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FEBRUARY 2018 Issue 239 £4.95


Closing the skills gap Adeline Ginn on how we can inspire young people to take up a career in engineering INTERVIEW Mark Carne, CEO of Network Rail

DEPOTS Maintenance facilities

SURVEYING The view from above

Infrastructure support Wood provides maintenance and operations support to your assets. Providing scaffolding, rope access, painting, encapsulation and asbestos remediation services to bridges, viaducts, railway stations, metro systems and tunnels.



FEBRUARY 2018 IssUE 239 £4.95


editor’s note

Closing the skills gap Adeline Ginn on how we can inspire young people to take up a career in engineering INTERVIEW Mark Carne, CEO of Network Rail

DEPOTS Maintenance facilities

SURVEYING The view from above

FEB ISSUE 2018.indd 1

23/01/2018 13:30


Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may be submitted, but, while every care will be exercised, neither the editor nor the publisher take responsibility for loss of, or damage to, material sent. Submission of material to Rail Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine. ISSN 1476-2196


very happy New Year to you all. Our first issue of 2018 has already brought changes with it as we wish farewell to our editor, Lorna Slade. After five years doing a tremendous job overseeing the magazine,

Lorna has moved on. As you’ll know from her years editing the magazine, Lorna was a huge champion for gender equality in the rail industry and worked hard to promote career opportunities for women in the industry. We’d like to think the outlook for women in rail is much brighter now and Lorna’s work to advance that cause certainly helped. I’ve been handed the reigns after spending a year and a half editing our sister magazine, Rail Professional Asia Pacific. In my time there I was able to meet representatives from many of the UK’s biggest rail companies and associated industries at various events across the region. One of the things I noticed attending events in places like Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo amongst others, was how many independent consultants for the rail industry that I met came from the UK. It’s that independent spirit and love for the railways that drove innovation in the first years of train travel and it’s those individuals that have made me so excited to start work on the UK magazine. As I got to grips with everything over this first month I noticed how so many of our regular contributors feed the identity of the magazine through their own individual passion for the railways. In order to make sure I got up to speed quickly, I decided my first stop should be to talk with Mark Carne, the CEO of Network Rail, about the Railway Upgrade Plan and everything else that’s in store for the nation’s railways this year. This insightful interview starts on page 40. I hope you like the issue! Sam Sherwood-Hale 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.

Rail Professional




Women in Rail



First look at Britain’s newest train manufacturing plant. Action for Children tops employee vote. Step-free access at more stations as the Elizabeth line moves closer. Network Rail awards ETCS contract to Siemens. Morgan Sindall BeMo joint venture wins London Underground depot project. Strong support for two new potential London Overground stations. Lancashire passengers are a step closer to a better railway. The Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2018. NSAR awarded grant to promote digital rail careers. York EMC Services becomes Eurofins York. South Western Railway gets to grip with wet rail

2018 is the Year of Engineering and Women in rail are joining forces with industry partners to inspire thousands of young people to take up a career in engineering, says Adeline Ginn

How far can integration go?


Jonathan Smith looks at the government’s recent strategic vision paper which once again brought integration to the forefront of its rail policy

In the passenger seat

Heritage and safety



While investment is being made in South Western Railway, passengers need to be able to rely on the trains today, says David Sidebottom

Heritage railways are hugely popular with the public, Keith Morey explores the issues around how safety is managed

Delivering the goods

Operational readiness



The rail industry including manufacturers and shippers need to work together on improving aerodynamics of locomotives and wagons, says Chris MacRae

Laying down the law


Rail’s Strategic Vision – with an added legal spin. Martin Fleetwood

Why rail fares have risen


Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group takes a look at the reasons for this year’s rail fare increases

Major change has always been a factor in rail franchising as a result of intense bidding followed by quick mobilisation and then running a contract over the life of the franchise says Marianne Kilpatrick

Rail Professional Interview


Mark Carne Network Rail’s CEO, spoke to Sam Sherwood-Hale about the Railway Upgrade Plan, lessons from Crossrail, the digital railway and the devolution of powers in Wales

New year, new direction


Taking on board the lessons learned to date, how can we deliver a railway which works for customers in an environment where money remains tight? Ask Darren Fodey and Richard Shepherd

IRO News


News from the Institution of Railway Operators

Moving towards a digital railway


With every other industry capitalising on the rapid digitalisation the world is going through, the rail network needs to keep up says Justin Southcombe

Train maintenance depots


Rail Professional

Lucy Prior, Membership Development and International Trade director at the Rail Alliance looks back at her experiences at train maintenance depots



It’s our maintenance and operations teams who are the backbone of our railway. They keep it running. They care for it. They look after it.

Mark Carne, page 40

Rail depots and maintenance facilities


With this issue focussing on maintenance depots and light rail systems, Dr Rob Armstrong from Eurofins York explains the implications of the EMC directive on fixed installations

Timesaving maintenance


Recognising the need to renovate and restore is as important in depots as it is on the track says Francesca Piotrowski

The rail maintenance market


A look at Majorlift Hydraulics who are a leading player in the manufacture of automotive workshop equipment

Maintenance and replacement

87 Investment after Brexit


To attract business in a post-Brexit environment and continue growing our economy, we need to provide world-class infrastructure, says Paul Tweedale

The romance of Beeching’s legacy


The DfT’s recent Rail Strategy evoked the romanticism of reopening lines closed by British Rail but is there likely to be much of a case for it? Andrew Meaney finds outs

Train maintenance is a major factor in the overall cost of running the railways, infrastructure projects may grab the headlines, but it is train maintenance that is keeping rail investment on track

In development


A round-up of LRT, tram and metro developments

Improving the view of Britain’s railway


Marco Sala, Network Rail’s senior geospatial information technical specialist, explains how it took to the skies to meet the challenges that growth brings

Rail demand inches downward

Innovative, alternative and affordable finance



Major closures at London Bridge and Waterloo plus continuing social and economic change led to the demand for passenger rail services in the UK to remain in reverse over the summer says Chris Cheek

Tough questions for rail


In order to survive and grow in the years to come, should we ask ourselves some tough questions in 2018? River Tamoor-Baig thinks so

All aboard the digital train


For passengers, a fully digital train would primarily offer more safety and security on their journey, along with an enhanced experience through better infotainment on board says Bhoopathi Rapolu

The UK rail industry is experiencing one of its most exciting and important advancements in its 192-year history

Business profiles


O.L.D. Engineering. Rail Business Awards. TrainFX. Arrow Solutions. Wood Group. ESG Rail. Furrer+Frey. Prysmian UK. Relec Electronics. Star Fasteners (UK). TIFLEX. Aspin Group. Capitol Industrial Batteries. Padley & Venables. Jeep Rail. DILAX. M H Southern. Elite Precast Concrete



Andy Madge, Philip Hoare and Sir John Armitt

Rail Professional



First look at Britain’s newest train manufacturing plant In July 2017 an announcement was made by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) that the Spanish firm would build a state of the art factory at the Celtic Business Park site in Newport South Wales, creating over 300 new jobs for the Welsh economy. Andrés Arizkorreta, CEO for Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) recently met with Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones and Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, to update the government on progress for the construction of the brand new factory. With an order book and current contracts to build some 300 trains and coaches for the UK market, including delivery of the new

Caledonian Sleeper; TransPennine Express, West Midlands Trains and Northern fleets, the factory is perfectly timed as CAF continues to strengthen its position as a manufacturer of choice for the UK rail industry. Richard Garner, CAF’s UK director said, ‘The factory will have the flexibility to allow us to respond to the exacting demands of both existing and new customers by providing the most complete offering of any rolling stock provider operating in the UK.’ CAF looked at more than 100 locations throughout the UK before choosing Celtic Business Park, a 100-acre industrial development on the site of the Llanwern steelworks. The location was chosen because of its links to roads, rail and ports, as well

as the availability of local people with engineering skills. CAF have engaged with St Modwen (Landowner and Developer) and Bowmer & Kirkland (Principal Contractor) in the construction of the factory. CAF plans to start recruiting people to work at the factory this spring, and will be offering training and apprenticeship schemes from Autumn 2018. Job opportunities include skilled technicians and engineers, management and support staff. The new factory will also boost the wider UK rail industry supply chain as CAF plans to develop a cluster of local and national companies to supply components for its trains.

Action for Children tops employee vote to become FirstGroup’s next £1 million charity partner Children’s charity Action for Children is set to become the new national partner of transport operator FirstGroup. The two organisations will form a three-year partnership potentially worth around £1 million in cash, fundraising, and the commercial value of gifts in kind. Action for Children was chosen following a ballot of thousands of employees and will be the main beneficiary of FirstGroup’s corporate responsibility activities across its UK businesses; First Bus, Great Western Railway, Hull Trains, South Western Railway and TransPennine Express. The partnership is a key part of the company’s community strategy and the partnership will run from 2018 until 2021. Tim O’Toole, chief executive of FirstGroup, said: ‘I am delighted that Action for Children will be our new UK Charity of Choice partner. We received applications from some truly inspirational Rail Professional

charities, and thousands of our employees took part in the voting process.’ The partnership with Action for Children will be the fourth that FirstGroup has adopted, following successful partnerships with Prostate Cancer UK, Save The Children and Macmillan Cancer Support. FirstGroup is on course to donate more than £1 million in cash, fundraising, and the commercial value of gifts in kind to its current employee-voted charity of choice, Prostate Cancer UK, before the partnership completes in 2018. FirstGroup’s financial support has funded the distribution of more than one million Know Your Prostate pocket guides which include details on how to spot the symptoms of prostate cancer.



Step-free access at more stations as the Elizabeth line moves closer Transport for London (TfL) has awarded a contract to deliver stepfree access and station improvements at four future Elizabeth line stations in west London and Buckinghamshire to J. Murphy & Sons. Hanwell, Iver, Langley and Taplow will become accessible, opening up journey options between west London, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and central London. All 41 stations on the Elizabeth line will have step-free access when the new railway is fully open in December 2019. This is in addition to the Mayor’s target for 40 per cent of the London Underground network to be step-free by 2022. The station improvements will include new lifts and footbridges to Elizabeth line platforms. TfL will also be constructing a brand new station building at Iver, replacing the current structure that dates back to the 1920s. The new building and ticket hall will include new ticket machines and information screens for an improved customer experience.

Paul Maynard, the rail and accessibility minister at the time, said: ‘Transport for London is making excellent progress to ensure all stations are step-free as part of our investment to revolutionise London’s transport network and improve access for millions of passengers.’ Full improvements by station: Hanwell • two new lifts to provide step-free access to the platforms • refurbished entrances and subway. Iver • three new lifts providing step-free access to the platforms • new entrance including new ticket hall, ticket machines and information screens. Langley • three new lifts and a new footbridge providing step-free access to the platforms • refurbished ticket hall including new ticket gates and information screens.

Taplow • two new lifts and a footbridge providing step-free access to platforms • refurbished ticket hall and information screens • refurbished waiting rooms and toilets. These upgrades are part of TfL’s work to improve stations on the western section of the Elizabeth line route by the end of 2019 when the new railway will be fully operational linking Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and west London with the West End, east London and Essex. Network Rail is also working to deliver step-free access and upgrades at six stations in the west between West Drayton and Acton Main Line. Once fully open in December 2019, customers from Reading and Heathrow will be able to travel through central London to the West End and the City without needing to change trains. Customers will benefit from brand new, longer trains with walkthrough air-conditioned carriages, live travel information and Wi-Fi.

Network Rail awards ETCS contract to Siemens Network Rail has awarded Siemens Rail Automation a multi-million pound contract to supply, install and support its ETCS (European Train Control System) in-cab signalling equipment on the 745-strong fleet of freight locomotives which operates across Great Britain. The scope of the ten-year contract covers the initial addition of Siemens’ Trainguard ETCS 200 onboard system and the upgrade of the locomotive’s Train Protection Warning System, as well as a further ten-year support period, which will see Siemens working with Network Rail and six Focs (freight operating companies). This is the first of a series of contracts which will ultimately see the installation of ETCS equipment on the entire fleet of passenger and freight locomotives that operate across the network. One of the core components of Network Rail’s Digital Railway Programme, ETCS will help unlock much-needed additional capacity from the existing rail network, delivering significant reliability and efficiency improvements, as well as generating new jobs across the UK. Rail Professional



Morgan Sindall BeMo joint venture wins London Underground depot project A joint venture between Morgan Sindall and BeMo Tunnelling has been awarded a roughly £20 million design and build project to construct a new workshop for London Underground’s Train Modification Unit (TMU) at their existing Acton Works depot in West London. The project was awarded following a mini-competition using London Underground’s Civils and Tunnelling Works framework which the Morgan Sindall BeMo joint venture secured a place on in December 2016. The eight-year framework is anticipated to be worth £350 million. The framework is part of London Underground’s plans to upgrade its civil and tunnels assets as well their stations, with work packages including the construction of new station entrances, ticket halls and platforms including associated tunnelling and shaft works. The Acton TMU project is expected to take 18 months to complete and consists of a new 160 metre long train maintenance building, incorporating four pitted rail tracks and an accommodation block providing welfare and office facilities for 100 staff. The project also includes the installation of new tracks and turn outs that will connect into London Underground’s existing network. The joint venture team is working with one of Morgan Sindall’s sister

companies, design and engineering company BakerHicks, on the design of the project. Once complete, the depot will provide London Underground with the facilities required to deliver major packages of repair and upgrade works on their fleet of trains. The Central line fleet will be the first to be upgraded between 2019 and 2022, this forms part of the Central Line Improvement Programme.

Strong support for two new potential London Overground stations at Old Oak Transport for London (TfL) recently published the results of its five-week consultation that shows strong support for two potential new London Overground stations. The stations would provide additional connections to HS2 and the Elizabeth line and help contribute to the regeneration of Old Oak and Park Royal in west London. Around 1,000 people responded to the consultation,

Rail Professional

with 94 per cent supporting the overall plan for two potential new stations at Hythe Road and Old Oak Common and many suggesting these would help deliver regeneration, promote inward investment and create new jobs in the local area. Where people responded to the questions about individual stations, 86 per cent supported the potential new station at Hythe Road, with 92 per cent supporting the potential new

station at Old Oak Common Lane. Some respondents did express concerns that the proposed distance of the interchange with the Elizabeth line and HS2 and the new stations was too long, and that the new stations could cause disruption to local residents. Both of these concerns would be considered as design plans continue to be developed. The provision of a dedicated

pedestrian bridge providing a link between Old Oak Common Lane station and Victoria road was strongly supported by 88 per cent of respondents. Alex Williams, TfL’s director of City Planning, said: ‘This consultation has shown strong support for these two-potential new London Overground stations at Old Oak. We will now consider comments from the consultation and use them to help shape the plans further to ensure we support the regeneration of Old Oak and Park Royal in the most effective way.’ Old Oak and Park Royal represents one of London’s largest Opportunity Areas and one of the UK’s biggest development sites. It is being managed by Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), with the potential to deliver 25,500 new homes and 65,000 jobs. At the centre of these plans is a new station at Old Oak on the HS2 route providing connections between London, the Midlands and the North.



Historic milestone means Lancashire passengers are a step closer to a better railway The railway between Preston and Blackpool has been connected to the West Coast main line by overhead electric wires for the first time in its history. The milestone was completed over the Christmas period as work continued to upgrade the railway as part of the Great North Rail Project. Team Orange worked round-the-clock on Christmas Day and Boxing Day to install new wiring and electrical equipment that will enable greener, quieter and more reliable trains to travel to Blackpool in 2018. Blackpool’s railway is undergoing a 19week revolution to upgrade and electrify the line between Blackpool and Preston. Work ramped up on November 11 and will continue into the spring to install the remaining overhead equipment, realigned tracks and a modern signalling system. The upgrade equates to a £1,800 investment for every person living in Blackpool. Noel Connolly, head of programme

management for Network Rail, said: ‘Work to connect new overhead line equipment on the railway to Blackpool was successfully completed over the Christmas period during a planned two-day closure on the West Coast main line. ‘The upgrade of Blackpool’s railway forms a key part the Great North Rail Project and will help to transform train journeys for passengers in the north.’ During the 19-week closure, Northern is running a full replacement bus service to keep customers on the move. Network Rail will carry out vital upgrades to track and platforms at Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham stations. We are also upgrading the signalling system which includes installing 84 new modern signals

which will help to make journeys more reliable. The upgrade is a key strand of the multibillion-pound Great North Rail Project, a railway industry team effort to transform train travel for customers across the north. The upgrade will make the railway bigger and better to cater for the increased volumes of people forecast to want to use it in future.

The Big Rail Diversity Challenge 2018 The Big Rail Diversity Challenge, a cross between It’s a Knockout and Krypton Factor, was created to provide men and women in the UK railway sector with an opportunity to have fun, team build and network whilst undertaking mental and physical challenges in gender balanced teams. The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is one of Women in Rail’s flagship events, delivering its core message that gender balanced teams perform better. Women in Rail was created to improve diversity in the UK rail industry through providing a networking platform, support, development and mentoring opportunities to all women in the UK rail sector, encourage companies and stakeholders to adopt diversity as a business strategy and devising initiatives aimed at positioning rail as an attractive career choice for young people. Adeline Ginn, founder of Women in Rail commented: ‘The Big Rail Diversity Challenge is an important step in the rail industry agenda. It openly seeks to disprove one of the most destructive myths in professional life: that women and men cannot work effectively together. By engaging both men and women in equal measure, we have started to tackle gender imbalance head on and create a more attractive, productive and successful industry in the process.’ Following the tremendous success and feedback from the 2017 Big Rail Diversity Challenge, where over 450 rail industry personnel attended the second annual event, the Big Rail Diversity Challenge will return on Thursday June 7 2018 at Peterborough Arena. Rail Professional




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South Western Railway gets to grip with wet rail Earlier this year, seasonal specialists from the South Western Railway / Network Rail Alliance Performance Team reported back to Rail Professional on their plans to improve autumn performance issues with an innovative new product. Since then, the product has undergone a number of practical tests and different brand names before the team settled on RailGrip. Following extensive testing and validation on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch railway, Wimbledon depot, and more recently on the mainline network, results are in that show Railgrip has the potential to make a real difference to performance. A recent practical test programme, undertaken over two nights on the mainline between Salisbury and Andover, was developed jointly by Network Rail, South Western Railway and SNC-Lavalin who were contracted to provide engineering support and independent verification of the results. On the first night of the test programme, the team tested traditional sand material against wet rail. The wet rail conditions were created using Teepol multipurpose detergent and water at a concentration of one to 100. The second night of testing saw RailGrip deployed in near identical conditions to the first. In similar weather conditions and testing over a variety of speeds, the train stopping distance was measured by GPS equipment fitted to the train cabs. On-train data recorders also measured the amount of wheel-slide across both sessions. After the test numbers were crunched, the performance of the traditional sand material used and RailGrip were concluded to be comparable. This was the result the team was looking for and means that a wider fleet trial on passenger trains is now being planned, pending RSSB dispensation. Rail Professional

NSAR awarded grant to promote digital rail careers NSAR has been awarded a grant by UFI Charitable Trust to fund a project to encourage young unemployed adults to consider careers within digital rail. Central to the project is the innovative way that technology will be used, working with a specialist technology partner to develop a digital platform, called Trax. It will host a series of videos that explore the roles and skills of specific rail employees. The young adults will be able to access the videos via mobile devices and social media sites, such as Snapchat and Instagram. David Waboso, managing director of Digital Rail said: ‘With Britain’s network being the fastest growing in Europe, digital modernisation is the best value way to deliver the capacity and performance improvements required to sustain it. I am pleased to support a project that has its focus on the future of rail and how it can provide jobs and growth opportunities.’ The initial pilot will focus on reaching the 60,000 unemployed young people (aged 18 to 24) in London and the southeast of England through the DWP Job Centre Plus network. Assistance will be sought from rail employers to help create content that is relevant and appealing. The aim is for the young adults who complete the video courses to be signposted to job roles within digital rail or be directed to other opportunities through NSAR Connect and the National Training Partnership. Following the pilot, Trax will be rolled out across the UK to support the rail industry in filling the forecasted 5,000 digital roles, while at the same time addressing its employment diversity targets. Mike Brown, MVO, TfL commissioner and NSAR and STAT chair said: ‘I welcome the opportunity that this project will open up for young adults, to explore the possibilities of a career within the digital rail industry.’

York EMC Services becomes Eurofins York Following purchase by the Eurofins Group in July 2017 York EMC Services has changed its name to Eurofins York. The formal name change reflects the new ownership as well as the much broader range of regulatory compliance products and services Eurofins York offers today compared to when it was founded in 1995. The change of name also kick-starts the beginning of a period of co-branding for the company. The company will be introducing a Eurofins York logo alongside the familiar York EMC Services one. All other aspects of the company including the staff that customers deal with on a day-to-day basis remain unchanged. Chief executive of Eurofins York, Nick Wainwright, commented: ‘Being part of a truly global company enables us to offer new services through our international network of laboratory partners through a single point of contact.’

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In the passenger seat David Sidebottom

Keeping services on the right track for passengers We’ve all been there, waiting on the platform for our train to appear only for it to be late...


or some passengers, that time on the platform is an excuse for an extra coffee or catching up with morning emails. For the everyday commuter, however, it can mean a very heated chat with their boss on why they were late into work again. For South Western Railway passengers this may seem a little bit too familiar. A steady period of improving performance has recently ebbed away. More ‘bad’ days, with longer hold-ups. A familiar litany of strikes and signal, track circuit and rolling stock failures has made the journey less predictable. More passengers are using the

In December last year passengers were hit by a number of days of major disruption as services across the SWR network were cancelled and delayed following a line side fire and a track circuit failure

service, so getting a seat and even getting on is tighter. Delays, due in part to the number of trains using the network, are hard to recover. How delays are dealt with becomes very important. In December last year passengers were hit by a number of days of major disruption as services across the SWR network were cancelled and delayed following a line side fire and a track circuit failure. Official punctuality statistics show that there has been a longer-term trend in declining punctuality. As might be expected right-time performance averages are lower. Cancellations and significant lateness (over 30 minutes) are increasing. So, what is being done to improve this for passengers? There has been welcome investment, with

more to come. The August 2017 Waterloo upgrade was handled well, but maybe too much was promised. The network was never going to be perfect the day after works finished, and deep-seated problems will take years to address. There is investment in new and longer trains, but promises will have to be delivered soon. The welcome early introduction of Delay Repay 15, something Transport Focus campaigned for, has been marred by clunky manual systems – more automation is needed. With services to and from Waterloo being blighted by delays and disruption we called in the bosses of South Western Railway and Network Rail Wessex Route to a public meeting to explain. We know passengers judge train companies on short-term factors. Passengers



want to know how often their train is on time. How is disruption dealt with? Can I get a seat or at least stand in some comfort? Is the train clean? How much is my ticket going up in price? We wanted to understand how the industry was going to turn this period of poor performance around. At the special meeting called by the Transport Focus Board, South Western Railway and Network Rail vowed improvements, explaining their approach to managing delays and disruption. South Western Railway and Network Rail have admitted recent performance ‘has not been good enough for passengers.’ Passengers want a more reliable service and better information when things go wrong. Following calls from Transport Focus for clearer and more automated compensation, South Western Railway told our board that it would be introducing online accounts for compensation imminently and it also hopes to introduce automated payments in early 2019. While investment is being made in South Western Railway, passengers need to be able to rely on the trains today. It’s vital that South Western Railway and Network Rail continue to work together to produce a more robust timetable. Our next National Rail Passenger Survey will provide a good indicator of how satisfied passengers are

with their services. In the meantime, we urge every passenger affected to claim compensation. Send a clear message to the industry and make sure your voice is heard. And we will keep pressing industry to make this process easier and more automated. How delays are dealt with is a key driver of trust. Six of the top ten passenger priorities for improvement on South Western Railway are performance based – clearly emphasising

the importance of delivering a good, reliable core service. Transport Focus will continue to campaign to improve performance, the handling of disruption and improving compensation. We will continue to ensure the passenger voice is heard so that investments and new franchises deliver on their promises. David Sidebottom is passenger director at Transport Focus

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09/01/2018 13:55:51


Delivering the goods


Chris MacRae

Rail freight emissions In the last issue this column outlined how the Freight Transport Association has updated its policy advice relating to the multi-modal supply chain


e looked at 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. The revised FTA Rail Policy document considers the environmental aspects of rail freight, and specifically the policy issue of how to manage the environmental performance and impact of rail freight, in a way which is comparable with roads. It is accepted generally that rail freight is more efficient in terms of carbon and other atmospheric emissions than road

The rail industry including manufacturers and shippers need to work together on improving aerodynamics of locomotives and wagons. Consideration needs to be given to rail freight wagons in the same way it is with road trailers where aerodynamics plays a large part in the design to reduce fuel consumption and therefore emissions

freight, due to the intrinsically lower rolling resistance of steel wheel on steel rail, as opposed to rubber tyre on tarmac, and the consequential lower amount of energy required to move a given volume of goods. However, the extent of this advantage has not been clear. It is important to be able to clarify this as part of a compelling case to governments for increased and continued investment in infrastructure or grants to help rail freight grow. Emissions estimates At the November FTA Rail Freight Council meeting, air quality assessor Aether presented on the UK’s National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) work programme undertaken for Defra and DECC. Aether has been compiling the data for

many years and would like to improve the emission estimates for rail freight so they are less uncertain. The data is used to generate total UK emission estimates, but also emission factors are published on the NAEI website for use in multi modal studies and air quality assessment work. It is important that the figures are as accurate as possible so that the rail freight sector can be judged against other modes of transport in a properly comparable way. Therefore, further work is being undertaken with Rail Freight Council members and other industry stakeholders to find a way forward to improve the estimates and include additional data. From an accepted lower starting level, road freight has been improving its emissions with the Euro standards for Rail Professional



vehicle engines. FTA is keen to support rail freight in improving and innovating further so that its fundamental environmental advantage is not eroded. There are a number of aspects that could be explored by the different stakeholders in the rail industry working together to do this. First is the rail and the urban freight access and air quality restrictions agenda. This concerns how rail freight stakeholders can work together to improve rail’s environmental performance and monitoring. Rail freight is currently mostly diesel hauled and electrification schemes have been cut back in England while at the same time the road freight sector is exploring electric vehicles for the urban environment. Second would be rail freight traction policy in terms of emissions standards with a focus on bringing about some form of government innovation funding considering the regulatory complexity and loading gauge practicality of re-engining locomotives at mid-life. The rail industry including manufacturers and shippers need to work together on improving aerodynamics of locomotives and wagons. Consideration needs to be given to rail freight wagons in the same way it is with road trailers where aerodynamics plays a large part in the design to reduce fuel

consumption and therefore emissions. Likewise sheeting of loads, a legal requirement with road freight has not been employed as much in rail and apart from the blow-off of product that can in itself create an environmental issue, un-sheeted hopper type wagons inevitably create wind-drag. Optimising the opportunity of freight train pathing by Network Rail and the National System Operator working with freight operators and customers is key to reducing emissions. By lessening the amount of stopping then restarting of freight trains from loops with its consequential energy waste in terms of braking (except where rheostatic or regenerative braking is possible) and then increased fuel burn on a diesel loco or increased electric current draw on an electric loco in restarting trains from stationary. It is also key to reducing track and rolling stock componentry wear and tear with entering and exiting regulating loops where on a mixed traffic railway with canted track for higher speed passenger services such movements will inevitably take place with high levels of cant excess and hence rail wear and lipping on the low rail and wheel flange root wear will occur, as well as the energy losses etc already referred to. Parties in the rail freight supply chain working together to explore the

opportunities for maximising the degree of train fill and increasing the trailing length and load of trains to maximise fuel and emissions efficiency. For more information about FTA membership and FTA’s rail freight policy work and membership of FTA Rail Freight Council contact Chris MacRae as shown below. About FTA Freight Transport Association represents the transport interests of companies moving goods by rail, road, sea and air. Its members consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and over 70 per cent of sea and air freight. It also operates over 220,000 goods vehicles on road – almost half the UK fleet. The main UK rail freight operating companies belong to FTA as do the major global logistics service providers operating in the European and UK markets.

For further information contact: Chris MacRae,Head of Rail Freight Policy Tel: 01892 552355 Mobile: 07818 450353 Email:

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Laying down the law


Martin fleetwood

Rail’s Strategic Vision – with an added legal spin In November the Department for Transport published its strategic vision for rail – Connecting People


his followed the government’s publication of its Industrial Strategy which listed Infrastructure as one of its five Foundations for Productivity. So, what does it mean for the rail industry and all those legal connections? A more reliable railway To improve reliability, there will be joint teams running day to day track and train operations. This relationship will require

Using additional digital technology for managing the railway is welcome, but the correct procurement and management of the supply and maintenance of that technology will be important. Using correctly managed contractual penalties to ensure the system works for all users ‘out of the box’ will be a key issue

a good contractual matrix to ensure that the rights and obligations of both train and infrastructure operators are correctly managed. The matrix will be particularly important where other services, notably freight, operate through areas where the ‘managing’ train operator may have conflicting The five key areas in the Strategic Vision for Rail 1. A more reliable railway 2. An expanded network 3. A better deal for passengers 4. A modern workforce 5. A productive and innovative sector

operational interests. Who manages freightonly routes is another challenge. Using additional digital technology for managing the railway is welcome, but the correct procurement and management of the supply and maintenance of that technology will be important. Using correctly managed contractual penalties to ensure the system works for all users ‘out of the box’ will be a key issue. An expanded network The drive for an expanded network has seen attention focus on some of the major infrastructure projects such as HS2, the Northern Powerhouse and Crossrail 2. However, it will be important to link expanding the network with integration into Rail Professional



other transport networks. At a Combined Authority level, competing interests for transport corridors will need to be resolved. It may be better to have a light rail system take over a rail corridor because it can unlock more journeys and take passengers closer to homes and jobs. Having a new approach to making investment decisions should allow the full benefits of a transport scheme to be evaluated. However, any new methodology needs to be consistently applied to ensure that outcomes and decisions are not open to legal challenge. Where funding is to be obtained from developers and other potential beneficiaries of transport schemes, it will be important to ensure that the relevant legal provisions are correctly and consistently employed to collect contributions and properly use those funds. A better deal for passengers A significant emphasis will be on the continued introduction of smart ticketing and on fares reforms. Creating a system which correctly provides the best fare for a particular journey will be very important for its integrity. Passengers are unlikely to use a system which is not guaranteed to give the best fare and it will not attract new passengers from other transport modes. A passenger

using a digital railway, where fares are taken through smartphones or electronic tickets would expect repayments to be made in a similar way and in a similar timeframe. Working out who is responsible where the system does not work correctly will be a particularly interesting legal challenge. Within the reforms are proposals for different commercial models between passenger train operators and the government. Franchises will be joined by management contracts and longer term integrated partnerships between track and train. Getting the contractual interfaces right will be very important, particularly in respect of risk allocation and economic factors that no party can fully manage. Of course, there will still be traditional supply contracts for the main contractors supplying construction and other services to the rail industry. A modern workforce Within the workforce, there will be requirements for diversity and national projects to get more females into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. Dealing with gender issues and the provision of appropriate facilities will come more to the fore and all employers will

need to ensure that correct procedures are established and followed. Training will not only be in technical skills, but in personal skills as well, in order to avoid unfair discrimination claims from employees A productive and innovative sector Finally, there is a push to be more innovative and sustainable within the rail sector. Being innovative is one thing, but it is important to put in place the correct collaboration agreements and to agree how any intellectual property that is created will be owned and managed. Use of more environmentally friendly materials will need to be balanced with potential increased costs. Supply chains will also need to be examined and managed to ensure that good practice is maintained throughout the chain and not just close to the end user. Overall there is much to be positive about, but organisations should keep a weather eye on how the great ideas are put into contractual requirements. Issues will include where the risks are placed and the effects of other legislation, not specifically intended for the rail industry, but which needs to be complied with. Martin Fleetwood is a corporate partner at Shoosmiths LLP


For almost 100 years Furrer+Frey have been developing electrification solutions for light rail, trams and metros around the world. Furrer+Frey are experts in: ÈÈSystem development and design ÈÈFeasibility studies ÈÈCost effective solutions to complex urban areas As well as being pioneers of electrification, Furrer+Frey are also experts in discontinuous electrification to provide catenary free sections in historic city centres and charging technologies for battery vehicles.

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Why rail fares have risen Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group takes a look at the reasons for this year’s rail fare increases


n January 2 an average 3.4 per cent increase in rail fares came into force, provoking an understandable outcry and an opportunity for those critical of the railway, and of commercial train operators, to vigorously give voice to their opinions. But I’d like to explain what’s really happening to Britain’s railway and why fares are increasing, because too often the debate about our railway generates more heat than light. Earlier this autumn, in a landmark coming together, train operators, Network Rail, freight companies and the rail supply chain signed up to a single, long-term plan to change and improve.

Investment in the railway is essential, and investment from the public and private sectors is underpinning this long-term plan to change and improve the railway. But money from fares is a vitally important part of the equation as well

One railway, working together This plan will secure almost £85 billion of additional economic benefits for the country, while enabling further investment, and improved journeys for customers, better connections to boost local communities and a bright future for our employees. Investment in the railway is essential, and investment from the public and private sectors is underpinning this long-term plan to change and improve the railway. But money from fares is a vitally important part of the equation as well. The partnership railway is delivering many benefits. More than £50 million is being invested in rail during the next few years, and at least £11.6 billion is private money. 97p in every pound from ticket fares goes back into running and improving services. A £2 billion per annum operating

deficit two decades ago has now turned into a £200 million per annum surplus which will be reinvested in the railway. In three years’ time across the UK, there will be over 5,700 new carriages running on the railway and 6,400 extra services a week – more seats and a more comfortable, reliable daily commute for hundreds of thousands of people. The private sector is playing its part, with £925 million invested last year. Operating as a partnership of the public and private sectors, the rail industry has gone from being in the red to the tune of £2 billion two decades ago to an operating surplus of £200 million now. The new London Bridge station that opened a few weeks ago is a good example of the partnership railway in action and what can be delivered.



In the Southampton area, an £8 million renewal of track infrastructure took place, with more than 100 people working shifts 24 hours a day to replace 6,000 metres of cabling and 200 metres of track near Southampton Central London Bridge will regenerate the area, playing an expanded role in connecting communities from the south coast to East Anglia, spreading opportunity to many other towns and cities. And nationally, 260 projects, worth over £160 million, were completed on time over the Christmas period. At Liverpool Lime Street, a signalling upgrade as well as upgrades to platforms

and the installation of overhead electrical equipment was undertaken. This is a £340 million railway investment in the Liverpool region as part of the wider Great North Rail Project which will enable an extra three services per hour, including direct services to Scotland. Between Preston and Blackpool, work has been underway to electrify the line. In the Southampton area, an £8 million renewal of track infrastructure took place, with more than 100 people working shifts 24 hours a day to replace 6,000 metres of cabling and 200 metres of track near Southampton Central. More than 32,000 rail workers – working a combined total of 522,000 hours – helped to deliver the successful ten-day investment programme that will improve journeys for hundreds of thousands of passengers and businesses. The partnership railway is working hard to keep down the cost of travel and encourage more people to use Britain’s railway than ever before. We want to deliver simpler and more flexible ticketing, more services, quicker journeys and better value for money for our customers, with the support of government. Cheaper advance fares are now available on some routes on the day of travel and our railcards are going digital. Building on these foundations, a changing and improving partnership

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railway working together is the best way to deliver for the economy, rail customers, communities and our people. Comparisons to European fares Working together, train companies want more people to travel by train which is why they offer a range of good value and discounted fares and railcards. Independent studies show that off-peak returns on Britain’s railway are as cheap, if not cheaper, than equivalent fares in five major European countries, while Britain’s railway receives amongst the least taxpayer support too. A recent European Commission study showed that, in an analysis of inter-urban off-peak return fares under 300 kilometres, comparable fares in Britain were cheaper than those of France, Germany, Spain, Norway and Austria. Another European Commission study proved that Britain’s passenger service operators receive less subsidy than any other European countries. A further study by the European rail travel website The Man In Seat 61 concluded that 85 per cent of rail fares in Britain were similar or cheaper to other European countries. Paul Plummer is chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group

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Women in rail


Adeline Ginn

Closing the skills gap in 2018 2018 is the Year of Engineering and we are joining forces with our industry partners to inspire thousands of young people to take up a career in engineering


omen in Rail will be backing the government’s campaign to tackle the engineering gap and widen the pool of young people who want to have a profession within the rail industry. It was back in November 2017 when the government announced details of the national campaign to increase awareness and understanding of what engineers do among young people aged 7-16, their parents and teachers. Women in Rail will throw their full support behind the campaign by hosting a series of events aimed to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). We will also be working closely alongside our partners to showcase the social value of engineering, which recent surveys have shown is a great way to catch the attention of young girls. One way we will do this is through our 20 rising stars of rail programme. These women, who are in the early stages of their career, have made a real impact in the industry. They will tell us their story through several articles set to inspire engineers of the future. For most women and young girls, rail is unfortunately not the first exciting, creative and rapidly growing industry that springs to mind when choosing a career. In fact, our own studies have revealed that just over 16 per cent of roles are filled by women. This deficit of talent and diversity of skills is a very real problem facing the rail industry, which threatens its future growth. It’s for these reasons that we are backing the Year of Engineering as we continue to focus our efforts on changing these

perceptions from the roots up. We want to see more young girls become passionate about rail, we want to see teens leaving school inspired to study engineering and we want to see women thriving in their career on the railway. We need a highly-skilled workforce that is fit for the future and we need to ensure everyone has the skills to thrive in a modern economy. Inaugural awards The Year of Engineering provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the benefits of engineering and a career in the rail industry. It will build upon the work we have already done to engage young people with STEM. But more work still needs to be done. One way we can change perceptions of a career in STEM industries is to illustrate all of the brilliant women making valuable contributions in our industry. That’s why in April, we will hold our first award ceremony, the Women in Rail Awards. The Awards mark the fifth anniversary of the official launch of the Women in Rail group and aim to showcase and reward individuals and companies (large or small) who have made a significant contribution to improving diversity and gender balance within the UK rail workforce over the last five years. Another way we can change mindsets is to recognise the importance of career

advice and its role in playing a vital part of the government’s long-term economic plan. It has to reflect the reality of the industry today and be presented in a relevant and accessible way. Linking schools with employers is key to unlocking future potential, not least because it gives a real context to what young people are learning at school. Rail is proving to be a modern and dynamic industry of which the country can be very proud of. So why wouldn’t we welcome a year devoted to celebrating engineering achievement, highlighting innovation and promoting the opportunities within the industry. We will be highlighting some of the ways we are supporting the Year of Engineering by using #inspireanengineer on social media. For more information visit Adeline Ginn is general counsel at Angel Trains and founder of Women in Rail Rail Professional

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How far can integration go? The government’s recent strategic vision paper once again brought integration to the forefront of its rail policy


he paper promised that railways will be run by ‘integrated local teams’ and ‘present a single accountable face.’ Its intended approach to this area is not one of uniformity and it regards different franchises as requiring different solutions. But just how far can integration go and what can it realistically achieve? Track and train separation In all cases, it is likely that the government’s push for greater coordination will be

When the Fourth Railway Package was originally produced the House of Commons Transport Committee appeared relatively relaxed about its impact on the UK, recognising that the privatisation model is founded on separation rather than vertical integration

tempered by several pieces of legislation, especially when it comes to full vertical integration. An overarching objective of the EU’s First Railway Package was to achieve at least a degree of autonomy between the operation of rail services and the management of rail infrastructure – socalled separation of track and train. This was designed to ensure that those member states who have traditionally had a vertically-integrated railway entity with a monopoly on services and/or infrastructure management were required to open up these markets rather than discriminating against any potential competition. Full structural separation was the approach adopted during the UK’s privatisation of the railways with the creation of Railtrack/Network Rail. In reality, the success of the First Railway Package in achieving this objective was mixed across different member states. The EU found the provisions difficult to enforce and even where legal action was taken, the European Court of Justice often ruled in favour of the relevant member state (for example in the cases of Germany and Austria) concluding that its rail systems were compatible with the legislation in existence at that time. The Fourth Railway Package was expected to place a complete ban on the possibility of vertical integration. However, when the proposed legislation was published in January 2013 it stopped short of this, instead permitting vertical integration to continue provided that a series of measures were taken to ensure internal separation within the relevant entity. The market element (as opposed to

the technical element) of the final Fourth Railway Package, adopted by the EU Parliament in December 2016, made it clear that ‘Member states should be free to choose between different organisational models, ranging from full structural separation to vertical integration, subject to appropriate safeguards.’ More specifically the package made amendments to existing EU Directives which, in respect of vertically integrated undertakings: • require that, where both belong to the same vertically integrated undertaking, an infrastructure manager must be organised in an entity that is legally distinct from any railway operator • prevent any other legal entities within the vertically integrated undertaking from having a decisive influence on the decisions taken by the infrastructure manager in relation to the essential functions (which includes decision making in relation to train paths and access charging) • restrict access to sensitive information in relation to essential functions • impose various restrictions on employment conflicts and measures to ensure staff independence • clarify who cannot exercise control over both infrastructure managers and railway operators. Looking forward When the Fourth Railway Package was originally produced the House of Commons Transport Committee appeared relatively relaxed about its impact on the UK, recognising that the privatisation model is



The industry has already seen a range of models used for alliancing, including so-called deep alliances which envisage a more integrated approach akin to a corporate joint venture, for example as previously used on Wessex founded on separation rather than vertical integration. It did, however, concede that the legislation could pose an issue for alliancing arrangements. The question for the government, assuming application of these elements of the Fourth Railway Package as a matter of UK law, will be how far it feels that it can push the vertical integration model and whether, post-Brexit, it takes any

steps to enact domestic legislation which facilitates vertical integration. Alliances seeking to promote collaborative working between operators and Network Rail are unlikely to fall foul of the current legislation. In the Southeastern franchise ITT, the Department for Transport makes it clear that it is looking for bidders to jointly appoint directors responsible for overseeing integrated operator and Network Rail teams, subject to jointly agreed KPIs. It also expects integrated control centres, joint performance teams and joint teams working on planning enhancements. In reality these have been a feature of alliances for several years and do not appear to represent a major step change in expectations. Where recent franchise ITTs do appear to be taking more of a step towards closer integration is by requiring operators to assist in the procurement and implementation of certain infrastructure, such as traffic management systems. It remains clear, however, that Network Rail will ultimately remain responsible for owning and operating this system. The industry has already seen a range of models used for alliancing, including socalled deep alliances which envisage a more integrated approach akin to a corporate joint venture, for example as previously used on

Wessex. Since then the industry has worked hard to innovate, for example, by developing route supervisory boards which allow multiple train operators to work in tandem with Network Rail, rather than in silos. Deep alliances could, in theory, result in the establishment of vertically integrated entities, provided that the measures envisaged by the Fourth Railway Package are put in place if necessary. Further considerations in this area, however, are that the establishment can be subject to competition law requirements and the Fourth Railway Package also contains clear restrictions on the extent to which such entities are able to outsource. Despite these restrictions, it is clear that government is looking positively at how vertical integration can work within the legislative framework. Alliancing agreements could be taken further and alternative models which go beyond alliancing appear permissible within the scope of the existing legislation. Ultimately the government’s challenge is achieving the benefits of vertical integration whilst simultaneously not falling foul of legislative restrictions or producing the inefficiencies which those restrictions are designed to prevent. Jonathan Smith is senior associate at Dentons

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Heritage and safety Heritage railways are hugely popular with the public, Keith Morey explores the issues around how safety is managed


hen people think of heritage trains, the immediate picture seems to be that of a sleek steam train speeding along through the bucolic English countryside. But heritage is a little more complex than that. It ranges from diesel and electric locomotives right back to some of the earliest equipment, which is now 200 years old. As a heritage railway volunteer, I know some of the problems with maintaining the image of trains and also understand that we all have to be realistic when it comes to modern safety requirements. What heritage is The UNESCO definition of heritages refers to it as the legacy of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. That pretty well sums up the railway’s artefacts, locomotives and coaching stock. So where did it start? Way back in 1938, the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society (RCTS) ran the first special rail-tour using a steam locomotive GNR No1 from 1870, on loan from the LNER museum, thus starting a pattern that continues today. In 1968, steam locomotives were withdrawn from the mainline network. But, with preserved locomotives available, steam rail tours continued into 1970s before a brief ban was introduced. The principle of open access in the 1990s gave heritage operators the opportunity to restart rail tours using steam as well as diesel locomotives. There were some Railway Group Standards that mandated requirements on steam locomotive owners and operators to ensure they had the right certification demonstrating to a point that

the locomotives were sufficiently rail-worthy (GM/RT2003 Certification Requirements for Registration of Steam Locomotives), and were operated safely and reliably (GO/ RT3440 Steam Locomotive Operation). Safety concerns The changes in legislation within the railways with ROGS and other regulation brought about safety management changes and operational safety to new levels. Additionally, heritage operation itself was now operating on the open market and the old standards became obsolete. There have also been some high profile safety incidents involving heritage stock and heritage railways in the modern rail system. For example, we have had a steam locomotive pass a red signal and another have a part fall off at speed. Part of the problem can be put down to the fact these rail vehicles still need to meet

modern requirements for which they were never originally intended to meet, such as applying modern signalling protection systems like TPWS or the requirements for rail vehicle accessibility. There are requirements which heritage operators need to meet in order to run their trains on the national rail network, much of this is derived from legal obligations, such as the Railway Safety Regulations 1999. Who’s in charge? It is not down to the ORR or HSE to manage. Their only remit is to enforce the law. So, it must require better standards and regulation that sets out a more rigid regime that all can follow to ensure public safety in the future. This is where the RSSB has stepped in. Currently, heritage rail vehicles are formally registered as heritage in R2 (the Rolling Stock Library). The term will usually cover



locomotives and rolling stock that is to be (re)introduced to the mainline for use on heritage services only. These may have been based away from the national network on a private, preserved railway or museum, or been subject to reconstruction, possibly from scrapyard condition or even as replicas from scratch using historic design drawings. The RSSB is helping people involved in the engineering, operation and maintenance of heritage rail vehicles with a suite of new standards designed to help them meet these requirements for use on the national rail network. New standards Three new standards were published in December 2017 after consultation with industry: 1. RIS-4472-RST – Technical requirements for heritage vehicles. Sets out the engineering requirements for heritage rail vehicles (including steam locomotives), using a combination of proven, historic design, compliance with specific standards where required for network compatibility and previously accepted rationale arguments for deviations. 2. RIS-2003-RST – Certification of heritage vehicles. This document defines the certification

and registration requirements for heritage rail vehicles to enable them to be registered for operation on the British mainline railway. 3. RIS-3440-TOM – Operation of heritage trains. Sets out requirements for managing the planning and operation of heritage train services on the British mainline railway, including empty coaching stock and light engine movements. The operator – or Railway Undertaking – has a range of requirements to meet. These cover examination and documentation about the fitness to run, train preparation, fitness for duty of all relevant personnel, crewing arrangements, competence, the personnel in the driving cab, visibility, speed, station working and dispatch. There are also some requirements on the infrastructure manager around planning movements in relation to the location of overhead line equipment, and managing the risk of fire. While the standards are aimed

at the national network requirements, they also contain good practice for all heritage railways. And, for the first time, they provide a measureable standard to achieve that should keep all passengers safe in the future and help ensure that rail tours remain a safe way to travel in the future. For further information on the standards see Keith Morey is chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH) Railway Group

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Operational readiness Major change has always been a factor in rail franchising as a result of intense bidding followed by quick mobilisation and then running a contract over the life of the franchise


or the new operator there is a natural trigger to embrace change as the new train operating company (Toc) is set up; for the incumbent there are fewer stimuli. However, both have to manage the day-today running of the franchise and the need to implement the strategy for change around major projects and improvements. This dichotomy of day-to-day operations and managing major projects and improvements creates a disconnect within the Toc, influenced by both internal and external factors. The main reason is the divide between the bid and the subsequent transformation programme of major projects. The proof that Tocs have a disconnect is evidenced through the first four disruptive years of any franchise: for example, both recent Northern and Greater Anglia franchises are expected to deliver significant change to the business within the first four years including changes to working practices and introducing new infrastructure and rolling stock. The Toc must carry out the day-to-day activities well: managing safety; dealing with passengers; staffing and any incidents. However, during this time there is little energy or resource invested into the longerterm strategy – a Toc has no capacity to contemplate that which it must do today in order to successfully implement strategic changes with longer term impacts such as fleet replacements, station investment, ticketing or customer facilities.

Operational strategy Every new franchise should recognise that it is a period of change for the organisation, and as such they should approach it with a transformational excellence mindset. This means that the whole organisation is taken on the journey of change, from the board right down to front-line staff. Engaging the whole organisation is essential – only by having one shared vision can each person understand the role they are required to play in delivering a successful franchise. This means that a central function, often a programme management office (PMO), should focus on the promises made within the franchise bid document, and how these bridge between the vision and the action plan for the different groups within the organisation: drivers, maintenance, customer experience, HR and finance as examples. While the new franchise is usually about sharing the vision to win over hearts and minds, an existing incumbent has different challenges. While they will also have made promises within their bid, their challenge is usually less about hearts and minds and more about creating a burning platform to facilitate change – depending on the scale of the change envisioned. The causes for not being operationally ready The reason the Toc is often not operationally ready is due to the internal conflict between what the bidding team promised and what the programme team can deliver. For the bid team the emphasis is on delivering a winning bid; this means that the focus is only on creating a compelling bid. In order to do this the price element needs to be highly competitive and the quality element needs to be persuasive – but it is all about making the bid appealing to the client. The bid director will have to trade not being competitive enough in the price and not being ambitious enough on quality. A number of assumptions will be made within the bid, and

some of these may well be stretched. The main role of the bid director is to produce a winning bid, and that means delivering a lower price with higher innovation promises than the competitors. For the new leadership team, the emphasis is on delivering the work committed to within the contract; the need to provide the level of service as agreed within the bid document, whether it be maintenance, safety, train times, customer service or pricing. It is often working with current resources and skill-sets to ensure that the day-to-day service runs as required. In most recent franchises there has been a requirement for a programme director, managing a PMO, who has the responsibility of delivering the promise of the bid, while trying to manage the risks around stakeholders and partners to support the delivery. In addition to ensuring the right resources are available and that they are motivated to deliver the necessary service. Underlying this there is the responsibility of aligning the projects to realise the benefits. Therefore, while the bid director is responsible for winning the bid, the programme director is responsible for delivering the projects and realising the business case. Cost and impact There are real costs involved for Tocs which are not operationally ready. Most industry pundits agree that the industry is littered with good intentions which have failed to realise benefits, whether it is receiving new rolling stock, addressing infrastructure requirements or establishing the operating structure. As well as impacting the Toc, not being operationally ready also threatens the financial viability of a franchise and creates legacy issues (and ongoing associated costs) for future operations. When you look at the associated costs of not being operationally ready they can quickly become substantial. Consider what happens if new rolling stock is received but there is not



an appropriately trained train crew available to run the expected timetable. Similarly, the risks around an unsuccessful transition between inhouse maintainer to a maintenance manager can hinder schedules, create interest rate risks and commercially impact the franchise. There are also lost market opportunities if information management is hampered due to new technology not being trialled or tested. What excellence in operational readiness looks like To identify whether a Toc is operationally ready there are nine key areas which should be assessed: Area Bid promises Franchise vision Leadership Communications Resourcing Organisation Culture Benefits realisation Change impact

To ensure that the Toc is operationally ready it needs to have addressed the two tensions between bidding for the work and delivering the work. The solution requires senior board buy-in to have both teams sharing the same corporate objectives and focus. Retaining and commuting personnel from bid to project delivery is one strategy that will help with consistency but if this isn’t possible, creating a PMO who is able to govern rather than deliver will also create the foundation for the organisation to deliver. Operational readiness requires not only that the organisation will pick up the project

Assessment Are the financial imperatives and strategic objectives understood beyond the contract? Is the future operating model fully understood and has it translated into a hearts and mind piece? Is there a clear board vision and have they an empowered programme management office? Is the vision and strategy being cascaded throughout the organisation? Has the company identified the right level of resources to deliver projects through a programme management office? Is the right structure in place to deliver the franchise throughout the whole term? Have employees been taken on the journey of change to embrace the transformation or new innovations? How will the benefits be tracked and realised? Are all the changes known and their impact rated?

work (outside of the business as usual) but that it will take a holistic view as to the transformation required by the organisation in order to successfully carry out the major projects. Those Tocs which are looking not only to be operationally ready, but also to embrace best practice, should be adopting a three-tier approach: • franchise transformation: holistic view of the Toc, owning the target operating model, tracking progress and monitoring KPIs around the high-level delivery of benefits • PMO: to monitor and govern the programme of works • projects: to successfully deliver individual projects. Many Tocs see the PMO as an additional cost burden, and miss the benefit that transformational change can bring. However, this team should be seen as an investment to save rather than as an expenditure. By having an effective PMO the Toc can be confident of not incurring significant additional costs caused by not being operationally ready.

Marianne Kilpatrick is a director at SNC-Lavalin Transport Advisory

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It’s our maintenance and operations teams who are the backbone of our railway. They keep it running. They care for it. They look after it. And they respond to fix it as quickly and efficiently as they can when it does break-down.

Mark Carne Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Network Rail’s CEO, Mark Carne about the Railway Upgrade Plan, lessons from Crossrail, the digital railway and the devolution of powers in Wales


his is the penultimate year of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, are you at the stage you expected to be when you started in 2014? We have made tremendous progress on delivering the Railway Upgrade Plan – our ambitious multi-billion-pound investment programme to deliver a bigger, better railway with more, longer, faster and more frequent services in the five years to 2019. Fully opening the newly transformed London Bridge station on January 2 – exactly to the day we predicted almost five years ago – is testament to the progress being made. But there is much left to do to enable over 5,500 new train carriages to come into service over the next 18 months or so. Rail Professional

Our mega-projects – Thameslink, Crossrail, Waterloo and South West upgrade, Great Western modernisation, Great North Rail project, Edinburgh to Glasgow improvement programme – are all entering their final stages and passengers are set to benefit from thousands of new services coming on stream this year and next. It is a very exciting time, but our focus cannot, and will not, wain. Some of the stories in this issue touch on maintenance being a key part of the rail renaissance, how does maintenance of the network factor into the Railway Upgrade Plan? Keeping our railway running, keeping it ticking over, is absolutely vital to the service we need to provide to the millions of people

who rely on our vital railway every day. Our infrastructure is the most reliable it has ever been thanks to investment in new technology and kit, investment in replacing new for old (renewals) and a laser-like focus on maintaining our network better than ever before. It’s our maintenance and operations teams who are the backbone of our railway. They keep it running. They care for it. They look after it. And they respond to fix it as quickly and efficiently as they can when it does break-down. But the busyness of the railway, and the congestion from which it suffers, means that any breakdown, any incident, be it caused by track, train or someone or something else (trespass, fallen tree) has a much bigger accumulative impact, delaying scores of



What does Network Rail have planned for after 2019? The railway upgrade plan doesn’t stop in 2019. Phase one may have come to an end but our job of improving and expanding the railway continues. This February we will submit our detailed plans to the ORR of how we plan to make the railway safer, more reliable and better performing in the five years to 2024. There will also be some detail on projects we plan to deliver but many more projects for growing and expanding the network are currently in development and once mature enough we will approach funding partners to take them forward. The CP5 railway upgrade plan may be coming to a close but the next phase for CP6 is just beginning.

trains and thousands of passengers. Our investment programme will help, but investing in a digital railway with traffic management and digital train control will help a whole lot more. The Elizabeth line is on track to open this year, what lessons can the industry learn from Crossrail? Crossrail, like the Thameslink programme, are big examples of how to deliver projects well. They spent years in the planning, in design, in scoping, in really understanding what was to be done which meant that the delivery of these projects, when it came to putting spades in the ground, has gone relatively smoothly. Spend more time up front in defining what you’re going to build and how, before starting is obvious but the railway has been guilty in the past of making rash promises on timescales and price before properly designing and planning a project and inevitably, things have unravelled.  We have learnt those lessons and won’t make those mistakes in our next funding cycle – CP6, 2019 to 2024.

You’ve been a driving force behind pushing the digital railway, which companies do you think are doing the best work in this area? David Waboso, our director for this programme, is doing a fantastic job of bringing together the whole industry, and government too, in getting behind this massive change and technology programme and driving it forward. Early contractor engagement has been very well received with companies both big and small from across the world getting involved to make the vision a reality. We recently announced the fitment of ETCS kit to the cabs of all 700+ freight locos, and also recently successfully tested ETCS level 3 on our live trial site on the Hertford Loop. Automatic Train Operation is in final testing on the Thameslink core and traffic management systems are being fitted to our operating centres. Real tangible progress is being made and will only accelerate in the months and years ahead.

Is enough money being invested in BIM (Building Information Modelling), how seriously do you think individual companies are taking it? Network Rail is delivering increasingly reliable infrastructure and part of the reason for that is a better shared understanding of our assets. It’s important that we provide our 38,000 employees and 100,000 people in our supply chain with shared access to single sources of information and knowledge. Through our ORBIS programme (Offering Rail Better Information Services) we have already invested around £250 million to improve our use of technology and information management, enabling the joining and viewing of information. We have now initiated the next phase of improvements. Building Information Modelling (BIM) aims to provide shareable asset information in projects unlocking more efficient and collaborative ways of working, therefore complementing our needs, but forms only part of what we need to do. We have adopted this approach on major projects (such as Thameslink and our support to Crossrail) and are working to extend its use where it delivers benefits and fits with our broader improvements. This is a careful balance as we want to avoid waste by focussing the actions on delivering the efficiency we need. Our uptake is a transition that our suppliers are also taking, we are keen to continue work on innovation and to exploit the opportunities that our suppliers’ investment is creating.

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You’ve been Chief Executive of Network Rail for four years now, what do you feel you have you achieved personally during that time? The railway isn’t about one man but about a huge team of committed individuals, companies and organisations working in partnership for the same goal – delivering a bigger, better railway. I have made a contribution to that goal with the continued transformation of Network Rail from a centralised bureaucratic organisation to a devolved matrix organisation focussed on the customer. The vision for a digital railway has been pushed to the fore during my tenure and that must continue if we are to deliver the railway the country needs in the future, one that continues to thrive and be the economic arteries of country bringing jobs, housing

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and economic prosperity to all parts of Britain. Above all, my vision of a much safer railway is being realised. This is a very personal goal for me. Compared to the industry I came from, oil and gas, the workforce safety record at Network Rail did not measure up well. This was the area in which I wholeheartedly set out to make a difference. My vision, everyone home safe every day, is transforming the safety culture at Network Rail, and while we still have a long way to go, the statistics demonstrate our success in this area. We are now much better at looking out for one another, challenging unsafe behaviour, and learning from, increasingly few and far between, incidents. And as anyone I’ve worked with will tell you, I firmly believe that safety and performance go hand in hand, so our improving safety culture is all part of delivering a better railway for a better Britain. In Wales the new Wales and Borders franchise is currently run jointly by the Welsh and UK governments, with Wales taking sole control sometime this year. How do successful do you feel devolution has been? Of course, I fully support devolution as the entire strategy was conceived by us! When I arrived, this company was much

too centralised and much too focused on the targets set for it by its regulator and not on what the customer wanted or needed. Devolution has changed that. Our transformation plan for Network Rail delivers a matrix organisation with nine independent devolved businesses that are much more able to focus on the needs and priorities of its customers and the passenger and business user. They can be more responsive, make their own investment decisions and align their targets and goals with their customers so everyone is pulling in the same direction.  It has already been a great success and as our devolved businesses really settle in and mature, I expect to see more and more evidence and examples of a customer focussed and responsive railway becoming evident.

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New year, new direction? November 29 2017 saw the Department for Transport launch its strategic vision for rail, which gave rise to various eye-catching headlines


eports of ‘a new way of operating track and train’, ‘a railway fit for the 21st century’ and ‘bringing forward digital technologies to dramatically improve services for passengers’ filled the newspapers. The Department for Transport (DfT) revealed plans to split the Great Western franchise and to have a one team model for the next South Eastern franchise. This will bring the train operator and Network Rail together under a joint team, led by a single director responsible for both infrastructure and operations. The current East Coast franchise will also be terminated early, again with a partnership model being favoured.

franchise, which could be split back into its component parts. The popular quotation suggests that ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ The DfT’s proposal is not that – but what lessons can be learned from what has gone before? How can those lessons be applied to the issues facing passengers and the railway today? And how can all of this be delivered in an environment where funding is constrained? A number of factors need to be taken into account when considering what is in the overall interests of the railway and the customers it serves.

Changes revisited Is it really ‘all change’ for the railways? Bringing together track and train – within existing legal constraints – is not new and was highlighted by Sir Roy McNulty in his 2011 report. It has since been trialled, initially with the (now abandoned) South West Trains – Network Rail ‘deep alliance’, and currently in Scotland. This is also something which Transport for Wales is exploring for the new Wales and Borders franchise. Indeed, the proposals for the Great Western franchise are not new. One franchise would encompass intercity services from London to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance (with accompanying regional services in the south west). The other would encompass intercity services from London to Bristol, South Wales and the Cotswolds, together with regional routes in the Thames Valley. This reflects – although is not quite the same as – the Western, Wessex and Thames Trains franchises which existed before they were combined in 2006. Smaller franchises – potentially with less risk for the franchisee – have also been suggested for the beleaguered Thameslink, Great Northern and Southern

Localism There has been an increasing trend towards devolution of decision-making to those most closely affected. The Rail North – DfT Partnership is a good example of this, working on the current Northern and TransPennine franchises with a view in future to Rail North having greater franchising responsibility. Smaller franchises could ensure that the franchisee is focussed on the services being delivered in that specific area, rather than looking at a wider business, perhaps with competing priorities. The trend can also be seen in the most recent West Midlands franchise award, with separable business units for local and longer distance services. There will need to be aligned interests between the franchisee and local authorities and closer working between the two for these new ways of working to be successful. Creativity needs to be able to thrive – without the franchisee being too constrained by restrictions placed upon it. Size of operators Unfortunately, the large pool of small operators originally created at privatisation was not without issues of its own. With

profit margins rarely rising above three per cent, large overheads and a small revenue volume, each local franchise operator had very limited resilience if its revenue predictions (based on the market and any improvements it intended to make) did not pan out. There was also a limited window during the franchise term to return to profitability. More than half of the original 25 franchises created at privatisation renegotiated the terms of the franchise agreement. It will therefore be important to consider, fundamentally, what levels of risk a franchisee should be required to bear. Recently, we have seen suggestions in the press that the DfT is actively considering this. Premium vs subsidy Perhaps one of the original drivers behind consolidation was to create franchises which paid premiums to the DfT. Longer distance services generally generate more revenue than regional services – however, with increasing passenger numbers, this may now be less of an issue. Alternatively, there may need to be a greater acceptance that some franchises will need a subsidy. Cap and collar Previously, the DfT offered some protection to franchisees through a revenue protection mechanism. Revenues would be forecast (and contracted) as part of the bidding process, with under or over performance shared with the DfT beyond certain boundaries. Unfortunately, this did not always work as, in some cases, it encouraged overoptimistic revenue forecasting to win the franchise in the knowledge that some of the pain would be shared. That said, this does not mean that a revenue-based mechanism could never work. With clever thinking, sensible risk sharing



is possible, without creating the wrong incentives or over-contractualising the position.

In principle, bringing together decision making in

Starting point What is the right starting point for a new franchise? Due to the nature of the franchising process, bid assumptions are often based on information that is a number of years old by the time the franchise commences. As part of considering appropriate risk sharing mechanisms, consideration could be given to resetting various assumptions at the start of the franchise and, perhaps, at one or more points during its term.

idea, so that choices are made in the best interest of

relation to the operation of track and train is a good

Vertical integration In principle, bringing together decision making in relation to the operation of track and train is a good idea, so that choices are made in the best interest of the customer. Operational excellence should be the aim for all parties – and there is not necessarily a need for vertical integration to force that. The difficulty is that incentives for Network Rail (partly determined by the Office of Rail and Road) do not necessarily align with the incentives which a train operator has (partly determined by the DfT). The incentives can drive different behaviours – so there may not be genuine

the customer. Operational excellence should be the aim for all parties – and there is not necessarily a need for vertical integration to force that alignment between the two. Careful consideration needs to be given to the areas where incentives can be aligned and the passenger benefits can be maximised. There is not necessarily a single approach which will work everywhere, particularly as some franchises overlap. The future Taking on board the lessons learned to date, how can we deliver a railway which works for customers in an environment where money remains tight? Good planning, new approaches and innovative thinking would seem to be key. At the same time, existing legal and regulatory requirements must be respected. There are good opportunities for alignment – both geographically and across

the industry itself. With the government’s devolution agenda, local authorities have greater interest and involvement in the railway, which provides new opportunities and an environment in which smaller franchises can thrive, driving passenger benefits. Key to this will be setting the risk profile of those franchises at the right level - this will be a careful balancing exercise. Unlike the famous song with an equally famous London station namesake, we have every confidence that the history book on the shelf, will not be repeating itself. Darren Fodey is a senior associate and Richard Shepherd is an associate at law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP



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IRO Annual Members’ Lunch 2013 Railway operators celebrating success

Our Annual Lunch for Members and Guests will be held at The Mermaid, Puddle Dock, London. On Friday 19th April 2013 from midday. Our guest speaker is the Rt. Hon. Simon Burns, Minister of State for Transport.

Tickets – £47.00 per head Table of 10 – £470.00 per table


he Institution of Railway Operators (IRO) is thrilled to have recently celebrated with its latest cohort of students from its Railway Operations Management academic programme which is delivered in conjunction with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). Graduates from the Certificate, Diploma and Degree courses celebrated the completion of their Railway Operations Management qualifications both in the UK and South Africa.

(Ticket prices are inclusive of VAT @ 20%) GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: ‘I On 29 November 2017, a record congratulate our latest cohort of graduates number of graduates gathered for the UK Download booking form and Iat: am proud that the partnership graduation ceremony, which wasaheld at between Glasgow Caledonian University, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, where they the Transnet Freight Rail, the University of were awarded their qualifications by GCU Call: 01785Professor 248113 Johannesburg and the Institution of Railway Principal and Vice-Chancellor Operators continues to develop, as we coPamela Gillies CBE FRSE. The following create courses to enhance the life chances week in South Africa, on 7 December 2017, of Transnet employees and enabling the Professor Pamela Gillies led the fourth business to be as efficient and productive graduation ceremony held at the Transnet as it can be. This activity is an important Freight Rail (TFR) School of Rail campus in part of our enduring commitment, as the Esselenpark, Johannesburg. University for the Common Good, to provide Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE,

Valuable opportunities for members to learn and share knowledge Your local IRO Area runs events all year round. There are opportunities to see how others work, broaden your experience and add to your professional development. Visit the website to find out more…

1 South West Area: Modernising the Western Route – Swindon October 2012

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2 South West Area: Operations Experience Day – West Somerset Railway, Minehead October 2012


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educational opportunity to working people in Africa.’ A total of 183 TFR employees graduated with a BSc in Railway Operations Management, Diploma of Higher Education and Certificates of Higher Education in Railway Operations Management. GCU’s School for Work Based Education has for four years worked in partnership with the University of Johannesburg to deliver this unique, bespoke programme to TFR with the collaboration originating in a UK partnership with the IRO. This is the sister programme to the UK Railway Operations Management academic programme which is delivered to train operators worldwide. More than 530 TFR employees have now

successfully completed the programme since its establishment in 2013. The programme is designed to enable TFR’s Market Demand Strategy for 2021, and has been extended through a new contract to continue until 2021. TFR is Transnet’s largest division with 30,000 employees and maintains around 80 per cent of Africa’s total rail network. Transnet is investing around £3.9 billion in skills development and training as it develops its infrastructure and it is making its undergraduate BSc in Railway Operations Management and the new Masters Degree programme a core feature of its talentmanagement programme to achieve the company’s seven-year growth strategy. The company aims to expand and


modernise the country’s rail, port and pipeline infrastructure to promote economic growth in South Africa. Almost 1400 employees at middle, senior and management levels will enroll from 2017 to 2021. Speaking at the event Fiona Tordoff, CEO IRO, said ‘The IRO is proud to be one of the four partner organisations who have created an unmatched legacy of opportunity and growth to these hard working and talented graduates. We are proud of them and look forward to the difference they will make.’ Graduation Day is the single most important date of the academic programme as our students can mark their outstanding success with friends and family. The Institution would like to congratulate all of its graduates on their commitment to professional development and their tremendous achievements. Through these courses, railway operators from across the rail industry are able to study on a railway operations course developed by industry experts and gain a higher education qualification in an area of study that is directly relevant to their careers. To find out more about the event and academic programme offered by the IRO please visit, email learning@railwayoperators. or call the learning team on 03333 440523 (ext.203).

If you work in rail odds on your employer is a corporate member of the IRO Which means it’s FREE for you to… » become a member of the IRO » visit area events » and use the POD (Professional Operators Development) As a member you also have access to academic qualifications, short courses and CPD schemes to help your professional development. Check to see if your employer is a corporate member at:

POD Membership Area Events

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Moving towards a digital future With every other industry capitalising on the rapid digitalisation the world is going through, the rail network needs to keep up


ot only does digitisation promise to improve safety, efficiency and customer satisfaction, it is also what people have come to expect. Widespread ownership of smartphones and tablet computers, combined with apps that interact with the world – the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) allows people to switch on the lights, their central heating, pre-heat the oven, to name just a few – means people expect nothing less from their public services. Number crunching Just a look at the statistics available from the Office of Rail & Road (2016-17, Q4) illustrates this point. At just 87.7 per cent, the punctuality of trains is the lowest it’s been since 2005/6. No surprise then that passenger satisfaction with the punctuality/reliability of rail stood at 73 per cent in autumn 2016, down from 78 per cent over the same period of the previous year. Equally, it is unsurprising to learn that punctuality and reliability were the main reasons for

complaints, 27 per cent of all those made in 2016-17. So, what can be done? Obviously, there are a plethora of reasons for train delays, but a breakdown can hold up more than just the service concerned – it can have a knock-on effect that ripples down the timetable. Similarly, a rough ride call might require track to be serviced, again impacting the timetable. While regular maintenance of locomotives and carriages helps to avoid some of these problems, it inevitably means rolling stock being pulled from circulation. This is both costly and time consuming for the operator, and if not managed carefully can once again impact on the punctuality and reliability of the service as a whole. Technological answers Digitisation is helping rail operators to find solutions to these problems and often it is to innovative cutting-edge start-ups that that they turn to. One such company is the British firm Perpetuum. Its patented electromagnetic energy harvesters convert mechanical energy produced by vibration into electrical energy, which in turn powers wireless sensor nodes. These nodes transmit real-time data concerning the condition of the rolling stock they are fitted to, and the track the train is moving over. This data, combined with Perpetuum’s analytical expertise, allows asset managers to keep abreast of the condition of their stock and can be read on any connected device – desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The promise of technology such as this

is profound. The need for rolling stock to be taken out of circulation for inspection is much reduced, as is the need to base the replacement of stock on theoretical shelf-life. Instead, asset managers can know the actual condition of their rolling stock and receive alerts as soon as there is a problem. Equally, false positive rough rides could well be a thing of the past, the data from Perpetuum’s sensors confirming or contradicting initial reports. One of the companies that has taken up Perpetuum’s solution is the Swedish rail operator SJ. This is fitting because the Swedish state-owned rail concern is one of the most innovative rail operators in the world, leading the charge into the digital future. In fact, SJ was ranked in the top ten digital leaders in Sweden 2017, which matches the CEO’s stated ambition to be



Sweden’s most digitised corporation in five years. This isn’t just words: SJ was one of the first companies to allow consumers to pay via Swish, a payment service that allows people to pay for purchases by direct debit using a mobile app. The way forward Sweden is a country that has embraced digitisation: it is estimated that 2,000 Swedes have biometric chip implants. When workers in the tech companies of Epicenter, the Silicon Valley of Stockholm, asked if they could use their biometric implants to purchase rail tickets, SJ was quick to respond. While this is still a niche feature – the majority of Swedes not having implants after all – it is telling how smoothly SJ incorporated the feature into its operations. Already the company is looking to Finnair’s use of facial recognition to replace boarding passes for air travel as a possible template for ticket purchases, this being a technology that could be rolled out to the populace at large. Another use of digitisation that SJ has embraced is The Great Sign Hunt. Recognising punctuality as a key issue second only to safety, the company identified departure punctuality as a key element of the equation; one of the factors that impacted on this, the company realised, was whether passengers could board without delay.

Rather than have them scouring the platform, luggage in tow, looking for the right car for them to board, wouldn’t it be better if passengers knew in advance? So SJ developed a mobile app, which tells passengers where they need to be when the train pulls in. Key to developing that was having the exact locations of car locator signs in each station. So SJ recruited its customers, offering them bonus points in the SJ Prio loyalty programme if they would upload photos of the signs with location data. Having collated all this, the app is now fully functional, reducing the stress and uncertainty passengers might feel when boarding and increasing the chances that a train will leave on time. Sensing the future So, with SJ a company embracing the digital future, it was keen to test Perpetuum’s sensors. The rail operator ran an eighteenmonth trial on 80 wheels in the harsh Scandinavian environment. The result is a ten-year Remote Conditioning Monitoring (RCM) contract to monitor its fleet of high-speed X2000s. Perpetuum’s RCM and analytics will not only enable SJ to run inflight analysis of train fleet, track, bearing and wheels, thus ensuring that maintenance is correctly and efficiently focused, but by supporting the

solution through a service agreement the data and information streams will be futureproofed, even if SJ upgrades on-train or back office IT architectures. SJ’s embracing of Perpetuum’s technology will allow the company to predict failures, move its wheelset maintenance away from distance-based to conditionbased decision making, increase asset management efficiencies and improve safety. In combination with other innovations it will enable SJ to cut costs, improve efficiencies and provide a better service for its passengers. Real-time monitoring and the consequent timely maintenance of rolling stock, the reduction of hours that carriages and locomotives are taken out of circulation for maintenance, combined with innovations such speedier boarding through Swish payment, biometric implants and/or facial recognition, and apps telling passengers where to go and when, promise to create a railway truly fit for the 21st Century. A safer, more efficient, more punctual rail network is the promise. It is one that imaginative rail operators such as SJ, and the innovative partners it chooses such as Perpetuum, look sure to deliver. Tel: +44 (0)23 8076 5888 Email: visit

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Train maintenance depots Lucy Prior, Membership Development and International Trade director at the Rail Alliance looks back at her experiences at train maintenance depots


cut my teeth in rail in the train depot environment, and I feel it is one of the best introductions to the rail sector I could ever have had. I have learnt so much from visiting depots across the UK and Europe, not just about the depot itself as a building, or the maintenance services provided within, but also about the staff, complex planning and train movement controls and the array of technologies needed within to meet the exacting standards demanded of and by our railway. My first ever UK depot visit was to a temporary depot in West Yorkshire, soon followed by a tour of an ONCF depot in Casablanca, Morocco that was under construction. Two exceptionally diverse environments. Within a short time, I had also racked up visits to the whole of the West Coast Train Care depot network, Hitachi’s Ashford site, SNCF’s Le Landy in Paris as well as further sites in Lille, Valenciennes and in the banlieues of Paris amongst many more. On UKTI missions (now the DIT) I had the fortune to visit CAF’s and Talgo’s sites long before their current exposure in the UK, and further French and German sites. I also remember being blown away by the sheer scale of RENFE’s Fuencarral site in Madrid (I also learnt a lot, very quickly, and very early, one unforgettable morning, about just how effective good ‘flocculation’ can be on a CET system, and what the drier ‘residue’ looks like). Mix into that various London Underground, light rail and freight depots that I have had the opportunity to work with (Dunbar was a particularly interesting visit): the diversity and complexity of each individual depot’s needs are phenomenal. Specialist depots Alstom’s Longsight is a great example of a depot that has always impressed me. From my rookie days in rail to each time I have

the chance to revisit the site, the depot is constantly evolving. I am indebted to people such as Kevin Lander for the time they have taken to show me how the depot environment has progressed. In this particular depot, Kevin has demonstrated to me the massively positive impact that Kaizen and ‘Just In Time’ planning can have on the efficiency and productivity of a site and its personnel in enabling them to work better and smarter using an ever expanding array of technology. Longsight not only provides a full, synchronised lift capability of an 11-car Pendolino, but it also boasts the ‘Train Scanner’ and more. This is a phenomenal example of how a depot built over 175 years ago can adopt and adapt cutting edge technology to provide optimal services. Then there are the specialist maintenance tasks carried out by task-focussed depots. I was continually impressed by the wheelset capability of Siemen’s Kingsheath site, the bogie facility at Unipart Doncaster, and then conversely the massive array of overnight and heavier services offered at GWR’s Old Oak Common. This was back when North Pole was still mothballed; I cannot wait to get the chance to go back and see the extent to which Hitachi and the Victoria Line maintenance facilities will have further boosted the area and the supporting supply chain. Depots, and more specifically their staff, have to be able to deal with everything from train presentation to heavy overhaul. This takes me on to a significant consideration. Within the depot there lies an undeniable level of skill and capability. Supporting that inhouse knowledge there is a vast, vast network of suppliers each supporting, complementing and developing the offering of each depot. Suppliers To suppliers then, and it would be remiss



of me not to turn to some of our members. Zonegreen is one such example. The efficiencies that the depot personnel protection system (DPPS) offers is phenomenal, and depot manager offers a 21st century alternative to the more traditional padlock interlocking system and the ‘White Board’ approach respectively. Having seen the levels of security and safety these systems offer is staggering. Seeing just how many modern and refurbished depots have adopted this technology is reassuring to say the least! As explained by Zonegreen’s sales and marketing manager, Gemma Houghton: ‘It is rewarding to play a part in the protection of personnel working within potentially dangerous rail maintenance depots. The specification and installation of our DPPS and interlocking systems within new or existing maintenance facilities goes a long way towards helping depots achieve the zero-harm levels that industry is striving for.’ Another member, Chrysalis Rail offers a variety of out-sourced maintenance and refurbishment tasks, from re-livery to heavy overhaul, and this out of its own facility within the Quinton Rail Technology centre, or delivered by Chrysalis within a client’s own premises. Rachel Steele, marketing manager at

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Chrysalis explains the importance of good client/supplier relationships: ‘The ability to deliver your project in a location to suit your needs means greater programme visibility, reduced unit downtime and increased availability. We believe in collaboration. We work closely with our customers to deliver exceptional quality services, safely, on time, every time.’ Just through these two examples one can get a feel for the complexity of the rail maintenance market. This article is merely a personal snapshot of the variety of services that depots need to deliver, but I hope it also hints at the crucial relationship a depot needs to have with its suppliers. I am therefore really excited about an upcoming Rail Alliance networking event taking place on March 6 at the NCHSR in Doncaster. During this event we will discuss the ways in which depots and their suppliers

can support the lifecycle of rolling stock, from predictive and reactive maintenance to heavy overhaul and new-build. If you would like to know more about this event, please register for our event updates via And next time you pass past a depot, ideally by train, just take a moment to think what is going on behind those walls – guaranteed it will be more than you think. Lucy Prior is director of Membership Development and International Trade at the Rail Alliance

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Investment after Brexit To attract business in a post-Brexit environment and continue growing our economy, we need to provide world-class infrastructure, says Paul Tweedale


midst the clamour for greater spending, it’s worth taking a moment to look at what the UK is trying to achieve as we move in to a post-Brexit world. I would propose that if we want to build wealth, the UK needs to be seen as the most attractive country in Europe to base a business. Because of this we must offer businesses the best environment in which to operate with world-class infrastructure that enables the easy, efficient movement of people and goods. Unfortunately, in terms of the quality of its infrastructure, the UK ranks 24th according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report and 27th in the world according to the 2017 CBI / AECOM Infrastructure Survey. Looking at total public spending forecast for FY 2018, Transport will receive £32 billion. In contrast Public Pensions cost £161 billion, National Health Care £147 billion and Social Security £114 billion. So, whilst we are looking after our people short term, we are not showing real commitment to building long term wealth that will help us to pay for the NHS and other essential services in the future. A country with a competitive offering Our society depends on infrastructure to sustain quality of life and business competitiveness. The UK’s advanced economy increasingly relies on connectivity – bringing people together physically and virtually to innovate and trade. However, congestion on Britain’s roads and railways is already constraining economic growth - we’re all aware of the wasted time spent in traffic jams. Each industrial revolution has been based on a transformation of infrastructure; first with the construction of canal networks, then with railways, electrification of industry and modern communication technologies. Today, another revolution is under way which is enabling smart delivery, think Deliveroo, and use of infrastructure services. Critically, we need to look at infrastructure as not a series of stand-alone assets but recognise that it delivers benefits through complex networks that need to be carefully managed.

In its ‘Vision for UK Infrastructure’, the National Needs Assessment (NNA) has set out what it considers to be the steps needed for a national infrastructure system that is efficient, affordable and sustainable, i.e. an infrastructure fit for an innovative and productive global trading nation. Interestingly, a key focus of this vision is the need to reduce the cost of building and operating infrastructure, using new technology to help streamline new construction, improve management and reduce maintenance costs. Core to its recommendations is that the government should increase investment in the commuter rail network and other public transport to ensure the economic development of urban centres is not constrained by overcrowding and congestion. In addition, it suggests that substantial funding for transport should be devolved to local and regional authorities to allow them to invest in growing the economic areas they know very well and for which they are responsible. Infrastructure investment drives growth Citing the prevailing view that investment in infrastructure brings immediate benefits and long-term advantages, the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) believes that infrastructure investment should be at the heart of economic policy. Its assertion is supported with strong figures – in 2014, the construction industry contributed £103 billion in economic output, 6.5 per cent of the UK total. It has identified that for every 1,000 direct jobs created by new infrastructure projects, wider employment grows by more than 3,000 jobs and for every £1 of infrastructure investment the country sees £2.84 worth of economic activity or, to put it yet another way, for every £1 invested by Government, £3.20 is returned through increased GDP, resulting in up to 108,000 new jobs per year. Lots of numbers, but the principle is clear. Infrastructure investment is a good thing for the country. The ICE propose that we move away from what it describes as ‘knee-jerk decision-making and stop-start pattern of investment’ and with Public finances tight, probably for ever, adopt a strategic approach

that guides priorities. We are already seeing investment plans being deferred, perhaps the first sign of a Brexit effect, and advocate the need for a strategy of new infrastructure, enhancements and deployments of technology to get much more from our existing networks. The CBI, through the 2017 CBI / AECOM Infrastructure Survey, found that 96 per cent of the 727 businesses surveyed see infrastructure as important, of which 55 per cent view it as critical. Only one in five firms is satisfied with the pace of delivery (20 per cent) and almost three-quarters (74 per cent) doubt infrastructure will improve over this parliament. This lack of confidence is attributed primarily to policy inconsistency (+94 per cent of firms) and political risk (+86 per cent). The Global Infrastructure Index from Iposos Mori is a survey of 1,004 British adults (16-65) on a variety of issues against 28 other countries. It revealed rail infrastructure is now considered to be the top priority for improvement ahead of new housing supply. 46 per cent felt rail investment should be prioritised compared to 43 per cent who chose housing. Tellingly, rail has risen since 2016 and housing has fallen, although we feel that both categories need to work together and be properly coordinated. In the survey results, Britain was viewed as lacking the necessary infrastructure to compete, with 59 per cent saying not enough was being done to meet the country’s needs. Ipsos Mori research director Ben Marshall said: ‘The British still think investment in infrastructure is vital to future economic growth and there remains a sense that we are not doing enough to meet needs. But it does show an uptick in the salience of rail infrastructure. ‘This is likely to reflect British reliance on rail – we’re more dependent on rail to get around than many other countries – and also inferior ratings of the current quality of tracks and stations compared to elsewhere, including Germany, the US, France and Japan.’ From this, it appears the public view is that being able to move people and goods around the country effectively is critical



We are already seeing investment plans being deferred, perhaps the first sign of a Brexit effect, and advocate the need for a strategy of new infrastructure, enhancements and deployments of technology to get much more from our existing networks to our future prosperity. So perhaps the government should listen to the people and businesses and focus on delivering integrated infrastructure investments that will deliver future economic benefits. Is government best placed to decide on new projects? The Institute of Economic Affairs states that good infrastructure can enhance the productive potential of the economy, but the political decision-making process often leads to bad choices on spending, whether that is for electoral reasons or inefficiencies driven

by a lack of market discipline. In the UK expensive prestige projects, such as HS2, get chosen over smaller road projects with much higher benefit-cost ratios. The 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review deferred, cancelled or placed under review strategic road schemes with average benefitcost ratios of 6.8, 3.2 and 4.2 respectively. These were much higher than the estimated benefit-cost ratio of 1.2 for HS2, the costs of which keep getting revised upwards. In summary, if infrastructure investment is a good thing, maybe politicians at Westminster are not the right people to select all the projects. After all, the mysterious £350 million a week we’ll be saving by leaving the EU is yet another example of manipulation of figures for a political agenda. Even if it was correct, the money was immediately ear-marked for the NHS – an obviously worthy case (albeit a politically driven one) but again a short-term fix that won’t help us build the capability to pay bills in the future. I believe we need a government that is focused on generating long term wealth through a strong economy, one that doesn’t automatically divert funds to short term fixes to meet the raised voices calling for more money for the NHS or higher pensions. This needs an open discussion about major

challenges that governments of all colours do not seem ready to have, perhaps because it requires them to think long term and not just for their term of office. This may seem controversial, but my concern is that if we don’t think and act to build long term wealth, we won’t have the economy to generate the money to pay for the NHS we so revere and the pensions everyone wants to have. Surely, we can all agree that is not a position in which any of us want to leave our children. About TenBroekeCo TenBroekeCo is an independent international advisory company, focused on the delivery of major infrastructure projects. Using collaborative working practices to ensure delivery of an infrastructure asset that meets the needs of clients, and their end users. TenBroekeCo has been involved in major rail projects in the UK and internationally, including Crossrail, Canary Wharf Station and Depot Development in India. It is currently advising on major rail projects in China, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Iraq. Tel: 01372 824722 Email: Visit:

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The romance of Beeching’s legacy The DfT’s recent Rail Strategy evoked the romanticism of reopening lines closed by British Rail - but is there likely to be much of a case for it? Andrew Meaney finds out


s the archetypal dismal economist, writing about something as subjective as the romantic notion of longdismantled railway lines is likely to surprise many. However, suspending disbelief for a moment, there’s actually quite a lot of economics in this topic. Now we know the secretary of state Chris Grayling has survived a cabinet reshuffle to remain in post, we can place more weight on the DfT’s Rail Strategy that he wrote the foreword to, which evoked the feelings associated with reversing cuts recommended by Dr Beeching in the 1960s. Cynics among Rail Professional’s readership will no doubt point to this part of the Strategy as being political spin – either

(at best) drawing attention to schemes that are already underway (e.g. East-West Rail) or (at worst) to deflect criticism of ending the current East Coast franchise early. However, I consider it to be quite likely that parts of the network will eventually be reopened, over and above what has already been announced, but only where there is a clear economic narrative for doing so. First, though, what is it with Beeching’s cuts? Why do they make people want to reverse them? Some of this is down to human nature; we dislike losses more than we appreciate gains (in the language of behavioural economics we are ‘loss averse’). So even 40 or more years after the event, we feel a disappointment that part of our infrastructure has been lost to us (as an aside, this also explains why people are

When Beeching was writing his report – at a time when rail was seen as requiring increasing levels of subsidy as traffic patterns were migrating onto increasingly fast road links – who would have thought that economic forces would push much of our work into cities, making rail links into them highly desirable? Or that climate change makes coastal and other waterside rail links increasingly subject to extreme weather, increasing the value of avoiding routes?

finding the millions of pounds necessary to build new examples of classes of steam and diesel engines where none were preserved). Moreover, we know that it’s physically a lot easier to tear down a piece of infrastructure than it is to rebuild it. Nowadays, it would be politically very difficult to undertake the sort of closures programme that Beeching recommended, and the relevant officials implemented (often quite ruthlessly, according to contemporary accounts). However, we also know that it takes many years to get a new piece of infrastructure into place from conception to opening – at a rough estimate I’d put the average at around 15-20. Multiple factors On top of this, the patterns of economic activity, and other wider factors (such as the environment) are very hard to predict. When Beeching was writing his report – at a time when rail was seen as requiring increasing levels of subsidy as traffic patterns were migrating onto increasingly fast road links – who would have thought that economic forces would push much of our work into cities, making rail links into them highly desirable? Or that climate change makes coastal and other waterside rail links increasingly subject to extreme weather, increasing the value of avoiding routes? As a consequence, some (but by no means all) of Beeching’s cuts have been proven to be incorrect with the benefit of hindsight. In this context, the option value (in the economics jargon, borrowed from financial derivatives) of retaining existing infrastructure can be an important element in the decision-making process.



I have written in this publication before, in the September 2016 issue, about the value of resilience (avoiding loss of services), and how this is often given insufficient weight in economic costbenefit analysis. However, resolve this point and often the case for adding missing links into the network can be substantially improved So, this is perhaps why we look at some of those extant rail bridges, trackbeds and even heritage railways with a sense of longing for what had gone before. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that reopening any of the lines that BR closed would be a good idea. However, here are three reasons why a case might be made for reversing some of those decisions from some decades ago: The need for new housing: another emerging news story from the recent reshuffle was the renaming of the former DCLG into the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government, emphasising the importance of developing the nation’s housing stock. Linking towns,

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especially those with plans for extensive new housing developments, into cities and other centres of population is a key strength of rail services. And if housing developers or local communities are willing to part-fund the new infrastructure (consistent with plans to use increasing amounts of third-party funding of rail developments), even if this has only a marginal impact on the total cost of the reopening, there may well be enough there to transform a decent idea into good value for money in the DfT’s eyes. Connectivity: it can often be the case that a rail journey is regularly less of a serious alternative than a road option for want of direct services. While some of

this can be resolved by increasing capacity (longer trains, digital signalling or even more infrastructure), reinstating lost parts of the network, or reintroducing flexible capacity where this was taken out in the past to save money can also deliver better links between places. This improves rail’s competitiveness, and can also make individuals’ access to jobs and services much greater. Resilience: I have written in this publication before, in the September 2016 issue, about the value of resilience (avoiding loss of services), and how this is often given insufficient weight in economic cost-benefit analysis. However, resolve this point and often the case for adding missing links into the network can be substantially improved. So, the economics of loss aversion and option values shows us why we value our existing network, and those parts that have been dismantled; and the economics of links to centres of employment and resilience can help make the case for reopening. Perhaps evoking the romance of reopening long lost railway lines wasn’t all about the spin, after all. The challenge for those excited about their local link being recreated will be to convince the dismal economists that there is a solid case for theirs to be next on the list. Andrew Meaney leads Oxera’s Transport team.



The Cheek of it... Chris Cheek

Rail demand inches downward Major closures at London Bridge and Waterloo plus continuing social and economic change led to the demand for passenger rail services in the UK to remain in reverse over the summer


he continued impact of terrorism, industrial relations problems and deteriorating punctuality drove passengers away on eight of the UK’s train operators. Overall, demand fell by 0.3 per cent during the third quarter of 2017, according to National Rail Trends statistics, published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). The reversal is primarily due to a 1.2 per cent fall in demand in London and the southeast. The provisional figures were published last month, and cover the second quarter of fiscal year 2017/18, finishing at the end of September: across the network, 423.3 million passenger journeys were made during the 12-week period, down from 424.5 million in 2016. Between them, they covered 16.7 billion passenger kilometres, 1.3 per cent ahead, and paid a total of £2.4 billion in fares, 0.9 per cent less than in 2016. It was not all bad news, though: long distance InterCity services saw a 1.2 per cent rise in passenger journeys. The

CrossCountry Toc led the growth with 5.7 per cent, whilst Virgin East Coast patronage was 2.1 per cent up. On the West Coast, growth was slightly lower at 1.8 per cent. Other long-distance routes are operated by East Midlands Trains, who saw overall growth on all their routes of 3.0 per cent. Great Western, also very much a mixed franchise, saw an almost imperceptible fall of 0.1 per cent. In the regional sector, demand was also up on the previous year by 2.1 per cent. The growth was headed by TransPennine on 8.3 per cent closely followed by ScotRail on 7.8 per cent, whilst services in Wales experienced a 2.3 per cent increase. However, there were falls elsewhere: a combination of industrial action and major engineering work continued to affect Merseyrail, which saw a 3.6 per cent drop in the quarter. Action by RMT members also affected Northern which saw a fall of 0.5 per cent. In London and the southeast, though, patronage was 1.2 per cent down though

the fall was much lower than the previous quarter’s 4.6 per cent drop. The biggest quarterly falls came at South Western, down by 8.5 per cent (4.8 million journeys). This was the quarter of the big August closure at Waterloo. At other companies, the reductions were much smaller, including 3.0 per cent on Liverpool Street suburban operator TfL Rail, 0.4 per cent on Southeastern, 0.5 per cent on Govia Thameslink (GTR), 0.4 per cent on London Overground and 0.3 per cent on Greater Anglia. There was, though, some growth elsewhere: Chiltern led the way with a really hefty 11.4 per cent increase. Other growth came from London Midland (3.3 per cent) and c2c on 2.8 per cent. In terms of passenger kilometres, the biggest rise was on the regional routes on 3.5 per cent. InterCity routes were 2.8 per cent ahead. In London and the southeast, though, there was a fall of 0.8 per cent. Revenue fell, too – not good news for Tocs or the government – though again the fall was much slower than the previous

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quarter. Overall, revenue was down by 0.9 per cent, though this was almost entirely driven by London and the southeast, which saw a fall of 2.7 per cent. InterCity routes gained 0.1 per cent and there was a rise of 3.0 per cent on the Regional services. Rolling year figures As we have noted before, short term effects can affect a single quarter’s figures, so it is often better to look at the figures over a rolling year. Here, there was still a fall in passenger numbers, but kilometres travelled and revenue both maintained their upward trajectory – until, that is, revenue is adjusted for inflation. The national totals for the twelve months ended 30 September 2017 show the number of passenger journeys falling by 0.9 per cent to 1.7 billion. Passenger kilometres travelled rose by 1.3 per cent to 65.6 billion, whilst passenger revenue was 2.2 per cent higher at £9.5 billion. The latter was not sufficient to deliver real-term growth: after allowing for inflation, revenue was 0.8 per cent lower in real terms. Looking at the individual sectors, passenger journeys on the London and southeast routes fell by 2.4 per cent, with passenger kilometres down by 1.4 per cent.

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On the InterCity routes, annual growth was 2.5 per cent in terms of passenger journeys, whilst the growth in passenger kilometres was 3.5 per cent. On the regional routes, there was a 3.0 per cent increase in the number of journeys, whilst the number of passenger kilometres was 4.2 per cent ahead. Revenue yields were up by 1.8 per cent in cash terms. There were increases on InterCity (3.5 per cent) and London and the southeast (1.6 per cent). However, the figure was unchanged on the regional services. After allowing for inflation, yields fell in real terms in all sectors and the overall reduction was 2.1 per cent. Comment A further escalation of the RMT industrial action, the continuing fallout from the spring terrorist incidents and major closures of London Bridge and Waterloo stations during August all contributed to the negative trends in rail demand during the June to September quarter. Indeed, given all these factors, the surprising thing is that the falls were so much lower than during the spring. Thus, whilst the overall picture seems fairly gloomy, especially compared with the heady days of growth immediately before

and after the recession, it is still far too mixed to call an end to the long bull market in rail travel. The ‘control’ is the London and the southeast Tocs such as c2c, Chiltern and London Midland which have been largely unaffected by disruptions caused either by industrial relations or major engineering projects. Here, growth has been maintained – spectacularly so in Chiltern’s case. The same is true of other routes not touching the capital, notably in Scotland, Wales and on the CrossCountry services. With the completion last month of the huge project to rebuild London Bridge, this May will see the first fruits of the whole Thameslink project in the recast timetable. Other projects, such as Blackpool electrification will also be completed. This will be followed by Crossrail’s opening in December. We are living in a period of enormous and accelerating social and economic change: one of the effects of this is to depress overall demand for travel – witness evidence from the National Travel Survey about trip rates, and continuing falls in High Street footfall. The railways are not immune from this – but thus far at least, the message remains the same – deliver a quality service and the passengers will come.

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Tough questions for rail In order to survive and grow in the years come, should we ask ourselves some tough questions in 2018? River Tamoor-Baig thinks so


or my first column in 2018 I decided to split it into two different sections covering what I believe are the two most important questions we should be asking coming into this year. The ‘we didn’t do anything wrong’ conundrum. During the press conference where Nokia’s CEO announced that the 150-year-old firm was being acquired by Microsoft he stated: ‘we didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.’ One could argue that that was quite a puzzling statement to make, on face value it would seem the executive team wasn’t able to figure out just where they took that wrong turn that led to the downfall of one of the biggest telecom companies to ever exist. Meanwhile, Apple and Samsung, who hadn’t even started selling phones in 1997 during Nokia’s market reign are now the two biggest phone manufacturers globally. A similar situation is occurring right before our eyes closer to home in the automotive sector. Tesla Motors, a company with an annual revenue of only $7 billion has a market cap of $56.5 billion, whilst Ford Motors, a company with $151.8 billion in revenue has a staggering low market cap

Are we using the spaces inside and outside our rolling stock well enough? Could further advertising opportunities be delivered to the over 1.7 billion journeys taking place on the network every year?

of $52.6 billion, essentially, one third of its actual revenue. Many would argue that this is completely absurd. That it’s an anomaly. That’s exactly what it is, and that is the point. Startups and other companies who are trying to disrupt markets operate in a way that just goes against every conventional norm within that market. Investors believe in Tesla’s ability to disrupt the status quo and are putting their money behind the small time electric car manufacturer. It might seem counterintuitive given Tesla only sold 100,000 units in 2017, but, one would argue, that’s exactly why Tesla is valued so far. What they lack in sales, they make up in droves in technological advantages. It’s why Alphabet (Google’s parent company) is one of the most valuable companies in the world. When every other search provider (Yahoo, AskJeeves, AltaVista etc.) was organising search results based on how much money the respective marketers paid them, Google was organising them based on how useful the results may be for the searcher. A strategy which would prove to yield less revenue in the short run, but, certainly did yield more searches on the platform itself. Too little, too late It took until 2006 (a full eight years after Google was founded) for Yahoo to drop their unpopular pay-for-rank search strategy. By then, it was already too late, Google commanded 75 per cent of the search engine market share whilst Yahoo was down to single digits. By the end of 2006, Yahoo’s shares had plunged by 40 per cent whilst their rivals Google had grown by 15 per cent. This odd strategy that Google built its entire search engine and advertising business on has proved to be one of the

most lucrative innovations we know today. This is where I believe the real opportunity exists for the rail industry in 2018. We’ve been selling train tickets pretty much the same way for as long as the railways have existed. Open returns, season tickets, advanced fares Aside from the ‘Carnet’ tickets, we haven’t really seen another retail innovation in rail for over a decade. The franchising system itself has also remained largely the same for the last 20 odd years. In a time where over 90 per cent of Tocs are still technically making a loss and are subsidised by the Department for Transport we should utilise this opportunity to explore how we can create new revenue streams. Are we using the spaces inside and outside our rolling stock well enough? Could further advertising opportunities be delivered to the over 1.7 billion journeys taking place on the network every year? How can we better reward our frontline staff for the work they do all year round in summer’s blistering heat, winter’s icecold breezes, and spring/autumns watery weather? What do we need to do to ensure that we’re able to better collaborate with startups? Can we adopt a new approach to franchising that puts less risk on the train operator and government? If the answer to these is ‘there’s nothing we can do, this is the best system we’ve got’ then perhaps the question we should be asking is: ‘How are we any different to Nokia and Ford?’ Take a picture, it’ll last longer In July 1997 former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who was famously ousted from the company in 1984, returned to Apple through its acquisition of his new startup NeXT. Back then Apple was on the brink of collapsing and was ‘90 days from being insolvent’ as



to the world I live in, where young tech founders perilously cross hundreds of highwires on a daily basis, life is no different. Instead of hundreds of millions which Silicon Valley is used to dealing with, it’s hundreds, if not tens of thousands which mean the difference between life and death. With the average life of a startup being only 20 months after it raises its last funding round, entrepreneurs have to be absolutely laser focussed on building out their product whilst also simultaneously either trying to raise further capital or sell their services to prospective clients. Let’s be honest, 20 months is a blink of an eye in the railway. We have no problem filling up our diaries months in advance making it almost impossible to meet anyone without at least 60 days prior notice (10 per cent of the life expectancy of an average startup). We have no problem saying ‘let’s work together when we win that franchise in 18 months’ (90 per cent of the life expectancy of an average startup). One could argue that this approach helps weed out the bad ideas from the good. If an opportunity was lucrative enough then the rail industry would take it up in no time. But that isn’t the case. We’ve seen dozens of startups want to come in to the rail industry to offer an incredibly compelling proposition

stated by Jobs himself. Immediately when rejoining the business, he secured an investment of $150 million from Microsoft and began restructuring the business. Apple then narrowed its focus and dedicated all its efforts into building a new product which the company released the next year in August 1998. That product was the iMac G3 and it sold just over one million units in its first year, giving Apple much needed breathing room to begin focussing on a longer-term strategy. This laser focussed approach and speed to market has led to Apple being the most profitable company the world has ever seen. HP, Dell, and IBM? Each giant was worth more than Apple back in 1997, but today, all three combined don’t even generate enough total revenue compared to the company that brought us the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Michael Dell famously told the press that if he was in Jobs’ position back in 1997, he would have shut the company down and given the shareholders’ money back. He even went on to boldly say that Apple would never be worth more than Dell. In January 2006, when Apple’s stock price surged by 12 per cent making it $500 million more valuable than Dell, Jobs sent an email to his entire team stating that Michael Dell should eat his own words. Fast forward to 2018, narrowing back

only to be shunned or put off by just how slow the industry operates. They’ve gone to the retail sector instead where they’ve worked with online stores helping them increase their online sales by 40 per cent by reducing the number of abandoned baskets (where users added items to their online shopping cart but didn’t actually checkout/pay for the items). Another sold their product to the automotive industry increasing ROI on marketing spend by 25 per cent. I picked these two examples because they literally helped two of the biggest brands in the world make more money. The length of time it took for these arrangements to be put in place? Three months each. Is anyone in rail using them yet? Unfortunately not. That’s because the startup picked the industry which was more responsive to them. Which was exactly the right choice. They tested the waters in rail, and sadly we didn’t bite, so they went somewhere else that did. Startups simply do not have the time to meet us nine times over 18-months and still have no decision be made. The question we should be asking ourselves is, ‘Do we really have the time either?’ It’s now or never for rail. River Tamoor-Baig is co-founder of HackTrain



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All aboard the digital train: first stop, a safer future The title for the world’s fastest train currently belongs to the Lo Series in Japan, which set the record in 2015 with a top speed of 600 kph


hile the train is not currently ready for passenger use, it gives us a good indication of how consumer travel is likely to evolve in the coming years. The advances in passenger trains are seeing more than just faster speeds however; we are moving towards a fully ‘digital train’, which could become a reality as soon as 2020. For passengers, a fully digital train would primarily offer more safety and security on their journey, along with an enhanced experience through better infotainment on board. Benefits for train operators will include operational efficiency with dynamic routing and configuration, smart city integration and decision automation for scheduling of maintenance. In addition, it could provide connected navigation to alert operators of potential network delays, journey changes and live weather situations. While there is a concern about how automation will affect the jobs of train workers, the technology disruption provides an opportunity to upskill workers, create new roles and shape the intelligence behind the digital train of the future. Leading the train revolution Across the world, advancements in rail are taking shape in many ways. Japan may boast the fastest train to date, but regions such as Germany and Sweden are leading the charge in train manufacturing and providing a digital rail experience for passengers. For example, state-owned Deutsche Bahn in Germany recently unveiled plans for a new train, named Ideenzug (Idea Train), which will be equipped with exercise bikes, a fitness studio, spaces with gaming consoles and noise-cancelling chairs. In addition, Swedish rail company, SJ, began trialling biometric chip implants in June 2017 as a replacement for paper train tickets.

Passengers can have a microchip implanted in their hand which uses NFC (near field communications) to display the ticket when scanned by the train conductor. These concepts are very much in the early stages, but give us a clear indication of innovations that the rail industry is aspiring to. Embedded intelligence: giving rise to cognitive systems The technology behind embedded intelligence is providing systems with the capability to collect and analyse important data to make intelligent decisions. Transportation is one of the leading industries using embedded intelligence. It is already being used to allow digital trains to monitor their own operational performance, usage load and environment. Embedded intelligence enables digital trains to make simple decisions on the go, such as guiding passengers to avoid certain facilities (for example: a specific door or toilet not in service) and showing what other facilities are available. This minimises communication between the train and central server, eliminating human intervention. Embedded intelligence also allows for a truly preventative approach to train maintenance. Most of the emerging operational issues get either fixed or reported long before they start affecting the performance, enhancing the customer experience and improving the quality of service. Challenges of embedded intelligence Despite the positive outcomes of embedded intelligence, there is a lack of standards for the industry to adhere to when it comes to interoperability between devices and sensors. While the cloud has been put forward as a potential solution for collecting and analysing data produced from multiple

sensors on trains and tracks, there is simply too much information to be collected from thousands of sensors in different locations. Embedded intelligence driven by edge computing comes as a compelling alternative making its way into many industries to manage the volumes of data that the Internet of Things (IoT) generates. Edge computing provides a faster and more cost-effective way to collect and analyse data in real-time, giving rail workers access to consistently up-to-date insights and faster decision-making often automated. Edge computing refers to data processing power at the edge of a network, instead of in the cloud or a central data warehouse. It reduces network traffic and therefore leads to lower latency levels. The current lack of standards within security protocols of the digital, connected train is another factor holding it back from becoming a reality. In spite of edge computing being rolled out, the overall data being transmitted over the network is going to increase in the long term. From a data processing point of view, the higher volumes of data being transmitted from multiple sources increases the complexity around security. With the high volumes of information travelling from various sources to the main data centre or cloud networks, connections should be encrypted to ensure that if intercepted, the data will be unreadable. There are huge implications to rail data being



breached, particularly where it concerns the safety of passengers and maintenance of railway services. The UK rail network has already suffered four cyber-attacks in the last year. How data will build the digital train With strong security protocols in place, the industry can focus on the assets that are needed to make up a truly digital train. The data architecture of digital trains will play an essential role in providing valuable and actionable insights for operators. Raw data collected from multiple sources will include external (weather, prices, suppliers) and enterprise (service histories, warranty status). These will connect with the smart train (gathering location data, condition and usage) to provide diagnostic,

descriptive, predictive and prescriptive recommendations. From an operational efficiency standpoint, we can already see how IoT data can be used for train maintenance and crew information and decision systems. This will have the ability to integrate with smart cities of the future. The concept of a fully connected passenger experience while on board trains, that are already connected to every corner of major cities, is a welcome idea for the high portion of the public that already rely on their devices for entertainment during travel. Elsewhere in the data-driven train, the decision automation experience will be enhanced for operators and engineers. It has the potential to bring driverless trains to more cities, with trials and projects currently underway in cities, such as Dubai. By allowing the automation of transportation grids, cities can focus on the passenger experience and improving the intelligence of systems running the railways. For example, the scheduling of crew and maintenance engineers can be automated and connected to data being fed back from sensors on the rail tracks. Passengers will also see the benefits of decision automation, through real-time updates on train schedules and possible delays, as well as ticketing systems.

Moreover, the implications for passenger safety provided by digital trains is a strong driver for implementing them across railway networks. The real-time insights provided by intelligent systems can improve the signalling and scheduling of trains in the network. In turn, it increases the safe running of services by delivering alerts to engineers and train workers faster, as well as automated systems programmed to monitor train and railway maintenance. The digitisation of rail presents both opportunities and threats to the industry. It will enable us to generate data about previously unseen elements of the rail journey, providing a holistic picture of every part of the journey taken by a train. Detecting the real-time health of trains and tracks will improve the reliability of trains and the passenger experience immensely. Nevertheless, increasing digital connections brings more security loopholes to be exploited. Industry standards must be shaped before rail operators make the move towards implementing elements of the digital train and journey. By sharing best practices between governments and operators from different countries, we can all move towards a safer, connected train together. Bhoopathi Rapolu is head of analytics, EMEA, at Cyient

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Rail depots and maintenance facilities With this issue focussing on maintenance depots and light rail systems, Dr Rob Armstrong from Eurofins York explains the implications of the EMC directive on fixed installations


urofins York (formerly named York EMC Services) has been working in the rail sector for over 21 years; managing, assisting and supporting suppliers, operators, manufactures and installers. One of the main activities we undertake is EMC Management to ensure that projects meet with both the legal requirements of the EMC Directive, and the functional requirements of the project. In this article, we consider the railway depot as a fixed installation (FI) from an EMC perspective, and discover what that means for: • the contractor building the depot • suppliers providing electrical equipment for the depot • running the depot after completion. Eurofins York has shepherded depots through the EMC process on many occasions, writing EMC documentation, managing interfaces, and providing advice, support, and where appropriate testing, throughout the design, construction and commissioning stages. What is a fixed installation? The current EMC Directive 2014/30/EU

which came into force in 2016, defines the FI as ‘a particular combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are assembled, installed and intended to be used permanently at a predefined location.’ This is unchanged from the current directive’s predecessor and is clearly applicable to depots and maintenance facilities, but is also equally applicable to a light rail or tram system. The directive contains requirements for fixed installations, which must be met. The first two are the essential requirements for EMC; the FI must be suitably non-emissive for its environment (i.e. not create more than the allowed level of electromagnetic emissions), and it must be suitably immune (i.e. not be affected by nearby electromagnetic emissions from others) for its intended function. In addition to these, there are specific additional requirements for FIs. The FI shall be installed applying good engineering practices and respecting the information on the intended use of its components, with a view to meeting the protection requirements. Additionally, the ‘good engineering practices’ shall be documented.

Why regulate a fixed installation? It is instructive to consider why fixed installations are regulated and how this relates to the apparatus installed in them. Apparatus’ also need to meet the essential requirements of the EMC Directive 2014/30/EU and this is typically done using harmonised standards. These standards lay out an integrated set of emission limits and immunity levels for a variety of environments, with the dual aims of not disturbing communications, broadcasts or other equipment, and of functioning correctly (in the presence of the same communications, broadcasts and other equipment). The difference between emissions limits Rail Professional



and immunity levels is known as the margin of compatibility. The margins that are built into harmonised standards allow most apparatus to work as intended which has the effect of making simple cases such as a home ordinarily work. For a depot or other complex installation, like a tram system however there are a number of reasons why additional measures are required. Firstly, in non-domestic environments the electromagnetic environment tends to be more severe, which means that more energy is available as potential interference. Next, the installation of several pieces of apparatus generally requires considerable lengths of cabling which is of significant concern for electromagnetic disturbances. There is also the likelihood that one or more pieces of apparatus will not be intended for the installation environment. Finally, the greater the energy for disturbances, and the more complex the installation, the more likely it is that the installation’s neighbours will be affected. Although the driver for the regulation of fixed installations is primarily the effect on third parties, this should not be seen as its main purpose in a depot. The planning and documentation requirements encapsulated by the ‘good engineering practices’ are very beneficial in assuring overall compatibility of the finished installation, not just at the boundary with its neighbours.

Without planning, even an installation far from any neighbours runs the risk of internal compatibility problems. Equipment could be incorrectly installed, poorly positioned or simply incompatible with its installed environment, leading to malfunction of the equipment itself or of other equipment. In addition to the above points, when new or different rail systems are being installed in an environment previously not party to rail systems, the surrounding neighbours and third parties tend to require assurance that their activities will not be disturbed. This is of particular relevance for electrifying new railways, or installing light rail systems in city streets. Electromagnetic compatibility Good engineering practice for a fixed installation is generally proven by the following steps: • determination of the installation environment, and of the environment Rail Professional

• • • •

created by critical parts of the new installation specification of a coherent set of standards for apparatus sourced as part of the installation dissemination of requirements down the supply chain verification that all equipment meets the requirements procedures to mitigate emerging issues.

Managing a fixed installation When following the above steps of good engineering practice, occasionally an interference issue may still be encountered. At the design stages, this is relatively easy to fix simply by reducing source emissions or boosting victim immunity, whichever is the easiest. In practice though, the mitigation may be expensive or complex. Where a third party is involved, the EMC Directive mentions the concept of the interface, an imaginary boundary across which all disturbances pass, where limits can be set and agreed between parties. In general, the management of EMC interfaces is set out by the EMC Management Plan, which forms part of the EMC documentation for the FI. When considering apparatus and equipment to be installed in a depot, there are two ways to show conformance: For apparatus already placed on the market, there should be a Declaration of Conformity (DoC), for that piece of apparatus, stating that the apparatus is fit for a given environment. It is sometimes the case that apparatus to be procured does not meet the requirements for a rail environment; in this case a gap analysis can be performed or the apparatus re-procured For apparatus that is made specifically for the FI, and is otherwise not commercially available, then the manufacturer must detail installation procedures sufficient to maintain the conformity of the overall FI. The person who is responsible for this should pay particular attention to such apparatus from the earliest stages and obtain suitable assurances (backed up by evidence) that the apparatus will maintain compatibility with the defined environment. On-site EMC testing at locations around the fixed installation (varying standards are available for rolling stock, depots and

overhead systems) may be required, both before energisation to measure the baseline electromagnetic environment, and after energisation to compare with the preenergisation results and to confirm that the installation meets the requirements for emissions. The need for such measurements should be identified in the planning stages. The guidelines have some suggestions for how to apply good engineering practice. Definition of border lines / geographical boundaries of the FI is recommended to aid with the interface definition. This is particularly relevant to depots, as they are invariably connected to the rail network, and often squeezed in to compact areas, meaning interface definition is of paramount importance. For a depot with such interfaces, these will be defined, and controls outlined in the EMC Management Plan. Final thoughts It is important for the installation to ensure that compatibility is considered from the outset, defining the environment and ensuring a coherent set of requirements for apparatus and smaller FIs within the depot or other rail environment that will be met. There are some useful questions that will help the person responsible for EMC through the EMC management process; answering these will help greatly when the EMC documentation is being complied for handover. 1. What is the EMC environment? 2. What are the EMC requirements? Do the requirements match the environment? 3. Is there an EMC plan? 4. Are there recognised quality/competency systems in place? 5. How will deviations from the plan, the specifications, or the declared environment be resolved? 6. What documents will be produced? Are they sufficient to demonstrate compatibility? Dr Rob Armstrong is consultancy and training manager at Eurofins York (formerly York EMC Services)

Tel: 0330 430 3456 Email: Visit:

What does a more automated railway look like? Automation is set to transform transport. Rail’s ability to survive and thrive as an industry will depend on its ability to embrace this change, and to do so intelligently. Read our latest series on Aspects of Automation where 10 of our experts discuss how automation could affect risk, accessibility, personal security, impact on jobs, regulation as well as experience from other railways and industries. Join the debate and get in touch with us if you have any queries – we’re here to help. Read the series at

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Timesaving maintenance As of March last year, the UK had a national rolling stock fleet of 13,400 vehicles with an average age of 21.1 years, according to the Office of Rail and Road


hese statistics were pounced upon by a respected regional paper last month for a frontpage story declaring ‘Britain’s ageing trains are the oldest on record.’ This may be so, but it ignores the significant investment being made in new rolling stock, particularly in the southeast. Nevertheless, the proliferation of older vehicles, combined with ever growing demands to reduce servicing times, presents a significant challenge for depot operators. Innovative ways to complete maintenance quickly without compromising safety have become the holy grail and suppliers who can make this magic equation a reality are in high demand. Speed and safety Sheffield-based Mechan has done just that and as a result, its handling equipment for depots and workshops is being specified in major construction and refurbishment projects up and down the country. Recognising the need to renovate and restore is as important in depots as it is on the track, the firm also offers low cost refurbishment of existing maintenance equipment. It is happy to tackle most types of products, from any manufacturer and of any age, giving obsolete or tired machinery a new lease of life. The heavy lifting manufacturer is perhaps best known for its ubiquitous yellow jacks, which grace the floors of workshops around the world. Jacks are vital for access to bogies, wheelsets and underfloor components, offering a reliable yet flexible way to lift complete trains without decoupling. Boasting a design life of at least 25 years – far longer than other lightweight alternatives – they will maintain a load even when power is lost and can be modified to suit wide or tall vehicles, moved around as necessary and configured to lift a train of any length. Research and development Mechan’s patented Megalink control system combines the latest technology and networking expertise to synchronise jacks, whilst still producing a smooth and safe lift. The theoretical position of every unit in a chain is broadcast at regular intervals, so each one can make speed adjustments so precise they are undetectable to the eye, correcting

any height deviations. Megalink enables just one person to manage a lift, using a remote, full colour touch screen controller that displays useful data about maintenance and servicing and gives the operator a complete overview or the option to focus in on a particular jack, making it easier to diagnose faults. This commitment to innovation, build quality and safety is at the heart of Mechan’s success and forms the basis of its homegrown equipment. Thanks to continued investment in research and development, the firm’s product range has expanded organically to cater for all types of underfloor lifting and handling, bogie workshop equipment and vehicle component removal. Drop mechanisms Equipment drops are becoming increasingly popular with depot operators, as they reduce the time it takes to maintain, repair or replace modules on the underside of a carriage, without lifting or splitting the train. They have featured heavily in Mechan’s recent work, particularly its involvement in the Intercity Express Programme (IEP), forming part of three of the four orders it received. Three types of drop mechanism are

available – a traditional scissor design, an intelligent screw jack system, which incorporates lift towers and a self-contained screw jack. The latter two are favoured by operators, particularly in new build facilities, thanks to their reduced pit depth, minimising civil costs during construction. Using a Mechan equipment drop, a complete bogie change is feasible in just two hours, allowing the vehicle to return to service as quickly as possible. It enables bogies, wheelsets and other underfloor components to be replaced at track level, whilst letting maintenance, inspections and cleaning continue at the same time. Like all Mechan’s products, equipment drops are made to the client’s unique requirements. They are available with a range Rail Professional



of optional extras, such as a pit continuation for enhanced clearance under the bogie and side platforms to improve access to the item being changed. Adapters can also be added so that any type of undercar module can be replaced. An equipment drop with two bridges was delivered to the North Pole depot in west London as part of the IEP. As it is sited in the centre of the facility, its unusual configuration had to be designed to enable one of the bridges to retract into the pit, so it did not undermine other work and normal operations could continue when it is not in use. Once a bogie or wheelset has been removed, Mechan offers numerous products designed to make the refurbishment and maintenance process safer and more efficient. Rotators lift and turn a bogie to provide access to all areas in an ergonomic manner, at a comfortable working height. Turntables can also be installed to transfer bogies between roads or turn wheelsets around. They are designed to allow complete rail vehicles and other traffic to pass without obstruction. When undercar components are not in use, Mechan designs and manufactures a range of safe and efficient storage stands that protect from flange and frame damage and minimise the floor space required. Work

stands can also be made to accommodate bogies, wheelsets, axles, traction motors and more. Maintaining relationships Mechan’s product portfolio was enhanced further last year, following its acquisition by French group, CIM, which specialises in the design and realisation of railway infrastructure supply and construction projects. CIM operates in more than 120 countries worldwide, across all continents, working for many of the main rail transportation and public transport operators, as well as mining companies. The business has grown substantially in recent years, through a programme of procurement and has three divisions – projects, services and equipment. It is almost 50 years since Mechan’s creation and thanks to its professionalism and expertise, its products are recognised worldwide for their quality, safety and reliability. The company’s commitment to customers does not stop once an installation is complete. Its highly trained technicians offer comprehensive service arrangements, comprising planned maintenance packages, 24-hour emergency response and access to spare parts or technical support to minimise downtime.


Thanks to its excellent aftersales care, depot operators and train builders keep returning to Mechan. The firm enjoys longstanding links with major industry names, such as Siemens, Hitachi, Network Rail, Bombardier and Alstom and with the support of an international network of agents, exports are playing an increasingly significant role in its success. By combining traditional engineering skills with the latest technological advancements, the firm is helping depots sustain older rolling stock and prepare for the introduction of new vehicles. Continued pressure to make handling equipment faster, cleaner and more efficient drives its specialist engineers to find new ways to refine and enhance the way trains are serviced. Mechan knows all rail projects are unique and often subject to change, which is why every order is planned meticulously to the client’s needs. This attention to detail ensures its equipment works with local conditions and environmental constraints and is cementing Mechan’s reputation as a market leader in depot maintenance. Tel: 0114 2570563 Email: Visit:





01923 777 777


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.

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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 National suppliers to rail, civil engineering & construction projects specialising in London delivery. Huge stock & product expertise!

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












Davy Industrial Park Prince of Wales Road Sheffield S9 4EX +44 (0)114 257 0563

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

• Arms • Blades • Motors (24v and 110v) • Linkage systems • Components & spares

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.



The rail maintenance market Majorlift Hydraulics are a leading player in the manufacture of automotive workshop equipment


he company produces a full range of lifting products with quality and safety being the top consideration. All its products are designed and manufactured in a high-tech factory based in rural Gloucestershire by a highly skilled workforce of 45 technicians and designers operating the very latest CNC machines and CAD design equipment. These qualities are endorsed by being quality assured to BS EN ISO 2015 since 1992, registered defence contractors KCUQ 9 for garage lifting equipment and conforming to machinery directive 2006/42/EC/. Over 96 per cent of all the company’s products are manufactured in house which allows for complete control over quality at all stages of manufacture. Company roots The company is 100 per cent British, family owned and was founded 45 years ago and is located on the original site but has doubled its size over the last decade, purchasing the building next door, giving a total of 30,000 square feet of factory and office space and with conference facilities. High priority is given by the company to its apprentice scheme which is now in its 5th year with its third young person. This scheme is very close to the heart of David Abel – Smith, chairman and owner of the company

as he started his own career as an engineering apprentice in the shipyards on Teeside. The company now has a turnover of £4.3 million of which over 20 per cent is exported to all parts of the world often as far away as Australia. One of the main export customers is SKF bearings for whom special hand hydraulic pumps are produced to assist in the accurate seating and removal of marine bearings on drive shafts. As part of this contract which has been ongoing for about 25 years the goods are packed in SKFs, OEM packaging and shipped direct to the SKF distribution centre for onward supply to its customers globally. Another interesting niche market is the supply of jacks for the servicing of aero engines which is a rapidly growing element of the business. These jacks are used to remove and refit high value line replacement units {LRU’s] such as engine management computers and fuel pumps on the one jet engines. Main business and diversification Majorlift’s core business remains the manufacture of a full range of hydraulic lifting equipment designed for the automotive workshop and garage such as pit jacks, jacking beams for use in MOT garages, transmission jacks, special tool for the removal of wheel hubs and bearings, and the

Patrolman trolley jack which is used by all AA and RAC roadside assistance patrols. The company has always developed its product range by talking and listening to potential customers and producing bespoke equipment to their individual requirements. Often it has been discovered that their problems were shared by many others and so these products were included in the company’s portfolio.

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Trains jacks  

to remove TCU fan motors, ventilator fan and coolant for the Desiro 350/351/352 and 353. While all these units are designed to run on the floor of the pit a unit built for Freightliner in Southampton is designed to run along the permanent way rails when they are not in use and is to fit and remove freight couplings. Special fittings allow it to be lifted out of the pit when the wagons are ready to have the bogies refitted. Currently in production is a lift for GWR Exeter to remove alternators from Class 150 and 153 diesels. As with the other jacks the design is modular to allow it to be easily fitted into or out of the pit and can be used with a range of adaptors for different applications, so while initial investment may be significant, once further applications are found then the subsequent adaptors are very cost effective.

This is  the  jack  designed  for  Siemens  trains  in  Leeds.  It  was  designed  to  remove  the  TCU  fan  on  the   class  332/333  Siemens  (CAF-­‐Spanish)  train  

This jack  was  designed  for  Siemens  Northampton  to  remove  TCU  fan  motor,  Ventilator  cooling  fan   and  Coolant  pump  for  the  Desiro  350/351/352/353  


As above  but  for  Siemens  Acton  to  fit  in  an  open  sided  pit  

This jack  has  been  designed  for  GWR  Exeter  to  remove  Alternators  from  a  range  of  their  diesel  trains  


This  is  the  original  engine  removal  jack  design  for  Siemens  Northampton  to  work  on  the  Bogie  drop   as  per  or  brochure  

This  jack  was  designed  for  Freightliner  Southampton  to  fit  and  remove  freight  couplings.  It  is   designed  to  run  along  the  rails  and  then  be  removed  when  not  in  use      

Keen to diversify, Majorlift has looked to apply its proven and successful technology into new markets. As part of this process the company has identified railway maintenance as a whole new market and sales are gaining momentum in this new area. Specifically, rail maintenance seems to be well provided for lifting whole locomotives or carriages, but there seems to be little provision for lifting components in the lighter range between 30 and 150kgs. It started with a request from Siemens to provide a solution to under frame equipment Rail Professional

handling in the bogie drop for class 185 trains at its Manchester train maintenance depot. Majorlift engineers visited the site and discussed the problem before coming up with a simple design based on the successful commercial vehicle pit jack and utilizing existing standard rams, cylinders and controls. The final design was a unit capable of doing the job safely and with precision. Since then several other bespoke safety products have been designed and built for several other Siemens depots. The unit for Leeds is for the removal of the TCU fan on the class 332/333 CAF train. The one for Acton [London] is the same as for Leeds but has been modified to suit an open sided pit. The Northampton depot has a common base unit which has a range of adaptors to allow it

Tram revival Another potential use of these products is in the light rail or tramway systems, where the UK is seeing a renaissance after years of reliance on buses, taxis or private cars. Whatever the motive power, units such as motors, fans, brakes and couplings will need to be removed, serviced and refitted Majorlift’s expertise in automotive servicing can be applied to provide a safe and productive method of work. These tools will be well received by H&S managers as they reduce the manual handling requirement within maintenance depots and also the potential for accidents. The company is actively lobbying maintenance facility managers and pit suppliers to ensure that all new pits have a rail fitted as part of the initial installation. This is a cheap and simple addition which will unlock the potential of the pit by allowing the use of pit mounted tools operating below the running rails and able to operate across the whole width of the pit. The company has recently produced a brochure which has been circulated to the rail industry informing engineers about the company and what they can do to improve safety and productivity This can be viewed on the web site [] or a copy requested by telephoning the sales office on 01454 299299. In certain cases, engineers from the company can visit potential customers in the UK to discuss their requirements. Looking to the future Majorlift is planning to exhibit at and visit many rail exhibitions in the coming year giving potential customers a chance to meet and discuss the products described. The company is very proud of its facilities and equipment at Wickwar and would welcome an opportunity to offer factory visits to any potential rail customers. Tel: 01454 299299 Email: Visit:

Join the Rail Alliance As the UK’s largest rail sector supply chain networking organisation, Rail Alliance members enjoy a vast range of business-to-business benefits, including access to our themed monthly networking events and Rail Alliance hub space at major exhibitions and trade shows: Events Calendar 2018 * January

SafeStart18 - Stoneleigh, UK Supplier Day - Newport, Wales


Modular Signalling - Birmingham, UK


Train Maintenance Depots - NCHSR, Doncaster, UK


ISRET 2018 University of Birmingham Smart Infrastructure - Hertfordshire, UK


Electrification - London, UK



Stations Supply Chains





Railway Construction Materials November


Rail Alliance Members AGM

*Events are constantly being added to. Please check our website for details.

To find out more about Rail Alliance membership go to: Rail Alliance, at the heart of the rail supply chain.



Maintenance and replacement Nobody likes to pay more for their daily commute, so it is no surprise that this year’s announcement was particularly contentious, with an average fare rise of 3.4 per cent across the UK


assengers are often unaware, however, of the huge investments being made in railway infrastructure and the replacement of decades-old trainsets. Last year, for example, private companies invested just shy of £1 billion in the UK’s rail network, the highest on record, of which three quarters was spent on rolling stock. These investments are crucial to delivering a world-class railway that’s fit for the next few decades; however, that doesn’t give us licence to fritter away the cash on inefficient working practices. Train maintenance is a major factor in the overall cost of running the railways, and we need to ensure that we invest in the latest access equipment to make sure that engineers can complete their tasks as efficiently – and as safely – as possible. Maintenance in context Alongside the headline rail infrastructure projects, we are seeing a huge investment in rolling stock. This includes £1.6 billion spent on Thameslink trainsets, more than £1 billion for the Elizabeth line (Crossrail) carriages, and almost £3 billion on trainsets for HS2. This is to say nothing of major new spending on everything from replacing the decades-old Class 43 with the Hitachi Class 802, full fleet replacement on the Greater Anglia franchise, and many similar projects across the country. These improvements are taking place alongside an unprecedented renaissance in the popularity of our railways. Between 1997 and 2015, the number of passengers on the network doubled, and it continues to grow. With this huge increase comes a commensurate increase in the wear and tear of rolling stock, which requires new maintenance strategies and investment in depot equipment. The new infrastructure projects may grab the headlines, but it is the behind-thescenes maintenance work that is keeping rail investment on track. The McNulty Report estimated that maintenance accounts for a full quarter of the total lifetime cost of rolling stock, and it is this work that is so crucial to improving reliability and ensuring that trains are out of service for the shortest possible amount of time. This work includes new techniques and ways of working such as predictive and condition-based maintenance, which harness the new capabilities enabled by remote sensors and the Internet of Things. Exciting as these developments are, the more prosaic

aspects of maintenance continue to be just as important. These include providing safe and efficient access to engines, carriages and other rolling stock in the depot, enabling engineers to work safely whether they are at height or in the pit. For more than 80 years, ZARGES has been helping manufacturers and railway operators to solve their maintenance challenges. Its customers range from operators such as Deutsche Bahn and Renfe to manufacturers like Siemens and Bombardier. Its aim is to help bring down the cost of maintenance, and keep countries moving. The access challenge The overriding concern in railway maintenance is safety – besides this, nothing else matters. The wellbeing of engineers and railway workers is of paramount importance, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot combine safety with the most efficient means of access to rolling stock. Each depot has its own layout and will deal with different types of trainsets; the overall safety and efficiency of the facility depends on having a wide range of access technology that are adapted for that particular site and the tasks undertaken there. Maintenance access is divided into two types: mobile and stationary. Both combine integrated safety features with options for height adjustability and access to necessary media such as electricity, compressed air and water to ensure that engineers have the right tools, at the right height, and in the most efficient and comfortable position to do the job. Access challenges can be complex, especially with the introduction of new locomotives and carriages that are beginning to be introduced to the network. That is why it is so important to have a full range of custom-built access products which provide exceptional stability, and which are themselves reliable and low-maintenance. Mobile access solutions Mobile access consists of a wide portfolio of products, ranging from rail pit boards to side working platforms, roof and front working platforms. Each of these needs to be fully versatile and able to adapt to the full range of vehicles to be worked on, and incorporating padding and visual marking for safety. Front working platforms provide a particular challenge, with engineers needing access for work on the windscreen, wipers or destination display. Given the wide variety of different locomotives in use, front working

platforms need to be fully height-adjustable with optional two-way chassis for moving on normal workshop floors, rails or elevated tracks. Working at height naturally provides the biggest scope for accidents, which is why it’s so important to choose the correct roof working platform variant for each use case, and which is appropriate to the available space. When used in tandem (in other words, with a platform on each side of the train), roof working platforms should incorporate a height-adjustable safety cage together with telescopic front-fall protection. The same principles apply to portal roof working platforms, except that these should also feature rigid connection of both sides, Rail Professional



fenced-off working areas and, ideally, a strutfree framework that enables simultaneous side access. To get the best out of these separate solutions, it’s important that mobile access incorporates a high degree of modularity, so major components can be assembled in a way that enables engineers to conduct multiple maintenance tasks at the same time. Speed of assembly is a key factor in selecting access technology that can bring down the time and cost of routine maintenance tasks. Stationary access solutions Stationary access covers roof working stands and assembly stands, the latter encompassing universal system platforms. One of the key considerations with these technologies is that they are perfectly adapted to the existing hall

layout so that they reduce idle time to the bare minimum. Each depot or operator will have its own unique requirements, but there are some important factors that are common to all stationary access solutions. These include individual adaption of contours and platform heights of the trainsets being worked on, modularity and compatibility with other equipment such as mobile access solutions, front fall protection that can be adapted to set vehicle types, and load-bearing capacities of up to 500kg/m2. Furthermore, buyers should consider equipment that features cantilevered arms for the best possible access to all relevant assembly positions, fixed or height-adjustable platforms for ergonomic working, and impact protection made of soft PVC to protect workers and the vehicles themselves. These are exciting times for the UK’s railways, but the record investment will only deliver on its promises if the new trains are maintained to the highest standard, and turned around in the shortest possible time. While maintenance will rarely grab the front-page headlines, having the right access technologies in place will play a vital, if hidden, role in our railway’s renaissance. Tel: 01908 641118 Email: Visit:

KEEPING YOU ON THE RIGHT TRACK Lifting equipment built specially for you

Quality and safety are our number 1 priority Endorsed by our being quality approved to BS EN ISO9001; 2015 Specialists in the manufacture of all types of hydraulic lifting equipment for the rail, haulage and garage industries We are happy to quote for design, development and production for your individual application Privately owned British company established for 45 years All our products can be viewed on our web site www.majorlift .com To discuss our product in detail or arrange a visit from one of our engineers telephone 01454 299299 Majorlift Hydraulic Equipment Ltd. Arnolds Field Estate, Wickwar, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 8JD Tel: (+44) 01454 299299 Visit:

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Every single cargo is precious to ALS Since 1980 ALS’ knowledgeable and experienced in house teams have developed a strong understanding of the global requirements necessary to handle the movement of exceptional and project cargo


LS strives to be a specialist global logistics provider offering multimodal solutions through a personal service. Innovative, dedicated and reliable teams specialise in abnormal loads and heavy lift cargo. Part of ALS’ portfolio in the rail sector includes transporting tunnel boring machines (TBMs)– reported to be the widest loads since records began - for the UK’s Crossrail project, bogies and locomotives from the USA via Croatia to Mozambique and current project management involves road and chartering shipments for over 1,000 rail carriages from Europe to the Middle East. As part of WWL, ALS’ new brand image,

slogan and launch of a new website reflect ALS’ expertise in handling transportation and delivery of exceptional cargo with a dedication in service and true companionship, whatever…..wherever. The teams are exceptionally committed and pride themselves in providing clients with a professional and honest service with one local point of contact. From airfreighting the smallest components or arranging the transportation of oversized cargo by road or barge and providing permit and escort solutions, to organising global container shipments, ships

agency and marine and port services, warehousing and storage options or chartering a vessel, ALS’ dedicated in house teams understand ALS’ client’s needs providing a service that reflects the professional standards demanded in the business

world today.


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

ACCESS ALL AREAS Our special rail access platforms are suitable for side, front and roof access. As the market leader for access solutions in Europe, and with over 80 years of experience – ZARGES is able to provide rail deports with the widest range of access platforms for maintenance and rolling stock.

HARMUK provides rail consulting services in occupational and operational management with tailored solutions in the following areas:

Tel. 01908 641118 Email. Web.

Hazard and risk management Legal compliance and best practices


Strategy, management systems and implementation Capability and technical support Information and Assurance Certification and bid support services


Call us on 01904 780880 Visit our website -

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NEW: Series PCMDNI300 without galvanical isolation • Output power: 300 W • Efficiency: ≥95 % • Input voltage range: 18...100,8 VDC / 28...160 VDC • Output voltage: 12 V / 24 V • Ambient temperature: -40...+70 °C / +85 °C 10 min • Transient protected, vaccum encapsulated • EN 60950-1 / EN 61000-6-4 / EN 61000-6-2 • Fire protection acc. to EN 45 545-2



In development ... A roundup of LRT, tram and metro developments


he year that just went by saw multiple developments to the UK’s rail network, 2018 and beyond has even more in store. Part of the government’s £250 million investment in transport in the West Midlands is going towards the Midland Metro, part of the £1.7 billion ‘Transforming Cities’ fund. The metro has been experiencing exponential growth with ridership reaching 6.2 million in 2017, representing a 30 per cent growth on the previous year. With nine more stations under construction that passenger growth is set to continue. In 2016 the tram line was extended into Birmingham city centre. Work on five new stops started early in 2017 in a £150 million extension project, £60 million of which comes from the Department of Transport and the rest coming from Birmingham City Council and other local authorities and developers. The line is being extended by 1.2 miles from New Street station to Hagley Road and is currently predicted to start operations by 2021/22. In order to maintain the aesthetic of the buildings along the extension parts of the route will not have overhead lines and the trams will instead run on batteries. The single line currently stops at 26 stations. Translink In Northern Ireland, Translink is building a new train station at Portrush as part of the Portrush Regeneration Programme

which aims to enhance the image of the surrounding area and help regenerate the local town. This is an exciting new development for the town which will provide modern facilities to cater for growing passenger numbers and contribute to the overall regeneration of the town. The new station is due to be completed Spring 2019 ahead of the Open Golf Championship in 2019.

Blackpool Tramway The oldest part of the tramway, along Blackpool Promenade, was opened on September 29, 1885, originally using conduit collection. The electric supply was converted to overhead power four years later. Over 130 years later and 2017 was a redletter year for the Tramway as September saw the 80th anniversary of the Brush Car tram and in October a collection of illuminated heritage trams paraded along the promenade for the first time in the tramway’s history. The improvements that have been made received such a positive response from the public that Blackpool Transport is looking to make further upgrades. The existing tramway service operates between Starr Gate and Fleetwood Ferry from approximately 05.30am until 11.30pm, with a peak service every ten minutes. The proposed tramway extension would leave the existing route at North Pier,

via a two-way double track junction. The route would cross the Promenade highway and enter Talbot Square, which would be remodelled to provide segregation of trams and highway traffic. The existing pedestrian signals on the Promenade would be replaced by a signalled intersection. A new eastbound tram stop would be located in Talbot Square, to allow interchanges with the existing North Pier tram stops. Beyond Talbot Square, a double track alignment continues eastwards in the centre of the highway. It is hoped that construction would commence at the beginning of 2018. It is anticipated that the proposed tramway extension will take up to 16 months to construct, with services to North Station commencing by April 2019. Docklands Light Railway Docklands Light Railway turned 30 this year, to mark the anniversary Transport for London (TfL) celebrated by launching an initiative to promote the iconic London Rail Professional



News in brief

scenes the driverless train passes through. Custom House station on the Docklands Light Railway will reopen to passengers on Monday January 8. The station was closed in February last year for work to expand and modernize the station. The work will allow easier interchange between the line and the Elizabeth line which is due to open in December this year. Edinburgh Trams Edinburgh Trams scooped the coveted Operator of the Year title at the Global Light Rail Awards in London on October 4 2017. Awards judges were impressed initiatives that have seen customer numbers rise by around ten per cent to 5.6 million. The system has also recorded industry-leading levels of reliability and punctuality and turned a profit a year ahead of schedule.

Stagecoach Supertram Trains that can operate on both mainline rail and tram tracks will roll out in the Autumn, making it possible to make a single journey between tram stops and conventional rail stations. The seven Stadler built tram-trains have been in public service since September 2017. The project is expected to cost Network Rail £75 million to complete.

Major Metrolink construction milestone met overnight A 13.5-tonne footbridge was recently removed from the Crumpsall Metrolink stop as part of a significant series of upgrades in readiness for the new £350 million Trafford Park line. The removal of the bridge, which was 14 metres long, 2.5 metres wide and 2.6 metres high, represents a significant engineering feat and has been captured by time lapse footage. The bridge was lifted out by contractors M-Pact Thales, who completed the works during the early hours of Sunday morning, using a 220-tonne crane, minimising disruption to Metrolink customers. The removal was part of the first phase of works at Crumpsall, which also includes the upgrade to the stairs on the Burybound platform, the removal of the old lift shaft and disabled access ramp on the Manchester-bound platform and a new track-level crossing to improve accessibility. The first phase of work at the stop is due to be completed in March, before a final phase of work will take place before the new Trafford Park line opens in 2020.

Human Reliability Associates

Specialists in the human factors (HF) aspects of Rail operations With 25 years of experience in human factors in the rail sector, we can assist you in: • Competence Assurance • HF in accident Investigation • Identifying and preventing human failures in maintenance and rail operations • HF risk analysis for safety cases • Enhancing procedures usability and compliance • Control room design

Contact us Email: Tel: +44 (0)1257 463121 Visit: Rail Professional



Improving the view of Britain’s railway Marco Sala, Network Rail’s senior geospatial information technical specialist, explains how it took to the skies to meet the challenges that growth brings


nder pressure and filled to capacity: Network Rail needs to find new and innovative ways to run and maintain a railway that is experiencing unprecedented growth. Network Rail is tasked with maintaining and operating a rail infrastructure that includes 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and more than 6,000 level crossings. This complex network – a predominantly Victorian network running at or close to 100 per cent capacity – has doubled the number of passengers it carries over the past two decades and shows no sign of slowing. It must meet this challenge without compromising on safety, reliability and cost efficiency. Data driven railway It was clear we needed to find new and better ways of working to get more out of the existing infrastructure. In a perfect world we would rip it up and start all over again, but that’s clearly not an option. Instead, Network Rail launched the Offering Rail Better Information Services programme (ORBIS) in 2012. ORBIS, a seven-year digital transformation programme, is designed to improve the way

the business captures, collates and exploits data on its vast infrastructure to improve the maintenance and decision-making process. The tools, apps and digital mapping solutions delivered so far are designed to shift Network Rail from time-based maintenance and renewal regimes to predictive regimes – in simple terms to make sure the right work, at the right time, in the right place is carried out to keep train services running at optimal efficiency. Up, up and away In 2014 ORBIS took to the skies in a helicopter equipped with three highresolution multi-spectrum cameras – one mounted vertically, the other two oblique – looking forwards and backwards, plus a powerful LiDAR scanner to capture 3D imagery of the railway. During one flying season this aerial survey captured high-resolution imagery across the 20,000-mile network, including terrain 50 metres either side of the track centre-line. Since then we have resurveyed targeted areas of the network based on the needs of routes and changes to the railway environment. The goal was to provide planners and engineers with a concise, clear and accurate view of the entire railway infrastructure from the safety of the office. From desktop computers they can analyse work sites, take key measurements, plan safe access and gain a full understanding of a project site without having to step onto track – so the safety benefits were clear from the start.

survey captured 220TB of data, which had to be cleaned and aligned before it could be used. The datasets included high resolution Multispectral Orthophotos, Oblique Images and LiDAR data, from which Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Surface Models (DSM) could be viewed. (SEE IMAGES) What set this apart from any other survey was the accuracy and detail of the imagery. Assets on the railway were now captured at 4cm resolution, in contrast to Google maps and OS imagery at 25cm. Using high resolution imagery and LiDAR data means we can extract precise locations of assets, improving the accuracy of existing data locations, which can now be linked to the asset inventory. It allows us to manage data as a whole system – not as individual items. Following the aerial survey railway assets are digitised as fully attributed 3D vector features, available both in CAD format or GIS format. This is underpinned by a comprehensive data specification for around 80 different asset types, and 10 different asset groups, detailing how they should be geo-spatially captured and which attributes

Greater clarity Before this could be achieved there was a huge amount of work to do. The aerial

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should be associated with them. It is this level of accuracy that is improving safety by reducing the need for manual ground surveys in the early planning stage of infrastructure projects. Some of Network Rail’s key projects have benefited from this, including Thameslink, Crossrail 2 and the Great North Rail Project. Managing our assets Once the aerial survey data was ready to use it was made accessible through Network Rail’s Geo-Rail Infrastructure Network Model Viewer – or the Geo-RINM Viewer as it’s known across the business. The viewer is a desktop tool which contains more than 140 data layers of information from flood risk data to land-ownership data.

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There are numerous examples which demonstrate the benefits of using aerial survey data. For instance, inspections of cuttings and embankments are traditionally carried out by teams who need to take manual measurements of areas of difficult terrain close to tracks. Now, using the DTM imagery – which is basically an accurate view of the bare earth with all assets and vegetation stripped away – these measurements can be carried out from the safety of the office. Using desktop computers geo-technical engineers can build 3D models to gain a better understanding of the terrain. For deeper analysis they can create cross sections of embankments and get accurate measurements of cutting gradients. Our ability to analyse tree and vegetation close to tracks has also been enhanced. By combining LiDAR and aerial imagery, and using an advanced geo-spatial algorithm, we are able to derive precise locations of trees together with a number of very useful attributes on trackside vegetation. For instance, understanding tree height enables us to calculate which trees are within falling distance of the track or electrical overhead line equipment. Used in conjunction with a risk model,

it means we can identify trees that present the highest risk to the railway and carry out targeted, proactive vegetation management – reducing the need for trackside inspections and avoiding costly delays to train services. What’s next? The aerial survey data captured is transforming the way we manage assets – how we view and maintain them. No other railway has carried out a survey on this scale, in this detail, but in many respects we are just at the beginning of what can be achieved in delivering a safer more reliable railway using this level of insight. Our next step is to establish a long-term re-surveying approach designed around the challenges the routes are facing – whether that is around benefits, safety, being more cost-effective or work efficiencies.



Innovative, alternative and affordable finance The UK rail industry is experiencing one of its most exciting and important advancements in its 192-year history


ver since George Stephenson’s development of the locomotive steam engine in 1825, the nation’s railway has continued to innovate, and we are currently seeing strategies in place to ensure that the UK’s railway systems are world-class. The government’s recent strategic vision for rail, detailed in the Industrial Strategy white paper, envisions the UK as the world’s most innovative economy, and proposes infrastructure is upgraded to support this ambition. The government’s grand challenge is to ensure that the future of mobility is tackled and infrastructures are in place to accommodate the increasing capacity of rail users. Rail opportunities With ambitious goals to make the UK the number one place for innovation, productivity and growth, it is important that the UK maximises the potential of the rail sector. This focus on connectivity will open new economic opportunities for rail supply chain businesses looking to seize this moment to unlock their growth potential. From digital infrastructure planning to cuttingedge technology research, to component manufacturing and more, SMEs need to drive innovation and capitalise on rail opportunities, taking advantage of this time of significant development. For those looking to exploit emerging opportunities, securing an injection of investment finance can help them to scale, catalyse growth and drive much needed innovation for the rail industry. Case in point is Perpetuum, a Southampton-based software and engineering company that has secured contracts with both domestic and international clients including Southeastern Railways, Virgin Trains and the New York Metro after they recognised the application of its self-powered wireless sensor system – the first of its kind in the world – in improving reliability, safety and the cost effectiveness of rail delivery. The on-train system continuously monitors and reports the condition of

key functions such as wheel bearings and gearboxes, as well as the state of the track and passenger ride quality to ensure clients can react to real-time information. Innovation This is just one of the SMEs innovating in the sector, seizing the emerging opportunities and securing an injection of flexible investment finance. Many SMEs will also find that their skills and services can crossover into the rail sector, and there is funding available to help support this, removing barriers to entry and maximising commercial opportunities. For example, Trolex Aporta seized the opportunity to crossover its services into the rail sector after securing £1 million investment from the Rail Supply Growth Fund. With a track record of delivering bus and coach operators with infotainment systems, the investment enabled them to pursue domestic and international contracts within the rail industry. With the government’s strategy to develop digital infrastructure, Trolex Aporta’s business model will help ease the pressure of the rail industry’s demand for high-speed Wi-Fi and entertainment

onboard passenger carriages. Glyn Jones, managing director of Trolex Group said: ‘It’s an exciting time for the rail industry. The sector is currently experiencing increased demand from customers for high-speed Wi-Fi that delivers entertainment direct to their fingertips. At Trolex Aporta we aim to provide an innovative solution that not only guarantees a reliable full entertainment service for passengers, but one that is cost-effective and easy to maintain for rail operators. ‘Our greater mission is to lead domestic and international rail industries to a more efficient and user-led future. The funding provided will help us to develop our system further ensuring a better travel experience for rail passengers.’ Improving the efficiency of passenger flows through stations and trains and producing personalised customer experiences is rising up the agenda, an area in which the industry is well known for lagging behind the likes of air and road transport. As a result, it can be expected that further opportunities will emerge in this space, driving innovation and research, developing dynamic solutions to significant areas within rail. Rail Professional



Therefore, it is critical that there is commitment to tackle the challenges being faced by the modern UK rail industry. Providing access to flexible finances to the rail supply chain is essential for SMEs in the sector to gain traction within this thriving time, as it drives investment in projects that develop a high-quality infrastructure. Investment options While the evolution of rail is set to present a number of promising prospects for SMEs, they must be confident in their ability to win, serve and sustain larger and longerterm contracts effectively. As with many industries from automotive to digital, securing investment finance can be the key to unlocking this growth. Whether it be debt or equity finance, large injections of working capital can drive product development and R&D, or allow a business to upscale its assets and upskilling and increasing its workforce. This is where the national Rail Supply Growth Fund can support businesses seeking accelerated routes to market. Managed by Finance Birmingham and supported by central government, the £20 million Rail Supply Growth Fund continues to provide a dynamic solution for businesses in England seeking flexible and affordable finance.

Jack Glonek, investment director for the Rail Supply Growth Fund commented: ‘A strong rail supply sector is critical for the government’s plans for a modern rail system, whether for high speed, conventional, freight, metro or light rail. ‘It is also essential for unlocking economic growth and creating new jobs as well as connecting communities and enabling them to develop and grow. Delivering a world class railway requires a productive, innovative and responsive UK based rail supply sector’. The fund is designed to help suppliers of all sizes and types have access to affordable finance in order to develop their capabilities and improve their productivity and competitiveness to help to deliver this railway of the future. Key commercial drivers for the fund will help remove barriers to entry, strengthen the capability and competitiveness of the rail supply sector and increase support for onshore companies. An enticing element of the fund is the potential for a financial contribution (grant based) being available for up to ten per cent of the application value to assist innovative crossover products and services and supply chain participation. Key application criteria • open to businesses across England either

ITAL brings technology improvements to everyday processes

Now bringing payment solutions PayMe is the smart, agile way to make and collect payments for the rail industry Field workers can take payments swiftly and securely Customers can buy tickets or pay penalties on the move All payment options available: Apple Pay, contactless etc

PayMe saves time and provides a secure and quick way of taking funds for penalty fares etc. It’s something we will be rolling out to all our inspectors.

• • • •

currently operating in the rail sector or with the ability to supply into the rail sector with crossover sector products and services a plan to develop and grow the business with financial forecasts key to supporting an application a strong management team and trading record funding is available for working capital, new capital expenditure and product launch increased jobs, productivity and capability must be demonstrated along with private sector funding to support the application.

Loan terms • loans available from £500,000 to £2 million with flexible funding to reflect circumstances • complementary to existing bank debt rather than in replacement • repayable over up to five years • fees and charges will apply • a debenture will be required. Tel: 0121 233 4903 Email: Visit: railsupplygrowthfund

Engineering Innovation above and below the waterline River and Tidal Bridge Repairs & Strengthening Scour Repair and Protection Culvert Repairs and Re-lining Confined Space Services Ancillary Floating Plant and Pontoon Provisions Commercial Diving and Sub-Sea Services Email: Offices: Swansea . Bristol . Kent

0800 011 4000 | Rail Professional



Kaymac Marine

Kaymac Marine & Civil Engineering ltd



Environmental management accreditation Through adopting a focus on environmental systems and their impact, O.L.D. Engineering has achieved the necessary standards to gain environmental accreditation


through training and production practices down to the finest and awareness details, we have been able to develop new programmes processes that have given us tighter control focusing on identifying and understanding over the environmental impact of O.L.D. the environmental impact of their activities. Engineering. In 1971, founding partner Mr W. Throughout the ISO 14001:2015 G. Lusty said: ‘Strong reinvestment, certification process we have made commitment to quality, and the introduction improvements to our products and services, of new technology gave us a lead against our decreased our environmental impact and in competitors, ensuring our success for future some instances, we have even reduced our growth.’ An ethos that is clearly still present operating costs.’ This latest standard is now held alongside at O.L.D. Engineering today, 47 years later. To discover how O.L.D. Engineering can O.L.D. Engineering’s existing management help you with your next rail engineering and quality accreditations such as ISO 9001, project, you can contact the Engineering Fit 4 Nuclear and the 21st Century Supply 125 216 55410 Department using the details below. Chains (SC21) Bronze Award. O.L.D. Engineering also utilises the ISO Process makes perfect gnireenignenvironmental edlo@seiriuqmanagement ne 17Tel: 9101455 ECN612 IS G NIRUTCAFUNAM 521 Upon gaining the accreditation, O.L.D. ku.oc.14001:2015 system as the foundation on which employee Email: Engineering’s Chris Topp said: ‘By .oc.gand nire enignedis lobuilt. .www knowledge This is achieved Visit: scrutinising the process of our supply chain kuskills .L.D. Engineering’s ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Accreditation is part of a family of standards that provide practical tools for companies and organisations of all kinds which are looking to manage their environmental responsibilities. The journey to ISO 14001:2015 accreditation has helped O.L.D. Engineering improves its environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and a reduction in waste, gaining a competitive advantage as well as the trust of key stakeholders.






We’ve been helping our clients achieve success since 1971 by supplying them with quality, bespoke components produced on state of the art, multi-axis machinery. Find out how O.L.D. Engineering can help your business stay on track by calling us today on 01455 612 521 or visit

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20 years of celebrating success Back in December 1998, executive and industry leaders from across the UK rail sector gathered at London’s Café Royal for the inaugural Rail Business Awards


he Awards, the first dedicated awards programme to recognise and celebrate business achievements in the then recently privatised rail industry. Eurotunnel picked up the award for Rail Business of the Year, while Heathrow Express was named as the top Train Operator. Over the following two decades, the Rail Business Awards has become firmly established as a highlight of the UK rail industry calendar, and it continues to provide an unrivalled opportunity to pay tribute to all the hard work that goes on across the rail sector, day in, day out. Originally established by Woodhouse Communications, the Rail Business Awards now forms part of the Railway Gazette Group at DVV Media International, alongside Railway Gazette International and Rail Business Intelligence, and supported by lead sponsor Ricardo in association with Rail Professional. Following the inaugural event, sponsorship from HSBC Rail allowed the awards to move to the Grosvenor House for a few years, before settling into its longterm home at the prestigious 5-Star London Hilton on Park Lane. With the number of categories expanded to 18 and a record Rail Business of the Year – past winners Arriva UK Trains Docklands Light Railway Eurotunnel First Great Western FirstGroup First TransPennine Express GB Railfreight (2) GNER Interfleet Technology National Rail Enquiries (2) Northern Rail ScotRail Siemens Transportation Systems Southern Railway South West Trains Translink Transport for London

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number of entries, we expect that more than 600 senior executives and industry leaders will be gathering for the 20th anniversary event on February 22 2018. With awards for operations, engineering, technology and communications, as well as individual categories to mark personal achievements, the Rail Business Awards seeks to acknowledge excellence in all aspects of the UK rail sector, and this has been reflected in the diversity of past award winners.

Over the two decades, more than 100 companies and organisations have shared a total of 291 prizes. Winners include train operators and their owning groups, manufacturers and suppliers, infrastructure contractors and local authorities, as well as a host of supporting organisations. Some great names have come and gone as franchises change hands and suppliers restructure, but reflecting the dynamic nature of the industry, each year has seen a host of new companies entering the awards for the first time. The



2018 Shortlist Customer Service Excellence Sponsored by North Star • CrossCountry Customer Relations Transformation Project • Hull Trains Delivering an Exceptional Customer Service • KeolisAmey Docklands Back on Track Merseyrail Wirral Loop Line Track Renewal Project

spirit of the event and the challenge of the competition remain as strong as ever. South West Trains led the pack in the first decade, picking up a special award in 2008 to mark its six category wins in the first 10 years. But such is the level of competition that in the 19 years only five organisations have now amassed a tally that runs into double figures, and only two have taken the coveted Rail Business of the Year trophy more than once (see box, left page). In terms of total wins, Great Western is currently leading the pack with a creditable 19 awards to its name; its Managing Director Mark Hopwood was named Industry Leader last year. Coming up behind are Southern, London Underground, Northern and Translink, while GB Railfreight and TransPennine Express are closing in on the leaders. So who is in the running for 2018? Our eminent panel of independent judges has reviewed all the entries for this year’s competition, and the shortlists were announced at the end of November. But you’ll have to wait until February to find out who the winners are, and who must settle for a “highly commended”. Even if you haven’t entered, or your company didn’t make the shortlist, there are still plenty of reasons to join the party. As well as the actual presentations, the Rail Business Awards has always been as much about networking with colleagues and

building contacts across the rail industry. It’s a great night out. Everything is set for another great event this year, with a celebrity host and some special anniversary touches. The evening will begin with a drinks reception in the Wellington suite, before guests assemble in the Grand Ballroom for a sumptuous meal, an entertaining talk from our host and the awards presentations. Our 20th anniversary celebrations won’t end there, however, as you will be able to dance your way into the night at our exclusive after-show party. Don’t miss out – book your table today! To book your tables visit www.railbusiness, which provides more details of the Rail Business Awards and the many industry-leading companies among our sponsors. Further information about the Railway Gazette Group is available at Tel: 020 8652 5212

Digital Technology Excellence Sponsored by KBH On-Train Media • 3Squared Rail Smart Digital Employee Development System • Colas Rail Digital Route Knowledge • GoMedia On-board Infotainment Systems • Network Rail Track Decision Support Tool • Virgin Trains Smarter Working Engineering Business Excellence Sponsored by Ricardo Rail • Carillion Crossrail West Christmas 2016 Works • Furrer+Frey Crossrail OLE Scanner • Rail Operations Group Transforming Rail Services in the UK Infrastructure Project Excellence • Chiltern Railways, Network Rail, Carillion Buckingham Joint Venture, Atkins, Siemens & RSK East West Rail Phase 1 - Bicester to Oxford Collaboration • Rail Electrification Alliance East Coast Main Line Power Supply Upgrade Project • S&C South Alliance Track Renewals Framework • Siemens Rail Automation and London Underground Victoria Line Upgrade Programmes Marketing & Communications Excellence • Heathrow Express Holiday Hacks • Network Rail, Southeastern, GTR and DfT Thameslink Programme blockade • Northern Buy Before You Board • TransPennine Express Where Next? • Tyne & Wear Metro and Nexus Great North Snowdogs Rail Engineer of the Future Sponsored by Progress Rail • James, Dawson London Underground • Sudhir Prabhu AECOM

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New home, new look In what might be considered TrainFX’ best year yet, 2017 has seen the Derby-based PIS supplier grow its operations and expand into a host of new areas


ne of the stand out events took place in Birmingham at Railtex, where TrainFX demonstrated its advances with real-time passenger information, integrating live Darwin route information right to the stand. Innovative technology development has allowed TrainFX to provide upgrade paths to its customers to bring existing TrainFX technology into the real-time PIS world. Upgrade paths to provide PIDD and realtime PIS information will become available to all customers in early 2018. Office move and rebrand The end of last year saw TrainFX take its manufacturing capability to a whole new level with the completion of an office move which also brought its engineers and manufacturing team together in Derby under one roof. ‘The new premises on Newmarket Drive might be just a stone’s throw from our old office it is a huge leap in terms of the increased manufacturing capacity we have gained’, explains David Bradley, engineering director at TrainFX. ‘What this translates to is a great deal of flexibility as well as future proofing for increased demand and further expansion.’ The extra space has also provided TrainFX with a permanent home for its demonstrator rig, as seen at the Railtex and Rail Vehicle Enhancements exhibitions last year. The perfect way to demonstrate realtime functionality in an ontrain context to its visitors. ‘With the recent relocation and a new year on the horizon it felt like the best time for a rebrand to match’, explains Aaron Itzerott, media manager at TrainFX. The new

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branding includes a fresh colour scheme, fonts and logo. The logo iterates the existing ‘train edge’ decal, now crisper and more iconographic, giving an impression of a sleeker and more modern vehicle, in-keeping with the company’s image and direction. The fresh and deep dual tones of the mid and dark blues as well as the bright pop of the magenta and yellow accents also lend a sense of modernity and vitality. ‘I’m delighted to see them installed at our brand new premises and the feedback we have had from our visitors has been wonderful’ Aaron concluded. Looking ahead This year will see the finalisation of our smart seat technology, something our engineers have been hard at work for over the past year via the ‘CloSeR’ project, where TrainFX has been working in collaboration with a world leading, blue-chip multinational company and two red-brick Universities. This project has been an exciting one to be a part of, help develop and drive forward. This year will see all that hard work pay off with a new seat reservation solution, enabling customers to book seats on trains already in service. TrainFX continues to respond to the changing demands of the industry. At a time where cost effective and alternative solutions to passenger information are required. TrainFX can be relied upon to provide innovative solutions to an increasingly cost sensitive market.

‘By design, our systems have always been very modular in nature, being able to address both retro-fit and new build markets with a bespoke design. We know that in our industry, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t necessarily give the customer what they really need to have that competitive edge, so we pride ourselves on really listening to customers needs and incorporating those needs directly into our development.’ For TrainFX, this has culminated in the ability to take the key advantages of its fully integrated PIS and provide customers with a streamlined solution which can supplement their existing systems. ‘This makes a positive impact on the passenger’s journey while bringing additional operator benefits, essentially moving beyond your current capability with enhanced services via our tried and tested back office system, such as remote scheduling, auditable playout of on-train audio, remote updates and more. It’s both a streamlined and future-proof solution.’ Tel: 01332 366 175 Email: Visit:



New cleaning solution for CrossCountry Trials of a new deep cleaning process for trains has proved a resounding success at Bombardier Transportation’s Central Rivers depot in the Midlands


he company has joined forces with cleaning chemical manufacturer Arrow Solutions to introduce a new product to its operations and has just completed the first deep clean of the entire fleet of CrossCountry Voyager trains. Extreme cleaning This has involved 57 trains, made up of four and five carriages each, being subjected to a 20-hour exterior bodyside clean with Thickened Oxalwash, which removes iron and rust deposits that aren’t normally eliminated with daily cleaning solutions. The change has resulted in significantly cleaner trains, helping improve the passenger experience and boost the CrossCountry brand in the process. ‘I believe the results speak for themselves you only have to see the difference in the train after we have applied Thickened Oxalwash’ explained Colin Dunn, train presentation manager at Bombardier Central Rivers. ‘It not only gives the train a much cleaner finish, but has also brought hard to clean areas back to a much more acceptable appearance. This includes the door buttons, steps, sole bar and vestibule ends. These are notoriously difficult to clean, but this Arrow product offers the solution.’ He concluded: ‘The staff are proud of the finish they have achieved, and we can monitor how long the train maintains its appearance. Again, we can see the improvements have been significant and they are easier to reclean after this process.’ Safety Arrow Solutions, which has been supplying products to the rail sector for more than 25 years, first started discussions with Bombardier about an advanced exterior cleaner in 2013, following the successful introduction of Ecowash Autoshine in its wash plant. There was a requirement from CrossCountry to look at an alternative deep clean solution, so the cleaning and maintenance specialist spent a lot of time understanding the challenges faced by Bombardier and the impact these had on the final ‘look’ of the fleet.

Consultative meetings with a host of key stakeholders followed, including facility managers, health and safety officers, production personnel and senior representatives from the train operator. James Lomas, head of sales - Industrial for Arrow Solutions, picked up the story: ‘We had to make sure all parties were convinced that our solution would be effective, safe to use and safe to dispose of so that it wouldn’t damage rolling stock or infrastructure at Central Rivers. ‘It was agreed that we would use Thickened Oxalwash to effectively remove rust marks and iron residues, as well as general oil, grease and dirt. The trial would see all 57 trains in the CrossCountry fleet be deep cleaned after a 90day operational period and then maintained daily by using Ecowash Autoshine to prevent heavy build-up of traffic film and provide a streak-free finish.’ He continued: ‘The overwhelming response has been positive in terms of operational performance and the enhanced appearance of the trains.’ Jon Williams, fleet and contract manager (Voyagers) for CrossCountry, added his support: ‘External cleanliness of the train is a critical aspect of creating a positive first impression for our customers. The Oxalwash programme has lifted the overall presentation of the Voyager fleet with significant improvement in the appearance of harder to clean areas and removal of ingrained dirt along the bodyside.’ Arrow Solutions is looking to double sales in the rail sector after securing significant new business with both Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and OEMs. In addition to increased demand for Oxalwash and Ecowash Autoshine, the company has also seen sales rise for Lotoxane®, Arrow’s market leading safe solvent degreaser. This is being driven by a desire from rail businesses to move away from the use of hazardous materials in their engineering operations. Tel: 01283 221044 Email: Visit: Watch Bombardier/CrossCountry case study video here... watch?v=J__OLpUiqU8 Rail Professional



Access and maintenance Wood delivers comprehensive fabric maintenance and integrity management services to customers requiring support across the complete lifecycle of its infrastructure assets


ithin the rail industry, these services include the provision of coatings, anti-corrosion services and a full range of access and containment services, supporting life extension and integrity management requirements along with full corrosion remediation works for bridges, stations and other trackside structures to maximise their operational lifespan and return on investment. Wood’s project management capability extends to the most demanding refurbishment and maintenance work, while operating in logistically challenging and hazardous environments. The company can assess an asset’s maintenance needs

and recommend solutions for any access and corrosion issues, and work with its customers to help determine the best coatings for refurbishment and new build projects. Protective coatings Wood provides services for the inspection, removal or application of various coating materials to protect equipment, structures and facilities from corrosion and prolong the life expectancy of all types of industrial assets. It brings this extensive expertise to bear on problem solving within the rail industry. Wood’s highly trained and experienced personnel can meet specific painting requirements, no matter how large or

technically complex the project may be. For each project, Wood employs coating and corrosion specialists, whose expertise, skill and project management capability guarantees a bespoke service to meet demanding requirements and budgets. By combining anti-corrosion techniques with specialist access solutions and robust project management, Wood has refurbished some of the most iconic structures in the UK including the Forth Rail Bridge and London’s Blackfriars Rail and Tower Bridge. This experience allows it to provide a variety of application techniques to meet the specific requirements of any project. Thermally applied metal coatings such as zinc and aluminium create enhanced corrosion protection and the application of intumescent (fire protective) coatings can help maintain the integrity of steel structures in the event of fire. Wood is accredited to the National Highways Sector Scheme 19A and registered through ICATS & Trainthepainter coating application training programmes, enabling it to provide a comprehensive range of corrosion management services including: • tank and vessel linings • passive fire protection • self-levelling flooring systems • coating repair • coating refurbishment • maintenance programmes • survey reports and investigations. Wood also offers a wide range of coatings including: • thermal spray • hi-build and solvent free • anti-fouling • anti-abrasion • anti-graffiti • polyurethane, polyester and polyured • non-slip • intumescent • high temperature • vinyl ester • phenolic and novolac. Access all areas Wood can provide safe and effective access to those hard to reach areas of any asset

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or facility. With a completely independent, safe and cost-conscious approach, the company is able to assess, design, supply, erect and dismantle temporary access and containment structures to meet operational requirements. Whether it is maintenance, inspection, periodic scheduled shutdowns, improvements or repairs, Wood can design a bespoke access solution to suit any needs. Wood has substantial experience with large and complex sites ranging from rail stations, tunnels and large culverts, through to the largest rail and road bridges. As well as selecting the right access system, the company can provide highly skilled labour to build, operate and maintain the chosen solution. Wood’s personnel are fully certified, trained and experienced while all works performed undergo regular inspections to ensure the temporary structure remains safe and secure. Currently, Wood has an estimated £12 million worth of scaffold equipment available to be deployed nationwide, wherever the asset is situated. In addition to scaffolding services, the company provides further specialist access solutions such as: rope access, access platforms, suspended decking or netting and mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). Temporary structure, permanent expertise Wood ensures that the highest health and safety standards are always maintained and that all its personnel are fully trained and qualified through the provision of IOSH approved training courses. Industry standard systems are also in place to ensure consistent and reliable availability of all planning data, logistical information and reports. Wood also offers scaffold structure support and lifting services. As an active member of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation’s (NASC) Technical Committee, Wood has developed extensive expertise in the design, supply and installation of all forms of access, containment and enclosure systems. Its team of technical experts is always looking out for the newest technical innovations to ensure that it can provide the best solution for any access requirement. Wood works alongside its customer’s design teams and engineer robust, fit for purpose solutions which lead to greater cost-certainty throughout the project delivery phase. Wood is committed to minimising the impact its access solutions and specialist containment services have on the environment. Its personnel will assess potential impact, and suitability against the surrounding environment, and ensure conformance to industry standards (ISO 14001). The company specialises in containment services offering complex and complete turnkey services for railway infrastructure. Wood also offers a range of temporary roofing systems, to establish comprehensive weather protection of assets, making project


scheduling more reliable, lower risk and cost-effective. The design team can offer: • design • drawings • calculations • inspection • surveys • consultancy • design awareness training • independent design checking. Alternative solutions Wood offers specialist rope access expertise that covers everything from a small oneday requirement to long-term framework contracts for large projects. The company employs a range of multi-skilled rope access technicians fully capable of supporting a wide range of industrial and engineering services. Wood provides highly skilled, multidiscipline IRATA qualified operatives ranging from level one up to level three. Its personnel undergo stringent vetting procedures and competency assessments prior to their appointment to ensure Wood has the most capable workforce to perform their tasks safely to customer specifications. Operatives are trained to use the highest quality, EN standard rope access equipment. Their equipment undergoes strict inspections and all operatives are required to follow Wood approved rope access procedures to ensure full safety compliance. Selecting rope access as an alternative to or in partnership with traditional scaffold can provide numerous benefits: • improved safety record – using rope access is statistically safer than the traditional methods of access • cost saving – lower equipment hire costs than traditional scaffold, requiring fewer operatives and lower weight of equipment • time saving – less time is spent to set up and perform the work than scaffold; downtime being significantly reduced with increased productivity • less clutter – rope access equipment also takes up less space in the lay down areas

reducing clutter; it is easier to store and transport equipment on site reducing the interference with other ongoing operations. Rope access also offers customers significant flexibility, enabling trained operatives to access hard to reach areas, while being adaptable on many projects and in a variety of environments, including confined spaces, working at height and highly congested areas, thereby potentially minimising the need for complex scaffold designs. Tel: 0191 493 2600 Email: Visit:

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Rolling stock consultancy ESG Rail plays a significant role in the development of the UK’s rolling stock, offering innovative and value-led strategic advice, technical consultancy and technology integration


SG Rail is part of Deutsche Bahn (DB) and has an office located in Derby which is home to the largest cluster of railway companies in the world, helping ESG Rail to have an excellent understanding of the UK market. It has a wealth of experience, not only in the design and development of new rail technologies themselves, but also in the integration and investigation of vehicle enhancements. The company has conducted many feasibility studies, covering topics such as novel passenger cooling solutions and yellow plant ballast de-icing, always making full consideration of the impact on cost, maintenance, human interface, safety and reliability. ESG Rail developed integration solutions for incorporating new technologies

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UK Service Portfolio

onto existing train fleets in areas like air conditioning, CCTV, passenger information and driver advisory systems, together with coupler technologies and bogie improvements. The company has experience working, not only with the train operators and owners, but vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers. ESG Rail has an experienced team of proven railway mechanical and electrical systems engineers able to support the introduction of modern technologies onto new and legacy rail vehicles. ESG Rail has considerable experience in mechanical engineering, with a team

of experts on bogies, couplers, gangways, air conditioning, finite element analysis, condition based maintenance, crash damage repair and fire & material testing. The wealth of knowledge and experience within the electrical engineering team allows EGS Rail to cover not only electrical integration of PIS, DAS, RCM, CCTV and passenger counting systems, but also control approaches, component selection, qualification testing and compliance. Thanks to DB Systemtechnik, the company has access to 18 in-house test facilities, where we can help to obtain all necessary approval, ensuring compliance to Railway Group and European Standards.

Its brake system technology, WSPER (wheel slide protection evaluation rig), provides an objective and independent method of testing braking performance in low adhesion situations. The ESG Rail WSPER facility is a real time ‘hardware in the loop’ simulation facility and is used by railway organisations and OEMs to evaluate the low adhesion braking performance of their braking systems, as well as low adhesion mitigation equipment, such as sanding. Combined with the real track based adhesion profiles, the WSPER facility has gained recognition in the UK and overseas for its ability to accurately represent the low adhesion behaviours observed in service. Global DB expertise providing new capabilities In May 2017, ESG Rail also became the UK route to market for the DB rail engineering companies; DB Systemtechnik and DB Engineering & Consulting. DB understands all aspects of the railway, from initial concept development and planning, to railway operation and maintenance and is now offering their expertise in railway engineering, testing and consulting to the UK market. This new DB service covers initial advice and planning; rolling stock engineering and design; components, track and vehicle testing and approval; infrastructure expertise and construction supervision. The portfolio combines the rolling stock expertise of DB Systemtechnik and ESG Rail, with the infrastructure, mobility and transport knowledge of DB Engineering & Consulting, to provide the very best solutions and specialists for UK customers. Together, these organisations have nearly 5,000 employees around the globe. Tel: 01332 483800 Email: Visit:

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Automated electrification design Back in the 1980s, a couple of electrification engineers started to pioneer thoughts on automatic CAD design in electrification, decades before BIM became the buzz word on every project agenda


aving spent their working lives using drawing boards, paper and pen and blueprint copies for big electrification design projects, Furrer+Frey OLE engineers began to look at CAD solutions. Right in those first days of computer aided design, there was a growing need for an automated electrification design tool. Furrer+Frey, in collaboration with the companies Signon (ELBAS) and the Swiss Federal Railway (SBB), have responded to this need and started the development of an automated overhead line (OLE) design CAD system which today is known as ELFF. Starting off as a simple layout plan function, it quickly developed into a sophisticated tool bringing real benefit to the designer, on various levels of the design. It sped up tedious design steps, ensured consistency and aided quality assurance. The fact that the tool was not developed by software engineers only, but mainly by electrification engineers, ensured that the requirements of their work process were perfectly incorporated into the software. During the first couple of decades the tool was solely used inhouse, enabling design engineers to work more efficiently. This inhouse use unconsciously functioned as a long-term development and beta testing phase, where constant feedback and new requirements were exchanged with the tool development team. This has led the tool to be improved and expanded in a very targeted, nonbureaucratic and uncomplicated process,

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silently growing into a state of the art software. It was only a few years ago that the industry, which has seen the tool in successful use on various projects, has demanded it to be made available to other design houses and clients. On the back of the Great Eastern Renewals and the Great Western Route Modernisation projects, ELFF licences have been issued for the first time in the UK. Today, thirty years after these initial thoughts and simple functions, the ELFF software has been used for the design of thousands of kilometres of overhead contact

line. Furrer+Frey’s three main fundamental tenets – Innovation, Engineering Assurance and Agility are central to the developer/ client interactions and help them to reach ever evolving project goals. What ELFF looks like today Dramatically speeding up the conventional design process, mitigating risks from design errors, and providing the required BIM compliance, ELFF is a clear asset to any design team. Today, with a new release of the software due in early 2018, automated electrification design is being brought to the next level. A core feature of the new release is to give the user the possibility of working in an Excel spreadsheet; inputting the specific OLE design parameters which can be read straight into ELFF, which will automatically output a layout based on the spreadsheet data. This is the opposite approach to the previous standard ELFF design process, where designers worked directly in a 3D CAD model. The tool now provides both options which gives greater flexibility to the designers and their preferred work method. With this innovation, the user input and the software output are brought closer together, which ensures a big improvement of the output quality and also the design comprehensibility during the different project phases.


One of the key strengths of the tool lies in its level of detail and the fact that it can be used in a real-world environment, which means complex areas such as platforms, crossings, low overbridges and many more are simplified and seamlessly incorporated into the total design. Laser scans, photos, videos can also all be easily incorporated into ELFF. This software is not only usable by experienced OLE designers but also industry newcomers who are able to switch from a conventional OLE design work stream to being able to competently complete designs in ELFF with minimum instruction. ELFF is structured to guide engineers through the process of design, making ELFF a learning tool in itself. With the increasing amount of ELFF users, good technical support is critical. Furrer+Frey today provides its clients with multi-interface technical support via telephone, email or internet. In 2018/19 Furrer+Frey intends to launch an ELFF online academy, creating a shared community of users who communicate and share their thoughts and experiences, where questions can be answered and training given. Furrer+Frey has based its software development processes around the importance of satisfying user requirements as they occur, responding swiftly to their changing needs. In the past few years, user research and feedback has played a major role in the ELFF software development. Upgrades have been based on crowdsourcing ideas from users and getting these users to prioritise what is really important to them. This has enabled ELFF to be deployed on almost any OLE project. Furthermore, it has allowed ELFF to naturally transition into a software product that is very easy to work with, as new features have been added as feedback has been received, enhancing the interface between engineer and software. Ultimately this means a high level of benefits for both the clients and users in terms of ease of use, speed of design and

quality of output. The online academy will facilitate this collaborative improvement process even further. ELFF has a number of UK OLE systems already included such as Series 1, Series 2, GEFF and UKMS. In addition, ELFF can also be used to design rigid overhead contact systems (ROCS), light rail and tram systems, allowing ELFF to be deployed on any current electrification project. The future There are various streams of current development which will be focussing on interface management with other tools as well as simplifying electrification design even further. The first stream is creating digital twins to augment projects and operations. Furrer+Frey has already deployed dynamic modelling of OLE in the UK to measure and predict performance. Furrer+Frey has also deployed its OLE scanner (dynamic catenary monitor) which is a mobile lab that measures real life performance on the railway. By using a design developed in ELFF which can be input directly into the dynamic modelling software, future performance can be predicted in the digital twin.


Finally, this is compared to real life installation and its performance to update the digital twin. This cycle of design, scrutiny, testing and reacting to lessons learnt, comparing the digital world with reality, has real benefits which allow future performance and maintenance to be optimised. Furrer+Frey is also developing an app to facilitate onsite support, allowing measurements, designs and calculations to be checked in real-time and results to be fed straight back into the ELFF model. Another work stream is looking at the development of an ELFF light version, which is disconnected from the OLE material and allows the quick production of layouts and visual cross sections for any route, using any given parameters and material. Company profile Furrer+Frey was founded back in 1923 and today is a fourth-generation family owned company which designs and builds overhead contact line systems. More recently it has extended the company’s product range by introducing the world’s first all-in-one multi modal, high power charging station for battery vehicles. With offices in Switzerland, the UK, Germany, Italy and China, Furrer+Frey represent Swiss quality engineering and what it stands for worldwide.

Tel: +41 31 357 61 11 Email: Visit:

Rail Professional



A more reliable future for rail Phil Kenney, sales manager for rail at Prysmian UK, takes a look at the components that will support rail modernisation


ith a continuing urbanisation of the UK, planning strategies, most notably for public transport lines, must adapt to meet

demand. You only need look as far as last years’ figures to see the volume of passenger journeys on Great Britain’s railways reached a record high of 1.7 billion. That’s a lot of track travelled, in fact 66 billion passenger kilometres were recorded on Great Britain’s rail network in 2016-17. With that amount of people getting from A to B, we as an industry need to provide the safest and most efficient service possible. In order to do this everyone must play their part, from service providers, to engineers right through to product manufacturers. Alongside the challenges posed by this growth in commuter traffic and infrastructure, the railway industry must also consider escalating customer expectations, fierce competition from other means of transport, and frequent advancements in technology. Aluminium is the new copper The sheer amount of technological advancements means that product manufacturers need to remain constantly innovative in order to provide the best

solutions. One such example of a recent innovation is Prysmian UK’s enhanced low voltage cable joint system range. The system is designed to be used in conjunction with enhanced aluminum cable for class two installations. The need for this technology arose as a result of a need for increased efficiency, and also due to the fact that traditional copper cable systems are prone to theft and economic fluctuation. Aluminum lasts just as long as copper – if it is treated correctly. The biggest threat to aluminum cables and joints is water, so Prysmian UK developed an enhanced resin joint that not only insulates the connecting components, but also prevents water from getting into the cable, maintaining the system for years to come. The team works closely with Network Rail and as part of its Rail Technical Strategy Capability Delivery Plan Prysmian UK has been further scrutinising its products in order to improve design reliability while also helping Network Rail to increase safety, capacity and reduce delays. Offsite product testing Another key part of Prysmian UK’s thinking when it comes to product development is to understand how the railway engineer repairing or maintaining the track interacts with it products. The safer the products, and the less time it takes to maintain or replace them, the better. Take the new joint system for example, mixing resin on site is an issue, so Prysmian

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UK provided prepacked resins that are easy to mix trackside. The install temperatures range from -20°C to +40°C, again this was due to the varied conditions they face trackside. It’s all about understanding the needs of all those parties interacting with your products. If we look further into the future, we’re seeing much more of a focus on offsite and modular manufacturing in the rail sector. This is something that’s true of the whole construction product manufacturing sector, and something that is greatly increasing reliability while keeping safety at paramount importance. Enabling offsite product testing means that we can check its quality in a controlled environment before it is installed safely and quickly on site. Prysmian UK is currently looking into modular systems to see how it can add its expertise to creating ever more reliable rail networks. It’s an exciting time for the railway industry, an industry that prides itself on striving for the best service for its customers. Nationally, 88.4 per cent of trains were on time in the year ending Q2 of 2017-18, and while Prysmian UK’s components and cables may only make up a small percentage of that success, it’ll continue innovating until that number hits 100 per cent. Tel: 0845 767 8345 Email: Visit:

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New year, new image Relec Electronics, a leading UK supplier of power conversion products, starts 2018 with a new image giving a new focus on railway applications


elec Electronics Limited was established in 1978 with the aim of providing specialist products and support to the professional electronics industry, and is based in Wareham, Dorset. Relec has expanded and refined this philosophy over the past 40 years and specialises in offering AC DC power supplies, DC DC converters, DC AC Inverters, displays and EMC filter solutions to equipment manufacturers and system integrators in the UK and Ireland. Company philosophy Much of Relec’s work focusses on applications and requirements for the railway industry for which it is crucial that the governing standards are well understood and adhered to. Relec’s technical staff have been working for up to 30 years’ with power conversion products in the rail sector. This experience is invaluable when specifying different solutions depending on the operating environment. The company is well placed to handle customers who want a standard solution but is very aware of the pitfalls and dangers in sometimes settling for a second best standard solution. Relec likes to gain an expert understanding of customers’ detailed requirements and relates these to the applicable standards so it can ensure that the most appropriate product is selected for the project. Relec’s sales and technical support personnel, including the QA department, are

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all qualified engineers and are committed to ensuring that all aspects of the service meet and exceed today’s high expectations. Relec’s sales philosophy is based around three basic ideas: REquest – all designs start with a basic design specification. Relec’s technical team want to know as much about the end application as possible. This might include basic parameters of input/output voltages and currents, but also temperature range, cooling methodology, step load performance, inductive load performance, terminations and vibration specs. REfine – because a standard solution is just the beginning, where appropriate, Relec will refine their initial recommendations to include bespoke features and benefits. REsult – RELEC’s goal is to make a measurable difference to every project by achieving optimum performance and service delivery for a power conversion or display applications. Regulation changes As part of gaining a deeper understanding of the power requirements within the rail industry, John Stone, sales director at Relec has recently reviewed the revised EN50155

standard. EN 50155 is the industry standard which is central to most electronic systems supplied into the rail industry. October 2017 saw the introduction of a longawaited revision. The key changes between EN 50155:2007 and EN50155:2017, with specific reference to power conversion products, are: • operating temperature: there are now six operating temperature classes, OT1 and OT2 for passenger and driver compartments, OT3 & OT4 for equipment in technical cabinets and OT5 & OT6 for special applications. OT3 (-25 to +70 degrees) should be taken as a general requirement unless otherwise specified. • There is also more onus placed both on equipment manufacturers and end users to define exactly what temperatures the equipment should operate in and what constraints should be observed. • relative humidity – the new standard now


• protective coatings – more precise definition with three classes of coating depending on the application with reference made to IPC-A-610.

references EN50125-1. • battery voltages – details of additional battery voltages of 28V and 36V have now been referenced. There is also tighter definition of the power supply ranges. • interruptions in supply voltage – better definition of a supply interruption with the addition of a new class (S3 – 20mS) • supply voltages for rolling stock powered by combustion engines. A new section closely defining what ripple factor is likely to be seen on supply voltages • reliability – the requirements for proof of reliability for end user equipment is much more thoroughly defined, but needs to be agreed between the end user and supplier of equipment • useful life – previously the useful life of all equipment was deemed to be 20 years, but there are now five classes which can be agreed between end users and suppliers starting at five years • insulation coordination – unless otherwise defined by the end user EN50124-1, pollution degree level two will apply • capacitance to ground/earth – this is a new clause suggesting that earthing capacitors should always be class Y1/Y2 and be limited to 10nF • PCBs – all PCBs should now comply with IPV-A-610 class two minimum. The use of single side PCBs has now been prohibited

New type testing requirements Low temperature start-up, cyclic damp heat and EMC tests are now mandatory. There is also a new type test called the Power Supply test. This covers the following: • supply variations • temporary supply dips • interruptions of supply • supply change over • dry heat thermal test – this is now more fully defined and performed over three test cycles • voltage withstand test – the test duration for routine tests has been reduced from 60 seconds to ten seconds. Design guidelines There is now a comprehensive annex (F) with suggested derating factors for a range of electronic components and includes suggested limits for the values and types of capacitors fitted between ports and ground/ earth (10nF max class Y1 or Y2). Power conversion products from Mornsun Relec’s underlying philosophy is to supply products which the end user can fit and forget. Choosing partners who can deliver the right products, at the right time and at the price is crucial. Relec’s relationship with Guangzhou based power supply manufacturer Mornsun highlights the level of commitment which needs to supply reliable products into the rail industry. Relec and Mornsun have been partners for nearly 15 years. During this time Relec have helped to shape Mornsun’s roadmap


Relec’s underlying philosophy is to supply products which the end user can fit and forget. Choosing partners who can deliver the right products, at the right time and at the price is crucial of products suitable for use in the railway systems. Starting with the development of 5 – 20W DC DC converters suitable for battery voltages from 24V to 110Vdc, the portfolio now includes the following: • test reports at component level to EN50155 • power ranges up to 150W • EMC filters for EN50121-3-2 and RIA12 • high density conduction cooled products • fully integrated solutions including supply interruption capability. Relec and Mornsun can offer solutions with short lead times (less than six weeks), high reliability and market leading pricing. Tel: 01929 555700 Email: Visit:

Rail Professional



Global Huck fastening solutions Daniel Starbuck, director at Star Fasteners (UK), on what it takes to become a key partner for the railway vehicle and infrastructure sectors What products and services can Star Fasteners provide the rail market and what are the main advantages of a customer partnering with Star? tar Fasteners is a well-established leader in the global Huck® fastener distribution network. We are committed to supplying customers with the highest quality and most innovative fastener solutions on the market. Huck fastening solutions are used in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, automotive and road transportation, bridge building, buildings and structures, defence and security, electronics and appliances, industrial equipment, marine, medical, oil and gas, as well as the rail market. We work with a variety of rail customers and we can offer a bespoke service to ensure that we deliver a complete solution. We offer technical advice and support from highly qualified and knowledgeable staff – who offer fastener recommendation for potential application and also provide after sales support. We look to adopt an open and dynamic working partnership with our customers to deliver new products and services. This joint collaboration drives continuous improvement, profitability and growth.


Another important factor is being able to solve problems and suggest innovative fastening solutions. At Star Fasteners we have many years of technical knowledge and are flexible enough to adapted fastening solutions to the needs of our customers. It is also vital that you offer a total supply solution. Thanks to our extensive Huck Rail Professional

fastener and installation tool knowledge, we can minimise incompatibility issues, which is crucial to the reduction of costs and reduces production down-time. A key service we can also deliver is inhouse on-site tool repairs and servicing, which helps keep production lines rolling and ensures fasteners are installed correctly. At Star Fasteners we stock a comprehensive range of new installation tools, as well as tooling spares, and we also offer a hire service. What are the main products and services Star provides to the rail sector? Our range of Huck fasteners can be installed wherever there’s a requirement for structural strength and resistance to vibration and loosening, making them suitable for a wide range of tough engineering situations in the rail sector, as well as many other industries. A fastener that is becoming increasingly popular in the European market is the BobTail® lockbolt. The BobTail has been designed to provide superior joining strength and offers fast and secure installation. Through its advanced fastener design, as well as easy-to-use installation tooling, the BobTail system offers a strong connection. One key advantage of this fastener over conventional lock bolting systems is that it doesn’t have a pintail to break off. As a result, there is no waste material to collect and dispose of post-installation and there is an improvement in corrosion resistance by eliminating the exposed surface resulting

from the pintail break. The installation system provides a smooth, shock-free process with significantly reduced maximum noise levels, typically less than 70dB. The elimination of the shock load and reduced noise can offer real and significant health and safety benefits. Declared by DIBt as ‘maintenance free’, the 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, 20mm and one inch diameter BobTail is now approved to be used in both static and dynamic civil engineering applications. As well as being the UK’s largest Huck fastener stockist, Star Fasteners is an accredited Huck tool service and repair department. Star’s expert technical knowledge and a large tool hire fleet complements the service. An important aspect of Star Fasteners quality promise is a well-stocked tool room. To accommodate this area of expanding operations a dedicated team of experienced engineers, fully trained to respective manufacturers’ recommendations on key brands such as Huck, Far and Marson. Star has also developed a reputation for providing a personal and reliable service, incorporating nationwide collection and return. Once assessed and the repair quotation has been accepted by a customer, the tools are broken down and hot-washed prior to re-sealing, this removes all previous contaminants and therefore ensures the longevity of the tool. At Star Fasteners we are happy to advise on cost-effective, simple maintenance


procedures to help prolong the production life of customers’ tooling systems. Once the tool has been received it is assessed and engraved with a unique serial number. This enables the team to provide a full-service history. All quotations are free of charge and repairs are fully guaranteed and accredited to ISO 9001 standard certification. In addition, Star Fasteners also offers on-site training programmes. These outline basic information to operators and maintenance department staff, with the aim of adhering to health and safety requirements, as well as ensuring that tools are suitable for the task in hand and fasteners are installed correctly.

Customers often only need a small quantity of a particular fastener. We can react quickly to their requirements and also hire them a tool set up for that particular fastener. This assures the customer that the fastener is installed correctly with the approved installation tool. We also supply a few rail refurbishment companies, who restore old classic locomotives. We have replaced old hot forged rivets with Huck C50LR fasteners and we also offer technical help and advice to select the most appropriate fixings. Recently we have also experienced an increase in sales into Europe the rail industry.

What recent rail applications have you been involved in? We provide regular tooling maintenance and back-up tools in case of break down for installing Huck fasteners to a large rail company based in Derby. Also, we are currently quoting for a high-tech plating solution to deal with sensitive/ dissimilar metals in a rail carriage build and refurbishment. A lot of the work that we get involved in is train and carriage refurbishment and repair. We hold a wide stock of fasteners commonly used in the rail industry.

How have rail customers ordering patterns changed in recent years? How do you see the rail market developing in the future? Being able to react to opportunities in a timely manner has always been important, but in today’s market even faster responses are required. Thanks to our stock of an ever-wider variety of Huck technology, we are able to meet these demands with highquality products. The rail sector is notoriously feast or famine – but we can regulate this with our ordering systems, keeping back up stocks available.


Adapting and offering tailored solutions to customers is also very important, as is a skilled and professional workforce. Another critical factor to the success in the railway industry is creating opportunities for increasing value for money. Looking to the future, manufacturing will become faster, and more responsive to changing global markets. Products and processes will need to be sustainable with built-in reuse. The ability to recycle products reaching the end of their useful life will be a requirement, as well the need to recycle waste. Companies will be looking to use products that use less manufacturing energy and the skills of your workforce, and their experience, will be a critical factor in attaining a competitive advantage. At Star Fasteners we will continue to help develop increasingly complex products for lightweight materials and designing fasteners that do more than just one job. We will always look for ways to innovate and take every opportunity to work with relevant partners. First published on

Tel: +44 (0)115 9324 939 Email:

BX-830D EN50155 (TX) Box PC The Cost Effective Solution Thats Fast Enough for a Bullet Train Tested & Certiicated to EN50155

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Sure-fire rail flooring solutions UK rail floor specialist, Treadmaster (a division of Tiflex) has been supplying its flooring to the transit industry since 1951


iflex was formed in 1990 from an amalgamation of two well established companies. TICO and The Flexible Cork Company. The Treadmaster division of Tiflex has built up a vast technical experience over 60 years providing technical products and services for the transport and commercial flooring industry. With a proven worldwide reputation for quality and performance, the team at Tiflex provides an environment of continuous development and innovation, supported by an extensive list of references from some of the world’s foremost companies. High quality standards together with its involvement in high profile projects, from its base in Cornwall Treadmaster has become a market leader in fire retardant floor coverings for the rail and mass transportation sector. Tiflex has a state of the art test facility, approved to the various rigorous quality standards demanded of today’s requirements. Coupled with an extensive product development laboratory. The company complies with standards such as UIC, CEN, BS EN, NF and other international standards. All Tiflex products are manufactured in a BSI registered factory operating a Quality Management System which complies with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:1994. Tiflex is part of the James Walker Group of Companies. Step change Treadmaster was first developed for London double decker buses in the 1950s and has been used in public service vehicles around the world ever since. Nowadays Treadmaster supplies most of its flooring to train builders rather than bus builders but was still called upon to supply flooring to the recent reincarnation of the London Routemaster bus designed by Heatherwick Studio and built by Wrightbus which entered service in the capital in 2012. In 1987 following the tragic Kings Cross Underground fire, stringent new rail fire standards were introduced for all materials in use on the underground. These new standards were the catalyst for Tiflex to develop its range of rail compliant, highly fire-retardant floor coverings. It didn’t take long for these products to be adopted by rail operators such as London Underground and to this day remains one of the most tried and tested products in service.

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The first thing passengers consider when they step on to a new or refurbished train is the aesthetics, the colours and comfort of the new interior. Probably what very few consider is how safe is this train in the event of a fire. Thankfully these types of incidents are few and far between but when they do occur how confident can fare paying passengers be that the materials specified meet the requirements in scenarios such as fires. Unfortunately, history demonstrates that it takes a tragedy to make us sit up and

listen and ask questions such as why would a particular material been used when, then a change of legislation or standards occur. In rail, fire standards are much more stringent than for land based buildings, but the fundamental principal should always be the same – safety should never be compromised over costs. As of 2018 the New European Rail Fire standard EN45545-2 is mandatory across Europe and is set to take over from existing national standards such as BS6853. The key focus of this is to harmonise rail fire


standards across Europe making it easier for European companies to have access to the wider European market without having to meet all of the previous existing national fire standards. In some quarters the new EN455452 standard is acknowledged as being less stringent than the existing national standards and as a consequence, some materials that didn’t meet the old national standards may now meet the new European standard. Specifiers and operators should not feel pressured to reduce costs by using materials that would not have previously met the national standard but now meet the new European standard. Fortunately for specifiers Treadmaster can offer a robust solution as its TM7 flooring meets the BS6853 Cat 1a and EN45545-2 HL3 and TM8 meets BS69853 Cat1b and EN45545-2 HL3 The company’s products are used across the globe when there is no compromise on fire safety for rail passengers. TfL and Elizabeth line Treadmaster is the incumbent and trusted supplier of flooring for rolling stock to London Underground which safely transports over 1.3 billion passengers every year with the ridership increasing annually. The product is also on the new Elizabeth line trains which will be commencing full services through the capital next year with current services running out of Liverpool Street. Treadmaster is suppling over 26,000m2 of its TM7 flooring product for the new fleet off 66 nine-car Aventra trains being built by Bombardier in Derby. TM7 meets the highest fire ratings of BS6853 (Cat1a) and the new European standard EN455452 (HL3). TfL commented: ‘Bombardier selected Treadmaster Flooring to meet TfL’s demanding requirements for the 66

nine-car Elizabeth line trains as it is a tried and tested product used on current London Underground rolling stock and meets the most stringent of fire standards – BS6853 Cat 1a, when tested as a system with the flooring composite.’ The train sets are 200-metre-long walk through carriages and passenger numbers are estimated at 200 million per year. Durability As well as having a floor covering that meets the stringent fire safety standards for rail, another requirement which cannot be overlooked is durability. With metro and commuter train services transporting hundreds of thousands of passengers every day the floor covering needs to withstand this type of footfall while remaining easy to clean and maintain. Treadmaster flooring offers unrivalled industry lifecycle costs as its synthetic rubber flooring offers incredible durability. One additional benefit is that the material can be invisibly patch repaired. If there is an area of flooring that has been damaged this is simply removed and a new piece of material installed. Once the floor has been lightly sanded it provides an invisible, seamless repair. Illuminating innovation


As part of an ever-increasing mission to enhance the safety benefits of its products, Treadmaster recently introduced a photoluminescent material that can be used with its flooring for evacuation markers in the event of a main power outage. Treadmaster is constantly trying to innovate and add to its portfolio of floor coverings and accessories for the rail and other sectors. Photo-luminescence seemed like a natural extension to the fundamental safety benefits that the floor coverings already offer and the company was delighted that Bombardier and QNGR were the first to adopt this new technology that it had developed. Tel: 01579 320808 Email: Visit:

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Fully equipped engineered solutions A comprehensive fleet of specialist plant and equipment is what helps make Aspin a unique provider of total engineered solutions for the rail industry


he fleet supports the company’s class-leading delivery of foundations, civil engineering and site investigation works nationwide. Combining experience and innovation, the comprehensive range helps Aspin meet the unique challenges of the rail industry and includes award-winning vehicles such as the Land Rover 4x4 R2R SIV site investigation vehicle that can reduce track access time by up to 80 per cent. It’s supported by the fleet of piling rigs, tracked 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. Nottingham’s $100 million revamp Aspin’s fleet of plant and equipment was used extensively to support works on a £100 million project to remodel and re-signal

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Nottingham’s busy station. The project involved laying over six miles of new track and the renewal of 39 points, as well as the installation of 143 new signals, with signage. Two level crossings were eliminated and two more converted to CCTV operation. It also included track layout modifications with all four tracks between Mansfield and Nottingham West and East junctions made bi-directional, plus modifications to the station. Working for Network Rail as a principal contractor, the company met the project’s demanding deadlines and the scope of works was extensive. It included: • site investigations • site-wide geological mapping • design, supply and installation of signal gantries with recovery of all the old redundant signalling structures and

gantries • 100 speed sign foundations, cantilevers and LOC staging • troughing for route renewals and signal sub structures • design and installation of civils bases for DNO cubicles • under road crossing (URX) for the routing of new cables. When there’s a rock and a hard place The Aspin team has a unique micro piling innovation that overcomes the issues in hard rock areas where high strength piles are needed for structures such as OLE masts but traditional CHS driven and augered concrete piles are not suitable. It’s also a highly sustainable means of completing works thanks to a deceptively simple combination of equipment that gives transportation ease of access and handling for track teams. Amey called in Aspin for piling works


in hard ground on Network Rail’s Greater West Electrification Project (GWEP), Route Section 6D. The one and a half miles of track had a four-week blockade, during which time 58 foundations were delivered as part of the OLE works and plans are already in place for similar projects. The solution uses four micro piles that support a steel grillage in a 950mm x 950mm square formation to provide four holes for hollow bars and six holes for the bolts for the OLE mast. Each pile has a 150mm diameter bored hole filled with grout and a 76mm diameter hollow steel threaded bar in the centre, with the bore formed by a top drive hammer driving the steel bar into the rock using a sacrificial drill bit. Grout is later pumped into the hollow bar for added strength and the trial pit spoil is excavated and replaced with concrete for lateral support to the top of the piles. Company profile Aspin is a leader in the provision of high quality foundation, civil, geotechnical and structural engineering products and services for the rail, highways and infrastructure sectors, defining itself as providing quality and innovation from the ground up.


The experienced team has worked in the rail sector for nearly 20 years works directly with Network Rail as well as with the largest tier one contractors. Aspin holds both a Principal Contractors Licence (PCL) and the Plant Operators Scheme (POS) licence. Tel: 01442 236507 Email: Visit:

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

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.

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Our core services cover technical advice, consultancy services, feasibility studies and concept, outline (AiP) and detailed design (AfC) of both signalling and telecommunication systems.

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Our Services include:Dual Frequency GPS Topographic Surveys Engineering Surveys and Setting Out Track and Structural Monitoring 3d Modelling and Design Measured Building Surveys 3d Laser Scanning Boundary Matters Expert Witness Reports Geospatial Consultancy

We are members of

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. We very much look forward to working with you.

Tel: +44 (0)1933 279909 Email:

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

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Battery power In this fast-moving modern age, it is only reasonable for rail service providers and their clients to expect that equipment used on trains is of the highest quality


articularly the batteries which provide the traction and auxiliary power to carry passengers and freight safely and efficiently to their destinations. Capitol Industrial Batteries is an independent manufacturer and supplier of all types of industrial, stationary, and transportation batteries. As a recognised leader in service provision, Capitol Industrial Batteries works closely with its customers to develop, manufacture and deliver both traditional and alternative types of batteries for a wide range of equipment and applications. Throughout its time in the industry Capitol Industrial Batteries has worked hard to build its reputation by working closely with train operating companies, original equipment manufacturers, signalling operation companies, rail engineering and rail services companies across the UK Rail market. The company has successfully established itself as a reliable and trusted partner capable of understanding and meeting operational needs and demands. Battery applications Capitol Industrial Batteries is well known and has operated within the motive power and standby power markets for many years prior to establishing itself as a reliable provider of batteries and service to the rail industry.

From its base in Glasgow and its service centre in the West Midlands the company is able to provide UK wide service covering sales, field service repairs, battery refurbishment and technical consultancy services to ensure on time delivery and response to its customer’s train care depots located across the country. Capitol Industrial Batteries manufactures and hold stocks of a range of traditional wet lead/acid and gel maintenance free batteries to recognised BR.Cat number specifications. It has successfully worked alongside several Toc technical departments to develop and test maintenance free battery types for vehicle engineering changes capable of meeting the demands of the locomotive industry which is constantly developing. All batteries are designed as low maintenance and offer a number of safety features as standard, such as fully insulated connections for both ease of repair and to comply with all current recognised BS and EN regulations. The battery systems guarantee reliability for the following applications: • city traffic – including suburban railway and underground trains as well as traction, lighting and auxiliary power supply • regional traffic – railway passenger carriages and powercars including diesel starting and auxiliary batteries • intercity traffic – such as railcars with diesel engines and electric railcars as auxiliary power and modern longdistance trains both passenger and freight as diesel starting, auxiliary power and lighting. Specialist Services Older and operationally abused batteries can usually be refurbished using Capitol Industrial Batteries’ test and service facility. Refurbishment is carried out under the BR.WOSS guidelines for both lead/acid and nickel cadmium batteries and returns any type or make of battery to a fully compliant working condition with an agreed warranty period offered. Capitol Industrial Batteries is one of a very few battery providers in the UK today which still offers this service at minimal cost to its clients. Refurbishment can ensure that clients achieve an optimal life cycle of batteries along with the added benefit of identifying recurring operational problems

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or lack of regular maintenance in service. Capitol Industrial Batteries has, from the outset, committed itself to supplying rail batteries from stock. It provides unrivalled support to depot stores and engineering personnel by holding a stock of common battery types in a state of readiness which only require a short final commissioning process. This has proved itself effective many times over in real savings to Tocs when experiencing unexpected battery failures thus avoiding severe financial penalties for delayed or cancelled services. Capitol Industrial Batteries has sold and serviced batteries and chargers for a number of time critical industries such as airport ground handling services, hospitals and the Ministry of Defence. With this experience has come a solid reputation for being able to recognise its client’s needs and requirements quickly and accurately. Capitol Industrial Batteries is an ISO9001 / ISO 14001: 2015 Accredited company and works closely with SEPA to protect the environment from the chemical materials used in stored energy and battery accumulators. It offers both a recycling and disposal service for waste batteries. The company firmly believes that its range of high quality products and accessories, together with its corporate integrity, service reputation, technical and maintenance expertise, makes it the best choice for any battery requirement. Tel: 01236 731982 Email: Visit:


Where Service is Alive and Well Capitol Industrial Batteries - perfect power solution Whether you require batteries repaired, overhauled or replaced, Capitol are trusted and relied upon by a wide range of UK rail industry companies, who have come to know that we deliver on our promises to provide exacting standards of product, service, ongoing technical support and commitment in all aspects of our business dealings.

An independent manufacturer with enough strength and flexibility to be able to support mainline customers requirements through stock availability and technical experience, we have consistently delivered on a wide variety of projects ranging from single battery orders, to fleet change out programmes set against customer schedules and agreed service levels.

For more information Telephone 01236 731982 or Email:

“Any train - not just any battery� Denis McLeod-Capitol Batteries

Since 2004



Specialist tools Padley & Venables has been at the forefront of many of the major developments in the manufacture and use of contractors, construction and mining tools


he company was established in 1911 by Richard Padley and over the last 100 years P&V has been the originator and patent holder of numerous products and processes. These include the original development of percussive button bits, the establishment of Europe’s first facility for the overall carburisation of drill rods and the development of male/female rods. The pride taken in the products manufactured, and their control over every aspect of the production process – from the rolling of specialist steel in the mill to the state of the art heat treatment facility – is confirmed by their ISO 9001:2008 Certification. Highly dedicated and professional staff ensure the ISO standard is consistently maintained. Research and development programmes, coupled with continued investment in the latest manufacturing equipment and production techniques ensures that P&V maintains its worldwide reputation for tools of the highest quality, whatever the application. P&V has two UK based manufacturing plants as well as subsidiary operations in Germany and Australia. An international dealer network ensures the products are available to a worldwide user base.

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Contractors’ tools P&V manufactures a wide range of quality contractors’ tools to fit most types of paving breaker machines. The tools have been developed for all applications, including road breaking, asphalt cutting, digging, trenching, tamping and demolition work. Trackside specialist products The P&V Tie Tamper is designed for use in electric or pneumatic hand-held machines and is the perfect tool to aid with the compacting of trackside ballast. P&V also manufacture rammer stems and pads – ideal for the driving home of fence posts and other similar structures. Featured in the range are: • moil points • diggers • clay spades • chisel ends • asphalt cutters • easibusts • wedges • tie tampers • rammer stems and pads • plugs and feathers available with all popular shank sizes.

Padley & Venables has manufactured contractors’ tools since the early 1900s and are now the last remaining manufacturer in the UK and one of the largest in the world. Consistency of quality and investment in manufacturing processes and equipment are major reasons why Padley & Venables retains its position as one of the market leaders in its product lines. An extensive range of machined shank tools, plug drills and pick hammer tools is also available. Demolition tools P&V manufactures one of the widest range of high quality demolition tools in the world, standard design and special purpose, for use with most types of hydraulic breaker machines. All the tools are manufactured from specially selected steel specifications, developed through a rigorous programme of research and development. They are then

P&V manufactures one of the widest range of high quality demolition tools in the world, standard design and special purpose, for use with most types of hydraulic breaker machines


heat treated in a modern facility to create the hardness, impact strength and durability required to combat the most arduous conditions experienced in demolition, trenching, road construction, quarrying and mining. All P&V demolition tools are totally manufactured and processed inhouse, using the very latest machinery and technology, to ensure that the finished products comply with the high standards of quality expected by customers throughout

the world. Since the evolution of boom-mounted hydraulic breakers, P&V has established a reputation for demolition tools of the highest quality, to the extent that they are the largest independent manufacturer in the world. Rock drilling equipment Designed to fit all the major manufacturers’ equipment, P&V rock drilling tools are the perfect tools for tough jobs with a wide


range of applications across the quarrying, mining, tunnelling, construction and civil engineering industries. P&V is recognised as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of rock drilling tools and supplies customers and projects in more than 55 countries. The company has been responsible for many innovations in its field, establishing the first facility in Europe for overall carburising of drill rods, originating and developing the manufacture of percussive button bits and male/female drill rods. The latest developments have seen the launch of two new products, ninja button bits and dual drive rods. With steel for the drill rods coming from P&V’s own mill, Bedford Steels, where the original method of rolling hollow drill steel was invented, P&V’s reputation for quality is recognised worldwide. It is supported by continuous research, development and testing, coupled with ongoing investment in latest technology, processes and machinery. All enhanced by a Quality System accredited to ISO 9001:2008. Tel: 01246 299100 Email: Visit:

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Professional and safe Jeep Rail believes that performance and safety go hand in hand and safety is always at the forefront of everything it does


eep Rail’s philosophy is simple ‘Be Professional Stay Safe’ and this is what it drives home to all its staff at every opportunity. This encourages the belief that when safety comes first; performance will follow. Jeep Rail has a wealth of rail industry experience and expertise to offer its clients the best possible service. Jeep Rail specialises in electrification labour but can also provide a wide range of safety critical staff. As ex-senior planners and supervisors for Network Rail, Jeep Rail understands the challenges Network Rail faces when working with contractors. For this reason, the company feels it has an unrivalled team that would be invaluable in assisting any project no matter how big or small. It also has ambitions to tender for small packages and would welcome any queries. Collaborations Jeep Rail is currently supporting Hitachi Rail Europe at North Pole Depot in London

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delivering 25kV isolations and technical support in relation to its Local Isolation procedures to help ensure its infrastructure and planning procedures are ready for a full capacity trains including the New Hitachi Class 800 that replace the iconic intercity 125. Works in 2017 Jeep Rail’s construction team completed a six-month period working in Holland and Sweden on electrification projects where its operatives’ expertise and experience proved invaluable to the projects and both projects were delivered on time. Bespoke assessments and site audits Jeep Rail believes in embracing modern technology and with this in mind it has developed its own internal electronic based assessments as part of its management system to constantly help assess and improve staff. The company quickly came to realise that this could be extremely beneficial to

the wider industry for various reasons including better reporting, easier recording, time saved, independent site assurance, detailed analysis for trends and areas for improvement, all its audits are bespoke and can be tailored to any aspect and competence Isolation and possession planners Jeep Rails isolation and worksite planners have all been handpicked from the company’s experiences working in the industry. Many of the planners have worked all over the world to the highest standards and are continually assessed on their performance and knowledge to ensure the best possible service for clients. Nominated person (including SIP trained staff) The nominated persons are highly trained and carry out their duties in a competent and professional manner at all times. Jeep Rail has some of the most experienced and professional nominated people in the country who’ve worked throughout the UK.



Authorised person All authorised persons are trained to the highest standards and are continually assessed on their performance and knowledge to ensure the best possible service for clients. OLEC 1,2,3 linesman and OLE supervisors Jeep Rail’s aim and vision is to supply the very best linesman in the country to help coach and mentor the linesman of the future. The company can provide a mixture of experience as well as apprentices to ensure projects are sufficiently resourced. Construction managers Jeep Rail’s construction managers are amongst the most experienced within the industry with upwards of 20 years’ experience working with NWR and various major electrification projects in the UK and abroad. The company prides itself on seeking out the very best staff from its own experiences within the industry that will help any project in minimising risk associated with managing all aspects of construction and man management. Earthing assistants Earthing assistants play a vital role in assisting authorised and nominated persons carrying out isolations of the OLE equipment to enable clients to carry out essential work on or around the OLE equipment. Training department Jeep Rail can offer training, recertification and assessments of all core sentinel competencies, its trainers are all fully qualified with a vast amount of experience and are all approved and accredited by NSARE. By providing the best possible standard of training and assessment, the company ensures staff are correctly assessed and trained to the highest standard Courses covered • PTS (AC) • DCCR • ICI (NWR) • Track induction  • OLEC 1 • OLEC 2 • OLEC 3 • Lookout • COSS • Authorised person  • Nominated person  • Engineering supervisor • Self-propelled MEWP Operator  • OTP Core Tel: 01226 720720 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Turning data into knowledge Nearly 30 years ago, Berlin-based DILAX started to develop and engineer mobile units for the public transport sector


ince then, several thousand automatic passenger counting (APC) systems have been installed in public transport vehicles such as buses, metros, trams, ferries and trains worldwide. DILAX is a leading provider of intelligent system solutions for capturing and managing people flows, including automatic people counting, smartphone tracking, dynamic seat management, queue management and innovative data management and predictive analytics tools. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany with branch offices in Europe and North America. From six locations with approximately 160 employees, DILAX serves over 350 companies in around 30 countries – customers include rail vehicle and bus manufacturers, public transport services and public transport authorities as well as shopping malls, retail chains and airports. The two specialized business units ‘public mobility’ and ‘retail & airports’ offer a complete one-stop service – from developing products in-house to operating entire systems. Passenger counting Passenger counting within trains requires special features like connecting and disconnecting trains during a journey, combining cars with and without passenger counting systems and deploying first and second class cars or separated compartments within cars. All these requirements are taken into account and supported in DILAX products. This includes the technical components in the vehicle as well as the software functions displaying daily train operations.

On the following graphic, an APC system for trains is shown, which consists of several sensors and one or more people counting units (PCU). The internally developed sensors are placed in the door areas of the vehicle and send their measuring results via serial sensor link (SSL) to a PCU, which is able to collect data from higher level systems as well. Several information sources are combined within the vehicle (ETH switch) using already existing networks (ETH backbone). Data from the vehicle

manage, aggregate and evaluate a variety of data in addition to classic passenger counting numbers. Data from internally available sources can be processed, such as timetable, ticketing and vehicle information as well as data from external sources like weather information, traffic news, events and holiday calendars, smartphone tracking and many more. Via smartphone tracking for example, travel and train changes at transport hubs can be captured. The result is a detailed database for planning and implementing

DILAX Citisense turns data into knowledge Information

Data Passenger Counting Time Table

Validation Extrapolation Aggregation


Knowledge Machine Learning

Pattern Recognition

Seat Management






Travel & Traffic



is transmitted by an existing on-board communications unit (router) or the PCU via GSM, UMTS or Wi-Fi. The software for managing and analysing passenger counting data has gained more and more importance for customers using the APC hardware over the last few years. DILAX has adapted its portfolio to this need and software development now plays a significant role within the company portfolio. Passenger data The DILAX Citisense software is able to

multimodal transport concepts. Via anonymously captured smartphone identifiers, movement data can be determined and added up for relevant passenger flows. The focus is not on individual passengers but on typical movement patterns in the transport network. Up-to-date and dynamic origindestination/OD matrices are created which provide relevant information for network planning, planning of interchange points and ensuring smooth connections. Expensive, selective customer surveys could be replaced with this technology. How the data is acquired On the following graphic, an example OD matrix is shown with six fictional stations and the passenger flows between them. The comprehensive reports and analysis functions of the software provide public transport operators with thorough knowledge of their daily activities. To achieve reliable results, it is not necessary to equip 100 per cent of the fleet with APC systems. Due to extrapolations and scheduled test runs, it is possible to ensure that the existing systems are used efficiently and

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Central Station

Shopping Centre

that the set measurement quota is met. All relevant and especially critical information from ongoing operations are clearly displayed on a role-based dashboard – key performance indicators and reports are presented specifically for the management, service planning, marketing, controlling or any other role. The software follows a modular approach and can be introduced gradually or immediately to its full extent. It can be a standalone solution, integrated in an existing infrastructure (BI, data warehouse) or be delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). What’s next Taking a look at the future, mobility demands will increase in general and the requirements and expectations of

On-board systems

passengers will grow and change as well. New transport concepts will be needed soon. Smart mobility is one of the key words used to describe this idea of an efficient, intelligent and sustainable transportation system. Furthermore, smart mobility will play a significant role in bringing the vision of a smart city to life. But what are the expectations of passengers and transport providers regarding future mobility? On the one hand, passengers expect individual travel planning, easy booking, a fast and comfortable journey and an uncomplicated payment process – preferably all from one source or provider – no matter if they choose to travel by bus, train, tram, ferry, taxi, car sharing, bicycle rental etc. or a combination of these different transport options. They want to be informed about arrivals


and departures, delays, connections, seat availability – no longer only in real time, but also ahead of time which requires predictive features as well. They will choose the provider who will offer the best solution. This means that transport providers are now facing the challenge of satisfying their customer needs and using available resources in an economically reasonable way at the same time. Turning data into knowledge The new DILAX Citisense software is designed to support transport companies in managing this balancing act. Thanks to complex algorithms, the software is able to recognize and analyse relationships between data from a diverse array of sources. DILAX Citisense is able to find patterns, create simulations for upcoming events and determine respective predictions (machine learning). Therefore, better planning of resources is possible to avoid bottlenecks or excess capacity, optimize traffic planning and maintenance intervals and to foresee peaks in passenger volumes. This is how the new DILAX Citisense software turns its data into knowledge. Smart cities of the future To satisfy customer needs, selected and relevant data can be forwarded, for example, via an app on a traveller’s mobile device or information displays at stations. Useful information for passengers, such as delays, remaining time until arrival, occupancy of vehicles and available seats, alternative route suggestions, and recommendations of access points, will go hand in hand with a flexible and comfortable booking system. This is what will position public transport as one of the fundamental pillars of future smart cities. Tel: +44 7584 053 557 Email: Visit:

PCU Sensors




SSL (Serial Sensor Link)

Serial Sensor Link (SSL)

PCU (People Counting Unit)

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All things timber M H Southern specialises in timber importing, sawmilling and distributing high quality timber products


stablished in the northeast of England since 1913, today the fourth-generation family company specialises in supplying the rail and allied industries. For many years the company has carried a wide variety of large sectional construction timbers to service the needs of both rail and civil engineering projects. The company’s mill and production facility at Jarrow is able to strength grade, drill, cross cut and machine to size. Its stock holding includes a wide range of sections and lengths, including some as large as 600 x 600 and lengths up to 12 metres. The range of timber includes DOUGLAS FIR, EKKI, OPEPE and GERMAN WHITEWOOD. It is worth pointing out that not only does MH Southern offer heavy constructed timbers its range also includes fencing and general carcassing timbers, decking of various sizes and joinery grade redwoods. As well as machining the company offers an on-site treatment facility able to pressure treat timber to various specifications. Once machined and treated its fleet of hi-ab vehicles can deliver throughout the UK. M H Southern has a specialist rail team that have many years’ experience dealing with enquiries and rail specifications. It is both FSC & PEFC certified as well as being a rail approved supplier. Tel: 0191 4898231 Email: Website:

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Elite products - elite service Elite Precast Concrete is one of the leading manufacturers of low-cost precast concrete products in the UK


he business combines the highest levels of customer service with the aim of always being the best value option. Elite’s focus is on driving down the cost base and then passing these savings onto its customers. This enables it to provide a constant and predictable price structure which in turn underpins an ethos of developing customer relationships over the long term. Indeed, over 65 per cent of its clients have done business with Elite on at least two previous occasions. Clients range from small start-ups and private individuals to international bluechip businesses. Each one is cherished and each receives the highest possible level of personal and professional service. Product range Elite has a huge range of ‘semi-dry’ and ‘wet-cast’ products which it supplies to every sector of UK industry imaginable. These include service protection and drainage products through kentledge ballast blocks, safety and security barriers to the premier

range of interlocking wall blocks. Elite is the UK’s leading manufacturer of the revolutionary interlocking block systems which are used by thousands of businesses in a huge variety of industrial applications. There are three types of free-standing interlocking ‘Lego’ blocks – Legato™, Duo™, and Vee™. Each one is cast from premium quality, high strength (50N/mm2) concrete and incorporates its own integral lifting system. This means that whichever block type you choose you can be certain of getting the ultimate in both durability and flexibility. The blocks are used in many varied and extremely demanding industries from metal and tyre recycling to radiation shielding (industrial/nuclear and health). Their applications also include being used as bay walls and bunkers, push walls, salt storage, firebreaks, silage clamps, radiation shielding, kentledge/counterweight blocks, embankment retention, site security, workforce protection, ground safety, and much more. The blocks are cast from high-quality

concrete, that doesn’t contain any steel reinforcing or recycled aggregates, which means they are extremely fire retardant. The blocks are recommended by many insurance companies and are approved for use as firebreaks. The interlocking Temporary Vertical and Jersey barriers are designed specifically to secure a site against unwanted visitors, for use as traffic management, as edge protection and to prevent falling debris from damaging railway tracks, car parks, etc. Win-win for Network Rail An example of the innovative usage of the Lego blocks was in a project for Network Rail. Signalling renewals in the Cardiff area were problematic because of a lack of access where the installation of two new sets of points to form a crossover on the main lines had been planned. A four-track stretch of railway was involved but in order to utilise the large crane to install the points and new track panels, an all-line block was required. Carrying out the work with lines open

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provides the customer not only with a considerable cost-saving, from that of a totally bespoke product, but also a production and turn-around time that can be greatly reduced. Testing for quality The quality and consistency of Elite’s products is something it takes very seriously operating within an approved BS EN 1917 quality system. The company is one of the few manufacturers of precast concrete products in the country that can boast of having its own, purpose-built, testing facility. Elite regularly performs a number of tests on both finished products and the materials used to manufacture these products. Turnkey installations In addition to the simple wholesale supply business, over the last eight years Elite Precast Concrete has also developed trading partnerships with a number of strategically placed and highly skilled contractors who can in turn offer anything from a simple off-load and install service (under a client’s supervision) to a full turnkey installation.

would involve the crane unloading, moving and slewing panels that had a much higher potential to foul the relief lines. Additionally, operatives would need something to help keep them safe as though they were working in a full possession. Getting an all-line possession at that time wasn’t feasible because of the number of trains that were required to run, so to meet the timescales, an alternative was needed. By thinking outside the box, the project team came up with the idea of a ‘real virtual wall’, from a throwaway comment about a child’s Lego blocks. The first section was delivered, installed at the depot and tested, passing with flying colours. After that it was ‘all systems go’ and the wall was assembled in the ten-foot width over the half mile stretch of track to be replaced. This solution saved an all-line possession for 72 hours; it cut customer disruption and cut congestion in Newport and Cardiff stations. So, it was a win-win for not only the project, but the route, the Tocs and Focs, and the travelling public. Additionally, the blocks could be disassembled and used elsewhere for future works to again create a safe environment. Elite was very proud to have helped to ensure both the safety of the workforce and the completion of the works ahead of schedule. The high strength ‘Lego’ blocks have an almost endless range of uses and the vision of the Network Rail engineers in choosing the product means that Elite is able to add yet another to the list. Design and manufacture All of Elite’s products are made to the highest standards at two extensive Rail Professional

modern manufacturing plants in Telford, Shropshire which cover 50,000 square feet of production area and two and a half acres of stocking space. Rigorously applied procedures and the latest production techniques ensure consistency and efficiency, enabling the company to provide high quality products at the most economic prices. All raw materials are fully traceable and that the concrete is monitored for all dimensional accuracy, density, compressive strength on a regular basis. Technical team An inhouse support team is always on hand to offer advice, provide estimates and help with project planning. Elite prides itself on its strong reputation for excellent customer service coupled with a flexibility and desire to find solutions to the most challenging of customer requests. It’s customer service and technical departments are renowned for their ability to modify and adapt existing ‘off the shelf’ products to suit the most specific and exacting of requirements. This approach

Service and delivery By regularly keeping over £300,000 worth of standard products in stock, Elite can, in most cases, offer delivery times of between 24 and 48 hours from receipt of any order throughout the UK. Anything can be delivered, from one block to many thousands on a variety of different vehicles including flatbed artics and crane offload. Elite also offers a full install service. All operatives are trained to the highest standards to make sure the products are loaded efficiently and correctly ensuring they reach the customer safely and in premium condition. An export service to anywhere in the world is available on request. Environment Because the blocks are made from 100 per cent natural materials sourced from local quarries, they are 100 per cent recyclable at their end of their life. Combined with the 120-year design life, they provide the most environmentally sustainable solution currently available. Elite’s production processes benefit from the most modern and efficient low energy equipment and it embraces best practice in all aspects including rainwater harvesting. Elite minimises its carbon footprint in all areas including making the best use of the transport network by utilising back loads for the majority of deliveries. This minimises the road miles that the vehicles have to travel empty and of course means lower prices for customers. Tel: 01952 588885 Email: Visit:

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.



Atkins appoints new CEO for the UK and Europe tkins, a member of the SNCLavalin Group, has appointed Philip Hoare as CEO of its UK and Europe region. Philip will be responsible for leading Atkins’ 10,000-strong team and operations across multiple transportation, infrastructure, building and industrial markets. A chartered civil engineer by profession, Phillip has led Atkins’ UK and Europe transportation division since 2014 and prior to that was Managing Director for the rail and highways businesses. Philip is committed to driving the digital transformation across design, engineering and project management, and is a strong advocate of apprenticeships and early STEM career opportunities, sitting on the board of the National College for High Speed Rail amongst other industry forums. He is also the senior leadership sponsor of Atkins’ LGBT network.



New managing director at Frequentis UK ndy Madge (above left) has been appointed managing director of Frequentis UK. He took over on New Year’s Day after John Gurney stepped down having spent 18 years in the position. There will be a handover period before John officialy retires in the Spring. From 2012 to 2017, Andy worked for Lockheed Martin, initially as Project Director in the air traffic management business before becoming MD for the defence and intelligence business.

NIC chair gets job on permanent basis ir John Armitt has been appointed as the new permanent chair of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). Commenting on his appointment, Armitt said: ‘I’m delighted to have been appointed as the chair of the National Infrastructure Commission as we prepare for the publication of our first National Infrastructure Assessment later this year. Making the right choices about planning and investing in infrastructure is critical to the UK’s prosperity and quality of life. ‘I want the commission to remain focused on tackling the long-term issues of congestion, capacity and carbon – and to continue to hold the government to account where decisive action is needed – so we can secure the improvements that companies, communities and families need. I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners and listening to our stakeholders as we set out the way forward for the UK’s infrastructure.’


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SMART SWITCH POINT HEATING HEATING SMART SWITCH POINT SwitchPoint HeatingSWITCH AB delivers a complete custom adapt turnkey SMART POINT HEATING SwitchPoint Heating AB delivers a complete custom adapt turnkey heating system for rapid installation with plug connected elements SwitchPoint delivers awith complete custom adapt turnkey heating systemHeating for rapidAB installation plug connected elements 4-Way connector with Control panels with heating system for rapid installation with plug connected elements 4-Way connector with Control panels with software controlled plugs and molded in software controlled plugs4-Way and in with cables IP68molded triac and remotewith connector panels Control Fast installation with stainless steel cables IP68 triac and controlremote by the software controlled plugs and molded inFast installation with stainless steel protective channels and knock on clips in control by the cables IP68 triac and remote internet built in protective channels knock on clips Fast spring installation with stainless steelin stainless steeland with barbs internet built in control by the polyester enclosure stainless springchannels steel withand barbs protective knock on clips polyester in enclosure Flexible custom internet built with dig down ground in Flexible custom stainless spring steel with barbs with dig down ground polyester enclosure length elements stand elements length stand Flexible custom with dig down ground with plugs IP68 withlength plugs elements IP68 stand

with plugs IP68 For Thomas Thorin Thorin Formore moreinformation informationand and quotations quotations contact contact Thomas For more information and quotations contact Thomas Thorin Phone Phone+46 +46(0)703(0)703-30 3030 30 35 35 Phone +46 (0)703- 30 30 35

UK Power Networks Services

THE POWER TO DELIVER A RELIABLE SERVICE WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR PASSENGERS? With ten years of HS1 experience behind us, we know how important it is for passengers that we deliver network reliability. A reliable service makes travel more convenient, easier for passengers to plan journeys and gives them the confidence they will arrive on time. Rail network reliability is our priority by ensuring a resilient electricity network. It gives passengers a better travelling experience, with improved comfort and more widespread accessibility. Ultimately it offers passengers more choice, both in the range of available services and the flexibility with which they can use them.





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Rail Professional February 2018  

Rail Professional February 2018

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Rail Professional February 2018

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