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DECEMBER 2016 Issue 228 £4.95


A collective effort Tarmac’s Chris Swan on why rail freight needs to look beyond itself

Rolling stock A whole new scene

Franchising Can Southern be taken from Govia?

Freight Is the death of King Cole fatal?

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DECEMBER 2016 IssuE 228 £4.95



A collective effort Tarmac’s Chris swan on why rail freight needs to look beyond itself

Rolling stock A whole new scene

Franchising Can Southern be taken from Govia?


Freight Is the death of King Cole fatal?

elcome to this combined December/January issue, themed around freight and rolling stock. In asking Chris Swan to be the subject of this month’s interview I must admit I didn’t know that he had been a member of the Rail Freight Strategy Advisory Group to the DfT’s new Rail Freight Strategy, I just thought that Tarmac had something interesting to say. The interview though has turned out to be one of the most clearly laid out documents on the challenges and opportunities for the mode that I have seen thus far, and I can understand why the DfT involved Swan. Echoing a Hack Train-style call for a new zeitgeist, Swan recommends that freight looks beyond itself and promotes its benefits more widely: ‘This will attract the forward thinking people needed to inject enthusiasm into projects to get them off the ground and help celebrate the achievements of the industry.’ Chris Cheek on page 61 looks at the effect on rail freight of the decline of the coal market but suggests that, with a ‘sympathetic government’ promising to keep rail at the heart of its freight strategy, the long-term future for the industry could be bright. However the DfT needs to be consistent and clear: FTA’s Chris MacRae (News page 18), speaking after the unveiling of the route for phase 2 of HS2, has warned that freight will only benefit from rail capacity released by the new line if the government ensures it doesn’t have to compete with passenger operators. As well as that, the announcement of the West Coast Partnership led Maggie Simpson, RFG executive director, to point out there is no reference to how other network users will be included: ‘Government needs to clarify how it expects the Partnership to work with freight operators and their customers in building a shared future’, she stated. Come on DfT – lack of clarity around these areas is demeaning to rail freight, what’s your plan? It sounds like Network Rail can expect an early Christmas present from Chris Grayling in the form of an announcement about its ‘monopoly on repairs and upgrades’. And shame on you HS2 for having such a privacy notice. Thanks to Esther McVey for her beautifully written piece on page 53 on the incredible response of the police and emergency workers to the Croydon tram incident. All at Rail Professional send their condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives in this tragedy.

PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LTD Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Telephone: +44 (0)1268 711811 EDITORIAL EDITOR LORNA SLADE BUSINESS PROFILE EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE ADVERTISING CHRISTIAN WILES HANNAH CARRATT LYNDSEY CAMPLIN ELLIOTT GATES SUBSCRIPTIONS BEN WARING ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT LISA ETHERINGTON JODI PRESSWELL DESIGN & PRODUCTION MILES JOHNSTONE Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may be submitted, but, while every care will be exercised, neither the editor nor the publisher take responsibility for loss of, or damage to, material sent. Submission of material to Rail Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine. ISSN 1476-2196 © All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the copyright owners. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor does it accept liability for any printing errors or otherwise which may occur.

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DfT to monitor compensation awareness; ORR supports more devolved decision making; TfN submits statutory proposal; Threat to Scotrail franchise; Rail User Group winners announced; Rail must harness new technology say inductry leaders; Repoint wins IET award; East West corridor could be left behinds, say Armitt; Virgin unveils station of the future; BG Railfreight purchased by EQT Infrastructure

In the passenger seat


The ability to travel on one ticket is an attractive prospect and would go a long way to making our complicated fares system much simpler, says David Sidebottom

Delivering the goods


Chris MacRae looks at the DfT and Transport Scotland’s freight strategies

Whose job is it anyway?


David Brewer asks, how do we create a passenger-focused rail experience

Laying down the law

Protect and prosper



Martin Fleetwood looks at organisations trying to keep their information confidential

Andrew Mackenzie considers intellectual property considerations for the UK rail supply chain in doing business with China

A force to be reckoned with?


Nick Gross analyses the potential for the Southern rail franchise to be taken away from Govia

More is more


As the railway is so much busier, shouldn’t it be employing more people to look after passengers?

Come on the scene


Ben Blackburn looks at delivering the rolling stock experience customers expect

Collaboration – ‘we want to work together’


There is no doubt that working together in a spirit of collaboration really does achieve benefits, says Robert Hopkin


Rail Professional

The power to deliver a better future



It is crucial that the industry is able to look beyond itself and promote the benefits of rail freight more widely. This will attract the forward-thinking people needed to Interview - page 70 inject enthusiasm into projects to get them off the ground

Breaking the habit


The third runway at Heathrow must be accompanied by an expanded rail network west of London, says Jim Steer



Chair of the British Transport Police Authority Esther McVey pays tribute to the police and emergency workers involved in the aftermath of the Croydon tram incident

Women in Rail


Do your part and put your hands up to show that we need more female engineers in the UK, says Adeline Ginn

Rail freight – wounded by the death of King Coal...


Only five coal-fired power stations remain in the UK and they’ll be gone by 2025. Chris Cheek ponders the impact on the rail freight industry

The elephant in the workplace


Aimee Skelly-Burgess explores the link between mental health, safety and confidential reporting in rail

IRO News


News from the Institution of Railway Operators

Rail Professional Interview


Rail Professional spoke to Chris Swan, senior manager rail and shipping at Tarmac about the company’s ambitions in rail freight, the challenges, the DfT’s new strategy, devolution and the mode finally fulfilling its potential

Firing the starting gun


Lindsay Durham says the DfT’s Rail Freight Strategy recognises the value that freight delivers and the risks that it could face without pragmatic policy guidance for the next control period and beyond

Seeking a new truth


Chris Polack looks at how the rail freight industry can facilitate the modal shift that is required if it is to survive and flourish

Getting to the market on time


The government needs to take into account the lack of parity in the forthcoming ORR PR18 review of freight access charges, and support key upgrades in CP 6 so that rail can compete with HGV’s, says Philippa Edmunds


The power to deliver a better future

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A transformative outcome


Greater Anglia is committed to ensuring the new rolling stock programme is a success, says Jonathan Denby

Delivering a step-change


Philip Heathcote looks at the future third generation of British rolling stock

No time for delay


Duncan Rhodes asks, what’s holding back predictive maintenance in rail

How to migrate


Steve Denniss asks, is the Digital Railway a blessing or curse for train operators

Time to build confidence


Network Rail’s approach to planning is now firmly focused on the priorities of its customers. The rail supply chain must reflect this shift as it gears up for delivery in 2019 and beyond, says Russell Jackson

Supporting the backbone


Debra Charles looks at productivity loss due to absenteeism in rail, which is estimated to cost the industry £316 million per year

Grounds for optimism


Train delays caused by leaves on the line are a regular feature of autumn, but significant progress is being made in tackling this perennial problem, as Catherine Baker explains

Business news


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Business profiles


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News in brief... Clearly on the up Investors have jumped on board Costain since it was handed one of the contracts for HS2. Shares in the company were up 12.5p, or 3.6%, at 358.25p recently as it and joint venture partner Skanska were awarded the contract to clear the route for the South part of the line. The deal is worth £150 million to Costain over four years. Central role for Fusion JV The joint venture of Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall and Ferrovial Agroman has been awarded the Central package of HS2’s three enabling works contracts, (South, Central and North). Amey, (a subsidiary wholly owned by Ferrovial) will also be supporting Fusion with delivery of the contract to deliver the preparatory ground works. Big freeze Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed he will freeze fares on bus and tram tickets, Pay As You Go journeys on the Tube, DLR and TfL rail as well as Boris bike hire charges until the end of 2020, which City Hall claims will save around £200 for the average household. Khan only has the power to set fares on TfL services so travelcards and the associated daily and weekly caps are expected to go up in line with inflation. Khan promised during his election campaign that Londoners would ‘not pay a penny more on their travel, so is calling on government to follow his lead and freeze fares on London’s suburban rail services.


DfT to monitor Toc’s efforts at compensation awareness The Department for Transport is to monitor rail franchises to check they are keeping passengers informed of their right to compensation. The DfT said that over the next six months it will require franchisees to measure levels of passenger awareness of compensation and deliver a report on what steps they will take to ensure that. Toc’s will then be required to repeat the exercise after 18 months. The Department also promised to continue rolling out a requirement for bidders for franchises to use ‘all reasonable endeavours’ to ensure passengers are aware of their rights to compensation. Where there is no franchise competition in the near future, the Department will work with the incumbent to bring in the changes. The announcement came in the Department’s response to an ORR report from earlier this year (in response to the Which? super-complaint filed in December 2015), which found that around 80 per cent of passengers do not claim the compensation they are entitled to and called for national measures to inform them of their rights. At the same time as the DfT’s response, new research by Transport Focus found that while the number of passengers claiming compensation has almost trebled – to 35 per cent from 12 per cent in 2013 – that figure represents less than half of all those eligible. The survey of more than 7000 passengers found that: • 57 per cent of those eligible for compensation weren’t aware they could claim or didn’t even think about it • two thirds did not claim for their most recent train delay • just 38 per cent of passengers are satisfied with the train company alerting them to their right to claim compensation Anthony Smith, chief executive Transport Focus, said the industry has made some improvements but ‘still has a way to go’. ‘Another obstacle is the perceived effort involved in claiming. The government has lowered the Delay Repay level to 15 minutes starting on Southern services, but train companies now need to do more to make it easier for passengers to claim,’ he said. Responding to the Transport Focus survey, Stephanie Tobyn, ORR’s deputy director, consumers said it ‘reinforces our recommendations to industry’ but stressed ORR will expect to see more done on raising passengers’ awareness of their rights. ‘As well as that the information they receive about compensation needs to be better and the claims processes simpler,’ she pointed out. Changing powers of ORR The DfT is also supporting the Rail Delivery Group’s new national campaign on awareness through developing a set of minimum standards for operators to follow, and made it clear it expects franchisees to take part in the campaign. Stating in its report that practice across train companies is still both too variable and in many cases insufficient, the DfT acknowledged that Transport Focus’s research identifies the performance of Toc’s in alerting passengers to their right to claim compensation as the ‘single biggest source of dissatisfaction concerning passenger compensation’. However the Department also said that it did not believe there was a problem with consumer interests being ‘overlooked’ under the current franchising system and has promised to review, with stakeholders, how well current and future regulation ensures passengers receive proper compensation. But it warned that any changes to regulation would need to be ‘proportionate and cost-based’. In addition, it predicted the majority of passengers will continue to claim compensation through operators’ Passenger Charter schemes, with the new Consumer Rights Act being used as a last resort if passengers aren’t satisfied with the operator’s offer. Vickie Sheriff, director of campaigns and communications at Which? said the DfT’s report

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News in brief... Northern nights The Northern line is now a 24-hour service, and the fourth route to be incorporated into the Night Tube service. Late-night passengers are now able to travel from High Barnet and Edgware, via the Charing Cross branch, to Morden at weekends. Trains are running every eight minutes between Morden and Camden Town and around every 15 minutes from Camden to High Barnet and Edgware. More Virgin travellers Virgin Trains has reported a rise in the number of passengers using its crossborder rail services over the last six months, with more than 5,000 extra travelling weekly on its trains between Edinburgh and Newcastle. The Toc said the 7 % growth came after it added 42 new services a week on the ECML and that the timetable overhaul is the first major step in transforming services between Edinburgh and London. Rail call flies London Luton Airport (LLA) saw more than 1.3 million passengers pass through in October – an 18.7% increase over 2015 and a situation LLA says reinforces its call on government to improve rail access to Luton Airport Parkway station (LAP). LLA is seeking four new fast trains per hour from central London to LAP as part of the upcoming East Midlands rail refranchising process. LLA’s proposals have been endorsed by the CBI, FSB and easyJet, as well as the Transport Select Committee chair Louise Ellman MP and Andy McDonald MP, shadow secretary of state for transport.   Turning a life around  Virgin Trains is holding recruitment events within prisons across the UK every three months in a bid

Rail Professional

‘confirms ministers want to see rapid progress made by the industry to improve compensation for passengers so it must now urgently deliver these much-needed, basic improvements. ‘Where the industry fails to deliver, it needs to be held to account and action should be taken if licence conditions are breached. That is why we are also calling on the government to change the powers and duties of the rail regulator as it needs to be a consumer watchdog with real teeth.’ Which? is calling for further action, including: • ensuring passengers experiencing persistent short delays or overcrowding are able to claim compensation more easily • the introduction of automatic compensation payments should be speeded up; and • the introduction of a new statutory ombudsman, which is mandatory for all train companies to join, to help resolve passenger complaints. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the DfT’s report shows the private sector railway industry is ‘shelling out record amounts of compensation for increasingly failing services’. ‘With companies now being forced to tell customers how to claim for the appalling service they endure, passenger compensation is sky rocketing. Virgin West Coast has doubled the compensation it has had to pay out in two years from £6.78 million in 2013/14 to a whopping £13.8 million in 2015/16. Over on East Coast Virgin has seen compensation rise since it took over from the public sector from £450,000 to £10.8 million.’ Cash continued: ‘With First Group paying out £7.3 million in compensation last year it is little wonder that it’s chief executive Tim O’Toole is pleading for train operators to put in more realistic bids for future franchises.’

Rail regulator supports drive to more devolved decision making The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has confirmed in its initial consultation on the 2018 Periodic Review (PR18), that its regulatory approach will support a greater focus by Network Rail on working with train operators at route level. A key change will see the regulator assess and monitor Network Rail’s plans at a route rather than solely national level. This builds on the changes the company is making to devolve more responsibility to its operational routes. The ORR’s announcement stated: ‘Comparison between routes will strengthen the incentives on them to improve performance and become more efficient. Network Rail’s routes will engage closely with stakeholders, so that these plans reflect their views. It continued: ‘There will be a need for strong national coordination in decisions that affect the whole railway system. The regulator has therefore also confirmed how it will

support and encourage Network Rail’s role, as the system operator, in delivering improved timetabling, better use of the network and more effective analysis to support long-term planning. These are particularly important considerations at a time of continued growth in rail use and can support improvements in the reliability of passenger and freight services.’ John Larkinson, director of railway markets & economics at the ORR said: ‘The announcement represents a stepchange in our approach to regulating Network Rail. We expect these changes to support its plans to work more closely with train companies to deliver on the priorities of those served by each route. ‘It is now for Network Rail to engage with operators and a wide range of stakeholders so that its plans reflect the needs of passengers, freight customers and businesses across the country.’

TfN submits proposal to be put on a statutory footing Transport for the North has submitted a formal proposal to the Department for Transport to become a statutory subnational transport body – the first in England if it is approved. David Brown, TfN chief executive confirmed the application had been submitted following months of preparation. Said Brown: ‘Working with our northern partners, the Department for Transport and the national operators, our mission is to kick-start transformative change by building on the foundations of an evidence-driven Northern Transport Investment Plan.’ He continued: ‘It’s an entirely new approach to developing transport

infrastructure in the North, and while it will bring with it challenges, the results are aimed directly at closing the productivity gap between the North and the rest of the UK. It is ambitious, but it needs to be if the North is to be truly competitive on the world-stage.’ The proposal, which sets out the powers the organisation is seeking to have transferred from central government, and the basis on which these powers will be governed and delivered, will now be considered by secretary of state for transport, Chris Grayling MP. If he approves it, a Statutory Instrument will be drafted, which will then need to be approved by each House of Parliament.

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News in brief... to identify talented candidates and help end the revolving door syndrome of reoffending. Speaking after a recruitment fair held in HMP Addiewell, Kathryn Wildman, who leads recruitment on the West Coast route said: ‘This isn’t just about helping society and giving people a chance to turn their lives around. It’s hiring the best people no matter what their background is. We’d urge other employers who might be thinking about this to give it a go.’ Change of heart on performance reporting Following the recent Transport Select Committee calls for greater transparency on rail operator performance while examining the performance of GTR, the DfT has indicated it now intends to publish the actual performance against the contractual benchmarks for each franchise every four weeks. Rail minister Paul Maynard MP wrote to chair of the Committee, Louise Ellman MP to say its investigations have proved helpful in changing the Department’s approach. Ellman said she is ‘pleased’ the Department has accepted the case. Any ideas? The Tyne and Wear Metro is to receive a new fleet of Metrocars, and Nexus, which owns Metro, worked with Newcastle University’s Open Lab to host a series of pop-up labs across the region where people could share their ideas on the new rolling stock. The current Metrocars have been in use since Metro opened in 1980 and everything from seating layouts to Wi-Fi availability came under scrutiny. Open Lab’s Simon Bowen said: ‘We wanted to have a conversation about how future Metrocars can fit the needs of people for decades to come.’

Rail Professional

Robust actions to lift ScotRail performance Scotland’s transport minister Humza Yousaf has outlined the key actions and investments ScotRail will make to lift its performance. In a statement to Parliament recently the minister highlighted the actions that will be taken as part of ScotRail’s improvement plan and the government’s contract with Scotrail to modernise Scotland’s rail services. The Minister also confirmed that earlier morning commuter services between Inverness and the central belt will begin in mid-December and that work is nearing completion to add additional carriages to peak time services on the Borders rail from December boosting capacity on the new line. Actions to improve rail services include: · · · · · ·

acceleration of £16 million over two years to upgrade key junctions, track and signalling equipment a £5 billion five-year programme to 2019 to transform Scotland’s railway an extra 200 carriages by 2019: 50 per cent more carriages than in 2007. investing twice as much per capita as the UK government in the existing network 70 new electric trains from 2017 providing up to 40 per cent extra seats at peak times on the main Edinburgh – Glasgow route £475 million for new trains and modernising the current fleet to improve reliability and comfort, providing valuable work for Scottish engineering plants in Kilmarnock and Glasgow; £14 million of which is investment in improving the reliability and comfort of the class 158 diesel fleet, serving much of rural Scotland a refurbishment programme underway across 90 per cent of existing trains increased focus at major stations on prompt departures measures put in place to reduce skip-stopping during peak times.

· · · Said Yousaf: ‘I know about the work that is required and the service that is to be delivered. I am taking action and a plan is now in place. Although there are no guarantees major failures won’t happen, I give my reassurance that ScotRail has learned lessons and is far better prepared for contingencies, including communication with passengers, when such incidents do take place. I have no intention of underplaying the effect a slide in service quality. The actions we are taking and the long-term transformation we have planned underlines this government’s commitment to improving the service received. That is why I instructed an improvement plan. Addressing plans to develop a public sector operator to bid for future franchises Yousaf said: ‘For future franchises, we stand by our invitation to get round the table with anyone who has a genuine interest in taking forward work on a not-for-profit bid. This does not remove the need for competition as any bid must be tested so we can pick the best option for Scotland’s passengers in an objective manner.’

Winners of 2017 Rail User Group Awards announced Six groups contested the award for Best newsletter, with the Gold award won by Huddersfield Penistone Sheffield Rail Users’ Association. Furness Line Action Group won Silver, while the Friends of Reddish South Station [one train a week, in one direction only] won a Commendation for their newsletter. The award for Best website was contested by five groups, and the judges decided that the Gold award was won jointly by two of them – Copeland Rail Users’ Group ( the Friends of Rose Hill Station, Marple (www. The judges’ decision was that each website was an exemplar and displayed best practice in serving their quite different aims. The award for Best campaign was won by the Cambridge Heath and London Fields Rail Users’ Group ( chlfug). One judge said he was ‘excited’ by their report A brief history of the CHLFUG campaign. Best campaigner for 2016 was Tony Smale, editor of Rail User Express for many years, still the custodian of the national registers of RUG’s and re-opening campaign groups, and now secretary of Wessex

branch and the new Salisbury to Exeter Rail Users’ Group. The award is made in memory of Railfuture stalwart Clara Zilahi. The Best social media award went to the Friends of St. Anne’s Stations, on the line to Blackpool South, for their use of Facebook ( North Cheshire Rail User Group won a Commendation for their YouTube video about the Halton Curve (www. youtube. com/watch?v=nnCwHr7KzLg). The judges hope this award will attract more entries from user groups next year as it’s the way the rail industry itself is developing. The Friends of St. Anne’s Stations also won the award for Best new group, awarded in memory of Cotswold Line Promotion Group founder Oliver Lovell. The Salisbury to Exeter Rail Users’ Group won a Commendation. The Judges’ Special Award was this year given to Richard Crane, founder and chairman of the Bedford to Bletchley Rail Users’ Association, for his 35 years of devoted work. The awards were presented at the autumn conference held in Birmingham on 12 November.

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News in brief... Invest and deliver Businesses and councils up and down the East Coast are calling on the government to commit to investing in the Main Line to deliver a £9 billion boost to the economy. New research published by the Consortium of East Coast Main Line Authorities (ECMA) shows investing £3 billion in the 600 mile route can improve services for the 20 million people who use the line each year. Unveiled at an event for MSP’s in Holyrood, the research shows every pound spent on work to improve the UK’s eastern rail spine will deliver £3.33 of wider economic benefits in addition to transport benefits. Low confidence Almost half of firms (44%) believe the UK’s infrastructure has improved over the past five years, but only a quarter (27%) think it will pick up in the next five years, and two thirds (64%) suspect it will hamper the country’s international competitiveness in the coming decades, according to the 2016 CBI/AECOM Infrastructure Survey. Many businesses see rail as critical to boosting productivity on the go, with 75% saying better connectivity on trains is either critical or important; 59% believe rail infrastructure will not improve over the course of this Parliament; 74% of firms working in rail are not confident Network Rail has the capacity to deliver the rest of CP5 and only 32% of infrastructure providers operating in rail are satisfied the industry has the capacity to deliver upgrades in the coming years. Youth court held to tackle faredodging A special youth court event has been held to clamp down on under18’s caught fare-dodging on the

Rail Professional

Rail ‘must harness new technology and change the way we work’ say industry leaders Britain’s railway is at a ‘crucial turning point’ and must harness the latest technology and smarter ways of working to further improve services, grow the economy and create jobs, said 27 leading rail figures in an open letter to The Times newspaper last month. The letter came at the same time as the release of a new report from the Rail Delivery Group, Our Customers, Our People: A railway for the Digital Age, setting out how changes are essential to address the capacity challenge facing Britain’s railway and to make train travel more reliable, more accessible, more affordable and more comfortable. Train companies already employ 30 per cent more staff than 20 years ago and forecasts suggest that they, and the rail supply chain, will need 100,000 new recruits over the next 10 years to take on new roles and to replace retiring workers. The report says that: New trains where drivers control the doors already operate safely on 30 per cent of services and are used in Germany, Denmark, Ireland and various other countries. Such trains are estimated to reduce dwell times at stations by 23 per cent. New signalling systems will reduce delays by enabling smarter management of trains during disruption, allow more trains to run by reducing the space that has to be left between each service, and improve safety by removing lineside signals and replacing them with a computerised signalling system in the drivers’ cab Ticket buying will become easier as more rail companies look to introduce barcode tickets on mobile phones, smartcards and contactless payment. This will further reduce the proportion of tickets sold at traditional ticket offices, which has fallen from 82 per cent to 34 per cent since 1996-97. Changes in technology will free up colleagues to spend more time assisting customers where and when they need it most. If the railway is unable to harness new technology to benefit its customers, the report says, this puts at risk the benefits of the £50billion-plus Railway Upgrade Plan to deliver more reliable, more accessible, more affordable and more comfortable journeys.

Rail industry breakthrough technology innovation award Repoint, a new track switch product developed by Loughborough University’s Control Systems Group, has won a prestigious IET Innovation Award in recognition of its potential to support increased levels of day-to-day rail traffic across the network. The patented technology triumphed over a quality field of nominations including Cambridge University and Heathrow Airport, to win the Transport Category. Repoint was developed in response to a call from the RSSB for new ways to increase network capacity. It introduces the concept of using several actuators to operate the same points, meaning that in the event of a single failure the remaining actuators continue to function safely. With this additional redundancy built into each machine, rail traffic can still pass and remedial maintenance can be scheduled without causing immediate disruption to services. The IET Innovation Award marks the conclusion of a successful year for Repoint, culminating in the announcement in October that a consortium led by Ricardo Rail will develop the first full-scale Repoint for integration with London Underground infrastructure in early 2018. Repoint’s solution is globally significant.

The UK alone has more than 20,000 switch and crossing units and, despite representing only five per cent of network mileage, they account for more than 15 per cent of the track maintenance budget. The Loughborough team’s longer-term aim is to work with partners around the world to develop and manufacture Repoint systems appropriate to local needs and regulation. Professor Roger Dixon, academic lead of Repoint, said: ‘The IET Innovation Award is invaluable recognition for Repoint, which has progressed swiftly through key commercial milestones with support from the Impact Acceleration Account, Higher Education Innovation Fund and RSSB. With RSSB’s continued support and with industry partners we aim to deliver real, tangible benefits to the future of the rail industry.’

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News in brief... Metrolink network. Organised by operator Metrolink RATP Dev the event was held at Bury Magistrates Court and resulted in 16 youths from the Oldham area being fined a total of £2,629.20. Greater Manchester’s Travelsafe Unit (TSU) has worked with the operator to carry out operations on the network to do with fare evasion. This was the fourth youth court to be held and further ones will be progressed as appropriate. Bottoms not up It has now been two years since Govia Thameslink Railway dropped to the bottom of the PPM table, with the latest quarterly figures from ORR showing the operator recorded its lowest score since the series began in 2004. In Q2 GTR’s performance fell by almost 11 percentage points (to 73.1%) compared to the same quarter in 2015-16. This once again makes it the worst-performing operator among franchised and non-franchised companies, as well as the operator with the most marked performance decline compared to last year. All change at c2c The operator published its new timetable on the same day that it introduced the first of its six brand-new four carriage Class 387 EMU trains into service. The company, which is known for consistently topping performance tables, has promised the timetable – starting 9th January 2017 – will bring faster journey times between stations in Southend and London, longer trains between Thurrock and London and more seats available at stations in mid-Essex.

More news at

Rail Professional

Success of East-West corridor at risk says NIC report New East-West transport links could provide a once in a generation opportunity for ‘Britain’s Silicon Valley’ said Sir John Armitt in publishing the National Infrastructure Commission’s interim report into the Cambrige-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor, but without a ‘joined-up plan for housing, jobs and infrastructure across the corridor, it will be left behind by its international competitors,’ he warned. In March this year, the NIC was asked to consider how to maximise the potential of the corridor as a single, knowledge-intensive cluster that competes on a global stage, protecting the area’s high quality environment and securing jobs and homes. The Commission’s central finding however is that a lack of sufficient and suitable housing presents a ‘fundamental risk’ to the success of the area, but ‘by providing the foundations for such a strategy’, says the report, ‘new east-west transport links present an opportunity to secure the area’s future success.’ In the second phase of this study, the National Infrastructure Commission will work with local and national government, and other stakeholders, to help put this strategy in place. NIC deputy chair.   ‘Transport links across the corridor are often slow, unreliable and congested, and the area is home to two of the least affordable cities in the UK, in part because it has consistently failed to build the homes it needs. These twin problems are already increasing costs for businesses and diminishing their ability to attract employees at all levels – including the recruitment and retention of globally mobile talent,’ said NIC deputy chair Armitt.

Virgin West Coast unveils station of the Future Virgin’s booking office at Birmingham International has undergone a transformative £1 million plus redesign. The radical new look features a welcome desk supported by service pods for customers wanting to buy tickets, more user-friendly information screens, improved ticket machines and touch screen information points. With greater staff presence on the concourse and floorwalkers armed with tablets to assist with onward travel requests, the investment has also seen the introduction of wireless charging for customer devices, cashless payment up to the value of £30 at the car park barriers to reduce queues, free station Wi-Fi and the refurbishment of concourse toilets. ‘We’ve never been afraid to challenge traditional thinking,’ said Natasha Grice, Virgin Trains general manager for the West Midlands route. ‘ Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP who opened the new facility, said: ‘I am certain that the new and improved ticketing facilities and more accessible concourse will not only improve the experience of rail passengers, but will also encourage more people to make journeys by rail.’

EQT Infrastructure II completes acquisition of GB Railfreight EQT Infrastructure, through an indirectly owned company within the Hector Rail group, has completed its acquisition of GB Railfreight from Groupe Eurotunnel. Founded in 1999 by current CEO John Smith, GB Railfreight is the third largest rail freight operator in the UK, providing a range of rail transport solutions and rail services. The company’s 650 employees operate more than 1,000 trainloads a week, moving 15 per cent of the UK’s rail freight – a fleet of more than 130 locomotives and 1,100 wagons transport goods for customers including Drax, Network Rail, EDF Energy, MSC UK, Aggregate Industries and Tarmac.

John Smith, CEO and founder of GB Railfreight, said: ‘EQT’s business model is very much aligned with GB Railfreight’s and I look forward to working closely with our new owners to support our continued growth ambitions.’ Bo Lerenius, industrial advisor to EQT and chairman of the Hector Rail Group, said: ‘As one of the UK’s leading rail freight operators, GB Railfreight has proven its strength in the rail industry. ‘The focus on innovation and delivery of outstanding customer service are two key factors that make us believe that GB Railfreight is an excellent fit with Hector Rail.’

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FTA says government must ensure HS2 delivers on freight Freight will only benefit from rail capacity released by HS2 if the government ensures it doesn’t have to compete with passenger operators through the existing train path bidding process, according to the Freight Transport Association. The Association spoke out after the government’s preferred route for Phase 2 of HS2 from Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds was unveiled recently. The announcement said new HS2 trains will carry more than 300,000 people a day and will triple seats available out of Euston at peak hours, freeing up space on the existing network for additional commuter and freight services.   But Chris MacRae, FTA’s head of rail policy, pointed out: ‘There is no mechanism in place to guarantee this additional capacity released by HS2 is available for freight. In fact, the government says the released paths will be subject to the usual bidding process.   ‘Passenger operators will no doubt spot a gap in the market to offer cheaper services than HS2 on the existing lines so freight operators will be competing with them for the freed-up space.’   MacRae said Anglo-Scottish freight services on the West Coast

Letters to the editor...

A Dear madam,

s, I imagine, with many others in the railway profession, I have watched the incredible situation on GTR/Southern drag on over the months. Not only would it be amazing if the situation had been allowed to go on in a vacuum, but it has been allowed to affect the daily lives of thousands of members of the public, who have been forced to be ‘industrial relations fodder’ or ‘collateral damage’, however one might wish to see it. What harm it has done to the image of the British rail industry is unknown, but it must be significant. What I find particularly disturbing is the lack of any basic scientific analysis of the problem.  Is it simply a trades union trying to protect jobs? Is there really a safety issue? If so, what is it?  (Unfortunately trades unions tend to cry ‘safety’ like the boy who cried ‘wolf’, so undermining the value of a genuine safety concern). Stating that drivers already operate doors in one situation does not imply that it is OK to do so elsewhere, let alone everywhere.  Always beware the ‘one size fits all’ – it rarely does. London Underground operated its first driver-only train in the Acton area in 1932, with no CCTV, mirrors or such-like. But the train was only one vehicle and the

Send your letters by email to Lorna Slade - platforms straight. I suspect the train was rarely packed. Contrast that with a 12-car Class 700 snaking around the crowded platforms at Farringdon in the rush hour (to get more crowded when Crossrail opens?). Can we really say that the situation is the same, even with CCTV coverage and other gizmos? Likewise, a 3/4-coach train at – say – Seaford is hardly comparable. It seems clear that the length of the train, position of the cameras and the geometry of the platform, plus the day of the week and the time of day, will heavily influence the matter.  The clarity of the images in the monitors is also a concern. Yes, there are safety issues. There have been a number of incidents of people caught in doors and even dragging incidents, so we are not talking ‘Aunt Sally’ arguments here. And what of the risk to staff? Many will remember the incident of a guard sent to prison for alleged failure of duty after an incident at James St station in Liverpool, which some people (including me) think was a grave injustice, unless there were facts that were not publicised.   In my opinion, there is a strong case to make platform staff responsible for train dispatch at many locations/times. Being on or overseeing the platform, they should be well-positioned to see the situation and hear or see a dangerous incident. They

Dear madam, I’m very concerned about GTR’s plans to terminate Hertford North to Stevenage services at Watton-at-Stone, instead providing a bus service, from May 2018. I only found out about this in a local newspaper article. I could not see any information on this on the company’s website.  Instead, it talks of improvements and more trains per hour. The proposals are buried in its consultation which most people would never find. These proposals are wholly unacceptable for passengers from Hertford North and smack of operational convenience taking

Rail Professional

Main Line north of the HS2 junction would see capacity squeezed with the addition of HS2 passenger services, potentially driving timesensitive cargoes onto roads instead. ‘There will be more trains on an already busy network which will inevitably slow things down. Initial predicted timetabling shared with FTA shows that end-to-end journey times will go backwards and operators such as supermarkets may opt to put cargoes in lorries on the M6 instead,’ he warned.

should be provided with an effective ‘Abort Departure’ tool for use if needed. All the parties concerned – the DfT, the rail unions and the Toc – seem to share the blame for not allowing a detailed evaluation. Why?  We live in a sound-bite age when the public don’t seem to want reasoned arguments, but the industry should not join in.   This issue is made all the more curious by the seeming settlement of a similar dispute in Scotland, where it seems the trade union has won its case.  Can we be told what are the differences are between these two situations? Is the Southern action just being allowed to drag on until the RMT are beaten by attrition, with the long-suffering passengers continuing to suffer? We may well find that, sooner or later, this issue will come back to bite. Will anybody closer to this affair have the courage to put their head above the parapet and speak out?  As a former station staff, guard, train driver and one person train operator as well as an operations manager, I have had practical experience in the past. If I have completely mis-judged the present situation, will someone who knows please enlighten me? Sincerely, Eric Stuart MCIT  MIRO

precedence over passenger needs. I choose to take the train as it is more comfortable and much faster than a journey by road. I would urge GTR to look again at their proposals. I would have thought they could do without further negative media coverage following the ongoing Southern debacle. Sincerely, Robert Beahan Hertford



In the passenger seat David Sidebottom

Smart ticketing in the north: what do passengers think? The ability to travel on one ticket is certainly an attractive prospect and would go a long way to making our complicated fares system much simpler for passengers, says David Sidebottom


think a Northern smart card would encourage people to do more travelling – it would encourage me because I’d think ‘oh, I could go and see Newcastle, see what that’s like.’

In our latest research a payment structure across zones appealed to passengers for its simplicity and ease of understanding. Many are familiar with this in London. It was felt that zones could be applied to each city, stretching out across the entire north, with payment relating to the city zone that they live in

This is one of many views expressed by passengers in our new research about smart ticketing in the north. The Northern Powerhouse is intended to close the economic gap between the north and the south. One of the main ways

the North (TfN) to understand how improvements can be delivered for passengers across the region. TfN is getting to grips with how a seamless smart ticketing scheme across the region could be rolled out. In order to develop this aspiration for a

in which this will be realised is through improved transport links across the region, so that people will consider travelling further for work and seeing family and friends further afield. Tackling issues around fares and tickets is an important part of this, alongside making improvements to infrastructure, rolling stock and more frequent, faster services. We’ve partnered with Transport for

northern-wide smart ticketing system, our latest research is helping TfN understand how such a system would look and how it could be integrated across the cities of the north. The end result should see an increase in public transport journeys, and to make the experience of using public transport more efficient and enjoyable. But what might this look like in reality? In our latest research a Rail Professional



payment structure across zones appealed to passengers for its simplicity and ease of understanding. Many are familiar with this in London. It was felt that zones could be applied to each city, stretching out across the entire north, with payment relating to the city zone that they live in. The ability to travel on one ticket is certainly an attractive prospect and would go a long way to making our complicated fares system much simpler for passengers. The research is helping us understand the current transport landscape in the north, how frequently people travel between cities or regions, for what reasons, and by what mode. We spoke to people from across the north east, north west, and Yorkshire and the Humber who use public transport at least once every three months. 63 per cent of our survey respondents use public transport on at least a weekly basis, with 31 per cent using it five or more days a week. Smart ticketing could make public transport more attractive. For people currently not persuaded to hop on the train or the tram, like part time workers, this could go some way to help get them a better deal. As we see in our other research, better value for money, reduced journey times and more frequent and reliable services are

all big priorities to passengers and would encourage further use of public transport. Over half of the people we spoke to were aware of smart ticketing and half have used it at some point. If passengers had to choose one smart method of paying as a first choice, 64 per cent wanted to have a smartcard, 28 per cent would opt for a contactless card and eight per cent would choose a smartphone. Smartcards are becoming increasingly familiar and seen as easy to use. People also like the idea of a separate tangible card. ‘If you could use one type of card for every mode of transport in one city that would be great, not having to bother booking all different types of transport.’ Outside of London We’ve also carried out further new research into how people are currently using contactless outside of London and how they react to the idea of being able to use it to pay for travel on public transport. The results are positive: many passengers see there are multiple benefits and would welcome being able to pay for their local travel in this way. Others are more cautious and would need reassurance around how paying by contactless would work for

them on public transport. Of course, some passengers are unwilling or unable to consider paying for public transport in this way – and it is important that these views are not forgotten. Passengers across the country hope for a standardised and ideally better-value fare structure. A simplified fare structure, consistent across modes is vital to making transport more accessible. A smart ticketing revolution can help deliver this. Not only do these findings provide lessons for the North, they are vital to understanding passengers’ hopes for train services now and for upcoming franchises. Passenger involvement needs to be built in from the start and I’m pleased to see Transport for the North going some way to set these long promised improvements for passengers in motion.

David Sidebottom is passenger director at Transport Focus

At Grant Thornton we aim to work with our clients to release and realise their potential and to play our part in developing a truly vibrant economy which has transport and connection at its heart. This is the driving force behind our approach to engaging and delivering across a diverse portfolio of projects and assignments. We provide a bespoke service to all of our clients and we never offer an ‘off the shelf ’ commercial or financial solution. Instead we customise our approach to the unique opportunities and challenges that each individual engagement presents. Our advisors take the time to understand a client’s individual circumstances and aspirations. We believe it is critically important to provide flexibility to meet our clients’ needs, to tailor our solutions and to dedicate the right people at the right time. This approach has proven successful on numerous transactions spanning rail franchising, infrastructure development, concession lettings, rolling stock procurements and fund raising for both public and private sector clients, giving us an insight and understanding of all the key issues facing the transport industry. For further information on our transportation and railway service offerings, or to arrange an initial consultation, please contact: Andy Boak Director – Transport & International T 0131 659 8522 E

Chartered Accountants   Grant  Thornton  UK  LLP  is  a  limited  liability  partnership  registered  in  England  and  Wales:  No.OC307742.  Registered  office:  Grant  Thornton  House,  Melton  Street,  Euston  Square,  London  NW1   2EP.   A  list  of  members  is  available  from  our  registered  office.    Grant  Thornton  UK  LLP  is  authorised  and  regulated  by  the  Financial  Conduct  Authority.   Grant  Thornton  UK  LLP  is  a  member  firm  of  Grant  Thornton  International  Ltd  (GTIL).  GTIL  and  the  member  firms  are  not  a  worldwide  partnership.  Services  are  delivered  by  the  member  firms.   GTIL  and  its  member  firms  are  not  agents  of,  and  do  not  obligate,  one  another  and  are  not  liable  for  one  another’s  acts  or  omissions.  Please  see  for  further  details.

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Delivering the goods


Chris MacRae

Beyond coal Chris MacRae looks at the DfT and Transport Scotland’s freight strategies


fT’s Rail Freight Strategy was delayed by the change in UK government (and ministerial appointments and responsibilities) in the wake of the Brexit referendum. The Strategy is intended to include the following elements: • future market analysis • emissions reduction and modal shift • communication • use of the network • funding and investment • non-rail policy crossovers In parallel, DfT worked with the consultants leading the work on future market growth and modal shift to finalise their report. We will also be circulating a draft of the final consultancy report for review. No view was originally taken on whether to publish the consultancy report alongside the Strategy document, but given the delayed timing on the Strategy it was felt to make sense to publish the two together. The study deals with the following areas: • Assessment of freight growth and market • Review of rail network capacity • Rail freight forecast (constrained as opposed to the earlier freight market Study that was about unconstrained growth potential) • Identified barriers to modal shift • Policy options • Carbon & intervention modelling • Identified key interventions

• • • • •

Transport Scotland launched its Rail Freight Strategy on 22nd March, and further to that a number of work-streams have been taken forward. The two principle ones have been the Deep Dive Commodity Study (to investigate market opportunities in the environment after the end of coal traffic) and a Rail Freight Users’ Guide. The Commodity Study looks at different market commodities and for each sets out:

The study goes on to identify barriers to innovation as follows: • commercial imperative to make the transition to rail • perceived reliability of using the railway knowing who to talk to in the industry who can help • railway is very inflexible and can’t run trains to suit short-term demand • no suitable rail connections at sites – quarries, paper mills, etc

base position future market changes unconstrained growth potential constrained growth potential reasons for constrained position

• facilities and capacity at rail heads are inadequate or require upgrading to handle new commodities • lack of support to allow trials of certain commodities • capital costs for specialised wagons i.e. chilled and frozen, are too expensive • lack of cooperation between Foc’s and users to provide sufficient volumes to make rail worthwhile • competition instead of cooperation with road hauliers • timetable capacity is difficult as it is having to fit around passenger services • security issues associated with freight being put on sidings for long periods of time Rail Professional



Active participant FTA has been an active participant in this as with the DfT study and the similarities in the above issues to those in the FTA Agenda for More – Next Steps document should not be lost. The Rail Freight User Guide has the following contents: • Rail - An introduction • Rail freight - Current routes and freight types • Rail freight - Case studies of rail freight • Rail freight - Map of the Scottish/GB rail freight network • Rail freight - Getting more freight onto rail – a step by step guide • Rail freight - Contact details

to expand their use of rail significantly. These targets were endorsed by FTA’s Rail Freight Council, and also by FTA’s British Shippers’ Council which includes a wider range of shippers engaged in other sectors of the economy. FTA subsequently published its Agenda for More Freight by Rail that laid out these seven key shipper targets as follows: • cost reduction by 15 per cent based on current costs plus innovation • six hour response time to service and alteration requests • seven day railway capability • standard train lengths should be increased by 17.5 per cent • 400 per cent increase in terminal capacity • reduce intermodal transfer costs by £50 • reduce Channel Tunnel rail freight charges and rates by £50

Again, there are similarities with an earlier FTA publication the Shippers’ Guide to Rail Freight and which we have recently updated. In 2012 FTA published On Track, a series of case studies provided by retailers to demonstrate their commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their transport operations through greater use of rail. The same retailers subsequently identified seven targets for the rail freight industry in order

Now this has been worked up into a ‘next steps’ document aimed at articulating these targets against identified barriers to their achievement and setting out the actions that various parties can or should take to overcome these barriers to each of the targets. This is laid out in tabular format against each of the seven targets above showing actions necessary to overcome these for: • government (UK/Scottish/Welsh

• not a seven day operation therefore not as reliable as road.

• • • • •

Assembly/English regional devolved funders) ORR Network Rail rail freight operating companies customers FTA

FTA will now use this document as a lobbying tool to influence governmental, regulatory and industry policy, because it is only by addressing the seven key targets and tackling the barriers to these that rail freight will genuinely grow in the markets such as coal that were traditionally seen as in some way captive to rail, and grow the increasing market of deep sea intermodal containers and especially domestic retail intermodal traffic.

For further information on FTA’s rail freight policy work contact Chris MacRae, head of rail freight policy Tel: 07818 450353 Email: Visit:

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Whose job is it anyway? David Brewer asks, how do we create a passenger-focused rail experience


ow will the rail industry keep pace with passengers’ expectations to become ever more personally connected with service providers? What does this mean for the way we operate? Whose job is it to make these connections, who owns the customer experience? As well as recommending greater empowerment of Network Rail routes to respond to the priorities of customers, passengers and freight hauliers, Nicola Shaw called for end users to be far more involved in the planning and delivering of enhancements. Our ability to achieve this

is influenced by structure, contracts and regulations, but most of all, by a state of mind. The relationship between the passenger and the people doing the work is complex. They are connected via a multitude of stakeholders, including Department for Transport, Network Rail, Office of Rail and Road, Toc’s, contractors and passenger groups. Organisations providing transport infrastructure, in rail, roads and aviation, have long circled round the question of who owns the customer experience. In aviation, BAA made a clear and unequivocal policy choice in the mid-2000’s

that it owned the passenger journey. Amid regular hour-long queues to pass through airport security, then-CEO Steve Nelson set the ‘95/5’ target of moving 95 per cent of passengers through security within five minutes. No one knew how to achieve this when the decision was made and it sparked a round of process improvement, reconfiguration, recruitment, roster changes and new construction. This state of mind meant embracing customer issues no matter who controlled them. At Gatwick, the airport lent specialists to the UK Border Agency to help them to reduce in-bound queues by improving



facilities, resource planning and operational processes. The airport was not responsible for immigration queues, but chose to make improving them part of its job. The DfT would like to see the passenger experience woven into the fabric of the industry, enshrined in franchise terms and Network Rail objectives. Despite the clear structural parallels between aviation and rail, our outlook towards customers in the rail industry feels different. What are customers telling us? There is still significant room for improvement. There weren’t any transport organisations featured in the top ten of the UK Customer Service Institute’s 2016 report, with no rail organisation in the top 50. However, two Toc’s (Abellio Greater Anglia and Southeastern) were listed in the 20 most improved organisations since 2015. The report states: ‘The areas of greatest difference between the top 50 organisations and the rest are focused largely around people measures, complaint handling and speed of service.’ The report also suggests that communication is a big issue for transport customers compared with other sectors. Transport Focus states that what customers really want is reliability of service, to be part of the decision-making and performance monitoring processes and to be communicated with openly. Investment in stations is also rated highly by passengers. Opportunities to change Technology offers new possibilities to bridge this gap. It can help us to understand customers, build a different relationship and make our services easier to access. The rail sector was arguably early to capitalise on this opportunity. Journey planning tools such as (launched originally by the Virgin Rail group in 1997) and the excellent National Rail Enquiries app transformed our ability to access the rail network. Easier ways of identifying the best routes and timings were followed by a period of unprecedented growth in rail travel with a significant modal shift from road to rail. These simple tools have improved the utilisation of infrastructure, moved people from road to rail, improved air quality and made us feel in control of our journey planning choices. As an industry, we must continue to embrace the use of technology to improve the way we connect with passengers. Examples of good practice include the new Thameslink Class 700 fleet of trains, which features improved real-time passenger information. The National Express c2c app includes access to refunds and personalised real time information. It also includes doorto-door journey planning and parking payment options. As we see a shift towards Mobility as a Service (MaaS), operators will increasingly need to challenge the Rail Professional

boundaries of where their ‘job’ starts and stops and the role rail will play in the wider network. Investment in digitising the UK rail network will enable the industry to transform the passenger experience, delivering much-needed capacity, enhanced reliability, safety and comfort. Feedback from customers suggests that the station experience is a key factor in the quality of their journey. This has certainly been the experience of Birmingham New Street, which celebrated the one year anniversary of its reopening by the Queen following extensive refurbishment on September 20. Customer involvement in infrastructure choices The adoption of new technologies to involve passengers more in investment planning and delivery - a stated objective of the Shaw Report and a recommendation of Transport Focus - has so far lagged behind the momentum evidenced in areas such as travel planning, ticketing and real-time information. Highways England recently used contact information (where people had elected for this option) to invite regular users of the Dartford Crossing to become involved in the consultation process for the planned new crossing. The people who use and benefit from this type of national infrastructure scheme often live many miles away, making it difficult to get their input. Although the consultation itself was run traditionally, this is a positive first step towards connecting with the right group of people – hopefully we will soon see more of the project information being accessible on-line with the opportunity to consult remotely. The results of effective involvement can have surprising benefits. A contractor consulting on a programme near King’s Cross involving noisy piling applied for consent based on limited night time working. They were surprised when the overwhelming preference of residents was for 24-hour working to get the job done as quickly as possible – potentially good news for the programme and budget, as well as its neighbours. Greater involvement will change the skills we need to engage. At Gatwick a social anthropologist contributed to the design of the security systems, spotting opportunities which were missed by the teams drawn from lean manufacturing backgrounds. Effective engagement will mean we need to become skilled at asking the right questions to ensure we source rich data inputs. Furthermore, we need a concerted effort to develop applications which allow the infrastructure owner, customers and residents to connect more effectively. Major programmes like Crossrail 2 and HS2 provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do something different. The appetite for empowering passengers seems to be growing among operators, so

why is it that infrastructure owners appear in some cases to be falling behind? Vertical integration (the linking of infrastructure provision with operation) might be one solution, but fundamentally this is about a shift in attitude, not structure. I have been struck on visits to both Transport for Greater Manchester and Transport for London with the focus both organisations place on the customer. They show an ambition to improve service performance, to optimise value for money and to maximise the utilisation of infrastructure to generate capacity. When you visit either organisation there is a tangible sense of connection with their passengers and their communities. This might be because their brief is focused, because they are locally based or because their paymasters have a clear responsibility for quality of life and economic growth in their regions. It might be because both organisations directly manage operations (buses, trams, underground) and this generates a more holistic outlook. Whatever the reason, it seems clear that a real sense of place and identity bring benefits for customers, with opportunities to move to a real emphasis on multi-modal end-to-end journeys. Much to be achieved There is still much to be achieved when it comes to delivering for rail passengers. Changes in structure are disruptive, slow to gestate and should only be made where clear benefits can be seen. Changes in outlook and attitude can take time, but are often more powerful and less disruptive. Attitude is more important than structure when it comes to embracing new opportunities to engage customers in the difficult choices we have to make. The rail industry has a responsibility to listen to its customers and to embrace digital technologies, bringing it closer to the passenger and giving the passenger a genuine voice – not just on how they travel, but where we invest money for improvements. An important lesson BAA accepted its responsibility for the customer for many years before it really embraced it with conviction. Reputational damage triggered this shift and many will say this came too late. The circumstances which allowed regulators to force the breakup of BAA had their roots in customer dissatisfaction. This is an important lesson which needs to remain learnt. Changes in customer expectations and the way we see travel mean that we will need to increasingly think across transport modes. Despite the potential for overlap, it is better for all organisations in the chain to see the customers’ end to end journey as their ‘job’. David Brewer is market director, Strategic Rail at Atkins

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Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood

Strictly confidential you hope... With the US Presidential elections having their fair share of leaks and disclosures, Martin Fleetwood looks at organisations trying to keep their information confidential


convenient memory stick, CD’s from a laptop, information made available to others through a drop box arrangement or uploaded into the Cloud – technological advances have made it increasingly easy for employees to appropriate or misuse their employer’s confidential information. While an employer may try to limit risk by banning memory sticks, reducing the number of laptops with CD drives and encrypting documents to stop third parties from accessing confidential information, what can an employer do if an employee decides that they want to reveal confidential information? Confidential information in the rail sector can take many forms, from contacts in a client database, to manufacturing processes and pricing structures. The latter may be particularly important in bidding for work, while there may be good reasons for a manufacturing process to be held as confidential information rather than being made public but protected through a patent. Some information is particularly sensitive. This is information which if it were to fall into the hands of a competitor would provide a real risk of causing significant harm to the owner of that information. As such the law gives it a specific category of ‘trade secrets’ and provides a greater basic protection. However, it should be remembered that labelling information as ‘confidential’ is designed to give rights to stop the disclosure of the information rather than protecting rights in any particular process, such as a patent would do. What does the employee already know? If an organisation is recruiting someone because of their knowledge and skill it may be difficult to distinguish between confidential information of the organisation and that which is simply part of an employee’s own skill and knowledge which they carry around in their head. In such circumstances, it may

be useful to set out the information they are bringing or to consider including posttermination restrictions in an employment contract to prevent them from working for a competitor for an appropriate period of time linked to the useful life of the relevant information. However, care is required as the courts will strike out restrictions which are too onerous or have the effect of making the person virtually unemployable for a significant amount of time. Confidentiality during employment The good news for employers is that during their employment, employees are subject to an implied duty of fidelity which includes a duty not to disclose confidential information or trade secrets to third parties or for the employee to use it for their own purposes. This can be further enhanced by adding specific confidentiality clauses in the employment contract, particularly if the employee will be handling specific confidential information.

Confidentiality once the employee has left Once employment with an organisation has ended, the implied duty of confidentiality will only protect trade secrets. This leaves the employer with a potential difficulty if it finds itself having to argue that the information in question is a trade secret and not merely confidential information. The solution is to have a provision in the employment contract which provides a clear duty not to disclose any relevant confidential information. The key here is that the confidential information needs to be relevant. If the amount of information purported to be covered is too wide or includes information that is trivial, useless or is likely to already be in the public domain, the confidentiality clause will be unenforceable. If there are no contractual provisions in the former employee’s contract to control use of confidential information or the confidentiality clause is deemed to be unenforceable, all is not lost for the employer. The implied duty of fidelity which applies to all employees means that an employee



Actions for employers to protect confidential information • include a specific confidentiality clause in employment contract to prevent disclosure both during and after employment • include post-termination restrictions including appropriate non-competition clauses in an employment contract • include an express clause requiring the return of all company property and all hard and soft copies of confidential information • ensure any definition of ‘confidential information’ is wide enough to cover all relevant information but not too wide as to risk being declared unenforceable • make sure information which should be confidential is clearly and appropriately marked • limit access to confidential information to those who need to know • be careful not to breach the employment contract as this will release the employee from any contractual confidentiality obligations • use password protections or encryption software for confidential information stored on electronic devices • be clear who owns social media accounts operated for business purposes and, where necessary, include provisions for handing over passwords • if a breach of confidentiality is suspected, act quickly. Time will be of the essence in any application for an injunction. is not able to use confidential information which does not amount to a trade secret where that information: a) was obtained by the former employee while they were employed at that organisation and it is now being used by that former employee to compete with that organisation; or b) was stolen by the former employee for the

advantage of a competitor after his or her employment ended. Preventative action if confidential information is suspected of being taken The employer will need to move quickly and can apply for an interim injunction to prevent the information being released or, in the case of a former employee, to prevent the former

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employee or the competitor they are joining from using the confidential information to establish an unfair advantage. Speed is essential as information can quickly end up on servers which are outside of the relevant jurisdiction. In the case of an existing employee, relevant disciplinary action should also be instigated, but it is important to ensure that all relevant procedures are correctly followed. An employer breaching an employment contract may find that the confidentiality obligations no longer apply. A claim for damages can also be brought for any financial loss suffered by the employer. In some cases this can include a claim for the amount of any profit made as a result of using the confidential information. However, for some trade secrets, the financial compensation may be insignificant in comparison to the effects of the information being revealed. The speed of getting the interim injunction may be the critical path. Martin Fleetwood ia partner, Shoosmiths LLP.

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Protect and prosper Andrew Mackenzie looks at intellectual property considerations for the UK rail supply chain in doing business with China


he UK rail supply chain continues to face ongoing challenges; the creation of the UK Rail Supply Group and its significant injection of funding to help existing organisations secure new business demonstrates the increasing competitiveness of the sector. Although the UK will see a forecasted investment of ÂŁ38 billion over the next fifteen years, there is an increase in the number of active overseas rail funders and

For the UK rail supply chain the effect of the increased Chinese activity brings both competition and opportunity. For the SME organisation becoming part of the potential supply chain with a Chinese partner, the considerations around safeguarding innovation, knowledge and products should be paramount

providers making the marketplace highly competitive. One of the relatively new entrants has been China. Over the past ten years the Chinese have built a HSR network that currently covers over 12,000km, and is predicted to increase to 25,000km. They have also achieved construction costs of $17 million to $21 million per kilometre, compared to those in Europe of $25 million to $39 million. The UK, with its programme of investment that includes HS2, is therefore seen as attractive to many. China, with a remit for growth both internally and globally, can demonstrate benefits around

innovation, delivery experience and cost savings. For the UK rail supply chain the effect of the increased Chinese activity brings both competition and opportunity. For the SME organisation becoming part of the potential supply chain with a Chinese partner, the considerations around safeguarding innovation, knowledge and products should be paramount. Acknowledging and protecting intellectual property (IP) is often enshrined within legislation for developed major trading countries. Within China it has been present since 1979 through government



legislation, administration regulation and decrees in the areas of trade mark, copyright and patent. For the UK rail supply chain, working either as part of a supply chain to a Chinese partner or looking to sell into China, the UK organisation needs to ensure they have all of their intellectual property effectively protected. Global IP considerations For the UK rail supply chain, establishing an IP strategy is key. China, as in the UK, covers copyright, patents, designs and trademarks. For those within the rail industry the designs (or design patents), trademarks and patents (patents for invention and patents for utility model) are usually the ones that are focused on. The duration of a Chinese Patent for invention is twenty years; the duration of a patent for utility model and design is ten years, counted from the application date in China. Thus the design patent term is unusually short. Applications to protect these rights must be filed before public disclosure of the underlying invention or design, in China or elsewhere. Like Europe, the ‘first to file’ principle for trademarks means that the first person to register a trademark in China becomes the legal owner. A UK business which has been

pre-empted with a trademark or logo faces a lengthy cancellation and court proceedings with no guarantee of success. For UK rail supply chain organisations selling into the Chinese rail market, IP needs to be protected before entering the market. Usually it means working with a qualified patent attorney; only Chinese nationals can undertake the filing steps within China and thus agency through a local attorney will usually be required. However China is part of the WIPO which means for the UK, EU and US resident businesses, an international patent application can be filed, reducing the complexities of overseas filings. The next step will be to determine whether the organisation has a priority claim. If an application has already been filed in the UK, US or EU and it is within one year of filing, then filing in China will be able to use the original date of the non-Chinese filing. This is important because China’s patent protection is based on the Europeantype ‘first to file’ principle. Being the first to file is an important principle and requires the organisation to be proactive in terms of protecting intellectual property to safeguard ownership. Unfortunately IP is not always recognised early enough or valued by the organisation, particularly SME’s who do not have access to internal patent or trademark departments

and view the process as onerous or difficult. Carrying out an internal audit of research and development, new product or product improvement may well generate surprising results. Within the supply chain the potential to safeguard your IP ranges from an innovative way to repair tracks that speeds up repair times and improves the overall quality and longevity of repairs, through to development of specialist rail monitoring equipment that improves the passenger experience and also reduces operating costs for the train operating company. Protecting your IP Whether the organisation becomes part of the supply chain to a Chinese partner, is selling in China or just wanting to protect against copying in China, an effective intellectual property strategy needs to be adopted. This needs to protect your inventions, products, equipment, product names, logos, jingles or product appearance. Whatever your position, protect your IP.

Andrew Mackenzie is partner at Scott & York IP Law

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A force to be reckoned with? Nick Gross analyses the potential for the Southern Rail franchise to be taken away from Govia


fter months of disruption to the Govia train service (and its Southern Rail service in particular), in early October the Transport Select Committee said that ‘If GTR [Govia Thameslink Rail] is in default, it is incumbent on the Department [of Transport] to take the franchise back in house, and then to find one or more operators that can improve the situation.’ The worst of GTR’s problems have come at Southern, where there has been a protracted dispute with the RMT trade union over proposals to replace many Southern conductors with on-board supervisors, who would not control the doors or start the train. We’re nearly one month on, and nothing seems to have happened. Well, that’s not quite true, since a raft of strikes have been announced for the Christmas period, bringing the promise of more disruption not only for those unlucky enough to be commuting during that time, but also for those who entrusted their holiday plans to Govia. On the face of it, most people would expect Govia to be in breach of its franchise agreement with the government, given the extent and duration of the disruption. They would also expect the government to have the power to withdraw the franchise,

and award it to someone else. The complicating factor is a principle called ‘force majeure’. This is a principle under which a breach of contract is forgiven, because it was caused by a factor beyond the control of the party in breach. Strike or other industrial action is included in the list of force majeure events in the Govia franchise agreement. However, if the industrial action is caused by Govia’s actions (in this case, Govia’s proposals to change the role of conductors), it will only be force majeure if the government ‘reasonably considers that

On the face of it, most people would expect Govia to be in breach of its franchise agreement with the government, given the extent and duration of the disruption. They would also expect the government to have the power to withdraw the franchise, and award it to someone else Rail Professional

these proposals are reasonable’, and it’s not clear what the government’s stance is on that. In addition, Govia must use all reasonable endeavours to avert or prevent the occurrence of the industrial action, and to mitigate and minimise the effects of such an event on its passenger services performance, and to restore the provision of the passenger services as soon as reasonably practicable after the onset of the occurrence of the industrial action. Govia must also take such action or steps as the Secretary of State may require to remedy any event of default which occurs, or potential event of default which seems likely to arise. Govia also has obligations to implement business continuity plans in these circumstances. What doesn’t help is the rule that if there is any ambiguity in interpreting and applying a force majeure clause, it will be interpreted against the interests of the party who drafted it (probably the government) – the ‘contra proferentem’ rule. To rely on a force majeure clause, a party must comply with certain requirements as


The Committee also said that the DfT must ensure that data on GTR’s performance against its contractual obligations was made publicly available as ‘our lack of access to this data during the inquiry was totally unacceptable. It hindered our work and delayed publication of this report’. More importantly, the public has no access to this information either, nor to the government’s stance and plans. So the public continues to suffer, without knowing what is being done – or could be done – to remedy the situation, or how long it might be before the government can step in and take over to notification of the force majeure, and there are conflicting reports as to whether Govia has done so in accordance with the agreement. There is also an overriding entitlement for the government to terminate the franchise agreement if there has been a force majeure event which has continued with the effect of preventing Govia from delivering, wholly or mainly, its passenger services for more than six consecutive months. In addition, some of the disruption has been caused by high sickness levels among its staff, so it might be questionable whether force majeure applies there at all.


To further complicate matters, Southern revised its timetable earlier in the year to drop large numbers of trains, and Govia has consequently claimed that it is not in default of its franchise obligations because it is running the reduced timetable. It seems hard to believe that more effective running of a reduced service avoids breach, unless the government has expressly agreed to this. All in all, although we have visibility on the terms of the agreement, we don’t have information from the government about its view of the various factors outlined above, nor how it intends to address them. The Committee also said that the DfT


must ensure that data on GTR’s performance against its contractual obligations was made publicly available as ‘our lack of access to this data during the inquiry was totally unacceptable. It hindered our work and delayed publication of this report’. More importantly, the public has no access to this information either, nor to the government’s stance and plans. So the public continues to suffer, without knowing what is being done – or could be done – to remedy the situation, or how long it might be before the government can step in and take over. Stepping in and taking over isn’t necessarily an easy solution either of course, assuming that the franchise agreement with Govia can ultimately be terminated. A new operator would be needed following a termination – after perhaps a temporary period of DoT control, as suggested by the Committee and indeed the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Any new operator would inherit the workforce – and doubtless the Union’s stance on driver-only trains along with it – but a fresh approach is surely needed, so that the interests of passengers are seen to be moved to the top of the agenda, rather than languishing at the bottom, where they appear to be now. Nick Gross is head of transport & logistics at Coffin Mew




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More is more As the railway is so much busier, shouldn’t it be employing more people to look after passengers?


he current long running dispute affecting Southern was instigated by the Department for Transport when – upon deciding to award a management contract in which Thameslink and Southern came under GTR control – that department decided to change the role of the Southern conductors and introduce Driver Only Operation. The Thameslink example has been used

“Take the new class 700 Thameslink trains – the 12 car versions can carry more than 1700 people – DOO just doesn’t ring right with numbers like that. There is nothing inefficient or over staffed about a couple of conductors (or whatever you want to call them) looking after those passengers and doing what their Southern counterparts do Rail Professional

throughout by GTR as the benchmark. There is, however, far more to this than who opens and closes doors. The railway is busier than ever – as the DfT keeps telling us, as the RDG keeps telling us – and it undoubtedly is. Southern conductors generally do a decent job. They are on hand to check tickets, to sell tickets (to an extent, therefore, self financing), to assist with enquiries, to assist passengers with mobility issues, to back up the driver (who should surely be left to do just that – drive) at times of disruption and to provide that visible presence which most passengers, surely, prefer? And they also open and close the doors. All this incidentally goes back to the last 10 years or so of British Rail which saw an end to the ‘feet up reading the paper between stations’ guard’s routine. BR deserves credit for that – that was where the foundations were laid for what we now see on Southern services where a good

conductor –and there are plenty of them – is worth his/her weight in gold. Contrast that with Thameslink – which is constantly used as the benchmark by GTR in this row. Well, passengers are basically left to their own devices apart from the occasional visit by penalty fare enforcement teams. How often do you see a mobility buggy on a Thameslink train? How often do you see a Thameslink member of staff (there’s a misnomer if ever there was) assisting a passenger with an enquiry? How often – when things go wrong – do you see Thameslink on train staff (another misnomer) keeping passengers informed while the driver sticks to what a driver should do? As the railway is so much busier, shouldn’t it be employing more people to look after passengers? As in properly trained, decently paid railway staff as opposed to poorly trained, poorly paid

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agency imports. Take the new class 700 Thameslink trains – the 12 car versions can carry more than 1700 people – DOO just doesn’t ring right with numbers like that. There is nothing inefficient or overstaffed about a couple of conductors (or whatever you want to call them) looking after those passengers and doing what their Southern counterparts do. A matter of trust As to who opens and closes the doors – if the driver is doing that – fine. But there should be a member of staff on his/her train carrying out all those worthwhile functions described earlier – functions that are never seen on Thameslink trains. As to the safety aspect – ironically, the safest method probably disappeared when the slam door era ended. Remember? The train pulling out with the guard at his door looking out back and forward having been despatched by platform staff. Remember the one bell warning to the driver that indicated a problem and that the train should stop after being despatched? Of course, slam door had its drawbacks – but on the issue of safe train despatch – that was probably the best. Once a sliding door train is on the move – there is no equivalent check – whoever shuts the doors. The driver has CCTV screens in his cab that display the side of the train but they

are small and the quality of the images is said to be questionable – but then shouldn’t a driver be concentrating on what’s ahead of him/her? Flexibilty? Absolutely. Trust? None. Of course it’s ridiculous to see detrained passengers watch their train leave empty because there is no conductor available. Station staff – largely forgotten in this long-running dispute – take the flak as those passengers look for the first railway employee on who to vent their spleen. Flexibility would see an end to situations like that – get the passengers from A to B in a last resort instance of running a train DOO in the true sense. Do Southern staff trust GTR to work this sensible way – or do they cynically/realistically believe GTR (with the DfT prodding them on) would gradually extend ‘total’ DOO? It’s that trust issue.

in the public domain. The passengers – has anyone thought to conduct a meaningful, useful survey and ask THEM if they prefer to see on train staff universally or not? Undoubtedly, as things are, the passengers probably couldn’t care less so long as they can get a train to work and home again – but if asked, they would probably prefer to have a visible staff presence on all trains, ALL trains. The RMT, incidentally, does a far better job on its website of setting out its position on DOO and the role of onboard supervisors and what safety-related functions they are expected to carry out in contrast to what conductors do. And how ironic that the old class 319 units gradually disappearing as the 700s take their places – many 319s going to the North West, Thameslink 319s that were a part of the minimalist Thameslink way of doing things (and looking at the ultra basic interiors of the 700s, that minimalist concept is clearly alive and well) – how ironic that as they enter service in the North West they will have their doors operated by conductors who will, of course, also carry out those other highly useful functions that their Southern counterparts do. Even more ironic – the number of cancelled Thameslink trains lately due to lack of drivers...

Anyone thought to ask passengers? And while this dispute festers on and on, the DfT (having started it all), says it can’t get involved. The RMT fights its corner without presenting its case as well as it might – Mick Cash simply does not have the presence of the late Bob Crowe. On the other side of the divide – one Peter Wilkinson of the DfT who came out with all his Victorian mill owner anti-union diatribes earlier this year – appalling comments which endedNEW_Layout up Anonymous sonic 1-4 page 1 06/10/2016 11:12 Page 1

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Come on the scene Ben Blackburn looks at delivering the rolling stock experience customers expect


ew elements of passenger rail provoke emotion in the way that rolling stock can. For enthusiasts, the sight of a brand new vehicle entering service for the first time is a source of great excitement (or sometimes disappointment). For customers, the quality of the trains they use every day is instrumental to their satisfaction with the overall service. Rail travel is so often a sensory experience. Whether it be the nostalgic whistle of a steam engine, the piquant smell of diesel, the smoothness and stability of the ride, or the scent of fresh coffee, operators consistently play to customers’ senses when promoting their service and their brand. And so much of this centres on interactions with the vehicle itself. This is all part of the rich narrative of rail travel: the evocative history wrapped up in Brief Encounter, the Road to the Isles, or the Orient Express. But while operators have always, and will forever, play upon such connotations, the ability of the industry to deliver in kind is mixed. Post-privatisation, successive governments played it safe on stock, too

However, this model is diversifying with more project finance, where a special purpose company borrows money to buy the stock, which is then leased to an operator. This has piqued the interest of non-traditional investors, including infrastructure investment funds. One recent example is the deal struck between Rock Rail (Rock Infrastructure) and Abellio to provide Stadler units for the new East Anglia franchise

often reluctant to invest in new products, particularly for passenger franchises outside London and the south east. It tended to be left to the market to decide on how stock should be procured and specified. For the passengers on more subsidyhungry franchises and those with less natural profit-making potential, the logic of the market has led to poor outcomes: second hand stock cascaded out from London and an inability to justify the replacement of vehicles unfit for a modern travel experience. Thankfully change is afoot. Rolling stock of the future Stimulated by a more investment-focused strategy set down by the government, there is a growing consensus about what new



passenger rolling stock should look like. Given the scale of electrification due for CP5 and expected to carry on into CP6, procuring high quality electric stock will continue to be a theme. But manufacturers producing bi-mode vehicles will become increasingly relevant as the current electrification programme will omit large sections of the network. Even by 2045, five to ten per cent of the national fleet will need to run on non-electrified track. Diesel stock will still be needed. Reflecting franchises’ recalibration towards the needs and expectations of the modern customer, stock will have to be extremely passenger-friendly, with excellent accessibility, high standards of comfort and cleanliness and an appropriate balance of space for seating and standing. Stock will therefore benefit from flexibility: the extent to which it can be re-purposed for different types of service. Indeed, in a macro economic climate of belttightening, any new money will be expected to work as hard as possible so the more ‘lives’ that can be wrung out of each vehicle, the better. Certainly, all new stock has to be WiFi enabled and provide operators with opportunities to enhance their offering through digitisation, for example in passenger loading.

The Digital Railway agenda makes likely an expectation that all new trains will include ETCS as standard. There are signs, too, that the government will increasingly be requiring a more ‘standard’ product. This has interesting implications for how any individual manufacturer differentiates itself from its competitors. Examples may include common systems for coupling and standard door positioning. Procurement and financing Traditionally, rolling stock in the UK has been procured by rolling stock operating companies on an asset finance basis where the financier bears the risk that the train may not be re-leased after its initial contract with an operator expires. However, this model is diversifying with more project finance, where a special purpose company borrows money to buy the stock, which is then leased to an operator. This has piqued the interest of non-traditional investors, including infrastructure investment funds. One recent example is the deal struck between Rock Rail (Rock Infrastructure) and Abellio to provide Stadler units for the new East Anglia franchise. With the trend towards devolution and sub-national transport bodies, we will also see changes in who specifies and procures

stock. Rail North, at the vanguard of this new dynamic, partnered with the DfT to define what kind of stock First Group and Arriva should use for the new north of England franchises. For manufacturers, developing strong and effective relationships with devolved bodies, as well as the Department, will be essential to ensure they stay on top of what decision makers – and those local authorities and metro regions they represent – expect. Competition While privatisation has not always created the best outcomes, market liberalisation has made the UK a highly attractive place for manufacturers to do business. The system is not rigged to favour one ‘national’ provider. We have five or six established manufacturers all vying to secure varied opportunities, from light rail to very high speed. New entrants are also coming onto the scene. All this bodes well. With a progrowth government, new financing and procurement models, and a closer consideration of customer needs, effective market competition can bring advances in innovation, value for money – and the passenger experience. Ben Blackburn is a senior account manager at Freshwater UK

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Collaboration – ‘we want to work together’ There is no doubt that working together in a spirit of collaboration really does achieve benefits, says Robert Hopkin


any have said much about collaboration, some would opine it is nothing other than a business bingo word, or it is a fad or, worse still, an outcome that can be achieved without use of the word itself, a somewhat curious stance – but, trust me, I have heard it! Indeed, many preach they are collaborative and yet the commitment to collaborative working is but skin deep and the majority of the workforce in the lower tiers of management or supervision just are not aware of how they should be behaving within their own organisation, let alone across functional or company boundaries. In the end, for those businesses that naturally collaborate it is just common sense and the question most often posed by them is ‘Why would you not do so?’ The Institute for Collaborative Working (ICW) definition of collaborative working as used in its training courses is as follows: ‘Business relationships formed by committed organisations to maximise joint performance for the achievement of mutual objectives and the creation of additional value.’ Now, of course, these words could be tweaked and changed to fit the needs of any one collaboration – however it takes a serious amount of energy, commitment and time to come up with such snappy statements. Trust me, I worked in the dark and complex world of creating Military Doctrine for two years – not easy … and so tempting to write down what came into one’s head rather than taking the time to craft something that has at least the following: brevity, accuracy, is unambiguous, easily understood and can be implemented by all who read it. So, we could take our snappy sentence and make it slightly more ‘lardy’ but no less relevant to collaborative working … this time we are incorporating thoughts about risk-taking, behaviours and leadership. So,

how about this version of the definition: ‘Business relationships formed by committed organisations to maximise joint performance for the achievement of mutual objectives and the creation of additional value within an overarching culture of collaborative behaviours openly evinced at all levels of the business, all led by resolute, fair, authentic, transformational collaborative leadership imbued with a positive appetite for risk management and pain/gain sharing.’ Generally, attitudes are backed up by appropriate behaviours – just because you are not adversarial doesn’t mean you are naturally collaborative – there could within an organisation or across a consortia exist a spirit of co-operation in place (nothing wrong with that in principle – however, co-operating is not collaboration). In such instances, there may be a feeling that, ‘… we are doing what we can to work together’ … now, how far away is that from, ‘… we are every one of us doing all we can with everything at our disposal (and more on occasions) to ensure that we do not let our side down in the creation of /production of / manufacture of…’

Take a look at websites Behaviours are linked to competencies and these are linked to one’s post or job and, in turn, all governed by supervision, management and ultimately leadership. There is not the time to delve into the whys and wherefores of collaborative leadership in this short article – however, I suggest you have a wander through the websites and contents of the collaborative working and leadership modules and courses from Cardiff Business School, Warwick Business School and Worcester Business School for starters. Yes, there are (many) other business schools to choose from – but, I have visited these schools recently and/or regularly and I know that they are committed to BS11000 in the development of their various modules and courses. There is no doubt that working together in a spirit of collaboration does really achieve benefits and this can be seen in Formula 1 for example in the relationship between engine provider and chassis manufacturer. Just listening to the TV sound bites alone, there is much grumbling over the airwaves within certain teams, whereas other teams appear to have a more collaborative



approach accepting that maybe the problem isn’t all with ‘them’ but could be something to do with ‘us’… if only we could see it. The steps from adversarial to co-operation and thence on to collaboration can seem immense at first but it only needs the most basic of guidance (although it can also mean the replacement of key team members if they cannot be developed in time – and to be fair some people just do not ‘get it’. Linked to business goals That said, it does take time and resources to set up collaborative initiatives. Such initiatives work best when linked to specific business goals and incorporate well-chosen partners… however, the standard (BS 11000) can help you to define the content for selection matrices for scoring/grading potential partners. This investment of time and resource makes all the more sense when you consider just four of the more significant benefits, as follows: increased resource efficiency, better long-term relationships, triggering innovation, increased payback – all these, just for starters.     Why should I start along the road of accreditation to BS11000 when, it says here, an ISO standard [ISO 11000] is due out in 2017? Well that is a fair question; in growing and stretching to an ISO standard, there will be some minimal changes to the

current BS standard as it morphs to an ISO standard. However, in the main, they are either more structural (to align with the family of management standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 14001 etc), or contextual such as incorporating a couple of changes relating to the Exit Strategy and one that sees Issue/Dispute Resolution moving to ‘Working Together’ [Stage 5] rather than remaining in ‘Staying Together’ [Stage 7] which, to me at least, has always made sense. Lastly, I am indebted to an ICW colleague Leigh Lawry (based in Cardiff but operates across Wales and the West) for much wisdom and insight as well as sharing with me a somewhat tongue-in-cheek definition of collaboration, ‘Collaboration is like deodorant – those who need it the most, don’t use it!’

Need to know more? Why not come along to one of the Rail Alliance’s BS11000-related one-day Collaborative Working Awareness Courses held monthly or as required either at the Rail Alliance’s base in Warwickshire for £250.00 + VAT for members or £500.00 + VAT for nonmembers. Alternatively, the Rail Alliance can come to your location and present the course to your workforce at £1,500.00 + VAT plus expenses for up to eight persons (if a member of the Rail Alliance) or £2,500.00 + VAT plus expenses for up to eight persons (for a non-member of the Rail Alliance). Robert Hopkin is executive director for the Rail Alliance

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Breaking the habit The third runway at Heathrow must be accompanied by an expanded rail network west of London, says Jim Steer


nding the uncertainty on the government’s preference for where additional runway capacity should be located has been widely welcomed. But expanding Heathrow must be accompanied by an expanded rail network west of London. There is a unique opportunity at Heathrow to use existing and planned rail links to provide a wide set of direct rail services from across a much wider catchment. This cannot be achieved anywhere near as readily at Gatwick. And with the recent ruling on air quality failings, a shift away from road use to rail in the whole M4/M25 area is desperately needed regardless of airport expansion. Others may argue this should be a pre-requisite for the third runway. But instead of rail links, the government announcement talks up improvements to the UK’s domestic air connections at Heathrow to access an increased number of services on existing international routes as well as new routes to emerging markets. The proposals for the third runway are said to support new domestic routes to Belfast International, Liverpool, Newquay, Humberside, Prestwick and Durham Tees Valley. This would provide 14 domestic routes to Heathrow in total and reverse the decline in domestic slots experienced at the current two runway version of Heathrow. Government also claims that the new runway could provide greater choice of airlines on existing domestic routes and reduced fares through greater competition. While domestic airline services may be positioned as feeders for inter-lining passengers, in practice these developments will take demand away from the longer distance rail network. With the risk of reduced (or eliminated) Air Passenger Duty, at least for domestic flights, under consideration by the Scottish authorities, the impact – for instance on HS2, with

its offering of a connection at Old Oak Common for Heathrow – will be noted by upcoming bidders for the just-announced West Coast Partnership franchise. The government’s announcement recognises that Western Rail Access could

widespread locations across Scotland, the North East, Yorkshire, the whole of the North West – and soon North Wales) that these services have huge appeal and are a commercial success. And looking at Heathrow’s world hub competitors we also

link Heathrow to the Great Western Main Line and Southern Rail Access could link Heathrow to the South West Trains network and Waterloo.

readily see the success of direct rail services (including high-speed rail) from widespread locations into Amsterdam’s Schiphol, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Frankfurt Airports. This is how these airports have come to serve nations, not just a capital or major city. The UK’s hub airport surely merits the

Success of foreign direct rail services We know from the success of direct rail services to Manchester Airport (from



In the past, incremental decisions on rail links as conditions of serial planning consents have created inefficient rail infrastructure at Heathrow that is unable to contribute to the needs of the surrounding sub-region and beyond. The habit needs to be broken equivalent. The new western rail access should be upgraded so that it can provide an hourly direct service to Heathrow from each of Cornwall/Devon and Somerset; from South Wales and Bristol; from the West Midlands and Oxford; and from the East Midlands using the new Bicester – Milton Keynes east-west rail link. And a southern link should not be restricted to the airport’s immediate catchment, much though it might help those under the flight-path to have the chance to access the airport themselves more easily. It should also be designed to connect the major travel generators in Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex

to the airport. Taking these ready opportunities along with Crossrail’s connections from Heathrow to London’s West End, the City, Docklands and north Kent/Essex, it is clear that, it is time to recognise Heathrow’s role as a rail hub. This is regardless of the debate around the value of Heathrow as an air hub. And the case for creating the necessary infrastructure is not something to insist on the airport owner providing – the rich mix of M25-style rail journeys and benefits that a rail hub will bring come regardless of whether Heathrow gets a third runway. The funding mix needs to reflect this point.

Planning should not be delayed, because it is important that development plans for the airport’s third runway do not inhibit the rational development of surface transport west of London, which if it is to succeed, will rely on a hub rail facility at Heathrow. The government’s announcement has made clear that the final decision on Heathrow’s third runway will include conditions that obligate the airport to meet both local air quality and road traffic congestion limits. The detail of those conditions will be covered in the consultation on the National Policy Statement, and also in the subsequent consideration of the detailed planning applications. If government wants to give itself a good chance to negotiate the planning hurdles ahead, it would do well to initiate a strategic examination of the scope to develop the rail network at Heathrow in the way described. In the past, incremental decisions on rail links as conditions of serial planning consents have created inefficient rail infrastructure at Heathrow that is unable to contribute to the needs of the surrounding sub-region and beyond. The habit needs to be broken. Jim Steer is director, Greengauge 21

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An incredible response Chair of the British Transport Police Authority Esther McVey pays tribute to the police and emergency workers involved in the aftermath of the Croydon tram incident


hortly after 6.10am on Wednesday 9 November, calls started coming in to emergency services to say a major incident was unfolding near a tram stop in Croydon. I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the scenes that greeted officers and other emergency workers who were first to the scene. As you will have seen in the media, an overturned tram had injured more than 50 commuters, many seriously – and, as we know now, seven people tragically lost their lives. Police officers and members of the emergency services who were first on scene were faced with a major incident that they had to manage in dark and rainy conditions. They were also presented with

And now, as our thoughts remain with those who are grieving the loss of their loved ones, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for providing such a professional service in the face of such a challenging environment

the added challenge of having to navigate the hazardous railway environment, but British Transport Police officers tackled the incident with their specialist knowledge, capability and equipment. Their knowledge of the infrastructure, along with their wealth of experience and industry-specific training, meant officers did not have to contend with the unknown and could focus on the task in hand. The BTP response since those early minutes has been nothing but exemplary, thanks to the outstanding dedication and efforts of the officers and staff working for the Force. Kindness of local community When I visited the scene, I lost count of the number of times I was told how this incident showed just how vital a dedicated British Transport Police was. And I was taken aback by the kindness shown by the local community rocked by the incident, offering

teas, coffees, cakes – all they could think to do support the Police and emergency services on those long, cold November days. The Salvation Army and its volunteers were also there with a truck to offer food, refreshments and a place to warm up; the BTP chaplain was there too offering support to the grieving families. This incident involved an array of police officers – from the first officers on scene, including volunteer Special Constables, to the investigation team that is continuing to establish the circumstances of what happened; from the staff colleagues who provided support in control rooms, safety and wellbeing, comms and IT, to the media team who kept the nation’s public informed. Professionalism and dedication On the day, the Gold commander overseeing the incident was DCC Adrian Hanstock and the Silver on scene was Supt Christopher



This professionalism and dedication, matched by the incredible response from partner agencies and charities, has made me extremely proud to be associated with British Transport Police

Horton. They led the response from the start, co-ordinating and working alongside partners including First Group, Transport for London, the London Ambulance service, London Fire Brigade, Department for Transport and other partners from across the industry.


While the scene is no longer blocked and cordoned off, the investigation will continue for some time to come led by Det Supt Gary Richardson and working alongside the Rail Accident Investigation Board’s separate enquiry, piecing together what happened on that cold November morning.

This professionalism and dedication, matched by the incredible response from partner agencies and charities, has made me extremely proud to be associated with British Transport Police. And now, as our thoughts remain with those who are grieving the loss of their loved ones, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for providing such a professional service in the face of such a challenging environment.





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Adeline Ginn

#9PercentIsNotEnough Do your part and put your hands up to show that we need more female engineers in the UK, says Adeline Ginn


n October, The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) launched a social media campaign, #9percentisnotenough, to raise awareness of the low numbers of women in engineering: just nine per cent of British engineers are female. The campaign saw engineers across all industries show their support, drawing a 9% on their hands, to highlight that engineering is a realistic career aspiration for girls. The UK is facing a shortfall of engineers: figures show that we need to recruit

When you crunch the numbers, just seven per cent of this year’s A-levels were in physics – an essential subject for most engineering courses. Of these, 23 per cent are girls and 77 per cent are boys

87,000 engineers annually to fill the gap in employment; currently the UK is producing just 46,000 engineers a year, half of the required amount1. This leaves the UK at risk of losing out to to China and India – countries that revere engineers – when it comes to developing, patenting and exporting new technology: the sort of technology that can propel an industry like rail into a new era. When you crunch the numbers, just seven per cent of this year’s A-levels were in physics – an essential subject for most engineering courses2. Of these, 23 per cent are girls and 77 per cent are boys. While that’s one boy in 10 taking physics, it’s just three per cent of all girls. That number is too low, but if we reached a point where an equal amount of boys and girls were taking the subject, we’d see far more young potential engineering graduates, and a truly

sustainable solution for overcoming the current shortage. Research by the Royal Academy of Engineering shows that only half of 16-yearolds in England pass both GCSE maths and at least two sciences, meaning half of our young people are disadvantaged if they wish to pursue engineering. Network Rail’s Switch Off, Switch On research goes some way to understanding the psychological barriers to female engineers. Developmental psychologists showed groups of girls from seven to 15 years old a series of photos depicting females in various careers and observed their immediate associations with each image. Four fifths of the girls aged seven to nine described the engineering photo as ‘dirty’ and ‘messy’. Girls between 10 to12 years old said it was for the ‘physically strong’ and is ‘dangerous’. Between the ages 12 and 15,



So if you are an engineer in rail, male or female, or one of your colleagues is, do your part and put your hands up to show that you don’t think nine per cent is enough. Join us by sharing a picture on social media with ‘9%’ on your hand, using the hashtag #9PercentIsNotEnough, to help to highlight that engineering is a realistic career aspiration for everyone, especially the young girls that will help secure the UK’s engineering future the most common terms were ‘unglamorous’ and ‘socially isolating’. The WISE campaign recently published a groundbreaking study Not for People Like Me which links social science research into the STEM world and argues a fresh approach is needed. The experience girls have in schools and the quality of career guidance are critical elements in their decision making and limited availability of triple award science reduce the likelihood of girls having the confidence and desire to progress beyond GCSE. Science is perceived as hard. But a bigger problem is that young people don’t know what a career in science or engineering offers. An engineer is not a man in greasy

overalls. An engineer is a technologist, developing ideas to shape our future. In fact, engineering is all around us. Engineering is the warm shower we have in the morning. Engineering is the smartphone that we use every day. Engineering is the home that we live in. The world’s rail supply market is expected to grow by 2.7 per cent this year, arguably a good news story for the UK, but as developing markets begin to grow at a faster pace, we must ask ourselves what we can do to improve the picture of our railway industry. Investing in new talent will play a crucial role in changing this. It is in everybody’s interest to engage young women, girls and

boys alike in this dynamic and exciting industry, for the benefit of UK plc. Despite 51 per cent of the population being female, right now, across the UK just nine per cent of engineers are women. Our industry survey found that within the railway industry this drops down to just 4.4 per cent3. So if you are an engineer in rail, male or female, or one of your colleagues is, do your part and put your hands up to show that you don’t think nine per cent is enough. Join us by sharing a picture on social media with ‘9%’ on your hand, using the hashtag #9PercentIsNotEnough, to help to highlight that engineering is a realistic career aspiration for everyone, especially the young girls that will help secure the UK’s engineering future. Adeline Ginn is founder of Women in Rail and general counsel at Angel Trains

1. 2. uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/ file/426646/A_level_subject_take-up.pdf 3.

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Rail workshops have long used the WALL-MAN® and LIFTMAN™ pneumatically powered platforms which are well-accepted as standard practice for accessing carriages and wagons at height for prep. and painting. A feature sometimes requested is a platform to carry two persons for when more than two hands are required to carry out the task. We are now introducing the WALL-MAN® XL which will lift two people up to 6.0 m above ground – more than adequate for rail applications. Readers wishing to know more are invited to contact us below but briefly these units are entirely air-operated and meet all international standards and regulations for personnel lifting. The 30 years of experience of serving the rail sector is offered to help solve your working-at-height procedures, safely and efficiently, with less operator strain, quicker job turnaround and a better paint finish. Whilst WALL-MAN® is usually a fixed installation inside a paint booth; the system can also be erected in an open work area for prep. applications using purpose designed steelwork. LIFTMAN™ is a free-standing, steerable platform which allows work areas to be kept free of obstructions. Operators can move easily from location to location without having to return to floor level. Working height at shoulder is approx. 4.5m.

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The Cheek of it... Chris Cheek

Railfreight market wounded by the death of King Coal – but is it fatal? Only five coal-fired power stations remain in the UK and they’ll be gone by 2025. Chris Cheek ponders the impact on the railfreight industry


statistic that appeared in the paper the other day caught my eye, especially in the context of the announcement a few days earlier of major job losses in the rail freight industry, as DB Cargo UK announced 893 job losses – more than 25 per cent of its workforce. The statistic was that in the second quarter of 2016, coal accounted for just six per cent of electricity generation in the UK. This compared with more than 32 per cent as recently as 2014, and 42 per cent in the late 1990’s. The figures came from the latest issue of

The extent of the damage will vary by business: those such as Freightliner who are not reliant on coal at all will notice little change – a much bigger problem for the container operators will be the sluggish state of world trade and the uncertainties of Brexit

Energy Trends published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which is packed with fascinating figures about the production and consumption of energy in the UK. The fall in the use of coal for power generation has long been planned as EU emissions legislation has been progressively tightened, but the decline has been particularly rapid since the introduction of the carbon price floor (CPF) under the Climate Change Levy legislation in 2013. Its effect on the rail freight industry can be seen clearly in the statistics published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Between 2005/06 and 2014/15, rail operators were moving an average of 45 million tonnes of coal a year, representing around 7.2 billion tonne kilometres. In 2015/16, the tonnage dropped to less than 20 million, with distance travelled down to 2.3 billion tonne km. In the first quarter of 2016/17, there was a further fall of over 52 per cent compared with the same quarter last year. Between 2012 and 2014, seven coal-fired power stations in the UK closed, leaving ten open. Five more will have gone by the end of 2016, and the government announced in November 2015 that the remaining five would close by 2025. From the viewpoint of the trainload freight industry, this fall and eventual loss is potentially catastrophic. Historically, right through until 2014, flows of coal – initially from the pits but latterly from ports – have accounted for a third of freight moved, and up to half of all freight lifted. This sets the context for DB Cargo UK’s October announcement of the job losses: with such huge falls in business, and no prospect of the work returning, they had

little alternative. The question is whether the demise of King Coal (as it was once known) means that the damage done to the railfreight industry is terminal. Much bigger problem The extent of the damage will vary by business: those such as Freightliner who are not reliant on coal at all will notice little change – a much bigger problem for the container operators will be the sluggish state of world trade and the uncertainties of Brexit. Thus, according to the ORR’s statistics on carriage by operator, the big losers in 2015/16 were DB Cargo who saw business drop by 2.5 million gross tonne kilometres (a fall of 19 per cent). Freightliner Heavy Haul lost 2.45 million, but this represented a much larger 58 per cent fall in a company that was specifically set up to compete in the trainload freight market. Direct Rail Services (DRS) has a business model built round the carriage of nuclear waste on behalf of its owner, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. They saw tonne km shrink by a much lower 305,000. However, this did represent 23 per cent of their traffic. Other operators – the main players being Colas Rail, Freightliner and GB Railfreight – saw small increases during the year. Looking at the market by traffic type, 2015/16 does not seem to have been a particularly good year generally. Rail transport of metals was down by 15.7 per cent, and oil and petroleum by 3.5 per cent. The previously growing domestic intermodal market slipped back by one per cent and the continually disappointing international market via the Channel Tunnel shed all the previous year’s growth in a 20 per cent Rail Professional



at the time of writing, railfreight enjoyed a market share of 12.2 per cent in terms of movement. That’s the highest figure for 38 years: the last time rail captured more than 12 per cent of the market was in 1978. In terms of the total lifted, rail achieved 7.3 per cent in 2014, its highest share since 1992.

fall. Miscellaneous goods under the ‘other’ category rose by 11.2 per cent, though. Network Rail contributed a 1.2 per cent increase in infrastructure movements, and carriage for the wider construction industry rose by 1.2 per cent. Over the longer-term, construction traffic has been one of the strongest performing sectors, as traffic has virtually doubled since the turn of the century. The domestic intermodal market – often seen as one of the sectors with the best growth potential – has seen its traffic grow by almost 64 per cent since 2000, despite last year’s small setback. Over the years, volumes have fallen in other sectors. Metals are


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down 30 per cent as production has fallen and plants have closed. Oil and Petroleum transport has fallen by 22 per cent, at least partially reflecting the closure of UK refining capacity. ‘Other’ traffic has meanwhile fallen by almost a third, even allowing for last year’s growth. It is too soon to be able to calculate what these huge changes have meant to rail’s market share of the total freight market (the total being the sum of HGV, rail and water). The irony is that in recent years, before the downturn in coal traffic, rail had achieved its largest market share for a long time in both goods lifted and goods moved. In 2014, the last year for which statistics were available

Future could be bright Unfortunately, the shifts in the market place are likely to mean that it is many more years before those market share figures can be attained again. However, with a sympathetic government in Whitehall promising to keep rail at the heart of its freight strategy, and promising capacity increases, the long-term future for the industry could be bright. As so often though, the challenge is plotting the route from here to there. Meanwhile, though, lesson one in the transport economics handbook still applies: all demand for transport is derived demand. As an industry, we are completely reliant on the need for people or goods to travel from one point to another. Whether it’s people shopping on the internet rather than in the High Street or generators finding alternative fuels to coal, transport operators have to respond to the changes in demand for their services. It may be brutal, but it’s that simple.


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The mental health elephant in the workplace With one in four people suffering a mental health problem in any given year, Aimee SkellyBurgess explores the link between mental health, safety and confidential reporting in rail


hy do we find it so difficult to talk about our mental health at work? In a recent study, nearly a third of 2,000 employees surveyed felt unsure about where to find help or support regarding mental health, or who to talk to. Labels for mental health illnesses have

No one wants to be labelled as having serious psychological problems in the workplace. This creates a catch-22 situation, of course. Many are afraid to discuss the subject at work for fear of being labelled. This contributes to the masking of the problem, which then makes it difficult for employers to tackle, because they are unaware of the scale of the problem

the potential to both stigmatise and alienate individuals, and no more so than in the workplace. You are either healthy in this respect, or suffer a mental illness of some sort such as anxiety or depression. Labels create an artificial divide between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’. No wonder workers find it difficult to disclose such illnesses, especially if they think – rightly or wrongly – their employer will take a dim view of it, and it may affect their job prospects. But the fact is that we all struggle with our health and wellbeing sometimes. The oftquoted statistic is that one in four will suffer a mental health problem in any given year. Look around you at work. No doubt, there are

colleagues suffering in silence in your team or department. One of the main drivers of mental health issues is stress, which is now the most common reason for workers being signed off on long-term sick. Occasionally when reporting to CIRAS, people confide in some of the mental health difficulties they are experiencing, and the potential impact it is has on their ability to do their job safely. It is in an atmosphere of trust, and in confidence, that they find themselves able to disclose such personal information. People are often sceptical that they won’t be listened to compassionately at their own workplaces, and often fear being labelled. There is evidence to suggest that



Perhaps unsurprisingly after experiencing a mental health issue, 32 per cent said they felt they were treated differently by their line manager on their return to work. A fifth felt their colleagues’ attitudes towards them had changed

after experiencing a mental health issue, 32 per cent said they felt they were treated differently by their line manager on their return to work. A fifth felt their colleagues’ attitudes towards them had changed. No one wants to be labelled as having serious psychological problems in the workplace. This creates a catch-22 situation, of course. Many are afraid to discuss the subject at work for fear of being labelled. This contributes to the masking of the problem, which then makes it difficult for employers to tackle, because they are unaware of the scale of the problem. Traditionally, employee assistance programmes, which often include counselling, aim to fill the gap. Power of listening There is another line of approach, however, one which emphasises more attuned listening to our colleagues’ struggles, and their potential psychological difficulties. Beyond a person’s presenting state of mind, whether that be an ‘anxious’ or ‘depressed’ one, for example, there is a personal story which we can better attune ourselves to. We needn’t label it, but we can attempt to listen to it non-judgmentally, benefitting both workers and their employers. Managers can encourage workers to talk more openly about what is really bothering them. To break down the culture of silence, the

labels, once acquired, are difficult to shake off. People are probably right to be wary. Return to work after suffering a mental health problem and there is a real risk of being stigmatised, or even suffering discrimination. Perhaps unsurprisingly

mental health elephant in the workplace needs to be fully acknowledged. The result might well be less sickness, absence and staff turnover, and greater productivity. The IOSH Railway Group recently hosted a webinar on the topic of mental health, safety and reporting. Me and CIRAS’s scheme intelligence manager, Chris Langer, led the discussion to help raise awareness and get people talking about mental health in the rail industry. More than 300 people logged in to take part in the session, showing that there is a real appetite within the rail industry to learn more about how mental health can affect safety. We aimed to break down the stigma of mental health in the transport industry and covered statistics on mental health, the consequences of suffering from stress and anxiety, potential negative effects on performance at work and potential solutions, such as mindfulness exercises and talking to external parties. You can listen again to the webinar online via the ‘Past Events’ section of the IOSH Railway Group’s website, at railwaygroup. Aimee Skelly-Burgess is a member of the IOSH Railway Group committee. She is also an occupational health and safety adviser with CIRAS.




































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‘I really enjoyed when he was 16 and started working as a train the certificate and recorder at Railtrack. He progressed in various diploma courses operational roles at Network Rail and is now and have always looking to broaden his understanding of intended to complete railway operations and cement his experience Our Annual Lunch for Members and Guests will be held at the entire academic with a BSc qualification in Railway Operations On Friday 19th April programme. Great Management. The Mermaid, Puddle Dock, London. 2013 from midday. Our guest speaker is the Rt. Western Railway Hon. Commenting on the course, David said: Simon Burns,people Minister of Statesponsored for Transport. my place ‘I’m looking forward to meeting from on the certificate different aspects of the industry that I would and diploma not usually get to Tickets meet in my–role. £47.00 per head courses which presented me with the perfect I also have lots of questions that I have Table ofan10 – £470.00 per table to move up the ladder and learn opportunity never had the chance to find answer to (Ticket prices are inclusive of VAT @ 20%) more about the industry at the same time,’ he and would like to learn new things from the said. experience of others. Download booking form ‘Asat: a degree student I hope to gain a deeper I do railway operations day in,aday out, understanding of all of the individual modules. so having to opportunity to learn from the I am also looking forward to a placement challenges and successes that other people in Call: 248113 within the business that will give me more different roles have faced01785 will be invaluable. experience and practical knowledge to help me I’m excited to complete the degree course move forward.’ and come away with tons of knowledge and a What motivated Gurminder to apply for an formal qualification too.’ IRO scholarship? ‘This year my employer was David added: ‘Receiving an IRO scholarship not able to fund my degree studies and I didn’t has been a big help and took a weight off my want to take a gap year. I have the motivation mind.’ to complete the course and did not want to Gurminder Singh Sadhar – train manager, take a break. The IRO scholarship fund will David Kippax help me to continue studying and further my Great Western Railway – network Gurminder joined the transport sector as a bus career in railway operations.’ operations driver with FirstGroup and then later moved manager, Network to the rail industry as a train guard at Bristol Rail Consulting If you would like to find out more about the Temple Meads. (Saudi Arabia) IRO scholarship fund and courses in Railway Gurminder has successfully completed David has more than Your local IRO Area runs events year round. There opportunities to see how others Operations Management, please email the IRO theall certificate and diploma courseare in Railway 20 years’ experience broaden your experience and add to your and professional learning team on Operations Management is now lookingdevelopment. in the railwork, industry, or call 03333 440523. forward to the challenge of the degree. having leftVisit school the website to find out more…

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Anticipated projects such as the introduction of high speed rail have the potential to offer a significant boost to the rail freight industry when they come online

Chris Swan Rail Professional spoke to Chris Swan, senior manager rail and shipping at Tarmac about the company’s ambitions in rail freight, the challenges, the DfT’s new strategy, devolution and the mode finally fulfilling its potential


Tarmac is a company more commonly associated with the UK’s road network – so how is the business involved with rail? armac is actually closely linked to the UK’s rail network in a broad variety of ways. For more than 90 years we have been supporting our rail partners in their work to continually upgrade and renew the country’s rail infrastructure. We have a long track record in delivering construction solutions to support the build, maintenance and repair of rail industry assets, including the supply of aggregates for traditional track ballast and 60 years’ experience manufacturing and supplying prestressed concrete sleepers to the UK rail network.  In April we also announced the formation of a joint venture with German infrastructure engineering company, Max Bögl, to deliver a new slab track system specifically for high speed rail applications in the UK. The joint venture will draw on the international success of Max Bögl’s innovative slab truck system, which is currently being used on 4,500km of high speed railways across the world, and the expertise and heritage we have at Tarmac thanks to many decades of manufacturing construction materials for complex rail projects. Perhaps most significantly, we are one of the largest users of rail freight and the largest transporter of construction materials by rail in the UK. With more than 60 of our sites nationwide connected to the rail network, Tarmac transports around nine million tonnes of material by rail across the UK each year.   Together with other members of the Mineral Products Association (MPA), we are aiming to achieve a 20 per cent increase in the payload per train within the next five years and are supporting the development of the rail network and terminals so that major routes can routinely accommodate trains of 450m length with 2,000t of payload. Last year, we carried out a national strategic review of our rail infrastructure with an aim of delivering year-on-year increases in rail freight tonnage. Since then we’ve made great progress, forging new long-term partnerships with four rail providers, as well as wagon leasing companies, and are now operating new modern, efficient wagons right across our UK network helping drive freight expansion.


What, in your opinion, are the main challenges facing the rail freight sector at the moment? One of the biggest challenges facing the sector is the capacity of the UK’s rail network. Demand from the construction industry for rail freight transport is increasing; however the greatest opportunities tend to be in the same regions

as those where demand for increased passenger services is greatest. The recently published Rail Freight Strategy predicts a significant increase in the movement of construction materials by rail of 46 per cent by 2030. Much of that, however, will be in the south east feeding into major projects, and so there is a collective responsibility to make sure that capacity exists to run these additional trains. Balancing the needs of different users to ensure optimal use of the limited capacity is increasingly difficult however; the challenge facing the network’s capacity is not only about the number of paths available but also ensuring that they can cope with the increasing size and weight of the trains, at a speed which allows acceptable levels of asset use. Meeting the MPA Rail Freight Group targets is reliant on the network’s ability to routinely accommodate trains of 450m length with 2,000 tonnes of payload, so developing the network and terminals to ensure they are capable of supporting this is key. At Tarmac, while we’re keen to expand our rail freight network, getting new facilities and locations connected to the network can be costly and difficult. There are significant resource and time implications in connecting a terminal facility to the rail network. For example, the work we have recently done to connect Arcow and Dry Rigg quarries to the Settle to Carlisle railway took more than three years from start to finish, and cost several million pounds. The competition facing rail freight is alternative forms of transport, mainly road, and developing a site able to use road logistics would not require anywhere near as much time or money. Track access charges also represent a significant future threat to the rail freight industry.  There is clearly a need here to establish a stable, affordable and consistent approach to these charges if rail freight is to achieve its potential growth, particularly


where there is direct competition with road. Given the significant increases to access charges from CP4 to CP5, it is important those involved in the pricing regime in CP6 consider this as part of any future charges upgrade. The decline in oil prices is an additional factor currently working against rail freight. With oil prices presently relatively low, some freight shippers may be tempted to see road as a more economically viable option.  At Tarmac however, we are committed to improving the sustainability of construction logistics by encouraging modal shift away from road and enhancing the safety and environmental performance of our rail operations. Indeed, increasing our freight capability has also allowed us to reduce carbon emissions from road vehicles, supporting our plans to reduce transport CO2 by 10 per cent per tonne by 2020. It’s something for the government to consider after it set the Fifth Carbon Budget earlier this year, which will see a 57 per cent reduction in emissions in 2032 compared to 1990 levels. Another challenge currently facing the sector is the need to drive innovation and skills development alongside increasing efficiencies. Key to supporting this is the development of cross-industry collaborative partnerships between rail network operators, freight companies and material providers. Engaging with all the constituent parts of the supply chain can be challenging, but at Tarmac we very much see this as an opportunity. Coordinated planning across the spectrum, in addition to increased investment in infrastructure and terminals, has the potential to increase efficiency for an economically viable and environmentallyfriendly rail freight supply chain. We are continually investing in people and skills. It’s vital that we have expert logistics teams with the right knowledge to develop and manage ever more technologically advanced trains with



enhanced capabilities. It is also crucial that the industry is able to look beyond itself and promote the benefits of rail freight more widely. This will attract the forward-thinking people needed to inject enthusiasm into projects to get them off the ground and help celebrate the achievements of the industry. In what ways do you anticipate the DfT’s Rail Freight Strategy will impact the industry? I was pleased to be invited by the Department of Transport (DfT) to sit on the Rail Freight Strategy Advisory Group and read the Strategy with great interest when it was published in September. It is a real step forward for the industry and it is heartening to see the government recognising the scope for the rail industry to work more closely with the logistics sector to collaborate and explore new solutions to relieve the pressure on Britain’s road network. I particularly welcomed the fact that the Rail Freight Strategy involved wide consultation and that Tarmac and other key customers of the UK’s rail freight network were given the opportunity to provide our input. The UK’s rail freight industry is undoubtedly already a success story: it brings benefits to the economy estimated at £1.6 billion per year in productivity gains for UK businesses, reduced road congestion and environmental benefits. It is an industry that we at Tarmac believe in strongly, however achieving modal shift and making rail freight the preferred transport solution will require the rail and construction sectors to work collaboratively to take collective steps and act in a cohesive manner to maximise the potential of this opportunity. The four key priority areas set out in the Rail Freight Strategy – innovation and skills, network capacity, track access charging, and the need to unite the industry to sell its collective benefits to customers, decisionmakers and the public – give particular insight into the areas of the industry that

require innovative and creative thinking to allow rail freight to continue to flourish and grow, despite the decline of traditional core markets. It’s really important that there is a collective effort to address these to unlock the uplift in freight transport which can be achieved if rail fulfils its potential. For Tarmac, an enhanced rail freight network would not only build on our current capability to meet customers’ requirements for high quality construction materials for national and local infrastructure, but also allow us to continue our support for more efficient, sustainable transport and a lower carbon built environment. Will Brexit affect the industry being able to transport more material through rail freight? As with many industries, it is too soon to reliably assess the implications of Brexit on rail freight. It is, however, reassuring to see that the government has reaffirmed its commitment to delivering major infrastructure projects across the country. Anticipated projects such as the introduction of high speed rail have the

potential to offer a significant boost to the rail freight industry when they come online. Schemes such as the Northern Powerhouse are constantly in the headlines. Will devolution in the regions help to boost the freight network? There are certainly benefits for the rail freight sector that could stem from devolution to the regions; however it will be crucial for a coordinated approach to be taken in order to ensure that freight is considered specifically and not overlooked in any plans. It’s a theme that is explored in depth in the Shaw Report, and one that is front of mind for us at Tarmac when looking at the future of Britain’s freight rail industry. Freight operators have been notably vocal in their requirements to balance devolution with a national operation, being inclined to support a national structure that reduces the number of organisational interfaces and therefore making movement of goods across the UK a more streamlined process. As the Shaw Report argues, demand for


travel and transportation doesn’t necessarily follow in line with geographical structures. It will therefore be crucial that a regional devolved structure doesn’t risk undermining the ability of those operators, and freight in particular, that operate across regional boundaries. There would certainly be potential benefits of devolution for the rail freight industry, however.  The new operating model currently being developed by Network Rail will devolve power to the routes, with the intention of increasing direct accountability to the customer, whether that is a passenger or a freight operator. If the aim of increasing Network Rail’s agility when acknowledging and responding to the changing wants and needs of its customers is achieved, it will no doubt be a good thing. In line with the recommendations set out in the Shaw Report, it’s very welcome that Network Rail has developed a new ‘virtual freight route’ which will operate in addition to the existing geographical administrative areas. This new route will retain central control of freight and play a key role in terms of facilitating access, timetabling and possession planning. We have yet to see the details of this but it is clear that the virtual freight route must have the power to hold the regional businesses to account on behalf of the freight customers, alongside clear arrangements of governance, accountability and reporting to maximise the benefits presented by a blend of local management with national strategic oversight.

of the logistics supply chain. Collaborative working has a vital role to play in overcoming existing barriers to the adoption of new technologies and the development of new solutions – there’s a collective responsibility to rise to the challenge and be better at embracing and sharing innovation.

The Shaw Report emphasised that the needs of freight shippers should be put at the heart of rail infrastructure management. What role should the network operators be playing to facilitate this? The Shaw Report is emphatic in its argument that in order for the British rail industry to thrive, the needs of the customer should be central to infrastructure planning and delivery, a viewpoint that we of course welcome. As I mentioned earlier, one of the key issues faced by the rail freight industry is the need to ensure access to quality pathways across the rail network for both passenger routes and freight. For the sector to continue to flourish and grow, it’s vital that the voice of the freight industry is acknowledged and that network operators work in partnership with freight operators to share information and ensure views are heard. It’s also important that network operators recognise and are able to respond to local service requirements and that they can meet the needs for capacity increases and improved connectivity as the freight rail industry continues to grow. Embracing technology and promoting and encouraging innovation will be key in delivering this growth. Both have an important role to play in supporting Network Rail and the rest of the industry as they work hard to catch up with other areas

What do infrastructure projects need to do better when considering rail freight in their logistics programmes? Cross-industry partnerships between rail network operators, freight companies, clients, contractors and materials providers are key for maximising the opportunities presented by rail freight to infrastructure projects. There’s a welcome expectation from policymakers and many in the construction sector that rail freight can play an integral part in transporting the material needed for major infrastructure projects potentially due to come online in the next five years, such as HS2, Hinkley and Sizewell Power Stations and the Thames Tideway Tunnel. This can only be achieved through strong supply chain partnerships, which are key to facilitating effective logistics plans. These partnerships must bring together and deliver coordinated planning, quality network capacity and investment in terminals to help move materials on and off the network easily and efficiently. A crucial aspect of this stems from early engagement with materials providers in order to understand the viability, benefits and implications of rail freight logistics to support delivery. This collaborative working should take place as early as possible to ensure operational solutions are considered from the initial stages of project planning. Site access, for example, is critical, and clients and contractor design teams need to ensure that site designs have been developed


with rail freight in mind. Early discussions can also play a key role in informing project sustainability targets and outcomes, including having a clear understanding of the potential carbon savings available using rail both for inbound material supply and moving materials for disposal. In addition, strategic partnership planning at the earliest stages of projects is critical if we’re to capitalise on the opportunity to create legacy rail infrastructure that will support the continued growth of freight traffic beyond the initial construction phases of projects. Railhead locations need to be carefully considered with future freight access in mind. This is particularly important in urban areas, where the need for more terminals to support construction traffic is acute.

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Firing the starting gun Lindsay Durham says the DfT’s Rail Freight Strategy recognises the value that freight delivers and the risks that it could face without pragmatic policy guidance for the next control period and beyond


here has been much in the media about the decline of the traditional market of coal moving by rail. The lesser told story behind this is that, apart from coal, the rail freight industry is stable, and volumes, particularly in the intermodal and construction sectors, have grown over the last few years. There has been a transformation in efficiency and huge improvements in reliability over the last ten years. Of course, we were expecting and planning for coal to decline, it’s just that it fell off a cliff rather than slowing down gradually over five to six years as the experts predicted. We are now dealing with a market-induced overhang of assets but are working to turn this round by working out a plan to succeed and grow into new markets after the rapid decline of coal in April 2015. Rail freight has been a success story since privatisation, with real competition driving private sector investment. The resulting large efficiency gains and improvements in reliability have made the offering more attractive to customers, ultimately benefiting the consumer. Behind the scenes the industry has been innovating, with new designs of wagons to optimise loadings and new systems such as Freightliner’s Spinnaker system that offers a seamless booking to billing system for our customers. This has given us a solid base to absorb the shock and react to change. There are many companies interested in using more rail freight and plenty of scope and opportunity for growth in markets such as deep-sea containers, the movement of domestic swap-bodies, moving aggregates and cement as well as moving car parts and finished products. Unlike the movement of coal, these are all markets where rail is directly competing with road. As rail freight operators, we have to go out and convert that interest and deliver train services that are

price-competitive as well as being timely and reliable. Rail is fundamentally more suited to moving large quantities of goods over distance, and we need to work closely with the road sector in delivering an integrated product where the trunk move is by rail and the local delivery is by truck. This integrated product is already tried and tested in the movement of deep-sea containers to factories and distribution centres; many not even realising that the container delivered by a lorry has actually moved for most of its journey on a train. Freightliner has a fleet of over 240 lorries which supports the seamless port-to-door offering. Volumes moved by rail have more than doubled over the last 20 years, and now over 900, 000 containers are moved by rail each year, with further opportunity to continue to increase modal share in the future. It is our role as rail freight operators to make our product as simple to use as possible for our customers. Roads are easy

to understand; they are generally open 24/7, you can choose to leave at any time and, even when they are closed, there is always a diversionary route. Roads are also free at the point of use. We have to offer the same end-to-end journey so our customers have the same experience as road, while we are busy making sure all the complexities of the rail system, such as booking paths, planning around engineering work, managing performance and the complex access charges, go unnoticed. First freight strategy in public domain So, with this backdrop, it is great and timely that the government has released what we believe is the first rail freight strategy in the public domain. It was published in September with the endorsement of our new rail minister Paul Maynard MP, who is as committed to rail freight as his predecessor was. The sector is extremely grateful to the new minister, for getting the strategy published and to the Department



for Transport rail freight team for their hard work. There are lots of reasons why the current government have issued their strategy to support the growth of rail freight going forward. Each freight train that runs removes 40-70 lorries off our busy trunk road network, reducing road congestion and carbon produced (rail freight produces 76 per cent less CO2 to move the same freight as a lorry), and rail is fundamentally a much safer mode. The 2015 Rail Delivery Group publication, Freight Britain, articulated the £1.6 billion of economic and environmental benefits that rail freight delivers each year, and these benefits are recognised by the DfT strategy. The timing of the publication of the Rail Freight Strategy sends a strong message of confidence to customers and potential customers that government supports moving more freight by rail and will take action to support the right frameworks. The timing aligns well with the planning process for Control Period 6 (2019-24), which is now in full swing. In December, the Office of Rail and Road will be consulting on the structure of access charges for rail, and this is a pivotal plank in the competitiveness of rail freight versus road. Lorries pay fuel duty which has been frozen since March 2011, while the charges we pay increase by RPI each year and

are structurally reviewed every five years. The strategy lays out the future potential markets and growth, the challenges to this growth and, most importantly, fires the starting gun on an action plan. This means that it will not just be a document that sits on the shelf, but one that is used to set up the right frameworks during the term of the government. One of the greatest challenges for the growth of rail freight comes out of the successful post-privatisation growth in both passenger numbers and rail freight volumes, which has caused a capacity crunch. Until a few years ago, we could always find a new path for new business, whereas this is now a real inhibitor to growth. As the growth of rail freight moves away from some of the traditional industrial markets, much of the growth will be in markets where the aim is to deliver goods to distribution centres, and these will inevitably be near to conurbations where people live. Unlike passenger services that are planned a long time in advance and run in anticipation of demand, freight trains fundamentally run in reaction to demand, and business demand is constantly evolving as markets evolve. Our customers do not all want to start their services conveniently on the second Sunday in December. This means that when we plan new freight services, they have to be

accommodated around a passenger service that is already planned, which inevitably leads to difficulty finding those paths and often leads to compromising on sub-optimal timings. The strategy recognises that improvements are needed in the timetabling process to ensure that capacity needed for freight growth is planned into the timetable at the same time as passenger services are planned. This requires both capacity for freight on key corridors to be identified and included in the annual timetabling process and considering freight when developing new franchise competitions. We hope, for example, that the planned longer trains out of the Port of Southampton following the Strategic Freight Network investment will be taken into account in the planning of the Wessex franchise. As we innovate and develop into new markets to offer a product that competes with road, we are pleased to have the support of the Department for Transport Rail Freight Strategy – a strategy which recognises the value that freight delivers and the risks that it could face without pragmatic policy guidance for the next control period and beyond. Lindsay Durham is head of rail strategy at Railfreight

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Seeking a new truth Chris Polack looks at how the rail freight industry can facilitate the modal shift that is required if it is to survive and flourish


ail freight in Great Britain is going through a sea change. The traditional high volume deliveries are decreasing at an alarming rate – for example the volume of coal being delivered to power stations has collapsed. Coal was once the mainstay, and major cash generator, of the BR Trainload Freight business, it is now less significant than intermodal deliveries. Recent changes in the British steel industry have led to a reduction in rail freight volumes – and it is likely there will be more changes. The effect of these on the rail freight industry is uncertain, however past experience tells us that retrenchment in the steel industry is more likely than growth. The most attractive business segment for a rail freight operator is one that requires regular deliveries. When deliveries are made on a regular basis, assets can be dedicated to the operation and costs allocated against a steady, and hopefully guaranteed, revenue stream. Resource utilisation can be optimised to reduce costs, a continuous improvement regime adopted to increase efficiency and effectiveness; and regular trains can command better, more reliable, paths on the National Rail Network. Sadly, it is these regular deliveries, the trainload business, which as we have seen is operationally and financially attractive, that has so quickly and seemingly with so little warning, disappeared. Can’t ignore the new reality This marked reduction in business levels, and consequent loss of revenue demands immediate action – it is not sustainable for rail freight operators to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the new reality. There is certainly growth potential in the intermodal and aggregates markets, and new flows of biomass have already replaced some former coal deliveries. However these growth opportunities will not take the

trainload sector back to its pre-2015 size, never mind grow it. The truth is that if there were significant trainload opportunities in the market place they would have been converted to rail sometime ago. So what is the answer? How can the rail freight industry facilitate the modal shift that is required if it is to survive and flourish? How can rail freight grow the volumes delivered in support of the policies of UK and devolved governments to reduce congestion and carbon emissions? Sherlock Holmes said: ‘if you eliminate the impossible, then whatever is left, however improbable, is the answer….’ I believe a significant increase in trainload business is ‘impossible’, therefore the industry must consider the ‘improbable’ opportunities offered elsewhere in the logistics market.

customers in to one train for trunking from hub yard to hub yard. By aggregating a number of smaller consignments they can be made to look like, and be operated like, a trainload; with all the operational benefits that offers. At the destination hub a number of local trips would deliver wagons to their destination. This is a variant of the approach taken with intermodal deliveries, where many individual intermodal units are aggregated on to one train and trunked from hub to hub for onward road tripping to the receiver. This ‘less the trainload’ solution combines the flexibility and responsiveness demanded by customers to deliver smaller consignments; with the operational and economic benefits to the rail freight operator of a ‘trainload’ delivery.

A ‘Less than trainload’ solution Smaller consignments have been dismissed by the rail freight industry in recent years because they do not fit the trainload model; they would not be economic to deliver as a dedicated train. Yet it is apparent that the growth, if there is to be any, has to come from these smaller consignments. One solution is to combine a number of smaller consignments from different

The key attributes of a successful ‘less than trainload’ system are: • a focused business model with clear rules on what is in and out of scope. For example operators may decide to impose a minimum consignment size, to keep shunting and train marshalling to an acceptable level; or a maximum trip distance from the hub yard to control tripping costs



• a defined network linking key hubs which can be developed and expanded as more business is won • regular trains between hubs — a minimum of a daily service to provide the quick response and short lead times demanded by customers and consumers. From an operational, and hence economic, perspective a frequent service is essential to utilise equipment efficiently • reliable deliveries to give customers the confidence to commit to the service. Rail freight performance is improving — the Network Rail Freight Delivery metric shows circa 94 per cent of trains experiencing less than 15 minutes network delay • internal visibility of the system P & L so that there is a clear view on the cost implications of accepting or divesting business. I believe the following sectors would be good candidates for operators wishing to facilitate modal shift and generate new business on a ‘less than trainload’ basis: • scrap metal • chemicals • timber products • petroleum • automotive

• FMCG It is essential that the ‘less than trainload’ system is focused and carefully managed: it is only by tight and rigorous control of the operation that operators can hope to control the costs. The economic benefits of a long distance trunk haul can all too easily be frittered away by costly trips to deliver a handful of wagons the ‘final mile’. What needs to be done? There is no need to start from scratch – there is the opportunity for rail freight operators to leverage their existing trainload portfolio and identify opportunities to use spare capacity to form the core of a new network. This could be by utilising spare capacity on existing trains, or by converting less frequent trains to a daily operation. Specific actions required to develop a ‘less than trainload’ network are: • focused strategy to identify and develop business that can be effectively switched to the rail mode using the new business model • put systems in place to monitor and manage the P & L account for the system • operators to take existing business as the starting point to develop a network of block trains running hub to hub at least once per day • co-operation between rail freight

• •

• •

operators to share capacity on trains and in rail terminals and yards effective wagon solutions, with quick and innovative adaptations to handle new commodities Network Rail to enable operational efficiencies to reduce unit costs – especially longer, heavier trains and higher average speeds improved network availability – to enable consistent, reliable delivery 24/7 better use of the data already available to improve the reliability and resilience of the service.

As with all innovations there is a need to start small and scale fast – the capacity created will act as a catalyst to further business growth, underwrite the provision of additional services and lead to the expansion of the network. This positive feedback offers the best chance of growth and long-term sustainability. So I believe there is a future for the British rail freight industry, a future of modal shift and sustainable growth. What is required is the vision and strong leadership to drive through the change that is necessary get there. Chris Polack is a director of Bootham Network Solutions

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Getting to the market on time The government needs to take into account the lack of parity in the forthcoming ORR PR18 review of freight access charges and support key upgrades in CP6 so that rail can compete with HGV’s, says Philippa Edmunds


ail freight, worth £1.6 billion per year to the UK economy1, is a crucial part of freight distribution with significant socio-economic benefits, as confirmed by the government in its latest Department for Transport Rail Freight Strategy2. Increasing rail freight volumes can help the government achieve its policies to reduce road congestion, collisions, pollution and improve productivity, as the following points demonstrate. Road congestion costs industry £17 billion per annum in 2015 according to the Freight Transport Association. The distance travelled by HGV’s increased by nine per cent to 18.4 million vehicle km last year. HGV’s occupy considerably more road space than the average car, also need longer braking distances and are slower to manoeuvre and therefore cause more road congestion. In congested conditions each single per cent increase in traffic causes several percentage increases in congestion. Conversely, Department for Transport figures state that a modest decrease in traffic of around two per cent results in congestion falling by 10 per cent, so getting more freight onto the railways could significantly reduce congestion; each consumer freight train can remove 77 HGV’s and each aggregates train can remove 136 trucks from our congested roads. Rail is also far safer than HGV’s which are six times more likely than cars to be involved in a fatal collision on minor roads. Rail freight produces 76 per cent less CO2 emissions than the equivalent HGV journey, so increasing rail freight can help the UK to meet its legally binding climate change targets. In 2014 carbon dioxide emissions from transport went up from 25 per cent to 28 per cent. Surface transport emissions

account for the vast majority (94 per cent) and of that HGVs contribute 17 per cent, despite making up only five per cent of road vehicles. Both passenger and freight rail together are less than two per cent. The High Court ruled again in November against the government’s inadequate plans to combat air pollution, which are contributing to 50,000 early deaths and costing £27.5 billion every year. HGV’s account for half of nitrogen oxide road emissions on the Strategic Road Network while constituting only five per cent of road miles driven in the UK. Rail, which produces almost 90 per cent less PM10 emissions and up to fifteen times less NOX emissions than HGV’s can help alleviate this air pollution crisis, which is particularly dangerous in urban areas. Devolution will lead to more integrated policy Wider devolution and city mayors for large cities like Manchester and Birmingham should result in more powers to decide their own priorities and regulations like London and lead to a more integrated multimodal freight policy. In fact, rail can offer the safer more sustainable long-distance trunk haulage element of consumer urban deliveries for onward transhipment into low emissions vehicles, if consolidation

centres and terminals are rail connected. During peak hours freight-related vehicles account for a third of the traffic in London and at the same time government figures show that nationally almost 30 per cent of lorries are driving around completely empty, illustrating why action is needed to address road freight’s efficiency, congestion, safety and pollution impacts. Another complementary option is using passenger rail terminuses, which are closed between one and five am, for trainloads of freight deliveries into the heart of cities. Two successful rail freight trials into Euston for TNT and Sainsburys showed the merits of bringing in a freight train into urban centres with low emissions vehicles performing the final delivery. Rail currently delivers 40 per cent of aggregates to the capital and has the potential to increase this market if more urban terminals can be built. Rail was used extensively to build the Olympics, Crossrail and Terminal Five Rail to deliver the construction materials and remove the spoil. Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SRFI’s) are an intrinsic element of shifting more freight to rail as they enable rail to compete with HGV’s by reducing the transhipment costs between the modes. For example, the SRFI at Daventry in

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Northamptonshire removes 23 million lorry miles each year, mainly off the congested road network. Developers want to invest in SRFI’s as the growing number of proposals such as East Midlands Airport, Etwall Common near Derby, I-Port Doncaster and Four Ashes near Stafford demonstrate. However, the government needs to compensate rail, because HGV’s pay less than a third of the congestion and pollution costs imposed on society which cause market distortion, making it hard for rail to compete with trucks. Campaign for Better Transport research, using government values, showed that HGV’s receive a massive subsidy of £6.5 billion per annum, backed up by a MDS Transmodal report which found a subsidy of £6 billion several years earlier. Expanding consumer market Rail has an expanding consumer freight market, which grew seven per cent last quarter compared to the previous year’s same quarter – the highest level since 1998 3; it has grown by 30 per cent in the last 10 years and is forecast to grow fourfold by 2043 if the network is upgraded and additional road/rail transfer points obtain planning permission. A quarter of consumer goods imported into the UK are transported by rail and this long-distance traffic is ideal for rail where there is suppressed demand for rail services, which can expand if there is more rail freight capacity on key corridors.

Take the Felixstowe example where rail already has 28 per cent of the modal share out of Felixstowe with 33 daily rail services in and out of Felixstowe port to the north; customers want more rail freight services so every additional rail slot which comes free on this key strategic freight corridor can be filled straight away. As part of the current CP5 HLOS upgrades, Network Rail is upgrading the Felixstowe branch line which will provide an additional ten paths. However, further upgrades along the rail corridor to the North, supported by the industry and highlighted as a key priority in the Network Rail Market Study and the DfT Rail Freight Strategy, but as yet unfunded, could remove 40 million lorry miles from the A14 corridor. Therefore we urge the government to upgrade key elements of the Strategic Rail Freight Network to cater for suppressed demand in the next Network Rail Control Period 6 (2019-2024). Road and rail complement each other so it is important that each mode plays to its strengths. Therefore the government needs to take into account the lack of parity in the forthcoming ORR PR18 review of freight access charges and support key upgrades in the next Network Rail Control Period 6 so that rail can compete with HGV’s, otherwise UK PLC and taxpayers will have to pick up the bill if freight is forced back onto the road network with the resulting increase in pollution, collisions and road congestion as

explained in its rail freight strategy4. In the context of Brexit, there is a strong case for upgrading rail freight links to ports and conurbations in the near future to build effective trade links. Freight customers are largely agnostic on what freight modes are used as long as they get their products to market on time, so an integrated multimodal approach is needed. Philippa Edmunds is Freight on Rail manager, Campaign for Better Transport

1. RDG Keeping the Lights on and the Traffic Moving files/Publications/2014-05_keeping_the_ lights_on.pdf RDG Freight Britain http:// Publications/2015-02_freight_britain.pdf 2. DfT Rail Freight Strategy September 2016 rail-freight-transport. 3. file/0015/22902/freight-rail-usage-2016-17quarter-1.pdf 4. DfT Rail Freight Strategy September 2016 (paragraph 135) At the same time, we recognise the positive benefits of rail freight for the UK – including its environmental and air quality benefits relative to road freight and its impact on reducing road congestion. These benefits are not currently recognised in the track access charging regime.

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A transformative outcome The prospects and plans for an entirely new train fleet are getting everyone excited and Greater Anglia is committed to ensuring the new rolling stock programme is a success, says Jonathan Denby


ustomers travelling with Greater Anglia can look forward to a transformation in their train journeys over the next four years. A £1.4 billion programme will see the entire train fleet replaced in the largest investment in rolling stock in East Anglia ever. The current fleet of 933 carriages will be superceded by 1043 brand new carriages, so that every single service on every single route will benefit from a major upgrade. State-of-the-art trains with air conditioning, power sockets and Wi-Fi will offer a high quality on-board travelling environment across the region, following their phased introduction in 2019/2020.  The new fleet also enables five other major benefits :   1. more capacity with many more seats 2.  more frequent services including on the Norwich to London, Southend to London, Hertford East to London and Ipswich to Peterborough routes 3.  new direct services including between Norwich and Stansted Airport and between Lowestoft and London  4.  faster journeys, through faster acceleration and braking 5.  better performance: the new trains will be more reliable than the ones they replace.   Other key outputs include more than 50 per cent more seats into London in the morning peak, more than 1140 additional train services each week, two trains each way between Norwich and London in 90 minutes and quicker journey times on other services on the Great Eastern and West Anglia main lines.   The new fleet compromises 665 carriages built by Bombardier in Derby – with 89 x 5-carriage trains and 22 x 10-carriage

trains based on the Aventra design (which also forms the basis of the new Crossrail trains), and 343 carriages built by Stadler in Switzerland – with 10 x 12-carriage intercity trains, 10 x 12-carriage Stansted Express trains, 24 x 4-carriage regional trains and 14 x 3-carriage regional trains (based on the established FLIRT design already in service in Europe). In both cases the fact that the core train design is already tried and tested, makes the manufacturing process a little easier, as the contracts are in effect follow on orders from current build programmes. A notable feature of the 38 regional trains is that they will all be ‘bi-mode’ units, providing flexibility in the operation of new direct services such as the Norwich to Stansted Airport and Lowestoft to London trains.     The Bombardier trains will be leased from Angel Trains, whilst the Stadler trains will be leased from Rock Rail, in what collectively is the largest privately procured order of new trains in the UK.  The trains will be primarily maintained at the two current major depots on the Greater Anglia network - Ilford in East London and Crown Point in Norwich. However, with the increase in fleet size a new maintenance facility is also planned – probably just north of Manningtree.   First task rolling stock Following the announcement of the franchise award to Abellio by the Department of Transport (DfT) in August, the first task was to finalise and sign the rolling stock contracts with Bombardier,

Angel, Stadler and Rock Rail before the new franchise formally began on Sunday 16 October. This key initial aim was successfully completed on schedule, so the priorities have now moved on to the process for confirming the final specification for every aspect of each train build, both from the engineering perspective and the customer environment. Clearly the different train types will be serving different routes and markets so the interior layout and ‘product offer’ will be shaped accordingly. There are also plans to take into account customer and stakeholder feedback in agreeing the final build and fit-out specification. A special project team has already been set up to lead and coordinate the new trains programme, planning and overseeing every element of not just the train design and construction programme, but also the commissioning, testing, operation and phased introduction of the new rolling stock.  That clearly involves training for the maintenance teams and all other members of the Greater Anglia team involved in the operation of the trains. Another critical part of the project is the planning for rolling stock maintenance and stabling



during the transition phase between the first new train entering service in 2019 and full new fleet deployment before the end of 2020. A further fundamental partnership is with Network Rail, as there are a number of platform extensions and power supply upgrades to be completed as part of the programme, plus planning for the testing and commissioning of the new trains. Already joint working is in place, to the extent that a member of the Network Rail team is being seconded to work inside the Greater Anglia project team.   Raising service standards Although clearly the arrival of the new trains is the centrepiece of the new franchise, an urgent priority is to raise service standards before they arrive, so a number of rolling stock improvements are planned for the next three years.  Having just completed a refurbishment programme for the mk3 carriages used on the Norwich to London intercity services, the same vehicles are being further enhanced with a new Wi-Fi system. The existing suburban fleets will also be fitted with Wi-Fi which, where fitted, is now also free to use across Greater Anglia (having previously involved a small additional supplement for standard customers on the intercity services). Thirty of the Class 321s will receive a full

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refurbishment with air conditioning, WiFi and power points fitted, while most of the rest of the existing fleet will be refreshed. An extra £5 million is being invested in fleet reliability initiatives across all the existing rolling stock, continuing an effective programme of upgrades that began during Greater Anglia’s previous two short franchises that has driven real improvements in performance. Finally, in an early project to increase train capacity on both the Great Eastern and West Anglia routes, eighteen extra 4-carriage electric multiple units (12 x class 317 and 6 x class 321) are being leased to provide more seats on a number of peak services from summer 2017.   Long-awaited investment But returning to the new trains, the franchise outcome is a fantastic, longawaited and clearly merited investment in East Anglia’s railways, that will not only benefit customers, stakeholders and employees, but also the wider economy and communities across the region. It was the culmination of a coordinated approach that began with Greater Anglia working with MP’s, local enterprise partnerships and local authorities in 2012 to develop an East Anglian Rail Prospectus and a stakeholder alliance to make the case for investment,

in a region which contributes positively to national GDP and a franchise which contributes a premium back to the DfT. It’s a real credit to all involved – regional stakeholders for their lobbying, Abellio’s visionary bid and the DfT’s forward-looking approach in the letting and awarding of the franchise – that we now have a transformative outcome which is already creating excitement and further momentum across the region, with everyone looking to ensure the benefits of a completely new fleet are fully maximised. There is also more work to be done to make sure the new fleet deployment goes smoothly and to secure funding and delivery of key infrastructure upgrades on the Great Eastern and West Anglia main lines, as well as on the Felixstowe to Peterborough route (especially around Ely), that will enable even greater benefits to be realised and the aims of the Great Eastern and West Anglia taskforces to be fully achieved.  In the meantime, the prospects and plans for an entirely new train fleet are rightly getting everyone excited and Greater Anglia is totally committed to ensuring the new rolling stock programme is a great success.            Jonathan Denby is head of corporate affairs at Abellio Greater Anglia

CF Booth Ltd was established in 1920 by Clarence Frederick Booth and since that time has continued to be passed down through the generations of the Booth family. The company has been associated with the scrapping of diesel and electric locomotives since the 1960s and has an excellent reputation as one of the largest rolling stock recyclers in the UK, winning nationally released tenders from several of the main rail operating companies. The head office is located in Rotherham, South Yorkshire at Clarence Metal Works with the company’s gantry cranes and three derrick cranes making the site quite distinctive.

CF Booth rolling stock division has achieved both ISO 9001 and 14001 standards and has invested heavily in developing the infrastructure to handle all kinds of rolling stock including more than 1,500 metres of rail sidings, which allows us to accommodate a substantial amount of rolling stock. Work continues at present with rail vehicles being brought in through a connection to Network Rail and the proximity of the railway sidings to roads give this side of the business a high profile with many wagons, carriages, underground and departmental stock being processed. In addition, our extremely competitive buying process and quick payment terms mean that for many companies wishing to dispose of their rolling stock, CF Booth Ltd is the first port of call. Besides processing rolling stock for their residual ferrous/non ferrous metals, we also salvage any or all components that may be required by railway preservationists. The current Rolling Stock Manager, Christopher Davis, says: “We are proud to be playing a major role in supporting the UK national rail industry and extremely proud to provide a valuable service to railway enthusiasts and preservationists throughout the UK as they continue to restore rolling stock vehicles to their former glory for future generations to enjoy. We value the relationship we have built up with preservationists and enthusiasts over the years’’.

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Delivering a stepchange Philip Heathcote looks at the future third generation of British rolling stock


he Siemens-manufactured Desiro City Class 700 fleet entered into service on the Thameslink railway this year, marking the ‘coming of age’ of the second generation, new electric train in the UK. These trains incorporated a number of new innovations designed to add extra capacity to the rail network. But with passengers expecting increased service reliability and frequency, while also continuing to demand more spacious and comfortable trains, the industry must continue apace to meet their needs. Flexible carriage design, coupled with the latest in manufacturing and maintenance technology,

Larger, more spacious carriages in continental Europe will have raised passengers’ expectations for future British trains and the industry has to think outside the box, working around the limitations dictated by the UK’s smaller gauge and, in many cases, Victorian infrastructure

will enable the future third generation of trains to provide another step-change in capacity and improvements to the passenger experience overall. The UK continues to face a transportation capacity crunch, extending from the capital across the country. The most recent Office of Rail and Road figures show cities outside of London are experiencing average passenger crowding levels of 1.7 per cent over capacity during peak periods, with Manchester at 2.9 per cent and Birmingham at 1.9 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, London rail services are operating at 4.4 per cent over capacity during peak times on average, with the busiest reaching nearly 12 per cent. These figures have steadily increased over previous years and without innovative intervention, there is no sign of this trend abating. While upcoming major infrastructure

projects, such as HS2, will be instrumental in helping to alleviate capacity pressure, much of the UK’s historic infrastructure will continue to pose a considerable technical challenge. New rolling stock for new and existing lines must play a part in delivering the changes that passengers need. Larger, more spacious carriages in continental Europe will have raised passengers’ expectations for future British trains and the industry has to think outside the box, working around the limitations dictated by the UK’s smaller gauge and, in many cases, Victorian infrastructure. Flexibility was one of the linchpins for the design of the Desiro City Class 700 and Siemens has been able to maximise capacity and offer a better environment through features such as cantilevered seats, open gangways, large doors and stand back space. The trains are fitted with weight sensors which detect crowd numbers and direct



passengers to less busy carriages. Trains should also be designed to be flexible enough to operate on varying infrastructure. Siemens is currently manufacturing the Class 707 Desiro City fleet for South West Trains. While the route uses third rail, we are also testing the trains for use with overhead wires. Provision of toilets is not currently required, but the design allows these to be fitted at a later date should this change. Just the start This is just the start of what can be achieved for passengers in the UK. By harnessing the experience and lessons already learnt in the global rail sector, the UK will be able to deliver the best in new rolling stock. Siemens has operations across the world, including supporting six international high speed rolling stock customers with operations spanning nine different countries. Our trains are full of innovations that have been trialled and tested abroad, such as the use of data monitoring and analytics. Modern Siemens fleets, for example, employ significant levels of data monitoring, analysis and diagnostics, allowing high levels of predictive maintenance. Potential faults are identified early, enabling maintenance teams to proactively resolve and even

prevent issues before they arise. This has the effect of significantly increasing the reliability of trains for passengers, while helping rail operators to optimise life cycle costs. While the innovations detailed here will lead to increased efficiencies for the manufacturer and the train operator (minimising whole life cost), they will also ultimately lead to a better service

for passengers. It is only by putting the passenger at the heart of design that the industry can solve the problems facing UK rail. By listening to passengers, and adopting the best cutting-edge technologies on offer to meet their needs, the industry will be able to deliver a step-change in service with the next generation of trains. Philip Heathcote is sales director at Siemens Mobility

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No time for delay Duncan Rhodes asks, what’s holding back predictive maintenance in rail


he benefits of predictive maintenance (PM) in rail have been clear to see for a number of years. With the continuing advancement of sensor technology and data analytics, manufacturers and operators now have tools at their disposal to deploy an effective PM strategy, and ensure disruptions can be kept to a minimum, at a time when rail passengers remain frustrated with poor service. Using asset monitoring and analysis, operators can predict the optimum time to carry out maintenance prior to a potential failure, minimising interruption, promoting safety and avoiding costly delays while replacement parts are ordered and fitted. Why then, if such a strategy can improve punctuality, profitability and customer service, has uptake so far been slower than expected in rail? And what needs to change if PM is to revolutionise the industry? The state of play: rail operators’ readiness for predictive maintenance Evidently it would be incredibly difficult to shift from traditional, scheduled maintenance to a predictive model in one fell swoop. Currently, most operators are working to a condition-based maintenance model (CBM), relying on automated monitors to signify when maintenance is required. This demonstrates progress in a traditionally conservative industry, where many jobs are reliant on routine manual equipment checks and the installation of monitoring technology can be a slow process. These factors could explain why PM hasn’t yet been more widely adopted. However, they also ignore the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of rail infrastructure, which represent another hurdle to the uptake of PM across the industry. Infrastructure, resources and climate conditions vary from country to country, resulting in trains and

networks that are tailored to their specific environments. For the moment, this is hindering the widespread implementation of a full PM strategy. It’s also frequently overlooked that PM isn’t yet applicable to all aspects of rail maintenance. Large amounts of data are needed to build an effective solution, but currently the costs of collecting and formulating this information simply aren’t justifiable for all rail operators. Until the technology improves further therefore, PM solutions will only be implemented on a case-by-case basis where they can be proven to reduce overall maintenance costs in the long-term.

If they are ready, are they willing? That said there are many trains which are suited to and are already more than viable for PM. So why then isn’t it more widely used? To a large extent, this can be attributed to the conservative nature of the rail industry; many train operating companies across Europe are still nationalised and lack the resources to invest in a comprehensive PM strategy. Therefore, many operators are disinclined to invest in retrofitting existing stock with PM solutions due to cost pressures, with most preferring to integrate PM into their new builds. From a technological perspective practicality also plays a role. New builds are generally more suited to CBM and PM than existing legacy


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means they can plan when to take trains out of service in advance, and allocate another train from within the fleet to take its place, avoiding costly delays. This then has a knock-on effect on customer service, by reducing breakdowns across the network and increasing the reliability and efficiency of both new and existing stock. There’s only so long that Toc’s can put off the advance of PM, with continued technological innovations now making it an absolute must for rail fleets. Implementing it makes sense for safety-critical systems and operations – such as brakes and signalling systems – regardless of the age of the fleet, because it allows Toc’s to predict risks ahead and prevent them from happening, provided maintenance teams can act swiftly. Even on cost grounds, there’s no time for delay; once implemented, PM solutions can generate significant savings in maintenance costs, on top of the significant savings made from a reduction in delays. Given the fact that most Toc’s will see a return on investment in PM within two to four years, depending on the complexity of the solution, those who haven’t already done so should turn to it now, or risk being left behind in the safety and efficiency stakes.


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So why should the industry care? Ultimately, through a cohesive and universally implemented PM strategy, Toc’s will be provided with live asset availability across the rail network, meaning they can pinpoint exactly where and when a train within their fleet needs maintenance. This

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A matter of necessity Many Toc’s are delaying investment in PM until the technology is sufficiently adaptable and affordable to be implemented on a large scale. Right now, many operators have condition based maintenance systems in place to help safeguard the longevity of their networks. These systems typically involve the direct application of diagnostic monitoring in real-time, and are useful for assets and sub-systems where there is enough time to act after reading their condition to ensure they continue to be operated safely. However, this does not address systems where there is insufficient time for technicians to act upon any issues, and leaves scope for delays, should these

systems fail. These failures directly impact customer experience, and help illustrate why a more holistic solution based on predictive maintenance is the way forward to help operators boost their revenues. Many trains already use predictive maintenance models, and we’re witnessing an increase in customer satisfaction levels as a result. In Hong Kong for example, the MTR Corporation is using AI to automate the planning and scheduling of engineering works, creating efficiency, time and cost savings. These models incorporate the practice of replacing parts before they break down, which helps to reduce time spent on maintenance, and by extension, time lost to train delays through breakdowns or a lack of rolling stock. This is critical in cultures where there are cost pressures associated with delays caused by failure – take the UK, where the breakdown of one packed commuter train, for instance, can incur a huge bill in compensation for passengers and hefty fines from the regulators.

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fleets, as the technology can be integrated into design from the outset, rather than retrofitted 10 years down the line. Of course, it makes sense that Toc’s are choosing to find alternative routes and not make sweeping upgrades across their entire fleets all at once: to do so would be extremely costly, and would leave them without any stock to run their services. That said, failure to upgrade existing stock today means it could take them many years to implement it on a train by train basis in the future.


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How to migrate Steve Denniss asks, is the Digital Railway a blessing or a curse for train operators


he Digital Railway with its new generation of train control systems is about to become reality, making it easier for train operators and passengers alike. The Digital Railway is an industry-wide initiative to tackle the capacity crunch on our ageing rail infrastructure by accelerating the adoption of digital technologies to meet the expected increase in demand over the coming decades. At the moment when there’s a problem on a line such as a signal failure, decisions are made by remote control and information about delays and possible travel options can be slow to filter down to drivers, staff and passengers. This not only impacts customer satisfaction but it also reflects badly on the train operator, who is often not the cause of the problem. With the Digital Railway, delays should be much less common, and when they do occur the information to train operators to re-plan operations should be readily available. For the travelling public information on likely impact in terms of delays and best options to continue journeys should be at their fingertips. For the train operator the looming prospect of communication-based train control in the form of the European Train Control System (ETCS), with its close ally Automatic Train Operation (ATO), while promising improved operation can be seen as a risk to their position. In fact, for the

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train operator there are so many potential problems to manage that it may seem like keeping the status quo would be the better option. If you are not lucky enough to be receiving new ETCS-ready trains, modifying one’s entire fleet so it is ETCS compatible requires major logistical planning while it is taken out of service. There will be unavoidable disruption as the operational railway is migrated to this new system and drivers are trained to use it. However, if these downsides can be managed the benefits of ETCS to train operators are significant. How much benefit depends on how much risk the train operator is happy to accept and is under their own control. The Digital Railway with ETCS at its core can be the key to long-term transformation for train services in the UK. Top prizes include better information for the railway and its customers; improved control of perturbation and disruption; energy efficiency – maintaining the competitive edge over other forms of transport, and; more efficient use of staff, assets and trains. Typical annual benefits for a mainline train operator have been predicted to be in the millions of pounds. But technology cannot provide these benefits on its own. The signalling technology is only the enabler and needs to be tailored in its implementation. ETCS needs to be fully

integrated within the rail infrastructure and future upgrades need to be planned alongside ETCS introduction to maximise the benefits. Questions start to flow The benefits depend on careful design, delivery and migration. Operators need to implement the new technology in a way that delivers the improvements in service, which are visible to the public and of benefit to the operator. This requires an organisation and culture change. Even when the benefits start to flow there are still the questions of how the operator will actually see these benefits and will they be passed on to the travelling public? To solve the first problem requires those with operational knowledge and control of our train operating companies to take the lead in specifying and delivering the new systems. The key elements are going to be onboard train system design, franchise agreements, development of standards for operation and maintenance, planning the migration process and intelligent and sensitive evolution towards a more automatic railway, with computers and humans sharing the responsibility and safety in proportion to their capabilities. The train operator needs to manage outwards from the centre to influence the outcomes of the external influences on train operation. Migration process key to success The migration process is the key to success. Most in the industry agree that a big bang approach is too risky so we need to have some form of transition. The options for implementation are the overlay route, such as is being tried by Thameslink and Great Western, where much of the existing infrastructure is retained until the new system is shown to be reliably operating. Another approach is to implement an overlay on part of the route and then, once proved, simply cutover the rest of the route such as is being thought about for East Coast Main Line. Another possible approach is to implement a ‘shadow mode’ where the new system is operated alongside the old. Successful examples of migration include ETCS on the Olten – Luzern line, where shadow mode was used, and the latest communication based train control systems


on the Northern and Victoria Lines, which were achieved without major disruption. In all successful examples, migration was engineered into the design from the start. Increased capacity, improved service reliability, better safety and improved access will all benefit both the infrastructure manager and the operator in different measures. Differentiating the benefits in this area and apportioning the reduced cost or increased profit across the track train boundary will be a complex calculation for

the franchise designers. Reduced staff costs, reduced train costs and improved energy efficiency should all benefit the train operator so long as the timetables, routes and stopping patterns offered by the infrastructure manager allow the train operator to take full advantage. All of these benefits have to be offset by the increased cost of maintaining the equipment on the trains and the risk to reputation and, ultimately, profit to the train operator during the transition period. Track


access charges, fares policy and franchising agreements all have to be updated to match the new method of train operation if the travelling public is to see any financial benefit from the new technology, quite apart from experiencing a more efficient and reliable railway for us all to use. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is working closely with the Digital Railway team, the Institute of Railway Operators and others to find solutions to the tricky issues outlined above. With experience in the UK on Thameslink and HS2, as well as internationally in the Middle East and Australia, our knowledge and expertise spans every aspect of the system. This global experience gives us and the rest of the UK rail industry the responsibility to select the right technology and evolve the right operational culture to implement the Digital Railway vision to deliver the promised operational benefits. This moment in our railway’s history is an opportunity to provide leadership to steer a clear course through the next few years of railway evolution, providing the necessary technical assurance and programme guidance to deliver the operating vision for the future of rail transport in the UK. Steve Denniss is rail technical director at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff



Time to build confidence Network Rail’s approach to planning is now firmly focused on the priorities of its customers. The rail supply chain must reflect this shift as it gears up for delivery in 2019 and beyond, says Russell Jackson


his month the Office of Rail and Road will publish its initial guidance to Network Rail on the strategic business plans for Control Period 6 (CP6). As plans for rail enhancement priorities for the five-year period from 2019 progress, the challenge for Network Rail to demonstrate value for money to taxpayers and passengers has never been greater. As the first control period planning process since the publication of the Bowe Review last year, there is likely to be a shift in the way enhancement plans for CP6 are developed. Indeed the era of fixed budgets that is now firmly upon the sector will likely be the catalyst for transforming how rail enhancement programmes are planned and delivered. Dame Colette Bowe’s review of the planning of Network Rail’s enhancements programme for Control Period 5 (CP5) included a number of recommendations for more effective planning and delivery of investment in the UK’s rail infrastructure. A key theme of the review was the need for whole-system and long-term thinking. It is the responsibility of the rail supply chain to help Network Rail achieve this, not simply by applying Building Information Modelling (BIM) and the Digital Railway programme to conventional industry processes, but by challenging how the sector can unlock more efficiency through digital technologies at every stage of the project lifecycle. A better understanding of cost estimates and the risks associated with cost at the early development stage of enhancement projects will be key to meeting the affordability challenge. With little flexibility around funding, Network Rail will be looking to define the costs and scope of projects in the early planning stages. Industry can learn so much about creating Rail Professional

optimised early estimates that rigorously manage the assumptions and risks that are inevitable in those early stages of development through looking at the best UK rail projects, as well as global projects in other sectors. The recent shift in accountability towards route directors is already encouraging a whole-life approach to local enhancements. Regional autonomy over enhancement planning allows route directors to take a longer-term view to help improve the durability and reliability of their assets. With control of both cost and performance held

together, plans will increasingly prioritise operations, maintenance and renewal, as well as enhancements of assets. Questions such as ‘should we take longer, high-impact possession of the railway to maximise the opportunity for long-term reliability?’ and ‘can we minimise the expensive, complex peaks of Christmas and Easter?’ are now being asked. Minimising disruption a priority Assured delivery will also require greater consideration as to how programmes will be delivered, with a focus on making


improvements in the most cost-effective way. But minimising disruption for passengers must also be a priority. In Network Rail’s update to its Transformation Plan published earlier this year it promised to put the interests of its customers at the heart of the railway. Challenging traditional delivery methods and introducing approaches that consider the priorities of passengers and train operating companies are likely to be a focus in CP6. The sector is now mid-way through CP5 and the challenge is being critically assessed. For example, line takeovers that cause short-term disruptions for passengers but are more effective than smaller off-peak interventions over a longer period are being considered. The recent closure around Oxford for the Hinkley flood alleviation scheme is a great example of this approach. Significant changes to the planning and delivery of enhancement programmes are also changing the way Network Rail works and communicates with its supply chain. The continuing rise in long-term collaborative partnerships is already helping to deliver cost efficiencies on major programmes. Alliances with combined delivery teams jointly responsible for strategic leadership are helping to drive efficiencies by focusing on the deliverability of projects. The

early development challenges set by the Bowe Review should be considered in this context. The best alliances and partnership teams include strong voices for all: client, constructor and designer/engineer. This type of delivery model also encourages a shared incentive to consider the whole-life cost of a scheme at the very early planning stages. Building collaborative teams with shared goals that are jointly focused on value for money will foster innovation and accelerate the industry’s ability to meet the challenges of delivering CP6. Forming teams for the long-term will also provide opportunities for sharing best practice and lessons learned across the network, helping to create a legacy for future programmes of work. Availability of the right people Another important issue highlighted in the Bowe Review was the need for a longterm approach to managing the availability of the right people throughout the entire industry. Identifying long-term demands and improving skills development in these areas is key. With a shortage of certain skills such as signalling and electrification already recognised by the sector, AECOM is investing in targeted recruitment and training. Building certainty so that the


supply chain has the confidence to invest in skills over the long-term will be essential for the delivery of CP6. In the findings of the 2016 CBI/AECOM Infrastructure Survey, published earlier this month, only 32 percent of infrastructure providers in the rail sector believe the industry currently has the capacity to deliver investments planned in CP5. Now is the time to build confidence so that industry can invest in core skills ahead of 2019. Mid-way through CP5, planning for CP6 is firmly underway and the Bowe Review has kick-started the reform of how future rail enhancements will be planned and delivered. While changes will be necessary to accommodate rapidly growing passenger numbers and meet the challenge of modernising the rail network, this is also an opportunity to drive efficiencies and innovation. Network Rail’s approach to planning is now firmly focused on the priorities of its customers. The rail supply chain must reflect this shift as it gears up for delivery in 2019 and beyond.

Russell Jackson is head of rail – UK and Europe at AECOM


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Supporting the backbone Debra Charles looks at productivity loss due to absenteeism in rail, which is estimated to cost the industry £316 million per year*


’m passionate about the importance of health, wellbeing and a sense of belonging. I believe that truly embracing these factors in the rail industry can make a real difference to absenteeism. It’s a strength to enable people to put their wellbeing first, and you’ll ultimately be rewarded with a more stable, stronger business if you recognise and support the individuals providing the backbone of your operations. The issue is so close to Novacroft’s heart because people matter. For me, as founder of the company, I want to make a difference. If we help people, value them, recognise and appreciate them, then in return they will feel valued themselves, with a better sense of wellbeing and belonging. The impact of this can be enormous – wellbeing and positivity impacts on individuals, their families, the organisations they work for, and the wider community. Research shows that productivity is 12 per cent greater from employees who feel positive.** For 15 years we’ve worked with Transport for London on its concessionary Oyster photocard schemes, so we know the transport industry inside out. Thinking about rail in particular, we understand the issues posing the biggest challenges. Absenteeism is one of them. With transport being a critical part of society, we need to get right to the heart of this now, so that we have happy, healthy people making up the workforce of the future, especially when you consider that 4680 work years are lost to absenteeism.*** That goes for people currently working in rail, and for attracting new recruits. According to the Royal Academy of Engineering we’ll need 100,000 new STEM graduates into the transport sector every year until 2020 just to keep up with demand, let alone grow. We’re currently producing just 90,000 a year. We need the next generation to join an industry embracing its wellbeing that engages with

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its talented contributors from the outset, in a way that meets modern working practices. Work should be an extension of life. Factors reducing absenteeism There are two: people and collaboration. The industry has to share a vision. People need to be engaged with their workplace. They need to be supported. We need to recognise that the rail workforce is made up of many people with many differing needs and situations. Some roles can be sedentary. Some roles involve shift patterns. Some roles can be lonely. Some roles mean you’re run off your feet. Each one has its own health and wellbeing implications. There’s never been a more important time to engage with public transport staff than now. We’re living in an economic environment that is putting more financial pressure than ever on train operators to achieve optimum productivity and return on investment. Yet it’s increasingly difficult to impact on costs and achieve that ROI. More financial pressure for operators means more pressure on staff. In rail, workers aren’t all in a single office location, so they’re harder to reach and engage with. We need to ensure a sense of belonging and improve self-esteem. In turn, this will improve wellbeing and productivity – and productivity means a reduction in absenteeism and the associated improvement in performance. Improved wellbeing benefits passengers as well A reduction of absenteeism has a direct impact on passengers. It means that they’ll get a better service and have a bigger desire and reason to use public transport. A Confederation of British Industry (CBI) report at the start of this month said that we need to invest in our core infrastructure, including rail, if we’re to remain competitive in the UK. For me, that means an investment in people too. Every person has a part to play in their community, and if we

can encourage more people to use public transport then this will have a great impact on UK GDP. Novacroft runs a social action reward and recognition programme called Ucando-it. Can such a health and wellbeing initiative really make a difference you might ask? It already is. We’ve piloted this internally and with a major Toc. We’ve seen a 78 per cent participation rate among team members and a 57 per cent uplift in weekly activity, such as running, walking and cycling. The best bit was seeing a five per cent increase in ‘feel good’ as a result of doing more exercise. People simply register, connect fitness apps and get going. We record regular feel-good factors, there’s a leaderboard for a bit of healthy, happy competition and great rewards for reaching personal goals. In the pilot phase, the distance covered each week was an average of 570km – equivalent to the distance between Northampton and Edinburgh. It’s got me hooked. We will soon be introducing rewards for volunteering, having your say and learning, too. As mentioned earlier, 4680 years are lost annually to absenteeism in rail. If we could positively impact this figure by just one per cent, then we could save 46 years of time lost per annum, worth millions of pounds. That’s pretty compelling. Debra Charles is Novacroft CEO and founder

Novacroft’s Ucando-it social action reward and recognition programme rewards people for getting active and measures health and wellbeing improvements. Find out more by emailing or visiting *Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) ‘Railway Health and Wellbeing’ August 2015 **Novacroft’s ‘Why personal wellbeing is good for the nation’s health’ thoughtpaper, 2015 ***RSSB’s ‘Cost of impaired health across the network’, 2014

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More alcohol related incidents take place across the rail network in December than any other month. As a result Network Rail and RSSB are encouraging party goers to take extra care when travelling on or around the railway. In total 1,430 incidents occurred at the platform edges last year. By looking after ourselves and each other we can help to reduce that number.



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Grounds for optimism Train delays caused by leaves on the line are a regular feature of autumn, both in Britain and across the world. But significant progress is being made in tackling this perennial problem, as Catherine Baker explains


ecently, I was trawling through the huge amount of media coverage in recent years about the problem of low adhesion on the railway, otherwise known to the headline writers as ‘leaves on the line’. It didn’t make particularly pleasant reading. A mocking report in one national newspaper last autumn claimed the rail industry was no nearer to finding a solution than it was 40 years ago, when the first meaningful attempts to tackle this serious issue were made. Unfortunately, this was fairly typical of much of the mostly negative

coverage. Set against this, I was struck by the contradictory nature of other reports heralding one or other exciting new breakthrough in the war against the leaf. Last year, for example, readers of one wellknown tabloid were reliably informed that magnetic brakes were the answer (see box). And this autumn, weeks before trees had even begun shedding their leaves, there was a flurry of stories on TV, radio and in print about trains being fitted with powerful microwaves to blast leaves off the line. So, according to how you consume your

news, Britain’s railway either hasn’t got a clue about tackling leaves on the line, or is forever on the brink of discovering the silver bullet that will consign to history this slippery problem that has existed ever since the first railway was built. Neither, of course, is true. There is no silver bullet in the short-term at least, however, considerable progress has been made, particularly in the last five years. RSSB is working in collaboration with industry and a significant amount of energy and resource has been ploughed into research aimed at finding ways of combatting low adhesion. Time for blue sky thinking Two years ago the rail industry decided it was time for some blue-sky thinking and as a result RSSB launched a two-phase competition with the ambitious aim of delivering all-year round reliable braking regardless of weather and wheel-rail conditions. This bold approach resulted in 17 entries from industry and academia, which were eventually whittled down to seven who received funding to develop their proposals. Today, some of the innovative ideas submitted, like using dry ice to remove leaf mulch from rail heads and deploying microwave technology to zap leaves (see box overleaf) are in the latter stages of development and could be used on the rail network in the next two to three years. Regardless of whether or not they are adopted, however, it’s clear there will still be a continuing need for more conventional, tried and tested methods for combatting low adhesion. Network Rail’s fleet of rail head treatment trains – otherwise known as leaf-busting trains – which clean rails with high-power water jets before applying a sand-based gel to improve traction, aren’t likely to be shunted into the sidings and mothballed anytime soon. And track teams



Sanders set for expanded role Sanders, fitted to trains to spread a coating of fine sand on rail heads, are set for a more widespread role in the battle against leaves on the line, following research that shows their use significantly reduces the risk of signals passed at danger. Currently, the number of sanders that can be fitted to a train is restricted, due to concerns about sand interfering with track circuits that detect where a train is on the network. However, research led by RSSB, shows that the risk from so-called wrong side track circuit failures (WSTCF) is greatly outweighed by a reduction in the risk of a Spad in wet and slippery conditions. ‘Our research shows that sand accounts for just three per cent of WSTCFs, or 0.4 per cent of the overall adhesion risk,’ said RSSB’s Neil Webster. ‘The overall risk reduction from increasing sander use is between 170 and 183 times greater than the risk of WSTCF due to sand contamination. Delay minutes in the autumn could be reduced by 58 per cent with greater use of sanders.’ In the past 10 years poor adhesion has resulted in 54 Spads involving multiple-unit trains, while only three per cent of WSTCF’s have been attributed to the use of sanders in the same period. A trial using different configurations of on-train sanders is being planned with a view to optimising the configuration for modern electric vehicles.

who work tirelessly around the clock at key locations using descaling machines can expect to be busy for many autumns to come. Given this level of effort, you might reasonably ask why low adhesion remains such a stubborn problem to solve. You need look no further than the millions of trees, bushes and other plants which shed thousands of tonnes of leaves on to railway lines every autumn. Compressed by trains they create a slippery layer, which causes delays as train drivers have to brake early to ensure they stop in time, and accelerate more gently to avoid wheel spin. Dew or light rain falling on leaf mulch can reduce friction between wheel and rail to a 20th of the level when dry. Perhaps less well-known, at least to people outside the rail industry, is the way leaf mulch can also insulate trains from the rails so that track circuits used to locate them become less accurate. The inevitable consequence of this is

that longer gaps have to be left between trains, resulting in reduced capacity on an already cramped network. The cost of dealing with this is no laughing matter. Last year Network Rail spent about £50 million keeping rail heads clean. Despite this, leaves still accounted for 5,800 hours of delays, leaving passengers frustrated and headline writers delighted. However, after so many years of battling to find an answer to the adhesion riddle, there are justifiable grounds for optimism. The work RSSB is doing in collaboration with the rail industry is delivering new and exciting solutions to a slippery problem that has been causing the wrong type of headlines for far too long. We may not have found a silver bullet but those frustrating announcements about delays caused by leaves could be heard a lot less in future.

Catherine Baker is head of research and development at RSSB

Dry ice and microwaves Microwave technology and dry ice pellets could play a major role in the battle to cut delays caused by leaves on the line. Here is how they work: Microwaves • small 30 millimetre cables are fitted to the front of train wheels • they produce 120-kilowatt rays – 100 times more powerful than a domestic microwave over – when the train brakes • the waves instantly dissipate water from the rail surface Dry ice • pellets of dry ice cool when they come into contact with a contaminant layer on the rail, causing contaminant to crack and de-bond • further bombardment sees pellets turn into gas and remove contaminant • the system leaves no residue and doesn’t damage train wheels or rail • equipment is compact and can be mounted on a train • tests have shown dry ice is not effective on wellbonded leaf layers


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Tarmac awards national rail offloading contract he company has awarded a new strategic national rail off-loading contract to Rail Freight Services for grab offloading of materials arriving at sites across the country. The four-year agreement is part of the Tarmac’s commitment to enhance its rail freight network to support delivery of the UK’s infrastructure ambitions. Chris Swan, senior manager, rail and shipping said: ‘As our rail freight capability continues to grow, it’s essential that we have the right strategic supply chain relationships in place, alongside the technology and expertise to manage our operations and supply to customers as efficiently as possible.’ (See main interview page 72) Rail Freight Services will be utilising equipment with the latest low emission engine technology to support Tarmac’s rail operations. Jim Flatman, general manager at Rail Freight Services said: ‘We look forward to working with Tarmac to deliver efficiency, sustainability and innovation within the company’s rail logistics handling operations.’ Tarmac is one of the UK’s largest users of rail freight and transports nine million tonnes of material by rail across the UK each year, with an ambition to reduce transport CO2 by 10 per cent per tonne by 2020. Visit:


Modal Training taking bookings as first rail courses launch (pic) odal Training, the Humber region’s new £7 million training centre for the ports, energy and logistics sectors, is now taking bookings for a number of rail courses that have been launched ahead of the facility opening in early 2017. The new courses are classroom-based and cover basic safety, competencies and proficiencies for individuals and businesses working in the rail sector. The courses range from initial Personal Track Safety and Industry Common Induction tickets, to more advanced qualifications, such as Engineering Supervisor, Controller of Site Safety, Safety Procedures for Working on Electrical Equipment and Overhead Line Equipment Construction 1. Jointly funded by the Grimsby Institute and the Humber LEP, as part of the Humber Growth Deal, Modal Training will be located in purpose-designed facilities on Kings Road in Immingham. For more information or to make a booking Tel: 01472 311222 ext 1184.


CEMEX transports even more building material by rail he company has hit the two millionth tonne of material transported by rail earlier in the year than ever before and is on course for 2016 to be the best year for use by this mode of transport. This is the fourth successive year of increasing rail transportation of materials from CEMEX operations’ primarily quarries. CEMEX works in partnership with DB Cargo UK running around 40 train loads a week, mostly out of Dove Holes in the High Peak district to 11 locations around the country. The aggregates transported are primarily used in construction projects, mostly in concrete – the most consumed commodity in the world after water. ‘The two million tonnes by rail is equivalent to 65,000 truck movements taken off our congested road network,’ said Mark Grimshaw-Smith Head of CEMEX Rail and Sea. CEMEX operates four rail despatch points Dove Holes quarry in Derbyshire, Shap quarry in Cumbria, Neath near Swansea, and Cardiff. Cumbrian PSV (polished stone value) hardstone goes to Washwood Heath near Birmingham for use in asphalt; limestone is transported to Birmingham for PFI work and to London for major construction projects such as Crossrail, and large limestone rocks go to East Anglia for burning in kilns to produce lime that purifies the juice from sugar beet in sugar production. There are a total of 14 receiving depots serving key areas of the country.



Time to upgrade your wipers? 107 PRODUCTS / SERVICES |

... introducing PSV’s new replacement system Rail contract helping to keep lorries DB Cargo UK rehired to haul Belmond British Pullman off roads he company has retained its contract with luxury travel company Belmond to haul the Belmond British Pullman, sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. B Cargo UK will run more The deal continues a partnership with Belmond that has spanned more than 20 than 15 train services a week years and the five year contract renewal will see DB Cargo UK transport Belmond under a new 10 year deal British Pullman on services across the UK. with Day Group, keeping The train operates all year-round, offering trips to destinations such as Bath, York and the equivalent of more than 190 lorry loads a day from the congested roads of Sandringham and signature lunch and dinner journeys from London Victoria Station. Around 140 trips will run each year and approximately 10 per cent of these services will be South East England. steam-hauled.   Nick Sadler, operations director Richard Corser, account manager charters, special trains and resource hires at DB Cargo at Day Group, said: ‘The flexibility UK, said: ‘We are looking forward to continuing our work with Belmond on this unique of DB Cargo to meet the changing service Belmond British Pullman is a magnificent train and passengers can re-live the requirements of the South East experience of the film stars who were transported in these ‘palaces on wheels’ during the construction market was key to the renewal of our contract.’ David Fletcher, 1920’s and 30’s.’ Visit: head of construction at DB Cargo UK, said: “We look forward to continuing to play a key part in the construction supply chain.’ Under the contract DB Cargo is providing rail services moving sea dredged aggregates from Cliffe in Kent to depots at Crawley, Purley, Tolworth and Battersea. The aggregates are used for the production of concrete and in general construction. The material ... introducing PSV’s new replacement system is currently being used to support construction projects in London including the Battersea Power Station development and the Northern Line extension. Additional services transport incinerator bottom ash from the energy to waste plant at Newhaven to Brentford where the material Freightliner reaches out is processed into aggregates for he intermodal freight company is boosting operational efficiencies across its 13 use in construction. The train that inland rail sites with a new fleet of 10 Hyster RS4531CH reachstackers, supplied delivers the ash is then reloaded with and maintained by Briggs Equipment. The £3.5 million deal will see the company recycled aggregates for distribution replacing some of its older Hyster machines. from Newhaven. This provides an ‘We’re a large, safety critical organisation with multiple sites across the country so we unusual two way rail movement of need an equipment and engineering services partner we can trust,’ said Peter Thompson, • Arms bulk products and further increases chief terminals engineer, at Freightliner. • Wiper blades the environmental benefits of rail Freightliner moves containers from the deep sea ports of Felixstowe, Southampton, • Motors (24v and 110v) transport. Tilbury and London Gateway to all major UK conurbations, operating around 100 daily • Linkage systems The contract includes growth in services and handling more than 770,000 containers per year. The company’s existing fleet • Control switches traffic volumes through additional of Hyster reachstackers has clocked up in excess of 18,000 hours during a five-year period of • Components spares services to&new concrete plants and operation.



Time • Armsto upgrade your wipers? • Wiper blades • Motors (24v and 110v) • Linkage systems • Control switches • Components & spares


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Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of We offer robustly engineered solutions for train for further ash services. DB Cargo is The new fleet is fitted with the Hyster Tracker wireless asset management system – key the mountains, heat of the desert, or the harsh builders, upgrades for operators also introducing the high capacity wagons performance indicators are accessible 24/7and via thesystem system, enabling both Freightliner and to support the expected growth in the Briggs team to measure equipment performance by terminal, by individual machine salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper (especially those experiencing a high LCCand on volumes. across the entire company to effectively manage the fleet. system you can rely on. original equipment). Visit: Looking to lower your Life Cycle Costs? PSV can help.

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We offer robustly engineered solutions for train At PSV, we’ve been developing and manufacturing Our manufacturing facility in Worcester also has a builders, and system upgrades for operators ... introducing PSV’s new replacement system quality wiper systems for over 35(especially yearsthose (with 20 experiencing a high LCC onhighly experienced team of in-house designers years experience working withinoriginal theequipment). rail industry). and engineers who will work alongside you At PSV, we’ve been developing and manufacturing Our manufacturing facility in Worcester also has a to meet your individual needs. quality wiper systems for over 35 years (with 20 highly experienced team of in-house designers Weexperience are a proud supplier to international OEM years working within the rail industry). and engineers who will work alongside you to meet your individual needs. train builders, fleet operators and fleet support If you’re looking to replace or upgrade your wiper We are a proud supplier to international OEM train builders, fleet operators and fleet support If you’re looking to replace or upgrade your wiper distributors. systems, we’re just a phone call away. distributors. systems, we’re just asystem phone call away. Introducing PSV’s new replacement Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of the mountains, the heat of the desert, or the harsh salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper system you can rely on.

Time to upgrade your wipers? Why not discover the benefits of a PSV wiper system? Call us today and ask for our Rail Specialist, Paul Curry.

• Arms • Wiper blades • Motors (24v and 110v) • Linkage systems • Control switches • Components & spares

Why not discover the benefits of a PSV wiper system? Call us today and ask for our Rail Specialist, Paul Curry.

PSV Wipers Ltd., Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE Tel. +44 (0)1905 350 500 • PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE, United Kingdom Tel. +44 (0)1905 350 500 Photo reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Credit:

Looking to lower your Life Cycle Costs? PSV can help.

Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE, United Kingdom the mountains, the heat of the desert, or the harsh salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper

Rail Professional

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... introducing PSV’s new re Network Rail hi-vis PPE contract for Ballyclare he contract is believed to be one of the largestever UK deals to supply GO/RT rail-compliant orange hi-vis workwear, and covers waterproof, flame retardant and arc protection clothing for Network Rail. Maggie Shaw, Ballyclare’s sales and service manager for the rail industry, said: ‘We had to adhere to the very demanding specifications which Network Rail had set down. Those specifications led us through almost a year’s worth of design work, plus extensive independent testing, wearer and laundry trials, to ensure that the resulting garments satisfied the client’s specification.’ The company will now supply a wide selection of jackets, trousers, coveralls, body-warmers and underwear to 13,000 trackside workers based at more than 700 different Network Rail locations throughout the country. ‘The process also led to us create a new range which has certainly raised the bar for rail industry workwear,’ added Shaw. The garments created for Network Rail will now be made available as a standard part of the wider Ballyclare range.


ESG Rail wins CCTV systems contract he company has received a turnkey contract from London Midland for the supply of closed circuit television systems. The work includes the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of a forward facing closed circuit television system on the Toc’s 26 Class 323 and 40 Class 350 vehicles. Under a separate contract, ESG will also be responsible for the turnkey supply of saloon CCTV for the Class 323 units and will fit one pantograph camera to a single class 350/1 vehicle. ESG will also be responsible for the training of operations and maintenance personnel and ensure three year operation through the provision of 3G/4G data SIM’s. As well as that it will provide Wi-Fi connection facilities to enable train to shore communications at Kings Heath Depot, Soho Maintenance Depot and Northampton Station and River Sidings. Installation will be carried out at London Midland’s Soho depot for the Class 323 fleet and King Heath’s depot for the Class 350 vehicles. The project will be completed by July 2017. Visit:


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• Wiper blades • Motors (24v and 110v) • Linkage systems • Control switches • Components & spares

Power to Hoppecke ... introducing PSV’s new replacement system oppecke Industrial Batteries has won an order to provide energy management solutions to Thameslink. The Desiro City trains used on the service are built by Siemens and all after-sales support, spare parts and warranty support services will be provided by Hoppecke. The most notable feature of this contract is that the • Arms Desiro City does not simply • Wiper blades use a battery fitted into a box, as in most trains. Instead, this box incorporates chargers with Motors (24v and 110v) switches and an• electrical distribution system built in, ensuring power is always distributed • Linkage systems to where it’s needed. • Control Paul Butchart, nationalswitches sales manager – special & reserve power systems at Hoppecke • Components sparesin the rail industry appreciate our ability to deliver Industrial Batteries said: ‘Major&players Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of We of bespoke power management solutions to fit virtually any application, and this contract mountains, the asheat of the desert, ortothe harsh builde for Thameslinkthe underlines our capabilities a leading solutions provider the rail power sector. salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper (espec ‘Whether we are working with lead acid or fibre structure nickel cadmium technology you can rely on. origin (FNC) batteriessystem or Lithium-Ion we are delighted to be delivering what are some of Looking to (LiOn), lower your Lifemanagement Cycle Costs? help. the most complex and advanced rail transport power systemsPSV in thecan world.’ Visit: Whether yourwe’ve trains operate in thedeveloping heavy snow of We offer robustly engineered solutions for train At PSV, been and manufacturing Our m

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Why not discover the benefits of Call us today and ask for our Rail

PSV Wipers Ltd., Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE Tel. +44 350 500 • United PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis,(0)1905 Worcester WR5 3DE, Kingdom Tel. +44 (0)1905 350 500

Looking to lower your Life Cycle Costs? PSV can help. Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of the mountains, the heat of the desert, or the harsh salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper

We offer robustly engineered solutions for train builders, and system upgrades for operators (especially those experiencing a high LCC on

Photo reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Credit:

PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE, Un

Time to upgrade your wipers 109 PRODUCTS / SERVICES |

... introducing PSV’s new replacement system

Time to upgrade your wipers?

Tailored hands-on training a hit with engineers Inspiring the next rail generation at Hitachi Rail orson International, a global recruitment firm specialising in engineering, has launched a new online hub in a bid to educate young ore than 70 maintenance engineers adults on the wide range of opportunities available in the rail industry. and team technicians at Hitachi Rail The project, Tracks to Success, attempts to inspire a new generation of Europe’s train maintenance centre in recruits in the rail sector, as data continues to highlight the industry’s growing skills Ashford are benefiting from on-site gap, particularly in signalling and electrification. tailored, hands-on electrical maintenance training Gary Smithson, associate director at Morson International, said: ‘A large provided by Technical Training Solutions (TTS). proportion of the future workforce will be made up of apprentices and university   ‘The feedback from those who attended the fivegraduates, providing enough young people are interested in a career in rail. Education day electrical training course provided by TTS is by and encouragement is key to bringing in the next generation.’ far the best I’ve ever had in my time here at Hitachi Tracks to Success showcases the various routes into rail in a unique format. An Rail Europe,’ said Alex McFarlin, training manager, interactive rail map highlights the qualifications and experience necessary for certain Class 395. ‘Within just 20 minutes of the course rail positions, providing a comprehensive vision into what a career in rail can look starting, all attendees were up on their feet looking like. at electrical schematic drawings and connecting Attempting to combat the existing perceptions of the rail industry, Tracks to wires on circuit boards. We believe strongly in Success showcases the benefits of working in rail and provides a wealth of valuable the ‘learning by doing’ approach and this course information for new starters, apprentices and current rail workers. certainly did just that.’ Smithson explained: ‘The variety of opportunities available, as well as the   Explained McFarlin: ‘The teams at Ashford multitude of benefits that come with them, needs to be properly communicated to are a mix of mechanical and electrical engineers young people. With a number of major development projects on the horizon, such as from a variety of backgrounds including the rail Crossrail and HS2, there’s never been a more exciting time to join the industry.’ industry, automotive and Armed Forces. With any Visit: new recruit, we must assess their strengths and weaknesses and then provide training to fill any gaps. For example, we have maintenance engineers with a strong skills bias in mechanical engineering Recent New Members of the Rail Alliance as at end October 2016 who require their electrical skills to be further ATA Recruitment (part of the RTC Group): global operations supporting the developed. While we provide our own internal • Arms transportation and infrastructure sector in the delivery of executive and confidential technical training for new recruits, we wanted to search, strategic and professional talent acquisition, ethical and volume contingent Wiper reinforce the • safety training blades and to further develop labour solutions, international on site project delivery and advisory/consultancy service our staff’s electrical skills. Hence, around 12 months • Motors (24v and 110v) ago, we contacted TTS for help in providing a MGB Engineering: specialist supplier of safety critical electrical and electronic practical, tailored electrical maintenance course for • Linkage systems housings our engineers, as well as team leaders and duty shift • Control switches managers.’ Genquip Groundhog: manufacturer and sales of market leading Groundhog welfare   After visiting Ashford and discussing& their units both static and mobile • Components spares training needs in detail, TTS devised a five-day, site course tailored to replicate the daily work of the William Cook Rail: designer and manufacture of complex castings including maintenance engineers. ‘The course was designed machining and welding of bogie components and sub-assemblies. Design, manufacture specifically for us,’ said McFarlin, ‘which is really and overhaul of coupler systems for passenger and freight vehicles important because it means that our engineers could relate all of the course content to their day Chrysalis Rail Services: rolling stock heavy maintenance and refurbishment, re-livery jobs.’ and modifications   He concluded: ‘The crucial benefit of the TTS training is that our maintenance teams can now FTI Group: manufacturers of custom pre-pregs for more than twenty years. R&D apply the most up-to-date legislation and best department has developed a phenolic pre-impregnated polymer, FibaRoll PH, which practice when carrying out everyday maintenance. overcomes the traditional difficulties experienced when processing these resins your trains operate in the heavy snow of We offer robustly engineered solutions for train The engineersWhether now also have a much better Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of We offer robustlyupgrades engineered solutions for tra understanding of why they are carrying out each the mountains, the heat of the desert, the harshone of the builders, and systemmanufacturers for operators Morrisor Lubricants: largest privately-owned of high quality maintenance task. 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Looking loweryour your Life Life Cycle PSV cancan help. Looking to to lower CycleCosts? Costs? PSV help.

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Why not discover the benefits of athePSV system? Why not discover benefitswiper of a PSV wiper system? Call us today and ask for our Rail Specialist, Paul Curry. PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, WR5our 3DE, Rail UnitedSpecialist, Kingdom Call us today andWorcester ask for Paul Curry. • Linkage systems • Control switches • Components & spares

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Photo reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Credit:

Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE, United Kingdom the mountains, the heat of the desert, or the harsh salty environment of the coast... you need a wiper

We offer robustly engineered solutions for builders, and system upgrades for operato (especially those experiencing a high LCC o



All systems are go for TE Connectivity The underlying theme of cost saving ties together today’s big trends in rail: digital railways and weight savings


or digital railways, data from sensors will lead to predictive maintenance, which means maintenance only being carried out when it is needed. On the other hand, reducing weight will save on utility bills and carbon emissions. To achieve this, train builders and operators make purchasing decisions based on optimising the whole life of the asset, including initial capital, running, maintenance and replacement costs. In response, TE Connectivity has a system approach to support this. As part of this, the company is developing new products in areas including cable identification, high-voltage power transmission and data technology. One ident to mark them all Any cable identification marker only has a single purpose: to remain in place and be readable despite exposure to chemical compounds, mechanical wear and bright sunlight, which sounds deceptively simple. Traditionally, two basic types of identification product have been used for wires and cables in rail. These are suited either to diesel-powered rolling stock, where fluids like diesel may be present, or for electric rolling stock that might be used in tunnels, where low fire hazard (LFH) performance is important. But TE has changed that with the launch of ZHD-SCE, a new heat-shrink material that is the only type of cable identification product to bridge the gap between the standards for fluid resistance and LFH properties. It will support train builders and operators as the industry moves towards wider integration across Europe. TE developed the new material using knowledge and expertise from the origins of heatshrink cross-linked polyethylene materials developed under the Raychem brand. Identification markers demonstrate their value throughout the 20 year life of locomotives and cars, which experience many maintenance inspections, proactive and reactive maintenance, refurbishment and refits of instrumentation and key



equipment. During these milestone events, that cable identification enables technicians to find the cables they need to carry out maintenance work quickly and efficiently. What is truly important is to consider cable identification not just as a product but as a system. The system approach includes label materials, as well as the ink that will make the marks and the printing process that ensure the mark stands the test of time. Until ZHD-SCE was launched, products like TE’s D-SCE protected identification markers in spite of the harshest exposure to fluids. On the other hand, HX-SCE was created for environments where low fire hazard (LFH) properties are important, both of which will remain as part of TE’s portfolio. Highlights system approach Another project that highlights TE’s move from components to systems is a new generation roofline module that was launched at InnoTrans in September, where visitors saw a prototype module on the company’s stand. Roofline systems transmit electrical power at high voltage from the pantograph to the traction transformer. They include components such as circuit breakers, power cables, insulated bushings and metering transformers. Previously, roofline systems have relied on air as the insulating material between the body of trains and the high voltage lines. However, TE has replaced air with the latest state-of-the-art solid dielectric insulating materials. This has dramatically reduced the height and weight of the entire subsystem. At half the height, its small size will help to limit the overall height of rolling stock, which is particularly important for double decker rolling stock. It will also reduce the aerodynamic drag, helping to save energy. On the other hand, weighing 85 kg, the new module is less than half the 200 kg weight of the previous best in class systems. Every kilogram of weight saved adds up over every kilometre trains run. For a typical commuter train with frequent stops, 100 kg weight saving can deliver lifetime energy savings of 36 MWh energy and 5 tons of CO2 emissions. A less obvious benefit also stems from the elimination of air as insulating material. The capability of an insulating material is measured by its dielectric strength. In the case of air, its dielectric strength can be reduced in operating environments where there is heavy pollution or high humidity and at high altitudes. This aspect of air has meant that rolling stock manufacturers have had to re-engineer roofline systems to withstand each operator’s environment. Because air insulation is not used in the new modular approach, it is suitable for all operating environments. Having announced the new-generation roofline system at InnoTrans, TE is now

looking ahead to product testing. This will be initiated in its Rail High Voltage Test Centre in Swindon, which was opened in summer 2016 to test HV products for rolling stock under a harsh regime of electrical, mechanical, thermal and environmental tests to reproduce real-world operating conditions and reduce time to market by up to 30 per cent. Data-driven decision making The data transmission that will support digital railways is another element of TE’s systematic approach. The advent of digital technologies holds promise for operators to reduce maintenance costs and improving availability, as well as meeting growing passenger demand for infotainment services and connectivity for mobile devices. TE is supporting the drive towards digital railways through development of rail-qualified systems that match the industrial trends for higher capacity and miniaturisation. The approach combines TE’s existing connectors, antennas and switches with future products such as a polymer alternative to fibre optic that for high data rates in harsh environments. TE is also growing its digital capabilities with key acquisitions – one example being Jaquet, the leader in industrial sensors and systems. The vision for condition monitoring is that by integrating sensors into key

components, operators will be able to adopt condition monitoring. This will open up the ability for continuous monitoring of the health of key systems and components. When the sensors detect that a component is approaching the end of its life, it will raise an alarm to trigger maintenance only when it is required. This approach will replace time-based maintenance, where maintenance is scheduled based on regular maintenance intervals. Moving to a condition-based approach will allow operators to focus their maintenance investment on components and systems that need attention. In addition, the approach will lead to higher availability of assets, with knock-on benefits to on-time running of services. Underlying this vision will be systems and components for data collection, transmission and analysis. These include wired and wireless sensors, cables, connectors, data switches and antennas – as well as new data transmission technologies and systems currently under development to increase transmission capacities. The key to specifying data systems today is to build in a large margin for future proofing. According to worldwide leader in IT Cisco, annual internet protocol (IP) traffic will pass the rate of zettabyte (1021 bytes) per year threshold by the end of 2016 and will reach 2.3 ZB by 2020. By then, web traffic from smartphones will overtake that from PCs and more than 26 billion IoT (Internet of Things) connected devices ranging from sensors to coffee makers and cars. With this in mind, engineers sizing data systems for rail cars that will still be operating in 30 years time will need to leave plenty headroom for growth in traffic – as well as the scope to add capacity. Email: Visit:

Building on Experience In business over 50 years Walker Construction (UK) Ltd provide Civil & Construction solutions to the Rail Industry

Tel: 01303 851111



Customisation means flexibility A highly qualified engineering and QA team ensures that the most suitable products are selected and allows for customised manufacturing options to give greater flexibility to the range of solutions offered


elec Electronics based in Wareham in Dorset is a specialist supplier of electronics solutions with more than 38 years’ experience of specifically selecting and designing applications in the railway industry. The company provides rugged highperformance power conversion products, AC DC power supplies, DC DC converters, DC AC inverters, displays, EMC filters and vandal proof switches. Products offered for rail applications are compliant with national and international railway standards EN50121-3-2, EN50155. Furthermore, the comprehensive and easy to navigate website shows the particular standard to which a product is compliant. In addition, the product may also benefit from having been listed by Network Rail parts and drawing system (PADS). Some recent case studies demonstrate the wide ranging application expertise Relec was able to bring to bear in providing the right solution for diverse railway applications. Ultra-wide input DC DC converters The URB series from Mornsun is a range of rugged ultrawide input DC DC converters and when used in combination with the specially designed FC series input filters conform to

the requirements of EN50155 and RIA12 for railway applications. Applications include passenger reading lights, on-board Wi-Fi and passenger USB hubs. The product has a wide range of input voltages including the most commonly used traction battery voltages with an equally wide range of output voltages. Ensuring driver comfort and safety A motorised sunblind was being designed for the driver cabin to replace the manually operated driver’s sunblind. The traditional solution was a simple manual chord and pulley system; the new design required a switch operated solution powered from the traction battery supply via a DC DC converter meeting current railway standards. Voltage fluctuations and variable inrush easily accommodated Modern railway locomotives are a tough electrical environment for any electronic equipment. The right solution needed to be reliable with proven extended MTBF levels and capable of

dealing with voltage fluctuations and inrush current requirements. Relec proposed and demonstrated the Q series DC DC converter from Bel Power that has Network Rail approval and is EN50155/ EN50121 compliant. This unit had been used previously on a number of different applications and has a good track record in terms of performance and long term reliability. Rugged displays for demanding conditions It is easy to think that displays, handheld or large, and mounted units are standard in design and capability, many us are used to treating the display on our laptop or PC as the typical design standard, but this isn’t actually the case. Relec has been providing monitors and displays for the most arduous of applications for over 30 years. Typical industries and applications it has served include rail, offshore, defence, marine and construction. Displays are usually tailor-made to the application and may range in size from 4” to 42” and may include custom built machined cases. There is also a vast range of display technologies available to ensure that the product performs under even the most testing of conditions. Monitors deployed in high use areas will need anti-finger marking treatments and are of a more general nature, other treatments include resistive touch, PCAP and anti-reflective coatings. Relec Electronics has built an enviable reputation in the field of providing specialist electrical products to meet the exacting requirements of the Railway Industry. Compliance to national and international standards, safety, reliability and high performance are the key attributes at the heart of the products and services offered by the company.

Tel: 01929 555700 Email: Rail Professional

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DC Switchgear LVAC Equipment Shore Supplies EPO Systems Control Panels Maintenance

 High performance power supplies for rugged applications Relec Electronics offers a wide range of solutions for ac-dc or dc-dc power conversion, whether for trainborne or trackside applications, our engineering team can provide you with the optimum solution from our extensive range of power supplies. Formats include PCB mounting, DIN rail mount, chassis mount & 19” rack mounting. ac-dc power supplies dc-dc power converters

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Switching regulators Up to 10:1 input dc-dc input conversion High efficiency Proven reliability in the harshest environments Wide operating temperature range Self-cooling rugged cases Conformally–coated assemblies Excellent MTBF EN50155; EN50121-3-2; RIA12/13; IEC/EN60950-1

Introducing the Monbat Front Access Range Easystart is extending its Front Access range of batteries by supplying the highly accredited Monbat battery to be supplied alongside Haze which the company has offered for the past 10 years. Haze has become a renowned name in the Front Access market over the years, being used in a wide range of standby and telecom applications. Easystart will now offer both ranges alongside one another as there are size and specification variations and also approvals for a wider number of brands associated with the Monbat range. Monbat is a European made factory brand used by a number of the continents largest telecom companies such as EE, BT, Ericsson, Telefonica and Vodafone just to name a few. Easystart is the official distributor for the whole Monbat factory range across the United Kingdom and will now offer the Front Access range to expand its already growing presence in the telecom and standby Front Access market. For more information regarding the new Monbat range or the existing Haze range, please contact Easystart’s Sales Manager, Cillian Brugha on or 01536 203030. Tel: 01929 555800 e-mail: POWER DISPLAYS EMC

Rail Professional



Minimum disruption Anyone who has owned a model railway knows how easily a misalignment of a rail or failing to change the points can lead to a derailment, it’s easy to fix by just picking up the train, but reallife derailments are a different story


t one time, railway staff would routinely re-rail vehicles which had been derailed during shunting incidents. Staff would use steel re-railing ramps routinely carried in brake-vans or use whatever else was to hand, such as sleepers. The majority of depots had their own breakdown crane which would be used on a regular basis. These days, rail vehicles are technically more complex and much heavier than they were half a century ago and need 21st century thinking and equipment to recover them to the track. This is where Railway Support Services comes in. Set up in 2008, the company provides nationwide coverage to train operators on an around the clock call-out basis. A fast response following an incident is vital. Railway Support Services offer a four-hour guaranteed response time to any location bordered by Carlisle in the north west, Newcastle in the north east, Dover in the south east and Exeter in the south west, with the only limiting factor being road traffic conditions. Outside of this border response times are a little longer, however the customer is kept informed of progress on a regular basis, and all vehicles operated by RSS are fitted with trackers so their position can be monitored. Each incident is attended to by fullytrained operators, one of which is a recovery engineer who will liaise with the customer and provide all the necessary risk assessments and method statements. A comprehensive wheelskating service is also offered as part of the RSS recovery package. With several skates available for use at any one time, the recovery team will arrive on schedule; jack the vehicle; fit the skate and ensure it is safe for the vehicle to travel while also providing two technical riders to travel with the affected vehicle back to depot, where once again the vehicle will be lifted and the skate recovered. Unusual recoveries There have been several incidents in recent years which have led to significant planning challenges not only by the management team, but in terms of recovery. One of these included the recovery of the bogies of a class 66 locomotive that plunged down a remote embankment at

Loch Treig in Scotland, in 2013. There was no road access so the decision was taken to dismantle the locomotive on site and recover as much as possible of the equipment by rail. Railway Support Services was asked to provide a method of recovering the bogies of the locomotive to Tulloch station, which included having wheelskates on standby and a specially fabricated towing beam manufactured so that the road-rail vehicle could safely tow both bogies back to civilisation. Another incident involved several wagons that had been accidentally shunted through buffer stops and into a field where the ground was very soft. In this instance, the vehicles were lifted and a temporary track section was laid in order to recover them back to the main site where they were recovered by road transport to be taken away for repairs. The company doesn’t just do re-railing

and recovery. In 2013, Railway Support Services used its equipment to lift two former LNER ‘A4’ class Pacifics from the USA and Canada, as part of celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the world speed record for steam, 126mph, by sister locomotive Mallard. All six remaining members of this celebrated class were reunited at the National Railway Museum in 2013. Locomotive Dwight D Eisenhower was at the National Railroad Museum at Green Bay, Wisconsin and could not be extracted from its building by rail. In a complex series of movements, the engine was lifted from the track and traversed through the museum with millimetres to spare thanks to some delicate manoeuvring. Class 08 hire and maintenance Built in the early 1960’s, the Class 08s were,


and still are to a number of freight operators and private yards, the backbone of traction for shunting. Despite the huge losses in numbers of the Class 08 fleet over the years, Railway Support Services recognised that there was still a demand for cheap, reliable and efficient shunting locomotives in this new millennium and so embarked on a mission to not only offer a maintenance service to customers who owned and operated their own locomotives, but to also have a fleet of locomotives available for spot hire for short or long-term contracts. The company has a number of Class 08s both in service and awaiting overhaul as well as a handful of scrap locomotives awaiting component recovery. Railway Support Services works

Re-Railing, Recovery and Wheelskating Specialists Class 08 Locomotive Hire and Maintenance

Contact Andrew Goodman on 07794 480410 or Paul Fuller on 07787 256013 Montpellier House, Montpellier Drive, Cheltenham GL50 1TY

with potential customers to ensure the locomotives are hired in a condition tailored to that exact sites’ requirements. This can include the fitting of additional features such as flashing orange lights, high intensity lamps at each end, additional door locks along with safety critical features. The fitting of these additional features is not just limited to RSS’s own locomotives. The company can fit this equipment to third party locomotives to comply with any regulations that may be in force on sites. Not only that but useful equipment such as oil and fuel priming pumps should be considered by all Class 08 operators to reduce starting stress on the power unit and ultimately extend the operating life of the engine. Locomotives can be hired out for immediate spot-hire, short or long-term contracts with added benefits for longer


duration leases. Maintenance is included in the hire cost, which is the same service offered to clients with their own locomotives and is based on BR’s ‘balanced’ examination cycle which gets more and more intensive as the month’s progress. Oil sampling is undertaken regularly in order to monitor the engines’ internal condition with a view of preventative caution being taken when required in order to avert costly damage and to increase the working life of the power unit. Railway Support Services is a 24 hour call out company, this ensures that a response to site can be arranged ASAP. Inoperable locomotives can be costly in terms of downtime and lost revenue so the company aims to assist in minimising disruption as much as possible. Working in conjunction with heavy haulier Moveright International, Railway Support Services can offer a ‘complete package’ when it comes to moving locomotives to and from sites. A locomotive tailored to clients’ needs plus the transport arrangements all taken care of by one office makes it an easy decision to make on the clients’ part. Tel: 0870 8034651 Email: Visit:



Business as usual? Following the Brexit vote many in the transport and infrastructure sector have been mulling over the future of Environmental Impact Assessments given the EU’s central influence on the process since the 1980’s


ome environmental protection groups fear that the process of leaving the EU could see the protections offered by EIA weakened or even removed in the UK, citing fracking and airport expansion as motivating factors as the government seeks to stimulate economic growth while a ‘hard’, ‘soft’ or ‘just right’ Brexit is hammered out. These fears appear unfounded however, as the government has signalled its intention to absorb the vast majority of existing EU legislation from the key directives into UK law as part of the process of exiting the European Union. Therefore, it is a safe bet that future governments will continue with the existing process or something very similar. The Conservative government has made a clear commitment to major infrastructure and housing development in the face of opposition of many of their MPs and grassroots supporters. The EIA provides the framework for mitigating local environmental concerns. For the transport and infrastructure sector, it is business as usual in EIA terms. The continuing strong commitment to HS2, the recent (and long overdue) announcement on Heathrow’s third runway, the move towards fracking, and a slew of new infrastructure projects have the potential to steadily increase the number of EIA’s carried out annually in the near future. Recent changes to EIA regulations have been applied and are in force, and it should be assumed that future changes will be implemented until the Brexit negotiations conclude. So, what is needed for an effective EIA process and what sort of consultant is required? How do you deliver a good Environmental Impact Assessment? The size and cost of the 300 to 400 EIA’s carried out in the UK each year varies enormously. A medium-sized housing estate could set a developer back perhaps £50,000, while the EIA for HS2 will run into many millions. Similarly, the quality of EIAs varies just as much and a lot of this is down to co-ordination, as much as expertise and resource. • the EIA coordinator needs to be supremely well-organised to deal with the complexity and volume of detail contained within the EIA • the coordinator needs to be a team

player, firm on timescales, fair on resource, but able to manage effectively to deliver the right information on time • the process also needs to be well planned out to meticulous detail in order to keep track and ensure that the EIA is of the required quality to support the project • crucially, the EIA will be written by many different consultants but will still need to read in ‘one voice’ – the coordinators ability to merge the various chapters and sections into a coherent document with clear context is vital • for documents of this type it quickly becomes apparent if the author is not sufficiently qualified or experienced for an EIA project. Experience and expertise in EIA coordination and delivery The updated EIA Directive, which will be transposed into UK legislation in 2017, requires an EIA to be undertaken by ‘accredited and technically competent experts’. The purpose of this amendment is to ensure that the quality of EIAs meets best practice and legislative requirements, and that the resulting report would stand up to peer review. Each Schofield Lothian EIA team is tailored to the specific technical requirements of each commission. By having

a team of named experts, individuals are required to take responsibility for the quality of work they produce and would need to be able to support their findings in case of judicial review, public enquiry or review by the secretary of state. Schofield Lothian consultants have worked in the EIA sector for several years and the company has an experienced team of EIA coordinators, supported by a wider team of in house consents, planning, stakeholder engagement, ecology, sustainability, economic appraisal and project management specialists. Depending on the nature of the commission, Schofield Lothian also partners with other companies if necessary to ensure that its technical and commercial offer is comprehensive. The team members specialise in transport and infrastructure projects and will be selected based on their specific experience of the following areas that make up the key chapters of an EIA, including: • • • • • • •

ecology and biodiversity landscape and visual amenity ground conditions and hydrogeology surface water quality flood risk and climate resilience cultural heritage and archaeology traffic and transportation

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NORBAR THE VOICE OF TORQUE CONTROL Norbar has a long history of association with the rail industry. Our involvement starts with the manufacturers and then extends through the life of the rolling stock and rail networks. We are also extensively involved with the rail infrastructure; building and maintaining the rail networks. • • • • •

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noise and vibration local air quality and dust air quality and carbon assessment socio-economic impacts.

The company can provide EIA management and coordination services through all stages of an EIA from project screening through to the preparation of EIA reports. Schofield Lothian’s experience in managing the EIA process on behalf of clients will help ensure that a high quality report is produced within the programme and budget constraints. This is carried out through the preparation of a project specific EIA report template, the use of a consistent terminology and style (creating one voice) across specialist topics and by ensuring that an appropriate level of assessment is undertaken. The EIA managers and cocoordinators are environmental scientists who understand the technical requirements of environmental assessment. They can provide a technical review of EIA reports and specialist topics to help ensure that industry best practice is met and that a balanced approach is taken across all specialist topics. The EIA managers can provide clients with advice on project screening, prepare the required documentation, such as screening opinion requests or records of determination, and manage the screening PB Half Page Horz 122x184 Rack

process on the client’s behalf. Through the experience and technical knowledge across all specialist topics, Schofield Lothian’s EIA managers can help reduce the overall cost of the final EIA report by identifying the topics which require detailed assessment and the topics which


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can scoped out of further assessment. This thorough but also commercially-minded approach allows the company to deliver EIAs that are robust yet cost effective. Tel: 020 7842 0920 Email: Visit:

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Collaboration is the secret to success It’s the best way to deliver better infrastructure asset development and management, says Paul Tweedale


ajor infrastructure projects seem to become more complex every year with new technologies, equipment and regulations, numerous stakeholders and suppliers and agendas. The opportunities for something to go wrong are numerous. When things get complicated, human nature being what it is we all tend to revert to looking inward and protecting our own position. Everyone is anxious to make sure they do their part and, by default, won’t be blamed if something goes wrong, so they start with a defensive, protectionist attitude to working with other companies. Ask most senior managers what is the best way to achieve an outstanding project result, and the answer is consistent: collaboration. It is well known that the team is stronger than the individual. Yet, time after time, companies retreat from taking a collaborative approach when procuring supplier services in the belief that by doing so they can drive down prices and have greater distance and protection if something

goes wrong. Ironically of course the odds of something going awry increase with poor communication chains. The economic pressures of the last few years and tighter budgets have led to the people elements of projects getting lost. Organisations need to remember team collaboration is the best way to save time

and money and deliver the best possible outcome. More than just a sound-bite TenBroeke’s approach has been built on collaboration right from the start. Experience working on major infrastructure projects had shown time and again that expensive mistakes happen when people don’t work as a team, across functions and companies. The upside is significant. Better value for money, greater certainty of programme delivery and outcome and improved whole life costs can all be realised through collaboration. That might sound idealistic, so here’s the company’s definition of best practice. Principles of collaboration • vision • leadership • knowledge • behaviour • processes. The foundations of successful collaboration are simple and essential. First, the project must have a clear vision, the end benefit it will deliver to the people who work/use the infrastructure asset and the benefits it will contribute to the local community and wider economy. The internal part of the vision is to identify key values by which everyone will work. This is where the second key element, leadership, comes in.


• understand their concerns, what they can and will not do in order to protect their position.

The leader and immediate team must define and agree key principles such as honesty, integrity, reliability by which everyone will work. The leadership team should now demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to working collaboratively by teaming up to develop a clear definition of the project requirement so that everyone can work to the same overall brief. This moves naturally into the third aspect – behavior – through identifying that courtesy, openness and prompt communication are all important. It is here that the leadership team sets an example which can be extended into a partnership culture that is supported by behaviour, i.e. what you do, how you communicate, respecting each party and treating other people how you want to be treated. Last, and not least, is having common processes and tools across the entire project to facilitate easy communication and help remove barriers and excuses for not collaborating. Critical success factors There are a number of actions that can be used to help ensure that everyone on the extended team is working towards the same outcome. • agreeing objectives up-front that are SMART • simple, measurable, affordable, realistic, timetable • design in detail • ensure that detailed design is undertaken early on so that opportunities to improve efficiency and save money are identified • ensuring suppliers can do what they say they can do • honesty about capability and resource is vital • pro-active engagement with suppliers throughout the life-span of the project

Having knowledgeable people in the procurement team who understand the project aims and value over price. Identify when they should become involved, ideally very early on to ensure aligned commercial arrangements. Detailed risk management Identify ways to mitigate risk during the project life-cycle by obtaining a continuous measurement of performance. Agree how each supplier is going to be measured and in conjunction with the suppliers with which they need to interact. Only as good as your suppliers Supplier relationships make or break projects. Understand each supplier’s true capabilities, what they are good at and what they are not good at identify how best to work together and build an integrated team with well-defined common objectives that are clearly and consistently communicated. Create an environment where good ideas and innovations can be put forward without fear and concerns can be raised. Build trust by quickly addressing counter-productive attitudes such as ‘they don’t know what they are procuring so when they come to us for variations that is where we will make our money.’ Case Study: DepCo TenBroeke’s experience of delivering depots at Ramsgate, Ashford, Bedford and Northam placed it in a good position to work on the Thameslink Crossrail projects. Working with its trusted partners, the company brought expertise, insight and project controls across project definition, finance, design and construction. At the next level, the project required multi-disciplinary collaboration in a consortium of like-minded businesses to undertake: definition of outcomes, negotiation, legal process, procurement, interface management and procure the finance package.


Standard stuff in any major infrastructure project, so what made this one so successful? Simple: teamwork and collaboration. At the start, the various players met and discussed what each party could bring to the project. Everyone was aware of the requirement to build depots to look after new fleets and the refurbishment of existing fleets, the joint aim was to agree how best to achieve this objective. Core principles Recognising that the shared interest in delivering the project and understanding what success looked like for each party. Schedule regular meetings to deal with issues, big and small, and work towards agreements. Avoid using variations as an excuse to extend time or increase costs, instead look at how these changes could be turned into a positive. It’s also important to never lose focus on delivering value for money whilst learning lessons from other industries who do it better. The benefit of collaborative working is the delivery of the defined depot requirement – on specification, on time and on budget. ‘Collaboration is core to the way we work and we’re finding more and more companies who appreciate and respect this approach. It’s the future and we’re excited by all the projects in which we’re being invited to contribute’ according to Paul Tweedale, managing director, TenBroeke. Final thoughts TenBroeke Co is a multi-disciplinary independent expert advisers on infrastructure. It nurtures relationships built on cooperation, communication, collaboration and capability, which together help to provide its clients with greater certainty. Over the last few years, the company has successfully delivered on major infrastructure projects including Canary Wharf Crossrail Station in the UK and are currently working in Turkey, Nigeria, Bangladesh and India. Email: Visit:




Comfort and safety "

Newly-formed Schaltbau Transportation UK is going full steam ahead with its growth plans


or nineteen years Albatros UK and Rail Door Solutions have been serving the railway sector from their Milton Keynes facilities with new products, enhancements, service and spares. Now both companies (now owned by the Schaltbau Group) have merged and rebranded to become Schaltbau Transportation UK. All companies that are majority owned by Schaltbau are being branded under the Schaltbau logo to reinforce its brand architecture and to present themselves as an integrated and unified group. With cross-divisional co-operation this offers significant synergies to serve customers and provide solutions along the complete value chain – from joint business development, product development, localisation via country dedicated facilities through to complete installation and service activities at a local level. The world of mobility is full of Schaltbau products that provide comfort and safety for rail and road passengers. Partnering prestigious customers in the fields of rolling stock, rail infrastructure, automotive and industry, it supplies a broad array of products, including: • door and boarding systems for trains, stations, buses and commercial vehicles • interior fittings, information systems, surveillance and communication systems, master controllers, driver desk equipment and toilet modules and

sanitary systems for rolling stock • high- and low-voltage components for rolling stock, electric vehicles and other applications • complete level crossing systems, shunting and signal technology • industrial brakes for container cranes and wind turbines Schaltbau companies are highly specialised in developing and manufacturing safety and security relevant applications, particularly for the controlling and surveillance of rolling stock and rail infrastructure. They are therefore in a key technological position to make a crucial contribution to the digitalisation of the rail sector. Whether it’s about improving how rolling stock communicates with stationary security and control technology or providing additional services for passengers, they support railway operators in their efforts to make both local and longdistance public transportation even more attractive and boost efficiency by developing innovative products. The increasing degree of mobility in the constantly growing regions of today’s fast moving world is placing ever higher demands on the safety and reliability of public transport systems. Schaltbau has the crucial technological core competence needed to help rolling stock manufacturers develop the integrated mobility solutions of tomorrow. In order to safeguard innovation leadership, the group’s companies spend a

high percentage of their earnings on research and development in comparison to other companies in the same sector. Around 400 employees are engaged in R&D activities worldwide. With annual sales approaching € 520 million and 3,000 employees across 37 companies, the Schaltbau Group is a leading supplier of components and systems in the field of transportation technology and the capital goods industry. Fully life cycle support Schaltbau Transportation UK is focused on providing its customers the full life cycle support of its systems and products from initial enquiries for solutions to supply, installation, training, warranty support and aftersales management, through to full maintenance packages and overhauls delivered by its companies’ departments and quality systems covered by ISO and RISAS certification. One of the company’s strengths is its flexibility – it is able to react quickly to customer needs and establish workflows and teams efficiently due to its short decision making channels. For Schaltbau Transportation UK, results orientated working means completing projects quickly and cleanly with its customers. It brings together all the requirements for achieving this in its projects management: it assigns fixed contacts to its customers who are then responsible for providing support and ensuring all workflows are delivered on-time and at agreed prices. The company’s specialist teams based within its Milton Keynes facilities in Wolverton Mill and Wymbush support on-site repair and overhaul activities and along with its off-site teams around the UK it offers support to its customers at their depots for equipment installation, training, service and enhancement projects. The company’s historical activities centred around the maintenance, enhancement, repair and overhaul of door systems, HVAC modules and static converters along with spares support on these products and toilet modules.




Rolling stock is usually developed for a service life of 30 years, however during this life cycle vehicles need to be continually maintained and adapted to meet the everchanging customer needs and increasingly strict safety requirements. The company prides iteself in working collaboratively with its customers forming long-term partnerships and to this end, they pledge to achieve maximum on-time delivery, constant quality and binding cost structures. Due to this philosophy it has now diversified its off-site capabilities and is now working with customers on enhancement and refurbishment projects at its depots to support these vehicle life cycle activities which include: • PRM-TSI modifications to Toilet Modules and Passenger Door Systems • HVAC Repairs and Overhauls • door system repairs, reliability enhancements and full maintenance packages • interior fit-outs • installation of PIS systems, CCTV, coffee machines, headlights, air reservoirs • door sensitive edge/door detection system upgrades • interior fit outs • floor installation • composite door supply and fit

• obsolescence solutions – e.g. door telescopic rails, door control modules, static converter life expired components, HVAC components. • component overhauls – door actuators, door locks, rotary actuators, control valves, door header gear

premises within Milton Keynes that covers just over 31,000sq ft. Along with this new facility, the company also continues to develop its business diversification and support from purely rolling stock products into infrastructure systems and bus and coach boarding systems.

As Schaltbau Transportation UK continues its growth plans it is bringing its two facilities together in a newly refurbished

Contact: Peter Jablonski, commercial director Tel: 01908 224140 Visit:

Marshall-Tufflex’s GRP cable management systems are so incredibly lightweight and tough, we don’t think you’ll find a better solution anywhere. Our trays, ground ducts and troughing can take extreme weather and high temperatures (-80˚C to +130˚C), and they are incredibly easy to install. Our 2-in-1 trays can be enclosed to be used as trunking. Unlike other GRP solutions, cover clips keep our lids totally secure, whatever the temperature.

Our ground ducting is 3x lighter than GRC and 10x lighter than concrete. Impact and frost resistant, it is also compatible with existing concrete ducts for easy on-site installation. Our troughing is the ideal alternative to concrete, reducing both installation time and transportation costs. Our products are tough, but you’ll find us extremely easy to deal with, so call now for expert advice or technical support.

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The Albert Hugo Friday Bridge – a long time coming Walker Construction recently completed a £1.2 million design and build contract to install a new foot and cycle bridge over one of Kent’s busiest railway lines, the collaborative efforts of the entire team successfully resolving a long-term road-safety issue


etwork Rail’s Thanet Line runs across north Kent carrying commuters and holiday makers to-and-from the Kent seaside towns of Herne Bay, Margate and Ramsgate. A mile east of Herne Bay station the track runs through a cutting and under Blacksole Bridge, a five-arch brick bridge carrying Margate Road over the line. As Herne Bay has grown the volume of vehicle and pedestrian traffic using Blacksole Bridge has increased substantially but, without a pedestrian footway, it’s gained a notorious reputation. Signage warns ‘No footway for 120 yards’ and, with a blind bend at the south end, crossing the bridge is hazardous. Local residents, fearing a serious accident, have vociferously campaigned for a solution for years, their vigour reaching a crescendo when it was announced that Blacksole Farm, to the south of the bridge, was to be developed. But the plan promised the solution they wanted. In 2003, Canterbury City Council granted planning permission to the Kitewood Group for the creation of the Altira Business Park, a high quality, 30 acre industrial/commercial development. One of the conditions the council imposed was that a pedestrian bridge had to be provided but, to the intense dismay of the campaigners, not until 17,000m2 of the site had been developed. Plan of action Kitewood entered into an option agreement with Urban&Civic to provide a Sainsbury’s superstore and petrol station on part of

Copyright Urban&Civic 2016

the site and in June 2013, Kitewood, in conjunction with Urban&Civic, submitted a planning application for the bridge, fasttracking its provision by waiving the 17,000m2 trigger. As Richard Hepworth, director of project management at Urban&Civic, said: ‘We take a long-term view of everything we do and tend to invest in infrastructure first. The bridge provides connectivity to the store and we wanted that in place as soon as possible.’ It was a hugely popular decision, one that led tireless campaigner, former local councillor Peter Vickery-Jones, to exclaim: ‘I have had my arguments with Kitewood in the past but all that is forgotten and forgiven, I just want that bridge!’ Walker Construction won the contract to provide the new bridge along with its associated access points, lighting, a fully-lit footpath into Altira Business Park, access routes for inspection and maintenance, security fencing and landscaping. Overall design of the scheme was passed to Walker Construction’s design division, WSS Construction Consultants, the design, construction and installation of the bridge being awarded to Hythe-based bridge and gantry fabrication specialist Nusteel Structures. Nusteel proposed a single-span warren truss bridge, its versatile design concept allowing different cladding and parapets to be used to create a unique, eye-catching structure. Armed with this, ‘a small army’ of WSS engineers and designers started work on the multitude of design facets involved. The 52 metre long bridge would be positioned parallel to the existing road bridge and approximately four metres to the east, allowing immediate access to the existing pavement on the north side and needing a straightforward, 150 metre long footpath to connect with The Boulevard in Altira Business Park on the south side. Work begins Preliminary work on site started in July 2015 and soon revealed an unexpected hazard when ‘the ground began releasing a pungentsmelling smoke which obviously caused concern.’ (Walker Construction Incident Report). The fire brigade was called, a search revealing nothing more than several broken

bottles, an innocuous find next to a bridge over a railway line. Although the incident prompted an environmental investigation, the discovery of three intact bottles both solved the mystery and raised the stakes: they were No.76 Special Incendiary Grenades, ‘Molotov Cocktails’ used by the Home Guard during the Second World War and probably left by the bridge ready for use in the event of the threatened invasion in 1940. The police were called, the area cordoned off and the army’s explosive ordnance disposal team contacted. A further ten grenades were found and transferred to a skip, where a controlled explosion destroyed them and the phosphorus left to burn itself out. Work on the site would have to proceed with caution! As work progressed, Walker Construction, WSS, Nusteel, the developers and the stakeholders worked together in a series of design coordination meetings to ensure that the project’s technical aspects were addressed and that Kent County Council and Network Rail’s criteria were met, WSS co-ordinating and managing an extensive approval processes on behalf of both. As the bridge spanned a busy mainline railway, Network Rail’s requirements were particularly rigorous, their review covering every aspect of the project from start to finish.


Regulation compliance Working next to a live railway line meant the site had to comply with any line open (ALO) working conditions which meant creating a working environment in which there was no danger of machinery on the site fouling the line in the event of either human error or an accident. Inevitably, this can only be achieved by introducing a physical barrier between the working area and the track, the type of machinery used and the site’s topography determining the strength of the barrier. In this instance, a piling rig, albeit a small one, was to be used at the top of each embankment, the risk being mitigated by using 7 metre long, sheet steel piles to create a barrier, these being driven into position during Network Rail line blocks. Pragmatically, WSS designed the piles to also form part of the temporary works system that created the piling mat and, after trimming them down, to form the retaining wall around the lower part of the bridge abutments. Work started on September 7 2015, the site being prepared ready for the construction of the two reinforced-concrete bridge bases that would be located at either end of the bridge. Piletec Geotechnical bored six, 450mm diameter, 9 metre deep pile shafts for each base using sectional flight auger (SFA) piling to allow a small rig, a Klemm 702, to be used. SFA piling is quiet, vibration free and overcomes the need for casings or bentonite to support the bore. Shafts are bored to the required depth using a hollow-stem auger which is then slowly retracted, drawing the spoil with it, the resulting void being filled by a high-slump concrete pumped down the auger’s hollow stem. Once the auger has been removed and the bore filled, a steel reinforcing cage is inserted into the still wet concrete. As the bridge was to be constructed and finished in Nusteel’s workshops and then craned into position, a high degree of accuracy was needed to ensure the fixing points on the bridge lined up perfectly with the holding down bolts cast into the bearing shelves on the bridge abutments. With a design tolerance of just 15mm, site manager and project engineer Paul Maxton’s setting out had to be absolutely spot on. Bridge building Construction of the bridge started in Nusteel’s Lympne workshops in January 2016, some four months after work had started on site. Built by a team of three craftsmen and two apprentices, the bridge was constructed in two parts: one 42 metres long, the other 10 metres long. The bridge was painted and ready for delivery by the middle of March, its size and weight necessitating a 95 mile trip up the M20, round the M25 and back down the M2 and A299 to the site which is just 25 miles from Nusteel’s workshop. Having arrived at the site, the two sections of the bridge were spliced together and the electrical containment fitted: the bridge was good to go. Lifting the bridge into position was a challenge compounded by the only location

for the crane being the south end of the bridge: lifting a 64 tonne bridge with a lifting radius of 46 metres across a railway line and lowering it into position with pinpoint accuracy called for something special, and very big. Sarens provided a massive 1,000 tonne, Liebherr LTM 11000 DS crane of which there are just two in the country: once on site the crane would take 24 hours to rig using the services of a second, 200 tonne crane. After weeks of close liaison and detailed planning between Walker Construction, Network Rail, Kent County Council, Highways England, the Environment Agency, Kent Police, Nusteel, Sarens and the local residents, installation was planned for Sunday, 20 March. Network Rail scheduled a 20 hour period of disruptive possession on the line for a variety of maintenance purposes, during which the team were allocated a 12-hour Work Site Window to carry out the lift and complete the installation. The actual lift involved a team of twenty from Walker Construction, Nusteel and Sarens and took place on a dry, spring day. Articles in local newspapers along with the arrival of the bridge and a massive crane ensured a sizeable audience. The Work Site Window opened at 7:30am and the lift started at 3pm, taking just 20 minutes from start to finish. The bridge was gently lowered into position accompanied by applause from the crowd and audible sighs of relief from Paul Maxton and the WSS design team: alignment was perfect. Community spirit Poignantly, the new bridge is named in memory of 20 year old RAF Pilot Officer Albert Hugo Friday who lost his life on Friday, 30 August 1942, when his Spitfire suffered catastrophic engine failure. Although the young fighter pilot bailed out he died from his injures close to Blacksole Bridge, a memorial


marking the tragic event. Local artist Kate Samuels was commissioned by Urban & Civic to design and provide the enamelled name plaques that show a flight of Spitfires over Herne Bay’s skyline. The bridge was finished on 18 April 2016, and formally opened on Tuesday, 26 April 2016, by the then Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Cllr Sally Waters, the opening ceremony being attended by members of Pilot Officer Friday’s relatives. Urban&Civic’s development director, Nigel Wakefield, told reporters at the opening ‘When we first started looking to get planning permission, we came down and met the local people. They told me the one issue they had was safely walking over the bridge. We promised them then that if we got planning for a food store, we would provide a new foot bridge.’ The local residents are delighted with their new bridge which, after so many years of taking their lives in their hands, now provides a safe method of crossing the railway. Having campaigned for the bridge since 2007, Cllr Peter Vickery-Jones voiced their thanks: ‘I think the developers have been really honourable with this. There was no requirement for them to install the bridge other than a moral obligation to the people of Herne Bay. I am so convinced it will save lives.’ Tel: 01303 851111 Email: Visit:



Tram-tastic! NuAspect has provided support and expertise in the planning of maintenance, development and implementation of performance improvements to London Trams fleet since early 2014


he London Trams network opened (as Croydon Tramlink) in 2000 as a private finance initiative (PFI) and was operated by FirstGroup. In 2008, Transport for London took over the running of the tram network and since then, has steadily increased the capacity of the network by the introduction of new trams, double tracking on some sections and recently adding an additional platform at Wimbledon. The 28 kilometre, 39 stop network is mostly segregated with a mix of old railway alignments, off-street routes, and on-street in central Croydon. There are approximately 32 million passenger journeys per year, making it the UK’s third busiest light rail system. The articulated low floor tram fleet currently consists of 36 vehicles; 24 Bombardier Transportation Flexity Swift CR4000 trams (bought as part of the original network build) and 12 Stadler Variobahn trams, which have been introduced progressively since 2012. Analysis In December 2014, the maintenance of the tram fleet was brought in-house with the key reliability measure mean distance between failures (MDBF), for the combined fleet, being 8,290 kilometres. The MDBF is currently 13,373 kilometres against a target of 15,000 kilometres. Failure modes for tram vehicles differ to that for main line and other light rail systems, partly due to the requirement that running on the public highway necessitates the operation of equipment such as indicators. Failure of these simple components can cause a tram to be withdrawn from service. On a daily basis an attribution meeting takes place between London Trams maintenance and Tram Operations Limited (TOL) which determines the MDBF figures. The data from failures and the attribution meeting is analysed by the fleet maintenance performance engineer and the London Trams Technical Support Group (TSG) to determine and agree any modifications that may be required. To date this has largely been for the older CR4000 fleet that was introduced in May 2000. Improvement Water ingress has been a major issue on this


fleet. Water entered into the emergency door release (EDR) switches, into the speed probe housings on the trailer bogie and through some of the roof seals. The EDR switches have all been changed to a sealed type, eliminating three to four tram withdrawals a day during heavy rain. Speed probe failures caused a similar number of withdrawals, which have also been eliminated. Roof

seals accounted for two withdrawals a day. Temporary roof sealing has been carried out across the fleet, and full reseal is part of the current midlife refresh programme. There were also issues with driver’s seats not adjusting or jamming in position, averaging at eight withdrawals a week. All cab seats have now been renewed and although there have been a couple of withdrawals due to manufacturer issues, the work stream has been a huge success. Similar work streams have focused on headlight and tail light modification to LED’s to improve reliability and lower maintenance cost. On the Stadler Variobahn trams some of the reliability issues were due to lack of knowledge with a much newer type of tram. Targeted training and experience have largely addressed these issues. However, headlight failures caused about three withdrawals a week, so a programme of bulb changing has been instigated as a short-term mitigation whilst a modification to LEDs is developed for long-term reliability. A similar short term increase in maintenance intervention has been implemented on the traction system of the Stadler Variobahn trams where the Hex 30 (similar to a radiator) has been causing issues with blockages to airways, ahead of a longer-term modification to enable quicker

Nu Aspect Tram Reliability Improvement

swap-out of the modules and associated pipework. Mac Mackintosh, head of fleet at London Trams, said ‘Since 2014 NuAspect has provided performance and planning expertise to increase the availability of trams to cope with the ever increasing passenger numbers. Through the identification of failure trends, analysing the problems, creating mitigations then deciding on long term changes to maintenance or modification, these work streams have increased tram reliability by approx. 55 per cent.’ The future NuAspect has supported similar performance and reliability improvements on London Underground rolling stock, including the Jubilee line fleet. Identifying short term mitigations and sustainable, cost-effective longer term performance improvements is a key capability which NuAspect can offer across not only rolling stock, but also other railway engineering assets.

Tel: 0207 1010 800 Email: Visit:

MIKE WORBY SURVEY CONSULTANCY Chartered Land and Engineering Surveyors and Geospatial Consultants measuring , modelling and mapping the Railway Environment

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Therapia Lane Depot, London Trams Mac Mackintosh, Head of Fleet, London Trams; “Since 2014 NuAspect has provided Performance and Planning expertise to increase the availability of trams to cope with the ever increasing passenger numbers. Through the identification of failure trends, analysing the problems, creating mitigations then deciding on long term changes to maintenance or modification, these work streams have increased tram reliability by approximately 55%.”

0207 1010 800


Contact:- Michael Worby Mob :- +44(0)7767 456196 tel/fax:- +44(0)1707 333677 Email :- Website:-



Rail Academy opens its doors to industry Newcastle College’s multi-million pound Rail Academy is continuing with its successful growth through the addition of commercial hire and employer training courses


ased in Gateshead in the northeast of England, the Academy, which opened its doors in September 2014 offers a unique training environment to help the rail sector meet skill shortages by providing a range of specialist training dedicated to rail infrastructure. Developed with support from the National Skills Academy for Railway (NSAR) and Network Rail, the purpose-built facility contains extensive real-working environments and equipment to replicate those found in the industry. These facilities combined with experienced staff ensure the Academy is perfectly placed to train technicians and engineers for signalling, telecommunications, electrification and plant, P-way and safety critical operations. The Rail Academy now houses over 160 students who are looking to forge successful careers in rail. In addition, the Academy works closely with companies and representatives to develop bespoke training courses and accreditations that meet the needs of the rail sector. Expansion The plan for the Academy is to expand on this commercial offer, giving employers more opportunities to not only train their staff, but to also hire the facilities for their own development programmes. Making use of infrastructure that includes full indoor and outdoor OHLE, S&C and S&T equipment, multiple P-way set-ups and the latest electronic and PLC testing and monitoring equipment, employers are able to utilise the facility from half a day up to several weeks. In June 2016, the Rail Academy achieved the maximum five-star Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS) audit, a clear sign of the quality of industry training available at the Academy. At the helm of the Rail Academy is Scott Johnson who has more than 15 years’ experience in the rail industry. Johnson started life as a mechanical technician apprentice for Parsons Turbine Generators before commencing his rail career with Northern Rail, where he worked in various technical, training and management roles. Rail Professional

It was during this time that Johnson was accountable for the training and competence of more than 1,000 employees, managing teams of trainers and assessors across the whole of the north of England. Part of his responsibility was also the management and development of all of Northern Rail’s engineering apprentices. His vast experience and knowledge within this area earned Johnson a place on the NSAR trailblazer steering group; a group of employers and professional bodies tasked with shaping the future of rail engineering apprenticeships. Johnson understands the challenges that employers face when training and developing staff and believes that the Rail Academy is the perfect platform to be able to address some of the skills shortages and training needs that exist within the industry. Successful formula ‘Key to the success of our Rail Academy is our close links we forge with industry’


said Johnson. ‘Employers are at the heart of everything we do, from providing work opportunities to our learners to informing our curriculum. ‘Our facilities are unique and offer a fantastic platform for rail employers to develop their workforce. Having worked within training and development for a number of years I know the difficulties organisations can have when trying to source industry-standard facilities. ‘Our aim at the Rail Academy is to be the north of England and Scotland gateway for rail engineering, employment and skills. We don’t just offer qualifications; we take a different approach and offer up our real life functioning rail environment within the confines of a safe training facility. We understand the need to be flexible and that’s why we make sure that employers can take advantage of our facilities to meet the needs of their business.’ Satisfied client One rail business already utilising the Academy for training and development is Infra Safety Services (ISS) Labour. The company manages and supplies a complete delivery service in track renewals track maintenance, projects, enhancements and minor works within the UK railway sector. It looked to the Rail Academy to support its OLE construction program, for both training for existing personnel. In addition, it provided an opportunity for several learners to gain first hand rail industry experience through paid weekend employment. This has led to a number of students gaining full-time employment after completing their course. Phil Humes, training manager at ISS Labour said: ‘We approached Newcastle College’s Rail Academy to help us out with a 25kV overhead line authorised person training course. The Academy is an excellent training environment and offers both highlevel and low-level overhead lines replicating those found in industry. The training team are very accommodating and committed to

ensuring it’s the best rail training facility in the northeast of England.’ Whilst ISS Labour utilised the Rail Academy for technical training, other industry bodies have chosen to use the Academy to host regular conferences. The rail sector’s largest B2B networking organisation, Rail Alliance chose the venue to co-host a safety and performance networking event in conjunction with Aquarius Rail. The full-day event made use of the extensive classrooms and modern IT facilities on offer at the Academy. Lucy Prior, membership development and international trade director at the Rail Alliance said: ‘The very first time I visited the Rail Academy I was so impressed. From the quality of the facilities, to the dedication of the teaching and support staff, through to the professional demeanour of the students – there is a palpable sense of quality and purpose in all that the Rail Academy does. ‘I can genuinely say that this was perhaps our most interactive and inclusive event, and that was due, in part, to the surroundings. ‘As well as the physical venue, the Academy provided full conferencing and banqueting support utilising students from all aspects of the college. This is a venue that is actually making a difference in the industry.’ The Rail Academy has gone from strength to strength since opening its doors, building strong relationships with key players including Nexus, Ganymede Solutions and VGC. Now high on the agenda is higher level skills training, including new trailblazer apprenticeships and foundation degree programmes, all designed to meet the demand for skills within the rail sector. There are also plans to further develop both the vocational and commercial curriculums to incorporate rolling stock systems and maintenance. This focus comes on the back of the skilled staff shortage and ever increasing age profile that exists within the sector, along


with introduction of the apprenticeship levy which is due to come into force in April 2017. Official qualifications Newcastle College is one of only a handful of colleges in the UK that is able to develop and accredit its own degrees through foundation and taught degree awarding powers. The Rail Academy is now planning to utilise these powers by introducing a new rail engineering degree that will offer natural progression for existing students and offer employers the chance to upskill current employees. These exciting developments ensure that training and hire packages on offer are relevant to current industry practice, perfect for employers to that are aiming to keep up to date with accreditations and standards.. The Rail Academy is based in Gateshead in the North East of England. It is ideally situated near to the Sunderland/Newcastle rail link and metro lines. Tel: 0191 200 4546 Visit: Email: Rail Professional



Transforming the railway When Hitachi first arrived in the UK few would have predicted just how much the company would grow to where it is now


hen Hitachi Rail first started in the UK, it was in a small office in London in 2006. Back then we had just a few people, but they were driven by a big ambition – to transform the UK’s railway. Fast forward a decade, we’ve still got a lot to do, but next year the transformation will really start. Trains built in Britain, for Britain, will start travelling on key routes around the country. Inspired by Japanese engineering these new trains will offer passengers 21st century journeys, more reliable, more space and modern technology. The main event is undoubtedly the first Intercity Express Programme train entering service on the Great Western main line. The Class 800 series will bring intercity travel into the 21st century, boosting capacity and increasing reliability. Harnessing our innovative bi-mode technology, the trains will be able to run on both electric and diesel power, a UK first for passenger services. In fact, IEP trains will be able to seamlessly switch between the power sources during a journey at a touch of a button, without passengers ever noticing. Commuters in Scotland will also be able to benefit from Hitachi’s new longer, faster, greener trains. The Class 385 will run between Glasgow and Edinburgh at a top speed of 100mph. These 70 trains will be Hitachi’s first commuter vehicles to run in

the UK. They will look very different from the intercity trains on the Great Western, but still packed full of Japanese heritage and technology. By 2020, the sight of a Hitachi train will be almost inescapable. 281 intercity and commuter trains will run from Aberdeen to

Penzance, Hull to Liverpool, connecting all corners of the country. To deliver this vast order book, the company has needed to upscale dramatically. At the beginning of 2015 Hitachi Rail Europe employed 400 people. The company reached its 1,000th employee in 2016, but we’re still growing apace. By 2019, the number of employees will double to 2,000 across 14 locations. Yet, it is not just the manufacturing side of the business which has grown rapidly. By 2020, Hitachi will be the one of the biggest maintainers of trains in the UK. Newly built facilities at Stoke Gifford (Bristol), Swansea and Doncaster will join the refurbished North Pole (West London) site to maintain intercity fleets. Add this to the London headquarters, the existing maintenance facility in Ashford and Newton Aycliffe manufacturing facility, and the scale of Hitachi’s growth becomes apparent. Focus on quality Hitachi recognises the need to recruit and develop a new generation of skilled rail workers. Rather than just quantity, we focus on quality. When taking on new employees Hitachi draws from our founding principles – harmony, sincerity and pioneering spirit – to assess whether the person will be a good fit. Above all else the person will need to join a community that is working towards


common goals. Kaizen and the philosophy of continuous improvement are essential at Hitachi. It is the crucial ingredient that is creating a work force like no other. To attract great new people, Hitachi Rail Europe is involved in a range of initiatives. The company is one of the founding supporters of the newly opened University Technical College (UTC) in South Durham. Newton Aycliffe is engaging with students at the UTC, as well as employing 50 apprentices, with the aim of creating the skilled workforce of the future. The result is Hitachi is creating a hub of engineering skills and jobs in North East, and will do for years to come. At the same time our service delivery organisation is taking shape around the country in preparation for maintaining new intercity trains for 27 ½ years. Our Ashford depot, which maintains the Class 395 Javelin trains, is a model for our new sites to follow. The quality and professionalism at Ashford has seen it offer the Class 395 fleet at unparalleled level of service, with trains available for the start of the morning service 99.7 per cent of the time. Hitachi believes its maintenance sites will change people’s perceptions about what a train depot is and does. A step into a Hitachi facility is a step into the future. From Ashford to Doncaster, Hitachi’s service delivery facilities are light, clean and skilled working environments that showcase the high tech and modern face of the rail industry. Digital Railway The third pillar of Hitachi Rail Europe’s offer – and a core part of our efforts to modernise

the UK rail industry – is digital. 2017 will see our traffic management system (TMS) implemented, in partnership with Network Rail, on the busy Thameslink core. Our technology will allow up to 24 trains per hour to run along one of the most congested stretches of track in the UK. Our ambition is for our TMS to provide a blueprint to support the roll-out of traffic management across the network, underpinning a full digital railway that could unlock up to 40 per cent of capacity on the existing railway. Capacity is just one potential benefit of digital railway. Our vision is for innovative thinking to be combined with big data and the ‘Internet of Things’ to create a railway that has more capacity, is more reliable and offers a better passenger experience. Hitachi has great expertise, but we know that is only by working together we can make this a reality. 2016 has also seen the addition of Hitachi Rail Italy (formerly Ansaldo Breda) and Ansaldo STS to the Hitachi Rail family. Combining our existing operations, with these two established rail businesses, gives Hitachi a global and truly total systems offer with the capacity and expertise to fulfil our aspirations to transform rail. Another key area Hitachi is championing in the industry is greater diversity. With just 16 per cent of the workforce in UK rail made up of women, our industry has a lot of ground to make up on many other sectors of the economy. Research shows that organisations comprised of diverse teams – reflecting diversity in all its forms, not just gender perform better and achieve greater business


success driven by fresh ideas, thinking and innovation. In Hitachi’s view, if the rail industry is to meet the challenge of attracting future generations into its workforce and the necessary skills that will enable it to continue to thrive, we have to appeal to and reflect a broader section of modern society. New opportunities We’re also looking ahead to new opportunities. This year we’ve made a joint British bid to build the New Tube for London, with Bombardier, and offer the next generation of deep rail travel across the capital. This is in addition to our vision for very high speed, which draws upon on our rich heritage in Japan of being pioneers since 1964 of the Shinkansen ‘bullet’ train. When Hitachi first arrived in the UK few would have predicted just how much the company would grow. From a stationary start, the company is now a leader in UK rail, challenging the status quo while embedding itself in the industry and communities. A strong manufacturing pipeline for the UK and long-term maintenance contracts means Hitachi remains committed to the UK. During 2017 all eyes will be on the introduction of our new intercity and commuter trains, as the UK public gets its first glimpse of what is to come. It will be the start of an exciting new chapter for the company and a step closer to our goal of playing a major role in transforming Britain’s railway. Tel: +44 207 970 2700 Visit:



Celebrating 30 years of rail safety As rail safety systems manufacturer Rowe Hankins celebrates 30 years in business, managing director Mike Hankins reflects on its transformation


owe Hankins has gone through a remarkable transformation over the last three decades. From modest beginnings as a small distribution company to a manufacturer with a worldwide reach, it has built a global reputation for quality, reliability and innovation, in making railway operations safer and more efficient. Today, the British company is recognised globally as a specialist in the design and manufacture of components used within safety critical systems, as well as the worldwide distribution of electromechanical products for railways. Although it has a global reach, the headquarters are still based in Bury, north Manchester. This year marks its 30th anniversary and as the company celebrates its achievements and plans for the future, it is time to reflect on how far the company has come over the last three decades. Growth and expansion The business started in modest premises in Bury with just a handful of staff and a moderate turnover. In 1990 it moved to the Power House site in Bury, and since then the building has expanded to allow for the addition of increased manufacturing facilities and a service centre. Thanks to continued growth and expansion, Rowe Hankins now employs more than 50 members of staff in various roles, including production engineers, research and development, sales, admin, marketing, electro-mechanical service and repair, with sales outlets both in the UK and overseas in France, China and America. Manufacturing excellence The business has progressed from a distribution firm to a manufacturer and its focus has been to strengthen the engineering team. Its engineers specialise in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of electro-mechanical equipment, providing savings of many thousands of pounds to major train companies, such as the London Underground, Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom. Rowe Hankins employs skilled and

uniquely experienced engineers that allow the company to develop its own products, including speed sensors, current monitoring products, intelligent wheel flange lubrication and earth leakage detection units. The firm’s aim is to go beyond the solution, striving to find better ways of increasing safety within the rail industry. The engineering team are proactively seeking new methods for making the products on the traction market safer and more efficient. Last year it was recognised with two industry award wins; Supplier of the Year at the Light Rail Awards and an Innovation Award from Modern Railways. Other key achievements include being awarded the ISO 9001 and accreditation from the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS). The future Keeping the business in the family, Mike stepped into the role of managing director in 2013, following the retirement of his father, Toni Hankins. Thanks to the hard work, passion, knowledge and expertise of the team, Rowe Hankins has built a global reputation for quality, reliability and innovation. It is also the customer first approach and our belief that anything is possible, that has kept us relevant in the rail

industry for the last 30 years. Today, its products are making vast improvements to the rail industry, not only making safety economical but also efficient, reliable and attainable. Several new designs are currently being launched into the market and the company is genuinely excited about the future. Tel: +44 (0)161 765 3005 Email: Visit:

Beyond the Solution... Did you know our Speed Sensors have been supplied globally for 30 years? Our safety critical speed sensors use hall effect sensor technology to measure speed and direction in the harshest of environments. With high reliability, they offer a cost effective solution as well as having various signal output options; single, dual and multipair outputs being available. They allow specific channels to be isolated and powered from different power supplies. Contact our sales team for more information about our speed sensor range?

0161 765 3005

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Help us lay the tracks for a new high speed rail workforce Industry support for students will be crucial in helping to develop the workforce we need to deliver a state-of-the-art railway, explains National College for High Speed Rail CEO Clair Mowbray


e will be known forever by the tracks we leave’, according to a wellknown Native American proverb. With much of the UK’s national rail infrastructure exceeding capacity, and plans well-underway for the UK’s second high speed rail line, the industry is already beginning to forge new paths for future generations. However, if we are to ensure that our efforts today leave a truly lasting legacy – one that will be comparable, if not greater, than the achievements of our Victorian ancestors and the rail infrastructure they have left behind – then we need to create a human legacy for high speed rail. In short, we need to provide British workers with the training and knowledge they need to carry out major and modern infrastructure projects across the UK and overseas. High speed rail will revolutionise the UK’s ageing transport infrastructure. To succeed in delivering the long-lasting, transformational change that is needed, education will be critical. The new National College for High Speed Rail, built on state-of-the-art campuses in Birmingham and Doncaster, will play a fundamental role in the continuing growth of Britain’s rail network. The college is the largest of five new government-sponsored specialist institutions, created and developed with industry employers to help British students develop specific higher-level skills. The college is

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preparing for its first intake of students in September 2017, and will be dedicated to training the workforce that Britain needs to make high speed rail happen. College leavers will be qualified for a range of industry positions including hightech engineers, managers, designers, rail operations and advanced manufacturing. With major investment in Britain’s infrastructure currently in the pipeline, our graduates will be ready to seize upon the professional challenges and career opportunities upon finishing their courses. The college is developing its curriculum

and lessons in close conjunction with the rail industry. This approach will ensure our students receive all the necessary work experience and skills training that their future employers need, and allow them to take advantage of the opportunities and roles that will be created in this exciting new industry. But for the college to succeed, we need the support of the entire rail industry. Firstly, to help supply our first learners – Higher Apprenticeships in civil engineering and track systems specialisms will be available next year. In addition, we are engaging with businesses to help develop the college’s curriculum, design its learning spaces and to specify or supply the kit and equipment on which students should learn. The importance of industry backing could not be clearer. The demand for high speed rail projects in the UK is already such that the


About Clair Mowbray Clair joined HS2 Ltd to lead the development of the National College for High Speed Rail in 2014. She has been instrumental in taking the project from concept through to development working with public and private sector stakeholders to achieve buy-in and support for the project. She was appointed chief executive in September 2016. Clair’s career has been characterised by working with organisations dedicated to supporting people through skills development. Her previous roles have included appointments as chair of the Research Network with the Learning and Skills Council, as management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and head of the FE Services Team with Tribal Education. DfT’s Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy reports an additional 7,200 technical and engineering staff will be needed by 2020. HS2 alone is expected to create 25,000 jobs, including 2,000 new apprenticeships. Only businesses and experts in the sector will be able to tell our students what is required to build a new high speed railway line to link our great cities. Or what it takes to get new technology from the drawing board to successful implementation. Or how to lead a change programme that takes the best people with you and achieves shared ambitions. If businesses help to set the standards and develop the curriculum, it means our students will learn the specific skills they need to support those businesses in the long-term.

Right now, we’re asking potential industry partners to register their interest and to come and talk to the team. We have also launched a leadership pledge and are inviting businesses to add their names. To find out more about the leadership pledge, please contact Beth Curtis, head of partnerships and communications: About the National College for High Speed Rail The National College for High Speed Rail consists of two campuses in Birmingham and Doncaster. Each campus will focus on separate areas of expertise. In Birmingham, training will be provided specifically around advanced digital technology, command, control, communications, and civil engineering. In Doncaster, the focus will be high-tech engineering, rolling stock, track systems and power. In addition to its main campuses, the college will also be linked with other universities and training providers. Full-time and part-time courses will combine classroom teaching and virtual learning. Students will also spend around one-third of their time in the workplace, putting their learning into practice. The college will offer learners Higher Apprenticeships, a Higher National Certificate (HNC) equivalent in railway technology and management, and Continued Professional Development modules, each tailored to the real-world application of everything from digital railway systems and sustainability to leadership and management. For more information about the college visit


Case Study – Alstom Nick Crossfield, managing director, Alstom UK & Ireland, said: ‘Alstom has been part of the British rail industry for over a century. We built the Pendolinos for the West Coast Main Line and the UK’s first ever very high speed trains, the original Eurostars, were created by us. ‘Today the industry faces a significant skills gap and we need to rise to the challenge by investing in excellent training and development. That’s why we are committed to apprenticeships and education, and are delighted to be supporting the important work of the National College for High Speed Rail. I’m looking forward to working with the College, and building links between it and our new Training Academy in Widnes, to create the next generation of engineers, technicians and innovators.’

Rail Professional



Gold standard CF Booth is one of the leading metal recycling companies in the UK


he company was established in 1920 by Clarence Frederick Booth and since that time has grown from a local metal trader into one of the largest independently run recycling companies in Europe. CF Booth is a member of the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) and also a Gold member of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR). Predominantly functioning as a scrap yard, it imports and exports a large variety of materials worldwide, with the head office located in Rotherham, South Yorkshire at Clarence Metal Works. The company has been associated with the scrapping of diesel and electric locomotives since the 1960’s and is now one of the largest rolling stock recyclers in the UK, winning nationally released tenders from several of the main rail operating companies. The company’s Rolling stock division

has achieved both ISO 9001 and 14001 standards and is subscribed to the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS). Its rolling stock asbestos removal/ disposal service is supported by Demex, a member of the CF Booth Group. Demex is licensed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the safe removal of all types of asbestos. Its fully-trained and accredited operatives use the very latest equipment and techniques to safely strip out and dispose of asbestos. The removal service is backed up by the use of CF Booth’s own asbestos landfill site in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire ensuring full control and traceability with on site removal being conducted in our purpose built decontamination rail sheds. Extremely competitive In addition, the company’s extremely competitive buying process and quick

payment terms mean that for many companies wishing to dispose of their rolling stock, CF Booth is the first port of call. Besides processing rolling stock for its residual ferrous/non ferrous metals, it also salvages any or all components that may be required by Railway Companies and Railway Preservationists. The current rolling stock manager, Christopher Davis, said: ‘We are proud to be playing a major role in supporting the UK national rail industry and extremely proud to provide a valuable service to railway enthusiasts and preservationists throughout the UK as they continue to restore rolling stock vehicles to their former glory for future generations to enjoy. We value the relationship we have built up with rail companies, preservationists and enthusiasts over the years.’ Tel: +44 (0) 1709 559198 Visit:

Broad range of DC/DC converters that meet the stringent requirements for mobile and stationary railway application in accordance to EN50155.

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Long-term prosperity New business development supported by a philosophy of innovation is an essential part of John G Russell (Transport)’s strategy Freshly lodged at Companies House, the March 2016 accounts of Glasgow-based Russell Group, one of Scotland’s leading logistics companies, report a trading year significantly affected in the first two months of 2016 by the closure of the West Coast Main Line, the result of bridge damage following severe flooding. Despite contingency plans in place, additional costs of alternative routings were incurred and loss of some revenue and margin throughout this period. However as testament to its effective business partnerships with Freightliner, Network Rail and VTG the company managed to retain all key customers by providing a mix of road and rail solutions to keep their supply chains intact. Ending loss-making activity through Channel tunnel rail services due to the migrant issues in Northern France impacted positively on the bottom line in the latter part of the year, as did sustained warehousing throughput and margins across the year. Hi-cube freight operations continued to diminish during an extended period of operational change, but positive performances from expanding On-Site Logistics, Contract Packing and other added value services contributed to a modest improvement this year that saw operating margins uplifted before tax to £2.91 million (2015 £2.69 million) despite turnover trimmed by around two per cent to £61.1 million (2015 £62.6m) Expansion of interests Concentration on core distribution activities led to an expansion of interests in the

Midlands with the new rail terminal at Crick and spending on new handling equipment, purchase of 45 refrigerated containers for our Anglo Scottish rail services, in addition to regular fleet replacement, raised overall asset spending to just short of £5 million. The group continues to reinvest in new technology to drive efficiency gains and improve environmental benefits in a challenging industry, but seeks to achieve justifiable returns on such investment at all times. Employed staff costs increased to £22.6 million from £21.9 million with little change in overall numbers at 621 employees; these

figures excluding a significant element of agency labour, vital to certain core operations. Group strategy remains the achievement of a high quality, robust, sustainable and cost-effective logistics service to UK industry and the development of mutually beneficial, long-term business partnerships. A focus on new business development supported by a philosophy of innovation as a means of achieving long-term prosperity is an essential part of this strategy. Rail remains a core part of our logistics offering and while we have suffered heavy cost burdens with Lamington viaduct and through Channel tunnel rail services, we continue to invest in rail facilities and services. Contact: Kenneth Russell Tel: 01236 703 300 Email: Visit:



Fire Safe Flexicon’s Colin Legg takes a closer look at the latest EN45545 standard and how it applies to flexible conduit and cable protection systems


ire safety has always been a top priority in the rail industry, which is renowned for setting the toughest standards available. The industry typically involves people en masse in confined spaces – whether that is a station or a rail carriage, so it is not surprising that it sets tough standards for fire safety. Until recently different countries in the EU had their own set of standards, which resulted in suppliers having to test their products and systems to multiple different tests. Demands for a single European ‘cross border’ safety standard has now culminated in EN45545 which is considered to be the most comprehensive set of fire safety standards ever developed. Flexible conduit has to conform to these new standards and achieving the correct specification is vital. Flexible conduit systems protect vital power and data cabling which are essential for the on-going running and safety of the rail system – including fire safety system and lighting, which are critical in the event of an evacuation. Safety first Taking a closer look at the requirements of EN45545, parts 1 and 2 are applicable to conduit systems. Part 1 covers general definitions, operation and design categories in addition to fire safety objectives. Part 2 explores the reaction to fire performance. For the reaction to fire, the requirements of EN45545 can be summarised by the acronym FIRST, it covers flammability, ignitability, release of heat, smoke emission and toxic fume emission. Different levels of fire performance

are then required for different types of applications according to the level of risk that fire would pose. The requirements for internal applications, as detailed by R22, are different to those posed by external applications which are detailed in R23. Generally products used for internal applications need to perform better in the event of a fire than external applications and the requirements for R22 and R23 reflect this. Clearly the highest risk applications must have a superior fire reaction to others. HL3 is the highest category available, followed by HL2 and then HL1, but even here you need to be careful as the performance levels for HL3 for R22 internal applications are more stringent than those for R23 exterior applications. While fire safety is critical in rail applications, it is not the only factor that you must consider when specifying flexible conduit systems. For external applications, for example cabling between carriages, you may also need to consider its dynamic performance, exposure to oil and solvents, UV light, extreme temperatures, plus its resistance to abrasion, impact or crushing and its tensile strength or pull off strength. Internal applications in vehicles on the other hand will typically require higher levels of performance in the event of a fire, but will generally not require the same degree of performance against crushing or extreme temperatures. An ideal choice for the former example would be Flexicon’s FPIHR non-metallic conduit. It meets HL3 requirements for both R22 and R23, has an excellent fatigue life even at low temperatures with resistance

to UV light, oil and solvents. It also offers an impact strength of 9.8J at -40oC, pull off strength of 50Kg when used with Flexicon UltraTM fittings and has a temperature rating of -50oC to +110oC. You could also use FPIHR for internal applications, but in truth it could well be an over-engineered solution. Flexicon’s FPR system might be a better choice, which also meets HL3 requirements for R22 (and R23). This system also offers a high impact strength, resistance to UV light, oils and chemicals and is abrasion resistant – but not to the same extent as FPIHR. So in conclusion EN45545-2 is to be welcomed in that it highlights the importance of fire safety and brings uniformity for standards across the EU. You should not however ignore the other hazards that cable protection may face, because you need to ensure that vital services remain operational at all times. Colin Legg is marketing manager for Flexicon Tel: 01675 466900 Email: Web: Rail Professional



121KM OF ASTONISHING Can you manage it?

Service and Infrastructure Managers

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1164714 Crossrail 130x183.indd 1

18/11/2016 13:06

Looking to fill a key management vacancy? SGC Rail Solutions Ltd specialise in the rail and construction sectors, providing staff of all levels from ground workers to project directors. We can supply short term labour or assist with the acquisition of permanent staff. SGC Rail Solutions are a truly flexible supplier for constantly changing industries. White Collar Recruitment Blue Collar Recruitment Safety Services Subcontract Services Tel 01626 864 311 Website

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QUALIFIED RAIL STAFF REQUIRED! CROSSRAIL SUCCESS FOR TES TES recent success in securing work on the Crossrail project firmly establishes TES and its commitment to delivering high quality work and service within the rail industry. At the forefront of safety, TES strive to develop best practice and set the standards for safer working in the industry. Specialising in Isolations, Electrification, Possession Management, Technical, Track Services and Safety Critical Training, there is no better time to join our team. We are looking for skilled, enthusiastic and motivated people to join our operational teams in the following areas:

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Opportunities with Frazer-Nash At Frazer-Nash, we employ dynamic and original thinkers who challenge all boundaries to find the perfect solution for clients. This way of thinking has enabled us to grow into a rapidly expanding systems and engineering technology consultancy, with offices throughout the UK and Australia. We specialise in delivering creative engineering solutions to clients across the defence, nuclear, power and transport sectors. We are now looking to recruit the following roles:

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Rail Professional 14/11/2016 15:02:58



Andrew Witkowski joins Ricardo icardo Rail has appointed Witkowski as key account manager for major UK industry clients such as Network Rail and TfL. Said Witkowski: ‘I am committed to supporting the company in its efforts to introduce even higher levels of safety, reliability and efficiency into the UK railways.’ He moves to Ricardo from Halcrow Group.


Siemens UK appoints rail industry leader ernon Barker OBE will be joining Siemens UK’s Rail Systems business as managing director in early 2017. He will succeed Steve Scrimshaw who is moving into the role of managing director for the Power & Gas and Power Service Divisions at Siemens UK. Barker spent more than 15 years in senior managerial roles within First Group’s rail businesses, including MD of UK Rail. He has been running his own consultancy for the past year providing strategic counsel to the rail industry, and is currently working with Transport for the North as Northern Powerhouse rail director.   In his new role Barker will overseeing around 850 employees, contracts with nine different operators and maintenance activities at eight Siemens-built train care facilities and at a number of shared facilities. Siemens currently has some 380 trains in passenger service in the UK and this figure is set to more than double by 2018 through projects such as the Class 707 and the 115 new Desiro City units currently being delivered on the Thameslink line. Barker said: ‘I am looking forward to bringing my experience from previous roles to Siemens and maintaining the momentum that has been achieved by Steve Scrimshaw and the entire Rail Systems team.’


Amey names new business director for metro and light rail ndy Slater, formerly director of international rolling stock for Eurostar is now in the role. Nicola Hindle, managing Director of Amey’s Consulting and Rail business, said: ‘Andy’s understanding of rolling stock operation and performance both here and overseas will be an invaluable addition in helping our customers make smart asset management decisions.’ Slater has also acted as operations director for Railcare and head of engineering for Alstom.


Rail Professional



New CEO for RSSB ark Phillips has been appointed to the job. Phillips joined RSSB in 2015 as director of research and standards and was appointed interim managing director in May this year. He joined British Rail as a graduate trainee and has held various positions across the industry. RSSB chairman, Anna Bradley said: ‘Following a thorough and comprehensive recruitment process, I am delighted Mark has agreed to be our new chief executive officer.  ‘Over the last six months, I have enjoyed working with him, as we have sought to redefine RSSB’s role, purpose and priorities alongside the review of RSSB by ORR. I look forward to developing this work, as we ensure RSSB continues to provide the insight, expert guidance and tools to support our members.’ Phillips said: ‘I am extremely proud to have been appointed CEO and lead the dedicated people who are committed to the delivery of a safer, more efficient and sustainable rail system. RSSB has played a central role in enabling and supporting the industry and I am excited to have been given the opportunity to build on this working with colleagues from across the industry to help them deliver a rail system fit for the future.’


New CEO for Association of Community Rail Partnerships ulie Townsend has been announced in the role, which will include overseeing a team of 11, fostering relationships with those working in community rail and the wider rail industry, representing community rail at national and regional level, setting the strategic direction of ACoRP, and ensuring its ongoing development. She will join ACoRP in December after serving more than 10 years at Brake, the national road safety charity. Said Townsend: ‘I am passionate about promoting sustainable travel and understand how important it is to communities’ health, wellbeing and development. Community rail is playing an increasingly vital role in boosting rail travel and working to ensure our railways meet the needs of local people. Thousands of passionate people around Britain make up the community rail movement, and I feel privileged to be taking on this role to support and represent them at a national level. With ACoRP doubling in size, there is a real feeling of excitement about the organisation doing even more to ensure that community rail continues to flourish.’ She continued: ‘I’d like to say a huge thanks and best wishes to my predecessor Neil Buxton, who must feel extremely proud of all he has achieved, and the transformed and vibrant organisation he is retiring from.’


New regional chair for ICE awrie Quinn, project director, Transportation at Atkins, is to serve as the new regional chair of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in London for a twoyear term. This appointment will see Quinn leading the work of ICE London, representing more than 9,000 civil engineers by focusing on sharing knowledge and actively promoting civil engineering across all sectors through working with industry, schools, universities, local government and the media. Quinn has worked on a number of high-profile programmes including High Speed 1, the West Coast Mainline, the Piccadilly Line extension to Heathrow Terminal 5, Wembley Park Station and Crossrail. This year has also seen the appointment of Richard East, chief engineer, Transportation at Atkins, to the role of chairman of the Railway division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).


Left to right: Chris Evans MP, rail minister Paul Maynard MP and Lawrie Quinn

Photo: ICE

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