Rail Professional Asia Pacific September 2022

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A new metro contract and Managing Director appointment herald a busy year for Alstom in China


Signalling contract for Thales


Ray Chan of Aurecon on the city state’s future AUSTRALIA

Hitachi with World First



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Editors’s Note

We have a selection of stories from across the region but the one to focus on, as always, is the high-speed railway linking China and Thailand which is celebrating its first anniversary of speeding across Laos.

Six months after it opened, China’s State Railway Group said the route has delivered more than four million tonnes of freight as of the end of May. Since December 2021, 21 Chinese regions have designated cross-border trains for freight transport along the railway. The route also handled over 3.2 million passenger trips.

So, this leads us to finally zero in on the next leg of the ambitious cross-continent railway. The China-Laos-Thailand (CLT) route runs south from Vientiane, crosses the border to Thailand at Nong Thai, and its Free Trade Zone, and continues to Bangkok. The route passes through some of Thailand’s primary agricultural regions, although Free Trade Zones are also dotted along the route. Thailand is a member of ASEAN which has a Free Trade Agreement with China, meaning goods can be shipped both ways, tariff free.

Thailand has completed twelve per cent of the first stage and is expecting a test run by 2026 and recently announced it is aiming to complete the 609 kilometre line by 2028.

THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR RAIL www.railprofessional.com SEPTEMBER 2022 | ISSUE NUMBER 27 ASIA PACIFIC ISSUE SINGAPORE Signalling contract for Thales HONG KONG Ray Chan of Aurecon on the city state’s future AUSTRALIA Hitachi with World First ALSTOM CONTINUES ASIA PACIFIC EXPANSION A new metro contract and Managing Director appointment herald a busy year for Alstom in China
September 2022 3

05 | Sue Chan to Act as Acting Chief Executive Officer of PTAANZ, First New Zealand Order for Depot Safety Specialist, Thales and SMRT Trains Sign Signalling Contract, Nokia to Design Communications System in Perth, World’s First Fully Digitally Automated AutoHaul™, Klang Valley Komuter Extended



Business Profile

From how they are made, to how they perform, Forbo Flooring Systems make truly sustainable floor coverings that are good for people, their application and the environment


Business Profile

Dormer Pramet is focused on providing a wide assortment of products to support numerous rail manufacturing and maintenance operations


Ray Chan of Aurecon asks what the future holds for Hong Kong’s railway network

Dr Stephen Fletcher, shares some work and initiatives with UK track maintenance organisations focused on developing safer working behaviours and safety culture

4 September 2022

Sue Chan to Act as Chief Executive Officer of PTAANZ

The Public Transport Association Australia New Zealand (PTAANZ) has announced Sue Chan will act in the role of Chief Executive Officer until further notice. Sue has over 20 years of experience in the traffic and transport field, specialising in transport planning, strategy and policy. Prior to joining PTAANZ, Sue was the Head of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) Asia-Pacific for seven years.

In this role, Sue was accountable for leading business development, the business and annual work plans and membership engagement across the Asia-Pacific region. Sue has also worked as the director of several transport and engineering consulting firms including Wilbur Smith Associates leading their Hong Kong and China operations.

I am excited to bring lessons from Asia-Pacific, such as China’s world-leading zero emissions bus transition and Singapore’s advanced on-demand services to our members in Australia and New Zealand


Chan, Acting Chief Executive Officer, PTAANZ

First New Zealand Order for Depot Safety Specialist

UK Rail Depot safety control specialist FirstClass Safety and Control Ltd (FirstClass) and Freightquip announce success with the award of their 1st order working as a partnership in the New Zealand, following on from the success of projects awarded in Australia.

Freightquip have secured a contract with KiwiRail, to supply and install a FirstClass built Depot Protection System (DPS) for the Waltham Mechanical Hub, located in Christchurch.

Freightquip and FirstClass shall be responsible for the design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of the DPS at the depot. The DPS being supplied will be a SIL 2 RFID based DPS that will be installed in the nine-road depot and includes derailers, log on/off facilities, SCADA supervisory terminal with historical logs and movement control, which will provide protection for both personnel and assets inside the depot building.

Thales and SMRT Trains Sign Signalling Contract

Reaffirming its strength as a trusted global transportation supplier, Thales was recently awarded a long-term services support (LTSS) contract by SMRT Trains, with support from the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA), for the continued reliability and availability of its SelTracTM Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system on the North-South and EastWest lines.

Leveraging Thales’ deep expertise in managing complex rail projects around the globe, this programme will see Thales provide ongoing repair service, spares and technical support for the existing signalling system on Singapore’s oldest train lines until 2033. During this period, a diverse and international team comprising Thales’ engineering, technical and rail experts will collaborate closely with SMRT Trains to enable sustained performance of the signalling system at best standard efficiency, throughout its operational life.

Recognising the importance of service continuity, Thales will also provide both software and hardware obsolescence management and implement cybersecurity enhancements to further strengthen the cyber-resilience of the existing signalling system. To mitigate the evolving cyber threats, a dedicated team of Thales security experts will conduct technical and vulnerability checks and deliver security updates.

The signing of this LTSS agreement serves as a testament to Thales’ and SMRT Trains’ commitment in providing safe and reliable passenger journeys for Singapore’s rail commuters over the years. Thales’ SelTracTM CBTC signalling system first entered into service on the North-South and East-West lines in 2017, and has since enhanced signalling system reliability as well as passenger experience.

September 2022 5 NEWS

World’s First Fully Digitally Automated AutoHaul™

Hitachi Rail and Rio Tinto have marked another significant AutoHaul™ milestone with the commissioning of the autonomous rail transport system for the new Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

The greenfield mine development has involved the construction of a 166-kilometre rail spur to connect the new mine to Rio Tinto’s existing AutoHaul™ rail network in the region. The world’s first fully automated heavy-haul, long-distance rail system, AutoHaul™ enables 220 trains, which are monitored remotely from an operations centre in Perth, to travel safely and efficiently across more than 1,866 kilometres of track from mines to ports – without the need for onboard drivers.

As the technical lead behind AutoHaul™’s development, Hitachi Rail has provided the systems and software to connect the new section of rail for Gudai-Darri. This has included onboard and control centre technology, trackside equipment, radio base stations, and automatic train operation (ATO) interface software for locomotive control, level crossing safety and location tracking.

All systems and software are now operational following the first production test run and subsequent successful system commissioning.

Hitachi Rail Australia Senior Director Roslyn Stuart said: ‘The Gudai-Darri AutoHaul™ network expansion project is a natural extension of Hitachi Rail’s long-term collaboration to deliver innovative rail transport solutions for Rio Tinto. The project has seen Hitachi Rail and the Rio Tinto AutoHaul™ team deliver another ‘first’, with back-to-back loading (high performing automated train loading) to be introduced on the Gudai-Darri mine rail loop.’

Rio Tinto operates the world’s largest integrated portfolio of iron ore assets and has a tangible commitment towards net-zero carbon emissions. The Gudai-Darri mine will also deploy autonomous haul trucks, fully autonomous water trucks and autonomous training solutions, and will be partially powered by a 34 megawatt photovoltaic solar farm solar plant.

Hitachi Rail is a world leader in autonomous and signalling technology and recently, also in Australia, began a major contract to install innovative technology to automate elements of Queensland’s New Generation Rail (NGR) fleet. The AU$107m contract will see Hitachi Rail install Automatic Train Operation over European Train Control System Level 2 technology on all NGR trains.

6 September 2022
Rio Tinto AutoHaul in Pilbara Image credit: Rio Tinto AutoHaul in Pilbara

Nokia to Design Communications System in Perth

Nokia will provide comprehensive solutions covering Nokia private wireless solution, Microwave and Backhaul Transmission Network (BTN), mission-critical voice, data and video services, cyber security fabric, handheld radios, train radios, vehicle radios, dual performance monitoring systems, design verification services, system integration services, operational support, computer-aided dispatch consoles and subsystems, project management office, commercial, procurement and partner management suite of services and systems obsolescence and technology refresh programme.

METRONET infrastructure and public transport program is the long-term blueprint for Perth's future. As a critical element of the METRONET program and as part of the agreement, more than 160 LTE/4.9G radio sites will be built to modernise the railway communication system that includes additional METRONET track and tunnels with a total of 250 kilometres of railway. The solution will be based on Nokia private 4.9G/LTE mission-critical IP/MPLS, Data Centre Fabric and microwave backhaul solutions, to support a Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) High Capacity Signalling system for greater accuracy and efficiency compared to traditional signalling systems.

Nokia’s solution will be used to upgrade the current PTA’s narrowband rail radio systems, replacing the existing analogue technology with a high-tech 4.9G/LTE digital platform which is necessary for extremely reliable mission critical voice, high-speed data and video services. The Radio System Replacement project is subjected to the Critical Infrastructure Act 2021 with scope to include a full Cyber Security fabric across all solution elements.

Rob McCabe, Head of Enterprise for Oceania at Nokia, said: ‘We are thrilled to partner with PTA for this prestigious project to design, build and maintain the nextgeneration railway communications network. Powered by Nokia’s private wireless network solution, the new railway communication system will help enhance the accuracy of the system leading to improved experience and safety. Nokia is at the forefront of supporting railway networks accelerate digital transformation for more efficient operations while delivering greater value to the passengers.’

Klang Valley Komuter


The Klang Valley Komuter has been extended from Batu Caves to Pulau Sebang in Melaka. ‘There will be two additional train services for the Padang Besar to Butterworth route, bringing the total to 26 trips in operation compared to 24 services before this. The Padang Rengas to Butterworth routes and return would also have two more services bringing the total trips to twelve compared to ten currently’ operator KTMB said.

September 2022 7 NEWS

The Future of Rail for Hong Kong

asks what the future holds for Hong Kong’s railway network

As Hong Kong faces sustained population growth in new town areas and a continuous increase in cross-border connections between Hong Kong and Mainland China, the question of where and how people move in a city is being redefined. This, together with how technology and sustainability are influencing rail infrastructure development, will likely be the foundation on which Hong Kong shapes its rail transport network in the future.

In this context, there are unusual characteristics unique to Hong Kong that its rail transport network has to contend with. Major constraints are the management of huge volumes of passengers, the need to get a return out of scarce and expensive land, the weight of increased centralisation, and achieving a sustainable future.

In the early 1900s, when the first railway operations in Hong Kong made use of a single-track line, the focus was transporting passengers and supplies to and from Mainland China. Expansion and extension work from the 1970s focused more broadly on capacity, safety and coverage to support the city’s growth.

Subsequently significant new transport infrastructure and facilities have been put into operation, such as the expansion of the international airport at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau and the multi-modal West Kowloon Station connecting to many major cities in Mainland China. These projects have contributed to making Hong Kong a 21st Century metropolis, while requiring additional rail links to ensure accessibility.

Planning the future of rail in Hong Kong, and how it moves residents, traders and tourists, expands beyond solely modernisation, but encompasses new opportunities, which further open up the city. This includes the distribution of land and new town growth (with increased density of the new transport nodes with additional land reclaimed from the sea), and the consideration of environmental impacts and sustainable solutions provides opportunities.


Just as a pin is dropped in Google Maps to indicate places of interest, planning an effective rail transport network involves identifying, and ‘dropping a pin’ in each of

the suitable station interchange locations. However, these pins come packed with a great deal of complexity: location, surrounding precinct development around the station, first and last mile connection, and the unique user requirements of the city.

In a city such as Hong Kong, rail is the backbone of public transport, providing fast, frequent, reliable and high-capacity services along corridors.

A focus on the economic opportunities above and around railway stations delivers in return a larger and more consistent patronage. Hong Kong rail infrastructure has seen an evolution from solely a transport system to contributing to the shape of new town developments. The foundation to shaping new town developments is good planning that addresses the constraints of a site while at the same time enhancing its features from different engineering discipline perspectives and stakeholders.

There are four key factors to consider to achieving full value from future rail projects: Social and liveability value; economic growth; existing network integration and new town development. A step-bystep approach to future rail planning covers feasibility studies, preliminary design through to detailed design and operation. These are contributing factors to rail infrastructure in Hong Kong being developed in a more strategic way, as highlighted in The Chief Executive’s 2021 Policy Address.

Projects such as the Northern Metropolis Development Strategy (the Development Strategy), announced by the Government of Hong Kong, will be driven by the development and expansion of the city’s rail transport network, ensuring that rail remains as the backbone of the wider public transport system.

With the evolutionary role of the Hong Kong rail infrastructure, its development and expansion are being strategically planned to unleash the development potential of land in the northern part of Hong Kong, increasing land supply for residential, commercial and industry purposes. The Government anticipates that these projects will create enormous job opportunities and further drive economic development in the neighbouring areas.

With the transport infrastructure-led concept widely accepted in Hong Kong, more ambitious rail projects have been put forward in the Development Strategy.

For example, to create a barrier-free external connection to Shenzhen in Mainland China, the Government of Hong Kong has proposed different railway projects including Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Railway, Northern Link extension to the new Huanggang Port in Shenzhen, the exploration of the East Rail Line extension to Luohu in Shenzhen, and Northern Link extension (both eastwards and southwards).

All these initiatives aim to strengthen the economic activities and social interactions between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, which in return will maintain the competitiveness of Hong Kong within the Greater Bay Area and its position as one of the world's great cities to live and work in.


With so much investment in rail infrastructure, in Hong Kong and in many cities across the world, we are moving towards an increasingly smart, technologyenabled future. The rail industry will have to evolve and adapt as fast (or even faster than) a bullet train to keep up with advanced technology both in the design and construction phases, as well as the

VIEWPOINT 8 September 2022

operations and maintenance phases.

The key benefits that a digitally enabled future affords are productivity efficiency, design efficiency prior to construction, less material wastage on-site, and a potentially safer construction site with off-site prefabrication processes being widely adopted.

Modular design technology and precision engineering, otherwise known as Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), are already driving a number of changes in construction – for example in the education and residential housing sectors (across the world). Quite often faster, smarter and greener, modular construction is enabled by new technology and procurement models, prefabricating structural elements offsite, which are then transported to site and installed into position.

The modular construction delivery method emphasises project effectiveness. It aims to identify and adopt the most effective approach to deliver a project with minimised resource use, exploitation and damage to the environment, and maximised quality of work, health and safety together with assurance of delivery.

The modular construction mindset includes design for manufacture and assembly, offsite manufacture; logistics, onsite assembly and designed for maintenance.

Ultimately, Hong Kong’s rail infrastructure in the future needs to be safe, highly accessible and easily maintainable. In relation to this, there are many roles for technology. Whether it is designing new rail lines more effectively, providing real-time information to passengers, assisting train driver decision-making with signalling, or alerting maintenance crews about required operational works, new technologies can make a difference.

Examples of new technology, innovation and digitisation in railway development and operation include: Internet of things; digital communications; cloud based platforms; 5G; condition monitoring; fault inspection technology; cabin based ATMs; high speed technology, driverless technology; AI and machine learning; battery technologies; mobilibity as a service; contactless ticketing; sensors, adaptive monitoring; hydrogen energy; positive train control; automated train protection; smartphones and apps; rail crossing safety technology and capacity and passenger measurement.


If decarbonisation is the ticket to destination net zero, then rail transport networks are the pass to reducing and removing carbon dioxide output. This places the rail sector in harmony with communities that are becoming more conscious of the impact of infrastructure construction and operations on the environment. Everything from noise levels of trains or public address systems, settlement and damage to surrounding structures, construction

disturbances to the environment, and the sustainability of ongoing operations, is becoming more prevalent in a passenger’s mind.

In this context, train station construction, rail line construction, and the operation of railways are becoming more eco-friendly and energy efficient to reduce environmental impacts and carbon emissions.

While rail is generally considered an energy-efficient form of transport (as a majority of the networks are electrified), there is still significant potential for the industry to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. The scale of the decarbonisation challenge demands a step change in both the breadth and scale of ambition, and the rail sector has a duty to act quickly and decisively to journey towards carbon neutrality.

One opportunity is to bring forward sector-wide collaboration and policies with a plan that anchors the role of railways in decarbonisation. Projects by the Government of Hong Kong, such as Lantau Tomorrow Vision, will connect people and places in a sustainable and eco-friendly way. This 1,700-hectare reclamation project meets housing and economic needs, while also enhancing connections between new town areas and the New Territories in Hong Kong. The Northern Metropolis, mentioned earlier, also has a very high conservation value. Diverse wetlands, fauna habitats and fishponds form part of the land regeneration that this project twists and weaves through.


Engineers and planners have a contribution to make to the future of rail infrastructure in Hong Kong through a multidisciplinary mindset. This helps to bring together different ideas and design considerations from different engineering discipline perspectives to ultimately achieve optimal design solutions.

Large-scale rail infrastructure projects always require close coordination across different engineering disciplines, and collaboration with construction contractors, clients and local communities. With their multidisciplinary mindsets, engineers and planners can leverage their comprehensive capabilities and experiences from one project to the next, incorporating lessons learned into the next project to further enhance the connectivity of Hong Kong’s rail network.

These skills are invaluable in helping to create a sustainable, data-driven and connected rail network, an environment that encourages public transport use, and the shaping of sustainable new town developments for Hong Kong’s future. R


Aurecon Makes Geotechnical Hire in Singapore

International design, engineering and advisory company Aurecon has appointed Marcus Tong as its new Technical Director, Geotechnical for Singapore to deepen its expertise in underground engineering.

Eighth Edition Malaysia Rail

The eighth edition of the Malaysia Rail conference will take place from 26 to 27 September at the Le Méridien hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Highlights include the National Transport Policy 2019–2023 Malaysia, Indonesia National Railways Master plan –2023, an Update on MRT 3 Circle Line and the Malaysia–Singapore rail link project.

Alstom’s Chinese JV to supply Nanjing Metro Line 6

Alstom’s Chinese joint venture, Shanghai Alstom Transport Electrical Equipment Co. Ltd. (SATEE), has been awarded a new contract by Nanjing metro and CRRC Puzhen to provide the state-of-the-art train traction and auxiliary system for 258 metro cars that will run on Nanjing Metro Line 6 in Jiangsu province, China. Line 6 is 32 kilometres long and has 19 stations.

Alstom Appoints China Cluster Managing Director

On 1 September, Alstom has appointed Ming Geng as China Cluster Managing Director. Based in Beijing, China, Ming will be responsible for the execution of the Alstom in Motion strategy in China, as well as the cluster’s commercial and operational performance.

September 2022 9 VIEWPOINT
Ray Chan is Director of Operations for Greater China at Aurecon
BUSINESS PROFILE 10 September 2022

Truly Sustainable Floor Coverings

From how they are made, to how they perform, Forbo Flooring Systems make truly sustainable floor coverings that are good for people, their application and the environment

Ever since Forbo began making floor coverings, starting with linoleum more than 100 years ago, the company has been committed to creating better environments in all the spaces in which people, work, live, travel, relax, learn and play. Today, with a vastly increased range of product choices, it remains every bit as passionate about sustainable floor coverings.

At the forefront of sustainable entrepreneurship for over three decades, Forbo was the first in using Environmental Product Declarations (EPD’s). This remains a transparent way to calculate the environmental impact of its raw materials and processes, as well as the products lifecycle.

When it comes to product design and production, Forbo follows the 4R principle of `Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Renew` for all its collections. The design process is central to reducing raw material requirements, reusing factory waste, recycling old products and employing renewable raw material. Following green design principles means working with circular economy principles in mind as well. Furthermore, 100 per cent of the electricity Forbo buys for all of its production sites, comes from renewable sources.


Marmoleum FR2 and Marmoleum Striato FR are linoleum floor coverings made from natural materials. Floor coverings associated with sustainability, durability, high quality and innovative design. Created using a high percentage of natural raw materials, with renewable and recycled content, offering a sustainable solution to rail interior design.

Both have been independently confirmed as a CO₂ neutral floor coverings in the cradle to gate phase of the product’s life cycle, without the need for offsetting. In simple terms, the CO₂ produced in the extraction, transportation and manufacturing process of Marmoleum FR2 / Striato FR is balanced by the removal of CO₂ through the growing of its natural ingredients such as flax, jute

September 2022 11 BUSINESS PROFILE

Marmoleum FR2 is also naturally bacteriostatic, meaning it actively prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. In fact, it has been independently proven to supress the spread and growth of numerous infections, including MRSA, Norovirus and C Difficile. This protection is active from the point of installation and will not diminish in quality over time.

What’s more, it is a floor covering solution that is easy to clean and maintain as well as durable, safe and comfortable for both wheeled and foot traffic. Awarded the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of Approval as, with the correct cleaning and maintenance regime, it won't harbour dust mites, contributing to a better indoor environment for all.

All Marmoleum FR2 floor coverings include Topshield pro, a double layer, UV cured finish that is scratch, and scuff resistant, easy to maintain and ensures long lasting appearance retention. Our Topshield pro finish features a two-layer system that can be repaired or refreshed in cases of damage or after many years of use. Because the floor lasts for so long and is so easy to clean, Marmoleum FR2 has a low cost of ownership.


Thanks to its unique construction, Flotex FR is one of the world’s most hygienic textile floor coverings available on the market. A flocked floor covering that combines the cleaning properties and durability of a resilient with the comfort, slip resistance and acoustic properties usually associated with textiles. In addition, it is a textile floor covering that can be digitally printed, allowing for great design freedom.

Containing over 70 million upright fibres per square metre, Flotex FR is exceptional at capturing fine dust particles and allergens in the air, significantly improving the air quality within rail vehicles. Vacuuming Flotex FR removes twice as many allergens than from conventional carpet due to its design allowing it to be cleaned down to the base of the pile. This is why Flotex is the only textile floor covering to receive the Allergy UK Seal of Approval.

Flotex FR floor coverings are waterproof and washable with many different cleaning products. Importantly, it is fast drying, maximising the efficiency of the cleaning process. When tested against six other

carpet constructions, Flotex FR far outperformed its competition, having only 0.57 per cent moisture remaining two hours following cleaning.


Stopping up to 95 per cent of walked in dirt and moisture, effective entrance floor coverings can prolong the life of your rail vehicle interior floor coverings and finishes, as well as greatly reducing cleaning costs and the risk of slipping. With almost 50 years of experience Coral FR offers you the best entrance flooring solutions for your entrance areas on board rail vehicles.

As an alternative to fully adhering the floor covering to the subfloor, Coral FR can also be supplied with alternative backing types for quicker and easier installation and replacement.

Coral Brush FR, Coral Duo FR and Coral Welcome FR entrance floors all use Econyl® yarn which is made from used and abandoned fishing nets. Using Econyl® is a way to reduce existing waste, avoid additional manufacturing-related pollution, and keep the consumption of natural resources and energy to a minimum.

All the waste yarn from the Coral FR production is re-used by the yarn supplier and virtually zero landfill is achieved by the manufacturing plant. R

Tel: +44 (0)1773 744121

Email: transport@forbo.com

Visit: www.forbo-flooring.com/rail

12 September 2022
September 2022 13

Dormer Pramet Releases Railway Solutions Catalogue

Dormer Pramet is focused on providing a wide assortment of products to support numerous rail manufacturing and maintenance operations

With more than 100 years of experience in the cutting tool industry, the company has been actively developing products for the railway segment for several decades, constantly innovating to meet customer needs.

As a recognized supplier of tools for machining wheels, axles, switches, rails and wagon parts, Dormer Pramet has released a new catalogue to showcase its expertise in the railway industry.

Along with traditional machining practices for turning new wheels and maintaining various parts, a series of indexable inserts for dynamic rail milling is offered – for maintenance work carried out quite literally on the rails. The new and comprehensive 570-page catalogue, entitled ‘Railway Industry Solutions’, is available as a PDF and contains more than just product recommendations. Along with detailed railway know-how and technical data, the publication brings together support information on the selection of tools, their

usage recommendations and tips that will help the user increase productivity, performance and reliability.

A key element is the detailed product pages, where various aspects of the available cutting tools can be reviewed. As with the company’s general catalogues, the rail publication is organised into four application sections of turning, milling, holemaking and threading.

Additionally, it gives in-depth technical information on grades, wear, materials, and rail profiles. Visit the railway section on the website for more details and to download the catalogue.



The railway industry requires a variety of different components which are machined in many ways. Having the right cutting tools is paramount. The manufacturer offers numerous standard and tailor-made turning tools for machining railway wheels and axles, as well as milling and holemaking

products for rails, turnouts, base plates and wagon parts.

With the many different workpiece materials and component sizes requiring several machining operations, this program of diverse cutting tools demonstrates Dormer Pramet’s commitment to the railway segment, with further additions planned in the coming years. In its ‘Assortment Highlights’ section, for example, the catalogue introduces key areas of rail application. This includes:

ɋ Machining new wheels.

ɋ Machining of axles.

ɋ Re-turning of wheels.

ɋ Dynamic rail milling.

ɋ Switches.

ɋ Wagon parts.


The company offers a comprehensive range of round inserts in sizes RCMX 16, 20, 25, 30 and 32 with chipbreakers suitable for roughing to finishing of forged train and locomotive wheels. These are available in

BUSINESS PROFILE 14 September 2022
A variety of applications

high performance CVD grades for materials P10 to P35 and are suitable for hard and soft wheel machining using high feeds and speeds. Besides the standard tools, special tools are also offered for inserts and holders.


The global manufacturer has a wide-ranging standard assortment of roughing and finishing turning tools available. Large, negative inserts with chipbreakers are suitable for high material removal where rigidity of inserts is vital. Conversely, smaller positive inserts with sharp geometry are used for achieving a fine surface quality. Among the standard assortment of solid drills, indexable drills, Hydra drills and taps, special tailor-made variants can also be considered.


For wheel re-turning, holders for Hegenscheidt, Rafamet and other machine tools are equipped with exchangeable cartridges with protective cemented carbide shims. Dormer Pramet‘s insert geometries and grades meet the needs of a broad spectrum of customer applications. Inserts LNMX 19, LNMX 30, SNMX 19 and CNMX 19 with chipbreakers RR and RM, ensure high material removal, whereas RF and TF produce a perfect surface finish.

Inserts LNMX 30, LNMT 31 and TNMN are suitable for very high material removal rates with maximum depth of cut up to 15mm. ROEX 15 and RNGX 12 inserts for the renovation of wheels by milling complete the offer.


With their all-in-one space and money saving design for machining of rails, the company’s dynamic rail milling cutters consist of a universal basic body for left and right spindles and easily interchangeable cartridges, each containing eleven indexable inserts.

Cutters are available in diameters 290

mm, 600 mm and 900 mm. Cutting profile is defined by the cartridges and indexable inserts and can be used for machining of rail profiles 60E1, 60E2, 54E5, 54E1, 46E3 and others upon request.

High reliability of the cutting process is ensured by the use of rigid tangential inserts with eight and four cutting edges, along with a PVD grade which has a durability of up to 3.5 kilometres per cutting edge.


Dormer Pramet can satisfy the needs to machine switches made of any material. Their experience in switch assembly machining can be demonstrated by one simple statement: During their long history, the global manufacturer has produced and delivered more than 400 types of cutters for machining of the rail head, web, base and grooves of most common rail profiles, such as 60E1, 60E2, 54E1 and others.

Their cutters are developed with maximum productivity in mind, as well as maximum operational reliability. Therefore, most of the cutters are designed with tangential inserts that are also very economical due to the high number of cutting edges.

The company also offer a variety of very productive standard cutting tools, such as Penta HD face milling cutters or the Hydra high-performance replaceable head drills.


Finally, a wide range of standard and special tools for machining a large variety of wagon parts can be found within their rail offer. This supports production of carriage bodies, side frames, bolsters, bearing houses and couplings.

Applications include face milling, square shoulder milling, high-feed milling, indexable and solid round tools holemaking and many more applications are catered for. An example of the company’s capabilities in the wagon production segment is the comprehensive tailor-made range of

technology offered for the machining of couplers.

The launch of Dormer Pramet’s new railway catalogue and the depth of its content, outlines the company’s expertise within the industry. With so many different rail applications possible with its cutting tools offer, every manufacturing and maintenance need is covered, along with the technical support to get the job done.


Dormer Pramet is a global manufacturer and supplier of tools for the metal cutting industry. Its comprehensive product program encompasses both rotary and indexable drilling, milling, threading and turning tools for use in a wide variety of production environments. An extensive sales and technical support service operate from 20 offices, serving more than 100 markets worldwide. These are assisted by dedicated production facilities in Europe, Americas and Asia, along with a highly developed distribution and logistics network. R

Dormer Pramet Ltd.

4 Lindrick Way, Barlborough, Derbyshire, S43 4XE, UK

Tel:  0044 1246 571300

Email:  info.int@dormerpramet.com

Dormer Pramet Ltd.

Uničovská 2, 787 53 Šumperk, Czech Republic

Tel:  00420 583 381 520

Email:  info.int.cz@dormerpramet.com

Visit: dormerpramet.com

LinkedIn: Dormer Pramet

Twitter: @DormerPramet

Facebook: Dormer Pramet Social

YouTube: Dormer Pramet

Instagram: Dormer Pramet Social

September 2022 15 BUSINESS PROFILE
Universal cutter body with multiple interchangeable cartridges Production of new train wheels


Keeping Our Track Workers Safe

Dr Stephen Fletcher shares some work and initiatives with UK track maintenance organisations focused on developing safer working behaviours and safety culture

The OPC has worked in the rail industry for over 30 years, both in the UK and internationally. Their Psychologists and Assessors have successfully worked alongside rail operators, employees, with track rail engineering agencies, UK Network Rail and other engineering operators.

Saying that maintaining vast networks of track and other associated assets is a huge undertaking is an understatement. It can include planned maintenance work and checks; unplanned repair and replacement work, removal of debris or objects; repairs in tunnels or embankment ‘gardening’! Employees doing track and engineering work are a special breed of person. They

operate in a dangerous environment every day, facing many risks. It’s therefore crucial that they have the right skills and personality traits to help make them safe and effective workers. If mistakes and errors occur then the impact can be enormous and potentially fatal.

Ensuring track worker safety is of ‘significant concern’ for the rail industry, internationally. The OPC’s work over the years to enhance and improve track worker safety, includes, but isn’t limited to; organisational safety culture work; developing safe working behaviours in track workers and applying motivational techniques to encourage personal safety accountability. They also undertake Post

Incident Assessments (PIAs) with track workers involved in safety incidents to help improve their personal safety as well as feed into operators’ continuous safety improvement programmes.

The UK is not alone in expressing a ‘significant concern’ over track worker safety. In 2022, the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), with oversight of rail safety across Australia, further re-emphasised the importance of track worker safety. Some safety concerns they’ve raised and suggested initiatives to help improve track worker safety are similarly covered in this article from the OPC too.

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OPC Psychologists believe there are some important Non-Technical Skills (NTS) that help make safe and effective track workers, and also help contribute to the prevention of errors or incidents:

ɋ Risk anticipation and time patience are essential NTS when working in a safety critical environment in any role, but especially for track workers.

ɋ It’s important that track workers are actively vigilant for safety hazards, warning signs, or changing events that could negatively impact on theirs, or other team members safety.

ɋ Safe and effective track workers need an ability to understand and reason with basic written rules, regulations and procedures. Strict compliance with safe working rules, behaviours and procedures regardless of role, functional activity or seniority is imperative to all track workers’ safety.

ɋ An individual who displays the key attributes of checking, conscientiousness and rule motivation means jobs are completed to a high standard and safety incidents are more likely to be avoided.

These NTS were identified through indepth analysis of the UK Track Worker role undertaken by the OPC which also included a leading research project commissioned by the UK Health and Safety Executive HSE. Additionally, some of these NTS have also been validated through competency identification work done by the OPC alongside an Australian track and maintenance organisation for some of their track worker roles.


The aforementioned NTS can be put to good use as part of a recruitment process for track workers. OPC Assessment has a wide range of assessment tools that are valuable for identifying the key abilities and NTS when recruiting for many safetycritical roles. Some of these include: The Risk and Time Focus Questionnaire (RTQ) that helps profile a candidate’s behaviours and attitudes towards risk anticipation, risk management and time focus. The Safe Concentration and Attention Test (SCAAT) is a world leading safety test used on the railway assessing for concentration. The Rules Acquisition Aptitude Test (RAAT) can help assess an individual’s capacity to learn key rules and procedures in training and stick to them when on the job. Additionally, the Safe Personality Questionnaire (SAFEPQ) assesses for four personality factors; Cautiousness, Conscientiousness, Resilience and Rules Focus that are linked to safe behaviours in the rail industry.

Some of these tools have been statistically linked with training and job performance in UK track workers. So, there is evidence showing that these assessment tools can

help identify, at recruitment those track workers who are more likely to perform better in training and be safer on the job.


A Rail Protection Officer’s role (PO) in Australia includes implementing appropriate levels of worksite protection and safety procedures and policies that help to keep rail and track workers safe; manage traffic on worksites within the rail corridor and ensure safe interactions. Their role is defined by the number of safe working rules they’ve been trained to implement. Utilising psychometric assessment tools can help ensure that those in PO roles have appropriate personal safety attributes and can give an understanding of a candidates’ approach to safety. Following on from psychometric tool use, training that actually ensures graduates are competent is a critical part of the process.

Fiona Love, General Manager Workforce Development at the Australian Railway Association added: ‘This competence requires the demonstration of NTS in the way a PO plans, implements and closes out work. It also means displaying safety leadership that doesn’t allow for short cuts or the return of track to operational usage under pressure, before assurance has been completed.’

Some development initiatives that can help enhance the safety performance of track workers include running development programmes for specialist UK track worker roles. OPC Psychologists were approached by a UK rail maintenance company who’d been involved in a train derailment in the South of England.

Planned maintenance work had been undertaken and the Trackback Assessor (TA) handed the track back, being confident in the quality of the completed work. Approximately nine hours later a train derailed. The company undertook a wide scale investigation and human factors was considered as a key development area for

its TAs. TAs ensure the safe return of track at the right time, and at the right speed. However, the nature of their role can be high pressured with other rail personnel waiting for track to be handed back so that normal rail services can resume.

Alongside the organisation, OPC Psychologists designed a one-day workshop that explored the NTS and human factors of TAs to help improve their safety performance. To improve selfawareness each TA completed the SAFEPQ that assesses for four key personalityorientated NTS. Using feedback from an OPC psychologist on their SAFEPQ results, they prepared a safety performance improvements development plan for implementation back at work. Hundreds of TAs took part in the programme that lasted for over four years.

The OPC team also undertook statistical analysis of the TA’s SAFEPQ assessment scores and gathered feedback on each TAs safety performance from their line manager. The analysis evidenced, that over time the TAs demonstrated an improvement in their safety personality. Additionally, the SAFEPQ results also showed a strong link to a TA’s on-the-job safety performance as measured by their line managers. Therefore, the OPC believes that personalised development plan interventions using NTS and human factors can help to improve the safety of track workers.


OPC Psychologists have been using the Post Incident Assessment (PIA) process for many years with rail employees who may have been wholly or partially responsible for safety incidents. More recently the OPC has undertaken PIAs with track workers involved in safety of the line incidents (SOL) with very positive results. A PIA can help uncover NTS shortfalls that may have led to a safety incident. They also help employees to learn, develop or improve these NTS, thus helping to avoid future safety incidents.

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In a PIA undertaken by the OPC, two engineers were asked to set up possession boards and detonators for an unfamiliar piece of track, for work to be completed by another team. A number of safety issues resulted in them working on a live rail and on ‘open lines’.

Some of the safety issues that contributed to the ‘near hit’ were:

ɋ Altered working arrangements. An additional unplanned piece of work was added to their already demanding schedule, with no additional time allocation. There was no recognition of this as an additional risk.

ɋ Insufficient safety briefing communications prior to the job(s).

ɋ As contractors, the track workers felt unable to challenge the additional job – putting their safety in jeopardy. They reported concern that they wouldn’t be called on for more work in the future.

ɋ Undue pressure of the job. It was a long, 30-minute walk to the possession, carrying heavy equipment to a complicated stretch of track and points that was unknown to them.

ɋ Numerous ‘chasing’ phone calls from the PICOP (Person in Charge of the Possession) to the track worker in charge of site safety to check if the work had been completed. During the PIA the track worker reported feeling ‘hassled’, tired and under pressure.

ɋ Insufficient paperwork checking by the track workers for the location and line direction of the possession board and detonator set up.


Some safety culture learnings from this PIA included:

ɋ Effective planning, knowledge and prioritisation.

ɋ Undue pressure to complete work.

ɋ Creating an open safety culture.


It’s important that any work we’re asking track workers to do – whether employees or contractors is fundamentally and primarily safe and then productive. There appeared to be a lack of comprehension of the risk implications of adding another task during the same time allocation.

Foreknowledge of the requirements to complete a job as well as effective communication briefings and site information are crucial. We must ensure adequate safety briefing time and methods, without cutting corners to save costs or productivity.


In this PIA, both employees reported feeling under extreme pressure to complete the work, driven by numerous phone calls from the PICOP. This ‘chasing’ may have contributed to a poor level of attention

to detail and checking for the detonator placement and the overall task not being double-checked before moving onto the next job.


We need organisational cultures where employees feel able to challenge decisions when they feel at risk or unsafe. Organisations can encourage challenge by affirming that employees can question things, and that when they do ‘push back’ on a safety issue, to celebrate the fact. It’s also crucial that track workers of any seniority can say that work is unsafe and that it should stop immediately. Any inequality of safety prioritisation between employees and contractors or sub-contractors should be avoided and ‘whistleblowing’ should be seen as a positive in an open safety culture.


Good safety leadership has managers prioritise staffs’ safety over productivity. In the OPC’s experience, a really effective safety leader is one who cares about their staff’s wellbeing, who sees themselves as a ‘servant-leader’ ensuring employees’ protection and safety. Servant leaders are more likely to have faciliatory and cooperative approach – responding quickly and delivering employees’ safety needs and requests.


Another initiative that the OPC have used alongside a UK rail maintenance contractor to help improve track worker safety was the Group Decision Technique (GDT). The track organisation was concerned about the frequency of safety incidents amongst track workers in one of their depots. GDT is a simple and relatively unknown, untapped technique that can help increase the safety motivation of workers and their associated team managers. It’s been used in both Japan and Sweden to help improve safety performance of bus drivers and telecom drivers respectively, with really positive results.

The GDT programme included joint safety discussions between managers and groups of track workers where they debated safety issues over the course of a year. At monthly sessions, Trackworkers were encouraged to share initiatives or ideas that could be done to help improve safety. Many ideas were basic but very important, e.g., ensuring readily available supplies of PPE or a well-stocked materials/ products store of essential maintenance equipment. Managers worked on resolving the track workers ‘Safety Actions’ list and at following sessions, they’d provide responses to the requests e.g., ‘Solved’, ‘In Progress’, ‘Referred up the chain’ or ‘Unachievable’. Many actions were resolved to the satisfaction and sometimes the surprise of the track workers, helping create a local and

strong safety culture.

Once this new, stronger safety culture had been established, the track workers were also involved by making safety improvement commitments detailing their safety improvement action. A small ‘pledge card’ was signed and placed somewhere where it could be seen on a daily basis, helping to create an individual commitment and responsibility to safer track working. The impact of the GDT initiative was that safety was given an elevated status. Employees felt listened to and their safety requests acted upon. Team feedback indicated a positive improvement in attitudes towards personal safety with really positive comments about organisational safety culture changes.

More importantly, safety incidents declined too. The depot reported a 40 per cent reduction in safety incidents over two years vs a 50 per cent increase in incidents at a local ‘control’ depot where GDT had not been trialled. Following this successful GDT initiative, OPC Psychologists were asked to implement GDT in other depots across the UK for the same operator and for other rail organisations. Given its successful application and impact on safety performance, there is certainly an opportunity for GDT to be applied more universally across the industry.

Fiona Love said: ‘Track worker safety is of critical importance. In my experience of designing and reviewing PO and track worker training over many years, in broad terms, incidents are more likely to be reduced and work completed to appropriate safety standards when workers have the necessary attributes and competencies to undertake their work confidently and safely. A wide range of evidence, including well validated psychometric tools, are important contributions in helping to improve track worker safety.’

Dr Stephen Fletcher, Director and Occupational psychologist concluded: ‘With the continued and recent focus of attention from the ONRSR (The Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator in Australia) into track worker safety, we need to apply more of our skills and expertise into helping improve track worker safety and safety culture improvements in our track organisations. There are lots of initiatives that can help bring positive safety benefits – using psychometrics at recruitment and for development; implementing training and development around NTS; learnings from PIAs after safety incidents; better understanding and stronger adherence to rules, policies and procedures along with safety culture initiatives, such as GDT, that can help protect the lives of track workers.’

Dr Stephen Fletcher is Director and Occupational Psychologist at the OPC.

Tel: +44 (0)1923 234646

Email: admin@theopc.co.uk

Visit: www.theopc.co.uk

FEATURE 18 September 2022
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