milestone in Fusion’s highspeed rail journey. The college’s ambition, to provide highly skilled people and close the skills gap through our supply chain will be a lifeline for the industry, particularly if the UK is to remain competitive in a global highspeed rail market. ‘It is up to infrastructure businesses like ours and the supply chain to work with the college to develop the next generation of rail engineers, the first alumni, trained by the industry for the industry through the college.’

Tel: 0330 120 037 Email: Visit:

THE NEXT GENERATION OF RAIL LEADERS MAY ALREADY WORK FOR YOU The National College for High Speed Rail is dedicated to providing the higher level training required to create HS2 and work on future high speed rail projects. Our campuses will offer cutting-edge technical and professional courses. And we’re looking to the rail industry to supply our first learners.


We have places available for Higher Apprenticeships in civil engineering, track systems, leadership & management and systems engineering.

To find out how you can benefit from a highly-skilled workforce, visit






Clearing the air Rebecca Foreman looks at transforming rail’s culture from old-school management to one that’s more accepting and willing to get problems into the open


mproving rail technology and processes is only one half of the story when it comes to increasing efficiency and performance – it’s the teams of employees that make them work. The everyday pressures of working in any large organisation – meeting performance targets, competing for opportunities for progression, needing to collaborate across teams and departments – will always make relationships more complex than they might appear on the surface. Groups of skilled, committed and capable people become dysfunctional because there’s no simple magic that makes individuals work effectively together. Issues can be exacerbated in the rail industry by the particular context: the large numbers of staff recruited for their technical skills; the need for collaboration between very different types of teams – some more focused on technical issues, some more on customers, as well as the way in which teams are geographically dispersed. One of the strengths of the industry is the diversity of the workforce in terms of age, gender and race, but this can also bring its own challenges in terms of the range of perspectives and character. And perhaps most of all, there are the challenges presented by running essential services where any disruption is a major event, a matter for public concern, media attention and complaint. The stresses of this kind of system lead to tensions between people that accumulate and develop and manifest in different ways over time. Bad decision-making is one result. Distracted employees, irritated and demotivated by long-standing disagreements, withholding key information, perceived or actual personality clashes – all impact on decision-making. Most seriously, disagreements and misunderstandings become part of struggles for power, and mutate into forms of bullying. On one level the solution to these inevitable situations is straightforward. There needs to be honesty and openness, a

chance to resolve problems. A starting point for a good working culture is always around conversations: is there an environment in the workplace and among both staff and management that supports open communications? Can people trust each other enough to be honest, to speak their mind in constructive ways? Do employees have the right skills to both have those grown-up conversations and manage difficult situations and conflict when it occurs? But it is human nature to avoid difficult conversations, which means most of these issues remain buried within day-today demands and pressures of running a service – and when a situation turns into conflict there is a polarisation of needs and positions. Too few employers support their people in how to have constructive conversations and manage those that become difficult. Leaders who should be setting the standards in terms of the organisation’s values, are instead better known for closed-door conversations and reluctance to talk about anything other than successes. Organisations are also not taking into account the full costs of this kind of culture. They tend only to measure the direct costs of conflict: the cost of litigation; spending on conflict resolution professionals; employment tribunal costs; awards for claims for bullying and harassment; unfair dismissal or compromise agreements. There are many more invisible costs, missed opportunities, and negative consequences of a working environment without good conversations and good conversation skills. There are examples from the rail industry which demonstrate what a proactive approach can deliver, where having the courage to encourage more openness and more honest conversations has led to hard benefits for organisations. London Underground saved £3 million over four years by working with CMP Resolutions to introduce a new fast-track approach to dealing with grievances, bullying and

harassment claims. As a result numbers of tribunals dropped by 75 per cent. Similarly, when Great Western ran its Stamp it out campaign around bullying for 2,500 staff, numbers of serious grievances fell by 66 per cent, and staff absence rates fell sharply. Benefits of clear air Rail sector employers can only get to the stage of having a ‘clear air’ workplace if teams have trusting relationships, are open to challenge, and can appreciate and respect individual differences and opinions. When this is achieved, three things happen within a team: • The ability to find solutions and innovate is increased significantly • The diverse nature of individuals in the team, their experience and backgrounds are accepted and used to gain differing perspectives on problems or tasks • The acceptance of this diversity improves problem solving, resulting in improved creative and innovative thinking. As self-awareness, empathy and respect between individuals develops, the relationship between communicating parties is improved. Risks of negative conflict and the associated costs are vastly reduced or even eliminated. Perhaps the most obvious is that the improved interpersonal relationships within an organisation, function or team ‘oil the wheels’ not just in terms of the effectiveness of the conversations internally, but also the efficiency of the organisation’s outputs themselves. Focus on soft skills When there is a gap between the values of an organisation and actual behaviours demonstrated by employees, the resulting space is often filled with confusion, misunderstandings, tensions and conflict. By focusing on the soft skills development of its people there is a closing of the gap between values and behaviours. The


more aligned the two are, the closer to the organisation gets to an everyday environment where problem-solving is free-flowing and innovation is instinctive. Organisations have long thought in terms of the importance of emotional intelligence, and they also need to start thinking about the role of ‘conversational intelligence’. In order to create a clear air workplace, organisations need to: • identify the basic strengths and weaknesses of current provision in terms of what happens to complaints, whistleblowing, complaint handling, grievance resolution, performance management, absence management and the relevant learning and development. Look at how you manage conflict – at your third-party offerings such as grievance resolvers and mediators. Are your processes integrated? Do you have a continuum of options for people to get support when matters do escalate? Does everyone agree to try and resolve matters at the most local, informal level possible? • assess the gap between values and behaviours in the organisation by measuring the behavioural competency of their teams or functions. Once there

has been training or other forms of learning, this gap can be re-assessed to demonstrate progress over time, whether and how levels of conversational intelligence are being embedded • put more resources into supporting people away from escalating their negative feelings, and towards dialogue with each other. Some managers have the inbuilt skills to manage conflict constructively. Others will need support if they are to have difficult or courageous conversations. Review your management programmes to ensure they include the soft skills involved in embracing positive conflict and defusing negative conflict • support and train your managers to deal with formal complaints and grievances consistently and fairly; when conflict reaches the formal stages of a grievance or disciplinary hearing, it’s critical that the decision-makers involved, typically senior managers, are always consistent and untainted by subjective perceptions. No individual should ever be seen to be treated differently from another while also demonstrating the same behaviours. Managers need to have the objectivity and confidence to reach a determination


against someone where the evidence leads clearly to that outcome – and sometimes that means training in how to weigh and assess the evidence fairly and consistently and how to present that evidence clearly in a concise and accurate report • motivate and train employees to have difficult conversations with each other and with their manager, for example in how to challenge colleagues’ banter or how to respond to a clumsy management conversation – skills which can be expanded to include how they respond to difficult situations with the full range of stakeholders working with a department • make sure there are consistent messages about expectations of line managers and their staff in terms of encouraging open conversations – and make it clear about support and development available; involve leaders as role models who understand what it means to actively encourage ‘good conflicts’, supporting opportunities for open conversations, respecting alternative views, building trust and provide opportunities for training in conversation skills. Rebecca Foreman is director, CMP Resolutions

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Bank on it Roger Bromley looks at Project Stefano, which aims to provide the world’s largest single source of insight into rail passenger experiences


nhancing customer experience can be done in two ways; by improving services or by resolving problems successfully. In either case, it cannot be achieved without engaging passengers in innovation. There is an increasing need in the rail industry to include and engage passengers in the innovation process, in order to improve the customer experience. But the costs and risks of building the required IT innovation infrastructure are too substantial for

The project aims to engage passengers with the innovation process, by developing a PassengerFacing Innovation IT Infrastructure, as well as a physical demonstrator space. It enables both disadvantaged and able-bodied passengers to make suggestions, feedback their experiences and have their ideas heard

individual companies. As there is currently no unified system across the rail network for passengers to feedback to, it can be confusing for them to know where to go to suggest new ideas or improvements. In 2015, the University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research, the Operations Management Team at Huddersfield Business School, and Milne Research were working in collaboration on a project looking at tram construction. It was during this project that the need for a consolidated industry level platform became apparent. Milne Research then received funding from Innovate UK during 2016, to look at ‘Enhancing Customer Experience in Rail’, through which Project Stefano was created. Project Stefano allows rail companies

to create the best possible innovations by engaging the industry with the widest pool of expertise and passenger insight. The project aims to engage passengers with the innovation process, by developing a Passenger-Facing Innovation IT Infrastructure, as well as a physical demonstrator space. It enables both disadvantaged and able-bodied passengers to make suggestions, feedback their experiences and have their ideas heard. Disadvantaged passengers and those representing them can provide innovative suggestions, which could lead to improved rail services for passengers who find traveling by rail challenging. This can include ‘wayfinding’ at stations, assistance and information, ticketing options, intermodal travel, refreshments, and a number of other

Rail Professional



services. Those currently involved with the project include Costain, Alstom Transport UK, PA Consulting, IXC-UK and Unipart Rail, as well as a number of other rail industry organisations. Directly engage By allowing passengers to directly engage with the rail industry and its innovation projects, it can accelerate industry projects looking to improve the customer experience. Industry policy makers, as well as those representing the disadvantaged passenger, are also able to feedback and share their insight. As a result, the knowledge base will be regularly increasing and this in turn will improve the effectiveness of the solutions presented. Project Stefano will develop a single source for data – a fast and dynamic platform – which eliminates the need for expensive market research and provides a great base for innovation. The industry-wide infrastructure will not only allow innovation processes to be much more efficient and cost-effective, but will provide the means to create and distribute a wide range of digital assets. The data collection will be constantly growing, as more projects are undertaken and further information is added. The result

is an ever-expanding wealth of knowledge regarding the experiences of passengers. Rail industry partners are then able to access large amounts of data, which can be used to significantly improve the passenger experience through better engagement and passenger-led innovation. The IT infrastructure is currently being prepared for the initial project partner trials in this month. These pilot innovation projects will provide the targeted outcomes and benefits; as well as giving passengers a sense of involvement by engaging them in the innovation process. In the first round of activity, these pilot projects will focus on disadvantaged and impaired passengers in the UK. Innovation Hub As well as the IT infrastructure, Project Stefano will create a physical presence in the form of an Innovation Hub at London Bridge Station, which aims to be in place for the summer of 2017. It allows passengers to engage face-to-face with the rail industry; enabling rail companies to trial and test new projects with passengers, such as a new seating design or signage system, and get their immediate feedback. The Innovation Hub will include a range of digital interfaces, such as large interactive touchscreen

displays and a VR booth. The use of advanced communication interfaces brings greater information and transparency, leading to improved trust and confidence in the industry. It also provides a single passenger view of innovation in the rail industry, giving passengers a true sense of involvement. Through the work of Project Stefano, the rail industry will have more direct and effective contact with passengers, and have access to a considerable volume and quality of passenger insight, as a result of the collaboration of resources. The project will deliver a continually updated work bank of digital knowledge and assets, in order to aid ongoing innovation work. This will lead to an improved experience for the disadvantaged passenger, with an increase in customer satisfaction.

Roger Bromley is visiting professor of innovation and collaboration at the University of Huddersfield

For further details on how you can get involved, contact Roger by email at

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That human touch Automation is inevitable, says Anonymous, but good old-fashioned signallers will still have a big part to play dealing with the fallout when things go wrong


ow many times have you sent a text without proof reading it first, and then, only at the point of seeing you’ve got some serious gobbledegook in it (predictive text has got involved) have you realised you have sent that message partially or completely full of rubbish. We’ve all done it. Predictive text is just one example of many of the attempts to replace you or me thinking our way through whatever we do – at work or home. This

All this automation, digital this, digital that – it will only be as good as what is programmed into it, only as good as the people (yes, people) involved in designing it, as good as the people who decide what goes into it. And for a good few years yet there will be a need for that human touch

is going to creep into how railways are operated, with the ultimate aim being to have as much of the system as possible automated. Train and track and that will be about it – nobody driving the train and no trackside signals with digital remote control and other track side equipment keeping trains at a safe distance from each other, and automatic route setting (which has been around a while already, of course) directing trains at junctions and onto other lines.

There will have to be people still employed out there on the railway – you can’t automate all aspects of railway operation, you can’t digitally deal with all the variables that inevitably become part of ferrying huge numbers of us – people with all our variables – from one part of the country to the other. Take Gatwick. The layout of the station means that passengers with their luggage and all those train delaying variables inevitably congregate in the middle of the Rail Professional



platforms, which means they concentrate on just some of the doors of the trains leaving others open and unused. They have their luggage which they need to stow – that takes time and delays people behind them; they sometimes get taken ill, or try and get off at the last minute – those pesky variables which cannot be automated out of railway operation. All that has to fit in with what is planned for ‘The Core’ – the Thameslink line between St Pancras and Blackfriars which will feature Automatic Train Operation – 24 trains an hour each way on a two track section of railway connecting two busy timetabled networks North and South of the river. The current service – traditional railway – sees, on occasions, eye watering delays imported and exported from one network to another via The Core with delay all too easy to accumulate. Good old fashioned signallers will still have a big part to play dealing with the fallout when things go wrong. Picking up a phone or radio handset – sometimes both at once – to talk to the station about a last minute change which may involve a platform alteration, a train terminating short – and going through it with the driver

who can then tell the passengers – it’s called teamwork and plenty of us out there in the front line use it. New types of failure Automation is inevitable – as well as ATO in The Core, we can expect to see Train Management which will have a big part to play in getting things back to normal after disruption. But it will all take time: it is a busy railway out there, much of which is still operated with old technology which actually doesn’t do a bad job in most cases. Area Signalling Centres and Power Signal Boxes replaced numerous signal boxes 30, 40 years ago – and the days of the ASC and the PSB are in turn now numbered as the era of the Rail Operating Centre approaches with – concerning to many – an eggs in one basket way of doing things as just a dozen or so ROC’s take over the whole country. But then there would have been people saying much the same when the ASCs started replacing the smaller one and two man operated signal boxes. The new will have to work alongside the old for years to come. This is perfectly illustrated at Three Bridges, with the Brighton Main Line and the new ROC on the

up side, the 30 year old ASC on the down. New types of failure will happen – like for example a door interlock problem on a Class 377 EMU replacing a slam door CIG leaving Victoria with a door on the catch. The same will happen with the new way of operating the train service and there will have to be contingency plans ready – some of which will have to be developed as unpredicted faults crop up – which they will. All this automation, digital this, digital that – it will only be as good as what is programmed into it, only as good as the people (yes, people) involved in designing it, as good as the people who decide what goes into it. And for a good few years yet there will be a need for that human touch as someone picks up a phone, a radio handset or presses buttons or rotates a tracker ball to set a route. You still can’t beat having someone think for his or her self. For now, The Core and its way of doing things is awaited with great interest. Hopefully without those predictive text moments.


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Full steam ahead for digitalisation Operators that take an integrated approach to rail engineering and place digital at the heart of their innovation will be those that profit in the future, says Viswanath Machiraju


onversations in rail are currently dominated by one specific theme: digitalisation. As the industry becomes increasingly globalised (and by extension, standardised), the appetite for efficiency and scalability within the network is clearly evident, with many operators and equipment companies seeking to address the challenge of becoming more digital-ready. This digitalising influence

This future standard of communication protocol needs to be implemented as soon as possible. Whether GSM-R, TETRA, LTE or W-LAN-based, the industry needs a de facto standard on which communication services providers or equipment manufacturers can base their products to help achieve desired outcomes of such a revolution

spans all segments, including rolling stock, operations, maintenance and signalling, and is relevant to all markets where infrastructures are being set up or renewed with digital at the core of their operations. Creating a more consolidated, universal view of systems is therefore seen as critical to achieving widespread digitalisation across borders. All aboard the Digital Railway One of the most common themes in rail at the moment is how to make core signalling more ‘digital-ready’ via increased automation of signalling applications, equipment and components. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, recently announced a £450 million fund to trial digital signalling technology across the country’s rail network; in a bid to increase capacity and improve performance and service reliability. Britain’s current railway signalling system is made up of a patchwork of different solutions, with a team of more

than 3,000 signal experts working around the clock to keep trains on the move in each section of the network. Digital signalling however – which is already being used on the high-speed TGV lines in France – would enable trains to operate closer together, increasing the number of services by up to 40 per cent. In turn, this would lead to fewer delays and improve the much-maligned experience for frustrated passengers. In time, the upgrade is also likely to increase the impact of major rail projects such as HS2 and Crossrail. Digitalisation across the three core layers of signalling Making core signalling systems more ‘digital-ready’ will require increased automation of signalling applications, equipment, and components. In other words, enabling automated stop and go signals, and the acceleration and braking of trains in accordance with these signals. This ambitious programme, which could be Rail Professional



rolled out in just 25 years, will be hugely beneficial to operators, as trains will be able to communicate with one another more effectively, scheduling will become far more accurate, and the scope for human error will be markedly reduced. All of this will significantly help towards improving safety across the entire rail network. The key to making these efforts successful is ensuring that digitalisation is consistent across the three critical layers of signalling – rolling stock, passenger-centric and safety-critical systems. In order to do this, communication infrastructure across the industry needs to be revolutionised. Significant emphasis must be placed on scaling up current 2G-based communication networks to either GSM-R, TETRA or LTE/ Wi-Fi based frameworks to secure more, robust and reliable bandwidth that can accommodate the dynamics of the digital revolution. This future standard of communication protocol needs to be implemented as soon as possible. Whether GSM-R, TETRA, LTE or W-LAN-based, the industry needs a de facto standard on which communication services providers or equipment manufacturers can base their products to help achieve desired outcomes of such a revolution. One possibility that is currently being explored by operators is moving signalling

platforms to the cloud to help centralise processes across large geographical areas. This move however, is still very much in its infancy, which is due in part to new technologies needing to be vigorously tried and tested before mass adoption. Before the rail sector can be fully digitally revolutionised however, the industry will also need a concrete plan to integrate legacy signalling environments across various regional centres. Post integration, processes will need to be streamlined and then migrated to a central platform, which could be hosted in the cloud, depending on how far the technology has been adopted by that point. European Train Control System (ETCS) upgrades and integrated traffic management system initiatives have been slow in the past due to complexities in the landscape and a lack of skilled resource to address such significant transformations. To combat the latter, NSAR and RSG are due to issue a rollout plan designed to upskill the industry’s engineering workforce, something that the key players will be watching out for towards digital revolution.

An integrated approach Ultimately, operators that take an integrated approach to rail engineering and place digital at the heart of their innovation will be those that profit in the future. As the digitalisation programmes get underway, operators that adopt the digital revolution will need to be supplemented adequately by partners who can help them in augmenting required skills and capacity; and implement a ‘digital-first’ outlook across the core layer of rail operations at the same time – infrastructure, rolling stock and signalling, maintenance and operations. By adopting this mindset, the rail network can deliver superior passenger experiences to help create new standards worldwide.

Viswanath Machiraju is account director and strategy lead - Transportation Business at Cyient

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Shared learning brings benefits for us all Keith Morey reports on a knowledge-sharing assignment with a national rail operator in Kazakhstan


hat started as a discussion as a possible visit to Ukraine some 18 months ago turned into the reality of a week’s visit to Kazakhstan, to work with rail operator Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ). Arranged through IOSH and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), I travelled with the aim of promoting UK good practice and to observe and learn from existing good practice in place at KTZ. Because of the sheer size of the country, the lack of navigable rivers and poor road infrastructure, the economy of Kazakhstan is heavily reliant upon its rail network. KTZ accounts for 47 per cent of rail freight in Kazakhstan and also provides

I feel KTZ has the potential to be one of the safest railways in the whole of Europe and, who knows, maybe start building trains and coaches for the UK market Rail Professional

a huge part of the country’s passenger services. It currently employs more than 136,000 people and is planning further expansion in the coming years. All of this adds to the challenge of keeping workplace accidents and workrelated ill health to a minimum. I initially met with the health and safety team at KTZ to discuss the challenges they face before visiting some of the work areas to engage with employees. As with all railways worldwide KTZ is highly regulated and rulebook driven. My first port of call was to its headquarters, a massive 39-floor twin tower block with linking bridges between the two towers

to gain an understanding of its rules and regulations. I was then able to visit a huge array of locations, including KTZ’s training school, freight marshalling yards, the locomotive construction facility, assembly plant for coaching stock, a maintenance depot, and the station at Astana. I also had the pleasure of visiting KTZ’s railway museum inside the headquarters, which includes artefacts that date back to the first railways in Kazakhstan, as well as a visit to the impressive control room, from where all the operations are overseen and they achieve 99 per cent of trains running on time.


Partnership My visit to KTZ, which took place in March, was organised as the first project of an agreement between IOSH and the EBRD. The EBRD is a multilateral bank committed to the development of market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiatives in more than 30 countries, from Morocco to Mongolia and from Estonia to Egypt. The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2016, laying out a programme of activities to help companies and industries in transition countries adopt international standards for health and safety in the workplace. I had a number of objectives during my visit: • learn how the rail operations compare between the two countries, in particular challenges in the area of health and safety, and the current practices to tackle them (both KTZ and IOSH) • railway-specific good practice, knowledge and experience exchange between UK and Kazakhstan • encourage links between IOSH’s Railway Group and KTZ’s safety team • international professional development opportunity for the IOSH volunteer and KTZ safety team • share lessons learned to the wider health


and safety community. Safety driven There is a good health and safety culture throughout KTZ. Importantly, senior managers take their responsibilities very seriously. However, incidents do still happen which lead to workers being injured and worse. Common causes of fatalities are similar to those across many countries: being struck by trains, electrocution, falls from height, and road traffic collisions. There were many impressive features at KTZ from a safety point of view. The facilities it has are of a very high standard. Even the older depots were very wellmaintained and looked clean and organised. Other good points were the safety briefings and PPE availability. At every location we received a clear safety brief on the local dangers and instructions on what to avoid, as well as any alarms. More importantly, everyone was helpful and spoke openly about what they were


doing when asked. Some suggested improvements that came out of the visit were updating the rulebook to reflect the new technology and ensuring compliance with wearing PPE, along with looking at the visibility issue for security and other staff. In conclusion, I feel KTZ has the potential to be one of the safest railways in the whole of Europe and, who knows, maybe start building trains and coaches for the UK market. For more information about IOSH’s partnership with the EBRD, visit Keith Morey is chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) Railway Group

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A powerful opportunity Leo Murray explains the Renewable Traction Power project as a way to run our railways more cost-effectively than decentralised, renewable traction power represents


ver the past five years, many of the world’s biggest corporate energy users have begun turning to renewables for their energy needs. Global brands like Nike and Google have committed to sourcing 100 per cent of their electricity demand from renewable energy, underwriting investment in huge amounts of new wind and solar generation. Toy giant Lego recently celebrated the first power from its £330 million investment in thirty

Assuming that our initial work finds that renewable traction power is technically and commercially feasible in principle, we could be aiming to connect our first small solar farms to the rail network as soon as 2018. 10:10 hope to work in partnership with local community energy co-operatives and train operating companies to finance these pioneer schemes, crowdsourcing hundreds of small investments from lineside communities, railway workers and commuters”

two huge wind turbines off the coast of Liverpool, putting the company on track to meet its 2020 100 per cent renewable target years ahead of schedule. Railways are an important part of this growing movement. As of the start of 2017, Dutch electric trains have become the first in the world to run on 100 per cent wind energy, procured by the operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen, as part of a ten year deal with power company Eneco. In March, BNEF reported big new contracts

for rooftop solar arrays on railway buildings in India and China, while Santiago’s Metro operator has signed a 15 year contract to obtain 60 per cent of its electricity from $500 million worth of new wind and solar farms. Sustainability may be the impetus for this trend, but the actual deals are being made by energy procurement managers on straightforward commercial terms; both parties can make good money from shifting to such arrangements. Renewable Power Rail Professional



Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) typically fix prices at or below today’s market rates for 15 years or more, protecting clients from exposure to inflation and volatility in an increasingly capricious wholesale energy market. Certainty has business value all on its own, particularly when energy is a primary input cost. As the costs of solar and wind continue to plummet (both will be cheaper than conventional power generation in the UK by the 2020’s, with a further ~50 per cent fall in costs expected to 2040), renewable PPA’s will only become more attractive to energy intensive industries. But the most cost-effective PPA’s are the ones that source power from decentralised renewables that are generating this electricity where it is needed. The business case for the generation is improved when the power is consumed on site instead of exported to the grid, and the final cost to the on-site end user is lower too. By cutting out the middleman, generators and energy users can both benefit through avoided connection costs and balancing and use of system charges. Nissan’s electric vehicle factory in Sunderland is largely powered by its own on-site wind farm, and much of Antwerp station’s energy demand is met with electricity from the 16,000 solar panels that top the two mile tunnel on the ParisAmsterdam line. Late to the party Britain’s railways are late to this party. The solar bridge at Blackfriars is iconic, but it is most notable as the exception to the rule that the UK’s railway network does not host renewables. Yet Network Rail is the UK’s biggest single consumer of electricity, expecting to spend £1.8 billion on traction electricity during the current control period. The business opportunity is huge. Most energy-intensive businesses are limited in their ability to generate power on site by space constraints: Jaguar Land Rover has the biggest rooftop solar PV array in Britain, but it’s still only supplying just over 30 per cent of its Staffordshire factory’s electricity demand. By contrast, Network Rail owns nearly 18,000km of track – more than 5000km of which is electrified. A 2015 report from consultancy WSP estimated that installing solar PV on half of these rail corridors could meet 40 per cent of Network Rail’s annual traction power demand. Sounds great, right? The only problem is how to get all this hypothetical solar electricity into the tracks – and that’s where the Renewable Traction Power project comes in. Climate charity 10:10 is working with the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College on a new method for connecting renewable energy generation directly to electrified rail routes to provide traction power for trains. Right now, if we wanted to install solar alongside the UK’s electrified railways, we couldn’t, because there is nowhere to plug that new power in. Britain’s ageing grid was never designed to cope with the multiRail Professional

Assuming that our initial work finds that renewable traction power is technically and commercially feasible in principle, we could be aiming to connect our first small solar farms to the rail network as soon as 2018. 10:10 hope to work in partnership with local community energy co-operatives and train operating companies to finance these pioneer schemes, crowdsourcing hundreds of small investments from lineside communities, railway workers and commuters directional power flows that the recent renewable energy boom has given rise to. This means that the distribution networks across whole swathes of the country are now saturated, and no new distributed generation can connect without an upgrade in local network capacity. But our outmoded and dysfunctional grid charging regime currently puts the full costs of the upgrade on the latest connection client, leading to the perverse situation where one small Welsh community micro-hydro project was quoted nearly £6 million to connect an 18kWp river turbine. For the railways, the solution seems obvious: just hook the panels straight up to the electrified tracks and hey presto – we have a great route to market for the solar with a major industrial client, and a cheap source of clean energy for the trains. Not so fast. Nobody has ever done this before, for good reasons. While solar generates during the day, when most trains are running, its output is intermittent. Meanwhile the load on any given section of track is intermittent too, peaking as trains pass and then flatlining when they have moved on. Network Rail’s electrical engineers operate the electrified network almost as a kind of parallel grid, ensuring that power is always available wherever and whenever So we need to introduce storage to smooth the solar generation and bridge the gaps between trains. Happily, storage technology costs are now following the same

kind of curve that solar and wind have been on, having already fallen by a factor of ten since the 1990’s. Our current government is looking to position the UK as a global leader in storage technology, and 2017 is expected to see a doubling of global storage capacity. Our feasibility study is focusing in the first instance on the potential to connect solar plus storage to the third rail DC network South of London. Solar PV outputs at around 700v, while the operating voltage of the railways is 750v – an uncannily close match. This region of the UK also has some of our highest annual levels of sunshine and a badly congested grid, yet certain parts of the rail network here suffer from underpowering. This can mean train operators are blocked from adding passenger capacity to some routes because the grid cannot supply them with the additional power they would need in a cost-effective way. Every mainline substation on the DC network has the annual power demand of a small factory, and most have enough adjacent land in the rail corridor to host hundreds of kilowatts of solar panels. Business case stacks up So the engineering challenge here looks tough but surmountable, and the business case seems almost certain to stack up – if not today, then at some point in the very near future as solar and storage module costs continue to decline. But ultimately what will be needed to turn this vision into reality is leadership. Even if we can prove this works technically, contractual complexity in energy procurement frameworks could still confound the kind of long-term contracts needed for our innovation to unlock investment in new renewable capacity. Bureaucracy can be the kiss of death for innovation, and the British rail industry is – no offence – famously bureaucratic. Assuming that our initial work finds that renewable traction power is technically and commercially feasible in principle, we could be aiming to connect our first small solar farms to the rail network as soon as 2018. 10:10 hope to work in partnership with local community energy co-operatives and train operating companies to finance these pioneer schemes, crowdsourcing hundreds of small investments from lineside communities, railway workers and commuters. If we are to seize the huge opportunity to both cut carbon, support new homegrown solar power and run our railways more cost-effectively than decentralised, renewable traction power represents, we will need champions inside the industry prepared to navigate the administrative and logistical barriers that must be overcome. If that is you, please get in touch. Leo Murray is director of strategy for climate change public engagement charity 10:10.



An incredibly exciting time Panasonic’s Tony O’Brien explains why the company is working with the industry to distil the innovation priorities that can meet the needs of future passengers


he now critical requirement for innovation in the rail sector has been recognised by the government and industry stakeholders, who have created various new funding plans to address the concept of the Digital Railway. Passenger experience is at the forefront. Improved efficiency is a crucial aspect to ensure even more trains run on time, maximising capacity of the country’s rail system. Network Rail is leading the Digital Railway vision and it has agreed to increase punctuality levels to 92.5 per cent across England and Wales. Furthermore, the government’s Spring Budget highlighted its commitment, with plans to invest £16 million in the creation of a 5G hub to provide better mobile network coverage

The recent Independent Transport Commission report has called for ‘railway industry leaders to improve their planning processes to create a longerterm, collaborative approach to ensure that decisions are taken with a 30 or 50 year life, rather than just based on five-year funding periods.’ We to believe that the current rail sector business model is ready for change given that the use of technology is low

across UK roads and railway lines. This is a welcome step in the right direction given that the connectivity now available on most long distance flights still hasn’t arrived on the majority of train routes. As I found on a flight last year, we are now able to stream live events on the aircraft so you don’t have to miss a big football match ever again. This kind of connectivity just doesn’t currently exist on our railways. As a market leader in the provision of in-flight entertainment, we believe the rail industry needs to mirror the progress of the aviation sector, which has invested heavily in collating and assessing

The need for change One challenge raised by organisations that attended the Rail Innovation Forum, was how franchises might be incentivised midterm to implement innovation and not be commercially penalised. This recognises that trains stay in service for more than 30 years, but the lifetime of franchises are half that duration at best. Passenger expectations change over time, so how does the railway continuously innovate to make way for improvements? The recent Independent Transport Commission report has called for ‘railway industry leaders to improve their planning

data from the connected journey for several years, in order to improve passenger experience. As passengers, we demand that our daily journey is more connected, more comfortable, safer and more efficient. So why is the rail industry traditionally not as quick to bring forward innovation as the aviation industry, for example? This question formed the rationale for holding a cross-industry Rail Innovation Forum, with key organisations such as Network Rail, Transport for London, British Transport Police, First Rail, Arriva Trains and Docklands Light Railway.

processes to create a longer-term, collaborative approach to ensure that decisions are taken with a 30 or 50 year life, rather than just based on five-year funding periods.’ We to believe that the current rail sector business model is ready for change given that the use of technology is low. The solution for this challenge lies in a change of business model, and to do this we must look beyond the relationship between franchises and train operators. In order to promote collaborative end-toend innovation we consider that providing technology as a managed service is vital to ensure continuous and consistent improvement in our railways. Rail Professional



While many of the nine priorities address a longer-term strategy, there was recognition that we as an industry must balance the longer term game plan with immediate action. Improving the connected customer journey The top priority highlighted is how to improve customer decision-making in realtime. If we think about rail journeys, the information flow received by the passenger is entirely different to what they would experience if they were catching a flight. In many cases the first time we know that our train is cancelled is at the station itself. What is clear is that passengers know that things can go wrong and therefore want improved, automated information in real time so that they can make the right decisions about their journey. It is entirely realistic that technology can help to address these challenges. One technology solution that could help is LinkRay, a light-based 1-2-1 marketing technology, which enables passengers to access on-demand service information and detailed descriptions for maps and departure information at train stations direct to their smart phone, in their native language. We anticipate LinkRay to be an

incredibly helpful guide for non-native speakers attending the 2020 Olympics, as information at Japanese train stations can be delivered automatically in English. Keeping our railways safe Safety was also front of mind at the Rail Innovation Forum. For some time we have been working in close collaboration with train operating companies and owners to achieve increased passenger safety. We have developed Smart trespass warning systems that automatically monitor behaviours associated with trespass and trigger a warning to train station staff if the system picks up someone likely to trespass on or vandalise the railways. Currently we are gathering more specific smart data based on demographics, which will equip the smart trespass warning systems with the right intuitive intelligence to predict when and where issues are likely to occur – ultimately mitigating accidents. Innovating the future of UK rail Traditionally, the rail industry has been perceived as rather ‘closed’, perhaps due to rigid procurement and planning cycles. But by engaging with organisations across the industry through the Rail Innovation Forum, it’s clear that this is a sector that is


Poundfield Bespoke Precast The Kier Group (who do a lot of work for Network Rail) approached the Poundfield Bespoke Precast design team to manufacture a signal box unit for Shepperton Railway. Once the design was agreed Poundfield then manufactured and delivered a total of 10 bespoke precast concrete signal box base units. The units were made in 2 sizes - 1m and 1.3m wide - and incorporated curved holes inside which allow cables to run through. They also had a reinforced metal cradle at the top of each one. This was used to secure the signal post to the unit and stopped wind from the passing trains ripping them out. To keep disruption to a minimum, the more work that can be carried out off-site, the better. Precast concrete is a great solution for many projects where time is restricted. For more information visit

Rail Professional

very much ‘open’. It is an incredibly exciting time for rail as the appetite for innovative technology intensifies. One of the nine key priorities identified at the Forum was the consideration of how to enable innovation rather than just ‘workshopping’ it. Investment by Panasonic in R&D is approximately £33 billion per annum, which accounts for six per cent of our global revenues. Therefore, developing a deep understanding of a customer challenge in order to offer practical solutions is within our DNA. However, we need input on innovation from all sides. Like every other stakeholder, we too need to evolve. Our historic ‘Japanese roots’ has meant that the vast majority of innovation and product development within Panasonic takes place in Japan. To bring innovation closer to the customer, a small team of engineers from our Japanese Innovation Centre is now stationed in the UK to support our solution development here. This is a first for Panasonic within rail. These engineers will bring the Japanese experience in answering societal challenges, and work alongside a much larger team – UK System Engineering – to improve our speed to market. Tony O’Brien is managing director for Panasonic Systems Solutions Europe

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Climb on board Simon Pont looks at keeping contact with customers through contactless


he way in which rail tickets and retail are sold at stations and during journeys has not changed drastically in recent years. Rail companies generally sell tickets or retail either through a standard point of sale (POS) or via a mobile point of sale (mPOS) system. These systems are typically used to log and accept transactions and then print receipts. In one sense, many rail companies believe they’ve solved the ‘payments’ challenge. However, in today’s demanding business and consumer landscape, expectations from investors and customers are higher than ever when it comes to business growth and capabilities around making and accepting payments. Investors, rightly, expect profits and growth, while customers expect a diverse product offering – even from rail companies – and to be able to pay for tickets or goods conveniently, in the same way that they do within any modern retail scenario. This

means that being able to facilitate and accept payments from cards and mobile wallets via mPOS systems – that increasingly accept contactless payments – is even more critical than before. Moreover, as rail companies face pressure from investors and customers, the business technology landscape is also changing. There is an increasing reliance on analytics and business intelligence that enables organisations to improve customer relationships. So, what should rail companies consider as they evolve their payment strategies for retail and ticketing within the rail sector? The transition towards contactless Within the payments landscape, there has been a rapid migration over the past few years towards using card payments, including – especially – contactless payments and mobile wallets (e.g. Android Pay and Apple Pay). That is not to say that

What if analytics gleaned from mPOS systems about purchasing during journeys indicated you would be able to be more or less profitable by increasing or decreasing stock levels or sales of a particular item? Or that it is better to sell that product on certain days over others? This powerful knowledge allows rail companies to change the nature of their relationships with their customers and build a business on data and incremental gains that could substantially increase revenue over time

cash is ‘dead’, but simply that more people want to, and expect to, be able to pay for products with contactless cards or mobile wallets. The main driver of this is a natural technological evolution, driven by customers’ needs, ecommerce, and the wider regulatory environment set out by financial institutions and how it all ties together. For instance, VISA and MasterCard announced their contactless mandate, which states that merchants accepting payments from these payment networks must establish contactless payments as standard by the end of 2019. Rail is no exception and needs to climb on-board. To illustrate where card payments – contactless and mobile wallets – fit in, consider the number of times, for example, that people turn up at a railway station without cash and try to buy a ticket, coffee or snack only to be disappointed. With the move towards contactless, today’s customer does not expect to need cash. Cash is now viewed as more of a personal choice. To overlook this preference invites a potentially negative perception and could harm a company’s reputation. Offerings such as iZettle and PayPal mean that even the smallest of merchants can now accept card and contactless payments – and importantly – that they also recognise the need is a positive move. In many cases, ticket or goods purchases are handled by chip and pin payment kiosks or ticket desks. But this is expected to evolve and we anticipate an increased uptake of contactless mPOS usage working in conjunction with CRM, and a more retailcentric approach, within on-board rail retail. This will become critical as firms improve rail payment experiences. Payment analytics runs my business Aside from this, many rail businesses are exploring how they can improve the way that they manage their retail operations and sales during rail journeys with Rail Professional



Future ticketing is likely to follow the trend of dematerialised, electronic tickets, mainly because this technology is less open to fraud and has secure features that combat counterfeiting analytics. There is a lot to be said for the role that modern mPOS systems can play in supporting the automation of inventory and stock management – naturally payments too – and also how the data that is captured during the journey is used across the wider

business to improve sales and customer relationships. What if analytics gleaned from mPOS systems about purchasing during journeys indicated you would be able to be more or less profitable by increasing or decreasing stock levels or sales of a particular item? Or that it is better to sell that product on certain days over others? This powerful knowledge allows rail companies to change the nature of their relationships with their customers and build a business on data and incremental gains that could substantially increase revenue over time. Furthermore, access to this data, overlaid with CRM data about customers and wider marketing information enables rail companies to build out sophisticated loyalty offerings. This means, ultimately, that railway operators can gain insight into passenger travel habits and that they can potentially link into and enhance their retail offer in the right place at the right time. Ticketing and destination As rail companies look to diversify, we are noticing that many are evaluating their ticketing offering too. Future ticketing is likely to follow the trend of dematerialised, electronic tickets, mainly because this technology is less open to fraud and has

secure features that combat counterfeiting. But it also reduces the need for printed material and associated costs, and is capable of processing passengers’ payments quickly during busy times of day. For crew, a simple scan (or contactless touch) validates the ticket instantly. In addition, diversifying ticket offerings is critical. Through mPOS systems and the right relationships, Toc’s can offer ticketing options at destination, as part of their onboard offer. For example, a family travelling to London for the weekend can purchase tickets for local tours and attractions along with their on-board refreshments while on their journey. Again, all of this enables rail companies to improve the nature of their customer relationships and add value. Conclusion The rail payments landscape is changing and moving towards a contactless system. The role that analytics is playing within rail companies is powerful, too, and if organisations plan to improve retail and ticketing sales, as well as general operations, they need to consider the use of mPOS technologies that enable contactless retail and ticket purchases, as well as the use of analytics. Simon Pont is CEO of ECR Retail Systems

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Bridgeway - structural and geotechnical investigation Re-signalling schemes, large scale, excellent to deliver, challenging build conditions - all the usual phrases you hear when project teams embark on another re-signalling scheme


sually 12-18 months prior to that team forming in earnest, the GI and survey elements are commissioned in order to provide the upfront knowledge required to enable the design of piled foundations for each signal and new structure locations. Due to the ever increasing number of locations invariably involved in these schemes the investigation alone needs careful planning. In line with the theory of the planning and delivery of safe works (PDSW) principles, this always involves a detailed walkout of each location to ensure all challenges to accessing and executing the task at hand are identified. Post walkover a revised detailed plan is produced, the scope revisited with the client, a new detailed plan drawn up and then access booked. As with any task the task is made simpler by breaking it down into bite sized tasks, this is where the expertise of Bridgeway Consulting Ltd (BCL) comes into its own. BCL has over 20 years of rail planning experience combined with extensive experience of conducting ground investigations within the rail environment. BCL’s staged approached has been refined over 13 re-signalling schemes with ever increasing efficiencies being gained offering the client ever more value for money. Case Study BCL received an instruction following a successful tender undertaken as part of their existing NR4 (MT) Intrusive and NonIntrusive Framework with the Integrated Design Group (IDG) to undertake ground investigation, topographical surveys, and phase one habitat ecological surveys for phase two (package A). The package consisted of: • 70 signal locations • Six level crossings (Truro, Long Rock, Western Growers, Gwinear Road, Camborne, Roskear • Sne platform extension (Truro station). The topographical survey element was conducted to provide data to allow for the Rail Professional

• where possible, gain an understanding of ground water levels. The scope was then split into two categories, areas with superficial deposits and areas without. Areas of superficial deposits were investigated utilising the dart and competitor window sample (WS) rigs to a target depth of 8 metres with follow on Dynamic Probing Super Heavy (DPSH). Areas without superficial deposits were investigated utilising BCL’s Geotool Dynamic Probe Heavy (DPH) to the same target depths as the WS locations.

design of the new signals and signal bases. The survey at each location had to fully cover an area 30 metres in front of and 30 metres to the rear of the proposed signal location from boundary fence to boundary fence. The survey had to pick up boundary fencing, drainage, trees, ballast shoulders, edge of cess, top of cutting/embankment, toe of cutting/embankment, the tracks (utilising reflectorless) and all other railway infrastructure and features e.g. signals and cables. The purpose of the ground investigation works was to: • classify the near surface geology for the design of level crossings, signal foundations and platform extensions. Shallow foundations are proposed in areas with competent sub-surface materials; piles may be required where ground conditions are poor • determine the strength profile of the subsurface material at all locations • obtain samples for laboratory testing (including BRE soil aggressivity to buried concrete, soil classification and soil strength testing)

Detailed knowledge A detailed walkover was completed by the PM in charge of the task accompanied by one of BCL’s senior SI drillers in a safety critical role. This allows BCL to have all aspects of knowledge required on site at any one time. Each location was assessed against initial assumptions and then the scope refined in collaboration with both the client and the project team to ensure the correct information could be gained to satisfy all parties. Due to timescales on this project line blockages were utilised to complete the works. BCL has in-depth knowledge of



visits, produced plans, drawings and roles to successfully work adjacent to open lines. During the project this rig proved to be the mainstay of the project and achieved depths well in excess of expectations with the deepest depth achieved of 43 metres with in-situ testing.

the region due to having delivered the possession management contract in the region for the past 15 years providing PICOPs and PSS to the region. This local knowledge became invaluable in planning the trickier of the locations and again ensured value for money for the client. Following the successful completion of site works, geotechnical and geoenvironmental samples were sent for laboratory testing. SI/GI Information was presented in factual report pulling together site data, logs, drawings and photographs alongside the laboratory testing results. Raw geotechnical and geo-environmental data has also been issued in AGS4.0 format.

(7.5 metres thick) • Window Sampling • Trial Pitting • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey. Prior to these works BCL had developed its limited access Cable Percussive (CP) rig the D1500 Cabtrak. This rig was a hybrid of a standard cable percussive rig with the manoeuvrability of a WS rig and is capable of moving under its own power between locations unlike a standard CP rig which needs to be vehicle towed. Complying with ALO procedures the SI/GI team carried out the required site

Cantilever tower Another area BCL innovated with was the use of a cantilever Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association (PASMA) tower. Requiring significant upskilling of current PASMA Operatives BCL employed an external training body to deliver the first prototype course for the erection and use of this type of tower. The gravity retaining wall at site was some 20 metres high with a batter that meant a conventional tower could only access up to three metres from the ground. By utilising the cantilever tower BCL managed to obtain cores 5.8 metres from ground level. Initially the wall was thought to be 2.53.5 metres thick, this proved to be false and the longest cores measured 7.5 metres at the base of the wall. Following the successful completion of site works, geotechnical and geoenvironmental samples and core samples where required were sent for laboratory testing. SI/GI information was presented in a factual report summarising all site data captured, logs, photos, drawings and photos. Raw geotechnical and geo-environmental data has also been issued in AGS4.0 format. Tel: 0115 919 1111 Email: Visit:

Euston Station enabling works As a precursor to the enabling works BCL was asked to act as principal contractor for all survey works on the behalf of Network Rail, and also to undertake the majority of the surveys including ground investigation works using its in-house engineering teams. For such a complex area much thought and consideration in planning and executing survey works while maintaining a fully operational rail infrastructure were required. To successfully carry out the planned works, Bridgeway appointed a project team to work in conjunction with Network Rail at their Euston site and which included access planning, operational and technical leadership and the utilisation of multiple site teams. Investigations required were: • Cable Percussive Holes (25-50 metres in depth) • Rotary Percussive Holes (30-55 metres in depth) • Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) to 30 metres • Structural Coring of the retaining wall Rail Professional



Holophane wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise cuity Brands company Holophane Europe has won one of the UK’s most prestigious business awards. The Milton Keynes-based lighting manufacturer has received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its lighting product development. Although specifically a British recognition, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is known globally as a mark of excellence. It is given to British businesses which excel at innovation, sustainable development or international trade and is the highest official UK award for British companies. Managing director Alasdair McRury said: ‘We’ve won many awards in our time but this one is very special indeed. This is a major endorsement of our outstanding team of research engineers who continue to innovate and enable us to compete globally with industry-leading technology’. The inventiveness of Holophane goes back more than 120 years, and includes milestones such as the invention of the prismatic diffuser, a breakthrough which revolutionised lighting efficiency in its time. The company was one of the first luminaire manufacturers in the UK to achieve Registered Firm status to ISO9001 and ISO14001. In 2016 it won the Manufacturer of the Year Award at the lighting industry’s 2016 Lux Awards. Visit:


Singapore engineers and Birmingham experts work to raise rail reliability ingapore’s largest railway operator and the University of Birmingham have embarked on four research projects that will enhance the reliability of railway networks. About 20 engineers from SMRT Corporation will be involved in research carried out at the university’s state-of-the-art railway laboratories. The projects are guided by a Master Research & Collaboration Agreement signed between the University of Birmingham and SMRT that promotes joint research into railway engineering. Ng Bor Kiat, chief technology officer, SMRT Trains, said: ‘The pairing of academic know-how with the experience gained by heavy rail engineers is a valuable combination that will lead to better reliability, availability and safety. In short, a better journey for rail commuters.’ Professor Clive Roberts, director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, said the projects ‘will enable us to demonstrate the benefits of our research on a live network’. He continued: ‘Three of the projects will focus of condition monitoring of different railway assets, and will take forward research that has been previously developed in the laboratory. The fourth project will provide a detailed understanding of the dynamic loads on the railway power system.’ In October 2016, SMRT and the University of Birmingham announced the launch a post graduate course in railway engineering. The three-year course will be the first of its kind for engineers in Singapore.


Ng Bor Kiat and University of Birmingham head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Andy Schofield sign the research agreement

Enclosures from the smallest to the largest. ENCLOSURES




Train recognition on track with new antenna he Ha-VIS RF-ANT-WR24 UHF antenna range from HARTING is, the company says, robust and reliable, making it ideal for creating gates for container tracking platform identification in situations where the antenna is installed directly under the train. The new range includes three models. The WR24-i is ideal for general industrial use. The minimalistic design and N connector also make it suitable for special gate applications such as train recognition on the railway track. The WR24-r is made of stainless steel


and designed for applications where a mechanically robust solution is needed. This design also comes without a connector on the antenna. All antenna features are designed for installation in extreme conditions – under the train, for example. Finally, the WR24-t is designed for UHF applications in environments with special temperature range requirements, including operation at up to +150°C. Visit


42 Technology ‘Adaptable Carriage’ system ready for rail trials new system to stow seats within passenger train carriages to create space for cargo is now available for Toc’s to trial. 42 Technology has developed a complete seating system that will allow Toc’s, for the first time, to configure specific carriages to carry either passengers or high-value cargo as required. The Adaptable Carriage system allows the seats and tables within a passenger carriage to be automatically stowed to create space for ‘low density, high value’ packages and other cargo that would otherwise go by road.  The system has been developed as part of a two year RSSBfunded programme, using extensive inputs from the UK rail industry, and when deployed could help ease road congestion, cut emissions and allow online retailers to offer later order cutoff times, faster deliveries and new services. The technology can be retrofitted into existing carriages or integrated into new build designs. Adaptable Carriage features



three key innovations: an award-winning system-level concept to use spare passengercarrying capacity for the transport of cargo, for example on off-peak services; a forward-folding seat design that allows any rubbish left on seats to be tipped onto the floor for easier cleaning after the seats have been stowed; and a sliding mechanism to configure the seats into a seated position and to lock them in position along the carriage. The technology is fully compatible with both steel-frame and modern aluminium train carriage designs using cantilevered seats. Chris Lawrence, technical director, RSSB said: ‘Adaptable Carriage is an example of what can be achieved when the UK rail industry partners with a cross-sector innovation consultancy to deliver solutions to specific rail challenges.’ 42 Technology is already working with a number of interested parties to support initial trials of Adaptable Carriage and to enable further commercial development of the technology. Visit:




QTS rail plant fleet available for hire nationwide he multi-discipline railway contractor has one of the largest specialised RRV plant fleets in the UK, which provides services to QTS contracting operations as well as external hires to Network Rail and other rail contractors on an operated basis. The plant fleet incorporates several RRV’s with the ability to on-track, travel and operate under live OHLE. This can dramatically reduce the cost of maintenance activities and


Pamplona Capital Management completes sale of Beacon Rail amplona Capital Management and J.P. Morgan Asset Management have announced the sale of Beacon Rail Leasing to institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Headquartered in Luxembourg with additional offices in London and Boston, Beacon Rail’s current portfolio includes 225 locomotives, more than1000 freight wagons, 55 passenger train units, 67 double decker coaches and 13 sets of five-car intercity carriages on lease in the UK, Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Austria, and the Netherlands. Matt LeBlanc, chief investment officer for OECD Infrastructure at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said: ‘The quality of the management team, relatively young fleet of assets and deep customer relationships provide an opportunity for growth and expansion.’ Ted Gaffney, the CEO of Beacon Rail, will continue to lead the company, supported by the existing management team. Gaffney said the closing on the acquisition marks the beginning of a ‘new chapter’ for Beacon Rail and that the company remains committed to providing state-of-the-art rolling stock to the European and UK freight and passenger markets. Robert G. Warden, partner at Pamplona, said: ‘We are very pleased with the significant growth and enhanced profitability that Beacon has experienced over the last three years.’


increase productivity in possessions. The fleet includes numerous bespoke pieces of equipment and ‘first of type’ RRV’s, such as the RRV Forwarder (pictured) and Atego 2 (pictured). The fleet is maintained and supported nationwide by an in-house team of mechanical engineers. The workshop department is able to provide a 24-7 rapid response call out service, and mobile fitters are equipped to work on anything from a burst pipe to welding repairs. QTS is a contractor on the National RRV Framework and has Preferred Supplier status for Scotland. QTS manages and owns the largest vegetation management fleet in operation on the UK rail infrastructure, and possibly one of largest in Europe. The company is also Scotland’s largest framework contractor in rail vegetation management, fencing and earthworks. Nationally, the company is the largest rail fencing contractor and through rapid expansion it plans to develop its national presence in other specialisms. As well as its longstanding relationship with Network Rail, the company’s other clients include British Gas, Scottish Water, British Telecom, ScotRail, London Underground and numerous local authorities. As an accredited Principle Contractor (PCL) and Rail Plant Operator (POS) to Network Rail, the company has all the required certifications. For more, visit:

Transport for London branding goes global fL plans to expand the reach of its brand licensing programme to the global market after signing a five-year deal with the TSBA Group. TfL and TSBA have developed a new brand licensing strategy, launched to the market last month that will ensure the integrity of the TfL brand is maintained while inspiring new partnerships and products across the world. Ian Mallalue, TSBA chief executive said: ‘TfL has a fantastic design heritage, with instantly recognisable and loved logos, art and vehicles. These amazing pieces of design touch every part of Britain’s capital, and are intertwined with its rich history and exciting future. This incredible familiarity, love and iconic status provides us with an opportunity to present London to the world using world-class British design. The team at TfL have already done a fantastic job in building a beautiful, design-led, licensing collection and we look forward to helping them grow their brand in areas such as apparel and homewares.’ TfL recently announced its intention to award five of six new contracts to manage its facilities, delivering savings of £34 million. The contracts, totalling £320 million, have been awarded to Engie Services, Interserve Facilities Management, Lanes Group and Vinci Construction UK. They will last for five years with the option to extend them for a further three.


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UKDN Waterflow (LG) achieves full PCL status he company has been granted full PCL (Principal Contractor Licence) status and has also won an extension to a multi-route infrastructure maintenance contract. Part of Lanes Group, UKDN Waterflow (LG) achieved a provisional PCL one year ago and since then has significantly grown its drainage maintenance services for Network Rail, which has extended a COOM multi-route contract with the company to provide drainage maintenance services across seven rail routes. Eamonn Maloney, head of rail services, said: ‘The COOM contract allows us to provide a turnkey solution to our rail customers, and to deliver the most cost-efficient solutions to Network Rail in a planned and controlled environment.’ To achieve a full PCL, the company passed a rigorous site audit, carried out near Whitstable, in Kent, and submitted extensive data to the Network Rail PCL assurance team.


Visit: www.


What’s in a name? ima-Sella, provider of control and automation systems, is changing its name back to SELLA CONTROLS from the 1st of this month. Established in 1974 as Sella Controls, the company changed its name to Hima-Sella in 1994, some 11 years after its appointment by Germany-based HIMA Paul Hildebrandt. SELLA CONTROLS will continue its relationship with HIMA Paul Hildebrandt – as the OEM’s supplier of functional safety solutions – while investing further in the development of its own technologies. John Blackwell, MD of Hima-Sella, said: ‘The name change is an acknowledgement of our heritage – all the way back to our foundation 43 years ago in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire.’ The company will continue to operate in its current structure, with no changes to its addresses in Stockport, Ashby-de-la-Zouch or Aberdeen. New email addresses and a new website URL will be rolled out shortly but current email addresses (and website) will remain operational for the foreseeable future. Visit:


Recent new members of the Rail Alliance as at end March 2017 ABB Provider of power, electrification and technology products and solutions to the Transportation sector Thornhill Rail & Heat Transfer Designer, manufacturer and repairer of heat exchangers for rail vehicles. Products include radiators, oil coolers and air reservoirs. Supplier to most of the UK rail fleets. Ricardo Technical expertise and specialist engineering services across all key disciplines of the rail sector – rolling stock, signalling and communications, infrastructure, power systems and fleet operations LB Foster TEW Plus Independent telecommunica-tions and security systems integrator serving the transport and commercial sectors Majenta PLM Siemens PLM software solution provider and Platinum Partner for the UK, providing expert services and support for CAD, CAM and CAE Harris Pye Steel fabrication services including heavy steelwork, machining, painting and blasting. Project management, civil engineering, all ranges of stainless steel, welding, rigging, mechanical and electrical engineering

Gatwick Group Project management covering all aspects of aviation, rail and civil construction Hydram Engineering Group Supplier of precision sheet metal products, components and precision fabrications Optosafe Rapid deployment CCTV and electronic security systems Viper Innovations Supplier of low voltage electrical Integrity monitoring products and services Bushnell Performance Optics UK UK provider for the Bollé brand of innovative, high performance safety sunglasses and eyeware Woodway Engineering Lighting and emergency/security lighting, lightbars, lightheads – temporary and permanent LED solutions Resonate Digital solutions for connected transport – signal control, traffic management, train operations and passenger experience systems Shire Structures Civil and structural engineers, geotechnical services, foundation and subsidence surveying and repairs

Sopra Steria Environmental and energy consultancy services Q A Weld Tech Integrated welding, engineering and advanced fabrication services Elite KL Innovative vehicle heating, cooling, airconditioning and auxiliary power products MRL Eye Commercial unmanned aircraft systems for use in rail, telecoms and power distribution sectors Delphinitum Consultancy services in cyber security, asset management and information assurance. Central Alliance Pre-construction consultancy services, project management and cost consultancy Washington Metalworks CNC guided hi-tech steel fabrication, pressing, welding and finishing. Uretek UK Geo-polymer ground stabilisation technology for time saving slab-track and sub-base works. Prova Specialist engineering PR and marketing consultancy

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Making every connection on time Screwless connectors are easier and quicker to wire compared to screw-types, saving huge amounts of time and labour costs on electrical installations


or most industries the old adage ‘time is money’ can seem like a tired old expression but for electrical engineers in the rail industry it should be taken literally. Connecting and checking countless wire terminations can be a tedious and timeconsuming job, and as installations become more complex, personnel have to put in more hours ensuring that every connection is secure and safe. Cabling and terminations onboard or trackside will likely be subject to repeated vibrations, and if a cabinet is outdoors it will be prone to temperature cycling as the seasons change. Over time, this will cause screws to come loose. The process of this occurring may well be slow, but it nevertheless means screw connections must periodically be checked and tightened if necessary, and replaced if damaged.

Regular maintenance visits are therefore required to check and fix any loose connections, which can be difficult when these are in remote locations. It also means carrying more tools to accommodate different types and sizes of screws. There’s also the added factor of the need for plenty of effort from the turning of torque screwdrivers to ensure connections are tight, but not too tight so as to minimise mechanical stress. Clamping down on loose wiring By using spring pressure technology and pluggable connectors, railway engineers Rail Professional

and electricians can save huge amounts of time on wiring jobs, freeing up qualified personnel for more complex or higher priority tasks elsewhere. Spring pressure connections do away with screws, instead using a spring clamp mechanism to gently apply force to a conductor, securely holding it in place without any damage. This method of connecting wires is up to 50 per cent quicker compared to using screw terminals. It also substantially reduces the likelihood of wiring errors caused for example by undertightening or over-tightening, or from conductor strands coming loose from the screw. Errors such as these can lead to some conductors being overloaded while others under-loaded, whereas spring pressure connections ensure consistency by applying

constant force to keep the conductor secure. Different wire types, for example solid, stranded or fine-stranded, can be accommodated in the same connector. Spring pressure connections also outperform screw connectors in reliability and many types have much stronger resistance against overcurrent, vibration and shock, making them ideal for the often punishing conditions found on and around the railway. The fact that they can be reused makes them perfect as a temporary fix, while their superior longevity means they excel in permanent installations also, as they do not require regular retightening like screw connections would. Many mechanisms WAGO deploys a range of different

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spring pressure connection technologies for different conductor types across its automation, interconnection and interface products, from simple terminal blocks all the way up to I/O modules. All are substantially quicker to use compared to equivalent screw terminations. Clamp connections for instance require an operating tool to open and close, while lever connections can be opened and closed by hand. Push wire connections allow solid conductors to be inserted directly into the mechanism, which automatically adjusts to the conductor cross section. With potentially millions of screw connections all across the railway network there is plenty of scope for Tocs and maintenance companies to make the switch to screwless, saving time and money through quicker, longer lasting electrical installations. Streamlined wiring jobs There are new ways that electrical connections can be simplified even further still, helping to streamline and deskill installations while maintaining on-site safety and improving equipment lifespan. Pluggable connectors use a series of harmonised plugs and sockets to connect all electrical installations and components to their appropriate terminations. Application examples might include electrical distribution in a carriage, platform lighting, or providing the power and I/O signals for sensors and actuators in an automatic door system. The connectors plug together and are keyed to avoid mismatching, substantially reducing the likelihood of installation errors. They can be wired in the field, but companies like WAGO are now increasingly offering custom modular wiring systems that can be manufactured off-site, and then simply plugged together without the need for additional wiring to be designed, installed and tested in the field. This again frees up skilled labour for more complex jobs elsewhere. Qualified electricians are still required on-site to ensure electrical safety, and to perform final wiring and checks, but in far fewer numbers as most connections will arrive pre-wired. In WAGO’s case, products are compliant with BS EN 60947-1 and BS EN 60999-1 for guaranteed safety and reliability protection, while screwless connections make components highly resistant to temperature cycling, vibration and shock. It’s estimated that prefabricated modular wiring solutions can save up to 70 per cent of the installation time, and 30 per cent of the on-site labour costs, with the added benefits of reduced errors and improved reliability. Tel: 01788 568008 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Bridgeway - access all areas Britain’s railway network is home to approximately 40,000 bridges and tunnels that need to be inspected and maintained on a cyclic basis


hese bridges are diverse in nature, complexity and size and quite often are highly inaccessible either in the wildest of countryside locations or in the bowels of the earth deep underground. In these situations normal inspection techniques are not possible, necessitating the use of specialist access techniques, which is where Bridgeway Consulting steps in. Making the best use of available access whether it be track access, road/water access or harsh environments has always been the most challenging aspect of working on rail infrastructure, add to that poor geographical location and with an increased focus on working within short all line possessions, makes structural inspection all the more difficult and therefore due consideration must be given to employing innovative equipment and techniques to ensure that every minute spent on those inspections is both productive and safe. Bridgeway Consulting has become adept at innovation and change in the 22 years since the company was formed and the ever present throughout the whole of that time has been structural inspections and those of a specialist nature especially, whether that be underwater, roped access, confined space or more recently the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The use of specialist access techniques for the examination of these structures requires an in-depth knowledge of roped access, diving and confined spaces to ensure that all examiners can safely gain access to all parts of the structures. The challenges and planning that had to be undertaken to enable the above structures to be examined was immense prior to arriving on site, which is explored below in greater detail for the Mersey Tunnel, Hungerford Bridge, Bennerley Viaduct and Camden Winding Vaults sites. Mersey tunnel The Mersey Tunnel was built between St James station in Liverpool and Hamilton Square station in Birkenhead by the Mersey Railway company and opened in 1886. The tunnel complex consists of a twin track railway tunnel, two six metre diameter pumping shafts and sumps which are approximately 57 metres deep, located at Shore Road (Birkenhead) and George Street (Liverpool), both of which together remove up to 12 million gallons of water per day

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using seven installed submersible pumps. Additionally, there are inclined drainage headings located below the main rail tunnel, which connect the pumping shafts to the lowest point of the rail tunnels under the River Mersey, which carry ground water out of the rail tunnel to the sumps at either end. There are also two inclined ventilation headings connected from the main rail tunnel soffit to the pumping stations, which originally removed smoke and fumes from the steam engines which used to run the train services before the line was later electrified. Bridgeway was commissioned to undertake detailed examinations of the two pumping shafts and the inclined drainage and ventilation shafts. Due to the nature of these structures and their proximity to the main tunnel the examinations of the shafts and headings could not be examined consecutively and had to take place on separate occasions as the rail tunnel and water removal still had to be carried out whilst the examination works proceeded.

Pump efficiency The main pumping shafts at Shore Road and George Street are partially lined with cast iron segments bolted together and the remainder is brickwork which runs from ground level right down and including the sump to a depth of over 57 metres. The pumps within both sumps occasionally suffer from ingress of water borne debris, which causes problems with the pumps with

either reduced efficiency or sometimes total blockage. On one such occasion Bridgeway received a call to assist Network Rail to examine the pumps and sump at Shore Road as the efficiency of the pumps was severely reduced. The shafts were deemed as a confined space which necessitated instigation of confined space entry control measures in addition to complying with the Diving at Work regulations 2014. In order to minimise the lowering all of the dive kit to the lower platform the dive supervisor set up the dive panel and surface supplied air system at the top of the shaft and the diver umbilical hoses were only lowered to the platform above the sump so that they could supply air direct to the divers helmets. The pumps were isolated by the Network Rail Engineer and a permit to work system was employed, ensuring that the operation was undertaken in the safest possible way. On inspection of the sump the problem of the inefficient pumps was quickly apparent as over one tonne of debris was removed from the sump, mostly surrounding the pumps themselves, causing the reduced output from the pumps. Condition surveys A condition survey and detailed examination of the sump was then undertaken using CCTV techniques controlled by the diver, so that the engineer could see for himself the condition of the pumps and the sump walls. The subsequent detailed examination of the drainage and ventilation headings was approached in the same safety conscious manner again utilising confined space trained staff working under permit to work system and isolation of the shaft sump pumps within the drainage headings, so that only approximately one metre depth of water remained.



This did mean readjusting anniversary dates for both examinations however it did result in substantial reductions in mobilisation costs for Port of London permits to dive, span closure sign installation, dive platforms and safety boat provision among others.

The headings received a full tactile examination throughout their length which were approximately 800 metres long and for their age had few major problems to worry about, which is a valediction of Victorian engineering. Hungerford Bridge Hungerford Bridge spans the River Thames carrying the Charing Cross to Dover lines, between Charing Cross and Waterloo East stations, in the heart of London, which has a total length of over 300 metres across and rises up to 10 meters above mean water level. The original bridge was designed and constructed in 1845 by the famous Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but the current bridge dates from 1859, when it was extended by the South Eastern Railway company into the newly built Charing Cross station. Wrought iron lattice girder

footbridges were attached to the main railway spans soon afterwards, however in 2002 these were demolished in favour of new modern cable stayed steel structures in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. Bridgeway has inspected the underwater sub-structure elements of Hungerford Bridge over the River Thames in central London on various occasions over the last 20 years, however at no stage in previous years had the underwater examination been coordinated with the detailed examination of the superstructure. However, when Network Rail approached Bridgeway to undertake both the underwater and detailed examinations separately and in the interests of offering a value-added solution, it was suggested that a combined detailed and underwater inspection would provide better value for the client.

Span closures The planning for the works involved the commissioning of the use of a selfpropelled working platform fitted with a ‘spudpole’, which is used to anchor the vessel into position on the riverbed, at any location required. This allowed great flexibility to reach all parts of the deck and superstructure. In order to take full advantage of the platforms’ capability, a cherry picker (MEWP) was mounted onto the vessel deck for the inspection of the superstructure and it was also used as a diving platform for divers to examine the underwater elements of the bridge piers and surrounding river bed to check for defects and possible bed scour. Much consultation ensued between Bridgeway and the Port of London Authority to establish the process of span closures for the bridge, within one of the busiest waterways in Europe and to ensure that the tides were ideal for both diving and superstructure inspection at the same time. In order to minimise disruption to waterborne traffic and to maximise the river tides the inspections were carried out during a series of night-time span closures within one week, moving to a different span on each night. The examination was successfully concluded both to the satisfaction of Network Rail in terms of the innovative thinking, added value and cost reduction of the examinations and from the Port of London Authority for the meticulous planning and slick execution of the site works. Bennerley Viaduct During the time of the late 1800s the clamour for the construction of railways reached its zenith, this was most prevalent within the industrial coalfields of the midlands, Welsh valleys and Yorkshire, where the lure of black gold (coal) was fiercest between railway company rivals, wishing to transport this to the beating heart driving the industrial revolution. Thus the Great Northern Railway’s desire to tap into the heartland of Midland Railway territory within the East midlands coalfields was paramount. A railway act of 1872 instigated the construction of a mainline with branches from Egginton junction, to the west of Derby to Rectory junction, east of Nottingham. Most of the route was pretty uneventful, with only two structures of note along the whole 40-mile route, Mapperley Tunnel (1,132 yards in length) and Bennerley Rail Professional



from both surveys, enabled accurate drawings to be produced and identify the worst areas of corrosion. A tactile examination of the worst span was undertaken by Bridgeway engineers using rope access techniques and allowing the likelihood of defects to be established through extrapolation to the other spans. Despite the lack of maintenance and now a distinct lack of protective paintwork the structure has survived remarkably well, though as expected the trough ends have corroded due to water percolation and rust jacking of the plate work is rife, but it could have been much worse.

Viaduct, which had to span the wide flood plain of the river Erewash below and the Midland Railway lines from Chesterfield to Nottingham. The GNR opted for a striking wrought iron lattice structure, which was 484 yards long with 16 main spans and rises up to 56 feet high above the floodplain. The viaduct was designed by the GNR’s Chief Engineer Richard Johnson and constructed between May 1876 and November 1877 as part of the Derbyshire Extension line by the contractor Benton and Woodiwiss. Lasting beauty The viaduct is one of only two surviving wrought iron lattice viaducts in the UK and is a Grade II protected structure, however the railway which once graced it is long since gone, a victim of the duplication of lines serving the coalfields and Dr Beeching’s famous axe. The viaduct now survives in glorious isolation an impressive sight for miles around across the Erewash valley, although Rail Professional

the railway embankments at both ends have now been removed, so it is has been largely unused since 1968, when the railway was finally closed and lifted. However, that is likely to change in the not too distant future, having had a change of ownership from British Rail Property Board in 1998 to Railway Paths Limited, its sister charitable company, Sustrans aims to give the magnificent structure a bright new lease of life as a cycle path, for all to enjoy. Last Autumn Atkins approached Bridgeway to undertake a detailed inspection of the structure, however in order to save costs for the optioneering, new technology had to be employed to enable the full holistic view of the condition of the viaduct, since the substantive maintenance regime was withdrawn by BR nearly 48 years ago. The work involved laser scanning the whole viaduct by Bridgeway’s Geomatics department and utilising a drone to capture a full visual high definition record of the structure. Using the information gained

Camden Winding Vaults The London and Birmingham Railway was the world’s first truly long distance intercity mainline railway being opened fully on September 17 1838. Its first terminus was at Camden in North London, before moving further South to Euston. Hilly terrain to the North of London posed a major obstacle for the L&B railway company and major excavations were required to bring the line through it, especially Primrose Hill Tunnel and cutting. Despite these works, the last mile of the line had to descend a steep bank into Euston station on an average gradient of one in 85. Possibly due to the railway company’s lack of confidence about the capability of the steam locomotives of the day to pull full carriages of people out of the terminus and up the steep Camden bank, they authorised the construction of a steam powered winding engine house and cable haulage system to pull the steam locomotives and trains up the bank from Euston station to Camden station on an endless rope system. The steam winding engine commenced operation in 1837, however was out of use as early as 1844, when it is speculated that locomotives had the capability to ascend the incline unaided, so was in use a little under seven years, so was probably not the wisest of investment decisions taken by the Victorian engineers. The winding house was located at the top of the incline adjacent to Camden station and close to Regents Canal. The winding engines were placed in barrel-vaulted chambers deep underground. The winding house consisted of two 60hp steam engines and associated boilers and winding machinery and two chimneys extended above ground to a height of 40 metres, flanking the railway on either side. The rope was claimed to be the longest unspliced on record at 3,424 metres in length, 175mm in circumference and weighing a whopping 11 tonnes. The winding engines were supplied by coal from a dedicated wharf on Regents Canal as was water from the canal. Trains of up to 12 carriages at a time were hauled up the incline at a speed of approximately 15 mph, to Camden station, where steam locomotives



were attached for onward movement to Birmingham. Commercial opportunities Since being decommissioned in 1844 the vaults have been left in a state of disrepair despite having gained Grade II listed status. The engines were removed and scrapped in 1847 and the chimneys demolished in 1849 and have remained largely forgotten for over 160 years. Since that time the vaults have flooded due to blocked and damaged drainage with a mass amount of silt and debris being prevalent under the water. It has also suffered a partial collapse of the domed ceiling to the North East boiler room. Recently Network Rail looked into the possibility of assessing the condition of the structure with the potential goal of reopening the vaults as a commercial opportunity. With that in mind a safe system of entry to pump out the water and remove the silt and debris was necessary to further allow a full condition survey of the structure to be undertaken. Bridgeway was commissioned to undertake an initial assessment to determine safe access points, highlight potential risks and suitable control measures. Safety equipment and systems were agreed such as airflow systems and gas monitoring before supplying high-risk trained confined spaces rescue teams to be on standby 24/7, whilst the works to remove water, silt and debris took place by Network Rail’s nominated contractor. Initial planning and mobilisation was undertaken with Network Rail and their contractor and concern was raised about latent gases trapped in the silt layer below water level, being released at both the water and silt was removed, hence the requirement s for additional control measures such as air movers and installed gas monitors. Water was thus pumped out of the vaults and the silt removed by excavator and craned from the hole within the vaulted roof, all without incident or the need to deploy the confined space rescue teams in earnest. The works were successfully accomplished and Network rail are in the process of assessing the condition of the structure and the requirement for repairs, so hopefully the winding vaults will be back in use after waiting a very long 173 years. As is demonstrated above by the diverse nature of the unique structures that exist on the railway network, all need differing methods of inspection, requiring in many cases ingenuity and use of innovative techniques and equipment. Bridgeway is adept in supplying bespoke solutions to inspection problems and can definitely provide ‘access to all areas’. Tel: 0115 9191111 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Delivering ‘first class’ quality Established in 1971, O.L.D. Engineering has constantly reinvested in state-of-the-art CNC machine tools and equipment to allow ever more complex work to be undertaken


n addition to first class sub-assembly and inspection facilities, the company now boasts an extensive range of advanced machining centres, CNC lathes, and grinding machines. Given the growing complexity of the components O.L.D. Engineering manufactures, and its enduring quality philosophy, significant investments in high precision inspection equipment are regularly made. Tim Bainbridge, O.L.D. Engineering senior SQI manager, explains: ‘Over the past five decades O.L.D. Engineering has grown to become a world-class, flexible and highly competitive precision engineering provider. Although we mainly served the automotive industry, we now have customers operating in many other demanding sectors, therefore our services are fully backed-up by a rigorous

commitment to quality assurance.’ As O.L.D. Engineering’s customers expect premium quality products to be delivered on time, at competitive prices, not only do all quality control checks need to be very precise, they need to be completed in a timely fashion. Speed and efficiency To help ensure the efficiency of its operation, when the need arises, O.L.D. Engineering purchases inspection equipment that delivers, not only the high levels of accuracy, but also the required speed of operation. An example of O.L.D. Engineering’s requirement for both precision and speed is the company’s recent acquisition of a state of the art, advanced form, contour and surface roughness measuring system, the Mitutoyo Formtracer SV-C3200.

As a result, it is now undertaking numerous complex form, contour and surface roughness inspections and achieving extremely accurate results. Overall this helps O.L.D. Engineering to not only meet customer quality expectations but to exceed them. Tel: 01455 612 521 Email: Visit:









LOOKING FOR CNC PRECISIONMACHINED PARTS? We’ve been helping our clients achieve success since 1971 by supplying them with quality, bespoke components produced on state-of-the-art, multi-axis machinery. Find out how O.L.D. Engineering can help your business stay on track by calling us today on 01455 612 521 or visit

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Developing, building and maintaining railway Infrastructure since 1989

Delivering international projects of both OLE and Track infrastructure in complex and challenging conditions, Neopul creates and implements the procedures to always work within the highest Technical and Health and Safety standards.



Widening and stabilising a cess - rapidly & economically The Ruglei® system has become the most economical way to stabilise and widen Victorian railway cesses and can be rapidly installed at about 10 linear metres per hour - with one construction team


ail authorities, consulting engineers and contractors who have used the system for the first time have usually chosen it again for subsequent projects. The system was developed by two Swiss firms, Ruegger Geotechnik, a major geotechnical design company and Gleisag, a major rail contractor, with the work being rewarded by the granting of a patent in most industrialised countries. The system is available from Elwood International which is the exclusive licensee for the UK & Ireland.

Installation may be either from plant working on the embankment face or more usually working from the track but, as the rate of installation is rapid at about 10 linear metres along the track per hour, the period of track possession is minimised. Several non-possession projects were changed to on-track working as the time to build Ruglei system is significantly shorter than conventional techniques. Reducing cost The Ruglei system usually provides a cost

saving of about 90 per cent compared to small height concrete beams or RC walls set on concrete piles and about a 50 per cent saving compared to king post cess retention systems. The exact location of rail-piles in the Ruglei system is not critical and even if a pile refuses another is easily driven nearby. This avoids the disadvantage of a king post scheme requiring posts to be set at exact spacings to suit the horizontal lagging. Ruglei cesses avoid the need for expensive slope re-grading and toe gabions. The system works by adding a berm

Design and Supply of Ruglei® Cess

Elwood International will provide: Design of the Ruglei Cess with design certificate Working drawings, calculations and specification Supply to site of specialist components Experienced engineer on site at start of construction Technical support during design approval stage and throughout construction Call now for an engineering proposal and firm price quotation – all without obligation and at no cost to you Elwood International Ltd, Elwood House, Cross Road Albrighton, Wolverhampton, WV7 3RA, UK Tel: +44 (0)1902 820345 Email:



are of no value as rails and usually scrapped but ideal as piles for the Ruglei system. Elwood bases the design on the particular used-rail profile available for the project.

at the shoulder of the track to support and widen the cess. A vertical steel pile is inserted through the cess to intersect the potential slip surfaces thus enhancing the safety factor of the shoulder. The system is a soil dowelling technique, a form of reinforced soil. It is a sustainable technique as the piles are used scrap rail profiles recovered from rail renewal projects – worn rail profiles

Steel and stone The cess is retained by an L-shaped galvanised steel grid of bars up to 12mm diameter and fixed to the rail-pile by a thin layer of lean concrete. Grids are lined by a special galvanised steel mesh to retain the small stones of the ballast and longitudinally fixed to each other to provide a clean looking alignment and, depending on whether the line is AC or DC powered, the connections between grids may be electrically isolated to avoid stray current corrosion. The grids are filled by single size stone and if suitable this may be used ballast, not suitable for below tracks but ideal for the Ruglei system, again providing a sustainable

feature and allowing the reuse of old materials. Customer service The system is designed by Elwood and covered by its professional indemnity insurance and may be checked by independent checkers chosen by the rail authority or contractor or by a separate design team within Elwood. Elwood provides a specification for all the materials and then supplies to site the specialist Ruglei components with the contractor providing the rail profiles, ballast filling and concrete. Elwood can provide an experienced engineer on site at the start of installation to provide expert advice. Tel: 01902 820345 Email: Visit:

Innovation in HV Disconnectors & Switches MLE Double Pole Rotational Isolators with Integrated Earthing

MLE Rotational Rail Isolator. More than 30 years on the UK Network

MLE HV Switchgear. Manufactured in Britain since 1976

MLE Earth Switch with duplicate earth indicators

Morris Line Engineering (MLE) have consistently innovated by evolving their tried and tested Rail Isolators for use: at higher current levels; in new arrangements; and now in load-break applications. MLE have a long standing record of building robust, reliable Isolation and Earthing Equipment. MLE is part of the Morris McLellan Group.

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Trackbed Scanning Made Easy

Rethinking trackbed inspection. With the jigsaw fits.

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Low cost measurement of ballast quality, trackbed condition, maintenance efficiency contact: Asger Eriksen email: tel: +44 (0)1993 886682 web: twitter: @ZeticaRail Rail Professional



Keeping progress in-house Barkers Engineering is a market leading company in the fencing industry and has been designing and manufacturing high security perimeter solutions for more than 40 years


ll aspects of the manufacturing process take place at the company’s base in Stokeon-Trent, from design to galvanising, to powder coating and fixings. This one-stop-shop approach has many benefits, not least reducing Barkers’ carbon footprint, but also helps it to produce an array of products including palisade, railings, mesh, gates, maximum security fencing, acoustic barrier posts and bar sets. Barkers’ portfolio varies from large infrastructure challenges to innovative

bespoke designs in the private and public sectors, both in the UK and around the world. Throughout 2016, via fencing contractors, the company supplied Network Rail infrastructure with over 200,000 metres of palisade, 60,000 metres of FastGuard expanded metal fences, 20,000 metres of twinwire mesh and over 10,000 chain link posts. Complex solutions If just one thing differentiates Barkers Engineering from other manufacturers and stock holders, it is the ability to

manage complexity on a scale that few can accommodate. A recent project saw Barkers develop a solution to reduce the possibility of vehicle encroachment onto rail infrastructure. The project threw up many interesting challenges to the design team, due to several restrictions on what could be connected to the existing infrastructure and the difficulty encountered with the lack of footprint available. The Wythall Station Road Junction project would require: • 38 metres of palisade system

• ISO 9001, 14001 & OHSAS approved • Members of the GALV Association • Achilles Link up & UVDB registered • Supply of security products accredited by CPNI & the LPCB

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• 1.8 metres high to match existing palisade • special posts to meet demanding ground conditions Barkers StronGuard ™ RCS75 PAS68 crash tested palisade fence, designed and accredited to stop a 7.5-tonne vehicle traveling at 30 mph, was seen as the solution to help reduce these accidents and deter any vehicle infringements. Post solution involvement After modifying the current basic design to meet the operational requirements, which incidentally is not security driven, (although StronGuard ™ palisade has the added bonus of increasing the security protection for the client) Barkers worked closely with the contractor who was responsible for vegetation clearing, removal of existing fence, traffic management and overall site

supervision. The first project was undertaken in Nottingham, where after a site survey the company designed and delivered the modified StronGuard ™ RCS75 in a timely manner, meeting the client expectations. The installation, undertaken by an approved contractor took just four days, which kept congestion at the busy road junction to a minimum. Looking to the future Barkers Fencing’s expertise and experience that goes with it, enables it to approach projects with confidence, providing a comprehensive response to client’s needs. As a member of the Hill & Smith PLC group of companies, a global group with a turnover in excess of £500 million, Barkers Engineering is always on the look out to


‘We are pleased with the aesthetic finish of the StronGuard ™ RCS75 which looks like our standard fence, whilst affording us the added benefit of the impact system’ senior engineer develop new and current products to meet the ever-changing needs of its clients. Now that HS2 has been granted Royal Assent, construction can begin in earnest and whilst exact details are yet to be finalized, Barkers is hopeful that many new opportunities will arise, resulting in exciting new projects and challenges to flex its imagination and design capabilities further. Tel: 01782 319264 Email: Visit:

StronGuard ™ RCS75 PAS68 • RCS 25PAS 68: 2010:2500 (N1G)/48/90 0.0 • RCS 75 PAS68: 2010:7500 (N2)/48/90 0.3

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Worldwide experience across many successful rail projects makes Dr. Sauer & Partners the choice for all your requirements in running platform tunnel design, supervision and construction management services. Dr. Sauer & Partners designs rail and station tunnels in urban and rural areas in any type of geology. We provide the full range of tunnel services for new tunnelling projects, as well as the rehabilitation and refurbishment of existing underground facilities.


Dr. Sauer & Partners Ltd. LONDON 11 Langley Avenue Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6QH UK T. +44 208 339 7090 F. +44 208 399 7446

Salzburg | London | Washington | Toronto




Tying it all together Elite Precast Concrete works with semi-dry and wet-cast, high strength (50N/mm2) concrete products which are supplied to every sector of UK industry


lite was the first to manufacture interlocking blocks for fire breaks, retaining, blast and push walls and for creating solid barriers between open rail lines and those being replaced to avoid the need for disruptive all line blocks by allowing adjacent live line working. All of Elite’s blocks have a minimum of 100 years design life. The largest interlocking block in the Elite range is called the Legato, the name coming from the Italian for ‘tied together’. One of the benefits of in-situ concrete is incredible long term durability and strength without the expense, disruption, long build time and lack of flexibility usually associated concrete cast on site. Elite is the only company in Europe to manufacture interlocking blocks using high strength (50N/mm2) concrete. This allows its Legato blocks to exhibit extreme levels of durability, combined with the flexibility of having their own cast-in lifting pin. As each standard block

will build 1.28m2 of wall, they provide an incredibly quick solution in a wide variety of applications. Another block called the Duo block is made from 600mm thick high-strength concrete and has the advantage of not requiring expensive, specialist lifting equipment. The clever design (which incorporates a cast-in lifting pin flush with the concrete surface) allows the blocks to be easily dry laid onto any firm surface, creating bay dimensions to suit almost any site. Easy installation and rigid construction The third interlocking block in the Elite range is the Vee Interlocking Concrete block. These blocks interlock horizontally and vertically and can provide radiation shielding (either temporary or permanent) as well as providing a retaining wall. The blocks interlock with each other using a unique ‘V’ system along the base, sides and top giving incredible strength and stability.

Precast concrete Kentledge blocks are used to act as ballast or counterweights for fencing, hoarding, scaffolding, or for various temporary works. They can also be attached to wire ropes which are fixed to the structure to provide greater stability

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Quality precast concrete manufacturers... for a great range and even greater value Elite Precast Concrete are one of the UK’s leading precast concrete manufacturers combining the highest levels of customer service with always being the best value option. Our focus is on driving down the cost base and then passing these savings onto our customers. This enables us to provide constant and predictable price structures which in turn underpin our ethos of developing customer relationships over the long term. Every product we make is cast from the same premium quality, high strength (50N/mm2) concrete. We were also the first and by far the largest manufacturer of interlocking blocks for various temporary works; fire breaks; retaining, blast and push walls and also, by offering three block types, you can be certain that we have the solution you are looking for.

For more information on Elite quality concrete products phone 01952 588 885 or browse



All systems come with integral lifting options and can be painted in company colours, Ministry of Transport approved chevrons along with other designs and provide a much cheaper alternative when compared to hiringin barriers security, rockfall, and edge protection. Jersey barriers are 2,500mm long and weigh 1,450kg. The unique interlocking system provides incredible levels of security against unwanted visitors whilst allowing sections to be easily removed and repositioned should emergency access be required. Vertical barriers Elite’s Temporary Vertical Concrete Barriers (TVCBs) are the perfect safety barrier for a huge variety of applications.

Precast concrete Kentledge blocks are used to act as ballast or counterweights for fencing, hoarding, scaffolding, or for various temporary works. They can also be attached to wire ropes which are fixed to the structure to provide greater stability. Its security blocks, interlocking concrete blocks and Vee interlocking blocks all make excellent counterweight blocks for fall arrest systems and heavy lifting as well as most types of temporary works situations. Elite offers a range of options when it comes to securing your premises against unwanted visitors, to manage site traffic and for use as HGV MOT test weights. Security components Elite’s large two tonne precast concrete blocks are designed and manufactured to be used as security blocks preventing access to land and buildings and are ideal for blocking entrances and gateways or for use as HGV

MOT test weights. The Security block, Vee interlocking block, Legato interlocking block, and Duo interlocking block all provide security solutions suitable for various temporary works applications. All systems come with integral lifting options and can be painted in company colours, Ministry of Transport approved chevrons along with other designs and provide a much cheaper alternative when compared to hiring-in barriers. All of the blocks have their own lifting and placing systems. For traffic management and for safely segregating pedestrians from traffic / vehicles the Elite Interlocking Jersey barrier is an ideal heavy duty system which has been designed for the ultimate in antivehicle perimeter protection. Cast from Elite’s standard high-strength concrete (50N/mm2) the barriers are ideal for traffic management, flood defence, site

• to create a safe working area for the workforce • to provide flood defences • protecting pedestrians from traffic • providing traffic barriers / bases for secure fencing to be fixed to (particularly useful for large public events such as the Olympics / Commonwealth games • preventing un-authorised access to forecourts, car parks, fields and site compounds • helping direct traffic flows safely • as counterweights, kentledge for scaffolding, fencing, cranes, etc • proving security against ram raiders and terrorist attacks. The safety barriers are connected at the scarf joint by M24 high tensile bolts. Precast concrete marker blocks are primarily used to aid in the location and identification of electric cables and other utility services that are buried underground. They can also be used to mark boundaries and other reference points. Tel: 01952 588885 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

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

Tel: 01303 851111



A professional analysis of passenger flows Phil Linnecor, managing director of ACOREL UK, explains how to better understand public transport passenger flows


oday, small towns and large metropolises alike are faced with an increase in the urban population that is ever further away from the town and city centres but which has ever greater transport needs. Faced with these challenges, transport services have to evolve, either towards heavy transport solutions, such as trains, tube or tram, or lighter transport solutions such as the BRT (bus rapid transit) or large and medium capacity buses. Increasing transport provision in line with demand, combatting fraud, informing passengers, establishing trend projections and planning for investments, and so on: there are so many challenges that need to be addressed in order to ensure the sustainability of urban transport in perpetual growth. Understanding passenger flows is the key to addressing all these challenges. Public and private assistance With 26 years of experience in an international environment, ACOREL offers solutions that tackle these issues and therefore assist public transport operators, whether private or local government. The high-precision counting solutions for public and rail transport enable town planners, experts and urban transport operators to carry out reliable and precise analysis of urban transport networks. By enabling these studies to be carried out continuously over several years, this allows those in the industry to plan the investments to be made in terms of infrastructure and real-time analyses. This is useful for taking efficient operational decisions or offering relevant passenger information. London, Denmark, Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Ottawa, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro have all adopted ACOREL technologies. ACOREL’s solutions provide passenger counting accuracy of up to more than 99 per cent; the solutions meet the most exacting standard and can be integrated into any type of vehicle, whatever its design.

Precise sensors Using a refined analysis of shapes, the new ACOREL sensors have a large number of functions such as the ability to distinguish between adult passengers, children, wheelchair users, as well as suitcases and bicycles. The sensors have a PoE (power over ethernet) electric supply, so that only

one cable is required for supply and communications. The streamlining of this equipment guarantees weight gain and savings in terms of money and time for the operator or integrator. Tel: + 44 7808 788 785 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

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Repair don’t waste Issues related to technology obsolescence, failing supply chain and the funding gap have given overhaul managers and operation directors several sleepless nights


hrow in the pressures of recruiting – and keeping – skilled staff whilst maintaining critical assets working 24/7, and you have a perfect storm brewing. ABI Electronics helps rail operators and suppliers deal with these issues having developed hardware and software products that are easy to use, affordable and supported all over the world. Despite being built to last for many years, electronic railway systems commonly suffer from a lack of maintenance documentation and the rapid acceleration of technology. As a result, expensive and vital assets may be deemed obsolete in a matter of only a few years. Relying on the OEM or external service companies may be a rational, yet expensive option as these organisations run on a different timetable, may operate from an office located thousands of miles away and can take months to return critical components, sometimes unrepaired. Metro companies and rail network operators often run electronic support shops to respond to breakdowns more efficiently. However, keeping electronic depots relevant and sustainable in the long run is not an easy task. As the maintenance procedures are based on the technology currently in use, repair documentation, test rigs and know-how accumulated over decades may fall into

disuse when key staff members leave or retire, the fleet gets modernised or replaced without a plan being previously discussed or implemented by the administration. Made in the UK, employed worldwide Established in the UK in 1983, ABI Electronics is a manufacturing company that provides the rail industry with the technology required to keep new, as well as ageing, electronic equipment running. ABI’s BoardMaster Universal PCB Tester is the most recognised troubleshooting equipment currently employed by leading companies operating in the railway sector, from San Francisco to Beijing. Willian Santos, ABI’s international sales manager says: ‘The average in-house repair using the BoardMaster is 80 per cent cheaper than sending the electronic PCB back to the OEM or external service provider

for repair. The system provides a unique hardware and software platform capable of driving defined standard operating procedures (SOP) for testing complete assemblies as well as performing component level test and repair validation.’ Regardless of the circuit’s design, age or application, the BoardMaster’s range of 25 different power on and power off tests has given its users the ability to repair a wide range of rolling stock and infrastructure systems such as: • rail communication systems (CBTC, ATO, ATS, ATP) • air conditioning and door controls • auto pilot, driverless systems • breaking and traction systems • passenger Information systems • power systems • signalling • CCTV, barriers • train control systems and driver training simulators. #Repairdontwaste The staggering volume of electronic based systems driving rail networks, increases the concern not only with the time wasted running inefficient maintenance schedules but the scale of electronic waste it could create. Sao Paulo Metro, one of ABI’s long-term customers, owns several BoardMaster units acquired since 2002 and employed at the company’s multiple electronic repair shops. Transporting four and a half million passengers every day, the Sao Paulo Metro has over one million electronic circuits divided into 12,000 different designs. In 2014, the company reported savings of $50 million from becoming self-sufficient and repairing all rail electronic systems in house. The asset availability achieved 99.7 per cent and the success rate on the electronic repair area is at 100 per cent. ‘In a recent meeting with the company’s manager, we were made aware of the huge impact our technology has had on Sao Paulo Metro over the last 15 years. It has created job opportunities, further advanced people’s careers and helped the team to establish a world-class, highly efficient repair process that protects the environment’ states Willian. Another solution from ABI, the Schematic Learner System RevEng, can generate circuit diagrams from existing PCBs, providing crucial information to help Rail Professional

Passenger information Station WayďŹ nding On-Vehicle Screens Health and Safety Maintenance Tracking Dynamic Advertising Virtual Tour Guides Navaho Technologies provide a wide range of digital signage solutions to the public transport sector. This includes passenger information displays, real-time on-vehicle signage and electronic noticeboards for internal communications. Combined with advanced features designed to improve health and safety compliance and yard management, Navaho's digital signage is the all-round solution for transport hubs, oďŹƒces, control rooms and maintenance areas. For more information, please go to or call the number above.

023 8000 0010



end users spot and repair faults on similar designs. The equipment’s 2048 channels allow technicians to quickly and precisely learn how components are interconnected, generate a netlist through a software guided process and export it to a professional CAD/ EDA tool. San Francisco Metro The San Francisco Muni Metro (SFMTA) has recently joined ABI’s group of customers. Following the acquisition of light rail vehicles from SIEMENS, the SFMTA was faced with the challenge of restructuring the electronic support shop ahead of the arrival of the modern electronic rail systems installed within the new trains. The test solutions and simulators developed over the years to support the existing Breda LVR2/3 series would no longer be suitable. Furthermore, the lack of essential maintenance documentation with the new trains made it impossible for the team of experts at the SFMTA to develop custom test solutions. This situation prompted the management to procure alternative solutions. Last year, the SFMTA elaborated a list of requirements including solutions for test, troubleshooting and schematic generation from ABI. In March 2017, ABI received an order worth $200,000 for the supply of multiple packages to meet the SFMTA’s needs. ABI’s master distributor in the USA, Saelig Company, has handled the procurement process and will deliver advanced training to a group of 18, level three repair engineers working at the SFMTA. The training is planned to take place upon the delivery of the goods scheduled for June 2017. ‘We are proud of the trust the SFMTA and many other mass transit companies have put in ABI’s products over the years. We are committed to helping our customers thrive extending the lifespan of their electronic systems whilst maximising the return on their investment.’ says ABI’s managing director, Shaun Hayes. Why ABI? A few reasons explain why international rail companies choose to work with ABI’s systems. The products not only bring unique features but are reasonably affordable with

an average ROI rate of under 12 months. ‘Customers reported being able to recover their investment during the training when a $40,000 PCB was repaired with the help of a BoardMaster.’ says Willian. The BoardMaster also saves rail customers time by learning valuable measurement information from golden PCBs and storing instrument setups. Stored information can be recalled and compared later to identify problems on similar PCBs and complete the repair in a fraction of the time compared to using traditional instrumentation or external service providers.

ABI’s proprietary SYSTEM 8 Ultimate software gives customers the ability to develop interactive test sequences based on the acquired data. TestFlows, as they are called by ABI, are easy to follow and will allow less experienced staff to effectively troubleshoot similar designs, generating a detailed electronic report at the end of the test. The software is free from maintenance fees, can be installed into multiple PCs as standard and updates are available free of charge from the company’s website. ABI also takes customer training very seriously, aiming to take their customers to the highest standard to maximise

product utilisation. The UK team of support engineers is available to organise free training reviews and free online or over the phone product support. Customers also benefit from dealing with local international distributors present in 60 countries. Back story ABI Electronics was created 33 years ago with the aim to develop innovative solutions as a response to problems commonly found in the test and repair industry. The company’s founders developed the world’s first low cost test solution for integrated circuits that turned into a great success amongst engineers in the UK and abroad. Growing very quickly, ABI developed and evolved, becoming the supplier of choice with blue chip enterprises, government institutions and independent electronics repair companies. Over the years, ABI has remained loyal to its principle of fully designing and building high quality products in the UK. The company’s electronic test equipment is used by a wide range of organisations operating in military, aerospace, automotive, medical, telecommunication and more. ABI products have certainly evolved over the years and the company are continually innovating to cope with the changing requirements of the industry. ‘Continuous innovation and high quality are our top priority. The company built a distinguished reputation over the past 33 years and we want to continue creating high quality, reliable products. This is one of the main reasons for keeping manufacturing in the UK.’ states Shaun Hayes. Tel: +44 01226 207420 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Supporting your project from Concept to Completion CONCEPT & DESIGN




Call today to find out how we can help you deliver

Tel: +44 (0) 1332 384 302




OTM and OTP turnkey solutions AEGIS Engineering Systems, founded in 1997, is an independent engineering consultancy with a field of activities ranging from design to independent assurance to safety assessment and analysis


ead by Mark McCool, the company has more recently expanded into the OTM and OTP sector. Its ability to quickly mobilise specialised teams has won a lot of work at home and overseas providing clients with the extra skills required to tackle the challenging requirements of rail authorities and modern legislation. Recent changes in the structure of the company have included the setting up of an independent division offering design, documentation, analysis and associated services. This expansion of their roles has gone hand-in-hand with a recruitment drive and the company can now call on a team of more than 40 professionals. New horizons AEGIS’ latest venture builds on its experience with the Singapore Plant Approvals Body where AEGIS engineers have been working to assist the introduction of UK and Chinese Rail Plant systems. ‘We realised that there are plenty of companies who can assess plant and evaluate it but very few prepared to work with plant operators, designers and manufacturers to assist with the nuts and bolts of innovation and plant safety’ says Edd Davison who heads up the new department. ‘POS rules require POS holders to have access to professionally qualified engineers skilled and experienced in the design, manufacture, modification and documentation of on-track plant’ he continues, ‘but it is difficult, if not impossible, for even the largest plant suppliers to justify that kind of expertise on a full-time basis’. This is where AEGIS plant specialist engineers can step in to support innovation, to update and control documentation and to implement and control engineering change processes to the highest standards without full-time costs. ‘The smallest modifications to a machine or an attachment can sometimes constitute an engineering change which can render the plant supplier liable for any subsequent failure’ says Edd. ‘Partnering with AEGIS gives our clients access to a full range of skills, techniques and software systems operated by experienced and highly qualified engineers so that any change is properly analysed, documented and controlled. This

really reduces the risk for the client and significantly improves the professionalism of the whole process’. Separate expansion With inputs to the design process and the intention of becoming a GB Plant Assessment Body (in addition to Singapore) isn’t there a conflict of interest though? ‘Not at all’ says Edd. ‘AEGIS tackled this issue head-on at the earliest stage in the new venture and we have put in place the most robust processes within our organisation to ensure that the two functions are completely separated’. This was heavily tested in a recent project where AEGIS plant support and development engineers were engaged by a Chinese company to help it adapt one of its machines for use in Singapore where it had

to be approved for use by AEGIS plant approvals inspectors. ‘This was very challenging for all concerned and as the go-between for the two teams, it was fascinating to watch the project develop but, at the end of the day, the machine is now working well and working safely and AEGIS has demonstrated one of its core values: to delight (both) customers’. Tel: +44 (0)1332 384 302 Email: Visit:

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Certification solutions that work for you Network Certification Body (NCB) provides a system-wide approach to railway certification on infrastructure and vehicle projects, both in the UK and overseas. Our knowledge of the processes and our connections throughout the railway industry give us the unparalleled ability to provide assurance and certification solutions that work for you. From tunnels to bridges, eletrification to signalling and vehicle modifications through to new build, we’ve got you covered - working as: a Notified Body and Designated Body acting against interoperability requirements a Plant Assessment Body under Railway Industry Standard 1710-PLT an Assessment Body under the Common Safety Method an Entities in Charge of Maintenance Certification Body We offer practical advice; partnering with our clients to give value for money, resulting in an efficient, successful certification.

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you Email:



Retaining the Rail Network A Redi-Rock™ ‘lego’ style concrete retaining wall block is helping Network rail reduce the disruption to services when trackside landslips endanger the rail network


he concrete block system was first used by Dean and Dyball Rail on the Blackboy Tunnel/Exmouth junction where a section in a cutting, approximately 20 metres long required stabilising. Historically, there had been several small slips that had resulted in a timber post and sleeper retaining wall being constructed and this was in the process of collapsing onto the S&T trough route.A modular block retaining wall was designed to replace this arrangement, which allowed for short sections, between four and six metres long, of the proposed concrete block wall to be constructed at a time, eliminating the possibility of damage to the S&T route.

Team resources The installation gang consisted of three men and an excavator (with an operator). The blocks were transferred to the worksite by a road railer towing a trailer, under the supervision of a machine controller and excavated material was removed from site using the same resource. One of the three-man gang was tasked to act as a slinger; blocks were removed from the trailer to be placed into the modular block wall by the excavator. In this instance the foundation was constructed using compacted lean-mix concrete. All works were completed during the night-time possessions, with less than a four-hour working window.

Location specifics The location for the retaining wall also suffered from ingress of water from natural springs and fissures in the rock. Due to the nature of the mass concrete blocks, temporary control of the water was easily dealt with by forcing the water around the blocks to the existing track drainage by forming small bunds. The design called for a second wall constructed behind the main wall with a small void between the two walls, which was filled with concrete. This greatly reduced the volume of loose material which would require compacting, thus increasing the works to be completed within the planned possession programme. >>>

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Still using pneumatic wipers? ... maybe it’s time to convert?

• Arms • Blades • Motors (24v and 110v) • Linkage systems • Components & spares

PSV Wipers - providing a clearer view Pneumatic windscreen wiper systems have been around for decades. When new, they work well, but as time progresses they can become prone to failure due to system leaks. Failed wipers result in inoperable trains, causing service disruption (costing both time and money). Thankfully, there’s an economic alternative. With over 35 years experience producing complete wiper systems, PSV Wipers Ltd have developed a number of conversion kits specifically for older rolling stock. These are a direct replacement for your existing pneumatic or electric system. They’re reliable, easy to retrofit and can save thousands in maintenance costs and lost operating time. PSV have been developing and manufacturing robustly engineered wiper systems since 1980, supplying new and replacement components and systems for UK and international OEM train builders, fleet operators and fleet support distributors. Our products are designed to improve reliability and lower ‘Life Cycle Costs’.

Why not discover the benefits of electric wiper systems? Call us today and ask for our Rail Specialist, Paul Curry. PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE, UK Tel. +44 (0) 1905 350500 │ │ Photo reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Credit Phil Sangwell.



Continued success Since this first project, the concrete RediRock™ block system has been successfully used for other retaining walls on the rail network, including the Wolvercote Cutting, part of the £320 million East West Rail project in Oxfordshire, as its strength and earth retaining capabilities keeps both the train and track safe whilst offering a pleasant viewing experience. The Redi-Rock™ modular walling is manufactured by the CPM Group, which is the only UK mainland licensed manufacturers of the Redi-Rock™ retaining wall system. Tel: 01179 814500 Email: Visit:

Helping the rail industry run like clockwork for over 130 years

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

Benefit from our experience and contact us today!

T: +44 (0) 1325 462722 E: Rail Professional



Improving track surveys Worldwide, investments in rail are booming and increased numbers of passenger and freight tonnage is forcing governments and private companies to increase rail capacity


n the UK, the staggering growth in rail passenger numbers over the last 20 years has triggered the need for major investment in the railway network with projects such as the Transpennine upgrade, Midland electrification, East Coast and West Coast Mainline route upgrades, high output track and ballast renewal and North West electrification. These and other schemes will enable hundreds more trains to run each day, running faster and more reliably and transporting millions of people. With these schemes comes the need for accurate survey data to feed the UK rail network’s increasingly digital operating and management systems: geometry of the

track, permissible speed of the train, quality of the track and track clearances to meet standards and regulations. Fugro’s RILA systems are the latest milestone in accelerating and streamlining the data feed, providing the unique combination of absolute track position data with relative parameters and delivering geo-intelligence that drives efficiencies in both rail engineering and track maintenance activities. RILA systems With RILA, Fugro has created a way to undertake track surveys in a safer, faster and significantly more cost-effective manner. Traditionally track measurements are undertaken by surveyors who work on

and near the track and whilst doing so are exposed to the dangers of live railways. Network Rail estimates that substantial surveying man-hours are exposed to these risks each year. Fugro’s innovative suite of train-borne RILA systems is able to measure the track and rail corridor in a fast and efficient manner, and designed to keep trains moving safely, without interruption to services, whilst keeping survey personnel away from the track. Fugro’s RILA Track system is unique in that it can be coupled to regular service trains to collect data without the need for surveyors to be on or near the track, or used on dedicated measurement trains. The acquired data can be used for many applications including absolute track position (XYZ coordinates) for pre-renewal design work and post-renewal as-built information, input for alignment, correction data for tampers and verification of 6ft track distances. The data can also be used to determine railhead wear, track gauge, twist and cant. And because the system operates at line speed without the need for a special vehicle, data can be gathered at significantly lower costs than conventional methods. How does it work? The RILA Track system uses GPS, IMU (inertial navigation) and laser vision technologies. All equipment is installed in a transportable device which can be mounted to an automated coupler of a passenger train or to a set of buffers within just two minutes. >>>

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single system. This exciting development will provide greater flexibility of operations, reducing acquisition costs and timelines. Features of the new system include: • integrated 360° scanner in the RILA track unit • specially developed lasers which reduce the influence of sunlight reflecting from the head of the rail. This improves the quality of the raw dataset, resulting in better accuracies and faster processing • advanced RILA processing software to relate sophisticated GPS and inertial measurements to a customer defined grid • high resolution imaging and video cameras replacing the need for traditional site photography of OLE structures etc.

Data acquisition is at line speed and, when installed on a regular passenger train, there is no need for train paths, limiting the disruption to train services. Track profiles are collected using an integrated laser and imaging system that computes position and orientation from onboard GPS and inertial measurement systems. The track heads can be georeferenced to absolute position in any desired coordinate system such as the Ordnance Survey National Grid (OSGB36). The system is currently cleared to operate at 100 mph and at this speed will yield profiles at 10 cm intervals with an unprecedented absolute accuracy of +/-10 mm (plan) and +/-15 mm (height) without the need for ground control. As the RILA Track system passes over the track, its laser vision system projects a laser beam over each rail with the integrated camera capturing high resolution images of the rail profile and the coordinates of 1,400 laser points per railhead are calculated. The laser image of the railhead and rail foot provides high accuracy profiles and measurements (relative accuracy <0.3 mm) that can be used to determine railhead and running edge wear as well as wear of S&C components. The RILA Track system also incorporates an integrated video that can be georeferenced using the system’s survey data and used for desktop-based analysis and validation.

Where survey information is required for the entire rail corridor, a second Fugro system comes into play: called RILA 360, it incorporates twin 360° laser scanners and a panoramic imaging system to supply ultra-high density LiDAR point cloud data of the route. This point cloud data can be controlled using the RILA Track position data to provide a level of accuracy and precision not normally possible using conventional mobile mapping platforms. The RILA 360 system can be mounted to any buffered service train scanning the complete rail corridor, including track assets, structures, earthworks and vegetation. New generation RILA 3.0 Currently, the RILA Track and RILA 360 systems can work independently or be deployed simultaneously to support the collection of high density, RILA 360 point clouds. The result is an accurate, absolute XYZ model of all the objects in and around the track (including OLE componentry) and even higher relative accuracy of the objects, in respect of the track. Keen to ensure its systems constantly evolve to meet client needs, Fugro has recently launched its latest generation RILA 3.0 system that combines a single integrated laser scanner with the RILA Track unit. Another industry first for Fugro, RILA 3.0 enables track geometry and laser scanned point cloud data to be captured from the rear of a passenger train by one

Strategic efficiencies Fugro’s innovative train mounted measuring systems yield hundreds of kilometres of survey data per day, a rate that could not be contemplated using traditional terrestrial techniques. RILA’s mantra is: ‘collect once, use many times’ providing routewide capabilities that offer companies like Network Rail strategic efficiencies and new insights for predictive maintenance, helping to increase the lifespan of assets. Once captured, the data can be used for multiple asset management and infrastructure applications. The RILA datasets are delivered via the RILA webbased portal, an open platform enabling

data to be imported and exported from existing software applications; alternatively, Fugro can provide client specific interfaces to facilitate links to other enterprise systems. A sophisticated and recognised tool for rail survey, RILA Track when used in combination with RILA 360 has been approved for use by Network Rail under Band 1A survey accuracy, a newly created accuracy classification allowing its use for the complete range of design applications, which means the systems can now be deployed quickly and safely on a routine basis on Britain’s railways. Tel: +31 (0)30 75 51520 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Mobility for tomorrow

With a track record of over 100 years dedicated to anticipating and solving tomorrow's challenges ahead of the rest, Schaeffler is a preferred development partner for rail sector manufacturers and operators worldwide. Future trends are clear ... Increasingly intelligent rail systems require revolutionary lifecycle management of tomorrow's demands on bearings and mechatronics. Maintenance management is being revolutionised by using Schaeffler condition monitoring products and services. Schaeffler remotely evaluates complex volumes of real-load data to determine requirement-based maintenance. In this way maintenance intervals can be reliably extended, leading to greater rolling stock availability, safety and overall cost savings. The mobility of tomorrow must be more sustainable, more efficient, quieter and safer. Whether you are a high-speed, freight or local transport provider, we look forward to sharing our comprehensive technical expertise. Stand Q10 at RAILTEX |



On track for a superior finish Joseph Ash Galvanizing offers a one-stop-service for shot blasting, galvanizing and powder coating from its Medway plant, with all services provided under one roof


any suppliers to the railway industry use steel galvanized by Joseph Ash Galvanizing. When processing steel, the team works hard to protect the environment as well, through an ever-growing list of recycling activities with processes supported by an environmental and sustainability policy. For example, the company supports waste minimisation through recycling and the recovery of zinc from the waste stream. It also operates within a framework of a self-imposed environmental management system based on internationally recognised standards. Expanding services With a number of different bath sizes at the various plants (including one of the widest galvanizing baths in Europe at the Telford plant), everything from lighting columns to

Joseph Ash Galvanizing treats many steel fabrications for the railway industry, including gantries, station canopies, car parks, bridges, fencing, lineside cabinets, cantilevers, and CCTV posts. The company has galvanized many of these structures for sites including Birmingham New Street Station, Bristol Parkway Station (pictured here), Stoke Gifford Depot, Hazel Grove Station, and the East and West Coast Main Lines electrification projects.

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staircases, gantries to bridges, and structural sections to access support steelwork can be treated. Small specialist parts such as hinges, nuts and bolts can also be galvanized in the company’s spin line galvanizing baths. When it comes to corrosion protection, the dedicated workforce and large and modern HGV fleet enable them to provide the highest standards of galvanizing quality and service available. The company’s full list of services includes: • collection and delivery • onsite storage facilities • passivation post galvanizing • a range of different bath sizes and lifting capabilities • additional paperwork if requested • the ability to powder coat aluminium as well as steel. Health and Safety Finally, Joseph Ash Galvanizing has a keen sense of responsibility for the world around it, not only when it comes to quality of work, sustainability and the environment, but also regarding the health and safety of employees and visitors. For example, in June 2014, 2015, 2016 and again in 2017, Joseph Ash Galvanizing became the only galvanizing company in the

UK to be awarded the RoSPA Gold Award, recognising the company’s health and safety standard, performance and systems.


Tel: 0121 504 2573 Email: Visit:

Hot dip galvanizing Hot dip galvanizing provides a long-life, low-maintenance corrosion protection which safeguards steel from atmospheric attack. Applying a hot dip galvanizing process to steelwork provides fabrications with a robust, durable and corrosion protective finish that under normal conditions will last for many years without maintenance of any sort. Spin galvanizing Small items such as nuts, bolts, chains and screws need to be as rust resistant as the steel structures they support, however they are too small to galvanize in a hot dip galvanizing bath. With spin galvanizing, small items can be placed in a perforated basket and immersed into molten zinc. Once the zinc/alloy layers form, the basket is centrifuged at high speed so that the spinning action removes the excess zinc and creates a clean profile. Powder coating Powder coating is a type of paint that is mainly applied to metals to provide a harder finish than a normal paint. The paint is applied as a powder electrostatically from a spray gun and is cured in an oven under a high heat to form a tough, durable skin. Powder coating paints come in many colours and can be used to create different finishes such as textured or metallic. Shot blasting Before metal is galvanized it needs to be cleaned to give it a smooth surface. One of the most effective ways to create this surface is to shot blast it. Shot blasting fires a high-pressure spray of abrasive steel materials onto a rough surface to create a smooth surface.

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Improving pedestrian access at Hayle railway With over 11 million people in Great Britain classed as having a disability, ensuring safe access for passengers at train stations is essential


hose responsible for stations and the rail network must ensure that safety measures are put in place for all members of the community. If suitable handrails, ramps and lifts are not provided, access can be problematic at train stations. Several initiatives have been introduced over recent years with the aim of improving access for disabled people and substantial amounts of money has been allocated to help improve access at main line stations. Safety must be the primary concern

and a correctly installed handrail provides optimum safety for all passengers. There are a number of possible handrailing solutions on the market which will meet the requirements of regulations and standards such as the Equality Act 2010, Building Regulations Part M and British Standard BS 8300. The two main options available are fabricated systems and tubular structures, which are assembled using standard tube and fittings. Fabricated systems can involve a lot of preparation, require

a skilled installer and can be problematic due to onsite welding, which is why tubular structures are a much more flexible alternative. Kee Systemsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; recent work at Hayle Railway Station is a perfect demonstration of the flexibility of tube and fittings and how they can cater for specific onsite requirements. Hayle railway station The redevelopment of Hayle railway station was a joint scheme between First Great

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So that this did not happen at Hayle railway station, Kee Systems used a 78mm diameter diamond core drill which needed to be 250mm deep for each upright. The uprights were then resin fixed into position to achieve the required strength and guaranteed durability. Where tarmac was located, for example along pathways, concrete bases were required to ensure the handrails met the required load design.

Western, Cornwall Council, Sustrans and Network Rail. The aim of the £800,000 scheme was to provide a safer alternative north-south link for passengers and the community travelling through the station. Kee Systems worked with Raymond Brown Construction to provide protected pedestrian routes and safeguard new ramps at the entrance to the station and in the walkway to the railway platforms. ‘We chose the combination of Kee Systems products for this project as we have experience of installing these systems in other railway settings’ explains site manager, Kevin Burrows, of Raymond Brown. ‘We are always impressed by how quickly and easily the fittings can be installed on site, which makes for an extremely cost effective solution.’ The benefits of fittings Kee Access® fittings guarantee a rigid, stable and sturdy installation and are fitted with both Kee Koat® grub screws and Thredkoat® recess protection to ensure superior corrosion resistance, as well as defence against signs of wear. The Kee Access® range includes an ‘addon’ offset fitting to permit an additional handrail to improve an existing structure. The modular structure of the system also incorporates impressive flexibility capable of accommodating on site variations. The Kee Klamp® range also offers outstanding versatility and is suited to a range of guardrail applications. Manufactured from galvanised cast iron, the Kee Klamp® system securely joins structural steel tube into almost any conceivable configuration across a variety of angles. Designed with ease and speed of installation in mind, the components eliminate the need for hot works on site, resulting in significant cost and time

savings, an important factor for the project. Installation is quick and easy as neither specialist labour nor tools are required. The Kee Klamp® fittings are installed by simply using a standard hex key. Each fitting incorporates an internal set screw which locks the respective fitting safely and securely onto the tube. 50mm x 50mm weld mesh panels can be integrated into a variety of handrail and guardrail structures as was the case at Hayle railway station. The weld mesh panels work as an effective screen against litter and can also be used to segregate areas as required. A competent installation As the fittings were being used to construct protection in the form of safety barriers, handrails and guardrails, they needed to be supplied and installed to the specific system parameters. The handrails at Hayle station were designed to achieve a 740 N/m design load suitable for pedestrian access in accordance with BS6180-2011. Correct specification of the upright tubes was crucial to achieve the design load. In order to do this, Kee Systems carried out a series of calculations which determined 48.3mm O/D upright tubes would be required with a 4.0mm wall thickness. The installation of handrails along the ramp also required careful planning as the ramp comprised paving slabs with a brick upstand. Contractors often carry out the handrail installation themselves without understanding or realising the importance of conforming to the required design loadings. When this happens, it is often the case that base flanges have been anchored on top of the brickwork, this can lead to the brickwork working loose, resulting in a noncompliant and a potential hazard.

Fall from height risks Some areas around the site presented a possible fall risk through the handrails. To overcome this, the systems were adapted so that they included an additional guardrail or a mesh panel for added security. The versatility of both Kee Access® and Kee Klamp® fittings meant that the company could use long uprights in the handrail systems at these potential fall risk locations. Where required, the uprights were extended to achieve the required 1100mm design height from finished floor level for a guardrail. To overcome any risk of a fall, a 50mm x 50mm bespoke weld mesh panel was installed for guaranteed safety of the station users.

Safe access for all Safety and accessibility for all passengers was extremely important at Hayle station so the Kee Access® and Kee Klamp® fittings were powder coated in vibrant yellow to clearly mark routes throughout the station. The fittings have created a smooth, continuous handrail that is fully compliant with DDA legislation and has enabled the provision of better, safer access for all travellers at Hayle station The end result Using fittings to construct the safety barriers and handrails, rather than fabricating them, gave Kee Systems the flexibility to provide systems which met the different safety critical requirements of the project, on time and to the satisfaction of both the customer and the end client. The end result has been aesthetically pleasing protection for rail travellers and those passing through the station. Tel: 0208 874 6566 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

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At Uretek we have been working for over 30 years to develop and deliver fast, efficient solutions to ground engineering problems. We are the pioneers of geo-polymer injection technology which we use to stabilise and improve the strength of ground under any kind of structure. Our technology is used by engineers and contractors as they seek effective ways to maintain assets from roads and airports to warehouses and homes. Contact us today about a project or request a CPD presentation to learn more about our methods.

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Permanent protection for noise barriers Noise barriers are constantly exposed to pressure and suction forces which call for a fastening system that deflects the forces into the concrete without undoing the bolted joint


f the joint design is unable to resist the forces, there is a risk of the connection loosening. The results of such bolt loosening could be witnessed nearly ten years ago in the Middle Rhine Valley region. Undoubtedly ranking among Germanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most beautiful landscapes, the Rhine Valley is a region that grapples with massive exposure to noise generated by railroad traffic. No fewer than 550 trains a day blast through this idyllic landscape and at times they are merely a few metres away from residential homes. The noise barriers used in this region are subjected to particularly high noise levels. The vast stress loads this protective system must cope with are the result of continuous changes between stagnation pressure and suction pressure. and take the necessary countermeasures is to perform regular inspections of the bolted connections. However, such frequent inspections cost significant amounts of time and money.

The wedge-locking principle devised by Nord-Lock presents a cost-effective solution to this problem. The solution owes its effectiveness to a pair of washers that secure bolted joints even if subjected to severe vibrations and dynamic stress. Instead of friction, Nord-Lock relies on the preload force applied during tightening to achieve this level of reliability. The system comprises of a pair of washers that have cams on their inner faces and radial teeth on their outer faces. The cam angle is selected so that it is always greater than the thread pitch of the bolt. Even the smallest turn of the bolt during vibration causes an increase in the preload force, locking the bolt due to the wedge effect. Now, for the first time, the X-series washers combine the Nord-Lock wedge locking principle with a spring effect. This combination enables the X-series washer to keep the bolted joint from loosening inadvertently due to dynamic loads and at the same time, to prevent loosening caused by settlement and relaxation. This unique design makes the X-series washers the first multi-function

Only to a lesser degree are they caused by vibration. These changes in pressure can cause fastening bolts to loosen â&#x20AC;&#x201C; especially those in noise barriers used along highspeed railroad tracks. As witnessed in the past, bolted joints have buckled under such pressure, time and time again. In a worst-case scenario, noise barriers can collapse onto the railroad track and block important cargo routes, forcing Deutsche Bahn to reroute traffic and bringing about substantial cost. Tension instead of friction One effective way to detect bolt loosening Rail Professional

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solution that delivers the ultimate security for bolted joints of critical importance. Rules and standards The wedge-locking principle conceived by Nord-Lock has been tried and tested extensively in railway transportation and steel construction over many years. Scores of products have, in the meantime, become an integral part of the rules, standards, and regulations established by Deutsche Bahn AG. In cases such as DB Directive 804 and as stipulated in the LSW model service specifications issued by DB Netz AG, the use of Nord-Lock washers in bolted joints is mandatory. What is more, wedge locking washers designed by Nord-Lock are the only solution that has been approved for use in structures and construction engineering by Germany’s Federal Railway Authority (EBA). Other current examples include the RIL 804.5501A06, the RIL 804.5601 or the DBS 918 007, which require the use of wedge locking washers and X-series washers for bridges equipped with noise barriers and soundproof walls – both in new construction and refurbishment projects. Constantly striving to find the best solutions possible in the most challenging applications, Nord-Lock works in close cooperation with other partners during the detailed design and development stage. The exceptional quality of the products these combined efforts deliver have been verified many times in laboratory and in real-life testing. One example is the test commissioned by Toge to determine the long-term durability bolted joints made up of the company’s noise barrier anchor bolt in combination with Nord-Lock X-series washers.


The test focused on noise barriers that were retrofitted to an existing bridge in the context of a construction project completed in Illingen, Baden-Württemberg. The barriers were fastened using a combination of anchor bolts (concrete bolts) and X-series washers manufactured by Nord-Lock. An advancement of an existing Toge product, these concrete bolts have been designed specifically to withstand dynamic loads. Just like the technology invented by Nord-Lock, these products have been given approval for use by the Federal Railway Authority (EBA). Previously, however, the certificate of approval mandated that these concrete bolts be retightened regularly if used without their Nord-Lock counterpart.

The test proved that exposure to dynamic loads did not result in any loss of preload in the anchor bolts. Even after being subjected to more than five million load cycles, the overall system remained safe and secure. These findings convinced the EBA to approve this combination of fasteners. The most efficient lock in refurbished noise barriers The sound barrier anchor bolts are inserted vertically into the reinforcement and encased in concrete in such a way that only the stainless-steel threads remain above the concrete surface. This makes the system a natural choice for use in new construction projects. The most common fasteners used in refurbishing projects are concrete bolts. Incidentally, such refurbishment projects are more commonplace than one might expect. One statistic shows that the bulk of the bridges used for traffic today were erected between 1955 and 1980. A large portion of these bridges are in desperate need of reinforcement. These reinforcements are dictated not only by the damage that stems from ordinary, age-related wear and tear but also by increases in traffic volume that have led to greater load-related stress. The supporting structures holding up these bridges may no longer satisfy today’s design requirements. Consequently, the demand for efficient and robust ways to fortify these structures is significant. Nord-Lock’s wedge-locking principle has proven to be of tremendous benefit in the area of refurbishment. Conducted by DB Netz AG between March of 2013 and May of 2014, a long-term test under real-world conditions has confirmed that Nord-Lock’s products ensure secure connections even when subjected to enormous dynamic loads.

Long-term safety for structures and vehicles Naturally, the application of the wedgelocking principle is equally effective in areas other than just the secure fastening of noise barrier posts. Wedge locking washers can minimize risk and lower maintenance cost wherever bolted joints are exposed to dynamic stress caused by train-induced loads. Also a staple in vehicle construction: for more than 20 years, Nord-Lock has been working with vehicle manufacturers who apply its wedge locking technology with great success, particularly in safety-critical areas such as bogies, linkages and brake systems. Other areas where its principle has proved to be indispensable are the secure fastening of track switches, balise bars, sensors and signs. The use of wedge locking washers to secure bolts is also becoming increasingly widespread in the area of signal mast design. Nord-Lock will be providing a comprehensive overview of the wide range of applications and solutions that its wedge locking technology has to offer at InnoTrans in Berlin (Hall 8.2 / 102) between September 20 and September 23 2017 Tel: +44 7941 505053 Email: Visit: Rail Professional


COMPLETE COUPLER SYSTEMS Design / Manufacture Overhaul / Upgrade

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William Cook Rail Ltd Cross Green, Leeds, LS9 0DX

Tel 0113 249 6363 Email



Sufficient cooling output Manufacturing automation systems are delicate and very expensive pieces of kit, which perform vital functions for the businesses they serve


he enclosures that protect the systems must have strictly controlled internal environments with interior temperatures that are carefully maintained within a few degrees. If not, the impact can be harmful to the inverter drives, power supplies, contactors, PLCs and other electrical and electronic components operating within them. This requires careful control of the climate within the enclosure. Here are some practical tips on how to evaluate an existing enclosure climate control through a series of simple checks. The importance of temperature Like all electrical equipment, drives create heat and they therefore have a major influence on the temperatures inside

within. A typical enclosure climate control system is designed for an internal enclosure temperature of 35°C. This means that the performance of a cooling unit should be specified so that the average internal enclosure temperature of 35°C can be guaranteed under all load conditions and under all the ambient conditions that could be met at the machineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location. enclosures. Drives are often quoted as having efficiency of 97 per cent, so one with a rated output of 150kW can produce as much as 4.5kW of heat. As well as the heat loss inside the enclosure, ambient temperatures within a production facility will also have an impact on the temperatures that a drive is operating

Checking the enclosure temperature The first check is to measure the temperature within the enclosure to assess its climate control capability. Temperature sensors should be placed in a position within the airflow of the enclosure, sensors should not be placed on or near direct airflow from high temperature components. Otherwise temperature

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NORBAR THE VOICE OF TORQUE CONTROL Norbar has a long history of association with the rail industry. Our involvement starts with the manufacturers and then extends through the life of the rolling stock and rail networks. We are also extensively involved with the rail infrastructure; building and maintaining the rail networks. • • • • •

Pneumatic Torque Multipliers Electronic Torque Multipliers Industrial Torque Wrenches Calibration Services Engineer To Order

CONTACT: +44 (0)1295 753600

CMS Rail advert.qxp_Layout 1 18/11/2016 12:37 Page 1


CMS Cepcor is a high quality machining company based in Coalville Leicester. We specialise in supplying both standard and narrow gauge heritage railway organisations with quality products. Recent examples: • Tyseley Locomotive Works - Valve and cylinder liners • LMS Patriot project- expansion links, bushes, eccentric rods and sheaves, big end strap, reversing gear components and brake gear parts • Class 5 4-6-0, No 44767 “George Stephenson” - new cylinders We also have the capability of machining all motion parts (inc. full length connecting and coupling rods) plus pressing wheels/axle assemblies. CMS Cepcor Precision Services Technical Centre, Samson Road, Hermitage Ind. Est., Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3FP Tel: 01530 510247 E: Rail Professional


If the sensor records air temperatures of well over 35°C (set point) then the output of the cooling unit should either be considered insufficient or, alternatively, that there has been a malfunction of the cold air routing in the enclosure. This means that the cooling air cannot reach (or can only partially reach) the temperature-sensitive components

readings can be found to be inaccurate. The sensors should be left to monitor the temperature trend over a period of time. If the sensor records air temperatures of well over 35°C (set point) then the output of the cooling unit should either be considered insufficient or, alternatively, that there has been a malfunction of the cold air routing in the enclosure. This means that the cooling air cannot reach (or can only partially reach) the temperature-sensitive components. Checking the control behaviour of cooling devices Another easy way of checking an enclosure climate control system is to observe the cooling unit’s control behaviour: Unlike speed-controlled cooling devices such as the new Rittal Blue e+ cooling units, conventional enclosure cooling units begin with the two-point regulation of the cooling operation when a temperature inside the enclosure gets above of 35°C and finishes when the shutdown temperature of 30°C is achieved (at a typical hysteresis of 5K). If a cooling device does not reach the shutdown temperature, a conventional cooling unit will therefore continue to operate. If this happens, it’s a good indication that the cooling unit has an insufficient output and suggest that there is


likely to be a deficiency in suitable cooling air to the components inside the enclosure. You can simply touch a device to determine a refrigerator’s operating status: the activity of the refrigeration compressor during cold production is accompanied by a slight vibration of the refrigerator housing that can easily be felt. Alternatively, the exhaust temperature of the cooling unit in the external air circuit may be measured. During active cooling operation, this will be significantly higher (potentially, anywhere between 10° and 40°C) than the ambient temperature. Locating hotspots You can also do a rough check of an enclosure’s climate control system with infrared thermography which measure the surface temperatures of the components inside the enclosure and these are recorded with an infrared camera. If any areas have significantly elevated temperatures (hot spots) it is an indication that they are not being supplied with enough cooling air. Tel: 01709 704000 Email: Visit:

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Providing Multi-disciplinary infrastructure Solutions Nationwide Pod-Trak is a multi-disciplinary infrastructure company established in 2007 and since then has grown steadily building long lasting partnerships with our clients. We work throughout the UK with offices based in London, Manchester and Doncaster. London Office

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Kilborn Consulting Limited is an independent railway engineering consultancy and design business. We specialise in the design of new and altered railway signalling systems for the UK railway infrastructure. There are six defined areas for which we supply our services: • • • • • •

Consultancy, including technical advice and support Signalling Correlation, Condition Assessments and Surveys; Signalling & Level Crossing Risk Assessments; Feasibility, Concept and Outline Signalling Design; Detailed Signalling Design; and Competency Management and Assessment

Our consultancy services include a range of services such as Signal Sighting, Signalling Asset Condition and Inspection activities, EMC/EMI Studies and Assessments, etc. As part of our risk assessment services we are competent to undertake suitable and sufficient risk assessments for level crossings through to signalling overrun risk assessments using the SORAT and VariSPAD process, as well as other associated assessments such as Trap Point, ROL and Buffer Stop assessments.

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We very much look forward to working with you.

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Transport and the Welsh economy Furrer+Frey commissioned a white paper on public transport issues in Wales entitled ‘Developing Sustainable Multimodal Transport Solutions for Wales’


ngineering company Furrer+Frey specialises in the design and development of electrification systems in all forms of public transport. The company is first and foremost an engineering design house, reinforced by allied professions such as project management, materials supply and development, logistics and training. In 2016, following a number of highprofile projects in Wales such as the Severn Tunnel, Newport Tunnel and Mainline System (concept) design to Cardiff, Furrer+Frey opened a new office in Wales’ capital city. This was launched at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, the home of the Welsh

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FROM SUBSEA TO TRACKSIDE For years weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been revolutionising the subsea industry; one of the most hostile environments imaginable. Now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re applying that thinking to signalling power cables. CableGuardian The first platform to offer proactive monitoring, detection and location of both insulator and conductor faults on live signalling power distribution systems. Enables compliance with Network Rail specification NR/L2/SIGELP/27725. Facilitates condition based maintenance rather than frequency based. For more information please email or call +44 (0)1275 787878


Government, with support from North Wales assembly member, Mark Isherwood. White paper The white paper explores how existing transport modes can be developed to become more interconnected, sustainable and environmentally friendly. It also seeks to demonstrate how the electrification of all forms of public transport can support Welsh aspirations in a cost-effective manner. Furrer+Frey supported the white paper with a YouGov survey which showed that 74 per cent of the 1,103 Welsh adults surveyed claimed investment should be a priority for Welsh Government. 71 per cent of those surveyed thought more investment in public transport would make a difference to the wider Welsh economy. Only 48 per cent were currently satisfied with regional public transport with those in North Wales the least content – with just five per cent of those surveyed saying they are ‘very satisfied’. Mark Isherwood said: ‘As the North Wales Economic Ambition Board has identified, public transport is vital for the smooth running of the region’s cross-border economy. Furrer+Frey’s findings support what I have been saying for years, which is that we need considerable infrastructure investment to enable economic growth. I hope that future transport strategies for Wales will be in line with their research.’ As well as Mr Isherwood, speakers at the event included Furrer+Frey Director Noel Dolphin; Iestyn Davies, CEO of Colegau

Cymru / CollegesWales; Judith Evans, principal at College y Cymoedd and David Pearce, Wales Millennium Centre. Access to education One of the key stats to come out of Furrer+Frey’s research was that 80 per cent of Welsh 18-24 year olds think that investment in public transport would make a difference to their access to education. This is something that was emphasised by Ms Evans who said: ‘Our pupils don’t necessarily have to travel great distances but they can often find journeys take up to an hour and a half which can be off putting for some. ‘Students over 19 years of age are also forced to pay full price for public transport and when they aren’t earning an income, this can be very off-putting.’ New projects There are a number of projects in Wales that include an electrification element. The largest and most significant of these are the electrification of the mainline from Cardiff to Swansea, the Cardiff Metro Project, potentially including electrification of Valley Lines and the electrification of North Wales. Director Noel Dolphin said: ‘Wales has a rich history of public transport but in recent times investment has been minimal and we were keen to gauge the general opinion of public transport. It is our hope that our white paper will contribute to informing future developments of Welsh transport systems.’


“One of the key

stats to come out of Furrer+Frey’s research was that 80 per cent of Welsh 18-24 year olds think that investment in public transport would make a difference to their access to education” Furrer+Frey’s new office is designed to capture this growing market. Furrer+Frey’s ambitions in Wales are not limited to design, but include further growth in the public transport sector and also supporting an Advanced Engineering Manufacturing Hub, for manufacturing materials in Wales. Furrer+Frey can provide digital copies of the white paper. Tel: 0203 740 5455 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Structural Testing and Lighting Solutions





01923 777 777

FREE NEXT DAY DELIVERY OF FASTENERS, FIXINGS & TOOLS* Roch ndt Services are specialists in the structural integrity testing of lighting columns and vertically mounted poles throughout the UK. We provide solutions to the Rail sector for the structural testing of Platform Lighting Columns, Station Approach Road Columns, Car Park Columns and Signals. We also provide VEKO lighting solutions for Depot, Under Canopy and Car Park lighting to the Rail Industry and in keeping with the Roch philosophy we bring a strong brand to the market where professionalism and quality of service are paramount.

For further information, please contact John Charles Telephone: 07392 198512 Email: Website: National suppliers to rail, civil engineering & construction projects specialising in London delivery. Huge stock & product expertise!

Olds Approach, Tolpits Lane, Watford, Herts, WD18 9XT

*ON ALL ORDERS OVER £20 +VAT. (Own van area) or free national delivery on orders over £50 +VAT.

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Leaping into mobile Most people’s lives are intertwined with their mobile phones now, so it makes sense for public transport to get into the mobile space. One company from New Zealand is helping public transport operators accross the globe do just that


ne way in which public transport ticketing is getting more technology focused is by allowing passengers to manage their public transport ticketing on their phones. Finding the technology that integrates with an existing network is the dream, because then the change isn’t as dramatic, or expensive. This is a tale of one such programme. Integrated ticketing Ireland has just under five million people living in the Emerald Isles. They’re scattered across an area of 27,000 square miles. Both population and size are similar to South Carolina. Until 2011 this beautiful country’s public transport users were served by a hotchpotch of public and private companies creating a confusing process for those travelling beyond their county’s lines. This all changed in 2011 when the

country’s public transport came together and the National Transport Authority (NTA) introduced an integrated ticketing card – the Leap card. While Leap card users could get balances from going online, topping up and purchasing tickets was not a simple process. People had to go to a physical store or a vending machine, whereas today they can enjoy the magic of doing these things on their phone these days. In another beautiful country, in a farflung corner of the globe, a company had the technology and nous to get the Leap card mobile. Enter Snapper from Wellington, New Zealand. Small beginnings When it launched in 2008, Snapper operated a fare collection and micropayments system just in Wellington. Starting out as a quick and easy way to pay for bus trips and small purchases from convenience stores and coffee shops,

Snapper rapidly expanded to include Rail Professional

High performance power supplies for rugged applications Relec Electronics offers a wide range of solutions for ac-dc or dc-dc power conversion, whether for trainborne or trackside applications, our engineering team can provide you with the optimum solution from our extensive range of power supplies. Formats include PCB mounting, DIN rail mount, chassis mount & 19” rack mounting.



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We have built equipment designed to be transported to client’s sites or within our own training centre to be moved to other classrooms giving us more capacity for delivering practical training. This allows some courses to be delivered off-site at a venue to suit the client and thus help to reduce their costs.

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about what new users may struggle with and what glitches could occur. Snapper shared the most frequently asked questions it had received from users (and the answers), as well as guidelines for loading the app into the Google Play store and tips on responding to Google Play reviews to ensure the most positive outcome. When Snapper launched its own Mobile app, it made a video demonstrating the use of the app, and, as this was successful for Snapper, it made a similar video for the Leap card app, which is displayed in the Google Play store and on the NTA website. Snapper also shared its knowledge of tracking results using analytics and social media, and the various add-ons that it successfully uses, such as Apptentive for in-app feedback.

payment of fares in taxis and on the Wellington cable car, as well as payment for metered on-street parking. Along the way, Snapper also brought a mobile reload app to Wellington’s public transport market. Something that would prove to really help the NTA all the way in Ireland, in its pursuit of improving the customer experience. In 2013, Snapper was doing a healthcheck of itself. One of the consultants who came in to do the review saw what Snapper was doing in the mobile space and, once they understood Snapper’s product development, introduced Snapper to the NTA. Early discussions with the NTA were fruitful – the NTA had already tendered for a similar product and had even partnered with a Nordic country to ask for tenders, but getting the technology up and running was proving hugely cost-prohibitive. The part that impressed the NTA was that Snapper had just done it. Snapper wasn’t talking about the reload apps and mobile methods of card maintenance, it didn’t just have concepts, Snapper had real-world examples in Wellington. NTA invited Snapper to tender at the beginning of 2014. Snapper realised that doing work independently in a foreign country would add risk to what could

potentially be a profitable and successful process. So, Snapper partnered with Vix, a technology company with a presence in Ireland already and together they presented the team presented its Leap card mobile topup app concept to be used on all forms of public transport throughout Ireland. Next steps In September 2014 Snapper began work with NTA and Vix as a cross-border-andtime zone team. Working across time zones like this presented obvious challenges, but it was so successful that Snapper made a casestudy out of it. NTA was keen to place control of the Leap card’s reload in the customers’ hands (literally), and was specifically targeting those customers who did not have convenient access to reload points along their usual travel route. Originally Snapper planned to do a simple re-skin of the Snapper mobile app. But the material design guidelines for building Android apps had recently been updated and this provided Snapper with the opportunity to rethink the design entirely. Snapper’s input did not end with the technology solution. Because it had experienced the launch of its own app, it had a wealth of information

Action over theory The lessons from the challenges of launching and running the Snapper Mobile app proved to be one of the most valuable services Snapper offered to NTA. Snapper’s philosophy has always been ‘It’s in the doing.’ In an industry that thrives on ‘anything is possible’, Snapper does not peddle in theory only. Everything that it proposes to potential clients, it has already implemented and run as part of the Snapper scheme in Wellington, New Zealand. Wellington provides Snapper with a supportive, enthusiastic commuter market, to which Snapper has systematically introduced and refined new products and services. The outcome of the NTA project was a huge success. It was a smooth project that was launched in January 2016, on time and under budget. Words that are seldom used in tech projects. The launch was a big event, presided over by Paschal Donohoe, Ireland’s Minister of Transport. It got a lot of attention and so the pressure was on for the product to really deliver. Transaction volumes on the Leap card app surpassed those using auto-reload within six weeks. There were more than 50,000 downloads of the app in the three months after the launch. Of the nearly 800 app ratings currently in the Google Play store, two-thirds rate the app four or five stars. So clearly it was a success. And from this, Snapper, Vix and NTA are working on the next version of the app, and exploring new functionality. Although the opportunity to provide NTA with its mobile reload solution fell serendipitously into Snapper’s lap, the little technology company from the little city in the little country in the far corner of the globe still had to make some big plays to land the contract and successfully deliver it. Thankfully Snapper is the little company that could. For more on Snapper’s ticketing solutions, please visit: Rail Professional



Serco strengthens strategic and operational leadership of its UK rail business The move is being taken as the business prepares for the introduction of the new Caledonian Sleeper train fleet next year. Peter Strachan, previously managing director of Caledonian Sleepers, is now chairman, UK Rail. In this newly created role, Strachan will chair the Caledonian Sleeper board and continue to chair the Caledonian Sleepers new trains Project Board. He will also become a shareholder representative in Merseyrail, the JV with Abellio, in which Serco has a 50 per cent shareholding. Keith Wallace has been appointed managing director, Caledonian Sleepers. Wallace joined Serco earlier this year and is a chartered engineer, with a background in the rail sector including as programme director for Govia Thameslink Railway. Kevin Craven, Serco’s CEO, Central Government, said: ‘Both Peter and Keith have a great deal of experience and expertise in the rail business and these appointments will strengthen our capabilities in this market. The arrival of the new Caledonian Sleeper rolling stock next year will be a very exciting enhancement of the service that we offer to customers and represents a significant investment for Serco. These leadership changes will ensure that we have the senior management capacity to deliver the new trains and improved service successfully.’

Rail Professional

Peter Strachan

Use your expertise to support UK suppliers Technical and Innovation Manager Policy Executive or Manager (DOE) Victoria, London with some travel - £ Competitive (DOE) The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the Trade Association for UK-based suppliers of equipment and services to the rail industry, worldwide. Its 190+ membership companies cover virtually all aspects of railway supply including rolling stock, track and structures, electrification systems, signalling/communications systems and IT-based support systems. We represent our members’ interests to the key rail clients and work closely on strategic issues with other key stakeholders. For either role you will need good inter-personal, presentational and teamwork skills and be able to be a good ambassador for RIA and the rail supply chain generally.

Technical & Innovation Manager

Policy Executive or Manager (DOE)

You will represent suppliers at industry meetings, provide technical support and guidance to members and play a major role in RIA’s successful programme of Technical Interest Groups. You will lead the delivery and development of the Unlocking Innovation Scheme and help plan and deliver the annual Innovation Conference, Technology Brokering and University engagement. With the Technical Director you will contribute to the RIA strategy and programme.

You will research and draft policy papers on key

You are likely to be a Chartered Engineer with sufficient experience to command the support and respect of engineers in RIA’s member companies and other stakeholders. You will have or be able to develop an understanding of the existing and potential innovation landscape and mechanisms.

To express interest in either role please forward your CV to by 18 June 2017 stating which position you are interested in.

issues and represent RIA at external meetings and events. You will have the organisational skills to coordinate the programme of RIA Strategic Interest Groups (SIGs) and support the RIA Value Improvement Programme (VIP). You will assist RIA to develop its regional presence and work with the Policy Director to develop a forward strategic vision and programme for RIA policy activity. You will bring current experience in a fast-moving policy background and will be expected to have or quickly build a good working knowledge of the rail industry and key supply chain issues. You will be able to command the support of senior personnel in client organisations, RIA’s member companies and other rail stakeholders.



Marsh Bellofram supply the Train Industry with a wide range of products that include Air operated horns, Horn operating control valves and pressure gauges. We are a leading manufacturer of pressure and temperature instrumentation of which many are specifically designed for use in Locomotive applications. The Horns that Marsh Bellofram Supply can be operated in all weather conditions and give years of trouble free service. To compliment these products we offer an extensive repair, refurbishment and certification service for products manufactured by all the main manufacturers of this type of equipment. Marsh Bellofram also manufactures bespoke and specialized silicone products which are widely used in window and door seal applications as well as sound and fire resistant silicone sheeting which can be used in many areas of the Rail industry. Rugged DC Tachometers & Rotary Encoders Part of the Bellofram Group of Companies since 2011, ServoTek Products, Inc. (formerly of Hawthorne, New Jersey USA) is a world renowned manufacturer of TachSyn brushless DC tachometer and commutators, instrument-grade DC tachometers and low-cost rotary encoders, serving hundreds of OEM customers in commercial aviation, automotive, defence, industrial machinery control, motors, robotics, lift and process monitoring sectors. ServoTek Products are known for their rugged designs, high-reliability performance and proven pedigree across thousands of successful field installations.

Thomas Drexler joins SilverRail The former Amadeus head of rail and ground transportation joined SilverRail last month as vice president of rail strategy. He will be responsible for European Carrier strategy and business development. Drexler was with Amadeus for six years leading its rail and ground transportation business. Prior to that he was with Deutsche Bahn AG for eight years. Will Phillipson, SilverRail co-founder and president said Thomas has been a ‘very visible champion of rail and proponent of change for many years.’

New managing director for UKTram UKTram has appointed James Hammett to the role. Hammett, who has been general manager at UKTram for the past four years, will take over from Colin Robey who stepped down after the industry body’s recent board meeting. UK Tram chairman, Geoff Inskip, said: ‘We cannot thank Colin enough for the dedication, passion and enthusiasm he has given UKTram and our industry over many years. I am personally very hopeful and excited for our next chapter.’ Rail Professional

For further information on our capabilities please contact us at Marsh Bellofram Europe Ltd where we will be pleased to help you with your requirements. Marsh Bellofram Europe Ltd, 9 Castle Park, Queens Drive, Nottingham, NG2 1AH. Tel: +44(0)115 993 3300 Fax: +44(0)115 993 3301


Affordable finances to accelerate your business to reach new horizons Finance Birmingham offer a flexible and affordable loan fund, which is available to your business seeking new growing market opportunities within the rail supply sector. Open to SMEs across England, having access to affordable finances allows for your business to strengthen its capabilities, competitiveness and productivity as well as create new jobs and safeguard part of your existing workforce. The fund is fully supportive of the aims of the rail industry and the Rail Supply Group’s ‘Fast Track to the Future’ vision. The Rail Supply Growth Fund is available for: •

Competitive loans of between £500k and £2m

Capital expenditure, working capital or funds for a new product launch

New and existing businesses within the rail supply chain to unlock growth potential

Businesses based anywhere in England

A potential financial contribution is available of up to 10% of the application value to assist innovative crossover products, services and participation within the rail supply chain. For more information about our innovative Rail Supply Growth Fund contact Finance Birmingham on: call: 0121 233 4903 email: web:

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Finance Birmingham Limited is authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority and is entered in he register under the registration 579201

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Rail Professional June 2017  


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