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June/July 2013

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz S T R A T E G I E S

Clever thinking from Southern Using technology to the best effect, Southern is taking an innovative approach towards its fleet management

NEWS ORR’s draft CP5 determination Network Rail publishes full-year results More carriages for London Overground c2c gets extension Four new stations to be funded Half time at Birmingham


Ensuring that LOROL’s trains are up to the mark, fleet director Peter Daw says success lies in the planning


Infrastructure & Civs Stations and Depots

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Chairman Andrew Schofield

Have you details cha r nge Are you re ading som d? eon copy of Ra ilway Stra e else’s tegies? Please em a il: karen@ra ilway to amend you request a r details or regular co py

From the Editor


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

Two sides to every coin


evenue up (£6.2 billion); passenger satisfaction up (85 per cent); £5 billion invested in the network over the year; passenger growth running at double the rate forecast in 2009. These were just some of the headline facts and figures contained in Network Rail’s full-year results released at the beginning of June. In its own assessment of Network Rail’s performance, the Office of Rail Regulation also recognised the record-high level of passenger satisfaction as well as the increases in passenger journeys (up four per cent) and the amount of freight carried (up three per cent). There was praise too for the infrastructure company’s “excellent levels of performance” during the 2012 London Olympics. Also singled out by the ORR was a strong performance by Network Rail and train operators in Scotland, where punctuality improved by 2.3 per cent to 93 per cent despite a period of harsh weather conditions. In contrast, however, the punctuality targets in England and Wales were missed, and, despite acknowledging some improvements, there was also some criticism for the lack of reliability of asset condition information, and a backlog of maintenance on some routes. These issues have prompted ORR to impose stretching targets for punctuality and asset management in its draft determination for CP5.

Issue 79 June/July 2013 ISSN 1467-0399 Published by

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zzzzzzzzzzzzz Contents Issue 79 June/July 2013


Interview – Peter Daw 10 Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs ‘Always on’ consumers have increasingly high expectations 69 Mark Elliott and Robert Williams HAV management for rail workers makes good business sense 84 Jim O’Hagan

10 Interview

Unobtrusive improvements 88 Jonathan Goss Leave a legacy for society: become an engineer 94 Mac Alghita Building confidence 96 Rob Searle

Profiles 62


Southern 16 London & North Western Railway 20 Metropex 50 Southeastern Railway 54 Grand Central 58 Arriva Trains Wales 62 Heathrow Express 64 Knorr Bremse 70 era-contact GmbH 78 The Railway Industry Association 80 Kapsch CarrierCom 97 Bender UK 100 Touax Rail 102 Mafex 104 National Express 106 Schlatter 108 Danske Statsbaner 111 Inter Ferry Boats 116 Pod-Trak 118 Morris Line Engineering 121

Focus on... 108

Depots & Maintenance Pages 10-21


News Industry News 4 Railtex Review 13 Stations 35 Franchises 53 Rolling Stock 73 Products & Services 77 Health & Safety 82 Security 89 Integrated Transport 90 Contracts 92 Training 95 Rail Alliance new members 123 Conferences & Exhibitions 124



Focus on...

Infrastructure & Civil Engineering London Underground: earth structures challenges & successes over the last 20 years 22 Brian McGinnity and Nader Saffari The little grid with the big potential 28 Tim Oliver


Unearthing the potential of plastic 30 Russell Belleguelle Lost in translation: seeing BIM through the client’s eyes 32 Allan Hunt

Focus on...


Upgrading the UK’s railway stations through innovation 40 Ian Dutton Connectivity that goes the extra mile 42 Ravi Mondair

Meeting the increase in passenger demand 44 Malcolm Stamper Finding the future at rail stations 46 David Watts



NEWS I Industry


Network Rail’s full-year results l Network Rail invested more than ever before (in cash terms) – some £14 million a day (£5 billion for the year) – in renewing and expanding Britain’s railway in 2012/13, the company r Patrick Butche announced on 6th June in its fullyear financial results. It’s been a challenging year on train performance, influenced by bad weather, and as a result the company faces a tough final year of the control period (CP4) to meet its stretching efficiency targets. Group finance director, Patrick Butcher, said: “The challenge we have faced over the last year, and will continue to face in the years ahead, is one of success – more people wanting to use more trains, more of the time. Over the last 12 months we have invested an unprecedented amount in growing and expanding the rail network through over 2000 projects nationwide. “However, the economic times in which we live mean that alongside delivering new capacity we need to keep a constant drive for improved efficiency. Our overall financial performance remains strong and we are on track to deliver over £5 billion of cost savings for the five years to 2014. “Building capacity and driving efficiency while maintaining performance at today’s historical high levels lie at the heart of our bid for funding for the next five year control period (2014-19) and the future of the company.”

New strategic partnership l International rail consultancy Network Rail Consulting and rail industry body RSSB have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to secure overseas business. The new partnership means that Network Rail Consulting can complement the full spectrum of expertise from Network Rail with the knowledge, products and services provided by RSSB. For the consultancy, the benefit is being able to tap into the independent rail industry body with an international reputation to provide an even broader package of services around the world. For RSSB, and the UK rail industry as a whole, the benefit is in generating new revenues to support the capabilities and knowledge it provides for the industry, as well as development opportunities for RSSB staff.

Thameslink rolling stock deal l DfT has announced the award of the £1.6 billion Thameslink rolling stock contract. The deal to build 1140 new carriages for use on the Thameslink rail line came a step closer to completion on 14th June as the Department for Transport confirmed its decision to award the £1.6 billion contract to a consortium led by train manufacturer Siemens, subject to the usual ten-day standstill period.


Publication of the draft ‘Environmental statement’ and the design refinements consultation A written statement to Parliament on HS2 from the Transport Secretary l The Government has published two documents for consultation which significantly move forward its work on the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands (known as phase one of HS2). These are the draft ‘Environmental statement (ES)’ and the design refinements consultations. Publication of the draft trick The Rt Hon Pa Secretary of ‘Environmental statement’ is a key P, McLoughlin M ort sp an Tr r fo step towards delivering the Hybrid e Stat Bill for the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands. The formal ES will be published alongside the Hybrid Bill later this year, having been further refined in light of responses to the draft ES consultation. The draft ES provides, wherever available, information on the likely significant environmental effects of HS2 – and our plans wherever possible to mitigate them. The Government believes that HS2 is vital for this country and will provide a huge economic return. However, I am aware that the building of the railway will cause disruption for those living close to the line of route. I am determined that this disruption should be kept to a minimum and mitigated wherever possible. Consulting on the draft ES is not a statutory requirement but the government recognises the importance of ensuring widespread engagement on the scheme. Best design can only be reached with the input of local communities, environmental groups and all levels of government. Once the Hybrid Bill is deposited, there will be a further period of consultation on the formal ‘Environmental statement’ as part of the Parliamentary process. Alongside the draft ES, I have published a consultation on a series of design refinements for the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands. Since we set out our proposed route in January 2012 we have been developing the detailed design of the scheme, listening to the representations from individuals and organisations affected by the route. This refinement process aims to ensure that we design a railway that is as efficient and effective as possible while limiting as far as practicable its impacts on people and the environment. Many of these proposed refinements are small in scale but some are more significant, altering the local impact of the scheme. To ensure my final decisions on these refinements are informed by the best possible information I have decided to consult on my initial preferences for the more significant changes before deciding whether to include them in the final design of the scheme. Consultation on both the draft ‘Environmental statement’ and the design refinements closes on 11th July. Consulting on these two documents is part of the process of helping to make HS2 the best it can be, providing passengers with the high level of service they expect while minimising as far as practicable the impact on local communities.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Lewes – Uckfield rail route to be re-examined

l Secretary of State Patrick McLoughlin has asked Network Rail to examine if re-opening the Lewes – Uckfield railway line will meet the demand for the future growth in rail travel. The Government’s Rail Investment Strategy already requires additional rail capacity to be delivered between Uckfield and London Bridge by 2019. This is likely to be achieved by adding more carriages to trains running on the route. Now a new study commissioned by the Secretary of State is looking at rail provision between London and the south coast further into the future and as part of its terms of reference will re-examine the case for a new line linking the Sussex towns. The study will feed into decisions on the future funding of the railways. The current Rail Investment Strategy outlines funding priorities until 2019 and this work would inform any business case for changes to rail provision in the area beyond that date. The line linking the two towns was closed in 1969 but there is local appetite to see it brought back into use. Recent moves to devolve decision-making for local transport schemes will also give greater freedom to local councils and enterprise partnerships to determine priorities and allocate funding accordingly.

Eurotunnel launches ETICA to help develop intermodal rail freight l Eurotunnel considers that one of its principal missions is to develop railway traffic between the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Having introduced several previous measures (Open Access, European Interoperability Standards – TSI), Eurotunnel is launching ETICA (Eurotunnel Incentive for Capacity Additions), a system of financial support for railway operators launching new intermodal rail freight services through the Channel Tunnel. The difficulty with opening new services through the Channel Tunnel is not, contrary to some views, due to the level of access charges, which are very competitive, but to the marketing and service startup costs and the controls at Frethun. The ETICA mechanism, which will be available to all railway operators, will provide a one-off financial support for start-up investments, for one year. The ETICA mechanism, which will be fully funded by Eurotunnel, with no public subsidy, is based on the Marco Polo aid system, conforms to European Directives and does not change the access charges set out in the Network Statement. Eurotunnel believes that its intrinsic strengths of efficiency and respect for the environment mean there is potential to further develop rail freight through the Tunnel.

A Southern Class 377 passes through Lewes station

LU and TRL sign MoU l London Underground and TRL have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formally establish their mutual interest in sharing and combining research expertise in transport, to help develop innovative solutions to some of the challenges currently facing the rail industry. Both London Underground and TRL have a long history of working in the transport arena and together they have agreed to: l Undertake joint research in areas of common interest l Share experience, research and knowledge including technical and practical solutions, and jointly promote learning across the two organizations l Explore new ways to unlock present problems in applying news techniques and technologies l Share resources to advance knowledge and expertise. The agreement builds on the recent launch of LU’s Innovation Portal and its drive to create an industry environment conducive to fostering innovation and research focused on meeting its business challenges.

New chairman for Eurostar International l Clare Hollingsworth has become the new chairman of Eurostar International, succeeding Richard Brown who decided to step down from the Board when his three-year term as chairman ended in June this year. Clare has extensive experience of the transport sector and of customer-facing businesses. She joined the Board of Eurostar as an independent nonexecutive director in 2010.



NEWS I Industry


New FCC MD l FirstGroup has appointed David Statham as managing director of First Capital Connect. He will take over from Neal Lawson, who left to join Network Rail at the end of May.

ETCS success

l Crossrail’s final two tunnel boring machines launched later this year to begin further tunnelling work in Pudding Mill Lane, east London l Continued progress by Canary Wharf Group on the four-storey retail development above the new Canary Wharf station, including the start of work on the timber lattice roof in late 2013 l Archaeology work continuing at Crossrail sites later this year including excavation of the Bedlam Burial Ground at Liverpool Street station where up to 4000 skeletons from the 1600s-1800s are thought to be buried l Work nearing completion on the 34.5m-deep Stepney Green shaft, one of Europe’s largest underground caverns – the two eastern tunnelling machines will pass through the shaft later this year l Throughout the life of the Crossrail project and its supply chain it is estimated that enough work will be generated to support the equivalent of 55,000 full-time jobs.


Hitachi Rail Europe / Richard W Jones

‘Elizabeth’ enters Canary Wharf station l The Crossrail project has celebrated its biggest milestone so far as one of its 1000 tonne tunnelling machines has broken through into the new Canary Wharf station box, 28 metres underground. Crossrail’s eastern tunnelling machines, named Elizabeth and Victoria, were launched from the Limmo site near Canning Town towards the end of last year to create 8.3km (5.16 miles) of tunnels from east London to Farringdon – Crossrail’s longest tunnel section. Tunnelling machine Elizabeth will now undergo maintenance inside the Canary Wharf station box before resuming tunnelling towards central London. Sister machine Victoria is due to breakthrough into the station in the next few weeks. Key milestones coming up on the Crossrail project include: l Completion of the first Crossrail tunnels by the end of 2013 – the 6km western section between Royal Oak and Farringdon

l Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. has announced that its Onboard ETCS (European Train Control System) solution has successfully connected to the Network Rail Cambrian Line signalling system, and achieved ETCS Level 2 operation. The breakthrough came as part of Hitachi Rail Europe’s ‘VerificationTrain 3’ project to trial ETCS onboard equipment in the UK. During this project, the Class 97301 locomotive was successfully retro-fitted with the Hitachi onboard system to prove interoperability with other systems currently in use. As part of the recent success, the Hitachi system was correctly identified on the Network Rail Signalling System and Control Centre in Wales (Machynlleth) without any system failures. The locomotive was driven under its own power with ETCS Level 2 via the GSM-R radio network in various operational modes such as ‘Staff Responsible’, ‘On Sight’, ‘Shunting’ and ‘Full Supervision’. ETCS is a common signalling system which has been developed throughout Europe to enable train services to cross frontiers and boundaries between different countries without the need to change signalling systems or locomotives. ETCS is part of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and many systems have already been implemented around the world.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Crossrail 2 zz Crossrail 2 route consultation opens


© Transport for London

© Transport for London

(L-R) Peter Hendy (commissioner, TfL), Baroness Valentine, Boris Johnson, Lord Adonis, David Higgins (chief executive, Network Rail), Richard Tracey (AM, Merton & Wandsworth)

ith London’s population set to boom, plans are underway for a vital new rail line, Crossrail 2, in order to support this future growth. The plans moved a step closer in May with Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail launching a public consultation on the proposed routes. With Crossrail already set to provide a ten per cent increase to rail capacity in London, Crossrail 2 would add to this even further. It would create a new high frequency, high capacity rail line with shorter journey times between south west and north east London. It would help to relieve congestion on busy main line routes into central London and on the Underground network, while allowing communities around London to benefit from the creation of new jobs and new homes. The consultation will seek the views of people in London and the south east of England and will run until 2nd August 2013. It aims to establish what level of support there is for the project and where the public and stakeholders would like Crossrail 2 to serve. The public are encouraged to respond and share their views at Even with the Tube upgrade works and the delivery of Crossrail additional capacity on the transport network is needed to cope with London’s forecasted population growth. Crossrail 2 could be operational in 2030 but it is essential that work continues now to meet this target so the future forecasted population and employment growth in London is supported by new transport infrastructure. A route for Crossrail 2, formerly known as the ChelseaHackney Line, has been kept free from any intrusive building development since 1991 and any new buildings along the route have been constructed to allow for a potential new railway line. TfL is now reviewing this safeguarded route and has proposed two alternatives which would better meet the rail needs of the capital in the future – a Metro option and a Regional option. The Metro option could offer a high frequency underground service across central London. This option could be an underground railway and could operate between Wimbledon and Alexandra Palace. The route would relieve congestion on trains and platforms on the Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines. The Regional option could benefit people in Hertfordshire, Surrey and beyond by enabling more trains to run on busy National Rail routes. This route could be a combined underground and overground railway and could operate from Alexandra Palace and stations in Hertfordshire to various locations in south west London and Surrey. A report on the findings of this consultation will be presented to the Mayor of London in autumn this year and made publicly available on the consultation website. Further, more detailed consultations would then follow. zz




NEWS I Industry


ORR’s draft CP5 determination


n 12th June, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) announced that over £2 billion savings had been identified in plans which would enable Britain’s railways to achieve continued growth and increase rail capacity over the next five years. New tougher regulatory targets would also see levels of train punctuality increase with at least nine out of ten trains running on time on every route, higher standards of network infrastructure management and improved safety for passengers and railway workers. ORR has undertaken an extensive analysis of Network Rail’s Strategic Plan for the railways between 2014 and 2019 (CP5), published in January this year. The plan sets out proposals for funding and improving the rail network as required by the Westminster and Scottish Governments. It builds on the growth and success of Britain’s railways over the past decade, which has seen safety, punctuality and services improve – and prompted record rises in the number of passengers and the amount of freight carried. ORR’s assessment shows that over the next five years the day-to-day cost of running the rail network should be £21.4 billion – nearly £2 billion less than proposed by Network Rail. Savings will be achieved through the implementation of new technologies, better management of the railways and more efficient ways of working. These savings will not come at the expense of safety. The regulator has largely protected Network Rail’s maintenance expenditure so that the delivery of a high-performing railway is not compromised. There is also additional funding to improve the condition of civil structures (bridges, tunnels) as well as to upgrade and close level crossings. With rail passenger numbers expected to rise by a further 14 per cent by 2019, ORR has approved a £12 billion programme of enhancement projects to boost capacity on Britain’s railways. However, nearly £7 billion of these projects are in very early stages of planning. To safeguard taxpayer interests, before releasing funds for these schemes, ORR is requiring Network Rail to provide well-developed plans to ensure they represent real value for money. The regulator also proposes that Network Rail seeks input from train operators, stakeholders, and passengers to demonstrate these plans address the needs of rail users. zz


ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “Britain’s railway is a success story and it has made significant progress over the last decade. In order to sustain this progress and retain support and confidence, the industry must continue to improve its efficiency to reduce its dependence on public subsidy. “We have set out what Network Rail and its industry partners will need to deliver between now and 2019 for passengers, freight customers, train operators, and taxpayers. Passengers will benefit from increases in capacity through a major programme of enhancements and improvements in punctuality, tackling in particular the worst-performing lines. Not only that, we are proposing that rail users should have more say in what enhancements to the railways are delivered and how. “This determination is stretching but achievable and it gives Network Rail incentives to build on past successes, and do even better than the challenges we have set.”

By the end of 2019, ORR will require Network Rail to achieve: l Improved performance for passengers – An average of 92.5 per cent of trains on all routes up and down the country must arrive on time, with the difference between the best and the worst performing routes narrowing. At least nine out of ten trains must run on time on all routes. l Delivery of projects to increase capacity and levels of service on the network – Many of Network Rail’s proposed enhancements to the rail network are in very early stages of planning. ORR has allocated funding to see these projects develop as fast as possible. The regulator is proposing that rail users and train operators are given a bigger role to shape the specification and delivery of Network Rail’s projects. This will help put passengers at the heart of decisions on how the railway is improved. l Better management of the network infrastructure (assets) – Network Rail will have better and more up-to-date data on the condition of its tracks, bridges and other assets so that problems can be identified and fixed before they occur, significantly reducing delays caused by asset failures. The regulator will specify how progress is measured, and ensure the company is working to stretching new regulatory targets. Network Rail will also improve the resilience of the network to climate change. l Improved safety for rail passengers and workers – ORR has approved £67 million funding to upgrade and close level crossings in England and Wales. Network Rail must reduce the risk of train accidents and work towards eliminating fatalities and major injuries. l Greater efficiencies and value for money – ORR’s analysis shows that Network Rail can deliver what the Governments want by spending £2 billion less than proposed. Through more effective incentives, ORR is encouraging train operators, Network Rail and the supply chain to work together to create further opportunities to save money. Network Rail is forecast to achieve efficiencies of 40 per cent in running the railway from 2004 to 2014. ORR is expecting Network Rail to deliver a further 20 per cent efficiencies from 2014 to 2019, which will see the company itself fully meet Sir Roy McNulty’s efficiency challenge. Network Rail now has until 4th September to provide its response to this draft determination, and ORR will publish its final determination on 31st October 2013. To read ORR’s draft determination and summary overviews, visit

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Rail Freight Group (RFG) has welcomed the ORR’s decisions on freight charges announced as part of the Draft Determination of the Periodic Review 2013. As part of a package of reforms, ORR has concluded that: l Biomass will not be subject to a new freight specific charge in control period 5 l Increases in the variable access charges for freight will be capped at an average ten per cent compared to the 23 per cent previously announced. This is likely to reduce charges for intermodal traffic, and limits the impact of rises in the bulk markets such as aggregates and steel l The proposed 400 per cent increase to the capacity charge for freight will not be implemented and a revised approach will be developed l The previously announced caps on the freight specific charge for ESI coal, iron ore and spent nuclear fuel will be reduced. For ESI Coal, for example, the cap will reduce from £4.04 to £1.04 per kgtm.

“We welcome today’s draft determination from the Office of Rail Regulation setting out their proposals for the funding and investment the railway will need for the five years to 2019. “A decision of this significance, which will be important not only for the railway’s four million daily passengers and freight users, but also the economic prosperity of the country and the future sustainability of the network, needs careful and detailed thought. We will take the time necessary to analyse our regulator’s initial findings before giving our formal response in September.

“We are pleased that ORR has listened to the concerns of the industry and has taken a balanced decision that is affordable and fair. This will be a great relief to rail freight operators, customers and those seeking to invest in the sector who can now develop their business plans with confidence.”

“There is no question that our railway needs to sustain the high levels of investment seen in recent years if we are to continue expanding the railway to provide for the ever growing numbers of passengers and trains. Getting the balance right in making the choices between performance, growth and value for money is critical if we are to build on efficiency savings of around 40 per cent achieved over the last two control periods.”

Maggie Simpson, RFG executive director

Network Rail spokesperson






better way When it comes to ensuring that LOROL’s trains are up to the mark, fleet director Peter Daw tells Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs how success lies in the planning


hilst many may associate fast and flexible rail transport in London with subterranean tunnels, since 2007 the London Overground network has continued to thrive as a popular alternative in the capital’s public transport offering. With the opening of the link between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays in 2012, the Overground provides a complete orbital network around the city connecting into many key destinations such as Stratford, Euston, and Highbury and Islington.


Working under concession with Transport for London (TfL), London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL) is the train operating company responsible for running this network. As fleet director at LOROL it falls to Peter Daw to ensure that enough trains are provided in a safe and reliable condition on a daily basis to deliver the services. Peter is also the professional head of engineering within LOROL and holds the safety case for that.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Bombardier’s New Cross Gate depot

Fleet arrangements In terms of the fleet itself, Peter explains how this encompasses a number of train types in order to move between the different infrastructure of the network: “We have a fleet of 57 Class 378 Electrostar trains, which were purchased by TfL and contracted to Bombardier for the maintenance. I am then TfL’s agent for managing that contract. Twenty of those trains are 378/1 DC only units, operating purely on the East London Line. The rest are 378/2 dual-voltage trains capable of running on both AC and DC infrastructure making them a very flexible fleet that go almost anywhere on the network.” In fact the only place precluded to these trains is the Gospel Oak to Barking line, which is presently not electrified. For this part of the network LOROL maintains a fleet of eight Class 172 diesel trains. “These were purchased from Bombardier under lease from Angel Trains,” describes Peter. “The reason for this is that part of our concession stipulated that we purchase new trains to run on the Gospel OakBarking line. At the same time there is the aspiration that this part of the network will become electrified at some point, which would enable us to extend the scope of our Class 378 trains and return the diesel fleet to Angel Trains.” LOROL in fact purchased a set of 12 Class 172s, four of which now work on Chiltern Railways. The maintenance of those units remains with LOROL though at its Willesden depot, and notably are recognised as the most reliable fleet at Chiltern.

TfL, so we need to be in step with one another. We found that the team at New Cross Gate were hugely knowledgeable about engineering but less so about what is required to run a railway, so from the onset I established my own team at Willesden whereby every fleet and engineering job function in LOROL is aligned with the same role in Bombardier. We all have a link between each other and are all learning through that.” With an obligation to provide 53 out of the 57 electric trains to the network on a daily basis, LOROL requires a high level of fleet availability. As such, rigorous planning is at the centre of achieving this. “We as an operating company have to deliver the maintenance plan as agreed with Bombardier,” continues Peter. “That means that the train has to arrive at the agreed time, when the staff will be there to do the work, and the materials required will be available – if any one of those elements is missing the work doesn’t get done that day and we have twice as much to do tomorrow. “When we first started the service we had a generic maintenance regime that was devolved from other Electrostar trains around the system, which clearly did not fit the type of work our trains were doing. Whilst they may not travel as long distances or at high speeds, our 53 trains in service stop over 10,000 times per day, so we have developed adjusted regimes with Bombardier that fully fit that function,” he continues.

Well laid plans

Different approach

Since LOROL took over the concession, Peter and his team have worked hard to improve reliability year-on-year. The results of this are apparent with the number of fleet technical incidents reduced by 36 per cent and fleet delay minutes by 53 per cent. Furthermore the latest ATOC figures show that LOROL has improved the number of delays per incident (DPIs) by over 40 per cent, which is currently the best in the UK. Key to achieving this has been the relationship cultivated between LOROL and Bombardier in their role as maintainers of the 378s at their New Cross Gate facility. Elaborating on this Peter says: “What I have tried to instill into the teams at LOROL and Bombardier is that we’re both here for the same objective and working for the same customer

This partnership also continues to evolve as LOROL and Bombardier find better ways of doing things. One such example was the reduction of maintenance windows throughout the Olympics period, which proved so effective that this is now being continued post Games. “Prior to the Olympics we conducted an ‘A’ exam at 7500 miles, and a ‘B’ exam at 15,000 miles on all our trains. In the approach to the Games though the company was able to eliminate the ‘A’ exam completely and increase the maintenance period to 15,000 miles between exams. We looked at the data over the years to see what we were doing in the ‘A’ exam, what we’d found, and what needed attention, and it became apparent that it wasn’t necessary for the train to call into the depot so frequently,” elaborates Peter.





nce Maintena

LOROL’s Willesden depot

Proactive 172 HVA C replace ment

Crucially this reduction in maintenance windows had no impact on the safe operation of the train, which is all parties’ primary concern. “First and foremost we have to ensure that each train complies with our safety case,” confirms Peter. “Then we check that it doesn’t go outside the agreed terms of supply with TfL which is very much about what the passenger sees, and thirdly that what goes on underneath the train is reliable and will provide the service without failure. “Under our train supply agreement (TSA), which is the TfL document through which we manage Bombardier, there are a lot of very strict KPIs on what the condition of the train can be. This was very prescriptive so for the Olympics I worked with TfL to reach an agreement where we could relax some of the criteria on the basis that they weren’t required, there was minimal risk in relaxing them, and there was no impact on the customer. That proved to be a success so we are now continuing and formulating these measures, and there are even more opportunities within the TSA that we believe could be adjusted to support day-to-day operations,” he continues. Another measure that has come out of the work around the Olympics has been empowerment of employees on the shop floor to make decisions on what needs to be done in order to run the railway the next day. This is still within a set of guidelines, but this delegation of


responsibility has really paid off in terms of optimising the availability and reliability of the fleet. “The final decision will always rest with LOROL though,” reiterates Peter. “Our team at Willesden acts as a final check when accepting the trains back after maintenance and to ensure that we log everything that has been done.”

No surprises In order to make its fleet maintenance even more robust LOROL is making use of new train monitoring technology, such as the Orbita system. This web-based programme logs a whole spectrum of performance data, such as door operation or brake applications, and then, through a set of alerts set up by Bombardier, can identify when a fault or pre-cursor to a potential train failure occurs. This then enables LOROL to make the necessary arrangements to carry out repairs as required. “Once again it’s all about planning,” notes Peter. “If there is a problem with our trains we know straight away so that we can make the decisions required to address that. One thing I always emphasise to my staff is no surprises. They should know the condition of the fleet at any time, day or night, and exactly where it is in its maintenance regime so that when a train comes in they know what is likely to have gone wrong and have the materials on hand to fix it.” zz

LOROL Tel: +44 (0) 845 601 4867 Email: Web:

Railtex visitor numbers rise by 19 per cent A significant increase in visitor numbers was achieved at the biggest Railtex since 2007


total of 8,202 rail industry professionals visited Railtex 2013 – an increase of 19 per cent on the figure for 2011. Of these, around 63 per cent were directors, senior managers and those with purchasing or decision-making responsibilities, highlighting the quality of attendees. And while the majority of visitors were from the UK, attendees from 49 countries accounted for 7.5 per cent of the total visitor number, underlining the role that Railtex plays in highlighting the export capabilities of the country’s rail supply industry. Total attendance, including exhibitors’ personnel was 10,634, up 13 per cent on 2011. Held at Earls Court exhibition centre in London from 30th April to 2nd May, this year’s show was the eleventh in a highly successful series of events providing a showcase for the latest rail industry products, systems and services. It was the biggest Railtex since 2007, with 434 organisations from 17 countries taking part, including 64 companies exhibiting at the event for the first time. Participants included many of the industry’s best known names, together with numerous highly specialised firms supplying essential products and services for all sectors of the market. The event was further strengthened by the support and presence of the Railway Industry Association, and by co-ordinated participation by both the Rail Alliance networking organisation and the Derby & Derbyshire Rail Forum. A new feature of the exhibition was The Yard, an area dedicated to the display of larger items of plant and rail infrastructure construction and maintenance vehicles. Devised in collaboration with the Rail Plant Association, it included exhibits by Flotec, Keyline, Rail-Ability and Siemens. Also a key part of the show was the On Track Display, sponsored by Tata Steel and featuring its products as well as products from BCM Group, Rosehill Rail, Schneider Electric and Topcon.

Among other supporting activities at this year’s show was a programme of project updates covering major Network Rail schemes, the planned HS2 high-speed network and the IEP rolling stock programme, plus developments in the Baltic region and Hong Kong. And a new Railtex feature was The Platform, a programme of open panel discussions staged in partnership with the Rail Champions business development forum. Summing up the success of Railtex 2013, exhibition manager Heidi Cotsworth said: “This positive feedback confirms that this was a very successful show and we thank everyone who contributed to it – exhibitors, visitors, speakers and participants in all our supporting events, as well as our show partners and supporting organisations. Our focus is now on next year’s Infrarail exhibition, which will bring us back to Earls Court. Planning for that is well under way and stand reservations are already coming in quickly.” Infrarail 2014 will take place at Earls Court in London from 20 to 22 May 2014.

Transport Minister opens show Railtex 2013 was formally opened by Minister of State for Transport Simon Burns MP, who commented: “Industry needs trade shows because they bring together people, they spark new ideas and they help to build new working relationships. We need more opportunities to meet face to face – that’s what makes events like Railtex particularly valuable.” The Minister was also a keynote speaker in a programme of well attended technical seminars hosted by The Rail Engineer magazine. Keynote speeches were additionally delivered by Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE, Chairman of Network Rail, and Andrew Wolstenholme OBE, CEO of Crossrail.



Depots & Maintenance


Time to write off the traditional whiteboard

–with a modern, innovative, web-based approach to depot train maintenance planning


he UK’s rail networks are getting busier. This is reflected in increasing activity levels within depots, in turn placing increasing burdens on depot staff and existing infrastructure. Improving productivity and efficiency are obviously therefore key to reducing these pressures and to the continued successful operation of rail depots across the country. Good planning, organisation and communication are essential factors in the effectiveness of almost any team-based work. In depots, this co-ordination has historically been based around a whiteboard, usually located in a control room or supervisor office somewhere on-site. Information is handwritten upon this whiteboard, detailing train expected arrivals and departures, together with the rolling stock maintenance tasks that need to be carried out. This of course presents the challenge of dissemination of relevant information to staff working around the depot who cannot directly see the whiteboard itself. It also allows for both loss and corruption of information which can simply be wiped off the whiteboard, unclearly written and misread etc. Simple, easy-to-make mistakes are inevitable, and could have a significant effect on the depot’s output. The traditional whiteboard system’s


laborious nature absorbs valuable staff time in its administration, which could be more productively utilised if released from the tedious manual updating requirements involved. As the depot gets busier, so does the whiteboard, with new information being produced more frequently and the amount of information being displayed growing. This places increasing strain on the whiteboard system and those operating it – who have to juggle updating the whiteboard with the multitude of other tasks they need to carry out. This obviously increases the likelihood of errors being made. A modern, IT-based solution would therefore seem a natural development, in the same way that computer-based applications have been created for so many other information processing and control activities. UK-based rail technology company Zonegreen has stepped up to this challenge with its Operator Planning Suite (OPS). This has been developed with the above issues in mind, and Zonegreen have produced this product specifically designed purely for use in rail depots.

New technologies: adding benefits, removing problems Zonegreen’s Operator Planning Suite (OPS), a multi-user, web-based graphical task planning

application, is a cost-effective replacement of the traditional manual whiteboard. It has a graphical map layout representing the depot on which users can position trains and create and assign maintenance tasks, together with schedules for train arrivals and departures. Instead of being physically handwritten on a board, all information is inputted to the system electronically. Changes and progress can be entered straightforwardly and easily, and are automatically and immediately recorded and updated on the system, improving system reliability and reducing the likelihood of any communication failures and breakdowns. OPS instantly transmits all information to anywhere in the depot – or elsewhere. It provides up-to-the-minute information on any train in the depot including train ID, train location within the depot, expected arrival and departure times and types of maintenance required. This real-time operation allows maintenance information to be updated and displayed in an accurate and synchronised manner. This leads to another feature of the system, which is that more than one copy of the whiteboard can function at the same time. Zonegreen’s OPS is web-based system using cloud technology – allowing anyone with suitable login credentials and an internet connection to access the system anytime, anywhere. The

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz system has various user levels allowing for differing levels of user rights of operation and access. It can also be beneficial to other areas of an organisation located outside of the depot, especially in large maintenance organisations or TOCs who can benefit from having up-to-theminute information easily available to its various departments. All information handled by OPS is securely hosted online, instead of via any additional hardware, so any equipment that has an internet connection is able (with the relevant user login details) to access the most up-todate information in real-time – excellent for transmitting information quickly and efficiently within an organisation. As well as management and planning personnel, the system is useful to other staff working in the depot. Tasks can be shown in easy-to-read lists, making planning daily workloads simple, and graphical depot map layouts allow easy identification of rolling stock as well as forming an intuitive platform for the operation of the system OPS also has the ability to produce reports at the click of a button. All maintenance histories and logs are fully recorded, visible and traceable, allowing a user to produce complete activity reports for any specific vehicle or time period. This simple method of report generation has the potential to save hours filling in maintenance forms and rifling through paperwork – the OPS system can do all the searching. The traceability the system offers by recording actions and its facility for report generation removes the afore-mentioned risks of loss or distortion of information inherently associated with the operation of a traditional manual wipe-clear whiteboard. With the Operator Planning Suite, Zonegreen – already widely known in the rail industry for its market-leading Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPSTM) – now provides an affordable and dedicated solution, designed especially for rail depots, to augment depot planning, co-ordination and communication with the very latest in modern, web-based technologies. zz

Alstom selects Zonegreen for hi tech Italian depot Innovative software developed by Sheffield’s Zonegreen is keeping operations at Italy’s most advanced rail depot running smoothly and efficiently l Alstom has installed the South Yorkshire rail safety specialist’s Operator Planning Suite (OPS) to oversee all of the daily functions in its maintenance centre near Nola. The web-based planning application replaces traditional whiteboards, which are still used in many depot control rooms across Europe. It has been implemented at the new Nola facility to manage the maintenance of high speed trains on the Turin-Salerno and Rome-Venice lines. Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s technical director, said: “Instead of being handwritten on a communal board, OPS allows all maintenance information to be added to a multi-user system that provides a bird’s eye view of the depot. As changes occur at Nola they are now recorded automatically and the updates transmitted immediately, reducing the likelihood of communication failures.” Zonegreen has developed OPS specifically for the rail sector. It uses cloud technology to share task planning information, including the arrival and departure times of trains and the type of work required. Using a tabular or graphical layout of the depot, operators can plot train positions and synchronise maintenance information. Data can also be shared to capture activities, create reports and reduce the number of manual tasks required. Francesco Fidanza, Alstom’s fleet operations manager at Nola, added: “Several plasma screens around the depot display the OPS system so everyone can visualise train locations and update information accurately. It is important for us to share and disseminate maintenance data to different locations in a convenient way and the Zonegreen system enables users with various levels of access to log in from anywhere.” NTV invested 90 million euro in the construction of the new Nola depot, which is dedicated to the maintenance of .italo AGV fleet – the first high speed trains of their kind in the world. The 140,000 square metre facility has 12,000 metres of track and employs 200 people on long and short route maintenance

Zonegreen is a world leader in depot safety and efficiency systems. For further information about the company’s Operator Planning Suite, please contact: Zonegreen Ltd Tel: +44 (0)114 230 0822 Email: Web:





Clever thinking W

Using technology to the best effect, Southern is taking an innovative approach towards its fleet management


ith train services for commuters, airport users, business travellers, and leisure passengers, around 447,000 journeys are made every day with Southern. The company operates services in south London, and between central London and the south coast, through East and West Sussex, Surrey, and parts of Kent and Hampshire. Southern, in various guises has operated franchises on its network since 2001 and has invested heavily in its trains and

Class 377 refresh work

stations, train depot upgrades, and overall performance. It has also created an environment where innovation can flourish in order to drive improvements or add value to the business. One example of where this is taking place is within Southern’s fleet directorate. At present the company is undertaking a complete refresh of its 182 Class 377 trains (700 carriages) in-house at its Selhurst Depot. Given the extent of the refresh programme


7 refresh

Class 37


introduced a number of strict KPIs and targets, and carried out daily quality audits.” Aside from the obvious benefits in terms of time management and cost savings, carrying out the work internally has enabled Southern to learn lessons that can be applied to other projects. “A prime example of this is that we have just

2CL Communications Ltd As Motorola’s largest authorised Two-Way Radio Partner, 2CL supplies radio systems for voice, lone working, ‘man-down’, personnel tracking, shunting and call recording (for both radio and landline telephone conversations). 2CL offers a full range of radios (including the latest digital technology), system design, dedicated account managers, bespoke maintenance packages and short or long-term radio hire. Supplier to Southern Railway and others, 2CL is registered with Link-up and Network Rail, and ISO 9001:2008 accredited.

started the equivalent overhaul on the Class 171 diesel units, so a lot of the principles and processes we applied for the 377s are being implemented from the start,” notes Iain. “We also have another fleet of trains, the Class 455s, that are being refurbished off-site at an external works so the fleet as a whole is going through quite an uplift at the moment.” Innovation is also being applied to some of the areas that passengers don’t necessarily see. This includes the Third Rail In-Service Monitoring Equipment (TRIME) project, which was named as joint winner of the Stephenson Award for Engineering Innovation of the Year at the 2012 National Rail Awards. “With TRIME, our objective was to try and get a quantifiable measurement of what is going on between the third rail and the shoegear on the train, and to try and understand where the interface between them is worse than expected,” describes Simon Green, Southern’s chief engineer. “We believe there is a whole industry benefit here as a bad shoe-

and tight turnarounds, clever thinking has had to be employed as fleet overhaul and projects manager, Iain Nairne highlights: “There’s not an area of the train inside or out that we don’t touch in some way or another from new flooring and seat covers, to the overhaul of the bogies and doors, and paint repairs. Work on each unit begins on a Saturday morning and finishes the following Friday evening during which time we undertake 2500 personnel hours of work on the train. “Having started in August 2011 we are now 60 per cent of the way through the programme. At the start of the project, we went through a steep learning curve but now we are into full production where we are turning around one unit each week. There are a lot of refreshed trains in service that our passengers are benefitting from as a result of this overhaul work.” Perhaps the biggest challenge has been delivering that work safely and efficiently given the number of people working on and around the train. Justin Lanigan, repair shop manager at Selhurst Depot, explains how this was achieved: “We’ve applied continuous improvement techniques to the process. We’ve also worked to remove unnecessary waste with improved tooling, lineside equipment, and designated areas for materials and storage. In order to manage the work effectively, we



gear incident can cause significant disruption and delays. Therefore there was a clear business case to try and understand where these problems were occurring and then having a plan to deal with them.” Together with its partners, Network Rail and Birmingham University, and with support from the RSSB, Southern developed TRIME, which was fitted to one of its Class 377 trains in 2012. Since then the company has continued to tweak and refine the equipment in order to gain further benefits: “We’ve focused on improving the reliability of the laser measurement kit with new mountings, and have started to integrate some track monitoring capability which will hopefully give us some data on ride quality as well,” highlights Simon. “So far we have seen the data generated being used to target maintenance interventions, and although we need to do more validation work, we tend not to see so many precursors of broken shoe-gear frangible joints, which would indicate that we are slowly removing the areas of poor interface performance on the network.” Remote condition-based monitoring is already being made use of on the Class 455 fleet through its Train Automatic Performance Analysis System (TAPAS). Developed together



with HSBC Rail and Tessella, the system records and downloads journey files that can then be analysed and used to S O R R CHU optimise fleet reliability and performance. “Because the OTDR system on the train is there predominately to understand TAPAS operator what happens from an operational perspective, the question arose as to whether we could use that information to look at how the driver drives the train as a support to driver competency assessments,” says Simon. “This led us to develop the CHURROS system, which analyses journeys by driver rather than by unit. By looking at the data we can discern individual driving style and flag up characteristics that may be considered as precursors to a safety of the line incident.” He continues: “This is not intended to be a spy in the cab, but a tool that helps manage the safe operation of our railways, by facilitating a meaningful conversation between the driver and line manager. We are now in discussion Chief with the RSSB to explore the possibility of engineer starting a research project into this technology Simon Green and how it can be used going forward.” zz with NRA award for TRIME



London & North Western Railway


Freightliner Class 66 repaint

In good shape With a significant expansion on the horizon, London & North Western Railway (LNWR) is focusing on planning and preparation


ased out of Crewe, London & North Western Railway (LNWR) is a leading independent UK train maintenance company with five strategically located depots across the country. Four of these assets were acquired from Axiom in 2011 giving the business a new presence in Bristol, Cambridge, Newcastle and Eastleigh. Regardless of location though, LNWR offers the same quality overhaul, maintenance and servicing capability for passenger rolling stock, locomotives, freight wagons, and track plant. As such, this sees the company work with train and freight operating companies, rolling stock leasing companies (ROSCOs), and train manufacturers. Reflecting on how the business has fared in recent months managing director Mark Knowles notes: “We’ve maintained our base load business in servicing and maintenance, and grown our heavy maintenance offering as is our strategy with new contracts with customers such as Porterbrook. A major achievement has been to lay the foundation stones for future growth as we’re on the cusp of taking the business into its next phase, which is to be a major provider of heavy maintenance services to the industry.”


Operations director Sean Forster continues: “We are actively looking to develop contracts with all the major rolling stock companies, and indeed we already work with a variety of operators to help them in delivering modifications over and above the statutory heavy maintenance that is required. “In terms of recent deliveries last year we completed a major refurbishment programme on Arriva Trains Wales’ Class 158 fleet. This

Arriva Trains Wales-Angel Trains Class 158 programme

was subsequently short-listed at the Rail Business Awards in February where we were highly commended for our work on the project. Another prominent achievement for the company has been our award of environmental standard ISO 14001 which demonstrates the ongoing development we undertake in our business,” he continues. Key to LNWR’s expansion strategy has been its four new depots, which have enabled it to significantly increase capacity without major expenditure on facility development. As of now, the company is continuing with the integration phase for these assets and building new business. Over at its headquarters in Crewe LNWR has also had a re-think, which has seen it place more focus into management of its tandem wheel lathe. “By and large this

Arriva Trains Wales-Angel Trains Class 158 programme

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz extends to just beyond 2020 for operating companies and the DfT to commit to new rolling stock on long leases without committing operators, who may not even be in existence yet, to their use. What we do know is that there’s a whole lot of vehicles out there that are starting to become due for some significant work, including substantial modifications,

Belvoir Engineering Services

Arriva Trains Wales-Angel Trains Class 158 programme operates as a stand-alone activity within the business available to the whole industry for tyre turning. We have achieved a substantial uplift in our output and turnover from the wheel lathe in the last 12 months, which serves as a model for taking such a service and proactively promoting it to the industry,” describes Mark. Prior to the announcements that took place in the industry LNWR had been expecting significant amounts of refurbishment work to come out of the refranchising process. Now with this under review and awards having been delayed, Mark notes the impact that has been had on the business: “It’s affected the timing of the work, but not the long-term prospects. Throughout the period during which the industry was sorting out the new franchise timetable a lot of operators did very little in the way of major refurbishment work, but although it’s been pushed back by 12 to 18 months it still has to be done. Furthermore we believe we are in even better shape now then we were 12 months ago to win this work so I think this has improved our prospects.” Sharing his thoughts on the state of the market, Sean adds: “Looking at the wider industry it is quite clear that because of franchising arrangements and the growth on the network generally that vehicles are probably going to be in use for as long as people can realistically imagine, and therefore effective refurbishment, overhaul and heavy maintenance should represent good value for rolling stock companies and operators. “It is very difficult in a franchise market that

Belvoir Engineering Services Ltd (BES) has been working with L&NWR for several years now and has become a key supplier to the company. BES Ltd has been involved in supplying products for several of the refurbishment projects that L&NWR has undertaken. Products have included seating overhaul, interior dado rails & headlight cluster frames to name just a few. BES always responds quickly when asked and supplies products on time to key refurbishment schedules. The continued relationship gives L&NWR peace of mind as it continues to grow.

in order to enable them to remain operable beyond key cut-off dates in the future, and we look forward to trying to help people deliver that,” he notes. Indeed LNWR is first and foremost a capable and versatile partner supporting its clients in securing the ongoing reliability and quality of their rail fleets. With this in mind Mark outlines where the business goes from here: “We’ve made good progress in delivering our strategy over the last year, and are even more committed to this end than before. We are preparing ourselves for a big uplift in output as a result of these measures and therefore are planning the delivery of these contracts to a high quality. Within this supply chain development and management is an important part of the overall picture, so it’s really continuing to put the building blocks in place for what will be quite a large expansion in the business going into 2014 and 2015,” he concludes. zz




Infrastructure & Civil Engineering


London Underground: earth structures challenges & successes over the last 20 years BRIAN McGINNITY and NADER SAFFARI discuss earth structure asset management on the London Underground system


n 9th January 2013, London Underground (LU) celebrated 150 years since the first underground rail journey took place. This original journey covered only 3½ miles, between Paddington and Farringdon on the Metropolitan Railway, but marked a significant milestone in the evolution of city transport. London’s underground railway had been conceived as a means of transporting people from main line stations to the City. However from the outset the financial potential of carrying passengers from their homes in the suburbs to the city centre was recognized resulting in rapid expansion by the Metropolitan and District Railway Companies into rural Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey before the 1890s. The expansion of London’s underground railway into the suburbs and onto the surface required the construction of embankments and cuttings (collectively described by LU as earth structures) to maintain the required vertical track alignment. The Victorian engineers built earth structures at slope angles they believed appropriate, based on their experience. These slope angles would be considered oversteep in modern practice and failures regularly occurred during or soon after construction. The embankments were particularly poorly constructed, essentially by trial and error with relatively uncompacted material.

By the early 1990s, 90 per cent of LU’s earth structures were over 70 years old and were showing increasing signs of deterioration and distress with a corresponding requirement for increased maintenance and the imposition of track speed restrictions. Occasional earth structures failures occurred with serious implications for railway operation and safety. The impact of slope failures on the railway was exemplified by a cutting landslip which closed part of the Metropolitan line for 36 hours in 1992 and an embankment landslip which closed part of the Northern line for two weeks in 1994.

Figure 2: Embankment failure in 1994 at Colindale on the Northern line

Prior to the 1990s, there was a lack of detailed knowledge of the nature and causes of the many earth structure problems facing LU and remedial work was generally carried out on a reactive basis following disruption to train services, or to reduce excessive maintenance at particular locations. Consequently an LU earth structures strategic planning initiative commenced in 1992 to obtain a comprehensive record of all earth structure assets with their current condition and to reach a fundamental e Edgware th understanding of the nature of the on n tio uc nstr bankment co e 1922-1923 problems associated with the surface Figure 1: Em lin rn he the Nort Extension of railway earth structures and the means for their improvement.


This article describes the work undertaken by LU over the last 20 years in the inspection, investigation, assessment, design and implementation of renewal works at high priority earth structures to achieve improvement in asset condition and reliability of passenger journeys. This work has enabled the company to deliver a significantly better asset performance to the extent that LU earth structures now perform without restriction to meet required business performance and are generally ‘invisible’ to the travelling public.

Development of the LU earth structure asset management strategy In the early 1990s, LU lacked any formal engineering standards and procedures for the effective asset management of earth structures. A comprehensive suite of earth structures standards, manuals of good practice and management procedures was therefore developed to provide the framework for the management of the earth structure assets. The earth structure asset management process, which has been subject to continual development over the last 20 years, can be illustrated as shown on the opposite page. The initial task of the earth structures strategic planning initiative in 1992 was to undertake the phased inspection, investigation, assessment, design and implementation of renewal works at priority earth structures. The project’s aim was to minimise the occurrence of earth structure failures and reduce maintenance costs to meet the desired improvement in asset condition and railway performance. A continuous process of earth structure inspection, assessment and improvement works has been implemented in LU since the introduction of an asset management system, leading to a continuous understanding of (and improvement in) earth structure asset condition.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz management and prediction of future benefits from renewal works.

Earth structure renewal works

Earth Structures Asset Management Diagram

Condition appraisal: inspection and assessment An understanding of earth structure condition, performance and behaviour is a fundamental requirement for effective asset management. It is also required to plan design and implement any renewal works. Earth structure condition appraisal typically consists of the following: l Inspection/examination – a regular visual appraisal of earth structure condition to identify and record evidence of instability. This process identifies earth structures potentially at risk and facilitates the prioritisation for further detailed assessment at key sites. l Analytical assessment – a comprehensive sequence of desk-based studies, site investigation, analysis and reporting, leading to a detailed understanding and quantification of earth structure condition, stability and serviceability. Where the results of inspection and/or desk study indicated that the earth structure condition rating was ‘poor’ or ‘marginal’ a full analytical assessment was undertaken which included a ground investigation in order to provide a detailed assessment of the condition of specific earth structure works and to accurately quantify slope stability and serviceability. It also identifies those earth structures that need priority attention when formulating asset management plans. The programme of condition appraisal of the earth structures across the entire LU network which commenced in 1993 was substantially completed early in 2011. This extensive asset knowledge has enabled LU to prioritise earth structure maintenance and remedial works on a risk-based approach in order to ensure that

the assets are in a sustainable condition and over time to remove all significant safety and business risks arising from the earth structures asset base.

Risk assessment Management of earth structures within LU follows the approach of reducing risk levels to “as low as reasonably practicable” (ALARP), to satisfy statutory safety obligations. The ALARP approach allows that safety improvements should not be pursued at any cost, but only if the cost of averting the risk is not grossly disproportionate to the risk averted. In financial terms however, the risk to safety arising from LU earth structures is currently very low in comparison to railway service loss risk e.g. speed restrictions, line closure etc. The LU Strategic and Tactical Risk Assessment (STRATA) process therefore includes the exposure to service loss impacts resulting from earth structure instability. Risk assessment is based on engineering asset behaviour – in simple terms the earth structure asset only presents risk if it does something we don’t expect or want it to do. Risk is assessed using a two-level strategic and tactical approach – in general strategic assessment applies to compliant assets; tactical assessment applies to individual assets that are not compliant or are affected by external events such that we believe it is more likely to do something we don’t want it to. STRATA produces a range of outputs including service loss and safety asset risk profiles, service loss and safety risk values for individual assets, base events, and risk change/value information for use in asset

Earth structure renewal works are undertaken (as preventative measures as part of LU proactive asset management strategy) to maintain a level of performance to mitigate against failure or excessive movement. The aim of the remedial works is to improve the stability of the earth structures against both the ultimate and serviceability limit states. However, during the design, other safety and environmental features are considered and included where appropriate in the remedial works in order to upgrade the asset to modern standards, e.g. with the provision of access walkways and steps to facilitate future inspection and maintenance. The LU design requirements for earth structure renewal works are typically as follows: l To increase the factor of safety (characteristically by 15-30 per cent) against failure of the earth structure by either deepseated or shallow slope failure over a design life of 120 years l To restrict embankment deformation and therefore track movement to meet the track maintenance targets l To provide minimum future earth structure maintenance. An earth structures design guide has been developed to set out a framework for considering realistic failure and deformation mechanisms in LU earth structures, such as progressive failure in medium-to-high-plasticity clays. This is not intended to be a code of practice setting out rigorous rules which must be followed. It is instead intended to encourage designers to try to understand the potential failure mechanisms for an earth structure, and how these are linked to material properties and site conditions. Engineering experience and judgement is still required to assess each structure, and this assessment takes into account the relevant site-specific factors such as the soil properties, the groundwater regime, the type and density of vegetation etc. A combination, rather than a single technique, is usually necessary to stabilise or remediate an earth structure. The most cost-effective solution is most often one that combines a number of techniques, applying them at that part of the slope where they will be most effective in engineering and performance terms. Remedial work generally needs to be carried out whilst the railway running above or below



Infrastructure & Civil Engineering

the earth structure remains operational. Hence, the main challenges can be: l Very tight and limited space l Limited access l Ensuring safe operation of the adjacent railway, and interfacing structures and/or l Environmental constraints

Figure 3: Retaining wall construction in a difficult access area adjacent to a congested network of live cables Hence, innovative techniques are often required in order to arrive at cost-effective, efficient and safe solutions for earth structure renewal work. Many innovative solutions, such as the Ruglei shoulder protection system, Giken sheet piling, ground improvement and the installation of king-post walls, have successfully been implemented by LU over the last 20 years, as well as more conventional renewal works.

Figure 4a) (Above) Ruglei retaining wall system to restrain the shoulder of an embankment and improve track support, and 4b) (Below) Construction of Giken sheet piling at the toe of a railway embankment within a tight space close to third-party buildings

Vegetation management The development of vegetation on an earth structure is generally the most aesthetically pleasing form of slope protection and forms a useful acoustic and visual barrier between


the railway and neighbouring properties. Vegetation can also improve shallow depth slope stability. However in many LU embankments, vegetation – particularly trees – can induce very significant shrink-swell cycles in the clay fill. Seasonal vertical embankment movements of up to 50mm can occur between summer and winter. This detrimentally affects the track performance and historically required the imposition of speed restrictions across the network, particularly over hot dry summers e.g. 1995. This significant seasonal movement can also reduce the strength of embankment clay fill and, over the long term, result in progressive slope failure. Numerical analysis indicates a critical factor is the seasonal oscillation between positive and negative pore-water pressures. Vegetation removal can ease the problem; however, it can also increase the risk of slope instability, with the resulting increase in pore water pressures in the slope. In some cases swelling due to the increase of pore water pressure will also cause softening in the soil near the toe of the slope, a plastic zone will develop and progressive failure may occur in a slope that was otherwise stable in the static sense.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz l Mitigation of risk until maintenance or l Determine the location and rate of any slope movement l Establish in situ pore water pressures and any variation over time l Validation of the output from analytical assessment, particularly where it is considered to have produced conservative results, and to confirm design assumptions. High quality monitoring data is particularly required to understand the long-term behaviour of railway embankments, given their crude construction and generally heterogeneous make-up. Good quality monitoring data is also fundamental to determine the most vulnerable sections of the railway and to thereby prioritise the earth structure for remedial/preventative renewal works. Post renewal works monitoring is also important to confirm the success of the treatment and to ensure the performance criteria are not exceeded. Clearly it is desirable if the post renewal works monitoring can be directly compared with previous data. Earth structure monitoring systems generally comprise: l Inclinometers to measure slope deformation l Pore pressure measurement, including suction measurement l Surface monitoring l Track monitoring.

Figure 5: Poor track quality as a result of significant shrink-swell embankment deformation LU has therefore recognised that vegetation management is crucial to ensure long-term earth structure stability and to control seasonal movement in embankment fill. Current climate change models generally predict drier summers and wetter winters in the UK which will probably increase risk of slope failure from increased pore water pressures and increased seasonal serviceability slope movements. Consequently, the need for appropriate vegetation management strategies will become even more pressing in the future.

Monitoring The purpose of monitoring earth structures includes the following:

Figure 6: Chigwell cutting C056 CTS1/B – monitoring using piezometers and inclinometers Detailed observational monitoring has been undertaken leading to improvements in the understanding of behaviour of the earth structures and has allowed decisions to be undertaken with a greater degree of certainty. Observational monitoring consists of installation of displacement and pore pressure measurement instruments in order to measure

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz the actual and site-specific performance of the earth structure over time. The monitoring of the asset could span over a number of years until adequate data is collected to establish trends and demonstrate that the worst credible conditions have been experienced. At this stage either an analytical re-assessment is carried out to upgrade the condition classification for the asset or monitoring is continued as a means of safely managing the asset in the longer term, until such time that the data indicates the need for remediation. This method can result in potentially significant cost savings compared to the cost of the remedial works, without compromising the safety of the railway.

Research and development During the past twenty years LUL has also commissioned applied research, which has considerably increased the knowledge base and the fundamental understanding of railway earth structure behaviour including the influences of climate and vegetation. The applied research has included: l High quality sampling and sophisticated testing to establish the material properties used in the assessment and remedial work design of LU earth structures l Numerical modelling of both cuttings and embankments utilising state-of-the-art constitutive models (which included post-peak l Field observations and numerical analysis to determine the effect of seasonal changes in pore water pressure on the stability and shrinkswell behaviour of clay railway embankments l Studies on the impact of vegetation on the stability of slopes along with proposals for the management of vegetation l Identifying the modes of instability that could affect the performance of earth structures l The effects of climate change on earth structure slopes. This research has been published in a number of geotechnical journals and conferences, in particular the Skempton Memorial Conference in 2004. The Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) has also published state-of-the-art guidance on the management, condition appraisal and repair of infrastructure embankment and cuttings. These address the technical issues in design, repair and maintenance, and are enabling documents to promote good practice in the asset management of UK earth structures drawing on much of LU’s knowledge and experience in this area.

Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum In 2008 a group of UK Infrastructure owners, including LU, formed the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum (GAOF). The aim is to provide a forum for those involved with the management of geotechnical and related assets for the sharing and exchange of ideas, information, research themes and other issues which are topical, important and forward-thinking for the mutual benefit of the asset-owning community and the users of those assets.

Conclusions Over the last 20 years LU has undertaken a substantial earth structures investment programme retrieving many years of underinvestment in the asset base, and has significantly improved earth structure condition across the network. Knowledge of earth structure condition and

l Brian McGinnity BSc MSc CEng

FICE CGeol MIMMM FGS is the London Underground Profession Head for Civil Engineering. He has over 30 years’ experience in civil, geotechnical and mining engineering working on a variety of projects both in the UK and overseas. Currently Brian leads a team of 80 staff engaged on the inspection, assessment, design, renewal and upgrade of London Underground’s Civil Engineering Infrastructure asset base. Brian has over 20 years’ experience with London Underground in variety of roles associated with the asset management and upgrading of railway infrastructure. Previously Brian was London Underground’s Senior Geotechnical Engineer and played a key role in the inception of the project that undertook inspection, investigation, assessment, design and implementation of earth structure stabilisation works to achieve an improved railway infrastructure performance.

performance is much more comprehensive and there is better-quantified assessment of both safety and service loss risk exposure. An engineering-led earth structures management strategy has been developed to underpin future management of these assets. There is an emphasis placed on proactively identifying earth structure assets which are likely to deteriorate and affect the service reliability of the LU network. Innovative concepts, technologies and engineering techniques have significantly reduced the cost of the inspection; assessment and remediation of earth structures. The stability and movement problems presented by these earth structures are now understood to a considerable extent and can be handled predictively by modern analysis techniques. A wide range of earth structure renewal techniques is available for solving the short-term and long-term problems of stability and serviceability. zz

l Dr Nader Saffari is a Principal

Geotechnical Engineer with an Honours Degree in civil engineering and a Masters Degree and PhD from Imperial College and University of Surrey, respectively. He has over 25 years’ experience in civil and geotechnical engineering working on a variety of major projects both in the UK and overseas. Over the last ten years he has been working on the management of LU Earth Structures and is currently the Profession Head for Geotechnical Engineering with LU and is responsible for the management and performance of the earth structures on the LU network as well as providing geotechnical services and advice to other departments within LU.




Infrastructure & Civil Engineering


Embankment earthworks The use of long-reach machines has made a substantial contribution towards the efficient renewal of the UK's rail infrastructure, as DAMIAN McGETTRICK explains

Hooley Cutting Stabilisation


ith pressure for increased efficiency in the essential maintenance of the rail network, the way works are undertaken has to be reviewed on a project-by-project basis. Disruption to the train operating companies (TOCs) is a major factor and so there are major cost benefits for keeping trains running as normal. Major earthworks have been using specialist equipment such as long-reach machines and roped access equipment for quite a while now, depending on the constraints on the project, but new technology is enabling improvements to both safety and construction time. A number of high profile projects have been carried out during the last 12 months, including the Hooley Cutting Stabilisation by BAM Ritchies/BAM Nuttall. Long-reach excavators were selected on their overall weight and the

ability to operate drilling mast attachments. Specialist plant hire company, WM Plant Hire supplied several machines to meet ground pressure requirements and hydraulic outputs for the drill masts. These were critical to ensure that the existing ground conditions were not compromised and that the installation of soil nails was as productive as possible. Working in the south west on a major scheme installing vertical slope drainage, a super long-reach machine with a maximum reach of 30 metres was used in conjunction with a dig profile system to accurately excavate the slope gradient required. WM Plant Hire Ltd was one of the first to offer long-reach excavators with the latest low emission engines to meet Tier 4 emission requirements. “Clients definitely benefit from reduced fuel consumption, meaning lower CO2 levels and hence adding benefit to the overall

project carbon footprint,� says operations director Damian McGettrick. As a Chartered Civil Engineer and Past Chairman of the ICE West Midlands region, he is most passionate about promoting good engineering practices, through the development of people and the opportunity to innovate. The combination of dedicated and experienced people with the knowledge of plant and equipment goes a long way to achieving a successfully delivered project, which is now a requirement more than an expectation. zz

For further information, please contact: WM Plant Hire Ltd Tel: 01746 769 555 Email: Web:



Infrastructure & Civil Engineering

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz A traditional biaxial geogrid in use

The little grid with the big potential:

the increasing role of geogrids in revolutionising rail track support


TIM OLIVER discusses why it’s worth considering geogrids for rail track ballast and sub-ballast support

eak and variable ground can cause a whole host of complications when it comes to laying rail track ballast and so it is important to ensure an appropriate sub-ballast material is chosen to build up the ballast capacity below the sleepers. Support can of course be achieved through chemical stabilisation or deep excavation followed by a thick granular sub-layer. However, more often than not these methods can prove to be both time-consuming and expensive. With track maintenance work and line speed restrictions, which have the potential not just to affect the schedules of train operators and asset owners but potentially cost thousands of pounds in fines – another key consideration to bear in mind when


designing track beds is how to achieve the maximum duration between each maintenance cycle. While loss of vertical and horizontal alignment of the rails can be caused by ballast deformation, with a better supported track bed it is possible to extend periods between maintenance – which can help to improve whole life costs.

Solution to a problem Peter Musgrave, a senior track bed design engineer at Network Rail, recently quoted a statistic that more than ten per cent of all ballast maintenance per year in the UK now includes geogrid stabilisation. The geogrid – which works by distributing the forces applied to it through the

rigid junctions – has become an obvious consideration for rail engineers. It is easy to install, and allows for reduced excavation, soil disposal, and imported sub-ballast fill when used in sub-ballast applications. Furthermore, when used in ballast applications, geogrids can limit lateral movement under loading and reduce the settlement rate. This preserves the rail line and level and allows time between maintenance cycles to be increased, increasing cost savings for rail operators by reducing maintenance costs (including staffing and plant hire) as well as limiting the time for which tracks and access roads must be closed for essential works to take place. Geogrid stabilisation technology is backed up by more than 30 years of independent research in the UK and around the world,

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz The world’s first TriAx TX190L application in Slovakia

TriAx TX190L passed the new Network Rail product acceptance process

and has been found to increase the bearing capacity of sub-ballast layers two-fold compared with the same non-stabilised thickness. The materials and capabilities of this technology have as you would expect come a long way since the first geogrid was innovated in the 1950s.

Research and development Following significant research and development, there now exists the multidirectional geogrid, which can increase by a factor of three to five the maintenance life of ballast over relatively weak and firm foundation soils when measured against the performance of a sleeper settlement without geogrid stabilisation.

This innovative triangular geogrid design allows the force of the load applied to be displaced in multiple directions, unlike the traditional biaxial grid, which disperses weight predominantly across two directions. When used in both ballast and subballast rail applications, the aggregate particles interlock within the triangular apertures and the efficient, deep rib profile of the geogrid helps to confine aggregate, which combined with the isotropic stiffness, creates a mechanically stabilised layer. One such patented triangular product, called TriAx®, has been the subject of numerous performance tests and trials and repeated trafficking. Previous studies conducted by the University of Nottingham have provided impressive results. The TriAx® TX190L product, for example, can halve bed maintenance costs and offer a payback period of less than three ballast tamping cycles, compared with earlier rectangular geogrids. For the creators of state-of-the-art technologies and the specifiers who wish to utilise newer high performance products

over traditional methods, this process has been made easier following the streamlining of Network Rail’s product acceptance process for rail-based systems. Recent changes have helped to ensure that products designed to improve track maintenance processes or track safety are efficiently tested, critiqued, and welcomed into the approved catalogue via a stringent Certificate of Acceptance Scheme. When trying to achieve optimum rail track stabilisation it pays to consider the range of value-engineered ballast support options available in today’s marketplace. Talking to an expert, like the team at Tensar, at an early stage of your next rail project can help you select an appropriate geogrid product that can pay dividends in the long run. zz Tim Oliver is director for stabilisation products and systems at Tensar International



Infrastructure & Civil Engineering


Light weight plastic products save time on installation and plant equipment use

ay ugh railw Loughboro


Modular wat er storage cells installe d at Loughborough station

Unearthing the potential of plastic RUSSELL BELLEGUELLE discusses manufacturer developments in plastic cable protection and drainage innovations – and the time, cost and safety benefits they can offer to trackside and station refurbishment projects


n Network Rail’s latest Activity and Expenditure Plans document, it was recognised that managing surface water is a vital part of the management of the UK rail network – which is especially true given the past 12 months have been some of the wettest on record. The report recognised that increasing spend on drainage would optimise whole life cycle costs, but it’s possible to increase this cost saving by opting for high quality plastic products in place of traditional concrete alternatives. Plastic piping products are being used with increasing regularity in a variety of rail applications. While the most obvious benefit to Network Rail may be the use of drainage solutions at trackside, plastic products are also widely used to capture and treat water as well as protect a number of vital cables at various points on the rail network – including stations. Take for example the recent refurbishment of Loughborough railway station. In addition to safeguarding many thousands of miles of expensive lighting, signalling, CCTV and general power cables within the UK rail network from water damage, these robust colour-coded ducting systems can also be buried, helping to reduce instances of metal theft. Furthermore, their availability in a whole host of product options, from twin-wall, single-wall or coiled


design, offers greater design flexibility to specifiers working to a project’s unique ground conditions and accessibility requirements. Engineers’ and contactors’ growing preference towards high strength durable HDPE plastic products in rail projects is quantifiable when you consider the scope of benefits these can bring over traditional materials such as concrete and clay. Surface water drainage pipes, manholes and catchpits are all common trackside components. These products, when made from high-strength polymers, are up to 94 per cent lighter than equivalent concrete systems. Combine this with the fact that plastic chambers are manufactured off site in factory controlled conditions for product precision and consistency and delivered to site in one piece ready for installation, removing the need for wet trades, it greatly assists the ease and speed at which they can be installed – especially in hard-to-access areas. This lighter weight also means products can be delivered to site in greater volumes for added cost savings and environmental efficiency. High quality plastic product ranges are continuously evolving, as highlighted by the comprehensive range of geocellular systems now available in today’s market. These cells, which ‘fit together’ to create underground

tanks for surface water attenuation and soakaway purposes, provide effective source control and can be engineered to accommodate various loads and burial depths, whether for a deep or shallow application. This integrated, holistic approach to water management is becoming commonplace in the UK, with organisations looking for ways to capture, treat and re-use water in order to reduce potential flooding and environmental harm whilst saving costs. Arguably however, the full cost-saving potential offered by plastics and specialist manufacturers is perhaps still to be maximised by the rail industry. Many do not realise that, in addition to their product knowledge, UK manufacturers have also accrued a wealth of technical knowledge from previous projects and can ‘design out’ costs with value-engineered variations of products on a project-by-project basis, particularly if involved early in the project. This is particularly true for manufacturers, like Polypipe, that are able to offer a complete range of products that can easily integrate into complete, bespoke systems – utilising prefabricated pipes, manholes and catchpits for trackside drainage solutions that meet client needs. In-depth collaboration at an early stage in the project between parties offers exciting opportunities to achieve new levels of efficiency in both new and refurbishment rail projects of all sizes. zz Russell Belleguelle is a rail specialist at Polypipe.





Major works carried out to Victorian rail tunnel for Crossrail



Victorian rail tunnel beneath the Royal Docks in east London has been exposed to the light of day for the first time in 135 years as part of works to prepare for the arrival of Crossrail trains in 2018. A hole has been drilled in the exposed crown of the Connaught Tunnel, which runs beneath the Royal Victoria Dock, following work to drain 13 million litres of water from a section of the docks that lie above. Work will now continue to open up a hole that will eventually measure approximately 20 metres long and ten metres wide to allow for the engineering equivalent of ‘open heart surgery’ to strengthen, deepen and widen the central section of the tunnel so that it can accommodate Crossrail’s trains. Sections of the tunnel are in a poor condition and parts of it were narrowed during the 1930s so that the dock could be deepened to accommodate larger ships with brickwork removed and steel segments installed. The hole in the crown of the tunnel will allow Crossrail to remove much of this material and to continue with the process of ensuring that the tunnel is safe and ready for the arrival of the new trains. Over the last few months a cofferdam measuring 1300m2 has been put in place to

allow a section of the Royal Victoria Dock to be drained so that Crossrail workers can access the tunnel from above. During the draining of the dock, a total of 332 fish were removed and safely relocated on either side of the cofferdam. The tunnel was built in 1878 and has not been in passenger use since December 2006. It is the only existing tunnel that will be re-used for Crossrail. Linda Miller, Connaught Tunnel project manager said: “The Connaught Tunnel is testament to the engineering skill of the

Victorians, but after 135 years there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get it ready for Crossrail . Now we’ve opened the top of the tunnel we’ll start the engineering equivalent of open heart surgery ­– widening and deepening the structure so that it can accommodate up to twelve trains an hour in each direction.” As well as widening and deepening the central section of the tunnel, the work at the site will include waterproofing, installing water pumps and cleaning the 135 years of coal and soot from the bricks. zz



Infrastructure & Civil Engineering


Lost in translation:

seeing BIM through the client’s eyes ALLAN HUNT reviews the BIM ‘revolution’ and its impact on facility management practitioners

Laser scanning being undertaken at Leeds City station


ome years ago, Building Information Modelling (BIM) was just a dream on the horizon – or a nightmarish vision, depending on your viewpoint. Now, as embracing BIM increasingly becomes a necessity and not a luxury – with Government making BIM for public projects mandatory by 2016 and with wholesale adoption likely to follow – those with responsibility for built estates can no longer escape its inevitability. Nor can they avoid its ubiquity: magazines devote multiple issues to it, endless conferences are held, and designers fall over each other


to champion the BIM revolution – whether in the spirit of genuine innovation or blind panic. Nevertheless, and while debate is shifting, there remains a frontloaded bias to this enthusiasm. Despite claims of BIM’s long-term benefits to the client – and to those, like facilities managers, who must manage an estate long after the architects and contractors have left the scene – debate still remains fixated at the early design and construction phases. Certainly contractors are embracing BIM – as are many owners of large estates. However a design bias has skewed debate in two key ways.

What is BIM? The first way in which the design perspective may have clouded perceptions of BIM – though thankfully this is now shifting – lies in its discussion as another representational tool. Of course it is commonly understood that BIM is in fact a ‘live’, real-time model – a building in digital format. We also know that it constitutes a radical shift both in ways of working and thinking, which transform and streamline the entire design and construction process, bringing both benefits – increased economy, efficiency, safety – and also challenges – potential legal wrangles as the

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Data cap tu laser sca re through nning. Da represen ta set ted as a Point Clo ud

‘ownership’ of data becomes blurred in levels of collaboration and data-sharing we are wholly unused to. Nevertheless for some time BIM was still discussed all too often from the sole viewpoint of platforms and implementation, as well as in relation to its imaging capabilities, which may have unwittingly given the impression that BIM is a sort of exceptionally advanced CAD package. Indeed the oft-quoted ‘drawing-board switchover’ metaphor, whilst compelling, may also have inadvertently emphasised this perspective. It is only recently that the focus has rightly shifted towards BIM’s true nature as, in fact, a highly sophisticated database or knowledge management system. In using this language, and taking this focus, we may also have undermined clients’ appreciation of BIM’s genuinely radical potentials across the life cycle of a building or estate. What do endusers make of BIM mania? There is a danger to the onlooker that BIM appears to be only the latest in a long line of CAD-fads, a ‘novelty’ with its genuine relevance being trumped up to justify insider-excitement – an acute case, as they say in business, of ‘shiny kit syndrome’. Furthermore, since technology now moves at a frighteningly rapid pace, to perceive BIM too much in terms of specific packages and platforms means we risk failing to keep up with – let alone be in a position to drive – further conceptual advancements. In fact, not only is BIM not really another representational system at all (though it can certainly be used as one) and more like a live building model, BIM’s genuine and long-term value is lost when we fail to grasp its power as an ‘embodied database’. As the building life cycle progresses, the BIM model’s capabilities and benefits radically shift. At the front-end, its use as real-time representation is at the fore – clients want increasingly accurate imaging – however when it reaches the contractor its imaging capacities may amount to only a small part of its useful value. After handover, the

relevance of this graphical aspect dwindles even further; rather BIM’s full capabilities at this stage are almost entirely as a sophisticated database of knowledge. Given the quantity of information that is ordinarily wasted at key handover points in the build cycle, the power of BIM to retain highly detailed and comprehensive building data cannot be underestimated. The second way in which a design bias has skewed perceptions may not be so clear. When debate is focused on the design and build phases, we risk becoming blind to one of the most important potential benefits of BIM. This is related, too, to crucial shifts in the way the built environment is used and to unavoidable economic and environmental factors. Despite the photogenic ‘wow’ factor of new-build, 80 per cent of the building stock in use in 50 years already exists today – and this may even be greater as we address profound economic and environmental sustainability issues. Further, the vast majority of a building’s cost – some 75 per cent – lie in the latter stages of its lifespan. We know that endless new-build is simply not viable – certainly the

market knows this – and perhaps we are even in mourning. Yet increasing re-use and conservation of existing estate is unavoidable: neither the economic nor environmental climate can sustain itself otherwise. This will put a further burden on facilities managers to provide increased efficiency in the maintenance and improvement of existing stock.

What does BIM mean for Facilities Management? What is striking is how far BIM’s potential at the Facilities Management (FM) end has been buried under the new-build focus. In fact, BIM will come into its own with the ongoing management both of new buildings but also of existing stock – it will also ultimately have applications and implications for the heritage and conservation industries, an area that is only just being touched on. By combining existing technologies – advanced surveying and geomatics techniques – a BIM model of an existing estate can be created from accurate laser cloud surveys and ‘tagged’ with data describing the key physical properties of



Infrastructure & Civil Engineering

each building element. The owner or facilities manager is then able to load the model with data over time and long after handover, in line with priorities, in effect creating a ‘live’ replica of an entire estate which develops as the estate itself develops and which eliminates the need to cross-reference sources of information and duplicate tasks. Clearly, this has powerful cost-time benefits. Yet that BIM can be developed and utilised in this way is either not being fully grasped or else not being clearly communicated to clients. If there is something uncanny about the trajectory that the BIM debate has taken then it may be because we have been here before. When sustainability filled the very same pages of industry magazines that have now been usurped by BIM, a similar focus on the ‘glamour’ end of developments was apparent in an obsession with ‘flagship green-washing’ – turbines and green roofs as showcase sustainability – all, crucially, highly photogenic. Yet some of the more serious and genuinely sustainable work amounted to much more low-key interventions – including the power of sensitive facilities management and a growing emphasis on re-use. Similarly with BIM, the focus on new-build and ‘shiny kit’ may be unwittingly disguising some of its most economic, pragmatic and sustainable applications, which in fact lie at the end of the building life-cycle. There will always be understandable resistance to embracing new ways of working, especially when these new ways have upfront implications in terms of both time and cost. This is surely not helped by presenting new technologies, albeit unwittingly, as the latest in a long line of design fads and with an emphasis on features rather than benefits. To counteract this, the industry may need to begin to think more educationally. For example, we might need to produce BIM models – and hold seminars – for the sole purpose of relaying to clients BIM’s true capabilities. It is unlikely that a designer in the early days of CAD would have felt the need to produce drawings merely to show off its rendering techniques. But precisely because BIM has advantages long after the contractor recedes, we are forced to put ourselves in the position of the client, the owner, the manager like never before. Even the earliest stages of creating a BIM demands of us that we shift our approach to what we do: from the outset, the model is devised on the basis of its intended long-term uses. This means that we need to know upfront what the



Intelligent as-built BIM

client wants it for – in the long and not just the short-term. But what if the client doesn’t realise its power at the FM end? What if the client is either unaware of – or unconvinced by – the full spectrum of benefits it offers long-term?

Keep thinking ahead We also have to begin to think more like researchers. As well as benefits, we cannot deny that there are also challenges raised by BIM and if we want to stay ahead of the game we cannot sit back and wait for other industries to solve them. For example, there are currently blocks to fully integrating BIM models to the FM end – the software packages currently in use in FM are not those used in BIM. Aedas Building Consultancy is already addressing ways in which this technological gap can be fruitfully bridged and investing heavily in research solutions and collaboration with technology firms. And we need to keep thinking ahead – even as we may feel we are only just getting to grips with BIM. We may even see a day when sensors and alarms in the building also work in real-time within the BIM model: a digital representation of a building estate such that an FM manager has at his or her command the entire estate before them – a sort of data-rich CCTV system. This may seem like sci-fi – but do we wish to wait around while other people develop these

applications? Or do we wish to be at the forefront of thinking? These shifting roles may make us uncomfortable. Yet by its very nature, BIM inherently encourages holistic, joined-up thinking – it breaks down the rigid categories we are used to. We know this. Yet perhaps we are not as mentally prepared for this ‘breakdown’ as we like to think. Indeed the facts and fears around data-sharing and mutual contracts may also reflect broader concerns about stepping outside assumed roles. Could it be that all in the industry have to begin to think more like a BIM model? It may be that whilst BIM prevents the loss of valuable data as it transits from phase to phase, the farreaching benefits and implications of BIM are still being lost in translation. zz

Allan Hunt MRICS is BIM lead director at Aedas Building Consultancy.



NEWS I Stations


Greater Anglia

Network Rail


An artist’s impression of the new CyclePoint

l Chelmsford will be the first station in the region to benefit from a new CyclePoint which is set to transform facilities for cyclists using the station – the busiest on Greater Anglia’s network apart from London Liverpool Street. CyclePoint is a unique concept brought to the UK from the Netherlands by Abellio which combines secure cycle parking with increased capacity for cycles, supported by retail, cycle-hire and maintenance facilities. The key benefit of CyclePoint is that it provides a single location for all cycle-related activity and parking at a station. Cycles UK has been appointed as Greater Anglia’s commercial partner for the Chelmsford CyclePoint, with cycle parking equipment provided by Falco. Cycle parking capacity at Chelmsford station will increase by 40 per cent with parking for almost 1000 cycles in the new facility. CyclePoint represents a significant investment of £600,000 by Greater Anglia, with support from Essex County Council. Located on a new site between the station and the station car park, CyclePoint is the first stage of the project to improve and upgrade passenger facilities and the customer environment at Chelmsford over the next 12 months.

New New Street station half open l More than three years in the making, the first half of the new concourse at Birmingham New Street station has opened to passengers, marking the completion of the first phase of the project to transform the station. This is the first major change to New Street in over 40 years, with the station being named as one of the most hated buildings in the country in more recent years. The opening marks a significant milestone in the overall redevelopment, with people using the station now having somewhere to be proud of as the gateway to the city and the West Midlands.

Cambridge development l Cambridge station is set to benefit from a £4.25 million improvement scheme after funds were released by Cambridge-based developer Brookgate, the company behind the CB1 development, as part of a land purchase from Network Rail and a S.106 agreement with Network Rail and the City Council. Greater Anglia, which manages the station, will deliver the work to improve the overall passenger experience at the station, helping to reduce congestion by providing a better concourse and more modern and spacious ticket hall. An application for listed building consent is now being discussed with the local planning authority and a consultation event for station users will be held before the work starts. The aim is to start the work in late summer, with completion in mid-2014. The funding for the station improvements was released from the development of over 1000 student units and forms a key element of regeneration benefits of CB1. The high-quality mixed-use development will deliver a number of additional public benefits including a 3000 space cycle park and a new station square.

Network Rail

CyclePoint for Chelmsford

New stations l Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has unveiled plans for four new stations, to be funded under the New Station Fund. The successful bids were: l Ilkeston, Derbyshire, which will receive over £4.5 million of DfT funding towards a scheme worth over £6.5 million l Lea Bridge, London Borough of Waltham Forest, which will receive over £1 million towards a scheme worth in excess of £6.5 million l Newcourt, Devon, where the DfT will pay for around half of the scheme expected to cost in the region of £1.5 million l Pye Corner, Newport, which will receive over £2.5 million towards a scheme worth over £3.5 million.


Greater Anglia


NEWS I Stations



c2c managing director Julian Drury (left) and James Duddridge MP at Southend East station

New ticket barriers l National Express train operator c2c has become the first train company in the South East to install ticket barriers at every station following the completion of a £530,000 project at Southend East. Local MP James Duddridge joined c2c managing director Julian Drury at Southend East station at the beginning of May, to test the new ticket gates for themselves and to mark the barriers being brought into full operational use. The new barriers will make Southend East station more secure and help to reduce fare evasion. Installing ticket gates across the c2c route is another step towards the introduction of Oyster-style ‘smart’ ticketing for c2c passengers. The project at Southend East, which has taken three months, was managed by c2c and funded by the Department for Transport. The station was also significantly improved in a £1.5 million upgrade in 2011, and the British Transport Police has accredited Southend East under its Secure Station scheme

Two of the new customer information screens at Ipswich

Improved customer information at Ipswich l Work is underway at Greater Anglia’s Ipswich station to upgrade the customer information screens in order to improve information provision for customers. Ipswich is one of a number of Greater Anglia stations which are to benefit from a collective investment of £1.2 million from the National Station Improvement Programme fund. The improvement work will see the old screens replaced with the latest LED technology, which will mean a real improvement in the provision of information for customers at the stations with brighter, clearer screens.

l Rt Hon Simon Burns MP, the Minister of State for Transport, visited the construction site of the new Wakefield Westgate station in May and helped to lay bricks that will be used in the construction. The Minister visited to see progress on the £8.8 million project to create a new gateway to the city, which has been transformed in recent years by high-profile schemes including the Merchant Gate development and Hepworth Gallery. The station will be the first newly constructed station building on the East Coast Main Line in decades. It follows recent significant station modernisation projects on the route at London King’s Cross and Peterborough, as well current projects at Newcastle Central and Edinburgh Waverley. The new Westgate station building will significantly improve facilities for customers, including: l More and better retail facilities l A new footbridge and lifts linking the platforms l A new travel centre l A new First Class Lounge and Standard waiting area l Installation of ticket gates to improve passenger safety and combat fare evasion l Improved integration with local buses and taxis. The new station is due to open in November.


East Coast

Minister visits site of Wakefield Westgate station

Rail Minister Simon Burns (centre) lays bricks to be used in the construction of the new Wakefield Westgate. Looking on are, from left: Network Rail route managing director Phil Verster; Metro chairman Coun. James Lewis; Wakefield Council Leader Coun. Peter Box; East Coast stations and property director Tim Hedley-Jones; and Muse Developments Ltd development director David Wells

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Stations zz No slip-ups –

tactiles and copers for all conditions Visul Systems’ Surface Mounted Tactiles have long been established as THE answer to a quick and reliable way of meeting the required Department for Transport standards when it comes to ensuring that all stations conform to the Guidance on the use of Tactile Paving


e are totally self-sufficient and manufacture all of our own products at our purpose-built factory in the North of England (which is ironic, as most of our applications are in the South of the UK!). We also have our own in-house laboratories where we can produce a whole host of anti-slip resins as well as offering a bespoke service to manufacture any colour of tactile required.

Single point guarantee Visul also offers a ‘Supply & Fit’ option as we feel that this package allows the client the added bonus of a single-point guarantee by way of utilising one company to both supply and install. This Single Point Guarantee also offers both the client and ourselves the peace of mind that the system will be installed correctly. This is a major plus point with regards to preventing any negative feedback, as the only negativity we receive is due to people taking the works on themselves, installing it badly and then leaving us to pick up the pieces once they are long gone.



Passenger safety Passenger safety is paramount and one of the reasons we are always looking to provide as safe an environment as we can. By this I mean coming up with new and innovative ideas to reduce the possible risk of any slipping or tripping incidents at any stations. This is partly why the Visul System is specified across the vast majority of not only Network Rail’s Frameworks but also many of the TOCs, as well as London Underground.



Frost heave Frost heave causes many a problem across the UK’s platform edges and was an issue for which Network Rail tasked us to find a solution. The main area of concern for

frost heave is along the platform edge where the coper stones meet the tactiles. This area is prone to displacement following the harsh winters we endure. The problem occurs with the current and most common system of concrete tactiles installed against concrete platform edge copers. There is a high level of water ingress across the multiple channels between each and every tactile and also where it meets the coper. Once this water freezes, the existing tactiles become displaced due to the expansion of the ice. This then creates major tripping hazards / high spots that, even when the ice has thawed, very rarely re-settle back into their original (level) position. The solution is a coper with a 400mm extended rebate section to the rear which accommodates a 930mm x 400mm x 4mm Tactile. This proven and Network Rail-approved system is seen as the answer and is already recognised as the way forward to preventing any possible major or fatal incidents across all of the stations in the UK. zz

For further information about recessed copers, please contact Andy Warvill at: G-Tech Copers Limited Tel: +44 (0) 1482 581 550 For all other enquiries, please contact Ross Carty at: Visul Systems Tel: +44 (0) 191 416 1530 Email: Web:




zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 6mm ob scure GW polycarb onate loo ks li Georgian wired gla ke ss, but has all the b enefits o standard f polycarb onate

The canopies at Chorley station feature the Twinfix new In-Line Access Hatches enabling gutter cleaning to safely take place without erecting scaffolding towers near to the platform edge

New polycarbonate rooflight options One of the most striking ways of improving any station is by replacing old, failing canopy glazing with a modern-day solution. Flooding the area with natural daylight, and eliminating leaks, can help create a much more welcoming atmosphere for all who use the station


olycarbonate offers a wide – and evergrowing – selection of glazing options, depending upon the requirements of the particular station, or depot. These range from multi-wall varieties through to solid, glass-like grades, all of which are incredibly tough and resistant to breakage.

NEW – GW polycarbonate glazing One of the latest variants is a 6mm solid sheet that combines the appearance of Georgian wired glass with all the material benefits of polycarbonate. Installed at traditional 600mm centres it helps satisfy the heritage requirements at many older stations. Preglazed into a factory-assembled rooflight, the Twinfix Multi-Link-Panel NF, it also meets the HSE’s recommendation for non-fragile roofing assemblies. With safety very much in mind, another recent innovation is the manually removable


Twinfix in-line access hatch. Fitted at the base of a panel it enables valley gutters to be cleaned from a scaffolding tower without requiring access above the roofline.

Quick to fit Multi-Link-Panels With their innovative ‘fix and link’ design the Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels have the following benefits: l Incredibly quick to install, making the very most of limited possession times l Factory manufactured to size for each project so no mistakes on site l Long lasting, low maintenance durable glazing and non-rusting aluminium frames. Twinfix offers a range of different glazing, and non-glazing, options for these non-fragile rooflight panels: l Multiwall polycarbonate: incredibly light in weight (16 & 25mm weigh 2.8 & 3.5kg/m²) l Solid polycarbonate: the clear product looks

like laminated glass but is virtually unbreakable l GW Solid: both 6mm thick obscure and clear grades are available l Aluminium sandwich panels: an alternative option where natural daylight is not required. Polycarbonate is the ideal material for station canopy glazing as it is light in weight, will absorb vibrations caused by train movements without cracking, crazing or breaking, and will provide a low-maintenance, long-lasting roof. The aluminium used in the Multi-Link-Panels can be powder-coated to virtually any colour and will not rust or require repainting, helping to cut down on future maintenance costs. Add to this the light weight of the polycarbonate glazing and you have rooflights that can help extend the life of any existing canopy structure!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz NEW In-Line Access Hatch In response to a request from Network Rail, Twinfix has developed an in-line access hatch that fits discreetly into the Multi-Link-Panel. This enables staff to safely carry out gutter cleaning without having to gain access above the glazing. Historically many station canopies had no walkway installed over their glazing and it is not often possible to gain approval for one to be post-fitted as part of a refurbishment project. The Twinfix hatch solves this problem. It was designed to be unobtrusive, using solid polycarbonate glazing fitted with polycarbonate handles and with as small a sightline as possible where the hatch meets the standard Multi-Link-Panel. Fitted adjacent to the gutter at the end of a Multi-Link-Panel the Twinfix hatch is removed by simply undoing four thumb screws – no special tools are required. The hatch then lifts out, and is easily replaced once cleaning is completed. The Twinfix In-Line Access Hatch has been

tested to the ACR[M]001:2011 Test for Fragility of Roofing Assemblies on the Twinfix in-house rig where it passes with a ‘B’ designation.

Non-fragile roofing Safety of people on roofs is of paramount importance and is ignored at your peril. CDM regulations are very specific in advising designers/specifiers to design out any future possible dangers wherever possible. Specifying non-fragile rooflights helps them to do just that. The Twinfix Multi-Link-Panel NF fitted with the following glazing has been tested to the HSE’s recommended test (ACR[M]001:2011) and they all pass with a ‘B’ designation. l 16mm and 25mm multiwall polycarbonate l 6mm solid polycarbonate l 6mm GW polycarbonate – both obscure and clear l 8mm solid polycarbonate In-Line Access Hatch. 6.8mm laminated glass fails the test. 16mm

multiwall polycarbonate installed in a standard split two-part glazing bar system also fails the test with the polycarbonate flexing out of the glazing bars. The Multi-Link-Panel NF passes because it consists of specially designed bars combined with a patented method of installing the polycarbonate that holds it in place when subjected to the drop test. With many years’ experience working on stations across the UK, from Edgware Road in London, to Blackburn in the North West, and Stafford in the Midlands, the Twinfix team has developed a wealth of design knowledge and expertise in the rail sector. zz

Th Ac des un

For further information please contact Vicky Evans at: Twinfix Ltd Tel: 01925 811 311 Email: Web:

Lightweight & tough, quick-to-fit, non-fragile Rooflight Panels

Fix-and-link polycarbonate rooflight panels used for station canopies, overhead glazing and depot rooflights •

Fast installation: makes the very most of possession time

Flexible & tough polycarbonate: absorbs vibrations without cracking, crazing or breaking

Wide range of polycarbonate glazing options: both multiwall and solid, including GW grade that imitates Georgian wired glass

Safe in use: All Multi-Link-Panels NF are non-fragile, in accordance with HSE recommendations

Lightweight, factory assembled panel: no mistakes on site

New In-Line Access Hatch: enables safer gutter cleaning


201 Cavendish Place, Birchwood Park, Birchwood, Warrington, WA3 6WU t. 01925 811311 f. 01925 852955 e.





Upgrading the UK’s railway stations through innovation IAN DUTTON discusses station refurbishment, new techniques and what the future holds is a fantastic opportunity not only for the construction and maintenance industry, but for Train Operating Companies (TOCs) too.

Considerations With the high volume of trains and passengers going through stations every day, refurbishment work can be a challenge. Keeping disruption to a minimum, ensuring the safety of all passengers and station employees, restricted site access, and possessions with limited working windows are all considerations contractors working in the rail environment need to consider. This is where innovation takes an important role in the railway refurbishment industry. A number of factors need to be considered when specifying and planning refurbishment work. For example, all work completed needs to comply with Network Rail Group standards, as well as being delivered in accordance with approved, scheme-specific designs. Using a Link-up approved contractor validates the standard of rail civil engineering work a contractor will provide and demonstrates the appropriate systems and procedures required to work within the rail environment.

More than just a new coffee shop

New platform surfacing


tation refurbishment has become a huge industry in the UK. Many of the country’s major railway stations have either undergone or are currently undergoing facelifts, and it was about time. There are 2500 stations on the national railway network and the majority of these are over 100 years old. With approximately 2.6 billion passengers passing through every year, the facilities at many stations were simply not fit for purpose [Ref. 1]. The £37.5 billion plan the Government has put in place to improve Britain’s railways


Many people think of railway station refurbishment as building new coffee shops and upgrading the toilets. Whilst these are important for end-users, the crucial refurbishment work is being carried out on the station platforms. Platforms get used heavily every day and many now need to be upgraded and resurfaced as they were simply not designed to support the current volume of people and luggage, or are approaching the end of their design life. Many platforms are also being considered for extensions to accommodate larger trains with more passengers. This was the case at Ansdell and Fairhaven station. Due to the approaching British Open Golf Tournament, refurbishment and extension was needed to a disused section

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz of the platform, to accommodate additional carriages. The timescales were tight as they needed to be complete before the tournament started and access to the platform was limited as the station was below road level. The author’s company developed a platform configuration scheme and worked with the adjacent golf club to gain better access to the site. Also, the existing fencing and handrails were in good condition so they were reused in order to reduce costs. So, how can surfaces that need to be repaired or even replaced be indentified? There are many signs that a surface may be in need of treatment, repair or replacement. The aesthetic appearance may be poor, there could be visible pooling water, or the surface could be uneven, making it an unsafe tripping hazard. The life of the surface may also have expired through oxidising of bitumen, which leads to deterioration of the surface course material.

Platform extension works

A surface fit for purpose Selecting the type of surface solution for each platform is important. Traditionally a six millimetre dense macadam surface course was always used, but this could take a number of shifts to complete, with challenges including access, possession times and costs, not to mention disruption. To address these issues, we have been working with clients to develop alternative solutions. Over the past three years, bespoke microasphalt has been laid on a number of station platforms across the country, including major sites in London, Liverpool and Birmingham. Microasphalt has a number of advantages in the rail environment. The material is cold and hand applied and mixed on site once a possession starts. It is also faster to apply and there is no waste or large machinery – a great benefit for stations with difficult access issues. This means possession times and most importantly costs can be significantly reduced, not to mention improved safety and reduced disruption for passengers.

An area of around 250-350 square metres can be resurfaced in a four-hour possession, compared to the potential four or five shifts needed using traditional methods. Once the surface is laid, the platform can be left safe and complete by the end of the shift, ready to open for the first passengers to walk on within 30 minutes.

Innovative versus traditional approaches to railway station refurbishment Leyton Midland Road, a busy London Overground station was recently refurbished using microasphalt as an alternative to the traditional surface course. Using microasphalt was ideal for this site due to challenging access to the station platform – three flights of stairs. As the microasphalt is mixed on site and cold applied, access issues were reduced and safety improved. The 600 square metre platform was resurfaced on a Sunday in just one shift during a blockade (a long possession) and the surface was ready for passengers within 30 minutes. Another recent refurbishment project at Bolton railway station, required platform resurfacing and modular paving on an island platform. This project was resurfaced with a traditional surface course. All the work needed to be undertaken alongside normal station activities and with train services in operation. Our solution was to phase and plan works to maintain walking routes, D-notices were in place during the works and some works were carried out outside normal hours. This minimised station disruption and improved on-site safety, as well as being completed to programme and on budget.

Beyond surfaces There is, of course, a lot more refurbishment work that takes place other than platform surfaces. The station furniture, including benches, shelters, ticket machines and bins, also need to be maintained and upgraded. The challenge here is that many need foundations on the platforms and concourses. Some of the built structures, especially the Victorian-built structures, may not have the strength to provide the foundations needed. This is where another civil engineering innovation comes in. Groundscrew – a concrete-free foundation system – has been used extensively on highways products, and is the perfect solution for the railway refurbishment market.

Groundscrew Groundscrew is a robust foundation system and a sustainable alternative to traditional concrete foundations for modular platform extensions, platform and track furniture, and signage. The system removes the need for excavation and concreting, so where you would usually cast small concrete pads Groundscrew can be used instead. It previously achieved Form A and Form B approval for use as a ground foundation in location cabinet stagings, small ground signals, and small trackside signage and allows signs, fencing, benches and other structures to be positioned quickly and easily – a significant advantage during possessions.

Looking forward Recent announcements on high speed rail and electrification show the Government is certainly committed to improving Britain’s railway network. This is a fantastic opportunity for contractors and also good news for customers who will benefit from the developments. How can engineers and contractors in the industry utilise this opportunity? They must demonstrate value for money, customer focus and an innovative approach for a chance to be part of this investment. zz

Reference Ref. 1: Figures from 2009 report on Better Railway Stations publications/better-rail-stations/report.pdf

IAN DUTTON is head of rail at civil engineering and maintenance firm JPCS





Connectivity that goes the extra mile RAVI MONDAIR explains how full wireless coverage was provided at Liverpool Street station for the benefit of millions of commuters and travellers


he internet has become a common commodity for most of us and it is difficult to imagine how our lives would be without it. However, effective internet access becomes a critical necessity particularly when we are travelling. Without it, how do you easily check if your train is on time or has been delayed? How do you find out which stop is closest to your end destination? How do friends find each other in the middle of a crowded station? Quick and easy internet access helps millions of people solve these challenges in a matter of seconds. With this purpose in mind, a leading mobile operator required the implementation of a tailored solution in Liverpool Street station. This is one of the busiest places in the heart of London, with over four-and-a-half million people passing through each month and with more than 30 trains per hour arriving and departing.


commission an In-Building distributed antenna system (DAS) to provide U900, G900, G1800, U2100 in addition to future LTE-capable coverage in the entirety of the large station. Furthermore, as wireless technology is subject to fast development and change, the solution for the building required a multiband system with an infrastructure capable of supporting future technology upgrades. Lastly, there were also restrictions regarding the time frames that the project team could operate within, as the station is open to the public 24/7.

A historic building Initially opened to the public in 1874, Liverpool Street station is an iconic London venue, listed as a Grade II building, limiting the capacity for structural and aesthetic changes that could be implemented. Moreover, due to the large amount of people requiring wireless access in the building on a continuous basis, the scope of the project was to design, install and

Not an easy project Due to the Grade II listing of the building, after careful planning, it was decided to provide coverage from antennas serving the lower concourse. The final solution ensured the number of antennas deployed remained within the permissible equipment rights as well as achieving the required system performance

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz targets. Optimum utilisation of the antennas was ensured by using precision radio testing (CW) and modelling. Due to the location of the building in the heart of the City, the next design challenge was to overcome the high level of external signal penetration from macrocells, which could amount to -70dBm in many places. Together with the issue of extended feeder routes (due to limited routing options and the restriction on number of antennas), this made balancing the link budget a real challenge. However, careful engineering design achieved the required level of antenna drive power whilst simultaneously keeping within safe RF exposure limits. At the same time, coverage overlap was kept to a minimum and sharp sector definition was achieved. Timings and equipment deliveries were also a constraint, as during installation, station security policy proved very restrictive. Materials and equipment were tightly controlled with a ‘just-in-time’ delivery schedule since excess materials could not be left unattended on site.

Access to many areas of the station was tightly controlled, meaning that the installation team had to strictly adhere to the programmed work schedule.

Bespoke solution A passive DAS solution was provided consisting of ½” feeder cable where possible to aid with the difficult installation, in addition to 15/8” diameter feeder where routes permitted. A combination of omni-directional antennas and directional antennas were installed, as well as dispersed RF heads remote from the main BTS equipment room to overcome the excessive feeder runs. Although there were limiting restrictions on the number of antennas and the locations where they could be placed, the project team was able to supply a full record of external coverage levels within the station and worked in conjunction with the operator to optimise the macro layer, ensuring that the signals from the In-Building solution would be the dominant coverage in the station.

Seamless connectivity Commuters and travellers can now experience efficient network access whenever they pass through the busy station. Without a worry, they can check their train times, e-mails and download any data they need. In addition, the venue is a central shopping area, where businesses and shoppers also benefit from high capacity wireless coverage. The implementation of wireless solutions by stations such as Liverpool Street is making the lives of millions of commuters easier every day, bringing us all closer even if we are about to go miles far away. zz

Ravi Mondair is managing director at iWireless Solutions.





Philip Vile

Waterloo station balcony

Meeting the increase in passenger demand A station design needs to have passenger experience in mind to meet modern demands and to ensure that future generations will benefit from the design of the facility, says MALCOLM STAMPER


cross the country we are investing in our transportation network and in particular station refurbishments. Project architects are carefully balancing the integration of old and new while considering the demands for aesthetics and long-term durability. The interventions at London’s busiest station, Waterloo, have taken place in a series of phases rather than necessitating a full closure of this transport hub. Minimising disruption yet accommodating access for contractors working on site was paramount. The complexity of carrying out construction and renovation work for such projects underlines the importance of partnering with suppliers to enable this. Design expertise, flexibility and an innovative approach are critical in this relationship. SAS International has worked successfully


on three separate phases of Waterloo station’s refurbishment alongside a range of designers and project teams. The results have been the creation of facilities that meet the demand for a modern transport hub and, according to Network Rail’s statistics, the 30 per cent growth in passengers predicted by 2030. London Waterloo, today is used by around 90 million passengers a year. The most recent phase to be completed at Waterloo station was in 2012 where a new balcony level has been incorporated. At 220 metres in length the new balcony is visually very striking, in no small part due to the materials choice, however it has also been designed to reduce congestion on the concourse and improve access to and from Waterloo East. This is helped with the installation of escalators and relocation of shops from the middle of the main concourse to the balcony.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz At such a major destination the services provided for ease of flow and for leisure are valued as equally important with the new balcony featuring new retail outlets and places to eat providing enhanced customer experience and new source of income. Stations need to cater for crowd pressure, ease of passenger flow and general wear and tear. The need is to balance aesthetics with the performance qualities of materials, to provide a durable finish, for future users to benefit from. Architectural metalwork solutions can balance visual appeal with enhanced performance qualities to provide a highly functional solution. A very modern aesthetic was chosen for the balcony which still manages to expose the older stone and brick vertical interior

façade. Working under BAM Construction, SAS Project Management designed and installed an innovative solution for the curved aluminium soffit cladding to the underside of the new mezzanine level and escalators. The soffit panels have been specially designed so they provide a secure concealed fix panel system with discreet joints, yet allow access where required to services above. A key benefit of SAS International’s involvement at design stage meant that ease of buildability in the construction process and consideration of ongoing maintenance requirements from the outset were factored in. At Liverpool Central station access routes need to cater for increased capacity while ensuring the upkeep of the interior is easy

to maintain. Powder-coated steel cladding has been used in passenger areas to provide a robust finish to provide a durable solution for long-term value. A variety of architectural metalwork was specified for platform access routes including the Wirral line platform and Northern line platform, escalators and trackside areas. The project at Liverpool Central station is the first of three stations to be refurbished with James Street and Lime Street stations to follow. The Liverpool Underground Stations refurbishment project is being undertaken by construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall on behalf of Network Rail. Communication is of paramount importance and essential for success with these large-scale projects. Above all is the importance of realising design ambitions through practical applications and a team-focused approach. Fast-track construction solutions are often required, and the ability to provide for design, manufacture, installation and maintenance from the outset is of critical importance. In today’s buildings durability is as important as ever; not least for performance but for life cycle considerations. In a transportation environment it is key. Solutions must also be able to handle increased crowd pressure forecast in the coming years as well as allowing ease of access for essential ongoing maintenance, without damage. zz Malcolm Stamper is group marketing manager at SAS International

Liverpool Central station





An impression of London Bridge station concourse

Finding the future at rail stations


DAVID WATTS discusses how the design of wayfinding within stations has becomes a lot more scientific

n the near future, wayfinding is going to get personal. Technology will have an enormous impact on how passengers find their way into, through and out of stations. The technology press is awash with news about ‘Google Glass’ – the wearable computer…it isn’t hard to see how augmented reality applications will transform the wayfinding experience. Already, the ‘Google Now’ application tries to guess your next move… walk along the high street, and it will tell you the times of buses as you pass the bus stop. The Points sign ( shows how social media could offer a more personal wayfinding experience. But whatever tomorrow’s technology, it is understanding people and their needs that will remain at the heart of the best station wayfinding schemes. This has been demonstrated at the recently revamped King’s Cross station, and will be the case in the much more complex new London Bridge station where human factors and design consultancy CCD is working alongside the architects Grimshaws. The rail industry understands the overriding importance of the passenger experience, and how important effective wayfinding is to a positive experience. Travel is stressful for everyone - inexperienced travellers fear the


King’s Cross station unknown and experienced travellers worry about delays. If passengers get lost, can’t find their way or lack a sense of the structure of the station space, stress levels increase and the experience turns negative. The station wayfinding designer aims to reduce stress and improve passengers’ experience as the station is often the first and last point of contact between passengers and the ‘service’. The

earlier a wayfinding strategy is developed during station planning, the better ­– at London Bridge the wayfinding strategy is already in place ahead of the detailed design. The three key components of wayfinding are: orientation, direction giving and decision making. Passengers need to make sense of the station space as they enter it and then be given the information they need as they pass through. This is a particular challenge in spaces that have evolved over time or have complex layouts e.g. Victoria or London Bridge. At King’s Cross, and now London Bridge, studies used different passenger personas and scenarios to simulate people’s real experience – e.g. the family eating in a station restaurant realising they are now late for their train on platform 1; or a business traveller booked on a train north wanting to meet a colleague in the 1st Class Lounge before boarding; or a regular traveller arriving at platform 4 from York and wanting to get a train to Cambridge. For London Bridge, the wayfinding scheme is integrated into the overall station CAD model which supports realistic 3D visualisations. This enables CCD to see how the wayfinding works in the real world, where people tend to see other signs in their peripheral vision – not something that can be demonstrated by flat drawings. This minimises any unexpected challenges once the

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz scheme is implemented and helps maintain the principle of ensuring visual segregation between the wayfinding information and other displays such as advertising and retail signage in areas such as the Western Arcade. London Bridge presents some major wayfinding challenges with the main concourse at a different level to the platforms, multiple entrances, a separate concourse for terminating platforms and an architecture that puts columns and supporting structures in the way of sight lines. It is a complex hub as the interchange for Thameslink, southbound train services, London Underground, buses, taxis, bicycles, river-taxis and local pedestrians. This means it is important to get people’s orientation right from the outset. King’s Cross is simpler,

but has its own challenges. For example, it was felt that passengers waiting on the mezzanine might not recognise the footbridge as being the fastest route to the platforms, so additional signage now indicates the platforms can be accessed this way. Once in the station, passengers need help for them to navigate. At key nodes such as junctions or changes in level wayfinding should help the passenger make the right decision with confidence. The aim is to provide the right information at the right time to make the wayfinding system completely intuitive, allowing people to freely flow through the station without making conscious decisions. At London Bridge the new central concourse wayfinding system will help passengers

through the much larger space. Static signage is being designed in co-ordination with the digital CIS information displays as passengers need to understand it in an integrated way. There are other factors which make for good wayfinding, including the provision of reassurance between decision-making points helping passengers recover from heading in the wrong direction. At King’s Cross, additional signage enables passengers to find their way to platforms 9-11 if they have mistakenly gone through to platforms 1-8. King’s Cross has become a highly regarded station, with good levels of customer satisfaction…and the aim is to improve on this with London Bridge. CCD is currently looking at quantitative measurements such as error rates, passenger flow and travel between points, as well as passenger satisfaction surveys to see how wayfinding can be better evaluated in the future. In both cases the wayfinding has been developed from the perspective of the travelling public, and particularly in the case of London Bridge, the early consideration of their needs will ensure better passenger satisfaction levels. zz David Watts is managing director of CCD Design and Ergonomics Ltd

An impression of the Tooley Street entrance to London Bridge station

An impression of London Bridge station concourse





Liverpool Street Crossrail station making good progress The latest news from Crossrail is that the construction of the new Liverpool Street Crossrail station is making good progress with key works completed and the project moving into an important stage of delivery All images courtesy of Crossrail


he new Liverpool Street Crossrail station will be located between the existing Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations. Crossrail will build two new entrances and ticket halls, creating new interchanges with the Northern, Central, Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City Lines, as well as connections to Stansted airport and National Rail services. The construction of the new Liverpool Street Crossrail station is divided up into four main sites with good progress being made on each:


Moorgate site – new western ticket hall construction well underway l The western ticket hall for the new Crossrail station is being constructed in Moorgate and will involve enlarging the existing Moorgate Underground station l A 55m-deep shaft is being excavated next to the existing station with reinforced concrete panels installed 60 metres below the surface to form a box below ground l Work is well underway on installing the concrete diaphragm wall panels and is due for

completion later this summer l The construction of the Moorgate shaft is taking place in one of Crossrail’s most constrained sites with the Hammersmith & City Line to the north, the Northern Line to the east and the existing Moorgate station ticket hall nearby.

Liverpool Street site – new eastern ticket hall construction to begin in early 2014 l At the eastern end of the Crossrail station,

Liverpool Street – Blomfield Street site at night


Finsbury Circus shaft for Liverpool Street station and platform tunnels

to the final diameter of 9.5 metres l More than 600 metres of temporary and fullsize tunnels have been built so far – the station tunnels will be completed in 2015 l The tunnel boring machines creating the central tunnelled section of the Crossrail route will come through Liverpool Street site and are scheduled to arrive in late 2014 l Once work is completed the Finsbury Circus park area will be restored.

Blomfield Street shaft – foundations completed on box structure for ventilation, electrical and mechanical equipment

l Construction of the eastern ticket hall will begin in early 2014.

Finsbury Circus shaft – more than 600 metres of tunnels built so far

Construction of tunnels beneath Finsbury Circus at Crossrail’s Liverpool Street site

a new ticket hall will be constructed beneath Liverpool Street close to the Broadgate development. The new ticket hall will provide step-free access from street level to the new Crossrail platforms l A subsurface ticket hall will be constructed to link into the existing London Underground ticket hall at Liverpool Street l Work is also underway to create a utilities corridor beneath Liverpool Street to allow all existing utilities to be diverted away from the future Broadgate Ticket Hall

l A temporary 42m-deep shaft has been built beneath Finsbury Circus park to act as the ‘nerve-centre’ for the construction of Crossrail platform tunnels, concourse and passages to link the new eastern and western ticket halls at Moorgate and Liverpool Street l The shaft provides underground access for the construction of more than 1.5km of tunnels and cross passages using sprayed concrete lining techniques l From the bottom of the shaft, tunnels branching off in four directions are now being constructed to form the central passageways and cross passages at platform level l Branching off from the ends of the cross passages, the two 250m-long platform tunnels will then be built – work has now started on the first platform tunnel which will become the eastbound platform tunnel for the new Crossrail services l The platform tunnels are initially formed as six metre pilot tunnels which are then enlarged

l A 40m-deep box structure is being constructed on Blomfield Street to accommodate ventilation, electrical, mechanical and systems equipment for the new Crossrail station l So far over 250 piles have been completed including all high-level foundation works and two-thirds of the main shaft piles installed up to 50 metres deep, making the box Crossrail’s deepest piled shaft. The main shaft piling is due for a summer completion l Adjacent to the box, a new Communications Equipment Room (CER), power substation and switch rooms for the Liverpool Street London Underground station are being constructed. This will allow the demolition of the existing substation to create space for the Broadgate ticket hall on Liverpool Street l The power substation and switchrooms are due to be completed later this year.

Other works – new 53m-long cable tunnel completed l Five metres below the ground a new 53m-long cable tunnel to connect the new substation has now been completed – the first permanent sprayed concrete lining tunnel to be finished on the Crossrail project. Bill Tucker, Crossrail area director central said: “Liverpool Street is one of Crossrail’s most challenging station projects with several construction sites located in a tightly constrained area but work is making good progress. The complexity of this project is matched only by the huge improvements it will deliver, with the new station set to create extra capacity, improved connections and new transport links to the City of London. With the continued support of the City of London and London Underground we are working hard to minimise disruption so we would like to thank local businesses for their patience while we carry out these essential works.” zz



Metropex group ltd


before Internal fit-out of a new ticket office at Billericay station for Network Rail working as a sub-contractor to C Spencer Ltd at a value of £120,000. Work included suspended ceilings, plaster boarding, plaster finishes, ceramic and terazzo tiling, installation of fire doors, decoration, brick slip installation to facade, and kitchen installation.

King’s Cross


Setting standards

twick allation at Ga Escalator inst er Fitzpatrick lk Express for Vo



With its multi-trade and specialist skill credentials, Metropex Group Ltd offers a higher standard of service

ince its inception Metropex Group Ltd (MGL) has carefully positioned itself as a principal multi-trade sub-contractor involved in the delivery of new build, refurbishment, and remodelling projects. The company was founded in 2004 to carry out the specialist trades of concrete, brick, and stone repair alongside associated specialist cleaning and coating services on the London Underground. Today those specialist skills remain, but MGL has also become known for its role in general building, light civils, and internal and external fit-out works where it endeavours to provide best value via valued engineered solutions and a can-do attitude. Over the years MGL has evolved the environments in which it works to include not

only London Underground but also Network Rail and general infrastructure. MGL has worked hard to improve and has gained a long list of approvals and accreditations, including Achilles ‘Link-up’ and ‘Building Confidence’, CHAS, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001. MGL is also a London Underground and Tube Lines approved contractor, and most recently has joined the Constructing Better Health scheme, and the Concrete Repair Association. Describing the changes that the last year has brought to the business, Ian Jenkins, business development manager, says: “Our estimating department has doubled in size which gives us greater capacity to price works more competitively and completely. We have also implemented the ‘Red Sky Summit 3000’

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz operating system, which will take a project from its very beginnings all the way through to completion in relation to all accounts and contracting functions. This provides management with much more up-to-date reporting, which improves efficiency. Another area we continue to invest in is our people. We are extensively audited as a business and are always praised for our commitment to training and our safety record, which is borne out by our ‘Contractor of the Month’ award at Nottingham.” Specifically, this saw MGL named winners of the Taylor Woodrow ‘Contractor of the Month’ Safety Award for March 2013 for its work at the Nottingham Hub Project. This award was hotly contested, but MGL stood out for its safe and sensible working around a live station environment, use of aluminium towers, and very good housekeeping. Working as a sub-contractor to Taylor Woodrow, for this project MGL’s workscope includes package 1 platform room remodelling works and the fit-out to the new steel framed

concourse structure where it was able to achieve savings for the client through design engineering new ceiling arrangements. The company is also currently negotiating other works including the remodelling of the ticket office, concourse, and circulation areas including the new travel centre. In the past MGL predominately operated within London and the South East, but has since seen a change in its geographic spread towards the Midlands with contracts in

Design Flooring Co (Kent Ltd) Design Flooring Co (Kent Ltd) is a commercial flooring company proud of its commitment to quality without compromise. It is working closely with Metropex , to ensure all projects are completed on time and on budget, though never sacrificing its exemplary safety record. With over 35 years experience in the commercial flooring industry, Design Flooring Co, in partnership with Metropex, gives its clients peace of mind – ‘guaranteed’.

Nottingham and Birmingham. “At Birmingham New Street we are carrying out construction works for the lift and escalator enclosure for Birse Rail. We’re also being considered for the platform resurfacing works, and strengthening of the overslab that runs over the tracks forming the floor for the concourse above,” describes Ian. These projects are also a sign that MGL is increasingly taking on much larger contracts with a minimum value of £100,000, as is the case for the company’s work at the Gatwick Airport train station. These works are being progressed in three phases beginning with the refurbishment of platform rooms, which was completed in advance of station staff being moved out of their accommodation at the upper concourse level to accommodate ensuing works. The second phase consisted of soft strip and light demolition down to base floor level of all existing staff accommodation and the travel centre. From this point the new accommodation arrangement will be

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constructed from 140mm block work with all accompanying finishes such as floor screed, carpet, vinyl ceilings, plaster works, and decorations. As this phase nears completion, the client will have completed works to new platform installation and concourse, which will then see MGL enter phase three for the internal fit-out of this structure. “We continue to work with London Underground and are currently engaged under a framework to provide labour to carry out the enabling works in advance of the station improvements that are now being tendered. At present we’re on about 17 stations on the London Underground through that framework. During this delivery we have impressed with our capability and have therefore been asked to price the main works themselves, which has seen us tender for Baker Street and we are


preparing to do the same at Chancery Lane,” highlights Ian. Although MGL has clearly continued to be successful in securing new contracts, the company is also subject to some of the challenges being felt by the industry at large. This includes issues around settling of accounts and delays in payment which can be felt the whole way through the supply chain in relation to cash flow. Whilst such trends are a concern, MGL benefits from many returning customers and long-term relationships with major contractors as a result of its high quality standards and can-do attitude. Describing what is next for the company in terms of maintaining its good position, Ian concludes: “We are looking to acquire a base in the Midlands as we are being very successful in winning work in that

AFTER before


zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Hanover School - Demolition and remodelling of existing premises at Hanover school, construction of a new sports hall using PV panels, external wall insulation, metsec construction, and curtain walling. Contract value of £630,000 for Balfour Beatty.

region, and we feel that will continue to grow. As with any organisation though our focus is on securing a full forward order book so that we have the security needed to keep on funding that growth, and to give us a solid foundation on which to take decisions.” zz

Metropex Group Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1435 867755 Email: Web:

Construction of a new substation at Osborn Street for UK Power Networks working as a principal sub-contractor to Laing O’Rourke at a value of £800,000. Work included scaffolding, approximately 3000 square metres of brick and block to all external and internal walls, flooring, roofing, painting, vermin control, walls and ceilings, and surface finishes.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz NEWS I Franchises zz A c2c service travelling through Chalkwell in Essex

Rail opportunities l A ‘Rail Opportunities Day’, organised by the Department for Transport, was held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on 22nd May 2013. Presentations were given by senior Department for Transport (DfT) officials and key industry figures including:

l Richard Brown (chairman, Eurostar International) l Alex Hynes (MD – rail development, Go-Ahead Group) l Nicola Shaw (CEO, HS1) l Paul Plummer (group strategy director, Network Rail) Speakers presented on a range of subjects including an overview of the franchising programme, its opportunities and objectives, and a franchise bidding masterclass. The presentation material may be seen at: rail-opportunities-day

Essex rail contract agreement l Rail services in Essex will continue to be provided by c2c Rail Ltd for at least another 16 months following agreement of a short-term contract with the Department for Transport. This direct award negotiated with c2c Rail Ltd, a National Express subsidiary, is the first contract agreed by the department with the rail industry following publication of its revised railways franchising programme in March. From 26th May 2013 c2c will continue to operate the current Essex Thameside franchise until September 2014 when a long-term partner is expected to take over running the successful franchise.





A great

achievement Despite the challenging nature of its franchise, in the last year Southeastern has delivered its best-ever performance


unning train services into London from Kent and East Sussex, Southeastern operates some of the busiest stretches of railway across the UK network. This challenging franchise covers metro, mainline, and high speed services over 12 main lines of route and on third-rail infrastructure. With a core commuter market Southeastern serves more London terminals than any other operator including London Victoria, London Charing Cross, London Cannon Street, and St Pancras,


as well as passing through the bottleneck of London Bridge. Since taking over the franchise in 2006 the company has seen passenger journeys grow significantly from 134 million a year to just under 170 million. “The story of this franchise has been substantial growth across all parts of the network,” agrees Charles Horton, managing director. “At the same time we have driven up our punctuality to a MAA of 91.2 per cent Public Performance Measure (PPM), which is a significant improvement from where we started. We also inherited customer satisfaction at 76 per cent, which we have since seen rise to 84 per cent. “We’ve achieved this by boosting the number of services that we operate from

1900 when we took over to 2200 today. We introduced the UK’s first high speed domestic rail service, and paid particular attention to growing capacity within our metro offering. We’ve also done a lot to change the basic operational processes of running the business, such as revolutionising our maintenance procedures which has helped us improve efficiency and the reliability of the trains.” Southeastern has also invested heavily in some of its most vital assets – its people. Since the beginning of the franchise the

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Unipart Rail

company has invested more than £14 million in training and development schemes. In the past 12 months it has also become the only train operator to be recognise with Investors in People (IiP) Gold and Champion status. Another mark of Southeastern’s external recognition is its award of five stars in the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) and Recognised for Excellence (R4E) programme last year. The real highlight of the last 12 months though has been the enormous success of the 2012 Olympics Games. Southeastern was the most affected train operating company (TOC) during this period serving more Olympics venues than anyone else. It was also responsible for running the high-profile Javelin service, which saw a 200 per cent increase in passengers. In total Southeastern carried 12.6 million passengers during the Games, a 20 per cent uplift on its normal service, with 3000 extra services put on during that period. Whilst widely acknowledged as one of the best ever Olympic public transport

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performances, the 2012 Games presented all who were involved with a huge logistical challenge. From the scope of measures used to overcome this, Charles notes those lessons and processes which are being translated into permanent improvements: “One of the biggest things to come out of this is the relationships that were built up with other parties such as Network Rail, HS1, and Transport for London (TfL) are being carried forward. In the future this part of the network faces a massive challenge in the Thameslink works that will be undertaken at London Bridge, and these collaborative and co-operative working relationships will be key to that. “Likewise the way that we communicate

Wettons Wettons and Southeastern work closely together to ensure that we are able to provide a clean train to the travelling passengers. As everyone in the industry knows, you are cleaning a moving target when attending the trains and only ever get a small window of opportunity to provide the cleaning operation before the train goes back into service. A strong working relationship is vital to ensure everything is in place to provide the quality demanded by Southeastern, first time, every time.



Charles Horton, managing director

with passengers and help them get around the capital has changed forever as a result of the experience of the Olympics. The legacy of the Games is as much about the soft legacy in terms of people and teamwork, as it is about anything else that was done in improving infrastructure and delivering those sorts of changes,” he continues. The other challenges dominating the rail industry at present are the changes surrounding franchising. The announcement of the new timetable has been welcomed by Southeastern in providing greater clarity and certainty about when direct awards are going to be made and when franchises will be re-tendered. As to what this means short-term for Southeastern though, Charles reveals current thinking: “We now face the situation where our current franchise will come to an end in October 2014, and there will be a direct award period through to June 2018. For that stretch of time we will have to be in discussion with the Department for Transport (DfT) about what they want to achieve. We know that one of the

big features will be managing this significant change at London Bridge and putting into practice all the things we have learnt in the last few years to make sure what is the biggest challenge ever attempted on a living, breathing railway is delivered competently.” The franchise has also welcomed the strategic business plan for Kent submitted by Network Rail, and is in discussion about the funding and projects that need to be delivered for the next control period. “We are obviously very interested in what is planned for this part of the railway. It is dominated by Thameslink and everything that goes with that, but there are points such as the operation of 12-car trains in the metro section that will deliver passenger benefits and we want to see those come to fruition in the next couple of years as well. The title of the franchise is the Integrated Kent Franchise and we really do believe that the best quality of service can be provided by bringing together each aspect of the network in an integrated way,” concludes Charles. zz






Community centred Serving communities of the North East that otherwise may be without a strong rail link, Grand Central is a locally minded passenger operator


irectly linking large cities in Yorkshire and the North East with London, Grand Central reaches the parts of the country that other services don’t. This open-access passenger train operator launched its first route in December 2007 connecting London King’s Cross with York, Thirsk, Northallerton, Eaglescliffe, Hartlepool and Sunderland. This was followed by a second service in May 2010 joining West Yorkshire with King’s Cross calling at Bradford,


Halifax, Brighouse, Wakefield, Pontefract, and Doncaster. Completing the spread is the latest service calling at Mirfield on the West Riding route since December 2011. “Grand Central is a very focused locally based organisation providing a niche service to communities that have previously not been well served by rail, and keeping true to this is what sustains the business in what are tough economic times,” elaborates managing director Richard McClean. “The feedback that

we receive from key stakeholders such as Chambers of Commerce, local authorities and MPs all reiterates how crucial having a direct connection to the South East is for the local economy and the difference it makes for the people living in those areas.” As an open access operator Grand Central is different in that its services are provided purely on a commercial basis as opposed to under a franchise or concession agreement, and with no subsidy from, or premium to, the


Department for Transport (DfT). “It means we don’t have to manage a complex contractual relationship in two directions,” notes Richard in describing the effect of this model on the business. “We have suppliers and customers, but no additional axis in the form of DfT or a passenger transport executive (PTE), so it’s a straightforward bilateral relationship which simplifies the day-to-day running. The wisdom was that there was no commercial case for providing these services, but the reality is that if you provide the right level of operations and cost base with low overheads and local delivery you can provide a small-scale service on a commercial basis. No one else has tried to enter these particular markets with franchise after franchise specified

without these services, so as a commercial business we survive on our own capability and the results we deliver. This constantly spurs us to move things forward and to do better at all levels in the business,” he continues. Likewise Grand Central’s ability to take decisions and define strategic directions is facilitated by the scale of its operations. “Because we are serving niche markets using spare capacity on the network we are by our very nature a small operator, and will remain a small operator,” agrees Richard. “This means there is only a short distance between head office and the frontline giving us a direct connection between what happens on a train today and the place where the decisions are made about what we want to develop for the future.” Almost in contrast to its small stature, in 2011 Grand Central became part of the Arriva Group, Deutsche Bahn’s division for passenger transport outside of Germany. Following the acquisition Grand Central’s strategy has remained its own, developed in conjunction with stakeholders and the communities it serves. “Arriva bought Grand Central having recognised the potential it had and the progress made in developing the business and service to the market,” explains Richard. “It’s a wonderful position to be in to be small, focused and connected to the frontline, but to also have the support of one of Europe’s leading public transport groups.” He continues: “Arriva has a very devolved approach to managing its operations empowering its people to run their local businesses whilst allowing them to benefit from

economies of scale in corporate functions such as procurement and IT.” Whilst the arrival of an intercity service to London has made a measurable difference to the communities Grand Central serves, this is very much a reciprocal relationship as clearly local support and uptake is the lifeblood of the business. One mark of this is the group of station ambassadors and community volunteers who work with Grand Central to provide frontline customer service on what would otherwise be unstaffed stations, both in normal service and incidents of engineering works and diversions. “I think it’s a measure of how important what we’re doing is to those communities that people are willing to participate in the operation in that way,” enthuses Richard. “There’s something about Grand Central’s presence that has not only triggered increased levels of local involvement, but also increased attention from other key stakeholders such as Network Rail. We’ve seen investment and changes to maintenance policies so that incrementally year after year each of the stations we serve has improved. Because these are the only stations we serve we can give them our full attention, so Eaglescliffe for example now looks very smart, and we’re now starting work on transforming and restoring the station buildings at Wakefield Kirkgate with a whole range of other stakeholders. Other measures such as expansion of car parks, new notice boards and customer information systems and improved bus stops all make a difference as well,” he adds. One of the biggest challenges for Grand



Central has been developing its timetable and train paths amongst the other services that utilise the infrastructure of the East Coast Mainline. Highlighting the steps that the industry has taken in opening up capacity Richard says: “The rail network in the UK is incredibly busy because the whole industry has been so successful in growing its marketshare. Finding ways of making efficient use of the network is a challenge for all operators and Network Rail, but working steadily enormous improvements in the level of utilisation of the East Coast Mainline have been achieved over the last five or six years and it’s a real success story. More trains have been operated without huge increases in rolling stock fleets or the requirements for massive investment in infrastructure through more diligent, carefully organised planning.” As to the scope open to Grand Central to grow even further, Richard believes this will be concentrated on passengers not services, although he does note that the open-access concept as a whole may see some growth: “The markets we serve are relatively small and don’t have an inexhaustible capacity to support more and more services. Likewise we have a finite resource base so the scale of the operation is unlikely to grow in that way. However, the ridership on the service we are operating is still growing very strongly and we anticipate that will continue. There are almost certainly other routes and destinations where the same model can apply, on the East Coast, but particularly the West Coast Mainline. Our sister company Alliance Rail is working very strongly on putting together propositions for other communities to share the same benefits on those two routes.” Clearly these open-access service propositions are not intended as a means of usurping the position of the franchise operator, which serves a completely different marketplace. “There are very few touch-points where Grand Central and a franchise service are directly side-by-side, and likewise there are just as many touch-points between different franchise operators. What has been identified


is that where you get on-rail competition the impact is to grow the overall marketplace to the benefit of all involved operators and the communities served. This is because the operator has to concentrate on making sure the service they provide is attractive to potential customers, and better service brings more passengers which creates more revenue so it builds on itself. All the evidence in every marketplace says that’s what competition does,” notes Richard. Richard also believes that the recent ORR report announcing a new consultation paper on on-track competition with a focus on supporting more open access is great news for the industry: “The evidence-based research from the Centre for Policy Studies, ‘Rail’s Second Chance’ which set out the benefits of open access operating alongside franchises really showed open-access is in the interests of both passengers and the industry.” At a time when the traditional franchise model has been challenged Richard is enjoying the benefits of working under a different model


which enables Grand Central to keep focused on passengers: “The commercial structure is important but more so is having a sensible planning horizon within which to develop our business. With the track access agreements we have and our own company structure that gives us this planning horizon, we will be able to keep improving our service offering for our passengers,” he concludes. zz


n Richard McClea or ct re di g in ag man



Arriva Trains Wales

Arriva Trains Wales train crosses Barmouth Bridge


The extra mile

Celebrating its milestone anniversary, Arriva Trains Wales looks back at some of the achievements of ten strong years, and what is still yet to come


en years may not be a vast period of time when it comes to the scales of the rail market, but that only makes Arriva Trains Wales’ achievements over the last decade more impressive. The company, which is part of the Arriva Group, was awarded the rail franchise for Wales and the Borders in 2003 since which time it has introduced a programme of systematic improvement. In fact Arriva Trains Wales has invested more than £30 million into the franchise, which far exceeds its requirement of £400,000. This has included new depot and maintenance facilities, ticket gates, staff facilities, train driver simulators, station lighting enhancements, and ticket vending machines, as well as investment into stations and rolling stock refurbishment in partnership with others. In particular Arriva Trains Wales has been successful in attracting investment through the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP). One station that has seen a marked improvement as a result of this is Swansea. This redevelopment project not only won Best Large Station and Best Overall Station at the 2012 International Stations Awards, but also saw National Passenger Survey score for the station jump from 50 per cent to 93 per cent. “Swansea station has been vastly improved as a result of this work,” confirms Mike


Bagshaw, commercial director. “Compared to the drab station that was there before, it is now welcoming people into Swansea and west Wales. We have implemented new ticket office counters, new retail outlets, and removed the barrier that was dividing the station concourse to create a much more open and pleasant environment. There’s a number of other NSIP works going on throughout the network, and significant improvements are being made to both Cardiff Central and Cardiff Queen Street stations as part of the Cardiff Area Signalling Renewal Project (CASR).” This £220 million Network Rail scheme is designed to ease congestion on rail services around Cardiff and the south Wales Valleys network. “This includes construction of additional platforms and a number of improvements to signalling, which will increase the capability of the infrastructure to allow more trains to operate through Cardiff Central and Cardiff Queen Street,” elaborates Mike. “Later this year Network Rail will begin work on improving the line between north and south Wales, particularly Shrewsbury and Chester where they are increasing the line speed and undertaking a track re-doubling project that will enable journey times to be reduced.” One recently completed scheme has been the doubling of track over the Loughour

viaduct, which has removed one of the single line bottlenecks on the network. It has also enabled Arriva Trains Wales to run 5000 extra trains a year from Gowerton. Describing the challenge of implementing such infrastructure works and maintaining performance Mike says: “Whilst the work was going on at the Loughour viaduct we had a period of about nine days when the line was closed. We had planned for this well in advance and developed the timetable to minimise disruption including diversion of the trains around the closed section of line. “There is likely to be some disruption from the CASR works and again we are working closely with Network Rail to plan what we can do and how we are going to run trains during that period. Later this year there will be a nine day closure of the line between Shrewsbury and Wrexham whilst that track improvement goes on and we’ll be diverting trains via Crewe and putting on replacement transport on affected routes. So there will be some disruption and I think the key is that we communicate that as far as possible with our customers and make alternative plans that keep that to a minimum,” he continues. Another part of the franchise that has benefited from recent attention is Arriva Trains Wales’ fleet. “Last year we completed the


Class 175 at Port Talbot

Class 158 refurbishment project, which we collected a lot of passengers’ views for in developing that specification, and have since received some very positive feedback on. This was conducted in partnership with the Welsh Government who funded the project. At the same time we have carried out some refresh work to the rest of the fleet such as the Class 175s, and Class 153s, and are now making improvements to the Class 150s and the Pacers,” highlights Mike. The company’s commitment to development and improvement is particularly prudent given the enduring popularity of its services. Arriva Trains Wales continues to see passenger numbers grow even in the current difficult economic environment, with customer satisfaction results equally rising. The challenge now is for the business to be able to accommodate that growth through a finite fleet of trains. Careful management of resources and a timetable overhaul to match capacity with demand saw Arriva Trains Wales add a further 340,000 seats a year in 2012, as well as an additional 125,000 shortly after. This work remains an ongoing concern with the company also holding discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Department for Transport about what needs to be


ins Arriva Tra ier m re p s le a W s s la c t firs service


ished C

done to ensure the long-term sustainability of the service. The next milestone for Arriva Trains Wales is 2018, which is not only its 15th anniversary but also the culmination of its current franchise term. Whilst the company will continue to work to leave a legacy of enhanced performance and base growth, the years ahead are also coloured by significant external developments. “Our focus is on maintaining our high levels of performance and continuing to attract customers to the railway by working with partners such as the Welsh Government to deliver aspirations for the network,” begins Mike. “We particularly welcome the announcement of the electrification of the Valley Lines and are

Class 158 trai

n interior

lass 15

8 train

keen to work with Government to look at all the options to determine what this new infrastructure will deliver, and the trains required to operate on it. There is an opportunity here to improve journey times, improve the travelling environment, and address the ongoing passenger growth we see on the network. In addition, the Great Western Electrification scheme to Swansea and the Northern Hub project are also going to have an impact. We will be working closely with our industry partners to develop those programmes and make sure we provide the best outcome for our customers in Wales and along the English borders,” he concludes. zz




Heathrow Express


Spreadingits wings Recognising the need to engage customers early on, Heathrow Express is embarking on a new strategy to increase its overseas brand presence



ith a journey time of just 15 minutes to Terminals 1 and 3, Heathrow Express is the fastest rail link between central London and Heathrow Airport. This dedicated stretch of railway carries an average of 16,000 passengers a day in comfort delivering them to their destination safely and on time. As such, the service enjoys high levels of repeat business from travellers. Launched back in 1998, this year Heathrow

Express proudly celebrates its 15th birthday as one of the first dedicated air-rail expresses worldwide. This milestone will be marked with the completion of the company’s fleet refurbishment and rebrand programme in June. The new brand was officially launched on 7th March 2012 and so over the course of the last year the look and feel of the business has gradually changed. At the core of this is the mid-life refurbishment of the rolling stock, which entails a complete strip out and modernisation works in order to achieve a higher standard of service. “Our aim is to ensure that Heathrow Express remains a benchmark in luxury and comfort. Customers will find our cars lighter and brighter, and in first class we have implemented 1+1 seating for maximum privacy,” describes Keith Greenfield, managing director. Reflecting on how the service has fared over the same period he continues: “It’s been an exciting 12 months, particularly with the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This saw a significant shift with business customers almost vanishing and being replaced by visitors to the Games, many of whom were not regular

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz travellers to London. As such we were very focused on making sure that our service was reliable and that we gave our foreign visitors a great first impression of London as they arrived on our train. We also took the opportunity to ‘up our game’ on customer communications and embrace social media for the first time. This has been a great success.” Heathrow Express recognises that it is fundamentally one element in a much longer journey, as almost everyone using the service will also be flying in or out of Heathrow. Therefore as well as targeting its product to meet its customers’ specific needs, Heathrow Express is looking to promote itself at an earlier point when passengers are planning their itinerary. “Behind the scenes we have been strengthening our capabilities particularly in the areas of project management and IT, both of which are key to embracing the opportunities that technology now offers right across the business. We have also launched a new marketing strategy designed to build our reputation and attract more overseas visitors to

use Heathrow Express,” notes Keith. Divulging further on this approach he explains how the company hopes to create this worldwide presence: “Over 50 per cent of Heathrow passengers are not resident in the UK, none of whom have private transport and more than half want to travel into London. One

challenge we have is that many of them are not expecting to use rail, as they do not enjoy good rail services in their own countries, with US passengers a prime example. We need to make our service known to these visitors before they arrive at Heathrow so they can plan to use us.

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Leading the way in advanced ticketing solutions Remember the days of having to rush to the ticket office before boarding a train, going to a concert or attending a sporting event? With the introduction of online ticketing a few years ago, waiting in long queues for a paper ticket – or even having to print off your own and paying for the privilege – is fast becoming a thing of the past for purchase, distribution or redemption of tickets, customers can specify their preferences, including desktops or mobile (phones or tablet devices). Thus the user experience is a much quicker, easier and more efficient process and rail companies additionally benefit by capturing purchasing preferences and gaining a better understanding of their customers. A range of marketing and promotional offers can be associated seamlessly within the adaptive ticketing solution created by RE:SYSTEMS, opening up opportunities for clients to employ CRM activities and encourage customer loyalty. The development of a bespoke ticketing channel for the corporate market was an industry first. Corporate travel buyers and agents now benefit from accessing a dedicated area where ticket purchases can be discounted and available on account, simplifying the business travel booking and accounting processes.

Speeding ahead


pecialists in web and mobile solutions, RE:SYSTEMS were pioneers in the launch of the first mobile phone ticketing in the UK rail industry for Heathrow Express since 2007. Today, the company continues to lead the way and help change the ticketing landscape, working with many blue chip names in transport, music and sport both in the UK and further afield.

Express ticket delivery Working in close collaboration with Heathrow Express for more than a decade, RE:SYSTEMS has continually developed versatile internet-based ticketing technologies to provide real customer benefits. The current sophisticated technology platform has enabled Heathrow Express to gain in-depth knowledge of its audiences, quickly adapting to ensure that the customer gets the ticket and service required instantly. Recent initiatives have also included the development of iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Java Apps for ticket purchases and fulfillment. Through adaptive technologies, customers – both consumer and trade – are able to access tickets across different IT platforms. Whether

Outside the UK, RE:SYSTEMS has more recently been developing innovative ticketing initiatives in South Africa, to help revolutionise transport ticketing in this territory. This includes empowering consumers to purchase tickets through legacy feature phones using USSD technology and the set up of a network of Point of Sale (POS) distribution points linked to the RE:SYSTEMS core ticketing system. As a niche player in the ticketing arena, RE:SYSTEMS is at the forefront of new techniques, not just through building relationships with clients but also partnering with third parties such as large IT service organisations. By remaining agile, the company is able to be highly responsive to fast moving requirements and pioneer new approaches. Through investing in specialists that not only understand the rail sector but thrive on constantly pushing the technological boundaries, RE:SYSTEMS’ team is able to accelerate the R&D process and identify innovations just around the corner.

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Heathrow Express

“We can do this in several ways, and as a smaller company we need to make very efficient use of a limited marketing budget. Online is therefore our main tool. Most customers at least research their travel, if not actually book it, online. As such we need to be very prominent on search engines and airline websites flying into London. We have just launched a tie-up with Aer Lingus where all their London-bound customers can include their Heathrow Express ticket in their airline booking, saving them time. We want to do this with other airlines as well. We are also doing some sponsorship in foreign airports and generally trying to get our brand known overseas,” enthuses Keith. AMS60 mobile welding machine Such a strategy could also serve to boost Heathrow Express’ market share as passengers arriving or departing with prebooked tickets eliminates the competition with other modes on the ground. This is particularly important as the nature of the airport means the actual market scope is relatively fixed.


“As everyone knows Heathrow is completely full in terms of flight capacity, although the average planeload is slowly increasing due to the introduction of larger aircraft. This means

there isn’t much base market growth, but there is scope for us to increase our market share as visitors have a wide choice of travel options from Heathrow. In particular we see our main competition as cars and taxis. I want Heathrow Express to be seen as the ‘smarter way’ to travel and have a worldwide reputation as the automatic choice of travel from the airport into central London,” concludes Keith. zz


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PSV Glass PSV Glass is delighted to have played a major part in the refurbishment programme of the Heathrow Express Class 332 including the re-design and the installation of over 2500 passenger windows in an amazing looking fleet of trains. “PSV Glass delivered their service promise on time and within budget in supporting us in this high profile and important project,” said Robert Leitch, supply chain director, Railcare Limited.




‘Always on’consumers have increasingly high expectations


MARK ELLIOTT and ROBERT WILLIAMS have examined passengers’ expectations of technological change in the rail industry

K rail operators face a growing challenge to run successful, costeffective services that continue to satisfy and engage with an ever expanding customer base. At the same time, changes in demography and the use of consumer technology are altering the needs of passengers as well as creating an opportunity for a wide-scale transformation in the industry. The Government has placed a strong focus on Britain’s rail services as a key factor in the success of the nation’s economy. Major infrastructure investments such as Crossrail demonstrate a real commitment to modernisation, connecting the nation and providing passengers with the services they need. However, while infrastructure establishes the foundations for success, recent reports such as the Department for Transport’s ‘Door to Door’ strategy (Ref. 1) have acknowledged that transport must be more integrated to meet passengers’ needs. As a consequence, transport operators are starting to explore the ways technology can integrate and simplify travel. Today’s passengers are increasingly connected to online services on the go. Two-thirds of UK consumers aged 18-34 own smartphones, with about half of those using their smartphone to access email and/or the internet ‘several times a day’ (Ofcom Nations and Regions Tracker Q1 2012). As it becomes more and more convenient to shop, check information, or communicate with others on the go, passengers are beginning to demand to see the same technologies used for travel and, ideally, integrated within their online experience. Accenture’s research into the future of public transport (Ref. 2) has found that expectations of technological change in the rail industry are high. A Western European rail survey demonstrated that across Europe, passengers expect to be using their mobile phone as an electronic ticket as early as this year. They want easy access to at-station information, customised messages and offers based on their preferences and previous journeys as well as the ability to engage with operators via social media. In London, 67 per cent of respondents said they follow – or intend to follow – public transport providers in the near

future on Facebook or Twitter. The Western European survey found a strong desire for innovation in three major areas: ticketing, at stations and on-train services. While this may come as a surprise, the vast majority (87 per cent) of those surveyed in the UK were willing to pay up to ten per cent more for their journey to enable a totally paperless journey. Passengers want a single ticket for multiple modes of transportation and see time savings as the number one factor that would motivate them to turn to paperless travel. In the immediate term, they want a one-stop booking platform on their PCs, but will expect the same on their mobile devices in the very near future. Our research shows that when passengers reach the station, they want real-time, accurate information – not just via clearer, more userfriendly information boards but also in the palm of their hand. Among the types of real-time information requested via mobile devices are platform numbers, platform changes, the time required to reach a platform and any obstacles before the gate (stairs or overcrowding, for example). Passengers were also dismissive of at-station retailing, with the vast majority stating that they rarely shop at stations because they find it too inconvenient. The most common reasons passengers shun shops at stations include having to carry purchases (38 per cent), concerns about missing their train (28 per cent) and a belief that shopping options are not sufficiently diverse (24 per cent). Seven per cent of UK respondents do not shop at stations at all. On-board the train, the survey results suggest that the majority of UK passengers welcome the more frequent cleaning of toilets above anything else. There is also a clear desire for expanded on-board services, with most respondents saying they would be willing to pay to enhance their comfort during the journey. However, the majority of passengers in first or standard class – particularly younger and more frequent passengers – believe that connectivity and entertainment should be provided for free or included in the price of their ticket. Technology can be used in many ways to improve the passenger experience. Journeys can be more integrated, not only via one electronic ticket but also through the improved availability of multi-channel information to

simplify travel and onward connections. Accenture’s research offers a clear indication that rail operators should continue to innovate and engage with their customers before they turn to other more advanced online services – 58 per cent and 66 per cent of UK respondents said they would be likely to book train travel via Google and Amazon, respectively, if they could. By becoming more customer-centric and embracing technology, rail operators can enhance demand for public transport, build deeper relationships with their customer bases and uncover additional revenue streams. The research is available at and consists of: l A European Passenger rail survey to understand their expectations in terms of information and technology (a balanced sample in seven countries in Western Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK) of 3600 passengers surveyed September 2012 l A Public Transport Study to understand the opinions of travellers in nine major cities, globally (Barcelona, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Washington DC) of 4500 passengers surveyed August September and December 2012 l A Western European rail survey to understand 4211 frequent and occasional travellers (from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, UK). zz

References Ref. 1: The Department for Transport, ‘Door to Door strategy for improving sustainable transport integration’, March, 2013 system/uploads/attachment_data/file/142539/door-todoor-strategy.pdf Ref. 2: Accenture, “High Performance in Public Transport,” May 21, 2013, Microsites/public-transportation/Pages/index.aspx

Mark Elliott is with Infrastructure and Transportation Services at Accenture where he is focused on developing the company’s Public Transport business in the United Kingdom. Robert Williams is a UK transport consultant with Infrastructure and Transportation Services at Accenture’s London office.





Air of success Railway Strategies takes a look at the Burton-on-Trent specialist HVAC operation of Knorr-Bremse - the largest dedicated rail HVAC facility in the UK

T Harjit Singh – general manager of the Knorr-Bremse Burton site


he ‘main’ Knorr-Bremse headquarters facility, which was opened at Melksham, in Wilshire, in 2005 is now well known and established in the UK as the source of all Knorr-Bremse products and services for the UK and Ireland markets. However Knorr-Bremse has expanded its operations in the UK in recent years and it now has a specialist machining facility based in Corsham, Wiltshire but in this feature we take a look at its most recent investment at

Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems, Burton-on-Trent. The Burton location is a specialist Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) facility and is responsible for all Knorr-Bremse HVAC operations and services and serves the UK and Ireland rail markets. In September 2010 Knorr-Bremse Asia Pacific (Holding) Limited, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, acquired the Australian HVAC systems specialists Sigma Coachair Group. The move by Knorr-Bremse formed part of its long-term strategic drive to expand its operations into a number of specialist rail business sectors through targeted acquisition. This meant that the Sigma organisation in the UK became part of the UK Knorr-Bremse organisation. In 2011, the former Sigma operation became Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (Burton) and moved to a new state-of-the-art dedicated HVAC faciity at Stretton, Burton-on-Trent in


Staffordshire. This new Knorr-Bremse facility boasts a floor space of over 1100 square metres which is solely dedicated to rail HVAC. It has received major investment in new specialist HVAC service equipment and Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (Burton) claims that it now provides customers with perhaps the largest and best dedicated rail HVAC facility in the UK. In addition to being the UK and Ireland distributors for Knorr-Bremse Rail Groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Merak and Sigma branded HVAC systems, the Knorr-Bremse Burton facility is also the source for original parts, service and maintenance support for these systems. Through its dedicated RAILSERVICES organisation Knorr-Bremse Burton offers a wide range of HVAC focused but flexible support services. These include: maintenance, overhauls, electronics repairs, environmental management, inspection, refrigerant




management, retrofits, service, testing and training. This support covers Knorr-Bremse and other makes of rail HVAC equipment and work can be carried out at Burton or in the case of corrective maintenance at the operator’s own location. In addition Burton can provide a full rail HVAC consultancy and advice service to train builders, integrators and operators. The services offered include prototyping, modifications and upgrades designed replace existing HVAC systems. There is a trend to modernise existing HVAC systems or installations with new technology to deliver energy savings and environmental performance improvements whilst driving down life cycle costs. In fact Knorr-Bremse has developed a new remote monitoring system, recently launched on the Knorr-Bremse stand at Railtex, called Z-300 which helps operators to monitor the



‘health’ of the HVAC system on the train and to also optimise the use of HVAC to cut operational costs. This system has been adopted by the Knorr-Bremse Rail Group worldwide as a system which it can offer to its customers to help them in addressing HVAC issues before they become a major problem which could affect the in-service availability of the train whilst reducing HVAC operating costs. Typical of the projects undertaken or being undertaken on existing fleets by Knorr-Bremse Burton include new HVAC unit supply and fit on the East Coast fleet, overhaul of Sigma HVAC and boilers on Class 171s, and overhaul of the cab 450/185 and saloon 333 HVAC for Siemens. Harjit Singh, general manager of KnorrBremse Burton commented: “I think what’s important is that our organisation and the facility that we operate here in Burton was established especially and only for rail HVAC

operations. We do no other type of work here, we are specialists in what we do and can really focus on being the best in the business at what we offer to our customers in terms of support though our specialist knowledge and expertise. “Being part of the global Knorr-Bremse Group means that we have the right skills and equipment here to handle any and all Knorr-Bremse Group HVAC systems, those from Merak and Sigma. However, we can also handle other rail HVAC types too. We have an expert and highly experienced technical team that is happy to offer customers advice and support from the very earliest concept stage to advice on an upgrade or retrofit project and our dedicated warranty, maintenance and original parts team can ensure that HVAC systems and the trains they serve are kept running in service and importantly, safely and reliably.” zz


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Network Rail

Network Rail

Rescuing trains gets easier l Adaptations have been made to Network Rail’s fleet of Class 57s in the south to allow them to rescue failed electric multiple units. Testing of the six 57/3 locomotives is now complete, following a modification of the brake interface units. This will allow the drivers to operate their brakes and those of the failed train together. The brake interface unit also operates the safety interlocks on most units, which means broken-down units can be removed at normal line speed. Mick Stewart, senior fleet engineer, National Delivery Service, said: “We can now quickly move units that are stranded – for example, when the third rail network is disabled, if there’s snow and ice, or where there’s been a mechanical failure. The 57s are also powerful enough to haul a 12-car EMU – another EMU wouldn’t be able to do that. “Before, failed units had to be rescued using whatever train was available, powerful enough, and that could be coupled to the unit. Route controls would have to source the rescue vehicle, find competent fitters and get them to the depot to collect the emergency adaptor coupler before the recovery train could go out – all of which took valuable time.” A rescue involving one of the modified class 57s would involve its driver, the driver of the failed unit, plus competent staff, such as a maintenance operations manager or a train operating company fitter, on either side of the coupling. This can be achieved in 15 minutes – a large time saving over previous procedures. Other possible uses for the class 57s include routinely moving EMUs between works for servicing.



Passenger Information Systems


An easily upgradable system


Imagine a Real-Time Passenger Information System that you may easily, and at optimised cost, update as your needs or passenger demands require … IMAGINE: a PIS / CIS system built for the future and built to last

OCON can provide you with the technology and expertise you need to meet the high demands of modern passengers. A Real-Time Passenger Information System for you to keep your passengers well informed and entertained during their journey. Our system can be tailored to the individual needs of each operator and can be extended when desired. It is less susceptible to obsolescence, has a lifetime cost several times less than you have seen in the past decade, and is easily upgradable over time at substantially lower cost. New functionalities and new devices can be added to the basic product backbone without having to replace the entire system.

Have you tried to be in a situation of “I need to upgrade but it’s so complex and expensive” that you don’t do it or can’t? Yes? At FOCON we do more than put equipment on board, we build for long-term optimum use


and cost, even if your requirements change over years.

We let our projects speak A new feature on LU Victoria Line Our projects prove how easy it is to upgrade our system. FOCON is a system provider of Passenger Information Systems (PIS) on a number of projects for use on the London Underground fleet. Using the experience collected through two decades of work for London Underground – the FOCON PIS today is so versatile that it can easily be adjusted to new requirements based on new norms, standards and legislation. The recent upgrade project required an upgrade to handle real-time disruption messaging where the passengers get real-time information on the current traffic situation; we were able to adapt those options into the Passenger Information System in only six months after signing the contract – including taking time out of the projects to run Olympics traffic. Not only did we have a short lead-time but also a solution implementation that did not interrupt service. Testing was done off-train in a simulation

environment. Such easy upgrades prove our words and the versatility of FOCON’s system. The real-time disruption modifies the routine journey-based messages to reflect the disruption and add additional travel information. This will give the passengers better and more correct information about the current traffic situation on the Tube allowing passengers to make better and more informed decisions on their journey and thereby avoid congestion. The real-time disruption system includes all stations and trains in the Tube. The FOCON part of the system will interpret the signals sent to the train radio and modify the current routine journey-based messages to reflect the disruption. The system guides passengers to a safe and efficient travel; it supports the aim of traffic shaping, creating flow in how passengers move around. It thereby not only makes the passenger happier, it also supports increasing capacity as passengers don’t get ‘trapped’ and block the smooth movement of people through the transport system. An upgrade for Velaro RUS300 FOCON has installed an advanced integrated

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz PIS and entertainment system for the Velaro trains in Russia and has also supplied displays and audio/video entertainment system. In our newest project, we call RUS II, we have included an upgrade of the existing system; it will now be possible to supply high resolution Digital Video Entertainment, which can be configured with different content in multiple cars. The user can make a ‘playlist’ consisting of a combination of text, images and movies. The text could contain information on e.g. the speed of the train, time, date, next station, and destination. Furthermore, it is possible to show the position of the train on a map, in order to provide real-time passenger information during the trip. The playlists could contain movies, and the system allows the user to create playlists showing a combination of advertisements and movies. A playlist can be triggered in two ways: l Configured relative to a station in terms of distance or time l Activated manually by the conductor, who has the possibility of previewing the playlist before activating it. Movies can be set up with two sound tracks providing e.g. the original language and a synchronized version. If the passengers want to listen to audio, they can individually choose between up to ten different entertainment channels including the two movie sound tracks. New upgrade supports increased real-time passenger information that may by choice be locationspecific, and which runs in an easily updateable manner for the operator. The control computer in the PIS system knows where the train is and may intelligently combine this with the different information available to make good guiding information to the passengers; we may even make location-dependent advertisement or other media sessions.

It is all about the passengers All modern railways are the outgrowth of many years of design progress where safety has been the cornerstone. Passengers are very comfort conscious and the relationship between safety and comfort has become very close; in fact, a feeling of safety is in itself a very basic form of mental comfort. That is why FOCON enables you to provide safety and comfort for your passengers. With our safety and surveillance system and the comfort of our passenger information,

infotainment and entertainment system, IMAGINE, we can together fulfil the passengers’ demands and needs of safe and comfortable journey.

A scalable solution FOCON’s platform is scalable from a basic core solution with basic passenger announcement functions and/or displaying to high level solutions according to your choice, including a broad range of optional features as added communication features, RIS / TIS (travel information systems), infotainment with real-time update and CCTV. On the same core platform FOCON covers solutions from LRV (Light Rail Vehicles) to regional and mainlines, over metros to high speed and very high speed solutions. Our IMAGINE platform is not a stand-alone solution; it’s effectively supported by a strong, also customizable aftersales concept InMotion giving optimum up-time and lifetime cost; this by maximizing availability of spares and service

and proven products with high reliability. FOCON references are extensive and cover most recognized train builders and highly acknowledged operators around the globe. As an innovative IRIS and ISO certified trendsetter FOCON makes an excellent choice for those seeking solutions for the future, solutions that may be built on, going forward, and that may be run at a highly competitive level of lifetime cost.

Let us help challenges you Let us help you work out your possibilities and how you may build a SMART solution that may not only add to your operational efficiency and passenger satisfaction today – but do it for years to come. zz

More information is to be found on FOCON’s website or by contacting FOCON directly. Contact information is available on the company website.


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Rail professional opportunity Are you a rail professional open to offers for new business? ITIC, a rail and transport sector specialist insurer, needs a network of rail specialists in the UK and overseas, to advise and consult on claims


nternational Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) is an insurance association established in 1925, which insures 2000 different businesses throughout the world and is recognised as the leading mutual provider of professional indemnity insurance in its field. ITIC works closely with transport professionals and their insurance brokers to provide specialist guidance and advice on their risks in their working environment, both in the United Kingdom and overseas. ITIC has concluded that many insurers do not understand the work that professionals in the rail industry undertake. Often, these insurers do not analyse the work of the professional working on a project and, as a result, your premiums are increased unnecessarily.


The service that we provide and the width of our professional indemnity insurance has resulted in a significant growth in the number of companies involved in the rail industry insuring with ITIC over recent years,” says Roger Lewis, ITIC’s underwriting director. “To help us support this growing rail portfolio we need a bigger network of consultants we can call upon to help with specific claims on a call by call basis.

ITIC’s insurance includes worldwide cover for bodily injury and property damage as standard; this is of paramount importance to those working in the rail industry and differentiates ITIC’s insurance from many traditional underwriters who either exclude, or expect you to pay an additional premium for this important element of cover. ITIC makes four recommendations to professionals working in the rail industry: 1. Ask your current insurers or brokers if they understand exactly what it is that you do. For example, if you are a signalling systems design engineer, your direct involvement in the day to day operational environment is limited. You design a signalling system on a railway network, but you are not necessarily the party who operates and maintains it. Your liability is substantially less than the operator and, therefore, you require an insurance that is adapted specifically to cover your liabilities if you make an error in


the design of the system. However, the liabilities resulting from an error in the use of the system you have designed fall under the operator’s liability insurance programme. 2. Enquire about a longer term, non-contract specific, business-wide, professional indemnity policy. It is more expensive to buy insurance for each individual contract or tender than buying an annual policy that covers all your work. 3. Ask your insurance broker or underwriter whether bodily injury or property damage cover is included in your policy at no additional cost. 4. Ascertain whether your policy of insurance provides you with worldwide cover. zz

To express an obligation-free interest please contact Roger Lewis, ITIC’s underwriting director: ITIC Tel: 020 7338 0150 Email: Web:


NEWS I Products & Services


Nordic partnership

Burnham Signs rises again l Stocksigns has re-introduced the Burnham Signs brand. Burnham Signs has been serving the rail industry for a number of years with high quality vitreous enamel signs, and came under Stocksigns’ ownership in 2004. Since then the Burnham production facilities have moved to the main Redhill premises, taking the opportunity to modernise and streamline the vitreous enamel process. Many of Stocksigns’ quality procedures and business practices have been adopted, bringing the Burnham business completely up to date. However even after trading under the Stocksigns banner since their acquisition, the Burnham name has refused to be forgotten. 177 years of vitreous enamel sign-making has stuck hard in the minds of many that have worked with Burnham Signs. The decision to reinstate the Burnham brand is also partly due to a wider project Stocksigns is undertaking, to add clarity to their signage offering. There is no-one currently serving the signage market that has the expertise and breadth of capabilities that Stocksigns has to offer.

However, the Stocksigns umbrella name has lead to some confusion in the marketplace, with the mistaken belief that Stocksigns only manufactures and ‘stocks’ signs. The decision to publically promote the different business streams, used internally within Stocksigns to serve the signage market, will help clearly define the service range they provide. Other business streams within the Stocksigns Group include: l Stocksigns & Stocksigns Trade – over 30,000 health & safety and general signs available for next day delivery. l First Call Signs – print on demand temporary signage for the construction and events industry l Garnier – vintage style vitreous enamel sign plates, gifts and souvenirs l Messagemaker Display – LED signs, programmable moving messages l Projectsigns – specialist project management services, including survey, design, manufacture and installation. To find out more about the Stocksigns Group including the Burnham signs brand please visit:

Keyline to supply Concrete Canvas l Keyline has teamed up with Concrete Canvas to exclusively supply the company’s flexible cement impregnated fabric solution that hardens when hydrated to the rail sector. This latest agreement further underlines Keyline’s commitment to supplying the latest and most innovative products and technology to meet the needs of contractors working in the industry to help reduce costs, minimise disruption and ultimately boost operational performance. This award-winning product forms a hardened, waterproof concrete lining that is quicker and less expensive to install compared to conventional solutions. It can be rapidly unrolled to form an effective ditch or tank lining, which can conform to a range of profiles and curves without the need for specialist plant equipment. Furthermore, Concrete Canvas is a low mass, low carbon technology that uses up to 95 per cent less material than traditional options, helping to reduce both financial and environmental cost of many rail projects

l De-/anti-icing specialist Kilfrost is working in partnership with Nordic Ground Support Equipment and has already catered for the installation of five of the company’s new anti-icing systems in the Netherlands, as part of a major project undertaken last winter by the Dutch Railway operator. Kilfrost’s partnership with Swedish-based Nordic, suppliers of anti-icing systems to the rail industry worldwide, involves working as its recommended supplier and advises the company on the application of fluid into anti-icing systems. The concept of using anti-icing systems to prevent the build-up of ice and snow is gathering pace as increasing numbers of operators are investing in such installations. Kilfrost’s innovative TDIce range of fluids have been specifically designed for use with the Nordic systems, which facilitate the largescale de-icing and anti-icing of rolling stock. The Kilfrost TDIce product range includes TDIce and TDIce Plus. These products can be heated and sprayed onto the underside of rolling stock to prevent build-up, ensuring effective operation and maintenance in even the harshest weather conditions. All products within the range are fully biodegradable. De/anti-icing systems help to address the important safety critical risks faced by rail operators during winter weather conditions, such as fallen lumps of ice onto the track which cause ballast to fly from the track bed and ricochet, hitting the train.





King’s Cross Principal layout of the era-transceiver

Transferring expertise


When it comes to on-train transmission, era-contact’s electrical couplers are making the connection

ith almost 700 employees spread across every level of the company, era-contact has come a long way from owner and founder Erich Aichele’s original two-person business. Having started out in the production of relay coils, small transformers, and cable harnesses, the company is today amongst the world’s leading manufacturers of electrical railway couplings, cable confectioning, and vehicle wiring. This has given it a presence in the majority of vehicular industries including rail, automotive, engine manufacture, and commercial vehicles. “In the rail sector we work together with many of the leading manufacturers such as Bombardier, Alstom, Siemens, and Stadler,” notes Christoph Schill, sales director. “In the case of our automatic electrical coupler we have worked together with our partner Voith Turbo Scharfenberg for more than 13 years, whilst our manual couplers can be found on new and old rolling stock across Europe, Asia, Middle East and Far East.” As a technology leader in this field, eracontact’s electrical coupling solutions offer reliable transmission of power, signalling controls, and Ethernet services between trains. The company supplements this with a product range that includes modular surface wiring, modular side wiring, subsurface control boxes, jumper cables, and switching cabinets to deliver a complete end-to-end onboard electrification solution. “As such we are a one-stop-shop system supplier to our customers,” emphasises


UIC 552 connector set

Christoph. “Our offering is available in quantities from just one piece up to around 1000, which benefits our customers by enabling them to purchase only what they require. Because we deliver most mechanical processes in-house we are able to leverage certain benefits in terms of performance. Most notably for the last three years we have been working to a onepiece flow process that allows us to produce

a complete electrical coupler as a spare part within a very short lead time of around eight weeks. When you bear in mind the cost of downtime of the train this timeframe is very important.” In order to maintain its leadership in the market era-contact invests between eight and ten per cent of its yearly revenue into further research and development. One of the latest

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Manual coupler size III

Switching cabinet innovations to come out of this is the eratransceiver, which allows for signal and data transmission with a bandwidth of up to 1GB without a mechanical contact. “Essentially this means operational through fast change systems or automatic electrical couplers,” clarifies Christoph. “This product is the logical consequence of the further development of the market as applications become more sophisticated and require a higher bandwidth. “We believe this will continue for some years still so we have launched the 1GB eratransceiver to ensure that we are prepared for this future. At present you won’t find anywhere a solution that is as powerful, and yet compact, as ours and with its other advantages such as galvanic isolation, and simple plug-andplay connection the era-transceiver is an unbearable solution. We have also developed a plug-and-play concept for our electric coupler systems, which is optimised for trains already in service and can easily be adapted to today’s requirements. This is available in a 100MB or 1GB solution,” he continues. From a market perspective era-contact remains focused on the eastern European region where its products have had significant appeal. The company also looks to the South African market, which it believes offers enormous potential for the coming years. “era-contact is now present on four continents worldwide ensuring that we are always close to our customers and markets,” highlights Christoph. “In 2009 we founded a sales entity in the US, which has seen such success that


we have taken the decision to expand this into a production company. This will begin operating in the third quarter of the year, so we think 2013 presents a lot of opportunity for our colleagues in that market.” The challenge now is for era-contact to put in place the necessary structures to achieve these objectives, particularly in terms of replicating the success of its US division. Longer term the company is far from modest in its aspirations as Christoph concludes: “In line with our company philosophy of ‘our

success is driven by people’ we aim to develop long-term partnerships with our customers and suppliers so that we can grow with them and look towards the future together. Our goal is to be the worldwide partner in the railway industry for power, signal, and data transmission, with an aim to be in every train worldwide with our products or service portfolio. We recognise that this is an ambitious target but we are optimistic about our ability to realise it.” zz




Railway Industry Association


A good representation Championing the interests of the UK rail supply chain, the Railway Industry Association seeks to achieve the best outcome for all

Much activ it Special Inte y is through rest Group members visiting th s – RIA e Tyn Wear Metro workshop e & s

ology & Innovation RIA’s annual Techn ether suppliers, tog Conference brings s and academia die bo try us ind ts, clien


he Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the representative body for UK-based suppliers of equipment and services to the global rail industry. It boasts around 170 member companies, which are active across the railway supply industry, and represent the greater part of the sector by turnover. “It is our job to promote and safeguard the interests of the UK rail supply industry,” describes director general Jeremy Candfield, who has led the association since 1998. “We are the only association that works right across the sector so we have a key role in engagement with Government, major clients, and industry bodies. Our membership base is very broad containing manufacturers of rolling stock and infrastructure component contractors, consultancies, training companies, and specialist service providers, all unified


by the fact that they are members of the UK railway supply chain and they want to see it nurtured and sustained,” he continues.

Associated benefits The benefits of being part of RIA are apparent from the extensive services it provides to members. This includes representation of the supply industry’s interests to Government, Network Rail, London Underground, Transport for London, and others. It also provides its members with technical, commercial, and political information, and opportunities for dialogue and networking. RIA commits a lot of resource to promoting and supporting its member companies in the export sector, and maintains around 20 special interest groups, which have become major conduits for exchange between the supply sector and the rest of the rail industry.

“We have long been broadcasting the crucial importance of collaboration between the different industry elements,” notes Jeremy. “To this end we initiated our Value Improvement Programme (VIP), which is all about getting companies to engage in a more openly collaborative fashion to the benefit of all sides. This has worked with some success, and we are now seeing Network Rail and the train operating companies (TOCs) taking that message very seriously, which is welcome.”

Special interests In terms of the measures that are required to secure the continued future of the rail supply industry, Jeremy highlights a number of points of interest for the RIA: “In the last year we’ve done an enormous amount of work on innovation through our Unlocking Innovation Scheme. Through our technical colleagues

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz trade t overseas avilions a rans in Berlin p K U es is RIA organ fairs such as InnoT

within the organisation, we conduct a series of workshops throughout the UK to encourage innovation and help companies overcome barriers and get their innovative ideas into the market.” He continues: “When we look at the direction of the railway in terms of development the amount of technical effort that is going to be involved is likely to be pretty substantial. Even within the industry I am not sure many people comprehend the magnitude of the step change that is beginning to take place with the scale of the electrification and ERTMS programmes for example. There are also substantial numbers of new trains in prospect and much more emphasis on remote condition monitoring. These are things that are being taken forward by individual companies, but often with significant input from the Association because each of them represents a major change in

how things are done.” Skills is another key debate that RIA has been contributing to. The association was the industry promoter of what is now known as the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE) on behalf of a crossindustry group, which included Network Rail, London Underground, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and freight representatives. “The group recognised that there were serious problems regarding prospects for skills and that we needed what we now call NSARE, both to identify what the extent of those problems was going to be and to help bring forward proposals to remedy matters. We are now working in a truly collaborative effort with Network Rail and NSARE on the electrification development programme as it is unsurprising after 20 years of virtually no major new electrification work that there is a skills issue. Therefore through this programme we are seeking to identify what needs to be done, and the timescale for this. There are similar activities going on around ERTMS as well,” elaborates Jeremy.

“We are therefore urging those concerned as strongly as we can to take measures to ensure that it doesn’t happen at the transition to Control Period 5. We are receiving a lot of reassurance and talk about volumes of committed expenditure but it remains a forefront concern until we are through that stage,” he continues. There are also major issues regarding procurement of rolling stock, which have arisen from the franchising upheaval. Whilst RIA is pleased to see a welldefined programme being progressed by Government, the attention has predominately been on the TOCs as opposed to the affected supply chain that lies behind them, and the Association is keen to see this addressed. “Another key activity of RIA is our close liaison with UK Trade & Investment on export promotion,” reveals Jeremy. “This has long been a role of the organisation, but we have recently been designated as their Trade Challenge Partner for Rail, which recognises this work. We foresee increasing activity in the area of exports, partly as a result of Government becoming more concerned about encouraging UK exporters, and partly because of the enormous growth in rail taking place worldwide, for various reasons including urbanisation, environment, population growth, and economy. There is significant scope for companies to grow their exports activity and RIA is well placed to help them achieve this,” he concludes. zz Railway Industry Association (RIA) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7201 0777 Email: Web:

Raising issues One of the dominating challenges of 2013 is the transition between financial Control Period 4 and Control Period 5, which is due to take place early next year. “For the supply industry as a whole there is concern regarding the ability of the major organisations, particularly Network Rail, to sustain its investment patterns at this time,” explains Jeremy. “Between Control Periods 2 and 3, and again between 3 and 4, the investment rate dropped quite sharply and the effect of that was very serious on the supply chain.

RIA director general Jeremy Candfield


RSSB research Recent research reports from the RSSB include: Published research l T750 Review of Euronorm design requirements for trackside and overhead structures subjected to transient aerodynamic loads l T849 PantoTRAIN (a TrioTrain project) – Pantographs: Total Regulatory Acceptance for the Interoperable Network l T956 Further development of the Department for Transport Network Modelling Framework safety module l T948 Driver selection: implementation phase l T977 Development of a revised lower sector vehicle gauge l T1015 Revision of the Close Call System Research in progress l T792 Stage 2 development of the Vehicle Track Interaction Strategic Model l T960 Specification of a defect recording and corrective actions system architecture and process framework Projects recently started l T989 Development of an education programme on the risk of using mobile phones and electronic communication devices in the railway industry l T990 Development of a strategy on train positioning l T993 Using test results from other environments l T1004 Vehicle TCA testing review l T1009 Further research into adapting to climate change – Tomorrow’s Railway and Climate Change Adaptation (TRaCCA) l T1011 Optimising the sectioning arrangements on AC electrification For further information please visit

New & improved surge protection products PD Devices Ltd has recently added two new products to its range of Surge Protection Devices and integrated surge protection systems


Lightning protection

Distribution Surge Protector

PD Devices has introduced a new range of SSI (Solid State Interlock) Power Supply Lightning Arresters for railway applications, to extend their extensive range of Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors (TVSS). Based on PD Devices’ successful Distribution Surge Protector (DSP) range, the ‘SSI Series’ DSP1A/ SSI/120AC, DSP1A/SSI/140AC and DSP1A/TVS use technology which has been proven in locations with some of the highest Keraunic levels worldwide. The SSI Series complements PD Devices’ popular and well-established ‘RTM Series’, which consists of models with Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) or Silicon Avalanche Diode (SAD) component technology, which are employed on the incoming power supplies or tail cables, providing protection to 110V, 140V and 650V power supplies.

PD Devices now offer their popular DSP600 Series range of Distribution Surge Protectors with improved 40kA 8/20μs and a Type 1, Test Class I, 4kA per mode, 6.25kA per phase 10/350μs performance capability, as per BS EN 62305-4, BS EN 61643-11/12 and BS 7671. These SPD products prevent damage to electrical distribution systems from mains-borne transient voltages. With rugged construction and easy installation the DSP600 Series offer economic protection for front end of building, or sub-distribution panel applications, and are also ideal for individual protection of critical and costly equipment such as computer systems. Further information on PD Devices’ range of SPDs, and their range of integrated surge protection systems is available from: PD Devices Ltd Web:



Confused about instant drug tests? Dr DAN HEGARTY and his colleagues at Express Medicals have become increasingly aware of the significant uncertainties and confusion around the use of ‘instant’ drug testing kits (also referred to as point-of-collection or point-of-care tests / PoCTs) in the workplace


Health & Safety


the conference, one of them being a senior academic at Imperial College. The concerns about PoCTs are outlined in the conclusions of the report and the slide presentations of both Dr Simon Davis BSc PhD (an expert in mass spectrometry and analytical techniques) and Dr Peter Feldschreiber (a medically qualified barrister). The information presented will be of definite interest to all involved in workplace drug testing and drug screening programmes, especially where safety critical workers are being tested / screened. Please visit our website at for links to the report, the slides presented at the conference and a video recording thereof. zz

For further information, please contact: Express Medicals Ltd Tel: 020 7500 6900 Web:

here is the obvious attraction of very rapid results and the perception that costs are much less if PoCTs (instant drug tests) are favoured in place of more traditional laboratory-based testing. However, there is also widespread doubt and confusion as to whether they are 'allowed' to be used and, if so, when is it appropriate to do so? Should PoCTs be used alone? Should they sometimes be backed up with formal laboratory tests? Should they always be backed up by such laboratory tests? How reliable are the results? Are PoCTs as reliable as laboratory tests? If not, then how less reliable are they? What are the legal and / or employment issues to be considered? What are the quality controls and standards to be looked out for? Are PoCTs tests or screens? What is the difference between a test and a screen? In fact, the questions were many and the answers often far from straightforward. And so we at Express Medicals provided an educational grant to a group of expert academics who undertook a systematic review of the current situation with respect to PoCTs in the workplace. This resulted in a report in January 2013 ('Review of Point-of-Care / Collection Testing Devices for the Detection of Drugs of Abuse'). Following on from the above-mentioned report, we sponsored a conference about PoCTs. This was held at Imperial College, London. Two of the report’s authors spoke at



Health & Safety


HAV management for rail workers makes good business sense JIM Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;HAGAN sets out best practice for monitoring and reporting exposure to vibration and the benefits to employers and employees working within the rail industry


he risks of over-exposure to vibration through hand-held power tools are particularly acute for railway maintenance workers, who are frequently required to use such tools. So how can employers effectively monitor this exposure and minimise the risks of operatives developing the debilitating condition Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)? And what of the benefits for employers from effective monitoring? Business will benefit from a healthier workforce, but will also realise cost savings from more efficient tool allocation, worker productivity and the reduced risk of injury claims.

Getting HAVS management right Many companies struggle to maintain a HAV


management policy as it is seen as low risk, but testing and labelling vibration output is only the beginning. The challenge is to create a procedure to monitor and manage HAV that is supported by all individuals and is realistic and reliable. Implementing a HAV monitoring system is paramount to supporting workforce welfare, meeting HSE guidelines and reducing business risk. Employers should emphasise that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a big brother exercise, but better protection for employees against contracting the disabling condition. And it shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just be an employer responsibility. Reminding operators that they are partly responsible for their welfare is important. The more accurately they record tool usage the longer they can work whilst better protecting themselves against HAVS.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz with invaluable intelligence to improve working performance and project strategy, resulting in potentially shorter project delivery timescales and cost reductions. Paper-based systems can disrupt operators and require significant administration resource and cost. Also, using a paper-based system typically over-estimates operator exposure by up to four times the correct amount, resulting in lower productivity. Taking all these benefits into consideration, the case for more effective HAV monitoring is compelling. It’s not just a case of mitigating against the risk of over-exposure, it’s about providing your business with a competitive edge that can provide real added value to your operations. zz

requirements over time. Creating efficiency in plant allocation can dramatically reduce unnecessary tool, servicing and transportation costs. Accurate reporting on tool trigger time usage and performance provides a clearer overview to help plan efficient tool rotation and service requirements. Being able to monitor operator tool usage and work practices can provide a company

Jim O’Hagan is managing director at Reactec

Case Study: Carillion Plc

Operators tend to over-estimate when guessing tool usage at the end of a shift or even fabricate the data to get it out of the way. More accurate data means not having to replace skilled personnel that overestimate their exposure levels, resulting in delays and ultimately extending project timetables and cost.

Reaping the rewards of effective HAVS management Effective monitoring of HAVS has traditionally been viewed as a health & safety solution, but it can provide employers with so much more, particularly when it comes to improving tool allocation and workforce productivity. Knowing which tools have been used and for how long helps project managers to refine

l Carillion is an integrated support services company with a substantial portfolio of Public Private Partnership projects and extensive construction capabilities. Site agent Jonathan Long is currently overseeing the platform refurbishment project at Glasgow Central rail station, and is pleased that bringing an HAVmeter system on site to monitor Hand Arm Vibration (HAV) has resulted in a significant increase in worker protection and productivity, and cost savings. Jonathan said: “Jobs on site include a lot of breakout work and drilling, particularly at the start of the project. This requires the use of a range of power tools, all of which generate vibration at varying levels, so our team members are frequently exposed. “For previous projects we had been using a paper-based system for HAV monitoring, in line with the guidelines set out by the HSE. We found, however, that self-monitoring by individual employees was not the most accurate way to record vibration exposure, as much of the records were based on rough estimations. An employee might have had a power tool out for an hour, but only used it for a few short bursts of activity within that hour, or conversely been on a breaker for three hours non-stop, so the time recorded could be highly inaccurate. “It was also really time-consuming to compile and analyse data reports, and difficult to know which tools were putting our workers most at risk, but all of these problems are addressed with the HAVmeter system.” Carillion implemented the HAVmeter – the industry standard for monitoring and managing HAV exposure and operator tool management – in 2011 when work at Glasgow Central station began. The HAVmeter completely automates the entire monitoring, data collection and reporting process – from operator exposure levels to detailed records of tool usage – so managers can proactively manage HAVS risk, plan efficient tool allocation and improve worker efficiency.



Health & Safety


How to get the best out of your Occupational Health Medical Reports Dr STEVE MALLESON shares his thoughts on Occupational Health reports


ccupational Health provides services to employers in many areas ranging from pre-placement medical assessments, ongoing health surveillance and assessments in high-risk activities and advice on reports in areas of poor attendance and sickness absence – to name a few. It is the last category where a medical report is provided by Occupational Health to assist management in dealing with a case where a health concern has impacted on either capability performance or attendance that I am addressing in this short article. Over my years of practising Occupational Health (OH) the main complaints I have encountered from managers have been consistently in this last area of ‘management referrals’ requiring an OH report. The recurrent complaints come into the following categories: l “OH only regurgitates word for word what the candidate is telling them” l “They always take the side of the employee” l “They always sit on the fence and do not give us clear directions” l “They do not answer the questions we asked or required” l “They include inappropriate comments


and advice”. As an Occupational Health Physician I of course would defend myself by saying that we obviously must take a history from the individual and therefore in a sense we do report what we’re being told. However, especially when there is acrimony, I would always qualify any information that is a direct statement from the employee with such statements as “told me that – etc.” and also so that there is no confusion I would add a statement to the effect “and although I cannot comment on the validity of the statement this is clearly an area that should be addressed if an equitable solution is to be reached etc”. In this way the report should clearly state whether an opinion is subjective or objective. I would never see myself as being simply ‘on the side of the employee’ in the sense that I am not their advocate in the same way as their general practitioner. I would of course have a professional duty to ensure that I follow-up any referral and essential healthcare should I identify any undertreated medical problem although I would not get involved with their primary care which is outside the remit of Occupational Health. That is for the GP.

Occupational Health reports should be completely impartial with the object of giving the commissioning employer an overview of how any medical aspects may have impacted on the individual’s occupational performance without disclosing any confidential medical information. Occupational Health reports certainly should not include comments and advice outside the strict remit of analysing and assessing the occupational health situation on the information given and questions raised in the referral documentation.

The value of clear and comprehensive management referral The criticism of giving poor advice and not delivering the information by answering the questions asked is often a fault of poor management referrals. They often lack any useful information and do not give the assessing Occupational Physician any direction. As they say ‘garbage in/garbage out’. A good management referral will give the background medical problems that are causing concern, why the individual is being referred to OH, some specific questions that require

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz l Whether there will be any long-term residual disability l Capability of regular and efficient service in the future with or without full efficiency or ill effects l Risk of deterioration of condition l Likely return to work date l Limitation, restrictions, modifications to duties either temporary or permanent with advice on any rehabilitation programme l Suitability for alternative duties, timescales and whether surveillance is required after return to work l Advice on whether the Equality Act 2010 may be applicable. Obviously this is only medical advice on a legal matter which would be decided by other legal agencies if contested.

The value of a negative answer

answering, and possibly an indication of why the employer requires this information. It is also sometimes helpful for the Occupational Physician to understand the tactics being employed by management within the strategy within the internal policy for an employment problem and how the OH assessment can contribute to this end.

Some points that a manager might want to consider for inclusion in the OH referral Reports will differ as the circumstances will not all be the same. However the following headings will always be considered by an Occupational Health Physician when composing their report to management and might also be valuable for managers when requesting specific areas to investigate and advise. They would come under the following headings. l Nature of underlying condition (without disclosing any specific confidential medical details â&#x20AC;&#x201C; only how it impacts on employment situation) l Whether there are any work-related aspects to the medical condition

Medicine in some aspects is very imprecise and two people with an identical condition may react totally differently in terms of their response to their illness and the occupational implications. Managers are sometimes disappointed that Occupational Health does not give very precise prognostic outlooks with the timescales. This should generally not be seen as a specific problem as the manager having asked the question and not being given a very specific answer from OH is then free to make a management decision based on the evidence available to them together with the operational business requirements and the managerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own assessment of the likely outcome. OH cannot always comment on what would be considered a reasonable period of absence as this will differ from company to company depending on such matters as their size, resources and services they deliver.

to OH for members of staff where there is concern in areas of health and performance and will take these points into account when both referring individuals and interpreting the reports that are returned. I often say, without trying to be offensive, that the contract of employment for the individual is with their management (and not with Occupational Health) and therefore any employment decision is made by management. Hopefully, Occupational Health can assist by giving an expert, impartial overview of the medical situation with an understanding of the implications on their employment situation as far as possible. When this is not possible the report should clearly say so, thus allowing management to then move forward through their own procedures and processes having dealt with the situation fairly by asking the right questions. zz

Dr Steve Malleson MFOM, a senior Occupational Health Physician, is the chief medical officer of Express Medicals Ltd.

For further information, please contact: Express Medicals Ltd Tel: 020 7500 6900 Web:

Summary I hope this short article will be useful to any manager who makes referrals





Unobtrusive improvements JONATHAN GOSS looks at some surprising innovations which are discreetly changing the ‘public space’ scene


think I’m safe in saying that while most people welcome imaginative, planned architectural enhancements to their local townscapes and public spaces, many are less enthusiastic about the more mundane changes to the street scene brought about by necessity. All of our urban environments are undergoing constant changes as a reflection of societal change. Towns, cities and villages that evolved, perhaps over centuries, around relatively stable communities that relied on pedestrian and horse transportation are in continuous confrontation with the consequences of progressively more ubiquitous mechanisation and escalating populations. New threats to the fabric of our physical surroundings are arising year-by-year driven by a plethora of environmental, behavioural and social factors: parking, crime, the risk of terrorism, population fluctuations, pollution, fashion, convenience, economics, market


A CT Block planter showing how a PAS 68approved vehicle defence system can be designed in such a way that people are unaware of its primary function, i.e. hostile vehicle mitigation – and that it can actually enhance the landscaping

forces...the switch to internet trading. Local authorities and transport strategists have a constant battle on their hands to shoehorn IT age populations into dated or timeworn facilities and localities. Unfortunately, starting from scratch in a green field is rarely an option. Cost-accountability is king. The designers of our urban environments have had to innovate. Let me touch on a few ideas you may not have come across based on my own experience.

did involve designing special covered stacked cycle-racks which accommodate four times as many bikes as conventional racks in the same floor space. It’s an ingenious idea that could have applications far and wide as ever more people make the choice to combat the pounds with a bit of pedalling each day.

Bike stacks

Casting-out Victorian barriers

After Team GB’s brilliant cycling performance at the Olympics, planners at Peterborough station were faced with a dramatic upsurge in passengers wanting to cycle to the station before continuing their commuting journey by rail. Storage space was at a premium and the demand was urgent and growing. The answer wasn’t exactly nanotechnology but it

Our forefathers loved the sense of longevity and permanence you get from a bit of robust, foundry-cast metal. They used it to make everything from bridges to bandstands, from piers to clothes mangles. This is fine; except that it’s very heavy to transport, prone to rust and needs to be repainted every couple of years. Facilities where barriers and boundaries

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz are marked out with cast iron can be very expensive to maintain. The modern answer? Traditional-looking alternatives which are made from, say, engineering grade polyurethylene cast around a steel core section. They’re lighter; stronger; aesthetically compatible with the townscape, being able to be cast in existing heritage designs; cheaper to install and never need painting. Simple idea, big savings.

le The doub stacking at s cycle rack h g u ro o rb te Pe ation railway st

Security by design And to counter the terrorist threat to public amenities, where transportation hubs in particular may be vulnerable to attack from vehicles carrying explosives? Hostile vehicle mitigation systems which are designed to provide perimeter security whilst enhancing a passenger’s experience at the station. Born out

Poly can be m mer products replicate anufactured to existing stree herita material t furniture but us ge th ing a a t is lighter, less attra strong ctive which do to metal thieves er, mainten esn’t require on and ance like -g cast iron oing would

of the tank trap, what was once unattractive and overbearing is now, with intelligent design, textural variety using natural materials and thoughtful construction, a security system that can appear to be seating, floral furniture, works of art or relaxation features; so more pleasing and unobtrusive. In short, in modern public spaces a little imagination and innovation makes the budget go a long way with the fewest objections. zz

Jonathan Goss is managing director of Nottinghamshirebased street furniture designer and manufacturer, Townscape Products

Lowest ever rates of crime on the transport system l New annual crime figures from the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police (BTP) show crime on Transport for London’s (TfL’s) transport system has fallen 2.3 per cent compared to last year, with 802 fewer offences. The figures, which cover 2012/13 (1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013), show that there are now just 8.9 crimes per million passenger journeys on the transport system, down from 9.4 in 2011/12. Across the whole TfL network, robbery has dropped by 17.6 per cent with 520 fewer offences, criminal damage is down by 15.7 per cent with 410 fewer offences and violence against individuals has reduced by 6.8 per cent with 527 fewer offences. The figures also show that the rate of crime for buses, London Underground/Docklands Light Railway, Tramlink and London Overground is at its lowest level since recording began. These successes build on the significant reductions seen over recent years and reflect the work done by TfL and its policing partners. TfL’s significant investment in transport policing and commitment to

improve transport safety and security has ensured the transport network remains a safe and low crime environment. However, despite the low levels of crime on the transport system, increases have been seen in some crime types and on some parts of the network. London Underground and Docklands Light Railway have seen crime rise by 5.7 per cent compared to the previous year, however the rate of crime remains at 9.6 crimes per million passenger journeys – its lowest ever level. London Overground also saw an increase in crime of 18.3 per cent. Despite this increase, which reflects a significant increase in passenger journeys of around 22 per cent and further expansion of the network, crime

on London Overground remains at a very low level and is one of safest modes of travel in London. In 2012/13, there were just 6.7 crimes per million passenger journeys. Overall, the increases in crime on some parts of the network are largely due to a rise in theft driven by organised thieves targeting the London transport network. TfL and its policing partners have put measures in place that include the redeployment of officers to theft hotspots, a new crime reduction awareness campaign and targeted police enforcement activity against organised thieves operating on the network such as Operation Magnum. The BTP has recently launched a new initiative designed to crack down on the theft of passenger’s property. As part of the operation, plain-clothes pickpocket squad officers, who are highly trained in identifying pickpocket behaviour, are out on the Tube network every day spotting offenders and arresting them. The annual crime statistics bulletin may be viewed at:




NEWS I Integrated Transport


NET Phase Two milestone l A significant milestone has been reached in Nottingham’s multi-million pound NET (Nottingham Express Transit) Phase Two tram extension project, with the launch of a 1100 tonne bridge over a live railway. The bridge will carry trams over the newly revamped Nottingham station when the new tramlines open next year. At 104m long and 14.5m wide, it took several weeks to move into position, with TWA using precision engineering techniques to slide the bridge up to 13 metres per night, using a hydraulic push-pull system. This was all done with the railway and adjacent highways remaining fully operational throughout.  NET Phase Two is being delivered by joint venture Taylor Woodrow Alstom (TWA) on behalf of Tramlink Nottingham Ltd, the NET concessionaire appointed by Nottingham City Council. Turner & Townsend is providing project management, strategic support and technical advice to the NET Phase Two promoter, Nottingham City Council. In addition to doubling the size of the current tram network, NET Phase Two is creating a firstclass transport interchange at the £60 million redeveloped Nottingham station, which is also being project managed by Turner & Townsend. From late 2014, passengers will be able to transfer directly between trams, trains and buses.


Metrolink moves to new home at Old Trafford

Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, at the new Network Management Centre l Metrolink has successfully completed the transfer of its main operational functions to its new Trafford facility on Warwick Road South. Previously based at Metrolink’s Queens Road depot in Cheetham Hill, the control room – known as the Network Management Centre – is now located at the Trafford facility with the Customer Services team. The move is an integral part of the ongoing expansion of the Metrolink network and will provide a stable foundation for the next raft of extensions to the network, due to be completed over the next few years. It provides operational benefits that are key to the management of the network – including greater visibility of the system, both in terms of where trams are and CCTV at stops. It also provides direct benefits for passengers, thanks to the integration of a customer services representative within the control room and new ‘back office’ facilities.


NODES – new stations for better city transport l NODES, New Tools for Design and Operation of Urban Transport Interchanges is a three-year European research project, focusing on providing and demonstrating tools for better transport interchanges to support a more efficient urban transport system. Toulouse, Reading, Budapest, Rouen, Rome, Thessaloniki, Osnabrück, Coventry and the Dutch Railways will all implement new solutions for a new generation of interchanges which will contribute to better transport services and an improved experience for the travellers. Their efforts, supported by a consortium of 17 European partners, will lead to new solutions in five key areas: l The integration of the interchange with its urban environment l A design which improves the traveller experience, is attractive and enables efficient transport operations l The integration of different transport services at the interchange, from rail and buses to bikes and electromobility services, all this supported by the smart use of information and telecommunication technologies l Business models to ensure the financing of the developments and the financial sustainability of the projects l Solutions for more energy efficient stations with lower impacts on the environment. The NODES Toolbox will provide a catalogue of integrated planning, design and management tools, based on the most advanced practices in urban and other related transport sectors. It will allow practitioners to assess and benchmark their new or upgraded interchange and to improve their performance. The new NODES website is a portal of information and exchange where updated information will be regularly published:

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz UITP launches website on metro automation l The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has launched the website of the Observatory of Automated Metros. The website is the reference point for driverless metro covering technical and organisational issues and offering an up-to-date interactive world map of automated lines. Metro operation without drivers or staff on board, referred to as unattended train operation (UTO), has become a widespread and accepted solution. Today, over 40 lines around the world are automated, and the expansion in the coming years is expected to be five times faster than in the last decade. Automated lines represent the state of the art in metro technology and provide a glimpse of the future for metro networks. Automation offers improved quality, service and safety and so is attractive for authorities and operators planning new lines, but also for the sector as a whole, thanks to the possibility of converting existing lines. To make the most of the possible advantages requires not only thinking about technical aspects, but also rethinking the organisation of the

ISO 9001: 2008 registered Link Up Approved

metro system as a whole. In this context, the Observatory of Automated Metros, a UITP body set up in 2007 to monitor, study and share the most up-to-date knowledge on metro automation, has launched an information-rich website: One of the main features of the website is an interactive map providing information on all automated metro lines in the world. This map will be updated regularly and is to be a resource for all those interested in metro automation. The Observatory’s Annual World Report, available on the website, provides a picture of developments and trends, including key aspects such as train capacity, platform screen doors, power supply, etc. The website will also act as an ‘information hub’, offering a sample of the Observatory’s work, and access to a limited selection of the approximately 200 documents relating to metro automation available in the UITP Documentation Centre.

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NEWS I Contracts




Ilford Yard contract

New UK train factory l Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. announced in May that it has signed the contract with Merchant Place Developments for the construction and fit-out of a rolling stock manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, UK. Merchant Place Developments therefore have now gone from preferred bidder status to full contract award. The contract paves the way for the construction of Hitachi’s first train factory in Europe, which represents an investment of £82 million to create its state-of-the-art manufacturing hub in the North East of England. Hitachi Rail Europe receives a £4 million grant by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to support the build of the factory. The factory will initially be used to build the Super Express Trains for the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line, with the potential to be used for other orders such as building Crossrail rolling stock in the facility, should Hitachi Rail Europe be the successful bidder. Hitachi places great emphasis on employing locally where possible and the factory will create long-term employment for 730 people. This figure includes a Research & Development department. It is expected that 200 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the factory. The close of contract between Hitachi Rail Europe and Merchant Place Developments enables the developer to award further contracts for the build of the plant. Currently, an archaeological exploration is being carried out on the site, which will take approximately three to four months. Hitachi Rail Europe is keen to ensure that any historical remains are uncovered and preserved. Construction of the plant is expected to start at the end of 2013, with the factory scheduled to go into production in 2016. The Super Express Trains will go into full passenger service in 2017. The decision to build a manufacturing plant was taken after Hitachi Rail Europe won the contract with the Department for Transport (DfT) to replace the ageing fleet of dieselpowered Intercity trains currently running on the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line. The contract with the DfT was signed in July 2012. Hitachi Rail Europe had singled out Newton Aycliffe as its preferred site for its manufacturing plant, after evaluating over 40 sites throughout the UK. The contract award for the Intercity Express Programme allowed Hitachi Rail Europe to decide on the investment in a rolling stock manufacturing plant. The construction of the factory is part of the railway manufacturer’s long-term strategy for the UK and for mainland Europe, fulfilling the Intercity Express Programme as well as future contract wins either in Great Britain or other European countries. The site in Newton Aycliffe best fits the company’s business requirements for its factory, including good access by road, rail and ship, and a highly skilled workforce in the vicinity. Since contract award by the DfT, Hitachi Rail Europe has been working with Merchant Place Development and the architects to design all aspects of the factory, so that further contracts can be awarded to sub-contractors over the next few months.


l Crossrail has awarded the contract for the Ilford Yard stabling project to VolkerFitzpatrick Limited. The scope of works within the C828 contract, valued in the region of £50 million, includes design, procurement, installation, testing and commissioning of the new sidings, accommodation building and major modification of other existing depot facilities. Construction activity is expected to commence this summer with work due to complete in 2016 To deliver Crossrail services, around 60 new trains will be required. Crossrail rolling stock will be stabled at Old Oak Common Depot, Ilford Depot, Gidea Park, Plumstead, Maidenhead and Shenfield. Crossrail will be making changes to a number of existing buildings at the Ilford Yard site. The work will ensure that Crossrail can build ten new sidings to house trains overnight and construct a new building for those who will be employed on site for Crossrail. The depot will not only be vital for Crossrail’s operation but will also create job opportunities during construction and up to 90 jobs once the depot upgrades have been completed.

Station power supply contract l Crossrail has awarded the contract for the non-traction high voltage power supply contract, C650, to AC Joint Venture (Alstom Transport and Costain Limited). The value of the contract is in the region of £25 million. The scope of works includes the provision of electrical power, distributed at 22kV or 11kV, within Crossrail’s central section extending from Royal Oak Portal in the west to Pudding Mill Lane in the east, splitting at Stepney Green Junction and running to Plumstead Portal in the southeast. The system will provide a dedicated power supply for use at stations, shafts and portals.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Additional London Overground carriages l Transport for London (TfL) has placed an order for 57 new rail carriages to increase the passenger capacity on the London Overground railway by 25 per cent. The £88 million order placed with Bombardier Trains in Derby will enable existing Class 378 Electrostar electric trains to be increased from four to five carriages on all of the network’s increasingly popular lines – except the Gospel Oak to Barking route, where trains remain diesel powered. The order has been placed under an option in the original agreement for the supply of the London Overground train fleet. The first five-carriage train will be introduced on the East London Line by December 2014. A £320 million Capacity Improvement Programme also includes the construction of longer station platforms and other infrastructure upgrades. They are: l Additional capacity for stabling trains overnight at a new facility in Silwood, south-east London, and also in the north-west London area l Reconfiguration of the New Cross Gate and Willesden depots l Platform extensions at some stations on the North and East London lines and associated signalling and power works.

On Board Server solution for IEP l Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. has selected Nomad Digital to provide an On Board Server (OBS) solution for the Hitachi Super Express fleet for the Intercity Express Programme (IEP). The OBS provides a single gateway for transmission of all operational data between the train and the trackside. Data transmitted includes train diagnostics from the Train Management System, energy consumption, seat reservation as well as daily timetable information. The OBS utilises Nomad’s R3500 router as the communications gateway and harnesses multiple 3G networks to provide connectivity.

© Transport for London

West Coast power upgrade

A Class 378 train at Kew Gardens station

Product Management System for Rail Settlement Plan l Rail Settlement Plan Ltd (RSP), a scheme of the Association of Train Operating Companies, has awarded IPL, the IT services company specialising in business-critical IT solutions and consultancy, a £7 million five-year contract to design, build and support RSP’s new Product Management System (PMS). PMS will provide better fares and timetable information for use by ticket machines and information services, and will pave the way for the use of ‘thin client’ ticket machines and real-time pricing. This contract has been let as part of RSP’s modernisation programme, which will enable it to deliver its business-critical services at a lower cost of ownership and with increased flexibility, whilst providing a better match between service capabilities and the industry’s needs. A key part of RSP’s business objective of delivering the right information at the right time is the provision of product data to ticketing systems operated by front-line retailers. The provision of this data is dependent upon the ability to create, maintain and publish fares, products and reference data and for this data to be available to retail systems in near real-time. The new PMS, based on Open Source technologies, will replace a legacy mainframe, enabling rail product and timetable data, together with its associated reference data to be stored, maintained and distributed. The PMS will be required to enable the development of pricing strategies through scenariobased modelling. It will also apply regulatory compliance management in relation to fare and product creation through a set of in-system maintained business rules and workflow.

l WSP has been appointed by ABC Electrification, a JV between Costain, Alstom and Babcock, as the designer on the West Coast Power upgrade project. ABC Electrification announced it had won the £48 million contract with Network Rail for Phase Three of the West Coast Power Supply Upgrade, part of a c. £300 million investment by Network Rail in power upgrade, in January. Work is expected to complete in 2016.

New framework agreements for Network Rail IT l Network Rail has signed framework agreements with five major IT suppliers as it begins to simplify its computing relationships. With more than 270 individual IT suppliers, Network Rail manages a variety of systems of varying complexity, including some that were designed as far back as the 1970s. The new zero-value IT Solutions and System Integrator framework agreements, with Accenture, BAE Systems Detica, Cognizant, CSC and TCS, are designed to allow suppliers to take more ownership of designing, building and implementing IT solutions to support Network Rail.



Skills & Training


Leave a legacy for society:

become an engineer

MAC ALGHITA discusses the skills shortage in an increasingly active UK rail sector and how we can enhance the delivery of major infrastructure schemes in the near future


he share of transport expenditure on rail is growing, driven by concerns about the likely effects of increasing carbon usage on climate change. The result is a shift in political, social and economic agendas towards more sustainable transport modes and the recognised benefits of using rail for high capacity urban and medium to long-distance travel. As a result, the UK is seeing a renewed interest in building new rail infrastructure and upgrading existing systems, evidenced by Network Rail’s plans to invest £37.5 billion over the next five years on railway maintenance and upgrades including completion of the Crossrail and Thameslink programmes, and new investment in major projects such as the Northern Hub and the National Electrification programme. We also see a continued commitment from the Government to the planning of the new HS2 routes from London Euston to Birmingham and from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. The challenge that the industry now faces is a shortage of suitably accredited and experienced engineering design professionals, particularly within the signalling, electrification and power engineering sectors. Hyder Consulting has embarked on a significant recruitment drive in line with the planned investment in projects across the UK. The challenge lies in securing the right talent to deliver the scale of projects in the pipeline. The upgrades and improvements in the rail sector today require niche engineering skills, such as signalling and electrification expertise. Because of the complex nature of some of these projects, there is also a need to look for engineers who possess wider talents, such as stakeholder management skills, project management experience and traditional civil and structural engineering capabilities. Given the lack of investment in training in this sector over the last few decades, it’s not surprising that we are currently experiencing


a skills void. There is well documented lack of female and graduate-level engineering design professionals, and we are also encountering an absence of experienced rail engineers in the 30-50 age group. The era of privatisation and the demand from the City in the late 1980s, which made other professions more attractive than engineering, are key contributing factors. In addition, we have seen significant migration of engineering professionals from the UK to places like Australia, where the economy has been booming and where there has been continued infrastructure investment. Research from the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE January 2013) also suggests that the UK will face a further shortage as those with niche expertise retire. While the lack of experienced engineering design professionals is not new – in fact a shortage in these skills has been apparent since the 1990s – it has become increasingly acute as the general investment in rail increases. In the UK, as capacity enhancement schemes, electrification programmes and other major infrastructure schemes take off, we need to encourage young people to consider engineering design in rail as a career through better training and education at both secondary school and tertiary levels. Rail’s image needs an overhaul to highlight the gravitas of the major projects we work on and their significance to the future of the economy – in the UK and abroad. Engineering design in the rail sector is a global industry now with huge high-speed rail link projects timetabled to begin in China, Australia, France and the USA by 2014. There is also significant investment in rail infrastructure in the Middle East, such as Doha Metro, Riyadh Metro and Etihad Rail. Given the magnitude of these projects, it’s an exciting time to be an engineer in the sector. As an industry, we should be demonstrating that a career in engineering design presents

myriad options: an outlet for creativity, the platform to innovate and the opportunity to work on iconic projects that will leave a mark on society, a legacy. Young people are attracted to professions that do not appear to restrict choice and variety – and a career in rail provides a solid technical foundation upon which to build specialist skills and interests later on. The industry should be working with the Government to introduce a focused technical A-level study option and more apprenticeships and generic skills training, as industry-specific training can restrict the recruitment of skilled candidates from other fields. Councils, colleges and universities could also incentivise talented graduates with targeted scholarships and bursaries. Apart from training and recruitment, we can make changes to the overall profile of the rail industry. We must re-evaluate how we run our projects and perhaps look to reduce the on-off cycle of major projects, or encourage the continuity of other projects. Engineering design in the rail sector is a global industry. There is so much opportunity for bright young talent to develop impressive technical skills, to travel the globe and to work on some of the world’s biggest infrastructure projects. It is up to major consultancies such as Hyder to stimulate and nurture their interest, in order to keep growth in the rail sector on track. zz Mac Alghita is managing director for rail at Hyder Consulting, a multi-national design and engineering consultancy



NEWS I Training


Traineeships a welcome option for rail businesses

he Government has announced that traineeships for 16-19 year olds will become available this August, a move that has been broadly welcomed by People 1st, the sector skills council for the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries. Traineeships will be available for roles across the rail industry and will help young people further develop the skills gained during pre-employment training. They will also help bridge skills gaps so that the learner can successfully move onto an apprenticeship or into employment. Martin-Christian Kent, product development director at People 1st, said that the traineeships will provide the rail industry with the chance to strengthen career pathways and address skills gaps. “Our State of the Nation research report last year highlighted the need for more people to enter the rail industry and develop their skills along a robust career path if we are going to meet the higher skills and management needs of the sector. “We need to start developing these pathways now to ensure that we meet the sector’s needs in the future. “Employers across the sector see traineeships as an opportunity to strengthen career pathways. They will give people the chance to experience roles and ensure young

people have the skills they need to start an apprenticeship.”

leave employers confused and don’t deliver the skills they need.”

New framework

Developing the next generation

The new framework describes how the traineeships will be delivered and details other requirements, including a maximum six months duration, a high quality work placement, work preparation training, and the development of English and maths skills. The traineeships will be offered to young people who are not employed, have little work experience, are qualified below level 3, and who have a reasonable chance of being ready for employment or an apprenticeship within six months of starting a traineeship. Martin-Christian said that the new traineeships are a welcome addition to the training available for rail employers, but expressed concerns at the limitations placed on them. “It is disappointing that they have been restricted to 16-19, as the original proposals for 16-24 would have provided greater opportunities. “We would also like to see them linked far more to sector career paths, rather than leaving it up to the providers to develop their content. “While we recognise traineeships need to be tailored to meet individual trainee and employer needs, our experience with pre-employment training shows that too many programmes

To address these concerns, People 1st is now preparing to work with employers to develop a sector-specific traineeship. This programme will be designed to include the core content employers expect, but will remain flexible enough to allow providers to adapt it to individual trainee and employer needs. Martin-Christian said that this was a great opportunity for businesses to help develop the next generation of workers in the rail industry. “This is a fantastic opportunity for employers to identify and develop the next generation of rail employees and, in addition to other training available, these traineeships will make career paths clearer and encourage more people to join this dynamic sector.”

About People 1st l People 1st, an employer-led registered charity, focuses on transforming skills in the sector through the development of world class qualifications in management and leadership, customer service and craft skills. The People 1st Training Company is focused on developing training products that meet the skills needs of employers in the industry.





Building confidence’s research into HS2 suggests that the project has real potential to boost job opportunities in the built environment


t is no secret that the UK construction sector has suffered heavily in the wake of the economic recession, and is still struggling to regain its past output levels. Yet construction is a hugely necessary part of helping drive forward development, and ironically a precursor to continued economic progression. This was perhaps most recently demonstrated by the 2012 Olympics, which were widely lauded as a huge success on all fronts, but couldn’t have been without the whole spate of construction works that took place beforehand. Likewise, in terms of day-to-day life as the population continues to grow, so does the need for more housing, transport, and other vital public services such as hospitals and schools. Once again the focus returns to construction in delivering this. Recognition of this does however mean that the horizon looks to be more positive, particularly as the Government begins to realign some investment.

High Speed Two From a size and scale perspective, one such flagship project is the proposed High Speed Two (HS2) link between London and the West Midlands initially, and then potentially further north as well. Putting political debate to one side, from a purely economic and job creation point of view HS2 is widely viewed as a hugely crucial opportunity. Certainly this is the view reflected in research carried out by, the specialist construction, built environment and engineering recruitment website, on HS2.


Founded in November 2006, CareerStructure. com is part of the Totaljobs Group. Amongst the results of this study, found that three quarters of professionals (76 per cent) believe that HS2 will deliver long-term growth in job opportunities, and that the project will be the biggest driver of jobs over the next five years. The first phase alone is expected to support around 40,000 jobs. Furthermore, although the career opportunities afforded by HS2 are likely to be far reaching, the professionals questioned felt that civil engineers stand to benefit the most (61 per cent), followed by project managers (50 per cent), and mechanical engineers (43 per cent). Such is the high profile nature of the project that 80 per cent would consider making the move to work on it, with 71 per cent even looking at relocation in order to be involved.

fairly obvious in terms of where the work would start and then move towards. However whilst the workforce may be built up in the south-east to begin with, HS2 has the potential to drive growth the whole way along the route with benefits for those regions for years to come.” Although the future of HS2 is not yet set in stone, it would seem that the discussion alone is providing the built sector with some jobs confidence for the future. With major rail projects currently taking place across London, and schemes like the Crossrail Tunnelling Academy supporting a new generation, there is also a real opportunity to transfer and build on rail skills within the UK. Whatever may come of it though, the fact that such huge infrastructure schemes are even on the table suggests that brick-by-brick the ground is being laid for recovery. zz

Country-wide opportunities Rob Searle, commercial director at notes: “In January 2013, the south-east of England saw 67 per cent of all job postings within the built environment industry, whilst the north of England and Midlands saw only 20 per cent. When you consider this trend in terms of HS2 only, it is

Rob Searle – commercial director at

zzzzzzzzzzzzzz . zz

Kapsch CarrierCom


Michel Clement vice president of the railway business unit of Kapsch CarrierCom


As the use of GSM-R for railway communications spreads, Kapsch CarrierCom is there to offer its expertise


s part of the Kapsch Group, Kapsch CarrierCom takes the company’s long heritage within telecommunications and applies it to the rail market. It is a world that whilst fast moving in terms of daily activity, takes a much longer view towards technology with equipment often having to survive for multiple decades in a harsh operating environment. As such, Kapsch CarrierCom has positioned itself as an end-to-end telecommunications specialist delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for railway and network operators, and providers of access, core, and transmission networks. The company is also known for its dedication to R&D and for contributing to the evolution of next generation technology. Today this is dominated by GSM-R, or Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway, which was standardised by the International Union of Railways (UIC) with support from the European Railway Agency to assist rail operators in the provision of internationally interoperable and safe networks. This includes secure and reliable wireless communications between railway workers, and for use in

applications such as automatic train control (ATC). It is also the communication channel for the next generation of railway control and signalling technology, the European Railway Traffic Management System (ERTMS), and data bearer for the European Train Control Systems (ETCS) as part of this. ERTMS is a European Union (EU) backed initiative to enhance crossborder interoperability by creating a single Europe-wide standard for train control and command systems. Having been involved in GSM-R since 1998, Michel Clement, vice president of the railway business unit of Kapsch CarrierCom, elaborates: “ERTMS is a given programme that has to be implemented throughout the 27 member countries of the EU. There are two main facets to this – one is signalling, and the other is telecommunications, which we are serving through our GSM-R solutions. We are one of three specialists in this type of technology, and the market leader with more than a 50 per cent share. “We see that GSM-R will dominate up until 2025 at least, at which point we may then


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see a next generation technology come in in parallel to this. In order to properly serve our customers tomorrow, as well as the evolution of the network for our customers today in the extension of their infrastructure coverage, we are now working on the next incarnation of our GSM-R portfolio, which includes evolution of our core and access technologies. Alongside this we are also contributing to the development of EGPRS in order to enhance the capacity of bandwidth within the local GSM-R solution.” Whereas once telecommunications, signalling, in-cab radios and the like were considered as separate entities, the ERTMS model serves to fit these together in one complete solution. As such the end-to-end quality of the system is now considered a fundamental element. With this in mind earlier in the year Kapsch CarrierCom acquired the cab radio activity of NEC Portugal. “This reiterates again our commitment to being a global, endto-end provider of railway communication systems,” highlights Michel. “We saw the value of NEC’s cab radio proposition and made a decision to acquire this activity which includes R&D and production capability, supply chain, and commercial contracts. This enables us to expand our competency to provide customers with an end-to-end offering that incorporates both GSM-R and the onboard cab radio unit within the locomotive.” Despite the economic difficulties that much of Europe has experienced in recent years, the market for GSM-R infrastructure, and railway telecommunication solutions more generally, has endured. Much of this is due to the fact that ERTMS is a mandatory requirement, which

Kapsch CarrierCom

means it must be delivered even if it is delayed or takes longer than expected. Already much of Western Europe has selected its choice of provider for this with Kapsch CarrierCom dominating in the major markets of France, Germany, and the UK, as well as securing contracts in Spain. In 2011 the company was selected to implement a digital train radio system for the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) network, which includes upgrades of the existing analogue technology to GSM-R. “We have also won a €9.2 million contract with the Polish railway company PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe to design and install the GSM-R equipment for the ERTMS that will be implemented along the E30 line from Legnica to Opole,” notes Michel. “Poland is a country with extensive railway infrastructure and this programme will be critical in the development of the corridor for high-speed or freight traffic. Furthermore we have secured additional contracts in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic,


and are now tendering for works in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.” Kapsch CarrierCom is not only seeing success within its domestic market though. In Saudi the company has been selected to deliver telecommunications for the new Haramain high-speed line between Mecca and Medina, and is in competition for new contracts in Morocco and United Arab Emirates (UAE). “These projects are completely different in approach as unlike Europe where the majority of work is on existing infrastructure, these are greenfield opportunities with delivery of the entire railway network. This includes major civil works, track, stations, rolling stock, energy supply, signalling, and telecommunications. In those types of contracts we are only a small part of the overall solution working within all the other disciplines. This means that although there are no major economic constraints the process is still quite slow as the development is taking place in several stages and we are at the end of that,” describes Michel. Although ERTMS was conceived as a European project to secure interoperability along major corridors, it is increasingly the system of choice for other parts of the world as well. “In India, China, and Brazil they are also talking about high-speed and freight corridors as part of those new infrastructure programmes, and within this are selecting ERTMS technology. Likewise in a lot of countries freight corridors are very slow, inefficient, and insecure, and need to be updated. Once again rail seems to be the most practical and appropriate transport solution for mid-range distances, and that GSM-R within ERTMS is considered the signalling and telecommunication solution of choice,” concludes Michel. zz






System for success


Contributing to the security of supply in many critical industries, Bender UK continues to develop its power monitoring portfolio

ynonymous with quality worldwide, German owned Bender Group has been dedicated to finding solutions that guarantee its customers the ultimate in electrical safety for more than 65 years. Recognised as a global leader in industrial power systems and earth fault monitoring, Bender UK, part of the Bender Group, offers its services and comprehensive solutions to a wide range of industries, including, healthcare, rail, oil & gas and electrical vehicle. “The Bender product range is designed and manufactured at a state-of-the-art facility in


Germany, which is where the family owned organisation is based. The group has offices around the world, including Bender UK, for the sales, marketing and product assembly of Bender Group equipment; our sole purpose is to find applications for any uses of the product range in the UK market,” says Steve Mason, managing director of Bender UK. Known first and foremost as an electrical safety company, Bender’s founder, Mr Walter Bender invented and patented the insulation monitor, under the name Isometer, in 1939. Since then the group has evolved into a

worldwide leader in electrical safety with a strong reputation for innovation. “We invest heavily in R&D within our factory headquarters and are known for making customer specific products by flexibly modifying equipment from our own catalogue,” says Steve. The group’s dedication to innovation and ongoing research and development in virtually all industries has resulted in ten – 20 per cent growth achieved year on year; growth that is certain to continue following Bender UK’s success in securing a £2.7 million contract with Network Rail in March 2013. “This contract came off the back of a contract we won with Network Rail in 2008; it involved supplying a number of products that we called the RS2 solution, which is effectively an insulation monitoring and fault location system for the signal power network. This project went incredibly well for us and the feedback we received in terms of the benefits that have been realised from this initial project was very positive,” highlights Steve. “Having recognised the benefits of our equipment, Network Rail and Bender UK began discussions as to what the group could offer for this second phase of developments.” Since 2008 the group has developed more advanced technologies and products, some of which are able to integrate with the

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz without warning are significant if the asset is not available and trains are not able to run,” says Steve. “Network Rail has conducted its own research into this issue, which suggested that the main contributor to these penalties was signal power failure, particularly from cable problems caused by rodent damage or moisture penetration resulting in moisture getting into cables and junction boxes, and our system has the ability to tell Network Rail exactly what cable the fault is on, arming them with information so they can deploy immediately to the cable anytime day or night.” By using the portable earth fault location system EDS 3090, the cable can be interrogated to find the exact location of the fault, which can be fixed immediately or during the middle of the night when trains aren’t in operation. With these products, the number of penalties Network Rail is faced with lowers significantly and maximises the availability of the thousands of miles of track it operates. With consistent growth over the last seven

intelligent infrastructure network (II); with this in mind, Bender, in conjunction with Network Rail completely redesigned its solution and named it RS3. “We looked into what was good and not so good with the original version and redesigned it, made it smaller, lighter and easier to install; we also made the information that came with our equipment align to the intelligent infrastructure network by including data loggers and GSM modems to our solution.” This proposal was put to Network Rail and after several months of discussion an agreement was made, with the first two pallets of equipment already delivered. The contract for equipment to monitor lineside power supplies on the railway network took approximately two years to secure and is the biggest in the company’s history, resulting in more than 400 monitoring units being installed around the UK. The system monitors the power supply, immediately notifying the intelligent infrastructure via its GSM capability if the status changes, which alerts engineers of a fault or developing problem; this then gives the customer the option of dealing with the fault immediately or gives them time to plan an intervention around the needs of their business. Furthermore, the system will immediately alert the customer of any cable damage caused by a wide range of issues. “The penalties that Network Rail are faced with if the signal power system goes down

years and the company’s largest ever contract secured, the future looks positive for Bender UK as it continues to develop its product portfolio. “There is a lot of exciting product developments in the pipeline and we are investing heavily in R&D,” says Steve. “Six months ago we made a significant change in our portfolio with the launch of our new power quality monitoring (PQM) solutions, including power management software. “This gives customers the ability to understand where energy is being used in their installations and assets, and to implement a strategy of energy reduction. Energy monitoring is a growing area and so we want to become known for our PQM products as we are with our traditional portfolio. Looking ahead over the next few years we aim to continue our growth by collaborating with other companies to integrate technologies and by listening to the needs of our customers,” he concludes. zz


114 114 Electrical Ltd PPS Electrical Ltd are a specialist Electrical and Instrumentation contractor, having worked closely with Bender UK for 15 years. Together we have successfully developed products for use within the Rail Industry. PPS also have an excellent reputation within the nuclear sector. The head office in Barrow-in-Furness includes a large panel manufacturing facility.

Contact details: Email: Website: Tel: 01229 433838 PPS Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shepley Engineers Limited.



Touax Rail



Louis Pa

Highly rated


pecialised in operational leasing, the history of Touax begins in 1855 in onriver towing activities. Organised into four branches today this Group acts globally in the provision of mobility solutions, responsiveness, and flexibility towards client projects, both on its own account and on behalf of investors. In particular it is the European leader in shipping containers and river barges, and the second largest lessor for intermodal freight cars through its subsidiary Touax Rail. The diversification of these leasing and sales businesses is a key part of Touax Group’s value creation strategy. Other facets included strong levels of recurring revenues with 70 per cent of leasing income, excluding services, coming from multi-year contracts. This is leveraged through the Group’s owned assets, which number around 45 per cent of the total number, at a value of €710 million. The remaining assets are managed on behalf of third parties, which help improve Touax Group’s profitability


As the second largest lessor of intermodal railcars in Europe, Touax Rail is a first name for its customers

without tying up capital. As to how the railcar fleet fits into this, Louis Pastré, business development and marketing director of Touax Rail, elaborates: “We have invested regularly in our wagons over the past ten years to grow the fleet to its current size of 9100 units. This growth is the result of a successful partnership with our clients and suppliers, as well as our investment capacity. Around 65 per cent of the fleet is based on intermodal railcars of various types for the loading of containers, as well as automotive carriers, coal wagons, steel coil carriers, and hopper cars in the US. “We primarily lease railcars in Europe, Turkey and the US, but Touax continues to diversify geographically establishing new business in Asia with a very promising outlook. The need for flexibility, short delivery times and cost effectiveness, alongside environmental awareness, the increase in transport of raw materials and agricultural goods, and the liberalisation of rail freight transport in many

countries all promote the leasing of railcars internationally. We rent to national railways such as DB, SNCF and SBB, private railway undertakings, operators like Greenmodal, Geodis and Gefco, and industrial companies including Solvay and BASF,” he continues. In terms of other developments within this fleet Touax Rail now manages its wagons under VPI rules, which allows it to deliver maintenance such as reprofiling and revisions closer to its clients’ operational areas. This reduces transportation costs and downtime. “After our accreditation to ISO 9001 in 2010, we became one of the first to achieve Entity in Charge of Maintenance (ECM) certification in December 2011. This European certification recognises Touax Rail’s know-how in the field of technical management and maintenance of railcars, and will continue to accelerate its development opening up prospects for growth throughout Europe,” describes Louis. Already the company has been selected to manage the ECM services of a large intermodal fleet of over 1100 wagons for the next three years. Other projects that Touax Rail has been successful in include the supply of a large number of coal wagons for traffic between the Benelux countries and Germany. Describing the general feeling within the industry Louis notes: “Rail market share

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz versus road will increase regularly in Europe.” Continuing he outlines where investment is required to facilitate this: “In addition, the European fleet is getting older and needs a strong replacement programme over the coming years. Whilst the market needs 10,000 to 20,000 new wagons per year, the last five has seen only 5,000 to 7,000 produced. Compared to a European fleet that numbers around 700,000 wagons this represents around only one per cent. This is a structural

LEGIOS LEGIOS represents a significant part of the European engineering industry in the field of railway technology. Its 140-year-old tradition, four plants and massive investments into modern technologies make it one of the biggest producers of railway cars and providers of repair services. The production of locomotives and wagons, repairs, modernisation and remotorisation of railway wagons of all brands, including the renovation of historic wagons are important activities of the company.

under-investment trend that should end soon. “These combined parameters will position leasing companies as key partners to accompany this development. Leasing ensures flexibility and low capital expenditure for our clients who need to optimise their organisation, traffic management, and costs. This enables them to focus on their core business of customer service and transportation. In addition, industrial companies are also leasing wagons in order to stay independent from the rail undertaking – in the case of lower quality service they keep control of the wagons and simply have to find another solution for the traction,” he adds. There remains a differentiation between western and eastern Europe with the ongoing financial crisis generating certain changes in the market, whilst competition from the roads, and rolling stocks of national railways presents their own challenges. Still though the market expects quick availability and delivery of units, which is where Touax Rail benefits with its

good reputation and solid customer orientated organisation. The company is positive that the market will slowly recover in 2014 with many opportunities only postponed as opposed to cancelled, and the need for new wagons reflecting well on Touax Rail’s sevenyear age average. “We’re focusing on business development in order to improve utilisation rates. As such we are proposing a range of services to our clients including financial solutions such as sale and lease back, and our new capabilities in ECM. We offer these services alongside the operational leasing solution services. In the coming years Touax Rail aims to manage over 15,000 wagons mainly in Europe including a portion in the USA. Touax Rail is also well positioned to an international expansion. Through this we intend to keep investing and diversifying our wagon portfolio,” concludes Louis. zz


KINEX – On the railway all together... sAxle bearings for rail sBearings for traction


motors and generators sBearings for transmissions sBearings for auxiliary traction sBearings renovation sTechnical support

KINEX BEARINGS, a.s. 1.maja 71/36 014 83 Bytca Slovakia

Tel: +421 41 5556 620 Fax: +421 41 5556 616 e-mail:




zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz The ARABIA-QATAR 2013 Mission – meeting with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu

Exporting expertise


As the Spanish Railway Association, MAFEX works to promote its members within the wider rail market

AFEX – the Spanish Railway Association is a non-profit private organisation serving the Spanish railway sector in regard to its internationalisation, as well as in defence of its partners’ general interests. MAFEX was created in 2004 with the support of the main Spanish institutions in the sector. It is also part

of the Agex Group, which is formed by three more associations in different Spanish industrial sectors. “The Association is currently formed of 73 companies,” describes director general Pedro Fortea. “All of them are clearly exportoriented, developing their activities in the manufacturing of products and rendering

Visit of the Development Minister to the MAFEX stand at the Innotrans 2012 trade fair


of services for rail projects including rolling stock, track equipment, telecommunications, signalling, engineering, consulting, building, maintenance, and interior design. They all share their innovative nature and commitment to R&D, and the introduction of the latest technological advances contributing to the world rail sector in all its fields, as well as their expertise, experience, and excellency in service quality. All these characteristics have turned the Spanish rail industry into a leading reference.” Between them MAFEX’s members represent more than 85 per cent of the Spanish rail industry’s exports according to official figures in 2012. With promotion of this sector abroad MAFEX’s main objective many of the association’s activities are focused in these areas such as trade delegations, group participation in major international trade fairs, market studies and analysis, advertising, and organisation of foreign buyer delegations to Spain. “Since its origin, the association has intensely promoted and defended the common interests of the industry,” reiterates Pedro. “In addition MAFEX performs other activities, which are not as visible but surely add

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz value to our members such as international contacts, access to reference materials, facilitating contact among foreign and Spanish companies by managing particular enquiries, or even communication among the members themselves.â&#x20AC;? Reflecting on the market outlook for MAFEXâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s members Pedro notes that there is a generally positive trend: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The last fiscal year, 2012, was a complicated one given the strong decrease in national investment spending, and the increasing competiveness in international markets. However, significant contracts have been awarded abroad even in these difficult conditions. This has contributed to better Spanish rail export figures, growing by more than 20 per cent in comparison to the previous year. Nowadays knowing where the new business opportunities are, trying to benefit from them, and working as leading global suppliers of pioneering services and products, are some of the priorities of the Spanish rail industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Regarding the future, and in comparison with other industries, the sector in general seems to maintain certain stability and long-term perspective throughout the five continents. According to UNIFE, the Association of the European Rail Industry, the sector is expected to grow at a global level, in the following years. Given the current scenario, this is good news. Likewise UNIFE expectations are that the market will grow at an annual rate of 2.6 per cent until 2017, up to a business turnover of around â&#x201A;Ź170 billion euros. For MAFEX members this forecast represents a clear international growth opportunity in many markets such as India, Russia, Australia, Southeast Asia or Africa. However, it also poses new challenges for companies will need to ensure their efficiency and highest quality standards to continue being competitive and maintain their leadership position,â&#x20AC;? he continues. With a presence in more than 90 countries worldwide, the Spanish rail industry is clearly flourishing in the international market as recent awards of large projects in Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey demonstrates. â&#x20AC;&#x153;MAFEXâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s duties through its internationalisation projects have always been aimed at significantly increasing the participation of the Spanish rail industry in ongoing international projects, and in future transport plans across the five continents. This is the reason why foreign promotion is a priority, as well as trade delegations to emerging countries and regions

such as Thailand and Malaysia. Furthermore, MAFEX wants to strengthen the position of Spanish companies other more consolidated markets such as the US,given the boost taking place in rail at present,â&#x20AC;? highlights Pedro. Growth forecasts for the Spanish rail sector overseas remains positive, and the excellent references gained by the industry over the years helps it to secure this strong position. This will serve to accelerate activity in the sector for all companies, large and small, within the main rail subsectors such as construction, signalling, electrification, track, equipment, and rolling stock. For MAFEX, this growth comes together with a strong action plan for promoting these companies, and strengthening their business relationships. Elaborating on this strategic agenda, Pedro concludes: â&#x20AC;&#x153;MAFEX sees 2013 as a year to define the new framework to offer the best service to its members. Such frameworks will help identify and prioritise the needs of all the companies, not only in those aspects regarding internationalisation, but also in those

in which MAFEXâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance can help improve its membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; competitiveness. To this end, MAFEX has started the implementation of the 2013-2016 Strategic Plan. It is also still working on its plan to promote activities at an international scale, its widest and most ambitious plan since its creation in 2004.â&#x20AC;? zz


Pedro Fortea director general of MAFEX


Services for safety & security, civil works, railway electrification & communications s2AILROAD%LECTRIlCATION s#IVIL7ORKS s2AILROAD3AFETY s)NDUSTRIAL!UTOMATION s&IBER/PTICS s)NDUSTRIAL%LECTRICITY s4UNNEL3YSTEMS Tel:  Fax:  Email: TELICE TELICEES



National Express

Chivers Andrew g in g a n a m – rail director

Having broken new ground with a milestone franchise award in Germany, Andrew Chivers describes to Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs how National Express is already making plans for its delivery





hether it’s by bus, coach, or train the National Express name has long been associated with quality public transport provision. Since its formation over two decades ago the company has continued to grow and expand the breadth of its offering, which currently includes the award-winning c2c rail franchise serving destinations between London and South Essex. Despite being a name that is strongly associated with the British market, National Express has in fact been an international operator ever since its first move into the US transport sector in 1998. This was followed by its Spanish coach and bus business in 2005, which also runs services in Morocco.

As such the company is delighted to have been awarded a new 15 year £1.4 billion rail franchise in Germany, which will be delivered through its newly established subsidiary National Express Rail GmbH. This follows on from National Express’ earlier success in the German market with the launch of its city2city coach services in April. The German rail market is the largest in Europe at almost twice the size of the UK franchising system, and the new National Express contracts represent something of a first for UK transport companies in entering this arena.

A new entry As managing director of rail at National Express, Andrew Chivers oversaw the


servicing around 18 million passengers a year. “The regional express line RE7 has an overall length of 248 kilometres and starts in the far north of NRW at Rheine and runs north to south through the heart of the region. It serves all of the most populated districts including Münster, Hagen, Wuppertal, Cologne, Neuss (Düsseldorf) and Krefeld. With an overall length of 91 kilometres, the regional line RB48 is the shuttle connection from the regions north and south of Cologne, the biggest city in NRW with over a million inhabitants,” elaborates Andrew. In terms of what set National Express apart throughout the bidding process, Andrew has his own thoughts: “Many of the regional franchises in Germany are of a similar size to c2c, so our success there was an important part of our bid. After all c2c’s performance speaks for itself – we hold the UK PPM and MAA records, and currently have the highest NPS score of the franchised operators. We have also assembled a very strong team in Germany. Our UK rail credentials are clearly important, but we have been clear that these will be German operations run by people with significant local experience.”

Building standards development of the bid and was the responsible individual on the Group Executive. With the German rail market having long been dominated by local players, Andrew describes what this award means to the business: “We are very excited by the opportunity and can’t wait to start running services, even though we’ll have to wait until December 2015. This is due to a longer mobilisation phase in Germany as typically the rolling stock is purchased new. We also believe this is the first competitive entry into the German market by a British company, which is particularly pleasing.” The award consists of two contracts – one regional express and one local service within the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) region, which is Germany’s most populated area,

Even at this early stage National Express is anticipating what needs to be done in order to maintain and build upon the existing standards of service. One of the greatest challenges the company faces in comparison to its UK business is the fact that travellers not only have the choice between different operators and transportation modes, but that fares are fixed by the authorities. As such, persuading customers to choose its services will be one of the main areas of focus. An essential foundation in achieving this goal will be the 35 new Talent 2 trains that have been ordered from Bombardier Transportation. With today’s passengers expecting convenient and flexible travel options that offer comfort and punctuality, modern vehicles like the Talent

2 more than meet these requirements. The trains can reach speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour, and offer ample and comfortable seating in both first and second class with multi-purpose areas providing space for prams, wheelchairs, and bicycles. Other key interior features include passenger information monitors showing details on connecting trains, video monitoring, and doors with improved access for people with restricted mobility. Bombardier products such as the Talent 2 are currently the only rolling stock in the rail industry for which continuous improvement in environmental performance is externally certified according to the EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme). This is both in terms of production and the vehicles themselves. The new National Express units set a high standard in ecological sustainability with almost all recyclable materials, thereby optimising energy and resource efficiency. The new trains will be configured in three-car and five-car sets, and delivered ahead of the start of service in 2015. Although still basking in this milestone success, National Express is hoping to see the NRW award as the beginning of a wider portfolio as opposed to an isolated entity. The company looks to be well placed to make this a reality as it is already short-listed for a further three contracts throughout Germany. “There are likely to be around 35 franchises out for tender over the next two years. These will predominantly be regional services similar in size to c2c, and whilst we certainly won’t be bidding for them all it gives a clear sense of the scale of the opportunities presented. Although Germany is a very competitive market, we are determined to win more contracts and build upon our initial success,” concludes Andrew.zz

National Express Tel: +44 (0) 8456 014 873 Email: Web:





AMS100 mobile welding machine

Schlatter - the secure connection As a technology leader, customers can rely upon Schlatter for their electrical resistance welding needs

AMS100 Supra Roadflex truck-based rail welding system



hilst electrical resistance welding may be the company’s field of expertise, Schlatter has been far from rigid in terms of the course of its almost 100 year history. Founded in 1916, the company started out as an individual plant manufacturer. Since this time it has grown to become a fully-fledged solution provider for resistance welding and weaving systems. Decades of research and development have brought Schlatter a wealth of expertise in developing and automating production systems. Leveraging this means the company can offer its customers the most sophisticated

technology that meets their needs for reliability and efficiency. As far as the rail market goes Schlatter’s activities are split between stationary and mobile flash butt welding machines as outlined by sales director Daniel Zappa: “Globally around 75 per cent of long welded rail plants are using our technology when it comes to stationary welding. We have continuously worked to improve and develop the machines for this sector and currently have two main dedicated lines: the GAAS80 and GAA100. These are the most sophisticated machines available on the market today, with the latest generation introduced in early 2013.” The GAAS80 is primarily used in fixed welding plants to join short rails to long welded rails, whilst the GAA100 system is used for welding of turnout components such as joining rails to frogs or for switchblades. The other side of the business is the mobile rail welding machines for continuous welded rails. This technology is normally integrated into an

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz autonomously operating rail welding system that may be self-propelled, truck-based, or containerised depending on the specific application, but can also be used stand-alone. Schlatter has two main mobile machine types â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the AMS60 and AMS100. The former was created in the early 1990s with a focus on the exact alignment of rail ends. In fact the AMS60 reaches almost the same accuracy of alignment quality as the stationary GAAS80 system making it ideal for operations such as high-speed rail lines. Developed some years after, the AMS100 is a simpler design but offers higher welding force making it better suited for bigger rail profiles designed for heavier axle loads. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As this demonstrates we not only continue to develop our existing machines, but also to create new models that are one step further ahead in order to maintain our technical leadership in this field. To this end we are planning to introduce a new mobile flash butt welding system later this year,â&#x20AC;? notes Daniel. Another benefit of Schlatterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long experience

AMS100 Supra Roadflex truck-based rail welding system

KURE&Co. d.o.o. International company KURE&Co. d.o.o. is a reliable partner and supplier of Schlatter Industries AG. Its experts guarantee the superior quality of produced items, delivery on time, flexibility and reliability. KURE&Co. d.o.o. is located in the middle of Europe. The parts are finally used in machinery worldwide.

is that it has one of the largest portfolios of expertise when it comes to meeting the different welding requirements and regulations of each country it operates in. With machines installed from Brazil to Alaska and Japan to Australia this presence is globally expansive in accordance with the universal spread of rail as

Make UIFGVUVSF KURE&Co. d.o.o. is a Slovenian engineering company who specialise in mechanical engineering and the composition of components in the area of construction steel, high-quality steel, inox and aluminium. All parts are precisely produced on modern CNC machines. Our technological capabilities include all kinds of welding, turning, milling and grinding, with all known metal surface protections. The parts weigh from 0.1kg to 20t.

,63&$PEPP Brilejeva 8, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Europe 5FM00386 1 510 76 50 'BY00386 1 510 76 55 &





AMS60 mobile welding machine a transport method. “We try to provide the customer with a sophisticated network of aftersales services,” elaborates Daniel. “We have subsidiaries in all regions of the world to be as close to them as possible, as well as sales and service agencies throughout. We can offer a full range of field service, remote support, service contract, upgrade packages, and spare parts so that the customer knows that the investments they make with us are secure. We have machines that have been running over 30 years, which we are still servicing today, so our clients can trust in the fact that they have our support not just for now and tomorrow, but for the long run.” Although the difficulties of the global economy placed demands on many businesses, the multifaceted nature of Schlatter’s activities eased these somewhat. Amongst this rail remained the most constant of all the three sectors. “There’s not any dramatic shifts as such but it is a steady market and we do see slowly increasing demand for these machines GAAS80 stationary welding machine on the global market. The


GAA100 stationary welding machine

priorities of these demands in terms of different regions or countries change over time, but on the whole we are pleased with the sector’s performance,” adds Daniel. As previously mentioned, this year Schlatter is launching its new mobile welding machine making this a clear priority for the business over the coming months alongside delivering on its current customer commitments. In the background though the global spread remains a key consideration. “Rail is a mega-trend,” agrees Daniel. “In emerging markets like India, the Middle East, and Africa we see on a general level a lot of potential for the rail industry. Together with growing investment this presents good opportunities for Schlatter as well. Each regional market develops at a different pace, and just now as well as these newer areas we also see strong demand from the US, Asia, and South America as we welcome new projects in rail,” he concludes. zz



Danske Statsbaner


. zz Copenhagen central station by night

Drive to improve With a focus on operational efficiency, DSB has grand plans for developing Denmark’s rail system

Jesper Lok CEO of DSB


anske Statsbaner or DSB is Denmark’s largest train operating company, owned by the Danish Ministry of Transport, and carrying more than 195 million passengers every year. This business comprises three main areas: long distance rail, the S-rail commuter service, and the Denmark to Sweden connection. “We provide the backbone of the inter-regional public transport connectivity,” notes CEO Jesper Lok. “We are therefore in a position to harness the network advantages that Danish rail transportation offers. “Aside from the general service operation we also retain responsibility for maintenance

activities related to our fleet, and some of the shared functionalities such as the travel card that applies across the various operators, and the traffic information portal. In addition as an old national railway operator we still retain some of the legacy activities that come with this.” Having assumed the role of CEO in May last year Jesper reflects on the steps he has taken within the business: “DSB is a great company with a lot of expertise so it has been very exciting for me. My role has been to focus the company on its core activities and ensure that we become competitive in the way that we run those, and I think the organisation has shown a lot of determination and willingness to pursue that goal. “I think it’s more important to work in a business and evaluate the essence of that before making any strategic conclusions,” he continues highlighting how he didn’t immediately impose a predetermined strategy on the company. “We have to focus on the punctuality and other core activities related to train operation, and that involves closing

down business elements that are not profitable, so this is our strategic programme for the first three years. Longer-term we will evaluate what options there are for growing the business, but when you operate in a market that already has organic growth of two to three per cent every year that in itself presents an attractive opportunity.” Indeed recent figures indicate that improvements are being made. In 2012 DSB reversed the negative trend of previous years with a before tax profit of 155 million Danish Krone (DKK). In the same year the company launched its ‘Healthy DSB’ programme, which outlines three overall objectives to be reached by the end of 2014, including improving punctuality, creating a results-orientated corporate culture, and increasing the company economy by one billion DKK. DSB’s own focus on punctuality and other core measures has led Jesper to conclude that there is perhaps a need for a new crossEurope benchmark system that promotes efficiency: “This is a business where in most countries it is not profitable on a stand-alone



Danske Statsbaner

basis – it is of course possible to cherry-pick corridors where you can in isolation make a profit, but that is not enough in the eyes of the customer,” he explains. “They expect more public transportation and more connectivity countrywide, and therefore I think it essential to recognise that the most important part of running a railway operation is to be able to



demonstrate your efficiency. “The best way to do that, aside from measuring financial results, is to make sure that every train kilometre is driven effectively. It’s here that benchmarking can help as everyone can learn something from it because everyone does something really well. The ability to learn best practice from one another is a very

important part of being able to give citizens more transportation for the same amount of money. We are trying to be very open and transparent about our own figures through publishing those, so we hope the industry at large will agree on some common measures when it comes to punctuality and efficiency as it ought to be in everyone’s interest, and the taxpayers across Europe to make sure that their railway is run effectively,” he continues. Efficiency is a key factor in DSB’s negotiations with the Danish government surrounding the extension of its contract beyond its current expiry of 2014, with the company working hard to demonstrate the progression it has made. “It is too early to say exactly what that conclusion will entail, but we remain focused on improving our operations,” notes Jesper. “Beyond that I think it is very important for Denmark as a nation to embark on some of the infrastructure investments that have been postponed for far too long. This includes electrification of main routes and purchasing of new rolling stock to run on

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz these, infrastructure investment so we can run trains faster, and improvement of supporting infrastructures in various parts of the country. “This is the main task for Denmark in the coming years to make that conversion to a modern rail network. All together we are looking at a figure of almost 100 billion DKK in the next

ZF-AS Rail ZF Danmark has for more decades delivered ZF-AS Rail transmission for the Danish Railways. Combined with the ZF reversing transmission and the Rail Drive Control System, ZF provides a system that is ideally harmonized. The 12 gears ensure a constantly optimum, economical speed range and save fuel. The light metal housing combines the transmission components, including dry clutch and electronic control, compact protected. Only weighing 360kg it enables a simple installation and reduces the axle loads. ZF offers three performance versions. Numerous ratios and high efficiency level, reduce fuel consumption and emission levels.

15 years, and therefore I think it’s important that the contract has a certain duration so it facilitates these massive investments that need to be made.” DSB is also advocating more focus on the customer and their experience of travelling on the service. This starts with the stations, many of which are over 100 years old and built

for a completely different set of travel habits, and therefore require significant investment to bring them in line with today’s passenger. This includes cross-mode integration with bikes, cars, and buses, and increased comfort right through to the platform. “This does require a huge investment of less than two billion DKK, but if you compare it to the investments


zzzzzzzzzzzzzz already being made in infrastructure and rolling stock it is a fairly modest amount for fitting the customer into the solution,” adds Jesper. Likewise the company is encouraging stronger telecommunication and internet connectivity right along the operating routes as this is currently quite poor outside of the main cities. “One of the biggest advantages of the train is that you can get a fair amount of work done if you wish, but if the telecommunication links are poor it reduces the value of rail as a mode of transport. People who don’t already travel by rail have chosen another mode of transport for good reasons so we need to find ways of increasing the value of rail’s proposition,” remarks Jesper. Whilst there is clearly much that DSB believes can be done within Denmark’s rail system, Jesper is wary of the passenger industry treading the same path as its freight equivalent when delivering this: “At the same time it is very important that we make sure that the experiences of the freight and cargo sector are not repeated in passenger transportation,” he emphasises. “If you look at what happened

Danske Statsbaner

in this sector when there was a move to railway packages to promote innovation and competition the actual result over the last ten to 15 years was massive consolidation, so whilst the intentions might have been different the outcome is very evident. It has not created a more attractive or efficient railroad, nor has it presented more choice for the customers so it is very important that we don’t repeat that mistake when it comes to passenger


transportation. “The outlook for public transportation is generally very good with continuing growth, which at a macro level is a very positive trend. This necessitates that we think more about creating attractive solutions as maintaining this uplift requires bringing new passengers onto the railway,” he concludes. zz




Inter Ferry Boats (IFB)


Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cross

Making the mode of it With a wide European network for rail and barge transport, Inter Ferry Boats (IFB) help customers make the most of intermodal solutions


nter Ferry Boats (IFB) is a leading intermodal and terminal operator delivering high-quality transport and logistics solutions by rail and barge across Europe. The business is an autonomous subsidiary of SNCB Logistics Group and acts as a neutral player on the European market. Having just celebrated its 90th anniversary, the company has over the years remained committed to several principles. Primarily these are to deliver reliable container transport for transport companies, shipping lines, and forwarders across Europe, and multimodal high-quality logistics solutions through the use of rail and barges. IFB also


offers operational and commercial assistance close to the customer through its international network, and terminal operation and value added logistics in Belgium, France, and Germany. Working on behalf of its clients, IFB organises maritime container rail transport from the main harbours of Belgium and the Netherlands to the hinterland, and continental container rail transport across Europe. In addition to its regular connections, the company can arrange specific transport services to any destination within Europe.

A strong foothold To this end IFB has a complete pan-European intermodal network at its disposal, with a strong foothold in the Benelux. This is then broken down into areas for each geographical region. Area North follows up and enhances current connections, and develops new transports between the main North Sea harbours, and important industrial centres in Europe. Area South manages the northern

Europe to Italy axis, and is active also between northern Europe and France and Spain. Finally, the gateway solution Area East deals with all transport towards the east and across Europe. As well as railway connections, as a multimodal provider IFB deals in barge transportation between the North Sea harbours and the economic centres in the Rhine area through its subsidiary H&S Container Line. On top of its transport offering, the company operates its own intermodal terminals in Belgium, including three in Antwerp, each of which is equipped with modern EDI systems and container handling devices. All of this comes together to position IFB as more than just a mover of goods. The company strives to make container transport as simple as possible for its clients with a full package of services. This is backed by readily available specialists across the network that guarantee quality control from end-to-end, and create solutions towards specific logistic needs. Fast and efficient transport is a fundamental desire of all operators, and whilst road has long

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz been a preferred choice there are alternatives that make economic and environmental sense. In this way, IFB organises connections that are supported by the Marco Polo programme. This is the European Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (EU) funding programme for projects which shift freight transport from the road to sea, rail, and inland waterways. This means fewer trucks on the road and therefore less congestion, less pollution, and more reliable and efficient transport of goods.

The vision The company is also one of 14 partners engaged in the EcoHubs project led by BMT and aimed at elevating Green Hubs to a strategic component of sustainable transport. This is in accordance with the vision to provide interconnectivity and interoperability in European co-modal networks and facilitate the reduction of congestion, and the combined improvement of environmental performance and efficiency in these networks. Similar benefits can be seen from the

use of intermodal transport in general. This has become the fastest growing segment in the transport sector with more and more companies looking for alternative and sustainable combined solutions for transporting their goods. Each of the different modes have very mixed energy intensity and carbon emission profiles. Rail and barge transport for example are the least energy consuming modes, with trucking between two and four times more energy-intensive than rail, and at the same time avoid on-road

congestion. By optimally balancing loads between these different modes, with rail and barge being used for the bulk distance, operators can benefit from a more environmentally friendly and efficient transport offering. However, at the same time reliability, seamless quality, and cost-effectiveness are core expectations. As an intermodal operator with a reliable European network for barge and rail transportation, IFB offers a sustainable alternative with prices and quality that is comparable to, or better than, other transport modes. Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a large or small quantity of containers, IFB will work every time to find the best logistics solutions for transporting them. Its broad network of high-frequency connections, and customer-orientated organisation means that even new customers can make the modal switch to combined transport with ease, and together with IFB realise the benefits this can bring. zz






Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cross

Wiredinto the market With skills in both electrical installation and civils, Pod-Trak Ltd is gearing up for Network Railâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s network electrification plans



stablished in 2007, Pod-Trak Ltd is a privately owned company specialising in the installation and maintenance of electrical systems to rail and tram infrastructure. Starting out as a specialist labour supplier to carry out conductor rail renewals on the Docklands Light Railway, in particular Pod-Trak became known for the installation of

overhead lines and third-rail works. Since these beginnings, Pod-Trak has grown steadily and branched out to become more of a multidiscipline provider with capabilities in civil engineering and permanent way works. This was in accordance with the needs of its clients, which reflects Pod-Trakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s belief in building strong long-term relationships. With offices in both London, Manchester and a new Depot in Tyne & Wear Pod-Trak is able to execute projects throughout the length of the UK. Retaining its expertise in electrical installation, to date Pod-Trak has successfully delivered conductor rail installation projects including aluminium and steel type rail. The company can supply a complete installation package for the rail and associated cabling, as well as provide support for smaller maintenance works. It also undertakes all aspects of overhead line installation and maintenance services, and general cabling services such as continuity bonding, substation cabling, and negative track bonding. Drawing on its accumulated civils skills, Pod-Trak can undertake small


“The challenge is being able to supply for the vast amount of work that could come out of this,” he continues. “We currently have adequate resources to deliver, however since there is limited capability in the country especially for overhead line work we are

to medium sized work packages including platform extensions, concrete and foundation works, installation of cable troughs and routes, temporary works, walkways and access roads, and drainage projects. In addition, Pod-Trak is a source of specialist labour for the rail industry including overhead linesmen, permanent way staff, safety critical personnel, PTS electricians, cable installers, and track labourers. All employees maintain the relevant certification necessary for their discipline to work within the rail industry. Describing the market outlook for PodTrak, managing director and owner Paul O’Donnell appears positive: “We have grown successfully over the last five years which is thanks to the forward thinking and commitment from our staff, and for the next five years Network Rail are emphasising electrification upgrades for a number of routes, which will further improve our growth substantially as we’re in a strong position to assist with the delivery and supply into this market.

investing into training our existing staff and hoping to implement our own training programme to meet the demands and the possibility of taking in skilled personnel from overseas.” With the company also maintaining a fleet of

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Tel: 01942 245599 Fax: 01942 825544 Email: Web:




plant and vehicles such as vans, HGVs, trailers, rail-adapted MEWPs, and specialist small plant and hand tools, the last 18 months has seen Pod-Trak invest heavily into new overhead line equipment and heavy plant in order to meet the supply needs of this investment cycle. In terms of current activity, Pod-Trak is involved in a number of key projects. “For the last few years we have been working on an installation contract on the Manchester Metrolink to facilitate the upgrade of the existing signalling and electrical systems, and the extension of the tram network for MPT. At present we’re now moving onto delivering the line to Manchester Airport. “We’re also working with C Spencer to electrify a Siemens train depot in Manchester. Our remit covers the supply and installation of all of the overhead line system for that development. Another major project is drainage works in the Heathrow Express tunnels out to Heathrow Airport, so these are some very big contracts for us,” he adds.


In addition, Pod-Trak has been helping execute works for some of London’s major rail projects. This includes permanent way and ETE works including removal of existing track,

BBK Construction Services Limited

BBK Construction have worked with Podtrak, on a number of Docklands Light Railway & Network Rail projects, including 4km of concrete cutting in the rail tunnels at Heathrow Airport. BBK Construction specialise in bridge & viaduct spandrel tie-bars & associated track monitoring & surveys, aswell as scour protection works & brickwork repairs. BBK have a bespoke high pressure water jetting unit to remove brickwork graffiti & clean structures. BBK Construction Services LTD 28 Galloway Drive, Kennington Ashford, Kent, TN25 4QQ tel. +44 (0)7738 477579 email.


and installation of new track alignment and conductor rail at Royal Victoria Docklands Light Railway to accommodate the Crossrail Victoria Dock portal and Custom House station for Serco. Likewise the company has just delivered civils work for the Thameslink Programme Key Output 2 for Balfour Beatty. With the electrification market firmly at the front of Pod-Trak’s focus for the rest of 2013 and moving into Control Period 5 (CP5), the company is looking at what other measures can be taken to maximise its role in this delivery. “We have just teamed up with A&M Electricals Ltd to strengthen our ability to deliver the full packages required by our clients from substation fit out to the conductor. This is an associated business of Pod-Trak and will help push our investment into the market for CP5 as substation upgrades works is another key element of the electrification projects. This activity sits hand-in-hand with our business as Pod-Trak enabling us to act as more of a one-stop-shop, and bid for larger and more complete packages of work,” concludes Paul. zz





Makingtheswitch 1250amp fitted

As the electrification of rail networks steps up across the world, Morris Line Engineering’s expertise is being put to good use

25kV Track Switch


igh voltage disconnectors and switches have been Morris Line Engineering’s (MLE) line of business since it was established in 1976. This design and manufacture expertise has seen its equipment installed across the electricity, oil and gas and rail industries, both home and abroad. “Whilst our customer base has remained relatively unchanged, there has been a significant increase in the size of orders,” describes Nigel Jones, sales, marketing and

technical manager. “On the whole business has increased over the last 12 months by around 19 per cent resulting in an increase in manpower. Preparations are being made to increase the factory size to accommodate further growth.” Company divisional director Brian Jones continues: “This will ultimately lower our lead times on certain products which have been identified as critical for our customers. This year we have been inundated with requests for our equipment, which seems to be the result of some of the issues arranged in recent years. This includes the need to upgrade and support our infrastructure with correct maintenance systems and corrective action, and although some major decisions have taken a backseat due to the financial climate Network Rail’s expected spend runs into billions of pounds. As such small, medium and large companies are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, this is also apparent with the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) concerning maintenance projects that have been increased over the last year.” Over the years MLE has developed a range of manual and motorised high voltage and current isolators, which can be fitted with either porcelain or polymeric insulators, as well as various auxiliary equipment. It continues to





145kV silicone insulators

RXL with RTU Unit

add to its portfolio with new technologies and solutions including track switches and load break devices. Even today the R&D department is operating at its maximum capacity. Elaborating on some of the projects in motion Nigel says: “We have developed a new fixed earthing device (FED), which is the first of its kind to offer section earthing from a control box, eliminating the need for personnel earthing devices to be applied. This will decrease maintenance time trackside by about two hours. This system is currently being approved by the customer with a view to an order. We also have a vacuum bottle load break switch under development and hope to have concluded tests by the end of the year. This product will allow greater loads to be isolated using an ABS.” In terms of more project specific development work Nigel notes the work MLE is doing with a petrochemical company in the Middle East: “The client approached us earlier in the year to develop an Air Break Switch Disconnector combination unit with a fault rating of 40kA for three seconds. At present this is


80 per cent into the design stage, with the next step to manufacture a prototype, which can be type tested at a laboratory to values incorporated within IEC guidelines.” MLE has also recently completed the supply of equipment to MTR in Hong Kong, as operator of the rail line and underground networks in the region. MTR boasts a 99.9 per cent success rate, which has been achieved through the use of a very stringent set of specifications and maintenance systems to ensure that the failure rate does not increase, and so MLE’s equipment has to adhere to this also. “We have also been working with engineers

at Tata Steel over the last six years to combat some safety issues that they had identified. Having designed and manufactured a solution and installed these units we have had very positive feedback from this project, to which this option may be rolled out to all steel plants in the UK and even Europe,” adds Nigel. Last year MLE opened a new factory in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in order to promote newly developed equipment within this known market and supply cost-effective solutions. Since its launch, the facility has fared well with attainment of ISO 9001: 2008, and the generation of its own new business. This adds another strand to MLE’s global presence, which currently includes the Middle East, Far East and Africa, as well as home markets of the UK and Ireland. “With rail electrification projects being announced throughout the world including the Middle East, Malaysia and Russia, there is potentially a vast market for our equipment due to its design and reliability. Rest assured that we will also be focusing on other areas where the market is increasing. Likewise with the UK DNOs having more and more renewable energy projects such as solar and wind farms, it is an exciting time to be involved with these companies,” concludes Brian. zz

Rail Arc chute 1250amp



Rail Alliance


Recent new members of the Rail Alliance Anglia Metal Ltd


Selectequip Ltd

Anglia Metal Ltd are manufacturers of plain and tinned (tin-plated) copper wire to support a wide spectrum of market sectors such as rail, automotive, data, power, specialised cables and various other applications using copper wire. Tel: 01924 223 744 Email: Web:

ERICO is a worldwide company based in France manufacturing electrical rail connections and accessories to provide reliable solutions for reduced maintenance. Customers include railroads, metro and tramway operating organizations as well as specialist contractors and engineering offices. Tel: +33 477361805 Email: Web:

Selectequip Ltd is a supplier of many crucial types of maintenance consumables, signage and safety supplies to many different industry sectors. Tel: 01543 416 641 Email: Web:

Arrowvale Electronics Arowvale Electronics is an electronic sub-contract design and manufacturing company with a speciality in the rail industry. If you cannot find it off the shelf they may be able to custom design and manufacture it. Sub-contract design, sub-contract manufacturing of PCB, wiring looms, harnesses, inter-car jumpers, cabinets, full electromechanical products. In addition they have their own range of products including: on-train monitoring recorders, remote condition monitoring equipment, data analysis & display software, de-icing systems, electronic air-conditioning controllers and in-cab and in-vehicle displays. Tel: 01527 514 151 Email: Web:

Civils and Lintels A Grafton Group-owned company, Civils and Lintels supplies a diverse and extensively stocked range of products to the rail, civils and ground engineering sectors of the UK construction industry. Tel: 01925 255 700 Email: Web:

DWG Timber Components Ltd DWG Timber Components Ltd is a supplier of timber to the railway, furniture and civil engineering industries. The company recently won the European rights to sell a unique range of products manufactured in the USA which rejuvenate tired areas of infrastructure, from railway sleepers to cracks and potholes in concrete and tarmac. Tel: 01159 395 992 Email: Web:

F P McCann Ltd F P McCann Ltd manufactures and supplies a vast array of precast concrete products for the civil engineering, building, rail, utility and drainage industries, including cable troughs, platform copings, ballast boards, fencing materials, box culverts, power ducting, pipes, manholes, jacking pipes, cover slabs, shafts and tunnels. The company also manufactures bespoke products to order. Tel: +44 (0)15 3024 0000 Web:

HL Plastics Ltd HL Plastics Ltd is a manufacturer of the Liniar range of Plastic Piling including the new HD Log Pile, an easyto-install heavy-duty retaining pile made from 100 per cent recycled plastic with a wood polymer facing. Plastic Piling is lightweight, easy to handle manually, easy on access and transport, sustainable and cost effective. Liniar also supplies a range of fence posts and gravel boards as an alternative to concrete and timber. Tel: 01332 883 800 Email: Web:

Phil Jackson Phil Jackson is a rail sector sales & marketing professional. Tel: 07722 158 302 Email: Web: phil-jackson/1A/490/256

Signal Aspects Ltd Signal Aspects Ltd provides a design and build service in railway signal engineering including standard gauge and narrow gauge applications. They also offer a range of standard products that include electric point machines, LED signal lamps, LED signal conversion kits, point detection and train detection products. Tel: 01768 352 560 Email: Web:

Tex Tech Industries Based in Ireland, Tex Tech Industries is a market leader in fire safety protective materials for the transportation industry. Their state-of-the-art thermal/acoustic materials and seat fire blocking fabrics are used by the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading OEMs. Recent developments include lightweight seat fire protection, carriage floor protection, anti-vandal materials and ballistic protection. Tel: +353 567 761 426 Email: Web:

Topcon (Great Britain) Ltd Topcon is an innovative and global market-leading company developing and manufacturing precise measuring, monitoring and mapping solutions for challenging rail environments, Their systems are used for rail engineering, asset management and machine control. Tel: 01244 669 999 Email: Web:

Railfast Intermodal Ltd

Webro Cable and Connectors

Railfast Intermodal Ltd develops strategies for increased capability and flexibility in tomorrowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rail network to reduce financial risk on projects such as HS2. The company is currently seeking partners for a novel, patented approach to high-speed palletized rail freight, sorting in transit. Tel: 02476 615 429 Email: Web:

Webro is at the forefront of communication cable and connector design and innovation for the rail environment. The company is continually developing cabling and connector solutions to provide the most advanced communication cable and cable connector technology available today. Tel: 01159 724 483 Email: Web:

For further information, please contact: The Rail Alliance Tel: 01789 720 026 Email: Web:


zz NEWS I Conferences & Exhibitions zzzzzzzzzzz 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.

27 June – Railway Strategies Live 2013 London Organisers: Railway Strategies Tel: 01277 368 318 Email: Web: 10-11 July – Railway Engineering 2013 London Organisers: RRUKA Email: Web: 15-16 July – Next Generation Rail London Organisers: ECS Publications Tel: 0131 447 0447 Email: Web: 30 September – 2 October – European Transport Conference 2013 Frankfurt Organisers: Association of European Transport Tel: 020 7348 1970 Email: Web:

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

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

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

March 2014 – Intermodal Asia 2014 Shanghai Organisers: Informa Exhibitions Tel: +44 (0)207 017 5112 Email: Web:

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

20-22 May 2014 – Infrarail 2014 London Organisers: Mack Brooks Tel: 01727 814 400 Web:

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

23-26 September 2014 – InnoTrans 2014 Berlin Organisers: Messe Berlin GmbH Tel: +49 (0)30 30 38 - 2376 Email: Web:

Rail Alliance Outline Events Programme – 2013






27 June


Railway Strategies Live

10-11 July


Railway Engineering 2013

17 July Long Marston

Introduction to BS11000 Collaborative Business Relationships

Rail Alliance

24-25 July Long Marston

Network Rail National Plant Exhibition Rail Alliance/Rail Media Group Incorporating Rail Alliance’s Macrorail 2013 – Exhibition of RA Members

10 or 12 Sep (tbc)

Members Meeting & Networking Event

Rail Alliance

18/19 Sep North East

Members Meeting & Networking Event – hosted by NewRail at Newcastle University

Rail Alliance

24-27 Sep


TRAKO 2013

5 Oct


Rail Staff Awards 2013

16/17 Oct Coventry

Railway Interiors Convention in Partnership with Coventry University Enterprises & Rail Media Group

Rail Alliance



zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz S T R A T E G I E S Schofield Publishing 10 Cringleford Business Centre Intwood Road Cringleford Norwich NR4 6AU

T: +44 (0) 1603 274130 F: +44 (0) 1603 274131 Editor Martin Collier Sales Manager Rob Wagner

Railway strategies June July 2013  

The latest edition of Railway Strategies

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