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Issue 100 Early Edition

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz S T R A T E G I E S

Nine-day West Coast blockade Network Rail replaces four junctions and three miles of tracks

NEWS Another order for Hitachi Network Rail publishes 30-year R&D priorities Government responds to Brown franchising review Bombardier to supply 116 vehicles to Southern


In an industry focused on compliance, Rachel Kay & Elaine Clark talk about the other skill sets that are vital to delivering rail’s vision

Abbey Wood Crossrail station plans submitted Consultation begins on HS2 Phase Two route

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From the Editor


Managing Director Mike Tulloch Editor Martin Collier Managing Editor Libbie Hammond Art Editor Jon Mee Advertisement Designer Jamie Elvin Profile Editor Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs Advertisement Sales Dave King Head of Research Philip Monument Editorial Researchers Keith Hope Karl Riseborough Gavin Watson Joe Wright Administration Tracy Chynoweth

Cover image Network Rail

Circulation & Events Karen Baur

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Putting more wheels on the rails


ews in recent weeks has been dominated by rolling stock stories. Without doubt the biggest development has been the Government’s decision to exercise an option in the original Intercity Express Programme contract to purchase a further 270 vehicles. These are in addition to the 600 vehicles scheduled to replace the Intercity 125 HST fleet and will replace the Intercity 225 fleet, currently running on the East Coast Main Line, in about six years’ time. We also have the news that Southern is procuring 116 new vehicles from Bombardier to facilitate the planned Thameslink cascade. Elsewhere First Capital Connect is to give its fleet of Class 365s a makeover, whilst Northern has just completed the overhaul of its Class 323s and Virgin has completed the third heavy overhaul of its Pendolino fleet. In the freight sector, three Class 66 locomotives are to reverse the trend by departing continental Europe and entering UK freight service after appropriate conversion, with more to follow. And finally, there’s news of Network Rail’s newest addition to their fleet: a former Class 313 unit has been transformed into a laboratory train and will shortly enter service as part of the European Traffic Management System programme on the Hertford Loop test facility.

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zzzzzzzzzzzzz Contents Issue 100 Early Edition

4 Interview

News West Coast Main Line’s nine-day blockade 3 ERTMS laboratory launched 7 Industry News 8


Interview – Rachel Kay & Elaine Clark 4 Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs Looking deeper 10 Daniel Jonas


Profiles Alstom Transport 16 London Tramlink 18 Kuala Lumpur MRT 20 Story Contracting 22 Systra Rail 28 PKP Intercity 31 Keyrail 34 TMD Friction 36 First Capital Connect 38


Keyline 40


Etihad Rail 45 Suttle Projects 48



NEWS I Industry


West Coast Main Line’s nine-day blockade

Why was the work done? The blockade was part of a major process along the length of the WCML to improve reliability and cut the amount of the time the railway needs to close. The layout of the junctions between Warrington and Preston was such that tamping them required a weekend closure every year. This is because the points were set ‘toe-to-toe’, requiring special tamping. By stretching Network Rail has also removed switch diamonds, which are difficult to maintain. They are also, appropriately enough, vulnerable to high

Network Rail

uring one of the hottest weeks of the year, a team of 720 men and women were on site 24 hours a day to deliver this significant investment. Over 900 barrels of water were consumed and 3000 bottles of sun cream used as track temperatures rose as high as 46oC. Train services resumed on Monday morning and were running at a speed of 80mph across one of the new junctions. This is the first time Network Rail has been able to reopen lines at this speed following major engineering work. Martin Frobisher, area director for Network Rail, said: “I was in the cab of the first test train over the line this morning and I’m pleased that under some tough weather conditions we’ve been able to deliver on time this vital improvement which will make journeys on the West Coast Main Line more reliable and punctual. I would like to thank passengers for their support and co-operation during the closure, as well as our industry partners who we worked very closely with to prepare for and deliver this critical project.” Usually, Network Rail would have carried out work of this kind over a number of bank holiday weekends requiring train services to be replaced repeatedly by alternative transport. By carrying out the work in a nineday continuous spell this summer, engineers were able to complete the replacement of four junctions around 16 months earlier to avoid disrupting rail travel plans for many weekends and nine bank holidays over the next two years.

Network Rail


Major improvements to the West Coast Main Line between Warrington and Preston were successfully completed on the morning of Monday 22nd July after nine consecutive days of engineering. Four junctions – Golborne, Bamfurlong, Wigan Springs Branch and Balshaw Lane – were replaced and three miles of track re-laid to help increase line speeds and make journeys more reliable

temperatures and need constant monitoring in key locations in hot weather. Speeds over the junctions were also increased to match line speeds on diverging routes. For example, diverging trains at Golborne Junction used to approach at 90mph, slow to 50mph, before accelerating to 75mph once across the junction. Now they travel across the junction at 75mph. There was an even greater jump at Balshaw Lane, where trains approached at 110mph (125mph EPS) and slowed to 50mph, before accelerating to 75mph on the down slow. Phil Bearpark, production director for Virgin Trains said: “I congratulate the engineering team at Network Rail for completing this very challenging piece of work on time. A key

section of the West Coast Main Line will now immediately provide better reliability for our customers and in the longer term is another stepping stone in our quest for faster journey times for Anglo-Scottish services” zz

The project by numbers l Three miles of track renewed l Four main line junctions upgraded l 18 miles of West Coast Main Line l 6600 new railway sleepers laid l 21,500 tonnes of ballast l Materials delivered by 61 trains in 865 wagons




INTERVIEW I Rachel Kay & Elaine Clark


Theskills to succeed

In an industry focused on compliance, Rachel Kay and Elaine Clark talk with Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs about the other skill sets that are vital to delivering rail’s vision


s a recent study by Thales Training & Consultancy serves to underline, skills and training are very much on the agenda for today’s rail industry – and perhaps more importantly for its future. Of those interviewed at this year’s Railtex exhibition, 77 per cent of professionals are concerned about a skills gap within their organisation. It’s a picture that is also being seen by the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE), which was set up in 2011 to ensure that as an industry, rail has sufficient volume of people with the right skills to deliver the railway of the future. Owned by its members, NSARE is not a training provider in the literal sense, acting as more of a facilitator and enabler of this. As such its activities include industry promotion, skills forecasting, consultancy, qualification development, accreditation of training providers, and maintaining the national competence database.

Industry compliance “As part of the Thales international group, Thales Training & Consultancy is predominately an integrated training service supplier within many industries, including rail,” notes Rachel Kay, managing director. “Core areas that we specialise in are systems engineering, project management, and leadership. We are trying to partner more



Elaine Clark - head of business services at NSARE

Rachel Kay - managing director of Thales Training & Consultancy

This isn’t just a matter of thinking about training people. Companies need to look at this from a perspective of professional development of their workforce in connection with NSARE to ensure that not only the technical skills of the people working in the rail sector are met, but also some of those softer development skills around leadership, collaboration and communication.” “There is a very heavy emphasis on compliance in the industry, due to the safety implications, so this will always be a major focus,” agrees Elaine Clark, head of business services at NSARE. “But sometimes this focus is almost to the exclusion of other things, such as the broader technical competencies people need, and personal competencies in management, leadership, behaviour, and communication. This is becoming more and more important and I think there is a growing realisation of that in the industry.” This perhaps skewed focus appears to be reflected in the research results where 72 per cent of respondents identified the hard/technical skills that enable an individual to fulfil their day-to-day role as suffering the most. As such 46 per cent believe the industry should focus on developing in these areas.

Identifying skill requirements Some of this thinking is in line with the current upgrades taking place on the network, along with the introduction of new technology, such as ERTMS and in-cab signalling. “This is a long-term programme which is

being led by Network Rail on behalf of the industry,” describes Elaine. “At NSARE we have been involved for the last 12 months or so looking at the training issues and the requirements that would be needed to introduce this new technology. What became rapidly apparent is that, yes there’s a lot of technical requirement, but it’s much more about a business change process. Unless we have people with the right skills in leadership and management we will struggle to deliver the amount of innovation being talked about and move the industry forward.” “It’s not just about teaching someone the skills they need to operate these new systems, but also a cultural change,” agrees Rachel. “It has an impact on the type of personnel make-up from a resourcing point of view, so what type of people do you recruit and how do you integrate them into an organisation that is going through change. Likewise it’s looking at what needs to be done in terms of interconnecting and collaborating with other functions in the business, and capturing the requirements for such technology in a structured way. As such, when we’re developing training solutions, first we have to think of them all as a change management process. “There’s a lot of pockets of skills shortages that relate to change, and they’re all things that we see coming through as being important, but it has to be remembered that this is under a budget that is severely pressurised because making sure that people are competent and


zz INTERVIEW I Rachel Kay & Elaine Clark zzzzzzzz

compliant from a technical point of view is vital. I think the challenge for rail organisations is to find additional budget to support these types of change management programmes.”

Delivering the change Encouraging new people into the industry is also a major challenge. This is more sharply felt in certain parts of the industry where there are clear indications of an ageing workforce. “In addressing this it’s important to realise that we will be competing for the same people with other engineering-based industries that are also growing over the coming years such as the utilities,” notes Elaine. “I think there’s a lot that we can also learn from other industries as to how they tackle some of these challenges – so how does oil and gas, or nuclear for example do it? As a sector rail has been very inward looking rather than outward, but I think that is now changing.” Another change process within the industry is the move away from a purely prescriptive and mandatory mindset. As a result of this though different management and leadership styles, and different organisational structures may be required. “If you look back at the root cause of those issues a lot of it will be down to the leadership style of the significant change makers within the organisations. That’s why I would encourage the industry, when looking to fill more senior positions, to go outside the sector and benchmark itself because a lot of industries have moved now to bottom-up rather than top-down thinking,” elaborates Rachel.

is much more envisioning of what the skills requirement will be in the longer term to deliver the Rail Technical Strategy. This was developed by the industry and published in December 2012 to set a vision of the next 30 years for the railway,” highlights Elaine. She continues: “Within that forecast we are fairly sure that there will be a need for significantly higher percentages of people with higher skill levels. At present only around 18 per cent of the workforce in rail engineering is qualified to Level 4 and above, which is not very high compared to other technical-based industries. This will be a driver for the type of training that the industry pursues, both from the technical side and softer skills.” It seems the message is beginning to be heard though, as 28 per cent of respondents to the study said that soft skills, like communication and management are not a concern. This conforms with a belief within the sector that soft skills will remain a key focus over the next ten years. “I think companies need to start by looking at where they are currently, where they want to be with regards to the changes in technology and culture, and then backtrack to find where those shortages in skills are going to be, and how to address those with help of learning interventions,” describes Rachel. “This isn’t just a matter of thinking about training people. Companies need to look at this from a perspective of professional development of their workforce. We are shifting people’s mindsets, but we’re still very much at the start of that journey rather than the end,” she concludes. zz

Securing skills for future In January NSARE published a major report on skills forecasting in the industry, which took skills as they stand today as a starting point. “It is felt that we need to recruit about 10,000 new people over the next five to six years, but this is not necessarily more of the same. New people joining the industry today will need different skills in the coming years so it’s also about identifying what skills will be needed in the next ten to 15 years. We are planning to refresh that report at the end of this year, and at the same time undertake another piece of work alongside it that


Thales Training & Consultancy Tel: +44 (0) 800 084 1611 Email: Web: National Skills Academy For Railway Engineering Tel: +44 (0) 7890 791373 Email: Web:

NEWS I Industry

zz Network Rail


he newest addition to Network Rail’s train fleet has left the depot for the first time on a series of test runs. Former passenger unit 313121 has been adapted to become a laboratory train for the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) programme and will be used on the ERTMS National Integration Facility (ENIF) when it opens later this summer. Alstom refurbished the unit at its Wembley depot and fitted its own train-borne ERTMS kit, along with CCTV, workstations for engineers, extra batteries to power the equipment, a kitchen, and – in a notable first for a class 313 – a toilet. Due to start work this summer, the ENIF will see trackside ERTMS kit from four suppliers put through its paces on a five-mile section of the Hertford loop, controlled from a facility at Hitchin. Gary Porter, Network Rail programme director, traffic management and ETCS, said: “ERTMS will play a vital role in changing the way we operate our railway. Crucially, our facility at Hertford and this Class 313 will give us a greater depth of knowledge of the system as we prepare to roll it out on the network”. The test train will also be utilised to support other Network Rail projects, including Thameslink. An ERTMS driver machine interface (DMI) and new control panel has been fitted to both cabs, with a duplicate screen in

Above: New driver’s console and ERTMS screen

Network Rail


ERTMS laboratory launched Left: ERTMS lab train at Bletchley on test

the secondman’s position. Passengers in the train will also be able to see the images, plus high-definition views front and back on 42-inch plasma screens. To allow for the operation of ENIF, bi-directional signalling has been installed on the northern section of the Hertford loop, to allow the down line between Molewood Tunnel and Langley South junction to be used as a test facility. During peak hours the section will be part of the normal railway, but when testing is required the block will be ‘switched out’ – switching control from King’s Cross power signal box to the facility at Hitchin.

European Train Control System (ETCS) is the train-control element of ERTMS and includes Automatic Train Protection (ATP). ETCS works on the principle of providing to the train a maximum distance that it can travel, the speed profile of the track ahead and other track information about the route that has been set. The train then permits the driver to drive the train, but should the distance or speed limit be exceeded, or be in danger of being exceeded, then the ETCS onboard equipment intervenes to control the train, bringing it to stand if necessary. zz Testing will begin later this summer.



NEWS I Industry


Class 365 makeover announced

First Capital Connect

l First Capital Connect’s fleet of Class 365 trains is to be transformed with fresh interiors and enhanced accessibility features as part of a £31 million investment which will also include heavy maintenance to ensure their continued reliability. The trains carry many of the 86,000 passengers travelling daily with First Capital Connect (FCC) on the Great Northern route between London King’s Cross and Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn. Eversholt Rail Group leases the trains to FCC and is funding the work, which will be carried out by Railcare at its Wolverton plant. The refresh will coincide with the scheduled major overhaul of the trains which will ensure their continued reliability. The first new-look train is expected to enter service at the end of 2013 and the full programme will take three-and-a-half years.

An existing Class 365 in service on the Great Northern route

Night shift l A through-the-night operation at the end of May ensured that the Balfour Beatty Reading Viaduct team achieved their first project milestone for their customer Network Rail. The now disused section of steel bridge at Cow Lane, Reading was removed and recycled to make way for a new £40 million concrete viaduct which will carry the main line from London to Penzance. The work was carried out overnight on 31st May, starting at 20.00 and finishing during the afternoon of 1st June 2013. Balfour Beatty’s Reading Viaduct project team work at night to remove the old steel bridge deck over Cow Lane in Reading


Government response to Brown Review l Publication of the Government’s response to the Brown Review into rail franchising provides further certainty to the rail industry by confirming the key principles that shape the DfT’s franchising policy as it works towards delivering the best possible franchises for both passengers and taxpayers. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The independent Brown review was clear that franchising is the best way to secure services for passengers. It provided a sensible approach to strengthen a process that has contributed significantly to the success of our railways. “Since the review was published, the department has worked hard to implement its recommendations. Good progress has been made and we are on course to deliver a franchising programme that promotes a thriving rail industry and secures the best deal for passengers and taxpayers.” The review by Eurostar Chairman Richard Brown was one of two independent reports commissioned by the Department following the collapse of the InterCity West Coast franchise competition last October. The Government’s response sets out the significant work that has been carried out to implement the recommendations since the publication of the review in January. These include: l Resuming the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern and Essex Thameside franchise competitions l Providing long-term certainty to the rail industry by publishing a clear and deliverable new rail franchising schedule l Successfully negotiating the first interim contract of that schedule with train operator c2c for the Essex Thameside franchise. An invitation to tender for the long-term franchise will be issued to bidders in July l Setting up the Franchising Advisory Panel – an independent body of industry experts that will provide support and assurance to the Department l Organising a UK Rail Opportunities Day to promote interest amongst existing and potential new entrants to the rail franchising market l Publishing a Franchise Procurement Process Map and Franchise Competition Guide to provide the rail industry with detailed guidance l Strengthening the Department’s capability and internal governance through the appointment of a new Director General for Rail and Franchising Director and implementing a new rail group structure. While much work on implementing the Brown Review has now been carried out, the Department will continue to implement its recommendations through the successful roll out of its franchising programme and publication of further guidance. The Government’s response to the Brown Review can be found at: Information on the Government’s franchising schedule can be found at:

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz More new trains l Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has confirmed a £1.2 billion order for more state-ofthe-art trains to transform rail travel on one of Britain’s busiest intercity routes. The 270 carriages will be manufactured in Britain by Hitachi Rail Europe at its new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, as part of the Government’s overall £5.8 billion Intercity Express Programme (IEP). The latest order for the trains, called the class 800 series, will be operational on the East Coast Main Line from 2019 and will deliver significant benefits to passengers, including boosting capacity by 18 per cent, improving train reliability by a factor of five and cutting journey times between London, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh by up to 18 minutes. The first batch of class 800 series trains will enter revenue-earning service on the Great Western Main Line in 2017 and on the East Coast Main Line in 2018.

Electrification on course


Network Rail

l Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has visited Eccles to mark the completion of a vital first step in a £400 million electrification programme to transform rail travel across the north west. The installation of new infrastructure between Newton le Willows and Castlefield Junction by Network Rail paves the way for the introduction of new state-of-the-art electric trains between Manchester Airport and Scotland from December, boosting capacity and providing faster and more reliable services to passengers. First TransPennine Express will start running new electric trains from Manchester to Airport to Glasgow from December 2013 onwards following delivery from Siemens. They will replace existing diesel trains. The full electric fleet is planned for introduction by spring 2014.

Eccles Station, where a plaque was unveiled commemorating the electrification of the former Liverpool and Machester Railway

Abbey Wood plans submitted l Crossrail has submitted proposals for a new station at Abbey Wood in southeast London to the London Borough of Bexley and the Royal Borough of Greenwich for approval. Crossrail represents a major step-change in public transport for the local area, and is the single biggest addition to the local rail network since the North Kent line was built in 1849. It will be a significant spur to regeneration in Abbey Wood, encouraging investment and development as well as supporting jobs and businesses in the local area. The new two-level station will open in 2017 and will be built above two new dedicated Crossrail tracks and those used by North Kent services.

Hitachi Class 800 series train

An architect’s impression of Abbey Wood station


New CEO l DB Schenker Rail (UK) has appointed Geoff Spencer as its new CEO with effect from 1st September. He was previously head of European resource management in the European DB Schenker Rail organization, based in Mainz.



Asset Management


Looking deeper

Although beginning with rail tunnels, the optical imaging capabilities of DIFCAM are projected to have wider applications in asset condition monitoring



erhaps having once been thought of as something associated with significant change or landmark developments, innovation in rail is increasingly being viewed as part of the everyday running of the industry. An innovative approach is being taken to everything from processes and business models to supply chain collaboration, as well as the traditional technology-based initiatives, in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the railway. As head of innovation for rail at Atkins, accelerating and guiding this process is something Daniel Jonas is deeply involved in: “I work in a team within the rail division

that provides tools, processes, education and innovation to enable the business to deliver work efficiently and to support the wider company strategy. Specifically I look after innovation leadership and best practice, whether it be collaborative, or internal R&D, facilitating that and securing both internal and external funding. This is not solely in rail but also across the wider transport piece, and increasingly other areas of Atkins as well,� he says. “The other area I am involved in is influencing the industry innovation agenda. This includes working with innovation groups, forums and initiatives, and making sure we have an

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Describing the background of this programme, Daniel says: “DIFCAM came about as a result of the “Accelerating Innovation in Rail” competition set up by the national innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board and the Rail Safety and Standards Board, to overcome barriers to innovation in the industry. “We were approached to participate by software and systems engineering company Omnicom, together with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) – a leading global scientific facility in measurement standards. Together we identified the need for a fast, efficient and automated method for the visual inspection of structures, which was intended to reduce or eliminate the need for costly and dangerous track access and other factors associated with the current practice of human inspections. Anything that can improve the ability of the railway to monitor its structures and report and identify changes that might be significant is going to be very valuable,” he notes. Drawing on the individual expertise of each partner, the consortium pooled its resources to develop the DIFCAM platform. Omnicom’s vast experience in geo-positioning, surveying, recording, inspecting, and mapping assets, particularly in rail, enabled it to provide the position platform and profiling system. Meanwhile NPL contributed its decades of experience in the research and application of the digital image correlation technology DIFCAM is based on, which is a type of optical

imaging for precision measurement. As for Atkins, the Group was able to offer asset management and domain expertise given that its engineers know what it is truly like to assess structures working in these types of environment.

A platform for development Highlighting what has come out of the research work, Daniel reveals the benefits that such a system offers: “At present, DIFCAM is a vehicle-mounted system which captures a complete high-definition visual record of the structure in question. It incorporates a highgrade inertial guidance platform and creates a number of data sets, which are combined to produce a high quality 3D representation of the asset. The data is indexed for later analysis, which can then be presented to an experienced end user remotely. The first application for DIFCAM has been rail tunnels, so in theory a tunnel inspector can use the technology to conduct a full visual inspection off site. He continues: “The best thing of all is that we’re encoding the knowledge, experience and judgement of real life tunnel engineers around the sorts of things that actually happen into the system. The data that DIFCAM captures can be compared to previous data sets to present a picture of the change within the structure, such as cracking, bulging or deterioration, to support further inspection or any other application. It

open conversation with the market and our customers. I am also advising the industry’s Enabling Innovation Team (EIT) that was set up as a result of the McNulty review to help prioritise innovation investment. The bottom line is about identifying, exploring and communicating those opportunities at a leadership level with an eye to the years to come.”

Combining expertise Atkins is one of the three core companies researching and delivering a new collaborative innovation project, known as Digital Imaging For Condition Asset Management (DIFCAM).



Asset Management

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz which has enabled us to replicate defects and then test that the system can pick those up,” highlights Daniel. The greatest demonstration of DIFCAM’s capability, however, is clearly by its use in a real tunnel. Therefore, the consortium is to hold a demonstrator day in September that will give industry representatives an idea of the system in action. “There’s nothing so persuasive as the real thing,” Daniel points out. “So we will be taking live pictures, processing them and seeing the change the system has measured and we are confident that this will deliver an interesting result. Then it will be a case of following up on this and starting to look at direct product development for particular applications. As such, we are keen to speak to any potential users of the platform and to hear about the challenges they have in difficult environments. It is our hope that will be this the first truly cross-disciplinary innovation platform,” he concludes. zz Atkins Tel: +44 (0) 1905 338 247 Email: Web:

also enables defects to be detected sooner with the system able to highlight differences down to 1mm which may not be detectable by the human eye. That in turn enables you to implement a more proactive tunnel maintenance strategy.” What Daniel is keen to stress though is the flexibility of the system. DIFCAM was built using a modular architecture, and therefore is not about the particular application of kit on a roadrail vehicle in a tunnel. “We have adopted an innovative platform approach, so the platform is what you build and the application is what you use that capability for. It doesn’t have to be vehicle-mounted, and it doesn’t have to be a tunnel because the various modules within the systems can be used in different ways where the environment is hostile, confined or remote,” he emphasises.

Demonstrating the benefits Having started the main work in July 2012, the project is now reaching its completion date. A number of test runs have taken place on the Nene Valley Railway, and at the Old Dalby test track. “Omnicom has an excellent relationship with the National Railway Museum which enabled us to do some testing and refinement at the early stages. Likewise NPL have built a replica tunnel at their facility in Teddington,



NEWS I Industry


Network Rail

A railway much travelled

A future driven by innovation l Network Rail has published its technical strategy, ‘A future driven by innovation’, outlining the research and development priorities and opportunities for the next 30 years. The creation of the strategy, which follows the release of the overall Rail Technical Strategy in December last year, has been driven by a need to focus R&D investment on meeting its key outcomes: safety, performance, customer experience, capacity, cost-efficiency and sustainability. One of the keys to unlocking the potential for improvement in these areas lies with closer collaboration. Network Rail chairman Richard Parry-Jones said: “Our ability to be more ambitious relies on strengthening collaboration at all levels – across disciplines within Network Rail, between Network Rail and the rail industry, with European and world railways and beyond the rail industry to other technology sectors. “There must also be a strong connection between long-term planning and longterm technical capability.” The railway industry has recognised that it has under-invested in R&D by any benchmarked standard. The Network Rail Technical Strategy, as part of a wider cross-industry and European drive to innovate, seeks to identify priorities for funding which will bring Network Rail closer to global norms for R&D investment. The business will continue to work with the Office of Rail Regulation to secure funding for key projects, which will have their own business cases. Areas for innovation identified within the Network Rail Technical Strategy include: l Safety: We will embed a safety by design policy in everything we do, ranging from intelligent level crossings and automated monitoring of infrastructure for safety critical failures. l Performance: We will work with our operating partners to ensure increasingly resilient timetables are put in place and evolve our approach to asset management with automated monitoring, and less emergency maintenance. l Customer information: Better information will rely on common and optimised information flow across industry to get reliable information to customers in real time. l Capacity: Our network will utilise new control systems, enabling trains to run closer together. l Efficiency: We will improve the cost-effectiveness of our asset management by developing our understanding of whole-life, whole system issues - including developing capabilities for non-disruptive maintenance. l Sustainability: We will work with industry partners to reduce carbon emissions, and invest in energy efficient assets. Further details can found within the strategy at: technical-strategy/

l According to the latest data from the ORR, passengers travelled 9.0 billion miles by rail in the fourth quarter of 2012-13 (January to March 2013), a decrease of two per cent when compared to the same quarter in 2011-12. These figures are for franchised operators only, so exclude travel with non-franchised operators, such as Grand Central, Heathrow Express and Hull Trains. Over the last ten years, other than a slight dip in 2009 during the recession, passenger rail usage has increased significantly, continuing the upward trend that has been seen since the mid-1990s.

HS2 Phase 2 l The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin has announced the beginning of a period of public consultation on the proposed route for phase two. This is the route the new high speed line will take from the West Midlands to Manchester and Leeds, with connections to the West and East Coast Main Lines to serve the rest of the North of England and Scotland. The phase two consultation will run for six months and will be accompanied by a series of public information events from mid-October 2013 to early January 2014 where people will be able to review local information and speak directly with HS2 Ltd staff about the proposals.

Boost for Birmingham l Roadways Container Logistics and its Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal (BIFT), has been selected by DB Schenker Rail UK as its Midland rail hub of choice. Three intermodal services – two trains from Southampton and one from Felixstowe – now arrive daily into the state-of-the-art terminal. DB Schenker Rail UK’s decision has resulted in Roadways Containers Logistics moving over 770 containers a week in and out of BIFT on behalf of the rail freight provider.



NEWS I Industry


Going Dutch


l Three Class 66 Dutch locomotives, which have been converted for use in the UK by GB Railfreight and Electro-Motive Diesel Limited, have been given authorisation to be placed into service by the Office of Rail Regulation. This is the first time Class 66 locos, which were manufactured to European railway specification, have been successfully converted for UK use. GB Railfreight is in the process of converting two more locos from Germany to go into service later in the year. The conversion of these locomotives is a significant development, as it is the first time locomotives have moved from the continent into the UK to support UK rail freight growth. In the past, over 70 UK Class 66s have moved to mainland Europe. John Smith and Duncan Scott with one of the Class 66 locos

Safeguarding HS2 l The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced that the proposed HS2 route between London and the West Midlands has been protected from future development which might conflict with the planned high speed line. The move – an important step in taking the scheme from the drawing board to construction – is known as ‘safeguarding’. It will also enable people living near the proposed HS2 route from London to the West Midlands to approach the Government to buy their property under Statutory Blight procedures. Successful applicants will receive the unblighted open market value of their property, plus ten per cent up to £47,000 and moving costs.

Northern Rail Class 323 overhaul completed New carriages for Thameslink cascade l Following an extensive procurement process, Southern has announced that it has selected train manufacturer Bombardier to supply 116 new electric rolling stock vehicles at a cost of c. £180 million to facilitate the planned Thameslink cascade. This order has the provision of an extra 140 vehicles which can be called in the event that further investment opportunities are identified, bringing the potential total order value up to c. £385 million. When the contract is placed, the new trains will be used initially on the Thameslink Route, facilitating the release of existing trains to newly electrified routes. In the longer term, these new trains will in turn also be cascaded.

Third heavy overhaul of Pendolino fleet completed l The end of a £60 million three-year process to upgrade and overhaul Virgin Trains’ Pendolino fleet has been marked by a special event at Alstom’s Longsight Traincare Centre in Manchester. The last of the H3 Pendolinos – 390002 – is now back in service, having been turned around by the team at Longsight in just over a fortnight. The Pendolino fleet has been in service for more than ten years and has completed an additional 2.5 million miles of reliable service since the H2 overhaul. In addition to the overhaul work, the Longsight team extended 31 of the nine-car trains to 11 cars at the same time. Alstom is due to start planning the H4 overhaul at the end of the year.


l Alstom has completed work overhauling Northern Rail’s 17-strong Class 323 regional fleet to help produce a modern fleet for commuters and the client, with more than 2000 components exchanged. The project was undertaken at Alstom’s Longsight depot in Manchester, with two overhauls being taken on simultaneously. The work undertaken on one project included bogies being exchanged, inter-vehicle couplers being overhauled, new gangways fitted and brake equipment exchanged. The rest of the work saw car floorboards and flooring replaced, seat shells refurbished and re-covered, and car heaters and train doors overhauled.

zzzzzzzzzzz NEWS I Conferences & Exhibitions zz This listing represents a selection of the events about which we have been notified. It is strongly recommended that direct contact should be made with the individual organiser responsible for each event before booking places or making travel and accommodation reservations. Cancellations and other last-minute alterations are liable to occur. The editor and publishers of RAILWAY STRATEGIES are not responsible for any loss or inconvenience suffered by readers in connection with this guide to events. 30 September – 2 October – European Transport Conference 2013 Frankfurt Organisers: Association of European Transport Tel: 020 7348 1970 Email: Web:

9 October – Rail in the city: the capacity challenge Birmingham Organisers: IMechE Tel: +44 (0)20 7973 1245 Email: Web:

18-20 September – Many Parts One Railway: integrated delivery across the rail industry Hertfordshire Organisers: IMechE Railway Division Tel: 020 7973 1291 Email: Web:

12 November – Life Cycle Management Frankfurt Organisers: Europoint Conferences & Exhibitions Tel: +31 (0)30 698 1800 Email: Web:

8-10 October – Intermodal Europe 2013 Hamburg Organisers: Informa Exhibitions Tel: +44 (0)207 017 5112 Email: Web:

13 November – Track Access Charges 2013 Frankfurt Organisers: Europoint Conferences & Exhibitions Tel: +31 (0)30 698 1800 Email: Web:

14 November – Wayside Train Monitoring Systems Frankfurt Organisers: Europoint Conferences & Exhibitions Tel: +31 (0)30 698 1800 Email: Web:

20-22 May 2014 – Infrarail 2014 London Organisers: Mack Brooks Tel: 01727 814 400 Web: 23-26 September 2014 – InnoTrans 2014 Berlin Organisers: Messe Berlin GmbH Tel: +49 (0)30 30 38 - 2376 Email: Web:

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Alstom Transport

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz A Class 460 vehicle in work as part of the 458-5 conversion

One-stop shop A challenging new contract once again demonstrates Alstom’s ability to deliver a complete turnkey solution for the rail market


s one of the four main sectors of the Alstom Group, Alstom Transport in the UK provides equipment and services for the rail industry. The other sectors are Thermal Power, Renewable Power and Grid. The UK is the only country where all four of these pillars are in active operation and is therefore a key market for the Group. Within the UK, Alstom is well known for having built the Pendolinos that run on the West Coast Mainline – trains that are also maintained from five Traincare Centres between Wembley and Glasgow. Alstom also maintains the Northern Line trains for London Underground, the Dublin Luas and Nottingham tram system. “Probably less well known is our parts and modernisation business which is split between Preston and Wolverhampton,” highlights operations director Sean Graham. “The business provides specialist traction solutions and support to a fleet of trainsets in


the UK, offering fleet management, full material management, maintenance regimes, and design authority or technical support.” Over the years Alstom has provided around 20 per cent of the carriages operating on the UK rail network today, together with around half of the trains operating on the London Underground. “All of that means that in the UK around a third of daily passenger rail journeys use an Alstom train,” remarks Sean. “In addition, a number of other trains have an Alstom product fitted, whether it is a complete traction system or a component like traction motors or switchgear. “The modernisation business is relatively new, and although still establishing a presence, has already installed Remote Communication Monitoring solutions to the Angel Trains-owned Networker Class 465 and 466 fleets, and the Class 422 operated by Southern Railway,” he continues. This technology is one of the developments to come out of the substantial R&D investment of the Alstom Group every year. “Remote monitoring ‘watches’ the condition of the selected components in real time, which means we are able to provide an integrated predictive maintenance approach to the different subsystems of the train in the daily maintenance tasks. Alstom developments also provide technologies and systems to deliver an

t g equipmen e ff installin Alstom sta 465 RCM programm ss for the Cla

Alstom’s A pp Nottingha itrack laying new tr m for the n a ew tram ex cks in tension

evaluation of the status of the train mechanical systems to produce trends for wearing parts such as wheelsets and brake pads,” describes Sean. Having traditionally been seen as a provider of rolling stock and maintenance, Alstom is in the process of expanding to a company that can also offer a full range of infrastructure services to help bring the UK’s railways into the 21st century. This includes working in joint ventures, and consortia with household names such as Costain, Babcock, VINCI and Balfour Beatty. “In conjunction with our joint venture with Balfour Beatty, Signalling Solutions, we have just installed the prototype ERTMS systems on a Class 313 unit for Network Rail at our Wembley Traincare Centre,” notes Sean by way

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz of example. “Our ABC partnership is designed to help electrify lines that rely on diesel trains and upgrading those that already enjoy the low carbon benefits of a fully electrified route. Through ATC, we are making Crossrail into a reality by making a railway out of holes in the ground, which will transport millions of people, and working with Taylor Woodrow (VINCI) we are building Nottingham’s tram extension.” At present Alstom is delivering a new £50 million contract from Porterbrook to increase capacity of London commuter fleets. This is focused upon South West Trains routes from Hounslow, Reading, Weybridge and Windsor. As opposed to building new trains from scratch though, the new fleet will come from the conversion of two existing Alstombuilt fleets. “We will convert four-car Class 458 trains into 36 five-car sets, which will also incorporate 60 vehicles from the Class 460 (Gatwick Express trains) to form the Class 458/5,” clarifies Sean. “This is a very complex project compared

to a new rolling stock build. The engineering team has had to work within the constraints of an existing product, including the redesign of vehicles which were built at the end of the 1990s. As part of the engineering activity there have been more than 116 FMIs (modification instructions), 5625 wiring changes, over 8000 items on the Bill of Material, and 664 new drawings, together with numerous complex technical calculations. Projects such as this mean that Alstom views modernisation as key to the rolling stock market in the UK over the next five years,” he continues. At the same time the Alstom Transport division is undergoing its own changes to prepare itself for the growth in its infrastructure and signalling areas. This includes the hiring of new staff with more than 600 jobs mobilised to address the new infrastructure contracts established – many of which will be focused on Crossrail. Furthermore, Alstom Transport is taking on ten new apprentices, and establishing a new training facility for signalling.

“The parts and modernisation business, particularly Preston, has been restructured over the last three years to improve the services we provide. By combining the skills of our maintenance teams for overhauls and new product development, whether a traction upgrade, fitment of remote communication, driver advisory, energy or ERTMS system, we believe we can offer value added services to our customers,” adds Sean. Within all of this though, Alstom remains the only manufacturer in the world to offer a complete turnkey rail solution from rolling stock to infrastructure, and technology systems to maintenance. “The turnkey solution offers the benefit of being able to design and construct the rail network with the trains and trams that operate on this system. This provides a fully integrated system and approach, and enables Alstom to offer the most up-to-date solutions for customers’ needs,” concludes Sean. zz




London tramlink


CR4000 at Ryefield Crossing

A vital link

With a newly opened line, billions of funding proposed for its area, and an expansion plan of its own on the table, London Tramlink Croydon is entering an exciting period


t has been 12 months since Railway Strategies last spoke to London Tramlink Croydon, and as Sharon Thompson, London Tramlink director, explained, the past year has been a challenging one. Nevertheless, customer satisfaction remained the highest of all of Transport for London’s (TfL) mass transport modes, with an average of 89 over the calendar year and a peak of 90 in quarters one and four of 2012/13. Sharon continued with some of the more significant developments from the year: “On 25th June 2012, London Tramlink commenced operation of the new ‘line 4’ service between Elmers End and Therapia Lane. This new service was the visible manifestation of a number of complementary projects that delivered a 25 per cent increase in capacity on this section of the network.


between Single line ction and n Ju m a Mitch rior to the Mitcham p g being in twin track d te en m le p im

In addition to procurement of the new trams, infrastructure was modified and enhanced, and new track installed between Arena and Elmers End. This project is a testament to the close and productive partnership between London Tramlink, Tram Operations Limited, Stadler Pankow GmbH and Bombardier Transportation who all played an important Mitcham Ju n and critical part in the delivery of the first towards M ction itcham the n ew twin tra major passenger facing enhancement arrangem cking ent since the network opened in 2000.” She continued with another development from 2012: “The first of the Variobahn Croydon Trams entered passenger service on 30 March, and the new trams westbound track and relaying of were liked by the customers. However the worn out track eastbound over approximately unprecedented speed of delivery from initial 950 metres between Mitcham and Mitcham order caused a few teething problems and we Junction. The work was undertaken over a initially struggled to maintain a full timetabled series of extended weekend closures and has service, but I am glad to say this situation has resulted in an increase in track capacity and now changed and we are meeting the timetable resilience over the busiest part of the network.” requirements and the passengers have seen Given that Boris Johnson has confirmed a some real benefits of the additional capacity.” £23 million regeneration fund for Croydon, this London Tramlink Croydon also undertook addition to capacity has come at the right time a major investment in infrastructure, with the for London Tramlink. “We have been working Wimbledon Track Capacity Enhancements with the London Borough of Croydon over the (WTCE)-Phase 1 project. Said Sharon: past nine months to ensure that the urban realm “The project involved providing a dedicated aspirations for the town centre and the transport

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz requirements are not developed in isolation,” said Sharon. Furthermore, there is a £1 billion redevelopment of the Westfield shopping centre and surrounding area on the table for Croydon, and as Sharon noted, this will be welcomed to the area, but will present London Tramlink with some further challenges: “The developers and the London Borough of Croydon understand the importance of Tramlink to Croydon and we are working with both organisations to mitigate negative affects whilst also serving the new development. Whilst nothing has yet been agreed it is likely to involve solutions such as moving or increasing tram stop size; additional turnback facilities; extra track and extra trams.” In addition to these urban regeneration programmes, there is £30m in the Business Plan awaiting approval that will directly develop London Tramlink’s system. “This will allow us to undertake further upgrades on the Wimbledon branch to allow a 12 tram per hour

service to operate on the line,” said Sharon. “TfL’s governance process requires us to obtain project authority and the programme that we are working to has this being granted in July 2013. The work involves a second platform at Wimbledon station, a further section of twin tracking (Beddington Lane to Micham Junction Intersection), an additional four trams and the infrastructure (power and stabling) to support these trams.” Going forward, London Tramlink wants to build on the successful service enhancements it has delivered from 2008. To this end, the company has recently developed a Performance Enhancement Plan, which is focusing its efforts over the next year. Sharon highlighted the areas under scrutiny: “We want to improve the operational reliability of the service, and provide appropriate and timely information when we do not,” she said. “We anticipate introducing ‘wave and pay’ on Tramlink services during late 2013, which will enable passengers to directly charge Tramlink

journeys to a contactless credit card. We are also working on reducing the impact of technical failures and maintenance activity on passenger services and improving customer perception of security on the network.” In this final area, London Tramlink continues to work very closely with the British Transport Police (BTP) at East Croydon, informing their day-to-day tasking and wider objectives. Sharon added: “Reported crime on the Tramlink system was reduced by 9.92 per cent in 2012/13, with the BTP reporting the highest ‘clear-up-rate’ of all forces in London South, at 72 per cent. “In addition, tram neighbourhood officers (TNO) continue to patrol the network working closely with the BTP. These TNOs are targeted to raise the profile of staff presence, offer help and guidance and deliver a ‘reassuring’ presence on the network. They have been very well received by passengers.” zz




Kuala Lumpur MRT


Malaysian megaproject

The KL MRT is Malaysia’s first Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project and the estimated total cost of the three MRT lines is at least $12 billion


he Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) is a proposed three-line Mass Rapid Transit system located in Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur. The project was announced in December 2010 by the Government of Malaysia, and was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on 8 July 2011. The MRT will be integrated with the LRT, Monorail, KTM Komuter and intra/inter-city buses and will help alleviate traffic congestion by increasing the number of people using public transport in the city centre. When operational, the system aims to carry 400,000 commuters daily. Each train serving the line will have four coaches and a total capacity of 1200


passengers, and the trains are expected to run at 3.5-minute intervals. The background behind the project is the population growth in Klang Valley, which by 2020 is estimated to grow from the current six million to ten million. This means that if every single trip is on private transport, the roads in Klang Valley will be in gridlock. An effective public transport system is the only solution to this challenge, as it can move large amounts of people with an optimal use of space. At the moment Klang Valley has a shortage of rail-based public transport coverage compared with more public transport-oriented cities, and the new MRT will boost this significantly. Furthermore, the MRT project will create more than 130,000 jobs during its construction period and will generate billions of Malaysian ringgit per annum of Gross National Income (GNI) from 2011 to 2020. More revenue should also be generated from better mobility, and increased property values. The MRT will also spur developments in other areas of the city, as well as boosting commercial activity. The improved connectivity

in Klang Valley will bring more customers to city centre business districts and help them to be more integrated with commercial activities. The underground stations will also have good links to shopping centres. Phase One of the MRT Sungai BulohKajang Line from Sungai Buloh to Semantan will become operational by the end of 2016 while Phase Two from Semantan to Kajang will become operational by July 2017, allowing trains to serve the entire line. The MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line totals 51km, with 31 stations in total, including seven underground. In fact, when it traverses the city centre of Kuala Lumpur, an entire 9.5km stretch of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line will be underground. Tunnelling was chosen as the best approach for this, because the city centre of Kuala Lumpur is already well developed, and the tunnels will not obstruct the further development of surface transportation and will not have any visual impact on the existing city skyline. Tunnelling is also the least restrictive method for future land use. State-of-the-art tunnelling methods will be

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Incorporated and was set up to be the developer and asset owner of the Mass Rapid Transit project. The company was established in September 2011 and took over the ownership of the project in October 2011 from Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd. MRT Corp’s responsibilities include monitoring and tracking of construction of all elevated structures, stations and depots of the MRT project. It also monitors underground works, including the tunnelling and construction of underground stations mentioned previously. MRT Corp is also responsible for the contracts involved, the procurement process and dispute resolution, apart from ensuring the quality of delivery in terms of cost, scheduling and health, safety, security and environment requirements. To ensure the project delivery runs smoothly, MRT Corp works hand-in-hand with two other parties - MMC-Gamuda KVMRT (PDP) Sdn Bhd as its project delivery partner, and the

Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat as supervising agency. One of MRT’s foremost responsibilities is to ensure that the project is completed at the highest quality. To this end, it is making sure that construction methodologies, requirements and materials for the development of the MRT will conform to internationally-recognised best quality practices, standards and codes. The company is also keen to keep both the local community and a wider audience advised of its activities and progress, and through regular website updates and its MRT Newsletter it is proud to highlight the exciting developments as they unfold. In the April 2013 issue company CEO Dato’ Azhar Abdul Hamid announced some key milestones for the MRT project – progress is good, and it certainly does look set to transform Kuala Lumpur for residents and visitors alike. zz

Kuala Lumpur Mass Rapid Transit


s%NGINEERING%QUIPMENT3UPPLY s0LANT#ONSTRUCTION%RECTION7ORKS deployed during the construction of the MRT, in the form of tunnel-boring machines (TBM) while stations will be built by excavating the station box from the surface. Furthermore, the use of modern slurry and EPB tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will make tunnelling in Kuala Lumpur a safer process, as these pressurised face machines prevent tunnel face collapse where geology is soft, in waterlogged sandy or silty soils, in soft clays and in mixed face conditions where soft soils meet rocks in the same tunnel profile. The owner behind the project is an organisation called MASS Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp). MRT Corp is fully owned by the Ministry of Finance

s%QUIPMENT3ERVICE-AINTENANCE MEIDEN has been contributing positively to the development of Malaysia for more than a quarter of a century since 1973. Meiden continue to provide turnkey engineering services based on Meidensha's Corporation, Japan's more than 100 years of proven and reliable engineering technology. Our rich experience in Malaysia, from planning to maintenance will ensure that we provide total quality-engineering services to our customers.

Tel: +603 2287 8188 Fax: +603 2287 9188





Story Contracting

Top of the league


Tel: 01228 576778 Mob: 07970 935554

s An established building, civil engineering and groundworks contractor s Staff are PTS, CSCS and CPCS carded s Services include drainage, groundworks, block paving, flagging, kerbing, concreting including floors, bases and foundations


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Story Contracting prides itself on very high standards and total client satisfaction


multi-disciplinary company specialising in building and civil engineering, construction and rail infrastructure services, Story Contracting Ltd operates throughout the north of England and southern Scotland. The company has the capability to manage all sizes of projects ranging from small maintenance projects, to multi-million pound contracts, and has a wealth of construction project experience in industrial, commercial, renewable energy, utilities, local authorities, highways, maintenance and education projects. When it comes to the rail sector, Story Contracting has grown into a highly respected and well-known provider of rail solutions, and, stretching further afield than the building side, the company’s rail division operates at a national level. The Rail division of Story Contracting has grown progressively in stature and experience since being established in 2000 and the company’s other specialist Construction and Plant divisions have added dimensions to its capabilities that few other rail contractors

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Industrial Coating Services are a Midland Based Company, operating throughout the UK, specialising in Abrasive Blast Cleaning and application of protective coatings, works also including: Intumescent Coatings, Decorative Painting, Ultra High Water Jetting (UHP), Stone and Brick Cleaning, Graffiti Removal, Graffiti Coatings. Accreditations IS0 9001 | ISO 14001 | NHSS 19A BS OHSAS 18001 | UVDB | Link-up

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Story Contracting

can match. With access to these additional resources Story Contracting is able to undertake a vast array of track renewal and rail related civil engineering projects of an impressive scope. Over the past 13 years Story’s rail department has built an impressive portfolio of work, which includes numerous plain line and S&C track renewals, bridge reconstructions and refurbishments, viaduct strengthening, structural repairs, embankment stabilisation projects, station refurbishments, scour protection to waterways and coastal defences, drainage schemes, S&T route works, mast and equipment bases, site infrastructure projects and rail related civils schemes. These projects are delivered by Story Contracting’s experienced and professional team, which consists of project managers, engineers, surveyors and site teams, all holding the appropriate safety critical competencies and including specialist capabilities such as engineering supervisors, hand back engineers


Before grit blasting and



ng nd painti lasting a b t ri g r e Aft

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz and possession planners. This expert team is supported by the latest machinery, and the company maintains a large fleet of both operated and non-operated plant and heavy transport vehicles in which it continually invests. In this way, Story Contracting can ensure that it has the most reliable and efficient machinery, as well as environmentally friendly plant available for

VolkerLaser VolkerLaser operate actively within the UK rail sector, upgrading and refurbishing both track and infrastructure. Our team of experts adopt a flexible approach and work closely with clients to accommodate their changing requirements and demanding programme constraints. Working closely with Story Rail at Milverton and Ribble Viaduct, VolkerLaser’s team of authorised installers placed over 3,300m² of the Network Rail and PADS approved Hytec loose laid sheet system on weekend possessions and Boxing Day.

clients. The combination of this extensive fleet of in-house plant and 300 strong PTS qualified workforce gives Story Contracting a formidable capability to deliver complex schemes safely, within challenging timescales and to budget. In addition, the company holds a Network Rail Principal Contractor Licence and a Plant Operator Licence which enable it to operate on-track plant on Network Rail infrastructure the company is increasingly being regarded as a first tier supplier to Network Rail. A perfect example of how the company works with Network Rail is its role in the delivery of an £11 million portfolio of bridge refurbishment works for London North Eastern. This is being undertaken as part of the Government’s enhanced spend programme. Mike Halliday, rail director, elaborates: “The work scope includes grit blasting of existing steel structures, carrying out repairs as required, and repainting. This is an area of business we want to continue in. With

our naturally inquisitive style we have been successful in finding more cost effective solutions working with the supply chain, and within Network Rail’s maintenance requirements. As a result of this we have been able to deliver savings to the programme of £1.1 million through continuous improvement. This has been fed back in, with a further four

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Pyeroy Pyeroy protects the nation’s rail infrastructure. Pyeroy’s skilled team of engineers, technicians and craftsmen ensure the painting requirements of demanding rail projects, however large or technically complex, are delivered on time. The company’s expertise in pre-survey work, coating specification, grit blasting or UHP water jetting, surface preparation and the application of high quality coating systems provides clients with benefits in project planning, control and cost effectiveness, while quality and contract monitoring systems ensure projects are completed on time.


structures being added to the original 26 within the £11 million allowance”. Continually evolving and growing stronger, the relationship between Network Rail and Story Contracting was recognised in February 2013 when the company reached the number one spot on Network Rail's PRISM Performance League Table. PRISM is the tool Network Rail uses to assess the performance of suppliers and its own performance in enabling them to carry out a contract. The tool was developed in conjunction with the supply chain and various functions across Network Rail to drive a culture of continuous performance improvement. Story Contracting is dedicated to providing the best possible service to clients by delivering quality projects on-time, within budget and safely, but it appreciates holding the number one spot in this particular league is a great accolade and it looks forward to continuing to operate at this level. Further awards were also forthcoming in 2013 for Story Contracting - at the end

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz of April, it attended the ICE West Midlands awards ceremony at the ICC in Birmingham. In partnership with Network Rail it was entered into both the 'Construction' and 'Partnership' categories for its work on Milverton Viaduct over Christmas 2012. The evening turned into a winning night for Story Contracting as it picked up the award for 'Construction' - this category focused on projects that demonstrate excellent construction techniques. These sorts of awards are a fantastic achievement and a testament to the hard work put in by the team. Story Contracting prides itself on continuously maintaining its status as a forward thinking, visionary company with high values, and the implementation of sound practices and preservation of an exemplary safety record are always at the top of the agenda. Going forward, the company is determined to maintain its leading position, as well as continuing to grow its order book and further build on its already strong relationship with Network Rail. zz



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Insider knowledge Network Rail’s ambitious electrification programme requires designers who understand the ins and outs of construction and operation.That means a hands-on approach and detailed knowledge of railway engineering in the UK


etwork Rail’s £3bn-plus electrification programme will be the biggest that the UK has ever seen. Between now and 2019, some 20 per cent, or around 2,400 km, of the UK’s rail network will see the installation of overhead catenary lines, together with all the necessary power supplies and alterations to bridges and tunnels. “At no point in history has the UK railway tackled so much in one go,” says SYSTRA’s UK director of engineering Peter Dearman. And all this will be carried out while the lines remain in full operation, with work on the track taking place during a maximum of five engineering hours in the night, at weekends


and for more complex areas over bank holidays. This means that efficient installation will require meticulous planning, with designs that fit exactly with the construction methods and sequencing. “It’s all about constructability,” explains Peter. “There is a very short time window in which to build, which the design needs to accommodate. That means, for instance, that you have to think about each unit of build in distinct stages. If the design doesn’t allow that to happen, you cannot build it within the time constraints.” Peter joined SYSTRA in July this year from Network Rail where he was Head of Energy. At SYSTRA he is busy creating a new UK

electrification team, with the expertise to take a project from the feasibility stages, through design and detailed design on to supervision of construction and finally commissioning and start-up. Engineers who have been out there ‘in the thick of it’ are vital to the success of his design team, insists Peter, who has 40 years’ experience in the industry to draw on: “If you don’t have people who have been out on site, who have seen the wire being strung up, who can tell you what works and what doesn’t, you can never close the loop to feedback to designers from the construction teams,” he says. “Having that total range of competence is so important.”


3D animations were used to help explain catenary installation to less experienced workers on site during the construction of the Rhine-Rhone high-speed line in France. SYSTRA worked on both the design and construction phases on elements including the catenary and power supply

Ambitious plans Though around 40 per cent of the UK’s rail network is already electrified, it has been a long time since any electrification projects took place. Since privatisation in the early 1990s, new electrification has been extremely limited. The programme of electrification in the UK must address the challenges of the privatised railway, the massively increased demand for capacity, and the development of technology fit for the 21st century. Network Rail’s initial programme of works involves four main areas: the route between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High, part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Etihad Rail locomotive Programme (EGIP); the Great Western line

between London Paddington, West of England and Wales, plus the Cardiff valley commuter lines; the North West and trans-Pennine schemes in the North of England which will connect York and Selby in the East to Liverpool and Blackpool in the West via Manchester; and the ‘Electric Spine’ which runs from Southampton through Oxford branching to Nuneaton on one side and up to Sheffield on the other. This is an enormous package of work to be undertaken in a relatively short period, but it’s necessary to help secure the future of the UK, according to Peter. “Because of the changes in energy economics and the demise of oil as this century progresses, it is essential that we act

now. Diesel trains are already very expensive to buy and increasingly expensive to run.” Electric trains boast many benefits over their heavier diesel counterparts: they use less energy and result in between 20 and 30 per cent less carbon emissions; they can carry more passengers per train; they are faster, quieter and more reliable; and they cause less wear and tear to the rails and the infrastructure. This will make it possible for Network Rail to increase capacity and efficiency on the newly electrified lines and connections into them. However reliability, and therefore achieving improved speed and capacity, depends on getting the design right, warns Peter. Whole life costs, as well as initial capital outlay, must be taken into consideration. He predicts that contractors who want to win successive packages of work will need to demonstrate to Network Rail how their proposed solutions will help ensure reliability and longevity. “It’s important at the design stage to understand the client’s need for higher reliability, and build that into the design,” says Peter. “On a route with as few as four trains an hour, if the line is blocked for 20 minutes, you have trains backing up and recovering the timetable is a real challenge. With routes such as Crossrail and Thameslink operating with 24 trains per hour, excellent reliability is paramount.” Though some early packages of work related to the electrification programme are already underway, the bulk of it will be delivered through a national framework. Network Rail is currently out to tender to find 15 construction firms or consortia to fill places on the framework. The winning organisations will carry out detailed design, supply, manufacture, construction and commissioning services for all aspects of electrification and associated infrastructure. This will include overhead line work, power supply, distribution, civil engineering work, on track plant, signalling works, telecoms and track works. Contractors who win a place on the framework and subsequently the electrification contracts face two major challenges. First, the sheer speed of delivery and second the ability to marshal the skilled supervisors and workers needed to run an efficient installation programme. “Having experienced engineering teams to support the implementation programme is really important,” says Adrien Bobillot, director of SYSTRA’s electrical energy and catenary department, who works on electrification design projects around the world. “Planning is king.”




Adrien has just mobilised a team of ten engineers to advise the Danish national electrification programme in Copenhagen. The team will be responsible for developing the design and tender specifications, modelling power requirements and managing the construction. SYSTRA’s engineers are also working on the electrification of the Plodiv to Svilengrad railway in Poland, and form part of the PPP team on the Sud Europe Atlantique high-speed line in France. The way you communicate with and train your workforce will impact on how quickly they get up to speed, says Adrien, who joined SYSTRA from SNCF earlier this year. He suggests providing instructions in the form of AMS60 mobile welding machine animations on a laptop or tablet as one way to help workers who may be less experienced in the sector, a technique which has been used on the Rhine-Rhone high-speed Line in France. Training will be an important element of the UK electrification programme, predicts Peter, for both young engineers and installers. “One of SYSTRA’s aims is to train up young engineers to help create a whole new generation of electrification experts in the UK.” Currently SYSTRA has training programmes underway to do just that. Though the installation of power supply systems does not face the same challenges as catenary construction, since it generally takes place at the trackside rather than directly on the track, procuring equipment can be a major cause of programme risk, says Adrien. These are complex installations with design that is unique to the railway traction system; for example grid supply substations need a number of years lead-in time because all the components must be sourced from different suppliers and delivered to site at the right time. Procuring power supply systems that are partially assembled, rather than the traditional practice which sees all the components delivered to site and put together there, will speed delivery. “This is a trend we see developing, similar to the automotive industry,” reveals Adrien. “One supplier assembles the system, sub-contracting out to other suppliers, and delivers it by train. This reduces installation and testing time on site.”

Designers in demand Before we even reach the construction phase, there is the important issue of design to consider. As on the delivery side, there will be a shortage of skilled people with the necessary



Catenary installation is one of the most challenging aspects of an electrification programme. SYSTRA has designers with on-site experience that understand the importance of “constructability”

UK experience, because of the long gap since the last electrification projects. Peter will be looking to call on colleagues in SYSTRA’s international offices to carry out certain packages of work, with his UK engineers providing the local knowledge. “I will be looking to use some of our international resource where appropriate,” says Dearman. This is a model which works well for SYSTRA in its offices around the world. For example, in India at the moment, SYSTRA is working with a Japanese contractor to bid for the power supply and catenary package relating to a new dedicated freight corridor. SYSTRA India is providing the necessary knowledge about local standards and client requirements, while engineers in other offices are helping to develop a brand new catenary design in under three months. “For this project

we are developing a new type of catenary because the line is for trains with double stack containers,” says Adrien. “The catenary will be 7.54 m high which has not been done before anywhere in the world.” Being able to draw on a vast range of international experience can bring benefits, explains Adrien. For example, Network Rail has been talking to his team about design standards, looking for possible changes which could reduce cost while maintaining safety and reliability. But any international knowledge must be filtered through UK engineers, insists Peter, which is why he has high ambitions for his new UK team: “We are going to be a serious player in this programme.” zz


PKP Intercity


Pole position PKP Intercity is adding a new premium level to its passenger offering with the purchase of 20 new high-speed Pendolino trains

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Visualisation of new EIC Premium train


KP Intercity is the part of the PKP Group responsible for long-distance passenger railway transport in Poland. Its trains connect several major cities and popular holiday resorts, as well as providing comfortable international connections into Europe. The company was formed in 2011 under the reform of railway companies, and quickly gained the reputation of being the fastest and most reputable rail carrier in the country. Altogether PKP Intercity runs about 300 trains daily equating to 2.7 million passenger journeys every month. These fleets are made up of around 1625 railroad cars, 1300 of which are in daily use, 353 locomotives, 69 diesel engines, and 14 electric multiple units. “PKP Intercity is the largest nationwide railway carrier in Poland,” begins Marcin Celejewski, member of the board and commercial director. “It has the best fleet and applies the highest standards of customer

service. Undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of the company is our people, many of which have a wealth of experience and management skills. Currently the business is undergoing a period of change, which will mean that we are soon able to offer a new level of quality to our passengers. “From the beginning, PKP Intercity has proved that it is more than just a rail carrier – it is a trustworthy, responsible and has a strong focus on its client’s needs. Intercity has also been investing in new technologies. Tickets are available by mobile phone, where the passenger does not have to print the ticket but only to download the QR code. The customer can also pay by card on all trains. Additionally, PKP Intercity is to launch a systems of dynamic ticket sales similar to those used by the airlines,” he continues. In its strategy for 2008 to 2018, the board of PKP Intercity outlined its objective to create three strong train brands that would cover each

area of the market from premium to economy travel. The company began the process of arranging this offering in November 2009, by combining two existing brands – Express and InterCity - into one category. Known as Express InterCity (EIC), these are fast domestic trains with a high level of comfort and facilities that include a restaurant car. The other main type of existing train is Twoje Linie Kolejowe (TLK), which was first launched back in 2005 as a more economic level of rail travel. Today TLK is an extensive network of low-cost, long-distance connections, linking dozens of locations across Poland. The final premium element of this strategy is one of the outcomes being delivered through PKP Intercity’s large-scale modernisation and investment programme of four billion Polish zloty (zł). This is in the form of 20 new highspeed Pendolino trains, which will operate under the name EIC Premium. These have been purchased from Alstom, following a



tender process which culminated in the signing of contracts in May 2011. “The first of these trains is now undergoing a test period in Italy, with the intention that the whole fleet will be running regularly throughout

Alstom Konstal Part of the Alstom Transport group, Alstom Konstal S.A. is a Poland-based producer of metro trains, as well as cars for many other types of rolling stock such as regional trains and tramways. In May 2011, together with Alstom Savigliano in Italy, the company signed a new €665 million contract with PKP Intercity for the supply of 20 high-speed trains. Based on the Pendolino platform, the new trains are to be delivered from Alstom Savigliano, whilst Alstom Konstal will be responsible for the design and construction of a maintenance depot to house the fleet. The company will also deliver the ongoing maintenance on behalf of PKP Intercity over the next 15 years, which is the first time that Alstom Konstal has performed such a role in Poland. As such this presents a major opportunity for Alstom Konstal to develop its service activity within the country. “We are very proud to be participating in the introduction of high-speed trains in Poland,” describes Nicolas Halamek from Alstom Konstal. “I believe this to be a very important project for the railway of Poland, and we are very happy to be supporting PKP Intercity in this challenge.”

PKP Intercity

Poland from December 2014,” notes Marcin. “From August, the first train will arrive into Poland for dynamic testing as part of the whole certification process. Concurrently to this project, PKP PLK – the company which manages the railway infrastructure in Poland – is implementing one of the largest modernisation schemes ever, which will include installation of ETCS. “Elsewhere in the business, further plans include the purchase of 20 electric multiple units for the route Kraków - Łódź - Gdynia or Warszawa – Bydgoszcz, and new diesel locomotives able to drive on the non-electrified tracks in a sparsely populated mountain area. Furthermore, right now we are modernising 218 carriages for the route between Przemysl and Szczecin, which will gradually replace the older existing stock. The first 68 of these are soon to make their track debut,” he continues. During the UEFA European Football Championship in 2012, PKP Intercity proved that it could cope with a large influx of passengers, including many international visitors. “Opinions we collected saw more than 84 per cent of satisfied customers, which motivates us to be active and bring into effect these further changes,” highlights Marcin. “However although we believe the market is full of potential, the general economic situation in Poland has seen a decline in social mobility in most sectors. Cheaper flight tickets and developments in the highway segment do not improve the situation either, placing even higher demands on the business.” Indeed investments into road seem to have been prioritised, which has accounted for the


delays in the rail infrastructure modernisation programmes. “We are aware of the fact that modernisation works will soon be over and we have to be prepared for an increase in traffic on the tracks, and hopefully more passengers. According to our estimation, introduction of the EIC Premium fleet will increase passenger numbers significantly on the lines it will serve. We hope this will be a similar case with the rest of the investments,” describes Marcin. “2013 is undoubtedly a difficult time for the transport industry, but we believe that consistency in the implementation of our plans and objectives will allow us to keep improving and retain passengers. Right now we are focusing on two elements. One of our goals is to simplify the portfolio of special offers, whilst increasing the range of services provided such as the new ticket purchasing system. The second crucial element is the new standard of rolling stock and the gradual introduction of the new EIC Premium trains. We believe that the new standard and wide range of services will be the impetus for passengers to choose rail over other modes,” he concludes. zz






Max Philips - business development and communications manager

Going beyond the traditional role of infrastructure manager, Keyrail is encouraging a freight modal shift to rail



stablished in 2007, Keyrail is a relatively young rail infrastructure manager. But then so is the railway that it operates – a 174kilometres dedicated double-track freight line between the port of Rotterdam and the German border known as Betuweroute. At an investment of €5 billion, this thoroughfare opened in 2007 offering a non-stop connection to the rail corridors of the European hinterland. “In all countries in Europe there is a debate about priority between passenger and freight trains on rail corridors,” explains Max Philips, business development and communications manager of Keyrail. “In most priority is given to the passenger train, which means that a freight train will have to stand by to let them past. Stopping a heavy load like this and then starting it again takes a lot of energy, and of course cost. As a small country with a very dense rail network, the decision was taken to build a new line exclusively for the use of freight.” This has not only benefited the freight operators, but also had a knock-on


positive impact on the capacity of the existing network. This is because as more freight trains gradually move over to the Betuweroute, additional train paths and capacity become available to the passenger sector. Having started from scratch, today 450 trains a week run on the Betuweroute. With a maximum capacity of 350 trains per day, clearly there is capacity still available, which as Max outlines was a key strategic measure: “As this is a new piece of railway it has been built for the future with enough capacity left for growth over the coming decades. We have been very pleased also by news of a €1.5 billion investment in Germany to build additional rail capacity on the connecting line from the Dutch/German border. We want to grow on our network, but we need the connecting line to also have capacity to accommodate this, so this is a very positive development from our perspective.” As an infrastructure manager Keyrail has a number of core responsibilities. This includes capacity allocation of train paths to operators, traffic management

to ensure safe and punctual operation, and maintenance of the signalling and infrastructure. In addition the company has taken on some additional roles that either add benefit to its clients or strengthen the freight offering. “This includes supply chain management,” explains Max. “There are several parties involved in the running of a freight train such as operators, carriers, terminals, and logistic service providers, which all need to co-operate to ensure the success of that process. As a neutral party, we can monitor the complete supply chain and work with these stakeholders to improve the efficiency of freight transport, and increase punctuality. This results in a more attractive product from a commercial perspective, which will hopefully translate into more customers.” Keyrail is also actively working to attract new business to the railway. This is part of a larger modal shift strategy, which aims to move transport volumes from the road to other means such as rail or inland barge shipping. “This is quite different to the traditional role of the


infrastructure manager, but we believe it is important to speak with the logistic service providers and shippers, to try to find out their needs and how rail can support these,” enthuses Max. “As an independent organisation many find it easier to speak with us when first trying to orientate themselves in rail, and to understand how it functions and what the possibilities are.” The benefits of using rail for freight travel are already well publicised from an environmental and cost saving perspective. However Keyrail is also keen to highlight the supportive nature of this type of transport, which complements other modes to open up a much wider scope. “Whilst many of our customers are present in the port or industrial areas of the Netherlands, they have a much more international orientation. We know that in order to run a profitable freight train into Europe, you have to have a balance of outgoing and incoming flows. We are well connected with the Port of Rotterdam and Port of Amsterdam, which are actively involved in attracting freight flows, and work in co-operation with them to fulfil the rail element,” explains Max. Developments within ports such as these are also contributing to the modal shift. For example in building a new port area, the Port of Rotterdam had to extend into the sea creating new land. “This makes it a very expensive area and therefore in order to make efficient use of it, the port authority requested that those companies interested in the location use rail and barges to take care of the largest part of their transport flows. This of course benefits us as a local freight connection, but also encourages movement away from road haulage,” describes Max. Having successfully grown patronage

of the line since its formation, Keyrail is now approaching the end of its initial five-year contract. A potential extension of this by a further ten years is now under discussion in Parliament. This follows an investigation by the Transport Minister, which having found that the market was satisfied with Keyrail’s activities and that management of the infrastructure on a commercial basis is unviable, led to the recommendation that the contract be

extended. “Whilst the final decision is yet to be made as to the future of the business, we believe that our experience in setting up the supply chain management service and attracting new freight flows to the business, as well as our track record over the last five years presents a good business case for extension,” concludes Max. zz


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TMD Friction


Driving development As an expert in friction materials, TMD Friction is transferring its experience into applications for the rail market


cross the globe more than 200 million drivers depend on TMD Friction to ensure a safe journey every day. This is because the company is recognised as the world’s largest manufacturer of original equipment brake friction material for passenger cars and commercial vehicles in the automotive industry. TMD Friction is also considered a valued supplier of safety-critical components and a force in replacement braking products for OES and the aftermarket through the brands Textar, Pagid, Mintex, Don, Cobreq, Cosid and Dynotherm. Going beyond this, the company puts its knowledge and experience to the ultimate test by developing high performance brake friction products for racing and motorsport applications, as well as components for rail transport, power generation and other industrial applications. In terms of rail, the majority of TMD Friction’s range is marketed under the Cosid brand and includes disc brake pads for long-distance and regional passenger trains and light rail, brake blocks for freight, and organic friction material for metro applications. Having had a background in friction material since 1879, today TMD Friction combines a strong internationally focused management team with a powerful shareholder in the form


of Nisshinbo Holdings. The resulting strategy is delivered through a widespread network that includes offices and manufacturing sites across four continents. This includes many key locations such as the US, UK, Germany, Brazil, South Africa, China, and Japan. Although still thought of predominately in the automotive industry, speaking previously to Railway Strategies, vice president of strategic business development Roman Milczarek alluded to the opportunities in the industrial and rail sectors: “We see the pattern in the rail friction industry as being very interesting, and the current development is to a degree stronger than the automotive industry. With TMD Friction being a solid and reliable safetyorientated partner in the automotive friction industry, it made strategic sense to become a serious player in the rail and industrial market as well. “There are many elements from our background that can be carried forward into rail applications, not least the learning curve and innovative steps forward that have been taken in the automotive industry in the last 15 years, which the rail friction market is on the cusp of following.” One factor of the company’s success is its continuous investment into research and

development. Together with vehicle and brake manufacturers TMD Friction engineers develop and test brake friction products, that meet the highest requirements in comfort, performance, and wear. Its objective is to develop the perfect technical solution for each respective application. This is delivered through R&D centres in Germany, Brazil and the US, as well as expanding activities in Japan and China. A key focus of this work is improving lifecycle costs. TMD Friction has worked to address this by going back to the manufacturing process itself. This is because friction material is always supported from behind by a backing plate, with the two components bonded together to form a complete system. To ensure optimal stability of this bond, TMD Friction’s racing department developed a proven pinned retention system, which has since been introduced to the commercial vehicle and rail divisions. As well as its in-house work, TMD Friction is also contributing to the progression of wider industry issues. This has the seen the company play a role in a project known as LäGiV, which is partially funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in Germany. “Noise is becoming one of the biggest issues within the context of the European rail freight market, and a lot of work is ongoing across the

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz New K-block development based on LäGiV

Pinned retention system

Passenger coach disc brake pad

continent to investigate ways of reducing the noise level and impact on the population along these corridors,” explained Roman. “In response to this, the German government and rail organisation Deutsche Bahn has brought together members not only from TMD Friction, but also from four other globally renowned friction manufacturers, to form a consortium focused on the development of low noise friction materials. It is intended that these will be used directly as a substitute to the current cast iron brake blocks, which cause noise pollution due to the creation of unevenness on the wheels’ surface of the train.” Expected to run into next year, to date the project appears to be progressing well towards a K-composite brake block for this application. There is also ongoing development into an LL-material brake block, which would be an identical substitute. Looking longer-term, success in creating an organic friction material that can replace cast iron blocks could open up a new marketplace within Europe for rail friction, and as a longtime leader in such development TMD Friction is keen to be a part of this change process. zz


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First Capital Connect

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz 365 train - First Capital Connect

David Statham managing director of First Capital

The heart of the matter As pledged by its new managing director, First Capital Connect is focused on putting the passenger at the heart of all it does


ith trains from London to Bedford, Brighton, Wimbledon and Sutton, and Peterborough, Cambridge, and King’s Lynn, First Capital Connect (FCC) carries around 180,000 people every weekday. Whilst recent programmes of work might suggest that this is predominately on the Thameslink route, the actual split is closer to half with 85,000 travelling on the company’s Great Northern route. These are routes that have traditionally struggled with their own success, as at the start of the franchise FCC was faced with seven of the 20 most crowded trains in the UK. As such the company has worked hard to


address these constraints in a series of major upgrades, which have helped it leave this list completely. The upgrade that attracts most attention is the £6 billion Thameslink Programme. FCC has already had a hand in successfully delivering the first phase on time in December 2011. Recently appointed managing director David Statham says: “We have introduced 26 new Class 377s and increased the size of our Class 319 fleet, which has delivered 29 per cent more seats at the busiest times of the day. We also introduced the first ever 12-car trains on the route, which required us to work very closely with Network Rail rebuilding stations and upgrading infrastructure.” Whilst this role is a new one for David, he has in fact been heavily involved in the history of the franchise going back to the original bid team in 2005. He was mobilisation director for the business (“I remember picking up the keys for the head office!” he says), and Thameslink Programme director. “As managing director I

have now signed a new contract for 1140 new vehicles, so for me this is a brilliant opportunity to take the business forward to its next stage,” he adds. “These trains are uniquely designed for our route and its specific challenges. Initially we were running eight trains per hour across central London between Blackfriars and St Pancras, and this has now moved up to 15 per hour in the peak. By the time we have finished the Thameslink Programme we will have tripled service frequency in the core of the network to 24 trains per hour. This means that the trains have to be designed to deliver what is a reasonably unparalleled level of service frequency through measures such as automatic train operation.” Likewise, stations such as Blackfriars and Farringdon have had to be redeveloped to accommodate this service – a process that continues with London Bridge. “This is a once in a generation opportunity for the industry to make some changes,” enthuses


Dispatcher in front of Class 365 unit David. “London Bridge is all about reducing the constraints on the eastern and western approaches, and therefore congestion; as well as creating a clear run through, with a dedicated set of platforms, for Thameslink.” The drive to improve is not just about one part of the franchise though. FCC is determined that its customers on the Great Northern route see changes as well. This has already seen the introduction of 61 new carriages, creating over 20 per cent more capacity with longer trains and additional services including some 12-car trains. “We have also been delighted to announce a refresh of the Class 365 fleet. This £31 million investment by leaseholder Eversholt includes heavy maintenance to ensure continued reliability, and a complete refresh of the interior environment and passenger information to drive an uplift in the passenger experience,” highlights David. The new Thameslink trains will ultimately run on routes from Peterborough and Cambridge to, offering direct services to London Bridge, Gatwick and beyond.

Putting passengers at the heart of the business The passenger is the absolute focus of David’s strategy for the business. “My background is in customer service, and like all railway companies we are a customer service business,” he explains. “It’s therefore hugely important to me that we put the customer – our passengers – at the heart of what we do, and focus our resources, investment and people into what they tell us matters.” At present, this is three key areas – punctuality, a cleaner travelling environment, and better passenger service information. To address this, FCC has announced the first batch of a wide range of improvements, including an initiative to help Network Rail improve network reliability. “This involves giving Network Rail additional access at the

least busy times of day to allow them to do more maintenance and upgrades for a more reliable service,” explains David. “We’ve also seen the launch of several mobile engineers and technicians by Network Rail, which will massively reduce their response time to incidents. “In terms of cleanliness, we have undertaken a huge investment into people and equipment over the last year and are now launching a deep clean programme of all the rolling stock in FCC to bring it up to a good standard,” he continues. “Our 24/7 Twitter information service is another success story. We have 35,000 followers, which is between 20 and 25 per cent of our regular customer base, and this enables us to engage with people on a personal basis and deliver real-time information, as well as get feedback about what is happening out on the network.” A brand new passenger forum, Interchange, is also opening up the channels of communication. Formed of a selected group

of passengers who have contacted FCC in the past, the recent launch was hailed a success by all. “We spent some time telling them about what our plans are, but a lot of the session was talking about what they wanted to see and their ideas on what we could do better. That’s led us to getting some really good ideas we want to take forward, particularly around the way we engage with communities,” elaborates David. So, FCC is firmly in the driving seat to bring real improvements for its passengers now – and in the future. “With the very real changes we are bringing in to improve punctuality, cleanliness and service information we aim to significantly improve the passenger experience right now,” concludes David. “And looking to the future I know we can build on what we have already delivered through major upgrades to transform the network through the Thameslink Programme. This is a great time to be running the franchise.” zz


APCOA PARKING APCOA PARKING is a reliable and competent partner to First Capital Connect; providing innovative solutions and large-scale improvements for the rail operator. In one year, the improvement in Service Quality Monitoring Standards (SQMS) has been exceptional. This is principally driven by high central standards, which focuses on cash management, local initiatives and working solutions. APCOA PARKING is proud to be the leading provider in rail parking solutions.





Built tolast

A new emergency response service means that Keyline can serve the UK rail sector more strongly, whether work is planned or unplanned


ith more branches across the UK than any other civils merchant, Keyline is an essential link in many a supply chain within the construction industry. The company has thousands of product lines on its books, with a core range that never goes out of stock and the ability to source specialist materials. Since 1999 Keyline has operated as a subsidiary of Travis Perkins plc, but still maintains its own network of 88 sites. The company aims to be a first choice supplier to all its customers, which means a focus on convenience, product quality and availability, competitive prices, service and delivery. The rail market is catered for through Keyline’s dedicated National Rail Division, which specialises in the supply of construction materials related to platform, tunnelling, track, and station works. The company has unrivalled rail expertise and fully complaint resources ensuring that it meets the precise needs of the rail sector. This includes supporting possession work by ensuring contractors avoid costly


penalties as a result of delays or missed deadlines. Furthermore the company is a LinkUp approved supplier. “Market conditions have been tough, however, the Keyline Rail division’s expansion due to high service levels has allowed us to outperform the market. In fact we’ve seen 35 per cent growth in the rail sector compared to 2012. We’ve also continued to further penetrate this market working with track work contractors, MAFA contractors, Network Rail civils and building contractors, and Network Rail main and sub-contractors,” describes Richard Wade, UK Rail Sector manager. This work is facilitated through the company’s National Rail Office in Northfleet, which acts as a central point irrespective of where the client may be operating in the UK. “The one-point-of-contact concept of the Keyline National Rail Office reduces customer risk in several ways,” explains Richard. “Using the experience of the rail team, supported by PADSNET, only Network Rail specified/PADS approved products are quoted

and dispatched. Furthermore, the team ensure that the correct compliant vehicle is dispatched depending on whether the order is for a Network Rail, Crossrail or London Underground site. This has been of great benefit to our customers as this gives them peace of mind. The investment in rail is certainly welcome and confirm that Keyline’s continued longterm investment in our sector approach is the correct strategy.” Another cornerstone of that strategy is innovation. In supporting the rail industry Keyline is always looking to bring in new and innovative products to its portfolio in order to reduce costs, minimise disruption and boost operational performance. As such the company has become the first provider of civil engineering products in the UK rail sector to offer a new tactile anti-slip system from Tactile Antislip Systems & Services Ltd (TASS Ltd). This hinges around Bumpeez, a ground breaking solution that is designed to enhance platform safety, simplify installation and minimise environmental impact.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Keyline is also a key supplier of Concrete Canvas products, which is a flexible cement impregnated fabric solution that hardens when hydrated. As such the produce forms a hardened, waterproof concrete lining, and as a low mass, low carbon technology uses up to 95 per cent less material than traditional options. A further addition to the range is Tensar International’s new TriAx geogrid solution, making Keyline one of the

Concrete Canvas product

Tensar International Tensar International is part of Tensar Corporation, a leading global developer and manufacturer of proprietary, highly engineered, non-traditional site-development solutions for infrastructure endmarkets, including transportation, commercial and industrial construction. Tensar provides its customers with an integrated suite of innovative products, technologies and application expertise for a wide variety of end uses, including high performance roadways, earth retention structures, building foundations and erosion and sediment control.

first companies in the rail sector to offer this product. The Tensar TX190L geogrid is designed to maintain the geometry of ballasted track and substantially increase the period between maintenance.

As well as an expanding product range, Keyline has been investing in its vehicle fleet to meet the most stringent standards in the sector. This includes fitting them with advanced safety devices such as a white noise



zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz FP McCann FP McCann is a nominated approved supplier to Network Rail and London Underground (LUL) of precast Chongcable Qingprotection Chaotianmen Bridge, China copings. On stock is a full range of ‘C’ series troughs and lids concrete troughs and platform designed to allow ease of access for maintenance teams whilst providing complete protection to cabling and other services. Specials such as transitions, ‘Tees’ and transformer location bases are also supplied on request. Type A (930x760x100mm) and Type B (1219x914x100mm) platform copings to BS EN 8110 conforming to slip resistance requirements -Pendulum test BS 1134 - 2010, are manufactured in an acid etched or exposed surface finish. Offset tactile edge warning paving and oversail blocks, form the remaining products in McCann’s platform components range. Available in buff, offset tactiles to BS EN 1339, are approved for use in both surface and LUL platforms. The oversail block, keys in with the platform edge and provides a stable base for copings. Other complementary products include precast concrete security fencing, rail ballast boards and posts, bollards and screed rails. FP McCann is an Achilles Link-Up Engage Supplier ID: 061598 and a member of the Rail Alliance.

reversing alarm, reversing camera and side sensors. The vehicles meet the Rail Industry Health & Safety standards making it suitable for deliveries to rail sites nationwide, and incorporates additional requirements to meet new health and safety regulations that came into force last year for vehicles working on the Crossrail route.



event of an emergency our key customers can contact us at any time and we can open a Keyline depot enabling the contractor to collect materials.” This service is managed out of the company’s National Rail Office, and is available to all MAFA, track work, civil engineering and building contractors, as well as the rail organisations themselves such as Network


Recently Keyline has launched a new Emergency Response Service that provides immediate access to civil engineering and specialist products for unplanned work and repairs. “We have always supplied the rail market on a 24/7 basis, however this was for scheduled work,” explains Richard. “The difference with our new initiative is that in the




zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Bumpeez product

Polypipe Civils Whether you’re looking for effective cable protection, trackside drainage or water management around station buildings, Polypipe has a proven solution. The lightweight, durable nature of Polypipe’s high quality plastic systems makes them quicker and easier to install than heavier traditional materials. They can be delivered to site in greater volumes than traditional equivalents, for added cost and environmental efficiency. Whatever your project, it pays to speak to the experts.


Rail and London Underground. It puts Keyline in the best position possible to supply civil engineering and specialist products for all works, whether planned or unplanned, recognising that a fast response to issues can help minimise delays and even avoid costly line closures. In light of the success of the sector, Keyline has relocated its National Rail Division to Northfleet in Kent, with a view to the future of the company. “To aid our expansion we recently moved into new offices with an upgraded telephone platform which gave us much more capacity to deal with the high level of customer contact. This will enable us to meet current and future demand,” confirms Richard. The move means that Keyline can expand its sales and technical support team over the coming months, and provides a platform to support the ongoing expansion of the business. zz Web: Tel: +44 (0) 844 892 2677


Etihad Rail


Catalyst for growth

As completion of the first stage approaches, the shape of the Etihad Rail network can already be seen in the UAE landscape

Etihad Rail tracks


tihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law no. 2, with a mandate to manage the development, construction, and operation of the United Arab Emirates (UAEs) national freight and passenger railway network. The total investment cost is estimated at around 40 billion UAE Dirham (AED). This state-of-the-art network is to be built in stages to link the principal centres of

population and industry within the UAE, as well as form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network linking the Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and UAE. Built to international standards, the railway will act as a catalyst for economic growth and ongoing social development through both passenger and freight services. Once complete it will redefine transport and logistic services in

the region, opening up new trade corridors and journey opportunities. The 1200 kilometre network will extend across the UAE and will link the Saudi Arabia border with the border of Oman. As well as connecting major cities such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Etihad Rail will also establish freight terminals, distribution centres and depots close to key transport hubs, warehouses, and storage facilities such as the Jebal Ali Free Zone and


zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Etihad Rail wagons Port of Fujairah. This will bring Etihad Rail into the reach of a wide variety of different customers. The first of these is ADNOC, which has signed an agreement with the network in October 2011 for the transportation of granulated sulphur from Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais in the Western Region. Etihad Rail also has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with a multitude of other companies such as Al Dahra, Centre of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi, Global Shipping and Logistics (GSL), Emirates Steel, DP World, Sharaf Logistics, Sharjah Cement Factory and Hellmann Global Logistics.

Three guiding principles

Etihad Rail locomotive


Development of the Etihad Rail network is in line with both the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 and UAE Vision 2021. It will adhere to three guiding principles; Safety which is at the forefront of all it does; Connectivity and Economic Growth; and Efficiency and Sustainability, by offering cutting-edge benefits as a fast, safe, reliable and more environmentally friendly transport alternative. More specifically direct economic benefits will include freight cost savings and business travel time savings, amongst others. The railway will also contribute to the further development of tourism and the wider UAE economy. By offering lower cost transportation and faster journey times compared to other transport modes, Etihad Rail is expected to contribute to reduced levels of highway traffic. This will have a positive environmental impact as one fully loaded train is the equivalent of approximately 300 lorries on the road, and produces 70 to 80 per cent less CO2 emissions in the process. Having been divided into three main stages for implementation, the first stage of the network is currently under construction. This 264 kilometre route from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais is primarily intended for the transportation of granulated sulphur. The first stretch between Habshan and Ruwais will be completed in the latter part of 2013, followed by the Shah to Habshan link during 2014. The full fleet of 240 wagons from CSR Corporation and seven locomotives from Electro-Motive Diesel, have arrived for the first stage of operations on-site. To this end, Etihad Rail has also awarded a contract for the provision of railway sleepers to PCM Strescon Ventures Limited, which has seen a purposebuilt manufacturing facility established at Mirfa.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz This is already fully functional and producing up to 2400 sleepers a day. Etihad Rail is also working with a number of other service providers and stakeholders in the delivery of the project. This includes Atkins, which has been assigned as the preliminary engineering (PE) services consultant for the entire network. For stage one specifically a consortium of Saipem, Tecnimont, and Dodsal Engineering and Construction is carrying out the main civil and track works, whilst JV Parsons-Aecom has been assigned as project management consultant. Tendering for stage two, which is a 628 kilometre stretch from Ruwais to Ghweifat connecting to the Saudi border, from Tarif to welding AbuAMS60 Dhabi mobile and Dubai, andmachine from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain at the Oman border, is already in progress. This network and connections to Mussafah, Khalifa and Jebel Ali Ports is safeguarded, and preliminary engineering has taken place. The final phase of the Etihad Rail project is the completion of the network in the Northern Emirates, and work is underway to safeguard and define the route, as well as to

Etihad Rail


Etihad Rail sleepers complete preliminary engineering. With the objective of creating a network that serves the entire UAE, Etihad Rail appears to have made a strong start. The benefits of the railway are expected to spread even further

through the planned GCC network, thereby transforming transport and logistics in the whole region. zz




Suttle Projects Ltd


Specialised Engineering Specialising in highly technical s ite-based projects, Suttle Projects Ltd, provides an engineeringfirst approach to its civil engineering and piling projects



uttle Projects was founded in 2008 by the long established Suttles group to provide solutions to very technical projects. The company undertakes a range of civil engineering and piling projects including sheet piling, driven piling, CFA piling, and some more general construction work around rivers and railways. It is able to draw on a wealth of experience, with the Suttle family operating in quarrying and other contracting since the 1940s the group is able to offer highly specialised expertise to civil engineering and

piling projects. In 2011 Suttle Projects installed a hydro electrical power scheme at Iford Manor in Bradford-on-Avon on behalf of Potential Energy. After winning the contract to allow the running of the Iford Manor Estate using sustainable power, the company was able to complete the project over a ten-week period. The project required a cofferdam to keep the site dry while the work was carried out and the construction of a temporary bridge to allow ease of access and sheet piling. Regarding the

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz project, managing director of Suttle Projects Joe Paine commented: “We've worked with Potential Energy before on other hydro electric power generation schemes, including one at a listed mill on the Weld Estate at Lulworth Castle. Due to the landscape and stream, access can prove quite tricky on these jobs, although we love coming up with solutions to potential challenges!" Suttle Projects bases its compatibilities on two core strengths: technically strong people and an interest in owning and operating its plant and specialist equipment. The company management includes a chartered civil engineer and three degree qualified supervisory staff. The company also has a core team who hold CPCS qualifications, the highest recognised standard of plant operator and lift planning and execution. The company’s dedication to technically strong people has led to it being presented with a platinum award as part of the construction skills certification scheme. The scheme assesses and certifies competency for a range of construction skills as well as health and safety concerns and companies with over 75 per cent of staff who are CPCS certified are awarded the platinum prize. In Suttle project’s case over 90 per cent of the team hold the qualification. The company is also able to offer a total solution to civil engineering projects as it owns an operates its own equipment. This includes Movax side grip sheet piling hammers, with which the company is able to offer flexible and economic installation or removal of sheet piles, tubes, H sections and timber piles. The company also owns Klemm auger drilling equipment so that when necessary it is able to produce contiguous walls and bearing piles, as well as being able to pre-auger for sheet pile installation. This offers an economic solution for smaller diameter piles or confined or difficult access sites. Where larger drilling equipment is required the company is able to supply and operate the necessary with the assistance of hire supply partners. The Klemm 708 piling rig was recently added to Suttle project’s equipment portfolio to enable the company to work on in-situ specialist projects for Network Rail. Joe elaborates: 'We believe we're the only company in the local area to offer this service. It's the ideal piece of machinery for us as many of the projects

we work on have restricted access, are within confined areas or have other complexities. We're specialists in providing solutions to difficult projects!' Suttle Projects believes that safety is about a good positive company culture. When working with Network Rail and the Environment Agency on projects that require work on watercourses, the company is able to implement a wealth of working experience as well as practical measures to minimise risk to safety, environment and quality. The company runs its plant with bio-degradable hydraulic circuits, spill kits and booms in all company vehicles and works though varied issues like fish rescue in cofferdams, protection of native species and the propensity of Knotweed on many of these sites. Currently the company is looking to increase the work it does on Network Rail infrastructure

where it feels its approach to specialist engineering would be most appreciated. Offering innovation to provide safe, cost effective construction solutions in difficult circumstances, Suttle Projects is ready to take on the most challenging of civil engineering works. To supports its ambition the company retains Achilles Link Up accreditation, which it obtained in 2010 and a 100 per cent PTS trained work force. To gain the accreditation the company had its processes and systems closely audited to ensure it could work on the rail network as contractors. LinkUp accreditation also allows Suttle Projects to sponsor its own card holders, which is vital in allowing the company to be flexible in responding to emergency work and call outs. zz


Piling Hammers Tube Drivers Pile Drivers Soil Drills


Movax Oy Ltd – Hämeenlinna, Finland




zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz S T R A T E G I E S

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Railway Strategies Issue 100 Early Edition  
Railway Strategies Issue 100 Early Edition  

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