Rail Professional February issue 2024 299

Page 1



FEBRUARY 2024 | ISSUE 299 | £7.95

Reliability and Flexibility IP67 Power Supplies for Signalling and Trackside Use

waiting for new contant


TRAM & LIGHT RAIL A New Era of Light Rail Safety

Consult, Design, Build and Maintain


Interviews with Business Leaders from across the Industry

Discover potential. Drive performance. With over 30 years’ experience working in the rail industry, specialising in the safety sector, the OPC provides practical, reliable ways of improving performance and assessing ability.




FEBRUARY 2024 | ISSUE 299 | £7.95

Reliability and Flexibility IP67 Power Supplies for Signalling and Trackside Use


waiting for new contant

DEPOTS TRAM & LIGHT RAIL A New Era of Light Rail Safety

Consult, Design, Build and Maintain


Interviews with Business Leaders from across the Industry

railprofessional @railpromag

PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LTD Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Telephone: +44 (0) 1268 711 811

EDITORIAL EDITOR Sam Sherwood-Hale editor@railpro.co.uk DISPLAY ADVERTISING Adam Overall Jamie Tregarthen George Hughes 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 Jasmine Szaniszlo Lukasz Saczek production@railpro.co.uk


Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may be submitted, but, while every care will be exercised, neither the editor nor the publisher

Welcome to our first issue of 2024 and we start off the year covering tram and light rail and we have Carl Williams, Chief Executive of the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board explaining how the Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of Rail will help shape the work of the LRSSB as it builds on a series of recent successes. Looking to the year ahead, Carl has also discussed ongoing enhancements to TAIR, alongside the completion of a series of high-profile projects, including the re-issue of a fully updated Tramway Principles and Guidance document. James Hammett, Managing Director of UKTram is also bullish on light rail in 2024, highlighting the Prime Minister’s announcement of funding for an integrated transport scheme in West Yorkshire alongside UKTram’s Centre of Excellence, which is currently working with the sponsors of proposed tramways in Stoke-on-Trent, Folkestone and the suggested Kennex system. We’re also looking at depots in this issue, with the biggest news in that are being the £70 million redevelopment of the Nexus depot at Gosforth in Newcastle upon Tyne on behalf of Stadler by VolkerFitzPatrick. It was this time last year that the old Gosforth depot closed and as of the end of 2023 a total of 17 new sidings for train stabling had been created over the entire area of the Gosforth depot site – which has been home to the Tyne and Wear Metro for 43 years. In this issue Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s Head of Engineering discusses the company’s longstanding relationship with Volker Fitzpatrick and how Gosforth has been designed to ensure the maximum availability and reliability of the Metro fleet which will soon be entering passenger service. We have a bumper collection of interviews this month with 17 different industry leaders sitting down for an In Conversation, starting off with Matt Ewing of BAM Ritchies discussing his 23-year career with the company. We also have the usual collection of opinion pieces from Dan Taylor of Ford & Stanley Group, Andrew Cruttenden of Trainline Partner Solutions, Ian Fowler and James Holmes of Amey and our regular columnists.

take responsibility for loss of, or damage to, material sent. Submission of material to Rail Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine and online. ISSN 1476-2196


© All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,

Quality products for modern overhead contact lines Quality products for modern overhead contact lines

including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the copyright owners. The views and opinions expressed in this

Quality products for modern overhead contact lines

publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor does it accept liability for any printing errors or otherwise which may occur.

Arthur Flury MK14 6GD6GD│ | +44 686766 www.aflury.co.uk │| info@aflury.co.uk info@aflury.co.uk Arthur Flury(UK) (UK)Ltd Ltd │ | Milton MiltonKeynes, Keynes, MK14 +441908 1908 686766 │| www.aflury.co.uk Arthur Flury (UK) Ltd

Milton Keynes, MK14 6GD

+44 1908 686766





300W or 500W For 1-phase or 3-phase systems

IP54, IP65 or IP67 Reliable protection against dust and water

No potting compound Eco friendly design

Current-limited outputs Selective power distribiution and selection


LED interface Immediate diagnosis in the field


In this issue 09 NEWS All the latest from the Railway Industry Association, Rail Forum and more


Jonathan Dul, Managing Director at Mirical Emblems Ltd


Pam Martin, Director and PM Training and Assessing Ltd


Accelerating the Modal Shift to Rail in 2024


Owen Batham, Sales & Marketing Director at Elite Precast Concrete Ltd


Ian Perrett, Managing Director of AB Hoses and Fittings, AB Rail


Matt McCarthy, UK Infrastructure Sales Manager at Peri Ltd


Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Matt Ewing of BAM Ritchies about his 23-year career with the company, ground investigation, and on delivering resilient, low carbon projects


VIEWPOINT Engaging with the Customer and the Community



The Power to Decarbonise Rail


Procurement Law Nearly All in One Place


Rail Freight in 2023 and Beyond

James Devereux, Managing Director at PSI


VIEWPOINT Connected Travel Experiences Make for Happy Customers


Realizing the Potential of AI for Rail Operations


Blake Davis, Joint Owner and Managing Director of Davis Trackhire


Rail Salary Survey and Guide


David Meadows, Managing Director of RS Clare & Co. Ltd


Stephen Medhurst, Global Rail Industry Practice Leader at RSA Insurance







Approved Training Provider

FS 554413

Z-8.22.64 and Z-8-22-64.1

07 P

VGS-L 10



Bill Hinge, Founding Director of Soil Science


Alan McDonald, Founder of Gemeng



LRSSB Leads Sector into a New Era of Light Rail Safety


VIEWPOINT 2024 Predictions for Rail

Evan Jones, Security & Sales Lead at Complete Cyber


Emily Kent, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer at One Big Circle


SAFETY Dr Steve Fletcher, at the OPC, explores the expansion of NTS to other safety-critical jobs and their role in talent acquisition.


In Conversation with Hans Blaschke, Founder and Managing Director of Blaschke Umwelttechnik


In Conversation with Richard Melville Managing Director and Co-Owner of C&S Equipment Ltd

79 BUSINESS PROFILE Forbo Flooring


In Conversation with Mark Meyrick Managing Director and Founder Of FirstClass Safety & Control


Consult, Design, Build and Maintain


Protecting Workers at New Metro Depot


AARCPS – for Railway People

BUSINESS PROFILES 95 Torrent Trackside 96 Wesco Anixter 99 Galvanizer's Association 101 Anchor Systems 102 Cabel 107 RELEC 110 Mosdorfer 113 Sencieve 117 Hochiki 120 PULS 122 PEOPLE Judith Barker, Matt Rice, Gottfried Eymer, Angela Joyce, Xavier Sarrat, David Brown




£1 Billion Transport Plan for Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool A huge package of vital transport projects to transform the region has been revealed by the Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, following a funding boost of £1 billion from the scrapping of HS2. This represents the largest investment of money by the mayor in six years in office, with the money being earmarked to improve road, rail and bus travel across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool. Following a number of projects already made public, the mayor announced in mid-January at an event held at Middlesbrough Station, a headline pledge to bring 15 electric trackless trams to serve Middlesbrough, Redcar, Stockton, Hartlepool, and Darlington town centres. This joins money for a park and ride facility and transport hub as part of a £40 million overhaul of South Bank railway station to make it full accessible to service the thousands of local jobs being created on the Teesworks site. A £20 million boost for British Steel lorry park has also been promised in the wake of the announcement that a return of steelmaking is on the way – with £40 million to boost efforts to complete vital gauge clearance work for freight on the Eaglescliffe to Northallerton railway line also supporting the development of trade through the Teesside Freeport. Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: ‘We have an ambitious package of improvements planned which will revolutionise travel across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool. Not only will these projects make a positive difference to everyone’s day to day travel, but they will also boost our continued plan to make our region an economic powerhouse with access to good, well-paid, longterm jobs. ‘Be it at Darlington Station, Middlesbrough Station, or at our airport, we can show a record of delivery – but now we can offer the promise of much, much more

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen announcing the funding package in Middlesbrough

for the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.’ A new train station, and bus interchange for Teesside Park and the Tees Marshalling Yards, at Stockton, will also receive £150 million, while £20 million will be put into rebuilding Teesside Airport railway station. Money has also been set aside to assure Middlesbrough’s third platform is fully funded at pace, paving the way for more direct trains to London. The £40 million would provide a new platform and additional track and signalling to enable increased use of the carriage sidings. The proposed allocations include: • Teesside Park station, work at Thornaby Station and Tees Marshalling Yards transport interchange – £150million. • Deliver infrastructure to allow direct rail services between Darlington and Hartlepool – £40million. • South Bank railway station improvements and transport hub park and ride facility – £40million. • Deliver a new platform three for Middlesbrough Station at a faster pace – £40million. • Improving freight access to the rail

RIA Railway Industry Supplier Excellence (RISE) Awards 2024 Open for Entries

• • •

• • • •

network – gauge clearance work on Eaglescliffe to Northallerton line – £35million. Deliver the redevelopment of Teesside International Airport railway station – £20million. Delivery of 15 trackless autonomous electric trams in Tees Valley town centres – £20million. Develop a rail devolution proposal to Government to gain more control and meaningful powers over services which run here – £5million. Money to draw up a case for the electrification of the rail route between Northallerton and Saltburn – £3million. Feasibility study to examine removing West Dyke Crossing, Redcar – £1million. East Cleveland rail feasibility study for Saltburn to Boulby line to be opened to passengers – £1million. Middlesbrough to Nunthorpe rail enhancement feasibility study for more services – £1million.

The funding and project allocations will be subject to a decision at Cabinet at the end of January.

The fifth RIA Railway Industry Supply Excellence Awards (RISE) and Dinner is open for booking and entries. The event celebrates the value organisations and individuals bring to the rail supply industry across a range of categories. Company awards include Innovation, Employer of the Year and Safey while individual categories include Employee of the Year and Rising Star Award. This year includes a new category ‘The Economic Contribution Award’. The deadline for submissions is Friday 19 April 2024 at 17:00 and the shortlist will be announced on Monday 13 May 2024. The ceremony will take place at the RIA RISE Awards Dinner, at the Landmark Hotel in London on Thursday 27 June 2024. You can read more about the categories and how to submit your entry on the RIA website. 9


‘Designing Tomorrow’s Railway’ Innovation teams from across the UK have been successful in securing funding from the second round of the ‘Innovation in Railway Construction’ competition. Funded by the Department for Business and Trade in the UK Government in partnership with Innovate UK, the competition has been running since 2022 and invited teams to propose, deliver and demonstrate innovation in railway construction. All projects are due to be delivered at the purpose-built Global Centre of Rail Excellence facility, currently being built in South Wales. In the first phase of the competition organisations were awarded funding for a feasibility study on their project. From those a group of teams have now been successful in securing funding to take their ideas to concept stage at the GCRE facility. In both phases the competition is being supported with £7.4 million of public funding. Successful projects awarded funding include self-healing concrete, novel ground surveying techniques, new digital twin and drone technologies as well as next generation digital signalling. GCRE Limited Chief Executive, Simon Jones, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see these ground-breaking ideas funded through the Innovation in Railway Construction Competition so that they can be taken to the concept stage at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence site. ‘The ideas we have seen come through the competition give us a glimpse of what tomorrow’s rail infrastructure can be – greener, more reliable and more cost effective. Through the competition we are helping to accelerate the development of the best ideas to see if we can, ultimately, bring them into operation more quickly on the UK rail network.’ Mike Noakes, Head of Rail at the Department for Business and Trade in the UK Government said: ‘The UK Government is delighted to support these fantastic project ideas through the second round

of the Innovation in Railway Construction Competition. With this funding we are helping to future proof our railways. From a human-in-the-loop digital twin to tethered drones; from self-healing concrete to swarm robotics for tunnelling – these projects could have a significant and positive impact on the railways of tomorrow. Saving time, carbon and taxpayers’ money, the competition brings together fantastic examples of innovation with the means to prove them in the real world.’ Head of Innovation at GCRE, Kelvin Davies, said: ‘It’s fantastic to take the next, important step in the competition and fund these exciting projects. The projects will be taken to the concept stage at GCRE where they can be refined and developed to prove that they have a viable commercial future on the UK rail network. The ideas we have seen come through the competition are as exciting and creative as we could have hoped for and prove the value of the funding the UK Government is making available.’

Rail Forum joins European Railway Clusters Initiative Rail Forum has joined the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI). The ERCI focuses on bringing customers, suppliers and supply chain together across 16 countries. With an emphasis on innovation and collaboration, Rail Forum is confident its 380+ membership offers a breadth and depth of capability that will add value to clusters within the ERCI, and also provide European opportunities to our members. The ERCI has a range of different taskforces that sit well with the UK’s innovation aspirations and all have relevance to Rail Forum members. Current taskforces include cyber security, multi modal, green and sustainable mobility, and human factors. As a member of the ERCI, Rail Forum looks forward to supporting visits, 10

trade missions, projects and encouraging collaboration for the benefit of members. Dirk-Ulrich Krueger, President of the ERCI said: ‘We are extremely delighted to welcome Rail Forum UK as our 17th member in the ERCI European Railway Clusters Initiative. Rail Forum is the third UK cluster organisation to join our European umbrella organisation. With its 380+ members Rail Forum will significantly contribute to the total reach of ERCI to now more than 2,500 companies, public organisations, universities and research institutions in Europe. This will help to deliver our common objective of adding value for all companies and organisations organised in ERCI clusters by creating business opportunities for them and providing competitive advantage

through pan-European technology transfer.’ Elaine Clark, CEO of Rail Forum said: ‘Joining ERCI reflects our commitment to helping Rail Forum members with their international and innovation ambitions. This aligns with our continued SME Challenges to drive innovation and forms a key step in our growing international strategy, which most recently included a signed letter of intent with the Southern African Railway Association. The innovative and collaborative nature of our members matches brilliantly with the ERCI and we are excited to work with like-minded inclusive organisations for the mutual benefit of all our member clusters. Thank you to the ERCI for the warm welcome!’

Access Staircases

Getting him through his working day. Safely. www.steponsafety.co.uk

01206 396 446


RIA Innova�on Conference


Inspired by Innova�on 26-27 March, ICC Wales

2-day conference with a networking dinner Inspiring keynotes, panel discussions, TechTalks, student challenges and Future Focus Zone Large interac�ve exhibi�on with innova�on spotlight sessions presen�ng innova�ve services, products and solu�ons Scan the QR code to register today or visit


Strategic Partners

Pla�num Sponsors 12


Cambridge Research Project into Staff Safety and Body Worn Cameras In a first long-term initiative of its kind, train companies have joined forces to prove the effectiveness and promote the use of Body Worn Video (BWV) across the rail industry to improve staff and customer safety. Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and British Transport Police (BTP) have concluded a multi-year research project with the University of Cambridge, exploring the positive impacts of staff using body-worn video equipment. The key finding from almost five years of data is that Body Worn Video can reduce the likelihood of assault by almost half (47 per cent), making it a crucial pillar of staff safety. By acting as a visible deterrent, cameras can stop assaults from taking place and prevent violence towards frontline staff across the railway. While this equipment forms an important part of being able to investigate reports of assault against staff, it also has a powerful impact in stopping assaults from happening in the first place, by acting as a visible deterrent. The research also showed that while cameras can’t always stop assaults entirely, they do lead to a 30.7 per cent decrease in severe injuries, and a similar decrease (30.5 per cent) for low-level injuries. Footage captured by cameras also has important benefits when it comes to securing justice for staff who’ve been the victims of assault. British Transport Police prosecutors surveyed in the research reported that 67 per cent found BWV footage useful in more than 60 per cent of cases.

The rail industry’s wider staff safety project has achieved significant advancements in promoting uptake of BWV technology with an additional 4,350 cameras having been rolled out already by rail companies between 2021 and 2023. The railway is projected to have over 12,200 cameras in operation by the end of January 2024, the majority of which will be used by multiple members of frontline staff. The University of Cambridge’s research amongst frontline rail staff showed that they overwhelmingly support the use of Body Worn Video, with 80 per cent of respondents believing that train operators and Network Rail should roll out cameras fully.

Firm Grows with New Division Focussing on a ‘Lost Art’ that is in Big Demand Zinc Consult has created an Estimating and Cost Planning Division after integrating family-run Infrastructure Estimating LTD into the business. The new division will be headed up by estimating manager Andy Tucker, who has over 40 years of experience in mainstream construction and rail, having held several major positions with consultants and a senior role with Network Rail. Andy, a fellow of the Association of Cost Engineers said: ‘I am excited to be working with Zinc Consult. We share a passion for

innovation, and I am impressed with Zincs commitment to in house training and development of new technologies. Zinc has a proven track record in delivering for clients across the rail and construction industry. I really believe we can help grow and strengthen the business.’ Zinc’s Estimating and Cost Planning Division will be based in Filey, on the Yorkshire Coast, where Infrastructure Estimating LTD has operated for the past decade out of the Evron Centre.

Stevens & Bolton Advises Rock Rail on its New Joint Venture with Infracapital Law firm, Stevens & Bolton has advised Rock Rail (the investor-developer of rolling stock and other rail infrastructure) on its new joint venture with Infracapital, which will develop opportunities in the German regional passenger rail market, and its equity investment in the first project under this new rolling stock investment platform. The project secured equity and debt financing for the purchase and initial leasing to DB Regio AG of a fleet of 18 four-car electric

trains to be manufactured by Siemens for use on the Leipzig Central German S-Bahn Network 2025+. The trains are due to enter service in December 2026 and will support Germany’s growing demand for rail travel and sustainable transport. This is Rock Rail’s second European rolling stock investment and follows a series of UK rail rolling stock projects on which Stevens & Bolton has partnered with Rock Rail to provide corporate legal support. 13

Matt Ewing

Business Development Manager at BAM Ritchies

With almost 30 years of experience within the Civil Engineering Sector, Matt has a huge amount of experience in understanding what makes projects a success and what keeps customers happy. Promoting the nine services that BAM Ritchies deliver has provided Matt with the understanding and knowledge in Ground Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering to appreciate the innovation, skills and expertise required to deliver exceptional ground engineering.

Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Matt Ewing of BAM Ritchies about his 23-year career with the company, ground investigation, and on delivering resilient, low carbon projects SSH: When did you join the company? ME: I joined BAM Nuttall in 2001 as a subAgent working in Devonport Dockyard, on the D154 Project delivering the Nuclear Transfer Route (NTR). Over the next 16 years I progressed through Site Management and continued to deliver a range of Civil 14

Engineering Infrastructure projects across the South West and Wales, this included a number of marine projects due to the extensive amount of coast available in the South West. In October 2017 it transitioned over to BAM Ritchies, had a change in career and took on the role of BAM Ritchies Business Development Manager.

Its thanks to BAM that I could do this, they supported my interest in doing something different and gave me the opportunity to do it. I haven’t looked back, it’s been an amazing six years, learning a new role, finding my feet. Embracing digital through Covid and now delivering business development for BAM Ritchies in a post Covid world. Promoting the amazing things that BAM Ritchies does really is a perfect job for me and I am so grateful that the BAM business trusted me to deliver the role and embrace a career change late in my career. SSH: How has technology developed since you started in the industry? ME: In my very first job as an Assistant Land Surveyor, back in 1990, I was lucky


enough to be involved in the first use of Leica GPS Systems in the UK. This was for establishing Primary Control Networks for large Civil Engineering Projects, this involved spending hours at remote trig points capturing positioning data from limited satellites as they orbited the earth. Jump forward 33 years and we have the same capability on our phones, watches and in our cars to instantly get the same result. Plus we are now using robotic autonomous dogs to undertake surveys to keep our people safe and focused on the more challenging work. So the difference between then and now is immense. The speed of technology is out pacing what we can manage and make work for us so it’s especially important that we test, trial and understand technologies and data to ensure that we get the most benefit from it without blindly following the sales pitch. With the advent of AI and ChatGPT, we are again in a position to be overwhelmed by possibilities, so again we need to ensure we understand it and use it to add the most benefit. We must remember we do business with people, so we will always see behind the screen and will be measured by our actions, not our words. SSH: How long has your company been in business? ME: Founded in 1963 as drill and blast specialist Ritchies Equipment, BAM Ritchies has been at the forefront of the ground engineering sector ever since. It now provides specialist services such as geotechnical engineering, drilling and blasting, ground investigation and laboratory testing. Over the past six decades, BAM Ritchies has worked on some of the most technically challenging and innovative projects in the UK, including the Dounreay shaft isolation project, Crossrail compensation grouting, Glendoe recovery works and the Hinkley Point C deep dig. The company has also played a key role in improving infrastructure in the UK, including major road, rail and energy projects. One of the hallmarks of Bam Ritchies is its commitment to innovation and sustainability. The company has always been dedicated to finding innovative solutions that minimise the impact on the environment and it has been at the forefront of the industry’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and waste. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past 60 years. Our success is down to the dedication and hard work of our staff, who have always been committed to finding innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the ground engineering industry. The investment that we have made in our people is reflected in the number of long serving employees we have and also the fact that the majority of our staff and operatives have gained professional qualifications while with the business. We look forward to the next 60

years continuing to provide our customers with the highest quality services for many years to come. SSH: What is your Unique Selling Point? ME: BAM Ritchies is the award-winning ground engineering and geotechnical contractor, embracing the challenges within the highway environment, with a history of delivering innovative, value-driven, successful projects. From the provision of digital ground investigation through to bespoke optimal ground engineering solutions, Self-delivery of our ground engineering disciplines provide safe, right first time, sustainable success within the tightly constrained and controlled environments we operate in. Delivering nine integrated services stands us out from our competitors. Our multiskilled operatives work across our disciplines and enable us to be reactive to project change when it occurs. Delivering services over the full project lifecycle means we can influence the management of ground risk from early on. We manage the liabilities between services, speeding up procurement and delivery, while seeking out the opportunities to deliver cost effective, right first-time sustainable outcomes for our customers. Digital tolls and techniques are built into our pre-construction and delivery services. We use synthetic environments to undertake digital rehearsals to eliminate

clashes, check methodology, assess change and keep people safe. We care about the projects we deliver and we make possible our client’s requirements. SSH: What are some major projects you’re currently working on? ME: Turning to our current operations, the business is working on five major projects across the UK: the Transpennine rail upgrade from Manchester to Leeds, HS2, Hinckley Point C, Phase four of Network Rail’s Southwest Rail Resilience Programme, and Devonport Dockyard Dock 10 We have been working at Hinckley Point for ten years now, and we’re still there with our laboratory looking after the concrete works and earthworks. We have also recently started work on Phase 4 of the rail resilience programme in the Southwest, which will see us deliver cliff stabilisation work to ensure stability of the cliff and mitigate future risks. We are also involved in upgrading Devonport Dockyard to prepare the site for the new Vanguard-class submarine. We are fortunate to have large jobs with some long durations attached to them, as it gives us stability and stands us in a great position to make the investments required to complete the projects. We have purchased new piling rigs for our projects at Devonport Dockyard and HS2, for example, and new geotechnical rigs for the Transpennine rail upgrade. 15


In terms of ground investigation, we’re doing a lot of work up in Scotland to support the country’s renewable energy commitments. Specifically, we’re completing ground investigation works in preparation for new infrastructure that will transport power from offshore wind farms to people’s homes or businesses. There is going to be a burst of energy around pumped storage hydropower with regards to energy independence. Renewable energy is very much a part of the UK’s future, but there is a lot of work to be done and further infrastructure will be required to adequately distribute energy around the country. I can certainly see our workload shifting away from traditional highways works and towards renewable energy infrastructure, and we’re excited to play a crucial role in underpinning the UK’s transition to renewable energy.

We want to leave an employment legacy on completion of any project we undertake. Our supply chain is absolutely crucial. We own all our equipment for drilling, but we don’t carry a huge fleet of the specialist ancillary kit we need, so we rely on our fantastic supply chain partners to support our operations. Without their support and close collaboration, we would not be as successful as we are today. We have had some roaring successes with suppliers of large plant equipment and built longstanding relationships with a handful of specialist companies that have been mutually beneficial – we can rely on them for what we need, but we also support the training of their people.

SSH: What types of companies do you collaborate on projects with?

ME: You always have to look to the future and predict the world we want to be living in in 15 to 20 years’ time. As we know that world needs to be sustainable, low carbon and fossil fuel free. So, we strive as a business to reduce our carbon footprint across all our services so that we can deliver a sustainable tomorrow, today. We are refocusing where we want to work and are looking towards the renewable energy market, especially Pumped Storage Hydro Power and the renewable transmission market all across the UK. BAM as a business is turning away from fossil fuelled projects and a fossil fuelled world, focusing our attentions on delivering projects that deliver resilience and the low carbon, renewable future that we all need. There is always a period of transition, so are plant fleet is HVO compatible, we drive an EV car fleet, we invest in plant to reduce

ME: However, the need for supply chain support is still there for when there are volume pressures or specialist techniques required. Every Supply Chain Partner is accepted as part of our team. They have to meet our standards to support our work. This can involve upskilling where required and many of our partners have been involved in our ‘Beyond Zero’ workshops to ensure that we set the standard for performance in all areas including safety, quality and environment. They receive the same on-site training as our site teams. They become integrated into the team so that our delivery does not show any change. We monitor and manage our supply chain to ensure they are maintaining and adding to their abilities while collaborating with us. 16

SSH: What are your plans going forward to ensure BAM Ritchies services are still around for years to come?

‘In 2023, field trials to turn a one cubic metre block of sand into rock using bacterial action were successfully completed. Ground engineering applications for the technique are almost unlimited.’ emissions, reduce fuel consumption and extend the life of our drilling consumables. Through delivering sustainable solutions to today’s problems we can deliver more for less so reducing costs, improving quality and ensuring we delight our customers. To help achieve a sustainable future we have been undertaking a multiyear research and development project with Strathclyde University to challenge traditional construction methods and bring new materials and techniques to the market. In 2023, field trials to turn a one cubic metre block of sand into rock using bacterial action were successfully completed. Ground engineering applications for the technique are almost unlimited. They include temporary works solutions; ground improvement and coastal defence works. The process can also be used to repair cracked concrete structures in situ, eliminating the need to remove and replace concrete. Discussions with customers about



Easy Installation

Scan to join our community

maccaferri.com/uk info.uk@maccaferri.com

tel: +44 (0) 1865 770 555

Engineering a Better Solutions



‘There is going to be a burst of energy around pumped storage hydropower with regards to energy independence.’ the first use of this innovative technology are at an advanced stage and this innovative method may give a once in a generation opportunity to revolutionise the ground engineering industry by significantly reducing its reliance on steel and concrete. SSH: Do you think the rail industry could be greener and what is your organisations green strategy? ME: Very much so. Our sustainable tomorrow begins today. Details of BAM’s commitment to a Sustainable future which influences all our decisions in BAM Ritchies. As the world becomes more conscious of the environmental impact of human activities, businesses are under increasing pressure to operate sustainably. This is particularly true in the construction industry, which must balance the benefits of development with the preservation of natural resources. In 2023 we published a new sustainability strategy, which raises the bar for sustainability and shows how through innovation, collaboration and determination, we are committed to building a more sustainable future. It has set an ambitious carbon target – to become net zero in its direct operations by 2026. Bam We are also striving for zero waste by delivering circular solutions in the built environment. When we design a project 18

solution, we consider its entire life cycle. So instead of ending up in landfill, materials go back into the supply chain, maximising resource efficiency and eliminating waste. Everything needs to be greener, more sustainable and resilient to the challenges ahead including the rail network. Only recently have we again seen how fragile the Network is when storms hit the UK. We need to be SMARTer, more digital, make better use of data and take a much longer term considered view of investment in our infrastructure. Emergency work is three to four times more expensive than planned, proactive work so we have the ability to do a lot more work, we just have to understand the assets better using live data to plan, design and deliver cost effective solutions. Engaging the specialist delivery partners from feasibility is key to making informed decisions at every stage and shaping the most cost-effective solution to meet the required outcomes which have to be long term and cater for climate change. Presently things are still short term and reactive, an expensive sticking plaster instead of a considered, professional surgical procedure. SSH: How can we get more use of the rail assets and what is your vision of rail in 10 or 20 years? ME: Rail is the future of Intercity travel in the UK. We just have to get to a position of fully understanding its present condition, upgrade to meet todays needs while catering for tomorrows demands. I am a firm believer that if ticketing pricing was right then we would increase massively the passenger numbers on trains. Also the rolling stock needs to provide reliable Wi-Fi and seating for all that choose to travel on the train, these are the basics, not the speed trains travel from A to B. Getting freight onto trains needs to be further encouraged and we need to get

capacity to allow freight and passengers to run on shared lines, as they are both as important as each other when it comes to a green future and reducing the carbon footprint of our travel in the future. We have to focus our efforts on the train network and make sure it delivers for the passengers and the country as a fundamental of our Net Zero future. SSH: How do you make your business a good place to work? ME: People development, empowerment, varied work, support, understanding, being the best, celebrating success. BAM Ritchies is a fantastic place to work. It is all about the people, celebrating success and being the best in your specialised field. We are empowered to innovate, to keep raising the bar and to keep delighting our customers. Everyone in BAM Ritchies is encouraged and supported to be the best they can be, this includes professional development and career progression. We self-deliver our work and the business focus is to keep our 380 people busy in varied and interesting work, we don’t chase turnover, we seek out challenging, complex work that excites our people and inspires them to be the best. We are a sustainable business, we deliver profitable work that supports a sustainable tomorrow and retains our people, helping them grow. Why would you not want to come and work at BAM Ritchies?

Tel: 01236 467000 Email: ritchies@bamritchies.co.uk Visit: www.bamnuttall.co.uk/groundengineering

Building a


sustainable tomorrow

We are BAM Ritchies. We’ve built a reputation as the go-to ground engineering team that delivers digital, sustainable and innovative solutions. But, together, we achieve more. That’s why our collaborative focus is on leaving positive legacies within every project and in the communities we work in – to build a sustainable tomorrow.





RAIL LIFTING JACKS & PIT EXPERTS Reliable lifting and testing equipment for all rail vehicle maintenance.


With over 40 years’ experience of high quality, heavy duty vehicle lifting, Totalkare combines world class products with industry leading support to facilitate effective maintenance and repair.


For more information or to request a site visit:


Taking Safe Decisions Safety Management Intelligence System Annual Health and Safety Report Safety Risk Model Precursor Indicator Model PRIMA – proportionate risk response Bowtie Hub Generic Hazard List Rail Risk Toolkit Risk and safety intelligence:

We’re with you every step of the way

Shared intelligence: the foundation of safety Safety data is at the heart of our efforts to keep making rail safer. Decades of safety event data come from sources like the Safety Management Intelligence System (SMIS). All recorded and shared across the industry, and analysed by RSSB. This shared intelligence is central to the creation of tools like the Safety Risk Model, which quantifies risk across the rail network. Our independent, whole-system view helps keep Britain moving – with safer, smarter rail.

For more on rail risk & safety intelligence: www.rssb.co.uk/sharedintelligence



Katrina Treacy leads MTR Elizabeth line’s Customer and Community Ambassador team, listening to customers’ needs and engaging with local communities across the route. Formerly at Docklands Light Railway working at City Airport and Canary Wharf, Katrina’s eight-strong team has shown the importance and benefit of active engagement with Elizabeth line customers.

Engaging with the Customer and the Community Katrina Treacy MTR Elizabeth line’s Customer and Community Ambassador Team Lead on reaping the benefits of customer and community engagement


ince the Elizabeth line opened in May 2022, the number of customers we transport has been slowly increasing and we are regularly seeing in the region of 750,000 passenger journeys every day across our network from Shenfield and Abbey Wood to Reading and Heathrow Airport. The opening of the Central Section of the Elizabeth line created greater travel opportunities, the impact of which we’re now seeing in the number of locations on our route featured in the Office of Rail and Road’s top ten busiest UK stations. As part of our concession agreement with Transport for London (TfL), the Customer and Community Ambassador Team was established to engage and support the thousands of customers who use our railway, and to work closely with the many and varied communities located to the East of London and stretching across to the West of the capital. No mean undertaking! Now, a little over 18 months after passenger services commenced, seems a good time to reflect on the many benefits gained from actively engaging with our customers and local communities across our network in that time. With more than 500 schools served by an Elizabeth line station, we have set up a Schools and Youth Programme whereby every station on our network has been adopted by a nearby school. One of the key tenets of this relationship sees our team visit that school to give a safety talk, and subsequently invite those children into the

station to learn first-hand from the team how a station works. For example, a lot of children leaving primary school to enter Year 7 are suddenly travelling on their own, so we show them how to manage the important essentials such as buying a ticket, accessing a help point, topping up an Oyster card, how to identify one of our uniformed station staff, and how we use CCTV to ensure the safety of our customers. This relationship also paves the way to deal with any anti-social behaviour such as vaping and smoking at stations or faredodging. Sometimes we will take a BTP officer or revenue protection colleague with us and explain to under-18s the consequences of their behaviour, for example, having their Oyster card removed which would result in them paying full fare. We always make a point of attending careers fairs at secondary schools along our route to maintain engagement. And with our younger customers, we encourage the schools to participate in our annual Christmas card competition. The festiveinspired Elizabeth line drawings by the children are always fantastic, and we use the winner’s picture as MTR Elizabeth’s line official Christmas card. One of the schools we’ve worked closely with is St Ann’s School in Hanwell. All the pupils who attend have complex needs and, until the grade II-listed Hanwell station had lifts installed, as part of a programme of upgrade works providing step-free access from the ticket office to the platforms, the

MTR UK is a subsidiary of MTR Corporation. We demonstrate our reputation for operational excellence, exceptional customer service and innovation across our UK portfolio, bringing together railway operations, rail infrastructure and transport-focused property development. With a consistent track record of delivering through collaborative partnerships and joint ventures, we offer ground-breaking, technologyled approaches. The company's UK rail operations includes oversight of MTR Elizabeth line, the operator of the Elizabeth line (on behalf of Transport for London), covering all aspects of train and passenger service operations. MTR UK has operated South Western Railway, one of the largest UK franchises, as a joint venture with First Group since August 2017. For more information about MTR UK, please visit mtr.uk.com.

majority of children had never been on public transport. We speak with people every day whose stories show us how lifechanging these improvements to the railway can be. We now offer weekly bespoke trips to help familiarise the children with public transport, giving them greater confidence in travelling. Accessibility and inclusion has always been a priority for us. We now have a team of 14 travel ambassadors – all of whom have their own barrier to travel – who support us at events, as well as acting as a focus group that enables us to test assets before they are put into public use. We have always strived to be a railway that everyone can access and the work we do with our focus groups helps to identify ways for continuous improvement. The team regularly supports less-confident customers who are nervous about travelling on public transport for both health and logistical reasons. After the pandemic, we found there were lots of new parents who suddenly had to get their baby or toddler to a childcare setting and who’d never experienced using the escalators with a buggy before. By organising a series of bespoke trips we were able to assist those customers in helping them feel safe and supported on the trains and at stations. One of the projects close to my heart is the MyLondon calendar project. Every year, Fuji Film Corporation donate over one hundred disposable cameras which we distribute, with the help of Café Art, a charity dedicated to empowering people 21


affected by homelessness through art. The cameras are given to local people experiencing homelessness with a brief to capture images of London as seen through their eyes. Once the films are developed, we display the images at our stations and invite the public to vote for their favourite photograph. The most popular images are used to create an annual calendar and greeting cards. Participants are invited to sell the calendars and cards to the public and, similar to The Big Issue, the sellers keep a proportion from the proceeds of all their sales. Thanks to this project – and other support we’ve given – three people who used to sleep at our stations are now completely out of homelessness, which has been deeply rewarding. The work that the Customer and Community Ambassador Team undertakes with local industry is a vitally important part of our strategy. Our work over the years with the Department of Work and Pensions has resulted in us exhibiting at more than 40 job fairs across our network. In the last year alone, we’ve welcomed six previously unemployed people to work for MTR Elizabeth line thanks to these events. Our work in the community also extends to working with local employers. Over the past year, we’ve been working closely with a major pharmaceutical firm transferring to central London where parking is virtually non-existent. One of the key priorities was to encourage a change in behaviour amongst employees who’d spent months, if not years, sat in their cars to commute to work. With over 30 stations within a five mile radius of their current HQ in West London, we took the time to talk to staff about the many public transport options that would help them to utilise the Elizabeth line to reach their new office destination. We worked closely with 800 members of staff resulting in a significant number switching to public transport to commute to the new office. 22

Another key priority for the team is station safety and security. Over the last twelve months we’ve undertaken a number of initiatives that engage with our customers. For example, we’ve organised 14 passenger safety roadshows, 27 customer confidence sessions, supported by the British Transport Police, and 20 cycle security registration activations across 35 stations. As a keen gardener, one of my favourite projects is TfL’s annual staff gardening competition, In Bloom, which takes place at stations across the network. We have a number of station gardens along the Elizabeth line route. In 2021, we converted a disused and overgrown 30m x 30m space at West Ealing station into a mental health hub. We worked with local mental health and wellbeing groups on tending the garden and installed a sculpture designed by one of our very artistic ambassadors dedicated to the work of local charities. The hard work of our volunteer gardeners was recognised with the project scooping the Station in Bloom ‘Best in Competition’ for two consecutive years. Last year, we engaged with over two million customers. Whatever the weather, the Ambassadors are on the Elizabeth line route working alongside station colleagues. This could be hosting one of our daily ‘Here to Help’ sessions, providing additional support during service disruption, or being a dedicated presence at Heathrow stations, where we welcome visitors and help them on the next stage of their journey. Through active customer engagement, we offer guidance on alternative routes, best value for money ticketing options, and bring greater resilience to our station teams. MTR Elizabeth line is leading the way in customer and community engagement, and we now advise other train operators and work in partnership with transport providers at key interchanges across the capital.

‘A lot of children leaving primary school to enter Year 7 are suddenly travelling on their own, so we show them how to manage the important essentials such as buying a ticket, accessing a help point, topping up an Oyster card, how to identify one of our uniformed station staff, and how we use CCTV to ensure the safety of our customers.’

I truly believe that customers and communities are at the heart of creating a sustainable railway that’s accessible for all. With such diversity in my role – I could be at a school, library, job fair or in my wellies digging out weeds with volunteers at one of our station gardens – I feel incredibly lucky to be constantly learning from the people I have the pleasure of meeting and working with every day.

^hZ 'ZKhE ™ Reversible Soil Enhancement System


Cost Saving


Carbon Saving


Programme Saving



Vehicle Movement Saving


0118 3389530

Soil Science Limited, Suite 6 Markham House, 20 Broad Street, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1AH. 23 All rights reserved. Trademarks are property of Soil Science Limited (2021). Company No.12425259

Keep passengers in the know and not in the dark The RailSmart Dynamic Route Map keeps passengers informed using a completely customisable interactive route map that displays disruption updates, station information and much more.



Transforming Customer Service Ensuring customers are kept up-to-date and informed is a key challenge that many rail operators face, day in and day out

color-coded lines to indicate disruption levels, was well received by both its customers and internal stakeholders. This graphical approach improved communication, allowing Southeastern to share screenshots during disruptions, as well as helping with customer understanding. It also played a pivotal role in them receiving a National Rail Award for 'Customer Service Excellence’, which they won alongside two of their suppliers.

Collaboration is key


Train transporting commuters in winter snow and ice

he complexity of the network lends itself to an array of issues, from operational challenges to engineering works, to name but a few. However, it can be hard to communicate this to passengers in a way that is succinct and clear, to enable them to plan their journeys effectively. This is where 3Squared’s revolutionary Dynamic Route Map comes in. Since its inception, it has helped to radically transform how Southeastern Railway delivers its customer updates. The dynamic online platform provides real-time information to help rail companies better meet the demands of today's fast-paced rail industry.

Navigating the challenge

Southeastern Railway recognised the limitations of their existing customer information system, which required staff in the control room to manually relay rail updates to their customers. This posed challenges both in meeting customer expectations and accuracy of information. To tackle this, they sought a rail technology solution that would better meet customer expectations by providing instant updates across multiple channels – a system that could deliver accurate updates across their website, station information

systems, screens, announcements, social media, and app. The goal was to find a responsive, mobile-friendly solution that presented information in a digestible and personalised format.

Finding a solution that works

The answer to the challenge was found in 3Squared's Dynamic Route Map, a mobileresponsive and automated system which can connect to the national real-time database, Darwin. In contrast to the manual-driven Rainbow Board system they were previously using, the Dynamic Route Map significantly reduced manual interventions, providing accessibility from anywhere, while ensuring prompt and accurate service updates. In addition, the Dynamic Route Map offers passengers the convenience of using the calendar to see whether their journey will be affected by scheduled engineering work. Behind the scenes, the map can provide a clear visualisation for Control Room staff as to when services are likely to return to normal following service disruption. Moreover, during significant disruption, the map can display alternative bus routes and indicate whether ticket acceptance has been co-ordinated with bus operators The Dynamic Route Map's visual representation of disruptions, which uses

The success of the Dynamic Route Map underscores the collaborative effort between Southeastern and 3Squared. Southeastern Rail valued the open two-way process, acknowledging that the continuous feedback loop resulted in a final product that exceeded initial expectations, as testified below by John Till, Head of Information Delivery at Southeastern: ‘Whilst we had some of the initial ideas (the proof of concept), the team has been brilliant about coming forward and suggesting alternatives or slightly better ways of doing it. So, I'll be honest, if the product had been built purely against our outline requirements, it would be nowhere near as good as it is today. It's been a real team effort and that's really been appreciated.’ High quality customer service is something that truly matters to 3Squared and was a key driver in developing the technology. This, armed with the knowledge they have acquired in its initial roll out, will continue to play a significant focus in driving the technology out wider, in 2024 and beyond.

Visit: www.3Squared.com Social: @3Squared


TBF - Here to help

and support YOU during times of need £1.25 a week covers you, your live-in partner and dependent children. TBF offers financial and medical benefits, a wide range of complementary and alternative therapies, bereavement grants and welfare advice. Supporting those in the public transport industry during times of need, hardship and distress for less day than 20p per day.




Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, known as TBF, is a registered charity in England and Wales, 1160901, and Scotland, SC047016.



The power retrofit challenge Ian Fowler is Business Director at Amey and James Holmes is Sector Director at Amey

The Power to Decarbonise Rail Electrification is the key to decarbonising the UK rail network. But it is an expensive and very technically challenging task that requires new thinking to embrace systematic, locally focused solutions, if the UK rail sector is to meet its carbon reduction goals. Ian Fowler and James Holmes explain the challenges


n March 2021, Members of Parliament on the House of Commons Transport Select Committee described rail electrification as “the only immediately viable decarbonisation option for most of the network” and a critical part of the UK’s overarching journey towards a net zero future. Certainly, the committee highlighted the value of investing other carbon reducing technologies such as hydrogen and fully battery powered rolling stock, but the conclusions from its report ‘Trains Fit for the Future’ were clear: we urgently need to press forward with electrifying the network, and if the UK is to meet its 2050 decarbonisation targets, investment in rail electrification had to start immediately. Fast forward to today and the UK’s electrification programme is working hard to meet the targets set in Network Rail's Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy which identified a goal of electrifying some 13,200 track kilometres of line by 2050 – around 450 track kilometres a year. In reality, the Office of Rail and Road Regulation estimates that in 202021 the figure achieved was just 179 track kilometres and in 2021-22 it was just 2.2 track kilometres.

Understanding the cost of electrification

The reasons behind these delivery figures are clear; electrifying the whole of the UK rail network is a very technically complex task

and one that, using current technologies and techniques, is proving prohibitively expensive. Network Rail estimates the cost to be between £18 billion and £26 billion, largely due to the complexity and time taken to plan and install new overhead power lines on existing routes. At Amey we are addressing these challenges head-on while working with Transport for Wales (TfW) to upgrade and enhance the Wales & Borders rail network. A major part of this work is electrification of the Core Valley Lines (CVL) linking Cardiff to the towns of Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Treherbert, Rhymney and Coryton as part of the new South Wales Metro which, in line with the Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations Act, is designed to put the long-term wellbeing of people and communities at the heart of all public investment decisions. Our solution for CVL was to embrace the concept of ‘discontinuous electrification’, a new way of approaching the challenge to maximise efficiency of the construction, and control costs, by avoiding the need to invest time and money needed for full overhead line electrification (OLE) installation along the complex CVL route. Essentially, we've adopted a smart electrification process on the Core Valley Lines. We have designed the trains to suit the network rather than the network to suit the trains. That means we have not electrified every inch of the railway. We've been smarter about how we've done that.

While OLE power delivery remains the most efficient way to provide the large amounts of power required to drive heavy trains, retrofitting this technology to existing track layouts is both technically challenging and expensive. Many bridges are too low for safe installation of the high power 25kV power lines. The scale of engineering work required to rebuild bridges or lower the track raises the cost and increases the carbon footprint of any retrofit project. The CVL route is a case in point. As the name suggests, the lines navigate difficult, undulating terrain, passing through tunnels, over and beneath existing roads and across rivers and valleys. The use of OLE, while desirable to deliver the large amount of power required to drive trains in this hilly geography, would have required a huge programme of bridge and tunnel reconstruction to create sufficient headroom for the OLE equipment. While the UK has a large number of track kilometres electrified using ground level DC powered third rail, the power requirements, rural locations and geography means that this technology is not a viable or safe solution for CVL. When it comes to operational efficiency, the higher the voltage the better because there is less current required for any set amount of power – which is why overhead is a safer and technically better solution. Similarly, the use of pure hydrogen power was considered but ruled out due to efficiency and the weight and space required to carry enough fuel to run the service.

New hybrid technology solutions

A new breed of specially designed hybrid trains sit at the heart of our new delivery and operational strategy. The rolling stock was commissioned and built specifically for this contract: the Stadler Class 756 FLIRT, a tri-mode train capable of running on battery and diesel power in addition to OLE; and the Stadler Class 398 Citylink, a bi-mode metrostyle train, powered by OLE and battery. Unlike most rail vehicles, these are specially designed to fit the service requirement and geography of the network, using a combination of external and onboard battery power to navigate the network. A sophisticated power management system maximises the distribution of power between OLE and battery power taking into account the geography, the dwell times, the number of stations, tunnels and bridges. Without the use of this innovative solution the upgrade would have been hugely expensive in terms of cost and carbon and required the local road networks to be interrupted during the extensive work. It would also have meant the demise of many historic and locally significant structures on the South Wales rail network, many of which are listed. Any proposed modifications to these structures are usually very difficult and creates huge resistance to change from local communities. The use 27


of hybrid trains accelerates delivery and reduces the risk of long periods of difficult and potentially divisive local community consultation.

One size does not fit all

N EW S I N B R I EF COMPLETION OF HS2 LOGISTICS TUNNEL PAVES THE WAY FOR HIGHSPEED LINE TO EUSTON HS2 today 23 January) celebrated the breakthrough of a tunnelling machine into its underground Old Oak Common station – marking a key milestone in plans to eventually carry the highspeed line into central London. The tunnel boring machine (TBM) named Lydia finished its near-kilometre long journey into the station box in a move that completes the construction of the Atlas Road Logistics Tunnel. The 853 metre long tunnel, which runs from the Atlas Road logistics hub, is being built to service the programme to construct the line eastwards towards Euston. It will eventually allow materials required for the Euston Tunnel to be transported to the site without clogging up local roads or disrupting work going on elsewhere at Old Oak Common station. HS2’s London tunnels contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV) constructed the logistics tunnel using a TBM made from components repurposed from a machine previously used to construct London’s Elizabeth Line. The TBM is named Lydia, a name selected by the local community, after Lydia Gandaa – a former teacher at Old Oak Common Primary School. The TBM broke through into the eastern end of the Old Oak Common underground station box, which is currently under construction by a separate joint venture – Balfour Beatty Vinci SYSTRA (BBVS JV). Later this year, SCS JV will lower two additional TBMs into the box and assemble them ready to bring the HS2 line into Euston. Once they are in place BBVS JV will seal the box and continue to construct HS2’s super-hub station.


Clearly, the use of hybrid rolling stock, relying on battery power to bridge the gap to permanently electrify sections of route, is well suited to this South Wales geography and service type with relatively low running speeds compared to the high speeds and large carriage numbers typical on the mainline. This means that the power demand can be more easily managed, allowing batteries to be quickly recharged when the train emerges back onto the OLE power. However, the disadvantage of these hybrid trains is that they are more expensive to purchase and more complex to maintain. And they also must be carefully matched to the terrain and services requirement, and managed while in operation to ensure that there is always sufficient power available to drive the train. This requires complex technology to calculate and map the power demand at every point in the journey to ensure that the batteries are sufficiently recharged. This is not only to power the train through the planned current free sections of the route but also have sufficient in reserve capacity to cope with unplanned stops on route and to accommodate extra demand caused by specific track or passenger loading conditions. The design relies on the performance of the battery and the load placed on it, which means having a clear understanding of the geography – the gradients, dwell times and stations. The rolling stock therefore must fit the geography of the system and our design team has carried out a huge amount of battery modelling to make sure that the rolling stock can work with the discontinuous electrification in the geography on the CVL region. That said, battery technology is advancing rapidly, both knowledge of their performance and reliability of their acceleration. Once again, extensive battery modelling has been completed to make sure that the system is reliable and resilient, including development of a new software tool, that enables the CVL’s complex and varying conditions to be calculated as the trains move around the network.

Establish teams; maintain the skills

When it comes to electrifying the wider UK rail network, one size does not fit all. If the economic and carbon cost of electrification is to be controlled, a consistent, locally focused programme approach backed by an integrated and experienced supply chain is vital. However, the reality is that this longterm programme does not yet exist, making it difficult for these skilled teams to be kept together, for learning to be shared and for

technology to be developed. While single projects such as CVL allow ideas to the trialled and delivered, without longer term commitment to programmes the sector will struggle to leverage the lessons learned and end up delivering piecemeal, expensive, carbon intensive and locally disruptive solutions. That means being able to plan work ahead to have the designs ready to go as funding becomes available and crucially having the teams in place ready to carry out the work. Already the Amey electrification delivery team is being demobilised from the Cardiff area, split up and sent to work on projects elsewhere in the UK despite the certain knowledge that in the not-too-distant future there will be a need for similar electrification in the Swansea area. Bringing these skills and relationships back together will clearly only add to cost, time and complexity going forward.

The need for a programme approach to electrification

Having pushed at the boundaries of what can be achieved in terms of accelerating the delivery of rail electrification, the challenge for the CVL electrification team is to work with the supply chain to continue this technology roll out and development across the wider network. As highlighted by the Transport Select Committee report: ‘Electrification should be delivered through a long-term rolling programme, in which the Department, Network Rail and the wider industry learn the lessons of earlier schemes and strive to reduce the costs.’ Such a programme approach is key to simplifying and controlling the cost of procurement across the supply chain, allowing teams and decisions to be better integrated across the entire value chain – increasingly vital given the impact of inflation on material prices in the sector. The key is integrated decision making, so everybody in the value chain is involved. To make a good quality set of decisions around electrification, you've got to have vertical integration.

Everybody needs to be involved.

It requires a system thinking approach, where we, as an industry, come together and work towards holistic, shared outcomes for what we want from infrastructure, and empower local teams to do what is right for their geography, terrain and communities. Fundamentally, establishing that long-term rolling programme – and the funding that sits behind it – is crucial to decarbonising the sector and helping the UK meet its net zero carbon challenge. Surety of workload means that across the supply chain, we can invest in innovative ideas, press forward with designs and establish the skilled teams needed to deliver change.

Kilborn Consulting Limited is an independent railway engineering consultancy and design business, with over 21 years of railway experience. We specialise in the design of new and altered railway Signalling & Telecoms systems for the UK railway infrastructure.

Our areas of specialism are: • Signalling and Telecoms Consultancy, including technical advice & support; • Asset Condition Assessments, Correlation and Surveys; • Signalling & Level Crossing Risk Assessments; • Feasibility and Optioneering Studies; • Concept and Outline Signalling Design; • Telecoms Option Selection Reports (including AiP), Reference System Design and Detailed Design; • Detailed Signalling Design; • Competency Management & Assessments; • Signal Sighting assessments, covering the full Signal Sighting Committee process with a competent Chair. The new office which is located in the heart of Wellingborough can accommodate all staff and visitors alike and offer widespread views across Wellingborough and the surrounding green spaces. We would be delighted to welcome you to our office to discuss your requirements and how we can support you to achieve those. Kilborn Consulting Limited 6th Floor, South Suite, 12 Sheep Street Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN8 1BL

Email: pmcsharry@kilbornconsulting.co.uk Phone: 01933 279909




LAYING DOWN THE LAW by Martin Fleetwood

Procurement Law Nearly All in One Place

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.

A new set of general rules on procurement will come into force later this year, but some new provisions for rail apply now

N EW S I N B R I EF EMR JOINS FORCES WITH TECH FIRM ON GROUNDBREAKING SAFETY PROJECT East Midlands Railway (EMR) has teamed up with a tech firm on a groundbreaking project which aims to improve the safety and efficiency of train inspections. The DepotMATE project, which is being funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Innovate UK's First of a Kind scheme, is being delivered in partnership with One Big Circle – a Bristol-based tech firm that develops intelligent video, AI, and machine learning for the rail industry. The project will take advantage of One Big Circle’s multi-award-winning Automated Intelligent Video Review (AIVR) cloud-based platform. The project will utilise high-resolution line scanning, thermal imaging, standard video cameras and acoustic sensors to remotely assess a train's condition as it enters and leaves the depot. This new approach negates the need for a time-consuming and more dangerous trackside manual inspection and will be used to monitor EMR's regional fleet of Class 170 and Class 158 trains.



hile Brexit may have taken place nearly four years ago the UK Government is still introducing new UK-specific legislation to replace the old EU legislation which was retained on leaving the EU. This time the laws are ones which will have a significant effect on the rail industry – that of procurement. The Procurement Act 2023 (the Act) received royal assent on 26 October 2023 and the new procurement regime that it brings is expected to come into force in October 2024, following a six month ‘go live’ period. Unlike the EU-based rules which produced separate acts of parliament for concessions, utilities, etc., the Act provides a single set of rules covering works and services, concessions, defence and utilities contracts. However, while the main rules are contained in a single place, there are a considerable number of regulations which are being introduced to support the Act and various regulations need to be read together with relevant parts of the Act for any specific procurement. The requirement for these supporting regulations is one of the reasons for the Act not coming into force immediately. A series of consultations on the draft regulations took place in the summer of 2023 and covered various key elements of the Act such as assessment summaries (standstill letters), the contents of required notices, definitions and the position as regards light touch contracts. The results of the consultations have to now be incorporated into the

relevant regulations and issued under the powers in the Act. The Act itself is more aligned to UK policies and expands the transparency obligations of contracting authorities, with numerous new notices and contract publication requirements. There are also new measures for monitoring supplier performance, with the introduction of a central debarment list for suppliers who will be excluded from tendering for public contracts following poor performance. A failure to meet the relevant notice requirements may create the risk of procurement challenges for procuring bodies while the risk of appearing on the central debarment list will be a key issue for suppliers. Organisations operating in the rail sector should start familiarising themselves with the Act and its new requirements so that they are well placed when the changes to general procurement finally come into effect.

Specific provisions for rail into force now

While the Act is not due to come into force for around nine months, the replacement for EU Regulation 1370/2007 (Reg 1370/2007) came into force on 25 December 2023. With the snappy title of The Public Service Obligations in Transport Regulations 2023 (PSO Regulations), they become the primary legal regime for procurement and subsidy control in the rail and road transport sectors in Great Britain. As well as rail, they apply to tram and bus contracts. The PSO Regulations contain similar provisions to Reg 1370/2007 but they are


more suited to UK domestic law, are clearer and should be easier to follow in practice. The wording has been simplified, supporting caselaw has been codified and the regulations aligned to new domestic legal regimes and to market practice in the transport sector in Great Britain. Importantly for transport authorities the flexibility to make direct awards has been retained.

Providing clarity

The most notable changes for the rail sector in the PSO Regulations compared to Reg 1370/2007 are: • Clarifying the rules on preventing overcompensation – in particular, the meaning of ‘reasonable profit’ has been redefined to align more closely with how operators assess profitability in the GB market. • Codifying the caselaw on advertising public service contracts – this includes defining the underlying purpose of preaward publication in the case of both direct awards and competitive tendering procedures. The intention is to enable an interested party to raise objections to a direct award, or to prepare for an invitation to tender. A failure to give the full year's notice in advance of a direct award will only give rise to a claim

against the competent authority where the timing of publication is insufficient to achieve the underlying purpose – an ability to challenge the award. Similar provisions will apply to notice of a new competition where it puts the interested party at a significant disadvantage compared to the incumbent. • A new regime for enforcement of the PSO Regulations – this including shortening the time limit on claims to one month from post-award publication or (if later) any compliance with a request for information under the PSO Regulations. This is in line with time limits in the wider procurement regimes, giving more certainty to contracting authorities to go ahead with the contract with a reduced risk of it being later set aside. • Alignment with the Subsidy Control Act 2022 – defining a ‘subsidy’ for the provisions on recovery orders and introducing a new remedy of recovery of unlawful subsidy. • Alignment with the new Procurement Act 2023 – this includes adopting the new procurement ‘objectives’ (such as delivering value for money and maximising public benefit) and new rules on modifying public service contracts Exceptions apply to competent


authorities in Scotland which are required to follow the pre-existing ‘EU Treaty’ principles, such as transparency, proportionality and equal treatment.

Acting to reflect market practice

The new regime should be simpler and clearer to apply, as it is much more aligned to domestic market practice than Reg 1370/2007. The ability to make direct awards in respect of the rail sector is retained, reflecting current practice in the UK, but this does raise the prospect of limited competition for certain contracts for some time to come. The updated rules on avoiding overcompensation and controlling in-life modification are particularly relevant in the context of directly awarded contracts, placing some limits on the benefit of the direct awards. The provisions that are based on the new Procurement Act 2023 will be interesting in practice. These are coming into force at least ten months before the main regime. Competent authorities will need to get to grips with the updated concepts more quickly for their passenger transport contracts than for anything else. Remembering which procurement regime to apply in any given circumstance could be a challenge if sufficient care is not taken!

rail surface mounted tactile paving

safer sustainable solutions for railway platforms

flexitactalert: ground-breaking safety

New - Tactiles ‘Top-up’ System

tactile systems for railway platforms

Maintenance are alerted when tactile blisters wear below the ‘detectable threshold’ at a height of 3mm

New New

Worn blisters are ‘topped-up’ in-situ to original height

Worn Worn

No waste – sustainable solution 97% reduction in carbon emission contact phone: 01670 813812



Blister Profile Height = 5.5mm

Blister profile height = 5.5mm

Height = 3mm Alert detectable threshhold


CO2 reductions

Height = 3mm Alert detectable threshhold

Height = 5.5mm Top-up

Blister profile height = 5.5mm


improved safety

web: i-glo.co.uk email: info@i-glo.co.uk 31



Navigating the Tracks: Rail Freight in 2023 and Beyond Ellis Shelton, Policy Advisor at Logistics UK, provides an overview of the state of the rail freight market in 2023, the key trends that shaped the transport mode over the past twelve months, the challenges faced, and then look ahead to what is in store for 2024


ail freight plays a vital role in the global transportation network, supporting multiple industries and enterprises. 2023 was a positive year for rail freight, with some key areas of growth, and technological advancements improving service efficiency, availability, and sustainability. There were setbacks too, with rail strikes, infrastructure limitations, and the cancellation of key projects casting a shadow over the transport network.

The current state of rail freight in 2023

In its report, Freight rail usage and performance, the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) identified that total freight moved was 3.92 billion net tonne kilometres between 1 April to 30 June 2023 – down by one per cent compared with the same quarter the previous year. While most commodity groups saw a fall in freight volumes moved – this was expected within the wider UK trend of depressed economy activity – rail use in intermodal maritime and construction operations increased by seven per cent and 13 per cent respectively. As reported by ORR, the stabilisation of global container shipping may have influenced this trend, and ongoing freight deliveries to infrastructure 32

construction sites via rail, particularly to HS2 construction sites, influenced this commodity growth.

Key trends that shaped rail freight in 2023

Sustainability initiatives and the push towards greener rail transportation was a key driver of activity in 2023, as was the ongoing adoption of digital technologies and automation in rail operations to improve efficiencies. Over the past twelve months, we saw this in action with many companies undertaking innovative projects. For example, in September, GB Railfreight launched a new £5.75 million rail freight hub in Peterborough. The size of six Olympic swimming pools, it is powered fully by electricity, with the aim of delivering clean, safe, and secure freight across the region. And in July, Chiltern Railways began using hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) to power some of its train fleet – a UK first – with use of the oil capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 per cent compared to diesel. With the government setting a phasing out date for diesel-only trains by 2040, we expect to see more innovation in this area, with other fuels, such as hydrogen, also being explored and deployed by companies.

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.

Challenges faced in rail freight in 2023

In addition to global economic factors influencing rail freight operations, we saw rail strikes here in the UK cause disruption to rail freight in both 2022 and 2023, leading to a reduction in freight volumes moved and in service reliability. While employees working within the rail freight sector have not been involved directly with the recent industrial relations disputes, strikes among Network Rail signallers have reduced the operating hours of the railway, leading to reduced capacity on the lines for rail movements. This of course impacts rail freight operations by reducing availability for freight movements, and for services still running, reducing reliability. The UK government did introduce the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act (the Act), which became law in July 2023, amending the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. However, although the freight sector is excluded from the Act, it is heavily affected by the legislation, not least because it has little recourse to alternative modes of transportation when strikes impact the wider rail network. When strikes span multiple days in particular, the impact on freight can be hard to mitigate, which can have a longer-term impact on consumer confidence in the sector. There must be clarity about the access that freight services


can expect to have to the network, and government and the freight industry must collaborate on determining what routes should be prioritised. The UK’s rail network continues to require significant modernisation and in 2023 we did not see the level of investment needed into infrastructure. At Logistics UK, we and our members are particularly frustrated by the government’s decision to scrap the HS2 extension between Birmingham and Manchester. HS2 was a vital plan to unlock economic growth across the UK, and the additional capacity across the rail network it would have released was critical to expanding rail freight opportunities and enabling a shift from road to rail to cut carbon emissions.

Looking ahead to 2024

As we welcome in the new year, there is much to be optimistic about. Emerging technologies will play a pivotal role in enabling rail to transition to a net zero transport mode, all while boosting service availability and reliability; we are already seeing huge innovation in this space and are looking forward to seeing what is in store for 2024. The government is set to publish its longterm rail freight growth target in the new

year, and we will be holding government to account to ensure its plans support sustainable growth and enable modal shift. We need to see further government investment in the rail network to overcome the infrastructure limitations our members face; at Logistics UK, we will continue to press the urgency and importance of this. In 2023 the rail freight landscape evolved significantly, with businesses reacting effectively to changing global and local trends and embracing new technologies and challenges. Significant progress was made towards decarbonisation, and over the next twelve months, rail will play a pivotal role in the UK’s journey to become a net zero economy. In 2024 Logistics UK will continue to work with industry, government, and its members to represent the needs of businesses working in logistics operations, and ensure opportunities are unlocked.

NE WS IN BRIE F LUMO PLANS ADDITIONAL JOURNEYS BETWEEN LONDON AND NEWCASTLE Lumo, the all-electric open access rail operator, is exploring plans to operate an additional return journey every day between Newcastle and London. The proposals are for a new early morning service from Newcastle to London, with an additional evening return. This will enable Lumo to carry up to an additional 277,000 passengers between the cities each year and could represent a 15 per cent increase in its capacity. Lumo has submitted the proposals as part of the East Coast Main Line timetable review exercise, which is taking place with all train operators on the route. It currently operates five return services a day between London, Newcastle and Edinburgh.



How did you get started in the industry? I started in the rail industry fresh out of university working in Sales Development at Great Central Railway in Loughborough – I had volunteered there in a number of roles prior to graduation and still do so today. My initial role included marketing our heritage facilities for use as a testing location for companies looking to test new developments in main line conditions. I was only in that role for a short time but I was successful in gaining a contract for running in of the then new Beilhack ZZA Snow Ploughs.

‘Sun-Safe Indicator has the potential to be a real game-changer for rail safety clothing’

How did you start at MiRiCal Emblems Ltd?

JONATHAN DUL MANAGING DIRECTOR AT MIRICAL EMBLEMS LTD Born and raised in the Leicestershire market town of Melton Mowbray, 44-year old Jonathan Dul is now the second-generation custodian of his family’s specialist printing business: MiRiCal Emblems Ltd. Based in the former Nottinghamshire coalfield village of Blidworth, MiRiCal serves a worldwide customer base with printed heat-applied logos used on a variety of different fabrics including rail safety clothing and corporate uniforms.

AT MIRICAL EMBLEMS LTD MiRiCal Emblems Ltd manufactures a wide range of garment decoration products, almost exclusively for heat seal application. Products fall into two main categories; Industrial Wash and Home Wash. These are complemented by ancillary products and heat-seal equipment specifically designed to aid application to the wide variety of fabrics used in the manufacture of workwear, safetywear, sportswear, leisurewear and schoolwear.


I joined our family business, MiRiCal Emblems Ltd, in November 2002 initially helping my father by covering for maternity leave in the customer service team. Before long, I was running that team and ten years later, I was running the entire company. MiRiCal manufactures heat-applied logos for application onto workwear, safety clothing and sportswear and so I’ve maintained my links to the wider rail industry not only through my continued involvement at Great Central Railway but also through indirectly supplying printed logos for all kinds of railway companies from freight and passenger operating companies to infrastructure owners and maintainers. Tell us about MiRiCal Emblems Ltd. The company was founded by my father in August 1993 as a specialist manufacturer of heat-applied logos to the clothing trade. Thirty years later and we’re firmly established as the market leader in this field when it comes to innovation and our products can be found on garments around the world from Australia to Europe to North America and all points in between. Generally speaking however, our name is not well known at the end-user level because the choice of whose embellishment products to use is that of the clothing provider and that will depend on who they have a relationship with. How have the products and services you offer developed over the years? Our most recent development is one that is extremely pertinent to the rail industry and concerns the correct and safe use of high visibility clothing. When a wearer receives their new high visibility clothing, they can be certain that it conforms with ISO EN 20471 which is the international standard for high visibility clothing but as soon as they start to use the clothing, continued exposure to UV light will cause the fabric to fade. Eventually, the fading will reach a point where the garment no longer complies with the standard and should be replaced. Until now, the only way of being certain that a garment was still compliant would

have been to send it for laboratory testing – the cost of which would be prohibitively expensive given the number of garments any one firm might have in circulation let alone the logistical challenge of collecting samples of garments up and sending them away to the laboratory. But Sun-Safe Indicator from MiRiCal Emblems Ltd changes all that – Sun-Safe Indicator is a simple heat-applied transfer that could be used on any high visibility garment and is constructed using a specially-developed ink that is designed to fade with prolonged exposure to UV light. By the time that the special ink has done its job, the transfer will now display the message “un-Safe” indicating that the garment has now fallen out of compliance with the international standard and should be replaced. Sun-Safe Indicator is patent pending worldwide. Only prolonged exposure to UV light causes the specially-developed ink to fade, it is fully resistant to home washing (tested to 50x home wash cycles at 60C) and can be used on flame retardant garments and antistatic garments. How passionate are you about sustainability in the rail sector? I think Sun-Safe Indicator actively demonstrates our commitment to sustainability because where it is adopted, it will help safety managers to better understand when a high visibility garment has reached the end of its life rather than guessing and potentially disposing of garments that whilst faded, still comply with international standards. What are some major projects you’re currently working on? The Sun-Safe Indicator is just the first in what we hope will become a family of products all built around the concept of alerting wearers to some aspect of a garment’s non-compliance with the applicable international standards.

The EPIcentre, Mansfield Road, Blidworth, Nottinghamshire, NG21 0LR +44(0)1623 490114 sales@mirical-emblems.com


Creating a Skilled Workforce

Our Vision

www.pmtanda.co.uk 01874620704 enquiries@pmtanda.co.uk

To help create a safe railway, by giving people who work on it the skills, abilities and attitudes to maintain high standards in whatever role they have.




PAM MARTIN DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER PM TRAINING AND ASSESING LTD Pam Martin is the founder and director of PM Training and Assessing Ltd, alongside her husband Paul. She founded the company in 2005 with just herself. They now have 17 staff and a turnover of £1.5m. They have won awards for their innovative approach to training. With their main area training Signal Engineers.

‘The best way we like to see success is the confidence with which our learners go on in their careers. This can be something that is very difficult to measure, and maybe months or years later people come and tell you what a difference it made.’

PM Training and Assessing Ltd has hundreds of qualified assessors who work across the UK and abroad and we provide an extensive range of training courses across rail, energy and other industry sectors. Want to know more about PM Training and Assessing Ltd? Tel: 01874 620704 Visit: www.pmtanda.co.uk Address: PM Training and Assessing Ltd The Courtyard Granary Standard Street Crickhowell Powys NP8 1BP


Success can be measured in a number of different ways. Our first priority is, just like everyone else, to still be able to pay our mortgage. However, we have also grown year on year with our business – both financially and in terms of staff. We also have a number of accreditations with awarding bodies and rail organisations where we get audited by them, so the results of these show our success. But the best way we like to see success is the confidence with which our learners go on in their careers. This can be something that is very difficult to measure, and maybe months or years later people come and tell you what a difference it made. One of the biggest compliments we had this year was when one company said to us ‘PM Training and Assessing is going to be the Harvard of the Signalling Training world, you just know that people have been trained well’. What does sustainability mean to you?

How did you get started in the industry? I have been a trainer and assessor since I left university, but I didn't come into the rail sector until 2004 when my husband started at Carillion, and they needed help with the Assessor qualification. When did you join PM Training and Assessing and what is your role within the company?


What success have you experienced in the last twelve months and how do you measure success?

I set up the company in 2005 so that I could get paid by Carillion who wouldn't pay self-employed people. I am the director of the company along with my husband Paul Martin. I mainly look after the management side of the company, and Paul looks after the technical side with regards to signal engineering. Tell us about your career before you joined PM Training and Assessing. Before I joined the railway I worked in various colleges teaching a range of different courses from business through to childcare. I worked part time when my children were young. What challenges have you faced in the industry? The industry is like one large family. And like any family there are pros and cons to being so close with each other. If my husband hadn’t had been a Signal Engineer we wouldn’t have had the contacts to get started. It also means that we have to always do a good job, otherwise people will talk about you, and with the advent of social media this can grow very quickly.

Sustainability means that we need to move away from having lots of paper to demonstrate competence. We need to use other methods to show competence and to keep those records electronically. We also have the challenge of not having people travelling too much, or training that could be delivered locally or online. We feel we are meeting some of this, but still have challenges when we work with other organisations who are still using paper or doing things in the traditional way. What was the inspiration behind starting PM Training and Assessing? There wasn't much inspiration behind starting PM Training and Assessing, it was more a necessity. In 2005 we moved location and my husband, Paul Martin, got a new job with Carillion. He was their IRSE Assessing Agency Manager. As part of this role, he had to ensure that assessors were trained and qualified. The training that was currently being undertaken wasn't up to the correct standard, so he asked me to come in and sort it out as this was my area of expertise. In order to get paid for this I had to be a company. This was the birth of PM Training and Assessing. If I'd known how big we were going to get I'd have chosen a more dynamic name! How long has your company been in business? We have been in business since 2005 doing the Assessor, Trainer and IQA qualifications. In 2009 we expanded into IRSE licencing, and then in 2018, when Carillion collapsed and Paul joined the business full time, we expanded into Technical Training for Signal Engineers.


Tell us about PM training and Assessing. PM Training and Assessing (PMTandA) does what it says on the tin. We provide training and assessment for those who are themselves training to be Assessors, Trainers and Quality Assurers. We do this mainly within the rail sector, but also have clients to in the heating sector and other areas. Our main area of business is Signal Engineering and we are the largest independent IRSE Assessing Agency. We work with many of the tier one suppliers right down to individual contractors. We provide technical training for Signal Engineers using our mobile classrooms, which we can take to clients sites. We also provide trainers for apprenticeships. At the moment we provide them to Educationwise. Which sectors do you work in? The majority of work is with Signal Engineers. As you can appreciate it is vital that they are trained and assessed regularly to ensure that they are competent to carry out the various different roles. However, with the Trainer and Assessor qualifications we work across the Rail Industry, and train those working in all different aspects off the rail sector. We are currently doing the Assessor qualifications for those who are surveying structures within Network Rail. We also work with companies who are based abroad. We do many IRSE licences in India and have recently done a large number in Taiwan. We also provide Assessor and Trainer qualifications abroad and this year we are looking forward to going to Dubai Metro to complete their qualifications. What is your Unique Selling Point?

assessments were paperwork heavy. We now have a virtually paperless office and strive to become completely paperless. With the advent of scanning apps, large file sharing and audio and video recording, the storage of assessment evidence has become completely electronic. The evidence is also better as it can be recorded with the person's actual words, and sometimes pictures as well. We have also been able to create online courses and blended courses, which are a mixture of both online and face to face. This gives more options for learners and allows learners who are not geographically close to have the same experience. We have also moved into using new technologies. We have won awards for our Virtual Reality system for Signal Maintenance Testing. This can allow the learner to experience what happens if they don't perform that engineering tests properly. There is no way we could simulate a train crash and change the way that people think by just talking to them. What are your plans going forward to ensure PMTandA services are still around for years to come? With technology ever changing, we need to keep up to date with these changes. We are constantly looking at how to make the learners experience better, and to make it as realistic as possible. We also looking at how we can use technology to make the administration of training and assessment better and smoother, both for ourselves and for the learners. This is a changing landscape and the challenge is to keep up with these changes, but without losing the core of making sure that the learners have the best experience possible.

Our standout USP is particularly with regards to Signalling Training. We are based in rural mid Wales and people are not so keen to travel to us (until they've been and seen how beautiful is). Therefore in 2018 we had the idea of creating mobile classrooms, so that we could take the training to the client. We now have one show trailer and two buses that we take around to client’s sites, so that they can have the training delivered where the engineers work. This has been hugely successful, particularly during Covid, as people prefer to be local and stay at home rather than going away for training courses. It also means that it is much cheaper for the companies, as they don't have to pay the learners travel accommodation etc and they can work around normal shift pattern.

What do you have planned for the year ahead?

How have the products and services you offer developed over the years?

All Rail companies should be proactive in training. We often find that training is something that is reactive. For example, when a job needs doing and they find there is insufficient people qualified to do the job, then they request the training. We need to be more looking to the future of what

The main change that has happened with training and assessment over the years is the advancement of technology. When I first began, we had paper portfolios, and all

For 2024 we want to be on the register for apprentice providers. This will allow us to provide apprenticeships in England in our own right. This will allow us to make the apprenticeship in engineering specific to the rail sector and be able to develop and bring on new people into the sector. There has been a large gap in new engineers coming on which needs to be addressed. Apprenticeship is a great way of doing this, if it is delivered properly and with the needs of the industry in mind. How can the industry tackle its skills shortage and how do you recruit/retain/ train your staff?

‘All Rail companies should be proactive in training. We often find that training is something that is reactive.’ is going to be needed for upcoming work. Programmes such as apprenticeships are great in giving a good solid grounding in the sector and a structure for development. However, this should not be just limited to apprenticeships and should be across all training. We all know that the sector goes in cycles, we should take the low times as times for training in preparation for when work is busier. At the moment it seems to be wait until you get busy, and then you have no time for training. Training needs to be the priority and planned for so that projects go more smoothly. How do you make your business a good place to work? One of the biggest compliments I had was when we went out for our Christmas meal. The waitress asked us if we were a family group. This really sums up our company. We are a small business and we love the family feel of our business where we support each other. The challenge going forward is as we grow to keep this culture and not lose it. In terms of technology, how do you anticipate things might change in the next five to ten years? The use of technology in training needs to be addressed. The advent of virtual reality is here, and we are currently using this. However, there are other new technologies that we can use. We can use things like augmented reality to work on equipment in a safe environment without having to get dirty. We can also mentor and assess people virtually with glasses that can see what the engineer is doing and the mentor being somewhere different. We also need to make sure that we move from paper-based tests to computer based tests, so that we can change things like backgrounds font sizes etc to make it more accessible to different learners who may have special requirements e.g dyslexia. At the forefront of this we must make our training more accessible and interesting for the learners, not just using technology for the sake of technology. 37


Andrew Cruttenden is General Manager at Trainline Partner Solutions.

Accelerating the Modal Shift to Rail in 2024

Andrew Cruttenden, General Manager, Trainline Partner Solutions asks, will we look back on 2024 and recognise it as the year when business travel returned to rail in a big way?


he Covid era of reluctance to travel for business – or even into the office – is being increasingly challenged as more employers set higher expectations for workplace attendance. Meanwhile, several other key themes are having an increasing impact on business travel decisions, most notably sustainability factors. With growing regulatory and legislative pressure on companies to reduce their emissions, alongside the changing expectations from their employees, rail has an opportunity to grow its presence. But if we are to successfully deliver this potential modal shift to rail among business travellers, the industry needs to step up to the plate and act. Here are four factors that could change the industry’s fortunes if we capitalise on these opportunities.

Emissions reporting

The EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive entered into force on 5 January 2024. This policy will have a major impact on European companies and is also relevant for UK-based businesses who have substantial operations in Europe. It requires companies to report on scope 3 emissions, which includes business travel and the emissions caused by their supply chain. This isn’t the first piece of legislation to impact British businesses, and it won’t be the last. It sends a clear signal to the corporate world that we are entering an era of climate reporting – and when emission levels get reported, expectations that they are tackled will only grow. This makes lower carbon business travel a higher priority for many organisations, as even those not yet impacted will be looking to get ahead. A survey we ran in January found two-thirds of business travel decision 38

makers at British SMEs expect legislation to influence their business travel policies – and almost half (48 per cent) expect to increase the amount they use rail to help reduce their emissions. This is a major business opportunity for rail.

Government action

Last year, French lawmakers passed a ban on short-haul internal flights where a train alternative of 2.5 hours is an option, in a bid to reduce carbon emissions. This isn’t a perfect policy. Connecting flights aren’t accounted for, meaning many short-haul flights still leave France’s biggest airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle. Nevertheless, it's a significant signal of government sector support for reducing emissions from travel. Other governments are watching closely and considering their own options – Denmark made a similar step by introducing a green tax on all flights departing from the country. Change is in the air, literally, and the rail sector should step up to offer its support. When the CEO of a major airline like KLM is promoting the train as a low-carbon option to flying, there is an opportunity for carriers to work alongside airlines, or simply help fill the space they are being forced to create. Businesses and governments alike are on the look-out for lower-carbon travel options.

Prioritising sustainability

Sustainability considerations aren’t solely being thrust upon major employers from outside the organisation. There is also growing internal pressure: emissions are an increasing issue for society, and that includes the workforce. For a savvy business, leaning into the sustainability agenda can give them the edge in recruitment. At Trainline Partner Solutions we commissioned recent research

which demonstrated a clear link between sustainability concerns and the ongoing ‘talent war’ that many companies will be no stranger to. Many UK business travellers (53 per cent) said they’d prioritise working for an employer who supported lowcarbon travel, over a competitor that did not. Almost half (44 per cent) said they feared failing to offer lower carbon travel options would ultimately negatively impact their current company’s ability to hire and retain staff. This isn’t simply an issue affecting younger workers; the findings were crossgenerational, so if businesses are serious about attracting and retaining the best talent, they must take sustainability efforts seriously. Again, rail has a huge opportunity to support businesses in staying connected while working to lower their carbon footprint.

Improving traveller experience

With all this momentum in rail’s favour, what does the industry need to do in response? The answer is enhancing the user experience, at all levels of their journey – the wind may be in our favour, but we still need to work hard to win the customer over. The booking process is our own area of expertise, and it’s no exception. There is a growing expectation among business travellers for a personalised, seamless digital experience that is akin to their experience when booking leisure trips in their private life. Why shouldn’t they get the same from their business trips? At Trainline Partner Solutions, we work with several platform partners to support their provision of rail content in the UK and across Europe. Our focus is on offering their customers a simple and seamless booking experience – whether that is powering the online ticketing for carriers, TMCs, OBTs or other third-party retailers. And we’re constantly developing new features – like fare splitting – which can be transformative for TMCs and OBTs. Industry collaboration and open APIs make these features possible, enabling access for customers to the best routes, fares, and journey times from carriers across multiple markets. We need to keep the hard work in the background, so that the user proposition is simple.

Moving closer to a modal shift

2024 could ultimately be the year in which rail business travel realises its potential – not only looking to return to pre-Covid levels but moving beyond. Even more importantly, it won’t be a high-tide mark. 2030 is the next notable target date for many carbon emission reduction ambitions, so we foresee the appetite for rail continuing to grow in the coming few years. Sustainability can be rail’s secret weapon for growth, provided we lean in and focus on delivering for travellers. Make rail the easy, attractive choice, and we’ll enable a true modal shift to rail.


OWEN BATHAM SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR AT ELITE PRECAST CONCRETE LTD Owen Batham is one of the longest serving members of the Elite Precast Concrete team, having previously held management positions within the Drainage, Quarry and Aggregate businesses. As Director of Sales and Marketing, Owen champions customer service at every stage, providing expertise to ensure customer satisfaction and the know-how to transform the customer proposition and puts the customer at the centre of all decision making.

ELITE PRECAST CONCRETE LTD Elite Precast Concrete manufacture and deliver sustainable interlocking blocks, ballast blocks, security barriers, safety barriers, service protection and drainage products, to secure our environment and infrastructure. Want to know more about Elite Precast Concrete? Tel: 01952 588 885 Email: sales@eliteprecast.co.uk Website: www.eliteprecast.co.uk



When did you join the company? I joined Elite Precast when they had moved to Telford from Much Wenlock and began growing their product range. With experience in quarrying and precast drainage products it was an ideal fit and great to be somewhere I can make a real impact. What is your role within Elite Precast? I am the Sales and Marketing Director and believe in a real hands-on approach, I know our customers and their pain points. Our objective is to make their lives as easy as possible, with prices returned quickly and fast deliveries of quality concrete products. What does sustainability mean to you? Sustainability to me, means using good quality materials that are sourced locally within the UK and delivering products that have a long-life span, which can be reused or recycled where necessary. All too often you hear of products being sustainable because they have a low carbon count, but then you find out they aren’t built to last, so you end up installing more and using more carbon in the long-run, or products that can’t be recycled when finished with and need to be disposed of using expensive specialised methods – how is that sustainable? When did you first start the company? Elite Precast Concrete was established in 2008 by our current Commercial Director, Richard Doody, who having worked within the concrete drainage industry from a young age, saw a gap in the market that he was keen to fulfil. Tell us about Elite Precast. Elite Precast Concrete is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of precast concrete barriers, walling, drainage, power and infrastructure products and are committed in helping to create safer spaces by securing and protecting people and infrastructure. Founded in 2008, Elite Precast Concrete has gone from operating in a small factory, making seating rings, gully cover slabs and a limited range of concrete blocks, near Much Wenlock, to a state-of-the-art facility in Telford, Shropshire that now covers eight acres of land, which includes 140,000 square feet of production facilities, stocking yards and purpose-built offices. The move enabled Elite to build on its range of interlocking blocks and begin making security barriers, service protection units and ballast blocks. Throughout this continuing growth, the core values of offering great customer service, fast response rates to enquires, short delivery lead-times and value quality products, continued to run at the heart of the business. 40

The precast concrete products are made to the relevant British and Industry Standards, with many made to last over one hundred years and as full members of the MPA (Mineral Products Association) – the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries, as such, we are committed to best practice, sustainability and the sharing of knowledge, to ensure the future of the industry.

What types of companies do you collaborate on projects with?

Which sectors do you work in?

When a client comes to you with a particular problem, what’s your process for coming up with a solution, and how closely do you work with clients throughout the projects?

Elite Precast Concrete are manufacturers of precast concrete interlocking blocks, ballast blocks, barriers, electrical vehicle storage and charging solutions, service protection and drainage products and deliver to the following sectors: • Agriculture. • Drainage. • Housing. • Highways. • Rail. • Construction/Infrastructure. • Aggregates/Quarrying. • Industrial/Skip Hire. • Safety/Security. • Recycling. • Power/Energy. • Coastal Protection. How have the products and services you offer developed over the years? In 2023, we extended our team to ensure our customer service levels are maintained and grown. We pride ourselves on offering great customer service that includes fast enquiry response rates, short delivery leadtimes and obviously great value quality products. Throughout the years, our product range has grown, which has meant improving our production and quality procedures. We are focusing on our drainage and walling range at the moment and have some exciting new products in development that will be launched this year. What are some standout projects you’ve been involved in over the years? Our barriers and Kentledge blocks have been used in the security of large UK events, including major sporting events that include the London Olympic games, Commonwealth games and fixtures and concerts at Wembley, Murrayfield and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, as well as National events, such as the King’s Coronation last year. These are always great to supply, but we also made interlocking blocks for HS2, Hinkley Point and major infrastructure projects. However, I like the projects, where we have made a real difference to someone’s life in protecting them from landslips, flooding or coastal erosion, it’s great to help them overcome their problems.

We have worked with Network Rail, National Highways, the Environment Agency and major housebuilders, as well as individuals who need their property securing. We work with other manufacturers, contractors and builders’ merchants to ensure a supply of precast concrete products to make their life easier.

We talk to people, in today’s world society relies on the internet to solve their problems, however, we find that speaking to people really gets to the crux of the issue and allows us to find a solution together. What new developments/strategies do you have? Recently we have taken on new staff, in sales, marketing, quality and manufacturing, who are all experienced within the concrete walling and drainage arena to grow the Elite business further and build on our customer relationships. Together we have over 200 years of concrete experience – 2024 is going to be a very exciting year for us. How do you work with the supply chain within this sector? We understand that line closures and rail delays have a big impact on the network, and we know that being able to deliver products within days of request is very important, along with ensuring the quality of our products, which is why we ensure stock is available and goods are made and tested to the relevant standards. We ensure compliance with The Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme – RISQS and deliver outside of normal hours, with a selection of vehicle options to match those needed by the rail sector. Day to day, we talk with the installers, contractors and consultants to ensure we are making the best product solution, in terms of size, weight, compliance and of course price. What are some of the biggest challenges this sector currently faces? You only need to look at the news to see train delays and network infrastructure issues at the moment. Maintaining and building new tracks can sometimes mean closing the rail line to passengers, requiring more delays and cancelled trains. Using safe systems, such as adjacent line open (ALO) can minimise the impact of this, whilst still keeping some trains running, with maintenance and construction staff safe.

Get on track with Elite interlocking blocks and barriers

British made

Workforce protection barriers avoiding all line closures with adjacent line open

Rockfall prevention with our multi-purpose Jersey barriers

Hoarding stabilisation utilising Elite Duo interlocking blocks

Large ballast bays with walls constructed from our Legato interlocking blocks

Large scale embankment retention using the versatile Legato blocks

Workforce safety refuges built from Elite Duo blocks

Everywhere on rail networks Elite products are seen in use For more information phone 01952 588 885 or browse www.eliteprecast.co.uk or email sales@eliteprecast.co.uk

KM 642263 BS EN 1917 & BS 5911-3

KM 658166 BS 5911-6

Approved suppliers to Tideway, Crossrail and HS2 and verified under the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme



Tell us about your career before you joined AB. Most recently I managed regional operations within the energy industry. My background is in technical manufacturing, but it was my previous rapid delivery of new technology to market that AB wanted to leverage, while maintaining their reputation for quality and service, as both the Fluid Transfer and Sander engineering businesses continue to grow rapidly.

IAN PERRETT MANAGING DIRECTOR OF AB HOSES AND FITTINGS, AB RAIL Ian Perrett has +20 years’ experience in managing business performance and delivery of technical new product to market across multiple industries. Recently transitioning from the energy industry, Ian is excited to leverage his experience to steer AB Hoses and Fittings through their projected growth as Managing Director.

What challenges have you faced in the industry? The real challenge is integrating with the complex stakeholder system. Fortunately, AB’s focus on improving rolling stock safety and operational performance, aligns with our stakeholders and business partners, and they have actively helped our technology get to market quicker. Our industry first DVRS sander technology for enhanced passenger safety through improved traction and braking performance, is a prime example of this. The much-improved stopping performance was clearly evident to our client and their professional driving staff in trials. Fleet fitment is now underway. How long has your company been in business? AB has been in business for over 30 years providing engineering solutions in hydraulics and fluid transfer systems. In 2015, AB expanded into Advanced Sander Systems for passenger safety. As we continue to grow, we remain clear on who AB is. We are still an engineering solution led company and the driving force behind each division is improving safety, reliability, and operating performance of our client’s vehicles. How passionate are you about sustainability in the rail sector, and how do you go about sourcing the materials for your products?

Want to know more about AB Hoses and Fittings? Tel: 01246 208831 Email: sales@abhoses.com Visit: www.abhoses.com

How did you get started in the industry? The Rail industry was always on my radar, and my choice to get involved, as Managing Director of AB, was driven by the importance I place on rail in driving overall sustainability for the UK transport sector. Being able to leverage my experience in operational efficiency was a clear fit with AB’s mission, and this is a journey I am genuinely excited to be involved with. 42

My personal journey from oil and gas to rail is largely driven by my belief that we can engineer our way to sustainability, across society. Sustainability is also at core of who AB are. The strategic decision to design, manufacture, and source locally in the UK is just one aspect of how AB view our impact on the globe. The UK still is an engineering powerhouse in multiple sectors. We believe we should leverage this to drive efficiency in rail, which is a critical step in an environmentally friendly transport network, which can then be replicated internationally. A robust vision backed by a clear delivery plan for rail will attract the best people from multiple sectors to see it through. What’s next for AB? Our Dual Variable Rate Sander (DVRS) is in fleet fitment and the list of enquiries is

for this technology is growing quickly. It is an exciting step change in passenger safety, but it is also just the start for us. The builtin data capture capabilities in our units is leading to the development of further services focused on vehicle and network monitoring to improve overall operating efficiency. Data analysis is playing a bigger part in every area of our business. It is constantly evolving and is core to our fluid systems business. The data we capture often exceeds the current knowledge of our customers, enabling us to find and offer efficiency gains before our clients encounter the problem. What do you think of the Integrated Rail Plan? The holistic approach beyond rail infrastructure is a step in the right direction, as the ports, transport hubs and modes of transportation need to integrate to maximise efficiency of the entire network. This is a real opportunity for UK rail to take a technical leap forward and be an integral part of improving transportation efficiency globally. Funding for R&D will help entice people to rail from other industries to rail, bringing different technologies and ideas to overcome these challenges that lie ahead. It is an exciting time to be involved with rail and looking at the talent and enthusiasm of the team and young engineers within AB, I would say the UK is in great shape to take advantage of the opportunity in front of us all. At some point, every company will face the question of how to continue maximising earnings from their current business practice whilst also investing enough in innovation so they can turn a profit in the future. How can a company achieve the necessary creativity to innovate without compromising their existing business? For those who remember ‘Back to the Future’, everything was fanciful but now 90 per cent has now become a reality. I often think, how many opportunities were missed because someone felt comfortable suggesting something a little far-fetched? I’ll be continuing to foster an environment where ideas are always welcome and where


nobody gets to be ‘wrong’. This doesn’t mean that all ideas will be acted on immediately, as current technology limitations or financial analysis may mean they not viable right now. But my experience is all ideas have at least one element that may be useful in a different product or can become viable as technology evolves at an ever increasing rate. My philosophy is that Ideas themselves cost little, and yet, missing an opportunity can be expensive.

In terms of technology, how do you anticipate things might change in the next five to ten years? The UK is a geologically stable island and engineering powerhouse. The perfect place to develop cutting edge technology. It would be a shame if we are not leading the way in global rail over the next decade.

I am watching hyperloop train technology with interest. This alone could fundamentally change the transportation landscape for people and freight and is definitely achievable in the next ten years. With pace of change in technology and AI just around the corner, it is hard for me to imagine five years ahead. The important part is being open to ideas and reacting quickly to change.


zonegreen safe working solutions

Renowned as the global market leading depot protection system, the SMART DPPS™ delivers physical protection from vehicle movements to rail depot staff whilst providing visual and audible warnings.


The Smart DPPS™: • Protects staff and equipment • Ensures safe and controlled movement of rail vehicles into and out of the depot • Allows train maintenance operations to be conducted without endangering the safety of staff or damaging infrastructure

Tel: +44 (0)114 230 0822

It is: • Fully configurable, flexible and functional • Proven in use and installed globally • Capable of interfacing with third party equipment including signalling systems. • Adaptable to the safe requirements of the depot




Which sectors do you work in? With a team of sales and engineering specialists combined with our diverse portfolio of infrastructure products, we specialise in a wide range of sectors within the Infrastructure segment alone. We have completed some of our most notable projects, such as Mersey Gateway and Werrington Tunnel in the Bridges and Tunnelling sectors. In recent years, we have been able to diversify our skills and expertise in other sectors, such Power, Rail, Road, Marine, Concrete Repairs and Water, which includes our involvement on multiple Tideway sites over the last few years. What types of products and services do you offer?

MATT MCCARTHY UK INFRASTRUCTURE SALES MANAGER AT PERI LTD Matt McCarthy heads up the Infrastructure segment at PERI UK. After working his way up from Senior Formwork Designer almost 20 years ago, he is now in charge of developing the temporary works specialist’s portfolio of impressive civil engineering projects such as HS2 and Thames Tideway Tunnel. Prior to that, he project-managed PERI’s involvement on Hinkley Point C.

What is your role within PERI? At PERI, our focus on segmentation means we can provide knowledge and expertise across multiple construction sectors. I am the UK Sales Manager for the Infrastructure segment, leading a team of five sales engineers dedicated to supporting customers in this market. 44

How did you start at PERI? My career at PERI began in 2008 in the Technical team. I joined the company as a Formwork Designer before working my way up to become Technical Office Manager for our Chepstow office, which relocated to Bristol in 2022. I then moved into a more commercial role at PERI, becoming Project Manager for one of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects, Hinkley Point C. What does sustainability mean to you? Sustainability means continuously improving the way we manufacture or engineer construction equipment so that our products perform to the highest standards for our customers time and time again. Sustainability has always been a focus for PERI. Throughout the product development and manufacturing process, we look at ways to optimise material usage by introducing panels and systems that are versatile, quick, and simple to use. Equally, we look at ways to manufacture products from sustainable and recyclable materials, like our DUO system. All of our bespoke solutions are also value-engineered, enabling us to reuse and reduce material requirements for our customers at every opportunity.

Our offering spans from formwork to concrete sensors to training services, so we can support our customers with the full end-to-end construction process. We are renowned globally for the quality of our formwork products, whether that is our off-the-shelf panel systems like MAXIMO or VARIO for more bespoke and complex requirements like architectural concrete finishes. Our scaffolding range, PERI UP, is manufactured to the same high-quality standards, with flexibility and speed at the forefront of its design. A key feature for me is how it can be integrated with our formwork systems, providing a fully accessible solution with a high degree of safety. An example of this is our PERI UP Tunnel Traveller, which has been used at Hinkley Point C to enable installation of the waterproof membrane. Our infrastructure range has expanded over the years. At the core of most of our solutions, is our VARIOKIT engineering construction kit. The components in this range can be used to form tunnel carriages – both mining and cut and cover, heavy-duty shoring, balanced cantilevers for bridges as well as parapets and trusses. We can also offer a special steel system where these are more suited to the application, which is what we provided for the complex tunnelling requirements at HS2’s Copthall Tunnel site. We pride ourselves on the services we offer too. We are at the forefront of a constantly evolving digital world, with capabilities ranging from BIM and modelling to animations, VR, and AR. We also have tangible digital products such as our concrete pressure sensor for real-time tracking of the concreting process and concrete strength as it is being poured into our formwork. The combination of our products and services makes PERI a one-stop-shop for our customers’ construction needs. As an example, when forming a tunnel, we can offer the access in the form of a PERI UP Tunnel Traveller to facilitate the installation of a waterproof membrane and subsequently to fix steel ahead of a secondary lining. We


PERI designed and supplied a wall and roof tunnel traveller system to form the complex Copthall Tunnel structure

can then supply the travelling formwork, faced with PERI plywood to pour the secondary lining, with an integrated access system to finish the concrete face and install any mechanical and electrical components. All of this can be planned in advance and declashed with the support of our digital technology and engineering services. What are some major projects you’re currently working on? We are currently working on major projects across the segment. In the Rail sector, we are involved in HS2, providing bespoke solutions for Copthall Tunnel, Colne Valley and the Aerodynamic Box at the Curdworth Box site. We are also continuing our work on Hinkley Point C. Travelling north into Scotland, we’re supporting the Tay Crossing project with our ALPHAKIT system – a new heavy-duty shoring product that we have introduced to the market. What are some standout projects you’ve been involved in over the years? The headliner for me is Hinkley Point C as I’ve spent so much time on site; seeing it below ground to where it is now and how far it has come is fascinating and something to be proud of. HS2 is another hugely challenging and exciting project, where we are involved in bridges, heavy-duty shoring and both cut and cover and mining tunnel parts of the project.

The variety of structures and construction methods really make these two projects exceptional feats of engineering and demonstrate PERI UK’s capability to deliver the complexities of each project simultaneously. When a client comes to you with a particular problem, what’s your process for coming up with a solution, and how closely do you work with clients throughout the projects? To answer the second part of this question first, customer proximity is one of PERI’s core values and in Infrastructure it really comes to the fore. We are committed to engaging with contractors as early as possible, as this plays a crucial role in value engineering and maximises the benefits for all involved. With this approach, we can keep costs low and avoid rework. Our range of products and services takes this a step further by enabling us to provide end-to-end support for our customers, whether that is digital engineering and declashing in the planning phase or on-site product training once our equipment is on site. For complex projects, we will create a dedicated project team that will work closely with our customers from start to finish to understand the project requirements, challenges, and our approach. With our Sales, Engineering and Customer Service teams working closely together with our customers, we can provide designs that

meet the brief and also modify solutions if requirements change throughout the project. What are your plans going forward to ensure PERI’s services are still around for years to come? Early engagement and customer proximity will be invaluable as we continue our growth journey in infrastructure. Our R&D team are always looking at ways to introduce innovative and competitive products that help our customers save time, money and improve safety standards. Delivering high service levels alongside our temporary works solutions is a top priority for us, and we strive to achieve this in every single interaction with our customers. As mentioned, sustainability will also have a part to play when thinking about longevity. In addition to focusing on reducing material waste, we started generating our own green energy in 2023 after investing in Photovoltaic cells across our Rugby, Brentwood and Glasgow depots. How can the industry tackle its skills shortage and how do you recruit/retain/ train your staff? Given the scale of major projects underway in the UK, we can expect to face a certain level of resourcing challenges. However, nurturing talent across all fields will be vital 45


PERI designed and supplied the access tower and secondary lining formwork for the shaft at Tideway’s Victoria Embankment site

to keep skills shortages to a minimum and to ensure the next generation of the workforce is well-equipped. We are the only temporary works company to offer accredited formwork training alongside scaffolding training courses and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) days where we can dive into a topic in more detail. We can significantly reduce rework and improve the rate at which we get things right first time with proper training. Within PERI, learning and development is high on the agenda and training resources are inclusive and readily available. Employees from all departments are encouraged to take part in our basic formwork and scaffolding courses to improve their understanding of our products. Developing and retaining talent in more specialist roles is important too. Our engineers undergo CPD to learn best practice, develop their skills and support their journey through our Engineering progression framework.

Our aim is to remove these silos from a formwork and scaffolding perspective so we can advise, guide and support all the way through.

What are your views on collaborative working?

Temporary works support and involvement in the construction process has certainly increased over the years. If we compare a design from 20 years ago to now, we are worlds apart in the level of detail. I think this demonstrates the growing importance of temporary works companies in the construction market. As previously mentioned, customer service is gaining importance, particularly in the infrastructure sector where requirements are more intricate and projects

As I alluded to earlier, early engagement is key and paramount to a project’s success. Not only does it improve project planning, but it also brings teams closer together throughout the lifecycle of a project. I have worked on numerous projects where disciplines are often siloed with no consideration for the teams around them, who are all working towards the same goal. 46

What needs to be considered when selecting the right temporary works and services for structures on these types of projects? For me, safety must be the number one priority. This comes down to the design, manufacturing quality, safety standards, training resources available and clear instructions for use. Following on from that, customer service, sustainability, value-engineering are all integral when considering temporary works solutions. These elements have a significant impact on critical aspects of a project such as time, cost, and problem-solving capabilities. What trends are you noticing in the industry, what do main or sub-contractors want to see more of?

span years, not months. A strong rapport needs to be established between Tier 1 contractors, sub-contractors and temporary works specialists to maximise value and benefits on any project.

PERI LTD PERI offers innovative and cost-effective solutions to meet project requirements. Its extensive range of formwork systems, scaffolding, and engineering services are designed to make construction more efficient, faster and safer. Want to know more about PERI? Tel: 012 772 38820 Email: info@peri.ltd.uk Visit: www.peri.ltd.uk



‘Why replace Unconsciously as a young engineer, my something that does first ever job was directly related to the rail industry. Working in the quarry and not need replacing? mining industry, part of my role was to By monitoring evaluate and grade sand for commercial use. Unbeknown to me, the 10/18 sieves gave the differential the specification of the GMRT2461 braking sand, used extensively for WSP on the pressure, we can current UK network. My key role however was the specification of valves and actuators, call for replacement which is where my interest in Electro Pneumatic Technology started. when required. This From the process industry I moved into positively impacts agricultural vacuum tanker systems (this becomes rail relevant later in my career the environment and working on Rail C.E.T systems ) and then onwards to SMC Pneumatics in my mid 20s. reduces waste.’ SMC Rail Transit was working on the Boston How did you get started in the industry?

JAMES DEVEREUX MANAGING DIRECTOR AT PSI TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED James is the Founder and Managing Director of PSI Technologies Limited (2003), a 25-employee strong electropneumatics company, and sister company Transportise Limited (2022), a vertical with bleeding edge Industrial IoT capability specifically within rail. James is a true entrepreneur, who with his team, is devoted to a vision of combining the very latest IoT and AI technologies, with robust engineering capability to improve the UK rail offering.

PSI TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED PSI Technologies is an innovation led, engineering solution provider. We work in collaboration with our customers to innovate, resolve technical challenges and enhance opportunities with a goal to bring tangible benefit to their business. Want to know more about PSI Technologies? Tel: 02392 233611 Email: sales@psitechnologies.com Visit: www.psitechnologies.com


blue line door systems at this time, and the sight of the door rigs and the explanation of their operation must have left a lasting impression on me, as one of our sustained projects today as PSI Technologies, has been rail door systems. What is your Unique Selling Point?

PSI’s unique selling point is a combination of our broad domain knowledge of vehicle air systems coupled with the ability to leverage the latest technology to improve rail vehicle operation. We also consider not being overly constrained by corporate structure or legacy engineering to be a USP, with an approach of ‘if it can be done, it will be done,’ and we are not afraid of certification. If the product is right for the application, then EN50155 is never a barrier to implementation.

and a sandbox level monitoring solution and intelligent door systems; all three of which presented a huge and sustained challenge. Working in partnership with other experts in the rail sector, one is fully deployed (600 systems) and the two others have reached a convincing breakthrough point. How passionate about sustainability in the rail sector are you?

There are three main pillars of sustainability – environmental, social, and economic – often referred to as the Triple Bottom Line or people, planet, and profit, so it really extends beyond the sourcing of materials. At the core of both businesses is adding new life to legacy platforms, enabling older rolling stock to work better and What types of products and services do stay on track longer. This means fewer you offer? disposable consumables. In the case of EP valves, we are designing solutions to ‘end PSI are a specialist rail engineering company of life’ of the fleet, negating the need for focussing on Electro pneumatic, Electronic historic type of C6 dispose and renew. IoT and Vacuum systems on vehicles. We are contributes massively to this quest with experts in supplemental on-board control remote condition monitoring and active systems - from upgrading legacy pneumatics performance monitoring, moving from to a solid-state safety system for passenger time-based maintenance programmes to doors exterior, through to complex TCMS replace as necessary. This technology even integrations like adding bio reactors to the extends to low-cost consumables like HVAC class 334 for instance. The products and pleated filters – why replace something that services PSI offer have developed extensively does not need replacing? By monitoring over the years to fully embrace IoT in the the differential pressure, we can call for industrial and transportation sector, while replacement when required. This positively retaining a deep domain knowledge of the impacts the environment and reduces waste. core vehicle air system components. The IoT solutions in rail reduce consumption service aspect lies in value engineering, due of energy. Its very essence is to drive to PSI’s skill base encompassing design efficiencies and minimise, if not eliminate, engineering, electronics, and control wastage. When you seek to improve a panel build. situation with a new solution, which PSI’s expanding knowledge of full stack is what PSI does, there is invariably a IoT solutions has grown to such an extent positive environmental impact, if you take, that a sister company to PSI Technologies for example, PSI’s sandbox monitoring has been formed – Transportise Limited. solution. PSI also have a new initiative Rail IoT solutions have been developing still in development – improving the and incubating for several years within PSI sanding system altogether to minimise the and with the launch of Transportise comes pollution and environmental damage that Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 9 projects, sand deposits have. The sandbox solution in the form of a Rail Freight WSP solution has a crossover, albeit small, with social,


in that unnecessary man hours spent checking sandbox levels is digitally replaced, allowing human capabilities to be put to far better use. IoT solutions in rail are also directly impacting on board vehicle air quality, with sensors in HVAC systems to monitor efficiency and a new development using Ionisation technology (recently deployed in trams in Spain). This is another cross over with social, in that it has a direct impact on quality of travel and work, for passengers and staff. PSI and sister company Transportise contribute to a sustainable economy by being lean, clean, and efficient businesses, run on a no wastage basis. In PSI’s view, sustainability is a mindset, an awareness that is inherent, often manifesting itself in a desire to solve problems that positively contributes to environmental, social, and economic sustainability. This is what PSI and Transportise do. What are some major projects that you are working on? The first is our Sandbox Monitoring Solution. PSI have developed a completely new remote monitoring system using point cloud technology to continuously read sand hopper level and position of the vehicle on track to an accuracy of approximately 10-30 cm. This involves the integration of all wireless hardware and telemetry, as well as bespoke data integration to the rail company’s specification. This goes beyond remote condition monitoring and data transmission due to unique and harsh conditions within a sandbox, so a novel technology mix was required to get the high degree of location accuracy, in addition to building a closed loop control system

which can be added to the vehicle without removing the sand hopper, fractionalising the installation time and cost. Secondly, I want to highlight Digital Twining of Dumb legacy Freight. PSI’s telemetry innovation has contributed to a breakthrough in a Freight Driver Alert system designed to prevent derailment in freight trains. A much strived for proof-ofconcept milestone has now been attained, working with our rail partners and company behind the initiative – Knorr Bremse. Wheel flat prevention activity and data is being successfully transmitted to the driver and when you consider that this is an IoT solution on a dumb, unpowered, legacy, unconnected freight train in motion, it really is innovation in the truest sense of the word. We look forward to reporting on further developments in this area, as part of

the broader project team, as we step closer to a mission critical predictive maintenance (PdM) solution. What are your standout projects you’ve been involved in over the years? Expert knowledge in train doors is a result of 20 years’ experience to include over 8,000 door safety valve assemblies (control bypass and door isolation) for a number of fleets. While continuing to innovate in both pneumatics and Industrial IoT, PSI still excel in train doors to this day, a more recent standout being a complete turnkey test solution for a rail company, to test train door lock assemblies in-house. The PSI built test rig, incorporating a clever counterbalance within its mechanical design, and sophisticated electronics, completed 49


over 60,000 test cycles, going well beyond customer expectations. Contactors are another highly regarded specialism of PSI, highlighting key partner MAC’s valve technology and PSI’s sophisticated manifold build. Due to the extremely specific exhaust flow and reaction time required by this application, the MAC valve is the only choice in terms of its unsurpassed high repeatability. It was the deep domain knowledge of pneumatic valves that catapulted PSI into the limelight with the Government’s ‘ventilator challenge’ during the first outbreak of Covid, working alongside Dyson Technologies to build a solenoid valve that would ‘fit’ the ventilator and then produce and ship in their 10,000s during lockdown. This is indicative of the mission critical project work that PSI can be called upon to do. When a client comes to you with a particular problem, what’s your process for helping them deal with that problem? Deep dive collaboration is ingrained in what we do, and our business success depends upon working in partnership with our customers and suppliers to develop the optimum solution. We live a ‘blue ocean

methodology’ in our approach to projects and often create new products on a project to product approach. While collaboration comes naturally to us, we also have a quality control process developed to meet the requirements of ISO 9001 and which now enhances our customer and supplier relationships. With Cyber security at the forefront of our IoT quest ISO 27000 also plays its part. PSI are approved for design and installation of wireless IoT on the MOD estate, so this type of accreditation really helps in proving our capability to the rail industry.

Complex digital twinning takes the out of the box digital solution and integrates it with other data sources, be this a TCMS or any other big data supply, from weather data to mapping data. The IoT Data is Near Real Time because our solutions have the benefit of being wireless, simplifying and reducing installation time and cost. The real breakthrough is aggregating data sources using unlicensed spectrum to reduce the cost. PSI can combine the data from over 1,000 sensors on to just ONE SIM card, making previously economically unreachable assets affordable for IoT.

What would you say is the most exciting technology in the industry?

How can we get more use of the rail assets and what is your vision of rail in 10 or 20 years?

I would have to say Complex digital twinning. A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical object – typically disparate or legacy – and in the rail industry, this covers train stations and maintenance depots as well as all rolling stock. PSI’s business is to connect the fringe or legacy asset and bring it into the mainstream as a digital twin. Here, the data it produces can combine with big data, for insights previously unimaginable. Digital twinning can be simple or complex and PSI offer both.

10 or 20 years is a universe away in terms of technological development, but our vision for PSI within the rail sector is to offer a uniform price and technology to connect any ‘thing’ anywhere in the UK rail network regardless of application, legacy, telemetry, age, or location. The Sandbox solution is just one example of how the Transportise team utilised its own expertise to create a solution that had not previously existed, replacing a labour intensive ‘mandraulic’ system with a highly optimised alternative.

See something you’ve never seen before. The future.

See it before it happens. Digital Twins of Dumb Legacy Vehicles. www.transportise.com



Dave Rayner Dave Rayner is Global Service Solutions Director at Cubic Transportation Systems

Connected Travel Experiences Make for Happy Customers Dave Rayner, Global Service Solutions Director at Cubic Transportation Systems explains how today’s operators are using technology to optimise the customer experience


t’s no secret that the events of the last few years have been incredibly disruptive for the global transportation industry. Even after a period of steady recovery, passenger number remain at least eight to twelve per cent lower than they were pre-pandemic, with data revealing that DLR journeys were at 92 per cent of their pre-pandemic level and bus trips twelve per cent down on the 2019 level. Whilst a steady rise has been witnessed since the beginning of the year when rider numbers were as low as 70 per cent of prepandemic levels, this decrease is still having a major impact on the public transport industry. As a result, operators around the world are having to redouble their efforts when it comes to customer engagement, delivering continual improvements that ensure their operations are closely aligned with ever-evolving customer expectations. As we approach the end of 2023, this customer-centric approach is now critical to business health, and it’s only going to become more so, as transport providers battle hard to build public confidence back up. Fortunately, advances in technology are helping to pave the way to a more seamless and connected customer experience. Whether it’s utilising automation to inform and enable passengers or leveraging technologies to offer more integrated journey options and simplify booking and payment processes, forward-thinking operators are already reaping a wealth of benefits.

Below are three examples of how today’s operators are using technology to optimise the customer experience throughout their journeys:

Using multi-modal service options to put passengers in charge

The easier you make it for people to leave their cars at home, the more likely it is that they will opt to use public transport for their journeys. Aware of this, operators everywhere are working on new ways that they can leverage technology to both retain existing passengers, as well as entice new ones. Examples range from collaborating with other providers to give travellers more integrated journeys (featuring the best combination of public and private travel options), to apps that make it easier for travellers to plan and pay for their journeys across multiple forms of transport via a single channel. Recently, the UK government released its mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) code of practice which offers specific technical and regulatory advice and guidance to help platform providers, transport operators and local authorities to make this MaaS vision a workable reality. Some operators are already making this transition to reality by using automated technologies that enable them to harmonise previously siloed systems and leverage new integrated functionality and capabilities with partners. These MaaS platforms are already underpinning real-world creative partnerships that are set to revolutionise

‘Today’s consumers have ever-increasing expectations when it comes to engaging with service providers, whether it’s booking journeys on-thego, getting instant answers to travel queries, or receiving service updates in realtime, direct to their devices.’

public transport networks for the benefit of consumers. They are also allowing operators to become true ‘mobility managers’ that can combine and orchestrate transport solutions at a city, regional and even national level, for the first time.

Transforming customer experiences with smart micro-apps Today’s consumers have ever-increasing expectations when it comes to engaging with service providers, whether it’s booking journeys on-the-go, getting instant answers to travel queries, or receiving service updates in real-time, direct to their devices. Regardless of which transportation mode they choose, passengers expect service interactions that are convenient, fast, and seamless. Fortunately, today’s cloud-powered micro-apps are already enabling operators to deliver the truly immersive digital experiences that customers want. Through these apps, customers can access their account from anywhere, at any time, instantly check their balance, add/ modify products, as well as update their information details and payment methods. Operators can even utilise AI-enabled micro-apps to add value and proactively engage with transport users in meaningful ways. For example, as a passenger heads to the station, they receive an instant message ping advising them that a lift is out of service together with a recommendation for an alternative stair-free route. Or they may receive a prompt to advise them that a disruption has occurred to their chosen journey and provides an updated plan, or that reminds them to top up their account before arriving at their embarkation point. Micro-apps can also be used to offer discounted fares that either incentivise



passengers to travel at off-peak times or try out new/additional transit usage with the offer of free rides for selected initial periods. Doing so saves passengers money, whilst allowing operators to boost customer numbers and manage passenger flow more effectively – a win-win. In short, micro-apps enable operators to communicate at scale, in a highly personalised way. Such an approach makes it possible to influence travel behaviour, whilst also giving operators better understanding of how individual passengers use their services.

Addressing and removing frustrating last-mile issues

As the concept of sustainable travel becomes increasingly important to consumers – particularly those in metropolitan areas – addressing lingering challenges associated

with the last mile is now critical for incentivising more people to make use of public transport. Today’s operators are utilising mobile apps and interconnected MaaS platforms to enable everything from car-ride sharing to smarter park-and-ride options to and from points of embarkation. Doing so makes it much easier for travellers to plan their journeys from start to finish and address last-mile issues that often prove a source of major frustration. For example, Transport for London (TfL) has initiated a new cycle hire membership scheme and app that makes it simple for users to hire bikes, get release codes, check bike availability, search for docking stations and plan routes in advance. Users can even check distances travelled and calories burned. Improving the availability of docking stations across 775 terminals led

to 2022 being a record-breaking year, with 11,506,889 hires across the twelve months, 565,625 hires more than 2021. This is a great demonstration of how adding lifestyle choices as part of the journey experience and using technology to ease the adoption of choice can greatly enrich the customer experience, which ultimately drives engagement. As transport firms continue to rebound from a difficult few years, it’s becoming clear that the landscape has changed. Consumers now expect more seamless, connected travel experiences and operators that are unable or unwilling to provide them will soon find themselves coming unstuck. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of technology out there to help organisations willing to invest in their long-term futures, it’s just a matter of finding the right solutions for themselves and their customers.

Data Acquisition & Testing Services Ltd

Testing Services

Unit 4, Gainsborough Close, Gainsborough Business Park, Long Eaton, NG10 1PX

Test & Measurement for: ALL types of: · Vehicles · Infrastructure · Worldwide Locations Track Geometry & OHL Design Verification & Acceptance Performance & Degradation Condition Monitoring Brake Performance Failure Prediction & Life Extension Crack Propagation Engine Cooling & HVAC Noise, EMC & Emissions Ride & Vibration Laser Wheel Profiling

D.A.T.S. provide rail vehicle, infrastructure and component testing to EN, GMRT & UIC standards. Worldwide measurement, instrumentation, strain gauging and consultancy services. Component vibration and durability lab testing, sakes, service, calibration and hire of dataloggers, instrumentation and sensors; commissioning services, operations, 125mph test locomotives & rolling hire are all available.

E: enquiries@datsltd.com T: 01332 875450 W: www.datsltd.com



Benoît Leridon is a regional IPR Business Development Manager at Nokia, responsible for Transport, Energy and public sector in EMEA.

AI's Rail Potential Benoît Leridon, Head of Transportation, Network Infrastructure, at Nokia on the latest opportunities in digital transformation


ailways are rapidly moving towards a digital transformation, using the latest technologies to increase reliability, safety, and sustainability. The use of data analytics is a crucial component of this digital change, supporting quick and efficient decision-making for railway staff and powering automated processes. In particular, recent improvements in AI and machine learning have attracted a lot of interest for their ability to automate many processes and allow natural language communication between digital systems and humans. This combination of technologies has great potential for the railway industry. Much of the media focus has been on the recent advances in AI and machine learning, but these are not the only components that are needed to make the most of AI's potential, starting with the railway’s shift of operational technologies (OT) applications and data to the OT cloud. While devices, and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and cameras constantly gather data and video from all aspects of rail operations, it is 4G/ 5G wireless access and high-speed IP/MPLS optical backbone networks that ensure the data is transmitted reliably and without lag for processing in the OT cloud reserved for mission-critical rail applications. This ensures that information is analyzed quickly and results are sent back immediately to automated systems and operational staff making safety- and business-critical decisions. For a more data-driven operation, the data centre fabric (i.e., the networking inside a data centre) is becoming especially important in the overall mission critical communications network.

The potential of AI

AI can be used by railways for different purposes to improve operations, achieve efficiency, and boost passenger experience. One example is the use of video data from sources like CCTV, cameras on trains and

drones. AI applications can examine the video to detect irregularities or possible problems in railway infrastructure conditions, such as tracks, rolling stock and level crossings. This capability for early identification can help avoid accidents, ensuring the overall safety of railway operations. By using different types of data, such as data from sensors on trains and tracks, it is possible to anticipate when parts will break down. This enables maintenance to be done before problems occur, which reduces delays and prevents expensive fixes. Also, monitoring train, track and weather conditions in real time can help to manage train timetables, traffic, and the overall operations better, which helps operators to adjust to different situations and leads to higher efficiency and reliability. AI will eventually be used to implement and operate automatic train systems. This involves automated systems for braking, accelerating and controlling the trains that can improve speed, lower energy use, prevent delays and eliminate human mistakes and crashes. AI can also enhance energy management, customer service experience, scheduling and routing, capacity planning and asset management. Moreover, AI will be crucial for ensuring security and safety, both physical and cyber. Applying AI in these various areas will result in a more effective, secure, and dependable railway system, ultimately serving the interests of both the rail operators and passengers.

The OT cloud relies on mission-critical communications

AI and machine learning need a lot of both compute and storage resources to analyse huge amounts of data and video. However, during operations, the most vital piece is the network resources that support them, because they make sure that real-time data can be gathered, processed and acted on fast

and dependably. This is especially important for railways that use remote control and automated applications, as they require a robust and effective data centre fabric. Railways’ data centres are used to mainly deal with IT applications. Usually, they had few OT applications, so data centre network reliability was not considered critical. As railways benefit from and use the OT cloud, data centres have to improve their performance. New developments in networking technology allow railway operators to adopt new data centre technologies with confidence to support mission-critical OT applications for realtime decision making. As OT applications change to use modern software paradigms such as containers, microservices and Kubernetes, these new data centre networking features also let them achieve more speed and agility without compromising reliability and stability.

Optimisation of the overall OT cloud network

The OT cloud network connects smart devices and sensors on board and along the track, through the access networks and the wide area mission-critical IP/MPLS optical backbone, to the data centre fabric. This network has to achieve high performance from end to end. Data center fabrics have not achieved the same level of reliability as backbone networks, which can reach five-9s availability. To improve the DC, operators need to design a strong level of resilience and redundancy, predictable quality of service (QoS) that can be customised for each application, and a solid multi-layer and zero-trust security framework to protect against cyberattacks. This robust DC fabric also needs to connect smoothly with the railway’s mission-critical backbone so that digital assets and equipment on the railway network can run their applications well. The network has to be able to assign whatever resources are necessary to maintain a stable QoS policy across the DC and backbone with very high reliability. At the access network domains, the network has to be capable of fulfilling all these performance requirements and to transport data from digital sensors and smart devices like interlocking and RBC, connecting trackside and onboard systems. If railways want to use advanced AI/ ML OT applications effectively, they need overall OT cloud network connectivity that is optimised, flexible and secure. The network, including the data centre fabric, has to be very robust, secure and reliable, because many automatic processes depend on it for critical control. When rail operators think about how to benefit from the AI revolution, they have to pay attention to the OT network and cloud infrastructure that will be needed to support data-driven operations in real-time. 53


What challenges have you faced in the industry?

BLAKE DAVIS JOINT OWNER & MANAGING DIRECTOR OF DAVIS TRACKHIRE Blake Davis is the joint Owner and Managing Director of Davis Trackhire Ltd – the UK’s largest independent supplier of portable aluminium roadway. After leaving school and working in his family’s leisure business for more than a decade, he and his older brother Travis saw a gap in the market and set up Davis Trackhire in 2010.

One of the challenges we have faced is how we manage and control the company growth. Over the last four years we have done this by creating a senior management team with a wealth of experience in the industry. This has led to an improved business structure and process and, when coupled with our continual employee training programmes, has enabled us to attract and create the best and most skilled operatives in in the industry. These training programmes especially helped post covid with the national HGV driver shortage. On top of this we have now implemented new schemes and training matrices across the business that continually upskill all employees. The ever-evolving health and safety requirements throughout the industries we work (especially within HS2) in has also resulted in significant investment into enhanced training for all of our staff, both internal and external. We have introduced further training for our engineers, supervisors and crews including IOSH Managing Safely, Appointed Person, Lift Supervisors, SSSTS Site Supervisor and GS6 overhead power lines, much of which was previously outsourced. Working in many different industries we are now able to provide our clients with all the necessary health and safety requirements in house, supported with our health and safety consultants. How has technology developed since you started in the industry?

DAVIS TRACKHIRE LTD Family owned and operated since 2010, Davis Trackhire has quickly gained a reputation among the Construction and Events sectors as one of the most professional, reliable and customerfocused temporary access suppliers in the industry. The company offers a fully comprehensive and competitive nationwide service from its depots in Glasgow and Retford. Want to know more about Davis Trackhire? Tel: 01698352751 Email: info@davistrackhire.com Visit: www.davistrackhire.com


At Davis Trackhire we are continually looking to utilise new technologies to improve all areas of the business. One of the main leaps forward in the operation has been the use of the remote control for the lorry mounted cranes along with the ‘trackway clamp’. Coupled together they help

create a safer and more productive method of work than we previously used. Each truck is fitted with state-of-the-art CCTV and safety systems to aid the drivers on and off site. On board digital technology is utilised by drivers to allow checks of equipment/ vehicles and Risk Assessments that gives ‘live’ information into the fleet management systems for the logistics and scheduling teams. All put together this helps give a slicker and safer operation. With the growth of the business has come the need for greater information handling and so we now have a bespoke hire management system that has improved the hiring processes, automated tasks and helps manage data effectively. This also integrates with other IT software to give highly detailed reporting to assist the team to make the right decisions going forward. When did you first start the company? The Davis Trackhire story started in the winter of 2010, which was the second of two incredibly cold winter seasons. My brother Travis and I had been working in the family business, before opting to leave to pursue pastures new in February 2010. We tried our hand at a few different things, including marquee hire and commercial office and factory clearances. It was during one of the latter operations that by chance we happened upon 200 portable roadway panels in a scrap yard. As Travis and I both held a C+E licence and crane tickets and were already familiar with Trackway having encountered it before during our time in the family business, ideas began forming rapidly and before we knew it, we had struck a deal to buy the panels. We purchased our first truck soon after – a second hand Volvo FM 420 4x2 rigid with Atlas rear-mounted crane an SDC trailer. All of a sudden we had the early makings of what would eventually go on to become the UK’s largest independent supplier of portable aluminium roadway.


Which sectors do you work in? Since our inception in 2010, we have been very lucky to have worked within a range of diverse sectors. Being from an events background, it was fitting that one of our first and biggest success stories to date was securing the contract to supply ground protection for the London 2012 Olympics. We very quickly branched out into more industrial sectors and now actively supply our products and services to other sectors including Rail, Transmission, Construction, Civil Engineering, Geotechnical, Renewable Energy and Film and TV – so we really do tailor to all industries! What is your Unique Selling Point? The health, safety and welfare of our staff and clients is paramount to every aspect of work that we undertake. As our installation crews work out on the road Monday to Friday, often in remote areas and at the mercy of the elements, in 2016 we invested in our first truck-mounted welfare unit. This pod is situated behind the cab of the installation vehicle and contains a toilet, sink, shower and drying room in addition to kitchen facilities within the cab itself. After quickly seeing an increase in productivity this was quickly rolled out across the rest of the fleet, making Davis Trackhire the first and only company in our industry to have full welfare facilities on all of our installation vehicles. We also have a UK-wide team of seven Project Supervisors, all of whom are ALLMI certified Lift Supervisors, plus a fully qualified in-house Appointed Person. All of our Project Supervisors have progressed through the industry from the ground up, boasting over 120 combined years of portable roadway experience between them. Their roles include conducting indepth site surveys, producing detailed risk assessments and lift plans, carrying out site audits and quality checks, and supervising our installation crews where required. In December 2023 we introduced a new out of cab remote driving system to one of our installation vehicles. This allows the driver/operator to manoeuvre the vehicle from outside the cab with a remote control. Safety features include rear mounted monitor, cameras and sensors detecting anything moving around the vehicle at three-metre and 1.5-metre distances to help create a safer working environment and reduce the risk of injury preventing the driver from climbing in and out the vehicle cab many times a day. What types of products and services do you offer? Davis Trackhire is the UK’s largest independent supplier of portable aluminium roadway. We offer a full installation and removal service throughout the UK from our depots in Scotland and England

using our fleet of 14 bespoke installation vehicles (with a further two on order and expected on the road in Spring 2024) and stockholding of 15,000 heavy duty aluminium roadway panels. This is complimented by a further 2,000 heavy duty composite panels and 6,000 medium duty ground protection mats – taking our total stock to over 140,000m2. What are some standout projects you’ve been involved in over the years? In 2023 we were contracted to undertake two particularly complex and high profile projects. The first, in May, was to provide a load-bearing temporary access across the playing surface at Liverpool Football Club as a platform for two 300-ton mobile cranes and two 600-ton crawler cranes to remove the old roof section for the Anfield Road Stand Expansion. Using a team of 14 men, four installation vehicles, two forklift trucks and 1,375 aluminium panels, we installed a double-element temporary roadway system over a membrane underlay from one end of the pitch to the other, placing the bottom layer of panels flat-side down to eliminate any corrugation markings penetrating the pitch surface. The top layer of panels were turned in the opposite direction to form a crossbonded surface, removing any flex and creating a solid platform to help distribute the anticipated loads. The crawler cranes were built on-site and placed on specially designed platforms on top of our panels before removing the 282-tonne roof. The temporary access road remained in place for a five-week period and was removed at the end of June 2023. The second project showcased our rapidresponse capabilities. We received a phone call at 15:30 on a cold, wet and windy Friday afternoon urgently requesting our services to help recover a stricken passenger plane that had skidded off the runway while landing at Leeds Bradford Airport during Storm Babet. Within a couple of hours our Operations Manager was on site to assess

the situation, quickly followed by our installation crew armed with over 150 of our aluminium DTH Panels. Our crews worked tirelessly through the night creating a cross-bonded temporary access road to enable specialist recovery teams to carefully retrieve the 70-tonne aircraft. This was a super difficult operation due to the dark, and the wet, windy conditions. The plane had sunk two feet into the ground and the engines were almost touching the ground below, so it was important that during the winch operation the plane did not sink any more. A tracked machine was used to dig out beneath the front wheel but the rear wheels were difficult to access with any machinery so we had no choice but to dig these out by hand. We then formed steady ramps in front of each wheel using our Trackway panels. By 3:30am, a temporary access road had been successfully formed around the perimeter of the plane allowing recovery trucks to connect winch cables to all three of the plane’s wheels. As the plane was gently pulled onto the panels at a steady pace, we bunny-hopped the panels to extend the access to the hard standing runway. By 10:00am, just over twelve hours after our crews’ arrival on site, the aircraft was safely back on the runway! When a client comes to you with a particular problem, what’s your process for coming up with a solution, and how closely do you work with clients throughout the projects? We assess every site individually to determine the right type and amount of equipment required to achieve our customer’s goal. We then send our team of highly trained and experienced installation engineers to site, equipped with the very best tools, trucks and equipment possible. Site specific RAMS are provided for each site by our qualified engineers to provide our clients with a safe system of work. Our team includes Appointed Person to provide lift plans and technical information 55


together with qualified on-site lift supervisors. Site drawings and safety job packs are issued to all our crews for each site and Daily / Dynamic risk assessments are completed by our experienced supervisors and operators to mitigate any risks during site operations. All our specialist equipment is certified and checked prior to works commencing, all our staff are fully trained and wear full Personal Protective Equipment at all times during site operations. With multiple depots throughout the UK and an ever-expanding stockholding, we can be on site installing within 24 hours of the initial enquiry. What’s next for Davis Trackhire? Continue to invest, not only in new products and safety features, but also in our people and culture and to be the market leader in the industry. We also hope that the next one to three years will see us open a third operational depot in the south of England to complement our existing locations in Lanarkshire and Nottinghamshire and increase our ever-expanding footprint. We are also expanding our team of Project Engineers and Supervisors to allow us to react even quicker to last-minute enquiries and carry out more pre site


‘We actively promote from within, which has resulted in all of our senior managers being temporary roadway specialists with over 150 years’ combined industry experience.’ assessments to give our clients additional peace of mind that their project is in safe hands from start to finish. There are plans in motion to increase our fleet of installation/recovery vehicles yearon-year and introduce out-of-cab remote driving system to all. How do you make your business a good place to work? We provide our staff with the very best equipment and training available in order to create a safe, productive and happy working

environment, as demonstrated by our investments into the welfare units, remote drive system and internal hire management systems to name a few. We actively promote from within, which has resulted in all of our senior managers being temporary roadway specialists with over 150 years’ combined industry experience. By continuing to invest in our people and culture we provide our staff with the motivation, incentive and knowledge to progress within the business. In terms of technology, how do you anticipate things might change in the next five to ten years? With the introduction of the out-of-cab remote drive system, we are already starting to see a significant shift in the amount of manual labour required to carry out our on-site operations. We are also continuously looking at ways to modernise and evolve the products and services that we offer, including developing and investing in more bespoke accessories to compliment our temporary roadway systems to not only comply with, but surpass the ever-evolving HSE protocols within our line of work such as GS6 requirements, speed restriction, pedestrian and disabled access routes and cable crossings. Watch this space!


Rail Salary Survey & Guide CP7 Funding will stimulate an increase in engineer salaries, according to rail recruitment experts Carrington West

‘In 2024 it will be commonplace for job seekers to have multiple offers. The rail recruitment market has been led more by the demands of the job seeker than the employer for a while, which is typical when open vacancies outstrip available workers. We believe this will be even more prevalent in 2024. Hiring organisations are going to have to up their game to attract and retain effective teams. They will need to have a strong employer brand and clearly communicate the benefits of working for their organisation, whether that is career development opportunities, flexible working or exposure to world-leading projects.’ Oliver Gooch, Carrington West Department Manager


ail and built environment recruitment specialist, Carrington West, has released its annual ‘Rail Salary Survey & Guide’, which details an anticipated rise in the number of jobs available for engineering and technical roles in 2024. Largely due to the beginning of CP7 in April, the report surmises the increased demand for design, project delivery and rail systems engineers and project managers needed to get projects off the ground will lead to organisations raising salaries as they compete with each other to secure necessary talent quickly. Over the past few months, the recruitment market has been affected by the winding down of CP6 and the muchreported changes to HS2. Coupled with the aftermath of changes to HMRC’s off-payroll regulation, IR35, and the cost-of-living crisis, 2023 was a challenging year for hiring organisations and job seekers alike. Carrington West’s survey goes on to detail some noticeable trends within specific disciplines that will have an impact on the recruitment market, and salaries, in 2024. For example, within design and consultancy, recruitment markets are undergoing a transitional phase following the aftermath of HS2 cancellations and anticipation of CP7. Employers are navigating challenges with strategic workforce management, recruitment cautiousness, and keeping its attention on the ever-evolving landscape. The Carrington West team also anticipate growth in demand in rail systems teams for signalling, telecoms, and E&P design skills. As the demand for these professionals increases, salaries and contract rates will inflate. This inflation is likely to become more significant as projects progress and the already small pool of these niche candidates on the market dwindles further. Job seekers will also be expecting more opportunities in progression and employer provided training, to justify committing to a contractor for a five-to-ten-year framework, as they look for new competencies, senior responsibilities and senior-level titles. Organisations will need to balance the books and consider the budgets they have committed to within tenders, especially as other rising costs such as raw materials continue to impact the bottom line. There will be some reticence to pay above and beyond the market rate at every turn.

Conversely, job seekers know their worth and will negotiate hard. The full survey covering 2024 salary and contract rates for a variety of jobs including design engineers, CAD & BIM skills, planning managers, project managers, site based staff, surveyors, planners and estimators, visit www.carrigntonwest.com/ salary-surveys.

NE WS IN BRIE F WOMEN IN RAIL NEWS Television presenter, broadcaster and writer The Reverend Canon Kate Bottley will be hosting this year's prestigious Woman in Rail Awards. Kate rose to fame when she appeared on Channel 4's popular Gogglebox series and currently co-presents Good Morning Sunday on BBC Radio 2. She is a regular presenter on television programmes including Songs of Praise, The One Show and Sunday Morning Live and made numerous guest appearances including on Celebrity Masterchef, The Wheel and 8 Out of 10 Cats. ‘Women in Rail is delighted that Reverend Canon Kate Bottley will be hosting our annual awards’ commented Marie Daly, Women in Rail Chair. ‘We very much look forward to welcoming Kate to the event and hearing about her experiences from working in a male-dominated industry. As an ordained priest, Kate shares a common ground with many women in the rail industry, navigating a predominantly male environment.’ The Women in Rail Awards showcase and reward individuals and companies, large and small, who have made a significant contribution to improving gender balance, diversity and inclusion in the UK railway industry. As in previous years, the 2024 awards ceremony delivered by Nimble Media, will be held at the historic Roundhouse in Camden, London, on 16 May 2024.



How did you get started in the industry?

DAVID MEADOWS MANAGING DIRECTOR OF RS CLARE & CO. LTD The sixth generation of the Meadows family to run the business, David is an ambitious strong leader with a track record of success. With a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, he combines his technical knowledge and understanding with a passion for problem solving and innovation to drive the business forward.

RS CLARE & CO. LTD RS Clare is a globally recognised manufacturer of advanced lubricants, supplying high-performance greases and application equipment to the oil and gas, rail, marine, industrial and thermoplastics markets it serves. Want to know more about RS Clare? Tel: 0151 709 2902 Email: info@rsclare.co.uk Visit: www.rsclare.com


I was always interested in the family business from a young age, staying close to my uncle, Ian Meadows, then Managing Director and Chairman of RS Clare during my school years. I had a couple of stints of work experiences in the factory and technical department before graduating as a Chemical Engineer and working abroad in Canada and Australia for ten years, gaining vital business and life experience. In 2016 I returned to the UK with my family and joined the family business as Marketing & Customer Service Director where I began to develop a good understanding of the rail industry and how lubricants play a crucial role in both safety and performance by preventing track damage, reducing wear and extending asset life. How long has your company been in business? RS Clare was established in Liverpool in 1748 and is the oldest lubricants manufacturer in the UK. We’ve been developing and producing specialist rail lubricants for over 50 years. What types of products and services do you offer? RS Clare is a speciality lubricants manufacturer, supplying predominantly greases into various industries with a focus on O&G, Marine and Rail. Back in the 1970s we were the first company to design a bespoke and dedicated curved rail grease specific for rail applications to increase the life of the train wheels and rails.

Fast forward to today and we are a market leader in high performing, environmentally friendly track lubricants, which include curved rail greases, switchplate and fishplate lubricants and more recently we have developed a range of top of rail friction management materials. Through global partners and recent acquisitions, we now also offer application systems and monitoring equipment to provide a full friction management solution to our rail partners. What are some standout projects you’ve been involved in over the years? The first major project RS Clare had in the rail industry was with British Rail back in the early 1970s, the project was to develop a rail grease that had better pumpability and would carry down the tracks twice as far as their existing grease, then supplied with a fuel contract from one of the oil majors at the time. Our chemists and engineers got to work, understanding the application and challenges and developed a new technology grease that although twice the price, allowed much improved lubrication and minimised re-railing and asset replacement costs therefore offering the customer real value. Our experience with British Rail then led us on to London Underground, where a track grease was developed specifically for them, with all the usual performance needs but also needing special fire regulations as the grease would be used in tunnels. More recently we have introduced innovative new products into the US Class One freight market, enabling networks to use one temperature stable grease for all seasons whereas before they were using a summer and a winter grade. This has


‘As the company has been operating for 275 years, I think it shows we know what we are doing in terms of forward thinking and longevity.’ Lastly, intelligent onboard application systems can optimise consumable use, ensuring lubricants and Top of Rail materials are applied where and when needed in the correct amounts with minimal waste. These solutions allow us to innovate and contribute to a sustainable, resilient rail industry. Do you think the rail industry could be greener and what is your organisations green strategy?

reduced complexity and saved time and money for networks now only stocking and deploying one product all year round. What new developments/strategies do you have? Traditionally we have been very strong in developing market leading innovative track lubricants. We are working on expanding this range into new areas and applications, both trackside and on-board. Our future ambitions go beyond track lubricants though. We are focussed on growing our rail business by becoming a friction management solutions provider and increasing our footprint in key markets. To help us achieve these goals we recently acquired Igralub Holding GMBH, a Swiss rail lubrication solutions provider with a complimentary railway friction management product portfolio. What are your plans going forward to ensure RS Clare & Co. Ltd services are still around for years to come? As the company has been operating for 275 years, I think it shows we know what we are doing in terms of forward thinking and longevity. The rail sector is a key strategic sector for RS Clare now and long into the future. We see it as a growing global market and aligned with our sustainability strategy. We are at the forefront of developing high performance environmentally friendly lubricants which positions us well moving forward as more regions, such as Europe and now the US place more emphasis on sustainable and environmentally friendly products. The innovations we have made

mean that networks no longer have to sacrifice performance to go green. We also plan to diversify into other sectors that have the same need for innovative environmental products that extend the life of high value industrial assets. What are some of the biggest challenges this sector currently faces? The rail sector faces substantial challenges today. Environmental considerations and customer demands are driving the industry towards greener operations. This requires significant investment in both infrastructure and rolling stock, all while maintaining efficiency and profitability. Also, in the UK, safety is paramount with a focus on reducing ‘boots on ballast’ – minimising the number of workers exposed to danger on the tracks. This requires innovative approaches to maintain infrastructure and ensure smooth operations whilst prioritising worker safety. These challenges present opportunities for growth and innovation, pushing the industry to seek solutions beneficial for business, environment, and society. What are some potential solutions? Maximising the use of high performance Environmentally friendly products with certification, such as Eco Label. RS Clare has been an industry leader in developing this type of technology for the rail sector in recent years. Remote monitoring and condition-based maintenance for lubrication equipment can increase safety and efficiency, reducing the need for on-site personnel.

Being green is at the core of RS Clare’s approach and is fundamental to what we do now. We are an industry leader in providing the most eco-friendly products, including Eco label accreditations, and being able to offer these with industry leading performance is a continued area of innovation for us. What are your hopes for the new regulatory bodies, such as Great British Railways? The key point here is that the UK lags behind other European countries, such as Germany, particularly in the area of onboard lubrication systems. The main reason is that there has never historically been an incentive for train operators to pay for these systems when Network Rail always cover the costs for track or associated wheel damage, which could be prevented by effective friction management. Therefore, we see GBR having a critical role in supporting the integration of friction management across both infrastructure and rolling stock to ensure the safest, most efficient and cost-effective friction management solutions for the rail industry in the UK. In terms of technology, how do you anticipate things might change in the next five to ten years? A move towards more intelligent and autonomous control systems using big data and even AI to ensure friction management solutions are applied at the right place at the right time when needed. An example would be the use of Noise and Vibration (N&V) data as a potential means to automatically control friction management systems. 59


enhancements and being the ‘public face’ of rail for RSA. This also includes building senior broker relationships and working with sales / underwriting / risk management / claims colleagues to agree, maintain and convert our pipeline of new business, as well as ensuring RSA renew their major rail renewals. What success have you experienced in the last twelve months and how do you measure success?

STEPHEN MEDHURST GLOBAL RAIL INDUSTRY PRACTICE LEADER AT RSA INSURANCE Steve has led RSA’s rail specialism for the past 20 years, both in the UK and when he worked for RSA in the Netherlands. In this time, he has developed a large book of rail business and overseen the growth of our sector expertise worldwide. He combines his lifelong passion for the industry with his deep sector knowledge, expertise together with vital key relationships with key people within the industry.

What is your role within RSA Insurance? My role is being responsible for the profitable growth of our Rail sector specialism across all product lines, in both the UK and our European markets both for retail and wholesale business. Working with the respective line of business leads I am 60

RSA INSURANCE RSA Insurance is a multinational insurance group. We are one of the world’s oldest general insurers, providing peace of mind to individuals and protecting small businesses and large organisations from uncertainty. We have established businesses in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe. In 2021, the former RSA Group Plc came under new ownership and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intact Financial Corporation. Want to know more about RSA Insurance? Tel: 07831 853645 Email: steve.z.medurst@uk.rsagroup.com Visit: rsagroup.com

responsible for the setting and agreement of our Rail underwriting strategy, as well as acting as a focal help point for the rest of the RSA Group. This will be achieved through setting up and managing a rail shadow profit and loss account, driving our insight, marketing, and proposition development for these sectors, agreeing proposition

For me success is not about the figures (obviously it helps if you match or beat them) but it is ensuring that all our customers are happy with us at RSA – whether that is handling of a claim, helping them to improve their risk, or just supporting them during the year. The main success of last year was our Annual Rail forum that we have facilitated for the first time in 4 years due to Covid. This was a massive success as we had over 85 people from both the rail and insurance industry (who handle rail customers). Speakers varied from Network Rail, TOCs, FOCs as well as RAIB. All of whom talked about Rail Safety and how it may affect your insurance. Another success was that the Rail Practice was shortlisted in two insurance industry awards – although we didn’t win, for me the fact we were nominated, and finalists is a success as we are being recognised as a leader. Over past year success has also been renewing all the customers we wished to renew, as well as expanding our relationship on some as well. How has technology developed since you started in the industry? When I first started in the industry, HST’s had just stopped coming off the production line, we still had slam door stock on all lines, Saturday holiday specials were a common site across the UK, significant portion of the UK network was still semaphore signalling with levers and interlocking, plus it was all nationalised under British Rail. Since those days the railways have moved forward considerably, and it has embraced modern technology to survive like other industries. As such we can boast one of the most modern fleet on rolling stock in the world, signalling has become more digitalised which makes the network more reliable, enables the railways to run more trains, faster. Also more and more people are buying tickets online saving the queue at the ticket office, even in the infrastructure side enhancements have included now AI on monitoring wagons, as well as the state of the track, this cuts down on unnecessary maintenance and ultimately cost. Since I have started with the advent of mobile technology train drivers are continuously in contact with their control as well as the signalman. The days of a member of train crew having to walk to the signal to speak to the signalman has long gone.


When did you first start the company? I joined RSA on 1 July 1985 and have stayed with RSA ever since. My first involvement with Rail was back in 2000 when I handled the only rail account held by RSA but since then I have led the drive for RSA to write more rail business profitability. Before 2019 my role in respect of the Rail Practice was part time but then 2019 due to the growth and profitability of the Rail Portfolio, I was asked to take up the lead role full time to grow the rail book further. Tell us about RSA Insurance. RSA is one of the world’s longest-serving general insurance companies. Our products help you manage life’s risks and make things right when they go wrong. We’ve been at the heart of the insurance industry for more than 300 years. Today, we serve in excess of nine million customers around the world. Our products are as diverse as our customers’ needs. From home and pet insurance to commercial insurance for businesses big and small. Since becoming part of Intact Financial Corporation in 2021, we’re determined to do even more to support our customers. We’re optimising our operations, investing in new technology and finding better ways to help protect the things you care about. Which sectors do you work in? We work closely with our customers (from European National Railways, major rail infrastructure companies through to metros and light rail systems) creating a partnership to ensure their businesses are strong and resilient through bespoke and flexible insurance solutions to close any gaps in cover and address current and emerging risks through: • Insuring the physical rail network (tunnels, track, bridges, embankments) for loss or damage from fire, major derailment/collision, flood, windstorm, or other scenarios. • Protecting stations following major damage/incident. • Protecting key locations across a network such as signalling control centres. • Providing revenue protection. • Protecting the company’s negligence in the event of a major incident. • Supporting major risk engineering programmes and infrastructure projects. • Complementing existing risk engineering strategy, risk management and claims defensibility. • Offering a fresh perspective on existing controls and highlighting emerging trends on an EML basis. When a client comes to you with a particular problem, what’s your process for coming up with a solution, and how closely do you work with clients throughout the projects?

The key to me is to ensure that we engage the customer at the outset of the issue to ensure that we fully understand the problem. By fully understanding the problem we can work with them to ensure that we arrive at a solution that the customer is happy with. This may be an insurance solution, or even a rail solution. The most important point is that the customer feels involved, listened to through the whole process. In addition, from an RSA point of view by fully understanding the problem and keeping them involved we can deploy the right people from RSA to resolve the problem. If we do not fully understand the problem, we will not solve the problem to the customer’s satisfaction which could have wider implications for the customer.

There also needs to be a major shake-up of the ticketing and pricing mechanism to a simpler model that is fair, easy to understand. I know this has been talked about in the press several times and is recognised but this urgently needs to happen. Lastly, there needs to be a complete timetable overhaul. Today’s rail industry could quickly utilise months of real-time information about passenger habits (estimating the number of people on a train, utilising information from the ticket barriers, and so on) to build a modern timetable for the new today.

What are some of the biggest challenges this sector currently faces?

This is such a good question, as there is so much you would do. If I oversaw the UK rail industry, I would target investment firstly on a ‘state of the art’ rail system linking Liverpool in the west and Doncaster/York in the east. This is badly needed and if this was in place whether you like it or not it could then connect to HS2 and provide that Pennine corridor a significant boost, both for industry by creating Jobs as industry would either stay or expand there but also would make the North commutable to London and this in turn would boost living standards. I would also ensure that all areas of the network that are still working on outdated signalling systems would be upgraded. This would ensure we have a more reliable service across the whole country. In addition to boosting/promoting the freight sector and encouraging companies to move freight by rail as well simplifying the ticketing system, I would oversee a revolution in the timetables for the UK Network. Why do we still have a Monday to Friday full commuter timetable and less trains running on weekends or during the middle of the day when demand has changed. Our timetables need to reflect this so passengers get the service they need rather than the service we in the industry think they need.

The biggest challenge facing the UK rail industry today is the vacuum created by the Williams Shapps review and the lack of significant progress since this report was issued which has not been helped due to the Government having to deal with current world conditions, as well as changes in Prime Ministers who have different priorities. Another major problem is the lack of an integrated transport policy, not only with connections to other modes of transport but also integrating freight into this. Rail has a fantastic opportunity to exploit the green potential and we must look at ways to grow the freight sector more and encourage more companies to move freight by rail. We also need to urgently clear up the ongoing problem of ticketing. The current ticketing regime is not fit for purpose and causes users more issues than not. In my opinion the last major problem for the industry is timetabling. The current timetabling regime is not fit for purpose and in my opinion costs the industry money rather than saving money. What are some potential solutions? The railway network in the UK needs clear direction, so it is vital that the Government give this so the industry can urgently move forward. Whether this is through Great British Railways is up to personal opinion but if this is not the case then Government needs to give clear direction. As part of this clear direction there also needs to be a defined transport policy which includes freight enabling the industry to define how the Government and the Rail industry are going to define how the industry can utilise the green energy badge and grow the freight sector. Whether this is subsidising the freight sector rather than roads (think of the late 50s to early 60s when it was the way round), creating more freight routes/ paths, tax incentives to move freight by rail. However, the rail industry need to be ready for this and act accordingly.

If you were in charge of the UK rail industry, where would you target investment and/or look for improvement?

What are your hopes for the new regulatory bodies, such as Great British Railways? My hope is that the if the rail industry does get a new regulatory body such as Great British Railways, is that it brings the various factions all together with clear independent single direction that everybody can relate to and drive the UK railways forward to where it needs to be. The railways lack clear leadership and direction at present and appears to be stuttering along from one crisis to another. This needs to change, and I hope GBR will be the guiding light. I also hope that under the new single regulatory body that they would be able to sort out some of the burning issues, such as a country wide transport policy, sorting out the ticketing fiasco, promoting and integrating freight even more into network. 61

Open up a

World of Specialists Tailored Solutions Expertly Applied

A team of specialists dedicated to a true understanding of your specialist rail insurance needs. To find out more email steve.z.medhurst@uk.rsagroup.com Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark’s Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Registration No. 202323).

52297_RSA_Rail-forum-advert_130x183_AW.indd 1

23/11/2023 09:30

sue 22 Cover2_Layout 1 14/07/20 8 Page 2 7/2023 14:5 Layout 1 14/0

Aug 2023

sue 22 Cover2_




£6 0 ER



Aug Aug 2023 2023







22 Issue 22 Issue Issue 22

This catalogue is recyclable This catalogue This catalogue is recyclable is recyclable

22 22 22


- 5.30pm 7.0-0am - 5.30pm 7.00am 5.30pm 7.00am

0pm 7.00am - 5.0 - 5.00pm 7.00am - 5.00pm 7.00am

3887. company 0265 Registered (SC039332). 02653887. d company in Scotland ). Registere and (SC039332 02653887. company Registered 5541 in Scotland (SC039332). and in )Scotland and s (100 (1005541) (1005541) Wales Wales andand Wale and in England and in England UK is a registered charity charity Prostate Cancer Prostate Cancer UK is a registered charity in Engl tered regis er UK is a Prostate Canc



The company has established a significant and highly visible forward revenue stream partly driven by end user clients such as Network Rail and National Grid. An obvious success story is the recent acquisition by The GRS Roadstone Group. Following lengthy trials at Hinkley Point, National Grid have endorsed the use of the Soil Science offering and from this we anticipate a huge upcoming work bank from the soon to commence GGUP projects. What was the inspiration behind starting Soil Science?

BILL HINGE FOUNDING DIRECTOR Bill has over thirty years of successful entrepreneurial experience. He both provides and expects the highest standards of work to ensure continual innovation and business growth with the aim of achieving a successful ongoing concern. Soil Science is by far the most exciting business he has founded to date.

Identifying a need for a more sustainable solution for the temporary works market which when undertaken using traditional aggregate methods was both highly inefficient and creating significant carbon emissions. The SUREGROUND solution can deliver reduced carbon emissions upwards of 40 per cent largely by reducing vehicles movements by approximately 80 per cent hugely reducing the impact of traffic within local communities. The system also saves on programme time and is cost effective. Which sectors do you work in? Predominantly rail, energy, water and highways. The Soil Science system is very versatile so can be used on Temporary works for any sectors, along with more traditional stabilisation methods used in Permanent sectors such as residential and commercial. What is your Unique Selling Point?

SOIL SCIENCE Soil Science is a pioneering stabilisation and enabling solutions contractor. Want to know more about Soil Science? Tel: 07927 183339 / 0118 2077700 Email: info@soilscienceltd.com jack.fetherston@soilscienceltd.com Visit: www.soilscienceltd.com

When did you start the company? I founded the company in February 2020. Since then the business has grown in stature and is currently working with most Tier 1 contractors. What success have you experienced in the last twelve months and how do you measure success?

The ability to return stabilised soil back to its original DEFRA Indices post construction. A critical requirement for landowners, whilst following the Agricultural Land Classification process and aligning Soil testing to ensure all criteria is met both pre and post construction. The data Soil Science provide gives clear measurables and benchmarking prior to construction, enabling soils to be returned to thire original DEFRA indices in the Decommissioning Phase, giving clients comfort when handing land parcels back to landowners. What are some major projects you’re currently working on? Hinkley Point OHL Scheme – Soil Science installed 25 kilometres of Access Roads and over 80 Working Platforms (Piling Mats) for the scheme from 2020, the new T- Pylons are now installed and Soil Science have returned circa 70 per cent of the areas back to their original state. The Trans Pennine Upgrade – Soil Science have installed two compounds in 2023 for JMS on the TRUEast scheme with a further two to be installed in 2024 saving the project 40 per cent in carbon Emissions vs the traditional design.

Vrynwy Aqueduct Maintenance Programme – Soil Science have had glowing reports from installing access roads on the scheme in some very challenging ground conditions for the large United Utilities scheme. Both O’Connor Utilities Group and the end user United Utilities see real benefit in the system vs the original design, saving cost, carbon and programme for the project. What types of companies do you collaborate on projects with? Mainly Tier 1 contractors such as Balfour Beatty Group, J Murphy & Sons, Costain, Morrison Energy Services, Morgan Sindall, Kier and BAM. However we also collaborate with end users such as National Grid and Scottish Power. What kind of challenges did you face in the early days? A lack of belief in the SUREGROIND system, Potential clients lacked confidence in our claims that it delivered a cheaper, faster, sustainable solution. Which it has now proven to do on mass! What are your plans going forward to ensure Soil Science Ltd’s services are still around for years to come? The acquisition by GRS gives the system great credibility within the civil engineering sector and obviously cascades a serious financial stability assuring a long-term future for the business. With the backing and might of GRS behind the business I see its growth pattern becoming impressive very quickly and very substantially. Working collaboratively and being able to provide a complete turnkey solution in partnership with the GRS Trading division and ISC the contracting arm of GRS will allow Tier one contractors to mitigate risk by letting one package covering a larger scope on each project. Do you think the rail industry could be greener and what is your organisations green strategy? Soil Science is built around creating a more sustainable future for the construction industry. The rail industry should endorse sustainable solutions such as SUREGROUND and encourage their main contractors to use these available options. Proof on concept on multiple rail schemes, has shown that utilising the SUREGROUND process will reduce Carbon Emissions by 40 per cent, which will allow contractor’s to meet carbon targets within the sector. Further to this, Soil Science are continuously carrying out research and development, to further enhance the carbon reduction within the Sureground Process.



on effective teamwork and collaboration. Fortunately, I am supported by a competent and dedicated team that plays a crucial role in helping us achieve our objectives.

ALAN MCDONALD FOUNDER OF GEMENG Alan McDonald is a Chartered Engineer with experience in the design, installation & analysis of electrical power systems.

How did you start at GEMENG? After returning to Ireland from the UK, where I had been living for some time, I started working as the Client PE at Irish Rail. This was a really great opportunity, and it was a big decision to move on, but I noticed after a while that there was a need for an Irish Consultancy based in Dublin that could support the Rail Industry in Ireland. More so, support for the Rail Industry in Ireland was something that was important to me, so I took a chance and setup GEMENG. At the start, it was just me, doing some Design jobs remotely for various UK rail clients, but things have really picked up since the back end of 2022 and we have won some contracts in Ireland which has been great. Tell us about your career before you joined GEMENG?

At GEMENG, we foster an inclusive and diverse company culture where our differences are celebrated as strengths. We firmly believe in the power of diverse experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds. Mutual respect is at the core of our team dynamics, and we genuinely enjoy our work.

How did you get started in the industry? My journey in the engineering industry began during the recession in 2008 when I had to make a tough decision. I chose to pursue a career in engineering after working as an Electrician in Dublin. It turned out to be a fantastic choice that opened up numerous opportunities for me. When did you join GEMENG and what is your role within the company? I joined in 2021. Within GEMENG, my role encompasses both design involvement in our projects and fulfilling a directorial position that involves business development and management. However, achieving our goals is a collaborative effort that relies 64

Before joining GEMENG, I had a successful career in the commercial sector and the UK and Irish Rail industries as an Electrician and then an Engineer. This hands-on construction experience provided me with the practical thinking, which is needed when undertaking design. What challenges have you faced in the industry? Maintaining a healthy work-life balance has been a significant challenge for me. To address this, I have prioritised effective time management techniques. However, due to my genuine enjoyment of my work, I often find myself working outside of traditional hours. Recognising the importance of worklife balance, especially with a young family, I make it a point to engage in family activities during the weekends. At GEMENG, I prioritise creating a supportive and flexible work environment that values the well-being of our team members. Work-life balance is a crucial aspect of our company culture, and we strive to provide a supportive atmosphere that allows our employees to maintain a healthy equilibrium between work and personal life. What successes have you experienced in the last twelve months and how do you measure success? In the past year, we focused on enhancing our quality, safety, and environmental practices. This progress has brought us closer to achieving ISO 9001 Certification. We measure success through client satisfaction, team growth, and consistently delivering good results. Building strong client relationships and fostering a positive work environment are our key indicators of success.

What does sustainability mean to you? To me, sustainability is about making conscious choices. It entails actively trying to reduce carbon emissions, promoting energy efficiency, and implementing sustainable infrastructure solutions. By prioritising sustainability in our designs, we can positively impact the ecosystem and incorporate more sustainable products and practices. It is crucial to consider the longterm effects and aim to minimise our carbon footprint whenever possible. By embracing sustainability, we can create a better future for generations to come. How has technology developed since you started in the industry? Since I started in the engineering industry in 2004, technology has revolutionised engineering. Advanced CAD software and BIM systems have improved design and collaboration. Automation and robotics have enhanced efficiency, while sustainable technologies like renewable energy systems have become integral. These advancements continue to shape and improve our industry, and I'm excited for what the future holds. What was the inspiration behind starting GEMENG? Well, coming from a family with three generations deeply involved in Ireland's rail industry, I felt an undeniable urge to make a meaningful difference. As the population grows and the demand for improved infrastructure and sustainable transportation increases, I took the leap and established my own company. This decision not only grants me the flexibility to utilise my expertise but also allows me to contribute towards building a more efficient and sustainable rail industry in Ireland. Moreover, having my own company enables me to continue my work in the UK rail industry, where I have formed strong bonds with great friends and feel a genuine sense of belonging to a close-knit community. Moving back to Ireland didn't mean severing these connections, as they hold a crucial place in my professional journey. That's why I maintain a strong desire to remain actively involved in the UK Rail Industry. Overall, my genuine passion lies in making a positive impact and actively shaping a better future for transportation. Tell us about GEMENG. GEMENG specialises in providing comprehensive Electrical Design & Project Management services in the Rail and Commercial sectors. We specialise in LV Power. We offer a range of services including railway design, project management, commercial design, BIM, and railway training programs. We continuously strive to improve and expand our services to provide the best solutions to our clients.


How long has GEMENG been in business and which sectors do you work in? GEMENG is currently in its third year of operation, and we work in the rail, water and commercial sectors. What is your Unique Selling Point? Our flexible working approach allows us to serve clients on both sides of the water, providing comprehensive rail engineering services in both the UK and Ireland. Overall, our USP lies in our ability to deliver high-quality engineering solutions, prioritise sustainability, and provide a seamless experience for our clients across different regions. What types of products and services do you offer? GEMENG offers a comprehensive range of engineering services, including railway design, project management, commercial design, and railway training programs. How have the products and services you offer developed over the years? Initially, our focus was primarily on railway design. However, unforeseen circumstances, such as a significant decline in work in 2023, compelled us to diversify at a faster pace than originally planned. Surprisingly, this turned out to be a positive development for us. We successfully ventured into providing training services, expanded our reach into the Irish water industry, and now, in 2024, we are taking a significant stride towards increasing our involvement in the commercial sector in Ireland. What types of companies do you collaborate on projects with? With regards to project collaborations, we have established partnerships with a diverse range of SME's. Our collaborations extend to signalling designers, BIM consultants, and LV consultants. These collaborations allow us to leverage the expertise and capabilities of our partners to deliver comprehensive and integrated solutions to our clients. When a client comes to you with a particular problem, what’s your process for coming up with a solution, and how closely do you work with clients throughout the projects? When a client approaches us with a specific problem, we have a well-defined process in place to devise a solution. However, what sets us apart is our commitment to working closely with our clients throughout the entire project. We understand the importance of open communication and collaboration, which is why we prioritise maintaining a strong

partnership with our clients. We actively involve them in the decision-making process, ensuring that their needs, objectives, and preferences are thoroughly understood and incorporated into the solution. By closely working with our clients, we can gather valuable insights, exchange ideas, and address any concerns or challenges that may arise. This collaborative approach allows us to tailor our solutions to their unique requirements, ensuring the best possible outcome for their specific problem. How do you develop your action plans? Our action plans are developed through a meticulous process that involves various key steps. This is driven by the specific requirements and challenges presented by our clients. By actively listening to their needs and concerns, we can tailor our action plans to address their unique circumstances and deliver the desired outcomes. What kind of challenges did you face in the early days? In the early days, we encountered several challenges that were common for a growing company. One of the primary hurdles was establishing a solid client base. Building trust and credibility with potential clients required dedicated efforts and effective networking. Securing funding was another significant challenge. As a new company, we had to navigate the financial landscape and explore various avenues to secure the necessary resources to support our operations and growth. Additionally, building a reputation in the industry was a crucial aspect. We had to prove ourselves and showcase our expertise to gain recognition and attract clients. This involved delivering high-quality services, exceeding expectations, and consistently demonstrating our value. However, despite these initial challenges, we have experienced remarkable growth in the commercial market over the past year. This positive trajectory is set to continue, with an anticipated increase in rail projects in 2024. These developments reflect our ability to overcome obstacles and establish ourselves as a trusted and reliable player in the industry. Has the market grown since the company was established? Since GEMENG's establishment, we have witnessed notable growth in the market. This growth has created favourable conditions for us to expand our services, engage with a diverse range of clients, and actively contribute to the development of the rail industry. However, it is important to acknowledge that we, like many others, faced challenges in 2023 towards the end of CP6. Despite these obstacles, we remained resilient and

maintained a strong belief in the quality of our products and services. This perseverance has allowed us to overcome those challenges and turn the corner. Looking ahead, we anticipate a busy and promising year in 2024 as we continue to grow and seize new opportunities. The market's growth and our unwavering commitment to delivering excellence position us well for continued success in the future. What are your plans going forward to ensure GEMENG services are still around for years to come? To ensure the long-term sustainability of GEMENG's services, we prioritise the quality of our offerings. We heavily invest in the professional development of our employees, equipping them with the necessary skills to meet evolving client needs. By delivering exceptional service and fostering long-term relationships, we are confident in our ability to ensure GEMENG's presence for years to come. What do you have planned for the year ahead? In the year ahead, our focus will remain on our ongoing projects within the Rail and Water industries in the UK & Ireland. Additionally, we have strategic plans to expand our Building Services/Commercial team in anticipation of growth in this sector in 2024/2025. Continuing our commitment to professional development, we will be offering Railway training courses to Engineers Ireland. These courses have been well-received in the past, and we plan to repeat the successful ones from 2023. Furthermore, we are excited to introduce new courses in the second and third quarters of 2024. We are also pleased to announce our collaboration with Irish Rail. Currently, we are part of the Irish Rail framework and look forward to providing design assistance to them from 2024 to 2027. This partnership will allow us to work closely with Irish Rail and contribute to their projects. What’s next for GEMENG? Our future vision includes completing our upcoming RISQS audit, securing work in the UK rail industry, and expanding into the commercial market. We are deeply committed to innovation, staying at the forefront of technology, and developing practical solutions for our clients. Sustainability is a key focus, with efforts to integrate renewable energy, reduce waste, and optimize resource utilisation. GEMENG is poised for an exciting future, driven by our vision, commitment to innovation, and dedication to sustainability.


WAVETHRUTM Retrofit LET THE SIGNAL INSIDE THE TRAIN! Before WAVETHRU Retrofit: Mobile communication signal is blocked by metallic-coated thermal isolation glass, causing phone service loss inside a train car.

After WAVETHRU Retrofit: Our unique glass treatment increases signal coverage inside the train car by 300 times while preserving the glazing’s thermal and optical characteristics.








inform people about the dangers of Cyber and the lack of understanding could, and will lead to potential Operational loss or performance impacting incidents. Cyber is seen as a big risk for Rail Operators, Supply Chain and OEMs and in some cases take it seriously, but we’re only scratching the surface and we have a bigger roadmap on changing the culture of Railways attitudes to Cybersecurity and safety. What was the inspiration behind starting Complete Cyber?


My frustrations grew working on multiple projects but without the ability to lead and be innovative and agile due to cultural practices and therefore I decided to set up Complete Cyber because it meant I had the freedom to get involved in some amazing project work and make a bigger difference. It also meant that my objective of improving security meant I could tailor custom packages of work and products I feel could benefit the industry in the short and long term. What is your Unique Selling Point?

Want to know more about Complete Cyber Tel: 03301 331 959 Email: contactus@ completecyber.co.uk Visit: www.completecyber.co.uk/ railway-cybersecurity

Tell us about your career before you joined Complete Cyber? Before setting up Complete Cyber, I joined Metro Rail that was brought from administration into London Underground at the end of the PPP contracts. My time during LUL as a graduate on the Electrical/ Electronics graduate scheme gave me the opportunity to rotate on different placements across TfL, from Asset Management, Physical Security Project Management to Driving the old C-Stock trains. I finally settled into my last position as a Control Systems Engineer working on Signalling Control systems for the Control & Information dept. where I gained a large practical exposure on project delivery and software & hardware development. What challenges have you faced in the industry? I think challenge is always at the foot of any industry, let alone rail. Currently my challenges are trying to educate and

Complete Cyber stands out with its deep focus and specialised knowledge in Operational Technology (OT) security specifically tailored for the railway sector. This niche expertise ensures a profound understanding of the unique challenges and requirements of railway systems. We offer a comprehensive, integrated security architecture that seamlessly blends with existing railway OT/IT systems. Our solutions are designed to enhance safety and reliability without disrupting operational efficiency. What types of products and services do you offer? Complete Cyber specialises in Professional Services, offering meticulous security testing and tailored solution evaluation and design, ensuring compliance with 'Secure by Design' principles. Our expertise extends to two flagship products: Vault IoT, a portable OT/IT security scanning tool adept at identifying vulnerabilities in real-time, and a robust Industrial IDS/IPS product, designed to safeguard critical infrastructure against evolving cyber threats. These offerings encapsulate our commitment to delivering comprehensive, cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions. Has the market grown since the company was established? The Railway Cybersecurity market has grown to virtually limit a handful of companies to a comprehensive list of companies offering services and products into the sector. However, the issues with skill sets and qualified resources continues to be a major problem as well as companies

offering products and services that actually address the problems or Railway Asset Owners and Operators. What are your plans going forward to ensure [company name] services are still around for years to come? At Complete Cyber, our forward strategy is anchored in continuous innovation and adaptation. We plan to consistently evolve our Professional Services, focusing on advanced security testing and solution design that aligns with emerging 'Secure by Design' standards. Our commitment to R&D will ensure Vault IoT and our Industrial IDS/ IPS products stay at the forefront of OT/IT security technology. By actively responding to the dynamic cybersecurity landscape and fostering strong client relationships, we aim to not only sustain but also expand our market presence, ensuring Complete Cyber's services remain indispensable and relevant for years to come. What is your view of the future of security within the rail sector? The future of security in the rail sector is poised for significant evolution, driven by the integration of advanced technologies. As rail systems increasingly adopt digital and IoT solutions, cybersecurity will become paramount, necessitating robust OT/IT security measures. The focus will likely shift towards predictive threat analysis and realtime monitoring to pre-emptively counteract cyber threats. Additionally, the emphasis on 'Secure by Design' principles will guide the development of new infrastructure. Collaboration between industry experts, regulatory bodies, and technology providers will be crucial in shaping a resilient, secure future for the rail sector, ensuring both passenger safety and data integrity. What do you expect to be the biggest challenges that come from this transformation of the railway industry? The transformation of the railway industry, with its increasing digitalization and IoT integration, will bring significant challenges. Foremost is cybersecurity: protecting complex, interconnected systems from sophisticated cyber threats will require advanced, continuously evolving strategies. Additionally, ensuring seamless integration of new technologies with legacy systems poses a substantial challenge, balancing modernization with operational continuity. Compliance with evolving regulatory standards will also be critical. Moreover, there's the need for skilled workforce development, as the industry shifts towards more technologically advanced operations. Addressing these challenges effectively is crucial for realising the full potential of this transformation in the railway sector. 67


EMILY KENT CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER AT ONE BIG CIRCLE Emily has a background in marketing and fundraising in the Third Sector. Following a career break for children, she began her entrepreneurial career in 2013 as part of the founding team of My Action Replay, and has taken the lessons from that start-up journey in the sports industry into One Big Circle.


One Big Circle is a Bristol-based SME with a dynamic team of over 40 experts, working at the forefront of Intelligent Video, AI and Machine Learning within the Rail Industry. One Big Circle develops Software and Hardware systems in-house, including the multi-awardwinning AIVR technology. With a broad range of expertise and technical skills, the team works to develop End-to-End systems to meet rail challenges and technological demands, finding optimal methods to deliver effective solutions. Want to know more about One Big Circle? Tel: 0845 838 7178 Email: enquiries@onebigcircle.co.uk Visit: www.onebigcircle.co.uk


What is your role within One Big Circle? I am one of the four Co-Founders of One Big Circle. My role has changed quite significantly since we first started. I used to do a bit of everything from sales to HR, demos, support & training and operations to marketing. Now that we’ve grown, my role is to enable the Business Development and Marketing team to do what they are great at – sharing what One Big Circle can do for our current and future clients. I focus now on ensuring we are doing the right things for our customers and users, understanding their challenges, making connections, exploring opportunities. It’s a bit of a cliche but every day is different at OBC and we can be in all sorts of calls, out on site testing, giving demonstrations and taking feedback or having workshops with user groups, being at events, presenting, bid writing and so on. What was the inspiration behind starting One Big Circle? As a founding team we had previously worked in Highways, Sports Broadcast and Defence creating technical solutions that made video and optical data more accessible for a variety of purposes. In 2017 four of us decided to look for a new industry in which to deploy our combined skills, and we set up One Big Circle for that purpose. It was a window of opportunity to identify where there were challenges and demand that could be aided by that skillset and experience. Having researched emergency services, local authorities, roads and defence we found the strongest pull from within rail. The drive for innovation and exploring solutions from outside the industry, as well as Network Rail’s interest in working with SMEs gave us confidence to pursue what One Big Circle could achieve. Without knowing anyone in the industry we read articles, attended some events and scoured LinkedIn to find people to talk to, and more importantly to listen to. Whilst we’ve grown our network since then, a good number of those whom we met in the first few meetings, we are still working closely with on an everyday basis which is what makes the progress so exciting. Tell us about One Big Circle. We’re specialists in what we call ‘Intelligent Video’, enabling people to see what they need to see, helping protect Critical National Infrastructure in difficult toaccess environments. We had an early stage product called AIVR, Automated Intelligent Video Review, a system that could capture video whilst on the move then automatically transmit and present that imagery and metadata online in rapid time. Since our first rail-based trials in late 2019, with both Transport for Wales and Network Rail, One Big Circle has focussed on building that capability to help support

the industry’s monitoring and safety requirements. The system and usage has grown hugely and we have progressed each part of that - from the hardware through to the platform and the AI applied to that data. The team is based in Bristol, right next to Temple Meads station which is extremely handy, and we have a full spectrum of capability across hardware and software engineering, machine learning, service, commercial and business development. What is your Unique Selling Point? We have a lot of specialists under one roof – from hardware in our dedicated lab, to the edge firmware, software, video and Machine Learning teams through testing, systems, commercial and service – so we’re able to assess and build quickly to make things work end-to-end which brings rapid robust results. That agility and speed is a fantastic USP and one we’re proud to have built. I also think that one of our strengths ironically is that we didn’t really know much about rail before working in the industry. I lose count of the amount of acronyms I have googled and how many times we try and concisely map how different parts of the industry work together! Therefore, everything we build and develop has had to be a combination of what we have learnt about the challenge from experts in the field, and how we think technology can help them address that. It means we’ve never made an assumption that things should be built in a certain way or for one particular use case or discipline. Ultimately, we now have a very intuitive interface that feels totally user-focussed and is backed up by an extremely robust smart capture and automated processing capability which is ubiquitous across whichever fleet and partners we are working with. What types of products and services do you offer? The flagship product we offer is AIVR and this is all about enabling people to get the imagery and data they need, when they need it. This is predominantly through a variety of permanent or portable train borne cameras and sensors that use our unique algorithm to transmit that data and make it securely available online in rapid time. The different sources of data include forward and rear facing cab views, thermal and UV imagery, overhead and line scanning which has a phenomenal level of detail for a huge range of track componentry – we have to know each time the train moves one millimetre to accurately trigger our cameras to scan the rail. Each source has different models of Machine Learning applied to derive more insight - such as thermal hotspots, faulty fishplates or low ballast or is integrated with other data and systems such as a Geometry system we provide

or systems such as ultrasonics provided by others. Alongside this our services are predominantly about exploring what’s possible, with a strong focus on R&D that can quickly become operationally viable. So, we may have a group of users accessing AIVR who then want additional data integrated, such as remote flood cameras, or have some Machine Learning or AI applied by us or other partners. We work very closely with those users to explore what they need and create a technical solution, be that new types of cameras or sensors, features that are specific to their part or discipline of the rail network or building a ML model to identify conditions or assets. How passionate are you about safety in the rail sector, and how do you go about helping support that? One of the main things that has always stood out to me since those first few conversations with people in the industry is the passion everyone has for all parts of the railway and all their colleagues that work within that. From an infrastructure perspective we learnt a lot about the challenges and risks of being trackside and the phenomenal progress that has been made in keeping people safer, whilst still complying with monitoring and maintenance requirements. We’re driven by the fact that the more data and insight that can be provided to those that are responsible for this maintenance, the more they can monitor it remotely and be safer and more informed when they are then trackside. We also see that the combination of different sources of data and monitoring adds to that big picture so we work in close collaboration with other platforms, suppliers and technologists to bring together even greater insight. One of the most motivating things for us internally is when users across infrastructure or operations share how AIVR has helped them see more, solve issues, save time, save journeys, or helped them respond faster and stay safer. We have a shared space where all our team can read those responses and feel inspired that whatever their role is at OBC they are contributing to that increased safety across the railway. What kind of challenges did you face in the early days? As we’ve said previously one of the main hurdles was not knowing what was what in the early days - there’s a whole new language and world to learn so whilst that was a challenge it was one we have rapidly overcome thanks to the brilliant people and partners we have worked with across Network Rail, Operators and the supply chain. Our early days happened to be during the pandemic too so that in itself was a huge challenge. It did however accelerate a lot of conversations and, because data was never needed more than when people were 69


From our work in other industries we also think there is huge opportunity to start sharing data more widely between different parties to start to solve the existing challenges and tackle new challenges such as Climate Resilience. We see more and more projects and opportunities adopting this mindset which is fantastic and we hope that the regulation can emulate that practice – the benefits of removing some of the siloed targets and priorities would derive benefit for the industry as a whole, and its customers.

AIVR Platform

forced to work remotely, then the demand grew rapidly. As things returned to ‘normal’ post lockdowns the uptake was still growing and the requirement for the frequency and types of data was very much aligned with the Track Worker Safety programme. Our challenge was to continue to capture and deliver those different types of data, from whatever trains we could access working with NR and operators, and also scale the platform for more users, all the time continuing to provide the high standard we set at the outset. How do you work with the supply chain within this sector? In the early days we worked directly with Network Rail and Transport for Wales and more operators such as Avanti and GWR and focussed on making the data and AIVR Dashboard work for them. As the volume and coverage grew it was clear that by enabling the supply chain to securely access that data they could also derive the same safety benefits of reducing time on site and increasing remote infrastructure monitoring. We now have agreements in place with a number of supply chain companies such as Storey, Siemens and many more who use various parts of AIVR to assist with works planning, signal sighting, site and plant planning, surveying, route familiarisation and more. Another aspect of the supply chain is working with other SMEs where we can combine our capabilities and expertise to deliver joined up solutions for our mutual clients. Aggregating track geometry, lidar or other sensor data with imagery provides a holistic picture and provide more insight. Any integrations and collaborations achieved always seem to be very well received by mutual end users and we will always continue to explore those partnership opportunities. How have you seen the industry change over the years? Despite only being newcomers to the rail industry, we have witnessed the massive change enforced by the pandemic. Whilst obviously a challenging time for so many 70

reasons it did force a certain level of digital literacy on everyone. This provided opportunities not only to provide digital tools like AIVR but also to communicate much faster with experts whom we would not have previously been able to. Everyday our teams are screen-sharing and discussing with end users and experts from all over the rail industry at a scale and detail that would not have been possible before. We think this has also enabled a new level of collaboration between companies even when sometimes their services overlap. It seems there is an appetite for companies to be willing to do this as part of a bigger goal more so than we have witnessed in other industries. What are your hopes for the new regulatory bodies, such as Great British Railways? The concept and aspiration of GBR makes huge sense to us and we hope that that mindset continues to prevail, whatever the political landscape as this year progresses. When we have been involved with ‘whole railway system thinking’ projects, with Network Rail, ROSCO, Operator and OEMs as well as technical experts from the supply chain, we see problems being solved, costs being saved, outcomes being accelerated and, most importantly, benefits then being realised by passengers and freight users.

What are your views on collaborative working? We wouldn’t have achieved what we have without collaborative working and that is both internally and with our clients and other suppliers. We are always greater than the sum of our parts and no single entity can deliver everything, particularly in the complex rail world, so it’s fundamental to success to bring together all those key people and listen to all. We used the analogy of the Avengers a while back (my kids are big fans so by default I’ve watched the films multiple times!). It really feels like with each challenge raised and project delivered there’s an ‘Avengers Assemble’ moment when all the strengths come to the fore – from the invaluable deep rail industry experience, to new ways of technical thinking that can change an outcome for the better. We are also frequently amazed by the level of knowledge and experience people within the industry have in understanding an increasingly complex and layered railway. Working collaboratively to ensure this knowledge is understood, passed on and not forgotten is absolutely essential in our opinion for a successful railway into the future. One thing that has always inspired us is the amount of innovators and collaborators that we meet, not only from fellow SMEs but many within large organisations such as Network Rail who want to evolve and push on and make the industry they are so passionate about safer and better.


Extending the Power of Non-Technical Skills Dr Steve Fletcher, Occupational Psychologist and Director at the OPC reflects on a potential expansion of Non-Technical Skills to impact other safety-critical jobs and considers their role in the future of rail talent acquisition


e know that Non-Technical Skills (NTS) play a crucial role in ensuring safety and optimal job performance. Although NTS have successfully and effectively been applied in train driver roles for many years, OPC psychologists have extended their use to various safety-critical positions in the rail industry and beyond. In recent years, OPC psychologists have conducted extensive post-incident interviews and assessments (PIA) with NTS short-fall analysis for many other roles outside of train drivers. Some of these safety-critical roles have been signallers, electrical operators, engineering track workers, field engineer managers, depot drivers, and other transport sector drivers e.g., tram and bus drivers. In the OPC's experience, findings from hundreds of PIAs indicate that safetyincidents are often rooted in NTS shortfalls rather than a technical skills gap. Identifying the key NTS shortfalls that resulted in an

‘Proactive planning for risks enhances safety performance while undertaking dynamic Shortfall Non-Technical Skills During a review of PIAs, OPC psychologists risk assessments identified similar NTS shortfalls across various safety-critical roles and incidents – during a shift even though they all differed. Some common and generic NTS shortfalls were observed, ensures ongoing risk with four key NTS shortfall contributors to incidents including: awareness.’ incident allows for a targeted development plan, helping to improve safety performance. Addressing NTS gaps through training and development can also help reduce future safety incidents.

• Failure to anticipate risk: poor risk anticipation. • Diligence, in particular regard to checking. • Prioritising time over quality. • Remaining vigilant and aware, i.e., being focused on the present. So, what do some key NTS look like in safety-critical roles?

Risk anticipation and time focus

Positive risk anticipation and effective time focus are strongly associated with safe, effective performance and the prevention of errors or safety incidents. Risk anticipation is a crucial Non-Technical Skill (NTS) for safety-critical personnel. It involves assessing situations for potential risks, identifying the risks, and then implementing mitigating actions. Proactive planning for risks enhances safety performance while undertaking dynamic risk assessments during a shift ensures ongoing risk awareness. A safety-conscious employee will re-evaluate risks dynamically during a shift or job and change work patterns or even call a halt if it’s unsafe to carry on. They will always prioritize caution over haste, reducing the likelihood of errors caused by rushing.



The NTS of conscientiousness includes diligence, systematic work, and positive adherence to rules, emphasizing personal responsibility and a thorough step-bystep approach without rushing. Diligence involves attention to detail, ensuring the finer points of a job are not lost. Checking and double-checking are essential in avoiding complacency and assumptions. Regular checks are critical to eliminating 71


errors and avoiding incidents, and this is closely tied to a positive attitude toward rules. Safety-critical employees need to be comfortable working in a ‘rule-bound’ environment.

Motivated to follow rules and procedures Employees who are motivated to follow rules are driven by the need for correct and high-standard job completion. Shared work accountability arises from rule adherence, providing confidence in coworkers' performance. Some drivers have said that the ‘rule book has been written in blood’ – that it’s been created and honed from the learnings of past safety incidents. Rules act as safeguards, preventing chaos and minimizing challenges. Adhering to rules is crucial for personal, team, and infrastructure protection. Individuals with conscientiousness, checking, and rule adherence NTS are more likely to achieve high job performance 72

standards and have lower safety incidents. Consistent checks, although sometimes deemed unnecessary by some more experienced employees, are critical for catching errors and preventing incidents.

Remaining vigilant and aware

Remaining vigilant is vital. A common reason why safety-critical employees have safety incidents is due to an over reliance on past experience and an assumption that nothing bad will happen. Vigilance avoids lapses in diligence and a less thorough checking approach. Safety incidents can also arise when employees operate on autopilot, performing tasks without conscious control or focused attention. Autopilot can often occur when the environment or task being performed is repetitive. A risk of incidents can arise when an employee is in ‘autopilot’ but they’re faced with a change which can then leads to errors.

A PIA case study highlighting some NTS shortfalls

A trackworker, responding to a call for a points repair, faced challenges from the outset. Lack of office presence during the initial briefing call, confusion about transportation to the job, and unfamiliarity with the location complicated the task. Upon finally reaching the points, a hasty initial check of A points led to a mis-diagnosis of the problem. The trackworker attempted to scotch and clip the points without success.

As the job progressed the employees stress levels rose. Without updating the signaller, the track worker moved to B points. The signaller had to chase the trackworker for an update on location and job progress. They were sceptical of the trackworker’s abilities. Only after fixing the B points and returning to the A points did the employee identify an obstruction in the points, revealing a lack of initial thoroughness and a reliance on assumptions of what repair was required. The incident highlighted stress and frustration affecting their decision-making. The NTS shortfalls included insufficient checking, poor stress management, and inadequate communication in both quality and frequency adding to the risk of a safety incident. Despite considerable service and experience, the trackworker demonstrated a lack of motivation for personal learning and skill development around points maintenance.

NTS and talent acquisition

Some questions therefore arise, such as: if NTS are so crucial for safe and effective performance, how could we recruit exceptional safety-critical employees? Or should we prioritize more Non-Technical Skills (NTS) in our recruitment processes? Could we focus on skills, aptitude and potential rather than hard technical skills and experience, especially when applicants who meet all our educational and experience requirements are scarce? Could this shift


‘I know I can have confidence in the performance of my co-workers since we all abide by the same rules and regulations.’


‘NTS could have more extensive benefits than just reducing human errors and improving overall safety performance.’ uncover untapped talent? Could it offer added value in a very tight recruitment market for essential safety-critical roles as well as help provide a robust internal candidate pipeline for promotions? Assessing NTS, aptitude, and potential may uncover untapped talent fostering inclusivity and removing academic barriers that could broaden the candidate pool. This approach could be crucial for the rail industry when trying to attract candidates from different sectors, such as firefighters, healthcare workers, factory workers, and the armed forces, all of whom may possess relevant NTS like risk anticipation or vigilance required in our industry. Equally, diverse job experiences can help equip individuals for safety-critical roles, enhancing inclusivity. In the OPC's driver recruitment projects, candidates with some unusual backgrounds like bookmakers, factory workers, teachers or morticians displayed strong potential despite lacking 'relevant' rail experience. This approach could promote diversity across age, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, and life experiences, with candidates all sharing common safety-critical NTS essential for successful training completion and effective job performance within rail. The diversity is vast.


Effective recruitment tools

OPC Assessment offers a wide range of assessment tools that can help identify the key NTS when recruiting for many safetycritical roles. Some of these include: The Risk and Time Focus Questionnaire (RTQ) that helps profile a candidate’s behaviours and attitudes towards risk anticipation, and time focus. The RSJT (Railway situational Judgement Test) evaluates safety judgments, checking, and conscientiousness and was specifically designed for rail roles. The Safe Concentration and Attention Test (SCAAT) is a world leading tool for assessing concentration. The Rule Acquisition and Aptitude test (RAAT) assesses the ability to understand and reason with basic written rules, regulations and procedures, similar to those in the transport sector. The Visual Search Exercise (VSE) is an innovative test that identifies those individuals who have the ability to focus and respond to numerous things simultaneously whilst remaining situationally aware. Additionally, the Safe Personality Questionnaire

(SAFEPQ) assesses for 4 personality factors; Cautiousness, Conscientiousness, Resilience and Rules Focus that are linked to safe behaviours in the rail industry. From validation work completed by the OPC, there are statistical correlations between those assessment tools like the SCAAT, RAAT or VSE that directly assess for key NTS on the one hand, and safe and effective job performance in safety-critical roles on the other hand.

What about training?

Effective job performance requires training, especially in the rail industry, known for its rigorous technical skill programs. These programs, with stringent criteria, assessments, and mentoring, demonstrate a significant investment in key roles and strict compliance for some key infrastructure positions. Our rules and procedures are second to none. While technical skills are trainable, possessing inherent NTS is crucial for overall safe and effective performance. If an applicant already has the underlying NTS then training them in the technical aspects of the role could foster safe and effective job performance and safer individuals on the job. Certain crucial Non-Technical Skills (NTS) significantly contribute to success in training. For example, motivation and conscientiousness are pivotal NTS for individuals to excel in their training. Possessing these skills increases the likelihood of successful completion and performing well. Furthermore, as the earlier case study emphasises, the NTS of motivation for continuous improvement in ongoing training is important, especially as roles evolve or technology advances. In addition, incorporating key NTS coaching into initial training for safetycritical roles has the potential to enhance overall safety performance. By grounding the principles of NTS such as situational

awareness and decision-making into early training, enables individuals to better recognize and respond to potential hazards, reducing the likelihood of errors and helping to lessen the likelihood of incidents on the job. Integrating NTS into training programs for safety-critical roles significantly contributes to a safer and more productive work environment. The OPC also provides diverse NTS training for managers, mentors, trainers and incident investigators to enhance their understanding of safetycritical NTS performance gaps and to help them uncover the root causes of safety incidents. Dr Steve Fletcher, Occupational Psychologist and Director at the OPC said: ‘At the OPC we believe there are some key NTS that are crucial for safe and effective safety-critical role performance. We’ve collated evidence that their absence is notable and identifiable as underlying root causes in the case of safety incidents across many different roles and many different incidents. However, we think that NTS can also play a significant role when utilised in talent acquisition. Using them in recruitment could have a significant impact on attracting the best and safest talent, help widen the talent pool where rail industry shortfalls are a challenge, as well as meet some diversity and inclusion opportunities. NTS could have more extensive benefits than just reducing human errors and improving overall safety performance.’

Tel: 01923 234646 Email: admin@theopc.co.uk Visit: www.theopc.co.uk



‘The integration of artificial intelligence Blaschke Umwelttechnik specialises in the design, manufacture, and installation of into the rail industry high-quality turnkey exhaust extraction has already begun systems for train maintenance depots. Exhaust emissions from diesel engines and will ensure further are an important health and safety issue in workshops where locomotives and growth in the near railcars are running indoors during repair and maintenance procedures. Short-term future. In our specific exposure can cause different irritations whereas exposure over a long period can niche market, we increase the risk of cancer. The International have also experienced Agency for Research in Cancer classified diesel engine exhaust emissions as significant growth over carcinogenic to humans in 2012. The systems offered by Blaschke the past decade.’ Umwelttechnik effectively capture the What types of products and services do you offer?

HANS BLASCHKE FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF BLASCHKE UMWELTTECHNIK Hans Blaschke is the Founder and Managing Director of Blaschke Umwelttechnik. After completing his technical training, he worked for several years at well-known German companies in the field of design and product management. In 1976 he founded his own company.

BLASCHKE UMWELTTECHNIK Blaschke Umwelttechnik GmbH from Germany is among the leading manufacturers of extraction systems for engines and diesel exhaust gases. From our headquarters in Augsburg in Bavaria, we have sent products and systems throughout the world for 45 years. Want to know more about Blaschke Umwelttechnik? Tel. +49 8271 81690 Email: info@hblaschke.de Visit: www.hblaschke.de Address: Blaschke Umwelttechnik GmbH Industriestrasse 13 86405 Meitingen/ Germany


exhaust fumes and remove them from the workplace. They are designed to capture the hazardous air pollutants directly from the vehicle exhaust outlets before they may be released into the workshop. A typical system is composed of a height adjustable stationary or mobile hood to collect the harmful exhaust fumes, ductwork and a fan to channel, extract and discharge the exhaust fumes outside the depot. A remote control unit, an HMI panel, and a programmable logic controller facilitate the operation. What is your Unique Selling Point?

Blaschke stands for a pioneer in supplying exhaust extraction systems tailor-made for rail maintenance depots, setting the benchmark for effectiveness, individualized design, and durability. Let me briefly explain what makes our solutions special. The clients can rely on more than 45 years of proven experience and technical expertise. All the systems are designed to remove diesel exhaust fumes right from where they are generated. They minimize the exposure of maintenance personnel to hazardous substances, protect the depot equipment from soot deposits, and avoid the unnecessary extraction of surrounding air. The customisation ensures that the systems are optimized for maximum effectiveness in capturing emissions from different engines, considering the specific depot conditions. Corrosion and high temperature resisting ductwork, robust extractor fans, energy efficient motors, as well as manufacturing and installation by skilled and experienced craftsmen are some of the key features that contribute to the durability of each system. In summary, while there may be an initial investment in installing a Blaschke exhaust extraction system, the wellbeing of the workforce, compliance with health and safety standards, and long-term cost savings, including reduced energy consumption and reduced maintenance costs, make it a financially interesting and sustainable solution.

What was the inspiration behind starting the company? In my early years, I was actively engaged with my company as a distributor of lifting platforms, gratings and exhaust extraction systems for fire departments, garages and service depots. It was during my visits to these depots that I personally witnessed the poor air quality and observed extensive soot deposits on equipment and structures. Conversations with employees, particularly in rail depots, revealed a concerning reality: although there were many safety measures in place, there were no measures to protect workers against diesel exhaust fumes emitted during the maintenance and servicing of rolling stock. This realization prompted me to question why exhaust emissions from diesel powered vehicles are controlled in garages but not in rail depots, where the workforce is exposed to even higher levels of exhaust emissions. Motivated by this experience, I started looking for manufacturers. It soon became apparent that there were no specific suppliers of exhaust extraction systems designed for rail depots. I also understood why. The different vehicles, buildings and equipment made it impossible to offer a standardized product. Undeterred, I took the initiative to design and produce customized solutions tailored to the specific needs of rail depots. The result? Today we design, manufacture and install exhaust extraction systems for the world’s most well-known railway companies. What kind of challenge did you face in the early days? Originally, we faced two major challenges. Firstly, we needed to raise awareness among clients about the potential hazards posed by diesel exhaust fumes within enclosed spaces, both to human health and technical equipment. The more complicated task, however, was persuading them to invest in


a solution that didn't yield immediate sales benefits and whose effectiveness couldn't be promptly measured. With the growing health and environmental awareness of the population and the constantly increasing legal requirements, the interest in exhaust extraction systems has changed. Today, employers have to take adequate measures to prevent and control exposure to exhaust fumes in the workplace. Although the legal health and safety requirements may vary from country to country, more and more companies see an exhaust extraction system as an effective and essential measure to safeguard the health and safety of their employees. Has the market grown since the company was established? Absolutely. Reflecting on nearly five decades of firsthand experience, I can affirm that the European rail market, which I know well, has undergone remarkable growth. Notably, in recent years, there has been a general revival of interest in rail transport spurred to factors such as urbanization, growing environmental concerns and the increasing demand of sustainable transport alternatives.

Further growth was also generated by technological advances and the internationalization of public transport. Just think of the development of high-speed trains, the harmonization of different rail and traffic management systems, and the cooperation between international rail operators. The integration of artificial intelligence into the rail industry has already begun and will ensure further growth in the near future. In our specific niche market, we have also experienced significant growth over the past decade. In my opinion, the positive trend will continue. The indispensability of diesel vehicles in the foreseeable future and the increasing emphasis on fostering a healthy work environment for enhanced workforce retention contribute to this positive outlook. What do you think is the biggest challenge currently facing the rail industry? I see various challenges the rail industry will have to face, such as the expansion of the rail network, increasing environmental regulations, the backlog in infrastructure maintenance, the integration of artificial intelligence and automated processes, but the biggest challenge is finding and

‘The systems offered by Blaschke Umwelttechnik are designed to capture the hazardous air pollutants directly from the vehicle exhaust outlets before they may be released into the workshop.’ retaining a qualified workforce. Due to demographic change, more people will be retiring in the next few years than young people will be joining. There will be a lack of skilled professionals. All economic and industrial sectors will be competing for qualified personnel, and the rail industry is not one of the most attractive sectors. It will therefore be particularly important to create a positive and appealing working environment.

Diesel Exhaust Extraction Systems for Train Maintenance Depots

Blaschke Umwelttechnik GmbH | Industriestr. 13 | 86405 Meitingen Germany | info@hblaschke.de | www.hblaschke.de



How long has your company been in business and which sectors do you work in?

RICHARD MELVILLE MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CO-OWNER OF C&S EQUIPMENT LTD Richard Melville is MD and co-owner of C&S Equipment Ltd. His background is one of a typical graduate trainee working in the Mechanical Engineering field. In early years he learned basic engineering skills at Rolls-Royce, Derby sharing college lectures with nearby British Rail apprentices. After completing a degree course at the University of Westminster (the first Polytechnic in Britain) his major career has been with compressed-air equipment manufacturer, Ingersoll-Rand mainly as a product marketing manager.

C&S EQUIPMENT LTD C&S Equipment has been supplying, installing, repairing and maintaining WALL-MAN®, LIFTMAN™ and LIFTMAN FOLD™ compressed-air powered work platforms since 1993.

Want to know more about C&S Equipment? Tel: 07508 568517 Visit: www.candsequipment.co.uk


C&S Equipment started in 1993 with one of our founders, Mike Crisp, ’discovering’ a new type of air-powered personnel platform to facilitate painting vehicles at height. A manufacturing company called Holgers AS from Norway had a stand at the Automechanika exhibition in Frankfurt and Mike, who already had experience within the UK spraybooth manufacturing field, thought such platforms could be useful in various industry sectors in the UK. The Norwegian manufacturer had no UK representation and besides they were only a modest operation themselves. A conversation followed with Mike Crisp and his co-founder Dick Skinner, and Holgers appointed C&S as their UK and Eire importer. Originally Dick’s sales efforts were aimed at double-decker bus operators and Military support operations like painting helicopters but rail application came very soon after. Our customer sectors now are wide-ranging including commercial vehicles, particularly CV trailers, bus and coach manufacture and maintenance, aerospace, construction vehicles and of course rail applications. In the rail sector prepping and painting at height were traditionally done using

form work; either on push-around steps or bespoke elevating walkways powered by electric motors with high maintenance, complex gearboxes. Manual push steps frequently led to unsafe stretching of an operator’s arm (just need to reach a few more inches without bothering to descend the steps!) and elevating walkways were expensive, slow and clumsy to operate. The Norwegian company started with the LIFTMAN™ platform that is free to move anywhere on a level floor within ten metres of an air point which can then be connected or disconnected using the standard quick connectors for the main air supply. Then along came the well-known WALL-MAN® which hangs from a sidewall of a booth or on an independent self-supporting steel frame and it allows the cage to move in and out as well as up and down and along the wall or the frame. How have the products and services you offer developed over the years? ‘A little and often’ is our approach. If you saw one of our machines from 30 years ago it would look remarkably similar to today’s but with compliance to the evolving EN/ CE/BS Regulations and Standards. And the manufacturer’s name has changed to Reglo AS (almost ‘Holger’ in reverse). This was to


distinguish them from their spraybooth sales and a range of Offshore small fabrications. Rather pleasingly the WALL-MAN name has become synonymous for a description of anybody’s platform that competes with it – a bit like the ‘Hoover’ name is (wrongly) used for any domestic vacuum cleaner. However C&S can carry out a number of small modifications and are legally responsible for the design of the supporting structure in order to award the LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) certificate which is mandatory for employers to secure. In previous Rail Professional articles you mentioned other products quite different from platforms; please expand? Mention must be made of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) equipment from Reglo who design and make LEV High vacuum extraction pumps and ancillary equipment under the Effex name. C&S are now focussing on helping users remove the proven carcinogenic fumes generated by mild steel welding. This ‘elephant in the room’ has been largely ignored by employers as it’s rarely been acknowledged as a contributory culprit for causing respiratory diseases. Research has shown that the long-term cumulative effects of exposure are not good.

Because we don’t equip booths with WALL-MAN every week, our associated company Brinklake Ltd was developed over ten years ago due to the uncertain ups and downs in the market for lift platforms so we again sought a complementary product associated with painting but this time in the paint ‘kitchen’. Similar to our WALL-MAN discovery at a German exhibition, we ‘found’ B-TEC GmbH at a specialist paint exposition in Germany. Their products cover a unique range of spray gun cleaners both for hand-held guns with gravity cups or those which are pressure pot fed. One unique feature is that you do not have to remove the air cap on an HVLP gun in order to clean it perfectly! The goal here is also to reduce harmful fumes by selecting the right low-VOC fluids to maintain highest efficiency. There are now about 1,000 of these top-of-the-range B-TEC gun cleaners Brinklake have supplied in Britain.

What is your Unique Selling Point? Our USP is making life simpler to do the task in hand without resorting to specialist solutions. The LIFTMAN™ allows an operator to work at 4.2 metres height above a workshop floor and WALLMAN® about six metres, so that covers all rail car maintenance operations at height. LIFTMAN™ do not require special installation/commissioning as they are standalone ‘plug-and-play’ units. Only operator familiarisation is required to meet regulations. Because we also market a range of much longer reach lifts that are electrically powered, we believe we can always offer the best solution for production requirements. Those platforms are manufactured by SLF in Germany and most all European rail stock manufacturers use them both for painting and blasting. 77


‘Compressed air, being such a safe power source, means that leaks tend to develop without being fixed as soon as a leak is detected. Stop that leak ASAP and you’ll save a surprising amount of money each year.’

The USP of our one-person mobile fume extractor is a cleaning cycle that dispenses with frequent filter replacements providing much lower cost of ownership. And the USP of our paint gun cleaners is explained above.

What are some major projects you’re currently working on? In the rail sector we await the next new build of rail manufacturing premises - currently none confirmed on the immediate horizon but for all other rail workshop projects where painting is involved, I think it’s fair to say we are represented in just about all of them since our first installation at Bombardier Prorail at Horbury Junction, Wakefield. Standout projects that come to mind are at Hitachi, Newton Aycliffe and CAF, Newport where we have a two-person lifting cage on the WALL-MAN. But such projects are rarely handled direct as we tend to collaborate with spraybooth manufacturers and rely on them to market our lifting platforms as an integral part of their painting booths. Under such collaborative working we’ve introduced WALL-MAN into Irish Rail, Wabtec, Brodie, RVEL and many more. What new developments/strategies do you have? We encourage users to have our work platforms, which are mainly compressedair driven, isolated in their power supply. This means any compressed air being fed to

the spray guns can be coordinated with the major ventilation fans used when spraying, but not demanding fans ‘on’ when preparing surfaces prior to painting rail cars. The energy saving is significant so that converts to cash savings too. Furthermore the requirement or otherwise of breathing air and how it’s integrated into the booth control panel is something that must be done ‘up front’ and not during initial installation. It’s amazing how some line managers are unaware of workers’ needs until it becomes a late after-thought. In terms of technology, how do you anticipate things might change in the next five to ten years? We think there may be a move away from compressed air power as compressed air has a high energy cost but we already have that solved in our larger electrically powered platforms. But compressed air, being such a safe power source, means that leaks tend to develop without being fixed as soon as a leak is detected. Stop that leak ASAP and you’ll save a surprising amount of money each year.

Pneumatic access platforms for safe and efficient working at height

Powered by air

The original WALL-MAN© and LIFTMAN™ • One or two person baskets/cages • In-built dust extraction option

4.3 metres

• Perfection through 30 years of operation • In daily use in over 44 countries C & S Equipment Ltd

15 Wingbury Courtyard, Leighton Road, Wingrave, Buckinghamshire, HP22 4LW Tel: 01296 688500 sales@CandSequipment.co.uk www.CandSequipment.co.uk



The NEW Carpet Collection for Rail Vehicles Tessera FR tufted carpets are widely recognized for their exquisite aesthetic design and exceptional performance, making them an ideal choice for high-traffic environments


hey provide a robust and longlasting floor covering solution for rail vehicle interiors. The installation of these carpets not only introduces a touch of warmth and comfort but also delivers notable acoustic benefits, fostering a more inviting and cosier atmosphere. The inclusion of carpets contributes significantly to improved insulation by minimizing heat transfer. This feature facilitates a comfortable temperature within the rail carriage while enhancing energy efficiency. Furthermore, the soft and comfortable surface of carpets, compared to hard floors, elevates the overall passenger experience, particularly during long journeys. In addition to their comfort-enhancing qualities, carpets play a crucial role in noise absorption and dampening, leading to a reduction in overall sound levels inside the train carriage. This results in a quieter and more pleasant environment for passengers to enjoy their journey. Moreover, the textile carpet's non-slip surface adds an extra layer of safety, effectively reducing the risk of slips and falls. Tessera Layout FR and Outline FR broadloom carpets boast a contemporary palette of fourteen colours with four co-ordinated stripes, providing a wealth of creative possibilities for rail flooring schemes. The Tessera Layout FR palette is remarkably versatile, offering a comprehensive range of modern neutrals complemented by diverse and directional brighter shades. Colours can be used independently or combined to achieve a myriad of interior styles. Tessera Outline FR, a subtly textured striped loop pile carpet tile, perfectly complements the Layout FR range, with each colourway meticulously matched to two Layout FR colours. The combination of Outline FR and Layout FR allows for design freedom, highlights, and transitions, enhancing any interior design scheme. 79


Beyond aesthetics, Tessera FR carpets contribute significantly to the overall visual appeal of train interiors. The collection not only offers a dynamic range of colourways but also provides customization possibilities, allowing for flexibility in creating custom colour schemes that seamlessly align with specific interior design themes. Key features of Tessera Layout FR & Outline FR carpets include: • Reaction to fire EN 45545-2: HL2. • Durability and appearance retention. • Cut-to-size/shape option. • Flexibility for re-colouring designs. These features underscore the versatility and practicality of Tessera FR carpets, making them an excellent choice for enhancing both the aesthetic and functional aspects of rail interiors.

To view the digital sample card and brochure click here

Prolonging the lifetime of textile floor coverings

Stopping up to 95 per cent of walked-in dirt and moisture, effective entrance floor 80

coverings can prolong the life of your rail vehicle interior floor coverings and finishes, as well as greatly reducing cleaning costs and the risk of slipping. With almost 50 years of experience, Coral FR offers you the best entrance flooring solutions for your entrance areas on board rail vehicles. As an alternative to fully adhering the floor covering to the subfloor, Coral FR can also be supplied with alternative backing types for quicker and easier installation and replacement. Coral Brush FR, Coral Duo FR and Coral Welcome FR entrance floors all use Econyl® yarn which is made from used and abandoned fishing nets. Using Econyl® is a way to reduce existing waste, avoid additional manufacturing-related pollution, and keep the consumption of natural resources and energy to a minimum. All the waste yarn from the Coral FR production is re-used by the yarn supplier and virtually zero landfill is achieved by the manufacturing plant.

in time, cost and operation not only for the first installation but also for future renovations. • Minimal disruption and downtime. • No adhesive spreading, setting or drying times, so quicker installation. • Flooring is ready for immediate use after installation.

Service offering

In addition to our comprehensive product portfolio for the rail sector including carpet, flocked textile, resilient and entrance systems, Forbo understand that service is equally important. A range of services for both new build and refurbishment projects are offered that ensure maximum efficiencies from delivery to storage, from labelling to packaging and from installation to operation.

Innovative Installation Systems

Many of our floor coverings for rail applications can now also be offered with different backing options (adhesive free, magnetic and self-adhesive options) to ensure that the installation process is as quick and straight forward as possible. Specially designed to improve efficiencies

Tel: 44 (0)1773 744121 Email: transport@forbo.com Visit: www.forbo-flooring.com/rail


CIRO Collaborate Do you want to be part of an exclusive, online rail community? CIRO membership thrives on the strength of its connections. So make the most of your network by striking up conversations, sharing ideas, asking questions and keeping collaborations flourishing. The new community, CIRO Collaborate provides members with access to a network of over 12,000 rail professionals. It’s the perfect space to join a conversation about industry insights,ask a question or answer a poll.

Get Involved Today Simply access the CIRO Member’s Portal and navigate to CIRO Collaborate to get involved. For any additional information or technical support, contact the CIRO Membership team. membership@railwayoperators.co.uk

Access the CIRO Member’s Portal

Get in touch about joining CIRO today...

www.ciro.org membership@railwayoperators.co.uk




How did you get started in the industry? I started life as an apprentice with ICS, a global leader in Safety & Control Systems. I spent 17 years at ICS before moving to Beck & Pollitzer, a world leading provider of engineering installation and relocation solutions. It was during my time at Beck & Pollitzer that I developed rail safety systems, including Depot Protection Systems (DPS) and Depot Control Systems, that FirstClass Safety and Control is now a global leader in. What success have you experienced in the last twelve months and how do you measure success?

FIRSTCLASS SAFETY & CONTROL FirstClass Safety & Control designs and supply rail Depot Protection and Control systems, industrial automation systems, instrument services, Emergency Shutdown Systems, 24/7 support and maintenance programs.

We were able to get through the effects of Brexit and Covid-19 looking very much the same as we had before that. With all that the industry and the wider world has been through, we have also got to this point with funds behind us and no need to go find additional money to keep the business afloat. The best thing is I’ve got a great team around me with fantastic support. That support is there all the time, through easy times and the more demanding. Their advice is good, and not just for our clients but for me as well. When did you first start the company?

Want to know more about FirstClass Safety & Control? Tel: 01621 743743 Email: info@firstclass-safety-control.co.uk Visit: www.firstclass-safety-control.co.uk


FirstClass Safety & Control was born from two things. The first was my decision to initiate a management buyout of Beck and Pollitzer’s control system division in 2017. The second was the strong team that moved with me as part of this process; we had worked together since 1998. With an excellent understanding of each other’s capabilities and a track record for instinctive

teamwork, I knew we were well prepared for an ever-more challenging safety landscape. Tell us about FirstClass Safety & Control. FirstClass Safety and Control Ltd (FCSC) designs, installs, and maintains SIL2-rated safety systems, either as a replacement/ upgrade for older rail Depot Protection/ Control/LOPS Systems, or for new build depots, in the UK and increasingly in overseas markets such as Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East Which sectors do you work in? Our primary sector is rail, but we also supply systems and services into the petrochemical, marine and automotive sectors. What is your Unique Selling Point? Our design philosophy is all about making it easier for Depot staff to use new technologies – finding a solution that fits how each depot operates. Ultimately, every rail depot is different, with different challenges, processes, and people so there is not a ‘one size fits all solution’. The technology that keeps staff and assets safe must reflect this. What types of products and services do you offer? Our solutions include the market’s first RFID-based Depot Protection System (DPS), which provides an alternative to outdated key exchange technology. And our combined Depot Protection System/Depot Control System (DCS) removes interfaces between train movements and employee safety – which, in turn, reduces uncertainty.


Mark is a qualified Functional Safety Engineer, 17 years initially at Industrial Control Services (ICS), 17 years managing the Control System Division at Beck & Pollitzer (B&P) before heading the management buyout, in 2017, of what became FirstClass Safety and Control (FCSC). Mark was instrumental in developing and creating FCSC, working in a small team at B&P, he continues to bring forth and advance new ideas and solutions.


FCSC’s designers adapt our DCS and DPS (both which if required meet Safety Integrity Level (SIL 2)) in-house, using the Rockwell Suite of Allen Bradley PLC hardware with Rockwell Automation software. And every depot is different – operational mentality varies, as do local rules. Some sites don’t want equipment interlocks; others are keen to see every item of equipment electrically interfacing safely with vehicle movements. We work to develop appropriate solutions – whether that’s an intelligent system with Wi-Fi-enabled interlocks, or something less complex. What are some major projects you’re currently working on? We have a number of exciting projects in our pipeline at the moment in the UK, including the system our team is currently designing/ installing for a Welsh depot. The client in question was keen to interlock every item of equipment that could be attached to a train, leaving nothing to chance before rail vehicle movements take place. It was an unprecedented challenge for our design team, but the system is currently in build – and should be operational by Q2, 2024. We are also working on a number of projects for Australia and New Zealand.

‘The future will be driven by digital We have worked with familiar names operating in the UK, such as Siemens, CAF, transformation, Alstom, GWR, C2C, Hitachi and Blackpool integrated control and Transport, and overseas with companies like Etihad Rail in Abu Dhabi and KiwiRail in information solutions New Zealand. that make the rail When a client comes to you with a particular problem, what’s your process depot environment a for coming up with a solution, and how closely do you work with clients safe and productive throughout the projects? space.’ What are some standout projects you’ve been involved in over the years?

Rather than supplying a standard solution and expecting a depot to adapt, we believe it’s important to visit sites, speak to employees, gain an understanding of on-site processes, and develop a system that meets their needs whilst complying with local regulations. If our team notices failings around safety, it can work with clients, helping them to change their methodologies. But, if a depot is operating effectively, it pays to work around these processes – and to consider onsite behaviours. Our design philosophy is all about making it easier for staff to use new technologies – finding a solution that fits.

In terms of technology, how do you anticipate things might change in the next five to ten years? The future will be driven by digital transformation, integrated control and information solutions that make the rail depot environment a safe and productive space.

Rail Depot Safety Experts Protect your Staff and Equipment

Rail Depot Safety Expe -

Depot Protection Systems (DPS) Depot Control Systems (DCS) Combined DPS/DCS Locally Operated Points Systems (LOPS) SIL 2 Rated Systems as Standard

Protect your Staff and Equipm

• Depot Protection Systems (DPS) • Depot Control Systems (DCS) • Combined DPS/DCS • Locally Operated Points Systems ( • SIL 2 Rated Systems as Standard

+44 (0)1621 743 743 info@firstclass-safety-control.co.uk www.FirstClass-Safety-Control.co.uk

+44 (0)1621 7

info@firstclass-safety-contro 83












Davy Industrial Park Prince of Wales Road Sheffield S9 4EX

mechan.co.uk info@mechan.co.uk A John Cockerill Company


+44 (0)114 257 0563


Consult, Design, Build and Maintain The continuous challenge facing manufacturers is the persistent pursuit of intelligence that can help better understand the needs of the client and adapt the business to be able to achieve that goal


heffield based Mechan, specialists in the manufacture of bespoke depot lifting and handling equipment have acknowledged that challenge and have positioned the business to reflect that understanding. With enhancements and investment in key areas of the business.

Site and service

Mechan’s site and service department has grown. Increasing capacity allowing for more site and service visits and faster response times, the need to expand the department was clear. The team now consists of four fully qualified, highly experienced service engineers, who are strategically positioned and can travel around the country, conducting commissioning, installing, and maintaining equipment within their customers facilities. In addition to an increased level of engineers, Mechan have also welcomed Wayne Gronbach, their new project manager. Following Wayne’s service in the army as a Royal Engineer, he retrained as a computer aided design engineer. With 32 years’ experience in design and project management positions, across a variety of sectors, 11 years focussed in the lifting sector supported by LEEA’s (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) Technical Committee accolade for ten of these. Wayne’s extensive knowledge and experience in the lifting industry, will bring the site and service function to a whole new level.

Customer focus

Not only has the service department been levelled up, but the sales and engineering teams also. With a new administration apprentice supporting the sales department and a new export sales manager leading up growth outside of the UK, customer focus has never been so prioritised. Mechan’s Sales Director, Lindsey Mills says: ‘Our team work collaboratively with

customers, for weeks, months, years, depending on the project. With continuous development within the rail industry, it is crucial we are available to have the ability to cater to the customers individual needs, and expanding our team enables us to continue to do that.’ Heading up the engineering department, is a new Engineering Manager, Steve Curphey. Boasting 15 years’ experience within the rail industry, most recently in the On-Track-Plant (OTP) sector, his engineering experience will make a great addition to the expert engineering team at Mechan. Steve has experience in a lead assessor role for a plant assessment body, carrying out compliance assessments against applicable technical standards. This experience is complimented by his time as a New Product Development Engineer for an OEM track systems manufacturer, where he managed new product introduction projects, provided technical support and training to contractors, test organisations and end users, to an international client base. He has hit the ground running and is eager to find ways where the team can continue to innovate, improve processes, striving for engineering excellence in enhancing the company’s new product development pipeline. Mechan managing director, Martin Dootson, is eager to see the hard work put into action in the year ahead. He said: ‘We have to acknowledge it has been a tough year with changes relating to staff and the skill sets they hold. Customer focus, and engineering excellence are our top priorities and through new recruits and intense training we have made massive improvements to various departments and processes. With this injection of new people, we have new ideas, rejuvenated energy levels and a desire to develop our offer and lift our service to a standard of excellence. I also feel that the industry as a whole has suffered the same thing and that is why our customers

now rely on us as a service support as much as an equipment supplier.’ 2024 brings a new year with new objectives. Fresh eyes developed skill sets and improved processes. To find out more on Mechan’s plans for this year or their product and service portfolio get in touch via the contact information below.

Tel: 0114 257 0563 Visit: www.mechan.co.uk Twitter: @mechanuk












CRC SmartWasher® is a bioremediating parts washing system designed to clean dirty equipment parts during repair and maintenance operations – safely. A non-toxic, water-based degreasing self-cleaning system that does not generate hazardous waste. Used globally in transit service centres for general cleaning on heavy duty greases, diesel and petroleum. CRC INDUSTRIES EUROPE BV smartwashereurope.com SmartWasherEU@crcind.com SWtechsupport.emeia@crcind.com 86



Protecting Workers at New Metro Depot They say nothing happens in the suburbs, but on an historic railway site in the Gosforth area of Newcastle, the finishing touches are being added to a world class maintenance depot


ovember saw the first workers move into the £70 million facility that will be used to service a new fleet of 46 Stadler trains for the Nexus Tyne and Wear Metro. The engineering and maintenance teams are set to transfer in the New Year, when it will become fully operational. Tasked with keeping staff safe from harm at the state-of-the-art facility is Sheffield-based Zonegreen, whose flagship Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS) has been installed on four roads in the main shed and on the wheel lathe road. The rail safety specialists were selected for the project following the successful implementation of DPPS at the Nexus South Shields training facility in 2020, where it has been safeguarding the lives of workers ever since.

Comprehensive protection

The twelve-acre Gosforth depot comprises inspection roads and pits, cranes, jacks, test facilities, a wash plant and the aforementioned wheel lathe – plenty of opportunity for serious injury to occur! Working with main contractor, Volker Fitzpatrick, Zonegreen has installed DPPS to allow the effective movement of vehicles around the modern facility and automate safety systems, mitigating the margin for human error that is so often the catalyst for major incidents. DPPS provides staff with physical protection from moving trains by using powered derailers, operated by road end panels, to create safe zones in which to work. Staff log onto the system via personalised electronic RFID tags that record their location and can be set with various levels of permissions. Beacons and klaxons are also fitted to provide audible and visual warnings of vehicle movements. DPPS has been interfaced with Gosforth’s signalling system, allowing routes to be set in and out of the depot only when it

is safe to do so and no staff are logged on, seamlessly eliminating time consuming multiple stop-starts. To prevent injury and damage to equipment, DPPS is also interlocked with various third-party apparatus, including the: • High-level gantries – staff are only allowed to access the gantries when a vehicle is in position on the road below, limiting the risk of falls from height. • Crane – vehicle movements can only take place when the crane hoist is in the safe parked position. • Wheel lathe – vehicle movements are prevented until the bridging rails are in place and the lathe is in a safe condition. To further enhance safety at Gosforth, Zonegreen has implemented a treadle warning system on the underfloor cleaning road, to notify workers of imminent train movements and allow them to reach a position of safety. Finally, its Depot Manager SCADA suite of software has been installed,

to provide a graphical overview of the depot protection and a permanent log of activity. Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s Head of Engineering, said: ‘We have a longstanding relationship with Volker Fitzpatrick, having worked on many notable projects through the years, such as the Intercity Express depots, and it has been a pleasure to carry out this latest installation together. To know Nexus chose to work with us again, having used DPPS in South Shields, is a great endorsement of our service, demonstrating the operator’s faith in our company and the system. ‘Gosforth has been designed to ensure the maximum availability and reliability of the Metro fleet and our cutting-edge technology will be playing an integral role in creating the best possible conditions for staff. Thanks to our tried and tested system, the depot will be a sector leader in the delivery of a safe, modern working environment for decades to come.’ The first of the new Stadler Metro trains will soon be entering passenger service and the remaining fleet will be delivered in phases up to 2025. When fully operational, Gosforth will be home to a range of activities, including preventative and corrective maintenance, overhauls and train presentation. To find out more about DPPS or Zonegreen’s suite of depot safety systems get in touch via the contact information below.

Tel: 0114 230 0822 Visit: www.zonegreen.co.uk LinkedIn: Zonegreen Ltd


STAY ON TRACK BY AVOIDING CRITICAL BOLTING FAILURES Norbar is a UK manufacturer of battery, electric, pneumatic and manually operated torque multipliers, wrenches, torque measurement equipment and bespoke torque control solutions specially developed for the rail industry

Contact Norbar and speak to The Voice of Torque Control

www.norbar.com rail@ rail @norbar.com 88


LRSSB Leads Sector into a New Era of Light Rail Safety Carl Williams, Chief Executive of the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board explains how the Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of Rail will help shape the work of the LRSSB as it builds on a series of recent successes


he Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has strengthened its position as the driving force behind further risk reduction on UK tramways following the signing of a landmark agreement with the rail regulator. Carl Williams, the organisation’s Chief Executive, explains how the Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of Rail will help shape the work of the LRSSB as it builds on a series of recent successes. Representing another important vote of confidence in the LRSSB from the regulator, the MoU strengthens existing close links between our two organisations and will see us working hand-in-hand on projects to further enhance tramway safety. In addition to formalising existing arrangements, including formal reviews of our work by the ORR, it also outlines areas for further collaboration, including the ongoing development of the sector’s pioneering Tram Accident and Incident Reporting system (TAIR). Building on previous arrangements, including a sector-wide agreement to share intelligence and information that’s providing a valuable insight into risks faced by individual networks, it cements a commitment by both organisations to cooperate on cross-industry health and safety initiatives and specialist policy topics. The agreement will also see the two organisations working together on research into areas of shared concern, and new technology with the potential to further reduce risks identified by effective data collection and analysis. Signed late in 2023, the signing of the MoU comes at an important time as we look towards further growth and the delivery of several ambitious projects. In fact, 2024 promises to be one of the most important years in the history of the organisation as we look towards even closer collaboration with statutory bodies and colleagues from across light rail.

As we further strengthen our expert inhouse team, we’re forging fresh partnerships with key stakeholders and this cooperative approach is reflected in a recently signed Memorandum of Collaboration with the Rail Safety and Standards Board and plans for closer working with academic institutions such as the Institute of Railway Research, based at the University of Huddersfield. Over the next twelve months, the sector can also expect to see ongoing enhancements to TAIR, which is already delivering a major boost to light rail safety by meeting the ORR’s requirement for a centralised platform that gathers data for incident reporting and analysis. In turn, the information provided by TAIR is feeding into the development of improved modelling for individual networks and the sector as a whole, as part of our wider risk management and mitigation framework. This also includes the incorporation of the ORR’s Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3), which was initially developed by the regulator as a tool to assist organisations in managing their health and safety risks while identifying areas for improvement and providing a benchmark for year-on-year comparison. The LRSSB has worked closely with the ORR to ensure it meets the needs of the light rail sector, and we will continue to work with operators to help them embed RM3 in their health and safety processes. By nurturing this data-driven approach to advanced risk modelling, both for individual networks and sector-wide, we’ve already identified the most significant threats to safety, and this is feeding into the planning of a national campaign targeting the behaviours of pedestrians in areas near tram tracks and stops. As this issue of Rail Professional goes to press, we’re also reissuing a fully updated Tramway Principles and Guidance document that acts as the cornerstone of light rail

safety – marking the completion of another landmark project involving experts from across the sector. Of course, as the sector matures, new challenges are identified and technology moves forward, the LRSSB will continue to review and update guidance covering specific topics, publishing new advice as appropriate. These will be added to our expanding online reference library, which already contains more than 40 new guidance documents published by the LRSSB over the last couple of years. Over the next few months, we’re also committed to a renewed focus on stakeholder engagement and stepping up communications with the wider sector, and we’re looking forward to more face-to-face meetings with colleagues from across light rail to discuss their concerns and aspirations. Together, we will strive towards even safer networks for tram employees and their customers, an ambition supported by a fresh focus on learning and development that will be spearheaded by an ambitious new LRRSB project, details of which will be revealed in due course. In a previous report on our work to date, the ORR recognised the value of the LRSSB to the sector and the travelling public, and we’re certainly on track to deliver even more support for light rail as we continue to grow and evolve.

Carl Williams is Chief Executive of the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board




Dan Taylor is Director of Ford & Stanley Executive Search, part of Ford & Stanley Group. With over 35 years’ experience in the talent services sector, Ford & Stanley provides Leadership Training, Recruitment Services, Performance Coaching and Mental Fitness Support. Its mission is to create better workdays by facilitating great recruitment, developing effective leaders and providing occupational mental fitness and performance coaching.

2024 Predictions for Rail With sweeping changes coming the industry’s way, how will 2024 assert itself in the rail sector? Dan Taylor, Director of Ford & Stanley Group, covers the predicted trends for the next twelve months


ast year we saw key trends around sustainability, training the workforce and digitalisation dominating the rail industry, so we can expect to see pretty much of the same as 2024 gets well underway. 2023 was a year when we saw promising breakthroughs in hydrogen and electrification, as well as the introduction of several new zero carbon services, and greener transportation will continue to play an important role for the industry throughout 2024 and beyond as the journey to reach ambitious net zero targets continues. With so many major projects on the horizon, it will also be critical to ensure that the workforce is effectively trained and ready to deliver this transformation.

The dawn of digitalisation

Digital transformation is already in the throes of delivering revolutionary changes to the rail sector, and even now we’re only just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Use of innovative technologies such as the implementation of smart ticketing, predictive maintenance and real-time train tracking will allow operators to increase efficiencies and reduce downtime and make travel more convenient for customers. Digitalisation has elevated service expectations among passengers, and with rail costs rising, it's no surprise that they expect more. A focus on offering more comfort and convenience has led to the refurbishment of trains providing amenities such as Wi-Fi, charging, and better seating along with digital signage, e-ticketing and automated services throughout the passenger’s journey. Technology is reshaping passengerrailway interactions, transforming rail and carving a new path for future travel to enhance the passenger experience, one

that is personalised and seamless. Take Southeastern, which recently became the first operator in the country to accept and retail Flexi Tickets as sTickets – digital season tickets which provide a streamlined and hassle-free way to purchase and store season passes directly on smartphones. It is intended that the digital format will eliminate the need for ticket machines and station queues, making the passenger experience more efficient and speedier. It won’t be too long before more operators follow suit.

Integration of AI and data analytics

Smart AI integration will streamline bookings, therefore increasing efficiency and convenience of use, bringing wider benefits to operators as its use aims to reduce queues and streamline crowd control at stations. Real-time train tracking will enable travellers to check on seat availability and prompt alerts on any delays or cancellations which appear, while also simplifying ticket availability predictions and personalising travel suggestions. AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants at the click of button will also offer assistance with real-time information, ticketing and journey planning. In addition, the advent of 5G technology is revolutionising onboard connectivity with faster and more reliable internet – opening up the opportunity for not only an improved passenger experience but also innovative services and entertainment services. Predictive maintenance has just started to gain traction in rail applications, but it has already proven its value for a variety of rail components, as a proactive approach to reduce downtime and costs by anticipating and preventing failures in rail assets. IOT-enabled predictive maintenance has emerged as the most effective and promising maintenance strategy, immediately

improving the reliability and safety of rail networks. Its ability to anticipate probable equipment failures so that a service or part replacement can be planned ahead of failure lowers the risk of unexpected breakdowns and maintains continuous service is also another key factor in improving customer experience, and one of the reasons why its adoption by operators will only continue to grow.


As the industry plays an increasingly important role in fostering a sustainable green economy, there will be a further push towards sustainability and decarbonisation this year. In fact, the projected shift to decarbonisation over the next five years will be transformative for public transport, as urban mobility continues to undergo a massive transformation and historical step forward towards sustainability, resulting in a fundamental transformation of business activities (planning, operation, and maintenance) in terms of delivering increased asset availability and costeffectiveness. As one of the cleanest modes of transportation, there are areas which hold major promise to unlock substantial environmental benefits, including lower levels of carbon emissions, congestion and air pollution. One of these is hydrogenpowered trains, which are likely to be crucial to transport decarbonisation, signalling a huge shift away from diesel. The UK will look to follow in the footsteps of French transportation multinational Alstom’s Coradia iLint, the world’s first passenger train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The regional train with zero direct carbon emissions has been running in the German state of Lower Saxony since 2018, saving 4,400 tonnes of carbon being released into the atmosphere each year. Rail freight offers another source of untapped potential, in line with the government’s ambitious target to grow rail freight by 75 per cent by 2050, leading to fewer lorries on the road, cutting emissions and congestion in the process. The target will encourage further private sector investment in projects that will grow and modernise the industry, fuelling further growth and opportunity across the industry. As we embark on the year ahead, there will be plenty of challenges for the sector as it adjusts to some of the biggest changes ever seen as it shifts to a new era of digital innovation and greener transport. However, there is no doubt that the sheer scale of the industry’s transport infrastructure plans will continue to create significant opportunities. Tel: 01332 344 443 Email: contact@fordandstanley.com Visit: www.fordandstanley.com LinkedIn: @ Ford & Stanley Group



AARCPS – for Railway People With almost 50 years experience under his belt, for seasoned rail operator Steve Derrick, working in the industry isn’t simply a job – it’s a way of life


way of life which has seen him involved in everything from project engineering and contract management through to senior project/programme and general management roles. Now, that includes running his own consultancy. By way of background, Steve’s rail career began in 1974 as a Junior Technical Officer for British Rail in Croydon, before taking on a variety of positions over the following five decades, ranging from track/maintenance renewals and contract management through to lead project engineer and area general manager roles. But when faced with retirement in 2014, Steve wasn’t ready to walk away, instead deciding to ‘rally the troops,’ collecting up former colleagues to create his own business – AARC Professional Services Limited, a specialist rail consultancy, run by railway people, for railway people. The company brings together like-minded rail professionals, with the common aim of delivering expert support and advisory services to the rail industry, built upon a shared motivation to provide clients with outstanding outcomes by: • Helping clients achieve their goals. • Through strategic and technical expert advice. • Across a range of disciplines. • From the frontline through to the boardroom. AARCPS’s formation was also based on a desire to stem the ‘brain drain’ experienced by the industry in recent years. Steve explains: ‘When launching AARCPS, I was conscious of the significant changes affecting the rail industry, which I felt posed a real danger of the industry losing invaluable knowledge and experience when long standing professionals left. One of our initial aims was to help address this by redeploying some of those people and skills where they could make a positive and meaningful impact.’ 92

Another key driver for Steve was a genuine belief in the need for a thriving and successful rail industry and a desire to give something back to a sector that has looked after him for so long – a mindset shared by all of AARCPS’s associates. It’s this extensive experience which sees Steve and co able to provide support across all levels of the industry, from frontline through to the boardroom. AARCPS also has a national reach, providing a fast, flexible and sustainable service throughout the UK, with clients in England, Scotland and Wales. AARCPS specialises in the following areas: • Rail Operations including network operations, maintenance operations and train operations. Its team of associates can provide support across all aspects of rail operations, covering both short-term tactical rail operational requirements, as well as more strategically focused rail operational issues. • Projects & Engineering including bid management, change management, programme/project management and engineering management. AARCPS covers the complete project lifecycle, from prefeasibility and bid management through to implementation and project close-out. • Safety & Assurance including risk management, safety management and assurance management. All of AARCPS’s associates have worked directly in a safety conscious environment and fully understand and appreciate the importance of a strong safety culture,

helping clients to meet their core safety requirements. • Rail Training including training development and training delivery. Its associates are experienced in the design and delivery of skills/bespoke rail training, tailored to suit each client’s specific needs, and can also carry out assessments and assist in the verification process where required. Steve continues: ‘Our main motivation is to help clients achieve their goals through the delivery of strategic and technical expertise, either working independently or as part of a team - all our associates are strong advocates of collaboration and the benefits it can bring. With a fast growing team, currently standing at 23, AARCPS also provides real strength in depth, with each of our associates bringing with them a particular set of skills, honed over a lifetime of service in the rail sector. ‘It’s also important to note that we’re a particularly close knit organisation, with almost everyone having worked together before in a previous capacity and all of us sharing the common goal of providing a professional, collaborative and friendly though determined approach to all that we do, bringing about outstanding results.’ Projects that Steve and team have supported include the following: • Electrical Control Operator (ECO) Training for Amey Infrastructure Wales – AARCPS has been providing


operational training for AIW, which was appointed by Transport for Wales (TfW) as the managing agent for its extensive programme of electrification, signalling recontrol and upgrade, track doubling and station improvements. Following the successful provision of signaller training, AARCPS was also retained by AIW to conduct ECO training – directly linked to TfW’s upgrade of the Core Valley Lines’ upgrade, which includes provision of 25Kv OLE electrification and the siting of an electrical control room (ECR) at a new integrated control centre (ICC) at Taffs Well. This assignment has involved the recruitment, training and assessment of an ECO resource to manage electrical supply and emergency response for the newly installed OLE and associated infrastructure, with eight new AIW staff taking part in a bespoke training package. • Updates to Health and Safety Management System for Network Rail – AARCPS was commissioned to help Network Rail remodel its overarching health and safety management system into an accessible tool for continuous improvement in risk management, which is integrated with its wider management systems and operating model and which recognises the need for devolved,

customer focused decision making. The remodeled system follows the RM3 Risk Management Maturity Model and has been informed by a gap analysis of current processes, identification of best practice and stakeholder engagement. It recognises Network Rail’s safety certification and authorisation commitments and other requirements of the Railways & Other Guided Transport Systems Regulations (ROGS) and Railways Interoperability Regulations, while covering all Network Rail’s business activities. • Rail for London Infrastructure (RfLI) on the Elizabeth line – AARCPS was initially engaged by RfLI’s Head of Maintenance for the Elizabeth line (London’s East to West railway) to provide a report on each maintenance business areas’ readiness for taking over the railway at ROGS. The assignment was extended to support Crossrail’s hand-over of stations, portals and rail wide systems by assuring the necessary information and training was sufficient to enable the maintainer to mobilise. With AARCPS acting as sponsor's representative, the business benefits were achieved by delivering a fault reporting system link between operational control systems and

Maximo (the maintenance workbank system), which enabled operators to initiate a response team directly from the control system. Since entering revenue service, AARCPS has also been working with the heads of departments to improve the concept of the RTIM (Real Time Infrastructure Manager) working 24/7 on the control floor, as well as continuing to support the Elizabeth line’s Infrastructure Manager. With regards to the future development of the business, AARCPS’s objective is to continue to evolve at a controlled pace, continuously building its pool of expertise, whilst simultaneously developing the business offer, though ‘never at the expense of the quality of service provided.’ To find out how AARCPS can help your organisation, please get in touch using the details below.

Tel: 07841 611657 Email address: info@aarcps.co.uk Visit: www.aarcps.co.uk

Run by railway people, for railway people

AARC Professional Services Limited draws from over five decades of experience to provide expert support to the industry. We are a railway consultancy bringing together likeminded rail professionals with a common aim to deliver outstanding outcomes by.. • Helping clients achieve their goals... • Through strategic and technical expert advice... • Across a range of disciplines... • From the frontline through to the boardroom Whether you’re looking for high level advice & guidance or direct project support, we’re here to help you deliver excellent outcomes.

To get in touch, please visit www.aarcps.co.uk or contact us at: info@aarcps.co.uk


A cut above the rest NEW Husqvarna Battery Rail Disc Cutter Torrent Trackside has taken delivery of the new Husqvarna K1 Pace 14” 94v Battery Rail Disc Cutter. This new tool is safer for the operator and better for the environment yet retains the power of the petrol equivalent and the trusted Husqvarna reliability. l Cuts rail in less than 3 minutes l Network Rail approved l Up to 5 cuts per battery charge (using Husqvarna Gold Elite discs) l Up to seven cuts per disc l Significant reduction in HAVs l Mounts quickly to the rail l Perfect right angle cuts l Comes with 2 batteries l Push button start, no pull cord l Cutter will not operate unless fixed to the rail

l Zero emissions - better for the operator, better for the environment For more information visit our website or phone our helpline. Scan this QR code for more information

24hr helpline

0845 769 7168 www.torrent.co.uk mail@torrent.co.uk 94

On track for a greener future




A Cut Above the Rest Torrent Trackside Operations Director Carl Abraitis explains why the new battery powered Husqvarna K1-Pace rail cutter is a game changer


The new battery powered Husqvarna K1-Pace cuts through rail effortlessly in less than three minutes.

roperly maintained rail track is essential for the smooth running of train services. Rail track has enormous strength but this poses problems when it needs to be cut requiring considerable power, matched by a suitable blade. One of the most successful tools for cutting rail is a petrol powered disc cutter. To comply with carbon emission targets there is an industry wide necessity to replace petrol with battery powered tools, but due to the immense power required to cut the rail this has proved difficult. This has now changed. Torrent Trackside has now taken delivery of the world’s first battery powered rail cutter. Developed over a number of years by Swedish tool manufacturer Husqvarna, the K1 PACE had its worldwide debut at last year’s Rail Live. The K1 PACE is a development of the popular K1270 rail disc cutter, an industry standard for many years. The K1 PACE has won a Red Dot award for outstanding industrial design. It is powered by a slot in B750X 94v lithiumion battery that is located near the centre of the tool to maximise cooling, weight distribution and avoid contamination. The electric brushless motor has been developed in house by Husqvarna and is 25 per cent more efficient than a standard brush motor. Combined with a Husqvarna Gold Elite cutting disc the new K1 PACE can effortlessly cut rail in less than three

minutes, no coolant is required. The battery will power the tool for around five cuts and is supplied with a fast charger that can recharge it in one hour. Each disc is good for around seven cuts and can be changed in seconds. The battery motor also makes the tool quieter than its petrol powered predecessor and vibration levels are considerably lower. Battery power means the K1 PACE is completely emission free yet delivers the torque needed to cut through rail. The tool is easy and quick to assemble and comes with an attachment arm that fits to the rail ensuring a perfect right angle cut. For safety, the tool will not operate unless this arm is attached. There are also numerous other safety features including a blade guard, double trigger (to prevent accidental start up) and a unique X-Halt braking system which stops the tool running if significant kick back is detected. The tool is easy to start with a simple push button. There is no longer any need for troublesome pull cords and problematic cold starts. The control panel also shows battery status and confirmation that the attachment arm is correctly engaged. This new tool has been widely anticipated by the rail industry and Torrent Trackside is the first hire company to bring it to market. The products green credentials are second to none and the immense power, long battery life and ease of use makes the K1 PACE an industry game changer.’

A rail attachment arm ensures a clean and accurate cut.

The K1-Pace is supplied with two batteries, a fast charger and rail attachment arm.

Carl Abraitis is Operations Director at Torrent Trackside, get in touch via email at carl.abraitis@ vpplc.com



Put Your Vehicles Back in Service Discover 3M protective films, tapes, and adhesives for your maintenance needs


fter many journeys even the best design needs some repair. With the increasing focus on sustainability and a trend towards urban living, tomorrow’s vehicles must be designed differently. They will need to be built more quickly, be easier to maintain and be more cost effective to run. Difficult conditions will cause all of their parts to wear out over time. But now, thanks to innovative solutions from 3M, refurbishment can be easier and faster, and the effects will last for years. 3M is a worldwide leader in superior roof sealing applications and refurbishment solutions. A wide range of innovative 3M products meet regulatory standards and sustainability demands, while also allowing for flexible design and helping to increase productivity (in terms of time and cost efficiencies).

Design for maintenance

Durability is critical to optimise maintenance and overhaul costs. As an example the average life of a rail carriage is around 40 years. It’s also important to make future repairs easier and more convenient, and downtime as short as possible. Using the right products is key to achieving the best performance. 3M tapes and adhesives have many advantages over traditional attachment methods: they are lightweight 96

and offer chemical, corrosion and moisture resistance. They also reduce noise and vibration, improve aesthetics and speed up the assembly process.

Worn out interior panels

Use 3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners – a highly durable and powerful bond, perfect for achieving secure attachments in a moving vehicle, while also allowing two components to be detached easily for occasional service, maintenance or refurbishment. Use them to replace or redesign interior panels, provide comfort and cleanliness, and eliminate buzz squeak and rattle (BSR), thus reducing vibration and noise.

Worn out sealants

Use 3M™ VHB™ Tapes to update mechanical applications and sealants during the life of the vehicle and you will reduce noise and vibration, the weight of sealants, eliminate mess and mistakes during sealant application and shorten the application duration.

Worn out floor systems

Use 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Structural Adhesives to increase the life span of floor systems. Acrylic, epoxy and urethane structural adhesives hold over 1000 psi in overlap shear strength.

Heavy refurbishment

Every vehicle is designed to withstand difficult conditions, but all of its parts will wear over time. The complete overhaul of a vehicle can be challenging. 3M offers innovative solutions to make heavy refurbishment easier, quicker and more effective. Whether you need to refurbish interior floor systems, insulation, exterior panels or seats, use the most suitable 3M product solutions. Use 3M™ VHB™ Tapes for the following applications: • Insulation. Panel to frame stiffening. • Interior trim surfaces. • Passenger seat shell (covering). • Identification and safety labels. • Window frames. • Display screens. • Bonding of floor panels. • Wheel noise reduction.

Adhesive Transfer Tapes

Use 3M™ Adhesive Transfer Tapes for the following applications: • Passenger seats (covering, foam). • Identification and safety labels. • Thermal and acoustic insulation attachment (foam). • Window frames, display screens. • Interior mounting and trim surfaces. • Bonding of floor coverings.


Reclosable Fasteners

3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners are designed for interior panels. They can be used for the following applications: • Access/ceiling panels. • Window coverings. • Window frame covers. • Seat cushions. • Lighting. • Signs. • Display attachments.

Light refurbishment

Use the most suitable 3M products to protect exterior and interior vehicle surfaces from damage, and to protect the roof against water intrusion and corrosion. 3M™ Industrial Protective Film 7070UV protects the exterior surface as well as the interior surfaces such as panels, seats, trays, signage, floor markings, hand rails and foot rails. 3M™ Extreme Sealing Tape 4411N protects roofs against water intrusion and corrosion in an easy and effective way and avoid leakage through defects in sealant application during roof installation.

Products for maintenance sites

Working on site every day brings about many different challenges. When that’s the case, it’s worth having additional 3M

products on hand to handle all your needs. 3M offers a wide range of products for: industrial purpose cleaning, lane and safety marking applications, industrial paint masking, or even holding boxes together on pallets and closing and reinforcing of fibreboard boxes. Choose the most suitable 3M products to improve your work.

Industrial Cleaner

Use 3M™ Industrial Cleaner for the following applications: • General purpose cleaning. • Degreasing. • Adhesive removal. • Label removal.

Vinyl Tape

Use 3M™ Vinyl Tape 471 for the following applications: • Lane and safety marking applications. • Temporary surface protection. • Anodizing and electroplating. • Fine line paint masking. • Colour coding. • Bundling and reinforcing. • Decorating.

• Heat shielding of delicate parts. • Heat reflecting. • Masking in chemical paint stripping applications. • Moisture barrier. • Light reflecting for light enhancement. • Chemical milling. • Seaming and sealing. • Splicing of thin gauge foils. • Plastic protection. Selecting the right solution to meet your design and maintenance needs can be complex. That’s why 3M provides you with a wide range of bonding solutions. From adhesive transfer tapes, reclosable fasteners and spray adhesives to high-performance acrylic foam tapes, adhesives sealants and structural adhesives, 3M has the answer. Available from:

Aluminium Foil Tape

Use 3M™ Aluminium Foil Tape 425 for the following applications:

Speed up assembly. Increase durability. With extremely tight deadlines and budgets, saving time and increasing productivity is key. 3M’s adhesive and tape technologies help keep you on track. From interior assembly to exterior bonds, our vast range of products deliver in demanding environments.

No welding, mechanical fasteners or rivets required, speeding up assembly processes

High durability and life expectancy, increasing reliability

Structural adhesives built to last, offering you the strongest bond available

Proudly distributed by


Galvanized Steel

Keeping Decarbonisation on track Download our new guide now Galvanized steel has long been a trusted partner in many aspects of rail infrastructure including electrification. Durability, circularity and cost effectiveness are just a few of the numerous advantages it provides.

Take the first step towards a sustainable rail future, download now! www.galvanizing.org.uk/rail-guide-download +44 (0) 121 355 8838 i.johal@hdg.org.uk www.galvanizing.org.uk 98

© iStock.com/CHUNYIP WONG


A Rust-free Future for HS2 Galvanized steel: keeping decarbonisation on track


ail networks have always stood as symbols of progress, connecting communities and propelling societies forward. The design and delivery of HS2 is no different, presenting a significant opportunity for the UK to showcase a project of world-class, climate-resilient excellence. Long gone are memories of rusting railway infrastructure. In their place the prospect of a shining new railway, exploiting the benefits of circular, adaptable design. In combining cutting-edge engineering with sustainable materials, the UK could set a global standard for climate-conscious infrastructure. The road to getting there means innovating with materials that are proven, secure and which will benefit passengers and business for generations to come.

Galvanized steel a material you can trust

Galvanized steel offers measurable and predictable performance. The lifespan of a galvanized coating can be easily and correctly forecast, and there will be no unexpected surprises. Ensuring uniform protection, the process of hot dip galvanizing, provides repeatable and quantifiable results which can last over one hundred years – a reliability backed by decades of data. Galvanized steel has long supported the UK rail network because it works immediately upon application, is fail safe and offers unbeatable corrosion protection. From overhead line equipment and gantries, to multiple uses of structural steelwork, galvanized steel offers a true zeromaintenance solution. It is easy to inspect and unlike other corrosion protection systems, will not hide or disguise underlying corrosion. As a consequence, it plays a valuable role in reducing delays due to component failure or scheduled works, and means that galvanized steel structures reduce carbon footprint, deliver security, and distil confidence.

The way forward is circular

The delivery of HS2 is an historic opportunity for the UK to be a global frontrunner in sustainable, climate-resilient infrastructure. In the face of climate challenges, HS2 stands as a testament to the nation's commitment to building a world-class transport system that not only

meets needs today but also sets the bar for environmentally conscious engineering. Within a UK decarbonisation framework, the use of circular materials will become increasingly important. We will need to choose materials that endure, conserve resources, and which offer multiple lifecycles. As the demand for cleaner, greener public spaces grows, so does the call to use trustworthy materials which do not quite literally cost the earth. Galvanized steel structures offer these benefits and choosing galvanized steel means that valuable construction materials can be kept in a stream of constant use. With a robust network of galvanizing plants strategically placed across the UK, steel structures can be galvanized close to where they will be situated and transported economically and efficiently. This also means that the use of galvanized steel in rail projects goes to the heart of bolstering local supply chains. A robust rail network is more than a means of transportation; it serves as the essential infrastructure for communities and fosters growth in local economies. This combined influence on both economic prosperity and local populations underscores the importance of sourcing circular materials that contribute to both

the stability of critical infrastructure and the growth of local industries. A recent publication Galvanized Steel: Keeping Decarbonisation on Track details leading examples of how these circular principles are already contributing to railway infrastructure. For information on how they can be implemented into further rail design and construction, a copy of the guide can be downloaded from Galvanizers Association website at www.galvanizing.org.uk/download-rail-guide The connection between technological innovation and societal development is etched into the very tracks that crisscross the UK landscape. We should make sure we innovate with materials that are proven, secure and which will benefit our communities for many future generations.

Tel: 0121 362 1215 Email: j.nasreen@hdg.org.uk Visit: www.galvanizing.org.uk




The ‘Rapid Route’ Elevated Cable Carrying System The elevated cable route system known as the ‘Rapid Route’ is a result of the collaboration between Anchor Systems (International) Ltd and Scott Parnell, a leading specialist supplier to the Rail industry


he system encompasses two key components: the ARCOSYSTEM® elevated cable carrying trough and lid, and the Anchor Screw foundation system.

Anchor Screw

The patented Anchor Screw serves as a swiftly installed foundation system, eliminating the need for concrete and its associated drawbacks such as excavation, spoil removal, and curing times. Following borehole clearance using ground-penetrating radar, the Anchor Screw is wound into the ground using handheld equipment in less than ten minutes, without the risk of HandArm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). The domed head of the Anchor Screw, paired with a customised interface plate, facilitates the easy attainment of a level and accurate position for supporting posts. Widely adopted in the UK Rail industry, specifically on Network Rail and London Underground infrastructure, Anchor Screws offer a minimum service life of 50 years. Benefits of the Anchor Screw include: • No concrete so no dust, drying or curing times. • Speed and ease of installation – typically installed in under ten minutes per anchor.

• Easy to install – most installations can be completed in one visit. • Installed using non-percussive hand-held equipment with zero risk of HAVS. • 50 or 100 + year design life. • Versatile design which can be adjusted to guarantee the correct positioning. • Zero on-track plant or RRV’s required. • Bespoke designs available. • No waste materials or muck away. • Made in Britain from one hundred per cent recycled steel. • Training available. Installation guides and other relevant documentation available on request.


The ARCOSYSTEM® represents a lightweight elevated cable trough with the capacity to span six metres between support posts, available in two sizes. It holds full PADS approval and has been extensively utilised in the UK Rail industry, including Network Rail, London Underground, Transport for Wales, and ScotRail infrastructure. Designed to carry signalling and HV cables, it is constructed from a UV-stable, waterresistant composite material with a 50-year service life and requires no maintenance.

installed elevated cable route system available. It proves cost-effective over its life cycle, providing savings and risk mitigation during installation and maintenance, while significantly reducing a project's carbon footprint. The system is adaptable to areas prone to flooding and allows for expansion post-initial installation. For instance, additional trough runs can be seamlessly added once the foundation system is in place. The system features various brackets enabling the ARCOSYSTEM® trough to transition in height, direction, and connection to other cable-carrying systems. Support, including Continuing Professional Development, training, and on-site guidance, is also available with the Rapid Route System.


The collaboration between Anchor Systems (International) Ltd and Scott Parnell brings this comprehensive system to the UK Rail industry. Anchor Systems contributes to the Anchor Screw foundation, technical support and on-site training, while Scott Parnell handles the ARCOSYSTEM®, sales and marketing aspects. For more information on the Anchor Screw systems and other available products, get in touch via the contact information below.

Rapid Route

The combination of ARCOSYSTEM® and Anchor Screw results in the Rapid Route, acknowledged as the most expeditiously

Visit: www.anchorsystems.co.uk



Power and Forward Momentum When it comes to consistent and uninterrupted power, reliability lies at the heart of everything Cabel does


hat do we think of when we think about power and rail? The thrusting speed of a class 395 scything through the miles at a rate road users can only dream of? The steam rising from a hot cup of coffee? The welcoming glow of the carriage lights on a dark January morning? Or maybe the comforting ping of a laptop or phone, informing you that you’ll be fully charged by the time you hear the hiss of the brakes at your destination station. Power lies at the heart of the rail industry and the experience of its users and as such it’s vital that it remains consistent, continuous and above all reliable. Cabel provides specialist repair and servicing of rotating electromechanical equipment for the rail industry and with a longstanding connection to the manufacture of rail-specific alternators, Cabel are deeply embedded in the business of reliability. From its base in the East Midlands, Cabel offers an extensive range of services including specialist rewind and repair, deep inspection, monitoring, ongoing servicing and maintenance, and conditionspecific enhancement of both alternators and traction motors employed in the rail industry.

Properly maintained alternators ensure reliable, consistent on-board power

Power in motion

Alternators and traction motors are central to the complex network of electrical systems that power trains efficiently and safely. Maintaining this efficiency and the ongoing reliability of these critical components requires a precise and meticulous approach to service and repair. As a RISAS certified supplier Cabel has developed an in-depth understanding of the unique power demands of the Rail industry and is able to apply this knowledge to a range of rail applications. Working with Diesel Multiple Units, Diesel Electric Multiple Units and Electrical Multiple Units that supply both carriage general power and traction power, Cabel are regularly engaged in the repair and/or rewind of both traction alternators and drive 102

Cabel’s broad expertise extends to the repair, maintenance and enhancement of both alternators and traction motors


‘Cabel’s ‘Reliance’ range of warranty products offers a scaled set of options that provides cover from six to an industryleading 60 months.’ motors. As a result, Cabel have developed a detailed understanding of the most common issues and failures experienced across the board in rail application and, crucially, their underlying causes. Incorporating this wide-ranging knowledge into general service and maintenance procedures provides Cabel’s Rail industry clients with an enhanced service that has the potential to get ahead of problems and stop them in their tracks before they become critical.

Staying on track with regular maintenance

Common issues can include bearing failures, insulation breakdown, commutator wear,

and brush problems. These issues can lead to reduced efficiency, increased energy consumption, and, if left unaddressed, potential breakdowns that disrupt rail services. Environmental factors, exposure to harsh weather conditions and contaminants, only serve to exacerbate these problems. The regular service and maintenance contracts Cabel undertake for the rail industry not only catch these problems before they cause serious failure but also provide enhancements based on real-world usage that can lessen the likelihood of recurrence.

Overhaul that’s reliable for the long haul

Cabel’s confidence in the advanced techniques that they employ in overhaul, repair and servicing of rail alternators and traction motors is backed by highly competitive warranties on all work carried out. By putting in place enhanced processes that ensure the highest standards of repair, overhaul and servicing for rotating electrical equipment Cabel backs its workmanship for the long haul.

Unique problems, unique solutions

Every unit under repair or in for servicing has its own unique set of requirements and considerations. Cabel’s detailed

approach starts with a fundamental set of benchmarks that inform the basis of repair and maintenance procedures. These benchmarks, coupled with the wide-ranging, specialist knowledge of Cabel’s engineers, informs their ability to identify and quickly resolve issues before they lead to failures. Typical processes undertaken by Cabel include: • Diagnosis and Assessment. • Disassembly. • Cleaning and Inspection. • Replacement and Refurbishment. • Testing. • Balancing. • Sealing and Coating. • Quality Assurance.

Diagnosis and Assessment

The first step in alternator and traction motor repair involves a thorough inspection of components and diagnosis of problems caused by wear and degradation. Cabel’s technicians use advanced diagnostic tools to identify the root cause of any underlying issues that might be increasing pressures on individual components. Comprehensive assessment of electrical and mechanical components helps in determining the extent of any the damage and the scope of any necessary repairs.

Keeping the lights on, the lattes hot, the laptops charging and the rolling stock rolling

Repair, rewind, servicing and maintenance of alternators and traction motors for the rail industry cabeluk.com

follow us on LinkedIn at Cabel UK



Cabel’s East-Midlands base


Once the initial assessment is complete, the alternator or traction motor is disassembled carefully. Each component is inspected in further detail for wear, damage, or other abnormalities. Bearings, brushes, windings, and other critical parts are examined to determine whether they need replacement or refurbishment.

Cleaning and Inspection

All components are meticulously cleaned to remove dirt, grease, and other contaminants. Inspection under magnification ensures that even minute details are not overlooked, allowing for precision in identifying and addressing issues.

Replacement and Refurbishment

Worn-out or damaged components are replaced with high-quality, compatible parts. Refurbishment processes may include reconditioning of commutators, rewinding of coils, and rebuilding of shafts to restore the alternator or traction motor to optimal working condition.


After re-assembly, the repaired alternator or traction motor undergoes rigorous testing. This includes checks for electrical performance, efficiency, and thermal stability. The advanced testing equipment employed by Cabel ensures that the repaired component meets or exceeds industry standards.


For rotating components, balancing is crucial to prevent vibration-induced damage. Dynamic balancing techniques are employed to ensure smooth operation and longevity. 104

Experts in all aspects of electro-mechanical repair, service, maintenance and enhancement

Sealing and Coating

Components are sealed to protect them from environmental factors, including moisture and contaminants. Protective coatings are applied to enhance durability and resistance to wear.

Quality Assurance

Quality control measures are implemented throughout the repair and servicing process to guarantee that the alternator or traction motor meets stringent safety and performance standards. Throughout the process, Cabel maintains clear communication, updated timeframes and on completion, documentation of the repair process ensuring transparency and traceability.

Whether it’s about keeping the lights on, and the laptops charged or maintaining the smooth running and optimum performance of rolling stock, Cabel provides alternator and traction motor repairs, servicing and maintenance that is reliably of the highest standards.

Tel: +44 (0) 1572772409 Mob: +44 (0)7795 828887 Email: customer.service@cabeluk.com Visit: www.cabeluk.com



The specialists in power conversion and displays

The best IN Power Conversion

01929 555800

relec.co.uk sales@relec.co.uk

POWER CONVERSION Departures (1/2) Time


Platform/ Products



Relec Electronics

AC DC Power Supplies

On Time


Relec Electronics

DC DC Converters

On Time


Relec Electronics

DC AC Inverters

On Time


Relec Electronics

Customer Solutions

On Time


Relec Electronics

RIA12 Filters & Converters

On Time


Relec Electronics

High Reliability Systems

On Time

(Trackside Chargers/ Converters)

(EN50155/50121 Compliant)

(Passenger Power and HVAC)

(Destination Of Your Choice)

(Mature Stock - Modern Equipment)

(No Breakdowns On Our Service)

standard is just the beginning

ac kup ni ca lB


Te c

s 9 .uk to ON 086 ics.co o.uk Rota LL 0 raul lics.c aulic CA 48 hyd rau Hydr 61 oved dhyd and 01 pr ve rabs ap pro G s@ p ed le : a ov sa eb pr w Ap


i Ra

have been supplying some of the largest rail build and maintenance firms for over 10 years. Now considered some of the best in the world!

k or tw Ne

Approved Hydraulics


e rg La

n Ra g




st em


c tta fA ot e Re m

ns io at ic pl

gh i lig en

Co nt ro l


In te l




ia l Sp ec




ist s

or sf nt





GaN and SiC Technologies Revolutionising power conversion in the railway industry


n the dynamic world of railway technology, efficient and reliable power conversion systems are pivotal. The introduction of Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) technologies marks a significant improvement in this domain, offering benefits over traditional silicon-based semiconductors.

approximately three times better than that of silicon. This allows SiC devices to operate efficiently at temperatures above 175ºC, surpassing the limits of traditional Si-based packages.

SiC MOSFETs have significantly reduced internal capacitance, particularly in reverse capacitance (Cgd), facilitating extremely high switching speeds.

Advantages of SiC Diodes

Challenges and future developments in GaN technology

Understanding GaN and SiC Technologies GaN and SiC are wide-bandgap semiconductors known for their exceptional properties. GaN boasts superior electron mobility and a higher breakdown voltage, enabling operation under extreme temperatures, voltages, and frequencies. SiC, on the other hand, is renowned for its high-temperature stability and ability to handle higher voltages, making it ideal for demanding environments.

Advantages of GaN and SiC in Power Conversion

These technologies bring a host of advantages: • Enhanced Efficiency – GaN and SiC devices exhibit reduced on-resistance and switching losses, leading to superior efficiency in power conversion. • Compact Form Factor – their higher power density facilitates miniaturization, crucial for space-constrained railway applications. • Rapid Switching – faster switching transitions in GaN transistors minimize losses, enhancing overall system performance. • High Voltage Operation and Thermal Endurance – SiC's ability to operate at elevated voltage levels and temperatures adds to its suitability for the railway industry.

Breakthrough in breakdown voltage and thermal conductivity SiC has a breakdown voltage ten times greater than silicon (Si). This property is crucial for handling high-voltage applications, making SiC devices ideal for power supplies that require robust voltage management. SiC’s thermal conductivity is

SiC diodes exhibit a minimal reverse recovery effect, which significantly cuts down switching losses. This leads to: • Increased efficiency compared to Si diodes if the same switching frequency is maintained. • Enhanced power density versus Si diodes, allowing for higher switching frequencies and smaller inductive components.

Premium PSU is at the forefront of integrating Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology into electronic devices, collaborating with the ALL2GaN project. This initiative represents a significant stride in harnessing GaN's potential to enhance electronic device performance across various sectors, with a notable focus on railway applications. The partnership with ALL2GaN underscores a commitment to developing affordable and eco-friendly GaN technologies. Premium PSU's Research and Development Innovation (RDI) department plays a crucial role in this endeavor, updating existing equipment to incorporate GaN technology effectively.

Diverse applications

Advantages of SiC MOSFETS

For applications over 900V, SiC MOSFETs show a substantial reduction in specified ON-Resistance, enabling higher current density per device and a consequent reduction in size and weight. SiC MOSFETs exhibit less variation in ON-Resistance with temperature changes. This stability allows for the design of equipment that operates effectively at higher temperatures.

GaN is set to revolutionize radio frequency and communication systems. Its application in high-frequency and high-power amplifiers promises substantial improvements in efficiency and performance. In the realm of electric mobility, including railways and electric vehicles, GaN technology is a game-changer. It enhances efficiency and performance, contributing to reduced carbon emissions and fostering a more sustainable transportation ecosystem. GaN's impact extends to energy-related applications like photovoltaics (PV), DC microgrids, and lighting, addressing key climate and energy challenges. 107



Environmental and social impact

A key aspect of the ALL2GaN project is its focus on the broader environmental and social implications. By enhancing efficiency and reducing energy consumption, GaN technology promises a positive environmental impact. Furthermore, its application in electric mobility and energy sectors aligns with global sustainability goals, marking a step forward in addressing climate and social challenges.

Objectives and prototypes

The project's objectives are ambitious, aiming to demonstrate the superior efficiencies, higher switching frequencies, and greater power densities achievable with GaN, without sacrificing reliability. The development of prototypes is anticipated to significantly demonstrate GaN devices' capabilities in improving system performance. SiC technology is integral to several of Premium PSU pioneering products. The CRS-2000 and CBS-10K DC/DC converters each leverage SiC's unique capabilities to ensure optimal power conversion efficiency which is vital in high power railway applications. The OVX-6400 DC/AC inverter exemplifies Premium’s commitment to utilising cutting-edge technology for railway solutions. 108



The FlexStorm high frequency 3kW rectifiers embody the advancements made possible by SiC, offering seamless power delivery and heightened efficiency in industrial and trackside environments, which stand as prime examples of Premium’s dedication to harnessing SiC's potential to deliver superior performance and reliability. Premium PSU has a wide range of dc-dc converters and dc-ac inverters designed specifically to comply with EN50155 standard. It also has extensive experience developing custom designs to ensure protection and quality in the harshest environments. Relec Electronics is Premium PSU's UK partner and offers a wide and varied portfolio of high-performance, rugged ac-dc, dc-dc converters, dc-ac inverters, displays and EMC filters for the railway industry as well as for other demanding applications in other industrial sectors. In addition to Premium PSU’s dc-ac inverters, Relec also supplies high quality ac-dc power supplies and dc-dc converters from industry leading manufacturers such as Bel Power, Artesyn, Mornsun and Cincon and a wide range of EMC filters, all designed for use in the rail industry.


Company profile

Relec Electronics is a specialist in power conversion and display products, representing leading brand names including Bel Power, Mornsun, Chinfa, Cincon, Premium, Advanced Energy (Artesyn and Excelsys) 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 a UK subsidiary of Gresham Worldwide.

Tel: 01929 555700 Email: sales@relec.co.uk Visit: www.relec.co.uk



Two Years of Knill Gruppe Ownership It has now been two years since Knill Gruppe completed the acquisition of PFISTERER Rail and the business is continuing to thrive under the new ownership


Knill Gruppe forging technology (old)

enamed as Mosdorfer Rail, the business has adjusted to the new environment and is flourishing as a key member of this family-owned organisation with over 300 years of experience within the Engineering sector. Firstly, a bit about the Knill Gruppe and its fascinating history. The Knill Gruppe, based in Weiz, Austria; has 29 companies in 17 different countries and specialises in products and systems for the energy, communication and mobility infrastructure. The business employs over 2,300 employees worldwide, with an annual turnover of over 440 MEur. The business ethos is to think and act in generations and not in quarterly reports, putting focus on securing the longterm future instead of maximising results in the short-term. Knill Gruppe began in the year 1712, forging blades in the town of Weiz, Austria. Through the years the company product portfolio has changed from blades, sickles and scythes to power distribution and transmission and technology products 110

Knill Gruppe forging technology (today)

and today the Group can be associated with ownership of established brands such as Mosdorfer, Lorünser, Damp, Elsta, Gridpulse, Almatec, Rosendahl, Nextrom and now Mosdorfer Rail (formally PFISTERER Rail) which is the first venture of Knill Gruppe into the Railway market.

So, what does this new ownership and environment mean for Mosdorfer Rail?

Firstly, the railway business and management of the business remains the same as old with just the ownership changing. All railway manufacturing locations and personnel have been retained by the Knill Gruppe, with production facilities based in Barcelona, Spain (Railway Catenary Systems); Sheffield, UK (Tensorex C+) and Milan, Italy (Research & Development) continuing to operate with even greater focus on engineering excellence and quality. Railway products, systems and solutions previously available from PFISTERER are now part of Mosdorfer Rail portfolio and brand. However, the Mosdorfer Rail business has also been

significantly strengthened by the synergies, manufacturing, and engineering capability already held within Knill Gruppe. This, coupled with a business ethos centred around engineering excellence and quality, has result in a perfect fit!

Products and Developments – Not only Tensorex C+

For Mosdorfer Rail, the flagship product of the ‘Tensorex C+’ spring automatic tensioning device continues to grow from strength to strength. Produced in Sheffield, localised engineering and technical support is available to the UK market, and with a new training span now located in the factory Mosdorfer Rail is able to offer complete Tensorex C+ product familiarisation and training for the industry. As owner of the Tensorex C+ product, Mosdorfer Rail is the only source for this type of support and the training span is available now for use. An inspection and repair service is also available, and handling/ storage solutions and training can also be offered.


Knill Gruppe – original forgings found in the company museum based in Weiz

To date, more than 30,000 units have been supplied worldwide since the original development of the C+ product and the business has some interesting developments soon to be launched into the market. However, it is important to explain that Mosdorfer Rail do not only manufacture and supply Tensorex C+. As a long established international Railway Systems Solutions provider it has supplied over 10,000 kilometres of Railway Catenary Systems into many clients and projects all over the world. A complete range of Cantilever assemblies, Catenary clamps and fittings are available within standard Mosdorfer Rail portfolio of product. In 2023, Mosdorfer Rail has seen the award and delivery of some prestigious global projects to which we have been proud to support and supply our products and solutions. Such projects include Tren Maya in Mexico, Bandirma-Bursa-Yenisehir-

Osmaneli HST and Mersin-Adana-Gaziantep in Turkey as well as Tanzania Lot 5 in Africa. For these listed projects, Mosdorfer Rail will be suppling more than 100,000 Cantilever sets and 200,000 Railway composite Insulators, as well as other Overhead Line fittings, Tensioning systems and Safety Equipment. All part of the Mosdorfer Rail portfolio. Looking to the future, Mosdorfer Rail have some very interesting product developments ongoing. Guided by the expertise of Product Portfolio Manager, Sean Corcoran, new developments and improvements in the range of railway composite insulators are the focus. Based in the Mosdorfer Rail facility in Sheffield, UK; Sean and his team of designers are supporting many global markets with their solutions, making Mosdorfer Rail one of the world’s leading suppliers of these products.

Mosdorfer Rail have a full range of Railway composite Insulators available

All insulators are designed and tested to international norms, and independently tested at ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratories. Mosdorfer Rail composite insulators are available in a variety of configurations for systems ranging from 1.5kV DC, 3kV DC, 15 & 25kV AC. They offer tailor made solutions to meet any system requirement & specification to ensure interchangeability with existing infrastructure. In addition, Mosdorfer Rail is just about the launch some significant enhancements to its tensioning range with a Tensorex spring automatic tensioning device with up to 25 per cent more compensation capability (Tensorex 3D). This will have significant benefits for areas with long tension length distances, and/or for markets with extremely high temperature deltas. Also in development, Mosdorfer Rail have a balance weight tensioning assembly, which shall be completely designed and manufactured within Mosdorfer Rail and will support the global business market opportunities. Finally, a Tensorex C+ monitoring system (TensorexSense) is undergoing live system trials and is designed to remotely monitor the status of the Tensorex C+ device, sending user defined status alerts resulting in total environmental resilience. Line tension can also be monitored. This system will support the focus on reducing the overall life cycle cost of the Tensorex C+ product, by changing the maintenance regime from scheduled maintenance to predictive maintenance. It is planned for this system to be available both for retrospective installation to existing Tensorex C+ devices, as well as the option to be installed in new devices during manufacture. Engineering Director, Lee Brun, is overseeing these developments with his team and with a focus on innovation, quality and sustainability, Mosdorfer Rail is continuing to expand. In the world of Railway Electrification, Mosdorfer Rail have the expertise and portfolio to be a single source supplier for Railway catenary systems and solutions. For more information, please get in touch with Mosdorfer Rail Ltd via the contact information below.

Tel: 0114 478 8500 Email: rob.renshaw@mosdorfer.com Visit: www.mosdorfer.com Address: Mosdorfer Rail Ltd 2-4 Orgreave Place Orgreave, Sheffield S13 9LU


Harnessing intelligent monitoring to keep people and infrastructure safe Wireless monitoring solutions for continuous assesment of track, earthworks and structures

Contact us info@senceive.com

Senceive.com 112


Condition Monitoring Solutions The importance of virtually real-time data relating to the condition of critical infrastructure is becoming more widely recognised by rail operators around the world

Wireless remote condition monitoring provides continuous data on the performance of structures, track and geotechnical assets.


he advent of Internet of Things (IoT) sensing technologies provides engineers and asset managers with condition monitoring solutions that are sophisticated and capable, yet remarkably simple to use. Wireless remote condition monitoring technologies pioneered by Senceive deliver tangible benefits relating to safety, cost-effectiveness and performance. Rail engineers and operators have relied on Senceive remote monitoring technology since 2005. Tens of thousands of sensors are installed on track, earthworks

and structures and the robust wireless instruments deliver precise, continuous data and instant alerts in virtually all conditions. Based in the UK and with operations in Europe, the Americas and Australia the company leads the way in designing, building and supporting a range of wireless remote condition monitoring technology that is used on railway infrastructure around the world. Rail engineers choose these sensors and communications platforms for proven, precise monitoring of track, structures and earthworks because they are:

• • • •

Easy to install. Virtually maintenance-free. Deliver continuous data. Keep people informed without visiting site.

Wireless remote condition monitoring is an IoT (Internet of things) technology built around small, robust and affordable sensors that relay data to cloud-based data portals – usually via the cellular network. They can deliver near-continuous data over a remarkably long life (10 to 15 years) with minimal maintenance. 113


Continuous data, virtually real-time alerts and easy web access put asset condition data at your fingertips

Senceive Nano tilt sensors monitoring changes in track geometry

Monitoring track

Wireless monitoring of track movement uses precise tilt sensors and other instruments to assess changes in twist, cant and settlement to warn engineers of short term, potentially dangerous problems. It also supports costeffective long term asset management by detecting trends in movement data that help to target maintenance resources where they are most needed. Complementary sensors monitor track temperature, strain, and displacement, while geotechnical sensors such as borehole in-place-inclinometers (IPIs) and piezometers provide insight on the relationship between track and deeper ground behaviour.

Monitoring structures

Monitoring of tunnels, bridges and other structures helps engineers to safeguard their integrity, for example when defects have been observed or where construction activity such as tunnelling or excavation is taking place nearby. Parameters that can be measured include structural movement (deformation, cracks, joints) load, ground pore water pressure and much more. 114

A solar-powered wireless communications gateway enables multiple sensors to send continuous updates and alerts.

Monitoring earthworks and slopes

Wireless monitoring of earthworks such as cuttings and embankments provides early warning of landslides, rockfall and erosion and can automatically inform asset owners of potentially dangerous events if material encroaches on the track, or if track support is weakened, for example by flood damage. The responsive InfraGuard™ monitoring solution developed by Senceive and Network Rail engineers includes ground movement sensors linked to cameras so that alerts can be verified without visiting site, so that potentially dangerous events such as landslides can be verified and train drivers warned promptly. It is also means that false alerts can be identified, reducing unnecessary disruption. InfraGuard systems are in place on more than 40 kilometres of track in southern England and are being deployed on railways and other infrastructure around the world.

Typical applications

Remote condition monitoring applications include: • Track. • Structural health monitoring – tunnels, bridges, retaining walls. • Geotechnical assets such as earthworks and slopes. • Monitoring impact of construction activity. Get in touch with the Senceive team via the contact information below to find out more.

Email: info@senceive.com Visit: senceive.com Address: Senceive, Davy Avenue Milton Keynes MK59PB

Level Crossing & RRAP Specialists As an approved installer of Rosehill Rail, Strail and Polysafe, Premier Rail offer the complete turnkey solution in the installation, removal and upgrading of level crossings and RRAPs.

Level Cross Services Installations


We are experienced in the supply and

Our fully trained and dedicated team

installation of a range of innovative and

are on hand to upgrade and renew any

reliable rail crossing systems.

existing level crossings systems.


Cut to Fit

We keep up to date with the latest

A level crossing solution ideal for

railway developments, keeping your

checkrails, fishplates, sidings, depots

level crossings maintained and safe.

and other specialist areas.

Approved installers of all Rosehill, Strail and Polysafe level crossing systems...

RRAP & TAP Services Installations

RRAP Upgrades

Road Rail Access (RRAP's) allow work to

At Premier Rail, we can upgrade your

be carried out on the railway with

existing Road Rail Access Points to

machinery easily able to cross the

improve access across the railway.




We can also provide regular RRAP

We have our own large stock of

safety inspections in order to prevent

temporary and permanent RRAPs

any safety issues from occurring.

which are available to hire.

Experts in the installation and maintenance of all types of rail access points...

Equipment Hire Heavy Duty RRAPs


Metal/heavy duty RRAPs are designed

Network Rail approved, the universal

to take heavy road rail plant and

access system supports tracked

equipment up to 30 Tonne in weight.

machines up to 50 tonnes.

Foam RRAPs

Other RRAPs

Providing an easy to install temporary

Rosehill Rail and Strail road rail access

RRAP for the on/off/cross tracking of

platforms (RRAP’s & TAP’s) and

RRV’s fitted with road wheels.

temporary crossing hire.

Call our Level Crossings Specialists

01302 738 020


Fire Detection with:

Easy integration Addressable sensing Reduced false alarms Protection on and off the platform

Stay on track with Hochiki.


Network Rail praised our ESP range as meeting their requirements of "quality, effiiciency, reliability and longevity"


Navigating Fire Safety Regulations On the fateful evening of 18 November 1987, tragedy struck at King’s Cross St. Pancras tube station when a fire erupted on an escalator serving the Piccadilly Line



his devastating incident claimed the lives of 31 people and left another one hundred hospitalised. It marked a turning point, leading to the implementation of rigorous fire safety regulations within the London Underground and indeed across the entire UK rail network that would help prevent a tragedy like this ever happening again.

Prioritising dependability

Under fire safety sits the prevention of false fire alarms which are a common nuisance, causing inconvenience and disruption in the transport sector and beyond. According to the London Fire Brigade between April 2022 and March 2023, the force attended 47,000 false alarm calls. Nearly a third of these were to non-residential properties, the equivalent to around 23,500 hours in staffing time. In London alone, the Fire Brigade has previously reported that they respond to false alarms or ‘unwanted fire signals’ every twelve minutes, incurring an annual cost of £34 million. It is for this very reason they

are now looking at measures to put in place, following a consultation period, that will help redirect their people power in a more efficient manner. In addition to this, according to research carried out by an independent research firm, Red Fox Research on behalf of Hochiki Europe it was revealed that false fire alarms cost the UK economy a staggering £700 million every year. False alarms not only disrupt daily operations but also pose risks if panic ensues during evacuations. Moreover, frequent false alarms can lead to complacency, potentially delayed reactions during real fire emergencies, a situation especially perilous in busy transport hubs. Hochiki Europe’s groundbreaking range of Railway Approved ESP Intelligent Sensors and other addressable products are leading the way in life safety in rail travel not only here in the UK, but across the globe. The ESP range is approved to DIN EN 50155:2018, a European standard for train carriages, which applies to all electronic equipment for

Hochiki Europe detectors are integrated to a fully networked fire detection and alarm system at Edinburgh Waverley station. A fully networked fire detection and alarm system was developed and installed for Network Rail, providing centralised control of fire monitoring at Edinburgh Waverley station, as part of a major enhancement programme. More than 500 Hochiki detection devices were integrated into the system by specialist contractors, Dante Fire & Security. Central to the network’s system design is the flexibility to accommodate cause-and-effect scenarios within complex fire strategies. For such a demanding project, system reliability and integrity were of paramount concern, and Dante affirms that ‘Hochiki’s warranted product quality and reliability’ were deciding factors in determining Hochiki as the preferred technology for this prestigious installation programme. Commenting on the installation a spokesperson from Dante Fire & Security said: ‘The installation of the system was challenging due to the demands of working in a busy capital city railway station, with minimal impact on the operation of the station of paramount importance to Network Rail, however the flexibility of the Hochiki devices installed in conjunction with the efforts of our team alongside the Network Rail project teams ensured this was achieved.’



control, regulation, protection, diagnostic, supply, etc. installed on rail vehicles. It’s applied in the design, manufacturing and testing of any electronic equipment installed on board rolling stock and describes the electrical and environmental operating conditions. The Hochiki devices have also been designed to be compliant with DIN EN 45545-2:2016-02 (fire testing) and DIN EN 50121-3-2:2017-11 (rail EMC). Meaning that not only can Hochiki systems protect train stations as they do at

St Pancras and Ashford International, but rolling stock too, the Dubai Metro is a great example of this. The chamber structure of Hochiki’s photoelectric smoke detectors, which are part of the ESP range, is designed to be a high-performance optical chamber that responds equally effectively to all types of smoke. These devices boast adjustable algorithms, enabling customisation for various transport environments. Coupled with flexible control equipment software, Hochiki’s solution provides unmatched adaptability and reliability. Another solution for transportation and logistical operations lies within the CDX range from Hochiki. Covering one of the most extensive product portfolios available on the market, CDX provides solutions for most conventional fire detection applications, as well as security systems due to its wide voltage range (9.5~30 VDC).

Cost-effective solutions

While the initial cost of a fire detection system is a consideration, it is the total cost of ownership over its lifespan that truly matters. Fire detection systems typically have a lifespan exceeding ten years, therefore, investments in reliable, high-quality rail approved systems from

Hochiki ensure that unwelcome incidents and associated costs are minimised. By significantly reducing the chances of false alarms, Hochiki’s systems not only enhance rail safety but also prove cost-effective in the long run.

Company Profile

For over one hundred years Hochiki has led the way in the design and manufacturer of innovative life safety solutions. Its leading edge commercial and industrial fire detection and emergency lighting products have acquired global acceptance as the benchmark for high-integrity and long-term reliability. With global group sales turnover exceeding £400 million, Hochiki is a wholly independent, multinational, publicly listed company with over 2000 employees working across six manufacturing plants, 38 sales offices and 14 subsidiaries. Its ongoing commitment to manufacturing innovation ensures customer satisfaction and its production facilities in Japan, the USA and Europe offer international continuity in quality, service and supply. Visit: hochikieurope.com/sector/transport

Elevated thinking, underground

Over the past 20 years Gall Zeidler Consultants has completed 550km of tunnelling projects across the globe, establishing our position as a world-leader in tunnel design and consultancy services. Our specialists relish a challenge and always deliver – it’s why we’re a leader in innovative underground solutions, geotechnical engineering, bespoke tunnel design, tunnel rehabilitation, and project/construction management.


London . Washington DC . New York . San Francisco . Toronto Salzburg . Santiago de Chile . New Delhi . Singapore


Premier global manufacturer of components and kits for railway applications

In addition to supplying individual components, the global companies of STAUFF and their authorised system partners use the STAUFF Line approach to support Original Equipment Manufacturers with the supply of custom-designed and ready-to-install fluid power lines from connection to connection and also provide supplemental services that create added value: · Components · Systems · Services · Contact

The STAUFF Line process is adopted by global OEMs to successfully achieve cost savings in rolling stock manufacture. Sheffield Tel: 0114 251 8518 Email: sales@stauff.co.uk Aberdeen Tel: 01224 786166 Email: sales@stauffscotland.co.uk


Ireland Tel: 02892 606900 Email: sales@stauffireland.com Southampton Tel: 023 8069 8700 Email: sales@stauffsouthampton.co.uk



Trackside Power Supply Systems The 360W and 600W FIEPOS waterproof IP67 power supplies from PULS Power, the specialist manufacturer of high reliability DIN-Rail power supplies, are an ideal solution for decentralised electrical and electronic systems located trackside on railway networks


rackside systems are typically mounted in location cabinets, which can be open at the underside making them prone to condensation on the inside. Electronics systems mounted within location cabinets must be protected from the ingress of water and dust to ensure reliable long-term operation. This includes the power supply which is frequently located in the same ruggedised enclosure as other system components. Weatherproof enclosures are bulky and expensive, each adding extra cost and complexity to the end system. 120

The PULS FIEPOS is a new type of power supply that was developed specifically for this kind of environment. A decentralised power supply, requiring no additional enclosure offering protection to class IP54, IP65 or IP6. FIEPOS power supplies are easy to install and flexible enough to meet the diverse requirements of modular systems. Removing the power supply (decentralisation) from shared enclosures saves space, reduces internal heat dissipation and allows the power supply to be conveniently located on an internal cabinet wall or DIN-Rail.

Decentralisation of system components has proven to be an important factor in modern system planning as it simplifies installation, enables expansion and reformatting of systems, and simplifies maintenance. In addition, conventional control cabinets can be replaced by smaller versions or even removed completely. Traditional rail or industrial systems designed with a central IP20 rated power supply will have long cable runs to peripheral devices in the field and will require costly large cross-section cables to minimise losses. It is also common for


such a power supply to be over specified to compensate for any potential cable losses. FIEPOS is the alternative to a power supply in a centralised control cabinet. It provides an energy efficient, point of load, modular system structure which is simple to expand and maintain. Two versions of the high efficiency (> 95 per cent) PULS FIEPOS are available both offering either 360W or 600W power output. The output voltage and the currentlimited outputs (eFused series) can be monitored and set directly via the LED interface and the push buttons on the front of the device or remotely via IO-Link. The high-power single 24-28VDC output Basic Series FIEPOS can be connected in parallel with additional units to increase total output power. FIEPOS Basic can also be connected in a power back-up N+1 redundant system using integrated high efficiency MOSFET decoupling (Oring). The eFused series may be specified with up to 4 current-limited DC outputs and may be configured for NEC Class 2 circuits. This power supply simplifies the implementation of selective power distribution, protection and monitoring directly in the field. The eFused series is a space-saving power supply system featuring integrated current-limited outputs and is a real alternative to a power

supply unit with an external electronic protection module. Special features include staggered output activation, protection of sensitive loads through prioritised outputs and selective shutdown in the event of a fault. PULS FIEPOS power supplies may be used for the decentralised supply of onephase or three-phase systems and machines and feature a no potting Eco-friendly modular design which may be specified with IP54, IP65 or IP67 for reliable protection against ingress of dust and water. Key features include an LED interface providing system status and immediate diagnosis in the field, output voltage and the current-limited outputs (eFused series) may be monitored and set directly via the LED interface and the push buttons on the front of the device or remotely via IO-Link. Various connector options enable the power supply to be installed flexibly and directly on the machine. DIN-Rail, integrated keyholes or screw mounting with no additional accessories required. FIEPOS is available with input voltage ranges one-phase 85-264V, 1-phase 170264V, three-phase 320-550V, output voltage from 24-28VDC, output power 360W or 600W, efficiency > 95 per cent, an operating temperature range from -25 °C to +55 °C without any loss of performance and has

dimensions (WxHxD) of 181 x 183 x 57mm. The potential applications of PULS FIEPOS are virtually limitless and include modular applications in the field of rail, intralogistics, industrial control, conveyor systems, storage technology, robotics and materials handling. Marco van der Linden, UK Country Manager, for PULS comments: ‘Our FIEPOS decentralised power supply offers designers of railway systems a cost and space saving alternative to conventional power distribution requiring expensive environmental protection. FIEPOS makes it possible to save space and reduce heat in trackside cabinets simplifying system design and reducing inventory.’ For more information on PULS FIEPOS visit www.pulspower.com/products/dinrail-power-supplies/ip54-ip65-ip67-powersupplies or get in touch via the contact information below.

Tel: +44 1525 841001 Email: sales@puls.co.uk Visit: www.pulspower.com


Innovative digital display solutions for transportation




Wayfinding & Help

eInk Low Power

Ribbon Display

Design | Manufacture | Installation | Maintenance | Consultancy uk@gds.com

+44 1793 498020




Nuclear Transport Solutions announces Rail Managing Director appointment NTS has announced that, following a competitive recruitment process, Gottfried Eymer has been appointed as its Managing Director – Rail.

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority announce new Executive Director of Place and Connectivity Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority have announced the appointment of Judith Barker as the new Executive Director of Place and Connectivity.

Rail Delivery Group appoints new Chair David Brown, Managing Director UK Trains at Arriva, has been appointed as Chair of Rail Delivery Group (RDG). David has served on RDG’s board as a member since 2020.

Pandrol appoints New Chief Procurement Officer Xavier Sarrat has been appointed Chief Procurement Officer for Pandrol, replacing Olivier Jullien who has taken on a new strategic role. 122

Northern appoints Network Rail executive as new Chief Operating Officer Northern has appointed Matt Rice as its new chief operating officer.

New Chief Executive Officer of Capital City College Group Capital City College Group (CCCG) has appointed Angela Joyce as its new Chief Executive Officer.


Delivering a bright energy future for high speed rail ukpowernetworksservices.co.uk 124

We are experts in delivering network reliability for high speed railways through whole-life asset management. We own the total solution and its performance. A reliable service makes travel more convenient, easier for passengers to plan journeys and gives them confidence they will arrive on time.

Scan here to get in touch

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.