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APRIL 2014 ISSUE 201 £3.95


What we’re doing and why ORR’s John Larkinson on getting the messsage across clearly

Plus... RSSB’s Chris Fenton on why the time is right to make rail strategy a reality When is it ok to monitor your staff? Capability roadmapping in rail - developing the means to an end Slipping and sliding: geotechnology in the rail sector Solving Somerset’s transport problems

Dyslexia in the rail industry - what’s your company policy? Abellio Group chief executive Jeff Hoogesteger on going beyond the journey from a to b

Signals MainLine

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MainLine WaitingRooms Freight LevelCrossing Clocks BaggageCarts SwitchGear Gates Seating Software

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Ventilation Scanners Whistle

Ventilation Scanners Whistle

20 - 22 MAY 2014 | EARLS COURT 2, LONDON, UK

Track Railway Station Platform Signage Tickets Stairs Cleaning Security Jucntions Signals MainLine WaitingRooms Freight LevelCrossing Clocks BaggageCarts SwitchGear Gates Seating Software Lighting ComputerTechnology Track Railway Station Platform Signage Tickets Stairs Cleaning Security Jucntions Signals MainLine WaitingRooms Freight LevelCrossing Track Railway Station Platform

Signage Tickets Stairs

Cleaning Security Jucntions Signals MainLine

WaitingRooms Freight LevelCrossing Clocks BaggageCarts

SwitchGear Gates Seating

Software Lighting


SafetyClothing Tools RailMaintenance

Drainage Airconditioning Ventilation Scanners Whistle

Track Railway Station Platform

Signage Tickets Stairs Cleaning Security Jucntions Signals MainLine

WaitingRooms Freight


Track Railway Station Platform

Signage Tickets Stairs

Cleaning Security Jucntions Signals MainLine


WaitingRooms Freight LevelCrossing Clocks BaggageCarts

SwitchGear Gates Seating

Software Lighting

ComputerTechnology SafetyClothing Tools RailMaintenance

Drainage Airconditioning Ventilation Scanners Whistle

Track Railway Station Platform

Signage Tickets Stairs

Cleaning Security Jucntions Signals MainLine

WaitingRooms Freight Tools

Railway Station Platform Signage Tickets Stairs Cleaning Security Jucntions Signals MainLine Waiting

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march 2014 Issue 200 £3.95 APRIL 2014 ISSUE 201 £3.95


AWhat man for we’re alldoing countries and why

Global transport designer Paul Priestman on ORR’s John Larkinson on getting the messsage across clearly stations, high speed, increasing capacity and how the industry should advertise itself

Plus... Will BIM fail in the rail industry? How smart technology is powering rail’s digital revolution Is HS2 welcome in Yorkshire? Rail’s challenges now that Ofcom has given the go ahead for superfast satellite broadband

Plus... RSSB’s Chris Fenton on why the time is right to make rail strategy a reality When is it ok to monitor your staff? Capability roadmapping in rail - developing the means to an end Slipping and sliding: geotechnology in the rail sector Solving Somerset’s transport problems

RSSB on strengthening rail’s defences against extreme weather Dyslexia in the rail industry - what’s your company policy? Should we forget the driver? How technology Abellio Group chief Jeffnetworks Hoogesteger is changing theexecutive face of our on going beyond the journey from a to b

PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LTD PUBLISHER Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, EssexLTD CM11 1PU RAIL PROFESSIONAL Tel : 01268 711811 Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU EDITORIAL Tel : 02031 501 691 EDITOR: LORNA SLADE EDITOR ASSISTANT EDITOR: DAVE SONGER LORNA SLADE DISPLAY ADVERTISING ADVERTISING DISPLAY CHRISTIAN WILES WILES CHRISTIAN DOUGLAS LEWIS LEWIS DOUGLAS STEVE FRYER FRYER STEVE ANDREA HAKWINS MARK EUSTACE RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING ADVERTISING RECRUITMENT DEAN SALISBURY SALISBURY DEAN SUBSCRIPTIONS SUBSCRIPTIONS AMY HAMMOND HAMMOND AMY ADMINISTRATION ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT NUGENT CHERIE LISA ETHERINGTON ETHERINGTON LISA DESIGN & & PRODUCTION PRODUCTION DESIGN MILES JOHNSTONE JOHNSTONE MILES Rail Professional Professional welcomes welcomes Rail contributions in in the the form form of of articles, articles, contributions photographs or or letters, letters, preferably preferably photographs by email. email. Original Original photographs photographs may may by be submitted, submitted, but, but, while while every every care care be will be be exercised, exercised, neither neither the the editor editor will nor the the publisher publisher take take responsibility responsibility nor for loss loss of, of, or or damage damage to, to, material material for sent. Submission Submission of of material material to to sent. Rail Professional Professional will will be be taken taken as as Rail permission for for itit to to be be published published in in permission the magazine. magazine. the ISSN 1476-2196 ISSN 1476-2196 © All rights reserved. © All rights reserved. No part part of of this this magazine magazine may may be be No reproduced or or transmitted transmitted in in any any reproduced form or or by by any any means, means, electronic electronic or or form mechanical, including including photocopying, photocopying, mechanical, recording or or by by any any information information recording storage and and retrieval retrieval system, system, without without storage prior permission permission in in writing writing from from prior the copyright copyright owners. owners. The The views views the and opinions opinions expressed expressed in in this this and publication are are not not necessarily necessarily those those publication of the the publisher, publisher, nor nor does does itit accept accept of liability for for any any printing printing errors errors or or liability otherwise which which may may occur. occur. otherwise

Editor’ editor’ ssNote note H

ighSpeedUK (HSUK - is proposed as an alternative to HS2. It is a fully developed design mapped in detail at 1:25,000. It consists of 883km of new build high speed railway with a maximum speed of 360km/h interlinking all primary cities and avoiding the Chilterns AONB by following the M1 corridor. On the existing network 240km will be upgraded and 55 interconnections made to HSUK. HSUK is estimated to be £14 billion cheaper to build than HS2 because the route is 200km shorter and there is 104km less tunnel. The topography of the east side of the country also makes the line easier and hence cheaper to build. Furthermore the design allows for a very simple and cheap connection to be made to HS1. One of the crucial differences between HSUK and HS2 is that it has a high speed trans-Pennine link which delivers three major benefits for the North: • • •

it will connect Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield directly together, giving Yorkshire and Lancashire a new rail spine which considerably increases rail capacity, the same tracks carry the Yorkshire and Lancashire services to London thereby reducing the amount of new construction needed, the old Great Central corridor through Longdondale will become the trans-Pennine spine with the old Woodhead tunnels enlarged to Channel Tunnel dimensions. This will allow the creation of an M1 to M60 lorry shuttle with an DESIGNED FULL NETWORK accompanying lorry ban on the A628 Woodhead Pass, the KEY Dedicated high A57 Snake Pass and the A623 Peak Forest road. speed line


HSUK services extending to existing network

HSUK is a fully developed plan for a national high speed rail Existing route Primary city on network. It will revolutionise UK rail travel by a factor of 10 HSUK dedicated high speed line compared to HS2. To test this claim HSUK engineers created a City/airport served by HSUK timetable for their network and then considered the effect on network HSUK links to journey times between the following 33 locations: existing network frequent & not London, London Heathrow, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bradford, shown in detail Chester, Coventry, Darlington, Derby, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Perth, Peterborough, Preston, Sheffield, Stoke, Walsall, Warrington, Wolverhampton & York There are 528 different journeys that can be made between these 33 locations. That figure does not include return journeys so Glasgow to Northampton and Northampton to Glasgow count as one. HS2 cuts journey times of 44 of the 528, it fails to improve 349 journeys (66.1 per cent of the total) and reduces the service for 135 of the journeys (data from KPMG report pages 91/92). HSUK cuts journey times by an average of 40 per cent for 498 of the 528 journeys (94.3 per cent of the total) being far more beneficial to the North and the UK as a whole than HS2. HSUK has no effect on just 30 existing journeys, mostly between places already well connected e.g. Doncaster to Peterborough. HSUK is also forecasting a significant modal shift from cars to trains with an estimated saving of CO2 emissions of 600 million tonnes over 40 years. Contrary to the requirements of the 2008 Climate Change Act, HS2 can only claim that it is carbon neutral. HSUK’s engineers Colin Elliff and Quentin Macdonald commented: ‘Building HS2 would be like building the M1 without any interchanges. You just wouldn’t do it and spend an extra £14 billion of taxpayers’ money into the bargain.’

Speciality Greases- making a point of being on time. tel: 01422 015515

your global specialist

April 2014 Page 3


ISSUE 201 • APRIL 2014


Delivering the goods



RNIB launches good practice guide; more to do on booking assistance for disabled; call for a Scottish ‘rail revolution’; East Coast is a Superbrand; Balfour Beatty is Stonewall diversity champion; Network Rail girl’s IT competition; FutureRailway pantograph competition; First Capital Connect names new-look train; fewer assaults at Northern Rail; rail group maps out strategy for Devon and Cornwall

Passenger Focus


David Sidebottom recommends breaking down barriers to compensation on train delays and cancellations

Laying down the law


Claudia Gerrard looks at the legal issues around monitoring staff and under what circumstances it is justifiable

Dyslexia in the rail industry


A recent University of Derby event raised awareness of dyslexia in the workplace. Chris Nutty looks at how it’s handled in the rail industry

IRO news and diary


Chris MacRae describes how the FTA is working with retailers to identify those factors that will continue the growth of domestic inter-modal freight services

On the Right Track, baby


Greg Morse talks about industry-run Right Track magazine



New chief executive Chris Fenton outlines how he will help GB rail generate tangible outputs and realise its goals

A winning performance


Rail Champions’ Chris Williams-Lilley says businesses know the formula for a winning performance, but why do so many leaders get it wrong?

Are you a service to recommend?


Which? ’s Richard Lloyd discusses the results of the recent train passenger satisfaction survey, and says Toc’s have more to do to get on track with their customers

Latest news and events from the Institution of Railway Engineers

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Page 4 April 2014

13/01/2014 13:15

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Rail Professional interview

The inside story



John Larkinson, the Office of Rail Regulation’s director, economic regulation, spoke to Lorna Slade about working closely with the industry, ensuring the growth of freight and getting ORR’s messages across clearly

Companies in the rail interiors sector should work together in clusters to maximise business opportunities according to a recent conference attended by key players

Capability roadmapping - the means to an end

Managing landslip risk



Technology roadmaps tend to focus on what needs to be done rather than how to do it. Capability roadmaps, in contrast, focus on defining the underlying capabilities needed to meet future needs says Rick Eagar

Contrary to policy?


Tony Berkeley says the big vertically integrated rail monopolies kill the key elements of the Fourth Railway Package in the European Parliament

A beautiful thing?


General secretary of the TUC Frances O’Grady gives her perspective on the Fourth Railway Package

Rail Professional interview


Rail Professional spoke to Abellio Group chief executive Jeff Hoogesteger on ‘The Abellio Way’, passenger satisfaction levels, international best practice, and serving client needs rather than being driven by profit

Arup’s Samantha Godden looks at new technologies and an approach that focuses on risk to help make the most of limited information and resources

An effective warning


Nick Slater of itmsoil looks at why remote condition monitoring systems are a more viable choice than ever

A concrete solution to Dawlish


Professional Concrete Pumping describes how it worked to repair the decimated railway line

Solving Somerset’s transport problems


Nigel Bray describes Railfuture’s campaign for an integrated transport authority for Somerset

A vision for Welsh transport


Westminster must devolve the remaining powers over transport in Wales to the National Assembly so the country’s railways can be upgraded to meet the needs of the 21st century, according to a new report

Business news


ZF Services; Infotec; TEW Control & Display; Deploy; McNicholas; Morris Site Machinery; Morrison Utility Services; REO (UK); AECOM; Slingsby; APCOA PARKING; Flexicon; Lanes Group

Business profiles


Power Electrics (Bristol); BAM Ritchies; Polypipe; Asset-Pro; Steel Line; Severn Partnership; H L Plastics; JFC; Kilfrost; APE; Ciras; Geobrugg; Instarmarc (Ultracrete); Cubic; Keller; HFZ



Frank Millar; Paul Sheffield; Haydn Mursell; Jim Spittle; Abi Smith; Natalie Loughborough; Alan Chaplin; Rob Warnes; Lee Wasnidge

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April 2014 Page 5

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Page 6 April 2014

in f

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News in brief... 26 year high in performance for DLR he Docklands Light Railway has achieved the highest ever scores for punctuality and performance in its 26-year history with 99.67 per cent of its trains on time during the period 5 January to 1 February, as well as operating 99.77 per cent of its scheduled services. Transport for London’s director of the DLR, Rory O’Neill, said: ‘The DLR continues to deliver to its passengers one of the most reliable and punctual rail services in Britain.’


Scotland’s network set for a spring Games bonanza he benefits of a new £3 million investment include upgraded help points and customer information screens across 56 stations directly serving the Commonwealth Games. This new funding is in addition to the £2 million announced by the Scottish government last year and already being invested by ScotRail to upgrade and enhance stations serving the sporting venues involved.


Crossrail appoints Artist-inResidence ulie Leonard is the company’s first such appointment and will create a pictorial diary of the scheme. Leonard, a London-based painter, printmaker and digital artist, will use an app on her smartphone to create digital and animated drawings. Working in and around construction sites, she will provide a ‘narrative’, incorporating anecdotes from the workforce and communities living and working along the route.


RNIB launches good practice guide on making train services more accessible


he Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has produced a new guide aimed at improving the service the rail network offers passengers with sight loss. Developed with the help of train companies, the guide sets out the key steps that can be taken by the industry to ensure it is meeting the needs of the growing number of blind and partially sighted passengers using the network.   It provides detailed information on a range of areas including best practice for staff training, online information accessibility and station layout.   There are currently around 150,000 disabled persons railcards in circulation, with around 10 per cent held by blind and partially sighted people. RNIB research shows that 11 per cent of people with sight loss frequently travel by train, a number that is likely to rise as accessibility improves.   Fazilet Hadi, group director of Inclusive Society at RNIB, said: ‘Being able to travel safely and with confidence is an essential part of leading an independent life. Blind and partially sighted people should be able to access train timetables, navigate stations, manage train journeys and receive the customer support they need.   ‘We know how important good customer service is to the railway industry. Train operators who respond effectively to passenger needs and take the opportunity to adapt their services will achieve greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.’ Download the guide from the RNIB website at

More to do on booking assistance for disabled


he new system for disabled passengers to book assistance when travelling by train has led to some improvements in their journeys, but there is still more to do says Passenger Focus. The watchdog’s research, contained in its report, Passenger Assist, found that 75 per cent of disabled passengers using the new Passenger Assist (PA) system were satisfied with the help they had been given. This compares to 71 per cent in 2010 who used the then Assisted Passenger Reservation System (APRS) before it was replaced by PA. David Sidebottom, Passenger Focus’s acting chief executive, said: ‘Progress is too slow and the railway needs to move up a gear to ensure that far greater numbers of disabled passengers receive the full assistance they book. Consistency of delivery is key.’   Satisfaction with the booking service element of PA was 87 per cent – an improvement of four per cent on 2010 – with passengers describing staff as ‘helpful and friendly’. However, a third of passengers (33 per cent) received no

confirmation of their booking. The main focus needs to be on ensuring that the assistance that is booked actually turns up says the watchdog. While 79 per cent of passengers were assisted off the train by staff, which is very similar to the 78 per cent in 2010, 15 per cent of passengers had no help at all. On two occasions passengers were not able to get off at their destination as assistance failed to arrive and they had to travel on to the next station.   Only 66 per cent of passengers arriving at the station found station staff prepared for them –almost the same as it was in 2010 (65 per cent).   Just under one in ten (9 per cent) received no help when boarding their train – this is up from six per cent in 2010. The research found that in general the assistance booking service is better than it was, but the improvement in the actual delivery of assistance has been marginal. The report recommends that industry improves communication and staff training. April 2014 Page 7

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News in brief... Tyne & Wear Metro refurb on course B Regio’s £30 million refurbishment of its Tyne & Wear Metro trains has reached the half-way point, with the project set to be finished by May 2015. Extensive work has been carried out on 43 cars, which are now back in service, with a further 43 set to be ready by next year. The Metro trains, which are more than 30 years-old, are being upgraded as part of the £398 million Metro: all change modernisation programme.


Contract awarded for Oxford to London route n £87 million contract to deliver the design and construction of the new Chiltern Railways route between London Marylebone and Oxford and the western section of the East West Rail Scheme to Bedford and Milton Keynes has been awarded by Network Rail. A joint venture between Carillion and Buckingham Group Contracting will design and build the new section of line which will provide a new and alternative link between Oxford and London.


Feet off the seats please After launching its Modern Day Guide to Train Etiquette last year, First Capital Connect has listened to passengers and introduced four more pieces of advice concerning putting feet on seats; bringing bicycles on trains; being more considerate to FCC employees and giving up your seat for those who need it most. MD David Statham said: ‘77 per cent of respondents told us they would change their behaviour as a result of the campaign.’

Page 8 April 2014

Call for a Scottish ‘rail revolution’


ransport group Transform Scotland has launched the Inter-City Express campaign to build support for a ‘rail revolution’ in the country, stating that its network ‘urgently requires investment and upgrading to provide travellers with a safe, civilised and sustainable mode of transport that is fit for the 21st century.’ Key features of the campaign are to: • extend planned rail electrification from Perth to Dunblane, in conjunction with doubling and electrifying the Inverness to Perth line • reduce journey times from Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee to the Central Belt through electrification and extensive doubling of the relevant rail lines • upgrade and modernise the long-neglected single track rail line from Aberdeen to Inverness • build and electrify a new direct rail link from Perth to Edinburgh, cutting up to 35 minutes off journey times from Inverness and Perth to Edinburgh • create a new Inter-City rail hub at Perth station. Transform Scotland spokesperson, Paul Tetlaw, said: ‘Our campaign will build broad civic support for a planned programme of investment in the Scottish rail network over the next fifteen years to bring all seven of Scotland’s cities closer together. ‘The rail route from Perth to Edinburgh is currently not fit for purpose as an intercity route. The average weekday rail journey time is 76 minutes, substantially longer than the equivalent road journey. Shockingly, the current fastest journey time from Perth to Edinburgh (71 minutes) is actually slower than the equivalent journey time of 100 years ago (65 minutes in 1913). The people of Scotland deserve better.’ Rail Freight Group spokesperson David Spaven said: ‘The great thing about radically upgrading the rail infrastructure north of the Central Belt is that freight transport would benefit enormously, as well as passengers. With a fit-for-purpose Perth-Inverness railway, for example, we could increase the number of daily freight trains from two to as many as eight in each direction. That’s the equivalent of taking more than 300 lorries off the A9 every day.’ Visit 

East Coast is a Superbrand


rain operator East Coast has been awarded Business Superbrand status for 2014. The prestigious annual Superbrands list is an annual initiative to identify and celebrate the UK’s strongest consumer and businessto-business (B2B) brands. East Coast’s commercial and customer service director Peter Williams said: ‘This reflects our marketing strategy to promote East Coast to current and new customers, most recently via our Feel at Home brand campaign, which demonstrates that everything we do is designed around the train experience which we provide for each and every individual.’ Chairman of the Business Superbrands Council, Stephen Cheliotis said: ‘Achieving Business Superbrand status places the East Coast brand among an elite of companies whose brand equity is helping to drive their business forward.’ East Coast recently began a £2.2 million upgrade of its on-train wi-fi to deliver a faster and more reliable ‘click and go’ connection. The company also recently announced that its customers have brought a record number of first class tickets. Almost a

quarter of a million journeys with East Coast were sold during a four week period in January – the highest ever first class sales for the operator since it started running the franchise in 2009. This was attributed to its largest promotion to date, the Big Seat Sale.

On a roll, the company has also been named one of Britain’s Top Employers for 2014 - the only UK transport operator to achieve the accolade this year.

Smaller and lighter . . . . . . than conventional systems, KNORR-BREMSE EP2002 DISTRIBUTED BRAKE CONTROL, designed and manufactured in the UK, uses advanced mechatronic technology to optimise braking performance across the whole train. Proven in service on London Underground and around the world, on metros such as Dubai and Shanghai, EP2002 is recognised as setting new standards in brake control. | |

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News in brief... 500+ applications for 27 apprenticeships o mark National Apprenticeships Week, Alstom released details of the response to its 2014 scheme, with 518 applications for 27 places. A single apprenticeship for an electrical and mechanical engineer at the company’s Glasgow traincare centre in Polmadie received 87 applications, and the 10 apprenticeships at its Power and Grid businesses in Stafford saw 185 people apply, with the four available at Preston attracting 110 applications.


Balfour Beatty becomes Stonewall Diversity Champion


alfour Beatty has become one of the first major construction companies to join Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme. The programme, run by the gay equality charity, helps employers to develop inclusive workplace cultures for their lesbian, gay and bisexual staff in order to ensure that all staff can perform to their full potential. Paul Raby, chief HR officer at Balfour Beatty said: ‘We’re proud to join the programme and look forward to developing our work around sexual orientation.’ Chris Edwards, client group manager at Stonewall said: ‘By publicly demonstrating its commitment to sexual orientation equality, Balfour Beatty is sending a powerful signal to lesbian, gay and bisexual people across the UK that it is an inclusive and progressive employer.’ Matthew Flood, general counsel of Balfour Beatty’s Support Services Division, is the group’s most senior openly gay employee. In 2013 Flood was recognised by the Financial Times as number 40 on the Top 50 OUTstanding in Business List. He said: ‘When you are free to be yourself, you are much more authentic. So many LGBT individuals waste a lot of time and emotional effort keeping their sexuality a secret from their colleagues that it actually impacts on their work. Failure to make the working environment an inclusive place means we don’t get the most out of our employees. It is up to senior leaders to make people feel it’s OK to be themselves.’

Atkins appointed to three electrification frameworks tkins’ rail business will deliver electrification design and engineering management services for three frameworks under Network Rail’s £2 billion programme. Over the next seven years it will work with main contractors ABC Electrification and the Carillion/ Powerlines Joint Venture on the London North Western (South), East Midlands and Scotland regions of the framework.


Eurostar reports strong growth for 2013 eadlines are: 2013 was the first year in which Eurostar carried more than 10 million passengers in a single year; 140 million passengers since services began in 1994 and the tenth year of growth in traffic; sales revenues up 7 per cent yearon-year to £857 million reflecting strong growth in corporate and leisure sales; operating profit up 4 per cent year-on-year to £54 million.


Page 10 April 2014

FutureRailway expand electrification franchise with launch of new competition


ince pantographs can’t be run too close together and are limited in the speed they can achieve, as part of the electrification programme, FutureRailway, the delivery team working on behalf of the crosscountry Technical Strategy Leadership Group, is launching a competition to design a new pantograph. The competition will look at pantographic dynamic behaviour measurement devices for use in rolling stock maintenance depots. Electric

trains which can run at faster speeds while coupled together in multiples could improve both train performance and network capacity. Improvements in pantograph capability are thought to be needed to realise these benefits. Innovators, engineers and designers are invited to develop proposals. The closing date for submissions is midday on Friday 2 May 2014. Visit: Funding.aspx

IL 4 A 1 R 20 K A y -U FR a n M IN 22 do n AT 0 - o S 2 L U · 2, T 45 rt SI D u VI d Co an ls St ar E



Approved by Network Rail Certificate of Acceptance: No. PA05/04429


For more information about Rosehill Rail’s Level Crossing systems, call Peter Anderson on +44 (0)1422 317 482, or email Alternatively visit our website

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News in brief... London Transport awards he 11th annual London Transport Awards saw the London Borough of Hackney pick up the top award for Transport Borough of the Year, with Abellio Greater Anglia picking up Public Transport Operator of the Year. Outstanding Contribution to Transport across London was awarded to Dave Ward for his work as Olympic delivery director at Network Rail. Martin Low, city commissioner of transportation at Westminster City Council picked up Outstanding Contribution to Local Transport. John Cartledge received the Lifetime Contribution to Transport in London.


Hail a taxi with Abellio Greater Anglia he Toc’s new free app and website, Cab and Go, allows passengers to book a taxi to or from the station and is to be extended to more stations after a successful pilot phase. Commercial director, Andrew Camp, said: ‘This is a further step in making rail travel even more convenient. It will be a useful tool for those travelling on business or visiting unfamiliar areas.’


Strong 2013 for National Express ormalised group profit before tax was ahead of target at £143.7 million, including a fourth consecutive year of record profit in core nonrail businesses. Business highlights in UK rail include bids submitted for Essex Thameside and Crossrail competitions and c2c achieving an industry-leading performance for two consecutive years.


Page 12 April 2014

Schoolgirl gets first year’s university fees paid after winning Network Rail girls in IT competition


17-year-old student has won the top prize in Network Rail’s first Could IT Be You? competition, designed to show girls what working in IT is really about and the career opportunities open to them. Zoe Moore, from Sponne School in Northamptonshire, will have her first year’s university fees paid for by the company and, along with five runners up, she will also get a two-week paid work placement with the Network Rail IT team this summer. The competition was launched in October 2013 after Susan Cooklin, Network Rail’s chief information officer, raised concerns about the rapid slide in the number of women entering the UK’s IT sector. The latest figures from e-skills UK shows the proportion of women working in technology roles in the UK has more than halved since the 1980’s. Zoe, who is studying history, maths, economics and product design at A level, beat more than 250 other girls aged 16-18 to the prize. Each had to answer a quick-fire questionnaire and compile a short essay showing how they have used (or could use) technology to make something happen. The authors of the top 80 entries were then invited to a networking day at the company’s Milton Keynes national centre. Zoe’s essay proposed a type of intelligent scanner which would read a school book text and then come up with suggested test questions to help with revision. Cooklin said: ‘Popular culture has helped create a perception among young women that a career in IT is all about writing code in basement offices – the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve been very pleased but not surprised at how engaged and excited about IT all the girls were who attended our networking day.’ A survey for Network Rail of 16-24 year old women in Britain revealed: • 64 per cent of women have not considered a career in IT • 28 per cent had but were not currently working in the industry • negative stereotypes put 10 per cent off pursuing a career with 43 per cent saying it was a lack of technical skill. A further 41 per cent said it was inadequate career advice or little insight into the industry • 58 per cent believe that a high level of technical expertise in computer programming or code is the most important skill for a successful career in IT. 23 per cent thought a degree or college qualification in a technology subject was most important • only 4 per cent thought good project management skills were the most important with only 7 per cent citing good communication skills as the most valuable. From 2008-12, the percentage of women in IT roles at Network Rail has grown from 26 per cent to 28 per cent, but only 20 cent of those applying for the company’s information management graduate scheme were female. Sarah Jane Crawford, Network Rail IT project manager, said: ‘Working in IT means that the types of companies you can work for is not limited and the experience you can gain is massive. It’s exciting, creative and fast paced and it’s an industry that has thrived despite the economic challenges of recent years. When I was 17 I didn’t imagine I would be working in the IT industry, but once I’d completed my degree in psychology and philosophy I looked at every option and couldn’t be happier with what I’ve ended up doing.’

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News in brief... LU begins search for New Tube supplier ondon Underground has begun searching for a supplier to build the New Tube for London - the next generation of deep-level, energy efficient, walk-through trains that are capable of full automation. The 250 new trains will operate on the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City lines, and will include air cooling for the first time on deep-level sections of the Tube, a challenge thought to be almost impossible to overcome until now. LU has placed a notice with the OJEU and a formal ITT is expected to be issued early next year.


Pop to the shops ransport for London has appointed Appear Here, the largest online marketplace for short-term retail space, to introduce pop-up shops across its retail estate. For the first time, retail properties within the London Underground network will be made available for shortterm rentals providing brands, artists and entrepreneurs with easy access to prime retail environments in central London.


Crossrail 2 wins global award he proposed link has been named Global Engineering Project of the Year at the 7th Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum, which honours projects that demonstrate technical engineering capacity, especially in the areas of design and creative problem solving. Crossrail 2 was nominated for the project’s ‘large-scale, innovative approach to building a new regional rail line through the heart of London’.


Page 14 April 2014

Fewer assaults on staff at Northern Rail


he Toc has released figures showing a 38 per cent reduction in physical assaults on staff in 2013, with 95 reported incidents taking place, half the number there were in 2009. Gary Stewart, Northern’s safety and assurance director, said: ‘This is due to a number of initiatives including a Stay Safe conflict avoidance programme that trains frontline teams on how to deal with potentially threatening situations and provides them with tools to diffuse incidents calmly. ‘Along with the British Transport Police, we have also run operations to resolve issues on specific lines or routes where alcohol-related problems have been prolific,’ said Stewart. Northern’s Rail Response Team which patrols the network to tackle anti-social behaviour, increased its level of activity last year, and the Toc installed 23 additional CCTV systems in 2013, bringing the number of stations covered up to 195. The number of physical assaults on staff is at a low level of one assault per 1.02 million customer journeys, the lowest since the franchise began in 2004.

First Capital Connect names new-look train in honour of anti-bullying organisation


wo Great Northern route trains have now been transformed as part of a £31 million refresh programme. First Capital Connect (FCC) has named one of them ‘Red Balloon’ in honour of a Cambridge organisation’s pioneering work with bullied children. All 40 Class 365 trains which operate on the Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn routes to London King’s Cross are being updated by Bombardier Transportation through an investment by Eversholt Rail who lease the trains to FCC. At the naming ceremony, which was attended by Red Balloon ambassador Dr Pixie McKenna from Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, FCC, together with Network Rail, Bombardier and Eversholt Rail, agreed to part-fund ground-breaking research. This will demonstrate the financial cost to society of severely bullied children not receiving the right support to complete their education.

Rail group to map out resilience strategy for Devon and Cornwall


rail taskforce pulling together a dozen national and regional organisations has been established, marking the launch of a high-level study that aims to protect a key rail link between Devon and Cornwall against extreme weather. Led by Network Rail, the study management group also combines expertise from the Department for Transport, the Environment Agency, train operating companies and local authorities. The group will steer the strategic review on the viability of three long-term options – retaining the coastal route, building a second line and re-routing the main line. Paul Harwood, strategy and planning director for Network Rail, said: ‘The catastrophic destruction of the Dawlish sea wall by the storm in February has made clear the need to re-think the long-

term strategy around changing climate and extreme weather. We need to review what viable alternatives exist – otherwise there will be severe implications for local and national economies, mobility and connectivity across the region and the wider UK.’ Forecast sea level rises, passenger demand, the impact on communities and environmental, social and economic factors will be considered as part of the process, as well as examining engineering options to strengthen the sea wall. The group will also be informed by findings from a study which will examine five potential alternative routes outside the coastal route. The study is due to be completed by early summer and it will serve to inform the Department for Transport on the options for a long-term transport strategy for the south west.

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Trainofthought Readers air their views about the railway industry and Rail Professional Please email your letters to: Alternatively post to The Editor, Rail Professional, Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU . Letters may be edited for length. Dear Madam, egarding excrement on the tracks: about three years ago, I had quite a debate with the Toc which at that time ran trains to/from Stanstead about the piles of human waste on the track in the (covered) station at the Airport. What a welcome to foreign visitors and what an introduction to British railways! The mess has been reduced, but was still there on my last visit.  And what a subject to be discussing in the 21st century!   The March edition of Railpro has some interesting issues to discuss.   Driverless trains or not! I can speak as an exdriver and later manager of underground lines. I think, at present, we have agreement around closed systems (as elevated/tunnel lines).  There seems to be no problem there. The debate is about lines in the open. If you are going to have persons working on the track or the possibility of trees falling on the line, then the issue centres on risk in such conditions. ‘We have the technology’ (not ‘to make the first bionic man’, as was said) but to run trains automatically, but, in such a risk-averse culture, can we take a brave pill and introduce it? Britain is probably a tad ahead in that our lines are fully fenced (although platforms currently aren’t in most cases); but, then, most high speed


lines abroad are, I think, becoming ‘closed systems’. As to the ‘driver’. On Crossrail and Thameslink, I suspect full auto working will apply only in the tunnels - at least to start with. Some London Underground lines now have full automatic operation in open sections - but why pay a ‘driver’ £50k pa and then just let him/her sit at the front and look at the scenery? On ‘main lines’ the interrunning with freight trains is also problematic.   Mr Priestman (Rail Professional interview March 2014) certainly wants to push the envelope.  And we need people like him to push concepts, although I suspect Moving Platforms is some decades away, even if the technology exists.  I was once involved, in a small way, with the development of a new Underground train. But the design was basically the same as trains of 60+ years previously:  just more plastic and electronics! Did anyone say:  look, we have a tunnel here and lots of people want to go from one end to the other - what is the optimum way to do that? A continuously-moving belt may well be the answer for short trips, cutting waiting time to zero. Non-stopping trains are not new: there was one at the Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924, although it was admittedly slowish in speed as far as I know. Some chairlifts, travellators, escalators and ‘paternosters’ are all examples of non-stop transport modes (although I believe that

Dear Madam,


ir David Higgins’ HS2 Plus review had some very sensible suggestions, including extending the line to Crewe at an early stage to avoid the traffic jam that would be caused by all those trains from HS2 and WCML converging onto the WCML there. I also welcome the removing of the HS1-2 link; it was never fit for purpose, either for passengers or freight.   From a railway operating point of view, we have demonstrated that the existing Euston station and approaches can cater for all the HS2 as well as WCML trains, except the suburban ones to be diverted straight into Crossrail via a link to Old Oak Common. So why go to the massive expense and disruption of lowering the level of the Euston platforms and building new ones just in order to have a deck above which is level with the adjacent roads?   We propose a deck above the existing station, along with lengthened platforms at the south end. Either way, the deck can provide excellent new passenger facilities as well as unlimited developer opportunities above; all it will need to be passenger-friendly are some escalators, which are much cheaper than lowering an operating station by 5m or so.

Page 16 April 2014

paternosters are now generally not available to the public). I agree that double-deck trains should be considered for the trains that will run only on high-speed lines in the UK. This should be OK, as they are being built to a so-called ‘continental’ loading gauge. I think Crossrail should have been double deck as well, but that battle has been lost.  Of course we will have antiquated ways of getting people on and off trains in the UK for many years (steps are still in use in some cases, I believe). But, until we get to a standard height train and preferably straight platforms, it will not be simple. London Underground is having platform-gap problems with its new S-stock on a much smaller system - but that’s probably due to mismanagement.   Many of these advances must be on the basis of festina lente. To take a parallel example: most English-speaking people find Chaucer’s works difficult to read, despite them being in English. The language is so different from today’s version. It has developed and changed step by step. The railway must do likewise.   Just some random - but I hope focused thoughts. Keep the magazine and ideas a-coming! Sincerely, Eric Stuart CMILT  MIRO

There is no need to demolish hundreds of properties to the West of Euston and its approaches for railway reasons. By all means re-erect the Euston Arch, but to widen the development beyond the footprint of what is required for the railway seems more of an ego trip than a necessity. The Euston approaches are well-designed for efficient operation. All that is required is to divert the HS2 tunnels from Old Oak Common to join the West Coast Main Line near Queens Park station, all within the railway boundary, and use the existing approaches to Euston or to the North London Line for the international trains to HS1.The tracks are there, pity they sold the trains to SNCF. There are many questions to be asked, and we shall now seek to meet Sir David to discuss these issues. It is certainly good he recognises that more work needs to be done to find a suitable solution to the Euston station issue and the link to HS1. And that he intends to approach it in an inclusive manner. Sincerely, Tony Berkeley, chairman Rail Freight Group

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In the passenger seat David Sidebottom Breaking down barriers to compensation on delays and cancellations


t goes without saying that getting delayed on a train journey can be very frustrating and enormously inconvenient for passengers. Getting cancelled can be even more disastrous. It is right that passengers receive some form of compensation under such circumstances. The top issues passengers raise with us regularly include train delays, refund conditions and levels of compensation. The Office of Rail Regulation’s recent report (see Rail Professional interview page 50) looked at compensation to passengers following a delay or cancellation. They found as many as 75 per cent of rail passengers ‘do not know very much’ or ‘nothing at all’ about their rights. It is of concern that awareness of rights is so low, with only around one in five saying that they were confident about arrangements for compensation and refunds. Two in five said they knew nothing at all about them. A lack of readily available or easily accessible information appears to be a key reason for this. The survey also identified a number of other issues associated with the process of exercising compensation and refund rights, including: uncertainty as to whether a claim would be successful and confusion around the process; the length of time required to make a claim; and that compensation is paid in vouchers. All of this has an impact on the extent to which passengers exercise their rights, with only 11 per cent of survey participants saying that they ‘always’ or ‘usually’ claim compensation when they are delayed, 15 per cent ‘rarely’ claim and 68 per cent saying they ‘never’ claim. ORR’s research chimes with our own which showed that as many as 88 per cent of those apparently eligible for compensation for their delay did not claim. Again reasons given were a lack of awareness. Of these, 44 per cent did not even think about it; 30 per cent think they were entitled: and 14 per cent knew they could claim but decided not to. Passengers say they think that making a claim will take too much time, is too complicated or that they won’t get enough money back. So what can be done? In the first place there is a need to boost awareness among passengers of their right to claim - passenger rights should not be hidden away as contractual small-print. Train companies can help to do this by letting passengers know when they are eligible for compensation. Why not make an announcement on a train that has been delayed beyond the compensationthreshold to remind passengers that they may be eligible? Why not hand out leaflets at the end of the journey? Why not put up posters at stations or on trains when there has been a particularly bad day? Why not put information on the website? We also need to make it easier to claim. Writing a letter is perceived as being too slow and cumbersome in today’s age so passengers want an online process as well as claim forms being

handed out on trains and stations. We know from our own research that once a person has claimed they are far more likely to do so again – so increasing awareness and ease of use will lead to more people exercising their rights. We also need to give compensation in the form that passengers want. People who have paid by credit/debit card expect to refunded in kind or at least to receive cash. What they do not want is a rail voucher that can’t even be used to buy the cheapest on-line fares. Why would a train company want to do this? I hear you ask. This may sound like ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’ but it could have an upside. Many other businesses turn their refund/ redress policy into a marketing device – ‘no quibble refunds’, ‘money off if you can find cheaper elsewhere’ – the aim being to make the whole process a positive rather than a negative experience. Train companies may find that being more proactive with compensation will begin to generate more trust and a greater sense that the company cares for its customers - and what business wouldn’t value that. The more goodwill the rail industry can ‘put in the bank’ the better. In the longer-term the introduction of smartcards also opens up new options. The act of clicking in and out can in theory allow the ‘system’ to work out whether you are delayed and by how long. From there it is a short-step to some sort of automatic repayment. But let’s not wait for technology to catch-up though. There is much that can be done now. David Sidebottom is the acting chief executive of Passenger Focus. (Anthony Smith is taking a career break and will return in May 2014) April 2014 Page 19


Laying down the law Claudia Gerrard

Keeping track Claudia Gerrard looks at the legal issues around monitoring staff and under what circumstances it is justifiable


t’s a common enough situation: you know or suspect that an employee is not performing properly, or worse is actively involved in some form of wrongdoing. But you want to make sure you have enough evidence before taking any action. What can you do? How can you make sure that your facts are correct without falling foul of the law? There are numerous pitfalls to be avoided: data protection, privacy and harassment, to name but a few. So what can an employer do? What right does an employer have to monitor staff? Much depends upon the activities the employee is involved in. As a starting point, employee monitoring can take many forms and is widely used by many organisations. There can be routine monitoring, which is random and not restricted to a particular employee. Or spot checks, if there has been a complaint or allegation, or where wrongdoing is suspected. A key method is routine checking or specific checks on emails. In sophisticated email systems, you can check for key ‘alarm’ words or monitor the addresses to which emails are being sent – both during employment and after an employee has left. This might be used, for example, where a former employee is breaching a restrictive covenant. If you suspect an exemployee of soliciting your clients, email activity before they left may provide the evidence you need to prove the breach. Latest technology can even allow deleted emails to be retrieved, if need be. Other instances where email evidence is useful are cases of alleged harassment. Employees often circulate jokes using the company’s email system and these may sometimes contain offensive material. In a recent matter, an employee claimed harassment and sex discrimination, which involved circulation of potentially offensive emails. Another popular form of monitoring is employees’ use of the company’s telephone systems. This can track time

Page 20 April 2014

spent on calls or volume of spend. Also a useful facility if third parties regularly visit your premises. A third form of monitoring is use of the internet. As with all forms of monitoring, this has particular implications, if staff are based at a third party’s premises. Take one instance where a client carried out such routine monitoring. As a result, it made an inadvertent and unexpected discovery. An employee, based on site but employed by an external company, was routinely accessing pornographic material via the

client’s internet systems. This ultimately resulted in dismissal of the employee. Many forms of routine monitoring can be justified on a number of bases. It may be necessary, as in the recent matter, where an employee is claiming harassment through inappropriate emails. Or, in the case of someone accessing inappropriate material via company internet systems. Also, where evidence is needed such as in cases of alleged defamation, if statements were made in an email, this would justify monitoring of emails.

Employee monitoring: ten top tips There are some key stages before any monitoring should be carried out: 1. Carry out an internal assessment: this is needed to identify the purpose of the monitoring and look at the benefits and results the employer expects to achieve 2. Look at the adverse impacts: consider the disadvantages of carrying out the monitoring and how it could affect an employee’s right to privacy 3. Consider alternatives to monitoring: think about whether the same aim can be achieved using a different method. If so, monitoring is unlikely to be justifiable 4. Consider the obligations involved in monitoring: this covers matters such as the employee’s rights to privacy and data protection obligations 5. Determine if the monitoring can be justified: it is important to document the reasons why you think monitoring should be carried out. This could prove essential evidence if an employee challenges your decision 6. Notify employees that monitoring will be carried out: this includes details of what monitoring will be

carried out and when 7. Notify employees why data is being obtained: explain why the monitoring will be carried out, being as specific as possible. Monitoring may act as a deterrent if employees know that the company is specifically looking at, for example, abuse of the company’s email and internet systems 8. Notify employees how information will be used: this is a general obligation linked to data protection. In particular, though, mention whether evidence obtained through monitoring may result in dismissal. 9. Notify employees of the people to whom the information will be disclosed: again as a general data protection obligation, limit access to the data to those employees who need to know and make sure that this is kept to a minimum. 10. Train staff who have access to such information: any staff who access the data must be made aware of the data protection and confidentiality implications of monitoring. Keeping records of training may also be useful evidence if the company’s actions are challenged.


Lucchini UK (LUK) is part of the Lucchini RS Group of Italy, specialising in the machining of train wheels and axles, the assembly of complete wheelsets for new passenger carriages and the maintenance of train wheelsets and gearboxes. LUK has met with outstanding success promoting the high quality of its products and intensifying a close relationship between Staff, Customers and Suppliers, in particular via its Continuous Improvement Programme called Lukomotion. The company commitment is constantly to update its machining capability and nondestructive testing technology and increase efficiency to keep up with customer demands for top quality, service and flexibility. As well as being approved to ISO 9001, LUK is certified to IRIS, RISAS and more recently added ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 to its long list of approvals.

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Appropriate and justifiable Apart from routine monitoring and trying to collate evidence, what else can a company do? Surely a company can monitor any activity where an employee is behaving inappropriately? In short, the answer is no. An employer’s actions may always be open to scrutiny. So, monitoring must be appropriate and justifiable in the circumstances. The employer must ensure there are specific policies and methods in place, in order to justify monitoring employees. And, even where there are policies in place, an employee is still entitled to a degree of privacy in the workplace and outside work. Plus the employer still needs to comply with the principles contained in the data protection legislation. This was shown in a recent case heard by the employment appeal tribunal. In that case, an employer was told that, although an employee was signed in for work, the employee was going to the gym instead. In that situation, the employer wanted evidence of the wrong-doing before taking any action. So what steps did the employer take to obtain that evidence? Well, the employer commissioned a private investigator to monitor the employee’s activities, which

included the use of CCTV surveillance. The surveillance showed the employee outside a gym on a number of occasions when he should have been at work. In fact, the employee had even specifically told his manager on one occasion that he was at work. The employment tribunal decided that the resultant dismissal was unfair. This was overturned on appeal, however, by the employment appeal tribunal. The employment appeal tribunal said that the dismissal was fair because the employer had used justifiable means to obtain evidence of misconduct. There were other issues raised, in connection with data protection and privacy rights. There was also the issue of whether surveillance inside the gym would have been appropriate. However, the case reiterates the fact that monitoring employees is permissible – in the right circumstances.

One final thought. The case has not clarified how far you can monitor third parties who are based on your premises. So, caution is needed when monitoring the activities of both employees and third parties. Ultimately, it will be a question of fact, in each case, as to whether the monitoring is justifiable. Claudia Gerrard is a legal consultant at Excello Law. You can call her on 07447 985647 or email her at:

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Are rail leaders on track with Dyslexia? A recent event at the University of Derby raised awareness of the issues surrounding dyslexia in the workplace. Chris Nutty looks at how it’s handled in the rail industry


he event was organised by Sarah Chapman, a Derby degree student and volunteer for the Dyslexia Association, an organisation that provides support and services for dyslexic children and adults, their parents/families, educators, employers and the wider community. Opening the event was designer and entrepreneur Sir Paul Smith, patron of the Dyslexia Association, who spoke about the positive affects the condition has had on his life and how ultimately, dyslexia has never held him back but instead made him more creative. Dee Caunt, chief executive of the Dyslexia Association spoke at a workshop on Dyslexia in the Workplace. She explained what dyslexia is and how, in most cases, there are simple solutions to deal with it. Also at the workshop, Amanda Wadsworth from the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) highlighted the financial support the government can offer to employers with dyslexic staff, via the Access to Work scheme. Delegates included Richard Holiday, head of training and development at First TransPennine Express, which is currently recruiting individuals for its new rail apprenticeship programme and is ‘keen to attract people from a diverse

talent pool’. Said Holiday: ‘The Derby event provided some helpful insights into how we can assist the development of everyone, including identifying where our colleagues have specific needs.’ East Midlands Trains HR director, Clare Burles said: ‘I found the event interesting and informative. As a company we are always looking to support our staff’s CPD in any way we can, for example we work with Union Learning Skills for Life tutors who support our employees in achieving the level of numeracy and literacy they need to get through internal exams for promotion.’ Call to industry to enforce change According to the British Dyslexia Association, ten per cent of the British population is dyslexic, yet it still

Page 24 April 2014

carries a stigma and is shied away from being openly dealt with by employers, particularly in the rail sector. Sarah Chapman organised the event to expel some common misconceptions about dyslexia and alert employers to the qualities that dyslexic employees can bring to the workplace. Said Chapman: ‘Although dyslexia can be challenging for some of the six million people that have it in the UK, with the right kind of support, their ability to compensate can be a significant component for success in business. There is a need to recognise that the few limitations associated with dyslexia are in fact obsolete and merely one facet of the condition.’ Sir Paul Smith believes the condition brings extraordinary abilities that enable him to visualise and create his designs. ‘These traits in reality are strengths and


skills greatly valued by employers, such as having a greater level of intuition and curiosity; innovation; problem solving; the capacity to think multi-dimensionally and in pictures using all of the senses, never mind the ability to create and alter perceptions and experience thought as reality.’ Smith pointed out that many adolescent dyslexics can develop a negative self-image as a result of an unsuccessful experience with education, and as adults they can fail to reach their true potential in the workplace. Smith urged companies to recognise that they have the power and statutory duty to enforce change. ‘Solutions to these issues can be very simple to implement and can result in more effective, efficient, productive and happier members of the workforce which can be a platform for success in such a competitive market today.’ TfL an industry leader Within the rail sector only TfL has a designated programme dealing specifically with dyslexia. The company offers a range of support to its staff coupled with awareness training for its managers. Kim Brown, TfL’s SpLD specialist, supports staff with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia and dyspraxia) and she explained that over the years this has grown into a broad range of provision. There are several strands to the support on offer at TfL. The weekly English for Dyslexic Learners classes are popular; staff with specific learning difficulties meet up to develop their reading, writing and spelling skills within a mutually supportive environment.  These classes can lead to qualifications, but many staff just like to improve their overall literacy skills. They can also book

themselves a full diagnostic assessment if they feel that exploring their difficulties further would be beneficial. This results in a full diagnostic report with agreed ‘reasonable adjustments’ leading to support being implemented on the job. Regular Dyslexia Awareness workshops are also held for managers and staff who want guidance on how to identify those who may need specialist support, as well as gain ideas regarding appropriate support within the work environment.  Peppered throughout the company are the Dyslexia Champions. This is a group of staff who informally network to provide on the job advice to colleagues who may need support for their dyslexia. This might include identifying if specialist voice recognition or screen-reading software would be useful in assisting with reading, writing and proofreading skills. Brown said: ‘I really enjoy my work at TfL, it puts me in contact with staff from the entire network so I meet an interesting and broad range of people. I’ve also had the opportunity to experience the positive impact of increased awareness and support for employees with dyslexia within the real world of work.’ A personal view As for myself, I have worked in rail operations for 38 years, but was only assessed as dyslexic three years ago. Since then I have had time to reflect on how the condition has affected my personal development, and more importantly, the part it has played in the safety critical incidents I’ve been involved in during my career. While I acknowledge the part my failings played in these incidents I also feel that my dyslexia added to these events. Since being assessed I have a better understanding of the pitfalls my dyslexia brings, and the importance of developing good working strategies to overcome the difficulties with my short-term memory, a common trait with dyslexia. This knowledge can only help me in my role as a train driver - it’s

Page 26 April 2014

all about recognising risks and applying safety measures. One driver I know of, with more than 20 years’ service, who told his Toc that he was dyslexic was released from duty and sent to the company doctor. This demonstrates a shocking lack of knowledge on the part of the driver standard managers involved. But is it their fault if they’ve never been briefed on the subject of dyslexia and the statutory requirements of the Equality Act 2010? While there’s still a long way to go in how the rail industry recognises and deals with dyslexia, the University of Derby event shows that attitudes are changing - hopefully through the realisation that many of the strengths most dyslexics possess should be welcomed within any industry that wants an innovative and creative workforce. To see the BBC broadcast of the dyslexia event visit For more information about dyslexia contact the Dyslexia Association, Sherwood House, 7 Gregory Blvd, Nottingham. Tel: 0115 924 6888 Email: Visit

Chris Nutty is an Education project worker at ASLEF. Photos by Sally Edwards of the University of Derby


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Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) Operating MPV’s on the South Western is a subsidiary of Translink whose Railway ollowing on from the South Western parent company is the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHCo), Railway MPV(multi-purpose and is one of three state-owned train vehicle) talk in January, Chris Loder, Our Annual Lunch for Members and Guests will be held at operators in the UK (and ultimately head of Business Projects, invited a group The Mermaid, Puddle Dock, London. On Friday 19th April controlled by the Northern Ireland of members from the IRO’s South East 2013 from midday. Our guest speaker is the Rt. Hon. Assembly). Area to visit one of the key bases of MPV Simon gauge Burns,common Minister of State for Transport. Using the 1,600mm operations, Effingham Junction. to NIR and IE, Northern Ireland has six Chris showed us around the facilities designated routes, all except provided for MPV operators, which have Tickets – Portrush£47.00 per head Coleraine at some point serving the been refurbished to provide an attractive Table of 10 – £470.00 per table capital city of Belfast. Much improved environment for the South West Trains prices are inclusive of VAT @ 20%) by rebuilding to (Ticket install better passenger drivers who are now diagrammed on facilities, Belfast Central has the greatest MPV operations. While we were there, a booking form at: Centre. This included a look concentration ofDownload services. Stations Operating works were ongoing to renew the five across the network are subject to a at the signalling floor, which controls road shed (formerly seven roads for Class rolling programme of improvements to the Midland Mainline from Sharnbrook; 455’s and steam before that). Chris also Call: 01785 increase the appeal of using rail248113 including the area formerly controlled by Trent showed us the new diesel storage facility lighting, signage, access and platform Junction; the rebuilt Nottingham station; which enables more diesel to be stored surfaces. There is also a plan to further the Robin Hood Line to Mansfield on site. He highlighted the movement of expand Belfast Great Victoria Street, Woodhouse and the start of the East water provision which now enables driver once the main terminal in the city and Nottinghamshire lines to Lincoln and diagram efficiencies to be made, as MPV which is better placed for the centre, by Skegness. units can be filled with water once inside concentrating more trains there, including The next part of the visit included the depot. the important Belfast – Dublin Enterprise time in the Trent Junction simulator, Attention then turned to the reason for service. which controls from Loughborough to the works being undertaken on the shed; Throughout the weekend the IRO Attenborough, Long Eaton and just South the MPV’s themselves. There were three party was well looked after by Hilton of Toton. This also has control of a number units on the depot at the time of our visit. and particularly by Gerard Holly (senior of level crossings, and these are simulated One of which was being prepared to assist customer services supervisor, NIR), who as well. with de-icing duties. Chris told us about ensured the programme went to plan. To complete the visit delegates saw the dual role the units have with track The visit included a tour of the Belfast the East Midlands Trains/ Network Rail/ clearance during leaf fall and de-icing of local IRO Area runs events all year arenew opportunities see howRailways otherscontrol floor Central signalround. cabin; aThere visit to the Devonto & Cornwall the thirdYour rail. Although these activities work, broaden your experience and add to your professional development. Adelaide train and signalling simulators and learnt of the remote monitoring cannot be carried out at the same time, and operating training facility; a tour of equipment of points and cable troughing the benefit of the being able to out more… Visit theunits website to find Adelaide maintenance depot and a chance to prevent cable theft. undertake both activities is that it is easy to have a closer look at some of the new to switch between the two. Class 3000 and 4000 trains. Rail investment in the North Special thanks go to Hilton Parr; Gerard Study trip to Northern Ireland raham Botham, principal strategic Holly; Tony O’Hanlan, signalling traffic planner for the LNE&EM Route he North West and North Wales supervisor; John Thompson, mechanical at Network Rail spoke to members Area repeated its successes of engineer; Pat Hunt, station supervisor from the IRO’s North East Area about recent years by organising a three Portadown. how railway investment is identified and day study tour. This time the visit was to funded, and how large a role it plays in the the compact Northern Ireland Railways CrossCountry Trains simulator and East economic success of the UK system. Midlands Integrated Control Centre Graham spoke about how strategic and Thanks to the help and planning of how considerate the enhancement plans Hilton Parr (head of rail customer services/ embers of the IRO South are for our railways. The strategy takes chair of IRO Ireland) and his team, an West & Wales Area visited the into account a large variety of influencing excellent weekend was enjoyed by all. CrossCountry Trains driving 1 West the initial planning 2 factors including a 20 year look ahead, the For the North simulator centre in Derby. The centre economic needs of the country, and the was undertaken by Roy Chapman, area contains two Voyager simulators with energy strategy. secretary,South whileWest TomArea: Cox (organiser of all three routes available to test Bristol Experience South Westdrivers: Area: Operations Day – example the toursModernising to date) took andRoute completed Meads to Gloucester; Coventry theover Western – SwindonTemple October 2012 West Somerset Railway, Minehead The October 2012 given, of the Northern Hub and Trans Pennine electrification, the planning. to Wolverhampton and Edinburgh to was fascinating as Graham talked through Torness. This allows all drivers to be tested how the programme was developed, what on a route they currently, or will later sign. we can expect to see and why the work is The cabs themselves contain everything being delivered in the order it is. a Voyager does. There are a number of But simply investing only works scenarios each driver can be put through to see how they react and how to deal with if you are enabling the movement of enough people, and generally this will anything unusual they may encounter. be people to/from their places of work. Each delegate was given the opportunity An exciting example was provided which to take the controls, facing events such demonstrated the huge success of the as a horse on the line, a freak snowfall, a Manchester tram system. signal not displaying correctly, and broken Overall the talk provided a rare insight windscreen. into the complexities and influences that Following this, delegates had the the improving rail network delivers. option to visit the East Midlands Railway


C o




April 2014 Page 29

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Irish Area For information on Irish Area events contact Hilton Parr at

Scottish Area For further information on the IRO Scottish Area please contact Jim Douglas on 0141 354 5684 or email at North East Area 8 April 2014: Forward facing freight A talk by Paul McMahon, director, Freight, Network Rail 20 May 2014: Level crossings – managing the risk A talk by Phil Graham, level crossing risk specialist 10 June 2014: Visit to a driving simulator Details of this event will be confirmed in due course 26 June 2014: Visit to Doncaster power signal box A visit to the Doncaster PSB on the East Coast Main Line followed by a social evening in Doncaster. All speaker events are normally held (unless otherwise stated) at the East Coast Academy, Platform 9, York Station, 17:00 for a 17:30 start. If you would like to attend any of these events or for further details please contact David Monk-Steel at

North West Area 22 April 2014: Northern Rail – the future? A presentation by Alex Hynes, MD Northern Rail. Time: 17:45 for 18:00 start. Light refreshments will be available 13 May 2014: Simulator visit and FTPE presentation An FTPE presentation on progress towards the HUB Time: 17:45 for 18:00 start. Light refreshments will be available 25 June 2014: Level crossing talk and site visit. This event will take place in Stokeon-Trent If you would like to attend any of North West Area event, please contact Tricia Meade at For general membership enquires please contact Carl Phillips at Midlands Area 7 April 2014: The Staffordshire Alliance A talk by Dominic Baldwin, senior programme manager, Network Rail 14 June 2014: Summer family day out 2014 The IRO Midlands invites members and their families to join us on a visit to the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway, for a

fun day exploring this thriving heritage railway For information on Midlands Area events contact Julia Stanyard on 0121 345 3833 or email: Events start at 17:30 for 17:45. South West Area For information on South West Area events contact Martin Bonnington by email: South East Area 2 April 2014: Charity quiz At The Parcel Yard, King’s Cross Station. Time 17:30 to 21:30. Contact: David Pinder at For further information on the IRO South East Area contact Jonathan Leithead at Young Operators To register your interest in IRO Young Operators events, please contact Petr Mikyska at More details of area events are listed on the website at





April 2014 Page 31


Delivering the goods Chris MacRae

The agenda for more rail freight Chris MacRae describes how the FTA is working with retailers to identify those factors that, if delivered, will help continue the growth in domestic inter-modal freight services


TA is working with its major retailer members on exploiting their potential for making use or more use of rail freight. This has led to the publication of On Track, a report detailing the experiences that eight major high street retailers have had in using rail freight as a part of their logistics supply chains. Critically what this publication also does is outline what those same retailers believe they need from the rail freight sector to enable them to make greater use of rail.

Page 32 April 2014

At the same time FTA has been leading a project with retailers on sharing (with FTA) road-based retail freight distribution origin and destination data. This has been published on an anonymised basis on FTA’s Mode Shift Centre website and is the first step in seeking to facilitate the matching of loads on similar journeys that could potentially be aggregated into freight train traffic. This is against the background of the UK Coalition government’s desire under its Big Society agenda to be less directly

involved in mode shift work itself but rather for industry and its representatives to lead this. For balance it must be said that the Scottish government is taking a more hands-on approach, organising seminars and workshops on mode shift, involving FTA and other freight trade associations as well as road and rail freight hauliers, logistics service providers and shippers. FTA’s Rail Freight Council comprises the different parties to the rail freight supply chain from shippers, to logistics


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service providers, rail freight operators, terminal operators and Network Rail, and is now moving to a more shipper focused agenda looking to deliver on the areas that particularly retail shippers have told us they need to see improvement in to facilitate their greater use of rail freight. The retailers contributing to the On Track report identified a familiar but solvable list of factors that will help continue the growth in domestic inter-

modal freight services. These are: • increased service frequency to match product lead times • more flexible timetables and service versatility • the ability to expand train capacity when needed • seven-day a week service to avoid spot road freight costs at weekends • more rail freight terminals

FTA will be hosting the middle seminar day on 30th April at the Multimodal exhibition where we will be looking to start a conversation with the rail industry as to how we work together to achieve this. The session The Agenda for More – getting freight on track will feature sessions from FTA, Co-Op, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Network Rail. Those interested in participating in the work of FTA Rail Freight Council as a member of FTA should contact the secretary Chris MacRae by email at : FTA’s Mode Shift Centre can be accessed at

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n Friday March 14, 2014, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer officially unveiled the newly refurbished rail station in Wokingham, representing the 400th station to benefit from the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP). The £6 million project has been funded by NSIP, in partnership with South West Trains, Network Rail and Wokingham Borough Council. The new station building was delivered by Spencer Rail. The refurbishment has delivered significant benefits for the station’s passengers, including a new modern station building, new toilets and wheelchair accessible facilities and a new cafe. Spencer Rail’s Managing Director, Raj Sinha, said: “The new building and associated works have completely transformed Wokingham Station. It looks absolutely fantastic and I am delighted that we, along with Network Rail, South West Trains, Wokingham Borough Council and our supply chain partners, have been able to create something that will add such huge value to the travelling public for many years to come.” The current NSIP project will run until 31 March 2014. For Control Period 5, the Government has allocated a further £100 million NSIP funding to be spent on improving station infrastructure, plus a further £100 million allocated to Access for All, a fund to improve access at stations and on trains.

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Greg Morse talks about industryrun Right Track, a popular magazine grabbing rail staff by the subsconscious with safety learning by stealth


t is a truth universally acknowledged that if a guidance document is written and published on the web, then the world must be a better place. It’s a nice idea, and much effort goes into producing guidance after guidance. Yet the problem with them is implied by their very name. Guidance? Ugh! Too many syllables, too much selfawareness and too many footnotes make some clatter like an unfitted freight over old jointed track. Don’t get me wrong – we need these valuable works of reference, with their details and their how-to-do-it-ness. But can they ever win hearts and minds alone? Let’s pedal back a bit… We know that, in order to foster an inclusive culture of safety improvement, our industry relies on high-quality, credible communication channels. We know too that safety is as much about people as it is process and paper – when it isn’t, planes start falling out of the sky and oil rigs explode, as the respective public inquiries into the Nimrod air crash (2006) and Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster (2010) confirmed. But what can be done about it? At a safety conference I addressed last October, a member of the audience said that the best way to get the safety message out to as many people as possible was to make it ‘sexy’. He was right: safety needs to be sold. Hmm. If only there were some sort of industry-wide publication, written in an easy, human, style, which promoted safety for rail staff. Well, dear reader, there is! I won’t bore you with the detail behind how Right Track came to be – life’s short enough! Suffice to say that – seeking a way of sharing best practice and safety initiatives across the industry (because what happens in Perth could easily happen in Penzance) – the (then) Operations Focus Group asked RSSB to produce a magazine for all who play a part in keeping the railway running. It was a move also supported by the ATOC Ops Council, the freight community, Infrastructure Safety Liaison Group and Network Rail. So we did. In many ways, Right Track – owned by the industry, but produced

by a team of us at RSSB – is just like any other magazine. The key point is that Right Track helps the industry combat complacency with continued vigilance. There are plenty of other safety organs, like the Learning from Operational Experience Annual Report and the RED DVD series, which are great for formal safety briefings – when people are brought together to ‘do safety’. Right Track is a bit different and has been designed to be flicked through in the mess room before the shift starts, or picked up from the signing on point to read at leisure later. Having said that, Right Track is also briefed formally by some companies very effectively. I remember seeing Professor James Reason – creator of the famous ‘Swiss cheese’ model of accident causation – at the RSSB Risk Management Forum way back in 2007. It was there that he challenged our industry by suggesting that RIGHT the ‘pendulum of culpability’ may have swung too far towards organisational or latent failures, giving them more weight than the unsafe acts of an operator. But in some ways, of course, that operator is the last line of defence, and they’ve long been involved in what’d now be called ‘knowledge management’. From the ‘mutual improvement classes’ of the steam era, to the online resources, simulators and DVD’s of today, these methods have been shaped by staff and helped them keep mindful of safe working practices. Amid all this remains Rolt’s classic Red for Danger (1955), which teaches its readers not only how accidents happen, but also to respect why things are the way they are. And of course Red for Danger tells a story…

Stories are memorable – their messages tend to ‘stick’; they get passed on in day-to-day language, can nurture a sense of community and help to build relationships. This is why that famous book – which isn’t only compelling in content, but in the way that content is conveyed – remains required reading for new starters some sixty years after publication. With this in mind, we deliberately developed a ‘house’ style for Right Track which was engaging and strove – where possible – to put the reader at the centre of the action, using plain English which inspires and repays re-reading. Often, this means writing in a ‘novelistic’ way, sometimes S it means pictures TER TRAIN GE OF CHARPASSENGERS LEN AL CH E TO TH GING RISKS of steam engines, AND MANA and puns…always puns… it means real people. How do we do it? Stuff gets written and then it’s printed. There you go – simple! Except it isn’t. Naturally, there’s a fascinating flow chart that shows how this is officially done, but the short answer is that we produce it in-house, drawing input and review from an industry editorial group, meaning that the Toc’s, Foc’s, Network Rail and so on are all involved. We also engage with colleagues across RSSB itself who have ISSUE 5

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expertise and a wealth of experience in railway operations and engineering. Anyway, we write it, fiddle about with it and send it to the editorial group and our experts for checking. We then make any suggested amendments and send the final draft off to the designer. A final ‘review version’, which closely resembles

Page 38 April 2014

the finished mag, is then shared for final checking – in a process that would be familiar to the editorial teams behind Professional, Steam World, MOJO, Rail Professional Motorcycle News and Woman’s Own, in fact. And it’s been produced, what is more, without any additional expense to industry over what existed before we started in 2012. Twenty-eight thousand copies of each issue of Right Track are printed and sent out to 400 different distribution points across the national rail, heritage and London Underground systems, including mess rooms, signing-on points, and breakout areas in stations, signalling centres, offices and depots. About 450 Right Track ‘ambassadors’ are e-mailed a link to Opsweb (, so that they can disseminate the digital version of the magazine via their own intranets or any other means at their disposal. I have to say, though, that the most popular form of the magazine is still the traditional hard copy, partly because the target audience – like signallers for instance – simply aren’t accessing the internet enough of the time to ‘catch it’, partly because many people are still more comfortable with ‘the real thing’. And people do seem to like it: thus

far about 99.9 per cent of our feedback has been positive – showing that Right Track…is on the right track. So with such a seemingly rosy picture, what’s the problem? Well, for a start, are we kidding ourselves? Do people read all about it? Or do dusty boxes fester in a forgotten corner with the old BR posters and oil lamps?! You’ll remember the Olympics of 2012 of course. They weren’t just a triumph for the country, they were a triumph for sideburns, and for the railway. Sharing. Things work well when we share. If we keep on doing it, we’ll win. We just need to remember – we office dwellers – to keep reaching out to the drivers, signallers and ticket sellers. We think the best way of sharing is via Right Track. So please send us the material…it could just be an idea, a few bullet points, or maybe you’ve got an interview candidate hiding away in a cab somewhere. We want to hear from you! Contact the Right Track editorial team via Greg Morse is RSSB’s operational feedback specialist and the rail editor of Right Track magazine. The views expressed in this article are his own. Follow Greg on Twitter: @GregMorseAuthor


Putting strategy into action The new chief executive at RSSB Chris Fenton says it’s ironic that change - such a constant in daily life - applies equally to GB rail, which has had to adjust, adapt and transform on a regular basis


n the post-privatisation era, RSSB has become part of the rail industry’s business support network. It too has evolved, from its roots in safety and standards to today supporting the sector in meeting its objectives across the range of challenges; reducing cost and carbon, increasing capacity and customer satisfaction and doing all this within a context of understanding risk. Perhaps for this reason, although a part of the industry for many years, RSSB is one of the lessunderstood components. Chris Fenton immediately recognised this fact. He was appointed as RSSB’s new chief executive last year, and officially took over in March and has been getting up to speed since joining the company in January. ‘Over the past few weeks I have tried to meet as many people as possible across GB rail, both inside and outside RSSB. I know I have still a lot more to meet, but already a common theme is only a partial awareness of the scope and purpose of the activities that the industry asks us to undertake. We can better explain what we do and why. ‘How we work with our members and stakeholders is critical. From Boards and sub-committees to their expert input into the many industry groups, we can step up how we make our work relevant and how we communicate the outcomes. A core principle is ‘by the rail industry, for the rail industry’. This is all the more powerful when we communicate effectively.’ Strategy into action Chris takes over RSSB at a time when industry’s investment in vision and documenting intentions is moving on to a point when strategy is being put into action. ‘Indeed, RSSB has supported a lot of the forward agenda for rail today,’ Chris reflects, ‘there are many examples, some headlines include: the research which helped put electrification back on the Page 40 April 2014

agenda for investment; raising the profile of sustainability as a cross-industry issue; and demonstrating the need for a dedicated innovation enabling capability. ‘Individual company plans such as Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan, or the whole system vision such as the Rail Technical Strategy have been prepared. Industry is now setting off on a new control period, which triggers changes in the way we view major issues such as cost, asset management and franchising. ‘So GB rail is now at a point when the activities, financing and vision for the whole industry have been agreed and we need to support industry making that strategy a reality. RSSB also needs to reflect this change and embed itself as part of that support. I am really looking forward to leading RSSB through this change.’ So why is Chris the right person to take the helm at RSSB right now? It’s easy to see from his CV why Chris was appointed to the role. He has built his career on working at interfaces. Whether these span different functions from operations to finance, from marketing to commercial, geographic interfaces with significant international experience or the relationship interfaces across joint ventures and working between public and private sector, he has first-hand experience. It’s also clear that Chris is no stranger to organisational intricacies or the transport sector generally. As a managing director at Amey, he re-established its Business Services activities as a profitable and key activity, before taking responsibility for the company’s interest in Tube Lines in a complex period of political change and economic challenge. Prior to that, he was managing director for the testing and inspection division of BSI, after an early international career in chemicals at Courtaulds. ‘I like working in complex environments,’ Chris outlines, ‘with a view to finding a way through the

complexity, and getting the most from the organisation through clear goals and by building strong teams.’ Chris is no stranger to technical or safety critical settings either: he trained as a material scientist, and spent most of his career in technical and engineering led organisations. Alongside his role in RSSB he is also a non-executive director at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. So why is Chris attracted to RSSB? ‘This is an exciting time for the rail industry. The new control period brings many of the challenges into focus and I am delighted to be leading RSSB to support its members as they tackle these challenges. ‘The organisation was originally set up the help the whole industry and its supply chain work together to improve safety,’ explains Chris, ‘From here RSSB quickly became the natural base for Network Rail, operators, ROSCO’s and suppliers to get together to make evidencebased decisions and share a combined knowledge hub of data, analysis, research and initiatives. ‘RSSB has strong credentials,’ Chris continues, ‘it’s cross-industry, it’s evidence-driven, and it boasts an

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The number one priority now is to turn strategy into action impressive range of technical experts. The significant legacy is a testament to my predecessor, Len Porter and all the staff for the results they’ve achieved over the last 11 years.’ So what now? ‘I need to carry on listening and learning, but the number one priority now is to turn strategy into action. The next step will be to outline to the Board and the staff how we’re going to deliver for members.’ Chris is talking to both in the next few weeks but he’s made no secret that he wants ‘strategy into action’ to be the overarching theme. Alongside this motif, he is adamant that he wants the organisation to sustain and improve its technical excellence but also do it more effectively and efficiently. Chris goes on to say this isn’t about flashy marketing but simply making sure people understand what we do, why we

do it and how it can help. ‘Don’t tell people you’re funny. Make them laugh’ is an oft repeated expression by Chris, and it sums up his approach and his passion and focus on delivery. To support this, early into the next control period RSSB will be launching its new website which will convey the meaning

and substance of activities with more impact. ‘So I’m looking forward to getting started,’ Chris concludes, ‘and help GB rail generate the tangible outputs and realise its goals.’ Visit

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Sustainability is key to our business Now and in future ERS Railways runs its long distance trains only based on electric long haul locomotives.In 2010, ERS Railways joined EcoTransIT in order to have access to a trusted source of information about emissions produced respectively saved.ERS Railways is authorized to issue certified reports on the amount of CO2 and other emissions saved. Reducing noise emissions by 50%? We are aiming to achieve it. On the noise reduction side ERS Railways together with our partners started a project introducing low noise brake systems. After the conversion to so called LL – brake blocks the wagons produce 10 decibels less (a halving of the perceived sound by local residents) on 30% of our trains running through the Rhine Valley. We plan to continue such kind of projects and are pro – actively searching for such kind of improvements, says Frank Schuhholz, Managing Director of ERS Railways. A wide range of rail solutions ERS Railways provides daily connections to and from several terminals in The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, The Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. ERS Railways also provides domestic rail services. Please visit our website and find out what we can do for you, by making use of our route planner. Contact details of our Sales departments Germany: +49 The Netherlands: +31 Poland: +48 Czech Republic: +42

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Are you experts at delivering winning performance? With the award season in full flow, Chris Williams-Lilley reflects on what makes organisations successful. The formula for a winning performance is understood, but why do so many leaders get it wrong?


esearch suggests that success comes from working harder and smarter than your competitors. For me, it is also about living up to your promises. The best place to start is with a ‘blank sheet of paper’…and some coffee. Gather your strategy team together and agree the end destination together with the type of journey you are going to take (perhaps collaborative?). Obviously, boil down the facts of exactly what your customers value your organisation for first. Creativity and value management come to life when you start to examine the supply chain. The true essence of collaboration in the UK rail industry is not new, but the new era of contracting is built upon common principles, shared values and behaviours, which will help deliver programme efficiencies, while leaving a positive lasting legacy. It’s important to determine the speed and the direction of travel when you develop your strategy too. Having a clear vision, mission and key objectives that are understood by all will improve the flow of information. Not from the top down, but actually from the bottom up. Building an organisation without borders, end-to-end of the supply chain will challenge key beliefs. You may have experienced this yourself. Key issues include; target pricing, risks associated with the work you may carry out, as well as benefits to the customer (if you have done your homework). So what does good look like? The Stafford Area Improvements Programme, Hitchin Alliance, and The Borough Viaduct projects are all on course to deliver major cost savings and value through collaborative business relationships (BS 11000). Across the rail industry organisations such as the Institute of Collaborative Working, The Institute of Value Management, and Innovate UK looked at how different companies can fit seamlessly together to accomplish a common objective. There is compelling evidence that information flow from the bottom-up is yielding significant results. So what does your customer actually think about you? If you get that winning formula right you can actually identify how you get referrals. Do you consistently deliver on your promises? Are you adding value, or

reliant on a relationship built on high risk, or transactional business?

inside and outside of the company.

Speed and direction of journey A hungry entrepreneur will tell you their main focus is helping their customers (and stakeholders) be more successful. Remember, people buy from people, not from a faceless organisation. Trust is also a big factor in building strong partnerships. True alliance partnering is evident only when the going gets tough, when a blame culture surfaces. In todays world, you work together to resolve a crisis or learn from mistakes.

Become an expert storyteller Awards this time of the year are great, but even if you’re a runner up you can still influence people by using your industry knowledge, your demonstration of intent and your ability to communicate a winning strategy effectively. It’s also time to stop thinking and start doing. Communication is a big part of sales and marketing. Become an ‘expert storyteller’. Your own experiences make your stories come alive. Keep it relevant and don’t be boring. If you prefer, use some mentors to sharpen your skills and try to be relaxed. Engage prospects with powerful messages that illuminate your conversations or sales discussions. Paint a picture for your client and try to understand their motivations to use your company. Use their language, listen to their concerns and offer a fair and measured response.This can be your best opportunity to offer a call to action. If your end goal is business transformation, you have got to be clear on your central message. Make your strategy fly by valuing what’s most important. How can your idea be applied to business today? What benefits are there to your employees, suppliers or indeed customers? After all, they pay the wages.

Focus on the important Recently we helped the managing director of a large tier 1 contractor develop its vision, mission and policy documents. After several workshops with its leadership team, we agreed a cohesive vision statement ‘to shape the future of our industry by preserving its heritage, keeping everyone safe, and share our resources.’ With a firm grip on daily tasks, by empowering the organisation’s teams to make critical decisions based upon facts, and share only the ‘valuable information’ that was needed by the business and its customers, the mission (how to get there) was easy. A great vision statement will convey the BIG idea. If when you engage on a bid your story is not compelling, you lack tenacity, or you’re just like any other supplier…your customer may just think ‘so what?’. It is essential to differentiate your organisation from your closest rival. Keep track of your key performance indicators, this will help prove your strategy is working – with no surprises. Always remember to check the trajectory of your journey regularly, develop a deep understanding of your customers’ key goals and add value at every opportunity. Keep your reporting simple, but make it concrete. Winning performance is all about making a customer even more successful. Do your KPI’s match those of your customer? Competitive advantage is all about what makes your company unique. Every member of your staff should know that, as well as understanding how their role contributes to making your organisation a success story too. Encourage your leaders to promote decision-making that supports sustainable change. This is healthy and will provide proof of alignment to your strategy – both

Planning the journey Winning performance is about shining a spotlight on your business, your people and your results. Practice telling stories and don’t rely too heavily on PowerPoint – the new era of social media has arrived. The overarching message of your vision should be simple. Your strategy and its application understood in the real world will quickly establish fresh thinking. Be thought provoking – becoming an agenda for success. We raise our glasses to the winners. If you would like help to develop your vision, mission or strategy, then we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact For workshop details visit www.eventbrite. April 2014 Page 45

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Do you run a service to recommend? Which?’s Richard Lloyd wants to see passengers’ experience put right at the heart of the tender process so companies respond to consumer expectations, and are held to account if they don’t


ur annual train passenger satisfaction survey certainly hit the headlines last month after we found worryingly low levels of satisfaction for some of our biggest train companies. We surveyed more than 7,400 regular train passengers across all of the train operating companies and compiled scores based on passengers’ overall satisfaction with a company and whether they would be likely to recommend it. This is the same criteria we use across all of the sectors we investigate. We understand that passengers, especially commuters on crowded routes in and out of London, can be hard to

please, but were still shocked to find 11 of the 19 companies we looked at had customer scores of 50 per cent or less overall. Greater Anglia and Southeastern were bottom of the pile with just 40 per cent. Top of the table was Merseyrail, which gained 70 per cent and became the first Which? Recommended Provider in the rail sector. Same names at top and bottom of list Critics pointed out that satisfaction scores were higher in the National Rail Passenger Survey carried out by Passenger Focus and that this survey has more respondents. This is true, but the surveys ask different things - we look at overall

April 2014 Page 47

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“Rather than quibbling over research methodology, we think train companies should be looking to address the issues raised by their customers” satisfaction over the last 12 months and likelihood to recommend, whereas the NRPS looks at satisfaction with the journey just undertaken. Interestingly, regardless of the actual score, the same names appear towards the top and bottom of both lists and a very similar order of train companies are in between. Rather than quibbling over research methodology, we think companies should be looking to address the issues raised by their customers. This is the third year we’ve run this survey and the same names repeatedly appear towards the bottom of our list, suggesting there is more to be done in terms of customer service and satisfaction. It’s especially disappointing to hear customers reporting some train companies are falling down on the basics of customer service, for example dirty carriages and toilets that don’t work. Around one in ten passengers told us they wanted companies to focus on making trains cleaner – twice as many as wanted better on-board catering or more staff at stations. It can’t be acceptable that First Capital Connect and Greater Anglia scored just one star for cleanliness on commuter journeys. We accept that some things such as old, inherited rolling stock, over-running engineering works and the weather, for example, are beyond the control of train companies. However, season tickets cost thousands of pounds, so it is reasonable that in return people expect to get a decent service including a seat and a serviceable toilet. It is heartening to hear FCC is investing more in cleaning trains and will have 40 new carriages by 2016. Greater

Anglia is in the process of improving three fleets of trains and installing free wi-fi at 100 stations, while Southeastern told us improving punctuality and reliability are priorities for 2014. This is a good start in winning customers back. A few days after our survey was published, the Office of Rail Regulation (See interview page 50) found that most passengers weren’t aware of their rights when a train was delayed or cancelled. This tallies with our findings that 11 per cent of people had reason to complain about their last journey, yet three-quarters of them didn’t, while 16 per cent of passengers said they had been delayed on their last journey, rising to 25 per cent of commuters, yet just 7 per cent said they were informed about their compensation rights. Of the people who did complain, half were dissatisfied with how the complaint was handled. This suggests better information and complaints handling when things do go wrong is another area for improvement. Missing a trick? We are encouraging passengers to share their feedback on our campaigns website, which we’ll collate and take directly to the train companies. With seven franchises up for renewal in the next two years, we think train operators

need to respond to passenger demand, listen to their passengers and act on their complaints. We want to see passengers’ experience put right at the heart of the tender process so companies respond to consumer expectations and just as importantly can be held to account if they don’t. This is a sentiment echoed by Passenger Focus and Rail Minister, Stephen Hammond, in response to our survey. It seems rail companies could even be missing a trick – around half of the people we asked (53 per cent ) said they wouldn’t mind paying more if they saw an improvement in service in return. Half (49 per cent) would pay more for a more reliable service, and a similar number (48 per cent ) would pay more to guarantee a seat. Four in ten (42 per cent) would pay more if the money went towards new trains and a third (32 per cent) said they wouldn’t mind so much if stations are refurbished. We will run our survey again towards the end of this year and we’d love to see more train companies eligible for our Recommend Provider status. Until then it seems some train companies have got to do much more to get back on track with their customers. Richard Lloyd is executive director of Which? April 2014 Page 49


John Larkinson If we’re not getting the message across clearly then we need to be willing to listen and take that on the chin and think about how we can do better John Larkinson, the Office of Rail Regulation’s director, economic regulation, spoke to Lorna Slade about working closely with the industry, ensuring the growth of freight and getting its messages across more clearly Q. You’re relatively new in your position, are you excited about the promotion? Yes. I enjoy working in the rail industry. I’ve spent the last 16 months virtually full-on doing the periodic review for 2014-19 and it’s been very tense, not just for me but for people across the industry, but I’ve really enjoyed it. I enjoyed getting to the point where we’d taken our decisions and explained them and published it all. But now I’m moving into new areas. Q. Such as…? It’s all very well having made those decisions but now we’ve got to implement them, so I’ll be working on monitoring NR’s financial performance over the coming period. I’ll also be working on access policy [to the rail network] and dealing with our work on consumers. Q. ORR was critical of NR’s underspending to the tune of £1.2 billion late last year. Is that pattern likely to continue in the new control period? If you look at NR’s total spend for CP5, it hasn’t underspent in total, but it has in some areas, so it’s a complicated picture, but most of the issue reflects the way it started the last control period. In 2009-10 it said ‘We don’t know how we’re going to achieve these efficiency targets’ and we saw a big decline in things like volume of renewals spend. Over time, the company built it up but it but was still behind at the start of this year in terms of maintenance renewals. Looking forward, that’s the sort of planning we don’t want to see happening in CP5 because it’s very difficult for the supply chain, for train operators and for everybody, because if you have a dearth of work then try to ramp it up it causes problems. So we’d like to see a more even spread of work, and Page 50 April 2014

that’s one of the reasons why in the periodic review we said we really want NR to say, upfront, what volumes of work need to be done in each area, and then basically to work to that plan. We’re not saying it can’t change that plan if there are good reasons, but sticking to it gives everybody more certainty, and I think NR would agree that will help avoid some of the problems we had previously. Having said that, NR is getting a lot better in this area and is more prepared in terms of how it’s going to achieve efficiency savings; it doesn’t need the whole period to think about that as it’s done a lot of the groundwork already. So in that sense its far better prepared and that’s good news for all of us. Q. The RMT blamed NR’s underspending on maintenance and renewals to the cuts made by yourselves, and said ‘ORR has got a nerve complaining about the impact of cuts on the one hand and then doling out another bunch with the other’. What do you say to that? Safety is integral to everything we do. I still hear people saying it’s not right to have both areas within one organisation, but having done one periodic review five years ago when we were just an economic regulator and one where we were both, I have no doubt whatsoever that it’s better to cover both. And maintenance is a classic example of that. We had a really big internal debate about what efficiencies could be achieved and if they could be achieved safely, and if you look at what NR proposed in terms of maintenance, we decided to make virtually no changes because we didn’t think the company could safely achieve any greater efficiencies. I believe we’ve really taken that into account and I feel satisfied with that. Q. You’ve demanded a further £1.7 billion of cuts from

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John Larkinson - INTERVIEW Q. They don’t like being blamed do they… No. They want NR to do their job and they want to do their job and cooperate together, which is entirely reasonable. There’s a lot of information in the public domain now and NR has been very happy to put all this stuff out there, but it’s now their jobs to make this work, it’s about moving on to the actual delivery of it, and that’s where we come in.

Network Rail from 2014, saying the new period represents a ‘fresh start’. You say ‘stretching targets and new incentives will get the industry working closer together in the communities they serve’. Is that realistic? In a number of areas we didn’t think NR had justified the money it had asked for – around spend on IT, buildings, R&D, where we thought it hadn’t made a well-argued and wellevidenced case. If you look at what happened between the draft and final determination, NR came back and said, ‘Hang on a minute, you’ve got that wrong.’ And in some areas we put a bit more money back in the system because we did listen and we addressed the situation in a robust and pragmatic manner. In other areas we felt we couldn’t take a final view on how much money NR should spend, especially around enhancements, because a lot of the schemes aren’t very welldeveloped, so we’ve said we will give it more time to make a final decision on costs in those areas. I think this approach gives the whole industry some space and time to work together to achieve an efficient outcome. Obviously we won’t know for another year how well that has worked but I personally think it was the right thing to do. Q What does Network Rail get right and what does it get wrong? If you look at what’s happened over the last control period, it’s very easy sometimes to forget the success stories because they don’t attract as much attention, so I’m pleased you put the question like that. I’ve got a chart showing around £9-10 billion of enhancement projects and we’ve got them labelled by green, amber and red. Green means ‘Delivered on time’ and you can just see a mass of green. Amber is ‘Ok but open to doubt’ and there are a few ambers. And there is one red. Now that’s a real success story. To deliver that scale of a programme in a very complex operating environment is a real achievement. On the other hand, as we’ve said publicly, NR is going to fail to deliver the targets we set for long distance train performance and we’ve already said we will impose a penalty for that. You can argue about why it hasn’t been delivered but that’s an area where in terms of the outputs we set the company, it wasn’t delivered, so there have been some real successes and some areas where NR hasn’t met the assumptions we made. Q. Transparency has been a big area for NR for quite a while how does it help ORR? You can look at Network Rail’s delivery plan and see for each asset, volumes of work by area, and that’s good for us. But we’ve already had some of the Toc’s come back to us and say ‘Hang on a minute – why has that gone down?’ or ‘Why has that gone up?’ So it’s not just about us, it’s about the operators seeing all the data and asking questions. Some of them really do get stuck in. I’ve been in meetings where they say: ‘That’s interesting John, you know you told us this, but when I look at this here, why has it gone down then?’

Q. One of your responsibilities is to make sure customers are better served. What did you think of the recent Which? report on passenger satisfaction? The results were pretty unimpressive. It’s interesting to see the differences between the Which? report and Passenger Focus’s National Rail Passenger survey, and it does seem to come down to how soon after their journey you ask people and what you ask them about. But what we’re interested in, like the rest of our industry, is seeing satisfied customers – passenger and freight. In coming up with a robust final determination we can obviously set the scene for that, but we are also responsible for enforcing consumer law, and we recently produced a report on compensation and refunds. It was interesting to see how that was reported because what we wanted to show was that the industry is already working well to improve in that area, but actually passengers’ awareness of their rights is quite low. So they’ve got some helpful ideas and we want the industry to take the lead, and it has told us it would like time for its ideas to work, which is fine, and we will only come in again if we see they haven’t worked. We want the industry to get credit for things it has done well but obviously if things aren’t going so well then someone should tackle it. Q: A couple of years’ ago, Justine Greening, the then Transport Secretary, talked about boosting the powers of the ORR in allowing it to perhaps directly police rail franchises, which went down like a lead balloon with Michael Roberts. Do you think whole industry efficiency can only be achieved when it is managed by one body? We carried out a joint consultation with the Department for Transport about a possible expansion to ORR’s role, which concluded that wasn’t going to happen. But more importantly, that got me wondering if we were working as well as we could do with bodies like the DfT. We monitor Network Rail’s performance, the DfT looks at what Toc’s are doing and it struck me that a more fruitful approach would be to take a joint view with the DfT about how overall performance was working. Q. How do you see yourself working with industry bodies like the RDG? Now they’ve merged with ATOC I think they have the resources, and we’re about to have a discussion on transparency, which is an area of mutual interest, so we’re quite keen to see where RDG’s planning to go on that. But on the other hand, it’s an industry group and it has to have its own space, so we don’t want to be inviting ourselves over, but if it identifies an area we can help in or it wants to know if we would find something useful, then we would welcome that good engagement. Q. What are you doing to ensure the long-term growth of freight? One crucial thing around freight growth in the future - and I’m sure the freight industry would agree - is having some stability around the overall framework of charges and of plans to increase capacity. And I think now we’ve concluded the final determination, people can be clear about the charges as well as the planned enhancements, because there’s quite a big enhancement package in there that will benefit freight. So in that sense that’s a platform for the freight industry to build on, and we do have fairly regular on-going discussions with it about other areas where we can work together and potentially do things better - for example on the future impact of HS2. April 2014 Page 53

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John Larkinson - INTERVIEW it is we’re doing and why, and I see that as something that I’ll be responsible for trying to do better in the future, because if people have those perceptions it must be partly down to the way we’ve explained it, so we need to do better. Q. What message would you like to get out to rail managers? The issue that I would hope we the ORR and me specifically will get better at is that people still tell us that they don’t fully understand what the ORR is doing in certain areas, or why we’re doing it. They don’t understand why certain instructions are coming out or points are being made, and that’s not a feeling I’m comfortable with. So if we’re not getting the message across clearly then we need to be willing to listen and take that on the chin and think about how we can do better. I’d like to think we will get consistently clearer to people because ultimately we have a role here, and like everyone else we take a professional pride in our work.

But in other areas it’s now about us monitoring NR to deliver, because within that package there is a lot of money for projects that benefit freight. The critical thing now for the projects is that we have to get the scope right; to get the costs right, and they’ve got to be delivered. So that’s something very tangible and it’s our responsibility to ensure it happens, and with that extra capacity then the freight industry has the ability to grow its business. Q. As you approach the start of the CP5 process, what thoughts do you have on making the process on freight charging quicker, slicker and less damaging to confidence than over the current period? The debate that went on over freight during CP4 about CP5 lasted a long time, and I recognise the impact it had on people. In terms of starting the next control period, we’ve already had quite a few discussions with RDG (Rail Delivery Group), because it said it would like to do some analysis of charges and incentives, and it wants to set out options and share that information with us. My response has been that we’re very keen to receive evidence-based pieces of work and ideas from the industry, and I’ve welcomed the RDG’s offer. Ultimately a periodical review is a statutory duty - only we can do one - and we’ve got to show ourselves to be prepared to listen to good ideas that are put forward , and if the industry thinks its work and ideas will make the process a better informed one then great, we’re ready to listen and we will take that into account. Looking back, the bit that was difficult, and that we can learn lessons from, was the part of the process where the freight industry was caught unawares by the way things were developing. The debate then dragged on and I understand why the industry said it was damaging, but I think the overall end point was a fair and pragmatic result.

Q. What would your ideal scenario for the future be? The railway as a whole has grown during the recession so it’s been a real success story. Sometimes when I mention this to people who don’t work in the industry they still don’t realise that. I expect the industry to continue to grow, I think costs have been brought under control and we’re going to see a more efficient railway with more satisfied customers. All the groundwork has been done to allow that to happen. Q. Can you tell me a bit about yourself - do you love trains? In the days before proper childcare I used to spend quite a bit of my time in signal boxes with my dad who was a signalman. I’m absolutely certain that would not be allowed on current UK safety legislation and I’m not condoning it, but I used to sit with him a lot. Mum worked part-time at a school and when she worked I sat with dad. I actually trained as a health economist and assumed that was my future path. I joined the DHSS (Department of Health and Social Security) and thought they would give me a healthrelated position but I got put in charge of pensions. After that, I went to work for the DfT on road pricing in London. All that work was shelved – and I actually remember the secretary of state at the time saying ‘This is never going to happen’! I then left the civil service and worked as a consultant for six years building big forecasting models on how land use and transport patterns interact. But during that time I got a phone call from a bloke I used to work with who told me a new body called the Strategic Rail Authority had been formed and was recruiting. He said, ‘You should apply, you’re the sort we need’ so I did, and then along with everybody else, we were closed down. Fortunately, I’d had a lot of involvement through my work with the Rail Regulator as ORR was called then, so when a job came up I thought it sounded interesting and that’s how I ended up here.

Q. How do you think the Toc’s view you? How I’d like them to view us is that we are respected for the work that we do and seen to be doing the work well. And that we understand the industry and are seen as a positive force. I think in terms of many areas of work that we do the industry does respect us. We had very good engagement with the operators about the periodic review on a whole raft of issues. Obviously they’re not all going to agree, that’s impossible, but I think people do respect that we try and look at the evidence. We listen and try to weight up views and adopt a professional approach. There have been areas where the Toc’s have been critical of us - we know that from our own surveys - sometimes they think we’re too slow, and there has been a perception that we’re trying to expand and take over in new areas when we shouldn’t do. I put that down as our fault as I don’t think we have explained clearly enough to people in some areas what April 2014 Page 55


Capability roadmapping – developing the means to an end Technology roadmaps tend to focus on what needs to be done rather than how to do it. Capability roadmaps, in contrast, focus on defining the underlying capabilities needed to meet future needs, says Rick Eagar


echnology roadmapping is all about defining a clear path towards meeting a set of future objectives or ambitions. This helps to develop a clear view of future technology needs, and to articulate the necessary research and technology development steps to meet them. However, technology roadmaps do have some limitations - usually they are based on a set of sometimesheroic assumptions about the future, often stretching forward as far as 20-30 years. These are increasingly difficult to make in the face of changes such as accelerating global completion, new customer mindsets and unforeseen technology disruptions. Technology roadmaps also tend to focus on what needs to be done, rather than how to do it: for example, they usually say little about whether a technology development will be conducted in-house or through collaboration, or outsourced. A technology roadmap may quickly become obsolete if it is too technology specific. For technology roadmapping at the industry sector, sub-sector or cluster level, the most common challenges are realism about what can be achieved, commercial viability of the technologies envisaged, sources of development know-how, and capability and capacity of the supply chain to deliver. Making the plans is the easy part; making them happen in practice is more difficult. How capability roadmapping can help Capability roadmaps, in contrast, focus on defining what underlying capabilities need to be developed to meet the needs of the future, and how they might be developed. Typically, capabilities are more generic than technologies, so a particular capability could be relevant for a number Page 56 April 2014

of technologies or else be a cross-cutting enabler. A capability roadmap often exists as a complement to a technology roadmap. While the technology roadmap defines what needs to be achieved, the capability roadmap describes how to get there, focusing on how the capabilities will be developed, rather than routes by which technological goals will be achieved. The benefits of employing capability roadmapping, whether at the level of a large corporation or an industry sector, are significant. They: • provide a rational strategy and set of actions for ensuring that capabilities will meet overall technological ambitions and goals • ensure that gaps in capability are clearly identified, and suitable

measures are put in place to address them – e.g. by partnering, training or acquisition • help to engage different stakeholders, for example suppliers, R&D providers, customers and support agencies, in a common development strategy • help to communicate to all stakeholders not just the ‘grand ambitions’ but also the practical measures needed to achieve them • provide a clear and transparent link between technology strategy and industrial development strategy. Example for industry sector capability roadmapping Under the joint sponsorship of the Enabling Innovation Team (now FutureRailway), the Technology Strategy

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Board and the Railway Industries Association, a set of supply chain capability road maps was developed for the UK rail industry in order to help achieve its technical ambitions for the future railway. The work included assessing the strategic importance, UK

Page 58 April 2014

supply chain strength, and international market potential of a broad range of capabilities – such as whole life system optimisation, simulations and synthetic environments, propulsion systems and many more. It also included a survey of current technology development

activities throughout the UK’s supply chain to assess potential future as well as current strengths. Using an approach that emphasised maximum engagement with the stakeholder community, a set of five routemaps was developed, each comprising vision, focus areas and enablers over the short, medium and longterm. Table 1 (previous page) gives an example of one of these Route Maps. In this example, which relates to the Low Energy Railway, the vision is defined in terms of milestones for capabilities that the UK railways will have developed in five, 10 and 10+ years. At the next level down, capability development is defined in terms of particular focus areas and priorities - this part of the roadmap is closely related to technology goals, which are intentionally ‘technology agnostic’ in terms of specific solutions. The bottom section of the roadmap sets out the key enablers, which are important actions that need to be taken for progress to be made. Table 2 gives an overview of the sort of enablers that might be relevant for an industry sector-level capability development initiative. Experience shows that in developing industry supply chain capabilities, attention to enablers is essential. All too often, the root cause of lack of progress in technological innovation is connected with obstacles such as absence of viable business models, unclear market potential or market access, restrictions caused by standards and specifications, difficulties in bridging the gap between laboratory and full-scale demonstration, lack of technology transfer from other sectors, and risk aversion and conservatism in accepting new technologies. Enablers are intended to focus on overcoming these barriers. This approach is already delivering

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Contrary to policy? The big vertically integrated rail monopolies kill the key elements of the Fourth Railway Package in the European Parliament says Tony Berkeley


he European Commission’s Fourth Railway Package raised high hopes among the independent passenger and freight operators on the continent or those thinking of setting up there, that, finally, they would be able to operate in fair competition with the incumbents, to have the same access rights and charges and would not be subject to unfair competition through hidden transfer of subsidies between infrastructure manager (IM) and incumbent operators. In short, to be able to operate in a fair and transparent single market for rail services, and thereby

encouraging private investment and growth. The Commission has recognised that competition above rail and total separation of IM (infrastructure management) from operations delivers real competition, innovation, investment and growth, as evidenced in the UK where passenger and freight traffic have grown by around 60 per cent since we restructured our railways in the 1990’s. Compare this with the state of the railway in France, where rail freight has dropped by 50 per cent in ten years and other operators find it almost impossible to provide a decent service because SNCF

controls access to the network, closures of tracks for maintenance (sometimes after the SNCF train and before the competition train is due) as well as predatory pricing of access. Sadly, our hope of a full liberalisation of the European rail network was dashed when German Chancellor Angela Merkel persuaded the Commission to water down the legislation so that DB could retain its structure of a holding company; the Commission caved in but instead inserted clauses providing for Chinese Walls between the parties; better than nothing. This was generally supported by the European Parliament Transport

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does in some member states, allow the IM to give priorities to its incumbent, to the detriment of the business of other operators.

committee in votes in December. However, when the legislation was voted on in the first reading of the plenary at the end of February, MEP’s, perhaps fearful of their re-election prospects if they did not accept the rail workers and incumbents’ lobby, agreed amendments which would take the structure back 20 years and, quite possibly, lead to just a few nationalised incumbents across Europe. Although in the UK we have generally achieved the structure which allows fair competition, this is certainly not the case in most other member states, so any UK operator considering branching out for a new passenger or freight operation should think very carefully unless and until this situation is resolved.

Our main concerns are:

• the result of the vote would mean, if unchanged, that the IM would not be required to be financially independent, so the holding company could allocate loans to the IM, with no need for transparency about how and for what purpose these loans will be used – they could be to provide unfair subsidies to incumbents • the incumbent operator would continue to benefit from the good rating of the national infrastructure manager, giving it a clear competitive

advantage over all operators not being part of the same integrated group and possibly raising state aid rules implications • the proposed new ‘alliancing’ between the incumbent and its integrated IM could be very different from the one currently operating south west of London, and would lead to more rather than less discrimination of nonincumbents in operational, financial, legal, managerial and other terms, with little guarantee that the regulator would be able to fully control it • it would be the holding company, no doubt with the assistance of its IM and incumbent operator, that would take strategic decisions on the development of the national railway system, quite possibly to the detriment of other operators who would not be consulted. The effective weakened role of the IM and the consequent strengthened powers of the holding and its incumbent is a real threat to all operators not being part of a national integrated railway structure. It would be further weakened by the fact that the holding company continues to nominate the management and the board of the infrastructure manager which makes the IM dependent on the holding and its main customer, the incumbent. This again can, and already

IM must have total independence and control I have welcomed CER’s (Centre for European Reform) stated commitment to competition and stronger regulatory oversight, but in order for there to be full and fair competition in a market such as rail, all the operators must be treated in the same way, with no financial or managerial links with the IM, no hidden subsidies, no back-door control by the incumbent of access or investment in infrastructure. In short, the IM must have total independence and control of the infrastructure in order to ensure that it treats all operators equally, and be seen to be doing so. So, overall, the vote of the European Parliament on the governance, which was heavily influenced by integrated incumbents to maintain their powers and market dominance, will not only have a direct effect on the opening-up of the current passenger and freight markets but also, for the national passenger markets, on the success of the PSO proposal. Without further independence, there will be no fair competition and tendering. This would mean that market opportunities both in the freight and passenger segments will not increase but decrease, threatening those having invested in it, and dissuade those who might invest in the future. In a few years, Europe may be left with just a few monopoly providers of rail services across Europe, with little competition and a resulting contraction in the market. There must be a fear that the Council may not be able to correct the vote of the European Parliament, and that the text may be further weakened, with even the few other remaining positive elements, such as the role of the regulatory body, the platform of IM’s and the important co-ordination committee between IM’s to encourage better co-operation across borders, being eliminated. There is therefore a strong view among independent operators that the Commission should consider withdrawing its current governance proposal to give a clear signal to the Council and European Parliament that the present version as amended by the EP is contrary to Commission policy on the single market, state aids and competition. This of course is a policy to which all member states signed up over the last 20 years. With a new Parliament and a new Commission, they should explore how to reintroduce a new governance part that really achieves the necessary liberalisation that is the key to the future of the railways. Lord Tony Berkeley is chairman of the Rail Freight Group. Visit April 2014 Page 65


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A beautiful thing? The TUC’s Frances O’Grady gives her perspective on the Fourth Railway Package


he progress of the Fourth Railway Package in the EU promises to be a particularly arduous journey, as the European Parliament and Council of Ministers negotiate their way through a Directive that has fundamental implications for the future of passenger rail operation across every member state. Rail unions across Europe, led by the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) have campaigned vigorously against the proposals set out by the Commission which are seen as clear route to embedding privatisation, a model that has failed to deliver on any of its promises when introduced to the UK. From the outset, the aim of the Fourth Railway Package has been clear. In introducing the proposals, the European Commission stated that it was ‘proposing to amend the public service EC Regulation 1370/2007 to make competitive award of public service contracts for rail mandatory and to amend Directive 2012/34/EU to allow general access to run domestic passenger services’. As the Commission itself notes, EC Regulation 1370/2007 currently allows the choice for member states to either directly award public service contracts

for rail passenger services or organise competitive tender procedures. The Fourth Railway Package, as originally set out by the Commission, could remove that choice from member states, with major implications for any in-coming government that wants to implement alternatives to the current failed franchising model on UK railways. The Commission also states that the proposals will ensure that: ‘institutional separation between infrastructure managers and railway undertakings (without ownership relations between the two types of entity) would become the applicable rule by default.’ Privatisation failing to deliver Research that the TUC and UK rail unions have commissioned, such as the Rebuilding Rail report from Transport for Quality of Life and The Great Train Robbery by the CRESC team at the University of Manchester, clearly shows that the break up and privatisation of the UK railways has failed to deliver on any of its promises. These reports highlight the dramatic cost escalation as a result of fragmentation, an increasing burden on the public purse through both

direct and indirect subsidy to private train companies, passengers faced with the highest rail fares in Europe and minimal private investment as profits are distributed as shareholder dividends instead of being reinvested in the service. The reports also expose the myth that passenger growth has been due to privatisation and instead clearly show that the increase has been due to economic growth and massive public investment. It is little wonder that a Which? magazine survey found that less than half of rail passengers were satisfied with the service and Passenger Focus surveys show a similar number of passengers say that their service offered poor value for money. Directly Operated Railways on the East Coast Main Line has shown that publicly owned and operated railways in the UK can deliver increased performance while receiving much lower subsidy than private operators and returning significantly more to the taxpayer, to be reinvested in the service. This is an option that will be closed to the UK government as well as rail passengers and taxpayers if the Commission gets its way on the Fourth Railway Package. Signs of hope As such, the recent amendments voted through by the European Parliament have offered some signs of hope to the UK rail unions campaigning against the April 2014 Page 67

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Commission’s original proposals. At its meeting of 27th February, MEP’s voted in the European Parliament to reject the forced liberalisation of passenger rail travel in the single market with an overwhelming majority, and the Parliament also voted through a number of changes, including the right for member states to directly award public contracts for passenger rail services, thereby circumventing the threat of mandatory competitive tendering. Further amendments included additional social protection for rail workers facing transfer as a result of the tendering out of services, some restrictions on the splitting up of national networks into several public service contracts and additional exemptions that authorities can use regarding open access providers. The Commission has reacted with some dismay to the vote. Commission vice-president Siim Kallas, responsible for mobility and transport said that the vote was ‘yet another demonstration of the tenacity of the vested national interests that proved more appealing to MEP’s than the balanced and well-reasoned compromises reached in December by the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN).’ It doesn’t take a Eurosceptic to

point out a troublingly jaundiced view of European democracy at work here from the Commission’s representative. The reason for the Commission’s concern is clear. Siim Kallas is worried that ‘this is not the strong signal that European rail needs and expects to increase its attractiveness.’ Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to the many of us campaigning for the right for governments to choose to run national, integrated railways under public ownership for the benefit of passengers and taxpayers, the Fourth Rail Package is actually looking slightly more attractive than it did at the outset. However, there is a long way to go and much of it remains up for grabs. The February vote was just the first reading in which the European Parliament defined its positions for the future negotiations with the Council of Transport Ministers. Now the Commission has to decide how to react to the parliament’s vote. Theoretically, the Commission can withdraw its proposal, make a new proposal or simply inform the Council of Ministers which amendments it will choose to support or not. The next body to take a decision is the Council of Transport Ministers and then informal negotiations will begin between

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the Forth Rail Package is actually looking slightly more attractive than at the outset the Council and the European Parliament, once the Council has arrived at a common position. Some predict that this process may not be complete until 2016. For now though, positions have been taken up and it is clear that this will not be plain sailing for the Commission. The TUC and UK rail unions will continue to play their part in campaigning with the ETF to ensure that a failed model of privatisation that has done little in the interests of passengers or taxpayers is not imposed on member states. Frances O’Grady is general secretary of the TUC

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Jeff Hoogesteger We consider ourselves a convenience provider or lifestyle facilitator Rail Professional spoke to Abellio Group chief executive Jeff Hoogesteger about ‘The Abellio Way’, passenger satisfaction levels, international best practice, and serving client needs rather than being driven by profit


alf Dutch, half South African, with a background in international logistics, Jeff Hoogesteger was appointed CEO of Abellio Group shortly before the company took on responsibility for the new Abellio Greater Anglia franchise in early 2012. With the Stratford Olympic site at the heart of its network, this was a daunting prospect particularly given the lack of a detailed operational plan when Abellio took over the franchise ‘With my background, I love nothing more than a challenge,’ said Hoogesteger. ‘The largest peace time mobilisation for a country is widely recognised as that for a summer Olympics. The near flawless performance of the transport system during that period was a testament not only to the partnership credentials of the whole industry, but also to the professionalism of the staff in our rail and bus companies. I was very proud to lead Abellio at that time and remain so as our people across Europe continue to provide essential services to customers every day of the week, every week of the year.’ Before coming to Abellio Group, Hoogesteger was corporate development director Europe for Abellio’s parent company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), Dutch Railways. ‘However, my journey started 28 years ago when I founded my own international freight transport and logistics business after spotting what I believed was an obvious gap in the market. In 2001 I sold that business and joined TNT where I worked in a number of senior executive and board positions around the world before being made chief executive of the Freight Management division.’ Continued Hoogesteger, ‘I was retained as chief executive when TNT Freight Management was acquired by the French logistics and transport group SNCF Geodis in 2006. We were rebranded as Geodis Wilson and over the next three years I served as a board member helping to grow turnover from €800 million to €2.5 billion, with operations in 54 countries.’ Was it the opportunity to manage an international business that encouraged him to move from NS to the helm of Abellio? ‘That was one of the attractions,’ admits Hoogesteger, ‘but the real attraction was the opportunity to run another international development programme. There’s little doubt that the Abellio Greater Anglia franchise and our new contracts in Germany had transformed the business in a short period, but there were also significant new opportunities to grow Abellio both profitably and sustainably over the longer term. I felt from Page 70 April 2014

the beginning that the key to doing so was to build energy and enthusiasm across the business for continuous innovation and responsiveness to the changing transport needs of society. This is something I find incredibly motivating.’ Opportunities to grow There clearly are opportunities for Abellio to grow. The company is currently bidding for three UK franchises (Thameslink, Essex Thameside and ScotRail) and negotiating with the Department for Transport on terms for the extensions of Northern Rail and Greater Anglia. Its UK bus company, Abellio London and Surrey, is also bidding for new routes and working to retain current contracts as they come up for renewal. All this is in addition to a busy programme on the Continent, where Abellio is running train, bus and tram services in Germany and the Netherlands, and a bid office in Copenhagen is working to gain a foothold in the liberal Scandinavian markets. Against this background, how does Hoogesteger maintain the energy and enthusiasm of staff for continuous innovation and responsiveness to customers across such a diverse business group? ‘It certainly isn’t simple,’ he admits, ‘but complexity should never be a barrier, and personally I enjoy tackling complex issues. They often have simple solutions. ‘Our staff are the most important part of our business. I decided very early, therefore, that Abellio needed to engage them all, regardless of sector or nationality, with a programme that would communicate the vision of the business and their role in delivering that vision. I call that programme ‘The Abellio Way’. ‘Abellio knows that to succeed as a business, the transport industry must be in good shape. Our way allows our people the freedom to be themselves so that they can achieve their full potential, not only while they are with us, but throughout their entire career; this is our commitment to travel as a whole.’ Slip in satisfaction However, it takes more than a cultural programme to build continuous improvement. What does Hoogesteger make of the recent slip in satisfaction scores for Abellio’s biggest UK franchises Northern Rail and Abellio Greater Anglia? ‘The regular National Passenger Survey is an extremely valuable tool for rail businesses. We take the findings very

seriously and every six months review our service strategies to address significant results. I’m disappointed of course that overall satisfaction with Northern has declined slightly (-2 per cent) compared to Autumn 2012. Nevertheless, I was encouraged to see it has improved (+2 per cent) since the Spring 2013 survey. The results show that this improvement was driven by higher satisfaction with the cleanliness of Northern’s trains and also higher punctuality. We’re continuing to invest in areas that will improve our customers’ experience with us; including the upkeep of our trains and keeping passengers informed, particularly during disruption.’ ‘At Abellio Greater Anglia overall satisfaction was 80 per cent, compared to Autumn 2012 when it was 83 per cent. We have to remember that Autumn 2012’s score was inflated by the magnificent performance during and after the Olympics which I mentioned already. Autumn 2013, however, was more challenging and the period included extreme storms. The geography of the franchise makes it very susceptible to disruption because of fallen trees and other debris obstructing rail lines and damaging overhead power lines. We’re not complacent though, and continue to make good progress investing in station improvement schemes, in better customer service and rolling stock upgrades. I hope to see the results of this investment reflected in future surveys. ‘At the other end of the scale, though, we have Merseyrail who delivered overall satisfaction of 93 per cent, which represents the company’s second highest score, surpassed only by the 96 per cent of Spring 2012. The geography of Merseyrail makes it less suceptible to weather-related disruption, but this shouldn’t overshadow the amazing efforts of staff who work very closely with our our client, Merseytravel, to deliver the highest levels of service and information we can for passengers.’ The success of Merseyrail’s approach was highlighted most recently in the Which? survey of UK train operators where the business topped the industry league table and made it the first

train company to become a Which? Recommended Provider. Quite an accoloade, but how does Hoogesteger explain the wide variances in performance by these Abellio companies? ‘As I said, there is clearly a geographical factor at play. Nevertheless, it isn’t as simple as that and you can be assured that we are working hard to facilitate learning and best practice exchange between the key staff in these businesses. I am working closely with the UK management teams to make sure we respond appropriately to the most recent NPS data in all our companies.’ International best practice The exchange of best practice is a frequent mantra across the transport industry. What makes Abellio’s approach any different or better for passengers? ‘We’re one of the few, and possibly the only operator with a fully funded international best practice exchange programme,’ points out Hoogesteger. ‘The programme has regularly resulted in the sharing of ideas and innovations by Abellio staff and these have delivered service improvements for passengers. ‘Abellio’s best practice framework is at the at the heart of our business approach. We serve passengers better by cascading best practice throughout our companies. The most recent example of this is the new Bike&Go scheme. Based on a hugely successful Dutch scheme called OV Fiets, Bike&Go is the UK’s first fully integrated cycle hire scheme for train stations. ‘At £3.80 for 24 hours hire it represents a healthy, attractive and affordable way to continue a journey from a train station. In the Netherlands it has stimulated modal shift from car to train by more than two per cent, and that’s in a country where bikes outnumber people. We’ve adapted that scheme for the UK market and have now rolled it out at almost 50 stations across our franchises.’ On the subject of international experience, is Hoogesteger comfortable with the fact Abellio is able to compete for UK April 2014 Page 71

Welcome to the Abellio Way The ability to move freely, safely and with ease is a precondition for a successful society. This has always been and will remain the role of public transport within communities. At Abellio we believe our responsibility to passengers extends beyond their journey on our trains and buses, so our services are focused on a single objective: delivering the full door-to-door journey requirements of our passengers. This is the Abellio Way: Beyond a-to-b. Across the Abellio group, we operate rail, bus and tram services in England, Germany and the Netherlands, and every day over 12,500 of our people ensure that 1.4m passengers reach their destinations safely. Without the diligence and commitment of our people who consistently deliver our core values on a daily basis, we would not have the reputation we do for customer service and partnership working. We take great care, therefore, to invest in them as ambassadors for Abellio. Our way, the Abellio Way, focuses on talent management and international best practice programmes, which allow our people the freedom to achieve their full potential.

And we don’t just encourage excellence, we reward it with our annual Abellio Achievement Awards. Open to employees of all levels, the awards recognise and celebrate outstanding performance in six categories: Excellence, Bringing the Abellio Values to Life, Innovator of the Year, Leader of the Year, Team of the Year, and Employee of the Year. Our culture, our values, our commitment to customer needs and our dedication to creating world class partnerships represent the very essence of Abellio; it differentiates us in the world of public transport. It is the Abellio Way.

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Beyond a-to-b

Jeff Hoogesteger - INTERVIEW

services when its Dutch domestic market remains closed to competition? ‘Abellio was established in 2001 with a view to expanding the experience of NS into new markets, and it is the customer who is the first beneficiary of this broadening of horizons and experience. Since that time our focus has quite naturally been on the liberalised countries in which we are able to compete on a level playing field: the UK, some states of Germany, Sweden and, you may be surprised to learn, the Netherlands where Abellio has bus and tram services. And Abellio isn’t the only private operator in the Netherlands - Arriva (DB),Veolia (SNCF) - are operating commercial, competitive services

there. The core network of the Netherlands may not be open to competition, but the complexity of that network in one of the most densely populated countries in the world makes liberalisation a challenge we have to approach cautiously.’ Confident of the Abellio name Returning to the UK, we asked Jeff about the gradual appearance of the Abellio name on the Greater Anglia franchise over the past six months. The recent publicity about excrement on the tracks at Liverpool Street Station would make most owner groups squeamish about applying their own name to an operating brand. Why is Abellio so confident about doing so? ‘First let me deal with that particular issue. It certainly does make me squeamish, but this is an industry-wide issue not unique to this franchise. Many of our trains already have retention tanks fitted and some additional carriages are currently being upgraded with new toilets and retention tanks. You’ll recall that Abellio Greater Anglia is a short franchise, though, and we had to accept the rolling stock specified in the franchise agreement. Upgrading will therefore be a gradual process, and in the meantime we are asking people to use the station toilets while trains are parked.’ ‘However, issues such as this should not influence brand decisions. The correct focus for such decisions should be the desire to engage and motivate staff in order to continuously improve performance. This is our aim with the Abellio Greater Anglia brand. This simple brand evolution has been developed as part of a Group-wide brand approach aimed at leveraging performance and best practice across all Abellio companies. We’ll do this by embedding the common values and strategic behavioural framework of The Abellio Way, which I mentioned earlier.’ ‘This branding programme is an evolutionary process April 2014 Page 73

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Jeff Hoogesteger - INTERVIEW which will keep costs down and allow us to roll out benefits for Abellio Greater Anglia customers. For example, all staff will be coached in Abellio’s clear and easily understood values system. At a more practical level trains will get a deep clean when we replace faded logos, labels and posters.This will run in parallel with planned rolling stock paint programmes, for example MK3 and Class 90 locomotives. Aligned with station maintenance and redecoration key stations will receive new way-finding (signage), which has been long overdue. Marketing communications, websites and digital platforms will also be reviewed and and refreshed, for example the Abellio Greater Anglia website will be comprehensively reviewed over the next four months in order to improve functionality.’ A ‘lifestyle facilitator’ The phrase ‘beyond a-to-b’ is quite visible in the Abellio brand, what does it mean? ‘Passengers travel from door-to-door, rather than from station to station,’ explains Hoogesteger. ‘Their journey goes beyond a-to-b. With our portfolio we are able to combine modalities, retail and station development into one service concept. We consider ourselves a convenience provider or lifestyle facilitator. Concepts like Fixing the Link, MtoGo and Bike&Go are results of that. Our solutions are not simply profit driven, but aim to serve client needs, both passengers as well as the tendering authorities. This represents a major opportunity for us to be different from other train operating companies and, as I’ve described, we build on it by sharing best practice to expand the value for money we can offer.’ Busy right now So what’s keeping Hoogesteger busy right now? ‘Other than the many bids and other negotiations across Europe, I’m preparing to host our annual staff awards, The Triple A’s. These are the

inaugural staff awards for Abellio Group, and will cement The Abellio Way programme. I’ve been through all the shortlists and have been impressed, humbled and moved by the entries. I look forward to meeting the nominees face-to-face and rewarding them for their actions and commitment. ‘We have also just launched Abellio’s graduate trainee programme in the UK, and again I’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction. Talent is crucial for building sustainable success and I’m delighted that Abellio is now in a position not only to incubate talent from within but also to introduce young graduates to the challenges and rewards of the passenger transport sector.There are few other sectors that can rival it for the development of business expertise. I should know.’

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Rail interiors

The inside story Companies within the rail interiors sector should be looking to work together in collaborative clusters to maximise business opportunities. That was the message that emerged from a recent meeting of the industry’s key players


oventry University in association with the Rail Alliance - the businessto-business networking organisation for the rail industry - hosted the event, Rail interiors: the inside story, at its city-centre campus last month. More than seventy representatives from manufacturers, suppliers and other SME’s across the country attended to hear high level experts from both industry and academia outline their thoughts on the future needs and developments of the rail interiors sector. Speakers at the event included

Chiltern’s former chairman Adrian Shooter, Laurence Al-Shaar from Eurostar, David Clarke of the Future Rail Enabling Innovation Team and Coventry University’s Elaine Mackie, a senior lecturer in design theory and analysis. The latest thinking and technology on all aspects of rail interiors from design seating and accessibility, lightweight structure and washroom facilities to safety and security systems were explored during the event. The conference also outlined how customers and suppliers could access funding programmes and presented plenty of opportunities for networking. But the key focus on the

day was very much around the positive business benefits which could arise from the formation of a new rail interiors cluster. Benefits of being part of a bigger group Colin Flack, CEO of the Rail Alliance, said: ‘We wanted to offer a unique opportunity for companies within the rail interiors sector and those

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Rail interiors

looking to break into it to network, to meet, share expertise and do business with each other. ‘Above all, we wanted to ensure that people went away with a greater understanding of the benefits of being part of a bigger group by delivering practical advice about the concept of clustering. We know that companies are looking for a relevant platform where networking and collaboration is supported and facilitated.’ A comparative example of the merits of collaborative working was provided by Jason Aldridge, managing director

of Arrowsmith Engineering, who highlighted the success of the Coventry and Warwickshire Aerospace Forum (CWAF). Formed in 2008 with ten companies specialising in all facets of the aerospace industry and supply chain solutions, the forum now has a turnover in excess of £100 million and works jointly and individually and in collaboration with leading UK universities and professional associations to meet the ever -changing demands of the sector. Expanding on the theme of cluster working David Wright, Coventry University’s associate pro-vice chancellor for Major Initiatives, added: ‘Smaller players sometimes have difficulty getting their voice heard or bringing their innovation to market. The old adage of ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ is very apt when we look at businesses working together. ‘There are some great examples of the power of collaborative working

like the Coventry and Warwickshire Aerospace Forum which we heard about at the conference. We believe that there is some great rail interiors capability in the region and beyond, which is why the Rail Alliance and Coventry University are encouraging companies to become part of a rail interiors cluster. ‘We can provide tools and support to help them shape that cluster to ensure that the sector’s capabilities are brought forward and developed.’ The messages conveyed were well received with Michael Knight, development manager at Coventry University and one of the conference organisers, hailing the event a great success. He said: ‘We were delighted with the number of attendees, the speakers and the amount and quality of the networking that took place. We know that a couple of companies have already agreed to meet again to further discuss possible avenues of cooperation and we’re sure there is a great future in developing the Rail Interiors Cluster.’ Those who missed the event but want to find out how to become part of the Rail Interiors Cluster can contact the Rail Alliance at to register their interest. The next Rail interiors: the inside story event will take place on the 12 March 2015.

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Rain and more rain: managing landslip risk on rail earthworks New technologies and an approach that focuses on risk help make the most of limited information and resources. Samantha Godden and John Halsall explain how such a risk-based process can be applied to the management of earthworks


uring the recent wet winter of 2013/14, as continual storms battered the south and west of the UK, geotechnical engineering featured rather more in the news than usual. Reports of landslips, sinkholes, groundwater flooding and coastal failures showed the public how much the infrastructure that supports their daily life, is itself supported by that which is hidden below the ground surface. Dramatic landslips affected the railway network, for example, several failures occurred on the Tonbridge to Hastings line in Kent which closed it for a month.

Given the age of the UK railway network, much of it dating from Victorian times, it is not surprising that minor landslips are regularly seen. The original cuttings and embankments were constructed without modern

engineering knowledge, design processes and construction methods. Many of them have mixed geologies, are over-steep and poorly compacted by today’s standards; few have site investigations or as-built records which usually help engineers to understand the ground’s hidden risks. Managing this ageing earthworks asset to keep the railway operational is a real challenge, particularly in periods of exceptional rainfall such as we have seen this winter in the UK, and also recently in the very wet summer of 2012. This sustained wet weather coincided with an increase in earthworks failures and associated disruption. A robust balance of proactive and reactive measures is needed to keep the railway operational. Both new technologies and an approach that focuses on risk help to make the most of limited information and resources. Arup geotechnical engineers, asset managers and risk specialists have great confidence that the use of riskbased prioritisation methods will add significant value to the complex and challenging decision-making process; this is a view shared by Network Rail. In this digital age, new tools are becoming available to support the earthworks asset manager’s role. LiDAR topographical surveying, GPS referencing of video and photography, and wireless technologies improve coverage of remote parts of the network. GIS databases help create a joined-up digital model, containing a wealth of data that can be overlaid and analysed to understand the risk profile of a railway network. Formal risk management techniques help to compare and prioritise the most significant risks across different asset types, including earthworks, even where there is a degree of uncertainty. Railway earthworks and their

behaviour do have inherent uncertainties, some of which are listed below: • natural ground is typically variable with mixed geology in many earthworks. • earth fill was often end-tipped into railway embankments in an age when the importance of good compaction wasn’t fully understood, and many embankments have since been topped up or widened with ash and other poorly controlled materials • the variability of the ‘trigger’, for example the exact amount and location of heavy rainfall • a lack of information that would help to assess an old asset, such as geotechnical desk studies, ground investigations or as-built drawings • the interaction between earthworks and other features such as drains and culverts: these are vital for removing harmful water but are not always under the railway operator’s control. The result of this is that earthwork failures will occur in unexpected places, not only at the usual problem ‘hot spots’. Given the size of the UK rail network, it is impractical to inspect every earthwork during and after heavy rain or to impose blanket speed restrictions. On the other hand, it is recognised that the likelihood of a train colliding with a failed earthwork and causing a safety incident is higher during periods of heavy rain. Individual slope failures cannot all be predicted, due to the uncertainties listed above. However, a network-wide system of prioritising the highest risk sites has the advantage of highlighting not only the earthworks most likely to fail due to heavy rainfall, but also those busy routes or vulnerable tracks with the April 2014 Page 81


worst potential consequences if a landslip should occur. Figure 1 shows a simple framework for assessing an earthworks, asset portfolio for the risk of rainfallrelated failure. Matching the highest risk sites up to the rainfall forecast allows targeted control measures to be applied for each storm event. Likelihood of an earthwork failing In theory, the likelihood of an earthwork failing can be assessed using statistical analysis, modelling, or expert judgment. In reality, and certainly in the case of the UK railway network, detailed modelling of each and every slope is impractical. Therefore, expert judgment can be combined with analysis of the limited statistical data available, to rank embankments and cuttings in terms of their relative susceptibility to failure.

length of earthwork is scored by its overall condition, depending on both ‘static’ features such as geology and geometry and ‘dynamic’ (i.e. changing over time) observations of movement or landslip potential. A key indicator for likelihood is an earthwork’s condition score. Other inspected features that could make an asset more vulnerable in the particular scenario of heavy rainfall, such as poorly maintained drainage, nearby watercourses, natural seepages and water concentration features, can also be used to increase an individual asset’s ranking in terms of failure likelihood. The consequence side of the risk equation is less about the geotechnical factors and more about the rail environment and the layout of the track. Assuming that any earthwork even into water. All of the above scenarios are likely to be more severe where higher speed trains are involved, and the safety consequences would increase for heavily occupied trains. Clearly, different locations around the network will have very different severity of potential consequences, and the risk-based decision-making framework should take these into account. Figure 2 illustrates a risk matrix combining likelihood and consequence scores and hence placing all earthworks into one of four risk categories from ‘Low’ to ‘Very High’. Using the logic described above, a typical ‘Very High’ risk rated site might comprise sidelong ground: with a cutting with a high failure likelihood (poor condition, blocked drains) on one site, and a rail vehicle drop-off hazard on the downhill side of the track. Another high-risk scenario might be a cutting in poor condition with drainage problems and high linespeed/ multiple tracks, leading towards a high collision hazard such as overbridge abutments.

The likelihood assessment starts from the available information about the nature of the earthworks. For Network Rail, data about its 17,500km of cuttings and embankments is gathered by periodic walk-over examinations by geotechnical engineers, and uploaded into a networkwide database. Each 100m (five-chain)

failure could lead to a derailment, due to collision with debris from a cutting or loss of support to the track from a slipped embankment, the events that might follow could range from derailment only to subsequent collisions with oncoming trains, obstacles such as bridges, part of the train falling down an embankment or

Testing an ageing infrastructure to new degrees In summary, recent weather events as well as long-term changes in weather patterns are testing an ageing and stretched infrastructure asset portfolio to new degrees. Changes are required to ensure that reactive measures are in place to continue to manage earthworks safely as well as proactive measures to provide a long-term sustainable programme of works that will ensure that railway earthworks remain fit for purpose in the future. This article represents the personal views of the authors and not Arup or Network Rail.

Samantha Godden is senior geotechnical engineer, Arup with contributions from John Halsall, technical services director, Network Rail April 2014 Page 83

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t least 12 major winter storms between mid-December to mid-February contributed to a belief that this winter saw the stormiest period of weather for at least 20 years1. Some parts of the UK received more than twice the average winter rainfall, with South East England and Central South England seeing a 238 per cent increase. While rail companies battled to continue to provide a service, in the interests of passenger safety some services had to be cancelled or lower speed limits imposed to minimise the consequences if

a failure had occurred. Extreme weather conditions can have lasting effects and now that the worst of these winter storms seem over, rail engineers have the job of assessing the damage to the infrastructure and finding cost-effective solutions. Now is also the time to review the existing process used for site monitoring and consider whether there are effective alternatives which would bring labour and cost-saving benefits. Sufficient monitoring systems itmsoil has a long-standing relationship

with Network Rail to supply automated monitoring systems, some of which provide regular data updates of accurate reliable and timely information from sites while others are designed to alert engineers of condition changes to an asset which might impact on its serviceability. The technology used in remote condition monitoring systems has improved significantly over the years, enabling Network Rail to benefit from an ever-increasing range of accurate, low-cost sensors. These technological improvements, coupled with increased costs for manual monitoring and a

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heightened awareness of health and safety issues associated with visual inspections, mean remote monitoring is a more viable choice than ever. Following detailed discussions about the issues Network Rail faced at Hooley Cutting, where numerous slope failures had resulted in the need for a monitoring system, a near real-time monitoring system of a rain gauge and draw wire system with cameras was proposed. Reflecting on the project, Graham Birch, senior asset engineer at Network Rail, said: ‘The key to the success of this project was in using the best available technology while constantly sensechecking against the locational and operational constraints associated with working alongside a live railway. It’s triumph was borne out by a number of years of reliable data with no unexplained alarms; which has built up a high level of confidence in the system. Building on this success, Network Rail could move forward with the application of similar systems elsewhere around the network, where real-time information on slope mobilisation is crucial to line safety.’ Subsequent to this, Network Rail appointed itmsoil to design and install automated monitoring systems on a number of large cuttings between Salisbury and Exeter. ‘These remote condition monitoring systems are a valuable tool when deciding if we need to route prove after overnight periods of heavy rain’ commented Hector Kidds, Network Rail senior asset engineer, who added, ‘Where slope movements were detected or when river levels reached a critical point, this information was used to caution or stop the service, thereby reducing risk to the travelling public and moderating the need for engineers to manually assess the site conditions, often in extremely poor weather.’ While slope failures and track inundation caused by extreme weather cannot always be prevented, effective monitoring enables the remote managing of a full range of asset conditions, including water levels in rivers and culverts, ground saturation levels and slope movement without even having to visit the sites. Ensuring that sufficient monitoring systems are in place to provide effect warnings could make all the difference in the ability to keep trains running at optimal safety and operational performance. Nick Slater is business development manager at itmsoil.


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A concrete solution to the Dawlish disaster Professional Concrete Pumping (formerly Pochins) has finished carrying out emergency repairs to the decimated railway line in Dawlish which was destroyed in the recent storms


echnical specialists from Professional spent around three weeks pumping 4,500 cubic metres of concrete into the first of the precarious sections of the sea defence wall to have been annihilated to help prevent further erosion. They were initially prevented by the dangerous weather from beginning emergency repairs as soon as they had hoped, and slept in their cars next to the equipment while waiting for the second storm to abate. Further concrete was required to repair an additional 15 metres of sea wall destroyed in a second bout of appalling weather, along with various elements of seafront along the battered coastline. The team used a Putzmeister 36m boom pump to deliver concrete across distances of up to 180 metres alongside two static pumps – one on duty and one on standby - with work carried out 24 hours a day by seven men working 12 hour shifts. The first round of storms saw around 80 metres of the coastal defences fall into the sea after being battered by huge waves, leaving a significant stretch of railway line hanging perilously in mid -air and cutting off a vital train link connecting Devon and Cornwall with the rest of the country. Temporary protective containers installed to prevent further damage were breached a few days later, and waves eroded the sea wall by a further 15 metres. Professional Concrete Pumping commercial manager Tony Alders explained: ‘The project has been very successful and everything has gone according to plan. On the first Friday we had most of the equipment set up, but because of the horrendous weather torrential rain and wind speeds of up to 80mph we couldn’t start straight away. ‘The next night another 15 metres of

coastline disappeared into the sea. Due to the awkwardness of the set up, which involved going down flights of steps, we needed additional 34 and 22 degree bends to compensate for the angles, and we finished the set up on Saturday night. ‘The work was ongoing most days and most nights, but was tide and weather dependent. Men were on standby 24/7, initially two men by day and two by night with two fitters taking it in turns, working three or four days in row. Then we moved to having three men every 12 hours plus a fitter because of the length of the pipeline. On some days we managed 400 metres and some only 100 metres.’ Professional Concrete Pumping district manager John Pippet said: ‘The whole project was more complex than originally anticipated. We needed to get enough concrete to one spot before the wall breached again. If we were to have put too much concrete in one go it would have put too much weight on and would have moved the shutters. So we had to do it in stages rather than as a mass fill so that each layer could go off before the sea got to it. ‘As well as the work in the main area where the railway line was hanging out over the sea we also did some repairs at Dawlish Station, at Dawlish Warren, and at other little breaches at various points across coastline. There are bits and pieces which will go on over next three to six months. No-one will be aware of what damage has been caused until it gives way.’ European concrete pumping record Professional is well-used to reacting swiftly to disasters, with a recent example being its handling, under its Pochins incarnation, of a tunnel collapse on the London Underground Jubilee Line after it flooded a few years ago. On that occasion it broke a European concrete pumping

record, achieving a distance of 3.5km. The team was in emergency mode pretty much as soon as its services were requested following the Dawlish disaster. ‘Our first phone call from Dawlish was on the Tuesday afternoon. By the Friday morning we’d organised two statics and had 150m of line delivered. By Thursday afternoon we’d organised fitters and operators 24/7,’ explained Alders. The company has a great deal of

experience with flood defences, although most are part of a planned programme of work. A few years ago the Professional (then Pochins) team spent almost a year working on the £30 million Defra-funded 2.2km Dymchurch sea defence scheme, a major component of the Environment Agency’s sea defence programme stretching from Folkestone to Rye on the Kent coast. The scheme aims to provide protection against breach, assessed as a 1-in-200-year storm event, and to prevent overtopping, assessed as a 1-in-100-year storm event. Almost all of the visible fabric of the sea defence is concrete.

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Solving Somerset’s transport problems Nigel Bray describes Railfuture’s campaign for an integrated transport authority for Somerset, as the county really needs greater information and co-ordination between different modes of transport


n March 2013 the Department for Transport announced plans ‘to reduce barriers to use of sustainable local transport’. In other words, a seamless travel experience by public transport would be encouraged by means of accurate and accessible information; convenient and regular connections between modes; and one ticket for an entire journey involving different operators. The Door to Door Strategy is intended to make using public transport an attractive alternative to jumping into a car. County councils and unitary authorities already have a statutory duty to promote public transport, although some would appear to be falling well short of meeting the spirit of the Door to Door Strategy. I experienced at first hand the difficulties of making a combined rail and bus journey in Somerset when I represented Railfuture at a Sedgemoor district council scrutiny

meeting at Bridgwater rugby club in September 2013. My journey on First Great Western from Gloucester to Bridgwater, changing trains at Bristol Temple Meads, was faultless but I was shocked to find absolutely no information at Bridgwater station about onward bus travel. First Bus had recently re-routed its town buses away from the station and there was no indication as to where the nearest bus stops might be. I walked into the town centre and found the bus station, where a supervisor told me which bus would take me near to the venue. Unfortunately the driver didn’t know the stop for the rugby club but a passenger who did helpfully pointed out that the return stop was about 200 yards ahead. I took the precaution of visiting the latter stop for return bus times but it had no timetables. I hammered these deficiencies at the meeting, where the scrutiny committee

passed a motion calling for accurate bus timetables to be displayed at all bus stops and at both railway stations in the Sedgemoor District. (Sedgemoor’s other rail station, Highbridge & Burnham, was displaying out-of-date bus information on the same day.) The chairman of SDC was very sympathetic but pointed out that the responsibility for transport coordination and display of timetables lay with the county council. An opportunity to pursue these issues soon came at the Somerset county council’s public transport forum at Taunton in November. A very useful group session on railways, led by SCC’s sustainable transport officer, reached a consensus that the county needed to define its rail priorities and discuss them with neighbouring authorities if its train services were not to be squeezed between the ambitious plans of Devon Metro (based on lines

April 2014 Page 91


radiating from Exeter) and Metro West (based on the rail network of Greater Bristol). It is pleasing to report that several local authorities are now involved with a feasibility study into reopening the stations at Wellington (Somerset) and Cullompton (Devon). Somerset is of course a signatory of the Peninsula Spine rail report aimed at improving the network in the far South West. I was less encouraged at the public transport forum by the answers I received in another group discussion focusing mainly on buses. When I contrasted the scarcity of information at Bridgwater with the excellent area public transport timetables produced by Devon county council, I was told that SCC did not consider it necessary to produce timetable information in print. Not everybody, particularly older people, has internet access or a mobile ‘phone app. One very contentious aspect of SCC’s transport policies has been the withdrawal of many evening and Sunday bus services to achieve budgetary cuts. This has also reduced the effectiveness of the county’s rail network for people without cars because in most cases there is no onward bus connection after early evening. This social and economic deprivation is unlikely to be reversed without intervention to develop and promote public transport. Railfuture Severnside chairman John Hassall recently commented, ‘Somerset county council seems content to just let public transport run itself. This ‘hands off’ attitude can’t deliver the decent public transport we need, which is why we are pushing for an integrated transport authority.’ A meeting with government Interest in an ITA motivated a delegation from Railfuture to meet Baroness Kramer, Minister of State for Transport and two of her staff at the DfT in mid-February. By Page 92 April 2014

then we were also very concerned about the long-term resilience of the rail network in the South West following the damage caused by extreme weather, particularly on the Great Western main line at Dawlish and Fordgate (between Bridgwater and Taunton). We raised the question of transport integration in Somerset but learned that there is no statutory obligation on county or unitary authorities to display timetables. We then asked whether the DfT was prepared to issue guidance with a view to provision of basic information and access by public transport to health and education. We also voiced our concern about SCC’s sale of the freehold of the West Somerset railway to its voluntary support group, the West Somerset Railway Association. WSR is a very successful heritage railway and major tourist attraction but does not operate all year and only very intermittently into the national rail system at Taunton. In January Railfuture responded to WSR’s Ten Year Plan consultation and made the case for daily commuter services to give access to jobs in Taunton, Exeter and beyond, as well as helping to keep younger people in West Somerset. We seriously wondered whether a voluntary body such as WSRA would have the resources to accommodate regular through trains or maintain the line’s infrastructure in severe weather. Responding to these concerns, Baroness Kramer said that the Coalition was moving away from central direction and in favour of devolution for transport, even though it might not like the decisions that some councils might make. She suggested we worked with the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP’s), who were developing transport strategies. When we pointed out that Taunton was on the boundary of two LEP’s, she told us that Stephen Williams, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Communities and Local Government, was co-ordinating the strategies of neighbouring

LEP’s. She added that ‘the underlying problem with a council that isn’t very interested in public transport is essentially political.’ The minister appeared to welcome the idea of an ITA for Somerset or the wider South West, although she believed that bus/ rail integration projects could be funded by the Local Growth Fund if a business case could be made. She said she had reminded LEP’s that small schemes often delivered large benefits. Kramer accepted our view that the legacy of rail closures such as the Okehampton route to Plymouth had undermined the resilience of the network during severe weather. The DfT was looking at possible additional routes and had been in discussion with local authorities on the timing of electrification to Exeter. She also agreed to raise our concerns that the cost of essential repairs and weatherproofing might set back pre-planned enhancements such as Metro West. Nigel Bray is secretary, Severnside Branch, Railfuture - the independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for passengers and freight.

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A vision for Welsh transport within reach Westminster must devolve the remaining powers over transport in Wales to the National Assembly so the country’s railways can be upgraded to meet the needs of the 21st century...


hat’s according to a new report On track for the 21st century: a development plan for Wales and the borders, produced by campaign group Railfuture. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson says the Welsh assembly government is key to making these improvements. ‘Devolution has brought a better democratic focus on regional issues, and things have happened in Wales, not just in a railway context, which would not have happened if things have been controlled from London. ‘However, the Welsh assembly government has been concerned with managing the existing franchise, and this report offers an opportunity to step back and look to the future with a clean sheet. This is particularly important at a time of recession, where everyone in both local and national government is concerned about managing today’s problems.’

The report’s key recommendations follow: Franchising Wales needs devolved powers to be able to change the franchising system. The current Wales and Borders service is a 15-year franchise, and to make any improvement requires a costly variation to the contract. For this reason, the report calls for an end to rail franchising for passenger services, and for the Welsh government to set up a government-owned, arm`s length Welsh rail company. However, the clock is ticking, and Westminster and the Welsh government must speed up their current discussions on the devolution of the remaining powers so that, when the current franchise ends in 2018, Wales will be ready with a ground-breaking, Welsh-owned rail company. Re-openings Previous editions of the report have called for re-openings of the Ebbw Vale line and the Vale of Glamorgan and Maesteg lines, all of which have now come to fruition, along with improvements to other services. The current plan examines every line in Wales from the cross border lines entering the country to the extremities at Fishguard Harbour in the south and Holyhead in the north, and calls for the re-opening of the lines such as Llangefni on Anglesey, to Hirwaun from Aberdare, and to Caernarfon from Bangor, the latter being a particularly good example.  Caernarvon is the county town of Gwynedd, and is a big tourist destination. Turfing people off a train and onto a bus at Bangor is completely unsatisfactory, and a reopened line would allow a  link up with the Welsh Highland Railway. Improvements Take for example the Swansea-Newport corridor which is horribly underdeveloped in railway terms considering the size of the population. The service provided doesn’t compete effectively with the M4. April 2014 Page 95

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Improvements to the service patterns can achieve a significant switch to use of rail, for example increased services to and from Maesteg, Pembroke Dock, Milford and Fishguard Harbour. Rail services in Wales should operate 365 days a year and that the frequency of services on many routes – such as the Heart of Wales line - should be increased to a basic minimum to make them much more userfriendly There is scope for new services that are not in any of the existing franchises. A half hourly fast service from Cardiff to Bristol Temple Meads and beyond would provide the direct connection between Wales and the West of England and the South Coast. The electrification of the Merseyrail system needs to be extended to Wrexham Central enabling through electric working from Wrexham to Liverpool. Along the north Wales coast line, a half hourly Bangor service to the east should be provided by four long-distance services all operating every two hours. High speed High Speed 2 has an impact too, and the plan looks at the options for connecting into the high speed network. Office development close to the railway in Cardiff may block the introduction of additional high speed lines into the capital’s main station. Walking and cycling to stations Railfuture hopes the Welsh government will use the powers of the recently introduced Active Travel Bill to provide improved walking and cycling routes to railway stations. These improvements to facilities at stations and on trains, and the quality of passenger information. These can all help to encourage modal shift from car usage. Electrification The coming electrification programme needs to be controlled by the Welsh

government and must be a continuous rolling programme rather than a stop-go system with years of do-nothing in between lines being electrified. Freight Electrification can help to increase rail freight’s market share. The plan lays out strategies for development, covering not only freight terminals and marshalling yards, but also other operational aspects. A network of mini-terminals at 20-30 mile intervals would provide complete regional cover, and a compliment to electrification would be the development of a selfcontained diesel train for freight traffic, the freight equivalent of a passenger diesel multiple unit. Integrated transport The report highlights the importance of linking up railways with high-quality bus routes.  Wales has a very truncated system, and there are large chunks of the country which are not properly served by rail. There are examples of where the buses do

not meet up with a rail station, sometimes deliberately, in an effort not to lose passengers on a parallel route, even though the bus may be a lot slower. So far from co-operating and trying to integrate, they actually do the opposite. Wales needs a fully integrated public transport network for the whole of the country which includes links to ferries and airports. Trams Another aspiration for the heavily populated city areas is the introduction of trams as a way of producing a much higherquality public transport system linking up with the rail network.  Cardiff is the obvious prime candidate, but the plan also gives details of how Swansea, Newport and Bridgend can plan for a metro system of light rail, integrated with buses and heavy rail. In the case of Cardiff, the city area itself needs the agglomeration of Newport and the surrounding areas to bring it up to over a million people, and public transport is the way to effectively make the city region large enough to be viable in a worldwide economy. The UK is a very car orientated country, but if we really want to create the high quality public transport system that our European neighbours enjoy, this plan shows the way forward.   Authors The report is co-authored by Railfuture members across Wales, including rail professionals and members of other transport associations, who bring a combination of expertise and local knowledge to the table. The aim of the report is to clarify Railfuture’s campaigning priorities and to drive forward improvements in the Welsh railway system, in the context of the current franchise ending in 2018. The development plan can be downloaded at April 2014 Page 97


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ZF Services UK achieves RISAS approval he company has been awarded Railway Industry Supplier Approval Scheme (RISAS) approval for the overhaul and repair of both ZF and non ZF traction and rolling stock transmissions, including final drives and gearboxes, at its Nottingham facility. 12 months in the planning, ZF Services UK worked with its rail industry supplier approval body - Railway Approvals, who provided guidance to the company’s rail division for its in-house audits and checks to help evaluate compliance against the RISAS supplier assessment module (RISAS 003), ahead of the official RISAS assessment visit. Graham Truckel MD of ZF Services UK said: ‘We have a culture of continuous improvement. We are constantly reviewing and evaluating our working practices to ensure we deliver not only exceptional customer service, but also first-rate products and services. ‘The RISAS approval is an important milestone for us. We are the only ZF facility across the global group to have achieved this internationally recognised approval. This demonstrates the high


standards and expertise at ZF Services Nottingham and ensures we retain our position as the knowledge-driven partner of choice for our customers.’ RISAS provides safety assurance for suppliers and services, including enhanced performance, product quality, as well as helping to improve efficiencies in the supply chain. Visit One stop shop success brings second order aced with the need for more displays as a result of platform extensions to accommodate longer trains, First Capital Connect (FCC) decided to use electronic display specialist Infotec as a one-stopshop for the work. The new displays at the nine stations concerned had to interface with the existing system as well as visually match what was already there. Paul Cooper, CIS delivery manager for FCC, said: ‘FCC decided rather than just order the displays and brackets from Infotec we would get them to project manage the whole thing and to sub-contract the installation directly -


something we’d never done before. Doing it this way meant we had a single point of contact and one contractor to manage, making the whole process much easier.’ He continued: ‘Infotec delivered full designs for each station, landlord’s consents, signal sighting, all of the contractors’ paperwork and managed the install contractor directly. Everything was delivered on time and on budget and the project took about six months in total. FCC was very happy with it all and we have now decided to use the same approach again for upgrade work at City Thameslink.’ Visit TEW Control & Display celebrates Group’s centenary upplier of electronic control panel systems for the rail sector, the company is celebrating 100 years in manufacturing as part of the TEW Group, which was set up in Nottingham just before the First World War. Bob Crosby, operations director, TEW Control & Display, said: ‘We are proud of our heritage and our association with


April 2014 Page 99

Welsh college students named 2014 GB Weld-Off champions ixteen welding students from across the UK competed to be crowned Great British weld-off champion at the Morris Site machinery headquarters in Four Ashes, Wolverhampton. Including challenges that demonstrate creativity, skill and safety awareness, four students from Coleg Cambria took home the title with their creation of a mark 1 male tank, which commemorates this year’s WWI centenary. The competition, which was supported by Speedy, UK provider of equipment rental and support services, attracted some of the UK’s most promising welders aged 16 -25. The team received a one-year dedicated training programme with Morris Site Machinery, one year’s membership of The Welding Institute and an ArcGen Weldmaker 165PS2, worth £3,500. Second placed Doncaster College received a Kemppi inverter power source, worth £670 and third placed Neath Port Talbot Group received £250 worth of Speedy engineering products. The judging panel was particularly impressed with the winning team’s ‘outstanding creativity backed up by research and a strong team ethic’. Richard Denholm, category manager from Speedy, said: ‘This is the perfect competition for young people wanting to break into the industry and build relationships with some of the UK’s leading experts.’ Visit


the TEW Group, which provides us with the scale and resources to continue to lead the way in technical and operational innovations for customers in our core markets.’ The TEW Group encompasses four trading divisions: TEW C&D, TEW Plus, Caliba and Industrial Automation, which share factories in Nottingham and London. Simon Barnes, financial director, TEW Group, said: ‘We are holding a series of activities and events throughout the year to mark this milestone, including the launch of our commemorative website’ TEW Control & Display is a supplier of mosaic mimic systems. These provide overview diagrams simulating the layout of a railway track section, signalling system, power plant or any entire process plant as a virtual flow diagram. Visit and Deploy UK launch new rail division s part of its ongoing expansion plans, Deploy UK (part of the DE Group) has opened a new rail division to serve the rail infrastructure sector, specifically the rail network recruitment industry. Deploy UK Rail is the newest part of the group of companies under the DE Group brand and operates out of premises at Euston Station. The company has been created to work alongside the trades and labour division of Deploy UK, which supplies skilled and unskilled resources to the construction industry within London and the South East.  Managing director, Simon Gazzard said: ‘The rail industry is moving


into a period of growth, which will in turn create a shortage of resource in the industry, providing us with an opportunity to take our own resources and up skill them into the rail environment. ‘We are committed to progressing and up skilling our labour supply resources which will give them a consistent and continuous employment across construction, rail, London Underground and light transit.’ Visit McNicholas secures two Network Rail contracts he company has been awarded two electrification and plant framework contracts by Network Rail for its southern area infrastructure projects, covering its Wessex, Sussex and Kent routes. The agreements, which commence on 1st April 2014, will involve the design and build for general electrification and plant assets and HV feeders over the five-year control period (CP5). Typically, the general electrification and plant framework will encompass enhancement of 750V DC track-feeder cables and along track-positive cables, substation re-wires, renewal of impedance protection relays, lighting, earth farms, signalling power, RTU’s, UPS’s, points heating and a range of other fixed-plant asset services. The HV feeder framework will provide for the refurbishment and/or replacement of existing cable routes between substations, replacement of existing oil-filled cables with new 33kV cabling, renewal of the existing pilot cables and the installation of new fibreoptic telecommunication cables. Visit


April 2014 Page 101

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Morrison Utility Services set sights on rail orrison Utility Services has launched a rail services division to deliver infrastructure and maintenance projects to rail sector clients across the UK. Morrison Rail Services work with utility company clients in the electricity, gas, water and telecommunications sectors helping them renew, refurbish and maintain their infrastructure and networks. With headquarters in Doncaster, it provides comprehensive design, installation and commissioning of HV and LV power for projects within the rail market that cover a broad range of asset engineering services including: substation; stations and depots; switchgear/plant; HV cable laying; jointing and terminations; protection and control systems and DNO connections and networks. Executive director, Jim Arnold, said: ‘From planning and design, through to construction and maintenance, the company now has full rail accreditations that allow it to operate on projects for Network Rail and others.’ Visit


Just the ticket for ARCOA PCOA PARKING has been awarded a five-year management services’ contract with Network Rail. Commencing on 1st April 2014, the deal extends APCOA’s existing five-anda-half-year term until 2019, making it the UK’s largest railway station car park operator. With passenger numbers expected to rise considerably by 2020, APCOA will focus on delivering sustainable growth to Network Rail’s car parking estate, operating safe and secure car parks with a wide range of e-commerce solutions. State-of-the-art technology, similar to that deployed at the UK’s major international airports, including: enforcement permit management and cashless parking, bespoke pre-booking and incidentreporting systems will help ensure its smooth running. David Biggs, property director for Network Rail, says: ‘After a highly competitive procurement process, we are pleased to continue our working relationship with APCOA to deliver even greater value for the fare and taxpayer.’ Visit


Health & Safety poster deadline approaches rom 5th April all UK workplaces must display the up-to-date Health & Safety Law poster but, according to workplace equipment supplier Slingsby, many organisations are currently unaware that


The F-Clamp: a simple, secure and flexible fixing lexicon is launching a range of heavy-duty conduit fixing clamps. The F-Clamps make it easier for rail engineers to secure flexible conduit for heavy-duty dynamic applications, as part of a modular cable protection system. The product is in two halves which can be bolted together to secure and clamp the conduit. A central rib in the clamp fixes the corrugated conduit, preventing longitudinal movement and any risk that the conduit will be pulled through. ‘The new products are particularly suitable for dynamic applications which are subject to heavy movement and high mechanical forces or vibration, such as for rail vehicles or heavy machine building,’ explained Colin Legg, marketing manager at Flexicon ‘Cable protection systems of different sizes can now be combined with other services in one area since our system is compatible with the widely used Stauff system.’ The clamps are suitable for outdoor use and offer UV resistance and high impact resistance, making them ideal for exterior applications. They can be used in temperatures from -500C to +135OC. The F-Clamp will be displayed at Infrarail on stand E46.


the new legislation is fast approaching. Workplaces have been required to display the current Health & Safety poster in a prominent position since 1999, as part of the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER). The new poster is designed to be easy to digest, with less text and more colour images to make it make it more eye-catching. Employers are no longer required to write contact details for local enforcing authorities and employment medical advisory services on the new poster. Replacing it is a helpline number that employees can call. A new pocket card has been produced to replace the old leaflets that were previously circulated to off-site employees. Another development on the new poster is a hologram and serial number to certify it’s genuine, as even Health & Safety posters can fall victim to counterfeiters. Prices for the new Health & Safety Law Poster start at £7.50+VAT. Visit

Visit: April 2014 Page 103

Lanes Group expands Undergound contract anes Group has been awarded a contract that expands upon its reactive and planned repair work on London Underground. The Leeds-based firm’s bridges and structures deal is its first with the network and will run alongside the existing reactive drainage contract it has held with LU for six years. The three-year contract means Lanes is sole provider of reactive repair services for both drainage and bridges and structures. Lanes Group director Bruce Crompton, said: ‘Key to our success was the ability to demonstrate we could deliver excellent reliability and quality through a dedicated 24/7-response service.We believe this puts us in a strategically strong position to compete effectively for other maintenance contracts.’ With the existing drainage contract generating around £2.3 million annually, Lanes’ commercial director predicts that figure will increase by around 15 per cent with the bridges and structures agreement. Lanes also operates major total purchased services contracts for London Underground, including: drainage; premises and building maintenance; seepage; locks; vegetation control and fencing. Visit


High-voltage boost for trains est equipment manufacturer REO (UK) has launched a high voltage direct current power supply for multi-function use. The REOLAB 420 is a three-phase DC high-voltage supply used for the development and testing of railway engineering frequency converters. Input voltage for the unit is 3 x 400 V line-to-line or 3 x 230 V line-to-neutral, with an output voltage from true zero to 12,000 VDC. Output current is 2x20-300A and standard power output is 100kW800kW. Vector groups include delta/star/ star/2 x B6U, with a frequency range of 50/60Hz. The REOLAB 420 complies with EC directive EN 61558-2-14 for power supplies with variable transformers and an emergency-off circuit with external inputs and outputs as double-pole, potential-free contacts for emergency-off circuits and safety circuits. With the unit free from electromagnetic interference, it maintains a constant residual ripple over the entire adjustment range of the DC output,


Page 104 April 2014

providing a control error of as little as one per cent. The output current is protected against short-circuit and overload and has been doubled at half the DC voltage selectable. Additional control of the supplementary equipment is aided by a 19” control unit, located away from the immediate vicinity of the HV supply unit. Warning lights and additional connections for external warning systems increase unit safety. Providing fast regulation of voltage variations, the unit includes a built in discharge circuit for the intermediatecircuit capacitor. Visit AECOM appointed by Network Rail for CP5 etwork Rail has appointed AECOM on its Civils Assessments Framework Agreement (CAFA) that comes into effect in April. The agreement runs throughout Control Period 5 - the funding period for the next five years to 2019, with the current Civils Examination Framework Agreement (CEFA) ending in 2014. With this new appointment, AECOM will have secured more than twice the level of commissions it currently carries out under CEFA. For the next five years, the company will be working on bridge inspections and assessments on four out of the nine existing routes, including: Anglia, London north east and east Midlands, London north west and Scotland. Richard Robinson, managing director for transportation practice in Europe, commented: ‘This new framework continues our 15-year involvement in rail structures assessments and we look forward to assisting Network Rail in its future stewardship of its structures asset.’ Visit

£100m Network Rail contract sparks change partnership of ABB and UK Power Networks Services has been awarded a £100 million contract for the Great Western Electrification Programme (GWEP) by Network Rail. Around 100 new UK jobs will be created with the union – developing its apprentice and graduate programmes in the process – as it builds high-voltage auto-transformer traction power substations to upgrade the Maidenhead to Cardiff line, one of the UK’s oldest and busiest.



Recent New Members of the Rail Alliance as at end February 2014 B Hepworth & Co Windscreen wiper system design and manufacturer. Also metal fabrication and manufacturing. ORing Industrial Networking (UK) Manufacturer and supplier of specialist, rail-approved, EN50155 industrial ethernet devices. PULS (UK) Supplier of DIN-Rail power supplies and complimentary products.

It will be the first large new electrification project delivered by Network Rail in more than 30 years, forming a key part of its UK electrification programme. The heart of the GWEP substations will be provided by ABB’s Structure Mounted Outdoor Switchgear light modular concept, designed to help railway infrastructure owners cut around 30 per cent of the time required for construction, testing and the commissioning of traction power distribution switchgear. This type of switchgear also complies with Network Rail’s policy of reducing its environmental impact by minimising the use of SF6 gas in equipment. UK Power Networks Services will use its design, installation and commissioning expertise within key transportation hubs to deliver civil construction, associated cabling works and final commissioning, into service. The merger, working in collaboration with all parties and stakeholders, will be undertaking the role of principal contractor for all works associated with the GWEP traction power programme. The first GWEP substation will be delivered around June 2015, with the remainder of the substations in service by March 2017. Visit Visit







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Business profile

Stable working Keller Geotechnique has been involved in designing and pricing then carrying out contracts for a number of national programmes as a result of the recent bad weather


he national level crossing safety improvement programme and the national electrification programme have afforded the geotechnical industry a number of opportunities. The very wet winter weather has also lead to a huge number of embankments becoming unstable, which will undoubtedly lead to further opportunities for slope stabilisation techniques. Working with key framework contractors has allowed Keller to value engineer geotechnical schemes for the rail industry. An essential part of this has been early involvement with Network Rail, consultant designers and contractors alike. This has the benefit of the scheme

being thoroughly developed so that the key dates are met and disruption to the travelling public is minimised. Piled foundations for new footbridges As a result of the level crossing replacement scheme, Keller has been installing restricted access piles using mini rigs working close to the running lines in order to form foundations for the new footbridges over the railway. These piles can range in diameter from 220mm to 450mm, depending upon loading conditions. The use of compact drilling rigs means that there is no effect on the running railway. These sites are often relatively inaccessible from both sides and in these cases a possession is

required to move the rig from one side of the line to the other and back again upon completion. Keller has recently completed work on six such level crossing replacements throughout Essex and one on the West Coast Main Line north of Preston. Pali radice piling to existing bridge abutments Another area of opportunity is the widening or lifting of bridge decks due to the electrification programme. This has led to increased loads bearing onto existing bridge abutments which would become overloaded if no action were taken. Keller has utilised specialist restricted access piling rigs working on or

April 2014 Page 107


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Business profile

and moment transfer. The hollow section is carefully positioned and spaced off the central bar. The rakes and orientation of the bonded piles need refining to efficiently support the abutments but generally the pile entry position should be at the intersection of the abutment with the existing ground level. The advantages of the system are that it can be carried out in advance of the deck replacement, thus allowing rail traffic to continue throughout the works. Small compact equipment is used meaning only partial road closures may be needed. Keller has recently completed three such schemes, two on the Stalybridge to Manchester route and one at Catford Station in SE London. under existing decks to install pali radice mini piles which in turn underpin and provide strengthening to the abutments foundation. Typically the existing brick or stone abutments are retained and the piles can either be installed from existing bridge deck level or from underneath the bridge deck at road or track level. The works generally comprise of raking 220/190 or 340/300mm diameter

pali radice micropiles. The system relies on a good bond being formed in the brick or stone abutments; this is formed by using a special tungsten carbide cutting crown which produces a roughened surface to develop excellent adhesion between the abutment and the pile grout. The piles are then typically reinforced with full-length central bar and a circular hollow section around the base of the abutment to provide the necessary shear

Embankment stabilisation works As a result of the record wet weather this winter, a number of embankments have and will need to be stabilised. Opportunity exists for Keller in this area for providing soil nails, ground anchors, piled retaining walls and crib walls. In some areas opportunity may also exist for solution feature grouting. Visit Tel: 01937 545100Â April 2014 Page 109

EUROPEAN RAIL CONGRESS AWARDS Scheduled to arrive in London on 11 November 2014 The call for entries for the 2nd annual European Rail Congress Awards is now open. Award entries will be assessed by a judging panel of MEPs, the European Commission (DG MOVE), European Passenger Federation (EPF), European Rail Freight Association (ERFA), European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM), European Railway Agency (ERA) and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP). Entries will be accepted online at up to 30 April 2014.

Page 110 April 2014

Business profile

Manage your assets Asset-Pro offers leading-edge asset management consultancy and systems to support applications across a number of industry sectors, including rail


he company has supported the Go-Ahead Group in its South Central franchise since 2003, providing software and consultancy advice for stations, depots and rail infrastructure, for both fixed and linear assets. So what’s new in rail asset management and where should rail stakeholders be focusing their efforts? This is a key area in an industry that has been slow to embrace the undoubted benefits of asset management in rail. Network Rail owns much of the UK’s rail infrastructure including around 2500 stations, 17 of which are deemed Major Stations that it maintains itself. The other stations along with most maintenance depots are managed and maintained by Toc’s. Network Rail’s approach to asset

management services is set out in a document on its website but essentially it commits to achieving an overall efficiency of 20 per cent during CP5 over the next five years from April 2014, with better asset information provided from the ORBIS (Offering Rail Better Information Services) programme. New franchises A number of rail franchises are due to be re-tendered over the course of the next few years. On the assumption that franchise agreements will be closely ‘policed’ by the Department for Transport Toc’s will need to be on top of their game in this area. In the recent past, with one or two notable exceptions, franchises have been awarded on seven year terms that have in certain cases prompted a largely

reactive ‘patch and repair’ approach. However it is probable that franchisees will be given greater responsibility for renewals and maintenance of stations under their direct control. Failure to maintain and upgrade in line with a Toc’s contractual obligation could result in a significant dilapidation liability at the end of the franchise period. ISO 55000 Following on from its forerunner PAS55, the landmark ISO 55000 standard was published officially by the BSI on 15th January 2014, providing an essential basis for all those who are required to demonstrate the effective control and governance of assets. The standard specifies ‘..the requirements, the establishment, implementation,

April 2014 Page 111

Business profile

maintenance and improvement of a management system for asset management.’ Asset management is data intensive and new tools and processes are often necessary to collect, assemble, manage, analyse and use asset data. It also supports energy management, environmental management and other activities relating to sustainability. As a new and defining standard its potential impact cannot be ignored. The McNulty report The final McNulty Value for Money report was issued in May 2011 and taken forward by the Rail Delivery Group, now merged with ATOC. In franchise bids the DfT makes it a requirement of Toc’s to demonstrate delivery of McNulty, much of it requiring good asset management practice. Building Information Modelling (BIM) With an emphasis on upgrade projects across the industry and impetus driven by the government to use BIM, both Toc’s and Network Rail will undoubtedly be required to consider BIM for their

projects and how projects link through into life cycle asset management. Asset management is much broader than just delivering maintenance or renewals and McNulty comments that this should be an integral part of how a business operates. The study backs rail ingenuity and better productivity. AssetPro is here to support this. Stakeholders might also look at the sterling work of Page 112 April 2014

the Institute of Asset Management in promoting the discipline. There is clearly a lot for industry parties to consider in this area. For further details on the Asset-Pro system and the asset management consultancy services that the company can provide, contact John Orchard at Email: or Tel: 0845 120 2046 or visit

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April 2014 Page 113

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Business profile

Uphill cutting slopes nailed Specialist geotechnical contractor BAM Ritchies is stabilising a railway cutting near Weston-super-Mare


he railway line that connects Bristol to Exeter has a long history. Initially authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1836 it was constructed by Bristol’s favourite engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. After surveying the area Brunel decided that the best plan of action was to cut his railway line through the western end of the Mendip Hills just outside Weston-super-Mare, near the village of Uphill. Undaunted by the geological challenges presented by the dipping strata and fault lines of lias limestone, siltstones and overlying clays and red marls around the area, Brunel and his engineers ploughed on, creating the deep cutting and building the 35m span single arch masonry bridge known locally as the Devil’s Bridge. But now, almost 180 years after it was initially constructed, the steep cutting slopes are in need of some reinforcement to bring them in line with current design standards. Several shallow surface slips over recent years at points along its length have prompted Network Rail to stabilise the cutting. Specialist contractor BAM Ritchies is carrying out the design and construction of the work after submitting a winning tender on a joint venture basis with parent company BAM Nuttall, employing Tony Gee and Partners as designer. ‘We have just finished a similar

albeit larger project at Hooley Cutting on the London to Brighton line for Network Rail,’ said Phil Howard, BAM Ritchies’ project manager at Uphill. ‘The experience the construction team gained on that scheme is helping enormously here.’ Maximising working time One idea taken from the Hooley scheme is the installation of a robust catch net at the foot of the cutting. This allows the drill teams to continue their nailing work throughout operating hours without interfering with the day-to-day running of the railway. With 2,700 nails and 14,000sq m of steel mesh netting to install, maximising working time is vital to the success of the project. The cutting varies in depth from around 8m at the northern end of the scheme with a maximum depth of 20m on the eastern side, and for the purposes of the project has been broken down between the bridge and railway line into four sectors. Sector two, the north western quadrant, is the only section where the team benefits from good access at the crest of the slope, enabling the use of a long reach excavator with drilling attachment to reach down the cutting

and install some 90 per cent of the soil nails in that sector. Across the rest of sector two and the other parts of the scheme the team is using four of BAM Ritchies’ in-house designed and built lightweight, rope-supported Terrapin drill rigs because access is so restricted. ‘This is a residential area and in places there is very little access at the crest of the cutting. We are using the Terrapin rigs because that’s the only way we can get in,’ explained Howard. The rigs require anchorages to be installed at the top of the cutting wall which are drilled to 3m deep by hand auger in sectors one, three and four due to access issues. In sector two they are machine drilled to 5m.There are a total of 450 anchor points in sections one, three and four with a further 110 in sector two. These are all tested to 150 per cent of the working load, and when the Terrapin rigs no longer require them they will become part of the permanent works on completion. The anchorage holes are drilled at 50mm diameter and are left open, while the 25mm diameter galvanised steel nail is installed and grouted. The terrapin rigs always have at least two points of contact with the anchorages when installing the main April 2014 Page 115

Transforming rail infrasTrucTure FOR THE 21sT CEnTuRy AnD BEyOnD Hyder leads the way in providing innovative solutions to network operators on capacity enhancement and line upgrade schemes. We create world class railway stations and deliver cutting edge designs for bridges, tunnels and rail infrastructure. With an enviable portfolio of projects including Crossrail, Thameslink, North London Line, major stations and depots, we are the team you can trust to deliver your multi disciplinary rail projects.

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Business profile

THE PROJECT Uphill cutting stabilisation works Client: Network Rail Principle contractor: BAM Ritchies Contract value: £3.6 million Contract type: NR9 bespoke design and build Design engineer: Tony Gee & Partners

pattern of 25mm diameter Gewi-steel nails. These are spaced on a staggered grid at 2.5m centres to a depth of 5m and angle of 70deg from horizontal across the top of the cutting. The nail length and angle of installation changes to 6m for the next two rows at 60deg and 50deg, while further rows are installed to 8m depths at angles of 30deg. ‘The top nails are placed at a steeper angle so that we can avoid needing to impinge on anyone’s property,’ said Howard. The team is using ‘down-the-hole’ hammers to drill through the variable rock conditions. It is drilling open holes of 90-100mm diameter before the 25mm diameter nails are installed in 2m and 3m sections before being grouted into place, using tremmie pipes. The nails are broken down into smaller sections to ease handling on site and linked using couplers by operatives, all of whom are trained to the latest industry requirements. ‘Our staff need to have all the correct training certificates from the Industrial

Roped Access Trade Association. They also need to have valid Personal Track Safety certificates and a variety of other certification depending on their role,’ explained Howard. A three-man team is in operation where the long reach is being used to install the nails, although the nature of the ground dictates the machine cannot be positioned with its tracks within 3m of the crest before the top three rows of nails have been installed. After that it can stand at 2m from the top of the cutting. The attention to safety and considerate working and the proactive approach of the whole site team has paid off, with Network Rail recently presenting the site with a STAR award. ‘We were delighted that Network Rail recognised the efforts of the team at Uphill and that route director Patrick Gregg took time to visit the site to speak to the workforce and present the award,’ said Howard. The nails themselves have been left to protrude 100mm or so from the cutting surface which enables the high-tensile

steel DELTAX mesh facing to be installed over the top of them. They were cut to length from a 30m long, 3.5m wide roll in the site compound. They were then rolled down the face of the cutting before being locked into position by a 250mm diameter, 15mm thick circular steel plate installed over the nails. The mesh was also held in position by a series of 13mm diameter steel core vertical cables set at 20m intervals along the length of the site. Similar horizontal cables will feature at the top and bottom of the slope. Work on the £3.6m project is set to continue into the new year, all with no impact on the travelling public - in fact most of it will continue to be a mere blur through the window to passengers. It wasn’t just the close proximity of the gardens at the top of the cutting that provided access challenges to the site team. Since the Devil’s Bridge spanning over the cutting is a listed structure, the team was unable to fix any of its grout or air lines to the bridge itself. To overcome this, grout lines were installed underneath the tracks in a number of locations within the site extents. Two site-based grout mixing plants feed the scheme with the water/cement grout that is required to reach a strength of 30N at 28 days. ‘We did think we might have to locate a grout station on a public footpath close to the houses in sector three on the eastern side of the cutting,’ said Howard. ‘But we have been trying to limit the impact of our work on local residents and the travelling public. The grout line crossing beneath the track helps us do just that.’ He continued: ‘We have also been working during the night in rail possessions so we made sure we kept the local communities as fully informed of our work as possible. We carry out letter drops and visits to residents and encourage them to speak to us if they have any concerns. To keep noise to a minimum we are using super-silenced machines with boarding around them to provide additional sound-proofing.’ The approach appears to be paying off with the site scoring positive feedback from interim inspections under the Considerate Constructors scheme. Contact Tel: +44 (0) 1275 875338 Ext. 213 Mob: +44 (0) 7774 989071 April 2014 Page 117

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Page 118 April 2014


Business profile

Keep on track with Polypipe As the UK’s largest manufacturer of plastic piping systems, the company is ideally placed to meet the challenges posed by rail infrastructure drainage, cable protection and water management


olypipe products carry Network Rail Parts and Drawings Systems (PADS) approval for their intended application, as well as being Link-up approved. The high-strength plastic products offered by the company don’t just offer a seamless integration with link drains, culverts, catchpits and manholes to form a single solution – they are also much lighter in weight than equivalent concrete products, making them easier to transport to site and install. Trackside drainage solutions When it comes to solutions which speed up the installation process and reduce the length of time that tracks are closed for maintenance, Polypipe’s trackside drainage solutions really come into their own. Manufactured from high strength Polymers, they can be up to 94 per cent lighter in weight than equivalent concrete systems, enabling contractors and engineers to manhandle them to track level in areas that heavy lifting gear cannot reach. Additional innovations, such as integral socket joints and Polypipe’s patented electro-fusion welding process, which allows long lengths of drainage pipe to be joined and sealed quickly and efficiently, all help to reduce time spent carrying out track works. Polypipe’s popular PAD’s approved trackside solutions include: manholes, which allow crucial access where it’s needed most; catchpits, which improve the quality of water at source while preventing blockages and damage to the drainage network by intercepting silt, grit and other impurities; and the Ridgidrain surface water drainage system, which offers a robust, structured wall design to produce a pipe that has the strength of a solid wall profile, while providing all the benefits of additional flexibility and a lighter weight. Cable protection Polypipe’s robust cable protection solutions, available with twin wall, single wall and coil options, offer a flexible and practical way to install and protect

cables in all railway applications. As well as keeping water out, cable protection products also help to prevent metal theft, saving rail operators money while improving passenger safety. The PAD’s approved prefabricated multiconnection UTX chambers offered by Polypipe allow numerous Ridgiduct cable protection pipes to be laid in various configurations around the railway track. All of the manufacturer’s cable protection ranges are certified to British and European standards and are colour coded according to National Joint Utilities Group guidelines. What’s more, the range includes a full accompaniment of access boxes, pole boxes, covers and divider frames. Station systems Stations with large areas of impermeable paved surfacing can face heightened problems from surface water. Areas such as concourses, car parks and platforms can all contribute to rainwater run-off, which can quickly overwhelm drainage systems and lead to flooding. Polypipe works closely with contractors, architects and engineers to devise water management solutions appropriate to each station’s individual requirements in line with current legislation. Take the Permavoid system specifically for shallow ground water storage and infiltration; it can be used directly below porous paving and porous asphalt surfaces or below impermeable top surfaces as a

source control technique. It also provides integrated water treatment, removing silt and breaking down hydrocarbons as part of a wider water management and treatment solution. Or the light-weight Polystorm cells, which connect to form a strong, loadbearing geocellular tank to accept large volumes of water channelled from platforms, car parks and surface drains, and can even be fitted with Access and Inspect visual inspection features for added peace of mind. For more information about Polypipe’s rail specific drainage, water management and cable protection systems Tel: +44 (0)1509 615100 or visit April 2014 Page 119

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Business profile

A vital last stand against flooding Midlands-based chartered surveying specialist, Severn Partnership, has been drafted in to provide an extra defence against Britain’s recent bout of bad weather


he company has provided the devastated coastal railway in Tywyn, Wales, with vital survey data required to re-instate the railway to full working order. The railway line which runs between Dovey Junction and Pwllheli had been devastated by high tides and heavy winds during the recent adverse weather that hit the UK in early February. Sea defences in Tywyn were damaged to such an extent that in parts the railway was covered with debris from both the beach and coastal defences. Severn Partnership surveyed

the damaged railway line, and produced a high-definition survey data-set using the latest Leica P20 laser scanning technology coupled to high-precision engineering accuracy. Severn Partnership was contacted after bad weather hit the UK and was on site to survey the damage just a week later. The survey focused on the critical damage to sea defences and rail infrastructure near the local popular holiday resort of Sandilands. The use of 3D laser scanning, is now allowing engineers to rapidly view and interrogate the captured damage

information remotely, in a safe office environment with no further risk to human life. The company provided point cloud information and detailed CAD data, which is allowing engineers to quickly assess, design and plan for the repair of the vitally important railway line. Enabling line to be safely re-opened more quickly At several points on the coastline, the damage caused by the storms that hit the Tywyn region was so severe it had been pushed back up to 50 feet, revealing the

April 2014 Page 121

Railway Drainage Pipe and Ducting Solutions • Strong (Twinwall and Corrugated) • Smooth Internal Wall • Increased flow rate • No silt build up • Easy to install • Light weight (6m lengths) • Full range of fittings available

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Business profile

About Severn Partnership Severn Partnership is a firm of Chartered Land Surveyors with offices in London and Shropshire. The company has a reputation established over 30 years for providing a high quality professional service. The company surveys, measures and monitors to produce high quality plans, sections, elevations – all the way to 3D and Building Information Models (BIM). It works throughout the UK and overseas, utilising the latest robotic survey equipment, 3D laser scanning technology and 3D modelling software, backed up by a wealth of survey expertise and experience. Severn Partnership’s mission is to deliver a professional and personal service, regulated at all times by RICS standards and underpinned by strong ethical standards.

existence of petrified forests dating back 6,000 years. While conducting the onsite survey, Severn Partnership observed damage caused by significant volumes of beach debris covering the railway line and large boulders moved by the powerful sea swell. The damage suffered to the coastal railway line in Tywyn has not been an isolated incident. Earlier in February, in Dawlish, Devon, a section of the sea wall

collapsed and left part of the railway line, which connects Devon to Cornwall, suspended in mid-air. Repairs to the line are still ongoing. Mark Combes, managing director at Severn Partnership said: ‘The bad weather that hit the Tywyn railway line caused ballast to be washed out from underneath the formation, making it unstable. While we were primarily concerned with assessing the condition of the assets, the scan data will provide engineers with

invaluable 3D data, enabling the line to be safely re-opened more quickly. While adverse weather cannot be prevented entirely, by providing accurate survey information, the railway track can be repaired faster and designed to make a reccurrence much less likely.’ For further information contact Mark Combes at Severn Partnership. Tel: 08448808247 Email: Visit: April 2014 Page 123

Business profile

Maintenance solutions from Ultracrete Ultracrete, part of the Instarmac Group, is home to a portfolio of contractor repair and maintenance products for the rail, road and transport sectors


ltracrete’s product offering is ideal for a range of applications including the installation of signals, signposts and street furniture, in addition to the maintenance of kerbs, sleepers, and repairs to car parks, concourses and crossings. It’s bedding, repair and refurbishment materials are independently tested and offer fastsetting and time-saving advantages. Ultracrete’s extensive list of repair products are approved for use on the London Underground and Overground. It’s products have also been used in the highways industry for over 35 years, with many attaining the HAPAS seal of approval; an independent third party system of approval, supported by the highways technical advisory committee. The scheme provides the supply chain with peace of mind that it is using

products from a trusted, reliable and expert source. For the fast, efficient installation of heavy-duty posts and for repairs to concrete sleepers, choose Ultracrete’s HAPAS approved QC10 F flowable, fastset concrete. It’s fibre modified for added strength and achieves 20N/mm² after just 90 minutes. It’s easy to mix and literally pours from the bucket, facilitating speedy application. For bedding platforms, coping and kerbs, Ultracrete’s M45 is rapid-setting, enabling traffic to be open in 45 minutes and keeping downtime to an absolute minimum. For the reinstatement of linear drainage, and ironwork in areas exposed to extreme trafficking, use Ultracrete’s HAPAS approved Envirobed HA104 ® high-performance bedding mortar. It’s

the environmentally-friendly alternative to resin-based materials and can be used in wet weather and temperatures as low as 1°C, so no delays due to poor weather conditions. It achieves 51N/mm² compressive strength after three hours and can be open to traffic in one hour. Eliminate vandalism to concrete repairs with Ultracrete’s QC6 rapid-set surfacing concrete. Ideal for the surface reinstatement of ‘picture frames’ or fillets, and around access covers and for general repairs. With the product setting in 15 minutes, it’s difficult to deface; improving public image and limiting asset liability. For planned and reactive pothole repairs to station car parks, use Ultracrete’s HAPAS approved Permanent Pothole Repair, a cold-lay asphalt concrete that can also be poured from the

For the fast, efficient installation of heavy-duty posts and for repairs to concrete sleepers, choose Ultracrete’s HAPAS approved QC10 F flowable, fast-set concrete Page 124 April 2014

Business profile

tub and compacted to provide a lasting repair. It’s instantly traffickable too, with minimal disruption to commuters. It comes in a handy 25kg tub, so is great for sites with limited access. Ultracrete is just one of five brands within the Instarmac family to offer a suite of refurbishment products suitable for use in the rail sector offering a complete maintenance package. Consult Ultra Floor to fulfil your

Cintec Rail

subfloor preparation needs, from damp proof membranes, primers and smoothing underlayments, there’s everything you need to successfully complete a flooring installation. Choose Wondertex for decorative texturing, dry-lining and internal finishing solutions, great for preparing walls prior to decoration. Ultra Tile’s comprehensive range of tile adhesives and grouts provide the

perfect solution for wall and floor tiling in station washrooms and other public facilities. Ultrascape’s BS 7533 compliant mortar paving system can enable a full station entrance revamp, providing the ultimate laying course for all sorts of paving with a minimum construction life of 40 years. Visit Tel: 01827 871871 Email:

Masonry Repair & Strengthening

Temporary strapping as emergency measure

Completed anchoring before replacing cores

Completed anchoring before replacing cores

Complete diagnostic, design and installation service Cintec International has provided

Operating either as a main contractor itself, or through

Network Rail and formerly British Rail

Cintec’s approved contractor network, the company is

and many County Councils and other

able to provide either project specific solutions through the

Local Authorities with a long term and

client engineer, or a turnkey service including complete

cost effective structural solution for

diagnostics on all masonry structures from initial

strengthening and stabilising bridges

assessment, finite element analysis, full design and through

and similar structures.

to anchor installation and completion.

Cintec International Ltd Cintec House, 11 Gold Tops, Newport, South Wales, NP20 4PH

Telephone: +44 (0) 1633 246614 Email:

Fax: +44 (0) 1633 246110

April 2014 Page 125

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

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

Transmission Products

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

Fire & Security

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

Hosiden Besson Making industry standard equipment since 1950


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

Business profile

Get fit for winter with Kilfrost Gary Lydiate of Kilfrost, supplier of de/anti-icing products for the transport industry, discusses the challenges faced by rail companies due to ice and snow, and how its client Deutsche Bahn has prepared for the winter season


eutsche Bahn was founded in 1994 and today is one of the world’s leading passenger and logistics companies, operating in 130 countries. The company’s railway activities in Germany – with about seven million passengers and 1,138,000 tonnes of freight transported every day – represent its core business. Deutsche Bahn is responsible for approximately 33,723km of train track, transporting around 1.98 billion passengers annually. Winter conditions can be extremely challenging for rail operators; ice can affect almost every aspect of rail operation, ranging from the safety of passengers on

slippery platforms to the ability of the rail network to remain operational. As trains travel at speeds of up to 300 kph, ice and snow can adhere to the underside of the train especially where the bogie axles, springs and retainers sit. After time, the chunks can be so big they fall off, causing switch malfunctions and damage to trains, with ice blocks dislodging the ballast stones causing them to hit the lower parts of the trains. The fixing of these problems can result in high levels of track maintenance, with trains out-of-use until components are replaced, potentially for a long time. During winter 2012/13, Deutsche Bahn

experienced a number of issues due to ice and snow formation. This was a particular problem for cross-border long-distance travel to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, with trains unavailable for days due to failures resulting from the damage. Statistics show that one-in-everyfour long-distance trains are delayed temporarily. On the Frankfurt to Paris route, for example, several trains were affected by harsh weather conditions every day. To ensure a reliable operation for this huge challenge, Deutsche Bahn employed more than 28,000 staff and external service providers to clear the snow and ice. 7,500 points were covered so that they could not

April 2014 Page 127

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Business profile

be blocked by chunks of ice and heaters were periodically checked at 48,000 points. Making cancellations a thing of the past In order to overcome these challenges and reduce the risk of cancellations that Deutsche Bahn experienced, the company embarked on a unique trial: installing an anti-icing fluid system to treat the underside of 16 ICE high-speed trains that serve the routes from Frankfurt to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. This was a Nordic ground support equipment (GSE) anti-icing system, incorporating Kilfrost TDIce Plus fluid to protect express trains from freezing. The Kilfrost fluid is mixed with water, heated to 40 degrees and applied to the train bogies by the system. The ICE facility in use in Frankfurt consists of a 3,000-litre tank beside the track containing the anti-icing fluid. Spray nozzles connected to the installation are then mounted on the track and work by spraying the bogies of trains with the antiicing fluid. During the treatment, the fluid that drips from the trains is collected by a 27-metre long stainless steel collector tray, filtered and re-used in the next treatment, making the process more economical. Around 110 litres are needed to treat a

complete 200-metre long ICE train. Realising the benefits of the anti-icing system The main benefit of the anti-icing system is its ability to reduce the need for trains needing three-to-four hours de-icing time for inspections or repair work. Each train goes through the anti-icing installation every 24 hours and the treatment takes just seven minutes. As the treatment happens during the allocated maintenance schedule, this causes no additional passenger waiting-time, meaning the railways can remain operational without disruption. The ICE system removes this risk of the aforementioned damage to trains as the anti-icing installation prevents large blocks of snow from falling at all. This limits the need for expensive repairs, saving both time and money. Innovations in de- and anti-icing solutions Developed to be used as a heated de- and anti-icing fluid with Nordic systems, Kilfrost TDIce Plus fluid is non-hazardous and fully biodegradable, making it an effective and environmentally sensitive means of de/anti-icing rolling stock, including the bogie area.

As well as striving to make products even greener and more sustainable, Kilfrost’s research and development team is also focused on improving the performance of fluids in terms of resistance to precipitation, more severe weather conditions and higher speeds. Robust fluids are a key time saver for the end user; fluids that perform well in harsh winter conditions need to be applied less frequently. As trains get faster and journey times shorter, Kilfrost is working to improve the resistance of de- and anti-icing fluids to suit them. Once Deutsche Bahn has the opportunity to evaluate the success of this pilot project, there is a potential to extend the installation to additional ICE trains and regional networks. This will further reduce maintenance time, resulting in fewer repairs caused by winter damage, more reliable train services and betterquality rail networks for passengers and employees. Gary Lydiate is CEO at Kilfrost Email: Tel: +44 (0)1434 320 332 Visit

April 2014 Page 129

Business profile


– your slope made stable 3

Duncan Ecclestone explains the safety features and benefits of the new product recently installed to protect crowds at the Olympic Winter Games


afety, cost-efficiency and sustainability – these properties are what have made the TECCO® slope stabilisation system from Geobrugg one of a kind and used all over the world. Now with three different wire strengths, the specialists for safety meshes have expanded the field of application 3 of the TECCO® SYSTEM many times over. Two new spike plate sizes further expand the range of application and allow optimisation of anchor spacing. The revised RUVOLUM® dimensioning

software makes it possible to quickly and accurately plan soil and rock slope stabilisation, resulting in the system being rolled out at the alpine ski village at The Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. TECCO® has been producing highlyefficient systems for stabilising slopes for years but until recently its possible uses were limited. Geobrugg changed that in 2014 with additional TECCO® meshes – made from high-tensile 2mm and 4mm diameter steel wire – being added to the existing 3mm mesh. This full complement

of meshes can now be used to optimally secure practically any slope and with this versatile system the planner can find a bespoke solution for any geological conditions, from solid rock to soil and everything in between. The additions to the new TECCO® 3 SYSTEM aren’t limited to just the expanded mesh options; the newly developed P66 spike plate increases the load transfer of all meshes, and enables lower total project costs and faster installation times. The interaction of the

April 2014 Page 131

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Crescent Machinery Limited Unit 6 Brearley Mills, HX2 6HU Telephone 01422 884 888 Page 132 April 2014

Celebrating 25 years of service 1989-2014

Business profile

TECCO® meshes with the spike plate allowing larger anchor spacing of up to 3.5m, reducing surface deformations and allowing greater versatility and efficiency. On-site product testing The key to its success lies in the largescale field experimentation performed over the past two years. To calculate realistic results, Geobrugg and the Bern University of Applied Sciences conducted experiments with a test box (10m x 12m x 1.2m) filled with gravel and covered with high-strength TECCO® mesh. The mesh was anchored in the box with spike plates and nails with spacing up to 3.5m x 3.5m. Tests with the box gradually raising showed the mesh can hold back 230 tonnes of material up to a gradient of 85 degrees, and with only a small amount of deformation. The decisive performance factors are the local-load transfer from the mesh to the nail, and the punching strength of the mesh on the upper edge of the spike plate. The full-scale testing provided detailed, scientific proof of the effectiveness of the high-tensile wire.

All three TECCO® meshes are made with steel wire with a strength of at least 1,770 N/mm2. It also showed that success or failure of the stabilisation system is completely dependent upon the mesh’s ability to transfer forces from the slope to the nails. The only way to achieve this efficiently and safely is to use mesh with a high-tensile wire that enables this critical load transfer from the mesh to the spike plates. Blending into the environment Due to the matt zinc aluminium coating, the TECCO® mesh provides stability and sustainability and blends into the landscape; after vegetation has grown through it’s almost invisible. The vegetation process can be accelerated with the TECMAT® errosion control mat. TECMAT® stabilises the topsoil layer, preventing seeds from washing away. 3 The TECCO® SYSTEM is completed with the expanded RUVOLUM® online dimensioning software, which is free-ofcharge to planners (www.applications., meaning that designing the mesh and the nailing of the

stabilisation system is straightforward. The software helps the designer select the optimal combination of mesh, plate and anchor spacing by performing a detailed analysis of the interaction between the system components and the slope. Geobrugg offers RUVOLUM® application workshops to teach its proper use, allowing planners to use the software purposefully, efficiently and reliably. The Olympic Winter Games’ Rosa Khutor village, created for the alpine ski competitions, became unstable after major cuts in the mountain landscape that made room for hotels, shops and access roads were made. Geobrugg brought protection after installation of its TECCO® meshes and TECMAT® erosion protection mats accelerated vegetation growth; shielding athletes, workers and tourists from danger. Duncan Ecclestone is country manager of United Kingdom, Geobrugg

Visit Telephone: +44 780 714 2333 Email:

April 2014 Page 133

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Business profile

APE in plastic piling driving seat APE combines innovative sheet pile designs with the latest pile driving equipment and is becoming a leading force in plastic piling


These include:

ith many industry firsts APE is improving the use and viability of plastic sheet piling in the UK.

• the introduction of new plastic sheet piling designs; these products were available with designs to optimise the material’s performance rather than emulating steel designs • the introduction of the APE system hybrids; combining the use of plastic sheet piling with softwood timber posts, steel tubes and even concrete provides a system that improves installation and system performance. The company also conducted the world’s first plastic piling carbon footprint study in collaboration with the Transport Research laboratory and Cranfield University, which took into account the different products’ strengths, and consequent performance and ease of installation. When considering production and transportation, it would be easy to assume that narrow and shallow ‘flat’ profiles would be the most environmentally beneficial, since they use the least amount of material and are easily transported. However, such designs offer very little strength and resist installation through flexing and twisting, so when these factors are taken into account, it’s apparent that the APE System Hybrids solution is the most viable. Novel designs maximise performance and reduce material yet vastly improve installation performance. When combined with the use of sustainable softwood piles, it’s obvious to see why these hybrids are so popular. The introduction of the innovative JetFilters, the maintainable weephole filter for which the company now holds the European agency, allows water to drain through a retaining structure that can be made from steel piling, plastic piling, timber and even concrete and masonry. This reduces hydrostatic forces April 2014 Page 135

The Global Rail Group Global Rail Construction forms part of the Global Rail Group of Companies, established in 2001 incorporating Global Rail Services (Ireland) and Global Rail Australia (Pty) Ltd. The group have grown their resource base to between 300350 highly skilled individuals with offices in Hatfield (UK), Dublin (Ireland) and Melbourne (Australia), successfully completing a range of infrastructure projects both on and off rail. Global Rail Construction have been involved on a number of high profile rail projects for both London Underground and Network Rail Infrastructures by partnering/forging long term alliances with some of the major organisations within those sectors. Our core services embrace all facets of civil and structural design, construction, installation and delivery underpinned by our dedicated team comprising of highly skilled, experienced and trained personnel. Our team of professionals work closely with our in-house design partners and engineers to deliver cost effective and innovative solutions at all times. Our in-house turnkey service offering includes: • Project management, planning and delivery • Design and consultancy (Civil/Structural) • Civil/Structural engineering works: ground investigation testing; design & build projects • Signalling installation, Survey and Correlation, pre-testing and Commissioning • Manufacturing - Assembly of prewired Location Cases / REB • Cable management and installation • Maintenance and renewals • Mechanical and electrical installation • P-way support and installation • Recoveries and demolition works The ethos of Global Rail Construction is summed up by our mission statement, which defines our role as ‘mixing traditional industry skills with technological innovation, Global Rail adopts a flexible management style to empower its workforce to safely meet clients’ needs, while providing the highest quality standards at a competitive price’. Unit 20, The IO Centre, Hatfield Business Park, Hearle Way, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9EW. Tel: 01707 260700 | |

Business profile

while acting as a soil barrier, eliminating erosion from behind the structure. If the filter material becomes clogged, it’s a simple and easy process to clean or replace. Many years of experience APE has many years’ experience of piledriving equipment, both in terms of in-house products, including the APE Mini Hammers, and – as one of the first UK hirers to introduce it – excavator mounted vibrators. This is reflected in its plastic piling products, which are all evaluated in terms of their installation performance, resulting in sheet piling that is easily installed. While plastic piling does have a strong history of hand installation – through direct hitting with sledge hammers or rubber mauls – this was due to the inability of the early sheet piles design to actually support a pile driver, let alone withstand high driving forces. The introduction of the advanced

designs created products that can support much-larger pile drivers and withstand high-driving forces. Clearly, the ability to work with larger pile drivers enables much longer sheets to be driven into much harder soil, a factor which likely explains the popularity of APE Plastic Piling’s in cut-off wall applications. MultiLock plastic sheet piling was the first plastic pile to be capable of working with a much-larger pile driver than would have been possible on an equivalent steel profile. The other factor limiting the ability to efficiently install plastic piling was that of available equipment, APE recognised this and began its development of new methods of installation. The first stated was the adaptation of existing equipment – designed for steel – the next was the development of new methods and equipment, unique to plastic sheet piling. No other supplier of plastic sheet piling has this capability. In the USA, the birthplace of vinyl-

sheet piling, large steel fabrications were developed to facilitate the installation of long lengths of plastic sheet piling. APE involved itself in trials at Heathrow, assessing UK versions of this concept, and it highlighted the following disadvantages that the rear mandrels (as they became known) suffered: • the first was weight. These huge steel fabrications were unsuited to any application that had limited access, and in turn required huge pile-driving equipment, which only worsened the situation • safety was also a concern, as the US concept utilised clamps – for buckling prevention – at the base of the mandrel. These need frequent repositioning as the pile is driven, requiring an operator to work beneath the pile driver • finally, when the pile is driven, the mandrel must be removed from the ground. With as much contact between the mandrel and the pile as that between the pile and the soil, there was a 50:50 chance the pile would also be extracted. In response, APE designed and introduced side mandrels for the installation of plastic sheet piling April 2014 Page 137

Underground Utility Mapping Specialists Phone : 0845 567 5677 Mobile : 07817 440724 Email

Page 138 April 2014


Business profile

secured many clients. However, it’s only with the advent of the Movax Lite that such technology is available for mini excavators over five tonnes and for nonoperated hire. Plastic piling has many benefits and has found uses in applications such as: retaining walls; scour and erosion control; flood defences; emergency breach repairs; shoring; cut-off walls; channel linings; dams; weirs and revetments. Plastic piling is now used on the M1 and M6 motorways for short retaining walls, providing scour protection under bridges, reinforcing and repairing flood walls and embankments. The application benefiting from: • long life – it does not rot or corrode • high chemical resistance • exceptionally light; ideal for manual handling and easy transportation • spark proof • well-designed interlocks offer low permeability • PVC not only provides excellent structural properties but comes from recycled material. David Coley, APE – The Plastic Piling Company Visit Tel: 01543 677290 Email:

for hire, providing substantial safety improvements compared to antiquated rear-mounted mandrels. These designs have been recommended as best practice by several major contractors. With the introduction of the advanced range of plastic sheet piling APE also developed the low-weight internal piling mandrels. These greatly increase installion speeds plus the lengths of plastic sheet piling that can be installed. The EMS Series offers the world’s two smallest powerpack vibrators – the ESF01 and ESF03 – making vibratory technology available to new sites with poor access or limited machinery. APE now has excavator mounted vibrators that can fit from 1.5 tonne machines upwards, no other hirer in the UK offers this. In the last few years, APE has worked with Movax and EMS to produce new pile drivers specifically for plastic sheet piling, resulting in two more product agencies, the Movax Lite and the EMS Series mini vibrators. The Movax side-grip pile driver is wellestablished within railway applications; the ability of an excavator attachment to grip a pile from the side and accurately articulate the pile into position has April 2014 Page 139

Business profile

Why health and safety sometimes needs a nudge CIRAS can often nudge a company into re-thinking its approach to a long-standing issue that hasn’t yet found a resolution. Chris Langer explores the origins of nudge theory, its applications to health and safety reporting, and the role of confidential reporting within it


he whole concept of nudging behaviour has become very popular in the last few years, really taking off with 2008’s ground-breaking book Nudge, by Thaler and Sunstein. The approach has been adopted on both sides of the Atlantic, with various industries taking an interest in how it can help influence people’s behaviour. Nudging isn’t about telling people what to do, it’s about prompting desirable behaviour. Health and safety professionals who advise senior management teams on how to create safer working environments have begun to embrace the concept of nudge in some of their activities. However, there is certainly greater scope for utilising confidential reporting in this connection. In certain circumstances, a nudge from a confidential report has the clear potential to prevent an accident. Rules/procedures amended 1%

Facilities 1%

Infrastructure faults 2%

Training 2%

Vegetation/scrap clear 1% Roster amended 1%

In theory, most railway staff know instinctively that safety reporting can help prevent accidents and related fatalities or injuries. Positive reporting behaviours can easily be embedded in competency frameworks as representative of a mature safety culture. However, despite knowing that it’s the right thing to do, people may often fail to report ongoing safety issues, or long-standing concerns. In challenging operating environments, it may be simpler to avoid the effort involved in reporting altogether. In our experience, an even greater concern is that some workplaces actively discourage it. Improving internal reporting systems If somebody in a safety-critical role perceives that an internal report will make little

Rolling stock faults 0% Other 5%

Active monitoring 24%

Roster clarified 3%

difference, they may decide it’s a waste of effort and do nothing. The fear of actually reporting an incident at all may stop a report from ever surfacing. Clearly this is a situation that has to be avoided as reports that aren’t allowed to surface will never be acted upon. So the big question is: How do we nudge people at all levels – from cleaner to managing director – into reporting safety concerns as a matter-ofcourse? The good news is that nudging staff into reporting does not necessarily require much capital investment. Often all that’s needed is a subtle re-design of forms, signs, processes, or the physical environment. By considering all the environmental influences and the fear factor involved in real-world reporting, these approaches can help: • make reporting as ‘painless’ as possible • displaying clear information on what, when and how to report • provide subtle cues and messaging about the related safety benefits.

Equipment 3%

Audit 4%

Rules/procedures clarified 7%

Action planned 18% Briefing 12%

Investigation 15%

Nudge-based solutions for reporting can be intuitive, but simple and effective at the same time. The beauty of this approach is reducing the need to moralise about people’s apparently apathetic reporting behaviour. Hindsight allows us to say when an incident should have been reported before it occurred, but this tends to focus the attention on particular individuals who were in a position to report in the first place. It’s a shared responsibility, though clearly there are many ways management can encourage and reduce the psychological barriers associated with making a report. For example, memorable poster campaigns which remind staff that their peers are already reporting safety issues - big or small - can nudge others into doing the same. Managers can positively influence their staff to report as much as possible but the April 2014 Page 141


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Business profile

nudge principle can obviously work in both directions and these are not mutually exclusive. The confidential reporting nudge On the other hand, confidential reporting can nudge managers in a facilitative way. Health and safety managers are prompted by CIRAS reports to evaluate their existing safety management systems, and respond accordingly. CIRAS has produced some good examples in the past twelve months of nudging management behaviour when a report has highlighted an issue: • several practices at a major contractor were perceived as unsafe and highlighted. Communication was improved and further training and briefing was provided. • contradictory signage on a part of the West Coast Main Line was rectified following a full investigation. Signs in the nearby area were also checked for similar issues. • a non-compliant coach lifting procedure at a train operating company’s depot was addressed. The practice ceased immediately and the correct process was implemented.The company also improved the quality of briefing. • shunting procedures in a large depot were reviewed by a train operator. Improved

briefing practices were provided. • station dispatch arrangements were comprehensively reviewed by a train operator, with a specially arranged site test. Improvements have been identified. These are just a few real-life examples of how confidential reporting has made a big difference with a small nudge. We also compile statistics on the actions companies take in relation to our reports. Between May 2011 and November 2013, all our evaluation forms returned from companies receiving confidential reports were analysed, with each respondent asked about the actions they have taken in relation to the confidential report they receive. As a result, a significant 911 actions were taken by companies in relation to our reports. A breakdown is shown on the previous page. Active monitoring - the specific attention paid to a particular safety issue - accounted for 24 per cent of cases. This was followed by the category Planned action (18 per cent), which is the explicit intention to carry out a safety-related action in the future. Though one could argue these categories are perhaps a little difficult to pinpoint, many of the others represent fairly substantial, measurable actions. Investigation (15 per cent) and Briefing (12 per cent) may have quite a considerable impact on safety related behaviour, for example. In four per cent of cases, an audit was undertaken after a confidential report. In

three per cent of cases, safety equipment was provided. Infrastructure faults were attended to in two per cent of cases, and the figure is the same for the provision of training. The role of confidential reporting in nudging The overwhelming majority of reports to CIRAS have been reported through company reporting channels before reaching CIRAS, yet 70 per cent of these reports will still prompt, or nudge, a form of positive action from the company concerned. In most cases the company has already been made aware internally of the particular issue. However, for whatever reason – under-appreciation of the risks involved, local politics, or general inertia – the issue has remained unresolved. There is something about receiving a confidential report which frequently makes the difference. As a facilitator, CIRAS can never act coercively or enforce actions like a regulator could. Nevertheless, a lack of regulatory power may be CIRAS’s trump card. Nudging managers into rethinking their standard responses is likely to be more effective without the shadow cast by a regulator. For managers keen on learning from reporting, it is about proactively reviewing the current safety management system and spotting potential weaknesses before a safety incident takes place. Chris Langer is a human factors advisor Visit: Tel: 0203 3142 5363

Robust furniture from Steel Line


teel Line is a specialist stainless steel fabricator and expert in designing and engineering durable and elegant public realm furniture for robust public areas such as rail stations and transport interchanges. A comprehensive product range is manufactured at the company’s Sheffield factory comprising:

• seats, benches and perch benches • bollards, static, removable and folddown • cycle stands, root fixed, baseplated and bespoke designs • litterbins, floor, wall and post fixed • tree grilles and guards • LBP and fingerposts, signs Two specific furniture designs which have already been installed and proved their worth in the rail station environment are the Metro and Standup ranges. These have been engineered as whole life cost products to assist in meeting the industry’s objective of reducing operational and maintenance costs in line with European competitors. With a comprehensive range of balustrading and handrailing options, including DDA designs, Steel Line is the

ideal partner to fit out station platforms and access stairways in any infrastructure project including concourse areas to the station frontage. Tel: 0114 231 7330 Email: Visit April 2014 Page 143

Signalling the way forward


OSL Rail is a world-class railway engineering company specialising in the delivery of signalling and multi-discipline remodelling projects.

• Signalling design, Signalling Data Preparation

We price ourselves on our highly experienced, competent and professional people; and our track record of working collaboratively with our clients to increased delivery certainty and value for money.

• Overhead Line Equipment Design and Engineering

• SWTH, SMTH and Principles Testing

• Electrification and Power Design and Engineering • Civil/Structural Design and Engineering

Whilst built on traditional values, OSL Rail embraces the latest thinking and technology. Our company has an established range of agile, client focused processes, tools and systems that demonstrably help to minimise inefficiencies and reduce project delivery timescales and costs.

For further info, please contact: Tel: +44(0)1793 600 793 Fax: +44(0)8701 236 249 Email: Web:

• Mechanical/Electrical Design Engineering • Environmental Design • Project Management and Planning

OSL Rail

Unit 1.3, Alexander House 19 Fleming Way, Swindon Wiltshire SN1 2NG


Business profile

Keeping green credentials on track Mark Sims talks about HL Plastics’ development of sustainable building products for use on the UK’s expanding rail network infrastructure


s a business based in Derby, our association with the railway industry is an obvious one. The sector is one of the largest employment providers in the region, and supplying into it is a key part of our business. Through our involvement with the Rail Alliance, and attending networking events and specific industry product exhibitions, we have been able to develop a range of products to match the needs and requirements of those charged with developing and expanding the railway infrastructure in the UK.’ Sustainable products The company’s Liniar range of fully

recycled plastic piling and retaining systems offers a great alternative material type to those which have traditionally been used on the development of the railway infrastructure. Their long-term sustainability, including being able to be recycled at the end of their life, is a key factor for those bodies looking to source responsibly; especially given the many other attributes that this material type offers when used in this kind of product. Plastic piling and retaining systems do not rot or rust, they are resistant to attack by animals or naturally occurring events, and they don’t leach into the ground. Their use can also contribute significantly towards reducing the overall carbon footprint of a development when

compared to other competing materials; there is a lesser requirement for transport payloads and fuel usage as a result of the lightweight nature of the product, and they are wholly sourced and manufactured in the UK. Lightweight in use and robust in application Current large-scale railway developments

April 2014 Page 145

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Innovative solutions to collect revenues

Transportation networks around the world are becoming more crowded, more congested and more complex to manage. The ability to run these networks smoothly and efficiently is crucial to economic growth and quality of life. We design, develop and deliver equipment, systems and services that enhance the safety and operational efficiency of ground transportation infrastructure and improve passenger experience worldwide: signalling, communication, supervision, revenue collection and toll road management systems. We combine them into what we call the Critical Decision Chain. It enables network managers and decision-makers to master complexity in critical scenarios and make timely decisions that deliver the best outcomes. To find out more about our Transportation solutions, scan the QR code or visit

Network capacity? Improving flow with automated signalling for optimal train frequency

Business profile

require products to be moved quickly and easily to their point of use; an application that the use of plastic piling and retaining systems is well suited to. They are lightweight in their construction but robust in their application, offering all the performance characteristics of more traditional materials used for the same purposes. Movement along the trackside to their final destination is easier than for products such as concrete and steel; and manual handling can be used in place of mechanical handling, with the benefits to cost and most importantly the accessibility this brings.’ Product versatility and range Liniar plastic piling and retaining systems include a wide range of products suitable for use in numewrous applications. As well as being used for ballast retaining and to protect against bank erosion, they’re also purpose designed for use in trench shoring, especially appropriate nowadays, to provide long-term flood protection. The versatility of the plastic product also provides significant advantages compared to other materials when used around bridges and other non-standard applications; it can easily be curved and shaped to meet a specific need and includes a range of corner, angled, and joining post options. Trackside worker refuges, traditionally constructed using a concrete king post system, can be quickly and cost effectively constructed and installed using Liniar’s ‘log-pile’ system

risk by using materials, which by their very nature take away health and safety concerns, should be considered as a matter of good practice.

to provide an ideal and cost-effective solution.’ Reduced health and safety concerns Health and safety concerns are also significantly reduced due to the lightweight nature of the product itself, and the ease with which it can be transported both to the development site in the first instance and of course to the track side itself. With plastic piling and retaining systems there is also a lessening of risk while the product is being worked on. As well as the product having a Class 1Y fire rating as standard, there is no risk of sparking; little risk from falling on workers compared to heavier materials; and little risk of injury during installation, which itself can be done manually rather than mechanically. Not having to transport mechanical installation equipment to the trackside is a major benefit and cost factor. All major infrastructure projects bring with them an increased risk of accidents, due to the higher volume of people on the site and from a wide range of trades. The pressure on project managers and risk assessors increases accordingly and any opportunity to reduce the attendant

Natural appearance and environmental consideration In addition to being manufactured fully from recycled materials, the Liniar plastic piling and retaining systems produced by HL Plastics also come with an optional wood composite finish which enables plant-life to attach itself over a period of time. As a result the product quickly becomes part of the natural environment, returning to the original appearance of the land once the works are complete. Effectively what we are offering is a hard-engineered solution with a softengineered appearance. HL Plastics is committed to continuing its development of sustainable plastic piling and retaining systems for use in this environment and know, as a concept, there are real benefits for those building our new transport infrastructures with this type of product. The benefits are extensive, in both the construction process and the longer-term - something we all need to be mindful of. Liniar recently showed its range of plastic piling and retention systems at Ecobuild and will be showing them at a variety of other exhibitions and events throughout 2014. Mark Sims is sales director at HL Plastics

Visit Tel: 01332 883900

April 2014 Page 147


READYPOWER HAS DONE IT AGAIN! INTRODUCING THE ALL NEW ART17 MEWP WITH A 400KG BASKET... » Three people in the basket » Full 360 degrees slew with an additional 180 degrees rotational basket » Hydrostatic drive » Small and compact » 4 wheel drive with crab steering for tight access » Latest engine technology with low emissions and noise level (maximum 75 decibels)

Readypower are proud to have worked closely with Rail Products UK Ltd. to design and develop this exciting new machine. With a further 10 machines due to arrive in our hire fleet over the next two months, Readypower again leads the way in specialist OLE plant.

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Business profile

Sustaining growth for rail industry suppliers Amanda Jones shares her thoughts on how rail suppliers can maximise the benefit from the upturn and surge in rail investment


he general economy has had a rough time over the past five years. This message was brought home to me at a Manchester Chamber of Commerce meeting. Their chief economist, Dr John Ashcroft, documented via a series of graphs how the economy plunged into a pit between the end of 2007 and start of 2009, began a steep climb out by the start of 2010, followed by a roller-coaster recovery ending in sustained rise over the last two quarters. The general economy is getting better and the feeling among business people in the room was that confidence is returning. The rail industry has been insulated but is not immune from this general malaise. Crossrail, Northern Hub and investment in other tram and metro projects has sustained orders and jobs. The Department for Transport has already committed £38 billion of investment between 2014 and 2019. The recent announcements that Bombardier will supply rolling stock to Crossrail and that phase one of HS2 will follow on from Crossrail completion is all further good news for the industry. Whether HS2 will ever fully materialise is another question. The timescale seems pitifully slow, the final cost is still something of a moving target while challenges from alternative projects are formidable. There may be other, ready-to-go projects on the horizon – city metros and east/west rail links, for example – that could both revitalise the regions more effectively and give a boost to UK manufacturing in a shorter time frame. Capturing a share of the rail bonanza The problems for individual firms are different. Rail, like aerospace, is an industry dominated by a handful of prime manufacturers and a multitude of other suppliers of systems, components and sub-contact services. Winning a share of

the market starts with a plan and a vision. Detailed business plans are essential, especially in mature businesses, to maintain focus and direction. It’s easy for any company, especially an engineering business, to get stuck in a rut by defining itself as the supplier of a particular product rather than as a company that solves problems. Requirements and standards change with time, technology evolves, presenting threats to existing product lines and opportunities for new development. A good business plan with strong strategic direction provides the foundation for everything else. What will be produced? When and how will it be produced? What technical, capital, and manpower resources will be needed? How will one test, market, and ramp-up sales? The plan should also look forward and anticipate product ranges that will decline. Most importantly, it should identify new opportunities arising from listening to what customers are saying - vital information from which you can create a pipeline of viable products for future growth. Lack of finance, or of adequate financial control, can stifle the best of plans. This is especially true when funding big orders or major projects. This problem can be made worse when pricing has been tight or a large customer is slow with payment. Many directors suffer needless sleepless nights in this situation, but the solution is at hand. The answer lies in creating a true partnership with your customer. Naturally the purchaser wants the best deal they can get, but they won’t want to see their supplier cease trading and have the problem of finding, qualifying and instructing a new one. Mutual respect and trust is the answer; the best way of achieving this is by open-book pricing, so the customer has full access to your accounts. Often the customer will not exercise their right to audit costs, but

Every business needs a sound business structure, irrespective of size. The role of a director is to do just that; direct, signpost, organise and motivate the team just offering this builds trust, as does an honest explanation of your situation. In my experience, customers will appreciate that you take the time to explain your cash situation so delivery and payment schedules can be synchronised to overcome short-term April 2014 Page 149




AFM 2000-RT

Distinct by innovation Our Joint Venture business SB Rail operates the most advanced fleet of on track machines in the UK and has a proven record of introducing the latest innovations and technology. Our latest fleet addition, the 09-4x4/4S DYNAMIC offers the highest output universal tamping and stabilising capability available in the UK.

Swietelsky Bauges.m.b.H. Klein NeusiedlerstraĂ&#x;e 27 2401 Fischamend, Austria. +43 (2230) 80270

Swietelsky Construction Company Ltd 7 Clairmont Gardens Glasgow, G3 7LW. +44 (0) 141 353 1915

Swietelsky Construction Company Ltd Holybrook House, 63 Castle Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 7SN, United Kingdom. +44 (0) 118 950 3380

Business profile

Business structure and culture Every business needs a sound business structure, irrespective of size. The role of a director is to do just that; direct, signpost, organise and motivate the team. This way the energies of every individual can be harnessed. There is a huge satisfaction in allowing employees the freedom to express and explore ideas and discovering in the process new ways

common approach to quality certification is to bring in a consultant to audit, review, revise and document processes. The end product is often a manual with procedures to be followed to the letter. Now consider turning this on its head; talk to your employees, ask them how and why they perform each procedure in a given way. The chances are that, by trial and error, they have already found the near-perfect procedure. Examine, refine and polish the procedure, then

have the employee write the procedure. This does two things, it optimises the process and engages the employee – creating ownership of the process and a commitment to its implementation.

to solve problems. There is a school of thought that sees issues of quality, sustainability and corporate social responsibility as adding cost and complexity. The opposite is true. Approached correctly these can all be differentiators that create confidence for your customer, add value and reinforce market position. They can also support cost reduction and lean working objectives leading to material cost reduction and greater efficiency. The correct approach is to take an issue like quality, sustainability or lean and make it part of the process, not an end-of-pipe add-on. For example, a

The correct approach is to take an issue like quality, sustainability or lean and make it part of the process, not an end-of-pipe add-on

provide products and services that meet word-class standards of performance and quality to compete and win. This in turn presents a challenge to managements to motivate and up-skill the workforce, encourage innovation – in all its guises – and provide the technical and financial resources to build and sustain the recovery.

cash flow problems to mutual advantage.

Where next? The economy and the rail industry is ready to grow, creating new opportunities for UK manufacturers. Overseas suppliers will also want to participate. The challenge for UK producers will be to

Amanda Jones is managing director of HFZ Consulting

Visit Tel: 0773 089 0439 Email:

April 2014 Page 151

Precise Rail Solutions + + +



Providing precise positioning and heading solutions for challenging rail environments. Page 152 April 2014

Simon Crowhen Rail/Geomatics Product Manager 07710 858417

Business profile

JFC Plastics innovative pipe solutions With its diverse range of pipework, your drainage needs are in good hands with JFC


FC manufactures innovative plastic solutions used across construction and civil engineering, including: recycling; agriculture and equine; marine/ aquaculture and the material handling sectors. The business is continually developing products that meet the everchanging needs of its customers. With sales offices and manufacturing facilities in Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Poland and South Africa, JFC products are sold in more than 40 countries across the world. Based in Runcorn, Cheshire, it specialises in the manufacture of plastic

drainage pipe, water and FOG (fat oil and grease) and management solutions for the civil engineering and construction sectors. It also manufactures a diverse range of industrial material handling equipment. As part of a multinational, it extended its manufacturing excellence to offer business-to-business trade moulding and contract manufacturing services. It was taken over by managing director, John Concannon, from an amalgamation of several companies after acquiring pipework manufacturer, Delleve Plastics and tank manufacturer,

Camtech Environmental. Concannon’s plant is now completely self-contained. ‘We now have a state-of-the-art recycling plant which recycles approximately 14,000 tonnes of plastic bottles a year’, commented Mark Perry, JFC Plastics’ sales director. Railway drainage pipe and ducting The company’s CorriPipe™ range is the material of choice for numerous largescale rail projects throughout the UK, including the Network Rail Borders Railway project, which will establish a

April 2014 Page 153

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Page 154 April 2014

Business profile

passenger rail from Edinburgh to Tweedbank – through Midlothian – for the first time in 40 years. JFC Plastics was selected through one of its trade merchants to supply railway drainage pipe and ducting solutions for the project. Its twin-wall, high-density polyethylene pipe is manufactured from 100 per cent recycled plastic and the two high-density polyethylene walls are extruded simultaneously – one inside the other – and heat-welded together in one continuous process. The outer wall is corrugated, providing excellent structural strength and reducing the possibility of on-site damage, and its inner walls are smooth, with a seamless finish assisting hydraulic flow. The design, unlike traditional single-wall pipe, prevents silt accumulation. Available perforated, unperforated and half-perforated JFC CorriPipe™ is suitable for a wide range of surface and storm water drainage applications, including: rail track, roads and land

reclamation projects. CorriPipe™ is fully BBA (British Board of Agrément) approved, HAPAS (Highways Agency Product Approval Scheme) certified and is backed with comprehensive technical support and a network of UK stockists. JFC Plastics has achieved full Network Rail PADS (Parts and Drawings) approval with CorriPipe™ and its ducting solutions for trackside and embankment drains. Recently extending the Corri range to include ducting and coil solutions for multiple applications, CorriDuct is suitable for the protection of electrical and street lighting cables and fibre-optic cabling for telecommunication systems. JFC also design a range of catch pits or silt traps, used to separate silt and other particles as part of the drainage systems. As each individual SuDS system is different, the catch pits /silt traps are individually fabricated to take water flow rates and ground conditions of each site into account and have been successfully used in a wide range of railway and highway drainage systems. Combating flooding A range of storm water management and wastewater treatment solutions is also available; the HydroChamber system provides underground storage for storm water runoff in attenuation and soakaway applications and can be employed at railway station car park areas. JFC has won several construction

industry product awards for environmental excellence, for the development of products that are environmentally sustainable during both manufacture and end use. ‘The underlying factor for our growth is classing ourselves as a plastic manufacturer with a focus on understanding the needs of the end-users of our products,’ explained Perry. ‘We’ve carefully selected our partners to work with for the long-term, which include national names such as Woolsey Group and JDP along with a selected list of independents.’ ‘As everyone is aware at the moment, we have a flooding crisis, the environment is changing, experiencing much heavier rainfall over a shorter period of time, with drainage systems struggling to cope. To combat this, designers and engineers are designing more capacity into drainage systems for both storage and carrying efficiency, explaining our shift in focus. We are looking to broaden our range to provide larger capacity pipes to cater for this market.’ Website launch JFC Plastics is delighted to announce the launch of its new website: www. Providing quick and easy access to information on its complete product range, including: detailed product information; product brochures; technical specifications; approval specifications; case studies; news and much more. Visit Tel: 01928 583391 Email:

April 2014 Page 155

Business profile

Generate business with Power Electrics Geoff Halliday discusses the fundamentals of generator sizing and highlights a few of the most commonly under-considered aspects


oday’s consulting engineer is confronted with a vast range of design challenges. These will vary from client-to-client and the unique requirements of each project; from a commercial building, a data centre, a remote location on the rail network or a life-critical medical facility. All bring

their own needs and varying degrees of complexity and can often require an array of specialist equipment and devices, which places very specific demands on both mains and standby generator supplies alike. It was quite common, and is often still the case even today, that the standby

generator was oversized ‘just in case’. Given the current economic situation and often very tight budgets, a more scientific approach needs to be adopted. There are many technical matters to be considered when installing a diesel generator. Each project will, by its nature, require the production of a detailed specification, referencing a multitude of BS/EN/ISO standards for elements of a piece of plant, be it large or small. Many specifications often introduce unique project requirements that often don’t fit neatly into a standard product portfolio; increasing the risk of additional cost. A typical project specification will make reference to a large number of BS/EN and ISO standards, a number of which do not directly align with EN/ISO 8529; the standard directly used by the European generating set manufacturing industry. This can lead to some confusion particularly in relation to the sizing of a generator from a load point of view but in particular the requirements for load application and rejection. Diesel generator standard definitions EN/ISO 8528 (the standard referred to in this article) offers a number of definitions for generating sets dependent upon the type of application; the most commonly used definitions are continuous power, prime power and standby power. Definitions A prime power rated generator is typically used in lieu of the mains supply and is capable of delivering its full rating, plus a 10 per cent overload for one-hour-intwelve. The generator must feed a varying electrical load with the demand not exceeding 70 per cent; its full rating over a given twenty-four-hour period. A standby rated generating set is designed as an emergency power source in the event of utility power failure. It’s able to supply power into a varying load for the duration of the emergency outage. The average power output shall typically not exceed 70 per cent of standby power rating. The set will typical run for no more than two-hundred-hours per year.

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Business profile

supply for up to four seconds in order to determine its stability. Over a further period of several seconds, it gradually ‘walks in’, progressively transferring from battery to generator supply, typically providing a period of more than ten seconds from the generator coming online to it managing the full UPS load (see graph above). Another similar example would be when the motor is operated and managed by a variable speed drive. It is also commonplace for chiller plant and other large mechanical plant to be sequenced in, either via internal controls, a BMS system or a load management system.

Performance classes ISO8528-5 identifies four classes of performance G1 to G4, G4 being much more onerous than G1. The four performance classes define the permitted tolerances of operation under both steady state and transient conditions for voltage and frequency. When an electrical load is applied to a generator it will have an effect on both the output voltage and frequency, reflecting the engine and alternator reaction to load. The applied load acts like a break on the engine and instantaneously the engine will slow causing the output frequency to fall. The performance criteria specify the level of permitted frequency excursion and recovery period. When a load is removed from the output the braking effect of the load is reduced and this will result in a momentary increase in speed; this section of the specification dictates the permitted excursion period and recovery time. The application or removal of a load from the generator will also cause a fluctuation in the output voltage; a reduction in voltage as the load is applied, and an increase in voltage when the load is rejected. As with the frequency the standard clearly defines the maximum permitted change of voltage and the time allowed for recovery. It is important to know that any generating set can meet the requirements of G1, G2, G3 and G4; the main consideration is the amount of load that can be applied or removed in one step.

Most manufacturers will offer a generating set and provide load-step data, based on a G2 level of performance. In the UK this typically reflects something close to performance of the mains supply. Load step A common misconception is that when the generator contactor/breaker(s) closes onto the building load, all of the connected loads are picked up at that moment. In many cases generators are sized on this basis. It’s very important to undertake a full-load analysis before selecting the most appropriate generator for the application. The second phase of analysis to understand the many different types of load present in the system and to consider the variation of methods used for controlling these devices and how they are energised. In certain types of load, and for some motor starting methods such as a star delta changeover, the highest transient loading may not occur at the moment it’s switched on. It’s necessary to consider how the transient varies until the normal operating load point is reached. A common piece of equipment in frequent use in many commercial organisations today is an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). In some environments a UPS could represent over 30 per cent of the total protected load. In this case, once the generator connection has been made to the distribution network, the UPS will monitor the

In conclusion With a full range of load-analysis data in hand, such sizing pitfalls can be avoided. Specifying a generator with an over-engineered first load step requirement will almost invariably result in an oversized generating set - not only increasing the capital cost of the generator itself but also adding significantly to other installation cost, such as: • • • •

acoustic treatment larger fuel system switchgear cable installation

A generator oversized against its running load will run less efficiently, burning more fuel per kW produced and discharging more CO2. This, in turn makes the generator prone to maintenance and reliability issues linked with light-load running (slobber) and will invariably result in both higher emissions and maintenance costs. Correct sizing is therefore critical, particularly where the equipment is installed at remote locations and the load is life-critical, such as for signalling systems on the rail network. Many of the top generator manufacturers have software programmes available to help the consultant and contractor with sizing their generator solution. The author acknowledges fully the contributions of BSI.

Geoff Halliday is sales director at Power Electrics Generators

Visit Tel: 0370 850 0858 Email:

April 2014 Page 157

Business profile

Getting smart with ticketing Smartcard solutions company, Cubic Transportation Systems, uses its wealth of experience to help make travelling on different modes of transport, and with different companies, a reality


013 was an important year for transport interoperability in the UK. London welcomed the introduction of contactless bank cards as accepted forms of payment on its buses, and Southern Railway rolled out ITSO smart-ticket acceptance capabilities to 100 of its stations. However, interoperable smart-ticketing is not a new phenomenon. London’s Oyster smartcard, which holds near-iconic status among public transport ticketing solutions, was introduced in 2003. To date, some 71 million cards have been issued and more than 80 per cent of public transport journeys in London are made using it. Furthermore, interoperable smart ticketing is a key component of almost

Page 158 April 2014

every proposal for the integrated public transport systems of tomorrow; be it the European Bus System of the Future (EBSF) or Cubic’s NextCity, with its visions of an integrated, multi-modal urban travel payment and information platform. NextCity visualises integration at a whole-of-transport level, combining urban travel ticketing and revenue management with private modes of transport, such as: bicycles; motor vehicles; long-distance rail; and commuter flights. The success of Oyster has inspired a host of similar schemes, but – like London’s smartcard – almost all are centred on particular cities, regions or networks. In the future, the challenge for interoperability is to combine these local schemes to create national schemes,

which is precisely what national ticketing organisations ITSO (Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation), AFIMB, (Agence Française de l’Information Multimodale et de la Billettique ) and VDV-KA (Verbands Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen) are working on. Cubic worked with Southern Railway on its ITSO project, and is an important step towards nationwide acceptance; Cubic won 2014’s MasterCard Transport Ticketing ‘Best smartcard ticketing initiative’ award as a result. Why interoperability? Why now? There are a number of reasons that explain why Transport for London and Southern projects were introduced, the most pertinent being the broad package of benefits that interoperability delivers:

Business profile

is working together. It changes not only what is possible for operators to deliver, but also what people expect them to deliver. Getting ready for the launch Before Cubic and Southern rolled out ITSO on the Southern network, Cubic and Southern employees set up a site at Cubic’s European headquarters to rigorously test the equipment before implementation. Cubic provides the ticketing system for TfL and is in a unique position with Southern’s owners, GoAhead, to ensure seamless integration with the London smartcard network. The frequent presence of Go-Ahead engineers on-site allowed Cubic and Southern to work together on integrated testing with other suppliers’ equipment, and build up valuable knowledge within both teams for the pilot and launch. It sets the standard to passengers, transit operators and governments alike. For passengers, buying a ticket for each leg of a bus, rail or London Underground journey, for example, is inconvenient and time-consuming. There are big advantages in having one ticket that is valid on all modes by multiple operators and is compatible with the full-range of automated readers and validation machines. Paper ticketing has limited benefits for operators compared with smartcards — it’s expensive to maintain and provides no data on usage patterns. The Southern project is a step towards the vision that uses the trusted magnetic stripe ticket. It’s enabled TfL’s transport infrastructure around London to accept ITSO cards on five key stations that sit in both the Southern and TfL networks. Now, customers whose journeys begin on Southern’s network in Brighton, for example, and end on the TfL network in Victoria, can use their ITSO-based smartcard to tap-in and tap-out. Previously, they would have to buy a paper ticket and leave their smartcard – which can be used on the rest of the Southern network and local bus routes – in their purse or wallet. More than just reducing costs Another reason for the enthusiasm is that, like all businesses, public transport operators need to reduce costs, increase revenues and keep the customers satisfied. Smart ticketing does more than just cut the cost of paper tickets, substantial though that is; it also provides operators with data about who their customers are and how and when they travel. Individual customer data is priceless. Consider what online retailers do with it; it helps them match supply with demand but, in today’s 24/7 digital culture, also enables them to tailor travel products to customers’ needs and then promote them, using the

innovative marketing methods employed by other market-focused retail businesses. Governments, meanwhile, welcome anything that persuades their populations to switch from cars to public transport. Growing global populations are increasingly concentrated in megaconurbations, with reduced distances between towns and cities, and commercial and industrial districts. Emissionreduction targets are getting tougher, coinciding with consumers’ growing awareness of the environmental impacts of their travel decisions. Furthermore, the pressure these factors exert on public transport systems is coming at a time of global economic uncertainty, when resources are scarce and expansion of the transport infrastructure is difficult. In addition to making travel more straightforward, interoperability generates data enabling operators to predict, influence and manage demand, meeting it as much as possible using existing capacity. This is a powerful catalogue of benefits, and what makes realising them a practical, not a theoretical, proposition

for the new way to design, implement, test and deploy ITSO rail schemes, demonstrating true interoperability in action. Fundamentally, interoperability calls for new relationships between operators and equipment suppliers. The Southern project illustrates this and although the value of a partnership between supplier and customer is touted so much that it can become a business cliché, it proved essential in this case. Ultimately, interoperable smartticketing has the potential to transform public transport. It makes travelling more attractive to passengers because of its convenience, ease-of-use and economic benefits while also increasing operators’ profitability by reducing costs and improving efficiencies. This, in turn, helps meet government requirements of moving growing populations in-and-around expanding cities in an environmentallyresponsible manner, using the existing infrastructure. Visit Tel: 01737 782 560 Email: April 2014 Page 159

People News Abi Smith joins RBF The Railway Benefit Fund has appointed charity fund raiser Smith as its new executive director. She joins from the Claire House Children’s Hospice, where she was area fundraising manager. Said Smith: ‘I feel privileged to be working for one of the longest-running charities in the UK.’ Visit www. Change of team at Northern Rail The UK’s largest train operator is changing its director team to ‘give a sharper focus to train service performance and customer service.’ Northern has appointed Natalie Loughborough, previously at ScotRail, as customer service director and executive sponsor for customer experience across First Group bids. Alan Chaplin, formerly CEO, is now service delivery director, overseeing operations, engineering, performance and control. Rob Warnes has a new role as planning and programmes director, and Richard Allan, as the new commercial director, is responsible for revenue, retailing, communications and external relations. Lee Wasnidge becomes transition director, to oversee the move into the anticipated interim franchise for Northern, due to have started on 1 April.

Frank Millar Frank Millar joins Spencer Group Spencer Group has appointed Millar as its new group chief executive. The company’s founder and current CEO, Charlie Spencer, will become chairman. Millar is currently operations director of Costain’s Natural Resources division.

Prior to that, he was with engineering consultancy AMEC. He is also president of the management board of the Engineering and Construction Industry Association. Charlie Spencer said: ‘I am moving up to chairman because I recognise the business needs a CEO with Frank’s experience to take it forward.’

Board changes at Kier Group Paul Sheffield will step down as chief executive and from the board from 30th June. Haydn Mursell, currently group finance director, will become the new CEO from 1 July. Sheffield said: ‘Since I joined Kier in 1983, the group has grown enormously. I’m very proud of what we have accomplished but feel it is now the right time to transition the leadership.’ Jim Spittle new president of CILT UK The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport has appointed Spittle as UK president-elect. He will assume the one-year role from current president Jim Steer at an inaugural lunch on May 16. Spittle is one of the country’s leading authorities on global supply chains. He is chairman of international data standards company GS1, and an advisory board member of both de Poel and Cranfield university’s Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Page 160 April 2014

Natalie Loughborough


Opportunities to work with a global leader in the rail industry…

L.B. Foster Rail Technologies (UK) is a market leading Friction Management and Track Product solutions provider to the global rail industry. The UK business is part of the L.B. Foster Group of Companies and operates across the EMEA region. It is supported by a strong brand presence synonymous with quality, service delivery and innovation. Having recently undergone a period of expansion the Company has identified the need to recruit a number of positions to assist with the further development of the business. Product Specialist – Track Products

Internal Sales

You will be responsible for the Track Products product line contribution within the EMEA Rail business. This includes delivering sales growth for all existing products in accordance with our strategy as well as executing the development and market strategy for new products. Further you will identify opportunities to increase the profitability of existing Track Products’ product lines building on existing ideas and pro-actively developing new ideas based on targeted actions (e.g. through internal/external product workshops), your industry experience, your contact with customers and feedback from other customer-facing colleagues.

Reporting directly to the Internal Sales Manager the Lead Sales Coordinator will have direct responsibilities for the generation of quotes. This duty requires a level of technical product knowledge, competence to generate standard quotes and the ability to glean the necessary information from the sales colleague requesting the quotation.

Regional Sales Engineers – Rail Responsibility for directly calling on and selling to all rail customers in an assigned territory. To lead and oversee the bidding and quoting processes to those customers located within your geographic area, reporting competitor activity and working with Product Managers to execute sales growth for all existing rail products in accordance with our strategy.

Quality Engineer In this role you will be accountable for driving ‘right first time’ quality excellence, applying quality tools and methodology to drive continuous improvement. Responsibility for the day to day management of the Business Management System.

Design Engineer You will be responsible for undertaking Engineering Design and Development work for the UK business, including planning and delivering short task and project designs. You will also support the sales process via the provision of technical review and responses to enquiries and tenders.

Office Administrator Providing additional back office support to the Commercial Team (office and field based staff). The role includes sales order processing, general office administration and reception.

Market Analyst (6 month Contract) Production Operative (6 months Contract) Under Graduate Placement/Intern Positions (12 month Contract) If you are interested in any of the above roles pleases send your CV to Alternatively, if you have further questions regarding any of these positions, please contact Sarah Mackie on 0114 256 7587.

Strictly No Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment Critical Project Resourcing Ltd is a specialist Infrastructure Recruitment Business specialising in Railway Recruitment since 2004. We are preferred suppliers to the majority of the Railway Civil Engineering Companies and we’ve worked with all of the largest Rail Consultancies and Main Contractors. We have dedicated consultants specialising in Permanent Way, Signalling, Electrification and Rail Civil Engineering.

T: E: W:

Critical Project Resourcing Ltd 01732 455 300

Ref: VR/22689/JL An opportunity has come up for a Telecommunications CRE to join an established rail infrastructure business. With involvement in the Great Western Electrification project and other enhancement projects for Network Rail, my client is looking for a Telecoms CRE to join the team in Swindon. This is a contract vacancy initially for 12 months. As Telecoms CRE, you will be responsible for engineering activities and deliverables and the quality of all engineering deliverables. You will also be required to apply Safe by Design culture, reviewing designs and approving hazard mitigations, the competency of engineering staff and acting as Design Team Leader. Ideally you will have a degree or HND and hold an IRSE Telecoms licence (ideally). If you are interested in this position and would like to know more, please contact Jo Ludlam on; T: 01732 455300 E:

More opportunities on our website Please call us on 01732 455 300 for a confidential discussion about your career at any time



Managing director Mendip Rail Driver Learning Specialist - East Croydon Up to £50,000 (dependant upon experience) Working to a flexible schedule with an on-call element, this role primarily involves supporting trainee train drivers throughout their journey to becoming fully qualified and productive. You'll facilitate a variety of activities to support learners, from instructing in the cab, to formal learning activities in training centres and simulators. Required Experience: Applicants must be current train drivers and hold an in date licence, a minimum of four years mainline driving experience is essential. Competency Development Manager - East Croydon Up to £50,000 (dependant upon experience) Working as part of a team with a rostered shift pattern, this role primarily involves supporting qualified safety-critical staff. As well as formal learning and assessment activities, it includes first line incident response duties, dealing with major incidents and working as a Train Operations Liaison Manager. Required Experience: Applicants must be current train drivers and hold an in date licence, a minimum of four years mainline driving experience is essential. To apply: You must be authorised to live and work in the UK. To apply contact Russell James on 01332 861811 or email a copy of your CV to

Merehead, near Frome, Somerset Hanson is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of construction materials and part of the HeidelbergCement Group. We are seeking an experienced managing director for Mendip Rail, a joint venture rail freight business operated by Hanson and Aggregate Industries. You will oversee the transportation of over five million tonnes of aggregates a year, manage the locomotive fleet and lead a multidisciplinary management team to ensure procurement, finance and business development plans are delivered. With excellent leadership and communication skills and commercial and operational experience within the rail industry, you will manage budgets, volume and cost control across the business. Working with stakeholders, suppliers, engineering groups, freight companies and Network Rail, you will also ensure that all activity and operations are in line with company regulations and carried out to the highest health, safety, and environmental standards. Applicants must have relevant industry experience and be educated to degree level within an engineering discipline, or equivalent. Successful applicants will be offered a competitive salary, bonus, health cover and contributory pension. To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to: Becky Murphy, Human Resources, Hanson UK, Hanson House, 14 Castle Hill, Maidenhead SL6 4JJ, or email: Closing date for applications: April 25, 2014 For more information about Hanson, or to apply on line, visit We are an equal opportunities employer. Please ensure that you are legally able to work in the UK before applying for this role.

Page 162 April 2014


Drive the Inter City Express programme A £multi-billion investment in the Great Western route will see the biggest transformation since the days of Brunel. From route resignalling and electrification to Crossrail and station developments, we’ll create a rail network for the future and provide an even better experience for 1.8 million customers every week. At the heart of this transformation will be the Inter City Express Programme (IEP) that involves major infrastructure enhancements and the introduction of a brand new fleet of high speed trains. Proud to be contracted by the DfT to deliver this programme, we can offer you the opportunity to help us drive change and make history. If you’ve an impressive railway background and can work closely with clients and colleagues at all levels, join us on an amazing journey and apply at

IEP Acceptance Manager Paddington | £45-60k

IEP Train Development Manager

Identifying and managing all acceptance requirements for the IEP Programme, you’ll also help to make sure that our plans deliver due diligence and also our contractual commitments.

Paddington | £45-60k

IEP Systems Manager

Project Planning & Delivery Manager

Paddington | £45-60k

You’ll identify and manage all IT System interface issues for the IEP Programme and help to develop technical requirements, as well as ensure our plans deliver our contractual commitments.

IEP Training Manager

As well as influencing the design of high speed trains, you’ll help to shape relevant train operations systems and IEP training and competency management programmes.

Swindon | £35k

Using your knowledge of planning software and project management methodology, you’ll maximise resources and ensure all projects have comprehensive work and cost breakdown structures.

Paddington | £45-60k

Performance Analyst

Part of our Operations Training team, you’ll take responsibility for all third party IEP training, making sure it dovetails with our broader recruitment, training and programmes.

Swindon | £competitive

Qualified in railway train and rolling stock maintenance, you’ll ensure the safety and reliable performance of our train fleet by managing and analysing Fleet Engineering Safety and Performance data.


South West (Swindon or Bristol)


Salary/Rate: £50,000 - £70,000 + benefits


Our client is a major player within the Rail industry with significant projects across track, signalling, OHL, stations and bridges. Due to recent growth, an excellent opportunity has been presented for an experienced Senior Estimator to join the pre-contract team for a major Rail framework. You will lead key Rail bids for this main contractor on Network rail contracts. OLE ENGINEER- CIVIL ENGINEERING - RAIL - PERMANENT



London Salary/Rate: £40,000 - £45,000 Basic + Overtime + Car Allowance An exciting opportunity has risen for an ambitious OLE Engineer to join one of the UK’s largest Civil Engineering Contractors on the Thames Link project. OLE SENIOR LINESMAN- CIVIL ENGINEERING - RAIL - PERMANENT START DATE: ASAP

London Salary/Rate: £35,000 - £40,000 Basic + Overtime + Car Allowance An exciting opportunity has risen for an ambitious OLE Senior Linesman to join one of the UK’s largest Civil Engineering Contractors on the Thames Link project. For further information on the above roles or to enquire about other vacancies with ATA, please contact the Rail team on: 01332 861326 or email your details to referencing RAILPRO + Job Title Or visit our website at: WWW.ATA-RECRUITMENT.CO.UK

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

Contact us by visiting:









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