Issue 123 November 2015
A stimulating Cutting edge technology revitalises training
Time is running out for tax relief How to maximise on globalisation ON INNOVATI
Future Railway update Looking to the skies?
ORR to hold Network Rail to account
Pioneering the UKâ€™s first incline lift
Leaves on the line solution looms
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From the Editor
Chairman Andrew Schofield Editor Gay Sutton email@example.com Managing Editor Libbie Hammond Art Editor Gerard Roadley-Battin Advertisement Designer David Howard Profile Editor Libbie Hammond Staff Writers Jo Cooper Ben Clark Andrew Dann Advertisement Sales Dave King Sales Director Joe Woolsgrove Operations Director Philip Monument Business Development Director Dave Garner Editorial Researchers Keith Hope Gavin Watson Tarj Kaur-D’Silva Mark Cowles
s the clocks go back and the weather finally settles into an inward looking autumnal mode, Railway Strategies shakes off the gloom with the first of a two part series focusing on innovation and the future. Our strategy section this month takes a close look at globalisation and analyses the drivers, business culture and strategies that mark those rail companies that successfully transition to global organisations, or maintain a leading position in a niche market. Unsurprisingly, innovation is key. Not just new product development, but differentiating yourself in the marketplace and business process innovation. Our dedicated innovation focus features an update from Future Railway, the programme set up by RSSB to drive innovation and intelligent direct investment from across the rail sector. When I spoke with director David Clarke in 2014, the organisation was just completing its first year and shaping up to be a powerful force for bridging the funding gap that dooms so many great ideas. It has certainly fulfilled that promise and it’s a fascinating to read about the projects in development and the new ideas in the pipeline. Further into the magazine, we hear from Steve Denniss about how the latest innovations in satellite technology and the currently growing array of European Galileo satellites could revolutionise train location management. Finally, if your company is currently innovating, time is running out for the Patent Box tax relief scheme. Turn to our legal page (p9) to find out about time scales, and how you can still tap into this valuable scheme.
Administration Tracy Chynoweth
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4Cover story Features 9 LEGAL - Disappearing tax relief The Patent Box tax relief scheme is closing to new entrants in June next year. Is time running out for innovators ? ROSIE HARDY - WITHERS & ROGERS
10 The fast track to growth Analysing the strategies of companies that ride the wave globalisation and become world players, and those that just wither and fold EWALD MUNZ 20 Stability is vital Pausing the electrification programme has raised some uncomfortable spectres from the past, just when the industry needs stability PETER CAMPBELL 22 Keeping building projects on track _ CASE STUDY The pros and cons of steel clad structures, and how the technology has been used to construct a loco workshop extension for SB Rail SMART-SPACE
22 30 34 37 40 42 46 48 51 56
Govia Thameslink Railway MATISA Uretek UK Semmco VS Rail Thales UK Tinsley Bridge Group Faiveley Transport UK Qatar Rail Kier
News Industry Infrastructure Stations Appointments Innovation Conferences & Exhibitions
4 6 7 13 17 55
Focus on Innovation Fulfilling the vision 14 Three years in, we review the achievements of the Future Railway programme and glimpse some of the ground breaking innovations in the pipeline RSSB Looking to the skies 18 Why Galileo and the latest innovations in satellite technology could bring about a step change in train location management STEVE DENNISS
IN BRIEF New block train service from China to Moscow l A new monthly block train service has begun running from Urumqi in north-west China to MANP Terminal near Moscow, bringing chemicals and chemical products for plastic production. Operated by Transcontainer, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, the service transits through Kazakhstan on its eight day journey.
New app harnesses the power of twitter l A new travel app, CommuteLondon, is providing real-time updates on train journeys into and out of London, based on a combination of passengers’ tweets and rail company data. This ranges from disruption, cancellations and delays to the chances of getting a seat and what passengers feel about the train service.
First Eurostar goes on display at York l As Eurostar prepares to launch its new fleet, one of its first generation trains has been unveiled in the Great Hall of the National Railway Museum in York, becoming a permanent part the National Collection. Donated to the museum, the car is accompanied by a display exploring how Eurostar has transformed European travel.
Metrolink contract bidders are shortlisted l Transport for Greater Manchester has shortlisted four companies, KeolisAmey, National Express, Transdev and RATP Dev, to bid for the 10 year Metrolink contract. Operations will commence in July 2017, coinciding with Metrolink’s silver jubilee and the completion of the Second City Crossing (2CC)which trebles the size of the network.
Celebrating 50 years of Freightliner l Freightliner, the UK’s largest rail maritime intermodal operator, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on November 12. Created in 1965 as the container arm of British Rail, the organisation was sold in 1996 through a management buyout. Earlier this year it was acquired by Genesee & Wyoming, a US-based freight railroad owner.
Three Bridges train depot
Three Bridges train depot opens its doors marking a major milestone for Thameslink l The phased preparation for services on the expanded Thameslink network passed another milestone this month as Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin formally opened the purpose-built Three Bridges train depot at Crawley, West Sussex. The £300m state-of-the-art depot has already taken delivery of two new Class 700 Desiro City trains. By the end of 2018, 115 new Class 700 trains will be operating across the network, and Three Bridges will play a significant role in housing and maintaining them. The Three Bridges facility, the result of extensive collaboration between Siemens,
GTR and Network Rail, is fully signalled and incorporates key personnel safety features including a depot protection and emergency electrical isolation system. It has an automatic inspection facility, which through laser measurement can accurately predict when key train components need to be maintained or replaced. Other features include the installation of an in-cab simulator at the depot which will provide the specialist training each driver must undergo in order to drive a new Class 700 train, from theoretical practice to practical reality. With GTR running the depot and Siemens maintaining the trains, Three Bridges will require approximately 150 staff.
The National Training Academy for Rail now ready to address the skills gap The train simulator at NTAR l The long awaited state-of-the-art National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) has been officially opened by Transport Minister Claire Perry, and is ready for the first intake of students. Built to help address the predicted shortfall of skilled rail staff over the next ten years, the academy has the capacity to provide 20,000 man days of training per year, acting as a national hub with regional spokes located at other train care facilities around the country. It is located in Northampton, close to the Siemens Kings Heath train care depot, and offers unique hands-on equipment and workshop facilities alongside classroom-based teaching, using cutting-edge technology.
The cutting edge facilities at NTAR include the latest digital signalling equipment, a deconstructed train, and a virtual reality and 3D simulation room, where students can use Oculus Rift headsets to understand how different components work.
NEWS I Industry IN FACT Barcelona Port’s rail goods 25% l During August, the port of Barcelona’s container terminal, BEST, serviced nearly 300 trains, a 25% increase on its monthly average. Rail traffic at the terminal has risen from 7.17% of local traffic in 2010 to 19% this year.
Passenger numbers 4.7%
Alex Hynes of Northern Rail, and Terry Strickland of Network Rail, at the refurbished Allerton depot
Allerton depot opens to electric trains after £23m makeover l Network Rail’s Allerton train maintenance depot has opened again following a £23m makeover to re-electrify the facility as part of the north west electrification programme. The depot is now ready to service Northern Rail’s fleet of 20 trains, which are due to be fully deployed by December 2015, on routes between Liverpool, Manchester, Wigan, Preston and Warrington. Located near Liverpool South Parkway on the Manchester to Liverpool line, the Allerton depot was acquired by Network Rail in 2011 and transformed from near derelict to a cutting edge maintenance facility servicing Northern Rail’s fleet of diesel trains.
“The electrification of Allerton depot is an important part of our Railway Upgrade Plan,” said Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail. “By electrifying routes between key towns and cities, passengers will benefit from bigger, better and more environmentally friendly trains. The improvements at Allerton mean these trains can now be housed and maintained to help deliver these benefits.” Work on the depot started in 2014 and the improvements have been delivered in three phases. The first two are complete and phase 3, to improve the depot’s capacity and enable it to stable up to 100 trains, is currently under way.
National Express finalises two rail contracts in Germany worth €1bn l National Express Group has officially signed contracts worth a combined €1bn to operate two of the three Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX) services in Germany’s most populous region. The seven local authorities of North Rhine Westphalia had named National Express preferred bidder in June. From June 2019 National Express will operate routes RE5 (Koblenz – Cologne – Düsseldorf – Wesel) and RE6 (Cologne/Bonn airport – Cologne – Düsseldorf – Essen – Hamm – Minden). It will then take over route RE4 (Aachen – Mönchengladbach – Hagen –
Dortmund) in December 2020. Both contracts run until December 2033, and provide services for a total of 30m passengers a year. National Express is already active in Germany where it will begin operating the RME service in December, between the cities of Krefeld, Cologne, Bonn, Wuppertal and Munster. It is also the preferred bidder for the Nuremberg S-Bahn contract, however the decision has been challenged in the courts by the current operator DB Regio, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn.
l New figures from the ORR show a 4.7% increase in the total number of passenger journeys in April-June 2015 compared to the same period last year. Season ticket journeys for franchised operators rose by 5.7%, the highest growth of all ticket types. Meanwhile franchised passenger journeys were up 4.7%.
1,000+ lives saved l More than 10k railway staff have been trained by the Samaritans to spot and help vulnerable people at risk of suicide on Britain’s rail network. Action by staff from Network Rail, the train operating companies, British Transport Police and the wider railway industry has saved over 1,000 lives since 2010 when the programme began.
Borders Railway: 125k+ passengers l During the first month of operation the new Borders Railway has clocked up 125,971 passenger journeys, catering for students, commuters, tourists and rail enthusiasts. 192 services run on the line each week. Demand has been so high that ScotRail has added additional carriages particularly on weekends and at midweek peaks.
Rail freight 17.7% l According to the ORR, the amount of freight moved on Britain’s railways during Q1 2015 fell by 17.7% from 5.56bn net tonne km to 4.58bn net tonne km, compared to the same period last year. The main driver was the reduction in the amount of coal moved – from 1.66bn net tonne km to 0.64bn net tonne km _ a drop of 61.2%.
NEWS I Infrastructure IN BRIEF Thales to work on Panama Metro line 2 l Consórcio Línea 2 has awarded a €499m contract for an integrated metro system for the Panama Metro’s new line 2 to a consortium that includes Alstom, CIM, Sofratesa, Thales and TSO. Thales will deliver the telecommunication, passenger services, security and supervision systems. The 21km line is to include 16 stations.
Blackrod bridge opens more than a month early l One of the last bridges to be rebuilt as part of the electrification of the Manchester to Preston line has reopened more than four weeks ahead of schedule. The rebuild provides enough clearance for overhead lines which will power electric trains. 15 road bridges and four footbridges have been rebuilt on the line.
A milestone for Riyadh’s new Metro l Tunnel boring machine San’ah has completed 1.2km of its designated 5km, breaking through into Salah Al-Din station. Drilling will continue to Riyadh Airbase Roundabout where it will meet TBM Dhafrah, the first TBM to start drilling in the Riyadh Metro project, completing Line 5’s 12.9km tunnel.
Track renewel Haslemere to Petersfield l Between 28 September and 10 December, one of Network Rail’s high output ballast cleaners will be performing essential maintenance between Haslemere and Petersfield to improve reliability on the London Waterloo and Portsmouth line. The work will be carried out over night, so only Monday to Thursday evening trains are affected.
National Infrastructure Commission l The Government has announced the creation of a National Infrastructure Commission that will begin working immediately, chaired by Lord Andrew Adonis. It will deliver a long-term plan and assessment of national infrastructure needs early in each parliament, setting out what a government is expected to do over its five term.
Ribblehead Viaduct photo chosen to demonstrate the importance of rail infrastructure l A stunning image of a freight train curving through the countryside as it approaches a sun-lit Ribblehead Viaduct in North Yorkshire, has won the Network Rail ‘Lines in the Landscape’ Award at this year’s Take a view - Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. The winning photograph was captured by Robert France from Lancaster. His entry was judged the best of around 500 photographs that capture Britain’s extensive rail network and its relationship with our landscape. David Biggs, managing director of property at Network Rail, said: “Ribblehead Viaduct has been carrying freight for more than 140 years and Robert has captured just how beautiful this amazing Victorian masterpiece is, and it helps tell the story of how important such structures are in carrying both people and products to their destinations.”
London Underground breaks through at Bond Street l A major engineering feat has been successfully achieved at Bond Street station, with the completion of 550m of tunnels linking the London Underground with Crossrail. The highly sophisticated two-year tunnelling project has been delivered on time and on budget despite the complexity of the work. Over 46,000 tonnes of ground have been carefully excavated _ a significant amount by hand _ around historic assets, including the disused London Post Office Railway. The new ticket hall, part of the Bond Street interchange with Crossrail, is currently under construction beneath Marylebone Lane and will share a wall with the Tanzanian High Commission. The next phase of the £320m station upgrade includes installation of escalators and lifts, with electrical fittings and interior finishes to follow.
ORR to hold Network Rail to account for delivering promised improvements l Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has concluded that Network Rail is taking action to improve planning and delivery of rail enhancements, but it will be holding the organisation to account for those improvements. This follows an investigation into the delivery of the CP5 £13bn pound rail enhancement programme that has failed to meet a significant number of milestones. The investigation found systemic weaknesses in Network Rail’s handling of the programme including poor processes for setting initial project requirements, no defined framework for managing complex programmes, a lack
of portfolio management capability and low productivity. Together these issues have resulted in significant underestimates of project timescales, and impacted on operational performance and costs. Since then, Network Rail has worked with the regulator to identify and address its weaknesses and improve the way it manages relationships with project sponsors. Changes will be made to ensure safety is considered at a design stage, to reform the way costs and risks are estimated, and in project governance, deliverability assessment and monitoring.
NEWS I Stations
Work gets under way to return Newark Castle station to its former glory
Pile driving begins at Abbey Wood station
Foundations for Abbey Wood’s new Crossrail station are laid
l Work has begun on the new Abbey Wood Crossrail station which will sit above two new dedicated Crossrail tracks as well as those of the existing North Kent services. The first of more than 100 piled foundations have been installed and piling will continue until the end of the year. After that, the new station will start to take shape above them, and is scheduled to go into service at the end of 2017. The new station will have a bright, spacious concourse that leads directly onto a wide forecourt connecting the station to the Harrow Manorway flyover, which runs above the station. Two new island platforms will serve both Crossrail and North Kent services. A succession of work has taken place on site since 2013 including the demolition of the original Abbey Wood station and construction of an interim station for the North Kent Line’s passengers. From 2018, a train every five minutes during the peak will allow residents to travel right through the capital without having to change trains.
Manchester Victoria station opens to the public following a £44m facelift l Originally opened in 1844, Right: The historic Manchester Victoria station facade Manchester Victoria station was Below: The new concourse at night labelled Britain’s ‘worst station’ in the Department for Transport’s 2009 report, Better Stations. It opened to the public again earlier this month following a £44m facelift that transformed it from a dark and tired environment to a light and modern transport hub that links with the surrounding area and wider transport infrastructure. A stunning 8500m² roof, made of the same material as the Eden Project, arcs over a fully refurbished concourse, creating a bright and attractive space that incorporates new shops and cafes. A new bridge links the station with the adjoining arena, improving accessibility for train, tram and arena customers. The station’s original Grade II listed buildings have been painstakingly preserved and restored. Elements of note include the glass dome, the Soldiers’ Gate which local service personnel passed through before heading off to fight in World War One, station mosaics, and the glass and iron canopy that runs the length of the station façade. The station’s Metrolink tram stop has also been remodelled with four new platforms and three new tracks.
l Work has begun on a project to restore the original Newark Castle station building, which has been empty for the last nine years, and was last used as a wine bar. The £500k project, funded by the Department for Transport’s National Station Improvement Programme and the Railway Heritage Trust, will restore the heritage features of the 1846 building, and reopen it as the ticket office for the station, which serves passengers on the Lincoln to Nottingham line for East Midlands Trains. Improved cycle storage, toilets and a retail unit will be included, and work is due to be completed by early 2016. In December 2016, an additional 25 services will be introduced between Newark Castle and Nottingham. Andy Moore, head of major projects at East Midlands Trains said: “We are delighted to be able to make these changes to the station and restore this fabulous building to its former glory.”
The UK’s first incline lift goes into operation at Greenford Tube station l Greenford Underground station is pioneering an innovative new lift which is cheaper to install than a standard lift, and is 50 per cent more efficient as it only uses half as much power to run. The special incline lift, a first for the UK rail sector, travels on a gradient alongside the escalator and stairs and can utilise an existing escalator space. David Waboso, London Underground’s director of capital programmes, said: “The new incline lift is spacious and quick, is cheaper to install and cheaper to run. And I am hopeful we can introduce this innovation elsewhere on the Tube network in the future.” Although the new lift is not suitable for every location across the Tube network, similar lifts are currently being installed at Farringdon and Liverpool Street Crossrail stations. TfL is also examining where else it could be introduced in the future.
Disappearing tax relief
Rosie Hardy, patent attorney at Withers & Rogers
Railway innovators need to act now to take advantage of tax relief says Rosie Hardy, patent attorney at intellectual property firm Withers & Rogers
he drive for innovation in the rail industry is gathering pace. There are a number of improvements and technical solutions currently being developed by innovators. Whilst rail experts understand how these ideas can be commercialised to boost profit-margins, most often overlook how they can be used to cut a companyâ€™s corporation tax bill through the Patent Box scheme. To incentivise innovation, the UK Government introduced the Patent Box tax relief scheme to reduce the corporation tax rate from 20 per cent to a nominal 10 per cent taxation rate for profits relating to patented innovations.
Disappearing benefits However, the UK Government has recently announced that the current Patent Box scheme will be closed to new entrants in June 2016 and so rail innovators should act quickly to benefit. As you might expect, there are certain criteria that businesses must meet to qualify for the tax relief. However, these requirements are not onerous and companies have the opportunity to cut their corporation tax bills under the scheme. The Patent Box scheme requires the improvement or solution to be protected by a qualifying patent. An innovation becomes eligible when it is protected by a UK patent or a European patent. Profits generated in the patent pending period can also qualify for the reduced corporation tax rate. Any qualifying UK company generating a profit from patented innovation can benefit from the Patent Box scheme. As another example, businesses that own or have an exclusive licence to a qualifying patent can
benefit from the scheme, providing it was involved in the development of the innovation or management of the patent rights. The Patent Box scheme applies to qualifying profits. For example, the tax relief is generously applicable to any worldwide profits relating to the patented innovation. These profits may be generated from the sales and royalties of a patented product or patented process. In addition, profits relating to an item that incorporates a patented element can qualify. For instance, the profits resulting from the sale of a railway vehicle with a patented closure mechanism may be subject to the reduced 10 per cent taxation rate, even though the patented closure mechanism is only one of many components in the railway vehicle.
Timescales for acting Unsurprisingly, the generosity of the Patent Box tax relief has been challenged by other EU states. As a result, the UK Government has recently announced that the current scheme will be phased out and will no longer be available to new entrants by June 2016. It will be terminated altogether in June 2021 and a replacement scheme will be introduced. Although little guidance has been provided by the Government as of yet, the replacement scheme is expected to be less generous and restricted to R&D conducted in the UK. Given the benefits, it is obvious that companies should take advantage of the Patent Box scheme before it closes. Prudent companies should act now and seek the advice of a specialist patent attorney and a tax advisor to evaluate which profit-making improvements and solutions should be patented and how best to claim the tax relief.
The fast track to growth Globalisation can present enormous opportunities alongside crushing threats. Ewald Munz, director of business development EMEA, Cyient, discusses the funnel of globalisation, and how it can be used to boost expansion
iven their constant new developments and cult followings worldwide, youâ€™d be forgiven for thinking that over the last few years, globalisation has become the exclusive domain of web giants like Google or Facebook. But that couldnâ€™t be less true. Globalisation is an ongoing phenomenon, and contrary to popular belief, it has produced a number of leaders in the last few years, including in rail, while at the same time reducing former industry champions to financial ruin. To study this phenomenon, this article will take a closer look at the rail industry specifically and evaluate the opportunities and threats that globalisation presents to different players in the market. The effects of globalisation have already been felt by a number of players within the rail industry, but in a variety of ways. Take one well-known German rail components & systems company, for instance, which has been able to multiply its revenues by more than twenty times to several billion euros by riding the crest of the wave of globalisation, and contrast it with a small locomotive OEM with a long and proud history, which is going in the other direction and was forced to announce insolvency last year. So how did these two companies end up poles apart? To establish how two similar companies performed so differently, we must look at how their stories developed. To do this, we must study the model shown below in
to differentiate from the competition. The indicative company size axis refers to revenue volume. In this model, a small company is defined as a SME with yearly revenues of up to $50 million whereas a large company reports revenues of over $1 billion.
The ‘maybe’ quadrant – why timing is pivotal
Figure 1 which, based on the two variables of ‘indicative company size’ and ‘innovation/differentiation degree’, explains the various positioning models for rail industry players against the background of globalisation. Figure 1:
The innovation/differentiation degree axis shown in Figure 1 is defined by a company’s ability to consistently produce products and solutions which are both new and market-oriented. Typically, it involves high level of research and development activity, which contributes significantly to overall revenues. In Germany the transportation sector, including automotive, shipbuilding, rail and aerospace, commands the highest innovation rate, with over half (51 per cent) of yearly revenues derived from new products and solutions. On the other hand, it’s important to consider that this metric does not solely comprise new products and solutions; it also represents the application of new business models or a change in conduction of business
Even in the modern era railways are still nationalised in many countries, with change low on the list of priorities. In many cases the state ownership model, in which registered suppliers sell their proven products and solutions based on pre-determined frame contracts, precludes a very long-term, conservative attitude towards innovation. These firms see little need to innovate because of the resultant absence of any real competition and consequently, industry analysts are continuing to lament the industry’s slow rate of innovation in comparison to others. Some companies may thrive in this situation, particularly those active only on the local market, which remain steadfastly in the ‘maybe’ quadrant of Figure 1. Many would consider this a fairly comfortable position to be in – but the time factor puts paid to that. In the long run such companies can’t counter the winds of liberalisation and are faced with strong competition and low margins, not to mention the need to ensure their own survival. The liberalisation of the UK, Netherlands and Swedish rail markets provides a perfect example of why such a positioning is eminently precarious, and the innate value of competition in ensuring that innovation remains central to overall strategy
Economies of scale: big fish eats small fish For many companies access to large global markets provides the basis for economies of scale, as shown in the top left quadrant of Figure 1. By churning out standard products in large volumes, through their sheer size and global reach they are able to derive a very competitive cost advantage that only large players can provide. This outweighs a low degree of innovation in their products and solutions, positioning such companies as natural opponents of companies in the ‘maybe’ quadrant. The recently announced acquisition of a French rail player by a US company is a perfect example of a company looking to benefit from economies of scale: the merger will create one of the world’s largest public rail equipment companies, and help the US firm also realise at least €40 million in annual pre-tax synergies and efficiencies created from the complementary positioning.
Figure 1: Key positioning models in the face of globalisation
Why small is beautiful – the niche player This position typically applies to very successful, familyowned companies that have clearly defined goals and objectives. Being highly innovative and customer-oriented,
So where should they go next? If companies are to truly take advantage of the funnel of globalisation, then they should ensure that innovation and differentiation are the two pillars of their business strategies going forward. If companies decline this option and refuse to innovate, then globalisation will take its toll eventually – it’s just a matter of time. As explained by Figure 2 below, there are a number of clear strategic recommendations that the occupants of each quadrant should consider to ensure that they continue to benefit from globalisation. Figure 2:
Figure 2: Strategic recommendations on positioning models in the face of globalisation
they intentionally serve only a niche market which requires a high degree of specialisation and as a result many SME success stories and hidden champions can be found in this quadrant. One example would be a specialist in safety-related products for stationary traffic engineering, especially in railway signalling technology. Their many years of in-depth experience with high safety standards ensure the delivery of high-end, secure systems and services for this market niche. In general, the dynamic nature of this sector means there is a continuous influx of new innovative players, but even then the young, ambitious and more cosmopolitan challengers soon come to realise the growth limitations of such a niche concept, and set out on a globalisation strategy.
The funnel of globalisation propels the willing The funnel of globalisation provides an opportunity for highly innovative companies to become global players. By demonstrating their willingness to explore new markets, many have been able to convert their competitive advantage into new sales globally, which as we can see in Figure 1 has clearly served as a driver of their success. It is no secret that besides Europe, Asia is the most important market for rail, where significant growth continues to take place. This is because in the emerging economies of Asia, urbanisation and expansion of infrastructure is able to occur at a much faster rate, and act as a main driver of growth. The clear focus on the Asian rail high-speed market was one of the key reasons why the aforementioned German rail components and systems company was able to multiply its revenues by more than twenty times to several billion euros. As such, if companies are to proceed through the funnel of globalisation and become a global player they need a clear understanding of their own business: what is core? What is non-core? What can be outsourced? How can I remain cost competitive? Where do I need the help of experts to develop to the next level, eg by co-innovation?
For the ‘maybe’ occupants, progress can only be made by taking the leap into the risky zone in the medium to long-term. The best method of doing so is to innovate and carve out an area of specialisation, which allows them to find a market niche. These niche players are in a far more desirable position, and can become global players by expanding their workforce and inventory. Companies in the ‘economies of scale’ quadrant are also in a good position to reach this metaphorical top spot. Their strategies should be simple _ to move away from standardisation, and embrace continuous innovation. These companies will then be able to remain ahead of the competition by resisting the urge to standardise and enjoy the economies of scale, instead ensuring that they continuously innovate to remain in a dominant position. A classic example of a global rail player falling into the trap of economies of scale can be found in a German company once heralded for its groundbreaking products. These rail components and systems used to be lighthouses in their specific rail segment, yet instead of continuous innovation the company has optimised production and introduced a sophisticated controlling system to fine-tune its margins. Plainly, this company is making a living from its glorious past. The key learning that rail companies should take from here is that however big or small they may be, complacency is not an option. In fact, it is a recipe for disaster. As shown by the successful global players in the market, fortune favours the bold in the long run – even if that means pain in the short term. Companies that take a forward-looking and visionary approach, therefore, will leave those resting on their laurels behind.
Ewald Munz is director of business development EMEA, Cyient
NEWS I Appointments Jo Kaye becomes Network Rail’s strategy director l Network Rail has appointed Jo Kaye as director, network strategy and planning. Having joined Railtrack as a graduate, Jo has built extensive experience in operational roles and has recently served as a route managing director and then a director in the strategy and planning team. She will take a position on Network Rail’s executive committee, replacing Paul Plummer who is leaving to head up the Rail Delivery Group. Born in London and now living in Halifax, Jo read biology at Imperial College London and followed it up with an MSc in passenger transport management. She joined the rail industry’s graduate training scheme in 1995 and has worked in a number of operational management roles in Network Rail. These include route managing director of LNW route, responsible for the busiest mixed traffic railway in Europe. She then moved into strategic planning.
Trainline hires its first chief people officer l Former VP of talent and culture at Wonga. com, Robin Hancock, has joined Trainline as chief people officer following the company’s rebrand. The position has been created to execute the company’s revised strategy towards people, culture and growth. He will lead the drive to attract and retain the best talent. Hancock said: “I want to build on the great foundations of Trainline’s culture, which is embodied by an open, highly collaborative and fast paced way of working that we hope will enable us to deliver on our very ambitious goals.” Robin’s career in recruitment strategy spans 14 years through various appointments at Wonga.com, Capital One and eBay, where he worked extensively with PayPal, Skype, Gumtree and Shopping.com. He was also the runner up in the ‘excellence in people and talent’ category for the inaugural Digital Masters Awards 2014.
Mike Brown confirmed as Transport Commissioner for London l London Underground’s managing director, Mike Brown, has been confirmed as the new Transport Commissioner for London, following an international recruitment and selection process. Brown has been acting as interim commissioner since July when Sir Peter Hendy was appointed chairman of Network Rail. Brown has been managing director of London Underground and Rail since 2010, and has overseen record performance on the Tube, DLR and London Overground alongside the vital modernisation of the network and customer service. He moves to this new post at a pivotal moment for London. The Capital’s population is now 8.6m and expected to grow to around 10m by 2030. TfL continues to invest in the Capital’s transport network to harness population growth, provide access to jobs, housing, health, education and leisure and ensure London remains the engine of the UK economy. Mike Brown said: “As Commissioner, my priorities will be the continuing modernisation of the Capital’s transport networks, including the upgrade of the Tube, more fast, frequent, metro-style rail services, the delivery of Crossrail and Crossrail 2.”
New site director for Alstom Transport l Alstom Transport has nominated Romuald Gicquel as site director of Ornans, which is the company’s global centre of excellence for the design and fabrication of traction motors and generators. The site employs 340 staff who design and produce traction motors for Alstom’s rail projects. Romuald Gicquel began his career in 2000 at Péchiney, where he held several management positions in the fields of production, maintenance and continuous improvement, both in France and abroad. He joined Alstom in 2010 as industrial and investments director for the Group’s power sector at Belfort. In 2012 he took up the position of lean manufacturing director. Gicquel is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Mines in Paris.
Phil Hewitt takes up the reins at Midland Metro l Centro has appointed Phil Hewitt as programmes director at Midland Metro. He will lead the project team as the light rail service prepares to open a new Birmingham city centre extension by the end of 2015 and expand further over the next few years. Phil comes from the executive chairman post at Tramlink Nottingham and replaces Paul Griffiths who has left Centro after six years to join HS2 as Phase 2 development director. Born in 1967, Phil graduated from the University of Wales with a BSc (Hons) in Civil and Structural Engineering and began his career as a graduate trainee with London Underground where he spent the next eight years. He then joined Transport for London, holding a range of positions before becoming chief executive of Tramlink Nottingham, where he has overseen the Phase 2 extension of the city’s tram network, a programme that saw it double in size.
Steve Montgomery returns as MD of First Rail l Steve Montgomery, who recently served as managing director of the First ScotRail franchise, has taken over as managing director of First Rail, which currently operates the First Great Western and First TransPennine Express franchises, First Hull Trains, Tramlink for TfL, and the Heathrow Connect service. Steve’s career in the railway industry spans almost 30 years, during which time he has gained significant experience in all aspects of rail management. He started his working life with British Rail, and held various senior posts before becoming operations and safety director when FirstGroup took over ScotRail in 2004. He was appointed managing director of the franchise in 2009, and oversaw the highest ever levels of customer satisfaction and punctuality in the franchise’s history.
Fulfilling the vision
Just three years after its launch, the Future Railway programme is clearly helping to shape the railway of the future.We take a closer look at some of its achievements, and innovations in the pipeline
he Rail Technical Strategy was launched in 2012, laying out an ambitious 30 year vision for the rail industry. Over the coming years, a considerable amount of hard work and investment is going to be required if the industry is to bridge the innovation gap and achieve the strategyâ€™s goals of doubling capacity, increasing customer experience and decreasing carbon and costs by 50 per cent. Innovation is the key. And at heart of the rail sectorâ€™s drive for innovation and change is the Future Railway programme, launched in 2012, run by RSSB and calling on investment from across the industry.
How does this work? The Future Railway programme works with the industry to identify the challenges which will need to be overcome to deliver the railway of the future. The programme has two key areas of focus. The first is to find innovative solutions to the challenges of enhancing the railway of the future, and secondly the programme works to build innovation capabilities within the rail industry and its supply chain. Finding solutions to the significant challenges which exist in the industry is the bulk of the Future Railway programmeâ€™s work. The programme identifies challenges before inviting suppliers, both new and existing, to find the answers. Using this format, RSSB works with suppliers through the provision of funding and helps to take some of the risk out of developing new technologies and products for the rail market. Having identified the challenge Future Railway deploys its funding to identify appropriate solutions from the rail supply chain. It does this through a variety of mechanisms which include both challenge-led competitions or the development of specific projects to demonstrate specific ideas or concepts. Some of the key challenges, which are outlined in the RTS, include; reducing the cost of electrification, increasing capacity, improving customer experience and minimising the cost of rolling stock.
The pilot demonstration was a huge success and has generated significant interest from the train operating community. As part of the project a model has been developed to look at how the IPEMU use can be extended to various routes. Ongoing lifetime battery testing is also taking place to help inform and support potential business cases for the implementation of IPEMU vehicles on the network.
Avoiding bridge demolition Where overhead lines are required a number of other challenges exist. The cost of dealing with bridges during electrification where there is insufficient space to accommodate overhead lines is on average ÂŁ1 million per bridge. Historically, this solution has required expensive demolition and reconstruction work. The Avoidance of Bridge Reconstruction programme is working to develop alternative cost-effective solutions which will avoid the demolition of the bridge. Five projects are currently in progress to explore and demonstrate possible solutions. These include; technologies to lift bridges, lower the track, and reduce the clearance between the overhead lines and the structure. One such project has brought in the expertise of specialised civil engineering technology organisation Freyssinet. They have applied this knowledge to offer a masonry arch bridge â€˜jackingâ€™ solution, allowing the bridge gauge to be enhanced without dismantling a bridge.
Main picture The future of rail Inset top and bottom Views of the IPEMU, a joint project with Network Rail and Abellio Greater Anglia
Overhead power line design Problem solving Reducing the cost of electrification of the network is a major challenge facing the rail industry and recently became a focal point for the new government due to delays and increasing costs. The provision of electric traction across the entirety of the network is a complex and challenging problem. The Future Railway programme has identified a number of opportunities to potentially reduce costs, seek alternative solutions to this challenge and develop a programme of work to address it.
Battery power The Independently Powered Electric Multiple Unit (IPEMU) or battery powered train, a joint project with Network Rail and Abellio Greater Anglia, demonstrated that battery power could be used to run a passenger train on a full timetable, potentially decreasing the requirement for overhead line equipment. This opens up the opportunity for alternative strategies to be considered for electrification than those which are currently available.
Another significant challenge with electrification is the cost of deployment and ongoing maintenance of the overhead line system. Also, current solutions are not aesthetically pleasing. To address this challenge the Future Railway programme engaged with the design community to seek more aesthetically pleasing structures, whilst also reducing costs through better component design. A number of shortlisted designs were displayed at the National Railway Museum and voted for by members of the public. The chosen, winning designs offer a number of benefits which include; low cost, simple to manufacture, quick to deploy, have high durability and low maintenance, compared to existing designs. The next stage involves building the three winning designs at full scale for testing and will have particular relevance to routes that pass through areas of natural beauty.
Increasing capacity Tackling the challenge of increasing capacity is an equally large area of focus and looks particularly at equipping the railway for future demands. The volume of passengers has increased on average by 4.7 per cent per year over the last 10 years and will continue to rise. However with
to increase the physical capacity of the train through new train designs, taking into account the size restrictions of the UK infrastructure. This is the second project which worked closely with designers from across the UK to develop new ideas for the industry. These include a double decker train concept, a novel seat and flexible interior design which enables accommodation of low volume, high value freight at off peak times whilst maximising passenger capacity at peak time.
Above The Tomahawk, an aesthetically pleasing overhead line designed by COBE
that comes the problems related to overcrowding of the trains running on the busiest routes. To increase capacity there are a number of potential solutions; reduce the gap between the trains whilst they are moving by reducing the headway or closer running. The Future Traffic Regulation and Optimisation (FuTRO) programme focuses on the next generation of railway traffic management system and is just two streams of work in progress with the Future Railway programme. The core FuTRO operational philosophy was first published in 2014 and the initial projects include the development of algorithms to control traffic through junctions and across routes, as well as targeted projects in the areas of big data, train location and mapping solutions and driver information systems.
Braking, signalling and train design In order to facilitate concepts such as closer running, enabling technologies also need to be developed. The Predictable and Optimised Braking competition looked to applicants to develop approaches to consistent braking performance independent of track conditions and seven feasibilities studies are now underway. Alongside this the Future Railway programme is working with Network Rail to develop the Combined Positioning Alternative Signalling System (COMPASS), another competition led activity which aims to develop a system to allow trains to continue to move when the primary signalling system has failed. If the primary signalling system currently fails, trains in the area are forced to stop resulting in delays and cancellations. Feasibility work is currently being undertaken with demonstrators expected to be completed by January 2018. An alternative solution to the challenge of capacity is
The Future Railway programme is also seeking to help organisations within the industry improve their abilities to innovate, particularly within the operator community. A key barrier to innovation in the railway has been the lack of investment in innovation due to the franchising cycle. This system has led to reluctance of train operating companies to invest in long term innovation as they may not see a return on the investment within the lifecycle of the franchise. Two approaches to this problem have been undertaken by the Future Railway programme. The first approach has been to directly encourage innovation in the TOC community through competitions which are specifically designed for them. The Rail Operator Challenge is aimed at enabling the train operating community to engage with the supply chain in order to solve specific rail business operational challenges. Four projects are currently underway for this challenge, these include: reducing vehicle emissions, assessment of wheel damage, the use of robotics for maintenance and a virtual on-board controller for common on-board systems. The second approach has been to work with the Department for Transport (DfT) to encourage innovation through the franchising process and the subsequent establishment of the Innovation in Franchising programme. As part of this, the Train Operators Challenge launched earlier this year by Transport Minister Claire Perry, aimed to mimic the pilot Innovation in Franchising funding scheme, providing funding to train operating companies who do not yet have access to this scheme to help the development and implementation of an innovation strategy. Three organisations have been shortlisted to gain access to this funding and further detailed proposals are expected soon. Innovative ideas put forward included real time information on rail carriage occupancy, contactless entry and retrospective billing for ticketing, and a real-time urban route planner app. Looking forward, a number of challenges exist. However a lot of hard work has been put in during the past three years, which provides us with a foundation to build upon and drive and encourage innovation across the industry.
NEWS I Innovation LOROL customer service ambassador using the smartwatch
New technology enhances customer service on the London Overground
l New ‘Smartwatches’ have been introduced to frontline station staff on the London Overground (LOROL) to enable them to communicate up to the minute information to customers and improve customer service. The watches use an app that is capable of displaying a range of customer information ranging from departures from the station to delays on the line, and information on the reasons for the delay. It also highlights service disruption on other TfL routes. The smartwatches are being rolled out to LOROL’s team of 35 customer service ambassadors following a successful trial earlier this year. LOROL customer service project manager Matthew Bromley said: “Smartwatch technology is perfect for the railway environment where it can be difficult for staff to hear or feel a phone vibrate. It ensures that staff are kept up to date about train services without having to constantly monitor or even think about keeping hold of a tablet or phone.”
Out of vehicle electromagnetic control loop could be a solution to‘leaves on the line’ l Mole Solutions is currently working on a new technology that could potentially solve the ‘leaves on the line problem’. Currently, brakes rely on friction at the wheel rail interface and the challenge is to increase braking performance and reliable braking rates, independent of wheel rail adhesion. With funding from RSSB’s Future Railway programme, Mole Solutions is investigating the use of an out of vehicle electromagnetic control loop to compensate for degradation at the wheel rail interface, using magnetic propulsion and braking technology that it had originally developed for its freight pipeline. The funding is for a six-month feasibility study to investigate the technical and commercial viability of its proposed solution. Three months into the feasibility study computer modelling has been used to establish the basic design parameters. A facility is now being prepared to validate the model and demonstrate its effectiveness on low mass and velocity vehicles. If the results of the feasibility study are suitably compelling to receive the second stage of funding, Mole Solutions will develop preproduction subsystem hardware and undertake tests with higher mass and velocity vehicles at an enhanced testing facility at Alconbury Weald Enterprise Campus.
New point system developer is named the UK’s Best Young Rail Researcher 2015 l Loughborough University’s Samuel Bemment has won the 2015 RRUKA Best Young Rail Researcher Award for his work on the REPOINT project, a radical new approach to track switch design. The competition, now in its second year, is jointly run by Rail Research UK Association and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Railway Division and celebrates the work of a single young rail professional or early career researcher, whose work has the potential to make a significant difference to GB rail. Traditionally, the risk of derailment caused by the incomplete movement of switch blades at track switches has been reduced by installing layers of sensors, signalling protocols and operational procedures to prevent trains approaching switches in an unsafe state. REPOINT overcomes these challenges through a failsafe switch. If its multiple redundant actuation fails and the switch stops in an intermediate position, then REPOINT passively defaults to a safe state, improving safety, reducing maintenance and increasing capacity. The project is supported by the Future Railway programme and the Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Energy recycled from Tube train brakes could be enough to power underground stations l In a world first, London Underground as successfully trialled new technology that collects and recycles waste energy from Tube train brakes. The trial captured enough power to run a large Underground station, opening the way for significant savings across the network. The new ‘inverter’ system was trialled at the Cloudesley Road substation on the Victoria line over a five-week period, and yielded enough energy in one week of operation to run a station as large as Holborn for more than two days a week. The results indicate that the technology could reduce LU’s carbon footprint, save around £6m a year and reduce the heat generated by trains braking in tunnels, which in turn would cut the energy required for underground cooling systems. Chris Tong, LU’s head of power and cooling, said: “This state-of-the-art regenerative braking system has the potential to transform how we power stations across the TfL network, unlocking massive power savings and significantly reducing our energy bills.”
Images courtesy of ESA-Manuel Pedoussaut
Looking to the skies Steve Denniss, technical director at WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, looks at the latest innovations in satellite technology and how Galileo and integrated sat-navs could change the rail industry Above Galileo antenna at Europe’s Spaceport, September 2015
Above Liftoff of Soyuz ST-B flight VS12 on 11 September 2015 carrying two Galileo satellites
n September, two more Galileo satellites were launched on a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana. Their successful placement in orbit brings the number in the constellation to 10, a third of the way to a full network of 30. Galileo is Europe’s global navigation satellite system, designed to complement the American Global Positioning System (GPS). It is set to provide real-time positioning accuracy down to the metre. Although the European navigation system will not be fully operational until 2020, some smartphones and car navigation devices equipped with compatible chipsets can already receive the signals from the Galileo satellites that are in orbit, at 23,222 km above the Earth. Now, new technological advances mean Galileo could be the trigger for a step change in train location management that will revolutionise the rail industry, and transform passenger’s journey.
Developing a high level strategy for the rail industry A couple of years ago, I led Project T990 for the Rail Safety and Standard Board. This project set out to develop a high level strategy on train position, and the delivery of a common train location service (TLS), rather than allowing individual solutions to emerge on the rail network.
The TLS would combine location data from any available sources and make it available to any applications needing positional information. It would work independently of locator technology and of the applications making use of location data and therefore embraces new digital technologies, as and when they are developed. As part of this study, we explored the readiness of the telecommunications industry, and in particular Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS or more commonly: sat-nav), to provide the supporting technology. Despite a favourable response, implementation has been slow, but new technological advances are changing this.
The changing face of technology Sat-nav can pinpoint the geographic location of trains and transmit the information on board, in real-time, without the need to cross-check it with the beacons fixed on the rail line. This has the potential to become a very valuable source of information, which is not yet available with current train tracking systems. This kind of locator is already being used by train owners and operators. However, it is limited to providing a geographical position which is not necessarily precise enough to give an accurate location on a given track when tracks, or station platforms, are close together (called track/platform precision or ‘discrimination’).
Where track precision is required, current technology depends on there being something (such as a beacon), which adds to the sat-nav’s data. This approach has been adopted by some operators to provide discrimination, but these solutions are generally ad-hoc and switch from one location technology to the other rather than providing a fully integrated solution. This approach also entails substantial additional infrastructure costs in fitting and maintaining the track beacons, and the on-board technology to read beacons or balises is also expensive. The real benefits and savings come if sat-nav derived train location data is integrated with infrastructure-derived data in a central database without the need for these additional beacons. This centralised approach would deliver improved and more consistently accurate location readings along the route. Integration of these two types of data will create higher levels of accuracy. This capability is already being used to some extent in Project COMPASS and by projects within the National Customer Information Strategy, but not yet on a fully integrated scale. Once such a fully integrated system is available, it can be used to transfer the centralised integrated information back to the train, removing the need for beacons thus saving money and increasing benefits.
Extending beyond rail The multi-modal opportunities are also exciting. The train location service could be extended to buses; most modern buses are fitted with a GPS locator, and could be tracked provided that they carry a special identification that would enable the TLS to search for correspondence with a road rather than a railway track. If necessary, interfacing with separate tracking systems should be relatively simple if buses are provided for in the overall scheme of mobile service identification, and that the correspondence of bus stops to train stations is mapped. The train location service would be capable of tracking the following information for each train: • train service identity • time of last fix • location of train _ geospatial (latitude/longitude) and mapped to track • speed • direction (heading), and • train length. This information would be tracked in real time and updated whenever new information comes into the system from either the infrastructure or the train. The TLS would need to provide transparent access to information derived from other systems such as Darwin (predicted timings) and operator databases containing train consist, orientation etc. Other supporting information may be needed on door status (open/closed) for instance.
TLS Conceptual Architecture The TLS consists of three major elements: • a multi-train tracking system (TLS Central) which resides in a fixed location • an onboard tracking system (TLS-OB) which is carried by each fully participating train, and • an operational data communications system.
TLS Central carries out the following principal functions: • combines tracking data from the signalling infrastructure with available train location data from TLS-OBs • maintains a ‘last fix’ set of location data available for all trains on the network • monitors and records location data quality • updates each TLS-OB either regularly or when a change has occurred, and • provides applications with access to its records, on a structured and prioritised basis.
TLS-OB carries out the following principal functions: • acquires train location data from the locator on board the train • provides a capability for hybridising this with information from beacons • maps geospatial to railway geographic location • monitors and records location data quality • sends updates to TLS Central either regularly or when a change has occurred • receives enhanced updates on own location from TLS Central • maintains a ‘last fix’ set of location data for the train, and • provides on board applications with access to its data. The real benefits from this approach can be derived if the whole system is designed to be open and transparent, and app developers are able to provide new functionality which can take advantage of the system as it is rolled out across the network. The Network Rail-led digital railway programme provides an opportunity to develop the right overarching solution, including a strategic approach to train information management.
Stability is vital Peter Campbell takes a look at the government’s decisions to pause and then recommence electrification and asks: is this an aberration or politicisation of the railways?
Below Peter Campbell is senior policy manager at the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE)
y now we are all aware of the decision by the government to pause the electrification of the Transpennine Express (TPE) and the Midland Mainline (MML) due to spiralling costs, deadline slippages, and concerns around the availability of resources. Speaking at the time these projects were first unveiled, then Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: “Investment on this scale, in every region of the country, shows how this coalition government is focused on delivering an affordable, reliable and faster railway network that drives jobs and growth. “These plans to increase capacity and shorten journey times on intercity, commuter and freight services are, alongside our plans for high speed rail, absolutely key to securing our country’s prosperity in the decades ahead.”
The Northern Powerhouse effect Indeed, this is a serious issue for the government and the Chancellor, George Osborne, who has made the Northern Powerhouse a key economic aim for the new Conservative government. MML and TPE electrification form key planks of this, providing upgraded transport links, improved access to jobs and markets, and
ultimately setting the Northern region up as a true economic counterweight to London. All told, this amounted to almost £5 billion of investment, would have created thousands of new jobs, and increased the total amount of electrified rail lines to over 5,000 miles by 2021. Compared to the paltry ten miles of the UK’s rail network the previous Labour administration electrified in thirteen years and the scale of these ambitions becomes clear. According to the government’s own figures, this rebalancing would ensure benefits of £44 billion in real terms could be realised in the North by 2030, a rise of almost 20 per cent by the end of the next decade. This was put in serious jeopardy as a result of the government’s pause!
Political pressure More fundamental than this, however, is the possibility that we could be seeing the repoliticisation of infrastructure. Desperate for investment to announce for areas other than London, the government rushed Network Rail into including electrification projects in Control Period 5 (CP5). This pressure inevitably meant the projects were
suspicious. Denials to the circulating rumours that all was not well were issued right up until the general election. In light of this, it is very easy to see that in the face of a manifesto commitment, political expediency took the place of openness and honesty.
The need for stability This also deals a blow for the certainty that the industry has spent decades calling for. A stable, well-developed pipeline is crucial to allow engineering firms to plan properly, to allocate manpower and hardware efficiently, and to minimise costs incurred through the start-stop tendencies of old. Certainty through a stable pipeline also ensures those thinking about a career in engineering can rely on interesting projects, a steady stream of work, and opportunities to upskill. The events around electrification projects are undermining this. The multi-year, inviolate agreements that make up the Control Period process was meant to ensure the certainty for those engaged in infrastructure delivery. We have since seen this model implemented in other areas where long-term certainty was vital, such as for Highways England and Transport for London.
A spectre from the past? This inviolate nature has been undermined by the announced pause, the subsequent review into CP5 headed up by new Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy, and the recent promise that electrification will be recommenced. It has also raised the prospect of political interference once more, laying infrastructure open to the whims of newly-elected governments. When this is combined with the fact of the pressure that was brought to bear on Network Rail to include more projects that were less well-developed, a worrying trend could be inferred that the infrastructure sector had thought consigned to the waste bin of political history. If the government is not careful, all of the good work that it has done over the past five years while in coalition will be seriously undermined. The much-prized certainty will be lost, and the industry will feel unable to invest and develop talent and will incur extra costs through more start-stop routines. included before enough preliminary development work by Network Rail had been carried out, thus meaning electrifying the MML and TPE was in danger from the start. As an example, 42 per cent of the projects in CP5 were rated as GRIP 0, indicating the scale of the challenge Network Rail had in developing and delivering the whole plan. In addition, the timing of the announcement, coming in the weeks after a majority safely secured, is somewhat
Conclusion Confidence and stability can best be restored by the government insisting on a quick review under Hendy, a recommitment to the electrification projects on more realistic timelines and budgets, and continued support for the rest of CP5. Industry will then view the events of the past three months as an aberration and that stability is the new norm. Future trust between industry and government is at stake.
ASSET MANAGEMENT - case study
Keeping building projects on track Antony Hunt, managing director of Smart-Space, discusses the pros and cons of steel clad structures, and how the technology has been used to construct a locomotive workshop extension for SB Rail in less than four months
o, you need to expand your current space _ either by extending your current building or by constructing a new one. The key questions you’re likely to face are what kind of structure do you need and what is the best way of getting it built efficiently and cost-effectively.
Decide what you want from your building at the outset How is the facility to be used, and for how long? What does that mean in terms of space allocation? Heating? Lighting? Storage? The better your idea of how the space is going to be used, the better your chances of ending up with what you need within the agreed timeframe and budget. A firm specification will also help you to decide exactly what kind of building you require. Nowadays, the choice isn’t simply between a temporary building and a permanent one _ not when steel-clad temporary structures can last 50 years or more and are significantly cheaper to construct than their permanent brick counterparts.
Be aware of the pros and the cons of the building options open to you A re-locatable temporary building can be an ideal instant fix, with flexible hire terms, no capital outlay, no ground preparation needed and the speed with which the building can be erected, dismantled or altered. The downside? They depreciate and deteriorate over time, with a maximum ten-year lifespan. They are not as secure as a steel-roof building; have low fire retardancy values thanks to the PVC and aluminium used in their construction; and can be costly to insure or can even be uninsurable as a result, depending on site specifics. They have minimal insulation values and can be costly to heat. There’s also the risk of potential water ingress around the perimeter at the base. Steel-clad temporary structures have a very low cost compared to conventional buildings, can be supplied in a variety of cladding colours and are as secure as any other conventional building. They are 100 per cent watertight, can have clear roof light panels installed to
minimise the lighting requirement and can be specified to meet the latest Part L2 building regulations covering the conservation of fuel and power. Parts and cladding warranties can be up to 50 years: the buildings are fabricated to the customer’s exact size requirements and comply with all insurance requirements as well as building control regulations. Because the building is not demountable, it can be financed through a mortgage and is regarded as an asset. Being a more substantial, longer-term construction means that steel-clad temporary structures require more detailed project planning and project management, have to be set on a level concrete or tarmac base and will incur time and cost applying for the necessary planning and building control permissions. Depending on size, they may also be subject to the HSE’s Construction (Design & Management) Regulations. Once you’ve decided on the role and longevity of your project and have taken all the building type pros and cons into consideration, you’ll be in a position to make the right decision on the way forward.
Decide how you want to proceed It may be that an extension or new-build project provides a welcome distraction from the day-to-day business of railway maintenance and repair. However, it isn’t very often that we come across businesses that want to replace revenue-earning activity with the delays, complications, frustrations and disappointment that can come from any kind of construction. The latter may involve working with architects whose experience with the practicalities of rail workshops is secondary to their desire to justify their fees with the creation of award-winning and costly designs. It could entail engaging a planning consultant without the expertise in workshop design that could help to speed up the process of obtaining planning permission. Taking on the tender process and project management can also create significant headaches, measuring up each proposal against the others and working with a range of sub-contractors who are more focused on shifting blame than they are on delivering a quality solution for the customer. Working with a business that can provide a turnkey solution _ from initial brief to final handover _ removes much of the hassle and enables you to focus on your core business.
Case study: SB Rail locomotive workshop extension, Guide Bridge SB Rail is a leading provider of track construction, maintenance and renewal and operates a number of specialised vehicles for rail, ballast and power infrastructure maintenance. To support its work on the on-going track maintenance and upgrading programme in the North West, the company needed to extend an old service depot at Guide Bridge in Manchester, to enable it to service its on-track plant fleet. Time was of the
essence and, with its original plans taking an age to move from concept to installation, the company appointed Smart-Space to provide a faster solution. Smart-Space’s own full-time staff carried out a full site investigation to determine the current ground conditions and to establish possible ground contamination issues. The in-house design engineering team designed and certified a concrete foundation to meet building control requirements, then the company designed, supplied and installed a 12.5m x 25m x 6.5m steel clad ‘HYBRID’ building, which was clad in slate blue 40mm composite cladding. The Smart-Space team also removed the existing frontage and over-clad the existing building so the entire shed looked brand new. Being based on a light yet strong construction system, less complex foundations were required, allowing site work to proceed rapidly. The new workshop is comparable to a conventional new-build, though construction costs were less than half. The Smart-Space permanent building uses a lightweight cold-rolled galvanised steel framework in place of hot rolled steel girders and joists. These structures are strong, but much lighter than conventional buildings. In addition to reduced construction cost, they impose a lower ground loading than standard buildings and so usually require less complex ground works, giving rise to further significant time and cost savings. Fully insulated cladding systems ensure buildings conform fully to Part L of the current Building Regulations. “From placing the order to the completed structure being handed over for fit-out took less than four months,” says SB Rail plant manager Neil Smith. “From start to finish and from the surveying staff right through to the fitters and commissioning engineers, the contract was carried out in an efficient and professional manner. Having been in the building over a year now, we have no regrets in going for the Smart-Space permanent building.”
Above and left The SB Rail workshop extension at Guide Bridge
Govia Thameslink Railway
Transforming for the
As its footprint grows to an unprecedented size, Govia Thameslink Railway proves that being big does not mean it is not local in delivering a programme of transformation across the network
T Charles Horton, GTR’s CEO
he enormity of Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) task over the coming years is not overstated. In fact, as the biggest rail franchise, in terms of passenger services and numbers, in the UK, largeness is in abundance at the company. The headline figures are 273 million passenger journeys generating £1.3 billion in passenger revenue each year delivered by 6500 employees. Alongside this are the figures promised for the franchise period: a £50 million station investment package, 1400 new carriages, 10,000 extra seats for peak travel into London and 20,000 hours of customer service training. However, despite the vast scale of GTR’s franchise as it sets about transforming all aspects of the network for the better, the Govia name is unfamiliar to many of its passengers. This is because the company has a clear vision to deliver a locally focused service. “For us, being big does not mean that we lose sight of our local people, and that we’re not approachable,” explains GTR’s CEO, Charles Horton. “We’re looking to be part of the communities, and this really informs the way we do business.” As such the company continues to operate under the longstanding names of its regional
networks: Southern, Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Great Northern, after the merger that took effect in July 2015. Charles continues: “From our point of view, we have brought the brands under our wing and they are the way in which the customers will recognise us. These four brands are then managed by five locally accountable Passenger Service Directors, who have a very important role planning and delivering services on a daily basis, with a responsibility to work with local stakeholders and the communities that we serve. This is to make sure that what we deliver is what they want. Essentially, they make sure we keep our feet on the ground locally.” This local focus is complemented by a strong engagement with the surrounding communities and stakeholders. “Underneath our Passenger Service Directors we have some Local Development Managers, who work closely with our communities,” points out Charles. “We also have passenger panels – an onlinebased portal with several thousand members, which we use to test ideas and seek opinions from passengers. We are also in the process of setting up customer cabinets, one for the north and one for the south, which will be used for passengers to put ideas forward about improving
Govia Thameslink Railway
Cabfind.com Transport-on-demand firm, Cabfind.com, is a crucial logistical partner to Govia Thameslink, servicing over 32,000 taxi journeys annually. Cabfind.com provides a passenger road-transport solution for customers and train-crew between railway stations and depots throughout the UK. Cabfind.com offers a responsive managed service covering planned and very short term movements during rail disruption. Its goal is safe, secure and informed travel for all passengers 24/7 365 days a year. Cabfind.com has at its disposal a virtual fleet of over 140,000 vehicles. Cabfind.com’s stateof-the-art technology provides unrivalled coverage and service control across the UK and offers one single point of contact, centralised billing, and proactive monitoring and reporting of service quality and expenditure. Whether its passengers are your employees or your customers Cabfind. com, as a trusted UK Rail partner, is committed to the continuous improvement of the journey experience, the delivery of your environmental objectives, and the best value solution.
services and stations.” Having brought the Southern and Gatwick Express networks on board in July, GTR is now responsible for the biggest rail franchise in the UK. Yet despite this, Charles is openly positive about the advantages provided by the size. “Bringing these businesses together and managing them as one unified company creates a great source of strength in being able to co-ordinate services across the network,” he says. “There are far more advantages than there are challenges in managing at this scale for us. Firstly, it enables us to open up new journey opportunities that haven’t existed before. For example, from 2018 it will be possible to journey from Cambridge to Gatwick Airport, and it also gives us the capacity to introduce a new timetable on the Brighton Mainline from December 2015. This allows us to speed up off-peak journeys from the coast, which has been a long-term stakeholder ambition. We have also been able to bring in expertise from the previous franchisees so we now have a really great team. By blending these wide sources of expertise we have created a team that is very strong in its capacity to deliver such a significant change programme.” Central to GTR’s investment programme in transforming the passenger experience is an extensive update to train and station environments. “The vision is that as a passenger travelling on our network, you will
get much better information on the journey that you are making both before and during arrival at the station. On the train you will be on a new or refurbished train, with the best information available,” says Charles. The cornerstone of the Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme is the introduction by GTR of new Siemens Class 700 trains. In total, over the course of the franchise period, 115 of the Class 700 trains will be delivered on both the Thameslink and Great Northern lines, the first of which has been delivered to Three Bridges depot in
Govia Thameslink Railway Econocom Econocom is Europe’s largest independent provider of technology finance. In 2014, it posted consolidated revenue of €2.09 billion. With over 8000 employees in 19 countries, it has the expertise to design bespoke finance solutions to help train operating companies acquire the latest technology and remain competitive. Econocom has over 40 years of experience in the railway sector. Econocom has over 20,000 clients across Europe and manages 6.4 million digital assets. West Sussex and is being tested. “These new trains provide the boosting capacity and an improved passenger environment that allows the £6.5 million Thameslink Programme investment to be unlocked and to deliver its benefit to customers,” says Charles. “They are the heart and centre of our business at the moment and they are very innovative trains. Through the core of London they will be operating in an automatic mode that will allows us to run 24 trains an hour. Of course, it is very exciting for us that this line will be intersecting with the Crossrail route at Farringdon and opening up fantastic journey opportunities onto other networks right across the UK.” In addition to this, the company will also be introducing 27 new Bombardier Class 387/2 trains, with a total of 108 new carriages, to the Gatwick Express line and 25 fixedformation six-carriage, metro style trains to replace the current ageing Moorgate fleet. An interim fleet of 29 new Class 387/1 trains is already operating on the Bedford to Brighton line to bridge the gap between the departure of some of the old fleet of Thameslink Class 319s and the arrival of the new Class 700s. Accompanying the update to rolling stock, GTR is also investing heavily in its station facilities. This will include free Wi-fi at 87 further stations (making 104 in total), staffing from first to last service at 100 as well as general improvements across the busiest stations. “Right across the network we’re improving cycle and waiting facilities, and have plans to make major improvement to some of our stations like Luton and St Albans,” adds Charles. Improving customer service through 20,000 hours of training is the other key focus for the investment programme. “Customer service is absolutely critical to us, as we are a service business and depend on our people
ARW CONTRACTS We enjoy a close working relationship with Govia Thameslink Railway, having undertaken various construction and fit-out projects, as well as having been involved in both planned and reactive maintenance works on their routes for a number years. The range of maintenance services we provide currently covers platform waiting shelters, vegetation clearance and landscaping, graffiti removal and building fabric repairs. Our experience with Govia Thameslink Railway has allowed us to develop a deep understanding of the particular needs and priorities of working on live rail stations, as well as develop our supply chain to enable us to quickly fulfil the many varied requests from their facilities teams. With the introduction of the QuEST audit scheme, we have been privileged to be given the opportunity to assist their facilities teams with the maintenance of a significant number of stations, and we look forward to continuing to grow our relationship in the coming years. to give the best service possible,” explains Charles. “The programme is called One Step Ahead and focuses on passengers by combining classroom, e-learning and on-the-job coaching so that people can help others understand what ‘good’ looks like. Every single one of our 3500 customer facing staff and their managers will receive the training starting from early 2016 and this leads to a BTEC in Customer Service.” The overall vision for GTR over the years to 2021 is focused heavily on this transformation programme. “This is centred on every aspect of customer service, from speed and reliability of services, the environment of trains and services, to the quality of information and the way our staff interact with customers,” concludes Charles. “Ultimately, we are here to transform, for the better, the customer experience right across the network.”
Laying tracks The now generic name of MATISA has been present in the track construction and maintenance industry for years, with a commitment to innovation and dedicated service the company strives to continue delivering pioneering solutions to the market
tarting life in 1945 with the build of the first mechanical tamper for railway work, MATISA Material Industriel SA, has grown to become a leader in machinery for track maintenance, construction and renewal. Over its history the Switzerland based company has established a recognisable brand and reputation as the pioneer of track mechanisation. Its current portfolio of products includes tampers, ballast regulators and cleaners, track renewal trains, track laying machines, track measuring vehicles and more recently WTM switch transport wagons. All machines are manufactured on-site in Switzerland, but the company is represented in seven countries around the world through subsidiaries in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, UK, Brazil and Japan. These subsidiaries are in place predominantly in an after sales and customer services capacity, supplemented by their own technical resources and spare parts store. At the heart of MATISAâ€™s pioneering ability is its
approach to innovation. Marketing and Sales Director at the company, Roger Grossniklaus highlights: â€œWe are permanently implementing improvements and state of the art technology in our production range. The major focal points for this are in operational, maintenance and customisation improvements, which cover operator comfort, enabling better concentration on work, easy and simple access to different tools and components, diagnostic software to identify potential faults, enabling quick and efficient fixes, and a great flexibility in adapting to our customersâ€™ specific needs. It is our aim to maintain the high level of quality our products have demonstrated over the last decades and our engineers are dedicated to keeping that reputation of Swiss quality. Quality for us means economic, sustainable, maintainable, userand environmentally friendly products, which enable a long lasting and safe track network. It is important for the company to meet these current targets, as taking responsibility for the future of our world and industry will
lead it to success.” To supplement a quality product, which MATISA claims will last around 20-25 years, the company has developed a service to ensure it delivers a reliable and long-lasting machine. “To extend the lifetime of a machine we propose a range of maintenance, overhaul and upgrading solutions. A well-maintained machine, undertaking the appropriate overhaul and upgrades at the right times will increase its life span, fitted with the latest technology for many more years will create a very appealing return on
investment,” expresses Roger. “The relationship with our customers goes on for life.” This unrivalled approach to continuous product development is bolstered by MATISA’s exemplary service offering. “As a company we believe that success comes with responsibility,” explains Roger. “Supplying the rail industry with a variety of mechanised track construction and maintenance machinery requires an enthusiastic and committed maintenance team. It is a fact that our track plants have developed dramatically
over the years and high-tech equipment is now fitted as standard. As MATISA machines come with the latest computing systems in order to guide, assist and operate our various products, our clients or end-users will need specific training and assistance to meet the markets ever increasing need for accuracy and output.” Over its history MATISA has been able to compile a portfolio of clients and projects that encompass a vast range of competencies and experience. From small rail contractors to network operators on national passenger and goods networks, high speed lines, private lines, mountain railways, mines and many other applications, MATISA has the knowledge to meet the individual specifications of speed, axle weight and gauge
requirements. “As we are present in many markets and each of these are organised differently with private contractors and in-house maintenance teams, we are able to approach a whole range of customers at all levels,” notes Roger. Currently, MATISA is working on supplying machinery to a number of interesting projects for underground applications, ballast and track renewal in urban areas and semi-dual mechanical-optical measuring systems. “The market conditions for us at the moment, are positive. After a quiet period in Europe over the last few years in terms of investments and budget for track maintenance, there seems to currently be an increase in demand,” says Roger. “Having been favoured by an increasing number of European customers over the last two years, we are well placed to make the most of this. Of course, we do still have a strong Swiss Franc, which is making Swiss manufacturing expensive, but we are committed to our Swiss-made label and are currently implementing production scale measures to overcome these challenges, rather than delocalising.” With this in mind, the future for MATISA looks bright and Roger is confident that there are a number of exciting projects, which the company can get involved with. “Market requirements are moving very fast, as are the environmental expectations,” he says. “I would summarise our vision as providing our customers with long-term satisfaction. It’s about being in the right market, with the right product of the right quality, and providing the right service. This is what we strive to achieve.“
With a long and successful history for its geopolymer systems across the world, Uretek is looking to inject some innovation into the UK rail industry
ounded back in the early eighties, Finnish company Uretek has grown steadily in delivering an innovative geopolymer injection system to a range of applications and industries across the world. Specialising in foundation stabilisation and ground engineering, the company has grown through global licensing programmes and acquisitions. Today Uretek’s proprietary technology is represented in over 50 countries and has been successfully deployed in over 100,000 projects around the world. “In 2012, Uretek UK became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company after over 25 years delivering the solution under a licensing agreement,” explains Roland Caldbeck, MD for the UK company. “Historically, the focus for the business here has been on the residential market working primarily through the insurance sector and loss adjusters to stabilise houses as an alternative to underpinning. However, there has
never been a lot done to penetrate the commercial and infrastructure sectors in the UK and experience from other Uretek partners around the world shows that there is a lot of opportunity here. Therefore, this has been a major part of the UK’s strategic development and rail is a key part of this.” Roland describes the company’s technique as innovative but deceptively simple, involving drilled holes of 12-14mm, which are then injected with highly expansive geopolymers. “There are two main applications for this,” continues Roland. “One is for lifting structures with the expansive pressure that is generated and the other is to consolidate weak ground, making soil better able to carry a load and therefore overcome subsidence.” Decades of solely dedicated experience and unrivalled knowledge of its own geopolymer solutions makes Uretek the leading provider of this system to the global market.
advantage Uretek can offer is the lack of disruption created by its solutions, which doesn’t require any excavation and is therefore safer and quicker. However, despite these advantages and a developing portfolio of infrastructure projects the company is still relatively unknown within the sector. “The biggest challenge is that the rail industry is a heavily regulated and very conservative market, so it is very difficult to push innovation and gain acceptance here, particularly in the heavy rail sector,” explains Roland. “There is also a misperception that we only offer a temporary fix and whilst our system can be used this way it is just as applicable as a long term solution. We’ve done some work in rail where we were brought in on an emergency basis to stabilise a track in order to keep it open. They were looking for a short-term fix, but quickly realised that we could have provided a long-term application.” In its endeavour to enter the rail industry further, Uretek has been focusing significantly on establishing relationships and gaining experience in the market, and sees facilitating education on both sides as critical to moving forward. “We’ve done a couple of interesting programmes within the rail industry to date,” outlines Roland. “We worked on the Ilford Rail depot where they had an issue in needing to stabilise the depot for ongoing development work. The problem they had was a strict time frame with a lot of other development work that needed carrying out. They opted for us because we were able to save them substantial time and other works were able to take place concurrently. So whilst we were carrying out the stabilisation another team were able to work on the roofing, which they wouldn’t have been able to do with other techniques. We also worked at the Farnham rail depot to stabilise the slab mounted tracks, which were experiencing settlement issues. Within a five-week period, 6000 square metres of slabs were stabilised and lifted to tolerances of plus or minus ten millimetres over ten square metres, with no disruption to “We are using our own technology,” notes Roland. “We invented, developed and specialised the range of geopolymers in our service offering and have worldleading expertise in its application.” One critical advantage of the technology is its controllability compared to other, traditional methods. Because the expansive pressure is generated by chemical reactions in the materials, as opposed to hydraulic pressures used in grouting, Uretek’s operators are able to work within extreme tolerances. “Over 25 years we have perfected the combination of raw materials and processes to be able to consistently deliver accuracies unavailable to other methods,” says Roland. “For instance, we have recently been employed within the aerospace and automotive sectors to achieve tolerances as low as a quarter of a millimetre, using our techniques.” When it comes to the rail industry the principle
the shed’s operations.” As Uretek makes inroads into the rail industry it is keen to develop relationships with engineers and decision makers, and understand further the engineering requirements and demands on the rail. “The industry, quite rightly, is very engineering dominated and we don’t have enough knowledge of the market in general at the moment, so we are looking to address and develop this by working closely with the engineers,” says Roland. “The key issue is gaining the acceptance from high levels of management because by working with the engineers, they come to understand and appreciate what we can do, but if the project has already been signed off at a higher level then it can be a source of frustration. Therefore, we need to help educate that industry as well as learning ourselves, and show people what we can do.” However, Roland is positive in that, despite these challenges, overarching market conditions at present are working in Uretek’s favour. “The lack of construction and the process’ speed is a key advantage, which translates into massive cost savings in the rail market with less possession times and thus, less disruption. Historically, cost consideration hasn’t always been highest on the industry’s priority list, however, now that we’re in a period of austerity there is a greater need to look for cost savings and this is where the opportunities for innovation lay. As people are tightening their budgets they are having to look beyond their traditional reliance and I think they will be amazed at what they find.” Roland also spots a similar opportunity in the trend towards
becoming more environmentally compliant as Uretek’s method has a much smaller carbon footprint than more traditional alternatives. “Whilst these megatrends are big positives for us we still need to focus heavily on gaining the validation and acceptance within the market and we will be working closely with engineers to increase the understanding within the industry as we move forward,” Roland continues. “As a company we are increasingly decentralising in order to be closer to our customer base in order to achieve these relationships and therefore develop our own understanding of the customers’ needs and requirements. In this way we can continue offering the tailored solutions, backed up by our extensive knowledge and experience that we have gained from other markets. “We are not looking to turn our back on the residential market where we have already established a strong reputation, but at the same time I see the infrastructure and, in particular, the rail industries as the major growth areas as we look ahead. Most of the work we have been doing in the rail sector has been emergency, last minute work where other methods haven’t worked because of access or time constraints. However, we want to be the first choice rather than the last resort, so whilst we look to double the size of the business over the coming years we will also be trying to make this strategic transition towards becoming the preferred partner.”
On top With the UK rail industry experiencing heavy investment across the network, Semmco’s unique solutions are well placed to maintain the company’s reputation as a market leader with quality bespoke products
ounded in 1993 as a design, engineer and manufacturing company specialising in access solutions, Semmco has built itself a reputation in the rail, aviation, industrial and military industries upon solid innovation and quality bespoke solutions. Widely regarded as a UK leader, Semmco works closely with customers to develop the best and most robust systems for a wide range of access solutions. Within the rail industry, the company currently offers a complete range of bespoke systems from pit boards to roof access, and is looking at expanding its offer with a range of multiuse products. Railway Strategies last featured Semmco in December 2014, and nine months later Sales Manager, Andrew Walling, is keen to express the company’s progress throughout 2015. “We have increased our profile within the railway market quite significantly over the last year,”
he says. “This has been accompanied by an increase in our reputation within the industry and we have become known as a leading brand for access equipment. This boost in awareness has also enabled us to start introducing a lot more design features, which we have brought over from the aviation market.” Part of establishing this reputation has been to convey to the market the particular strengths of Semmco and its products over competitors’ offerings, and these present themselves in two strands. “Firstly, our products are unique in the market as aluminium structures that use bolted and plated joints as opposed to welds,” explains
Andrew. “This creates extremely strong mechanical bonds, and eliminates the risk of cracking in aluminium welds, which exists in our competitors’ products. Our joint gives much longer life and less maintenance requirements, which is a major selling point. We’re also looking to provide increased productivity and investment potential to our customers with a new range of multiuse platforms. These platforms can be suited to both front and side access, therefore reducing the amount of little-used stock and improving cost effectiveness. Our other strength is the way we support our product very strongly from initial sales call and design phase, through installation and commissioning to aftersales service.” By presenting this to the customer in a focused campaign over the last year, Semmco has successfully increased its reputation, which has lead to it establishing closer working relationships with the end user as well as depot design and construction companies. “We were finding with some projects that a competitors’ system had already been specified early on, so we have been focusing
on trying to get involved a much earlier stage,” highlights Andrew. “This has been very successful this year and we have formed some very strong relationships with a whole group of people involved in depot refurbishment and design, as well as the end user. The aim is to be specified into the design phase by the end customer, and then if not specified we try to up-sell Semmco to the design companies to make it easier for them to achieve the maintenance requirements in the depot.” The successful nature of this renewed strategy to deliver earlier on in the design phase has been significantly bolstered by the current market conditions in the UK. As Andrew notes: “Over the last 12 months we have had really good, increased levels of business and I only see this continuing into the foreseeable future. I believe that the rail industry is very buoyant at the moment with new rolling stock coming onto the network, new depots being built and developments continuing throughout the rail network as a whole.” However, it is not just a strong service and a refocused strategy that has awarded Semmco with its recent success, but also a committed drive to deliver top quality and innovative products to the market. One particular success has been its roof access platform, a single-sided roof access solution with foldout boxing ring. “By working closely with customers and inline with increasing safety regulations, our designers have been able to improve the safety of the working zone within the ring by reducing potential fall points and encompassing the working area a lot more securely than our competitors,” outlines Andrew. “It is also extremely fast to deploy, taking less than 15 minutes, which really improves the working efficiency of carrying out maintenance in the depot. We have also developed a basic design that can be easily reconfigured for differing depot designs and equipment needs.” Indicating the success of the platform, Andrew informs that the company has sold over 20 roof access platforms this year. “The other important product for us is the multi-use platform,” he explains. “For front access, for example, we have developed a variable height front access platform with sliding profile fingers that allows the user to change the height for different maintenance requirements. This also allows the system to be used on many types of vehicle, making the site less cluttered and ultimately safer when working on a fleet of different units.” As it looks ahead, Semmco is keen to continue the success of the last year by maintaining its current strategy. “We will be pushing the multi-use solutions, as well as conveying the commercial advantages of our products. Yes, we are more expensive initially, but over the long-term it is significantly cheaper due to the higher quality and durability designed into our solutions,” Andrew concludes. “We will also be focusing on marketing the increased productivity that Semmco can provide and in the longer term looking at taking our successes into the European market.”
Through robust client and partner relationships, and a strong commitment to high quality service and continuous improvement, VS Rail is very well placed as it looks to increase its footprint in the UK rail market
ounded in 2000, VS Rail has rigorously invested the time since in developing itself as a subcontractor dedicated to the rail sector. Following a change in ownership two years ago, the current owners have doubled turnover in the last year to achieve £1.5 million in sales and have successfully secured a number of frameworks as the company sets its sights on growth. Serving clients such as Osborne, Balfour Beatty and BAM Nuttall, VS Rail is a specialist in minor civil works, earthworks, vegetation clearance, track drainage and platform work.
“Our strength is our people,” begins MD, Daniel Jane, commenting on the hard core of 20 that currently make up VS Rail. “We have a highly-qualified, engineering based management team so we have a very technical base. This means we enjoy problem solving and like to take on more challenging projects. We also pride ourselves on maintaining a consistent, highly-skilled and continuously trained workforce. We provide a variety of development opportunities for our team including the provision of first-aid training.” With engineering forming the central pillar for VS Rail, the company is able to develop innovative solutions for a range of challenges and do so whilst keeping safety and cost effectiveness as paramount. Over the course of 2015, VS Rail has been involved in a multi-asset framework with Osborne, and these projects perfectly demonstrate the company’s high quality approach to carrying out works. “The project involves a lot of work on the embankments and cuttings,” explains Daniel. “Therefore we have had to upskill a lot of our guys to be harness-trained to work in these environments. It was identified as a risk and whilst it was a big outlay in time and cost, we are now able to install ground anchors and safety lines to make it a much safer working environment.” Continuous improvement is a major part of VS Rail’s offering to the market and it further illustrates this in the partnerships it is forming through joint venture
programmes. The first of these is the recently announced project with steelworks and footbridge fabricator, Underhill Engineering. “By joining up with Underhill, we are now able to offer a complete solution to our clients,” notes Daniel. “So now we can go in with associated civil works such as piles and foundations, right the way through to the fabrication and installation of a footbridge. It can make it more cost effective and time efficient for the client, and gives both partners the added capability.” Another significant joint venture is with Suttle Projects piling contractors. “They are looking at offering a road-rail capability with us, which will enable us to deliver our own works rather than selling road-rail machines out and therefore adds a stronger capability which can be held in house,” adds Daniel. By taking a collaborative approach to expanding its offering, VS Rail is positioning itself well to make the most of a market. One particular challenge facing the industry as a whole, and in particular the smaller, growing companies like VS Rail, is the skills shortage. “We like to take on local labour from Southampton and Winchester, and so we try to engage with these workers to offer them career and development opportunities that will enable them to slot well into our existing teams. A real strength of the company is developing the workforce so that each member is an integral, long-term part of a successful company. This promotes healthy working relationships and people know their worth within the organisation,” highlights Daniel. “We have also been looking at running an apprenticeship scheme. This is something we will be educating our management team about over the next few years. It’s a long-term strategy so, as with all other activity, we have been establishing these procedures as a key element of our company’s long-term future. This goes hand-in-hand with our focus on health and safety and environmental sustainability in the pre-qualification stage.” Enhancing this commitment to providing opportunities and bringing fresh talent into the business, VS Rail has three graduates on board to develop through to Chartership. “Through this, we are developing our company’s flair, capacity and diversity whilst having the satisfaction of helping to create the site and project managers of tomorrow,” Daniel adds. VS Rail offers a strong, focused, yet comprehensive package that whilst seeing the whole picture, never takes its eye off the detail. “We will continue to look for new clients and geographic markets but continue also to work hard at ensuring the high quality of the products we use and the services we provide,” concludes Daniel. “Looking forward, maintaining the partnerships we have with our existing clients and securing more contracts with new clients will be key to us expanding. We have moved into a new, larger office and site, which has enabled us to grow as a company, and we have satellite offices in Exeter and Gloucester, which gives us a wider geographical reach. Therefore we are ready to take on projects further afield. The most important thing for us, however, is that we continue operating as a subcontractor, delivering high
quality service alongside the continued development of the strong working relationships we have with our customers. Primarily, we have been able to offer an increasingly comprehensive package of services to our customers and this is because our commitment to an in-depth understanding of our clients’ needs... We look forward to a very exciting future.”
Essential to growth and the capacity challenge With Britain’s rail infrastructure facing a period of unprecedented growth demand, Thales has the ability to deliver the much-needed capacity increases on both main line and urban rail networks
e are a transportation company, not just a signalling company,” begins Alistair McPhee, Vice-President for Transportation Systems at Thales UK. “We are an organisation focused on delivering capacity and performance improvements to our customers and in turn, to their customers.” In the UK rail industry, Thales has forged deep relationships with both urban and mainline network operators, with clients including London Underground and Network Rail. With demands on these networks set to rise exponentially over the coming years, the global organisation looks to take a leading position in optimising the capacity of existing networks and equipping new infrastructures to meet the capacity demand.
“We only really have to look at the rate of growth to understand the capacity issues the network is going to face,” explains Alistair. “It is estimated that there will be ten million people in London by 2030. Mike Brown, Transport Commissioner at TfL, highlights this as nine new residents per hour, equating to two busloads a day, or two tube trains a week. In addition, Network Rail report that over the next 30 years, passenger demand will more than double and freight is expected to increase by over 140 per cent over the same period. There is clearly a very strong need to improve capacity and there are only so many new lines that we can build, so we need new systems to fully exploit the capacity that is there and will be required.” With a global, world-class pedigree in delivering transportation systems to infrastructure networks, Thales is well suited to be able to deliver the systems to facilitate this growth and examples on the UK network are already clear to see. In the urban environment, where Thales UK has its greatest market share - the London Underground in particular - the company has been instrumental in delivering extra capacity on existing lines. “We have already upgraded the Jubilee and Northern lines on the underground to achieve a 20 per cent and 18 per cent increase in capacity respectively, with our CBTC (Communication-Based Train Control) system,” Alistair highlights. “On the Jubilee line this translates into 30 trains per hour, and we are already working with London Underground to look at further upgrades to these lines.
“In July 2015 we were also awarded the Four Lines Modernisation contract (4LM, formerly SSR), to improve the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines with a 65 per cent uplift in capacity, the District line by 24 per cent and Metropolitan by 27 per cent. This will have a dramatic effect on London as a city, and we know this because we have implemented our CBTC system on over 60 metro lines across 30 global cities. “Clearly, technology alone doesn’t deliver the capacity – it is simply the enabler”, Alistair continues. “The truly collaborative partnership we have with London Underground is how we have achieved the delivery of additional capacity on the network to date. We have shared goals, plans, challenges and successes, and we have taken forward the lessons learned from the Jubilee Line to the Northern, and now on to 4LM. This is one of the benefits of the continued investment in the network, alongside that of being able to retain key resources, knowledge, specialist skills, and invest in new ones – additional apprentices for example, and continued development of graduates.” On the main line network, similar solutions have started to be rolled out. Thales is working closely with Network Rail to introduce its ARAMIS Traffic Management System (TMS) to their regional operating centres at Cardiff and Romford. “This provides the controllers with the tools to plan ahead and manage perturbations on the line with greater efficiency,” outlines Alistair. “It enables them to plan how to handle them as they occur and ultimately, how to maximise the capacity on the railway as a result.” Winning the contract was a key milestone in the company’s move to form a more strategic partnership with Network Rail, rather than simply acting
as a technology supplier – Thales was the company responsible for delivering the fundamental Train Protection & Warning System (TPWS), which is fitted to 98 per cent of the country’s trains, and had a significant safety impact on the risk of signals passed at danger (SPADs) on the national network. Thales also hopes to be heavily involved with introducing on-board units for the ETCS (European Train Control System) programme when it is rolled out. Other work of more recent focus with Network Rail has been a ‘predict and prevent’ intelligent infrastructure system, which has so far been installed into almost 40,000 assets across Network Rail infrastructure. “The point of this is to reduce operational expenditure and maintenance costs by allowing Network Rail to predict when a failure is going to happen and take the necessary course of action in a proactive manner before passengers and/or freight is delayed,” adds Alistair. “Clearly, if it’s not reliable then capacity is lost.” With demand on the infrastructure undoubtedly expected to rise over the coming years, Thales is committed to playing a leading role in ensuring the necessary investments are channelled into improving its capacity and reliability performance. “We have been very supportive of our customers in terms of their efforts to ensure that transportation gets a fair crack of the whip in terms of funding,” notes Alistair. “We chair a number of thought leadership events where it is clear that we need people in the industry to argue the case for projects such as Crossrail 2 and HS2. It’s a very competitive environment for infrastructure spend and it is really important that people step up and champion long-term spending. Long-term investment is vital because it is not just about bringing in these large projects, but also making sure we have the capabilities and resources to implement them and have some form of continuity.” The need for skills investment is a widely known industry issue and Thales has invested in a rail academy at Prospects College of Advanced Technology (PROCAT), to offer an engaging and operational training environment to its annual intake of apprentices, supporting their classroombased learning. “The academy has a full-size platform with track, ballast, customer information system and trackside equipment – it gives apprentices the opportunity to work on real systems in a safe environment before they get anywhere near a live railway”. Keen to emphasise the fundamental importance of long-term infrastructure spend, Alistair points out its close relationship to economic growth. “The best example that Thales has contributed is the Docklands Light Railway network and how this has extended the whole of the East of London and encouraged additional housing and investment,” he describes. Similarly, the Manchester Metrolink tram network, the biggest UK transport investment programme outside of London, which Thales has been involved in since the beginning, demonstrates
the importance of improved infrastructure capacity to facilitate economic growth. Alistair goes on: “This is actually allowing various communities within Manchester to be cohesive and is driving economic growth. At the end of last year we completed a new airport line a year ahead of schedule and are already looking at the potential for a new Trafford line. “This level of investment is also key to the development of a “Northern Powerhouse”, for which the government has clearly expressed its interest. We can see some strong arguments for establishing good links between the Northern cities for them to become stronger contributors in terms of economic growth, and investment into infrastructure is vital to this.” Thales’s commitment to the developing infrastructure within the UK extends far beyond its obvious offering as a signalling systems provider, and its focus at present is to bring as much of its global capability as possible to help support its customers. As a wider group, the international company has divisions in the defence, aerospace, space and security industries, both in the UK and around the world, and Alistair is keen to express his interest in expanding the transportation offering to incorporate some of these competencies. “With our traffic management and intelligent infrastructure management systems going into place on the main line network, Thales is already contributing to Network Rail’s Digital Railway vision,” he comments. “This extends to the work we have been doing with several train operating companies (TOCs), providing revenue management systems to maximise capacity and manage demand, and in addition, supplying passenger information systems right across the network with consistent and reliable data from our Darwin system - a “single source of truth” for passengers and operators alike. However, as a result, we are seeing more and more interest in our cyber security capabilities, already well-established in the security sector, to ensure digital systems on the transport network are protected against malicious attack and manipulation – a clear risk in today’s environment. So, leveraging our group capability in this
way, we feel we can continue to bring some real value to the digital rail development. “In addition, leveraging our high speed pedigree, particularly in Spain where we have been involved in delivering the signalling and control systems for Europe’s largest high speed network, allows us to bring knowledge, experience and a wealth of expertise to the development of high speed networks in Britain – a key area of new investment to meet future capacity demand here”. Delivering this far reaching service and continuing to play this crucial role in the UK infrastructure will be central to Thales’s focus for the foreseeable future. With continued investments into its 1000 plus team of people, which includes 60 new graduates and apprentices a year, a full end-to-end services capability and wider research capabilities driving innovations to its customer base and beyond, the company has a sure footing as it sets out to grow as a key strategic partner in improving capacity and performance across the UK transportation network. “Moving forward, we will be focusing on delivering our contracts as efficiently and innovatively as possible,” concludes Alistair. “Whilst maintaining our presence in both the urban and mainline sectors we will also be looking ahead at what else we can bring to the market as an additional major resignalling supplier with a different approach - true collaboration. In doing so, we would also answer the call “to strengthen the signalling supply chain”, a need recently identified by Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin. “We just have to ensure that our sector continues to secure the investment it needs, enabling both current and future networks to deliver the capacity requirement generated by the growth in demand,” concludes Alistair. With its proven global pedigree, and strengthening foothold in the UK, Thales is best placed to support the development of such performance and with a dedicated strategy in place to do so, the future for both Thales and Britain’s transport networks on the whole, looks to be fruitful.
Facing economic pressures from the continent, leading engineering specialist Tinsley Bridge Group is making significant inroads to the UK rail industry, which it hopes will provide its future success
fficially formed in 1987 after a management buyout from British Steel Corporation, Tinsley Bridge Group (TBG) has a history that dates back to the 1850s. Over the last 15 years, the design led engineering company has grown to form a group of businesses specialising in automotive and rail suspension components, machine knives and fabrication projects. Tinsley Bridge’s Rail Division is also a tier one systems integration company specialising in full system solutions for the rail industry. A wide array of manufacturing and engineering competencies sets TBG apart in the market and this translates to a broad service offering to a number of key markets. “TBG is essentially a complimentary group of engineering companies covering a wide range of design, manufacturing and testing capabilities,” begins Managing Director, Mark Webber. “We have expertise in forging, bending, fabrication, CNC machining, tube forming, heat treatment, shot peening and KTL painting. We have our own fatigue testing facilities and our own metallurgical laboratory, plus, by working closely with a number of different universities on new innovations and technology we are able to take leading positions in our core markets.”
TBG’s current offering to the rail industry covers everything from VAMAC brake hoses, external carriage protection components, CNC machined and formed components for a variety of applications, to fire resistant internal panels, as well as anti -roll and torsion bars. With this offering the group has earned itself a strong customer following, which includes many European and global rail vehicle OEMs and their associated downstream businesses. “Rail, both in terms of infrastructure and rolling stock, now accounts for nearly 30 per cent of
Tinsley Bridge Group
the group turnover,” says Mark. “Using our extensive project management skills and experienced engineering teams, complete full systems solutions, sub-assemblies and packages of equipment are brought together and supplied to the rail OEMs according to their vehicle build schedule, on a ‘just-in-time- delivery strategy. The OEM supplier base is reduced, and supply chain efficiency. Cost reductions within the OEM are often dramatic and immediate, with savings of up to 40 per cent achieved.” Innovation is central to TBG’s offering in its markets, and the group’s ability to deliver bespoke solutions gives it a keen advantage in the rail industry where safety critical innovation demands the diverse range of skills employed by the company. As such, in 2013, TBG was successfully awarded a contract to manufacture a new tubular stretcher bar design for Network Rail. “Having never been a supplier of Network Rail, we were selected as one of three suppliers to manufacture the new product, which is currently being rolled out across the country,” explains Mark. “They have now reverted to just two suppliers as the annual volumes for the project decrease after its initial year and TBG is one of these.” Ultimately born in response to the Potters Bar disaster, the tubular stretcher bar is a highly regarded safety critical device within the rail industry and TBG’s involvement in the project is testament to its ability to deliver a quality product. This level of quality is achieved through the implementation of its automotive quality standards, notably its TS 16949 accreditation, which it has gained through years of experience in the global truck industry. Continuing this trend for supplying safety critical components to the rail industry, the group is currently supplying high strength brackets and transom plates to a London Underground rolling stock refurbishment project. “The specification has been extremely demanding and has involved a close working relationship with the end customer,” Mark highlights. “However, there is no doubt that the experience of this project has significantly increased the learning and expertise of our engineers and welders.” With a growing portfolio of projects and solutions successfully delivered to the rail industry, TBG is committed to bringing further value to its customers and is able to deploy its ability to innovate in order to achieve this. “We are always looking for new developments and innovations to help meet future customer needs,” Mark continues. “We are currently working with several universities on multiple projects to help bring new technologies and designs in the rail market. An example of these developments are new tube and composite stabiliser bars, which both provide significant weight reductions.” By continuing to focus on developing new technology and solutions across the group, TBG is putting itself in a strong position to overcome the current economic pressures coming from the European market. Mark comments that despite coming out of the recession a strong pound is affecting its exports into Europe, which
makes up 50 per cent of total sales. “The rail industry has offered very interesting prospects of alternative UK-based opportunities to help balance some of these issues, so our challenge now its continue finding new opportunities here over the next five years,” concludes Mark. “Internally, we hope to support this with further investments into working practices to improve operational efficiencies.”
Faiveley Transport UK
With the support of a global organisation behind it, Faiveley Transport continues to serve the UK rail industry with innovative service and product solutions that respond to growing needs in an expanding market
ith nearly a century of history behind it, Faiveley Transport has grown to become a worldwide supplier of innovative, turnkey technology solutions to the rail industry. Working closely with its customers and the wider market, the company has earned itself a reputation for listening to and understanding the needs of the industry, and delivering cutting edge solutions accordingly. Last featured in Railway Strategies back in 2011, Faiveley Transport has continued its trend of growth and looks set to extrapolate this into the future through a keen and focused strategy towards developing innovative door and access solutions. Brian Harvey, Business Development Manager for the company’s Tamworth site, talks specifically about the company’s growth over the past four years commenting: “In 2011, we had only just moved into new facilities at Tamworth, which gave us a much bigger workshop and it was surprising how rapidly we filled this site with new business that we were delighted to win.” In particular, Brian points out that in line with the company seeing itself as a service provider, it has seen significant progression in its aftermarket side, as it looks to support customers with maintenance and overhaul works, as well as introducing improvements that deliver greater cost effectiveness and safety performance. “One key development for us in this aspect was a contract we
won to overhaul the door systems of Class 323 trains on the Northern franchise. On a previous London Midland franchise contract the train maintenance was carried out by RailCare who were removing the doors themselves, and shipping them to our depot for maintenance,” explains Brian. “This time around, for Alstom, we signed up for a full turnkey project where Faiveley did all the work on the doors from start to finish. This added value allowed for a smoother introduction back into traffic of an overhauled train and the customer was very impressed with our performance. Our strategy moving forward from this point has been to support our customers, not just in terms of doing the overhaul, but offering a complete, customer-orientated turnkey solution.” One other key area in this service development is the company’s approach to offering a more cost effective maintenance service, whereby Faiveley is able to assess the true condition of a door system and advise on what and when maintenance work needs to be carried out. When combined with a more reliable electric door system that has been rolled out by the company since 1994, Brian claims that Faiveley door systems will only need an overhaul once every 15 years, as opposed to the traditional eight years for pneumatic systems. For the TOC’s and ROSCO’s this represents significant maintenance cost savings. This customer orientation is central to Faiveley Transport and becomes notably clear in its ability to deliver innovative solutions to the industry. “One particular area of focus for us at present is into Platform Screen Doors (PSD),” highlights Brian. “There are currently two major projects looking at implementing these. Firstly, on the SPT upgrade of the Glasgow underground network, which is a relatively small project looking to award a contract later this year to a consortium who will be providing the whole service. We are very active with providing our UK local support on the critical installation side of this project to effect a full turnkey solution. The second project is with Transport for London, who has made it very clear that they are going to look at implementing these PSDs on all the new tube replacement programmes, starting with the Piccadilly line in 2023. We are actively engaging in a market questionnaire at the moment with London Underground, looking at modifying older platforms with interface plates that can take a modular PSD retrofit programme. This is key for our customers; we have a number of references across the world where we have started installing these retrofit modular solutions during quieter periods within three hours at night, whilst the railway continues to operate a normal service.” Other developments for Faiveley Transport include an Electric Door Locking Cylinder to replace older pneumatic cylinders. “Not only does this mean you have a more reliable electric locking system, compared to the older system, which relied on the air system to hold the door
Faiveley Transport UK
in place, but it also brings improved lifetime maintenance costs,” notes Brian. It has also brought to market an anti-drag solution to improve the safety of train doors and prevent dragging accidents from occurring in stations. “This is based on our technology that we have been running on the new SSR vehicles that Bombardier have introduced into London Underground and by early next year we will have around 8600 door systems with this
anti-drag system in place,” Brian adds. “We have also developed a retrofit version, which we can fit to both Underground and Overground vehicle door systems.” With favourable market conditions, in which the rail industry foresees major investment programmes, Brian is positive about the future of Faiveley Transport. “There are lots of opportunities driving a very interesting and competitive market at present,” he says. “I am pleased to say that we have won a number of contracts to supply our equipment and we are steadily increasing our market share in the UK. Combined with the prospect of upgraded and replacement fleets in the coming years, it is a very interesting market indeed.” With a robust strategy for growth and a continued commitment to serving the market with reliable and innovative solutions, the future for Faiveley Transport does look bright. “We hope to facilitate future growth by focusing on and opening up long term collaborative customer relationships so that we can far better understand, and therefore support, their needs,” concludes Brian. “This is going to be the real key in growing our business in the UK.”
Qatar Rail is making significant progress into developing the country’s rail network that will be critical Qatar’s future vision of economic growth
n 2008, under the light of continuous and rapid economic and social development in Qatar, the country’s Emir launched the Qatar National Vision 2030, a scheme to manage and implement this development in the most productive way possible. One significant part of this development framework is the Qatar Rail Development Programme (QRDP), a vast project managed by the newly formed Qatar Rail to deliver a complete rail network to support the growing population and economic activity in and around the country’s capital, Doha. “Our vision is to create the favourite mode of transport for everybody and to provide an integrated railway together with a public network of bus systems,” begins Senior Programme Director at Qatar Rail, Dr-Ing Markus Demmler. “We want to make it attractive and sustainable, both in terms of economic and ecological impacts, and to make sure it is of the highest quality whilst remaining economically viable. Ultimately, it will run parallel to achieving Qatar’s overall vision to reduce emissions, as most of the country is run on cars at present, to ease congestion and improve travel times both into and within the city.” An overview of the planned network for the development project serves to display the sheer scale of Qatar Rail’s undertaking. The programme is split into three separate projects, the Doha Metro, a Long Distance network and a light rail network in the up-and-coming city of Lusail. The long distance network is designed for
both high-tech passenger and freight services across five lines and 450 kilometres of railway connecting population centres with major industrial hubs and forming critical connections with neighbouring countries. To facilitate the developing city of Lusail, a light rail, tram-based network is being developed across four lines and 37 stations, two of which will link to the Doha Metro network. The Doha Metro project, a strategically planned underground network to serve the expanding city of Doha, is undeniably the most complex of the three. As part of phase one, planned to be completed and operational by 2020, 37 stations will connect 85.5 kilometres of track spread across three separate lines. Due to be expanding with additional line extension and a brand new line in phase two, according to the city’s growth, the total number of stations will be increased by over 64 across more than 200 kilometres of track. Upon completion by 2021, the entire metro system aims to take 17,000 cars off the road and have a significant impact on the city’s carbon footprint. “In terms of timescales, we released the first civil design and build contracts for the Metro scheme in 2013,” explains Markus. “Work, including MEP and architectural fit out, will be completed by 2018. The railway systems contract, which is separate, is due to finish in 2019 with the aim to be fully operational by 2020, if not the end of 2019. So far, we are 26 per cent towards overall completion and have already achieved 50 per cent of the tunnelling work, for which we have employed a record-
Redefining Doha’s As the pace of global urbanization continues unabated, the greatest challenge facing policymakers, planners and communities will be how best to leverage its benefits. Meeting this challenge requires forward-thinking development that reconciles today’s mobility needs with how and where people will live, work and move within and between urban landscapes in the future.
aced with one of the world’s highest urbanization rates, Qatar offers one example of rail’s role in meeting the urbanization challenge. Doha, its capital city and economic hub, is poised to become a smart transit city, validating the country’s recent investments in rail infrastructure. Despite Doha’s robust road network, no rail infrastructure currently exists. In response, the government proposed a major rail-based mobility and transportation program. The Qatar Integrated Railway Program (QIRP) encompasses four metro lines, light rail and long distance freight and passenger services. A key part of the QIRP is the Doha metro program, a proposed network of metro corridors consisting of four lines (Red, Green, Gold and Blue) and multi-modal station structures. The first phase of the program, which is expected to open by the fourth quarter of 2019, encompasses construction of three of the four metro lines (86 kilometers in total length) and 37 stations in the capital city. A Louis Berger-Egis joint venture, in association with the Qatar Program Management Company, is providing project management, construction management, design and commercial management consultancy services for the program’s at-grade, above-grade and underground metro corridors and multi-modal station. The joint venture was selected in August 2012 as project management consultants for the Gold Line and the principle interchange station. In 2013, Egis and Louis Berger also were commissioned to provide independent certification engineering services, covering early enabling works and utility diversions. More recently, the joint venture was engaged to provide project management consultancy services for all Elevated and At-Grade (EAG) sections of the metro. Msheireb Station, located in the center of downtown Doha, is the network’s hub and acts as the major interchange station for three of the four lines — the Red, Green and Gold lines. In addition to having to excavate up to 42 meters below ground level, the most challenging component of this station’s construction is the logistics
of plant and material delivery and storage in an extremely congested city center site. The Gold Line, also referred to as the Historic Line, extends from the Ras Bu Abboud station (formerly named Airport City North) in the east to Al Azizia station in the west, linked to Aspire Zone and Villagio mall. This line serves Qatar national museum, Souk Waqif and Al Waab Street corridor, and also passes through Msheireb station. The Gold Line consists of ten stations, with an underground length of 15 kilometers. The tunneling works will be performed with six tunnel boring machines, for a 22-kilometer global length of tubes at an approximate depth of 31 meters. EAG sections include the Red Line North, Red Line South and Green Line – a combined length of approximately 16 kilometers. These critical sections will provide a passageway to the FIFA compliant stadiums currently under development in anticipation of the upcoming World Cup in 2022. Upon completion in 2026, the QIRP network will include 242 kilometers of rail lines and 107 stations. Future plans include connecting the system to the 32kilometer Lusail Light Rail currently under construction. Additional connections to other major Qatari cities and neighboring countries will be explored using electrified mixed-traffic lines and a causeway. Transportation system development in and around Doha is essential to providing a sustainable urban expansion plan that benefits the public. The city hopes to leverage the success of the 2019 World Championships in Athletics and 2022 FIFA World Cup in its bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2024 or 2028. The joint venture is supporting the development of a world class, safe and reliable rail network for Qatar, and are also helping advance the country’s vision for achieving the highest economic, social and environmental development standards through a sustainable urban development plan.
Metro network, but has been able to overcome many through significant strategic decisions and management processes. “When it came to our contractor strategy we decided it would be more beneficial to allocate many of the risks to contractors because they have the knowledge and experience,” highlights Markus. “This is what we have done through the awarding of design and build contracts, eight of which are civil with one overarching systems contract.” However, here arises the challenge of successfully managing a number of contracts in parallel to each other. As such, Qatar Rail has set up both a delivery division, to oversee the project management of all contracts with support from consultants, and a technical division, which ensured that significant design decisions regarding certain aspects that needed to be implemented across all lines, were made in harmony with one another. Due to time pressures put upon the scheme the QRDP and Qatar Rail have achieved a number of unique milestones in the way it operates in Qatar. First of all is its contract strategy, as Markus explains: “The usual way in
breaking 20 simultaneously operating TBMs. Significantly, we have only dropped behind schedule by 2.3 per cent.” As a young and burgeoning company taking on a project of such scale, Qatar Rail has faced a number of challenges, particularly in the development of the Doha
the Middle East is to take a design-bid-build approach. However, because of the time constraints a design and build contract was decided upon to be more viable. Because of its irregularity in the region there was a certain amount of concern about this approach initially, but it has saved us a lot of time and because of its proven success in the QRDP other authorities are taking this approach as well now.” Another significant aspect of the programme, which highlights both the scale and success of Qatar Rail’s management, is its health and safety record. Markus points out that the project has a target of a 0.1 per cent AFR (accident frequency rate), but is currently operating at 0.06 per cent. “Overall, we have over 111.7 million manhours worked on the project so far, so this is outstanding,” he says. “To achieve this we are constantly running extensive training centres with our contracting partners, so that every person who comes through a contractor is fully trained in line with our zero harm policy before going onto site. This focus on wellbeing is continued in the general facilities, such as accommodation, as a lot of the labour is coming from abroad.” Successful progress defines the Qatar Rail project so far in terms of operation, management and safety, and this is set to continue through its course. “We have two major milestones to achieve next year,” explains Markus. “One is the overall tunnel completion and the other is to finalise the procurement process for MEP and architectural works to conclude all the contracts and therefore have everything awarded that is currently under development. Looking further ahead we are already preparing for phase two of the Metro project. Although this hasn’t been confirmed as yet, we think it would be wise to continue directly on from phase one as we have all the machinery, equipment and labour on site.”
NEWS I Conferences & Exhibitions Forthcoming Conferences and Exhibitions 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.
12 November UK Rail Network Resilience Where: Addleshaw Goddard, London Organiser: Waterfront Tel: 02070 671 597 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.waterfrontconferencecompany.com/ conferences/rail/events/uk-rail-network-resilience 12-13 November Rail Review, Rail Ticketing, Rail Customer and Rail IT Where: Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel, Brussels Organiser: Terrapinn Tel: 0207 092 1210 Email: email@example.com Web: www.terrapinn.com 17 November Seminar: Avoiding Railway Catastrophes A managed risk or safety complacency? Where: The Hatton, London Organiser: IMechE Tel: 02079 731 258 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: events.imeche.org/ViewEvent?code=S6244# 17-19 November RailTech Conference Enhancing capacity by removing bottlenecks in rail Where: UIC HQ, Paris Organiser: Europoint Email: email@example.com Web: www.railtech.com/en/conferences/paris-conference
19-20 November Annual Polis Conference 2015 Innovation in transport for sustainable cities and regions Where: The Egg, Brussels Organiser: Polis Tel: +32 2 500 56 70 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.polisnetwork.eu/2015conference 9-10 December Rolling Stock Fleet Maintenance Congress Integrating CBM & Data Analysis Where: Holiday Inn, Regents Park, London Organiser: London Business Conferences Tel: 0800 098 8489 Email: email@example.com Web: www.rolling-stock-maintenance.com
22-23 March 2016 Asia Pacific Rail Where: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong Organiser: Terrapinn Tel: +65 6322 2702 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/asia-pacific-rail 12-14 April 2016 Infrarail 2016 Where: ExCeL, London Organiser: Mack Brooks Exhibitions Tel: 01727 814 400 Email: email@example.com Web: www.infrarail.com
1-3 March 2016 IT-TRANS: IT Solutions for Public Transport Where: Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre, Germany Organiser: UITP and KMK Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.it-trans.org/
26-27 May 2016 World Metrorail Congress, Light Rail, Rail Tel and Rail Power Where: Business Design Centre, London Organiser: Terrapinn Tel: 02070 921 125 Email: email@example.com Web: www.terrapinn.com/conference/metrorail
8-9 March 2016 Middle East Rail Where: Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre Organiser: Terrapinn Tel: +971 4440 2501 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.terrapinn.com/merail
28-29 June 2016 AfricaRail 2016 Where: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa Organiser: Terrapinn Tel: +2711 516 4044 Email: email@example.com Web: www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/africa-rail
Institute of Mechanical Engineers Training Courses Technical training for the railway industry A listing of courses currently available from the IMechE (Unless stated otherwise, all courses are in London) 15 March 2016 Introduction to rolling stock Provides a basic understanding of the role of traction and rolling stock within the context of railway systems as a whole. 16 March 2016 Traction and braking Principles of traction and braking for railway engineers 17 March 2016 Fleet Maintenance - introduction Improve your processes and fleet maintenance processes 22 March 2016 Vehicle dynamics and vehicle track interaction Understand the dynamics of railway vehicles to improve safety, comfort and asset life 23March 2016 Vehicle acceptance and approvals Introduction to acceptance procedures which apply across the rail network
5 April 2016 Fleet maintenance - advanced Understand the issues affecting rail vehicle performance and cost of maintenance
5 July 2016 Introduction to rolling stock Provides a basic understanding of the role of traction and rolling stock within the context of railway systems as a whole.
6 April 2016 Train communication and auxiliary systems New and existing systems in use on todayâ€™s rolling stock flee
6 July 2016 Traction and braking Principles of traction and braking for railway engineers
12 April 2016 Structural integrity Structural integrity, fire and crashworthiness systems found on todayâ€™s rail fleets 13 April 2016 Train control and safety systems Learn of the systems used on UK fleets that provide safety and train operational control 23-27 May 2016 Introduction to railway signalling technologies An overview of railway control systems, subsystems and technologies used on UK main line and metro railways
12 July 2016 Vehicle dynamics and vehicle track interaction Understand the dynamics of railway vehicles to improve safety, comfort and asset life 13 July 2016 Vehicle acceptance and approvals Introduction to acceptance procedures which apply across the rail network For more information, please contact the Learning and Development team: Tel: 02037 331 214 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.imeche.org/learning-and-development/ courses/railway 55
Strength amidst Despite pressures in the UK’s current rail industry, Kier’s leading position in the market makes it well placed to take advantage of a number of major projects that loom on the horizon
itting amongst the elite of the UK construction industry, Kier’s success is well known. With a reputation for delivering high profile projects across a broad range of markets and applications, the company prides itself on its approach to delivering a high level of service, with safety and innovation driving its success forward. Last speaking with Railway Strategies back in December 2014, Kier’s Business Development Director for Rail, Richard Turner, returns to discuss the company’s recent successes as well as the potential challenges that face the industry at present. “For 2015, in terms of big-ticket jobs, Balcombe upgrade programme has been a very successful signalling job for us, Chelsea Bridge works are coming to completion now, and at Port Talbot we have just been putting some of the ground structures in, which is going well,” outlines Richard. “The acquisition of Mouchel has also been significant in strengthening our offering to the rail industry.” Over these recent deliveries Kier has successfully demonstrated its long-standing reputation for innovation, most notably with the implementation of BIM (Building Information Modelling) in the £17 million Chelsea Bridge refurbishment programme. The software allowed the project team to track materials and defects to save both time and money in refurbishing the iconic London structure. “This was very important to us understanding the job and what we’re going to deliver before we got
there,” adds Richard. “This project is an excellent case study in terms of how BIM can deliver a job for you.” However, despite these successes, Richard explains that there is an impression of uncertainty in the market following Network Rail’s deferral of CP5 projects earlier in 2015. Whilst not directly involved in delivering electrification works, Kier does provide a lot of associate civil work to the programmes and so, despite some insulation, Richard reports a slight slump in the order books. “I am confident that work will pick up and these opportunities will present themselves again,” he expresses. “I think there is still a lot of work to be done moving forward in terms of strategy on how CP6 will be delivered though and I think this will have to involve the TOCs more. This could present further challenges as we adapt to a changing market.” Whilst these delays are only considered as just that – delays – Richard forecasts more challenges that may arise when the large, high profile projects, for which Kier is renowned, re-enter the market. “With this uncertainty there are problems with ensuring you have the right resources available,” he says. “Training and preparation get paused and it’s not always the easiest to switch back on again. Moreover, we have HS2 looming in the near future and there is a danger that we have a feast-and-famine scenario where delayed projects start to collide with this.” Despite this air of uncertainty hanging over the industry
Kier is in a positive position from which to take advantage of the array of potential opportunities within the market, not least those presented by HS2. Earlier in 2015, Kier announced its equal joint venture with Carillion and Eiffage to tender for major contracts within the programme. “This is starting to gain traction now with the tendering process under way for some of the larger areas of work,” explains Richard. “Eiffage bring all their expertise in delivering high-speed rail projects in France and Carillion bring their leading expertise as well. We will be looking to deliver more on the civil and construction side and HS2 gives us this possibility as well as the opportunity to gain more expertise from our partnerships to be a one-stop-shop for the rail delivery. It is a fantastic opportunity and we are really excited by it. “There has been some talk about bringing Chinese companies into the market to fill skill shortages in the delivery of HS2. However I don’t necessarily see the necessity in giving work away when we have the skills and labour available in this country. Certainly, we already have enough people ready to deploy, so this is another question mark hanging over the industry’s future.” In addition to HS2, Richard points out a number of high profile projects Kier is keen to tender for. “In terms of bidding, we’re looking at the Barking Riverside extension, which is coming to market and is right up our street,” he says. “There are a number of major stations in London to be developed that are on our radar and we’re also looking at the Bristol Temple Meads station. Whilst, again, there is some uncertainty about when they will come to market we are confident they will, so it’s just about preparing ourselves now to bid for them.” Kier’s recent successes have been focused mainly over the Wales and Western regions where, Richard highlights, Network Rail have been particularly co-operative and supportive. However, the company is keen to expand its
customer base across the rest of the country, particularly with London Underground, London Rail and the increasing light trail trend. This will be a key focal point as the company moves forward. “This year hasn’t seen the levels of performance we would have hoped for due to consolidation within the industry and the resulting uncertainty and delays,” Richard concludes. “However, I think we will see a ramping up of works as we go into 2016 and 2017. Outside of HS2 opportunities, which dwarf conventional rail projects, we aim to double the rail business in the long term. By expanding our customer base and our service portfolio, for instance in signalling where are seeing some recent success, we hope to achieve this.”
Arcadis Arcadis is the leading global design & consultancy firm for natural and built assets. It combines strategic advice with multidisciplinary technical knowledge to help clients and partners plan, design and build sustainable Infrastructure solutions. It has been at the forefront of this expertise for over a century, ensuring the reliability and safety of rail networks worldwide. As a lead designer it has been working with Kier’s JV with Carillion and Eiffage on HS2 opportunities, through its focus on collaboration, combined with High Speed Rail expertise drawn from SEA Tours to Bordeaux and Perpignan-Figueras and its work on major stations including London Bridge, Manchester Victoria and Amsterdam Central.
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