Rail Professional November 2021 Issue 277

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NOVEMBER 2021 ISSUE 277 £7.95



The successful opening of the Northern Line extension to Battersea Power Station is testament to the growing capabilities of digital design Training Prioritising training for mental health

Forensic Support Intelligence at the heart of security

Consulting Crossrail systemwide contractor ATC reaches for new heights with the help of Bilco UK

Image Credit: BRENDAN BELL

New depths for digital design

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NOVEMBER 2021 ISSUE 277 £7.95



The successful opening of the Northern Line extension to Battersea Power Station is testament to the growing capabilities of digital design Training Prioritising training for mental health

Forensic Support Intelligence at the heart of security

Image Credit: BRENDAN BELL

New depths for digital design

editor’s note

Consulting Crossrail systemwide contractor ATC reaches for new heights with the help of Bilco UK

PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LTD Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Telephone: +44 (0)1268 711811 EDITORIAL EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE editor@railpro.co.uk COVER IMAGE Brendan Bell DISPLAY ADVERTISING ADAM OVERALL DEAN SALISBURY JAMIE TREGARTHEN sales@railpro.co.uk RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING recruitment@railpro.co.uk SUBSCRIPTIONS subscriptions@railpro.co.uk ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT info@railpro.co.uk LISA ETHERINGTON admin@railpro.co.uk DESIGN & PRODUCTION NICK FOGDEN ALISHA GENT REBECCA GOLDBERG production@railpro.co.uk

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s I sat down to write my inbox suddenly became inundated with official responses to the government’s Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener strategy document which was released just a week or so before the start of COP26. The 368-page report features the word ‘rail’ 55 times and the word ‘transport’ 259 times – we know that our sector will be essential to achieving the required reduction in carbon emissions and the response to the strategy document reflect that. Andy Bagnall, Director General at the Rail Delivery Group, said: ‘To realise the Net Zero ambition, government needs to commit to a long term programme of investment, to decarbonise today’s railway and build the railways of tomorrow, as well as using policy levers to make travelling by clean, green trains more attractive compared to going by car or plane.’ Whilst David Clarke, Technical Director at the Railway Industry Association said: ‘Although we welcome these positive plans, action is needed now if we are to reach Net Zero on our railways by 2050. As ORR statistics recently showed, we are electrifying at less than half the rate required to meet the 2050 target, and the UK is still yet to see any significant new electrification projects or major fleet orders of low carbon battery and hydrogen rolling stock.’ I look forward to summarising COP26 in next month’s issue and would welcome anyone looking to contribute a rail-centric analysis of the conference. Sticking with this month’s issue, we have a bumper set of interviews: I spoke to John Halsall of Network Rail about health and wellbeing, Dr Stephen Fletcher of the OPC about safety critical roles and psychometric testing and Andy Knight, Managing Director of Signet Solutions about the skills gap in the rail industry. That focus on training can be found in several of our features this month, City & Guilds and Intertrain’s Alex Pond describes the Small Plant blended learning programme whilst Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Railway Operations, Jonathan Scott recounts his experience of the CIRO MBA which he recently completed. We also have a few different pieces that explore the mental health element of training, Steve Broom of Dyer & Butler explains the importance of mental health support and training and Charlotte Kahn describes how yoga can support your health and wellbeing. The cover photo this issue is of Battersea Power Station and our main consulting feature tells the story of the £1.2 billion extension of the London Underground’s Northern Line. We also have consulting features from Frazer-Nash’s Chris Ward and Bilco UK.

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8 News

30 Viewpoint

Stadler and Houghton International to deliver fleet renewal maintenance program for Tyne & Wear Metro, Delivery of HS2’s next phase to Crewe gathers pace as Phase 2a Design and Delivery Partner shortlisted, Inside track on power for railways, Adaptable Mechan jacks aid rail services in south, Railway Benefit Fund’s Christmas Shop is now open!, User Insight report reveals importance of reliable and efficient transport for the North’s businesses, Zonegreen leads safety drive in Scottish depots, Heritage fleet sale

Health and wellbeing is now recognised in the rail industry more than ever as being important to the successful operation of a company, but what are ‘Health and Wellbeing Conversations’ in the context of the railway industry? Liam Johnston explains

12 Rail Professional Interview Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Dr Stephen Fletcher, Director and Occupational Psychologist at the Occupational Psychology Centre (OPC) and OPC Assessment about safety culture in the industry, safety critical roles and psychometric testing

17 The Cheek of it

33 Prior Knowledge Lucy Prior spoke to Martin Gleadow, Head of IT and Technical Innovation at 3Squrared about the Digital Railway

36 Viewpoint The RSSB on work-related violence

38 Rail Professional Interview

Chris Cheek reflects on the new Shapps-Williams plan to reorganise the railways

Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to John Halsall Managing Director of Network Rail Southern Region about his work on Denmark Hill, workforce health and wellbeing and the industry’s future collaboration with Great British Railways

21 Laying down the law

41 Consulting

When the employee benefits are not met by the underlying insurance policy who takes responsibility for the shortfall?

25 Women in Rail Adeline Ginn MBE, Founder of Women in Rail and Legal and Marketing Director and Head of EDI at CPMS – Egis on the EDI Charter and the EDI Working Group


The successful opening of the Northern Line extension to Battersea Power Station is testament to the growing capabilities of digital design, writes Justin Phillips, Director at Buro Happold

45 Consulting Frazer-Nash’s Chris Ward discusses a novel technology that could help the rail sector address its air quality challenges

27 Delivering the goods

49 Consulting

Mags Simpson, Head of Policy Engagement at Logistics UK, believes it is time for rail freight to take the spotlight

Crossrail systemwide contractor ATC reaches for new heights with the help of Bilco UK

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to connect with decision-makers, clients, and each other.

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Learn more about RIA and its Members WWW.RIAGB.ORG.UK/MYRIASTORY

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52 Rail Professional Interview

79 Forensic Support

Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Andy Knight, Managing Director of Signet Solutions about his experiences as a Signalling Engineer, the skills gap in the rail industry and how Signet Solutions hopes to rectify this

Rachael Oakley, Director of CIAP at the SmartWater Group explains how the National Intelligence Portal is helping fight crime across the country

55 Training


82 Carbon Neutrality

Alex Pond, Managing Director of Intertrain describes the Small Plant blended learning programme being offered by Kineo and Intertrain

With net zero on the horizon, UK construction needs to move towards intelligent design that helps build public infrastructure truly fit for a low-carbon future

58 Training

85 Sustainability

Davie Carns, Managing Director of National Infrastructure Solutions explains why a flexible and sustainable approach will help address the skills gap

Neil Cross, National Sales Manager for Anderton Concrete, explores how new technologies are supporting the rail industry in achieving safe and secure railways with extended longevity and durability through the installation of resilient solutions that also support net zero ambitions

61 Training Charlotte Kahn, owner of yoga business Maida Yoga, describes how yoga is helping support the health and wellbeing of employees in the railway industry including VolkerRail, Arriva Rail London, and Avanti West Coast

89 Infrastructure Andrew Cullis risk analyst at risk management consultancy, Equib explains how the toolkit will help to keep project risk on track

64 Training

90 Event

Barry Brown, Railway Mission Trustee for People issues, describes how Railway Chaplains are trained

The Institution of Railway Operators was awarded Chartered status on 1 October 2021

67 Training

92 Business Profiles

Steve Broom, Director of Health, Safety, Quality and the Environment (HSQE) for Dyer & Butler explains the importance of mental health support and training

Forbo Flooring, West Services, Relec Electronics

71 Training Having witnessed one of the worst train crashes in British history, Paul Martin was motivated to ensure that Signal Engineers would be trained so that this would never happen again

98 People Steve White, Nick Paul CBE, Mike Ball, Helen Smith, James Holmes, Munir Patel, Andrew Went, Tim Flower, Ben Higgens, Sam Pardoe, Cllr Richard Wenham, Christine Fernandes, Shona Clive, Jérôme Wallut, Mayank Tripathi, Olivier Bressard

75 Training Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Railway Operations, Jonathan Scott recounts his experience of the CIRO MBA which he recently completed

Rail Professional



News in brief Inverness Airport Station build is underway Work is now underway to create the new Inverness Airport station with the start of construction of the platforms at Dalcross. The plans for the new £14 million facility will see the construction of a two-platform station on the Aberdeen-Inverness line with step-free access, via a footbridge with lifts, on the site adjacent to Inverness airport. The station will have 64 car parking spaces with 10 electric charging facilities, four disabled spaces and cycle parking. There will be a new access road to the station for motorists and access to both platforms for pedestrians and cyclists. Rail electrification programme given the go-ahead Construction work is expected to get underway on the £63 million Barrhead corridor in April 2022 and due to be complete by December 2023. It will support passenger and freight services and will be used as a key diversionary route for cross-border services. The scheme has been developed by Transport Scotland and Network Rail and will pass through East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire to the south of Glasgow.

Stadler and Houghton International to deliver fleet renewal maintenance program for Tyne & Wear Metro

Swiss train manufacturer Stadler has signed a contract with electro mechanical repair specialist Houghton International to extend maintenance support for the Tyne and Wear Metro until October 2023. Houghton International will work with Stadler to deliver an accelerated maintenance plan, increasing contracted volumes to extend the life of the current fleet of trains until the transition to a new fleet of trains from 2023. The scope of the agreement covers both planned maintenance and emergency repairs and encompasses assets including traction motors, motor alternator sets and compressor motors. The renewal of the maintenance contract follows the announcement that Stadler will be providing Nexus Metro with a complete fleet renewal and brand-new depot by 2025. Stadler assumed responsibility from Nexus for servicing and maintenance of the Metro’s fleet in October 2020.

Chris Robson, Sales Director at Houghton International stated: ‘Having worked closely with Nexus and Tyne and Wear Metro for almost 15 years it is great to start a new journey with Stadler and continue to support the existing vehicles until their end of life. ‘It is satisfying to know that Stadler will continue to trust Houghton International to support the ongoing maintenance of traction motors, as well as other components, as they condense the maintenance programme to coincide with the depot demolition and new depot build. Our expertise in traction motors and other light rail assets means Houghton International is well placed to continue to provide support. ‘We aim to build a strong working relationship with Stadler, both on the existing fleet of vehicles and then supporting the new fleet when it starts to arrive in 2023.’

HS2 apprentice celebrates success at BAME awards Over 500 people attended this year’s BAME Apprentice Network Annual Apprenticeship Awards with HS2 apprentice, Bintou Keita, among those recognised as a rising star in the UK’s BAME apprenticeship community. Bintou, from Kings Norton, Birmingham, joined HS2’s apprentice cohort in in 2019 and studied at the National College for Advanced Transport Infrastructure (NCATI) to complete her apprenticeship standard.

Rail Professional

Delivery of HS2’s next phase to Crewe gathers pace as Phase 2a Design and Delivery Partner shortlisted HS2 Ltd has shortlisted bidders to become the Phase 2a Design and Delivery Partner (DDP) for the new section of Britain’s high speed rail network, connecting the West Midlands and Crewe. The £500 million contract will see the successful bidder partner with HS2 Ltd to lead the design and delivery of the 36-mile Phase 2a route. The role will include management and coordination of key contracts for delivering the railway’s detailed design and

construction, which includes two tunnels, 17 viaducts, 65 bridges, and track along the route. The shortlisted bidders are: • 2 Connect JV – AECOM Limited / Costain Integrated Services Limited • AMS JV – Atkins Limited / Mace Consult Limited / SYSTRA Limited • Jacobs U.K. Limited


News in brief Having successfully completed her apprenticeship this September, Bintou is now a permanent employee in HS2’s project management team. South Wales Metro work to continue in Merthyr Tydfil Transport for Wales (TfW) is continuing to push ahead with transformational plans for the South Wales Metro with work to be undertaken between Merthyr Tydfil and Pontypridd. The three-quarters of a billion-pound transformation of the Core Valley Lines for the Metro has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government, and will enable faster, more frequent services between Cardiff and the heads of the valleys, including Merthyr Tydfil. When installed, the overhead lines will power the new tram-trains, which will reduce journey times between Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff city centre and allow TfW to increase the frequency of services to four every hour. CEMEX provides sprayed concrete for Bank Station Global building materials solutions supplier CEMEX is proud to be supplying more than 50,000 tonnes of sprayed concrete to Dragados on the capacity upgrade at Bank Underground Station in London. Bank is one of the largest underground railway complexes on London’s underground network and is used by 300,000 passengers on a normal day. The two key objectives of the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade project are to increase capacity at the station and minimise journey times. More than 1,200 metres of new tunnels have already been built, including three new escalator barrels.


Inside track on power for railways Rail transport is in the news and in the latest That Engineering Chat podcast, Relec’s John Stone talks about power design for inside and outside rail carriages. In the latest podcast, recorded at the height of the ‘fuel crisis’ in the UK, John Stone reveals the special demanding characteristics of the motorists’ alternative transport – rail. The podcast’s light, conversational style will appeal to both student and experienced engineer who be looking at power design for rail for the first time. John outlines for podcast host, Nicole Piesse Turner and co-host Caroline Hayes the harsh treatment power supplies are expected to endure and the criteria they have to meet to withstand high shock and vibration, wide variations in operating temperatures in a single journey as well as dirt, power surges

and transients. A power designer also has to consider the different battery voltages and operating ranges as well as means to cooling systems in an environment that is not recommended for fans. The conversation turns to look in detail at some of the rail regulations, beginning with EN50155. John breaks down what this covers for rolling stock. Other regulations covered are EN50121-3-2 – EMC requirements for surges, transients and emissions limits, EN45545 for fire and smoke and RIA12, and why it applies to old rolling stock. The podcast is an insight into what is needed in terms of verification and testing for rail power and also moves inside the driver’s cab and carriages, covering power supplies for interior radio, communications, lighting and displays for information systems.

Adaptable Mechan jacks aid rail services in south Rail depot equipment specialist, Mechan, has provided South Western Railway with a flexible way to service rolling stock at two of its key maintenance facilities. The Sheffield-based manufacturer delivered a set of 16 lifting jacks to the Bournemouth and Salisbury Traincare Depots, where they are being used to look after a variety of rail vehicles. Initially, twelve of the jacks have been installed at Bournemouth and four in Salisbury, however, they have all been constructed with an identical moving anvil and castor wheelbase arrangement, enabling them to be switched between sites if needed. Thanks to Mechan’s advanced operating system, they can be daisy chained together in any configuration and controlled as a synchronised set. Lindsey Mills, Mechan’s sales manager, said: ‘We worked closely with South Western Railway to detail the different anvil and base arrangements available on our jacks, allowing them to consider all options and the costs involved and ultimately, specify a system that best suits their needs. Installation and training were undertaken successfully at both depots and our equipment is now facilitating smoother, safer servicing of the numerous train types the client operates.’ South Western Railway provides commuter trains across South West London, suburban and regional services in Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Berkshire and Wiltshire and Island Line services on the

Isle of Wight. Its Salisbury depot maintains diesel vehicles used on the West of England line, whereas Bournemouth caters for both electric and diesel units. For more information about Mechan’s lifting jacks or its wide range of rail depot maintenance equipment, telephone (0114) 257 0563, visit www.mechan.co.uk or follow the firm on Twitter, @mechanuk.

Rail Professional



News in brief Better CCTV will improve security at rail stations across East Anglia A new state-of-the-art CCTV system should help deter thieves and vandals at rail stations across East Anglia and keep all customers and staff safer. Train operator, Greater Anglia, has now completed an upgrade of CCTV systems at every station – moving to a system which will record much highdefinition images, is more reliable and allows for remote viewing stations. Greater Anglia now has over 2,000 CCTV cameras at its stations and over 3,000 on trains, with up to 111 cameras at one station, increasing CCTV coverage to assist in the detection and prevention of crime in the region.

Railway Benefit Fund’s Christmas Shop is now open! Much loved charity the Railway Benefit Fund are delighted to announce that their Christmas Shop is now officially open. There is a selection of rail themed items available this year including cards, stocking fillers and the 2022 Calendar ‘Names & Trains.’ All monies raised from the RBF Christmas Shop will go towards supporting railway people who are in need this Christmas.

Trains featured in this year’s calendar include Tornado, Flying Scotsman and the RBF’s own named pendolino. The calendar is A4 landscape size and costs £7.50. Also featured this year are a few perfect stocking fillers for railway enthusiasts. The Journey of a Railway Signalman book is a fascinating look at the history of railway signalling on Merseyside and in NorthWest England, written by Tony Cook. Also

RBF have two new card designs for sale this year. The first is a bespoke card for RBF, taken by the late photographer Peter Skelton. The image is titled ‘Winter on the Servern Valley Line’ and features a steam train travelling through a stunning snowy scene. The second card is a lovely design featuring Santa boarding the Santa Express. These cards come in packs of TEN and are £4.50 and £4 respectively. The RBF Calendar, kindly sponsored by TES 2000, is back for 2022 and this year features stunning images of named trains, provided by staff at Avanti, Northern, Caledonian Sleeper, Southeastern and more.

available is a tote bag featuring an eyecatching design of the Flying Scotsman. This year RBF have helped over 600 families with direct financial support and aim to give a £40 gift voucher to each child this Christmas. Choose to ‘Give a Gift’ with your online purchase and you can help make wishes come true this Christmas.

14 new Apprentices and three Graduates Join the TransPennine Express team Train operator TransPennine Express (TPE) has welcomed 17 new colleagues within the company in a range of roles – actively expanding their team during challenging times. Based across the North, 14 new apprentices have begun a two-year scheme where they will ‘earn while they learn’ and gain the skills and knowledge required to pursue a career in the rail sector. The apprentices will take up a range of positions across the business, including Major Projects, Service Planning and Human Resources whilst studying for a professional qualification, which will be delivered by The Manchester College. The apprentices will also work towards a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. Alongside the apprentices, three Rail Operative Graduates, Alicja Zdobylak, Hugh Thomas and Sam Gillespie also joined TransPennine Express.

Rail Professional

All RBF Christmas products can be purchased here: www.railwaybenefitfund.org.uk/shop. For assistance with ordering, please call 0345 241 2885. Support the RBF’s Christmas campaign by donating to their JustGiving page: www. justgiving.com/campaign/rbfchristmas

User Insight report reveals importance of reliable and efficient transport for the North’s businesses Transport for the North data shows the challenges and opportunities for the region’s businesses when it comes to employee travel choices, delivery reliability, and decarbonisation. Businesses across the North of England have spoken out on the importance of reliable and efficient transport connections

in a new report, highlighting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on commuting and logistics, their thoughts on the challenges of climate change; and how inefficient road and rail networks are constraining their ambitions. The User Insight Phase 3 report, commissioned by Transport for the North (TfN) and delivered by SYSTRA, reveals


News in brief Network Rail launches Diverse IT competition to showcase careers for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates Network Rail has launched a competition to highlight some of the exciting Information Technology careers available at the organisation, and in the wider rail industry, to young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. The competition challenges young people to use their creative and technical skills to invent something new or innovative. They will be asked to think about how their idea would be used, what its purpose would be, who would use it, how to make it safe and secure, and how technology would bring it to life. Prizes include IT equipment, including brand new Windows 10 laptops, work experience days, and mentoring from IT professionals. One overall winner will be invited to apply with a recommendation for Network Rail’s IT Apprenticeship scheme. No places on the scheme can be guaranteed, but they will receive support from a mentor throughout the application process.

the latest transport-related behaviours and attitudes of Northern businesses, covering key issues such as remote working, demand for deliveries, decarbonisation, and the importance of investing in the region’s infrastructure. It highlights the shifts in travel patterns during the Covid-19 pandemic and the


longer-term impacts; uncovers thoughts on electric vehicles and greening operations; and reveals how a lack of connectivity is creating uncertainty. Read the full report here: https://transportforthenorth.com/ wp-content/uploads/User-Insight_Phase-3_ Sep21-1.pdf

Zonegreen leads safety drive in Scottish depots Rail safety specialist, Sheffield-based Zonegreen, has completed the first in a series of planned depot enhancements for Scottish railway operator, ScotRail. The firm has installed its flagship Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS) at Aberdeen’s Clayhills facility to ensure staff are protected from unauthorised vehicle movements. Working with project managers, CPMS, Zonegreen has replaced the existing lifeexpired depot protection on Clayhill’s single shed road with DPPS, fitting its Network Rail approved derailers to safeguard staff. Workers log onto the system via intuitive road end control panels, which prevent the derailers from being lowered, creating a safe zone in which to work. The project is the first installation since DPPS was independently certified to meet the hardware safety integrity requirements of SIL2. This is a measurement of performance defined by assessing the level of risk reduction the technology provides. Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s Technical Director, said: ‘We first introduced DPPS north of the border at Glasgow’s Polmadie

depot in 2000 and have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Scottish depots ever since. ScotRail’s commitment to improving safety standards across the country is admirable and we are looking forward to implementing its vision. Our flexible system can be adapted to the unique layout of each facility and will be installed whilst they remain operational, minimising disruption.’ By automating safety procedures and removing the margin for human error, DPPS creates a safe working environment for rail depot personnel. It provides audible and visual warnings of train movements, which can be controlled efficiently by staff with higher levels of authorisation from its road end panels. Situated on the Denburn Valley line, just south of Aberdeen station, the Clayhills depot is used by ScotRail to maintain and stable long distance locomotives, including its class 43 high speed trains. For further information about DPPS and Zonegreen’s range of rail depot safety equipment, telephone (0114) 230 0822 or visit www.zonegreen.co.uk

Heritage fleet sale Direct Rail Services (DRS) is selling off heritage locomotives and carriages as it modernises its fleet. The sale will see all the Class 20s, which were DRS’s first engines and have been with the company for over 25 years, sold, as well as a selection of their Class 37s, 57s, and MK2 coaches. There will also be a selection of Class 20, Class 57 and MK2 coach parts available to purchase. This is the first in a series of locomotive sales which will see a further number of the Class 37s and Class 57s up for sale in the future. The items will be offered for sale through an online competitive bidding process. You can find the full list on the website –https://sharedsystems.eu-supply. com/login.asp?B=DRS

Bidders will need to register on the website and use the reference 13740 to download the tender documents. The process will run until midday on Thursday 11 November and marks a new chapter in the company’s rich history as it pushes for lower carbon options and the use of their modern engines. Chris Connelly, NTS Deputy CEO and Rail Director, said: ‘This is an important first step for DRS as we look at our fleet and our plans for the future. The Class 20s are really special engine to us, having been with us from the start, but things move on and a modern, dynamic rail freight operator needs a modern fleet to match our ambitions. This is the first phase and there will be more Class 37s and some 57s offered in the future as we move towards our net carbon zero ambitions.’

Rail Professional




Dr Stephen Fletcher, Director of the Occupational Psychology Centre Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Dr Stephen Fletcher, Director and Occupational Psychologist at the Occupational Psychology Centre (OPC) and OPC Assessment about safety culture in the industry, safety critical roles and psychometric testing You have over thirty years of experience as a psychologist, what inspired the decision to move to occupational and business psychology? Well, I’ve always been interested in what makes people tick and I had a particular interest in business and commerce. Following a good education at a respectable school in Portsmouth, I went on to do my first psychology degree at Manchester Polytechnic followed by a PhD at University College London (UCL). Being an academic didn’t really appeal to me, I much prefer being a practitioner and working directly with challenges and people. Therefore, it seemed a natural choice to work as an Occupational Psychologist. How did the OPC start life? Back in the days of British Rail, Jo Lawrence, my Co-Director at the OPC and OPC Assessment, and I were working for the British Railways Board. We delivered specialist HR work to support the operation of the railways at that time. When the infrastructure was privatised and individual franchisees started to run the passenger rail services, mid 1990s we had the opportunity to set up as a private company and so The Occupational Psychology Centre was formed. We carried over the specialist recruitment, Human Factors and safety critical work that we’d started with the Board and continued to support the individual rail companies as they came into being. From then on the business flourished and we now support UK and international rail companies as well as work with other transport sectors and industries that operate with safetycritical employees. OPC Assessment came into being later, in 2000. We were regularly asked by clients to do Non-Technical Skills (NTS) role profiling i.e., to identify the NTS required for safe and effective performance. Some clients would Rail Professional

then ask us to design bespoke assessment tools to assess these NTS at recruitment. Over time, we found different clients were asking for similar bespoke tools, so rather than develop them uniquely for each, we set up a new business that researched, designed and provided off-the-shelf assessment tools

for use by the rail industry. OPC Assessment is now a leading provider of psychometric tests and exercises in rail. These tools are designed to identify the capabilities of current employees or the potential in job applicants. We also provide trained assessors and a Bureau Service to oversee assessment



Interview testing as part of any sized recruitment process for those organisations that don’t have inhouse expertise.

need abilities such as spatial, abstract or diagrammatic reasoning. The majority of the tools are available for use online.

What does an occupational psychologist actually do? I get asked that question all the time! When I first joined the railways, people used to think my job was to counsel customers when the trains didn’t run on time and they were angry or frustrated! They thought I would say to customers ‘I know your train has been delayed for two hours, I’m really sorry about that – but how are you feeling right now?!!’ I don’t think even my dad knew what I really did. The technical definition is that an occupational psychologist applies psychological knowledge, theories and practice to the world of work. The nontechnical answer is that psychology is all about people – how they behave, what their attitudes are and how they feel. As an occupational and business psychologist I’m passionate about helping safety-critical, and more specifically, rail organisations to understand those attitudes, behaviours and emotions; to harness them, and then to help them maximise their employees’ performance – to be the very best and safest they can be. As part of my role, I support a team of great psychologist at the OPC. I also love to develop new psychometric tools – whether those are for OPC Assessment or whether they are bespoke for a client.

OPC psychologists spend time with organisations and job holders, how do you develop relationships with these companies? At OPC Assessment, quite often we will work with key recruitment managers in either specific Talent Acquisition or Human Resources (HR) teams. At OPC Consultancy, we also work with the HR teams, but we also work with operational specialists, such as operational directors and managers e.g., driver managers, trainers, driving instructors or the HQSE teams. We have a wide network of clients and a healthy balance between those who we’ve worked alongside of for over twenty years and those who are relatively new clients who may come from other sectors with new ideas and approaches. Often, our clients are passionate about the same key safety issues with a long history in the rail industry. However, as with any growing business we like to look at new opportunities and areas of work wherever possible.

What are the different services offered by OPC Consultancy and OPC Assessment? The two business’ run very symbiotically, side by side. At OPC Consultancy we work closely, alongside our UK and International clients to identify challenges; to help them find and implement appropriate and costeffective people strategies and solutions. We offer specialist psychology and HR solutions for gaps in (safety) performance, support with talent acquisition and assist with employee development. We have a special interest in human factors and safety critical role performance, and in why people make mistakes and have safety incidents. OPC Assessment is the sister company of the Occupational Psychology Centre. We have over 60 different assessment tools organised under different series. For example, we have a Safety series of tools, specifically designed to assess for one or more competencies linked to safe performance. Our Station series might be used to support the recruitment or development of ticket office, conductor and/or train despatcher roles. We offer a Customer Service series to help assess and recruit the best customer service skilled staff. There’s also a Core Series that can help to recruit more technical or engineering roles that

How do companies reach out to you, what does the process look like? We are always open to hearing from new contacts about any specialist recruitment, safety critical or psychologist expertise they need support with. As a smaller organisation we are a friendly bunch! We try to be nimble on our feet and accommodate client needs’ as quickly as possible, but still match, or exceed where possible, the technology and expertise of others in our sector. Clients may contact us on any number of different issues. They might need us to manage and oversee large scale assessment pre-screening processes for them. They may approach us about an employee who is having safety performance issues or repeat safety incidents. We may do job profile work and NTS requirements to find the best candidates for a role. Or we may be discussing high profile director level talent acquisition needs. There isn’t really one single process that we offer. We try to find the best ‘bespoke’ solution from a wide portfolio of options. We spend a lot of time listening to clients’ needs to find the right approach with a mix of different levels of support and fees for them to choose from. During Covid we delivered a lot of our services digitally, but more recently, faceto-face work is returning. We do however feel that a digital offering within the mix is really key from a fees, speed, location and efficiency perspective. For some of our services we have established ‘best practice’ over many years, such as our Post Incident Assessments.

Therefore, we like to recommend they happen as proposed, because we know it’s a ‘winning formula’ – helping to provide the best safety performance outcomes for the employee, the manager and the organisation. What do your clients look for when determining what NTS are required in specific roles? That really depends on the role! Some safetycritical roles will have very similar NTS, but they may not always be in the same priority order. Following on from the RSSB’s categorisation of NTS, the OPC worked with a group of rail specialists from a number of different train operators e.g., driver managers, drivers, trainers and mentors to help prioritise the most important NTS for some key job functions. These NTS are more easily compared via the table oveleaf. Our panel of experts concluded/ recommended that the top three most important NTS for safer train driving were: 1) Maintaining concentration, 2) Anticipating risks, and 3) Attention to detail. However, there is a slight difference in the ranked order of these NTS for a depot driver, possibly due to the nature of the role and the shorter distances driving. A train conductor’s role carries a similar need for maintaining concentration, which because of the safety critical nature of the job is probably right. However, a station train dispatcher’s role requires a high degree of prioritising, knowing and using information to make decisions safely alongside maintaining concentration and anticipation of risks. You can see how these NTS, although in different orders may work best according to the role purpose and safety-critical nature of the varying jobs. From these slight nuances when recruiting for these types of roles we might advise clients to use particular assessment tools, or a particular type e.g., ability tests, situational judgement tests or personality questionnaires. So, for example, for a driver role, we might recommend a test that specifically assesses for concentration or risk awareness. For a station dispatcher’s role, it may be important to assess an individuals’ ability to multi-task. A train conductor’s role requires a mix of key skills. Safety of the train, and its passengers will be a priority. However, a train conductor may also need good customer service skills. Therefore, we may suggest using a range of tests that assess for safety, customer service and possibly situational judgement competencies as well. How do you develop psychometric tests? OPC Assessments’ psychometric tools are rigorously researched and trialled. The fundamentals of a comprehensive Rail Professional




Train Conductor

Train Driver

Depot Driver

1. Maintain concentration

1. Maintain concentration

1. Prioritising and multi-tasking

1. Maintaining concentration

2. Anticipate Risk

2. Maintain and develop knowledge

2. Retaining information

2. Attention to detail

3. Attention to detail

3. Multi-tasking

2. Maintaining concentration

3. Anticipating risk

3. Anticipating risk

2. Anticipating risk

3. Positive attitude to rules & procedures 4. Clarity in communications *Some NTS are ranked equal and therefore have a joint placing

job analysis form the foundations of each test we develop. Key psychometric principles of reliability, fairness, validity and discriminability are applied from the start. Each tool developed by us will go through meticulous testing processes with key validation groups to ensure they assess for the competencies they are designed for. How do you develop transport specific assessment tools? We are continually developing and evolving our range of assessment tools. One such tool is the Visual Search Exercise (VSE) https:// www.theopc.co.uk/assessment/test/vse. This was developed in collaboration with a leading UK train company. It came about through a review of Post Incident Assessments (PIA) with train drivers who were having multiple incidents including SPaDs (signals passed at danger). After extensive analysis of data from the safety incidents it was identified that a NTS shortfall around concentration, and an overreliance on past experience, (sometimes referred to as a habituated or a conditioned response) may have been some underlying causes. The VSE was specifically designed to test for these competencies and behaviours. As a digital test, a driver candidate must maintain concentration and focus on key visual cues, respond to them whilst multitasking and remaining situationally aware. We believed that we’d developed the right test – but did it work? Validation research with UK rail companies was able to show that drivers who had more safety-of-the-line incidents also had lower VSE performance scores. This helped to provide evidence that the VSE was assessing for the correct competencies. This was a key achievement for OPC Assessment – developing a test that could specifically help to improve train driver safety Rail Professional

performance. Since the test was introduced, thousands of applicants around the world have sat the VSE to help assess their suitability for a driver or other safety critical roles. What are some typical responses you get from clients about using Assessment tools? Something that is dear to my heart and is perhaps distinctive for psychologists is our desire and drive to be evidence based. Some clients don’t believe that assessment tools are of value; that they are flawed and can’t help to improve safety on the railway. No assessment tool is perfect and error free. However, validation exercises and research of our tests and tools has shown they can work and add value. As mentioned, validation studies help demonstrate the soundness of a test i.e., to ensure that what we are assessing for is actually being measured and demonstrated. We firmly believe that psychometrics used as part of the recruitment and/or development process can add value and help to improve safety of our people in the rail industry. With each new task, we aspire to be evidence based – to accumulate empirical evidence to show what we are doing and using is helping and working, and without hesitation to abandon those that don’t add value. I love quotes, I find them thought provoking and inspiring. Socrates, (a very wise man!) is quoted as saying: ‘To believe without evidence and demonstration is an act of ignorance and folly’. A great by-word for me as a psychologist! What are some of the ‘headlines’ you’ve picked up from your safety culture surveys? I like to use the phrase ‘the shields of safety’ a lot when I am talking about safety to clients.

© 2020 The Occupational Psychology Centre LTD

I describe it as a layered shield around an employee – protecting them and helping possible safety incidents ‘bounce’ off them. The first layer of the shield is the individual employee themselves – their knowledge, experience and in particular their NTS. The second layer is the employees’ job – how it’s been designed, including its makeup, shift patterns, complexity and/or interest. The next layer is the Competency Management System or the framework that they undertake their job in. e.g., how they are trained and certified, measured and managed as well as how they are supported in succeeding. The safety culture of the organisation is the final ‘layer of the shield’ and could be described as ‘The way we do safety around here.’ It can have a powerful impact on how we behave at work. Generally, human beings are creatures of conformity and we (mostly!) like to fit in. So, the organisation’s safety culture can affect whether an individual thinks and acts more safely e.g., do they plan for risks, are they aware of their personal ‘state’ do they complete adequate checks prior to departure etc. Also key, is whether they are encouraged to value safety as a key priority in all aspects of their day-to-day work. When there is a strong organisational safety culture in place, there is evidence to suggest that overall safety performance is better. From an employee’s perspective, if all the four layers of the shield are in place, then the likelihood is that the potential for safety incidents is greatly lessened.

Tel: +44 (0)1923 234646 Email: admin@theopc.co.uk Visit: www.theopc.co.uk

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The Cheek of it Chris Cheek

Demand recovery under way, but it’s on the slow line Rail patronage bounces back in spring quarter as country reopens, but there’s a long way to go


emand for passenger rail services in the UK recovered during the second quarter of 2021, carrying almost four times as many people as in the same quarter of 2020 when the government’s ‘stay at home’ order was in place. The restrictions imposed in January 2021 in the third national lockdown began to be lifted during the period. Overall, demand rose by 294 per cent over the same quarter in 2020, according to National Rail Trends statistics, published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). However, numbers were still over 68 per cent lower than in 2019. The provisional figures were published last month, and cover the first quarter of fiscal year 2021/22, finishing at the end of June: across the network, 139.2 million passenger journeys were made during the twelve-week period, down from 439.1 million in 2019. Between them, they covered 4.1 billion passenger kilometres, 75 per cent down, and paid a total of £638 million in fares, 73.2 per cent less than in 2019. Looking at demand by ticket type, advance tickets were down by 48.2 per cent, whilst anytime peak and off-peak fares were down by 54 per cent and 44.8 per cent respectively. Season ticket holders made 77.1 per cent fewer journeys. The long distance InterCity operations suffered the worst losses compared with 2019, being 77.7 per cent down at eight million. Looking at individual InterCity operators, East Midlands Railway fared the best, seeing a fall of 73.1 per cent, with Avanti West Coast the worst on 80.2 per cent.

Amongst the regional franchises, total patronage was 75.7 per cent down on 2019. Amongst individual TOCs, the Welsh operation fared worst with a fall of 79.3 per cent, followed by Scotrail on 79.1 per cent. Merseyrail saw the smallest reduction, on 61.5 per cent. The falls amongst London and South East operators were at the lower end of the range. The overall figure was 105.9 million passenger journeys, 64.6 per cent below 2019. TfL Rail and London Overground saw the smallest falls at 54.1 per cent and 54.7 per cent respectively, with c2c on 58.5 per cent. These three were the only TOCs to keep more than 40 per cent of their previous loads. Four more kept more than 30 per

cent: South Western (down 62.1 per cent), Southeastern (68.4). Greater Anglia (69.3) and GTR (69.7). The others were all in the 70 to 77 per cent range. Rolling year figures The national totals for the twelve months ended 30 June 2021 now show a complete post pandemic year. Compared with the last pre-Covid year of 2018/19, they show the number of passenger journeys falling by 60.2 per cent to 398.5 million. Passenger kilometres travelled fell by 64.2 per cent to 24.1 billion, whilst passenger revenue saw a similar fall of 64 per cent to £3.7 billion. Once again, performance varied between the sectors: passenger journeys saw a

The national totals for the twelve months ended 30 June 2021 now show a complete post pandemic year. Compared with the last pre-Covid year of 2018/19, they show the number of passenger journeys falling by 60.2 per cent to 398.5 million Rail Professional



65.4 per cent decrease on the InterCity routes, whilst 67.5 per cent fewer passenger kilometres were travelled. On the regional routes, there was a 62.4 per cent reduction in the number of journeys, with passenger km 63.3 per cent down. Passenger journeys on the London and South East routes fell by 58.8 per cent, with passenger kilometres down by 62.2 per cent. Comment This was the quarter when life began the slow ascent to what must now pass as normal, with restrictions being lifted gradually from mid-April onwards, through to the full ‘freedom day’ in mid-July. In one sense, a set of numbers which show demand creeping back to just below a third of previous levels could hardly be regarded as good news. In another, though, the numbers are very welcome, since we now know from experience in 2020 just how low they can go in a total economic shutdown. There is, though, a clearer line developing between the different sectors: the InterCity operators were still only getting around 20 per cent of their previous patronage, whilst the commuter routes were getting up to 45 per cent of theirs. These figures had been well anticipated, given the Department for Transport’s ongoing publication of transport demand estimates every week since the lockdown began in March 2020. At the start of the quarter, rail use was around 25 per cent of the 2019 figure, but it doubled during the following eight weeks, hitting 50 per cent for the first time and staying there until the end of the quarter. In the weeks since, it has recovered further, averaging 68 per cent during the first week of October.

There’s no doubt that the events of the last 18 months have changed our society, and our transport systems, for ever I suppose the big question in these figures is whether we can yet discern any patterns that might give us a clue as to what’s going to happen next. Well, there may be. We’ve noted before that the number of journeys by season ticket holders is well down and that remains the case: they accounted for just 17.8 per cent of all passenger journeys in the quarter – back almost to the levels we saw during the first lockdown in the same quarter in 2021, when the figure was just 16 per cent. The ORR figures show that 181.6 million passenger journeys were made by season ticket holders in the quarter, which represents a fall of 77.1 per cent compared with 2019. How many of those eventually return, and what fare they pay when and if they do, is

one of the central questions for the future. It’s still looking as if around 20 per cent of rail commuter journeys will not return. There are other signposts, too. Of the remaining ticket types, there was a loss of 54.0 per cent amongst full fare journeys, 48.2 per cent in advance tickets and 44.8 per cent in off-peak tickets. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s the full fare passengers that bring the money in. In the last year pre-Covid (to 31 December 2019), they yielded on average 25.1p per passenger kilometre, compared with 13.40p for season ticket holders and 13.9p for off-peak tickets. Full fare passengers brought in 30 per cent of the revenue for 18.4 per cent of the passenger kilometres travelled (by contrast, season ticket holders brought in 20 per cent of the revenue from 23 per cent of passenger kilometres). Even in the Covid-hit year to 30 June, full fare passengers accounted for 27 per cent of the revenue from 17.6 per cent of the passenger kilometres. Their return to the network in numbers is vital to the future of the industry (not to mention the business case for HS2). Of course, all this talk of recovery presupposes that the gradual ascent to normal I mentioned earlier is maintained. At the time of writing, this seems far from certain, as the number of daily cases rises once more and yet another, even more infectious, variant of the Covid virus seems to have emerged. There’s no doubt that the events of the last 18 months have changed our society, and our transport systems, for ever. Quite how, and to what extent, is being played out before our very eyes. One can only counsel patience and resilience, but we already know just how exhausting uncertainty can be.



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Laying down the law Martin Fleetwood

Mind the gap When the employee benefits are not met by the underlying insurance policy, who takes responsibility for the shortfall?


ertain employee benefits are backed up by insurance contracts taken out by the employer on behalf of the employee. An example of this is permanent health insurance (PHI) – otherwise known as income protection – which provides income to individuals unable to work due to long-term illness or incapacity. Typically, employers offer PHI to employees by taking out a policy with a third-party insurer. If employees satisfy the criteria under the policy, they usually receive a fixed percentage of their usual salary (e.g. 50 per cent) for a set period. Over time the terms of the policy can change and generally this sees some form of reduction in the cover, either in terms of amount or duration. How the benefit is represented in the employee’s terms and conditions of contract is important as it should preferably be related to the terms set out in the insurance policy and change as the policy changes. For a company managing its employment contracts, this should be a relatively straightforward matter, but it can get a little bit more complicated in the event of taking on additional employees as a result of them being transferred under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).

No doubt a level of due diligence will have been undertaken, looking at the terms and conditions of employment to help calculate the risks and costs of taking over that workforce. But just how deep does that due diligence go when looking at the benefits granted to the employees? Even if the issue is identified, once the contracts have been transferred does the company follow through all of the recommendations or actions which were suggested in the due diligence report? A salutary lesson has recently been provided in a decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Amdocs Systems Group Ltd v Langton. Beware of the unexpected provision In 2003, the claimant started working for Cramer Systems Ltd under terms set out in an offer letter, a summary of benefits and a contract of service. The offer letter and summary of benefits set out the terms of a long-term sickness absence or PHI scheme and included the level of income protection payable, including an ‘escalator’ of five per cent per annum after the first 52 weeks. In 2006, the claimant’s employment transferred under TUPE to Amdocs Systems Group Ltd (Amdocs) and the claimant was told that the level of income protection under the long-term

Over time the terms of the policy can change and generally this sees some form of reduction in the cover, either in terms of amount or duration. How the benefit is represented in the employee’s terms and conditions of contract is important as it should preferably be related to the terms set out in the insurance policy and change as the policy changes

sickness absence scheme had stayed the same. However, when he took long-term sickness absence in 2009, he was told that the escalator no longer applied, as it had ceased to exist under the scheme that Amdocs used in 2008. The claimant brought a claim for unlawful deduction from wages in respect of the escalator amount not being paid to him. The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the claimant’s contract of service, offer letter and summary of benefits were all contractually binding, including the right to the escalator, notwithstanding that the terms of the PHI scheme that Amdocs were using had changed. There had been no clear communication between Amdocs and Mr Langton to alter the terms of the scheme which were specified in the employment contract, notwithstanding that the arrangements had been put in place with a previous employer. The actions of the TUPE transfer had clearly transferred the obligations to Amdocs as they stood before the transfer, even if existing staff of Amdocs had a different arrangement. This meant that Amdocs would have to fund the ‘escalator’ portion of the long term sickness payment themselves, given that it was no longer provided by the PHI company under the terms of the insurance policy. Rail Professional



Managing the risk in employment contracts When setting out employee benefits, employers should be wary of creating a freestanding obligation to employees to pay benefits, regardless of whether the insurer pays up. If the insurer rejects the claim, but the terms of the insurance policy are not effectively incorporated into the employment contract, the employer may be liable to pay sums to the employee for which it is not insured. Employers should: 1. Check your employment contracts: Do they clearly document that any liability to make PHI payments will be limited to the amounts received from the scheme insurer for that purpose? 2. Watch out for TUPE transfers: Transferee employers on a TUPE transfer should always carefully check the level of PHI benefits provided by the transferor to any transferring employee, and whether it will be fully covered by their existing insurance policy. 3. Treat any exclusions or qualifications with care: Ensure that these are brought to the employee’s attention. The Employment Appeal Tribunal emphasised that any

limitation of the employer’s exposure must be unambiguously and expressly communicated to the employee, so that there can be no doubt about it. Further steps would need to be taken to bring any changes to particular terms to the employee’s attention to be effective. In the Amdocs case, the claimant had not been given access to the insurance policy terms or any other document with the details of those terms. 4. Remove any ambiguity: Be aware that any remaining ambiguity or uncertainty regarding the employee’s entitlement will be resolved in favour of the employee. This follows the common law rule that any ambiguity as to whether a provision applies is to be applied against the party who seeks to rely on it. It would be wise to review and, if necessary, simplify, any drafting so that the position is clear and certain. Don’t fall into the Gap It is likely that in the near future there will be a number of opportunities to bid for service supply contracts, not least because most contracts that were expiring

at the height of the Covid Pandemic were extended for one to two years. If a company is successful in obtaining new contracts it should be careful to check what its obligations to its new employees are and make sure that they clearly represent the obligations in the insurance policies that sit behind them. Undertake a ‘What if?’ review to make sure that there is not a gap between what is offered to the employee and the insurance policy that supports that obligation. If a gap exists, work out what steps are needed to be taken to close it.

Martin Fleetwood is a Consultant at Addleshaw Goddard’s Transport practice. The Rail Team has over 30 lawyers who advise clients in both the private and public sectors across a wide range of legal areas. As well as contractual issues, the team advises on operational matters, franchises, concessions, finance, regulatory, property, employment, environmental and procurement issues. Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

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Women in Rail Adeline Ginn MBE

Building the railway for the future Adeline Ginn MBE, Founder of Women in Rail and Legal and Marketing Director and Head of EDI at CPMS – Egis on the EDI Charter and the EDI Working Group


n November last year, Women in Rail (WR) and the Railway Industry Association (RIA) jointly launched the first rail industry Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Charter. The aim of the Charter was to set-up a framework that would support an industry-wide coordinated effort to create a fairer, more diverse and inclusive sector, with everyone working collectively together under the same umbrella. It was a great end to what had been a harrowing year for many in the railway and beyond. To date, over 170 companies representing a broad range of organisations within the UK rail sector have signed up to the Charter, which demonstrates our industry’s commitment to drive fundamental changes in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion for everyone’s benefits, individuals and businesses. As I step down as Chair of WR, I have asked Ruth Busby (Chair of WR South and HR Director at GWR) and Abu Siddeeq (WR Trustee and Head of Customer Experience at LNER), to take over the elm of this core initiative and I look back on the last twelve months, proud of what we have achieved as a team and an industry, and optimistic about the future. For WR and RIA, it was essential that the Charter produced long-term results, so as soon as we launched, we set out to maximise its impact. We created an EDI Charter Working Group, comprising eleven individuals representing a wide range of backgrounds, ages, genders, ethnicity, abilities and identities within the UK rail industry and we gave them a voice, through social media releases, articles in the trade press, bespoke events and workshops, to educate us on the challenges faced by under-represented groups and on what we, as leaders, individuals, and as an industry, can do to attract, create and retain a truly diverse workforce and foster an inclusive culture across the whole of UK rail. Charlie Woodhead (Accessibility and Inclusion Manager, LNER) wrote about the challenges faced by people with disabilities. Farah Sajwani (Assistant Project Manager, CPMS – Egis), raised awareness to some of the issues facing Muslim women. Rachel Fullard (Service Analyst, RDG) talked about inclusion for non-binary people in the railway. On 26 August, RIA kindly organised a Trailblazer Event where Working Group members facilitated two key workshops. Charlie Woodhead and Natalie Leister (Passenger Services Area Manager,

Southeastern Railway) discussed Accessibility and Disability. Rachel Fullard and Mohanad Ismail (Principal Consultant, WSP) explored EDI in Leadership. These workshops fostered a collaborative learning environment, with some attendees coming with areas of challenge and others coming with best practice. The EDI Charter Working Group is planning more events, articles, posts, blogs, opinion pieces and a newsletter in the next few months and I am confident that, with Ruth, Abu, Kate Jennings (Policy Director, RIA) and Isabella Lawson (Policy Executive, RIA) as facilitators, its members will continue to use their energy and passion to guide us on what we, as individuals and as an industry, can do better to build a truly diverse and inclusive railway for the future. To find out about Women in Rail and the EDI Charter, contact wr@womeninrail.org and info@edicharter.co.uk Rail Professional

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Delivering the goods Mags Simpson

COP26 2021 Mags Simpson, Head of Policy Engagement at Logistics UK, believes it is time for rail freight to take the spotlight


ccelerating the transition to zero emission transport will be a key focus at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held in November 2021. While the transition to low or zero carbon freight transportation is already underway, the COP26 community is urging that this shift happen more quickly, with international collaboration and consensus vital on the issue to safeguard the future of our planet. While much focus has been placed on road transport – as it for accounts for ten per cent of global emissions, and its emissions are rising faster than those of any other sector – rail has an important part to play too: both in its own decarbonisation, and its scope to shift road and sea freight onto the rail network. The importance of rail to the UK economy cannot be

underestimated. It delivers around £1.7 billion of economic benefits and supplies £30 billion of goods to customers across Britain each year, according to a 2018 report by the Rail Delivery Group. Globally, the rail freight transport market was valued at $247.39 billion (£180 billion) in 2020 by Research and Markets, a business analyst company that has also singled out rail freight as a significant area of commercial growth in the next five years. Back in the UK, Tesco has credited the use of rail freight for keeping the shelves of its supermarkets stocked during the supply chain crisis we are seeing today, owing to the shortage of HGV drivers. The supermarket is planning to increase its use of trains to distribute products by almost 40 per cent, aiming for to transport 90,000 40ft containers of goods a year to its warehouses via trains by the end of 2021,

As rail comes in the spotlight, it is up to government and industry to ensure the infrastructure, technology and processes are in place to ensure the use of rail can be maximised

up from about 65,000 at present. In a recent interview, Ken Murphy, the retailer’s chief executive, praised rail’s credentials from a sustainability point of view, as well as ability to reinforce supply chain resilience. As Mr Murphy attests, the sustainability of rail freight is drawing many businesses away from road and sea transport towards its services. Rail has a clear path to decarbonisation – electrification along with some use of alternative traction power

– making it a very attractive option for businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact and transition their operations to Net Zero as soon as possible. As rail comes in the spotlight, it is up to government and industry to ensure the infrastructure, technology and processes are in place to ensure the use of rail can be maximised. For example, the government must ensure that its eight new planned Freeports – areas Rail Professional



News in brief COP26 COP stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’, which refers to the governments which have signed the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP brings these signatory governments together once a year to discuss how to jointly address climate change. The UK will host COP26 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021. The climate talks will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change. Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.

with little to no tax to encourage economic activity – have strong inward and onward rail links. We also need to see strong connectivity across the nation, particularly between ports on the east and west coast of England, and, on a larger scale, between the north and south of England. For the latter, the development of High Speed Two (HS2) holds strong potential to increase capacity on the existing, overrun north-south network, if the government commits to allowing more freight services to run on the existing lines, as passengers transition to HS2. The government must ensure it is exploring all avenues for increasing capacity on the network for rail freight services. For example, it should examine whether there is scope for the Channel Tunnel – the only link for moving goods by rail between the UK and continental Europe – to carry more freight services, at least in the short-term while passenger numbers recover from the travel restrictions placed on the public during the Covid-19 pandemic. Logistics UK is pleased to be supporting a fringe event at COP26, Low Carbon Logistics: Pulling Together for Net Zero, which will showcase rail freight, low carbon rail, and road transport and logistics to COP26 delegates, potential investors, future customers, and employees across supply chains. With a focus on Scotland’s logistics industry, the event will highlight how

rail freight can support environmentally sustainable and resilient supply chains, showcase industry innovation, and explore strategies to stimulate green capital investment in freight sites throughout the country. The rail freight sector is playing a major role in the decarbonisation of global supply chains; at Logistics UK, we will continue working with government, industry and other stakeholders to ensure rail delivers the best possible freight transportation option for businesses. Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.  With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of Covid-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit logistics.org.uk.

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Health and wellbeing conversations Health and wellbeing is now recognised in the rail industry more than ever as being important to the successful operation of a company, but what are ‘Health and Wellbeing Conversations’ in the context of the railway industry? Liam Johnston explains


s a chaplain, I often express personal health wellbeing and an individual’s resilience with the metaphor of a battery and its capacity to hold and discharge energy. But my question often comes back to how can the rail industry create opportunities for staff to reflect on their ‘battery level’ and identify the things they, their line manager and their team can do to recharge and stay well? Also, if the railway businesses invest precious time and resources to integrate into their approach, what benefits could they expect? Organisations that have supportive local and senior management and promote genuine staff engagement have lower levels of both absence and ‘presenteeism’ (turning up for work despite being unwell). Colleagues are less likely to report suffering from workrelated stress and they rate their own health and wellbeing more highly. There is also a link to turnover with engaged employees being less likely to want to leave. The Stevenson-Farmer review ‘Thriving at Work’ noted that initiatives focused on improving mental wellbeing, in particular, are shown to have a 1:4 return on investment. Health and Wellbeing Conversations take place between an individual member of rail staff and someone they trust in the workplace. Given the potentially sensitive nature of Health and Wellbeing Conversations, some colleagues will need the option to have conversations with someone other than their manager, this is just one of the opportunities for the railway industry to utilise the chaplaincy service. Most Health and Wellbeing Conversations are short one-time engagements that help the colleagues to process situations or dilemmas, but they can also be revisited if situations change or as and when individuals feel the need to do so. Most Chaplaincy and Health and Wellbeing conversations have three purposes: Firstly to enable all rail staff irrespective of grade, role or professional background, to have a confidential discussion about their wellbeing and how it might be impacted by: • The Covid-19 pandemic. • The intensity of their workload. • The demands of specific events e.g. The rate of exposure to distressing or traumatic events. • Other factors outside of the workplace such as major life events, family problems or health issues, caring responsibilities, etc. Secondly, chaplaincy conversations can also to help identify what steps individuals and teams can take to nurture their own recovery Rail Professional

and to support the increase their capacity to cope with situations and to take appropriate action to reduce the negative effects of stressful working environments or situations. Third, a conversation with a chaplain can highlight where someone may benefit from further help, including mental health support, and signpost to that help promptly and support the individual through the process if needed. The results of a conversation with a chaplain can be: • The identification of areas where an individual’s health and wellbeing could be improved taking a preventative and selfmanagement approach. • Signposting to additional, targeted support when needed. • The identification of factors beyond the individual or team level which are impacting on health and wellbeing and require action at an organisational level to change. The independent and impartial nature of chaplaincy means that sometimes patterns may emerge that can be fed back to the company to be addressed. Chaplains are often asked by HR Directors or others, what are the issues that you have noticed with colleagues? It should also be noted that Chaplaincy Health and Wellbeing Conversations are not intended to be counselling or therapy sessions. It is well established that that mental health professionals are not brought in to carry out psychological debriefing or trauma counselling to staff that are going about their job and experiencing perfectly normal reactions to traumatic situations. Nevertheless, individuals who do have


significant levels of psychological distress should be offered prompt referral to counselling or therapy services able to provide specialist psychological care. Chaplaincy is not to be used to ‘spy’ on the workforce on behalf of the management. It is important conversations take place in an atmosphere of psychological safety. Chaplaincy is and must remain, independent, impartial and confidential, as long as that confidentiality is understood not to allow the self-harm of the individual or others. As an organisation Railway Mission does capture data on the support provided to the Rail Industry in a way that reflects the confidential and sensitive nature of the support provided. Chaplaincy Health and Wellbeing Conversations are for colleagues, not just at-risk groups. However, chaplains must prioritise those identified at higher risk for their Health and Wellbeing Conversation earlier in the implementation process. These are often those directly or indirectly involved with a fatality on the railway. But others are at significant risk and in need to support; this may be due to the terminal illness or death of a colleague, the threat of redundancy or a host of other situations that can cause distress or anxiety. Resilience-based approaches to wellbeing We all know that people are capable of remarkable things even in the face of adversity. Resilience is about recognising that life often has its difficulties and sometimes these difficulties come with intense negative emotions. Knowing how to manage these emotions and not just to avoid them is at the core of personal resilience. It is the ability to adapt and grow through and following adversity. Chaplaincy Health and Wellbeing Conversations are centred on promoting the ability of the individual to adapt and grow. It can provide a structured approach that can help identify an individual’s vulnerabilities to stress, assessing the impact of that stress and help them develop strategies to protect the individual or their team from the situation and its effects. We must understand what makes our railway colleagues vulnerable to stress. Our experience has highlighted key factors that can increase the risk of stress and negatively impact resilience, such as railway-related fatalities, passenger aggression of personal family issues. Staff working in the railway industry may be exposed to these risks under normal circumstances, but Covid-19 has created an added level of exposure to stress as has the uncertainty concerning the proposed ‘Great British Railway’.

Chaplaincy Health and Wellbeing Conversations are centred on promoting the ability of the individual to adapt and grow. It can provide a structured approach that can help identify an individual’s vulnerabilities to stress, assessing the impact of that stress and help them develop strategies to protect the individual or their team from the situation and its effects


Challenges that are being identified by railway colleges now include: • Unclear or conflicting expectations. • Threat or change to a job role. • Challenging working environments, including remote working. • Social isolation. • Feelings of a lack of personal control. • A lack of communication from companies. • TV and social media where there are mixed, conflicting or hostile messaging. Knowing what these challenges are can help us to be attuned to these and others’ risks. However, when these risks are compounded, there is an even greater need to be proactive and ensure that there are protective steps in place for the health and wellbeing of our railway colleagues. However, we should also be mindful that there is also a healthy amount of pressure or stress, and that this can help bring us to the point of peak performance. Nonetheless, when our stressors and pressures increase too much, it can push us towards feelings of anxiety, unhappiness and reduce our ability to perform well.

We must understand what makes our railway colleagues vulnerable to stress. Our experience has highlighted key factors that can increase the risk of stress and negatively impact resilience Stress is caused by pressure on an individual or team that is greater than their ability to maintain resilience, balance is always optimum for performance. This image shows a seesaw that identifies the impacts of no-low pressure on the left, moves towards healthy pressure and peak performance through the middle and onto the impacts of stress and over-pressured on the right. The industry must nurture the things that help colleagues to maintain resilience in the workplace, particularly during difficult times, but support must be in place before the scale tips to the right. This can be achieved through: • Trusting, supportive relationships – with chaplains, line managers and colleagues. • Colleagues feel valued and recognised for a job well done. • Supportive and visible management – clear communication, defined roles and responsibilities and accurate information available. • Workplace self-esteem – through the encouragement of independence and the freedom to act and take responsible risks. • Emotional support for things that may occur outside of the workplace. • Hope/belief that things can change for the better. • Perception of that things are under control. Resilience comes together when the working environment in the rail industry and the choices made by management and individuals support colleagues to operate in the best way they can. Health and Wellbeing Conversations with chaplains provide the space to look for opportunities and balance, particularly when there are areas of our life and work that are extremely difficult. Health and Wellbeing Conversations with chaplains are supportive, one-to-one discussions focused on building individual and team resilience. Rail Professional




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Prior Knowledge Lucy Prior

The Digitalising Railway I have written a few times on the theme of the digital railway; a theme and an ongoing industrial aspiration that should remain at the forefront of our collective discussion


t is important though that we are mindful of our lexicon. Talking about the Digital Railway suggests that we are talking in the past tense; that it is a fait accompli. In my opinion it is more realistic, and more proactive, to talk about the Digitalising Railway; a living and ongoing process. A process that needs to continue to evolve as new technologies are brought into the industry, and as existing systems mature and extend their reach, potential and benefit. Network Rail’s Digital Railway Programme Strategic plan (Jan 2018) described itself as ‘a benefit driven, cross industry change programme enabled by technology, [to] facilitate the delivery of systems, technology, business and people change in an integrated way’. More widely the programme has been ostensibly taken to mean the digitalisation of signalling and traffic management. Elsewhere, the culture of the Digital Railway was, to quote Stuart Calvert (Group Digital Railway Director) all about reducing, if not ideally eliminating, the need to have colleagues working trackside: to not need the ‘Orange Army’. In this sense the Digital Railway is the safest railway. What runs throughout these and all other discussions about the Digital Railway is the need for integrative and transformational technologies, and a fully engaged and enabled stakeholder community. This is why we need to talk about the Digital Railway as an entity through the lens of the everdigitalising railway. To explore this further I decided to discuss my opinion with my colleague Martin Gleadow, Head of IT and Technical Innovation. Martin combines a professional expertise in all things digital with a passion for rail. The discussion we had (or rather: have, regularly) is summarised in the following interview.

Martin Gleadow

What does Digital Railway mean to you? The digital railway can seem to mean different things to different people. To some the Digital Railway is about the implementation of the European Traffic Control System (ETCS) and the challenge of ensuring this critical infrastructure continues to be reliable, available and secure. To others it is about providing better, faster information to passengers, or making data available to be analysed, interpreted, and combined, and many other positions between and besides these. To me digital is all of these and more. It is an enabler which will allow the railway to achieve its vision of being an effective and efficient service which benefits all of society. A digital system is simply one which uses electronic communication technology to support a goal or objective; it rarely exists in isolation. For that reason, it is important that digital is not an afterthought or a bolt on, but an intrinsic part of how we approach our goals of delivering an effective railway. Do you feel that the industry has a shared goal, and is it working together to deliver an effectively digitalised railway? There are so many converging voices: Network Rail have their Digital Railway Strategy, RSSB have the Rail Technical Strategy. The Williams-Shapps plan references data throughout, and explicitly mentioned the desire to lead a digital transport revolution. The Great British Railway (GBR) Transition Team under Rufus Boyd have made it clear they are keen to deliver this ‘revolution’ by modernising industry attitudes to digital technology. To realise the benefits of a Digital Railway all

these efforts need to be aligned: this is the way in which rail can really apply a Whole System approach. This means it is important for the supply chain – physical and digital – to be aware of and engaged with these initiatives, to collaborate with others, and to remember that the common goal is to deliver benefits to our passengers and freight customers. What role does data play in Whole Systems thinking? The whole system view means we need to think about how different data sets can be combined, and how the rail industry can encourage an open approach to data. Talk of open data often leads to concerns over intellectual property and commercial advantage, as the immediate interpretation of ‘open’ means ‘free of charge to everyone’. This does not have to be the case. While open passenger facing data is important and is something that should be a principle Rail Professional



of operation of public transport, the data shared in this way should be meaningful and relevant to the general public and be in the public interest. It does not mean all rail data should be freely available to all as there are innumerable reasons to limit access to data pertaining to the safe operating our critical national infrastructure. An effective data sharing model should allow proprietary information to be kept private, whilst sensitively making relevant data available to the industry to drive the sector forward and to stimulate collaboration and innovation. This also needs to be a model which is relevant and fair to everyone in the digital supply chain from the traditional large incumbents and systems integrators to Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) and microorganisations. We all accept that SMEs provide business agility and niche bespoke capabilities that larger organisations cannot provide. We need to find a way that represents and employs the expertise and capability at each end of the supply chain; we need to nurture a rich digital ecosystem that respects all involved and delivers benefit for the end-user. Should freely accessible mean free of charge? It is easy to overlook that there is a cost to collecting, storing, and sharing data. How these costs are covered will often come down to a question of data ownership and data processing. Many industries struggle with this, as everyone wants to be the person holding the data and selling access to others, but this can result in a fragmented and expensive data landscape which stifles progress. While rail can and does learn from other industries, we also need to recognise that we are also faced with unique challenges; preventing this fragmentation will be critical to the success of digital railway in the UK. Is the current digital ecosystem capable of incorporating legacy systems and information? Anyone at all that has worked with railway data will agree that there are technical challenges to this. The UK has always been an early adopter of digitalisation. TOPS (Total Operations Processing System: train operation data such as destination, load, and location. that provides a comprehensive system for monitoring a train’s complete movement cycle) is an example of how we were way ahead of the digitalisation game. But it was built for punch cards. As space was at premium messages were as compact as possible. This, and the fact that early pioneers could not foresee how the technology would unfold, means that data models within these systems are specialised to their own problem domain and do not Rail Professional

make it easy to reference anything outside the system. Even in a single space such as train planning it is hard to link data sets. Trying to go beyond this to pull together disparate data sets to get a wider picture becomes an arduous journey. For example, head codes, which were designed to allow a signaller in a signal box to identify a service from characters displayed on the front of a locomotive are still used to identify services today, but they are far from unique. As there is no common systemisation or standardisation, different systems have approached this problem in different ways: when you call a schedule you get a ‘Train ID’ which uses location, time and performance data to create a longer unique identity, but this information is not available until a few hours before departure. For incab systems it is common to append a signal identity, and train plans do something else different again within their own systems. All this means you often end up taking extra steps to tell if the 4M23 one system is talking about is the same 4M23 another system is talking about, relying on origin and departure time to avoid duplicates. This can be unreliable; this information is grounded in a very human-centric process. Modern digital systems therefore need to be capable of handling the multiple ways a single place or event can be described. Despite these challenges, it is imperative that the rail sector works together to overcome these challenges. By making better use of the information that we have about our assets and operations, we can make better decisions faster, be more efficient, and run a safer and more effective railway. The trend within rolling stock management is to use historical data alongside remote condition monitoring to inform maintenance regimes to reduce the risk of in-service failures and to maximise vehicle availability. Network Rail’s Intelligent Infrastructure Team applies a similar approach to managing fixed infrastructure, and there are exciting possibilities for cross referencing on-train and lineside data to provide reciprocal benefits for both. This is systems thinking in operation and it can be

harnessed to provide contextually useful information to those essential roles on the front line that we cannot replace with technology, but whom we must keep as physically safe as possible. If data and tech can be used to keep people safe, what can we do to keep data safe? You can’t talk about digitalisation and data without talking about Data Protection and Cyber Security. It is vital that personal information is kept private in line with commitments under the Data Protection Act (encompassing GDPR) and that railway information is protected against unauthorised access (Confidentiality), accidental or deliberate manipulation (Integrity) and loss of access (Availability). This is a complex space with a potentially wide attack surface, as in order to share data you need to be able to get to it. Authentication is the first step to making sure only the right people get access to relevant data, but a risk-based approach needs to be taken that looks at the impact and likelihood of potential threats. Luckily there exist well developed standards to evaluate information security. As a minimum, accreditations such as ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus need to be considered to provide externally verified proof of a mature approach to information security. Even where data is considered public it needs to be provided in a secure way as techniques such as privilege escalation are common ways in which an interface can be abused to gain access beyond the design criteria. Public access requires a visible presence on the internet therefore secure development and infrastructure practices should be followed such as following the ‘OWASP Top 10’ for web applications such as only using encrypted communications channels, commissioning regular penetration testing, and monitoring for unusual patterns of behaviour in connections. What are the main challenges in digitalising our railway to truly deliver the Digital Railway?

You can’t talk about digitalisation and data without talking about Data Protection and Cyber Security

There are inevitable challenges as digitalisation means change, and change can be hard to get right. This is not just change for the people consuming digital services, but also those involved in the procurement of services. A technical strategy which seeks incremental improvement through ongoing delivery is no good without a stakeholder engagement process which includes those affected by process change, customers, or employees. Equally procurement processes need to adapt to digital delivery approaches to prevent benefits from being lost through inflexible contractual processes, and technical requirements for all new works


Network Rail’s Digital Railway Programme Strategic plan (Jan 2018) described itself as ‘a benefit driven, cross industry change programme enabled by technology, [to] facilitate the delivery of systems, technology, business and people change in an integrated way’

need to consider digital and be aware of the wider landscape they sit in, identifying opportunities for innovation. In conclusion it seems that, as a member of the digital community, you agree that the UK rail industry has always been at the forefront of digitalisation. What expertise or experience can smaller tech companies such as 3Squared share or build on to bring to bear a truly integrated digital railway? As said by Aidan Hancock (CIO, Network Rail) at Rail Live, the railway has been digital since the first telegraph message was sent ahead to the signal box in advance to notify of a train entering section. Digitalisation is a constant task not a goal to be achieved and then neglected. A fast-changing landscape, rail needs to be aware of new opportunities and ways to adopt them safely. We have a wealth of smaller tech companies both inside and outside the rail industry who have so much to offer, and there is real opportunity for them to do so. I am a passionate believer in collaboration as I see no sense in everyone re-inventing the wheel to achieve the same goals and think that through working together, we can combine our strengths to deliver effective change. Industry bodies are a great way for


smaller companies to get involved; I have benefitted personally and as a 3Squared representative from the networking and collaboration opportunities afforded to us by our rail trade associations including: Rail Forum Midlands, RSSB, the Rail Freight Group, the Rail Innovation Group, RIA and Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL). All these memberships broaden your reach, exposing you to, and bringing you into the wider discussion. There are many ways smaller companies such as 3Squared can help sustain and accelerate the digitalisation of the railway, and there are many ways in which these companies can get involved. By nurturing these relationships, the digital railway supply chain will continue to flourish to the benefit of our mutual clients. About 3Squared 3Squared is an award-winning Sheffield-based rail technology and software development consultancy, founded in 2002. Specialising in the development of mobile and web apps for major clients across the construction, rail, and manufacturing sectors, 3Squared operates both in the UK and on an international level, delivering innovative and ground-breaking technological solutions that aim to propel the rail industry forward.

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Work-related violence I was just standing there, waiting for the 12:43, when this bloke came up and started shouting his head off. I tried to calm him down, but whatever was wrong, it was my fault as far as he was concerned. When I came round, the BTP had taken him, thank goodness…


nfortunately, this imagined scene often becomes very real on our railway. We can all get in each other’s way sometimes, and when we do it can lead to frustration, tension and irritation. Sadly, on the railway, it can also lead to a punch on the nose or a face full of saliva – something that’s particularly nasty in these Covid-tainted times. Alcohol can make angry people angrier – so too can football fixtures – while railspecific issues like fare evasion, ticket irregularities and delays can cause many other incidents. Station staff and traincrew are often in the firing line when something flares up. And there’s some evidence that the trend is rising. In 2019-20, before the effects of Covid-19 were seen, there was around double the usual number of reported assaults resulting in major injuries. In the first few months of the pandemic, passenger numbers fell to six per cent of what they’d been before yet the number of assaults was still 26 per cent of their previous levels. The latest figures show that the number of incidents resulting in workforce injury have returned to pre-pandemic levels. However, as passenger numbers are still low, there are actually more assaults per passenger journey than before. To try to find out why, and as part of its wider consideration of what GB rail can do as passengers come back, RSSB ran a workshop with a range of people across the industry. Antisocial behaviour First off, attendees confirmed the rise in anti-social behaviour towards staff, putting forward several reasons, such as the reinstatement of revenue protection, which had stopped during the lockdown. Passengers also felt more unnerved simply because there were more people around, and because many more people than before were not wearing face coverings. It didn’t help that they were confused about the role of rail staff in managing Covid risk. Some thought staff should be challenging passengers who were not wearing face coverings. At one station, some staff were seen wearing them, some weren’t and some had them slung about their chins like Abraham Lincoln. This sort of thing might be within the guidelines, but only adds to passenger confusion – and anger.

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Staff anxiety and incidents Staff continue to feel anxious about interacting with passengers. The worst spots are busy stations and platforms, the worst jobs include checking tickets on busy trains. Delays and crowding make this worse for obvious reasons. Attendees, quite understandably, reiterated the increase in staff incidents and accidents, but noted too an increase in operational incidents from January 2021. Some felt that distraction caused first by the pandemic itself and then the re-mobilisation of the network played a part here. From the pandemic, though, we moved to the ‘pingdemic’, which saw many staff self-isolating after being contacted via the Track and Trace app on their phones. This put more pressure on those left to keep the job going. And of course, the fact that there were fewer trains running for much of last year meant that skills and knowledge fade became a problem for some too. What can help? Working together always helps, and the workshop highlighted collaboration with stakeholders, trades unions, other operators and third parties as a key enabler for risk control. Southeastern, for example, worked collaboratively and openly with staff on the expectation to wear face coverings, and giving voluntary ticket inspections on trains. To help combat anti-social behaviour, the company is also working to provide support in conflict situations. Meanwhile, guards on Great Western Railway are being encouraged to use dynamic risk assessment methods to

Passengers also felt more unnerved simply because there were more people around, and because many more people than before were not wearing face coverings

determine if it’s safe to pass through trains. Network Rail provided training for a range of different people in and around the station environment, helped identify and support high-frequency presenters on the railway, improved signage, and used social media to better understand mental health in different locations. TransPennine Express also highlighted several interventions to support vulnerable people, including the introduction of ‘chatty benches’ aimed at encouraging people to sit and talk about their feelings and issues rather than experiencing them alone. Everyone agreed that clear and consistent passenger communications are important. They also need to be accurate and timely, especially as many of our passengers will have access to incident information via their phones. Workshop attendees also felt that education was important, as there are increasing numbers of passengers less aware of railway safety. Regarding the management of passenger numbers, Transport for London discussed reviewing timetables to explore how congestion could be reduced and how passenger communications could be used to encourage people to travel at different times. All these examples align with the types of interventions recommended by RSSB following a research project on tackling workrelated violence. On top of this, the work we were already doing goes on, including increasing the use of body-worn cameras and engaging with the criminal justice system to ensure action is taken against wrongdoers. As we said at the beginning, since ‘Freedom Day’ the number of incidents resulting in workforce injury have returned to pre-pandemic levels. Clearly this is a journey that will take some time to complete. But we need to find out how well all our ideas and programmes are working. The best way to find out from incident reports. Through them we can get a better handle on a problem that no one should ever have to face—at work, or otherwise. For more information on RSSB’s research, see project T1173, Identifying measures to prevent customer-on-staff work-related violence in the UK rail industry. For more information on the RSSB workshop, see: https://www.rssb. co.uk/what-we-do/the-coronavirus-pandemichow-we-can-help-you/managing-increases-inpassenger-numbers


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John Halsall Managing Director of Network Rail Southern Region Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to John Halsall Managing Director of Network Rail Southern Region about his work on Denmark Hill, workforce health and wellbeing and the industry’s future collaboration with Great British Railways


ohn Halsall has been with Network Rail since 2009 following an 18 year career with Thames Water. Prior to taking on the role of managing director for the Southern Region, John jointly led the successful alliance between the Wessex Route and South West Trains from September 2015 and joined South East route in July 2016 where close working with train operators has seen the creation of joint performance teams, shared operations and direct communications to passengers. You have a history of engagement with train operators and other relevant bodies, such as your work at Denmark Hill where you collaborated with GTR, the Camberwell Society, and the Salvation Army and co-leading the successful alliance between the Wessex Route and South West Trains. To what do you owe this ability to bring different parts of the industry together and how has that helped in your current position as Managing Director of Network Rail Southern Region? Working as a part of a collaborative team trying to deliver common goals is my preferred way of operating. I don’t think I’m unusual in this respect although we would probably all agree that the way the industry is set up does not always push us towards collaboration. The railway is a system that relies on the combined efforts of TOCs and NR to make it work. I am lucky in the Southern Region to work with three TOCs who completely recognise this and are all great collaborators. Our shared goal is to put passengers first and deliver a great service – there is always more to do but each year passenger satisfaction is rising on our trains and stations – it’s a great team effort. Collaboration goes even further though. We are working ever closer with DfT as well as vitally important Rail User Groups, Heritage Societies, local Councils, our lineside neighbours and of course passengers. Your work on Denmark Hill involved using a solar energy solution that produced more power than the station upgrade required in order to run. Did you work with renewable energy in your previous career as a structural engineer and how have you looked to incorporate sustainability into your planning programmes at Network Rail? Denmark Hill is the first net carbon positive station in the country which is really exciting – and it’s the first of ten of our on-site renewable energy projects to be delivered between now and March 2024. Our vision is that the Southern Region becomes cleaner and Rail Professional

greener – not just our stations and buildings but our trains too. It’s our ambition to be the first part of the country to run a diesel free passenger service; we have many challenges to make it happen not least finding the money, but it is definitely possible. Our sustainability plan has two key objectives; one is to integrate sustainability into our decision-making so that decarbonisation and biodiversity are embedded into our planning, design and construction, and the second is to deliver a number of initiatives that show quick, visible progress against our sustainability vision. Our initiatives are really exciting and we have loads going on – we’re planting 10,000 trees by March 2022; shifting our London car fleet to electric by December 2022; creating 50 nature reserves by March 2024; generating renewable energy on-site at our depots and connecting parts of our traction network to renewable energy systems by March 2024.




Alongside sustainability, another important area that our industry is leading in is mental and physical health – tell me about your work as Chairman of the Rail Wellbeing Alliance. The Rail Wellbeing Alliance (RWA) is a group established by RSSB in partnership with the industry to inspire healthy lives across the railway. We want people to not only go home safe, but go home healthier after a day’s work. We spend a third of our time at work. The quality of our social interactions, working environment, and the design of our work, all have a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. The RWA is committed to improving how the quarter of a million rail staff experience their work. Looking after our physical and mental health is a huge opportunity to improve the quality of life of rail colleagues and at the same time deliver efficiency – what’s not to like. We want to share and promote best practice as well as solve some of the trickier problems like fatigue, occupational health and health surveillance. How have you developed the industry’s understanding of the links between health and business performance? The key way to do this is to talk about it as a cross-industry team like the RWA. Intuitively, there is an obvious link between employee health and company performance. In the past, the industry has been too fixated with perfection. We need to take small, iterative steps to get the basics right like collecting health data that begins join the dots with operational effectiveness. A good example of this is the recently launched rail sector Health and Wellbeing Index (HWI). Developed by health economists, the HWI works in a similar way to the better-known FWI (Fatalities and Weighted Injuries) measure used in safety analysis and decision making. Using weightings for various health conditions, the Index allows organisations to calculate the impact of health and wellbeing risks to employees, and compare health-based investment choices and decisions. Rail companies are already using the HWI. They get an objective assessment of the options and see more clearly how health compares to other safety considerations and competing calls on budget. Martin Frobisher, Group Director Safety, Technical and Engineering at Network Rail routinely uses the HWI for our executive safety reviews, and it is already helping us prioritise improvements in a more effective and targeted way. We believe the HWI is the first of its kind in the world and cements the rail’s commitment to putting employee health on an equal footing to safety. In time, the HWI will be able to provide estimates of what ill health conditions are costing employers as well as allowing a direct read-across to FWI values. What more can be done to improve workforce health and wellbeing? There will always be room for improvement in any workforce health programme but we have made great strides forward already. Besides decent data, we need a committed leadership to create the environment to be able to do things differently. Leaders need to recognise the opportunities that a healthy, thriving workforce offer. November will also see the return of Rail Wellbeing Live for the second year which is a great example of how we are talking about these opportunities and getting our message out there. Running across 17-18 November, it’s an exciting ‘pick n mix’ programme of

75 inspiring sessions with over 100 expert speakers and free to anyone to attend. Furthermore, we are developing a sector-wide health dashboard capability and have a new development and education programme for rail OH professionals underway. Spearheading the debate on fatigue and alertness management is also high on our agenda and we have specialist teams considering how best to respond to the challenges of musculoskeletal disorders and occupational hygiene which are inherent in an industry like ours. How have you found coming out of this 18-month period of reduced train travel, 4,000 engineers are back working as normal on the Southern Route, what has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in this respect? One of the biggest challenges is to encourage our people back into the office. Because of the pandemic, we have lost some of bench strength and are not as commercially agile and confident as we have been in the past. We are addressing this in a number of ways including establishing ‘sand pits’ to practice and hone skills in simulated environments. Under your guidance, the number of trains on the South East Route hit 6,000 every weekday, whilst also achieving the strongest-ever financial settlement for the route – £4 billion over five years. To what do you owe this success? There is never just one factor but a blend of different aspects. A mature and robust application of asset management principles is key. Developing strong, simple and compelling arguments combined with a professional approach has also made a big difference. And the final consideration is being able to develop a proper collaboration with TOCs, FOCs and the DfT. You had a long career as a Water Utilities engineer, how did you find the transition to rail when you joined Network Rail in 2009? The transition was surprisingly easy as there were a number of issues common to both water and rail. Both shared a Victorian infrastructure and suffered from under investment. On top of this, both sectors faced considerable challenges on good asset management which underpins great customer service. How are you preparing for the future collaboration with Great British Railways? Our focus is on the great performance of the Southern Region. We are operating within the existing model and GBR is still in early development. So it is difficult to answer at this stage a question about preparation for something that is still taking shape. That said the white paper outlined some changes to the way that the industry operates that can be deployed before the full reform is implemented. Indeed, elements are consistent with the way that we have been working for a number of years, particularly since March 2020 in response to the pandemic, in terms of a close partnership with our operator colleagues responding to industry challenges and making better whole system decisions, also working closely with key local stakeholders. So there is clearly quite a way to go, but alignment with the GBR principles has certainly started. Rail Professional

No matter the project you’re working on, we can get you up to speed with industry best practice. We’re an independent body that makes collective industry knowledge freely available to our members. Our tools, resources and engineering services allow the railway to be safer and more sustainable. We also offer consulting, training, research and events. So there’s no need to duplicate work that’s already been done. Here are three of the hundreds of resources we offer:

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New depths for digital design The successful opening of the Northern Line extension to Battersea Power Station is testament to the growing capabilities of digital design, writes Justin Phillips, Director at Buro Happold Image Credit: Brendan Bell


Image Credit: Brendan Bell

Image Credit: Brendan Bell

he recent completion of a £1.2 billion extension of the London Underground’s Northern Line will unlock one of the capital’s most ambitious regeneration projects for decades - the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station. This eight phase, £9 billion project will see the 42-acre former industrial site transformed into a highly anticipated mixed used development comprising apartments, bars, restaurants, offices, retail and leisure space. The ongoing development and construction of the regeneration project was dependent on the timely delivery of the new twintunnel railway line extension and two stations at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. It’s this rail project that provides the vital link to guarantee adequate transport infrastructure is in place, ready to unlock the potential of this vast new neighbourhood and connect it to the rest of the capital.

The symbiotic relationship between the two projects required close collaboration between the different project partners – Transport for London and Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC). Global design engineering consultancy, Buro Happold, began working on the project, alongside lead consultant Halcrow (now Jacobs) and architect Studiodare, from its inception, helping to secure the first time Transport Works Act Order (TWAO) planning permission, a transit oriented

development initially imagined by the owners of Battersea Power Station. As well as being part of the project to extend the Northern Line, Buro Happold completed the initial detailed design stage for the air rights developments over the Battersea underground station. This was a crucial component to ensure the integration of the station and the above ground commercial developments could safely proceed during the critical early phase of construction of the underground railway.

Using digital design to overcome challenges Tasked with creating the initial scheme designs for the new stations and the over station developments, the use of digital design tools proved to be essential in overcoming a range of complex challenges. The project is a fantastic example of how digital modelling can really push the boundaries of design. The team was faced with an unusual situation where neither the station or the above ground developments Rail Professional



station wall. Using a visual model backed by a shared soil-structure interaction model, the team were able to show how the creation of a novel jacking system could be implemented to keep the wall in place and stay within the one-inch deflection limit, should the basement be built in future.

Section through Battersea Station and Air Rights Development (Credit: Buro Happold)

had yet been built but would need to be structurally integrated and constructed at the same time. In most cases, a building would bridge across a station or have oversailing cantilevers in place so having the above ground structures in direct contact with the top of the station, where neither asset is already in place, added an additional level of complexity that only a fully integrated digital design could solve. Digital design tools really came into their own in a number of ways. It allowed the critical station box lid to be optimised while retaining a reasonable degree of flexibility for future loading introduced by the air rights development. By adopting the optimal location for the heaviest over station building core loads, the team was able to ensure station operations were protected while maximising the layouts and aspects of the above apartments. In addition, it provided the highest level of certainty around respective station and building loadings, as well as their relative deflections. Uniting project partners Collaboration between the different project stakeholders was an essential part of the design journey. This was made even smoother through the use of digital modelling and similar Building Information Modelling (BIM) platforms, particularly as there were many partners throughout the project duration. Transport for London’s appointment of new design and build contractors in 2015 led to significant changes to the planning design of the Battersea train station. Buro Happold worked closely with the station engineers, Mott Macdonald, and the station architect, Grimshaws, to accommodate design alterations that provided greater operational efficiency and rail user satisfaction. This Rail Professional

included widening the station box, altering the position of the station entrances (including integrating one within the air rights development) as well as adopting elements of the temporary works construction within the finished building that required an early approval. In turn some alterations were also made to the internal layouts of the commercial and residential buildings above and in basements adjacent to the station, designed by the world leading architects Fosters + Partners and Frank Gehry. Working within a digital environment, the team was able to work alongside the different project partners and visually demonstrate the interaction between the two projects and how different design changes could be accommodated without affecting how the stations operate or impact the quality and extent of prime real estate above. The ability to demonstrate these complex issues to stakeholders in a simple 3D or 4D environment helped to speed up wider approval processes and governance. The adaptability and resilience of the digital models also meant that these design changes could be embraced, without impacting the overall programme and that successful design divergence of both projects at differing states of maturity could be achieved without extra cost. Close cooperation with the construction team within an integrated digital BIM environment ensured work on the station and development above could proceed in parallel while still accommodating structural changes. One such change arose with the need to deepen the basement next to the station to allow for greater provision of parking. With the soil removed from one side of the station, a solution was required to control the resulting deflection of the

Considering future eventualities The use of digital modelling went beyond visualising interaction during the construction process to even consider future eventualities. With the apartment blocks situated above the station due to have 999-year leases, the project team was required to demonstrate to the client how it would be possible to undertake a complete rebuild of the underground station using current technologies without impacting the commercial and residential spaces above. The project team created a visual representation to show how the extended headspace allowed for the retail spaces positioned directly above the station could be used to insert a series of temporary mega trusses. This would be capable of supporting the building load and deflections of the residential apartments above while allowing future residents to continue to occupy the building. The structural integration of these two projects demonstrates the impressive capabilities of digital design not only in providing innovative design solutions but in fostering greater collaboration between project partners. This approach enables adaptability without impacting on programme, cost or construction workspace. The successful opening of the extended Northern Line comes in time for the main opening of the Power Station building to the public in 2022. About Buro Happold Buro Happold is an international, integrated consultancy of engineers, consultants and advisers. Operating in 26 locations worldwide, with 72 partners and over 1,900 employees; for over 40 years we have built a world-class reputation for delivering creative, value led solutions for an everchallenging world. As a truly inter-connected community of experts, we value human wellbeing, curiosity, embrace mutual responsibility and genuinely care about the impact and legacy of our work. Justin Phillips, London Office Director and Global Lead for Rail Interchange Projects Justin first joined Buro Happold in 1996. He has over 30 years of multidisciplinary engineering, design, consultancy and project management experience on numerous highprofile civil and structural projects in the UK and worldwide. Justin’s particular interest lies in mixed-use development and regeneration schemes in London. His other notable projects include Millennium Dome and the 2012 Olympic Stadium. Justin is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Tel: 0207 927 9700 Email: Justin.Phillips@burohappold.com Visit: www.burohappold.com

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Improving air quality in the rail industry Frazer-Nash’s Chris Ward discusses a novel technology that could help the rail sector address its air quality challenges


ir pollution is one of the most prominent health problems of our generation and although public awareness of the air quality crisis has improved significantly over the last decade, a lot more work is required to deal with the problem. A novel technology, being developed and demonstrated by Atmo Technology (Atmo) and Frazer-Nash Consultancy (Frazer-Nash), could help the rail industry to address some of the air quality challenges at stations and depots. The air quality crisis Air quality is a broad term that encompasses a range of pollutants, each with their own unique impact on health and the environment. Two of the most significant pollutants in the UK are nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM), with the latter commonly split into PM2.5 and PM10, which denote particles smaller than 2.5mm and 10mm respectively. Research has demonstrated strong links between these pollutants and both respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, particularly for the young, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions. The UK government’s 2019 Clean Air Strategy found that long-term exposure to these man-made air pollutants contributes to shorter lifespans, equivalent to 28,000-36,000 deaths a year. The bad news doesn’t end there – the government’s Air Quality Expert Group anticipates that the cumulative cost of air pollution could reach £5.3 to £18.6 billion by 2035.

The improved resolution of the data compared to traditional monitoring techniques means that it can help identify trends that wouldn’t otherwise be visible Air quality challenges in the rail industry The transport sector is one of the most significant sources of air pollution within the UK, and while the rail sector represents a relatively small fraction of this total there are significant local variations across the network. Stations in particular are known to be susceptible to poor air quality. As an example, a previous study at Birmingham New Street [Hickman, 2018] recorded NO2 concentrations more than 50 per cent higher than the EU’s maximum allowable hourly limit of 200μg/m3. These concentrations were also shown to be more than five times higher

than the levels outside the station, which demonstrates just how local these effects can be. A similar study by the RSSB [Research into air quality in enclosed railway stations, April 2019], at London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverly, demonstrated that the 200μg/ m3 limit was exceeded more than 18 times in two weeks for both stations. The fact that stations can have particularly poor air quality poses a significant risk for the rail industry because these are the most populated parts of the rail network. In response to these air quality issues, the British rail industry released the Air Quality Strategic Framework in 2020, which outlines the industry’s vision in this area, as well as the current challenges it is facing. One challenge highlighted in the report is the lack of air quality data available for stations, as well as another suspected problem area, depots. Currently, the only stations for which air quality data are available publicly are Birmingham New Street, London King’s Cross, and Edinburgh Waverly, and there is no publicly available data for depots. In addition, much of this data has been collected via a technology known as diffusion tubes. While these are relatively cheap, they also provide very limited information – generally each tube provides a single indicative long-term (typically monthly) average value. They cannot, for example, tell you the number of hours for which a threshold was exceeded. As a result, they are of more use in monitoring long-term trends over several years rather Rail Professional



than actually helping to tackle the root cause of poor air quality. Diffusion tubes also suffer from local ‘bias’, and as a result the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs recommends that any diffusion tube study should also use an ‘automatic chemiluminescence analyser’ to correct for this. While these devices are more accurate, they are also significantly more expensive – offsetting the low-cost benefit of diffusion tubes in the first place. A better approach To help overcome some of these challenges Frazer-Nash and Bristol based start-up Atmo Technology are combining their respective state-of-the-art modelling and monitoring technologies to provide an unparalleled level of information and understanding about air quality at rail stations and depots. For this ‘First-of-a-Kind’ demonstrator project, Atmo is deploying a network of 34 particulate matter sensors across Bristol Temple Meads station and another 40 sensors across Arriva TrainCare’s Bristol Barton Hill depot. The Internet-of-Things enabled sensors will upload air quality data to the cloud, where it can be viewed in real-time. It’s a technology that Atmo have proven in a number of other industries, including shipping ports and construction sites. But the real-time data is just the tip of the iceberg – the improved resolution of the data compared to traditional monitoring techniques means that it can help identify trends that wouldn’t otherwise be visible – for example, how much worse is the air quality at a platform when a train is idling, and how long does it take for that air quality to recover once the train has departed? To augment this novel monitoring technology, Frazer-Nash is using its dispersion modelling expertise to develop an air quality digital twin of Bristol Temple Meads station. The digital twin will be

developed from Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations, an established modelling technology that can predict how emissions are dispersed from across the station. Combining the digital twin with Atmo’s air quality measurements will allow us to fully understand the air quality environment throughout the station at a micro and macro scale. In addition, this novel combination of modelling and monitoring should allow us to attribute the air quality across the station to particular sources. For example, is the air quality in the ticket hall driven by the emissions from the taxi rank that is just outside, or the diesel locomotives at the nearest platforms? This of course has important implications for which air quality mitigation measures are likely to be the most effective. The other major benefit of combining monitoring and modelling in this way, is that the effectiveness of these mitigation measures can be assessed before any significant CapEx investments are made. Summary In summary, by combining the state-of-the-art monitoring and modelling technologies Atmo and Frazer-Nash hope to provide an unparalleled understanding of air quality at railway stations and depots. This will pave the way for informed decisions to be made on how to best manage and improve the local air quality in the future to benefit of both rail staff and passengers.

Chris Ward is a Senior Consultant at Frazer-Nash Consultancy specialising in fluid dynamics, with expertise in the use of CFD modelling to assess the dispersion of pollutants within the urban environment.

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Ladders up Crossrail systemwide contractor ATC reaches for new heights with the help of Bilco UK


ith the new Elizabeth line set to deliver a ten pe cent increase in rail capacity across central London, the project will provide a high frequency service that reduces journey times and creates new travel opportunities by linking 41 stations across 100 kilometres. As part of the landmark construction project, over 42 kilometres of new tunnels, 50 kilometres of new track and ten new stations are being developed in conjunction with major upgrades to the existing infrastructure. Throughout the construction stages of the central section, which spans from Westbourne Park to Plumstead and Pudding Mill Lane, over 350 of Bilco UK’s innovative aluminium Ladder Up® Safety Posts have been specified by Crossrail’s systemwide contractor Alstom TSO Costain Joint Venture (ATC Systemwide) to provide safe and secure access.

Weighing just seven kilograms due to the milled aluminium construction, the resilient Ladder Up® Safety Posts will provide engineers with unobstructed access to the walkways when conducting essential maintenance throughout the tunnels, once the line is operational. Once fully open, the Elizabeth line will provide an additional 1.5 million people with access to central London within 45 minutes, covering Reading and Heathrow in the West, right through to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the East. The specification process, managed by Construction & Rail Contractors McNealy Brown, focused on the requirement for durable yet functional access solutions that would consistently provide a safe and direct step through onto the walkway, without impacting on the surrounding electrical services. The unique and high quality

When we first began researching potential access solutions for the Crossrail project’s central section, it became clear quite quickly that the Bilco UK Ladder Up® Safety Post was the only product available on the UK market that would fulfil our extensive list of requirements

construction of the Ladder Up® Safety Post fulfilled each requirement of the brief. This includes features such as the innovative telescopic post, which mounts permanently to the top two rungs of any fixed ladder to provide a secure handhold that enables the user to enter or exit the opening in an upright and balanced position. Clive Burfoot, Contract Manager at McNealy Brown, said: ‘When we first began researching potential access solutions for the Crossrail project’s central section, it became clear quite quickly that the Bilco UK Ladder Up® Safety Post was the only product

available on the UK market that would fulfil our extensive list of requirements. ‘The telescopic extension was one of the main benefits that secured its specification for this project, as it enables the Ladder Up® safety post to be both retracted and extended, a key function that wasn’t available with any other access solution.’ Each ladder has been installed with two Ladder Up® Safety Posts, which are located on either side of the ladder to provide the direct step through onto the walkway for increased safety and efficiency. The installation process, which has been managed by Rail Professional



ATC Systemwide, will provide secure access throughout all essential areas of the central section, including at either end of every station and at additional strategic locations. Vimesshen Ravindran, Senior Mechanical Engineer at ATC Systemwide, said: ‘The lightweight construction of the Ladder Up® Safety Posts ensured the installation process was quick and easy, resulting in no unforeseen issues on site. When the system retracts, the high quality spring-balance and convenient lever release provides a controlled means of lowering into its retracted position. This delivers enhanced ease of operation, ensuring long term suitability and usability for the engineers when undertaking future maintenance tasks. ‘The Ladder Up® Safety Posts will play an essential role in ensuring the central section of the Elizabeth line continues to

run at the highest standard, so it was crucial we specified access solutions that would facilitate the continued maintenance of the line, safely and efficiently.’ The telescopic tubular section automatically locks when fully extended, while the adjustable mounting hardware accommodates any ladder rung size or spacing. The corrosion resistant construction can also withstand the demanding environment of the London underground system, ensuring its successful operation for years to come. Rob Glen, Managing Director of Bilco UK, said: ‘We are extremely proud to have been involved in the UK’s high profile Crossrail infrastructure project and have worked closely with McNealy Brown and ATC Systemwide throughout every stage of the specification and installation stages. ‘This has ensured our unique

Ladder Up® Safety Posts have fulfilled each individual requirement of the central section of the Elizabeth line, from security and ease of usability, right through to long term durability. We look forward to seeing the completion of the Crossrail project as our innovative access solutions play a vital role in ensuring its safe and successful operation.’ Aiming to make travelling throughout the capital easier, quicker and less crowded for passengers, the Elizabeth line will not only reduce the strain on London’s transport network but transform the way passengers experience and interact with the city and its suburbs.

access hatches, smoke vents, floor doors and ladders. Bilco UK, Profab Access and Howe Green together form Access 360, a division of Tyman plc, which provides a total manufacturing solution for roof, ceiling, wall and floor access products to the construction industry. Ladder Up® is a registered trademark of the Bilco company. The Ladder Up® Safety Post provides safe, easy ladder access through Roof Access Hatches, Floor Doors and Manholes and is available in either steel or aluminium construction.

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Andy Knight, Managing Director of Signet Solutions Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Andy Knight, Managing Director of Signet Solutions about his experiences as a Signalling Engineer, the skills gap in the rail industry and how Signet Solutions hopes to rectify this very satisfied once this has been completed. I still speak to some of those people today and we often share happy memories of our time together and thankfully these people are in senior roles within the Signal Engineering field. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen during that time?

You became Managing Director of Signet Solutions in 2003, and have a near 40-year career as a Signalling Engineer – how did the first half of your career inform your work at Signet Solutions? I had a very traditional route into the Signal Engineering department (called the Signal & Telegraph at my starting point). This allowed me to complete four years of training and placement in the various disciplines in the department whilst also attending a recognised college course in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. This continued throughout my career, and I was lucky enough to be part of an organisation Rail Professional

at the time (British Rail) where I was able to experience a wide range of disciplines and was involved in the installation, testing and maintenance of signalling equipment throughout my early career and ultimately became a fault control supervisor before moving into the training area. Latterly I was leading a maintenance and faulting team in the Manchester Piccadilly area, and this team seemed to become where trainee and graduates would be sent to have an initial introduction to the trackside equipment element of the job. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and it allowed me to pass on my knowledge and understanding to other people and I felt

I think without a doubt the change of the organisation as it changed from a nationalised industry to a private led organisation was one of the biggest challenges that the industry faced. This impacted every facet of the industry and the ability to communicate and manage projects and perform maintenance was challenged. It also led to challenges in the way we managed and controlled competence and it took the industry some time to assess this and bring in control measures to assure quality. The rules around the safety and management of projects have seen huge changes and I think we are about to see more challenges as we recover from the pandemic and transition to Great British Railways. As always, we have faced a challenge to justify the renewal and expense surrounding new technology and the implementation of the digital railway and we still face a huge task in persuading the government and the public that we should invest in the industry. In my career this has never gone away and in reality, this is an ongoing challenge for our industry. What are some of the challenges you believe the training sector will face in the coming years? How do they compare to the challenges of the past? I think we have had to adapt to the pandemic and implement changes to the way we train people, which is steadily easing, and we are returning to some form of normality. However, as in many other industries we




As always, we have faced a challenge to justify the renewal and expense surrounding new technology and the implementation of the digital railway and we still face a huge task in persuading the government and the public that we should invest in the industry have developed approaches to training that do take advantage of the technology that is available and, in some cases, we have achieved great progress. The main challenge to training is a constant in some respect in the context that we all want to achieve safety within our industry, and this means that we need competent people. Training assists in this process and I think how we ensure that this is done properly, and everybody understands the need for it, and the associated costs, will make us a better industry for the future. We must learn the lessons associated with knowledge fade and loss of skill as people retire and ensure that we plan training for the longer term and resist the temptation to do it for the short-term and react to incidents when arguably, it is too late. Signet Solutions are specialists in the delivery of railway signalling courses and training programmes to members of the Rail Signalling Industry. What type of training courses do you offer? We offer a full selection of courses that cover the individual disciplines within Signalling Engineering. This includes Design, Installation, Testing and Maintenance. Some of these courses are part of our standard portfolio and provide a recognised

development path for each of the disciplines. However, we can align the courses to the needs of the clients, and we work closely with some clients and produce training for new systems. Tell me about your facilities, what sort of equipment will trainees be able to get their hands on? The facilities have been built to suit the wide range of typical trackside equipment that delegates would find in the workplace. We have also built a selection of control systems within the centre (Solid State Interlocking and Relay Based Interlocking) as well as helping clients with control systems on their own sites. We effectively provide a full trackside installation that simulates the trackside environment and allows delegates to work on equipment in a safe and internal location so we are not affected by the weather with the exception of a fully working mechanical external installation. What sort of practical experience will trainees come away with? The individual delegates can experience all the practical elements of a role and they are recommended in most cases to carry on their mentorship process in the workplace. This supports the overall competence management system within the client’s organisation. What are the biggest skills gaps you’ve seen clients struggling with the most? I think in the industry today due to pressure on projects and the inability to allow people to experience the industry over a reasonable timescale, people can sometimes lack sufficient workplace experience. This makes the training challenging and needs some form of programme to ensure that people are supported in the workplace in line with the training to re-enforce the underpinning knowledge and practical experience already gained in the training environment. How would you define the ‘intelligent railway’? This has become a buzzword in the industry and its about us getting better at linking the various systems that can provide

information and grasp the opportunities going forward. As an example, we can use sensors and cameras to assess the conditions of the infrastructure. This can lead to reduced faults due to maintenance being carried our when needed and because we can assess the information remotely it leads to a safety benefit i.e., staff having to be on the trackside is reduced. This is only an example, but the opportunities are quite wide ranging and exciting, if we can manage and understand the data that we collect. How can we best utilise the data being generated by the signalling systems on the railway network? If you look at other countries that are perhaps more advanced in their approach to data, we are seeing the creation of data management departments. These department will become highly skilled in interpreting the data and deciding how we use to our best advantage. If we can assess the data in an ‘intelligent’ manner and link some of our systems we could improve safety and performance as well as improving how we design systems in the future.

We must learn the lessons associated with knowledge fade and loss of skill as people retire and ensure that we plan training for the longer term and resist the temptation to do it for the short-term and react to incidents when arguably, it is too late Rail Professional

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Small plant operative training that reduces time off the job by 30 per cent Alex Pond, Managing Director of Intertrain describes the Small Plant blended learning programme being offered by Kineo and Intertrain


any of you in the rail sector will know me as Manging Director of Intertrain but what you might not know is that two years ago our business was acquired by the global credentialling, skills and training organisation, City & Guilds. We took the decision to join City & Guilds partly because of their credentials as a charity that reinvests their profits back into improving training in sectors like rail, and partly to enable us to grow Intertrain and access a much broader set of skills to allow us to diversify and innovate our product and service offering.

Our new small plant operative training course is a prime example of how being part of the City & Guilds business has allowed us to innovate for the future of training in the rail industry. Working with Kineo, City & Guilds award winning e-learning business, we have been able to develop the UK rail sector’s first ever Small Plant blended learning programme. So, what is the benefit to your business that this programme is blended (or partly off online and partly face-to-face in a classroom) I hear you ask? Well, put quite simply, by taking a blended learning approach we have been able to reduce learning hours by around 30 per cent, thereby minimising

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There is a real benefit for delegates too as it gives them the flexibility to learn at their own pace, fitting around business and personal commitments.

time spent on the course away from working hours. We do this whilst ensuing that you get the same robust, high-quality training that you would expect your team would have got using traditional face-to-face training. How do we do that? Essentially all the parts of the training that are theoretical

rather than practical will be taught online rather than requiring businesses to release staff for the whole of the training as try would have had to have done in the past. There is a real benefit for delegates too as it gives them the flexibility to learn at their own pace, fitting around business and personal commitments. This is a first step in us bringing innovative new digital training practices to the rail sector and you can expect to see much more in the future. We will continue to work with employers in the rail industry to improve the competency of our workforce through digital and blended learning. In the years ahead Intertrain and City & Guilds Group will be expanding their portfolio of collaborative training programmes, focussing on areas such as Railway Technical and Health and Safety disciplines. If you’d like to find out more about the Small Plant Operative or talk to me about blended learning drop me a line alex.pond@intertrain.biz

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Training across rail and infrastructure Davie Carns, Managing Director of National Infrastructure Solutions explains why a flexible and sustainable approach will help address the skills gap


he rail and infrastructure industry is set to face an impending skills crisis, with City & Guilds and the National Skills Academy for Rail estimating that up to 120,000 additional workers will be required over the next five to ten years. Yet without a sustainable talent pipeline, the industry will experience an imbalance of increasing demand and an absence of qualified workers. This is particularly true within the rail industry which has a multitude of major projects already underway or scheduled for the coming years. Adding to this shortage is the fact that, with 28 per cent of workers in the industry aged over 50, around 15,000 workers could be due to retire by 2025. The impact of Brexit on the availability of oversees employees will also undoubtedly play a role in worsening the skills crisis. The solution to this lies in the creation of relevant and tailored training programmes, developed with industry employer needs in mind to ensure that future demand can be met effectively. These programmes must also provide sustainable and supportive employment opportunities to continue to attract and retain talent. The training should be facilitated to prepare its learners for the realities of working in this sector and continually evolve to align with the everchanging infrastructure landscape. An ‘employer led’ approach When tackling the impending skills shortage, it is imperative that training is designed to meet employers’ needs. Without accurately or sufficiently preparing new talent with the skills or knowledge that the sector requires, the industry will fall short of capable and qualified workers. One region making waves and establishing a blueprint of how to equip individuals with the skills and experience which meets sector demand is the West Midlands. Enabled by funding and support from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), both the City of Wolverhampton College (CoWC) and National Infrastructure Rail Professional

Solutions (NIS) have developed several initiatives to support rail and infrastructure training, upskilling and employee retention in the region. This includes a focus on sector-based work academy programmes; designed to meet employers’ immediate and future recruitment needs, as well as recruiting a workforce with the right skills which will help employers grow and sustain their business. In the last year alone, the partnership has helped equip more than 200 people with skills and training within the rail industry, including to support ongoing HS2 projects. At the core of these programmes is a focus on understanding local and national industry needs – working closely with employers and industry partners across all phases of training ensures we’re able to deliver exactly what they need. In the initial phase, we work with partners such as Jobcentre Plus, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and key stakeholders across the Armed Forces Community to engage those with little or no experience in the infrastructure sector. We then invite employers to meet the learners so they can understand how training will shape their development and address any knowledge gaps ensuring they are equipped with the necessary skills to be ‘work-ready’ as soon as they enter the workforce. The learners then undergo a four-to-sixweek course depending on their initial level of knowledge and experience, through which they are introduced to an array of skills and tools. This includes ensuring individuals are prepared for the practicalities of the industry by exposing them to on-the-job training and guided onsite learning in addition to standard Personal Track Safety (PTS) qualifications. This not only helps them understand the day-to-day job requirements, but also ensures site managers can assess specific skills and capabilities. As part of the final phase of the programme, learners are supported with interview preparation before partaking in a guaranteed interview with at least one employer. This preparation is essential

in making sure they can effectively demonstrate practical knowledge and apply what they have learnt during their training. Involving employers from the very beginning means that they can witness firsthand the progression and development of learners. Engaging with employers and establishing these partnerships has built a huge amount of trust and confidence in both the quality of training and the capabilities of each graduate. It also leads to longer tenures in roles as individuals are fully prepared and have a strong understanding of the realities of the industry, therefore improving retention rates. As an example, one of our key employer partners, Stone Alliance Services Ltd, despite the pandemic and the associated challenges, hired 35 individuals following completion of training throughout 2020; 34 of these were still employed more than six months after their training. This kind of retention is much higher than the industry average and demonstrates how engagement with industry partners results in sustainable employment as well as a reliable and skilled workforce, with the most up to date and relevant experience. A ‘skills escalator’ within the sector Another key challenge for training links to progression opportunities within the sector. With a multitude of entry level training programmes, there is a resulting stagnation as too many people are newly qualified with identical skill sets making progression and the ability to learn on the job difficult. Therefore, greater focus must be placed on a creation of upskilling opportunities and training for workers currently in the industry which would in turn allow more roles to become available at the bottom


level as others progress, addressing the current ‘bottle-neck’ issue. These upskilling opportunities can also span beyond rail operations, for example, operations surrounding HS2 require a hugely varied workforce from CCTV operators to managers of onsite ecology projects. This ‘skills escalator’ will then not only enhance existing capabilities and offer new pathways for employees, but also create gaps and a cycle for those prospective employees to gain the entry level positions made available. In conjunction with National Infrastructure Solutions, Amey Rail, an industry powerhouse, has recognised this problem. Spearheaded by Operations Director Wayne Brigden, Amey Rail have committed to building an Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) training facility at the City of Wolverhampton College to support the development of the current workforce ensuring in turn, Amey Rail can benefit from new, highly skilled operatives entering the industry. A greater and more diverse talent pool A vital component of our recruitment process is a focus on attracting talent from outside the sector. To meet the growing demand, it is important to engage with a wide range of individuals and identify skills and mindsets that would be highly

transferable to infrastructure and rail. While Jobcentre Plus and DWP are both effective avenues for engaging individuals, it’s also important to expand horizons and build relationships with wider charities and outreach groups. For example, working with an organisation supporting young people aged between 16-25 who have escaped gang violence, means we have been able to also offer them training opportunities. This has provided these young people the chance to gain relevant skills and experience in a new sector, helping to set them up for a steady and sustainable career. Gaining funding from the WMCA has been instrumental in making all these training opportunities a success. It has helped us recruit and retain individuals across rail and infrastructure, enhance relationships with employers by directly addressing their needs, and contribute to a more diverse and skilled workforce. While we’ve already made great progress, we have no intention of slowing down. With future funding we hope to be able to expand our diversity even further. This includes implementing a ‘High Speed 100’ project which will be a fast-track employment programme enabling 100 women to learn the relevant skills required to work on HS2 related projects. Our aim for this project is that it will inspire a generation


of women to seek employment in the sector and will galvanise principal contractors to take responsibility in closing the gender gap by making employment opportunities available to all. The issue of the impending skills shortage within the infrastructure and rail sector is one that needs to be addressed through a collaborative and flexible approach to training that prioritises the requirements of local industry. Robust training programmes such as these in the West Midlands present a real and durable solution, not only increasing talent and improving access to training but inspiring a whole generation of work-ready individuals within infrastructure. With more effective entry points into the sector, and progression within it, we can accurately address industry needs and establish a workforce with the longevity and endurance to support the rapidly expanding rail and infrastructure industry. A former youth international footballer, Davie enjoyed a successful military career spanning ten years, six operational tours and numerous accolades serving as a Royal Marines Commando. In 2014, Davie entered the rail industry initially working for Amey Colas. He has since enjoyed a varied and successful seven years in the industry before establishing his own business supporting the wider infrastructure sectors.

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Health and wellbeing through yoga Charlotte Kahn, owner of yoga business Maida Yoga, describes how yoga is helping support the health and wellbeing of employees in the railway industry including VolkerRail, Arriva Rail London, and Avanti West Coast


n the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, championing employees’ health and wellbeing has risen to the top of the corporate agenda. With an increased focus on wellness, I’m working with businesses to introduce yoga to support employees in a holistic way. Like many companies, the pandemic changed the way I ran my business. ‘Inperson’ yoga made way for live online yoga sessions using platforms Microsoft Teams and Zoom. This new way of online working opened my London based yoga business to working with more clients across the UK. I began leading three online yoga sessions per week for VolkerRail at the start of the first lockdown. Soon afterwards I had added Arriva Rail London and Avanti West Coast to my roster of corporate clients.

These industry leaders knew early on that wellbeing classes would support employee’s health and wellbeing through the pandemic. Yoga is a type of exercise for your body and mind. The physical exercises are beneficial for increasing flexibility, building muscle strength, improving balance, and increasing energy. Not only does yoga help to prevent injury, but yoga can also be adapted for people who have an existing injury or illness - making yoga accessible to everyone. With the growth of homeworking, many employees have found themselves at makeshift workstations increasing the chance of neck, back and shoulder pain. The physical exercises taught in yoga helps to reduce the tension common to these areas. Yoga is just as beneficial for your mind as it is for your body. Breathing practices,

Yoga pose photo credit: Adele Baron Photography Rail Professional



mindfulness, and relaxation helps to calm the nervous system, relieving stress and anxiety. With the added stress caused by the pandemic, my clients are benefiting from yoga more than ever. Yoga sessions are held before work, at lunch times, or after work. Although the sessions are live, VolkerRail, Arriva Rail London, and Avanti West Coast record the sessions so that their employees have the option to watch at a time better suited to their work schedule. At Arriva Rail London, the recorded sessions have been watched hundreds of times. Milena Swieboda, Safety Improvement Manager at Arriva Rail London, says: ‘Since March 2020, safety and wellbeing have become embedded within all elements of the business strategy, what the business is and does – a priority consideration for the senior team, management and frontline staff. An Arriva Rail London wellbeing programme has been in place for a number of years. But in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis there has been a radical push to show commitment to the safety and wellbeing of all staff, live online yoga session has been one of the initiatives introduced. Mindful yoga to improve flexibility not only of body but also mind has been very welcomed. Charlotte – our yoga teacher – adapts her classes to all

levels. She is really dedicated to her practice and students. We are really lucky to have her as our teacher.’ Other types of wellbeing classes are also positively impacting staff. Along with yoga, VolkerRail offered their staff an array of online wellness classes including Qigong, fitness, and even group Reiki healing. Stuart Webster-Spriggs, HSQES at VolkerRail UK, says: ‘The health and wellbeing of employees was always an important consideration for VolkerRail and this was brought further into the spotlight during the pandemic. The Health & Wellbeing Steering Group determined that it would be hugely beneficial to connect with our employees whilst our office locations were closed, and a large proportion of staff were working from home. To that end we provided a variety of on-line fitness and wellbeing classes – something to suit everyone. One of our most popular offerings was Charlotte’s Yoga classes with some fantastic feedback from those that took part who stated how beneficial it was for them to have a mind and body focus to relieve their stress levels, tune into themselves and increase their fitness/ flexibility levels – especially with being sedentary for increased periods of time working from home.’ Not only can yoga boost the immune

system, but it can also be used to help people recover from Covid-19. In May this year, Prince Charles gave a talk at the yoga and healthcare symposium Wellness After Covid organised by Yoga In Healthcare Alliance. In his video statement, Prince Charles suggests that people struggling to return to full health after having coronavirus should practise yoga. Charles says: ‘This pandemic has emphasised the importance of preparedness, resilience and the need for an approach which addresses the health and welfare of the whole person as part of society, and which does not merely focus on the symptoms alone…As part of that approach, therapeutic, evidenced-informed yoga can contribute to health and healing. By its very nature, yoga is an accessible practice which provides practitioners with ways to manage stress, build resilience and promote healing.’ Covid-19 may have forced wellbeing more urgently into focus, but with its multitude of benefits, wellness classes such as yoga will be part of employees working life long after the pandemic. So even if you’ve never tried yoga before, I urge you to give it a go. No matter which area of the railway business you are working in, yoga truly is for everyone. www.maidayoga.com or email Charlotte@ maidayoga.com


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Railway Chaplains – trained or called? Barry Brown, Railway Mission Trustee for People issues, describes how Railway Chaplains are trained


eing a Railway Chaplain is a tough job and, in fact, it’s better described as a ‘Calling.’ The Railway Mission has 20, or so, chaplains strategically placed around the network to meet the needs of railway people and their families, or aptly put in our strapline, ‘being there on life’s journey.’ Our chaplains come from a Christian background, backed up by theological training, which inspires their compassion and desire to make a difference to people’s lives. They are there for all, no matter who they are, whatever their background, ethnicity, abilities, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, religion, marital or partnership status, pregnancy, and maternity status. All means all! On any given day or night, chaplains can be confronted a wide range of challenges - a call to a suicide scene, counselling individuals facing redundancy, broken relationships, health, financial difficulties, etc or just being there to come alongside people. Recently one of our chaplains received a call at 03:30 from a BTP duty sergeant, requesting help for officers, following a particular fatality, where they had made the distressing discovery, while recovering the remains of the victim, that this individual was a serving police officer with the local Home Office force. Almost daily there is a railway tragedy where someone has used the railway as a means to end their own life, but every day there are also personal tragedies where chaplains are asked to Rail Professional

help; tragedies of bereavement, marriage breakdown or of family problems and more; so many personal issues that affect the health and wellbeing of railway staff and shift their focus from the job. A special kind of person Being there for people 24/7 is a tall order and requires more than a mechanistic commitment but rather, a solid devotion to the role of chaplain, driven by a strong personal values and a desire provide support for individual mental health and well-being in times of stress and anxiety. The kind of person we look for requires special attributes, as our chaplains need to possess, compassion and empathy, resilience and endurance, sound judgement and leadership, insight and wisdom backed up by appropriate skills and competence. It’s not all bad! Indeed, there are many needs out there that Chaplains seek to help but, equally, there are those times, whether on a station concourse, a depot, an office, etc where our chaplains meet with railway staff, at all levels and share a laugh and joke, a cup of coffee and a biscuit, a chat, and a mutual moan about the weather, or whatever it is! Having that rapport with people and being familiar faces is all important to build trust, confidence, and relationships. Where do they come from? Looking at what it takes to be a chaplain raises the question of where do such people come

from and how are they trained and skilled for this exacting role? Alongside the compassion there needs to be essential professional chaplaincy skills and experience. Whilst we do, on occasions engage and develop those who have considerable potential to fulfil the role, we do, to a large extent, need candidates to come ‘readymade’ with a considerable depth of experience, training, and qualifications in essential areas, often gained in other sectors of industry. Chaplain Christopher Henley is the prime example of this, having worked for Kenyon International Emergency Services, specialising in the ‘Repatriation of Human Remains, Identification and Disaster Management.’ Christopher worked in Banda Aceh following the Boxing Day tsunami as well as other international disasters such as plane crashes. Of course, not

all the chaplains have such an in-depth knowledge of disaster recovery as Christopher, but they all come with a wealth of other life experience that help equip them for the role. To find such people our recruitment and selection process needs to be fit for purpose! We need to probe and find evidence that candidates possess the necessary attributes. We do this in four ways – through the application documentation, evidence-based interviews, representative workbased scenarios and time given for social interaction. Getting up to speed Often, new chaplains are not just new to the Railway Mission but new to the Railway. As part of their induction and probationary period, therefore, time must be spent getting to know the unique rail environment, its people and how it operates. No mean task!


A new chaplain will need to ‘learn their patch,’ and plan to cover it on a regular basis. This is the given area that he/she is responsible for as chaplain – usually around 5000 staff across a multitude of organisations that include TOCS, Network Rail and the British Transport Police. The difficulties are that we only have a small team due to financial constraints and some of the areas are difficult to negotiate due to the geography of the network. Derek Grant, who covers the north of Scotland has a huge geographical area, but fewer staff than most, while others in the south of England have a large number of manned stations, offices, and depots. Those whose areas come into a major London terminal, also have a large part of the TfL Underground network to cover too. To help in this daunting task the new chaplain will be paired up with a ‘buddy’ for a period of time to get to know who is who, and what is what! Help is always at hand until they grow into the role.

Additionally, as the Railway Mission serves the UK TOCS, NR, the BTP and many other rail organisations it is important chaplains meet and maintain the essential training requirements of these organisations, such as: • Personal track safety. • Equality and diversity. • Safeguarding. • General safety awareness. • Suicide prevention. • Trauma Management. • Psychological First Aid. • Incident site management processes. Naturally, Chaplains are appraised on an annual basis, plus monthly pulse checks to review progress and to see if chaplains need further support, training, or development to enhance their performance in the role. Being a team In the Mission, whilst Chaplains are scattered throughout the UK, they are in fact a strong team, learning from, and watching out for each other; developing synergy and best practice, plus enjoying that camaraderie amongst them that is so vital.

Being a chaplain can be stressful and traumatic at times so they too, need pastoral support to maintain their mental health and well-being. We encourage our chaplains to be open about any mental health concerns and provide space to talk about these in different ways. This could be with a colleague, a member of the Mission management team, specific Trustees with pastoral oversight or with our external welfare provider. It is so important that we keep short accounts on these mental health issues. Going on from here Yes, Chaplains in the Railway Mission have a unique blend of passion, compassion, people skills and specialist mental health experience but the ever-changing scene within the industry and increasing demand from rail staff for help in times of stress, mean we need to ‘up our game’ too. Our approach to this is twofold. First, we want to be able to fund more chaplains and be increasingly accessible to staff and their families. Second, we want to see more accredited


learning made available to chaplains to strengthen and enhance their skills and be fully recognised as professionals in their role. We are working to provide such opportunities for the future this will be via new training and refresher training in aspects of the role and support provided, but we are also keen not to overburden the team, balancing the needs of rail staff with the emotional and psychological needs of the chaplaincy team. We will continue to play our part in helping rail employees combat all that life throws at them as well as celebrating all that they are and achieve. Maybe, the next time you bump into a chaplain you will remember it’s a tough call to be what they are! Barry Brown is Railway Mission Trustee for People issues and was Stations & HR Director for the former Midland Mainline Train Operating Company. A career Railwayman for over 38 years, Barry has spent recent years working for parent transport companies on Franchise renewal bid teams. He is largely retired now, supporting his church and a local charity mentoring young people.

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Prioritising training for mental health Steve Broom, Director of Health, Safety, Quality and the Environment (HSQE) for Dyer & Butler explains the importance of mental health support and training


aving started my career in the railway industry as a signal engineer at the age of 16, one of the first training courses that I was sent on was an emergency first aid course. It is widely expected within the workplace that if you injure yourself physically, there is normally access to a trained and competent person that is experienced in how to protect life, prevent the situation from becoming worse and to promote recovery. So why is it that so many companies only focus on providing support for physical injuries, when it is often the conditions that we can’t see that can be more harmful? You cannot turn on the television or pick up a newspaper at the moment without hearing about a story connected to mental health. There is no doubt that the public are now more aware of mental health issues, and this is for a very good reason. It is commonly believed that one in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind in any given year

and that one in six people will report experiencing some form of common mental health problem (such as anxiety, low mood or depression) in any given week. The rate of suicide continues to increase particularly in men aged 45 to 49 and women aged 50 to 54. The incidence of poor mental health continues to increase even further when you factor in the effects of poverty, living conditions and other social-economic issues, not to mention the effects of the pandemic that we have all been battling with over the past 18 months. If you even just scratch the surface and take a look at the scale of the problem, you can instantly see that the condition of the nation’s mental health is in decline and because of this, the effects that this has on people at work is an issue that we should all take more notice of. Figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) indicate that around 18 million working days are lost each year due to the effects of poor mental health and wellbeing. Figures relating to the cost of mental health to the UK economy

each year vary widely, but needless to say, the total effect on UK industry runs into billions of pounds. Considering the information above, it is understandable that there is now a strong

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case for companies to provide their people with mental health support and training. It is therefore good to see industry initiatives such as the Railway Mental Health Charter that has been set up by the Railway Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and Southeastern Railway to further promote the need for the rail industry to put this at the top of its agenda. Owing to the scale of the problem that we all now face it is sometimes hard to know where to start or where to focus your efforts to provide your people with the best support that you can give them. The answer to this question is relatively simple and can be found within the Railway Mental Health Charter. If we all seek to end the stigma that is connected to mental health by allowing our people to have conversations in an open and honest culture, where everyone knows where and when to ask for support, then your company will have taken a huge step forward in how it manages mental health and wellbeing within the workplace. This seems such an easy thing to say but in reality, it is not so easy to achieve as it involves change at all levels within an organisation. This is where training, awareness and having people that specialise in mental health support within your business will help to embed those changes for good. For the past four years, Dyer & Butler (a part of M Group Services’ Transport Division) have been making many improvements in the way that we manage and support the mental health and wellbeing of our people and contractors. Each and every improvement that has been made has been underpinned by expanding the training, competence and knowledge base of the people within our business. Our journey towards better mental health and wellbeing started in quite a simple way and I can put the success of everything else that followed down to one person. It was one of our Health and Safety Advisors, Kevin Harding that started the ball rolling. Kevin approached me one day and started up a conversation about how his personal experience of mental health issues, both at home and at work, had spiked his interest

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in the subject and during our conversation it was clear that Kevin was passionate to do something about it. Within weeks Kevin had prepared a Mental Health Awareness Course that could be run internally within the business which had the simple intention of breaking down the stigma around mental health, to raise awareness of the issues, and to get people talking. Soon after the first few courses were delivered, we started to receive the feedback from the attendees, and this showed that there was a huge appetite for this type of training. We then started to look more widely for other training courses that we could use to complement the awareness training that Kevin was delivering. Our search naturally led us to the Mental Health First Aid training that is provided by Mental Health England. It was decided that a few pilot courses would be run to see how the presence of Mental Health First Aiders would work within our business and initially, around 20 people were trained. This once

again provided the step change that was needed to move into higher gear with regards to our mental health support and before long, the Mental Health First Aiders were not only providing support to those in the company that needed it, but they were also pushing the agenda for change. As such, the company now operates a successful Employee Assistance Program (EAP), has a Mental Health First Aider on call on a 24/7 basis and has an active mental health forum that drives all of the other improvements in accordance with a best practice model for mental health that has been developed internally. Currently, our organisation now has over 80 Mental Health First Aiders that are active within the business, and I am proud to say that this group includes people from all levels of our business, from members of the Executive team through to our site based operatives. With further support from Mental Health England, we have now trained up three Mental Health First Aid


instructors who are now able to deliver this training in-house. This will assist with our objectives to have a fully trained mental health first aider on every worksite, to match the requirement that we already have in place for first aiders for physical injuries. It would be easy to stop there, but as with all training of this type, if you don’t use it, you stand the chance that you will lose it and therefore our mental health forum is constantly looking for ways in which our mental health first aiders can maintain and practice their skills. This has included the completion of other online courses connected with specific mental health issues, such as how to deal with a person that is having suicidal thoughts, and the provision of further guidance and sources of information to allow for reflective learning to take place. Some members of our mental health first aid team have also taken their responsibilities in this area further and have opted to undertake further development


through voluntary organisations and as such we have people in the team that work as mental health crisis advisors and trauma specialists. This adds a further dimension to the degree of support that is available across the company. Having generated such a strong culture of improvement in mental health within Dyer & Butler, we have also now started to import this to the other rail businesses within the Transport Division and as such Antagrade Electrical and KH Engineering Services are also now sharing in these benefits and are continuing to train and raise the awareness of the people that work within their organisations. The improvement of mental health and wellbeing is seen to be a fundamental part of our ongoing ‘In Pursuit of Excellence’ improvement program and this has been widely covered by the training provided at the initial Engagement Events that have been attended by all of our people. It must be remembered that all of the work that has been done to provide training to our people is not designed to make them an expert in mental health issues to the point that they can provide clinical support. The training courses and other opportunities that we have used to develop our people in this area simply seek to end the stigma that is connected to mental health by allowing our people to have conversations in an open and honest culture where everyone knows where and when to ask for support, just as it says in the Railway Mental Health Charter. The benefit of having trained, competent and aware people within the company has many benefits and as a business we have seen less absence from work due to mental health issues and improvements in communications and overall employee engagement. Ultimately our approach is aimed at promoting better mental health and wellbeing throughout our workforce to ensure that our people actually go home in a better condition than they did when they first arrived at work. It has always been the responsibility of the employer to make sure that their employees are ‘fit for work’, but now, more than ever this responsibility extends to making sure that the employee also has the right mental frame of mind to work safely and effectively and as employers, we can do more.

Steve Broom is the Director of Health, Safety, Quality and the Environment (HSQE) for Dyer & Butler (a part of M Group Services’ Transport Division). Steve started his career as a Railway Signal Engineer but for the past 23 years has worked as a health and safety professional within a number of construction and civil engineering companies. Steve has been a Mental Health First Aider for the past four years and is also a volunteer mental health crisis advisor with the text support service, SHOUT. Rail Professional

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Blended training with classroom simulation and VR Having witnessed one of the worst train crashes in British history, Paul Martin was motivated to ensure that Signal Engineers would be trained so that this would never happen again


o, after a career working in rail engineering, he went into partnership with his wife Pam, an experienced trainer and assessor, to develop a system which would give other railway engineers the skills needed to guarantee rail safety. Having already developed a mobile signalling technical classroom, which could travel around the country to give engineers hands-on training on simulated systems used on the railways – among them a lifesize mock-up of a set of railway points – Paul and Pam decided to expand their business, PM Training and Assessing, to incorporate virtual reality (VR) technology. With help from the Centre of Excellence in Mobile and Emerging Technologies (CEMET), based at the University of South Wales (USW), a VR training system has been developed to give engineers an understanding of what can go wrong if vital railway signalling systems are not tested properly, and also see an example of the news headlines that could follow a major rail disaster. Paul joined the rail industry in the 1980s when he was just 16, starting out as an apprentice rail engineer and working in the sector until he was made redundant in 2018. Meanwhile, Paul’s wife Pam was working in the training business, specialising in training and assessing. When the couple moved to Wales, Pam started her own business firstly delivering Assessor, Trainer and IQA qualifications and then running an IRSE (Institution of Railway Signal Engineers) Assessing Agency. Following Paul’s redundancy, they started working together to offer technical training to the Signalling and Telecoms sector of the railway industry. What they found, however, was that their location in Crickhowell was not ideal. They were not near a railway or a station. So, what they decided to do was to turn the process Rail Professional



on its head and make a mobile technical classroom, which has all the equipment in it that they could take to the client and deliver the training on site for them. They have taken a bus and a show trailer and turned them into classrooms that they can take to railway depots and workplaces to deliver the training ‘on your doorstep’. Since the pandemic many people have not wanted to travel and stay away for training, which is perfectly understandable in the current climate. Using the mobile classrooms has meant that learners don’t have to travel and they can learn in a familiar environment. This has made training more accessible and open to more people. With traditional training schools having to limit the number of learners in a classroom, there have been fewer training spaces available than pre-pandemic times. As with many other organisations during the pandemic they have had to be creative in the way that they delivered training. This meant that they were able to make use of their online learning platform to deliver some courses that were knowledge based. However, they did not want to lose the personal touch. Therefore, all their courses have regular video group meetings with the learners. This creative approach has meant that training has not gone by the wayside during the pandemic. Having delivered training across the UK in the mobile unit, including for several of the industry’s major players, including Network Rail, the new Crossrail project, Siemens and Cleshar. Pam and Paul looked to develop the training further after they identified gaps in what was on offer. They wanted to be at the front edge of training. Railway training is very traditional – you go on a course, sit in front of a PowerPoint, then you a have a go with the equipment. They wanted to take it a bit further and be a bit more creative, hence the signalling system mock-up and real-life points systems. Paul was an 18-year-old apprentice when the Clapham Junction accident happened in 1988, when 35 people were killed. He was on site and said: ‘I never want to see anything like that ever happen again, or anyone to go through that.’ Rail Professional

One of problems of working in the railway environment is that people can become immune to the dangerous work that they undertake, as it is something that they do daily. Accidents can be as a result of procedures not be followed or small tasks not being completed properly. If you can show people the consequences of their actions, in a training environment, then that is a way of shocking them into realising what can happen if they get things wrong. With this experience in mind, they contacted CEMET for support in developing a virtual environment, where the trainees can see what could happen if they did not successfully complete the training. They explained that in the mobile classroom they can show them what happens trackside, and what electrical systems are inside the trackside cases

that control the trains and the signals. CEMET created the next step – a virtual environment. There is a signal on the track, which the learners can climb up, and see the back of the signal and the wiring. They can make changes to the wires and follow the tests they are required to do in a real trackside environment. In the mobile classroom, however, you cannot simulate the impact of missing a test out, whereas what the VR does is allow us to show exactly that. They will see the consequences of their work with a

simulated train accident if the tests have not been completed correctly. Then the VR headset zooms in on the headlines following a railway accident, with sombre music, emphasising the devastating effect a train crash can have. It is there as a way of showing them what will happen if they don’t do their tests right. CEMET’s support has been key in helping the business develop. They got on board with the technical side from the start, understood how it needed to work, and ensured that the VR showed all it needed to show, and to be as hard-hitting as possible at the end. To quote Paul: ‘What they produced was incredible.’ Clayton Jones, Programme Manager at CEMET, said: ‘Working with Paul and Pam at PM Training and Assessing is what CEMET is all about, helping small businesses which need specialist tech support, but may not have the funding available, get their ideas off the ground. Paul and Pam came to us with a specific idea of what they wanted and worked closely with our VR specialists to turn that vision into a reality. We are delighted that we’ve been able to help another small business to develop, while supporting its efforts to make the UK’s railways even safer.’ In our current climate we must ensure that up to date training is available for all engineers, to ensure that our railway is as safe as it can possibly be. Here at PM Training and Assessing we take a creative approach to training. As the world is changing, so we must change and adapt with it. This means that we can take advantage of

new technologies to enhance our training. There is a place for classroom training and hands on practical training, but we have blended this with online learning and virtual reality to make our training holistic and as close to the real work environment as possible. Our aim is to create a skilled workforce, which will in turn give us a safer railway. To see a trailer video go to: https://youtu. be/47uwXamHFvU. For the VR video, go to: https://youtu.be/uE0SgjLNdoQ

Signal Engineer Training

www.pmtanda.co.uk enquiries@pmtanda.co.uk 01874 620704



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Undertaking the Chartered Institution of Rail Operators (CIRO) MBA Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Railway Operations, Jonathan Scott recounts his experience of the CIRO MBA which he recently completed


have been a member of the CIRO for a number of years and undertook one of the first BSc courses in Railway Operations in 2008, through the IRO. I thoroughly enjoyed the course as it mixed both academic and practical application in the workplace and always hoped one day there would be a higher level operations qualification. Back in the autumn of 2018, the IRO advertised that it would be running an MBA course with Glasgow Caledonian University, its long-standing academic partner for the first time. I was interested but recognised that normally MBAs could be expensive – between £15-21,000 is the price you will often be quoted. However, after enquiring with Adam Fenton the Learning and Development Manager for the IRO, he was confident that this would be covered by my company’s ‘Apprenticeship levy’ and therefore there would be no personal cost to me…. even better! MBA’s usually come in two forms – a taught course with between eight and ten exams, or a similar academic structure, which is coursework based. This was coursework based, designed to provide as much practical exploration of each assignment in the workplace as possible and in my view, preferable. I started the course back in January 2019 with a target date of finishing in the spring / summer of 2021. In addition, since the course was funded through the apprenticeship levy, there was a requirement to submit a portfolio of learning at the end of the study the Chartered Management Institute to be assessed as a level 7 (postgraduate) apprenticeship. There were a number of railway industry colleagues across Network Rail, Train Operators, consultancies and one Brit undertaking the course between the UK and Saudi Arabia. It was probably only the second time (after my Railway operations

degree) that I had spent that long in the company of so many diverse people in industry since British Rail back in 1994. The course structure was very similar to all UK and international MBAs with teaching and assignments relating to responsible leadership, organisational value, crisis management, innovation and corporate entrepreneurship. In addition, there were two applied railway modules, taught by IRO tutors as well as a workplace assignment. Master’s degree qualifications are very different to taught Bachelor level degrees. Master’s require far more in-depth academic research as well as new thinking, particularly

around the workplace assignment. So, what was it like? Well, I had undertaken a Master’s previously so knew this would be a challenge, particularly juggling work, home, and study. However, I think an MBA is more of a (good) challenge as it requires you to think about academic theory, other ideas, and industries and how they can be applied in your workplace. This not only gives you an understanding of latest academic theory but allows you to reflect what really works and can be improved where you work. The MBA spanned the Covid outbreak which meant some of the last parts of the Rail Professional



News in brief Apprentices get their careers on track with Nexus Ten new apprentices have started their careers with Nexus. The latest recruits, aged from 16-20, will be training in a variety of roles across the business, including track and signalling engineers, project management, bus services and contracts and commercial services. Some will learn the skills needed to look after the 77km network of tracks and other key pieces of infrastructure, while others will be working within key business units behind the scenes in Nexus. Nexus has a successful track record in recruiting apprentices, with 90 per cent them progressing on to permanent full-time employment or higher level training after serving their time as trainees.

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teaching were moved online. However, it did provide opportunities and during ‘lockdown’ with little to do, it enabled me to concentrate on the MBA; I was probably one of the only people in the country that benefitted from the lockdown! The MBA culminated in a workplace project – which was on a unique workplace issue that required not only the gathering of academic theory on the subject but a form of theory that had to be tested in the workplace. Network Rail High Speed is currently moving from an operating and maintenance business to operating, maintenance and renewals as the High Speed 1 infrastructure becomes mid-life. This research was to test prepared the team was for the work. This led me into areas of academic research, statistical analysis, interviewing the team and preparing the publishing of my results as my workplace assessment. It is easy to judge every assignment on the number of words – as we all tend to do – but probably of more relevance is how many hours of time it takes. An average assignment was between 1,500 – 3,500 words and I would say each one equates to between 20-50 hours’ time to think, research, write and edit an assignment. The workplace assessment was a completely different level – 15,000 words

plus the same again in appendices amounted to nearly 300 hours work. In addition, as part of the CMI assessment the workplace portfolio had to be submitted which was around 100 hours to assemble evidence over the two years as well as a report. So, is it worth it? I would say a resounding yes, but this level of commitment isn’t for everyone. I really enjoyed each element as they were very practical and made you clearly think about your current organisation and how it can be improved, particularly in uncertain times we are in as an industry. An MBA also gives you different views, areas to undertake research and structure an argument – something I think is even more important in our business post Covid. Furthermore, there was great camaraderie between all of the group, great learning across all of us from an industry perspective and the odd pint to let off steam.

Jonathan Scott is the Delivery Director of Network Rail High Speed – he manages operations and maintenance of High Speed 1 – the only operational high-speed railway in the UK. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Railway Operations. He completed his CIRO MBA with a distinction in May 2021.

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Intelligence at the heart of security Rachael Oakley, Director of CIAP at the SmartWater Group explains how the National Intelligence Portal is helping fight crime across the country


ecurity in the rail industry has been a challenge for as long as there has been a rail industry, in fact the first police force aimed at protecting the railways was established in 1829. The issue then was controlling the ‘boisterous’ navvies who were building the UK’s rail network, but the problems facing the industry have only become more complex and challenging as the years have passed. The modern incarnation, the British Transport Police (BTP), was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1949. The force has always been at the forefront of innovation. For instance, in 1907 it was the first to use police dogs and in 1917 was the first to appoint women as sworn constables. This legacy of innovation continues today, highlighted by the tripart partnership between the British Transport Police, National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership (NICRP) and the SmartWater Group.

At the heart of the relationship is the SmartWater Group’s Centre for Infrastructure and Asset Protection (CIAP), which acts as a National Intelligence Portal for the police and critical infrastructure companies, tracking organised crime gangs across the UK. Honing in on the rail sector, it collects crime data directly from police forces, Network Rail and train operators giving it unique insight into emerging threats. When CIAP analysts notice a spike in criminal activity they send out security alerts to the relevant companies who can then target and deploy the appropriate resources to tackle the risk. For instance, on CIAP’s recommendation covert cameras have been set up at vulnerable locations which are then monitored by the BTP directly. This helps improve response times to incidents of trespass, vandalism and cable theft. On CIAP’s recommendation SmartWater forensic marking liquid has also been applied to signalling cable and other assets to ensure

recovered stolen property can quickly be identified. Each application of SmartWater has a unique forensic signature, ensuring that stolen property can be traced back and tied to a specific crime. Recently, the Centre spotted a cable theft hot spot developing in Cheshire. Covert cameras were installed and clear footage of the offenders was obtained to be shared with law enforcement. The individuals were not previously known to BTP but were to Merseyside Police. They were able to positively identify the perpetrators and worked with BTP and CIAP to arrest the suspects and to trace the stolen cable back to a known crime scene. The changing relationship with the scrap metal yards has also had a big impact on railway asset crime. With the rise in scrap metal prices – copper is at a ten-year high and forecast to keep rising – CIAP now runs the only nationwide database of scrap metal yards with a police-backed risk assessment of any individual yard’s likelihood of dealing in stolen property. Known as the ‘We Don’t Buy Crime’ database, risk assessments are carried out by forces nationwide on a quarterly basis, with all scrap metal dealers algorithmically scored on the likelihood of them receiving stolen materials. This helps to make the database one of the most powerful intelligence tools available to the police as it helps them to know where to target their efforts when railway asset crime in a specific geographic area takes place. Ensuring stolen metal is too hot to handle and that thieves can’t profit from it takes away the incentive to target the railways. Stopping crime in its tracks before it even occurs. Rail Professional



Trespass is another big area of concern in regard to securing the rail network. During the pandemic there has been a disturbing trend involving people taking photos or videos of themselves on railway crossings and then posting to social media sites such

as Tik-Tok. These activities are not only illegal but extraordinarily dangerous. The police-trained analysts at the CIAP can provide rail operators with camera footage of trespass incidents as well as detailed recommendations of changes that can be

made to protect the locations. Another level of safeguarding that has been evolving thanks to the intelligence driven monitoring of the CIAP analysts is geared around children trespassing onto rail property. CIAP analysts engage with the rail operators’ community safety teams who are provided with details of children trespassing and where possible the likely schools they may be attending. The community safety teams are then dispatched to the relevant schools to carry out highly targeted awareness visits. Intelligence and new data sets are helping to respond to, deter and predict the most likely locations for future crime. The police trained analysts at CIAP are able to recognise patterns in the behaviours of organised crime gangs and better prepare rail operators to deal with potential threats. So, in conclusion, the partnership with NICRP, and CIAP, is designed to share intelligence and provide expert advice, training and support to combat all forms of asset crime across the UK rail network.

Rachael Oakley is Director of CIAP at the SmartWater Group

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Circular solution for rail With net zero on the horizon, UK construction needs to move towards intelligent design that helps build public infrastructure truly fit for a low-carbon future


ew definitions of sustainability are emerging which challenge much of how the sector has defined sustainable construction until now and which prioritise a circular framework. Sustainable construction will mean keeping raw materials in a continued cycle of constant use. In a new circular future, rail projects will prioritise material efficiency in new ways and only components that are fit for multiple life cycles, and which avoid the need for carbon costly maintenance, will truly fit the bill. As the UK sees unprecedented levels of investment in infrastructure, whilst seeking to reduce its carbon budget, a recent guide published by the UK and European galvanizing industry details how galvanized steel offers circular solutions that align with new definitions of sustainability. Galvanized Steel and Sustainable Construction: Solutions for a Circular Economy, is a guide for all construction professionals in need of detailed information on the benefits of durability, reuse, remaking and the repurposing of galvanized steel. The report gives clear examples of where the construction sector can find significant carbon reductions, by prioritising circular thinking throughout the entire construction process. The report draws on latest European research and highlights innovative projects at the forefront of circular, intelligent design. It takes the core characteristics of galvanized steel and details how the material aligns with hierarchical models of the circular economy. Priorities in the Circular Economy

Actions in the Circular Economy



34 – 174 years of protection to steel across the UK and Ireland. Galvanized coatings stop corrosion of steel in two ways – a physical barrier and electrochemical protection. The coating provides a continuous, impervious metallic barrier that does not allow moisture and oxygen to reach the steel. Research over many years has shown that the life of this barrier protection is proportional to the zinc coating thickness. The Callender-Hamilton bridge at Two Fords, Lydlinch, Dorset is a piece of historic engineering and an example of the durability of galvanized steel. Erected quickly to facilitate the movement of troops in preparation for the D-Day landings, it was never intended as a permanent structure. However, 79 years on it remains in use, and recent inspections show that the galvanized steel coating has stood the test of time exceptionally well. Taking the remaining coating thicknesses into account, along-side zinc corrosion data, the coating can be expected to provide a life in excess of 120 years, a tribute to the designers and the men who built it.

Galvanized Steel in the Circular Economy The highest level of durability and robustness – giving ‘once-only’ solutions that last the lifetime of a building


Resource use for maintenance is avoided


Robust and easily dismantled for reuse in multiple life cycles of a building or structure


In preparation for movement of heavy armoured vehicles, Candandian army engineers erected a temporary galvanized steel steel Callendar-Hamilton bridge over the River Lydon, Dorset in 1942 Use


Repair Refurbish Remanufacture Repurpose


Recycle Recover

Coating stays with the steel and no additional coating is needed in any new use

Can be re-galvanized and put back into service – avoiding production of new steel If the long life of galvanized steel eventually ends, steel and zinc are recycled together – without loss of properties – to produce new galvanized steel



Durability and reliability If engineers need to integrate reusable steel elements in the structural part of a building, galvanizing is the ideal coating system. Not only is the long-term durability provided by galvanizing achieved at relatively low environmental burden, but galvanized steel will also not suffer from demounting and remounting activities. As a metallurgically bonded coating, galvanized steel offers both impact and abrasion resistance. Atmospheric corrosion rates have been mapped across the UK and the latest corrosion map published by Galvanizers Association shows that an 85μm hot dip galvanized coating can provide between Rail Professional

Having started life as a temporary structure, the Callendar-Hamiliton bridge at Lydlinch is still in good condition 79 years after it was first erected

Reuse In addition to its durability, the toughness and abrasion resistance of galvanized steel, allows for multiple reuses of steel components. This has proven itself in a wide variety of applications – from scaffolding that is reused countless times, to temporary bridges that are designed for rapid deployment in disaster zones. These same principles and experience with temporary structures and reusable components are now being applied to the design of more complex structures that require flexible solutions for the circular economy.



Provisions for greater reuse of steel structures

Material production

Fabrication of Components

Reuse of products

Reuse of components

Reuse of the whole structure


Provisions for greater reuse of steel structures PROGRESS (PROvisions for GREater reuse of Steel Structures) was an EU RFCS-funded project focused on the reuse of single-storey buildings. The study and its recommendations provide additional impetus to the future use of galvanized steel to maximise reuse opportunities. According to the report, ‘galvanized steel solutions are preferable for structures with possible multiple assembling and dismantling cycles’. The report states that reusing a 480m2 single storey, steel framed building just once, can save 98 tonnes of CO2 and €24,000 (£20,000).



Reuse of galvanized steel is possible across a wide variety of structures. For example, in 2011 in Hoogeveen in the Netherlands, an existing Elascon football stand was saved from demolition and moved to a neighbouring football club, SV Gramsbergen. It was purchased for €7,000 (£6,000) which included the cost of disassembly. The outer structure had spent 40 years exposed to the weather, but the galvanized steel was in perfect condition. The remaining galvanized coating is more than 100μm thick and will last for many more decades. Total cost including dismantling, transport and re-erection was €35,000 (£30,000). It is estimated that a new stand would have cost at least €200,000 (£170,000) and that reuse of the existing stand has saved the club €165,000 (£140,000) and saved many tonnes of carbon. The principles applied with the Elascon stand can be used for any steel sections across many sectors within construction

Portal frame designed for reuse with modular and standardised elements

Repurpose and remake As public bodies look to incorporate circular principles, the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) has examined the direct reuse and the regalvanizing and reuse of highway safety barriers. A project involving installation contractors, guard rail suppliers and galvanizers supported by specialist agencies. Rijkswaterstaat found that often guard rails are replaced as a result of other road maintenance reasons but can have a remaining life of up to 24 years. These products can be directly reused on the road system and used guard rails can be renovated with significant benefits, compared to new ‘virgin’ installations. This includes delivering 40% reduction in environmental costs, 70% reduction in CO2 emissions and 10% reduction in costs. Decarbonising the built environment and our use of it, is indeed a huge challenge and it is true to say that construction professionals are in the process of a major shift in ways of thinking about sustainability. As UK construction continues to examine how to quantify progress and meet ever ambitious targets, it is useful to know that positive progress is being made, and it is equally useful to imagine that progress at scale.

The reused grandstand at SV Gramsbergen had already seen decades of use at another nearby club. This saved €165,000 ((£140,000) by using the existing Elascon stand

The excellent sate of the galvanized steel after 40 years exposure to the weather was confirmed during disassembly and is expected to provide protection for many more decades

Tel: 0121 355 8838 Email: i.johal@hdg.org.uk Download a copy of the guide www.galvanizing.org.uk/circular-economy Rail Professional

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• Dampened rail base plate assembly using PneuTorque® PTS™ • Rail fishplate maintenance program using EvoTorque® Battery Tool with data logging • Engineering bespoke design application for Hitachi Rail Europe Class 800/801w



The importance of innovation and carbon efficiency for the rail industry Neil Cross, National Sales Manager for Anderton Concrete, explores how new technologies are supporting the rail industry in achieving safe and secure railways with extended longevity and durability through the installation of resilient solutions that also support net zero ambitions


ail products have evolved at an extraordinary rate in recent years, with the need for innovation fuelled by demands for increased performance and efficiency, alongside legislative changes, and a continued commitment to achieving more sustainable solutions. As the world’s first major economy to set a target of being net zero by 2050, the UK is accelerating its commitment to attaining a sustainable future for all, with the rail industry playing a critical part in its success. The Scottish Government’s target to decarbonise domestic passenger rail services by 2035, in addition to the Department for Transport’s challenge for the UK’s rail industry to remove all diesel-only trains by 2040, are key drivers for the decarbonisation of the rail industry. Developing lower carbon products lies at the centre of achieving a more sustainable future, with the demand and need for environmentally efficient rail technologies involving every aspect of the industry, from stations and platforms, right through to lineside equipment and the trains themselves. Achieving a net zero rail industry is a high priority for the sector, with efforts to reduce carbon emissions being rapidly accelerated through continued product innovation. However, while manufacturing products with lower embodied carbon, without compromising on quality, cost and efficiency is a priority, there are additional factors pushing the continued requirement for product evolution. By partnering with manufacturers to collaborate on the design, installation, and maintenance of a new generation of rail products that place quality and performance at their core, rail professionals can meet the most demanding site specifications, whilst simultaneously setting a new standard throughout the industry. Advancements in rail technology For example, precast concrete cable protection products are popular throughout the sector due to their low lifetime cost, noncombustible properties, and unrivalled resilience. However, the material may be perceived by some as being potentially carbon heavy, due to its production processes. In response to this, Anderton Concrete has been proactively working with industry partners to push the expectations and boundaries of precast concrete solutions by producing products that feature significantly reduced carbon and have a lower overall weight. This includes the development of its new ‘Eco Trough’ range, which

will successfully reduce the overall weight of its C/1/9 Trough to just 21kg, bringing it well under the advised 25kg ‘one man lift’ limit. This not only significantly reduces manual handling concerns and streamlines the installation stages to effectively minimise potential risk to engineers when installing the troughing, it also supports rail providers in successfully achieving a more carbon efficient installation that paves the way for a net zero future. Rail Professional



Furthermore, the risks of working lineside, against stringent project timings are all eased, ensuring safer working environments for installation teams. Product consistency can also be successfully assured across the entire project, with each concrete product identical to the next. An additional benefit of precast manufacturing by a UK supplier is that an entirely fluid and bespoke offering that meets individual project requirements can be achieved in the most effective way and in the shortest lead times possible in comparison to imported rail infrastructure materials.

As part of this commitment, Anderton Concrete has reduced the embedded carbon by at least 40 per cent by removing a proportion of the troughing’s mass and by incorporating alternative materials into the manufacturing process. All of this has been achieved while maintaining the desired resilience and non-combustible properties associated with precast concrete troughing. Working with a leading industry partner, it has also recently reduced the embodied carbon in its platform copings by a substantial 40 per cent, having been approached and asked to investigate ways of achieving a more environmentally efficient construction. However, sourcing more sustainable ingredients and utilising new

The importance of partnerships By taking a proactive approach to the manufacturing processes and identifying new materials that work to actively reduce the embodied carbon within concrete rail products, without having a negative impact on its performance, professionals are paving a future to a net zero rail industry. Carbon reduction, resource efficiency and systemisation are just three of the key considerations that manufacturers, rail owners and contractors are together focusing on moving forwards. Anderton Concrete approaches its new product development using these methods, and is committed to continually enhancing its portfolio to strengthen its market leading position by providing the industry with a complete suite of durable systems that are lower in weight and feature lower embodied carbon to successfully support net zero targets, whilst meeting additional industry issues, such as continued cable theft. With the capacity to produce products up to ten tonnes in weight, its engineering experts work in partnership with rail providers throughout each stage of the design and construction processes to create large volumes of bespoke products that can be on site in the shortest timescales possible. By collaborating as an industry to invest in trials, testing, equipment and people resources, strong partnerships have been forged across the industry, with knowledge, passion and expertise being continuously shared to support manufacturers in bringing to market high quality, safe, efficient, and sustainable rail solutions. Anderton Concrete believes this is just the beginning for the

technologies are not the only outlet that manufacturers are utilising to construct products that reflect latest industry demands. Offsite construction, having grown in popularity over recent years throughout all aspects of construction, presents a further opportunity for the rail industry to reduce materials waste and improve resource and cost efficiencies. For example, with regard to concrete in particular, the installation of precast concrete rail products over casting the concrete on site offers rail providers impressive time and cost benefits, as less time is needed to develop the product on site and the costs associated with that process are nullified.

industry, and as the government continues to place the industry at the centre of its 2050 net zero ambitions, rail professionals can successfully increase the environmental efficiency of their projects by working in close collaboration with manufacturers to research and develop innovation solutions that successfully reduce carbon output, whilst providing unrivalled performance and meeting latest industry challenges. For further information on Anderton Concrete’s standard and bespoke manufacturing capabilities and market leading offering, please visit: www.andertonconcrete.co.uk or call 0333 234 3434.

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The New and Improved CIRO Mentoring Platform is Here The new CIRO Mentoring online platform enable Mentors and Mentees to easily sign up and start their Mentoring Relationship on one easy to use platform. It has been developed to provide a better managed relationship between the Mentor and the Mentee to encourage knowledge sharing, best practice, improve skills and competencies.

What can the Mentoring Scheme do for my Career?

Mentoring can be extremely effective in helping individuals to improve their skill set - both for Mentors and Mentees, as both parties will experience personal development through their involvement in the mentoring relationship.

Benefits for Mentors

» » » » »

Nurturing talent and growing capabilities Gaining satisfaction from helping a colleague to develop Unlocking potential Be instrumental in a career transition Contributes to CPD

Benefits for Mentees

» » » » » » » »

Develop themselves Meet and succeed at challenges Recognise strengths and weaknesses Learn to build on strengths Learn by example and mistakes Do things differently Gain knowledge Practice effective inter-personal skills

How do I join?

The CIRO Mentoring Scheme is only open to CIRO members, and you will need your CIRO Membership number to join. To become a Mentor, you must be at either Member or Fellow level membership. If you have forgotten your details, please contact membership@railwayoperators.co.uk To join CIRO, please visit www.railwayoperators.co.uk and register. If your organisation is a corporate member of the Institution you can join for free, simply select your organisation upon registration. For more information about the CIRO Mentoring Scheme, visit https://iromentoring.onpld.com/

mentoring@railwayoperators.co.uk www.ciro.org Rail Professional



Better Value Rail Toolkit Andrew Cullis risk analyst at risk management consultancy, Equib explains how the toolkit will help to keep project risk on track


aunched by the Department for Transport, Network Rail and the Office of Rail and Road, the Better Value Rail Toolkit is designed to support informed decision-making at an early stage in rail infrastructure projects and reduce the risk of time and cost delays. However, in order to optimise results on major projects, the sector also needs to improve its communication of risk and innovate by bringing in talent from other areas of UK infrastructure. A number of obstacles have historically prevented largescale rail infrastructure projects from being delivered on time and on budget. In particular, the strict governance processes that projects are required to follow increase the likelihood of schemes exceeding their time and cost estimates. While the sector’s inherent safety risks require a high degree of caution, the one-size-fits-all approach that project teams are required to adopt to rail initiatives introduces bureaucracy. There is sometimes a tendency to spend a lot of time exploring multiple options which can introduce unnecessary time and cost into the process. The Toolkit’s launch is a sign of the sector’s commitment to delivering major projects more quickly and cost-efficiently. It follows the launch of

the Government’s Project Acceleration Unit in August last year, with its aim of speeding up the delivery of infrastructure programmes by improving efficiency and eliminating waste. The new website’s userfriendly interface is designed to facilitate thinking during the project planning phase by being accessible to risk specialists and non-specialists alike. For example, its ‘Assumptions, Assessments and Significance Tool’ is a quick and easy way of capturing the assumptions associated with a particular scheme and scoring them by the likelihood of being correct, and their impact on time and cost if proven to be incorrect. Additionally, the Toolkit’s ‘Culture’ stage aims to get people thinking about the skills, experience and team dynamics needed to deliver the project successfully. By focusing on the specific outcome that schemes are aiming to achieve for passengers and the public, the Toolkit also helps users to build a strong business case and ensure that projects ‘[deliver] for passengers, local communities and the taxpayer.’ By introducing a common approach to investigating proposed projects in the sector, it is also designed to make it easier to compare a number of different schemes, speed up decision-making and deliver projects more quickly and cost-efficiently.

To drive faster and more intelligent decisionmaking, the sector also needs to become better at communicating risk outputs to a range of stakeholders, including non-risk specialists

However, it’s important to be aware that the toolkit is not a silver bullet for the improvement of rail project delivery. To see a real stepup in mega project results, industry bodies will also need to collaborate closely across a number of key areas. For example, it will be important to bring in project management specialists from other areas of UK infrastructure that have a strong track record of majorscale project delivery. While specific knowledge of the rail sector is valuable, experience in other industries could provide transferable skills when it comes to balancing the risk-focused ‘golden triangle’ of cost, time and quality. Experts from outside the rail sector could play an import role in challenging some of the red tape that is currently holding back delivery on some major projects. To drive faster and more intelligent decision-making,

the sector also needs to become better at communicating risk outputs to a range of stakeholders, including nonrisk specialists. Effective risk analysis has little value unless project managers are able to communicate its results in a clear and concise way, and influence decision-makers to invest in the right mitigation activities. The rail sector’s Toolkit has the potential to achieve an important objective – to focus minds on ensuring that any new rail initiatives truly address the problem at hand and have a strong business case. Coupled with efforts to improve the quality of risk communications and bring in fresh ideas from outside the sector, the UK rail network stands a better chance of improving its image for project delivery to cost and to schedule. Andrew Cullis is a risk analyst at risk management consultancy, Equib. Rail Professional



Institution of Railway Operators receives Queen’s Charter The Institution of Railway Operators was awarded Chartered status on 1 October 2021


ewly named, Chartered Institution of Railway Operators, the professional organisation has now been recognised for its value in the industry and its achievement in its 21-year existence. The chartership was celebrated on Friday 1 October with an inaugural lunch and presentation at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel with over 200 delegates joining. This included founders, Fellows, board members, early members, area council leaders, trade press and many more senior railway operators. CIRO CEO Fiona Tordoff said: ‘The award of the Institution’s Charter recognises

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the collective efforts of our founders, our volunteer board and council members, our corporate members, our tutors and staff and, in particular our 10,000 plus members, to enhance and sustain professionalism in railway operations.’ Howard Smith, Chair of Trustees added: ‘Becoming the Chartered Institution of Railway Operators ensures that we can be more easily recognised across the UK and beyond. It gives our growing membership a new global identity linked by common commitment to high standards of professionalism.’ On 26 May 2021, the Privy Council recommended, and Her Majesty was pleased to agree, the IRO’s Draft Charter should be

approved, and it was instructed a Warrant be prepared for Her Majesty’s Royal Signature. This indicated the Chartered Status was to be awarded on 1 October 2021. The Institution of Railway Operators was officially registered in 2000 after years of planning and discussion amongst railway stalwarts who recognised how valuable an organisation of its type would be to the industry. Following the privatisation of rail, the many divisions in the railway industry were siloed and the existing knowledge and experience of its operating professionals was at risk of being lost. More than two decades later, the institution has over 10,000 members globally and is established in countries


Excerpts from Chair of Trustees, Howard Smith’s speech ‘The IRO was founded at a time of great change in the railways – and it moves forward with confidence – as a professional organisation over 10,000 strong – into the next period of fundamental change. The IRO represents all groups, across the whole of the UK and considerably beyond – and is playing its full part in increasing the diversity that is so vital as we move forward. ‘There is not a single service or product we offer which has not been directly asked for and used by the industry and in the creation of our current five year strategy (we are currently in the first year) we consulted over 200 industry stakeholders and we will be sharing the outcomes of that in the new year. ‘The founders of IRO were an inspired group of senior professionals who worked to establish a firm foundation for the institution – they are mentioned in a panel inside the commemorative book – but we know that more people were involved in bringing in resources and ideas behind the early formation and hopefully they will feel honoured today as we celebrate our success with them. ‘For holding our place among the other professions in rail – thank you to the other Institutions who have also included us in the broad community of the Rail Engineering Forum (the REF)…some of whom are in the room today and our grateful thanks for those who have given good advice along the way including Neil Robertson from National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) and Keith Lawrey for his patient advice on attaining our Charter…….and also Sir Peter Hendy – who has made such valuable links across not only railways, but the wider transport and logistics field.’


such as the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Saudi Arabi. It has maintained its commitment to professional development and has continued to increase its CPD offering, with members able to complete a degree with educational partner Glasgow Caledonian University. It has also developed an apprenticeship programme and has area councils across the continent. Fiona added: ‘The Chartership signifies the entrance into our new chapter, allowing us to elevate our profession even further and

positioning us as the standard for railway operations globally.’ CIRO was launched in 1999 and exists for its members and the rail industry, promoting best practice and representing the interests of railway operators at all levels. Chartered Institution of Railway Operators is the only Professional Institution whose focus and specialism is railway operations. Its vision is to: ‘support improvement in quality of the railway operations workforce and help railway organisations succeed’.

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A unique interior concept for the trains of the future Within the next ten to twenty years, Deutsche Bahn expects that there will be more than one billion additional customers per year using railway transport to commute and travel


n order to create more capacity in their trains, DB, in collaboration with Neomind, have developed the IdeasTrainCity. Within this concept train, additional capacities are realised through the flexibilization of standing and seating areas. There is a new intuitive passenger information and passenger guidance system to ensure good orientation on and in the train. Plus high-quality product design and innovative ambient lighting creates a feel-good atmosphere. The new interior design allows more passengers to travel in the same space whilst raising travel comfort to a new level of quality. In IdeasTrainCity there is, among other things, comfortable standing and sitting options, which can be flexibly changed depending on the time of day, the travel reasons of the passengers and the number of passengers. Whether at rush hour with commuters, on weekends with

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for luggage or seating layouts. In some areas dots of varying sizes were cut into the product to deliver aesthetic appeal. A natural floor covering created using a high percentage of natural raw materials, with renewable and recycled content. Marmoleum FR2 is independently confirmed as a CO2 neutral floor covering in the cradle to gate phase of its product life cycle, without the need for offsetting. In simple terms, the CO2 produced in the extraction, transportation and manufacturing process of Marmoleum FR2 is balanced by the removal of CO2 through the growing of its natural ingredients such as flax, jute and rosin. As such, Forbo Marmoleum FR2 is the best flooring choice for every sustainable interior. By using durable materials in your rail projects, you can also contribute to a better environment. Benefits include: • Homogeneous durable construction. • A sustainable floor covering. • Low life cycle costs – can be renovated and repaired. • A floor covering that is naturally bacteriostatic. • Reaction to fire EN45545-2: HL3. • Lightweight at 2.9kg/m2. • Wide range of designs and colourways. • Aquajet cut to shape/size service available. • Suitable for use with underfloor heating. For more information regarding Marmoleum FR2 or any of the other floor and wall covering products from Forbo Flooring Systems portfolio get in touch via the contact information below. day trippers or at major events with many concert or sports fans, IdeasTrainCity always offers the right services and the right interior design for pleasant travel. Thanks to its CO2 neutral (cradle to gate) characteristics, durable performance, great

design possibilities and being lightweight, Marmoleum FR2 floor coverings in two different grey shades were chosen for most areas of the IdeasTrainCity full size mock-up. Two different grey shades were used as well as a highlight colour to indicate areas

Tel: +44 1773 744121 Email: transport@forbo.com Visit: www.forbo-flooring.com/rail

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Building the future restoring the past West Services is a building refurbishment company that was established over 20 years ago. Its highly skilled and dedicated team are able to carry out all kinds of maintenance and refurbishment work


est Services have grown at a manageable rate to ensure it never loses the quality of works produced. The company has various divisions and a growing number of staff and as the team grows, so does the business, continually gaining the trust of new clients while retaining the trust of existing ones. When you choose West Services you are choosing a highly skilled team with years of experience. All staff are qualified in their area of expertise and the quality of work they produce is second to none. West Services prides itself not only on the work it produces but the loyalty to its clients after the project ends. This strong after sales attitude is all about striving to make clients happy. West Services is a highly respected company within the rail sector. Its range of experience working on both small and medium size projects within the rail sector since 2003, has provided the company with the skills and expertise to enable schemes to be successfully delivered with minimum disruption to the client or their customers. West Services also regularly advises on design alterations and innovative approaches, which can result in major cost savings and programme reductions for clients. From office fitouts to large canopy refurbishments, the works of the West Services team have received many accolades and commendations from customers within corporate publications, with a canopy refurbishment featuring in the annual report of the Railway Heritage Trust. West Services has held RISQS accreditation for over a decade, regularly gaining praise for its emphasis on the safety of staff and customers. Carpentry and joinery The carpentry team love the work they do and take great pride in their projects, working with clients to ensure their vision is created. Within the bespoke workshop and onsite, the company’s carpenters work hard to bring its client’s visions to life. Team West are always seeking the latest tools to remain at the forefront of technology in the sector,

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whilst also trying to continue learning from other skilled professionals around the world to bring the best results possible to clients. West Services’ Carpentry skills have been tested over the last 20 years with huge compliments from clients. Most recently the team have built custom timber windows in line with heritage guidelines, rebuilt canopies to heritage specifications amongst various other wood works. Canopy works Canopies are often one of the most ornate elements to be found around a Railway Station. From chamfer-edged timber beams, decorative dagger boards and intricate mouldings, the preservation of original features is key to retaining the Victorian look of the Railway. West Services have worked both alone and alongside many primary contractors, to deliver a number of canopy refurbishment projects within the South East. Undertaking all elements to include, painting, coverings, timber works and valance/cladding fitment, the team can act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ in renovating platform or entrance canopies. Working with both traditional and innovative materials, West Services will work with you to design and carry out works that will last long into the future, requiring minimal ongoing maintenance. With reference to one heritage canopy the company refurbished, the results were praised so highly the company were placed in the Network Rail Heritage Trust Annual Report. This was a huge achievement for Team West and it was great to have its work so highly recognised.

Signage and graphics They say ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ and West can help you do just that with its graphic design and signage service. Whether it’s to aid navigation of an area or building, warn of dangers or to advertise your own service or business, West Services can work with you to produce fixed or vinyl graphics and signage. Large or small and in any quantity, West Services can help you with your ‘thousand words’ today. The company provides all aspects of signage both internally and externally. Working together, West Services will help you to choose the best solution to communicate your brand effectively. With a large range of signage products the company can provide you with signage solutions across all types of materials and media, should it be Totem Signage, Sign Fascias, Wayfinding, POS, Vehicle Livery, Wallpaper, Internal Decal, to LED Point of Displays. West Services understands that first impressions are key, and quality is of the highest priority. West services electrical Electrical problems can quite literally leave you in the dark, but they can also be extremely dangerous, causing electric shocks and fires. West can assist you with safety inspections, minor works or full rewires. West Services’ skilled team of fully qualified and experienced electricians will ensure your property is safe and that any works carried out are to a high standard using only the best materials and fittings. With longstanding experience in both domestic and industrial/commercial installations, the company has the capability to assist with almost any scheme.


Toilet cubicles West Services’ tailor-made toilet cubicles and vanity units are designed with you, to perfectly suit the available space and desired configuration. These facilities are in constant high use and needed to be robust, easy to maintain/clean and include high quality fixtures and fittings to provide value for money and longevity. All of the solutions are manufactured with durable, low maintenance materials and each can be designed and manufactured with Integrated Plumbing Systems (IPS) to conceal any unsightly controls and pipework behind matching panelling, which also improves security. If space permits, West Services can also include storage cupboards for stock and cleaning materials to match in with the general materials and design of the overall washroom. West Services specialise in the design and fabrication of accessible toilets to suit current regulations and supply only the highest quality materials, fixtures and fittings, to provide our customers with a unique and individual look. Whether it’s West Services’ design, manufacture or installation services you require, the company’s professional staff will work with you fully to ensure that your vision of the perfect washroom is realised.

Tel: 01634 666 295 Email: enquiries@westservices.co.uk Visit: www.westservices.co.uk Rail Professional

CORE SERVICES • Building Repair, Maintenance & PPM (Planned Prevented Maintenance) • Reactive Faults & Repairs • Electrical Services • Plumbing & Heating • Building Refurbishments & Upgrades • Damp Proofing & Structural Repairs • Cabinetry Manufacture • Carpentry & Joinery • Signage & Graphics • Heritage Canopies & Overbridge Cladding Specialists • Washroom Cubicle Design with In-House Manufacture • Workshop services to include Laminate Supply/Cut & Edge Banding Services • ICATS - Specialist Sprayer Industrial Coating Applicator & Specialist Blaster



WEST SERVICES West Services was established in 2003 with a major rail company being one of our first clients, Over the last 18 years West Services has grown in size year on year, Time and investment has been given to ensuring West Services is at the forefront of all aspects of our business, we have various divisions and a growing number of staff, As our team grows as does our business, continually gaining the trust of new clients while retaining the trust of our existing ones.

tion of Renova ill Station H Herne

For copy of our new broc hure call Steve West on 07

831 173 46

From office fitouts to large canopy & overbridge timber cladding refurbishments, the works of the West Services team have received many accolades and commendation from our customers, with a canopy refurbishment featuring in the annual report of the Railway Heritage Trust.

01634 666 295 www.westservices.co.uk

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Energy and costefficient solution for DIN-rail mounting The lightweight and compact AC-DC converters by Mornsun are the latest high-reliability, low noise ac-dc converters available from Relec Electronics


he LIF120 R2, LIF240 R2 and LIF480 R2 DIN rail mount ACDC converters are all IEC/EN/ UL62368, UL61010, UL508approved for global use, and have a universal input range of 85 – 264VAC or 120 – 370VDC and cover standard outputs of 12V, 24V & 48V, with the opportunity to adjust the outputs by up to 15 per cent. In addition to a superior EMC performance, with a high level of stability and immunity to noise, all models are certified to EN610003-2 Class D for harmonics. They are also equipped with power-fail monitoring outputs and safety features include output short circuit, over-current, over-voltage and overtemperature protection. The LIF Series’ slim width and compact dimensions are ideal for standard DIN-rail

mounting. The cost-efficient AC-DC converters are particularly suitable for saving space in harsh operating environments, for example in industrial control equipment and machinery. The 120W LIF120 R2 has a peak output of 180W for three seconds and dimensions of 110.00 x 32.00 x 124.00mm. It is extremely reliable, with efficiency up to 94 per cent and also has 150 per cent peak load output for three seconds. An ATEX-approved, explosionproof version is also available as an option. The LIF240 R2, 240W ac-dc converter also has a 150 per cent peak load output for three seconds. It is an energy-efficient and, like the LIF120, has an additional 12V option as well as 24V and 48V outputs. The 480W LIF480 R2 is reliable with efficiency up to 94 per cent and with an active PFC above 0.95. In addition to the

same safety features as the LIF120 and LIF240, it also has high I/O isolation test voltage up to 3000VAC. Dimensions for the LIF240 R2 Series are 124.00 x 41.00 x 110.00mm, The LIF480 R2 measures 131.5 x 48.0 x 125.0mm. Operating temperature range for the LIF120 and LIF240 is -40°C to +70°C and -30°C to +70°C for the LIF480. All models are covered with a threeyear warranty and available from Relec Electronics on short leadtimes. Company profile Relec Electronics is a specialist in power conversion and display products, representing leading brand names including Mornsun in power conversion alongside Bel Power, Chinfa, Cotek and Premium with key display partners, Digiwise and RockTouch. For over 40 years, Relec Electronics has worked closely with key suppliers and specialises in a wide range of industry sectors, including automotive, industrial, transportation, instrumentation and defence. A team of dedicated engineers is ready to support customers throughout the design process. The company carries stock of all standard modules and accessories for next day delivery. Relec’s team of specialist advisers can refine an initial specification for a given application to include bespoke features to meet the needs of a particular design or project. In December 2020, Relec Electronics became been a UK subsidiary of Gresham Worldwide. Tel: 01929 555700 Email: sales@relec.co.uk Visit: www.relec.co.uk The Mornsun LIF series of ac-dc DIN-rail mounted ac-dc converters save space, energy and cost in industrial applications. Rail Professional



Southeastern appoints new Managing Director Steve White has joined Southeastern as Managing Director. He was previously Deputy Chief Executive at Govia Thameslink Railway.

New Chairman for Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC After a decade as Chairman of the Severn Valley Railway Holdings (SVRH) board, Nick Paul CBE is stepping down, as former Deputy Chairman Mike Ball takes over the role. In a further change for the Railway, General Manager Helen Smith has now been named Managing Director designate.

Arriva Rail London appoints Customer Experience Director Arriva Rail London, which operates the London Overground on behalf of Transport for London, has appointed Charlotte Whitfield as the company’s new Customer Experience Director.

KONUX strengthens its operations in the UK Experienced industry expert Tim Flower joins the AI scale-up KONUX as new Account Director

New Chair of England’s Economic Heartland elected Cllr Richard Wenham is the new Chair of sub-national transport body, England’s Economic Heartland.

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New Chief Sales Officer at Frauscher Sensor Technology Mayank Tripathi has taken over the position of the CSO at Frauscher Sensor Technology.

New Alstom Chief Commercial Officer Alstom has appointed Jérôme Wallut Chief Commercial Officer.

RFM welcomes two new members to the team Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) welcomes two newest additions to the team, Ben Higgens, Engagement Manager – Rail Infrastructure, and Sam Pardoe, Communications and Membership Support Co-ordinator.

Amey welcomes new Rail Sector Director Leading infrastructure services and engineering company, Amey has announced James Holmes will be joining the business to take responsibility for its rail infrastructure operations.

Railway Industry Association launches Exports Leadership Group RIA has launched a new RIA Exports Leadership Group (RELG), with Xrail Group LTD, CEO Munir Patel appointed as its Chair, and Arup UKIMEA & Global High Speed Rail Leader, Andrew Went, as Vice-Chair.

Open Destinations appoints VP Rail Solutions Open Destinations has appointed Rail industry specialist Olivier Bressard as VP Sales for Rail Solutions.

Women in Rail appoints new Chair nd Vice Chair Women in Rail has announced the appointment of its new Chair, Christine Fernandes, and Vice Chair, Shona Clive.




LIFTING JACKS & PIT EXPERTS Lifting and inspection equipment you can rely on for all maintenance of rail vehicles. With 40 years’ experience on heavy duty lifting solutions, Totalkare combines world class products with industry leading support to facilitate effective maintenance and repair.



The power to deliver a sustainable future We provide innovative energy infrastructure solutions that enable you to achieve your sustainability ambitions.


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