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OCTOBER 2019 Issue 256 £7.95


Seeing through digital eyes How UAVs help to generate survey data RAIL DECARBONISATION The UK’s first rail decarbonisation event

THE DIGITAL RAILWAY Making the digital revolution happen

GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING Treating wastewater during railway construction


People flow assessment is one of those fields which is complex to acquire but key to understanding and optimising many areas of activity, in particular railway transport and metro stations. Only experts are able to extract the relevant data and synthesise it to produce real operational intelligence tools or simply to use as decision-making support in real time.


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editor’s note 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 AMY HUDSON RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING 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


his issue we’re doing a deep dive into the Digital Railway, starting with Lucy Prior looking at how we can position new digital technology in a way that includes younger digital natives without alienating experienced colleagues. Globally, digital adoption is still somewhat lopsided with China making the most of the new technology, earlier this summer the 141 kilometre long Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link became the first high-speed railway in China to have full 5G network coverage along its entire line. At Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station, Huawei and China Mobile launched the fifth generation mobile telecoms technology to passengers in June 2019, enabling people to stream a 2GB highdefinition film in under 20 seconds. It is now expected that 5G technology will support around one million devices per square kilometre compared to 4,000 for 4G. Tim Hughes, Managing Director at CHH CoNeX, explores the potential for the technology in the UK and poses the challenge of upgrading the UK’s entire rail infrastructure with the right hardware required to deliver this digitised future. Tim Bellenger, Director, Policy and Investigation at London TravelWatch, tackles the question of digitalisation from the passenger’s perspective whilst Dr Jenny Illingsworth, Deputy Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education at University of Birmingham, writes about the DIGI-RAIL project. You could describe the pursuit of the Digital Railway as having both eyes on the future, but digitalisation is not the only brick in the future world we want to build. Back in June, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. The target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Eli Rees-King of the Rail Alliance reports on the UK’s first rail decarbonisation event held at the Quinton Rail Technology Centre (QRTC), a test and trial centre of excellence and fast becoming recognised for the concentration of green railway technologies being developed there. My first interview this month is with Alex Veitch of the FTA about the issues he sees plaguing the UK’s freight industry and the solutions presented by potential structural changes. My other interview is with Lisa Ingram of Amey. We discuss the Amey Challenge Cup which was set up to get girls into STEM. Created five years ago as a careers involvement day by Birmingham-based Amey staff, this June the competition went nationwide with schools in Sheffield, London, Birmingham, Liverpool, York, Milton Keynes, Belfast and Scotland all taking part. Lisa talks about her hopes for the Cup and what she thinks the reasons are for girls making up 48 per cent of the total STEM entries at GCSE yet only 16 per cent of engineering and technology undergraduates. We also cover surveying and geotechnical engineering with features from Bridgeway and Siltbuster. Sam Sherwood-Hale Editor

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06 News

31 Women in Rail

Scotland’s Railway gets ready for autumn, Network Rail’s North West & Central region hits important devolution milestone, New ORR rail punctuality statistics will help industry focus on boosting performance for passengers, Innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs wanted for Wales, GBRf Announce New Southampton to Manchester Intermodal Service, Transforming London Overground journeys for deaf passengers, £194 Million Investment into Railways Stations in Wales, Japanese know-how improving punctuality of Greater Anglia trains, Pitlochry station is best in Britain, Midland Metro Alliance celebrates the last weld of Metro track in Centenary Square as phase one construction enters final stages, Southeastern introduces ‘Delay Repay 15’ compensation, Liverpool Lime Street crowned station of the year, Station Road reopened following completion of crucial maintenance work to Mynydd underbridge, Network Rail and Hack Partners launch post-hackathon acceleration fund

Adeline Ginn asks what does inclusion really mean at a time when we are celebrating National Inclusion Week

33 Prior knowledge Lucy Prior MBE explores the statement: ‘rail transport has always been a frontier of technological progress, with the supply industry leading the way’

37 Laying down the law In six months, the government’s Off-Payroll Working Rules (the ‘Rules’) will apply to medium and large sized organisations in the private sector

41 Viewpoint

19 Delivering the goods Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy, FTA reports on the good news for the UK’s freight industry

Tammy Samuel and Bobbie Bickerton explore the impact of promises and challenges of new technology

45 Viewpoint

23 The Cheek of it

John Roberts considers regulation in a post-EU UK

Recent agitation over climate change has forced the issue back onto the political agenda. Chris Cheek sets this in the context of more than 25 years reporting on the issue and wonders whether we really are prepared to take the radical action to deliver on our promises

27 Rail Alliance Eli Rees-King reports on the UK’s first rail decarbonisation event

49 Rail Professional Interview Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy for Freight Transport Association about FTA’s expectations for the Rail Review and how freight is viewed in the rail industry

51 Rail Professional Interview Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Lisa Ingram Head of Business Improvement at Amey, who started and developed the Amey Challenge Cup after seeing the lack of aspiration, opportunities and female role models during a visit to her daughter’s school

55 Consulting Charlotte Warburton, Global Head of rail at PA Consulting, the global innovation and transformation consultancy, looks at passenger centric innovations rail could be adopting



85 The Digital Railway Earlier this year, Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station was one of the first major rail sites to benefit from the roll out of 5G

88 The Digital Railway Smart wagons from DB Cargo

89 The Digital Railway 59 Rolling stock Richard Hobbs, Associate Director at Atkins, compares the US and European approach to rolling stock procurement

63 Geotechnical Engineering Richard Coulton, Business Unit Manager at Siltbuster, discusses the ways in which water can become polluted during railway construction and how it can be treated

69 Overground Rail Extension Sid Grover, Associate Director for environment, health and safety at environmental and engineering consultancy RSK, provides an insight into RSK’s work on Barking Riverside Extension Project in Barking, East London

73 Stations The travel retail sector is booming and with footfall numbers at Britain’s train stations set to increase, Network Rail and operators are already investing in regeneration initiatives to take advantage of this growing commercial opportunity. But could they be doing more?

77 Surveying The UK rail network houses over 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts, of which a large percentage are from the Victorian era and are in challenging to reach locations

81 Surveying Murphy Surveys carried out a Subsurface Utility Mapping survey for a global engineering services organisation with 35,000 people working within the marine, land, aviation and nuclear sectors

Tom Meacock, Client Director, and Emily Thorne, Emily Catlow and Lizzie Rawlinson, Human Factors Consultants at Atkins explain how user-centred design can enhance how we think about, use and operate the railway

95 The Digital Railway Steve Wakeland, Executive Chairman of ITSO Ltd, explores the role of smart ticketing in Mobility as a Service

97 The Digital Railway Tim Bellenger, Director, Policy and Investigation at London TravelWatch, looks at the rail passengers’ digital experience

99 The Digital Railway Dr Jenny Illingsworth, Deputy Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education at University of Birmingham explores the opportunities presented by the Digital Railway

103 Promotion Anderton realigns its offering

105 Business Profiles Adomast Manufacturing, Armorgard, RAIL Asia 2020, Tiflex, Twinfix, Telent, Kee Systems, Layher, Bam Ritchies, RPB® Safety

134 People Susan Evans, John Saabas, Rob Almond, Michael Dunn, Rob McIntosh, Ellie Burrows, Gary Walsh, Matthew Rice, Paul Rutter, Alex Hynes, Liam Sumpter, Mark Langman, Bill Kelly, Mike Gallop, Tim Shoveller, James Dean, Phil James, Dave Penney, John Halsall, Mark Killick, Shaun King, Fiona Taylor, Katie Frost



Scotland’s Railway gets ready for autumn

News in brief... Northern Mayors call on government to deliver for the North now Northern mayors, Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram, have called on the government to take urgent action in five key areas and give the North the power and resources to get it firing on all cylinders. The demands include terminating the Northern rail franchise and working towards more local control of rail services. The Liverpool city-region and Greater Manchester Mayors restated their strong support for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail but stressed it can’t be the only test of commitment to the North. Installation of three new DLR escalators at Bank station The milestone marks a crucial phase of the planned upgrade as the modernisation of Bank station continues to gather pace, with capacity set to increase by 40 per cent by 2022. The DLR concourse will be reduced to make way for the three new escalators to the Northern line, which will help to improve journeys through the station by boosting capacity. Newmarket sets out rail vision Representatives from Suffolk County Council, West Suffolk District Council and the Newmarket Racecourses met with stakeholders from the horse racing industry and Members of Parliament to call for more investment in passenger rail services in Newmarket. The delegation listened to a series of speeches on Newmarket’s rail priorities from the Newmarket Racecourses, Suffolk County Council, West Suffolk District Council, Railfuture, the Department for

Scotland’s railway is more prepared than ever before to keep trains moving during autumn. Rail cleaning trains will treat 20,000 more miles of track than last year, more ‘Leaf Buster’ teams will be out on the network and small changes to the timetable will help make the service more reliable. Ground-breaking microwave and cryogenic technologies will also be used for the very first time on Scotland’s railway to help keep rails clean and customers safe. Every autumn, the trees that grow along the railway drop thousands of tonnes of leaves onto the tracks and this debris can break down into a slippery surface that sticks to the rails and causes trains to lose their grip. This can make trains overshoot signals and platforms – potentially putting customers and staff in danger. Debris can also affect signalling systems, making it hard to track where trains are on the network. This autumn, activity includes: A fleet of specialist trains deployed to wash leaf debris off the line and spray rails with a glue-like coating to help train wheels grip the tracks Running treatment trains for a longer period and over more track miles than ever before –covering over 74,000 track miles, compared to 54,000 in 2018 Dedicated ‘Leaf Buster’ teams to clear leaves before they have a chance to stick to the rails Rapid response crews based at key points across the network ready to react quickly to clean specific locations where drivers report poor conditions Ground-breaking new technology – using microwaves to blast the slippery leaf mulch from the rails and cryogenic (dry ice) pellets to instantly freeze and disperse debris Small tweaks to the timetable to make the train service even more reliable.

Network Rail’s North West & Central region hits important devolution milestone Network Rail’s North West & Central (NW&C) region has confirmed its three route directors in a move to bring railway decision-making closer to passengers. The three route directors are Phil James (North West route), Dave Penney (Central route), and James Dean (West Coast Mainline South route). North West & Central infrastructure runs from London Euston and Marylebone in the south through the Chiltern and West Midlands regions, the North West of England and Cumbria before joining with Scotland at Gretna. NW&C is home to the West Coast Mainline, the busiest mixed-use railway in Europe, serving London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow. In the five years to 2024, passenger demand is set to grow by twelve per cent and freight by 18 per cent. Major railway upgrade schemes to cater for this growth include HS2, East West Rail, Midlands Rail Hub and the Great North Rail Project.

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News in brief... Transport and Network Rail. The priorities include demands for a half-hourly passenger rail service to Cambridge and direct rail connectivity with Oxford, London, the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland. Transport Secretary acts on HS2 ancient woodland clearances during Oakervee review Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has ordered that removals of ancient woodlands for HS2 be stopped during the independent review into the project - unless they are shown to be absolutely necessary to avoid major cost and schedule impacts, should the scheme proceed as planned. The Transport Secretary told HS2 Ltd to review its ancient woodlands clearance programme – and assess what removals can be halted until after the examination of HS2, led by Doug Oakervee, has reported in autumn. UK’s oldest train fleet updated with £26 million investment into Isle of Wight’s railway The Department for Transport has principally funded South Western Railway’s proposals to improve the sustainability of the railway linking Ryde to Shanklin. This follows a multimillion investment announcement by Network Rail into improvements to renew Ryde Railway Pier where trains connect with ferries to Portsmouth. The proposals were developed in partnership with key stakeholders on the island, including Isle of Wight Council and Solent Local Enterprise Partnership. They have agreed to jointly contribute £1 million to fund a new passing loop at Brading, helping to deliver an even interval half-hourly service to the pier.

New ORR rail punctuality statistics will help industry focus on boosting performance for passengers New-style stats from the Rail Regulator (ORR) show that 64.7 per cent of stations were arrived at on time in the year to June 2019. The statistics use the new ‘On Time’ punctuality measure, which registers trains as being on time only when they arrive at station stops within one minute of schedule. The more widely reported measure for punctuality - public performance measure (PPM) - registers trains that arrive within five or ten minutes of their scheduled arrival time, dependent on the service. ‘On Time’ is measured at station stops along the route whereas PPM only measures punctuality at each train’s final destination. The new-style measurement will help industry provide a better service to passengers by pinpointing the issues that cause delays and assisting it to focus on the solutions with better and more useful data. Using the new-style calculations shows a 2.5pp improvement from last year’s calculations.

Innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs wanted for Wales A dedicated rail innovation programme has launched in Newport aimed at developing some of the best new startups around. ‘Lab by Transport for Wales (TfWL)’ is a twelve-week Innovation Accelerator Programme, aimed to showcase the best and most innovative start-ups in Wales. TfW’s programme will help up-scale and accelerate tech start-ups and have them pitch ready within twelve-weeks. This will be achieved through a series of innovation sprint, product design and value proposition workshops, along with mentoring and additional training. At the end of the twelve-week programme, applicants will pitch their business solutions to Transport for Wales Rail decision makers. Successful candidates will be awarded a contract of work, and their solution will be subsequently launched across the Transport for Wales Rail network. Head of Customer Experience and Innovation Barry Lloyd said: ‘We’re passionate about working with new startups, inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators to help them be the best they can be and to make a real difference to our railway.’

GBRf Announce New Southampton to Manchester Intermodal Service On 2nd September GB Railfreight started another new intermodal service, this time from Solent Stevedores, Southampton, to Maritimes Terminal in Trafford, Manchester. This will be the third daily service GBRf offer from one of the UK’s leading deep-sea container ports. This new service marks GBRf’s continued expansion into the intermodal market and the vital role rail freight plays in delivering goods around the country. GBRf continues to prioritise converting volume from road to rail in the intermodal market and this new service demonstrates the success of our service delivery and expertise being provided to customers across the network. The new service will run five days a week, and represents GBRf’s 17th intermodal service to date, following unprecedented growth in this market over the last two years. Intermodal traffic now accounts for approximately 36 per cent of all rail freight industry wide. GBRf are committed to increasing the amount of goods and materials transported via rail freight, reducing emissions and delivering a more sustainable logistics solution. An average freight train removes 80 HGV journeys from roads every day. When combined with rail’s advantageous performance in terms of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter emissions, rail freight demonstrates a clear contribution to the challenge of meeting the UK’s carbon-cutting targets.

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News in brief... Nexus starts work on the demolition of South Shields metro station Work has started on the demolition of South Shields’ old Metro station, which closed earlier this year. The station, on King Street, was shut permanently on 8 July to make way for the town’s new £21 million transport interchange. The demolition work involves the removal of the station’s iconic vitreous enamel panels and signage. The structure of the building will then be taken down by a specialist contractor. It will pave the way for a new public realm in South Shields town centre, with a new walkway into King Street. 50 per cent discount on off-peak travel as part of c2c’s ‘go green’ initiatives c2c is running its very first ‘Go Green’ to help raise awareness around climate change and to share its commitment to making its impact on the environment as small as possible. As part of the initiatives, c2c is encouraging customers to ditch the car and take the train by offering a 50 per cent discount code during the week, for use on off-peak tickets bought for travel between 1st October and 3rd November. Customers promised a ‘new beginning in rail travel’ as the Paragon Fleet adopts the airline industry approach An airline industry approach has been adopted by Hull Trains on its new Paragon Fleet, which promises customers a ‘new beginning in rail travel’. Key characteristics found as standard on the airlines, including a personal at-seat food and drink service for every passenger will be mirrored on the Paragon Fleet. Currently, it is only customers in First Class who enjoy an at-seat service, with passengers in standard class needing to leave their seats and walk through the train to the café

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Transforming London Overground journeys for deaf passengers On Monday 23rd September Arriva Rail London (ARL) started the roll out of deaf awareness training to hundreds of London Overground employees to improve journeys for deaf people and those with a hearing loss travelling across the capital. ARL, which operates the London Overground on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), has developed a comprehensive training programme alongside Signly, Deafax and DCAL, University College London’s Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre. The development of the programme has been funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and hopes to open up the world of travel for deaf people and those with a hearing loss in London, giving them the confidence and support they need from staff to make safe journeys on the London Overground. It is estimated there are eleven million people who are deaf or have a hearing loss in the UK, which equates to around one in six people; there are also 151,000 British Sign Language users in the UK – many of whom travel by rail and have difficulty hearing and understanding announcements in stations. Tim Scannell, a frequent rail user, said: ‘As I am deaf, I can’t hear station announcements over the tannoy. I get nervous about asking other passengers for journey advice, especially if there are changes to the service. Being able to communicate more easily with station staff would help to reduce my anxiety.’ In total, 350 ARL employees will embark on a specially designed deaf awareness programme, to help address these accessibility issues. The course will bolster the current disability awareness training, as part of the customer service induction. Employees will be fully trained and ready to assist passengers by the end of 2019. Delivered by a deaf trainer, the training programme has been inspired and shaped by deaf people and those with a hearing loss, as well as station teams who assist passengers every day who are deaf or have a hearing loss; their shared experiences have been vital in creating an inclusive programme that will ensure everyone feels safe and secure whilst travelling on the London Overground. Training will cover a range of topics from deaf culture and identity, to degrees of deafness, communication barriers, lip reading, fingerspelling and techniques for assisting and communicating with customers who are deaf or have a hearing loss.

Higher Speed Installing, operating and maintaining rail infrastructure safely, quickly and efficiently, with minimal disruption is a big challenge. Innovative solutions are needed. Whether it’s a temporary, semi-permanent or permanent access point, whatever the sleeper spacing, our customers can install a 10.8m RRAP in less than 90 minutes, reducing possession times and costs. Rosehill Rail – Setting New Standards For more information, or to enquire about training, please call the Rosehill Rail sales team on +44 (0)1422 317 473, or email

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News in brief... bar. During detailed market research ahead of the launch of the new £60 million Paragon Fleet, Hull Trains’ customers told the firm they would prefer a trolley service – which is why on the new fleet, an at-seat service will be available for every customer. Merseyrail named greatest place to work at National Rail Awards Merseyrail has been named the greatest place to work at the National Rail Awards in a successful evening for the company. The rail organisation, which was named the most punctual operator in the UK for 2018-19, won the Great Place to Work award at the ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. There was further success on the night as Merseyrail were highly commended in the Passenger Operator of the Year category – retaining recognition for their hard work after winning the award in 2018. More trains arrive on time as performance improves Nine out of ten trains arrived on time on Scotland’s Railway as performance improved during the most recent four-week period (18th August to 14th September). Across Scotland, 89.6 per cent of ScotRail trains met the rail industry standard public performance measure (PPM), arriving at their destination within four minutes and 59 seconds of their timetabled arrival time, having called at all scheduled stations. The number of seats being provided for customers continues to improve across all areas of the country, with more HSTs available for customer service, and additional Class 385 Hitachi electric trains – enhancing the experience of travelling on ScotRail services. Massive track investment by DB Cargo UK DB Cargo UK has started work on a multi-million programme of

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£194 Million Investment into Railways Stations in Wales Transport for Wales have announced the details of the £194 million investment plan to improve all 247 railway stations across Wales. The Station Improvement Vision highlights what improvements customers and communities can expect to see at their local stations over the next fifteen years. The ambitious programme will deliver free Wi-Fi, improved shelters, CCTV, improved provision for cycle storage and improved passenger information, at every station. Where possible, Transport for Wales will also create new retail facilities, presenting opportunities for local businesses and work in partnership to develop community spaces at stations. The improvements include expanding the Secure Station Accreditation programme, a UK accreditation in conjunction with the British Transport Police, which will make stations safer and more welcoming for customers. Demonstrating their commitment and supporting Welsh Government’s plans to create a more sustainable Wales through deduction in carbon emissions generated through transport, TfW will create at least 1,500 additional car parking spaces across the network, making it easier for people to leave their car and use public transport. The Vision also highlights how accessibility will be enhanced across the network with the delivery of eleven Access for All schemes by 2024, with the installation of footbridges with lifts or ramps, part funded by the UK Department for Transport. As part of their plans to reinvest into the communities they serve, TfW has held events and workshops aimed at small and medium enterprises in Wales, providing opportunities for them to bid for work linked to the Station Improvement Vision.

Japanese know-how improving punctuality of Greater Anglia trains Technology used to make trains run on time in Japan is being introduced for the first time in the UK to improve punctuality on the Greater Anglia network. Toshiba Digital and Consulting Corporation (TDX), which has been involved in Japanese railway industries for 100 years, and Mitsui, which part owns Greater Anglia, are providing a digital twin software package to help Greater Anglia plan the region’s rail timetable more efficiently. A digital twin – currently used by railway operators in Japan, known across the world for their punctuality – flags up any timing or platform conflicts, enabling Greater Anglia to tweak the timetable to try to reduce any delay. It has been trialled on Greater Anglia’s West Anglia route, from Cambridge to London Liverpool Street and is now being rolled out across the network, to build on the punctuality improvements Greater Anglia and Network Rail have made in the last six months and keep those positive trends going. TDX data engineers flew in from Tokyo and spent five months collecting data for the >



News in brief... investment to improve track and rail infrastructure at three key sites. Over the next 12 months, the UK’s largest rail freight operator will replace more than 20 kilometres of track at its depots at Immingham in North Lincolnshire, Rotherham in South Yorkshire and Toton in Nottinghamshire. Work started in Immingham, with work due to begin at Rotherham at the end of the month. DB Cargo UK’s Head of Safety and Operations Dave Ethell said the work was a major investment and would deliver significant operational improvements. PD Ports named RFG’s Business of the Year 2019 PD Ports has won the Business of the Year Award at the Rail Freight Group’s annual excellence awards, with the judges praising its outstanding commitment to its customers and to the wider local community in the North East. Network Rail won the Project of the Year category for its enhancement work on the Felixstowe to Nuneaton route, increasing capacity from 33 to up to 47 freight trains a day. A joint entry by Tarmac and RFS Works Ltd won the Innovation and Technical Development Award for a redesign of an urban depot including an innovative ‘Supergrab’ that significantly increased capacity and efficiency.

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trial, including the existing timetable, train acceleration and braking performance and information about the position of signals, curves and the gradient of the line. They verified the data by going out on trains along the route and interview station and train staff so that they were aware of any human factors not present in the data. Once they had gathered all relevant information, they built a simulator model – the digital twin – which they used to adjust calling patterns, train timings and platform allocations in order to make the timetable more efficient and robust, improving punctuality. These adjustments were checked to make sure they were feasible and, if accepted, inputted into the real-world timetable. Using the digital twin model, Greater Anglia’s train planners, who write the company’s timetables, can see at a glance where conflicts are, thanks to an easy-to-use viewing system, and how a tweak here or a 30-second change of timing there may make customers’ journeys run better. The combined efforts of TDX, Mitsui and Greater Anglia teams mean that adjustments for the coming timetable change in May 2020 have already been suggested for the West Anglia route. This has included alterations to the platforms that are used at Liverpool Street for some key trains to improve right time departures. Data engineers are now focusing on getting information on the lines between London and Norwich, to see how improvements could be made on this route too and in future timetables.

Pitlochry station is best in Britain Pitlochry station has been named the best medium sized station in Britain at the National Rail Awards 2019. The highland railway station won the ‘Medium Station of the Year’ award at the event in London on 19th September 2019. Judges assessed the nominees against set criteria, including safety, infrastructure and customer-friendly presentation. The award win comes after the historic station fountain was recently restored along with some of the station’s other Victorian features and benches, coinciding with the completion of Network Rail’s Highland Mainline improvement works. ScotRail Head of Economic & Community Development James Ledgerwood said: ‘We’re committed to making our stations a more pleasant and relaxing place to catch a train, so we’re delighted that Pitlochry has won this accolade. The station has been given a new lease of life recently and it’s fantastic to see the hard work of the volunteers, station team, and the local community get the recognition it deserves.’

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Midland Metro Alliance celebrates the last weld of Metro track in Centenary Square as phase one construction enters final stages The first phase of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension has moved closer to operation as the last piece of track was welded into place in Centenary Square. The milestone, which means Metro services to a new terminus outside the Library of Birmingham continue to be on track to commence in December 2019, was celebrated with photos of the moment the tracks were welded by the construction team of the Midland Metro Alliance who have helped design and build the route. The two-phase Birmingham Westside project follows the Metro extension from St. Chads to Grand Central, which opened for passenger service in May 2016. Once completed, services will operate between Grand Central and Hagley Road in Edgbaston, improving transport links in the heart of Birmingham, making journeys faster and more accessible, in turn helping businesses and supporting more jobs. Construction for the new route commenced in June 2017 and along with four other tram extensions in the West Midlands, is being planned, designed and delivered by the Midland Metro Alliance on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which has embarked upon an ambitious plan to regenerate the region and provide new opportunities for residents and businesses. Five new tram stops will connect passengers to Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Brindleyplace, Five Ways and Hagley Road, with links to popular attractions including the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the International Convention Centre and Symphony Hall, allowing more people to use the Metro in this area for dayto-day travel, reducing road congestion in the city centre, as well as improving sustainable transport options along Broad Street and beyond. The first phase of the works, to open for passenger service in December 2019, will see West Midlands Metro services extend from Grand Central to Centenary Square. The second phase of the route, which is also anticipated to open for passenger service in 2021 will continue to Edgbaston.


Southeastern introduces ‘Delay Repay 15’ compensation Southeastern has introduced an improved compensation scheme for passengers experiencing delays to their journeys. ‘Delay Repay 15’ will mean passengers delayed by 15 minutes or more will receive money back to compensate them for their delay, whereas compensation currently only applies for delays of 30 minutes or more. Southeastern passengers will be able to claim ‘Delay Repay 15’ from Wednesday 11th September, with the website live from 12:00 midday. Passengers delayed by between 15 and 29 minutes will be entitled to be refunded a proportion of their fare. The delay is worked out based on the time a passenger should have arrived at their destination. As with the current system, passengers will have 28 days to make their claim. Additionally, the Southeastern website has been upgraded to reduce the number of steps needed to complete the online form by using information on previous claims and regular journeys.

Liverpool Lime Street crowned station of the year Liverpool Lime Street has been named as major station of the year at the 2019 National Rail Awards. The Network Rail managed transport hub beat London Bridge, Kings Cross, Glasgow Central, Manchester Piccadilly and York to the top spot in one of the night’s most sought-after accolades. The award comes after last year’s completion of a major £140 million overhaul of the historic grade-II listed station. The two-year transformation, carried out as part of the Great North Rail Project, has seen upgrades to track, platforms and signalling to enable more frequent, reliable and longer trains. Lime Street’s redevelopment was part of an ongoing £340 million investment on Merseyside in railway upgrades, jointly funded by Liverpool City Region and Network Rail. More work is taking place on the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of November for a multi-million-pound signalling upgrade at nearby Edge Hill station. Lime Street station will need to close for the work. Passengers can still get to and from central Liverpool using rail replacement buses or by using the Merseyrail network via Liverpool South Parkway – adding an additional 10-15 minutes to journeys.

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Station Road reopened following completion of crucial maintenance work to Mynydd underbridge Station Road reopened on Saturday 14 September following a three-month closure due to maintenance work being carried out on Mynydd underbridge. The work, which was carried out by Network Rail and partners Centregreat throughout the summer, has increased the lifespan of the bridge. Station Road closed on Friday 14th June and a fully signposted diversionary route was put in place for motorists to minimise disruption to the local community. Engineers and contractors successfully improved the stability, drainage and masonry features of the underbridge. A large metal redundant span was removed which will significantly reduce maintenance upkeep of the bridge, resulting in time and cost savings. These improvements will help to reduce any further works and additional road closures. Richard Berg, scheme project manager for Network Rail said: ‘We are pleased to have completed this essential maintenance ahead of time. The underbridge has been greatly improved and will prevent further significant maintenance work and subsequent road closures.’

Network Rail and Hack Partners launch posthackathon acceleration fund Network Rail and Hack Partners, the company behind the HackTrain initiative, have launched a new post-hackathon fund designed to accelerate the development of innovative ideas to improve rail services for passengers. Selected ideas at this year’s HackTrain event (15th to 17th November) will receive post-hackathon acceleration funding from Network Rail to further develop their concepts to deliver a safer and more reliable service for passengers and freight users. A similar process has been in place for past HackTrain events – with successes including Hubble and Busybot – but this new fund will allow participants to make their ideas a reality much faster than before. The fund is consistent with the idea behind Network Rail’s Open for Business programme, which seeks to make Network Rail easier to work with, and a more dependable partner by increasing efficiency, creativity and innovation. Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: ‘I’m determined that Network Rail becomes a company that can rapidly deploy new technology and innovate ideas, especially to keep people safe, improve services for passengers and provide better value for money for the taxpayer. Working with HackTrain gives us a unique opportunity to put this into practice and I can’t wait to see what we come up with this year.’ Andrew will be launching this year’s HackTrain event – its sixth instalment – where he will deliver a keynote speech outlining Network Rail’s plans to innovate and collaborate with partner organisations to improve railway performance. Network Rail plans to invest £245 million alongside £112 million investment by third parties for research and development in Control Period 6, which runs from 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2024.

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Alex Veitch

Freight update: the good news edition Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy, FTA reports on the good news for the UK’s freight industry


ith the business community watching with apprehension over the possibility of a No Deal Brexit, this uncertainty has led, in many ways, to a ‘cruel summer’ (to steal a phrase from those well-known freight experts Bananarama!). With that in mind, I am delighted to be able to lift the mood by bringing you some positive news for the UK rail freight business. Heathrow expansion is great for freight This summer Heathrow Limited is consulting on the details of its expansion plans, before submitting a formal planning application later this year. FTA is a staunch supporter of the third runway proposal; we are taking a close look at its plans for surface access, as well as holding discussions with our members to help ensure the least disruption and best use of multimodal options. Heathrow’s plans are great news for rail freight. At a strategic level, the team at Heathrow Limited has committed to the ‘maximisation of rail freight for the delivery of materials’. The details outline a proposed new railhead which will be developed for the import of construction materials, such as bulk materials, aggregates and containerised goods. Within the consultation paper, Heathrow Limited is clear about the benefits of using rail during construction to aid with the congestion associated with construction vehicles, as well as enhance safety for residents and users of the airport. Furthermore, in line with increasing environmental pressure, this scheme will also help to reduce carbon emissions and improve local air quality. The proposed location for the railhead is on the Colnbrook branch of the Great Western Main Line, immediately north of the proposed north-west runway, where it crosses the M25 into the Colne Valley. The daily number of freight trains is dictated

by the number of train paths available in the national rail network and the capacity of the junction where the national network connects with the Colnbrook branch at West Drayton. However, capacity enhancement options are being considered to the line at West Drayton to allow access to the Colnbrook branch to/from the west (the branch is currently only accessible from the east). The railhead is likely to operate 24 hours a day in order to utilise available paths during the night-time hours when passenger services are much reduced. As well as construction, plans are in place to continue the delivery of fuel to the airport by rail. The existing rail line that serves the Total Fuel Depot would be diverted and realigned in an east-west direction alongside the construction railhead to ensure that aviation fuel supply is maintained to the expanded airport. Overall, it is fantastic to see a major strategic building project make such good use of multimodal freight options, and to be

so clear about the environmental and social benefits of using rail freight. Direct Tilbury to Grangemouth rail route is open for business  More good news comes from Forth Ports which, in partnership with Eddie Stobart and Direct Rail Services, is announcing a new weekend rail service linking the ports of Tilbury and Scotland’s largest port, Grangemouth. The new two-way rail service started on Friday 28th June and has been launched on the back of customer demand to open the rail link between the South of England with Central Scotland. The service uses the DRS state-of-theart locomotives and wagon fleet and has the capacity to travel with 36 containers. It will be managed by Eddie Stobart, working closely with both Forth Ports and DRS. Expected import cargoes include retail goods, food and drink, with the return journey from Grangemouth supporting Scotland’s export market including spirits, Rail Professional



chemicals and fresh food including potatoes. Felixstowe capacity ready to roll this autumn  A long-anticipated rail freight upgrade for Felixstowe Port – a 1.4-kilometre passing loop between Trimley and Nacton – has been completed and will be implemented once new timetabling comes into action later this year. The £60 million project will create new connections to the North of England and enable the Port of Felixstowe to increase the number of freight trains it handles by 30 per cent, with the aim of doubling the number of containers moved from more than one million at present, to two million over time. The logistics industry is currently under pressure with multiple political and environmental challenges. However, it is encouraging to know that positive steps are being taken to ensure that rail freight has an optimistic future. Decarbonising the rail network In June 2019, the UK became the first major economy to legislate for a net zero greenhouse gas emission target by 2050. All forms of transport – road, rail, sea and air – will need to play their part; in the view of FTA, rail has the clearest path to

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decarbonisation of all these modes. Electrifying the network is most practical way to decarbonise rail; it is also the most attainable. While Switzerland is the only European country where all railway lines in use are electrified, several others are not far behind: 95 per cent of all Luxembourg’s railway systems are powered this way. The average for EU-28 countries is 54 per cent; the UK lags behind this with only 34 per cent of its current rail network electrified. The key reason why the UK is falling behind, in the view of FTA, is the costs associated with building the infrastructure; many recent electrification schemes have been cancelled due to cost overruns. Recently, the Railway Industry Association has strongly challenged the high costs historically paid to electrify UK rail networks, arguing in a 2019 report that rail electrification can be delivered at between a third and a half of the cost of some past projects, providing the government commits to a rolling programme of work. Further work by RIA and FTA members shows that the rail freight sector could be two-thirds electrified by 2033 if the government carries out an ‘infill’ approach, electrifying strategic parts of the network in a staged way. For rail freight operators, a clear long-

term electrification strategy is crucial so that commercial decisions on locomotive replacement can be made. In the UK, many freight rail diesel locomotives are now approximately halfway through their life cycle; now would be an ideal time to kick off a refreshed electrification strategy to help the UK catch up with its more advanced neighbours.

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. A champion and challenger, 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. For more information on FTA please visit

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The Cheek of it... Chris Cheek

Just how serious are we about climate change? Recent agitation over climate change has forced the issue back onto the political agenda. Chris Cheek sets this in the context of more than 25 years reporting on the issue and wonders whether we really are prepared to take the radical action to deliver on our promises


his month sees the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Eighteenth Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP), on Transport and the Environment. The report proposed a series of radical steps on transport policy by government at local and national level, in order to achieve the shift in policies and behaviour that the Commission deemed necessary in order to reduce carbon emissions. I can vividly remember writing about the report in both the trade press and the 1995 edition of Bus Industry Monitor. These days, little is said about RCEP, which existed between its foundation in 1970 and abolition in 2011 as part of the Cameron government’s austerity cuts. Some of its functions have since been taken over by the less grand-sounding Committee on

Climate Change. Both bodies have over the years done important work on the practical implications of reducing carbon emissions, and this remains vital in the context of the new commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Much attention is now focused on achieving change in transport by changing fuels, essential both to achieve short-term improvements in urban air quality and in getting to the net zero target. Electricity and hydrogen are the two current favourites, though of course the need to produce both fuels efficiently, cleanly and in sufficient quantity is still something of a challenge. However, as the RCEP recognised in 1994 and the House of Commons Transport Select Committee on Science and Technology reminded us in a report as recently as August this year, the necessary emissions targets cannot be achieved by

reducing exhaust emissions and increasing sales of low-emissions vehicles. As the committee report put it: ‘In the long-term, widespread personal vehicle ownership does not appear to be compatible with significant decarbonisation.’ Both reports had this in common: the need to promote and improve public transport which could lead to modal shift from private to public transport. Indeed the RCEP went further in 1994, suggesting a series of targets which, in summary, would see the total demand for transport go downwards, and at the same time move public transport’s market share from twelve per cent in 1992 to 30 per cent by 2020. So, here we are, 25 years on, and one year away from the RCEP’s 2020 benchmark. How have we done? The short answer is, ‘not very well’. According to the Department for Transport’s annual estimates, the total Get a fresh angle on the big picture in passenger transport



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demand for travel has carried on growing – apart from a blip during the recession – and stood at an all-time record of 807 billion passenger kilometres in 2017, the most recent year for which the figures are available. That’s a rise of almost 20 per cent since the RCEP’s base year of 1992. Over the same period, passenger kilometres travelled by car, van and taxi have risen from 583 billion to 670 billion – that’s 15 per cent. And remember that 60 per cent of all transport emissions come from cars. Looking at public transport’s market share, we can see that this has moved from that 12 per cent in 1992 to 14.6 per cent in 2017 – something of an improvement, but nevertheless well short of the 30 per cent target recommended by RCEP. However, the trends in different public transport modes have diverged over that period: the market share enjoyed by bus and coach travel has gone down from 6.5 per cent to 4.7 per cent (despite the doubling of demand in London). Meanwhile, the proportion of travel by rail-based systems has gone from 5.6 per cent to 9.9 per cent. This is partly down to the opening and extension of light rail systems around the country, but primarily to the post-privatisation boom in national rail travel. This has seen demand more than double, from 31.7 billion passenger kilometres in 1992 to 65.6 in 2017. This

gives the context as to what the MPs on the Science and Technology Committee and other green campaigners are seeking when talking about significant modal shift. Looking at the figures from 2017, boosting public transport’s share from 14.6 per cent to 20 per cent would mean shifting 36 billion passenger kilometres from car to bus and rail. This would increase demand for public transport by around 37 per cent. Go further, and aim for RCEP’s 30 per cent target, and you more need to shift some 124 billion passenger kilometres onto the public transport network. This would slightly more than double current demand. These are big scary numbers, but they do give an indication of what we are up against as a society if we genuinely do want to shift our society away from dependence on cars. This is not so much about air quality or emissions: technology will allow us to fix that problem over time. It is about congestion: no matter how they are powered or whether they are controlled by human beings or artificial intelligence, private cars are still large lumps of metal which take up road space. We can manage the road space we have got more effectively, and even build some more (in the unlikely event that this is politically acceptable), but ultimately it remains a finite resource. These figures ought to be setting the

context for the planned construction of HS2 and other major rail schemes such as Crossrail 2 and a new TransPennine railway. We are not talking about tinkering with the existing network to accommodate small and fluctuating changes in passenger numbers, but of a progressive and fundamental shift in the way we ‘do’ transport in this country. There is no way that the existing network – which is already bursting at the seams in places – could accommodate increases demand of between 37 and 105 per cent. I have no doubt that some readers – the nimbies and the naysayers – will already be huffing and puffing and saying how ridiculous it is to contemplate volume changes of that sort. But I have no doubt that these are the very same voices who would in 1994 have dismissed the idea that the existing rail and London Underground demand would double in twenty-five years to levels not seen since the 1920s. And yet that is precisely what has happened. If as a country we really believe in the promises we have been making and the targets we have been setting on climate change issues since the Pearce Report first laid out the arguments in 1990, then we must will the means as well as the ends. That means building our public transport capacity and quickly.

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Fast forward to 2040 – Destination Decarbonisation Eli Rees-King, Marketing Director at the Rail Alliance, reports on the UK’s first rail decarbonisation event


n 17th September, the Rail Alliance and Birmingham Centre for Rail Research (BCRRE) delivered the UK’s first rail decarbonisation event at Quinton Rail Technology Centre (QRTC), a test and trial centre of excellence and fast becoming recognised for the concentration of green railway technologies being developed there. The subject of decarbonisation has never been more topical than it is now. However, this is not a new concept with many scientists and action groups campaigning for years and years for the world and government to wake up to the pending global catastrophe that now looms. Championing sustainability and decarbonisation is a major focus for Rail Alliance and BCRRE and recognising the urgent need for an industry platform where discussion and the sharing of knowledge and information could take place, Destination Decarbonisation was born. Setting the scene for decarbonisation in rail Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050 under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change. However, according to leading rail experts in sustainability and rolling stock, Britain’s railways could remove diesel-only passenger trains from the network and make substantial progress towards decarbonising their operations by 2040. Destination Decarbonisation provided an excellent opportunity for delegates to meet and hear from industry experts and leaders as well as to find out more about the practical solutions in the vibrant and dynamic expo area including real examples of working technology in the form of the HydroFLEX – the UK’s first hydrogen train launched three months ago at Rail Live, in addition to Vivarail’s battery train – a company leading

the way with the first modern production battery train in the UK and continuing to make leaps and bounds in its development programme to improve battery technology for trains. An additional highlight for visitors was provided by Porterbrook with the Innovation Hub – a unique solution to showcasing the latest passenger focus products from over 25 suppliers, many of them UK SMEs.

The event also drew the attention of several high profile visitors and speakers including Jeremy Hotchkiss, Deputy Director Rail Group, Department of Transport (DFT) and Mark Gaynor, Head of Railway and Planning, Rail Delivery Group (RDG). It was also notable that MP Lilian Greenwood – Member of Parliament for Nottingham South attended along with several other member of the Transport Select Committee, of which she also Chairs.



Throughout the day expert speakers took to the microphone on the subject of decarbonisation. Jeremy Hotchkiss, Deputy Director, DFT, set the scene by drawing reference to climate change and the need to act now: ‘as in 30 years we will be taking as much carbon from the atmosphere as we emit. No sector is exempt from this challenge and rail can’t rest on its green laurels. People are making the choice to travel by rail and helping to reduce carbon emissions but there is more to be done.’ Mark Gaynor, Head of Railway and Planning, RDG, followed with an introduction to the strategy for decarbonising the railway saying that there are ‘benefits for customers of increased carbon zero journeys with a consequence being greater reliability as well as improved air quality’. He also commented on the government commitment to end diesel only trains by 2040 saying: ‘it took industry and officials a little by surprise, as rail is so much greener than other transport modes already.’ Following the theme from a strategic viewpoint, David Clarke, Director, Railway Industry Association said: ‘Once we work out how to decarbonise today’s network, we need a strategy for growing the rail network too, because the biggest contribution we can make to decarbonisation is modal shift from other transport modes. Hydrogen today is not as good as electric, but it depends where it’s coming from – if by 2040 we are producing hydrogen at scale from renewables, then that is truly green. Electric is the only traction that can handle all train duty cycles, but hydrogen has some important use cases, and batteries will play a key role in powering short distances off the wires. ‘The map that Network Rail are drawing up will help signpost industry as to where to plan against. All intensively used passenger and freight routes should be electric. Hydrogen self-power on less intensively used routes. Battery storage for last mile and short unpowered route sections. The key challenge is freight. Hydrogen or batteries are going to need too much space to pull those kinds of loads.’ Which begs the question – just how will freight realistically tackle decarbonisation targets? We also heard from Giulia Lorenzini, Senior Partnerships and Grants Manager, RSSB, who presented on the two major programmes supporting innovation – Decarb and CLEAR and what the RSSB is doing to support the sector with funding opportunities and competitions as well as assisting with the Rail Industry Decarbonisation Taskforce final report to the Minister for Rail. For full details and to view the report please go to the RSSB website. An added insight was also expertly delivered by Mark Goldby, AEM Specialist, Midlands Engine/DIT into what the Midlands regional focus is around rail and in Rail Professional

particular decarbonisation, and some of the ways in which companies can tap into the extensive opportunities in the region, from its rich skills base, to specialist facilities and R&D not to mention connectivity and supply chain. Hearing the strategy was important, but equally important was learning more about the practical examples in place and the work being done right now to seriously address the decarbonisation challenges on the railway. Our expert speakers included: • David King, Engineering Director at Vivarail (Class 230: zero emission trains) • Dr Pietro Tricoli, BCRRE (Power converters: the enabling technology for railway decarbonisation) • Jamie Young, Engineer, Steamology (Zero emission hydrogen steam turbine rail propulsion) • Leo Murray, Director of Innovation, Riding Sunbeams (First light: powering our railways with community solar reports) • Noel Dolphin, Director at Furrer + Frey (Battery charging for trains) • Stuart Hillmansen, HydroFLEX Project Lead and Senior Lecturer at University of Birmingham and Helen Simpson, Innovation and Projects Director at Porterbrook (HydroFLEX – the UK’s first hydrogen powered train). Alice Gillman, Head of Marketing, Vivarail said: ‘This was one of the best and most useful events we’ve attended this year. The calibre of the speakers and guests was really impressive and clearly demonstrated the industry’s focus on decarbonisation – which is great for all of us working to do that and as human beings!’ The Rail Alliance and BCRRE will be running more decarbonisation events in the future – for further information on how to get involved, please contact

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Women in rail


Adeline Ginn

What does inclusion really mean? Adeline Ginn, Founder and Chair of Women in Rail asks the question at a time when we are celebrating National Inclusion Week


n 2013, Inclusive Employers launched National Inclusion Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness on the importance of inclusion in the workplace and the business benefits of having a diverse workforce. To date, over 400 organisations have taken part, reaching far over one million employees. National Inclusion Week took place on 23rd to 29th September 2019. Women in Rail proactively supported this initiative by organising events across the country through its eight regional groups, highlighting the charity’s commitment to improving gender balance, diversity and inclusion in UK rail. There is an overwhelming case for taking action. Diversity is modern Britain and a fact of life in the UK. Rail must embrace it if it is to perform to peak efficiency. Diversity and inclusion is not just about fairness; it is also about better decision making and economic performance. Studies have shown that organisations which have access to the skills, knowledge and insight of people from all parts of our society and promote an inclusive culture perform better: employees are more engaged, more productive and have higher levels of psychological wellbeing and resilience. There are plenty of practical steps that can be taken by employers committed to being more diverse and inclusive. A positive approach to diversity and inclusion must be stitched-in at the deepest and highest level of the organisation. This means taking

proactive steps to build and embed an inclusive culture; create, at all grades and roles, a workforce comprising different styles, skills and backgrounds; provide more opportunity to protected groups, promote social mobility and manage talent to maximise potential. But if we are to achieve greater diversity and inclusion, we also need to be more open about the factors that get in the way, such as our own bias. Everyone is prone to bias, conscious and unconscious and acceptance that each of us is biased, and need to work on this, is the most important step we can take. It has been reported that bias, especially in leaders, can lead to groupthink and the creation, or the maintenance, of a culture in which certain categories of people are less likely to feel fairly treated, valued and able to take part in the organisation. Inclusion is about how people behave. The ability of an organisation or industry to self-reflect is a sign of how healthy it truly is. Examples of action The civil service has done amazing work. It has introduced generous terms for shared parental leave, reviewed its recruitment

if we are to achieve greater diversity and inclusion, we also need to be more open about the factors that get in the way, such as our own bias process, improved the talent pipelines, created more opportunities for staff from under-represented groups, introduced a workplace Disability Passport to make life easier for those with adjustment needs and conducted widespread unconscious bias training. Rail needs to give diversity and inclusion the highest priority. It is by being truly representative of the public we serve that we will retain and attract talent, close the skills gap and perform at peak efficiency. Let’s work together to make this happen. For more information about Women in Rail visit or email wr@ Rail Professional

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Prior Knowledge


Lucy Prior

‘Appy with change I would like to start this piece with this bold statement: ‘rail transport has always been a frontier of technological progress, with the supply industry leading the way’


his statement, taken from UNIFE’s vision paper on digitalisation is one I am sure most of us within the industry would agree with. The paper goes on to state that the rail industry can be perceived as ‘conservative’ and suggests that compared to other modes of transport ‘the deployment of digital and emerging technologies in rail is at an earlier stage’. I defy anyone from any level of the supply chain to deny that bringing in new ideas demands a certain level of optimism and determination, as well as factual evidence of suitability. To bring in new products that fall into the emerging technology category, even more so. To illustrate this, anecdotally, I recall one instance, years ago, where I was demonstrating a state-of-the-art measuring tool. It was new to the UK market and boasted impressive levels of accuracy and repeatability. Throughout the whole demo, all of my laser-accurate readings were verified by manual callipers. We all have an innate comfort in using products or services that are familiar to us. Perhaps the

infamous barriers to innovation that all of us in commercial or R&D roles bemoan are as much a part of the human fabric of the industry as they are technological. Innovate UK, the Transport Systems Catapult and the Innovation Exchange are just a few examples of organisations helping suppliers bring in new tech, or new-to-rail tech, and these are backed by huge companies keen to nurture crossfertilisation between sectors and industries. But what organisations exist to smooth the way from a more human or user-interface point of view? The Rail Innovation Group is one such organisation. RIG is a community which exists to help bring new tech, start-ups and digital SMEs into the rail supply chain. Its founder, Liam Henderson shares my feeling that our colleagues, regardless of length of service let’s say, are all keen to see the market and supply chain develop to keep rail at the frontier of progress. However Liam acknowledges that this supportiveness of the new is perhaps influenced, and thus slowed down by long-term practices. ‘My sense of the challenge’ says Liam, ‘is

not that the traditional rail professionals are resisting change. Most of the people I meet are enthusiastic about the future and want to see rail succeed, it’s just that they may not know how best to help, having spent decades in a rather rigid sector.’ The rail industry in the UK is being challenged, and rightly so, to better serve the needs of the end-client, passenger or freight. Typically, these users are increasingly aware of and comfortable with the latest consumer-tech. Therefore, can we argue that this familiarity with tech from a consumerist angle should be a driver and enabler of tech uptake within the businessto-business markets? Over a number of years, I have participated in many a discussion on digitalisation, and the pros and cons that the movement presents. As consumers we are becoming increasingly dependent on tech that is available to us at our fingertips, dependent in whatever sense. For those of you that know me, can you imagine how I feel when I have to go Twitter cold turkey? It is estimated by Statista that 94 per cent of adults in the UK own a mobile phone, of which approximately 82 per cent are smart phones. Furthermore, we use our phones increasingly to access apps which enable us to communicate, play, shop, Rail Professional



read, learn and more digitally. According to Techjury, there are over 3.4 million apps available on the Google app store, and OFCOM, in a 2017 survey, found that 88 per cent of adults use Play Store to discover and download other apps. This indicates that the population in general is more comfortable with such technology than we might at first assume, provided it is as easy to access and intuitive to use as a button on a mobile phone screen. Now consider this finding from Deloitte: ‘87 per cent of 16 to 75-year olds use a smart phone in the UK: most of these are used for consumer applications. Yet a mere 34 per cent uses a smart phone for work tasks.’ Companies such as 3Squared, Zipabout, and Incremental are all harnessing technology and packaging it in ways for rail sector clients, and in some cases end-users, that are as easily accessible and usable as say Spotify or WhatsApp is to my children or parents. At 3Squared for example, the RailSmart EDS competency management tool digitalises the entire process through simple to use, and easy to understand screens. East Midlands Trains (as was, now East Midlands Railway) comments that ‘EDS has been a step change in the way [we] manage and assess our drivers’ competence, bringing huge benefits to our business’. John Hicking, Bombardier’s Learning and Development

manager quantifies the benefits of the digitalisation of a traditionally paper-heavy procedures, estimating that Assessing [engineers’ and fitters’ competencies] using EDS has achieved up to 75 per cent time saved compared to our previous assessment process’. This frees up more engineering time to carry out more work, more effectively in the depot, in turn contributing to better fleet availability. As described by Liam Henderson: ‘Tech has the potential to make a huge change to the service we offer customers, allowing the industry to meet modern consumer expectations. But those of us that are pushing for the adoption of tech should appreciate that rail’s workforce has been trained to move real people and fix physical nuts and bolts. We’re now asking them to understand and be proficient with intangible concepts like data science, protocols, latency and APIs to name a few. It’s no wonder people are a little bewildered! I’d say we’re accusing people of being resistant when our expectations of staff are a little unfair. ‘You could say it’s as unfair as expecting an app developer to understand the Rail Settlement Plan. To adopt some of this ‘tech’, a good first step would be to consider who needs to be familiar with what, and then introduce each side to the concepts in a way they can relate to – that’s what the Rail Innovation Group has been doing.’

Referring back to the UNIFE vision paper, the association reiterates that ‘the ‘final’ customer – either the passenger or the freight load – be at the centre of … radical changes in the mobility paradigm, as their expectations become ever more demanding’. Like Liam though, I feel we have to think differently about how we position all this new tech. Let’s not alienate our experienced colleagues, through whom we can all learn so much more. Instead let’s open up a conversation between our younger digital natives, our app and API developers and our hands-on engineers, trainers, drivers and help them appreciate that digitalisation is simply a fancy way of saying that we are making traditional processes easier and more effective. Cyber security, in another guise one could say! Lucy Prior MBE is Business Engagement Director at 3Squared, a specialist SaaS provider to the rail and transportation market. Lucy also sits on the steering committee of Northern Rail Industry Leaders, amongst number of other transportation bodies. Lucy was awarded an MBE for services to rail exports in the 2018 Birthday Honours, the nominations for which also cited her work in support of the Young Railway Professionals and encouraging diversity and inclusivity within the sector. She is a full-time working parent to two young children who hear an awful lot about just how important the rail sector is.

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Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood

Taxing times down the line In six months, the government’s Off-Payroll Working Rules (the ‘Rules’) will apply to medium and large sized organisations in the private sector

T conseil

he 6th of April 2020 will see responsibility for operating these Rules shift from the individuals supplying their services through personal service companies and similar organisations (PSCs) to the businesses that the individual is supplying their services to. This includes the responsibility for deciding whether the Rules should apply and, importantly, dealing with the associated employment taxes and National Insurance contributions. The rise of the PSCs Within the rail sector there are a number of people who have specific expertise in various areas such as procurement, rolling stock contracts, civil engineering and bidding for rail franchises. Rather than working for one

If the consultant or contractor sets themselves up as a PSC, they are able to sell the services of the PSC and do not need to become an employee of the company buying the service. This benefits both parties well

employer, they have established themselves as consultants or contractors with the intention of moving between projects, providing their expertise for a short while to help the project meet its goals and then move on to the next project at another company. If the consultant or contractor sets themselves up as a PSC, they are able to sell the services of the PSC and do not need to become an employee of the company buying the service. This benefits both parties well. The company: • only needs to pay for the consultant’s services at the time that it need them on the project • doesn’t have costly headcount at times when it is not busy • can expand its workforce at relatively short notice • can reduce its workforce quickly, particularly useful if e.g. a franchise bid is unsuccessful • is paying for a service and doesn’t have NI contributions or employment benefits to pay.

be moving between projects and there was a risk that they would not move seamlessly between one assignment and the next. The tax benefits that came with the PSCs were designed to balance the risk that the consultant or contractor might be ‘resting’ for a month or so before the next project and had the expenses of bidding for the next piece of work. However, in the intervening years, the use of PSCs have changed. While there are still a number of consultants and contractors who continue to move between different projects on relatively short-term contracts, more people have ended up with a single contract to one company which lasts for a number of years. In these situations, the risks that the tax benefits within the PSC arrangements were designed to mitigate have largely disappeared. Instead, the relationship between the company and the consultant or contractor is much closer to that of employer and employee and this has been a concern for the third party in this arrangement, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The consultant: • is not tied to one employer • is able to move between projects, making • the most of their skills and expertise • has a service company who is paid for the work the consultant does • receives payments from their service company at lower tax levels • does not receive employee benefits e.g. employer pension contributions.

A long time coming The issue with PSCs effectively forming long-term relationships with companies akin to employment contracts, but without the tax obligations, was first raised in 1999, with the publication of Inland Revenue press release number 35, hence ‘IR35’. It was considered unfair that two workers were effectively performing the same task but paid different rates of tax merely because one person was a direct employee of the company and the other was hired indirectly through a PSC. Originally, the onus was placed on the consultant or contractor to show that there was a difference in the way they were working, but in reality there was little change in the practice of contacting with a PSC. If anything, the number of PSCs being

So why are there now changes to something that seems to be a win-win situation, particularly for the rail sector? When the use of PSCs was first established, there were a limited number of people using them and the relevant individuals would only have short term contracts. They would

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It should also be remembered that there will still be a number of PSCs which, under the Rules, would not be considered to be in an employee relationship. They do not need to change the way they are operating and can continue to obtain the tax benefits that they are due used went up! Government and HMRC therefore shifted the emphasis onto the potential employer, initially for public sector companies. This created some high-profile headlines, particularly with BBC presenters who had PSCs. The private sector had effectively been given notice that it needed to change the way it was procuring work and, as is often the case, the onus was placed on the large and medium sized companies first. Arguably they have the deeper pockets to fund any claims from HMRC for unpaid income tax and NI contributions. Actions for industry Within the rail industry, if parties have not already started to focus on the changes required by the Rules, they need to move quickly.

PSC is contracting with • agree any changes to the arrangements between the parties • discuss their liabilities for income tax and NI contributions with their accountant or relevant financial adviser • consider whether there is a need to restructure their PSC.

Large and medium sized employers should: • undertake an audit of their contractors and consultants to identify those who are contracting through PSCs and similar • consider the role being provided by the contractor or consultant, and whether they should be treated as an employee for income tax and NI contributions • discuss their findings with the relevant contractor or consultant • agree any changes to the arrangements between the parties • establish procedures for paying the relevant amounts of income tax and NI contributions. Contractors and consultants should: • discuss the issue with the company their

It should also be remembered that there will still be a number of PSCs which, under the Rules, would not be considered to be in an employee relationship. They do not need to change the way they are operating and can continue to obtain the tax benefits that they are due. Martin Fleetwood is a Consultant at Addleshaw Goddard’s Transport practice. The Rail Team has over 30 lawyers who advise clients in both the private and public sectors across a wide range of legal areas. As well as contractual issues, the team advises on operational matters, franchises, concessions, finance, regulatory, property, employment, environmental and procurement issues.

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

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Placing customers ‘at the heart’ of the industry: technology Stephenson Harwood Partner Tammy Samuel and Associate Bobbie Bickerton explore the impact of promises and challenges of new technology


ne of the emerging messages from the Williams Review is that the industry needs to re-focus on its customers. Trust is low amongst passengers because there is a perception that the industry is incompetent and lacks the motivation to run a quality service. According to the review, the top passenger priorities are reliability, safety and security, value for money, consistency, transparency and accessibility. The rail industry will need to continue to improve all of these aspects if it is to rebuild passenger trust and this is where technology can help. We are already seeing innovation across the industry, but it is clear that more needs to be done in this area. As technology becomes more and more integrated in our

A further development in the use of technology to help maintain the integrity of the rail infrastructure is the development of a digital twin model of the entire Crossrail network alongside the physical railway line

society, we have seen improvements across all aspects of daily life including transport. Passengers now expect this, and the rail industry needs to keep up with the fastpaced development of the 21st century if it is going to compete with the likes of driverless cars and lorries. There are many exciting new developments that have the potential to improve passenger experience immeasurably. In our article from the September edition ‘Smart-ticketing – staying ‘smart’’ we discussed the advent of smart ticketing and how it can make the passenger experience smoother, faster and easier. However, making changes and improvements across the industry, and on the scale required, brings with it certain challenges. Creating a modern, customer-focused railway will require more integrated transport networks, smarter ways of working and significant investment. Promising developments in technology In addition to the smart-ticketing project mentioned above, the industry is taking positive steps towards greater cooperation and collaboration with other networks and transport systems in order to provide customers with seamless end-to-end journeys. The idea is to make the entire journey, across different modes of transport, as hassle-free as possible for passengers, often with one payment covering the whole trip. There are a few examples of this happening already. Virgin Trains has recently partnered with Uber to assist passengers with booking a car to align with the start and end of their rail journey. Transport for West Midlands is working to integrate the rail services with bus, tram, cycling and walking options. In London, users can access unlimited Underground, Overground, bus, bike and shared cab services through one integrated card and app using the CityMapper Pass.

A further development in the use of technology to help maintain the integrity of the rail infrastructure is the development of a digital twin model of the entire Crossrail network alongside the physical railway line. The digital twin version can be used to analyse and replicate operating conditions making it much easier for engineers and



data scientists to gain an understanding of the complete network. It also allows teams to see what the actual physical system is doing and respond to changes before they happen thus increasing efficiency and reducing disruption. Whilst implementing innovative technology on new routes like Crossrail is expected, it is somewhat more difficult to implement on legacy rail networks and systems. However it does happen and a good example is the deployment of 5G sensors alongside tracks to monitor track temperatures. Such technology should allow for a faster response time to heat-related faults ultimately reducing the length of disruption to a service (and to customers). Sensors have been deployed in the past but new developments have brought down the cost and 5G technology allows for many more devices to be connected per square kilometre than for the same area on the existing 4G networks. The internet of things (IoT) is an interesting development that is helping many industries to run more smoothly and effectively, including the rail industry. The technology essentially seeks to make devices ‘smart’ such as a thermostat or a kettle, by connecting it to the internet. Such technology can be used to make legacy rail infrastructure ‘smart’ though the use of sensors and software e.g. connecting sensors to train seats to inform passengers where there are available seats. As more train operating companies (TOCs) deploy IoT technology throughout their network, passenger experience can be improved by providing information such as: whether a toilet is working and accessible, which carriages are the most crowded, where to stand on the platform, and alternative routes during disruption. It is not just passenger experience and rail infrastructure that is benefiting from new technology, as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) techniques are being used to enhance training sessions for rail staff. HS2 is using AR to train the future staff of Old Oak Common station, a station due to serve both HS2 and Crossrail which hasn’t been built yet. Staff are able to see a digital replica of the station which has the dual benefit of assisting staff to develop the skills needed to effectively manage the station whilst allowing them to provide feedback to the station designers on their experience so that plans can be honed before it is built. We are also seeing VR being used to show passengers what new or refurbished trains could look like without the need for TOCs to invest in potentially expensive and bulky simulators. Challenges in implementing new technology Whilst the technological opportunities in the rail industry are boundless, there are certain barriers which may slow down implementation across the rail industry. Rail Professional

First: cost. Transforming the entire industry is an expensive undertaking both in terms of initial investment and maintenance. Keeping up to date with new developments is an ongoing task that will require constant injection of money. The challenge for the rail industry is to do this without passing too much of the additional cost on to its customers. Interestingly, Williams has argued that the industry will also benefit from the government taking a step back from the railway and allowing the growth to stem from the regions and communities. However, if the government takes a step back from the rail industry, there is a risk that this could mean less public funding being made available to the rail industry. Currently the government provides approximately £5 billion per year (excluding loans to Network Rail) in funding to the railway industry for operating, maintaining, renewing and enhancing the railway. Less

The more the industry relies on digitalisation, the bigger the attack surface and the higher the risk to passenger safety and security of rail assets. Breakdowns, signal failures, operating software failures, and passenger data breaches are all potential consequences of a cyber-attack government funding would inevitably mean higher ticket prices for passengers and higher fees for freight companies. Additionally, whilst we hesitate to mention the ‘B’ word in these uncertain times, depending on the outcome of Brexit there is a chance that the UK will lose any EU funding it has secured for innovation in the rail industry. Another challenge will be cooperation between the TOCs and networks for consistency across different lines. Due to the franchise structure of the rail industry it is difficult for TOCs to provide a harmonious service to passengers who use more than one network in one journey. Innovation at different times on different lines may result in a fractious experience for customers, which will undermine many of the potential

benefits. For example, customers using smartticketing or facial recognition ticketing will only see benefits if the TOCs cooperate to ensure that they are implementing technology and using systems and infrastructure that work well together and communicate with each other. Where the business model has previously been rigid, rail operators and authorities now need to develop an entirely new mind-set for digitalisation to be successful. The industry must embrace a more dynamic network, which connects TOCs, FOCs, suppliers, technology platforms, mobility providers and customers together. The renewal of a franchise is a good time for new technology to be introduced with bidders being incentivised to come up with new and innovative ways to use technology for the benefit of customers. However, the franchise system is currently paused and this may delay the implementation of some vital new technologies. Technological advancements also bring with them increased risk and exposure to cyber-crime. The security landscape is constantly changing, with more complicated attacks being developed all the time and it is imperative that the rail industry keeps pace with these developments to protect their data and critical infrastructure. The more the industry relies on digitalisation, the bigger the attack surface and the higher the risk to passenger safety and security of rail assets. Breakdowns, signal failures, operating software failures, and passenger data breaches are all potential consequences of a cyber-attack. This is a very real risk for TOCs as Great Western Railway discovered when its accounts were hacked in April last year. No financial information was compromised in the attack but approximately 1,000 GWR accounts were accessed using an automated system which harvested password details from other areas of the web. Conclusion The benefits that technology can bring to customers of the rail industry are innumerable. We work with many parties in the rail industry to help them surmount a number of obstacles to bring these benefits to its customers. The industry needs to be ready to embrace a significant shift in focus and priorities if it is to keep up with technological advancements, compete with other modes of transport and most importantly bring these benefits to their customers.

Tammy Samuel is a Partner and Bobbie Bickerton is an Associate at Stephenson Harwood


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Keeping the UK on track in a Brexit environment John Roberts, who represented ADtranz and then Bombardier Transportation in the company’s membership of various European Committees for Standardisation (CEN) and European Committees for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) considers regulation in a post-EU UK


his article is intended to initiate discussion on the subject of taking the UK rail system forward once outside the European Union the date of which, for the purpose of this discussion, is assumed to be the 31st October 2019. As such it is written in an unbiased manner to encourage an open discussion needed urgently for support the UK rail industry. I have taken knowledge from a career background embedded in the regulatory system. This includes initially representing ADtranz and then Bombardier Transportation in the company’s membership of various European Committees for Standardisation (CEN) and European Committees for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) in writing advisory standards for Rolling Stock (RST). This work was initially carried out in association with the Association Européenne pour l’Interopérabilité Ferroviaire (AEIF) beginning some 20 years ago. CEN/CENELEC standards are very much intended to work for the rail industry and are at the heart of the various European Directives being considered the Stateof-the-Art technical requirements for all Trans-European rail projects. The authors work continued with Union des Industries Ferroviaires Européennes (UNIFE) latterly in conjunction with European Rail Agency (ERA) in terms of developing rolling stock (RST) interoperability, safety, construction and authorisation regulations.

The European Union Agency for Railways is the agency of the European Union that sets mandatory requirements for European railways and manufacturers in the form of Technical Specifications for Interoperability, which apply to the Trans-European Rail system. ERA was founded in April 2004. Regulation and Standardisation All new UK rail projects and significant changes to those parts of the rail system registered with the EU have to be compliant with European Directives even if those projects are not interconnected to the European Mainland rail system. The authorisation process for UK rail projects has to be overseen by ERA and signed off by a Notified Body (NoBo). NoBos are approved by the EU and any NoBo in any country can be used to assure technical compliance of any part of the rail system in any country. Something which is still an open issue with the some major EU country players. UK industry experts have access to and make a significant contribution to the EU standards and directives formulation process as part of the UNIFE organisation, Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) International Association of Public Transport (UITP) et al. The EU has a vision for all infrastructure within Europe that is registered with the EU to be controlled by European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) to ensure the interoperability of rail freight. In the UK

that is all infrastructure managed by Rail Track. Current compliant routes In the UK there is one interoperable railway which, for this discussion, we will call HS1, running from St Pancras station to the curtilage of the Channel Tunnel where specific Channel Tunnel requirements have to be met. This route complies with the requirements of a number of Technical Standards for Interoperability (TSIs) as embedded into European Directives and is used by high speed trains travelling into Europe and commuter trains which are required to meet European Directives covering this route. The construction and design of the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) was subject to EU Directives. The planning and design of HS2 has currently been deemed subject to the requirements of EU Directives. Significantly in respect of the Dynamic Gauge (Gabarit) and rolling stock (RST) Technical Requirements Documents (TRD) despite not being interconnected to HS1. Freight Freight trains from Europe are re-routed at the Channel Tunnel freight being inwardly hauled by UK compliant locomotives. Awarding contracts As a member of the EU it follows that all UK rail contracts have to be tendered out to other EU countries. Not all countries Rail Professional



within the EU adhere to this edict. Having placed a stake in the ground in relation to the UK rail system as part of the European interoperable rail network the discussion continues to outline how leaving that network would shape a UK independent network. UK Rail Network in a post Brexit environment On leaving the EU the UK industry will be freed from the regulatory framework of the commission and will have to make many decisions in regard to its independent approach to the UK Rail system for the future. That approach may consider the adoption of EU Directives. Regulation and Standardisation All new rail projects and significant changes to those parts of the rail system previously

current UK based NoBos to assure and verify technical compliance of any part of the rail system in the UK. NoBos on the European mainland will have no authority over the independent UK network. UK industry experts may still retain access to and make a significant contribution to the EU standards and directives formulation process if the UK Company is part of the UNIFE organisation, Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) International Association of Public Transport (UITP) et al. RSSB will need to take on a leading role in the UK regulatory system using the RGS protocol. Adopting the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) will be a choice open to the UK industry. Current compliant routes HS1 will revert to the control of the

New RST on this route will no longer be required to meet European Directives if that RST does not travel onto the European rail system excluding the area governed by Channel tunnel. However, RST travelling from Europe into the UK will have also have to comply with the UK Rail Regulatory system. The construction and design of the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) was subject to EU Directives. However, there are delays to the system being placed into service where those delays have been caused by compliance to EU regulatory requirements a review of those requirements could be considered. The planning and design of HS2 has been subject to the requirements of EU Directives. Significantly in respect of the Dynamic Gauge (Gabarit) and rolling stock (RST) Technical Requirements Documents (TRD) despite not being interconnected to HS1. The design of the system should be reviewed most importantly by adopting the smaller UK dynamic gauge. This would reduce costs as tunnel profiles can be reduced and RST TRDs can require meeting only the reduced UK Gabarit. All RST so redefined would be free to operate freely from the HS2 route onto existing rail systems. This will have a significant effect on the establishment of routes and passenger logistics where interconnected to the existing rail network. Freight The conditions for freight trains from Europe will remain unchanged.

registered with the EU will not have to be compliant with European Directives unless the UK industry decides to adopt those Directives as Railway Group Standards (RGS) within a standalone UK regulatory system. The authorisation process for UK rail projects will have to be established with a UK organisation such as ORR, supported by Railway Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) taking on the role of ERA for the UK environment. The UK will fall outside the EU NoBo system and equivalents to the EU NoBo will have to be established. This role can be adopted by a body such as ORR authorising Rail Professional

UK network management. To assure the continuance of the interoperable railway from Europe into the UK the EU interoperable regulatory requirements and directives will have to be retained and maintained but only for the route running from St Pancras station to the curtilage of the Channel Tunnel where specific Channel Tunnel requirements have to be met. The HS1 route will have to remain compliant with the requirements of a number of Technical Standards for Interoperability (TSIs) as embedded into European Directives to retain Eurostar et al services. It is used by high speed trains travelling from Europe and commuter trains.

Awarding contracts All TRDs for any new UK rail based contracts can openly stipulate that the items within the TRD are manufactured with the UK or have a significant UK work content. Importantly as the UK will need to establish an equivalent to ERA the obvious organisation to take on this role would be the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) The ORR is a non-ministerial government department responsible for the economic and safety regulation of Britain’s railways, and the economic monitoring of Highways England. It will be necessary to reformulate a UK rail standardisation protocol. The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), established in April 2003, Will rapidly have to review the RGS system to serve as the UK rail regulation and authorisation system.

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Alex Veitch

Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy for Freight Transport Association about FTA’s expectations for the Rail Review and how freight is viewed in the rail industry What should be the main takeaway from FTA’s recommendations to the Williams Review?


hile we would like to see some changes in policy to help grow capacity, the structure of freight is continuing to work reasonably well. Our main take away is that this review has been brought about in response to issues at the passenger level; freight is growing again now and we do worry if there are changes to fix a passenger problem those structural changes could stop the progress we’re seeing in freight. We worry about going back to ‘British Rail 2.0’ with vertical integration, however, Keith Williams has said he is not in favour of Network Rail running trains so hopefully this has already been ruled out. We’ve asked DfT to clarify that they’re not going for a Japanese model and to rule some things out, even if at this stage they’re not going to rule anything in. Gradually the fog is lifting a bit for external stakeholders and it seems some form of new railway agency is on the cards. The next phase is to ask questions about this new agency. What would it do? Who would do franchising? Our members transport goods across the UK – from Southampton to Scotland, for example – and there must be a central guiding mind to support building each route up. To access the network, you must have dedicated people to arrange that, as there is intense planning that goes into it. So, we are hopeful that the dystopian future has been ruled out, and if it has, we’d like the government to say so! How do we fix ‘double counting’? When the DfT is letting a rail franchise, it has on occasion included paths that are currently allocated to a freight operator. Rail Professional

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In addition, sometimes the regulator must approve path allocation at very late notice because the public information has gone out about a new passenger timetable prior to formal approval being given. Then the freight operator may have to go through the process of appealing the decision. This brings us back to the ‘guiding mind’ having access to all the information so that only available paths are allocated to bidders – some form of giant spreadsheet showing all the capacity currently allocated – to ensure this doesn’t happen. You mention freight operators bidding for routes that are held by passenger operators - are there particular areas of the country where you think this would be effective? This should be an easy fix. When bidding is going on there is so much pressure on the bidder to show where they add value compared to other bidders that they need to make the best bid possible, so naturally they look to see how much capacity they can squeeze onto the network. This can occasionally lead to paths being allocated to passenger franchise services which have previously been allocated to freight operators. Looking at the examples there

seems to be no major structural bias against freight, just siloed thinking, which can result in paths being let to bidders that shouldn’t be. There should be a streamlined methodology to solve those issues. A lot of these things are working really well already, but better sharing of information and an overall view of capacity is required. What about the potential for a new agency? What form would this ‘guiding mind’ take? We’re not pushing for a new agency to be created, but if there is one it seems likely to be a combination of what the rail regulator handles on contracts and access and some of what DfT does in franchising, combined with some of what Network Rail does in operations. Some of what we want, such as a change in how access to capacity is decided, needs new government policy, not huge structural reform. For example, ending “double counting” between franchises and freight operators can be resolved without the creation of a new agency. More broadly there needs to be the mechanics for conflict resolution where there are competing requests for the same capacity; but this doesn’t require a new agency to sort it out,


it just needs decisions being made by the existing parties. Why would vertical integration be so disastrous for freight? At the regional level there is financial separation between the parties involved. If there was a hypothetical vertical integration between two parties (the infrastructure manager and passenger operator in that region) that would create an inbuilt systemic bias because both parties have the financial incentive to ensure that those services are as unimpeded and reliable as possible. If you are a freight operator that uses the route for a bit and then moves off to another region, will you be given equal weight when there is possession overrun? Is the freight company going to be able to get back up and running again in a reasonable amount of time? We would be turning the clock right back if we went for regional integration; when I heard Keith Williams say he doesn’t want Network Rail running trains that may be what he means.

Alex’s regular column ‘Delivering the Goods’ can be read on page 19 of this issue.

Lisa Ingram

Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Lisa Ingram Head of Business Improvement at Amey, who started and developed the Challenge Cup after seeing the lack of aspiration, opportunities and female role models during a visit to her daughter’s school Tell me about the history of the Amey Challenge Cup.


he Amey Challenge Cup came to life five years ago as a careers involvement day with just a single school in Birmingham. The Cup has developed year on year, with girls now competing nationwide. In its first year, 25 girls spent the day with us, with female engineering professionals coming in and speaking to them to give the girls a grasp of the work Amey does. The background of these professionals varied from traditional engineers to environmental and geotechnical engineers. During the day we discussed how to get into engineering and carried out activities to demonstrate different parts of engineering. In our second year, we expanded to four schools across Birmingham. We had the same number of girls, and again spent the whole

day with them, presenting real life engineering challenges, things like risk assessment, budget control and client interaction. Last year we decided to reach beyond four schools into to three different areas: Birmingham, Staffordshire, and Gloucestershire. We interacted with nine schools in total, which meant we had regional heats and a national final. This year the exponential growth has continued as we’ve spread across the country, and we held ten separate events, with the total number of participants reaching 250 girls from 20 schools. Where do you plan to go next? My personal goal is to bring the Amey Challenge Cup up to a level where it’s on par with the Rolls Royce and Land rover engineering challenges. Once we had established ourselves in Birmingham, we Rail Professional


decided we wanted to go national, which we pulled off this year. Managing to reach 20 different schools was great and we’re currently gathering impact and viability assessments from schools as far apart as London and Glasgow. The Cup is currently available for girls in year 8, 9, and 10. Is there a plan to incorporate younger or older students? We came up with the challenge to mark International Women in Engineering Day, which falls during exam season, which can prove problematic for older students. In terms of younger age groups, the current activity is challenging and is best suited to year 8, 9 and 10. We have had year sevens try it out, but the feedback we’ve gotten suggests the activities need to be tailored to be more straight forward. However, we have over 100 volunteers from Amey helping with the Cup who are happy to talk to any students about engineering, whether they are taking part or not. There is also a different set of challenges presented at the primary school level in terms of ratios and what the students can do. Engagement with schools can be hard.

Why do you think that is? There is an element of cost involved that can be off putting on the logistics side. In Birmingham we have established relationships with these schools, so they can lift out their risk assessment activities from the previous year which can encourage other similar sized schools to get involved. The students from the first year are now finishing their A-Levels so it would be interesting to see if there is any uptake in STEM degrees. Schools can be wary about sharing that data, so we have to build a personal relationship with them. This year I went to five events and once they saw how much the girls enjoyed the day, they are very keen to come again the year after, so it is doable. Girls represent half of students studying STEM at GCSE level but there is a huge drop off at undergraduate level which continues into actual employment in STEM industries. Why do you think that is and what is the remedy? There is still an element of ‘if you can’t see, you can’t be’. A lot of the girls who attend the workshops will not have seen women working


in any of these roles and there is still a massive misconception of engineering. Often girls only learn about mechanical engineering and manufacturing. A good friend of mine graduated with a Doctorate in Engineering recently, I watched the ceremony and it was overwhelmingly boys and there is a huge part of this perception. The first premise that we came up with was to show that all engineers are not the same. One girl I spoke to viewed design as this big amorphous blob and when we showed her the different types of design there are, it helped her to visualise what direction a career in that field could take her. We want to expand the view of engineering, and show there’s more to it than just masculine, construction-based discipline. For instance, our environmental team helped students to see there is a huge role in ecology in engineering. It’s about showing girls what different roles are out there. Another initiative that is aiming to tackle this problem is Amey’s partnership with Girlguiding. We created an engineering badge, with the aim of inspiring young girls to consider STEM subjects and show what they can do with them further down the line. What are some of the skills that the participants get to learn? Participants learn a huge number of skills during the challenge, including project management, design, construction, budgeting, the role of engineers, the role of maths and finance and the role of people who want to go out on the ground and watch something being built. They also get to be hands on with project scope and the assimilation of technical requirements, understanding drawings and construction and scale, timescales and where you can take tasks and the same time, project planning and concurrent tasks, risk analysis, client budgets.

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Creating a railway for 2050 Charlotte Warburton, Global Head of rail at PA Consulting, the global innovation and transformation consultancy, looks at passenger centric innovations rail could be adopting


hat does the future of rail in the UK look like? The answer depends on how far into the future you look. If the Williams Review is as penetrating as we expect, the coming year has the potential to radically kick start the change in the way our railways are run. However, will that be radical change for today, for the next five years, or for the next 30? Previous reviews have been unable to effect deep, long-term change, because

The industry’s problem can be seen very clearly in the failure to take steps to deliver seamless, integrated transport systems. When we asked industry leaders how relevant Mobility as a Service is to the future of transport, almost all say it is highly or somewhat important

they have not looked beyond the next steps for the coming control period, or the next swathe of investment. This time, that will not be enough to deliver the change required to secure the future of rail in the UK. As competing modes of transport evolve, and new technologies enable faster, seamless, even autonomous journeys across the country, the fixed schedule of trains we have today could well become obsolete, both for passengers and freight. If rail is to compete with emerging alternatives and remain a leading mode of transport, it needs a clear vision and a sharper focus on how it meets passenger needs. New technology, better use of data and increased integration can all help with this and transform the sector but, to date, it has been slow to embrace the changes that are needed. A recent article in Rail Review reported the findings of a survey of 20,000 passengers in which only 46 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with their journey. What is most startling is that this percentage was exactly the same as in 2008. In ten years, despite huge amounts of investment, and activity, the industry has not improved customer satisfaction rates. Yet in the same period, the way we shop, work, or even travel in taxis, planes and buses has been transformed whilst the way we book a train ticket has hardly changed. There are a clear set of actions the industry could take to make the passenger experience better for both existing users and to attract new customers. New technology and data could enable more flexible timetabling. Digitalisation could provide instant, high quality information

on the passengers’ phone, and easy access to e-tickets and a guaranteed seat. Embedding future-proofed technologies into assets and infrastructure across the rail network could prevent costly, and frustrating delays. However, to make them a reality will require a commitment to change the way the industry works. The industry’s problem can be seen very clearly in the failure to take steps to deliver seamless, integrated transport systems. When we asked industry leaders how relevant Mobility as a Service is to the future of transport, almost all say it is highly or somewhat important. Counterintuitively however, those leaders – when asked if they planned to do something about it in the next twelve months, only 38 per cent said they would. This kind of inertia hampers progress across the industry. There are always reasons not to do things. Faster trains are not acquired because of safety fears, though in Japan they go twice the speed and operate safely. A fear that the unions will block changes to driver conditions means that they are not presented and so change either does not happen or happens very slowly. Yet DSB are preparing for the procurement of autonomous trains, with driver welfare and next-generation workforces at the heart of the initiative. In short, UK Rail needs a revolution and to make this happen, rail, supported by government, needs to set out a clear vision for 2050 and beyond, or at least longer than the next control period. That long term view is the only way to make sure the right strategic decisions are made today. Other Rail Professional



countries are already doing this. Sheikh Mohammed has set out an ambition to make Dubai’s transport 30 per cent autonomous by 2030 and in Sweden, Trafikverket is already developing plans to integrate and automate road and rail. The industry also needs to foster a new mindset that is open to change, and is agile enough to test, prove and scale the activities that will make sure rail is seen as an attractive option. That will require a flexible approach which enables a way of operating that can provide different services to different customers, or integrate with autonomous vehicle pods. It should be able to develop a single app for customers to plan, pay for and receive updates on integrated multi modal journeys. Once that plan is agreed, the industry should be seizing the opportunity of technology and data to provide a better passenger experience. For example, PA has worked on a project in the Netherlands which provides passengers waiting on a platform with information on their phones which shows them where seats will be available when the train arrives and TFL are now looking at something similar for the tube. Data can also be used to develop and maintain existing infrastructure. We worked with a European tram operator to find out why their trams kept breaking down, even though they were being serviced and passing every mechanical test. By looking at operational data, rather than mechanical engine information, we identified the cause of the problem and now they have less than one breakdown per month. The railways also need to embrace new, future-focused technologies. In France, Rail Professional

By looking at operational data, rather than mechanical engine information, we identified the cause of the problem and now they have less than one breakdown per month by 2030, autonomous trains will run on the busiest lines using sensor technology on existing stock, increasing capacity by 25 per cent and cutting the time between trains from 180 seconds to 108 seconds. Other developments include a European Rail Traffic Management System that will enhance cross-border interoperability and signaling procurement through using black boxes in train cabs which can talk directly to each other and effectively take traffic signals off the track. All this underlines that the technology is available, but needs the right environment for it even to be considered, let alone implemented. Another option is for dynamic timetables and services, based on passenger demand and capacity. Rather than a full carriage service running at set times, there could be a single carriage service for the 15 passengers who need to travel on that day, creating extra capacity and reducing the

environmental impact of rail. Carriages could be reconfigured based on the volume and needs of the passengers at that time, so that, for example, trains serving major sporting events could have reconfigurable seats and tables to create extra room. It is conceivable that autonomous vehicle pods could be digitally connected to train services, to ensure passengers arrive at the station at the right time to board the service. These are truly passenger-centric innovations that would revolutionise rail and some of these are already in our reach. The UK rail sector can make these step changes happen, but only with the right politics, procurement and regulation. In the short term, that means there needs to be faster recycling and customisation of assets to ensure that they are fit for purpose. Speedy commissioning and decommissioning cycles, the evolution of stations into business hubs, and even subsidising passenger fares would then be longer term steps towards the kind of railways that other countries are already able to offer. All of these developments would make rail a more attractive option today and help to create a sustainable future. However, to achieve them will require collaboration across the industry and across transport sectors and a real willingness to embrace change by coming together to agree what that future will look like. Charlotte Warburton is the global head of rail at PA Consulting, the global innovation and transformation consultancy

Find out more about PA’s work in Rail, visit:



How can train operators optimise the lifecycle costs of their fleets? Richard Hobbs, Associate Director at Atkins, compares the US and European approach to rolling stock procurement


ith UK train operating companies (TOCs) committed in excess of ÂŁ2 billion to the rolling stock leasing companies, the lifecycle cost of the fleet is an important consideration for the business. The risk allocation in rolling stock manufacturing and ownership in the UK and Europe has fundamentally shifted from an input-based approach to transferring output risk to the supply market. As the market takes far greater responsibility in delivering the required outputs, the owners (and in the UK case, lessees) have placed great emphasis on selecting products that have optimised total costs of ownership. In response the suppliers have needed to develop sophisticated whole life cost models for their products which provide, duty cycle dependent, detailed breakdowns of the running costs and planned and unplanned maintenance activities for their rolling stock. These lifecycle cost models are used by buyers as key evidence in their procurement evaluations, and by the suppliers themselves as a tool to price and monitor the long-term support agreements that are often attached to a new fleet. The understanding around the whole life cost complexities of rolling stock gained within the UK and European rail industry is recognised and was something which part of the American rail industry for intercity rolling stock has been procured and operated very differently. Historically, fleet ownership and service delivery was undertaken by Amtrak, the national intercity operator, until the United States introduced the Passenger Rail Investment & Improvement Act (PRIIA) Section 209 legislation. A response to the PRIIA legislation has been a shift in the ownership of rolling stock, from the operator Amtrak, to the customer, the US State Departments of Transportation

(DOTs). As the DOTs have taken ownership of their vehicles, their understanding of the associated lifecycle costs has become paramount. The typical operating life of rolling stock in the US is 25 to 40 years; the initial procurement cost amounts to just 25 to 33 per cent of the overall vehicle cost, the remainder being maintenance and repair. The change in ownership has allowed the DOTs to take control of the lifecycle costs of the rolling stock. However, it has also meant that the working and contractual relationships have changed. The original arrangement was a straightforward ownership model, where Amtrak was the equipment owner, operator and maintainer who dealt with the original equipment

manufacturer (OEM). The DOTs were billed accordingly by Amtrak for the services provided. Under the changing ownership model, this is no longer the case. An example can be seen in the Midwest states where the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), on behalf of the transportation agencies of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin, procured (using federal funds) 33 Siemens SC-44 diesel-electric Charger locomotives and 88 single-deck coaches. The ownership arrangement now sees the Midwest States DOTs as the rolling stock owners, and Amtrak has become the lessee and maintenance and storage facility owner; while the original equipment manufacturer is responsible for Rail Professional



warranty management. For the DOTs this means that they have the role of overseer of costs and are able to challenge the other two parties to deliver, maintain and manage the assets cost effectively. The presence of a robust ‘real-time’ lifecycle cost model is an essential part of achieving this, both in understanding forecast costs and evaluating real expenses. The Midwest States used a bespoke suite of models, developed by Atkins Transport Consulting & Advisory for this purpose. The modelling suite comprised a Lifecycle Cost (LCC) Model, and a Budget Monitoring (BM) Model, designed to seamlessly interface and facilitate forecast revisions in response to changing operating conditions. In order to create a robust modelling approach, a comprehensive benchmarking and data gathering exercise was undertaken by a specialist team made up of economists, modellers, analysts and rolling stock engineers, to gather the labour and material requirements for all preventative and corrective maintenance activities required to keep the fleet in good operational condition. This technical assessment was combined with operational and economic data to provide a detailed understanding of costs and their drivers which were subsequently used to build the LCC Model. The outputs of the LCC Model are easy-to-understand dashboards

that cover the full vehicle operating lives (25 years for the locomotives and 40 years for the coaches). It was designed to be intuitive and real-time, and the diagram (Figure 1) shows the logic behind the inter-related models. The final result was a modelling suite that facilitated robust decision making. This included: • a bottom-up cost forecast of scheduled and corrective maintenance and fuel costs for the charger locomotives and single-deck coaches in each year of their operating lives • actual spend evaluated against the modelled forecast over the vehicle lives • detailed dashboard summaries, to identify where the actual spend deviates from the modelled forecast; including details on the causes of these deviations so that the DOTs are able to seek further clarification from the maintainer and determine whether the additional cost was unavoidable, thus leading to an update to the lifecycle forecasts, or whether the costs may be challenged and eliminated • revised forecasts based on emerging market conditions and asset performance. At the core of the modelling suite was the 40year LCC Model. This was supplemented by the BM Model; the purpose of the BM Model was to allow the DOTs to continually update

and revise the lifecycle forecast over the fleet’s operating life. By producing a model that would always be ‘live’ it means that the data contained is up-to-date and reflects the true lifecycle cost and not just the forecast lifecycle costs. The modelling suite also allows the DOTs to evaluate cost savings from equipment modifications and identify alternative approaches to maintenance and maintenance contract arrangements. From a financial perspective it determines whether changes generate a cost saving and a return on investment (ROI) that justifies the necessary capital investment. The UK and European ownership model may be different from the US State ownership approach; however, the US States have benefited from robust modelling to optimise the lifecycle costs of the rolling stock. By having a more thorough understanding of the costs and business processes it ensures a stronger and more resilient business that optimises the length of the rolling stock lifecycle. Making decisions based on databased models provides a real financial benefit. This means the US States are able to invest in other customer focussed improvements and facilitate an economic advantage. Richard Hobbs is Associate Director at Atkins Transport Consulting & Advisory

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The importance of treating wastewater during railway construction Richard Coulton, Business Unit Manager at Siltbuster, discusses the ways in which water can become polluted during railway construction and how it can be treated


eading water treatment specialist Siltbuster, has been called on to assist with a number of high-profile rail projects, such as Crossrail, the Gothenburg Metro, the Grand Paris Express, the Doha Metro, the London Underground Northern Line Extension, and Stuttgart 21 to name a few. Without careful planning significant water pollution incidents can far too easily arise on large infrastructure schemes, such as rail projects. Numerous processes that are commonplace on railway construction projects, such as excavation through rock and clay, tunnelling, soil stabilisation, concreting and grouting have the potential to pollute water courses. Therefore, it is important environmental advisors and section supervisors have an adequate understanding of both potential sources of pollution and management plans to minimise the risks associated with day-today operations. Companies have both legal and moral obligations to ensure their construction activities cause minimal environmental disruption. Here in the UK it’s not unprecedented for both contractors and

their clients to face severe fines for serious pollution incidents. This shows that simply passing the responsibility of environmental management to sub-contractors does not absolve the client of any liability. Typical sources of contamination The wastewater generated from rail construction projects can be grouped into four main categories; suspended solids (silts and clays), pH, hydrocarbons and wet waste slurries. The challenge of managing these along a rail project is often amplified by the geographic distribution and compact nature of the site corridor. Suspended solids (silty water) When a contractor strips the topsoil, it takes away the land’s strongest defence against erosion, vegetation. The remaining surface has no shield or binding element to protect it from rainfall and run-off. With no plant matter to slow it down, and with the surface compacted by the use of heavy machinery, the rate of run-off increases, and the scouring effect is exacerbated. If machinery continues to operate in wet conditions, it churns up the

ground, releasing soil particles that become suspended in the surface water. While soil is a natural substance, if a significant amount of this ‘muddy’ water enters nearby drains and watercourses, it can block the gills of fish and smother aquatic plants and invertebrates, starving them of light and oxygen. There are practical steps construction firms can take to minimise silt pollution. For example, only stripping the minimum area necessary and digging cut off ditches to divert run-off from flowing though the site. However, if silty water does arise it will need dealing with. Where possible the construction of settlement lagoons will help manage suspended solids, but these take up a lot of space on site. One solution to this is to construct permanent drainage and attenuation ponds early in the project, repurposing them for site water management. However, these efforts are often hampered in areas of geology with chalk and clay due to their very fine particle sizes and hence poor settlement characteristics. A more compact solution is to use lamella clarifiers which are up to 20 times more space efficient than traditional lagoons. However even then, if the silty waters have fine slow settling particles a chemical dosing stage may also be required to aggregate the particles and increase the settling rate. Such systems can Rail Professional



work in conjunction with existing lagoons or with portable clarifiers. Hydrocarbons (oils) Hydrocarbons are commonly encountered on remediation projects in the form of petroleum-based substances such as petrol, diesel, kerosene and oils. There are some practical measures construction firms can take to minimise this pollution, such as only refuelling vehicles in designated areas where adequate spill prevention can be provided. However, in cases where oil contaminated water has not been avoided, an oil water separator will be needed. A floating hydrocarbon leaves the visually obvious rainbow sheen to the water, whilst a denser contaminate such as creosote will simply sink to the bottom of a tank. These can be easily separated from the water either by flotation or settlement. If hydrocarbons are found to be in a dissolved phase, treatment is significantly more expensive, and typically achieved by absorbing the hydrocarbons through the use of Granulated Activated Carbon Vessels. High pH water The most common source of alkaline water on rail project sites is from grouting works, surface run-off from large concrete pours and the washing of concreting plant and tools. On a volume by volume basis alkaline water has the potential to cause much greater harm than silt or oil. This is because the pH of concrete wash water is incredibly high – typically 12 to 13, which is equivalent to oven cleaner – making it highly damaging when discharged to the aquatic environment. Dilution isn’t a practical or cost-effective Rail Professional

solution – it takes 10,000 litres of water to get one litre of concrete wash water with a pH of twelve to an acceptable pH of eight. Some suggest using mineral acids to adjust the pH. However, these are dangerous to handle, can easily overshoot the target resulting in equally polluting acidic water and they also create ‘secondary pollutants’. Carbon dioxide is by far the best neutralising agent for concrete water. It’s virtually impossible to acidify water using it, is easy to store and it doesn’t give off any hazardous by-products. Wet waste slurries Slurries and wet wastes are typically generated during tunnelling operations when large volumes of solids are bought into contact with water. With sites unable to simply landfill these wet wastes, onsite management becomes key. A low-tech method of dealing with small volumes of such wastes is to introduce an additive that absorbs the water, forming a solid mass that can be disposed of via traditional muck away routes. However, whilst this solution is simple and can be easily administered, its viability rapidly decreases as volumes increase. The preferred method of dewatering slurries is to use a Filter Press. Slurries are pumped under pressure into the unit whereby solids are retained in internal chambers whilst the water passes though filter cloths. As more and more solids are pumped into the chambers a solid ‘filter cake’ develops. Once the process is complete the chambers are opened, and the solid material drops out of the base of the system. This dewatered material can then be disposed of as solid waste.

Siltbuster experience Clearly, there is a wide variety of potential sources from which polluting water can develop on railway projects. So, what’s the best way to treat it? To answer this, let’s consider some recent projects. Gothenburg Metro The West Link Project underneath the city of Gothenburg is constructing an eight kilometre long double track railway with a six kilometre long tunnel. Excavation through rock and concreting create potentially polluted waters. The work is taking place in a densely populated tourist haven. Furthermore, space on the construction site is limited given the built-up nature of the surrounding environment and the presence of an adjacent major highway linking Malmo to Oslo. In Gothenburg’s case, such realities mean that the water treatment solution selected needs to be agile and space efficient, while providing a large treatment capacity for a small environmental footprint. In light of these challenges, Siltbuster has stationed three integrated IHB40R lamella clarifier units on site. Each unit treats high incoming flows of water – up to 40m3 per hour – and has the capacity to remove solids to less than 25mg/litre of suspended solids and neutralise the pH of alkaline water. They also incorporate an automated monitoring system plus an auto-sampler which continually measures and tests the treated water. Grand Paris Express Rail Expansion Scheme Water pollution has also been a consideration for the Paris Grand Express rail expansion scheme. The €123 billion (£110 billion) project, which is committed to constructing

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system to provide its citizens with a state-ofthe-art transit system. Due to the limestone geology in the area, water generated from directional boring onsite is polluted with slow settling solids made up of calcium carbonate. Siltbuster is providing its HB50 Unit with chemical dosing to treat the water and remove the solids. The Siltbuster system consistently reduces the Total Suspended Solids (TSS) to below 5mg/L whilst reducing the pH to neutral 7 for safe discharge.

68 new stations and over 120 miles of new track, faces the risk of highly alkaline waters being produced on site as a result of excess grout. To deal this this, Siltbuster first recommended a modular chemical dosing system that has an integrated pH probe and controller which monitors the incoming pH level of the water as it enters. When the alkaline level detected exceeds an upper user-defined limit, the system automatically introduces carbon dioxide into a stirred reaction tank to neutralise the waters. The dissolving of carbon dioxide into water forms a mild carbonic acid which steadily reduces the pH of the waters until pH 7 neutral is reached. Once neutralised, the Siltbuster system adds both a coagulant and flocculant to the wastewater. These ensure that any non, or slow settling solids, form rapidly settling clumps which can then be removed. The remaining pH-neutral, solids free water, is then safely and directly discharged to an adjacent foul sewer.

London Underground Line Extension As in Gothenburg, water generated during the tunnelling and groundworks for the London Underground Line Extension contained large amounts of solids and has a very high pH of 12-13. Left untreated, this water would not meet Thames Water’s discharge consent regulations. The Northern Line Extension involved two shafts in Kennington, 3.2 kilometre of tunnels and two new underground stations at Nine Elms and Battersea. Siltbuster supplied two IHB20R units for two separate sites on the project to perform the dual task of solids removal and pH adjustment in a single integrated unit. Easy to operate, it works at high and low flow rates and each system is capable of handling 20m3 of water per hour.


Doha Metro in Qatar The United Equipment Group in Qatar is currently carrying out major works to build the Doha Metro ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The construction equipment supplier is building a city-wide underground metro

Crossrail During the tunnelling phases of the Crossrail project Siltbuster supplied a number of Filter presses to Bam Ferrovial Kier and Dragados Sisk to enable onsite dewatering of cementitious wastes from concreting and grouting operations. Conclusion Whenever a treatment regime is selected, it is equally critical that a robust control system is in place to ensure accurate dosage of reagents where applicable and enable a tracible audit of the treatment regime. This is so that evidence of compliance can be provided in the case of inspections and to defend accusations of contamination. The key lesson is to be pre-emptive rather than reactive; to anticipate the problems, prepare for the unexpected and know what the solutions are – in essence, ensure water management is considered at the project planning stage.

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Rail and station modernisation in the UK’s capital city Sid Grover, Associate Director for environment, health and safety at environmental and engineering consultancy RSK, provides an insight into RSK’s work on Barking Riverside Extension Project in Barking, East London


ransport for London (TFL), awarded the prestigious Barking Riverside Extension project valued at £196 million at the end of last year. Morgan Sindall and VolkerFitzpatrick have joined forces to secure this contract and will be responsible for construction of the 4.5-kilometre extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line. The works will also include refurbishment of existing railway lines from Barking Station over a stretch of three kilometres with a new 1.5-kilometre railway viaduct railway extension from Renwick Road overbridge to the new terminus station. The aim of the project is to enhance the social and economic markets across the already thriving east London area and the Morgan Sindall-VolkerFitzpatrick JV (MSVF JV) regularly engages with local businesses, schools, colleges, small and medium sized enterprises, start-ups and various stakeholders to provide essential community services, while putting safety and sustainability at the forefront of every activity they undertake.

the route, as well as the local community, to ensure a smooth and efficient delivery throughout the project. From RSK’s perspective, the project is jointly being led by Sid Grover (Environmental, Health and Safety team) and Antonio Sanchez (Acoustics team).

tenure. RSK is also keen to assist MSVF JV in fulfilling the environmental minimum requirements, design and engineering support, stakeholder engagement and liaison with local authorities across the region. The RSK team is also fully engaged with the local authorities and stakeholders along

State of the art project delivery As part of this role, RSK is also providing noise and vibration monitoring services and construction monitoring reports for the project and has been engaging with the project construction team in the formation of site-specific mitigation and Best Practicable Means (BPM) measures. This has involved detailed barrier placement maps, night-time working stand-off allowances (from nearest residential receptor), measures of plant noise reduction and contractor toolbox talks.

Role of the environmental consultant and engineer International environmental and engineering consultancy RSK has been commissioned to undertake the role of environmental consultant and engineer for Barking Riverside Extension project by MSVF JV. The project deliverables currently involve production of Section 61 Applications; noise and vibration monitoring; air quality monitoring; archaeological surveys; noise and vibration insulation assessments; and dust management plans. RKS has always shared an excellent relationship with both Morgan Sindall and VolkerFitzPatrick historically and during current project’s Rail Professional



along with code of construction-based practice measures including dust monitoring and laboratory analysis. The RSK air quality team has managed to develop a strong working relationship with MSVF JV, and London borough of barking and Dagenham (LBBD), to keep the working relationship consistently strong. Alongside, RSK’s built heritage and archaeology team have been supporting the project by developing site specific and project wide WSIs; geo-archaeological deposit model report; watching briefs and general project management leaving a bright impression in history of this project.

The RSK team, by virtue of its extensive experience on previous projects, such as Crossrail, Midland Metro Alliance, High Speed 2, London City Airport etc., has established an in-house consent, risk assessment and reporting software tool, which ensures efficient and high-quality delivery of the project objectives. RSK carried out extensive engagement with the construction team and local authority to agree the scope of the initial Section 61 Application, and in order to aid the successful production of this phase, the RSK team offered initial project briefings as a proactive intention to avoid any slippage in timelines for various deliverables. They could also easily deal with any issues that may arise. Upon submission, RSK has further engaged with the local authority in the agreement of a suitable monitoring strategy throughout the life of the construction works and conducted various meetings and workshops with both stakeholders and the local communities to discuss the project from a noise and vibration perspective, as well as areas where mitigation would be in place. Currently, RSK has developed and implemented a strategy for the continued monitoring of noise and vibration. Successful stakeholder engagement has allowed the monitoring to be conducted at close receptor locations, including residential, commercial and Grade II listed buildings. The monitoring equipment provides real-time data capture and trigger alerts, enabling the construction team to be notified of any exceedances of S61 levels or COCP criteria. The system also enables RSK to complete various kinds of system reporting from any of our UK offices through a secure web server to retrieve data. Recovering history and assessing air quality RSK’s air quality division is currently assisting MSVF JV to formulate a comprehensive dust management scheme, Rail Professional

Supporting MSVF JV’s initiatives In order to support the MSVF JV’s initiative, as well as RSK’s own sustainability goals, RSK actively encourages employees to use public transport when practical, such as trains, buses and tube (underground/ over-ground), as well as electrical cars when undertaking site visits. They are also encouraged to assess all safety, health and environmental (SHE) hazards and any other environmental concerns during their time on-site. This usually includes items such as dust, water and contamination. RSK is also accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards for quality, environment and health and safety management. All the acoustic, air quality and electronic equipment used by RSK is fully compliant to British Standards, but it is also powered through sustainable means such as solar panels, wherever possible, to minimise construction carbon on-site. None of RSK’s equipment is powered through a nonrenewable resource and is committed to implementing MSVF JV’s Sustainability Policy and assisting in meeting its sustainability targets. In addition, RSK has a company-wide energy plan to ensure that all electricity procured by the company is certified ‘green’. An energy efficiency campaign is currently being conducted and key offices are being metered with smart meters, as well as a Carbon Trust audit. An energy management system compliant with BSEN 16001 is also being implemented and RSK is investigating investment in a bio-diesel plant at one or more of its company sites to provide fuel for machinery and vehicles. The future The working relationship between MSVF JV and RSK is strengthening daily, and RSK expects it to last until the overall project’s final delivery and further beyond. The project is expected to have a significant number of interfaces with the likes of High Speed 2 (HS2), the Commonwealth Games in 2022, TFL overground/underground interfaces, Crossrail, Great Western Railway (GWR) and various train station refurbishments across East London. Some of predicted benefits as a result

of this project completion will be the construction of 10,800 homes at Barking Riverside, including a new school, medical facilities, walking and cycling routes; reliable public transportation system within Barking Riverside and east London; improvement in accessibility and modernisation in transport system; and offering a sustainable public transport as an alternative to car travel. Sid Grover is Associate Director for the environment, health and safety (EHS) division at environmental and engineering consultancy RSK.

RSK is the UK’s leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business employing over 3,000 staff in offices across the UK and worldwide. In 2016, RSK was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade, one of the UK’s highest accolades for business success. With a turnover of over £250 million, the company was ranked the seventh largest UK environmental consultancy by Environment Analyst in its 2018 Market Assessment Report. RSK provides independent environmental consultancy and technical services in the areas of the environment, health and safety, engineering and sustainability management to industrial, financial and public-sector clients in the UK and abroad. RSK has a diverse client base but mainly services key accounts for clients in energy, property, manufacturing, water, government and transport. The company is certified to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 international standards for quality, environmental management and health and safety management. For further details, please contact Sid Grover, Associate Director – Antonio Sanchez, Senior Acoustic Consultant – Visit:


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Is the rail sector ready to cash in on retail opportunity? The travel retail sector is booming and with footfall numbers at Britain’s train stations set to increase, Network Rail and operators are already investing in regeneration initiatives to take advantage of this growing commercial opportunity. But could they be doing more?


he latest data from Network Rail, which owns and manages 19 of the UK’s biggest train stations, reveals that retail partners at its terminals experienced sales growth of 4.36 per cent in 2018/19, with like-for-like sales increasing 1.32 per cent, well ahead of sector-wide data from the British Retail Consortium for the same period. This success has been put down to increased footfall, with an estimated 900 million people passing through Network Rail stations each year. Among the most prominent examples of retail-led regeneration on Britain’s rail network is St Pancras International, which was renamed as such in 2007, shortly after it was confirmed as London’s new Eurostar terminus. Run by a publicprivate partnership (PPP), this project has transformed a busy rail terminal into an upmarket retail and leisure destination, attracting a strong mix of mid-market and luxury brands including John Lewis, MAC, Aspinall of London, Fortnum & Mason, and Whistles. Elsewhere in the capital, the redevelopment of London Bridge station has led to the creation of some 70 purposebuilt retail units – the highest number ever seen at a Network Rail station – and another exciting scheme to transform London Waterloo into a prime retail destination covering 135,000 square feet by 2021 is also underway. Investment in large-scale rail infrastructure programmes, such as HS2, has also sparked retail-led regeneration initiatives beyond the capital. Among

them, Birmingham’s new-look Grand Central Station, with a wealth of shops and restaurants and direct links to the adjacent Bullring shopping centre, was officially opened in 2015. Despite the regeneration success stories at many of the network’s busiest stations, others have failed to capitalise on the retail opportunity. There are many reasons for this of course, not least a dysfunctional franchise system, which makes it difficult for train operating company (TOC)-managed stations to take a long-term view. The structure of ownership at many of these stations, with Network Rail owning the infrastructure and

TOCs responsible for its management, is also a barrier to investment. In many cases, TOCs know there is an opportunity to invest in revenue-generating regeneration but lack the funding and strategic vision to make it happen. Other reasons for TOC-managed stations appearing to be slow to respond, is their localised approach and lack of access to specialist resources. Network Rail benefits from a dedicated, centralised retail team to lead the design and development of regeneration projects across its network and forge relationships with retail brands. By adopting a group structure, many Rail Professional



Many stations require upfront investment to smarten up the environment, rethink its layout or change the flow of people through the space, before creating retail units. This preliminary activity could be jointly funded by project partners in exchange for a share of the earnings from retail unit rentals TOCs could achieve the scale necessary to emulate this approach; centralising delivery and developing a strong business case for investment. Of course, when considering the assets owned by Network Rail and those managed by TOCs, we’re not comparing like with like. In many cases, TOC-managed assets are more rundown, due to years of underinvestment, further undermining their ability to secure investment. A smarter approach is needed to strengthen their proposition for investors and retailers. For example, by using the PPP model, a more collaborative approach to investment could be undertaken, helping to unlock retail opportunities. Many stations require upfront investment to smarten up the environment, rethink its layout or change the flow of people through the space, before

creating retail units. This preliminary activity could be jointly funded by project partners in exchange for a share of the earnings from retail unit rentals. Instead of collaborating and phasing regeneration activity, some stations have pulled in retailers before the groundwork has been done, which could be limiting their revenue-generating potential. Those with poor layouts, where shops can only be accessed from the platform, or where a waiting room is situated at one end of the platform, with the only coffee shop at the other, are unlikely to generate the best yields. While TOCs are right to be proactive, a more strategic and planned approach to maximising each station’s retail opportunity would deliver better returns. Even regional stations on metropolitan routes could be making more of their

assets. The latest statistics from the Urban Transport Group’s Number Crunch 2019 survey show that regional rail use has increased 29 per cent in the ten years to 2017/18, with some 389 million passenger journeys made last year. Such increases suggest the time is right to develop plans to introduce retail opportunities to meet the needs of these consumers. To secure investment, each station’s retail proposition must be compelling to its target audience. If investment has already been secured to ‘tidy up’ the station, prior to the construction of retail units, this will be massively beneficial. Where Wi-Fi exists, the use of datasets about dwell time, peak flows, passenger profiles and preferences, could help to persuade retailers that a new outlet would perform well. Among the prime targets for stations on busier routes would be retailers such as Greggs and WH Smith, which are actively pursuing store openings at travel catchments including railway stations, motorway services, and airports. Armed with a strategic investment plan and data-based insights, operators right across Britain’s rail network could be doing more to cash in on the retail opportunity and with changes to the franchise system long overdue, there is no reason to wait. Phil Bulman, Director, is a transport sector specialist at management consultancy, Vendigital


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A top down approach The UK rail network houses over 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts, of which a large percentage are from the Victorian era and are in challenging to reach locations


his leads to vast investment in ongoing inspection and maintenance, carried out both by Network Rail internally and also by a network of trained and experienced suppliers. With challenges such as this to face, Network Rail is continually looking to innovative methods of survey and inspection to create efficiency, free up time, enhance safety and deliver enhanced datasets which can be used to assess the condition of its assets while minimising the requirement to put people in high risk environments. Traditional survey and inspection has often had to take place outside of operational hours and away from running trains, and as such the quality of the data gathered and reports produced can suffer

due to time and weather constraints, and also due to collecting survey and inspection data during darkness. The use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) can add another aspect to this process, and by using UAVs as a ‘first pass’, much useful data can be gathered quickly and with minimum intrusion, which can then be used to identify where more detailed survey and inspection is required. With the formation of Bridgeway Aerial in 2017 came an opportunity to merge aviation, rail, geomatics and inspection services into one overarching body. As a Network Rail approved supplier of UAV services, and holding enhanced permission to fly at night, with spotters, and in closer proximity to buildings and infrastructure than usually allowed, Bridgeway Aerial are

able to maximise the links between internal teams and are in a prime position to analyse the requirements of survey and inspection projects, and to advise where UAVs may be employed as an alternative to more traditional means. More and more, Bridgeway are finding themselves engaged by Network Rail and its Tier 1 suppliers at an increasing frequency to adopt UAV technology to capture initial survey and inspection data. When defining a survey methodology, multiple factors need to be taken into consideration including accuracy requirements, the most appropriate sensor technology, and deliverable formats. It is here that Bridgeway are able to offer advice and guidance to their clients to ensure that the deliverable that they ultimately receive is actionable and appropriate to the scheme. The project detailed below is just one of a number of UAV surveys and inspections that have recently been carried out by the Bridgeway team, and gives a good overview of their approach to planning and undertaking complex works on the rail infrastructure. This particular project relates to a survey and inspection of the ‘Great Wall of Todmorden’, a 400-metre retaining wall on the MVN2 lines. Todmorden is a town on the borders of Rail Professional



Lancashire and Yorkshire in the Pennine hills of northern England, and this specific structure, said to be built from four million bricks, separates the 32-mile-long Rochdale Canal, and the Calder Valley rail line running at higher level. The structure is of local significance, was built in the 1840s and remains one of the town’s most iconic landmarks. In terms of surveying a structure of this type, several challenges present themselves as the wall is almost entirely uniform with few distinguishing features, is curved on two planes, is inaccessible from the canal side, and is also in an area of heavy vegetation. Careful thought and planning was required in order to create useful deliverables. Deliverables for the project included: • nadir and oblique (top down and angled) high resolution photography • HD video • georeferenced photographs to enable spatial contextualisation • a 3D colour pointcloud • digital Elevation models (DEM) • a structural condition and defect report • a high level overview orthorectified photograph • detailed orthophotos and orthorectified elevations • 3D revit model with embedded defect data. In order to carry out the works successfully, a team was chosen including members of Bridgeway’s Aerial, Geomatics, and Examination teams, and a high level of desktop study and walkouts was undertaken to assess launch and recovery positions, methods of geospatially orientating the survey, areas of specific interest, airspace considerations, flights in proximity to the railway and other infrastructure, and other considerations directly relating to the UAV equipment. Once planning was completed, survey control was installed and coordinated via Total Station and GPS observations in order to fully orientate the survey, and additional ground-based laser scanning was undertaken to be used as verification data later on in the process. The UAV survey was then undertaken over a period of two days, Rail Professional

with Network Rail representatives in attendance alongside the Bridgeway Aerial and Examinations team. In total, just under one thousand individual high resolution photographs were taken, referencing 29 survey points and ultimately leading onto the creation of a 3D pointcloud containing over 178 million individual measurable points. When compared against the groundbased scanning, a comparative accuracy of 14mm was achieved along the retaining wall. Added value deliverables included the creation of orthorectified photographs in widely useable formats, which are essentially merged overarching photographs including all of the individual images. The key benefit of this deliverable is to be able to geolocate individual defects or characteristics on a structure, within the context of the entire site. The full suite of deliverables allowed Bridgeway Examiners to produce a Visual Report in line with NR standards, and also to identify areas where further tactile inspection would be advisable. A 3D BIM

model was also created of the structure, and defects embedded within the model enabling the long term tracking and identification of maintenance or repair regimes. While the collection of large and complex datasets can provide real benefits, it can also be a challenge to turn the data into a deliverable that the client can use. Different datasets can require significant investment in both IT hardware and software, can mean a change in internal workflows, and can also lead to changes in how established technical standards are applied and interpreted. It is here that Bridgeway’s far reaching engineering expertise comes into its own, as we are able to advise our clients from a multi-faceted perspective and highlight the true benefits of complimentary datasets while having a knowledge of established practices. Bridgeway’s approach to data collection is relatively simple. We ask that our clients come to us with problems that they need to solve, and we can find the most efficient way of gathering and processing the data required for their projects. For more information or guidance on UAV derived survey, mapping and inspection techniques, please contact Richard Cooper, Geomatics and Examinations Director, at

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GPR rail utility survey Murphy Surveys carried out a Subsurface Utility Mapping survey for a global engineering services organisation with 35,000 people working within the marine, land, aviation and nuclear sectors


o ensure the highest standards of safety on our rail network, it’s paramount that our track is maintained and renewed regularly. However, one of the main concerns raised when conducting track maintenance and renewal over the years, is the lack of information about the buried services within the permanent way. Records either don’t exist or are outdated and a number of pipes and services have been hit whilst working on permanent way. This can cause serious project delays due to extended or new track possession and overrunning engineering work can risk costly timetable delays, resulting in dissatisfied customers. Typically, accurate and high-density subsurface surveys of the 6-foot and 4-foot cesses have been very limited due to the space available to work. Whilst it has been possible to determine service features crossing the tracks and cess, it has not been possible to non-intrusively detect nonmetallic features that run along or parallel to the tracks. We were approached by a global engineering services organisation, who manage renewal work, who wanted to trial a method of non-intrusively locating subsurface anomalies, buried services, in particular those that run along the tracks, or other features that would prohibit excavation of the ballast.

longitudinal features are mapped thanks to the antennae configuration.

Ground Penetrating Radar Following meetings and discussion with the client, Murphy Surveys identified and recommended Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), as the best way to quickly and effectively scan the permanent way for the purposes of locating and mapping subsurface features. This primarily covered the 6-foot and the cess along the side of the track. GPR has long been approved for use on Network Rail sites so was the ideal solution for use on this project. A number of GPR systems were reviewed and it was found that the 3D-Radar GeoScope™ system with a DGX1200 antenna was the most suitable. The combination of high-resolution near-surface imaging and deep penetration capabilities provide optimal results. The main advantage of the system is that both transversal and

Customised Track Rig In order to run the GPR system along the track, a custom running rig was designed and commissioned by Murphy Surveys. The rig was designed specifically for this project and based on the needs of the survey and the size of antenna available to conduct the survey. Following an extensive design process, the rig was sent to an engineering fabrication specialist for construction. The structure was designed to be mounted to a Type B rail trolley and allowed the GPR antenna to be positioned at the required position and height using sliding rails. The survey was undertaken with a series of single scan swathes that ran from chainage 126320 to chainage 125600 (720m total). The total time on site to set up the device was approximately half an hour. The system was set up by a qualified geophysicist, fully

trained to undertake the survey, with a deep understanding to provide visual analysis and a preliminary analysis of the data captured. The GPR antenna was positioned within the 6-foot cess with the edge of the scanning Rail Professional



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From this trial it is concluded that the use of a 3D-Radar massive array antenna, on a custom rig, is a fast, safe and highly effective method for mapping subsurface features and anomalies along the track

width positioned approximately in line with the edge of the track sleepers. The system was pushed along the track at a controlled walking speed. The surveyed GPR data was processed and analysed using 3D-Radar Examiner software developed by 3D-Radar AS. The collected data was subject to noise that needed to be removed prior to analysis. The noise was due to erroneous electromagnetic fields and scattering of the GPR signal within the subsurface. There was also noise caused by reflections from the track and other air reflections. Noise within the data was removed with passive interface suppression, ISDFT (high and low end frequency suppression), background removal and stacking. While a number of filters and processes were applied to the data, the raw data and data subject to different combinations of the methods, was also analysed.

use of a 3D-Radar massive array antenna, on a custom rig, is a fast, safe and highly effective method for mapping subsurface features and anomalies along the track. The high quality data obtained from the GPR system recorded data with maximum penetration depth of 1.6m and the survey allowed the identification and mapping of several anomalies within the 6-foot cess. Along with the detection of features and anomalies the data could also resolve the interface layers of the ballast and in some areas the sub-ballast. This would allow for the ballast thickness and condition to be mapped where required. What does the future hold? The trial survey proved that the method

and equipment perfectly met the requirements of the client to non-intrusively locate subsurface anomalies, buried services, in the permanent way that run along the tracks. Furthermore, due to the flexibility of the system additional valuable information was obtained about the track make up that can be further utilised by the client. The system is now set up and ready to undertake similar surveys throughout the rail network both in the UK and abroad. With the current system we can achieve in excess of one kilometre of track per night, under position, and can have the data processed and reported within a few days of the site works. With the completion of the trial and the proof of concept the system could also be amended to fit onto a road to rail vehicle to cover a larger area per shift. For more information about this project and for further information on our GPR service for rail contact Andy Kitson, Geospatial Consultant – Subsurface on 0203 598 3775 or

Results The GPR trial survey was successful at detecting subsurface features and anomalies. The position of features and possible services detected were shown on a 2D CAD drawing. Along with the detection of anomalies the ballast thickness was also mapped. The layer interface from the underside of the ballast was found to vary significantly in amplitude along the distance surveyed. The amplitude of reflections within GPR data are determined by the difference in properties between two layers and the conductivity of the first material(s). The greater the difference and the lower the conductivity the stronger the reflection. From this trial it is concluded that the Rail Professional


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Getting digital transformation on track in the rail sector Earlier this year, Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station was one of the first major rail sites to benefit from the roll out of 5G


uawei and China Mobile launched the fifth generation mobile telecoms technology to passengers in June 2019, enabling people to stream a 2GB high-definition film in under 20 seconds. It is now expected that 5G technology will support around one million devices per square kilometre compared to 4,000 for 4G – and it’s ten times faster. The launch at Hongqiao is just the start of a global rail upgrade plan. It is expected that 5G technology will provide the catalyst for full digitisation of the rail network with several countries, including the UK, already exploring potential use cases. While the benefits to passengers are clear, 5G also offers rail operators and rolling stock companies several benefits in the form of reduced downtime, lower operating costs and enhanced service levels. Tim Hughes, Managing Director at CHH CoNeX, explains: ‘The potential for

The cost of any disruption to the UK’s railways is too high to risk with complicated installation techniques. We face a huge task of upgrading the UK’s rail infrastructure so that we can truly realise the benefits of 5G technology

5G in the rail sector is enormous. The highspeed technology delivers the connectivity required to modernise Britain’s railways in line with the government’s Strategic Vision for Rail, helping to update railways by bringing forward digital technologies to move trains closer to track. For commercial operators it can deliver a seamless digital customer journey, connecting passenger preferences and train arrival times, while for rolling stock, it offers the chance to proactively monitor operational conditions to the benefit of infrastructure providers and operators.’ The vision Hughes sets out is one of

predictive maintenance; whereby the behaviour and condition of every train component and subassembly is consistently captured in operation and recorded, instantly transmitting data to operators and businesses to enable them to make real-time decisions; changing routes when required or identifying potential repair work before it becomes a problem. It’s a hypothesis that has gained a lot of hype in recent years, with the Internet of Things gathering pace and the convergence of sensors and new technology platforms promising exciting things. With 5G, Hughes believes this digitised future is no longer an optimistic Rail Professional



heavier metal versions. Most importantly though, polycarbonate has no effect on radio frequency, allowing 4G and 5G signals to pass through, unlike metal alternatives that block these frequencies. This means polycarbonate cabinets can add value for a secondary use, for example, housing sensors for monitoring and data collection purposes.

vision, but a reality. ‘We’re already working closely with rolling stock operators to provide complex and long loom assemblies used for data acquisition monitoring units. This is used to monitor wear and tear on the train in real-time, instantly sending data back to the operator to enable them to implement preventative maintenance schedules. Not only does this optimise train life costs but it also delivers indirect financial savings through reduced downtime caused by service disruption, improved on-time delivery records and smoother journey schedules.’ Putting the brakes on failure The case for preventative maintenance in the rail industry is not difficult to build. In August this year, the Edinburgh portion of the ‘Lowland Sleeper’ from Euston failed to call at Edinburgh Waverley, instead coming to a stand some 650 metres beyond its intended stopping point. Fortunately, there were no injuries sustained and no damage, but the potential for a nasty collision was clear. On the approach to Edinburgh, the driver discovered that the train’s braking performance was well below normal. A preliminary investigation indicated he had no control of the brakes on the coaches because a brake pipe isolating valve was in the closed position when the train left Carstairs. Therefore, the only effective brakes on the train were those on the locomotive, which were not enough to Rail Professional

maintain control of the full train. Had the right technology been operational en route, the driver would have been alerted to the closed isolating valve prior to stopping, enabling him to take remedial action and avoiding an overshoot. While preventative maintenance is an attractive proposition and 5G promises great things, there’s still the challenge of upgrading the UK’s entire rail infrastructure with the right hardware required to deliver this digitised future. Hughes also points out another issue that CHH CoNeX is working to solve – ageing trackside cabinets. ‘One of the major requirements for seamless rail digitisation is the need for new materials and technologies for trackside services, particularly when it comes to data cabinets. The majority of these are made from metal, which is vulnerable to corrosion and weathering over time. Metal cabinets are also inflexible, making it less suited to the fast and adaptable enclosure installations required in rail.’ CHH’s solution is polycarbonate. The company recently entered into a preferred partnership with German manufacturer Berthold Sichert for the supply of polycarbonate cabinets. The modular design of CHH’s cabinets allow for individual units to be modified or upgraded in isolation, enabling internal equipment to be reconfigured and damaged parts replaced on site without any interruption to rail services. Polycarbonate cabinets are lightweight, allowing for ease of installation as they do not require the concrete base needed for

Rapid infrastructure changes As with anything connected to the rail industry, time is of the essence. The rail sector has long talked about digitisation and signalled its intent but has fallen behind other industries, such as automotive, when it comes to delivering widespread digitised change. With the advent of 5G, digitisation is becoming a reality and the entire industry needs to move quickly if it is to catch up with other large infrastructure programmes. ‘We’ve developed a plug and play solution for trackside cables and loom assemblies’ Hughes explains. ‘This means that time spent trackside installing these solutions is significantly reduced, improving the safety of engineers trackside and minimising the risk of disruption on the line.’ CHH’s Plug and Play solution was originally developed for use with traffic signals and controllers but can be used across a platform of applications requiring power, signal and data. It reduces time spent on site by fitting sockets into the base of the controller so cables can be plugged in to the base with no wiring to complete, as cables are pre-wired before being taken out in the field. Cable sets are pre-labelled to ease identification of install. The solution was previously used to reduce the time it takes to install typical traffic signals from five days to one for a standard eight-pole junction. Hughes believes it has a powerful role to play when it comes to loom and assembly installs. ‘The cost of any disruption to the UK’s railways is too high to risk with complicated installation techniques. We face a huge task of upgrading the UK’s rail infrastructure so that we can truly realise the benefits of 5G technology. As a result, we need simple, proven and rapid trackside installation methods and the very best materials. At CHH, we’re delivering this together with our partners as we contribute to the digitisation of rail.’ Tim Hughes paints a promising picture for the UK rail industry, with CHH CoNeX providing the equipment, tools and expertise required if the sector is to realise the true potential of 5G. However, the technology is deployed, one thing remains clear – there’s never been a better time for UK rail to begin the digital transformation journey. Tel: 0121 344 6316/4229 Email: Visit:



Smart wagons DB Cargo is powering ahead with the digitalisation of its freight wagon fleet, fitting its wagons out with state-of-the-art telematics and smart sensors


telematics module, GPS and the use of RFID and NFC tags help the analogue freight wagons join the fully connected digital world. The modernised wagons use mobile telephony to transmit signals during the journey, such as when the wagon starts and stops, or sensors detect an impact. This data can help to produce useful information about the load condition, temperature and humidity and about the movement of sensitive cargo inside the wagon. By 2020, the approximately 68,000 wagons in the company’s German fleet are all due to have the digital technology on board. To ensure that happens, Europe’s largest rail freight company is investing tens of millions of euros. The GPS and sensor

technology bring a range of benefits for DB Cargo’s customers. For example, the new data will be provided to them using the track and trace functionality of link2rail, DB Cargo’s central customer platform for all digital services. Wagons equipped with GPS and other sensor technology will benefit DB Cargo customers directly. GPS will enable direct, constant wagon tracking, which in turn will make it possible to calculate estimated time of arrival. The sensors will also provide information about whether each wagon is full or empty and about the temperature and humidity levels inside the wagon. Such information is key to ensuring effective endto-end supply chains for customers. If paper reels, for example, are too damp when they arrive at the printing works, they cannot be used immediately to print newspapers. The wagon sensors will also be able to detect mechanical factors, such as bumps that occur during shunting. ‘In a world of ever-increasing digitalisation, today’s customers expect a high level of service – they want to know, in real time, where their freight is, when it will arrive and what condition it is in’ says Dr Roland Bosch, the CEO of DB Cargo. ‘This is why we are retrofitting our entire fleet with digital technology. We are also dedicated to sustainability, and so we are making sure that our wagons are also low-noise. We want to offer a digital, low-noise wagon fleet which shows our customers how serious we are about performance, and which ultimately helps shift more traffic to rail.’ By 2020, DB Cargo will be retrofitting all the freight wagons than run in Germany with ‘whisper’ brakes or leasing low-noise wagons for them. Whisper brakes keep the wheel service smooth when the brakes are applied, halving the noise emissions generated by the wheels as they roll.

Rail Professional



Journey’s friend? Tom Meacock, Client Director, and Emily Thorne, Emily Catlow & Lizzie Rawlinson, Human Factors Consultants at Atkins explain how user-centred design can enhance how we think about, use and operate the railway


e’ve all been there. Stranded at the back of a long queue, waiting to check in for a flight; squeezed onto a train that’s running far later than it was supposed to; or desperately trying to hail a taxi in the rain. Travelling is something we all do, and being a passenger is familiar to everyone. Yet no matter what kind of transport you take, the experience of being a passenger is often unpleasant. Delays, discomfort, and disorientation are all too common. It doesn’t have to be like this. And thanks to improvements in technology and in the ethos of transport management, things are changing for the better. It should be reiterated why it’s worth being passenger-centric in the first place. After all, if transport depends on infrastructure, vehicles and engineering, doesn’t it make sense to focus on those instead? We tend to think of transport as serving the public. But that’s not the way we experience transport. The public is always made up of distinct individuals, each of whom have distinct needs. A retiree visiting their grandchildren will have different requirements to a daily

Data-gathering gives us greater knowledge about how transport is actually being used than ever before. Whether air, rail, or road-based, transport providers must harness this data intelligently in order to develop better designs Rail Professional



Behind the scenes of the railway Take a snapshot of a typical station and you’ll see passengers travelling for business or leisure; you’ll see train drivers and crew about to embark on short and long journeys; and you’ll see shops and restaurants teeming with staff and customers. Beyond the station, there are those who control the movement of trains and freight along the network, and those who ensure that all is running smoothly. At the heart of every aspect of our complex railway system is a human, an ‘end-user’. As such, success in designing and operating a safe and efficient railway stems from our ability to understand the end-users who bring the network to life.

commuter, who in turn will have different demands from those of schoolchildren. Unless we consider these passengers as individuals, we can’t come close to giving them what they need. Only by connecting with your passengers and gaining insights into their behaviours can you create a truly beneficial transport system. Compare this humanised approach with the all-to-often used traditional method of starting with the engineering. Better trains and infrastructure may make your journey time marginally faster. But if there are insufficient seats, no Wi-Fi or mobile connectivity, or no ability to connect to alternative modes of transport for the ‘last mile’, for example, these improvements may be more than offset by the poor experience and ultimately drive customers away. Only by connecting with your passengers and gaining insights into their behaviours can you create a truly beneficial transport system. So how can you gain insights about your passengers? Data-gathering gives us greater knowledge about how transport is actually being used than ever before. Whether air, rail, or road-based, transport providers must harness this data intelligently in order to develop better designs. How do passengers move about the terminal? Where do they spend the longest? What hinders their progress? Understanding these processes can point to the changes which would make a genuine difference to travellers.

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But data is not the be-all and end-all to indicate how transport is being used. So much can be gained by observing passengers anonymously, preserving their privacy while gaining behavioural insights. Monitoring passenger flows in stations and terminals, for example, can yield powerful insights about how to reduce overcrowding, long queues and stress. And data about infrastructure can be used to improve passenger experience. For instance, sensors placed to monitor the maintenance requirements of trains can be used to inform passengers of potential delays to their journey. If your intelligent infrastructure is telling you that it needs some maintenance work, you can use this information to understand the implications for the passengers and forewarn them of the impact on their journeys, giving them time to prepare and preventing nasty surprises. Ultimately, everyone has different preferences when travelling. And what you want when cycling is different to when you’re in a cab or on an aeroplane. Regardless of such differences, having a passenger-centric mindset is the best way to ensure that these needs are always being considered. Data can be used to create a personalised service, across all modes of transport. By harnessing the insights of data, we can make all modes of transport better, and ensure that the passenger is always at the heart of the design, no matter what.

Signalling control How have the advances in technology and automation changed the working environment and task requirements of those who ensure our railways operate safely, efficiently and effectively? Railway signalling started with railway policemen using hand signals to communicate with train drivers, managing the movement of trains across the network. Fast forward through years of technological development and the use of track circuit block signalling, today’s railway is operated hundreds of miles away from the trackside. Computer-based workstations aim to automate route setting for traffic management, and may eventually interface with passenger information systems, emergency response and incident control. Yet automation does not, and will never, mean ‘replacement’; the human operator shall remain ‘in the loop’. The control systems and rooms of the future must support operators’ physical, physiological and psychological capabilities, new technology, and the demands on our rail systems. Maintainers One of the greatest challenges for our railway is the ageing and degrading network, with many signalling assets reaching end




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of life. Our current projects shouldn’t just replace existing assets but find robust solutions to last the next 50 years. By using digitally enabled systems to monitor trackside components for degradation and faults, we significantly reduce the time maintenance staff have to spend trackside to find and fix faults. Station and control room staff Essential to the smooth running of the railways is the design of station control rooms to enable control room staff to manage safe operations around the clock, including the Night Tube, in normal and emergency modes of working. Designs must also optimise operations beyond the control room throughout the station, for example at Euston, traffic flow and vehicle movements are assessed through the station, along with the impact of construction activities. By appraising and changing current routes, and installing signage, marking and announcements, it is safer and more efficient for driver and the public to access and move around the station as vital upgrade operations continue. Passengers Essentially the primary purpose of the railway and its infrastructure is to move passengers through and around intuitively and effectively. While commuter rail travel may often be a negative experience when met with changing timetables, delays, or strikes, shouldn’t rail journeys be a pleasurable experience, not a source of stress and frustration? Our team have worked on projects in Hong Kong where the key client driver was ‘Passenger Satisfaction’. The focus should not merely be on creating a positive experience through a reliable service, but on putting all endusers first though inclusive design, for an entire spectrum of needs, whether physical, cultural, neurodiversity and more. Therefore, it’s not just about providing step-free access for wheelchair users. Truly user-centred design goes unnoticed; no one should feel that they receive special assistance or treatment. Placing the human at the core of the railway isn’t just for customer service; it radically shapes the whole process of travel. From implementing engineering works to making movement as frictionless and enjoyable as possible, starting with the human helps to ensure that each process is designed, engineered and operated with the needs of people in mind. Atkins is a registered consultancy with the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF). Visit:

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Smart ticketing and rail – moving towards Mobility as a Service Steve Wakeland, Executive Chairman of ITSO Ltd, explores the role of smart ticketing in Mobility as a Service


his October, train operators across the country are taking part in Smart Week – an initiative designed to drive passenger take up of smart ticket media, moving away from the iconic orange paper tickets that have long been a staple of UK rail travel. To date, smart ticketing has been slower to develop on rail than on other transport types, in part due to the complexities of the 55 million different fare combinations available on the national rail network. Rail smart ticketing has also focused more on smartcards and barcode tickets, rather than on more agile smartcard emulation on a mobile device. The rail industry wants to embrace digital technology and the acceptance of EMV is an important step for single or infrequent travellers. The popularity of the smartphone means there is genuine possibility to disrupt how people travel and how they pay for it and this will be a fundamental part of how Mobility as a Service (MaaS) schemes are brought to life. In its simplest form, MaaS is the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility package accessible on demand. MaaS smartphone apps bring together end-to-end trip planning, booking, electronic ticketing, and payment services across all modes of transportation, including rail. In Europe, successful models in action include Hannover’s ‘Mobility Shop’, and Vienna’s ‘WienMobil’, both of which allow users to access one smartphone app to plan, book and store tickets for travel across trains, buses, trams, bicycles, private hire vehicles

and more. Take up of MaaS models in the UK, however, have been much slower. The Whim app has been trialled in the West Midlands after enjoying success in Helsinki, but until there is further adoption of mobile ticketing across various transport modes, and importantly, collaboration between operators, we are still some time away from truly seamless travel for passengers. And that’s at odds with our everincreasing move towards digital. In today’s fast-paced world, people expect the same instant and uninterrupted access to transport ticketing that they experience in all other aspects of daily life. Our mobile phones are always with us; payments are digital; and the world is within our palm. Passengers now want to be able to use their smartphone as both ticket machine and ticket, removing the need for queues and unnecessary paper. The challenge for rail, is to keep up with the demand of today’s tech-savvy consumer. Between January and March 2019, 14.1 million smart tickets were sold in the UK. If those tickets were placed in a line, they’d make up the return distance from London to Edinburgh. To date, smart ticketing on rail has focused primarily on ITSO-enabled physical smartcards and barcode tickets. Both eTickets; which must be printed at home, and mTickets; which are held on a mobile device in a rail app, make use of QR or Aztec codes to store ticketing information within a barcode. This is then scanned at the gate and validated for travel. However, this technology is not without its flaws and prioritisation needs to be given to mobile ticketing that offers both ease of travel for passengers and

data security. The September 2019 hack of First Bus and Metrolink by the so-called ‘Public Transport Pirate Association of the United Kingdom’ exposed the vulnerabilities in the QR codes used by public transport apps. The private key used to create the codes was included in the app itself, leading to claims by hackers that they could issue ‘free’ transport tickets. Security is a primary concern for passengers when using open networks on their mobile handset and this is one of the chief barriers to wider adoption of mobile ticketing by the rail industry. There is a security ecosystem in Rail Professional



place to ensure the safety of transaction data and using mobile tickets is as safe as using cash or smartcards. At ITSO Ltd, the device keys used to generate value for our mobile ticketing technology, ITSO on Mobile, never leave ITSO Transit Hub, our sophisticated back office that handles the data. These keys include multiple layers of security and are user specific, protecting mobile apps and the ticketing provided by operators from sophisticated attacks and widescale ticket fraud. We worked closely with Google Pay during the build process for ITSO on Mobile, co-designing a security solution in combination with a cloud-based risk mitigation engine. While the average rail passenger may not require this much detail, they do need to know their data and mobile device will be safe. We are fast approaching the first anniversary of the launch of ITSO on Mobile with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) under the ‘Swift on Mobile’ brand. Our technology enables the virtual replication of a physical smartcard on a smartphone, meaning passengers can benefit from all the advantages of a traditional ITSO-enabled smartcard while only needing to carry their phone with them on their journey. TfWM rolled out Swift on Mobile on the West Midlands Metro tram network in November 2018 and plans to bring this technology to

bus and rail; a welcome move towards MaaS, with only a single app required to provide tickets for the transport modes. Smart ticketing has great potential on the UK rail network and is a key component for passengers to manage their travel and encourage greater use of public transport. Today, around one billion journeys are made on Visa cards per year on the Transport for London network, according to Paymentsense, with contactless payments accounting for around 50 per cent of transactions. However, contactless cards aren’t currently able to offer the flexibility and sophistication that is required by regular transport passengers. ITSO on Mobile’s smartcard emulation enables operators to offer smartphone users various ticketing types as well as pre- and post-payment options, allowing passengers to confirm the end fare they will be charged for their travel ahead of time. Through an operator’s mobile app, passengers can buy and store season, concessionary and off-peak tickets, offering true travel choice. Contactless payments work well for short or single journeys, where there is a £30 maximum daily cap, or in London, where there is an additional weekly cap on EMV cards. But with this ‘tap and go’ payment method passengers are unable to buy tickets in advance and may not find out the exact fare they will pay before embarking on their journey. Outside cities

such as London, many rail networks do not currently support contactless payments, but the majority provide ITSO-enabled ticketing gates, meaning mobile technology could be swiftly rolled out across the network for the immediate benefit of passengers. This year, the UK rail network awaits the findings of the Williams Rail Review, with proposals to simplify fares and ticketing. Keith Williams, the chair of the review, named ticketing as one of his top priorities, while the Rail Delivery Group is reporting its own findings from its ‘Easier fares for all’ proposal, reviewing the way the network manages fares and ticketing to make them simpler. With UK rail journeys reaching a record high of 1.759 billion in 2018-19 according to the Office of Rail and Road, the industry plays a crucial role in mobility. But, if rail operators cannot collaborate with each other and integrate with other modes of both public and private transport, MaaS will be unattainable. For the UK transport industry to become fully interoperable it is time to adopt the technologies that will enable passengers to travel seamlessly from one mode of transport to the next. Mobile ticketing is a prime place to start.

Steve Wakeland is Executive Chairman of ITSO Ltd

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The digital passenger Tim Bellenger, Director, Policy and Investigation at London TravelWatch, looks at the rail passengers’ digital experience


uch has been said and written about the ‘digital railway’, and the benefits and need for new technology in railway signalling, rolling stock and passenger information; but the needs of the ‘digital passenger’ have not necessarily been fully explored. Yet the ability to stay connected on the move has been a significant factor in the growth of rail in the past 20 years. No longer is travelling time ‘dead or lost’ time; it is now productive time for work,

Travel on any peak time train and the likelihood is that you’ll see the majority of passengers paying attention to a device of some kind rather than looking out the window, reading or talking to others

entertainment or simply catching up on personal administration. It also has the ability to keep passengers informed about potential disruption to their journeys and the options available to get them where they want to be. Travel on any peak time train and the likelihood is that you’ll see the majority of passengers paying attention to a device of some kind rather than looking out the window, reading or talking to others. This change in behaviour on the part of passengers has significant implications for train operators, be it in the offering of digital services, safety while moving about trains and stations, and also the threat of competition from autonomous vehicles. Passengers increasingly expect train journeys and stations to be fully covered by mobile signals, free reliable Wi-Fi and seats that easily allow working from a device whilst also having a drink or something to eat. It is in operators’ interests to see these expectations being met as it should improve passengers’ perceptions of value for money, particularly at a time when the poor performance of many franchises makes it increasingly hard to justify annual fares increases. The threat of fully Wi-Fi fitted autonomous vehicles could bring to an end rail’s long period of historic passenger growth unless the industry keeps up with passenger expectations and develops a passenger proposition that matches or betters that available from on-demand autonomous vehicles. Many industry managers and decision-makers will have only worked in the era of privatisation and therefore not known or experienced an era

of passenger decline. But we can no longer take for granted that passengers will choose rail in an era when at the touch of a screen or a voice command a vehicle will appear to take people when and where they want to go at any time of day or night. How should the rail industry respond to this? Firstly, by getting more consistent with what it offers: so free Wi-Fi throughout a journey is a good start but also thinking about seat and table design to keep devices safe and easy to use. Making information consistent and in a format that is supported on smaller devices such as smart phones and watches would also be a welcome step. Using smart technology for ticketing is also good but is no advantage if it merely replicates existing paper tickets. For acceptance by passengers there must be clear benefits to them of embracing the technology. Conversely, we also need to make sure that we don’t become so technical with it, that we forget the significant market of passengers who are not digitally connected and probably never will be. These are often the off-peak travellers who are the railway’s profit margin. Giving these passengers a reason to travel and the means to do so is the other side of this equation. Therefore, traditional means of communication need to be maintained and built on.

Tim Bellenger is Director, Policy and Investigation at London TravelWatch. You can find further details about the work London TravelWatch does on its website, Rail Professional

Part of



Making the digital revolution happen for the rail industry Dr Jenny Illingsworth, Deputy Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education at University of Birmingham explores the opportunities presented by the Digital Railway


expect the concept, or at least the name, of the Digital Railway is not new to most readers. These are exciting times to digitise the UK’s railway… But what does it really mean for your company, your business, even your sector within the industry? And how can you get into digital? What are the opportunities and where can you find them? You wouldn’t be reading Rail Professional if you didn’t agree that the rail industry plays an important role in the UK economy. Backing up this opinion is an independent study, commissioned by the Rail Industry Association (RIA) in 2018, which found that the rail industry contributes over £36 billion each year to the UK economy, over 600,000 jobs in the sector and £11 billion produced annually in tax revenue. Looking forward there is an unprecedented pipeline of investment into the UK railway system, with £87 billion currently committed to rail infrastructure projects across the UK including HS2, and the national Digital Railway initiative to digitise the mainline network and invest billions of pounds during CP6 alone. Added to UK investment in rail, there is €176 billion (£157 billion) available through existing international markets, and many more new export markets are opening up. The UK leads the world in technical foresight: look at the 2012 Rail Technical Strategy (RTS) and 2017 RTS Capability Delivery Plan. Both have heavily influenced global thinking, particularly the EU Shift2Rail Programme for research and development. The challenge facing the industry is to translate these grand plans and policies for traditional academic pursuits into step-change improvements to railway operations and innovative new UKmade products. What the UK’s rail industry needs is

support for business and the means to foster collaboration and innovation. Here at the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) we are poised to do exactly this. BCRRE is lead partner in the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN); we have a portfolio of around £10 million worth of funded research projects taking place at any time; we teach the UK’s two leading postgraduate Rail Systems Masters programmes and we offer unique undergraduate degrees specialising in railway engineering. To go alongside this traditional academic activity, BCRRE is reaching out to UK companies of all shapes and sizes with an agenda for innovation and application of ideas into the industry. The DIGI-RAIL project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and provides business and innovation support to eligible small and

medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Birmingham & Solihull and Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership areas. The DIGI-RAIL team of technical and business support specialists are available for general discussion, business planning, technical expertise, demonstration facilities, and access to technology providers and buyers from industry. Co-funded by the University of Birmingham, the DIGIRAIL project makes its laboratories and experts available to help with research and development, to foster partnerships and develop new digital rail products and services. Eligible SMEs can choose from a menu of support activities, from seminars and workshops through to bespoke consultations, diagnostic activities and hands-on technical assistance. Led by Professor Clive Roberts, Project Manager Louise Woodall and Business Engagement Manager Al-Amin Dabo, the Digi-Rail project has already engaged with 60 Rail Professional



companies in the regions eligible. At the launch event in March this year, Al-Amin Dabo commented: ‘We are delighted to have launched the Digi-Rail project in March and, by working with SMEs on specific R&D challenges we anticipate seeing the development of new products, processes and services into the rail industry. This in turn will provide substantial benefit for the businesses involved through increase turnover and by creating more jobs in the sector.’ See for more details and how to benefit and look out for news of DIGI-RAIL in other areas of the country. What if your company is not an SME in either of these two regions? There is good news, whether your company is already doing business in the rail industry or if you are seeking to enter. In late 2018 BCRRE absorbed the activities of the Rail Alliance, the UK’s foremost trade association and networking organisation in the rail sector. BCRRE and the Rail Alliance together aims to create the largest community in rail

and offers complete supply chain solutions, from fledgling ideas right through to commercialisation. A freemium membership model opens the community to all sizes of company with access to the online community, news and open events. Community partnership comes at nominal cost and adds benefits including attendance at events, promotional opportunities and discounts at events such as Rail Live. It is these events and the opportunities for networking which makes the Rail Alliance one of the industry’s most popular associations and the Digital Railway is central to much of its forthcoming events. Look out for news about Get Into Rail (digital) and The Digital Railway Revolution events coming up in the next few months. Details will be available on www.railalliance. and follow @therailalliance on Twitter to keep up with the news. The Rail Alliance doesn’t just reach into the UK rail industry. It is the UK’s representative in the PERES project (Promoting European Railway Excellence outside of the EU) and arranged a successful trade mission to the US. It is also a core member of the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI), which brings together customers, suppliers and supply chain opportunities from across Europe and the world. Demonstrating the benefit that the combined BCRRE and Rail Alliance brings to the UK, BCRRE signed cooperation agreements in May this year with the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering at the University of Belgrade and with the Rail Cluster for South-East Europe. These agreements pave the way to open academic and business opportunities between the two regions. Spreading the digital railway message in a practical way for business planning, in June this year BCRRE hosted the third Digital Railway conference together with

We are using our long-standing expertise in BCRRE to take a lead in the digital transformation of our railways Network Rail’s Digital Railway group, Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and the Rail Industry Association (RIA). Themed ‘The Digital Journey: Putting Passengers (and freight) First’, the conference addressed the digital railway from the perspective of government, Network Rail and both passenger and freight operators. It went on to look at ways to achieve the digital railway, with lessons learnt from other sectors’ experience of digital innovation means to achieve innovation in our challenging sector. See the digital railway website at www.digitalrailway. Higher education – knowledge is power! BCRRE is the first University in the UK to offer education as well as research, development and innovation for the digital railway. Its MSc in Railway Safety and Control Systems offers a pathway on Communications and Control which was developed in collaboration with the Institution of Railway Signalling Engineers and which emphasises the knowledge and understanding needed for digital railway control. Level 6 and Level 7 Rail and Rail Systems Engineering degree apprenticeships are now available, and autumn 2019 sees the first entrants and employers taking advantage of this opportunity, studying to BEng (level 6) and MSc (level 7) within their integrated programmes. We are using our long-standing expertise in BCRRE to take a lead in the digital transformation of our railways. The future will bring more challenges to our network and the way in which t rains operate. By driving digital innovation we can make improvements to the sector for the benefit of passengers and operators both in the UK and internationally. Dr Jenny Illingsworth is Deputy Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education at the University of Birmingham.

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Anderton realigns its offering


s part of its commitment to improving customer service and experience, Anderton Concrete, specialist manufacturer of precast concrete products, has announced it is streamlining its service offering, with the business now focusing on specialising in the rail and infrastructure sector. Previously Anderton provided three key services to its customers: fencing and building, rail and structural products. However, with the restructure customers will now be able to purchase all fencing and building products from Supreme, another core brand within the Ibstock Plc Group. Shaun Forrester, Sales Director for Anderton Concrete commented: ‘We’re thrilled to announce the new direction our company will be taking. Our customers are at the heart of our business and this recent change will now allow us to focus all of our energy into creating new customer relations as well as building our existing ones. ‘We will be working closely alongside our colleagues at Supreme to ensure the transition period is seamless, ensuring our existing customers are kept up-todate at all times. What’s more, we have a full customer service team on hand, to ensure any customer queries are answered

promptly. This is a fantastic opportunity for the business to focus on the rail and infrastructure sector and we look forward

to further growing our offering moving forward.’ The shift in business is part of a whole new redesign for Anderton, with the company recently launching its new and updated website. Specifiers and architects looking to choose from Anderton’s range of precast concrete products can access product guides and useful technical information, making the specification process quicker and smoother. About Anderton Concrete Anderton Concrete has its roots deeply set in traditions, manufacturing excellence and dedication to customer service that have existed for many years. The company has been manufacturing precast concrete products for over 50 years and as such, the name Anderton Concrete Products, has become synonymous with product quality and deliverability. Anderton Concrete’s comprehensive product range, specialising in solutions for various retaining walls, fencing, cable protection and identification products, has been developed to meet virtually all builders merchants’ and contractors’ needs alike.

For further information on Anderton’s market leading offering and to explore the new website, visit: or call 0333 234 3434 Rail Professional


Signalling Maintenance Services Ltd

RISQS qualified by AUDIT Supplier id 4305 Construction Line Registration no. 00365934

Pleased to support the UK Rail Industry with the Provision of Skilled Signalling Resource including Signalling Managers, Testers and Installers

Contact: David Shakesheff

Signalling Maintenance Services Ltd

Office 1E, Riverside Business Centre, Fort Road, Tilbury, Essex, RM18 7ND Email: Phone Office : 01375 489446 Mobile : 07790 074076

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Quality in chemicals Adomast Manufacturing has been manufacturing and supplying an extensive range of high quality construction chemicals for over forty years


riginally based in Waltham Abbey, Adomast is now located in its new production facility near Barnsley. Its chemicals are used widely across all categories of construction and civil engineering projects. The company has built a solid reputation for supplying high performance construction chemicals at highly competitive pricing. Adomast has been an ISO 9001:2015 approved company for many years, where top-quality customer service is at the heart of the business, offering next day delivery service to over 90 per cent of the UK, including direct to site delivery if required. Being a manufacturer allows Adomast to offer a bespoke product service. New or existing products can be quickly developed to suit a specific construction application or project. Working closely together with the contractor and its team, Adomast can design and develop products created to give the highest performance. For many years, Adomast has manufactured a wide range of products for today’s demanding construction requirements. Working with its customers and suppliers, the Yorkshire-based company is continuously looking to update and improve its product technology. More recently, it has been progressively replacing traditional solvent based products with new environmentally and eco-friendly technology offering very low or zero VOCs, with no compromise in product quality or performance. Adomast offers an extensive range of construction chemicals, which include

formwork release agents, concrete curing compounds, surface-aggregate exposing solutions, admixtures and a variety of cementitious concrete repair grouts and mortars.

The product list also features a premium range of formwork auxiliaries including weather resistant formwork sealing compounds, jointing tapes and weather and corrosion protective waxes.

Formwork treatment and release agents The formwork release agents encompass every aspect of concrete casting. The technology includes traditional mould release oils to the latest in environmentally friendly, biodegradable, non-hazardous, emulsion technology. Every mould release agent on offer is designed to give reliable, repeatable, clean and easy release performance with every type of current formwork; all giving a high quality, uniform, sharp and defect free concrete surface.

Concrete curing agents and retarders A high efficiency, rapid drying, easy applied range of concrete curing agents and surface retarders maximise the curing of the concrete resulting in greater strength, reduced surface dusting and shrinkage which helps create concrete with a superior surface finish. The Safetard concrete retarding agents are WRAS approved and have been the primary choice retarding compounds in the UK construction industry for many years. Available for aggregate exposure on both vertical and horizontal surfaces. Resin repair and adhesives A variety of polyester and epoxy resin based rapid setting, chemical and weather resistant high strength compounds for the repair and bonding of all types of masonry, brick and concrete products. These repair resins are all supplied as pre-weighed, and easy-to-mix format allowing a precise and controlled application. Concrete dustproofing and sealing Adomast produces a variety of polymer coatings for the surface sealing of concrete and masonry surfaces. Penetrating the surface, they form a protective, weather stable, hard-wearing film. Also available are products which ‘case-harden’, densify and dustproof concrete increasing the resistance Rail Professional

Redi-Rock modular retaining wall system

...with the look of natural stone!

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T: 01179 814500 E: W:

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: • • • • •

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

Tel: 01270 875393 Email Website


to oil, water and chemical spills. For damp and weather proofing exterior surfaces, Adomast supplies an extensive range of bitumen and asphalt-based coatings. Cleaning and maintenance products Adomast manufactures a wide range of cleaning products to be used on construction tools and equipment after use, to ensure the quality is maintained for years afterwards. These include solutions for tools that have used polymer resins; for the removal of oil stains from concrete and for the cleaning and flushing-out of spray applicators. Adomast also has products to prevent concrete build-up and corrosion on mixing and plant equipment, allowing easy cleaning and storage afterwards. Admixtures Admixtures on offer include water reducing plasticisers and super-plasticisers, airentrainers and those which aid the acceleration of the initial setting time and initial strength invaluable for winter concreting. Admixtures are available for reducing water uptake, therefore increasing freeze-thaw resistance of concrete and masonry. Cementitious repair and bedding mortars Adomast offers the latest technology in high performance cementitious based mortars and grouts by reinforcing them with polymers. They impart high strength, rapid drying and very low shrinkage rates, allowing the repaired section to have greater strength than the original concrete. These products are designed for general construction repair to high strength structural work.

Adomast Manufacturing is supplying a multitude of products for the construction of Hinkley Point C power station. Working closely with one of the main contractors a high-performance curing compound was designed to combat the challenging environmental conditions experienced on site. The result was the creation of a crack free, high quality concrete surface. Following this, the curing agent became the top choice of the other contractors on site. The Crossrail Project for the redevelopment of the London Underground approached Adomast to supply release agents, surface exposing retarders and surface sealers and hardeners. Following the announcement of a new bridge being built across the Forth in Edinburgh, Adomast was contacted to supply construction chemicals. Given the location it was imperative that any chemicals used did not harm the local flaura and fauna. Adomast supplied WRAS approved products (products independently assessed to comply with The Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) including: Safelease – an environmentally safe, nontoxic and highly effective emulsified mould release agent most suited for fair faced concrete. Safetard Liquid – an environmentally safe, non-toxic and fully biodegradable surface retarder solution to expose aggregate for construction joints or decorative purposes. The Radcliffe Observatory Quarter is one of the most significant development projects the University of Oxford has undertaken in more than a century. Work has been ongoing


on the historic Radcliffe Infirmary site since 2008 and Adomast was contacted in 2013 to help with the development of an important new physics laboratory. As the project was centred around the installation of a particle-accelerator, the area had to be a crack and defect free concrete chamber. The use of Safecure Super high efficiency curing compound ensured all the requirements for this large concrete cast were quickly achieved. Adomast is currently working with a company of marine engineering specialists aiming to conserve and reintroduce dwindling marine life to the sea shores around Devon. It is using a WRAS approved release agent and aggregate-exposing gels to produce reef-building blocks from marine friendly concrete. These specially crafted cubes are interlocked together on the seabed to create an artificial reef, encouraging the local under water plant and marine life to inhabit and develop it. Consequently, a wide variety of marine life has returned to the area, including the reappearance of the endangered white clawed crayfish. Tel: +44 (0)1226 707 863 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

NEW INLAY TECHNOLOGY AT nora® Ten years ago nora systems was already one of the first floor covering manufacturers to produce inlays using an ultrasonic cutting machine. Now nora® is once again setting benchmarks: with a new inlay technology – based on a highly-precise milling and cutting system – the quality of inlay elements is brought to perfection. Your benefits: • Milling of grooves in fl oor coverings or skirtings that are then filled and stuck together and are absolutely water-proof • Insertion of signal stripes for orientation - plain colors or with phosphorescent light stripes • Insertion of pictograms such as emergency exit or wheelchair

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Guarding against the theft of equipment and materials Eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations are being developed to help rail businesses turn their security ambitions into reality. Here, we round up six of the best


heft of equipment and materials from depots and trackside locations has been a pressing problem for the rail profession for a long time and has seen a substantial rise in the last few years. Some organised gangs, for example, are known to operate on a ‘theft by appointment’ basis and have been known to return to sites hours after the first theft to snatch the replacement equipment and materials. The downtime and delay caused by theft results in losses in revenue for businesses and some insurance providers may set restrictions or even decline cover if site risks are judged too great. But while the issues are severe, they do create a window of opportunity for businesses and organisations to ramp up security efforts, by harnessing products and strategies to protect equipment and materials from theft whilst on site. This round-up details six products, which fall into this category – all of which have received the backing of the rail industry’s biggest and best-known names. StrimmerSafe Rack The use of battery powered plant for offtrack teams to help reduce Hand-Arm

Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and noise produced from petrol powered plant is a welcome HSE initiative. The only potential downside is a concern with the storage and security of this expensive, specialist electrical equipment. A solution to this problem has emerged in the form of a StrimmerSafe Rack, initially designed for grounds maintenance and landscaping professionals to keep strimmers secure and organised while maximising storage space, and increasingly used by rail professionals because of its high security features. This unique multi-purpose storage system can be used to secure up to five strimmers, or similar machines such as hedge cutters and chainsaws. Robustly constructed, with twin five-lever deadlocks and a hinged heavy-duty welded lid; the unit can also be bolted to a wall for added security. The base is fitted with a bunded drip tray to contain accidental spills of oil or fuel. After purchasing the StrimmerSafe Rack as a trial through their plant team, Network Rail are now looking to roll this out throughout their Edinburgh DU as well as sharing with the route. Network Rail’s Off-Track Stores in Northampton are also

using the StrimmerSafe Rack, supplied by Armorgard’s preferred rail partner, Selectequip, to safeguard equipment. Powerstation In a bid to improve the security, storage and charging of head torches in depots, rail professionals are using a unique secure locker to provide safe, segregated battery charging. The Powerstation securely stores head torches, as well as tools and mobile devices, whilst simultaneously charging any connected devices. This means you can leave up to six devices charging, confident in the knowledge that they are safe from thieves. Each locker door is finished with perforated details which create optimum ventilation in each compartment, ensuring all devices stay at an ideal temperature and do not overheat whilst charging. Forma-Stor & TuffBank Theft of equipment from trackside storage compounds and units is the most common security issue faced by companies, while theft of unsecured materials, in particular copper, continues to be a primary concern. With theft of tools, equipment and materials on the increase, the industry has welcomed the introduction of a large secure store that

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Kee Systems Keeping safety on the right track National suppliers to rail, civil engineering & construction projects specialising in London delivery. Huge stock & product expertise! Olds Approach, Tolpits Lane, Watford, Herts, WD18 9XT *ON ALL ORDERS OVER £25 +VAT. (Own van area) or free national delivery on orders over £60 +VAT.


You can always rely on Kee Systems We have been providing the rail sector with handrailing, trackside barriers, steps and ramp railings for over 70 years. Barrier and handrailing systems constructed from fittings are proven to provide a more durable, versatile and cost effective alternative to fabricated systems. Visit our website to see the possibilities

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Supplied by


can be constructed anywhere in as little as ten minutes. With five-lever deadlocks and jemmy-proof joins, the Forma-Stor is regarded as the ultimate lightweight, ultrastrong and secure flat-pack alternative to standard containers. Designed as a walk-in vault that can be quickly transported to trackside without a HIAB and easily set up anywhere on-

site – which also reduces disruption to the network – Forma-Stor consists of panels that simply slot into place. The whole setup only takes around ten minutes and can be carried out by two people, compared with the team of people needed to organise a standard container lift. The introduction of four specially designed heavy duty, high security 1.2-metre and 1.5-metre site boxes and chests are also helping to combat rising theft from sites. The TuffBank TB2 and TB3 site boxes and TBC4 and TBC5 site chests are the only storage solution of their kind in the UK to have Secured by Design (SBD), the official police preferred specification. The new products have anti-jemmy features and additional internal reinforcements that make locks almost impenetrable. In addition, TuffBank designer and manufacturer Armorgard has introduced the PowerShelf to instantly transform TuffBank into a secure power source. This innovative optional extra includes four 110v sockets and four USB ports. Also available are crane lifting eyes and robust castors to allow for easy movement. ChemBank & FlamBank Thousands of chemicals are handled and stored in the rail industry, in depots and


trackside compounds everywhere. Without proper storage, they are accidents waiting to happen. Many incidents are related to inadequate procedures for storage of chemicals. It’s almost 30 years since COSHH (pronounced as ‘cosh’) was launched. This comprehensive set of regulations (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) requires employers to limit and control exposure to hazardous substances. Part of these legal requirements is the way hazardous chemicals and flammables must properly be stored and transported. However, there is much more to storing chemicals than just segregation. Additional aspects of chemical storage, such as facility design, shelf life, protection against ignition sources, multi-level storage, indoor versus outdoor storage, etc, should be addressed – and there is also the issue of theft. It’s not only equipment and materials that are at risk from thieves. Chemicals and fuel are often on the shopping list of criminals. This is one reason why COSSH products need to be durable. Of course, safety is paramount. Designing chemical stores that maintain their integrity during the early minutes of exposure to fire makes a huge difference in an emergency. If you are storing hazardous chemicals and flammables on a rail site, for example, you need a chemical store that is ultra-tough, so that it withstands a fire. It also needs to be secure enough to deter thieves. When Armorgard designed its ChemBank and FlamBank vaults, which are purpose built for rail sites, it specified five-lever deadlocks and tough welded construction to deliver maximum protection from thieves. Both Chembank and FlamBank have recently been supplied to the Works Delivery Track Team Hitchin by Selectequip to safeguard hazardous goods during the Moorgate Tunnel Project in London. To find out more about products that will make a difference in the world you work in, visit Visit:

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STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD VolkerRail is one of the UK’s leading multidisciplinary railway infrastructure contractors. Our capabilities range from the construction of urban mass transit and high speed rail systems to the re-establishment of disused railways. We are also specialists in track renewals and maintenance, signalling, electrification, high and low voltage power distribution and line side civil engineering schemes. We aim to stand out from the crowd in everything we do by exceeding expectations.

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Integrating the Asian rail industry RAIL Asia 2020 takes place from 25th to 26th November 2020 at Makkasan Expo Halls Airport Rail Link in Bangkok, Thailand


sian Exhibition Services (AES) are members of AES (UK) Limited, organisers of the RAIL Asia Exhibition and Conference series of events in Bangkok. RAIL Asia, now approaching its 6th edition in Thailand, attracts in the region of 3,000 trade professionals from 40 countries and is hosted by the State Railway of Thailand at their Makkasan Expo Halls at the SRTET’s Airport Rail Link venue in the centre of Bangkok on the cross track of the mainline, underground and Skytrain urban rail network. RAIL Asia is supported by the Ministry of Transport, State Railway of Thailand, Airport Rail Link, SRT Electrified Trains Company Limited, the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand, as well as other related organisations to include Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited, Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company Limited, KU Rail, the European Association for Business & Commerce, the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers Thailand Chapter and the Centre for Excellence for Road and Railway Excellence. The 2019 edition of RAIL Asia welcomed 109 exhibiting companies from 28 countries worldwide. International attendance to the exhibition was led by Malaysia, followed by China, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Lao, India, Myanmar and Cambodia. 23 per cent of visitors to RAIL Asia 2019 represented the various rail operators from throughout Asia, 15 per cent were contractors, 14per cent from government, 21 per cent from associations/institutes/ universities and 27 per cent were consultants. The main area of interest for the trade professionals visiting the event were solutions for signaling, followed by rolling stock and maintenance, civil engineering, IT, passenger experience and telecoms. The latest RAIL Asia Conference programme under the theme ‘Advanced M&E Solutions for the Asian Rail Network’ with keynote papers presentations by the State Railway of Thailand, MRTA, Egis Rail, Tuv Sud, Bentley, Siemens, Voestalpine, Schneider, Bombardier, Laos Railways and DB Schenkers.

The main stimulus of the regional expansion of RAIL Asia in Bangkok over the past few years has been the vast investment into transport infrastructure currently amounting to US$93 billion of confirmed spend in Asia by 2021 with Thailand accounting for over 40 per cent of all new rail and metro investment in the region. Thailand will be expanding and upgrading its existing 4,000 kilometres of track, linking fast track routes to China, Vietnam and Singapore, upgrading signaling and telecommunications systems throughout the network, buying new rolling stock and will expand the Bangkok metro system to 14 lines and introduce light-rail networks to a further four cities. RAIL Asia is organised by Asian Exhibition Services (AES) Ltd. with an appointed steering committee of national operators, independent consultants, government institutions, suppliers and independent stakeholders. AES is an international, Board of Investment listed

company headquartered in Bangkok and has representative offices in the UK, Singapore, Vietnam, China, India and Japan. AES is a specialist in business-to-business events across all major industry sectors with project partners worldwide to include Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, USA and New Zealand. AES’s stakeholder partners include Stock Market listed and Singaporean investors.

Key people David Aitken, Managing Director: Punnapa Onsarn, General Manager: Vilawan Phuengthaicharoen, Marketing Manager: Tel: +66 (0) 2711 1767-8 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

WEDGE GROUP GALVANIZING Your Galvanizing Partner

RISQS approved, Wedge Group Galvanizing is the UK’s largest galvanizing organisation. With 14 plants across the UK we offer a national service, processing steel from a 1.5mm washer to 29m beam. Our plants are designed and equipped to set industry-leading standards for sustainability and low environmental impact. E: T: 01902 600704


Head Office: Stafford Street, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 1RZ

PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF PERFORMANCE High Quality, High Performance High Visibility Clothing Crafted for the Rail Industry


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^New! Marisco Performance Waterproof Anorak



Treadmaster Flooring, all over the place… In rail, fire standards are much more stringent than for land-based buildings but the fundamental principal is always be the same – safety should never be compromised over costs


s of 2018 the New European Rail Fire standard EN45545-2 is mandatory across Europe and is set to take over from existing national standards such as BS6853. The key focus of this is to harmonise rail fire standards across Europe, making it easier for European companies to have access to the wider European market without having to meet all of the previous existing national fire standards. In some quarters the new EN455452 standard is acknowledged as being less stringent than the existing national standards and as a consequence, some materials that didn’t meet the old national standards, may now meet the new European standard. Specifiers and operators should not feel pressured to reduce costs by using materials that would not have previously met the national standard but now meet the European standard. Fortunately for specifiers Treadmaster can offer robust rail compliant floor coverings as its TM7 flooring meets the BS6853 Cat 1a and EN45545-2 HL3 and TM8 meets BS69853 Cat1b and EN45545-2 HL3. Treadmaster flooring has a long and well established reputation for manufacturing high quality, long lasting floors that exceed even the most stringent fire retardancy requirements within the transport industry, but it also operates in other markets and has provided quality bespoke flooring to some very unusual projects. Recently it provided flooring to the elevator floors within the recently opened Vessel building in Hudson’s Yard, NY. London Designers Heatherwick were looking for an extremely hard-wearing floor that would continue to look great for years to come despite extreme levels of footfall. Of course, safety, in regard to fire retardancy was paramount but also, they needed a floor that would perform in all areas and a manufacturer that could

produce bespoke sizes and shapes to exacting dimensions. Other unique projects Treadmaster has been proud to provide flooring for are the Routemaster London Bus built by Wright Bus of Northern Ireland. Again, designed by Heatherwick utilising a very similar product (TM3) to that supplied by Treadmaster on the original Routemaster in the 1950s. Another high-profile project supplied with Treadmaster flooring is the Studio City Golden Wheel

in Macau. As the website states: ‘Let your fortunes soar to new heights on the world’s highest figure-eight Ferris wheel and admire the breath-taking views of the city 130 metres up in the air.’ The project capsules installed by Poma Group had to meet strict criteria in regard to fire safety, wear resistance under very high traffic and, of course, look amazing for many years. Treadmaster also make marine-specific anti slip flooring for use on anything from yacht decks, sport RIBs and tenders, to cruise ships and fishing vessels. So you see, Treadmaster is more than just trains, it’s all over the place! Tel: 07967 343246 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Innovative, quick to fit, safe roof-glazing Multi-Link-Panel Non-Fragile Twinfix supply modular polycarbonate panels for use as rooflights in railway stations and depots. The polycarbonate used to glaze these panels can either look like the original Georgian wired glass or appear as clear as plate glass, depending on the grade of polycarbonate glazing specified. The chosen product for rail and depot rooflights is the innovative Multi-Link-Panel NF (Non Fragile), its fix and link method of installation is incredibly quick to fit, making it an excellent choice for installation in stations where possession times are an issue.

The Multi-Link-Panel system features the following benefits: Fast installation



Long lasting and durable glazing

Modular pre-assembled panels

Light weight

Virtually unbreakable polycarbonate

UV coated polycarbonate

For more information contact us on:

Tel: 01925 811311

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Recovering the roof at Aberdeen station Over the years Twinfix has supplied modular polycarbonate panels for use as rooflights in many railway stations and depots


eplacing the old canopy glazing used at rail stations with products from Twinfix’s range of polycarbonate glazing options floods the area with daylight while eliminating the common issues that occur with historic railway roof-glazing. Aberdeen railway station is the busiest railway station in Scotland north of the major cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. With seven platforms and 2.948 million passengers travelling through the station last year. It was built as Aberdeen Joint Station between 1913 and 1916, replacing an 1867 structure on the same site and has been designated as a ‘Category A’ listed building. Last year, £8 million was invested in to a twelve-month programme to refurbish the station roof and replace 10,000 existing glass panels which were prone to cracking, leaking and discolouration. Story Contracting was the Principal Contractor for the project, Twinfix supplied the roof-glazing system and Macleod Roofing installed it. The main challenge Story Contracting faced was how to safely access the works at height to carry out the glazing replacement with as little impact as possible on the daily operation of the station and passengers. They overcame this by using an innovative rolling access platform to carry out the work allowing access to one third of the main concourse roof from below and the works to progress quicker and more safely due to fewer dismantling and erecting phases. The glazed panels were replaced with the innovative Multi-Link-Panel NF (NonFragile) roof-glazing system with 6mm solid obscure Georgian wired effect polycarbonate. Approximately 8,000 square metres of the Multi-Link-Panel NF system were installed at Aberdeen. The Multi-Link-Panel NF system installed at a vast number of stations across the UK, (now including Aberdeen Station) is an aluminium-framed modular rooflight system, designed with a patented fixing method that results in incredibly quick installation times – a real bonus when working with limited possession times. It is a cleverly designed and well engineered roof-glazing concept that combines simplicity with sophistication, which has long been available as a non-fragile system that conforms to the HSE’s approved drop test

for non-fragility, ACR[M]001:2014. Twinfix offers a range of different glazing options for these non-fragile rooflight panels: • multiwall polycarbonate – incredibly light in weight • solid polycarbonate – the clear product looks like laminated glass but is virtually unbreakable • 6mm solid obscure Georgian wired effect polycarbonate The quick and easy install meant that Macleod Roofing could easily install a large number of panels each night maximining the possession time. David Mackinnon, General Manager for Macleod Roofing said: ‘We have worked with Twinfix on several large projects to date. Due to the lightweight nature, strength and versatility of the Twinfix product, you can cover large areas in a limited time, this is really helpful when working on live railway stations, when you are restricted to night shifts and trackside possession hours.’

The Georgian wired polycarbonate glazing combines the appearance of Georgian wired glass with all the material benefits of polycarbonate. Quite simply, it’s a 6mm thick dimpled surface solid polycarbonate with the traditional look of Georgian wired glass.

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THE VOICE OF TORQUE CONTROL • Leading specialist in torque control • Manufacturer of electric, battery, pneumatic & manually operated torque multipliers, torque wrenches & torque measurement equipment • Designed & made in UK • Example shown: bespoke bolting tool designed for limited access application on Hitachi Rail Class 800/801 using Norbar PTSTM & special offset gearbox reaction plate

Contact: +44 (0)1295 753600

Working collaboratively to deliver infrastructure improvements safely, to programme, whilst minimising disruption to operations. Rail Professional





It is the ideal material for station canopy glazing because the combination of its light weight of just 7.2kg/m2, which is substantially less than the glass alternative, and impact resistance make it safer to install than the glass alternative. Being virtually unbreakable also negates future costly broken glazing replacement. It can withstand natural forces like severe wind, hail and snowstorms and absorbs vibrations caused by train movements without cracking, crazing or breaking. It also provides a low-maintenance, long-lasting rail roof solution, which is strong, corrosionresistant and self-cleaning. Eddie Esdale, Contracts Manager, Story Contracting said: ‘The finished results at Aberdeen station are fantastic. The key challenge for the project was to keep passenger disruption to a minimum and we were able to maintain good light levels and good pedestrian flow throughout the work.We were also able to take experience from the canopy replacement works we previously delivered at Stirling where we installed almost 5,000 new Twinfix polycarbonate glazing panels in the busy central Scotland station.’ As well as improving the overall environment in a lighter, brighter station, the addition of the Twinfix Georgian wired polycarbonate at Aberdeen has preserved the listed building’s unique appearance and character, while providing modern levels of safety for passengers and staff. A further improvement at Aberdeen was the introduction of 482 hatches, enabling staff to safely carry out gutter cleaning without having to gain access above the glazing – something that wasn’t previously possible at the station. Andy Savage, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust (RHT), said: ‘The

restoration of the Aberdeen canopies is not a project that we were involved in funding, but the RHT is delighted that Network Rail has restored the canopy glazing, especially over the unglazed section of canopy on Platform 7. The RHT is most happy with the finished work, in its appearance as a structure, in improving the passenger experience, and in making future gutter maintenance so much easier and safer.’ Over the years the Multi-Link-Panel NF (Non-Fragile) roof-glazing system with 6mm solid obscure Georgian wired effect polycarbonate has been installed in many listed stations, really complementing these


stations but at the same time enabling the stations to be improved to meet modern day safety standards. Managing Director for Twinfix, Vicky Evans commented on the project: ‘Working on Aberdeen Station has been a real honour, I take a particular interest in the work we carry out on listed stations as it is great to help enhance these stations that are so steeped in history. I am proud that we can assist in the refurbishment of these listed buildings by offering a roofing product that is in keeping with their heritage features, while also providing a modern, safe and long-standing roof that is fit for the modern day. Aberdeen has been a great project to work on and the station looks fantastic. I am really happy we were part of its restoration and glad it can be enjoyed by many passengers and visitors for years to come’. Network Rail were pleased that the project was a success and that Aberdeen station had been restored to its former glory. Valerie McMillan, Asset Manager for Network Rail commented: ‘Twinfix provided an excellent service throughout the project. From designing a solution specific to Aberdeen station with larger access hatches for safe roof cleaning, to visiting the site regularly to oversee the installation and provide expert advice to the Contractor as required. As a Client this was important and provided us with the assurance that a quality solution was implemented. The Georgian wired effect polycarbonate is indistinguishable from the traditional Georgian wired glass which appeased the Planners and means that cracked and leaking panels will be a thing of the past. The new roofs provide a much-improved station environment for our customers and passengers to enjoy.’ Tel: 01925 811 311 Email: Rail Professional

Trusted Partner

Dedicated to defining the ever-changing digital landscape, telent designs and delivers solutions and services that enable organisations to create, improve and maintain their mission critical communications networks.


0800 783 7761



A trusted partner at the core of the nation’s critical infrastructure


elent is the UK’s leading missioncritical network solutions provider, delivering innovative technology solutions and providing both support and maintenance services across a wide range of industries including transport, network providers, utilities, public safety and defence Telent successfully delivers every day for organisations including Network Rail, Transport for London (TfL), Highways England and Openreach, as well as for frontline emergency services including the police, ambulance, fire and coast guard plus local authorities and government. Key to its success is its talented staff, who have decades of experience in the industries telent operates in, the mission critical systems the company works on and the technologies it works with. Its experience, combined with award-winning graduates and apprentices, world leading technology partners and a collaborative approach means telent is uniquely capable of delivering innovative solutions that full integrate with legacy systems. The company is a trusted partner that works every day tirelessly to keep the UK and Ireland connected and protected. Keeping the UKs road network flowing Telent is transforming the telecommunications network behind the UK strategic road network. Working with Highways England on the National Roads Telecommunications Services (NRTS) contract that will see telent deliver nextgeneration telecommunications services to

meet the needs of the business as they move into the 5G era. Alongside its traffic signal maintenance contracts that include Sussex, Kent, Conway and Cumbria telent maintains more than 25,000 traffic signals for TfL in London. Through many years of experience and innovative development within the traffic industry, telent knows that time spent working on site is the largest element of traffic signal installation. To increase safety and reduce disruption and costs, telent established an innovative and award winning ‘Plug & Play’ traffic signal system that has reduced time on site for installations by 60 per cent and working at height by 75 per cent. Keeping rail passengers moving The UK’s increasingly busy rail networks are becoming more reliant on innovative digital technologies to keep services running smoothly, especially as technology develops at a rapid rate. Today telent is maintaining operationally critical telecommunications systems that keep stations open and trains running. Working with TfL and Network Rail, telent is developing innovative digital and software solutions, delivered through commercially innovative, whole-life contracts that provide best value as well as increased asset performance and reliability. Telent is also helping generate vital non-fares revenues. Using its extensive understanding of working on the tube and technical expertise, telent is supporting the TfL and Exterion Media collaboration. Known as ‘Hello London’ it is upgrading digital advertising displays throughout the Tube to generate long-term, non-fares revenue. Telent has created a first of its kind Digital Escalator Panel that allows full-motion video to flow seamlessly along the entire length of an escalator. Through an open and collaborative project culture, in nine months over 960 new

digital panels were successfully installed and commissioned across 32 escalators at 17 stations to create a unique digital experience for passengers and generate premium advertising revenue for TfL. Award-winning work and prestigious customers Telent’s work in keeping the UK’s operational critical transport infrastructures running smoothly has been commended through industry awards including Rail Staff, Young Rail Professionals, TfL Supplier and Control Room. Trusted to deliver From solution design to deployment and maintenance to cyber security, from control rooms to station platforms and trackside, from gantries to traffic junctions and motorway hard shoulders, telent is trusted to deliver. For more information about telent’s expertise in the rail sector, including its design and consultancy, project delivery and maintenance work as well as its products keeping the UK’s rail operating efficiently and smoothly, visit Tel: (0)1926 693 000 Email: Rail Professional



Can you meet the 2020 accessibility deadline? Christian King, General Manager, Kee Systems explains the implications of accessibility regulations that come into force on New Year’s Day 2020


ccess to public areas for disabled people has improved in recent years thanks to various legislation which makes discrimination, even unintentional discrimination, illegal. However, the lack of total access into commercial and public areas, including within the rail sector, is still a key issue affecting disabled people across the country. In 2018, the Papworth Trust on Disability reported that there are over 13 million disabled people living in the UK, and that many of these people encounter trouble accessing public areas like stations and platforms. Legislation such as the Equality Act 2010 states that all ‘reasonable steps’ should be taken to ensure those with disabilities can access and use all public and commercial areas in the same way as abled people. What’s more, these steps should be preemptive and anticipatory, meaning the owners and managers of these premises cannot wait until the access is needed to put measures in place. Now, however, the Department for Transport has introduced a deadline of 1st January 2020 for rail operators to ensure they are compliant to the correct legislation, and that all stations and trains are fully accessible to persons of reduced mobility. Operators that fail to meet this deadline with the correct measures in place could find themselves in hot water. 2020 deadline Britain’s railways are used by millions of people every week, and undoubtedly many of these users will be disabled, and it is the duty of every rail operator to ensure access is provided to those who may struggle with platform or station layouts. Previously, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), stated that adjustments need only be made where it would otherwise be ‘impossible or unreasonably difficult’ for a disabled person to access the area. This was reworded under the Equality Act, which stated that adjustments should be made where there is a ‘substantial disadvantage’ Rail Professional


to disabled people. Within the rail transport sector, the Equality Act is partnered with other legislation, such as the Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Non-Interoperable Rail System) Regulations 2010, and the Persons of Reduced Mobility Technical Specification for Interoperability, which set out specific accessibility standards which must be met by rail operators to make rail travel accessible for disabled passengers. Required provisions include sufficient handholds and handrails, passenger information displays, priority seats and boarding ramps. Whilst efforts have been made with modern designs to be compliant to all related legislation, the Department for Transport has now made it a formal requirement to ensure that all operators are fully accessible for disabled travellers before the 1st January 2020 or face a hefty fine. What can you do? Common and practical solutions to providing safer access to disabled people might include removing steps and replacing them with ramps, which does not impede able bodied people but makes it far easier for people with reduced mobility to move between levels, or providing portable ramps on platforms to allow wheelchair users to cross the gap onto the train. Handrails can be provided to aid wheelchair users or those that are unsteady on their feet. Disabled handrails must meet certain requirements laid out in Building Regulation Approved Document M to be considered compliant. This document specifies areas such as handrail height and tube thickness to ensure it is safe to use by all. On access ramp gradients, which vary between two and five degrees, handrails are required to be positioned on both sides of the path, or centrally if the path is wider. They should be installed on both sides of ramps longer than two metres and should, wherever possible, extend 300mm beyond the top and bottom of the ramp or staircase. The Building Regulations also require an outside tube diameter tube size for these installations of between 40 and 45mm, and

must be offset in the case of a mid-height handrail. The best solution The best time to introduce these adjustments is during the design phase, prior to construction, where designers and specifiers should ensure these responsibilities are met. However, on older stations, it is possible to introduce a retrofit system which will update existing handrail or paths to meet the requirements of both Part M and the Equality Act. Many solutions currently on the market today, such as our Kee Access solution, are ideal for heavy traffic environments and can be quickly and easily fitted by anyone thanks to their modular fittings-based design. For sectors such as the rail industry, where station and platform downtime is a last resort, versatile and effective fittings which do not impact passenger journeys are the ideal choice. By choosing a modular fittings solution over a welded fabricated


Handrails can be provided to aid wheelchair users or those that are unsteady on their feet. Disabled handrails must meet certain requirements laid out in Building Regulation Approved Document M to be considered compliant solution, you are choosing a system which can be built to almost any specification and will not prevent public access to stations for hot works such as welding. Britain’s railways have come a long way in improving access for disabled people, however there are still many areas where improvements need to be made. The 2020 deadline from the DfT means improving access should be a top priority for all operators in the UK. Find out more about the Kee Access range of DDA fittings via the information below. Tel: 0208 874 6566 Email: Visit:

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Latest Layher access innovations mean rail industry gains Commitment to innovation, which is at the heart of the success enjoyed by access and weather protection specialists, Layher Ltd is once again being brought to the fore


ean Pike, Layher’s UK Managing Director, explains the impact of innovation on both design and operational functions: ‘Our new Scaffold Information Modelling (SIM®) design tool helps to create optimised structures, reduce risk and enhance cost savings’ he says. ‘The concept builds on our well established LayPLAN and LayCAD and enables the creation of 3D visualisations either on screen or via a VR headset, taking the user into a highly effective digital world. Once there, scaffolding can be rotated, clashdetection function enabled and mixed reality applications produced’ he continues. He also points out that, significantly, the scaffold can also be ‘flown-through’ to enable adaptions to be readily made before the production of key information outputs such as material needs, weights and logistical details. Layher says that the benefits the development offers to the rail industry are clear-cut. By being able to design and then visualise each installation in detail, onsite installation and consequent usage of scaffold and temporary weather protection structures is optimised. This not only means more effective solutions for workforce and public alike, but it can also help to minimise the installation procedures – of particular significance where possession time considerations are so critical. Alongside the development of SIM®, Layher is also now introducing a highly versatile means of providing fast, single person access to rail construction and refurbishment operations. ‘The Layher Solo Tower is a small rolling tower which can be assembled quickly, safely and easily by just one person to achieve a working height of up to 6.15 metres’ continues Sean Pike. ‘Current regulations for working at height increasingly restrict the use of

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ladders which, conventionally, has been addressed by high volume work platforms that can require major logistic effort and the personnel input of at least two people. Now, the compact Solo Tower can be transported to its place of use in normal commercial vehicles and then assembled by a single person to provide a rapid, safe ‘on-the-spot’ access solution.’ The tool-free assembly process enhances the suitability of the new Layher Solo Tower innovation and enables simple access solutions to be achieved almost anywhere on a rail network infrastructure. ‘These two latest advances that we are able to introduce to our customers are further evidence of our belief in a dynamic approach to product innovation, much of which is based on customer feedback’ concludes Sean Pike. ‘We believe that the benefits offered by both SIM® and the Solo Tower add up to greater safety and efficiency – and, therefore, the potential for enhanced profitability – and will be widely recognised by everybody involved in the rail industry.’ Tel: 01462 475100 Email: Visit:

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Enabling and maintaining exceptional rail infrastructure Linear infrastructure improvements and enhancements all start in the ground. Asset owners, developers and maintenance professionals need to understand the ground risk profile for their asset. A principal linear ageing asset in the UK is our railways


AM Ritchies provides smarter ground engineering solutions including a broad range of ground investigation techniques allowing it to determine ground conditions to quantify and mitigate ground risk. Significant enhancement projects are ongoing on our rail infrastructure UKwide with headline projects including HS2, Transpennine and Highland Enhancement Project. Multiple other significant projects that don’t grab the headlines are also being undertaken which are just as critical for those that use these routes. Ground risks include redundant structures, former land use legacies, over steepened slopes, and aged earthworks structures. Ground investigation comprises determining the engineering and environmental properties of soil and rock below the surface. Techniques deployed include non-intrusive and intrusive techniques. BAM Ritchies is self-delivering ground investigation on the headline projects for design, planning, permanent way, signalling and structures. It has delivered digital ground investigation to HS2 Ltd over the past three years. Transpennine ground investigation is presently on site to meet plans for the enhancements to be completed in stages up to 2024. The HEP team provides the essential data to validate designs and finalise the details for the blockades. Control Period 6 has commenced across the UK and there is the need to continue to investigate the ground and the aging assets to create resilience in the network to meet the demands of the ever changing future. BAM Ritchies also deliver the solutions that the investigation enables, whether this be new infrastructure or improvements to the existing aging network. Werrington Slope Stabilisation BAM Ritchies was appointed by Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, the Principal

Contractor delivering the £200 million Werrington Grade Separation project for Network Rail, to undertake the slope support works required as part of the scheme. The Werrington project, located just to the north of Peterborough entails the building of a new section of railway and ‘dive-under’ at Werrington Junction, which will enable freight trains to pass under four lines of the ECML removing the current conflict between freight and ECML passenger services, improving journey times for passengers. The BAM Ritchies contract, valued at £1.3 million, is to install the slope

stabilisation needed to facilitate construction of the cutting leading down to the dive under entrance. The upper sections of the excavation will form the permanent cutting slopes with the lower sections temporarily excavated and stabilised to facilitate the construction of the new rail track bed. The works are being undertaken in two phases either side of the ECML and consist of the drilling and installation of a total of 939nr eight-metre long and 10.5-metre long permanent Double Corrosion Protection (DCP), and temporary soil nails in up to six rows, 360nr six-metre long drains, and the application of 2,700m2 of sprayed concrete. Rail Professional

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First the cut is excavated at an angle of 60° and then the holes for the soil nails are drilled in a 1.5-metre by 1.75-metre grid pattern using an excavator mounted drill mast. The soil nails are then installed using a bespoke soil nail ‘installation beam’ before being grouted using grout mixed and batched by a computer controlled batching plant. The installation of raking drains in a three-metre by three-metre grid pattern completes the drilling element of the works prior to the application of mesh reinforced sprayed concrete. The plant and equipment selected for the project has been done so to provide safety, quality, environmental and productivity benefits over traditional ways of working. The drilling mast can automatically add and remove drill rods eliminating work at height and manual handling, and the installation beam developed by BAM Ritchies in-house plant department can install DCP soil nails in a single length, whereas traditionally shorter sections of nail would need to be manually coupled together at height. As well as the safety benefits of this, the number of components required is also reduced. This minimises the potential for quality issues relating to components and their installation as well as reducing environmental impact and improving productivity. The computer controlled batching plant is fed by cement silos, which virtually eliminate manual handling and exposure to cement dust, and produce digital records of all material mixed and batched giving reliability and full traceability of materials used in the works. Tomasz Paprocki, BAM Ritchies Site Agent says: ‘BAM Ritchies’ work at Werrington is further demonstration of our commitment to continually deliver improvements in safety and plant efficiencies. Here at Werrington the plant used for the different aspects of the works combine to make the overall operation both safer for the workforce as well as delivering quality and programme benefits to the client.’


Hook Slope Stabilisation BAM Ritchies was appointed by main contractor, Osborne, to undertaking slope stabilisation works in a failed cutting at Railway Cottage in Hook, located next to the South Western mainline, connecting London Waterloo with Exeter, Bristol and Weymouth. Consultant, Arcadis, came up with a gabion wall solution to address the cracks in the ground that had opened up in the garden and soil nails with mesh to stabilise the slope. The work was carried out next to the busy commuter line without affecting services and while the owners continued to live in the cottage. Before the soil nails could be installed, vegetation on the cutting was removed and a catch fence at the toe installed. Cable anchors were then drilled two to three

metres into the ground near the crest of the slope. Operatives and construction machinery had to be harnessed and connected by cables to these anchor points for all work carried out on the slope. The catch fence prevented any debris falling onto the track and the rope access ensured safe working at height. The main difference on this project compared to other soil nail stabilisation schemes was the use of terrapin rigs. These small, lightweight drill rigs are able to install soil nails from the face of the slope. Initially a long-reach excavator and mast on a temporary platform on the crest of the cutting installed the nails higher up the slope. It was then down to the Terrapin rigs, to install the remainder. Nails were installed to depths of between eleven and twelve metres and at an angle of 30 degrees to the horizontal. Slope protection steel mesh was rolled out over the nails and secured using Spike P33 plates with a galvanised domed nut. The mesh’s steel wire chain-link construction enabled it to closely follow the contours of the 18 to 20 metre slope, which had suffered from previous slips, as only become visible after vegetation had been cleared. Gabion wall construction initially required a 13t excavator to remove soil along the slip and replace it with granular fill and a layer of topsoil to be compacted behind the 48 gabion units. Two rows of 4mm galvanised welded mesh gabions were installed in the finished scheme. A new boundary fence was then built on top of the gabion wall. Three inclinometers installed to a depth of ten metres will continue to monitor the ground for at least 18 months


to confirm there is no further movement in the ground. Company profile BAM Ritchies is the specialist geotechnical division of BAM Nuttall Ltd; one of the UK’s leading civil engineering contractors and an operating company of the European construction group Royal BAM. BAM Ritchies started business in Scotland 50 years ago in 1963 and is now one of the country’s leading and award winning geotechnical contractors. The organisation employs approximately 400 trained and experienced staff. BAM Ritchies has a turnover of over £70 million carrying out ground investigation, ground engineering, drilling & blasting and concrete techniques: completing contracts up to £30 million in value. BAM Ritchies operates from offices in Kilsyth near Glasgow (Principal Office), Wigan, Clevedon near Bristol and Erith in Kent. BAM Nuttall Ltd. had a turnover of £674 million in 2018 and operates throughout the country from a network of regional centres. Royal BAM had a turnover of approximately €7 billion (£6.2 billion) in 2018 and is one of Europe’s largest construction contractors. Tomasz Paprocki is Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Angus MacGregor is Contracts Manager and David Lindfield is Project Manager at Bam Ritchies

Tel: 01236 467000, Email: Visit: Rail Professional

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Comfort is safety For over 40 years, RPB® Safety has worked to provide the world’s industrial workers with comfortable, high-quality respiratory protection


n the United Kingdom, RPB is working hard to help make workers comfortable because they believe COMFORT IS SAFETY. Climate control is a primary factor in keeping workers comfortable and safe. This includes any and all PPE that helps regulate the worker’s body temperature. It is not only paramount for comfort, but prevention of heat stress of any kind which can be extremely dangerous if ignored and potentially fatal. RPB’s Z-Link® and Z4® welding/grinding respirators are compatible with their C40™ Climate Control Device which can cool incoming supplied air by up to 29°C, or heat it by up to 18°C. These head tops also direct excess air down through the workers coveralls to help maintain a comfortable body temperature. Air fed respirators like the Z-Link and Z4 are more comfortable because they supply air to your breathe zone, as opposed to negative pressure respirators that require you to manually draw air through the filters

with each breath. All respirators that RPB design are loose-fitting, the reason being, loose-fitting respirators are more comfortable than tightfitting respirators. Several reasons why include: • you don’t have tight/restricting straps against your face • air flow can be distributed to a larger area around your face and head, not just to your breathe zone • they provide superior protection as they typically cover a greater portion of your head and neck and can overlap the opening to your coveralls • a greater range of options and accessories are available, such as in-helmet communication, in-helmet hearing, head end eye protection. In addition to this, loose-fitting respirators can be used by workers with facial hair and no fit-test is required. Helmet padding makes respirators more comfortable to wear as opposed to head suspension. The

foam padding eliminates pressure points on your head, and provides extra stability which ensures the respirator moves with your head. Respirators with even weight distribution are very comfortable. The rule of thumb is that the more contact the respirator has with your head the less pressure there is on any one point. The placement of contact points also plays a part. A fully padded

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helmet spreads the weight evenly across your head, minimizing pressure points and neck strain. Even though padded respirators can be heavier than respirators with head suspensions, many workers claim they feel lighter. The Z-Link and Z4 both include a combination of foam padding and customizable head suspensions to ensure they fit properly, distribute weight evenly and eliminate pressure points. The distribution of airflow also plays an important part in workers’ comfort. The Z-Link’s air is directed over the top of the head, with some of the air directed through small channels in the helmet dome to help keep the worker cool. The remaining air flows down the visor to eliminate fogging and is then delivered to the breathe zone. A quarter of the Z4’s incoming air is directed across your grinding visor to prevent fogging

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and the remaining air is delivered through the swivel airflow outlet allowing you to adjust the direction of the air to ensure it flows to your breathe zone. In conclusion, RPB believes that comfort is key to maintaining safety and maximizing productivity. Comfortable respirators are air-supplied and loose-fitting. Climate control, helmet padding, weight distribution and airflow distribution are all factors that

contribute to comfort. RPB continues to innovate and offer revolutionary solutions, ensuring workers are comfortable, productive and make it home safely at the end of the day. RPB is here to protect workers for life’s best moments. Tel: +44 800 689 5031 Email: Visit:

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Specialist Civil Engineering Services

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Kilborn Consulting Limited is an independent railway engineering consultancy and design business. We specialise in the design of railway signalling and telecommunication systems for the UK and Ireland railway infrastructure. Our core services cover technical advice, consultancy services, feasibility studies and concept, outline (AiP) and detailed design (AfC) of both signalling and telecommunication systems.


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AECOM appoints new Head of Rail Global infrastructure services firm AECOM has appointed Susan Evans as the new Head of Rail for UK and Ireland. Susan will focus on growing AECOM’s rail business in the region and will lead the company’s multidisciplinary rail, bridges and structures teams. She also joins AECOM’s UK&I Civil Infrastructure leadership team as it continues to focus on delivering excellence to clients.

Woodway Engineering appoint Rob Almond as new Managing Director Woodway Engineering have appointed Rob Almond as Managing Director. Based at Woodway’s head office and manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Coventry, Rob will be responsible for driving the strategic vision of the company moving forward.

Former St Modwen Group FD Joins LCR Board The former group finance director of St. Modwen Properties plc, Michael Dunn, has joined the board of LCR, the commercial developer and the government’s regeneration expert.

Bombardier Transportation appoints John Saabas as Head of Engineering and Technology Mobility solution provider Bombardier Transportation today announced that John Saabas has been appointed the new Head of Engineering and Technology. Mr Saabas will report directly to Bombardier Transportation President, Danny Di Perna and will lead the company’s global technology and product development activities. He will also work closely with Bombardier Transportation’s senior leadership team to improve productivity, project execution and customer satisfaction.

Network Rail confirms route director appointments Eastern region Rob McIntosh – Managing Director Ellie Burrows – Route Director, Anglia Gary Walsh – Route Director, East Midlands Matthew Rice – Route Director, North & East Paul Rutter – Route Director, East Coast Scotland’s Railway Alex Hynes – Managing Director Liam Sumpter – Route Director, Network Rail Scotland Rail Professional

Wales and Western region Mark Langman – Managing Director Bill Kelly- Route Director, Wales and Borders Mike Gallop – Route Director, Western North West and Central region Tim Shoveller – Managing Director James Dean – Route Director, West Coast

Southern region John Halsall – Managing Director Mark Killick – Route Director, Wessex Shaun King – Route Director, Sussex Fiona Taylor – Route Director, Kent Katie Frost – Route Director, Network Rail High Speed

Mainline South Phil James – Route Director, North West Dave Penney – Route Director, Central

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