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NOVEMBER 2018 Issue 247 £5.95


Laying foundations Building skills from the ground up Skills Young Railway Professionals’ Rail Week initiative

Consulting Consultants on the Oxford corridor

Plus... News - People - Comment - Analysis

THE 21ST RAIL BUSINESS AWARDS Thursday 21 February 2019

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NOVEMBER 2018 IssuE 247 £5.95


editor’s note

Laying foundations Building skills from the ground up Skills Young Railway Professionals’ Rail Week initiative

Consulting Consultants on the Oxford corridor

Plus... News - People - Comment - Analysis

THE 21ST RAIL BUSINESS AWARDS Thursday 21 February 2019


23/10/2018 15:19

PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LTD Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Telephone: +44 (0)1268 711811 EDITORIAL EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE DISPLAY ADVERTISING CHRISTIAN WILES BEN WARING ADAM OVERALL JOHN MORTLOCK RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING MARKETING MANAGER AITANA BRETON SUBSCRIPTIONS ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT LISA ETHERINGTON GILL DUNN KIRSTY CARTER DESIGN & PRODUCTION MILES JOHNSTONE Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may be submitted, but, while every care will be exercised, neither the editor nor the publisher take responsibility for loss of, or damage to, material sent. Submission of material to Rail Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine and online. 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.


e’re focussing on skills this issue and I’ve been very interested to learn about all the different ways the industry promotes the opportunities that a career in rail provides to young people. There are multiple initiatives going on all the time with training programmes all staffed by people passionate about every aspect of the rail industry, many of them volunteering their time. I’m thinking about Rail Week which took place in the middle of October. One of the purposes of the week was to promote rail as a career for young people and something interesting that I saw was how many members of Rail Week’s Young Rail Professionals said they ended up working in rail purely by chance. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (it’s always good to explore before settling on a career) I do think that increased exposure to as many potential job prospects as possible at a young age can help individuals decide what they most want to do earlier in life, allowing for more time to grow within that career. The Government is carrying out a campaign this year called The Year of Engineering and Rail Week’s involvement has been to show the next generation how railway engineering and railway projects are shaping our future – and hopefully galvanising future members of the rail industry’s workforce. A few of our skills articles focus on engaging young people in a career in rail, most notably Lucy Prior who helped in the delivery of two depot open days for primary schoolaged children as part of Rail Week. It’s not all about figuring it out as a child though, constant development is the law of life and a few of our other skills features look at ways in which employees can improve their knowledge base throughout their working life. MTR, for example, writes in to explain how virtual reality is augmenting their training programmes. We also hear from Nigel Eagers from the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) about the new types of skills rail companies will need to deliver a modern railway. Private sector investment in rail has increased to £1.3 billion according to Office of Rail and Road figures published in mid-October. Surely cause for excitement and optimism amongst those considering a career in rail – whether they’re just starting out or switching from another industry. Speaking of optimism, in our interview this month I asked Lilian Greenwood, Labour MP and Chair of the Transport Select Committee what her thoughts were on HS2. She was very positive about HS2’s transformative capabilities and the huge uplift in capacity it would bring but was frustrated that the Government hasn’t done a good enough job of pushing this narrative out there to the public. I wonder if more people knew just how revolutionary the rail sector was we’d have an easier time of promoting it as a career option to young people. Sam Sherwood-Hale Editor





Rail Professional makes top 15 list of online magazines, £11 million depot expansion and new trains secure long-term jobs in York, Consultation on ‘transformational’ plan to remove railway bottleneck, £140 million transformation of Liverpool Lime Street completed on time, New high for private sector investment in Britain’s railway official statistics show

In the passenger seat


A new operator of the Wales and Borders rail operation has taken over the running of the service. But what will it deliver for passengers?

Delivering the goods


Christopher Snelling, Head of UK Policy, Freight Transport Association (FTA) considers the environmental side of rail freight

Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood of Addleshaw Goddard asks if it’s time to say farewell to the ‘wet ink’ signature?



The Transport Committee Report asks probing questions in its East Coast Report, Stefan Eilts and Darren Fodey of law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP explain

Women in Rail


Adeline Ginn, General Counsel at Angel Trains and Founder and Chair of Women in Rail fills us in on their activities in October



Freshwater’s John Morris and Ben Blackburn report back from this Autumn’s political party conferences



Eli Rees King, Marketing Communications Director at the Rail Alliance considers the positive results of industry collaboration

The Cheek of it


Chris Cheek takes a look at the numbers from the timetable meltdown back in the Spring



As the operator of the future Elizabeth line, MTR is expanding its presence in the UK and sees its investment in training as a critical part of its offering to the UK rail network

Rail Professional



What people need and deserve are punctual and affordable services on which they can rely




Martin Heffer, Technical Director – Rail and Transit at transport consultancy firm WSP previews the upcoming Rail Review and posits his own solutions to the franchising model



Kim Olliver, Principal Environment Manager at RSK describes the improvements being carried out on the Oxford corridor and why the environmental work of RSK was essential

Business Profiles


3M, Caunce O’Hara, RSK Group, UK Power Networks, Tenbroeke, Cleveland Bridge, Bridgeway Consulting Limited, The 21st Rail Business Awards, Relec Electronics, The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham, Morris Site Machinery, Coeval, Nortek Global HVAC





Lindsay MacDonald, John Larkinson

Lucy Prior takes us on a tour of the Young Railway Professionals’ Rail Week initiative and the work being done to engage young people in a career in rail



Rob Enright of Global Energy and Rail recruiter Samuel Knight International writes on a cultural shift in skills demands



Plowman Craven’s Rail UAV Project Manager, Tom Avery, explains how the company’s Vogel R3D drone system conducted a survey of critical rail infrastructure at Battersea Bridge



Nigel Eagers, Project Consultant at the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) looks at attitudes towards training and development in the industry

Rail Professional Interview


Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Lilian Greenwood MP about the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme, her optimism for HS2 and her work on rail in Parliament

Rail Professional



News in brief... ScotRail train and station facilities show improvement The Service Quality Incentive Regime (SQUIRE) report released on October 19 by Transport Scotland shows that ScotRail services improved by ten per cent from Quarter One (April 1 – June 23 2018) to Quarter Two (June 24 – September 15 2018). SQUIRE is used by Transport Scotland to assess facilities on ScotRail trains and at stations. If something is found during routine SQUIRE inspections that does not meet the expected high standard, ScotRail contributes to the SQUIRE investment fund. Network Rail wins British Safety Council safety award Network Rail’s Infrastructure Project’s (IP) Track team has been awarded three Safety Swords of Honour by the British Safety Council (BSC). This is the third year running IP Track have been awarded a Sword of Honour and Network Rail is one of 61 organisations worldwide to have been given the prestigious Sword

Rail Professional makes top 15 list of online magazines Rail Professional magazine has been listed as one of the top 15 magazines to follow online in 2018, alongside brands like New Statesman Magazine and British Vogue. The list, compiled by Feedspot, cited the frequency of the website’s posting at an average 14 posts per week and the Twitter account’s 10,785 followers as examples of positive engagement, along with the quality of its regular contributors and unique expert opinion on a variety of monthly themes. Feedspot allows its user to read all their favourite online content in one place and assembled the list of top 15 online magazines based on the following criteria: • Google reputation and Google search ranking • Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites • Quality and consistency of posts • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review.



2018 IssuE 246



www .railp .uk




BUSINES Thursda y 21 S AWA Febr RDS uary 2019

Geos Rail Professional has expanded its team and p collec atial data coverage in recent years, with the launch of its tion Asia Pacific magazine in 2016 and the hiring of a dedicated web team at the start of 2018. This focus on online content and social media posting, without compromising its print quality, has been rewarded in a growing subscriber base, increased social media engagement and now this listing as one of the top media brands to follow online. Other brands on the list include consumer magazines, like British Vogue and New Statesman Magazine, and other industry specific magazines like Golf Monthly, Moneywise, Property Week and Bar Magazine. Rail Professional has been the go-to magazine for the rail industry for twenty years, and ensures its digital content reflects the quality of the print magazine and the brand’s history as a source of informed, expert opinion. This focus has allowed it to engage with new entrants to the rail sector who exclusively get their news and informed editorial content on all aspects of the industry online. Geot



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Enclosures from the smallest to the largest. ENCLOSURES




News in brief... of Honour from the BSC. These are awarded to companies which have demonstrated excellence in the management of health and safety risks at work. Lack of Brexit progress a threat to trade, says FTA The Freight Transport Association (FTA), has reacted with frustration to the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations. Companies responsible for moving the UK’s goods and services between the UK and Europe need urgent answers to keep Britain trading, according to FTA, and clear directions on required Brexit preparation, beyond the no deal notices. Cleland Station accessibility improvements in site Work is underway on a six-month programme at Cleland station to deliver a £3 million investment to improve accessibility. The project will deliver step free access across the station as part of the Shotts line electrification project – improving



£11 million depot expansion and new trains secure longterm jobs in York Work to modernise a train maintenance depot in York has now started to make way for longer trains and more carriages for rail customers. TransPennine Express (TPE) is investing £11 million in the facility which is situated on Leeman Road in York in partnership with Siemens. The improvements are being made in preparation for the additional carriages and brand-new Nova trains due to be introduced over the next twelve months. Councillor Ian Gillies, Leader of City of York Council and Vice-Chair of the Transport for the North Board, visited the depot to see the work that has been carried out so far and formally launch the build. The depot, which already provides maintenance for TPE’s existing trains will also be able to offer stabling for the trains, ready to carry customers on early morning services. In the long term, the work will help secure highly skilled rail engineering jobs in the city. The enhancements are being carried out in two phases. The first is currently underway while the second is expected to be completed by summer 2019.   Commenting on the investment, Chris Nutton, Major Projects Manager for TransPennine Express commented: ‘Working in partnership with Siemens, we’re investing £11 million in modernising our train maintenance facility in York so that it is upgraded to maintain our brand new, longer Nova trains. ‘We’re especially pleased that this investment will help secure long term, highly skilled railway engineering jobs in York.’




Consultation on ‘transformational’ plan to remove railway bottleneck

News in brief... access at Cleland for people with impaired mobility or those travelling with luggage, children or bicycles. Electrification to Bristol Parkway a step closer Network Rail has made progress on the delivery of electrification to Bristol Parkway. The railway line between Swindon and Bristol Parkway was closed in October to allow engineers to work on the vital upgrade, including the installation of the overhead line equipment (OLE) used to hold the wires for electrification, which will allow the new fleet of GWR trains to start running under electric power from 2019.

A public consultation will take place throughout November and December on proposals to remove the notorious ‘Croydon bottleneck’ which regularly causes delays and disruption to up to 300,000 passengers who travel on the Brighton Main Line and its branches each day. The Croydon area is by far the busiest and most congested part of Britain’s rail network, with 30 per cent more passengers and trains passing through it each day than London Euston and King’s Cross stations combined. Train punctuality on the Brighton Main Line is the lowest of any major route as the bottleneck magnifies the impact of even the most minor incident or delay. If approved, the scheme would see additional tracks constructed in the Croydon area, extra platforms at an expanded and modernised East Croydon station and a series of new railway flyovers to replace the current ‘spaghetti junction’ near the station where lines from the south coast, Sussex and Surrey meet those to and from London Victoria, London Bridge and beyond. A six-week public consultation period will take place from November 5 to December 17 2018 to give passengers, businesses and members of the public the opportunity to have their say on the proposals. The proposals for Croydon form a key part of Network Rail’s long-term strategy to improve performance on the Brighton Main Line and its branches. As part of a £300 million Government-funded programme to tackle delay hotspots and boost rail reliability in the Southeast, Network Rail is already carrying out a major project to renew and upgrade tracks and signalling on the southern end of the Brighton Main Line.

HS2 launches public consultations on plans to extend the railway north On October 11 new public consultations were launched on the Phase 2b route, which will serve communities between the West Midlands, Manchester and Leeds. The ten-week consultations, which close on December 21, will give communities the opportunity to formally respond to HS2 Ltd’s designs and proposed mitigation measures for the Phase 2b route.

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News in brief... Rail Alliance announces launch of GBSLEP Rail Mentor Programme GBSLEP has appointed the Rail Alliance to roll out Rail Mentor in the Greater Birmingham area in a bid to support SMEs looking for an introduction into the rail sector or to expand their existing footprint in the rail market and gain access to those organisations who have pledged support to the programme and are actively looking for new suppliers and innovation in the supply chain.

£140 million transformation of Liverpool Lime Street completed on time The £140 million transformation of Liverpool Lime Street has been completed with the full reopening of all ten of the station’s platforms. Liverpool Lime Street’s upgrade was part of the Great North Rail Project – a rail industry team effort to transform train travel for customers across the North through track and train improvements. Due to start entering service by the end of the year, this is part of a £500 million investment in a fleet of 98 new trains and the retirement of the old ‘Pacer’ train. The reopening coincides with the first ever #StationsDay, which celebrates the £5.2 billion investment to regenerate Britain’s rail stations as part of the rail industry’s long-term plan to change and improve.

British Transport Police releases its annual report The chance of a passenger becoming a victim of crime on the railway remains extremely low, with only 19 crimes recorded for every million journeys in 2017/18. During this period, British Transport Police (BTP) recorded 61,159 crimes in England, Scotland and Wales, compared with 52,235 in 2016/17, an increase of around 17 per cent. Industry decarbonisation challenge funding now available As set out in the Rail Technical Strategy and following the Transport Minister’s challenge to see all diesel-only trains off the tracks by 2040, RSSB is working

MICA the management software system from telent connectivity and control n enhancing communication, SCADA and building management systems n integrating CCTV, public address systems, passenger information displays, help points, fire, ventilation and intrusion detection systems and more n station systems together in one interface, on tablets and smart phones, from anywhere in the station talk to telent


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New high for private sector investment in Britain’s railway, official statistics show

News in brief... with the wider industry to develop and deploy energy efficient, zerocarbon technologies. An event will be held on October 30 2018 in Coventry to launch two research competitions. Innovators, academics and members of the supply chain community will be able to join rail industry experts to discuss challenges and knowledge gaps in the rail decarbonisation space and shape potential research proposals. New feet of Caledonian Sleeper trains to commence service in May 2019 The launch of the Lowland service between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh has been put back to Spring 2019, with the Highland service to Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen following shortly after. So far, 40 of the 75 sleeper carriages ordered from train manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) have arrived in the UK; the remaining 35 carriages are in the final build stage in Spain and will be delivered before the end of the year.

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The Office of Rail and Road published new figures on October 15 that show private sector investment in rail has increased to £1.3 billion, the highest it has been in the last decade. This takes the total amount invested by the private sector in rail to £6.9 billion since 2007/08. Responding to the figures, Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the rail industry said: ‘Record investment from the private sector will help to fuel the largest improvement in our railway since Victorian times. This will see customers benefit from the rollout of 7,000 new carriages and improved stations across the country as part of the rail industry’s joint long-term plan.’ Over the last 20 years there has been a £2.2 billion turnaround in the cost of running the railway, from a £2 billion deficit to a £200 million surplus. As the running of the railway covers its costs, it means that money from the public and private sectors goes into investing to improve for customers, communities and the economy. Net Government support to the rail industry in Great Britain totalled £6.4 billion in 2017/18 (excluding Network Rail loans). HS2 funding more than doubled to £2.1 billion in that same period. Direct rail support, PTE grants and central Government grants totalled £4 billion in 2017/18. In real terms, this was £601 million higher than in 2016/17. In 2017/18 there was £1 billion spent on rolling stock which has accounted for the highest proportion (79.2 per cent) of net private investment. This includes investment in new rolling stock orders. In 2017/18 there were new rolling stock orders such as Bombardier and CAF electric and diesel multipleunits ordered on behalf of West Midlands Trains. Bombardier was also awarded contracts by South Western Railway and c2c.

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In the passenger seat David Sidebottom

Wales and Borders railway – a new era for passengers? A new operator of the Wales and Borders rail operation has taken over the running of the service. But what will it deliver for passengers?


assengers tell us that their priorities for the new Wales and Borders railway are reliable services on which they can get a seat and are good value for money. Many passengers in Wales are currently travelling on trains well past their sell-by date. Older trains, carrying more passengers than the number of seats available, makes for an uncomfortable journey. Passengers deserve better Persistent delays to services on parts of the

Concerns about capacity came up time and time again in this research. Rail passengers right across the Wales and Borders network feel that there is all too often simply not enough capacity on their route

Wales and Borders network have, over time, diminished the expectations of passengers. It’s important that, Transport for Wales, KeolisAmey and Network Rail get the basics right to rebuild trust with passengers. Clearly passengers will look forward to seeing the benefits of new trains, additional services and increased capacity. As part of the consultation process for the next operator Transport Focus carried

out research to understand passengers’ current experiences and explore their needs and hopes for future Wales and Borders services. Concerns about capacity came up time and time again in this research. Rail passengers right across the Wales and Borders network feel that there is all too often simply not enough capacity on their route.



This is apparent in different ways, from commuters suffering severe overcrowding on their daily journey to work, to sports fans heading to a big match struggling to get on a packed train, to families unable to sit together on a holiday to the seaside. Many services run with insufficient seating and too little space for buggies, wheelchairs and luggage. Passengers would like to see more seats and more space to alleviate these problems. It is important to prioritise providing trains of appropriate length during peak periods, and provide a service frequency that anticipates potential demand. All too often, the number of carriages provided falls woefully short in relation to the demand. Commuters across the network also find crowding to be a daily problem, but especially in the urban centres of South Wales, and North Wales and the Borders. The aged nature of the rolling stock, carrying far more passengers than the number of seats available, makes for an uncomfortable journey and, at times, passengers even feel unsafe. They also express frustration when they see off-peak services with more carriages than the busy service they use to get to and from work. Passengers told us that fares were felt to be comparatively reasonable when compared to other options. This is

especially true for local journeys, although less true for longer journeys or group travel. However, passengers don’t feel that the ticket prices provide value for money, given the quality of the service on offer. In order for them to feel like they are getting decent value, they expect to get a seat, they expect the train to be on time and they expect it to be clean. Their perception of value for money is hindered by the feeling that stations and trains are old-fashioned and run down. This must be a top priority for Transport for Wales as it delivers the new service. ‘I’m just fed up and dejected. It’s like everyday there’s something that happens and there’s nothing we can do about it. I need to get to work but I have to put up with just constant delays and disruptions.’ A frequent Llandudno commuter said. Punctuality, reliability and how disruption is dealt with are highly important across all passenger types, but particularly key priorities for commuters. Persistent delays to services on parts of the Wales and Borders network have diminished the expectations of passengers. Instead of just frustration, for some passengers the research reveals a feeling of despondency that the issues have been persistent for years and the service doesn’t seem to be improving. Our aim is to ensure that passenger

interests are placed at the heart of the Wales and Borders rail service under KeolisAmey. The findings from this research provide a useful insight into passengers’ experiences and their aspirations for the future. We will be drawing on this, alongside our wealth of other research, to help inform the operator. This will include ongoing dialogue with Transport for Wales as they develop plans to introduce new trains and look to increase capacity on services. To maintain passengers’ trust, Transport for Wales must also clearly communicate when these improvements will be delivered and how passengers might be disrupted by any necessary changes over the coming years. We look forward to working closely with Transport for Wales in helping deliver a new service with passengers’ interests at its heart. A new operator provides a great opportunity to get a good deal for passengers. Transport for Wales, Welsh Government and KeolisAmey need to listen to passengers and take action to improve future services.

David Sidebottom is Passenger Director at Transport Focus

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Delivering the goods Christopher Snelling

FTA looks to the future of rail track access charging Christopher Snelling, Head of UK Policy, Freight Transport Association (FTA) considers the environmental side of rail freight


ith its environmentally friendly credentials, rail freight will play an increasing role in the UK’s mission to reduce harmful emissions and tackle climate change. And

FTA, the only business group representing all of logistics, is campaigning for reduced rail access charges. Unless costs match – or are lower – than those associated with road travel, many businesses will not see it as viable mode, or will use it only on a limited basis

the stakes have never been higher – the Committee on Climate Change has advised the UK must eliminate carbon emissions within 30 years to avoid the worst effects of climate change. But first, there are key barriers to

overcome. Rail freight use is in decline, with the total volume of rail freight moved falling to 17 billion net tonne kilometres in the period of 2017 to 2018, a 1.7 per cent reduction on 2016 to 2017. FTA, the only business group representing all of logistics, Rail Professional



As part of this campaign, FTA submitted a formal response to the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) consultations on its Periodic Review Draft Determination. This review is the process by which the ORR determines what Network Rail should deliver in respect of its role in operating, maintaining and renewing its network, and how funding should be best used to support this is campaigning for reduced rail access charges. Unless costs match – or are lower – than those associated with road travel, many businesses will not see it as viable mode, or will use it only on a limited basis. As part of this campaign, FTA submitted a formal response to the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) consultations on its Periodic Review Draft Determination. This review is the process by which the ORR determines what Network Rail should deliver in respect of its role in operating, maintaining and renewing its network, and how funding should be best used to support this.

With the threat of cost increases, FTA made clear in its response how valuable rail is to the logistics sector – including safety, reduced road traffic and lower emissions – and underlined the vital role it plays in the supply chain and the need for both the Government and the ORR to safeguard its future. Our submission highlighted the strength of the case for capping rail track access charges and simplifying its structure. It also emphasised the need for continued cost control and the need to progress developments in rail freight infrastructure if

rail freight is to be sufficiently cost efficient. FTA now awaits the ORR’s final decision on its approach to the Periodic Review for 2019-2025, and hopes it makes the right choice – for both the future of freight and the health of the environment. FTA profile FTA continues to campaign for regulatory reform and works to support members and address the main challenges facing rail, including changing demand patterns, network capacity, network access, and the constant pressure to drive down costs. Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.   Christopher Snelling is Head of UK Policy at the Freight Transport Association (FTA)

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Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood

Farewell to the ‘wet ink’ signature? We live in a world of e-commerce where many transactions take place over the internet or via electronic communications


rders are placed electronically, and funds are transferred by entering credit card details or instructing a bank. There is no face-to-face connection and certainly no pen ink to be seen. Indeed, if the receipt is electronic and kept within a computer system, not even a drop of printer ink need be spilt. Except when it comes to signing those big contracts or executing a deed. There is a call to the completion meeting where your legal adviser indicates all those documents where you need to add your physical signature. Little has changed since the Statute of Frauds of 1677 first required certain documents to be in writing and signed. In the case of a rail franchise, such as the recently executed Wales and Borders

The Law Commission considers that the witnessing and attestation requirement fulfils an important evidential function whether a deed is signed electronically or not, so the next question becomes ‘how can the witnessing and attestation requirement be undertaken electronically?’

franchise, this means many hours being spent by the various contracting parties adding ‘wet ink’ signatures to the numerous agreements involved. Going digital There are already EU regulations which allow for electronic signatures. The eIDAS Regulation (Reg EU 910/2014) applies directly in all member states without the need for national implementation. It provides that an electronic signature cannot be denied legal effectiveness solely because of its electronic nature. A qualified electronic signature satisfies any legal requirements in the same way as a handwritten signature. However, it is not that straightforward. The Electronic Communications Act 2000 is a UK statute that mirrors the admissibility provision in the eIDAS Regulation but does not expressly provide for the validity of electronic signatures. Without the cast iron guarantee of a UK Statute, lawyers have erred on the side of caution and advised clients to use wet ink. Recent judgments from the Court of Appeal and the High Court have decided that electronic methods of signing, such as a typed name in an email and clicking on an ‘I Accept’ button, do satisfy a statutory requirement for a signature. This is the case provided that there is an intention to authenticate the document. The Law Commission’s Review Because of the uncertainty, the Law Commission (a non-political independent body established by Parliament to keep all laws in England and Wales under review) has been looking at: • The use of electronic signatures to execute documents where there is a statutory requirement that a document must be ‘signed’ • The electronic execution of deeds,

including the requirements of witnessing and attestation and delivery. The Law Commission published its preliminary conclusions on August 21 2018. It considered that for documents that just needed to be ‘signed’ the combination of eIDAS, domestic legislation and case law meant that an electronic signature was capable of meeting a statutory requirement for a signature if it can be shown that there was an intention to be bound by that electronic signature. No new legislation was required. The Law Commission’s view was not limited to a particular type of electronic signature: it considered that the law is flexible and could adapt to different types. It should be noted that while the Law Commission’s view holds significant weight, it does not make laws. This as an area reserved for Parliament and the Courts. In some jurisdictions (including Australia, Hong Kong, New York, Scotland, and Singapore), the authorities have made statements in their legislation to provide clarity, but the Law Commission does not believe that this is necessary in England and Wales. Rail Professional



The difficulty with deeds Deeds are a type of document with more stringent formality requirements for execution than a document which simply requires writing or a signature. They can create an interest or right, transfer or confirm property ownership, or create or confirm an obligation binding on some person. There are relatively few transactions which must be made by deed rather than by simple contract. They are usually required for: • Land transactions • Agreements made without consideration (without a reciprocal obligation such as payment) • Granting powers of attorney. In order to be validly executed, deeds must, in general, be signed in the presence of a witness who attests the signature, and delivered as a deed. Unlike for electronic signatures, there are no legislative provisions currently in effect which deal with the electronic execution of deeds. Witnessing involves observing the execution of a document. Attestation is the additional step of recording, on the document itself, that the witness has observed the execution.

The Law Commission considers that the witnessing and attestation requirement fulfils an important evidential function whether a deed is signed electronically or not, so the next question becomes ‘how can the witnessing and attestation requirement be undertaken electronically?’

have a more complex type of electronic signature which is more difficult to fabricate • Use an ‘electronic acknowledgement’ where the witness is sent details of the e-signature and confirms with their own e-signature within a short space of time.

Physical or e-presence of the witness The Law Commission’s view is that currently the witness needs to be physically present and the use of a video link provides insufficient safeguards. However, if the witness is present they should be able to apply their own electronic signature to the deed to validate the signing process. The Law Commission is now looking at whether there should be reform to allow a more flexible arrangement for deeds to be executed electronically. Possible options include: • Using a video link and electronic signing platform for the witness to see both physically and electronically the signing taking place • Move away from witnessing and attestation and having just a signing platform where the witness confirms the e-signature to be genuine • Remove the need for a witness but

The Law Commission’s consultation is currently ongoing, with a deadline for responses by November 23 2018. The views of those working in the rail sector would be most welcome!

Martin has recently moved to Addleshaw Goddard, where he has joined the firm’s Transport practice. Within this, the Rail team has over 30 lawyers who advise clients in both the private and public sectors across a wide range of legal areas. As well as advising on contractual issues, this team can advise on franchises, concessions, disputes, finance, employment, regulatory, property, environmental and procurement issues.

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

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A New Approach to Franchising? The Transport Committee Report asks probing questions in its East Coast Report, Stefan Eilts and Darren Fodey of law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP explain


he Transport Select Committee (TSC) report on the failure of the East Coast franchise, published on September 12 2018, contained few surprises. Whilst the TSC found that this was principally the train operator’s responsibility, there was criticism for others. In particular, the approach of the Department for Transport (DfT) to accept over-ambitious assumptions about the delivery of infrastructure during the bid process was questioned. As well as apportioning blame, the TSC also asked pointed questions about the ‘de facto reality on the railways’ and the DfT’s strategy for handling future challenges: including the possibility of other franchises defaulting. The TSC’s report – together with the report from the ORR on the May timetabling issues – has led to the Government launching a review of the rail industry, to be led by Keith Williams of the John Lewis Partnership. What factors are likely to be taken into account as part of that review? Here, we consider in a little more detail some of the key messages of the TSC report and its potential implications for the rail industry. In fact, the DfT may already have anticipated some of the TSC’s criticisms in more recent franchises. We consider those, what further approaches could be considered, and (the ever-present elephant in the room) what effect Brexit could have on these. A red herring? The TSC accepted that the DfT had to let the train operator default on East Coast because renegotiation would have sent the wrong message to the industry. However, there is a clear sense of unease about the consequences of a hardline approach being taken too far. The TSC has therefore requested greater clarity from the DfT about ways of avoiding franchise failure, such as through contract change and that old bugbear: renegotiation.

When it comes to renegotiation, the DfT’s response may well be that ‘the medicine is worse than the malady’. Renegotiation, so the argument goes, will encourage bad bidding behaviour and risks a repeat of the very overbidding that undid East Coast. On the other hand, bids are made using information that will be at least two years out of date by the time the franchise goes live. There are only certain risks which are genuinely within

Renegotiation, so the argument goes, will encourage bad bidding behaviour and risks a repeat of the very overbidding that undid East Coast

the control of the train operator – particularly around revenue. Where does the balance lie? The DfT may have found a new answer to that question. Cap and collar 1.0 First, a little bit of history. ‘Cap and collar’ was introduced into franchise agreements in the second round of franchises from around 2003. It sought to protect train operators – to some extent – from changes in revenue where ticket sales declined. Equally, the Government would share in any upside if ticket sales increased more than expected. Operators would receive ‘revenue support’ if revenue fell below a certain percentage of predicted revenue, while ‘revenue share’ would be paid to the DfT if revenue exceeded a particular percentage of predicted revenue. There was a ‘nil band’ either side of the predicted revenue, on which the operator would be entirely at risk. The revenue share and revenue support payments would only be a proportion of the shortfall (or excess) so, in theory, the operator always remained incentivised to perform. Cap and collar ensured that the franchise



market remained buoyant. However, over time it became widely criticised because it encouraged over-optimistic bids, particularly in later years of the franchise. Bidders knew that they would receive protection within certain bands and therefore were ‘enthusiastic’ about the levels of revenue they would generate, to win the franchise in the first place. In the early 2010s, the Government moved away from cap and collar towards a ‘forecast GDP’ mechanism, whereby protection was by reference to changes in economic conditions. However, there were criticisms that this did not properly recognise external revenue risks which franchisees could face. Forecast revenue mechanism: cap and collar 2.0? Recent franchises have seen the introduction of ‘new’ protections – the Forecast Revenue Mechanism (FRM) – although readers would rightly ask what the difference with cap and collar is, as they look remarkably similar. One key difference is that under the old cap and collar approach an operator usually had to wait until the fourth year of the franchise for revenue support to kick in. The FRM is more generous, although the principles are largely the same. The franchise agreements issued for the South Eastern and West Coast Partnership competitions suggest that the DfT is open to revenue support being available much earlier in the franchise. Under the current West Coast direct award, meanwhile, the FRM seems to have been made available from the start. This could provide welcome innovation. The DfT appears to be addressing the issue of overbidding, in part by saving operators from themselves. It is not easy to imagine an operator going into financial default under the new system. The FRM represents evolution rather than revolution. Franchising may be evolving to a place where there is less chance of contracts needing to be renegotiated. In light of this trend, the DfT’s warnings about renegotiation sending the wrong message seem somewhat misplaced. Should a limited use of renegotiation be entirely out of the question? Perhaps not, judging by the TSC’s report. Contract change and renegotiation The FRM may well offer some degree of stability that wasn’t possible under the old cap and collar approach. But it doesn’t address the TSC’s concern about the possibility of further defaults under current franchise agreements. These, in the TSC’s view, may warrant ‘in-life’ solutions, such as franchise change and renegotiation. One of the tools already available to DfT and operators is the ‘change’ mechanism. This mechanism allows the financials set out in the franchise agreement to be reopened if a relevant event occurs, following a prespecified process. Whilst usually this event Rail Professional

will be one that raises the train operator’s costs through no fault of its own, it can work both ways and apply to events which lower costs (with changes being made in favour of the DfT). Applying the change mechanism is not renegotiating the contract. It is simply revising payment terms within parameters negotiated at the start. By contrast, renegotiation involves doing things not contemplated during the negotiation. To date, renegotiation has generally been a non-starter for the DfT, despite the fact that there can be compelling arguments for it. Often, this is presented as ‘sending the wrong message’ but there may well be legal hurdles as well – as ‘renegotiation’ in its purest form may not be consistent with EU regulations. These restrict changes to the scope of a contract or shifting the economic balance of the contract – and indeed, the scope of permissible renegotiation has not been well tested in the courts. This may be from where the concern arises. Interim arrangements The TSC was agnostic about the Transport Secretary’s decision to transfer control of the East Coast franchise to the operator of last resort (OLR). The OLR is ultimately a Government-owned and controlled company – transferring to OLR essentially means renationalisation. The TSC noted that OLR can result in delays to investment by private sector operators and can run for much longer than expected. From what we have seen, the decision to renationalise was nothing to do with perceived value for money. Whilst perhaps political ‘spin’, the key factor appears to be that OLR will drive forward the Transport Secretary’s strategic vision for East Coast. In theory at least, this will involve greater collaboration between track and operator. But for as long as the logistics – and even feasibility – of the strategic vision remain murky, this rationale seems less than convincing. We should also not forget another option: direct awards. The DfT’s decision on East Coast should not detract from the clear benefits that direct awards offer. By way of a reminder, a ‘direct award’ is a franchise agreement which is awarded by the DfT – usually to the incumbent operator – without a competitive process. Using this option to give the contract to an incumbent whose contract is about to terminate, the DfT is not forced to simply wait for the money to run out in order to extract full value from the contract. Termination can be more orderly and greater surpluses created by earlier termination – whether from operating revenue or financial guarantees – could be rolled over into the subsequent agreement. However, to the tabloid press this could very much be denounced as rewarding the incumbent for failure – and we cannot underestimate the political drivers behind these kinds of decisions.

Brexit The TSC was sceptical about the feasibility of the East Coast Partnership proposal and its reliance on an ill-defined collaboration between the train operator and Network Rail. In fact, not only logistical, but also legal obstacles may stand in the way of this strategy coming to fruition. This is only one of the reasons why rail regulation will be a crucial part of the post-Brexit landscape. The Government has signalled its intent for the UK to chart its own course in the area of rail regulation after Brexit. Of course, this could just be a sop to the members of the European Research Group – particularly as the UK pioneered what is now the European model much before the EU became involved. And even if these plans are genuine, they are likely to face staunch pushback from Brussels, given the saturation of the UK rail market by state-owned companies from other counties within the EU. EU regulations also limit the use of direct awards. Generally, the ‘emergency’ direct award used in the case of delays to the franchising program is limited to two years. This is not ideal, and we wonder whether it is genuinely an ‘emergency’ when it is partly caused by the DfT. Generally, the shorter the direct award, the less value the operator can be expected to deliver under the contract. A two-year direct award can also be inconvenient as it usually takes at least two years to run a franchise competition. Lastly, should the UK have greater flexibility in renegotiating contracts in situations where the only conservative option now is to terminate the contract and make an emergency direct award? As discussed in this article, current rules don’t preclude the use of renegotiation. But greater clarity in this area would be helpful and could set useful parameters for negotiation. What would the contours of a bespoke rail regulatory system in the UK look like? For one, this could involve liberalising the current EU rules on vertical integration between track and train. Doing this does not have to be incompatible with preserving rights of passenger and freight operators to access to rail infrastructure. However, we cannot forget that this will very much depend upon the UK’s future relationship with Europe. Avoiding a zero-sum game Extracting full value from a contract need not mean waiting until your counterparty runs out of money. Rights of termination are just that – rights, not obligations. These principles may be the basis of a better accommodation to the current challenges facing the rail industry. We agree with the key messages from the TSC – but it remains to be seen what the DfT will do in response. It is hoped the Williams review will shed some light on this.

Stefan Eilts is an associate, and Darren Fodey a senior associate, in the rail team at law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP.

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Women in Rail targets sustainability with repowered Mentoring Programme Adeline Ginn, General Counsel at Angel Trains and Founder and Chair of Women in Rail fills us in on their activities in October


ctober saw Women in Rail launch its newly repowered Mentoring Programme, to much acclaim from the industry. As a charitable organisation with limited resources, we have had to be nimble and adapt to changing environments to ensure we continue to provide our members with the support platform they need. The newly repowered Mentoring Programme does just that. It is sustainable, scalable and transferrable. It calls on industry wide engagement and on rail companies to partner with us to help develop and foster male and female talent in our sector. Women in Rail is a charity and our aims have always been simple and altruistic. We exist to champion gender balance, diversity and inclusion in the rail industry. We work to support our sector’s evolution into an industry with a workforce that is reflective of the general public and an industry that thrives by harnessing the large pool of talent available to it. The repowered Mentoring Programme takes the next step for Women in Rail as

a charitable organisation. By partnering with Moving Ahead, a specialist company behind the mentoring programmes of the 30% Club, Marks & Spencer, PwC and EY to name a few, we have developed a mentoring programme for 2019 that will offer career changing benefits to the young professional talent in our sector. This year, the programme is open to women but Women in Rail intends it to be expanded to men working in the industry from 2020, ensuring everyone employed in railway has an opportunity to benefit from this initiative. The newly structured Women in Rail mentoring programme builds upon the successes of our existing unique crossindustry format to deliver a sophisticated scheme that will benefit the sector as a whole. Participation cost ÂŁ250 per person for the nine months of the programme and covers matching, training, networking events and ongoing support. Understanding that we are, at our core, an organisation that is founded on the principle of inclusion, we have developed a Pro Bono Fund for the programme. This Fund has been created to provide access

This year, the programme is open to women but Women in Rail intends it to be expanded to men working in the industry from 2020, ensuring everyone employed in railway has an opportunity to benefit from this initiative Rail Professional



to mentoring for women in the UK rail sector that are not part of a participating organisation. Strict eligibility criteria apply, but we are offering this opportunity to women who are actively seeking work, women in transition, on maternity or care leave, as well as those who are unable to access the scheme through their employer. Most importantly, the allocation of the Pro Bono Fund will

be heavily informed by our core aim of promoting diversity and inclusion in the UK rail sector. The rail industry is evolving. We are a sector full of passionate individuals striving towards making a positive change. The repowered Women in Rail Mentoring Programme has already been the subject of a great response from the industry and we are looking forward to working in partnership

with rail companies to ensure their male and female talent receive the support they need to thrive and realise their full career potential in UK rail. Registration for the Women in Rail repowered Mentoring Programme is open until December 3rd, 2018. To enrol a member of your organisation please visit http://womeninrail. org/mentoring/

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Smoke and mirrors, Swiss cheese and sagging elephants Freshwater’s John Morris and Ben Blackburn report back from this Autumn’s political party conferences


he party conference season is now over, and for rail industry watchers, it may have been a confusing time. For it isn’t what is said in carefully-crafted speeches, press releases or fringe events that sets alarm bells ringing. What goes unsaid can trigger the concerns of more inquiring minds. Labour’s ideological preference, of a nationalised railway, gained a lot of air time at its conference, held in Liverpool. Yet, there are some fundamental issues to be resolved. Although ‘Bring Back British Rail’ can be a powerful rallying cry, with strong play on the doorstep, the Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald, sought to allay industry concerns that his party does actually want to do this. Notwithstanding whether British Rail, or a more modern version of it, would be brought back, it is far from clear which parts could be revived into public ownership and

where the line would be drawn. How far down a fragmented supply-chain would Labour go? What difference would further public ownership actually make? As is often said, Network Rail is, in effect, already in public ownership. Arguably, a large part of Labour’s aspiration has thus been achieved. However, the 2018 timetable change fiasco – best illustrated by the challenges experienced by Northern and Thameslink – still happened. There appears to have been a collective ‘pass the parcel’ when trying to find someone upon whom to pin responsibility. The interim report of the Office of Rail and Road’s Chairman, Stephen Glaister, concluded that Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Northern, the Department for Transport, and the Office of Rail and Road all made mistakes. Meanwhile, the person who many might assume to be the closest to someone ‘in charge’, the Transport Secretary Chris

Grayling, consistently argued at conference that his approach to asking the experts for their best advice on the new timetable means he should not be held responsible for its failure. So, everyone was responsible, and nobody was responsible. To quote Glaister: ‘Central to the issues were that good intentions and over-optimism within the rail industry about its ability to recover missed deadlines left no time to uncover and fix problems. When problems arose, timetable planners were stretched and train operators were ill-equipped to help passengers…’ To be fair once more, Network Rail’s Managing Director of the ‘System Operator’, Jo Kaye, has recently expressed a desire to ‘take back control’ and for her division to probe more deeply, to be more vocal on what can – and cannot – be achieved. The lack of a single ‘controlling mind’ plays into the Labour narrative that the railway is too fragmented and should be consolidated by taking operators into public ownership. So far, so good – but as soon as freight was mentioned, answers at fringe meetings become rather more challenging. Andy McDonald reminded audiences that a state-owned freight company – DRS – already exists. He suggested that DRS could pick up the business of any ‘failing’ rail freight company but remained less clear on whether any of the companies could be purposefully nationalised.



ROSCOs are another awkward subject. As the travelling public’s main interface with the railway is riding on trains, it seems anomalous that there appears to be no definitive Labour policy to take that critical element into public ownership. This, of course, is where the ‘realpolitik’ of rail transport is best concealed by smoke and mirrors. It is a hugely expensive undertaking, and to acquire all of the key assets may be a step too far for a Labour Government. Given the asset base involved, it remains to be seen how rolling stock ownership and freight plays into Labour’s ambitions; and perhaps that’s just how they like it. And, just in case you thought the sleight of hand was confined to Her Majesty’s Opposition, it is worth taking a look at the goings-on in Birmingham, at the Conservative’s conference. Back in May, Grayling pronounced that the Government ‘is committed to empowering regions across the UK by giving them a stronger influence over the future of transport in their area’. Transport for the North has longharboured a desire for the powers enjoyed by Transport for London and may have held out a hope for a significant announcement at conference to bring this vision closer. Alas, it was not to be. Whilst TfN attracts very strong support from regional stakeholders, there is still a suspicion that the ‘powers that be’ at the national level are reluctant to let go of central oversight and control. On September 20, Grayling had announced ‘a sweeping review to transform Britain’s railways’ and during conference he was unequivocal in his conviction that the ‘current franchising system is broken’. Yet discussions in fringe meetings suggested that he does not believe franchising is Rail Professional

broken beyond repair: he told one session that his Rail Review was intended to provide ‘external validation’ of his department’s existing approach. It might ask it to speed up reforms but it will not fundamentally re-write Government policy. All of this may be interpreted as Grayling ‘placing his tanks’ on Labour’s lawn; however, it may not play well with investors. It probably won’t impress Cross Country’s customers either. The franchise renewal has been postponed until after the review – possibly dooming travellers to

increasingly packed-out Voyager trains into the 2020s. The industry made its voice heard at the conferences and the Rail Minister, Jo Johnson, was very much in ‘receive mode’. He attended several industry events and, at one, was give the message that the ‘Swiss cheese’ nature of rail electrification pretty much made his aspiration for diesel-only trains to be withdrawn by 2040, unlikely to be realised. Although bi-mode locomotives are useful for branch lines and ‘last mile’ operations, fast and heavy freight trains need serious horsepower in the form of diesel or electric traction. The lack of ‘fill in’ electrification means that operators poised to renew or supplement fleets are increasingly unlikely to invest in electric traction – locking in the use of diesels on certain routes well after 2040. Whilst a lot of the lobbying outside the conferences was Brexit related, the ability of the Stop HS2 campaign to keep going has to be admired. Its inflatable white elephant has been a fixture for many years. Will 2018 prove to be the last? On HS2 Grayling was at his most assertive: ‘it is already happening now’ was a mantra exasperatedly repeated on several occasions. John Morris is an Associate Director and Ben Blackburn is Senior Account Director at Freshwater, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy with over a decade’s experience advising organisations in the rail sector. To get in touch, email or call 020 7067 1595.

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Futureproofing the past Eli Rees King, Marketing Communications Director of the Rail Alliance considers the positive results of industry collaboration


nyone who has read any of the previous articles Lucy Prior and I have written knows that we are extremely proud of the Rail Alliance members, as organisations in their own right, and as a collective whole that represents the diversity and multi-disciplinary nature of the rail sector. It is widely recognised that very few companies within the supply chain are ‘pure’ rail. From train builders that also manufacture domestic ovens to advanced manufacturing companies that serve the nuclear industry as well as providing bogie componentry, or companies that can apply composite-material technology into overhead lines, disabled access ramps and super yachts these few examples demonstrate that SME and multi-nationals alike are multi-disciplinary. The construction side of the rail sector is just as diverse. The vast majority of Network Rail principal contractors work across multiple sectors and as illustrated in the diagram below (ref: Oxford Economics) construction accounts for the largest GVA in terms of direct supply. Network Rail reports to have 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts many of which date back to the Victorian era, and thus pose massive challenges. These challenges include the need to maintain historical sensitivity whilst dovetailing with the needs of modern refurbishment and upgrade programmes across our network. The complicated nature of these programmes is testament to the inherent benefit of a multi-disciplinary supply chain. It also highlights the intense need for constructive, collaborative behaviour between numerous stakeholders to deliver any such project effectively. Lucy recently met with Jason Marbeck, Strategy & Development Executive and Hannah Crowley, Communications

Manager at Amalgamated Construction (AmcoGiffen), and the topic of the need to work collaboratively became a lively topic of conversation. Transpennine Route Upgrade: Standedge Tunnel Aqueduct Taking one of AmcoGiffen’s case studies, Standedge Tunnel End Aqueduct reconstruction Lucy and Jason discussed the fact that the project alone served a number of sectors, namely rail, civils and environmental. The client in question was Network Rail’s Infrastructure Project Team (Scotland and North East) aka IP SNE and required the company

to obtain planning approval to undertake physical works on a Grade II listed structure. Built originally in the 19th Century, the Grade II listed Standedge Aqueduct carries an overspill channel from the nearby Reservoir over the twin track Huddersfield



to Manchester Trans Pennine Line. Ultimately aiming to replace the life-expired wrought iron aqueduct and remove the risk of flooding to the operational railway, AmcoGiffen developed an innovative solution which included twin fibre reinforced polymer decks with provision for future electrification of this key route. Demonstrating the multidisciplinary and sensitive nature of the project, the team provided design and installation works across a variety of disciplines, including rail, civils, infrastructure and environmental. Additionally, delivering maintenance activities to the adjacent Canal and Rivers structure, AmcoGiffen were able to off-set the land access fees, bringing benefits to the historic facility, local community and visitors. To me this project is a great example of marrying diverse project needs and constraints but is also a wonderful example of railway construction that is cognizant of heritage needs, whilst embracing modern practices and materials. Standedge Tunnel aqueduct also represents to me a great example of working collaboratively across in-house departments and with co and subcontractors. AmcoGiffen pay great attention

to their Supply Chain Management (SCM) procedures. To them SCM integration is recognised as the foundation of their collaborative approach to any project. By bringing together the design, construction and delivery processes the company is able to maintain their supply chain over an extended period of time. Not only is this project an example of futureproofing a physical structure, but also how to futureproof one’s own supply chain as far as possible.

which sees applications receiving their first certification within forty days – of which 73 per cent of those Product Acceptance requests have achieved first certification. By taking this proactive approach to continuous improvement and engaging with sub-contractors as early as possible Network Rail, AmcoGiffen and other principal contractors are demonstrating a positive stance vis-à-vis the future of our railway supply chain. If you would like to attend the seminar, please head to the events listings of

Innovation and opportunity The project also demonstrates Network Rail’s commitment to continuous improvement. This month, on November 20, Network Rail’s Nick Matthews (Programme Engineering Manager), will be leading a seminar looking at the transition from CP5 to CP6 and the opportunities for the rail supply chain as well as some of the other success stories that have seen innovation successfully introduced into the rail network resulting in improved safety, performance and efficiency. In addition to this, Network Rail’s Roger Moore will deliver an update on the recent changes to the product approval process

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The Cheek of it... Chris Cheek

Rail demand turns upwards again Only three TOCs have lost patronage despite the timetable meltdown back in the Spring, what else do the numbers say?


emand for passenger rail services in the UK rose during the spring quarter, despite the severe problems over the new timetables. Introduced in May this year the problems caused widespread disruption to journeys in the northwest and southeast. Overall, demand rose by just over three per cent during second quarter of 2018, according to National Rail Trends statistics, published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Only three TOCs – Caledonian Sleeper, Great Western and Northern – saw any reduction in passenger numbers. The provisional figures were published in September, and cover the first quarter of fiscal year 2018/19, finishing at the end of June: across the network, 428.2 million passenger journeys were made during the twelve-week period, up from 415.3 million in 2017. Between them, they covered 10.25 billion passenger miles, 2.1 per cent ahead,

As we have noted before, short term effects can affect a single quarter’s figures, so it is often better to look at the figures over a rolling year. Here, demand was basically flat, with a small fall on the commuter routes

and paid a total of £2.5 billion in fares, 6.4 per cent more than in 2017. Remarkably, London and Southeast services led the way, with a 3.5 per cent increase in passenger numbers. The preCrossrail TfL franchise saw the largest growth, recording a 12.4 per cent increase over the depressed 2017 figure. The new West Midlands operation came next on seven per cent, closely followed by Chiltern on 6.8 per cent. Even Govia Thameslink (GTR) saw a 4.8 per cent rise. Greater Anglia was 4.4 per cent ahead, whilst others also saw smaller increases. Long distance InterCity services saw a 2.6 per cent increase. Ironically, the largest growth came on the East Coast route, just as Stagecoach were handing back the operation to the state. During their last period, they presided over a 6.7 per cent rise in patronage. Virgin West Coast patronage was 4.7 per cent up. Other long-distance routes are operated by Cross Country (2.8 per cent up) and East Midlands Trains, who saw 2.4 per cent growth. Great Western, also very much a mixed franchise, saw a small one per cent fall. In the regional sector, demand was 2.1 per cent up on the previous year. TransPennine led the way with double digit ten per cent growth, whilst Merseyrail bounced back by 9.4 per cent despite ongoing industrial action. Arriva’s Welsh operation, now in their final months before handover to the new operator, recorded 4.2 per cent more passenger journeys, whilst ScotRail carried 1.5 per cent more. Northern, confronted with continuing strikes and the timetable meltdown, recorded a 2.4 per cent fall. In terms of passenger kilometres, the biggest rise was on the InterCity routes, 2.3 per cent ahead, followed by the regional routes on 2.1 per cent. The increase London and the Southeast was 1.9 per cent. Revenue rose this quarter after some

previous declines. Overall, income grew by 6.4 per cent, driven by rises of 6.8 per cent on the InterCity routes, 6.4 per cent in London and the Southeast, and 5.6 per cent on the regional routes. Rolling year figures As we have noted before, short term effects can affect a single quarter’s figures, so it is often better to look at the figures over a rolling year. Here, demand was basically flat, with a small fall on the commuter routes. The national totals for the twelve months ending June 30 2018 show the number of passenger journeys rising by a barely perceptible 0.04 per cent to 1,718.4 million. Passenger kilometres travelled rose by 0.7 per cent to 65.9 billion, whilst passenger revenue was 3.5 per cent higher at £9.8 billion. The rise in the latter was insufficient to deliver real-term growth: after allowing for inflation, revenue was 0.1 per cent lower in real terms. Looking at the individual sectors, passenger journeys on the London and South East routes fell by 0.2 per cent, with passenger kilometres down by the same amount. On the InterCity routes, annual growth was 1.2 per cent in terms of passenger journeys, and 1.9 per cent in passenger kilometres. On the regional routes, there was a 0.3 per cent increase in the number of journeys, whilst the number of passenger kilometres was one per cent ahead. Revenue yields were up by 2.7 per cent in cash terms. There were increases in all three markets, with regional services leading the way on 3.3 per cent, followed by London and the southeast (three per cent) and InterCity (2.2 per cent). After allowing for inflation, yields fell in real terms in all sectors and the overall reduction was 3.5 per cent. Comment In all the circumstances of the timetable Rail Professional



failures, and the media and political storm which followed, this is a remarkable set of figures – with the market for travel holding up remarkably well, and even clawing back some of the ground lost this time last year. It will be particularly interesting to see if this recovery is sustained into the July to September quarter – this will have been when consumer decisions to make other

arrangements for their journey would typically have kicked in. In London and the southeast, the number of passengers carried was the second highest on record, being beaten only once before in the referendum year of 2016, when just over 298 million passenger journeys were recorded. The three operations south of the Thames all saw growth after

shedding several million passenger journeys between them over the past two years. FirstGroup will have been heartened by the double-digit growth achieved in TransPennine during the quarter, and they were within a whisker of beating their all time record for a summer quarter of 7.21 million journeys set in 2015. This was one of the TOCs named as being potentially in difficulty at the height of media speculation following yet another early franchise termination on InterCity East Coast. Also of note in the regional sector is the strong bounce-back in Merseyside, reflecting the underlying strength of the market there following disruption by both engineering works and strikes. As I’ve remarked before in this column, the damage done to the reputation of the rail industry by the fiasco last May is potentially huge. It has certainly provoked another round of hand-wringing of the ‘something must be done’ variety in Whitehall. The fascinating thing about these figures is how little commercial damage seems to have been caused in the end. So, could these figures mark a corner turned, and a return to growth across the industry? Too soon to tell, of course, but it’s certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.

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Training Britain’s Rail Workforce As the operator of the future Elizabeth line, MTR is expanding its presence in the UK and sees its investment in training as a critical part of its offering to the UK rail network


TR is the operator of the future Elizabeth line and currently runs TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield and between Heathrow and Paddington. Since August 2017, MTR has also operated South Western Rail as a joint venture with First Group. As MTR looks to take on more services, more stations and more staff in the UK, it becomes even more important that it continues to invest in training its staff. Last year, MTR Crossrail assumed control of the intermediate stations between Paddington and Heathrow as well as Abbey Wood. Along with operating the stations, 70 station staff are now employed by MTR Crossrail, who will receive further training. This is in addition to the 150 staff that are being recruited for the central section of the Elizabeth line. MTR’s commitment to developing the skills of its workforce includes its apprenticeship programme and the sectorleading use of VR in its training programme, involving realistic virtual station training, the first of its kind in the UK. Embracing apprenticeships Apprenticeships form a vital part of MTR’s training programme in the UK and since taking over operations of TfL Rail services in May 2015, over 300 apprenticeship opportunities have been created. Accrediting the Train Driver Training Programme with the Rail Servicing (Driving) Apprenticeship Framework Level Two has been a central part of creating these opportunities. And since August 2018, a new Level Three Train Driver Apprenticeship Standard has been introduced, produced by a working group representing all Train Operating Companies. As part of MTR Crossrail’s drive to Rail Professional



recruit and train 450 Trainee Drivers by 2019, every driver is offered the opportunity to join the apprenticeship scheme. To date, 97 per cent of trainees have elected to do so. As well as fulfilling requirements for drivers, this has helped contribute to the Department for Transport’s ambition of 30,000 apprenticeship starts by 2020. In addition to driver apprenticeships, MTR Crossrail has developed a successful HQ apprenticeship programme offering a range of training opportunities such as Business Administration, Project Management, Human Resources, IT and Finance. Since launching in 2015, 18 young people, including eight women, have taken part in the programme. In the summer of 2018, six apprentices were some of the first in the UK to undertake the new Passenger Transport On-board & Station Team Member apprenticeship. This is currently being offered to all 150 Customer Experience Assistants recruited for stations in the Crossrail Tunnel. Support for the apprenticeship programme has been widespread. Howard Smith, Transport for London’s Operations Director for the Elizabeth line said: ‘This programme helps ensure we will have a

diverse pool of talent ready to drive our customers and deliver a great service.’ As the first train operator in the country to sign ASLEF’s Charter for Apprentices, ASLEF has applauded MTR Crossrail’s approach, saying: ‘We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with MTR Crossrail in delivering Driver Apprenticeships.’ The future of training A significant addition to MTR’s training programme has been the introduction of Virtual Reality (VR). While screen-based or full-scale cab simulators are common in the rail industry, MTR has led the sector in bringing VR into its training programme. At the moment, VR is complementary to the traditional training programme, however as VR technology continues to improve, it will be able to play a greater role in training. There is a dedicated training floor in MTR Crossrail’s head office with seven classrooms, one of which is set up for VR training. The technology, an HTC Vive virtual reality headset running on a PC, is fully immersive and allows one person to use the simulator while others can watch what they are doing, allowing for large groups to take part in training at once. Of course, there is little point in

developing VR capabilities if it does not help to ensure the proper training of staff and safety of passengers. The key training platform consists of a virtual station in which trainees are faced with real-world scenarios, from suspect packages and suspicious customer behaviour, to health and safety concerns such as customers running on platforms. In each scenario, the trainee picks the reaction they think is most appropriate and learnings are taken. By the end of October 2018, a new system will allow trainees to experience a station in disruption. HTC has also recently released a version of Vive that allows two people in the same environment at the same time. This could lead to a greater number of realistic scenarios, such as employees working together in the same situation and customer interactions. With one virtual national rail station platform already in use, an underground station is currently in development and as graphics advance, the visuals and realism will only improve. Aside from virtual stations, two public speaking environments are being created, one virtual boardroom, the second a large conference hall, to simulate public speaking and improve presentation skills. This will equip staff with greater confidence in their current roles, but also broader skills for wherever their career takes them. Considering that train companies’ workforces tend to be spread across the country, embracing mobile technology such as VR could negate the need to bring large groups of staff to training centres. Instead, the VR kits and a small training team could travel to staff around the country, allowing for a much more flexible training programme. As VR becomes ever more prevalent in society, MTR is leading the way in using this technology in its training and its efforts have been recognised as such. In 2018, the VR System was nominated and shortlisted as a finalist in the VR category of the Digital Technology Leaders Awards. With its immersive qualities allowing staff to easily experience real-world scenarios, MTR is keen to continue and is proud of its investment in VR training. Conclusion At a time when the rail sector faces significant challenges in the UK, good training across the country is vital not only to customer safety, but also to customer satisfaction. Ensuring the sector has a well-trained, efficient and happy workforce is not only in the interests of MTR but of the sector as a whole. As MTR Corporation begins to take on an even greater role across its operations in the UK, it hopes to continue its track-record of providing highquality training to all its staff. Alison Bell is HR Director at MTR Crossrail

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Selling the Sexy I am sitting down to write this article having just assisted with the delivery of two depot open days in support of the Young Railway Professionals’ Rail Week initiative


hese open days saw Holbeck Depot open its gates to a number of Key Stage Two and Three students who as a result were introduced to the myriad of career opportunities available to them in the rail sector. To see school children completely enthralled and enthused about a rail tamping machine, what it does, why and how was just a pleasure. To see the same children experience the driver’s cab of a passenger vehicle and learn about the deadman’s pedal (the terminology alone

raised a smile or two as well as questions), and to hear them practice their phonetic alphabet over the intercom was as rewarding as it was amusing. The same students also got to drive a train in virtual reality, to take a walk through the various stages of an actual fleet refurbishment project, to witness sleeper relaying and to ride in a road to rail 4x4 vehicle. It was a truly enjoyable experience to participate in the event, and to see the students respond so positively. The event also enabled the army of volunteers to reveal a wide variety of roles

available in rail. This was done in such an engaging and interesting manner that it elicited genuine interest and enthusiasm in our sector. The week preceding Rail Week I was a panel participant alongside colleagues from HS2, Volker Rail, The Rail Supply Group and enei at a conference debating how we as a sector can encourage equality, diversity and inclusion in recruitment. The consensus: we have to articulate the career options available in an exciting way and use positive role models to illustrate the fact that rail can be and should be accessible to all.

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And again, just a few short weeks before that I was involved in the UK Rail Industry Forum taking part in a panel discussing the skills gap in rail. And again, there was a consensus: we need to ‘sell the sexy’ (actual quote). That the same phrase was picked up and used by all the speakers almost simultaneously is yet further evidence that we all share the same opinions and have similar views on how we should inspire our future colleagues to join the rail family. I would argue that we need to come together better to drive change at the grass-roots level. To not complain about the skills gap but take a collective lead whenever and wherever we can. But how? Stronger together Back to Rail Week, and the incentives for opening up a working depot to school children. Personally, it was a genuine honour and pleasure to volunteer my support. By being involved in person I felt an enormous sense of satisfaction in having opened up not only the students’ but also the teachers’ eyes to the spectrum of roles and responsibilities on show. The younger children especially asked so many interesting and surprising questions we ‘experts’ sometimes struggled to answer (‘but why can’t I drive the train?’ was one of the more challenging debates one of us got into). The event was orchestrated by Chris Reid, Operations Director of RTS Infrastructure who explains why he is as passionate as he is about showing children what rail could offer them in terms of future training and employment: ‘The only way our industry will convince the next generation to get onboard is by showing them what we do, what they could be doing in the future. I remember going with my dad to work in a copper works and playing with a micrometre at an early age and being captivated. There are no right and wrong ways into rail and engineering; all are

equally valid because as long as you care and can get stuff done then you’ll fit right in.’ Chris continues: ‘Being able to give back the opportunity to encourage a career in rail or engineering is a massive honour that we all need to be involved in. I hope to show that we all just have fun (most of the time) playing with a real-life trainset. The feedback last year was humbling and if we managed to convince just the one five-year-old girl that rail was not just for boys then it’s all worthwhile.’ Chris’ view resonates perfectly with that of Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, who at the recent Conservative Party Conference stated that: ‘there is a huge opportunity for business to go into schools early and change how children view career options.’

Let’s not preach to the converted but instead let’s talk to our children, friends, relatives However, with a sector such as ours, that is as diverse as it can be physically restrained in terms of where the work is carried out, we cannot always take the business into the school. The open day at RTS Infrastructure drew on the combined goodwill and enthusiasm of many other businesses and individuals who operate out of the depot, or that are equally committed to inspiring future generations of railway colleagues and provided live demonstrations that simply cannot be replicated in a classroom. Outreach events like Rail Week provide a great opportunity for businesses in a practical future-planning capacity. It also invariably generates huge levels of positivity


amongst the staff involved as well. We were delighted to have David Allen, Depot Manager for Arriva Rail North (ARN) and a number of his colleagues involved in the open days. David gave an inspiring talk to the students about the many ways in which people can enter the rail sector and enthused about the variety in the everyday: that there is no risk of boredom at work in rail! The positivity shared within our workforce is palpable, and I believe that this positivity can ensure that the vital outreach that we should support however we can will be successful and will encourage people into the sector. Whether we are consciously ‘selling the sexy’ or simply sharing our genuine enthusiasm for our own particular area of work what will sell the sector will be this positivity. Jenny Dempsey, a Project Manager at ARN working on the fleet refurbishment displayed during Rail Week at Holbeck exemplifies this: ‘This is the first time I have been involved in Rail Week and can safely say it will not be the last! I have found the experience extremely rewarding and inspiring. Not only have I met some enthusiastic engineers of the future, but I volunteered amongst inspirational people in the industry. The couple of days spent at RTS Infrastructure confirmed my love for the industry as I chatted to the children and showed them all the different railway routes they could take regardless of their skills, background or gender! Truly rewarding to hear and answer their questions and give them the confidence to aim for whatever they want!’ Hollie Woodward, Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at VolkerWessels UK was also on hand to talk to the students about her experiences in getting into rail in the first place and her impressive career development since. Starting from an entry-level administrational role Hollie has progressed through Project Management roles on signalling and electrification projects across the UK to her current senior Rail Professional

m Engineering Ltd - Rail Sector Supplier m Engineering Ltd remains a family run company and preferred supplier to t ar, Defence, Rail, Steel, Oil & Gas, Subsea & Power Generation industri m Engineering is an expert in turnkey project management and this uniq ess provides in-house complementary services of CAD/CAM proof machinin fabrication (BSEN ISO 3834-2), medium-heavy (30t – 10m) CNC machinin Welding and complex assembly & testing for batch and one off productio m Engineering Ltd also manufactures `safety critical’ components across s under a range of qualifications. See Oldham Engineering Ltd - Rail Sector Supplier Oldham Engineering Ltd remains a family run company and preferred supplier to the Nuclear, Defence, Rail, Steel, Oil & Gas, Subsea & Power Generation industries. Oldham Engineering is an expert in turnkey project management and this unique business provides in-house complementary services of CAD/CAM proof machining, coded fabrication (BSEN ISO 3834-2), medium-heavy (30t – 10m) CNC machining, Robot Welding and complex assembly & testing for batch and one off production. Oldham Engineering Ltd also manufactures `safety critical’ components across all sectors under a range of qualifications. See

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position. Hollie is extremely well known within the sector and is a true advocate for a career in rail and deservedly so. She is also an extremely energetic and enthusiastic figure who truly strives to support anyone and everyone to progress. As Hollie illustrated through her own experiences we need to impress upon the younger generations that rail no longer offers a static ‘job for life’. Rail is a vital and evolving sector, and whilst one could spend their entire working career within the sector, there is no risk of standing still. If you have the ambition and appetite for learning and development and are willing to embrace the opportunities that will present themselves to you there is no fear of the monotony of a job for life. Rather the prospect of a ‘career for life’. These open days provide irrefutable evidence that a great many of us share a passion for the rail sector, and that the railway family in general has the insight and enthusiasm to ‘market’ it to future workers. To ice the cake as it were we need positive examples of current initiatives to showcase recent success and to attract and retain talent into rail. Step forward DB Cargo. New roles for new faces DB Cargo introduced the exciting new role of Junior Driver this summer. The company is rightly proud to announce that its first cohort of trainees have completed their training and are now fully operational. Michael Parrott and Ben Jameson for example both work at DB Cargo’s Train Maintenance Depot in Toton,

Nottinghamshire and are now gaining practical experience of driving trains within the confines of the company’s yards, sidings and terminals. They are also responsible for locomotive preparation including fuelling and are able to perform basic fault finding on a locomotive as well as ensuring all safety regulations are followed. Crucially these roles have been developed in conjunction with train driver union ASLEF and they are designed to give employees a development plan, so they can progress to become mainline train drivers which are key to the growth of the business. This forward planning, providing evidence of career progression from the beginning furthers the fact that no two days are the same: that railway is a rewarding career at every level. The introduction of the Junior Drivers role forms part of a major recruitment drive by DB Cargo UK in order to attract a new generation of talent to work in the rail freight industry. It has around 2,200 employees and along with Junior Drivers is also looking to recruit new train drivers, engineers and groundstaff to help further improve the services it provides around the UK and Europe. Kathryn Oldale, Head of Innovation and Strategy said: ‘At DB Cargo UK we lead the next generation of rail freight and strongly believe in our people. We provide them with the skills, experience and support to develop and be successful. ‘Working with the train driver union ASLEF with the creation of the role of Junior Driver has allowed us to do just


By supporting the skills agenda, who knows, we might even redress public opinion that. It offers excellent development opportunities and a chance to progress to become a mainline driver. ‘Making sure we constantly deliver excellent services to our customers can be a challenging experience, however with new and creative solutions and collaboration we can embrace these challenges whilst also offering growth for our people and our business. We will continue to offer new and exciting initiatives and training opportunities to people so we can face the future and remain the first choice for rail freight in the UK.’ This is but one example of proactive and long-term thinking that bolsters the concept that we need to sell the positive image of rail, to promote the varied opportunities for career progression and to sing about the positive case studies that are to be found amongst our newer colleagues. Drivers Michael and Ben have been featured in a number of DB Cargo’s posts on social media and as such give us all another positive example we should share with our wider circles. It is important to add that if Rail Professional

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we do commit to promoting the rail sector that we do not talk to one another, but that we communicate this positive image and career opportunities outside of our work circles. Let’s not preach to the converted but instead let’s talk to our children, friends, relatives and more about a sector which is unfortunately not presented in that positive a light in the popular press. By supporting the skills agenda, who knows, we might even redress public opinion. Growing for the greater good Whilst we need to address the skills gap for the sake of the skills gap in its own right, I feel that it is just as important that we recognise the transformative effect that rail and the wider transportation sector can have on our communities and economy. Kim Travers, Head of HR Services, Transport for London summed it up perfectly at the UK Rail Industry Forum: ‘For anybody looking for a career that

enables them to make a difference, the rail industry is perfect. Everybody’s lives are influenced by transport and it has the power to shape cities and regions, develop economies and encourage job growth.’ There is an incredible amount of evidence to prove that the rail sector, and a strong and connected intermodal and multimodal network feeding in and out of a railway ‘backbone’, generates enormous economic benefit locally and nationally. Transport for the North (TfN) is calling for an increased investment of £50 per capita (increasing to £150 from £100) to enable such growth; by comparison the investment per capita in the capital is currently calculated at £600. This should not be a case of them and us. By improving links between our city centres in the North (or in any region; Midlands Connect suggests similar outputs through desired transport investment), and by enabling those living in more rural areas to access improved and affordable public transport the job market could be opened up to a much wider population. This in turn will facilitate socialmobility. By encouraging people to consider rail as a career we will ultimately create a virtuous cycle of employment in and out of the rail sector. TfN’s Long-Term Rail Strategy states that better transport, will help create a more prosperous Northern economy, which will stimulate the job market … which will have


a positive effect on the need and demand for education and training… that as the population rises so will the need for more housing … which will need well-conceived and accessible public transport… Essentially, if we pull together now to address the current skills gap we will all play a part not only in improving the rail sector, but the economic future of the UK. Let’s sell the sexy and help drive regional and national prosperity. And get to have fun and work with really cool tech and people along the way! Lucy Prior MBE is the Business Development Director of RTS Solutions, a specialist transportation software engineering company delivering stable and resilient, web-based, realtime safety critical applications. RTS’ software supports the railways, metros and road network infrastructures to meet the ever-growing operational demands for increases in capacity, reliability and availability of their networks by providing a suite of products and applications. Lucy was awarded an MBE for services to rail exports in this year’s Birthday Honours, the nominations for which also cited her work in support of the YRP and encouraging EDI within rail. She also sits on a number of committees and groups including the National Skills Academy for Rail’s ‘Routes into Rail’, the Northern Rail Industry Leaders and the RSSB’s work in support of Year of Engineering. She also has two young children who hear an awful lot about just how cool the rail sector is. Rail Professional

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A cultural shift in skills demands The rail industry is facing a dearth of talent that will continue to negatively impact production unless it’s addressed now. Here’s how


here’s no doubt that rail is facing an uncertain future when it comes to resource management. If we look at the statistics for the industry there’s a worrying trend of skills shortages. For example, The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) estimates that over the next five years there will be a gap of around 10,000 required technical experts. Research from Engineering UK has also revealed that the UK will need 1.8 million new engineers and technicians by 2025 – a number that is unlikely to be achieved given the current gap between supply and demand. Despite this, there are more projects in the pipeline, greater demands for infrastructure improvements by the public and Government, and, rather unfortunately, little in the way of financial assistance for talent development across rail. The sheer pace of growth in technological developments in the industry is also impacting talent needs. With digital innovation playing an increasingly dominant role in how tracks are maintained and how modern rolling stock is designed, businesses of all sizes are seeking to attract experts with the tech experience to guide and develop this progression. But with the technology field itself also reporting a dearth of skills – and firms from all industries seeking these abilities – acquiring these professionals is certainly no easy task for rail operators. While approaches such as apprenticeship drives and the planned introduction of T Levels in 2020 are being utilised to improve the resourcing situation in the industry, the fact that this skills shortage has been a concern for many years suggests a new approach needs to be taken. One that is arguably more future-proof than current on-demand strategies. So what needs to be done?

A career of choice In the first instance steps need to be taken to make a career in rail more appealing to the next generation of the workforce. While the results from this will be more long-term, it’s certainly the best starting-point for driving change. Much of the challenges around existing skills shortages stem from uninspiring perceptions of a career in rail which are, quite simply, untrue – ranging from jobs being for those who have failed in education to something that is just for men. It’s also not the labour intensive industry than many believe it to be – a key factor that is, in my view, holding emerging talent back from choosing this career route. If we consider some of the more innovative developments in rail recently,

there’s so much more to this field. For example, The RISE Research Institute of Sweden has been working on rolling stock modernisation in its Mat4Rail project, which aims to reduce train weight by replacing metal parts with fibre-reinforced polymers (FRPs) and increase train capacity and comfort with a built-in modular interior design. Projects such as this should certainly have an appeal to more scientifically-minded individuals. Yet little is shared of this innovation outside of the sector. If employers across all rail specialisms want to build a sustainable talent pool, it’s critical to begin engaging with schools and those in education now in order to inspire them to look to rail for a career. By bringing to life the range of opportunities available to individuals with multiple interests – Rail Professional


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whether it be science, digital or engineering – businesses will not only be increasing the range of their potential talent pools, but also putting their brand front of mind for the future generation of the workforce once they are ready to step into employment. Candidate Value Propositions This leads me onto another crucial step in the fight against skills gaps: the evolution of candidate value propositions – or your employer brand. The candidates of today (particularly millennials) want more from an employer than just a job. Companies are finding that applicants place greater value on the culture of the company and how well they fit with it. With this in mind, rail firms need to reconsider their employer branding and look at potentially adapting their messages to suit the modern talent pool. For example, as I have already alluded to, the stereotypical rail employee is often considered to be male, effectively alienating half of the potential talent pool simply because of their gender. However, by tailoring your employer brand message to speak to female audiences as well, this issue can be flipped on its head. The rail industry has arguably developed a reputation as one that is procedurebased and compliance driven, which, while relevant for some roles particularly in terms of health and safety, can drive away more innovative candidates looking to be involved in something new. But this needs to change. In its Rail Technical Strategy, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) alluded to the need for an overhaul of this culture in order to attract and retain the talent needed for the future: ‘The biggest stepchange we need to accomplish is truly a whole-system culture shift, moving away

Companies are finding that applicants place greater value on the culture of the company and how well they fit with it. With this in mind, rail firms need to reconsider their employer branding and look at potentially adapting their messages to suit the modern talent pool

from a procedural, box-ticking, compliancedriven industry culture, focused on task ‘competence’, towards a resilience-seeking business culture, promoting skills, people development, diversity, adaptability, and organisational and life-long learning.’ And as rail developments continue to be driven by digital advancement, businesses face developing an employer brand that is arguably ‘all-encompassing’, while also speaking to individuals on a personal level. There will always need to be consistency across corporate messaging, but what appeals to project managers, for example, varies significantly when compared to technical engineers. And with every industry competing for tech talent, developing a strong employer brand message that speaks directly to these experts will aid the attraction of crucial digital abilities. Training and development opportunities Given the pace of digital change in the industry, upskilling the existing workforce to equip them with the tools they need to utilise and implement tech developments will need to form a crucial part of people strategies. And with such a dearth of available talent, cross-training individuals in order to redeploy them into other roles when needed will certainly be beneficial. Indeed, the RSSB highlights the critical need for training and development in its strategy for a future-proof rail industry: ‘Investing also means updating our philosophy and approach to the development of people once they are part of the rail workforce. We must take our existing talented workforce with us on the journey towards the railway of the future and we

need all our people to be motivated and driven by it. ‘However, our development approach has not changed much over the years, particularly for front line operational roles.’ While this is, of course, a key element in ensuring there are resources on hand to meet the needs of current and future projects, the role it plays in staff retention shouldn’t be overlooked. Offering employees the chance and guidance to further their career or develop new skills can significantly boost motivation and engagement levels. And a motivated workforce is not only likely to remain with their employer for a longer period, but also deliver better results. When we further consider the crucial role of contingent workers in the rail specialism, providing training opportunities for these professionals might seem like an unusual move, but you can certainly rest assured that when you need them for the next project, they will need very little persuading. There can be no doubt that rail needs more talent and it needs them soon. We’re reaching a critical tipping point where there are more employees reaching retirement age than there are entering the field. While meeting current project demands will naturally be front of mind for employers, it’s crucial that leaders begin acting now to future-proof their talent pools. With the same old approaches yet to deliver the results, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and look at more innovative action that delivers real results in this modern world. Rob Enright is Managing Director of Rail & Safety Critical at Global Energy and Rail recruiter, Samuel Knight International Rail Professional



//////////////////////////////////////// CASE STUDY

Battersea Pier UAV Survey Plowman Craven’s Rail UAV Project Manager, Tom Avery, explains how the company’s Vogel R3D drone system conducted a survey of critical rail infrastructure at Battersea Bridge


ince we launched the Vogel R3D system in the summer of 2017, the response from the industry has been amazing. We had been told that sub-5mm survey accuracy (to Network Rail Band-1 level) was not possible using drones, but 20+ delivered projects and 1,200 safe flights later we are happy to have proved the doubters wrong. We’re equally delighted that clients are reaping the benefits of a bespoke solution that is enabling them to remove people from tracks, reduce programme times and make tangible cost savings (see What is Vogel R3D? on the last page of this article). We recently completed an extremely complex and difficult job at Battersea Pier that we’re delighted to be able to talk in more detail about. Our recent involvement at Guildford Station (with three different branches converging) was a very tough project, but with so many elements to consider, Battersea was by far our most challenging Vogel job yet. Here’s why… and what we did to overcome it. At a glance • Full survey for S&C replacement • Five kilometres (just over three miles) of tracks remotely surveyed • 3D Topo, Point Cloud & Orthophoto delivered • Survey of highly inaccessible & busy location • One week of flying vs months to manually measure. A tough gig Much like at Guildford, we were instructed by Network Rail S&C (switches and crossing) South Alliance to deliver a number of surveying services to facilitate track renewals at a 660-metre section of Battersea Pier. More specifically, the client required a 3D topographical survey, a highly-detailed point cloud and a high-resolution orthophoto that covers all 3.1 miles of track within that section. Standard possessions and surveys would have been virtually impossible given

the multiple lines crossing the river and heading down to Victoria and onto Brighton. So using a UAV was really the only way, and our Vogel R3D is the only drone system proven to be capable of delivering the verified Band-1 P-Way survey required. The only track access we needed was to establish survey control, and this was done over several night-shifts with a three-man team as soon as a possession was available. With control in place, we were able to start the multi-faceted planning and preparation process. Preparation To anybody who thinks drone surveys involve little more than turning up with a UAV, flying over the target and then processing the data, here’s a brief overview of just some of the elements that required our consideration on this project. These rigorous processes are also part of the reason why we have the very highest levels of flying permissions from the Civil Aviation Authority and an Operational Safety Case (OSC) that very few companies possess. Here’s an overview of some of the preparations that were made for this project:

Access – Given its location in the centre of London and also spanning the River Thames, this stretch of track was difficult to get close to. Plus, we needed full line of sight and a take-off/landing location that wasn’t too close to surrounding buildings. Network Rail land was bumpy, overgrown and generally unsuitable, but after discussions with Battersea Dogs Home (and after allaying concerns about the impact of a drone on their dogs) they kindly agreed to allow us to use an area of their property close to the Network Rail gate. Rail Professional

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Proximity – With so many buildings in close proximity, a great deal of time was spent contacting the building management teams to secure permission to fly within the 30-metre limit we have agreed with the CAA. By providing full Risk Assessment (RAMS) and confirmation that the camera was pointed down (thereby not invading privacy) we received full cooperation from both residential and office buildings. Wildlife – Nearby Battersea Power Station refused permission to fly within 30 metres, but this is consistent with their position to any such requests and is because of the presence of nesting Peregrine Falcons. On the back of this, we proactively contacted the London Peregrine Partnership to seek advice. We subsequently engaged the services of a specialist consultant to ensure we did everything we could to avoid disturbing these protected birds of prey. River – Network Rail might own the bridge, but the Port of London Authority (PLA) operates the river. The PLA likes to police air traffic above the water, and although we were only flying above the bridge and not the river, we notified them to avoid any unnecessary confusion. Security – Prior to flying we also informed the Police, securing a CAD reference number that could be presented to any officers who may arrive on site. This project location was also right on the border of EGR187, an area of restricted airspace, requiring us to secure an Enhanced Non-Standard Flying Notification. This was done two weeks before flying and went through the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) and Diplomatic Protection Group to approve. In addition to the above, we also conducted our own Risk Assessments as part of our internal planning process, ensuring that every possible step has been taken to ensure the safety and efficacy of the proposed project. How did we do it? With all the preparations in place we were able to fly the stretch of track in less than a week – capturing data that would have taken

months to secure using more traditional methods. The actual flight time itself is fairly minimal, a matter of a few hours, but it’s massively impacted by the battery life of the drone unit. Vogel R3D’s hardware consists of an industry-leading drone platform and a 100MP medium format camera. The combined weight of these is around 9kg, which means that battery life is around 15 minutes per flight. You might think that it’s then just a case of land, replace battery, take off and resume surveying… but again, this is unrealistic. We have eight batteries. They take 90 minutes to recharge so we complete four flights, put these four on to charge together and then use the other four. This process is repeated constantly to ensure the drone is in the air as much as possible. Safety first To ensure the highest levels of safety, we run our entire fleet of aircraft just as an airline would, albeit on a smaller scale. They are regularly serviced and a full programme of pre-flight checks and tests are undergone before every single flight – these checks take almost as long as the flight itself but are a vital part of our UAV operation and our


commitment to doing everything we can to eliminate or reduce risk. The Vogel drone platform itself is top-ofthe-range and boasts a number of essential safety features, including redundant power, motor and communications systems – enabling the UAV to land or return to home in case of battery, rotor or comms failure. The features were essential in our being awarded permission to fly above railways in the first place. Areas covered in the checks include hardware, cables, communications, weather, magnetic interference, hazards, site security and more. Boots on the ground Unlike a ‘standard’ drone job where a pilot and co-pilot are able to complete a survey alone, Vogel R3D projects require extra resources. And this particular project was even more demanding than anything we’d ever done, requiring safety-critical staff and various spotters and look-outs. In total, seven people were on-site to ensure safe completion of the job – four from the Plowman Craven Team and three Safety Critical Staff. The Plowman Craven Team was made up of a Pilot who was responsible for flying the drone and the copilot who assisted in operations, charged the batteries, checked photos, etc. There was also the GSO (Ground Safety Officer) who was responsible for spotting falcons and was in control of ground safety and cordon control. Finally, a Spotter was located on the roads below the buildings to ensure we are flying within building proximity limits. The three-man Safety Critical Staff was made up of a COSS (Controller of Site Safety) who was stationed with the survey team and two lookouts, one of whom was stationed on a platform at Victoria station to radio train directions and the other was stationed at Battersea Park station to also radio train directions. With all these preparations in place we successfully flew the drone as planned, capturing more than 13,000 images in six days of flying. Take-off and landing was performed manually, but once airborne, the drone operated on an automated waypoint Rail Professional






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R3D and compare the data to traditional survey techniques, with the accuracy of the results being approved by Network Rail as meeting its Band One accuracy requirements (making it suitable for track alignment and topographic survey at all GRIP stages). Chris Preston, Network Rail’s Senior Engineer, hailed it as a ‘game-changer for Network Rail’ when we launched the Vogel R3D last year. Key Benefits of Vogel R3D system Less Risk: removes need to physically access tracks Less Cost: reduces expense of possessions and line blocks Less Time: shorter programmes with rapid data capture More Speed: rapid mobilisation, no waiting for possessions More Value: enhanced deliverables to supplement surveys More Accuracy: proven to deliver sub-5mm accuracy. Vogel R3D in 2018 • 350,000 photographs taken, that’s 20TB of storage space used • 777 miles distance flown, equivalent of London to Madrid • 1.5 million sq.m of track surveyed, same as 210 football pitches • 200 hours of flight time, we’ve safely completed 1,200 individual flights.

flight path that we programmed in as a part of the planning process. Processing the imagery and data took a further eleven days, with four days to convert to point cloud and a week of CAD work. We delivered to the client a little over three weeks after the first flight, much to their delight. The location made this is an extremely challenging project, but thanks to our detailed processes and meticulous planning we were successfully able to meet the client’s needs.

of-the-art UAV platform and 100-megapixel camera to capture overlapping aerial images of an entire site. Bespoke workflows and software algorithms are then used to convert the imagery into 3D data – to a sub-5mm accuracy that is superior to any other method of data capture. Trials have been undertaken to prove the accuracy of Vogel

Links Guildford Station: https://www. Grange Sidings Orthophoto: https:// panoramics/grange-sidings/index.html Tom Avery has been a surveyor for 12 years and is a Project Manager in Plowman Craven’s Infrastructure department. He oversees all Vogel R3D projects for the company

Deliverables 3D Topographical Survey: covers all P-Way detail, including all tracks, switches, crossings, ties & ballast Point Cloud: for use in CAD packages by designers, enabling the production of BIM (Building Information Modelling) deliverables Orthophoto: true-to-scale, high-resolution image with all distortions removed so that measurements can be taken and overlaid with CAD drawings. What is Vogel R3D? Developed from years of expertise in laser scanning and photogrammetry, and underpinned by robust survey principles, this ground-breaking system uses a stateRail Professional

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Are we on the right track concerning skills? Nigel Eagers, Project Consultant at the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) looks at attitudes towards training and development in the industry


ften cited as a tribute to Victorian energy, ambition and vision and a testimony to unfettered capitalism the myriad of competing railways threading the country were, nonetheless, the result of unplanned ambition. Now we are planning for our ambition. The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) was established in 2011 for the purpose of supporting rail employers and their supply chains to plan and professionalise the workforce through the acquisition of the skills and competences needed to deliver a modern world class railway. Skills and knowledge are essential to safe, effective and efficient delivery in this highly technical service industry and a lack of skills is a systemic risk. NSAR’s research points conclusively to skills shortages pushing up labour costs, preventing increases in productivity and delaying projects. Through NSAR, rail is better served than other industry sectors in knowing what skills it will need, where and how they will be deployed. We ensure that the quality of training provision is to the standards set by the industry. Acting as a collective voice for employers on skills questions at a regional and national level to policymakers and industry decision makers about skills and training. We are well placed to educate and inform industry leaders and policy makers about the skills needed, when and how they can be funded and delivered. Our academy also provides a valuable link to the education and training supply chain providing data on the nature and scale of skills demand and opportunities. Becoming a member provides organisations with access to the clearest picture of skills, talent available, training supply and funding. We work closely with individual Rail Professional



organisations and the rail industry enabling us to best quantify and contribute to eliminating skills shortages. In the competitive world of talent recruitment – and the higher the technological demands, the greater the talent needed – NSAR works with member organisations and the industry to promote rail as a career, improve recruitment, widen diversity and secure funding for the best training. Competing for talent Rail places great emphasis on experience, probably more so than many industries. Years of experience are often the proxy for ability, as historically, there were few recognised qualifications in rail. This may have worked in the past but the rate of technological change required to modernise the railway means this can no longer be the modus operandi. The Digital Railway, with digital command and control systems at its heart, reflects a convergence of rail, aerospace and military technologies and takes employers into a new world of competition for talent. The need for digital skills is increasing, encompassing not only traditional rail engineering and operations skills, but also skills associated with the digitisation of the common workplace, including analytical skills, design and implementation skills and cyber security. Almost every existing role in the railway will require new skills, however as recent experience has shown, there may be industrial relations challenges to be overcome, with strong resistance to role changes associated with new technology

and its impact on operational procedures. Despite the need for these new skills the industry must still retain the skills required to maintain and operate legacy equipment as the digital systems are rolled out. Our workforce analysis indicates that there will be a need for significant numbers of railway staff to be retrained/trained in a relatively short period. NSAR estimates that the cost of training to be around £600 million of which £200 million can be funded through the Apprenticeship Levy. The bad news is that NSAR’s research into the take up of apprenticeships by the industry shows a limited uptake in readiness for CP6.

But how can an industry which finds it relatively easy to recruit people face a skills shortage? We need to get over the persistent push back on skills development from employers where the timescale to train someone with higher technical skills and the timescale on visibility of contracts is, and never will be, aligned; many industries do not have the luxury of a five-year investment plan. Apprenticeship targets NSAR offers a suite of tools to help employers, small as well as large, to plan, recruit and manage the skills and competences of their workforces to successfully grow their businesses. Apprenticeships are high on the Government’s agenda. And rightly so. The Department for Transport (DfT) is working to ensure rail meets the 2.5 per cent annual apprenticeship target. Currently the industry doesn’t even reach half the 4,000 apprenticeships that are targeted. New franchises have a 2.5 per cent apprentice target written into agreements. Network Rail, having worked hard to quadruple their apprenticeships, are keen to see the supply chain making a similar commitment to apprenticeships. The Institute for Apprenticeships says it’s proving to be a ‘hard job’ to educate employers about apprenticeships and a recent survey indicated that many employers have little understanding of the apprenticeship system. NSAR can fill all knowledge gaps employers have in understanding and delivering apprenticeships and can help smaller employers access training or connect with people interested in a rail career. Our role is to support industry – please use us! Nigel Eagers is a Project Consultant the National Skills Academy for Rail

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Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Lilian Greenwood MP about the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme, her optimism for HS2 and her work on rail in Parliament

Lilian Greenwood MP Rail Professional



What people need and deserve are punctual and affordable services on which they can rely. I’d welcome a bit more focus on achieving this across the country before any more announcements of big infrastructure investment in London and the southeast


ilian Greenwood is the Member of Parliament for Nottingham South and Chair of the Transport Select Committee. She was previously Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. In September this year she became the UK’s third RIA Rail Fellow, after spending a hands-on day at the Derby station and Balfour Beatty Innovation Centre. The Railway Industry Association (RIA) Rail Fellowship Programme is an opportunity for UK parliamentarians and commentators to gain an insight into the valuable work of the UK rail supply chain. ‘Fellows’ spend a day ‘on location’ with an RIA Member whose work is relevant to their role or constituency and experience opportunities reflecting the great diversity of technical disciplines within the rail sector. The RIA Rail Fellowship Class of 2018 will be awarded at the annual RIA Parliamentary reception on Tuesday November 27 2018.

was always going to be plenty to see in Derby, but this year the railway station has seen a massive upgrade and since July the track and signalling have been completely rebuilt. It was great to meet the team who’ve been working on the project and to see for myself how it has transformed the station and will improve journeys. I confess to being especially pleased to note the passive provision for future electrification!

What attracted you to the Railway Industry Association Rail Fellowship Programme? The rail industry is hugely important to the UK, not only because millions of people rely on the railway to get them to work every day, but because it already provides 600,000 jobs across the country with the potential for even more. Over the past 12 months, my Committee has spent a great deal of time looking at the operation of our railways and I think it’s vitally important that I and other members have a deep understanding of the industry, those who work in it and how new innovations will shape its future. RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme enables colleagues to get a better understanding of rail.

You’ve been a sitting MP since 2010 and have been involved in transport since the beginning of your time in Parliament. How have you seen the rail industry change in that time? In terms of improving the passenger experience, I’ve been frustrated at the slow pace of change in important things like fares reform, accessibility, smart ticketing, and compensation. These have been major frustrations for passengers for many years, decades even, but change has been glacial. The railway still lags behind other sectors. This is partly because it’s held back by the current, inflexible franchising model and the Department for Transport’s inability to manage it effectively. There have been some quite substantial changes precipitated by the infrastructure cost overruns early in Control Period 5 (CP5), subsequent enhancement re-planning and changes to aspects of enhancements investment and governance. That there has been a need for four significant reviews in the space of a few years – Bowe, Hendy, Shaw and Hansford – following close on the heels of the Brown review, demonstrates the breadth of problems in the sector. Some of the changes brought about by these reviews have positive potential. Network Rail route devolution and an enhanced System Operator function to act more effectively as the whole network’s ‘guiding mind’ spring to mind. But I’m less comfortable with other aspects of change, particularly where functions have been transferred to the DfT, for instance the Department’s greater role in the new Rail Network

How did you enjoy the trip to Balfour Beatty’s Rail Innovation Centre in Derby? I very much enjoyed the visit and the opportunity to talk to staff at the cutting edge of technical developments. The phrase ‘Digital Railway’ is often used to describe the future of signalling on our network but at Balfour Beatty’s Innovation Centre I was able to understand that it’s much more than that. The use of new technology has the potential to transform the way our railway operates, improving safety and reducing maintenance costs through predicting and preventing failures rather than finding and fixing them. Where else did you visit on your 2018 RIA Rail Fellowship day? The East Midlands is home to the largest cluster of rail engineering firms in the world so there

What do you hope will come out of this RIA Rail Fellowship Programme? I hope more MPs will join the programme, find out more about the exceptional people and businesses we have working in the rail industry and perhaps gain a deeper understanding of what the industry needs from politicians if it is to maximise its success – delivering for the travelling public, freight customers and exploiting the opportunities for exports.

Rail Professional



Enhancements Pipeline. Following Hansford, there’s renewed talk about attracting private investment into rail infrastructure but I’m not convinced the DfT has yet provided a coherent framework and sufficient strategic direction to bring this to fruition. You said in an interview with Parliament’s inhouse magazine that ‘There’s a real danger that transport becomes about engineering. It isn’t, it’s about what it enables.’ Could you elaborate on that? ‘Small’ changes can have big effects. There’s been an over-emphasis on the transformative potential of huge transport infrastructure projects. Politicians love big stuff and railway people get excited about delivering it. While investment in infrastructure is welcome and much-needed, we need to focus much more on outcomes for people and a bit less on political flag-ship projects. The CP5 enhancement programme was politically driven, and over-specified from Whitehall – the approach was ‘build this’, rather than ‘achieve this for people’ – and look how that ended. This may also be one of several very hard lessons for the railway from May’s timetabling debacle. What people need and deserve are punctual and affordable services on which they can rely. I’d welcome a bit more focus on achieving this across the country before any more announcements of big infrastructure investment in London and the southeast. But I’m concerned that, because of transport scheme appraisal methods, the focus on big infrastructure inevitably sucks investment into the most populous, most economically buoyant places. Transport investment has the potential to stimulate substantial growth in places in real need of economic regeneration. Despite the Government’s rhetoric about ‘rebalancing’ the economy away from London, its approach to transport investment is not yet achieving it. This issue of Rail Professional focusses on skills. Which areas of training do you think the rail industry in the UK should focus on? It’s clear that the rail industry benefits from having a passionate and committed workforce but we know that to deliver the infrastructure and services needed in the future, we will need more engineers at all levels. Rail is in competition with other sectors, including aviation and automotive, so it needs to show young people that they can have exciting future careers, with opportunities to develop and employ the latest digital technology. Do you think the franchising model is working and if not, how would you change it? Is it working? No. And don’t just take my word for it, listen to the Secretary of State lately. Far too many people are paying too much for poor, unreliable services. Rail Professional

Franchising is supposed to create competition and incentivise investment in the changes passengers want. It’s failing on those counts too. Train companies are struggling to meet their obligations because of failures to deliver promised infrastructure. Short franchises fail to incentivise investment, but so too can lack of competition and the increasing number of direct awards. The DfT is letting undeliverable franchises, as exemplified by the VTEC collapse. Some of our long-distance operators are doing reasonably well; commuter services much less so. All in all, the model’s in a bit of a mess. How to change it is a much more difficult question. The problems go deeper than the franchising model, there are fundamental issues of governance, regulation and ownership. The Secretary of State floated a few ideas in evidence to the Transport Committee’s inquiry into the East Coast franchise in July; but on the whole I found them less than coherent. He has spoken most often about bringing track and train together in Public Private Partnerships, to be tested first on the East Coast. Notwithstanding the questionable logic of testing a new approach on this complex, multi-operator part of the network, it’s not clear how his PPP concept can advance further than the various ‘deep alliances’ that have already been tried. I suspect that ultimately there will not be a one-size-fits-all answer. There may be a case for more open access operators, many of which currently perform well. Some franchises may fare better in public, including local or regional or cooperative, hands. More urban devolved authorities operating concessions similar to London may be an answer. There may be a place for private ownership of some, particularly new, sections of railway. But the railway is a single

network and therefore requires whole of system oversight and strategic planning. I am less convinced than ever that the DfT is the body to provide it but someone, or somebody, must. You’ve been Chair of the Transport Committee since June last year, which elements of rail come up most often? Fares, routes on offer, train environment, station access, etc. We’ve been forced to focus on the basics – provision of reliable train services. Our inquiry into rail timetabling has taken up a massive chunk of our time. The phrase ‘severe disruption’ doesn’t even come close to describing what some passengers experienced in the weeks and months after May 20. One witness described it as ‘Dante’s Inferno’. The first priority must be making sure we have a railway that has passengers’ needs as its number one priority. There have also been a couple of strong related themes. For example, compensation schemes, which remain cumbersome for passengers to navigate to the extent that

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many are still put off from submitting claims. The May timetable disruption was a nightmare for disabled passengers caught up in the confusion, missing their booked assistance or stranded when there were late platform alterations, for example. The evidence demonstrates there is a very long way to go towards making the railway a turnup-and-go service for people with disabilities and restricted mobility. I hope this is something my Committee will pursue later in this Parliament. What are your expectations for the Rail Review that the Government recently announced? I agree with the Secretary of State that the recent timetabling fiasco demonstrates the need for root and branch reform. I would add that the third collapse of a franchise on the ECML in a decade also indicates that something is seriously amiss. That’s why I’ve offered a cautious welcome to his announcement of a wide-ranging Rail Review. I’m cautious because I have a nagging suspicion that its announcement on the same day as the ORR’s interim timetabling findings could indicate a smokescreen for serious failings within the DfT. I also remain to be convinced that all options, some of which I described above, will be on the table; the review must not be a rubber-stamp for the Secretary of State’s pre-conceived ideas. It also must not be an excuse to put off urgent changes for more than a year. My expectations are therefore not particularly high. I would be delighted to be proven wrong and for the Rail Review to be the catalyst for fundamental reform and a much more effective railway.


What are your views on devolution? The evidence suggests devolution works – with devolved operations such as London Overground and MerseyRail enjoying some of the highest passenger satisfaction scores on the network – and there’s certainly an appetite around the country for regions to be able to do more for themselves. So far, the DfT seems reluctant to let go, but the Midlands and the North are increasingly demanding the powers and resources they need to shape their own rail services. How optimistic are you about HS2? HS2 is an opportunity to transform our rail network, providing a huge uplift in capacity through phase one and revolutionising the links between the great cities of the Midlands and the North in phase two. Any project of this size will inevitably face challenges but I am confident that our rail industry has the ability to meet them. I am frustrated that the Government hasn’t done a good enough job of explaining why the project is necessary and how it will enable us to make better use of our existing network to gain widespread public support. Of course, the failure to deliver planned enhancements in CP5 and the recently announced delays to Crossrail will have shaken public confidence in the UK’s ability to deliver big transport infrastructure projects in a timely and costeffective way. There were several announcements recently about new hydrogen trains and hybrid engines, both in France and here in the UK. What more could be done to encourage this type of innovation? We were less than convinced by Jo Johnson’s evidence on this during our rail infrastructure investment inquiry. We

made a recommendation in our Report that the DfT set out a clear plan to bring these emerging traction technologies to fruition using Government innovation funding. We felt that what we got in response fell well short of a clear plan, and there were no specific funding commitments. I’ll be pursuing this further with the Department. Does current Government policy match up with Jo Johnson’s announcement on diesel trains from earlier in the year? I don’t think it does. Going diesel-free by 2040 will obviously not be achieved by using diesel/electric hybrids alone, which are old tech, heavier and less efficient. It won’t be achieved without the step change in innovation described above and more costeffective electrification schemes, particularly on heavily-used parts of the network. The Transport Select Committee recommended the Government works with RIA on their Electrification Cost Challenge, which is looking at how to costs can be reduced. In their response to the rail infrastructure inquiry, the Government agreed to work with RIA on this. Rail Professional

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How do we solve a problem like rail? Martin Heffer, Technical Director – Rail and Transit at transport consultancy firm WSP previews the upcoming Rail Review and posits his own solutions to the franchising model


ur privatised rail industry has seen nearly 25 years of commercial innovation and progress. Progress typified by a growing fleet of clean, accessible, climate controlled and Wi-Fi enabled trains. The thorny question of how franchising can continue its success in the face of its widely reported challenges is a difficult one to answer, but it’s not impossible. It takes a heavy hand from Government to ensure a full range of services are provided at a reasonable price, which may have unintended consequences. However, these consequences are not reason enough to scrap a system that has helped develop a railway that is among the best in Europe. The topic of transport is continuously in the public eye, there are growing expectations, a desire to make all modes of transport future ready, as well as the need for continued strategic planning when it comes to funding allocation. This is no truer than in rail, hence the Department for Transport’s (DfT) pending rail review. Bowe, Hendy, Shaw and Hansford are now joined by (Keith) Williams. Not a seventies super group, the former British Airway’s boss is simply presiding over the fifth rail review in under five years, demonstrating the recognition by the department that it needs to adapt to these new challenges to further develop our railway.

to optimise existing infrastructure. Clearly, rail franchises and the industry as a whole need to change. But this change needs to respect and recognise not only the advances made under the current system, but also the increasing complexity of the national network. Much of the recent turbulence around the spring 2018 timetable change has been fuelled by this increasing complexity. To

remain on track, the rail industry must be mindful of the passenger and the frontline staff who have all suffered first-hand the difficulties of this increasingly complex system over the last two years. Don’t search for a simple solution Any review needs to address and understand both the sheer scale of the network as well as the variety of users and their growing

Victim of its own success Since 1994, rail has made great leaps forward punctuated by unforeseen difficulties – it has now reached a critical point. With circa one billion more trips in 2017 than 1995, it’s great that our railway is so popular, but this tremendous demand has made it a victim of its own success. Customer demands are high, the network full and difficult decisions must be made, particularly regarding where to spend money Rail Professional


needs on most routes. But moving to a localised and simplified, one-size-fits all solution will not work – no matter how attractive it might seem. Our trains and, more importantly, the railway they operate on are too close to a natural monopoly and too important to be broken up or left to the ‘market’ to deliver. While I don’t believe there is a plot to sell off the easy-to-operate bits of the network, I do think we could find ourselves heading that way by accident if we seek simple solutions. I hope others agree that there will always be a need for both public and private involvement in running the railway and that to be successful these two arms of the railway need balancing by powerful independent champions for both the network and the passenger. Of course, there are many who would get rid of rail franchising altogether, despite the certainty that renationalisation will do little to inject extra cash or solve growing capacity problems. Neither would it provide a natural spur for innovation. Commentators point to a central problem: the over specification for rail franchises in terms of what the network can accommodate and the revenue franchises can generate. Unforeseen demands in growth, popularity and technology means that the various arms of the rail industry are being questioned over their ability to deliver. And yes, there are things in the current arrangements that are not working. But is wholesale change really the answer? Or can the current model deliver for the passenger and the freight operator if they are properly championed and the right behaviours and realistic outputs are embedded in sensible contracts? In response to the railway’s troubled performance, the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, has championed Network Rail’s devolution of decision making to its routes and the reuniting of operational decision making for the railway by encouraging greater co-location of TOCs and Network Rail staff. While closer cooperation between train and track must happen, I would add that reducing the number of people involved in decision making between those ultimately responsible and the passenger needs to happen. But such operational rearrangement and organisational dieting are not the sole answer to the recent woes of Northern, Thameslink, East Coast and Southern. Similarly, there are those in the rail industry who see getting rid of a single network operator and creating vertically integrated territories as some kind of silver bullet. This might have the attraction of seemingly being simple, but it is unlikely to be the right answer either. Whatever the answer is, it needs to come from all interests in the railway, especially those who have a hand in its daily operations, and we must hope that the forthcoming Williams review is brave enough to give the three delivery


pillars of the railway – the DfT, the TOCs and Network Rail – an achievable route forward. Accepting the wicked problem Rail is faced with the classic ‘wicked problem’ – one that has few elegant solutions. Accordingly, it needs key partners to first recognise that no one party will have the right answer. Williams and his ‘challenge panel’ should avoid searching for a grand plan or strategy and come to terms with an inelegant and incremental solution. If a simple answer existed, we would have grasped it by now. Critically, the voice of the passenger, who has both gained and suffered so much at the hands of recent franchise history, must be heard. All too often the solutions and priorities of the recent past have baffled the end user. Grayling recently told the Transport Select Committee: ‘The first step on the road – is to drive the next stage of devolution in Network Rail.’ He is right, but the route ahead needs careful planning or it will become a leap into the unknown. To paraphrase Professor Keith Grint of Warwick University, who specialises in the analysis of wicked problems, we will need to put all solutions on the table and the collective interests in the railway need to decide which they like, and which they don’t. Only an ego-free and joined up approach will suffice. Given the complexity and significance of the national network and the diversity of those who use it, we need a ring holder who can secure the best services for a safe and efficient railway. And one which unlocks the digital future that benefits passenger and economy alike. I am too much of a realist to believe that the Strategic Rail Authority will ever be reincarnated, but there needs to be an effective and clearly funded body representing the passenger and promoting the long-term and sustainable development

of the network. So, perhaps the biggest challenge the railway faces is finding the ‘ring holder’ who can deliver all of this. Yes, it is the DfT’s role to set the policy and create the right environment for success, but if they take full control they are unlikely to deliver an answer that balances the needs of all involved. I would start by looking at what Network Rail has done in creating its System Operator function. This ‘guiding mind’ has clearly grasped the need to deal with the strategic level long term issues, which is exactly the sort of leadership we need to come out of the current review. Let’s hope that Williams takes and preserves the System Operator view to understand what is deliverable and what is desirable in the eyes of those who pay for it: the farepayer and the taxpayer. Failing to take such an approach will result in a leap into the unknown. As history demonstrates, the franchise system works. Government’s willingness to tackle challenges means that our rail industry could continue its path of development and progress, for at least another 25 years. Martin Heffer is WSP Technical Director – Rail and Transit Rail Professional

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Consultants on the Oxford corridor Kim Olliver, Principal Environment Manager at RSK describes the improvements being carried out on the Oxford corridor and why the environmental work of RSK was essential


ith more people travelling by rail than ever before, the UK’s rail network, stations and platforms have undergone several modernisation schemes in recent years to make routes faster with more frequent and more reliable services for passengers. I have seen this major improvement work first hand on the Great Western route run by Network Rail. Extending from London to the southwest and Wales, covering Oxford, the Cotswolds, Birmingham, the south coast, London suburbs, Devon and the Cornish coast, this busy route has undergone significant improvement work in recent years as part of Network Rail’s national Railway Upgrade Plan. The Oxford corridor, which connects London Paddington through to Reading and Banbury, is a strategic part of the route. Network Rail has been delivering the first phase of vital improvement work over the last three years to accommodate the continuing growth in passenger and freight services along this busy stretch of track. I am currently working on the project as the Principal Environment Manager for the WED on secondment from environmental consultancy RSK, which has been providing multidisciplinary environmental consultancy services to the project since 2016. Upgrades and the environment We are aiming to improve the infrastructure along the corridor by making upgrades to Oxford Station, developing platform extensions, upgrading depots and sidings, installing footbridge replacements and renewing just over nine miles of track and associated infrastructure along the route, all while carrying out essential measures to ensure that the environment around the railway is preserved during the development work.

To do this, RSK has been an environmental one-stop shop providing a plethora of inhouse expertise to support the environmental requirements of the upgrading work. This support has covered everything from communication services, corporate strategy and sustainability, ecological and laboratory services to impact assessment and planning, landscape design and master planning. Other services include site investigation and remediation, environment, health and safety compliance, and industrial permitting, specialist environmental services and engineering, geology and geotechnics, all from a vast inhouse team.

One of RSK’s main services has involved ecological surveys for bats and other protected species along the track. Looking after protected species and the various habitats, plants, insects, amphibians and birds while the rail development is taking place is essential, so we are very conscious of preserving the environment and habitat alongside a railway development, which is a living, breathing home for a variety of species. One example of this is planting local native trees along the carriage sidings: to date, we have planted about 300 trees of different species along the route. The newly planted areas will be fenced off to protect Rail Professional



the habitat and any wood offcuts will be used to make bat and bird boxes that will provide safe and warm environments. All our work has been completed in conjunction with local stakeholders, including Oxford City Council, the Environment Agency, Natural England and Lord Professor Krebs, Emeritus Professor of Zoology, University of Oxford. This has enabled us to look at additional ways for ensuring that the environment is preserved. We have also worked with interested residents, local communities and charity Bioregional, and we are hoping to become part of the Oxford Sustainable Futures project, which aims to pave the way for a more efficient, healthier Oxford. One of my favourite aspects of this job is supporting the local communities in which we operate. Working on the Oxford project has been no different. In June, we supported the Trap Grounds local wildlife site in Oxford by creating a fish-free creek in the woodlands where newts can thrive. In addition to excavating and contouring the creek, we dug 20 planting holes for new shrubs and trees. We also treated a new bird hide with creosote and cleared nettles and hogweed from one glade, and brambles and invasive ash seedling from another. We will be returning in the coming months to help clear rubbish from the site, rake masses of mown grass to promote wildflower growth and continue excavating the creek. Keeping work on track Alongside the environmental management of the work, I am also responsible for managing RSK’s huge multidisciplinary support team, which is providing air quality testing, waste acceptance criteria and contamination testing, concrete cube crush Rail Professional

testing, acoustic monitoring and reporting, and landscaping to support the project. By keeping these services inhouse, the environmental work has been coordinated and run smoothly via a single point of contact. This has provided many advantages through enabling us to minimise potential disruptions and to help keep the project on schedule. Network Rail also adopted a ‘keep it in house’ approach when the project hit a bump in the road. RSK was under contract to the main contractor Carillion before its collapse earlier this year. Many projects suffered because of the company’s liquidation, which also had the potential to derail the project schedule at Oxford. Fortunately, Network Rail was able to bring RSK directly aboard and we received a direct contract in April 2018. This enabled RSK to continue providing ongoing environmental management support, as before, and the project to continue its Phase One work on schedule and without disruption.

No rest for the wicked As with many rail improvement projects, every second counts towards minimising disruption for the public, as well as species and habitats, while work is carried out. A good example of this was the successful summer blockade in Oxford in July that saw Network Rail hold a 23-day track possession in and out of Oxford Station to enable essential work. The blockade itself was several years in the planning and was vital to enable the team to carry out critical track, signalling and civils work in and around Oxford Station. The RSK team supported Network Rail by helping to minimise the disturbance to the public and wildlife during this time. The orange army of more than 150 colleagues worked 24/7 to complete £12 million worth of improvement work within the allocated track closure time. Keeping the work on schedule was essential. Throughout the blockade, Network Rail used environmentally friendly technology such as hydrogen tower lights instead of those powered by a conventional diesel generator, as research suggests that hydrogen tower lights have a much lower carbon footprint. We also used dust vacuums and sheeting for ballast drops to minimise the impact on air quality and provided fans to local schools to keep them cool during the high temperatures and dust screening to prevent particles entering classrooms. We also set up one of the largest S61 agreements I have ever seen to ensure that noise from the work throughout the project would be within the thresholds consented by the local authority. I am pleased to report that there were no breaches. We even received a personal thank you from the Environmental Health Officer for a job well done. The local community was one of the top priorities throughout the blockade. Owing to their proximity to the work, it was essential that they were kept updated on the project, along with the many passengers that rely on the busy Oxford services.

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building another platform at the station to ease passenger congestion and completing bridge demolition. RSK hopes to remain on board to assist with the environmental measures as the project progresses.

The excellent communications were led by Network Rail communications manager Matthew Thompson, including several dropin sessions to provide more information about the project and the blockade and answer questions from local residents. We also use other forms of communications such as mailshots, the Internet and email to expand our reach and report on the project’s progress. I am pleased to report that the excellent site setup and the commitment of all the personnel working on the blockade saw all the planned work delivered, including a couple of late changes to the schedule. The work was scheduled for what turned out to be one of the hottest, most prolonged summer periods in recent years, yet the team, dressed in full personal protective equipment, was able to keep fully hydrated

using reusable water containers. I feel very proud to have been part of the team carrying out safe, environmentally friendly work, even in challenging weather conditions. There was no rest once the blockade was over however, and we were straight on to delivering track work at Cocklebury sidings in the Swindon and Towney Loop near Newbury. A new relationship Despite its challenges, the project has enabled Network Rail to develop a new relationship with RSK. Owing to the Oxford corridor project’s success, Network Rail has rebranded the project team as the Western Enhancements Delivery. It is now working on rail improvement projects in Didcot, Long Marston, Westerleigh and Tytherington, to name a few. The RSK team of acoustic, air quality, ecology and landscape consultants hope to be retained to provide environmental input on other projects. I am excited for the future of WED.

Author and company profile Kim Olliver is the principal environment manager for Western Enhancements Delivery on the Oxford corridor project for Network Rail and is on secondment from environmental consultancy RSK. RSK is a fully integrated, environmental, health, safety and engineering services company employing over 2,300 staff in offices across the UK and worldwide. In 2016, RSK was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade, one of the UK’s highest accolades for business success. With a turnover of over £175 million, the company was ranked the eighth largest UK environmental consultancy by Environment Analyst in its 2017 Market Assessment Report. RSK provides independent environmental consultancy and technical services in the areas of the environment, health and safety, engineering and sustainability management to industrial, financial and public-sector clients in the UK and abroad. RSK has a diverse client base but mainly services key accounts for clients in transport, energy, property, manufacturing, water and government. The company is certified to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 international standards for quality, environmental management and health and safety management. Visit:

All aboard As we approach the end of Phase One at Oxford and now the summer blockade is over, the newly installed track is now much quieter because of the new track bed and formation, and we have been praised by the local authority for being considerate of the railway’s neighbours through our environmental monitoring. We are working to improve the railway to increase capacity, connections and route availability, and considering the environment and the railway’s neighbours is an important part of this. With the upcoming CP6, Network Rail hopes to continue with the second and third phases of work at Oxford, which will involve Rail Professional



3M™ adhesives and tapes keeping you on track As communities strive for more efficient and sustainable mass transit solutions, rail transportation is experiencing a renaissance in cities all over the world


M has over 80 years’ experience in the rail industry, it can support each step from new builds to maintenance and infrastructure. Keeping pace with the rapid changes taking place in rail technology is more difficult than ever. Using 46 technology platforms 3M’s integrated team of scientists and researchers work with customers to create breakthroughs and help them stay one step ahead of the changes. Today’s railway designs are lighter, faster, more aerodynamic and energy efficient than ever, with lighter weight materials and sleek designs. 3M technologies can help maximise manufacturing and operational efficiencies, while lowering costs and improving longterm performance. Rail carriages transport masses of people quickly, safely and comfortably. 3M technologies are there – sealing the windows, attaching interior panels and carpets, helping construct next generation composites, and keeping passengers comfortable and secure while they travel to their destinations. 3M understands the key challenges in this industry and provide solutions to support customers with:

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Time saving and increasing productivity – With extremely tight deadlines and budgets, saving time and increasing productivity is key. 3M’s adhesive and tape technologies help keep

you on track. Its vast range of products deliver in demanding environments, whilst supporting quick turnaround in maintenance and overhaul of interiors. The need for welding, mechanical fasteners or rivets can be reduced speeding up the overall process. Multi material bonding – 3M can support you in bonding tricky materials, where welding sometimes isn’t possible. 3M adhesive and tape solutions can bond a wide variety of materials such as composites, plastics and metals. Improved aesthetics – 3M adhesives and tape solutions remove the need for unsightly mechanical fixings providing an overall better finish. Traditional mechanical fixings can create stress points and expose areas for moisture and corrosion potentially increasing overhaul time. Specification – A selection of 3M adhesive and tapes solutions have been tested to support with the EN45545 specifications. 3M’s technical experts can support from design to delivery offering advice and testing on applications. Lightweighting – In addition, lightweighting is becoming more


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important in the rail industry. When it comes to lightweighting every gram counts, and 3M solutions make it easier for you to reach your weight reduction goals without sacrificing performance. Over the past 20 years the number of rail passenger journeys made each year in the UK has doubled to more than 1.7 billion, with trains traveling more than half a trillion kilometres every year. There is increasing pressure to achieve efficiency improvements, and as part of global efforts to combat climate change, the UK has signed up to aggressive CO₂ reduction targets. The Fifth Carbon Budget, signed into law in 2016, creates a legally binding obligation for the country to reduce its overall carbon emissions by 57 per cent by 2030. Meeting these targets will require action across all industries and a significant reduction of energy. Vehicle weight reduction The long operating life of railway assets means that the trains being designed and built today will still be in operation long after the 2030 emissions deadline has passed. The weight of rail vehicles is closely linked to their overall energy consumption. Research by industry body the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) indicates that reducing the weight of new trains is the single most cost-effective intervention the rail industry can make as it seeks to reduce its CO₂ emissions. Its calculations, which were based on a 20 per cent reduction in overall vehicle mass, suggest that lighter trains save their operators more than £300 for every tonne of carbon emissions they prevent. The additional capital costs associated with lighter-weight vehicles pay back more than twice over the operating life of the assets. The equipment used to propel a train, including powered bogies, motors, drives and associated propulsion equipment, accounts for around a third of a train’s

weight. Trailer bogies make up a further 15 per cent. The remaining weight, just over half the total mass of the vehicle, is found in the train’s car bodies, interiors and ancillary equipment. Opportunities to reduce weight exist in all these areas. Reducing the mass of the bogies is particularly significant in terms of impact on rail infrastructure, since unsprung weight has a disproportionate impact on track damage. For many operators, weight reduction achieved through changes to car bodies and interior systems is of particular interest. These components tend to be purchased and upgraded more frequently than propulsion components, so providing a potentially faster route to overall fleet weight reduction. To make trains lighter without compromising safety, reliability or durability, the industry is increasingly turning to technologies first developed in other sectors, like aerospace, that have already faced similar challenges. This is leading to the adoption of advanced composite materials, including carbon fibre reinforced plastics and laminates using honeycomb materials or foams. These materials are not only lighter than conventional alternatives, they can also be engineered to perform multiple roles, allowing trains to use fewer components and making them faster to build. Adhesive bonding technology Advanced materials create new manufacturing challenges. They include the need to create durable connections between dissimilar materials, thus avoiding stress peaks around fasteners and preventing water, ingress and corrosion getting into and between, components. Advanced adhesive bonding technologies such as 3M™ VHB™ Tapes and the 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Structural Adhesives allow manufacturers to achieve those aims. Adhesive bonding allows structural connections to be made between many


different materials. This is a significant advantage in designs that include both metal and composite or polymer components. Where dissimilar metals are joined, an adhesive or taped joint provides electrical insulation, reducing the incidence of galvanic corrosion. With the correct joint design, adhesive bonding ensures loads are carried by the entire joint, allowing the use of thinner, lighter weight materials. Bonded joints can secure and seal a structure in a single operation and they can also be designed to reduce the transmission of sound and vibration. For carriage interior components, bonding using 3M™ ScotchWeld™ Structural Adhesives and 3M™ VHB™ Tapes gives designers the opportunity to save weight while also creating systems that are robust and easy to look after. Advances in the chemistry of adhesives mean that lightweight, low surface energy polymers such as polypropylene (PP) and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) can now be bonded reliably, without the need for costly and time-consuming surface treatments. Reclosable tapes, such as 3M’s Dual Lock™ range, allow the installation of removable panels or upholstery elements with a clean aesthetic finish. Adhesive bonding of structural components has been around for over 60 years. Over that time, bonded joints have demonstrated their reliability and durability

in applications with extended operating lives and in demanding environments. Environmental, economic and operational factors are increasing the demand for significant rail vehicle weight reduction. Bonding can contribute to direct weight savings by replacing mechanical fasteners or allowing the elimination of additional sealing insulation or soundproofing components. It can allow the use of lightergauge materials by eliminating stress concentrations and allowing optimal load distribution across component interfaces. It is a key enabler in the adoption of new materials and design approaches, such as the use of lightweight composite parts. Telephone: 0870 6080050 Email: Website: rail-uk/# Rail Professional



All aboard the insurance express The business insurance experts at Caunce O’Hara are now offering comprehensive insurance policies to railway contractors across the UK


he new Rail Contractor Scheme, which was launched in August 2018, provides comprehensive and cost-effective cover to railway contractors from a wide range of professions with the aim of becoming the one-stop-shop for all railway contractor insurance needs. Policies available include: • Public liability • Employers’ liability • Professional indemnity • Personal accident and sickness • Tax enquiry and legal expenses insurance. Expert cover for high risk professions Rail has traditionally been viewed as a high-risk area, which has made finding cost-

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effective cover difficult for railway workers and their employers. Professions are covered based on their risk profile and includes low risk roles from Area Controllers and Payroll Officers, to Structural Engineers and Project Managers, through to higher risk professions such as Mechanical Engineers and Construction Workers. The Rail Scheme provides a range of insurances to suit all levels of risk, at extremely competitive premiums. This bucks the trend of previous years, where there were few rail contractor insurers and premiums were significantly higher than those for contractors working in other industries. Railway workers can get a quick quote in

less than five minutes online at caunceohara., or they can call the award-winning schemes team for a quote.


Far from resting on its laurels, the company continues to innovate and develop its online services to meet the ever-growing demands of the freelancer and contractor sector A safe industry for most On the whole rail remains a relatively safe industry to work in. Figures from the Annual Safety Performance Report for 2016/17 showed only one fatality in the workforce. There were 164 major injuries and 5,676 minor injuries to rail workers, both down on the previous year. However, the number of shock and trauma victims rose to 873 for the period. Innovation as standard Since its incorporation in 1995, Caunce

O’Hara has prided itself on its innovative approach to insurance and, in 1998, were the first broker in the UK to cater for the professional indemnity requirements of freelance and contract professionals online, winning two prestigious Broker Awards in the process. Far from resting on its laurels, the company continues to innovate and develop its online services to meet the ever-growing demands of the freelancer and contractor sector. New insurance products are regularly launched for specific niches that have historically struggled for coverage. Ben Leeson, Associate Director at Caunce O’Hara comments: ‘When the UK Government announced record levels of investment in British Railways (some £48 billion between now and 2024), it was fitting that Caunce O’Hara supported this investment in developing a competitively priced insurance product for the industry. ‘By including not only the engineering element of rail (signal, electrical and track workers) but also the support functions (customer service, HR and marketing) we’ve become a one stop shop for the rail industry’s needs.’ Policies are currently available to rail


contractors who work in the UK, with no overseas exposure. The insured is also required to be UK based. For more information about the Rail Contractor Insurance Scheme please see the contact details below. Tel: 0333 321 1403 Visit:

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Quantum sensors set to change asset monitoring This year, a team working with Network Rail has been collaborating on an InnovateUK funded research project to improve the knowledge of underground assets along the railway


uantum Technology – Potential for Railway Infrastructure (QT-PRI) is a collaborative project between commercial companies RSK and Atkins, together with Network Rail (NR) and the University of Birmingham (UoB) to undertake a technical feasibility and market assessment study to determine the potential of using Quantum Technology (QT) gravity sensors along the railway. The main aim is to locate and assess the condition of assets buried beneath the railway network, such as buried drainage, as well as the amount of groundwater within railway and embankments, which can be critical to their stability and performance and impact on the smooth running of the network. Filling the asset knowledge gap There are over 190,000 railway earthworks and buried assets exceeding 6,000 kilometres

(3,730 miles). It is reported that the location of 50-60 per cent of drainage is unknown and of the known assets, the condition data for over 35 per cent is not known. The incomplete drainage asset inventory significantly limits the development of frameworks as investigations need to be carried out in order to determine where these assets may reside. This can have an impact on the day-to-day operational running of the rail network. Blocked pipes and issues such as wet-beds contribute to flooding and poor track performance. Flooding events have cost NR £130 million in just the last ten years alone. Railway assets in numbers – features that QT gravity sensors will help better resolve: • • • •

30,000: drains with unknown size. 60,000: drains with no condition data 30,000: number of wet-beds in 2016/17 2,000: estimated number of unknown mineshafts • 41,000: cuttings and 59,000 embankments sites affected by animal burrows. Existing geophysical sensors are commercially used to detect the location of ducts and pipes in roads, however they have limited success on the railways, and they are rarely used to detect the asset condition or the condition of the earthwork itself. Many technologies rely on transmitting an electromagnetic wave through the ground which relies on inducing the signal or reflections from features (such as pipes). Rail Professional

This approach requires ever greater amounts of power to ‘see deeper’ into the ground, while the ground properties can considerably attenuate signal propagation – this is especially true on clay railway embankments which make it difficult to see anything deeper than one or two metres, and the presence of rails and overhead lines preclude any use of electromagnetic (EM) conductivity mapping due to interference from metal.


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CET SYSTEMS AIRQUICK RAIL CET SYSTEMS are expertly designed to ensure the safe, hygienic disposal of the contents of the toilet retention tanks on all rail carriages. Ease of use, low maintenance and low running costs are key drivers in all of our systems. We provide a total package including Multi-point fully automatic or manual systems and comprehensive pump rooms with integral utilities and washing facilities.

FUELLING SYSTEMS AIRQUICK RAIL FUELLING SYSTEMS have developed through years of experience in the design maintenance and installation of train fuelling systems. We provide total care, maintenance and repair contracts and systems that incorporate innovative low pressure and high flow dispensing, multi-point fuelling, LCD metering displays and data logging of dispensed fuel. Our new ADBLUE dispensing systems link directly to the onboard train systems to deliver precise quantities every time.

OIL AND COOLANT Airquick Rail Oil And Coolant Systems include maintenance and repair contracts and centralised pumping systems for the delivery of fresh oil and coolant and the recovery of waste products. Our unrivalled experience includes night servicing aprons or in depot fuel, oil and coolant systems with fully integrated plant rooms.


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NR’s fleet of testing and measurement trains often deploy Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), but the sensors only look to about one metre deep and do not have the resolution to locate drainage. New technology is needed to significantly improve our current knowledge on the location and condition of buried assets and embankment infrastructure. QT-Technology In 2010 civil engineers and physicists at the University of Birmingham began collaboration to bring a new capability to underground sensing through exploitation of QT. Gravity surveying has advantages over geophysical methods as it can see deep and is not affected by poor conditions suffered by GPR and EM. Using a technique called atom interferometry, a cloud of cold atoms is used as test masses, with lasers as a ruler to create a sensor which can measure a gravity. If two of these atom clouds, spaced apart vertically by a distance are interrogated by a single laser, a gravity gradient can be measured. The advantage of using a gravity gradient is that it suppresses several noise sources and creates a sensor useful in everyday applications, including those on railways. Our research has shown that QT technology promises an increase in sensitivity by a factor of up to ten over existing spring based conventional gravity meters which opens up a far higher number of features hidden in the sub-surface that were currently detectable. Surveying a site with a gravity instrument reveals variations in density in the ground, for example a void in the subsurface would manifest as anomalously low gravity measurements at the surface. On railways this can include features such as culverts, drains and mineworking (and whether they are silted or backfilled) and even smaller features such as badger setts which can affect the stability of earthworks and cause delays to projects. QT sensors will be able to image these in even more detail (i.e. smaller features at the same depth or the same size but deeper (Fig 1)). Field trials The potential for QT gravity sensors measuring at train speed could therefore make a step change; not least as it would reduce or remove the need for operatives working in high risk and often remote environments. In order for the benefits to be determined, QT sensors were benchmarked against existing geophysical sensors at a number of test sites to explore the limitations of existing methods. A full range of geophysical surveys were carried out at NR’s Tuxford Rail Innovation and Development Centre (RIDC) in Nottinghamshire. This is a former crosscountry route now used for testing providing a range of assets to survey in a safe working environment (see Fig 2). The results have shown that large one-metre culverts can be detected with existing sensors at depths of up to four or five metres. Therefore, the QT sensors in development will be able to detect even deeper culverts or smaller pipes at shallower depth. By undertaking repeat surveys over

several months the survey data has shown that changes in bulk density from moisture content (the percentage of the bulk density taken up by groundwater) can be detected in embankments and that changes in capacity/ flow of culverts can be detected over time, showing that a series of time lapsed QT measurements have the potential to facilitate quantitative condition monitoring of both drainage condition and condition of the parent asset. Wet-beds in the ballast are also a major issue for NR. These result from poor (or lack of) track drainage. The project has demonstrated that QT sensors may detect moderately fouled ballast and hidden young wet-beds (in otherwise homogenous ground) before they mature to the surface. Existing Ground Penetrating Radar surveys can also show potential areas of ballast fouling caused by the presence of wet beds, however the results are often difficult to interpret. The additional data from the QT gravity sensors will be able to add confidence and robustness to other datasets.

Detecting unknown unknowns Applications go well beyond locating drainage. From the trials, the sensors also have the potential to detect hidden voids ranging from unknown hidden shafts, mine workings, buried tanks, changes in geology/fill material and animal burrows. All of which, if left unchecked or unknown to NR, can deteriorate and cause stability issues and poor track performance, and at worse total failure. One key outcome from the trials was the detection of a hidden underbridge (see Fig 3) which was completely unknown to NR and not on any asset databases and beyond the depth range of instruments on the measurement trains. It is unknown features such as this where QT sensors have the potential to revolutionise our understanding of the ground below the trackbed. The future Following further development, it is envisaged that within the next five to ten years the QT gravity sensor will be mounted on a mobile platform capable of regular surveys of the network (Fig 4). In the shorter term, the project has shown that conventional geophysics can help detect a wide range of railway assets and that knowledge will only increase once QT sensors are ready to enter the market. For more information visit the website at or email Matt Stringfellow is a Principal Geophysicist at RSK. Established 30 years ago, RSK is the UK’s largest privately-owned geoscience, environmental and engineering firm with over 90 offices across 34 countries. RSK Group holds the largest ground investigation resource in the UK. Last autumn group company Structural Soils launched the RAIL SI and RAIL SI+PLUS service for all aspects of railrelated surveys.

Tel: 01442 416652 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Delivering the Great Western Electrification Project The Great West Electrification Programme (GWEP) is a Network Rail initiative, which introduces electrification infrastructure and electric trains to the Great Western Mainline route


he route stretches from Maidenhead in West London, to Cardiff in South Wales and interfaces with the Crossrail project at Maidenhead. The project commenced in March 2014 and UK Power Networks Services and ABB undertook the detailed design, procurement, construction and installation, system integration, testing and commissioning, and handover of 27 trackside substations, 123 track section switches, 90 kilometres (56 miles) of high voltage cabling and 250 kilometres (155 miles) of low voltage cabling. Also included was the associated SCADA and communication control systems. Challenges Underpinning the entire project was a tight timeline – only five years from the signing of contracts to completion. This needed to be well managed given the complications that can arise when collaborating with multiple project partners. The tight timeline was tested when a re-evaluation of the scope of GWEP and the National SCADA Renewals Programme was conducted in the middle of the project implementation. Despite the many challenges encountered on such a major project with multiple stakeholders, UK Power Networks Services met the requirements of the project and successfully supported Network Rail in meeting their revised energisation milestones. Innovation UK Power Networks Services’ work on GWEP enabled it to showcase its focus on innovation, and this was realised through the implementation of two groundbreaking initiatives: the Rationalised Autotransformer System and use of polyfibre-reinforced concrete. The Rationalised Autotransformer System is a state-of-the-art advanced protection system, which reduces the need for circuit breakers and other equipment whilst maintaining safe operation of the line. continued >>>

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360° Video Capture

Why would I want a 360° video?

Do you have a building, bridge, structure or other asset that you would like a permanent, interactive record of? Do you have a site that is difficult or dangerous to access that you need to inspect? Have you thought about 360° videos? 360° videos provide more engagement and data retention than normal videos or classic photographic surveys – bringing the site to the office!

What is a 360° video?

360° videos (sometimes referred to as virtual reality) are videos displaying a global view, where the camera has recorded all possible angles of the environment. When watching 360° videos, you can essentially interact with the recorded environment; pausing the play to zoom in and out, pan around in the 360° environment, and grab precisely the right screen shots for reports. You can utilise a standard computer with readily available software to view the video. Or go even further with full HD footage and a VR headset to fully immerse yourself in the environment – ideal for planning site visits, repair works or just interrogating the environment from the comfort of your desk top.

How can Bridgeway help you create 360°?

Bridgeway can utilise our difficult access capability to gather video footage from places many people cannot reach easily. We can arrange everything from roped access, confined space access and drones, to railway possession management. Our experienced video processing team can then create the video to your requirements, meaning that we are a one stop shop to deliver all of your video surveying needs. Click here for an example video where you can use your mouse to explore the 360° environment, which can be viewed on your desk top or phone in the YouTube App.



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A collaboration between UK Power Networks Services, ABB, Siemens and Network Rail Infrastructure Projects, this world first will deliver cost savings in the procurement, installation, and maintenance of an autotransformer electrification system and better reliability compared to other systems installed in the UK. The innovation was recognised at the National Rail Awards 2018 as Innovation of the Year. The other innovation on the project was

the use of polyfibre in place of traditional steel reinforcement for the construction of load bearing concrete structures. The fibre was added to the concrete at source, so it was not necessary to construct the steel frames on site, thus avoiding several safety hazards and environmental risks This product eliminated both manual handling and working from height on site, instantly lowering the risk of injury. The environmental benefits included a 42-tonne


reduction of reinforcing steel going to site and reduction of embodied carbon by 18,000 kg CO2 equivalent. The initiative won Network Rail’s Sustainable Construction Award and was shortlisted for the Environment and Sustainability categories at the Utility Week Awards 2017 and UK Rail Infrastructure Awards 2018 as well as two categories at the Rail Partnership Awards 2018. Delivery and outcome The electrification of the rail network sets up the Great Western Railway for the future of train travel in the region, providing environmentally friendly transport connections for towns and cities across the southwest of England and South Wales. UK Power Network Services delivered its work on time and on budget with the overall project now entering its final stages as it gets ready to be completed in the first half of 2019. It is extremely proud that since the project launched in March 2014, it has achieved more than one million hours without a single lost time injury, nor has it caused any delays to the operational railway. The end-to-end delivery of the power and distribution network was carried out in partnership with ABB, and contribution from Siemens. Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Allround Bridging System From a footbridge spanning up to 30m to a heavy load support girder – the Layher Allround Bridging System links safety, speed and versatile assembly with proven back-up and experience, every time.

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Is the Government serious about helping grow exports post-Brexit? Amidst a big fanfare, Trade Secretary Liam Fox has announced measures to transform the UK into an ‘exporting superpower’ and lift exports from 30 per cent to 35 per cent of GDP


r Fox says he has identified 400,000 businesses that could export but do not. With the growing prospect of a Brexit no-deal, this initiative has noble aspirations and a slight whiff of panic about it. At first sight, it sounds like more government speak – all talk and no substance. Hence, my immediate thought was whether the Government is actually going to do something new and to ask what practical help these 400,000 nonexporting companies will receive. The pound has fallen against major currencies since the spring making UK exports cheaper which could help beat last year’s figure of £615.9 billion according to ONS statistics. Interestingly, the EU accounted for £274 billion, or 44 per cent, of the total. The US was the largest single country for UK exports, followed by Germany and France. If visions from ministers were effective in boosting UK exports, we would long ago have surpassed the £1 trillion target set by George Osborne when he was Chancellor. With just three years to go before we hit his magic figure, exports need to grow from £616 billion at an average annual rate of 17 per cent – triple the average rate of five per cent achieved since the turn of the millennium. Interestingly, Mr Fox has quietly dropped the £1 trillion target and replaced it with one focused on a share of GDP, betraying perhaps a lack of confidence in the country’s capability to achieve the big number. If this is the case, then I share that uncertainty because the measures in Mr Fox’s speech are not new, innovative or inspiring. There are the usual things on information sharing online via a new digital platform, increasing awareness of the up to £50 billion worth of export finance and insurance support available from UK Export Finance (UKEF), and promoting UKEF support in

overseas markets to help UK companies and consortia win contracts. Oh, and a promise to review financial support for exporters. No new money, just a review and some advertising and nothing close to the support our competitors receive from their Governments. In the face of this lack of Government interest and imagination, I suggest the following for consideration: • Significant increase in funds available to support export deals • Ready access to Ministers to stand alongside exporters to help win new contracts • Acknowledgement that 60 per cent of UK production is foreign owned – so decisions on exporting are not made here. In practical terms that means an

entity has to front up the transactions and ensure they are then backed off to the UK supplier base. • Greater involvement of Department for International Development funds to help developing countries build the infrastructure they need to grow their economies, copying the example set by other countries. If we’re going to transform our exporting success rates, we need to learn from and match our competitors. I just hope the UK government is up for this. Tel: 07738 544703 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Railway bridge construction Cleveland Bridge is a global leader in the design, engineering, fabrication and construction of steel bridges, buildings and structures


ounded in 1877, the company has a long track record of innovation in steel construction. Throughout its history, it has been responsible for creating some of the world’s most iconic structures, from the Victoria Falls Bridge and the Wembley Stadium Arch, to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Shard in London. The combination of highly-skilled designers and engineers with technicallyadvanced manufacturing facilities in Darlington, County Durham enables Cleveland Bridge to produce 150,000 tonnes of precision-engineered steel every year. Its products are engineered to fulfil the most demanding applications in the highways, rail, built environment, power, oil and gas and nuclear sectors. The company has been highly active in the rail industry for many decades from the Tyne Metro Bridge in Newcastle, through

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to the Canary Wharf station for Crossrail and its most recent projects including the award-winning Newport Bridge, the Lincoln Eastern Bypass Railway Bridge and the upgrading of London Bridge Station. It also recently opened its second location in the UK, an operations office in Newport, South Wales. Cleveland Bridge has extensive skills and expertise in design, civil and structural engineering, fabrication, project management, installation, construction and remedial services for steel bridges, buildings and structures, on any scale. It has the knowledge, facilities and resources to support every aspect of large scale construction and engineering projects, from new-build programmes to strengthening and refurbishment works, as well as providing support services such as preparation, painting and finishing. As bridge-building pioneers, Cleveland Bridge designs, manufactures and installs steel bridges of every type, including beam, truss, cable and modular bridges. In the world of construction, the company manufactures, fabricates and installs loadbearing and architectural steel elements for large scale commercial and civic buildings, industrial buildings, heavy transfer structures and iconic stadia. London Bridge Station upgrade The company’s specialist knowledge and expertise in bridge building and steel construction enable it to bring innovation and value engineering to any project, helping to solve problems, save time, costs and resources for clients, while improving safety and environmental performance. This is evident in the recent delivery of Cleveland Bridge’s element of the upgrade of London Bridge Station, which opened earlier this year. London Bridge Station is a major rail hub in central London, which has undergone a full, major redevelopment. Its transformation will now meet the growing transport needs of the area by increasing both passenger and rail capacity at the

station by 40 per cent. Cleveland Bridge was contracted by Costain, on behalf of Network Rail, for the supply, fabrication, trial erection, delivery and installation of 29 plate girder rail bridge decks. Consisting of six main girders braced together the total tonnage of the project was 3,600te. Securing this project also highlights Cleveland Bridge’s quality systems and standards, which are aligned with all statutory legislation and approved Codes of Practice. The company is registered under the

Achilles Link Up scheme as a qualified supplier for work undertaken on Network Rail property. It is also approved to ISO 9001:2008 by LQRA and ISO 3834 Pt2 by the International Institute for Welding. In addition, it has approval by LRV to ‘CE mark’ Cleveland Bridge steelwork in accordance with the Construction Products Directive product standard EN1090 for all execution classes. Tel: 01325 381188 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Infrastructure Services
















Site and Ground Investigations





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What makes a Driller? With Brexit looming Mark Lindahl, Site and Ground Investigations Director for Bridgeway Consulting explores the uncertainties around sourcing a diverse and skilled workforce


ow more than ever a robust training regimen is important to allow the companies planned expansion and to have a robust succession plan. Bridgeway Consulting Limited (BCL) has been trading as a specialist rail company since 1995, challenges in all departments are what the business thrive on and this is especially true of its Structural and Geotechnical Investigations department. The SI/GI department offers one of the widest inhouse set of services in the country, and certainly when paired with its sister departments of Geomatics and Infrastructure Services forms probably the largest and most diverse rail specific specialist front end information gathering service in the country. Bridgeway has a reputation for delivering the goods in tight locations both in terms of access and time constraints. Bridgeway recognises as a business that it can only deliver with the correct nurturing and developing of staff throughout their careers and people would be hard pushed to find another company who dedicates as much time and funding to training as Bridgeway. Bridgeway has a very strong training history and is widely recognised to be at the forefront of rail training providers. With its inhouse capability to deliver safety critical

courses from Senior Person In Charge of Possession (SPICOP) down to PTS, it ensures drillers rail specific courses are taken care of, as it would for any internal or external customer delivering first class training to achieve full understanding of how to work safely on track. The challenge at present is to build interest in a career in rail among the younger generation by helping them to appreciate that rail is not just any career but one where the work is heavy, dirty, often at night and where you can be constantly wet and cold for your entire shift. This is achieved through a robust recruitment process, combined with a heavy STEM presence in schools around the local area to promote what the business does and the rail industry as a whole. Skilled and qualified trainers When it comes to training drillers, most of you who are familiar with Bridgeway and specifically its team know that at its core are a number of ex-Royal Engineers. Several of the members of the team who fall into this category have completed tours of duty as an instructor teaching everything from field fortifications and demolitions, through to Site Investigation, through to UKAS accredited laboratory testing, through to interpretive report writing before finally overseeing the quality control of earthworks

and building materials on site. With this inhouse skillset, Bridgeway transported this into a very robust training package where it takes new members of staff mostly without any prior experience and gives them underpinning technical and safety knowledge in an acceptable timescale enabling them to deploy on live tasks and be a very safe, useful member of the team delivering the highest quality works when and where it matters most, on site. Using its background Bridgeway has recruited heavily from ex-forces personnel and encourages its staff to undertake a secondary role within the reserve forces should they wish. This has resulted in Bridgeway being awarded the ERS Silver

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award and being a strong contender for the Gold award in January 2019. Bridgeway’s trainees begin with the basic rail competence of PTS before moving on to training on small tools, Cable Avoidance Tools (CAT) & Signal Generator (Genny), de-vegetation, track trolley competence. Once these courses are completed successfully then trainees are moved into a classroom for a few days whereupon they begin on the theory of why they are completing the tasks which make up the programme, the importance of accurate readings and completion of paperwork. Once the classroom lessons are out of the way they move onto basic logging before being deployed to the multiple training areas utilised with a ‘scenario’ to deliver. Training progresses through the more basic techniques on smaller pieces of equipment to start with until the trainees are operating to a high standard. Once a standard is achieved and the trainees’ instructors are satisfied they are then assessed and signed as competent to second man. Bridgeway trainees then depart and begin their site careers. As the staff gain experience on site then Bridgeway develops them at the speed they are comfortable with and start developing both their rail skills and technical skills. Staff can progress onto cable drilling, rotary drilling or slope climbing drilling or indeed all three if they have the aptitude. During their training phase they work towards and upon final assessment are subsequently awarded their NVQ Level 2 in Land Drilling.

In conjunction with their drilling skills they can be trained as a Controller of Site Safety (COSS) and Engineering Supervisor (ES) backed up by being trained as a Safe Work Leader (SWL) level one and level two respectively, rail planning, assessing, Safe System of Work Planner. The diversity and opportunity provided within Bridgeway really is second to none. As Bridgeway is a Network Rail Principal Contractor it has the ability to train and employ Safe Work Leaders which sets it apart from others in the same field. With the level of ability its staff hold this enables them to also act in the Person In Charge (PIC) role covering all aspects of their discipline from both a safety and technical perspective. The tried and tested training regimen has Rail Professional

been used to train 30 individuals to date. Bridgeway’s retention rate far exceeds the national average which it believes is due to staff being able to see the investment and time the business will give them combined with good levels of pay and security of work. As Bridgeway is a very diverse business there is the opportunity to work with the Geomatics department utilising laser scanners, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV – Bridgeway is one of the few companies licensed to fly over the rail network), traditional total stations, or gauging trolleys to name but a few. Working with the Infrastructure Services department allows the individual to potentially complete an STE04 Structural Examiners course inhouse, IRATA Roped Access Course, Confined Spaces, CCTV, and Permanent Way duties to name but a few. For those members of staff that show the aptitude, Bridgeway sponsor them through Bachelors Degrees in Civil & Infrastructure Engineering in conjunction with the University of Derby; to date Bridgeway has had five graduates with a further four currently attending. Cross training staff to be utilised across departments is a core value for Bridgeway. It has allowed it to develop a highly competent,

robust, dependable, eager workforce who constantly deliver time and again for clients. Bridgeway’s approach to training and development and its approach to staff development in general has seen it awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Sustainable Development and has seen its Investors In People upgraded to Gold Level. This approach is believed to be key for the rail industry as a whole and should be adopted in whichever sector of rail each company works with. 2018 has seen significant growth within the department and 2019 is again looking to be a growth year with the level of works already secured and the latest trainees currently due to finish their training midDecember 2018. The next training course is currently planned in for the end of March 2019. Should you require any further information on the department then please contact Mark Lindahl – SIGI Director, Bridgeway Consulting at mark.lindahl@ Tel: 0115 919 1111 Email: Visit:


BOOK YOUR PLACE AT THE 21ST ANNUAL RAIL BUSINESS AWARDS Tables at the 21st annual RBAs are on sale now, so if you haven’t booked yet, do so now before they sell out. The awards ceremony is a night to celebrate the successes of the industry with your peers, whilst providing the perfect back drop to network and forge new business relationships. Your evening includes a drinks reception, fine food, a glittering awards presentation hosted by a celebrity and a post-Awards casino party, and Jazz band. You can book now at For booking enquiries please contact Stephen Pobjoy on 020 8652 5216, or email

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Thursday 21 February 2019 I London Hilton on Park Lane



The 21st Rail Business Awards The 21st Rail Business Awards will return to the Hilton on Park Lane on February 21 2019 to celebrate, recognise and reward excellence in the UK rail industry


ntries into this year’s Rail Business Awards are now closed. Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter this year. Tables are on sale now, so if you haven’t booked yet, do so now before they sell out. The categories are judged by senior independent figures within the rail industry. For over 21 years, the Rail Business Awards have been seen as a benchmark for excellence in the industry. The awards ceremony is a night to celebrate the successes of the industry with your peers, whilst providing the perfect back drop to network and forge new business relationships as the winners and finalists are showcased in the spotlight. Your evening includes a drinks reception, fine food, a glittering awards presentation hosted by a celebrity and a post-Awards casino party, and Jazz band – the perfect opportunity to reward the hard work of your team or to host clients. With over 600 people in attendance, the best tables at the Rail Business Awards sell out fast. So, to be sure of a prime position for you and your guests early booking is highly recommended. You can book now at For booking enquiries please contact Stephen Pobjoy on 020 8652 5216, or email

Rail Professional



Bel Power DC DC supply solutions for the rail industry Providing power supply devices for safety critical rail industry applications need not lead automatically to higher cost and more complex solutions


n this piece Relec Electronics looks at a new generation of affordable RCM (Railway Chassis Mount) DC DC converters from the leading power supply manufacturer Melcher and in particular how a simple design feature is able to provide safe installation in field applications. Melcher, now part of the Bel group, has a track record stretching over 40 years designing and manufacturing rugged, compact and highly reliable power supply products for the railway industry. Pedigree The RCM series has been developed by the same Swiss team that designed the now ubiquitous M, S, K, Q and P series products used extensively across Europe’s railways for applications as diverse as safety interlocks, train radios, lighting and even soap dispensers. The Melcher team has always been proud of the level of detail and design verification which goes into their products. Would you expect any less from a Swiss company? All Melcher products are designed to the following strict criteria: • Compliance to EN50121-3-2:2016 and EN50155:2017 as standard • Severe derating down to component levels • Over stressing on input to output isolation tests • HALT (highly accelerated life testing) as standard • All circuits dip-varnished for high mechanical durability and humidity withstand • Self-cooling, no derating over the specified temperature range. The Melcher brand is synonymous with reliability with real life failure rates being a fraction of those calculated. Cost-effective solution With the introduction of more electronics on the latest generation of trains, there was a need to develop a new product family which still maintained the benefits of a ‘Melcher’ solution, but with a price tag which suited the Rail Professional

less safety critical applications. The brief for the development of the RCM was to develop a family with the same high reliability core, but with savings to be made in the case construction and also a reduced range of options. The RCM series is now fully released with products available in 150, 300, 500 and 1,000 Watt solutions, with inputs to cover the most popular traction battery voltages. Melcher has incorporated many of the options available on the older products as standard features on the RCM series. These include, Output OK signals, hold up time and ORing fets for redundant operation. The RCM power supplies also have the following features as standard: • RoHS lead-free-solder product • Closed simple housing for chassis mounting • Extremely high efficiency and high-power density • Convection cooled environment at temperatures from -40°C up to 85°C. • Low inrush current • Overtemperature, overvoltage, overcurrent, and overload protection • Compliant to EN 50155, EN 50121-3-2, AREMA • Fire and smoke: compliant to EN 45545 and NFPA 130 • Five-year warranty. The development of RCM chassis mount converters has brought cost savings making it an attractive proposition in an increasing number of onboard applications. One customer has switched to the RCM series in their induction hearing loop system. The resulting cost savings has now enabled them to win a greater number of contracts. The low-cost RCM series are also providing an effective solution for the widespread use of onboard USB sockets, where a safe, power limited 12V or 24V is bussed around a carriage to power individual USB ports.

New optional plug connector version Traditionally RCM chassis mount DC DC converters are supplied with cage-clamp terminal, a long-established industry standard. An optional pluggable connector is now available which lowers the risk of reverse polarity connection and supports the integration of ready-made cable harnesses during installation, operation or maintenance. Pluggable connectors are especially suitable for railway applications providing additional retention capacity for shock and vibrationproof operation ideal for many rolling stock applications such as cab radios, HVAC systems, train control, passenger information systems, washroom systems and illumination applications. Relec Electronics Limited was established in 1978 with the aim of providing specialist products and support to the professional electronics industry, and is based in Wareham, Dorset. Relec has expanded and refined this philosophy over the past 40 years and specialise in offering AC DC power supplies, DC DC converters, DC AC Inverters, Displays and EMC filter solutions to equipment manufacturers and system integrators in the UK and Ireland.

Much of its work focusses on applications and requirements for the railway industry for which it is crucial that the governing standards are well understood and adhered to. Relec’s technical staff have up to 30 years’ experience working with power conversion in the rail sector. Tel: 01929 555700 Email: Visit:

Designed, constructed and delivered - the new Crossrail training mock up



Education, Education, Education! Dr Jenny Illingsworth, Manager at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education explains the skills and education gap


he Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham has long been aware of the much discussed skills and education gap across the rail industry and has been educating the next generation of industry experts and leaders for many years. BCRRE has enjoyed an enviable position with its sought-after MSc programme in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration – often described by its graduates as a mini-MBA in Rail – and in recent years has expanded its offering to include undergraduate degrees in Civil & Railway Engineering and Electrical & Railway Engineering, a Master of Research programme, an updated MSc in Railway Safety and Control Systems and bespoke short-courses and formal qualifications, in addition to its traditional research PhD opportunities. BCRRE’s newly-updated MSc programme in Railway Safety and Control Systems aims

to meet the need for efficient, effective railway control systems for safe and timely running of the railway, together with

addressing the Digital Railway agenda. The challenge for rail industry leaders is to embrace the change from railway signalling to railway control and communications and meet the needs of the new digital age. This programme now has three potential pathways of study. Each meets the needs of a key theme within the safe, efficient management of railway systems: • Railway risk and safety systems – emphasising systems engineering and safety in critical systems, for designing new safety systems • Railway risk and safety operations and organisation – management and safety throughout the system’s lifecycle • Railway communications and control (including signalling) – this new pathway focuses on railway systems, signalling principles and practice, and communication systems. It has been developed in close collaboration with the Institute of Railway Signalling Engineers (IRSE) and completion of this pathway, to PG Diploma or MSc level, is aimed at exempting graduates from the IRSE’s examination for Professional Railway Signalling Engineer recognition. Continued >>>

Rail Professional

KEEPING YOU ON THE RIGHT TRACK Lifting equipment built specially for you

Quality and safety are our number 1 priority Endorsed by our being quality approved to BS EN ISO9001; 2015 Specialists in the manufacture of all types of hydraulic lifting equipment for the rail, haulage and garage industries We are happy to quote for design, development and production for your individual application Privately owned British company established for 45 years All our products can be viewed on our web site www.majorlift .com To discuss our product in detail or arrange a visit from one of our engineers telephone 01454 299299 Majorlift Hydraulic Equipment Ltd. Arnolds Field Estate, Wickwar, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 8JD Tel: (+44) 01454 299299 Visit:

INVICTUS RESOURCE LTD Invictus Resource Ltd offer a variety of engineering services to the railway industry specialising in Overhead Line Electrification. The company is dedicated to the provision of services to a broad spectrum of industry clientele providing a multitude of skilled staff to the rail industry. They maintain a comprehensive database of fully trained and experienced personnel that enables a dedicated recruitment team to quickly and efficiently identify suitably qualified personnel for your operation matching your specific needs, regardless of the level of seniority or whether the role is operational or office based. Invictus Resource Ltd specialise in the following disciplines operating throughout the UK rail and construction markets: • • • • •

Overhead Line Staff (Isolations / Construction) Civil Engineering Safety Critical Staff Permanent Way Engineering HV Cable Jointers

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Tel: +44 (0) 1579 320808 Email: Web: A division of



Flexible approach BCRRE sets up its programmes of study for the convenience of full-time or part-time attendance, with each module taught in week-long blocks. This allows for part-time study to coincide with work so students can attend in Birmingham or York for the weeklong sessions of teaching and then return to their workplace to apply their learning immediately into their professional life. Flexible learning The relevance of Birmingham’s teaching means BCRRE offers attendance at individual modules for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). All of its Birmingham-based modules are available for CPD, where students will attend for the week (or weeks) of teaching and complete homework, projects and assignments at home. Completing the assessment means the student can collect academic credit which can be offset against future formal study – academic credits and marks achieved are simply transferred into the student’s record (subject to university regulations). CPD modules are still available for the 2018-19 academic year: • Principles of Railway Control Systems (PRCS) NEW for 2018. Course dates: November 5 to 16 2018

• Railway Traction and Electrification Systems (RTES). Course dates: November 12 to 16 2018 • Practical Ergonomics for Railway Systems (PERS). Course dates: December 3 to 7 2018 • Strategic Business Management for

Railways (SBMR). Course dates: January 21 to 25 2019 • Rolling Stock and Infrastructure Systems Interactions (RSIS). Course dates: February 11 to 15 2019. Reaching new talent The University of Birmingham is unique in the UK, offering specialist, accredited engineering degrees with dedicated railway engineering content. Each year, Birmingham’s School of Engineering takes in over 300 undergraduate students, studying to BEng and MEng level. Students selecting the railway engineering options benefit from railway design projects, and learn about infrastructure, traction, railway operations, business management and system interactions, meaning that graduates are industry-ready. Those who choose the non-specialist pathway still benefit from railway design projects and elements of their studies contextualised to the rail industry. BCRRE encourages its undergraduates to find relevant work experience to bring their academic learning to life. The School of Engineering’s Industrial Liaison Officer helps students obtain relevant, interesting work placements for summer jobs, industrial placements and graduate employment. Any company wishing to reach the university’s students and graduates are welcome to contact BCRRE – details follow. Dr Jenny Illingsworth is a Manager at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education

Tel: +44(0)121 414 4165 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Reliable equipment to keep projects running on time Keeping projects running on time is a challenge that requires not only organisational skills but also dependable equipment that is built to perform


orris Site Machinery, a leading manufacturer and distributor of reliable site machinery brands, understands the needs of the rail sector. It has a range of products to get the job done, from SMC lighting towers to Denyo generators to ArcGen welders and backs it up with first-class customer service. As part of a fifth-generation family owned and run business group it has a proven track record, operating from four manufacturing bases and depots in Wolverhampton, Lincolnshire, Aylesford and Stirling. Network Rail approved Whether its regular engineering works and night repairs or major rail construction projects, the industry can call on solutions from Morris Site Machinery. Its ArcGen welders are used throughout the sector, offering flexible and precise welding capabilities for all types of arc welding. The Network Rail approved ArcGen Weldmaker 165SP2 is a mobile 165amp petrol driven welder generator that is particularly popular for its portability and reliability. The MIG welding process for switching and points can be achieved by using two 165SP welders in tandem via a parallel box. Key start and super silent operation with smooth welding characteristics up to 4.0mm electrodes with Arc Force control for all types of electrodes including cellulosic.

lighting towers with its SMC TL55 Solar and now its sister tower, the new TL55 Battery Lighting Tower option. These battery powered solutions are ideal for working in residential areas with zero noise, zero emissions and no fuel. They meet the increasing need for sustainable, environmentally friendly and low maintenance portable lighting, giving up to 500 hours on one charge. Shining examples Specialist lighting products offering ultimate reliability, extended run times and great performance, SMC lighting towers have proven their worth on projects from London’s Crossrail programme to meeting demands from Network Rail’s drive for fuelfree sites. The Network Rail approved SMC TL90 LED is a super silent lighting tower with proven reliability and performance providing up to 177 hours of uninterrupted operation. Four 300W LED lamps give directional clear and crisp light with a spread of up to a hundred metres. The innovative Halo, a next generation lamp head offering a powerful, anti-glare soft light, is perfect for trackside lighting where strong light is needed but anti-glare is important. Its virtually indestructible lamp head delivers 360 degrees of diffused light from four 300W LED quadrants. Morris Site Machinery was the first British company to produce solar powered

Tel: +44 (0)1902 790824 Email Visit:

Rail Professional

Preventing the risk of

bridge strikes! Up to 10 railway bridges a day are hit by HGV drivers not knowing their vehicle height. Each one costs rail operators and councils time and money. Coeval’s intelligent technology detects overheight vehicles and illuminates a high-intensity road sign that stops or diverts them. For over 20 years our signs have been protecting railway bridges across the country. Visit to find out more.

design | manufacture | install | maintain

High-Calibre LED Road Signs & Traffic Control Systems Intelligent illumination

t 0141 255 0840 e w

For almost 100 years Furrer+Frey have been developing electrification solutions for light rail, trams and metros around the world. Furrer+Frey are experts in: ÈÈSystem development and design ÈÈFeasibility studies ÈÈCost effective solutions to complex urban areas As well as being pioneers of electrification, Furrer+Frey are also experts in discontinuous electrification to provide catenary free sections in historic city centres and charging technologies for battery vehicles. @furrerfreyGB @furrerfreyGB



A solution to ‘Bridge Strikes’ Coeval sets the standard in highway maintenance and has been providing high-calibre LED road signs and traffic control systems to many Highway agencies and City Councils for over 30 years

T • • • •

he cutting-edge technology contained within Coeval’s products is modular and tailored to clients’ precise requirements using its specific process:

Design Manufacture Install Maintain.

This ensures a full service for its customers from start to finish. Coeval is dedicated to making roads and railways in the UK safer, and it keeps a close watch on the most pressing challenges that City Councils and Highway agencies face in transport safety. The cost of ‘bridge strikes’ The problem of ‘bridge strikes’, where a large vehicle collides with a bridge too low to pass under, is a constant nationwide issue, and the situation isn’t improving. The number of bridge strikes between April 1 2016 and March 31 2017 was 1,665. That number has increased to 1,801 between the same dates from 2017-18 – a five-year high. Network Rail has been attempting to combat this epidemic by providing resources to educate HGV drivers. The latest effort,

‘Lorries Can’t Limbo’, takes a similar approach to the ‘Check it, don’t chance it’ campaign of the same time last year; the campaign aims to ensure HGV drivers know the height of their vehicle and plan their route accordingly. This tactic has already proven to be an uphill struggle, with Network Rail’s most recent statistics showing that 52 per cent of lorry drivers admit to not taking low bridges into account. In the meantime, the cost of bridge strikes continues to mount – with lost productivity from delays on road and rail, and the value of undelivered goods, the cost to the taxpayer is estimated to be up to £23 million per year. The human cost of bridge strikes further adds to the urgency of finding a solution; HGV drivers who cause a bridge strike are usually prosecuted, facing a possible license ban, fines of up to £2,500 and even up to two years of prison time. A single mistake can cost a driver their livelihood, and education alone is not sufficient to prevent every error. Coeval’s Overheight Vehicle Detection (OVD) System To truly make an impact on bridge strikes, a change of approach is needed – one that

is practical, has immediate results, and accounts for the human element. That approach is not a mystery; Coeval has been implementing it for years, in the form of vehicle-activated signage. The Intelligent Coeval Overheight Vehicle Warning System is designed specifically to protect bridges, tunnels and overhead cables from vehicle damage. It uses a sensor to track overheight vehicles well before they get to the low bridge. It then sends the message to a sign that can warn the driver, either stopping them or diverting them. The signs are easy to fit, visible in all conditions and are vandal resistant. More importantly, they remove the need for drivers to know the height of their vehicles. With this simple measure, Coeval’s signs drastically reduce bridge strike incidents wherever they are implemented. The pledge Having spent 30 years protecting the UK’s roads and railways and doing business with clients across the globe, Coeval has developed a set of standards that are leading in the industry. It pledges to deliver a quick turnaround, high build quality and reliability in everything it does. The company implements the system swiftly and within schedule, working around the red tape with an experienced hand. Strategic planning allows it to ensure no time goes to waste. After everything is put in place, the Coeval team offers continued technical support and maintenance for years to come. Tel: 0141 255 0840 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

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


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



//////////////////////////////////////// CASE STUDY

Express service Stewarts Lane railway depot in Battersea has provided maintenance and stabling for the southeast of England’s rolling stock since 1862, at one point it had the largest locomotive capacity in the southern region


he facility has provided a service to London and its southern arterial rail system through two world wars, the steam days, nationalisation, electrification and privatisation. Having stabled the Royal Train, one of the depots main uses today is for the maintenance of the prestigious Orient Express. After the installation of a Nor-Ray-Vac system in the high bay and main locomotive shed at Orient Express 28 years ago, the system now needed to be replaced. Orient Express approached Multigas and asked it to assist with the replacement of the existing and also an additional two areas that were previously unheated. Entrance and exit doors often occupy the full width of the building and may be left open for many hours a day. When doors are open at both ends, a wind tunnel effect is created, cold air at high velocity is drawn into the shed. Keeping the shed warm enough for employees to work comfortably is compounded by the often north-south alignment of the tracks, which allows very little sunshine to warm the interior. Nortek Global HVAC was able to offer the ideal heating and most effective and economic heating solution under the Reznor brand. Blanket heat coverage was not a necessity in the rail shed as only the areas where personnel are working needed to be heated. When operatives are working on one part of the train, zoning enables all other parts of the radiant heating system to be switched off. Over time this produces considerable fuel economies and cost reductions. Economy and effectiveness were the two key criteria specified to be answered when selecting the heating system for the rail maintenance shed. Finding a solution to both in a single heating system can be challenging. One form of space heating technology ideally suited to this cold and inhospitable working environment is the Nor-Ray-Vac radiant tube heating system. Reznor replaced the old system with the latest Nor-Ray-Vac series system which was Rail Professional

GEOPHYSICAL AND SURVEYING SERVICES Geophysical surveying techniques provide rapid, discrete and cost-effective methods for locating and identifying subsurface features. RSK’s specialist geophysics team has a long-established record of providing high-quality technical support to the transport sector. As part of the RSK Group, we have the largest ground investigation resource in the UK for all aspects of rail-related surveys. Geophysical techniques available include ground-penetrating radar electromagnetic ground conductivity resistivity imaging magnetics surveying microgravity seismic refraction seismic surface-wave ground stiffness topographic surveying laser scan surveys with application to buried services and culverts underground structures mining works and voids variation in ballast thickness variation in embankment material level of rockhead badger sett mapping.

For more information, please contact: Tim Grossey T: +44 (0)1442 416654 E: @rsk_geophysics Rail professional ad_final.indd 1

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happily received by the client due to the past financial benefits of this type of heating system within a train depot environment. The project was completed in three stages. Phases One and Two are where the complete rebuild of the carriages takes place for the Orient Express trains and were previously unheated bays. • Phase One – an area of 41 metres x 15 metres and seven metres high saw the installation of Nor-Ray-Vac system consisting of six 24kW burners with one flue discharge • Phase Two – an area of 30 metres x 15 metres and seven metres high saw the installation of a Nor-Ray-Vac system consisting of six 18kW burners with one flue discharge • Phase Three – the high bay and main locomotive shed where the steam locomotives are maintained on a regular basis. The Nor-Ray-Vac system was an exact replacement of the original to minimise the installation costs. The client was more than happy to replace the old system with the latest NRV series having experienced the financial benefits of an efficient radiant heating system within a train depot environment. The high bay area of 30 metres x 20 metres and 12 metres high a Nor-Ray-Vac system of ten 18kW burners with one flue discharge was installed going around the perimeter of the bay, below the crane beam.

The main locomotive area was 77 metres x 15 metres and seven metres high and received a Nor-Ray-Vac system consisting of 18 18kW burners arranged in three zones with two flue discharges. The Nor-Ray-Vac system combusts the fuel at the point of use enabling maximum efficiency with no distribution losses and has rapid response to changed conditions. It is uniquely designed to accommodate the building constraints and required zoning for the method of working within the shed. The flexibility of the radiant heating system meant that specific areas can be heated as required by the work patterns within the shed, keeping staff warm. The client employed the services of Multigas to undertake the replacement works. Orient Express now benefits from a radiant heating system capable of maintaining the depot at a comfortable environment well into the late 2030s. Installation summary • Venice Simpion Orient Express invested in a Nor-Ray-Vac continuous radiant tube heating system • Suspended from the roof, the continuous radiant tube heating system emits infrared rays that warm only objects and people in their path • Low operating costs are achieved by concentrating the heat at low level • A heating system with flexibility in design – tailored to the exact requirements of the design brief


• No movement of air – dust and airborne particles are not moved around • No distribution losses – fuel utilised at the point of use. Technical Summary Phase One Area: 41 metres long x 15 metres wide Height: seven metres Volume: 4305m3 Heaters: six 24kW NRV burners with one flue discharge Phase Two Area: 30 metres long x 15 metres wide Height: seven metres Volume: 3150m3 Heaters: six 18kW NRV burners with one flue discharge Phase Three – High Bay Area: 30 metres long x 20m wide Height: 12 metres Volume: 7200m3 Heaters: ten 18kW NRV burners with one flue discharge Phase Three – Main Loco Shed Area: 77 metres long x 15 metres wide Height: seven metres Volume: 8085m3 Heaters: 18 18kW NRV burners with two flue discharge

Tel: 01384 489700 Email: Visit:

Rail Professional



NRL makes strategic appointment with new Rail Operations Director NRL Limited has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Lindsay MacDonald into their Rail business. Bringing with him decades of experience in the rail industry, Lindsay MacDonald joins NRL under the leadership of Director Jim Taylor to build on the business’ reputation for innovation and high quality service delivery. ORR appoints John Larkinson as Interim Chief Executive The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has appointed John Larkinson, currently Director of Railway Markets and Economics, as Interim Chief Executive with immediate effect following an internal competition. This follows the departure of Joanna Whittington, who left ORR on October 5 to take up the position of Director General, Energy and Security at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). An open competition for the role of Chief Executive will be advertised in due course.

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DIRECTOR OF TRAIN OPERATIONS (RAILWAY UNDERTAKING) Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) - Irish Rail is Ireland’s national railway company, responsible for operations and infrastructure management. Its mission is to provide transport services that continually meet customers’ requirements and help drive Ireland’s economic growth and development. In 2017, a staff body of 3,800 employees, with an enviable safety record, delivered 45.5m city, intercity and commuter passenger journeys across 1,700 km of railway; moved 100m tons of freight; and managed Rosslare Europort. Last year the business generated revenues of €265m and increasing modal shift has seen average annual growth of 6% in passenger numbers since 2015. In 2018, IÉ will appoint a Director of Train Operations (Railway Undertaking) who will report directly to the Chief Executive. This appointment is being made as IÉ prepares for unprecedented capital investment under the National Development Plan (NDP) with an estimated €2bn for fleet expansion and infrastructure projects. Reporting to the Chief Executive and working closely with the Executive team, the Director of Train Operations (Railway Undertaking) will: • protect and extend the current record at IÉ as one of the safest railways in Europe; • reinforce IÉ core values of team work and customer centricity; • support and enhance a well-developed industrial relations climate; • optimise the financial allocation to IÉ as part of the NDP through sound planning, prudent budgeting and the timely delivery on all commitments through expert project management; • demonstrate value-for-money in all investments; • collaborate with all stakeholders, developing highly functioning professional relationships built on trust and integrity. The Director of Train Operations (Railway Undertaking) is a pivotal position for the future growth and development of all rail services in Ireland, with a significant proportion of the proposed NDP allocation to be invested in rolling stock. The ideal candidate will demonstrate: • strong leadership of successful teams on programmes of comparable strategic importance; • extensive project planning, procurement and delivery credentials; • sound judgement, foresight and a vision for rail services of the future; • ability to build multi-stakeholder confidence through deep operational experience and insight; • experience of rail transport or of comparable operations experience in Ireland or internationally; • a proven track record of managing in a complex operating environment. This is a once in a career opportunity for an operations professional to join a senior executive team delivering a fundamental shift in the quality of rail services in Ireland. To discuss your suitability for the role you may call Michele Stokes at 00353 (0)1 792 5538 or Ellen Roche 00353 (0)1 792 6703. Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV and a personal statement outlining their fit for the role to on or before 22 November 2018. IÉ is a subsidiary of the commercial semi-state group of transport companies, Córas Iompair Éireann, and its activities are regulated by the National Transport Authority and by the Commission for Railway Regulation.

Searching for a bright future? Opportunities with Frazer-Nash, UK-wide At Frazer-Nash, we support moving people and goods around and between the big cities of an increasingly urbanised society. We have our eye on the future and we’re looking for problem solvers, like you, to join our growing rail business. With consultant and engineer opportunities across the sector, we’re keen to hear from specialists with safety, design, power, rolling stock, environmental, cyber/information systems, software or fleet management expertise. If you have an eye on the future too and want to benefit from working in a culture that recognises and rewards your technical expertise, we want to hear from you. Invest in your future and be part of our success story.

Frazer-Nash is a leading systems and engineering technology company. We’re renowned for our work in the transport, aerospace, nuclear, marine, defence, industrial, power and energy sectors. The breadth of expertise and the insight we apply deliver successful outcomes. Our offices UK: Basingstoke • Bristol • Burton • Dorchester • Dorking • Glasgow • Gloucester • Plymouth • Warrington Australia: Adelaide • Canberra • Melbourne


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FLEET MANAGERS Beacon Rail Leasing Good base salary with excellent benefits package

Our client Beacon Rail Leasing is a leading rolling stock leasing company. They have a diverse range of assets and a customer base across the UK and continental Europe. In line with their current growth trajectory and ambitious expansion plans going forward they are looking to recruit two new Fleet Managers. This is a genuinely exciting time to join Beacon Rail Leasing. They are business renowned in the industry as being highly entrepreneurial, and in 2017 were purchased by JP Morgan, a global investment bank that is investing in their continued growth. In this highly autonomous role, you will engage with clients and external stakeholders at a senior level and work on an array of strategic engineering projects to improve the reliability and maintainability of the fleets. You will also work closely with colleagues in the commercial team on bids, leasing and contract discussions. A good candidate for this post will have a good understanding of the railway industry with experience in the maintenance and engineering of rolling stock and will ideally have a mechanical or electrical degree or significant experience in a technical railway environment. In summary this role represents a great opportunity to build a career within a close knit team in a dynamic company that are rapidly growing and gain knowledge and experience across a broad range of activities. Newsom Consulting are exclusively retained on this assignment. To find out more or to apply please email your curriculum vitae to Richard Dobbs, Newsom Consulting at or call; 020 3026 3872 for a confidential discussion.

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


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Qualified Train Drivers £49,819-£50,977 rising to circa £62,000 by 2020 Reading, Oxford, Bristol, Gloucester, Westbury, Fratton, Plymouth, Exeter & Penzance

At GWR, we’re looking for Qualified Train Drivers who want to deliver a different kind of rail service. Where rewards are first class, and where salaries will rise to around £62k by 2020. Where the fleet is being modernised. And where you’ll get the chance to drive through some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside, across the South West of England and Wales. We’re setting a new standard for rail in the 21st Century – for our passengers and for our people. And we’re focused on creating a relaxing, fast, efficient, friendly, fun and special experience. Join us and you’ll use your drive, commitment, passion for customer service, and exemplary safety record to help over 100 million passengers travel between more than 275 stations, safely and on time, every year. It means you’ll need to work a variety of shifts and live within an hour’s travel of the depot you apply to. But in return, we offer a Defined Benefit Railway Pension Scheme, free rail travel across the GWR network for you and your family, a Health cash plan and much more. GWR celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all our employees. Join our team of Great Westerners and help us make history. To apply online please visit

UK Power Networks Services

THE POWER TO DELIVER A RELIABLE SERVICE WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR PASSENGERS? With eleven years of HS1 experience behind us, we know how important it is for passengers that we deliver network reliability. A reliable service makes travel more convenient, easier for passengers to plan journeys and gives them the confidence they will arrive on time. Rail network reliability is our priority by ensuring a resilient electricity network. It gives passengers a better travelling experience, with improved comfort and more widespread accessibility. Ultimately it offers passengers more choice, both in the range of available services and the flexibility with which they can use them. The power to deliver a better future Winners of Innovation of the Year at the National Rail Awards 2018 for GWEP for the Rationalised Autotransformer System





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