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JUNE 2019 Issue 253 £7.95


Electrification & decarbonisation RENEWABLE ENERGY A sustainable ‘Site of the Future’

TRACK AND TRACKSIDE Intelligent monitoring systems

The two go hand in hand on the Green Valley Lines HIGH-SPEED RAIL The power to deliver high-speed rail


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Rail Professional



JUNE 2019 ISSUE 253 £7.95


Electrification & decarbonisation RENEWABLE ENERGY A sustainable ‘Site of the Future’

TRACK AND TRACKSIDE Intelligent monitoring systems

The two go hand in hand on the Green Valley Lines HIGH-SPEED RAIL

editor’s note

The power to deliver high-speed rail

PUBLISHER RAIL PROFESSIONAL LTD Hallmark House, Downham Road, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1PU Telephone: +44 (0)1268 711811 EDITORIAL EDITOR SAM SHERWOOD-HALE DISPLAY ADVERTISING CHRISTIAN WILES BEN WARING ADAM OVERALL AMY HUDSON RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING SUBSCRIPTIONS ADMINISTRATION CHERIE NUGENT LISA ETHERINGTON GILL DUNN KIRSTY CARTER DESIGN & PRODUCTION MILES JOHNSTONE Rail Professional welcomes contributions in the form of articles, photographs or letters, preferably by email. Original photographs may be submitted, but, while every care will be exercised, neither the editor nor the publisher take responsibility for loss of, or damage to, material sent. Submission of material to Rail Professional will be taken as permission for it to be published in the magazine and online. ISSN 1476-2196


s I sat down to write this month’s note, I saw the news come through that 9,000 jobs are now supported by the work being done for HS2. These jobs are spread out across 250 different job sites all along the route. The most interesting thing to me about this is that many of these 9,000 jobs are providing employment to qualified professionals, freeing up other employment opportunities for people entering the workforce this year. Currently there are over 320 of the 2,000 expected apprentices already on board, meaning there are at least 1,600 apprenticeships still to be filled over the coming years. These will all be made available to young people who could end up on a career path of their choosing instead of moving into another industry where jobs might be scarce. There are still 21,000 positions left to be filled throughout the project, by ensuring the full financing to the end of the runway there are guaranteed jobs that people can train for now. Investment in our people will lead to a more skilled workforce and investment in HS2 will give those skilled people somewhere to apply those skills. With that preamble over, you might have guessed this issue will focus, amongst other things, on high-speed rail. This magazine has advocated for HS2 and I would encourage you to go back through our archives from this year and last year to read some of the different features that explore, in detail, just how the project will benefit the whole country. Our high-speed rail features in this June issue look at the supply side of the business and at the history of the technology itself. My interview this month is with Mike Barker and Lloyd Williams, Project Director and Project Manager at RPS Group, the company delivering ground investigations for HS2. The involved nature and project scope of this one small element of HS2 really serves as a microcosm of its wider benefits. We’re also focussing on electrification in this issue, we have Chris Walker, Electrical & Plant Engineer at Mott MacDonald, exploring the issues facing major electrification projects, alongside that Leo Murray, Director of 10:10 Climate Action, explains the role of electrification in the Green Valley Lines scheme. The scheme is one of six separate innovation projects to win funding from the Rail Safety and Standards Board’s ‘Intelligent Power Solutions to Decarbonise Rail’ competition. George Clark was recently inaugurated as the IRSE President for 2018-19, we have an edited version of the presidential address he gave at the Annual General Meeting of the IRSE held in April. Finally, we have a few different track and trackside features from Morris Site Machinery, Senceive and Bridgeway Consulting. Sam Sherwood-Hale Editor

© All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the copyright owners. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor does it accept liability for any printing errors or otherwise which may occur.

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| CONTENTS / ISSUE 253 / JUNE 2019

06 News

33 Viewpoint

Network Rail seeks traffic management partner for major digital railway transformation programme, First Norwich in 90 service marks start of faster journey times from East Anglia to London, Metro Mayor celebrates the start of first North Wales to Liverpool rail service in over 40 years, c2c station refurbishments to start in June, Siding with sustainability, Rail Minister calls for digital skills and diversity in rail industry at Railtex 2019, Young apprentices show MP their skills in maintaining Great Northern trains, Bath Trams to host meeting on 12 June, Hull Trains named World Cup champions, Network Rail announces £750 million contract awards to deliver signalling nationwide, Aberdeen-Stonehaven railway upgrade successfully delivered, London Bridge station named building of the year, £3.5 million investment to futureproof Nottingham’s tram fleet, GB Railfreight celebrate launch of new state of the art simulators in Peterborough, £1 million depot upgrades to improve customer satisfaction, Abseil teams tackle steep conditions to protect railway cutting from rockfalls, New London Overground electric trains enter service on the Gospel Oak to Barking line

Eli Rees-King, Marketing Director at the Rail Alliance offers an insight into the extensive international work that the Rail Alliance is involved in and the growing demand for international support from its community

19 Laying down the law The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has recently published the third edition of its Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3), a tool for assessing an organisation’s ability to manage its health and safety risks

23 Women in Rail Extending the Women in Rail support network to Wales with the launch of Women in Rail Wales – Ymestyn y rhwydwaith i gefnogi Women in Rail i Gymru gyda lansiad

25 The Cheek of it Chris Cheek takes a look at the issues behind the row over train operator pension schemes which could see Stagecoach and Virgin banished from the UK rail network

29 Delivering the goods Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy at FTA, responds to the National Infrastructure Commission’s,‘Better delivery: the challenge for freight’ report

37 Viewpoint Lucy Prior on how cheerleading colleagues can be of benefit to anyone, at any stage of their career

41 Viewpoint Lucas Young, Business Development Manager, Transportation, Axis Communications, discusses why the rail industry must transition from analogue to digital video surveillance technology to achieve long term gains

45 Rail Live 2019 The rail industry will converge on the Quinton Rail Technology Centre on 19 and 20 June for Rail Live 2019

49 Rail Professional Interview Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Mike Barker and Lloyd Williams, Project Director and Project Manager of RPS Group’s ground investigation work packages for HS2

55 Electrification Leo Murray, Director of 10:10 Climate Action, explains the role of electrification in the Green Valley Lines scheme

59 Electrification Chris Walker, Electrical & Plant Engineer at Mott MacDonald, explores the issues facing major electrification projects

63 Light Rail Sid Grover, Engineering and Development Manager for environment, health and safety at environmental and engineering consultancy RSK, provides an insight into RSK’s work with the Midland Metro Alliance

CONTENTS / ISSUE 253 / JUNE 2019 |


91 Incentive Schemes Hawk Incentives worked with Southeastern Railway and East Midlands Trains to deliver each an employee incentive/reward scheme

95 Accessibility Lee Dover, content writer, looks at the rules and regulations around disability access on public transport and how these can be improved

99 The Peninsula Rail Task Force Cllr Andrea Davis, Chair of the Peninsula Rail Task Force, comments on the Williams Rail Review and what the future of rail in the South West should look like

67 Signalling An edited version of the presidential address given by IRSE President for 2018-19, George Clark, during the Annual General Meeting of the IRSE held in April

73 High-Speed Rail As new rolling stock enter service across the UK’s rail networks there is increased demand for more energy-hungry high-speed trains running at increased frequency

77 High-Speed Rail Lucy Battle believes the development of a high speed, high capacity network for the UK is long overdue and looks at the history of high-speed rail to explain why

81 Track and Trackside Choosing reliable equipment that gets the job done should be a key consideration to keep trackside maintenance on schedule, says Morris Site Machinery

82 Track and Trackside Graham Smith, CEO of Senceive looks at utilising wireless technology to enhance rail and construction safety

87 Track and Trackside When Bridgeway Consulting Ltd (BCL) gained its Principal Contractor Licence in 2013 we knew that it was the gateway to a unique status within the rail industry

103 Stations Since the original Paddington Station was first completed in 1853, Brunel’s vision has been an iconic structure for both London and the rail sector

107 Diversity Kathryn and Frances Nichols, Chief Executive and Chair and Creative Director of the Nichols Group, explore the challenge of diversity in rail

110 Renewable Energy An ambitious project led by Network Rail and Colas Rail has used innovative solar lighting and power generation to prove the viability of a sustainable ‘Site of the Future’, achieving 97 per cent diesel-free operation in support of a major rail renewal project at Llanwern, South Wales

113 Business Profiles Armorgard, Relec Electronics, Bolle Safety, RPB Safety, Twinfix, Layher, CHH CoNeX, KeTech, Buckler Boots, Rail Signalling & Power

134 People Alex Hynes, John Halsall, Mark Langman, Rob McIntosh, Tim Shoveller, Ryan Mangold, Julia Steyn, Aidan Hancock, Jo Parker, James Little, Matt Green, Darrell Matthews, Tam Simmons



News in brief... HS2 Ltd opens new office in Manchester HS2 Ltd, the company constructing Britain’s new high-speed railway, has opened an office in Manchester. HS2 Ltd, the company constructing Britain’s new high-speed railway, has opened an office in Manchester. The company relocated its headquarters from London to the Midlands three years ago, and has now established a new base in Manchester city centre for its core team in the North. A new vision for community rail Transport for Wales has launched a brand-new Community Rail Strategy, putting the needs of local areas at the forefront of its plans. The vision, which was launched at Llandudno Station on 16 May by Transport Minister Ken Skates AM, sees new Community Rail Partnerships set up across the entire Wales and Borders network to promote and encourage rail use in communities. Extend Pay As You Go says London TravelWatch Extending the Pay As You Go (PAYG) travel area could help millions of passengers making over 200 million passenger journeys in London and the South East according to London TravelWatch in its response to the DfT’s consultation on extending PAYG. Currently around 60 per cent of all journeys on National Rail in the existing PAYG travel area are made using Oyster or Contactless. Changes to the boundaries will enable another 227 million journeys a year to be made by PAYG.

Network Rail seeks traffic management partner for major digital railway transformation programme Network Rail has launched the third procurement in its major digital railway transformation programme on the East Coast Main Line (ECML). The company is seeking a traffic management partner to work within its London North Eastern and East Midlands (LNE & EM) route on the first inter-city development and deployment of modern in-cab signalling. Traffic management plays an important role in improving performance for passengers, helping to predict and prevent conflict and re-plan the timetable to reduce delays in the event of disruption. The traffic management system will be the first tailored system on the network designed and developed in conjunction with industry partners, reflecting a new way of working for Network Rail. The procurement will complement the two previous ECML tenders launched last year, which will result in three external partners being appointed to assist the transformation programme. Last summer a process was launched to find a technology provider – known as the train control partner – to work on developing joint solutions, and in November the search began for a railway systems integration partner to help coordinate the industry change in delivering the programme. The new way of working involves Network Rail teaming up with providers early to combine operating and infrastructure knowledge with suppliers’ technology expertise, to design solutions based on collaboration from the start of the process. The southern section of the ECML has a once in a generation alignment of opportunities to deliver a cost-effective digital railway transformation. The train control system was last substantially upgraded in the 1970s so will need to be renewed, and at the same time many of the trains operating on the route have already been fitted with digital in-cab signalling technology or are soon to come into service. The procurement process contains provision for two lots to provide one or two partners between York and Manchester rail operating centres (ROCs), developing traffic management for the TransPennine route upgrade programme as well as ECML.

First Norwich in 90 service marks start of faster journey times from East Anglia to London The fastest ever train service between Norwich and London started on Monday 20 May – cutting down the scheduled journey time to just 90 minutes. The launch of faster trains between East Anglia and London was heralded as ‘the start of the transformation of rail services in the region’.  Greater Anglia is running four extra services between Norwich, Ipswich and London Liverpool street. Fastest journey times between Norwich and London are now 90 minutes and just 55-57 minutes between Ipswich and London on these extra four services a day. Businesses and politicians in East Anglia have been calling for faster journey times between Norfolk, Suffolk and London for ten years.  The service was championed through

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the East Anglian Rail Prospectus and Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce, which was represented on the first journey by Chris Starkie, chief executive of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and also key member of the Great Eastern Mainline Taskforce.


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News in brief... First new Glasgow Subway trains arrive The first brand new train has now arrived in Glasgow. In a major milestone for SPT, the arrival of the new trains will start the beginning of an intensive testing programme by manufacturer Stadler to ensure the trains are fully fit for purpose. It is only after this extensive testing by Stadler that it will be handed over to SPT to enter passenger service. The new trains and communication and control systems are all part of the £288 million Subway modernisation programme which also includes a major refurbishment of the system’s 15 stations. £600 million improvements for East Midlands Abellio will invest £600 million including: brand new bi-mode intercity trains between the East Midlands, the North and London; a high-quality, dedicated, electric train service between London, Luton Airport and Corby; and the introduction of faster, modern, refurbished trains across the whole network. Mother Nature given helping hand by HS2’s Green Corridor An overgrown eyesore in North Warwickshire has been transformed into a wildlife haven as part of environmental works by HS2 Ltd. The area is to be used for the translocation of 5 rare plant species, including marsh willowherb, yellow loosestrife, great burnet and bog stitchwort.


Metro Mayor celebrates the start of first North Wales to Liverpool rail service in over 40 years Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has hailed the new opportunities for work and leisure that new services between Liverpool and North Wales via the re-opened Halton Curve will bring. The Metro Mayor, along with key partners in the scheme, welcomed the first service from Wrexham into Lime Street at 7:59am on the morning of 20 May. Operated by Transport for Wales, the first service called at Chester, Helsby, Frodsham, Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway, en-route. This is the first service to run direct from North Wales into Liverpool for over 40 years. Future plans will see more journeys into Wales, with some services running to Cardiff via Shrewsbury and to Llandudno. The new service will generate 250,000 new trips, unlocking leisure and business opportunities between the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and North Wales. As journeys between the Liverpool City Region, West Cheshire and North Wales are currently largely car dependent, it’s expected that the new service would remove the need for 170,000 road journeys helping reduce demand on key routes such as the M56 and A55. It also supports Liverpool John Lennon Airport and its growth ambitions, opening up a much wider catchment for national and international leisure and business travel. Steve Rotheram said: ‘One of the Combined Authority’s key priorities is the delivery of major improvements in connectivity for our area and this is an example of us achieving that through new links into North Wales and Cheshire. ‘The Halton Curve is one of many ambitious rail schemes across the Liverpool City Region that have been delivered by the Combined Authority, working together in partnership with a number of organisations. ‘This is only the start of realising the benefits that re-opening the Curve will bring and the future plans for services linking the city region with Cardiff and the North Wales coast can only benefit us further.’

c2c station refurbishments to start in June Trenitalia-owned train operator c2c will be starting an upgrade of Upminster and Chafford Hundred stations planned to commence in June. At Upminster, the four-month project involves modernisation of the main booking hall, redecoration and a new ceiling to make the area more inviting for customers. At Chafford Hundred the project, which is also expected to last for four months,

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involves the refurbishment of the booking hall and waiting areas to make the station lighter, brighter, and easier for people to buy their tickets. The planned works follow the recent upgrades to Grays and Ockendon stations and the lower ticket hall at Upminster, which are part of a £17 million plan to transform all the stations on the c2c route.


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News in brief... Rail freight fund announced Scottish rail freight is set to benefit from up to £25 million of ringfenced funds to help strengthen the industry over the next five years. The Scottish Government commitment was announced by Transport Secretary Michael Matheson during a visit to the Freightliner Terminal in Coatbridge on 9 May. The fund is open to rail freight industry partners, including Network Rail and Transport Scotland, to table proposals for improvements which meet freight modal shift objectives. Taunton Station development continues Plans for the redevelopment of Taunton station have moved a step further as Great Western Railway and construction company John Sisk & Son finalised contracts for the multi-million-pound regeneration scheme. Great Western Railway is working with Somerset West and Taunton Council and the Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver the scheme, designed to help support the town’s economic development plans. Eurostar provides 360° guide to help travellers with autism Eurostar has launched a new 360° virtual guide to help travellers with autism have a smooth and stressfree journey. Eurostar worked with charity Ambitious About Autism to carry out a review of its travel experience for autistic passengers. The charity advised that customers with autism are more comfortable travelling after seeing information in advance with sights and sounds in two-dimensions. The virtual guide has been created to reflect this by providing visual information ahead of a journey.


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Siding with sustainability An overgrown railway siding at Eastbourne has been brought back into use by recycling track removed during the successful Three Bridges to Brighton blockade in February. Part of the Thameslink Resilience Programme, the blockade involved remodelling the track layout at Balcombe Tunnel junction and the removal and replacement of track. Usually, as part of Network Rail’s sustainability policy, materials that come out of upgrade sites are returned to a recycling centre at Whitemoor, Westbury, Cambridgeshire, where they are re-graded and offered back for use on the network. While delivering the upgrade at Balcombe, the team noticed that although the track was no longer suitable for use there, it was of a high enough quality to potentially be re-used somewhere else, without regrading or reconditioning. Andrew Wood, Network Rail’s senior commercial scheme sponsor, South East Route said: ‘When renewing the switches and crossings, we usually need to renew the plain line leading to those switches, but when we surveyed the plain line track at Balcombe Tunnel Junction we realised it was in sufficiently good enough condition to re-use elsewhere in a siding rather than recycle.’ Limited access to stabling points for On Track Machines (OTMs) in the Sussex coastal area has been a long-standing challenge for Network Rail’s Supply Chain Operations team. Eastbourne provides an ideal location for stabling points across the south coast. The track was deemed as suitable for use on sidings which removed the need to transport it to Westbury, carry out work on it and then return it to the south coast. Andrew Ripley, Senior Project Operations Manager (Southern and Anglia) said: ‘This is a great win-win for us, from an operational perspective, not only do we reduce the fuel costs for the OTMs by storing them in Eastbourne, but we also increase the potential working time window for work in the future by having better machine availability. ‘Environmentally speaking, less fuel used means lower carbon emissions and reusing the Balcombe track saves on the cost of procuring new track for the Eastbourne stable. It wasn’t of the standard required for a mainline, but it was fine for sidings where trains travel at low speed. The Balcombe track is probably good for another 50 years.’ Over time, the improved access to machinery will lead to better track maintenance being carried out more quickly. Good track maintenance means fewer passenger delays and a better passenger experience. As part of the re-installation of the sidings work was carried out to remove overgrown vegetation and to tidy up some walking routes.


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News in brief... New trains to celebrate Hull Hull Trains’ new trains, due to arrive in November, form part of a major £60 million investment which will see the company’s entire current fleet replaced with brand new hi-tech Hitachi trains. These stateof-the-art trains will be amongst the fastest, most modern and luxurious trains on the UK network, transforming rail travel from Hull and East Yorkshire to the capital. Workforce safety film series wins bronze Rail safety film series ‘RED’ has won Bronze at the Internal Communications and Engagement Awards. The films secured recognition in the ’Best Ongoing Commitment to Internal Communications’ category and was presented jointly to RSSB and strategic video agency, Big Button. Presented by actor Ben Hull, the RED series uses dramatic reconstructions of life-threatening incidents and interviews. The programmes provide rail staff with key safety learning, and prompt open discussion in team briefings. RAIB Annual Report 2018 The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has published its annual report for 2018. During the period from 1 January to 31 December 2018, the RAIB received 376 notifications of railway accidents and incidents from the industry. These resulted in 61 preliminary examinations. As a result of the analysis of the information gathered, 19 full investigations and 14 safety digests were started. The report is available for download on the RAIB website.

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Rail Minister calls for digital skills and diversity in rail industry at Railtex 2019 The Rail Minister, Andrew Jones MP, attended Railtex on Wednesday 15 May at Birmingham’s NEC, delivering a keynote speech at the RIA Future Focus Conference calling for more digital skills and workforce diversity in the rail industry. The Minister said the rail industry has a requirement for 50,000 new workers by 2033 to replace retiring workers and to adapt to changes in technology. ‘The shape of transport has dramatically changed by digital disruptors. Rail travel is part of a single journey paid for on a mobile phone through a single platform that allows passengers to seamlessly travel from one mode of transport to another.’ The Minister said. He added: ‘If the industry is to continue to thrive it needs to become more nimble and ready to quickly respond to these changes. It’s a world in which the expertise of suppliers will play an increasingly important role and one that holds a wealth of opportunities.’ The Minister also addressed topics including the ‘boom and bust’ model of funding and how to smooth out the process for supply chain companies, as well as the need to address the lack of a visible enhancements pipeline. He also addressed the environmental impact of diesel trains, amongst other topics, in a lively Q & A. Following the keynote address the Rail Minister was taken for a guided tour of the exhibition, meeting representatives from a range of organisations including British Steel, EAO Ltd, Garrandale Rail, Hitachi and Knorr-Bremse, amongst others, discussing the latest product innovations and developments on show across the three days and how they can be utilised on the UK’s railways.

Young apprentices show MP their skills in maintaining Great Northern trains

Young apprentice engineers with Great Northern took local MP Catherine West on a tour of their train maintenance depot in Hornsey, north London. They explained how they have been taught how to maintain Great Northern’s fleet, including the brand-new Moorgate trains, and where they fit in Govia Thameslink Railway’s plans to recruit 140 other apprentices across the business this year. Tour guides Connor Philpot, William Webster and Rosie-Jayne Wiles are three of the 20 apprentices based at Hornsey depot and all are close to graduating from the four-year scheme. Depot Manager Scott Last, who joined the tour along with GTR Head of Fleet Production David Poole, said: ‘Connor, William and Rosie-

Jayne really impressed Ms West with the knowledge they have gained here through our apprenticeship scheme. We have 40 engineering apprentices across the business – 20 of them here – on a course accredited by the National Training Academy for Rail, and we have plans to recruit 140 more from across all parts of our business including areas such as customer service. ‘Together we showed Ms West our new cutting-edge Class 717 Moorgate trains, which are replacing the ageing 40-year-old carriages. They are really transforming journeys for our passengers and the comments we’ve had have been great. We maintain them all, in-house, here at Hornsey, and apprentices are key to growing a skilled workforce in the local area.’

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Bath Trams to host meeting on 12 June

TramForward will support a forthcoming meeting to be held by Bath Trams on the topic of Trams for Bath, Radstock, Keynsham and Bristol. The meeting will be addressed by Roger Harrison, formerly of Tramlink Nottingham, who will talk about how trams can be beneficial to Bath and its connections to Radstock and Bristol, including the very positive impact that trams have in cutting traffic (car drivers will not accept a bus as an alternative but they will accept a tram) and in regenerating the city’s commerce. A key point he will cover is that whilst trams are expensive in first cost they have much lower running costs, so that, over the long term, the cost per passenger mile on appropriate routes is less than for a bus.

Hull Trains named World Cup champions Hull Trains has been named the winners of the World Cup of Train Companies – in which they have taken on and beaten some of the UK’s biggest train companies. After winning through the initial five rounds, the company beat fellow FirstGroup operator Great Western Railway in the final. The competition, which was set up by a train enthusiast on Twitter, featured 32 train operating companies – with the winner of each heat decided by a public vote on social media. Even though it was all created in the spirit of fun, the train operating company was supported by the likes of Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, and BBC Radio Humberside’s Burnsy. Hull Trains won every round – many by significant margins – including the final, receiving an amazing 80 per cent of the 364 votes. Louise Cheeseman, Managing Director at Hull Trains, said: ‘There are few Managing Directors that can say that they’re a World Cup winner. I’d like to thank everyone who voted for Hull Trains. We are delighted to have beaten the likes of Great Western Railway, Transport for London, Northern, Merseyrail and Eurostar. ‘Our embattled Twitter team did very well to support the company in winning the World Cup by responding to people quickly and raising awareness about the products and services.’ The award came just days after Hull Trains announced two further services to Cottingham and Beverley from Monday, 20 May. In addition to the 06:00 service from Beverley and the 18:48 service from London King’s Cross, Hull Trains will now extend its journey to and from Beverley on the 08:23 service from Hull and the 15:48 service from London King’s Cross. Rail Professional

Network Rail announces £750 million contract awards to deliver signalling nationwide Network Rail has announced the award of six multi-million-pound framework contracts to deliver signalling and telecoms across the country, worth an estimated £750 million for Control Period 6 (20192024). The signalling and telecoms (S&T) frameworks, which are split into six geographical lots, have been awarded to VolkerRail Special Businesses (London North West), Atkins (Anglia, South East and Wessex), Linbrooke Services (London North East), Babcock Rail (Scotland), Colas Rail (Western) and Siemens Mobility (Wales). The frameworks will deliver projects of varying value, including stand-alone level crossings, stand-alone major telecoms and related civils works. The S&T framework awards are the first awards in a three-tier approach to signalling delivery for CP6 which aims to recognise the differing signalling work banks that need to be delivered. The remaining two tiers, minor and major signalling, targeted towards simple component replacement and major re-signalling and re-control respectively, will complete the three-tier strategy for CP6 signalling delivery when they are awarded in June 2019 and January 2020.

Aberdeen-Stonehaven railway upgrade successfully delivered Network Rail successfully commissioned the first phase of signalling improvements on the line between Aberdeen and Stonehaven over the weekend to increase capacity on the line for the introduction of additional services. Engineers worked continuously from Saturday

night to Monday morning to bring into service new LED signals and axlecounters. Newtonhill signal box was decommissioned and control of the signalling section relocated to Aberdeen. Commissioning of new signalling delivers increased capacity on the line ahead of the May timetable change and enables more

trains to move through the area safely and more efficiently. It will support the improvement of rail freight operations, provides additional capacity for local services in the future and improve operational flexibility within Aberdeen station. Part of a wider £13.5 million project between Aberdeen and Stonehaven to increase capacity, the work involved track and signalling improvements and the installation of a new track crossover at Craiginches. The new crossover, to be brought into service as part of the phase 2 commissioning work later in the programme, will reduce the number of freight trains travelling north towards Aberdeen station and help create additional options for passenger services into the city.

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London Bridge station named building of the year London Bridge Station has scooped two prestigious awards at the Royal Institute of British Architects regional awards for London. The station received the RIBA London Award 2019 and was also named RIBA London Building of the Year 2019. Based on a design by Grimshaw, the station reopened in May last year following a £1 billion transformation as part of the Government sponsored Thameslink Programme. In a five-year build, the Thameslink Programme, a partnership between the Department for Transport, Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway, Southeastern and Siemens, created the largest street-level station concourse in the UK. Work included a major track upgrade, a new rail underpass on the approach to the station and platform widenings and extensions, all of which means 30 per cent more trains can use the station than before. Throughout the rebuild the station remained open to ensure rail services were maintained for the 50 million customers who use it each year. London Bridge is the oldest station in central London and the fourth busiest in the UK. The station was originally built as two separate stations. The rebuild means that for the first-time passengers can reach all 15 platforms from one concourse. John Halsall, Network Rail’s Route Managing Director, south east, said: ‘I am delighted that the London Bridge station has been crowned building of the year. The station has been transformed into a transport hub fit for the future. This award recognises the vision of those who designed and planned this transformation and the skill and dedication of those who carried out the work. It is a breath-taking building in its own right and is also helping bring new life to this area of London.’ RIBA judges described the new concourse as ‘truly impressive.’ They added: ‘This skilful design was implemented in phases, allowing the project to be delivered on time and budget while minimising disruption to the passengers using the station during construction.’

£3.5 million investment to futureproof Nottingham’s tram fleet A new look for Nottingham’s original fleet of Incentro trams has been unveiled by the Sheriff of Nottingham, Cllr Catharine Arnold, on Friday, 10 May. Having delivered sterling service since the launch of the network in 2004, all 15 Incentro trams are set to benefit from a £3.5 million refurbishment programme that’ll help future-proof the network. The refresh is more than skin deep and includes a major mechanical overhaul alongside the introduction of a new look that matches NET’s newer Citadis models, which entered service with the expansion of the network in 2015. The work also includes the replacement of floors and all interior fittings and is aimed at boosting reliability, comfort and accessibility. Paul Robinson, Director and General Manager at NET said:

‘This investment reflects NET’s commitment to providing a firstclass tram network for Nottingham. The refurbishment will have significant benefits for customers and has been carefully considered to take into account the needs of people with disabilities, including those with sight impairments. Research has shown that having a single look across the fleet can help them access the network and also make it easier to use for people who may have dementia.’ To prevent any disruption to services, the rolling refurbishment programme will see the work carried out one tram at a time and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. During the unveiling on Friday the Sheriff was joined by long-serving NET drivers who were behind the controls of the first trams to run on the network 15 years ago.

GB Railfreight celebrate launch of new state of the art simulators in Peterborough On 22 May, GB Railfreight (GBRf) celebrated the unveiling of two new cutting-edge simulators with a launch event at their recently renovated Peterborough training facility. As the UK’s first and only full cab freight European Traffic Management System (ERTMS) simulators, GBRf is proud to be leading the way on digital innovation within the UK rail training sector.

Abseil teams tackle steep conditions to protect railway cutting from rockfalls Specialist abseiling teams are protecting a section of Victorian-built railway in Warwickshire to prevent delays caused by rockfalls. Network Rail is investing £6 million as part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan to secure a steep railway cutting at Arley near Nuneaton on a section of line which links the West Midlands to Leicester. The permanent fix will stop the need for costly temporary repairs and will ensure the reliability of the key route for passenger trains and freight customers. Rail Professional



£1 million depot upgrades to improve customer satisfaction ScotRail has installed new equipment at train depots to help improve customer satisfaction on Scotland’s railway. Upgraded Control Emission Toilet (CET) discharge facilities have been installed at Yoker and Eastfield stabling depots, with further investment planned at Fort William station, allowing more trains to be serviced simultaneously. ScotRail’s fleet of Class 385s, which can operate with up to eight-carriages, use Eastfield stabling depot near Glasgow as a servicing hub, while Yoker depot is home to many electric trains used in the Strathclyde area. The new facility at Fort William will also service the new Caledonian Sleeper trains and expanded timetable on the iconic West Highland Line. Motre news at

New London Overground electric trains enter service on the Gospel Oak to Barking line New four-car Class 710 electric trains entered passenger service on London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking line on Thursday 23 May. This is the first step in returning the service on this busy north London line, operated by Arriva Rail London (ARL), to four trains per hour, boosting capacity and delivering greater reliability. The new electric trains, built by Bombardier in Derby, can carry nearly 700 people. This is double the capacity of the old diesel trains that had been operating on the line. The new trains will be much better for air quality and the environment. Issues with software development on the brand new trains resulted in them being delivered late, but they have now been approved by the rail regulator for passenger service on this line. Two of the new trains will start on the line this week, enhancing the service provided by modified electric trains on the line. More trains will be put into service over time and it is expected the regular 15 minute/four trains per hour frequency will be restored later in the summer. A month of free travel will be given to customers on the line from September. TfL will be in contact with passengers in the next few weeks to provide more detail on this.

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Laying down the law


Martin Fleetwood

Managing Risk The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has recently published the third edition of its Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3), a tool for assessing an organisation’s ability to manage its health and safety risks


M3 is designed to work alongside the statutory health and safety obligations which apply to all parties working in the rail industry, such as the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It does not replace any of the obligations which are mandated under health and safety legislation, but is provided as guidance for rail industry parties in assessing how they are managing risk and in deciding what they may need to do to improve such management. Compliance with RM3 is not a legally binding requirement on a rail industry organisation, but it would be difficult for such an organisation to justify why it had not considered using the model.

An important factor in the development of RM3 has been that the ORR has looked at previous incidents that have taken place, both in the railway environment and in other safety critical areas and the recommendations set out in various reports resulting from those incidents

A tailored approach Through the use of RM3, the ORR is looking to enable industry parties to go above the statutory minimum and to promote continuous improvement in risk management. An important factor in the development of RM3 has been that the ORR has looked at previous incidents that have taken place, both in the railway environment and in other safety critical areas and the recommendations set out in various reports resulting from those incidents. The use of these real-life incidents rather than just theoretical scenarios means that the RM3 document is able to provide practical recommendations which are then tailored to set various benchmarks for safety standards within the rail industry. This in turn avoids an industry party having to make their own interpretations from a much more generic set of requirements provided within various parts of the overall health and safety legislation. A key outcome of RM3 is ensuring that the organisational culture within a rail industry party has the correct actions, beliefs and behaviours for the management team, staff and contractors. Although there is a level of responsibility for duty holders and directors to properly manage an organisation’s health and safety requirements, and a level of criminal liability if they are not met, not all organisations have a consistent approach to health and safety. Application of RM3 is designed to try and identify the shortfalls and help management develop a set of recommendations which can be applied to their workforce in a way which can be easily understood. It is also important that the outcomes of RM3 can be applied consistently across various organisations, so that staff moving between organisations should be able to fit easily into another organisation’s safety culture.

Encouragement of continuous development RM3 acknowledges that while an organisation’s goal should be that it meets the ‘Excellence’ level in its health and safety culture, not all organisations are operating at that level, particularly when looking across all parts of that organisation. In applying RM3, an organisation’s management is able to: • Consider how well organised its health and safety culture is and to allocate a maturity level to various areas or themes • Look at ways of improving that culture to move up the levels of maturity • Make the relevant changes within the organisation through implementing these plans • Review the effects of the changes, particularly where there can be clear RM3 Maturity Levels There are five maturity levels: • Excellence – Proactive and continual improvements in safety management • Predictable – Actions can be predicted by the management system, with violations and changes controlled centrally • Standardised – All groups perform tasks in the same way • Managed – Local groups repeat performance but different groups perform similar tasks differently • Ad hoc – Occasional and uncoordinated safety management with no central control. Note that RM3 is not intended to be a substitute for other safety assessment tests

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Even when the Excellence level is reached, monitoring is still required to ensure that such levels are maintained across all parts of the organisation evidence, such as a reduction in the number of incidents or near misses • Re-evaluate the health and safety culture and allocate a new maturity level. As the process is repeated, there should be a continued upward curve towards the Excellence level. Even when the Excellence level is reached, monitoring is still required to ensure that such levels are maintained across all parts of the organisation. In the event of a drop in performance, the issue should be detected fairly quickly and appropriate changes made. One of the important aspects of using

RM3 is for the assessment to be made on each of 26 themes identified in the organisation. Individual maturity levels for each of these themes are to be recorded rather than just having a single overall level for the organisation. The reason for this is two-fold: 1. It prevents a lower level of maturity for one or two themes being hidden by a better overall performance of the organisation. 2. It allows a solution to be tailored to deal with the specific issues identified in the assessment. The solution could be to ensure that a specific management practice is applied consistently within the organisation or a new bespoke solution may be required because the relevant theme identified the need for a different solution. In either case, the use of RM3 should provide early identification of a lack of maturity in the relevant risk management and allow a solution to be implemented before a health and safety incident occurs which causes a major issue for the organisation or any of its employees. Recording progress is important From a management perspective, it will be important to keep good records of the RM3 process that is being undertaken. The

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records provide helpful evidence that an organisation is taking its health and safety management obligations seriously and is actively looking to improve its standards. If there is a health and safety inspection, being able to show that the organisation has already identified an area which requires improvement and the steps it is actively taking to make that improvement is much better than having an inspector point out a failing. While it may not prevent a fine for a health and safety breach being applied, it could provide a level of mitigation with respect to the severity of that fine. Martin Fleetwood is a Consultant at Addleshaw Goddard’s Transport practice. The Rail Team has over 30 lawyers who advise clients in both the private and public sectors across a wide range of legal areas. As well as contractual issues, the team advises on operational matters, franchises, concessions, finance, regulatory, property, employment, environmental and procurement issues.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.

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Women in rail


Adeline Ginn

Women in Rail Wales Extending the Women in Rail support network to Wales with the launch of Women in Rail Wales – Ymestyn y rhwydwaith i gefnogi Women in Rail i Gymru gyda lansiad


n 26 June, the Women in Rail network will be expanding further as the charity launches its eighth regional group, Women in Rail Wales, in yet another milestone for the organisation. Women in Rail Wales is made out a committed group of men and women from across the railway industry in Wales who have joined forces to offer a support platform for Women in Rail members and further the charity’s agenda of improving gender balance, diversity and inclusion in this region. Jo Seabright, Marketing Consultant and rail franchise bid specialist, who recently led the launch campaigns for the new Transport for Wales Rail Services, leads the new group. Adeline Ginn, Founder and Chair of Women

A variety of events will be organised by Women in Rail Wales which will include networking opportunities,

in Rail observed: ‘We had received several requests in the past few months to set-up a group in Wales. Now, thanks to Jo and her team, Women in Rail is able to reach out to its members in this part of the country and provide them with opportunities for networking and easy access to a solid development platform, both of which are vital to ensuring we harness and retain female talent within our industry.’ Across the UK rail industry, it is important to appreciate the crucial role we each have to play to ensure that our sector continues to thrive and attracts the widest pool of talent. The Women in Rail regional networks provide Women in Rail members across the UK with an opportunity to expand their professional and personal network locally and, through development workshops and access to a unique crossindustry mentoring programme, receive the support they need in their professional development and growth, thus contributing to attracting, developing and retaining female talent in UK rail. Talking about the launch, Jo Seabright commented: ‘Transformational plans for the

railway in Wales are well underway, resulting in huge investments and hundreds of new roles being created over the next few years. With so many varied career opportunities, it is the ideal time to inspire women from all backgrounds to join the rail sector in Wales.’ A variety of events will be organised by Women in Rail Wales which will include networking opportunities, development workshops and of course some relaxing and fun get-togethers. The group has ambitious growth plans, as it will showcase the benefits of gender balance, diversity and inclusion to like-minded groups and businesses and seek to attract more women into the rail workforce in Wales. The launch of Women in Rail Wales will be sponsored by Transport for Wales Rail Services. We look forward to welcoming you at Women in Rail Wales! Ni’n edrych ymlaen i’ch croesawu chi yn Women in Rail Wales! To find out more about Women in Rail Wales or to register your interest in becoming a member email For more information about Women in Rail visit

development workshops and of course some relaxing and fun get-togethers. The group has ambitious growth plans, as it will showcase the benefits of gender balance, diversity and inclusion to like-minded groups and businesses and seek to attract more women into the rail workforce in Wales Rail Professional




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The Cheek of it... Chris Cheek

Railway pensions: a train crash waiting to happen? Let’s take a look at the issues behind the row over train operator pension schemes which could see Stagecoach and Virgin banished from the UK rail network


pril’s surprise announcement that Stagecoach and their partners Virgin and SNCF had been excluded from bidding from future rail franchises certainly set some hares running. The announcement was made amid shouldershrugging from the Department for Transport (‘not our fault, gov’) and some raised eyebrows amongst the wider train operator community. Then it emerged that Arriva too had been disqualified from the East Midlands franchise. At the time of writing, both Stagecoach and Arriva are taking the Government to court over the issue. The issue that is causing all this kerfuffle? The Railway Pension Scheme, its current deficit and future funding. Now, I know that, to most people, the very mention of the word ‘pension’ is a serious turn-off (unless, like me, you’re old enough to be receiving one, when they suddenly become very interesting indeed). For most managers, even a hint of discussions about actuarial values and future funding obligations is sufficient induce jawstretching yawns. However, this issue and the court case which looks set to follow, could be very important indeed for the future of the rail industry – as well as other parts of the wider public transport industry – in future. So, the story so far: the Railway Pension Scheme was established in May 1994 to take over the assets and liabilities of the old British Rail Pension Scheme. It was designed to be a shared cost arrangement comprising different sections for the

various participating employers together with a special section, whose solvency was guaranteed by Government, to accommodate those who had retired from or left the industry prior to privatisation. The pension rights of existing and former railway employees were given statutory protection under the Railways Act 1993. This included, unusually, a protected formula which laid down that employers must contribute 1.5 times the amount contributed by employees to the scheme. As things now stand, the scheme continues to provide pensions for staff who worked for BR at or prior to 1994, of whom there were just over 104,000 in 2017. In addition, the scheme provides pensions for 156 different employers engaged in the railway industry, each of which has its own section of the scheme which has evolved separately, responding to their own surpluses and deficits on an individual basis, with varied contribution rates, benefits and rules. In 2017, these covered some 229,000 members in 106 different sections. This raises the question of when the desire to offer flexibility and choice conflicts with an expensive administrative nightmare, and indeed this has been identified as an area for reform and cost-saving. The RPS is one of those increasingly rare beasts in the pension world – a Defined Benefit, final salary scheme – a type of pension which most private sector employers have now stopped offering because they have become unaffordable. Over the years, various attempts have been made to change the rail industry rules as well – most notably in 2004 when Network

Rail announced plans to close its scheme to new members of staff who would instead be offered a cheaper, Defined Contribution scheme. This prompted the rail unions to threaten strike action and in the end a compromise was reached under which the Defined Benefit scheme would remain open to new employees once they had completed five years’ service. Everybody has acknowledged for some years that the RPS has become increasingly unaffordable. Following the dispute in 2004, the trades unions grew increasingly concerned about the rising cost of employee contributions, and after another threat of industrial action in 2006, an Independent Railway Pensions Committee was established under the joint auspices of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), Network Rail and the Trades Union Congress (TUC). The committee issued two reports, one a review of current scheme strengths and weaknesses in 2007 and the other a series of proposals for the future in January 2008. The final report identified a ‘perfect storm’ of falling income, rising benefits and extended life expectancy, and warned that if the response to the rising cost of pension provision in the railway industry was not planned and managed, ‘the alternative is an ad hoc situation resulting in inequitable solutions as employers seek to contain their pension costs.’ A series of reforms was proposed, including changes in the existing RPS arrangements, and giving employees the choice of opting into a new scheme for new employees based on ‘Career Average Rail Professional



Revalued Earnings (CARE)’ principles which would have a lower and more affordable employee contribution rate. Shortly thereafter, Network Rail did indeed introduce such a scheme, giving employees who had joined post-privatisation a choice of three schemes at different contribution rates. However, both the new scheme and the committee’s report were criticised by the rail unions as attempting to dilute employees’ pension rights, and thus far the standoff remains. Direct contribution schemes represent a tiny proportion of railway pensions. Meanwhile, the ‘perfect storm’ predicted by the committee has indeed arrived. According to the Pensions Regulator, the deficit in the RPS stood at £7.5 billion across the franchised train operators. The solution required by the regulator would be for additional funds, though the precise amounts are yet to be quantified. This is where the dispute between Stagecoach/Arriva and the Department arises. Stagecoach themselves explained in a statement on 2 May: ‘Throughout the period of the privatised UK railway since the mid-1990s, a franchised train operator’s obligation to RPS has been limited to paying the employer contributions due for the period of its franchise. No train operator

has been held responsible for any scheme deficit remaining at the end of its franchise and nor has it had any entitlement to benefit from any scheme surplus at the end of the franchise. Since privatisation, the Department for Transport has had and continues to have a veto over train operating companies’ decisions on RPS funding, benefit and contractual arrangements.’ Stagecoach says that actuarial advice suggests that the additional costs of pension contributions for the three franchises for which it is bidding could be £1.27 billion, over and above the provisions for £350 million of extra contributions already included in its bids. The group’s argument is that its shareholders could not afford, nor should the Government expect them to afford, such costs – especially not for a short-term franchise when there would be no chance of recouping such amounts in the longer term. Meanwhile, the Department for Transport seems to be sticking to its guns: as rail minister Andrew Jones told the Commons in April, the RPS is a private sector pension fund. He argued that train operators have been ‘responsible for paying employer pension contributions during a franchise term, and in the vast majority of franchises, have been on full risk for changes to those contributions during their franchise

term since the Railways Pension Scheme was established.’ In its statement, Stagecoach accepts that view, but points out that this was ‘prior to the requests from the Pensions Regulator for substantial and not yet fully quantified increases in contributions to RPS.’ Those of us who have been watching the evolution of rail industry costs over the years since privatisation have long expected that there would one day be a crunch on the issue of rail industry pensions. Will there be room for compromise on this, one wonders? Or are we seeing Government again taking its revenge on Stagecoach and Virgin for previous disputes and disagreements, as it did over East Coast last year? Surely the point is that, once this issue has been flagged, other bidders cannot possibly ignore the issue – and one wonders what questions are being asked in Holland about the liabilities that Abellio accepted in order to win the new East Midlands franchise. With Deutsche Bahn looking to sell Arriva, and the number of bidders for rail franchises steadily diminishing to a small number of foreign state-owned railway companies, surely DfT cannot afford to be seen to exclude a leading UK transport business from the market altogether, especially in troubled Brexit times? Either way, expect this to run and run…

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Delivering the goods


Alex Veitch

NIC report: a backward step for rail? Alex Veitch, Head of Multimodal Policy at FTA, responds to the National Infrastructure Commission’s, ‘Better delivery: the challenge for freight’ report


he long-awaited report by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), ‘Better delivery: the challenge for freight’, was released in April to a mixed response from industry. FTA, the organisation representing the interests of the logistics sector, was pleased to see that many of the recommendations within the report are aligned with its members’ views, for example, the proposals for new planning practice guidance on freight for strategic policy-making authorities; the inclusion of urban freight plans in infrastructure strategies; and for the establishment of a new Freight Leadership Council. The stand-out recommendation in the report is the proposal to ban the sale of new diesel HGVs by 2040. This could be a feasible target for the logistics industry, in the view of FTA, but only if appropriate support is given to business to enable the change. Before acting on this advice, FTA is asking the Government to make a commitment the necessary investment into alternatively fuelled vehicles and the infrastructure to support them. On a broader note, the NIC is calling for a ‘Clean Freight Revolution’, citing the increasing contribution of freight transport to carbon emissions and air pollution. The NIC’s report acknowledges the positive

contribution to air quality that a modal shift to rail and water would make, but also notes that this alone would not be capable of replacing all HGV journeys, and as such, will not be the long-term solution to decarbonising road freight. This is a position FTA agrees with; it is not realistic to expect a modal shift to solve the entire road carbon conundrum. Next, the NIC proposes that road and rail freight should have a common, single target to decarbonise fully by 2050. This is where FTA parts company from the NIC. The justification for this proposal is that, ‘no part of the freight system should be indirectly subsidised by being allowed to emit carbon when other parts are decarbonising’. But given that the NIC excludes both domestic air and maritime cargo transport from this requirement, FTA finds its ambition questionable. The way to truly avoid carbon ‘leakage’ is to set an overall carbon transport target, which is difficult given the complex interaction between domestic, EU, and global aviation and maritime carbon rules and challenges on attributing emissions to national versus international journeys. Having made this proposal for a joint road and rail target, the NIC then explores ways to decarbonise the rail freight network; it concludes that, while electrification is ‘expensive and disruptive

The stand-out recommendation in the report is the proposal to ban the sale of new diesel HGVs by 2040. This could be a feasible target for the logistics industry, in the view of FTA, but only if appropriate support is given to business to enable the change during construction to all rail users’, it is nevertheless ‘a proven technology and could turn out to be cheaper and quicker than other approaches’. This latter point aligns with FTA’s members, which consider that Rail Professional



The most troubling element of the report, in the view of FTA, is the recommendation to promote road-based alternatives to busy rail corridors, should investment – most likely public finance – not be made available to decarbonise rail transport further electrification is crucial to making real progress in this area. FTA’s evidence to the Williams Rail Review called for Government to look actively for structural adjustments, which will help deliver a more electrified network. Indeed, the UK is now lagging behind comparable European railways in electrification terms, despite receiving similar levels of infrastructure investment from Government. Given the long leadtimes for electrification, FTA believes the government should be looking further into

the future – when the Class 66 locomotives will be life-expired – to consider to what extent new electric locomotive designs, combined with infill wiring, could generate a switch to more electrified rail freight. The most troubling element of the report, in the view of FTA, is the recommendation to promote road-based alternatives to busy rail corridors, should investment – most likely public finance – not be made available to decarbonise rail transport. FTA is very concerned about how this recommendation will be taken forward; rail freight already delivers greener logistics while relieving congestion on Britain’s road network. FTA is instead calling on Government to make the necessary investments in electrification or appropriate alternative fuels to enable rail services to move to a zero-carbon future. It is vital to consider other elements of transport policy, not just carbon emissions, when evaluating which mode is suitable for which type of traffic. In summary, while FTA is pleased with the recommendations within the NIC report in many ways, its advice on rail freight is questionable. The logistics sector is more than willing to make the permanent switch away from carbon-based fuels, but the Government must first ensure the infrastructure and funding is in place to support this change. After all, Britain needs a fully functioning logistics industry to deliver 4.1 million tonnes of goods every day of the year to

every corner of the country, from central London to the Highlands of Scotland in a wide range of vehicles appropriate to the job. There must be assistance for our industry if changes are to be made, since UK PLC cannot survive without the support of the logistics sector. While gradual change is already taking place within the logistics sector – operators have been moving to new forms of fuels and vehicle for some time – to implement change on a such a large scale require Government investment to match. FTA is looking forward to engaging with the NIC to develop a set of recommendations that truly offer the best solution for both business and the environment. Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With 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.  A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers. For more information please visit www.fta.

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The European Rail Clusters Initiative and Internationalisation Support for SMEs Eli Rees-King, Marketing Director at the Rail Alliance offers an insight into the extensive international work that the Rail Alliance is involved in and the growing demand for international support from its community


ince its establishment, Rail Alliance has played an important role in supporting organisations keen to develop international strategies – whether a company is investigating export, exploring collaboration opportunities in a country region, or for international businesses wanting to find out more about the opportunities in the UK to set up permanent facilities, as well as representing members at key international trade fairs such as InnoTrans, TRAKO, SIFER, Rail Live Bilbao to name but a few. More recently we have been working on projects involving specialist study missions for SMEs in key overseas markets. International marketing and export strategy is something the Rail Alliance has become more adept at over the years in response to the growing demand from Rail Alliance Community members. It is important to make the point that we rely on critical networks to do this and it is through our links with specialists in this vast and often complicated area that we are able to offer objective and impartial support to organisations who are looking to branch out with activities in overseas markets. Importantly, the Rail Alliance is also recognised as a Department of International Trade (DIT) Trade Challenge Partner (TCP). With our extensive network of contacts and the ability for us to signpost in the right direction whether that is via our Eurail Clusters (ERCI) colleagues or through a DIT

Trade Advisor based in the UK or in post overseas(or more specialist support such as an Export Finance Advisor or assistance from the International Patent Office). Recognised for our involvement in this significant area of support, we are included as an integral member of the Regional Rail Forum under the steer of International Trade & Investment Regional Campaigns Manager, Ricky Belgrave. We value the important contribution we can make to this group to support the DIT in promoting the UK rail sector and in turn support our community with their international strategy. Supporting the Industrial strategy and Sector Deal – regionally and nationally: This year at Railtex this year, we jointly delivered an event with Midlands Engine to ‘Promote Excellence in Rail in the Region’ created to showcase the Midlands rail cluster as well as the critical transportation links being invested in – such as HS2 not to mention the vast amount of work that has already seen rail networks in the area expand significantly. With an audience that included international companies, Government representatives, regionally based SMEs and rail journalists, the feedback on the content was excellent and we can thank the strong panel of industry leaders who presented – including Adrian Shooter, CEO Vivarail, Robin Lapish, Supply Chain Manager/Specialist, HS2 Ltd, Toby Rackliff, Strategic Rail Policy Lead,

West Midlands Rail Executive, Mark Goldby, Midlands Engine/ Advanced Manufacturing Specialist, Dept. for International Trade, Alex Burrows, MD BCRRE & Rail Alliance – all showcasing the region through different important viewpoints. Our part in the European Rail Clusters Initiative How did this journey begin? Ten years ago, the Rail Alliance made an important decision to help establish the European clusters network and set up the ERCI (European Rail Clusters Initiative). It was a decisive milestone and the cooperation agreement was officially signed during InnoTrans 2010 in Berlin. ERCI is now the leading meta-cluster of the railway industry in Europe uniting 14 innovation clusters from ten European countries. Together, the ERCI helps to connect the ideas and interests of close to 2000 small and medium-sized businesses in the industry and is their voice and lobby at European level. It helps member companies to grow – through improved access to European partners and customers, accelerated technology transfer and joint marketing in, and outside, of the EU. Over the past years, ERCI has established governance structures and has established itself as the European railway cluster network. PERES – Promoting European Rail Excellence outSide of Europe This leads me on to introduce PERES. The PERES 4i-partnership, was awarded under the umbrella of the EU cluster collaboration platform in January 2018. An 18-month programme of which Rail Alliance is one of four ERCI partners appointed to deliver it alongside DITECFER (Italy), i-Trans (France), BTS Rail Saxony (Germany) and the Serbian Railway Cluster for South-East Europe RCSEE. PERES is led by Italian cluster DITECFER. ‘The fact that the EU Commission is now explicitly supporting rail industry SMEs in market development is strengthening our activities. I am sure that new and interesting partnerships will arise from the common activities with other European companies’ said



ERCI spokesperson and PERES participant Dirk-Ulrich Krüger from BTS Rail Saxony. PERES aims to intensify and lead on international cluster cooperation to support companies in the European railway industry being represented (mainly SMEs) in internationalisation processes concerning markets outside of the EU. The clusters, in fact, also include large enterprises at the top of the supply chain and scientific bodies, but the overriding objective remains, and that is for PERES to empower the SMEs to solve the challenges faced when entering international markets. The approach in terms of building capability to go international also takes into account those entities that enable SMEs in their daily development (for example, for R&D activities, innovation support, tests, certifications, etc.). It was quickly recognised by the PERES team, that by that positioning the organisations as part of a much larger value chain (rather than seen as in individual entities) this would be key to offering a competitive – and therefore even more attractive – proposition at international level that could quickly meet and respond to market need. PERES is also an initiative designed to support and develop the PERES Cluster Managers themselves, enabling them to better support its members and to deliver higher quality project objectives. This takes place through a combined approach such as the development of initiatives such as B2B at important international rail fairs in addition to sharing experiences and best practices between us and also with other European clusters.

three states of America. This area was selected due to its concentrated mix of railway companies that suited the capability of the value chain identified as part of the research. It was important that meetings not only included companies providing products and services in the US but also business groups, Government organisations and academia/research bodies with advice on doing business in the US market. The intinary was extensive and included meetings with Metra, Progress Rail (Electro Motive Diesel), Chicago World Business, TTX, RDC (Railroad development Corporation), Wabtec, Bombardier, Ohio University, Ohio rail Development Commission, Carnegie Mellon University, NextManufacturing Center & Manufacturing Futures Initiative – to name but a few! Each meeting provided a new and important insight into the US market and, importantly, valuable connections. We are very close to concluding the project and a meeting will be taking place in the next couple of weeks before the final presentation of results in Brussels on 25 June 2019. This has been a true collaboration of specialists and after many hours of research, SME engagement, reports, and presentations. Based on the success of this pilot project it is envisaged that PERES will continue and a further trade study mission which will be announced early next year.

Belgrade Presentation of PERES Research and the Trade Study Mission In January, the partner clusters involved in the PERES project came together in Belgrade at the Serbian Railways HQ to present the work that took place in the months prior resulting in the creation of an internationalisation strategy drafted specifically for SMEs in the European rail industry. The announcement was also made that the selected market for the international study mission would be the United States of America – based on the research undertaken and the emerging value chain. As the event was hosted by Serbian Railways, participants also had an opportunity to meet the representatives of three national railway companies – Serbian Railways Infrastructure, Srbija Voz, national passenger transport operator, and Srbija Kargo, national freight transport operator.

Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education (BCRRE, University of Birmingham) and international presence Another further building block and of huge benefit to the Rail Alliance community is the presence and connections that BCRRE already holds with international markets – including markets outside of Europe – for example, Dubai, Korea, China, USA, Singapore, Japan – just to name a few. The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham is the largest university-based centre for railway research, education and innovation in Europe, developing world-leading new technologies and delivering renowned higher education programmes. BCRRE is also the lead academic institution of the UK Rail Research Innovation Network (UKRRIN) and hosts the Centre of Excellence in Digital Systems. Only last month BCRRE signed cooperation agreements with two organisations based in Serbia to strengthen ties with the rail industry across South and East Europe. The agreements, which were signed at the SEE Mobility Fair in Belgrade on 8 May 2019, set out plans for how BCRRE, Rail Alliance, the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering – University of Belgrade (FTTE), and RCSEE, will work together on collaborative railway

PERES goes to the USA - Chicago (Illinois), Cleveland (Ohio), and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) At the end of March 2019, led by Veronica Bocci from Italian cluster DITECFER the Rail Alliance along with another three cluster partners BTS Saxony, I-Trans and RCSEE and nine SMEs met in Chicago USA for the beginning of a seven-day study mission across Rail Professional

research and innovation projects. The RCSEE agreement will focus on sharing knowledge and best practice between BCRRE Rail Alliance and RCSEE with a shared aim of increasing opportunities for SME members to grow and develop their business. There will also be collaboration on developing skills including a railway engineering education partnership between the Universities of Birmingham and Belgrade. This month it plays host to one of the two annual steering group committee meetings that the ERCI holds a year which will offer the cluster members to find out more about BCRRE and also an opportunity to visit Quinton Rail Technology Centre and speak to several UK rail businesses – including Vivarail, Porterbrook and Chrysalis – about the exciting projects they are engaged in right now. ERCI Innovation Awards As a final note, I must take the opportunity to share the details of the ERCI Innovation Awards that will be taking place this year at Expo Ferroviaria (Milan – Italy, 1 to 3 October) and will be hosted by DITECFER. Every year, the ERCI honours pioneering innovation projects of European rail industry companies with the yearly ERCI Innovation Awards. There will be three awards – for the most innovative SME, the most innovative large enterprise and ‘jury’s favourite’. Winners are selected based on the following criteria: • Innovation features of the solution • Economic and social benefits for the railway sector • Integration of new digital technologies • Impact on ‘human capital’ • Creation of the innovation by networking (cooperation with other private or public entities. If you would like to enter there is still time – the deadline for entries is 14 June 2019. Please let us know if you would like more information. We were delighted to see Rail Alliance community partner, Perpetuum win the ‘Best SME award in 2018 at InnoTrans’ for Wireless Sensor Nodes including vibration and temperature sensors, an energy harvester, a microprocessor and a wireless transmitter.) If you are interested in finding out more about the international work the Rail Alliance is involved in, please go to and send a message via the contact form.

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Cheerleaders and champions In our increasingly woke, politically correct, EDI-focussed workplace it may surprise you to see me writing about cheerleaders


r you might be of the same linguistic leaning as me, and automatically associate the term ‘cheerleader’ with one that actively promotes the achievements of others, for no personal gain, merely to provide support and encouragement. Recently Karen Gill MBE, co-founder of everywoman ( wrote that ‘A cheerleader is someone who is going to give you confidence by reinforcing all the things that you’ve achieved and that you’re good at, and then amplifying that to the wider workplace… (and it comes) from a place of empathy, understanding and wanting (others) to succeed’. Sometimes cheerleading can take you by surprise: I will never forget the fear I had

Many of us can attest to the fact that seeing others progress and develop with your help and support is extremely rewarding, and I doubt anyone would deny that it also encourages a more attractive working environment

when I had to stand in for Colin Flack as a keynote speaker at a manufacturing exhibition. If you know Colin, you will know he is a natural, and skilled, orator. His were massive presenter’s shoes to step into. But he nudged me out of my comfort zone, believed in me, and I will never forget that gesture or opportunity. Never wave a mic in my direction now though… stage fright was definitely conquered that day. But cheerleading, or championing of others, can take many forms; and it can be of benefit to anyone, at any stage of their career. I am hugely fortunate to have an evergrowing network, across which there is a raft of mutual support, and I am lucky that year on year, this network nurtures our community without fail. Believing in, and supporting those less experienced than ourselves, is a way in which we can not only help individuals, but also help make incremental change within our respective sectors. Many of us can attest to the fact that seeing others progress and develop with your help and support is extremely rewarding, and I doubt anyone would deny that it also encourages a more attractive working environment.

Introducing Megan Megan Tait recently won CAD Apprentice of the Year through the Stockport Engineering Training Association. You probably have not heard of Megan, but a year ago she displayed a level of tenacity and grit that stood her in great stead. She applied for work experience at a local rail company, unheard of in her Rail Professional



To his credit he developed and worked a fledgling digital network almost overnight, but he acknowledges Nina as follows. ‘There is one person who stands out in particular, someone who has been there from my very early LinkedIn days and has been there ever since, Nina Lockwood. Nina specialises in executive search in rail and transport, so I wasn’t exactly going to earn her any money (but) she identified me as one to watch. ‘Over the past year and a half Nina has invested in me heavily. She has always made time to speak to me, by phone or will meet with me any time she is in London. She has helped me prepare for interviews, supported me with queries and problems, as well as helping me to see where I could be in the future. Our conversations always leave me feeling empowered, motivated and confident. ‘Not only has Nina invested her time and wisdom in me but she has also put me in contact with some other incredible people within the industry, such as Sir Peter Hendy, Chair of Network Rail…. Without Nina’s influence and support I wouldn’t be where I am today. She has instilled a confidence and belief that there are no boundaries in my career.’ This support has been invaluable to Lee, but also to the rail community in general. As a result of Nina’s help, Lee is determined to encourage more service-leavers join the

school, for a girl, and certainly a new request for the company in question. Inspired by an open evening for apprenticeships she subsequently approached the company, was accepted for work experience and went on to complete an engineering apprenticeship. She explains that the HR manager that enabled her work experience ‘really made me believe this was something I could be successful at… that a woman can do anything that a man can and when doing my work experience I was welcomed and very much supported and treated as an equal … to win CAD apprentice of the year was an amazing shock but I know I have worked hard to succeed which is due to the faith Tracey, the HR manager, had in me… I also had so much support from my tutors, it really encouraged me to do my utmost best’. Pay it forward Another great example of someone who has not only benefited from another’s support is in the (near infamous) Lee Paine, Assistant Service Engineer, Govia Thameslink. Lee not only praises his own personal cheerleader, one Nina Lockwood, but he has quickly become a cheerleader in his own right. I asked him how having such support has made a difference to him, given that his approach to getting into rail was particularly pro-active when he began the process of leaving the army about eighteen months ago.

sector. No doubt Megan will encourage more girls to consider engineering. Conclusion Thanks to Colin, and a slew of others, I am in the privileged position where I can cheerlead, champion and mentor others, and am constantly buoyed by the same level of support I receive from others around me. Champion or Cheerleader: you choose your preferred badge, but can I ask you to look out for those that deserve your support? Let’s pay it forward together.

Lucy Prior MBE is the Business Development Director of RTS Solutions, a specialist transportation software engineering company delivering stable and resilient, web-based, realtime safety critical applications. RTS’ software supports the railways, metros and road network infrastructures to meet the ever-growing operational demands for increases in capacity, reliability and availability of their networks by providing a suite of products and applications. Lucy was awarded an MBE for services to rail exports in last year’s Birthday Honours, the nominations for which also cited her work in support of the YRP and encouraging EDI within rail. She also has two young children who hear an awful lot about just how cool the rail sector is and how lovely people are in the sector.



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Monitoring our railways: why surveillance must shift from forensic to real time Lucas Young, Business Development Manager, Transportation, Axis Communications, discusses why the rail industry must transition from analogue to digital video surveillance technology to achieve long term gains


ail networks play an integral and critical role in our public transportation system. Each year, 1.7 billion people travel by train in the UK, with four million journeys taking place each day. Staggeringly, these numbers are growing by six per cent every year, with passenger numbers set to double by 2044. The majority of journeys that take place are often essential commutes for workers making the industry a key player in our critical national infrastructure. Delays and cancellations caused by maintenance issues or human interference, such as trespassing on the tracks and suicide, can have a profound impact on the network, its staff, and the wider economy. The European transport sector quickly

Despite a relatively delayed initial uptake by the majority or transport authorities, it is widely accepted that the market has reached a crucial tipping point, where network video products now outsell the traditional analogue technology

adopted analogue CCTV. Although severely limited in its capabilities, the analogue camera technology was able to record, store and replay video for post-incident analysis. However, as transport hubs have got busier, forensic analysis is no longer enough. As passenger numbers have increased and threats on our rail networks have evolved, camera technology has had to improve. IP digital cameras, which have enhanced image and processing capabilities, can deliver an effective solution in most cases. Despite a relatively delayed initial uptake by the majority or transport authorities, it is widely accepted that the market has reached a crucial tipping point, where network video products now outsell the traditional analogue technology. Predictive maintenance There are many reasons for the slow uptake of network video adoption across

much of the public transport sector. A reoccurring theme in a survey conducted with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) was that short-term gains could be had by utilising outdated technology, or ‘sweating your assets’, with the cost of an entirely new network camera system often an unrealistic proposition. One of the most prominent aims within the UK rail industry is to create more efficiencies – every decision made must be based on realising a clear ROI. Through the use of networked technology, such as IP cameras attached to the front of trains, advanced analytics functions can be used in the drive towards predictive maintenance. Utilising modern surveillance technology for predictive maintenance means that beyond security, this technology can recognise and trigger alerts for an important event – ranging from damage to infrastructure, tools left on the tracks, or



even overgrown and overhanging shrubbery that requires cutting back. As the rail industry becomes more technologically advanced, IP cameras must become the standard in order to create true maintenance efficiencies. Exploiting IP technology Maintenance isn’t the only issue causing problems on our rail networks. Suicides, of course, have a long-lasting impact on friends and family but can also cause severe stress for those that bear witness to such a traumatic scene including drivers, passengers and rail staff. Tackling the suicide challenge in rail fulfils a moral obligation for infrastructure owners and train operating companies. In order to achieve this, the rail industry must be able to identify suicidal behaviour before an incidence occurs, which is a difficult task in itself. Of the few studies that do exist on the subject, a ‘30-minute wave’ period has been discovered when an individual may contemplate suicide. In this window, it is important to identify potential victims and react quickly. Studies suggest that individuals who take their own lives on rail networks are often seen to be acting ‘strangely’ beforehand. This could suggest behaviours such as loitering in high-risk

areas, or other platform locations where commuters do not typically stand. Advanced IP camera technology is integral to identifying these behaviours; robust edge-based analytics can analyse data provided by IP cameras, continually assessing a scene to spot irregular behaviour. This will help station staff identify at risk individuals who might be contemplating suicide in real-time by alerting the relevant responsible person in a station or control centre. A decision can then be made to deploy a member of staff to interact with the subject, or perhaps play a pre-determined announcement via an IP horn speaker in the vicinity of an individual to break the ‘30-minute wave’. From forensic to real-time surveillance It is the shift from forensic video surveillance to real-time analysis of data that is enabling improved predictive maintenance and suicide prevention. Empowered by the latest IP technology, not only is it helping organisations to gain long-term value from their investment, but also to save lives. While the technology is already widely used in the transport sector in Europe, the UK must accelerate adoption if it is to keep pace. Learn more about the shift from forensic to real-time in transport in Axis’ latest white paper: http://www.axis- real_time About Axis Communications Axis enables a smarter and safer world by creating network solutions that provide insights for improving security and new ways of doing business. As the industry leader in network video, Axis offers products and services for video surveillance and analytics, access control, and audio systems. Axis has more than 3,000 dedicated employees in over 50 countries and collaborates with partners worldwide to deliver customer solutions. Founded in 1984, Axis is a Sweden-based company listed on the NASDAQ Stockholm under the ticker AXIS. For more information about Axis, please visit our website Lucas Young is Axis’ Business Development Manager for Northern Europe, responsible for transport sectors. Lucas comes from a risk management and security consultancy background and has worked extensively in the transport sector including ports, maritime, rail and airport environments. His wide experience of working in both operational and strategic roles give him an excellent insight into the issues, challenges and potential solutions facing those who work in all aspects of transport security.

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Rail Live 2019 The rail industry will converge on the Quinton Rail Technology Centre on 19 and 20 June for Rail Live 2019


Meanwhile, its Ballast Cleaning System 3 will allow an appreciation of what the HOBC process involves – from cutting and cleaning the ballast to the removal of waste, delivery of new ballast, and the follow-up work of the tamper to reinstate the track to line speed.

he event takes place outdoors in the Summer sunshine where visitors will be surrounded by over £500 million of rail plant equipment on display and in live demonstrations. Visitor numbers are predicted to hit 6,000 with over 250 companies exhibiting the latest developments in the rail supply chain from the UK and Europe. Project managers and directors, engineers, executives and students will all have the opportunity to meet suppliers, test out the latest technology, network with peers and learn from some of the best minds in rail whilst getting a complete overview of the industry. Network Rail Village RAIL Live 2019 is to feature a complete ‘Network Rail village’, including live demonstrations and displays of equipment such as a High Output Ballast Cleaner and Kirow crane. Network Rail will also display vehicles from its road fleet, and ‘before and after’ examples of switches and crossings refurbished at its Whitemoor facility. Included in Network Rail’s presence is its

survey helicopter and dedicated Class 950 Track Recording Unit. Used on secondary lines, the ‘950’ is the only member of Network Rail’s measurement fleet to have been purpose-built for track measurement. Network Rail will display the Kirow crane – the only one in its fleet – in conjunction with a beam carrier and tilting wagon to show how the machines work together to position switches and crossings.

Speakers High-profile speakers expected to attend include Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling. Speakers from Network Rail will also be well-represented with Chief Executive Andrew Haines supported by colleagues such as Chief Technology Officer Andy Doherty and Managing Director of Route Services Susan Cooklin. Subjects to be discussed at the event’s exclusive seminars include the opportunities offered to the supply chain, including through Network Rail, the Rail Sector Deal and through using data. Innovate UK will explain how it is supporting the rail supply chain through funding, while the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education and the Rail Alliance will discuss the acceleration of innovation. Alternative power sources are to be represented by both Britain’s first hydrogenpowered train, the HydroFLEX, and Vivarail’s battery Class 230 (RAIL 875). Rail Live will also include displays of a variety of ‘yellow plant’, with Balfour Beatty, Vp plc and SRS among the companies expected to attend. Also now confirmed for the event are the British Transport Police and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch. Delegates will be able to arrive at Long Marston directly by train as Great Western Railway is to operate a chartered passenger service between Paddington and Long Marston on both days of Rail Live. The special trains will call at Reading, Oxford and Honeybourne en route to the Quinton Rail Technology Centre, with an additional stop at Didcot Parkway for the first service to the event.



Innovation Hub A converted Class 319, the Innovation Hub has been described as effectively the missing link in the supply chain, by allowing products to be ‘fast-tracked’ into a rail setting. The concept has been developed since Porterbrook’s first ever supplier conference last year, at which attendees identified an inability to showcase products on a real train as a key obstacle to successful innovation. Porterbrook Head of Innovation and Technical Services Chandra Morbey said of the Innovation Hub: ‘We were keen to make the whole process as simple and easy for suppliers as possible, so that we – and they – could focus on their ideas and innovation. Drawing on Porterbrook’s expert team of engineers, innovations were reviewed, and more than 30 different innovation ideas were selected to showcase.’ Suppliers include 3M, 42 Technology, Altro, Aqueios Guard, Aura Graphics, Axminster Carpets, Birley Manufacturing, BlockDox, Blocksil, Camira Fabrics, Chrysalis, Digital Railway Ltd, ELeather, EAO, ESG Rail, Flitetrak, I M Kelly R & A Ltd, Infodev EDI, Inspiring Solutions Group, KeTech Systems, Milwaukee Composites Incorporated, Motorail, On Train, Powelectrics, Revitaglaze, Stewart Signs, Train FX, Transcal Engineering, TRB

Lightweight Structures, Unipart Rail and URGroup. Schedule overview The first day kicks off with Department for Transport Permanent Secretary Bernadette Kelly CB giving an update on the Williams Review. That is followed by Network Rail’s Chief Executive Andrew Haines talk on devolution and how procurement is changing for Network Rail. Later in the morning Network Rail’s Susan Cooklin, Rob Morton and Bill Kelly will discuss how modernising the supply chain with new ways of working and technology can unlock the railway’s full potential for passengers and freight. They will explain the pivotal role of the supply chain in solving the railway’s most important challenges, emphasising a collaborative supply chain approach, and will also consider how digitalisation and procurement transformation will be essential to achieve this

in CP6. After lunch there will be talks on the Rail Sector Deal and HS2. On the second day, Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling will kick of proceedings with his keynote followed by Innovate UK’s talk: Supporting Innovation in the Supply Chain. Rail Professional columnist and Rail Alliance Marketing Director Eli Rees-King will join Martin Little, Rail Alliance Commercial Director, and BCRRE Director Alex Burrows for a talk on driving practical innovation in rail. The afternoon sessions include a presentation on encouraging growth and collaboration across the supply chain by Rail Forum Midlands followed by a talk on research and development with a panel from Network Rail.

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Mike Barker and Lloyd Williams Sam Sherwood-Hale spoke to Mike Barker and Lloyd Williams, Project Director and Project Manager of RPS Group’s ground investigation work packages for HS2


he UK’s largest ever ground investigation for the new High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link between London Euston and Birmingham Curzon Street is now in its fourth year. RPS has successfully delivered 13 of the original ground investigation work packages working directly for HS2 Ltd, the most of any company on the framework with the value of works completed so far totalling circa £5 million. The appointed main works and enabling works contractors are now undertaking supplementary ground investigation to support scheme and detailed design, including value engineering and RPS is currently delivering an additional three packages of works. RPS has successfully delivered 13 of the original ground investigation work packages working directly for HS2 Ltd. What kind of logistical challenges did you and the team face? The nature and scale of the scheme, divided into packages of works across the 140 mile long HS2 route, meant continuously working across land where numerous stakeholders were involved as well as responding to diverse ground conditions and vast quantities of varied geological data. Our packages of works took us from central London where we had to ensure minimal disturbance to the 120,000 people that pass through Euston station daily, right through to rural environments in very snowy and wet conditions which required a different approach altogether. For example, we faced a particular logistical challenge when access to one of the working areas required taking large plant along a privately-owned dirt track used by a local equestrian club. The track had several low-lying boggy areas and there was concern that plant movement would cause the track to become unsuitable for

horses. RPS engaged with a quarry to supply material and local a contractor to undertake improvement works to the existing track as well as extend the track to the working area. This allowed the required ground investigations to be completed within a working week without causing interruption to the horse riders at the weekends. How do you handle working across land where numerous stakeholders are involved? Advanced planning is crucial to ensure the appropriate licences, permissions and approvals are in place. We have clear processes and flows in place to ensure these are all captured and programmed in to the works. We manage unforeseen changes by working to a dynamic programme and scope with our team’s setup so we have the flexibility to move our mobile plant and drill rigs to different areas of the work packages at short notice; continuing the workflow while accommodating the requirements of land owners and other stakeholders. How complex were the ground investigations? What sort of techniques did you have to employ? It has been a uniquely complex ground investigation requiring a variety of techniques to deliver it. On site, we have utilised conventional and wireline rotary, cable percussive drilling, high pressure dilatometer tests and self-boring pressuremeter testing, sonic drilling and Cone Penetrometer Testing. We have also undertaken gamma, televiewer downhole and surface and downhole seismic testing as well as trial pitting and window sampling. Specialist geotechnical laboratory testing has been a core element of the scheme including complex and lengthy testing on over-consolidated clays, only able to be undertaken by a handful of UK laboratories.

The contract is divided into packages of works across the 140 mile long route, how did you arrange operating with local contractors? We developed a framework of specialist and local sub-contractors, with all works managed and supervised by our team. Additionally, non-technical contractors including access plant vehicles have been sourced locally to the individual work packages through local farmers and businesses, supporting their workforce with the necessary HSE certifications. How did you manage and distribute the data generated from the ground investigations? That is definitely one of the main challenges encountered of a project of this scale. We developed a robust data management plan and quality management systems.

We manage unforeseen changes by working to a dynamic programme and scope with our team’s setup so we have the flexibility to move our mobile plant and drill rigs to different areas of the work packages at short notice Rail Professional

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On several occasions dedicated haul roads were constructed (a rarity for a typical ground investigation) and during the severe wet and snowy weather conditions in March 2018 a specialist sledge was used to transport the cable percussion drilling rigs Throughout the works we have: liaised closely with the logging software company; provided AGS4 and GI data management (HoleBASE) training to all project and site staff; resourced a large team of dedicated personnel to data management and data quality control; and provided training, guidance and workshops to some specialist contractors and laboratories that were not set up for reporting AGS4 data. HS2 Ltd presented our data management plan/ processes and systems to the other GI Framework Contractors, exemplifying our best practice and to implement consistency in standards and approach to data across the whole of the project.

As Project Manager, Lloyd acted as the Liaison Engineer on the project between the numerous parties involved and was responsible for the quality, technical compliance of the acquired data and to deliver this on time and within budget


What are some specific tests your teams carried out? While working in an area of a proposed large deep excavation associated with the redevelopment of Euston Station we undertook a specialist and rare test called a Self Boring Pressuremeter (SPB). This comprises a cylindrical instrument bored into the ground with increments of pressure applied through pumping water down the borehole and into the instrument. The test allows for in-situ measurements to be taken and geotechnical parameters of the soil and rock required for the design and installation of structures buried deep in the ground. How did you handle collaboration with TfL, and other local governing bodies, when you required access to London Euston Station? While working in London Euston Station we faced strict limitations on access, traffic management and control of construction noise. Before the works commenced we met with Camden County Council and agreed mitigations that would be utilised during the works to minimise the noise generated by our drilling. Planning for the works included our Project Manager attending and inputting into the Camden Traffic Liaison Group Consultations in conjunction with representatives from HS2. During the works we liaised closely with HS2 Ltd, Transport for London (TfL), London Underground, Camden Council and London Buses as well as the other HS2 enabling and main work contractors to ensure maximum collaboration and keep the works on schedule. This collaboration included both at the high level with the project managers and planners, but also our team on site were in daily contact on the ground with TfL, Network Rail and HS2 operatives working at Euston Station. Attaining drill rig access for some locations involved entry through the main TfL bus station at Euston. To ensure minimal disruption to the bus service, access was arranged during overnight operations. How did that compare to the challenges you faced in the rural areas at the other end of the route? The challenges faced in the rural environments were also unique. With drilling works being undertaken all year round, we faced winter conditions and very soft ground. We required widespread use of bog mats to get access and on occasion bespoke methods were required. On several occasions dedicated haul roads were constructed (a rarity for a typical ground investigation) and during the severe wet and snowy weather conditions in March 2018 a specialist sledge was used to transport the cable percussion drilling rigs. How did the scope of the work change as the project was carried out? Did you have to change your approach in anyway? Ground Investigations need to be adaptable to take into account the ground conditions Rail Professional

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encountered and to ensure the correct data is obtained for the design of the proposed cuttings and tunnels. The HS2 ground investigation was no different and adding to the challenge was the fact that some of the areas were not relatively well known in terms of drilling conditions. Notably the Tamworth area where the Hopwas Breccia and underlying Kidderminster Formation proved particularly challenging. The initial scope of work called for wireline geobore rotary drilling to progress these holes, however early on in the programme it became apparent that this wouldn’t work. The matrix material of the Breccia was heavily weathered while the clasts and cobbles contained in the weak matrix retained a lot of strength. The result meant it was a challenge even to progress the boreholes let alone carry out suitable sampling and testing. Immediate identification of the issue allowed us to quickly mobilise an alternative method, sonic drill rig, to progress the hole with minimal delay. Let’s talk about your roles, how do they differ and what responsibilities do each of you have on a day-to-day basis whilst working on this project? As Project Manager, Lloyd acted as the Liaison Engineer on the project between

the numerous parties involved and was responsible for the quality, technical compliance of the acquired data and to deliver this on time and within budget. Lloyd coordinated with the RPS Site Manager to ensure that site work was progressing as expected, liaised with the Data Manager to ensure that data and documentation was up-to-date and accurate, closely liaised with the HS2 project team and along with the HS2 land access team, met with landowners and other stakeholders to agree access routes and programme for the works. Agreeing changes to the methodology and scope of work with HS2 to ensure successful delivery of the required data was also a large part of Lloyd’s day to day responsibilities. As the Project Director, Mike had overall responsibility for ensuring we were meeting our required technical and commercial performance on the contract. Mike ensured that the resources were available to successfully undertake the works and developed the Framework of specialist and local contractors, ensuring they were compliant with the technical, H&S and environmental requirements expected of them. We’ve written previously about the skills shortage and how many rail engineers are set to retire over the


coming years. HS2 is seen as an opportunity for young people to get into a career in rail, has that been your experience from what you’ve seen? From a ground engineering perspective, it has been a massive opportunity for RPS’ junior consultants to be involved in a large-scale rail project. The scheme has exposed our teams to a wide variety of geological conditions and allowed excellent development opportunity with chance to rotate into different roles from technical, logistical and data management. A lot of our junior consultants and engineers have been exposed to some of the specialist techniques being used on HS2, so this project has given them the opportunity to be involved in the collection and reporting of that data.

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Green Valley Lines: The scheme to decarbonise railways in South Wales Leo Murray, Director of 10:10 Climate Action, explains the role of electrification in the Green Valley Lines scheme


inding solutions to climate change that work with and for local communities was the impetus behind the Green Valley Lines scheme. It was born out of social enterprise Riding Sunbeams, created by us at 10:10 Climate Action and Community Energy South to connect community owned solar panels directly into electrified rail routes to power trains. With Network Rail and Transport for Wales pushing ahead with ambitious plans to electrify South Wales valley lines, the GVL project came together at the perfect time to support ‘smart electrification’ of the commuter lines running to and from Cardiff. Having been granted £133,000 in funding from the Rail Safety and Standards Board’s ‘Intelligent Power Solutions to Decarbonise Rail’ competition, the scheme

will explore the use of community-owned renewable energy and storage technologies to provide Welsh railways with a direct supply of electricity to power trains on newly electrified routes. As a climate change charity focused on public participation and cultural change, we welcome the exciting opportunity this brings to engage ordinary people in the low carbon transition. Humble beginnings for a world first The railway age began right here in the Valleys, where the first ever steam train journey took place in 1804 at Pen-y-Darren ironworks in Merthyr Tydfill. So, it is fitting that as part of this project, the Valleys could once again be home to a new world first in rail technology. Our scheme will scope the potential to use direct supply from solar, wind and hydropower generators to meet some of the new traction load which electrification will bring to the region. Although places like the Netherlands now have one hundred per cent of their electric trains powered by wind, this is supplied over the standard electricity grid. Nowhere else in the world has the traction power for trains been supplied directly by renewable generators. This is the really exciting part of this project, and not only is it a pioneering part of rail technology, but it also offers financial benefits to local communities along the way. Innovative as it is, the origins of the project were rather humble. In 2014, 10:10 was helping people in the ‘fracking village’ of Balcombe in Sussex to develop a community owned solar farm big enough to meet the electricity needs of local people. But the local grid had reached capacity and connecting new generation at scale would require an expensive upgrade. Repower Balcombe’s Technical Director, Tom Parker, asked if we couldn’t just connect solar PV to the railway that runs through the village instead, to provide traction power directly to trains.

Although Balcombe eventually found an alternative site to build their solar farm, we quickly realised that the answer to Tom’s question might be much bigger than the solution to one village’s problem. That’s how Riding Sunbeams was born. Since then we have worked with electrical engineers to show that not only is solar traction power technically feasible, it’s also attractive in terms of cost advantages under today’s market conditions. So, when the RSSB announced their innovation competition, we knew Riding Sunbeams could offer invaluable support to the ambitious electrification plans for the Welsh railways, leading to the launch of our Green Valley Lines scheme. Next steps Our team of renewable energy experts and specialist engineers at Network Rail’s Wales and Borders Route, Transport for Wales Rail Services, the Energy Saving Trust and consultancy Ricardo will develop new value propositions for smart electrification across a number of different frontiers. First, we will identify potential sites where we could install community owned solar, wind or hydroelectric generators next to railway lines in the region. In tandem, we will analyse the system value



that lineside energy storage facilities of different technologies could offer rail network operators, as well as developing specifications for the power electronics interface needed to allow renewables and storage to connect directly into the 25kv AC overhead traction system. Using TfW and Network Rail’s detailed models of spatial traction load characteristics for the routes, we will then be able to shortlist sites where we can add most value by supporting the new traction load with a combination of renewable generation and storage. These sites would directly supply the lines with low-cost, low-carbon electricity, whilst in turn providing financial benefits to local communities who would own the generators. We will also assess whether integration of lineside renewables and storage could help improve the business case for extension of the electrified network in South Wales in the future, perhaps by charging the onboard batteries in the new tri-mode trains that will operate these routes as a cheaper alternative to catenary cabling at branch peripheries. Riding Sunbeams is already working to deliver a Department for Transport funded, world-first technology demonstrator that will connect a small-scale solar PV test unit to the DC third-rail traction system in South-East England this summer.

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The perfect opportunity Electrified rail lines offer important new market opportunities which could unlock new development of commercial scale, unsubsidised renewables in the UK and beyond. But the UK’s ageing electricity networks pose significant challenges to any bid to decarbonise road and rail that relies on the grid. There are now swathes of the British countryside where it is impossible to plug in any new solar, wind or hydropower without being hit with a whopping bill for the full costs of network reinforcement, just like we saw in Balcombe. Whilst most rail electrification projects in the UK have been paused since 2016, devolution has allowed Transport for Wales to push ahead with ambitious plans for a South Wales Metro network with world-class environmental standards. Trains will not be permitted to run on diesel North of Cardiff under the plans, and all energy for the newly electrified lines must come from renewable sources – with 50 per cent originating from Welsh generators. Transport for Wales are supporting the Green Valley Lines project as a way to help meet these goals. Natalie Rees, Sustainable Development Manager for Transport for Wales, said: ‘at Transport for Wales we are closely aligned with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and we

understand that transport is fundamental to the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales. ‘In order to help achieve a ‘globally responsible Wales’ we have committed to ensuring that energy for stations and the overhead wires will come from one hundred per cent zero carbon energy, with at least 50 per cent sourced in Wales. We will develop 1,500 additional park and ride spaces across Wales to encourage rail travel and invest £738 million to electrify the Central Metro network. ‘The ‘Green Valley Lines’ research project will explore the use of community-owned renewable energy and storage technologies to provide our Welsh railways with a direct supply of electricity to power trains on newly electrified routes. It’s encouraging forward thinking, and as a result of our environmental targets research projects such as this are developing and investigating into more sustainable methods of travel. ‘Transport for Wales are also working in partnership with Swansea University on the ‘Specific’ project, again focusing on decarbonisation and the potential for creating renewable energy through installing solar panels on train/bus shelters.’ Leo Murray is Director of 10:10 Climate Action


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Station infrastructure and electrification Chris Walker, Electrical & Plant Engineer at Mott MacDonald, explores the issues facing major electrification projects


he world of electrification has gained some limelight in recent years with major electrification projects being commissioned. The miles and miles of steel and copper zigzagging through the country are certainly the main attraction, paving the way for new rolling stock and a betterquality railway for the public. However, a less obvious aspect is the effect on existing lineside infrastructure, including stations. The goal of introducing electrification on routes is an improvement to the public, but it also introduces a risk of harm when things go wrong. Behind the scenes of electrification is the safety aspect, specifically earthing and bonding. Very few will even notice its implementation, as the aim is to provide compliant earthing and bonding

These challenges encourage the delivery of bespoke design packages for stations, that create not only compliant earthing and bonding designs, but designs that have safety at the forefront for both the public and authorised personnel

systems without disruption to the public and avoid disturbing station aesthetics. No two stations are the same, especially when you consider the surrounding environment, which presents a challenging design ethos. These challenges encourage the delivery of bespoke design packages for stations, that create not only compliant earthing and bonding designs, but designs that have safety at the forefront for both the public and authorised personnel. With the expansion of electrification throughout the UK, the role of station earthing and bonding within design deliverables has evolved. With passenger numbers on the rise and station owners cramming more technology onto the platforms to aid customer experience, the implication of de-wirements is now more prevalent than ever.

Gone are the days of dark station platforms barely lit, platforms are now awash with neat lines of lighting and CCTV columns with dazzling displays of customer information service screens. These visually impressive assets now must be considered as part of the earthing and bonding design process. The need for bonding relies heavily on where assets are in relation to the overhead contact line zone, the zone in which a broken overhead contact line would not exceed. Before any design works can even be initiated, a detailed assessment of the station is needed. Identifying elements of the station which lie within the zone allows designers to establish a baseline of bonding required. The basic principle is to provide a common bonding approach, so that under Rail Professional



Stations cannot be considered wholly autonomous, as some interface heavily with outside infrastructure. The overarching principle of bonding is to provide a safer environment; however, bonding can introduce risks which previously were never present fault conditions, faults would be cleared in the allowable time (i.e. 200 milliseconds). Along with this, any dangerous rise in touch potentials which could lead to electric shock are required to remain under certain limits set by the various standards. To achieve this, assets identified as requiring bonding are all connected to the station main earth terminal via a network of cables subtly routed in cable containment to achieve the overall goal. Stations cannot be considered wholly autonomous, as some interface heavily with outside infrastructure. The overarching principle of bonding is to provide a safer environment; however, bonding can introduce risks which previously were never present. By bonding elements of

the station, undesirable touch potentials can be transferred outside of the station boundary during fault conditions. This risk is particularly prevalent in areas such as station carparks where fencing and assets are shared. Earthing and bonding is not a simple ‘bond everything’ approach, but more a delicate balancing act of assessing risk and safety. The knock-on effect of bonding can be seen well beyond the platforms if not considered, so where do you draw the line? This can be the most difficult aspect faced by engineers during design works. If the risk cannot be eliminated, physical separation is sometimes the only option. This is widely achieved with the installation of non-

conductive fence sections or structures made of glass reinforced plastic or similar approved products. In some cases, even coating structures with a specialist non-conductive paint layer. Not every station requiring remedial works has the luxury of all the ‘mod-cons’, with dated and sometimes sub-standard facilities. These stations cause a variety of issues around poor and dated infrastructure and in some cases listed structures. Workarounds must be considered for such situations, with solutions tailored for safety whilst also protecting the uniqueness of such structures. Aesthetics also pose a unique design problem; station operators are often dubious about having their surfaces ripped up for the sake of one or two cables, simply to be left with a less than appealing tarmac scar strew across all platforms. And who can blame them? The variety and challenges brought forth by stations provides an interesting spin on the traditional earthing and bonding systems. As more infrastructure is crammed into a smaller space and the outside world slowly encroaches ever closer to electrified Network Rail infrastructure, the role of earthing and bonding will continue to play a vital and more dominant role in design deliverables.

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The light rail revolution in the Midlands Sid Grover, Engineering and Development Manager for environment, health and safety at environmental and engineering consultancy RSK, provides an insight into RSK’s work with the Midland Metro Alliance


he Midland Metro Alliance (MMA), which is made up of a multi-company consortium of design and construction experts including Egis, Tony Gee and Pell Frischmann, and light rail construction specialists Colas Rail (with Colas’ suballiance partners Colas Ltd, Barhale, Bouygues UK and Auctus Management Group), has come together to complete a prestigious ten-year tram extension and refurbishment project in the Midlands. The project, which is worth approximately £1.2 billion, will help to establish a world-class tram network in the region and enhance commuting options for the public by providing a Birmingham Eastside Extension (New Street-Curzon Street-NEC, Birmingham International (interfacing with HS2)); Birmingham Westside Metro Extension (Broad Street, Birmingham to Hagley Road, Birmingham); East Birmingham to Solihull Metro Extension; Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro Extension; Wolverhampton City Centre Extension (Pipers Row and Railway Drive); and Bilston Road, Wolverhampton track replacement. The aim is to enhance the social and economic markets across the already thriving midlands area and the MMA regularly engages with local businesses, schools, colleges, small and medium sized enterprises, start-ups and various stakeholders to provide essential community services, while putting safety and sustainability at the forefront of every activity they undertake. Role of the environmental consultant and engineer International environmental and engineering consultancy RSK was commissioned to undertake the role of environmental consultant and engineer for the major tram line extension and refurbishment schemes in Birmingham, Sandwell, Dudley, Wednesbury, Brierley Hill and Wolverhampton, which form a

crucial part of the total ten-year tram redevelopment and construction programme for the west midlands. The project deliverables involved the production of Section 61 Applications; noise and vibration monitoring; air quality monitoring; pre-condition structural surveys; ground penetrating radar surveys; topographical, geophysical, asbestos, trackform mitigation design and floating slab assistance. We have shared an excellent relationship with Midland Metro Alliance throughout the project, assisting them with fulfilling the environmental minimum requirements, design and engineering support, stakeholder engagement and liaison with local authorities across the region. The RSK team is also fully engaged with the various local authorities and stakeholders along each route, as well as the local community, to ensure a smooth and efficient delivery throughout the project.

involved detailed barrier placement maps, night-time working stand-off allowances (from nearest residential receptor), measures of plant noise reduction and contractor toolbox talks. The RSK team, by virtue of its extensive experience on previous projects, such as Crossrail, has established an in-house consent, risk assessment and reporting software tool which ensures efficient and high-quality delivery of the project objectives. RSK carried out extensive engagement with the construction team and local authority to agree the scope of the initial Section 61 Applications, and in order to aid the successful production of this phase, the RSK acoustics team posted a consultant to the MMA offices to ensure

Making a noise with noise and vibration monitoring As part of this role, RSK is also providing noise and vibration monitoring services and construction monitoring reports for the project and has been engaging with the project construction team in the formation of site-specific mitigation and Best Practicable Means (BPM) measures. This has Rail Professional



ground conditions and generate vibrations to the nearby buildings. The results showed that an alternative rail technology, rather than the floating slab design, could be used, which saved substantial costs.

close liaison with the project team and efficient delivery of the applications. They could also easily deal with any issues that may arise. Upon submission, RSK further engaged with the local authority in the agreement of a suitable monitoring strategy throughout the life of the construction works and conducted various meetings and workshops with both stakeholders and the local communities to discuss the project from a noise and vibration perspective, as well as areas where mitigation would be in place. Currently, RSK has developed and implemented a strategy for the continued monitoring of noise and vibration. Successful stakeholder engagement has allowed the monitoring to be conducted at close receptor locations, including residential, commercial and Grade II listed buildings. The monitoring equipment provides real-time data capture and trigger alerts, enabling the construction team to be notified of any exceedances of S61 levels or COCP criteria. The system also enables RSK to complete weekly reports from any of our UK offices through a secure web server to retrieve data. Assessing noise and vibration at central locations RSK’s acoustics and vibration division has also contributed to the track-form mitigation design for the MMA Birmingham Edgbaston tramline extension. The tramline was routed through the famous Birmingham Broad Street, home of the Birmingham Symphony Hall, Free Radio Station and a number of hotels, as well as listed buildings such as Hyatt Regency and Hampton by Hilton. With such a number of sensitive buildings, tramway vibration prediction became paramount. To eliminate vibration at track level, the design team had to assess whether a very expensive floating slab technology was needed. RSK tested the transfer mobility functions of each building along the route to determine the rate at which vibration amplitude would decay with distance. The resulting predictions enabled the engineering team to better understand how the tramway would interact with the existing Rail Professional

Supporting MMA initiatives In order to support the MMA initiative, as well as RSK’s own sustainability goals, RSK actively encourages employees to use public transport when practical, such as trains, buses and trams, as well as electrical cars when undertaking site visits. They are also encouraged to assess all safety, health and environmental (SHE) hazards and any other environmental concerns during their time on-site. This usually includes items such as dust, water and contamination. We are also accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards for quality, environment and health and safety management. All the acoustic and electronic equipment used by RSK is fully compliant to British Standards, but it is also powered through sustainable means such as solar panels, wherever possible, to minimise construction carbon on-site. None of RSK’s equipment is powered through a non-renewable resource and we are committed to implementing the MMA Sustainability Policy and assisting MMA in meeting their sustainability targets. In addition, RSK has a company-wide energy plan to ensure that all electricity procured by the company is certified ‘green’. An energy efficiency campaign is currently being conducted and key offices are being metered with smart meters, as well as a Carbon Trust audit. An energy management system compliant with BSEN 16001 is also being implemented and we are investigating investment in a bio-diesel plant at one or more of company sites to provide fuel for machinery and vehicles. The future The working relationship between MMA and RSK is strengthening on a daily basis, and we expect it to last until the overall project’s final delivery. The project is expected to have a significant number of interfaces with

the likes of High Speed 2 (HS2), the Commonwealth Games in 2022, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and various train and tram station refurbishments across the midlands. The ultimate objective is to build a reputable, sustainable and outstanding tram network across the West Midlands to boost the rating of this central region, which MMA is on the right track for. Sid Grover is the Engineering and Development Manager in the environment, health and safety (EHS) team at environmental and engineering consultancy RSK. RSK is the UK’s leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business employing over 3,000 staff in offices across the UK and worldwide. In 2016, RSK was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade, one of the UK’s highest accolades for business success. With a turnover of over £250 million, the company was ranked the seventh largest UK environmental consultancy by Environment Analyst in its 2018 Market Assessment Report. RSK provides independent environmental consultancy and technical services in the areas of the environment, health and safety, engineering and sustainability management to industrial, financial and public-sector clients in the UK and abroad. RSK has a diverse client base but mainly services key accounts for clients in energy, property, manufacturing, water, government and transport. The company is certified to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 international standards for quality, environmental management and health and safety management.


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IRSE presidential address The inauguration of the new IRSE President for 2018-19, George Clark, took place during the Annual General Meeting of the IRSE held in April. Below is an edited version of his presidential address


t is a great honour for me to serve as the IRSE President and to write this article. This institution continues to play a significant role in a modern railway industry that is facing huge challenges and exciting opportunities. At the Institution’s digital railway seminar last year, many were envious of those joining the profession now as it sees so many developments across the world. It is only right that this institution inspires, informs and develops engineers globally. This is a year when change features large on the agenda of so many countries and major cities. In the UK whilst we debate the form of our future relationship with Europe, we have a transition from one national rail five-year plan to the next with over £50 billion to be invested in maintaining and upgrading our main line railway. Network Rail also embarks on a period of radical organisational change to ‘put passengers and freight users first’ and to address concerns about poor operating performance. Closer to home for me personally, in today’s economic climate, Transport for London faces unprecedented pressures to modernise and deliver ambitious transport strategies cost efficiently. This is a global trend. In Sydney we see the arrival of the metro as this form of railway expands further around the globe. It has been over 20 years since my mentor and guide Eddie Goddard led the institution into the world of the metro and focussed on the challenges of providing an integrated high capacity railway system. I recall he often said the ‘S’ in IRSE should be for ‘System’, these challenges are still just as evident on railway delivery today as all too often railway systems (be they for railway, train or station control) and their complex interfaces are overlooked until too late in major infrastructure projects. This can often feel like they are a cause of failure, when in fact these systems are at the very heart of the railway and must be given adequate focus throughout the whole lifecycle to bring it to life and deliver the major social and economic changes that transportation enables. My career has been focussed on the world

of metros and these intensive high-capacity railways have never been in more demand. The world-wide growth of cities has pushed so many to forge ahead with bold plans for metros, whilst those who already have them are driven to upgrade capacity. We have never faced higher social expectations and economic challenges, with global technology giants investing furiously in a race to bring transformational robotics, automation and artificial intelligence technology to everyday consumer products that must surely disrupt our traditional railway world. In his presidential address last year, Markus Montigel clearly articulated the ‘Winds of Change’ and how these will likely revolutionise the transportation system as a whole: calling us to ‘find an appropriate balance of ‘walls’ (maintaining the tradition of high safety standards) and ‘windmills’ (harvesting opportunities and increasing efficiency) in times of uncertainty.’ So, the theme of my presidential year in this changing world is ‘Delivering Change’ and how this institution, with its thousands of dedicated professional members, can rise to meet the challenges and enable the opportunities ahead. Engineers of change and innovation As engineers, we are catalysts and agents for the delivery of change and our skills have never been in more demand than they are today. We deliver new tools, techniques and technology systems to colleagues (e.g. fellow engineers in other disciplines, signallers and operators). We lead in so many areas: data analytics, human factors and design, safety assurance and integration/ commissioning. Today IRSE members and licence holders around the world are introducing the latest technology systems from Sydney to Copenhagen, Toronto to Hong Kong. In the UK we have seen the ERTMS solution with world leading ATO being introduced on Thameslink and increasingly across London Underground we are benefiting from technology delivering up to 36 trains per hour. New technology is a key enabler to delivering change and always comes with

its own inherent challenges and risks, but so often the wider people, process and interface changes are even more significant and the root cause of delays and cost. Not only must we deliver the required functional performance enhancements for system capacity and asset availability, but also significantly reduce the whole life cycle costs through radical changes to maintenance (e.g. through digital and virtual data driven approaches) and operation (e.g. GoA4 fully automated operation). Of course, the unique challenges inherent in most railway upgrades is that they start from a base state that most other industries would class as ‘industrial archaeology’, with complex legacy interfaces that are rarely adequately understood, multiple party interfaces, all intricately interwoven with deeply established organisations, culture and processes. Invariably this all needs to be changed, whilst continuing to deliver intensive operational services with minimal disruption to the system being upgraded. Many industries face huge technical complexity and challenges, but few, if any, must contend with the full range of challenges faced by railway system engineers. Increasingly the once clear lines between main line and metro control systems are blurring. Whilst there are common requirements to increase capacity on constrained infrastructure, traditionally a main line system would have one set of characteristics with fixed block multiple aspect colour light signals and the metro would have another with continuous ATP/ ATO. But today we increasingly see mass transit rail, such as Thameslink or areas around Waterloo, but with main line technology. Crossrail is fundamentally a mass transit railway in the centre but operates on legacy main line systems on the outer areas. ERTMS and CBTC use common components and whilst both in high levels of performance are very similar, they have different requirements (e.g. interoperability for ERTMS or optimisation of capacity for CBTC). From a supplier perspective, each CBTC supplier is seeking to optimise with their own commercial edge and adapt to the Rail Professional



specific application whilst ERTMS drives a standardised approach. Communications technology is fundamental to train control systems and evolves rapidly. Railways are not the first to implement this and should be able to learn the lessons from others who have gone before us, but equally rarely seem to. We need to break the pattern of current technology solutions by pushing at the door of concepts such as common shared networks and industrial clouds, with primary aims being quality of service, affordability and ’cultural’ change to maintain pace with our travelling customer’s growing demands. This will be the subject of my first thought provoking seminar in September 2019, harvesting the open and frank opinions of the railway signalling industry which is vital to gaining traction on the rail operator’s future strategic direction. Delivering the future engineers of change As an institution our challenge is to set our strategy to successfully respond to this changing environment, and whilst every President brings his or her own focus and emphasis to their presidential year, the President also provides continuity of purpose, and that is encapsulated in our fiveyear strategy (2015-2020) which is nearing its end. If you are not familiar with it, you

can find it on the IRSE website, and we must now build upon this strategy, ‘The Winds of Change’ and ‘Delivering Change’ to feed into our new strategy. The existing strategy and its supporting implementation plan address key issues, including: • Tackling the skills gap facing railway signal, control and communications engineering in many countries • Encouraging employers’ support for IRSE activities to help ensure that the Institution’s activities align with the needs of the wider industry • Enabling growth of the IRSE as a global Engineering Institution, to promote professional standards throughout the world. These themes all remain highly relevant to today’s challenges and since the last strategy was set there has been a step change in the awareness of the role of diversity and inclusion. The diversity of our members roles is greater than ever before, as is the diversity of our skill sets and solutions we deliver. In the UK engineering graduates make up only around 0.1 per cent of the population and women only make up 22 per cent of engineering graduates. We cannot expect to have a diverse workforce solving our future challenges unless we can attract a diverse range of would-be students from all corners of the talent pool into subjects that will

inspire and equip them to go on to be the engineers we need to tackle future challenges. A great example here in the UK is The Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy, the ‘Two Years On’ report (Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce, 2018) shows we need 50 000 people in rail by 2033.As shown in the figure overleaf, taken from that report, in the UK we have seen rising numbers of apprenticeships from transport employers, in contrast to the wider national trend in apprenticeship numbers this year, a trend we need to ensure is generally continued and specifically for railway control. The report notes that ‘existing staff will need greater systems engineering, advanced telecoms, software programming and crucially business change skill sets to help fully realise the benefits of a digital railway. Successful development will build upon the industry’s existing capability and give the opportunity to boost exports’. But just attracting the people will not be enough and we also need to change the way we are working. We must expect that the way that engineers need to organise to deliver, and hence the skills they need to be equipped with, are also changing. Themes that I am sure will be explored through my coming technical lecture programme including the Danish lecture: Delivering change through the National ERTMS programme


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in November 2019 and Australian lecture: Delivering metro travel in Sydney in 2020. Journey into the future The world has always changed relentlessly, but it seems to me that the pace is accelerating. When I started my apprenticeship in 1976, the idea that railways could ever be challenged by other modes on cost, capacity or environmental impact seemed hard to imagine, however today it feels not only possible, but increasingly likely. If we stand behind the traditional walls of safety standards and do not harvest the opportunities that these winds of change present, there is a risk that railways could be rendered obsolete as technological and social transformation goes on without us. So, our role as engineers is to deliver change as never before and there are so many good examples of engineering stepping up to this exciting challenge. To name but a few examples, we have the UK’s Year of Engineering, the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce, the National Skills Academy for Rail, the Women’s Engineering Society, the Future Engineers exhibition at the London Transport Museum and indeed my presidential year’s programme of events on Delivering Change. Please get involved and don’t forget the website, live streaming and international lectures as well as your


and achievement, including the opportunity to take the internationally recognised IRSE Exam and to become professionally registered as a Chartered Engineer (CEng), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Engineering Technician (EngTech). The IRSE also operates the IRSE Licensing Scheme, a certificated scheme providing assurance of the competence of individuals carrying out technical safety-critical or safety-related work on signalling and railway telecommunications equipment and systems. The scheme provides a cross-industry accepted benchmark of competence and has been designed to meet the requirements of the international standard for personnel certification, ISO17024. Find out more about the IRSE by visiting its website ( or attending an advertised event. The flagship technical conference, ASPECT, will be held in October this year in Delft, Netherlands (www., and provides an unrivalled opportunity for the learning and exchange of knowledge in the fields of train control, railway communications and related disciplines. This four-day event includes a day devoted specifically to those in their early stages of their careers and a series of technical visits.

local section. At the IRSE we have a key role in promoting our profession and in providing the opportunity for those in it to develop their skills, harness the winds of change and continue to deliver change which will benefit society for decades to come. This is a truly worthy cause and one I am honoured to lead this year as IRSE president. About the IRSE The IRSE is the international professional body for people working in the areas of train control systems, railway communications and data management and railway systems engineering. For over one hundred years it has promoted high standards of professionalism amongst engineers to ensure the safety of all those who travel by train. Through encouraging research and learning the IRSE has supported the development of train control technologies to enhance the efficiency of railways world-wide. IRSE members around the world benefit not only from a wealth of technical papers and publications containing industry news and views from across the globe, but also from the many opportunities to share and discuss ideas that are provided by the Institution’s conferences and local events. Membership of the IRSE also provides an excellent framework for professional development with recognition of competence

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The power to deliver high-speed rail As new rolling stock enter service across the UK’s rail networks there is increased demand for more energy-hungry high-speed trains running at increased frequency


his demand, alongside additional customer conveniences like air conditioning, longer trains, and more frequent services, is placing pressure on existing electricity infrastructure. Five key characteristics to look for in your long-term strategic energy infrastructure partner are safety, innovation, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration. These characteristics are crucial to ensure successful projects that will guarantee your high-speed rail network’s electricity infrastructure is up to the standard required for the next decade and beyond. Safety High-speed rail projects moving off the drawing board and into reality have the opportunity to be the safest in the UK’s history. This ambition can only be realised through an unrelenting focus on safety, innovative processes and training programmes for colleagues and clients, and a culture where safety always comes first. UK Power Networks Services manages the associated risks of working with electricity and delivers safely for its clients in the most complex and challenging environments every day. Whilst working on Europe’s busiest runways, trackside on the UK’s fastest mainline railway, at nuclear sites, and military facilities, UK Power Networks Services has achieved an unprecedented safety record. Innovation Adopting an innovative approach to projects is crucial to minimising risk, future proofing solutions, and delivering a resilient system. As well as adopting the latest technology, it’s critical that your partner should be able to adapt when unforeseen challenges arise on projects and provide innovative solutions to keep the project on track. UK Power Networks Services’ innovative

work on the Great Western Electrification Project won Innovation of the Year at the National Rail Awards 2018 for its implementation of a ground breaking Rationalised Autotransformer System. The system delivers significant cost savings and better reliability for its clients compared to other systems installed in the UK. It also topped the Sustainable Construction category at National Rail’s Western Region Sustainability Awards in 2017. Polyfibre-reinforced concrete was used in place of traditional steel reinforcement for construction of load bearing concrete structures. This innovation resulted in a reduction of 42 tonnes of reinforcing steel going to site and reduction of embodied carbon by 18,000kg CO2 equivalent. Sustainability Sustainable solutions have a positive effect on the environment, economy, and people.

These ‘triple bottom line’ benefits can have the greatest impact through major infrastructure projects but any effective energy partner must develop and preserve objectives which: • Protect and improve our natural environment while reducing carbon emissions • Invest in local economies and communities • Employ locally during construction and ongoing operations • Deliver the work safely for our communities and employees • Enable the future by designing systems that stand the test of time. UK Power Networks Services looks for every opportunity to make a positive sustainable impact for its clients. It is currently delivering energy cost reductions to clients through improving the efficiency Rail Professional



of its assets, by co-locating solar PV with substations. Recently, the first electric vehicles and charge points have also been introduced into its fleet to improve air quality for future generations. These have been introduced at its Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted Airport depots, and electric vehicle charge points at its London City Airport depot. Diversity and inclusion Embracing diversity and inclusion as a strategic imperative is critical for any organisation that strives for high performance. Supporting diversity and promoting inclusion within workplaces is about valuing the individual and what they bring to their role. Fostering an environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential enables organisations to effectively increase their employee engagement and realise an increase in productivity. UK Power Networks Services’ ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusiveness is demonstrated by its National Equality Standard accreditation. It is one of only a small number of UK companies to achieve this benchmarked standard for creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. In 2018, it was also named in ‘The Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies To Work For’ list.

Collaboration Any long-term strategic partner must be experienced at collaborating with multiple partners when delivering complex and large scale projects. The more partners involved in a project the greater the complications that can arise. UK Power Networks Services is committed to establishing long-lasting, open and trusting relationships. It is accredited in the Collaborative Business Relationship Management System ISO 44001:2017 standard to help it deliver successful collaborative relationships with appropriate clients, delivery partners and suppliers. Through its collaborative approach, it contributes to the creation of value oriented enterprising teams that deliver high performing infrastructure. For High Speed 1’s power assets, the result has been a considerable cost-saving whilst still delivering network availability over 99.99 per cent for more than ten years continuously. As its strategic energy infrastructure partner, UK Power Networks Services has made a significant contribution to the success of High Speed 1’s reputation as the most reliable railway in Europe.

demonstrate these five crucial characteristics – safety, innovation, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration. UK Power Networks Services’ business is built around these characteristics. Its investment is focussed on these characteristics. Its greatest successes are where it has brought these characteristics to life in its delivery with its clients. UK Power Networks Services has delivered for its clients for more than 50 years and its portfolio includes High Speed 1, Network Rail, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, and EDF (Hinkley Point C). It also delivers for leading UK airports, Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, London City, and Manchester. Email: Visit:

Conclusion To be effective, your long-term strategic energy infrastructure partner needs to

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Back to the future for the benefits of highspeed rail? Lucy Battle believes the development of a high speed, high capacity network for the UK is long overdue and looks at the history of high-speed rail to explain why


s early as 1903, speed trials in Prussia demonstrated the feasibility of electric high-speed rail. In Europe, high-speed rail arguably began during the 1965 International Transport Fair in Munich, with runs at 120mph between Munich and Augsburg using powerful electric ‘Class 103’ locomotives. In the UK, initial enthusiasm for electrification waned. The West Coast Main Line was partially electrified between 1959 and 1969, with a grudging extension from Preston to Glasgow (but not Edinburgh) opened in 1974, there being lingering suspicions of political interference, making electrification conditional on closure of the direct route from Carlisle to Edinburgh. With no political appetite for significant

Journey times are a function of speed and distance. The greater the distance between two points, and the fewer intermediate calls, the more that top speed really matters. Overlay political considerations, and a ‘business case’ assessment mechanism, and you go some way towards explaining why the high-speed network in the UK has developed as it has

further electrification, British Rail introduced the 125mph high-speed train in 1976 and it was a runaway success. Operating under the brand name ‘InterCity 125’ on routes between London Paddington and Bristol, journey times plummeted and passenger numbers shot up. A couple of years later a similar highspeed success was achieved on the East Coast route, where up to an hour came off the journey time between King’s Cross and Edinburgh. Fast forward to 2019 and the debate around high speed rail could not be more different. While the sector continues to champion the project, enthusiasm for HS2 appears to be dwindling amongst the public and politicians alike. Can the changing fortunes of the original high-speed train routes teach us any lessons about how to approach the conversation around HS2? How can we better communicate the benefits to those who are sceptical? It’s not even that much faster! Campaigners against HS2 often use the shorthand of ‘who wants to spend billions just to get to Birmingham a few minutes sooner?’. On initial inspection, they arguably have a point. Typical schedules between Birmingham and Euston now only range between 83-86 minutes, compared with the regular 89-91-minute service some 40 years ago in the pre high-speed rail era. There’s more. To put it kindly, journey times between Wolverhampton and London have remained static for nearly 40 years, such that (ticket permitting) the shortest journey times can now be achieved by travelling to Stafford (some 15 miles north of Wolverhampton), and changing on to a nonstop service up the West Coast ‘proper’. However, the HS2 critics only peddle half the story. Between Birmingham and London Euston, there’s now an extra ‘InterCity’

train an hour in each direction, with the total capacity between the two cities much higher than what is currently available under British Rail. More trains on the line, naturally, means longer journey times. Journey times are a function of speed and distance. The greater the distance between two points, and the fewer intermediate calls, the more that top speed really matters. Overlay political considerations, and a ‘business case’ assessment mechanism, and you go some way towards explaining why the high-speed network in the UK has developed as it has. To reach a top speed, you need either an empty railway, or a railway at which all trains operate at the same speeds. This is why the original 1976-1977 introduction of the highspeed train between London and Bristol, and London and Cardiff enjoyed success; the route was relatively empty, enjoyed separation of slower services onto extra tracks, and trains could operate for long enough distances, at high enough speeds, for 125mph to make a real difference. Typical journey times between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads in 1979 were 87 minutes. Today, the new Hitachi class 802 on the 1230 from London Paddington makes the trip in 98 minutes, whilst others are in the 100-107-minute range. In common with the Pendolino on the West Coast, and the ‘225’ on the East Coast route, the trains – though theoretically capable of 140mph – are stuck in the rut of a 125mph maximum. So, what’s happened? Has the high-speed dream derailed? Not all about speed Actually, it’s quite the opposite. The introduction of high-speed services (at no extra ticket cost) brought towns and cities closer together, gave people access to jobs, and heralded the dawn of the long-distance commuter. As railways once more became Rail Professional



attractive, more stops were added to the high-speed network. This increased journey opportunities, passenger volumes and revenues; however, over time, it also started to erode the overall journey time benefits. It became a victim of its own success. A careful balance had to be struck to ensure the optimum operation. The law of diminishing returns started to apply – every extra stop costs a few minutes; add those up and the overall journey time could become uncompetitive. This philosophy was applied to the Birmingham – Euston service (many trains now stop at Rugby and Milton Keynes in between), where the road competition is deemed not to be a threat. Now, however, market maturity has set in. If economic growth is slow, then the prospect of new punters in droves is low. From the narrow perspective of railway operations, once this commercial reality is established, it is a short step from questioning whether top speed is anything other than a PR and marketing tool. For the shareholder, income and profitability is what really matters. If the income can be the same, without the additional costs of signalling and infrastructure for high-speed running, then what benefit is it to you whether or not the trains run at top speed? The profit is the same.

We’ve seen this before – the UK already had two fleets of 140mph trains, which have never used that capability. The ‘InterCity 225’ (225kph=140mph) was launched 30 years ago on the East Coast Main Line, and has never operated at that speed. 20 years ago, Virgin’s 140mph ‘Pendolino’ trains were introduced in a similar blaze of publicity, but suffered the same 125mph fate. So, are the critics of HS2 correct? No. The missing element in all of this is the UK economy. There is an evidential link between connectivity, journey times and economic activity. Connectivity stimulates economic activity – it shouldn’t just react to it. If you build it, the extra investment, the jobs, and therefore the commuters, will come. That’s why, irrespective of ownership, railways need strategic guidance and long-term vision and commitment. Many sections of the routes I’ve outlined are now so congested, that running at the original design speeds – for significant distances – is impracticable. Anyone making the leisurely journey between Coventry and Wolverhampton will experience the sluggish outcome of mixing traffic types. The long overdue development of a true high speed, high capacity network for the UK isn’t just a ministerial ego-trip; it is essential if capacities are to be released on existing routes, and if economic activity is to

flourish beyond 52 degrees north. With the Government’s recently announced aspiration for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2050, there’s no time to spare. Partial electrification of the West Coast Main Line in the 1960s showed how journey times could be improved alongside economic activity. The ‘first wave’ of high-speed rail in the UK gave people further reasons not to use the car. It was done ‘on the cheap’ by brilliant engineers, after electrification was ruled out by Government. We see this mistake perpetuated with the use of bimode trains and prevarication over when, where and whether to electrify. The ‘second wave’ of high-speed rail may be more of an existential necessity – both in human and economic terms. If the Government is sincere in environmental objectives, then high capacity and highspeed railways must start immediately, or the UK will grind to a halt. Lucy Battle is a Director at Freshwater, a fullservice corporate communications and public relations consultancy with over a decade’s experience advising organisations in the rail sector. To get in touch, email lucy.battle@ or call 020 7067 1595. For more transport insight and commentary, you can follow Freshwater @fwpublicaffairs




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Reliable equipment keeps trackside maintenance on track Choosing reliable equipment that gets the job done should be a key consideration to keep trackside maintenance on schedule, says Morris Site Machinery


orris Site Machinery distributes a range of robust and versatile ArcGen welder generators featuring auxiliary power outputs, auto engine shutdown and super silent operation, ensuring they adhere to safety standards. UK Sales Director, Richard Denholm, said: ‘With the pressures on rail operators to carry out maintenance work efficiently and without disrupting services, contractors need proven equipment that is built to perform. ArcGen welder generators certainly fit the bill.’ The Network Rail approved ArcGen Weldmaker 165SP3 is a mobile 165amp petrol driven welder generator. It has super-silent operation with smooth welding characteristics up to 4.0mm electrodes with Arc Force control for all types of manual metal arc electrodes including cellulosic types. voltage selection. It welds up to 8.0mm electrodes and the welding and auxiliary outputs can be used simultaneously. The ArcGen Weldmaker 500CC/CV has 500amp of welding power. The diesel driven welder has 15KVA 3 phase generating power along with 3KVA output for power tools on site. ArcGen welder generators are proving their worth on sites with over 200 units in service across the network. The rail sector has also switched on to the benefits of the company’s SMC mobile lighting towers to keep projects running smoothly. SMC lighting towers can be seen at London’s Crossrail programme and their solar lighting towers are supporting Network Rail’s drive for fuel-free sites. The ArcGen Weldmaker 400CC/CV is a mobile 400amp constant current diesel driven welder generator with constant

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Intelligent Monitoring Solutions Graham Smith, CEO of Senceive looks at utilising wireless technology to enhance rail and construction safety


here is no denying how important technology has become across rail and construction in the last 20 years alone. Since the turn of the millennium, the industry has come a very long way and the influence of digital technologies has spanned a wide range of areas. Whether companies are looking to improve their bottom lines, streamline processes or simply make dayto-day life easier, technology has played a pivotal role in facilitating that. Theoretically, the underlying goal of this digital revolution is to improve our lives. For many, that correlates to profits or convenience, but in the rail and construction, and indeed mining industries, technological innovations not only make things quicker and easier, but they also greatly enhance safety in an environment where that is often the most critical factor by far. The themes of The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and even more recently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, seem to dominate the dialogue around the world of Technology and Innovation. To some in rail and construction, these are certainly not new concepts, but are in fact, simply words to describe the workings and actions of thoughtful scientists and engineers, which to some degree have been in place for years already. In the case of the term IoT, coined around the year 2000, the idea of connecting sensors (things) to the internet or computers, with user friendly visualisation, and being able to analyse data – to enhance decision making – is not something new or novel per se. Some go further and say that the real tipping point of IoT adoption is when we lose the need to add ‘IoT’, ‘smart’ or ‘connected’ to a product in order to differentiate it. The key is not terminology, but the ability to be able to satisfy ever-

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demanding needs of asset owners and users of data. It rather becomes an issue to do with speed, cost, reliability, ease and usability and perhaps within that, most critically, how these come together to be able to make good decisions, both faster and easier with potentially several complex variables to consider in parallel. In the ultra-safety critical rail and construction environment, that also means not having to put ‘boots on the ground’ i.e. requiring someone to physically visit a site, and being able to make decisions immediately and most often remotely, to avoid or minimise risk in a potential safety critical situation. Three key enablers of

this rapid and improved decision making for rightfully demanding end-users, are improved wireless networking, smart sensors and the interface or gateway to the database/internet. One key technology theme spearheading this development in safety comes through wireless Intelligent Monitoring Solutions (IMS), which is paramount in enabling instant/rapid decision making and enhancing prediction, to support immediate identification of early signs of structural and geotechnical failure and fatigue. It brings together significant developments in the three key enabling areas of wireless, smart sensors and the gateway to the


outside world. Sensors for example, have traditionally been functionally simple devices that convert physical variables into electrical signals or changes in electrical properties. While this functionality is an essential starting point, smart sensors/intelligent sensing needs to add the following properties to perform as IoT components: • Cost effective, so they can be economically deployed in large numbers • Physically small, to ‘disappear’ unobtrusively into any environment where possible • Wireless (a wired or powered connection is typically not possible/inappropriate) • Sensor nodes need to be able talk continuously to each other in a ‘mesh’ • Self-identification and self-validation • Very low power draw plus smart algorithms, so can survive for up to 15 years without a battery change, or manage with energy harvesting • Robust, likely with no external aerial to minimise or eliminate maintenance • Self-diagnostic and self-healing • Self-calibrating, or accepts command commands without lag via wireless or gateway link • Able to provide immediate or impact triggering of alerts/further data requests across the system • Data pre-processing, to reduce the load on gateways, PLCs, and cloud resources. The key is that information from multiple sensors or sensor types can be combined and correlated to infer conclusions about latent problems; for example, Tilt sensors, In Place Inclinometers or Piezometers combined with still camera images can be used to detect and validate from a secondary source, the onset of – or actuality of – landslip failure. In some cases, two sensor functions are available in one device; in others, the functions are combined in software to create a ‘soft’ sensor. Smart sensors are built as IoT components that convert the real-world variable that they’re measuring into a digital data stream for transmission to a solar powered gateway. Incorporating IoT into smaller, easier to deploy, long-life wireless devices can help to monitor most assets in rail and construction; such as OLE gantries, embankments, rail track and structures – including bridges and tunnels – by utilising a wide range of structural and geotechnical sensors, as well as wireless cameras. Once these devices are deployed, engineers then receive smart localised ‘Big Data’ in near real-time, aiding the prediction of asset failure, and importantly, allowing immediate reaction to potential danger. Wireless IMS allows surveyors to be proactive, as well as reactive. These systems can provide early prediction and minimise risks in dangerous areas while saving time and money – allowing preventative work to be done in order to limit asset failure.


If there is any movement on a track, an embankment, or even in a tunnel, these devices will detect it – and will signal them in near real-time to reduce potentially vital delays in closing lines or conducting repair works when issues occur. Technology for safety Of course, this proactive approach offers a great opportunity to give engineers the best chance at preventing danger to the public when it comes to track and trackside. One particular example of these systems in operation today is from a landslip on the South Eastern Bexleyheath line at Barnehurst in February of this year. In the early hours of the morning on Monday 11th February, rail engineers were alerted to the landslide by text and email alerts from sensor nodes and still camera images, designed to operate throughout night and day. There were several hundred sensors on-site alongside cameras working simultaneously to identify movement across the 300-metre embankment. They had detected an earthworks failure at around 3:30am, with a tree on the line, and the line was swiftly closed. The alert in itself is worthy of note, but it is in the preamble leading up to the failure where the value of Intelligent Monitoring Solutions and its characteristics shine. The intelligent wireless monitoring technology that had been deployed onsite had earlier detected slow and gradual movement but only from a limited number of sensor points on the earthworks. These did, at various breach ‘alarm level points’, and automatically triggering camera images to provide corroboration of significant movement.

However, until the failure, there was little movement of note that was clearly visible to the human eye. To further aid the end user/engineer in a challenging situation, the system also automatically and gradually increased the reporting rate of the nodes without human intervention, down to every minute, as some sensors showed signs of tiny movement. As the gradual movement happened over time, the system also automatically requested further data samples from other wireless nodes in the nearby vicinity, and to see if the small movements were widespread. It also ‘told the gateway to stay open’ in order to transmit data and minimise any lag to allow immediate decision making. All these smart characteristics combined to provide a rich picture of the situation at any point in time. With all alerts and alarms from other sensors in the vicinity and images being sent to the engineers remotely as trigger points were breached, it provided early indication of the potential for failure. When it did finally collapse, everyone was ready and engineers could act immediately to close the line. While cancelling early

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Looking to the future, there exists the potential for AI or machine learning to take large volumes of this kind of data and certain asset failure classes, analyse and potentially aid the prediction or show earlier trends in failures and potentially remove or minimise the need for any human intervention for critical asset decision making morning trains was a real inconvenience to commuters on that day, rail engineers from Network Rail and the independent monitoring engineer, did a sterling job in preventing potential danger to the public. Following a week of repairs, the line was opened and operating as normal. It should be noted that whilst the intelligent monitoring system played an important role in providing rapid and enhanced data without human intervention, the final decision making still needed to be taken by human beings. Network Rail and other third-party monitoring engineers, both remotely and on-site staff, however at all times had a richer, more complete and perhaps most importantly, immediate picture of the unfolding situation at any point in time. Looking to the future, there exists the potential for AI or machine learning to take large volumes of this kind of data and certain asset failure classes, analyse and potentially aid the prediction or show earlier trends in failures and potentially remove or minimise the need for any human intervention for critical asset decision making. Whilst predictability, remains a little way off for some asset classes – and of course, like driverless cars – needs all the necessary safety protocols in place, the more enlightened organisations with their data scientists have been working on this for years and it will almost certainly be part of day-to-day operations in the not too distant future. Flexible IMS Monitoring It should be noted that there are many critical success factors or enablers in the above to allow instant/fast smart or intelligent sensing to be effective. Indeed, for rapid and immediate decision making to function, it does require particular high performing wireless platform infrastructures to be in place and will for example not work with star, LoRa or point-to-point wireless systems. Barnehurst is a prime example of how IMS technology can be extremely useful in detecting slippages and risks on earthworks. However, the value of Intelligent Monitoring Solutions extends far beyond geo-technical applications and can be used to detect Rail Professional

movement on almost any asset in rail and construction and mining. Overhead line equipment and track bed, as well as bridges and tunnels and buildings, quarries, pits and mines, are other examples of where the technology is even today proving integral for enhancing safety. Easy to deploy, highly robust, small wireless sensor nodes are now being deployed almost anywhere. They can be connected with multiple sensors and sensor types in remote locations without anyone needing to be worried about the asset – until something happens. Thankfully, the technology now exists that allows us to immediately know what’s happening on ‘at risk’ assets, in remote or busy locations and to accurately measure movement down to a hundredth of a millimetre, with a reporting rate of only

a few seconds. With the best platforms, it can afford unprecedented reliability, and with literally decades long battery life with precision and repeatability for a multitude of purposes and environments. This is not the future... it is today. Graham Smith is the CEO of Senceive, a wireless remote conditioning systems and products provider to the rail, construction and mining sector. It has been supplying the industry, from monitoring companies to contractors for over 15 years. Senceive has multiple platforms to meet the needs of different applications and environments. The company focuses and invests heavily in innovation in products and systems, like IMS, to lead the market globally with technical solutions in helping civil engineers make better, quicker and easier decisions to assets at risk.

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Collaboration on site Bridgeway Consulting Ltd (BCL) knew that gaining its Principal Contractor Licence in 2013 would be a gateway to a unique status within the rail industry


CL could now position itself as a contractor specialising in pre-construction information gathering capable of planning and executing the most complex of scopes in the most challenging of environments. From our initial audit as part of the Birmingham Re-Signalling Project Phases 4 and 5 Ground Investigation and Topographical Survey (which we passed with zero NCR’s and only three minor observations) the jobs we were asked to put our licence to were gaining in their complexity and their prestige. We have acted as PC now on multiple large-scale jobs for a variety of clients including Network Rail, Mott MacDonald, WSP, and Arup to name but a few with a reputation for delivery and success. The culmination to date of the evolution of BCL as a PC specialising in the acquisition of pre-construction information has been the successful bidding and ultimately delivery of the investigations for the enabling works at two of the proposed HS2 hubs in Euston and Crewe. Both sites presented a challenge for various reasons but with the collaborative approach and clear thinking at planning stage BCL are known for, all problems to date have been overcome and the required information has been gained for our clients. The scope for both hubs has been commensurate with what would be expected from the proposed reception stations for the largest infrastructure project the country has seen in generations. Multiple disciplines had to be brought together both internally

and from external sources and access carefully managed through the rigorous 019 planning process combined with strong stakeholder management to successfully deliver the scopes required by the client. The first step was to embed our experienced PM in with project team to ensure someone was on hand to answer queries, be the main point of contact and be the person on the spot to run the show. The embedding of staff within the project team was an approach strongly favoured by the client who found having the expertise our BCL staff had on hand invaluable in the complex planning and delivery of the works. A strong supply chain built up over the previous years of delivering infrastructure project placed BCL perfectly to put together a robust plan and bring partners who shared risk and were back to back with BCL on an assurance and accountability level. Complex ground investigations One of the most complex areas to deliver has been the ground investigation. With emerging technologies and newer ways of in-situ testing and monitoring the scope had been developed to ensure information gleaned was fit for purpose in particular for the design of a 27 metre high retaining wall on the west side of the Euston throat

to replace the current Victorian structure currently in-situ. With working constraints and even tighter time constraints for mobilising and working trackside the logistics of such an operation required the considerable skill and experience of the project team to deliver. The main intrusive scope for Euston comprised of the following: • Structural coring of the existing retaining wall • Dynamic probing to determine the extent of foundations of said retaining wall • Window sampling to eight metres with follow on dynamic probing to ten metres trackside • Window sampling to eight metres with follow on dynamic probing to ten metres on platform • Cable percussive drilling with rotary follow on to 45 metres trackside • Cable percussive drilling with rotary follow on to 65 metres trackside • Rotary percussive boreholes trackside to 65 metres with pressure metre testing and vibrating wire piezometers installation • Rotary percussive boreholes on platform to 68 metres with pressure metre testing with vibrating wire piezometer installations Rail Professional



• CPT to 20 metres trackside with mag cone • Trial pitting trackside • Trial pitting on platform. As previously mentioned, the above scope would be a challenge in greenfield or brownfield setting, when you add in keeping one of the busiest stations in London running while working, stakeholder management became key to ensure the works went as smoothly as possible. A very accommodating station team assisted with access and by working closely with the insitu S&C Alliance, we were able to maximise access opportunities. The challenge of sinking a cable percussive hole on the end of platform 16, between live overheads requiring isolations and complex in-situ testing was still not an easy one but by breaking it down into individual elements BCL ensured all parties were informed, knew their role, and what to do and when to ensure successful delivery. The on-track works required a great

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amount of collaboration between BCL and our delivery partners to successfully deliver on a very technically challenging scope. As businesses mature, they see the value in collaboration and for this project our delivery partners Omnia Environmental, InSitu Site Investigation, ADP Group, Borehole Solutions, and Terradat UK all had key parts to play augmenting BCL’s internal capability to undertake these types of works. The working constraints of the site (drilling with lines open to traffic at the base of a 27 metre retaining wall with foot access only) meant there had to be some creative solutions including a pumping system to provide 10,000 litres of water every 16 hours of working from road level to the base of the wall where the drilling site was located. Combine this with the stabling of RRV’s at the site, three rigs working and

moving with associated equipment and 2No PASMA towers with coring crews meant coordination was key. As with so many projects now, monitoring post site works is key and at the time of publishing the monitoring phase of the works at Euston is coming to an end. For the duration of the project we have had a mixture of systems employed from data enabled wireless systems for piezometers, noise, dust, and vibration to conventional monitoring of ground gas and water. As BCL has the capability to conduct training in all safety critical competencies our staff are multi-skilled with our technicians and engineers being either Individual Working Alone (IWA) Controller of Site Safety (COSS) including IWA or SWL1/2 (Safe Work Leader) incorporating IWA this means that they can deploy with the relevant safety and technical knowledge to undertake the task in hand safely either as an IWA or as part of a two-person team to undertake monitoring duties to the highest standard. The successful delivery of one project and successful delivery to date of the second project is testament to BCL’s can-do proactive approach combined with extensive technical and railway knowledge combining to form a delivery partner to clients they have fait in and are happy to work with. From Trainee Technician to Project Director each member of BCL’s staff is committed to delivering a quality product to the highest standard in the safest manner possible which as our clients’ attest is what makes the company that it is. Tel: 0115 919 1111 Email: Visit:

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Employee Engagement Schemes Hawk Incentives worked with Southeastern Railway and East Midlands Trains to deliver each an employee incentive/reward scheme


he Southeastern scheme enabled employees to buy the latest technology on salary sacrifice by allowing them to spread the cost over the year and save on National Insurance. Twelve per cent of the total workforce – 493 people – took up the offer in just six weeks The East Midlands Trains campaign involved giving non-monetary rewards to employees quickly and easily through digital codes sent to their phones, which employees can then redeem online from a vast choice of retailers. To date 2,500 codes have been issued to employees. East Midlands Trains – the challenge East Midlands Trains were looking for a simple-to-use solution that would allow

Due to the easy set up and management, as well as the vast retailer choice available to recipients, Select was chosen as the rewards solution for East Midlands Trains. To reach all employees across various locations, digital Select codes would typically be provided – however, not all employees have access to digital channels or a company email address

them to reward their employees across multiple and diverse locations, as well as providing each staff member with the flexibility to choose rewards that they wanted. The rewards needed to cover various uses, from day-to-day and long service awards to project-based recognition. The solution Due to the easy set up and management, as well as the vast retailer choice available to recipients, Select was chosen as the rewards solution for East Midlands Trains. To reach all employees across various locations, digital Select codes would typically be provided – however, not all employees have access to digital channels or a company email address. Instead, a bulk list of Select codes was provided on request which EMT presented to employees in various ways, from thank you letters or cards for on the spot recognition to monthly vouchers awarded as part of local recognition schemes. This also

allowed them to maintain control of their Select code stock and to easily reorder when needed. The results Lynsey Buxton, Head of Employee Communications & Engagement at East Midlands Trains said: ‘Select was a Rail Professional



finding a benefit that could be implemented with ease and communicated seamlessly to their employees was high on the priority list.

huge step forward in EMT being able to centrally manage and improve traceability of recognition right across the business. Not only do our employees now receive a personalised EMT branded gift voucher, but they have the flexibility to be able to choose from a wide selection of retailers which they didn’t have before. It’s really broadened our scope for recognition – it’s just such an easy and seamless process; our managers have

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really welcomed the new scheme with open arms.’ Southeastern Railway – the challenge Southeastern have a large workforce spread out over various locations so finding an engaging benefit that would appeal to a diverse workforce was crucial. There was also a need to launch the new benefit prior to their franchise end date of March 2019 so

The solution Southeastern took up the technology salary sacrifice scheme for six weeks across November and December 2018. It was a strong fit for their needs as the scheme would be useful for a diverse workforce and an interest in owning the latest technology spans multiple generations and life stages, whilst being straightforward and speedy to implement. Sarah Friend, HR Systems and Benefits Manager for Southeastern, recognised the value of helping employees access the latest technology without having to swallow the cost all in one go. For employees, technology is such a huge part of everyday life, from staying in touch to tracking health and fitness goals, enjoying entertainment and more recently managing energy consumption with smart home technology. The results The scheme proved massively successful with a staggering 493 Southeastern employees purchasing a brand-new piece of tech on the scheme at a saving of up to twelve per cent within six weeks.

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Accessibility on public transport Lee Dover, content writer, looks at the rules and regulations around disability access on public transport and how these can be improved


ccording to the Department for Transport’s Transport Statistics, Great Britain 2018: Moving Britain Ahead report, there were 1.7 billion National Rail passenger journeys completed throughout Great Britain during 2017/18. There were also 270 million passenger journeys recorded on light rail and tram systems during the same period, which is a record level since comparable records commenced. Focusing on just England and for the period covering 2016/17, the Department for Transport found that the population held 9.8 million older and disabled concessionary travel passes too. Is enough being done to make the nation’s means of public transport accessible for disabled people and the elderly though? With assistance from bespoke stairlift manufacturer Acorn Stairlifts, we’ve investigated this issue. Problems with accessibility on public transport highlighted UK-based poet and artist Jamie Hale has expressed his disappointment about how he feels Britain’s transport system doesn’t cater enough for disabled people in an opinion piece for The Guardian, going as far as to state that London alone: ‘Has one of the best public transport systems in the world, yet only about a quarter of underground stations are fully accessible for me.’ Mr Hale, who is also an activist with groups like Not Dead Yet UK and Disabled People Against Cuts, was keen to point out some of the positives linked to the capital’s public transport system. He acknowledged that buses in the city are often wheelchairaccessible and the pavements passable, for instance, while a system entitled Turn Up & Go is designed to allow passengers who are disabled to travel spontaneously. However, he goes on to write that

London’s rail network puts a reliance on staff-assisted travel for many of its passengers who are disabled. Putting this into a real-life situation, Mr Hale commented that this means he must wait for a member of staff to set up a ramp and then assist him with boarding the train – many times of which he ends up travelling within the vestibule of the transportation system. Mr Hale has provided some potential solutions for making both London’s and the wider UK’s transport system more accessible though, including: • Ensuring all trains have proper spaces for wheelchair users. • Improving how those requiring assistance to alight from public transport can alert staff members on a platform when the necessary help hasn’t arrived. • Increasing the number of dedicated assistance staff members available for those using public transport. • Introducing automated ramps which extend from trains to platform level. • Making it free for carers and assistants to use public transport. It isn’t only Mr Hale who has felt aggrieved where this issue is concerned. Within its Independent. Confident. Connected report, disability equality charity Scope found that 40 per cent of disabled people often experience difficulties or issues when travelling via train across the UK. One in four also stated that negative attitudes from fellow passengers has led to them restricting their use of public transport. Scope’s Head of policy and public affairs, James Taylor, stated: ‘From airports to buses, we’ve heard too many horror stories of disabled people let down by poor infrastructure, bad service, or being treated as an afterthought. This urgently needs to change. ‘A genuinely inclusive transport network

would allow disabled people to be part of their community, work, and see family and friends. Progress towards fair and inclusive transport has been slow, and disabled people want to see change happening a lot faster.’ Legal rights to accessible transport The legality surrounding the provision of accessible transport is covered through the 2010 Equality Act, introduced as a replacement for all prior equality legislation, such as the Disability Discrimination Act. The premise of the act is to ensure that transport implements adjustments to provide a service for disabled people which is of the same standard to that of non-disabled people. Assistance measures should be put in place by those effected, to ensure that accessibility is met for disabled customers. The regulations mean that providers must do the following: • Not charge a disabled people extra or refuse to ravel to someone based on their ability • Refuse a disabled person from travel under genuine safety reasons • Must guarantee accommodation for disabled people where prior notice is given and provide extra assistance if no notice is made • Provide basic assistance in the terminal, when loading/unloading luggage or boarding/alighting from the transport • Display information in accessible formats • Provide training for all staff members in disability awareness and handling associated equipment • Provide compensation for lost or damaged equipment • Must allow registered assistance dogs to travel on transport including buses and coaches. Other methods of transport have slightly varying rules, for travel by sea and waterways: Rail Professional



• Assistance dogs are permitted but must follow national rules • A temporary requirement should be provided if equipment is lost or damaged • Standards of assistance should be filed by large establishments. The Equality Act also set out provisions for guidelines regarding public transport vehicles, such as trains, buses, coaches and taxis, and they are to be outlined by the Government. The standard allowance for travel is based on a ‘reference wheelchair, which measurements are a length of 1,200mm, including extra-long footplates with a total width of 700mm. The sitting height from ground to top of head shouldn’t exceed 1,350mm and the height of the footrest will be no more than 150mm. To account for all wheelchair sizes, the ‘reference wheelchair’ is bigger than most models, to guarantee that the user will have enough room. Some models are bigger however, and they may be unable to travel. Theoretically, if your wheelchair fits these requirements then you should be allowed to travel with it. If you are concerned about the size guidelines, you should contact your travel operator ahead of time for assurance, as many can provide further assistance.

A further requirement for mobility scooters is that they are able to be folded down in order to travel, but smaller models are permitted on some buses and trains. Further measures on increasing accessibility in transport Planning your journey is essential, and there are various organisations which provide free advice. For blind or partially sighted customers, Describe Online is an example as it provides text descriptions of the layout of public spaces. Many transport facilities also rely on announcements to communicate with those who have limited sight, and the React AV system provides information on public spaces in an audio format. Trams are a popular method of transport in some major UK cities, and they often have concession or discounted fares for older and disabled passengers. All services now have wheelchair accessible platforms and level access is provided in all areas to avoid the use of ramps. Most mobility scooters and wheelchairs are allowed to travel on trams, but some do so on a permit basis which the user must apply for and display to travel. The need to increase accessibility is also being recognized in the capital. Transport for London are at the forefront of making their services inclusive to all abilities,


including those with hidden disabilities. The introduction of the ‘Travel Support Card’ enables users with any form of disability to seek assistance from staff if necessary, and the user can note down any important details to give staff a better idea of the support which they could provide. Accessibility is also growing in local communities across the UK, with initiatives such as door-to-door services whereby people can rely on transport coming directly to their home. If you are unable to use public transport with your wheelchair, you could benefit from one of these services, often known as ‘dial a ride’, and your wheelchair can travel with you. These services are usually provided by local councils or authorities, and those who wish to use the service should consult the relevant authorities or the community pages in the phone book. The transport sector is certainly making advances when it comes to accessibility, ensuring that all customers feel safe and secure regardless of their ability. It is becoming more than just a matter of getting from a to b, as the inclusive nature of the facilities available becomes an important factor for those who want to use their services.

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PRTF delivers future rail recommendations Cllr Andrea Davis, Chair of the Peninsula Rail Task Force, comments on the Williams Rail Review and what the future of rail in the South West should look like


hen the Williams Rail Review was announced in December 2018, the Peninsula Rail Task Force (PRTF) welcomed it, albeit with some apprehension as to whether or not it would deliver what is truly needed for the South West rail network. The PRTF was formed in 2012 in the aftermath of severe flooding across the region. The resulting railway closures had a devastating impact upon the South West’s economy. Local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and key stakeholders came together to campaign, as a united voice, for greater investment in the region’s rail to ensure a strategic rail network fit for purpose. Following the collapse of the rail line at Dawlish in Spring 2014, along with flooding of the Somerset Levels and the closure of the line between Cowley Bridge at Exeter, PRTF was invited by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, to come forward with a strategic rail blueprint, ‘Closing the Gap’. Our message was clear: that there must be long term plans for real enhancements to our rail network. Five years on, the PRTF is still campaigning hard for a resilient and reliable railway, one that can offer sufficient capacity and comfort for passengers, and that can offer faster journey times, with improved connectivity. In forming our response to the Williams Review, we have had the opportunity to reflect, and comment, on some of the emerging conclusions that are already being drawn. With so many players within the industry, both public and private sector, Keith Williams now has the responsibility of recommending much needed industry changes that will shape the future vision for our railways. It can only be hoped that he is ambitious and innovative enough in his white paper, and also that the industry is ready for what he recommends. We hope that the most fundamental

of these changes will be the introduction of a strategic body. This body would take an overarching approach to interpreting government policy into a strategic framework. At present the industry is managed cyclically through a series of disconnected statements, and decisions that are made through a number of bodies including the Department for Transport (franchise specifications), and the Rail Delivery Group (fares). This is a fragmented operating model and looks at issues in isolation, rather than taking a coherent strategic approach. This often results in a lack of consistency, transparency and, at times, confusion, for stakeholders and partners alike. The complexity of the rail industry, and the fact that different parties may have conflicting objectives, can also make it challenging for stakeholders to engage effectively. In 2011, Devon County Council started the development of a proposal for a new railway station at Marsh Barton, Exeter. The station would serve a major industrial estate, as well as the South West Exeter urban extension. In order to promote effective coordination, cooperation and a shared responsibility between the key organisations, the relevant parties entered into a memorandum of understanding. Although members ratified the agreement, there were changes in standards and differences in assessing priorities that have resulted in significant delay to the project, as well as major cost increases. It will have taken ten years from initial concept to station opening. The project has only able to proceed because the promoters and their partners have agreed to make significant additional funding available. This difficulty of managing competing goals between public and private sector is also a challenging process. This is another reason for supporting a strategic framework that the rail industry can look to in the decision-making process. With the guidance

or authority of a strategic body to take a balanced view on the needs of the railway, its stakeholders, and its users, the Marsh Barton project may well have been delivered earlier, and at far lower cost. This fragmentation also means that there is a lack of clear long-term planning within the industry. At present, Network Rail operates within five-year Control Periods, whilst franchises generally work to a seven-year term. Misaligned planning timeframes can be a significant barrier to achieving consistent improvements across the region. To add to this, the decision by Government to separate the planning of enhancements from the routine maintenance activities of Network Rail for the period of the CP6 five-year budget has introduced a further element of fragmentation. Whilst this was implemented with the intent of reducing cost increases for enhancements, it has actually made it harder for stakeholders and partners to understand the overall vision for the route. In our 20-year blueprint for the South West region, we highlighted the need for a long-term approach to our rail network improvements. Quick fixes will not suffice. A long-term plan, with greater investment is needed. For far too long the South West peninsula, like other regions across the UK, has received substantially less spend per head when compared to areas such as London, the North West and West Midlands. These deep-rooted inequalities between regions have resulted in a disjointed railway Rail Professional



that has developed at extraordinarily different rates. PRTF seeks an industry structure that takes the differing needs of all regions into account. It should be a coherent long-term strategy for developing each of the rail routes to meet growth in passengers and freight. There needs to be a balance between the multi-billion-pound projects such as Crossrail and HS2, and the equally necessary works to ensure resilience of the railways, such as at Dawlish. There needs to be more focus on reducing journey times of existing lines and improving connectivity to more peripheral regions such as the South West. The rail industry needs to be ready to innovate, and less willing to disrupt passengers. An example of this is the Voyager train fleet. When the Voyager fleet was introduced in 2001 for the CrossCountry service, it soon became apparent that the Rail Professional

trains were susceptible to failure upon encountering sea spray whilst passing along the sea wall at Dawlish. Attempts were initially made to resolve the problems by using software modifications, but these proved unsuccessful. The South West has since had to endure 17 years of CrossCountry services regularly being forced to terminate early at Exeter, with little sign of a resolution. In the March update on the review, Keith Williams said that there must be a ‘much stronger focus on passengers…(and) passengers must be at the heart of the future of railway.’ It is clear from looking at the issue with the Voyager fleet that in the past passengers’ interests have clearly not been the focus, and perhaps reflects the attitude that passenger disruption is acceptable. PRTF understands that further modifications to the fleet to mitigate the

problem are belatedly under consideration, and we look forward to seeing the results. Focus on passengers, along with value for money for taxpayers and impacts on wider society, were three top-level objectives highlighted for the review. The latter needs to be carefully considered by Williams. If we look back to the now infamous 1963 report by Dr Richard Beeching, ‘The Reshaping of British Railways’, some now argue that his proposals did not fully consider the impact of rail upon wider society. Hundreds of branch lines and rural stations were closed following his report, and communities that relied on links with neighbouring market towns and flourishing cities were cut off. These closures were made in a time when road was the future. Times have now changed and many of the lines that were closed are now being reinstated, with rail lines such as the one between Exeter and Okehampton currently the focus of a campaign to reintroduce a regular service. This is replicated nationwide and as recently as February this year, Campaign for Better Transport called on the Government to reopen 33 rail lines and 72 stations that would bring an additional 20 million rail passenger journeys across the UK each year. Not only will this offer numerous economic and environmental benefits to areas where public transport is limited, but it will also assist in the decongestion of the highway’s networks. The decision to ditch road for rail is driven not only by passenger choice, but also because of the awareness we now have of the impact that travel is having on the environment. With targets for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the rail industry needs to be innovative and leading the change. Keith Williams now has the responsibility to ensure that accountability and leadership for the industry are set at the right level. The Government is required to set the policy; however, those closest to the users are better placed to achieve delivery. Communication and key partnerships in the planning, transport and economy sector are also going to be crucial to this. At the launch of the review in December, the Secretary of State’s ambition was for the panel to think, ‘boldly and creatively, challenging received wisdom’. Time will tell if this is true, although following the announcement in March by Williams that trade-offs will be necessary, the question has to be asked if the call for compromise is coming too soon…or whether the Autumn white paper will go far enough in delivering much needed change?

Cllr Andrea Davis is Chair of the Peninsula Rail Task Force. You can find out more information at: or by info@


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Supporting scheduling and safety at the new Paddington Station Since the original Paddington Station was first completed in 1853, Brunel’s vision has been an iconic structure for both London and the rail sector


n the intervening years, the station has undergone a number of extensions and remodelling programmes to accommodate increased passenger numbers and rail journeys, but none have been as ambitious or transformative as the current project to create an entirely new Paddington Station for Crossrail services. One of the challenges of providing the station infrastructure needed for new Crossrail services was finding a solution that would enable a fully integrated public transport network, without impacting on the aesthetics and historical value of the heritage station building. The result is an ultra-modern station located adjacent to the existing Brunel building. Following major excavations, a rectangular concrete box has been sunk into the ground to accommodate the new Crossrail terminal, with passengers travelling down from a glazed canopy at ground level via escalators and lifts to platforms as far as 20 metres below. Following the groundworks programme and placement of the pre-cast concrete structure within the excavated void, work has continued to transform the underground space into a station to meet the needs of 21st Century passengers and trains. Ongoing construction of the station’s interior and glazed canopy, along with the installation of escalators, lifts and other building services have involved complex access and safety provision for construction teams. As an experienced, TfL-approved scaffolding specialist for the rail sector and an existing Crossrail supplier with an in-house scaffolding design team, Millcroft was invited to tender for the project and has been on site for 26 months, with several months of activity still ahead. Over 300 scaffolding designs Millcroft’s first responsibility as the scaffolding provider on the project was to replace the disparate array of existing scaffolding and handrails, erected by a variety of scaffolding companies during the groundworks phase, and replace them with a more permanent and coordinated installation for the construction phase. ‘The initial site preparation mainly

consisted of edge protection and access to the site accommodation’ explains Peter Holmes, Millcroft’s Senior Design Engineer on the project. ‘Safety is always a high priority in the rail sector and our design team ensure this aspect of our programme enables all construction teams to move around safely throughout the remainder of the project. ‘Since then, our design team has generated more than 300 designs for a huge selection of bespoke scaffolding structures, from temporary handrails to the main canopy bridge deck. Managing a safety critical programme of this kind with a number of different delivery partners on site requires a flexible and collaborative approach. Our brief has evolved over the course of the 26 months we’ve been on site and we expect further additions and modifications to the planned programme will continue to be required over the next few months. At all times, we’re working with the client and the other delivery partners to ensure that access and safety reflect real time project progress.’ The construction project includes no conventional brickwork, instead brickslip panels have been craned into the void to line the inverted concrete structure. The temporary works designed by the Millcroft team played an important role in the operation to lower these panels into the void and secure them in place, with Millcroft designing and installing engineered supports for the concrete falsework used to enable installation of the heavy panels. Canopy bridge deck For the installation of the bomb-proof glass canopy which will form the striking aboveground entrance to the new station, a canopy bridge deck was required spanning the void to enable installation of the glazing and steelwork. Millcroft’s design team designed this to allow the heavy building components – including glass panels weighing a tonne each – to be lifted and secured in place. It has also provided weather protection for the work area below. Peter Holmes continues: ‘The canopy bridge deck consists of a freestanding, lightweight bridge deck, which has been covered in profile sheeting to reduce the dead load while providing effective protection

from the elements. This has been finished in an exterior quality ply to ensure a robust and durable surface because, although this structure is temporary, it needs to last for the two to three-year lifespan of the project. ‘The bespoke design also included box gutters, down pipes and local details around the two tower cranes to ensure rainwater runoff, thereby preventing any potential loading implications or damage that standing water could cause.’ In addition to designing and installing the main canopy bridge deck, Millcroft has also been responsible for providing the access and safety at height structures required for installation of ceiling level services. This has been achieved with bridged mobile platforms at various levels, along with a variety of heavyduty loading bays, lifting structures and hoist access. ‘The safety and access arrangements play a critical role in enabling the varied teams working simultaneously on site to carry out the next elements of the schedule. Our designs have had to consider how to avoid congestion that could impede the varied activities on site at any one time, while ensuring the safe access to the required site areas. Planning, timing and coordination continue to be essential.’ Rail Professional



Inventive solutions At platform level, there was a requirement to provide a hoarding that runs the entire length of each platform. This needed to be fire-rated to prevent the spread of flames but also needed to maintain a pressure regime capable of preventing the spread of smoke. Peter continues: ‘This was amongst a number of very technical safety critical requirements for the project, designed to protect both the workforce and the built asset. By considering this element as part of the wider project our design team was able to capitalise on the need for the hoarding stricture by combining it with an access deck above as part of a space and cost-efficient approach.’ Millcroft also had to use the team’s specialist experience in the heritage sector to answer the full demands of the brief at

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the New Paddington Station. The adjacent MacMillan House, which is part of the existing station estate, is a listed building, so access solutions had to be designed to avoid any load bearing or stress on this property. Millcroft’s design team has designed and erected bespoke free-standing access in various locations. The company’s brief has also included temporary works to provide lateral restraint to the steel frame that forms the entrance to the new station. The timing of this structure was critical to the schedule of works and the safety of the teams working within the underground cavity. With in-house design engineers and advanced scaffolders to erect the temporary steelwork on site, Millcroft was able to respond to the need to coordinate erection and striking of different scaffolding elements on site within a flexible programme. Overcoming challenges Throughout the project Millcroft has provided smart engineering solutions to manage the complexity of the programme and the logistical challenges of the site, which include its proximity to an operational mainline railway station and live railway lines and its busy central London location. Peter continues: ‘There has been a requirement to balance the need for robust and hardwearing solutions with loadbearing restrictions, the logistical challenges of a

confined and congested site and stringent health and safety. Our design engineers have incorporated alloy components where possible and lightweight profile decking to enable large deck areas to be constructed.’ Millcroft’s close collaboration with the client and emphasis on health and safety has led to successful coordination of the scaffolding and access requirements on site and the company has won a number of health and safety awards handed down on the project. Peter adds: ‘Health and safety is integral to what we do and we even have a dedicated training facility where we offer training to delivery partners based on our own best practice. We’re delighted to have played a key role in the safety of the New Paddington Station site and to have been part of a project that will transform London’s transport infrastructure.’


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Kilborn Consulting Limited is an independent railway engineering consultancy and design business. We specialise in the design of railway signalling and telecommunication systems for the UK and Ireland railway infrastructure. Our core services cover technical advice, consultancy services, feasibility studies and concept, outline (AiP) and detailed design (AfC) of both signalling and telecommunication systems. We can provide all Signal Sighting activities and signalling risk assessments, including SORA and Suitable and Sufficient Risk Assessments for Level Crossings. We also provide EMC and E&B studies to complement our core services. We very much look forward to working with you.

Tel: +44 (0)1933 279909 Email:

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STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD VolkerRail is one of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading multidisciplinary railway infrastructure contractors. Our capabilities range from the construction of urban mass transit and high speed rail systems to the re-establishment of disused railways. We are also specialists in track renewals and maintenance, signalling, electrification, high and low voltage power distribution and line side civil engineering schemes. We aim to stand out from the crowd in everything we do by exceeding expectations.

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Embracing variety and creativity to meet the challenges of our railways Kathryn Nichols, Chief Executive, and Frances Nichols, Chair and Creative Director of The Nichols Group explore the challenge of diversity in rail


ur railways are too often regarded as a stagnated industry, struggling to meet the challenges of today, let alone the demands of tomorrow. It is expected that the number of people using the UK railways will double over the next 25 years and with this unprecedented growth, we find ourselves at a tipping point where the same old incremental approach to improvements will no longer suffice. At Nichols, we are under no illusion of the scale of the challenges our industry faces but understand that in order to meet these challenges in the immediate term, as well as looking ahead into the future, we need to be creative, innovative and truly inspiring. At the heart of our ethos is our knowledge that a greater variety of expertise makes for better decision making and enables the delivery of solutions that meet the needs of more people. Railway infrastructure in the UK has evolved immensely since its origins, adapting to rapid growth and ever-changing demands. Every programme has different requirements and a range of skills necessary to deliver them. It is often suggested that the rail industry needs more engineers, more female engineers, more black, Asian and minority ethnicity engineers. While we agree that a variety of engineers is preferable, we wonder why the focus is purely on just one area of expertise, engineers? Of course, engineers strive to create and build a better future, but this is not a unique desire to engineers, but in fact a common goal shared by a diverse range of other experts and professionals. As we deliver ever more complex projects in the face of an acute skills shortage and an ageing workforce, we should no longer rely solely on recruiting from traditional pools of talent to deliver these projects on time and on budget. Instead, we must embrace a more

diverse range of expertise, knowledge and experience to support these programmes. For us, diversity isn’t just about a person’s gender, race, sexuality or age, but about their individual talents, insight and skills. Our notion and expectations of major infrastructure projects has transformed dramatically since the origins of the modern railway. The complex projects of today need not only engineers but creative technologists, creatives, project managers, behavioural scientists and cyber security experts, to name but a few professions, to come together with a shared vision. Future success will depend upon collaboration and the joining together of these diverse skill sets to meet the challenges of tomorrow and remain competitive in a global market. Over the last 44 years, our independent business family of creative change strategists has delivered insightful solutions to bring our clients’ vision to reality. Variety and talent development are intrinsic to our culture and we are proud of our near 50:50 gender split and our unique blend of perspectives from project

managers, creatives, lawyers and commercial specialists. Our people all come from a variety of backgrounds and professional disciplines, but they all have the right attitude and the right values. Our project teams mirror the natural environment that surrounds us. Diversity and abundance is the very nature of life and, in our view, it is essential that projects and programmes always have these holistic values at their heart as we develop solutions for society. It is therefore unfortunate that whether we are advocating the importance of shoring up our future workforce or implementing digital solutions for the railway, we too often talk about the future as if it is just that – a mere talking point. But the reality is that our future is now and how we act today will create the future of tomorrow. At Nichols, we aim to raise business consciousness by delivering programmes that fit into a better vision for society for generations to come. To provide an example, in January 2019 we were commissioned by one of our major infrastructure clients to support their Rail Professional



ambitious signal testing regime. We knew we needed to think outside the box to deliver the best solution. So, we set our Creative Technologist the challenge to develop a solution to enable the submission of data in real-time, and the population of a dynamic visual dashboard. Development was agile and engaged many people from different disciplines, but never relied on the traditional approach that would typically be taken on a project of substantial scale. The benefits of approaching this project from a

diverse set of perspectives are already being realised in terms of efficiency. Our work on this project is just one example of when a team is diverse, and more reflective of our customers, we bring new mindsets and experiences to consider the complex projects we face, which is essential in strategic planning and project delivery. With variety, we have a better chance of meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of an increasingly diverse customer base. We all know the significance of loving variety, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it makes sense in business terms too. A diverse workforce has a truly transformative and tangible impact on the work we deliver for our clients and can positively change the delivery and governance of major rail projects and programmes. To put it simply, a 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15 per cent more likely to have returns above their industry mean. With hard evidence like this, alongside the benefits we outline throughout this article, it is hard to understand why so many

of us still talk about diversity as though it is a nice to have, something we’ll perhaps consider for the next project. Or the one after that. The future starts now. At Nichols, we truly believe that variety is essential to ensuring we provide future proof solutions for the life cycle of our railways and infrastructure programmes. Whatever the future brings, it is so important to keep the vision of a project at the core of every decision we make, especially in the lengthy and challenging projects we are delivering today. It is known that diverse teams are more likely to question assumptions, re-examine facts and remain objective. By embracing variety, we become aware of our own entrenched and often blinding ways of thinking that can ultimately lead to errors. As an industry, we need to become more aware of our intrinsic bias and be more receptive to new ideas, creativity and innovation to ensure we meet the needs of our customers. As we deliver the biggest infrastructure projects of our generation, our message to the industry is simple. Embrace new perspectives. Love variety. Diversity is so much more than an empty slogan or a tick box exercise; it inspires collaboration and innovation, questions assumptions and delivers tangible results. Your projects, and society will be the better for it.

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Network Rail and Colas Rail team up for ‘Site of the Future’ An ambitious project led by Network Rail and Colas Rail has used innovative solar lighting and power generation to prove the viability of a sustainable ‘Site of the Future’, achieving 97 per cent diesel-free operation in support of a major rail renewal project at Llanwern, South Wales


he joint Network Rail and Colas Rail initiative used solar and battery technologies from Prolectric Ltd instead of diesel generators to save 6,000 litres of fuel, and more than 15 tonnes of CO2 during a 14-day project centred around a 72-hour possession over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. The results are being viewed as a significant achievement that marks an environmental milestone towards clean, carbon-free off-grid working, in support of Network Rail’s CP6 target to reduce nontraction energy consumption by almost 20 per cent and carbon emissions by 25 per cent. Ryan Ballinger, Production Manager for Colas Rail, said: ‘A 97 per cent diesel reduction at the first attempt is a great achievement. Saving close to 6,000 litres of

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diesel is the same as driving a family car at 40 mpg twice around the circumference of the world. ‘It’s also clear where we have learnt the lessons from Llanwern so we can aim to close that small gap. We really want to get to that one hundred per cent fuel-free figure by the time of our next challenge, planned for a rail renewal project later in the summer. ‘There’s no doubt these technologies are going to be a complete gamechanger and we need to push on to get to a place where using this type of technology is just business as usual.’ Power and light Prolectric’s clean, silent solar lighting and power generation technologies were used across the site covering more than 21-acres. This included access roads, the welfare cabin area, car parking and the track working area itself, where the London to Cardiff mainline meets the Llanwern steelworks spur, near Newport. The set-up and core works spanned a period of around 14 days leading up to and following 72-hour possession, with more than 70 rail staff employed on site. Two 25kW Solatainer® solar generators replaced conventional diesel generators

providing light and heat for seven welfare cabins, including site offices, a canteen, toilets and a drying room. The Solatainer is modelled on a standard 20ft shipping container with an array of photovoltaic solar panels charging on-board lithium ion batteries. A total of 21 Prolectric ProLightTM solar tower lights illuminated the site compound, car parking and work preparation areas, as well as being deployed on the trackside, where 200 metres of Prolectric ProTrack battery-powered link lighting was also used. Prolectric ProTempTM column streetlights were positioned along the access road to the site. Range of solar applications It was just as important to explore and extend the range of applications and it was possible to demonstrate the versatility of using portable lithium battery packs recharged as necessary from the solar generators, for a variety of uses. An innovative new solar-powered Gate Guardian system, an idea developed as part of the Colas Rail safety challenge, used solar power and light to operate a 24-hour PIRoperated security camera system that plays a recorded message reminding users to close


the gate, and saves footage for later review. In addition to the 200 metres of ProTrack lithium battery link lighting, five APPS dust suppression systems were powered for the first time over the weekend using Prolectric’s off-grid rechargeable battery technology. The ProTrack batteries were also used to power two trackside water cooler drinking stations, a sustainable initiative that has helped the Network Rail and Colas Rail team to ban the use of disposable plastic water bottles and polystyrene cups; all staff are issued with refillable water bottles and thermos flasks. It was also possible to use the ProTrack batteries to provide power to the point motors so the S&T engineers could swing the points during set up. Silent and fume free Using diesel generators to support rail renewal work has been the only option for reliable off-grid power. Now viable solar technologies are being seen as a vital contribution to non-traction carbon targets, as well as to reduce the noise, smell and air

pollution from diesel exhausts, especially next to residential areas. The first thing that staff and visitors noticed at the Llanwern compound was how quiet it was, compared to the usual continual background hum of diesel generators. ‘The environmental impact of running diesel generators all day on a major worksite like Llanwern is absolutely huge’ comments Ballinger. ‘It’s not just about carbon emissions; our lineside neighbours are very important to us. By using solar harvesting, we’re not polluting their environment with unwelcome fumes and noise.’ Partnership and collaboration The Llanwern Site of the Future project is the culmination of determined development work driven by the Network Rail and Colas Rail team to adapt and refine solar and renewable technologies for the rail industry, with an aspiration to achieve diesel-free operation as standard. Ryan Ballinger continues: ‘I first challenged my depot a year and a half ago to move towards being more sustainable and diesel-free. Since then, we have worked closely to drive the development of suitable on-site solar tower lights and walking lights. Now at Llanwern we have been able to add solar generators for the first time and moving forward we want to add smaller plant and tools such disk saws and band saws.’ In particular, the Network Rail and Colas Rail team has been working with Prolectric to refine the technologies for rail use and innovate a smaller solar tower light with similar dimensions to a standard diesel generator that can be deployed on the Cess. Cost savings and collaboration The Llanwern project not only provided feedback to help refine the solar and battery technologies, but also identified energyefficiency initiatives that can contribute to one hundred per cent diesel-free operation. For example, using more energy-saving heaters, encouraging more energy-conscious behaviour among staff, and exploring simple innovations such as fitting thermostats and sensors that switch heaters off when doors


are left open. The 6,000-litre diesel saving reduced fuel costs for the Llanwern project by £3,870, as well as making additional savings in labour costs by eliminating the need for refuelling. To operate a diesel generator requires at least one person to be employed on each shift to be responsible for refuelling, adding manpower costs as well as the potential for spills. ‘Across the construction industry, contractors have to be cost driven. To succeed, a sustainable technology must be at least comparable in cost. We’ve worked hard to ensure our solar light and power technologies are no more expensive to the contractor than conventional diesel would be’ Chris Williams, Managing Director of Prolectric, says. ‘This has been very much a collaborative process with Network Rail and Colas Rail. The Llanwern initiative has proved that diesel-free operation is possible and it was a vital learning experience, so we can move eliminate the use of any diesel for lighting and welfare on future projects.’ Working in close collaboration with rail partners, Prolectric expects further advances in solar and battery technology

in future to drive forward the capabilities of off-grid solar light and power generation so it continues to become more powerful, compact and versatile. About Prolectric Prolectric us the UK’s fast-growing manufacturer and expert provider of temporary solar lighting and off-grid power, based in Clevedon, Somerset. The Solatainer is the UK’s first autonomous solar-powered off-grid generator and has a proven track record in use at more than 50 sites in the rail and construction sectors nationwide. Prolectric’s solar lighting has given the industry the first fully-viable alternative to diesel tower lighting on construction and infrastructure projects. The popularity of Prolectric’s temporary lighting range, including the ProLightTM Solar Lighting Tower, ProTempTM Solar Lighting Column and ProTrackTM link lighting system, has powered the company’s rapid expansion. Temporary and permanent solutions are available for purchase, rental or cross-hire. Rail Professional

transport and build in minutes Forma-Stor is the new quick-assembly, modular solution for trackside and station secure storage. We’ve come up with a walk-in vault that can be quickly transported without a HIAB and easily set up anywhere on-site - preventing delay minutes, requirements for possessions, stoppages in work and associated costs.

ticks the box for... • Trackside, stations and depots • Flat-packed for easy transportation and minimal cost • 5-lever deadlocks and jemmy-proof joins






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Flat-pack to the future The days of costly, time consuming loading and delivery of standard containers for trackside rail projects could be at an end after site storage specialist Armorgard designed a new flatpack alternative


he inconvenience and high cost of track possessions, overhead power line isolation, stoppages in work, and the use of HIAB crane lifts and Road Rail Vehicles (RRVs) when transporting storage containers to and from work sites have been part of rail construction and maintenance for years. But hope could be on the horizon in the shape of a modular, flat-packed walk-in weatherproof on-site secure storage vault that can be quickly transported and easily be set up anywhere on site, without the need for resource intensive logistics. The new Forma-Stor design consists of lightweight, ultra-strong panels that simply slot into place meaning the whole set-up only takes around ten minutes and can be carried out by two people, compared with the team of people needed to organise a standard container lift. Paul Weeks, a Signal and Telegraph (S&T) Manager for Network Rail and one of the first to use the Armorgard FormaStor, said: ‘The flat-packed design means that overheads do not need to be isolated when transporting the Forma-Stor, which prevents delay minutes, requirements for possessions, stoppages in work and

associated costs. ‘The Forma-Stor Can be strategically placed in focal positions to reduce delay minutes and walking distance when a variety of items are required on site, ensuring you have total control of the transportation process to optimise logistics and best fit in with the eternal schedule.’ Terry Mitchell, Managing Director, Armorgard, said: ‘We understand the logistics of transporting a standard container to and from trackside sites can be frustrating and costly. We designed Forma-Stor so it can be easily stored and transported and rapidly assembled, as and when required, which streamlines an otherwise resource intensive process.’ Because of the product’s easily configurable, interchangeable sections, contractors do not spend unnecessary time trying to align bolt holes and matching up panels. For this reason, Forma-Stor can be erected a great deal faster on the job site with a considerable saving in labour costs. The product’s lightweight, easy-to-handle components means it can be assembled close to where the actual work is being done. Forma-Stor comes in four different sizes, from one to four metres, and can be used for on-site storage of equipment, such as

hand and power tools, materials, including cable and metals, and other small to medium component storage. There is also a COSHH version of the Forma-Stor for chemicals and other hazardous substances. ‘It’s stronger, more rigid, and easier to assemble than similar options by other manufacturers. It’s also the only one metre collapsible storage container on the market’ said Armorgard R&D Manager Matt Partridge. ‘The tool-free assembly helps contractors save time and money. The one and two metre units can be assembled by two people in less than ten minutes. Even the larger three and four metre units can be easily and quickly assembled by four people in 20-25 minutes.’ Partridge says: ‘Our design remit was to give rail contractors an affordable, easy to assemble and easy to access solution to secure, convenient storage of tools and equipment and to the problem of theft of supplies, materials and plant from work sites. Forma-Stor certainly provides that.’ According to Armorgard, 5-lever deadlocks and jemmy-proof joins ensure that the Forma-Stor is virtually impenetrable. The Forma-Stor is also weather and fire resistant and has forklift pockets for easy manipulation.

For more details about the new Armorgard Forma-Stor range or to find your nearest distributor contact Jasmin Walsh on 023 9238 0280. Rail Professional



How Melcher carries out design verification testing of its power supply products The Melcher name has always been associated with rugged power supplies and DC DC converters and has been a leading supplier to the railway industry of over 40 years


n this article Relec Electronics looks at the design and verification processes which make a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Melcherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; converter a true fit and forget power supply. All new products which come out of the Melcher stable are designed in accordance with very strict specification and design guidelines. Component derating is an

important philosophy at Melcher and all components are checked to ensure that they never exceed the derating factors which the Melcher philosophy demands. The engineering team also make use state of the art software to conceptualise and test circuits before they get anywhere near a breadboard.

Extensive use of program tools ensures integrity of design Mathcad is used to confirm key parameters within the circuit and is also used to help design key components such has transformer and inductors. Verification of circuit operation Microcap is a circuit simulation software package which can be used to check correct operation of complete circuits and test the effects of tolerances in key components. Mechanical and thermal checking One of the key driving factors in any new power supply design is efficiency and hence power loss. With a drive to make products smaller and cheaper, it is important to make sure there are no thermal hotspots or overloads within a system. Mechanical and thermal checks are made using FloTherm and solid-Edge-FloEFD packages. Extensive prototype testing Once prototypes have been built, Melcher

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Melcher products go through a thorough protocol of DVT (Design verification testing) and AVT (acceptance verification testing) have in-house thermal, humidity and vibration chambers to check compliance. Production burn in testing Once into production all units go through a 24-hour extended temperature burn in process. This ensures that any component infant mortality issues are identified before units go into the field. Whilst some of the modelling and test tools might have changed over the years, the Melcher philosophy is still as strong as ever. The Melcher name has stood for reliability and technical excellence for the past 40 years and with these tools in place it will remain the case for the next 40. Relec Electronics Limited was established in 1978 with the aim of providing specialist products and support to the professional electronics industry. The company is based in Wareham, Dorset. Relec has expanded and refined this philosophy over the past 40 years and specialises in offering the AC DC power supplies, DC DC converters, DC AC Inverters, Displays and EMC filter solutions to equipment manufacturers and system integrators in the UK and Ireland.

Tel: 01929 555700 Email: Visit: units are subject to extensive HALT (highly accelerated life test) and STRIFE (Stress + Life) test protocols. The units are tested at the extremes of their environmental specifications and also on the most demanding electrical characteristics. These might include operation with a highly pulsed load at maximum operating temperature whilst also vibrating the unit at the same time. This level of testing can very quickly pick out weak points in a design before they go to production. Design verification testing Melcher products go through a thorough protocol of DVT (Design verification testing) and AVT (acceptance verification testing). This includes checking all of the published parameters over all environmental conditions as well as compliance to external standards. In the case of railway products this includes EN50155 and EN50121 standards. To help facilitate this Melcher Rail Professional



Take a fresh look at your eye protection Did you know that you can supply Prescription Safety Spectacles to your employees from as little as ten pence per day!


ollé Safety, a world leader in the design and manufacture of protective and sports eyewear, has developed its unique and exclusive PLATINUM® lens coating to provide the wearer with the highest levels of protection, clarity and

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vision and at the same time offering exceptional value for money. With prices starting from as little as 10p per day employers can supply their staff with prescription safety spectacles that are tested and approved to EN 166 and carry a two-year warranty. Also included in the allinclusive price is a case, cleaning cloth and neck cord. The new unique and exclusive EN166 K and N permanent double-sided anti-fog and anti-scratch Platinum coating guarantees greater safety, reliability and comfort. This permanent coating on both sides of the lens gives them a high resistance to scratching, to the most aggressive chemicals and delays the onset of fogging. In all circumstances and at all times the Platinum lens innovation guarantees your eyes improved protection. Bolle Safety is also the first company in the world to supply all its prescription lenses with Platinum anti-scratch and anti-fog coating as standard and at no extra charge. New to the Bollé Safety prescription range is the Tryon prescription version which offers prescription wearers a stylish Base seven wraparound sports frame with the latest lens technology providing optimum vision. Bollé Safety is also the only company to offer its Platinum double-sided anti-scratch and anti-fog K and N coating on its polycarbonate prescription lenses as standard at no extra charge. With a range of over 20 styles to choose from and Platinum polycarbonate doublesided anti-scratch and anti-fog lenses this is the perfect solution for your prescription wearers. The Bollé Safety prescription service is also very versatile with customers being able to order via the fully electronic on line Web Shop, prescription forms or the exclusive All Inclusive Prescription Pack. The Bollé Safety Web Shop gives employers full control over the whole process while allowing employees to visit their own choice of optician. The All Inclusive Prescription Pack is the easiest way to purchase prescription safety glasses for your employees. Simply buy a pack from your local Bollé Safety distributor, the pack contains everything that your employee

requires to order their prescription safety glasses, they just need to visit their local optician with the pack, and Bollé Safety does the rest. Also unique to Bollé Safety is the Contour Rx, the world’s first Base eight prescription wraparound safety eye shield with Free Form Digital HD safety lens technology. Based on the market leading Contour eye shield, the prescription version gives the wearer sports styling combined with safety and protection and still meets the highest European Standard EN 1661F. All this without the complication and distractions of an insert. A truly unique product. Also, all of the non-prescription ranges are fully approved to the highest European safety standards and also incorporate the unique Bollé Safety Platinum lens expertise guaranteeing class one optical performance and quality. This allows the products to be worn all day, every day without any damage to the wearer’s eyesight. The lens design ensures an exceptional field of view of over 180º combined with integrated side shields and the high performance Platinum double sided anti-scratch and anti-fog coating as standard. The Bollé Safety brand is a strong brand because of its shared commitment to provide the highest quality protection for all of its users. Ultra-innovative materials and lens technology of the all Bollé Safety and Tactical ranges have a simple goal: to prevent eye injuries, provide maximum comfort to users with design and performance and reduce cost in use. As with all of the range of products from Bollé Safety, the company also offers the customer excellent value for money and world renowned optical lens quality and coatings. Isn’t it time you took a fresh look at your eye protection?

Tel: 0208 391 3194 Email: Visit:

Airborne 10RT is an absorption technology that has been designed to absorb total suspended particulate matter (TSPM) when introduced in to the atmosphere via an APPS Track Side PIRA (TSP) or an Airborne 10RT nozzle dust suppression system which have been specially designed and manufactured to ensure that the correct micron size and volume are delivered allowing the hydrophilic and hydrophobic tails within the Airborne 10RT to help remove particulate matter.

APPS UK Ltd are much more than a speciality dust suppression and odour control supplier, every day we help our customers tackle their toughest challenges. We undertake this by providing solutions

The Track Side PIRA has been specifically designed for the Rail Industry to deliver Airborne 10RT into the atmosphere. This will help absorb particulate matter generated from a multitude of operations from, ballast drops, tamping, DEEE, vehicle movement and general dust and odour related issues. The TSP is a self-contained mobile unit which will produce a 40 micron water droplet from the rotary atomiser and when infused with Airborne10RT will absorb total suspended particulate matter. The frame is constructed of mild steel which is situated on wheels along with 4 x lifting points for easy manoeuvrability around stations, platforms, track, rail trolleys and tunnels. The TSP is fitted with a self-contained water tank, generator, pump, control panels and a multifunctional 285 degrees rotary atomiser head and hydraulic arm with a height restriction of 2400mm and offering fantastic versatility for any operation.






product quality, protect plant assets and minimise environmental impact. We implement and support these solutions through our experienced team of consultants who work side-by-side with project managers to ensure a total managed solution.

DustMac77 TrackSeal is formulated to form a strong bond that seals loose particles that would normally become airborne when disturbed by wind movement from trains or vehicles. The coating is applied after the new ballast has been laid sealing the loose dust particulates with a semi-permanent shell which protects against wind erosion, reducing atmospheric dust particles being emitted from air movement from passing trains and improving your safety. APPS UK encrusting products provide excellent pile sealing, slope control and rail car topper solutions.


Unit 3, Paisley Works,14 Windover Road, Huntingdon, PE29 7EB T: +44 (0)1480 458888 E: Rail Professional

High-current foil resistors

Fibre-optic TX/RX

HV magnetics & wirewound resistors

See Charcroft

Self-healing film capacitors

Circuit breakers EN50155 & EN50121 power supplies

Thermostats Long-life position sensors

EN50155 & EN50121 power supplies

Pressure sensors

Energy-storage capacitors

at the Rolling Stock Networking E vent Derby Velodrome July 11th 2019

EN50121-4 power supplies High-stability mica capacitors

image credit: 123RF-anmbph

Rail Challenge #1: Legacy system upgrades Challenge Charcroft to help you to overcome obstacles to designing upgrades for electronic systems in rolling stock or signalling. The flexibility to customise standard products can enable new components to become drop-in replacements for legacy parts, or provide additional environmental protection against harsh environments.

Standard, semi-custom and fully customised components POWER SUPPLIES • EN50155 & EN50121 compliant • EN50121-4 AC/DC 150W • Wide input voltages • Vacuum encapsulation

RESISTORS • Surface mount • Tubular wire-wound • Voltage & current-sense • Specialist power resistors

THERMOSTATS, SENSORS & BREAKERS • Pressure sensors • Thermostats • Circuit breakers

CAPACITORS • Aluminium electrolytic • High-power, HV film capacitors • Precision mica capacitors • High-voltage MLCC • Tantalum

OPTOELECTRONICS • ST-connectorised solutions • Fibre-optic TX/RX discrete components

MAGNETICS • Transformers & inductors • Sensors & electro-magnets

Jeff Gurr

Electromechanical Product Specialist

Chris Leek

Power Specialist

Charcroft: Challenge Accepted Email: Tel: 01591 610408 Passives, Power, Sensors, Emech and more

Roger Tall Passive, Hi-rel Semi & Opto Specialist



Welding fume protection For over 40 years, RPB® Safety has worked to provide the world’s industrial workers with comfortable, high-quality respiratory protection


n the United Kingdom, RPB is working hard to help protect welders against the dangers of welding fume. Welding fume poses a serious health risk, even in small doses or short exposures. In 2017, the International Agency for Research on Cancer reclassified welding fume as a Class 1 carcinogen, a change from its previous classification as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’. Along with various forms of cancer, welding fume can cause a number of other serious, progressive, and sometimes fatal diseases. These include, but are not limited to: emphysema, kidney failure, lead poisoning and anemia, manganism (Parkinson’s disease-like syndrome), metal fume fever, asthma, and general irritation of the nose, sinus, throat, and lungs. Many of the harmful gases and particulates found in welding fume can have a cumulative effect on health without presenting immediate symptoms, meaning workers often may not realise the extent of their exposure until it is too late. The HSE recognises this danger and has acknowledged the risk with its recent change in enforcement expectations for welding fume. To help customers in the UK meet the new expectations, RPB has a range of powered air respirators designed and manufactured for welders. For work on the rail, the RPB Z-Link® is available in the required Network Rail hard hat colours. This versatile, multi-purpose

powered air respirator offers general dust and silica protection, along with safety capabilities for welding and grinding applications. Those working in dark or enclosed spaces will benefit from an out-of-the-box lighting option for the Z-Link – the RPB Vision-Link™ – which easily attaches to the respirator via a mounting clip. The Z-Link also offers an optional in-helmet communications system that fits directly into the respirator without requiring modifications. Thanks to RPB’s careful collaboration with a major rail industry safety supplier, there are currently 300 Z-Link units in use on tracks across the UK. For those welding off the rail, the RPB Z4® is the lightest welding/grinding powered air respirator on the market and is now available in the UK. Weighing only 805g, the Z4 was designed with both safety and comfort as top priority. To advance both safety and productivity, the Z4 offers a flip-up welding visor which allows workers to quickly and easily transition from welding to grinding, eliminating the need to change helmets midtask and risk exposure. Light on weight but not on capabilities, the Z4 is packed full of other features to keep welders safe and productive. These include adjustable head suspension and airflow, optical clarity, optional padding, and add-ons including communications and lighting accessories.

RPB believes in providing customers with the best products and service possible. As technology and industry progress, RPB will continue to innovate and offer revolutionary solutions, ensuring workers make it home safely at the end of the day. With a focus on comfort, productivity, and – most importantly – safety, RPB is here to protect workers for life’s best moments. Tel: +44 800 689 5031 Email: Visit: Rail Professional

NEW. LAYHER FLEXBEAM High load capacity, low height solution




For simplified construction of suspended and cantilevered scaffolds Layher UK Layher Ireland

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FS 554413

Approved Training Provider

The past, present & future of system scaffolding

Z-8.22.64 and Z-8-22-64.1

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Rhyl railway station restoration With its team of experts in the polycarbonate and roof glazing fields, Twinfix works on developing the best, newest and most cost-effective roof glazing products


family business, Twinfix has been involved in the polycarbonate roof glazing market for nearly 30 years. Its innovative Multi-Link-Panel has been used in many markets, such as in the replacement of broken glass or failed PVC in station canopies and depot roof lights, where its patented fixing method results in incredibly quick installation times, a real bonus when working with limited possession times. Early in 2017, Twinfix worked with structural engineers JNP Group on the design of the roof refurbishment for Rhyl Station ensuring a structure that would be in keeping with the original age, design and character of the station was specified. The station at Rhyl is steeped in history and character. It opened in 1848 in line with the opening of the Chester & Holyhead Railway, and was later adapted as the station grew. The London & North Western Railway completed a major station enlargement in 1900 which included a new footbridge,

water-powered luggage lifts and new signal boxes at each end of the station, both still standing. Rhyl railway station is on the Crewe to Holyhead North Wales Coast Line and serves the holiday resort of Rhyl, Wales. Rhyl has long been a central hub for tourism. Once an elegant Victorian resort, families travelled across from Liverpool and Manchester after the Second World War changing the face of the town. The area had declined dramatically by 1990, but a series of regeneration projects are bringing Rhyl back to its former glory. As part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail is delivering ÂŁ50 million of investment along the North Wales Coast. The project includes rail enhancement works at Rhyl and restoration of the station, which will stand the test of time. JNP Group agreed that the innovative Georgian Wired Multi-Link-Panel NF would be an ideal fit for the refurbishment project at Rhyl. Georgian wired polycarbonate is a 6mm solid polycarbonate sheet from

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TENSOREX C+: Spring Automatic Tensoning Device

Railway Infrastructure Solutions for Today’s and Future Challenges Our Expertise for Railway and Tramway: ƒƒOverhead line construction ƒƒTensioning ƒƒMeasuring ƒƒInsulation technology ƒƒPower supply ƒƒSafety equipment


Safety Equipment

PFISTERER Ltd. 2 – 4 Orgreave Place Orgreave Sheffield S13 9LU, South Yorkshire Great Britain Phone: +44 114 4788500 E-Mail: Laser Measuring Device

MV-CONNEX Separable Connectors



Twinfix with a dimpled surface that mimics Georgian wired glass. It’s important to retain the feel of a station, so a sympathetic restoration is crucial. However, it’s also essential to not just replace like with like, as although traditional materials may look the same there are often disadvantages associated with them. Installed at traditional 600mm centres it helps satisfy the Heritage requirements at many older stations. Polycarbonate glazing mimics the traditional Georgian wired glass that it will be replacing, but it will not break in use. It is therefore safer to install and to use as an overhead glazing material, with no risk of glass cracking and shards of glass dust falling onto the platform below. The Georgian wired polycarbonate is pre-glazed in a multi-link framing system which has several advantages over the old style twopart glazing bars that are put together on site to create a glazed roof. The safety of people on roofs is of paramount importance and CDM regulations are very specific in advising designers and specifiers to design out any future possible dangers wherever possible. Specifying non-fragile rooflights helps them do that. The HSE recommend a drop test (ACR[M]001:2014 Test For Non-Fragility of Profiled Sheeted and Large Element Roofing Assemblies) to establish whether a roofing assembly can be classified as Non-Fragile. The Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels NF (NonFragile) fitted with the following glazing has been tested and they all pass this test with a ‘B’ designation. • 16mm and 25mm multiwall polycarbonate • 6mm solid polycarbonate • 6mm GW polycarbonate • In-Line Access Hatch. The Multi-Link-Panel NF passed because it consists of specially designed

bars combined with a patented method of installing the polycarbonate that holds it in place when subjected to the drop test. The multi-link system is made in the Twinfix factory in Warrington and incorporates an innovative fix and link installation feature that makes it very quick to install. So once on site there is less disruption at a station, which is important as the public needs to be serviced as normally as possible during building works. This panel system also results in fewer errors on the install as the work to get it right is carried out before it hits the site. Vicky Evans, Managing Director at Twinfix said: ‘The aluminium used in the Multi-Link-Panels can be powder-coated to virtually any colour and will not rust or require repainting, which helps cut down on future maintenance costs. Add this to the light weight of the polycarbonate glazing and you have rooflights that can extend the


life of any existing canopy structure.’ All these advantages led to a successful roof re-glazing, providing Rhyl station with a non-fragile, virtually unbreakable and attractive roof that keeps the feel and look of this heritage station. Any hurdles that were met were overcome by the Twinfix team working closely with MPH Construction – the main contractor on site, with one joint goal in mind, completing the project successfully. Now finished, it’s a wonderful example of the Georgian wired multi-link product and Twinfix, MPH Construction and Rhyl station can all be very proud of the refurbished premises. Sam Buswell Senior Engineer at JNP Group commented: ‘JNP Group were approached by Network Rail to provide a refurbishment design for the Station Canopy which would be sympathetic to the heritage of the Grade II listed Station Building and Footbridge. We had the ambition of bringing the Canopy back to its original appearance by opening up the previously boarded over sky lights. We had worked with Twinfix in the past on similar rail schemes and knew their products would be ideally suited. It has been a pleasure seeing the canopies given new life by the re-introduction of these sky lights.’ Evans summarised: ‘With countless years’ experience working on stations and depots across the UK, from Victoria Station in London, to Wigan Wallgate in the North West and Stafford in the Midlands the Twinfix team has developed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the rail sector. Heritage considerations have always been important and now we can offer an even wider range of non-fragile rooflight panels that conform to these heritage requirements.’ Tel: 01925 811311 Email: Website: Rail Professional



FlexBeam optimises suspended and cantilevered structures in the rail sector The construction of suspended and cantilevered scaffold structures – a common requirement throughout the rail industry – can now be significantly simplified with the latest innovation from Layher


he new aluminium FlexBeam is designed for use with surface scaffolds – both suspended and upright – and offers a range of optional benefits compared with other available systems. ‘The FlexBeam provides 40 per cent higher bending load capacity without the need for compression chord bracing

compared, for example, to our wellestablished Lattice Beam 450’ says Sean Pike, Layher’s UK Managing Director. ‘The design also enables lower construction heights to be achieved and enhances the range of locations that can benefit.’ Central to the FlexBeam is a U-shaped section that allows the direct suspension of system decks. Importantly, the concept

can also be connected directly to Layher’s Allround scaffold system, enabling broader use of a contractor’s stock, while a long list of additional fittings extends its suitability further still. ‘These range from lift-off protectors – which can be positioned anywhere along a structure’s length – to tie-rod connectors and concrete anchors’ adds Sean Pike. ‘A choice of FlexBeam lengths is also available – from four to seven metres – while a spigot design also simplifies connection between individual beam sections, each of which offers a series of fixing points positioned at 100 mm centres.’ Layher believes that one of the key applications that the new design helps to simplify is the installation on curved structures such as bridges. A timber beam option allows greater radii to be achieved eliminating the need for extensive material usage and minimising manpower time. ‘The advantages of the FlexBeam development are readily applicable to a host of suspended designs and can be further enhanced by installations calling for a cantilevered element. Up to 2.7 metres can be achieved’ continues Sean Pike. ‘With the full benefit of our design and operational support, this latest addition to the range is set to develop the creativity and capability of our contracting customers further still, not least by helping to optimise the safe movement of the public and workforce during station refurbishment. We believe it also represents a clear demonstration of Layher’s ongoing commitment to product development’ concludes Sean Pike. Tel: 01462 475100 Email: Visit:

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CHH CoNeX puts connectivity at the heart of digital rail Specialist communications infrastructure provider CHH CoNeX (CHH) has recently entered into a preferred partnership with German manufacturer Berthold Sichert


he partnership is for the supply of polycarbonate cabinets designed to meet the needs of the UK and European rail network following Network Rail’s announcement to spend £10.1 billion on rail enhancements and systems upgrades between now and 2024. The rail industry has been a slow digital adopter compared to other sectors such as automotive and aerospace. Yet the sector has now released its roadmap for infrastructure digitalisation and the Rail Sector Deal is set to boost productivity and reliability through innovative new technologies. Part of the enhancements to rail include updating over two thirds of the signalling network and providing new infrastructure for Big Data and communications. SMEs like CHH hold the key to rail digitalisation and are driving change right across the sector. Their innovation is what will ultimately unlock the sector’s potential and the UK Government wants to increase its spending with SMEs to 33 per cent by 2020. SMEs hold invaluable local knowledge and foster a culture of innovation. They tend to be less afraid of change and will take more risks in exploring new solutions. Their spirit of collaboration will also drive the digital agenda. Partnerships such as that between CHH and Berthold Sichert present an ideal opportunity to develop new ideas. Further reinforcing its commitment to a future within the rail sector, and in a quest to put connectivity at the heart of smart rail, CHH is a proactive member of the Rail Forum and the newly-formed BCRRE (Birmingham Centre for Rail Research & Education) Rail Alliance partnership, which has seen The Rail Alliance joining forces with the University of Birmingham. Martin Little, Senior Technical Officer for DIGI RAIL, BCRRE, University of Birmingham, said: ‘CHH is a shining example of a company that is committed to innovation and growth and we’re delighted that as a Rail Alliance Community Partner CHH is gearing up to make the most of the opportunities that the rail sector has to offer.’ Rail Professional







The Rail Alliance supports SMEs through their innovation journey. That support includes an introduction to the recently launched DIGI RAIL programme which provides companies with access to worldclass research services. Speaking about the new partnership with Sichert, Tim Hughes, Managing Director at CHH, said: ‘It’s important to us that CHH is recognised as being at the forefront of our industry, especially as we move to develop our presence within the rail market. Working with Sichert is a positive step forward towards us continuing to achieve this goal.’ The collaboration enables CHH to provide polycarbonate cabinets which allow 4G and 5G signals to pass through seamlessly and aid digitalization. The future of rail depends on new technology and sensors will be used to monitor external conditions on rolling stock and for GPS and tracking purposes, with all this information being sent back and forth via the cloud. That ability to transmit signals is critical at a time when the rail industry is looking to embrace digitalisation. Polycarbonate cabinets will allow CHH to customise and configure cabinets to each individual customer’s requirements. The lightweight modular units can be easily installed and modified or replaced on site without any interruption to rail services. Polycarbonate is as strong as metal but will not weaken or corrode. The cabinets will be more durable than those made of metal and the partnership responds to a call for the rail sector to use new materials and technologies for trackside services and rolling stock. Rail Professional

About Polycarbonate cabinets Polycarbonate cabinets offer a host of benefits compared to their metal counterparts. Polycarbonate is eight times lighter than metal and can be lifted by two people without the need for expensive lifting equipment. It is quick to deploy, reducing on site engineer time. There is no need for a concrete base, no waiting time for concrete to cure, the base hole can be refilled with hardcore and earth which is more environmentally acceptable. Internal equipment can be reconfigured, or damaged parts replaced on site without any interruption to service. As a material, polycarbonate is flame resistant, one hundred per cent recyclable, can be sprayed with an anti-graffiti coating and will not corrode –especially important in the rail environment, which is subject to heavy vibrations and corrosive brake dust. Polycarbonate has no effect on RF signal, making it ideal for 4G and new 5G technology signals to pass through. Polycarbonate cabinets can add value through a secondary use, for example, housing sensors for monitoring and data collection purposes. Warranty periods of up to 30 years can be offered and cabinet lifespan expectation is in excess of 50 years. About CHH CoNeX CHH CoNeX prides itself on being able to connect anything to anything. The company is a communications specialist with over three decades of experience offering a range of factory-based solutions and services including cable and loom

assemblies, cabinet and racking integration, and materials managed services to support communications infrastructure projects. Working across road, rail and telecommunications on fixed and mobile communication networks, CHH CoNeX is a partner of choice for supporting rail and road connectivity projects. CHH CoNeX is committed to collaboration and forming innovative partnerships with its supply chain. About Sichert Sichert, formed in Berlin in 1923, stands for integrity, quality and trust. The aim with its products is to create the basis for stable and sustainable structures in fibre optics, copper and broadband networks worldwide. The company’s field-tested multipurpose outdoor cabinets and bases made of polycarbonate, embody more than 35 years of experience in the various network sectors. Versatile aerial and subsurface hardware products for telecommunication networks, products for the rail industry, conduit systems, and innovative solutions in the field of electromobility, complete the product spectrum. The company’s key competence is the development of innovative and purpose-built solutions. Its long-term expertise, continuous improvements and continuous upgrades to the latest technical requirements enable Sichert to bring its customer products of the highest quality. Tel: 0121 344 6316 Email:





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Inspiration, innovation, integration In 1830 the first steps towards integrated travel information were taken when George Bradshaw published the world’s first compilation of railway timetables, providing an invaluable guide to all rail travel in England and Wales


he goal was to establish passenger-friendly information to aid integrated travel with all forms of available public transport, which included locally viable information about places of interest and places to stay. The rail industry has always attracted innovators: from the first locomotives to the first ticket machines, the rail industry has inspired, nurtured and encouraged progression and innovation as a means of improving the rail-travel experience. This mentality is still true today; competitions and innovation awards provide ongoing encouragement to pursue new ideas, integrate dynamic technology and embrace new methods in the ongoing search for efficiency, passenger satisfaction and allround improvement. KeTech prides itself on being at the forefront of industry innovation. For 20 years KeTech has questioned the accepted standards and pushed for improvement. This pursuit of excellence had led to KeTech being seen as a leading provider of truly real-time information, information which is updated within seconds. It has led to the development of dynamic capabilities – ensuring information systems, both onboard and wayside, are automatically updated with real-time information – instead of relying on those manual updates which can be infinitely delayed causing problems for both passengers and operators. KeTech was one of the first to be able to offer combined information systems enabling onboard screens and PA systems to both display and announce the same accurate real-time information. This marks a vast improvement on legacy systems where PA systems could be locked into preprogrammed announcements and a newer screen could be displaying contradictory information leading to confusion for the passengers. Back in 2006 KeTech was tasked with finding a solution for London Underground’s Victoria Line to reliably provide train drivers with a guards-eye-view of the platform to

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ensure passenger safety when the train departs the station. This challenge resulted in the design of KeTech’s DOO (Driver Operated Only) or OPO (One Person Operated) CCTV System. This system was so effective that it hasn’t been bettered since and is still the safest system of its kind in use on the underground today. The rail industry is full of challenges, and for KeTech this means it is full of opportunities. For every solution found there will always be the chance for greater development, especially as technology progresses and nascent ideas continue to be supported. As the transport industry as a whole changes, so too do the requirements that operators must meet standards set by industry bodies, and expectations set by passengers and the workforce. Industry standards are constantly subject

to review and refinement: 2019 will see the introduction of PRM (Persons with Reduced Mobility) criteria for all TOCs with stringent recommendations on how to improve the rail travel experience and ensure that it is inclusive for all passengers. NRPS scores act as a guide for how well operators are providing for their clientele and can be a source of stimuli for would-be innovators. Rail staff needs Like any workplace there are certain expectations from the staff. Rail staff are dedicated to their passengers and without the right technology they can be at a disadvantage. Some travellers may become distressed in the face of delays where there is no adequate information on hand. In situations like this, real-time integrated information systems are invaluable for staff.


Passenger requirements can be a cause of pressure on TOCs, some passengers might require additional physical assistance, some may have visual or hearing impairments which might render some sources of information meaningless. The reasons for travel present a different set of criteria to each passenger. A passenger could be a parent travelling with young children, someone travelling for business or a group of friends off to a gig. For each traveller, additional information is integral to the success of their journey, whether that is station facility information, lift status, onward travel details or local taxi information. All of these considerations are data options which can be integrated into a comprehensive, dynamic, automated information system. KeTech sees each new expectation as an opportunity to innovate. A call to action for all experts to facilitate improvement.

Rail Live Innovation Hub When Porterbrook welcomed applications in 2018 from SMEs to prove why they should be included in the Innovation Hub at Rail Live 2019, (19-20 June) KeTech secured its place. Porterbrook understands the challenges and complications that SMEs in particular face in developing creative new solutions and delivering them to market. The Innovation Hub is the ideal platform for SMEs to show how the rail industry is still an industry of innovators: it still delivers more than expected and can be a driving force for progress. The Innovation Hub also offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate exactly how new products might look and feel in a proper working environment. One of the many benefits of KeTech’s Passenger Information System is its light-touch installation and minimal invasion to the train infrastructure. This will be evident at Rail Live as the


Innovation Hub itself is based on a repurposed four-car Class 319 train. The kit will remain on Porterbrook’s installation for the six months following Rail Live. This means that the time and effort invested by all SMEs to develop and install their technology will be rewarded with extended exposure. This, in turn means that visitors can gain a more detailed understanding of the products. The intention, of course, is to inspire greater uptake of standard-refining technology. After all, what is innovation without uptake? KeTech was delighted to be awarded with a sought-after position on the Innovation Hub and will proudly present not only its one-of-a-kind Passenger Information System PIS but also C-DAS (Connected Driver Advisory System), a long-awaited industry-first which has the ability to improve fuel efficiency, time keeping and driver confidence resulting in a smoother passenger ride. The opportunity to showcase these innovations comes just a month after Railtex where KeTech focussed its display on another of its innovations: UIS. KeTech’s Universal Information System is the ultimate industry solution. The goal, as it has been since Bradshaw first published his Integrated Guide, to provide the most efficient and accurate way to accumulate, rationalise and distribute all relevant information. Where Bradshaw’s Guides were the first to combine rail travel with bus and ferry information, KeTech has the power to combine all possible aspects of the journey, from parking availability, local event information, bus timetables, taxi details, station facilities and real-time journey information; the possibilities are vast. Bradshaw’s guides were once hailed as revolutionary with one publication stating: ‘Seldom has the gigantic intellect of man been employed on a work of greater utility.’ This aim of providing excellence through innovation is still deep-rooted in the rail industry, when enthusiasm and expertise meet, anything is possible and that is what visitors will see at Porterbrooks Innovation Hub in June 2019. Arguably, KeTech’s greatest innovation is not a product on a train or at a station, but its intelligent integration of data & systems which allows for limitless further development and customisation. There are no two KeTech systems the same, each solution is customised to the TOC’s or Train Builder’s exact specification. The power of KeTech’s integration capabilities is unmatched: if the data exists, KeTech can harness it. If the industry wants it, KeTech will deliver. If you have a challenge for KeTech, visit Porterbrook’s Innovation Hub at Rail Live 19-20 June 2019. Tel: 03300 578 450 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Body and Sole Together Forever! Buckler Boots is an independent safety footwear specialist company located in the UK and Holland


t was established in 1998 in Dundee by two former business colleagues, Andrew Duncan and Sam Connor who had many combined years of safety footwear industry experience between them. As a starting point they took a blank piece of paper, committed all the product service and performance shortfalls bedevilling footwear designed for the workplace to it and vowed to eradicate them. Part of this process led to the creation of the company’s well known and unparalleled guarantee: Body and Sole Together Forever.

In 2008 the company established Buckler Boots BV in southern Holland in conjunction with a Dutch businessman Kees van den Buekel whose attention had been caught by the visual impact and quality of the products. Kees’ son Bas has gone on to grow the business in Holland, Belgium and now Germany at an impressive rate. The company has an enviable reputation as one of Europe’s leading product design innovators with several claims to fame including: • First company in the UK to offer a full

range of safety boot styles fitted with anti-penetration midsoles • First company to develop an EN S5 standard neoprene/rubber safety boot: Buckbootz, which revolutionised the perception of the safety welly • Creators of Buckflex a simple feature which enables dealer boot styles to be put on/removed more easily • Designers of the Hybridz concept which combines the convenience of a dealer boot with the adjustment of a lace boot. The latest innovation is Buckz Viz, a completely new range of safety boots with a visual impact rarely if ever seen in leather safety boot styles before and created with

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the rail industry as a prime target market. Like many Buckler Boots products Buckz Viz styles carry design protection to deter competitors from mimicking the company’s products, an activity which has become all too common, particularly over the past five years. Managing Director, Andrew Duncan says: ‘We’re all familiar with the finger being pointed towards the Far East for design plagiarising but we find that the problem is just as bad in the UK, in particular. Come up with a product design which catches on in the market place and you can be sure a competitor will be tempted to clone it. We are constantly incurring litigation costs to counter this.’ Buckz Viz specification combines Cordura®, one of the world’s toughest materials in EN safety orange or yellow and cowhide leather with an incredibly tough rubber outsole using injection moulded construction. The boots are waterproof and certified to EN S3 HRO SRC standards. They are non-metallic and the outsoles are nonmarking. Staying ahead of the field is mana to the company’s design personnel and there is another very significant product development in the pipeline to further enhance Buckler Boots reputation as the go to brand for safety focus, innovation, comfort, durability and a combination of quality and value which the company claims is unsurpassed in its sector. Buckler Boots also takes great pride in its Sling Those Hooks campaign to have speed lace hooks removed from safety boots specifications on account of their lace snagging danger. Internet support from people around the world bears out the veracity of the campaign. Andrew Duncan says: ‘It may seem


strange for a company which strives to develop features on safety boots to strive to have one removed but lace hooks are seriously dangerous and should have no place in the specification of footwear worn in the workplace – or anywhere else for that matter. We haven’t won the battle yet but we do take pride in the fact that our competitors seem to be slowly phasing them out.’ Needless to say you won’t find speed lace hooks on any Buckler Boots products. Buckler Boots distribute in the UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium and Germany through a network of dealers. UK / Ireland Tel: 01382 82 82 00 Email: Holland, Belgium, Germany Tel: +31 (0) 13 203 2434 Email: Rail Professional



Is CP6 SME-lling of roses? Network Rail (NR) is at the pinnacle of a pyramid made up of major contractors and manufacturers near the top, radiating out to medium sized and small companies at the base; all dependant on the decisions taken by NR for their prosperity and very stability


ere we look at this supply chain from the point of view of one of its links, Rail Signalling & Power (RSP). NR operates the 17th largest rail network in the world and has a supply chain of over 4,000 suppliers across whom over £7 billion is spent every year. While there are other comparatively small rail infrastructure companies in the UK, NR is effectively the single final customer for that supply chain, more than half of which are small to medium enterprises (SMEs), employing fewer than 250 people each. What could NR do to help the companies that are so dependent on it? As of 1 April 2019, the UK rail industry entered into Control Period 6 (CP6) with a new budget of £35 billion to spend over the next five years, of which £750 million of signalling and power framework contracts have already been awarded. You could be forgiven for thinking there has never been a better time to be an approved SME in the UK rail supply chain and that everything must be looking rosy. However, these statistics only tell half the story. Both the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and NR have come under intense scrutiny from the Government’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after major failings in CP5. A huge overrun

and overspend on the Great Western electrification scheme, which, in turn, caused other schemes to be deferred, the demise of Carillion and even uncertainty around Brexit, have all contributed to a major downturn in the industry. All the major UK ‘tier one’ contractors

have made large cuts to staff numbers and many SMEs have failed to survive the past three years. Despite the promise of CP6 investment on the horizon, the rail industry remains a challenging environment. Cornwall-based SME, RSP, has already bucked the trend. It formed in May 2018 at the nadir of CP5 and led by its highly experienced management team, worked tirelessly for the past twelve months, to establish itself as a professional and dedicated team capable of designing, building and testing signalling and E&P systems and housings; all complemented by its own brand of NR accepted products. How happy is RSP about the framework awards? Andy Jones, RSP’s Projects and Delivery Manager says: ‘We have a great team of multi-disciplined staff, existing orders on the books and a great client base, but, like any organisation, we need a constant stream of work. The framework contract awards are a good start, but it could take up to twelve months for work to filter down to SMEs like us. Until this happens times remain tough.’ RSP has a client base that includes twelve of the UK’s largest tier one and two contractors and, as well as receiving the highest rating in its RISQS and ISO9001:2015 accreditations, it has been involved in the delivery of key projects including:

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• Oxford phase one signalling design works to support the successful commissioning in July 2018 – including commissioning copies, commissioning support and return of thousands of final records • Norwich, Yarmouth, Lowestoft (NYL) re-signalling scheme – design and build of all FSP switchgear, DNO and points

heating cubicles • Market Harborough Linespeed and Station Improvement – design and build of functional supply point (FSP03) cubicles • East Midlands E&P Renewals, Silkstream Feeder Renewal – design and build of functional supply point (FSP03) cubicles


• Western SIN119 works – supply of over 500 RSP FSP04 products and associated equipment to help in the upgrade of lineside installations to meet class II earthing. While these achievements are undoubtedly impressive, they still do not change the fact that RSP is an SME in an industry that is yet to fully recover from CP5 and has a massive task ahead to deliver CP6. Having already awarded frameworks and with new contract payment terms and spending rules all intended to help SMEs and the supply chain, is there any more NR could do? Stuart Morrison, Head of Commercial at RSP, says: ‘If Network Rail identified and awarded early work packages, put more emphasis on the use of UK design resource, and started early procurement of key strategic products this would all help the supply chain to recover, strengthen and grow. In turn this would save money and ensure the whole industry was better positioned to support Network Rail in delivering CP6.’ Rather than being rosy then the outlook is far more tempered, with the industry eager for new contracts to get underway but also nervous about the ability of the supply chain to react to the sudden and large upturn in work forecast for CP6.

Andy Jones is Projects and Delivery Manager and Stuart Morrison is Head of Commercial at Rail Signalling & Power Ltd

Tel: 01752 969321 Email: Visit: Rail Professional



Five new Network Rail Regional Managing Directors announced Alex Hynes, Managing Director – Scotland’s Railway, John Halsall, Managing Director – Southern, Mark Langman, Managing Director – Wales and Western, Rob McIntosh, Managing Director – Eastern, Tim Shoveller, Managing Director – North West and Central. Operations and safety support expert joins Victa Railfreight Victa Railfreight has appointed experienced railway operations and business manager Matt Green (below) to the new role of Operations and Safety Support Specialist on the advisory and management services side of its business.

FirstGroup announces Board changes Ryan Mangold has been appointed to the Board as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Julia Steyn has been appointed as an independent Non-Executive Director.

New West Midlands rail programme director appointed West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) has announced the appointment of Jo Parker (right) as West Midlands Rail Programme Director. Software validation expert joins Frazer-Nash rail team Software validation expert, James Little, has joined Frazer-Nash’s expanding rail team to help deliver software safety, quality, and validation expertise to the systems engineering consultancy’s clients. Operations and safety support expert joins Victa Railfreight Victa Railfreight has appointed experienced railway operations and business manager Matt Green to the new role of Operations and Safety Support Specialist on the advisory and management services side of its business. ACE appoints new Membership Director Darrell Matthews has been appointed to the new role of Director of Membership at the Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE), the business association for the UK’s professional consultancies and engineering companies operating in the built environment. ACE has also appointed Tam Simmons to the new role of Director of Campaigns. Network Rail appoints new Chief Information Officer Aidan Hancock has joined Network Rail as group Chief Information Officer (CIO).

More at

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ACE appoints new Membership Director Darrell Matthews has been appointed to the new role of Director of Membership at the Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE), the business association for the UK’s professional consultancies and engineering companies operating in the built environment. ACE has also appointed Tam Simmons (above)to the new role of Director of Campaigns.

Come work with us We have two great opportunities for an Electrical Engineer and a Mechanical Engineer to join our team of Traction Motor Specialists. Do you have a background in the Rail Industry and are suitable for a senior position located in Dublin? Would you like to be involved in the future of a growing company that is an industry leader and live in Ireland? If this sounds interesting to you, please send a copy of your CV and include additional information about yourself you would like us to know. Email: Rail Professional

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