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MARCH 2016

ISSUE 220 £4.95


An exaggerated demise? Richard Malins of Transport Investigations Ltd on the predicted end of the magstripe and why Toc’s have yet to catch up with London in smart ticketing

Which? No delay on refunds

Overly personal? Striking a balance with your customer base

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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 the March issue, focused on ticketing and stations. This month is packed full of information the industry needs to take note of – Railfuture’s piece on page 44 comes to mind, as does Burges Salmon’s on page 85, SilverRail’s on page 77 and Penrillian’s Joanne Thompson on page 66, who warns the industry to proceed with caution in how it engages with customers, considering that many regard their journey as a hygiene factor. It was an absolute pleasure to meet with Richard Malins for the Rail Professional interview. After covering passenger shenanigans, I asked Malins what single issue he believes annoys them the most about the industry. His answer was that pricing is too perverse and complex. Like the recent piece in The Telegraph about self-service machines ‘ripping-off’ passengers, this isn’t breaking news, but when is the industry going to do something about it as part of the new passenger-led railway? Or will the feeling it has nothing to gain in doing so gather pace and further erode trust? As Malins pointed out the situation benefits nobody really. ‘Gatwick Express fares are substantially higher than Southern fares and it has the effect of encouraging people to go for the cheaper ticket and get on crowded Southern trains that they delay further with their luggage. Gatwick Express was meant to remove passengers onto a dedicated service but it’s so premium-priced now they won’t necessarily use it.’ In his interview on page 49 Which?’s executive director Richard Lloyd said he is ‘worried’ about the Department for Transport’s consultation to exempt the transport industry from parts of the Consumer Rights Act. ‘We are concerned the department is seeking to exclude transport users from the compensation rights enjoyed elsewhere across the economy. The attempt to carve out sectors from rights that apply across products and services is worrying, especially given the Act has only been in force for a matter of months. We’re urging the government to urgently rethink this proposal.’ A contact at the DfT pointed out the rail industry has always had this exemption, but yes, it isn’t right that it does. A formal response to Rail Professional from the department said it is not true to say the travel sector would be exempted as the ‘vast majority of the Act will apply’. It continued: ‘The Consumer Rights Act exemptions proposed for rail, airline and maritime passengers would ensure that the process of seeking compensation, under existing industry schemes remains straightforward. We are currently considering responses to our consultation, and will respond in due course.’ Watch this space...

Lorna Slade Editor

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March 2016 Page 3


ISSUE 220 • MARCH 2016



Commuters still suffering says Which?; No cuts to core operations says BTPA; Arriva Rail North forms community rail support group; Priorities for Northern Powerhouse; Passengers embrace mobile tickets; RSSB runs driver training course; Alex Hynes champions Women in Community Rail group; High speed UK challenges HS2

In the passenger seat


With less than half of passengers satisfied with the price of their train ticket surely now is the time tickets were smarter, asks David Sidebottomm

Delivering the goods


It is essential that the needs of freight users – which are fundamentally different to those of passenger services – are not overlooked in rail reviews, says Chris MacRae

Laying down the law


The rail industry is set to benefit from more competitive financing in light of a new Protocol, Martin Fleetwood explains

Bad vibes


Chris Price looks at the statutory duty of employers with regards to HAVS

Time to step up


Philip Hoare looks at how we are to build a sustainable and affordable structure for Britain’s railway, to deliver the next era of growth

Women in Rail


Clare Burles looks at the reasons why rail needs to reinvent its image

IRO News


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News from the Institution of Railway Operators

13/01/2014 13:15

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“Sometimes I can be a nostalgist for the command and control structure of British Rail where, going back 30 years now, its ticketing initiative happened so efficiently because you had one organisation with full command and a controlling mind to do it”

Interview - page 52

The human factor


Jerry Alderson looks at ways the industry can attend to the needs of those that will fall outside of its ‘vision’ for ticketing

No delay in putting this right


Lorna Slade spoke to Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? about the organisation’s super-complaint to the ORR requesting a review of rail passenger compensation arrangements and practices when train services are delayed

Rail Professional Interview


Lorna Slade spoke to Richard Malins, founder and director of Transport Investigations Limited, about the predicted end of the magstripe, myths around fare evasion, the complexity of issuing refunds and the cost of progress

Big ticket item


Dave Songer reports from the Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information Global conference

Just the ticket


Jacqueline Starr looks at how the industry is working to revolutionise ticketing, helping to make rail travel easier for millions

Go no contact


Briony Krikorian looks at the UK Cards Association’s aspiration for contactless to be rolled-out across the UK

Making it personal


With the volume of digital natives growing, this is a rare opportunity for operators to utilise tech innovation to meet and then exceed customer expectations, says Joanne Thompson

Keeping UK at the forefront


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UK rail can boast a number of market breakthroughs which are then replicated elsewhere around the world, Ben Whitaker takes a look

13/01/2014 13:15

March 2016 Page 5


ISSUE 220 • MARCH 2016

The smart solution


Building more physical services is not the answer. It’s the digital technology that is revolutionising the transportation experience, says Russell Goodenough

Settle your account


In the rush to deliver mobile apps for transport ticketing, care needs to be taken by schemes to ensure they maximise the benefits and don’t invest in ‘one trick ponies’, says Andrew Steele

Let’s get digital


James Fox looks at how software is revolutionising the industry’s approach to training and competency management

Unlocking the opportunities


Philip Beer and Michael Bray look at the financial and other incentives for Toc’s to invest in their stations, as well as the practical difficulties

Luxury shopping


Jeremy Long looks at preparing Crossrail’s ‘shop window’

A growing crowd


Rebecca Fennell examines how decision makers can prepare for upheavals, and how station layout and refurbishment ensure sustainability in years to come

Keep IT safe


Donna Butchart looks at the reasons why the IT director should head up rail health and safety

Business news


Tarmac; Murphy; REO; ESL Fuels; Shoosmiths; Co-wheels; Cooper Specialised Handling; Thameslink Programme; Amadeus/AccesRail; TWI; Siemens Rail Automation; GB Railfreight; RSSB; North Star; Saudi Arabia Transport & Infrastructure conference 2016

Business profiles


AD Communications; Austin Lenika; Ayrshire Medical Services; Executive Compass; Findlay Irvine; FUCHS; GHD; Klüber Lubrication; Morgan Marine; Northern Rail; Orbital Fasteners; SG Systems; Signet Solutions; Smyth Composites; SSE SSE Enterprise; Stannah; SYSTRA; Transport Design International; University of Warwick



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News in brief... Pots and kettles The Standard has reported that TfL’s Enforcement and On-Street Operations team, tasked with enforcing the Project Guardian campaign to eradicate sexual offences on the Tube, has been warned by deputy director Siwan Hayward about ‘unacceptable behaviour at work’ following an internal survey revealing that nearly 50 per cent of staff did not believe their workplace was free from discrimination, bullying and harassment. Hayward said: ‘Our staff tell us that some individuals in EOS engage in subtle forms of sexual harassment, and then hide behind the pretence that they are just being friendly, funny or flirty. You are not. You are undermining your colleagues and it has to stop.’

Poor service driving commuter satisfaction down says Which? Commuters are ‘still suffering the worst rail service’ and operators are not informing them when they qualify for refunds, according to Which?’s fifth annual rail satisfaction survey. The survey of nearly 7,000 rail passengers has, says the consumer body, highlighted overcrowded trains, poor value for money, dirty trains and problems with complaints handling. A third (32 per cent) of commuters say they experienced delays on their last journey, with the worst performing services being Arriva Trains Wales, Thameslink and Great Northern, Great Western Railway and Southern, where four in ten commuters were affected. At the top of the table, Grand Central managed an overall score of 79 per cent, achieving five stars for availability of seating, punctuality, cleanliness of trains, reliability and value for money. Bottom of the table are Abellio Greater Anglia (47 per cent), Thameslink and Great Northern, and Southeastern (both with 46 per cent). Which? launched a campaign to ‘make rail refunds easier’ last December to tackle the issues with compensation arrangements for delayed rail passengers. A super-complaint was made last month to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), asking it to investigate and make recommendations for changes to improve the system for

Cost of failure Campaign for Better Transport has called for an audit into the cost of the South East Flexible Ticketing Programme, which met its demise recently. The charity has written to Meg Hillier MP, chair of the PAC asking for scrutiny of the £37 million spent. Stephen Joseph, chief executive, said: ‘SEFT was meant to pilot new technology which could enable simpler ticketing across services, but the government has decided it’s too difficult and is passing the buck onto Toc’s. We need a national strategy.’ Not UK smart Labour is claiming the government has made ‘shockingly poor progress’ on extending London-style smart card technology outside the South East, after new figures found just one per cent of stations fitted with smartcard readers are in the North. Of the 710 stations fitted, five were in Yorkshire and only eight in total were in the North. A further 69 were in the Midlands. 89 per cent of the total reside in the South with the overwhelming majority in London and the South East.

passengers. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, said: ‘Our report shows that commuters are getting a raw deal from their train operator. Whether it’s dirty facilities on the train, overcrowding or delayed trains, it is clear operators need to up their game.’ He continued: ‘Rail operators need to do much more to treat their customers fairly, providing better information and access to compensation when passengers are delayed. Passengers want to see action taken to make rail delay refunds easier and we have asked the regulator to investigate using our super-complaint powers.’ Which?’s campaign Make Rail Refunds Easier is calling for Toc’s to do more to make rail delay refunds easier and to put passengers first. ‘Passengers agree with us’ said Which? ‘with three in 10 (28 per cent) of respondents wanting better information at stations and 17 per cent wanting clearer explanations on trains.’ Which? has also submitted a dossier of passenger case studies to the ORR detailing the poor conditions faced by rail passengers and their support for its campaign. The survey also found that around one in 10 (12 per cent) of travellers felt they had reason to complain about their last journey but a third (35 per cent) of those who did complain were dissatisfied with how their complaint was resolved. March 2016 Page 9

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News in brief... Enough information Every train station on Arriva Trains Wales’ network has now been fitted with customer information screens after they were installed at Penally station in Pembrokeshire recently. Lynne Milligan, customer services director at ATW, said: ‘We faced a number of challenges along the way but through working closely with Pembrokeshire National Park and Pembrokeshire Council we were able to install power to the site so the project could be completed.’ Cut off point Further reductions of £8.5 million in the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s 2016/17 budget have been passed by the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority. SCR CA chair, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, said: ‘SYPTE is funded by the South Yorkshire Local Authorities it serves, and government cuts to these budgets have had an impact on the proportion of money allocated to public transport. To protect public transport services any further would mean cuts to other essential services in our region.’ A welcome commitment The Consortium of East Coast Main Line Authorities (ECMA) has welcomed a £200 million investment from the Scottish government to improve rail links between Aberdeen, the Scottish Central Belt and destinations along the East Coast Main Line. The announcement from Holyrood comes after David Cameron said Aberdeen would benefit from a £250 million City Region Deal to invest in North East Scotland’s economy. Do you a deal Travellers who plan their trips and book ahead on trains at quieter times are contributing to record numbers of rail passengers, said the Rail Delivery Group after

Page 10 March 2016

No risk to rail security in budget cuts says BTPA The British Transport Police Authority has disputed a recent story in The Independent that British Transport Police’s operations will be affected by recent budget cuts. The newspaper said a £3 million reduction has led to ‘warnings of a risk to security’. While The Chancellor said in his Autumn Statement that police forces are to be exempt from cuts, the government disclosed that BTP is being allocated £295.1 million in 2016-17, down from £298.1 million in the current financial year. The cut was detailed in a written Commons answer to the Labour MP Paula Sherriff, who is a former civilian officer with the force. Accusing ministers of treating the force like ‘public enemies’, Sherriff said: ‘They won’t even be honest about it. The police protect us, but the chancellor certainly isn’t protecting them. The transport police are in the front line, not just against crime but terrorism as well.’ A BTPA spokesperson told Rail Professional that cuts will be looked for, but there will be no reduction in BTP’s core budget. ‘As part of a government spending review the BTP like all other forces, had to look at its spending. Although it is for the Authority to determine the budget and resources necessary to police the railways we are working with the Force to implement appropriate efficiency savings. These will only be made in cases where there is no operational impact. ‘There has been no reduction in BTP’s core budget which remains the same as last year and we have worked with the Force to not only protect counter terrorism funding but increase it by £3.5 million. The reduction in £3 million is due to contracts for enhanced policing services not being renewed this year.’

Communal spirit for Arriva Arriva Rail North, which will begin operating the new Northern rail franchise from 1st April, has announced the establishment of a new community rail group which will provide support and advice for the operator’s engagement with community rail partnerships. The new Community Rail Executive Group (COMREG) will be made up of 15 industry professionals along with local community representatives and sustainability experts. Led by Arriva, it will help ensure that through the franchise, Arriva is engaging closely with local communities, working in partnership to deliver rail-related projects, and maintaining a strong level of funding for communitybased activities. The group, which will meet quarterly, will be chaired on an interim basis by Arriva’s Professor Paul Salveson, who set up the successful Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) in 1997. It will also include ACoRP’s general manager Neil Buxton and Sally Buttifant, who managed the MidCheshire Community Rail Partnership. Chris Burchell, managing director of Arriva’s UK Trains Division, said:

‘The Community Rail Executive Group is a key part of our approach to developing community engagement across the Northern franchise. We are inheriting a network of 19 community rail partnerships and more than 30 station friends groups. We intend to build on those relations, on what has been achieved to date, and deepen our involvement.’ Cllr Liam Robinson , chair of Rail North, added: ‘Community Rail has achieved some fantastic outcomes across the North and Rail North is keen to see it developed further.’

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News in brief... revealing that journeys across Britain rose by almost four per cent to nearly 1.7billion in the last year. The growth included a ten per cent rise in the number of journeys made on Super Off-Peak tickets. Sales of Anytime tickets were up ten per cent too as passenger revenue rose by six per cent to £9.4billion. HS2 gets engaged HS2 Ltd is recruiting a team of dedicated community engagement specialists to ‘understand and respond’ to the views of people living along the proposed route. The company announced a recruitment drive following feedback from the project’s residents’ commissioner, local authorities and local communities. The eleven specialist roles will be based in regions along Phase One of HS2, between London and the West Midlands. Supply and demand A national £20 million fund to help businesses tap in to growing rail supply opportunities has been launched by Finance Birmingham. The fund will offer loans of £0.5 million to £2 million to businesses, particularly those needing funding towards capital, new capital expenditure and product launches. Sue Summers, chief executive of FB, said: ‘The fund has been set up to help businesses that are already part of the rail sector supply chain as well as those that are new to rail.’ Masterplan unveiled A masterplan has been launched by Stockport Council to regenerate Stockport station and the surrounding area. Councillor Martin Candler said: ‘This builds on developments currently taking place and will see the area around the station transformed creating more than 1,800 new jobs for residents. The station has always been important both locally and for Greater Manchester, however the facilities on offer do not reflect this.’

Page 12 March 2016

Transport infrastructure investment most important priority for Northern Powerhouse A new poll from Ipsos Mori North has thrown fresh light on people in the North of England’s views on the Northern Powerhouse project. Commissioned for the UK Northern Powerhouse conference, the poll shows 82 per cent of respondents feel transport infrastructure investment within the North is one of the most important priorities for the Northern Powerhouse, along with investing in training to develop skills of the local workforce when compared to other possibilities. Seven in ten respondents think investment in transport links between London and the North is important, indicating that local people would prioritise investment between northern cities before further investment between the north and south. Around three quarters think local control over setting business rates (75 per cent); ‘attracting foreign investment, which will bring new money to the North’ (74 per cent) and ‘local autonomy over planning policy/decisions, which could give local areas more control over undeveloped land’ (76 per cent) are also important. Awareness of the Northern Powerhouse is about 50:50 (51 per cent yes, 49 per cent no) and there was a correlation between awareness and positivity. There was no significant variance in awareness across the northern regions.

UK passengers embracing mobile tickets Mobile ticketing promises to change the way people travel by rail and eliminate the ticket machine said Trainline after new research revealed the number of mobile tickets bought in the last year has risen by 148.3 per cent. Trainline’s customer survey showed 85 per cent of its mobile ticket customers were ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to book another mobile ticket in the future, with more than half of respondents rating their mobile ticketing experience ten out of ten. ‘The appetite for this time-saving alternative could suggest that more and more people are likely to choose to travel by train, which will help the expansion of the industry as well as contribute to a greener and more efficient way to travel,’ said the company. Currently, 30 per cent of UK rail routes accept mobile tickets. Additional statistics from Trainline include: • the highest volume route for January (over 40,000 tickets) was London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, which saw one in five users choosing a mobile ticket – a 10 per cent increase since July 2015 • 65 per cent of Trainline’s customers buy via smartphone favour mobile tickets over paper tickets • UK consumers are using mobile ticketing more during shorter journeys (30 minutes or less), than longer journeys (more than an hour). Shorter journeys are now seeing an average mobile ticket share of 45.6 per cent compared to a 10 per cent average on longer journeys • regionally, the North East is demonstrating strong adoption to mobile ticket technology where available.

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News in brief... Milestone for Walrus Merseytravel’s smart ticketing scheme, Walrus – already the most active outside London – has seen a million tickets sold since its launch in November 2014. It is estimated that more than 40 per cent of new UK smartcards issued during the last 12 months have been Walrus cards. There are plans for even more tickets to go smart on the Walrus later this year, and longterm the aim is to help shape the work of Transport for the North to develop a common approach to smart ticketing across the North. Nexus next The Tyne and Wear Public Transport Users Group has called for the Metro to be taken back under control of Nexus again. This follows leader of Newcastle City Council and transport lead at the North East Combined Authority Nick Forbes saying DB Regio’s contract should not be renewed in April 2017 following consistently poor performance. A statement from the group said: ‘Travellers attempting to use the service in the last four years have experienced delays and breakdowns on a scale unknown.’ Inquiry down the line The National Audit Office is gathering evidence on the electrification of the Great Western main line ‘fiasco’, where the cost of works has trebled to £2.8 billion. Network Rail has no firm date for the completion of the works and the DfT is concerned the line will not be ready to receive the new IEP electric trains. The National Audit Office told Rail Professional that it is ‘Likely (but not definitely) to do a report on the electrification but at this stage we have yet to identify any timing or the possible scope of any inquiry.’

Page 14 March 2016

New driver training course to address industry shortfall The RSSB has been tasked by industry to review current driver training programmes, following a BBC news story that crew shortages cause one in ten delays and cancellations. The aim is to help increase industry-wide best practice, and crucially, to reduce the amount of time it takes to train a driver. The news story quoted Office of Rail and Road figures showing that driver shortages accounted for 9.42 per cent of 1.93 million delays from 1 April 2013 to 12 December 2015. Govia Thameslink Railway – which operates Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services – had the highest rate at 13.59 per cent. Virgin East Coast had the lowest rate at 2.63 per cent. Just before Christmas, GTR blamed the problem on disruptions elsewhere leading to staff being ‘displaced’. The company said an underlying factor was it ‘simply did not have enough crew’ to both carry out day-to-day operations as well as accommodate the large amount of training required to enable passenger service improvements, without asking crew to work on rest days. GTR said the figure on delays and cancellations represent less than two per cent of its total services, and that it has initiated ‘the UK’s biggest-ever driver recruitment and training programme’. Keith Richmond of Aslef said: ‘The truth is that none of the operators have enough drivers.’ A spokeswoman for the RSSB said well-trained drivers are ‘essential’ to the operational efficiency of the UK rail network. ‘Research commissioned at RSSB investigates how we can best modernise and achieve excellence in driver training, in compliance with the Train Driver Licensing Directive.’ A pilot course, commissioned as part of a partnership by Southeastern and Network Rail, has already taken place. The findings were that drivers received an enriched experience by learning from both a driver’s and signaller’s perspective. The course also means a driver can obtain relevant competence requirements in 12 weeks, leaving only practical, route-specific learning to be done once employed by a particular operator.’ Mark Phillips, RSSB director of research and standards, commented: ‘Our driver training project seeks to modernise the training approach and bring it into line with contemporary transport businesses.’ The first stage of the research is now available via RSSB’s knowledge sharing platform SPARK (, registration and log-in required. For further information Email: emma.

Northern Rail MD is a champion Alex Hynes, Northern Rail MD, has agreed to champion the newly-formed WiCR (Women in Community Rail) group. Chair of WiCR, Marion Atkinson, said: ‘As part of our inclusive agenda we are very keen to show that WiCR isn’t just about women, it is about inclusiveness, good practice and partnership working. Alex’s appointment is a real coup and great news for this fledgling group which aims to achieve big things in the community rail world. We already have a lot of interest and backing from various industry colleagues but we are really keen to muster more support throughout the industry, with emphasis for male colleagues to come forward and join as well as female colleagues.’ She continued: ‘When we think about the community rail world, ‘powerful’ and talented women can be found on the front line – at our stations encouraging people to volunteer, making a difference at their local station and working with partners promoting the railway, in our community rail partnerships – leading on projects, lobbying for service improvements and working for train operators and local councils.

‘Gifted, determined women from platform to boardroom — bringing different skills and talents - complementing the gifts of our male colleagues and together working to make sure our rail network underpins economic growth and regeneration across the UK.’ Alex Hynes said: ‘It’s fantastic to see women making their mark in the world of community rail and I’m delighted to offer my support to WiCR as it starts to strengthen its position in the industry.’

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A steering group, from a variety of organisations with a community rail remit, is now in place and its first meeting was held in Manchester in January to agree key aims. For further information or to join the group contact Hazel Bonner Email:

Letter to the editor Dear madam, The call by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) for ‘full-blooded privatisation’ is not only ideological and misguided, it is dangerous. Rail infrastructure has been privatised before. Under Railtrack, our railways were asset stripped to maximise shareholder value. The result was that people died in the crashes of Hatfield and Potters Bar. Passengers don’t want new standing-only carriages and line closures as the IEA prescribes, and they don’t want deaths on the railway. We don’t know who the IEA is working for - it has been found to be ‘highly opaque’ and untransparent in terms of its funding. It is definitely not working for passengers. There is no mandate for privatising Network Rail. Nearly 60 per cent of the public want a publicly owned Network Rail; less than one in four support its privatisation. Among Conservative voters, a majority still supports public ownership. Now that Network Rail’s debt is on the public balance sheet, politicians have leapt to attention. But the reality is that NR has been indirectly subsidising Toc’s for years through low track access charges. Meanwhile, the Toc’s have been leeching off passengers, increasing fares to boost their profits. We are paying more than we should for our railways because of privatisation. Private railways won’t ‘end wasteful investment’ as the IEA would like to think – they are wasteful investment. Research shows that £1.2 billion a year could be saved under public ownership – and this move would have strong public support. Privatisation and fragmentation have been a disaster. We don’t need any more of them. The IEA is like a medieval doctor, using outdated methods, calling for our railways to be bled dry. Passengers will suffer if this goes ahead - we need to stop Network Rail privatisation in its tracks. Cat Hobbs, director, We Own It Christian Wolmar, journalist, author and railway historian Dr John Stittle, senior lecturer in accounting, University of Essex Ellie Harrison, founder, Bring Back British Rail Neal Lawson, chair, Compass Tony Murphy, national officer, Unite Dr Robert Jupe, professor of accounting and public management, University of Kent Ian Taylor, director, Transport for Quality of Life Page 16 March 2016

High speed UK challenges HS2 logic High Speed UK (HSUK), the alternative plan to HS2, is to step up its activities following financial assistance from private individuals convinced the scheme could be built by the private sector. In the coming months the two architects of HSUK, Colin Elliff and Quentin Macdonald, will articulate to politicians and the media that the government and HS2 Ltd have failed to develop the national rail network the nation needs. HSUK says that its proposals will be able to ‘transform the entire UK rail network with a core system of new high speed lines, which outperforms HS2 in almost every possible aspect.’ This news comes following HSUK’s submission to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the recent Ombudsman’s report on HS2 Ltd, which was critical of the company’s dealings with a community in Staffordshire that faces destruction if the line goes ahead. Elliff said: ‘The hamlet in Staffordshire, and all the other affected communities, are suffering because HS2 has been badly designed, and to the wrong criteria. The choice of 400km/h as the maximum speed is HS2’s first and biggest mistake. ‘HS2 is forced away from established transport corridors, such as the M1, into sensitive rural areas where its design speed makes it impossible to avoid the small communities that lie in its path. ‘The alternative design of HSUK demonstrates that a slightly lower speed of 360km/h means we can develop a rail network that follows existing routes like the M1. Under our plans we avoid the destructive impact HS2 will have on sensitive rural communities. HSUK has developed an efficient integrated national network that interlinks all major communities, as well as offering significant journey time reductions that are far greater and far more widespread than HS2 possibly can.’ Macdonald added: ‘HS2 Ltd knows all about the superior HSUK alternative, but continues to pursue its own discredited proposals. This constitutes fundamental abuse of due process.’  

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Time for a ticketing revolution?

With less than half of passengers satisfied with the price of their train ticket surely now is the time tickets were smarter, asks David Sidebottom


8,000 rail passengers recently gave us their views on the journey they had just completed: the results are out. The National Rail Passenger Survey provides valuable benchmarking of how Britain’s rail passengers are being served by train companies and Network Rail. The message is clear: commuters, in London and the South East in particular, are feeling the strain. The survey shows that a slight increase in overall rail passenger satisfaction to 83 per cent across the country has started to reverse previous declines. However, the overall score for commuter satisfaction was 76 per cent, compared to 85 per cent for business and 90 per cent for leisure travellers. While longer-distance and regional rail passengers have seen some improvements the overall change has been dragged down by the sheer weight of passenger numbers in the South East. Spiralling passenger numbers are making day-to-day operation and rebuilding difficult. Welcome and necessary long-term investment from government (alongside the £8 billion-odd we passengers are putting in every year) to cope with this growth is proving painful, in places, to dig in. We think it’s time the industry gave passengers some meaningful promises about when performance will stabilise and hopefully improve. In addition to that, say sorry! A fares reduction or free tickets might go some way to helping to rebuild some trust… how would other industries reward customers for their loyalty? Future big schemes such as at Waterloo and Euston – as well as longer-term planning for investment for the whole industry – must engage passengers much more closely in the planning stages. They must include realistic expectations about performance, with price freezes built in from the start. The deserved credit for the investment will be much harder to claim otherwise. Life smart This year’s National Rail Passenger Survey showed that less than half of passengers do not think their tickets represent value for money. So how might passengers start to see the benefits of investment in their wallets? Transforming ticketing offers and how passengers pay for their train is one possible option. Rail Minister, Claire Perry pronounced ‘the death of the tangerine ticket’ at the recent Transport Ticketing and

Passenger Information Conference. The Minister outlined plans to ensure every future franchise operator puts ticketing innovations at the heart of their passenger proposal. But can smart tickets truly transform our railways? ‘I think the word smart means it works with your life.’ This is one of many views expressed by passengers in our new research about smart ticketing. Transport Focus would like to see all passengers able to get the best tickets they can, in terms of both value and convenience. More and more passengers are working flexible hours and travelling at less ‘traditional’ commuting times and would like ticket products that reflect this. When designed well, smart ticketing schemes can help to deliver more

convenient and cost-effective product options. Passengers tell us that being able to access better value, more personalised tickets is a key benefit of smart ticketing. The first of three reports we recently published looks at new types of smart tickets asking what do passengers think about carnets? This research looked specifically at the ‘carnet’ concept of offering a discount when passengers buy multiple tickets and what combination of potential features appealed to them most. Our research found the carnet concept of offering a discount to those who buy tickets in bulk, is appealing to many types March 2016 Page 19


of passenger. Delivered as a product via smart ticketing, carnets offer both convenience and flexibility. Awareness of carnets, however, is still low among passengers. These latest results suggest there is scope to build awareness and make them more appealing. This could be done by changing both the way the product is explained and its name to something more descriptive. Elsewhere we have asked what passengers think of smartcards on c2c. c2c introduced smart ticketing in 2014 and this research reveals the views and experiences of both c2c passengers and staff. It’s great to see the introduction of a new smartcard scheme on a busy commuter line into London. c2c’s passengers are now enjoying some of the benefits which come with smart ticketing on rail. What’s clear from this research is that passengers do see the practical benefits of moving away from paper and look forward to smart ticketing unlocking future benefits such as getting better value for money. c2c’s scheme lays down a clear challenge to other operators to do more for passengers – benefits for commuters can be delivered through smart ticketing. We also looked into what passengers want from using smartcards on rail in

the south east of England. This research explored what passengers need and want when it comes to smartcards. It found out more about passengers’ expectations of smartcards and their reactions to how a smartcard may work. Passengers tell us that ‘to have any stress taken out of your journey, for a commuter, is a great thing.’ For smartcards to be stress-free this research highlighted the importance of clear communication and visible staff at the station. It is crucial that future systems are designed and implemented with passengers’ needs in mind rather than what is convenient to administer. London leading the way Whether it be smartphones, smartcards or contactless payment, the success in London shows that there is the capability to deliver this for passengers nationally. The introduction of contactless fares on TfL in late 2014 shows how quickly the network and passengers can adapt. The use of 40,000 barcoded mobile tickets, so called m-Tickets, as part of the recent pilot highlights the industry is making some progress elsewhere. Surely now is the time the north caught up so the benefits of smart are felt by all passengers? Our research shows there is no one-

size-fits-all solution and travel needs to continue to cater for everyone, but wouldn’t it be great if technology could make getting to and from work that little bit easier? Knowing which ticket to get at present isn’t easy. We have a complex fares system and passengers tell us they are not confident in what they are offered, and feel they need to be ‘experts’ in the system. It’s about time we had a ticket revolution and 2016 became the year operators, government and the wider industry worked together on a solution. New forms of smart tickets need to be simple, convenient and cost-effective to use. The industry now needs to explain how smartcards will make things better for passengers and what they will need to do differently in the future. This will be crucial for smart ticketing to be rolled out more widely. Is the rail industry ready to do away with tangerine ticket? Our smart ticketing research certainly shows there is the appetite for new forms of tickets to make travelling more convenient and cost-effective. Is it time the industry stopped dragging its heels and delivers the quick and simple journeys passengers want? David Sidebottom is passenger director at Transport Focus

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Operating across the system It is essential that the needs of freight users – which are fundamentally different to those of passenger services – are not overlooked in rail reviews, says Chris MacRae


icola Shaw’s review of the future shape and financing of Network Rail is due this month to coincide with the budget. Sadly this is dominating thoughts and focus in the rail freight sector as, if recent reports in the mainstream heavyweight press are accurate, freight has a lot to be concerned about. If the emerging thinking of this report is indeed being accurately reported or surmised then there is real concern at the prospect of an arms-length rail body (like the previous Strategic Rail Authority that got disbanded) operating as a thin form of ‘system authority’ and multiple infrastructure concessions of individual lines run by private organisations instead of the current Network Rail that would

“...there is a need for a network system operator role to carry out central capacity and timetable management work – especially important for freight that operates across the boundaries of the routes that are likely to become more devolved”

be broken up. While arguments will no doubt rage about privatisation and the failures of previous ownership models, it is not the place for FTA to engage in such discussion that is ultimately political. But it is very much the place of FTA to focus not on the structure, but upon the outputs required of any structure to enable rail freight to carry on its business and (hopefully) to grow. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) consulted last year on System operation – making better use of the rail network. System operation is about how Network Rail (or going forward, AN Other infrastructure

manager) operates the rail network and how decisions by both Network Rail and others are made about the use of this network and its expansion over time. Need for a central system operator role System operation is of critical concern for freight. Greater devolution of powers is a stated intention of government generally (with for example the development of Transport for the North, West Midlands Connect, not forgetting Transport for London and the politically most devolved of all – Transport Scotland) and the Shaw review looks to consider this further, with partial or full privatisation of March 2016 Page 23


Network Rail being openly discussed. This means there is a need for a network system operator role to carry out central capacity and timetable management work – especially important for freight that operates across the boundaries of the routes that are likely to become more devolved: sea ports that we export goods from and import by are on the coast and cities are mostly inland. Also freight operators’ customers tend to be Britain-wide shippers with Britainwide requirements, so the operators likewise need to operate across Britain, irrespective of wherever the infrastructure manager/concession route boundaries are. The system operator must be independent of Toc’s (a requirement of EU Directives); independent of devolved route infrastructure managers; and with contingency empowerment such as how to deal with the operational consequences of a key route closure following a landslip, or closure of a bridge on a key route (such as Lamington Viaduct on the West Coast Main Line) etc.. Fundamentally different needs The system operator must not though be a proxy for an independent regulator:

that is also required in EU Directives. While infrastructure maintenance may be a core activity for a devolved route infrastructure manager, longterm planning is clearly a system operator function. But with the idea of infrastructure concessions and Alliances (such as ScotRail /Network Rail Scotland) things become less clear. There will certainly be a need for statutory duties and guidance to be given to both devolved route infrastructure managers and the system operator: from a freight perspective this should include a duty to promote rail freight. This affects such practical issues as gauging standards for freight wagons /containers, timetabling rules, customer rail freight facility connection agreements, and enhancement projects that go across route borders such as the Felixstowe to Nuneaton freight upgrade project. It must be remembered that the McNulty Report into the value for money of Britain’s railways did want devolution of all but the most high level functions of Network Rail, such as high level co-ordination and capacity allocation. Looking ahead to the Shaw Review report, we must remember that government has a stated objective to

increase the amount of freight which goes by rail – something which FTA wholeheartedly supports. But if industry is to be able to deliver this, it is essential that the needs of freight users – which are fundamentally different to those of passenger services – are not overlooked. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is one of Britain’s largest trade associations, and uniquely provides a voice for the whole of the UK’s logistics sector. Its role is to enhance the safety, efficiency and sustainability of freight movement across the supply chain, regardless of transport mode. FTA works with its members to influence transport policy and decisions taken at local, national and European level to ensure they recognise the needs of industry’s supply chains.

For further information on FTA’s rail freight policy work contact: Chris MacRae, rail freight policy manager, Freight Transport Association Email: Tel: 07818 450353 Visit:




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Making the right connection

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Private stock

The rail industry is set to benefit from more competitive financing in light of a new Protocol, Martin Fleetwood explains


he forthcoming Luxembourg Rail Protocol legislation will create a new global system for the recognition and prioritisation of security interests, particularly those held by lenders and lessors of railway rolling stock, registrable at a new international registry. This is an exciting development for the rail industry as it will provide more opportunities for cheaper finance from the private sector for railway rolling stock. Further investment in the rail industry is needed and this is a step in the right direction that will support the growth of the sector by providing greater support for private finance of railway rolling stock. Currently the majority of the finance for rolling stock comes from the public sector and if more private finance was available, the public funds

could then be used on improving or building new infrastructure. The aim of the Rail Protocol is to relieve governments, as well as state- and privately-owned operators, of the need to allocate precious capital to rolling stock. This is particularly important for developing countries where an extensive and well-functioning rail sector is critical for economic growth. The reach of the Rail Protocol is also important. It applies to all equipment running above, on, or under a permanent guide way; from high-speed trains to single cars on mountain railways, from freight locomotives and wagons to trams and metros, and from people movers at airports to gantries and cranes running on rails at ports and transhipment yards. The Rail Protocol will introduce a new unique identification system for railway equipment which will identify a creditor’s

rights in each item of railway rolling stock recorded in the new international registry. This means that the creditor’s interest can be known, wherever in the world the item of rolling stock is running. While there are financing benefits of the Rail Protocol to the industry, there are also benefits to creditors. At present, most countries have a register of keepers to record the operators of rolling stock but not their creditors. A register of their interest in rolling stock will make it easier for them to recover their assets, in the event of a default by a debtor, as will clarity of the relevant procedures. So where do the challenges lie in implementing the Protocol? As registration is non-compulsory the rail industry will need to volunteer themselves to the scheme – financial savings being the main incentive. While there will be a cost for registration, it is expected that the financing savings will be significantly greater than this cost. The Rail Working Group (RWG) and other

“This is a great step in the right direction... Currently the majority of the finance for rolling stock comes from the public sector and if more private finance was available, the public funds could then be used on improving or building new infrastructure” March 2016 Page 27


‘The RWG is working with all interested parties from government agencies to rail businesses to raise awareness and encourage governments to sign and ratify the Rail Protocol’ industry bodies are lobbying for this to be as low as possible to encourage a high take up. How will the registration system work in practice? A unique number (URVIS) will be issued to each item of rolling stock by the International Registry once the Rail Protocol is operating. It must be

permanently attached to the equipment and, unlike other identifiers, this number will never be changed or recycled and will only ever be allocated to one specific item of rolling stock. Creditors are then able to identify a claim against that item of rolling stock in the international registry. At the moment there is no unique and non-repeatable number applicable to rolling stock worldwide. One common system would make it easier to move rolling stock, subject to financing, into other jurisdictions and it would also create an un-impeachable system for identifying rolling stock for creditors both in the UK and overseas. In addition it will make physical tracking of vehicles easier for creditors, especially when identifiers are combined with GPS or track side recognition systems. Preparing for the Protocol As a member of the RWG our objective is to encourage the adoption of the Rail Protocol in as many countries as possible and to support the commercial realities of the rail industry. The RWG is working with all interested parties from government agencies to rail businesses to raise awareness and encourage governments to sign and ratify the Rail Protocol.

The UK government is in the forefront of this process and will be consulting with the industry on the various options within the Rail Protocol that the UK will choose. Industry parties are advised to respond to the consultation, which is expected to begin towards the end of the first quarter of 2016, to help shape the UK ratification. In the meantime, my advice to rail businesses is to allow for the Rail Protocol coming into force when drafting new leases and security documentation. Leases should also include provisions for the re-execution of security for the parties to gain the full benefits of the Rail Protocol when it comes into force. Pre-existing interests are protected for a period of at least three years after the introduction of the Rail Protocol. Depending on the declaration of the ratifying state, this period may be extended to a maximum of 10 years. A reexecution of the finance document once the Protocol is in place would preserve the security benefits beyond this period. Martin Fleetwood is corporate partner at Shoosmiths

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Bad vibes Chris Price looks at the statutory duty of employers with regards to HAVS


n 2015 the ORR produced its second programme on occupational health Better health is happening, setting out priorities up to 2019 aiming for no new cases of HAVS or cases with worsening symptoms. HAVS including carpal tunnel syndrome features widely in the rail industry where there is significant use of hand held power tools or hand guided power tools such as infrastructure maintenance, carriage and wagon repairs and locomotive maintenance. Regular prolonged exposure to vibration can affect the operator’s hands resulting in vascular and neurosensory symptoms which can become disabling. Of the 320 cases of occupational disease reported to the ORR up to April 2014 some 305 were HAVS cases. Since the 6th of July 2005 the statutory duty of employers with regard to exposure has been controlled by the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. Earlier guidance included Hand Arm Vibration HS(G) 88 1994, British Standards BS6842 and the British Standards Institution’s draft for development DD43 1975. The 2005 Regulations set out an EAV which is the level of daily exposure to

vibration above which the employer is required to take action to reduce exposure and an ELV which is the maximum amount of vibration an employee may be exposed to on any single day. The maximum levels presented are therefore: a) EAV at of 2.5 ms² A(8) at which level employers should introduce technical and organisational measures to reduce exposure; and b) ELV of 5.0 ms² A(8) which should not be exceeded. Employers should assess and identify measures to eliminate and reduce risks from vibration. Where required they should ensure that control measures to reduce vibration below the action levels are properly applied and provide information, training and health surveillance to employees. Employers should be aware of the following issues which impact upon the duty of care. Exposure below 2.5 ms² A(8)? The ‘threshold’ level of 1ms²A(8) first became common knowledge in the early 1990’s following BS6842 1987 which stated: ‘it appears that with normal tool usage symptoms do not usually occur if

the frequency weighted acceleration is below about 1ms²A(8).’ No mention is made of recommended measures below 2.8ms²A(8) in the HS(G) publications and the 2005 Regulations make no reference to any action to be taken by employers below EAV 2.5 ms² A(8). It is therefore for the court to decide whether or not there exists upon an employer a duty to reduce the claimant’s average daily exposure to below 1ms²A(8) or to assess this exposure, advise him, or make attempts to limit his machine usage where exposure is below 2.5 ms². HS(G)88 which had referred to 2.8ms² A(8) as an ‘action level’ did state that this was not a ‘safe level’ which if complied with would avoid all injuries. It reflected the view that there was still a risk to a small number of people for injury below such levels due to individual susceptibility, environment and the fact that some workers using vibrating tools would develop non occupational HAVS and that the daily average vibration levels in excess of 1.0ms² A(8) would be likely to make such symptoms worse. Therefore, there is a duty on an employer in respect of vibration exposure in excess of 1.0 ms² A(8) which is not described by the documents or statutory March 2016 Page 31


duty but arises at common law. Regular warnings should be issued to employees and checks made to ensure that they are understood. If somebody develops symptoms they should be removed from further harmful tool use because the duty of care is owed to them individually. If a person is particularly susceptible to harm, once the employer is on notice, that employer is subject to a duty to protect them from further harm even if the steps to be taken are greater than they would be for other employees (Burrows and Billington v British Rail). Regular User DD 43 had stated that the VWF does not result from the ‘casual use of vibrating tools but from the regular prolonged use normally found only in industry and it is expected that a regular user in industry will be subject to at least 50 minutes cumulative exposure per day.’ In Vance Daniels v Corus 2010 exposure pre-dated the 2005 Regulations. The claimant used an impact wrench for 30 to 45 minutes per day twice per week and an angle grinder for four hours one day per week. The use of the angle grinder exceeded the exposure action level (then 2.8 ms² A(8) on days when it was used but the impact wrench did not. The claim

was dismissed because the claimant was only exposed to vibration in excess of the action threshold one day a week, which a reasonable employer would not consider created a foreseeable risk of injury. The 2005 Regulations now present a mechanism for the determination of average daily exposure: (EAV and ELV) thresholds shall not apply where the exposure of an employee to vibration is usually below the exposure action value but varies markedly from time to time and may occasionally exceed the ELV provided that: i) any exposure to vibration averaged over one week is less than the ELV; ii) evidence to show the risk from the pattern of exposure is less than the corresponding risk from constant exposure at the ELV. Risk is reduced to as low a level as reasonably practicable taking into account any special circumstances; iii) employees are subject to increased health surveillance. If evidence is obtained to demonstrate that the Regulations were complied with, then combined with the Vance Daniels approach this may present an employer with a defence where tool use is intermittent. Employers should respond to the

Advice to employers • do not rely upon manufacturers’ vibration measurements, which often understate vibration. Obtain tool ‘in use’ readings. These are more representative of exposure • maintain accurate daily records of tool usage • job rotation should be enforced • demonstrate newer models are purchased when available • update risk assessments • maintain employees’ health surveillance. regulations by reducing exposure so far as is reasonably practicable. It is usually difficult to be precise in the assessment of exposure. The courts recognise a difference between ‘overall usage time’ and ‘anger time’. Where no information is available it can be assumed that exposure times of approximately 50 per cent of alleged usage time are realistic see Allen –v- British Rail 1998. There are certain steps that employers can take to increase their prospects of a successful defence.

Chris Price is partner, insurance division at Langleys solicitors

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Page 34 March 2016


Time to step up Philip Hoare looks at how we are to build a sustainable and affordable structure for Britain’s railway, to deliver the next era of growth


he Shaw Report, set to be released this month, will set out recommendations for the long-term structure and financing of Network Rail. The future of Network Rail will affect us all and the recent consultation, which ended in December, enabled the industry to have a voice in how best to shape the future of rail mobility across Great Britain from 2019. The scoping report opened up discussion on how different company structures could require different financing and funding solutions to support the future investment demands of the railway. Safety, sustainability and affordability remain key, but it is selfevident that there is no simple answer or one type of approach to resolve the challenges that have so recently gripped our industry. Looking at what Network Rail does, the way it structures itself and to whom it is accountable is a good place to start. As we move forward, embracing technology, innovation and the potential of the supply chain to deliver more under devolution, will help set us on the right track to success. But, we must remember that any structural changes being considered for Network Rail are far reaching and will have an impact on the entire economy. A broader economic assessment of Network Rail’s positive contribution to national and regional growth needs be considered along with the costs to the national purse

that are frequently flagged in the media. Desired policy outcomes, management capability and better management of risks –reputational, delivery, commercial and safety – all need to be assessed as we grasp ‘Where are we now?’ and ‘Where do we want to be?’. And ‘How are we going to get there?’ which can only be built through rigorous options-based appraisal and a genuinely balanced business case. Inspiration from abroad Inspiration can be taken from other countries in how to deliver successful long-term infrastructure planning. Atkins is supporting Banedanmark in its programme to replace all of the signaling on the Copenhagen S-bane by 2018. This is by far the largest signalling project ever undertaken in Europe and the largest metro signalling upgrade in the world. The programme delivery model combines a thin client organisation with a team of specialist consultants to achieve excellence in programme execution. The construction of the delivery model focused on collaborative behaviours and the necessary flexibility to allow the delivery organisation to adapt over time in response to resource requirements at each phase of delivery. The emphasis of the delivery organisation is to provide client side services covering programme management, systems engineering, systems integration, programme assurance, testing and commissioning, operations and maintenance. These functions were embodied in a programme

and engineering management office and in the organisational structure. The key to its success has been in the shared business processes and delivery methods – something that can scale effectively to address the challenges of our current GB macro environment. Within the UK rail sector, Atkins had the relatively unique experience of working on Evergreen 3 – a Tocled project completed in 2012. We successfully delivered the detailed design for the Chiltern Railways upgrade, a technically challenging modernisation programme which has transformed this important route into London. Delivering GRIP stages 4 to 8 in less than two years resulted in improved fare revenue of 30 per cent over the first 12 months. I believe the learning from this could form the basis for new models in the future and could even be expanded through to Design Build Finance (DBF) or DBF&M (Maintain) models of delivery. The opportunity to build a new, more effective railway through third party financing which ensures that the supply chain and other stakeholders have skin in the game is one that should be seized by government. While there may be complexities relating to how revenues should be recognised against enhancements, the reality is that where local benefits accrue, for example, through increased passenger flows to town centres or out of town megastores, there is ample justification for partnerships to be made and contributions put in place through new and innovative contracting. March 2016 Page 35


Contractual arrangements can make a fundamental difference to the delivery and planning of a project’s success. For instance, we have been involved in the Staffordshire Alliance, a partnership with Laing O’Rourke, Network Rail and VolkerRail. A collaborative approach like this can help transform how we deliver rail infrastructure projects in the UK. This model for supply chain engagement can be built upon and enhanced for future major rail projects and we are keen to work together with Network Rail to help create other partnership opportunities. Risk of a hiatus Credible arguments have been made for Network Rail to be a strong, single, centralised body. There is some evidence that performance was historically higher under strong central control, but a robust case can also now be made for a fully devolved, market supported model. While many regarded regionalisation under Railtrack as unsuccessful, lessons have been learnt from previous efforts and the strong political agenda supporting general devolution means that successful outcomes have a better chance this time around. To ensure this, there would need to be substantive change. Today, supply chain working practices reflect Network Rail’s structures and responsibilities.

Going forward there would need to be a change in the way Network Rail performs its duties in order to encourage behavioural change across the whole of the supply chain which needs to step up to the new challenges – both funding and operational that may arise in the new world. This shift in culture and behaviour must be across every layer and all organisations. Recent experience indicates that the pressures of the regulatory cycle may have moved the industry to try to secure and deliver works in unrealistic timeframes – prior to appropriate scoping being completed. While a logical position to adopt in order to try to provide surety of costs, the reality was counterproductive. Works pushed out to market with insufficient scope information or early stage design have resulted in errors compounding as the projects develop. The current discussion on industry structure will hopefully provide an opportunity to improve its cost forecasting and estimating processes to avoid some of the issues currently being encountered. From an industry perspective, the speed to market and delays in delivery of projects by inadequate initial scoping has caused difficulties, including supply chain management and ensuring that the right people are in place to do the job required.

A strong, stable and transparent pipeline of work is vital for our industry because it encourages investment and ensures that the industry will have the capability and capacity to deliver what is needed in the future. There is a risk that any restructuring will cause a hiatus which could reduce confidence in our industry’s ability to deliver affecting both near and mid-term investment and employee learning and development. This would not only impact the delivery of Network Rail’s future programmes, but also other major projects such as HS2 and Crossrail 2 where there are significant Network Rail interfaces and interactions. We must work together to ensure any hiatus is avoided. Creating the right environment and putting the right people, planning and collaboration in place from the beginning is vital for success and the industry needs to learn from recent exemplar projects such as West Coast Main Line, the Olympics and Crossrail. The focus for Network Rail and the industry must be forward-looking based on delivering the best outcomes. The whole industry has to pull together and collaborate to ensure we deliver the next era of railway growth. Philip Hoare is group managing director of Atkins’ UK Transportation division 

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Women of substance Clare Burles looks at the reasons why rail needs to reinvent its image


arlier this year, a company in the US faced an unexpected backlash after featuring an attractive female engineer in a recruitment advert. People couldn’t ‘buy’ the idea that she was truly an engineer – some even stated that it couldn’t be ‘remotely possible’. Others accused the company of putting women off engineering through an unrealistic image, and attracting men with the allure of a pretty girl. Isis Wenger, the engineer pictured in the advert, wasn’t expecting the barrage of ignorant comments that came her way. But why was it so implausible for a pretty girl to be an engineer? What would have been more believable? During a time that the STEM industries are experiencing strong growth, it is fundamental that within the rail sector we change people’s perceptions of what we do and who we are, because we need a strong supply of talent. If we’re not seen as an opportunity-

rich, innovative and exciting industry, it’s not great for business. Shockingly, this prejudice against STEM careers begins at a young age. A 2014 Network Rail study shows that girls as young as seven have an unconscious bias against engineering, and by 14, many have fully switched off from it as a career option. Girls aged 7 to 9 were switched off by thinking engineering was too dirty and messy and those between 10 and 12 were worried that engineering is dangerous and that they weren’t strong enough. So we’ve got work to do! Changing perceptions The same Network Rail study also highlighted that younger girls were attracted to a career in engineering by understanding its social purpose, and those between 10 and 12 responded positively to role models in engineering. In order to change perceptions of a career in STEM industries, we need to showcase and shout loudly about all of the fabulous

women that work in our industries. After being shocked by the reaction to her appearing in a STEM recruitment advert, Isis Wenger started using the hashtag #ILookLikeAnEngineer. Calling fellow female engineers to post pictures under the hashtag. Her goal was to help redefine what an engineer ‘should’ look

March 2016 Page 39


‘We now have three women on our board – making one third of the executive team female. It’s unusual in rail, but shows that it can be done. The more women at the top, the more role models younger generations have’ like, to show that appearance has no bearing on their level of skill, ability and professionalism. Within hours, the STEM community had responded. They highlighted their achievements, hobbies, families and demanded not to be judged by how they look. In less than a week the hashtag had been used 86,000 times, in approximately 50 countries.

This showed the world that there are plenty of women working in STEM, and highlighted the number of role models out there for younger generations. Similarly, with the introduction of Lord Davies’ target for 33 per cent female FTSE 100 boards by 2020, more and more women are in the STEM C-suite. At Virgin Trains East Coast for example, as we were recruiting for a new executive board in early 2015 it was crucial for the MD, David Horne and myself to get its composition right. This meant getting the right skills and experience within the team to get the business off to the very best possible start, but the gender balance was also important for us – not only to set an example but also for the innovation and creativity that a different perspective can bring to the table. We now have three women on our board – making one third of the executive team female. It’s unusual in rail, but shows that it can be done. The more women at the top, the more role models younger generations have.

Clare Burles is people director at Virgin Trains

Inspirational Women in Rail shortlist As Women in Rail’s Industry Report showed us, there is a real skills gap in rail. We all know that the industry is growing; about 1.65 billion passenger rail journeys were made in the past 12 months, compared with 801 million in 1997 - outperforming population growth. Rail’s employment growth is also double the growth rate of GDP. To fill that gap, we need to inspire more women to join our industry. That’s why Women in Rail is launching the first shortlist of Inspirational Women in Rail. The campaign looks to not only celebrate women in the rail industry, but also raise their profile within the rail sector to communicate the fulfilling, exciting and diverse nature of a career in rail. We are looking to hear from the whole rail industry about women who go that extra mile, whose achievements are farreaching or perhaps have changed your life for the better: a woman in the industry who has positively influenced you, your team or your career. Nominations are open until the 25th March. To nominate someone, please visit www.







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using a variety of graphical indicators for managers and staff. Large sample sizes are Our Annual Lunch for Members and Guests will be held at important to get a wide spread of opinion At a recent North East Area event, and experience. The Mermaid, Puddle Dock, London. On Friday 19th April Natalie Loughborough (customer service 2013experience from midday. Our guest speaker is the Rt. Hon. Building a great comes director, Northern Rail) gave an insight Simon Burns, Minister of State for Transport. from seeing what can affect the into Northern’s campaign to enhance customer’s perception of their contact customer experience. David Monkwith Northern, and adopting methodsper of head Steel (secretary, North East Area), who Tickets – £47.00 ensuring that this is as good as possible. joined members at the event to further Table ofthe 10stations – £470.00 per nowtable taking place to train and empower These include improving his industry knowledge, provided the (Ticket prices arestandards inclusive of VAT and trains, and setting new of @ 20%) conductors to be ambassadors for following account: Northern. All conductors are now maintenance and cleanliness as high as Northern’s objective and vision is to a booking form at:with smartphones to keep them issued practicable. ThisDownload is not just limited to create a railway the North can be proud prestige projects, e.g. rebuilding trains and in touch with control, and to allow of, by having a robust structure within them to make enquiries to assist the stations, but a general drive to maintain the business to develop and manage Call: 01785 248113 customer. Conductors are encouraged to high standards, for example improved a clear strategy for positive customer put their own personality into on-train train cleaning schedules and staff experience. communication and in face-to-face training. Good customer information The strategy has five principal communication with customers. systems are important too, particularly drivers – these are: continually getting North East Area members were to keep people informed when things do to know our customers, building a enthralled by Natalie’s presentation, occasionally go wrong. great experience, driving an engaged which was engaging and very positive. It is important to take Northern and committed organisation, creating Northern faces an important future people along with this, and they are more brilliant communication and ensuring with a new franchise, and commitment engaged by involvement and training. that Northern is delivering operational to new services, trains and the customer Posters, leaflets and online information excellence experience should achieve new heights. Getting to know the customer is vitally for staff and regular feedback are all Subsequent to Natalie’s presentation, employed to tell the staff how Northern important and a wide range of techniques Northern has achieved a franchise is doing and also to encourage personal are employed to gather feedback from best in the autumn 2015 National Rail initiatives. them, particularly at the point of use. Passenger Survey, clearly demonstrating Operational excellence is being Specially developed customer experience Your local Area runs events all year towork see Natalie how others that the described is being achieved in around. number There of ways.are Theopportunities surveys are carried outIRO across the network work, broaden experience and addconductor to your professional development. recognised by customers. professional initiative is and careful analyses of theseyour are employed

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The human factor Jerry Alderson looks at ways the industry can attend to the needs of those that will fall outside of its ‘vision’ for ticketing


ritain’s railway has not embraced new technology as quickly, widely or reliably as other industries, such as retailing where bar-code readers at supermarkets provide a faster check-out, a real-time balance and a fully itemised receipt – a win-win scenario. Unfortunately changes often benefit the people who run the railway – or the government that controls its expenditure – at the expense of passengers, and as the railway plays catch-up there is a danger that the customer’s needs are forgotten in the rush for improvement and innovation. The phasing out of permit-totravel machines, which were no more sophisticated than a 1970’s parking meter, and their replacement by ticket machines (TVM’s) has reduced revenue loss but they take more time to use – 90 seconds instead of 30. Queues are longer and passengers have to arrive earlier, making the train less competitive on end-to-end journey times. The fact that additional TVM’s were rarely provided underlines the operator’s lack of concern for its customers. TVM’s are cheaper than providing a ticket office or on-board staff. They

‘Whatever technology is deployed and however inclusive the railway tries to be, if the industry cannot get its act together on something as simple as a list of stations or ensure that a TVM keyboard is tested then how can anyone trust them to reliably introduce, say, smartticketing technology?’ Page 44 March 2016

can be open 24x7, do not suffer from staff sickness, and more of them can be afforded. For non-native speakers TVM’s have the ability to support multiple languages too. Web-sites and mobile apps effectively provide an infinite number of TVM’s at every point in the journey from your home to your seat on the train. Google will translate pasted text into any language, and because there is no queue behind them the customer can take as long as necessary (or until it times out). Pay-as-you-go smartcards, contactless credit/debit cards and m-ticketing mean

that some people never need think about the fare as it becomes a matter of travel now, pay later. Isolates the non tech-savvy This all sounds wonderful but it risks isolating those who are not ‘tech savvy’ or lack confidence. Even those who are must remember to bring their device, charge up the battery in advance, top-up credit and ensure that data roaming is enabled in the case of foreign visitors. It is vital that no-one becomes financially disadvantaged because they do not pay the way that is most cost-effective for the railway.

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Another danger is that a certain technology becomes so ubiquitous that the industry cannot cope without it – a fault with the check-in computers brings an airport to a standstill – and first-time or infrequent travellers are utterly lost especially where information is missing, erroneous or does not make sense. In January two new stations opened in the West Midlands: Coventry Arena and Bermuda Park. Already aware that many TVM’s did not include the seven stations on the Borders Railway that had opened in September, Railfuture decided to check a number of websites and apps to see if they supported the new stations. The results were pretty depressing and more than a month later, despite the publicity generated and after communicating with some of the companies involved, few (apart from National Rail Enquiries along with Deutsche Bahn and ÖBB in Austria) have the full set. It’s not just inconsistent but random. Virgin Trains West Coast lists both stations, but not two others that opened in December (Cranbrook and Apperley Bridge), whereas Virgin Trains East Coast has three of them but not Bermuda Park. By far the worst is Abellio Greater Anglia, whose TVM’s, web-site and app omit all of the 16 new stations that have opened since December 2013. To compound the problems, on some TVM’s the software for the touch-screen

keyboard has a bug. In one example, pressing a ‘B’ gave a ‘V’, so a ticket for Bedford, Brighton or even Birmingham could not be purchased. What should a passenger do if they want to board at an unstaffed station within a penalty fare area if their destination station is not available on a TVM or their chosen web-site or app? What if they chose Appley Bridge assuming that is how Apperley Bridge is spelt? Whatever technology is deployed and however inclusive the railway tries to be, if the industry cannot get its act together on something as simple as a list of stations or ensure that a TVM keyboard is tested then how can anyone trust them to reliably introduce, say, smart-ticketing technology? With everything it introduces the railway industry must ensure that there is resilience in case of failure, and quality assurance needs to be vastly improved. The operators collectively must trial and fine-tune a wide range of customer interactions taking account of so-called human factors. Rail user groups and stakeholders need to be involved prior to implementing changes and there must be a plan for addressing concerns raised and testing the solutions as soon as practicable. For those who need it – and this is

not just about elderly or disabled people but all of us at some time – there is no substitute for the face-to-face experience, even if it is via a station help point with a screen. Where possible it must be maintained, and passengers who have not been able to ask staff for ticketing advice must be given the benefit of the doubt when they have made an innocent mistake or incorrect assumption. Technology can free-up staff but it cannot – and must not – remove the need for them. There is a positive business case for retaining their presence, perhaps with revised working practices as has happened on London Underground. As the majority of passengers become more self-reliant there will be opportunities for ticket staff to sell other items to bring in additional revenue, but it must be a case of trained staff cross-selling rather than baristas trying to offer ticket advice. The savings made from fewer staff at a larger station could be used or extend the hours of staffing or re-deploy staff at currently unstaffed stations. If operators or the Treasury simply pocket savings it risks stifling passenger growth over the long-term.

Jerry Alderson is director of finance and corporate governance at Railfuture, and a business consultant March 2016 Page 47

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hat do you hope to achieve from the ORR investigation? Is it really going to influence the way Toc’s behave? ​The ORR has a duty to protect the interests of the users of rail services and powers to set requirements on Toc’s in licences, and to monitor and enforce those requirements.   I​t’s far too difficult for passengers to get a refund for rail delays, or even find out they’re eligible. We want clear information on how to get a refund for delays, and for all train companies to offer cash as default, and operators held to account if they fail to encourage passengers to claim refunds for delays.   We look forward to the ORR’s response to our super-complaint.   Is your suggestion to alert passengers to refund opportunities by making announcements on trains and handing out compensation forms on platforms the most effective – most are busy and stressed? There are a range of measures that Toc’s could use to better inform passengers of what they are entitled to and how to make a claim. These include announcements on trains, texts, emails, social media, handing out forms, trained staff in stations to advise on the compensation processes and automatic refunds where possible.     The ORR has powers to set requirements on Toc’s in licences, and to penalise those that aren’t providing the correct information.   You said that many of the station staff that Which? asked in its mystery shop didn’t seem to know compensation rules. Are Toc’s training their staff well enough in this area? Our mystery shopping exercise of 102 train stations found in nearly four in ten (37 per cent) visits, our researchers were either not given any information at all or only part of the information they needed about how long a delay needs to be before a refund would be due. It is the responsibility of the train companies to ensure their staff have the adequate training and are able March 2016 Page 49


to advise passengers on their rights regarding compensation for delays and cancellations. We want the ORR to introduce conditions into licenses to require Toc’s to raise passenger awareness of their compensation rights. The DfT published a consultation last year that said an increase in costs through compensation payouts ‘is likely to be passed on to customers through increased fares, or to taxpayers’. Do you think that will be the case? We are not calling for additional compensation, just for consumers to receive the compensation they are rightly entitled to. There is no reason why this should be passed on in increased fares or to taxpayers, especially when the train companies already receive money from Network Rail for delays which isn’t being fully claimed by passengers. Train operators should not be making a profit because it is too difficult for passengers to receive compensation. In your view, what does the rail industry need to get right to finally please its customers? We lodged a super-complaint with the rail regulator because it is far too difficult for passengers to get a refund for rail delays,

‘We’re particularly worried about the Department for Transport’s consultation to exempt the transport industry from parts of the Consumer Rights Act. We are concerned that the department is seeking to exclude transport users from the compensation rights enjoyed elsewhere across the economy’ or even find out what compensation they are entitled to. We want to see clear information on how to get a refund for rail delays. We want to see an easy process for claiming, with all train companies to offer cash for refunds as the first option for compensation, and these companies to be held to account if they fail to increase the proportion of passengers who claim and receive refunds.

What other rail consumer issues do you see happening in the near-term and longer-term? We’re particularly worried about the Department for Transport’s consultation to exempt the transport industry from parts of the Consumer Rights Act. We are concerned that the department is seeking to exclude transport users from the compensation rights enjoyed elsewhere across the economy. The attempt to carve out sectors from rights that apply across products and services is worrying, especially given the Act has only been in force for a matter of months. We’re urging the government to urgently rethink this proposal. Is there anything else you would like to get across to Toc managers and owning groups? There are clearly major issues with the rail compensation system, and delayed passengers are the victims. We’d invite rail operators to meet with us and work with us about how to put this right for passengers in the UK. To view the Which? rail satisfaction results visit: travel-and-leisure/reviews-ns/best-and-worstuk-train-companies/best-and-worst-trainsfor-delays-/

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Lorna Slade spoke to Richard Malins, founder and director of Transport Investigations Limited, about the predicted end of the mag stripe, myths around fare evasion, the complexity of issuing refunds and the cost of progress


eing based in a small village way outside of Billericay, I offered to collect Richard Malins from the town’s station by car. He politely declined my offer as he planned on using the bus (a service I didn’t know existed), and thus he arrived bang on time having travelled from London. With something of the officers’ mess about him, Malins struck me as a classic rail man. While certainly not popular with some passengers due to the nature of his company’s work, he is wellentrenched in the industry and well-equipped to take a view given his 50 year career. Offering consultancy to rail corporations and services to Toc’s including revenue protection and related survey teams, as well as customer information staff, Malins founded TIL with two former British Rail colleagues. Members of TIL’s board and management team have, according to its website, played a ‘leading role’ in the introduction of self-service ticket machines, developing and introducing penalty fares and the use of private prosecutions in magistrates’ courts. Back in the mists of time, and joining BR as a graduate trainee in 1966 Malins thought he was embarking on a lifetime’s career, ‘one had no idea it would be broken up in the way it was’ he reflected in his cut-glass accent. He also had no idea that he would be participating in the beginnings of UK rail’s smartcard initiative. Page 52 March 2016

When I think it’s been 20 years since I first started talking to London Transport with a British Rail hat on about smartcards, and you see where Oyster is at now and you see where the Toc’s are, the contrast is stark

Richard Malins March 2016 Page 53


Involved in the 80’s, while at the old Southern Region at Waterloo, with the introduction of APTIS (accountancy and passenger ticket issuing system), BR’s all-purpose ticket issue system and the first really unified system on the railway, Malins explained that, ‘as it happened, at the same time London Transport was introducing its new underground ticketing system and I was tasked with coordinating the two schemes, so there was a common ticket format with the magnetic stripe. So we had APTIS and then what became known as SPORTIS (the portable ticket issuing system) and then POTIS (the passenger operated machines), and the whole thing was designed to produce tickets compatible with the Underground. They did have the mag stripe on them but that was primarily to meet LT’s needs and issue Travelcards, cross-London tickets and so on.’ Malins’ history in ticketing also came at a time of change in many aspects of revenue protection, and at SR he pioneered the introduction of ticket vending machines, as well as the open stations policy, which was a BR strategy at the time and something he had witnessed, along with penalty fares, in use on the German Railways (DB) while on an exchange programme. ‘We actually dumped the idea of ticket gates on a mainline station as not being a priority for investment. The priority was to invest in better ticket issuing systems as there was no point in having enforcement without the proper opportunity to purchase,’ explained Malins. ‘When privatisation came along in the mid-90’s’, he remembered, ‘I was working at BRB HQ in what I like to call Network SouthEast-in-Exile: I’d been at NSE throughout its all too brief but glorious eight year existence and was fortunate that I still had a lot of contacts at London Transport, and they said ‘We’re just starting to develop this scheme for smartcards (Prestige, now Oyster) and we’d like you to help us launch it, and in particular help us get it onto what is currently British Rail but won’t be for much longer.’ So I started working for LT on what was a technical innovation back in 1996-7. But then I thought, rather than being involved in the technical end of ticketing systems, which is probably best left to the manufacturers, there’s an idea here for a support business providing services for Toc’s, particularly around revenue protection work.’ So Transport Investigations Ltd started up in 1998, with Chiltern Railways its first client. Many others have followed, including DLR, Virgin West Coast, Northern and GWR for consultancy work, but its principal clients currently include Arriva Trains Wales and CrossCountry. ‘We still do occasional work for Chiltern but they’re not terribly active on the revenue protection front at the moment – some sort of customer service issues tied up with it, but ATW is quite strong on having a zero tolerance approach, and it’s coincidental that we happen to be a mainly Arriva group-based company, if you think of my exchange involvement with DB in the 80’s!’ End of the mag stripe a myth We spoke days after the Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information Global event, a large gathering of transport and government executives in the industry as well as external payments experts and smart ticketing strategists. It goes without saying that Malins attended. One talk that stood out for him was Claire Perry’s, in which she ‘confidently predicted the imminent demise of the mag stripe’. ‘That’s probably an illusion’ believes Malins, and part of the relentless push to bring exciting news in ticketing that does mask some downsides. ‘The Oyster card is an interesting example of how privatisation and the structure of the industry has been unhelpful in ticketing. There are areas where it has produced results, but revenue protection is not one of them. That’s partly because a lot of these initiatives have to be done on a pan-Toc basis and there isn’t the governance if you like, or the organisation structure to get things done.’ Page 54 March 2016

While pointing out that Claire Perry was likely to have read a speech that somebody in her department had written for her, Malins believes ‘in fairness’ that she’s ‘one of those ministers who likes doing the job she’s got. And we don’t always have them. Norman Baker (Rail Professional interview September 2013) was one, Patrick McLoughlin another and Portillo is off making his TV programmes, but they are the exception to the rule, and over the many years I’ve been in the industry the transport ministers who like the brief they’ve got are quite rare. So I think Claire is in the ‘likes the job’ category and certainly gave that impression at the conference. Nevertheless she’s relying on what her civil servants tell her, and I think they fed her the line that, ‘Yes, at long last we’ve turned the corner with

smartcards, things are now going to happen after 20 years of not much happening, and we’re even going to have the whole country catch up with London’, which I think is simply not credible as London is a world-leader now. I noticed that the Campaign for Better Transport piled in shortly after with a press release along the lines of ‘pull the other one’, but I don’t believe this is all totally pie in the sky, because obviously we will progress with other forms of ticket.’ In conversation with former TfL colleagues at the conference, Malins joined a view that Toc’s have had to be ‘almost dragged’ into the smart ticketing system, ‘or certainly given it on a plate’. ‘Steve Howes, managing director of the Rail Settlement Plan, who spoke at the conference would admit they’ve probably seen a five per cent revenue uplift from the pay-as-you-go product and contactless payment.’

Richard Malins

‘What were they aiming for’, I asked? ‘I’m not sure but Toc priorities throughout this have been to ensure they have no downsides, so they admit they have an upside, but they haven’t paid anything for it. Obviously there are some costs for them but the whole thing has virtually been given to them by TfL because it has a remit that says ‘we want London-wide ticketing’, and if the Toc’s aren’t involved then it’s not Londonwide. So the whole smart ticketing initiative on the national network has proceeded at a glacial pace. When I think it’s been 20 years since I first started talking to London Transport with a British Rail hat on about smartcards, and you see where Oyster is at now and you see where the Toc’s are, the contrast is stark.’ One of the players that can be blamed for the situation

is the DfT according to Malins. ‘It had a vision of a national smartcard based on the ITSO format, which has been very slow to get off the ground in rail because how could the DfT ‘make’ people use it? If there isn’t an obvious business case for a Toc to do it, which usually there isn’t, what are the incentives? You can make it a franchise commitment or obligation – and a few years ago they did that to South West Trains, just to install some smartcard equipment – but most don’t even do that and somehow the small print got them out of it.’ The business case will not be there, believes Malins, unless and until Toc’s can do something quite radical, TfL-style, to their fares structure, but considering the array of reasons why this isn’t possible, the DfT, despite what Perry said recently, really hasn’t progressed on that. ‘We’ve got patches of mainly bus-based stuff around the country, with rail coming into it

marginally here and there. Then there’s the SEFT initiative, which was criticised extensively in the media, with good reason.’ The one Toc that has steamed ahead in smart ticketing is c2c pointed out Malins, but its slightly atypical network has enabled its ambitions. ‘It’s small and fully-gated and doesn’t have loads of minor stations strung out in the countryside with a small footfall, plus they have Oyster at the London end. But even there they haven’t done much beyond saying, ‘well you can have a smartcard instead of a mag-stripe ticket, which is marginally easier at the gates we make you go through.’ The cost of progress A while ago the DfT published a consultation document which said an increase in compensation is likely to be passed on to the passenger. ‘Well it’s got to be paid for somewhere hasn’t it’ replied Malins speedily. ‘There are some guidelines which Toc’s are advised to follow, on such things as how to handle unpaid fares, prosecutions and so on, but the DfT can’t enforce much, so it’s left to Toc’s to do their own thing within certain rules, but that doesn’t make things more affordable.’ In terms of ticketing, Malins pointed out that a proliferation of different types of tickets will certainly bring increased costs. ‘When the mag stripe was all there was, that was the cost you had. Now you’ve got to accommodate mobile phone ticketing and smart or bank cards, so costs will increase if Toc’s aren’t careful,’ he warned. ‘Claire Perry wants choice so people can use what they want, but choice costs money. So I think there will be some cost pressures against what she wants to achieve in that area as well.’ Not to labour the point, I referred back to Malins’ comment about a lack of governance and business case as a reason why smart ticketing has progressed so slowly and patchily among Toc’s? With his background, nobody could say Malins was theorising in his answer. ‘Sometimes I can be a nostalgist for the command and control structure of BR where, going back 30-odd years now, it decided to have a clean sweep of ticketing and introduce computer reservations. BR had inherited ticketing from different schemes, some going back earlier than nationalisation, but the initiative happened so efficiently because you had one organisation with full command and a controlling mind to do it. The DfT is only able to exercise control through franchise agreements and the differing franchise schedules has been a problem. In that sense franchising isn’t very efficient is it, I commented. Malins didn’t waste a second in his response: ‘It’s not that efficient for anything. One of my colleagues, Michael Holden, gave a talk recently looking back at what has worked and what hasn’t in privatisation. What hasn’t worked, he believes, includes fares and ticketing, because it got frozen into quite tight agreements that make change difficult. For example ATOC’s Rail Settlement Plan holds things where they are to maintain a national system and it’s really difficult for RSP to say ‘actually we’ve got a better idea’. They have replaced the legacy BR systems and equipment and so on, but can’t make the concepts move forward. The same is true of revenue protection – it was seen as something the Toc would want to do so why should anybody centrally say ‘We must have a national strategy that makes all the gates work the same way, and maybe get the coding on tickets to work better’, but that hasn’t happened.’ Ignorance about fare evasion Malins’ colleague at TIL, Jeremy de Rose, with whom he worked at Network SouthEast, pioneered the concept of private prosecutions using lay staff to prosecute in magistrates’ courts. He explained: ‘Other agencies such as the DVLA and TV licensing do it because the police don’t want to be bogged down and nor does the CPS. So even the legal profession is quite happy to see this low-level stuff done that way, and in fact more will be done in the future outside normal court hours and in absentia and so on.’ March 2016 Page 55


TIL’s website says there is a ‘tension’ between enforcement and customer service. Does the company guide Toc’s on how to strike a balance? ‘Yes we do. With ATW it’s almost a political statement, because even though its fares are some of the lowest in the UK, the stance of the Welsh government is ‘this may be a cheap railway, but it’s not a free one’. So that’s pretty good. But some other Toc’s have in our view become quite flaky on revenue protection. I think they’ve got an eye on the Transport Focus survey results, believing that what might be seen as aggressive revenue protection will affect their customer satisfaction scores.’ As to why Toc’s would put some revenue protection work out to agencies, Malins said in some cases for smaller Toc’s it isn’t cost-effective to do it in-house, ‘or in general, even if the expertise does exist, it’s at a low level within the organisation and not prioritised. It also appears that the RMT, who seem desperate to protect the jobs of guards, don’t mind too much about who checks tickets, particularly at stations. They’re a bit iffy about trains though.’ However over time, Inter-City operators also became clients of TIL. ‘Virgin was rather hot and cold with us at the start but even they, who are mainly a sort of touchy-feely customerfriendly company now have a policy that if people take the piss they will be taken to court, and actually the cases we do for them are very good. We know that having an independent agency such as ours is quite nice because it means the Virgin brand is not contaminated by courts and suchlike.’ One of Malins’ longstanding gripes is the degree of ignorance about fare evasion. ‘A lot of it is based on backof-the-envelope calculations, gut feeling, casual observation, and there are myths surrounding it. One is that there is no problem, the other is there’s a huge problem. I think the truth is probably somewhere in-between. While we can devise a survey methodology that tries to identify the truth, there is still not enough being done in that area and some of the work that has been done can be statistically flawed in various ways.’ I noticed that Malins told a 2008 Select Committee on Transport that he believed Toc’s should take a more ‘holistic’ approach to revenue protection. ‘I’m never quite sure what holistic means and I think that was a phrase the committee attached to it. But the point I was making to them was to say that for revenue protection there isn’t a one size fits all solution.’ He continued: ‘You might imagine that on an urban network gates will perhaps halve the level of ticketless travel, whereas we found with ATW, where there are gates at the main Cardiff stations, they tend to spawn other forms of fare evasion: With some journeys people just buy the minimum fare to get through the gate, or where they’ve come from one of the unstaffed stations in the Valleys they’ll arrive at Cardiff and offer a short fare. So you don’t eliminate the problem on an urban network, but you might reduce it.’ There is also evidence of this type of evasion on a main line service, for example CrossCountry. ‘In the Midlands it has quite a lot of short-distance business and people think, ‘I’ll just hop on and off. It’s only a small fare so I haven’t done anything too serious’. Of course when they get the summons they’re not so sure,’ laughed Malins, ‘but we find that with longer journeys, people expect to pay for it so the most common fiddles you’ll see there are not ‘no-ticket’-related but to do with discounts for example, claiming they’ve forgotten their railcard and so on.’ Unsurprisingly Malins has seen it all over the years. ‘Sometimes people make a bad situation worse and can be abusive or violent, but more commonly they give a false name and address or say ‘I have this letter from you but it’s not me’. Sometimes the opportunity to purchase a ticket has failed in some way and that is, if you like, the rail operator’s fault. But an experienced inspector will have a reasonable idea as to whether they’ve been given the truth or not. Some people will say the ticket office was closed or the machine wasn’t working, but Page 56 March 2016

we can check up on all that; other times they will say ‘I got to the station and the train was coming in so I didn’t have time to buy a ticket’, to which the answer is ‘It’s your fault’. People’s motivation to pay varies and if there’s an opportunity not to bother they’ll take advantage, and we see quite a lot of that.’ From time to time the media carries quite extraordinary stories of, for example, highly paid City workers who have ended up literally ruining their lives because they didn’t want to pay the full fare. What sort of person would behave like that, I wondered? ‘We see bizarre cases where people who should have known better took a stupid risk – they had the money to pay so why did they do it? Probably because they got a kick out of it, and shoplifting is almost in that category isn’t it,’ speculated Malins, ‘the two are different sides of the same coin.’ Will smart ticketing bring new opportunities for fraud I wondered? ‘These things always do’ said Malins firmly, ‘and we’re seeing problems with new ticket media such as print-at-

home tickets which offer fraudulent opportunities.’ ‘Or they could say their mobile ran out of battery...’ I suggested. ‘Ah now yes, well that’s the thing with mobile phones,’ said Malins enthusiastically. ‘Nearly 90 per cent of younger people have them and they are the ideal ticket medium of the future we hear, but while they are a nice convenience they are open to abuse. For example some Toc’s offer a carnet of mobile tickets that are undated, but like the old scratch card was always prone to ‘quick someone’s coming scratch it’, what we’re finding in South Wales is a significant problem where people will only activate one of their tickets when they see an inspector on the horizon. So we’ve prosecuted for this because you can actually demonstrate that the ticket was validated moments before the point of approach.’ Refunds in the news In light of the Which? super-complaint, I wondered if Malins feels Toc’s and the government are doing all they can to make opportunities for compensation clear? It isn’t that simple for Malins, who believes c2c’s initiative to refund money automatically even if a train is a few minutes late is a bit of a hostage to fortune for the rest of the industry. ‘Number one, how do they know someone was on that particular train? They can say ‘OK if you have our smartcard and we can see when you’ve entered the system, that gives us a fair idea of which train you might have been on; but c2c is a walk-up service, so

Richard Malins

been scanning real-time information for late trains and putting in claims on them. Some people are stupid enough to do things like that, and the person GA prosecuted actually made claims for two trains, but she couldn’t have been on them both at the same time. People usually go a bit far with these things so Toc’s have to protect against that.’ All told, Malins isn’t sure that Which? fully understands the complexity of the whole situation. ‘I’m a little bit suspicious: I mean they’re still the organ of the Consumers’ Association aren’t they? I have more faith and confidence in Transport Focus’s NRPS. They understand the industry and their claims are usually backed up by hard evidence, whereas I think Which? is a little more inclined to criticise and stir the railway pot when it can.’ The future Malins predicts linked-up smart ticketing for the North, ‘Scotland are doing something that’s been fairly well-thoughtout, there’s not much going on in Wales, Northern Ireland has been doing smart ticketing for some time but they’re more interested in linking with the Irish Republic.’ In London the Oyster boundaries ‘need to be pushed out to somewhere sensible,’ believes Malins, ‘but on the whole franchisees are not going to do that. The DfT has been quite nervous about the idea because it doesn’t want big traffic generators like Sevenoaks or St. Albans ending up such that TfL has some control of the fares, but TfL really needs to pursue this.’ In the rest of the south east things are hit and miss as well, he observes. ‘Southern has its ‘Key’ smartcard but it doesn’t do very much as far as I can tell. South West Trains put in a lot of kit and then did nothing, but when that franchise is re-let there will be a requirement to do something. So it all hangs on refranchising which is in different timescales and we’re not sure what products will be offered, so I’m not confident the south east outside London will be sorted out anytime soon.’

suppose I go to Basildon, which has trains to Fenchurch Street every five or ten minutes at certain times of the day. A train might actually have been half an hour late but when I turned up it came at the time I wanted to travel, so does that qualify me for a refund? I got on a train that was running late, but I haven’t really been delayed. So I’m not sure how c2c are going to deal with that. The national network can issue compensation for train-specific bookings, but for walk-up tickets and season tickets it is especially difficult to know what the situation is.’ And while some Toc’s do alert their customers – East Coast actually hands out delay forms – Malins made the point that it’s much more difficult at large stations in big and multiple disruptions to know who was delayed and who wasn’t. Asked if the ORR investigation will make a difference Malins, ever the pragmatist, isn’t convinced. ‘TfL was asked about this at the conference and said that even registered card holders who it can see have been involved in disruption and want to claim will have to ask for it. TfL will make it easy for them and give them the money back via their card or bank account, but they will have to ask, and I can’t really see it going much beyond that.’ Another issue TIL is fully aware of is that, just like the fraudulent claim to have the missing £33 million lottery card, people will apply for money they are not strictly entitled to. ‘Since Delay Repay came into being, which I think is a perfectly laudable idea, we’ve had to be on the lookout,’ said Malins. ‘In fact Greater Anglia recently took someone to court who had

No regrets Malins founded TIL when in his 50’s, still with a relatively young family he wanted to carry on working ‘and starting a small business seemed like fun.’ The company has a core team of 12 and well over 100 casual workers on its books, with a few who have gone on to work with Toc’s, ‘and we don’t mind that as we don’t aim to hang onto people forever due to the nature of the work.’ Deeply ingrained in the industry, he was chairman for six years of the Railway Study Association, a voluntary educational body that goes back to the early 20th century. ‘I think they’ve got the Young Rail Professionals to come in and fill the thing from underneath because the oldies are hanging on in there, but it has amazing talks – we’ve had Ray Stenning, the guy who designs train and bus liveries, and next week we’ve got Nicola Shaw.’ He is also secretary of the Retired Railway Officers’ Society, formed in 1901, which has over 700 members. ‘We meet monthly, and the people who come and give talks say they are amazed by what a friendly community the railway is.’ Finally, we talked about rail’s image and Malins referred to Claire Perry’s comment that trains are no longer a ‘heritagehas-been’. Emphatic that he has absolutely no regrets about spending his entire career in rail, the issue now is succession planning. One of Malins’ sons is a rail engineer, the other is an environmentalist, and neither have expressed an interest in taking over TIL, but younger people are coming into the business. ‘I haven’t worked out my exit strategy yet but I’m over 70 now so can’t carry on doing it for ever. We’ve got the business in a state where the portfolio of work is growing well enough to keep it afloat, and in good years it makes money. So as long as it works and I get some satisfaction from doing it...I love working in rail, but that’s a whole other subject.’ March 2016 Page 57

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Conference report

Big ticket item More than 50 ticketing executives spoke at the recent Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information Global. In order for them to thrive, attendees were told there needed to be a sustained focus on industry collaboration, customers and updating old infrastructure. Dave Songer reports


ail Minister Claire Perry has called on the rail industry to increase collaboration and utilise the ‘impressive array of technology’ at its disposal to improve ticketing. Perry made the request while opening the seventh Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information Global conference, the annual event that brings transport executives together from across the world to showcase the latest technology and discuss future developments. In a wide-ranging talk, Perry said it was up to private transport companies to deliver the changes needed to make journeys better and added that ‘the industry’s overriding commitment should be to the customer’. Setting out the government’s plans in front of around 300 delegates at Old Billingsgate in central London, Perry spoke with positivity on smart ticketing’s progress across the UK and used the example of the Midlands and north of England, ‘where customers can now download tickets direct to their mobile phones’. ‘The smart, simple and quick digital system was the product of the industry working together,’ she said, with many other examples of similar collaboration on display in next-door’s exhibition hall. Despite this optimism, Perry reminded the audience of the progress that needed to be made to raise UK rail’s profile. She quoted the World Economic Forum’s 2009 findings on the quality of the world’s railway, which placed British Railways in 21st position – far behind Germany, fifth; France, fourth; and one after India, in 20th – a situation the minister branded ‘completely unacceptable’. Tangerine tickets Speaking ahead of the Rail Delivery Group’s (RDG) annual conference, which announced that barcoded m-Tickets admissible with more than one operator for a single journey would be available within three years, Perry said technology was already available to bring about ‘the death of the tangerine ticket’. She called the 60s-developed magnetic paper

ticket ‘woefully inadequate in today’s technology-rich times’. Concerns have since been raised regarding the proposed overhaul. Bruce Williamson from campaign group, Railfuture, warned that elderly passengers and those not equipped with the latest technology would be ‘left behind and discriminated against’, with customers using the latest tickets getting the best deals. The RDG insists that the move would be fair, with easier and cheaper travel available to everyone. ‘Seamless experience’ On what ticketing should look like, Perry said the government remained ‘agnostic’ but was resolute that it should do ‘whatever the customer wants’. She said it was now only fair to expect the industry to respond and innovate and to ‘develop a situation where systems talk to each other and the customer experience is seamless’. ‘No longer an optional extra’, Perry said it was ‘quite clear’ that customers wanted more technology, as proved by the take-up of Apple Pay and contactless technologies on the TfL network. The use of integrated and smart ticketing in the UK wasn’t discussed just in a London and south east context; Mike Lewis from Transport for the North (TfN), briefed the audience on progress in that area in the north of the country. Chancellor George Osborne announced the launch in May 2015 of an implementation plan into smart ticketing, since then £150 million of funding has been released in the north to make it

‘simpler and easier for people to travel across the region by train, bus, tram and metro’. Offering six possible options, Lewis was also flexible on what form it could take but was clear that any solution should be accepted across all operators and, to improve efficiency, ‘should operate out of the fewest number of back offices possible – preferably one’. He described the staged approach that TfN will employ, building on the infrastructure that already exists and giving passengers a real sense of the project’s evolution. By getting it right, said Lewis, customers would get a better, more consistent service for a fare that they trusted was the most competitive. TfL For views on smart ticketing in England’s capital, the first of three representatives from TfL, Vernon Everitt, talked about its core issues to do with ticketing: payment, March 2016 Page 59

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Conference report The Awards Most Successful Mobile Ticketing Programme Masabi & Transport for Athens What the judges said: ‘The scale of this project and the popularity with customers are extremely impressive.’ Most Innovative Real-Time Passenger Information Initiative OASTH What the judges said: ‘Targeting the minority groups (partially sighted, the elderly) who are often forgotten is a fantastic example of how technology can be used for social inclusion.’ Best Customer Serving Operator Tallinna Transpordiamet (Tallinn Transport Department) & Ridango What the judges said: ‘The programme has shown real contribution in decreasing pollution and car ridership in the city centre and a great example of integration between public and private transport.’ Best Smart Card Ticketing Service IETT General Management What the judges said: ‘The scale and achievements of this programme are impressive. With 98 per cent penetration, and 20 million cards in circulation.’

to do transport,’ he told the audience ‘and it’s important to enable customers to pay for a journey in just the same way as they would buy a coffee’. As for data, Everitt showed the audience a few examples of the 460 TfLpowered apps available that keeps TfL customers informed. ‘They’re all powered by TfL’s free and open data; some of them are even useful’, he joked. TfL provides the developers of such apps and websites with free data to power them, ‘something that was back then a bit of a leap in the dark’, he admitted. ‘But now more than 6,000 developers are now taking that information which feeds to power all of those products.’ Such is the power of the data at their fingertips, he explained: ‘It’s possible for us to send passengers tailored emails about their journeys to avoid disruption. We know where they travel and we can send relevant, targeted information, which is useful for everyone, particularly disabled customers.’

Industry Contributor Ben Whitaker What the judges said: ‘Masabi has had a major impact on the deployment of mobile ticketing solutions around the world, Ben has been behind much of the innovation that has made this possible.’

Pay-as-you-go The increasing popularity of pay-as-yougo travel formed a large part of Everitt’s colleague’s talk. Andrew Anderson, TfL’s business design manager, revealed that the number of people buying season tickets had dropped while pay-as-you-go journeys have experienced a spike in popularity, with a change in working habits and smart ticketing possible explanations. ‘To get the best value out of season tickets, users need to travel 19 days each month,’ he explained. ‘Contactless is growing at the expense of everything else. Season tickets sales are down ten per cent but pay-as-you-go tickets rose by the same amount’.

information and data. To give an idea of the scale of TfL’s task, the managing director of customer experience quoted projections predicting that London would reach ten million inhabitants by 2030: ‘the equivalent of around two full tube trains arriving in London every week’. ‘Smart ticketing is the answer to handle the growth,’ he said confidently ‘and could also help the capital and its regions to grow and unlock economic development’. On payment, Everitt talked about the changing habits of passengers and the popularity of the contactless technology introduced in 2015. He revealed that the 1.2 million people now using it make up more than a quarter of all TfL pay as you go journeys. ‘Nine million of those users came from 80 different countries’, which led Everitt to ask why they should have to convert their currency into pounds in order to travel; a process he said ‘worked against the grain of how people live their lives’. ‘TfL is a retail business that happens

Give the customer what they want Not just a success story in the UK, contactless payments were covered by the array of international speakers, who hailed from countries that included Germany, South Africa, Bahrain, Bulgaria and Denmark. Speaking up for the customer, Miki Szikszai, the chief executive officer of New Zealand’s contactless payment, Snapper, said that in order to get the most out of smart ticketing it was vital to involve the customer and not ‘second guess’ what they want. ‘It’s important to know what customers think and they should play a leading role’ said Szikszai. He went on to explain that more traditional methods of gathering data don’t always get the most useful results, with annual surveys ‘biased’ and polling passengers at train and tram stations not yielding 100 per cent honest answers: ‘they’ll potentially feel uncomfortable and could make things up’. Operating a new system to counter skewed results, Snapper now has dialogue with its passengers on a daily basis using

Ticketing Technology of the Year HopOn What the judges said: ‘HopOn has produced an innovative approach to multimodal validation with the use of BLE and ultrasonic making the solution work with all mobile devices.’

AskNicely, an independent and online platform that aggregates customers’ opinions. ‘It’s manned all day, which gives us live, real-time input from our customers and the cost of maintaining it’ – compared with more traditional surveys – ‘is tiny’. Security Tackling the subject of security – a theme raised throughout the conference – was Thales’ Francois Baylot. The strategy director for fare collection products said that ‘while transport hasn’t been targeted by hackers, the threat is always there’. Issuing a warning to the latest systems being discussed at the conference, he said: ‘Security should be taken all the more seriously when operating a more unified system,’ but added that ‘standardised security services and processes, the encryption of sensitive data and the outsourcing of security to ISO-certified companies’ could help mitigate any risks. Looking at security from the point at which fares are collected, Wasabi’s Ben Whitaker, who won the Industry Collaborator award later in the evening at the ceremony, gave the main hall a vision for the future. He described a system ‘that would be linked to the photo submitted when the application for the ticket was made’, removing the need for ticket machines and improving upon the current system that he believes is inherently less secure. March 2016 Page 61


Just the ticket Jacqueline Starr looks at how the industry is working to revolutionise ticketing, helping to make rail travel easier for millions


magine booking a train journey online or through an app on your mobile phone and having your permit to travel – it could be just a barcode – sent direct to your smartphone or other portable device. At the railway station you touch in on the pad at the entry gate either with the payment card used to make the booking or your smartphone or other device. No need to print a paper ticket or seat reservation. This is part of our vision of how millions more people all over Britain will travel on tomorrow’s railway. I joined the rail industry less than six months ago and in that time I’ve seen what an amazing sector it is and the contribution that rail makes to our society and economy. I’m proud and excited to be part of an industry which is so important to the nation’s social and economic wellbeing, and to be working for an organisation full of people passionate about making a difference and creating an even more successful railway for a successful Britain. Rail plays an ever more crucial role in Britain. Our railway carries more than 4.5million people a day and vital freight to every corner of the country. People are seeing new trains, revamped stations and a wide range of fares for different types of traveller. Passengers’ satisfaction with their journeys overall has improved ac-

cording to the latest independent survey but we have much more to do to keep improving. My job is to work with train operators and the wider industry to create the exceptional journey experience from start to finish that today’s passengers demand and deserve, and that includes modernising ticketing and improving how we communicate and connect with customers. The future of ticketing is one of our biggest priorities, helping to make travelling by train easier for millions more passengers. Over the last year rail industry leaders have been working with government to agree a vision for the best way to modernise and simplify ticketing as part of our wider aim to improve the experience of rail users. An industry vision The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has set out a vision developed with industry representatives that will see the familiar orange paper ticket well on the way to retirement as more and more people are able to use mobile devices, contactless or smartcards to travel. We have a vision of fully digital, mobile-friendly train travel with smarter types of quick and easy electronic tickets which are convenient, personalised, give people more choice about how to pay for travel and can be used on different providers’ services.

“The transformation that all of this innovation will bring for the rail industry and our customers is considerable. However, this is not just a technology-driven vision. Our customers must be at the heart of everything we do” The rail industry is using more and more cutting-edge technology to benefit passengers and to make buying and using new types of electronic train tickets, and even Railcards, simpler. Many train operators already offer options like tickets on mobile phones and travel using smart or contactless cards - technology and products that people are familiar with. For example, the industry is rolling out its pilot of new flexible mobile tickets (m-Tickets) that can be used across different train operators. Before now mTickets were limited for use only on one specific train operator’s services. A pilot scheme covering more than 230 stations in the north of England, Scotland and the Midlands lets people switch between different train operators’ services on a single journey. Customers can download an app from one of the train companies

Page 62 March 2016


or retailers taking part in the pilot scheme to a mobile device and opt to receive an m-Ticket. The choice of tickets that can be bought and downloaded as m-Tickets now include popular flexible fares, including walk-up Standard and First Class Anytime fares as well as Off-Peak and Super OffPeak fares for travel at quieter times of the day. The fare, validity and terms and conditions of the ticket purchased remain the same as the equivalent paper ticket. We would like to see this flexible m-Ticket available nationwide as soon as possible, which could be within three years. The RDG is working also with the card payments industry to explore how people outside London could use new ‘ticket in the cloud’ technology to use contactless credit or debit cards as a ‘token to travel’, replacing paper tickets. In future instead of just paying for journeys with a bank card, customers will be able to book online or via a mobile phone app and simply use the same payment card to go through the gates at the railway station. Customers with compatible smartphones would not even need their bank card with them, simply touching their device on the reader at the station.

Rail operators have agreed to fund a joint project with the UK Cards Association to explore how contactless cards and devices could support long-distance train tickets or season tickets, so that passengers no longer have to print out tickets. Railcards are set to be revolutionised too. We are working on a new digital app enabling passengers to store their national Railcards on a smartphone or tablet. More than 40 years after the first Railcard was introduced, the complete range of national Railcards will be available digitally as well as on paper or plastic to make applying for and using the Railcards simpler, quicker and more convenient. A digital Railcard will look just like a paper or plastic one but will be quicker to apply for, with no need to queue at a station ticket office or to wait for a card in the post. Once downloaded, the app won’t need an internet connection, and will be available offline to show to staff on the train or at the station. It will sit on a smartphone or other smart device but the user will be able to retrieve it again even if their device is lost, stolen or replaced. More than half of the many millions of Railcard users buy them online and we expect that over time a similar proportion will switch to the new app to save time and make their journeys more convenient.

The transformation that all of this innovation will bring for the rail industry and our customers is considerable. However, this is not just a technology-driven vision. Our customers must be at the heart of everything we do. The rail industry listens to passengers and understands their needs. Train operators know what works best for their customers and their own businesses. There is no one-size-fitsall solution and we’ll continue to cater for everyone. The RDG is collaborating with train operators to plot the route to our future ticketing destination. Turning our vision into reality will mean millions more people can enjoy the benefits of innovative smart cards, digital tickets and contactless payment. It will be another important step in our journey to giving our customers the excellent services they expect and making their experience of the railway a positive one. I’m looking forward to helping the rail industry make it happen.

Jacqueline Starr is managing director, customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group


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Go no contact Briony Krikorian looks at the UK Cards Association’s aspiration for contactless to be rolled out across the UK


hether buying a coffee on the go or paying for a purchase in a convenience store, using a contactless card is becoming a popular way to pay for millions of consumers. In 2014, the Transport for London (TfL) network began to accept contactless payments, giving passengers more choice on how to pay. It has been a real success and the most recent figures show more than 250 million contactless pay-as-yougo journeys have been made, using almost nine million unique cards. More than one in four TfL pay-as-you-go journeys are now paid for using contactless. Customers have been voting with their wallets; we know they find paying with contactless to be fast, easy and secure and it has become the preferred way to make lower-value purchases in shops. One in 10 card payments are now made using contactless cards and almost half of the debit and credit cards in issue feature the technology. As contactless continues to grow in strength, it is natural to extend its

“As well as simplifying ticket purchasing for passengers, [contactless] would bring a range of benefits for Toc’s. We would expect customers to make more journeys, because buying tickets will be easier. It is also likely there would be reduced operational cost savings across the industry because of the reductions in cash and paper ticket handling and in producing smartcards” Page 64 March 2016

use to more areas like public transport – a 2014 customer survey by Transport Focus found 69 per cent of people would be interested in using contactless to pay for transit. The card payments industry has a proud record of innovation. Our aspiration, following the success of the TfL contactless project, is for this transport payment revolution to be rolled out across the UK so passengers elsewhere can benefit too. To this end, in 2015 we led a cross-industry project which focused on enabling customers to pay to travel on public transport outside London using their contactless card or a contactless device, such as a phone or wearable. The change would mean passengers no longer have to queue up to buy paper tickets or top up a smartcard. Instead, they


would be able to travel with only their contactless payment device. The contactless transit framework we have produced will allow transit operators to consider whether to implement contactless as a payment option, and will deliver a consistent customer experience and interoperability across regions and transport modes. As well as simplifying ticket purchasing for passengers, this would bring a range of benefits for train operators. We would expect customers to make more journeys, because buying tickets will be easier. It is also likely there would be reduced operational cost savings across the industry because of the reductions in cash and paper ticket handling and in producing smartcards. National and regional appetite There is also clear national and regional political appetite to see an open system like contactless card payments implemented. There are moves to make regional areas more connected for economic purposes – for example, in the Northern Powerhouse – and a view that this could be facilitated by simpler, faster ticketing options for low value travel. Tourism agencies also see the value of having an open system for overseas visitors to the UK, who often find the

paper ticketing system a barrier to travelling around the UK and are unlikely to buy into a proprietary smartcard system. We know there is no one-size-fits-all solution to ticketing and our models have sought to provide for the range of journeys people take. One model has been designed for journeys taken on a pay-as-you-go basis where a contactless card or device is used multiple times, and the fare is aggregated at the end of the day. This is similar to what exists on TfL currently for both contactless and Oyster. We have also developed a model for single journeys with a known fare, such as a bus or tram fare. The third model, being developed this year, is where a contactless card or device is associated with the ticket in advance and then used as a form of identity to travel. Close collaboration with the transit industry has been invaluable to this project and we will continue to work together on the next phase, looking at the third model in more detail. The project fits with the transit industry’s vision of moving away from paper-based ticketing and enabling customers to complete seamless journeys around the UK using

the technology they already have in their pockets. Working with a range of organisations, including the Association of Train Operating Companies, Confederation of British Transport, the Department for Transport, transport bodies in the devolved administrations, card schemes, issuers, acquirers and consumer transport bodies, has been a key part of the project and we are grateful for this cross-industry buy-in. In January 2016, we hosted a parliamentary reception to celebrate the contactless transit project so far; attendees came from a wide range of parties involved. We have also made available a tranche of documents about the project to date, which we hope will help some transit operators start to put the theory into practice. While there are challenges to overcome as the project continues, we are optimistic about the future of contactless ticketing. Contactless payments have been a real success since they were introduced, not least on London’s transport networks and we hope the rail and bus industry will continue to be on board as we embark on this journey. Briony Krikorian is principal policy advisor at The UK Cards Association.

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March 2016 Page 65


Making it personal With the volume of digital natives growing, this is a rare opportunity for operators to utilise tech innovation to meet and then exceed customer expectations, says Joanne Thompson


ublic transport operators are welcoming the advent of mobile technology into their businesses for many reasons: lower infrastructure costs, reduced queues at ticket offices, less cash handling and improved customer experience. But perhaps the biggest benefit of embracing technology is the ability to personalise. This is a real seismic shift: the move from anonymous paper tickets to m-ticketing on mobile devices that enable the operator and the customer to engage on an individual level. This concept is not necessarily uncharted territory. Any of us who have used loyalty cards when buying groceries in store, or shopped online for anything from clothes to entertainment, will already be familiar with sharing our shopping habits and other personal data as part of the transaction. Outside the transport and travel sector, the idea of getting to know the customer and utilising Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software behind the scenes to up-sell and cross-sell is nothing new. But how can that translate to the transaction between passenger and transport operator?

Page 66 March 2016

Risk of being overly-familiar There is much conversation in the transport industry about ‘who owns the customer’. Operators see value in the ability to engage with their customers in a two-way relationship and to use that improved understanding of customer habits and preferences, wants and needs to offer them better value and targeted offers in the future. But do transport customers want to be owned? Customers engage with their favourite retail or entertainment brand in a different way to the way they engage with a transport provider. To illustrate this point, your regular restaurant may know when your birthday comes around and when they contact you with a timely offer, most people welcome such informed targeting. If a train company employed exactly the same tactic, some might consider it to be an intrusion. This is because it is derived from knowledge of the privacy of their movements and many consumers view public transport as a hygiene factor rather than a motivating reward that they choose to bestow on themselves. Transport operators therefore need to proceed with caution in order to strike the

‘To illustrate this point, your regular restaurant may know when your birthday comes around and when they contact you with a timely offer, most people welcome such informed targeting. If a train company employed exactly the same tactic, some might consider it to be an intrusion’


right balance with their customer base. If the customer feels like their movements are being intruded upon and analysed without their consent, they may well feel uncomfortable. It matters not that the Nectar card in your wallet has already been doing that for years, because you chose to obtain one. The challenge is for transport operators to elevate their brand in the eyes of the customer. If they create an aspirational brand and position themselves carefully, customers can choose to welcome them into their lives in the same way as they already have with their choice of supermarket, petrol station or online retailer. Like those retailers, the transport operator must make the personalised experience worth the customer’s while. How can we offer them rewards or loyalty in exchange for sharing their data? If we know their regular routes we can offer them reductions on that route, perhaps by encouraging them to travel outside peak hours, or to encourage them to consider use for leisure as well as regular work journeys – which will make them far less wary of opting in to sharing their locations and travel habits. Until now, without the mobile technology in place to create true

customer engagement, transport operators’ best means of finding out real time information has often been to monitor social media. But by the time delays, overcrowding, bottlenecks or incidents are being talked about on Twitter, the damage to reputation and customer relationship are already done. Mobile app first port of call So to get customers better engaged we need to introduce new and accessible innovations. Every transport operator should offer use of a mobile app for users to download, which should be their first port of call for planning and paying for their journeys. This paves the way to in-app data capture mechanisms to begin to develop an informed relationship, and to send push notifications such as route information or targeted offers and advertising. We foresee that the next generation of apps will be capable of talking to each other. If your travel ticketing app knows what you are buying on your entertainment ticketing app, it could tailor its travel offers to your preferences. This is the rationale behind the concept of the evolving ‘mobile wallet’ products, where different transactions can be carried out in one place, and the brands you are

transacting with can see who else you are transacting with. Transparency is key The key to all of this has to be transparency. Transport operators can win the trust and engagement of their customers by providing clarity on why they want to share data, and the benefits that its customers can expect to derive from their participation. Permission must always be asked for, never assumed, and well-defined data protection policies must be implemented and rigorously maintained. The fact is, mobile tech is entering the transport market because customers are demanding it. Research shows that over three quarters of users already want to be able to use their mobile devices for travel and ticketing, and that number is only going to grow as digital natives become the majority of the population. This is a rare opportunity for operators to utilise technology innovation to meet and then exceed their customers’ expectations; and thereby create improved experiences for customers and more profitable, informed business for themselves. Joanne Thompson is CEO of Penrillian

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Keeping UK at the forefront UK rail can boast a number of market breakthroughs which are then replicated elsewhere around the world, Ben Whitaker takes a look


n the past few years mobile ticketing has switched from small scale pilots to widespread commercial deployments with some of the largest rail operators in the world. The UK rail industry has been at the forefront of deploying this technology which provides significant benefits to both passengers and operators. In a nutshell, mobile ticketing gives passengers the ability to use their smartphone to purchase and display their ticket. This allows for tickets to be bought anywhere and anytime, removing the need to queue at ticket machines, have the correct cash or carry multiple paper tickets which can easily be lost. For operators it removes the need to invest in expensive ticket machines and increases passenger satisfaction. The UK has been a global pioneer in this space, with the first pilot having been launched with Chiltern Railways, on its routes between London and Birmingham, in 2007. Closely following on from this in 2008 the Association of Train Operating Companies, the Rail Settlement Plan and UK Rail worked with Masabi to create the Mobile Ticketing Standard; the first work of its kind which enshrined barcode standards still used today. Finally, Masabi worked closely with industry hardware partners to ensure that barcode mobile tickets could scan reliably and quickly enough for use in major stations during rush-hour. These developments created an environment in the UK which was ripe for the adoption of mobile ticketing and today the industry is fully embracing the technology. The experiences from these pioneering launches and technical advances underpinned Masabi’s approach to taking mobile ticketing to other countries – in particular the US – where our technology is now live with commuter rail operators in major cities such as Boston and New Orleans with Los Angeles and New York going live later in 2016. The

US deployments have been incredibly successful, with some already passing 50 per cent of total ticket sales. Beyond the US, Masabi’s mobile ticketing platform is live across the Greek capital Athens and will be launching across France this year. Valuable lessons All of these various deployments at scale have provided valuable lessons

which have then then been shared across all mobile ticketing roll outs, both in the UK and worldwide. These include technical and marketing approaches and what ticket types to make available to passengers. The consumer marketing proposition for mobile ticketing is a very simple one – removing the ‘pain point’ of having to queue at a ticket machine and the related potential for missed trains and wasted time. From day one this has been central to the majority of mobile ticketing launches; however educating users of this service and getting them to download the app is often a challenge from a simple poster or flyer. In our experience, marketing campaigns where there has been a clear call to action and details of how to download the app to your phone and buy your ticket, have had the most success. While some of the March 2016 Page 69


more high concept adverts that we have seen are certainly entertaining, they often have a lower response rate. We have also seen that the placement of advertising for mobile ticketing has a significant impact on the effectiveness – in particular targeting ticket machine queues or people waiting at ticket windows helps conversion. We also saw a great result from conductors and in-station teams working on-vehicle or next to long ticket lines, handing out flyers and giving instructions to people on how to install and buy a ticket on the application. These in-person interactions were particularly good at seeding new users in demographics that are not normally early adopters, but once a passenger had started using the application, they would then show other passengers from these hard to reach demographics how to use the new technology. The mobile industry is constantly evolving, with new phones boasting new features being launched every six months. In the ticketing world there has been much focus on which of the various ticketing approaches will win out - in particular, the potential for near field communications (NFC) in ticketing –

especially given the success that has been seen with Apple Pay. While NFC is a great technology, in the various situations where it has been deployed globally the usage has been very low. There are a number of reasons for this – the main one being that, despite NFC being in many of the newest handsets, it currently isn’t straightforward to make them act as a transit card without the commercial support of the mobile operators and sometimes even having to change the SIM card. In addition, even with iPhones that support NFC they do not allow a mobile phone to emulate a standard smartcard. This experience has lead us to promote barcode as the way to do mobile ticketing in all markets globally, at the same time we are keeping a close eye on NFC and will make use of it when it becomes a commercially realistic mass market proposition. The final major lesson has been to make as many ticket types as possible available. While mobile ticketing has obvious benefits for the passenger wanting to travel immediately, we have also seen massive uptake when offering weekly or monthly passes. Outside of the UK, period passes are available in the

majority of Masabi’s deployments and in every case they have proven hugely popular. The simplicity of the consumer message of being able to purchase all ticket types, together with the larger addressable market of passengers have both helped us to reach critical mass – with some deployments now seeing over half of all ticket purchases on the phone. While complexities in introducing this into the UK Rail market have caused a step-by-step gradual release of tickets onto mobile – the benefits from a consumer perspective are clear to see. The UK rail industry has pioneered this technology, boasting a number of market breakthroughs which are then replicated elsewhere around the world. As the technology continues to become more widespread it’s clear to see that there is positive feedback and by sharing best practices we are helping to keep the UK at the forefront of mobile ticketing.

Ben Whitaker is co-founder and head of innovation at Masabi


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The smart solution Building more physical services is not the answer. It’s the digital technology that is revolutionising the transportation experience, says Russell Goodenough


hange is coming to the transportation industry. In 2015, around 1.6 billion passenger train journeys were made in the UK, a figure that has doubled since 1997. On average we travel 6,500 miles a year and 1.4 million people work in transport related jobs. Globally the sector is worth somewhere between £2.6 and £5.3 trillion. As well as this, we are now fully immersed in a digital age. With consumers owning more devices than ever before, it’s becoming even easier to connect with friends and colleagues across the world. Cisco recently launched its Visual Networking Index which revealed that the number of mobileconnected devices exceeded the world’s population in 2014, and by 2019, more than half of all devices connected to the mobile network will be ‘smart’ devices. In order to utilise this digital-first era, rail and train companies need to adopt intelligent mobility – the move from a series of separate journeys to an integrated, intelligent system, driven by a more user-centred travel experience. From new M-commerce that will transform transport retail to new data communications services that will integrate transport systems

into the Internet of Things, intelligent mobility will help drive disruption and opportunity across the entire transport sector. Smart ticketing for smart passengers Building more physical services is not

‘...only 39 per cent of consumers were satisfied with the digital services the transport industry offers, giving it the lowest ranking across the verticals’ the answer. It is the digital technology that is revolutionising the transportation experience and there is huge scope for improvement of both usage and satisfaction. According to Fujitsu’s Digital Inside Out research, one in five UK consumers ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ use digital services when offered to them by the transport companies they deal March 2016 Page 73


‘Last year, Arriva announced its partnership with Fujitsu to install the rail industry’s first smartphonebased ticket issuing system to allow employees to quickly provide passengers with information about their journey and sell them tickets’

with, with 45 per cent of consumers admitting they feel comfortable with digital services. However, the research also revealed that only 39 per cent of consumers were satisfied with the digital services the transport industry offers, giving it the lowest ranking across the verticals. One area that can make a real difference to the customer experience is smart ticketing. At the moment, passengers still frequently buy paper tickets, but we are swiftly moving into an era where soon, tickets will be issued using smartphones and other mobile devices. We are already seeing progression in the form of new partnerships between technology providers and transport companies. Last year, Arriva announced its partnership with Fujitsu to install the rail industry’s first smartphone-based ticket issuing system to allow employees to quickly provide passengers with information about their journey and sell them tickets. As well as this, late last year Fujitsu announced its acquisition of Applied Card Technologies to provide alternative cloud-based ticketing solutions for UK transport operators. All of this highlights one thing – the importance of the customer journey.

Intelligent mobility solutions such as these are helping to transform the rail transport industry with a system that is built around the passengers. The solutions also help with capacity, increasing efficiency, creating a more sustainable network and improved security. Time for intelligent mobility Our lives will only continue to become more intelligent with the use of technology; as such it’s time for train and rail companies to embrace this. In the future, transport will be more dynamic with intelligent mobility. It will provide ways for customers to optimise their journey by using applications and services that can process realtime conditions and provide accurate instantaneous information about various locations of interest. By implementing intelligent mobility, rail and train companies can make sure they are creating the best possible experience for their customers which will result in customer loyalty, return in custom and also an increase in usage.

Russell Goodenough is client managing director for transport, Fujitsu UK & Ireland

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Settle your account In the rush to deliver mobile apps for transport ticketing, care needs to be taken by schemes to ensure they maximise the benefits and don’t invest in ‘one trick ponies’, says Andrew Steele Transport ticketing? – we’ve got an app for that! Transport ticketing? – you don’t need an app for that! Those seemed to be the contrasting opinions on offer from transport operators and technology vendors when they met at the Transport Ticketing and Passenger Information conference, held in London earlier this year. If we first consider the mobile app eco-system, there was a noticeable proliferation of mobile ticketing apps using 2D Barcode/QR Code technology. Every city seemed to be trying to get in on the act with their own start-up, demonstrating that mobile app ticketing is now within easy reach of many cities, particularly those that have not previously made huge investments in ticketing and gate infrastructure. The market is growing fast with a crowded field. From the conference alone, examples on display or speaking included: • Bulgarian-based startup Tickey presented its app which has been deployed in Lubijana • Estonian-based startup Ridango has implemented systems in Talinn and Sweden. Their service includes tourist passes, loyalty cards and wallets. They will even sell a ticket to the zoo • New Zealand-based startup Snapper, whose features include the ability to top up the balance on a legacy-stored value NFC smartcard from the app • Israeli-based startup HopOn whose app innovatively uses ultra-sound beacons on board vehicles to validate users, avoiding the battery drain which can be caused by Bluetooth. The app is in use as a mobile ticket in Tel Aviv • Austin, Texas-based startup Ridescout, which has systems deployed for SF Muni and Chicago CTA and are now owned by the Daimler-Benz group which includes mobility brands Car2go, moovel and GlobeSherpa • Switzerland-based Netcetera, whose app is widely deployed among the Swiss cantons, and focuses on usability ‘a user shouldn’t need more than two clicks to buy a ticket, registration is not required, usability comes first’ • USA-based ByteMark; Germany-based

eos.Uptrade and London-based Masabi all described how their mobile apps are being used as a ticket in several cities. In contrast, many of the city authorities were focusing on going beyond the ticket, to open payment, and contactless, models. Douglas Howe, director of ticketing planning and development for transport for New South Wales described how Sydney has implemented a weekly fare cap for its smart card scheme, where passengers’ ninth and subsequent journeys each week are free. He described how this had been seen as potentially negative by the internal organisation, and that it might result in lost revenue, but in actual fact they have recorded more than 150million free journeys in the first year while the fare box has remained static, meaning that the scheme had not reduced the public transport authorities’ revenue. Vernon Everret from Transport for London described how his city is growing by two tube trains per week and he wants to ‘unlock economic development’ using public transport by acting as a retail business that happens to operate transport. When it comes to ticketing, he said there should be ‘no reason to ask people to convert their currency into our currency’ (meaning a ticket or an Oyster card), so TfL has enabled its systems for

contactless payment cards, including Apple Pay, and has seen a massive adoption, now accounting for 26 per cent of Oyster pay-as-you-go transactions. Fundamental to this has been a ‘best fare guarantee’, meaning that customers trust TfL to charge them the best fare for the daily usage, whether they pay by Oyster or Contactless, and ensuring that the value proposition of contactless is as close to identical to that of Oyster pay-as-yougo. John Backway, head of commercial development at Go Ahead Group, which operates rail franchises in the UK including Thameslink, Southern, Great

March 2016 Page 77


“...the next wave of innovative technologies conspicuously absent at the conference. Innovations like biometric identifiers such as facial recognition, finger print readers, iris scanners and video analysis of gait (the way you walk). Now those would make a massive impact” Northern and London Midland, made the perceptive point in a panel discussion contrasting ticketless travel on airlines versus public transport. He commented that the airline concept of ticketless travel was a misnomer, as every airline journey

has a corresponding ticket, although it may be stored in a back office system, while public transport was the first true ‘ticketless’ experience, with systems like Oyster, and Rail on Oyster, only calculating the price of your ticket after you have completed your journey. On the same panel, Jeremy Acklam, CEO of Global Travel Ventures, who was promoting his MultiPass concept of ‘be in, be out’ post travel billing account-based ticketing use BLE beacons described how he would like to ‘eliminate payment’ from public transport, and asked ‘Why switch from the problems of a ticket to the problem of payment? You still have the same problem’ – a clear reference to the TfL switch from Oyster to contactless. Next wave of innovations conspicuously absent I think it is clear that the future of ticketing is account-based, using secure tokens. There is a plethora of choice for a scheme when exchanging secure tokens, ranging from traditional smart cards (e.g. ITSO, Calypso, VDV, MiFare etc.), host card emulation (HCE), Bluetooth low emission, EMV contactless payment cards, barcode and even ultrasound. In the short-term, there is a rush to deliver

mobile apps for transport ticketing, but care needs to be taken by schemes as they deploy them to ensure they maximise the benefits, and don’t invest in ‘one trick ponies’. Account-based ticketing platforms, rather than individual mobile apps, can manage the distribution of both pre-paid travel (traditional tickets) and post-paid travel (pay-as-you-go), offering flexibility and a transitional pathway to new consumer value propositions around mobility as a service. Accountbased ticketing platforms, like the one offered by SilverRail can also be agnostic to the token exchange technologies, user interfaces and delivery channels, which will hopefully protect investments and enable operators, cities or countries to be future-proofed to the next wave of innovative technologies conspicuously absent at the conference. Innovations like biometric identifiers such as facial recognition, finger print readers, iris scanners and video analysis of gait (the way you walk). Now those would make a massive impact.

Andrew Steele is director of corporate strategy at SilverRail Technologies


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Let’s get digital James Fox looks at how software is revolutionising the industry’s approach to training and competency management


he UK rail industry is employing a record number of people at more than 190,000 – ranging from train drivers and station staff to those responsible for managing and maintaining the network’s 20,000 miles of track. With the digital revolution that has taken place in the last ten years, train operators are recognising how they can take advantage of mobile apps to make their systems for managing driver training and employee competency much more efficient. The Railways and other Guided Transport Systems (Safety Regulations) 2006 (ROGS) updated in 2011 and 2013 require that all dutyholders working on a transport system must establish an effective safety management system, which details how safety critical work is managed. These tasks must be carried out by a competent person, which includes driving and dispatching trains, signalling, installation of components and maintenance, ensuring safety of persons working on the track. It also required that any worker carrying out duties as part of training must be supervised by a competent safety critical worker at all times. The ROGS require railway operators to maintain a safety management system (SMS) and hold a safety certificate or authorisation indicating the SMS has been accepted. Any person or organisation that operates a vehicle in relation to any infrastructure must comply with ROGS. It also applies to any person or organisation responsible for developing and maintaining infrastructure or for managing and operating a station and any person or organisation that is responsible for the safe maintenance of a vehicle. Since the legislation was introduced, this spelt out the need for effective competency management systems for all employees. As a software specialist for the rail sector, we were approached by a number of train operating companies to develop web-based mobile App technology to enable them to better manage employee competency. Previously the rail companies had used paper-based systems or legacy Lotus Notes to record and monitor vital safety

assessment processes. This was inefficient, both in terms of the amount of time it took and the fact that systems could not easily alert the operator when an assessment was due. In-depth visibility Working with a couple of train operators we developed the RailSmart Employee Development System.

This is an innovative suite of tools for the continuous management and improvement of employee competency, which is designed to improve safety, awareness and consistency. It is benchmarked against best practice guidance, which provides rail companies with the tools to proactively manage and improve the capabilities of their staff. The software provides in-depth visibility March 2016 Page 81


‘East Midlands Trains whose drivers have been using RailSmart for over six months said they found the programme has helped to develop a positive culture of safety and embed individual accountability’ of driver and employee competency management. It works via an iPad app, which allows for complete assessments to be carried out on the move, while monitoring train crews at work. At the same time, the web component gives verifiers the ability to check the quality of the assessments being conducted to comply with ORR standards.

The software has already been licensed to several train and freight operating companies and has received a great deal of interest from across the rail industry, including being recognised at the UKRIA Awards within the Innovation category. It is by knowledge sharing and complete openness and transparency in the rail industry that we have been able to make use of the latest technology for the benefits of our rail clients. As a company we are currently involved with a rail research project, run by Rail Champions (Leadership Champions UK). The aim is to work in co-operation with Toc’s and Foc’s throughout 2016 and build on and enhance the RailSmart Employee Development System (EDS). East Midlands Trains whose drivers have been using RailSmart for over six months said they found the programme has helped to develop a positive culture of safety and embed individual accountability. They have found that the visibility the system provides to drivers, assessors and verifiers within the business provides numerous opportunities to evolve and improve its approach to competence management. The verification tool itself they found has enabled the company to access

remotely completed assessments without the need to visit depots. This has given them an opportunity to provide targeted feedback to assessors in order to improve consistency across the board. In an industry where safety is paramount, the introduction of technology into the process of training and competency management offers many user benefits. Smartphones and tablets with high-resolution cameras, GPS and internet connectivity, together with affordable 4G data plans from mobile phone operators are becoming increasingly commonplace with today’s modern rail operators. Therefore, apps like RailSmart are becoming the dominant form of digital interaction. Inconsistency in paper-based systems can often lead to frustration and errors in reporting causing uncertainty, misunderstanding, loss of trust and an increase in risk. The RailSmart Programme will continue to grow as further Toc’s, Foc’s, Metro, and professional bodies come forward to join the effort to digitise competency management, staff training and incident reporting. James Fox is commercial director at 3Squared



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Station redevelopment

Unlocking the opportunities Philip Beer and Michael Bray look at the benefits of a well-managed station upgrade and the financial and other incentives for Toc’s to invest in their stations, as well as the practical difficulties


rom the restoration of railway stations such as Wakefield Kirkgate to the landmark redevelopment of regional hubs and international gateways such as Birmingham New Street and Kings Cross-St Pancras, there has been an increasing trend over the last decade to refurbish and redevelop our railway stations. In an era of rising passenger numbers coupled with an appetite for more public transport and less dependency on cars, railway stations will soon be tested to their limits to cope with rising demand. There is a real need to start looking to the future and plan for change. Practical limitations on capacity and accessibility could soon be an important factor in slowing or even preventing growth if our railway stations are not up to the challenge. There are also real opportunities for railway stations to deliver much more than transport links as many become destinations in their own right adding retail space, cafés/restaurants and hotels, as well as services like ‘click and collect’ points and internet delivery lockers. The main drivers for upgrading our railway stations extend beyond the station itself. Station redevelopment can be a catalyst for broader regeneration, providing a focal point for further investment and unlocking local ancillary development (such as the construction of new homes, offices and retail space). Railway stations also serve as a primary point of arrival in towns and cities and act as a shop window in helping to sell the impression of a place that people want to visit, live, work and invest in. There is an array of economic, social and cultural benefits which emanate from station redevelopment, so we need to look beyond the economic drivers for Toc’s and Network Rail in order to understand fully what is or needs to be driving investment in our stations.

Practical difficulties The process of refurbishing/redeveloping a railway station can be difficult, expensive and time consuming. On larger projects, there could be a significant number of local stakeholders to be managed, often during or running in parallel with a formal (regulatory) station change consultation proposal. Aside from Network Rail managed stations, most major station redevelopments are not in fact being instigated by Toc’s but are being brokered and funded by other stakeholders. This is because historically, Toc’s have been granted station leases broadly equivalent to the length of their franchise/ concession. As Network Rail is primarily responsible for maintenance and repair, Toc’s (as short-term tenants) have not had the legal ability to manage their station assets. The short duration of the station leases has also led to Toc’s understandably taking a view for running/upgrading stations in line with their lease/franchise length. Toc’s do not therefore have the economic incentive to promote major station redevelopment.

The Department for Transport has sought to address this lack of incentive to invest by introducing the new 99 year full repairing and insuring (FRI) stations lease. This was designed both to put the responsibility for maintenance and repair on the Toc, and also to grant a much longer-lease term. By doing this the hope was to unlock medium and longerterm investments (which can be passed onto successive operators), particularly those requiring third party funding beyond the end of the current franchise. This should put those closest to the passengers (being the Toc’s) in the driving seat to increase efficiency, improve the passenger experience and lead station redevelopment. 99 year lease not yet proving an incentive The new 99 year FRI lease has yet to be tested in earnest, being first rolled out in 2012 on the grant of the Greater Anglia franchise to Abellio (which is due to be re-let later this year). Early indications suggest that the 99 year FRI lease is not encouraging the level of March 2016 Page 85

Station redevelopment

investment by Toc’s which the DfT had hoped to achieve. There are two main reasons for this: first, Network Rail still controls what Toc’s can do with their stations – while the legal responsibility for maintenance and repair has been given to the Toc’s, Network Rail still retains full development rights and the Toc’s cannot carry out any refurbishment/ redevelopment without its consent. Secondly, there is a question mark over residual value and certainty about how a franchisee will be reimbursed or otherwise compensated for its station investments when its franchise is re-let. Until the knotty issue of residual value can be solved, Toc’s are not likely to promote major redevelopment schemes where some/all of the benefit could be taken by a successor Toc. Under the Railways Act 1993, appropriate payments can be made for residual value, but this has never really been used in these circumstances and is largely misunderstood by the industry. This issue will need to be considered further in future franchise agreements. So who is investing in our stations? As mentioned above, the benefits of station refurbishment and redevelopment extend far beyond the station walls.


There are many local stakeholders who are keen to increase local investment and enjoy the many economic, social and cultural benefits which can be unlocked through a successful station redevelopment. The majority of largescale station redevelopments continue to be funded through public and quasipublic bodies such Network Rail, DfT, local enterprise partnerships, passenger transport executives, combined transport authorities and local councils – with a notable lack of private sector investment. There is renewed uncertainty over what the future holds for station redevelopment following the recent change in status of Network Rail. Network Rail owns and operates 19 major stations including London termini and Birmingham New Street. With Network Rail now on the public books, there will be more Treasury control in planning large infrastructure projects and Network Rail must now draw on Treasury funds rather than raising funding through capital markets. And Network Rail is already under intense pressure, running over budget and behind schedule on infrastructure projects. With power being devolved away from central government and national public bodies, we are likely to see decisions

Philip Beer is a partner and Michael Bray a senior associate at Burges Salmon

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around stations and other infrastructure developments being taken at an increasingly regional and local level, with the establishment of bodies such as Rail North. Last year for example, a number of inner London stations were devolved from Toc’s to London Overground to further London’s vision for a more fully integrated transport system. With this transfer came a commitment by Transport for London to improve and redevelop the stations transferred. While there are many benefits to station upgrades both for Toc’s and for the wider community, the lack of private sector investment in our stations remain low. While devices such as the 99 year FRI stations lease have been introduced to incentivise Toc’s to invest in station assets, without an overhaul of the legal framework and clarity on dealing with the residual value of enhancements, it is difficult to see how Toc-led major redevelopment opportunities can be unlocked. For the immediate future, we will continue to see major redevelopment of stations working as part of a wider and largely publicly-funded local regeneration or devolution agenda.

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Station refurbishment

Luxury shopping Jeremy Long looks at preparing Crossrail’s ‘front window’


irst impressions count and this will especially be the case for Crossrail – a railway service that is set to transform London’s transport network, increasing central London rail capacity by 10 per cent, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. The Crossrail stations, both existing and newly built, will form the ‘shop window’ and ensuring that they are both functional and beautiful is essential to creating the world-leading passenger experience that is expected from such a major project. While new Crossrail trains are not set to begin operations until 2017, there is already a considerable amount of work being done to expand and refresh the existing somewhat neglected stations outside of Central London on the Eastern part of the line. MTR began operating TfL-Rail branded services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield in May 2015 – a key milestone towards the commencement of Crossrail services. As well as operating the services, MTR is also currently managing station refurbishment work on behalf of TfL at the 11 existing stations along this line. It is a massive project, and involves expanding platforms and ticketing gates to cater for

‘MTR has rapidly grown its team and the capabilities at its disposal in the UK. While it was originally envisaged that two people would be sufficient to oversee the project, the increased demand since bidding for the concession has meant the dedicated refurbishment team has grown to ten people’

longer trains and increased footfall, as well as significant refurbishment at these stations that have long suffered from decades of under-investment prior to being taken over. Minimising disruption through collaboration As the operator, MTR must balance the need to ensure that it can continue to deliver the high quality services that passengers expect while enabling the

necessary refurbishment work to be carried out. Passengers accept that some disruption is necessary in order for works to go ahead but are understandably less forgiving when they encounter disorganisation, or when disruption is excessive. While some projects such as ticket hall refurbishment are relatively small scale, there are others such as the installation of lifts and footbridges that will inevitably cause some temporary disruption. Collaboration with Network

March 2016 Page 89

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Station refurbishment

Rail and TfL has proved vital in this regard. Many of the projects – including those to ensure platforms are long enough for the new 200 metre long Crossrail trains – are being delivered by Network Rail, and the team collaborates with them to ensure that access to the station and platforms is maintained during such works. Moreover, some projects currently taking place started before MTR were handed the Crossrail concession, and its team has therefore had to work with Network Rail to quickly familiarise themselves with the work and develop plans to minimise any disruption to passenger services. Station refurbishment on this scale also requires a significant degree of collaboration with TfL, who play a vital role by setting clear specifications of what is expected and providing the funding necessary to deliver the upgrades. Benefit of experience As a group, MTR also has the essential benefit of being able to call upon a world-leading expert team, with a trackrecord of delivering high quality station refurbishment in the UK and around the world. Since beginning work to refurbish stations along the Liverpool Street to Shenfield line, MTR has rapidly grown

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its team and the capabilities at its disposal in the UK. While it was originally envisaged that two people would be sufficient to oversee the project, the increased demand since bidding for the concession has meant the dedicated refurbishment team has grown to ten people. In Hong Kong, facilities at several of MTR’s busy interchange stations are being enhanced to improve passenger flow and access to station facilities. In December 2015, a two-year improvement project was completed at Fo Tan Station, merging two individual paid concourses into one, and building in a large skylight to improve the natural light into the station and reduce energy use. Many of the improvements are

made as a result of consultation with passengers through the ‘Listening & Responding’ programme, launched in 2012. Moreover, in London, LOROL, in which MTR is currently a joint operator under a concession agreement for TfL, invested more than £35 million refurbishing 44 London Overground managed stations in a similar upgrade programme. In Sweden, where MTR operates the Stockholm Metro, the visual appearance of stations has been significantly improved by removing graffiti and improving the organisation of the cleaning operation by better involving staff. The changes have led to MTR increasing its independent evaluation score from 26 per cent in Q1 2011 to 100 per cent in 2015.1 Towards Crossrail The Crossrail stations are the ‘shop window’ for a project that is set to transform London’s transport network. MTR has so far dealt with the challenge of effectively operating TfL-Rail services while keeping disruption to minimum. This is down to being able to work to clear performance specifications, and an expert team collaborating effectively with Network Rail and TfL to make the Crossrail project a reality. Jeremy Long is CEO – European Business at MTR Corporation

1. These evaluations are made by external consultants following a standardised methodology (INSTA) and are made four times a year. March 2016 Page 91

Page 92 March 2016

Station refurbishment

A growing crowd Rebecca Fennell examines how decision makers can prepare for upheavals, and how station layout and refurbishment ensure sustainability in years to come


ear-on-year, railway stations are having to cope with growing passenger numbers. More people inevitably means more complications, be it safety implications from overcrowding, pressure on outdated facilities in need of investment, or commuter frustration over a capacity issue. While refurbishing stations there are many challenges to overcome such as passenger flow, increasing capacity and minimising customer disruption. One priority for decision makers, then, must lie with the design of the station, and a well thought out layout to solve as many problems as possible. Glasgow’s Queen Street railway station is a prime example of this increasing need to think more carefully about station design. Currently handling approximately 20 million passengers a year, this figure is expected to swell by almost half in just over a decade and rise to 28 million by 2030. Senior members of staff with a responsibility to create a sustainable network need to consider these forecasts carefully. On a nationwide scale, Network Rail sees 1.7 billion journeys made each year on the UK network, a staggering 34 per cent increase in the number of passengers

from just five years ago. Whatever the reason for the increase, railway stations up and down the country have to deal with greater passenger numbers. Platforms are being extended to accommodate longer trains and funnel through more passengers per service. Surrounding spaces, such as waiting areas, entrances, catering outlets and retail spaces are being revamped to improve customer experiences away from the platform – a crucial part of the passenger journey that doesn’t directly involved trains. Ticket offices, in particular, are absolutely vital in getting people on their way, answering common questions and calming disgruntled passengers during delays, cancellations, or other unexpected problems. Transport for London (TfL) recently recognised this by investing in its ageing Travel Information Centres to create a better journey for its passengers. Though many will have undoubtedly recognised TfL has boosted some of the self-service aspects of buying tickets, with the removal of manned ticketing windows, it is acknowledged that the more complicated queries can only be efficiently answered by experienced members of staff. At some of London’s busiest central stations, including King’s Cross, Euston, Heathrow, Victoria, Liverpool Street and Paddington, TfL installed Tensabarrier® retractable barriers and electronic call

‘Ticket offices, in particular, are absolutely vital in getting people on their way, answering common questions and calming disgruntled passengers during delays, cancellations, or other unexpected problems’

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Station refurbishment

forwarding systems as part of a brief to create a more visitor-focused point of help at London’s main gateway locations. Combined with a new open plan layout to maximise interaction between passengers and staff, the solutions comfortably assisted with the movement of customers unfamiliar to the stations,

ensuring the main access routes remained open. Consideration for the visitor centre design and layout directly led to an improvement of customer flow, increased service levels and reduced waiting times at some of the busiest connecting stations in the capital. Station design and layout is crucial in informing people of where they need to be. Wayfinding, or signposting, needs to be logical, accessible, and clearly displayed. Educating commuters is key, and networks, facilities and third parties alike regularly launch new tools for people to seek out the answers to their own questions themselves. With popular journey planning apps that are easily downloaded onto mobiles and tablet devices, as well as promoting free Wi-Fi on many of the underground platforms, this industry is really leading the way with using innovative ways of answering customer service queries. Never-ending challenge As commuters become de-sensitised to existing old school signage, stations are experimenting with new ways to display information. You will no doubt have seen this approach utilised along escalators on the London Underground, as shows,

services and other tourist attractions are promoted on the animated adverts going up and down the tunnels. You may also have spotted the Tensator® Virtual Assistant, a next generation digital signage solution, located at King’s Cross, Birmingham New Street, and along the Mersey Rail and Arriva train stations. These human projections point people in the right direction when lost, give clear health and safety instructions, and catch commuters’ attention in order to communicate key messages. However decision makers choose to invest in their stations, whether that is physical appearance and capability, above and beyond staff training, or practical solutions to customer service issues, it is a never-ending challenge to keep our transport networks moving efficiently. Statistics show that the usage of our domestic railways has increased dramatically year on year – growing twice as fast as similar networks in France and Germany. The UK therefore faces a challenge that can in many ways be solved by considerate future refurbishments of where all of our journeys begin, the railway station. Rebecca Fennell is marketing manager of Tensator Group

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Keep IT safe Donna Butchart looks at the reasons why the IT director should head up rail health and safety


hat you know is not important... it’s what you don’t know that is critical for many businesses; it is these areas of non-visibility that can expose boards to real risk. That is why management and executive teams need access to quick and accurate information around health and safety within their organisations. While there have been no passenger fatalities in train accidents during 20142015, for the eighth year in succession, it has to be remembered that there were four workforce fatalities and ten level crossing users killed during the same period.1 The message is clear. Health and safety remains of paramount importance. It is an industry standard; every organisation operating within the rail industry recognises the importance health and safety plays. For most data is regularly collected and RIDDOR’s duly completed, recording and reporting on fatalities, major and minor injuries, occupational diseases and dangerous occurrences. A regular health and safety report is produced and analysis undertaken to try to identify trends. However, this traditional approach to health and safety could be set for a major shake-up. With the advances in data analysis and business intelligence, technology provides an opportunity to move away from a static backwardslooking approach to health and safety.

health and safety data needs to continue, however by looking at the categories being reported upon, existing systems can be adapted to transform the traditional health and safety data into a forecasting tool. By eliminating siloed incident reporting (be it electrical safety, work

at height or PPE) and instead pulling together different elements of categories that together could result in a major incident, the organisation starts to get a far clearer picture around its trends, and the potential for a major incident to occur.

Future a far more interactive forecast Leading-edge organisations are already identifying the value that new IT systems can offer, and as a result are involving IT teams in H&S reporting. It is a natural progression, as the reporting around H&S becomes more sophisticated the IT teams need to consider H&S as another critical element of business intelligence. This recognition of the role IT has to play within health and safety has already started. Engineers are using mobile devises to instantly record close call incidents. These kinds of developments mean that organisations can now start taking more proactive approaches to managing health and safety. Recording March 2016 Page 97


This shift away from using health and safety data to simply report on the number and type of incidents, to actively managing health and safety to really mitigate the potential risks requires a shift in cultural thinking within the organisation. Health and safety no longer sits alone in Operations, it has to be recognised as a business-wide effort. Part of this is ensuring the IT team has a role to play in introducing business analytics that will take the basic data held and use business analytic tools to start creating a series of linkages. The IT team can then facilitate a health and safety report that automatically generates predictive results; which means the operational manager or director can view a dashboard or generate a report at any time which not only shows the true health and safety status of the organisation, but also shows instantly what could happen with current performance. It provides a real-time predication of where a major incident may occur. This is a huge advancement for the industry; in reality it can mean the data collected from the engineers using a close-call app can then be collated centrally, where the combined data is interrogated and analysed to produce predictive scenarios that might result in a


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major incident. The work to automate the identification of trends using real-time data, rather than the current timeconsuming analysis post-report, means that organisations have quality insights which could literally mean the difference between life and death. The benefit is that it uses existing health and safety reporting data, eliminates the cost of a person physically working on trend analysis and removes the need for lengthy analysis which ends up showing no significant trends being present. Using business intelligence technology to provide effective, cohesive reporting over all of an organisation’s H&S systems delivers insight that ultimately saves lives and greatly improves their ability to reduce incidents. A forward thinking reporting strategy is therefore key to ensuring success in this area; the use of business analytics to revolutionise the approach to health and safety has only win-win benefits for an organisation. Project EU has just completed a significant health and safety project for a leading rail organisation. We know companies want to be able to effectively report on the real-time status of their health and safety and best practice is dictating that teams need to move away

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from a simple review of numbers. We are now working with rail clients to calculate specific frequencies which allow the organisation to help monitor and control accidents and injuries to the workforce. This means that the operations teams need to be working with their IT director to ensure their business analytic systems are becoming involved in identifying a way of taking disparate recorded data to generate something useful and meaningful. This could include the frequency of weighted injuries, the frequency of fatal accidents and the frequency of lost time based on injuries and accidents. The purpose of the ongoing commitment to H&S is to provide an understanding of how the organisation is performing and seek to improve behaviour and processes. Effective H&S reporting helps to achieve this. Health & safety is one of the true life-and-death scenarios within an organisation. By using business analytics to monitor current performance it is possible to mitigate risks through predictive approaches. Donna Butchart is MD of Project (EU)

1 ORR – Rail safety statistics 2014-15

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Page 98 March 2016

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Murphy awarded £60m electrification project Murphy has secured a multidisciplinary design and construct contract worth more than £60 million that will see the electrification of the London Overground route from Gospel Oak to Barking. The project to carry out principal enabling works for the overall scheme was awarded by Network Rail, which is working on behalf of Transport

Tarmac ups its freight capacity Building materials and construction company, Tarmac, is increasing its rail freight capacity to ‘keep up with the UK’s infrastructure ambitions’. The company, which currently moves around nine million tonnes per year by rail, has awarded four five-year contracts to expand its rail freight operations and is creating new strategic hubs that will expand its nationwide supply into key construction markets. Increasing rail freight capability will help Tarmac to lower its whole-life carbon footprint and support its plans to reduce transport CO2 levels by 10 per cent per tonne by 2020. Under the agreements, Colas Rail, GB Rail Freight, Freightliner and DB Schenker will deliver rail freight services around Tarmac’s major hubs and rail supply routes. Cyrille Ragoucy, Tarmac’s chief executive officer, said: ‘An enhanced rail freight network supports our strategic growth plans, building on our current capacity to meet customers’ growing requirements for construction materials. ‘This expansion will also support more efficient, sustainable transport and a lower carbon built environment.’ Visit What to do in a crisis Law firm Shoosmiths has launched a free management tool to help businesses avoid making potentially costly mistakes in a crisis. The Crisis Management flowchart has been devised to help managers identify key dangers, risk areas and opportunities for their business. The tool highlights critical questions that managers should ask at the outset of any crisis and helps them to think strategically across a variety of issues. Shoosmiths commercial partner, Kath Livingston, said: ‘When a crisis hits, the fall-out can be startling. The biggest mistake that a business can make is to fail to take control at the start to

positively influence the outcome and limit financial and reputational damage. ‘Our Crisis Management flowchart helps managers to retain control of the situation by arming them with the knowledge and tools to deal with a crisis situation effectively.’ The flowchart walks managers through the process from initial factfinding, liaising with regulators, dealing with insurers and handling the media right through to managing serious product, contractual or health and safety failings. The tool can be downloaded from the Shoosmiths website. Visit

‘a positive impact on the thousands of passengers who use the route every day’ for London and the Department for Transport. Steve Hollingshead, chief executive of Murphy, said the contract would have ‘a positive impact on the thousands of passengers who use the route every day’. Four two-car diesel trains currently operate on the route every hour but TfL will introduce four-car trains when electrification is complete in January 2018. The project will also create an alternative route for rail freight traffic across north London. Murphy will work on the track lowering plain line and switches and installing slab tracks, as well as reinforcing embankments and cuttings, modifying signals for 25kV AC electrification and telecommunication assets. Other work is to replace an existing overbridge, reconstruct platforms at Walthamstow station and to install foundations for electrification masts along the line. Visit March 2016 Page 99

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: • • • • • •

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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. We very much look forward to working with you.

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21/08/2015 17:56

THE HISTORY OF RAIL ELECTRIFICATION Courtesy of power quality specialist

1883 Magnus Volk opens the first electric railway, Volk’s Electric Railway, in Brighton. It stretches a quarter mile and is powered at 50v DC.

1884 Volk's Line is extended a further half a mile.

1890 The London Underground begins operating electric services on a fourth rail system on the South London Railway. It is the world’s first deep-level electric railway.


Early 1900s Work begins on main line electrification in some suburban areas.

The Underground Electric Railway Company of London (the Underground Group) is formed.

1905 District and Circle lines are electrified.


1908 The famous roundel symbol appears. Electric ticket machines are introduced.

The Electrification of Railways Advisory Committee (ERAC) is formed and holds its first meeting.

1921 The ERAC chooses 1500 V DC overhead as the national standard. However little is done to implement this.

1933 All tube train doors are now air-operated and no longer manual.



Railways become nationalised. Electrification is expanded at both 1500 V DC overhead and 660/750 V third rail.

The first aluminium train enters service on the district line.



25 kV AC overhead becomes the standard for all rail projects that aren’t third rail extensions.

The end of steam locomotive haulage of passenger trains.

1993 The Railways Act 1993 is introduced, privatising railways but also putting tighter regulation on power quality and voltage stability.

2007 UK government rules out large-scale electrification for the following five years…

2009 …but two years later Network Rail launch a consultation into large-scale rail electrification.

2011 Conversion begins on third rail systems to turn them into overheads.

2015 Tests begin of the European Rail Traffic Management System, a new computer-controlled signalling system which may increase the risk of harmonic issues.

2017 Electrification of the great western main line is scheduled to be completed.


A journey of 25,000 volts REO has published an infographic that helps electrical and transport professionals better understand the history of rail electrification. The power quality company’s graphic tracks the developments in rail electrification: from the opening of Magnus Volk’s first electric railway in 1883, to the start of third rail system conversion to overhead power supplies in 2011. London Underground’s full conversion to electric systems in 1961 is also covered. ‘Sometimes it’s difficult to think of developments in the transport sector as a tangible thing,’ said Steve Hughes, managing director of REO UK. ‘Being able to visually represent the relatively short but extensive history of a nationwide industry makes the rate of change clear.’ Looking to the future, REO’s graphic also covers the expected launch of HS2 in 2033. However, Hughes warned against the resulting increase of pressure on electrical and rail engineers to provide safe and stable power to the main line efficiently. ‘It’s crucial that chokes and transformers are up to the task to support the next phase of growth.’ Visit

Better combustion = improved performance ESL Fuels has launched Ultra Gas Oil, a fuel designed for diesel locomotives that offers faster fuel combustion, improved performance and fewer emissions. Traditionally, fuel not used on the roads has lower ignition values, or cetane number (CN), in order to meet warranty requirements, with many equipment manufacturers now increasingly requiring EN 590 (CN51) fuel. Ultra Gas Oil achieves a mimimum of CN51, enabling it to offer faster fuel combustion, improved performance – including in cold start situations – and fewer emissions. The new fuel also offers improved built-in detergency which helps remove harmful deposits on critical engine components and protects against the build-up of new ones that can cause power loss. Combining enhanced detergency with a higher cetane number delivers cleaner, more efficient fuel injection systems which are therefore less prone to pump and injector deterioration or failure. Visit

HS2 is set to be launched.





The most common form of electrical transmission in rail.

Less commonly used than overhead wires.

Not very commonly used, with only a few network usages including the London Underground.

Current is carried through the overhead wires which flows into trains through current collectors situated on top. As rail requires a stable current to operate safely, it is vital that insulators, transformers and support structures are effective and properly maintained.

Capable of providing power up to 1200 V using only DC distribution. The third rail is more compact than overhead wires but can pose more of a risk to health and safety depending on rail placement. It’s important they are properly maintained to avoid disruptions and hazards.

The extra rail carries the electrical return, meaning that the running rails don’t carry any current. In the underground this reduces the risk of current leak to surrounding water and gas mains.

For reliable rail power, visit

Reducing Cumbria’s carbon footprint Rail passengers in Cumbria can now hire low carbon cars for their onward journey, following the launch of a scheme at three of the county’s stations. Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme are now part of a wider car sharing partnership between the ‘See More’ sustainable travel programme, Co-wheels car club and Virgin Trains. Three Toyota Yaris Hybrid cars with very low CO2 emissions have been fitted with a ‘pay as you drive’ system that enables users to be charged only for what they use. The cars’ arrival follows the success of two previous hire vehicles at Oxenholme and Windermere train stations, which are also being upgraded to Toyota Yaris Hybrids. Popular with visitors to the area, the majority of users were found to have come from outside the region, with 71 per cent based outside the north west and 36 per cent from the London area (Jan-July 2015). Nicola Parker, programme manager for See More, Cumbria’s tourism programme,

said: ‘These low carbon, pay as you drive cars give train passengers more flexibility, particularly if they’re travelling longer distances and want an easier, more environmentally friendly way to travel deeper into the region.’ Visitors that want to hire a car can sign up online with Co-wheels ahead of their visit to receive a smartcard. Visit

March 2016 Page 101

A big lift for Cooper Cooper Specialised Handling has bolstered Rail Freight Services’ heavy lifting capabilities by supplying it with an additional container reach stacker to its fleet. The Sany, SRSC 4531, reach stacker has now been allocated to a new contract in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, a rail site that receives trains from a power station in Yorkshire with containers laden with pulverised fuel ash. The cargo is then transferred locally and reprocessed into building materials. The first Sany reach stacker supplied by Cooper to Rail Freight Services is being used in South Wales. Kevin Biddle, operations manager at Rail Freight Services, said: ‘Given our experience of both the Sany machine and the service Cooper provides, it was a natural choice for us to repeat a winning formula in Abingdon.’ The reach stacker has been supplied with full maintenance support, which will be carried out by Cooper Handling’s own ISO-accredited engineering team. Visit

A seamless ticket from home to air Travel technology company, Amadeus, and content aggregator, AccesRail, have developed a system that for the first time makes it possible to buy integrated airline, rail and bus tickets. The Air-Rail Display system comes 20 years after the two companies introduced the first rail and bus options to travel agencies. The latest system enables travel agencies to generate seamless tickets on one screen, with connections on offer from more than 18 rail and bus operators across 26 countries. It also allows rail operators to broaden their reach in a key sales channel and increase revenues. AccesRail’s growing content means travel agencies can offer Deutsche Bahn standalone services in Germany and National Express bus routes in the UK, in addition to routes such as London Heathrow to Bristol, with Great Western Railway, and Madrid to Barcelona, with Renfe. Thomas Drexler, director rail and ground travel at Amadeus, said its latest offering allows travel agencies to compare and contrast options that give travellers ‘exponential choice and visibility throughout their journey to enhance their experience’. Visit / Page 102 March 2016

GBRf embarks on new agreement GB Railfreight (GBRf) has run its first train for Hanson UK as part of a 12-month rolling contract to transport aggregates from Whatley Quarry in Somerset to Wellingborough Rail Yard in Northamptonshire. Taking around seven hours, the first locomotive (66 705) left Whatley Quarry at the end of January. GBRf will operate one service a week on average, using its Class 66 and 22 JNA wagons. As well as providing growth for GBRf’s aggregates business, the deal also gives security to the Wellingborough site for the wider rail freight industry. John Smith, managing director of GB Railfreight, said the deal is an important development for the company but would also help the construction industry. ‘Aggregates provides a key source of growth for the industry, as we support the British construction sector in its drive to build new homes and infrastructure.’ Visit

Clean trains inside and out A £40 million railway facility has been built on a formerly disused site in Cricklewood, north London, to service and maintain trains running on the Thameslink Programme. The yard features a drive-through train wash and is already cleaning trains on the Thameslink route between Bedford, London and Brighton. It will also be used by Thameslink’s new Class 700 trains when they are introduced in spring 2016, and will play a vital part in running the programme’s new train service. Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme director, Simon Blanchflower, said the new facility, which will enable trains to make round-the-clock visits, will make a real difference. ‘We have turned a disused piece of railway land into a first-class railway facility that will play a crucial part in what will be one of the country’s most intensive mainline train services.’ The facility can accommodate 22 trains at a time and includes a new train wash, toilet emptying facilities and walkways for staff to remove rubbish from trains. It’s expected that staff will remove around one tonne of rubbish every day when full service begins in 2018. Visit

A watertight initiative TWI has been chosen by the Environment Agency to deliver training to the staff responsible for checking the integrity of geomembrane linings and pipes at landfill sites. To meet the demand, the engineering training company is introducing a new course: Welding of Geomembranes and Pipes for CQA Engineers. Designed specifically for Environment Agency inspectors and construction quality assurance (CQA) engineers, the one-day course will provide attendees with an understanding of HDPE (high-density polyethylene) geomembranes and pipes, and the techniques used to join them. To avoid the consequences of toxic chemicals and leachate leaking into the environment, it is imperative that landfill geomembranes are inspected and quality-assured. To be able to do this effectively, inspectors and CQA engineers need a good working knowledge of the processes involved in constructing a landfill geomembrane. The course will cover relevant accreditation schemes, an introduction to relevant plastic materials, principles of plastics welding, theory of geomembrane and pipe welding, and good and bad working practices. It will also feature a practical demonstration and workshop, providing an opportunity to get hands-on experience of geomembrane welding techniques. Visit

PM visit and a new office for Siemens Siemens Rail Automation’s has opened a new office in Derby that it hopes will help the company to eventually double the size of its team. The new office, which is in the same building as a Network Rail team, follows Siemens’ completion of a number of recent signalling projects in the East Midlands. Speaking at the opening of Trent House, Siemens Rail Automation’s company’s director delivery, Rob Morris, said: ‘Establishing the new office in the same building as Network Rail’s team means that we can continue to work just as closely, but from our own permanent base, allowing us scope and capacity to grow quickly.’ The Derby-based team has 35 members of staff. They form a core team of

The STAR that shines the brightestcooper Transport consultant, North Star, has partnered up with Atkins to provide specialist technical rail support to the Department for Transport’s Rail Executive. The partnership is part of STAR (Specialist Technical Advice for Rail), a new framework developed by the Rail Executive to get the ‘best expertise available’ to support the DfT’s rail contracting, major rail projects and other rail-related activities. Atkins was named as a STAR supplier following its response to the release of the STAR framework invitation to tender in March 2015. North Star partnered with Atkins as an SME partner and provides specialist support for Rail Operations and Performance Advice. Richard Brown, managing director of North Star, said he was excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and called it a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for North Star to prove itself. The partnership has already been appointed to support PQQ (pre-qualification questionnaire) ‘passport’ evaluations, the Cross Country direct award and two lots in the Rail Executive 2035 vision. Visit The third annual Saudi Arabia Transport & Infrastructure conference 2016 will be held between 23rd-24th March 2016 at Al-Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The event will focus on land transport and infrastructure developments currently underway in Saudi Arabia, such as the Riyadh metro transit system, the Haramain high speed rail project and the North-South Railway. The Haramain high speed rail project, also known as the Western Railway and MakkahMedina high speed railway, will replace most buses transporting pilgrims between Makkah and Madinah by December 2016. The North-South Railway (NSR) project in Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest railway construction and the longest route to adopt the European train control system (ETCS) to date. Visit Visit the Rail Professional Asia website –

designers, signalling engineers, testers and project support staff and there is now the capacity to more than double the size of the team. In related news, Prime Minister David Cameron visited Siemens Rail Automation’s Chippenham base to deliver a speech on the UK’s future in Europe. During the visit, Mr Cameron learned about Siemens’ signalling capabilities in the UK, as well as the company’s continuing involvement in major projects such as the Thameslink and Crossrail programmes and the opportunities for future work on HS2. Siemens UK chief executive officer, Juergen Maier, said that, as the largest investor in rail infrastructure in Europe, the opportunity was there for the UK to lead and set standards but he was cautious for the future.

‘If we’re not in the EU, I’m afraid that British rail technology manufacturers would miss out. This means, that being part of the EU or not, could make the difference between the UK rail industry thriving or surviving.’ Visit March 2016 Page 103

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Station staff urged to ‘Lend a Helping Hand’ Rail staff ‘influencing passenger behaviour’ could help prevent accidents from occurring on station platforms, the biggest fatality risk for passengers, according to the RSSB. In an attempt to reverse the trend, the rail safety board has launched a guide for station workers to help them understand the crucial role they can play in reducing injuries on the platform. In the last five years, 19 people were killed and more than 7,000 injured from accidents at the station platform. London Underground experienced a 432 per cent rise in accidents at the platform edge in the 11 years leading to 2014. The latest guide follows Network Rail’s and the RSSB’s 2015 campaign

Recent New Members of the Rail Alliance as at end January 2016 Manpower: Supplier of white and blue collar, permanent and temporary engineering and trades personnel Premier Hytemp: Global supplier of valves, top drives and downhole tools to original equipment manufacturers DAE Systems: Provider of fabricated, welded and machined components and assemblies, engineering development and project management of safety-critical products and systems Optical Coating Technologies: Applicator of clear coatings onto thermoplastics to provide opticallytransparent abrasion, chemical and UV resistance properties onto safety glasses, lenses, visors and digital signage Hack Partners: Provider of consultancy and technology services GAI-Tronics: Designer, engineer and manufacturer of communication devices for use in arduous and safety-critical environments

Lend a Helping Hand, which reminded people to take extra care and encourage them to ‘reach out and help’ if they saw someone at risk. ‘People in a safety-critical role have an obvious part to play but accidents at the platform edge can be the result of actions, behaviours and decisions taken by passengers long before reaching the platform edge, said RSSB’s director of research and standards, Mark Phillips. ‘Intervention by staff at the ticket office, within the station or at the gate line can really help to influence passenger behaviour and potentially reduce the occurrence of these incidents.’ The booklet is available for download on the RSSB website. Visit

Flip Up Seat: Provider of toilet seats that automatically spring into an upright position for hygiene purposes

Total Training Company (UK): Provider of specialised training and a range of training courses to the construction industry

Crowle Wharfe Engineers: Precision engineering company that specialises in the overhaul, fabrication and machining of bespoke and multiple-run products for safety-critical environments

Doncaster Chamber of Commerce: Independent membership organisation that supports represents Doncaster’s private sector

AJT Engineering: Engineering service provider including machining, cladding, submerged-arc welding, repair, assembly, plating and heat treatment

Exova Warringtonfire: Fire testing company with specialist knowledge on products used on rolling stock

AKKA Aeroconseil: British arm of the AKKA Technologies Group, a global engineering consultancy taking on work across signalling, rolling stock and infrastructure

Sheffield Hallam University: Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) is an interdisciplinary research institute within the University dedicated to addressing industrial problems – from materials analysis to infrastructure management

Claytex Services: Consultant and provider of systems engineering tools and developer of a number of application libraries to simulate the complete vehicle covering powertrain, vehicle dynamics and thermal management

Zircon Software: Provider of software engineering services across the full software engineering life cycle, including high integrity/safety systems, internetenabled systems and testing and test systems

Envira Products: Distributor of a range of industrial and commercial eco-friendly de-icers

ABB: Provider of power, electrification and technology products and solutions to the transportation industry

March 2016 Page 105

Business profile

Very light rail at the end of the tunnel The WMG centre, HVM Catapult, is pushing innovations in rail that focuses on serving communities better. Here, it shines a light on VLR


MG is working with forward-looking industrial partners, local councils, the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group and various rail organisations to find ways of achieving affordable, go-anywhere, customer friendly rail solutions. The new services will enable wider deployment of rail, focused on local community needs in rural, suburban and even some urban areas. While much attention is being directed towards high speed rail solutions, there is a great need to find ways of providing affordable feeder routes from rural communities to rail hubs, airports and other changeover points in the transport network. It is envisaged that these services will be run using very light rail (VLR) vehicles, also referred to as ultra-light rail vehicles. The development of VLR is driven by the opportunity to embrace commercially successful proven technologies from other forms of vehicle, including cars, motorsport, buses, trucks and off-road vehicles. With technology transferred from established UK suppliers, WMG believes that a new manufacturing sector can be nurtured in the UK that is focused on assembling VLR vehicles, as well as cheaper infrastructure and state-of-theart communications and control systems. The solutions will be relevant to domestic and international transport projects. Potential benefits? So, what are the potential benefits of solutions based on VLR vehicles? Primarily it comes down to affordability: both the upfront vehicle and infrastructure costs, and the subsequent operating and maintenance costs, which will be lower than for conventional rail and tram solutions. VLR vehicles are designed to maximise the use of volume manufacturing. Improved economies of scale will enable railcars to be sold at prices closer to those of luxury 60-seat buses (£350,000), Page 106 March 2016

compared to current prices for a tram or conventional rail multiple unit (£1-1.5 million). WMG’s team is working towards a target volume sales price of £500,000 in the long term. Infrastructure costs can be further reduced by reducing the overall weight of the vehicles. For self-propelled vehicles the need for overhead electrification is eliminated – a major cost element of electric schemes (it currently costs around £600k per km to electrify a double track route with tram-style electrification). The lower axle loading allows less substantial foundations, track, bridges and other structures to be used. The lower weight per axle reduces wear and tear on the track, thereby reducing maintenance costs. The appropriate use of modern materials in track systems and station facilities will also contribute to reduced construction and maintenance costs. Lower operating costs are also expected to come from the unit’s reduced energy consumption. This will stem from the vehicle’s lower mass, coupled with a high efficiency hybrid propulsion system

that will enable a smaller prime mover to be used in combination with kinetic energy recovery during braking. Self-propelled vehicles (potentially using hybrid, battery or fuel cell propulsion) offer the opportunity to reopen disused lines and create new lines without the prohibitive costs associated with electrification and with the goanywhere capability. Only 40 per cent of Britain’s rail network is electrified, VLR will not be restricted where it can potentially run, subject to standards such as crashworthiness. Ultimately the use of modern wireless signalling and driverless vehicles will further reduce system operating costs. Popular misconceptions There are a number of misconceptions regarding this kind of transport that are important to address. These are primarily based on the performance of previous diesel multiple units, implying that VLR self-propelled vehicles may not be highly efficient, reliable, quiet, or eco-friendly. Hybrid technology has been fully

Business profile

where appropriate, customisable luggage space to accommodate bicycles in commuter periods. Research into visualisation, reservation systems, human factors, and autonomous vehicles will enhance the passenger experience further. VLR will form part of the community and be a new part of an end-to-end journey.

proven globally in transport applications – including rail, buses and off-road vehicles – and modern diesel engines are compact, efficient and clean thanks to development work driven by legislation. Vehicles free of harmful emissions are also close to being available on the market, as a result of rapid advances in hydrogen fuel cell and battery storage technologies. There is no rocket science involved in the design and build of VLR vehicles or infrastructure, and the time needed to get them on the market takes two to three years, rather than the ten or more years that advocates of trams often state. The VLR consortium’s philosophy is that VLR vehicles and associated infrastructure should be designed first and foremost to meet the needs of communities, and in particular communities that have poor public transport and limited funding to change the status quo. By designing the vehicles in a modular form, vehicle length, and hence passenger capacity, will be easily adapted to meet local needs and budgets. A modular system also allows a plug-and-

play approach to the assembly, combining low floor sections with a conventional platform height floor to meet the varying needs of stations and halts along a route. Energy recovery Community rail stations will be pollution free. In VLR vehicles using hybrid powertrains, the engine(s) will turn off as the train approaches the station and recover energy through regenerative braking. While in the station, auxiliary loads such as lighting, heating, displays, and the doors will be powered from the hybrid system batteries. On departure, there will be no noise, with the vehicle pulling out of the station silently using battery power, the engine only cutting in when the train is well out of the station. Finally, VLR is about putting the customer first and making them happy. The passenger experience will be paramount – with comfortable seating, adequate leg room, power to charge phones/laptops, low noise/vibration levels, climate control, solar-reflective glazing, adequate luggage space, and

Be a part of the development WMG is keen to engage with companies to encourage them to be part of this new manufacturing sector by participating in a proposed Very Light Rail Innovation Centre. Partnering with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Dudley College, WMG is creating a national centre of excellence for VLR technologies. Located at Castle Hill in Dudley, the centre will work with industry and academic partners to develop technologies specifically relevant to VLR and the light rail industry. The University of Southampton has agreed to provide expertise in civil and infrastructure research, and Huddersfield University will lead work on vehicle dynamics and wheelto-rail interface research. The centre will coordinate strategic initiatives and champion VLR in discussions with both central and local government; the established rail industry; and companies seeking to move into the rail industry. It will also provide a neutral location for pre-competitive collaborative research between industry and academia, plus the facilities and skills to help companies to take the research outputs to the market. Facilities will support the manufacture of demonstrators and pre-production prototypes, as well as vehicle and infrastructure testing on the co-located test track. Start-up companies involved in VLR will be able to rent a number of incubator units in the centre. The centre will work closely with Dudley College to deliver apprentice training, and also with Warwick and other Universities to offer post– experience training and education in VLR technologies. By offering this, it will enable companies to upskill their engineering teams to Diploma and Master’s level. Finally, the centre will act as a focal point for VLR and the wider rail industry, providing space for conferences and exhibitions, offering meeting rooms to facilitate networking and knowledge transfer, and supporting the commercial success of UK-based companies wanting to succeed in the VLR sector. Get in contact for more information on the proposed centre and the projects involved. Email: Visit March 2016 Page 107

Business profile

Stay connected Rail Order is part of the ADComms group and is working in partnership with Northern Rail to launch its 158 STAY CONNECTED train


ail Order has come a long way since it was established in 2000. The company was initially started up as a rail-specific supply and distribution company but has evolved into a total solutions provider. Now, as part of the ADComms group, Rail Order has progressed as technology has become more advanced. It still offers supply and distribution solutions but has now added new innovations to its portfolio that are designed to enhance passengers’ on-board experience. Barry Larcombe, managing director of Rail Order, and newly-appointed Toc sales director for the ADComms group, said: ‘We’ve always focused our business on building strong, positive relationships with our customers by listening to

what they want and responding with innovative products and solutions. As part of ADComms we’re now able to introduce technology-based solutions to help Northern Rail improve passenger satisfaction.’ Larcombe, who worked for Northern Rail for a number of years, said the deal with the Toc followed on from previous successes for Rail Order, such as The National Railway award for train exterior wash plants upgrades in 2013. ‘We were presented with an opportunity to install a number of our innovative on-train solutions, designed to enhance the overall Page 108 March 2016

on train passenger experience, leading up to the most recent project – Northern Rail’s 158 STAY CONNECTED train.’ ‘Working in partnership with Rail Order, Northern has introduced the 158 STAY CONNECTED train, conceptually designed to showcase on train innovation and new technology,’ said Stuart Draper, engineering director at Northern Rail. Launch of 158 STAY CONNECTED Now installation is complete, Rail Order, in partnership with Northern Rail, is pleased to announce the official launch of the 158 STAY CONNECTED concept train. On-board solutions Beagle PIS is a real time Darwin-fed passenger information system. Beagle can keep passengers updated on their journeys by providing real-time information that includes station-specific departure board details on approach to the station. Nick Wilson from ATOC said: ‘ATOC are pleased to see that Rail Order is developing products in parallel to the work of the national customer information strategy and their systems

will help to bring the better provision of information to the passenger to the fore.’ A plug and play Wi-Fi system has been provided by the ADComms Group that offers future proof bolt-on opportunities, such as future real-time CCTV and other on-train, two-way communication links. The use of a multi-SIM system allows for continuity of connection and has dramatically reduced the risk of drop-outs across journeys. USB charging sockets give passengers the opportunity to grab a quick charge on their portable devices while travelling. The easy to use USB charge-only points ensure passengers have the ability to charge up their device when needed. Airpure is a technology solution that guarantees to eliminate odours and control infections in all enclosed spaces without the use of chemicals or filters.

The future is bright ‘We hope this shows Northern Rail’s strong commitment to our passengers as we continually strive to improve the customer experience,’ said Draper. Rail Order aims to ensure that all on-train solutions are future proofed and designed to meet customers’ needs as the move towards a digital railway continues. With eventual bolt-on options, such as live, full-HD CCTV, remote train diagnostic analysis, media and advertising options, as well as a full on-train entertainment system, the future looks bright for Rail Order.

Email: Twitter: @RailOrder Visit



Radio & Mobile CCTV & Security Passenger Information Power DC & AC SCADA Management Public Address Data & IP Transmission Operational Telecoms Signalling Telecoms Civils & Structural Rolling Stock Engineering Telecoms Training

Design Integrate Install Commision Optimise Support Train & Upskill

For more information... Call 01724 292200 Email Visit

March 2016 Page 109

Business profile

The new chain of command GHD explores the principles supporting leading asset management practice and the approach needed to help make the best use of them


Asset inspection activity Consider first the level of interaction, taking as an example an asset inspection activity. Under a quality management system the inspection activity would be appropriately defined, consistently repeatable and evidenced as complete when it is done. This provides the confidence that inspections carried out at different times are comparable and can be used to support decision-making. Quality management will also address changes

s long-standing asset management consultants with more than two decades of advisory and assessment experience, including certification to the new ISO 55001 standard, GHD is increasingly struck by what separates the better-practising organisations from the others. There are many elements of asset management that are familiar, drawing on well-established maintenance

External Constraints Stakeholder commitments

Set business objectives

Capital investment capacity

Output targets

Operational expenditure budget

management practice, benefits analysis, and optimisation concepts. Indeed, there can be few claims to genuine innovation in the activities that make up asset management. Similarly, those who have been using quality management systems for a decade or two should find few surprises in ISO 55001 (the requirements for an asset management system), at least in principle. Notwithstanding these observations, it is important to reiterate that asset management IS NOT simply doing what has always been done but under a new name. It is also the case that quality management alone does not provide an alternative. There are two fundamental aspects that set asset management apart: the interdependencies within the management system, and the level at which the requirements interact with the core business activities. Page 110 March 2016

The decision to do the inspection might have been made by the inspection team itself, or driven by a requirement originating outside the inspection team, which is a feature of the interdependencies. It is almost certainly a higher level requirement that determines the criticality of the inspection and, therefore, whether it is pre-emptive or reactive, and what standard of inspection is necessary.

Resource plans Deliver outputs

Asset Management Plans

Expenditure Fulfil business objectives

Risk Asset strategy to fulfil output targets within constraints

Operational Plans

to the inspection and manage these in a controlled and traceable way. Asset management shares the same principles of consistency and control, but goes to another level with respect to the activity; addressing the justification for the activity, in essence establishing how it came about and why. Where quality management is generic, asset management is specific – it has a particular objective. In many cases this objective is represented by a service or product, which has to be achieved within the organisation’s operating constraints. To be able to focus on the specific nature of the requirement the management system provides the logical connection between the high level business objectives and all actions required to achieve them. In the case of the inspection, it is done because it demonstrably contributes to meeting strategic objectives.

Implement plans

‘The interdependencies within the asset management system provide the logical connections between any activity and the business objectives, which ultimately constitute the reason for the activity’

Business profile

‘It is important to note that the asset management system is not concerned with the nature of line management within the organisation, but instead with the way the organisation operates to undertake its business’ Logical connections The interdependencies within the asset management system provide the logical connections between any activity and the business objectives, which ultimately constitute the reason for the activity. This logical connection is referred

implementation activities to achieve the most beneficial results in relation to the business objectives. To do this, the interdependencies need to be responsive and dynamic, in essence this amounts to managing the balance denoted (Figure 1). This is an extremely simplified depiction to convey the point that there are lots of activities that need to balance in order to fulfil the aims successfully. A point that is often missed is that short-term, low-level activities can have a large impact on the overall equilibrium, so the management system needs to maintain live connections to all levels of activities. In the case of large or complex asset systems, such as large networks or estates, there is unlikely to be a single point in the managing organisation that has sufficient knowledge to take unilateral decisions on behalf of the business as a whole. Though the executive team might be endowed with the authority to make organisation-wide decisions, these decisions need to be informed through the interaction of all the contributing

The engine concept is useful to consider the principles of balancing the management system, where the engine can modify gearing when it encounters a change, thereby maintaining a balance between the demand, or constraint, on the engine and the engine capacity. The notion of modifying gearing is about adaptation, which has to be addressed within the management system at the level at which the authority resides. Any change will potentially impact on costs and risks, so each must be evaluated and acted on accordingly, with the ultimate option to refer back to the executive team. It is important to note that the asset management system is not concerned with the nature of line management within the organisation, but instead with the way the organisation operates to undertake its business. Staff management is part of realising staff capabilities, so is an enabler to the operation of the asset management system. In this sense, the asset management system establishes the requirements but does not determine the specific line management solutions. In GHD’s experience, the most successful asset management practice has been in organisations where the traditional chain of command has evolved into a more responsive, integrated

to as the ‘line of sight’, though this is perhaps a misleading term as lines of sight usually imply linear clarity, which is rarely the case in asset management. These interdependencies extend from the executive team through to the lowest level actions needed to maintain, operate, or renew the assets. Traditionally, organisations will have implemented organisation structures and functional hierarchies, but in many cases these were largely unidirectional lines of authority, a command structure providing direction for planning the organisation and the expenditure of resources. This might work to some extent in providing objectives for each level of planning and implementation, but unless the plans are free from constraints there are likely to be some objectives that cannot be fulfilled. This is where the interdependencies are so important and information needs to pass back up to preceding decision levels. A successful asset management system will not only provide the connections, it will also balance the planning and

parts, such that information flows backwards and forwards to locate a solution that best serves the business. The engine concept All the parts of the organisation need to be ‘keyed’ to those that are functionally connected (Figure 2). The structure has more parallels with an engine: a machine that converts high-level business goals to asset activities (which GHD terms as ‘asset interventions’) but one in which the effects of an issue arising at an asset intervention will be detected at a higher level, if this is where the consequences need to be addressed.

management engine. The company has also observed that the asset management system and its operation is an intrinsic part of the normal business, not an extra. In this way, asset management practice becomes part of the normal culture. Authored by Adam Tilling, GHD’s head of business consulting

Tel: 0203 077 7900 Website:

March 2016 Page 111

Business profile

Two decades of signalling training Signet Solutions is a signalling engineering technical training provider that was established in 1996. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the company reflects on its developments


e’re really excited to be celebrating our 20th Anniversary and it has certainly been an interesting and exciting two decades,’ said Andy Knight, managing director at Signet Solutions. ‘It has seen the company grow in size and reputation to one that is today recognised within the industry as a major provider of signalling technical training. ‘It is especially rewarding in this age of mergers and acquisitions that we’ve remained independent and viable, which we’ve achieved by providing our products to the rail industry both within the UK and the rest of the world. ‘We have always taken a very positive approach to our business and the success can be summarised by five key factors.’ Technical training Signet Solutions’ technical training is always tuned to each customer’s specific needs. It offers a wide range of standard courses within its portfolio that are recognised in the UK and worldwide, as well as bespoke training. This has proven to be successful on a number of occasions where Signet solutions has spent time with clients to establish their goals and ensuring that a clear route for the learning is marked out.

When this is set up and supplemented with appropriate support, such as workplace experience and projects, Signet Solutions has seen great success. This has helped companies to develop designers and testers of the future, many of whom have now gone on to attain senior roles within the industry. International experience Now a well-established name within the UK, Signet Solutions has been asked over its 20-year history to assist many clients in the production of training events that are now available across the world. The company has always had an international connection and it regularly delivers to its clients across the globe. This can be in the form of delivery of its standard events that enables engineers to enhance their understanding of generic signalling principles. Signet Solutions has also worked with a major supplier in the development of training academies, helping it to ensure that its trainers can deliver high quality professional events wherever they may be in the world. NSAR’s highest award Signet Solutions became the first engineering company in the UK to get NSAR’s (National Skills Academy for Rail) highest award. The company has always strived to attain excellence in its development and delivery of training solutions, while also providing a positive and professional approach to its activities. This can be a very inward-focused activity, but in 2014 Signet was the first deliverer of technical training to be inspected by NSAR. It was subsequently awarded a rating of ‘outstanding’ for the organisation and delivery of its training. Developing new technology Signet Solutions has developed programmes for new technologies, such as ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management system). The company is always seeking to keep up with new developments and

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was a leader in delivering ERTMS training firstly in Europe with one of the major signalling companies, but also by providing a UK applications course. Regular customers The training company has established a wide customer base in its 20 years of operation and all of the major signalling companies within the UK market are among its regular clients, a list supplemented with its worldwide client base. Authored by Andy Knight, managing director at Signet Solutions

Tel: 01332 343585 Email: Visit


Fugro offers a safer, faster and more affordable way of delivering accurate, up-to-date rail infrastructure data and analysis. Our RILA and RAIL-MAP train mounted solutions improve efficiencies in asset management and engineering.

Fugro RailData +31 30 755 1520 March 2016 Page 113

Business profile

A cause of less friction in rail Klüber Lubrication develops and manufactures lubricants that increase the reliability of infrastructure and reduce costs


ometimes the key to the success of a process or application lies in an apparently minor component, such as a lubricant. Not only can the right lubricant improve efficiency, it can also extend maintenance intervals and reduce the amount of lubricant required – but how can the correct one be selected? In the rail industry a number of factors have to be considered: environmental conditions, shock loads, and vibrations. All have an impact on the choice of lubricant needed to ensure the troublefree operation of trains and maintenance of infrastructure, which is why when considering the choice of lubricant the industry has started taking an holistic view of maintenance and repair costs. How does the choice of lubricant influence the entire system? Lubricants that seem inexpensive at first may bring savings initially, but can result in considerably higher costs for the entire operation if the lubricant doesn’t have sufficient reserve capacity to cope with extremes. Take the lubrication of points, for example: although a small factor, it’s an essential aspect of railway maintenance and if a point fails to switch due to insufficient or poor lubrication, the entire

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rail network could be affected. This is why Klüber Lubrication has developed its in-house switchplate test rig, which simulates different global environmental scenarios, using a range of Klüber Lubrication-developed lubricants that are rapidly biodegradable. The test chamber determines the friction force curve and wear behaviour under sinusoidal cycling and variable environmental conditions, including rainwater.

‘When developing lubricants for the rail industry, Klüber Lubrication is especially focused on making them environmentally friendly. It is of particular importance for friction points where contact with water or the ground cannot be ruled out,’ said Thomas Kamprath, rail market manager at Klüber Lubrication. Ecological footprints In partnership with the rail industry,

Business profile

Klüber Lubrication has been instrumental in significantly improving customers’ ecological footprints. The involvement of Klüber Lubrication in a project to evaluate switchplate sets with a known history of issues due to heavy usage, sticking, lubricant wash off, and debris resulted in a 95 per cent reduction in the consumption of switchplate lubricant. It also brought about a 70 per cent reduction in the manpower required by utilising a rapidly biodegradable lubricant solution.

In partnership with Klüber Lubrication a reduction in the total cost of ownership of more than £140,000 was realised. According to the operations support manager and project initiator at the evaluation site: ‘To have reduced the need to lubricate points at the current frequency not only allowed more effective use of manpower, it also provided a long-term solution that has improved points function and demonstrated our commitment to reduce the impact on the environment. This is important for two reasons: the lubricant is biodegradable and we use less of it. ‘We have tried many approaches previously and only now do we have more knowledge, better understanding and enhanced capabilities because of our work with Klüber Lubrication.’ Klüberbio ALO 32-4000 On-site training and application of Klüber Lubrication’s latest lubricant, Klüberbio ALO 32-4000, demonstrated

significant improvements in adhesion even to plate beds that were not cleaned prior to usage. ‘Right first time’, bidirectional switching, resistance to rain or groundwater wash off and protection against corrosion, Kluberbio ALO 32-4000 assured an eco-compatible, low friction, water resistant film over a temperature range of -30 to 80°C. It gave effective protection against UV degradation caused by long-term exposure to sunlight, thus preventing the ‘gummy’ residues often associated with lubricants that can significantly increase switching forces. This enabled maintenance crews to cut down the time needed to re-lubricate as well as the frequency of re-lubrication from, in some instances, three times a week to once every three weeks. In addition to using 95 per cent less lubricant, Klüberbio ALO 32-4000 comes with an application device that enables more accurate applications, which improves the health and safety of maintenance crews. Rapid biodegradability (≥ 80per cent after 28 days acc. OECD 301 B) also helped the company demonstrate its commitment to the environment. Supporting UK rail Klüber Lubrication has established a reputation as a manufacturer of powerful, innovative, high-performance solutions that add value to OEM’s, operators and end users. The company actively supports the UK rail industry by developing and supplying a broad range of advanced lubricant solutions for rail superstructure and rolling stock applications. With many key original equipment manufacturers’ endorsements, solutions from Klüber Lubrication are geared towards enhancing performance and reliability, energy efficiency and improving service interval longevity – even in challenging conditions – to ultimately reduce operating costs. With more than 2,500 product lines, experts from Klüber Lubrication will be pleased to answer any questions regarding the lubrication of railway components and to offer support to help choose the right lubricant for the right application. Rail switch lubricants from Klüber Lubrication: Klüberbio LO 32-2500 Klüberbio ALO 32-4000 Klüberrail AL 32-2000 Klüberrail AL 32-3000 Klüber Lubrication also supplies a wheel flange lubricant, Klüberrail LEA 62-2000, which is approved for use in Bijur Delimon and REBS wheel flange lubrication systems. Tel: 01422 205115 Email: Visit March 2016 Page 115

Business profile

Keeping bids on track For companies competing for new business it is crucial they submit a well-written, persuasive bid that exactly meets the specification, which is where Executive Compass comes in


xecutive Compass® has provided bid management, bid writing, PQQ (pre-qualification questionnaires) and training services to a variety of industries across the whole of the UK, Europe and the United States since 2009. The core industries the company works with are rail, civil engineering, industrial services, recruitment, health and social care and construction. Executive Compass is one of the few bid writing services in the UK to directly employ its entire staff. Also, it holds UKAS ISO 9001:2008 and is a corporate member of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. With an auditable 87 per cent success rate, Executive Compass has completed more than 1,700 tender/PQQ submissions in the last six years, with bid values ranging from £80,000 to £6.6 billion.

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Crossrail to London Underground Recent rail projects included bids for Crossrail, Network Rail, London Underground (LU) and Transport for London on a variety of different products and services, such as LU station refurbishment (£600,000), platform doors (£20 million), contingent labour, personal protective equipment (PPE) and bridge repairs (around £40 million). In-house competency for rail includes civil engineering, track machines, labour and PPE, but the consultancy also writes tenders within the rail industry for a wide variety of products and services, meaning it is experienced in writing persuasive responses. Capture planning methodologies have been developed that involve Executive Compass and its clients working collaboratively to create winning bid themes and company differentiators,

while always ensuring the bid meets the specification and has no contradictions. Where appropriate, Executive Compass undertakes competitor analysis to identify the potential strengths of the other bidders. While the company is unable to guarantee a win, its strategic approach and operational management of the bid process itself has proven to be highly effective. Case study

Buyer: London Underground Services provided: bid management, bid writing, capture planning workshops Duration: around twelve days, spread over three weeks

The client: a medium-to-large sized company with a turnover of around £70 million, bidding London Underground for station refurbishment work. Project value was around £600,000. A bid acceleration process was used

Business profile

due to the short timescale. This procedure does not omit any stages in the bid writing process, but rather accelerates and optimises existing processes into a shorter time frame. Bid themes, key differentiators and competitive advantage are still analysed but in a much shorter period of time. This analysis was achieved in this case by running concurrent workshops and interviews with key members of the management team. Executive Compass is one of the only independent bid writing and bid management companies that does not use associates or freelance staff. This means that all staff are directly employed bid professionals who fully understand the process, and not consultants who ‘also write bids’. This meant that for the LU bid the bid and tender writers were able to create a high quality submission by using proven, converging and mutually supportive processes within a short time frame. Due to the fact that the client had no intranet

or bid management software, file sharing applications and e-mail were used to communicate. This included requesting, receiving, reviewing, editing, labelling and categorising more than 820 documents from the client. The bid management system was able to cope easily with the task, ensuring that no document was missed and that the final submission was 100 per cent compliant in terms of supporting evidence, company documentation and policies and procedures. Building a winning submission Individuals who regularly work in high performing teams – and who are familiar with one another and the use of effective systems and process – are always going to build a winning submission more quickly and more effectively than a group of loosely linked associates. Executive Compass has seven full-time, fully-trained writers who all bid to be the best they can possibly be. Like most of Executive Compass’s

projects, the LU bid was a success and the client won the contract. It subsequently went on to win three similar contracts with Executive Compass’s help, which helped the client to develop a fully functioning and updateable bid library. 2015 was Executive Compass’s most successful year, during which it supported clients from Singapore, Sweden, India, Africa, the US, and, in the UK, from Brighton to Dundee, with the number of projects and new clients both on the increase. To ensure that it meets existing and future demand, Executive Compass has moved to new, larger and better-equipped offices. It has just opened a second office in London, and is recruiting two new writers. Further developments to support growth include the launch of its new website in late 2015; a broadening of services to encompass ISO certification and its ongoing management; a bid consultancy; and the launch of webinars to support the company’s existing training services. Tel: 0800 612 5563 Mail: / Visit

For demanding applications • Prevents loosening caused by vibration and dynamic load • Locking function is not affected by lubrication • No special tools required • Reusable The cam angle ‘α’ is larger than the thread pitch ‘ß’, making the pair of washers expand more than the corresponding pitch of the thread.

Nord-Lock Ltd. • Tel +44 (0) 1264 355557 • Fax +44 (0) 1264 369555 •

March 2016 Page 117

Business profile

Maximising stations’ commercial success Thanks to retail, the layout of UK stations is changing and catering for more than just passengers. Design MAD explains the complexities behind the changes


he word refurbishment tends to imply cosmetic or superficial improvements, but the element that shouldn’t be overlooked is the opportunity to consider the objectives in greater detail and maximise the investment in refurbishment. What refurbishments offer is the opportunity to re-establish ‘order’, to strategically place and optimise all facilities and to realign station objectives with current and future passenger requirements. What must be considered from the outset is a core of three values: passenger satisfaction, making money and brand engagement. Collectively, these three elements should form the basis of strategic thinking for any station refurbishment if the investment is to truly maximise the returns. Each of these three elements has individual paybacks, but the culmination of all three results in one main objective: an enhanced passenger experience. A refurbishment proposal should always start with rigorous analysis and strategic thinking because the delivery team needs to understand how macroto-micro design solutions are going to deliver the maximum effect throughout the spectrum. Stations get ‘out of shape’ Over time, all stations get ‘out of shape’ for varying reasons; new improvements and facilities are often implemented as singular initiatives located where there just happens to be space available. They can also be carried out where the budget allows and not where they would necessarily deliver optimum performance, however, the knock-on effect of this causes an illogical passenger process that results in reduced returns. Whether financial or service related, this can affect passenger satisfaction and the all-important National Passenger Survey (NPS) scores. As an example, Design MAD recently carried out a study on a number of Page 118 March 2016

category C stations, or feeder stations as they are otherwise known. In one example, following a careful re-planning exercise within the existing station footprint, the station’s retail area had the potential to be increased by 24 per cent and its passenger facilities by 28 per cent. There was also available land for a

facility mix and improve the overall quality of the offer. In the example mentioned (pictured) there had been great demand for some time from convenience stores to be in the station, but this demand was not the project trigger, although arguably a large commercial opportunity like this should have been

new-build extension, enabling the retail space to be enlarged by a further 14 per cent. This provided a substantial increase in lettable area and potential revenue, demonstrating the potential scale of wasted revenue throughout many of the UK’s stations. However, it’s not just about creating more space. Refurbishment gives the opportunity to adjust the retail and

exploited as early as possible. This type of strategic thinking, if applied to refurbishments, gives the opportunity for a good tidy up and to put things in new boxes and back on the right shelves; to create a logical order in the passenger process and to declutter and optimise the stations’ performance and impact. But this is only the start; this should form the base level (level 1 strategy) of the exercise.

Business profile

There is another much deeper more complex (level 2) of strategy that also needs considering. A strategic approach? Why should rail stations bother with strategy when they already have retail and facilities in place that will always provide revenue? It is because high street retailers constantly alter and optimise what they offer for financial reasons; for them, logical customer sequencing, product placement, impulse purchases and the constant exposure to a refreshed offer maximises their returns. Stations are a larger more complex analogy of high-street retail – there is an all-important passenger red line: from high street to platform and train. Within the station, commercial and service-based facilities are both vying to be on the redline route, as there is a logical sequence that must be applied to the customer journey. This means locating facilities at their optimum point in the customer journey (level 1 strategy) and then taking

it a stage further and engaging the customer with the product placement (level 2 strategy). This is not just a highlevel exercise; it is about making a sale and providing the service at the point where it is most needed. When making a sale, Design MAD is not just referring to retail merchandise, but also promoting the Toc’s travel product to feed the fare-box. This then

creates opportunities to link with tourism, local business and commerce, promoting the station as an integral community service. These peripheral elements are similar to the retailers’ point of sale (the important small impulse purchases by the till that squeeze additional revenue from the customer); small elements which, as Toc’s are now on turnover rent, increasingly matter. Customer zone opportunities There has recently been a lot of discussion among stations around new ticket retailing and customer zones. Collectively, they are releasing space in the station and this in turn is triggering larger refurbishment opportunities, which has led to Design MAD actively developing designs for these customer zones for a number of Toc’s. Gathering passenger facilities into more effective locations allows better staff utilisation, added security through grouping and the ability to feed-in retail and promotion. It also creates a

facility that engages the customer with the Toc’s service, staff and brand. Not just an architectural solution, customer zones are an opportunity for more open communication through brand manifestation, allowing the brand values to be communicated through the environment and staff availability. The barricades and inaccessibility issues in stations are being removed and the

‘Why should rail stations bother with strategy when they already have retail and facilities in place that will always provide revenue? It is because high street retailers constantly alter and optimise what they offer for financial reasons’ passenger experience is being improved by closer integration. This type of macro-to-micro design solution is what the customer now expects; it aims to complete a seamless customer journey from the placement of the facility, right down to smaller elements like the communication of graphics and information. There is a risk that refurbishment can deliver a fragmented product, creating blockers to the end result that can knock projects off course right from the start. Funding has become segmented and can come from three, four or multiple pots. Each pot might only fund a certain element such as passenger facility improvements, but not retail, though the customers’ experience should always be totally seamless. As Design MAD has demonstrated, customer needs should follow a sequence with no gaps and be placed at exactly the correct point throughout the journey where there are potentially large commercial gains to be made. It can be said that if a high-street retailer were given the same opportunities, they would also exploit them to the maximum. However, due to station design becoming more sophisticated, the product the rail industry has is more complex and challenging than the high street analogy. It is not only a balance of retail, service and promotion, but one that is incredibly exciting to be involved with and Design MAD looks forward to developing the next generation of stations. Tel: 0207 4034429 Email: Visit March 2016 Page 119

Business profile

Gold-standard security The attention paid to security by the rail industry has stepped up in recent years. Morgan Marine gives some details on its portfolio of security kiosks, housings and other products that protect its critical equipment


ince 1965, Morgan Marine has been providing security enclosures, housings and doorsets, used to protect critical national infrastructure, keeping the rail industry, trackside equipment, and passengers safe. Morgan Marine is one of the leading designers, manufacturers and installers of these security enclosures and doorsets and the only company in the UK making these products in steel and GRP (glassreinforced polymer), tailor-made to each client’s specific needs. The issue of national infrastructure security has rarely been as important in the minds of industry professionals, governments and the general public as it is at the moment. Morgan Marine has invested heavily in research and development in recent years, so all of its products meet Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) standards. Highly secure This rigorous testing programme sees Morgan Marine’s goods tested to the highest security standards, with many of its products coming with the option of security ratings (SR) 2, 3 and 4. The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has

‘I think we are also living in a time of great vigilance and more thought and planning is going into safeguarding our infrastructure, and the population, than ever before’ Page 120 March 2016

Business profile

the fact that the current threat to UK security from international terrorism is rated as severe. Clearly the safety of our rail networks is fundamental,’ said Paton. ‘Rail and bus networks have been targeted by terrorist groups in recent years in the UK and overseas, with very grave results. Rail companies are quick to act during such incidences and they have very robust public protection and risk management procedures in place to help contain threats and to deal with them swiftly. ‘Safeguarding their critical equipment and limiting access to it in order to protect trackside equipment, power supplies, signalling and the track itself, is an ongoing priority.’

advised public sector organisations, particularly those that own parts of the critical national infrastructure, on specific design improvements to protect them from the effects of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents. Measures have also been taken by rail companies, in line with CPNI advice, to safeguard rail networks and infrastructure, and their many passengers, from chemical and physical attack. ‘Security products by their nature are always being refined and upgraded in order to meet changing demands of the marketplace, often in the light of increased threats or the perception of increased threats,’ said Sue Paton, sales and commercial director at the Carmarthenshire company, Morgan Marine. ‘This is certainly the case when it comes to the kind of products we design and manufacture – for rail companies as well as for the utilities, and for the nuclear and renewables sectors.’ Countering sustained attacks ‘The LPCB ratings we’ve achieved in relation to our wall and roof construction, doors and ventilation apertures are achieved using products we have developed to counter sustained attacks. The highest level of security addresses people trying to break in using power tools and sledgehammers,’ said Paton. ‘If you go back 20 years, security measure would have been put in place to counter theft alone. Now, another perceived threat is the possibility of terrorism. Terrorism could, for instance, lead to signal boxes being tampered with, potentially causing major public safety issues. ‘The security of the rail network has been at the top of the Home Office agenda for a number of years, in light of

Protecting national infrastructure Paton said that there is a regular exchange of information about threat levels, and threat mitigation between the CPNI and companies and organisations that look

after critical national infrastructure. ‘The UK’s Strategy for countering chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism highlights the importance of being prepared for any possible attack, by ensuring infrastructure is resilient to an attack using CBRN materials and ensuring that, wherever possible, weaknesses are ‘designed out’.’ All the UK’s rail companies house some of their critical infrastructure in kiosks and housings, typically fabricated from GRP, brick or steel. Securing doors, windows and ventilation apertures on those kiosks is a priority, with the ‘gold standard’ security rating being the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB). ‘LPCB accreditation is the recognised security rating for our industry and Morgan Marine’s security enclosures and door sets are certified to LPCB’s exacting

security standards,’ added Paton. ‘Our security products are also custommade for both their purpose and for the site – they are not off-the-shelf products by any means and the Morgan Marine service includes a complete security consultancy.’ Rigorous testing Morgan Marine’s range of single and double doorsets varies to fit structural openings and doors can incorporate LPCB-certified ventilation grilles and viewing windows tested to SR4 of the LPS 1175: Issue 7 standard. The company’s latest series of security enclosures and housings are certified to LCPB SR4 and tested to LPS1175: Issue 7. Its Titan GRP range complements its Hercules SAF range of SR2 and SR3 and SR4 steel enclosures and doors, with each offering flexibility of build size, multiple lock options, viewing windows, generator cap flaps, louvres and cowls.

‘Security is no longer an issue that is on the minds of governments and security specialists alone, it is very much on the mind of everyone in a way perhaps unprecedented in this country,’ said Paton. ‘But I think we are also living in a time of great vigilance and more thought and planning is going into safeguarding our infrastructure, and the population, than ever before. I am pleased Morgan Marine can play an active role in that.’

Contact Sue Paton, commercial director, for sales enquiries Tel: 01269 850437 Email: Visit March 2016 Page 121

Business profile

A test for the industry Ayrshire Medical Services is a growing privately owned occupational health company in Scotland. The company’s medical team work all over the UK providing a range of services to the rail industry


yrshire Medical Services (AMS) offers a very personal service to the rail industry. It works with many Network Rail-approved companies to provide one of the most efficient turnaround of results in the UK, with the quickest uploads, and its reporting authorising physician is among the most respected in the country. Network Rail looks for safety, accuracy and professionalism; all qualities abundant within Ayrshire Medical Services’ occupational health team. The company’s work speaks for itself, with the bulk of its business coming from recommendations from those who have tried, tested and been happy with the services it provides. As well as providing Network Railspecific medicals and drug tests, AMS can also supply companies with testing kits. This approach is particularly prevalent for companies that have concerns about individuals but don’t want to risk incurring the costs associated with putting them through a full screen.

How AMS differs from its competitors: 1. if AMS believes a candidate will fail, or if they had declared concerns such as cannabis, it will not put them through the test to make a ‘quick sale’. On the contrary, AMS will talk with the candidate and the company to resolve the issue. Just as important as not screening for failure, it won’t charge the client if it hasn’t screened the individual. For instance, if a company has booked screening for 20 people and one doesn’t go through because of a declaration, it will not be charged for that person 2. competitive pricing. Indeed, some of AMS’ competitors charge more than double than what it charges. The simple question that needs to be asked is: why? We’re all tested, audited and assessed to Network Rail/Sentinel standards and we all pass the same examinations and tests. Why then can AMS keep its costs down? What does AMS do that its competitors don’t? a) it doesn’t subcontract work out b) it provides a personal service c) it’s courteous, prompt, professional and efficient d) it continually negotiates and renegotiates its suppliers’ fees, passing on any savings on to its customers. In short, Ayrshire Medical Services is a one-stop railway shop.

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For more information on its services, contact Garry. Tel: 01292 262770 Email: Visit Murform “A great service. Certificates were sent quickly and office staff were very friendly.” Stagecoach “Great for getting quick appointments and our annual medicals were dealt with without causing any disruption to our depots.” Advance Rope Access “Fantastic service provided. AMS was always able to get appointments and uploads to Sentinel were very quick. We would recommend AMS to anyone.” Alma Rail “AMS always has PTS appointments available. It had a very quick turnaround and uploaded the data to Sentinel very quickly – a great all-round service from booking to uploading.”

Will your enclosure look like this…

...or like this in 12 months time?

Let’s face it, life is complicated. These days’ people are longing for anything that seems simple and easy. We want a quick fix, a fast answer, an easy solution to our problems, but when faced with a choice of enclosures, nothing could be further from the mark. Invariably the enclosure is the “nutshell”, housing expensive and often critical components which must perform in extremely harsh and demanding conditions. To some specifiers a box is a box. But with so many different enclosure configurations on offer, even a basic housing requires considerable thought. At the other end of the scale, when a designer is faced with the specification of an enclosure to house and protect a specific device or control system, there is an art to getting the exact enclosure product to fulfil the requirement exactly.

At Fibox, we’ve made it quick and easy for you to compare by introducing a range of wall mounting cabinets manufactured from a Glass Reinforced Polycarbonate material which for the first time is more than a match for the more established GRP and sheet steel products which dominate the market at present. It is called Fibox ARCA and with sizes ranging from 300 x 200 to 800 x 600 we can safely claim that the market now has a viable alternative for those OEM’s Panel Builders and Installers who are looking for corrosion resistant cabinets which will protect their equipment, however hostile the environment.

For further information, please contact: Customer Services. FIBOX, Suite 25, Durham and Tees Valley Business Centre, Orde Wingate Way, Stockton on Tees TS19 0GD

Tel: 01642 604 400 Web:

March 2016 Page 123

Business profile

Carving out a niche From dagger boards and anti-slip to roof glazing and GRP panels; Smyth Composites has got it covered


he upgrading and refurbishing of station property all over the UK has significantly contributed to the growth of Smyth Composites product portfolio over the last few years. The company specialises in the manufacture of GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) composite flat sheet products and has supplied a wide variety of

maintenance-free solutions, such as at Beaconsfield station, where the company replaced rotten timber dagger boards with 15mm-thick ornate fibreglass panels waterjet cut into intricate shapes and patterns. ‘We were able to produce a tongue and groove/woodgrain finish in thick, solid, through-coloured GRP sheet that was waterjet cut to the original shape,

which gave its edge a perfect finish,’ said managing director, Ross Smyth. ‘This, coupled with the fact the panels are almost completely maintenancefree, UV resistant and impact resistant, basically means no one will have to touch it for decades,’ he added. More than 20 other locations have been identified as requiring replacement dagger and valance boards as well as other types of fascia and soffit panels. ‘We’re only scratching the surface here,’ said Smyth. ‘There are potentially hundreds, if not thousands of applications where this product can be installed.’ As well as being virtually maintenancefree, Smyth Composites’ products can be produced to any RAL colour, size, shape and thickness and can also be fire rated. Anti-slip panels and stair treads Incorporating similar raw materials used to manufacture the dagger boards, Smyth Composites has carved out a niche as a manufacturer of GRP anti-slip products in Europe. The vast majority of this type of product used to come from China, but since Smyth Composites opened its anti-slip division several years ago the company has established itself as a major supplier of gritted sheet and stair treads into the rail industry. ‘Our key is quality and versatility,’ said Smyth. ‘We can manufacture small runs, any thickness, any colour and have it on site with short lead times. We believe we produce the best quality products Page 124 March 2016

Business profile

available on the market. We use quality raw materials and have a dedicated, conscientious workforce that believes in delivering a ‘best policy’ ethos for quality, affordability and service.’ GRP glazing Smyth Composites is one of the few companies in the world still producing flat-sheet glazing panels, particularly the Georgian wired variety commonly incorporated in many railway station roofs. The company’s FYBAGARD panels are some of the toughest glazing products available. Virtually unbreakable, they have a high resistance to impact, shock and wind loading but have a smart appearance. ‘Despite being around for more than 40 years there is still a high demand for this tough shatterproof, GRP glazing product,’ said Smyth.

Solid colour GRP panels Smyth Composites also manufactures a range of through colour, thick GRP panels for a wide variety of applications where other materials can’t meet required specifications and standards – such as fire ratings, impact resistance and weight constrictions. A prime example of this is shown on the Tyndall Bridge in Cardiff (pictured). FybaTex GRP panels were specified particularly on the bridge for their anti-vandal properties in terms of the high level of impact resistance and the graffiti-resistant surface coating. Surfaces can be produced with a range of textures including mid-gloss, embossed or woodgrain finish and are available in any RAL colour.

Up ahead The future is bright for Smyth Composites. Ongoing investment in plant, machinery and premises, coupled with a DTi recognised laminator training scheme, have placed the company in a strong position. Smyth Composites believes the scope of potential applications for its products is only limited by the user’s imagination. ‘We’ve manufactured wash bay panels, ballast boards, access ramps, footbridge panels to name a few,’ said Smyth. The company works with approved rail contractors so, invariably, ‘supply and fit’ scenarios can also be accommodated. For further information, samples or literature, contact Smyth Composites Tel: 01241 855799 Email: Visit March 2016 Page 125

Business profile

Procurement-driving innovation An innovative concession model is driving new ideas on France’s South East Atlantic high speed line. SYSTRA asks whether there are lessons for the UK


hile most new rail projects by their very nature require innovation and adaptation, a visit to the South Europe Atlantic (SEA) high speed line being constructed between Tours and Bordeaux impresses with the number and scale of inventive ideas being employed there. The question: ‘why do we do it like this?’ has been asked again and again, with thought-provoking results. The driver for this innovation-seeking approach is the form of procurement. The model created by French rail infrastructure manager SNCF Réseau takes PPP (public private partnership) to a new level: a fiftyyear concession period with some of the most stringent availability targets ever seen in the industry. Global availability must be 99.98 per cent, which equates to less than 120 minutes of unavailability a year. The result is a new mindset from COSEA, the joint-venture organisation designing and building the line. Rather than designing to meet the customer’s requirements, while taking into account buildability and economy, the goal here is to design a system that never fails. Linking with existing lines The SEA is an important part of France’s growing high speed rail network, providing a two-hour journey from Paris to Bordeaux – a saving of around one hour, with further time reductions beyond to Toulouse and Spain. As well as around 300km of high speed line, the project includes 40km of standard railway, linking to existing lines. The new line is expected to bring economic and environmental benefits to towns along its route. As well as moving traffic from road to rail, reducing

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congestion and pollution, SEA will also free up capacity on existing lines for both passenger and freight services. SNCF Réseau awarded the 50-year concession to LISEA, of which Vinci has a third share with infrastructure investment funds taking the rest. LISEA will provide half of the £6 billion capital cost of the project, with the French Government paying the remainder. LISEA will collect a return on its investment via tolls collected over the next 50 years. This arrangement means that the concessionaire is taking the risk related to volume of traffic, a model which has been rejected by investors on subsequent French high speed projects in favour of annual rent payments. LISEA has employed joint venture COSEA to deliver the design and construction. MESEA, a 70/30 joint venture between Vinci and SYSTRA, will be responsible for the maintenance of the new line. COSEA, led by Vinci Construction, subcontracts out to five further specialist partnerships: design, infrastructure construction, power supply, track and catenary, and signalling and telecoms. SYSTRA has a share in four of the five sub-JVs, including 40 per cent of

the design package and 50 per cent of the signalling and telecoms one. Innovation in action With the contractual requirement to keep trains running, and the ties between designer-constructor COSEA and maintainer MESEA, there has been a strong emphasis on designing with maintenance in mind. Where possible, the need for maintenance has been designed out; elsewhere, systems which avoid the

Business profile Tours

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Villognon connecting track

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Allotment civil engineering work

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Ambarès-et-Lagrave connecting tracks

risk of potential disruption to rail services have been created. For instance, the 250 bridges that cross over the new line have been designed so that there are no bearings on the piers next to the high speed line. Each one has been built using the same system: a pre-cast concrete kit of parts, all fabricated off-site. This combination of standardisation and off-site manufacture, which brings huge time savings, has also been employed in the construction of seven major viaducts that carry SEA across various valleys along its route. By using the precast, posttensioned box sections – more than 400 of which have been used in total – Vinci has been taking two months to build an entire bridge deck. As well as quick bridge construction, this project is also achieving a high rate of catenary installation and track laying, thanks to a total rethink of the trackbed construction – and hence, the logistics. The SEA engineering team introduced a 140mm-thick layer of asphalt below the ballast, giving two major benefits: the depth of the track bed was reduced by 25


Work site | Maintenance

Current line




Allotment railway equipment work

per cent; and the asphalt layer has been used as the logistics spine for the project, in lieu of the usual arrangement that sees a haul road constructed alongside the railway line route. This allows the huge quantities of materials to be delivered to exactly the right place at exactly the right time, minimising the impact of construction traffic on the road network. Two logistics centres, managed by SYSTRA, serve the entire 300km-length of track, with road vehicles rather than rail ones used to install the overhead lines and ballast. Erecting 20 overhead line masts per team per day are far better rates than those achieved using more conventional means. Lessons for the UK? Perhaps the strongest message from the SEA experience is that the form of procurement absolutely drives innovation. While the culture of the client and concessionaire teams is also a strong factor, these elements cannot compensate for a form of contract that punishes rather than encourages new ideas. Even with procurement methods

that allow early contractor involvement, a question mark still remains over how designers can be incentivised to really innovate. In the SEA model, SYSTRA’s stake in the maintenance organisation provides both the motivation and the information paths to inform design. SEA has also benefitted from the fact that the whole line has been let in one package, which lends itself to the economies of scale necessary to benefit from standardisation. Good ideas for both design and installation are naturally shared between all parts of the project. In the UK, the industry tends to divide rail projects into work packages, which means that each group of designers and constructors will be looking for innovations and efficiencies in parallel. A challenge for the UK’s HS2 project is to consider how best to join up innovative thinking across packages and disciplines while also drawing on the vast depth of high speed design and build experience in the international supply chain that is lining up to be a part of the UK’s high speed legacy. Authored by Steve Higham, SYSTRA UK’s engineering business director

Tel: 01483 728051 Visit March 2016 Page 127

Business profile

A slick operation in the rail industry FUCHS is the world’s largest independent lubricant company and full line supplier of oils and greases to the rail industry


ail industry demand for oils and greases range from the everyday to the more unique: from engine oils to biodegradable wheel flange and curved rail greases. FUCHS is able to offer companies a full line supply direct from the manufacturer. The FUCHS portfolio is designed to meet the exacting and unique demands of the rail industry and includes: • products for fleet maintenance and track maintenance vehicles, such as engine, hydraulic, gear and transmission oils • track/wheel maintenance products including advanced wheel flange, switch plate and curve rail greases • eco-friendly railhead treatment agents to minimise the risk of squeal • infrastructure build products including highly advanced concrete mould release agents for large section builds, such as staircases and platforms • advanced synthetic and biodegradable versions of the above products to improve the environmental sustainability and impact of all operations • original equipment manufacturerapproved products. FUCHS is a specialist lubricant company. Being the world’s largest independent lubricant company means that it has no backward integration into oil refining or exploration or horizontal integration into chemical or additives. Its turnover of around £1.7 billion per annum is built solely on lubricant technology, and delivering technology that pays back for users. UK division The company’s UK operation is based in Stoke-on-Trent, and is the largest and one of the most advanced lubricant manufacturing facilities in the UK. FUCHS Lubricants (UK) Plc is a registered member of RISQS (formerly Link-up) (15435). Page 128 March 2016

Business profile

Employing a specialist team of lubricant technicians to support rail industry customers, FUCHS is committed to supporting users to maximise the efficiency and reliability of assets through a proactive lubrication regime. Product recommendations and technical support initiatives, such as trial monitoring and maintenance, are just part of the services offered by FUCHS’ team. It also offers: • tribology review, for troubleshooting of problematic engineering issues • rationalisation programmes of oils, used to simplify the ordering process • environmental review and compliance, including lubricant usage, but also

storage, handling and distribution • advice on best practice and risk assessments associated with lubricant usage • lubricant condition monitoring services to extend the useful life of lubricants and to minimise disposal costs. FUCHS believes that an excellent product, coupled with an excellent team working to an effective lubrication regime, is a great foundation to improved asset life and reliability. FUCHS Lubricants (UK) Plc will be exhibiting at CITE 2016 (Civil Infrastructure & Technology Exhibition) and Infrarail 2016 at the EXCEL arena, London, 12-14th April 2016 (stand G19),

where it will be highlighting the following range of products: Greases For the lubrication of wheel flanges, railheads, rail flanks and switching points. The company’s bearing greases are used for fleet maintenance applications and are complemented by specialist greases for applications such as buffer plates and couplings. Lubricating oils Engine, hydraulic, gear and transmission oils, including biodegradable, fire resistant, mineral, synthetic and other speciality formulations. Corrosion protection The ANTICORIT range is proven for dewatering and corrosion protection for parts on machines and parts in storage. Antifreeze The demands made on antifreeze are extremely high and the coolant must be compatible with the parts and materials it comes into contact with. The FUCHS MAINTAIN FRICOFIN range has the versatility to meet these application needs. Concrete mould release agents The FUCHS SOK range of concrete mould release agents will be highlighted at the CITE show and will be suitable for rail sleeper production as well as concrete construction sections for platforms. Tel: 01782 203 700 Email: Visit March 2016 Page 129

Business profile

Making the switch Findlay Irvine manufactures products that include switch heaters, controllers, data loggers and wireless temperature sensors. The company gives details on what it can offer and its ongoing relationship with Network Rail


o many in the UK rail industry, Findlay Irvine is known for the switch heating controllers that the Scotlandbased company has been manufacturing for thirty years. However, thanks in part to Findlay Irvine’s success in supplying loggers to Network Rail’s Intelligent Infrastructure Project, the company has become a major equipment supplier and development partner to the project team. Now that intelligent infrastructure increases the scope of the asset types being monitored across the whole network, Findlay Irvine is also increasing its product range to help and assist Network Rail in its quest to improve reliability and efficiency by taking a strategic approach to asset management. This has led Findlay Irvine to develop innovative solutions with Network Rail to difficult monitoring problems, providing cutting-edge equipment that cover signalling, power, track and civil applications. It is a working relationship that looks set to continue long into the future. Multidisciplinary approach There are a number of reasons why this relationship has been so successful in recent years, not least Findlay Irvine’s ability to adapt and deliver economical systems, owing to its multidisciplinary

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approach to engineering design. The company also offers in-house production facilities that have the ability to service and maintain equipment on-site. Retaining the ability to provide hardware that can directly feed into an operator’s existing display software, or can provide a top-end software management package, is an attractive offering for any rail operator. It is this capability that has so strongly lent itself to Network Rail. It has taken advantage of Findlay Irvine’s ability to provide a turnkey solution (including hosting management systems) until the Network Rail Intelligent Infrastructure system is ready to support the application, at which point it will then be transferred over. This approach to design and manufacturing allows new solutions to be trialled, tested and proven before being implemented, with the Intelligent Infrastructure helping to ensure solutions are rolled out correctly first time – a process that has been successfully developed over a number of years. Growing reputation Findlay Irvine may be one of the lesserknown organisations in the rail industry but as specialist, bespoke manufacturers its reputation is growing quickly. This is particularly true in signalling, an area where Findlay Irvine has been involved with multiple applications over the years.

In the 1990s the company developed a cost-effective solution for the clamp lock (the mechanism that locks points by directly clamping the closed switch rail to the stock rail), which only required an interface to the built-in pressure transducers and not the signalling system. Due to the simplicity of the solution, the stock rail was a successful innovation that led to many others being developed. The development of a general purpose logger for signalling remote condition monitoring (RCM) applications led to the creation of a wireless interface for the HPSS (high-performance switch system) point machine, allowing machinegenerated data and logs to be reported back to the Network Rail management system. Utilising these wireless communications has created a solution that is not only cost-effective but also extremely reliable and easy to maintain. Owing to the success from the creation of the general purpose logger a number of other data collection

Business profile

opportunities arose. These included the development of a unique AC point machine monitoring system for the nonDC market. The technology has helped to prove that it is possible to monitor level crossings using standard loggers and configurations. Another spin-off project has been to help improve point operating equipment testing and commissioning, which although still a pilot project has significant potential to improve installation reliability and become a valuable ongoing maintenance check. Switch heating monitoring Outside of the signalling world, Findlay Irvine developed a logger more suited to switch heating applications. It achieved this by repackaging the existing functionality in a form that could be easily mounted on back panels, had more suitable inputs/outputs and was substantially cheaper, making it an extremely economical solution particularly in whole-life cost terms. Due to these innovations and a close working development partnership, Network Rail was able to build a strong business case for implementing switch heating monitoring, which has proven to be a very useful long-term project. Thanks in part to the experience and key learnings from the switch heating monitoring project, as well as a longstanding experience with weather monitoring systems for roads and airports, Findlay Irvine was tasked to innovate solutions for other problems being faced by Network Rail’s surrounding critical rail applications. This led to the inception of the wireless rail temperature sensor. The device has the ability to record rail temperature and report it back to the

Network Rail Intelligent Infrastructure system, or Findlay Irvine’s personal online management system that can then be easily viewed on internet-enabled devices. The next sensor to be developed along these lines is the track flood sensor, which has the capability to highlight rising water that could pose a threat to services. It is in this area that Findlay Irvine believes there are more innovations that can be developed, delivering cost-effective solutions to ongoing issues and threats.

National Contract for Earthworks Monitoring Now though, Findlay Irvine is branching out even further, offering civils applications after it won a contract for the supply of earthworks monitoring equipment. The system currently being installed across the UK has further extended the proven capability of wireless sensors, while also offering the added benefit of including a new solar-powered logger with day/night infrared cameras. Mike Mustard, business development manager for Findlay Irvine, firmly believes that this latest innovation could be ground breaking for the industry.

‘With the introduction of a low-cost, solar-powered logger that has the ability to operate cameras where the engineer can see the asset being monitored has the potential to open all sorts of doors for other applications,’ he said. ‘The potential for automated, remote monitoring of assets and potential areas of failures could change the way that the industry operates and strengthen rail operators’ abilities to offer a safe, reliable and economical service.’ In the future, Findlay Irvine hopes to continue working closely with Network Rail and other partners to develop new solutions with integrated technology systems. Findlay Irvine believes that helping prove new technology and increasing the capability of the intelligent infrastructure platform can only be a good thing for Network Rail and suppliers in this area. The company is always looking for new projects and problems to develop solutions for and will continue for many years to come. About the company Findlay Irvine is a UK company that provides electo-mechanical and software products primarily for the transport industry. After it was established in 1960, the company has earned a reputation for developing innovative products and for working with clients to provide costeffective practical solutions. The company’s facilities near Edinburgh consist of three dedicated buildings: research and development, administration and production and service. Most design projects are undertaken in-house but the company has projects with local establishments including Edinburgh and Heriot Watt Universities. Findlay Irvine’s design staff include degree-level electronic, mechanical, mathematics and software engineers, enabling the company to be able to take designs from concept through to finished products. The company’s production facilities include a fully CNC (computer numerical design)-equipped machine shop and electronic assembly facilities, as well as an automatic pick and place machine and reflow oven to surface-mount electronic components. Together with its service department, sales and marketing team, Findlay Irvine can offer customers an end-to-end solution. Tel: 01968 671200 Email: Visit March 2016 Page 131

Business profile

Engineering a solution From consultancy and design to control automation and cable manufacture, Austin-Lenika Project Services provides a list of engineering services to the rail industry. The company gives details on some of them


ustin-Lenika Project Services (ALPS) provides engineering solutions for rail and a range of other industries including water and defence. Founded 13 years ago, it has a wealth of experience fulfilling both bespoke and turnkey MEICA contracts for clients including Network Rail, Northern Rail, East Midlands Trains, United Utilities and VolkerWessels. Client satisfaction is at the heart of what ALPS does. Whether providing innovative high-spec designs or day-today project management, the company’s aim is always to provide the highest levels of service with complete integrity. ALPS provides the full package – from conceptual design to installation and handover – and specialises in projects with demanding technical, operational and timescale parameters in highlyregulated environments. The company has a growing reputation in the industry as troubleshooters and is often brought in to redesign problem installations at depots, ensuring they meet Network Rail requirements and specifications. Health and safety and environmental impact are of prime importance to ALPS and it is proud that its clients trust the company’s workforce to deliver solutions

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safely, efficiently, on time and to budget. ALPS’ team of engineers have a wealth of experience in both commissioning and designing for clients, backed by the company’s commitment to their continual professional development through training and research. In addition, Austin-Lenika and its staff are fully accredited to key engineering standards, such as NICEIC, PROFIBUS and RISQS, and all work meets the Health and Safety Executive’s Construction, Design and Manufacturing requirements. Easy problem solving ALPS embraces new concepts and products to find the best solutions for its clients’ needs, whether for a newbuild, an upgrade to an existing system or maintenance/system performance of legacy equipment. The company’s trained and qualified staff can also install security and fire alarm systems, emergency lighting and earthing and lightning protection and are known for their quality standards, while meeting each client’s time constraints. ALPS also has many years of experience in providing clients with easy-to-operate HMI (human-machine interfaces) and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems to interface between

the PLC (programmable logic controllers) and the plant operators. ALPS offers continual support to its clients by remotely monitoring all sites that have a PLC and HMI/SCADA. This allows for easy problem solving over the link, which reduces call-outs and provides clients with the ability to interact their own plants remotely for personal computers or mobile devices. Northern Rail The company’s expertise has allowed it to provide bespoke installations using the latest technology. Recently completed projects included a design and build fluid delivery system, a refurbishment of a fuel delivery system and a control system upgrade on a train wash plant – all located at rail maintenance depots. For ALPS’ first project for Northern Rail it was tasked with addressing the problems that the Toc encountered with its fuel delivery systems at three of its train maintenance depots in the north west. After a full survey ALPS identified that the existing tank level monitoring system was inadequate and unfit for purpose. ALPS installed new ultrasonic level detectors across the sites, a more precise method for level detection on cylindrical tanks, which were then networked to a PC. Monitors were installed in the offices that allowed staff to check the tanks’ levels around the site without the need to visit each tank, with the accuracy of the instruments allowing for a more efficient delivery schedule.

Business profile

Automated fluid delivery system After the success of the tank monitoring project, ALPS was then tasked with addressing the problem of refilling trains with consumable fluids. The company proposed that a new automated fluid delivery system should be installed that allowed for the bulk storage of screen wash, antifreeze and renofluid – with the required mix ratio then automatically dispensed at any filling point on the fuelling pad and in the maintenance shed. The new fluid delivery system had to be simple, robust and reliable with minimum maintenance required in order to meet the depot’s demanding usage

requirements. As the installation took place at a working depot, ALPS had to ensure that its presence caused as little disruption to day-to-day operations as possible. In order to achieve this, ALPS established a good relationship with on-site personnel and liaised closely with site staff to ensure it worked around the needs of the depot. The fluid delivery system has been installed for 18 months with no problems to report. It has been so successful that it has been extended to other areas of the depot and now all consumable fluid filling is done via ALPS’ delivery system.

Fuel and oil Another project ALPS has completed for Northern Rail is the refurbishment of the train company’s fuel delivery system for train fuel and oil. The old system had many problems and failed to operate automatically for a number of years. ALPS began by replacing the old failing actuators on two of the tanks with new Rotork actuators to increase the reliability, also fitting bespoke, low-level control boxes for every actuator. This enabled the site operators to open and close every actuator manually and see feedback on its position. ALPS then surveyed the existing pumps and opted to service the pumps to include new energy-efficient motors rather than replace them. This means the cost to the client is less and more justifiable. The next step was to replace the existing control system with a completely new system that affects the fuelling schedule for the trains. ALPS could only shut down the entire system for one 12hour window and, in order to allow the company to work on the control system, it devised a simple control panel to allow manual operation of the actuators and automatic operation of the pumps. This system allowed us to have more time to install and commission its latest control system without inconveniencing the client. East Midlands A different control system was brought in by ALPS to a train wash at a major East Midlands Trains’ depot, where the site operators were having problems with the system failing. The PLC software was locked down and did not detail any alarms that were active, meaning that the site operators were unable to establish the failings of the control system. ALPS replaced the control panel with a new panel (PLC and HMI) and the code was rewritten and issued to East Midlands, giving it full accessibility so it can interrogate and modify ALPS’ software as needed. ALPS had 24-hour cover over three days to ensure the train wash was up and running as soon as possible, to keep to a minimum the time trains couldn’t be washed. The system can be remotely monitored by the operator, if required. In conclusion, ALPS can provide a solution for most problem plants by utilising its wide-ranging experience in multiple industries. ALPS provides its clients with a reliable solution for cable installations, lighting systems and turnkey projects, that due to the company’s size and expandability, can tackle anything from the smallest jobs to large projects. Tel: 01772 619573 Email: Visit March 2016 Page 133

Business profile

A rail success story Handrails and balustrades are an essential feature of all buildings and structures where access is required, helping to establish their character to its users through both look and feel


G System Products is a handrail and balustrade specialist with many years’ experience – the company’s heritage goes back to the mid-1700s through its predecessor, J. Starkie Gardner. Designs and details have changed over time, but appearance, feel and strength remain basic considerations when producing a good product. Regulations have added to these requirements, especially in the case of health and safety. Handrail size, shape, strength, contrasting colours and ‘warm to the touch’ coated metal feature frequently in today’s enquiries. Meeting regulations SG System Products has developed its range to meet current regulations and has also included other customer requirements, such as more off-site manufacture in order to keep on-site installation times to a minimum. Stainless steel and warm to the touch handrails are used extensively throughout the rail network. Naturally, stainless steel must be of the correct quality and grade when used outdoors, but warm to the touch doesn’t have to be powder coated steel, which has a coating of only around

the Stargard or Sentinel stainless steel range. By using individual LED lighting, the lights can be positioned at varying centres depending on the clients’ light level requirements. Also, individual LEDs can be fitted along curved handrails. A project has recently been completed for four piers on London’s river taxi network, combining a Stargard warm to the touch handrail, LED INSERT lighting and curved handrails. The PVC sleeving for the handrails was manufactured in a colour specified by the client. Another recently completed project saw the installation of four kilometres of Stargard handrail, again in the clients’ specified colour, for 17 Docklands Light Railway stations. 100 microns (0.1mm) thick. By comparison, Stargard, the original warm to the touch handrail system, has PVC sleeving that is 4,000 microns (4mm) thick over a galvanised steel tube. It has been used on many railway footbridges and DLR stations and on-site tests have shown that it is generally around 5oc warmer than powder coated steel at low ambient temperatures. LED lighting Continuing with product development along the health and safety theme, SG System Products’ individual LED INSERT lighting system can now be incorporated into any of its handrail range. This is especially useful when incorporated into

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The company SG System Products designs, manufactures and installs handrail and balustrade products for the UK rail industry, construction markets and commercial, educational and public buildings throughout the UK. Product development is ongoing, with low maintenance, health and safety, design flexibility, design options and as much off-site manufacture as possible being key features for new products. This continual design progression can lead to cost reductions – not simply cost cutting, which inevitably can mean a reduction in quality. Contact Harry Watson for more information. Tel: 01473 240055 Email: Visit


FOR ROAD RAIL AT ITS BEST CALL: 0870 050 9242 email: or visit our website March 2016 Page 135

Business profile

Powering Britain’s railways SSE Enterprise has ambitions that stretch as far forward as its experience goes back, which the company now explains


SE Enterprise entered the multidisciplinary rail market in 2015 with a strong foundation. It was formed from the resources and industry expertise of SSE – a FTSE 30 company with 15 years of rail industry experience. SSE is a household name in the energy market. It has nearly 20,000 staff operating across the country and generates a turnover of around £32 billion. It is also one of the largest Living Wage employers in the UK and was the first company in the FTSE 100 to gain Fair Tax accreditation. The newly formed multidisciplinary rail business falls within SSE Enterprise – home to one of the UK’s largest mechanical and electrical contractors – which has the capacity to deliver a wide range of services to all kinds of customers. Few new companies can start out with such extensive resources and wellconnected workforce as SSE Enterprise’s rail business did. Time for something different SSE Enterprise believes it can make a big impact on the rail infrastructure and multidisciplinary markets and has something different to offer, particularly around innovative and collaborative ways of funding, owning, building, maintaining and powering major projects. The recent re-planning of the industry’s investment programme following the Hendy Review revealed that the vast majority of programmes will go ahead for delivery by 2019. Dame Collette Bowe’s review, published at the same time as Hendy’s, looks at these issues and draws conclusions for the Department for Transport, Network Rail and the Office of Rail and Road. The leadership team within SSE Enterprise’s rail business is currently assessing both the Hendy and Bowe reviews to amplify where it believes it can innovate and create value to Network Rail, and potentially HS2. Alongside this, discussions at a senior level with industry partners are also underway. Page 136 March 2016

Strong leadership SSE Enterprise stands to benefit from the recent appointment of Raj Sinha, who is seen as one of the company’s key driving forces. Sinha has a highly distinguished track record in the rail industry, with notable success with a number of key infrastructure and multidisciplinary businesses. He has broad expertise in multidisciplinary rail engineering and his work has been recognised with numerous industry awards. This will prove invaluable in helping SSE Enterprise to achieve its ambition of being the rail industry’s ‘go-to name’ for fully integrated, end-to-end solutions. Huge experience and resources SSE Enterprise has a directly-employed workforce with more than 3,500 skilled practitioners within its contracting and rail businesses, who can offer a range of skills relevant to the railway industry. The organisation self-delivers most of its work, only turning to supply chain partners in more specialist areas that fall outside of its expertise.

Expertise ranges from in-house design and commissioning to delivery and project close-out. The company’s Principal Contractors’ Licence underlines its broad range of services, which include electrical, mechanical, high voltage services; multiskilled maintenance staff; jointers; civil engineering operatives; telecontrol electricians experienced in wired and radio-controlled systems; and the provision of safety-critical staff, where required. Nationwide coverage SSE Enterprise’s rail offices are situated in seven locations throughout the UK – from Glasgow in the north to Eastleigh on the south coast, Nottingham in the midlands to Worcester and Melksham in the west, and Colchester and Aldershot in the south east. The rail business can also utilise another 56 SSE Enterprise locations situated across the country. A strong track record SSE Enterprise’s rail business has some leading industry names among its list of clients, including Network Rail, East

Business profile

coordinated effort aimed at strengthening the leadership, management and technical skills of his entire rail team. As well as recruiting some of the industry’s most experienced multidisciplinary operators, other work-ready development activities are now in full swing. Safety in all that SEE does As with SSE, safety is a core value of SSE Enterprise’s rail business. The company picked up 30 RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) awards, signifying SSE Enterprise’s commitment to raising the standard of safe working.

Midlands Trains, Great Western Railway and South West Trains. For Network Rail, recent projects have included: • major electrical enhancement programmes at Clapham Junction, Basingstoke, Salisbury and Fareham • Plymouth depot M&E (mechanical and electrical) upgrade scheme • Euston station high voltage plant, equipment and infrastructure projects

• Westbury panel signal box, including the design and installation of a complete electrical rewire of the power, lighting and fire alarm, as well as an upgrade of the lightning protection • Bristol St Philip’s Marsh, designing and installing a new gas radiant heating system for a 250m HST (high speed train?) maintenance shed, and providing data links for energy monitoring • station and car park lighting upgrades at Reading station • the Western Area lighting project. The team prides itself on the quality of its installations and the expertise from its workforce. Building capacity for the future To ensure that SSE Enterprise’s new rail business gets off to the best possible start, Sinha embarked immediately on a

Huge opportunities for growth The UK’s rail network has seen a period of unprecedented growth, with a million more trains and half a billion more passengers in the last ten years. That growth is set to continue, with a further 400 million rail journeys forecast to be made by 2020. Major infrastructure providers are looking for companies that offer a total business proposition, and SSE Enterprise’s rail team, which draws upon the breadth and depth of expertise of parent company SSE, hopes to grasp new opportunities within the UK rail industry. One of SSE Enterprise’s main goals is to increase its market share in Network Rail’s expenditure in power renewals and enhancements, which accounts for a significant portion of its planned budget in CP5 until 2019. With CP6 on the horizon, SSE Enterprise’s rail team aims to be at the forefront of delivery by the time the work for that control period has been determined. The company already has a strong track record and fantastic working relationships with a number of train operating companies and transport authorities and hopes to strengthen and develop collaborative connections over the coming months. This cooperative ambition also extends to local current tier-one contractors that might be looking to work together for the greater good of the industry. To that end, the team has already started the process for accreditation of the BS11000 standard. A unique, end-to-end solution SSE believes it has something completely different to offer the rail industry. The company’s financial strength, its experience in owning and operating a range of infrastructure assets and its newly formed team of highly experienced multi-disciplinary rail professionals create an end-to-end solution. While SSE Enterprise’s rail team has ambitious plans for the future, they’re made with the confidence of being part of a major company with a record of success in a short period of time. Visit March 2016 Page 137

Business profile

An elevated position Stannah Lifts explains the scope of its Lifts Services and Major Projects division and the pivotal role they played in Network Rail’s upgrade of Birmingham New Street


tannah Lift Services and Major Projects teams are playing a key role in moving people and goods in Network Rail’s £25 billion, five-year mission to improve the UK rail network. Network Rail (NR) completed a £750 million upgrade of Birmingham New Street in September 2015, showcasing the result of the enduring professional relationship between the two companies. 41 Stannah lifts and escalators were supplied, installed and commissioned on time and on budget, helping bring the Victorian/60s hybrid station into the 21st century. Importantly, Stannah delivered Access for All (the programme set up to improve accessibility at stations nationwide) in accordance with the Equality Act 2010, with all works fitting around the station’s 24/7 operation. Stannah’s capabilities Although by no means exhaustive, the number and range of installations give an indication of Stannah’s capabilities around moving people and goods: • 24 NR spec. escalators (bespoke) • 6 heavy duty retail escalators – Grand Central Birmingham shopping centre • 2 Stannah Midilift XLplus platform passenger lifts  • 1 Stannah Midilift SLplus • 4 traction goods/passenger lift refurbishments  • 1 hydraulic goods/passenger lift  • 1 NR spec. passenger lift (bespoke) • 2 NR spec. duplex scenic lifts (bespoke). Several installations had to accommodate Grade I Listed structural constraints, with all products combining to deliver streamlined movement of people and goods throughout the shopping centre and the station, which according to Network Rail has 140,000 passengers passing through it every day. Overcoming challenges As with any project of this magnitude, hitches are inevitable, but Stannah overcame every challenge it encountered – in particular during Phase 1, which was delayed by 18 months. With the time to complete almost halved, each installation had to be finished in half the usual six-week window. It took 28 Stannah Page 138 March 2016

to make way for the huge glazed atrium roof. In between the installation of the lifts and the roof the units were exposed to rain and minor damage from building work. Stannah responded immediately, conducting a full in-depth survey and restoring the units accordingly.

engineers working round the clock to ensure that the deadlines were met. Stannah’s agile performance also won the confidence of Mace, the main contractor, to such a degree that it allowed the lift manufacturer to take on additional project responsibilities originally placed with other contractors. By allocating a full-time site administrator, Stannah ensured that the additional work packages kept to the overall project schedule and finished on time and on budget, much to the delight of Mace and Network Rail. The Grand Central Birmingham shopping centre escalators were installed before the original roof was removed

Exceeding requirements As a key player in a dynamic, demanding partnership and project, Stannah delivered in products and performance, not only fulfilling requirements but exceeding them by responding to changes and taking control when schedules were compromised. The company’s total project management capability has helped to optimise the flow and transport of people and goods throughout an increasingly hectic transport and retail environment. Authored by David Saunders, department manager of Stannah escalators and moving walkways

Tel: 01264 364311 Email: Visit

Business profile

Building its own trains There are a handful of specialist train design consultancies in the UK that grew to fill the vacuum left by the demise of British Rail and its research complex, the Railway Technical Centre. TDI is one such company


ransport Design International (TDI) is only a micro-SME, but not content with just designing for others, it is possibly the only industrial design engineering consultancy in the UK that is proactively investing in the manufacture of its own range of light rail trains Established in the late 1980s by chief executive officer, Martin Pemberton, TDI has built its reputation on delivering design solutions that balance style, customer focus and engineering practicality. Located in Stratford upon Avon, but also operating out of Australia, its client base spans the globe with flagship projects in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, where it works for leading rolling stock manufacturers and operators. London Underground TDI cut its teeth working with London Underground and its rolling stock suppliers, designing the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly line tube stock of the 1990s. A decade later, through a joint venture with AVE Rail (formerly British Rail Interiors and latterly Compin UK), TDI was working almost exclusively on the design and production engineering of train interior systems for companies such as Bombardier and Siemens across Europe. Today, projects are quite diverse and range from new furniture for the newly refurbished GWR Cornish Riviera trains, to complete interior and exterior designs for new metro trains in Sydney, Istanbul and Suzhou in China. Since 2000, a very significant element of TDI’s focus has been on sustainability and energy-efficient transport. So much so,

the company has invested heavily in two of its own products. The first, Minitram, is a fully-electric guided bus system and, most recently, a new generation of very lightweight railcars. In between these developments, TDI was contracted by Korean company, POSCO, to help develop the world’s largest personal rapid transit (PRT) system. TDI was responsible for the design and prototyping of two generations of Vectus ‘SkyCube’ cabins. ABH Light Railcar It is niche light rail, however, which TDI sees as its future. In 2014, the company joined forces with leisure vehicle manufacturer, Severn Lamb, to develop its own range of vehicles. In November 2015,

the two companies unveiled their first production vehicle at the Long Marston test track in Warwickshire. The ABH Light Railcar is a standard gauge, bidirectional, 18m-long, self-powered railcar with a capacity of 120 passengers that’s capable of speeds up to 40mph. In parallel with this exercise, and with crucial investment from the RSSB, TDI is leading a research project called VLR into the development of next-generation and cost-effective very light rail technology. The project focuses on how structures, materials and processes can be optimised for weight and energy efficiency while still satisfying requirements (RSSB and Network Rail) for passenger comfort, crashworthiness and overall safety. VLR has gathered a consortium of likeminded companies to assist in the project, including WMG (University of Warwick), Unipart Rail and Prose in Switzerland, which is a specialist bogie engineering company. Following a demonstration of its latest diesel-electric, hybrid drive bogie technology in the laboratory this month, the next phase of the project will involve the installation of two prototype bogies under an even lighter version of TDI’s own railcar body for trial running. Ultimately, TDI hopes to be able to offer a new type of rail vehicle that could operate in tram-train-like applications, maybe improving the fortunes of some of the unprofitable UK branch lines by running along lighter weight track infrastructure. Visit Email: Tel: 01789 204011 March 2016 Page 139

Business profile

It’s all about the customers Northern Rail explains the upturn in customer satisfaction it has brought about and why customers remain at the heart of everything it does


chieving excellence in the rail industry is a challenge. This is especially true if tasked with managing more than 5,000 employees, operating 2,500 train services every weekday from 465 stations, with 100 million customer journeys a year. That’s the task faced by Northern Rail, one of the largest train operators in the country. The Toc recently achieved record results for customer satisfaction in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS). Northern, a Serco and Abellio joint venture, achieved an 84 per cent overall customer satisfaction score. That is the Toc’s highest in the 12 years of its franchise and a huge improvement from two years ago, when it was bottom of the league table. The Toc is now ranked in the top ten of Toc’s within the NRPS survey. Although originally let as a ‘steadystate’ franchise with little planned investment, Northern has seen a 50 per cent growth in customer numbers, which places an increasing challenge on the company’s core ethos of ‘keeping the customer at the heart of everything we do’.

Due to this unprecedented demand, the Toc has had to find innovative ways to improve the service it delivers to its customers. Working as one team The 2015 NRPS performance follows a raft of improvements made by Northern across the network that focused on the issues most important to customers, from how the Toc presents its trains and information to customers, to the service on its trains and at stations. In 2014, Northern launched a new vision for the business: to create ‘a railway the north can be proud of’. This is founded on the four principles of ‘giving great service’, ‘keeping things simple’, ‘working as one team’ and ‘getting the basics right’. As any Toc will confirm, frontline operational teams are key to providing a great service and ensuring that customers are satisfied. This is one of the reasons that Northern was keen to involve its workforce to develop its customer experience strategy, as well as delivering it. The strategy isn’t gathering dust on Northern’s office shelves, it is a living, breathing document that was designed to be accessible and easily understood by everyone in the business. Central to that strategy is making sure that its team members are able to deliver a consistent experience across the network, on a daily operational basis. A key focus of the strategy has been on making staff more customer-focused, because an engaged frontline team is essential in delivering an excellent customer experience. Conductor of the Future Conductors are Northern Rail’s one guaranteed point of contact with customers. As part of its approach to customer service, the Toc has completely overhauled its learning and development training to this key group. The Toc has established a Conductor of the Future programme, which places a direct customer experience focus on the role,

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Results of National Rail Passenger Survey Autumn 2015 Released January 2016



Sufficient room for customers to sit and stand

How well the train company dealt with delays


Comfort of seating on train

Overall satisfaction with the station


information +6%during +6%withsatisfaction journey the trains Provision of

It’s great to hear we have significantly improved your experience since last Autumn's results.

Helpfulness and attitude of staff on train






Cleanliness of inside and outside of train




*Please note all comparison scores are based on the Autumn 2014 results

In our Spring 2015 results, you said some areas needed improving. We have worked really hard in these areas, including:

100 new screens and 6 digital kiosks Improved info on our screens GPS tracking of trains

Staff focus on keeping you updated

New electric trains

Additional carriages Customer service training for conductors

We are always looking to improve. Let us know what you think at

one that has traditionally emphasised safety alone. All conductors are now trained as ‘World Hosts’, a variety of programme more commonly found in the hospitality industry, where the quality of frontline customer service is also vital to the success of the business. Conductors are frontline ambassadors for Northern. They are encouraged to use and tailor their knowledge and customer service skills to meet customer needs in any given situation – no mean feat with 1,200 conductors working on more than 2,500 services each day. Key to gaining staff engagement has been ensuring all communication is open and transparent. Living by the principle of keep it simple, the Toc has switched to a more visual method of communicating information to teams. This makes it less time-consuming to read, more appealing for consideration and easier to understand.

Business profile

Having the specific tools for the job in hand is equally as important, and much effort has gone into the provision of information. From issuing smartphones to frontline teams, to putting in place a reliable Intranet for staff, Northern has put communication at the centre of its customer experience strategy, ensuring the right information is in the right location for all its teams, all of the time. Northern has also introduced its ‘2-4-6-8’ initiative, based on an idea that was put forward by one of its frontline employees. It provides guidance on updating customers when they are experiencing a delay on-board, with communication every two minutes even when there is no additional information to share, which reassures customers that they are being kept informed. As a result, customers have seen and reported a real increase in the helpfulness and friendliness of staff on trains. Real-time information improvements Importantly, improvements to the information provided at stations have also been a particular focus for the Toc. The completion of the customer information screen (CIS) programme in December saw new screens installed at 140 stations across the north of England, vastly improving the real-time information that Northern Rail provides to its customers. Northern has been working on the visual layout and content of the screens, to ensure the information displayed

during disruption is more prominent and to assist during delays. It also ensures that its customers can see vital train running reports while other information is being displayed. As a result, Northern’s NRPS score for dealing with delays has risen by 12 percentage points – the highest it has ever been – and the provision of information during a journey has risen by 6 percentage points. While service has to be a clear focus of any strategy to improve customer experience, it is also heavily influenced by satisfaction with the trains as well. Last year saw a concerted effort by Northern’s engineering teams to improve and set clear standards for train presentation. By establishing clear standards for train presentation with the involvement of front-line colleagues (who helped test out methods before they were put into practice), it ensured that teams across the 25 depot sites now have a consistent approach to preparing trains before they go into service. It may sound simple but, with 14 different train fleets offering many variations of carriage layout and design, there are many different resources needed to keep them to a certain level. So it’s an achievement to see customers’ overall satisfaction with the train, which includes cleanliness, to have increased by 6 percentage points. Award winning Alongside Northern’s improved NRPS

scores, the Toc received a North of England Excellence Award – one of the north’s most prestigious business awards – for its commitment to customer service. The awards recognise organisations that achieve and maintain superior performance, and Northern was commended for actively pursuing, measuring and progressing a structured and comprehensive approach to improving its performance. But it doesn’t stop there, Northern recognises there is still a long way to go to make the whole customer experience excellent. For example, the Toc has started developing retail technologies for purchasing tickets, part of its plan to further improve that experience. Work ranges from the introduction of new payment options such as Apple Pay and on station ticket machines, through to initiatives such as the retail Smart Wall at Harrogate station. The Smart Wall features facial detection technology that moves interactive ticket touchscreens to the customer’s eye level. Northern is also working on support for paperless ticket travel and smartcard technology. These improvements will set an important benchmark for the future of Northern Rail as it prepares to deliver the transformational challenges of the new franchise. Authored by Natalie Loughborough, customer service director at Northern Rail


March 2016 Page 141

Business profile

The tools of the trade Orbital Fasteners has a product range that continues to expand, giving its customers the choice from more than 300 manufacturers and 26,000 products


rbital Fasteners is a UK distributor of fixings, fasteners, tools and power tools with more than 35 years’ experience in products, application know-how and customer service. With next-day delivery, excellent customer service, ISO9001 accreditation and a vast product range available off the shelf, Orbital Fasteners is trusted by many companies in the rail industry. The company employs around 50 people and is based in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, giving it easy access to central London and the M25, M1, M4 and M40 motorways. Delivery is free via Orbital Fasteners’ FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) accredited van fleet in a delivery area that includes central London and much of the Home Counties for orders over £20.00 plus VAT. The company offers national next-day delivery free of charge for orders in excess of £50 plus VAT. £10 million of stock Orbital Fasteners’ product range continues to grow. The company has 50,000 sq. ft of storage holding stock with a value of up to £1.8 million in its Watford warehouses. This is backed up by a further £10 million of stock from its primary supply partner, which can be delivered to Orbital Fasteners by 6.00am. An arrangement that means Orbital Fasteners can offer a next-day delivery service for more than 30,000 products. Every day, Orbital Fasteners typically sends more than ten same-day deliveries by courier for customers working on London Underground projects throughout the night. Rail industry customer profiles Orbital Fasteners’ customers within the

rail industry range from factory-based companies that manufacture devices used in signalling, to site-based main contractors and subcontractors. Orbital Fasteners even supplies products to miniature railway societies. Rail project profiles Over the years, Orbital Fasteners has become a preferred supplier of many goods for major rail projects, such as the Channel Tunnel, Docklands Light Railway and the East London Line Project, as well as numerous London Underground projects and the East Coast and Great Western Main Line electrification schemes.

Credit account facilities Account facilities are immediately available to companies with a minimum of three years’ trading, subject to an Experian credit appraisal. A credit application form takes a few minutes to complete and can be found on the righthand side of Orbital Fasteners’ website home page. The company also accepts credit and payment cards. Unique selling point Orbital Fasteners issues its own priced catalogue that is packed with products and a wealth of technical information. The publication is available in unlimited quantities, which helps to simplify purchasing between site-based personnel and purchasing departments.

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Sales office Orbital Fasteners’ sales office is staffed by a team of 12 people, some of whom have backgrounds in industry. As a result, the company has a detailed understanding of the products that it sells and can offer technical advice – and even alternative solutions – to each company’s particular requirements. Quotations can be issued almost immediately, whether in store, over the phone or by email. Currently, Orbital Fasteners processes around 800 orders every day, delivering goods with 100 per cent dedication to its ethos of ‘unmatchable’ service. Website Around 25 per cent of Orbital Fasteners’ sales orders now come through its website. The purchasing facility is available to all customers with or without an account once a secure link is established with their credit account. Please contact Orbital Fasteners’ sales office to activate a link. Charity support On the last Wednesday in each month, Orbital Fasteners donates two per cent of its day’s turnover to Cancer Research UK, which typically exceeds £1,000, a contribution well supported by the company’s customers. Orbital Fasteners wishes all Rail Professional readers a prosperous 2016 and looks forward to being of service in the near future. Contact the sales office at Orbital Fasteners Tel: 01923 777777 Email: Visit

Arbil Rail

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

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

Lye | Cradley Heath | Coventry | Bristol

March 2016 Page 143


Great Western Railway has a permanent employment opportunity available for an IT Commercial Manager based in Swindon The role will involve regularly reviewing Operational Level Agreements (OLAs internal), and/or underpinning agreements (external) to ensure that they are in line with SLA targets. Liaise regularly with service providers and customers to review and improve performance against SLAs. Review SLAs, produce new SLAs and extensions to existing SLAs. Negotiate changes and improvements to SLAs with the agreement of service provider and the Customer. Liaise with those responsible for problem management in the diagnosis and resolution of service problems, ensuring that account is taken of agreed levels of service. Initiate action to maintain or improve levels of service, referring issues to higher levels of management as required. The successful applicant will be thoroughly familiar with the services and products delivered and the tools, methods, procedures, equipment and software used in the operation and management of the service. Have a comprehensive understanding of the selection and use of monitoring tools. Have an extensive understanding of relevant financial principles and procedures including cross charging both internal and external to the organisation. Have the ability to lead teams of staff successfully, when handling complex or high impact problems. Have substantial experience of dealing with users, specialists and service providers. Must have experience in conducting meetings and team management. As well as a great team environment and comprehensive training, all GWR colleagues enjoy a range of benefits including final salary pension scheme, free rail travel across the GWR network for you and your family, company- sponsored health care plan, childcare vouchers and an Employee assistance programme. For a more in depth job description and to apply for this vacancy, please visit

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

Call 01268 711811 or email


Page 144 March 2016



SERVICE DIRECTOR PROFESSIONAL HEAD – ROLLING STOCK Location flexible, Doncaster base | £competitive salary and benefits package LONDON | £ Attractive remuneration package

• activity’ Strategic planning in the context of rolling stock Wabtec Rail Groupleadership is a leader in UKrole rollingin stock engineeringnew and business management, ‘An excellent a growing across the and European rail industry’ technology with a number of strong businesses serving the rail industry. technology developments andUK innovations, including capital It formsRail a keyis part of theUK global Wabtec expenditure Wabtec a leading rolling stock Corporation.The Service Director role will focus on: implications Candidates should have wide experience RSSB (Railbusiness Safety and Key areas of accountability will includegroup to: sales • rolling Respond toside enquiries members engineering withStandards large scaleBoard) activities in of the stock of thefrom UK rail opportunities, new business proposals • Co-ordinating • Co-ordinating TOC support activities from supports the upgrade GB rail industry in its continual and across an theappreciation industry, ensuring their vehicle overhaul, and the manufacture industry including supply and relationship growth and by acquisition. It supplies products and services including • a Wabtec Set strategic stock priorities tomanagement requirements are met from of Group rolling perspective work to improve performance and vehicles. deliver rolling ofcomponents, equipment for passenger and freight relationships with TOCs and ROSCOsa and thestock technology upgrades and complete vehicle overhauls tothe needs balance of all parties and RSSB • with group companies onassociated business strategies and value for money to its customers. It helps the • Leadership and strategicWorking point of viewgrowth nature of contracts. development of rail business businesses across the global UK. Turnover is over £200m with approximately objectives The is part of the Wabtecstandards, supporting their sales activities industry to understand risk, guide the Service business across the UK 2,000 employees. • Lead, develop andwill support a team of Corporation employs approximately orientation be sought but manage and research, development and2,000 innovation • Provide support, guidance and advice for A commercial engineers and manage people four main rollingBusiness stock locations the role professional will also require leadership qualities the • Contract profitability, tender activities and Due tofrom retirement, a Group Development Director isall sought and facilitates collaboration. RSSB departments and decision Candidates should makers have a senior level rail business background with further sites in the UK operating in otherand to co-ordinate and experience managing remote teams. supply ofinappropriate resources to deliver business to lead rail business development activities salesperformance areas of engineering. Engineering knowledge and qualifications are supported byStock a graduate/professional level education gained in technical RSSB has strong technical engineering and standards, research and other • Play a key role on the Rolling opportunities in the UK. Key areas of contribution will• include: Ensuring the management of teams at all or other but not mandatory. engineering, relevant discipline. Interpersonal skills project management expertise covering outputs Standards Committee and EU business groups and desirable Wabtec Rail now has a growing Service to high operating standards • infrastructure Representing and group interests across the industry and sites leading rolling stock activities. should atRolling a high level. mirror groups that shapebeEU Stock TheCandidates business working with Train Operators and role will have Doncaster base and willwith willa be Chartered Engineers marketing and business development standards • Working closely with managers across ROSCOs, providing fleet engineering and require regular travel. in It will notstock be necessary Due to retirement, a Professional Head of broad experience rolling engineering • Developing and managing collaborative with partners Rail in support of company reliability support with capabilities inrelationshipsWabtec to live close toatDoncaster but frequent visits Rolling Stock isactivities required to provide leadership including seniorthe management level. Candidates should ideally be able to easily access groups’ key sites • Achieve safety and performance objectives across the industry air conditioning, doors, traction motors, train will be required. of the rolling stock engineering team and to customers in an area ranging from, say, South Yorkshire to North and monitoring etc. of a comprehensive knowledge of the railway rolling • head Maintenance up all rolling stock activities. The role will • Identifying potential acquisition and value London. of technical opportunities, awareness UK rolling stock developments in the context stock market future developments impact of UK developments partnership opportunities be part of theand wider leadership team RSSB. the adding Services are provided from Wabtec and ofincluding of technical and of of wider rail systems, requiring skills in and European legislation and policies customers’ own depots by dedicated international practice communications, collaborative working and technical teams. strategic management. Please contact Rod Shaw at RGS Executive on 0115 959 9687 to discuss this opportunity further Pleaseyour contact Rod Shaw at RGS Executive on 0115 959 9687 with any queries or forward application to Alex Selwood at or forward your cv and covering letter to him via

Sales Executive required for our growing business in new and refurbished components and assemblies for all forms of rail vehicles. The successful candidate should have

Applicants should write

detailed experience of working in the rail

with their CV to:

industry, especially with rolling stock for

Andrew Cook CBE

rapid transit systems. Location is London


and the Home Counties.

William Cook Holdings Ltd Parkway Avenue, Sheffield S9 4UL England.

March 2016 Page 145

People News

New CFO for Network Rail Jeremy Westlake is the company’s new chief financial officer, replacing Patrick Butcher who has taken up the role of CFO at Go-Ahead Group. Westlake, who was previously senior vice president of finance at Alstom Transport in France, will lead Network Rail’s finance function, which includes group finance, treasury, internal audit and risk, planning and regulation, and long-term planning and funding. A member of the company’s executive committee, he will report to chief executive Mark Carne and will sit on Network Rail’s board as an executive director alongside the chief executive and the non-executive directors. Mark Carne said: ‘As a taxpayer-funded organisation, we have a responsibility to deliver a railway that is not only safe and reliable but also efficient. Our chief financial officer has a vital role to play to make sure that Network Rail provides the best possible value to all our customers and that we have the plans and funding in place to deliver the railway Britain needs for the future.’

Young Rail Professionals 2016-17 chairs office elected Sabrina Ihaddaden has been elected as the new chair of YRP with effect from this month, along with Paul Case as national vice chair, Michael Charteris as national secretary and Ben Parry as national treasurer. Ihaddaden works as a signalling systems engineer for Bombardier Transportation in Derby. She succeeds Stephen Head, who is stepping down after one year as chair ‘to allow new people to come through the ranks with renewed enthusiasm.’

Page 146 March 2016

All change under the mayor Mayor of London Boris Johnson has named his existing aviation chief, Daniel Moylan, as interim chair of the company established to drive the Crossrail 2 infrastructure project. TfL set up Crossrail 2 Ltd last year to handle proposals for an underground mainline rail link connecting Wimbledon with New Southgate and Tottenham Hale. Moylan will be in the role until after May’s mayoral elections. According to TfL, Crossrail 2 services would start running in 2030 if construction got underway ‘as planned’ in 2020. Boris Johnson’s deputy mayor for transport Isabel Dedring is leaving to join Arup as its global transport leader later this month. Johnson said Dedring was ‘the absolute lynchpin behind the vast improvement across every aspect of transport services in London over recent years.’

David Brewer joins Atkins Brewer has been appointed as director for the strategic rail market, tasked with leading the strategic rail client team. He was previously the network delivery and development director at Highways England and a former board director. Group managing director of Atkins’ UK Transportation division Philip Hoare said: ‘David shares my passion for health and safety and continuing to develop our behavioural safety culture both within Atkins and the industry’. Safe pair of hands Dominique Schmitlin, a lieutenant colonel from the Gendarmerie and an ex-army officer in the French military has joined Eurotunnel as its new security director. Schmitlin has experience operating crisis management cells and has work overseas as well as in France. In his new position, he is responsible for the security and first line of response (FLOR) departments for the Channel Tunnel in both the UK and France, including 300 security personnel operational 24/7, 365 days a year. The two states are jointly responsible for Border Security. Henri Pupart-Lafarge new head of Alstom Patrick Kron has resigned as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Alstom. The board has now appointed PoupartLafarge, previously director and executive vice president of Alstom to the positions. The board congratulated Kron for his achievements and contribution to the company successes over the past 13 years and wished Poupart-Lafarge all the best in his new mission to lead Alstom towards its future ambitions.


Along with the traditional skills match, we can ensure all of our candidates are fully compliant & with a true understanding of the sector, can ensure they fit your culture & create excellent return & results whether they are working within a construction or a design based role.

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