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DECember 2019 Issue 258 £7.95



Innovation and celebration of freight Harnessing the power of modern technology on the freight network

ROLLING STOCK Trains of the future

TUNNELING Soil nailing design on the Arley Tunnel

SKILLS A three-pronged skills challenge



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EDITORIAL EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE editor@railpro.co.uk DISPLAY ADVERTISING CHRISTIAN WILES chris@railpro.co.uk BEN WARING ben@railpro.co.uk AMY HUDSON Amy@railpro.co.uk RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING recruitment@railpro.co.uk SUBSCRIPTIONS subscriptions@railpro.co.uk ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT info@railpro.co.uk LISA ETHERINGTON admin@railpro.co.uk GILL DUNN office@railpro.co.uk KIRSTY CARTER projects@railpro.co.uk DESIGN & PRODUCTION MILES JOHNSTONE production@railpro.co.uk

Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may


t the time of writing, the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats had all published their manifestos. The twin pillars of HS2 and ‘privatisation vs. nationalisation’ dominate the references to rail in the manifestos. There appears to be consensus among the three main parties that HS2 should be completed, with some sort of change to the franchising model being proposed by all. The Conservative manifesto also nods towards the Northern Powerhouse as a key part of its transport strategy. I look forward to seeing what 2020 will bring but coming back to our final issue of the year we are focussing on freight and rolling stock. Max Bladon of Atkins Transport Consulting & Advisory explains why he believes freight is the unsung major success story of rail privatisation and Nigel Day, Engineering Director at VTG Rail, explores the technological advancements being made in the sector. We also have features from IOSH, England’s Economic Heartland and an extra special review of the year from our freight columnist, Alex Veitch of the FTA. Our rolling stock features come from Hitachi, Frazer Nash and Midel. My interview this month is with Dax Cross, CEO of Revenue Analytics, we discussed artificial intelligence and the new software the company is launching in collaboration with an operator this month. We spoke about the blend of human and artificial intelligence that the software allows. The connection might not seem obvious, but I am a big fan of Formula One and in the last five years of the hybrid engine era a big development has been the amount of data that the engineers can harvest from a single lap of the track. Measuring the speed through different corners, sector breakdowns within the lap immediately relayed to the team who can analyse everything through the computer. However, there are often times when the only way for the team to get the data they need is by literally looking at the car and checking the condition of the tyres with the naked eye. And of course, these F1 teams are now much larger than they used to be as the new possibilities presented by technological advancement afford new opportunities for work. The same could be said of the new opportunities presented by the technology I discussed with Dax, as he says: ‘Without humans involved, you might not realise the data is bad, and feeding bad data into an algorithm will only result in bad recommendations. We want to bake human intelligence into the technology during system configuration.’ It will be sometime until automated systems run unmanned and it could be that human intelligence will always be necessary to achieve optimal performance. And on that positive note I would like to say thank you very much for the wonderful reception to the fifth edition of our Supply Chain Directory which we put out at the start of the year. The sixth edition will be out at the start of next year and I look forward to hearing all your feedback again. I hope you all enjoy the last few working weeks of 2019. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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08 News Northern Leaders call for HS2 and NPR to be delivered together in full, Cleveland bridge UK landmark project for north Yorkshire moors railway, TfW announce Sunday Railway Revolution across Wales, Greater Anglia slashes delays for West Anglia commuter trains, Contactless journeys pass the million mark, Regions take on more as Network Rail’s devolution journey continues, Energy-efficient intelligent rail system forms part of Innovate UK backed consortium, The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo returns in 2020

17 Delivering the goods Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy at FTA, examines the RFG report on rail freight improvement strategies

21 The Cheek of it Chris reflects on the remarkable record of patronage growth on Britain’s rail network and considers some of the changes that have driven the numbers over the last twenty years

25 Women in Rail As Women in Rail heads towards the end of another year, I reflect on the achievements we have made collectively as a team in the previous twelve months

27 Laying down the law Ensuring that an employee receives the correct level of holiday pay is one of the many obligations of an employer

31 Viewpoint We all know the skills shortage that exists in the rail sector and so we know there are likely to be more job vacancies than people in the rail industry for the foreseeable future, presenting job seekers with more options

35 Interview Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Dax Cross, CEO of Revenue Analytics – the pioneers of pricing and revenue management – about the company’s upcoming software launch

39 Viewpoint Digitalisation of the rail industry is progressing at a steady pace, as stakeholders seek new opportunities to improve their efficiency and customer experience

43 Viewpoint Richard Pill presents an abridged version of the paper submitted to the English Economic Heartlands Consultation Outline Transport Strategy Outline Engagement

47 Viewpoint Kate Walker Miles, tutor at RADA Business provides insight into how rail workers can harness the power of improvisation to develop their communication and impact skills

51 Viewpoint Tim Bellenger, Director, Policy and Investigation, London TravelWatch explains how exposing trainees to activity outside of their new profession can aid their development

55 Freight Martin Tugwell, Programme Director at England’s Economic Heartland, summarises the group’s freight study


Rail Professional



08 News Northern Leaders call for HS2 and NPR to be delivered together in full, Cleveland bridge UK landmark project for north Yorkshire moors railway, TfW announce Sunday Railway Revolution across Wales, Greater Anglia slashes delays for West Anglia commuter trains, Contactless journeys pass the million mark, Regions take on more as Network Rail’s devolution journey continues, Energy-efficient intelligent rail system forms part of Innovate UK backed consortium, The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo returns in 2020

17 Delivering the goods Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy at FTA, examines the RFG report on rail freight improvement strategies

21 The Cheek of it Chris reflects on the remarkable record of patronage growth on Britain’s rail network and considers some of the changes that have driven the numbers over the last twenty years

25 Women in Rail As Women in Rail heads towards the end of another year, Adeline Ginn reflects on the achievements Women in Rail has made collectively as a team in the previous twelve months

27 Laying down the law Ensuring that an employee receives the correct level of holiday pay is one of the many obligations of an employer

31 Viewpoint We all know the skills shortage that exists in the rail sector and so we know there are likely to be more job vacancies than people in the rail industry for the foreseeable future, presenting job seekers with more options

35 Interview Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Dax Cross, CEO of Revenue Analytics – the pioneers of pricing and revenue management – about the company’s upcoming software launch

39 Viewpoint Digitalisation of the rail industry is progressing at a steady pace, as stakeholders seek new opportunities to improve their efficiency and customer experience

43 Viewpoint Richard Pill presents an abridged version of the paper submitted to the English Economic Heartlands Consultation Outline Transport Strategy Outline Engagement

47 Viewpoint Kate Walker Miles, tutor at RADA Business provides insight into how rail workers can harness the power of improvisation to develop their communication and impact skills

51 Viewpoint Tim Bellenger, Director, Policy and Investigation at London TravelWatch explains how exposing trainees to activity outside of their new profession can aid their development

55 Freight Martin Tugwell, Programme Director at England’s Economic Heartland, summarises the group’s freight study


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80 Rolling Stock The UK rail sector is preparing to embark on an exciting journey towards zero emissions. Koji Agatsuma, Group COO Rolling Stock at Hitachi Rail explains how Hitachi’s battery train solutions can help ensure the UK meets the legal target of ‘no net emissions’ by 2050

83 Skills In the face of a significant skills shortage across the industry, transport operators must work harder to attract the best talent. Alistair Gordon, CEO of Keolis UK, explains how Transport for Wales is doing just that

87 Skills

59 Freight Max Bladon, Principal Consultant at Atkins Transport Consulting & Advisory, champions freight as a major success story of rail privatisation

63 Freight Phil Hibberd, a committee member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s Railway Group and Engagement Manager at the Rail Safety and Standards Board, explores how safety is managed

68 Freight Nigel Day, Engineering Director at VTG Rail, explores the technological advancements being made in freight

Clair Mowbray, Chief Executive of the National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure lays out the skills challenges facing the UK

91 Tunneling Ben Foulger, Business Development Director at CAN Geotechnical Ltd, describes how its approach to soil nailing design helped in a recent project

95 Business Profiles Rail Training International, Anderton Concrete, IOSH, Manchester Metrology, Forbo Flooring, MTM Power, RAIL Asia, CHH CoNeX, Keller, Tiflex Limited, Super Rod S-O-T Ltd, Millenium Site Services, Torrent Trackside, JR Whitehead

144 People

70 Freight As this year draws to a close, Alex Veitch looks back on the past twelve months

Patrick Jeantet, Anne Somers

73 Rolling Stock Keith Hutchins of Frazer-Nash Consultancy combines his 40 years’ experience in rolling stock with colleague Peter van Manen’s digital twinning expertise, developed over 20 years’ in Formula One, to explore how new digital technologies and smart data management can help to improve train reliability

77 Rolling Stock High-speed rail can change the world. It can open up opportunities for places previously closed off from economic centres, revitalise cities and even protect the environment by providing a viable alternative to certain flight routes




News in brief... Virgin Trains helps 30 people out of homelessness and into work through coffee partnership A partnership between Virgin Trains and a social enterprise has helped 30 people who have experienced homelessness into work as baristas. The train operator joined forces with Change Please in October 2018 to offer a premium coffee range onboard, with Change Please’s profits from the partnership going towards reducing homelessness and providing support to those on its programme. The organisation helps those without a place to live; providing full barista training, paying the London living wage and offering support with housing, bank accounts, applying for jobs and mental wellbeing. RSSB and University of Birmingham will host the World Congress on Railway Research RSSB and the University of Birmingham are delighted to announce that they will jointly host the next World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR) on 6th to 10th June 2022 at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Bringing together industry leaders and researchers, WCRR is a forum for the global railway research community to share the latest research, innovations and solutions across different topics. Held every three years in a different host nation, the congress carries a mission to promote the value and benefits of railway research, excellence in research and technology development, and worldwide collaboration and sharing of technical knowledge.

Northern Leaders call for HS2 and NPR delivered together, in full Connecting Britain, a coalition of business and cross-party political leaders, has welcomed the findings published in a leaked report that outlines how HS2 will boost the North. Recent reports reveal that the independent Oakervee review into HS2 recommends the next government should go ahead with the scheme to boost rail capacity. Just days after northern businesses and elected leaders published a shared Manifesto for the North, the reports reveal that: • without HS2 ‘large ticket price rises’ would be needed to discourage travel at peak times • HS2 could benefit cities in the north & Midlands more than London because of improved connections on intercity lines • the journey from Leeds to Birmingham will be more than halved, from about two hours to 45 minutes • there are no ‘shovel-ready’ alternative investments that could be made in the existing network to improve much-needed additional rail capacity. Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: ‘We welcome this apparent acknowledgement that HS2 will boost the north and begin to level-up decades of under investment in our regions. ‘But we still don’t expect the Oakervee review’s final report until later this autumn and so in the meantime we will continue to present the case that HS2 & NPR need to be delivered together, in full.’ Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Lead, said: ‘By delivering HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail we will transform towns and cities across the North, helping to attract investment and provide good quality jobs for decades to come. ‘A green light on HS2 in full, together with NPR, would be a clear signal from any future government that it recognises the historic underinvestment in transport infrastructure outside London.’

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News in brief... Eurostar celebrates 25 years with new environmental commitments Over the last 25 years Eurostar has carried over 200 million passengers. With each Eurostar journey emitting up to 90 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than the equivalent flight, and less carbon emitted per passenger than a single car journey from central London to Heathrow airport, the environmental benefits of high-speed rail are significant. With its longstanding Tread Lightly environmental programme, established in 2007, Eurostar has reduced its carbon footprint by over 40 per cent and celebrates its 25th anniversary with ambitious new commitments reinforcing its position as the most sustainable choice for short-haul European travel.


Cleveland bridge UK landmark project for north Yorkshire moors railway Global design, fabrication, construction and engineering company Cleveland Bridge UK has begun works on North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) landmark Bridge 27. The work is the first in a series of scheduled vital repairs for the world-famous visitor attraction and popular movie location, as part of its Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey (YMJ) project. Carrying the 180-year-old railway over the Eller Beck at Goathland Station, the 20-metre Bridge 27 is best recognised as the iconic track leading to Hogsmeade Station, where the young wizards embarked for Hogwarts in the first Harry Potter movie, The Philosopher’s Stone. The 84 tonne, single span bridge is being constructed at Cleveland Bridge UK’s 27,000sqm factory in Darlington, which has the capacity to enable its engineers to undertake a full trial assembly of the structure. As part of Cleveland Bridge’s expansion of its services to its clients, it was able to offer NYMR a full turn-key package for the project including the dismantling and removal of the old structure, earthworks, pre-casting of concrete elements, installation of the new structure and in-situ casting of the new deck. The trial assembly ensures a more efficient final installation when the bridge components are transported by road to Middlesbrough and then via rail to Goathland in the New Year.

Freightliner Wins Rail Freight Operator of the Year at Global Freight Awards Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) was named “Rail Freight Operator of the Year” at the 2019 Global Freight Awards, the UK’s flagship awards programme that recognises and rewards excellence across all freight sectors. Freightliner has won the award twelve times since the Readers’ Vote was introduced in 2005. Metro Mayor marks completion of new rail depot, recognises local workers and regional firms Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has marked the completion of the new Stadler Rail depot in Kirkdale. The £21 million rebuild of the depot facilities began in 2018 and is part of the £460 million being invested in the new trains and related infrastructure. The newly

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News in brief... upgraded depot includes washing and heavy maintenance capabilities as well as stabling room for 30 of the new eight car trains. The facility is also equipped with 24-hour CCTV and secure access controls. Fresh campaign by BTP and the rail industry as drink related injuries on the railway reach record levels British Transport Police and Network Rail have teamed up to tackle drink related injuries as newly released figures show a 30 per cent increase in alcohol-related incidents on the railway in the last decade. The runup to Christmas sees a spike in the number of incidents on the railway across Britain, including slips, trips and falls at stations as well as more serious trespass offences. Incidents rise to an average of 25 a day over Christmas- double the amount compared to previous months, and figures show there were 5,187 alcohol-related incidents last December – compared to 4,004 in 2010/11. In addition to safety concerns, more than 4,300 hours of delays nationally were attributed to alcohol-related incidents last year FUTURE Designs’ wins Lux Award for Crossrail lighting FUTURE Designs won the Industrial and Transport Lighting Project of the Year at the Lux Awards 2019 for its bespoke lighting solution, IKON, for Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure project. FUTURE Designs developed and manufactured IKON to deliver a bespoke 50,000 lumen uplight within this subterranean infrastructure. Survey launched ahead of Perry Barr regeneration People who live, work or travel in and around Perry Barr are being urged by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Birmingham City Council (BCC) to take part in a travel survey ahead of £500 million

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TfW announce Sunday Railway Revolution across Wales Sunday railway timetables across Wales will be transformed this December with a 40 per cent increase in services across the network, a significant step toward the creation of a truly seven-day railway. An additional 186 Sunday services will provide an economic boost throughout the country, providing essential links between cities, towns and villages. Rail passengers will see the introduction of a Sunday service to Maesteg for the very first time, services doubled between Cardiff Central and Swansea, additional seasonal services will now run all year along the North Wales Coast as well as increased frequencies on valley lines. Expected to help boost the tourism industry in Wales, TfW will create new Sunday services between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog creating an all year-round Sunday service. There will be four services in each direction providing vital links to tourist destinations in the area. The Cambrian coast will also see a huge benefit, going from one Sunday service a day in each direction between Machynlleth and Pwllheli to five in each direction. The confirmation of the extra Sunday services, follows TfW’s announcement about increased capacity for weekday services this December. Valley lines will see more four-carriage trains on peak services and combined with other rolling stock changes, will provide space for up to 6,500 more commuters every week passengers between Cheltenham and Maesteg, and between Cardiff and Ebbw Vale will have the benefit of modern Class 170 trains with more space, onboard passenger information systems, accessible toilets, air conditioning, Wi-Fi and power sockets long distance passengers on some services between North Wales and Manchester will be traveling on more modern ‘Mark 4 intercity’ carriages.

Greater Anglia slashes delays for West Anglia commuter trains Greater Anglia has reduced delays caused by faults on its West Anglia commuter trains by almost half. Between December 2018 and October 2019, delay minutes for its Class 317 commuter trains – which run through Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex – were down 48 per cent, and cancellations were down 14 per cent over the same period. The improvement is down to a new approach to tackling the most common causes of problems for this type of train. The most commonly occurring faults were found to be problems with doors, traction motors and couplers – which link two trains together. As a result, the team at the company’s engineering depot has improved its maintenance systems, replaced many old and worn out parts and is monitoring wear and tear more closely to prevent further faults occurring which could cause delays. They also brought in a dedicated team from Arriva Train Care, based at Cambridge, to focus on fixing door problems. The team used specialist equipment to remotely monitor the doors while they were in service and predict when faults were about to occur, enabling the team to take preventative action so that trains were not delayed. This, combined with an improved set of maintenance instructions for all technicians, has proved to be so successful that it is now being used by teams maintaining other types of train at other Greater Anglia depots. Greater Anglia’s Engineering Director, Martin Beable, said: ‘Our engineers set about researching the most commonly occurring faults and, following a sustained focus on finding permanent solutions to them, we have seen a big improvement in the trains’ performance. ‘This means that the Class 317 trains are now running far more reliably than before and we are committed to further improving these higher performance levels for our passengers.’ Last year the train operator completed a £1 million refurbishment of its 72 Class 317 carriages installing new standard seat covers and vinyl flooring, new First Class seat covers, trim and carpets, re-sprayed interiors, new signage and a deep clean throughout.

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News in brief... investment in the area. The survey data will be used by transport bosses to help people plan and make changes to their journeys whilst construction work takes place. Responses will be used to identify the most popular times and ways people travel around Perry Barr to help develop journey planning solutions and alternative options for travel while the work is carried out. LRTA Sponsors Light Rail Conference in Blackpool The Light Rail Transit Association will sponsor the Fylde Coast Light Rail Conference 2020 at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool on Tuesday, 18th February 2020. The conference is being organised by Sam Flynn of Trams to Lytham and will bring together local authorities, transport professionals and the general public to discuss and debate the past, present and future of light rail, trams, and other forms of public transport in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde. Jane Cole, Managing Director of Blackpool Transport will be among many high-profile speakers at the event. Merseyrail launches smoking ban at all stations Merseyrail has announced a smoking ban at all stations on its network from 1st December. From this date, passengers will not be allowed to smoke in any public areas of Merseyrail stations or platforms with the exception of car parks. The move comes off the back of the national Stoptober campaign, and is part of Merseyrail’s commitment to cleaner air and the comfort of its passengers across the network. Vaping and e-cigarettes are also included in the ban, and Merseyrail staff and Byelaw Enforcement Officers will be actively requesting passengers to stop smoking on platforms and other areas of stations from December.

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Contactless journeys pass the million mark Metrolink’s contactless payment system has hit the millionjourney mark, just four months after its launch on 15th July. This milestone for the new payment system shows that people are quickly adopting the easyto-use way to pay. Contactless cuts out the need to buy a paper ticket or download the app passengers simply use a contactlessenabled device, such as a bank card, phone or smart watch, to ‘touch-in’ and ‘touch-out’ at tram stops at the start and end of their journey, with the system working out their fare, up to a daily cap. December is Metrolink’s busiest month, with approximately 300,000 extra journeys expected to be made, and Transport for Greater Manchester’s Christmas campaign is full of inspiration to help customers get the most out of their Metrolink ticket.

Regions take on more as Network Rail’s devolution journey continues Network Rail’s new geographic regions, established in June, have taken on accountability for the delivery of all projects within their borders, including track and signalling. This is the second phase of the company’s transformation into a customer and passenger focussed business. The changes, which came into effect on 11th November, include more teams transferring to the regions, to the newly established Network Services, as well to the existing Route Services and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) directorate. Accountability for the delivery of capital delivery projects moves to the regions. There are now five new regional Capital Delivery Directors who report to the regional Managing Directors: • Eastern – Rob Cairns • North West & Central – Eoin O’Neill • Scotland – Kris Kinnear • Southern – Tim Coucher (interim) • Wales & Western – Stuart Calvert Northern Programmes, a capital projects programme in the North of England, spans Network Rail’s Eastern and North West and Central regions under the leadership of Chris Montgomery, Major Programmes Director. Accountability for commercial policy, standards and assurance moves to Route Services, which now manages all supply chain operations, contracts and procurement, and other services on behalf of Network Rail regions and routes. The programme of changes included the formation of Network Services which manages six key areas of the railway including national operations, security, telecoms, freight, national performance and passenger information during disruption. On 24th June 2019 five regions were created to enable decision making and responsibility to be devolved away from a centralised organisation to smaller, nimbler and customer focussed businesses. That journey continued in September when 14 routes ‘went live’ taking on the day-to day responsibility for delivering a safe and reliable railway for its millions of passengers and freight users. Phase three is planned for Summer 2020, with more teams set to transfer into the new structure. Putting Passengers First programme changes are expected to be completed by the end of 2020



Energy-efficient intelligent rail system forms part of Innovate UK backed consortium South Wales-based Catapult is collaborating with a consortium of organisations to deliver an IoT sensing platform that will enable intelligent railway monitoring. SPECTRAIL is an Innovate UK backed project which recently won funding from the Department of Transport as part of a series of projects under Network Rail’s R&D programme. The consortium, which also includes AP Sensing, Pyreos and Lightricity, is tasked with developing a low-cost, multi-sensor system which explores new areas of railway monitoring including track obstructions, human trespassing, track temperature changes, soil saturation and pollution levels. The project will provide Network Rail with a cost-effective and energy-efficient way of collecting data to enhance a predict-and-prevent maintenance strategy, through the sensorisation of track areas previously inaccessible due to lack of power, connectivity or prohibitive costs. The sensor system will tap into Network Rail’s existing fibre optic cable network, using AP Sensing’s Distributed Acoustic/Vibration Sensing (DAS/DVS) system which ‘listens’ over a 70 kilometre range by detecting changes in light transmission caused by the acoustic disturbances on fibre cables. The DAS/DVS will be augmented through combining the technologies of the consortium partners. CSA Catapult will integrate all the intelligent and self-sustaining sensor nodes in order to transmit sensor data through the cable network. These sensor nodes are designed to interact with the pyroelectric infrared sensors provided by Pyreos, that detect fire, temperature changes, motion and graffiti activities. The entire system will harvest energy from Lightricity’s ultra-efficient solar cells, meaning that every part of the architecture is powered by renewable energy. Field trials of the system will begin in 2020 at Network Rail Melton, with the objective of providing condition knowledge that allows Network Rail to detect problems like fire and trespass whilst enhancing line safety and security management to previously unfeasible levels.

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The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo returns in 2020 With more than 350 suppliers showcasing their latest onboard products and services, World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo – running from 31st March to 2nd April 2020 at the Hamburg Messe – will be the premier place for rail operators to stay up to date with industry trends and build their business network. Suppliers including LSG Group, En Route International and Kaelis On Board Services will return to the show alongside 60-plus first-time exhibitors, including Qikfresh, Yangzhou Haisheng Slipper Co., Stoats Porridge Bars Ltd. They will demonstrate how the most innovative food, beverage and foodservice equipment can help rail companies improve passenger experience.

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What is the role for road charging in modal shift to rail? Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy at FTA, examines the RFG report on rail freight improvement strategies


arlier this year, the Rail Freight Group (RFG) released a comprehensive report on suggested strategies to improve rail freight in the UK. The report, titled: ‘What level of ambition is achievable and worthwhile for rail freight?’ highlights the key policies RFG sees as necessary to unlock growth in rail freight and encourage modal shift. The report also highlights RFG’s ambition to generate between £75-90 billion in both economic and environmental benefits over the coming decade. While FTA, the voice of the UK logistics sector, supports most of the proposals detailed, including the need to electrify core routes, there is one area where FTA has a more nuanced view. Firstly, let’s look at the positives in the report. FTA fully supports its core asks, which include: accelerated investment in the Strategic Freight Network to unlock capacity and improve train efficiencies; the promotion of new rail linked facilities and reform of planning law; and finally, increased grants and access charge discounts to encourage uptake. However, the RFG also calls for distancebased road pricing for HGVs within the report, with the aim of ‘recouping the full costs HGVs impose on society with extra charges, rather than being revenue neutral’. The study goes further, arguing that because distance-based road user charging (RUC) would target longer distance road flows, this would support rail’s natural advantage on those flows, with road haulage catering for more local transport. It also argues that RUC for HGVs could raise significant revenue: £6.7 billion if external costs are charged (2007 prices).

In the view of FTA, if the right policy measures are taken, then it should not be necessary to make road freight more expensive for rail freight to grow. The UK already has the highest fuel tax in Europe, with margins squeezed to such an extent that driver wages have been stagnating, leading in part to the driver shortages we see today. FTA could support RUC, but we need to understand better what it would and would not achieve. It could be highly useful for reducing road congestion for example. However, the benefits for environmental purposes seem minimal, and, to avoid discouraging the adoption of electric vehicles, the scheme should only be used as a replacement for fuel duty when alternative fuels have completely replaced fossil fuels. In the view of FTA, road pricing is not the most effective way of maximising the role of alternative modes. Improving rail freight itself is a more targeted and effective

method to increase modal share. This can be achieved through policies such as cutting Track Access Charges, which will reduce costs of the service, as well as increasing the geographical spread of services, frequency and the range of locations where freight can access the network. Furthermore, there is currently a large amount of pent-up demand for rail freight. FTA’s members within the ports sector, who also have rail connections, are some of the biggest proponents of rail – particularly for containerised and aggregate movements. And, in several cases, they themselves have funded rail enhancements. Enhancing connections from our major ports, as supported by ourselves, RFG, Major Ports Group, BPA and many other logistics stakeholders, would be a major step to increasing use of rail freight. It is not quantified exactly what the ceiling for rail freight is, but the DfT’s Rail Freight Strategy document talks about

FTA supports most of the initiatives proposed by RFG, and believes growth in rail freight is necessary, desirable and achievable. However, we do feel there are some concepts that may need reviewing and we beg to differ on revenue-raising distance-based road pricing. FTA carefully considers the needs of its members and is always willing to act as a voice and lend its advice – let’s get together for a policy debate to find solutions for the whole of UK logistics Rail Professional



the upper end of achievable rail freight growth equating to about five per cent of current road freight movements. Slightly more may be possible, but the truth is that 90 per cent or more of road freight is not price sensitive to changing to rail – their movement is simply not suited to the mode, no matter what the charges involved. This is why improving rail is the right solution – it targets that proportion who are able to use rail, in a way blanket road pricing (just like fuel duty currently) does not achieve. In short, FTA supports most of the initiatives proposed by RFG, and believes growth in rail freight is necessary, desirable and achievable. However, we do feel there are some concepts that may need reviewing and we beg to differ on revenue-raising distance-based road pricing. FTA carefully considers the needs of its members and is always willing to act as a voice and lend its advice – let’s get together for a policy debate to find solutions for the whole of UK logistics. Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK

plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the

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The Cheek of it... Chris Cheek

What’s driving the railway bull market? Chris reflects on the remarkable record of patronage growth on Britain’s rail network and considers some of the changes that have driven the numbers over the last twenty years


very three months when the ORR publishes the quarterly rail statistics, I haul out my analysis spreadsheet, key the latest numbers in and out pops a whole host of fascinating data about what’s happening in the market. I then pass on the information in the form of articles in this column and on our Passenger Transport Insight blog. I’ve been monitoring these figures for longer than I care to remember, and the remarkable thing is the very few occasions on which I have had to discuss anything other than an increase. If we go right back to the start of the series in 1994, of the 97 quarters recorded, only 14 have shown a fall over the same period in the previous year. Over the last ten years I’ve only had to report a negative change on five occasions out of 40 – and in most of the those, the immediate cause has been to do with

industrial relations problems. That is a truly remarkable record of growth – one which many industries would envy. Between the first quarter reported and the most recent, the number of passenger journeys has risen by 136 per cent – a factor of almost 2½ times. That is remarkable by any standard, and – as I’ve discussed before – takes annual demand back to levels last seen in the 1920s, when the network was at least double its present size. According to Department for Transport estimates, the number of passenger kilometres travelled on the National Rail network has risen by 135 per cent over the period. By 2017, the most recent year for which the figures are available, rail’s market share of total demand had almost doubled, from 4.1 per cent in 1994 to 8.1 per cent. What has been happening, then? Well, for a start, there are more of us. Over the period since 1994, the population of Great

Britain has grown by 16.6 per cent – that’s more than nine million extra people. London has seen the largest increase, with growth of almost 28 per cent, so that almost two million more people now living there. By comparison, the other English conurbations have seen growth of just seven per cent. Four English regions have seen growth of more than 15 per cent – the South East, East of England, the East Midlands and the South West. There are many more jobs, too. In 1995 the ONS Labour Force Survey recorded that the total number of employees (excluding those working at home) was 21.6 million. By 2017, the same figure was 31.4 million, an increase of 45 per cent. In London over the same period, the workforce had grown by more than 54 per cent, from just over three million to almost 4.7 million. The rest of England has seen a smaller 22 per cent increase, whilst Wales has seen a 46 per cent

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rise. Scotland’s workforce has risen by a third. Not only has the workforce grown, the proportion of people using National Rail to get to work has increased too. Back in 1995, the Labour Force Survey showed that just four per cent of the workforce used rail to travel to work – and that includes both National Rail, Underground and those light rail systems that were open then. That was Tyne & Wear Metro, Glasgow Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Metrolink Line One and Sheffield Supertram (just). Altogether, that meant that around 865,000 people were travelling by rail. A decade later, the proportion had grown to 6.6 per cent – with National Rail accounting for the lion’s share of that, meaning 4.4 per cent of the workforce. That meant that the number of regular rail commuters had risen to 1.86 million – a rise of almost a million in those ten years – and 1.24 million of those were on the National Rail network. Now scroll forward to the most recent set of figures, twelve years later in 2017. The proportion of the workforce using all forms of rail now stood at 10.6 per cent, with 6.1 per cent using National Rail. That means that all-rail commuters now totalled 3.32 million, of whom 1.93 million were using the main network. This means that in just over 20 years, the

number of people commuting by all forms of rail has almost quadrupled. Looking at the more recent data, the number of commuters on our national rail network has increased by a factor of 2.8 in just twelve years. The National Travel Survey provides us with useful data on the reasons for people travelling, both generally and specifically by rail. Comparing the 2005 survey with the most recent, published this summer, we can see some interesting changes. In 2005, 45.6 per cent of journeys were for commuting, with another 9.2 per cent for business purposes. Leisure trips accounted for almost a quarter, 24.8 per cent. Education and shopping accounted for 7.8 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively. By 2018, the proportion of commuting trips had risen slightly, to 46.9 per cent. Business trips had fallen slightly to 8.4 per cent and education had slipped to 6.9 per cent. Leisure trips had risen to 25.6 per cent, whilst shopping trips had declined to 5.4 per cent. This is in line with other modes and is largely a consequence of the shift from high street to online shopping, now accounting for almost 20 per cent of all sales. It is interesting to reflect that, back in at the end of the eighties, the NTS recorded that 56 per cent of people answered that they ‘never’ used rail, whilst another 19 per cent only used the mode once or twice a year. At the other end of the scale, two

per cent of people used the train more than three times a week. In the most recent survey, the ‘nevers’ had fallen to 39 per cent, and the frequent users had risen to 4.8 per cent. By any standards, these figures represent an astonishing transformation – especially against a background where, for pretty much the whole of the period, politicians and the media have been telling everybody how awful the railways are, how they need reform of one sort or another and how much better they could be if only this or that happened. I do wonder sometimes what failure would actually have looked like. All this does not mean that there is any room for complacency. There is still a great deal wrong with the way our rail network performs, but equally there are still huge opportunities to win more patronage. Imagine for example if the 24 million or so people in England who say they never use a train could be persuaded to do so for a couple of return trips a year, that would add another six per cent or so to the total. Persuading another half million commuters to leave their cars at home and travel to work by train would another ten per cent. Does all this sound like an impossibly tall order? Well maybe, but just look back ten or 20 years and see where we have come from.



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Women in rail


Adeline Ginn

Another year of commitment, passion and hard work for Women in Rail As Women in Rail heads towards the end of another year, I reflect on the achievements we have made collectively as a team in the previous twelve months


n 2019, we launched two new Regional Groups: Women in Rail London (February) and Women in Rail Wales (June) and the WR Teams in Scotland, North West, Yorkshire, East Midlands, West Midlands, South, Wales and London held a total of 37 networking events and development workshops, ranging from simple get togethers to personal branding via dealing with mental health. In January, we repowered our very successful cross-industry mentoring programme. Working with Moving Ahead, we paired 186 mentors and mentees from eleven participating companies into 93 mentoring pairs. We also welcomed three pro-bono mentees (being women out of work, on care or maternity leave or whose company is not taking part in the Programme) free of charge thanks to a donation from BEIS. Matching was done by algorithm and participants received professional training via an online learning platform containing best in class guides and toolkits, live workshops and Masterclasses and were offered ongoing

support through a hotline and three empowering networking events. In April, we launched SWIFT, a network of senior women in (or formerly in) UK rail and transport and their male allies whose purpose is to offer a peer to peer network to senior executives in UK rail and support high potential women progress their career and transition to more senior roles. Our keynote speakers at the launch (sponsored by PWC) were Keith Williams and Lillian Greenwood MP. In May, we held our second Women in Rail Awards ceremony at the Roundhouse in Camden and in June, our third Big Rail Diversity Challenge at Newark Showground. Both events were sold out and the feedback has been amazing. In August, we launched ‘Never Mind the Gap’, a pilot WR initiative led by Sarah Reid, Chair of WR East Midlands, designed to offer women who are currently not in employment (either through a career break, care leave, redundancy or otherwise) free training and two-week work placements with a UK rail company.

We secured eight women work placements with Network Rail, Bombardier, Cross country Trains and Mott McDonald. In 2020, we want to roll out this initiative nationally to support and attract more women into our sector. We ended the year with our Annual Conference, reiterating the business case for creating a gender balanced, diverse and inclusive workforce in rail. We heard from Gillian Unsworth (Head of Gender Pay Gap Reporting, Government Equalities Office) and Ruth Hannant (Directors General, Department for Transport), among others. 2019 has again been an amazing year for WR, thanks to the drive and passion of the WR Regional Leaders, their Steering Committees and of all the volunteers across the country who work hard alongside their day job to push the WR agenda forward. A huge thank you to all of you for all your fantastic support: you make WR a key initiative for our industry. Enquiries: wr@womeninrail.org Visit: www.womeninrail.org Rail Professional


Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood

Paying the right holiday pay Ensuring that an employee receives the correct level of holiday pay is one of the many obligations of an employer



or a permanent, full-time employee, this has been a relatively straightforward calculation, but as the types of employment have changed over the years, particularly with the introduction of variable working hours and zero hours contracts, such calculations have become potentially more difficult. A recent ruling by the English Court of Appeal has provided a new approach to calculating the holiday pay of employees on permanent contracts who only work for part of the year (such as termtime only workers). Following the guidance Where a permanently employed person works in a full-time role, they are entitled to 5.6 weeks (28 days) of holiday each year under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended) (WTR). The WTR implement

This calculation works well when the employee is employed for the full year, but when the employee only works for part of the year, such as just during termtime, the calculation may result in an underpayment of holiday pay

the requirements for an employee’s basic entitlement to holiday which is set out in the EU’s Working Time Directive 2003. The calculation of holiday pay here is relatively straightforward and non-controversial. The calculation gets a little bit more interesting when the employee is working a zero-hours contract as there are no ‘normal working hours’. However, there are a number of provisions which provide some guidance: • Regulation 16 of the WTR which requires holiday pay to be paid ‘at the rate of a week’s pay in respect of each week of leave’ • Section 224 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) which states that ‘a week’s pay’ for employees with ‘no normal working hours’ should be calculated by looking at the employee’s average remuneration over the last 12 weeks that they have worked and been paid for • the ACAS guidance booklet ‘Holidays and Holiday Pay’ which suggests that if ‘a member of staff works … irregular hours, it is often easier to calculate holiday entitlement that accrues as hours are worked. The holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks is equivalent to 12.07 per cent of hours worked over a year.’ • the Part-Time Workers Regulation (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 which implements the requirement of the EU Part-Time Workers Directive that employers should not discriminate between part-time workers and full-time workers and that ‘where appropriate, the principles of pro rata temporis’ should apply. As a result, particularly through the ACAS guidance booklet, employers have applied a rate of 12.07 per cent against the employee’s average pay over the relevant

working period in order to generate the relevant level of holiday pay. A new view by the Court of Appeal This calculation works well when the employee is employed for the full year, but when the employee only works for part of the year, such as just during term-time, the calculation may result in an underpayment of holiday pay. This was the decision of the Court of Appeal in its recently decided case of Brazel v The Harpur Trust (Unison Intervening). In this case, the claimant was a music teacher who was employed by the Harpur Trust on a permanent zero hours contract and only worked during term time. Her hours of work were dependant on the number of pupils who required a tutor for their musical instruments. As a result, she was paid monthly, at an agreed hourly rate, according to the hours she worked, similar to a shift worker. While the claimant was entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday each year, the holiday had to be taken during the three main school holidays at Christmas, Easter and Summer. In calculating the claimant’s holiday pay, the Trust calculated her earnings over the term and then paid her 12.07 per cent of that figure at the end of each term. This was on the basis of the ACAS guidance and the Trust’s desire to treat the claimant on an equal basis to a full-time worker. The claimant argued that the key issue was that she should receive her full entitlement of 5.6 weeks of paid leave, based on twelve weeks of income. If the 12.07 per cent figure was instead used to calculate her holiday pay this would result in an underpayment of holiday pay. The Trust argued that its calculation, applying the 12.07 per cent to either the length of the holiday entitlement or to the claimant’s average pay over the course of the working year would give her proportionately the Rail Professional



This decision means that any employers who currently work out the holiday entitlement of permanent part-time employees (such as term-time only workers) based on hours/weeks worked will now need to change how they calculate this, in order to ensure that these employees receive a blanket 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year. This will still be the case even if those workers only work a few months a year. While this will produce some odd results in extreme circumstances, the Court of Appeal felt that this was the correct approach to take same holiday pay entitlement as a full-year worker. The Court of Appeal decided that language in Regulation 16 WTR and Section 224 ERA was clear enough. The claimant should receive her ‘normal pay’ when taking her holiday, calculated using the average pay she received over the previous twelve months and that the 12.07 per cent formula was therefore wrong. New calculations This decision means that any employers who currently work out the holiday entitlement of permanent part-time employees (such as

term-time only workers) based on hours/ weeks worked will now need to change how they calculate this, in order to ensure that these employees receive a blanket 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year. This will still be the case even if those workers only work a few months a year. While this will produce some odd results in extreme circumstances, the Court of Appeal felt that this was the correct approach to take. The good news for employers is that this will not affect permanent part-time staff, as their 5.6 weeks of holiday pay already reflects the hours or days that they actually work each week and employers can still

continue to apply the 12.07 per cent formula for casual staff. It should also be noted that the period to be used for calculating holiday pay for workers with variable pay is due to be increased from twelve weeks to 52 weeks on 6th April 2020 when the Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) Regulations 2018 come into force. With updated guidance on holiday pay expected to be issued by ACAS soon, it would be prudent for employers to conduct a quick health check of their holiday policies soon, to ensure that they are fully compliant with all of the relevant regulations. Martin Fleetwood is a Consultant at Addleshaw Goddard’s Transport practice. The Rail Team has over 30 lawyers who advise clients in both the private and public sectors across a wide range of legal areas. As well as contractual issues, the team advises on operational matters, franchises, concessions, finance, regulatory, property, employment, environmental and procurement issues.

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Come together, right now, over rail… We all know the skills shortage that exists in the rail sector and so we know there are likely to be more job vacancies than people in the rail industry for the foreseeable future, presenting job seekers with more options


he vacancy gap is already being affected by an ageing workforce heading off on retirement while network growth and the emergence of new technologies prompts a need for specially trained individuals. It’s been three years since the Rail Supply Group launched a strategy for productivity and growth in the UK rail supply chain; ‘Fast Track to the Future’ recognised a need to keep pace with rapid change. It suggested that over 3,000 new rail engineering level 3 graduates (A-Level equivalent) would be needed just

Taking on this challenge, we have witnessed the rise of the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), and the snappily-titled National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure (formerly the equally-snappy National College for High Speed Rail), as well as a number of rail-related courses at colleges around the UK

to maintain a status quo. It claimed that at least 7,000 more advanced technicians would be required and suggested that HS2 would need 600 advanced rail engineering technicians (level 4-6+) every year from 2019 onwards. Taking on this challenge, we have witnessed the rise of the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), and the snappilytitled National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure (formerly the equally-snappy National College for High Speed Rail), as well as a number of railrelated courses at colleges around the UK. NSAR describes itself as ‘an employerled, not-for-profit, member organisation established to enable the sector to deliver a modern and efficient, world class railway through the development of a highly skilled and productive workforce’ with a commendable vision and set of values to accompany it. They have already brought the industry together to set out the Rail Sector Skills Delivery Plan. The National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure adopted that new name, to reflect the broader transport and infrastructure remit of the college. In a statement, CEO Clair Mowbray recognised that rail is having to compete against a huge demand in the transport arena: ‘the latest figures published by the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce estimate that 50,000 more people are needed in rail; 41,000 to fill roles on the road network; and 180,000 to deliver the Heathrow Expansion project. There is huge demand across the sectors and the name change reflects our dedication to delivering and developing our curriculum to meet industry demands.’ Here, then, is the nub of the problem. In the future, people are going to have more choices. We sit in conferences and discuss the skills agenda and HR professionals and education professionals will nod sagely when we talk about the skills gap. But, having

undertaken a straw poll amongst school leavers as part of this research, it all comes across as a bit dull and process-driven when viewed through the eyes of a 16 year old. So, what are we, as an industry, doing to attract people to jobs? NSAR launched ‘Skills Live’ this summer, which it describes as a ‘digital platform that rail industry employers can use to connect with young people who may not have considered careers in rail’. Users watch a short video and then swipe to confirm their like/dislike of a role, similar to popular dating apps. Based on likes, the user can learn more about the skills of a role by watching a series of one or two-minute videos that are linked to a job specification. They will be tested on their understanding of each video and awarded a score with the most suitable candidates being presented to



The average age of rolling stock is predicted to fall to 15 years by March 2021 and we are planning, renewing and building more trains, track, stations and depots than we have for many generations. But, we have become detached from what young people are looking for; how they consume media and what ignites their interest

the employer for review. It is clear that NSAR is developing new channels to market jobs in rail though and that has to be a hugely positive step forward. But as an industry our efforts are not joined-up enough. I’m not going to name and shame but on their website one operator proudly states: ‘With you on board, we’re sure to go far’, before a link redirects the reader to the organisation’s generic parent site – hardly inspirational stuff to people with other choices. Whereas another excitingly announces: ‘Screw average, create amazing’ is our mantra’. Two very differing approaches. This is just a tiny snapshot but it’s evident that some organisations see the recruitment process in purely HR terms, whilst others adopt a marketing approach. I suspect that some may take issue with this article – either because it is selective, or somehow misses their own pet project. Therein lies the problem. There is no consistency; no ‘single port of call’; no immediate feeling of a ‘joined-up industry’. If rail is to continue to grow and be successful, the skills strategies that I outlined at the start need to be developed and implemented; this will provide consistency and reassurance to employers. Rail today is high-tech, creative and

dynamic. The average age of rolling stock is predicted to fall to 15 years by March 2021 and we are planning, renewing and building more trains, track, stations and depots than we have for many generations. But, we have become detached from what young people are looking for; how they consume media and what ignites their interest. There are so many roles in the rail sector that are not about ‘dirty spanners’ – the designer, the web developer, the data analyst, the communications professional – so we need to come together and work on a properly joined-up marketing recruitment campaign that genuinely excites school leavers to work in the sector. If we are to attract and enthuse the talent of a new generation that has career choices then we need to put our best foot forward as an industry and passionately and creatively ‘sell together’.

Lucy Battle is a Director at Freshwater, a fullservice corporate communications and public relations consultancy with over a decade’s experience advising organisations in the rail sector. To get in touch, email lucy.battle@ freshwater.co.uk or call 020 7067 1595. For more transport insight and commentary, you can follow Freshwater @fwpublicaffairs

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hat is the new software you’ll be announcing? At World Rail Fest in December, Revenue Analytics will officially unveil a breakthrough new Revenue Management System for the passenger rail industry – FareVantage™.

Why do rail companies need this software? First, the pricing and revenue management work that rail companies do is really tough. Also, the decisions are extremely complex. There are several different fares that can be offered on any given train or journey. With so many trains each day, and multiple stops and lots of journeys within that train, getting your pricing and fare structure for all of those journeys to a point that maximises revenue is a difficult challenge. For example, let’s say you have a journey from Kings Cross to Leeds and then five small stops in between on that cross-country trip. You want to allocate enough tickets to maximise revenue on that high value journey from Kings Cross to Leeds without making the smaller, lower value trips in between prohibitively expensive. What’s more, they are facing a unique challenge. Rail companies need to maximise revenue but, as a public service, growing ridership and providing a great customer experience is critically important. As you raise prices, you’re potentially reducing your overall demand if fewer people ride trains. You don’t want to push prices too high as you would lose riders and miss your objectives as a public service. But, put prices too low and you would sell out the most popular trains, potentially overcrowd them and frustrate customers who can’t get on the train they want to use. You’ve got to strike the right balance. And pricing and revenue management is the key lever to doing that.


Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Dax Cross, CEO of Revenue Analytics – the pioneers of pricing and revenue management – about the company’s upcoming software launch

Why not just keep using the same tools they use today? Train Operating Companies (TOCs) have to manage thousands or maybe millions of journeys a day. Many companies are managing all of this with a spreadsheet or homegrown tools, which don’t have the ability to do the sophisticated analytics work needed to produce optimal fares and are way too manual and time-consuming. And, unfortunately, out-of-the-box systems that were developed many years ago were based on airline revenue management systems and just feel clunky and limited. Our software, FareVantage™, is the only Revenue Management System powered by advanced analytics and built specifically for modern train operators. With state-of-the-art automation and intelligence, FareVantage™ gives revenue management teams the ability to work faster and smarter and see big improvements across the board—in ridership, revenue, team efficiency, and customer experience. Why did you choose this time to enter the UK market? This is early for us in UK rail, but we specialise in pricing and revenue management across different industries globally. We have already partnered with a UK rail company who we met at a revenue management conference. They were dissatisfied with the revenue management system they were using at the time, so we shared what we had done in other industries and how it might apply to rail. We ended up being invited to submit a bid to provide a next generation revenue management solution to them and then won the contract. Once we won the deal, we started digging into the market and saw the opportunity for us and the overall drive towards innovation in the rail industry across the UK and continental Europe. So, when we look to the market, the current options available to operators aren’t Rail Professional

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meeting their needs. They’re still doing things manually, setting fares and allocations across hundreds of trains and literally millions of origin and destination combinations. What are some of the other benefits of using this software? Another benefit is handling of overcrowding on trains. You could have standing room only trains, but that is unpleasant for passengers. While you would prefer to sell almost all your capacity, you still need to allow for walk up demand. You use your fares to balance this. An overcrowded train sold out at a low-price also results in low revenue. There are lots of journeys which are provided as a public service, so that makes it even more important for an operator to recoup costs from high demand routes.

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How does this blend of artificial and human intelligence manifest itself? We see this blend manifest in two different ways. One way is an understanding that technology needs to fit your business, not the other way around. You can come up with a great algorithm but if you don’t understand the business, it might not be a fit. Without humans involved, you might not realise the data is bad, and feeding bad data into an algorithm will only result in bad recommendations. We want to bake human intelligence into the technology during system configuration. People want to pretend that you can plug in whatever data and a system will work, but you must train the model to get it to work appropriately. Then you must inform users as to where the model has sound

Keeping safety on the right track

recommendations, and where it needs help. For example, our software tells the end user where confidence in the forecast is high and where it is low, so the user can provide input where the confidence is low. It is like a driving app that scans traffic and gives users the fastest route according to the data available. If it is too close to call, it will give the user three options, but leaves it to them to choose the one they like based on their own information or preference. In the early days, there can be a lack of trust in the data and a human needed to review every single decision. But through usage, you begin to trust the algorithm to run on autopilot and then direct humans to where they can add value, freeing up time to think strategically.

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So, this would lead to a skills change for employees currently in these positions? It’s a big win for employees in these positions. There are a lot of manual tasks, like data compilation, that they are currently required to do to produce a simple forecast and set up fares. The automation of the tedious work combined with the confidence in the recommendations allows them the time to focus on high-level strategic tasks. What can our readers expect from Rail Fest this month? We will be officially unveiling the new product at Rail Fest with demonstrations at stand #5 in the exhibit area. I will be also be speaking in a session titled ‘Beyond the buzz: Demand True Intelligence to Drive Revenue Growth’. It is our first time attending, so we are really looking forward to the experience and connecting with rail operators from all over the world. Rail Professional

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Cyber-security in the rail industry Digitalisation of the rail industry is progressing at a steady pace, as stakeholders seek new opportunities to improve their efficiency and customer experience


rom a passenger perspective, we have seen the digitalisation of ticketing systems enabling customers to buy and download tickets using their smart phones, making the passenger experience smoother, faster and easier. When it comes to infrastructure, Network Rail in particular has been investing heavily in modernising the railways, with an eye to improving capacity and reliability across the network. These advances make railway networks more interconnected and dependent on digital technology, but from a cyber-security perspective, it has also increased the possible threats to rail networks. New EU legislation, in the form of the Security of Network & Information Regulations 2018 in the United Kingdom (the NIS Regulations) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR), has certainly forced participants in the rail industry to take heed of the cyber security risks that face the industry. High-profile cyber-attacks targeted at the rail industry

ETCS works to ensure that a train does not exceed a safe speed and remains a set distance from other trains on the network. The intent is to increase train safety, capacity on the network (due to reduced minimum headway between trains) and improve punctuality

have also highlighted that these threats are very real. Eschewing digitalisation is not an option. Not simply due to the competitive advantages gained from improving systems and processes. Continued use of legacy technology can be costly as they become increasingly obsolete. However, failing to address the cyber-security risks that face the rail industry could have wide and serious repercussions. Digitalisation and cyber-security Digitalisation of the rail system is set to deliver much-needed improvements, including increased capacity and greater efficiency. One particular proposed improvement is the move to the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and the European Train Control System (ETCS). ERTMS is intended to establish an interoperable rail framework across Europe, and will make use of ETCS, essentially a system allowing computers to communicate with each other to give the ‘green light’ for a train to proceed. ETCS works to ensure that a train does not exceed a safe speed and remains a set distance from other trains on the network. The intent is to increase train safety, capacity on the network (due to reduced minimum headway between trains) and improve punctuality. Along with these advantages come increased threats. The risk of malicious third parties hacking into ERTMS cannot be ignored, and care needs to be taken to ensure that cyber-security requirements are appropriate to defend against potentially significant disruption to the rail network if ERTMS is compromised in any way. Cyber-security risks In 2016, the DfT advised that the threat of cyber-attacks on rail systems was increasing as a consequence of the industry’s growing reliance on computer-based technology. This is particularly relevant for those systems that can be accessed remotely through public and private networks. Systems that can be accessed remotely can increase the risk of intrusions, and since 2016 we have indeed seen TOCs business systems falling victim to




cyber-attacks by malicious third parties. In May 2017, as well as disrupting NHS hospitals across the UK, the WannaCry ransomware attack targeted Russian Railways and the German rail operator Deutsche Bahn. Deutsche Bahn train information monitors displayed the hackers’ demands for money in return for unlocking the systems. In April 2018, Great Western Railway found that around 1,000 of its passengers’ details had been compromised by hackers. According to security experts, the Wannacry virus spread through systems that still used the Windows XP operating system, which had long-since ceased receiving mainstream support from Microsoft. This acted as a wake-up call for many to upgrade their systems. In these cases, we can only speculate on the hackers’ exact motives for targeting the railway. Perhaps the intention was to inflict reputational damage due to political or commercial interests. Perhaps the acts were carried out for the hackers’ personal satisfaction. Or maybe the intention was to steal personal data for the hackers’ own financial gain. Malicious cyber-attacks on systems used in rail infrastructure could have far more serious implications though, including danger to life. The threat of cyber-security risks does not only stem from malicious third parties. Computerised rail systems are also at risk from human error, such as failures to update and configure software correctly. This includes actions as innocuous as attaching unauthorised devices to networks. Each of these may also expose, or introduce, vulnerabilities allowing third parties to obtain remote access to systems. Potential implications of cyber-attacks Timetabling glitches and service interruptions caused by cyber-attacks could, at a minimum, disrupt commuters and cause chaos on the rail network. Signalling or power breakdowns could equally cause travel disruption and, at worst, danger to life although many levels of resistance are built in so the risk, we hope, is remote. From the perspective of a TOC, the implications of a cyber-attack could be far reaching – including reputational damage, loss of customers’ personal data, the requirement to compensate passengers affected by the disruption. There could also be serious financial and regulatory repercussions. TOCs are likely to be subject to stringent obligations under their franchise or concession agreements to provide a minimum level of performance. Timetabling glitches and service interruptions could therefore result in financial penalties becoming payable. Persistent breaches of performance requirements due to service issues and interruptions could ultimately lead to the termination of a TOC’s franchise or concession. TOCs may also be subject to regulatory enforcement action, including non-compliance penalties from regulators. This might include the Office of Rail and Rail Professional

Road in their capacity as safety regulator, and the Information Commissioner’s Office in its capacity as competent supervisory authority under the GDPR. TOCs are also considered ‘operators of essential services’ (OESs) under the NIS Regulations. This means that they are required to take appropriate and proportionate technical and organisational measures to manage risks posed to the security of the network and information systems on which their essential services rely. OESs are also required to take appropriate and proportionate measures to prevent and minimise the impact of incidents affecting the security of both the network and information systems used. This is to ensure continuity of those essential services. Any incidents which have a significant impact on continuity must be notified to the designated competent authority. In practice the DfT still expects rail operators to voluntarily notify the DfT of incidents before they have met the ‘significant impact’ threshold. Failure to comply with these obligations may result in an enforcement notice. This could lead to a financial penalty if an OES fails to take steps to rectify a failure within a specified time period or if the competent authority is not satisfied with representations made by the OES. The prescribed limit for monetary penalties is £17 million where there has been a material contravention of the NIS Regulations.

The threat of cybersecurity risks does not only stem from malicious third parties. Computerised rail systems are also at risk from human error, such as failures to update and configure software correctly Addressing increased security risks The age-old adage that ‘prevention is better than cure’ can be applied to cyber-threats in the rail industry. When implementing new technologies and systems, cyber-security measures should be considered from the outset to ensure resilience. Multi-layered security measures (otherwise known as ‘defence in depth’) are recommended, making it harder for hackers to disrupt a system if a vulnerability in one measure is exposed and exploited. For incumbent systems, and to address future cybersecurity risks, it is important to have robust risk management systems in place. This is to ensure that risks and vulnerabilities are identified by regular testing, actions are taken to protect systems and maintain security measures, and that any unusual behaviour is recognised and investigated. Complex supply chains also expose TOCs

to cyber-security risks, particularly given the increased information exchanges that takes place. As well as carrying out careful due diligence on suppliers and their security practices, TOCs would be well advised to include provisions in their contracts to minimise the threat of such risks and to ensure a joined-up approach to cyber-risk management across the supply chain. These can also help address TOCs’ obligations under the NIS Regulations by (for example): • including obligations to put in place (and periodically review and strengthen, as required) an appropriate cyber security management plan which allows for regular vulnerability scans and penetration testing using independent testers, to ensure that the TOC is poised to respond to any potential risks • ensuring suppliers have appropriate training standards in place for their personnel and that employees are appropriately experienced so as to ensure that they are able to recognise and deal with any security risks presented to them • ensuring effective business continuity plans are in place and ready to be implemented if services are compromised by a cyber-security breach – including, for example, a detailed procedure for steps to take in the event of a breach of security • including notification obligations in the event of an incident that has a significant impact on the continuity of essential services. Finally, given that railway networks are increasingly interconnected, there is a growing need for cyber-security approaches to be aligned across all participants in the rail industry across numerous jurisdictions. Cyber-security is a threat to the entire sector, and all industry players need to work together to harmonise their cyber-security activities and implement measures to address this constantly evolving threat. Conclusion As events of recent years have shown, with the growing digitalisation of the rail networks, cyber security is an issue that the rail industry simply cannot afford to ignore. Failure to implement robust security measures and practices could have, at worst, fatal consequences. Together with the high financial risks of suffering a cyber-security breach and the implementation of the NIS Regulations and the GDPR, cyber security should be near the top of everyone’s agenda. To address the increased threat landscape, it is crucial to understand rail systems, their vulnerabilities and the cybersecurity risks that face them, and seek to tackle these by way of appropriate measures. Supply chain management is also key to ensuring that systems are resilient to attack - after all, you are only as strong as your weakest link. Anita Basi and Kulraj Badhesha are Associates at law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP







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Proposals for the East Coast Main Line Richard Pill presents an abridged version of the paper submitted to the English Economic Heartlands Consultation Outline Transport Strategy Outline Engagement


hereas tracks exist from Oxford-Bletchley-Bedford, they do not between Bedford, the East Coast Main Line at Sandy and Cambridge. This section needs either rebuilding or new construction. Debates exist between five mooted routes consulted upon in January 2019 only two of which purported to serve the main Bedford Midland Railway Station Interchange and three purported to avoid Bedford. The English Regional Transport Association (ERTA), a voluntary membershipbased association believes the original route with modest deviations where blockages exist is a better choice and should have been included in earlier consultations. No route is blockage free and it works back to a compromise. Key areas of interest to ERTA are: • the original route is the straightest between the principal places of Bedford and Cambridge • it should be included and looked at alongside other options in consultations, not neglected. Starting with Bedford Midland, ERTA considers the current platform and track and other facilities as inadequate and in

need of reform and expansion of capacity to entertain trains from north-south and eastwest of passenger and freight operations. This should also coincide with expanded passenger facilities and better interchange and traffic management layouts. Moreover, this will require wider arches to the north (A4280 Bromham Road Bridge) and relocation of the current booking hall towards the old Midland Road site and additional tracks. A win-win solution could be to turn the former loco shed, situated on the western flank of the Midland Main Line (MML) fast lines into a booking hall with a second floor added for a panoramic view restaurant and utilisation of those grounds for additional parking, kiss and ride, bus turn and taxis. Make Hurst Grove one-way from Ford End Road to Winifred Road by straightening twin tracks between Ford End Road Bridge and Danfoss. Either by relocating them via existing tracks sharing with and curving off the Bedford-Oxford tracks to the east for Cambridge or alternative solutions like relocating the 1984 St John’s Halt to serve the Bedford South Wing Hospital side of Danfoss and a diamond track panel for going east. The Stagecoach Garage could remain, but new parking for their cars would need to be found. Cardington Road either needs

a modern, safe level crossing as per Bicester and Woburn Sands or a new road bridge over the twin track railway. Objections to visual blight upon close proximity to Rope Walk Roundabout with Longholme are understandable, but we should remember that dualling of the A603 Cardington Road at that place was because of the Cardington Road Tesco access. The old trackbed is recoverable until the A421 Bedford Southern Bypass which would need to be raised with a bridge over the trackbed. Then there is the Willington challenge. Willington Station Road and



Village Loop and Balls Lane circuit lends to a compact community identity just ripe to have a halt on a local railway akin to Lidlington to the West of Bedford. However: • some back gardens may need reclaiming • some properties need amending • the big crowd puller of Danes Camp would need to be relocated, possibly to an expanded site in Willington Woods if negotiations and compensations were amicable both ways.

However, another pragmatic view is to avoid Willington altogether by going to the north of the village across the River Great Ouse and then back across the same river Ouse to go through Barford Road former overbridge site to the south to take the hill approaching Blunham area from the west. Also, if Willington is avoided, then a Meadow Lane (off A603) upgrade to a Park and Ride with twin platforms and over bridge/lifts and coffee shop could serve a busy Sustrans Route, an extended Priory cum wider Park and Wetland Conservation area and Bedford Town Football Club. From the Willington theatre you then have to go slightly to the south of Blunham with a new viaduct over the River Ivel, A1 and then a flying junction to link with outer slows of the East Coast Main Line and a twin track solution into a new designed Sandy Station. From Sandy a new build design with a cut and cover solution under John O’ Gaunt Golf Club as the original route into and through Potton and Gamlingay is obliterated all sides with extensive housing. You then go slightly to the south to re-join the old formation east of Gamlingay and it is open countryside with modest realignments where private property has been built until you reach the M11. Cambridge area recommendations: • tunnel or bridge the M11 • bridge the River Cam

• cut and cover tunnel or a new halt on a bi-directionally signalled single track • relocate Guided Busway to use roads between Trumpington Park and Ride and Addenbrookes to reinstate the railway on old trackbed • link north and south with moderated designed Cambridge South alias Addenbrooke’s Station for direct running to Stansted and interchange for Addenbrooks. • reinstate old railway route to Trumpington Junction north of Long Road Bridge to give freight and segregated operational flexibility • add an eastern platform to Cambridge Station for more platform capacity with through tracks for freight to get through the pinch point. ERTA calls for these things to be looked at, studied and pitted against the costs and problems of new routes which all seem to merge at Shepreth flat level junction with two existing busy commuter lines and as for a passenger only operation. ERTA calls for the original route to ensure freight and passenger operations can use the same tracks and inform modal shift from road to rail. Richard Pill can be contacted at richard.erta@ gmail.com

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The positive effect of helping staff to ‘think on their feet’ Kate Walker Miles, tutor at RADA Business provides insight into how rail workers can harness the power of improvisation to develop their communication and impact skills


ADA Business, the commercial arm of world-renowned drama school RADA, is helping employees around the world to improve their ability to communicate effectively, by using improvisation skills to better think and perform in the moment. With 1.7 billion people travelling by train each year, rail staff interact with an extraordinary number of customers each day. High pressure situations such as cancelled or delayed trains, or dealing with a difficult customer, can often hinder a staff member’s capacity to think on their feet and respond in the best way. Sometimes staff are faced with high levels of customer enquiries and complaints. This makes it vital for rail workers to be able to respond resiliently and creatively to a wide range of circumstances. The ability to communicate flexibly and with clarity in these situations is imperative to managing customers’ negative experiences to try to keep everyone’s day and journey running smoothly. Some interesting research, taken from our most recent report, Thinking on Your Feet, revealed that customers are quick to make judgements about organisations, with 88 per cent admitting that they make negative assumptions about an entire organisation as a result of poor staff behaviour. Helping staff to feel relaxed in difficult, high-pressure situations allows them to think more clearly and therefore communicate more easily – leading to positive interactions with customers. The report data also shows that, when workers are relaxed, 42 per cent find that they are able think more quickly, 33 per cent find it easier to listen to what people are saying, and 31 per cent can adapt better to situations. Being relaxed also improved the way workers feel, with 41 per cent saying they feel more confident and 31 per cent saying it made them happier. It’s important



for train lines to help staff to embrace improvisation skills, allowing them to respond to each challenge in the best way. Currently, many rail staff are hampered by the pressure and stress of situations, with 86 per cent of employees acknowledging that stressful situations can compromise their ability to communicate effectively. This can result in a struggle for many to speak slowly (29 per cent) or think quickly (25 per cent) when they find themselves in a difficult position. Fortunately, there are tried and tested techniques that are easy to learn – and when employed deliberately and consciously, can be very powerful tools. By building on the work of one of the world’s most respected drama schools, RADA Business tutors use powerful body, breath and voice techniques in their training programmes, which can help rail staff improve their ability to think on their feet.

Key techniques A simple way to start is by releasing any physical tension. Take a moment during your day to let any tense emotions drop out of the body, allowing yourself to feel calm and ready to respond appropriately to any situation. This can be done by literally shaking away the stress of the day, and then squeezing your shoulders up to you ears, holding it for a second and then releasing.

Rail Professional

You can then slowly turn your head to look over each shoulder, before dropping your chin to your chest until you feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Lift your head back up, open your mouth and then let your head fall back for a moment before floating it back into place. Complete the exercise by gently tilting the head towards each shoulder. Finally, breath out all the air in your lungs then let a fresh breath drop in through the mouth – great for calming the nervous system. Completing this physical routine during quiet moments in your day will help you to feel relaxed and calm, which in turn will lead you to be able to communicate with clarity and gravitas. During interactions with a challenging customer, it can become hard to listen to what is actually being said. Try to stay engaged with the conversation and observe your own body language. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, feel the ground beneath you, keeping soft-knees. Having a strong base to operate from will empower you to listen and stand your ground. Take a moment before you reply to process what’s being asked of you and give yourself time to formulate a helpful answer. By doing this, you will enable yourself to respond accordingly with understanding and insight. Furthermore, the customer will feel reassured that you have really listened to them. Before responding, think about your breath. Breathe slowly. Emptying your lungs and letting the fresh air fill your body, which will allow you to feel more prepared when you come to speak. This will also help with clearing the mind so that you can focus on your thoughts. Following this, remember to speak slowly and with clarity and try not to rush your response, instead speak with certainty, which will help to assert confidence and understanding to customers. It can also be helpful to remember that at some point we may have been that difficult customer, with a need that wasn’t met. You

might be the one person who can meet their need and make their day. Finally, it is important to use appropriate eye contact. Maintaining eye contact will help you to build a stronger relationship with the person you’re speaking to. By using these techniques, rail staff will feel more relaxed in difficult situations allowing them to think on their feet more effectively. This will help staff to understand what is being asked of them and formulate and deliver appropriate responses. Encouraging employees to use these techniques will improve both staff and customer experiences, resulting in a positive impact on the public’s opinion of any organisation. To learn more about RADA Business, including courses, coaching and consultancy for staff at different stages of their career, please visit radabusiness.com. About RADA Business RADA Business helps people at work become brilliant communicators. We build on the work of one of the world’s most respected drama schools to deliver world-class training programmes and coaching for organisations and individuals. Everything we do is grounded in an understanding of business - and the varied needs of people within organisations. Whether you’re leading a company, managing teams or taking the first steps in your career, we can help you deliver your very best performance. Since 2001 we’ve worked with some of the world’s best-known employers in more than 30 countries, including law firms, retailers, media companies, universities and governments. We’re convinced that organisations work most effectively when everyone has a voice – and we’re committed to giving people the skills to get themselves heard. All our profits support the activities of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, helping to develop the next generation of actors and technicians.

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Assisted development Tim Bellenger, Director, Policy and Investigation at London TravelWatch explains how exposing trainees to activity outside of their new profession can aid their development


t is very easy as a civil engineer or project manager to get caught up in the practicalities and details of the projects we are involved with. This means that we can forget who the ultimate end user is (the passenger or freight customer) and solely focus our minds and efforts on how we get things done. Here at London TravelWatch, we are focused on the needs of the passenger, both

As someone who uses public transport every day, I had not always considered the challenges that may be associated with travelling round London. My time with London TravelWatch broadened my understanding of the different needs of people who use the transport network, and I am now able to apply this understanding to my role at TfL




in an ideal world, operators and authorities would be able to avoid these kinds of situations. One feature of our activities in recent years has been the secondment of trainees from various disciplines working through the graduate programmes of Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) into our organisation to work with us either on policy issues or in resolving those difficult appeal cases that we get in the here and now and in the future. We have specialist knowledge around the areas of interchange, dealing with disruption and general good customer experience. We deal with hundreds of appeal complaints every year from dissatisfied passengers, and we have a good track record of getting satisfaction from what in most cases are intractable and very difficult to resolve problems. But in an ideal world, operators and authorities would be able to avoid these kinds of situations. One feature of our activities in recent years has been the secondment of trainees from various disciplines working through the graduate

programmes of Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) into our organisation to work with us either on policy issues or in resolving those difficult appeal cases that we get. This has proved valuable for us in terms of resources, but significantly, it has given the individuals concerned first-hand experience of dealing with customers. This has given them a good insight into real passenger needs and they have then gone on to do other more senior roles back in the companies that they were seconded from. Becky Adkins, now an HR Business Partner at TfL says she learned a lot from her time at London TravelWatch: ‘I joined

London TravelWatch on secondment in autumn 2016 from the graduate scheme at TfL. During my secondment I got to spend time travelling round London with passengers who face barriers when using the network and to see things from their perspective. As someone who uses public transport every day, I had not always considered the challenges that may be associated with travelling round London. My time with London TravelWatch broadened my understanding of the different needs of people who use the transport network, and I am now able to apply this understanding to my role at TfL.’ Others have similar positive experiences from exposure to activity outside of their usual profession and seeing things through the eyes of the passenger. For the organisations, it has meant that they have got engineers and project planners who have an understanding of the needs of passengers and can modify or mitigate their plans before they are put into effect. Ultimately, everyone benefits … so why not…try something different? Tim Bellenger is Director, Policy and Investigation, at London TravelWatch

You can find further details about the work London TravelWatch does on its website, www. londontravelwatch.org.uk

Pre Metro Operations Ltd is the essential operator of the branch line or tramway, small or large. Our business model for operations at Stourbridge Junction is transferable to similar locations throughout the UK. Small is beautiful and our experience in increasing passenger numbers and reducing the operational carbon footprint of a transport mode is impressive. Let us advise you on how to do it. Be self-contained. The company is sub-contracted by West Midlands Trains to provide operations and Railcar maintenance facilities on the Stourbridge branch line in the West Midlands. Two rail vehicles are currently used both being Class 139 light Railcars built originally by Parry People Movers Ltd in the West Midlands but we are not tied to any one vehicle manufacturer. The Railcars are LPG/Flywheel hybrids with exceptionally low fuel consumption. The passenger services at Stourbridge have been operated since mid-2009 and achieve a consistent reliability of over 99.7%. Passenger numbers have increased each year and have now reached a total 5 million. Passenger satisfaction remains high. The company has demonstrated that less complicated vehicles and simple but robust operational practices can deliver cost effective rail based services. Tel: 01384 441325 Website: www.premetro.co.uk

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Establishing a Regional Freight Forum Martin Tugwell, Programme Director at England’s Economic Heartland, summarises the group’s freight study


t is no coincidence that one of the first technical studies commissioned by England’s Economic Heartland in support of our regional transport strategy was on freight and logistics. The reason is quite simple. If we are to realise the economic potential of the Heartland, understanding the future requirements of the business community when it comes to freight and logistics is essential. Shaping the way our transport system evolves in support of the freight and logistics sector is therefore a critical success factor. It is worth remembering that many of the step changes that have taken place in our transport system over the years have as their driver changes in the way business operates. Indeed the rail system’s origins lie in the need to move freight: after all people couldn’t possibly travel at the unheard of speeds of early railways! What is clear is that this part of the transport system is one whose members look for a stronger policy framework at the regional level. Indeed, our work has identified a concern within the sector that an absence of local policy and national strategy leaves it facing uncertainty. Our Outline Transport Strategy is underpinned by a simple vision: ‘connecting people and places with opportunities and services’. Freight and logistics services are integral to achieving that vision. Our region – stretching from Swindon across to Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire down to Hertfordshire – is at the heart of the UK’s freight network. Our transport system plays a key role not only supporting the region’s economy but in enabling the wider UK economy too.

The Heartland’s transport links – both road and rail – are the arteries linking key ports in the global shipping network, in particular Southampton and Felixstowe, whilst air freight operations via Heathrow and East Midlands airports are also important global gateways. The major concentration of freight distribution consolidation and distribution centres in the ‘golden triangle’ in the northern part of the Heartland further emphasise the importance of placing freight and logistics at the heart of our transport strategy. Consolidation and distribution centres have formed clusters near to many of the

region’s motorway junctions, notably around Milton Keynes, Bicester and Northampton: a further reflection of the importance of the sector and one that serves to create opportunities. Our Outline Transport Strategy highlights the key role that the rail sector has to play in delivering on our ambition for the region. The foundations on which we are building are strong: the 23 active rail freight terminals in the Heartland handle a mixture of intermodal containers, construction materials, domestic waste, automotive and metals. The West Coast Mainline, the crosscountry route from Southampton through Rail Professional

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Oxford and on to the Midlands and the Felixstowe to Nuneaton corridor sees high volumes of containerised freight. The Midland Main Line and Great Western Main Line carry significant flows of construction materials: for a region that has ambitions for economic growth the importance of such flows will further increase. Our Freight and Logistics study concluded that there remains the potential to move significant volumes of freight from our roads and onto rail. It’s an ambition that is a key focus for England’s Economic Heartland. However, to realise this ambition will require a shift in policy, and for that shift to be then reflected in our investment decisions. Our submission to the Williams Rail Review made the case for recognising that we must plan for freight not only as part of the rail industry but more broadly as part of the wider transport system. In doing so, there needs to be greater recognition (at national and regional level) that wider public sector interest may support intervention in the market when it comes to planning for rail freight capacity. In other words, rather than waiting for a commercial case to be established there may be a case to invest in capacity to encourage further modal shift that has benefits for the wider transport system. If we look at strategic freight movements out of the eastern ports there are potentially three corridors of interest – the North London Line, East West Rail, and Felixstowe to Nuneaton. Individually each of these corridors needs to balance pressures between passenger and freight services. If we take a step back and consider the long-term strategic needs of the rail system (both passenger and freight) there may be an argument to encourage the development of rail freight capacity on particular corridor(s). The Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy has an ambition to remove longdistance through freight movements from the North London Line: the argument being that this will free up space for additional passenger services. Clearly, an alternative strategic route is required to accommodate the displaced freight movement. Whilst the East West Rail corridor is a potential alternative, there would need to be conscious choice on the part of the public sector to make the investment that ensures it has both the capability and the capacity to accommodate such flows alongside the ambition for East West Rail as a strategic passenger corridor. This situation illustrates one of the key challenges at the moment; namely that

policy makers and the rail industry view investment in freight capacity as being driven by market forces. As society looks to the profession to reduce the environmental impact of the transport system as a whole then the justification for public sector intervention based on wider public good derived from investment increases. Simply put, a step change in approach is required: business as usual just won’t cut it. Working with our partners including Network Rail, adjoining Sub-national Transport Bodies and the freight sector, we are working to develop our understanding of the potential for future growth in rail freight. A key consideration in this is the continued growth in intermodal traffic and recognition of the continued need for construction materials required to fuel a growing economy. Growth in rail freight will require further investment in Strategic Rail Freight

Interchanges and rail terminals to address gaps in provision. Given their strategic importance to the economy, it is appropriate for future requirements to be identified at the regional level. The role of rail freight in accommodating construction materials cannot be overstated. We know that the movement of goods and materials to and from building sites is a major component of road freight traffic. For example, in London 35 per cent of daytime HGV traffic is associated with construction, contributing to congestion and poor air quality, as well as being a hazard for pedestrians and cyclists. And yet the Rail Delivery Group has estimated that one freight train can carry the material required to build 30 houses. The efficient movement of construction materials will also play a role in controlling costs and avoiding disruption to supplies as a result of road congestion.


Our Freight Study, published in July and available on our website, was informed by engagement with policy makers, major businesses, infrastructure operators and logistics companies. The collaborative approach underpinning the study has engendered positive feedback from the industry and serves to act as a foundation on which to take forward the study’s recommendations. Establishing a Regional Freight Forum will enable policy makers and the industry to strengthen that collaborative working that is essential if the issues identified by the study are to be addressed. The work of the Regional Freight Forum will need to be data-led and in this we will build on the investment already made in the Regional Evidence Base that’s available to all EEH partners. Working with adjoining STBs, DfT, Network Rail and Highways England we will develop a specification of data requirements to ensure data is collected in a consistent and usable format. Through the Regional Freight Forum we will work with the industry to identify where regulatory changes are required in order to achieve this. As the Sub-national Transport Body, EEH is well placed to be an independent and trusted third party data collector. England’s Economic Heartland was established by the region’s political and business leaders with the express ambition of realising the economic potential of the region through improved connectivity. And whilst economic growth remains a core driver, this cannot be at the expense of the environment. In our Outline Transport Strategy, we set ourselves the ambition of achieving a net zero carbon transport system by 2050. At the time of the strategy’s production, that seemed a challenging enough target, but events have moved on rapidly: the ‘climate emergency’ has never been far from the headlines of late. And responses to the Outline Transport Strategy are asking the question as to whether we should be more ambitious. Fundamentally we know that we have to reduce the level of non-renewable resources consumed by the transport sector. We know we have to reduce the environmental impact too. But we need to do so in a way that enables the freight and logistics sector – the engine room of our economy – to continue to support businesses and our communities. Maximising the potential of rail freight will certainly help us get there, sooner rather than later. Martin Tugwell is Programme Director at England’s Economic Heartland Rail Professional


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Rail freight – where will it end? While its sister entity, passenger rail, is rarely out of the headlines, rail freight remains in the background despite being one of the major success stories of rail privatisation


t is interesting to note that since rail privatisation the rail share of the freight market has grown to eleven per cent; and that this has been achieved by carrying 70 per cent more goods whilst utilising 30 per cent fewer train paths. One of the reasons for this success is the recognition of where rail freight can operate most effectively. Rail freight traditionally works best for medium to long haul where there are high volume commodities such as: coal, biomass, aggregates, intermodal (both deep sea and UK domestic), metals, petrochemicals and automotive. Rail freight provides a valuable element to the UK’s transport strategy. The government’s ongoing commitment to development of the Strategic Freight Network, extending to March 2024, funded for delivery by Network Rail through the High Level Output Statement (HLOS) process, is testament to this. Rail freight provides a number of benefits including national productivity, highway congestion relief and environmental through carbon reduction. The key objectives are for loading gauge enhancement, ability to handle longer trains, an improved capacity on key freight routes and improved key junction capacity. Freight terminals – the start and the end While the investment into the rail freight network is a major element of a successful rail freight strategy, it is not the only one. Terminals are another key element which need to be carefully developed to provide both a convenient source point and a desired end destination for freight. Typically freight terminals fall into one of three broad categories: • port terminals • major multi-train terminals at strategic rail freight interchanges • discreet product specific terminals such as aggregate rail heads and oil terminals.

While network enhancements are predominantly government funded, freight terminal development is reliant on private sector financing. This means there is a different set of criteria when determining whether to invest in rail freight terminal provision/enhancement for each of the three categories. Port Terminal investment For port operators the decision to invest in rail terminal provision/enhancement will typically be driven by the end customer commercial opportunity. The commercial viability requires the port to be able to receive and secure the onward transhipment

to end destination of large import (or export) product volumes (containers, coal, petrochemicals etc) in the most efficient way possible. While onward transhipment from the port can either be by road or rail, rail freight offers important benefits to both the port operator and end customer where the commodity is bulk/high volume. However, the port needs to ensure that it can handle and turn around the freight, and there needs to be the infrastructure to allow the freight to then be moved to its end destination or point of use. There have been a number of cases recently where the port or port operators have invested significant capital sums in enhancing elements of Rail Professional



port handling capability while failing to adequately address how the rail terminal will handle and turnaround the forecasted volumes. This has a negative impact on the return of investment on the port enhancement. One solution is to build in capability checks at the design stage. The use of tools such as Opentrack, used on the Port of Tyne and Immingham terminals; network pathing port using Railsys to create an end user terminal; optimal terminal to terminal network operational interfaces (through optimised signalling and arrangements) and the most suitable rail terminal design allow model terminal throughputs to be effectively checked before construction begins. Strategic Rail Fleet Interchange Terminal investment The strategic rail fleet interchange terminals are often part of a larger warehouse logistic park development. The developers are usually specialist developers who have experience of occupier requirements. They have seen an increasing trend towards inclusion of rail, sometimes incentivised by planning authorities, with typical planning consent requiring the developer to have the associated rail terminal in operation before he can build out/occupy more than 50 per cent of the warehousing on the park. The provision of rail infrastructure is a necessary part of the build, however it does not attract a rental premium. However, from the developer’s perspective there is a shift from seeing rail as necessary to gain planning towards a key business support. The problem for the developer is identifying the most effective way of designing the rail element. Traditionally they would employ a specialist rail advisor to look at rail design or to take the strategic rail fleet interchange proposal through planning; and expect Network Rail to lead on the rail

connection development work (including pathing analysis). This however has become more challenging over the last few years due to Network Rail’s Infrastructure Projects organisation being primarily focused on the development and delivery of HLOS works. The strategic rail fleet interchange developer therefore needs to think about how the rail advisors can model the rail terminal throughput (using Opentrack modelling) and to link this through the terminal so that it interfaces with the network, using a tool such as Railsys pathing analysis. Product Specific Terminals The number of new single user rail terminals being built is fairly limited; there are no major corporate expansion programmes or

specific government incentive schemes to drive demand. Instead the work is typically around upgrading or expanding existing single user rail heads, particularly for those terminals built over a decade ago where connections and the terminal configuration is sub optimal both for the volume of potential traffic and increased network traffic pressures. The option for product specific terminal owners and operators is around the use of terminal modelling, terminal design and network pathing analysis to maximise terminal throughput. Next steps For anyone operating terminals within the rail freight space, whether port terminals, strategic rail freight interfaces or product specific terminals, the pressure to ensure an optimised terminal design, modelling and network pathing analysis is critical. The answer may well be a move from isolated rail advisors who are only able to focus on specific areas of the project, and to create collaborative teams who are able to bring together their specialist skills to the client. This approach not only ensures the terminal operators, owners and developers are minimising the risk around their rail freight investment, it also ensures they are receiving best-practice advice from initial design, through modelling and network pathing, and on to securing planning (where required). As the impact of Brexit is still an unknown, and the pressure on investments and budgets continues, being able to create an effective rail freight design is essential. Whatever happens though a clear rail freight approach is key. Max Bladon is Principal Consultant, Atkins Transport Consulting & Advisory

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Health and safety risks involving freight trains Phil Hibberd, a committee member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s Railway Group and Engagement Manager at the Rail Safety and Standards Board, explores how safety is managed


reight operators are competing to provide a seven-day accessible freight network, and striving towards the achievement of 24-hour operation, against a backdrop of network capability constraints. All of this has implications for risk, a risk tackled by the National Freight Safety Group.’ This recognition of rail freight and its risks was included in the Annual Health and Safety Report 2018-19, produced by the Rail Safety and Standards Board. So, what do the figures show us? In 2018-19, there was one fatality to a member of the public involving a freight train. Forty-two per cent of all ‘potentially higher risk train accidents’ involved freight trains, most low-speed derailments. There has been a decline in the number of freight trains passing signals at danger. Most freight train derailments are not RIDDOR-reportable and occur in yards, depots and sidings. National Freight Safety Group How is safety managed? Many within the rail industry people believe the National Freight Safety Group (NFSG) was established before any other cross-industry freight group. However, this is incorrect, as the rail freight sector is sufficiently compact and, following privatisation, the Professional Heads of Operations from each of the freight companies continued to engage and share best practice through the Rail Freight Operators Group (RFOG). And that’s probably down to them all having once worked together under the banner of British Rail. RFOG was properly established around 2006, when the operators identified the need to formalise their regular ‘catchups’. Following the serious near miss at Carstairs in December 2009, where a freight train travelling south on the West Coast Main Line in freezing temperatures and snowy conditions, passed two red signals in succession. RAIB’s report into the incident identified that poor train

braking performance, caused by the freezing conditions, impacted on the braking equipment (in fact the train’s disc brakes were effectively aquaplaning on the wheels). Shortly after, in January 2010, in similarly freezing temperatures and snowy conditions, the front portion of a freight train travelling from Inverness towards Perth on the Highland Main Line came off at Carrbridge station. The derailed portion of the train came to rest on an embankment, close to some houses. The driver and technician on board suffered minor injuries. Damage was caused to private property, to the derailed train and the rail infrastructure. RAIB’s investigation identified a combination of factors that led to the derailment. These included: • snow and ice ingress reducing the effectiveness of the train’s brakes • the way the driver of the train applied the rules for operating trains in snowy conditions on steep climbing gradients

• the train ploughing into and/or disturbing lying snow during the journey from Inverness to Carrbridge • the presence of deep lying snow close to the line. Code of practice It was these incidents which led to RFOG developing and implementing its first freight approved code of practice (ACOP) to address the risks associated with operating freight trains during severe winter working. The collaboration with RFOG members was noted by industry leaders. Other industry groups were also undertaking similar work, the Infrastructure Safety Leadership Group (ISLG) being one of those. As a result, heads of safety started to engage and share best practice. A great of example of this collaboration was demonstrated at Network Rail’s Westwood site when all freight operators made the collaborative decision that, in Rail Professional


order to reduce and mitigate the risk of collisions within engineering worksites and possessions, they should amend their own supplementary operating instructions to mandate maximum speeds of 5mph in a worksite and 15mph in the possessions. This led to Network Rail making some significant adjustments in its planning processes. This freight safety mitigation, introduced during 2016, has seen that no further collisions have occurred. At this point, the RSSB Board commissioned a project to review and improve arrangements for industry cooperation under the Modernisation of

Safety Cooperation (MOSC) project. The purpose was to modernise the industry approach to safety cooperation with the objective of making it ‘fit for purpose’ to meet the current and future needs of all industry stakeholders. The MOSC framework gave the rail industry the ability to demonstrate collaborative working, which supported its duty to cooperate under ROGS Regulation 22. The rationalisation of the plethora of meetings at the time, allowed for a more structured approached to be taken in managing cross-industry risk, through the creation of System Safety Risk Group (SSRG) and its expert subordinate groups, providing


‘line of sight’ from national to local level. Soon after, the Head of Safety of the then EWS Railways (now DB Cargo UK) got together with the Chair of ISLG to discuss how the freight sector could establish a new group, focusing not only on rail operations, but also more generic health and safety matters. A working group was formed by all the freight operating companies and with the support of the RSSB, the National Freight Safety Group (NFSG) was formed. The NFSG was established as a national level operator group, to enable the FOCs to identify and implement arrangements to address their ‘duties of cooperation’ across both the mainline and non-mainline rail networks and use this as a framework to reduce operational risk in the freight sector. The Chair of NFSG reports into the SSRG to provide and maintain an interface and to ensure that the contribution of freight operating risk towards overall system safety is being suitably addressed. In line with the industry strategy, Leading Health and Safety on Britain’s Railways, the NFSG developed an ‘Integrated Plan for Freight Safety’ with the involvement of all its members, and assisted by RSSB, to: • identify and maintain a ‘common to all’ top ten risk profile associated with freight operations and their interfaces with infrastructure managers and other transport operators • develop suitable practical risk control measures to address identified risks in a consistent way, leading to continuous improvement of safety performance and management arrangements • develop a suite of performance indicators

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from road to rail with a firm basis in safety, performance and sustainability. Version two the current ‘Integrated Plan for Freight Safety’ now focuses on five key areas of risk: • freight derailments • fatigue • road risk • site security • common safe systems of work.

A change at the board In 2017, the decision was reached to review the integrated plan and reduce the number of projects to a more realistic level. At the same time, the RSSB Board appointed Geoff Spencer as its Non-Executive Director for Freight and Dougie Hill of Direct Rail Services was appointed the new Chair of the NFSG. These two gentlemen demonstrated a real energy, enthusiasm and belief that the NFSG can truly deliver a safer better railway and the freight journey began. Within a matter of months, the NFSG had established a Steering Group, chaired by Geoff, who created a clear governance link to the RDG Freight Board. The MDs and CEOs were at last collectively discussing the challenges around freight safety, allowing a charter to be established and signed by all board members. The objective of the charter was to demonstrate their joint commitment to improving health and safety in line with the national strategy, whilst agreeing not to use safety as a ‘bargaining chip’ when tendering for business, all agreed that best practice must be shared and that only with a true collaborative approach can the industry drive continuous improvement in health and safety. Adopting such an approach is aimed at promoting the movement of freight

to allow continued measurement of positive/adverse trends in safety performance • develop a precursor indicator model specific to freight operations • establish arrangements for learning from operational events across the UK, European and worldwide rail industries. The original ‘Integrated Plan for Freight Safety’ was published in 2016 and had 16 key actions for the group to focus on, however it didn’t take long for the group to realise that whilst trying to collaborate and work on 16 projects, they also had to provide support and guidance to their businesses. As a result, a number of projects started to slip. A major challenge came from a lack of visibility, understanding and support from senior leaders within the FOCs, as there was no clear governance structure to the RDG Freight Board, with each MD/CEO having their own views of what health and safety excellence looked like. They didn’t always align.

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Each risk project has an appointed Sponsor and Project Manager and a standardised framework of reporting has been developed with the support of Network Rail’s Operations and Safety Manager for Freight and National Passenger Operators, Pete Williams, another driving force at the NFSG. With a new governance structure in place RFOG has now become a ‘doing’ group for the NFSG and recent work has seen the publication of ‘Bulk Loading ACOP’ created with the support of the construction industry. Work is now underway to reintroduce Working Manual For Rail Staff (old Green Pages) to bring Loading Standards consistency into the sector and under the banner of NFSG. A clear collaboration framework has been established which can be seen in the diagram below. This interface established risk groups facilitated by the RSSB, with sub-working groups of the NFSG. This framework and commitment of all involved has seen a significant step change in the pace at which the NFSG now works. The future of rail freight safety continues to be monitored by the NFSG in a mature and collaborative manner with a willingness from all freight operators to share best practice and learning from operational experience, however continuous improvement identifies the need for greater speed in delivery and greater capacity if we are to truly fulfil our potential.

Phil Hibberd is a committee member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s Railway Group and Engagement Manager at the Rail Safety and Standards Board

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Joined-up thinking needed to encourage freight innovation Nigel Day, Engineering Director at VTG Rail, explores the technological advancements being made in freight


nnovation is one of the key drivers of growth in the rail freight sector, making it cheaper, more efficient and more accessible to a wider customer base. It often struggles however to get those new ideas turned into commercial realities. The rail freight sector excels in developing creative and practical ways of improving efficiency and delivering results for customers, but the implementation of innovative ideas and trials could

Rail Professional

be dramatically improved by better collaboration between Network Rail, ORR, DfT, the freight operating companies and businesses like VTG. Building the railway of tomorrow, one that works for all its stakeholders and helps cut carbon emissions across the UK supply chain, will not only take continually enhanced operations, but much greater levels of support from government and a new drive to bring these components together.

We need a transformation in approach and it should be all we ever really talk about. Like efficiency gains and greater cost savings, game-changing innovation doesn’t just happen in a silo, it’s a constant process of cross-company collaboration and scrutinizing problems from multiple angles for mutual benefit. Government has been positive about supporting the sector and acknowledges the vital role of freight to ‘improve everyday lives’ and ‘strengthen our economy’. George Freeman MP, newly appointed Minister for the Future of Transport, has a remit to drive transport innovation. In a letter to industry in October, he wrote: ‘Our freight sector is the backbone of the UK economy, supporting over 2.5 million jobs and contributing £124 billion to the economy. Looking ahead, the weight of goods transported by freight is expected to increase by 50 per cent at the same time as technological innovation promises to unlock even more productivity and growth. If we align our Research and Development procurement and regulatory framework right, I believe we have a golden opportunity to help ensure we make our world leading freight sector even stronger.’ Earlier this year the government also promised £48 billion for modernising the network over the next five years. Back in June the then Transport Secretary Andrew Jones MP announced a £7.8 million innovation fund, in collaboration with Innovate UK, to bring new ideas onto the railway that included drones to inspect track damage, a soundbending wall to cut noise pollution and plans for the first testing of a hydrogenpowered passenger train. Network Rail has also been spearheading the push toward a digital railway revolution but these things mainly exist separately with no overall cross-industry plan for bringing the sector together.


A changing rail freight sector Since the sudden decline in coal volumes in 2015, the overall amount of freight moved on the UK rail network has remained fairly steady, with some sectors like construction and intermodal now seeing an upturn. VTG’s introduction of new tank wagons carrying aviation fuel, box and hopper wagons for aggregates and more Ecofrets for the maritime intermodal sector bear witness to these changes. We have always prided ourselves on being innovative, both in the design of new wagons and also in recycling existing ones to cope with changes in the marketplace and best meet customer demand. When the decline in coal movements for the electricity supply industry became apparent, we spearheaded the move to find a way to make relatively new coal wagons suitable for the efficient movement of (much higher density) aggregates by shortening them and reducing the volume. This awardwinning innovation has since become the benchmark for the industry with hundreds of wagons having gone through the same process. We all know that rail freight in this country is under-utilised, but it has a crucial role to play in the UK’s drive to reduce carbon emissions. Continued investment in both technical and operational innovation is critical if we are to eventually become the zero-carbon economy everyone talks about. Despite traditional bulk volumes dropping, rail’s overall market share of

haulage is set to continue to increase, doubling by 2050, so we need to act now to be ready to meet customer demand for the future. A key component of cutting greenhouse gas emissions is down to data and how it is gathered and utilised. From freight’s point of view, wagons present a huge opportunity in the future for track analysis and carbon reduction. VTG has around 1,000 wagons currently in use with RFID tags on the UK network and it will only grow as customers continue to see the full benefits. The latest generation of RFID technology in particular has a lot of potential uses in rail freight. With more measuring systems deployed on strategic corridors, such as at the Port of Southampton, the benefits are huge. VTG’s GPS ‘Connect’ wagon tracking system is another example of a privately funded technology with potentially massive benefits for the whole rail sector. VTG recently signed a contract with Yellow Rail to help support the roll out of its innovative Railathe, a mobile wheel reprofiling service that has the potential to save operators a lot of time and money in the future. It involves the on-site re-profiling of wheels without the need to remove the wheelsets on the vehicle supporting its faster return to service. The issue of wheel damage impacts operators across the rail freight sector, particularly this time of year, and can have a significant effect on customer service, reduced availability and involving, in some cases, complicated plans to move and


resolve the vehicles. This issue of availability is crucial to building the confidence that the sector needs to continue modal shift, particularly in intermodal transport. Wagon mounted ‘WSP’ systems (the equivalent to ABS on a truck or a car) are another technology which exists ‘on the drawing board’ but needs support to see it fitted to rail freight vehicles on a widescale basis. However, if this support was provided, the benefits to the operation of the rail sector both in terms of minimising disruption and reducing infrastructure damage could be substantial. The rail freight sector is on something of a tough journey right now but there are some very exciting things happening. As new innovations come online, rail freight becomes cheaper and more customers start using it. We ultimately need greater support for those game changers that are working tirelessly to enhance rail’s capability and it should be up to government to lead this support and enhance rail freight’s competitiveness for the future. About VTG VTG rail is the leading independent rail freight wagon provider in the UK and Europe. For more information please go to www.vtgrail. com/uk Nigel Day is Engineering Director responsible for the performance, quality, costs and safety of more than 4,000 rail freight wagons. Rail Professional



2019: a year in review As this year draws to a close, Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy, FTA, looks back on the past twelve months


019 has been a productive year for rail freight with significant questions being raised around electrification of the network, how to increase rail freight and a review of the current system. Williams Rail Review: shaking up the system This year has seen one of the most important long-term reviews of the organisational and commercial frameworks of the UK rail industry since privatisation, in the form of the Williams Rail Review (WRR). Over the past twelve months, the WRR team has worked hard to gather evidence and speak to stakeholders with a range of views. To speak on behalf of the UK logistics sector, FTA submitted its response, focusing

In the view of FTA, the rail network should be completely electrified to reduce the impact the mode has on the environment. And despite Switzerland showing this is a feasible ambition – all its railway lines in use are powered by electricity – the UK continues to lag behind, with only 34 per cent of its rail network currently electrified Rail Professional

on several key asks. As I have covered five of these in a previous column, this time I will focus on an additional three asks. These are: developing a system that is financially sustainable and able to address long-term cost pressures; developing rail industry structures that promote clear accountability; and fostering a rail sector with the agility to respond to future challenges and opportunities. Firstly, the government should freeze or reduce Track Access Charges (TAC), according to FTA, to protect the benefits of rail freight to the British economy. There is a noticeable policy gap between the treatment of road transport – which has seen a fuel duty freeze for the last nine years – and rail, which has been targeted with year-on-year RPI (Retail Price Index) increases in TACs. In its submission, FTA calls upon the Williams Rail Review team to undertake an impartial study to assess whether a reduction in TACs for rail freight would lead to higher volumes of freight on the network, and ‘payback’ in social, economic and environmental terms. In the day-to-day operation of the railway, accountability between rail freight stakeholders and National Rail is relatively clear, according to FTA. However, FTA is concerned that most of National Rail’s funding and control resides within the geographical routes, with the central Freight and National Passenger Operator (FNPO) team acting as the in-house ‘champion’ of freight and other cross-boundary operators. It is not clear to the rail freight sector that the geographical routes currently have the right incentive structures in place to actively promote freight. In Scotland, there have been significant benefits from the addition of corporate incentives to grow the freight market; this approach should now be applied across the UK. Rail freight operators are dealing with challenging market conditions, including the growing demand for next day, localised

delivery, but this has been partially offset by a growth in newer sectors for rail, such as containerised transport and construction traffic. These opportunities can be maximised by expanding capacity across the network, unlocking under-utilised resources, improving the effectiveness of urban planning, and adopting a more agile approach to capacity. And to ensure rail can comply with ever-tighter restrictions and the government’s zero carbon goal, further electrification is crucial. The Williams Rail Review team should actively look for structural adjustments which help deliver a more electrified network. Electrification: back in vogue? In the view of FTA, the rail network should be completely electrified to reduce the impact the mode has on the environment. And despite Switzerland showing this is a feasible ambition – all its railway lines in use are powered by electricity – the UK continues to lag behind, with only 34 per cent of its rail network currently electrified. The key reason why the UK is falling behind other European countries, in the view of FTA, is the costs associated with building the infrastructure – many recent electrification schemes have been cancelled due to cost overruns – but work by our colleagues at the Rail Industry Association (RIA) has shown there is another way. In its 2019 report, the RIA strongly challenged the high costs historically paid to electrify UK rail networks, arguing that electrification can be delivered at between a third and a half of the cost of some past projects, providing the government commits to a rolling programme of work. And further work by RIA and FTA members shows that the rail freight sector could be two-thirds electrified by 2033 if the government carries out an ‘infill’ approach, electrifying strategic parts of the network in a staged way. FTA strongly supports the analysis


professed by RIA; we are calling on government to introduce a staged programme of electrification which would enable rail freight to go all-electric by the mid-2030s, paving the way for a truly zero carbon railway. Things are looking up In the view of FTA, rail freight is finally recovering from a difficult period of low growth, thanks in part to the rise in containerised transport. And this year, we have seen the launch of several new services, including the new weekend rail service linking the ports of Tilbury and Scotland’s largest port, Grangemouth. The new two-way rail service started on Friday 28 June and has been launched on the back of customer demand to open the rail link between the south of England and central Scotland. There is also a significant commitment from Heathrow Airport to use rail to transport building materials to the construction site of the third runway. At a strategic level, the team at Heathrow Limited has committed to the ‘maximisation of rail freight for the delivery of materials.’ The details outline a proposed new railhead which will be developed for the import

of construction materials, such as bulk materials, aggregates and containerised goods. Within the consultation paper, Heathrow Limited is clear about the benefits of using rail during construction to aid with the congestion associated with construction vehicles, as well as to enhance safety for residents and users of the airport. Furthermore, in line with increasing environmental pressure, this scheme will also help to reduce carbon emissions and improve local air quality. HS2: under the spotlight A surprise announcement during the year was the review of HS2, called for by the Prime Minister himself. The objectives of the review, announced in August 2019, are to look at the benefits and impacts of HS2, its affordability and efficiency as well as its deliverability and scope, to see if and how HS2 should proceed. FTA members strongly support HS2, which will release capacity on conventional rail lines for freight. Allowing more freight to travel by rail will remove hundreds of thousands of lorries from the roads every year, making motorways safer and improving air quality. HS2 has predicted



that the first phase alone could take more than 1,500 lorries off UK roads every day between London and the West Midlands, with the figure set to increase as HS2 expands north to the East Midlands, Manchester and Leeds. And, as rail produces 76 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions that the equivalent road journey, this would result in a positive impact on emissions and air quality. Significant progress has been made throughout 2019, however there are still questions surrounding electrification and TACs that need to be resolved going into 2020. The introduction of HS2, as well as Heathrow’s proposed new rail head, could pave the way for a much-needed modal shift, allowing rail freight to expand. With the general election delaying the results of the HS2 review, and with the outcome of the Williams Rail Review yet to be revealed, the future is exciting. And, with such big changes around the corner, 2020 looks set to be rail freight’s best year yet.

For more information on FTA please visit https://fta.co.uk



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Getting ‘smart’ to improve train reliability Keith Hutchins of Frazer-Nash Consultancy combines his 40 years’ experience in rolling stock with colleague Peter van Manen’s digital twinning expertise, developed over 20 years’ in Formula One, to explore how new digital technologies and smart data management can help to improve train reliability


rain reliability is one of the major challenges facing the rail industry. How do we reduce the regularity of significant train faults? Every day, depot maintenance teams tackle the mammoth task of delivering essential servicing within scheduled downtimes, to ensure availability targets can be met; while mobile technical teams travel many miles to deal with in-service faults. But issues can’t always be fixed immediately, of course, and failures in critical systems result in vehicles having to be taken out of service. As a consequence, trains don’t run, or passengers are de-trained and transferred to other services – with a knock-on effect on their journey, on other services and passengers on the route, and on their expectations and perceptions of trains’ reliability. The challenge of train reliability is growing ever more complicated, as trains become increasingly complex, and as advances are introduced to onboard technologies for train operation and for passenger comfort, information, entertainment and communication. These software-driven systems can have their own reliability issues – they are susceptible to power supply interruptions and programming issues after updates. Yet the ability to interrogate critical digital systems remotely, and to receive live transmissions from the train, is essential, as it enables operators to confirm they are operating correctly, and to manage potential system failures. To deliver more reliable trains, we need to identify the key causes of

train unreliability, and the factors that affect why these issues arise. It’s a big problem to solve, but at FrazerNash we know that smart data management can help to offer a solution. By putting in place monitoring systems and controls that can flag faults in real-time, operators are given early warning of developing fault conditions, allowing them to schedule proactive maintenance or repair. The benefits of a smarter approach to data management are not just limited to digital systems: they can also be applied to non-software driven systems and components, particularly those elements that are consumable, or subject to wear or other forms of degradation and damage. A reliability centred approach The need for dependable trains means the role of system developer is increasingly focused on reliability aspects, and on applying established techniques such as Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) to uncover the root causes of problems. Once an underlying cause has been identified, this knowledge can be fed into Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) and digitalisation models, which enable early detection of faults and drive improvement through enhanced data management. Whilst RCM techniques are widely employed throughout the rail industry, the move to digitalisation has only begun in recent years – but it is gaining increasing momentum as modern high-tech fleets are introduced into service.

Digitalisation exploits the data from complex equipment and processes, using models to deliver a better understanding of current and future performance, availability and safety. To apply these processes to older fleets, which are still being maintained by traditional methods however, requires significant change management. To deliver RCM across both modern and legacy fleets, operators need to identify the critical equipment and processes that affect the health and performance of their systems: which systems are safety critical, and which have the greatest potential to cause an in-service train failure, service delay, cancellation or to compromise train availability. While a range of statistical information sources are available to help in this identification for fleets – such as maintenance teams’ first-hand experience,



reliability data and failure histories, depot job cards and work reports – it can be a complex challenge to pick out the key data. Operators can often benefit from the input of an outside agency, which can offer a view of systems’ and processes’ criticality that is free of engrained beliefs derived from past events. Surprisingly, train manufacturers and component original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), may not always approach reliability and maintenance from the criticality viewpoint – and it is not until the train is in service that this knowledge emerges, as faults and breakdowns occur. Once critical equipment and processes have been identified, the relevant data that needs to be captured can be ascertained, together with its format, and a means of collecting and transmitting it. Consideration will also need to be given to how, and where, this data can be stored securely; and how best to analyse it to provide the insights required. For equipment and processes, operators will also have to set the limits and boundaries of acceptable operation and degradation, and work out how best to flag up issues, faults, or approaching wear limits. Getting smarter about maintenance The need for smart data management and digital modelling is becoming ever more important, as maintenance intervals are extended to meet new timetable, route operation, and franchise commitments, or delays to new stock introduction. As a consequence, margins for wear allowances can be inadvertently exceeded, due to the increased time between inspections. Decisions as to whether inspections are time-, mileage- or conditionbased are having to be re-examined. Timebased inspection and maintenance is often quite conservative, based upon worst-case duty cycles and operating environments. Using data to inform a condition-based approach reduces this burden without adversely affecting performance, availability and safety. Smart data management – for example using real-time data and digital twinning – reduces uncertainty about the heath and performance of complex rail systems and, in doing so, lessens the risks associated with operations and new interventions. Real-time data establishes a clearer view of behaviour in changing operating conditions, offering rail operators early detection of deterioration and potential loss of service. Similarly, digital twins – validated models of physical assets, processes or systems – are valuable tools that can be used in the industry to assess the effects of different interventions, or to deliver ‘virtual’ sensing for hard to access parts of a machine or process. The key benefit that Frazer-Nash has found smart data management delivers to its clients, however, is economic – it has the potential to deliver savings in the costs of time and materials. With real-time monitoring, alerts can be managed and acted upon by maintenance teams in a more Rail Professional

efficient way, reducing in-service failures, and minimising the penalties that result from these service delays and disruptions. At depot level, advance warning of an arising condition can be better planned in around existing scheduled tasks, and materials pre-ordered accordingly. For this reason, employing these new technologies is likely to be a significant consideration for TOCs undertaking franchise bidding. To get buy-in to the implementation of potentially radical process changes to maintenance approaches, they will need to establish a sound business case as part of their bid. But cost-savings are valued across the industry so, while smart data management is particularly relevant to existing fleets that are employing a more traditional approach, current operators may wish to consider mid-franchise studies to establish the viability of a business case for smart data management for their fleets. From the other side of the table, rolling stock companies (ROSCOs) gain the opportunity to enhance their assets, by incorporating this technology as part of a technical upgrade or mid-life refurbishment to improve the future leasing attractiveness of their fleet. Smart data management technologies – digital twinning Digital twinning, as mentioned previously, is a smart data management tool that could be of great value to the rail industry. Digital twins can be used in a number of important ways: they act as a surrogate for direct monitoring, where the data of interest is either physically or economically inaccessible; and they provide predictions of future results, where the outcomes of interventions are both uncertain and potentially consequential. They also expose some of the important interactions and emergent properties of complex systems, making it easier to manage change and risk. By building digital twin models of their systems and components at the early stage of their programmes, train manufacturers could use these as part of their FMECA, to ascertain which condition data they need to focus on when the train goes into service. Much like the trains themselves, however, digital twins must be kept up to date as the trains evolve, to ensure that their predictions are consistent and meaningful. For train operators, digital twin modelling, using real-time condition data from train- and infrastructure-based systems, can offer the opportunity to move to a more predictive maintenance regime, rather than an interval based approach. Organisations will have the opportunity to adopt a ‘fix-it before it breaks’ stance, as service faults will already be known and addressed, and this could reduce the amount of deferred work. Harvesting the data to grow a smart system Modern train maintenance facilities are now being equipped at build with RCM systems that harvest data, for example on the condition of wheels or brake components, or

current collection equipment. This data is fed into the maintenance management system for immediate alerts of wear conditions, future analysis and trending, to aid the understanding and prediction of component life, for materials planning and life cycle costings. Many rolling stock systems also have monitoring already in place, for example of voltages, currents, temperatures and speeds. Sensor data from acoustic monitoring systems, Wheel Impact Load Detectors (WILDs), optical systems, and both infrastructure and vehicle-borne cameras are already used to provide useful performance and condition-based data. Additional sensing – for example of processed video images to monitor doors and passenger activity – could also be implemented, depending on the needs of the train operator. To collect the data, the train will require an on-board data logger and gateways, which may already be included as part of its control system. This will need to access the data from sensors and cameras either via serial communications links, wired networks or wirelessly. However, consideration will need to be given to the effects of the noisy electromagnetic environment. The data collected will need to be transferred back to base, either wirelessly or via a wired or manual upload. This could be done using real-time data transfer, exploiting the train’s Wi-Fi, or using mobile telephony; or via ‘burst uploading’, as the train passes through a station or depot. Manual upload would also be an option, particularly for legacy equipment. There are, of course, some limitations on data transfer. On-train Wi-Fi systems have a limited bandwidth, so the collection and transfer of the data will need to be managed. Services can be set up to ensure that sensor data transmission gets priority, but the sampling rate must deliverable within the available bandwidth. One potential solution is for local processing of data to take place on the train, with the subsequent transmission of metadata such as performance and condition indices at a later time. The challenges of smart data management are, however, outweighed by the help it offers to increasing not only train reliability, but the dependability of assets across the rail industry – from metro and light rail, to freight operations, infrastructure and ‘yellow machines’. Our digital world is continuing to grow, infiltrating every aspect of our daily lives. Sometimes, we don’t actually realise it is there, or take it for granted because it is so easy to use and makes our lives so much easier. At Frazer-Nash, we apply our understanding of smart data management to support clients across a wide range of sectors to achieve their business improvement objectives. We can help implement smarter approaches through which the rail and transport industry can revolutionise its reliability.


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


Acorel has been specialising in high-precision automatic people counting and flow analysis for over 29 years. We are constantly developing our offer to provide operators in various market sectors with cuttingedge innovative solutions that are accurate and reliable, always designed to meet the needs of each sector.





Š Shutterstock

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Unlocking high speed rail: the key to economic success? High-speed rail can change the world. It can open up opportunities for places previously closed off from economic centres, revitalise cities and even protect the environment by providing a viable alternative to certain flight routes


hina is a shining example. Since 2004 the development of its railway networks has taken place on a scale beyond anything that the world has seen before, hand-in-hand with economic expansion. China’s high-speed railway network is by far the largest in the world. By June 2018 it extended to 22 of the country’s

29 provinces, stood at a whopping 26,869 kilometres (16,696 miles) in length and made up around 64 per cent of the world’s high-speed rail tracks. Further plans to increase this to 38,000 kilometres by the early 2020s are well underway. China is also seeking to rebalance its growth geographically to encourage growth and enhance economic inclusion.

After three decades of rapid development in its Eastern Provinces, the development of the Central and Western Provinces then became a priority for the country’s policy makers, with improved connectivity crucial in doing so. For example, the less developed province of Guizhou was connected by rail to the advanced province of Guangdong, opening new opportunities for all.

After three decades of rapid development in its Eastern Provinces, the development of the Central and Western Provinces (of China) then became a priority for the country’s policy makers, with improved connectivity crucial in doing so Rail Professional



throughout the rolling stock, a significant reduction in power would occur if even one of the transformers on the train were to fail, meaning a reduction in speed and acceleration. All these factors increase the need for light, adaptable, safe, reliable systems that remain stable and cool under considerable stresses. Until recently it was only possible to do so while trains travelled at speeds far slower than current high-speed fleets. This extra performance cannot come at the cost of extra weight or size, as this would likely impinge the efficiency of the train. So, solutions that keep the size of the transformers the same, or even smaller, while delivering gains in power output are what was required. Enter, MIDEL 7131 synthetic ester fluid. It’s not just the length of the infrastructure that has so staggered the world but its speed. Much of the new track is designed to support high-speed rolling stock not dissimilar to the trains that we will see introduced on the UK’s new HS2 line when it opens in 2026. But while in China top speeds will regularly reach up to 350 kph (217mph) and generally don’t run below 250 kph, or 124 mph, HS2 won’t run above 320kph, unless amendments are made to the current plans. A good example to illustrate the difference high-speed rolling stock can make to a journey is to consider the commute between the two cities of Beijing and Xi’an, which is around 746 miles. This journey takes approximately two hours by air, eleven hours by car, and used to take anything from 11.5 hours to 17.5 hours by train. On the fastest ‘bullet train’ the journey now takes an incredible 4.5 hours. But China is only one example of this global phenomenon. From France’s longestablished TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) to the planned California High-Speed Rail system, high-speed rail is capturing imaginations around the world. In order to implement such a fundamental shift in transport expectations, rolling stock manufacturers such as Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens are increasingly taking an ‘Apple’ style approach to technology development. Rather than modifying or maximising the potential of existing technologies, they are increasingly challenging and collaborating with partners to create new solutions and keep up with the unrelenting pace of change. The unheralded hero It is within this context that a rather unlikely hero of modern transportation has emerged. Synthetic ester transformer fluid, such as the MIDEL brand manufactured and developed in the UK, is the lynch pin allowing this expedited advancement for high speed networks around the world. The physics is fairly simple, an electrified train takes its power from overhead power lines, via an onboard transformer. Faster trains Rail Professional

need more power, more power means more heat generated through the transformer. Of course, more heat and strain on the transformer inevitably increases the risk of wear and tear, malfunction and the potential for onboard fires. Demand for electricity on trains has also soared in recent times in line with customer preference for ancillaries such as Wi-Fi, power sockets for laptops and phones, enhanced catering and lighting. This

Demand for electricity on trains has also soared in recent times in line with customer preference for ancillaries such as Wi-Fi, power sockets for laptops and phones, enhanced catering and lighting. This is particularly true as developing societies become more affluent and their travellers’ requirements more exacting is particularly true as developing societies become more affluent and their travellers’ requirements more exacting. As a result, multiple transformers per carriage are now required where one per train was once enough. Electrical Multiple Units are now in common use around the world. Even in these cases, where many transformers are used and distributed

What is it? Liquid-filled transformers use dielectric, insulating fluids, in order to regulate temperature, and therefore stability and reliability. These fluids can take many forms but as well as being excellent electrical insulators, such fluids also need good thermal conductivity in order to function. Up to now mineral oil has been the fluid of choice; however this fluid has a fire point of around 160°C, which, given the operating temperatures of transformers when in use, means fire could occur if any leakage were to happen. Fortunately, there are alternatives. MIDEL synthetic ester fluid was developed specifically to be used as a transformer dielectric fluid. Its robust characteristics meant it was quickly adapted for use across many sectors and applications. Crucially, it has a very low pour point and proven oxidation stability, making it suitable for liquid operating temperatures between -56°C all the way through to extremely high ambient temperatures. In addition, its composition means that on top of vastly increased fire safety margins and stability, it is biodegradable. This gives a lower environmental impact in the event where the liquid is spilled or leaks from the train’s on-board transformer. In short, this means that operating at extremely high speeds, on tracks often elevated to navigate challenging terrain, across multiple fluctuations in power supply and load, now became possible. The future’s future The use of this particular synthetic ester continues to grow in rolling stock around the world, from Europe, to the US, Russia and Asia. The fluid’s chemical composition continues to prompt and facilitate innovation in transformer manufacturers, who look to design and build smaller and slimmer transformers that can perform safely under fluctuating loads. Right now, it seems, the only thing slowing the uptake of MIDEL synthetic ester fluid is the imagination of the high-speed world around it.



The trains of the future have arrived The UK rail sector is preparing to embark on an exciting journey towards zero emissions. Koji Agatsuma, Group COO Rolling Stock at Hitachi Rail explains how Hitachi’s battery train solutions can help ensure the UK meets the legal target of ‘no net emissions’ by 2050


am excited by the opportunities and challenges the UK’s ‘no net emissions’ by 2050 presents. As an engineer, I live for problem solving. To develop and build new technologies to overcome the most important issues, is the reason why I love being an engineer. Although no net emissions by 2050 sounds far off in the future, the decisions we make today will affect our chances. It is essential that we start introducing zero-emission rail solutions right now. This is why Hitachi is proactively looking at ways to introduce our ‘intercity battery hybrid’ and ‘regional battery’ train products to the UK. The intercity battery hybrid consists of battery technology being installed on Hitachi intercity fleets. This creates a dieselelectric-battery train that can reduce fuel costs, improve performance, bridge gaps in electrification and eliminate emissions in non-electrified stations. Meanwhile, our regional battery train has a range of 60-100 kilometres, whilst achieving same levels of performance and capacity. This makes it ideal for replacing the diesel trains on suburban regular stopping services. Taking into account that there are a number of diesel trains scheduled for retirement, and the potential to retrofit battery technology, there are at least 1,400 trains in the UK that could be using Hitachi battery technology by 2030. Our battery technology utilises the existing electricity infrastructure, so it works alongside electrification, not against it. This gives the government, Network Rail and operators more flexibility in how they decarbonise rail. Powering battery trains since 2003 I know that battery trains are part of the solution because Hitachi has been developing and honing clean tech solutions

Rail Professional

since 2003. This includes a fuel cell train in 2006, a high-speed UK diesel-battery trial in 2007 (see picture right), and eventually introducing the world’s first battery trains in Japan back in 2016. Another project that is particularly close to my heart are the pioneering bi-mode intercity trains, which were developed and built in the UK. This diesel-electric solution was specifically designed to overcome challenges that UK passengers were facing on intercity routes. Old diesel trains were overcrowded and there was uncertainty or delays to electrification. Bi-mode trains provide more seats and seamless journeys, whilst still being able to run on current infrastructure or hindered by decisions on electrification. Retrofitting bi-modes is part of the solution to 2050 no net emissions These bi-mode trains were an important first step in decarbonising rail. They produce zero-emissions under the wires in electric mode. Even in diesel mode, the modern efficient diesel engines produce significantly less CO2, NOx and particulate emissions. But like all good engineers, the team

at Hitachi had one eye on the future. So we made the bi-mode modular in design, making it relatively easy to install batteries and create the intercity battery hybrid. However, installing a battery is only one part of the solution. As batteries are retrofitted, it is also possible to remove diesel engines. Further reducing emissions and giving operators the option to either reduce fuel costs or improve acceleration. This ability to supplement diesel engines with batteries, means over time it is possible to eventually work up to a pure electric-



battery intercity train. Hitachi’s analysis of route profile and battery improvements indicates that it will be possible to have a full battery-electric intercity train by late 2040s. Although incremental change is not the most exciting or headline-grabbing prospect, it does create a clear pathway for investment and decision-making. Crucially, it means existing trains are not stranded diesel assets. Hitachi has futureproofed its existing fleets. Intercity battery hybrid can help improve air quality We want to start installing battery technology on intercity trains as soon as possible. This can increase performance by approximately 30 per cent, or a fuel cost saving of around 20 per cent. An intercity battery hybrid can also arrive, alight and leave non-electrified stations in battery mode. Considering that in some stations NOx annual limits are exceeded in just two weeks, there is a pressing need to start reducing emissions immediately. Given that the intercity battery hybrid helps to decarbonise and improve air quality it is paramount that these two issues are not viewed in a silo. They are both sides of the same coin. Rail policy needs to change to reflect this reality. Regional battery train to replace old diesels Another solution is our regional battery train, which could replace over 1,000 diesel trains that are due to be retired by the end of the next decade. This UK battery solution is designed for regular stopping services in suburban or rural routes. It can offer the same top speed and impressive acceleration as our current regional train, which in Scotland is proving to be one of the UK’s most reliable new fleets, posting a mile per technical incident (MTIN) of well over 30,000. The battery train will be able to offer seamless journeys for passengers, travelling beyond electrified areas with a range of 60 to 100 kilometre on one charge. It can fully recharge statically, using a Hitachi charging station or existing high voltage infrastructure, in 10 to 15 minutes. Alternatively, it can recharge while travelling under electrified wires. The speed and numerous opportunities to recharge means the range of battery trains is not an obstacle to their deployment. Battery trains will extend the distance and amount of zero-emissions journeys beyond electrified routes. The range of these journeys will increase in line with improvement in battery technology, which is only on an upward trajectory. Luckily for rail, we are in the fortunate position of piggybacking on the automotive sectors’ gains in battery technology. The automotive sector’s R&D is staggering and continually making significant improvement, year on year, in size and cost reduction, power capacity and recyclability. What is possible with battery power is still

unknown and for me that is what makes this technology so enticing. Who knows, in 20 to 30 years it could be lithium metal, solid state or even aluminium ion batteries that will be powering trains far beyond electrified lines. Battery complements electrification It is important to highlight that battery technology is not in competition with electrification. In fact, quite the opposite. Battery can help reduce costs and improve the business case for more electrification upgrades. In an ideal world, we would electrify the remaining 57 per cent of the UK network. However, this would cost the taxpayer billions of pounds, cause huge disruption to passenger services, take several decades to achieve, and delay decisions that need to be made today. What battery technology provides is the option for discontinuous electrification. Battery technology can bridge gaps so you don’t have to electrify the entire route. In the short-term this negates the need to electrify tunnels, bridges, or stations. These are often the most expensive, labour intensive and disruptive parts of infrastructure upgrades. Removing the challenging stretches of electrification will reduce costs, and ultimately help gain government approval. Rather than delivering one or two electrification programmes, it might be possible to do two or three in the next control period. As battery technology improves, the

gaps that battery can bridge will continue to grow. The costs and disruptions further reduced. This could allow for a total reassessment and reprioritisation of upgrading the UK network. Therefore, it is essential that government and the system operator properly assess discontinuous electrification and battery as part of their long-term planning for Control Period 7 or the newly announced Decarbonisation Transport Plan. Battery trains have arrived I think the UK should be immensely proud of enshrining the no net emissions by 2050 target into law. Taking such a progressive step truly puts the UK in a position of strength. It has created a clear framework for engineers and manufacturers to rise to the challenge and innovate. Battery trains are part of that innovation. It complements existing infrastructure and manufacturing supply chains. It can be deployed in the next couple of years to start working towards the no net emissions 2050 target. If anything, battery allows the rail sector and government to be more ambitious in setting air quality or decarbonisation targets. There is real opportunity for the UK to be a world leader in zero-emission rail. We can be at the forefront of seeing how far battery technology can go, while creating a clean and green railway for UK passengers. Koji Agatsuma is Group COO Rolling Stock at Hitachi Rail Rail Professional

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Attract top talent and cultivate innovation In the face of a significant skills shortage across the industry, transport operators must work harder to attract the best talent. Alistair Gordon, CEO of Keolis UK, explains how Transport for Wales is doing just that


he rail industry is currently going through one of the biggest periods of change since the privatisation of the railways in the 1990s. The ongoing Williams Review is set to fundamentally alter the way our networks operate, with the expectation that it will deliver fares reform, improve reliability and accessibility, but most significantly the possible end to the current franchise model. We are also seeing substantial investment in key projects such as HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and Crossrail, all progressing in response to increasing passenger demand for better performance and capacity across the national rail network. All of this, of course, spells greater opportunities for careers in the sector, and to be a part of the next generation in UK rail. And yet, at such a pivotal time, the rail sector and engineering industry more generally are facing a critical skills shortage. Recent figures from the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce reveal that Britain needs 203,000 new engineers every year in order to meet demand, but there is a current

shortfall of 49,000 a year. The rail industry faces pressure to attract new talent, with an aging workforce that sees one in five of its engineers currently aged over 55.

So, what needs to be done to help attract the next generation of talent? And how can the industry be mobilised to take better advantage of the opportunities ahead? Encourage and inspire The need to encourage and inspire more young people to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects at schools and universities has always been a key industry objective. Beyond the more academic routes, industry apprenticeships also need to be supported with positive communication and promotion. The breadth of career paths and opportunities available within the rail industry is extensive and diverse, but this is still not communicated strongly or effectively enough, leading to low uptake. As a result, many young students will fail to consider careers in rail as an option for them at the time when they are making the first key decisions about their future. Unfortunately, this rings especially true when we look at the number of women that opt to pursue a career in rail. Of the 85,000 people currently working in the sector, just Rail Professional



14,000 are female, according to research from Samuel Knight International. This can only mean that there is a wealth of talent and skill that is immediately bypassing the industry and suggests that more needs to be done to shift perceptions. We work in an exciting and forwardthinking sector that offers great opportunities for all, and this is a message that Transport for Wales (TfW) has been supporting in its approach to cultivating the next generation of talent. Recently it announced a commitment to work with more than 1,000 apprentices, graduates and interns during the 15-year Wales & Borders franchise, setting a best in class model for operators. They offer experience for young people in key areas such as fleet, infrastructure projects and train planning, helping to ensure that we replenish the numbers of skilled workers in the sector. And this commitment is already bearing fruit from working with local universities and colleges to provide opportunities to dozens of budding specialists from all backgrounds. Indeed, having successfully completed his fleet apprenticeship, TfW already has one of its graduate engineering apprentices starting a BSC degree in Engineering. Schemes like these not only help develop young people’s careers, but also ensure the next generation plays an important role in improving and developing the rail industry. It’s a programme of mutual benefit and it has been exciting to see it deliver so quickly. Embracing technology While growing the talent pool is paramount, the impact of technology is undeniably transforming the skill needs of the transport industry too, and it is imperative that training and development evolves to keep pace with the rate of change. Engineering UK estimates that an additional 7,200 Rail Professional

engineering and technical workers are needed to deliver existing high-speed rail projects alone, with projects such as HS2 not only requiring more ‘traditional’ engineering skills, but technical capabilities and knowledge of areas such as big data, automation, sustainability and electrification. These new technologies are an enabler for improving products and services to deliver the best possible passenger experience, so upskilling the workforce to feel comfortable in using new technology is an increasingly important part of training and development. This is something that we at Keolis take great pride in, ensuring that we match our ambition to innovate and improve the customer experience with the right minds, skills and technologies. However, as an industry we must never assume that we already have all the answers

– we must ensure the door remains open to any ambitious entrepreneurs or local businesses with good ideas that will help drive innovation and find new solutions to key challenges. Again, Transport for Wales is demonstrating great leadership in tackling this head-on with the launch of ‘Lab’, a programme supported by Alt Labs and designed to encourage a culture of innovative problem solving. This twelveweek accelerator programme invites individuals or groups with innovative solutions to transport issues to be mentored by a range of industry experts, as well as developing prototypes and demos to be pitched Dragon’s Den-style to key stakeholders and decision makers from across TfW Rail. The individual or team with the winning idea is awarded a contract to fully develop their new solution before being potentially rolled out across the Wales & Borders rail network, operated by KeolisAmey. The TfW Lab is helping to showcase the best of Welsh start-up talent, as well as finding solutions to improve key aspects of the physical and digital passenger experience. But the benefits of this programme will be felt by passengers much further afield than Wales. By nurturing the next generation of talent, the wider rail industry will reap the benefits of these new ideas and skills, helping to safeguard the future success of our network. We work in an industry which often talks about the need for new skills, perspective and talent and the opportunities are there for the industry itself to lead on driving this. I’m very proud to see this already happening in Wales. Alistair Gordon is CEO of Keolis UK

Keolis has been in the UK since 1996 and today it employs over 13,000 people across several franchises. During this time Keolis has introduced more new trains to its franchises than any other operator.

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A seamless link between education and industry Clair Mowbray, Chief Executive of the National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure lays out the skills challenges facing the UK


vibrant transport and infrastructure sector are key indicators of a healthy functioning economy. These two closely aligned industries are crucial to the UK and are the foundation stones of our economy. Their combined output creates, connects and constructs the workplaces, homes, and environments that make up our society. Alongside their physical output – airports, rail terminals, roads, offices and housing – they also of course make a substantial and more direct contribution to economic prosperity through investment, taxes and job creation. The government has made it clear that it sees an ambitious infrastructure investment programme as a key enabler of UK plc’s long-term economic plan. Investment in advanced transport and major infrastructure projects will bring with it more jobs and accelerated growth to all regions of the United Kingdom, essential to rebalancing our London-centric economy. Conversely, it should also be understood that poor infrastructure is a significant drag on productivity – a problem successive governments have sought to wrestle with. Without the right infrastructure, we are held back. With the right infrastructure, we stand ready to release our potential.


That said, despite a clear consensus that now exists across government and industry, there is also a recognition that our greatest obstacle to achieving our ambition is a lack of skills. To deliver the investment and outcomes we are seeking means bringing more workers into the infrastructure market, through new apprentices, technicians and graduates and attracting skilled workers from other industries. It will also mean retraining and up-skilling the existing workforce to deliver improved productivity and performance demanded by the advanced transport and infrastructure markets. And it will also mean improving the way the labour market operates, working hard and in collaboration with business to improve mobility and efficiency across sectors and regions. The challenge It is perhaps easiest to think of this skill challenge as a three-fold issue. Firstly, we need more skilled people. Secondly, we need a workforce with a different blend of skills than currently exist at large in the employment market. Thirdly, we need a workforce that is more diverse in nature. If we can successfully meet these three issues head-on, we stand to make great strides. That three-pronged skills challenge sits

at the heart of why the National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure exists. It also goes to the heart of why the College recently consulted on its remit and, as a result, has broadened its scope from our initial iteration as the National College for High Speed Rail. As a college, we were established to tackle the skills shortage and requirements from within the sector, specifically around rail modernisation and major infrastructure programmes across the UK. Our foundations are built on being truly industry responsive, and we work closely with partners across the industry to ensure that we are delivering a workforce that meets the sector needs. The latest figures published by the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce estimate that 50,000 people are needed to fill roles on the rail network; 41,000 are needed in road; and 180,000 are needed nationally to deliver the Heathrow Expansion project. The rail industry in particular faces even further skills shortages, with one in five rail engineers currently aged over 55. Looking ahead Our recent name change follows extensive consultation earlier this year with a range of stakeholders, including staff, learners, employers and representatives from across the industry, to ensure that our name Rail Professional



truly reflects the wide offering available to learners across our two state of the art campuses, in Birmingham and Doncaster. We unveiled our new name, The National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure, in October this year, reflecting the wider needs from across the sector. As a Higher Education institution, we are ideally placed to deliver the technical skillset required by industry to meet the changing demand, and are in the process of reshaping and developing our curriculum to ensure that we provide the right training and skillset, to ensure our learners are equipped with the skills to further develop within an industry which is hungry for a new level of technical insight. With an expanded purpose, we are ideally placed to train a modern and mobile workforce. This workforce will be fleet of foot, endowed with a transferable and advanced skillset. As a result, it will allow them to contribute to our transport infrastructure, but also importantly to construction and engineering projects in their widest sense. These are not only the skills we require today, but the skills we need for tomorrow. To upskill students our curriculum is focused around Level 4 and 5 apprenticeships and full-time courses, expanding to some discreet Level 3 provision, right through to Level 6 and short CPD courses. It is industry-led and industryfocused, utilising the very best technology, facilities and teaching practice. Feedback from our students and from industry partners has been critical in refining this offer to ensure it if constantly attuned to the changing needs of our economy and the businesses our students will work with in the future. Industry-collaboration is integral to our success, our outlook and how we promote ourselves to prospective students. What we need from businesses is greater investment in apprenticeships, greater appreciation of the transferability of employee skills and a greater willingness to Rail Professional

take a risk. The college has already benefitted significantly from engaging with leading sector employers like BBV, EK, Honeywell, Atkins, Arcadis and Volker Rail. Our network of employers are supporting the college in a variety of ways; by offering placements and apprenticeships; providing mentors; offering visits to their sites and depots for college learners; delivering guest lectures, and sharing expertise to give learners at the College access to the very latest thinking in the industry. As well as tapping into a wealth of knowledge and experience, our strong industry links have resulted in over £9 million of specialist kit and equipment being donated to us (including two former Eurostar power cars, state-of-the-art Trimble surveying equipment and 300 metres of track from British Steel) – giving learners the most up to date kit to train with and prepare them for the working world. As well as these strong day-day-today

links with business, the curriculum itself, which I highlighted earlier, has been designed with close collaboration with the industry, ensuring that we’ll able to deliver a workforce that meets sector needs. To this end, we have strong presence on our board from the sector – including HS2 and Arcadis and our own industry advisory board which brings together senior figures from over 50 companies in the rail and infrastructure sector to advise and shape our offer to ensure it is truly industry responsive. Furthermore, we have supported seven apprenticeship trailblazer groups leading to the creation of new Occupational Standards including Land Referencing, High Speed Rail and Infrastructure Technician and Information Manager. This kind of highly progressive initiatives help us ensure a seamless link between education and industry. As the Chief Executive of the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure, I see first-hand each and every day that we are making progress in encouraging more young people and adults into the advanced transport and infrastructure sectors, as well as upskilling those who have already made their careers within the industries. We’re broadening our skills base and digitalising the sector, and we’re drawing on a far more diverse talent pool than ever before. There is, however, much more to be done to move the needle, including giving students and industry the absolute certainly that a concerted and intensive programme of infrastructure investment is here for a generation and beyond – a cutting edge career awaits. There can be little doubt that the diversification of our mission and the renewal of our purpose as the National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure is a clear signal of intent. Clair Mowbray is Chief Executive of the National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure



Stabilising soils at Arley Tunnel Ben Foulger, Business Development Director at CAN Geotechnical Ltd, describes how its approach to soil nailing design helped in a recent project


he Arley Tunnel site dates to 1864, when it was opened by Midland Railway on the Whitacre to Nuneaton line, as part of the Birmingham to Leicester route. The tunnel itself was constructed on the highest point along the route between Arley and Stockingford and was subject to subsidence inside the tunnel. In fact, the tunnel was closed completely to passenger traffic on 14th December 1948, to address settlement works, when part of the tunnel was opened out into cutting and drainage and pressure grouting were undertaken. Today the site continues to be a busy route in the Network Rail North West and Central region, carrying both passenger and freight trains, and because of its historic stability issues is monitored closely by

Safety was obviously paramount throughout the project, so in order to allow safe working of the on-slope drill rigs with the line open to traffic, CAN Geotechnical proposed installing a bespoke lightweight temporary catch fence

Network Rail. Geologically, the site is comprised of soil overlying natural rock, part of the Whitacre Member of the Upper Carboniferous Salop Formation, with the land immediately surrounding the area heavily impacted by the local coal mining industry, prior to the railway being constructed. Having presented problems in the past, this mixture of natural and man-made landscape still poses a risk of instability of the cutting, potentially leading to rock fall or landslides affecting the operational railway and as such Network Rail put out a tender to address the issue. The scheme was part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan, and John Murphy and Sons

was awarded the contract to design and build the required earthworks and drainage scheme. Ground Investigation (GI) works at the site were undertaken by Central Alliance back in 2015 and consisted of four boreholes being drilled on the crest of the cutting and five trial pits on the cutting slope. Data obtained was used by JBA Consulting to design new drainage systems and a geotechnical stabilisation solution, with a specified 120-year design life, to address the instability of the cutting across its full 530-metre length. Influencing the design, the cutting itself tapers from flat ground furthest from the Rail Professional



tunnel portal, down to over 20 metres deep at the entrance to the tunnel, with the whole cutting heavily vegetated including mature trees. The slope angle steadily increases with the depth of the cutting, from low angled soil slope to a 60-degree steep mixed soil and rock slope at the tunnel portal. For approximately 300 metres of the shallow end of the cutting, a drainage upgrade was specified, which consisted of clearing existing crest drainage and refurbishing the existing rock blanket slope drainage ribs. A new mid slope drain was also specified along the north side of the cutting, and the crest drainage on the south side of the cutting was upgrade and extended. The steeper section of cutting, adjacent to the portal and totalling 230 metres in length, posed a higher risk of ground instability than could be addressed with drainage measures alone. The solution was to split this section into two zones, based on the geology; zone one being the very steepest and deepest part of the cutting, with the lower half of the cutting here consisting of weathered soil slope and the upper half consisting of soil overlaying partially exposed bands of competent siltstone and mudstone. Zone two consisted of soil slope only, with no competent rock present. In the soil slope areas six-metre length R32 selfdrilling hollow bar soil nails were specified and where rock was anticipated to be encountered, three-metre length 28mm solid bar rock bolts were specified. In total over 2,200 soil nails and rock bolts were specified, with 8,500m2 of erosion matting and high tensile steel mesh facing specified over the whole zone one and zone two areas. J Murphy and Sons undertook selfdelivery of the drainage element of the scheme but approached CAN Geotechnical to sub-contract the geotechnical component. CAN Geotechnical determined that longreach 360 excavators fitted with drill masts would be the most efficient way to undertake the drilling on the upper slopes, however the depth of the cutting would require the use of on-slope drill rigs to drill on the mid and lower slope where the long reach plant could not reach. The very bottom row of soil nails at the base of the cutting were also too close to the track itself to safely drill with the line open and CAN Geotechnical determined that they would need to be drilled using RRV mounted drill masts during possession. Safety was obviously paramount throughout the project, so in order to allow safe working of the on-slope drill rigs with the line open to traffic, CAN Geotechnical proposed installing a bespoke lightweight temporary catch fence. Rock fall trajectory analysis was carried out and informed a temporary works design, requiring a 1.5 metre height fence. This would be attached to the RRV drilled lower row of permanent soil nails using angled adapters, creating a 1.5 metre catch fence running along the base of the cutting to protect the line from any Rail Professional

material dislodged by the slope drill rigs. However, with the vertical spacing between each row of soil nails in the initial design being less than one metre, there would be insufficient space above the catch fence to fit a slope mounted drill above it to drill row two. This would therefore require the bottom two rows of soil nails to be drilled during possession, with a catch fence fitted to row one soil nails allowing row three to be drilled with slope mounted drill rigs. As a busy rail route, possession opportunities were limited to a short working window on each Saturday night, with a substantial amount of the devegetation work and tree felling also needing to be carried out during these periods. To enhance the progress CAN Geotechnical proposed a number of possible adjustments to the soil nailing design layout in order to minimise the quantity of soil nails that would need to be drilled during possession. The solution adopted by the scheme designer was to increase the vertical spacing between the bottom row of soil nails and row two to 1.75 metres and at the same time steepen the installation angle of row two soil nails, with a corresponding reduction in the vertical and horizontal spacing between soil nails from row two upwards to offset the reduced number of soil nails at the very base of the slope. This adjustment to the soil nailing design layout allowed overall soil nail quantities to remain the same, but the bottom row only to be drilled during the limited possessions available. With the temporary catch fence installed secured to row one this then allowed the remaining soil nails and rock bolts including row two to be drilled during normal daytime working with the line open. This halved the requirement for RRV drilling within possession, significantly decreasing costs and programme duration. John Murphy and Sons mobilised to site in early March 2019 to carry out enabling works and undertake renewal and upgrade

of the drainage. CAN Geotechnical’s work elements commenced in late March 2019, beginning with vegetation clearance and the installation of the upper rows of soil nails and rock bolts using long reach plant. The scheme design specified soil nails or rock bolts based on visual inspection of the cutting only, with no detailed information available to confirm the underground conditions. Suitability testing was used to confirm the exact areas where the cutting transitions from soil to rock. In total 20 suitability rock bolts and soil nails were installed early in the site works phase spread over site and pull out testing undertaken. A high proportion of these were sited on the assumed border between soil and competent rock, enabling review of the drill logs and results of pull-out testing by the scheme designer. This allowed the exact determination of where soil nails and rock bolts should be installed, according to known conditions on site. A complex programme was devised for the Geotechnical works, where the short working window on Saturday nights would be utilised to focus on one of ten sub sections of zone one and two at a time. In each section vegetation clearance, tree felling, RRV drilling soil nails and installation of the temporary catch fence would be undertaken, which created a safe, clear working area for midweek works to commence, with subsequent areas opened in turn on each Saturday night possession. The possession works were completed ahead of programme, with less possessions required overall than programmed. This allowed the main midweek works to progress as planned, and with up to six drill rigs working at a time the geotechnical element of the scheme has progressed well, with the drainage works being undertaken concurrently. CAN Geotechnical’s work on the site was completed at the end of August 2019, with J Murphy and Sons’ elements completed at the end of September 2019.

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Rail Training International – 25 years serving the industry This month sees Rail Training International (RTI) enter its 25th year since incorporation. There are few remaining UK-based private sector training providers that can claim such longevity serving the industry


n that period, RTI has been through three changes in ownership. Like many other private sector training companies in our industry, RTI was founded shortly after the privatisation of British Rail and was based in central London. Much of RTI’s early history included involvement in major projects in Southeast Asia and the RTI operation included a training centre in Melbourne, Australia. RTI was bought by Corys, the French simulator manufacturer in 2000, but continued to be based in central London. The final change of ownership was completed in May 2007, following a management buyout, at which point the company was moved to its current premises in Canterbury, Kent. The positive relationship with Corys continues though, with RTI servicing Corys simulators across the UK and Ireland. Rolling stock In more recent years, RTI has played a central role in the introduction of new rolling stock into the UK. Perhaps the highlight has been the Hitachi Class 800 series, where RTI were engaged to write the training strategy for the original tender bid. The company was then engaged for the development of role-based Risk-Based Training Needs Analysis (RBTNA), training design and delivery for train-the-trainer products to all the current 800 series operators (GWR, LNER, TPE and Hull Trains). In addition, RTI supported Hitachi with its early traction and rolling stock maintenance training. It is rare in life that you have the opportunity to be involved in a project from conception to delivery over a period of eleven years and it’s something RTI is very proud of – delivering on time and to budget. RTI also supported Hitachi with the introduction of the Class 385 into Scotland. RBTNA With its reputation in supporting the introduction of new rolling stock growing, 2019 saw RTI support CAF and its

introduction of a variety of rolling stock into the UK. Again, this centred on the use of RBTNA and the development of materials for train-the-trainer products for the operator. Over the years RTI has developed the RBTNA template to reflect more specific safety and business risks associated with tasks, which are subsequently mapped to training material, providing training validation and an audit trail for external scrutiny. RTI also uses the RBTNA template to drive the development of behavioural learning objectives and positive NTS behavioural markers. Such is RTI’s growing reputation and expertise in this field, that it is currently supporting a rolling stock manufacturer in preparing its training strategy for a tender bid for rolling stock supply to a European operator. What RTI is finding is that the UK market’s demand for robust RBTNAs and an auditable training process is finding favour with international operators procuring rolling stock and this, in turn, is forcing rolling stock manufacturers to become more focused on the quality of training and support material they are providing to their clients. This raising of the bar has got to be good for safety in our industry worldwide. Non-Technical Skills (NTS) Perhaps one of the most exciting and significant developments for RTI in recent years has been the company’s work with Non-Technical Skills (NTS), where it has been supporting operators and engineering maintenance organisations in developing

their trainer and staff competence in the UK and internationally. RTI’s experience with NTS over many years is recognised through the publication of a number of academic papers and presentations, including this years’ Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer (UIC) World Congress of Rail Training in Rabat. RTI believes that NTS really has a significant role in improving our industry’s safety and business performance, but at the moment the case for NTS needs to be more strongly made through empirical data. Sadly, it seems that the UK rail industry is struggling to come to grips with successfully implementing NTS, perhaps in part due to the UK industry’s dependence Rail Professional



on RSSB’s guidance and approach to NTS which, in the company’s view, is at best illdefined and unnecessarily complex and, at worst, at odds with key literature. RTI uses NTS categories and descriptions in line with guidance from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), and the most influential literature in the field of NTS rather than RSSB’s. RTI’s experience is that learners can more readily understand and apply these to their own environment. RTI also promotes the long-established three-phase approach for introducing NTS. RTI’s NTS approach has centred on providing support to in-house company trainers in developing positive behavioural NTS markers – descriptions of what good NTS look like – aligned to task and risk. It is the development of behavioural markers that must be the focus for training designers. RTI uses a series of three workshops, with ‘homework’ in between. Ideally, this approach is supported with a high-fidelity training environment, such as a simulator (for drivers), train access (for maintenance) or desk-top / technologybased simulation (for ‘line-of-route’ style or control room activities). RAIB have noted that ‘classroom-based introductions to human factors principles do not (necessarily) provide immunity to

error... more recent applications that we have seen seem to provide basic awareness of human factors principles without explicitly translating this into guidance for behaviour’. RAIB note that such training could fundamentally be reduced to calls to ‘pay more attention’ (in ironic contrast to modules on the limitations of human cognition). RAIB’s point is that training should be targeted directly at developing the relevant skills and behaviours. It is evident that the UK rail industry is recognised as being an international leader in the management of staff competence. However, Category ‘A’ SPAD data has risen sharply over the past two years at a time when many operators would claim to be ‘doing’ NTS. Given the importance of NTS to safety, now is a good time to challenge existing guidance, models and approach. After all, the aviation industry (which is readily recognised for their excellence in the field) have been through at least six versions of Crew Resource Management (CRM), their own equivalent of NTS, to get to where they are now. Training accreditation RTI has been an accredited centre for providing trainer, assessor and verifier NVQs for many years. More recently, the

company has also become accredited by IOSH to deliver its ‘Managing Safely’ and ‘Managing Safely Refresher’ programmes. This is a move that is consistent with RTI’s internal standard for our training consultants, where it develops a substantive team to achieve a minimum of a full Level 3 NVQ (some hold Level 4 and beyond) in Training and Development, along with the vocational assessor qualification. RTI is also required to hold the IOSH ‘Managing Safely’ qualification as a minimum. RTI’s next 25 years RTI are members of a current international project which is looking at the emergence of the ‘digital railway’ across Europe and trying to predict the impact this will have on the skills required for rail workers. This in turn will help RTI to understand the requirements for training technology to support learning in the future. The hope is that the UK continues to be seen as a leader in the field of railway staff competence and that RTI can continue to influence that agenda positively. Tel: +44 (0) 1227 769096 Email: andrewrussell@rti.co.uk Visit: http://www.rti.co.uk

RAIL TRAINING INTERNATIONAL is an international training systems provider, specialising in training needs analysis, development, delivery, consultancy and research in integrated transport systems RTI core skills: • Traction & Rolling Stock (T & RS) training design, development and delivery • Rail Operations training • Safety training, including ATOC PTS • Non-Technical Skills (NTS) • Risk-Based Training Needs Analysis (RBTNA) • Transport research and consultancy • Rail Simulator training and consultancy

Want to know how the General Election will affect your business and how to make the most of the outcome? Ask the specialists in the impact of politics on rail email: mark.walker@cogitamus.co.uk or tel: 01733 767244 cogitamus.co.uk

To find out more about RTI Telephone: +44 1227 769096, visit www.rti.co.uk or e-mail rtiuk@rti.co.uk

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Fencing Track- side ladder

Step on Safety have been on track since 2009, providing innovative turn-key solutions within the Rail Industry. Utilising GRP’S lightweight, durable, low maintenance, non-conductive and non-corrosive properties to deliver out-standing design, supply, fabrication and installation to all of our clients. Boasting a long line of prestigious projects from extensive work on GRP Access Solutions in the Euro Tunnel to 220m of MultiStorey fully Composite Access Platforms at Stewarts Lane Depot. GRP Step Over

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Anderton works towards reducing cable theft With cable theft costing the UK rail network millions of pounds each year, Anderton Concrete is tackling the issue with the launch of its new innovative-patented product, Ander-fin


heft of metal on the rails has been a prominent problem for many years, not only does it cost taxpayers, but it also has the potential to bring the network to a standstill. The leading manufacturer of precast concrete products has designed a system to make cable theft virtually impossible. Ander-fin is a newly approved cable anchoring system, which is patent approved and can be used in conjunction

with Anderton cable troughs to protect from metal theft. Every reduced weight trough, which Anderton now manufacturers, incorporates a slot in its base to allow Ander-fin to be fitted at the point of installation, which when used in unison creates a system that makes cable theft virtually impossible. Shaun Forrester, Sales Director for Anderton Concrete commented: ‘We believe Ander-fin offers an extremely effective

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solution to a continuing problem within the rail network and its shocking to learn an estimated 50,000 minutes per year are lost on the rail system due to cable theft. The beauty of our patented system is that we have protected every aspect of the system; this includes the void in the trough and the fin itself to anchor down the cable, which prevents any other system replicating the anchoring of cable via a void in the trough. ‘For any railway scheme designers who are working in high risk areas, we encourage to specify the patented system as early as

possible within the process. This will mean that the trough route is protected against potential theft and therefore reduces the chance of costly delays once the network is operational.’ About Anderton Concrete Anderton Concrete has its roots deeply set in traditions, manufacturing excellence and dedication to customer service that have existed for many years. The company has been manufacturing precast concrete products for over 50 years and as such, the

name Anderton Concrete Products, has become synonymous with product quality and deliverability. Anderton Concrete’s comprehensive product range, specialising in solutions for various retaining walls, fencing, cable protection and identification products, has been developed to meet virtually all builders merchants’ and contractors’ needs alike. Tel: 0333 234 3434 Visit: www.andertonconcrete.co.uk


zonegreen safe working solutions

Renowned as the global market leading depot protection system, the SMART DPPS™ delivers physical protection from vehicle movements to rail depot staff whilst providing visual and audible warnings.

www.zonegreen.co.uk Rail Professional

The Smart DPPS™: • Protects staff and equipment • Ensures safe and controlled movement of rail vehicles into and out of the depot • Allows train maintenance operations to be conducted without endangering the safety of staff or damaging infrastructure

Tel: +44 (0)114 230 0822

It is: • Fully configurable, flexible and functional • Proven in use and installed globally • Capable of interfacing with third party equipment including signalling systems. • Adaptable to the safe requirements of the depot





STRENGTH TXM Projects are industry specialists in the provision of Project Management, Consultancy and Resource Solutions to the Rail Sector (Passenger and Freight Rolling Stock, Operation Delivery and Engineering Services). TXM Projects offer high-quality engineering and consultancy solutions encompassing all areas of onsite installation and rail vehicle care; enabling rail vehicle operators or owners to complete their projects safely, on budget and on time. Contact us today to discuss your requirements. T: 0121 600 7440 E: info@txmprojects.co.uk W: www.txmprojects.co.uk

Helping to make a difference Health, welfare and financial benefits for those working in the public transport industry... ...people like you! Just ÂŁ1 a week covers you, your partner and dependent children

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Improving productivity, efficiency and reputation Could your business benefit from greater productivity, increased efficiency, reduced costs, enhanced reputation and a safer workplace?


f so, now is the time to invest in IOSH’s Managing Safely, the marketleading safety and health course for businesses of all sizes. It has been delivered worldwide for over 25 years by a huge network of training providers. It is tried, tested and trusted, and there’s more. Thorough but flexible With the consequences of safety and health failure potentially fatal, you cannot rush training. IOSH’s three-day course takes the right amount of time to get learners up to speed. It’s available face-to-face or via e-learning to suit your business needs. Business focused IOSH works with business leaders in the

development of flexible courses to ensure it delivers the insights and efficiencies you need to gain a competitive edge. Unique Managing Safely combines practical stepby-step guidance with an engaging and inspirational approach that will make your managers think afresh about how safety and health can positively impact the whole business. Contextualised The content of the course and the scenarios that are explored will directly reflect your sector, workplace and even factors relating to your geography or business demographic. So, it’s easy to put everything learned into practice.

World-class IOSH is the Chartered body for safety and health professionals and the quality of the training and the content of the course reflects that. Who should attend? This course is for anyone who manages or supervises people, in any industry sector or environment. They’ll learn to: • assess risks • control risks • understand responsibilities • understand hazards • investigate incidents • measure performance. They’ll learn about the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’. Why should we look out for our

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Managing Safely from IOSH is the market leader in safety and health and IOSH has trained 172,000 delegates on 23,000 training courses in 76 countries. The team can help you prepare for tomorrow. The world of work is transforming at a rapid pace and IOSH wants to ensure that you are ready to embrace those changes and profit from them rather than being left behind.


IOSH is a global organisation with 47,000 members in 130 countries, many of whom are business owners themselves, and IOSH represents their views to governments and regulatory bodies to make sure business can continue to drive the positive change we all need and deserve. For further information, please see www.iosh.com/managingsafely

colleagues? Why should we continue to innovate? How can I make a difference? Successful delegates are awarded an internationally-recognised IOSH Managing Safely certificate. It’s a vital achievement and demonstrates that they have the knowledge to be more efficient, productive and safe in the workplace – to the benefit of all. Why IOSH? Here’s why: • track record • vision • status.

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


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CableGuardian is the only product to offer proactive monitoring, detection and location of both insulator and conductor faults on live signalling power systems as specified in Network Rail specification NR/L2/SIGELP/27725.


REVOLUTION to prevent signal failures This unique product provides continuous monitoring of live signalling power supply systems at a cable section level without the need to power down the system, reducing the need for manual trackside fault-finding, reducing maintenance costs and ‘boots on ballast’. CableGuardian is the technological alternative to the 5 yearly manual cable testing requirement NR/L2/SIGELP/50000. Empowering the rail industry to move from the uncertainty of periodic testing, to a real-time condition based approach. Key Benefits:

• Fewer boots on ballast fault finding and cable testing • Quickly and accurately locate cable faults and cable theft • User friendly web portal for fault diagnosis and location • Allows trending of insulation resistance and insulation capacitance at a cable section level.

CableGuardian helping passengers to arrive on time. For more information or to book a demo, visit

https://cableguardian.viperinnovations.com or speak to one of our experts on:

01275 78 78 78





Measure Anything Manchester Metrology returned to co-host ‘Measure Anything’ for the third time in October and much like previous years, the event was deemed a tremendous success


orking with the likes of FARO, Alicona, Aberlink, Amfax, Optimax, Heidenhain and NPL, Manchester Metrology oversaw the action-packed event which included various technology demonstrations showcasing how industries can enable faster and more accurate 3D documentation. The 70+ attendees were given unique opportunities to speak with market metrology experts directly as well as insights into new ways of improving product quality during production, design and planning phases with the use of metrology technologies. These technologies were presented through live demonstrations throughout the day, with visitors keen to probe, scan and measure any parts they had brought with them. At Manchester Metrology’s stand, visitors were able to see the Peel 3D™ in action. This particular piece of equipment is the most straight-forward 3D scanner. It simply lets you develop high-quality 3D scans of a variety of different sized objects while keeping your project on a budget. It can scan most items directly without any preparation as it recognises the shape of objects automatically. The Peel 3D™ is professional-grade handheld 3D scanning in its purest form. It has no useless gadgets to make it seem

more interesting or appealing. It simply lets you make high-quality 3D scans of small or large objects while keeping your project on a budget. It can scan most items directly without any preparation as it recognizes the shape of objects automatically. Trying to scan something very smooth? No problem! This 3D scanner can also use stick-on markers to let you scan the flattest surfaces. Manchester Metrology wants to thank

everyone who attended ‘Measure Anything’ and making it the success it was. The team is already looking forward to hosting its next Metrology Networking Day, details will be announced on the company’s website, listed below, closer to the time. Tel: 0161 637 8744 Email: sanya@manchester-metrology.co.uk Visit: www.manchester-metrology.co.uk Rail Professional



Tessera Nexus FR Tessera tufted carpets are renowned for their aesthetic styling and outstanding performance, even in the most demanding of heavy traffic environments


essera collection includes contemporary and classic styles to enhance a wide variety of rail vehicle interiors. Tessera FR Nexus is a brand-new collection of attractive, hardwearing carpet, offered in nine neutral and classic colours, covering light and dark options, all designed to deliver specific aesthetic and performance benefits. The installation of carpet in a rail vehicle adds significant warmth, comfort and acoustic benefits. The right structure creates a catalyst, where ideas can freely form and thoughts come together, joining and making connections; ideas that can then develop further, interacting with each other forming new connections and becoming the nexus in our ever-changing network. Tessera FR – Nexus, merges a metallic web overlay with a sophisticated striated ground, creating a network of connection.

• flexibility for colourisation • nine neutral and classical colours covering light and dark options • durability and appearance retention made from one hundred per cent nylon • slip resistance • reaction to fire EN 45545-2: HL2 • cut to size/shape option • available with Pro-Fit backing for quicker installation • reduction Impact Noise: 25dB. To find out more about the full range of Forbo’s flooring and wall covering solutions available to the rail segment, which include Flotex FR flocked flooring, Coral Move FR carpet, Coral FR entrance flooring, Marmoleum FR2 linoleum flooring and Tessera FR carpet, or if you wish to look at our latest rail brochure then please visit www.forbo-flooring.com/rail And to allow us to keep you updated

with new products or designs as well as key installation references then sign up to the quarterly TRANSPRESS newsletter here www.forbo-flooring.com/transport For further details please contact us; Forbo Flooring Systems UK Ltd High Holborn Road, Ripley, Derbyshire DE5 3NT, UK Email: transport@forbo.com Rail Professional



The proven cleanability of Flotex FR Flotex FR flocked floor coverings have seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years and are now challenging conventional carpets in all sectors


ith an unbeatable combination of performance attributes, Flotex FR flocked floor coverings has increased

in popularity in the international transport market where demanding conditions require flooring to be subjected to particularly rigorous cleaning regimes in order to maintain appearances.

Here, we discuss why operators in the rail and marine sectors are increasingly specifying flocked floor coverings for their interior environments and, with reference to recent research, show how the construction of this innovative type of floor covering offers unrivalled cleanability when compared with textile flooring. Key performance benefits Flotex FR electrostatically flocked floor coverings offer exceptional performance and provide a unique flooring solution, combining properties found in conventional resilient and textile flooring. Like resilient floor coverings, they are safe, hygienic, durable and washable, yet at the same time they offer the warmth, comfort, acoustic characteristics and slip resistance of textile flooring. These properties, together with the availability of fire-resistant ranges and a phenomenal choice of aesthetic styling options, make flocked floor coverings an ideal solution for rail and marine interiors. Cleanability The dense surface pile of a flocked floor covering makes it extremely durable, while

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The results below clearly demonstrate the superior cleanability of the flocked floor covering which had the least amount of soil remaining after each cycle, with a 77.7 per cent mean of soil removed after the use of a contra-rotating brush cleaner. Drying times How long it takes for a floor covering to dry will also be of major concern to transport operators keen to minimise turnaround times. The research study also looked specifically at this aspect and tested the drying characteristics of flocked floor coverings alongside six different carpet constructions. Each floor covering was subjected to two passes using an industrial spray extraction machine and the remaining moisture content was measured after various periods of time, to establish how long each type took to dry. The graph below shows that after just two hours, the flocked pile sample was substantially drier than all the other constructions of carpet, with only 0.57 per cent moisture remaining, and after five hours, the pile was almost completely dry whereas other samples still retained significant amounts of moisture. A superior solution for transport applications Flocked floor coverings are clearly different to any other carpets on the market in terms of cleanability alone. Add in their more rapid drying times, their durability, allergy benefits, acoustic and slip resistant properties, fantastic styling options and the availability of an FR collection (reaction to fire EN 45545-2 : HL2), and it’s clear to see why this innovative floor covering is really going places in the transport sector. Tel: +44 (0)1773 740121 email: transport@forbo.com Visit: www.forbo-flooring.com/rail

its upright nylon filaments and impermeable PVC backing means it can be cleaned right down to the base. The nylon pile captures airborne allergens and fine dust, which is easily released with regular use of a standard upright vacuum cleaner. This contributes towards better indoor air quality – indeed Flotex is the only textile to carry the Allergy UK Seal of Approval™. A recent Cleaning Research International study compared the cleanability of a flocked pile floor covering with a loop pile and

cut pile carpet. Identically sized samples were conditioned, weighed and then soiled in accordance with BS EN 1269:1997 following Method B, using 10g of standard soil. They were then reconditioned and reweighed before being vacuumed with an upright cleaner fitted with a brush, a spray extraction, and a contra-rotating brush cleaner. At each stage, when dry, the samples were reconditioned and weighed to determine how much soil had been removed. Rail Professional


COMPLETE COUPLER SYSTEMS Design / Manufacture Overhaul / Upgrade

New Wedgelock Coupler for NTFL


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Proven railway power of MTM Power ®

In recent years, MTM Power has increasingly developed into one of the largest power supply manufacturer for railway applications in Europe


TM Power® has been a reliable and experienced partner of the railway sector for more than 25 years. The quality of its innovative products as well as the flexibility and reliability of the company are the decisive factors. Sound technological and industrial knowhow are combined with the highest quality standards. Comprehensive experience over many years directly impacts on the development of new products – as well as the knowledge gained from the close cooperation with the normative committees and customers. MTM Power® offers a wide range of reliable and high quality electronic power supply products for the rail industry – for rolling stock and trackside applications. MTM Power® supplies railway projects

throughout the world and is the preferred supplier to well-known manufacturers of locomotives, high-speed trains, EMUs and regional trains as well as metro trains. Just as insusceptible to mechanical stress such as shock and vibration as to environmental effects such as condensation, humidity and conductive dusts – the converters developed in accordance with EN 50 155, EN 45 545-2 are suitable for challenging rail operations and prove themselves time and time again throughout the world. They control the power supply to the control units of the air conditioning systems, window heating, under-floor containers, hygiene cabins, driver control terminals, doors and much more. They are an emergency start installation enabling the starting of vehicles without supplementary emergency batteries. Components of MTM

Power® ensure infrastructure operations such as controlling barriers, signals, switches and platform access doors. They also ensure reliable communication in the vicinity of railway operations. Compliance standards is ensured by a patented technology (EP 1 987 708, U.S. Patent Nr. 8,821,778 B2) of the Thermoselective Vacuum Encapsulation of the power supply units and the DC/ DC converters. A ‘cemented joint’ is created between the electronics and the solid encapsulation material. The term ‘cemented joint’ originates from the licensing process for electric safety and describes the normative, proven durable and intractable capsulation. Ageing, heat, cold, rapid temperature changes or other environmental impacts are not to cause detachment, cracking or air pockets under

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Redi-Rock modular retaining wall system

...with the look of natural stone!

Build Faster Build Leaner Build Geener Build Quality Build Smarter Build to Last Download BIM and free Redi-Rock™ design software at www.cpm-group.com


T: 01179 814500 E: salesemail@marshalls.co.uk W: www.cpm-group.com

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

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

Tel: 01270 875393 Email info@invictusresource.co.uk Website www.invictusresource.co.uk


any circumstances. The thermal coupling of the components by the encapsulation material to the surface of the housing or base plate prevents the development of hotspots and economically guarantees a broadly homogenous temperature distribution in the power supply unit. The high degree of efficiency and use of suitable materials for the housing guarantee to exceed the normative specifications for the touchable surfaces. A side effect of the technology used is a much higher IP degree of protection than similar encapsulated standard power supplies. The determining component finally is the interface to the outside relating to connecting the power supply to lines and loads. The use of suitable plug connectors with a high IP degree of protection to the encapsulated power supply created power units permitting to be mounted locally where the power is needed. Protection against possible risks such as electric shock, fire or burning, mechanical damage or environmental effects is ensured by the power supply itself. The process of cooling the converter is achieved by thermal coupling through BPC (base-plate cooling) technology or – if needing – by adding a heat sink element.

Hence, all devices are specially designed to ensure the operational requirements under rough and critical conditions as well as complying with all the requirements and standards specific to railway operations. MTM Power® provides its customers the corresponding CoCs for fire protection


declaration, short reports of the DVT (design verification test) and on all railway operation products. Tel: +49 (0) 69 / 1 54 26-0 Email: info@mtm-power.com Visit: www.mtm-power.com

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RAIL Asia 2020 – a record event expected for Bangkok RAIL Asia, now approaching its sixth edition in Thailand, attracts in the region of 3,000 trade professionals from 40 countries and is hosted by the State Railway of Thailand


nternational attendance to the exhibition was led by Malaysia, followed by China, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, India, Myanmar and Cambodia. Tomasz Mazur, CEO of Siemens Mobility Thailand said: ‘The exhibition is growing in terms of participants and in terms of the offering of information. We see new participants with interesting exhibits and presentations on all sophisticated aspects of operational and economic topics of the railway business.’ 2020 is set to exceed these achievements as the industry grows from strength to strength, investment and expansion

continues and RAIL Asia moves back to its November timing in 2020, in line with the global scheduling. RAIL Asia is supported by the Ministry of Transport, the Office of Transport Planning and Policy, Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand, Airport Rail Link, SRT Electrified Trains, as well as other related organisations including: • Bangkok Mass Transit System • Bangkok Expressway and Metro • KU Rail • The European Association for Business & Commerce • The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers Thailand Chapter

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


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China, Vietnam and Singapore, upgrading signaling and telecommunications systems throughout the network, buying new rolling stock and will expand the Bangkok metro system to 14 lines and introduce light-rail networks to a further four cities. Find out more at www.RailAsiaExpo. com, join the FB community at Rail.Asia or contact rail@aesexhibitions.com

• The Centre for Excellence for Road and Railway Excellence. Thailand accounts for nearly half of all rail investment in ASEAN The main stimulus for the regional expansion of RAIL Asia in Bangkok over the past few years has been the vast

investment into transport infrastructure currently amounting to $93 billion (ÂŁ72 billion) of confirmed spend in Asia by 2021 with Thailand accounting for over 40 per cent of all new rail and metro investment in the region. Thailand will be expanding and upgrading its existing 4,000 kilometres of track, linking fast track routes to

Key people David Aitken, Managing Director: aitken@ aes-exhibitions.com Punnapa Onsarn, General Manager: punnapa@aes-exhibitions.com Vilawan Phuengthaicharoen, Marketing Manager: vilawan@aes-exhibitions.com Tel: +66 (0) 2711 1767-8 Email: rail@aesexhibitions.com Visit: www.RailAsiaExpo.com

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





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Trusted Partner

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Signalling the future of the rail industry Kevin Wilcox, Sales and Marketing Director of CHH CoNeX, explains how plug and play solutions can help slash the costs associated with major rail signalling upgrades


he cost of railway signalling systems has long been a concern to infrastructure management, with an urgent need to update and modernise thousands of panel boxes throughout Britain’s railways. First installed to replace older level frames and power installations after the war, panel boxes were given a nominal lifespan of around 25 years but the majority have lasted even longer. Indeed, some remain in service to this day. Yet, despite representing a great feat of British engineering, these trackside innovations require substantial upgrades if the UK is to reach its ambitious Rail 4.0 goals. In Australia, a vision of the future has already been mapped out. The country has unveiled a new advanced train management system (ATMS) which displays real-time information to the train driver on a display in the cabin. In tandem, the country’s system of analogue controls, which use mechanical signals trackside, is being upgraded to cater for new digital technologies, with trackside equipment using GPRS to gather speed and location information, transmitting data to regional centres where instructions can be sent directly to the cabin. In the UK, a similar initiative has been proposed by Network Rail after the organisation recently announced the consolidation of more than 800 signal boxes into state-of-the-art rail operating centres (ROCs), designed to utilise modern technology to improve both capacity and performance on Britain’s railway network. By partnering traditional trackside signalling equipment with

modern, in-cab computer displays and core control centres, signalling can become more accurate and effective, with real-time data enabling immediate decision-making, keeping disruption to a minimum. The challenge associated with plans such as these is that in the UK alone, the majority of trackside signalling boxes are unable to meet the requirements of modern technology and cabling solutions, paving the way for significant upgrades or complete replacements, with unavoidable and lengthy disruption to services as new installations are delivered trackside. Evolution, not revolution Make no mistake, the installation and

termination of lineside cabling is a huge task; time consuming, expensive, labourintensive and fraught with safety risks. However, if the majority of work can be carried out in a factory environment instead of live on site, not only could safety risks be minimised, but quality control and testing could be more comprehensive with minimal disruption to rail infrastructure. This is where plug and play solutions are making such an impact in the rail industry. Signalling systems are largely comprised of the same set of components; interlocking, a control desk, lineside apparatus and end devices. Though technology has advanced, the cabling route to connect these components remains largely the same,

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Installation time slashed by upto 80% reducing project overruns Minimal disruption to public services Field engineers spend less time in dangerous environments

Consistency of quality post installation

KEEPING YOU CONNECTED Cable and loom assemblies

Rack and cabinet integration

Metal or polycarbonate cabinets Full managed services


0121 344 4229 | enquiry@chhconex.com | www.chhconex.com Proud partners of Sichert, leading polycarbonate cabinet and communications specialists for the UK and European rail sector

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meaning solutions can be effectively made to measure and later simply plugged into termination points and end devices in the field. The beauty of plug and play is that it enables this simple installation. Most of the design and production work takes place in a safe and secure factory environment before it even reaches trackside. This results in less work for engineers who no longer need to carry out engineering-intensive on-site installations. It also means that lineside installation no longer requires highly technical engineers, who are often both in demand and expensive. A safer option Plug and play is having a significant impact on the UK’s rail infrastructure upgrade. In this sector alone, two-thirds of the signalling network is currently being updated, while new infrastructure for big data and communications is also ongoing. Plug and play solutions are enabling projects to be completed more efficiently and quickly than ever before, with minimal disruption to the rail network. Perhaps the biggest benefit of plug and play though, is safety. According to the Rail Safety and Standards board, there were 164 major workforce injuries and 5,694 minor

injuries in 2017/18. On-site installation and termination of lineside cabling can be a lengthy process and puts workers in the elements working in all weathers with electrical power lines


and conductor rails presenting a real risk of electrocution. Falls and trips due to unstable foundations are also common in this sector. While it may not be possible to eliminate all trackside incidents completely, it is possible to significantly reduce them by completing as much of the design and installation as possible in the factory. Extensive testing and quality assurance can also be carried out away from the track, to ensure that any designs are durable to adverse weather conditions, can survive immediate threats lineside such as rodents chewing through cables and are both effective and efficient. Furthermore, the concept for plug and play in rail stretches beyond signalling and is a beneficial proposition for any application that requires power, signal and data. The entire rail industry faces a busy and challenging future if current plans to digitise and significantly upgrade our railways are to come to fruition. With plug and play solutions accelerating signalling and power installations, the journey to Rail 4.0 may not be as long as we expected when we first boarded... Tel: 0121 344 6316/4229 Email: enquiry@chhconex.com Visit: www.chhconex.com

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

Contact: rail@norbar.com +44 (0)1295 753600


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Diamond Seating refurbish the interiors of Britains rolling stock, anywhere in the country


eating is just one of the services we undertake as part of your refurbishment project. We offer a complete (turnkey) service, doing all the tasks that will complete a refit or overhaul of your rolling stock, including professional cleaning and powder-coating.

Our project managers can organise essential external work, such as full resprays, decal work or brand livery. Seats are taken away to be re-covered at our depot, brought back and fitted. Other work can be done off-site or on-site. Diamond Seating’s work is guaranteed and conforms to current Railway Group Standards. For more information about the services we can offer your business, please visit our website, call or email us as below.

telephone: 0114 257 0909 | www.diamondseating.co.uk | info@diamondseating.co.uk unit 3, butterthwaite lane, ecclesfield, sheffield, s35 9wa



Piling on the station upgrades It’s been a busy year in the railways sector for Keller with the specialist rail division involved in a number of projects


he Crossrail West station upgrades have provided opportunities at West Drayton, Southall and Hayes and Harlington Stations. A number of major upgrades are being carried out by Network Rail on the western section of the route in preparation for the arrival of Elizabeth Line services in 2020. The project will provide new trains, better stations and easier, more reliable journeys for passengers in west London. At Hayes and Harlington, due to programme constraints and limited possession availability, the client (Transport for London and Network Rail) wanted the most effective piling solution and plant that could be used to work within two metres of the rail infrastructure. This meant loading the rig onto platforms during night working and then installing 600mm, 450mm and 300mm diameter Sectional Flight Auger (SFA) piles to the required design depths. With challenging ground conditions, works had to be modified while on site to ensure piles could be installed to the correct specification. Keller has also been busy at

Wellingborough and Kettering stations installing 610mm Steel Driven Overhead Line Electrification piles and 300mm diameter bored piles for Portal Gantries and Twin Track OLE structures as part of the works to upgrade stations on the London to Corby line. Amey appointed Keller for the London to Corby line upgrade due to the early design involvement which led to significant value engineering of the scheme at both stations. Works commenced at Kettering Station with the first set of 610mm OLE piles on platform one and two during weekend possessions installing with Road Rail Vehicle plant and Movax/Impact Hammer attachments. 610mm OLE piles on Platform 4 were completed during normal midweek day working hours off track in the sidings. The key challenge here was ensuring that the piling operations did not impair the day to day operations of the station with this being one of the key stops along the route. The piling took place both within possessions and during dayworks, Keller utilised its specialist Fondedile piling rigs which having an incorporated turntable,

allowed access to locations traditional mini rigs would not be achieve. Restricted access piling rigs were mobilised to install 300mm diameter bored piles for the OLE locations where access could not be reached using RRV plant or within sensitive areas of the station. Once piling works were completed at Kettering Station the team mobilised over to Wellingborough Station to install similar 610mm Steel Driven and 450mm and 300mm Bored Piles for OLE Structures and a new Footbridge. Wellingborough Station proved to be a more difficult station than Kettering with several restricted areas which meant Keller had to work closely with the client to provide suitable access and ramps to access certain pile locations. Piling works were carried out in both engineering hours and normal Any Line Open conditions. The 450mm diameter bored piles, were perfectly suited to the new bespoke Hutte 203. With this rig having its separate power pack on a tracked unit, the challenging access constraints which required us to work within the area of limited access, was easily overcome due to the rig’s versatility.

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In the last twelve months the company has also installed helical (screw) piles at Yarm Station in Cleveland in response to a request from the project’s consultants. Keller’s specialist rail team worked with the main contractor to optimise the solution to allow the programme to be reduced in comparison to traditional concrete pad foundations. All the piles were installed in less than eight hours working time over two weekend possessions. Keller has also been involved with the piling works at the over-station development at Twickenham, London. Again, early involvement helped

develop a hybrid solution to overcome programme concerns and maximise output. It involved CFA piling supplemented by restricted access mini rigs to efficiently and safely work within the Network Rail infrastructure area and ensure conformity to all rail side regulations. Contaminated strata was also discovered in the area of a contiguous wall, the decision was taken to utilise restricted access rigs in these areas to reduce any risk of contaminated material being transferred out of the site into the public areas which are near. The company has also invested heavily

in plant this year, commissioning a new Hutte 207 and 203 to improve the efficiency and environmental impact of its fleet. With its global reach, Keller can also quickly acquire the personnel and plant for any job. Keller welcomes early involvement in all rail schemes so it can work with the client to propose the right solution for the specific project to deliver a cost-effective solution to programme. These market-leading and award-winning services include, but are not limited to: • drilled, driven, helical (screw), augered and rotary bored piling for gantries, signals, platform extensions, bridges, viaducts, buildings and other structures • embankment, tunnel and wall stabilisation solutions including soil nails, anchors and rock bolts • the design and installation of a wide range of bespoke retaining wall solutions • I&M packages for monitoring and presenting data on vibration, dust, noise, settlement and many other important aspects on and surrounding the rail infrastructure • bespoke track bed stabilisation solutions designed specifically to overcome the complexities and limitations of working in the rail environment. Tel: 07748 477886 Email: shaun.davison@keller.com Visit: www.keller.co.uk

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Making every day railway tasks simple & safe Road to Rail to Site Personnel Carrying | Transporting Small Plant, Welding Equipment & Materials | Welfare Solutions

We provide Road2Rail Vehicles & Trailers to transport people, equipment & materials which: Improves your teams health & safety on track Simplifies your railway tasks Increases your teams performance

The R2R4x4 & R2R Welfare are great pieces of kit, serving their purpose above & beyond Lee Parkinson, Aspin Group

Providing Nationwide Hire | Manufacture | Maintenance of highway based Road2Rail Vehicles & Trailers

Aquarius Railroad Technologies Ltd Providing quality Road2Rail vehicles - Available for hire nationwide Call 01765 635 021 Visit www.aquariusrail.com Email abi@aquariusrail.com

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RMF is a leading provider of railway reservation based international settlement and clearing services, providing sophisticated revenue and cost allocation, including business critical management information

Times House, Bravingtons Walk, Regent Quarter London N1 9AW Tel: +44 (0)20 7042 9961 david.hiscock@rmf.co.uk




Bespoke products and designs Tiflex Limited, part of the James Walker Group of Companies, has been manufacturing cork and rubber bonded materials in the UK for over 70 years


riginally based in Woking, Surrey, Tiflex relocated to Liskeard, Cornwall in 1990 and since then has seen the business continually grow, year on year. There are 180 skilled people employed at the 10,500 m2 approximately (113,000 sq. ft) manufacturing site, with a number of external salespeople based around the country. Tiflex undertakes high volume production as well as the manufacture of bespoke items, many of which are designed in-house on behalf of its customers. Work is carried out on major projects throughout the world and almost half of the production is sold overseas. Working closely with its customers, Tiflex’s polymer technologists work to develop solutions to a variety of engineering problems particularly those requiring high performance and product durability. All Tiflex products are manufactured in a BSI registered factory operating a Quality Management System which complies with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001. Additionally, Tiflex also operates under the health and safety management system British Standard OHSAS 18001. The following are rail related brands produced by Tiflex.

requirements of BS6853 and EN45545. An additional line includes specialist adhesives, cleaners and sealants designed to work with the flooring and can also provide moulded coving and step treads to complete the flooring element of a project. Tiflex offers a complete service from specification support to technical support even working with manufacturers around the world to understand the best methods to install Treadmaster flooring for a long and trouble-free working product life. Treadmaster is currently in use throughout the UK on the London Underground, the Glasgow Metro, West Midlands Trains, South West Trains and also around the world on the Klang Valley MRT in Singapore, the Sydney Growth Train project in Australia to name a few. Trackelast Tiflex specialist rail solutions have been supplied to the global rail industry under the brand name Trackelast for over 50 years.

Trackelast products are manufactured from a variety of high-quality raw materials with strict quality control at every stage. The manufacturing facility, based in the UK Operates a management system certified to the BS EN ISO 9001 Quality Management System standard and the BS OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Standard. This allows Tiflex to design and manufacture both tried and tested solutions as well as bespoke ones to solve specific problems. Trackelast offers a full technical service (supported by in-house, modern R&D Facilities) to provide you with assistance in selecting the correct materials for your specified application. Trackelast pads are designed and manufactured to the requirements of national/global rail authority specifications. This may involve the bespoke design and manufacturer of specialist products. Tiflex does not just offer standard ‘off the shelf’ products. The company is here to help its customers develop specialist bespoke solutions to their

Treadmaster Flooring Treadmaster Flooring is a key brand of Tiflex Limited, with a rich heritage of supplying high performance rubber flooring for the transport industry, predominantly rail but also to buses, trams and monorail. Tiflex is unique in that its transport flooring is completely tailor made to the client’s specification. The company can supply products colour matched to almost any RAL or NCS colour with length, width, thickness and surface finish as required. Additionally, it can work against DDA regulations and product finished to exacting LRV values and slip resistance. The products have been created and continuously developed to meet and exceed the increasing high standard requirements of the transport industry, namely high wear resistance, slip resistance and of course, fire safety with the TM 7 and TM 8 grade materials meeting the highest test Rail Professional



research facilities, TICO has for over 70 years manufactured and supplied premium isolation solutions that offer unparalleled performance, longevity and maintenancefree installations in many of the world’s harshest environments. The range of products allows for fire resistance, high and low temperature, water and oil resistance, ozone resistance amongst other required characteristics. Previous London based rail projects include London Bridge Station, Embankment Station, Victoria Station, Charing Cross and Bank Station and many more across the world.

particular challenges supported by polymer technologists, developing solutions to a variety of engineering problems particularly those requiring high performance and product durability. Trackelast products fall into three generic categories and some examples of products include: • rail – sleeper/baseplate pads, under sleeper pads to EN16730, S&C pads, strip pads • civil engineering – under ballast mats, stray current protection mats, structural protection mats • bespoke – fire retardant rail pads, anti-vegetation matting, signalling applications, Floating Slab Track (FST) bearings, crane rail strip pads. TICO TICO is the generic brand name for a range

of products that are designed to attenuate noise, vibration, movement and impact. TICO is used across the world in a variety of structural and M&E applications including: • machinery mounting • vibration attenuation • plant levelling • pipe supports • movement joints • low friction supports • impact absorption • structural bearings. With a wide range of off-the-shelf and bespoke manufactured elastomer pads and materials, all backed with technical excellence and an assurance of quality, TICO is able to make recommendations on all vibration and related problems. With UK based ISO accredited manufacturing, in-house laboratory and technical and

Treadmaster Marine The Treadmaster Marine brand has been providing tried and tested, high quality performance-based products for antislip deck coverings for over 50 years. Six different product ranges for anti-slip flooring are on offer to suit all aspects of the global marine market. The six ranges include: • Treadmaster Diamond Pattern • Treadmaster Smooth Pattern • Treadmaster M-tec Ultra Grip • Treadmaster M-tec Small Diamond • Atlanteak • Glowtec. With the leading development team positioned in a state-of-the-art laboratory and vast technical experience, Tiflex prides itself on setting the benchmark for anti-slip deck coverings. Delivering a quick and easy method of covering areas of deck that are hazardous underfoot, with product variants designed to be applicable to any surface. The company provides a wide range of off-the-shelf colours and sizes in both plain backed and PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) backed options. Alongside this the company also offers a bespoke custom deck kit service, which it is able to cut and shape in to any size, adding logos and custom designs which can create a personal touch to any vessel’s covering. The range of marine products perform in high and low temperatures, is resistant to sea water, oil and fuel. These products are supplied all across the world and can be used on a wide variety of maritime vessels such as sailing yachts, sport RIBs (including MOD, Police and RNLI), tenders as well as commercial/fishing vessels. If there is a need for a durable deck covering that delivers outstanding anti-slip safety conditions, Treadmaster Marine is the brand to have. In addition, Tiflex also supplies Oxbridge Cricket balls, Nebar Gasket materials and can offer a bespoke service for any industry requiring rubber or rubber/cork products. Tel: +44 (0) 1579 320808 Email: info@tiflex.co.uk Visit: www.tiflex.co.uk

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LAYHER ALLROUND BRIDGING SYSTEM Travelling further for the rail industry SAFE




From footbridges spanning up to 30m to heavy load support girders Layher UK info@layher.co.uk Layher Ireland info@layher.ie

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Revolutionising rail drainage OnLine OnTrack is the specialist rail drainage division of Super Rod S-O-T Ltd established in 1995 by John Brayne, a drainage engineer and innovator


nnovation has continued to be a key part of the company’s’ growth strategy over the years with the business amalgamating a large fleet of highwaybased road rail drainage vehicles including RRV Unimog and Land Rover high pressure water jetters and vactors as well as a fleet of road-based drainage vehicles. Based in Stoke on Trent in the midlands, the family-based business offers national coverage for commercial and rail-based drainage solutions from high pressure water jetting and CCTV camera surveys to on track drainage solutions. The inhouse drainage engineering team have many years of onsite drainage experience in commercial and rail environments and have a proven reputation to provide solutions to reactive issues and provide long term repair solutions. Safety at the heart of drainage Super Rod innovation is not limited to the development of drainage solutions. Over the past five years the company has revolutionised the many ways it puts customers’ health, safety, wellbeing and productivity needs first. The core of the rail business is the hire of road rail Unimog vehicles with high pressure water jetting and vactor removal attachments which reach remote areas and clear track drainage and culverts to successively remove water from the infrastructure.

By improving the safety offering to include a full Plant Operating Scheme (POS) licence and safety critical staff, including machine controllers and Coss. Super Rod is able to provide a comprehensive package from planning through to implementation, all managed by internal staff. This immediately improves safety and productivity by assigning safety critical tasks to competent specialist staff who consistently work alongside the road rail machines. Summing up the safety offering, Chris Brayne Operations Director said: ‘By using our Machine Controllers, COSS and Pos licence we have found that we have significantly reduced the number of cancelled shifts due to paperwork or competency issues. All the team hold the correct competencies but we go further to say they are fully competent on all aspects of the machines including recovery processes if the need should ever arise.’ Creating a positive impact Super Rod operates countrywide holding national and route specific frameworks direct with Network rail as well as many approved supplier listing with other Tier 1 contractors. Projects can vary from reactive works after localised flooding, such as pumping out lift shafts, subways or blocked culverts to planned projects to maintain

track drainage by removing debris and CCTV camera surveying the integrity of the systems. Rob Corbett, Company Commercial Director, said: ‘One recent project in a remote spot in Mid Wales had our teams unblock the outfall and ditch for 50 meters, then on tracking the road rail vehicles and vactor removing all debris from the catch pits before high pressure water jetting the pipes clear, which released the stagnant water from the top of the system. Once clear we CCTV recorded the whole system and reported any issues back to the client.’ A significant part of the road rail drainage division time is spent completing proactive maintenance on the infrastructure. If left unmaintained the track drainage catch pits and connecting pipes would be blocked with debris and ballast stopping the flow of water. This would result in faults such as wet beds or localised flooding. Rail Professional



and no additional faults were recorded. ‘Super Rod have held an integral part of our drainage refurbishment work bank over the past three years, as the work bank has grown and demand has increased the quality of work has also increased. Super Rod have been involved in the refurb of over 15 kilometres of track drainage on the Western route without having an accident or incident.’ Comments Western Route works delivery supervisor (off-track), Sam HuishDavies. Future innovation and success All the Super Rod team are motivated towards the future. From simple beginnings in 1995 to present day the business has moved with the drainage industry and has established a strong foot hold in the rail drainage industry. During the past twelve months the industry has asked for large volume and bigger capacity plant which Super Rod has answered with the design and build of two new road rail drainage machines based on a proved Unimog 400 base vehicle. These two machines will revolutionise the business further offering much need availability to our current offering and opening new exciting opportunities such as wet bed removal and excavation solutions using suction. Over the next twelve months the business is fully energised in delivering and maintaining its current work portfolio and is excited to build additional client relationships to deliver a cleaner railway environment. There are plans in place to adapt the high-pressure water jetting attachments to deliver dust suppression through ballast wetting and to build on our septic tank removal division. Tel: 01782 832444 Email: info@superrod.co.uk Visit: www.superrod.co.uk Working together with clients the team can plan and implement solutions on a reciprocal basis to prevent faults occurring. Recommendations can be made during the planning stage as to the best use of equipment and plant and the frequency of cleaning depending on conditions. The engineering team is proud of the reputation earnt along many of the routes for delivering maintenance plans year on year. ‘Achieving a positive result from planning to implementation is the driving force for us all. There is no better accomplishment than unblocking a system and watching it drain’ Rob Corbett added. Recently Super Rod has completed such a project along the Western route. The area periodically floods during the winter months and has in the past recorded faults for wet beds. Super Rod provided two road rail drainage vehicles and a full POS provision, Safety critical staff and operators. The result was 1,400 metres of high-pressure water jetting and vactor removal of all debris in catch pits within the run within four midweek nights. The flow was restored in full Rail Professional

Identify | Evaluate | Control Health and safety solutions for the Rail Industry

Supporting organisations in tackling the challenges and pressures they face with the highest standard of advice and tailored solutions We provide professional advice and practical support to help you manage risk and deliver appropriate governance and assurance. We have specialised expertise across these areas: Legal compliance and support Hazard review and risk management Strategy, management systems and implementation Capability, mentoring, coaching, facilitation and technical support Accident investigation Assurance Continued support

Telephone: 01904 220297 Email: info@harmuk.com Visit: www.harmuk.com



Millenium Site Services keeps you on track From a small family business to one of the UK’s leading site service providers. Millenium Site Services is a specialist in paint, coating and finishes


rom blasting to painting and everything in between Millenium aims to keep your vehicles on the move, saving you time and money. Based in Derby, the company is centrally located in the UK. This makes it the perfect choice for clients up and down the country with assistance never far away. Millenium’s services run the gamut from bead blasting to custom spray painting. Whether in the workshop or onsite, Millenium can mobilise its team of experts and its dedicated paint and blast booths, overhead cranes and hi-tech mobile units are capable of completing a host of services. The workshop is fully staffed and kitted with specialised booths designed for each task. The blasting booths provide precision shot and bead blasting services. This helps remove impurities from surfaces and provides a clean slate on which to apply paints, coatings and finishes. Speaking of paint, the company’s painters have specialised spray booth designed to fit parts of all shapes and sizes.

Millenium is also an approved applicator for Copon Paints, DuPont Paints, Zinga Coatings, Mankiewicz, Cromadex and Akzo Nobel. The company holds a huge selection of paints and powders for instant application. This variety allows Millenium to match any paint, no matter how rare the colour or design. Along with spray paint, Millenium offers hard-wearing powder coating in its bespoke powder coating ovens. Powder coating is renowned for its toughness and Millenium’s powder coatings are applied to helicopter parts, plane parts, submarine parts, rollercoaster parts, full stock car chassis and vintage vehicles. This service along with all the above is completed in an airtight, controlled atmosphere. The onsite service is a unique offering that operates 24/7. This service allows Millenium to carry out jobs without the need for transport or movement off-site. This reduction in cost and downtime has led the company to work with some of the transport industry’s biggest names

including; Bombardier, East Midlands Trains, Rolls-Royce, GWR and Serco. How it’s done After years in the trade, Millenium has assembled a team of experienced blast, spray and coating specialists who relish every project. The skilled team carry out all types of coatings for the rail industry, aircraft industry, water boards, steelworks and other industries, working to the customers’ specifications and requirements and ensuring completion and turnaround with outstanding results. The team can also tailor equipment to fit the client’s needs. Projects can range from home balustrades to bridges, shop fronts to office blocks, trains, planes, trams, coaches, cars and even submarines. History Millenium was started by Lee Quince in 2000. After years earning his stripes in the painting industry, Lee realised clients could save time by bringing the paint and repairs onsite. This vision along with his family’s support formed the basis for one of the East Midlands biggest site services suppliers. What started as onsite painting needs, expanded to include in-house painting and shot blasting, moving premises over the next ten years until finally bringing everything under one roof. Through all of this, Millenium has always focused on family values. Whether working with a multinational rail service or a small business the team carries this sentiment through in its customer service offering unparalleled service and a commitment to meet your deadlines. This combination of service and customer satisfaction has allowed Millenium to work on some truly incredible projects, including the likes of London Midland, Maintrain HST, HST Bombardier, Midland Mainline, Great Wester and Smith Clocks among many others. Each project has allowed the team to master its craft to create bespoke solutions to even the toughest jobs. Tel: (0) 1332 820003 Email: sales@milleniumsiteservices.co.uk Visit: https://www.milleniumsiteservices.co.uk/

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Torrent Trackside – ready for CP6

CP6 is a huge undertaking designed to ensure that the railway is fit for purpose for both passengers and freight


he Control Period will see improvements through a series high profile projects and continuous infrastructure maintenance. This work is challenging and needs innovative new equipment and service delivery to ensure it is completed effectively. Torrent Trackside is ready to meet this challenge. The company is committed to delivering value and service through a pursuit of excellence, highly innovative solutions, dedicated service delivery and a proven track record of success in the industry. Torrent Trackside is a business built for rail, it is the only specialist provider of portable rail plant in the UK and is also the most compliant and safety focused business in its sector. The company has been supplying portable plant for almost 30 years, providing all the equipment necessary for track renewals and maintenance. The equipment ranges from small hand tools to clipping machines and rail trolleys. The company also supplies support equipment such as lighting, generators, pumps and ventilation. All depots stock a complete range of consumables for all the equipment. A range of the larger equipment can be supplied with an operator, helping to minimise possession overrun and ensure a safe and efficient operation. Torrent Trackside is organised into key teams of rail professionals who form Service Delivery Teams. They use their indepth knowledge of products to plan and advise the most suitable and cost effective equipment for customer projects. The Service Delivery Teams are split across three specialisms; portable plant hire, overhead line equipment (OLE) and Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs). Day to day running is handled by the hire desk which ensures the right equipment is delivered to the right place at the right time. Customers can get in touch any time of the day through a 24-hour helpline. Carl Abraitis, Operations Director at Torrent Trackside stated: ‘CP6 will involve a host of demanding projects requiring new and creative tools and equipment to make sure they are completed on time and to budget. We work hand in hand with our customers and suppliers to ensure the correct equipment is developed, delivered and maintained to optimise efficiency and safety.’ The company takes pride in maintaining

its assets to the highest standards and has a 99.8 per cent reliability record. This is achieved through constantly investing in new equipment, a rigorous ‘in-depot’ maintenance programme and a fleet of fully equipped service vehicles manned by engineers with specialist testing facilities. Most of the equipment can be repaired and maintained on site and there is a 24-hour call out facility. Torrent Trackside has a network of ten depots covering the whole of the UK stretching from Glasgow to the South Coast. It is a national company with a local presence ensuring equipment is delivered when and where it is needed. As well as portable plant Torrent Trackside also operates a successful Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) division. The company has one of the largest and modern fleets in the UK with over 36 MEWPs working on some of the most prestigious rail projects in the country. The MEWPs are fully compliant with the latest industry regulations and meet all EU emissions standards. All are four-wheel drive and fourwheel steer, all-terrain vehicles with a large platform on an extendable arm. The

platform has a 400kg maximum capacity and can be fitted with an overhead line measuring mast or pantograph. The MEWPs are perfect for overhead line, construction, maintenance, bridge repairs and anywhere a high platform is required, especially in difficult to reach areas. For easy site access the MEWPs can travel on road, off road and on rail, with rapid terrain changeover times. Once in place the platform can be operational in a matter of minutes. Torrent Trackside has established a dedicated support team and will work with customers to fully optimise performance. Training and product familiarisation can be provided. MEWPs can be supplied on a selfdrive basis or with an experienced operator. Torrent Trackside also has a dedicated OLE (Overhead Line Equipment) division with an experienced Service Delivery Team to advise customers on the best mix of equipment to help ensure OLE projects are completed on time and to budget. Some of the specialist OLE tools include; contact wire tools, cable tools, lifting tools and line safety equipment. Rail projects are becoming ever more demanding and they are increasingly reliant on cutting edge equipment. Torrent

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Trackside is constantly searching for new and innovative products. The company works closely with customers and leading industry manufacturers to help plan and tailor new equipment for rail specific operation. A significant focus of this work involves sourcing products that are better

for the environment and the operators. Reducing HAVs and emissions is a major part of the investment criteria. Torrent Trackside is introducing reduced HAVs and emission free battery products wherever possible to help protect the end user and allow customers to work longer and safer and help meet deadlines and budgets. Some of the new equipment includes: Cembre Battery Rail Drill – A powerful drill specifically designed to drill through or into wooden sleepers. The drill has various safety features including guards and emergency bit release. The HAV rating is over 50 per cent lower than the petrol equivalent Hytorc Battery Torque Tool – features low HAVs, low noise and zero emissions making it the ultimate solution for accuracy, portability and convenience on rail bolting jobs Robel Battery Tamper – An easy to use, lightweight tamper with a low HAV rating and emission free operation. TH2 Ecolite – the world’s first LED hydrogen fuel cell powered lighting tower, this light features zero emissions and noise pollution perfect for night work in residential areas and enclosed spaces. Safety is a cornerstone of the business. Torrent Trackside is one of the most compliant and safety focused businesses in the rail sector, its policy is to ensure there is a health and safety culture throughout

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the organisation which is committed to the health of employees and associates. Having the best equipment is only part of the story, Torrent Trackside believes that people are its greatest asset. The company has been recruiting and training apprentices for over decades and recognizes the importance of developing young people’s skills, and the part they have in addressing skills shortages within our industry. Torrent Trackside understands the need for a dynamic and varied workforce which is well equipped to tackle the rigours of the challenging business environment in which it operates. The apprentice scheme is a key part of this understanding and allows the company to attract the best employees at an early stage and have a ‘hands on’ role in their training and development. The company is part of Vp plc which rents and sells specialist products and services across a variety of industrial market sectors. Vp plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has a turnover in excess of £380 million. Torrent Trackside has been a key player in the rail industry for over 30 years but wants be part of the future too. They believe that a winning combination of innovative products and excellent service will ensure this is the case. Tel: 0845 769 7168 Email: carl.abraitis@vpplc.com Visit: www.torrenttrackside.co.uk

Searching for a bright future? Opportunities with Frazer-Nash, UK-wide Here at Frazer-Nash we’re building a world class rail consultancy, delivering benefits to the travelling public and rail businesses alike. We’ve supported many major rail projects and are actively growing our capability. If you like challenging projects, and want the opportunity to be part of a successful growth story with the variety and development opportunity that this brings, then read on. We’re looking for engineers and consultants to help us win and deliver exciting projects, providing technical advice and consultancy services across the railway infrastructure and rolling stock sectors. We’re keen to hear from you if you have experience in rolling stock; command, control and signalling – including the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and traffic management; telecoms; data architecture; rail electrification systems and the Electricity at Work Regulations; track, civils and permanent way (P’way); safety; asset management; cyber/ information systems; or fleet management. If you have an eye to a bright future, and want to benefit from working in a culture that recognises and rewards your technical expertise, we want to hear from you.

Invest in your future and be part of our success story.

Our offices UK: Basingstoke • Bristol • Burton • Dorchester • Dorking • Glasgow • Gloucester • Middlesbrough • Plymouth • Warrington Australia: Adelaide • Canberra • Melbourne At Frazer-Nash, our experts are renowned for their work in the transport, aerospace, nuclear, marine, defence, power and energy sectors and their security, resilience, cyber and information technology expertise.


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Flanges for all purposes JR Whitehead is a stockist and manufacturer of flanges including the distribution of valves, associated fittings and equipment


he name JR Whitehead has become synonymous with high quality flanges having evolved over the last four decades from the original company JR Whitehead (Engineers) which was established in 1965 as a manufacturer of plate flanges. JRW has manufactured special plate and forged flanges till this day, however it has now introduced stockholding to its capacity. JRW offers a variety of products which include a range of flanges in all sizes and several different materials such as mild steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron/ductile iron, cast steel and brass and bronze valves. The offices of JRW provides its customers with not only technical support on finding the right product but commercial support, welcoming the opportunities to provide support to any business. The sales office and warehouse are situated just outside of Bolton town centre off the A666, close to the main Northern motorway networks, which include the M60, M62 and M6. This gives JRW access to its customer no matter where they are in the UK with next day deliveries should this be required. Material grades and specifications JRW stocks and manufactures a full and comprehensive range of mild steel plate flanges covering EN1092-1, BS4504 and BS10. The company also offers a range of backing flanges for metric, ISO tube and nominal bore pipes which can also be plastic coated to water board standards, HDG (hot dipped galvanized) or zinc electro plated and bronze passivated. In addition to its range of mild steel, JRW also stocks and manufacture stainless steel flanges covering material grades of 304L and 316L, to ASA, ASME, ANSI, B16.5. Gaskets and fasteners can be supplied with any flange purchase, just add them to your enquiry. JRW has recently invested heavily in a comprehensive range of high-pressure forgings in ASTM A105N and ASTM A350 LF2. European material JRW’s latest range includes Duplex F51, S31803, Super Duplex F53, F55, S32760 & 6% Moly, F44, S31254. Butt Weld Fittings are also available in ASTM A403, A815 & ASTM B366

Full machining capability - manufactured/ modified JRW is a professional engineering company specialising in supplying customers throughout the UK. Its service and expertise extend to servicing a wide variance of market sectors and applications. The company’s most recent addition of European sourced duplex and super duplex flanges and fittings have enabled it to develop into

supplying contractors and service companies aligned to the oil and gas industry sector, thus complementing its traditional supply to other industries: • boiler manufacturing • utility sectors – clean water, wastewater • chemical • petrochemical • pharmaceutical • pressure vessel manufacturing Rail Professional


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renewal energy heat exchanger manufacturing power plant rail paper pulp mining construction fire protection refrigeration – food processing.

Through significant continuous improvement and investment into its inhouse CNC machining centre, JRW can offer economical large volume batch production. Alternatively, the company can also offer its customers a bespoke customised, uniquely designed product manufactured by one of JRW’s highly experienced and skilled vertical and horizontal manual lathe and CNC operators. JRW’s widely experienced sales and operation team provides a solution to its customers, in turn removing complexity and assuring products are supplied with precision and reliability at a consistent high quality. Product range JRW supplies products from a minimum of 15mm to larger diameter flanges up to a maximum of 1480mm. JRW’s product range includes raised face or flat faced slipons, weld-necks or blind flanges which are manufactured in house in most materials or they can be modified from the stock which JRW holds. JRW also carries a significant range of solid and semi-finished forgings enabling it to machine raised face weld necks up to and including wall thicknesses of XXS. The ANSI/ ASME range runs from: • a half inch up to and including 36 inches • pressure ratings 150lbs to 1,500lbs • the API range 1.13/16 inches – 16.3/4 inches rating 3,000 – 20,000lbs. Free issue service In addition to fully supplying the flanges

from start to finish, JR Whitehead can machine and drill your free issue material to any specification or special requirements with a maximum outside diameter of 1,480mm. Quality assured JR Whitehead is proud to confirm that it has recently undergone assessment to the latest ISO 9001:2015 requirements. The company has gained the accreditation until April 2022. A copy of its certificate can be downloaded or e-mailed over on request. As a registered company, its quality systems increase the speed and flexibility with which it can manufacture and supply. Additional investment in CNC capability The Leadwell MCV 1500i + vertical machining centre has an X-axis of 1,500mm but more importantly the Y-axis is 1,000mm. So all the drilling of all sizes can be done on this machine without any issues or compromise. This negates the present manual machining processes of

radial arm drilling etc. For duplex and super duplex this will be a fully automated drilling process freeing CNCs to concentrate on body machining. It also enhances the team’s capacity to include face milling and tapping to M30. Tel: (01204) 398131 Email: sales@flanges.co.uk Visit: www.flanges.co.uk Rail Professional



Patrick Jeantet appointed as Keolis Group Executive Chairman Leading international passenger transport company, Keolis, has appointed Patrick Jeantet as its new Group Executive Chairman. Patrick will take up the position officially in early 2020.

New Director Joins Hull Trains Anne Somers has joined Hull Trains as commercial and customer experience director. She is responsible for listening and responding to all customer insight to help shape services around their needs, while maintaining competitive ticket prices for travellers.

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

Call 01268 711811 or email recruitment@railpro.co.uk


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