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DECEMber 2017 Issue 238 £4.95


Power to the regions Tarmac’s Chris Swan on maximising rail freight to support construction

THE GRAND PLAN In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity

ROLLING STOCK Britain deserves this

SAFETY An enlightened view

We offer a bespoke service, however complex and whatever project size. Our specialised team of Engineers will work with you from the very start of the pre-planning stages and throughout the project, right to the end - assisting you in the design, construction, installation, upgrade and maintenance works. Developing need analysis reporting and relevant system certifications, our work is always to the very highest quality. SMART planning helps us to achieve multi project interfacing whilst practicing great diversity throughout - minimising risk, offering a performance which is, a safe environment, rich in industry knowledge and individual expertise.

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DECEMbEr 2017 IssuE 238 £4.95


Power to the regions Tarmac’s Chris Swan on maximising rail freight to support construction

THE GRAND PLAN In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity

ROLLING STOCK Britain deserves this

SAFETY An enlightened view

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 DISPLAY ADVERTISING CHRISTIAN WILES HANNAH CARRATT KELVIN HOLT BEN WARING RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING DANIELLE BURWOOD MARKETING MANAGER AITANA BRETON SUBSCRIPTIONS AMY HUDSON ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT LISA ETHERINGTON GILLIAN DUNN 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

editor’s note


elcome to this combined December/January issue, themed around freight and rolling stock. Another year on and as usual it’s impossible to get a Rosco to pen an opinion piece. The Financial Times wrote about the impact on Rosco’s of the trend for new orders, with little sympathy for their plight from a DfT which sees that trend as a ‘rational response’ to its demands. The Rosco’s are also impacted by new entrants to the market – infrastructure funds looking for predictable, long-life assets – something really only found in infrastructure itself these days. There are some very upbeat pieces on rail freight – Julian Worth on page 62 sees its future in consumer goods and construction materials. As he says: ‘There was nothing anyone could do about coal but, largely unnoticed, the rest of the business has been growing… It will be a few years before non-coal growth fully compensates for the loss of coal but it is a case of when, not if.’ Tarmac’s Chris Swan agrees that construction is the way forward, and on page 57 he calls for a collective effort from the construction industry to maximise the use of rail freight. Chris Polack on page 65 remembers that at the end of 2016 there was a question mark over the future of the industry, but one year on it’s still alive and kicking. However Polack makes the point that it is important to remember that current developments are only satisfying the constrained rail freight demand: the unconstrained demand is much greater and set to take off over the next 25 years. On page 69 Freight on Rail manager Philippa Edmunds talks about the fact the public wants the government to support rail freight. Her organisation’s recent YouGov poll showed almost two thirds of the public support rail over HGV’s with only two per cent wanting to see more freight on the roads. 63 per cent of people also support increasing government funding to allow more freight trains on the rail network, with only three per cent opposing such measures. Philippa points out that the government must now take the distortion in costs between HGV’s and rail freight into account in its current review of freight access charges. Any increase in freight charges will force trainloads of freight back onto the road resulting in extra congestion, road crashes and pollution costs for society. Last but not least, I’d like to wish you a Happy Christmas and New Year from all here at Rail Professional.

Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine. ISSN 1476-2196

Lorna Slade Editor

© 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.

— Enhanced fire protection Adaptaflex cable protection for critical power & data cables T: +44 (0) 333 999 9900 |

Rail Professional





NR selling commercial property business; new legislation will ‘transform’ transport in north; ACE members consider moving jobs post-Brexit; new scheme for Community Rail; rail supervisory boards set up; government biased about public borrowing, says report; East Midlands Trains Best Employer for Race; new Rail category in TeenTech Awards; train door safety campaign; TPE welcomes Her Majesty The Queen; High Speed Rail College signs footballer; Railfuture User Group award winners; rise of the new ‘hipster trainspotter’

In the passenger seat


How can the impact of disruption on passengers be minimized, asks David Sidebottom

Delivering the goods


Chris MacRae outlines the updated advice given since the Agenda for More Freight by Rail was published in 2014

Laying down the law


Getting the procedures right around modern slavery compliance statements is becoming more important, says Martin Fleetwood

Access charging all change?


We can expect some significant alterations to the way access charging works in the next Network Rail control period, says Martin Watt

So much more to do


Paul Plummer explains the aims of the In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity initiative

Women in Rail


Adeline Ginn looks at how In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity will help the industry recruit female talent

Get cracking


Rail Professional

2017 taught us that you don’t need to be loud to have an impact, says River Tamoor-Baig



As [rail freight] strategies are developed, the role that regions can play in supporting the bigger national picture needs to be considered

Chris Swan, page 57

Power to the regions


Chris Swan looks at maximizing rail freight to support construction

Positive things to come


We mustn’t let the future of rail freight be overshadowed by a challenging present, says Richard Clarke

Painting a different picture


Forget the gloom about coal – the future for rail freight is in consumer goods and construction materials, says Julian Worth

Size matters…


What are the essential capabilities required to support the unconstrained demand for rail freight, asks Chris Polack

By popular demand


The public wants the government to support rail freight, says Philippa Edmunds

Successful, happy and fulfilled


Marcus Boocock reviews IOSH’s annual Rail Industry Conference

An enlightened view


When it comes to safety culture, are employees and managers from different galaxies, asks Chris Langer

Breaking the cycle


Andrew Allen looks at the call for the creation of a new Network Development Fund to support new or reopened lines and stations

IRO News


News from the Institution of Railway Operators

Rail Professional



Tracking the changes Learn lessons and innovate


With the rail freight industry hurting, how does it recover, asks Neil Sime

Britain deserves this


Investment in smart technology can make our infrastructure spend go further, says Mike Muldoon

Feel the power


Avinash Chaudhari and Narendra Sivalenka look at leveraging IoT for a smart solution to copper cable theft


The Survey Association’s rail-themed conference highlighted the digital future, Oliver Viney reports

Business news


HS2 Ltd; Rail Industry Association; DB Cargo UK; GB Railfreigh; Cecence; Balfour Beatty; SNCF; Kiepe Electric UK; Siemens; Arriva

Business profiles


O.L.D Engineering; MNB Precision; Railway Support Services; South Survey; The Railway Consultancy Ltd; Rail Business Awards 2018; Postsaver; Ballyclare; Morris Site Machinery; Zonegreen; Bridgeway Consulting; Elland Cables; Aspin Group; Bemrosebooth Paragon; Layher; Aquarius Rail; Technical Training Solutions; Aegis Engineering; NAtional College for High Speed Rail; WTCE

The long view on HS2




The rail industry has turned its attention to the UK’s next major infrastructure investment, High Speed 2

Rail Professional

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde; Andy Heath; Chris Fenton; Peter Coates; Ian McLaren

Rail Professional

Time to upgrade your wipers? 9 NEWS |

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News in brief... Rail infrastructure top priority for public Polling firm Ipsos MORI has published new research showing that rail infrastructure is among the public’s top priorities for infrastructure investment. 46 per cent of Britons chose tracks and stations ahead of housing supply (43 per cent) and flood defences (38 per cent). Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association said the poll ‘confirms how high a priority the railways are for the public’ and urged the government to consider the findings when developing future introducing rail investment plans. PSV’s new

property business in England and Wales Nearly two and a half years after it appointed Rothschild to assess its property business, the state-owned company has started selling off its commercial estate portfolio – estimated to be worth more than £1 billion – in a move designed to shore up its finances. Network Rail – in debt to the tune of £44.8 billion at the end of March – said the decision was made because the business is a non-core property asset and not essential for the running of the railway. Most of the 5,500 properties in the portfolio are spaces in railway arches and will be sold as leasehold, with Network Rail retaining the freeholds to ensure access rights continue unaffected. The commercial estate business, which last year generated £76.2 million in income, is unique as the largest provider of small and medium-sized business space in the UK, and current tenants will transfer to the replacement system new buyer with their existing leases and notice periods unchanged. Mark Carne, Network Rail’s chief executive said the sale will bring a ‘major cash boost’ to help fund key projects across England and Wales as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan.’

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He also said the deal will bring more investment into the commercial estate for the benefit of the local communities and help fund a better railway. ‘I hope to see areas around the railway positively transformed with new and refurbished shops, amenities, and extra facilities for local people and passengers.’ The sale has been agreed across Network Rail and government, and Network Rail is talking with existing tenants, staff and other stakeholders, who are being provided with information on the decision, impacts, and next steps. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘This is the first step in a major asset stripping programme by a government hellbent on smuggling in privatisation by the back door. ‘This wholesale move to flog off the family silver threatens potential rail expansion as once the land asset is gone, it’s gone. It makes no sense to sell off rail property assets in a one off hit for commercial purposes as the railway will lose the ongoing income stream - regular income which can be used to finance expansion in the long-term.’

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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:

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News in brief... fleet management, in addition to spending time with other Virgin companies, including Virgin Atlantic. New trains for DLR TfL has issued an Invitation to Negotiate in its search for a manufacturer to design and build 43 walk-through trains for the Docklands Light Railway. Four pre-qualified bidders – Alstom Transport UK, Bombardier Transportation, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles and a consortium consisting of Siemens, Stadler Bussang and Stadler Rail Valencia – can now proceed to the next stage of the procurement process for the trains, which will come into service from 2022 and replace rolling stock, some of which is nearly 25 years old. The contract will be awarded in autumn 2018.

Pioneering new legislation will ‘transform transport across the North of England’

New legal powers that will give the North an unprecedented say on how money is spent on transport have been announced by transport minister Jesse Norman. The legislation to turn Transport for the North into the first ever statutory sub-national transport body – with legal powers and duties – was laid in Parliament and underlines, said the government, its commitment to the Northern Powerhouse. TfN – supported by up to £260 million of government funding – will ‘transform’ transport across the North of England, providing the infrastructure needed to drive economic growth and create jobs and boost skills. The move to put TfN on a statutory footing means its recommendations must be formally considered by the government. Norman said: ‘These new powers will give TfN far greater influence over national infrastructure decisions, as well the certainty they need to plan and drive forward projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail and smart ticketing.’ Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry said: ‘We are investing a record £13 billion in transport in the North of England – more than any government in history. As part of this, TfN will be a game-changer, with powers to speak with one voice on northern transport projects and drive forward ambitious plans to improve transport connections and unlock economic growth across the Northern Powerhouse.’ Independent chair of TfN John Cridland said: ‘To have the statutory instrument laid ... introducing PSV’s new replacement before Parliament is a tremendous achievement, having secured the support of 56 localsystem authorities including all 19 of our constituent authorities.’ He continued: ‘Becoming a sub-national transport body means the secretary-of-state of the day will take into account the North’s priorities when making transport infrastructure investment. These priorities will be developed collaboratively and we are currently working with our partners to finalise the draft strategic transport plan, which will be published for public consultation early next year. This is a 30-year transport strategy for the North that will

Supplier Awards TfL hosted the new awards recently, which recognise companies that contribute to running and improving transport in the capital. After ‘fierce competition’ the winners were: Collaboration – Bam Nuttall; Best health initiative – Costain Skanska; Best safety initiative –

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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 11 NEWS |

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Time News in brief... to upgrade your wipers? help drive economic growth in the region and help to rebalance the UK economy – statutory status will ensure this plan is considered as a formal statutory document that can provide a solid, evidenced-based framework for transport investment in the North over the coming decades.’ Rail North, an association of local authorities – including all the TfN members and Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent will also formally become part of TfN and work with government to co-manage the Northern and Transpennine Express rail franchises. After being approved in Parliament, the legislation will be made into law by the end of the year or shortly afterwards depending on legislative time. TfNwill become a statutory body on 1 April 2018. Lianna Etkind, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said: ‘We welcome the devolution of transport decisions away from Westminster and this is the first step towards stronger powers and more control over rail services and investment across the North of England. ‘However, TfN has to be accountable to transport users and the communities they serve so that people across the North feel that they are involved in the body’s decision making and that it reflects their priorities. Most passengers just want to see more investment in their transport, which is also more affordable, and which protects the natural environment that is such an asset to the region.’

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FM Conway; Best environmental initiative – Ferrovial Laing O’Rourke JV; Best apprenticeship scheme – Thales (winner), Exterion Media (special recognition); Best scheme for increasing those underrepresented in the workplace – Siemens; Best efficiencies and innovation – Siemens and Telent (joint winners); Best SME – Buzz Interactive.

No access to single market will see infrastructure jobs move abroad says business group

Fine over death of worker London and South Eastern Railways and Wetton Cleaning Services were fined £2.5m and £1.1m respectively • Armsin a prosecution brought by the • Wiper blades Nearly a quarter of large consultancy and engineering firms say they will consider ORR following the death of a •years Motors cleaner three ago, who(24v was and 110v) moving jobs out of the UK if Brexit makes it more difficult to move staff around Europe, according to the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE). electrocuted•after falling on asystems 750Linkage ACE made the claim following a survey of members which, it said, revealed that Brexit is volt live rail at a depot operated casting a shadow over the UK construction industry, with the consultancy and engineering • Control switches sector set to be hit hard if access to the European single market is not maintained after the by LSER. Cleaners were supposed UK leaves the EU. • Components & spares to be protected from the live rail Continued unfettered access to EU skilled nationals is vital to consultancy and by protection boards, but none engineering firms, many of whom will be designing and engineering some of the UK’s major infrastructure projects, said ACE, whose research showed 22 per cent of firms surveyed will were in use. ORR’s investigation potentially move thousands of posts out of the country, thus jeopardising their delivery of revealed failures by both Wettons those projects. and LSER in contravention of the The government has already been made aware that the UK construction industry as a whole could lose more than 175,000 EU workers – or eight per cent of the sector’s Health and Safety at Work Act workforce – if the country does not retain access to the European single market after Brexit. 1974. ORR Inspectors found a ‘As serious as these figures are, they do not show the true magnitude of the impact on the ‘culture of cutting corners which industry as each sector is affected differently,’ said ACE. exposed workers to serious risks’. The ACE research, conducted with UK law firm Penningtons Manches, aims to clarify Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow We offer engineered for the contribution madeof to the consultancy androbustly engineering sector by EUsolutions nationals. The trainfor tra Whether your trains operate in the heavy snow of We offer robustly engineered solutions the mountains, the heat of theresulting desert,report, or the harsh builders,onand system upgrades for operators The Effect of EU Migration the UK Consultancy and Engineering Sector Post the mountains, the heat desert, or the harsh builders, and system upgrades for Brexit, the is highly dependent onthose EU workers to deliver the infrastructure salty environment of of thethe coast... youshows need a sector wiper (especially experiencing a high LCC operators on more at pipeline. salty environment ofrely theon. coast... you need a wiper (especially those experiencing a high LCC on system you can original equipment). ACE chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin, said: ‘The report paints a worrying picture and system you can rely on. we will be using its contents in our original discussions equipment). with the independent Migration Advisory At PSV, we’ve been developingCommittee and manufacturing Our manufacturing facility Worcester to help strengthen our arguments with hard data from in member firms.’ also has a

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

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



Community rail stations of the future to be shaped by new blueprint A scheme which allows local communities to adopt under-used stations and rail lines has entered a new era under plans announced by rail minister Paul Maynard. Nearly 60 Community Rail Partnerships have been set up around the country since 1993, and have helped to revive and reshape more than 80 routes and stations, thanks to volunteers, community engagement, and funding from the government and train operators which last year topped £3 million. The most successful projects have seen passenger numbers boosted, while others have recreated railway stations as important community hubs To build on that success the Department for Transport is set to launch an updated Community Rail Strategy – with millions of pounds of investment available for successful schemes. Maynard said: ‘We want to give volunteers the support they deserve, spread their success and encourage new partnerships to be created and flourish.’ The minister launched a consultation into how to expand and enhance community partnerships recently at one of the scheme’s success stories, Burnley’s Manchester Road station, where the past year has seen a rise in passenger numbers of more than 100,000. The new strategy for England and Wales is the first since 2007, and will be launched in Spring 2018 following the end of a public consultation on 28th January. The consultation focuses on four themes – connecting people to places and opportunities; supporting communities, diversity and inclusion; supporting local and regional economies; and suggesting innovative ways to improve the way the railway works. Jools Townsend, chief executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), said: ‘Community rail’s importance to our railways’ development is increasingly recognised by industry and government. This consultation is a great opportunity for us to explore how community rail can continue to make a difference, and we’re encouraging anyone interested in sustainable travel and community development to get involved.’ The consultation can be found at department-for-transport ACoRP has also produced a booklet setting out the benefits of community rail which can be found at Rail Professional

Railway supervisory boards set up to improve performance and help win external investment Transport expert and business leader Geoff Inskip has been appointed chair of two independent supervisory boards to oversee business performance and help attract external investors on the West Coast, West Midlands and Chiltern railway routes. Inskip will chair the West Coast and West Midlands supervisory board and will separately chair a board for the Chiltern route. This step is part of In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity (see page 35) – a single rail industry plan to improve services for customers and bring lasting economic benefits to individuals and communities across the country. The quarterly boards will provide Network Rail’s London North Western route business with ‘rigorous oversight and challenge’ and focus on the interaction between track and train and on long-term strategy including helping win external funding. Inskip’s appointment was made jointly by Network Rail’s London North Western route business together with Virgin Trains, West Midlands franchise winners Abellio and Chiltern Railways. He said: ‘I’m looking forward to helping bring together ‘track and train’ in an integrated approach to driving improvements for passengers and businesses.’ Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Western route business, said: ‘I’m thrilled to have Geoff at the helm of our supervisory boards, which are a pivotal step towards our transformation into one truly customer-focused railway team. We and the train companies have invited Geoff to hold to us firmly to account.’ Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, managing director of West Midlands Trains, said: ‘The railway is a highly integrated system, and that system performs best when the all the players are working together effectively.’

Government biased against public borrowing to pay for infrastructure The government is using private sector money to keep infrastructure spending ‘off balance sheet’ – even where this appears to be poor value, argues a new report by the Institute for Government. Public versus private: how to pick the best infrastructure financing option, states that while politically attractive in the short-term, off balance sheet private sector money will not always deliver the best deal in the long-run. Private finance contracts have been delivered on time and budget, but private finance initiative (PFI) contracts for waste services and megaprojects such as Metronet show how badly financed infrastructure projects can deliver poor results. Successive governments have not fairly compared public and private borrowing and have failed to collect the evidence needed to make good decisions on whether to pursue public or private financing in the future, the report states. Despite the lack of evidence on the effectiveness of private finance, the government still expects private investors to raise over 60 per cent of the finance for future projects. The government must change the way it accounts, appraises and budgets for infrastructure, argues the report, which recommends that the chancellor set a target of spending one per cent of GDP annually on infrastructure in the Spending Review. He should also remove the arbitrary exclusion of private finance from the National Infrastructure Commission’s remit. Nick Davies, associate director at the Institute for Government, said: ‘Successive governments have had a clear bias for private finance when it comes to infrastructure. This is despite limited evidence for the benefits of private finance, with examples of the public sector buying out collapsing private finance contracts, such as those used to maintain and renew London Underground’s infrastructure. With private finance once again politically controversial, it’s crucial that the government makes evidence based financing choices. Private finance should be used when it is better value, not solely when it is off balance sheet.’



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East Midlands Trains named as a Best Employer for Race The Toc, part of the Stagecoach Group, has been named by Business in the Community as one of the UK’s Best Employers for Race in a new listing. Successful companies had to evidence that they are putting leadership on race into place within their organisations, creating inclusive workplace cultures and taking action in at least one of three areas – leadership, progression and recruitment. They also had to demonstrate the impact of these policies on BAME employees. The listing is unranked and includes 65 public and private sector organisations which collectively represent the best employers for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in the UK. Stagecoach East Midlands Trains was the only train operator named in the list, which included organisations such as HSBC, Sainsburys, the Department for Transport and the British Army. Jake Kelly, managing director for East Midlands Trains, said: ‘It is important that our workforce reflects the communities we serve and we need to be a welcoming place for everyone’. He continued: ‘Our recruitment team has been doing a lot of work to encourage a more diverse workforce by tackling unconscious bias through blind candidate screening and running targeted recruitment campaigns that have encouraged more applications from females and people from ethnic minorities. We still have a way to go but it’s great to see that the steps taken so far are starting to pay off, and we’re extremely pleased this has been recognised by Business in the Community.’ Sandra Kerr OBE, race equality director at Business in the Community, said East Midlands Trains is ‘taking a comprehensive and strategic approach to tackling racial inequalities within their organisation and have shown their commitment and leadership on this issue.’ Creating a Best Employers for Race list was one of the recommendations made in the McGregor-Smith Review of race in the workplace earlier this year to showcase best practice on race equality in UK workplaces.

Rail Professional

New rail category sponsored in TeenTech Awards Two North East based Community Rail Partnerships have joined forces to encourage young people to think of innovative ideas to enhance and develop rail travel in Britain. The Bishop Line CRP is working with neighboring Tyne Valley CRP to sponsor a new category in the national TeenTech Awards titled the ‘Future of Rail’, aimed at challenging the nation’s youth to think of fresh and pioneering ideas to transform the rail transport sector. Inspired by the recent partnership with Newcastle College Rail Academy (See Rail Professional November issue), where students are offered tutoring and experience of a real rail environment to improve their career opportunities, the new partnership is aimed at showcasing the widespread and varied careers available across Britain’s rail industry. Welcoming the new category, TeenTech CEO and former Tomorrow’s World reporter, Maggie Philbin OBE, said: ‘The rail industry is an exciting place to work but so many opportunities are completely invisible not only to students but to their parents and teachers. By encouraging students to work on their own ideas we will open their eyes to the scale of the industry and their own potential to be part of it.’

Passengers reminded to stand back when doors are closing Too many passengers are willing to take risks to get on and off trains while the doors are closing, according to the RSSB. New research from the rail safety body has shown that nearly three quarters of passengers will still try to get on a train once the door alarm starts to sound, with over half still intent on boarding just before the doors start to close. Of those interviewed as part of the research, two thirds of passengers failed to associate the door close alarm as meaning ‘stand back’, with most disregarding it and continuing to board. The majority of passengers also mistakenly believe that train doors are like lift doors and will always re-open if something was obstructed in them, said RSSB, and a significant number – 16 per cent – will still try to board even as the doors are physically closing together in front of them. RSSB’s lead human factors specialist, Paul Leach, said: ‘Network Rail, passenger and freight train operators and other rail bodies are working closely with us on these issues to ensure train travel continues to be the safest transport on land.’ RMT however, has launched a ‘direct challenge’ to the RSSB to ‘fundamentally review’ its ‘conflicted position’ on Driver Only Operation and the danger to passengers at the Platform Train Interface, saying the organisation has been ‘forced by weight of evidence’ to launch a public information campaign warning the public of the ‘growing risk’ of trap and drag incidents. General secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Chris Grayling and his cheerleaders at the Rail



National College for High Speed Rail signs former Doncaster Rovers starlet Delivery Group are fond of pushing the claim that the RSSB and safety regulator the ORR, which is also heavily reliant on train company cash, are DOO fanatics, but when you peel away the layers it becomes clear there are deep-seated fears about what is really going on at train and platform level.’ He continued: ‘The RSSB can’t have it both ways. If they think that the only concern is public information rather than the operational model and the rampant de-staffing of the railway then they are simply ignoring their own evidence base which points to a growing danger of trap and drag. It’s about time both the RSSB and the ORR showed some genuine independence and started putting the passenger first. RMT has no intention of allowing them to turn a blind eye to the growing evidence that the proud safety record on Britain’s railways is being corroded in a toxic drive for fatter profits.’

TransPennine Express welcomes Her Majesty the Queen to Hull Paragon station

Former professional footballer Liam Wakefield has become the latest signing for the new National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster. The player, 23, and current rightback for Boston United has given up playing the game full-time to focus on learning the engineering skills that will be needed to design and build the UK’s new high-speed rail network and future infrastructure projects. Wakefield is studying for a certificate of higher education (Cert HE) in High Speed Rail and Infrastructure at the College. The level 4 qualification runs for one year as a full-time course and complete leads to a chance to progress to a Higher Technical Diploma or a Foundation Degree. He said: ‘Being a Doncaster lad, I’m really proud to have this facility on my doorstep. I’ve seen how the town has

The Queen met with several members of the public upon arriving at the station from London by Royal train. Station manager David Hatfield said: ‘We were thrilled to host Her Majesty on what was a very special day for Hull. As you can imagine, lots of planning went into the event and we worked closely alongside Hull City Council and Hull UK City of Culture 2017 to ensure things ran smoothly on the day.’ As rail supplier of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, over the last year, TPE and Hull Trains along with parent company FirstGroup have welcomed people from around the world onto trains and into the station. Compared with the same time last year, passenger journeys on TPE trains to Hull have increased by 20 per cent. Customers are already benefiting from enhanced facilities at Hull Paragon thanks to a £1.4million redevelopment including a new customer information point, booking office, waiting room and toilets. Four new retail outlets are also being introduced in 2018.

developed over the past few years and I know all about its railway history, so having the National College for High Speed Rail here is only going to make things better and improve the place even more. ‘I’ve loved my career in football but now I want to focus my efforts on having a long-term, well-paid career helping to build the next generation of rail infrastructure that Britain needs.’ Rail Professional



Virgin Trains’ Azuma inspires new trend for hipster trainspotter

Railfuture Rail User Group award winners The winners of this year’s Rail User Groups Awards have been announced. The awards, now in their sixth year, were presented at Railfuture’s annual national conference in Leicester. Railfuture president Christian Wolmar, who presented the awards, said: ‘The quality of the entries continues to improve, and this year was notable for three of the nominations – all of them winners – from Chesham & District, Chinley & Buxworth, and Hadley Wood, all focusing on station accessibility improvements for passengers.’ Seven of Railfuture’s vice-presidents, together with Wolmar, adjudicated between this year’s 18 nominations across six award categories and eight of Railfuture’s 14 branch areas. Judges Paul Abell, Ian Brown, Roger Ford, Chris Green, Stewart Palmer, Lorna Slade, and Stewart Stevenson MSP had all been able between them to visit almost every one of this year’s contenders. Every one of the eight Railfuture branch areas from which the 18 nominations came, from Scotland to Devon and Cornwall, saw at least one entrant awarded a gold, silver or black-framed certificate. Friends of the Far North Line and the Tarka Rail Association each won a ‘Best Newsletter’ Gold Award for their magazines. The ‘Best Website’ Gold Award went to Stourbridge Line User Group. Marlow-Maidenhead Passengers’ Association was awarded Silver, and a Commendation went to South East Northumberland Rail User Group. Chinley & Buxworth Transport Group won the Oliver Lovell Award for Best New Group, while Hadley Wood Rail User Group received a Commendation. The Gold Award for Best Campaign went to the Melksham Rail User Group. Hadley Wood RUG picked up the Silver Award, while Chesham & District Transport Users’ Group and Chinley & Buxworth Transport Group each received a Commendation. The Clara Zilahi Award for Best Campaigner in 2017 was awarded to Francesca Caine, from the Hadley Wood RUG. This year’s Judges’ Special Award has been given to The New Stations Fund, for enabling 10 stations to be added to the national network and bring access to rail services closer to local communities.

Letter to the editor… Dear Madam Railfuture has the whole of the route from Burton to Stourbridge in their programme as a potential through route avoiding Birmingham. However, is this supposed campaigning organisation actually wanting these existing 56 Kms of double track, main line railway to be finished with the regional and intercity trains between Worcester, the Black Country and Derby? I ask, because Railfuture has not made Rail Professional

New findings revealed by the Toc show trainspotting as the latest emerging hipster trend, as millennials with a thirst for photography, high-speed travel and fast-moving technology declare their love for trains online like never before. With barely one year to go before the launch of the Azuma trains, interest from millennials shows no signs of slowing down: since announcing the new fleet last year, the Toc has seen three clear peaks in engagement from fans, including Azuma’s inaugural test run to Scotland in August. Social media analytics platform Talkwalker has also identified more millennial Instagrammers documenting train travel than ever before. #Trainporn and #train_ nerds saw a year-on-year increase in posts of over 200 per cent between January and September 2016-2017, while on #ukrailscene, posts increased by 615 per cent for the same period, with 76 per cent of these posts made by the under 35’s. To delve further into this emerging trend, Virgin Trains worked with subculture expert and author of Style Tribes, Caroline Young, to identify the top nextgeneration train lovers taking over social media. Said Young: ‘This new type of train fan is an avid social media user who seeks unique adventures and experiences that will help them connect with, and impress, thousands of other users. Not only is there a certain ‘geek chic’ attached to the concept of trainspotting, but the journey becomes part of the travel experience as people enjoy the chance to observe scenery, read, listen to music, and even write. Technology is key to their lives, and we know they’re snapping and sharing their real-life experiences more than ever before.’ The top next generation train fans, as identified by Young, are: • @AllTheStations. With a social media presence of more than 50,000 followers – this young couple charted to fame earlier this year when they challenged themselves to visit all 2,563 stations in Great Britain, capturing a digital documentary as they went – all fuelled by a crowd funding project • @kings_transports. Dramatic backdrops and a feel of adventure, Marzia and Cekotto have amassed 73,700 followers from around the world • @version3point1. Branded as a ‘train whisperer’, Scotland-based Anne’s page is filled with beautiful photography on sweeping coastlines and her rail travel • @cpsedmonds. Sharing ‘train stuff’ and beautiful black and white architectural shots Hipster couple, Vicki and Geoff of AllTheStations blog are typical of the next generation train fan. When they visited every national railway station in Great Britain, they regularly posted video content of their coast-to-coast adventure, which took three months to complete and was closely followed by their online millennial audience. Vicki, who has already visited the Darlington factory where Azuma will be built, said: ‘We’ve loved the response to our videos, which have now reached more than six million views, as it really shows that there is a growing interest in railways and train travel, and many are younger enthusiasts who, like us, are keen to have an adventure and explore the country by rail.’

an objection to the Warwick Manufacturing Group’s innovation centre on the only feasible site for the rebuilt Dudley Castle Hill main line station that is essential if the UK’s last 120 Kms principal railway is ever to be completed. I ask because Railfuture is fully in support of the Midland Metro tram going on a total of 6.7 Kms of the unused, wasted, existing 56 Kms. The cost is over £30 million/Km for a flash, glitzy, £2.52 million for each tram, to run through a rundown area. Through a small shopping centre visited, largely, by only local Dudley town residents. All the main

attractions are at the foot of Dudley Castle Hill – exactly where the railway station should be and the main line railway runs. From the Borders Railway reopening in 2015, returning diesel trains, initially, cannot possibly be more than £6 million/Km on the UK’s only strategic railway that has every viaduct, tunnel and bridge in place over 120 Kms but has the rather necessary trains and stations on only 64 Kms! Yours sincerely Tim Weller Halesowen

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In the passenger seat David Sidebottom

‘Keep me on the train’ With the railway in the midst of one of the biggest periods of improvement work disruption is inevitable – so how can the impact on passengers be minimised, asks David Sidebottom


e’ve all been there… you’re booking a train, and on reading the words ‘rail replacement bus’ you just sigh. Working with Great Western Railway and Northern, we’ve published an update of our 2012 research into passenger priorities during disruption. We wanted to understand what impact engineering works were having on passengers’ journeys and how well the industry was supporting them during disruption. Big and welcome investment in the railways continues. The sheer volume of work, such the Great Western electrification and Great North Rail Project, led us to

Replacement buses will deter 55 per cent of passengers from travelling by train altogether, and introduce a ‘weak link’ in the journey for those who persevere. There is certainly work to be done by the rail industry to make sure replacement buses are a last resort

question when passengers think it is best to undertake work and whether passengers had grown more accepting of week-long blockades. Is engineering work impacting passenger demand and are passengers less inclined to travel at weekends? Why does this matter to passengers? Less disruption during engineering works is ranked seventh (of 31) priorities for improvement by rail passengers. More trains arriving on time is ranked third. Passengers tell us punctuality and reliability are of great importance to them. Passengers understand that to have a safe and reliable railway, and to deliver improvements to capacity and journey times, engineering work has to take place. Some disruption to passengers is almost

inevitable, but there are ways of reducing its impact. No one size fits all Our new research tells us that there has been little change in perceptions and expectations of railway engineering works since 2012. We are pleased to have seen improvements in the industry’s practices over time. But the industry must not forget that no one size fits all and every engineering project has to be planned with the local context in mind and what this means for the passenger experience. We found that passengers prefer being kept on a train for up to 40 minutes longer than usual rather than switching to a bus when their journey is affected by planned



engineering works. Replacement buses will deter 55 per cent of passengers from travelling by train altogether, and introduce a ‘weak link’ in the journey for those who persevere. There is certainly work to be done by the rail industry to make sure replacement buses are a last resort. Experiences during planned disruption remain varied. Some have used alternative transport provided by the operator (bus, coach, taxi), others have used alternative scheduled local buses, trams or coaches, or have gone to a different station or taken a different route. Others have used their own vehicles or got a lift, while some opt not to travel when they discover engineering works will disrupt their journey. Whatever passengers choose to do, disruption has varying degrees of impact on their journeys and their lives. At the very least, they suffer inconvenience and an upset to the routine of ‘just getting the train’ which can become stressful. It can impact on their wellbeing and extended absence from home and family – getting home late – can mean missing the children’s bedtime. A bus rail replacement service is not the same as a train journey so passengers need to feel confident that they will get to their intended destination on time and in comfort. Train operators need to consider, when passengers are boarding

There is no good time to conduct planned engineering work – passengers accept and acknowledge this basic truth. They say that work should be scheduled so that it inconveniences the fewest people buses, have they provided staff on the ground to answer questions? Could they do better to give reassurance and provide help loading luggage? Our research shows that passengers’ experiences are mixed and that there is still more to be done to provide the customer experience that passengers expect. Train companies must deliver better customer service when passengers transfer

Specialist advice for rail industry suppliers: -

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Rail Professional

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from train to bus and vice versa. There is no good time to conduct planned engineering work – passengers accept and acknowledge this basic truth. They say that work should be scheduled so that it inconveniences the fewest people. As a result, overnight work is seen as the best option as it is thought to inconvenience fewest people. Passengers tell us they are following ‘check before you travel’ guidance and there is no clear evidence of passengers choosing not to travel at weekends. The message from passengers in our new research is clear: keep us on the train, even if the re-routed journey is longer than using a replacement bus, and let us know before we buy our tickets if our journey will be partly by bus. We will continue working with industry and push it to keep passengers at the heart of planning, using all available measures to reduce the impact of works on their journeys. It’s vital that operators and Network Rail commit to communicating plans more clearly, minimising disruption to passengers and listening to customer feedback.

David Sidebottom is passenger director at Transport Focus



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Delivering the goods


Chris MacRae

Helping rail freight deliver for its customers Chris MacRae outlines the updated advice given since the Agenda for More Freight by Rail was published in 2014


ptimisation of the performance of all modes of transport is a key FTA objective. The Freight Transport Association has updated its policy advice about how the performance of rail in the multi-modal supply chain may be optimised so that it continues to grow by delivering for its customers, whether their business is in bulk products such as aggregates and construction, container logistics, retail or other industrial products and automotive. Growth in rail freight is important to supply chains because of the congestion and environmental benefits it can bring. The record levels of intermodal rail freight movements and construction sector moves by rail are to be celebrated, and also indicate

We believe that to ensure that rail freight can deliver its potential growth some form of state funding for innovation from government will be vital in ensuring it can compete effectively with other modes and offer the enhanced services necessary for optimal supply chain efficiency

that the sector is one that should be supported to help it secure further growth. It is vital that rail remains competitive with developments in road freight, and while the sector continues to innovate and increase productivity, new traffic – whether from existing users or, more challengingly, from new customers – will only be won if rail freight continues to focus on increasing its efficiency. Our previous policy advice, the Agenda for More Freight by Rail, published in 2014, identified four key themes where improvements were needed: costs and competiveness; service availability and flexibility; network access; and, international services. In total, the UK’s leading retailers identified 14 important measures where progress was needed to achieve forecast growth of 30 per cent by 2019.

Since then, there have been important changes, because of which this advice has been updated: • achieving growth has become much harder. Due to government policy, electricity supply industry coal traffic has effectively ended. There has also been continued growth in deep sea intermodal container traffic and aggregates traffic, rather than domestic intermodal retail traffic, putting pressure on more congested parts of the network (in the south). To ensure a continued increase in such traffic over this congested mixed use network, rail freight operations and how growth can be achieved need to be looked at differently. Rail Professional



• the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport Scotland have launched rail freight strategies since the Agenda for More Freight by Rail was published. Our policy advice has been revisited to better align with the aspirations set out in these documents: Customers’ issues and recommendations for growth 1. A long-term, stable fiscal environment We recommend that government and ORR put in place a longer time-frame for the fiscal regime for rail freight to help business planning and investment decisions so that uncertainty over the outcome of future five yearly ORR reviews is removed. 2. A consistent measure of the environmental impact and benefits of rail freight Customers recommend that governments (UK and Scottish), regulators, industry bodies and freight operators, agree standard reporting measures and a consistent approach to measuring emissions. Government is urged to reconsider its pausing of the rail electrification programme in England and Wales so that air quality improvements can be delivered more quickly. 3. Funding and support for technology and innovation Greater use of technology is essential to reduce network costs and allow more efficient use of the network and assets. The following should be priorities: * Network Rail should deliver improvements to train planning and path approval processes to get more capacity out of the existing network. * Greater use of remote condition monitoring of network assets by Network Rail, freight operators and leasing companies would produce efficiency and utilisation benefits.

Further work needs to be undertaken by Network Rail and freight operators to improve end-to-end pathing and journey times and increase operational efficiency by allowing more roundtrip working Rail Professional

Government (UK and Scottish) funding for wagon scrappage or half-life re-build and upgrade schemes could help achieve a greater fleet population of more volume efficient and infrastructure and noisefriendly wagons make better use of train length and capacity. We believe that to ensure that rail freight can deliver its potential growth some form of state funding for innovation from government will be vital in ensuring it can compete effectively with other modes and offer the enhanced services necessary for optimal supply chain efficiency. 4. A focus on efficiency improvements by the system operator Improvements in rail freight speed, utilisation, responsiveness to changes in demand and integration with the rest of the network are needed to increase uptake. Rail freight locomotive utilisation is currently not as high as for an HGV tractor unit. Decreasing end-to-end freight journey times would drive lower costs through better locomotive, driver and wagon utilisation and give greater returns on multi-million pound investments in freight traction and rolling stock. Making rail freight more competitive compared to road would also lead to more modal shift. Further work needs to be undertaken by Network Rail and freight operators to improve end-to-end pathing and journey times and increase operational efficiency by allowing more round-trip working. As highlighted during the Shaw Review and in the Network Rail route devolution process, most freight services cross Network Rail route boundaries. Sufficient and demonstrable importance should be given to the Network Rail Freight and National Passenger Operators’ Route by Network Rail, freight and passenger operating companies and ORR to help deliver cross route boundary operations and engineering access and freight enhancements. The government should consider allowing higher HGV gross vehicle weights for combined transport operations to reduce the penalty currently imposed due to the higher un-laden weight of the intermodal unit. A joined-up approach to the planning of freight Customers need the security of knowing that the train paths they need will be available before they commit to develop sites for rail freight. Network Rail should devise a firmer process so that before site investment takes place, customers have certainty that new traffics will have the network access to make them viable. Land use and local as well as national planning policies need to work to support the development of rail freight. Protection of existing rail freight terminals and operations against new noise-related

The UK and Scottish governments need to take greater account of the needs of freight in the tendering and specification of passenger franchises on lines of route used by freight and should properly examine timetabled passenger train loadings versus passenger trains per hour on mixed traffic routes to achieve overall rail network efficiency environmental restrictions is vital. A holistic land use planning and spatial development approach should incorporate potential for rail freight connections for new warehousing or industrial premises. The role of Network Rail as National System Operator is key, as is the role of the Freight and National Passenger Operators’ Route, to champion and develop freight. The UK and Scottish governments need to take greater account of the needs of freight in the tendering and specification of passenger franchises on lines of route used by freight and should properly examine timetabled passenger train loadings versus passenger trains per hour on mixed traffic routes to achieve overall rail network efficiency. Robust contingency planning Network Rail’s contingency planning response to events such as industrial action or emergency closure of key viaducts should consider all users of the network in the first instance rather than having the removal of freight services as its starting point. Network Rail and the freight operator’s contingency planning for rail freight should be continuously reviewed and developed and cross-industry support given to the Network Rail Freight and National Passenger Operators’ Route as it undertakes this work. For further information contact: Chris MacRae, head of rail freight policy Tel: 01892 552355 Mobile: 07818 450353 Email:

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Modern Slavery – how compliant are you? Getting the procedures right around compliance statements is becoming even more important, says Martin Fleetwood


he past year has seen many companies issue Modern Slavery statements in order to comply with the requirements in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (‘the Act’). However, there has been a significant variance in the content of these statements. Consultants, Ergon Associates, have reviewed 150 of these statements and considered the trends they have shown. Their report highlights several pitfalls that companies should look to avoid when they undertake the next annual review of their

Many organisations rely on a variety of contractors to fill gaps within their businesses, particularly temporary labour provided by third party agencies. Such contractors, particularly those supplying manual labourers, undeniably pose risks which should be covered off in the statement

compliance with the Act. Even companies which sit below the turnover threshold need to consider the effect of the Act on their business. Larger companies further up the supply chain should be expected to ask relevant questions of their suppliers as part of the informationgathering process for their own statements. Issues to be addressed The key issues from Ergon’s report are as follows: 1. Remember to include all your contractors Most organisations were very good at considering the risk of modern slavery within their main supply chain but more than half did not consider all of their contractors. Many organisations rely on a variety of contractors to fill gaps within their businesses, particularly temporary labour provided by third party agencies. Such contractors, particularly those supplying manual labourers, undeniably pose risks which should be covered off in the statement. Staff responsible for the recruitment of such contractors and working with third party recruitment agencies should be trained how to recognise modern slavery and what to do if they suspect that it is occurring. 2. Reporting collaboration and stakeholder engagement Less than a quarter of the statements reviewed mentioned that the company was a member of a cross-industry or sector specific group committed to working to promote Rail Professional



respect for workers’ rights. Companies should consider whether they would benefit from collaboration with groups such as Sedex, The Ethical Trading Initiative and Stronger Together who can provide services to assist in encouraging ethical practices within an organisation’s supply chains, such as training, auditing and risk assessment. Beyond the tangible services that such groups can provide, they also offer opportunities for knowledge sharing which can be very helpful when dealing with this still developing area. 3. Showing success The Act requires organisations to publish a new statement each year, the intention being for them to develop their approach to combating modern slavery and for the statements to track this progress. Ergon discovered that less than 20 per cent of statements had any mechanisms by which the success (or otherwise) of the organisation’s approach to tackling modern slavery would be measured. In order to fully engage with the legislation, companies should consider how they will assess and measure the effectiveness of their strategies. Establishing a set of KPI’s, which should have both quantitative and qualitative categories, is particularly beneficial. Subsequent

statements can then show the results of an audit of the company’s performance against these KPI’s and its compliance with the Act. 4. Follow the key requirements of the Act A significant number of statements did not meet the legislative requirements of the Act for publishing a modern slavery statement (see box). While s54 of the Act currently has few legislative teeth, non-governmental organisations and investors are bring encouraged to put commercial pressure on companies that produce inadequate statements. What next for Modern Slavery? With public sector bodies already taking a keen interest in the Corporate and Social Responsibility policies of private sector parties, it is important to ensure that the company’s statement meets all of the relevant requirements. In addition, a bill to amend the Act, the Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Bill 2017, is working its way through Parliament and proposes, among other things, mandating what information should be set out in an organisation’s statement and giving public bodies more powers to reject tenders by organisations without compliant statements. There is also pressure for it to contain tougher penalties for failing to issue

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In order to fully engage with the legislation, companies should consider how they will assess and measure the effectiveness of their strategies. Establishing a set of KPI’s, which should have both quantitative and qualitative categories, is particularly beneficial a compliant statement. Getting the procedures right will then become even more important. Martin Fleetwood is corporate partner at Shoosmiths

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

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Access charging all change? We can expect some significant alterations to the way access charging works in the next Network Rail control period, says Martin Watt


he track access charges that different operators on Network Rail routes must pay under the current regulatory framework depend on whether they have a rail franchise, use the network on an open access basis, or are a freight operator. franchised operators pay a variable track access charge and a lump-sum fixed track access charge. • open access operators pay only variable track access charges. They make no contribution to the fixed costs of running the network. • freight operators pay both variable track access charges and contribute to fixed network costs, in the form of a ‘Freight Only Line Charge’ and a ‘Freight Specific Charge’. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has been giving thought to ways in which to make the responsibility for fixed network costs more evenly and precisely split for

some time. It’s all part of a major review of track access charges that ORR is conducting under the PR18 consultation in preparation for setting Network Rail’s charging structure for the next control period from 2019 to 2024. In its preparatory paper on the matter in December 2016, ORR stated that its preferred alternatives for developing track access charging would include: • making open access operators pay a contribution to long run or fixed costs as well as the variable charge • developing the approach to recovery of fixed costs from all passenger operators, including franchisee and open access operators. This would take advantage of the facility under the Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations 2016 to introduce a ‘market can bear’ test under which the fixed costs element of charges would not exceed of the ability of the operator to pay • developing an approach to market

The degree of burden sustained by an operator may become more related to the market segment in which it sits than the type of operator it is (whether franchises, open access or freight). Open access operators may also begin to share some of the burden of public service obligations but as a corollary of all of this, open access operators are likely to have more ability to obtain access rights than at present

segmentation between different categories of train operator, thereby allowing differing charges for different market segments, with the potential, for example, to distinguish between intercity and rural services, or between peak and off-peak services • improving the transparency of the patterns of long-run cost causation to improve the objectivity and transparency of fixed costs allocation; and • reviewing whether it is still right to apply the ‘not primarily abstractive test’ in approving or rejecting applications for open access rights to Network Rail, under which the prospective operator must show their new services will grow overall revenue on the route, rather than merely abstracting the revenue of the incumbent franchisee. The model ORR is moving towards, therefore, involves an adjusted market structure under which track access charges for all operators may be determined not only by the type of operator they are (franchise, open access or freight) , but also by the market segment in which they work. This all builds on the agenda set up by the Competition and Market Authority’s review of on-rail competition in 2016. It is reasoned that making fixed costs more visible and ensuring all operators pay them (as far as they can) improves the decision that all parties (Network Rail, operators and funders) will make about use of the network. It also has the potential to improve competition between services in future, because it will allow open access operators to make a greater contribution to the fixed costs of the network in return for greater access to the network. Although ORR’s proposals are still in development, they have recently issued a consultation paper that gives some further



indication of the direction of travel: ‘PR18 consultation on charges recovering fixed network costs’. The consultation states that ORR’s aims are to:

done has identified two market segments: inter city services between major cities in the UK, and long distance commuter services.

• improve transparency of what fixed costs are and what drives them • ensure that all operators contribute towards fixed costs if they can; and • promote further competition in providing passenger services.

New charges and new levy ORR has also commented on how infrastructure costs should be levied in future. For open access operators they suggest a fixed cost per train mile. As for franchised operators that currently pay a fixed costs lump sum under their track access contracts, ORR looked at various options for introducing an element of variability, and in their consultation recommend a proposal to adjust franchise operators’ infrastructure charges on an annual basis, to reflect timetabled traffic. If the operator included more services in the timetable than forecast, they would pay a rate per unit of traffic for each additional service. If timetabled traffic was below the forecasted level, the infrastructure cost charge would be lowered, likewise by a rate per unit of traffic. It’s also important to note that while ORR is working on these proposals, DfT is also working on a new public service obligation levy under Article 12 of Directive 2012/34/EU on ‘establishing a single European railway area’. The levy would help finance public service rail franchise agreements and the aim would be to ensure that where an open access operator can,

A key part of these aims is creating market segments so that tests of what fixed costs those segments can pay (a so called ‘market can bear test’) can be established. ORR’s consultation paper sets out their preliminary conclusions about suitable market segments. Although being consulted on and subject to change, they provide insight to what the ultimate structure may look like. In relation to freight operators, ORR’s view is that the existing segments that pay a contribution to fixed costs, namely electricity supply industry coal, iron ore and spent nuclear, don’t need to be changed. The only alteration they are proposing is to add one further market segment: electricity supply industry biomass. The approach to freight charging therefore doesn’t appear likely to change too greatly. In relation to passenger operators, work is continuing, but the initial work ORR has Rail Professional

it will make a contribution to socially and economically important, but unprofitable, services. In a consultation earlier this year the government said that the introduction of the levy is likely to reduce government opposition to open access applications in future. It also states that the levy is intended to complement the track access charge changes that ORR intends to introduce. We can therefore expect some significant alterations to the way access charging works in the next Network Rail control period. Fixed costs will be allocated more widely, including to open access operators. The degree of burden sustained by an operator may become more related to the market segment in which it sits than the type of operator it is (whether franchises, open access or freight). Open access operators may also begin to share some of the burden of public service obligations but as a corollary of all of this, open access operators are likely to have more ability to obtain access rights than at present.

Martin Watt is counsel at Dentons





So much more to do Paul Plummer explains the aims of the new In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity by working together as one railway, delivering one vital public service


n Monday 30 October, the whole rail industry came together to launch a new plan for passengers, communities, the country and our people at St Pancras International station. Senior rail leaders and front-line employees were joined by representatives from business, passenger and freight groups who understand how important the railway is to the economy, customers and communities across Britain. The railway is such an integral part of our lives that it’s easy to forget how recent it is. It was only 190 years ago that the first intercity railway between Liverpool and Manchester brought high-speed transit to the UK. Now, 85 per cent of the British population lives within three miles of a railway station. To continue to support the economy and communities across the country, rail companies are working together to deliver record investment in rail. During the next 18 months, customers and communities across the country will begin to see unprecedented improvements in the railway with more trains, better services and improved stations. We will create more and better opportunities for our people while enabling improved productivity and economic growth throughout Britain. To secure these improvements and the benefits that will come from them, the train and freight operators, Network Rail and their supply chains – a partnership of the public and private sectors – are working together with a plan for change and improvement. Building a long-term future Our plan is called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity. It is a plan for a changing and improving railway which secures extra economic benefits, supports local businesses, delivers better services for

customers, connects communities and builds a skilled and long-term future for our people. It includes four commitments, which we, the partnership railway, will deliver for the UK now and for the long-term. The first commitment is to strengthen the railway’s contribution to the national economy, keeping running costs in the black, and freeing up taxpayers’ money. Britain’s railway is a public and private partnership, combining the best of both worlds – taxpayers’ money and investors’ money. Of the over £50 billion being invested, more than 11 billion comes from the private sector, delivering smart, new carriages and more services. In 1997, the railway ran at a £2 billion a year loss of operating costs. Today, we run a surplus, allowing government to increasingly focus its resources on investment in rail

and other public services. It also helps us to secure nearly £85 billion of extra economic benefits for the UK economy while enabling further investment and improvement. Our second commitment is to increase customer satisfaction by improving the railway to remain the top-rated major railway in Europe. As part of this plan, we are publishing the most transparent performance and punctuality measures in Europe because we know it matters to customers and will drive a greater focus on running trains to time as we introduce 5,700 new carriages by 2021. We will also embrace the transformative power of the digital revolution to deliver better information, smarter ticketing, and better data for decision-makers; more choices and flexibility for customers; and the use of mobile phones as tickets on seven out of ten journeys.



There will be better access for all customers, including more ramps, more step-free stations and a single number for mobility assistance. Third is a commitment to boost communities through local decision-making, investment and discounted travel. The railway did not start 190 years ago in London. It started in the industrial powerhouses of the North. It created jobs and opportunities across Britain, boosting local trade, local industry, local hotels, local farmers and their communities. We will reinforce our dedication to a v2-half.pdf 23/03/2016 local partnership railway.1 This means 17816:30

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stations enhanced over the next two years as part of the ongoing £5 billion upgrade programme; new stations like Warrington West, Reading Park West and Bow Street near Aberystwyth; and 100,000 job opportunities across the UK. We will also create new route supervisory boards with a stronger focus on local customers and communities, and new opportunities for small and medium enterprises across the supply chain. This is alongside investment in major projects such as the Elizabeth Line, Ordsall Chord, Borders Railway in Scotland, Thameslink, and many others to come. Our fourth commitment is about the people who keep the railway working day in day out – our employees. Helping the next generation We value our brilliant people, and we will continue to invest in them, building a stronger team now and for the long-term. In addition to the 100,000 job opportunities, we will deliver 20,000 apprenticeships, helping the next generation

get the skills they need. And we will create the next generation of world-class drivers – led by the National Train Driver Academy and wider training partners. We want a railway that reflects the diverse customers we serve, an industry of all talents that takes our people with us. That’s why we’re committing to a 20 per cent increase in women and black, Asian and minority ethnic employees across Britain by 2020. And the partnership railway will play its part in ensuring that Britain continues to be an attractive place for skilled workers, innovators and investors as we leave the European Union. Four commitments for now and the longterm, as part of a plan to change, improve and secure prosperity for Britain. We’ve come a long way since the opening of the Manchester-Liverpool railway in 1830. And we’ve even come a long way since the partnership model started in the 1990’s. We’ve made great progress, but we all know there is so much more to do. We will deliver this plan for a real Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity by working together as one railway, delivering one vital public service. Paul Plummer is chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group

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A place for women Adeline Ginn looks at how the RDG’s In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity will help us recruit female talent


t the end of October, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) announced the launch of In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, a landmark coalition of train companies, Network Rail and suppliers to deliver a single, long-term plan for changing and improving UK railways. As part of this initiative, four commitments have been made, among which is the pledge to create 40,000 jobs over the next 10 years. In addition to these new jobs, a further 60,000 workers due to retire during that period will also be replaced. At the time of the announcement, an RDG spokesman said: ‘The jobs will be across the network – track construction, management and maintenance – but also signalling, train driving and customer-facing jobs.’ This news comes at a key time for the rail sector as the need for more skilled employees has never been so prevalent. With record levels of investments being made in rail around the country and a

number of major, high-profile projects underway, there really has never been a better time to consider a career in the railway. The common aim among train operators, suppliers and supporting companies is to deliver a modern, working railway, operated by skilled workers with drive and innovation. Increasing technological and engineering advancements within the sector have emphasised rail’s need for new ways of thinking, new approaches and, importantly, new talent. Positively, In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity declares a commitment to a ’20 per cent increase in women and black, Asian and minority ethnic employees across Britain by 2020’. But the perception that

Meanwhile, recent figures state that only 16 per cent of the current IT workforce is female, with women attributing ‘not knowing what opportunities are available to them’ as a leading reason for not pursuing a career in computer science – something that a rail industry looking to be increasingly technology-led will want to address

rail is outdated, old-fashioned or even male-centric, has often hampered past recruitment efforts and rail has struggled to engage and attract the skills the sector needs, particularly female talent. We simply cannot hope to have a high performing, modern railway in the UK without a diverse and balanced workforce. In order to tackle recruitment, it is important that we are looking at how we are advertising and showcasing our industry. Change people’s perception These perceptions are not exclusive to rail of course. Many careers and roles based in STEM careers have long had to battle against similar views. A 2015 Network Rail study showed that girls as young as 12 cite engineering as a ‘job for boys’. Meanwhile, recent figures state that only 16 per cent of the current IT workforce is female, with women attributing ‘not knowing what opportunities are available to them’ as a leading reason for not pursuing a career in computer science – something that a Rail Professional



rail industry looking to be increasingly technology-led will want to address. A failure to confront these perceptions could mean that we are not only jeopardising the vast talent available in future years, but stalling our vision of a modern, technologyled railway. During a time that rail, and other STEM industries, are experiencing strong growth and development, it is essential that we change people’s ideas of what we do and who we are. According to a report by Alstom, women currently account for only 9 per cent of the UK’s engineering workforce and Women in Rail has previously reported that just 16.4 per cent of the rail industry overall is female. The power of a more gender-balanced workforce has been proven time and time again; studies have shown that companies with more women on their boards outperform their rivals with higher return in sales, higher return on invested capital and higher return on equity. With a more diverse workforce comes different experiences and skill sets, as well as new ideas and ways of working, all of which ultimately bring about the types of positive change that RDG are pledging. Network Rail recently ran an internal survey this year and, following the results CEO Mark Carne stated: ‘We found that, at Network Rail, teams with 20 per cent or

potential career paths to women. Rail is a broad, varied industry that offers many, many possibilities for job development and growth, especially now. We need to continue to raise the profile of female role models who are successful, committed and admired; celebrate female-led successes and initiatives and actively support those who are already working within the industry. At a time of immense promise and development for our sector, we need to reinforce the notion that there is a place for women in rail. Adeline Ginn is founder of Women in Rail Visit:

more women were more engaged…We found out that teams with more than 20 per cent women are more collaborative. We found out that teams with more than 20 per cent women are safer. We found out that teams with more than 20 per cent women are more motivated. And in teams with up to 40 per cent women these scores have got even higher.’ Never been more vital It has never been more vital that we showcase these STEM opportunities and

Women in Rail is a national organisation founded with an ideology to improve diversity in the UK rail industry, providing networking opportunities alongside unprecedented support for women within the UK rail sector. Women in Rail aims to encourage undertakings and stakeholders to adopt diversity as a business strategy and devises initiatives aimed at positioning rail as an attractive career choice for young people. Currently Women in Rail has five regional groups, with members including men and women from across the UK railway industry. Women in Rail will continue its drive to encourage employers to support and develop female talent and inspire more young women to join the railway sector.






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Get cracking 2017 taught us that you don’t need to be loud to have an impact, says River Tamoor-Baig


t’s been a quiet year for the HackTrain. Well, at least compared to 2016. Back then, we burst onto the scene like the Shanghai Maglev single handedly flipping the industry on its head challenging every single preconception it had about technology and innovation. It was a year that saw us run the HackTrain Accelerator bringing five major owning groups to invest and collaborate with cutting-edge technology startups; publish the controversial but highly praised B.A.R.R.I.E.R.S. report highlighting key challenges preventing innovation from flourishing; and also run HackTrain 3.0, our first foray into the European rail market. Despite being the quietest, 2017 has been our most important year. We ran the first ever hackathon for the Department for Transport, looking at the entire transport journey from cycling to rail to aviation; hired our chairman Toby Stone and formed a nonexec board, officially meaning I am no longer the oldest member on the team; and delivered what was our biggest and some say our best event to date, HackTrain 4.0 where we ‘hacked’ customer experience, rolling stock, cybersecurity, infrastructure and policy. The surprises The biggest surprise for me was just how different our engagement has been with the industry this year. In 2016, we spent six months non-stop meeting with Network Rail’s Route MD’s and programme director’s, yet still, we were unable to secure any sort of commitment at all for the hackathon or accelerator programme. In the end, SNCF Réseau – who I’ll talk more about later – saved the day by providing us with the datasets we spent months trying to get from NR. After telling NR’s group technical and engineering director, Graham Hopkins, what happened, our relation with NR this year has been completely different. Apu Sinha, their new head of innovation has been a magician in working internally within Network Rail to

get key staff within the 40,000 organisation involved with HackTrain. Not only did Network Rail come on board as our headline sponsor for HackTrain 4.0, they opened up a lot of their datasets for our innovators to hack with over the weekend. Out of the 35 solutions built at our hackathon, a dozen of them were using Network Rail data. Now, our goal is to work with NR in getting some of these implemented within the organisation. Wish us luck! Hacking Policy Somewhat surprisingly, our gamble on choosing policy as one of the themes for HackTrain 4.0 paid off. The policy train became a runaway success and stole the show with amazing outcomes being produced in just 48-hours. We challenged 20 policymakers and 20 data scientists to develop new techniques to help the ORR monitor Network Rail’s enhancement projects more effectively, work with the DfT in simplifying the current fares structure, and even devised a new framework for TfL to engage and collaborate with startups. These outcomes themselves may not

necessarily be implemented within each respective organisation – that wasn’t the goal of the Policy Train; instead, we hope that they help inform the industry on what other methods of working they should be considering when initiating change. They say the phrase ‘we’ve always done it this way’ is one of the biggest barriers to implementing change within the industry and the Policy Train was designed to challenge that paradigm. The conference Before HackTrain 4.0 kicked off, 300 strong descended upon Old St., London’s tech epicentre once again to learn about and celebrate rail innovation for the HackTrain Conference 2.0. We had industry heavyweights likes David Waboso, Malcolm Brown, Peter Wilkinson and Diego Diaz speaking at the event alongside startup newcomers like SURV.AI and Apollo Rail. Malcolm showed the industry how Angel Trains is currently innovating to ensure their fleets can meet both future passenger demand over the next 40 years whilst still offering high levels of comfort and personalisation. Mark Holt, the CTO



of Trainline gave us a peek into how it has created a culture of innovation that has led to the company becoming Europe’s largest rail ticket retailer. BAI Communications’ Andy Conway challenged the industry to improve wireless connectivity so that it can fully take advantage of the Digital Railway, while Matt Simpson from BAE Systems gave an incredibly fascinating insight into how small oversights in information management can lead to critical data breaches and even operational failures. The success of the hybrid conference/ hackathon weekend has convinced us to move forward with this model again for the next one. Europe Unsurprisingly, European train operators once again surpassed all of our expectations. SNCF and Eurostar returned as sponsors for HackTrain 4.0 helping us take 80 innovators across the Channel. New sponsors, Deutsche Bahn also provided us with a set of trains taking us to Frankfurt and back. Despite engaging with DB Systel, a subsidiary company of DB group, which can’t directly book tickets for special requests, we were still able to get trains for the hackathon with relative ease. DB Systel simply got in touch with DB Bahn, explained to them what

we were doing, and that was it, trains were booked. Though DB’s commercial relationships between its subsidiaries isn’t as complex as what we have here in Great Britain, it does warrant some thinking about what UK rail needs to change to be able to move more swiftly. What we’re still working on Despite being super close at one point… the RailTech Hub is still not setup. The elections and change of ministers certainly didn’t help our efforts when engaging with the DfT around setting up a dedicated building for tech startups in rail. Our thinking about what the hub should be and how it should work has evolved tremendously since we initially pitched it to the industry and DfT. Keeping to our word, we will make this happen: it may be taking a little longer than expected, but, when the hub does launch, it’ll change everything, once again. We’ve made a healthy amount of progress with the Incubation Fund – the demand is definitely there from the startups – I get asked almost on a weekly basis when it’s launching. Interestingly enough, there are key players that we’ve met in the industry who agree with its necessity and are working with us to get it up and running. The only thing we didn’t make progress

on this year was helping other startups that we’ve ran into over the last year. As a startup we had to focus on making our business sustainable before helping out others who also wanted to innovate in the rail industry. Hopefully next year the hub and fund will make up for it. Massive thank you Before we all break up for holidays, I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone that helped us over the last year. Supporting us hasn’t been easy at times, we’re a young company led by a young leader (at least in rail I am hah). The team and I are always learning, evolving our thinking, and iterating how we run the company. We will continue to challenge the industry where needed. Ultimately we set out to drive innovation forward in rail, and that means cracking a few eggs to make the omelette. River Tamoor-Baig is co-founder of HackTrain

HackTrain 4.0 was sponsored by: Network Rail, Angel Trains, Trainline, DXC Technology, BAI Communications, BAE Systems, ORM, Silverrail, EY, Eurostar, SNCF, Deutsche Bahn, GTR and Ricardo. Partners for the event included: Department for Transport, Young Rail Professionals, ORR, Transport for London and NSAR

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Successful, happy and fulfilled Marcus Boocock reviews IOSH’s Rail Industry Conference, which highlighted some of the major challenges in the sector and how they can be overcome


he health and wellbeing of employees in the UK’s rail industry warrants equal prioritisation with safety, a major conference heard. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) annual Rail Industry Conference heard that issues including musculoskeletal disorders, mental health and fatigue are costing the industry more than £300 million each year. Gary Cooper, director of planning, engineering and operations at the Rail Delivery Group, said that while the UK’s rail network has a good safety record, much more work is needed when it comes to health and wellbeing. He said: ‘The taxpayer spends a lot of money on the industry so we must look at ways of preventing so much money being lost. ‘As the network is expanding, we are going to get thousands more employees in the industry. Some will be working split shifts while some will be working from home. No matter when or where they are working, their health and wellbeing must be considered.’ Looking for resolutions to the issues, Gary recommended making the most of data systems, including using fitness trackers, to monitor health and wellbeing. He said: ‘Getting this right means a sustainable rail industry for taxpayers, governments, businesses and stakeholders. We will have an industry with successful, happy people who feel fulfilled in their jobs.’ IOSH awards The issue of fatigue in particular was a key theme of IOSH’s International Railway Group Awards. These were presented during the conference, which was held at the Nottingham Belfry last month. Rail construction contractor Morgan Sindall picked up the second of three awards

handed out, for a fatigue management system which they introduced for employees. Judith Devlin, training manager for the firm, said a study had shown that night shift workers were far more likely to experience fatigue. Those with extreme cases of fatigue, she said, were found to be well over the legal drink-drive limit. ‘We were monitoring if people were taking advantage of their rest periods,’ said Judith. ‘The staff wore bands which recorded their sleep and came back with scores. On average, those on night shifts were getting 5.8 hours of sleep per day.’ The firm introduced intervention strategies as a result, including providing advice on sleeping patterns and nutrition. They have also introduced sleep monitoring bands on a number of projects which are regarded as safety critical to ensure workers carrying out tasks which are risky are as alert as possible. Two other awards were handed out at the conference. One was to Network Rail for a

system which reduced incidents involving their road vehicles and the other to Colas Rail for the introduction of a mobile app which allowed employees to report unsafe acts or conditions. Embracing technology The overall theme of the conference was exploring how the health and safety of employees in the industry can be ensured in the face of the significant changes which it is undergoing. Many of these changes have been brought about by increasing passenger numbers. Among those changes is the introduction of new technologies. Stuart Calvert, early contractor involvement lead for the Digital Railway Programme, said improved traffic management was being improved, leading to more reliable services which in turn means less disruption and congestion on platforms. He also advocated the use of smart monitoring systems, which can provide huge data analysis of railways in real-time. ‘This can mean more scheduled maintenance



which means fewer risky situations for employees,’ he said. Technology, he added, can reduce the need for orange coats on railways. ‘If people don’t need to put an orange coat on, they are not being put in a risky situation.’ An example he used was with work on signalling systems. Technology can be used to check for issues, reducing the need to do high-risk surveying work on busy lines. George Bearfield, director of systems

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safety and health for the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), said a number of factors contribute to making the industry more high-risk than others. These include close interaction with the public, exposure to the weather and ageing infrastructure. He said it is important to invest in technology, including the availability of data, and to develop systems and ways of managing the risks in the industry. Said Bearfield: ‘The vision is to get the

right data to the right people. We need to embrace this brave new world of data and make the most of the opportunities that it provides.’ It is equally crucial that all people working in the industry recognise they are accountable for the safety of themselves and their colleagues, said Rob McIntosh, route managing director for Network Rail. He spoke of plans for investment in workers’ environment, training, modernising hazardous practices and eliminating manual handling injuries. Also key, he said, was investment in worker welfare. Marcus Boocock is IOSH’s communications office

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An enlightened view When it comes to safety culture, are employees and managers from different galaxies, asks Chris Langer


IRAS predominately receives concerns related to perceived unsafe practices and the majority of reporters cite negative safety culture within their organisation as a barrier to reporting. CIRAS recently devised a 90-second online survey on safety and reporting culture to provide further analysis on perceptions of safety culture within CIRAS Member organisations. The survey was issued to those on our email distribution list, and not only were we pleased with the response rate, but the results provided a fascinating snapshot of perceptions across different sectors and grades. We had well over a thousand participants in total, equivalent to a response rate of 25 per cent. Over half (53 per cent) had more than 10 years’ experience. A further 19 per cent had between five and nine years’ experience. These experienced people came from right across the railway industry. To enable more statistically valid comparisons, the results presented here focus on four main sectors: Network Rail, contractors to Network Rail, train operating companies (Toc’s), and London Underground. Across all four sectors there was generally high levels of awareness about individual responsibility on what, when and how to report. Participants were asked if they were clear on what safety issues could be reported, and if they were confident in reporting an unsafe act. In all four sectors, more than 80 per cent agreed on these two measures. For participants in the contractor to Network Rail sector, an incredibly high 95 per cent agreed in response to both question items. Different worlds But things start to get really interesting when the views of managers and those of frontline staff are compared. There was a huge difference when the two groups were asked about reporting. 80 per cent of the managers

said they got good feedback when reporting a safety concern. Just 33 per cent of those in frontline roles thought the same. It is hard to believe their perceptions could vary so widely (See Chart 1). A similar variance was at play when the two distinct groups were asked whether a health and safety concern was taken seriously when raised. 88 per cent of the managers believed that was in fact the case, as opposed to just 41 per cent of frontline staff. All of this is a sobering reminder that whatever managers believe, there can be a chasm between their subjective reality and the experience of frontline workers who appear to live in a very different world. Managers and frontline staff may talk to each other, but whether the managers are listening authentically and responding to feedback is

an entirely different matter. Frontline staff experience the reality of reporting systems as end users so their feedback is critical. But the burden of correcting perceived ineffectiveness primarily lies with management and quite often the focus of management is on establishing blame, not resolving causal, organisational factors. Management set up the reporting systems in the first place and are responsible for their smooth operation. If these systems don’t work effectively enough, they need to re-engineer them for better outcomes. CIRAS reports show that different interpretations between managers and frontline staff can result in unsafe practices.



All of this is a sobering reminder that whatever managers believe, there can be a chasm between their subjective reality and the experience of frontline workers who appear to live in a very different world. Managers and frontline staff may talk to each other, but whether the managers are listening authentically and responding to feedback is an entirely different matter

Sector specific differences Perceptions on safety culture varied hugely from sector to sector. The sector specific data presented here excludes anyone who had previously reported to CIRAS to control for any possible bias and enhance the generalisability of the results. By a large margin, the contractor to Network Rail sector consistently outperformed the other three sectors. For example, when asked whether reporting safety concerns led to good feedback, 86 per Rail Professional

cent in the contractor to Network Rail sector agreed. The figure was just 43 per cent for the train operator sector (See Chart 2). And an incredibly high 94 per cent in the contractor to Network Rail sector thought health and safety issues were taken seriously by managers. Compare that with a much lower 51 per cent for the train operator sector (See Chart 3). If we want to learn something about reporting systems that work effectively and are held in high esteem, we can look to the contractor sector and share some best

practice. Whatever they are doing well could be modelled in other sectors. Forums held with CIRAS contractor members discussing the safety culture survey results indicated that safety reporting is more embedded in employees’ DNA. Safety is a primary performance measure, with contracts won or lost based on safety figures. The zero-harm target is advocated across Network Rail, London Underground and train operators as well – however, reliability and customer service typically feature above safety in performance metrics. The unintended consequence is that safety, though considered important, does not form part of their DNA in the same way. Another useful insight from the contractor community is that while clients demand regular and comprehensive reporting data from their supply chain, the same discipline is not mirrored by the client organisations themselves. This could explain the significant difference the survey indicated in safety reporting behaviour between Network Rail’s contractor community and other sectors. Post-survey discussion with train operators suggested that the work environment could explain the differences


between the two sectors. Lone working is commonplace among drivers and station staff at train operators. Contact with management is often quite formalised, relying more on the performance management process. In contrast, the contractor community described regular, informal dialogue – and more frequent collaboration – between managers and staff. This informal dialogue with managers helped facilitate more engaging communications, which were accessible to employees, including remote and lone workers. Gaining trust Reporting and safety culture are inextricably linked, as highlighted by James Reason (1997). Reporting culture is one of the cornerstones of safety culture in his thinking. He identified four critical components of a safety culture: a reporting culture, a just culture, and flexible culture and a learning culture. In the effort to engineer a reporting culture, we must be mindful of the kinds of assessments people will make when they consider making a report. Trust and any potential repercussions come into play here. Reason astutely observes: “…potential informants cannot always see the value in making reports, especially if they are

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sceptical about the likelihood of management acting upon the information. Is it worth the extra work when no good is likely to come of it? Moreover, even when people are persuaded that writing a sufficiently detailed account is justified and that action will be taken, there remains the overriding problem of trust. Will I get my colleagues into trouble? Will I get into trouble?” Achieving a strong reporting culture – and by implication, a strong safety culture – is no mean feat. But as we have observed from the survey results, some sectors are better at this than others. A strong reporting culture is indicative of other components too, correlating most obviously with a just culture and a learning culture. In general, there will always be a role for confidential reporting to capture health and safety issues that otherwise might be lost. Even where strong reporting cultures do exist, it would be complacent to dismiss the role of confidential reporting. In fact, promoting confidential reporting is strongly correlated with a positive view of internal reporting systems in the contractor to Network Rail sector. This isn’t a coincidence. At first sight, it may sound counterintuitive, but it does in fact represent an enlightened view. If an organisation welcomes confidential reports where the need arises, employees are often reassured by the


openness and maturity on display. Greater trust is generated in the process. Ultimately, the acceptance of confidential reporting can drive improvements in internal reporting. And if a health or safety concern is authentically listened to after the making of a confidential report, the reporter is likely to re-engage with their work again. We can never be a 100 per cent certain an internal reporting system will capture everything of value. Neither can we be certain that the fundamental prerequisite for internal reporting – trust – will exist in the mind of every potential reporter, even where a strong safety culture exists. Confidential reporting compliments internal reporting to guard against the loss of important information. The evidence also suggests it inspires broader confidence in an organisation’s ability to address health and safety issues. Chris Langer is project change manager at CIRAS

References Reason, J. (1997). Managing the Risks or Organizational Accidents. Ashgate: Abingdon



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Breaking the cycle Andrew Allen looks at the call for the creation of a new Network Development Fund to support new or reopened lines and stations


round the country, hundreds of reopening proposals are touted as the solution to local transport problems. While some are based on little more than nostalgia, others have the potential to make a real difference. Under current arrangements, pursuing a rail enhancement is complex, time consuming and expensive. As part of the next railway Control Period, new funding and strategy is needed to get the best of the proposals off the ground. Can the government deliver? Everyone loves a good reopening project. Most of us have favourite abandoned stations or lines that we fervently believe should be brought back into service. Amid the overgrown tracks and long-lost station buildings we see their potential to take cars and lorries off congested roads, support new development, reduce carbon emissions, help tackle social disadvantage, and make jobs and services more accessible. For the most part, the benefits remain only as potential. Despite swelling demand, only a relatively small number of new and reopened lines and stations have come on line in the half century since the Beeching Axe. From Borders to Robin Hood, they stand out as beacons of hope to the local

authorities, advocates and campaigners, and developers who can see the benefit of targeted expansion of the rail network. At Campaign for Better Transport, we asked our supporters to send us their ideas for reopening projects. The resulting list ran to well over 200 projects. Not all of them are feasible of course, and there is rarely any case to be made for adding loss-making

The next Control Period aims to make project development much more flexible. To complement this, we have called for the creation of a new Network Development Fund to support new or reopened lines and stations. Administered by the Department for Transport, the fund would be aimed at projects which reach an agreed preliminary standard and would take them through to full development and implementation, creating a pipeline of network enhancement schemes

lines to the network. But while some of the ideas which were sent to us are what might politely be called long-term aspirations, others are immediate priorities with clear rationale and business case. Why is it so difficult to make them happen?  Desperate in equal measure Most rail campaigns are organised by passionate advocates desperate to see things happen. But in truth, they usually hit upon an equally desperate lack of cash or suitable processes to move projects forward. With no clear objectives or funding stream for dealing with expansion of the network, anyone pursuing a proposal is open to high costs and slow progress, regardless of how well-supported and strategically beneficial the project is. We regularly hear from local authorities, developers and communities who have reached a brick wall or found themselves trapped in a cycle of consultants’ reports demanded by GRIP. For example, it is well over 20 years since campaigners began calling for the reopening



With no clear objectives or funding stream for dealing with expansion of the network, anyone pursuing a proposal is open to high costs and slow progress, regardless of how wellsupported and strategically beneficial the project is. We regularly hear from local authorities, developers and communities who have reached a brick wall or found themselves trapped in a cycle of consultants’ reports demanded by GRIP of the Portishead line near Bristol, and a decade has passed since the first £1 million of Local Transport Plan money was allocated to the project. Despite a rock-solid business case, a proposal to apply for a Development Consent Order has only recently been announced and construction is unlikely to begin before 2020. Call for new development fund It’s a familiar cycle, but there is now the opportunity to break it. The next Control Period aims to make project development much more flexible. To complement this, we have called for the creation of a new Network Development Fund to support new or reopened lines and stations. Administered by the Department for Transport, the fund would be aimed at projects which reach an agreed preliminary standard and would take them through to full development

and implementation, creating a pipeline of network enhancement schemes. This would be supported by a new approvals process with a streamlined version of GRIP based on an agreed set of outcomes including support for national objectives such as housing and jobs growth. We think the idea of a Network Development Fund will be attractive politically. Over the next few months, the government is likely to signal further clarifications in its objectives for rail. A new rail strategy is expected soon, and a small number of individual enhancement schemes may be (To be changed as appropriate) announced alongside November’s Budget. Although a fund would need to be structured in a way that stops pet schemes being favoured, the establishment of a new mechanism to support rail enhancements

could fit well with political priorities. It would also mesh with the recent push towards greater devolution within Network Rail, with route directors keen to use such funding to make progress with projects in their area. It will also help meet the objectives of the Hansford Review and Network Rail’s subsequent commitment to encouraging third party funding. Not so long ago, rail policy was about closing lines and stations. Now there is an all-party consensus that the rail network needs to be extended, rather than cut back. Several successful projects have opened new or former lines and stations and many other projects are waiting in the wings. Handled in the right way, bringing more schemes forward could revitalise communities, improving choice and creating a better, more efficient and more useful rail network. Establishing a properly resourced Network Development Fund with appropriate targets and oversight would be an important step in bringing this about.

Andrew Allen is research and consultancy coordinator at Campaign for Better Transport

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both ways to increase your understanding of different companies in the rail sector. In order to be a mentor you need to have an IRO membershipOur levelAnnual of Member Fellow. Lunchorfor Members and Guests will be held at of what my company is You can check theThe upgrade criteria and Dock, apply London. Mermaid, Puddle On Friday 19th April to raise your membership level on the IRO 2013 from midday. Our guest speaker the Rt. Hon. doingis with its fleet she’s a website ( Simon Burns, Minister of State for Transport. We spoke to Adam Parkinson who has brilliant contact to have as recently been paired with a mentor to find out how he is progressing: Tickets – £47.00 per head I have lots of toperational ‘Even though we have only spoken once Table of 10 – £470.00 per table so far, because of what my company is doing questions to ask her…’ (Ticket prices are inclusive of VAT @ 20%) with its fleet she’s a brilliant contact to have as I have lots of operational questions to ask Download a booking form at: some arrange to meet face-to-face. calls and her…’ We also caught up with Luke Williams to To apply to have a mentor, first you find out more about his experience on the must be a member of IRO, which is free to Call: 01785 scheme: employees of corporate members.248113 You can ‘…it’s been going really well. My mentor register your interest on the IRO website by is really knowledgeable and he has given me filling in a short application form, including loads of ideas on how to improve my railway a few details about your career objectives. You will then be matched with a mentor who career. Also he has put me in touch with several people from departments that have is in the same area as you and has related all been willing to help me out’ experience which will hopefully be able to help you with your career aspirations. To find out more about the IRO Mentoring Once you have paired up, it’s up to you Scheme please visit www.railwayoperators. how often you get in touch. Most people, or call 03333 440523. choose to be in contact via email or phone

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Power to the regions Chris Swan looks at maximising rail freight to support construction


ail freight is an integral part of the UK construction supply chain, with more than 20 million tonnes of aggregates and cement moved by rail each year. These impressive tonnages are on the rise, yet rail freight was conspicuously absent from the Mayor of London’s draft Transport Strategy, a disappointing omission given that 40 per cent of construction materials used in the capital are already delivered by rail. Untapped potential Despite its strategic importance, there is often a lack of consideration given to rail freight’s potential to support project delivery, relieve pressure on road networks and reduce carbon emissions. This is symptomatic of a wider issue: a failure to consider how construction materials get to the right place at the right time. Often, this

Crucially, early engagement with materials providers is key to understanding the value and viability of rail freight to support delivery. Collaborative working across the supply chain should begin at the earliest opportunity, ensuring logistical solutions are considered from the outset. The opportunity is clear, but to keep the UK’s construction pipeline on track, it’s time for policymakers, materials suppliers and the wider construction industry to start talking rail freight

is not given sufficient timely consideration by clients, contractors and planning authorities. London is a particular example of this. In spite of the city’s reliance on rail freight, a political desire to reduce HGV movements and high-profile measures to improve air quality, the draft Transport Strategy made little reference to the socio-economic benefits of rail freight and its essential role in supporting the delivery of new infrastructure. Conversely, there is a real opportunity for the capital to consider the terminals needed to service the materials requirements of the city, and the network capacity to enable transportation by rail. London’s draft Transport Strategy is now being revised following the end of the consultation period in October, but other regions have the opportunity to learn from the capital’s initial oversight. Currently, two of the six new Metro Mayoral regions, the West Midlands and

Greater Manchester, have a dedicated freight strategy in place. While it is encouraging to see in both acknowledgement of the freight market’s rapid growth in recent years, there is further opportunity for the consideration of its growing importance. As strategies are developed, the role that regions can play in supporting the bigger national picture of materials transportation, carbon reduction and air quality improvement must also be considered. As the benefits of rail freight become more widely recognised and it moves up the policymaking agenda, it is more important than ever that the industry ensures it delivers service excellence to build on the opportunities for growth. Good performance and reliability are essential in rail freight’s drive to be recognised as a valuable collaborative supply chain partner and drive modal shift away from road. Steady progress The decline of coal has played a part in Rail Professional


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masking the ascendancy of UK rail freight, but the Office of Rail and Road has still recorded a six per cent year-on-year rise in intermodal shipments moved by rail in 2016-17 and a seven per cent increase in construction freight movements in the same period. Earlier this year, Tarmac successfully trialled its first ever 2,000 tonne delivery into a single location, an important milestone in our journey to improve our rail freight capabilities. This was achieved in partnership with GB Railfreight and Network Rail freight route management, and demonstrates two things: that there is significant potential to increase rail freight’s contribution to productivity and a lowcarbon economy, and that collaborative working is needed to realise this. Improving average speeds, for example, is an area where targeted development by network operators and freight users could work together to significantly impact efficiency and service. Analysis of freight network capacity often fails to take into consideration journey times, which is a central factor in planning effective passenger services. The average speed of Tarmac’s loaded trains is currently around 16mph, a poor use of assets that are capable of operating at 60mph loaded. Greater collaboration has the potential to improve the use of these assets and drive average speeds, making rail freight a more attractive option for clients. Consistently, however, there is a need to balance passengers and freight demands for network capacity. As regional transport strategies take shape, it is important that passenger route planning takes account of freight requirements without considering a ‘trade off’ of freight services to make space for new passenger flows. As such, it was encouraging to see Network Rail engage with freight and passenger train companies to produce the Rail Delivery Group’s latest report, In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, (see page 35) which readily acknowledges the power of freight to support organisations of all sizes and sectors. Ongoing collaboration of this kind is needed to improve the performance of rail for all user groups and to ensure that our infrastructure is capable of meeting future demand. Capital investment in infrastructure will also be necessary but, following the Hansford Review of contestability in the UK rail market, these conversations will increasingly involve the private sector. It is a testament to the enterprising nature of rail freight operators and users that the review singled out the sector as an area where public and private partnerships have already been successful. Freight operators and customers are private sector businesses and many have been building capabilities with new equipment and terminals. At Tarmac we’ve opened a new railhead at Settle to support operations at our Arcow Quarry

in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This has improved access to materials for important schemes across the country, while simultaneously removing thousands of lorry journeys from the road. Other recent activity has included a new rail depot a Garston, Liverpool, railfreight starting deliveries at our Aberthaw cement plant and a succession of new efficient wagons with the latest track friendly technology now operating across our network. This is precisely the kind of third party input that the government seeks to encourage, and policymaking across all levels needs to consider barriers to private involvement and create certainty to encourage this approach. When the secretary of state for transport, Chris Grayling, published details of rail infrastructure funding for the period 20192024 in October, it was encouraging to see the importance of rail freight referenced alongside passenger needs. It is to be hoped that the ORR’s publication of the charging plan for CP6 in spring next year recognises the continued need to encourage and grow rail freight. At a national level, it seems policy is beginning to recognise the critical role of rail freight although the National Infrastructure Commission’s recently published interim National Infrastructure Assessment shows there’s more to be done to raise awareness of the capabilities and benefits of rail freight in supporting the UK’s infrastructure ambitions, and this provides a clear opportunity for further engagement. Regional and local policy too should reflect its strategic importance in realising aspirations such as the Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse. With growing private sector investment in the rail network and HS2 expected to release capacity for freight movement over the coming decades, now is the time for these discussions. Staying on track Rail freight has a critical role to play in delivering quality service, cost benefits and unlocking a low-carbon built environment against a backdrop of major infrastructure growth. Supply by one aggregate train is the equivalent of removing up to 60 HGV’s from the road. It also produces more than 70 per cent less carbon dioxide per tonne compared with the equivalent road journey. As congestion and air quality continue to grab inches in both broadsheets and policy papers, these sustainability credentials cannot be ignored. At medium to long distances, it offers better value for money than using the road network, but capitalising on these benefits requires robust planning. Emerging regional strategies must seek to maximise rail freight’s potential or else suffer a missed opportunity for a modal shift towards an efficient, low-carbon supply chain. The provision of accessible and quality railheads is vital, not only for major infrastructure schemes like Crossrail 2,


but also smaller projects across the UK that could benefit from cost savings and sustainable delivery. Additionally, the protection of strategic rail freight depots from inappropriate adjacent development is also essential – particularly in urban locations where demand for more terminals to support construction traffic is acute, railhead locations must be carefully chosen and safeguarded. Clients could be encouraged to consider multimodal options by placing greater scrutiny on construction logistics plans at application stage. Major infrastructure schemes, such as Heathrow’s ambition for regional logistics hubs, will hopefully help to encourage this mindset. However, the onus does not rest solely with policymakers. A collective effort from the construction industry is needed to maximise the use of rail freight, ensuring efficient and sustainable delivery not only of building materials, but of the infrastructure projects that will shape the nation’s future. Crucially, early engagement with materials providers is key to understanding the value and viability of rail freight to support delivery. Collaborative working across the supply chain should begin at the earliest opportunity, ensuring logistical solutions are considered from the outset. The opportunity is clear, but to keep the UK’s construction pipeline on track, it’s time for policymakers, materials suppliers and the wider construction industry to start talking rail freight. Chris Swan, head of rail, Tarmac Rail Professional



Positive things to come We mustn’t let the future of rail freight be overshadowed by a challenging present, says Richard Clarke


t is well known and has been wellpublicised that rail freight has experienced challenging times of late. This is in large part because of the decline of the coal industry. The fact that DB Cargo UK ran 78 per cent fewer coal trains in the first nine months of 2016 than the same period in 2015 is just one statistic that illustrates the impact of coal’s demise. The steel industry too suffered significant decline in 2016, with high UK energy prices and competition from China being outlined

Monitoring the markets closely means we can make the right decisions for the future. Although coal continues to be an area that does not warrant investment, the European steel industry has seen positive changes including increasing demand from the automotive and construction sectors Rail Professional

as key factors in the industry crisis. It cannot be denied that rail freight is suffering and suffering hard from the impact. But at DB Cargo UK plans are in place to shape a new future and, though we must deal with our present situation, we cannot lose sight of the positives that are ahead of us, if we plan things right. At DB Cargo UK this means utilising our current resources and investing to support areas that are profitable and growing. For example, the company continues to show its commitment to the construction industry as it continues to expand and prosper. Rail freight provides incomparable solutions in this area as services can bring huge volumes of materials into areas such as London while avoiding the congested

motorways and trunk roads across the UK. Once in the heart of London, the materials can then be transported to specific areas by road. Using rail for the leg of the journey from the quarry to a rail-connected terminal reduces the number of HGV’s and the time spent on the roads significantly, this contributes to reduced congestion and pollution to the environment, with one train carrying material equivalent to around 76 lorry loads. DB Cargo UK also offers ‘jumbo trains’, which at up to 34 wagons long can carry 2,300 tonnes of material – taking up to 80 lorries off our roads. In September we introduced the first ever jumbo train service from Cardiff to Acton in London. Once at Acton the jumbo trains are divided into


smaller rail services that take the aggregates to the places they are needed. More efficient Another challenge posed to the rail freight industry includes track access on a network where passenger demand is growing. One way that DB Cargo UK is tackling this is by making its services more efficient. Recently we worked with Axiom Rail and WH Davis to convert 110 HTA coal hoppers into new state-of-the-art HRA aggregate hopper wagons. During the conversion one of the coal hopper bays is removed, reducing the length of the wagon by 20 per cent of its original size from 17.757 meters to 14.347 meters. Despite the reduction in length, the gross weight each wagon can carry remains the same at 101.6 tonnes. This allows more wagons to be transported per train, increasing the potential payload tonnage of the train by 447 tonnes for the same length (based on a 22 HTA wagon set and a 27 HRA wagon set). DB Cargo UK has committed to reengineering an initial 110 wagons and plans to have them in full service by Q3 2018. This significant investment again demonstrates DB Cargo UK’s commitment to the aggregates industry and plans for

future growth in the sector. Monitoring the markets closely means we can make the right decisions for the future. Although coal continues to be an area that does not warrant investment, the European steel industry has seen positive changes including increasing demand from the automotive and construction sectors. Tata Steel even recently announced a £30 million investment into its operations at Port Talbot and has welcomed new graduates and apprentices to its business. DB Cargo UK is now developing a new logistics centre in the city of Wolverhampton, which will better serve its customers in the steel sector. There are already facilities at the site to store and handle steel coil, which is delivered to Wolverhampton by rail before the final miles of the journey are done by road to a number of manufacturers in the West Midlands. Significant investment to build the new Wolverhampton Logistics Centre will more than double our current capabilities of storing and handling steel coils from 1,380 to 1,944 coils, giving a total capacity of 3,325 coils, which is 40,000 tonnes of steel. The Centre is set to open in July 2018. In September a trial service was launched to Wolverhampton with steel and mining


company ArcelorMittal, moving 1,300 tonnes of steel coil. The trial train transported 20 loaded BYA type wagons of steel coil from the Port of Boston on the East Coast of England. DB Cargo UK is providing a full port to end user service for ArcelorMittal, providing road services to complete the final miles to the end destination. It is envisaged that the service will operate weekly once the trial is complete. It underpins the significant investment that DB Cargo UK has made into its facilities at the site, including the Wolverhampton Logistics Centre. We find at DB Cargo UK that whatever challenges we are up against there is always positive news too. Yes, the times ahead of us are difficult however we continue invest in the right sectors, improve utilisation of the assets we have and make our services more efficient, rail freight need not let the present overshadow the sunnier times ahead.

Richard Clarke is head of transport policy, access and regulation at DB Cargo UK

Stay up to date with standards You can search, access and download all shared industry standards from our website, including Railway Group Standards, Rail Industry Standards, codes of practice and guidance. In December 2017, we published new and revised standards in rail vehicle numbering, heritage vehicle operation and the driveability assessment of signalling schemes, among many others! Also, updates to the Rule Book published in September have taken effect in December. Make sure you stay up to date, and get in touch with us if you have any queries – we’re here to help. @rssb_rail

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Painting a different picture Forget the gloom about coal – the future for rail freight is in consumer goods and construction materials, says Julian Worth


o, coal is dead and rail freight is finished, right? Wrong. Non-coal rail freight was at a record high in 2016/7 and the main strategic issue facing freight is a shortage of infrastructure capacity to cater for growth. The high profile decline of coal – and the undoubted pain it caused the major freight operating companies – makes it understandable that many in the industry, let alone the outside world, believe that freight is on its knees and in terminal decline. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The collapse of coal, cataclysmic as it was, is now history and rail freight is moving on. There was nothing anyone could do about coal but, largely unnoticed, the rest of the business has been growing – steadily in some years, rapidly in

Construction had its best ever year in 2016/7, seven per cent up on the previous year and nearly 60 per cent up over the previous decade. Intermodal similarly had its best ever year, six per cent up on the year and 44 per cent better over ten years Rail Professional

others – and is now 63 per cent larger than at the time of privatisation in 1994. The growth has led to the remarkable situation that 40 per cent of UK rail freight now consists of consumer goods in intermodal containers. It will be a few years before non-coal growth fully compensates for the loss of coal but it is a case of when, not if. In the meantime, the main impact is a marked change in rail freight geography – even when coal became a story of imports rather than short distance moves from local pits, it was to a large degree confined to a small number of routes in the Midlands and North. The new rail freight, driven by

construction materials and intermodal containers is all about capacity in the South and particularly on the main inter-city routes – WCML and ECML for Intermodal, MML and GWML for construction – plus cross-London for both. Construction had its best ever year in 2016/7, seven per cent up on the previous year and nearly 60 per cent up over the previous decade. Intermodal similarly had its best ever year, six per cent up on the year and 44 per cent better over ten years. Together these two sectors now account for nearly two thirds of UK rail freight – let’s look more closely at what’s driving these two


key sectors, starting with construction. Construction Exhaustion of sand and gravel reserves near the big cities has led to their replacement by crushed rock, sourced from distant quarries and often moved by rail. Limestone from the Mendips and granite from Leicestershire are the main sources for London and the South East, supported by Peak District limestone, which is also supplied to the North West, East Anglia and Yorkshire. Construction volumes inevitably go up and down in response to the economic climate but, overlaying this, there is a strongly upward long-term trend. This has been reinforced in recent years by the construction industry majors pursuing economies of scale which, almost without exception, means investing in very large quarries and other production facilities to supply large areas of the UK, with rail as the usual means of conveying the product to market. The investment in quarries is matched by investment in modern high-capacity wagon fleets and receiving terminals close to market, where aggregates are unloaded

As well as deep sea containers there are other intermodal opportunities such as Channel Tunnel traffic and short sea container movements, but the biggest opportunity is long-distance domestic trunking. Already, most of the major supermarkets, led by Tesco, use rail on a daily basis. In many cases this is for Anglo Scottish traffic, with six or seven trains a day in each direction between Daventry and Central Scotland, but there are several much shorterdistance trains

and often converted into concrete or tarmac. Nigh on 50 per cent of London’s aggregates are now moved by rail, combining limestone and granite with sea-dredged sand and gravel and specialist materials such as gritstone from Wales, which is used to provide an anti-skid surface on the approach to junctions and roundabouts. Such is the demand for building materials that some of the major terminals receive several large trains a day – it is said that the terminals at Kings Cross and Battersea (Stewarts Lane) together produce more ready mix concrete than the whole of Scotland. The main requirements for construction are capacity on the key routes into, out of and across the big cities, plus land in the urban area for additional unloading terminals. Urban land use planning is thus a key issue and planners need to understand that sites alongside the main rail routes are, strategically, too valuable to be used for housing – a footloose activity that can be located on a much wider range of sites. From the railway perspective, the need for main line capacity is not necessarily in conflict with passenger growth – capacity provided for peak passenger flows is, by definition, underutilised between the peaks and at night. Many of the heavily-loaded construction trains run during the night to arrive before, and be discharged during, the morning peak – the much lighter and faster empty train (often capable of running at 75 mph these days) can return to the quarry or cement works between the peaks to be reloaded for the next night’s train. Investment in additional capacity, such as grade separation at Reading, benefits both passenger and freight operations and gives the taxpayer a double benefit for every pound invested. Manufacturing transfer So much for growth of bulk materials such as aggregates, of which many people will have a passing knowledge, but how did we get to the point where nearly half the freight on our railway consists of consumer goods? At root, it’s driven by the transfer of manufacturing to South East Asia, creating large volumes from the three major container ports of Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway. Felixstowe is now the UK’s biggest source of rail freight, sending out 33/34 trains a day and receiving the same number from inland terminals – and these are big trains, usually moving 40-50 boxes per train and sometimes as many as 60. That’s more than 3000 boxes a day moving in and out of Felixstowe by rail which would otherwise require an additional 3000 lorry movements a day on the A14. Even at these volumes, there is more demand than rail can cater for, and Network Rail’s scheme to provide additional capacity on the Felixstowe branch can’t come soon enough, lifting rail capacity to around 45 paths a day. Further capacity expansion is required, for passenger as well as Felixstowe container trains, at


other locations, notably Ely and Leicester. In addition, gauge clearance of the route from Syston Jn (north of Leicester) through Loughborough and Uttoxeter to Stoke and Crewe would provide extra capacity to the key North West market and relieve the WCML. With HS2 Phase 1 feeding all trains for the North West and Scotland onto the WCML at Lichfield, capacity through the Colwich-Stafford two track bottleneck will be at a premium and the Syston-Stoke route could offer significant relief.  Other opportunities As well as deep sea containers there are other intermodal opportunities such as Channel Tunnel traffic and short sea container movements, but the biggest opportunity is long-distance domestic trunking. Already, most of the major supermarkets, led by Tesco, use rail on a daily basis. In many cases this is for Anglo Scottish traffic, with six or seven trains a day in each direction between Daventry and Central Scotland, but there are several much shorter-distance trains. Tesco have daily trains from Daventry to Cardiff and to Barking/Purfleet, plus a daily train from Central Scotland to Inverness to supply stores in the Highlands. Some of the containers on these trains carry chilled or frozen produce – the containers are simply lifted off the train onto lorries for the final delivery and some are back-loaded with products such as bottled water to feed into the national supply chain.  Interest from logistics industry The main constraint with domestic intermodal movements is the cost of getting the container to a railhead for loading onto the train. Tesco and Sainsbury have overcome this by locating their distribution centres on a rail-connected site at Daventry and it is this (along with congestion inside the M25) that enables rail to be competitive for a haul of under 100 miles. While other companies may not have Tesco’s volume, the development of new rail-connected distribution parks in the East Midlands, where many companies have their National Distribution Centre, means there will be scope for multi-customer trains from these locations to regional distribution centre clusters around the UK. There is considerable interest from the logistics industry in these new sites, primarily for inbound rail movements from the ports, but the same on-site intermodal terminal can be used for outbound traffic in the next leg of the supply chain, to a regional distribution centre or store. So, forget the gloom about coal – the future for rail freight is in consumer goods and construction materials, two commodities which we’ll all need for a very long time.

Julian Worth is chair, Rail Freight Forum, CILT Rail Professional



Size matters…. What are the essential capabilities required to support the unconstrained demand for rail freight, asks Chris Polack


t the end of 2016 there was a question mark over the future of the British rail freight industry1. The preceding 18 months had seen a drastic fall in the quantity of coal delivered to power stations by rail. While the rail freight industry had forecast that demand would reduce – as the result of the government’s emissions policy – it had not anticipated how quickly the reduction would occur. One year on the industry is still alive and kicking. Recent ORR statistics for April to June (2017-18 Q1) show little change in tonnes lifted and tonne kilometres compared with the same period last year2. The industry may not be out of the woods yet, but it would appear to have stabilised. Recent months have seen a number of promising developments: Peel Ports has announced its intention to start a new intermodal service from the Port of Liverpool3. The Armitt Group has invested

in a rail-connected steel warehouse at Thamesport as part of its strategy to deliver steel coil in to the West Midlands by rail, and Tarmac has introduced deliveries of gritstone from South Wales to major construction projects; to name but a few. It is important to remember that current developments are only satisfying the constrained rail freight demand; the unconstrained demand is much greater. Looking ahead over the next 25 years the volume of intermodal deliveries made by rail, both from ports to Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SRFI), and between inland terminals, is forecast to more than double; and there is steady growth expected in the construction sector4. There are schemes in place to address some of the unconstrained demand – Network Rail has announced plans to increase capacity on the Felixstowe Branch5, and in a ground-breaking collaboration with the Local Enterprise Partnership, has launched a study into

It is important to remember that current developments are only satisfying the constrained rail freight demand; the unconstrained demand is much greater. Looking ahead over the next 25 years the volume of intermodal deliveries made by rail, both from ports to Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SRFI), and between inland terminals, is forecast to more than double; and there is steady growth expected in the construction sector

enhancing capacity in the Ely area. In considering growth in freight, and passenger volumes, much has been written about the requirement for additional network capacity. While additional capacity is essential to enable the freight market to grow, the other essential characteristic required of the network is capability – that is ‘what you can do’ with the network. Capacity without capability is of little use. So what are the essential capabilities that are required to support the unconstrained demand for rail freight? In particular the forecast growth in intermodal, but at the same time not forgetting the continued demand for bulk deliveries. Structure gauge The most obvious capability requirement is adequate structure gauge, to enable the delivery of containers and swap bodies on conventional height rail wagons. Over the years the size of intermodal units has increased, with the current industry standard for deep sea imports being a 9’6” high box, and for short sea and domestic deliveries the 9’6” high pallet wide unit. In railway gauge terms these require W10 and W12 gauges respectively. When faced with the challenges of raising bridges and opening out tunnels to achieve these gauges, network operators may be tempted to consider ‘wagon’ solutions – bespoke wagons with low platform heights that can deliver the largest intermodal units within existing gauges. At first glance these look to be an excellent idea, however closer examination reveals the inefficiencies and consequential additional costs. Low platform wagons invariably have a lower proportion of useable length than standard height wagons, leading to fewer units delivered within a given train length. Having to plan the use of bespoke wagons for particular routes adds an additional level of complexity and cost to rail freight



operators. So no, bespoke wagons are not the answer as they increase the unit cost of container delivery, and impose additional costs on operators and customers. Provision of a Strategic Rail Freight Network with adequate gauge capability is necessary to allow shippers and operators to maximise train utilisation and provide a solution that is cost-competitive throughout with road delivery. Train length Whereas trains of bulk commodities, such as aggregates or iron ore, tend to be limited by the total achievable train weight on a route; intermodal deliveries are lighter and there is an opportunity to run much longer trains. The industry standard for intermodal trains is 775 metres, for heavier bulk commodities a train length of 450 metres is the minimum, with an aspiration of > 600 metres. In order to deliver longer trains it is, of course, necessary for ports, SRFI and other terminals to be able to accommodate them. Maximising train length allows operators to achieve greater efficiencies and deliver maximum reductions in the 3C’s – cost, carbon and congestion. Axle weight For bulk commodities the greatest efficiencies can be gained by maximising the payload per wagon and this requires higher axle weights. The heaviest axles running in Great Britain are 25.4 tonnes, however anything over 22.8 tonnes is subject to an exceptional loads procedure. Trains consisting of heavy axle weight wagons must carry an ‘Exceptional loads – Heavy axle weight’ form which lists speed restrictions over structures or route sections. Slowing down for axle weight related speed restrictions, and then accelerating back up to normal speed, contributes to extended journey times and increased fuel consumption.

The heavy axle weight procedure is bureaucratic and introduces risks. If the train driver does not have the form, or the form has not been re-issued (they are time limited), the train cannot depart resulting in delayed or abandoned deliveries. A programme of replacing understrength structures, track and formation on the Strategic Rail Freight Network would allow the present cumbersome procedure to be consigned to history, and facilitate more efficient deliveries. Availability Modern supply chains are predicated on frequent, often ‘Just in Time’, deliveries and the rail freight industry needs to offer this capability as standard. Cancelling deliveries because a route is closed for maintenance or enhancement is not acceptable to customers. The network needs to be available 24/7 for 363 (minimum) days per year. The network should offer diversionary routes with the same capabilities as the core route in order to provide the necessary resilience and reliability.

End-to-end journey times While modern freight locomotives have a maximum speed of 75 mph or more, historically the average end-to-end speed of rail freight deliveries has been circa 23 mph. A combination of waiting for paths and speed restrictions results in delays and slow running that significantly impacts on the utilisation of equipment and personnel. And it is not just delays caused by capacity or capability restrictions; industry performance regimes should be kept under regular review to ensure they are not driving perverse behaviour and causing delay to freight deliveries. A programme of works to remove speed restrictions on the Strategic Rail Freight Network, prioritised to address those with the greatest impact, will significantly reduce journey times and increase operational efficiency. Provision of additional capacity for both freight and passengers will ensure that trains can keep moving from origin to destination. Fully capable network So for the rail freight industry to succeed in delivering the 3C’s benefits, for our communities, our industries and our environment, it requires access to a network that is fully capable – capable of providing bigger gauge, longer trains and faster and more reliable journeys. In rail freight, as in many other walks of life, size matters. Chris Polack is a director of Bootham Network Solutions

References: 1. Railfreight market wounded by the death of King Coal - but is it fatal? Rail Professional, Dec 2016 2. Freight Rail Usage 2017-18 Q1 Statistical Release, Office of Rail and Road 3. Press Release 12th September 2017, Peel Ports 4. Freight Market Study October 2013, Network Rail 5. Press Release 2nd October 2017, Network Rail Rail Professional

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By popular demand The public wants the government to support rail freight, says Philippa Edmunds


he rail freight industry welcomes the commitment made to continued investment in the rail freight network, as well as the increased funding for railway maintenance and renewals in the government’s recent Statement of Funds Available announcement. Freight on Rail will be making a strong socio-economic case for continued government rail freight investment, for which no figures have been given as yet for the next five year period from 2019-2024. Enhancements will now be handled separately with a pipeline approach with a revised delivery process for this new Control Period 6. Targeted rail freight upgrades work; the gauge upgrades out of Southampton Port increased rail’s market share from 29 to 36 per cent within a year and had a benefit-cost ratio of five to one. However, we believe that the uncertainty

Our recent YouGov opinion polling, shows that almost two thirds of the public support rail over HGV’s with only two per cent wanting to see more freight on the roads. It also reveals that 63 per cent of people also support increasing government funding to allow more freight trains on the rail network, with only three per cent opposing such measures

over further electrification schemes is short-sighted and deeply disappointing. Electrification, which is proven technology, increases rail speeds and capacity, and reduces maintenance costs as well as carbon dioxide and air pollution. Our recent YouGov opinion polling1, shows that almost two thirds of the public support rail over HGV’s with only two per cent wanting to see more freight on the roads. It also reveals that 63 per cent of people also support increasing government funding to allow more freight trains on the rail network, with only three per cent opposing such measures. Customer demand for more consumer and construction rail freight services is currently constrained by the lack of space on the rail network. In fact every rail freight slot (path) which comes free at Felixstowe can be filled straightaway with repressed

demand for another 15 trains a day out of Felixstowe, on top of the 33 trains already serving the port each day. Conversely, the government is embracing the five year funding plan for roads and spending £15 billion on the Strategic Road Network during this period, with Highways England expanding its network with more than 1,300 additional lane miles between 2015 and 2020. While the same document states that HGV’s contribute 38 per cent of NO2 emissions from road transport, (even though they only make up five per cent of miles driven) close to its motorway network which the government is expanding. The argument that building more roads stimulates new traffic has been vindicated yet again by an Atkins report for Highways England, which shows that the M25 so-called smart motorway widening has resulted in journey times worsened



needs terminals/interchanges of different sizes and for different commodities, both at origins and destinations of freight flows. Therefore, we need a planning system which can protect and deliver new rail/road transfer hubs as well as protecting existing sites from alternative more profitable developments such as housing. Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SRFI’s), which show the way the private sector is investing in and supporting rail freight, are important drivers for modal shift as they reduce the transhipment costs, offer value added services such as rail-served warehousing and enable rail to compete with HGV’s. New figures from the Daventry SRFI show that the existing rail freight services remove 64 million lorry journeys mainly from the strategic road network each year. Other SRFI’s such as I-Doncaster and Howbury Park are coming on stream with the West Midlands Interchange at Four Ashes near Wolverhampton and enhanced rail freight facilities as part of Tilbury2, in the planning process. More small and medium-sized terminals are also needed, especially in urban areas to bring in aggregates; 40 per cent of London’s building materials are delivered by rail; each train can carry enough materials to build 30 houses. So we need all levels of government including, devolved and local authorities, to safeguard key potential sites by the railway.

and traffic increasing by 13 per cent within the first year. Rail freight should have a pivotal role in reducing air and carbon dioxide emissions, congestion and fatalities. There was a four per cent increase in road fatalities last year compared to 2015; in the same year, HGV’s were almost seven times more likely than cars to be involved in fatal crashes than cars on local roads. Rail freight produces 90 per cent less PM10 particulates and up to 15 times less nitrogen dioxide emissions than HGV’s for the equivalent journey, while HGV’s are responsible for 21 per cent of NOx emissions while accounting for five per cent of miles driven. Struggle with targets The government will struggle to reach its legally binding CO2 targets if it does not shift more freight to rail as CO2 reductions from the larger HGV’s, will be harder to achieve than other road freight vehicles, because the big trucks will continue to use the current engine technology well into the next decade according to the DfT Freight Carbon Review. HGV’s contribute 17 per cent of surface access CO2 emissions, despite making up only five per cent of road vehicles, whereas both passenger and freight rail together are less than two per cent2. Currently the larger HGV’s, (in the category greater than 33 tonnes) are responsible for 56 per cent of truck CO2 emissions. Rail Rail Professional

freight is well-placed to cater for some of this long- distance trunk haul consumer traffic if the rail network is upgraded; currently a quarter of the largest HGV’s of five axles and over are doing journeys of more than 300 kilometres, so some of this traffic could be shifted to rail if the network is upgraded. The AECOM report for the DfT, part of the Rail Freight Strategy work in 2016, found the potential for reducing HGV mileage by 19-20 per cent by 2030 if the rail freight network is upgraded. Rail freight has seen consistent yearon-year growth in key consumer and construction markets. Construction traffic moved by rail freight grew by seven per cent in the year to April 2017 to a record high of 4.25 billion net tonne-km, according to ORR figures. The largest commodity group is now domestic intermodal which grew by six per cent last year reaching 6.8 billion net tonne-km. Rail freight has been improving its performance with 87 per cent of trains within 15 minutes of due time. Malcolms Logistics, which operates supermarket between Daventry and Scotland advertises 98 per cent departure within 15 minutes. While PD Ports has achieved 92 per cent departure within 15 minutes on its service between Teesport and Scotland’s Central belt, which is crucial for retail customers. In the same way that passengers need stations to access the rail network, freight

DfT must take costs distortion into account Research carried out for the Campaign for Better Transport3, which used existing government criteria, found that HGV’s pay less than a third of the costs associated with their activities in terms of road congestion, road collisions, road damage and pollution. These conclusions are in line with two other separate reports – the MDS Transmodal study in 2007 and Transport & Environment research issued in April 2016. We believe that the government must now take this market distortion into account in its current review of freight access charges, not previously done as the following DfT statement shows; paragraph 135 of the Rail Freight Strategy shows that rail freight’s socioeconomic benefits are not currently recognised in the track access charging regime. Any increases in rail freight charges will force trainloads of freight back to road resulting in extra congestion, road crashes and pollution costs for society. Philippa Edmunds is Freight on Rail manager

Freight on Rail members are Campaign for Better Transport, DB Cargo UK, Freightliner, Direct Rail Services, GB Railfreight, ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Rail Freight Group 1. PressRelease30-06-2017-opinion-poll.htm 2. Source DfT Rail Freight Strategy September 2016 3. media/25-february-2015-dangerous-dirty-anddamaging-new-research-reveals-impact-hgvs

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Learn lessons and innovate With the rail freight industry hurting how does it recover? What can it do, asks Neil Sime


he UK’s rail freight sector is going through a period of considerable change in terms of structure and market following the collapse of demand for power station coal. The major factor in driving coal out of the UK electricity mix was the doubling of the carbon price floor from £9 to £18/tCO2 in April 2015. This led to a seismic reduction in coal volumes to be moved from ports to power stations – keeping the nation’s lights on was no longer a job for coal fired power stations. Almost overnight, the movement of coal – the reason the railways were invented – wasn’t required. With the loss of that once buoyant market many of the UK’s coal wagons – wagons in which the rail freight industry had invested heavily – became redundant, although some clever lateral thinking has

We need to be looking at maximising the utilisation of locomotives. The only way we are going to do this is to mimic road haulage and use mainline drivers for the trunk runs and sweat the assets, the locos and wagons. This is going to need Network Rail and the DfT to ensure optimum pathways on the mainline

seen some being modified for use with other commodities. The main consequence of this huge loss of volume is that freight companies are chasing less business, with its associated impact on margins. Additional competitive pressure on the remaining established rail freight business also reduces margins which puts further pressure on costs. With the rail freight industry hurting how does it recover? What can it do? I believe the sector faces some stark choices: either think of innovative ways to win new to rail business or compete with each other for existing contracts whenever they come up for tender. Of course, the development of new traffics takes longer. It is more difficult to win new business given the timeframe and resources available. For some the easier route is to chase what’s there. How does the sector overcome the problem to develop new traffic? My company is trying to take a different

approach in which you don’t need to form a whole trainload out of one point, you can aggregate business and start pinning blocks of traffic together. For example, you can look at clusters of ports as overall origins of rail freight traffic. Then it’s about improving utilisation of resources into feeder operations. Utilisation is improved by not using mainline engines and drivers to shunt wagons about in terminals. Improved utilisation brings down the unit cost allowing rail freight to be more competitive, and the provision of feeders into a lower-cost trunking network can bring aggregation. It’s a two-pronged approach: bring unit cost down by being more efficient with your ‘main line’ resources and by doing things differently, aggregate traffic so you don’t have to wait for a whole train.” What can be done differently? Use mainline drivers for mainline work and don’t waste their time shunting. They’re a scarce and expensive resource and we



need to be using them in the same way as road hauliers use their drivers – working intensively moving cargo up and down the trunk network. Probably by feeding into these trunk movements, by getting our unit costs down we can get into other markets that are very competitive from a road point of view. Take a look at the short sea container flows, predominantly originating on the near continent. There’s a lot of volume coming in through a few ports around the UK, in the South East alone there are about a quarter of a million units a year available to rail, but it must be at a very competitive price. Victa believes the sort of activity it has carried out in terminals – that is, providing operational support services – needs to be further developed to ensure that the utilisation of manpower and equipment is optimised. Local shunting and yard operations are looked after by multi-skilled staff who act as the railway interface for the customer very much in the same way that a lorry driver would. Rail has, therefore, a more friendly face and rail freight is perceived to be easier to use. We need to be looking at maximising the utilisation of locomotives. The only way we are going to do this is to mimic road haulage and use mainline drivers for the trunk runs

and sweat the assets, the locos and wagons. This is going to need Network Rail and the DfT to ensure optimum pathways on the mainline. For example, at the moment you might be running an every ten minute passenger service, whereas actually if you made it three trains in 20 minutes, then a 10 minute gap, then another three trains, it’s not quite so convenient for the passengers on some routes, but it does open up a freight path every hour. Even two freight paths every hour. So optimisation of rail freight services, providing additional freight capacity is achieved by adjusting passenger train timings. By doing this, flows of traffic over relatively short distances, say 100 to 150 miles, can become economic where suitable volumes exist, by squeezing 2/3 round trips out of mainline resources every 24 hours, bringing unit costs down and offering service patterns that are attractive to freight customers. In addition, we are also looking at introducing feeder operations in certain areas where traffic for two or three destinations is collected from a number of origin points, such as ports, and aggregated into block trains for single destinations. An example of this would be in East London where short sea traffic volumes from

Tilbury and Purfleet could be combined with a multi destination train from Northern Europe running via the Channel Tunnel and HS1 to form three trunk services from a hub in Dagenham. The advantage of this is that individual customers or ports do not need to find a full train of traffic, typically 30 containers, or a minimum of 30 lorry loads, for one single destination before being able to use rail which makes rail attractive for a much wider range of customers. This model could also apply elsewhere around the UK. By using long-established, proven practise from other transport modes, such as the use of local resources to free up capacity in mainline equipment and by operating feeder services into hubs with traffic for a range of forward destinations, something that widely occurs in container shipping, rail freight can reduce unit cost, offer a wider choice to the customer and therefore grow into different markets. With pressure on emissions on key parts of the trunk road network, a forecast shortage of lorry drivers in the next five years and a desire by big companies to reduce their carbon footprint, this is good news for UK plc. Neil Sime is managing director of Victa Railfreight (Rail Freight Group’s Business of the Year)

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Britain deserves this Investment in smart technology can make our infrastructure spend go further, says Mike Muldoon


ast month Alstom announced the first sale of 14 of our brand new Coradia iLint trains in Germany for the Local Transport Authority of Lower Saxony. The Coradia iLint is the world’s first hydrogen-fuel cell passenger train. It uses hydrogen from on-board tanks and converts it to electrical energy to power the train. Its only emission is water, either as liquid or steam. The train’s environmental credentials are not its only selling point. As it operates very quietly, it represents the perfect choice for operators who want to give their customers the most comfortable journey. Here in the UK, Alstom’s hydrogen train technology could help us deliver some of the benefits of electrification even where there are no overhead lines planned. The government has already announced it will ban the sale of diesel and petrolpowered vehicles from 2040, and introduce an ultra-low congestion zone in London by 2020. Alstom has had a number of fruitful conversations with DfT, train operators and

Conventional electrification still has a very important part to play as well. Hydrogen trains are, for the moment at least, most suited to regional and medium speed railways

regulatory authorities about the potential for hydrogen trains in the UK and we are increasingly confident that hydrogenpowered fuel cell trains will become a regular fixture on the UK network in the future. There’s life in the wires yet too Conventional electrification still has a very important part to play as well. Hydrogen trains are, for the moment at least, most suited to regional and medium speed railways. And if we are to see the UK’s electrification programme start up again

particularly for the Inter-City routes, the supply chain has a role to play in demonstrating we can deliver successful schemes that are value for money. Many lessons have been learned over the past few years and it is important we retain that knowledge in the industry. As we all look forward to the announcement from the government later this year about the enhancement budget for Britain’s railways, we at Alstom still hope to see some thoughts on more electrification – whether that is in smaller infill schemes or Rail Professional



We are confident that the UK could follow Germany as one of the first countries in Europe to adopt hydrogen trains, as well as becoming more efficient and creative in how we address wider electrification entire lines. An imaginative approach to the use of third party funding could help here. Not every big railway project needs to be funded entirely through Network Rail. Alstom has already demonstrated our ability to work in joint ventures in other areas like light rail in the UK, where such an approach delivered

the Nottingham tram extension successfully. Beyond hydrogen In addition to the Coradia iLint, Alstom has launched a number of other rolling stock products around the world recently, using technologies which we think the UK could benefit from in the future. One example is the Coradia Stream, which is more energy efficient that most EMU trains on the market because it reduces weight by using longer vehicles. This cuts the amount of energy consumption per passenger, while maintaining passenger comfort. In addition, the train’s modular design grants operators greater freedom over the configuration and interior. Meanwhile, we were delighted that the government recently placed us on the shortlist for the next stage of the bidding process for HS2 and we have a number of innovative technological solutions in mind for HS2. Alstom’s Very High Speed trains fall under the Avelia brand. In the US market, we recently sold 28 trains to Amtrak to operate between Boston and Washington DC and our distributed traction AGV in Italy is now a firm favourite of passengers with its great ride quality, distributed traction and

distinctive bright red livery. The UK network deserves to benefit from these technologies, whether it is hydrogen power, efficient EMUs or the very latest in high speed travel. Smart trains, smart infrastructure Companies like Alstom are ready to apply the very latest technology to new rolling stock and infrastructure in the UK. We are confident that the UK could follow Germany as one of the first countries in Europe to adopt hydrogen trains, as well as becoming more efficient and creative in how we address wider electrification. We believe that both have a huge part to play in how we deliver an efficient low-carbon railway. It’s an opportunity not to be missed.

Mike Muldoon is head of business development & marketing, Alstom UK & Ireland

anzeige_esgrail_11_17_railtex 20.11.17 15:40 Seite 1

Railways for the world of tomorrow. Engineering, consulting and testing for rolling stock and infrastructure.

Photos: ESG Rail, Hitachi Rail, Torsten Spiller

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Feel the power Avinash Chaudhari and Narendra Sivalenka look at leveraging IoT for a smart solution to copper cable theft


opper cabling is integral to the safety and efficiency of rail networks, but it’s also incredibly attractive to thieves. Copper cable theft represents one of the biggest challenges faced by the global railway industry today and increases when worldwide prices for scrap metal rise. According to the London Metal Exchange, the price of copper has increased by more than 50 per cent in a year. Between May and August 2017, the value rose by 25 per cent to £5,029/t, raising fears that copper thieves will strike again. An easy target for thieves There are thousands of miles of trackside copper cabling to steal from and it is generally far from densely populated areas. It cannot be easily monitored and so theft is high. When a portion of signalling cable is removed, a track circuit failure occurs. This can disrupt train services for hours, causing huge loss of revenue for operators. Transport networks have struggled for years as thefts can affect the world’s strongest economies and emerging markets. Earlier this year, a man was jailed for cutting the cable from live lines and selling it for a profit of £1,000. It cost

A non-invasive IoT solution however, would not interfere with any existing railway infrastructure, instead using connectors that could sense if power was going through the cable without modifying the existing functionality, overcoming any potential certification issues and result in less downtime when deploying the solution

Network Rail more than £164,500 and caused more than 3,000 minutes of delays to service in the East Midlands. Combatting theft with smart technology Law enforcement agencies worldwide are working to reduce the occurrence and lessen the impact of theft for years. In the UK, the Scrap Metal Dealer’s Act introduced in 2013 forced scrap dealers to obtain a full licence, record each sale and refuse cash payments. In 2010, Network Rail signed a multi-million-pound deal with SmartWater Technology to protect the infrastructure of its London to North West (LNW) mainline. Rail Professional



When triggered by unauthorised activity, it sprays offenders with a chemically coded, ineffaceable liquid that is invisible to the naked eye but fluoresces under UV light. Although these initiatives are making strides in reducing theft and catching criminals, figures show that the industry continues to struggle. A recent report from the British Transport Police found that cable theft still occurs five times a week, causing 23,670 minutes of delays across Network Rail. IoT as an innovative solution The rail industry is already applying the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to predictive maintenance, advanced monitoring of assets and improving operations through real-time data analysis. But the IoT also offers huge potential when applied to tackling copper cable theft. By placing devices embedded with sensors along trackside cables, operators can detect the current flowing through the wire. If a cable was hacked, the closest device would detect a loss of power at the specific point and automatically alert the authorities of the location and time it occurred. The possibilities of this technology are exciting, but applying it within the sector presents challenges that must be overcome

before it can be adopted on a mass scale. Navigating certification issues Signalling cables are safety-critical, as tampering with infrastructure could lead to a disastrous accident or even loss of life. Any change or modification to this equipment needs to be approved by industry bodies such as ERADIS in Europe before being implemented. A non-invasive IoT solution however, would not interfere with any existing railway infrastructure, instead using connectors that could sense if power was going through the cable without modifying the existing functionality, overcoming any potential certification issues and result in less downtime when deploying the solution. Avoiding false alarms Of course, a loss of power detected by the device may be down to maintenance, during which power is routinely switched off. To ensure an alert would not be triggered there needs to be a second layer of monitoring installed within the device that looks for the physical presence of the cable in addition to the presence of an electric current. A link could be attached between the second layer sensing device and cable so that when somebody attempts to dislodge the cable, a second signal would be triggered as the link

y S[Â&#x20AC;^pF5jxÂ&#x20AC;GIq/jq_5I0 z #`6k1$Â&#x20AC;IÂ&#x20AC;7JKTsl8UI { SLVMÂ&#x20AC; I%a2bUrMÂ&#x20AC;N &vWc@Â&#x20AC;>CÂ&#x20AC; \]dXt' | (4O?BÂ&#x20AC;!u9) } :m*Â&#x20AC;n+fo;M2 ~ <,C"Â&#x20AC;$P3<Q$-`g  .H=RehÂ&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC; SYDÂ&#x20AC;ZwÂ&#x20AC; EAi  #,%(;!)1(&- ;;; ;; * 4;/5+$. ;;  ; ; 89:38(2(6"07';  L3@4I+NE&N 2.$=NA/K(N->A<71)% :2N5;'JBFA!06NCG"H(N 9#D,?MN NN *8N NN N NN

Rail Professional

snaps, alerting the authorities of the theft. A careful balance would also need to be struck in terms of the deviceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sensitivity in the presence of high tension catenary power lines. A solution for rail and beyond As global copper prices remain high, so too will the threat of cable theft. This is a recurring problem that impacts other industries such as telecoms and utilities where customers can be left without landline or internet connections. By adapting the IoT device for different network specifications, this solution could be rolled out across numerous sectors. In addition to traditional measures including police taskforces and law enforcement, this technology offers an innovative solution to preventing cable theft, not only saving operators revenue but allowing services to be delivered to the public without disruption.

Avinash Chaudhari is assistant general manager â&#x20AC;&#x201C; delivery & operations, transportation, Cyient and Narendra Sivalenka is senior manager â&#x20AC;&#x201C; semiconductor, IoT & analytics, Cyient



The long view on HS2 The rail industry has turned its attention to the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next major infrastructure investment, High Speed 2


ow is the time to ensure the long-term management of the assets are considered during initial design to emulate the success of High Speed 1. Building complex power systems for railways is based on a complex set of decisions, processes, compromises, constraints and special interests, which all contribute to the success of the end product, its perceived value and ultimately the customer experience. UK Power Networks Services is the asset steward for the traction and nontraction electrical assets on High Speed 1 that distribute the power to the trains from connections with National Grid and to the stations and other electrical equipment from the local electricity network. It designed, financed, built and commissioned the original assets and now own, operate, maintain, renew and replace the assets as steward for the next 50 years. An all-encompassing plan The challenge set at the beginning of the High Speed 1 project was to incorporate a whole-of-life approach to design, operation and maintenance of the power systems. This approach enabled scenarios for the power systems to be tested, allowing design reviews of the original specifications. An example of the success of examining possible changes to the original specifications is reducing the number of National Grid independent feeder stations from four to three, contributing not only a significant reduction in the initial capital cost, but also in the whole-of-life cost of the network with these savings ultimately passed through to the travelling passenger. UK Power Networks Services asset stewardship standards and processes ensure the integrity, performance, reliability and the management of the assetsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; condition, which drives optimum use of the asset in a whole-of-life context. Through packaging the design of the power systems with the long-term operations and maintenance via a thirdparty financing model, investment decisions were made with consideration of the operation and maintenance of the assets in the future, leading to an improvement in the overall net value of the project. Testing and improving the design, specification and quality has led to reduced maintenance, inspections and servicing Rail Professional



once the power systems were commissioned. This has meant fewer component failures, replacements and renewals and has lowered the costs of delays, rebates and penalties. Savings This approach has also saved the taxpayer, as the design reconfiguration effectively saved the total cost of a fourth feeder and subsequent maintenance costs. There have also been savings across land-purchase and planning, staffing, insurance and asset replacements. For High Speed 1’s power assets, the result has been a considerable cost-saving, whilst still providing network availability over 99.99 per cent with an outstanding level of safety performance, both making a significant contribution to the success of High Speed 1’s reputation as the most reliable railway in Europe. Ian Smyth, director of UK Power Networks Services said: ‘To achieve significant performance improvements and considerable cost savings in a capitalintensive industry such as railways, wholeof-life asset stewardship must be placed at the heart of the design phase. ‘One of the major capital investments

over the next decade is High Speed 2, where a similar challenge will face the industry. ‘There must be a drive towards a quality product that delivers a better outcome longterm, delivering value to the customer and taxpayer throughout the whole life of the asset.

‘As we herald the success of High Speed 1 on their tenth anniversary, we must look at what we have learnt, and apply it to the next generation of high speed rail in the UK.’ Email: Visit:

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Tracking the changes The Survey Association’s rail-themed conference highlighted the digital future, reports Oliver Viney


he engineering legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the Great Western Railway, at Swindon’s STEAM museum, provided an inspirational backdrop to consider the fundamental role of the surveyor in Network Rail’s current modernisation programme. The Survey Association (TSA) represents the UK’s commercial survey companies. TSA members are involved in all aspects of the feasibility, design, construct and as built of planned projects, including HS2 and Crossrail. From the conference platform industry leaders with practical experience showed the different ways Augmented Reality, Building Information Modelling (BIM), Automatic 3D Monitoring, and Intelligent Data Collection support the management, maintenance and development of the network. The challenges and opportunities associated with these innovative processes and technologies were addressed in the presentations and comments from the floor. Conference chairman and president of TSA, Adam Bradley said the high attendance by TSA member companies of all sizes reflected the quality of the speakers, from an industry closely aligned to many of our clients. ‘The message from all the presentations is clear’, he said, ‘the surveying profession is uniquely positioned to help train operators gain added value from the increasingly sophisticated technologies now available for the collection and analysis of data.’ Warts and all approach The keynote speaker Chris Preston offered insight into the key issues for surveyors working on Europe’s fastest growing railway. Senior engineer with the Safety, Technical and Engineering Directorate for NR, and with four decades of surveying experience behind him, Chris delivered a ‘warts and Rail Professional



device, mounted to the automated coupler of a passenger train or a set of buffers within two minutes. Track profiles are collected using an integrated laser and imaging system that computes position and orientation from on-board GPS and inertial measurement systems. The RILA 360 system incorporates twin 360° laser scanners and a panoramic imaging system to supply ultra-high density lidar point cloud data of the entire route.

all’ presentation, explaining how thirdparty companies with innovative ideas and techniques are key to overcoming many of the current and future cost and capacity challenges faced by NR and the train operating companies. With NR’s commitment to provide a safe, reliable railway experience for millions of people daily, the collection of geospatial data through traditional methods involving trackside access, is incompatible with the drive to increase passenger and freight services, and poses a significant health and safety concern for practitioners. Awarded an NR Fellowship for his contribution to the rail industry, Chris went on to outline some of the non-contact techniques, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) that are now used for data collection. UAV’s have no impact on train schedules and allow large-scale and difficult to access structures to be inspected quickly. A framework agreement for UAV suppliers is in place and NR is also training its own pilots. With the move towards automated data collection now underway, Chris indicated that the geospatial skills required to integrate project data with corporate asset information, thus achieving better value on the survey spend, remained a challenge for the organisation. Train-mounted survey In his presentation, Trevor Burton of Fugro outlined the development and deployment of the RILA train mounted survey system for railway engineering design and asset management projects, since its trial by NR in 2013. RILA measures absolute track position and geometry, to engineering specification accuracy, incorporating georeferenced video to record track assets for desk-based analysis and validation. It measures at line speed – up to 200 km/mph120 – without altering or affecting the train’s normal operating performance. Equipment is installed in a transportable Rail Professional

BIM and the survey provider Building Information Modelling (BIM) is part of the UK Construction and Industrial Strategy. The UK government is the biggest client, with Network Rail being one of its biggest capital projects spenders. Barry Gleeson is programme manager for BIM at IP Southern, chair of the BIM4Rail group, vice-chair of the Survey4BIM group and a member of the UK BIM Working Group. His presentation outlined some of the drivers, challenges and opportunities for BIM implementation in large infrastructure projects, including how surveying and survey data management is key to its success. Alan Barrow, MD of ABA Surveying is a past president of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors, a member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and in 2014 was made an Honorary Doctor of Science at University of East London for services to surveying. His talk focused on what BIM means for the survey provider, how to stay one jump ahead of the survey procurer and the opportunities for survey companies to position themselves as the BIM drivers for the life of the asset. Leang geomatics Technology supported by in-depth knowledge of Permanent Way design requirements has allowed Severn Partnership to push innovations and ’Lean Geomatics’ workflows. The digital future means delivering more detail to a higher accuracy, for less cost. Rollo Rigby, director at Severn Partnership presented some examples from the delivery of more than 260,000 yards of track survey from 2016, including use of the Pegasus2 mobile mapping system. Automatic 3D monitoring Dominic Kisz of Datum Monitoring Services started his monitoring career as a project engineer on C300 Crossrail. He discussed how Automatic 3D monitoring has developed into a fluid and practical solution to better understand impacts to the railway and explained the use of adjustment packages to deliver higher accuracy. Intelligent data collection A presentation by Will Bruce of Track Access Services (TAS) detailed the use of timetabled in-service locos for the collection of video and survey data and the development of post-processing techniques and bespoke toolsets.

TAS products include an online platform providing video coverage of the on-track rail network. Driver’s eye video coverage is linked to a moving locational map accompanied by overlaid information graphics. TAS Reality Modelling, a simulation created for operational training, supports all phases of NR’s enhancement and renewal schemes. Supporting tomorrow’s professionals today TSA awards a bursary to second year Geomatics students at Newcastle University. This year students were asked to consider the integration of survey technologies into both airborne and land-based unmanned autonomous surveying platforms, to ensure accurate mapping. Winner, Ricky Leung attended the rail conference where was presented with the first part of his prize. TSA encourages members to continue to educate their staff and organisation by running its own Continuing Company Development (CCD) scheme. The rail conference was part of this scheme and was also given CPD accreditation. Free guidance TSA produces free information documents, designed to provide members, their clients and the wider industry with guidance on aspects of surveying and updates on the procedures and regulations which may govern how a particular aspect of a survey is carried out. The Guidance Note on Railway Surveys was compiled by members of TSA’s Technical Committee, in association with Chris Preston. It includes information on the necessary planning and certification required to carry out survey work safely and to the required detailed specifications and standards set by Network Rail. Oliver Viney sits on the council of The Survey Association (TSA) and is managing director of Atlantic Geomatics (UK)

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HS2 launches competition for Britain’s best innovators, businesses and tech minds to develop high-tech ideas


S2 Ltd and the Transport Systems Catapult is calling on high tech businesses, innovators, designers, data scientists, coders and business strategists to come up with novel ideas to help deliver the new line. At its Hackathon event on the 8th and 9th December, HS2 Ltd will be asking teams, formed from individuals or preformed groups, to explore how new technologies such as wearable technology, machine learning and virtual reality, might revolutionise key aspects of the HS2 project, including staff wellbeing and safety, customer experience, maintenance operations and minimising impact on communities during construction. The teams will compete over two days at the Transport Systems Catapult innovation centre in Milton Keynes. Prototype solutions will be judged at the end of the event by a panel of experts who will select the best ideas to go through to a showcase event, where a panel will decide which teams will receive support to develop their idea further. New start-up companies formed from Hackathon teams and participating SME’s will be supported by the Transport Systems Catapult, which will facilitate collaboration across the supply chain. Dr Iain Roche, head of innovation at HS2 Ltd said: ‘HS2 is the first time the railway sector has had a blank canvas for build and design since the Victorian era. With an investment of this magnitude we’re determined it should deliver the maximum possible benefits to Britain – and business

as usual just won’t cut it. Through events like the Hackathon, HS2 Ltd is encouraging collaborative working, new standards and new ways of thinking into the industry as it develops the scope for Britain’s new railway and what it will offer its future passengers.’ Transport Systems Catapult COO Mark Ruddy said: ‘We’re extremely excited to be working with HS2 on this latest Hackathon event. The UK has a fantastic base of

knowledge and innovation in its small businesses and academic institutes and this will be a huge opportunity for them to get involved in a major infrastructure project.’ He continued: ‘HS2’s investment in

activities like this will be a big win for everyone. Customers will benefit from to latest innovations when they travel on HS2 and new companies could be formed from the winning creations at the event as they go on to work further with HS2 Ltd. The UK as a whole will benefit from showing it is at the forefront of leading innovations on the world stage.’

To sign up to the event, teams and individuals should visit: HS2hackathon/

Enclosures from the smallest to the largest. ENCLOSURES




Rail industry joins forces with Network Rail to solve standards challenge he Railway Industry Association (RIA) partnered with Network Rail to examine how the industry can modernise standards to ensure they allow for innovation and greater cost efficiencies in the supply chain. At a workshop held last month around 20 organisations had a chance to examine how standards could be improved, focusing on the key questions: • are there specific examples of ‘standards’ that drive increased costs without comparative benefit? • what are the barriers preventing these ‘standards’ from being challenged? • how can NR best incentivise its suppliers to challenge and help improve its standards? The workshop built on one of the key focuses of the Hansford Review into contestability in rail. In response to the report, Network Rail said that as well as its own review of policies and standards, which will be completed by March 2018, it ‘wants to enable suppliers to proactively challenge standards that are considered to drive increased cost without comparable benefit, with particular focus on the early project design stages.’ Currently, standards are being updated using a risk-based approach with over 200 having been reviewed and updated to date and a further 190 to be updated by March 2018. Network Rail is keen to seek supplier involvement in the process and to explore and evaluate incentives for encouraging change. For example, NR is launching a rewards scheme where money saved from introducing a new idea or innovation is



shared between NR and the company or individual, with one per cent of the monetary benefit going to the supplier. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway Industry Association said: ‘Our members, who constitute a wide variety of suppliers, are full of ideas and suggestions about how standards can be adapted to deliver the best for passengers, freight and those who work to keep our rail network moving.’ Brian Tomlinson, chief systems assurance engineer at Network Rail said: ‘We are keen to understand from our suppliers if they believe a standard can and should be changed so they can deliver at a lower cost or more innovatively, without compromising safety, quality or compatibility.’ Richard Angove from Siemens, an attendee at the Standards Challenge Workshop said: ‘We see every day, examples of standards that haven’t been thought through as to how they are applied. This is not just about Network Rail changing standards, but the whole industry working together on this challenge.’ DB Cargo UK introduces new HRA aggregate hopper wagons


meters. Despite the reduction the gross weight each wagon can carry will remain the same at 101.6 tonnes. This will allow more wagons to be transported per train, increasing the potential payload tonnage by 447 tonnes for the same length (based on a 22 HTA wagon set and a 27 HRA wagon set). The conversions are being carried out at both the Axiom Rail site in Stoke and the WH Davis site in Mansfield following the conclusion of a five month trial of wagon 41 70 6723 001-7. The prototype HRA wagon ran in full service carrying aggregates from Peak Forest to Salford Hope Street. DB Cargo UK has committed to reengineering an initial 110 wagons and plans to have them in full service by Q3 2018. Jonathan Lowden, head of rolling stock at DB Cargo UK, said: ‘As we all know, the demand for coal transportation has decreased significantly in recent years and DB Cargo UK had a large fleet of HTA coal hopper wagons. To find a future use for our assets in an alternative market, our production team worked in collaboration with Axiom Rail and WH Davis to find a solution to convert these wagons to classleading aggregate hoppers.’


he rail freight operator is working with Axiom Rail and WH Davis to convert 110 HTA coal hoppers into new state-of-the-art HRA aggregate hopper wagons. This significant investment, says DB Cargo UK, demonstrates its commitment to the aggregates industry and plans for future growth in the sector. During the conversion one of the coal hopper bays will be removed, reducing the length of the wagon by 20 per cent to 14.347

Prototype HRA 41 70 6723 001-7 being propelled into Salford Hope Street on its first loaded trip


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New hoppers allow GB Railfreight to carry onethird more biomass


ollowing the signing of a rail haulage contract with Lynemouth Power, GB Railfreight (GBRf) has announced that it will be leasing 50 newly built lidded biomass wagons from Nacco. These wagons will provide a more efficient service, with a payload of 70 tonnes instead of the current 53 tonnes. The new wagons, which will run in two sets of 24 wagons, delivering 1,680 tonnes of biomass per train, are auto-loading and discharging. The first set was delivered last month, with the next due in January 2018. GBRf says it previously demonstrated its reliability along this route while running coal services to Lynemouth when it was owned by RWEST. The last coal train into the station was April 2015. John Smith, managing director said the investment ‘demonstrates GBRf’s commitment to providing the best levels of customer service and the company’s desire to ensure the most efficient fleet of rolling stock is available.’ He continued: ‘This investment will also enable GBRf to carry more biomass to Lynemouth, reducing its carbon footprint and the emissions of the whole of the UK as well. This partnership is just one way in which GBRf, and the whole rail freight sector, is contributing to the UK hitting its climate change commitments.’

Balfour Beatty launches Digital Railway paper


he international infrastructure group has published a paper Fast Track to Digital Railway: Delivering the vision, which calls for an integration of all elements of the railway system, and outlines three key factors necessary to make the Digital Railway a success. 1. Ensure the industry as a whole is engaged and that momentum is maintained. A new behavioural approach is required whereby the relationships between Network Rail and its supply chain will have to evolve from transactions to partnerships across the asset lifecycle, which are based on achieving a longer-term shared strategic vision.


Cecence secures investment for rail expansion he Hampshire-based composite innovator and manufacturer has secured a £500,000 investment from Finance Birmingham’s national Rail Supply Growth Fund. The funding will enable the business to apply its experience in delivering lightweight products for the aerospace, marine and motorsport industries, to the rail sector. Cecence now plans to expand its facility in Hampshire and recruit up to ten new employees in the next 12 months, doubling its workforce. The increased capacity will enable the business to deliver a range of lightweight components to the rail industry. Using its hot compression process that combines different materials to create lightweight products, Cecence is able to cut the standard manufacturing time down from two hours to 17 minutes. This, combined with the new funding, will help the company cross over into the rail industry through securing and servicing new contracts for products including floorboards, station ramps and rail seats. The national Rail Supply Growth Fund provides loans and grant funding to innovative businesses offering services and products that operate in or cross-over into the rail industry. Jack Glonek, investment director at Finance Birmingham, said: ‘The team at Cecence seeks to innovate and develop means of generating high-quality and costefficient products for its clients. We are proud to help the company break into the rail sector and pursue its growth plans.’

2. Funding must be in place. The cyclical nature of Network Rail’s funding periods has meant that the rail industry has historically suffered from a stop-start funding landscape. To address this issue, the Department for Transport should consider whether the Digital Railway, or elements of it, be placed outside of the current fiveyear funding cycle, with the private sector playing a role in bridging the funding gap. 3. Skills need to be ready at the right time. Initiatives such as the Digital Railway highlight the need to increase the number of skilled people employed in the rail sector, and the need for these workers to be more highly and multi-skilled. On top of these skills requirements there needs to be a culture of continuous improvement to ensure that workers stay on top of fast-

SNCF Group joins RSSB’s Spark Knowledge-Sharing Hub



he French railway operator and the Rail Safety and Standards Board have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to share information on research and innovation through SPARK, the rail knowledge-sharing hub. SPARK is an interactive online library that pools railway innovation and research materials. With over 22,000 publications (project reports, presentations, theses and essays) it helps users avoid duplication of effort and accelerate their research by building on work that has already been done. RSSB manages a vast programme of research dedicated to improving safety and security on the network, cutting costs, and

evolving technology as the rail industry competes for skilled personnel with many other sectors. Mark Bullock, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s rail business said: ‘Making the Digital Railway a reality calls for a shake-up of the way the rail industry does business by better connecting the constituent parts, aligning the objectives of multiple stakeholders and bringing track and trains closer together. This will require robust planning and coordination, funding and a concerted effort to address the skills shortage. ‘Above all, the new approach will have to be more collaborative and more inclusive. Although the challenges are significant, the potential prize is great.’

enhancing performance and system capacity. The new partnership will enable SNCF to tap into an international database and to further increase the pace of its own research and innovation. In return, SNCF will make contributions to SPARK, including articles published in scientific journals, presentations at events and overviews of live projects with projected timelines. None of the shared content will be confidential or protected. Christophe Chéron, who handles coordination and partnerships at Shift2Rail for SNCF, said: ‘This type of partnership promotes research by sharing information and stepping up the pace of innovation.’ Visit: Rail Professional


South Western Railway appoints Kiepe Electric UK for refurb programme s part of its £1.2 billion investment plans to transform the customer experience SWR has signed a £multimillion contract with Kiepe Electric UK to refurbish its 18 incoming Class 442 trains. The Class 442 trains will operate on fast journeys on the London to Portsmouth route via Guildford, Haselmere and Petersfield from December 2018, with standard class passengers benefiting from more spacious 2+2 seating. The trains will have refurbished interiors including quality


Siemens hosts supplier day with Welsh government


he company hosted a supplier engagement day last month, in partnership with the Welsh government’s Department for Economy and Infrastructure, in a bid to increase collaboration with local SME’s and boost innovation in the rail supply chain. More than 40 local suppliers attended the event, which took place at The SSE Swalec Stadium in Cardiff. Attendees heard from senior representatives from across Siemens’ Mobility division about the company’s goals and plans for the future, and opportunities to partner with it to deliver major rail infrastructure projects across Wales. Siemens also offered one-to-one sessions where small businesses and start-ups had the chance to engage with senior


Axminster carpets, at-seat power for mobile devices and real-time information displays. Additional benefits for first class customers include new leather seats and new tables incorporating inductive charging. Work will be undertaken at Eastleigh with investment being made in local facilities as well as procurement from Axminster Carpets, located on the South Western network. The Class 442 fleet will be maintained and overhauled at SWT’s depot facility in Bournemouth, safeguarding local jobs and providing further investment in facilities and capabilities within its operation.

Arriva delivers ‘world first’ zero emission train for partially electrified tracks rriva has signed a contract with train manufacturer Stadler for the construction of 18 zero emission trains suitable for use on partially electrified tracks. The total contract value amounts to 170 million euros for trains in the north of the Netherlands. The Flirtino is a flexible train that – once partial electrification is finished – can be transformed from a HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) hybrid diesel train into a zero-emissions train that uses partial electrification to charge batteries that keep the train running on the parts of the tracks without electrification. This train is the first of its kind in the world that combines regenerative technology with an HVO engine that can be replaced with an extra big battery for non-electrified parts of the track. The train formed part of Arriva’s successful bid for the Northern Lines contract in the Netherlands in July 2017, and the first trains on HVO will be introduced in 2020. It is expected that construction of partial electrification can be finished in 2025 after which the trains will be transformed into zero-emissions trains. Arriva Group CEO Manfred Rudhart said: ‘This is a major step towards creating a future where transport across Europe is cleaner, greener and more sustainable.’


management, engineers, project management and procurement professionals from across the business, and present their own work and capabilities. Andy Stringer, delivery director - west, rail automation said: ‘With a significant number of rail infrastructure projects ongoing and in the pipeline in Wales, it is crucial that Siemens forges partnerships with local suppliers to ensure it has the capabilities to deliver these. ‘Small businesses and start-ups have a wealth of innovation and technology that large companies like Siemens should be tapping into, and our supplier day provided an excellent opportunity to boost collaboration with them. We are proud to have jointly hosted the event with the Welsh government and hope it will lead to us partnering with more local suppliers, delivering jobs and driving economic growth to communities in Wales.’ Economy secretary, Ken Skates, said: ‘We have a strong and vibrant SME community in Wales, and events such as this can only go to strengthen that.’ Rail Professional



Customers want better, more connected journeys The rail industry has been under the media microscope a lot of late, with many passengers unhappy about fare increases and the continued scrutiny over the value of large-scale investment projects. Andy Slater of Amey Consulting argues that the bottom line is that customers want better, more connected journeys.

In a recent interview, the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said “we are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for more than a century, providing more seats and services.” And when you start looking at passenger numbers, it’s easy to see why this kind of investment is needed. According to the Office of Rail and Road’s Passenger rail usage statistics there were 1.73 billion passenger journeys in the UK in the last financial year. There has been a 116% increase in passengers over 20 years and Network Rail’s analysis predicts this will double again over the next 30 years. Connecting the UK’s transport systems Investing in rail as part of the UK’s transport systems to build capacity for future population growth is vital. Yes, we need to build a network that can withstand even further passenger growth and demand. But improving and building new rail infrastructure is just as much about connectivity with other networks and connectivity of assets as well as customers through enhanced Rail Professional

digital services. Customers want, need and demand to be continuously connected through their journeys, and have the ability and flexibility to change their travel plans seamlessly through a single device and application. The concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) means embracing the idea of connecting multi-modal transport links together for journeys that are easier, more flexible and as painless as possible. In an ideal world, public transport timetables would sync together, there’d be a single ticketing system and customers would be able to move fluidly between traditional rail, metro or light rail and bus services. But making this a reality calls for intelligent mobility to be built in to transport projects from the very beginning. This is something that the Department for Transport is already starting to drive, by looking at the way operators and developers work together and highlighting the role that technology should play in transforming transport systems.

The Rail Sector Deal submitted to Government at the end of October provides a single industry view on how to evolve and move the railways into a digital world and start to address the needs of both intelligent mobility and MaaS. Customer experience, innovation, including digitalisation, and Sustainable UK Rail are the themes being explored as part of the Deal to deliver a transformative ‘world leading’ transport network. As demand for more connected journeys grows we need smart solutions that are fit for the 21st century and beyond. Amey Consulting’s unique combination of expertise and operational nous is at the forefront of these developments. Changing our approach Amey Consulting is the result of fusing our trusted approach to operational infrastructure management with our respected consulting capabilities to offer a unique blend of skills and expertise in the rail market. With one of the broadest range of services in the sector, our holistic approach to asset management includes everything from advisory and design services, through to performance monitoring and operations as well as commercial property management. Building and integrating data management and business intelligence into data analytics that drive a smarter approach to asset management is where our client base has seen the biggest benefits. This approach to ‘intelligent operations’ is the value we deliver. Clients trust us to manage, improve, and maximise performance and to pass these benefits onto passengers. It’s already tried and tested in the UK rail sector. Since starting to manage and maintain the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly tubelines in 2003 we have delivered a 69% improvement in lost customer hours by blending technology, operational and asset management processes and systems with people skills.


Similarly, on the Docklands Light Railway, our joint venture with Keolis is focused on improving performance year on year and we are proud to operate the busiest light railway in the UK, carrying over 120m passengers each year. We continue to maintain industry leading levels of performance as passenger numbers grow. Our joint venture with Keolis recently won a 10-year contract to manage and operate Greater Manchester’s Metrolink where we will use our expertise to boost performance and customer service. Building on these successes is the number one focus of my team and we’ll be working with other teams within Amey to not only improve the performance of services but join up passenger journeys. Driven by science and data Science and intelligent use of data are central to the concept of ‘intelligent operations’. We’re specialists in not only capturing the right information but our team of around 3,000 consultants – each with a diverse skill set –can interpret and translate data, allowing our operational experts to create decisions that culminate in outcomes for our customers. Our vision is that decisions about infrastructure and or operations will be made on what the science is telling us rather than being purely driven by budget – because we know it works. On London Underground, we managed the introduction of a new enterprise


asset management system and upskilled our people to drive data-led operations decision models. This meant everything from using real-time data to predict equipment failure to pre-empting downtime by deploying maintenance teams in advance on track, trains or even station escalators. Data is also telling us how people’s transport habits are changing. According to the country’s light rail, tram and metro networks are expected to grow strongly with passenger journeys up by 9% annually. As Docklands Light Railway and the Manchester Metrolink have grown to accommodate additional demand, my light rail and metro team have been tasked with supporting delivery today and future-proofing for tomorrow. Powered by people While data and science are the foundation of our smart solutions, it’s our people and their skills that set us apart. They bring intelligence to data and this, combined with our expertise for operational excellence, helps us make journeys better. I call it ‘the human in the loop’ - using combined data analytics to create decision-aiding tools which our experienced operations management teams use every day. And it’s not just in the UK. We’re also putting our experience to work overseas. For New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, we’re helping

“The country’s light rail, tram and metro networks are expected to grow strongly with passenger journeys up by 9% annually”

provide an even more reliable service to the 300,000 daily passengers on the Long Island Rail Road by supporting an enterprise-wide asset management program. To support Sydney Trains’ investment in a new Enterprise Asset Management System and its drive for ISO55001 accreditation, we are transferring our knowledge on the symbiotic relationship between data, analytics and operational expertise to drive higher performance levels. Our skills and expertise combined with technology and innovation knowhow means we make really smart decisions for both rail infrastructure and operational investments. And this integrated way of thinking delivers value to passengers. It doesn’t matter whether we’re working on a major rail project or just making an incremental improvement, absolutely everything we do is carefully calculated to make their journeys better and more connected. That’s why we have launched Amey Consulting, a business of data specialists, agile consultants, engineers and designers, united by our desire to champion the infrastructure around us. Who are we? - 3,000 strong team - We’ve nearly 100 years of heritage - Over 100 areas of technical expertise

Visit to find out more about who we are, and what we can do for you.

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The future is now Strong reinvestment, commitment to quality, and the introduction of new technologies give O.L.D. Engineering a lead against its competitors, to ensure its success for future growth


programme. This prestigious qualification qualifications. will reinforce their current management One of the newest members of the expertise and, upon completion, will lead to team, 16-year-old Ollie Smith, who began them acquiring Chartered status. his engineering apprenticeship journey Through the CMI qualification, managers after a successful work experience period, will cover topics such as; information-based explains, ‘I am currently studying level decision making, resource management, three engineering and I am about to begin finance, meeting stakeholder needs, and my second year starting in September. At project management. Nuneaton College (Warwickshire College O.L.D. Engineering is a friendly, familyGroup), I study a variety of topics such as run company, committed to investing in CAD and engineering drawings, mechanical employees and supporting them to progress. principles, engineering materials and also With everyone working together, O.L.D. health and safety in a workplace.’ Engineering is able to achieve shared goals Apprenticeships are for people who; have and exceed customers’ expectations when it a passion for learning, are determined to 125 216 55410 succeed, and will be able to make the most of comes to delivering high-quality products. the hands-on experience and qualifications Next generation gnioffer. reenIn ign edlo@to seapprenticeship iriuqne 1791 ECNIS GNIRUTCAFUNAM addition Apprenticeships have provided an ideal ku.oc.on Tel: 01455 612 521 pathway for engineers at O.L.D. Engineering, training, two senior managers at O.L.D. kuEngineering .oc.gnireeare nigundertaking nedlo.www Email: the CMI Level with three of the team currently enrolled five Diploma in Management and Leadership Visit: on associated vocational engineering nvestment in workforce development, through training opportunities, is at the heart of this strategy. In fact, over 10 per cent of O.L.D. Engineering’s workforce is currently engaged in training programmes covering engineering, marketing and management. Partnering with leading local training delivery organisations, such as City College Coventry, Henley Campus and Warwickshire College Group, means that O.L.D. Engineering brings in the cutting-edge skills and techniques it needs to stay at the forefront of the precision engineering and manufacturing field.






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Keeping Britain’s rail industry on track Rail journeys have more than doubled in the past twenty years with an average of 4.6 million journeys made every day


ike Marmite, you either love or hate Britain’s rail network. If you are a commuter dogged by signal failures, late-running trains and rising fares there is every chance you will fall into the latter camp. If you understand the complexity of engineering which keeps ten thousand miles of rail network on track you will most likely fall into the former. In 2014 the number of rail journeys in the UK was second highest in the European Union behind Germany. Most recently the spotlight has fallen on the age of the rolling stock, with criticism coming from the think tank IPPR North. Analysis suggests the average age of our trains is 20 years old. The

government has promised to do more with a massive rail modernisation programme. So, good news for those companies that work in the rail industry, but in order to stay on track suppliers will have to up their game. One Midland’s company, which has both quality and safety at the heart of everything it does, is MNB Precision Engineering. It is a third generation company that has always had a focus on quality, high end precision engineering and safety – crucial elements of the UK transport system. The company has continued its work in the rail market after supplying precision engineered parts to be fitted into new axle mounted locomotive gearboxes for Clayton Equipment – a UK manufacturer of battery,

trolley and diesel locomotives for mining, tunnelling and mainline applications. MNB Precision took Clayton Equipment’s own design for bearing houses and seal housings that will be fitted into the gearbox to facilitate its assembly before machining the parts according to bespoke requirements. For MNB, it’s the size of the company’s machining capabilities that is attracting work in the rail sector. The business is one of a very small number of engineering companies in the UK with the capability to precision engineer a product to four microns over eight metres, an engineering capacity that is typically difficult to source. The Coventry company also produces

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work for customers working on London Underground projects and for suppliers into OEMs and Tier 1 companies such as Bombardier. MNB Precision is also now taking on the machining work for some of its key customers and putting this into the supply chain.

MNB Precision’s rail capabilities • long machining • full suite of machines available • machining of forgings in wide breadth of hard materials • non-destructive testing • supply Chain Capability • fitting • smaller batch quantities. This is especially useful for rail refurbishment. New rail projects can take months to implement whereas refurbishment of rolling stock can be turned around quickly. Services that keep the rail sector moving Everything produced by the business is part of a bigger picture. Parts for rail tracks, rolling stock and engines all make up Britain’s rail network. The company has equipment which means the design and specification for components can be constantly upgraded and enhanced throughout their working life. MNB’s clients rely on the company doing its job and the company is one that highlights the quality of British engineering that is renowned throughout the world. The company works with clients to explore ways in which more value can be introduced into their business. The factory manufactures and assembles as and when components are required as well as producing the highest quality parts. This adds more customer value to machined components by acting as a supply chain integrator.

Overall, MNB is keen to seek innovative technical and commercial arrangements which can better align the interests of customers and suppliers and yield superior value for all parties. Services include • CNC turning and milling • jig borer • manual turning and milling • spark erosion machine • wire erosion services • precision shot peening services. Quality and safety At MNB Precision Engineering quality is in its DNA. It’s not simply about whether the machines and parts it produces will last, but whether they are fit for purpose. Statistics from the Office or Rail and Road have said older trains could result in less


comfortable journeys and worse reliability and performance than modern rolling stock. But it said older trains could be refurbished. Safety is vital in the rail industry. High quality precision engineering of the kind MNB Precision Engineering produces ensures safety comes first. In this new age of manufacturing it believes in using advanced technologies with identification and traceability throughout all its processes. Nothing goes unchecked. At its Coventry site the temperature controlled, central metrology area houses three coordinate measuring machines (CMMs). It has also invested in the latest CNC computer numerical control (CNC) machines. Active and passive scanning sensors, single and multipoint sensors, camera and line scanning sensors are all part of ensuring the whole process stays on track. The company also carries out quality inspection for other businesses. Quality is not subjective. It is measurable, and that is what differentiates the precision engineering company from its competitors. Reliability When you have to run to a timetable you need suppliers who are reliable. The company recently looked at its own processes to see how it could do better and add value for its customers. The result was the introduction of servitization – bringing in-house the services which had previously been outsourced. As well as being more cost-efficient it also allows staff to track what is happening at each stage of production, machining and assembly processes. This attention to detail and focus on reliability means it can offer flexibility to meet customer requirements. This is regardless of whether it is for new product developments or components in full production. Servitization has helped cut lead times allowing MNB to add value to customers throughout the whole manufacturing and machining process. Company profile MNB Precision Engineering is a family run business based in Coventry, which provides manufacturing and precision engineering services to world leading companies across the rail, oil and gas, power generation, aerospace and other manufacturing industries. Specialising in precision engineering, the company’s 36,000 ft² factory offers services including CNC milling and turning, jig boring, spark erosion, wire erosion, grinding and shot penning. These in-house capabilities are supplemented with a robust and controlled supply chain, enabling the business to offer an efficient turnkey solution to customers globally. The company has 35 years’ experience in the business. Tel: ++44 (0)2467 695959 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Still using pneumatic wipers? ... maybe it’s time to convert?

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PSV Wipers - providing a clearer view Pneumatic windscreen wiper systems have been around for decades. When new, they work well, but as time progresses they can become prone to failure due to system leaks. Failed wipers result in inoperable trains, causing service disruption (costing both time and money). Thankfully, there’s an economic alternative. With over 35 years experience producing complete wiper systems, PSV Wipers Ltd have developed a number of conversion kits specifically for older rolling stock. These are a direct replacement for your existing pneumatic or electric system. They’re reliable, easy to retrofit and can save thousands in maintenance costs and lost operating time. PSV have been developing and manufacturing robustly engineered wiper systems since 1980, supplying new and replacement components and systems for UK and international OEM train builders, fleet operators and fleet support distributors. Our products are designed to improve reliability and lower ‘Life Cycle Costs’.

Why not discover the benefits of electric wiper systems? Call us today and ask for our Rail Specialist, Paul Curry. PSV Wipers Ltd, Navigation Road, Diglis, Worcester WR5 3DE, UK Tel. +44 (0) 1905 350500 │ │ Photo reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Credit Phil Sangwell.



Hire and maintenance service Railway Support Services was formed in 2008 in order to provide a range of services to the railway network


he most important of which was the provision of breakdown and recovery services to all train operating companies (both passenger and freight). This facility continues to this day to be one of the main services provided. However, in recent years a secondary capability has come into being; the hire and maintenance of those well-established workhorses, the Class 08. Formation Built in the early 1960s, 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. This led the company to embark on a

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Date & Location Change 25.01.2018, Stoneleigh Park We are delighted to announce that Light After Dark will now take place at SAFESTART18 as a result of a partnership between Rail Alliance and SAFESTART. For more details email:

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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 Class 08 is probably one of British Railways’ best proven locos in terms of design, rigidity and durability. The locomotive, which can trace its roots back to pre-War times, is still yet to be fully beaten in this modern age in terms of power and economy in relation to size, cost and traction. Tailored designs Railway Support Services has a number of Class 08s both in service and awaiting overhaul as well as a handful of scrap locomotives awaiting component recovery – a key issue for having spare parts when they eventually become scarcer in the future. Each locomotive is inspected on its merits both internally and externally with components being removed, rejuvenated and replaced on the locomotive during its overhaul programme before final painting, testing and commissioning takes place. After this process, the locomotive is available to operators for immediate hire. Railway Support Services works with potential customers to ensure the locomotives are hired in an as-required condition being 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 and such like. Safety critical features can also be added, such as TPWS and GSM-R to enable the

locomotives to run on the mainline, as well as tracking and datalogging devices. A number of the locomotives carry swing-head couplers which allows either a standard screw coupling to be used or a buckeye coupler for use with coaching stock. Oil and fuel priming pumps are fitted as standard to all Railway Support Services Class 08s. Variety of offerings The fitting of these additional features is not just limited to RSS’ own locomotives. The company is able to fit this equipment to third party locomotives in order 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 in an effort to reduce starting stress on the power unit and ultimately extending the operating life of the engine. Whilst Railway Support Services has its own livery colour scheme for the locomotives (executive dark grey, red and yellow), there are no objections if a customer wished for the locomotive to carry their own corporate identity, such is the flexibility of the company and desire to work with the customer. 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. Full power unit changes and parts and machinery fabrication can be undertaken in house and locomotives are then ‘road tested’ prior to dispatch for hire. Customer service As a 24-hour call out company (for rerailing and recovery services), Railway Support Services extend this to Class 08 operators in that a response to site as soon as practical can be arranged as it understands that inoperable locomotives can be costly in terms of down-time 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 the clients’ needs plus the transport arrangements all taken care of by one office makes it an easy decision to make on clients’ part. For more details on Railway Support Services and the Class 08 hire and maintenance service offered, or for details on the re-railing, recovery and wheelskating service, get in touch via the contact details below. Tel: 0870 8034651 Email: Rail Professional

Times House, Bravingtons Walk, Regent Quarter London N1 9AW. Tel: +44 (0) 7042 9961



Surveying and monitoring We are currently experiencing the most significant modernisation of the railway system since the Victorian era


rom projects that include 850 miles of electrification, line speed enhancements, new station hubs and transformational railway routes such as HS2 and Crossrail. Railway infrastructure can be a dangerous environment in which to work and as a result is heavily regulated with respect to health and safety. Since 1997 Rothbucher Systems in Germany has been developing products for survey and monitoring points for all aspects of construction. Combined with high precision instruments, the company facilitates surveying and monitoring with modern equipment. The targets provide the surveyor with the assurance of using a quality product and the ability to work safely in difficult environments. The RSAK80 and RSAK130 targets are designed specifically for use in the railways, bridges and dams where access is difficult, dangerous or costly, these targets are developed with safety in mind for long range surveying and monitoring. On railway tracks the surveyor no longer needs to put themselves in danger but can perform measurements from a safe position at any time. Dangerous and costly closures are no longer necessary as many measurements can be simplified considerably. Three dimensional observations are ensured by XYZ co-ordinates. Reliable accuracy The markers offer a number of advantages to surveyors and contractors because they are low profile; measurements are taken directly at the point of interest, rather than at a prism offset. Because they remain in place permanently, shots to the control markers are repeatable and more accurate than prism

shots, and of course they are safer: after placement, employees never have to return. So, shots that are high up, in active construction areas or traffic, or otherwise unsafe or difficult to access, only need to be physically accessed once, and every shot from that point on can be from a safe, remote location. Mr Rothbucher continues to develop new targets and has developed the RSMP180 with plastic case housing containing a 12.7 mm mini prism that can be rotated 180º and combined with other RSMP180! The RSMP15 and RSMP180 are the latest generation of targets with prisms to allow an increased measurement range and adjustment of the prism angle. The RSMP180 can also be mounted on a magnetic base for attaching to overhead gantries etc. RSMP180 to RSMP380 can be simply glued or fixed with dowels and screws, even on difficult bases, such as glass and marble facades, historic buildings, steel beams, rails, gas and oil pipelines and others. When using theodolites and robotic total stations • the prism can always be aligned accurately with the measuring instrument • the prism can be turned in a radius of 180°, making it possible to use the same

survey point from different directions • bridges, façades and many other structures can be monitored even more quickly and precisely • several prisms can be combined with one another due to the integrated connector system, making it possible to survey from different directions without having to turn the prism – see examples. When using robotic total stations • permanent settling measurements can be carried out during the building work • settling measurements are possible on railway tracks while under the load of rail traffic. The ranges are dependent on the device and can be adversely affected by weather and environmental conditions. When sighting measuring points that are already known, with robotic total stations it is possible to achieve ranges of up to 1,000 metres. Depending on the focus, ranges of approximately 200 metres are achieved for measurements in manual mode. Mr Rothbucher and Rothbucher Systems are continually developing new targets and improving on existing designs. Tel: 01200 429870 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Providing practical rail advice The Railway Consultancy (RCL) has been providing dedicated railway expertise on commercial and operational planning since 1995


CLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s services range from revenue forecasting to operational planning. It has worked for over 200 UK and International public and private sector clients. In recent years the Windermere line has been used by increasing numbers of visitors to the Lake District, particularly from overseas. This growing tourist travel demand, together with local travel needs, requires a long-term strategy for the future development of the line. RCL was able to produce such a strategy for Cumbria County Council. Working closely with the client, RCL undertook stakeholder dialogue, desktop research on the local economy, demand forecasting, train service planning and operability assessments. A key conclusion from the demand analysis was that the case for increasing the service frequency on the branch was very strong. All passengers would benefit

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Attend the leading global event for travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort… Don’t miss the opportunity to source the latest products and services from over 350 international suppliers. Network with 3,700 onboard professionals including 800 airline and rail buyers and be inspired by thought provoking presentations and demonstrations.

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from reduced waiting times and better connections with main line services at Oxenholme. Franchise bid preparation RCL can provide expert assistance to franchise bidders covering economic, commercial and operational planning disciplines. The company’s commercial services include the planning of improvements to station access arrangements and car parking provision.

Car parking is an important means of access to railway stations, particularly within commuter belt areas. Although station parking charges earn revenues for Train Operating Companies (Tocs), unsuitably located car parks can encourage railheading, which reduces rail fare revenues. To maximise TOC revenues, passengers should be encouraged to park at stations closest to their homes. It is therefore important that station car park locations and sizes are optimised, subject to land availability. RCL can provide detailed assessments and planning of station parking needs, including modelling, to maximise the franchisees’ financial performances. Revenue at risk studies Over the years RCL has investigated levels of revenue at risk (RAR) for several Tocs. RAR studies aim to identify services, times and


stations where most of the Tocs’ revenues are being lost through fare evasion. These studies require carefully targeted passenger surveys combined with appropriate data analysis. Estimates need to be made of fares that would be paid by passengers without the correct tickets, if they were intercepted by revenue protection officers. Using the results of RAR studies, Tocs can deploy appropriate, targeted revenue collection measures with costs proportionate to the expected additional incomes. This will help to maximise the franchisees’ financial performances. RCL can provide expert advice of identifying and minimising RAR to achieve the best outcomes for Tocs. Tel: 020 8676 0395 Email: Visit:

Rail Professional Cintec anchors forStrengthening and Fixings into masonry

Cintec International Ltd, Cintec House, 11 Gold Tops, Newport NP20 4PH Tel 01633 246614 Rail Professional




Join us to celebrate! The judges are poised to select the winners for the Rail Business Awards â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have you booked your table yet?


he rail industry is looking forward to an evening of networking and celebrations when the winners of the 20th Rail Business Awards are announced on February 22 2018. Entries will be shortlisted by a team of judges on November 15 and the shortlist is due to be announced by the end of the month. Will your company be on it? Book your table today Part of the Railway Gazette Group at DVV Media International, alongside Railway Gazette International and Rail Business Intelligence, the Rail Business Awards is supported by lead sponsor Ricardo in association with Rail Professional. The awards evening provides an unrivalled opportunity for networking with colleagues and contacts across the rail industry, at the prestigious 5-Star London Hilton on Park Lane. Tables are already

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selling fast, so now is the time to book your place. Visit www.railbusiness Awards history Established 20 years ago to mark the very best developments across the UK rail sector following privatisation, the Rail Business Awards has become firmly established as a highlight of the UK rail industry calendar. It provides an unrivalled opportunity to pay tribute to all the hard work that goes on day

in, day out. More than 600 senior executives and industry leaders will be gathering at the London Hilton on Park Lane on February 22 2018 for the 20th anniversary event. a very special host has been lined up to mark the occasion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; watch this space to find out who it will be. The Rail Business Awards give companies and organisations in the UK rail sector a unique opportunity to tell everyone about


their achievements during 2017, and a chance to celebrate the people behind the scenes that make it all happen. The evening will begin with a drinks reception in the Wellington suite, before assembling in the Grand Ballroom for a sumptuous meal, an entertaining talk from the celebrity host and the awards presentations. The 20th anniversary celebrations wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t end there, as you can dance your way into the night at the exclusive after-show party. The website provides more details of the Rail Business Awards and the many industry-leading companies among the award sponsors. Further information about the Railway Gazette Group is available at Tel: 020 8652 5200 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Infrastructure Services














Site and Ground Investigations







0115 919 1111



Livestock on the line Secure stock fencing is a key factor in ensuring safe and efficient rail services with ground line decay in wooden fence posts the most common cause of trackside fencing failure


onditions for decay are ideal in the upper ten centimetres of the ground and this is where post decay and failure occur. Where this is stock fencing the consequences of failure can be serious with livestock on the line, costly penalties and compensation for lost livestock. Europe-wide restrictions on the composition of wood preservatives introduced in 2005 have had a significant impact on the perceived performance of wood as a fencing material. An increase in fence post failures has occurred following the switch to more environmentally friendly but arguably less effective wood preservatives. This is unfortunate as wood is great material for fencing. Widely accepted by farmers as being livestock friendly with minimal chance of injury to livestock, wood literally grows on trees absorbing significant amounts of CO2 from the environment unlike alternative costly materials such as galvanised steel which produce high levels of CO2 emissions. The timber industry has been working hard to increase post life with the introduction of many new preservative

formulations and treatment methods including incising or cutting in to the post to increase preservative penetration. Whilst there have undoubtedly been improvements only time will tell if these are going to be effective in achieving the long-term goal of a consistent service life of 15 years. Proven performance Postsaver composite ground line barrier sleeves provide a proven and highly costeffective solution to ground line rot and decay in fence posts. Heat applied Postsaver composite sleeves form an airtight and watertight seal to the post. This excludes all the factors necessary for decay to occur making conventional ground line wood decay impossible. Postsaver composite sleeves have been subject to extensive independent testing and in production for over 20 years with many millions in service word wide and zero reported post failures to date. The expected service life of a Postsaver protected fence post is 30 years plus and has been used by Network Rail for replacement fencing on its 40,000 miles of trackside fencing for over five years.

Guaranteed 25-year service life Track operators such as Network Rail are increasingly insisting that the contractor who provides the fence does so with the backing of either a 15 year or 25-year guarantee that covers full replacement in the event of failure. Whilst shifting responsibility this approach requires a detailed record keeping system and is dependent the contractor staying in business to honour the guarantee in the event of failure, something that cannot always be assured. Postsavers proven track record allows sleeved posts to be offered with the benefit of a full 25-year guarantee that includes both the cost of a replacement post and sleeve. Big cost savings With stock fencing costing up to £10,000 per kilometre it can be seen that any increase in fence service life is going to have a major impact on costs. For instance, with a service life of 15 years one kilometre of fencing will effectively cost £660 a year whereas Postsaver protected fencing with a service life of 30 years will cost £330 per year, a saving of £330 per year. For a fencing length of 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) the savings become significant at £330,000 per year or £3.3 million over ten years. Peace of mind protection Posts protected with proven Postsaver barrier sleeves offer substantial costs savings, improved safety and reduction in penalties for livestock straying on to the line in an environmentally friendly format. Fence posts with Postsaver sleeves pre-applied are readily available from a growing number of approved fence post manufacturers making it easy to specify Postsaver protected posts. Tel: 01452 849322 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Robust and compact 300 Watt DC/DC power block with excellent thermal convection.

TEQ300WIR Series • Wide 4:1 input voltage ranges: 18–75, 43–160 VDC • Operating temperature range –40 °C to +80 °C • Approved to railway standards EN 50155 and EN 61373 • Qualified for fire-behaviour of components according to EN 45545-2 • Constant current output characteristic for battery load applications

Reliable. Available. Now.



Workwear and protective clothing Ballyclare’s 2017 appearances at leading industry trade shows such as Railtex and Rail Live have underlined the company’s position as a provider of workwear to the rail industry


he company is a well-established supplier to major organisations such as Network Rail and it continues to improve its rail offering, with those improvements based firmly on a clear understanding of the rail industry and the specific needs of its customers. Ballyclare provides those customers with a complete range of workwear that all complies with the EN ISO 20471 requirements, and with the high visibility RIS-3279-TOM standard that replaces GO/RT 3279. The rail compliant range includes both fleece and next-to-skin workwear garments, plus hi-vis waterproof, flame retardant and arc protection items which include jackets,

coveralls, salopettes and trousers that are designed to provide extra protection against harsh weather and hazardous trackside environments. Universal attire With the availability of female fit garments, the comprehensive nature of the Ballyclare range means that no matter what someone’s rail industry role may be, the company has the garments to keep them covered. Those garments are also designed to be industrially cleaned and maintained, which allows them to retain their appearance and protective qualities throughout a long service life. The change from the Railway Group Standard GO/RT 3279 to the new rail

industry standard RIS-3279-TOM ‘High Visibility Clothing,’ provides another example of the way in which Ballyclare is closely attuned to the need of the rail industry. The company was immediately able to reassure its customers that the change would have absolutely no effect on the Ballyclare garments they were wearing. All Ballyclare garments that were certified to GO/RT 3279 were automatically compliant with the new standard, allowing customers to be reassured that they could continue to rely on those garments. This also reminded those customers that the workwear the company supplies not only meets current standards, but also often exceeds them.

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Environment specific workwear Quality is a key characteristic of that workwear, with the waterproof and foulweather items being a prime example. Every garment is manufactured using the latest materials, allowing it to offer the wearer the ultimate in breathability and waterproof performance. The company has also created a strong partnership with W.L. Gore and Associates who are pioneers in waterproof, windproof and breathable textiles. This partnership allows Ballyclare to offer the very best GORE-TEX® products that provide outstanding protection, even against the very worst weather conditions. Rail customers also benefit from Ballyclare’s accreditation, by Achilles under the Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme. This allows prospective customers to check that rail industry suppliers have the relevant qualifications and experience before inviting them to join a tendering exercise. This type of reassurance is also reflected in the close nature of the relationships Ballyclare holds with its rail customers. The company invests considerable energy into sourcing the best fabrics and most innovative technology available, but this is always done with a keen emphasis on using those fabrics and technologies to satisfy the specific needs its rail customers have. Although Ballyclare’s success story stems from its long association with many leading names in the sector, the company’s achievements are increasingly being recognised beyond the confines of the industry, especially in terms of health and safety. The company was recently shortlisted


for a British Safety Industry Federation Safety Award for innovations that improve occupational health and safety levels. Three garments earned the shortlisting: • hi-vis waterproof jacket • hi-vis waterproof over-trouser • hi-vis waterproof salopette. Availability These garments attracted attention for the nature of the true multi-hazard protection they offer for rail workers who require reliable weatherproof, anti-static and breathable performance from their protective clothing. These garments are also believed to be the only high visibility RIS-3279-TOM (GO/ RT 3279) multi-norm garments available on today’s market, making them an obvious first choice for rail applications. Many rail industry customers choose to purchase Ballyclare garments from the company’s website, and it places great emphasis on making that site as interactive and easy as possible to use. It allows customers to view up-to-the-minute product pricing and stock availability details on rail industry garments, and these are supported by a wide range of shipping and delivery options that enable the customer to manage their transactions in a way that suits their own needs. Ballyclare also continues to support the rail industry in various ways, including its joint sponsorship along with Gore Workwear, of last year’s RailStaff Apprentice of Year competition. As part of its policy of maintaining a direct involvement with the industry at various levels, the company also issued a call for rail apprentices and

employers who wanted to take part in field trials of new Ballyclare rail garments. This type of exercise provides Ballyclare with the sort of direct feedback that allows it to really understand what the people who wear its garments require from them on a daily basis. Company profile Ballyclare is a British designer, manufacturer and distributor of high quality, functional workwear, protective clothing and specialist PPE. The company has been keeping workers safe and comfortable for well over 100 years – building a reputation as one of the UK’s leading workwear and protective clothing suppliers. It is a trusted producer of structural and specialist firefighting kit and protective clothing for the emergency services and armed forces, as well as supplying managed services which encompass garment supply, leasing, repair and laundering. Tel: 0844 493 2808 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Lighting the way through innovation Morris Site Machinery is a manufacturer and supplier of site machinery brands and products from lighting towers to generators


he onsite machinery manufacturer and exporter is part of a fifthgeneration family owned and run business group which started out making candles back in 1869 and today produces LED lighting towers. Morris Site Machinery has a strong heritage and prides itself on being a British designer, manufacturer and distributor of trusted and reliable site equipment including its celebrated SMC lighting towers, Denyo generators, ArcGen welders and Hilta pumps and pressure washers, as well as Jefferson tools and Inmesol generators. Through its four manufacturing bases and depots in Wolverhampton, Lincolnshire, Aylesford and Stirling, the company services a wide range of UK industries from events and hire to the all-important rail sector. It also has a growing overseas market share particularly for its lighting towers in Australia, the Middle East and over 18 other countries around the world. Servicing the rail sector Morris Site Machineryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equipment has found a growing market in the rail industry where it is required for engineering works and night repairs. Its robust and reliable products are backed up by knowledgeable customer service. The ArcGen 165 petrol welder has proved extremely popular in the industry thanks to its portability, reliability and use in MIG welding process for switching and points. It is used by a number of rail firms and suppliers. Solar lighting towers have been built and are servicing Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Crossrail project which required an effective lighting solution in built-up residential areas with zero noise, zero emissions and no fuel required. The rail-approved SMC Metal Halide lighting towers have also seen consistently good sales over the past decade due to their size, easy manoeuvrability and excellent light performance. The company prides itself on developing brands through innovation and has a team of outstanding designers who have worked in the industry developing products which deliver additional benefits to its customers within the rail sector. Rail Professional

THEREâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S A WAY TO


At Uretek we have been working for over 30 years to develop and deliver fast, efficient solutions to ground engineering problems. We are the pioneers of geo-polymer injection technology which we use to stabilise and improve the strength of ground under any kind of structure. Our technology is used by engineers and contractors as they seek effective ways to maintain assets from roads and airports to warehouses and homes. Contact us today about a project or request a CPD presentation to learn more about our methods.

Slab drop due to weak ground





We inject directly through the slab


Our resins expand and strengthen


Slab lifted by expansive forces






To request a CPD presentation, or to learn more about Uretek solutions, scan the QR code or call

0800 084 3503



Introducing the Halo The latest development to come from the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s innovation factory is the Halo, a next generation lamp head offering a powerful, anti-glare soft light which is perfect for trackside lighting where strong light is needed but anti-glare is of the utmost importance. The robust and versatile Halo is a revolutionary, virtually indestructible lamp head which delivers 360 degrees 1200W diffused light from four 300W LED quadrants. It has been developed and manufactured to provide an even, impressive spread of light which can operate in extreme conditions. Suitable for a range of uses, it will prove its worth in particular for trackside lighting, roadsides and motorways, airports and car parks. The innovative design has four segments independently mounted onto a steel frame with each quadrant comprising three 100W high power LED modules. The quadrant diffuser is constructed from a tough high performance LLDPE material, similar to that used in highway products like road safety cones. The IP65 rated Halo has been designed for simple deployment and easy set-up with no lamp adjustment necessary. It has an improved light spread and above average LUX levels compared to a

conventional LED or metal halide lamp which means fewer towers are required, boosting its green credentials. The Halo fits onto the latest SMC TL90 towers and can also be retro fitted to used stock. Looking to the future With Brexit on the horizon, Morris Site Machinery is looking to the future and the importance of British manufacturing.


It argues that British design and engineering will become ever more important to the economy in uncertain times, and it must ensure that it manufactures the best products for the market both home and away. Tel: +44 (0)1902 790834 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

WHAT’S THE COST OF LIVING? s ance Insur life at a value g from in anyth o £7 £2 t ... n millio

...WE THINK LIFE IS PRICELESS. Smart Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS™) The Smart DPPS™ is a highly advanced, state-of-the-art protection system incorporating the use of intelligent distributed control and communication technology, as well as electronic personnel datakeys to identify staff working in different safety zones.

The Smart DPPS™:

It is:

• Protects staff and equipement • ensures safe and controlled movement of rail vehicles into and out of the depot • allows train maintenance operations to be conducted without endangering the safety of staff or damaging infrastructure

• fully programmable, flexible and functional • pre-configured to function with other Zonegreen equipment and to interlock with third party products • adaptable to the safe requirements of the depot

zonegreen safe working solutions

Find out more at Tel: +44 (0)114 230 0822 Fax: +44 (0)871 872 0349 Email:


SPECIALISTS IN PROJECT DELIVERY INTEGRATION, COORDINATION, COOPERATION We have built equipment designed to be transported to client’s sites or within our own training centre to be moved to other classrooms giving us more capacity for delivering practical training. This allows some courses to be delivered off-site at a venue to suit the client and thus help to reduce their costs.

• • • •

Flexibility for the client to choose the venue. Equipment arrives and only needs a 240v socket. With minimal setting up the training can begin. Once the event is completed the room is easily cleared.

For more information call 01332 343585 or email Visit us online at Rail Professional




Safeguarding maintenance depots Earlier this year marked ten years since the last passenger or staff fatality in a train accident on Great Britain’s national rail network


owever, this does reflect the true risks that face our rail industry’s workforce. Whilst the last decade has seen no fatalities as a result of train accidents, the ORR Rail Safety Statistics report a total of 23 workforce fatalities and 36,764 RIDDOR reported injuries during this period. It is difficult to obtain a precise figure of the cost of a fatality, but in addition to the unquantifiable enormous cost of human grief and suffering; when considering the cost of legal proceedings, medical and emergency services charges, associated damage to equipment, loss of production

and insurance costs, then a seven-figure sum is not unreasonable. So clearly it is vital in both human and financial contexts that everything possible must be done to reduce these risks, especially when severe hazards such as moving trains and high voltage equipment are present in the workplace. Typical hazards Train movements within a maintenance depot are an obvious occupational hazard in the rail industry, and whilst over the past two decades, depot infrastructure has undergone changes which have clearly made a positive impact on safety, there is still

room for improvement. Better lighting arrangements, communication systems, access points, switches and crossings, signal sighting, fouling points and SPAD traps all contribute to increased safety, however to achieve Network Rail’s goal of ‘everyone home safe, everyday’ there is more to be done. It is often the case that accidents are caused by human actions, and unfortunately given the circumstances and surroundings, a mistake in a depot is more likely to have a serious impact than it would in a different environment. Modern technology is an important part of the answer for Britain’s depots.

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WEDGE GROUP GALVANIZING Your Galvanizing Partner

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


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

Structural Testing and Lighting Solutions





01923 777 777

FREE NEXT DAY DELIVERY OF FASTENERS, FIXINGS & TOOLS* Roch ndt Services are specialists in the structural integrity testing of lighting columns and vertically mounted poles throughout the UK. We provide solutions to the Rail sector for the structural testing of Platform Lighting Columns, Station Approach Road Columns, Car Park Columns and Signals. We also provide VEKO lighting solutions for Depot, Under Canopy and Car Park lighting to the Rail Industry and in keeping with the Roch philosophy we bring a strong brand to the market where professionalism and quality of service are paramount.

For further information, please contact John Charles Telephone: 07392 198512 Email: Website: National suppliers to rail, civil engineering & construction projects specialising in London delivery. Huge stock & product expertise!

Olds Approach, Tolpits Lane, Watford, Herts, WD18 9XT

*ON ALL ORDERS OVER £20 +VAT. (Own van area) or free national delivery on orders over £50 +VAT.

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Innovative systems such as Zonegreen’s SMART Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS™) offer solutions that provide added safety controls and communications help ensure that any human errors do not end in disaster. Zonegreen’s new generation DPPS™ was unveiled in 2014, following its first complete overhaul in 15 years. Since then, it has been specified and installed at both Thameslink depots, Newton Heath in Manchester, all four new depots built for the Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, and Crossrail’s Old Oak Common facility. The system offers intuitive functionality, based on a four-button controller and a graphical interface that can be programmed in any language. It is operated using personal datakeys and combines powered derailers, road end control panels, train detection equipment and warning beacons. This advanced and thoroughly tested system provides essential protection to staff in the depot maintenance environment and Zonegreen has invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in its development. Following six years in development, a host of features have been added, including remote configuration and assistance, making overseas installations straightforward and cost effective. The customer centric focus of the new DPPSTM extends to its ergonomic design. A tactile membrane has improved durability, whilst state of the art, high quality electronic components reduce power consumption, delivering further cost savings. Technology’s role to play By continuing to utilise distributed intelligent technologies, Zonegreen has also ensured that if an error is detected on one road, normal operation can continue throughout the rest of the depot. This minimises disruption and represents a significant advantage over centralised control systems. Standardised software is used to run DPPSTM, which means it can be configured to the unique layout of any facility, whilst ensuring each depot still benefits from years of extensive refinement and testing. Every installation complies with current safety standards, as well as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) railway guidelines. Zonegreen’s DPPSTM is accompanied by its Depot Manager computer system which displays and records all actions taken on the DPPSTM. Depot Manager can be used to visualise the status of the depot protection system, demonstrating where staff are working and the status of any interlocked third part equipment. In addition, the logging facility not only provides full traceability in the event of an incident. It also generates a wealth of data that can be used to optimise depot

operations. Of course, nothing can completely eradicate the potential of an accident being caused by a human action; but it is possible to implement new technologies, putting in place as many complimentary measures as

possible to ensure that such incidents are kept to a minimum. Tel: (0114) 230 0822 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

FROM SUBSEA TO TRACKSIDE For years weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been revolutionising the subsea industry; one of the most hostile environments imaginable. Now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re applying that thinking to signalling power cables. CableGuardian The first platform to offer proactive monitoring, detection and location of both insulator and conductor faults on live signalling power distribution systems. Enables compliance with Network Rail specification NR/L2/SIGELP/27725. Facilitates condition based maintenance rather than frequency based. For more information please email or call +44 (0)1275 787878



Railway infrastructure services The vast array of assets owned by Network Rail, Heritage Railways and private sidings provides constant challenges for the asset owners to regularly inspect and maintain them


s a result, the skills needed to maintain technical competence is diverse, and in some cases, in short supply. The Infrastructure Services team within Bridgeway Consulting has been developed to plug the gaps in the skills required for these challenging activities with sub-departments focussing on structures inspections and examinations utilising: • • • • • • • •

roped access teams underwater diving teams confined spaces entry teams bridge strike/rapid response structural assessments of structures permanent way maintenance teams signalling maintenance teams asset protection services.

Full service The teams work with colleagues in geomatics and ground/site investigations departments to provide a complete service to the client, that may include additional value-added services such as: • topographical surveys including 3D laser scanning • BIM models of structures/infrastructure • UAV (aerial) surveys • intrusive surveys to structures • ground investigations • structural inspections/examinations. Structure management The examination and assessment of railway structures are undertaken via the Civils Examinations Framework Agreement (CEFA) on behalf of Network Rail.

The data collected from the examinations is used for modelling asset condition, deterioration and other facets, to allow ‘whole life’ evaluations to take place and is critical to keeping the nations railway safe. The examinations are carried out in accordance to the requirements set out in NR/LI/CIV/032 – The Management of Structures, and NR/L3/CIV/006 – The Handbook for the Examination of Structures. Works are undertaken by teams of experienced examinations, technical and support staff, and are based upon a condition survey of each structure so that engineers can make recommendations for remedial works or other interventions. All structures, bridges, tunnels, walls and culverts receive at least an annual visual examination, and at varying intervals (typically six years), a full tactile examination is required to access every part of each structure. Those structures with elements located underwater have a more stringent regime of tactile examination varying from one to three years depending upon structure condition and excessive river flows, which induces scouring of bed material surrounding pier foundations. Many of Network Rail’s structures are in geographically challenging locations, and the requirement to ‘access to all parts’ is the most demanding aspect of the works. As a result, Bridgeway over the past 22 years has developed and grown its specialist access services to support the asset managers to make informed decisions based upon the

condition of each structure. The team includes inhouse roped access supervisors and operatives, diving supervisors and divers, and confined space entry teams to get to those parts of a structures that are impossible to reach using traditional examination techniques. These services also allow access to hidden critical elements (HCE’s) such as the inside of box girders to assess the condition of metallic elements using ultrasonic testing. The teams working on the projects are multi-skilled in railway safety critical competencies, technical knowledge (STE2, 4, 5, 6 and7) and specialist access such as IRATA, City & Guilds Confined Spaces and HSE Diving qualifications. The multiskilling of staff provides ‘added value’ to the client through efficiencies in the number of staff on site and aligns itself

Rail Professional

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

Tel: 01303 851111



ongoing maintenance, in accordance with Network Rail standards and in cases using an enhanced inspection regime for infrastructure identified as ‘Golden Assets’, which require a more intensive method of inspection/maintenance to ensure reliability. The maintenance teams undertake seasonal preparation including Hot Weather and Cold-Weather works such as greasing of fish plate joints, installation and maintenance of point heaters amongst other activities to ensure undisturbed passage of freight vehicles within the terminals.

seamlessly with the recent changes to the 019 standard and the requirement for a person in charge (PIC) to have ‘competence/experience’ in the activity being carried out. In addition to the examination works taking place on the mainline, the inspection teams provide a 24/7, 365 operations On Call Service to Network Rail’s RIDC (Railway Innovation and Development Centre) and other locations for incidents on the Railway Infrastructure, generally these involve the collision of a road vehicle with a structure, known as ‘bridge strikes’. Further to supporting the National CEFA Contract, the examinations teams support major infrastructure projects such as the North-West Electrification Programme (NWEP) and Midland Mainline Electrification scheme (MMLE2C). Asset protection technical support Network Rail’s asset protection team requires technical support to enable ‘third parties’ or ‘outside parties’ to undertake works on rail infrastructure, normally to facilitate site access, usually in track possessions, monitoring, dilapidation surveys and quality/ track handback engineers for the installation of new infrastructure (either under, over or adjacent to operational railway). In most cases the third or outside parties, are unaware of the strict restrictions associated with managing Network Rail’s assets. Bridgeway’s engineering staff provide guidance on how to work together with the asset protection managers, advising on

design requirements and monitoring regimes required during the construction phase, including providing technical competencies for track handback engineers, permanent way fault rectification teams and emergency speed restriction designs, working hand in hand with survey monitoring teams within the company. These skilled technical staff understand the risks these operations can have, and provide the necessary control measures and contingency plans to satisfy the safe passage of trains. The monitoring of railway infrastructure requires collating real-time data (24/7), either via traditional survey means, or using innovative remote technology to assess potential/actual movement of track, adjacent infrastructure such as retaining walls, bridges, tunnels or viaducts. The tolerances on projects such as these are small, and in most cases, the outside parties are usually unaware of the significance of a small deviation in cant or twist on a rail, can have on the safe operations of trains. For those activities that can potentially result in a disturbance to the track support zone, a slight deviation to sleeper end lateral resistance, or misalignment or even voiding requires additional control measures such as implementation of a critical rail temperature management plan including the assessment of stress free temperatures, continuous monitoring of rail temperature (either remotely or using watchmen), to ensure and guard against track buckling occurring. Signalling and permanent way maintenance In addition to the National Contingent Labour Framework, the signalling and permanent way maintenance teams support freight terminals and power stations such as Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) and Drax Power Station, which take in freight from the mainlines into and out of the sidings including Coal, Biomass and intermodal containers. These rail infrastructure assets require

Prepared for anything There are always unforeseen events, similarto those experienced upon Network Rail mainlines and as-a consequence, Rapid Response to emergency arrangements are in place to respond to incident problems such as points run-throughs and structural failures. A recent example at Drax Power station was the structural failure of some holding down bolts within the concrete base to a signalling gantry that prevented vital deliveries of coal and biomass to the plant. In addition to signalling teams, Bridgeway provided the construction support to remove the errant gantry safely and installed a new ground level temporary signalling system within 24 hours to keep the facility

operational whilst repairs were carried out to the concrete foundation base. On completion of the foundation repairs, teams were employed to reinstall and recommission the signal gantry and to remove the previously installed temporary signalling system, within a short track possession, so that in-coming biomass trains were relatively unaffected. Tel: 0115 919 1111 Email contacts: Visit: Rail Professional



A matter of trust The rail industry has always had a large number of suppliers vying for your business and perhaps more than ever now that projects are again being given the green light to go ahead


tatistics show that in the financial year 2015-2016, the government provided £4 billion of direct rail support to Network Rail to maintain and improve the existing UK network, with a further £1.45 billion for projects such as Crossrail and HS2. Much of this money will have filtered down to contractors to deliver planned (and sometimes unplanned) engineering and infrastructure works. Tenders get sent out and the opportunity to capitalise on this feel-good factor can be felt throughout the supply chain. The cable industry is no different – it’s a multi-million-pound business supplying all these projects. So what’s to stop every supplier getting involved? Put simply, it’s down to compliance. Network Rail rightly closely controls the products used on their network, and when it comes to cables in particular, they’re designed and tested extensively in order to warrant specific NR standards and inclusion in the PADS directory. After all, these specialist cables have

to deliver consistent performance in the challenging trackside environment so it’s not just about meeting constructional standards, it’s about complying with the raft of legislation providing health and environmental protections too. The risk of non-compliance is simply not worth it. What’s it made of? Take RoHS for example: the EU-wide Directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances limits the concentration of certain chemicals in electrical equipment. It includes lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and cadmium – toxic substances which you no longer expect to find in products in the UK. Yet with most cables manufactured outside the EU, it still requires vigilance to ensure non-compliant materials don’t slip through the net. For cables in particular, little things can affect the chemical balance of the material compounds used in the insulation and sheathing layers. For example, an upstream factory that temporarily produces a different cocktail

of emissions can impact the water supply used in the downstream manufacturer’s thermoplastic pellet mix and they may not immediately realise. There are tests on the cables before they leave the factory, but they can be based on long manufacturing runs where circumstances change along the way. These toxic substances can have a very real impact on health; dust and particulates are breathed in by those installing, maintaining, and replacing the cables; they seep into the ground and surrounding environment as the product slowly degrades over its lifecycle; and ultimately, disposal

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ControlSafe Carborne Platform SIL4 certification pending

ControlSafe Platform

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SIL4 COTS fail-safe & fault-tolerant system Data lock-step architecture Hardware-based voting mechanism Rolling stock & trackside deployment 25 years support & service Global service organisation

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Leveraging over 30 years of expertise in developing highly reliable and available embedded computer systems, Artesyn Embedded Technologies is a premier supplier of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) fail-safe computer systems to rail system integrators and rail application providers.

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vertical flame propagation testing that would demonstrate flame retardant properties for any cable designed for use in the rail network, as cables should selfextinguishing within a set burn area once the flame is removed. Gas Emissions testing to meet IEC 60754 would measure the amount of halogen gases evolved when the insulation and sheathing materials are burnt – all enclosed areas such as tunnels must use Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) cables in order to aid evacuation in the event of fire. There are also tests that accelerate the effects of ageing as cables have an estimated lifespan of 25 years and need to maintain their mechanical properties to ensure integrity and continued performance. Trust is key It’s clear that choosing a cable supplier that is also an issue. With a cable’s lifespan estimated at 25 years (and many cables still in use long after that) the impact of these component parts can be felt for a generation or more. Decision time It means you have a decision to make. Is a declaration of compliance from a non-EU factory enough to satisfy your due diligence? Do you know if your cable supplier has verified this – preferably using a UK-based lab for testing? Can you be certain that the batch of cables you receive is compliant? Every contractor attests to the high standards of their workmanship, not least to help win further tenders, and so cable quality and compliant do matter. What you can do Impartial third-party verification provides unequivocal assurance, with the most accurate test method using x-ray spectrometry. It sees the cable sample bombarded with x-ray radiation so as to force the electrons to emit or fluoresce energy; each substance has its own specific and unique properties, and so determines the material and the proportions of substances within it. Unlike many standards, there is no permissible tolerance level – the cable sample either passes or fails the test. To emphasise, RoHS compliance is of such importance that the foremost UK standards body, the British Standards Institute, have a quality mark for those

companies that can demonstrate continued and consistent compliance – the BSI RoHS Trusted KitemarkTM. Confirmed cable compliance Of course, RoHS compliance is just one of a raft of standards and requirements a cable must meet, all of which are equally important and have real-world implications if non-compliant. Cable testing laboratories can conduct the wide range of tests required, and UKAS, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, identifies facilities capable of delivering the necessary impartial reporting against approved test methods. Take for instance the recent reports in the news about sub-standard cable with reduced copper content having entered the general cable supply chain – it could lead to potential fire hazards from overheating and short circuiting – conductor resistance testing to BS EN 60228 would provide conclusive assurance this is not the case with any rail cable supplied. Similarly, there are tests including

puts quality and compliance at the heart of its operations is key. Few can offer the level of testing that should be requested with every order. Add in a broad stock portfolio, and cables available on a next-day basis from stock or short lead-times for larger projects and you start to separate the wheat from the chaff in the supply industry. Surely, after all that, it’s worth taking a moment and looking a little closer at where your cables come from. After all, your trusted supplier needs to be just that: trusted. Company profile Eland Cables has a comprehensive portfolio of rail cables and accessories across power, signalling, telecoms and overhead line, quality assured by The Cable Lab®, its UKbased ISO 17025 UKAS-accredited cable test facility, and holder of the BSI RoHS Trusted Kitemark. Tel: 020 7241 8759 Email: Visit: Rail Professional


COMPLETE COUPLER SYSTEMS Design / Manufacture Overhaul / Upgrade

New Wedgelock Coupler for NTFL

William Cook Rail Ltd Cross Green, Leeds, LS9 0DX

Tel 0113 249 6363 Email



On track for growth Aspin’s rebrand highlights its renewed focus on quality and innovation from the ground up


017 has been a big year for rail industry specialists Aspin with a rebrand that’s designed to help communicate its total engineered solutions. The rebrand also aims to highlight the company’s provision of extensive works on rail projects of all sizes across the UK, plus innovative new micro piling solutions and the debut of the new road-to-rail Land Rover. Engineering products With an established reputation for the delivery of high performance foundation, civil, geotechnical and structural engineering products and services, the experienced team has worked in the rail sector for nearly 20 years and understands its unique challenges. Collaboration with all project stakeholders is core to the way Aspin works and includes measures to minimise the impact of works on local communities such as noise and traffic movements to and from site. The team works directly with Network Rail as well as with the largest tier one

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Trackbed Information for Maintenance Planning Rail Corridor Asset Mapping

Trackbed Inspection Report Switch Wear

Surface Mud

Track Geometry

Ballast Deficit

Structure Clearance Ballast Particle Size

ZT 123

Sleeper Spacing Sleeper Quality

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Track Drainage Free Draining Layer

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2D Laser 360° Point Cloud

Multiple Survey Platforms

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3D Laser Surface Imaging

Rail Corridor Mapping

Track Geometry


contractors as Aspin holds both a Principal Contractors License (PCL) and the Plant Operators Scheme (POS) license. Unique equipment The ownership and operation of a fleet of plant and equipment is unique in the industry and the focus for continued investment. It includes piling rigs, tracked INNOVATION


he award-winning Network Rail-approved Road to Rail specially adapted Land Rover (R2R 4x4 SIV) provides a fast, safe and economical means of facilitating ground investigations, reducing track access time by up to 80 per cent. Developed in partnership with Aquarius Railroad Technologies, the R2R 4x4 SIV can be used on road and rail, safely transporting up to four operatives and equipment on track and two on the road. It replaces the need for using hand trolleys and significantly reduces the time and labour needed to collect essential ground investigation data, with safe travel under live overhead line equipment. For Morgan Sindall’s work on the East Coast main line, Aspin’s ground investigations team made 17 holes to four metres, covering an impressive 12 miles of track in a 28hour possession, completing the work in about half the time compared with alternative methods.

Aspin also holds a FORS accreditation, for the assurance of a first-class service and working practices, policies and procedures in four key areas: management, vehicles, drivers and operations excavators and specially adapted road to rail (R2R) vehicles and attachments, all with appropriate trailers so they can be effectively used on road or rail. Aspin also holds a FORS accreditation, for the assurance of a first-class service and working practices, policies and procedures in four key areas: management, vehicles, drivers and operations. Key areas of expertise Aspin brings rail industry expertise in key areas for the rail industry, offering electrification and signalling schemes and a comprehensive package of services that can be used as a total package or individually, depending on the project requirement. OLE and signalling works include proven experience in consultancy, project management and specialist design and build, incorporating the provision of high integrity foundations, earthworks and civils, LOC


staging and track bed stabilisation. Station works include platform extensions. The solutions for superstructures comprise design, supply and installation of above ground structures such as OLE masts, cantilevers and portal structures. It is supported by ground investigations that provide the essential information of ground conditions for works planning and help guide the designs for high performance, cost-effective foundation and piling solutions. Tel: 01442 236507 Email: Visit:

SERVICES OVERVIEW • engineered solutions: all packaged products including above ground projects such as platforms and structures • consulting and design: full range of award-winning consultancy services for projects and bespoke designs • foundations and piling: total costeffective solutions below ground for high integrity structures, extensive experience in OLE works • inspections and investigations: providing accurate data for planning work, the skilled team includes fully qualified geologists • plant and equipment: all Aspin’s services are supported by its extensive fleet of fully owned and operated plant and equipment.

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“CHALLENGE OUR TEAM... TOGETHER” 55 years after the company was first incorporated by John and Norah Coleman, The Coleman Group remains an independent family business. We’re a top ten contractor working for some of the biggest names in the industry, bringing together award-winning specialists in demolition, remediation, specialist cutting and engineering to provide a fully integrated service.

Concept to completion... call. +44 (0)121 325 2424 web.



RDG contract win for BemroseBooth BemroseBooth Paragon (BBP) has secured a two-year extension to its £14 million contract with Rail Delivery Group (RDG)


s well as extending the contract, the organisation which supplied 900 million rail tickets to UK operators in 2016, has also been named as one of the preferred suppliers for smart ticketing as UK rail makes the transition from paper based magnetic tickets to contactless or smart alternatives. With manufacturing facilities in Hull, Boston and Wisbech, BBP will continue to supply all tickets for RDG to 2020. In addition to the extended ticket contract BBP provides marketing material distribution and print management services for RDG and rail operating companies. Director’s comments Sales and marketing director for BBP, Richard Farmer, said: ‘I am delighted to have extended the rail ticket supply contract. BBP and RDG have agreed that we will work closely together to make the transition from traditional magnetic stripe paper tickets to paper and plastic smart ticketing. ‘As well as improving efficiencies for operators and rail users, this progression will also help to deliver on the vision of the transport secretary for a smart ticketing alternative to paper tickets being available to all passengers.’ Technology services director for RDG, Dennis Rocks, said: ‘BBP’s paper ticket pedigree makes it a leader in the field and this wider cooperation means that the

company will also make its smart ticketing knowledge and ITSO manufacturing expertise available to RDG and UK train operators. ‘With this partnership in place, we know that we can increase the use of simpler, smarter ticketing on the UK rail network, helping people to move through stations and trains quicker and easier, increasing customer satisfaction.’ Company profile BBP is a fully owned subsidiary of Paragon ID and leading supplier of both traditional magnetic, thermal and barcode tickets for the transportation sector. Providing a variety of smart products and services including RFID tags, smart cards and tickets, contact and contactless cards, it is responsible for the supply of almost one billion magnetic stripe tickets for the UK train operating companies. BBP acquired Burall InfoSmart in June. This strategic acquisition supported the business as it launched ITSO approved smart products and services into the sector, assisting the UK train operators to make a smooth transition from traditional to smart ticketing. BBP prints and supplies tickets and cards to the mass transit and car park market. The company offers a portfolio of parking related products including tickets, security labels and retail stamps for travel, parking and leisure markets. In addition, it has a range of smart solutions, such as magnetic and car park tickets, smart cards and bureau services and pre-paid cards. Its associated services, such as cards, leaflets, welcome information packs, SIM card packs and ringtone products for the telecommunications industry, complement the overall package that BBP offers. Implementing and managing specialist label and tag solutions, including track and trace labelling, variable numbering, bar-coding and number control labelling products, alongside membership cards, season passes and smart card/passes, means the company now works with a global client base. With various advertising solutions, it

also serves customers such as NCP and local authorities in Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, and North America. The company was founded in 1826 and has manufacturing facilities in Hull, Boston and Wisbech. Rail Delivery Group The Rail Delivery Group exists to enable a better railway by bringing together train operators, freight operators and Network Rail, it also recently established a partnership with the Rail Supply Group.

Tel: 01482 826343 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

Innovation in HV Disconnectors & Switches MLE Double Pole Rotational Isolators with Integrated Earthing

MLE Rotational Rail Isolator. More than 30 years on the UK Network

MLE HV Switchgear. Manufactured in Britain since 1976

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Morris Line Engineering (MLE) have consistently innovated by evolving their tried and tested Rail Isolators for use: at higher current levels; in new arrangements; and now in load-break applications. MLE have a long standing record of building robust, reliable Isolation and Earthing Equipment. MLE is part of the Morris McLellan Group.

MLE A5 Advert Rail 021015 02 October 2015 16:01:15

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 Easystartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sales Manager, Cillian Brugha on or 01536 203030.

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Access and protection From new construction to maintenance and upgrading, the rail industry presents a long list of specific construction needs


ften characterised by the requirement to maintain passenger movement and access during building work, and the key objective of minimising closure and possession times, projects invariably call for innovative construction thinking and tailored solutions. Access and protection are central to this scenario – a field in which Layher Ltd. has long been active. The specialist modular scaffold and protection system manufacturer can point to a wide range of rail industry projects – from station refurbishment to bridge construction – where its equipment design and capability are clearly in evidence. Sean Pike, Layher’s UK managing director, explains: ‘All installations have common characteristics with safety, cost effectiveness and adaptability high on the agenda. ‘However, delivery on these requirements, and many more, starts far earlier than the arrival of the vehicle on site. We take the view that there is no substitute for building a close relationship with our customers whatever the size and complexity of the project, and this is as important in the rail industry as in any other area. ‘By transferring our own knowledge to each contractor involved in the field and, at the same time, continuously developing our own understanding of the requirements of the rail sector, we believe every installation can be tailored not only to the needs on site, but also to broader project objectives.’ Product development Sean Pike points out that training is clearly key in this context and the company’s range of in-house CISRS-approved courses is designed to match the requirements of all scaffolding contractors – including those operating within the rail industry – by shaping and enhancing their own services. Ongoing product development clearly feeds into this, but the benefits of system integration can also be fully realised – a factor that can maximise both project scheduling and efficiency. Sean Pike continues: ‘One of the key factors that has always been central to Layher’s success is our versatile rosette connection system. ‘This allows a wide range of layouts to be achieved quickly and, because there are no separate loose fittings, the concept has an

obvious safety advantage because it reduces the risk of components accidentally falling, or of equipment being left at site.’ This is further enhanced by the inbuilt strength that arises directly from extensively tested and proven manufacturing procedures at Layher’s production plant in Germany. This allows, for example, wider bays and clearer walkways to be specified – a characteristic that is reflected by the company’s purpose-designed Bridging Truss which is widely used during temporary bridge construction in the rail industry. Fitting directly on to associated access stairs, the Bridging Truss can also be linked to scaffold structures while integrating directly with Layher’s Protect Panel screen system and its choice of temporary covering and roof designs. The gains in terms of speed of erection and safety that result from the system are well recognised. Time management Layher’s proven inhouse technical support, available to each scaffolding contractor, extends clear benefits to both main contractors and end-users alike. Sean

Pike adds: ‘This is perhaps of particular significance within the rail industry given the importance of minimising closure and possession times – structures can be installed far more quickly than conventional tube and fitting alternatives, so time on site can be kept to a minimum.’ The Bridging Truss system is, itself, a good example as it can be built alongside a functioning railtrack with closure only required for it to be craned, fully assembled, into position. The combination of common components that can be applied in multiple application environments and extensive versatility, which allows users to address a wide range of access and foot traffic needs, has produced a long list of successful Layher installations in the rail sector. Sean Pike concludes: ‘We believe that for all rail contractors and end-users alike, the gains and opportunities, in terms of project scheduling and overall costs, are significant and can be realised every time.’ Tel: 01462 475100 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Designing the future October 2017 saw the promotion of Abi Broadley, business development director to managing director at Aquarius Rail


he highway-based road/rail vehicle and trailer manufacturer and hire company based in North Yorkshire, was established in 1999 by James Platt an engineer and innovator. Innovation is a key part of the company’s growth strategy and by stepping back from the everyday running of the business James now focuses on designing and developing exciting new products. Abi who has a First Class BA Honours Degree in Design for the Entertainment Industries (costume and set design for theatre, film and television) never expected to work in rail. Following a career in costume for television and latterly as head of design and sales for a company designing and installing large scale Christmas decoration schemes in the UK’s shopping centres Abi like many, joined the rail industry quite by accident. Whilst on a career break when her youngest son was two years old, she started a part time administration role at Aquarius Rail in 2010.

Rail Professional

The job developed into marketing and then sales, formalising into a full time position in business development in 2014. The promotion to managing director is recognition to Abi’s passion to drive the company’s growth. James commented: ‘This marks an exciting time for us, allowing me to focus on what I enjoy the most accelerating our innovation, whilst still growing the business.’ Safety at the heart of innovation Aquarius Rail believe in making every day railway tasks simpler and safer from road to rail to site. Its customers’ health, safety, wellbeing and productivity needs are at the heart of everything. The core of the business is the hire of Road2Rail4x4 Land Rovers which transport people and equipment from depot to track worksite quickly and efficiently. By removing boots from the ballast and the associated risk of slips, trips and falls which accounts for forty percent of accidents in rail, safety is immediately improved.

Typically, a welding team of two staff can transport a full welding kit in the R2R4x4, traveling a mile and a half from the RRAP to the track worksite, the welders can be working within twenty five minutes of accessing the track. When compared with walking and pushing a trolley up track which takes four nights to deliver two rail welds (the first and last nights purely used to deliver/collect welding equipment to and from the work site), the job can be completed in one to two shifts. Over the last four years the company have successfully delivered new attachments to improve the performance of the R2R4x4s to enable them to transport more payload seamlessly (under live overhead lines if required) from road to rail. James and the team have introduced the load tray extension, a light at 50kg in weight single axle load tray, that is easy to deploy by two people on track and towed/propelled by the R2R4x4 to transport an additional 490kg of payload.



Network Rail, plus contractors and metro lines. Working on major projects such as the Severn Tunnel electrification and more recently supporting Aspin on the Norwich, Lowestoft and Yarmouth line improvements in October 2017, Aquarius Rail is going from strength to strength. A proactive member of the Rail Supply Group SME Council, Abi is passionate about creating a better railway that will transform the lives of millions of passengers each year. The RSG SME Council which is led by Simon Higgens, CEO at ISS Labour, have been key to informing the Rail Sector Deal which was presented to government on October 23 this year.

On a larger scale the Road2Rail Plant Trailer and Road2Rail Trailers (R2R Trailer) can transport 2.7 tonnes and 2.4 tonnes respectively, on road directly to rail. This innovation won the company a Rail Live 2016 award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Safety’. Creating a positive impact ‘Making a positive difference to the working lives of those maintaining the railway is a driving force for us.’ said Abi when summing up her motivation. ‘We know that we significantly improve the health, wellbeing and performance of rail teams.’ With all essential tools

and materials pre-loaded at the depot or compound in the case of work for SES and CML on the Hartlepool railway line, onto the R2R Trailer, the vehicle/trailer can be ontracked transporting up to nine people plus Operator and Machine Controller directly to the work site. Jon Tancock, STME, Network Rail in Exeter said: ‘That using the R2R4x4 and load tray extension makes the Signalling and Telecoms teams work easier, safer and more productive; allowing the team to undertake what used to take them five shifts walking on track, to be completed in just one night.’ Aquarius works across the UK working directly for six out of the eight routes in

Abi said: ‘This is an exciting and challenging time to be in the rail industry. Despite the negative press, rail is a success story: delivering more passengers, more safely than ever before. We as an SME see a fantastic opportunity for us to continue the improvement railway maintenance practises. ‘The rail industry gets under your skin; it is a great family to be part of and I cannot imagine being anywhere else right now. I am delighted to be heading up such a fantastic team and well respected company. I look forward to leading Aquarius Rail through the challenges this diverse and demanding industry brings.’ Tel: 01765 635021 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

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Kilborn Consulting Limited is an independent railway engineering consultancy and design business. We specialise in the design of railway signalling and telecommunication systems for the UK and Ireland railway infrastructure. Our core services cover technical advice, consultancy services, feasibility studies and concept, outline (AiP) and detailed design (AfC) of both signalling and telecommunication systems. We can provide all Signal Sighting activities and signalling risk assessments, including SORA and Suitable and Sufficient Risk Assessments for Level Crossings. We also provide EMC and E&B studies to complement our core services. DC Switchgear DC Switchgear DC Switchgear Shore Supplies Shore Supplies Shore Supplies

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We very much look forward to working with you.

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Tailored and hands-on training Over 70 maintenance engineers and team technicians at Hitachi Rail Europe’s maintenance centre in Ashford are benefiting from training provided by Technical Training Solutions


he feedback from those who attended the five-day electrical training course provided by Technical Training Solutions [TTS] is by far the best feedback I’ve ever had in my time here at Hitachi Rail Europe’ states Alex McFarlin, training manager, Class 395 at Hitachi Rail Europe’s flagship train maintenance centre in Ashford, Kent. ‘Within just 20 minutes of the course starting, all attendees were up on their feet looking at electrical schematic drawings and connecting wires on circuit boards. We believe strongly in the ‘learning by doing’ approach and this course certainly did just that’ adds Alex. Speed kings Built by Hitachi, the Class 395 Javelin trains offer the fastest domestic service rail travel in the UK. In 2008, the Javelin completed its first rail journey from Ashford in Kent to London St Pancras in just 37 minutes. The Hitachi trains went into full passenger service in December 2009 on the high-speed HS1 rail route. Maintenance of the full fleet of 29 Class 395 Hitachi trains is carried out at the maintenance centre in Ashford, where more than 70 engineers are responsible for maintaining the fleet. These engineers include team technicians responsible for all corrective (unplanned) maintenance of the trains, as well as maintenance engineers who are responsible for all routine train maintenance activities such as changing of brake pads, equipment testing, gearbox oil changes and minor fault finding. Expanding skill sets As Alex states: ‘The maintenance teams at Ashford are a mix of mechanical and electrical engineers from a variety of backgrounds, including the rail industry, automotive and the Armed Forces. With any new recruit, we must assess where their strengths and weaknesses lie and then provide training to fill any gaps that may exist. ‘As many of the systems, including traction and auxiliary systems, on the trains are electrical, we wanted to establish a baseline of knowledge at Ashford for all of our maintenance engineers, particularly with regards to electrical safety regulations and best practice.’

‘For example, we have maintenance engineers with a strong skills bias in mechanical engineering who require their electrical skills to be further developed. Whilst we provide our own internal technical training for new recruits, we wanted to reinforce the safety training and to further develop our staffs’ electrical skills. ‘Hence, around 12 months ago, we contacted TTS for help in providing a practical, tailored electrical maintenance course for around 70 of our engineers, as well as team leaders and duty shift managers.’ After visiting Ashford and discussing their training needs in detail, TTS devised a five-day, on-site electrical maintenance course, tailored to replicate the daily work of the maintenance engineers. This practical, hands-on training course included modules on understanding electrical schematics; testing for ‘dead’ circuits; stored energy and safe discharging of capacitors; application of electrical safety legislation and best practice; understanding how electrical circuits function and work; wiring of electrical components such as relays; cable terminations; recognising faults and faultfinding techniques; and the correct use of electrical test equipment. ‘The course was designed specifically for us, which is really important because it means that our engineers could relate all of the course content to their day jobs. We sat down with TTS and showed them drawings of our trains and the type of electrical maintenance we carry out on train systems and equipment. From this, TTS was able to tailor its electrical maintenance skills course to our precise needs.’ Alex explains.

Study methods Much of the course content involved hands-on exercises such as the building of electrical circuits. This included two circuits that replicated (in miniature) the auxiliary compressor system on the Class 395 train. Over the last 12 months, TTS has provided ten separate, five-day training courses for a total of 70 engineers at Ashford. Each course was provided for six to eight attendees who were paired up to work on the practical tasks. TTS also provided all of the onsite training equipment and materials required for these courses. ‘For our engineers who have a mechanical skills bias, TTS has a unique way of simplifying electrical terms and explaining these in easy-to-understand language. I also liked the way they kept attendees on their toes by sneakily sabotaging their completed electrical circuits during a lunch break and asking them to fix the problem in the afternoon. It was fun but also engaging, informative and relevant.’ Alex enthuses. ‘The crucial benefit of the TTS training is that our maintenance teams can now apply the most up to date legislation and best practice when carrying out everyday maintenance. ‘The engineers now also have a much better understanding of why they are carrying out each maintenance task. The course has been a real enabler for many people here and we look forward to working closely with TTS on future training initiatives at Ashford.’ concludes Alex. Tel: 01634 731 470 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

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Values in engineering AEGIS Engineering Systems has served the rail industry for two decades now and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year


EGIS started from humble beginnings as a small consultancy employing a handful of specialist engineers based in Huddersfield focussing mainly on passenger rolling stock safety and reliability to a company currently employing 30 plus full time employees as well as many associates. Six years ago, with only three permanent engineers managing director Mark McCool decided that AEGIS had more to offer the industry and together with engineering director Chris Hoare, set about planning the company’s growth. A new home The first observation was that if AEGIS wanted to grow, Huddersfield was not necessarily the best place for it and so in the summer of 2012 the company moved to its new office on Pride Park in Derby. AEGIS was already undertaking a significant amount of work for two of the UK’s leading rolling stock manufacturers Bombardier and Alstom and so the move to Derby was a logical step. ‘We realised that to grow we needed to be in the heart of the railway industry and there is no better place than Pride Park, Derby’ says Mark McCool. The second observation was that in order to recruit talented and dynamic engineers, AEGIS needed to let them know what the company was all about. ‘We spent many hours deliberating and discussing our company values and vision”, says Chris Hoare. “We wanted prospective employees and new clients to know and

understand about what it meant to be a part of AEGIS. It was important to get the values and vision down on paper and visible for everyone to see.’ Core principles When you visit the AEGIS offices the core values are displayed in every room. These ten values are part of the fabric of

the organisation and everyone within the company lives the values each and every day. Adjacent on the wall to the values is the company vision. ‘To be recognised and respected globally as the rail engineering consultancy of choice’ ‘Again, we thought long and hard about the wording of the vision statement’ says Mark, ‘You see this sort of statement in many offices up and down the country, but we needed our statement to mean something to us. The words ‘recognised’ and ‘respected’ show that we want the industry to recognise AEGIS as a prominent consultancy and respect us for the way we work and the quality of the output we deliver. The word ‘globally’ demonstrates our ambition to undertake work and grow outside of the UK but we see the most important word in the entire phrase as being the word ‘choice’. Far too often I would hear consultants spoken about as a ‘necessary evil’ or a ‘forced purchase’ so I set about changing these perceptions.’ says Mark. ‘We want our clients to see us as part of their business; we want them to choose us as their business partners to help them deliver their projects. It’s not about maximising our profits or finding out how much the Rail Professional

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client will stomach; it’s about applying our professional expertise to the client’s projects and delivering them as efficiently and timely as possible, whilst of course making a ‘fair profit’. Similarly, we want the best engineers and consultants in the industry to choose to work for us. ‘As the father of twins I know and cherish the importance of time with my family and having a healthy work/ life balance; so, it’s important to me and the management team to create a working environment in which we support each other to deliver the work and make time for life outside of work. The AEGIS values are lived every day by its team of professionals so as to make AEGIS the positive choice for clients and future team members.’ New services Since the move to Derby in 2012, the growth has been steady and consistent exceeding 30 per cent year on year. AEGIS has expanded its range of services and its client base. Initially continuing with the passenger rolling stock theme but offering a wider range of services such as mechanical, electrical and structural rail vehicle engineering, supporting new build and refurbishment / modernisation projects. It was whilst reviewing the annual railway safety reports that the AEGIS’ directors recognised that passenger rolling stock safety, their natural field of expertise, had reached consistently high levels but that the industry was still struggling with safety at level crossings and with on track machines (OTM) and on track plant (OTP). So, the AEGIS MD Mark McCool picked up the phone and called a contact at Network Rail to offer the AEGIS safety expertise in whatever format they needed. A few weeks later AEGIS commenced a new workstream undertaking suitable and sufficient level crossing risk assessments for Network Rail and its clients. Since then, the AEGIS risk assessments have been described by the ORR as exemplary. With the increasingly demanding requirements of the rail network and with pressure to run more and more services, level crossing assessments will continue to be a part of the AEGIS business going forward. Another area of natural diversification came with the support of the safety, approvals and certification of OTM/ OTP. The first significant contract was to support Loram Maintenance of Way in its introduction of three high-speed rail grinders for use on Network Rail managed infrastructure. Since the Loram project, AEGIS continues to support other OTM/ OTP projects in the UK and worldwide and this area of the business is set to grow even further over the coming years. Safety first As well as new areas of work, AEGIS continues to grow in the safety arena. AEGIS

was one of the first organisations accredited by Network Rail in 2002 as an independent safety assessor, a process that was later discontinued. AEGIS continued to undertake assessment body work for major vehicle builders and equipment suppliers in the interim period and in 2016, AEGIS was once again accredited, this time by UKAS under the BS EN ISO 17020 regime, as an assessment body (AsBo) for the Common Safety Methods regulation for risk evaluation and assessment. AEGIS is the assessment body for high profile rolling stock projects such as Crossrail and London Overground Train. More recently AEGIS has been involved with a variety of major refurbishment projects including several retraction projects for major equipment suppliers where it has assisted with compiling the safety case as well as performing AsBo duties. In recent times AEGIS has diversified further into work on major infrastructure projects with AEGIS assessors and certification managers playing significant roles in high profile projects such as the Ordsall Chord, Birmingham Gateway and Manchester Metrolink Phase Three. AEGIS sees the Infrastructure market as a huge opportunity and in November appointed its new head of infrastructure, Martin Westerman. Martin’s role will be to help grow the infrastructure business over the next three years into a sustainable and significant part of the AEGIS offering. Expansion projects As well as diversifying the service offerings and the customer base AEGIS is becoming a company with a global reach. The company currently has clients from the USA to Germany and Japan and is working on projects in Vietnam, Singapore and Dubai. Overseas work is set to expand as it

flexes its marketing muscle and looks to export its engineering excellence. As AEGIS grows as an organisation, it believes that it has an obligation to assist the industry in bringing through the next generation of talented engineers. Of the 30 current employees, five joined AEGIS within 18 months of completing their studies. ‘As we grow, its vitally important that AEGIS contributes to developing the next generation, but we realised early on that we would have a challenge attracting the best engineers unless we could offer them a pathway to becoming Chartered.’ says Chris Hoare. ‘This is why we engaged with the IMechE to create our own developing engineer scheme. The scheme has been registered and recognised by the IMechE and is in the process of being accredited.’ As well as the developing engineer scheme, AEGIS supports those graduates who wish to continue their studies to MSc level and beyond. AEGIS is also helping talented undergraduates with engineering work placements as either summer placements or work placements as part of their degrees. What’s next ‘Well, we will continue to support and delight our existing customers.’ says Mark. ‘Our growth plans include expanding our current offerings beyond the existing customer base but also to grow into new areas like Infrastructure. And then there’s the overseas market. But most importantly we will continue to live our values and create a working environment that is stimulating, exciting and focussed on delivering excellence with the objective of making AEGIS the positive choice for your rail consultancy needs.’ Tel: 07715 886901 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Your college needs you! With two successful launch days in October attended by more than 330 guests and prospective students, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first dedicated high-speed rail college is open for business


n initial intake studying both apprenticeships and certificate of higher education courses at the National College for High Speed Rail are now training in Birmingham and Doncaster, gaining the specific technical skills required for a long future in the rail industry. Following this first class, the college announced the rest of its Level 4 High Speed Rail and Infrastructure Higher Technician Apprenticeship pathways are now also open for applications, with intakes in January, May and September 2018. This is a vital development in the provision of highly-skilled employees to the companies that will lead the industry forward. Over the next five years it is estimated that businesses in Britain will need 182,000 new engineers every year.

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Right now, it is falling short by 69,000 engineers a year. As the era of high-speed rail arrives, the rail industry in particular faces even greater challenges, with one in five rail engineers currently aged over 55. With HS2 alone set to create 25,000 new jobs, including 2,000 apprenticeships, the need for upskilling and

dedicated technical training is stark. And, while there are excellent FE colleges across Britain, there is a dearth of institutions offering more advanced qualifications at Level 4. The National College will be addressing this shortage in rail and infrastructure and will play an important role in improving the quantity and quality of skilled workers in the industry. Future talent As an employer-led college the state-of-theart campuses in Doncaster and Birmingham now allow us to train and educate 1,000 people a year, who will have the skillset to allow them to hit the ground running in business when they complete their course. With a record sum of more than ÂŁ500 billion worth of UK construction and


infrastructure engineering in the UK. However, work has only just begun and the college is asking for your support again as it focuses its attention on recruiting the next generation of learners. The initial cohort of Level 4 apprentices is specialising in civil engineering, but the college is now recruiting for the remaining five pathways. infrastructure projects currently in the pipeline, it’s time for organisations and learners to seize the opportunity or risk Britain being left behind. This is a major challenge, but also a major opportunity. And that is the reason the college has been established: to bring about meaningful, long-lasting change by putting in place the skills and training practices that will support a world-leading workforce for decades to come. But we won’t be able to deliver the scale of change we want to without the support and commitment of the rail industry. The National College for High Speed Rail has already established an alternative form of education by working closely with industry leaders. It has developed a broad-ranging curriculum that provides opportunities for school leavers, current industry employees or anyone seeking a change of career. This strong partnership has informed the creation of courses tailored exactly to the needs of the industry, giving the next generation of workers specialist training in sectors crucial to the development, construction and operation of high-speed rail in Britain. As Justine Greening, secretary of state for education, commented at the opening of the college in Doncaster: ‘[The college] is part of how we are steadily transforming technical education in this country, training up a new generation of skilled young people and the existing workforce so that British business has the skills it needs and people have the opportunities they want – a winwin for everyone.’ Utilising the latest technology Housed in high-spec, purpose-built buildings kitted-out with the latest digital technology, this is a brand new college, with a brand new approach. It’s a place created with the help and generosity of the companies that have already recognised the benefit of hiring graduates with advanced technical skills in specific disciplines. It’s somewhere that is using the same new technology as people working in highspeed rail right now. It’s a college geared towards the real world of work, with courses that involve hands-on experience of current projects and teachers that are working in the very jobs they’re lecturing on. The development of the college demonstrates the government’s commitment to high-speed rail and to creating a bright future in rail and


organisations prepared to support its development by providing their expertise, equipment, time and employees. The college team is available to advise you on how best to take advantage of the training on offer, whether by using your apprenticeship levy with the college, accessing its pool of talent (identified

These pathways are: • track systems • power • systems engineering • rolling stock • command, control and communication. Become an apprentice The Level 4 apprenticeships are available on a day or week release model. They begin with a 12-week core module, focusing on an introduction to high-speed rail, the relationships between specialisms and nonengineering disciplines like customer focus and collaboration. Learners then go on to specialise in their particular discipline, combining classroom teaching with training on the latest technology in workshops and hands-on experience on real projects. The college also offers a Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in Operations and Departmental Management, and a Certificate of Higher Education in High Speed Rail and Infrastructure, accredited by Sheffield Hallam University. And the skills and approaches all learners will be taught are transferable beyond high-speed rail, into construction and other engineering sectors. The college is dedicated to supporting and changing perceptions of the entire industry, not just high-speed rail. We’re particularly determined to appeal to both male and female learners and to make everyone aware that the college is open to all, regardless of gender, ethnicity or background. So far, around 30 per cent of the applicants have been women. Throughout its life the college has been putting in place leadership pledges with

through the application process and regular assessment centres) to fill your existing vacancies, or supporting you with fulfilling any training needs or upskilling identified as part of your company’s growth. In return, you will receive expertly trained employees that will fill the gaps identified in the sector allowing British companies to prosper in this time of immense change. Only by working together can the country create a world-class, 21st century rail network that the UK can be proud of, with a workforce prepared to be at the forefront of projects at home and overseas. We have a rare and unique opportunity to ensure high-speed rail in this country leaves a carefully considered human legacy as well as a physical one. For more information on the college, its courses and how to get involved, you can use the contact information below. Tel: 0330 120 0375 Email: Visit:

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WTCE returns The leading global event dedicated to travel catering and passenger comfort returns to Hamburg, Germany from April 10-12 2018


he World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE®) returns to Hamburg from April 10-12 2018. Spanning four halls, the event will host more than 350 suppliers showcasing the latest products and services for the travel catering and passenger comfort industries. Reflecting industry growth Rail travel is on the increase with 1.73 billion train journeys made in Britain from 2016 to 2017. This represents an increase of 14 million (0.8 per cent) from 2015 to 2016. WTCE, the leading, free-to-attend exhibition that attracts more than 3,700 onboard industry professionals, aims to reflect this growth with more railappropriate products and services on offer. This year’s event welcomed senior delegates from leading rail operators including Amtrak, Czech Railways, East Midlands Trains and Virgin Trains, as well as rail caterers such as IRCG, RG, Restaurail and SSP. Already confirmed to return to Hamburg to showcase their latest products and services suitable for the rail sector are Kaelis On Board Services, BestPartner Food, En Route International, The Bake Factory, Anaik Beauty and dnata. New features for 2018 The WTCE Business Meeting Hub is a

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brand new networking feature for 2018 – a dedicated place for attendees to schedule meetings to discuss new contracts and potential partnerships. VIP guests are invited to book space in advance of, or at the show. With a dedicated area for professional meetings to take place, the VIP Buyers Lounge will this year provide an exclusive space for VIP guests to unwind while taking advantage of the

complimentary facilities available, including meals and refreshments throughout the day. Allowing attendees to plan ahead of the show and throughout is the My Event tool. Both visitors and exhibitors can enhance their show experience by using My Event on their mobile or desktop to build their own itinerary. The tool enables all attending WTCE to create a personal list of must-see contacts and book meetings before and


during the show, as well as earmarking key products and Taste of Travel sessions of interest. Elsewhere, the popular New Exhibitor Villages will be revamped and expanded, with four zones dedicated to first-time exhibitors. These areas introduce rail operators to companies, amongst others, that have never before been showcased at the event. WTCE’s What’s New Onboard showcase will shine a spotlight on newly-launched

products, bringing the latest innovations and new products launched to the market in the past 12 months to the Hamburg Messe. The Taste of Travel Theatre will be back to lead the debate at WTCE 2018 with more cutting-edge presentations, live chef demonstrations and new product launches. Attendance is free of charge and a full programme will be announced in the coming months. Important events WTCE returns in 2018 to join the Passenger Experience Week line up, comprising four leading events in one destination – the Passenger Experience Conference, WTCE, Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and new to


2018, Passenger Technology Solutions. The new event will offer attendees a chance to discover and source the latest developments in passenger technologies from mobile initiatives, IT solutions, big data and analytics technology and payment technology suppliers – all enhancing the passenger experience. The show aims to provide technology suppliers with a platform to meet and do business with senior rail operators who are looking to achieve a truly connected passenger journey. Passenger Experience Week will commence with the Passenger Experience Conference on Monday April 9, which will lead into the popular Industry Networking Party. WTCE, AIX and Passenger Technology Solutions will open on Tuesday April 10 with exhibitors and visitors invited to attend a free networking opportunity at the WTCE 2018 Reception, sponsored by Heineken, held on the opening day from 5-7pm. WTCE remains the number one event for buyers from the world’s international and regional rail operators, as well as airlines and cruise and coach companies. It also offers a unique platform to see the newest products and innovations, benefit from expert insight and advice and network with peers. Registration to attend the show in April opens in November. For more information visit the website listed below. Tel: +44 (0) 20 8910 7193 Email: Visit:

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Mobility for tomorrow

With a track record of over 100 years dedicated to anticipating and solving tomorrow's challenges ahead of the rest, Schaeffler is a preferred development partner for rail sector manufacturers and operators worldwide. Future trends are clear ... Increasingly intelligent rail systems require revolutionary lifecycle management of tomorrow's demands on bearings and mechatronics. Maintenance management is being revolutionised by using Schaeffler condition monitoring products and services. Schaeffler remotely evaluates complex volumes of real-load data to determine requirement-based maintenance. In this way maintenance intervals can be reliably extended, leading to greater rolling stock availability, safety and overall cost savings. The mobility of tomorrow must be more sustainable, more efficient, quieter and safer. Whether you are a high-speed, freight or local transport provider, we look forward to sharing our comprehensive technical expertise.



Merseyrail’s Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde appointed managing director of West Midlands Trains haudhry-van der Velde joins as West Midlands Trains is set to take over the next West Midlands franchise on 10th December. Prior to joining Merseyrail, he spent three years as Abellio UK’s deputy MD. In this role he was a member of the Merseyrail board and involved in the company’s successful bid for the ScotRail franchise. Abellio, with its partners JR East and Mitsui, will be overseeing nearly £1 billion of investment into the West Midlands network over the next nine years. Patrick Verwer, the outgoing MD of London Midland, will move on after six years at the helm. An announcement on the rest of the executive team for West Midlands Trains is expected shortly.


Andy Heath new managing director of Merseyrail urrent deputy MD Heath succeeds Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, who has been appointed MD of West Midlands Trains. Both will begin their new jobs on 11th December. A British Rail graduate trainee, Heath joined the Liverpool-based rail operator in 1998 as trains manager and has been deputy MD since 2012. Said Heath: ‘I am extremely pleased to be taking on this new position, having worked at Merseyrail over the last two decades. During this time, we have delivered one of the best performing franchises in the country – an achievement I will endeavour to maintain.’ Chaudhry-van der Velde, who has been in the MD role since 2015, said: ‘I have enjoyed my time at Merseyrail enormously. Since the beginning of the concession in 2003 the business has been transformed. I’m now leaving it in the very capable hands of Andy Heath.’ Frank Rogers, chief executive at Merseytravel, said: ‘Jan has done an excellent job at pushing Merseyrail to the next level. We wish him all the best for the future. Andy is a talented business leader and I have every confidence he will build on Jan’s success.’


New trustee for skills institute hris Fenton, the former chief executive of the Rail Safety and Standards Board and chairman of the National Skills Academy for Rail has been appointed as a trustee of the City & Guilds of London Institute. The trustee board, led by Sir John Armitt, comprises members of the council of the City & Guilds of London Institute who are elected to serve.


New finance chief at Porterbrook orterbrook Leasing has appointed Peter Coates as its chief financial officer. He takes over from Will Day who had been with the company for more than 10 years. Coates has over 20 years’ experience in the UK transport sector at board level, including a number of senior roles at National Express. Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook said: ‘Peter has a wealth of relevant experience and an excellent reputation with the transport sector.’ Coates said he is ‘looking forward to working with the management team and shareholders to continue to grow the company for the future.’


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Govia Thameslink Railway welcomes Ian McLaren as new finance director cLaren will be joining GTR as CFO on 11th December. He is currently finance and contracts director at London Midland, a role he has held since 2014. As well as leading GTR’s finance team, McLaren will be responsible for procurement and IT activities. He replaces Wilma Allan, who is taking up the role of CFO at London City Airport. GTR CEO Charles Horton said: ‘I know Ian will add real value to the business. His broad experience and intimate knowledge of the rail and technology industries will help keep our transformation of the GTR network on track.  ‘I am very grateful to Wilma Allan for her very significant contribution to GTR. She will be missed by me and many others across the company and I wish her all the best for the future.’

Looking to fill a key management vacancy?


A recruitment advertisement in Rail Professional is the most direct route to the biggest pool of quality rail talent in the country. If you’ve got a key post to fill, Rail Professional is the magazine read by the professionals – 59 per cent of readers are managers or board-level executives. Call 01268 711811 or email

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Affordable finances to accelerate your business to reach new horizons Finance Birmingham offer a flexible and affordable loan fund, which is available to your business seeking new growing market opportunities within the rail supply sector. Open to SMEs across England, having access to affordable finances allows for your business to strengthen its capabilities, competitiveness and productivity as well as create new jobs and safeguard part of your existing workforce. The fund is fully supportive of the aims of the rail industry and the Rail Supply Group’s ‘Fast Track to the Future’ vision. The Rail Supply Growth Fund is available for: •

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