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JULY/AUGUST 2014 ISSUE 204 £3.95


Mind the gap IRR’s Professor Simon Iwnicki on the skills gap and getting the message across about railway engineering as a career

Plus... What are the ‘golden keys’ to solving complex problems in rail? Leading training and education initiatives in rail engineering HS2 - time to address freight issues says FTA Greg Morse on Polmont, 30 years on How will Scotland’s transport system cope this year?

Asking what’s needed: An invitation from the British Transport Police Association to influence its work Leaving with our heads held high: First Capital Connect MD David Statham on why the Toc’s employees should be proud


Lucchini UK is part of the Lucchini RS Group of Italy, specialising in the machining of train wheels and axles, the assembly of complete wheelsets for new passenger carriages and the maintenance of train wheelsets and gearboxes. The plant in Trafford Park, Manchester, claims over 100 years of involvement in the rail industry, however it belies its age: since purchasing the site in the year 2000 Lucchini RS has upgraded the facilities, investing £15m to make it a “one-stop shop” for any activity related to passenger and freight wheelsets and gearboxes. Lucchini UK has met with outstanding success promoting the high quality of its products and developing a close relationship between Staff, Customers and Suppliers, in particular via its Continuous Improvement Programme called LukoMotion. The company commitment is constantly to update its machining capability and its non-destructive testing technology, keeping up with customer demands for top quality, service and flexibility. The company is approved to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 and to the Link-up, IRIS and RISAS schemes. LUK’s parent company in Italy is at the forefront of the design and manufacture of wheels, axles and wheelsets, with its own steel production, R&D laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities for wheel and axle manufacture.

The home of Lucchini RS - Lovere, Italy

Lucchini UK Ltd ▪ Wheel Forge Way ▪ Trafford Park ▪ Manchester ▪ M17 1EH Tel: +44 (0)161 886 0300 ▪ ▪

Welcome march 2014 Issue 200 £3.95

JULY 2014 ISSUE 204 £3.95


A man for Mind the gap all countries THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR RAIL

IRR’s Professor Simon Iwnicki on the skills gap and getting the message across about railway

Global transportasdesigner engineering a career Paul Priestman on stations, high speed, increasing capacity and how the industry should advertise itself

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

Plus... What are the ‘golden keys’ to solving complex problems in rail? Leading training and education initiatives in rail engineering HS2 - time to address freight issues says FTA Greg Morse on Polmont, 30 years on How will Scotland’s transport system cope this year?

RSSB on strengthening rail’s defences against extreme weather Asking what’s needed: An invitation from the British Transport Police Association to influence its work

Should we forget the driver? How technology Leaving with heads held high: Firstof Capital Connect MD isour changing the face our networks David Statham on why the Toc’s employees should be proud

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

editor’ s note Editor’ s Note


his issue is devoted to one of the biggest concerns facing the industry — the skills shortage, and to that end it was a pleasure to meet Professor Simon Iwnicki, head of the Institute of Railway Research at Huddersfield University, and a man at the forefront of raising awareness among the UK’s schoolchildren and undergraduates of a career in rail engineering and the rewards it can offer. Discussing the shortcomings of school careers advice services, Iwnicki points out that the situation is stifled by the fact that most advisors don’t have direct experience of engineering, let alone rail engineering. He believes that the skills shortage may have to become quite acute before the message really gets through though, and if we can’t find the number of engineers required, more of those jobs will have to be imported, as they are already. An interesting report commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering, Thinking like an engineer - implications for the education system, takes the problem back to the earliest days of schooling. It says that young children are natural born engineers, constantly seeking to understand the properties of materials and testing the structures they build. However the education system then expects them to move away from practical learning and become more theoretical and abstract, with the implication that people who design, make and fix things are less intelligent. The report proposes that the whole of the curricula is redesigned, starting from the premise of trying to cultivate learners who think like engineers through more engineeringbased content in the new 2014 National Curriculum for England. Will the rail MoU with China be a good thing? ‘I can see great mutual benefit to be gained from increased co-operation between the UK and China on rail,’ said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, and there’s no doubt a sharing of expertise can only be a positive. A DfT spokesman said HS2 is planned on the basis it is publicly funded, but as the project develops ‘there will be potential to secure private sector investment in the new railway infrastructure, rolling stock or wider station developments.’ The spokesman made it clear that ‘HS2 - and the tens of thousands of jobs it will create - will provide hugely significant opportunities for British firms and workers.’ It will be interesting to see how the new situation will affect the UK’s rail engineering skills gap. Indeed, Frank Dobson MP recently tabled a question to the Secretary of Transport whether he expects Chinese workers to be employed in the construction of HS2. The Chinese want to invest in HS2, and the Canadian pension-fund owners of HS1 are waiting in the wings as well. One thing is for sure, the HS2 news engine will not be reducing in speed. Lorna Slade Editor

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ISSUE 204 • JULY / AUGUST 2014


Rail Professional interview



UK and China sign MoU on rail; DfT study to put a value on time spent travelling; modern working patterns not reflected in ticketing says Campaign for Better Transport; Infrarail 2014 busiest ever; joint project to enhance communication during disruptions; transport industry needs a more feminine voice; British Transport Police news; Abellio Greater Anglia Demonstrator train takes to the tracks; government refuses to raise HS2’s environmental aims; apprentices dismantle DMU at Swanage Railway; Network Rail apprentices do battle with armed forces; HS2 petition committee announces timetable; GNWR deal nearly sealed; HS1 eyeing HS2; engineering succession planning more important than ever; Derby Enterprise Growth Fund initiative; Railfuture photography competition; letters to the editor

Professor Simon Iwnicki, head of the Institute of Railway Research (IRR) at Huddersfield University, talked to Lorna Slade about his forthcoming year of office as chair of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a role which he is clear will be devoted to helping to address the skills shortage in railway engineering

Building awareness


Kevin P. Stenson describes the big impact that educational charity The Smallpeice Trust is having on raising young people’s awareness of careers in rail engineering

Passenger Focus

Engineering the solution



The spotlight will be on Scotland and its sporting events this year. How will the country’s public transport system cope asks Anthony Smith?

Laying down the law


Claudia Gerrard looks at letters of intent and says that one recent real-life scenario shows they are still largely misunderstood and misused

Patent pending


As employers are being increasingly challenged to take ownership of the opportunities to prevent a new wave of engineering skills shortages, Angela Dean explains how the University of Derby is helping rail firms to do this

The TotalVALUE of team working


How can the rail industry integrate multiple fields of research and practice, whole systems engineering, innovation, creativity and complex problem solving? Adrian Terry has the answer

Steven Charlton outlines the positive effects that upcoming changes in European patent law will have on the European rail industry

British Transport Police Authority


In the first of a regular series, chair of the BTPA, Millie Banerjee, talks about ten years of the Authority overseeing the work of the BTP, and why she believes integrated working will see it on track to success for the next ten years

IRO news and diary


Latest news and events from the Institution of Railway Operators

Delivering the goods


The Freight Transport Association is petitioning on the HS2 Bill to ensure that issues for rail freight are properly addressed. Chris MacRae lays out his concerns and suggestions

A radical offer on rail?


Jay Turner looks at Labour’s options for reforming the structure of UK passenger rail services

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Other countries think of engineers as people who design, innovate and find solutions, whereas in the UK an engineer is someone who comes to fix your fridge INTERVIEW - P. 48

Opening doors to the next generation of engineers


The Royal Greenwich University Technical College has been a great success. TfL describes how it has supported the teaching of real world engineering skills to the college’s students

Meeting the transformation


TfL’s apprentices are playing a key role in the modernisation and improvement of London Underground and other parts of the transport network

Getting in line puts lives on track


Former Gurkhas - and other men and women from the military - are in the front line of work to modernise Britain’s railways, thanks to new qualifications being pioneered by EAL

Getting on board with apprenticeships


Paul Compton describes one of the largest rail apprentice schemes in the South Wales Region

Polmont, 30 years on


Greg Morse looks back to the fatal collision at Polmont on 30 July 1984 and considers the current risk from animals on the line

Leaving with our heads held high


First Capital Connect MD David Statham says the operator’s employees should be proud of all they have achieved together

Business news


B Hepworth Co.; Birley Manufacturing Solutions; Colas Rail; Gleeds; Keyline; Northern Rail; Rennicks UK; Severn Partnership; SIG Rail & Infrastructure; Smith Brothers & Webb; TrainFX; VTG Rail UK; Zonegreen; new members of the Rail Alliance

Business profiles


1stinrail; Amaro; Arbil; Arcadia Alive; ARC Academy; Daventry Business and Consultancy Services; Enable Rail Academy; Flexicon; GKN Land Systems; Hurst Green Plastics; Kopta; Mechan; pbh Rail; Speedy Services; Thales; Vivax-Metrotech; York EMC Services



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Philip Hoare; Jim Crawford; Nick Howers; Charles Horton; Dyan Crowther; Wilma Allan; Elodie Brian

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UK and China sign MoU on rail Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang have agreed that the UK and Chinese rail industries will work together to boost economic growth, jobs and skills. The two countries signed a bilateral agreement at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, paving the way for closer cooperation on areas such as rail design, engineering, construction, supply, operation and maintenance. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: ‘I can see great mutual benefit to be gained from increased co-operation between the UK and China on rail. The railways are a massive success story in both countries and we can boast world-class expertise across the sector. ‘The government’s long-term economic plan is working, and Britain is on the rise. But the job is not done. The success stories of the future will be economies that invest in infrastructure and welcome overseas involvement and we want this partnership to be a win-win situation creating economic

growth and jobs here and abroad, including in China.’ The memorandum of understanding – which covers all modes of rail, including high speed - states the scope of the partnership may include: • the development of new build and upgrading rail infrastructure projects • the supply of products and services to third markets • collaboration on research and development within the rail sector • station design • equipment supply • rail transport safety and evaluation • energy saving and environmental protection in rail. McLoughlin signed the MoU on behalf of the UK government, with Xu Shaoshi, chairman of the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC), signing for the Chinese. The agreement states that contracts won

in the UK should utilise and build upon the UK supply chain.

Engineering employers say succession planning more important now than before recession Engineering employers say succession planning is more important to them now than it was in 2006 according to researcher Randstad Construction Property & Engineering. In a poll of 100 leading HR directors, 63 per cent of those working in the engineering sector believe planning is more important now than before the economy crashed. According to Workpocket 2014/15, Randstad’s guide to HR, succession planning focuses on identifying potential future leaders to fill key positions. In a climate of talent shortage and lack of confidence in leadership potential, there is renewed interest in succession planning. Half of HR directors working in engineering said it is set to become a higher priority in the future. Owen Goodhead, MD of Randstad Construction, Property & Engineering said: ‘Sound succession planning is not just about risk-mitigation. It helps ensure employees know they’re being groomed for a particular position, which gives them a strong sense of having a clearly defined future within the company. With the growing shortage at senior and middle manager level, and a number of engineers decamping overseas, focusing on succession planning could make all the difference. Less than half (44 per cent) of the UK’s blue-chip employers undertake both short and long-term succession planning. But in engineering, the figure is around three quarters (71 per cent). Said Goodhead: ‘When it comes to succession planning the UK’s employers appear to be lagging behind the engineering industry. You have a choice: raise the bar on your succession planning or watch your top talent – and a host of competitive benefits – fly out the door. Unlike other sectors, the engineering sector isn’t just going through the motions.  Effective succession planning can’t be done in a vacuum and needs to be an integrated component of a company’s approach to talent management. It’s a part of the HR process that just isn’t being properly exploited at the moment elsewhere. Engineers are used to dealing with massive projects that can take years – even decades – to complete.  That appears to have rubbed off on their HR departments.’ Additionally, 43 per cent of engineering employers focus their succession planning on more than just the top level of management – compared to the UK average of 30 per cent. Page 8 July/August 2014

GNWR WCML deal nearly sealed Great North Western Railway Company (GNWR) has reached an agreement with Network Rail on the sale of access rights to begin the operation of two new direct high-speed rail services on the West Coast Main Line (WCML). The period of industry consultation is due to finish early this month, and then the open access contract only needs final approval from the Office of Rail Regulation so that new trains can be ordered and the recruitment process can begin. GNWR, a subsidiary of the Arriva-owned Alliance Rail Holdings, plans to operate six return trains a day between London and Blackpool, starting in 2017. It will also run six return trains a day between London and Huddersfield via Manchester Victoria and then continuing on to Leeds, starting in 2018.

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HS2 petition committee announces timetable The committee of MPs who will hear the petitions of people wanting changes to the HS2 Hybrid Bill has announced four days of hearings in July, which will solely be concerned with HS2 Ltd challenging the right of people and organisations to be heard by the committee. There will also be four days of hearings concerning the petitions of Birmingham City Council and Centro, both staunch supporters of HS2, before the Committee breaks up for the summer recess, until reconvening in September. The committee will not meet outside of London but will

conduct site visits, which petitioners can attend, starting with Birmingham and Lichfield on July 15th. The committee will hear petitions on a geographical basis, going from the North to South after it has concluded in Birmingham. Although the committee decided in the main not to hear national issues first, it has agreed to hear from a noise expert from the HS2 action groups early into the process, after a visit to a sound laboratory. At some point, HS2 Ltd is going to make ‘additional provisions’, which are intended to be amendments to the current plans.

Government refuses to raise ambition of HS2’s environmental protections The government has rejected the call of an Environmental Audit Committee report on HS2 and the environment for a more ambitious objective than ‘no net biodiversity loss’. It has also discounted the Committee’s call to provide greater ‘environmental compensation’ (or off-setting) for ancient woodlands destroyed by the rail line. Chair of the Committee, Joan Walley MP, (see her feature in Rail Professional June 2014, pg51) said: ‘Opinion is divided on the merits or otherwise of HS2. But everyone should be united in wanting the environmental impacts of the railway to be avoided or minimised as much as possible. It is disappointing that the government will settle for no overall biodiversity loss, when it could use the enormous budget for the scheme to provide more gains than losses for the environment. If ancient woodlands and other critical habitats will be lost,

they should at least be much more fully compensated for than currently planned by the government’s off-setting system.’ In its response to the Committee’s April report, the government states that its ambition in seeking ‘no net biodiversity loss’ is ‘appropriate’. This is despite its commitment in its 2011 Natural Environment White Paper for this to be ‘the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state that it inherited’. In calculating how much new woodland to provide, to replace damaged ancient woodland, it will give the highest possible score for the ancient woodland’s ‘distinctiveness’, but not for its ‘condition’ or ‘connectedness’. Lower scores for these attributes will lower the amount of new woodland required, despite ancient woodlands being universally regarded as irreplaceable. The response also largely rejects the Committee’s recommendations on

allowing compensatory habitats away from the route, which might provide better results in well-being terms. It rejects the call for a ring-fence for a budget for environmental protection measures. More positively, the government has conceded that it recognises the benefit of having an independent body to monitor the creation of off-set habitats and whether there is any overall biodiversity loss, and will ‘consider further’ the options for Natural England or local authorities having such a role. Following its report, the Environmental Audit Committee wrote to the chair of the new select committee hearing the petitions of people wanting changes to HS2 (see above), drawing its attention to government commitments that the select committee would be able to examine and report on environmental mitigation measures.

HS1 eyeing HS2 The Canadian pension-fund owners of the Channel Tunnel rail link have expressed an interest in bidding for HS2 if it is offered up to the private sector according to The Telegraph. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) and Borealis Infrastructure have told the Treasury of their desire to add the new high-speed network to their portfolios once the project is complete. Ministers are considering whether to operate HS2 as a private-sector concession after Lord Heseltine suggested that doing so could save £10 billion. The two funds, which paid £2.1billion for the first HS1 concession in 2010, are understood to be ‘very serious’ about the potential deal. Nicola Shaw, chief executive of HS1 Ltd, which operates the line from the Channel Tunnel to London St Pancras, said her investors had been impressed by the early growth after already receiving a £200 million dividend. Regarding HS2, ‘The vote on the second reading was very clear, and if it gets built, my shareholders would like to buy another concession,’ said Shaw. ‘Getting the £200m dividend was very nice for them and I think they’ve understood that they like the UK investment environment. They have long horizons and they are very serious.’ Andrew Claerhout, of OTPP, said: ‘The HS2 project represents a significant opportunity for further growth and investment in UK infrastructure. We’ll continue paying close attention to it – particularly once the costs have been finalised – as it is clear that high-speed rail can provide the necessary returns for our investors as well as deliver an important public service.’ Page 10 July/August 2014



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For more information about Rosehill Rail’s Level Crossing systems, call Peter Anderson on +44 (0)1422 317 482, or email Alternatively visit our website July/August 2014 Page 11

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News in brief New centre for smart transport technology ocated in Milton Keynes, the ‘Imovation Centre’ (combining intelligent mobility and innovation) will ‘improve the movement of people and goods around the world’, generating up to £90 billion in annual revenue for the UK by 2025. Operated by Transport Systems Catapult, the centre will provide a world-class collaboration space for innovators, entrepreneurs, research organisations and businesses to trial and demonstrate new products.


Talk is cheap ondon Midland has changed its helpline number to make it cheaper for customers to get in touch. The changeover means that customers now pay the same rate as they would when dialling a landline rather than a premium rate number. For mobile phone users, the new number allows customers to call using their inclusive minutes rather than being charged extra. Just one digit on the phone number has changed; the previous number was 0844 811 0133 and the new number 0344 811 0133.


Large following for rail alliance he South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance has hit the 100,000 mark for Twitter followers. Since the @SW_Trains account was launched in September 2011 it now has more followers than the majority of other Toc’s, which the company says is ‘down to the open and honest real-time updates being provided to customers’. The biggest gain in numbers happened during last winter’s storms, with the addition of more than 10,000 followers.


Crime at lowest level for TfL ew figures show that the rate of crime for London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, London Tramlink, London Overground and buses remain at their lowest level since recording began. The figures, which cover 2013/14 April to March show crime fell by 11.3 per cent meaning there are now just 7.7 crimes per million passenger journeys on London’s transport system, down from 8.9 in 2012/13. In 2007/8 levels were at a rate of 15.2 crimes per million passenger journeys.


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New DfT study will put a value on time spent travelling The study will provide up-to-date valuations of travel time savings and reliability in order to ‘better appraise transport infrastructure schemes’. It follows the publication of scoping reports by the DfT in October 2013, which recommended that values should be updated; the most recent UK national value of time study was conducted nearly 20 years ago, before the internet revolution and other changes in working and commuting practices. The study will provide national average values of travel time savings. It will also investigate the factors which cause variation in the values, and improve understanding of the uncertainties around them. Values of reliability benefits and quality impacts such as relief of overcrowding will also be provided. The DfT has appointed Arup to manage and deliver market research for the study. Arup will do this in partnership with the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) at the University of Leeds, which will be responsible for the technical research and analysis, and Accent, who will undertake the data collection. The new information will feed into the UK’s official transport analysis guidance, WebTAG, which mandates values of in-vehicle travel time savings for business, commuting and non-work travel for use in the assessment of publicly funded transport projects.

Modern work patterns not reflected in ticketing The government is not responding to modern work patterns according to the Campaign for Better Transport, which it says is leaving many of Britain’s 12 million part-time workers unable to commute by train or paying too much for their ticket. New research from the transport campaign charity shows an average parttime commuter to London would save more than £1500 a year if the government honoured its pledge to introduce flexible season tickets. Campaigners from the CBT’s 15 organisations last month delivered a joint letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, and protested outside the offices of the DfT. Martin Abrams, public transport campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said: ‘The days of everyone working 9:00 to 5:00, Monday to Friday are long gone but government is dragging its heels over season tickets for part-time workers. The result is part-timers who catch the train to work paying huge sums for tickets they don’t use, and in some cases being priced out of jobs altogether. Government needs to stop dithering and make sure all train companies introduce season tickets for part-time workers across the network as a matter of urgency.’ The research compared the price of

full-time season tickets and a part-time equivalent on popular commuting routes into major cities. Those commuting to part-time jobs in London from the South East would be an average of £1500 a year better off. Part-time commuters to Birmingham would save around £600, with those commuting to part-time roles in Manchester and Bristol saving £460 and £765 respectively. More than eight million people now work part-time, constituting 29 per cent of those in employment. Of this group, nearly 75 per cent are women, the majority of whom have dependent children. A further four million people work flexibly, working some days each week from home. Another 1.5 million work under so-called zero hours contracts, with very limited knowledge of how many hours they will work each week. The DfT began consulting on fairer ticketing in March 2012, and in October 2013 pledged to trial part-time season tickets on a London commuter route. Although the trial was originally intended to run in 2014, no date has been set for it to begin and no line has yet been agreed. The government published research in May 2014 showing parttime season tickets would benefit many employers.

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Greater Anglia Demonstrator train takes to the tracks The joint project of Angel Trains, Bombardier and Abellio Greater Anglia to invite passengers to have a positive input in train design has moved on with the inaugural run of the partly refurbished Class 317 emu, No 317 722. Senior rail industry figures and journalists were on board for the trip that took place between London Liverpool Street and Bishops Stortford and back last month. The train, known as the Class 317 Demonstrator, made the journey having undergone a £7 million overhaul as part of the joint project. Originality has played a major part all the way with this project for only two of the coaches have been fully refurbished, with tables having been removed, more space being created, a smoother ride and less noise. The other two coaches which include a First Class compartment

have been left as they were, allowing passengers to make comparisons. A spokesman for Abellio Greater Anglia explained: ‘This was a preview of a refurbished and re-tractioned Class 317 that will be entering passenger service on the Abellio Greater Anglia West Anglia routes network this summer. ‘This project is designed to help in understanding the technical opportunities and customer requirements for the longer-term for this fleet and to demonstrate the possibilities of how these trains could be modified and improved as part of any future upgrade.’ Passengers will be asked for feedback to improvements that have been made including better performance through improved acceleration; the fitting of new motors and traction electronics resulting in reduced maintenance; power

units resembling the performance of a new train for greater reliability, and reduced environmental impact with the Demonstrator using up to 40 per cent less power. Written by Peter Brown, transport journalist

Derby Enterprise Growth Fund supports rail skills initiative Derby Enterprise Growth Fund (DEGF) has pledged support for a Derby-based rail consultancy in its bid to tackle growing skills shortages in the industry. The QSS Group in Vernon Gate specialises in health and safety, engineering and environmental management audits and training for the rail industry and has embarked on a strategic development and growth plan requiring the addition of new skills into the business. The company has therefore launched a recruitment campaign to attract six new consultants into the business. A £63,000 grant from DEGF is enabling the company to train and mentor these new recruits alongside its established consultants who can pass on their knowledge and expertise. DEGF is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund and run by Derby City Council. It aims to support the growth and job creation at businesses in Derby and the surrounding area through a mix of loans and grants. The QSS Group managing director Robert Brooks said that lack of investment in rail industry-specific training had now created a pending shortage of skills and knowledge at a higher level. ‘Our company is embedded in the rail industry and was established initially as a department within British Rail before privatisation in the 1990’s. Our consultants work with a wide range of companies within the rail sector from engineering and manufacturing to train operating companies and carry out the essential work required to keep our railway network safe.To deliver our growth plans, we are looking to attract professionals from allied industries and particularly graduates who have the skills in new technologies.’ He continued: ‘Thanks to the DEGF support, we are able to recruit, train and mentor these people while retaining our existing staff.’ The QSS Group has been working closely with the University of Derby – utilising the innovative IT, design and data analysis skills of students to work on a range of innovative rail projects. The first person to be recruited as part of the DEGF-supported expansion and the relationship with the university is Ian Davison who returned to education to study for a Masters in Environmental Page 14 July/August 2014

Management after leaving the gas industry. Davison was introduced to QSS by the University of Derby and recently won the University’s Student Employment Agency Award in recognition of his employment success. According to Robert Brooks, ‘Ian is a perfect example of how transferable skills in environmental management, computer programming and the gas industry can be relevant for our rail industry client base and he has brought many new qualities to the business.’ Applications continue to be welcomed by Derby City Council. To find out more visit: Tel: 01332 641628 Email:

One of the most inspiring companies in Britain A 'standout' UK business, as named by the Telegraph and identified by the London Stock Exchange as one of the top 1000 companies to inspire Britain


Published in the Telegraph recently, Taziker Industrial Ltd (TI) were recognised by the London Stock Exchange for helping to spearhead the UKs economic recovery as they rub shoulders with the top 1000 companies to inspire Britain.

in Scotland, after successfully completing the £15m contract for phase three.

TI is a multi-discipline specialist UK Rail contractor providing innovative structural refurbishments and strengthening throughout the UK. Their in-house services include surface preparation and application of protective coatings, steelwork fabrication, repairs and strengthening and in order to bring efficiencies to every job TI utilise their own scaffolding divisions. News of the London Stock Exchange accolade arrived just as the specialist rail contractors were celebrating being awarded a three year, £22m contract for phase four of refurbishment works to the Tay Rail Bridge

It seems the 600 strong company, who have offices throughout the UK, are not just darlings of the National press but are also striking a chord closer to home near their HQ in Bolton, where they were recently crowned the 9th fastest growing business in Greater Manchester for 2014. TI offer market-leading technologies and unparalleled expertise on every project. Their commitment to adding value stretches across all aspects of their business and was recognised recently with the ‘Platinum Badger Award’ for works to the Royal Albert Bridge over the River Tamar. This award represents the ultimate recognition by Network Rail IP Western for demonstrating sustained excellence and raising industry standards in health, safety and environmental controls.

Contact Taziker Industrial Ltd

Learn more about Taziker Industrial Ltd

Taziker Industrial Ltd (Head Office) Unit 6 Lodge Bank Crown Lane Horwich Bolton, BL6 5HY

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July/August 2014 Page 15

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Apprentices join forces at Swanage Railway A team of more than twenty apprentices from Siemens and the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance took part in a two-day team-building event at Swanage Railway, dismantling a Class 101 DMU before it was scrapped. The ex-British Rail unit from the 1950’s last saw service in 2000. Salvaged parts will form a valuable source of spares for the main line’s upgraded and certificated DMU’s that will be used on future train services between Swanage and the main line at Wareham from next year. Siemens apprentice and director at The Swanage Railway Trust, Nathan Au, who initiated the idea with colleagues, said: ‘We are lucky enough to learn about and work with modern fleets such as the Class 444 and 450 Desiro units for South West Trains in our apprenticeships, and this gave us a chance to practice our mechanical skills and techniques on older rolling stock while also helping towards a bigger railway project.’ Shannon Fox, 1st year apprentice at South West Trains, said: ‘I only joined in August last year and so this has been a lot to take in but it’s been good getting to work with Siemens and also see behind the scenes.’

Network Rail apprentices in battle with the armed forces Who’s tougher - the RAF, the Royal Navy or Network Rail’s apprentices? In fact, it’s the lattermost, as proved in the annual Junior Leaders Field Gun Competition, held at HMS Collingwood in Gosport, Hampshire last month. In the ultimate show of strength, endurance, speed, accuracy and teamwork, NR’s apprentices fended off the military services in the final by taking both first and second places. A third NR team also triumphed in the ‘plate’ contest – fought between those crews that make an earlier exit from the competition. The Junior Leaders Field Gun traditionally marks the end

of Network Rail’s Year 1 Advanced Apprenticeship Scheme graduation ceremony. Organised by the Royal Navy, the competition is open to crews formed of trainees or apprentices aged 16-25. Each crew of 18 is required to run, dismantle, Page 16 July/August 2014

reassemble and fire the antique 12-pounder field gun – equivalent in weight to a small car – in the shortest possible time. Network Rail’s winning team triumphed over 11 other crews drawn from the military services and other organisations including BAE Systems and Chichester College. Michelle Nolan-McSweeney, apprentice development manager for Network Rail said: ‘The teamwork and dedication the apprentices showed in the competition and during their training should serve them well as they go on in their careers. Excellent teamwork, attention to detail and good communication are a vital part of maintaining the railway, and the Network Rail crews in this competition demonstrated these qualities in abundance.’

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Commendations for Abellio Greater Anglia employees Three of the Toc’s staff have been recognised for their role in tackling railway crime and antisocial behaviour and were presented with Divisional Commander’s Commendations by chief superintendent Paul Brogden at a special ceremony at Stationer’s Hall, London. Brogden described how Hackney Downs station supervisor Binay Prasad’s ‘quick actions certainly helped save a person’s life’ during an incident late last year, when, noticing a man on the tracks, he acted to flag down and stop an oncoming train. On approaching the man, Prasad discovered that he was intent on committing suicide and managed to build enough of a rapport to escort him off the tracks to safety, keeping the man calm until emergency services arrived. Waltham Cross booking office clerk, Stella Emelone, received her commendation along with Alba Turnbull, a member of the public who worked at the station’s coffee shop. Emelone noticed a woman acting erratically, and fearful that she may be suicidal, asked her to leave the station. The woman refused, and as a fast train approached, she walked toward the platform edge. When Emelone

tried to prevent her doing this she was viciously attacked. Turnbull intervened, putting her own safety at risk, but preventing Emelone from receiving potentially serious injuries. Matthew Leathers a customer services worker at Shenfield was involved in an incident at the station earlier this year. Having recently completed his Samaritans training course, Leathers approached a woman who told him that she intended to commit suicide. Although the woman was positioned next to the tracks, he managed to encourage her away from the platform before calling the police.

Four sentenced in Operation Amelia Four Gloucestershire men have been sentenced for their part in a nationwide fraud to steal industrial batteries from the rail network and sell them on. Ryan Brazil, Martin Goodwin, Ronnie Smith and Carl Brazil received a range of sentences at Bristol Crown Court last month after pleading guilty to fraudulent trading. The court heard how the men had posed as contractors to steal the batteries between September 2009 and July 2013. Detective sergeant Anthony Jones of the BTP’s National Metal Theft Team, said: ‘Wearing branded outfits and arriving in liveried vehicles, the men posed as genuine contractors at depots across the country and convinced officials to allow them to take the valuable batteries. No

Page 18 July/August 2014

company received money for the batteries which should have been sold to, and collected by, designated waste contractors. These batteries were then taken to scrap metal dealers who, acting in good faith, paid money to a group of men they thought were acting on behalf of bona fide contractors. In many cases the four also made sure they carried waste consignment notes and waste carrier licenses. ‘As a result of their spree, the men defrauded a number of industries and companies of at least £100,000 though the true level of their offending is probably much higher, and it seems for years they thought they could act without fear of being brought to justice.’


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Transport industry needs a more feminine voice A study conducted by audio branding specialist PH Media Group found the most popular voice used in public transport operators’ audio branding is male and aged between 45 and 55. Regarded as authoritative, trustworthy and corporate in tone, it helps to convey a sense of reliable service. But PH Media Group advises firms not to follow industry trends and instead choose branding that suits their specific company values, customer base and service proposition. As such, a female voice may be equally as effective. ‘An older, deeper, masculine voice, especially when combined with corporate music, can portray a sense of knowledge and professionalism to customers,’ said Dan Lafferty, director of Voice and Music at PH Media Group, ‘but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be the best fit across the board. A feminine voice can be equally authoritative but is also perceived as soothing and welcoming, reinforcing an ethos of dedicated service.’ The most popular music tracks were corporate, dynamic and motivational in style, designed to reinforce the senses conveyed through the accompanying tone of voice while lifting the mood of customers. Many firms opt to use popular music tracks but, due to existing emotional associations, these tracks are often unsuitable in convincing a customer to buy. ‘Sound is a powerful emotional sense,’ added Lafferty. ‘People will often attach feelings, both positive and negative, to a piece of commercial music, which will be recalled upon hearing it. Placing a piece of commercial music in an on-hold situation, no matter how cheery and upbeat it may seem, is a lottery of the individual’s previous experience of the track. Using commercial music is also a square peg, round hole scenario, taking a piece of music and trying to make it fit a new purpose to convey a message it was never intended to.’ Lafferty recommends a bespoke music track which reflects the brand proposition, with the added advantage of there being no previous exposure among the client base. Page 20 July/August 2014

Big increase in visitor numbers at busiest-ever Infrarail The Infrarail 2014 rail infrastructure technology exhibition was the busiest-ever say the organisers, with a 13 per cent increase in the number of industry managers, engineers and decision-makers visiting. Feedback from the 200 exhibitors was ‘very positive with regards to visitor quality’ and this was confirmed by data showing some 63 per cent of visitors possessed purchasing authority. Supported by Network Rail, Transport for London and the Railway Industry Association plus other leading professional bodies, this tenth biannual exhibition boasted a number of features: Rail Alliance members exhibited alongside each other in a ‘Hub’ and ‘The Track’, sponsored by Tata Steel, saw sections of the firm’s latest highperformance track acting as a display setting for several companies’ products. Visitor numbers were further boosted through the Civil Infrastructure & Technology Exhibition – CITE 2014, which ran concurrently at the Earls Court 2 venue. The joining of the exhibitions made Infrarail the largest infrastructure exhibition held in the UK this year and the two combined had an increased visitorship of 17 per cent on Infrarail 2012. Infrarail 2014 was opened by Baroness Kramer, Minister of State for Transport, who delivered a keynote speech listing the many rail programmes underway and pointing to the opportunities these

create for suppliers. Looking ahead, Kramer emphasised the government’s plans to end ‘stop-start investment’ through ‘a pipeline of future funding that will meet the country’s long-term needs and provide a sustained boost for the industry.’ Simon Kirby in his recently vacated role as managing director, infrastructure projects at Network Rail, and Clare Moriarty, director-general of the newly created Rail Executive at the Department for Transport, also gave speeches. This year’s Infrarail & CITE Awards’ winners were: Excellence in track or infrastructure: GGR Rail Best new signalling product: FT Transformers Best new electrification product: Trough Tec Innovation in safety: iSeeUGlobal Innovation in technology: Wireless CCTV Newcomer award: Linbrooke Services Judges choice award: DWG Best space only stand: Imtech Best shell scheme stand: dBD Communications Exhibition manager Heidi Cotsworth said: ‘I would like to thank everyone who supported Infrarail 2014 and congratulate the winners of the Awards. Planning is now underway for Railtex 2015 which will take place from 12-14 May at the NEC in Birmingham.’

Joint project aims to enhance communication during disruption Aston University has partnered with Chiltern Railways in a research project aimed at helping to minimise the impact of disruptive incidents on passengers. Aston’s team of researchers, led by Dr Ben Clegg, reader in operations improvement and systems thinking and associate dean for Business Partnerships, will analyse recent critical and disruptive incidents; looking for patterns of failure in information communication. The team will work to identify the root causes of failures associated with these incidents and seek to understand how quicker recovery can be facilitated through better information communication. Rob Brighouse, managing director of Chiltern Railways said: ‘We recognise that travel disruption can be stressful so it is vital that we give our passengers timely, accurate and clear information.’ Dr Clegg said: ‘Working with Chiltern Railways gives us a first-hand insight into the rail industry and provides us with a complex challenge.’ Novel techniques developed at Aston (such as modeling and simulation) will be used to gain insight into how to minimise future disruptions.

July/August 2014 Page 21

Letters Readers air their views about the railway industry and Rail Professional

Trainofthought Please email your letters to: Or post to The Editor, Rail Professional, Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, CM11 1PU. Letters may be edited for length.

Dear Madam


have had a couple of robust discussions with Rupert Fausset of Forum for the Future (see Rail Professional interview on sustainability in rail, June 2014, pg56), and he has kindly given me the source of the figures he quoted. They reveal that in terms of gCO2/ pkm, rail improved by 21 per cent (2008-2013) whereas road improved seven per cent in the same period. This hardly represents cars catching up! However, in terms of new vehicles the SMMT show that they have improved by 22 per cent in the same period. (168gCO2/vkm 2008, 128gCO2/ vkm in 2013) Fausset said that as most of the rail improvement comes from increased passenger numbers (17 per cent on his DEFRA figures) that we are missing out on the technology of sustainability. To measure per passenger km and then take the passengers out of the equation is of course nonsense. I also suspect that the impact of regeneration, and driver advisory systems, plus re-engineering for fuel economy, is missing from the numbers, but cannot be sure. This is where we need better industry effort and figures. Then we come to ‘Are we missing out on technology?’

The fact is. of course, that we are electrifying and replacing dirty diesels with electric trains which have zero tail pipe emissions. So if we quote on the same basis as the SMMT (new vehicle tail pipe emissions) then we are eliminating them altogether. So rail improvement is 100 per cent, cars 22 per cent. Difficult to see this as cars catching up. This is somewhat better than new cars at 128gCO2/vkm. Cars need new battery technology to deliver effective electric vehicles, so that could take some time. The only emissions from an electric train are accepted as those implicit in the generation mix, albeit the UK is pretty dirty. All of which leads us to the point that the real opportunity to reduce rail emissions comes from de-carbonising the electricity supply, where the numbers are staggering.... In 2005 I was part of a measurement exercise with ATOC and Bombardier, overseen by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. This repeated a similar exercise that had been carried out in Sweden also looking at Bombardier trains. We measured real energy use in traffic. While the trains in the UK used just as much energy as those in Sweden, the emissions associated with the electricity for electric trains were 2100, (yes two thousand times) less in Sweden where their electricity comes from hydro and

nuclear. In general then we come to a situation where rail is getting better faster than roads, and could eliminate emissions if we cleaned up our electricity supply and electrified our system. All possible under current technology without battery and energy storage technology breakthrough. With such advantages on our side there is little real point in the rail industry spending time money and effort getting more sustainable. In fact, it makes sense for us to make faster, bigger more comfortable trains that use more energy but attract folk out of their dirty old cars or aeroplanes. This is exactly why the new LUL ‘S’ stock uses more energy than the trains it replaces. HS2 will be close to the same thing. On this basis there is also a case that rail should be exempt from European regulation on vehicle emissions. All we need is informed sources like Rail Professional to help educate policy makers and the public and we will nail the myth that cars are catching up, which even some railway folk believe.

Sincerely, Clifford Perry BSc; C.Eng.; F.I. Mech. E.; F.I.R.O.; MCILT

Dear Madam


egarding your editor’s note about Dawlish (June 2014, pg3), the three great storms of February 2014 were some of the worst ever recorded going back to that of 1703 (according to Alex Beresford on the Channel 4 series Britain’s Most Extreme Weather). According to Wikipedia, the last breech in the Dawlish sea wall was in 1859 and that was at the west end of the Parson’s tunnel. One must, therefore, assume that the structure was soundly engineered by the resident engineer’s team which included my great, great grandfather (latterly Divisional Engineer, Neath South Wales Railway). The TV news photos (obviously from Riviera Terrace) showed the huge hole gouged out not only from the railway but also from the moderate soft Devon red sandstone at the end of that terrace. Sincerely, Leonard Lean

Page 22 July/August 2014

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In the passenger seat

Get me to the Games on time! The spotlight will be on Scotland as a million spectators head to the Commonwealth Games during July and August. The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September follows. How will public transport cope asks Anthony Smith?


sing public transport features large in Glasgow. The Ryder Cup is served by rail and three park and ride sites among other ways to get there. The media interest, as with the Olympics, is likely to be intense. Passenger Focus held a seminar in Glasgow in June looking at these questions – the presentation slides are on our website. Scotland starts from a good place in terms of public transport. The Passenger Focus National Rail Passenger Survey shows 87 per cent satisfaction with the last journey, with punctuality being the main driver of satisfaction. Each year 2,000 passengers take part in this survey. First Glasgow and Lothian Buses took part in our Bus Passenger Survey scoring 91 per cent and a whopping 96 per cent respectively. More than 5,000 passengers took part. We have just completed a survey of GB rail passenger’s priorities for improvement – value for money, getting a seat, frequency, information during disruption came top in Scotland. Interestingly punctuality is in fifth place. In terms of joined up journeys our recent work with First and Network Rail on the improvements at Edinburgh Waverley showed the most commonly recognised improvements – the new roof and floors – have made a positive impact on passenger’s experiences. However, there is further room for improvement with signage and accessing platforms. Our recently published work with Transport Scotland on integrated transport threw up interesting challenges. Looking in detail at passengers using Paisley, Perth, Dunbar and Aviemore it is clear that car travel provides the benchmark for integrated public transport journeys. Expectations of journeys using more than one mode are low and the barriers are seen as high – a more joined up offering is needed. Legacy, legacy, legacy So, what will make the Games a success? Some clear lessons emerged from the passenger experience of the Olympics. Good advance planning, Page 24 July/August 2014

involving all stakeholders. More staff trained and visibility with better signage around. Excellent information for passengers. The total absence of planned engineering works combined with fewer peak travellers. The improved Passenger Assist rail booking service worked well and the installation of kit to create step-free environments helped. Being so clearly in the spotlight galvanises the operators. Add that lot together and you have a good package. Yes, these are unique events but it’s all about legacy, legacy and legacy. The plans look good for both events but what endures? The National Rail Passenger Survey had an inexplicable jump upwards in Autumn 2012 – the Olympic afterglow? Anecdotal evidence from industry surveys shows very high levels of satisfaction with the 2012 arrangements. Hopefully some of the tactics employed during the Scottish games and the more joined up approach will pay dividends for passengers long into the future. Anthony Smith is chief executive of Passenger Focus Visit:

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Laying down the law Claudia Gerrard

Letters of intent in the rail industry Claudia Gerrard has previously looked at how to form a legally binding contract and the need to make sure you get it right. However, a recent real life scenario shows that one aspect, letters of intent, is still largely misunderstood and misused


n a recent case, a client in the rail industry wanted to employ a new contractor. And, inevitably, wanted to make sure the contractor would provide the required services. Equally importantly, those services had to be provided at the price the parties had discussed during the negotiations. The client decided to draw up a letter of intent. Letters of intent have been the subject of numerous court cases, mostly within the construction industry. But their application is much wider and particularly relevant to a lot of industries. The general aim of such a letter is to detail the agreement reached by the parties; so it can cover matters such as the services to be provided and the associated costs. Parties often include start and end date of the contract and how the contract can be terminated. What’s the true intention? All in all, a letter of intent can cover a wide range of different subject matters, depending on the particular circumstances. But, a letter of intent might also be a letter of comfort or take the form of a heads of agreement*. There are key legal differences between the three forms of document. Letters of comfort are generally not legal contracts. Exactly as the name suggests, they are intended to give a party comfort that a contract will be entered into. They usually aren’t a contract in themselves. Heads of agreement look like letters of intent but it is generally clear that a formal contract must follow. Without certainty, there is no legally binding contract. Something which can often work in the favour of the parties. Letters of intent, by contrast, can be

Page 26 July/August 2014

Letters of intent 1. Use with caution As an initial starting point, consider whether a letter of intent is really necessary. Think about its purpose and aim and whether the same effect can be achieved by other means 2. Make sure a contract is not formed inadvertently As per earlier articles, consider if there is offer and acceptance, certainty of terms, consideration (price/payment) and an intention to create legal relations. If so, you may create a contract, not a letter of intent 3. Keep it simple The more detailed the letter, the more likely it will become a contract. Don’t include more information than is absolutely necessary 4. Include any areas which are still subject to negotiation Mention any matters which the parties are still discussing. In particular, identify any pricing issues or service provision issues which still need to be finalised 5. Refer to a formal contract Make it clear that the parties intend to enter into a formal contract, so that the letter is effectively a heads of agreement and not a contract 6. Impose time limits State the date by which the formal



contract must be agreed and only allow this to be extended in writing, signed by both parties


7. Don’t forget confidentiality issues Even though in letter form, think about confidential information. It is important to protect such information with specific confidentiality provisions 8. Include conditions precedent A condition precedent refers to something which must happen before the contract comes into effect. This could be that the parties are not bound until a formal contract is signed by both parties. Again this avoids the suggestion of a legally binding contract 9. Attach a sample contract This could show that the letter by itself is not a valid contract. It can also be used to show what the parties intended to include in the contract, if there is a dispute at a later date 10. Include termination provisions State how each party can bring the letter to an end. Combined with time limits, this can prevent a letter of intent from becoming a legally binding contract.

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legally binding contracts. Ultimately it depends upon the content and wording. So why would this be an issue? Well, in a nutshell, a contract can be created which doesn’t reflect the true intention of the parties. In our case scenario, the client specified some of the services to be provided at a very high level: just an outline of what was required. However, the client also wanted additional services but had neglected to say so. The letter of intent, though, contained all the legal requirements to make it a valid contract. This included a price for provision of the services. That proved to be crucial. When the client tried to finalise the formal contract, a dispute arose over what the price included. The wording in the letter of intent was specific. Services were defined and a price given for those services. However, certain services had been left out. So the contractor could successfully argue that he was due extra payment for the omitted services. He said that he priced the job simply for the specified services and not for anything else. As the letter could be viewed as a contract in itself, the client could be bound by the wording. And then find that he was paying significantly more than he had expected to.

From the contractor’s viewpoint, the position is equally risky. If the services are generic, for example, could he find himself having to provide services which he hasn’t actually charged for? Could the client force him to comply with the letter because it is a legally binding contract? Ultimately, it is important to use letters of intent with extreme caution.

Otherwise, you could find yourself bound into a contract - with no easy means of getting out. *a non-binding document outlining the main issues relevant to a tentative (partnership or other) agreement Claudia Gerrard is a legal consultant at Excello Law. You can contact her on 07447 985647 or email her at:

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Unitary patent pending Steven Charlton outlines the positive effects which upcoming changes in European patent law will have on the European rail industry


t’s no secret in any industry that offering products that competitors cannot offer is an effective way for a company to maintain its position in an industry supply chain. Patenting technical developments can help to achieve this and upcoming changes in European patent law will make it easier and more cost-efficient for companies to protect their market share across Europe using patents. This is particularly important in the rail industry due to the European Railway Agency’s requirement for interoperability and harmonisation of technical standards throughout the EU. Due to this, developments made by companies supplying the European rail industry are increasingly capable of being

used throughout the EU. In other words, once a development has been approved for use in one EU country, little or no alteration is required for it to be approved for use in other EU countries. It may therefore be advantageous for companies to patent their developments in a number of EU countries to maximise their share of the European market. This is taken seriously by rail industry players; last year more than 400 European patent applications were filed that related Page 30 July/August 2014

specifically to railway technology. A common misunderstanding is that the European Patent Office grants pan-European patents, although this is not the case. Briefly, if the European Patent Office considers a company’s technology to be patentable, the company can validate a European patent for that technology in countries of interest and will end up with separate patent rights in each of those countries. For example, a company desiring to protect business interests in the UK and France will end up with national patent rights in the UK and, separately, national patent rights in France. The greater the number of EU countries in which patent protection is sought, the more it will cost to obtain

those patent rights. For instance, at the grant stage of a European patent application, in order to secure patent rights in all EU countries, it would not be unusual for costs to exceed £24,000 (although the cost is much lower if protection in only a handful of EU countries is desired). Cheaper to protect developments Positively, however, when upcoming changes in European patent law come

into effect (expected to be late 2015 or 2016) it will become much cheaper for companies to protect their developments throughout Europe using patents. This is because it will be possible, for the first time, to obtain a single patent, known as a ‘unitary patent’, which has effect across almost the whole of the EU, with the exception of a small number of countries that have not yet fully signed up to the unitary patent agreement. Although the precise cost of obtaining a unitary patent has not yet been set, the unitary patent will eliminate the costs associated with validating in individual countries, so that it will inevitably become much cheaper than it currently is to obtain pan-European patent protection. These imminent changes to the European patent landscape provide an excellent opportunity for companies to use patents to protect their position in the European rail industry supply chain more cost effectively.

Steven Charlton is a chartered patent attorney at Venner Shipley LLP, European Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Email:

July/August 2014 Page 31


Asking what is needed In the first of a regular series, chair of the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA), Millie Banerjee, talks about ten years of the Authority overseeing the work of the Force and why she believes integrated working will see it on track to success for the next ten years


want to launch this column with an invitation. Understanding policing from the perspective of the rail industry is a key driver for determining the priorities for policing Britain’s railways each year and we cannot perform effectively without a range of input from industry experts telling us of what you need. With that in mind I’d like you to join me in September for our annual workshop held for rail industry professionals where you will once again have the opportunity to influence the work of the Force and its future operations.

To ensure you get the most out of this event you are also invited to shape the agenda. I want your suggestions about what you expect to take away from the workshop, what you want to hear and what you are keen to discuss. I believe if we are all prepared to put something in then we each stand to get a lot more out. More on how you can get involved later, but for now, I’d like to continue along this important theme of collaborative working. BTPA celebrates its tenth year of Page 32 July/August 2014

operation on 1 July. Our success is measured by the success of the Force. This is dependent upon its ability to develop ways to meet the operational requirement and the Authority’s ability to resource these to the objectives agreed with the industry. It is the primary function of the Authority to ensure that it keeps the required operational outcomes in balance with the Force’s ability to achieve them and the funding necessary to do so. The Authority has to be both constructive and robust in testing the Forces’ financial requirement as well as demanding in setting realistic objectives which will enable the industry to meet

passenger and freight demand. Since the introduction of the Authority, crime on the railways has been down year-on-year. Last year we launched the strategy for the Force which set its course until 2019. BTP is delivering these objectives in part by meeting targets laid out in the annual policing plans. Disruption a key area of discussion Following the recent publication of the 2014-15 National Policing Plans

the performance of the Force last year was reviewed by the Authority in May and disruption, a major concern for the industry, was a key area of discussion. BTP, despite over-performing the year before, missed its 2013 -14 disruption targets. Interestingly however, the context around why it fell short of its expected target actually relates to an area where BTP is performing well. Suicides and attempted suicides on the railways have increased, reflecting figures that suggest suicide is high nationally. I have always had an interest in mental health issues. As chair of the BTPA it was clear that the Force was having to deal with individuals who had mental health problems, sadly many of whom were suicidal. Part of the challenge for individual officers was how to recognise mental health problems and then, how to help the individual. As the High Sheriff of Greater London in 2012 -13 I decided to use my knowledge and contacts to help the Force mobilise support from health professionals, government, and other experts to construct a programme now being led by Mark Smith, BTP’s head of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health.

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Prevention of suicides is central to the caring agenda of the Force and of course has a hugely beneficial effect in reducing delays thereby supporting passengers and the train companies. For the rail industry, delay minutes cost a substantial amount of money, and a recent report by Network Rail, based on figures calculated by the RSSB, has identified that suicide costs the industry £157,000 per event - last year there were nearly 300 suicides on the railways. BTP however, prevented nearly twice as many attempted suicides which, had these interventions not taken place, would have resulted in an additional 773,000 minutes delay across the network at a cost of £91 million. Understanding policing need on the railways and responding jointly with operations such as ‘Avert’ - launched in partnership with the Samaritans, Network Rail and BTP in 2013 to prevent suicides - is an excellent example of how industry input and collaborative work can be successfully translated to operational activities on the ground.

This work has culminated with an agreement signed earlier in the year between police, the NHS and other service providers which seeks to improve mental health crisis care and drive up standards. I will be paying close attention to the progress of this work, best practice and to any issues the Force may encounter which might require support from the Authority at a national level. Reducing disruption is a national target for the Force as it continues to work towards achieving a 20 per cent reduction in police related distribution by 2019. Invitation to participate Treading the line between setting achievable targets that deliver for the rail industry and passengers, while still allowing the Force to effectively do its job, all within the backdrop of a commercial environment is a unique challenge which is more effectively managed through close working relationships. This brings me back to what I alluded

Save the date Annual Stakeholder Workshop London venue TBC 25 September 10:00 am – 1:00 pm Space is limited. To reserve your space or for more details email Tel: 020 7383 0259 Visit

to earlier about your involvement in the forthcoming workshops. My intention is that they will help build on some excellent work we have already started and also shine a light on where you feel more needs to be done. We are also expecting to have the results of a Triennial review carried out by DfT which studied the work of the Authority and we hope to discuss those findings at the event, as well as reporting back on the restructuring of the Force. The workshop is also an opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the enormous job of policing Britain’s railways in the past ten years and the dedicated work of the Force. I look forward to seeing many of you there and although we would welcome you in September I want to make clear that this is an opened-ended invitation. I am very interested in hearing your views at anytime, including what you would like to see at the workshop. Email me at with your comments or suggestions.

Millie Banerjee is chair of the British Transport Police Authority.

Page 34 July/August 2014

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DeltaRail visit: IECC and quite a lot besides

workstations where the operator can select and supported by a number of Adam’s whatever part of the control area they need colleagues. The main topic for the evening to concentrate on, allowing for specific was what is known as IECC Scalable. intervention or focus. The functionality This is a contemporary re-engineering his event for IRO Midlands took Our Annual Lunch for Members and Guests will be held at also allows areas of control to be moved of the classic 1980’s IECC using modern the form of a site visit to DeltaRail’s The Mermaid, PuddleInDock, London. Onbetween Friday 19th April around workstations, so enabling hardware and software capabilities. offices in Derby where attendees 2013 from midday. Our guest speaker is the to Rt.concentrate Hon. the operator on managing simple terms, what previously would have were treated to an in-depth look at the Simon Burns, Minister of Stateafor Transport. particular scenario and allowing a required five or six full-height computer latest developments from the company colleague to temporarily look after the cabinets can now be accommodated including its IECC Scalable system. rest of the patch. This is a fundamental in just one such cabinet. clearly per head IECC (integrated electronic control TicketsThis – £47.00 requirement for the ROC’s and their offers benefits such as reduced space centre) has been part of the fabric of the Table of 10 – £470.00 per table traffic management control systems of the requirement, power consumption, modern railway since the 1980’s. A joint (Ticket prices are inclusive of VAT @ 20%) future. and environmental control such as air proposal by British Rail Research and The visit included a look at other conditioning and so on. But the real the Department for Transport in 1983 Download a booking form at:developments in CCF (the graphical recent benefits come from what the technology suggested the replacement of hardwired representation of trains in real-time), realoffers in functional terms. entrance-exit (NX) signaller panels with time graphing, stock and crew tools and For example, the use of IP banks of high-resolution VDU monitors, 01785 even the use of Twitter feeds as a source communicationsCall: between the 248113 supported by a tracker ball, function of measuring customer satisfaction in realinterlocking and the control system buttons and a keyboard. Development time. itself make it possible to remotely and innovation over the following six DeltaRail, and its IECC Scalable product, is not part of the emerging traffic management landscape in the UK. Nevertheless, what was demonstrated on this visit showed that the spirit of BR Research is very much alive and shaping opinions in the rail industry of today, and enabled those present to develop their awareness and understanding of that landscape. IRO Midlands would like to thank Adam Perry and the DeltaRail team for Your local IRO Area runs events all year round. There are opportunities see how hostingtothe event andothers all those who work, broaden your experience and add to your professional development. attended.


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IRO Australia arren King is an IRO Fellow on a mission to find more operators to include in the IRO association. re-control interlocking years culminated in the first During recent work projects in Australia, equipment without the IECC being commissioned Darren made contact with two up-andneed for dedicated pointat Liverpool Street in coming rail professionals in the shape of to-point telecoms links; March 1989. This included Jennifer Aiton and Richard Singleton. this is known as RIF. This a sophisticated automatic Having explained how the IRO worked RIF capability has allowed route setting capability or in the UK, the two became enthusiastic the inter-lockings formerly ARS. about having the benefits of IRO controlled by Cowlairs PSB IECC’s based on the membership across the geographically to be recontrolled from 1980’s architecture were dispersed railway communities in Edinburgh Signalling Centre. subsequently commissioned Australia. In reality,2 Cowlairs could be at Yoker (1),1 Edinburgh They worked up a proposal for the UK recontrolled from any scalable (3), Tyneside (2), York (3), IRO to consider. What if we allowed free IECC anywhere theOperations Experience SandhillsSouth (1), Marylebone membership West Area: South Westin Area: Day –for a limited period of time (1), Liverpool Street (4), to help get2012 a critical mass of people to take Modernising the Western Route – Swindon October 2012 country! West Somerset Railway, Minehead October Under scalable, Upminster (3), Ashford the IRO forward? functions within the IECC (2), Slough (2), Didcot (2) Jen and Rick have already established such as ARS, RIF, Timetable and Swindon (1). The two supportive groups in New South Processor (TTP) and so on are instances at Slough were later Wales, Victoria, Western Australia housed on a single blade within the overall absorbed into Didcot. and Queensland and they secured processor. These blades talk to each other The use of software-based intelligent free exhibition space at a prestigious using modern IT protocols and this makes control for a signalling application and conference on Railway Excellence in the whole product ‘plug and play’ - or train control in the 1980’s was regarded Adelaide in May. ‘service-oriented architecture’ in IT-speak. as a bold step. The outcomes enabled by Darren is working with the IRO in the It also ensures that the functions can be the development of IECC by BR Research UK to undertake a review and an approach interfaced to other systems, such as realare still informing the way the railway to rail organisation in Australia and to time train graphing, incident management operates today, and to some extent intends re-contextualise one of our core texts – and so on. Furthermore, the ‘other systems’ to operate in the future. The Operators’ Handbook, to allow a more don’t even have to be DeltaRail products. The visit was led by Adam Perry, international perspective on some of the Other features include re-configurable DeltaRail’s sales and marketing director principles there-in.


July/August 2014 Page 37

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Diary of events Irish Area For information on Irish Area events contact Hilton Parr at Scottish Area For further information on the IRO Scottish Area please contact Jim Douglas on 0141 354 5684 or email at North East Area 15 July 2014: Visit to the National Railway Museum, York Join us for an interactive experience of signalling through the years, hosted by Phil Graham. 29 July 2014: Visit to Neville Hill depot, Leeds Neville Hill Traincare depot is used by East Midlands Trains, Northern Rail and East Coast for maintenance, fuelling, cleaning and stabling of trains sets and units. This visit is an opportunity for delegates to see the Northern Rail facilities first hand.

All speaker events are normally held (unless otherwise stated) at the East Coast Academy, Platform 9, York Station, 17:00 for a 17:30 start. If you would like to attend any of these events or for further details please contact David Monk-Steel at North West and Wales Area 15 July 2014: Joint IRO/CILT event: Summer canal cruise Departing and returning to Castlefield Wharf in Manchester. 26 July 2014: Family social event The North West and North Wales Area council are organising a trip to Liverpool and Birkenhead. If you would like to attend any of North West Area event, please contact Tricia Meade at For general membership enquires please contact Carl Phillips at

19 August 2014: Visit to Bombardier, Derby & EMCC Derby The visit to Derby will include a visit to Bombardier and East Midlands Control Centre for a talk about the Nottingham re-signalling scheme.

Midlands Area For information on Midlands Area events contact Julia Stanyard on 0121 345 3833 or email: Events start at 17:30 for 17:45.

9 September 2014: Network Rail Devolution – two years on A talk by Phil Verster, NR LNE & EM route managing director.

South West and Wales Area For information on South West and Wales Area events contact Martin Bonnington by email:

South East Area 14 July 2014: Creating a customer-focused operations culture James Burt, service delivery director at Southern presentation will be on creating a culture within railway operations that is focused towards the customer. Time 18:00 to 19:30. Contact: David Pinder at 18 November 2014: New members’ reception A chance for new IRO members to meet those who have been around for a bit longer, as well as the Council team and invited guests at The Parcel Yard, King’s Cross Station, Euston Road, N1 9AL. Time 18:30 to 21:00 For further information on the IRO South East Area contact Jonathan Leithead at Young Operators To register your interest in IRO Young Operators events, please contact Petr Mikyska at

More details of area events are listed on the website at

“My experience gained during the Diploma has equipped me with a wider knowledge of production and strategic railway management, which will further support my current role. The commitment required to succeed is immense, especially when having a demanding job and a family, but my aim is always to improve on past achievements and would recommend the experience to everyone looking for that challenge, rewarded by a ceremonious graduation in glasgow”

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July/August 2014 Page 39


Delivering the goods Chris MacRae

HS2 - time to

address rail freight issues FTA is petitioning on the HS2 Bill to ensure that issues for rail freight are properly addressed. Chris MacRae lays out his concerns and suggestions


he Rail Freight Council in February discussed the issues for freight surrounding HS2. This included giving feedback to HS2 Ltd, who attended to present on freight issues. The same issues were later that day recounted to DfT officials and the Minister responsible for HS2 at the DfT’s Listening to Industry event that FTA hosted, co-located with its Rail Freight Council. These issues are picked up in the FTA petition. The following key themes have emerged to shape FTA policy work: • Government must consider freight Petitioning by the freight industry on the HS1 Hybrid Bill forced freight to be taken into account in terms of provision for its use of HS1 and there are likely to be the same arguments with HS2. It would be better if this could be dealt with up front as the inclusion of provision for overnight freight services on HS1 was forced upon it after the design stage leading to a sub-optimal outcome • HS2 Ltd and DfT’s HS2 team must engage with the freight sector This is key to avoiding future problems and misunderstandings that could lead to further petitioning against the Hybrid Bill process to construct the line and that would slow its progress down • The rail freight industry needs clarity up front on how promised released capacity on the network will be allocated once HS2 is in operation This point is key to the debate on the benefits to freight of building HS2. Irrespective of whether freight is allowed to use HS2 itself for such as overnight fast express parcels type Page 40 July/August 2014

traffic (which at this point in time HS2 Ltd intends it shouldn’t be), the main benefit to freight that HS2’s promoters and supporters claim for it is the capacity that will be released for freight on the existing ‘classic’ network once the high speed line is built. The argument from HS2 Ltd goes that once HS2 starts operating, existing intercity passenger services will come off the West Coast Main Line (WCML) between the HS2 Junction and London, so there will be spare capacity on the southern part of the WCML. The danger though is that there will be pressure from towns along the southern WCML for more connecting services to London in fear that they become economic backwaters not on HS2. Slower but cheaper services along WCML south competing on a different economic model with HS2 could also become an issue. What is absolutely missing from this issue at the moment is any clarity on a regulatory process (around franchising and track access agreements) involving ORR and/or DfT for the allocation of this released capacity and any guarantee of what freight will get and how usable and customer friendly those released paths will be. So what the freight industry needs here is clarity of how the process will work to turn the theoretical released capacity into actual and customerusable freight train paths.

• the freight industry wants a commitment to generate a minimum number of freight train paths on the post HS2 network Leading on from the last point there needs to be an up-front commitment that the processes for allocating the released capacity on WCML south will be translated into an increase in

customer-usable freight train paths. This is especially important in trying to win more retail freight traffic to rail • there needs to be meaningful engagement between Network Rail, DfT and HS2 Ltd: DfT has to ensure this happens

All of the above issues need full and inclusive engagement to avoid future problems.

Impact HS2 will have on the existing rail freight network The impacts during the development and implementation operation phases of HS2 will be different. There are some potentially negative ones: • as rail freight operators are at effective capacity at moment without further substantial investment in equipment and personnel (locomotives, wagons and drivers) there could easily be market distortion during the construction phase. • at the interface between HS2 and the existing network, passenger trains coming off HS2 will impact on freight on the classic network. HS2 will not be built to Scotland (though a feasibility study will look into ways of extending HS2 to Scotland) so HS2 trains running on from HS2 to the classic network or passenger services to connect Scotland with HS2 via the classic network will be competing for paths with freight. The northern WCML over Shap and Beattock is already a constrained railway nearly (if not already some would contend) at capacity so this is certainly a challenge. The northern WCML is also a two track railway unlike the southern WCML four track sections of fast and

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slow lines where four tracking was also extended in the Trent Valley during the WCML upgrade as part of the Virgin Trains franchise commitment. • during Phase1 of HS2 to the West Midlands, HS2 could eat up the capacity on the classic network north of Hansacre Junction to Manchester and Liverpool before Phase 2 takes it on to Leeds and Manchester: this is likely to lead to particular congestion in the Colwich area. • the HS2 route as published will cut through a number of freight operating companies’ sites: ironically there will be direct disruption to rail freight operations during construction. Industry’s view on how government should maximise the benefits to freight of HS2 • there needs to be recognition that freight delivers more socio-economic (e.g. carbon and road congestion) benefits than any other train except peak time passenger trains. • freight could be used to help bolster the HS2 business case. As with HS1, fast moving freight (intermodal, overnight parcels, automotive etc.) could run on HS2 at less busy times,

if this is catered for at the design and construction phases. DB Schenker is currently running trains on HS1 • rail freight has a key role to play in the construction of HS2 and has demonstrated its ability to deliver against major construction capacity, for example for the Olympics. But, the supply of aggregates etc.

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A radical offer on rail? With all the major political parties assessing the merits of various manifesto proposals ahead of next year’s general election, Jay Turner looks at Labour’s options for reforming the structure of UK passenger rail services


recent survey conducted by Opinium* for the Observer on the future of rail showed that more than three times as many people back some form of renationalisation of rail services (55 per cent) as oppose it (18 per cent). It also showed that the suggestion of bringing franchises back under state control as they come to an end was backed by 60 per cent of Conservative voters, and opposed by only 20 per cent. Among Labour voters, the figures were 71 per cent in favour and 8 per cent against. Then last month, the Observer published a letter from more than 30 prospective

Page 44 July/August 2014

parliamentary candidates calling for Ed Miliband to seriously consider some form of these ideas for Labour’s general election manifesto. In the Observer letter, the candidates suggested that the notfor-profit East Coast model should be extended to the rest of the network. And Labour’s policy chief Jon Cruddas met with representatives from affiliated rail unions TSSA, ASLEF and Unite as well as the RMT earlier in the year to discuss these very issues. So, clearly Labour is keen on a revision of the passenger rail franchising system. But will Ed Miliband and his team opt for a truly radical alteration to the

franchising system? Since publication of the letter, Ed Miliband has admitted that Labour is considering the policy, which if tied to a radical offer on rail fares, would represent a similar market intervention to Labour’s pledge to freeze energy bills. And back in April, in an interview with the Guardian, Miliband admitted that Labour is looking at different issues around franchising. He said: ‘There are different models you can use. You can have a competitive model where there is a public option like there is in East Coast at the moment. So we are looking at different models for this.’ And since taking over from Maria Eagle


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as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Mary Creagh, has made a number of public attacks on the current system. At a recent meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Rail Group, she said that Labour is: ‘Looking at how our rail system could deliver more for passengers and taxpayers, who are paying for this out-of-touch government’s franchising fiasco through higher fares and more public subsidy.’ What are the options? So what are the options being considered as part of Labour’s policy review? A number of Labour campaigners favour taking franchises back into public ownership as they expire (and if Labour was to gain power, this would likely affect the Northern and TransPennine franchises first). Labour has been campaigning vociferously on the current East Coast arrangements and would like to see DfT delays in letting the franchise, allowing it (if it wins the election) to maintain public ownership of that franchise. Another related option would be to allow Directly Operated Railways to bid for control of other franchises against private sector bidders. Moves towards bringing rail franchises back into the public sector will likely be heavily scrutinised by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, however, given the potential

impact of the policy on the government’s balance sheet. Ed Balls would also be wary of Labour being portrayed as anti-business or as rolling back to the pre-Thatcher era of nationalised industries. And although many Labour MP’s would support moves to full renationalisation (or some form of it), for many of them, opposition to renationalisation is down to the cost of doing so, as well as reservations on whether services would actually improve. But if Labour could find a way for a move on franchises to fund a bold offer on fares it will be expecting to pick up a high number of commuter votes in marginal seats across the country, particularly in the South East where it needs them the most. While it is certain we will not see proposals for a return to a British Railstyle model (not least as the European Commission would have something to say about putting track and train back together), we can expect Labour to suggest either gradually bringing franchises back into state control, or, less radically, allowing Directly Operated Railways to bid for franchises in the same way as Deutsche Bahn/Arriva, Nederlandse Spoorwegen/ Abellio or SNCF/Keolis. So what are the next steps for these plans? This summer all policy proposals will be discussed at Labour’s National

Another option would be to allow Directly Operated Railways to bid for control of other franchises against private sector bidders Policy Forum and then annual conference, with the final versions being adopted into the manifesto. And for rail? I think the option on allowing DOR to bid is most likely. And though it won’t be enough for many Labour campaigners, I just can’t see the two Eds opting for a more radical offer on rail. Jay Turner is an account director at Freshwater Public Affairs in London Visit

*Opinium is a research and insight generation agency

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It’s high time now that we tackle this skills shortage for the industry


fter a fairly ordinary journey to the London-based offices of the RSSB, little did I know the pace was set to change to warp speed in meeting Professor Simon Iwnicki, head of the Institute of Railway Research (IRR) at Huddersfield University. Since he was there primarily to meet colleagues we had no formal meeting room, so I found myself desperately trying to keep up with him, up and down the stairs of a local café which we decided was too noisy, jumping in and out of lifts and diving into different rooms back at the RSSB, until he thought of ‘using a contact’ who suggested the library, where we finally settled. Wiry, keen eyed and clearly physically fit, Iwnicki isn’t one of those people who you imagine could be hostage to a bad night’s sleep, and with no time wasted on platitudes we move straight into talking about his forthcoming year of office as chair of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), a role which he is very clear will be devoted to addressing the ‘tremendous skills shortage’ that exists, especially in railway engineering. As an academic, Iwnicki is better placed than most previous chairs of the Railway Division to have a clear picture of young peoples’ perception of the rail industry and whether they see it as an attractive career, and he points out the shortage encompasses academia as well as industry. ‘I see that when young people come to our open days at the university they have thought about automotive engineering – they’re all into motorsport so they’re keen to understand whether there are courses in that, as well as aerospace engineering. But not rail. In fact colleagues of mine have been trying to make railway engineering seem attractive to young people for a long time, but it’s high time now that we tackle this skills shortage for the industry.’ We’re constantly reminded by Network Rail that a fairly large part of the rail infrastructure is Victorian, and generally beautiful but nowadays, problematic. However that era obviously saw rail as a growing and exciting new industry. Could we ever get back to that? Iwnicki believes a ‘big part of the reason’ why rail has lost its allure is cultural. ‘The fact is that society has changed generally and men and women aren’t as polarised in the workforce Page 48 July/August April 2014 2014

Simon Iwnicki Simon Iwnicki spoke to Lorna Slade about his forthcoming year as chair of the Railway Division of the IMechE and his involvement in changing and enhancing young adults’ perception of a career in railway engineering

July/August April 2014 Page 49

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Current educational initiatives Both the IMechE and Huddersfield University are more than doing their bit to bring the message that engineering is an exciting and challenging profession. Iwnicki described an engineering competition that was originally run by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers called Formula Student, to build, test and race a smallscale formula style racing car. In Europe the competition is run by the IMechE and it’s ‘amazingly successful’ according to Iwnicki. ‘Every student that comes to an open day seems to ask about it and wants to get involved. I thought we’ve got to tap into some of that enthusiasm, and what we need is a competition for the railway industry. So the Railway Division of the IMechE set up the Railway Challenge, whereby teams of university students and teams from industry compete with each other. Unlike Formula Student, we have that mix of teams in order to link much more to industry, and they each build a small miniature gauge locomotive, addressing specific technical problems, and come together to compete at Stapleford Miniature Railway in Leicestershire.’ Are the winning team’s ideas taken into industry? ‘We had 100 spectators at the event including lots from industry saying they were noticing these interesting innovations.’ Iwnicki also talked about next month’s residential course for Year 11 and 12 students organised by the Smallpeice Trust and supported by the NSARE. ‘It was pioneered by Birmingham University and will be held this year for the first time at Huddersfield. The idea is to give them an insight, including talks from academics, into what railway engineers do. We’re going to set up a ‘shop’ effectively, where the teams will have virtual money to buy the components and advice they need to build a railway vehicle and we’ve got some track at Huddersfield that they can run it on. We have 50 students coming, which is great, and our local MP is going to present the prize to the winning team. We hope it will be a fantastic week for the students and that maybe it will influence their A-level choices and the careers that they move into. We need to do more of that.’

as they were one to two hundred years ago. Other industries, sectors and professions have moved more quickly to embrace that than engineering, especially railway engineering. The gender balance in the UK is a problem but that’s quite different in other countries. In Russia for example, and in other Eastern European countries as well as Asia, engineering is seen as a very interesting and attractive career to come into and it’s very sought after by the best qualified people.’ I mentioned that the IMechE’s website featured a Royal Academy of Engineering report that found that young children are natural engineers but that the primary school system does not encourage that mindset, and that engineers are seen as ‘less intelligent’ (see box piece). Iwnicki seemed surprised but only to an extent. ‘I guess the problem is the concept of what an engineer is. Most other countries think of engineers as people

SIMON IWNICKI who design and innovate and find solutions and use computer tools and so on, whereas in the UK an engineer is someone who comes to fix your fridge. And that’s a very deep problem for us in explaining what we understand an engineer to be. We tried using the term chartered engineer, but that proved a bit too complicated for a simple message.’ The good news, believes Iwnicki, is that we’re seeing a renaissance in the railways, perhaps because of some of the failings of other transport modes. ‘We have congestion on our roads and environmental issues are becoming much more important, so we’re seeing huge investment here, and in Europe, in high speed rail, in shifting freight off roads, and so again it’s starting to become an active industry. The problem is that there’s a kind of lag in that young adults coming out of school probably haven’t got that message yet so it’s important to encourage them to see rail as an exciting and challenging place to work.’

Railway universities Iwnicki told me how in Russia they have universities based around specific industries, so there are ‘Railway’ universities. Maybe that’s the way things are going with the proposed High speed rail college, TfL’s sponsorship of the Greenwich UTC and Newcastle College’s Rail Academy, I wondered? ‘That’s true, we are I suppose starting to do it with the high speed college, and we’re certainly supporting that. I’m not sure about Railway universities. It tends to be done in countries with a more planned economy. In the UK it’s more that young people chose what career they are going to do and then the universities sort of align themselves to those aspirations. Maybe there are some good aspects of both types of system but I wouldn’t say theirs is a better system. ‘I think the problem is that you need a feedback loop and that is what’s missing. Young people in schools, particularly in Year 11, haven’t got a huge number of long-term influences on what career they chose. They see certain things on TV and talk to their parents who have certain careers, they talk to their peers, and maybe careers advisors, but they don’t see what’s happening three or four years down the line, and they don’t realise there are other exciting areas such as railway engineering.’ Is careers advice good enough? ‘No I don’t think it is. You know the advisors can only really advise on what their knowledge is, and if they happen to have had some involvement with real engineering that’s good, but it’s pretty unlikely isn’t it, and with railways even less likely, so they won’t really be well-placed to advise on that. Television has a role to play and there are some programmes which seem to attract young people’s interest in engineering – Scrapheap Challenge, Robot Wars, it’s not always exactly the message we want to get across July/August 2014 Page 51

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What makes a good engineer? Iwnicki laughed. ‘Gosh that’s quite a difficult question. What I say to my students is when you’re thinking about the key skills of an engineer, probably the most important one is to be a good communicator. Engineering is about working in a team. Of course you need expertise within your specialist area of engineering, but if you can bring your good ideas along, communicate them to your colleagues and show them that they are good, and engender their support, then you are likely to be in a successful engineering team. And I don’t think that’s any different in railway engineering.’

but they are starting to get there.’ At university level, Iwnicki explained the IMechE is working with stakeholders including the Young Rail Professionals and RRUKA to put together a programme of visiting 35 universities in this coming academic year, ‘whereas last year we only went to seven of them to talk about railway engineering. So there are several barriers, for schoolchildren and undergraduates, to think about a career in railway engineering and we’re tackling those, albeit in a limited way at the moment, but trying to build it up further.’ The skills opportunity from HS2 For all else that might be right or wrong about it, HS2 must surely represent a huge and timely opportunity to change the perception of railway engineering? ‘It probably is’ agreed Iwnicki, ‘and it’s part of the change whereby rail is no longer seen as a decaying, declining industry but part of the solution to future environmental and capacity challenges and being able to get people to where they want to be – into the centre of cities or travelling around the world. And I think we’re already seeing HS2 provide a bit of that feedback mechanism I referred to, so that young people do, whatever we think of the


political aspects, start to see HS2 as interesting and exciting, and recognise some of the challenges.’ It would be difficult to put a percentage on the number of schoolchildren Iwnicki would like to see go into rail engineering in the UK, but a figure of at least 10,000 new entrants has been generally proposed as needed, just on the engineering side. ‘In part that shortage would have happened anyway through our fairly ageing population within the rail industry,’ said Iwnicki’ ‘but with HS2, Crossrail and Hitachi bringing its centre of expertise here, we really do need a huge number of new entrants across the industry.’ And what if we can’t find that number? Iwnicki is thoughtful: ‘Again it’s the delay in the feedback loop which will mean the shortage will have to become quite acute before the message gets through and schoolchildren start to see there are some good salaries and stable jobs in rail, and maybe their parents will start seeing that and the message will get around. But it could become quite painful before that takes effect, and I suppose the only alternative will be that we import those jobs, as we are already in fact, which seems a pity that we can’t educate our own youngsters to take on these roles.’ A global outlook The IRR recently announced the appointment of Dr Antonio Andrade from Portugal as a research fellow, and the press release mentioned the international nature of the expanding team. How important is that to Iwnicki? ‘It would seem strange to me if there was a boundary around just the UK as the types of challenges we face don’t see those boundaries. We apply for and are successful at getting European funding for lots of the work we do, and in fact we are worldwide in our outlook, working with colleagues globally.’ Does he travel a lot? Yes, too much sometimes. But I think you have to! I think we’re recognising that there are pockets of excellence outside of the UK and we need to learn from them, from the best, and the European funding is helping us to do that, certainly it is within July/August 2014 Page 53

February and December 2010 saw two of the worst snowfall events in recent memory hit the UK. The unusually heavy snow led to disruption across vast swathes of the country, affecting every type of industry. If cold winter spells are to become more common,  Britain’s  train  operators will need to do more to make sure their routes stay open and services run despite the weather. Switchpoint Heating AB supply electrical heating systems and accessories for railways, industry applications and building sites. The company delivers complete custom-made heating systems for railway, industry and buildings including installation, details and control systems. Railway switch-point heating Railway switch-point heating is installed in order to maintain the function of the point mechanism without the need for manual clearing. The installation involves positioning flexible heating elements that can be made up to 25 meters along the foot of the stock and switch rails. In extreme cases, double elements will be installed in the section of the point

blade with the most movement, in order to quickly melt any snow or ice falling off passing trains as a result of vibration. The point rod pit may also be provided with heating by means of point rod heaters, which are connected up to extension terminals on the heaters positioned on the stockrail. The heating elements are covered with stainless-steel protective channels fixed to the rail using spring steel clips. The channels are supplied in lengths of 1 meter and are available in rigid and flexible designs. Clips are available in several different types fitting most rail profiles found in the switch-points that exist today. The VELOX switch-point heating system can be used with most existing control systems providing 230VAC to the point heating system. The heating elements are of a self-limiting type, which means they are energy efficient as they decrease the heat output when the temperature rises. The elements are also double-insulated and lack protective earthing in order to avoid causing signalling faults if damaged. Heaters are powered by a waterproof IP68, quickconnect system simplifying maintenance.

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Showing the world the UK has a role to play in research How can academia and the rail industry join more effectively? ‘That’s a good question’ said Iwnicki. ‘Historically again it’s been an area that has seen academia and industry go their separate ways, particularly in railways. The UK was very strong in railway innovation – since the early years but even more so in recent times we’ve had a very strong research culture and we had British Rail Research, which was world-leading. But probably since privatisation that has been broken up and the UK has been less able to take a world lead, so there has again been a role for universities to come into that space. There was a vacuum there at first and I was part of the initial group of seven universities funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) that set up RRUK (Rail Research UK) more than 12 years’ ago, with the idea to put in place a strong research base but also the educational aspects that feed into that, and again showing the industry and the world that the UK has a role to play in railway research and innovation. So that ran for two tranches of EPSRC funding and did a lot of good work with the core seven universities. Then the funding ended and RSSB and Network Rail took over the role of supporting RRUK. We changed the name to RRUKA and it now constitutes a broader group of universities, putting back some of the key academic research areas that are needed by the industry. ‘So although you could say privatisation was bad for British Rail Research, you could look and say now ‘Well actually there wasn’t much university research going on under the nationalised rail industry and now we have a group of 41 universities who are members of the RRUKA and all of them are doing good railway research.’


academia and I think it is within the industry as well. ‘We’re now moving into the period of the Horizon 2020 Shift2Rail joint technology initiative aimed at revitalising the European rail sector and making it more competitive, and that’s attracting quite a lot of interest in the UK industry, which might be a good thing because it will encourage all the different players here to look and see what their colleagues are doing in Europe and how they’re solving some of the problems we are now having. I don’t think we can see ourselves as an island railway, we are integrated in many ways now with the rest of Europe and the world.’ An interactive job Professor Iwnicki’s main research activities are in the field of wheel-rail contact and computer modelling of railway vehicle suspensions – according to his Huddersfield biography ‘a small and highly specialised area which has a major influence on the design of railway vehicles and track’. What attracted him to that? ‘I was sponsored to do a degree in mechanical engineering. Those were fantastic days of course when you not only got a grant, you didn’t pay any fees and somebody was prepared to pay you to go to university as well. So I worked for Chloride Motive Power in Manchester before and after my degree, but after a while saw a PhD advertised in London, and I fancied going there. The doctorate was sponsored by the National Coal Board, which shows you how old I am. It had a massive network of underground railways, which it claimed was bigger than the London Underground, running under the North Sea, so when the miners went down to the bottom of the pit they still had many kilometres to travel to get to the coal face, which took a significant amount of their time. They quite often went out on small narrow gauge trains and the Coal Board wanted to improve them so they were fitted with rubber tyres to get better traction and a better ride, and they were also trying to improve the way the tyres guided the vehicle, so my PhD was July/August 2014 Page 55

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on that, and that’s what led to the wheel rail contact aspect. So I started with the tyre and the rail and then later on the steel wheel on the steel rail, which is the core of my work.’ Asked what he most enjoys about his job, Iwnicki feels it’s the interesting and varied set of challenges in research and education, and working with colleagues overseas with the common goal of solving those challenges. Asked what he doesn’t like, Iwnicki looks slightly put out but is disarmingly honest. ‘These are just the sort of questions we’ve been asking candidates at interview. I suppose being honest I sometimes feel there is so much to do that I don’t feel I have time to just sort of take a step back and take a more strategic view of where things are going with the research work that my team is doing, with the support we’re giving to industry or with the activities of the IMechE. Sometimes it is really needed probably and I regret that I don’t always have time for that, and I need to make time and that’s a weakness probably, probably in me and in the fact that everybody seems to be so busy, those working in engineering, those working in everything I guess.’ Vision for the future If his ‘vision’ for the future could be summed up, what would it include…obviously that the skills gap is closed? ‘I think that’s got to be foremost – to be able to demonstrate to young people and to society in general that railway engineering is a fantastically interesting career with lots of challenges in different areas, where working together in teams can give you a really rewarding career with prospects for travel and for meeting people working on similar areas globally. ‘And taking a broader perspective that the railways are once again seen as the premier solution to society’s mobility problems, as they were in Victorian times. Railways can offer

Are schools propagating the belief that engineers are ‘less intelligent’? Young children are natural engineers, but the primary school system does not encourage that mindset and even secondary school teaching of engineering is highly variable, according to a report commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Researchers at the University of Winchester’s Centre for Real World Learning, who prepared the report, Thinking like an engineer - implications for the education system, interviewed a wide variety of engineering educators and practising engineers to identify six ‘engineering habits of mind’ that generate very specific ways of thinking and approaching problems: • • • • • •

systems thinking adapting problem finding creative problem solving visualising improving

The report makes a strong case to suggest that, if the UK wants to produce more engineers, we need to redesign the education system so that these habits of mind become embedded. Young children are natural born engineers, says the report, constantly seeking to understand the properties of materials as

solutions that other transport modes have shown they are no longer capable of providing.’ I mentioned that Dr Andrade had stated in the Huddersfield press release that cars are catching up. ‘Yes, he feels there has perhaps been a little bit of complacency within the rail industry, that it has taken the view ‘We may not be brilliant at everything but at least on the environmental side we’ve got the credentials,’ but people in the automotive and aerospace area know it’s a weakness and are working very hard to close that gap. We are potentially a much more environmentally friendly mode of transport but we mustn’t rest on our laurels because it’s necessary for the future of the planet that we continue to improve.’

they engage with the world around them, the report says. “When the cardboard structure they have built is strong enough to support the weight of other toys and becomes a medieval castle, there is the thrill of persistent and successful experimentation.’ However, the education system has come to expect young people to move away from practical learning as they grow up and to become more theoretical and abstract. ‘Schools, like post-Enlightenment society, choose to persist in believing that people who design, make and fix things must be less intelligent than those who can write essays, make speeches or understand quadratic equations.’ While citing outstanding examples of innovative teaching practice at all levels, the report says that ‘too many primary and secondary schools almost manage to extinguish the prototype engineering ability latent in young children.’ It proposes that the engineering teaching and learning community considers redesigning curricula - primary, secondary, further and higher education and, potentially, family learning - starting from the premise that they are trying to cultivate learners who think like engineers. The introduction of the new National Curriculum for England from September 2014 offers an important moment to create more opportunities for engineering through the new programmes of study for computing, mathematics, and science, as well as design and technology. The report recommends that organisations promoting engineering should

seize this opportunity to support schools in introducing more engineering-based content to the new curriculum. Report author Professor Bill Lucas, director of the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester, said: ‘Engineers think differently from the rest of the world. And society badly needs their problem-solving, systems-thinking and relentlessly-seeking-tomake-and-improve mindset. Yet the education system does little to teach in ways that will cultivate the engineers we will need. We leave it too late and, too often, teach it too dully. This has to change.’ Professor Helen Atkinson CBE FREng, chair of the Academy’s Standing Committee for Education and Training, said: ‘This insightful work suggests that even with an improved public engagement with engineering, our current education system in the UK does not sufficiently develop the habits of mind of young people to encourage them to pursue further study towards engineering careers. The Academy is grateful to the authors for bringing a new perspective on an important issue for educating future generations of engineers in the UK.’

Thinking like an engineer - implications for the education system, was prepared for the Academy by Professor Bill Lucas, Dr Janet Hanson and Professor Guy Claxton of the University of Winchester’s Centre for Real World Learning. Visit

July/August 2014 Page 57

Training & education

Building awareness Kevin P. Stenson describes the big impact that educational charity The Smallpeice Trust is having on raising young people’s awareness of careers in rail engineering


he railway engineering industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK with the demand for qualified engineers at its peak. So why is it, that at a time when Britain, among other things, is investing in high speed rail to create space on overcrowded networks and enable large numbers of people to move efficiently, that leading rail companies are struggling to recruit engineers? It is thought that a serious STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills shortage coupled with the railway industry’s ‘less-than glamorous’ perception among young people are contributing factors. The railway industry’s perception challenge is most strikingly seen by the underrepresentation of females in the sector at an estimated two per cent, compared with nine per cent of those working in the broader engineering profession, 42 per cent in medicine, and 50 per cent

in law. It is clear that more needs to be done to raise young peoples’ awareness of the railway engineering industry and the spectrum of careers it offers, and to provide them with opportunities to engage with the fantastic role-model engineers already working within the industry. It is for this reason that educational charity The Smallpeice Trust has joined forces with organisations including the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE), and the Page 58 July/August 2014

universities of Birmingham and Huddersfield, to inspire and encourage young people to consider railway engineering and railway systems engineering as a possible future career. Founded in 1966 by pioneering engineer and inventor Dr Cosby Smallpeice, The Smallpeice Trust is an independent educational charitable trust which promotes engineering as a career to young people aged 10 to 18 through a range of STEM activities including subsidised residential courses, in-school STEM Days, STEM clubs and teacher training to enhance the delivery of STEM in the classroom. Over the last five years The Smallpeice Trust has promoted railway engineering to more than 5,000 young people through its railway one-day STEM days and four-day residential courses. Fantastic role models The Smallpeice Trust’s residential course programme has seen four Railway Engineering courses for 13 and 14 year-olds take place at university locations across the country and a further three advanced Railway Systems Engineering courses for 15 to 17 year-olds at the University of Birmingham. This summer the Trust, supported by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and NSARE, will be running two further advanced Railway Systems Engineering courses at the University of Birmingham and the University of Huddersfield. At the heart of the Trust’s approach is a commitment to providing experiences, be it one-day STEM-days or four-day residential courses, that enable students to explore the design, construction and operational elements of railways and what our future railways could look like, as well as the opportunity to engage with and work alongside fantastic role model engineers, both apprentices and graduates, from leading rail companies such as Babcock Rail, FirstGroup, National Express, Network Rail and

Transport for London (see page 71). Companies such as these are keen to promote careers in railway engineering as it not only boosts their corporate profile among some of the UK’s future engineers, it also demonstrates to young people what valuable careers are on offer within this exciting industry. There is also the additional benefit available to companies taking part that at the same time as being fantastic role model engineers for the young people participating in the programme, the apprentices and graduates are undertaking incredibly valuable professional development. With growing demand for better UK rail services and the proposed plans for HS2 well underway, the railway engineering sector is proving to be an increasingly exciting discipline to work in, with more and more opportunities becoming readily available. HS2 alone is set to create more than 40,000 jobs over the coming years, which is why The Smallpeice Trust recognises how important it is to expose young people to this vital sector in a bid to bridge the skills gap, and make this type of engineering more attractive and accessible to today’s youth. Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, we are pleased to be able to offer students such a range of railway engineering related activities and hope that we can continue to do so in the future. For more information about The Smallpeice Trust and the rail-related opportunities available. visit Tel: 01926 333200. Dr Kevin P Stenson is chief executive of The Smallpeice Trust

Training & education

Stepping up to the solution As employers are being increasingly challenged to take ownership of the opportunities to prevent a new wave of engineering skills shortages, Angela Dean explains how the University of Derby is helping rail firms to do this


n his report on engineering skills (November 2013), Professor John Perkins, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, issued a call to action to industry, educators and government to ‘step up’ to inspire future engineering talent and address skills shortages. And with Derby being the UK centre for advanced technological skills, the University is ideally located to respond to Professor Perkins’ challenge. In fact, an impressive 11 per cent of Derby’s workforce is in a high-tech job – more than any other city in the country. Derby also has a unique history in the rail industry and this year celebrates 175 years in rail. There are significant employers based in Derby such as Bombardier and East Midlands Trains, and Derbyshire is a hub for the rail industry, with more than 200 companies based here. We work closely with many of these employers to develop programmes that are practical and underpinned by the latest thinking. We were very recently awarded almost £600,000 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to help plug the engineering skills gap through Postgraduate Support Scheme funding. The project is aimed at attracting students from related backgrounds as well as those already studying engineering at undergraduate level. It also aims to help those from under-represented backgrounds in the industry (including women) to enter engineering. This is particularly important for the rail industry where only 4.4 per cent of all engineers are women. At the recent Women in Rail event, held in Derby in May, it was noted by Baroness Kramer, the Minister for Transport, that more initiatives were needed to attract women into the rail industry. This is a unique opportunity for the University and employers to work together to develop workforce engineering skills through postgraduate study. The programme is tailored to employer needs, solving technical problems important to the business, focusing on specific projects and

commissioning bespoke research. Two programmes for differing situations The project offers two programmes to suit differing situations: MSc Innovative Engineering Solutions and MSc Professional Engineering. The MSc Innovative Engineering Solutions is a one-year full-time programme which is free to students. It includes a six-month paid work placement and research project with an employer which focuses on developing expertise in solving business-critical technical problems. The project draws on the latest advanced manufacturing, research and testing equipment and facilities available at the University’s new Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE), based in Derby, which partners can also access. By joining with us, employers can reap the benefits of being involved in the recruitment and training of a potential new member of staff; influence the development of this innovative new programme of study; develop a training programme that suits the needs of their organisation and commission a specific research project to be undertaken by the student who will work under the supervision of the IISE. The MSc Professional Engineering, developed with the Engineering Council as part of the Engineering Gateway Programme, is ideal for employers looking to support the development of their employees. It is studied part-time, through online distance learning. By supporting employees on this programme, employers will offer a professional development route that can be flexed around employee work commitments and will see an immediate impact as it is designed to address the organisation’s specific requirements. The programme should improve employee attraction and retention through offering credible and reputable staff development opportunities, and create a talent pool of chartered engineers – improving business capacity to bid for larger projects. It is a work-based learning route to the academic qualifications and professional development students

need to demonstrate for registration as a chartered engineer. The course allows students to acquire professional competences and gain an MSc award without the need to take time off work. As part of both projects we offer free training to experienced managers within the student’s host company which will certify them as a workplace mentor, developing their skills to become an active participant in the student’s learning. Study while working Another work-based study degree offered at Derby is our BEng Professional Engineering course. New engineers follow a three-year part-time programme in which study and assessments are based on the organisation and the issues it is facing. Employees study and learn while they are working, which means less time out of the organisation and the immediate application of skills to the workplace. Not only do the students develop the skills, confidence and competencies to help drive their organisation forward, but they achieve a university degree at the same time – building loyalty and motivation. Different pathways enable specialisation – rail, mechanical, electrical and manufacturing and production. July/August 2014 Page 59

Training & education

University of Derby Corporate For rail businesses needing to meet specific organisational objectives, we can also develop bespoke programmes through our business-to-business division, University of Derby Corporate (UDC). We have recently worked with Signalling Solutions and Network Rail who chose UDC to provide development programmes tailored to their specific cultures and operating procedures. After struggling to find a training programme in the UK for its Europeandesigned high-speed overhead contact system, Network Rail’s High Speed division asked UDC to develop a bespoke solution. The company wanted to up-skill and refresh the knowledge of its overhead line technical engineers, who carry out crucial maintenance. Rather than how to do their jobs, the training had to focus on why those jobs had to be done in a certain way, covering health and safety and engineering reasons. The programme did not need to be accredited but Network Rail was keen to include some kind of assessment to check understanding. Using the University’s engineering expertise, we delivered a two-day faceto-face training programme about the overhead contact system (OCS) used by Network Rail High Speed. This helped the technical engineers

Page 60 July/August 2014

understand the fundamentals of the overhead line equipment and how it operates, mechanically and electrically. Topics included an overview of the OCS, electrical and mechanical technologies, mechanical infrastructure, track technologies, the physical environment and future trends and regulatory changes. With a nationwide shortage of people who can install and maintain rail power lines, yet an upsurge in demand for these skills due to projects such as HS2 and Crossrail 2, we plan to develop similar solutions for other rail-related businesses in the UK. One example was Signalling Solutions, which was faced with an increase in its graduate intake and

needed a bespoke programme for new employees. UDC developed a bespoke graduate development programme for the company covering the latest management and leadership concepts as well as technically-specific modules that relate to Signalling Solutions’ practices. The programme leads to a master’s degree in management and leadership. The part-time work based programme is being delivered through a combination of face-to-face sessions and online study through UDC’s e-learning portal. Angela Dean is assistant dean and head of the School of Technology at the University of Derby

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The TotalVALUE of team working How can the rail industry integrate multiple fields of research and practice, whole systems engineering, innovation, creativity and complex problem solving? Adrian Terry has the answer


ritain’s railways are experiencing the fastest growth in Europe. That growth has brought with it a raft of unprecedented challenges, including the delivery of £2.5-£3.5 billion of savings, investment to reduce overcrowding, and improvement of customer satisfaction, safety, timetable reliability, asset optimisation and service connectivity. These challenges create change and uncertainty at a time when senior leaders have low confidence in their teams, in a sector where innovation has been low and underinvestment has been the norm. For 15 months, Thales Learning & Development (TLD) worked with a major industry body to develop the necessary awareness and skills to respond to these challenges. Central to the research was the use of VIEW – An Assessment in Problem Solving Style™ – a questionnaire designed to help people effectively and efficiently solve problems. VIEW™ is based on 25 years of research and development in the field, and highlights specific actions that support effective collaboration and resolution of complex problems. It does this by exploring particular problem-solving style characteristics and preferences. The work TLD has done has helped identify the ‘golden keys’ that release their potential to unlock the TotalVALUE challenge. What is the TotalVALUE challenge? The British rail industry faces a significant challenge – to deliver more for less, creating an infrastructure fit for the future and a rail system that works. There are a number of essential principles and issues that need to be adopted in order to deliver against that challenge, incorporating multiple fields of research and practice, whole systems engineering, innovation and creativity. The TotalVALUE challenge looks at overcoming these hurdles, taking a deep look at the true nature of the problems – such as high technological and organisational complexity – and what

strategies should be adopted in order to succeed. It is ultimately about creating lasting, positive change. The term ‘golden keys,’ essentially refers to the way in which people work in groups to resolve complex problems. That premise is at the heart of what is required for successful delivery of TotalVALUE. Some of the problems are highly technical, some more people-centric in nature. But when it comes to large-scale, big-picture change, it is the incremental resolution of multiple ‘smaller’ – or specific – problems that achieves that. It is that cumulative effect that makes a lasting difference. VIEW – an assessment in Problem Solving Style™ To support TLD’s work in helping the rail industry achieve the above, it utilised the VIEW questionnaire. The results revealed some profound insights into what strategies should be adopted in order to successfully overcome the challenges. TotalVALUE is about creating the impetus and capability for railway organisations to adapt and change for the better - placing pressures on existing ways of working and dealing with complex problems. Using the VIEW tool also allowed TLD to identify a number of key issues that affect and, possibly, limit the rail sector’s ability to respond to the TotalVALUE challenge. It also highlighted three dimensions against which to measure a person’s propensity to tackle the challenge. Those dimensions were their Orientation to Change™ – i.e. their perceived preference between two general styles for managing change and solving problems creatively; their Manner of Processing™ – i.e. their preference for either working externally (with other people) or internally (thinking and working alone before sharing ideas with others) – and their Ways of Deciding™ – i.e. the major emphasis they give to either people (maintaining harmony and interpersonal relationships) or tasks (emphasising logical, rational and appropriate decisions). Each dimension directly influences

the ways people perceive problems and information, make sense of the situation or data, come up with solutions, make choices and decisions, and prepare to implement those solutions. Research and practice shows that there is no one ‘right’ style. Rather, for situations where high levels of productivity are required, innovation and a blend between whole system and detailed technical approaches, and a combination of styles, leads to high performance. Because we often see difference as threatening, those with radically different styles may need support and insight to work effectively together to yield results. Teams with particular biases may unintentionally limit their performance, constrain their solutions and introduce unforeseen risks. The findings Measuring against the three dimensions – Orientation to Change™, Manner of Processing™, and Ways of Deciding™ – yielded some very interesting results; results that many who work in the industry may find they can relate to. In terms of Orientation to Change™ for example, analysis revealed that senior leaders differ significantly in their approach from those responsible for day-to-day delivery of TotalVALUE. This difference helps explain why change and transformation efforts to support TotalVALUE are not as July/August 2014 Page 63

Training & education

effective or efficient as they could be, and why reconfiguration often results in organisational tension and personal stress. When it came to Manner of Processing™, the results highlighted a tendency towards External™ preference, suggesting a need for many workshops and meetings – perhaps with questionable value – as well as a lack of deeper reflection on problems and potential responses, and a preference towards action. When groups exhibit this collective behavior, it leads to sub-optimal solutions, reduces efficiency, increases cost of delivery and introduces product and process risk. For Ways of Deciding™ there was a significant trend towards task-based decision-making, suggesting people tend to understand the way things work from the perspective of activities, tasks and transactions. It also suggests they may not see the significance of relationships, nor see people’s wants, needs and desires as of equal significance to the task. In this state, stakeholder understanding and engagement is often poor, and the finding of hidden or deeper needs is compromised. The result is often conflict and dispute, and whole-team engagement suffers.

Whole system approach Based on the above findings, how should the railway industry move forward if it is to unlock the TotalVALUE challenge and achieve lasting change that will ultimately have a positive impact on the way the sector operates? Firstly, it is important to embrace the stark differences that are clearly present between different groups of people in the railway industry. People – from leaders to engineers – have different problemsolving styles. But it is the successful integration of all those styles that will ultimately allow for multiple incremental problems to be solved. The ‘whole system approach’ incorporates six key principles, as outlined by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Those principles are: debate, define and pursue the purpose, think holistic, follow a disciplined procedure, be creative, take account of people, and manage the project and relationships. It is clear, therefore, that effective problem-solving, productivity and

effectiveness is the result of a combined influence between the characteristics the people bring to the situation, the processes they work through and the significant influence of the context within which they work. It is through genuinely understanding those characteristics, processes and influences, and implementing the right type of lasting change based on that understanding, that the TotalVALUE challenge will be met. Adrian Terry is head of sales capability at Thales Learning & Development Visit

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Training & education

Opening the doors to the next generation of Rail Engineers In September 2013, the Royal Greenwich University Technical College (UTC) opened to students aged 14 to 19. It was the first to open in London fully subscribed with 300 students


he Royal Greenwich UTC is a regional academy in south east London and teaches technical qualifications focusing on engineering, construction and related industries alongside core academic subjects for GCSE’s and A-levels. Transport for London (TfL) is a non-financial engineering sponsor of the college and is working directly with it to provide time and technical expertise through demonstrations and supporting the curriculum. The college has four sponsors in total, University of Greenwich, the Royal Borough of

Greenwich, the Wates Group and TfL, and together with the other sponsors, TfL has been at the forefront of helping the college to develop its coursework and philosophy. Before it opened, TfL delivered a decommissioned Hammersmith & City line (C77 Stock) Tube carriage to the college in June 2013. The carriage was donated to give students a real hands-on experience and understanding of the engineering behind one of London’s iconic features. Tricia Riley, director of human resources at TfL, said: ‘We recognise

that there is a real skills shortage within the transport sector and are proud to be supporting future transport workers and engineers in this way. This new educational institution will help fill the gap and provide students with the technical knowledge they will need to pursue an engineering career.’ Students use the carriage to learn how to design and make modifications which can then be fitted and tested on it to demonstrate fitness for purpose. They learn about the various train systems and basic engineering principles of design, including electrical, pneumatic,

July/August 2014 Page 67

Training & education

mechanical and electronic, which will form part of their core curriculum. This allows them to understand how underground trains function and interface with other parts of the railway and what is involved in the maintenance and refurbishments of trains. TfL staff including apprentices and graduates played an integral part in the installation of the tracks and the conversion of the carriage to ensure that it was safe for the college and its students, but also mechanically safe for students to carry out work on. The conversion gave TfL apprentices and graduates the

opportunity to work on such projects to provide them with the skills the transport sector will need in the future. Along with the carriage, TfL has also donated two Barclays Cycle Hire bikes no longer in service for students to work on re-engineering them. Additionally through Operation Kansas, a successful operation against illegal novelty vehicles between the Metropolitan Police, TfL and VOSA, a V8 limousine engine has also been donated to the Greenwich UTC for students to work on. Jonathan Holmes, a track design engineer at TfL, said: ‘I joined the UTC C stock project while on the mechanical engineering graduate scheme and was given immediate responsibility in making it a reality. In the early stages, the concept was quite simply to donate one of our soon to be retired trains, and many of the complexities were yet to become apparent. ‘My fundamental task was to design the modifications required to deliver basic operability to the carriage, and to ensure it was delivered in a useful and safe state with all redundant systems decommissioned. The project was an excellent opportunity for different teams, graduates and apprentices across the company to work together and deliver

something quite unique. My hope is that this train can inspire and encourage young minds into taking a career in engineering, or even better, the railway industry.’ New UTC in 2016 TfL Engineers, apprentices and graduates also play a critical role in supporting the teaching of real world engineering skills to the students at the UTC. They participate via the TfL Engineering Ambassador scheme which is delivered by the London Transport Museum and STEMNET, a national organisation which supports professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to volunteer to visit schools   Crossrail has also been a keen supporter of the Royal Greenwich UTC by providing activities for the students and including it in the Crossrail partner school programme. This collaborative approach is critical to ensuring rail and transport are embedded into our education system to provide the right people with the right skills in the future. Transport for London is sharing its learnings with Network Rail which has supported the UTC movement and will be the lead sponsor of the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC due to open in 2016. 

ARC Academy UK Ltd Established in June 2011, ARC Academy UK initially started delivering workplace skills for long-term unemployed in Rail Engineering, Health and Social Care, Construction and Call Centres. ARC moved onto the delivery of Apprenticeships in Railway Engineering Level 2 and continued to branch into other areas including Health and Social Care plus Construction. Products we currently provide There are 3 divisions currently at ARC Academy UK: Apprenticeships ARC delivers apprenticeships in the following sectors: Rail engineering level 2 & 3 Health and Social Care level 2 & 3 Construction level 2 Team Leading level 2 Management level 3

Network Rail approved Safety Critical Training ARC delivers a vast list of safety critical training to many customers throughout the UK. Courses delivered include: • 10 day Track Induction Course • Machine Controller / Crane Controller Course • Lookout • COSS • ES • LXA • PTS • Small Tools and Plant And many more to meet the needs of our customers. Medicals ARC Academy has recently started the accreditation process to become a centre to conduct Medical assessment for customers

in the Rail Engineering Sector. Apprenticeships - Railway engineering level 2 Training

situated in convenient locations for local transport. They include:

ARC Academy UK will provide additional Training outside of the apprenticeship framework for each apprentice. Apprentice’s can expect to receive as mandatory:

Blaenavon Gwent Epping Ongar London Avon Valley Bristol Great Central Leicester Severn Valley Kidderminster Elsecar Barnsley Shepherds Well Kent

• Network Rail accredited 10 day Track Induction Course • Small Tools course including Kango and Impact wrench as a minimum

All sites encompass training facilities and a live railway track where apprentices gain “real” work experience during their 13 weeks induction training.

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All training takes place at the heritage sites during the initial 13 weeks, the apprentices receive full training by our qualified trainers, and in addition there is a site supervisor allocated to each group to ensure their experience on track is a full and knowledgeable one.

• Lookout Delivery Sites ARC Academy UK currently has 7 delivery sites. These sites are

Contact Antony Richardson, Director. Arc Academy UK Ltd., 16 Centre Court, Treforest Ind Est, Pontypridd CF37 5YR Mob: 07980 881314 Tel: 01443 693431 Email: Web:

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July/August 2014 Page 69

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Meeting the transformation TfL’s apprentices are playing a key role in the modernisation and improvement of London Underground and other parts of the transport network


fL is responsible for 27 million journeys a day, operating London Underground, London’s strategic road network, buses, DLR, trams, Barclays Cycle Hire and the Emirates Air Line. It also licenses taxi and private hire drivers and passenger services on the river. The organisation employs 29,000 people directly and thousands more through its supply chain. TfL recognises that apprenticeships offer a great opportunity to train people in the skills they need to help the transport network in the capital run smoothly. Recruiting people through apprenticeship programmes across the TfL family helps to develop people to become qualified and talented within the business and develop skills that are in short supply, to develop future managers, leaders and technical expertise. TfL is investing billions of pounds to modernise and improve London’s transport network to support more jobs, homes and economic growth in the capital and across the UK as a whole and to do so, it is essential that it invests in a highly-skilled workforce for now and the future. TfL and specifically London Underground run a robust programme combining both employment and  training to enable apprentices to contribute to play a key role in the organisation while developing their own skills. The training is designed around

tangible skills and mentoring in the workplace and TfL is developing clear progression routes with courses feeding into apprenticeships and continuous professional development when the apprenticeship is completed. Additionally, there are ‘adult apprenticeship’ programmes which enable the up skilling of both new and existing employees. Long-term strategy With London’s population set to grow from 8.4 million today to 10 million by 2030, it is vital that TfL sustains and increases the skills needed to maintain a transport system which moves millions of people around a global city each day. To do this, it continues to grow in the way it develops and designs its schemes to ensure they meet the emerging transformation of the business by supporting ongoing development through to degree level, thus strengthening its commitment as an organisation to the future of its apprenticeships. This provides a unique way to reduce skills shortages and grow its own workforce through embedding apprentices through its workforce planning approach, as part of a long-term strategy on workforce growth and skills development. Mike Brown MVO, managing director of London Underground and Rail, said: ‘We are committed to creating apprenticeship roles directly and through our supply chain. Since

April 2009, along with our supply chain, we have created more than 5,000 apprenticeships, supporting the Mayor of London’s campaign to create 250,000 apprenticeships by 2016. ‘Our apprentices are playing a key role in the modernisation and improvement of London Underground and other parts of the transport network. As we continue to invest billions of pounds to meet the needs of London’s growing population to support jobs, economic growth and homes, it is vital that we retain and train highly skilled and motivated staff to help us deliver a world class transport network. It is an exciting time to be working in transport in this great city and I would encourage anyone thinking of taking up an apprenticeship to consider one with us.’ TfL has 17 different apprenticeship schemes across the whole organisation; roles include highways technician, information management, project planner, London Underground Engineering, London Underground Operational and London Underground Track Engineering. The roles vary from 12 months to four years with the majority of apprentices securing jobs at the end of their scheme. The apprenticeship roles offer a mix of on-the-job training with classroom learning usually on a day release basis. This provides the skills needed for the chosen career that will also lead to a July/August 2014 Page 71

Training & education

nationally recognised qualification such as an NVQ. This approach benefits both the apprentice and TfL and provides the perfect mix of theory and practical learning. For advanced higher apprenticeships the apprentices work towards a knowledge-based qualification such as a foundation degree. Investing heavily in engineering apprenticeships London Underground has invested heavily in the Engineering Apprenticeship training centre at Acton, which includes the installation of a

brand new electronics room, electrical room, mechanical and maintenance sections within the newly designed workshop area, allowing the Tube to deliver the future engineers for its business, in line with current and future technology changes. The centre also includes a brand new stateof- the-art welding area, recently accredited by the Welding Institute, and an up-to-date non-destructive testing facility capable of training a number of different techniques. The London Underground Engineering Apprenticeship is a three-year programme where apprentices spend six months learning key engineering skills in the workshop at the Skills and Training Academy. The rest of the year is spent on block release at college where the students work towards a Level 3 technical qualification. Throughout the first year, work placements give apprentices an idea of what to expect when they go out to the business during the next two years of the apprenticeship. The second and third year are spent out in the business where apprentices are placed throughout the transport network on site, learning the

specific skills that they will need when they qualify at the end of their time and complete their NVQ level 3. At the 2014 UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA), London Underground’s Apprenticeship Development team received the Apprenticeship Development Scheme award. There is also an award winning Supplier Skills Team (SST) which works with the business and its suppliers to generate apprentice and employment opportunities. These opportunities are aligned to the skills required directly and also through the supply chain, and provide the opportunity to source new talent into the industry while working to address skills shortages. To date almost 100 suppliers have engaged with the SST to deliver apprenticeships and in 2012, the SST was awarded the Race for Opportunity award for Youth Partnership and Apprenticeship for the success of its work with the supply chain in creating apprenticeship opportunities.  TfL also supports apprentices working in all businesses across the capital through concessionary travel offering 30 per cent off adult rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Passes. The discounted travel is available to all apprentices over 18, living in London and in the first year of an approved apprenticeship course.

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Getting in line puts lives on track Former Gurkhas – and other men and women from the military – are in the front line of work to modernise Britain’s railways, thanks to new qualifications being pioneered by EAL


ozens of ex-Services people are completing these highly specialist qualifications to equip them to work as part of Network Rail’s national electrification programme and the proposed HS2 project. Specialist industry awarding organisation for the rail industry, EAL, is currently helping to develop the qualifications, as well as apprenticeships, to create an army of more than 3,000 skilled workers. Training in the qualifications is being provided by Runcorn-based Akona Rail. Allan MacDonald, EAL project manager (Rail) believes that former members of the military are proving EAL awards numerous qualifications in track maintenance and electrification and is developing a new apprenticeship to standardise and regulate skills in the rail industry. The qualification currently being undertaken by former members of the military has been developed through EAL’s working with representatives across the rail engineering industry including industry bodies, employers and training organisations. to be perfectly placed to take up the new posts: ‘They are dedicated, fit and committed to a cause, and they have the right transferable skills and aptitude for the job. Several hundred have come forward to embark on training and EAL salutes each and every one of them but we still need thousands more to carry out this vital work.’

ensuring that demand for skilled overhead linesmen and women is met. Its newest operation, opened in December 2013, includes an indoor overhead wire training span, a classroom and workshop across 3,000 sq feet. Former infantryman Matt Fitzpatrick recently completed his EAL Level 2 Certificate in Overhead Line Construction. He said: ‘It has been a really amazing course – very hands on – but leading to a higher qualification, which is exactly what I wanted. We learn the key skills – getting the grass roots of this job down to perfection – before moving on.’ The EAL level 2 Certificate in Overhead Line Construction (QCF) is a combined type qualification that allows the learner to work through the knowledge at their own pace while demonstrating the competence requirements. The units recognise existing mandatory rail training courses to ensure the burden of assessment is

Making lives better Steve Ashley, managing director of Akona Rail, a former regimental sergeant major in his own right, said: ‘Anyone leaving the armed forces has those transferable skills which fit the railway industry. They are very aware of what’s going on around them.’ Akona Rail has two facilities in Runcorn and is playing a pivotal role in July/August 2014 Page 75

Training & education

reduced. It has an innovative A6 logbook that learners use to record their activities during work and provides mapping against the requirements of the qualification. The qualification including training, knowledge and competence assessment is intended to take around six months to complete. Bourne Rail, recruitment officer Quentin Oates, plays a key role in liaising with former members of the Gurkha Regiment who have relocated to the UK to retrain and find work. Said Oates:

‘These men display a number of work ethics – determination to complete a job – and a number of other fine attributes. ‘We have a number of former Gurkhas lined up - they like getting involved in something that has an end result – they are very practical people – and very fine people, whether in or out of uniform.’ Former Gurkha Prem Bahadur Gurung, who recently qualified with a dozen other members of the regiment having served in Afghanistan said: ‘I did my PTS course in London and moved to the North West last December to qualify on overhead line work with Akona Rail. I really like this job – I think it is better than being in the army – which was very hard. I hope that we are making our lives better.’ Former Gurkha, Prem Kumar Rai, who recently qualified said: ‘I really enjoy the work. This is a new thing for us – a new pattern of life – which will be secure.’

See EAL’s video report of this story at Further information on EAL’s new rail qualifications can be found at

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Training & education

Apprenticeships: it’s time to get on board Paul Crompton describes one of the largest rail apprentice schemes in the South Wales region, that is now being expanded throughout the UK



here are plans to invest £25 billion to fund more than 200 projects in the rail industry up until 20191. While this is great news given the severe skills shortage in the industry, it also poses a challenge regarding who is going to carry out the work. A report by the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) for the ORR found there is a great need to replace a number of higher level qualified and experienced people who are expected to retire over the coming years. Essentially, the industry is

losing a lot of skilled staff, especially track workers. Between 1,600 and 2,000 new people are required for signalling and telecommunications, with more than 30 per cent of these needing to be qualified to at least technician level, and a further 1,000 new people are needed for electrification and plant. With such significant numbers of people to find, what can the industry do? Creating careers Recruiting new workers is pivotal to longterm workforce planning. But to ensure

people stay in the industry for many years – building on their skills and experience to help them progress in their profession – companies need to focus on creating careers rather than simply providing jobs. Apprenticeship schemes are one of way of achieving this. Although they are commonly associated with getting young people into a profession, they can also help people who have already worked in the industry for some years. Labour supply agency to the rail industry, Ganymede Solutions, has recently seen more than 50 individuals complete Level 2 diplomas in

Brad Jones from South Wales completed the Ganymede apprenticeship during the pilot year. After battling through a three month illness and hospitalisation at the start of the programme to become one of the highest performing apprentices in the group, he was awarded the coveted title of Ganymede Apprentice of the Year. Jones said: ‘The Ganymede apprentice programme seems to be completely different to other schemes that are available. As fresh faces to the industry, they didn’t just treat us like cheap labour; there was a highly structured process in place that enabled us to learn and grow – while getting paid a decent wage. While it was hard battling back from illness, Ganymede was very supportive in helping me to get back up to speed and I really appreciate the help it gave me to complete the programme.’

July/August 2014 Page 79

Training & education

Railway Engineering through a pilot apprenticeship programme at its South Wales office. As well as being one of the largest rail apprentice schemes in the region, it is the only one on this scale to include both young apprentices and existing employees. The company has retained 85 per cent of its apprentices – 15 per cent higher than the national average – and the scheme has proved so successful it has led to the development of an annual apprenticeship scheme that is being expanded throughout the UK, with 36 new young apprentices already recruited across three sites. One of the key factors to the success of the scheme – and hopefully the future success of the sector – is that it helps to develop existing employees. All members of the company’s workforce have personal programmes in place to plug any knowledge or skills gaps, ensuring they hold the relevant skills and training to work safely and effectively. Support from third parties While apprenticeship programmes and training plans for staff are necessary to ensure the industry has enough skilled workers, companies need to find support from third parties to make sure their

schemes are effective and sustainable. It can be a challenge to find a suitable partner who understands the unique nature of the rail industry and can help design a programme around these. Ganymede worked in partnership with ARC Academy to implement its apprenticeship scheme. By working alongside the organisation, which specialises in providing railway and construction apprenticeships, the company could be sure the content and delivery of the programme focused on establishing a motivated and long-term workforce. From one-to-one mentoring, to recognising the achievements of those who work particularly hard, the programme focused strongly on the wellbeing of the participants. Develop and nurture Not only do companies in the rail industry have a responsibility to help develop the skills, knowledge and experience of their workforce for the benefit of the individual employees and the business, they also have a responsibility to ensure the workforce is able to meet the demands of the industry. Ganymede’s goal is to have all of its track operatives trained to hold a

minimum of a Level 2 diploma in Railway Engineering, and it is also offering those capable to initially move onto Levels 3, 4 and 5 further down the line. The plan is to help top performers be considered for roles within the management team, or be placed by its sister company, ATA Recruitment, into management positions within client or contractor organisations. Mind the gap Unless businesses act now, the skills shortage gap will pose a real problem for the industry. Some businesses, including Ganymede, are looking at bringing talent in from overseas to help solve the shortterm challenge, but there needs to be a long-term solution. Apprenticeship, training and development programmes can help to encourage young people into the sector and nurture the talent it already has. With high levels of youth unemployment, increased costs to go to university and a lack of effective training schemes, such programmes are a real opportunity – not only for the rail industry, but for the country’s whole economy. Paul Crompton is managing director of Ganymede


A WARM WELCOME AT TRAXSYDES TRAINING - GUARANTEED Founded in 2006, Traxsydes is a moderately sized firm that has grown quickly through top quality training and links to the local rail sector and community. They have been operating for almost 8 years and have seen major changes in the industry in that time. Their staff and Directors have over 50 years of experience in the rail training sector. Traxsydes Training offers bright prospects for people working in, and looking to enter the rail engineering market. Based in East London they have great transport links, making them easy to get to from anywhere in the M25 area. As an education centre for London’s rail engineering industry, Traxsydes is one of London’s most experienced rail training providers. The company offers a wide range of training courses that are approved by key industry bodies including London Underground, Network Rail, NSARE and City and Guilds. Traxsydes have been working with their local Further Education College at Waltham Forest for the last 3 years setting up a successful Apprentice scheme with the support of local employers to help get young people into the rail industry. Traxsydes also supports the unemployed and NEETS (not in education or training,) back into work. Director of Traxsydes Mary Roberts said; ‘Apprentices bring value to any company, this has been shown over the three years our programme has been running, with a combination of people doing what they do best; Waltham Forest College offering great support to the apprentices in English and Maths and pastoral care, Traxsydes Training specialising in Rail Training and importantly the Employers giving real time work experience. With this 3 way formula the apprentices have a strong support system and therefore a more rounded apprenticeship’. Traxsydes Training Ltd

What Traxsydes offer It’s not all about apprentices, Traxsydes provide support outside of the normal scope of training as required; recently they developed a supporting event for Network Rail’s eLearning system which was applauded by the NSARE Inspectors. The eLearning course was introduced several months ago. Traxsydes contacted all of their clients to see if this is something they would take advantage of, and most believed they would. Traxsydes built their course structure around this belief, and the course has been a great success. Supporting their valued customers is their main aim and being a moderately sized company means they can be very flexible, tailoring their courses to support the industry client. Traxsydes successfully completed their NSARE Inspection and their London Underground audit in May.

Page 80 July/August 2014

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Polmont, 30 years on Greg Morse looks back to the fatal collision at Polmont on 30 July 1984, asks what happened in consequence and considers the current risk from animals on the line


summer afternoon in Scotland and the sun shines on the scene serene. It’s shortly after 17:45, and the 17:15 Glasgow–Edinburgh has slowed to 30 mph, thanks to restrictive aspects just beyond Falkirk. Routine stuff – frustrating, maybe – but routine…until, that is, the driver catches sight of a cow from the corner of his eye. The beast has got itself up the bank, and is doing what cows do best – chewing grass. When the train pulls in to Polmont shortly after, the driver tells his secondman to inform the station staff. As the secondman crosses the platform, the 17:30 Edinburgh–Glasgow powers by on the Down. If the cow had actually been on the track, or if there’d been a whole herd on the bank, the driver would’ve stopped sooner, put down detonators, used track circuit clips, phoned the signalman….but it was alright, there was no real danger… The 17:30 reached 85 mph as it passed Polmont Signal Box and began to take the gentle curve into the cutting beyond. Its driver, controlling the train from the DBSO, could see a cow on the line ahead. He rammed on the emergency brake, but it was too late…The coach struck the animal and dragged its carcass along before the leading left-hand wheel flange lifted and rode the top of the rail. When the right-hand wheel lost purchase, the coach clattered along the sleepers before striking the cess rail and veering up the bank. Forward momentum caused it to slide, twist and collide with the third coach. The second was pushed up the opposite side of the cutting, where it divided from the train and turned endfor-end. Thirteen people were killed, and FACT BOX – DBSO DBSO stands for ‘Driving Trailer Second [Standard] Open’, a carriage – converted from air-conditioned Mark II stock – from which a push-pull train could be driven in ‘push’ mode. Introduced for accelerated Glasgow-Edinburgh services from 1979, they worked with Class 47s fitted with time division multiplex (TDM) technology. All had been withdrawn from front-line service by the end of 2006.

14 passengers, the driver and two other members of staff were injured. The official investigation found that there was a chance element involved, in that a specific part of the cow had to have been struck at a specific moment, on a specific trajectory, to lift the wheel with sufficient force to derail the train. But as the cow had accessed the line via a vandalised fence at an abandoned level crossing, it recommended a review of the way fences were inspected, and the way damage was reported. It also recommended that the Rule Book be changed to make sure large animals within the boundary fence were treated ‘as an immediate danger to trains’, and that driver-to-shore communication be fitted in the cabs of all trains travelling at 100 mph and over. As a result, BR improved its management of fencing, amended its rules and invested some £3 million in the National Radio Network (NRN), which was introduced from 1986. It also fitted obstacle deflectors to its DBSO’s and went on to improve the structural integrity of the later Mark III and IV driving van trailers. All these measures make it easy to see why we haven’t had a Polmont since Polmont. Indeed, the risk from a derailment after striking an animal is just 0.42 per cent of all train accident risk, which itself is only 6 per cent of the total system risk. How do I know? It all comes down to horizon scanning….

particularly interesting, of course, as the circumstances that created it include the huge upturn in rail-borne oil traffic seen in North Dakota and Canada. Indeed, analysts expect up to 40 times more oil to be transported by trains there over the next five years. However, it wasn’t just the events of July 2013 that took us down this path – considering, analysing and reporting on events overseas is a regular RSSB activity. Indeed, it was an accident in Germany in January 2012 that led to a reassessment of the risk from animals on the line.

Dangers of complacency Statistics show that we have the safest railway in Europe, and as I’ve said before, numbers are good: they give context, and the trend lines that you get when you join all the dots (sorry, data points) can help you focus resource where it’s most needed. But we’re all aware of the dangers of complacency; we all know that one SPAD, one failed set of points, one error could see us back in the late 90’s again. And that’s why we always keep an eye on the international scene – something that grew in pertinence last July, when – in the space of just 22 days – we saw four major accidents: a runaway and explosion in Quebec (6th), a derailment in Paris (12th), a high-speed derailment in Spain (25th) and a collision in Switzerland (29th). At RSSB, we took stock and assessed each of the ‘July four’ in light of GB operations. The Quebec accident is

Like Polmont, this incident involved a push-pull service running in ‘push mode’ derailing when it struck cattle. One passenger was killed; the driver and one further passenger were injured. When I presented this information to a group of cross-industry operational safety decision makers, the obvious question was: ‘Have we learned from Polmont?’ Re-evaluation of potential risk In light of this – and a non-fatal incident at Letterston Junction in July 2012 – we recommended a re-evaluation of the potential risk from animal strike incidents. A special topic report was the result, which demonstrated the work done by BR post-Polmont and showed that, while the total reported number of animal-on-the-line incidents had fallen by 42 per cent since 2003/04, reported cases of animals being struck by trains July/August 2014 Page 83


had tripled, and that this rise was mainly down to deer. At two million, the deer population is reportedly higher now than at any time in the last 1000 years, thanks (inter alia) to milder winters, the planting of winter crops, increased woodland cover and greater connectivity between green spaces in urban areas. While deer are able to jump fences of varying heights, the derailment risk is considered to be less than with a cow or horse, although the withdrawal of the lightweight DBSOs, the fitment of obstacle deflectors and a general improvement in train crashworthiness means that it is now low for all animal types.

RSSB’s report highlighted a number of diverse deer deterrents – ranging from the bizarre and erratic (like the use of creosote and moth balls as barrier repellents) to the bizarre and rather more effective (like spreading a concentrated extract of lion dung along the perimeter). That said, the best way to deter deer remains properly erected and maintained fences. With this – and recent incidents like Letterston Junction – in mind, Network Rail has put standards in place to mitigate the different types of fencerelated risk evident at different locations. The latest standard for managing the boundary uses the likelihood of unauthorised access, the consequences of unauthorised access, adjacent land use and the condition of existing boundary measures to determine the initial level of fencing required and the subsequent level of inspection, repair or replacement needed. Furthermore, animal incursions are a standing item at Network Rail’s regular boundary risk management liaison meetings, and will be covered by an ‘objects on the line’ deep dive review, which is due to start in July and end in September 2014. In addition, the importance of reporting large boned animals seen within

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the railway boundary – not just on the line – was re-briefed to the front line via a feature in ASLEF’s Locomotive journal and a discussion piece in the RED 39 safety briefing DVD programme. To sum up, the industry can have a degree of confidence that the risk from animal incursion has been reduced by industry improvements in fence management, cab-to-shore communications, the rules for reporting incidents and the robustness of trains to collision. But while we will continue to monitor the situation, we know that the occasional incident can still cause harm, and delays to passengers and goods. That’s why we sometimes need to look beyond the trendlines and – occasionally – beyond our own borders when considering where to aim limited safety budgets.

Greg Morse is RSSB’s operational feedback specialist and the Rail editor of Right Track magazine. The views expressed in this article are his own.

RSSB’s special topic report on the risk from large boned animals may be found at Follow Greg on Twitter: @GregMorseAuthor


Leaving with our heads held high First Capital Connect MD David Statham says the operator’s employees should be proud of all they have achieved together


n April 2006, David Statham led the mobilisation team that saw First Capital Connect (FCC) assume responsibility for the Thameslink and Great Northern routes. He went on to spearhead the transformational Thameslink Programme, successfully delivering the first phase with new 12-carriage services on the Bedford to Brighton route in 2011. In 2013 he took over as managing director of FCC and, in Rail Professional, announced a string of initiatives to drive up customer satisfaction, which the FCC team has been hard at work delivering over the last 12 months. But on 23 May 2014, almost a year to the day since his appointment he learned that Govia had won the bid to run the new TSGN franchise, and will oversee the final phase of the Thameslink Programme when it takes over from First Capital Connect on 14 September. Statham said: ‘It is massively disappointing not to have the opportunity to lead the company under FirstGroup into its new future. We’ve all worked incredibly hard over the last eight and a half years to deliver lots of improvements to passengers. The next phase of the Thameslink Programme presents the type of challenge FirstGroup has been incredibly successful at addressing in the previous one - tackling increasing congestion on our rail network through new trains and better infrastructure. So it’s a real blow we won’t get the chance to see the programme through to its conclusion. ‘For our staff, it is good news there is certainty about their futures now and it is good news for our passengers because the bidding process is now over and that will unlock new investment.’ Resurgence in value for money Statham’s no stranger to delivering investment in the railways. Aside from his experience in bringing WAGN and Thameslink together in 2006, he was director of the company’s Thameslink Programme team, delivering 26 new

trains, longer platforms at a dozen locations north of the capital, new stations at Blackfriars, Farringdon and West Hampstead, the first 12-carriage services – and 29 per cent more peak hour seats. When he took over as managing director last year he vowed to turn around customer satisfaction. ‘We do a massive amount of research into what our passengers think is important so we knew what we had to get done,’ he said. ‘We analysed the 25,000 customer contacts we have a year, the thousands of tweets we get a day, the National Passenger Survey and our own market research.’ Statham’s manifesto was simple: provide a more punctual service, cleaner trains, better information when the service is disrupted and better value for money. ‘I really feel proud of the inroads we have made into the vast majority of those areas,’ he said. ‘Research shows passengers are seeing a real resurgence in value for money. This stems from our decision to expand Super Off Peak weekend and bank holiday tickets across the entire network, giving 25 per cent-plus savings, as well as a further 10 per cent off January sale. ‘Passengers in some cases were seeing almost a third off what they were paying before I started this role.’ FirstGroup’s partnership with Nectar also now rewards tickets with points, which for season ticket holders is a very real and substantial benefit,’ said Statham. Satisfaction with the information given out at times of disruption is rising, as is the helpfulness of FCC’s staff. FCC now responds to tweets 24/7 and @ FirstCC is followed by one third of its passengers. New software has made the station screens more reliable, the website is being improved and there are new apps for passengers on the go. ‘But in the end it is our people who make the real difference,’ said Statham. ‘The thing I’ll leave this job most proud of is the way that our people deal with some really challenging circumstances out there. We are aiming to keep this

improvement running through our Be Amazing programme of training which runs right up to the end of the franchise.’ Train cleanliness was ‘clearly an area where we had a lot of work to do’, admits Statham, partly as a result of operating some of the oldest rolling stock in London and the South East. ‘The company was really focused on ensuring it kept trains in traffic and that sometimes led to us taking compromises.’ So, for example, there were at one point up to 40 trains operating with graffiti. ‘We took a zero tolerance approach – a train cannot go out looking like that – and now it is very rare to see a train with external graffiti.’ FCC also invested £350,000 in additional onboard cleaners and new hospital grade cleaning equipment and extra staff to deep clean the entire fleet – ‘and that’s an ongoing programme that is really paying dividends with passenger satisfaction,’ Statham pointed out. But punctuality is one area which remains a challenge. ‘It’s where your efforts take the longest to come through. July/August 2014 Page 87


Most of ours have been with Network Rail to target infrastructure faults which cause around 60 per cent of the delays. It has invested in projects such as the Hitchin Flyover, a new track layout at Alexandra Palace and the compression of a year’s work into just three months which is now paying dividends on the Great Northern route but there’s a long way to go.’ Not long to go now There isn’t long to go now for the First Capital Connect franchise but Statham is determined to continue driving up

standards. ‘We will continue to make things better for our passengers and look after our employees right up until the moment of transfer,’ he said. Statham is focusing on a significant investment package agreed as part of the additional franchise period granted for the period from April to September this year. This includes new customer information screens, free Wi-Fi at 17 locations, a new customer training course for all front line staff and new smart phones. Some £500,000 is being invested in door mechanisms which cause the majority of train faults. ‘Of all the work we have done there hasn’t been one failure on the doors that have been modified,’ he said. There are more big ticket items – the £31 million investment into the Class 365 fleet – fully refurbished exteriors and interiors with extra facilities coming on line soon for passengers with restricted mobility as well as improvements in onboard information. A huge amount of work is being undertaken at stations, including a £6 million investment at Hatfield which will create a larger station building, multi-storey car park and new station forecourt.

Should be proud But what’s the biggest scheme that FCC continues to be involved in? ‘That’s easy, it’s the Thameslink Programme,’ said Statham. ‘We have a role to play until the middle of September to keep that driving forward.’ Skilled First Capital Connect engineers are in Germany working with Siemens to make sure the new rolling stock is as reliable as it needs to be for the rigorous demands of the future network before it is introduced into service in early 2016. Engineers are working with Siemens, Volkerfitzpatrick and Network Rail to build new depots at Hornsey and Three Bridges. ‘There is a huge amount we have to do to maintain that momentum and hand over the keys to this network with our heads held high,’ he said. So, looking back, what would Statham say about the franchise? ‘To be honest, I’m really pleased with everything we have done together here at First Capital Connect and what we have achieved. We should be proud.’ Govia, a joint venture between Go-Ahead and France’s state-owned Keolis, will start operating the new Thameslink Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise before September.

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RS Railways B.V., headquartered in Rotterdam is one of the leading private railway companies in Europe. Founded as an intermodal Operator back in 1994 for maritime volumes, ERS Railways diversified in the meanwhile into a maritime and continental operator/ traction provider and delivers customer driven railway solutions throughout Europe.

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

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Class trains become super


ail infrastructure services provider Colas Rail has purchased ten Class 60 trains from DB Schenker Rail UK. The trains will be overhauled by DB Schenker Rail UK at its Toton maintenance depot and upgraded to enhanced Super 60 specification. The ten heavy-haul locomotives will provide additional capability to Colas Rail’s expanding fleet of freight trains and infrastructure maintenance machines. Stephen Haynes, Colas Rail Services managing director, said of the deal: ‘This order for ten ‘Super’ Class 60 locomotives, as well as the acquisition of ten new Class 70 locomotives announced earlier in the year, demonstrates Colas Rail’s commitment to significantly develop and grow our freight haulage business in the UK’. The first locomotives will go into commercial service in June this year. Visit

Customer-friendly technology

N first.

orthern Rail has unveiled its latest ticket vending machines that feature customer information, a rail industry

The machines, which will be used across its network, will enable customers to purchase tickets and find out what time, and from which platform, the next train will arrive. The company has rolled-out the technology on 92 machines. Smaller, rural stations will be the first to benefit from the upgrade and include Beverley, Fitzwilliam, Headingley, Marple and Todmordon. Alex Hynes, Northern Rail managing director, said: ‘Embracing this new technology has made our ticket vending machines even more customer-friendly. Passengers at a number of our smaller stations don’t have access to customer information screens and it can be difficult for them to access the most upto-date train running information. We know how important this is to them and we’re now offering even more ways to keep them informed.’ Visit

Too much information?


ail technology company, TrainFX, has been awarded a contract by Porterbrook Leasing to supply its passenger information system for the Porterbrookowned fleet of Class 150 trains. The systems form part of the PRM/ TSi compliance upgrade works being

undertaken by Porterbrook and will be delivered during the C6 works being undertaken on the fleet over the next three years. Phil Campbell, TrainFX managing director, said: ‘This gives TrainFX a great opportunity to build on the successful relationship between our companies and is an extension to the existing work we have on Porterbrook’s 319-strong fleet.’ Alex White, Porterbrook operations director, said: ‘Porterbrook has worked with TrainFX for several years and has formed an excellent working relationship. We are pleased to be able to place this prestigious contract with a local, UKbased company.’ Visit

Looking below the surface


hartered geomatics specialist, Severn Partnership, has introduced an in-house underground tracing system that will provide rail engineering consultants with improved views of underground cable structures. Utilising GPR (ground-penetrating radar) and radio frequency location detection, the unit provides customers with 2D and 3D images of underground structures. Severn Partnership’s state-of-the-art tracing technology enables it to carry out

July/August 2014 Page 91

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Crossrail project, where a similar allianceled approach helped deliver multi-million pounds worth of products to the project.’ Visit

Wiping out breakdowns

B below-the-service profiling, collecting consistent, high quality data for even the most complex of site surveys. The system will particularly benefit the rail industry, which has very limited on-site scanning time. Severn Partnership has created a training programme to ensure that the underground tracing system is effectively implemented across every area of the business. Mark White, the Severn Partnership senior utility surveyor who developed the new system and associated training programme, said: ‘Typically, rail engineers use topographical scanning above the surface sites, but they often also require underground tracing to detect cables that, if present, may delay work commencing. ‘By introducing our new underground tracing system we can provide our customers with a specially tailored service that meets all of their scanning requirements.’ Visit

Pooling industry expertise


heffield-based SIG supplies specialist construction materials across Europe. The company has now launched a new service that means it will be able to better focus on the rail and civil engineering markets. SIG Rail & Infrastructure, which was officially launched at the CITE (Civil Infrastructure & Technology Exhibition), pools the knowledge and expertise from three of SIG’s businesses – VJ Technology, Kem Edwards and SIG Construction Accessories – with the Rail & Infrastructure Alliance (45 of SIG’s key manufacturers and suppliers).

Working with SIG Rail & Infrastructure, civil engineering contractors are able to access the combined services of these businesses because the Yorkshire firm acts as a conduit between contractors and all of its suppliers. The wider range of expertise means that all procedures – invoicing, logistics, ordering, and management – are overseen by a single point of contact at SIG. Mark Fyfe, SIG UK infrastructure manager, the main point of contact for customers, said: ‘I’m very excited to see the Rail & Infrastructure service come to fruition after many months of planning and we are thrilled with the reception it has received following the launch. ‘The concept cut its teeth on the

Hepworth and Co., the windscreen wiper systems manufacturer, has created an automatic secondary motor that engages when primary power fails. The systems, which are available from 12v-110v, can be made to bespoke requirements that enable them to be installed in many different rail vehicles. The company has also developed a system with full torque and function available on both main and back up mode. The Redditch-based firm offers both fully automated electrical and mechanical back-up systems that disengage the motor – thereby enabling it to be manually operated. The rail industry is continually looking for ways to increase the life cycle, economy and overall reliability in new builds and also in the refurbishment programmes of existing stock. As a result of this, pneumatic wiper systems are being replaced with the more reliable and cost efficient electric systems – a key section of B Hepworth and Co.’s business. In response to overseas customers that are looking to replace old, outdated systems, B Hepworth and Co. is now able to offer the first 50Nm locomotive wiper system available in 110v and 72v, which eliminates the need for costly, highmaintenance DC convertors. Visit

July/August 2014 Page 93

Round two for Gleeds

Roll up roll up for better accessibility


leeds, the international management and construction consultancy, has been selected by Bombardier to project manage the development of its new test and validation workshop. The purpose-built workshop, at Bombardier’s rolling stock manufacturing site in Derby, will be used for the testing of the latest trains that Bombardier will deliver for Crossrail in London. The contract requires Gleeds to clear the existing site in preparation for construction of the new building that will house assembly and assurance lines. This is the second contract that Gleeds has landed with Bomabrdier — the company redeveloped London’s Old Oak Common depot in March this year. Richard Steer, Gleeds chairman, said: ‘As capital is released for infrastructure improvements there is a greater emphasis on ensuring that the right level of investment is made at the front end, lowering long-term maintenance

B Siemens Rail Systems named the rail depot safety specialist Best Service Supplier (Depots) of the year at its annual UK supplier event. The award was in recognition of reliability of Zonegreen’s flagship SMART Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS™), installed at Siemens depots across the country. Presenting the award, Roger Larkam, Siemens Rail Systems head of infrastructure and depots, said:

irley Manufacturing has announced completion of an innovative toilet module prototype that provides better access for both reduced mobility and ablebodied passengers. The UAT (Universally Accessible Toilet Module) provides excellent structural integrity in a modular construction and will be fully compliant with PRMTSI (Technical Specifications for Interoperability) requirements. The unit has been designed to fit in with legal requirements that come into force in 2020 that requires rolling stock companies to provide UAT’s in their train carriages. The company received a £250,000 grant from the Technology

Birley’s managing director, Steve English, and business development manager, James Taylor show off the new toilet module

costs and thereby improving end user experience. ‘We have always worked with our clients to drive value and efficiency, which is why we are responding by investing in specialist rail expertise and developing collaborative relationships with prestigious clients like Bombardier.’ Visit

Zoning in on depot safety


heffield-based Zonegreen has received recognition for its technological expertise and high-quality performance from one of the world’s largest rail industry companies.

‘Zonegreen’s SMART Depot Personnel Protection System is a crucial part of our depot infrastructure and has performed its important role very successfully and extremely reliably. Rolling stock maintenance is business critical and the system ensures a safe environment within our depots for our staff to work in.’ Thomas Wilson, Zonegreen finance director, said: ‘This accolade from Siemens, one of our major clients, for the quality of our products, expertise, delivery and service is very pleasing and reflects the hard work and dedication of everyone here at Zonegreen.’ Visit

Strategy Board through the Smart scheme, which tackles the funding gap that is often experienced by SME’s. The key benefit of the Birley UAT module is the sealed one piece floor moulding, which prevents the leakage of liquids and reduces the risk of under floor corrosion. Other features include LED lighting, a hand cleansing system with hygienic infra-red activation, a hinged mirror cabinet and a baby changing unit. The modern, fresh interior can be adapted to match the style and colour of any vehicle. Visit

Airline-style toilets set to grace rail


mith Brothers & Webb has launched its new airline-style CET (controlled emissions toilet) system that works three times July/August 2014 Page 95

PA Systems Wi-Fi Communications and Infotainment

Security and surveillance Passenger Information Systems

Dashboard Console

Passenger Counting

Turnstiles and Ticketing Trackside Control

Asia Pacific

Eurotech develops both hardware and software for standard and custom solutions for the rolling stock market. By combining its rugged EN50155 certified platforms with Eurotech’s ESF and Cloud computing software, a wide range of solutions can be developed – getting you to market quicker: • People counting and passenger distribution data analysis • Control and communications • Entertainment on board • Train to ground link • PA/PIS • Internet on board • Security and surveillance • Ticketing • Maintenance

North America

Europe, Middle East and Africa

Latin America

For your local contact place refer to:

THE UNIQUE & INNOVATIVE veloSTRAIL INNER PANEL SYSTEM This ingenious system eliminates the gap, making it safer for light wheels such as cyclists, wheel chairs, prams and skaters... So please DON’T mind the gap... TrainFX - a UK based on-train technology company specialising in the design and supply of leading edge technologies to the Rail industry since 2005

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Page 96 July/August 2014

Advanced PRM/TSI compliant Passenger Information, Crew Comms, PA, Emergency Call for Aid including Talk Back systems. On board HD media display and content management systems. SM[ART]SEAT Technologies - Seat occupancy, ticket verification

faster than conventional models – the first of its kind in the world. Exclusive to Smith Brothers & Webb, the fully automated CET uses negative pressure to evacuate 800 litres of effluent in just eight seconds. The new system allows a single operative to clean out tanks on a 12-carriage high-speed train in just ten minutes, a task that would have previously taken half an hour. The Britannia model, which uses technology similar to that in airline toilets, is designed and manufactured at the company’s Warwickshire factory and will soon be installed at a depot on the South Islands’ extension line, Hong Kong. To highlight how the module meets modern day requirements, Harvey Alexander, Smith Brothers & Webb chairman, said: ‘The speed and ease of use of the new Britannia CET system makes it particularly attractive for high-speed trains, which of course is fast becoming a major growth area. ‘With more trains now running at night there is less time available for maintenance. Consequently, we have already received a number of enquiries from train operators who are moving toward more of a 24-hour-a-day service.’ The market for CETs is growing, not least because environmental laws across the world now increasingly require new trains to have modern on-board toilet systems that do not flush straight onto the track. Visit

Freight to strengthen its fleet


TG Rail UK has signed hire agreements with Freightliner and GB Railfreight to use its award-winning Ecofret container wagons. Freightliner has ordered 21 sets of twin-platform Ecofret wagons to add to its existing fleet of 43 twins. GB Railfreight has placed orders for 17 tripleplatform sets, which will join the existing triple that the company has been running on extended trials. Contracts were signed in April and May of this year and delivery will begin in late summer 2014 through until early 2015. Speaking of its design, Rob Brook, VTG managing director, said: ‘The wagons are designed to maximise the number of 40ft containers, now predominant in the deep sea shipping market, that can be carried in a given train length.’ Close coupled Ecofret platforms mean that as well as offering a 32 per cent increase in the number of containers

carried, compared to a similar length train using Megafret wagons, it also eliminates the large gaps between boxes – reducing turbulence and, consequently, fuel consumption. Also, Ecofret’s track-friendly bogies reduce the impact on the railway infrastructure, resulting in lower track access charges and, due to longer distances between service intervals, improved fleet availability. Brook added: ‘The orders being placed by the UK’s leading rail freight companies for additional Ecofrets totally vindicate our significant investment in the development of these unique vehicles.’ Visit

for cyclists and vehicles. John Swift, Rennicks UK national sales manager, believes that the technology behind the active LED road studs offer more protection than traditional reflective units. ‘This aids level crossings around the country, which provide key decision points for all users traversing a level crossing at night. The solution uses dual LED’s with an internal prismatic system for high performance, and solar/ battery technology for environmental sustainability. ‘They create a brightly illuminated indication of the length and width of the crossing surface edges and will be effective for both drivers and pedestrians during night-time hours, even more so with inclement weather conditions.’ The road studs are also Type Approved by the UK Department for Transport, which allows their use on the UK road network. Visit

Lighting the way

An effective coping strategy


ennicks UK is installing highperformance LED road studs at level crossings across the UK following the company being granted Certificate of Acceptance from Network Rail. The award comes after this year’s damning report on level crossings, which deemed that many pose a danger to the public in their current state. The active LED solar units provide intuitive signals to pedestrians when approaching and crossing the track, which also offers enhanced delineation


eyline, the UK’s largest distributor of civils, drainage and specialist rail materials, has been awarded sole distributor status for G-Tech Copers latest composite coper. The G-Tech combines coper and tactile in one and offers a single structure alternative to traditional multicomponent platform edging solutions that is used across the UK rail network.

July/August 2014 Page 97

a satisfied customer never forgets...


PB Design has built its reputation over more than 30 years of designing and manufacturing AC and DC standby systems for many major projects in the UK and overseas. Typical applications include:

Substations Rail applications Mass Transit Systems Power Stations Data Centres Shopping Centres Theatres & Cinemas We manufacture a full range of PADS approved Battery Chargers, and also offer full application design facilities through to project management, manufacture, test, installation and site commissioning. Our service operation will repair, maintain and test equipment as well as providing product training, upgrades and battery/system replacement programmes.

pure uninterrupted power Page 98 July/August 2014

email or call 01275 874411

Recent new nembers of The

Rail Alliance as at end May 2014

It also incorporates a surface mounted tactile that is housed within the recessed rear section of the coper unit and is the only unit of its kind to be fully approved by Network Rail. The patented coper can be fitted to existing railway platforms or used on new station projects because its design eliminates historic problems that adverse weather and longterm wear causes to platform edges – such as frost heave and differential movement. Hazard yellow tactiles are also available that are UV stable and don’t fade over time. The enhanced colours add extra definition to the safety area for the visually impaired and replace the mandatory yellow line. The units are available in three standard sizes but can also be manufactured to bespoke measurements. Visit

WMG Centre HVM Catapult Works collaboratively with businesses to transfer cutting-edge research on lightweight technologies and energy storage and management into the marketplace. Silver Fox Labelling solutions manufacturer for electrical, instrumentation and data. Grayson Thermal Systems Designer, manufacturer and supplier of engine cooling systems and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) products to rail, bus, coach, and specialist vehicle industries. E-T-A Provider of a wide range of circuit breakers and bespoke power distribution solutions to the rail industry – from design to manufacture. GLS Coatings Specialists in specifying and applying protective spray coatings, from protecting rolling stock chassis against damage from flying ballast to coating platforms and underpasses in an antiskid surface that lasts for decades. Marlec Engineering Co. Provider of renewable energy products for applications that include small scale wind and solar energy systems.

CCS/Complete Composite Solutions Provider of composite solutions. Step on Safety Anti-slip flooring provider. Emtelle UK Supplier of ducted network and blown fibre solutions. The company offers a broad range of products and services for organisations that build fibre telecommunications access networks. Intertrain A railway safety training and assessment provider that delivers NSARE, City and Guilds, Link-Up and NVQ approved training at venues across the UK. Intertrain delivers a wide range of consultancy and railway professional services and works with partners and employers to offer an 18-month apprenticeship scheme, which helps employees gain the necessary qualifications to start a career in rail. Link2 Research and development provider for monitoring systems, remote visualisation and data capture. Alifast Manufacturer and installer of aluminium windows, doors and security products.

July/August 2014 Page 99

Greensight - Identifi esInforms and Informs Greensight - Indentifies and Groeneveld: Celebrating 40 years of innovative products and services in over 30 countries

Greensight provides the driver with accurate information about obstacles in the vehicle’s path. KEY FEATURES AND BENEFITS t Adaptable & accurate t Multifunctional t Modular t ISO / DIN certified

Please contact us on 01509 600033 or

Unbiased Specialists in Precast

Haze Batteries manufacture a complete range of 2 volt, 6 volt,12volt batteries in both AGM and Gel filled technology. Our batteries come with a 10 to 12 year design life supplied from our warehouse in the UK.

RSG Structures Ltd are specialist precast concrete designers, suppliers and installers They offer clients a huge range of different products from their network of carefully vetted suppliers. RSG do not manufacture anything themselves which puts them in the unique position of being completely impartial when deciding which product is best for their clients. They look at a project and put together different options based on the merits of the product and that alone. RSG don’t work to targets and do not have factories to keep busy. The only target RSG has is to have a list of happy and satisfied clients. RSG will undertake full design (and take design responsibility) for foundations, walls and roofs. They can then carry out groundwork’s, installation of precast elements and roof structures. RSG Structures are the ultimate, unbiased one stop shop for clients offering a more personal, bespoke service.

Chester Hill Stables, Convent Lane, South Woodchester, Stroud, Glos, GL5 5HR Tel: 08452 997597 Page 100 July/August 2014

Tel: +44 (0)1536 205952

Business profile

Hit the ground running Having a workforce that is sufficiently trained to get to work from day one is a massive plus for employers. ARC Academy has a broad range of apprenticeships and training that can make this happen


RC Academy UK was established in June 2011 to deliver workplace skills to the long-term unemployed in rail engineering, health and social care, construction and call centres. The company then added Railway Engineering Level 2 apprenticeships to its portfolio, also branching into other areas including health and social care and construction. Products currently provided by ARC Academy UK’s three divisions are: Apprenticeships • Rail Engineering (Level 2 & 3) • Health and Social Care (Level 2 & 3) • Construction (Level 2) • Team Leading (Level 2) • Management (Level 3). Network Rail-approved safety critical training ARC delivers a broad variety of safety critical training to many customers throughout the UK, courses include: • ten-day Track Induction • Machine Controller/Crane Controller • Lookout • COSS (controller of site safety) • ES (embedded systems) • LXA (level crossing attendant) • PTS (personal track safety) • small tools and plant.

Medical ARC Academy has recently started the accreditation process to become qualified to conduct medical assessments for customers in the rail industry. Apprenticeships – Railway Engineering Level 2 The company provides additional training outside of the apprenticeship framework, and each apprentice can expect to receive the following additional mandatory courses: • Network Rail accredited, ten-day Track Induction • Small tools course, including – at the very minimum – training with Kangos and impact wrenches • Lookout training can also be offered, depending on the apprentice’s progress. Delivery sites ARC Academy UK currently has seven delivery sites across the country, which provide convenient locations with excellent transport links: • • • • • •

Blaenavon, Gwent Epping Ongar, London Avon Valley, Bristol Great Central, Leicester Severn Valley, Kidderminster Elsecar, Barnsley


‘My experience of dealing with ARC has been exceptional and the class of candidate provided has been excellent. The people at ARC are friendly and professional and it shows in the calibre of the rail workers that it has trained and introduced us to. All of the candidates that we have taken on after ARC training have been clearly provided with a well-rounded background in the rail industry, an up-to-date knowledge of health and safety, small tools, track geometry, material terminology and a solid base of the day-to-day experience of working track side. I look forward to again working with ARC Academy.’ Lee Garrett

• Shepherds Well, Kent. Every site has training facilities and a live railway track that gives apprentices the chance to gain ‘real’ work experience during their 13-week induction training. All training takes place at the above heritage sites throughout the 13 week period and the apprentices receive full training from ARC’s qualified trainers. A site supervisor is allocated to each group to ensure its experience on track is a full and knowledgeable one. The company delivers railway engineering apprenticeships with a tailormade scheme that ensures its apprentices gain skills and knowledge that allow them to start working straight away. Its first priority is to engage with employers to find out what they want and need. Employers know their businesses best, which is why listening to them and working with them enables ARC to develop bespoke apprenticeship programmes that are highly appropriate. The Pontypridd-based company is flexible when putting together the components of an apprenticeship but it always makes sure that the essential elements are covered, in order to meet the necessary standards and regulations. The company delivers programmes that ensure employers never have to seek add-ons or additional staff training. Structured learning The Technical Certificate training at July/August 2014 Page 101

Business profile

ARC’s nationwide centres take the form of a classroom-led programme and can be delivered in one or two days a week or as a full-time arrangement over 13 weeks – depending on the employer’s preference. During these sessions, apprentices carry out a variety of track maintenance activities on the live running rail tracks to develop skills. Functional communication skills and the application of numbers are embedded into this learning. Industry experts visit apprentices in the workplace to develop and perfect each aspect of their role and to guarantee that every apprenticeship is both challenging and rewarding.

Assessment is also carried out by ARC Academy’s training staff, either through observation, tasks and assignments, or the testimony of expert witnesses, such as line manager or experienced work colleagues. Success rates are high - on average, most apprenticeships are completed in 12 months. Expert backing The company has a long-standing relationship with City & Guilds and had no hesitation in choosing it as the awarding body for its wide range of apprenticeship programmes. City & Guilds is an internationally recognised

brand and has a reputation for quality among key customer groups – for both employers and learners. It is important that employers understand that apprenticeships are an extremely effective way to fill skills gaps. This is especially the case in sectors such as rail - where ARC focuses a lot of its training - which is facing a decline in knowledge, skills and experience as its ageing workforce gets closer to retirement. Having a strong apprenticeship programme can also help to improve a company’s competitive edge because it is considered a real plus point when bidding for contracts – if a company can win contracts and gain more business then it can build its bottom line. Also, staff who are being trained and developed feel valued by their employers and are therefore more likely to be loyal and committed. Prospective apprentices need to be made aware that the training will provide a highly effective route to a good career – for example, in sectors such as engineering it is possible to progress from apprenticeship to fellowship. Crucially, from the outset, apprentices can earn a good wage while they train, they can quickly improve and develop their knowledge and skills, and there is very little personal cost because most training is subsidised by the government and their employer. Challenging the myths In spite of the benefits that apprenticeships can bring, there are still challenges to increasing the number of courses available and attracting the right candidates. ‘In the current economic climate, many employers are put off from offering apprenticeships because they think it is going to cost them too much money,’ said Antony Richardson, ARC Academy director. ‘They don’t realise that training can be part, or fully, funded and that apprenticeships can actually help to grow a business through increasing the skill level, competence and motivation of staff.’ In challenging the myths that still surround the training, Richardson added: ‘In a broader context there is still a stigma attached to apprenticeships – they are seen as being a second rate option for people who aren’t too clever. We need to change this misconception. Apprenticeships are an excellent alternative to university education and will often help young people to achieve their career objectives quicker and with a wage in their pocket.’ Tel: 01443 693 431 Email: Visit

Page 102 July/August 2014

Your Dedicated Rail Partner

To discover what a partnership with Yellow can do for your business, call: +44 (0)1332 258865

July/August 2014 Page 103

10/18 Traction Sand • Over 400 Tonnes in stock • 25.0 kg and 12.5 kg Bags • 48 Hour Delivery

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Page 104 July/August 2014

To find your way to the best signage solution come to Wood & Wood Signs

Business profile

Keeping a high level Ensuring that stock control is efficiently controlled is a fine art. Hurst Green Plastics provides automated and manual systems that keep companies working


raditional methods of storing, dispensing and controlling small parts, fasteners, screws and other hardware using conventional open-topped plastic storage bins has always been a challenge. Store staff, suppliers and engineers demand stock to always be available in the right place, at the right time. Typical issues, such as stock-outs, environmental contamination of parts, cross-contamination, over-stocking and a lack of traceability are commonplace in all industries – as are the demands on staff to maintain the bins, stock check and sustain the supply chain.

Flying high Hurst Green Plastics has been asked by a rail maintenance depot to adapt its TwinBin system, the patented design that was developed for Airbus for use at its Wing Factory in Broughton. The TwinBin incorporates a separating sliding door between two batches within the same bin, meaning that operators have a ‘trigger’ point when they need to re-order stock before it runs out. The new system is required to store and dispense much heavier, larger parts than those typically used in aerospace. Utilising the TwinBin’s FIFO (First In, First Out) method, the TripFlag storage

system was created. The system can handle any size of inventory, including train seats, filters, wheels, strip lights and even fire extinguishers. A combination of the TwinBin and TripFlag systems have now been rolledout to many railway maintenance depots across the UK, for companies that include Alstom, Bombardier, Arriva and First Great Western. The red flag located on each bin indicates which needs replenishing, meaning that the store manager is not required to check each bin individually – often it just requires a scan of the barcode. Following this, if the next batch

July/August 2014 Page 105

Stockist & Distributor of Exane Cable for the Transit Market

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RSCC Wire & Cable LLC Telephone: 00 1 860-653-8300 Email:

Business profile

is on its way, the flag is changed to yellow. Now, for the first time, both systems can be upgraded to incorporate RFID (radio-frequency identification). The installed microchips allow users to scan the status of the TwinBin and TripFlag Systems either remotely, using fixed readers that provide 24/7 real-time status updates, or by using a handheld scanner, which greatly reduces the time it takes to check each bin. The system gives 100 per cent confidence that every bin has been checked because the system provides reports on both empty and full bins. Speaking of his confidence in the system, Tommy Sharples, managing director, said: ‘RFID takes the TwinBin and TripFlag systems to a whole new level, the benefits of not having to check the status of individual bins throughout a huge depot will be a massive time and cost saving.’ Computer says yes Advanced software options can provide a plethora of reporting options, and the data collection from the bins can go straight to central stores or even the parts supplier –

“RFID takes the TwinBin and TripFlag systems to a whole new level” cutting out a great deal of administration and paperwork. Hurst Green Plastics also has a solution to overcome stock control problems for those companies that do not wish to upgrade their open bin system. The patented BinFlag Stock Indicator can be used on all varieties of open bins, drawers and shelves and allows the user to manually control stock availability. The BinFlag Stock Indicator is available in sizes to fit any open bin and, as with the TwinBin and TripFlag system, is also RFID-ready. The system is now being adopted in industries that include space, food production, automotive, manufacturing and, with NHS as a client, healthcare. For more information, contact Tommy Sharples and the team at Hurst Green Plastics Tel: 01254 825588 Email: Visit

July/August 2014 Page 107


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

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

F O R A P LA N T S U P P L IE R T H A T DE L I VE R S O N T I M E . . . E VE R Y T IM E. T: 01189 774901


Business profile

Sorting fact from fiction Waterproof specifications don’t always tell the whole story. Flexicon recommends taking a more systematic approach that guarantees against the ingress of dust or water


espite IPx9 being fully recognised by the British Standard BS EN IEC 60529, there is still no guarantee against water ingress over the long-term life of the installation or equipment, argues Flexicon technical director, Ian Gibson. ‘Those aware of the IP (Ingress Protection) rating system are likely to assume that, by looking up the relevant tables, they can specify which rating is needed to ensure protection against dust and water ingress. BS EN IEC 60529 specifies a series of tests to assess the protection of an enclosed system against the ingress of solid objects and water (see table). However, it is a case of buyer beware, since the IP water ingress tests are very short and are conducted on samples that have been assembled under ideal conditions. They can only really give an indication of long-term performance and specifiers should ask for more information about the test conditions to fully understand the product’s performance. For example, when considering an IPx8 rating, what is the water depth or pressure and how long has the product been subjected to it? Looking more closely at the IP ratings (see table) there are a few things to note – the first being the introduction of IPx9k. The waterproof specification was formerly defined in DIN 40050, but this performance is now incorporated into BS EN IEC 60529. In the British Standard this is referred to as IPx9, the ‘k’ has been dropped, but the test is the same. The rail industry has been working to IPx9k anyway, so it could be argued that the standards are merely catching up with industry practice. Bigger not always better When it comes to water ingress, it is not simply a case of specifying the highest test and assuming that this will be sufficient. The standard actually states that above IPx6 it cannot be assumed that the product will meet a lower level. This is

because there is a different type of test for each rating, with each being subjected to different conditions and environments. In practice, water ingress could come from a variety of sources, including rain, spray, wash-down, steam cleaning,

! !

shallow immersion, deep immersion, and capillary action and suction caused by rising and falling temperatures. The specifier should check that the manufacturer declares that its products and systems meet all of their needs. This is the reason that Flexicon states that its LTPLFH and FPAX fittings are IP66,

First digit – protection against ingress of solid objects

Second digit – protection against ingress of water






No protection


No protection


Protected against objects of 50mm


Protected from vertical rain


Protected against objects of 12mm


Protected from rain at up to 15 degrees from vertical


Protected against objects of 2.5mm


Protected from light spray similar to a shower head at up to 60 degrees from vertical


A wire 1mm in diameter cannot enter the conduit system


Five minutes light spray similar to a shower head from any angle


Dust cannot enter the conduit system in harmful quantities


Three minutes medium spray similar to a garden hose from any angle


Dust cannot enter at all


Three minutes high-pressure jet similar to a fire hose from any angle


Immersion in one-metre deep water for 30 minutes


Immersion at a depth (pressure) and time stated by the manufacturer. Test must be more onerous than IPx7.


Two minutes high pressure (1,300 psi) and hot water (80 degrees jets for two minutes at 10-15 cm from any angle similar to a steam cleaner


July/August 2014 Page 109

High Performance Lighting Solutions For The Transport Industry Urbis Schreder has provided high performance lighting solutions since 1977 and is now one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of outdoor lighting products. We introduced the revolutionary ZX1 ‘SealSafe’ lantern back in the early 80s, a ground breaking technology still used on some of the UK’s busiest railway platforms. Our drive for innovation has led us to pioneer extremely cost efficient LED luminaires which substantially lower your energy costs yet will continue to provide high performance photometry.

Tel: 01256 354446

Business profile

IP67, IP68 and IP69 compliant – proving that the company meets every one of these different tests. Open to interpretation Those that look more closely at the tests will also notice that IPx8 is open to interpretation by different manufacturers. To illustrate this point, Flexicon declares the pressure and time for its IPx8 testing, which is typically two-bar pressure for one hour with non-metallic systems and five-bar pressure for two hours with metallic conduit systems. These pressures are equivalent to being 20 metres and 50 metres under water, respectively. Compare this to another major European manufacturer – its IPx8 testing is at 1.2 metres under water, for one hour. Long-term solutions Perhaps the most important point is that all of the tests are conducted over the short term, with products and systems selected by the manufacturers themselves. The user should employ a belt and braces approach to preventing water ingress over the lifetime of an installation, particularly if the consequences of water ingress are serious. The best advice is to talk to the manufacturer and be clear on what is required. Flexible conduit is an interesting example, since it is generally used to connect equipment together, meaning that any seals must remain intact to protect the system’s integrity. In order to maintain the IP rating, Flexicon recommends using face-sealing washers

between the conduit fitting and the equipment that it is attached to. In the past, the Birmingham-based company has recommended FW fibre washers for metal threads and SW rubber sealing washers for plastic threads. This is because SW seals were too soft for use with metal threads and FW seals were too hard for use with plastic threads. To make it easier, the company has now introduced RSW washers, which are injection moulded from thermoplastic elastomer – making them suitable for both types of thread. These are included as standard with its FPAX range of conduit and feature retaining pips to prevent the washer falling off during installation, ribs are located on both sides

to ensure optimum sealing performance. Some flexible conduit manufacturers offer O rings to seal threads that, although cheap, should not be used unless they are housed in an O ring groove. This is to ensure that they are not overcompressed and, therefore, destroyed. The IP rating system is a useful guide to standardise products’ claims by using verifiable tests. However, any user of final equipment needs to be clear that these are short-term tests. It is important to ensure that equipment is properly engineered to maintain the stated IP ratings throughout its life.’ Tel: 01675 466900 Email: Visit

July/August 2014 Page 111

Socomec - LV Power Solutions For Railway Infrastructure New range of advanced low voltage electrical solutions designed to maximise the robustness and safety of the UK Rail and Mass Transportation network. High Performance Critical Power IP+ Rail - engineered to provide the very latest UPS technology for the most challenging rail operating environments.

Socomec’s specialist engineering team has the necessary trackside training and accreditations to install and support your equipment throughout its lifecycle. To benefit from Socomec’s expertise in LV electrical power for rail contact us at

Standby and Dual Power Supplies

Automatic and Static Transfer Switches - enhancing power availability and simplifying your electrical architecture.

Speak to a member of our UPS team on +44 1285 86 33 00 or our Power and Control team on +44 1462 44 00 33.

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Fuserbloc Fuse Combination Switches from 20 to 1250A

Countis / Diris Metering, Monitoring & Power Quality meters

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ATyS Automatic Transfer & Bypass switches from 40 to 3200A

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Overhead Line Infrastructure (OLI) UPS IP+ Rail (OLI)

Business profile

Go to the top of the class Rail is reliant on every area of the industry running smoothly, requiring huge numbers of well-trained staff. KOPTA’s extensive range of courses can meet the demand


OPTA is a rail industry training resource that employs an innovative approach in the field of training and development. Its team of training consultants, led by Karim Ouda, are industry specialists that have a broad experience across all aspects of the UK rail sector. The south England-based company is Link-Up Approved, a member of NSARE and a City and Guilds accredited centre, which enables it to deliver training for trainers, coach mentors, skills assessors, internal verifiers, incident/accident investigators, TOLO (Train Operator Liaison Officers) and team leadership. Online NVQs at Level 2 and 3 in Rail Operations using Learning Assistant, the City & Guilds approved system, is also on offer and allows the user to upload evidence electronically – a service that

eliminates the need for a paper-based portfolio. All qualifications are based on QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework) standards at levels 3 and 4 and also Level 4 Diploma, certificated by City & Guilds. Covering all bases KOPTA serves every corner of the UK, from train and freight operating companies to the rail engineering sectors in track maintenance and renewals. Since starting out 20 years ago, it has contributed to the development of skills assessors, trainers, coach mentors, internal verifiers, team leaders and railway incident investigators, as well as complete NVQs at levels 2 and 3 in Rail Operations. The company’s approach to training is straightforward and effective, thanks to cutting the jargon and speaking language

that candidates understand. This formula, twinned with an in-depth knowledge of the industry, produces positive results for both clients and candidates which has enabled KOPTA’s client portfolio to continue to grow. As specialists in qualifications for assessors, internal verifiers and trainers, the company aims to be rail companies’ first choice when it comes to developing their trainers, assessors, internal verifiers, team leaders and incident/accident investigators.

Cutting costs, improving results KOPTA looks at its clients as business partners and is always looking for ways to support, motivate and encourage its delegates’ development – while always looking for ways to cut costs and improve results. The company’s courses are delivered at its training facilities in Petersfield, Hampshire, which is easily reached by either rail or road – trains from London Waterloo take just over one hour. The Lavant Street offices are less than 200 yards from the railway station and a short distance from the A3. KOPTA is flexible, if required it’s happy to hold its training courses at company offices – it just asks that a minimum of six candidates take part in each course. KOPTA’s training and administration centre, Osprey House, is located in the centre of Petersfield and is within easy reach of the market square’s shops and restaurants. The centre has a number of training rooms and is equipped with the latest teaching aids, providing the ideal environment for learning and development. Karim Ouda is managing director of KOPTA

Tel: 01730 711202 Email: Visit

July/August 2014 Page 113

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Business profile

Harvesting energy, reaping savings GKN Hybrid Power develops energy storage solutions for rail applications that bring about significant savings in fuel and emissions — technology that’s already been successfully used on buses and a Le Mans-winning car


KN Hybrid Power is working on a number of projects to bring hybrid technology to the rail and trams sector. The team has an agreement with Alstom Transport to work on an energy storage solution that has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of rolling stock and also bring a potential fuel saving of 15 per cent. In April 2014, GKN announced that it had acquired Williams Hybrid Power from Williams Grand Prix Engineering. Known today as GKN Hybrid Power, the company specialises in the design and manufacture of composite flywheelbased energy storage systems for the tram, bus and truck markets. GKN has been

working with Alstom to validate the use of this technology and can use its global resources and manufacturing capability to maximise the commercial opportunities that exist. The acquisition is an opportunity for GKN to take the unique technology to global markets to help solve the emissions and efficiency challenges faced by mass transit companies around the world. Based in Oxfordshire, the Hybrid Power team has already introduced the technology into applications as diverse as London buses and Audi’s Le Manswinning R18 e-tron Quattro. In summary, the technology offers fuel savings and a reduction in emissions by harvesting the energy that is normally lost as heat when

braking and turning it into additional power. Ideally suited to trams because of their stop-start nature and high mass, the flywheel’s rotor is made of composite material which is inherently safe because there is no metallic structure travelling at very high speed. The technologies being developed are the unique traction power energy recovery and energy storage systems, suitable for systems such as the US’s DC Metro and urban railway systems. How it works Trains and trams are heavy and move at increasingly higher speeds. Every time a train slows to come into a station, or at signaling junctions, a considerable

July/August 2014 Page 115

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Business profile

amount of energy is lost. The kinetic energy of the train is normally dissipated through mechanical friction or large electrical resistors and cannot be optimised. In order to accelerate, the train draws ‘new’ power from the electrical supply to generate torque at the wheels. This is not only an expensive use of power, it can also lead to power demand surges or shortages across the network. Saving energy and reducing costs When a train slows down or stops, energy is lost to the atmosphere as heat. With a flywheel energy storage system, the energy that would normally be dissipated in the braking resistor is instead harvested and transferred via electrical cables to an onboard flywheel – where it is stored via a composite rotor that spins at up to36,000 rpm. As the train prepares to move on, the flywheel slows down and releases the stored energy back along the electrical cables to the traction motors, providing a free power boost of recycled energy. Because the braking energy of the train is no longer lost as heat but re-deployed, the net energy consumption of the train is significantly reduced. Proven technology Using ‘in-house’ simulation and analysis tools, the GKN Hybrid Power team has estimated that the energy saving from integrating the flywheel energy storage system in a typical city tram could be as high as 30 per cent. However, this potential saving is dependent on duty cycle, type of train/tram, passenger loading, distance between stations, number of flywheels in use and so on. A further benefit of the system is its ability to provide emergency or supplementary power in the event of a network power outage or unavailability. The stored flywheel energy can be used to power emergency systems or provide a limited capability to the next station – something that is critical for automated metros. Tried and tested in the world of racing The flywheel technology delivers: • reduced investment costs • reduced operating costs • CO2 savings • improved capacity • increased reliability and performance.

Longer useable life In addition to the benefits already mentioned, one of the unique features of the GKN Hybrid Power flywheel system is its long useable life – up to ten million deep charge discharge cycles. This number of cycles equates to approximately one chargedischarge cycle every minute, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – for over 19 years. This means that the lifecycle cost of the technology is attractive when compared to other forms of energy storage, such as ultra capacitors (one million cycles) and batteries

(ten thousand cycles) – both of which also have a higher initial investment cost. Ian Foley, GKN Hybrid Power business development director, said: ‘Very early on we highlighted trams as an ideal application for our technology and the opportunity to collaborate with Alstom, the market leader, is very exciting. ‘Both companies have a common goal:

developing the next generation of green transport solutions, through recovering, storing and recycling energy. Working together to cut carbon emissions and cut costs for the end user is our ultimate aim.’ About GKN and GKN Land Systems GKN is a major designer, manufacturer and supporter of sub-systems for vehicles of all types – including the rail sector where GKN has supplied high impact glass screens and driveshafts

for many years. Supported by its global engineering capability in the automotive industry and aerospace, GKN is well placed to support future innovations in the rail sector. The company’s Land Systems Division has a broad portfolio of electro-mechanical PowerTrain components; products and systems that transfer energy from power source to power applied. The systems meet the challenges of emissions, complex infrastructures, increasing passenger numbers or payload, as well as faster and lighter trains, whether for passenger or freight. GKN Land Systems Structures has built a strong reputation for excellence and reliability in the design, development and manufacture of automotive chassis, suspension, body and structural systems. The company does this for major automotive OEM’s (original equipment manufacturers) that include Land Rover, Toyota, Ford, Bentley, Aston Martin and Leyland Trucks. Non-automotive customers are able to take advantage of the automotive derived facilities and they include automotive standard process control and full TS16949 compliance across the entire site. In recent years, significant investment has been made in lower volume processing equipment, including laser, press brake and paint finishing. The in-house E-coat paint process is capable of treating a wide range of components from small car speaker grilles to full chassis. The environmentally friendly process ensures both high corrosion resistance and an excellent surface finish, making it suitable for top coating where required. GKN Land Systems can provide rapid and responsive solutions, which is a fundamental reason for its success. In addition, GKN Structures has extensive expertise in delivering complete modular systems and solutions from concept stage to production line. At the heart of its business are product and technical innovations to meet new and emerging market applications, with a continually expanding capability for electric and hybrid drives. As the business strives to be the best at what it does – positioning itself close to its customers and partnering with leading OEM’s – GKN Land Systems can maintain its offering of comprehensive engineered solutions in a more concerted manner. For more information, contact Sali Morris. Tel: 01952 428466 Email: Visit July/August 2014 Page 117

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Business profile

Near domination With only four accredited service centres outside of Permaquip throughout the UK, Arbil’s recent accreditation means it now runs three of them


ermaquip has more than 50 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of rail maintenance equipment. So, when the company was searching for a service centre provider, it needed to ensure it would be with an organisation that had the same ethos in quality, industry knowledge and customer service as its own. Arbil’s commercial sales and service manager, Marcus Taylor, explains why it was selected for the award. ‘We have been stocking and supplying Permaquip products and offering a service solution for a number of years now. This familiarity with the products and our own longstanding reputation within the rail industry stood us in good stead to be awarded the accreditation.’ Taylor added: ‘We have always used genuine Permaquip parts and consumables, a particularly reassuring fact when work is involved on Permaquip’s Ironman and Stressor products – the only products of their kind to be authorised by Network Rail.’

have always been impressed by Arbil’s substantial and sophisticated range of testing equipment, which is unrivalled by most other companies in the industry. Each piece of equipment that enters Arbil’s service department is taken through a rigorous procedure of complete strip down, chemical clean, repair, re-spray, test and certification, all in accordance with ISO9001 – matching our own accreditation standards. ‘The new accreditation means users who have purchased our products have a variety of service centres to choose

from, Arbil has one each in Stourbridge, Coventry and Bristol. The multiaccredited centres that Arbil provides ensure quick lead times, while also maintaining the highest standards.’ Gamble added: ‘As Arbil is also the manufacturer of the ZwickyTM line of track jacks, we know they share our passions about the importance of only using genuine parts when servicing and repairing.’ For more information on what Arbil can offer, contact a member of Arbil’s Permaquip Service Team.

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A strong link In-depth experience in both rail service and sales was a key requirement for the company aiming to win the accreditation. Jeremy Gamble, Permaquip managing director, said of the relationship: ‘We About Arbil Arbil is one of the largest providers of after-sales services and can offer its customers some of the most competitive prices in the market. Established in 1963, it has experience in specialist rail lifting equipment, including 4x4 accessories and associated products. With branches in Lye, Coventry, Bristol and Cradley Heath, Arbil is able to meet nationwide sales and manufacturing requirements.

July/August 2014 Page 119

The Global Rail Group Global Rail Construction forms part of the Global Rail Group of companies, established in 2001 incorporating Global Rail Services (Ireland) and Global Rail Australia (Pty) Ltd.

The group has grown their resource base to between 250-300 highly skilled individuals with offices in Hatfield (UK), Dublin (Ireland) and Melbourne (Australia), successfully completing a range of infrastructure projects both on and off rail. GRCL have appointed an M & E Manager to lead its mechanical and electrical engineering division and are proud to have been recognised by the NICEIC as an Approved Contractor. The M & E Division are also currently working alongside the NICEIC in the development of standards helping to ensure GRCL keep up to date with the latest technology within the industry. Group Managing Director Marco Lombardelli said “This is a fantastic achievement for GRCL and the Global Rail Group as a whole. The new M & E division will integrate perfectly with our in-house Signalling, Civil & Structural design capabilities to support and further strengthen our internal core service offering together with providing turnkey solutions to the railway industry. This will enable Global Rail to design and deliver complex, multi-discipline projects with our professionally qualified, in-house resource base by further strengthening our core capabilities. This is a very exciting time to be at Global Rail Construction Limited. Not only are we involved within key high profile railway projects, specialise in Vitreous Enamel, we have also demonstrated our commitment to growth by recently doubling our head office in size with purchasing the office unit next door to open of our new design suite and Signalling Training Academy side by side on the premises” . The ethos of Global Rail Construction is summed up by our mission statement, which defines our role as “mixing traditional industry skills with technological innovation. Global Rail adopts a flexible management style to empower its workforce to safely meet clients’ needs, while providing the highest quality standards at a competitive price”.

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Business profile

Electrical analysis Predicting failure before it happens is an invaluable asset on the electrified rail network. Thanks to Amaro Innovations’ link up with Image House, it’s now more possible than ever


n an era when Toc’s and Network Rail are constantly pressurised to improve availability and quality of service to their customers, the condition of the country’s basic rail infrastructure is playing a key role in achieving these goals. As the network moves ever closer to a fully electrified system, the condition of the overhead electrification – and the train’s ability to utilise the power generated through the system’s pantographs – is now a crucial element in the quest for a better service. Image House, the Danish industrial imaging company, was commissioned several years ago by compatriots, and infrastructure owners, Banedanmark, to measure pantograph wear/damage in real time – even on trains in service that were running at full speed. It has now successfully commissioned systems around the world and is receiving repeat orders as Toc’s continue to see the benefits of its Pantoinspect system. Several projects are ongoing across the world following the installation of the first two scanners on the Danish suburban commuter train network in 2012, including Austria, Australia and

South Africa. Image House began discussions with Amaro Signalling to help with its UK division; the Danish company needed to team up with a company that was certified to work on the UK network. Amaro has always identified the strong business case for the UK rail industry to start investing in new technology, like Pantoinspect, that can predict failure before it happens. To aid Amaro with creating and introducing new technology that is designed to analyse and report potential issues affecting the UK network and its rolling stock, the company created Amaro Innovations. The division is also able to provide Amaro’s expertise in installation, commissioning and ongoing support. They don’t pull themselves down Between 2009 and 2013 the estimated costs of overhead line incidents was around £23 million. The Pantoinspect scanning system can raise awareness to potential causes of disruptions, giving the network operator the power to prevent problems. With service intervals of 150,000

miles, there is a big window for unseen damage to occur and, much like a disease going untreated, these will only get worse and eventually cause major network disruption. How it works The true innovation of Pantoinspect is down to its unobtrusive and fully automated measuring, which is performed at full speed and proven up to speeds of 120mph. Using a wheel sensor the pantograph scanner will know there is a train approaching and its speed. Following that, five range-finding sensors will then begin scanning for pantographs. When a pantograph is detected three lasers will activate when the carbon strip is directly under the scanner, measuring the entire profile of the carbon strip and the horns of the pantograph. An infrared image is also taken for use as a reference against any alarms if this supplementary information is required. The system can also monitor uplift pressure of the pantograph and parameters can also be set for this to raise alarms. How alarms are raised All data is sent to a local server where it is processed in real time and a database record is created for each train, which creates a traceable history for each pantograph. Once the user decides parameters they will be set and any measurement outside of these parameters will raise an alarm – this can then be monitored with a user interface in either a control room or a maintenance office. Alarms can be dealt with at this stage, accepted and cleared, though they will still be logged into the database. An automated email can also be set up for alarms to notify those responsible for the infrastructure that there is a problem. All Pantoinspect systems are monitored from Amaro’s and Image House’s head offices in London and Copenhagen, respectively. Amaro is currently arranging demonstrations of Pantoinspect for various Network Rail regions. Tel: 0208 434 2484 Email: July/August 2014 Page 121

Business profile

Business collective Working together often brings positive results. DBACS explains why realising the importance of collaborative working could give organisations the edge over their competitors


aventry Business and Consultancy Services (DBACS) was founded in April 2011 by Andy Harrison. Prior to establishing the business he was rail and transport director at Achilles Information for more than four years, where he was responsible for Link-up – the supplier management community for the UK Transport industry. It was this experience, twinned with senior management and board level positions in UK construction and rail, that provided the impetus to start up DBACS. In its first year, DBACS supported businesses with the development and implementation of management systems and it also helped them navigate their way through supplier qualification and the requirements of the rail industry. In autumn 2011, DBACS made its first entry into the BS11000 collaborative working environment. It became an associate company of the Institute for Collaborative Working and gained its first accredited BS11000 facilitator, recognition that led to engagements providing seminars for senior managers across a range of Network Rail principal contractor licence holder companies. This in turn led to a long-term engagement with a PCL holder to

DBACS has already supported four companies to full certification – the most recent of which was in May this year. These include three Network Rail Principal Contractor Licence holders, with several others currently in process.

develop management systems and training and support mechanisms for the implementation of collaborative working. As a result of this, the company was able to achieve BS11000 certification and DBACS now provides post-certification support. Professional guidance DBACS has already supported four companies to full certification – the most recent of which was in May this year. These include three Network Rail Principal Contractor Licence holders, with several others currently in process. No non-conformances have been raised in any of the Stage 1, Stage 2 or CAV audits where DBACS has been involved. While BS11000 has proved important for DBACS, it has not been the only aspect of the company’s work. It continues to support clients with competitor analysis, review and update of HSQE and wider management systems, strategic reports and consultation, and due diligence reports. It has also undertaken a wide spectrum of work assisting organisations with meeting Network Rail Principal Contractor Licensing Scheme requirements, including a range of qualification audits and support through pre-qualification and tender submissions. DBACS has been engaged by more than 20 different organisations, growth that, in 2013, brought about the employment of two additional staff, together with the use of up to three associates. Last year, The Northamptonshirebased company was accepted onto the BSI Associate Consultants Programme, in relation to its implementation of BS11000. This accreditation has been recognised by clients and a number of their letters of support and statements of recommendation are available to view on the DBACS website. The go-to man The plaudits and recognition that the company has received for its work in the collaborative working process has led to the company’s founder being invited to speak on the subject at industryrecognised functions – including seminar sessions at Railtex 2012 and InfraRail 2013.

Also, due to DBACS’ close working relationship with Rail Champions, Harrison has spoken at a number of its seminars, lunches and industry engagement sessions, as well as at specific client engagements. DBACS is committed to supporting more organisations on their journey

towards BS11000 certification and it is working closely with a number of key clients related to the implementation of collaborative working on the CP5 frameworks. The company already has work in place for 2014-15 but is always looking to widen what it can offer and therefore increase its portfolio of clients. Upon doing this it will be able to deliver further growth while maintaining close links with existing partners and customers.

Tel: 07825 130837 Email: Visit July/August 2014 Page 123

Tata Steel Projects

Partnerships built upon reliability and innovation Tata Steel Projects provide the full range of engineering services covering the entire life cycle of projects, from consultancy, planning and design through manufacture, installation, construction and site management. Through our client focus, collaborative engagement and passion for engineering led solutions we deliver exceptional results for our customers across all sectors.

Page 124 July/August 2014

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Business profile

The complete service Speedy has six specialist facilities at locations throughout the UK and holds more than 3,500 rail-specific assets. It is also supported by more than 250 depots and the largest range of tools, equipment, plant rental and support services in the UK


peedy’s specialist equipment and services support many aspects of rail projects that include site planning and mobilisation, enabling, advanced and infrastructure works through to commissioning – with hand back occurring following projects completion. The company is also able to draw on the expertise of its supply chain partners that provide additional specialist services and regional coverage as required.

‘With a million more trains and half a billion more passengers than there were ten years ago – and the RDG predicting another 400 million journeys will be made by 2020 – rail is one of our largest target sectors.’ Exceeding customers’ expectations ‘We put our customers’ needs at the heart of everything we do and regularly go the extra mile to achieve service excellence,’ he added.

‘The rail industry is a key contributor to our national, economic and social well-being and, as the proposed HS2 high-speed rail link proves, it is showing no signs of slowing down’ ‘The company has completely transformed itself from a pure hire business, serving the construction market back in 2007, into an integrated services provider to a wider group of clients and markets,’ said Mike Omond, Speedy’s plant division managing director. ‘Speedy takes pride in its reputation for delivering specialist solutions and providing a fully comprehensive service to many large contractors in the rail sector, including Balfour Beatty, Costain and Carillion.

‘We’re already taking this service innovation even further and often tender for client contracts based on their bespoke needs. For example, if the client needs something specific and we don’t currently offer it or stock it, we’ll find a way to provide it.’ Envied fleet Speedy has the most up-to-date, wellstocked fleet in the industry and it owns the largest range of assets for hire anywhere in the UK.

‘From project planning, through to the commissioning works and ongoing maintenance, our team of experts will be able to advise on the right product for the job,’ said Mike Omond. In addition to advising clients on the right product for the job, Speedy regularly brings new innovative products to the market. Rail centres of excellence Speaking of the contribution that rail makes to the UK economy, the plant July/August 2014 Page 125




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Business profile

GB Railfreight case study When an 87 tonne, £1.5 million Di8 diesel locomotive needs maintenance work it can’t just be driven up a ramp, like one would a car, to be given a routine service. Because of the weight and size of the vehicle, along with the restricted space and tight time schedules, GB Railfreight turned to Speedy for advice on how to get it back in motion. The background In 2011, GB Railfreight won a competitive tender to operate the rail operations at Lackenby Steel works for Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK. In order to operate the site, GB Railfreight leased 10 Di8 locomotives to facilitate the work. Previously, these locomotives operated in Norway before being shipped to the North East and when the first Di8 locomotive required to be lifted it quickly became apparent that it was too large for the existing lifting equipment. GB Railfreight was left with two options: it could either complete the maintenance work outside the workshop and hire an external crane large enough to lift the locomotive,

which would be very time consuming and costly, or suitable lifting equipment would need to be found that could support the weight. Following recommendation, GB Railfreight contacted Speedy to see if the company was able to provide a solution. The outcome After visiting the workshop and assessing the size and complexity of the operation, a dedicated technical Speedy account manager arranged for four bespoke lifting straps to be manufactured. The round slings were attached to two 50 tonne modular beams and the Di8 locomotive was hoisted up in the air, which allowed the major repair works to be undertaken in just one day. Speedy was able to get the Di8 locomotive up and running in less than two days. Since the lift of this first Di8 locomotive in August 2013, Speedy has successfully completed a further four lifts for GB Railfreight and continues to work in partnership and offer bespoke solutions to one of the UK’s leading rail freight companies.

division managing director said: ‘The rail industry is a key contributor to our national, economic and social well-being and, as the proposed HS2 high-speed rail link proves, it is showing no signs of slowing down. ‘Responding to customer demand, we took the decision to open six dedicated control centres around the UK, which provide easy access to all Speedy’s rail services and offer a single point of contact for all customers needs.’ Speedy provides a complete rail solution from six strategically placed operational depots around the UK in Abercam, Doncaster, Glasgow, Sunderland, Warrington and Wimbledon.

Speedy provides a complete rail solution from six strategically placed operational depots around the UK in Abercam, Doncaster, Glasgow, Sunderland, Warrington and Wimbledon. A total site solution Speedy offers a comprehensive range of services to ensure projects run efficiently and to schedule. These include:

New innovative product case study: London Underground approved welder A lightweight, compact and powerful welding solution, Speedy designed this unit in conjunction with leading experts in the rail industry to be used in remote applications – such as tunnels and hard to reach places. It comes with a detachable fuel tank which allows the unit to be ‘tunnel safe’ when not in use. High-level maintenance To ensure equipment is kept in good working order, regular maintenance is essential. Speedy’s TRIM (test, repair, inspection and maintenance) division employs over 40 personnel that, between them, have more than 500 years of relevant knowledge and experience to draw upon – providing customers with a high level of service and advice. The company’s network of highly skilled LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) qualified engineers provide testing, inspection and certification services to its rail fleet, continually ensuring safety and compliance of all equipment.

• statutory compliance inspection. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year, Speedy’s Statutory Compliance Inspection service ensures that legislation requirements are met and teams are working safely and efficiently • training. The company offers a wide portfolio of specialist training courses to ensure employees are equipped with the skills required to work safely on site • asset management. The on-site resource enables more effective management of client’s assets, which reduces transport costs and minimises environmental impact • bids and tenders support. The construction service provider conforms to legislation and has access to the required tender portals. It also has more than 30 years’ industry experience. Tel: 0845 609 9998 Email: Visit July/August 2014 Page 127

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Business profile

All the way to the top As a result of new contract wins and ongoing projects both here in the UK and overseas, Mechan, the lifting and handling equipment manufacturer, is making its mark


echan is looking forward to continued progress this year after building momentum in its export trade and also delivering equipment that plays a key role in keeping UK transport moving. The Sheffield-based company has secured a hat trick of contracts to support the DfT’s flagship IEP (Intercity Express Programme) – supplying lifting and handling products to three sites that are integral to improvements on the Great Western and East Coast main lines. Working with the main contractor, Volker Fitzpatrick, Mechan has installed a set of 40 lifting jacks and a bogie drop with two bridges at the North Pole depot in west London. It is currently developing a further two standard equipment drops for delivery in March to the new Stoke Gifford depot, near Bristol. Mechan’s managing director, Richard Carr, recently travelled to Hitachi Rail Europe’s Newton Aycliffe facility to put pen to paper on a contract for two traversers. The County Durham-based factory will be using the machines – one inside and one outside – to move the high speed trains it is building for the IEP between roads. Both will be installed in spring next year. Thameslink is just the ticket Securing work worth more than £1 million on the Thameslink Programe also provides a welcome boost to Mechan’s sales. Commissioned by Siemens Rail Systems, four bogie drops will be provided for two new facilities being constructed as part of the upgrade to London’s rail links. The first two bogie drops have been installed at the Hornsey depot, in the London borough of Haringey, and a further two bogie drops will be delivered to Crawley’s Three Bridges facility. In both locations, they will be used to service the new Desiro City trains. Mechan’s equipment is installed in a pit within the depot floor, enabling bogies and undercar modules to be removed or exchanged without lifting or splitting the carriages. Having the ability to remove or replace complete bogies and undercarriage equipment without decoupling vehicles makes bogie change feasible within one hour, while time can also be saved on other under floor work. In addition, adapters can be fitted to enable any type

of undercar module to be removed or replaced. Mechan’s bogie drops use an intelligent screw jack system, which is favoured by depot operators for its greatly reduced pit depth, minimising civil costs during construction. A pit continuation can be added to the drop to provide full clearance under the bogie and side platforms, which gives unparalleled access to the item being changed. When not in use, rail beams latch into place, ensuring the road is safe for depot traffic. Exporting excellence On the other side of the world, Mechan has enhanced its export credentials by securing its first order in Australia. Thanks to its links with Australian distributor, Unique Rail, Mechan supplied a pair of ten-tonne bogie rotators to Unique’s compatriots, Downer EDi Rail, for use in the Newport depot in Victoria. They are the largest capacity Mechan has ever produced and will be used to maintain up to ten different types of locomotive. This broad remit required design modifications to increase the rotators’ lifting capacity and add extra bolt holes to the structures. To address this, Unique worked with Mechan’s engineers to create a special adapter that would attach to various bogie frames. Typically, rotators are manufactured to support six to eight

tonnes but, as freight trains in Australia are larger than the UK equivalent, the capacity was increased to ten tonnes. The firm is also working with Associated Engineers, its partner in Hong Kong, on two new projects for national rail operators, MTR. A total of 24 lifting jacks with a 20 tonne capability and four bogie turntables are being constructed for use at a depot on the south island line, which is due to open in 2015. Also on the agenda is the construction of a bogie drop for the maintenance facility that serves the high speed XRL

July/August 2014 Page 129

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Business profile

(Express Rail Link) that connects Hong Kong with Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Due to poor ground conditions on the island, Mechan’s standard bogie drop design needed to be modified to work with a shallower pit. Raising the bar Mechan will again be showcasing its patented Megalink jack controller at September’s InnoTrans exhibition in Berlin. A fully working version of the system, which is used around the world, will be available to view on its stand in the British Pavilion. The lifting jacks allow multiple units to be raised simultaneously by one operator and the controller uses inverter technology that brings power savings of up to 50 per cent – while a touch screen HMI panel provides constant feedback during the maintenance process. The jacks cater for all uses, from light rail systems to heavy on-track plant. They enable coordinated multiple use to a 3mm tolerance, are quick to set up, interlink and substitute and have a lifting capacity

ranging from five tonnes to 45 tonnes. Third party innovations Courtesy of French manufacturers, Sogema Engineering, Mechan is bringing the latest under floor wheel lathes and wheel press equipment to the UK and Ireland markets. Sogema’s wheel lathes can be adapted to suit any type of rail vehicle, are available in a single or tandem arrangement and have a capacity of 15, 20 or 30 tonnes. The firm’s wheel press equipment complements the undercar handling products that Mechan designs in house, it also offers mounting and disounting facilities for the production or maintenance of wheel sets. Single and double cylinder units are available and cater for 100 to 800 tonnes, some of which are automatic and have a roll though arrangement. One of the latest additions to Mechan’s product range is the Blaschke exhaust extraction system, an efficient way to capture diesel emissions that ensures all hazardous gas is disposed of

safely – creating cleaner and healthier depots. Each exhaust system is manufactured to the client’s requirements and, because they are fitted with smaller pipes than traditional extraction methods, airtight removal of fumes is guaranteed directly at the source. This increases the power generated and enables smaller fans to be used, which reduces energy consumption and noise levels. The flexible suction hoods are fitted over an exhaust pipe and can be adjusted by remote control. They are attached to extraction arms that rotate a full 3600 and run on rails stretching from one end of the track to the other, offering maximum usability. Mechan will be exhibiting in the British Pavilion at InnoTrans 2014 (September 23-26).

Tel: 0114 257 0563 Email: Visit July/August 2014 Page 131

launch new Rail Brochure Lindapter clamps allow faster construction, on-site adjustability and lower labour costs, providing solutions across the globe on projects as varied as the electrification of the Gautrain rail network in South Africa, the installation of digital signage at Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the roof restoration at St. Pancras station Rail and redevelopment of Birmingham New Street in the UK.


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Safety Solutions Information Systems Monitoring Station and Depot M&E Services

Chartered Land and Engineering Surveyors and Geospatial Consultants measuring , modelling and mapping the Railway Environment

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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

BRINGING BENEFITS TO THE UK RAILWAY; with a wealth of experience in Infrastructure, Transport and Building Services, we provide integrated solutions to infrastructure management and information systems.

The total solution provider E: Page 132 July/August 2014

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

Business profile

Want to be a leader? Arcadia Alive is creating rail managers that deliver safe behaviour to the UK rail industry


ltimately it is people that make the difference and when they perform organisations perform. For 15 years, Arcadia Alive has worked with UK rail managers to help them deliver their safety objectives. Rail managers rely on the company’s programmes in Non-Technical Skills (NTS) and Human Factors skills, which together with its Psychological Services such as post-incident trauma management, cognitive behavioural therapy and return to work programmes, helps them deliver sustainable changes in employee safe behaviour and psychological wellbeing. It is well known that the development of a safety culture that encourages wellbeing starts at the top. A large element of what Arcadia Alive does involves working closely with UK rail managers to develop their leadership and management skills through the provision of high quality management programmes, which are accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management. Creating adept managers With a 12 per cent increase in the number of trains on the UK network in the past five years, and an increase in passenger numbers of more than 250 million, the UK rail network is close to capacity. This means that now, more than ever, there is a need for rail managers who can train,

manage and motivate their teams to work efficiently. This critical requirement for managerial competency was highlighted in McNulty’s Value for Money report in 2011. The document underlined the urgent need for the rail industry to increase its emphasis on developing managerial competence, as well as technical proficiency. It focused on giving management opportunities to individuals who display more than just technical proficiency and who are able to foster connections that enhance employee engagement, which brings about a sense of teamwork, personal growth and development. The business case for skilled managers Latest Chartered Management Institute figures show that ineffective management is likely to be costing organisations two hours, per employee, per week – or £2,000 per annum, based on an average train driver salary of £40,000. The study of 2,000 employees across the UK reveals that 75 per cent of workers waste up to two hours out of their working week due to inefficient managers. The worst management practices, responsible for time lost, include unclear communication (33 per cent); lack of support (33 per cent); micromanagement (26 per cent); and lack of direction (25 per cent).

90 80

70 60 50

40 30 20

10 0 Developing and leading teams

Management communication

Critical thinking

Managing individual development

Managing health and safety

Managing employee stress

Accredited by the ILM Arcadia Alive chose the ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) to accredit its programmes to enable it to set the standard for rail industry-recognised, accredited leadership and management qualifications. The accreditation is the UK’s awarding body of choice for managers and provides absolute quality assurance. As a result, the Stafford-based company’s programmes focus on realworld rail industry challenges that leaders and managers face – an approach that gives them the knowledge to make a positive difference in their immediate role. Each programme is designed to be customised to fit each participant and – in recognition of the fact that delegates can’t afford to spend hours in a classroom – to be lean, precise and concise. Designed collaboratively Arcadia Alive’s rail-specific management programmes have been designed to produce first class rail managers for the 21st century in order to help them: • benefit from a management programme specifically designed for the unique management challenges within rail that addresses the management of technical and nontechnical skills • get a guaranteed edge in management expertise to achieve and maintain a positive safety culture • surpass safety and performance objectives and outperform the competition. These targets come from the company’s 2012 comprehensive survey of UK rail managers. Managers discussed how they perceived their existing management skills and how they would most like to develop them. The graph opposite shows the results. Individuals who successfully complete Arcadia Alive’s ILM accredited management and leadership programmes will be able to demonstrate the five key leadership and management July/August 2014 Page 133

Signalling the way forward


OSL Rail is a world-class railway engineering • Signalling design, Signalling Data Preparation Southampton S&C Renewals company specialising in the delivery of signalling

• SWTH, SMTH and Principles Testing

and multi-discipline remodelling projects.

We price ourselves on our highly experienced, • Overhead Line Equipment Design and Engineering Project Description competent and professional people; and our track record working clients programme to • Electrification and Power Design Engineering Southampton asof part of thecollaboratively Amey Colas with S&C our renewals is strategic in terms of the affectand on the operation of increased delivery certainty and value for money. the network. This required the project to be planned and prepared in advance ofDesign the actual renewal works. This • Civil/Structural andtrack Engineering Whilst of built on traditional values, OSL Railthe impact. The OSL advanced preparation allowed the weekend closures lead to 5 stages work on weekend to reduce embraces the latest thinking and technology. • Mechanical/Electrical Design Engineering to be successful and the track returned to service on or before time. With testing man-aged by OSL and prep-testing Our company has an established range of agile, client focused processes, tools andleft systems Environmental Design under-taken in-advance, few snags were at thethat end of each•stage. demonstrably help to minimise inefficiencies and reduce project delivery timescales and costs. • Project Management and Planning

Work Undertaken

Work Details

OSL works included the complete; signalling


Southampton S&C Renewals

and E&P works associated with Southampton



S&C Renewals;

Customer: Amey Colas

Design, pre-fabrication of Locs and power

Brief Description:

supply cubicles, installation and testing &

The project is for replacement of 55 points

commissioning of; points, heating, power supply

ends, complete with points ma-chines, points

and signalling.

heating, signalling power supplies, signalling renewal’s and power supply for points.

Schedule: April 2013 - April 2014

Endorsements on this project from Amey Colas and Network Rail For further info, please contact:

OSL Rail

OSL in 2013 have undertaken and set up a research and development division which has developed a number of products, Tel: +44(0)1793 600 793 Unit 1.3, Alexander House software systems and project to enhance operation and benefit the sectors in which we serve. Fax: +44(0)8701 236 249 management tools that look 19 Fleming Way,our Swindon Email: Wiltshire Web: SN1 2NG

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Business profile

skills, as defined by the NOS (National Occupational Standards): • provide clear and consistent direction to staff • work collaboratively and productively with people • manage conflict and navigate difficult conversations • demonstrate effective use of resources • facilitate change • achieve results Lifecycle approach Arcadia Alive trains individuals from every function from engineering to operations at every level – with new recruits ranging from apprentices to seasoned managers. Its leadership and management programmes have been designed to encourage team leaders and managers from right across the business to be able to participate. Meaning that, even from the earliest stages of their leadership and management careers, they can start to engage and work alongside colleagues in different functions. The Level 3 Award provides a Certificate and Diploma in Leadership and Management to individuals who have team leader or management responsibilities, but no formal training, and are serious about developing their management abilities. It is especially ideal for practising team leaders seeking to

move to the next management level and also for those who need to lead people though organisational change, such as improving safety culture. The Level 3 option can also be delivered as an Advanced Apprenticeship – a cost-attractive option for your organisation, as it is funded by the Skills Funding Agency. The Level 5 programme will be delivered over a 12 month period to build rounded and effective rail managers who are equipped with the essential tools and skills to fulfil their management role. Both levels have been specifically designed to address leadership in the context of UK rail, human factors and positive safety culture. Arcadia Alive recognises that standards managers are a lynchpin of rail industry safety and, as a result, have a tailored option in the form of the TAQA (Training Assessment Quality Assurance). This is accredited by City and Guilds and allows standards managers to confidently demonstrate their own competence to assess others and achieve credibility in the eyes of those they are assessing – and, in turn, comply with ROGS (Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems) regulations. The Arcadia Alive TAQA has been designed and developed in collaboration with UK rail industry standards managers, which makes it uniquely tailored to meet the rail industry’s specific training

assessment challenges. Importantly, it also covers the assessment of Non-Technical Skills as well as technical skills. Redefining safety management In 2013, Arcadia Alive joined forces with The University of Nottingham to form a KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership). The union will make a significant contribution to how the rail industry manages safety through non-technical skills (NTS). Rail Professional’s February issue looked in detail at the KTP and examined the potential benefits for rail managers, which included NTS into competency management systems – and how this could impact incidents and safety performance. The outcomes of the KTP will also help rail managers to understand which NTS are most important and how its competency can be properly assessed. The objectives of the KTP are being delivered in collaboration with an industry advisory group, which consists of senior management professionals from Toc’s, Foc’s, Network Rail, NSARE (National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering), the RSSB, the ORR and rail unions. To talk to the Arcadia Alive team about its leadership and management programmes or NTS training, please contact: Tel: 0845 2600 126 Email: Visit July/August 2014 Page 135

CALIPRI MULTIFUNCTIONAL PROFILE MEASUREMENT Wheel Profile Brake Disc Wheel Diameter Back-to-Back Rails including Grooved Switches Rail Geometry Defects

+44 (0)114 257 0563

ProviDing AssurAnce for the rAilwAy inDustry An established market leader for eMc consultancy, testing and training services. Years of expertise, experience and a solid track record of solving EMC problems and demonstrating EMC for railway projects in the UK and worldwide. Visit



+44 (0)1904 324440 AD0002A

Page 136 July/August 2014

Business profile

Untangling the red tape With a new EMC directive being introduced, Dr Mark Tyndall explains what it means for the rail industry


ix years after the New Legislative Framework (NLF) was published, a sheaf of EU acts setting out specific requirements has arrived. Among them is updated EMC Directive, 2014/30/ EU. At first glance, not much seems to have changed, particularly for manufacturers based within Europe. Although this is reinforced by the lack of a transition period – the provisions of the new EMC directive come into force in April 2016 – there remains a number of changes that manufacturers should be aware of. The NLF builds on the New Approach, now 29 years old, which decouples technical specifics from the legislative process. Manufacturers should be familiar with these decoupled directives and essential requirements, technical documentation, declarations of conformity and CE marking that go with them. There is also an everevolving list of harmonised standards that set out exactly which tests a particular piece of apparatus should be subjected to before being placed on the market – all these elements persist under the NLF. The evolution that the NLF has engendered is largely in the supply chain. The so-called economic operators (including importers, distributors and authorised representatives) will have new duties that include record-keeping and cooperating with market surveillance authorities in ensuring that non-compliant apparatus is removed from the market-place as quickly as possible. This should result in an increase in the availability of evidence of compliance, which will prove beneficial for all customers – especially those in the rail sector.

framework standardises the requirements for applying the CE marking – the documentation that must be supplied with products – and the documents that must be produced and retained by manufacturers. It also streamlines the use of notified and accredited bodies, which are of key importance to the manufacturers’ ability to declare conformity to the essential requirements of many directives. Also improved are the safeguard mechanisms, which protect end users from products which are either unsafe or otherwise not meeting the essential requirements of a particular directive. The mechanisms cover products that are both compliant and non-compliant with harmonised standards but nevertheless fail to conform to a directive’s essential requirements (indicating a failure in the standard). Other mechanisms set out procedures to deal with cases where a notified body has incorrectly provided a positive opinion for non-conforming apparatus. Traceability The new traceability requirements and explicit obligations for importers and authorised representatives present the largest change in the workings of the single European market. They have the potential to rein in unscrupulous or merely unenlightened manufacturers by ensuring

that the entire supply chain recognises the need for the relevant documentation to be supplied. However, the primary reason is to allow for effective enforcement of the regulations through corrective market surveillance measures (withdrawals and recalls). The changes to technical documentation required for apparatus under the EMC directive may surprise those who picture EMC compliance as a few days’ testing in a laboratory. Under the current EMC directive, compliance to appropriate harmonised standards is considered equivalent to performing the conformity assessment procedure. The technical documentation in this case can briefly list the required elements: • identification of the manufacturer and apparatus • selection of the appropriate harmonised standards • evidence that the apparatus complies with the standards • evidence of a quality system that shows the tested apparatus is the same as the apparatus placed on the market. Technical documentation The new directive removes this equivalence. The technical documentation must contain adequate analysis and assessment of the risk(s); in other words, the reasoning behind

What does the NLF address? The new framework addresses the shortcomings of the new approach’s implementation because, by recasting several directives at once, it improves its overall consistency and coherence. It sets out a number of conformity assessment procedures, ranging from pure selfassessment (the internal production control) through to third-party assessment of a product’s design and audit of the manufacturer’s quality system (conformity based on full quality assurance plus design examination). Individual directives have modules selected for them that are most appropriate for the regulation of their selected area. Across the different directives, the July/August 2014 Page 137


+44 (0)1294 279 586




Platform Refurbishments and Rebuilds Overbridge, Underbridge & Footbridge Refurbishment Culvert Refurbishment & Rebuilds Masonry Tunnel Refurbishment & Pointing Retaining Walls (Brick, Masonry & Gabions) Surface Preparation and Application Protective Treatment Supply and Installation of RRAP’s Track Drainage Installation and Repair Cable Route Works (incl. troughing & ducts) Fences, Barriers & Boundary Gates De-‐Vegetation, Weed Killing & Site Clearance Litter Clearance & Fly-‐Tipping Removal Building Work (incl. New Build, Fit-‐Out & Refurb) Track Worker Protection Supply of Contingent Labour & Trades for Civils & Rail

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE Our services are offered on a call off basis covering Scotland, the North East and North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. REACTIVE CALL OUT SUPPORT Our purpose built depot and storage facilities augment our emergency call out capabilities. We can mobilise to most reactive emergency situations with plant, labour, materials, supervision and management support in Scotland within 4-‐8hrs. In England our reactive Timescales are typically 12-‐24hrs, location dependant. OUR FLEET The company has multiple vehicles in service allowing for transportation of plant, labour and materials between our various sites. Our fleet vehicles include 7.5t Flat Bed Lorries, Pick Ups, Crew Buses, Welfare &Transit Vans. Page 138 July/August 2014

Business profile

or in accompanying documentation, is specifically excluded by the commission’s guide on the implementation of EU product rules – the Blue Guide, updated in April 2014. The remaining traceability requirements, regarding record keeping, will be met with minimal – or no – changes to current practices. Fixed installations The requirements for fixed installations are effectively unchanged because the removal of the essential requirement for their documentation is only an administrative change, bringing the essential requirements for fixed installations into line with those for apparatus. The documentary requirements for fixed installations are now stated within the body of the directive – as they are for apparatus. What will it mean? The new EMC directive’s essential requirements themselves are unchanged and the harmonised standards continue on their decoupled evolution. The changes are in the traceability and documentation requirements. The documentation requirements for all aligned directives have been streamlined, so there may be a net reduction in documentation for apparatus within the scope of more than one directive. But don’t forget that the company address now needs to be on the data plate. the choice of standards, along with a study of the apparatus use-cases against the application of the standards. It must also contain relevant drawings and component schedules with sufficient explanations that demonstrate that the apparatus, by way of the balance of evidence provided in the documentation, will meet the essential requirements. The diligent manufacturer will already have the majority of this information to hand, but

procedures will need to be revised. The changing traceability requirements are potentially more disruptive to manufacturers than may be expected. Together with their name, registered trade name or registered trademark, manufacturers must place their postal address – a single point of contact for the manufacturer – on the apparatus. Omitting this for aesthetic reasons, and just providing the address on packaging

Reduce your business risk York EMC Services provides training on all aspects of EMC, including the requirements of the directive. 2014/30/EU is the third EMC directive that our courses have explained to manufacturers, regulators and infrastructure owners. Its courses provide the means to demystify the legislative requirements and understand the tests prescribed in standards, along with both the theory and the best practice in applying EMC principles to products or installations – from a single printed circuit board, to an entire railway. Particularly relevant is the five-day training workshop on the fundamentals of EMC in railways, which covers an in-depth study of this complex EMC environment. York EMC Services also runs courses to share its knowledge of electrical safety and radio equipment to prepare businesses for the new Low Voltage Directive and Radio Equipment Directive. The new regulations, under the NLF, are published in the Official Journal of the European Union with enforcement dates in early 2016.

Dr Mark Tyndall is a principal EMC engineer in the Consultancy and Research Department at York EMC Services.

Tel: 01904 324440 E-mail: Visit July/August 2014 Page 139

Business profile

Developing the skills pipeline for all Thales has underlined its commitment to the development of emerging talent within the UK rail industry with the recruitment of a further 20 rail apprentices to its three-year apprentice programme.


ollowing its membership of The 5% Club*, Thales is moving forward with its strategic vision to invest in, train and develop young, motivated and career-minded individuals who will enable the company, and UK engineering in general, to take advantage of forthcoming opportunities and go from strength-tostrength. The new apprentices will join Thales’s UK ground transportation business in September this year. With 40 Thales apprentices already undertaking BTEC qualifications in electrical engineering with partner Prospects College, Thales is focused on the development of a strong pipeline

Page 140 July/August 2014

of talent for the future and dedicated to a long-term investment in a ‘home grown’ UK workforce. Alistair McPhee, president of the company’s ground transportation business in the UK, described Emerging Talent, Thales’s recruitment and development programme: ‘For Thales to stay at the forefront of signalling and related rail infrastructure projects in the UK, and more broadly, for the UK to have the right level of engineering skills to meet future demand, we must ensure that the right training programmes are in place.’ Thales already has a strong track record in the delivery of an award-winning

Graduate Development Programme. With the latest feedback from apprentices who have recently joined Thales, it shouldn’t be long before its commitment to apprentices gains further recognition across the industry. ‘I have started my career path as a Thales employee which is a dream come true. I am officially a rail engineering apprentice and it has changed my life.’ Ahmed Hassan ‘The highlight [of the London Skills event] was getting to meet Boris Johnson and showing him our projects. He was really enthusiastic and

Business profile

Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales in the UK, said: ‘Organisations that do not invest in the next generation are not only failing to secure their own future, but they are also failing in their responsibility to the young people of the UK.’ that was great to see. We came away from the event feeling really proud of what we had done.’ Leon Sealy ‘The apprenticeship is like an extension of Thales. Whatever we do here is fed back into the company. It’s how you feel an apprenticeship should be.’ Harry Holt

Encouraging emerging talent is important to Thales, and the organisation’s senior executive team regularly meet with graduates and apprentices within the business. For example, a recent networking event at Thales’s St Katharine’s Dock office gave them an in-depth brief of the organisation’s vision and strategy for future growth and the contribution they will be able to make towards it. The company is already reaping the benefit from the investment it has made in training, with Thales’s UK apprentices in demand for supporting major rail projects in New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales in the UK, said: ‘Organisations that do not invest in the next generation are not only failing to secure their own future, but they are also failing in their responsibility to the young people of the UK.’ Thales will continue to develop young, talented individuals in exciting and

challenging careers in rail engineering. Its activities demonstrate how skillsbased learning combined with on-the-job experience is reaping rewards, and that the resurgence of vocation-based training is going to be part of UK rail industry for the foreseeable future. The company is a key supplier to the UK rail industry and has developed worldleading capabilities in signalling, train control, communication and supervisory systems. * The 5% Club members are committed to achieving a workforce in which five per cent consists of apprentices, sponsored students and/or graduates on formalised training schemes within five years. Email: transportation.communications@ Visit July/August 2014 Page 141

Business profile

First in line 1stinrail believes that its measured and sustainable approach is best for business. The company explains what it does and how its business model can add value to infrastructure projects


ormed seven years ago, 1stinrail is a multi-disciplined national railway contractor that can successfully deliver a wide range of infrastructure projects on both heavy and light rail systems. The business can draw on many years of railway engineering experience and, as an organisation, is focused on three main aspects of business: • the supply of skilled personnel for track reconditioning, renewals and maintenance works on the London Underground and Docklands Light Rail networks • the provision of infrastructure services to the wider rail industry that include contracting and engineering services • the supply of hardwood and softwood timbers for railway applications and also fast-setting grout, for track construction activities.

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The London-based company’s workforce provides 24/7 planned and reactive works throughout the UK and Ireland, equipped with the necessary experience, skills, drive, and capabilities to ensure safe and successful delivery. It is continuously developing its business to reflect its ‘client first’ ethos and believes that good customer service is paramount, and collaborating with clients is the best way to solve their problems. 1stinrail understands the infrastructure and individual complexities presented by different environments, thanks to having worked on the London Underground network, Network Rail infrastructure, rapid transit systems, sidings and depots. By utilising this knowledge and experience, the company can ensure that it plans for, and manages, risk in a way that means it can consistently deliver – despite ever-rising standards.

The company believes that running a sustainable business is vitally important to continued success, growth and development. It achieves this by: • providing its clients with an excellent service through the provision of technically capable and client-focused personnel • offering the best value engineering solutions • developing lasting contractual relationships based on competence, honesty, and quality • being the service provider of choice • delivering jobs with zero accidents, zero incidents and zero defects • absolute commitment to client satisfaction. 1stinrail has also been awarded vital management systems that ensure consistency is applied across all aspects of

Business profile


s a specialist in infrastructure engineering and construction, 1stinrail has developed a comprehensive range of skills and services – using them on projects that include: London Underground and Docklands Light Railway • logistics management and planning • tube track renewal and reconditioning • ballasted track renewals • construction of new sidings and shed roads in depots • specialised services, including S&C (switch and crossing) renewal • track maintenance • track asset surveys and track monitoring • station refurbishment. Network Rail and metro systems

its work, the accreditations include: • • • • •

BS EN ISO 9001: (Quality) BS EN ISO 14001: (Environment) BS EN ISO 18001: (Health and Safety) Link-up Accreditation (via Audit) Certificate of Accreditation/ Registration; London Underground Protection Master • City & Guilds Accredited. 1stinrail Limited Track Worker Training School • FSC Accreditation. 1stinrail’s management understand that its values cannot be delivered or sustained unless its employees also hold them. The company has gone to great lengths to employ skilled, capable and committed individuals who can maintain the company’s ethos – a determination that runs from its directors, managers and supervisors through to its skilled operatives. Constant development It believes that continued personnel development is also a very important step to success. To overcome the shortage of new, well trained recruits to the industry, the company has committed to a long-term programme of effective,

targeted, and certifiable training with the development of: • the Railway Engineering Track Apprenticeship Programme. Now in its third year, all apprentices involved in this joint initiative with Waltham Forest College are full-time employees at 1stinrail • the Track Worker Training School – City & Guilds accredited . To tackle the potential risks that new starters face in construction and rail, the company has developed a training facility that simulates the railway working environment – thus allowing our trainee staff lifelike trackside experience prior to being deployed on real sites. Its training track includes complex track lay outs, confined spaces, artificial lighting, a platform area with tactiles and coping stones, and examples of track drainage. Whether working on passenger transport, freight haulage, rapid transit systems, or general construction, 1stinrail delivers work that allows the safe passage of trains without incident or delay. The company’s success is based upon its desire to take away its clients’ problems and provide a silent service that runs

• design and build • project management and construction support • specialised services including S&C and plain • line track renewals • high accuracy track construction and setting out • signalling maintenance and installation • longitudinal way beam replacement • lineside and track drainage • UTX installation • minor civil engineering and building works • track monitoring • infrastructure and topographical surveying • ground model design • CRT management • electrical engineering. Depots and sidings • design and build • construction of new sidings and facilities • slab track and pit road track construction • minor civil engineering works • maintenance/track patrolling and emergency. alongside their day-to-day work. This way of working allows them to focus on what they do best, as 1stinrail focuses on what it does best. Tel: 08455278440 Email: Visit July/August 2014 Page 143

Speciality Greases- making a point of being on time. Do you aim at improving the reliability and longevity of railway points? Do you need greases that resist washout and freezing cold just as well as tropical heat? Would you like to reduce environmental impact by using readily biodegradable lubricants? Proven speciality lubricants from Kl端ber Lubrication contribute to smooth railway operation and help to save real money by enabling longer lubrication intervals and longer component life. Kl端ber Lubrication: High-technology lubricants made to the highest standards Kl端ber Lubrication GB Ltd Bradford Road, Northowram, Halifax, HX3 7BN Tel: 01422 205115, Fax: 01422 206073,

your global specialist

Business profile

A permanent feature In order to progress in the thriving UK rail industry companies have to supply a reliable service to the public, requiring a proficient approach to the design of permanent way design


ased in the heart of York, pbh’s team has an extensive knowledge of permanent way that can provide a professional consultancy service and up-to-the-minute designs. For more than a decade the company has continued to build on its success, an approach that gained it a UKwide client base. The business was founded in 2003 by engineers Darren Pudsey and Cecil Becker. Combined, the partners have more than 30 years’ permanent way design and survey experience at multinational companies and have worked in Europe, Africa and Asia. The company’s employees have been handpicked for their permanent way design work capabilities and exacting standards, attributes that enable them to manage a vast range of project deliverables for numerous clients. pbh has a strong belief that all enterprises can be judged, to some extent, on the quality of their personnel and considers its workforce to be some of the best and most experienced in their particular fields. This has enabled pbh rail to establish a strong reputation for good service. Future plans and ambitions The future for the business remains bright and there are many possibilities and opportunities, as it has evolved to provide a 3600 approach to railway engineering projects. To facilitate further progress, pbh is continually expanding

and developing the business – by growing existing departments and introducing new ones the company hopes to not only maintain its current reputation but to enhance it. Expanding its business into different regions of the UK has always been an aim for the company and due to recent CP5 reorganisation, should become more of a possibility. Recent clients • Network Rail • GNGE • CTRL • Babcock • Carillion • Donaldson Associates pbh’s rail business philosophy highlights that it’s not all about just increasing the workload but always ensuring the delivery of high standards, to budget and on time. Design capabilities • switch and crossing renewals • plain line renewals/recanting schemes • high output • tamping and realignment schemes • slab track schemes • London Underground/light rail

• Heritage Railways • gauge restoration/track lowering schemes • proposed platform renewals and extensions • track condition surveys/technical reports • gauging analysis and reports To discuss the timely and cost-effective delivery of your permanent way design requirements, contact Darren Pudsey. Tel: 01904 655 666 Email: Visit July/August 2014 Page 145

Your solution with our knowledge

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A new world of

Passenger Information & On-board Entertainment Solve!

Reduce the problem with unstable internet for passengers. We provide rich and valuable content for “offline” mode usage while the existing WiFi connection will get more capacity.


Our platform simply increases customer satisfaction as they can easily be entertained via their own device. Easy and affordable!


Our platform enables train operators to increase ancillary sales via flexibility, high conversion rates and innovative billing models.

FOCON Electronic Systems ApS | Damvang 2, DK-6400 Sønderborg, Denmark | Phone: +45 73 42 25 00 Page 146 July/August 2014

Business profile

Tracing and locating Vivax-Metrotech has developed a Network Rail-approved multi-frequency transmitter unit that can mark out the routes of power cables and signal cables on site better than ever before


ivax-Metrotech’s vLoc2 receiver and transmitters are now approved for use throughout Network Rail. This important step for the company means that, for the first time, a high end cable locator can be used to its full potential on the network. This was made possible by working closely with Network Rail and one of its approved third party assessment bodies. Network Rail maintenance crews and its contractors can now use the latest technologies to ensure a safer and more productive working environment for both crew and network infrastructure. Normally, a rail contractor would use a high end locator receiver with the only transmitters that have been approved – a single frequency or dual frequency, very low powered transmitter. A basic avoidance tool with the associated signal generator, can also be used. Problematically, this prevents the contractor from using all the features that they had paid for on the high end locator, or it also meant they would be using a basic avoidance tool to try and do more advanced precision location – both providing poor options. Unfortunately, the standard 33 KHz signal used is a ‘middle of the road’ frequency – it is okay for everything. The

frequency cross-induces onto other services, which is fine if you are avoiding services but not so useful if you are tracing a particular line. It also goes relatively deep, and over an average distance, depending on the ground conditions and what you are looking for. Having the ability to choose what frequency is used reduces the risk of cross-induction and allows it to be optimised to best suit how the signal behaves in specific conditions. This feature saves time, money and, above all else, increases safety on site by enhancing

the detection of underground utilities. Due to the vLocPro2 being a high end precision locator with a high end multi frequency transmitter, it allows all tools that are at the users disposal to do the job required – whether that is marking out the routes of power cables, signal cables or any other related task on a Network Rail site. The vLocPro2 and its 10 W power output – or 5 W power out transmitters – allows the user, for the first time, to use multi frequencies that range from low 128 Hz to much higher 131 KHz frequencies. Until now, only single 33 kHz frequency (or 8 KHz with a low powered transmitter), is all that has been able to be used. This is important because the selectable frequencies allow the user to distinguish between lines much more easily, allowing it to trace, follow and identify target lines. This increases confidence that the correct lines are being marked. One can be optimistic that, while using the vLocPro2 locator kit, the correct lines are being identified quickly and safely, thereby enhancing site safety for all.

Mixing it up Using different frequencies and power outputs also means there is less likelihood of missing any underground utilities that are difficult to find with 33 KHz – typically experienced when using a small core cable, such as Telco. Higher frequencies can be chosen that have more power, which will ensure that these lines become more easily traceable. Taking these steps will reduce time, and therefore cost, on surveys, which will improve safety at the same time. A high frequency can be used to help find unearthed, or poorly earthed, cables and can detect the signal that comes off the target via induction – rather than relying on an earth. Using a low frequency reduces cross induction onto other lines allowing more accurate tracing. The vLocpro2 Locator has all the functions and accessories that a high end precision locator should have, including a compass line direction indicator, left/right directional arrows, GPS and Bluetooth, to enable mapping and a multitude of frequencies. Vivax-Metrotech has worked closely with contractors to ensure that they have got the best tools for the job. They include Carillion Rail, JN Bentley, Subscan, Adien and 1st Horizon Surveys – and all of them use the vLocPro2 on their fleet. For further information or a demonstration of the vLocPro2, or any of Vivax-Metrotech’s equipment, contact: Tel: 01392 368834 Email: salesUK@vxmt Visit July/August 2014 Page 147

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Business profile

Filling the skills gap Enable Rail Academy is a specialist railway training and assessment provider. It offers a wide range of vocational qualifications along with safety critical, small plant, tools and equipment


he company, established in February 2013 by Robert Clark and Jonathan Ord, currently operates from Scunthorpe, Wakefield and Leicester – with additional national coverage for on-site assessments and training. It has the flexibility and capacity to react quickly to client needs and is backed up by a delivery team that has more than 60 years’ combined experience. Enable Rail Academy collaborates with stakeholders in rail and is keen to continue this throughout its business – even working alongside another training provider, if required. Currently, there is not a single provider that has the

capability or capacity to address the skills gap that exists in the industry on its own. Until a more united approach to training and assessment is developed and embedded within the rail training fraternity, the sector will struggle to provide the skills and opportunities needed to attract the next generation of rail engineers. Enable Rail Academy is always looking to address the gap in skills, both directors have worked closely with NSARE (National Skills Academy Rail Engineering) and the awarding body EAL (Excellence Achievement Learning) to assist and support an improved programme.

The company is able to offer both EAL and City and Guilds-accredited qualifications that gives the client greater choice over many of the other providers in the sector. Working with various colleges and large engineering providers has helped the business to establish and maintain a diverse and flexible rail offering. This approach benefits the employers (having gained a skilled, credible workforce) the learners (who now have bespoke and individualised training) and the rail sector as a whole. Keeping standards high Record levels of investment are unlikely

July/August 2014 Page 149

Bring passenger load data intofocus focus in real-time into with a DILAX DILAXsystem system

Whether installed onboard or at the station, you can rely on DILAX solutions for compiling accurate passenger load reports. DILAX has been installing automatic passenger counting systems for over 20 years. Our unique adjustable infra-red bi-directional sensor has been shown to give excellent results in all kinds of installations. Our system now offers real-time counting capability for extended counting applications such as PIS announcements of load in each vehicle or for station announcements of train load. Please contact us for full technical details of this unique feature of the DILAX system. With over 600 rail vehicles installed with our systems on the UK network alone, we can claim to be the most experienced and trusted supplier of passenger counting systems in the UK. We are trusted by train manufacturers and operating companies alike to provide complete passenger counting systems from the doorway sensor through to the data management software. All our hardware components are designed by us and manufactured under stringent quality conditions and we develop our bespoke software solutions to our customer’s requirements using our own software development resources. When you buy an automatic passenger counting system from DILAX you can be sure your investment will bring consistent results for years to come. Call us today for advice and information about all aspects of automatic passenger counting systems.

DILAX Systems UK Limited. Unit 3, Calico House, Plantation Wharf, LONDON SW11 3TN Tel: +44 207 223 8822 Email: Web: Page 150 July/August 2014

Business profile

to continue if the sector is unable to demonstrate the capacity to attract and retain the necessary skill sets that are required to complete world class rail and civil projects. Enable Rail Academy is currently providing training and assessment for some 118 apprentices, including the up-skilling of 100 individuals that already work in the industry. The company’s main area of business is to support both SME’s and larger rail businesses to implement a robust, credible apprenticeship model and/or up-skilling programme. In most cases, up-skilling packages can be government

funded by using initiatives such as the ESF (European Social Fund). The fund allows employers to benefit from cost-neutral training and assessment that leads to a more qualified and professional workforce that will achieve QCF rail qualifications. The ways in which apprenticeships are to be delivered, assessed and funded are set to change and, taking the recent success of trailblazers across eight sectors into account, this indicates that the apprenticeship framework is likely to sit well with employers. Understanding the changes vocational education is set to undertake, and working closely with employers, means that Enable Rail Academy is well positioned to compete in a buyer’s market for those seeking an apprenticeship programme provider. Workforce transformation The up-skilling of rail employees – which requires the utilisation of new and existing QCF rail qualifications and additional industry based competence, such as small plant – could transform an

employer’s workforce in as little as 12 weeks. In its work with Kingfisher, Enable Rail Academy is set to deliver EAL’s new QCF L2 Track Renewals qualification, in addition to six individual items of small plant to 50 rail operatives. This will mean that, outside of the initial pilot, Kingfisher will be one of the first UK companies to undertake the track renewals qualification. In the future, Enable Rail Academy will offer traineeships to provide participants with a way into the rail industry. The course provides the essential work preparation training, maths and English, and work experience needed for an apprenticeship or a job – places are on offer from this month. The company plans to grow its range of apprenticeships in a responsible and sustainable manner and is looking to support additional employers with the up-skilling of their workforce. It also plans to open an HQ early next year, from which it will offer its widest portfolio of rail training assessments. Enable Rail Academy is keen to hear from any interested parties or businesses, whether help is needed through training, advice or consultation. Tel: 01724 859859 Email: Visit


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Providing Railway Surveys for 30 Years July/August 2014 Page 151


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Page 152 July/August 2014

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People News Charles Horton

CEO, COO and CFO appointed for TSGN franchise The creation of the leadership team for the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise is underway at Govia (65 per cent Go Ahead/35 per cent Keolis joint venture) with the appointment of Southeastern

will be the new chief financial officer. She is currently finance and contracts director at Southeastern and London

Philip Hoare

New MD for Atkins’ UK Rail business Philip Hoare, who previously led Atkins’ UK Highways & Transportation business, is set to replace Douglas McCormick, who is taking up an assignment to develop the blueprint for increasing the company’s presence in the rail market.

other appointments... Jim Crawford to join the HS2 construction team HS2 Ltd has appointed Crawford as programme director – phase one. He joins from Network Rail where he was the major director for the Thameslink upgrade. HS2 Ltd Construction CEO Simon Kirby said: ‘Jim Crawford‘s experience speaks for itself but I know just how capable he is from our time together at Network Rail working on the multi-billion pound investment in Thameslink. I am very pleased that someone of Jim’s calibre is joining us as we have much to do between now and when we expect to have spades in the ground in 2017.’ Nick Howers joins Frazer-Nash The engineering consultancy says it continues to expand its rail capability with the appointment of Howers as a consultant. He joins from London Underground where his most recent role was fleet assurance manager. At Frazer-Nash he will lead the delivery of the range of technical skills the firm offers for rolling stock projects.

managing director, Charles Horton, as chief executive officer. Dyan Crowther will be the new chief operating officer. She is currently route managing director for London North Western. Wilma Allan

Midland. CEO of Go-Ahead, David Brown, said: ‘Our plan is to put together a great team to oversee the largest franchise in the UK, and this is an excellent start.’ A recruitment process is set to commence for the MD role at Southeastern and the FD role at London Midland. Elodie Brian, currently Southeastern’s deputy finance director will be promoted to finance and contracts director for Southeastern.

July/August 2014 Page 153


“An excellent professional level role in a strong rail business”

Our client is a market leading supplier of engineering services in the growing UK rail industry. The business continues to be successful with a strong customer base and has experienced considerable growth in recent years. As part of a global group of companies, our client is well positioned for further progress with excellent opportunities for talented professional engineers and a culture of advancement and career development. The role of Electrical Engineering Manager reports to the Engineering Director and focuses on delivering electrical engineering expertise into a wide range of projects, recognising the increasing innovation, complexity and variety of electrical and electronic systems in rail. Key activities of the Electrical Engineering Manager will include to: • Provide a professional level technical lead to the electrical engineering activity • Maintain and develop a team of electrical engineers able to support and meet customer and project requirements • Ensure that design and other work is delivered in accordance with industry and legislative standards, managing change processes as required Manage the procurement and delivery of third party engineering design, consultancy and approval services • Identify opportunities and undertake engineering reviews and studies into the development of new and improved products or services, overseeing testing and development • Support colleagues across the whole engineering function and facilitate relationships with customers, suppliers and a range of third parties in UK rail Candidates should ideally be graduate level Electrical Engineers with experience gained at professional levels in a relevant engineering environment in rail or other sectors. Engineering people management and development experience should be allied to a strong technical background and supported by the personal and operational skills necessary to be part of the engineering management team at a senior level. This is an outstanding role for a person seeking to advance their career in a strong and well regarded business in the progressive UK rail industry, that is also part of an established and successful international group. The role will be based at Doncaster and support can be available for those needing to relocate.

Please submit your cv and covering letter to or contact Rod Shaw on 0115 959 9687 with any particular queries


Driver Team Manager - Inverness When we say “every day a new journey” we mean it. Expect many different challenges as you put the customer first, growing through training that develops your confidence as a person and your long term security as an employee. We’re all about safety, integrity, quality, accessibility and professionalism. Are you? Responsible to the Business Manager, Inverness for ensuring Drivers deliver a safe, punctual and reliable service and that they are competence assessed to carry out the role. Monitor staff within your team ensuring their capability to provide a high level of service and to carry out their role efficiently. Ensure that all relevant First ScotRail standards are fully implemented and carry out grievance, sickness absence and investigatory discipline interviews and LLC union meetings where necessary. Investigate safety incidents using findings to ensure awareness of other Drivers through briefing. Ensure compliance with all H&S rules, operations manuals, rule books and group standards, and when required undertake the rostering of Traincrew. Ensure the service delivery plan is met and implement adhoc contingency plans during times of disruption. Responsible for staff booking on in a fit and proper state, in full uniform and with relevant equipment as required, ensuring that notices and documentation relating to operational and commercial requirements are uplifted and receipted. Maintenance of notice cases as required. You will be a good communicator with people management skills and have an A1 (Assessor qualification) trained, or equivalent. A NEBSM certificate or equivalent qualification is also desirable. A sound knowledge of competence standards with a good operational background is required, particularly incident management and performance monitoring. A three year minimum period of experience in a driving role is essential, as is a sound knowledge of diagramming, rostering and conditions of service for Traincrew. This position involves a pattern of normally, any five days from seven. On call arrangements for operational incidents. Closing date: July 11th 2014 For further details and to apply please visit


London Salary - in the region of £35,000 per annum plus an attractive package A large rail engineering contractor is currently recruiting for a Pway Delivery Engineer to provide support and offer expertise on track replacement and renewal works.


Direct and execute work (Track & Drainage) as required by the Construction Manager and under the functional leadership of the Technical Delivery Manager.


F in d m o re jo b s at

South West (Swindon or Bristol) Salary: £50,000 per annum + car & package Due to an imminent influx of bridges and structural work, our client, a leading civil engineering contractor is looking to recruit two Project Managers. They will be responsible for delivering these long term projects and securing more work in the western region.


Hertfordshire, with projects southern based Salary - £35,000- £40,000 per annum + car (or allowance) & package An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Environmental Manager to join a growing principle contractor in the UK rail sector, working on a variety of multi-disciplinary projects. Reporting to the Group Environmental Manager, the successful candidate will deliver significant improvements to environmental performance on projects, including reductions in energy consumption, increased recycling and provide a comprehensive and professional environmental advisory service through the company.

For further information on the above roles or to enquire about other vacancies with ATA, please contact the Rail team on: 01332 861326 or email your details to referencing RAILSTAFF + Job Title

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Rail Professional July 2014 issue  

Rail Professional July 2014 issue  

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