Trolex secures funding for system rollout
Trolex Aporta Holdings has successfully won £1 million worth of investment from Finance Birmingham’s national Rail Supply Growth Fund, which will enable the business to accelerate its growth Trolexplans through the rollout of its incarriage entertainment system.

The deal will create 38 highly-skilled jobs, allowing the company to invest in the delivery of its Juxta Infotainment System. Passengers of Trolex Aporta clients will benefit from the uninterrupted streaming of TV shows, movies, news and travel information to their personal devices, either through a web browser or downloadable app.

“It’s an exciting time for the rail industry,” states Glyn Jones, Managing Director of Trolex Group. “The sector is currently experiencing increased demand from customers for highspeed Wi-Fi that delivers entertainment direct to their fingertips. At Trolex Aporta we aim to provide an innovative solution that not only guarantees a reliable full entertainment service for passengers, but one that is cost-effective and easy to maintain for rail operators. Our greater mission is to lead domestic and international rail industries to a more efficient and user-led future. The funding provided by Finance Birmingham will help us to develop our system further ensuring a better travel experience for rail passengers.”

Investment to support Cecence’s expansion plans
CecenceFinance Birmingham’s national Rail Supply Growth Fund is to provide funding of £500,000 to Hampshire-based composite manufacturer Cecence. The funding will allow the company to expand its facility, recruit up to ten new staff members and enable it to deliver a range of lightweight components to the rail industry.

Mike Orange, Director at Cecence, said: “At Cecence, our talented team is dedicated to finding innovative methods for manufacturing composite products. Our current system, which helps us to cut the process down to under 20 minutes reflects this commitment, as well as the cost savings we can deliver for our clients across a range of industries. The funding from Finance Birmingham’s national Rail Supply Growth Fund will help us to build on our success and compete in the thriving rail sector.”

Jack Glonek, Investment Director at Finance Birmingham, responded: “The team at Cecence constantly seeks to innovate and develop means of generating high-quality and cost-efficient products for its clients. Finance Birmingham is proud to help the company to break into the rail sector, a thriving industry looking to improve passenger experience while also making delivery safe, seamless and sustainable.

One of the key objectives of Finance Birmingham’s Rail Supply Growth Fund is to support innovative businesses whose services crossover into rail, and we look forward to seeing Cecence break into the market and pursue its growth plans.”

East Midlands recognised for BAME employment opportunities
East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, has been name by Business in the Community as one the UK’s best employers for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in a new listing.

Stagecoach East Midlands Trains was the only train operator to be named within the list, which included the likes of HSBC, Sainsburys, the Department for Transport and the British Army. Jake Kelly, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “It is important that our workforce reflects the communities we serve and we need to be a welcoming place for everyone.

Our recruitment team has been doing a lot of work to encourage a more diverse workforce by tackling the unconscious bias through blind candidate screening and running targeted recruitment campaigns that have encouraged more applications from females and people from ethnic minorities.”

Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director at Business in the Community, added: “Congratulations to East Midlands Trains on being named in the first ever Best Employers for Race listing. It is taking a comprehensive and strategic approach to tackling racial inequalities within its organisation and has shown its commitment and leadership on this issue. I hope more employers will follow its example of best practice and take part in the 2018 listing.”

New statue marks ten years of Hitachi in Ashford
hitachiCrowds gathered in Kent to celebrate ten years since Hitachi opened its £60 million high-speed train depot in Ashford at an event featuring the presentation of a new statue to mark the occasion, crafted by local artist, Joel Tarr. The artist was commissioned to create the striking statue of a red-topped crane, a bird that symbolizes good luck and longevity in Japan.

Karen Boswell OBE, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “We wanted to do something special to mark this anniversary. The team at Ashford work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to make sure passengers and our partners at Southeastern and HS1 can rely on a world-class high speed train service. Exceptional performance has been the springboard for Hitachi Rail to develop further in the UK. But we are very much still part of the community in Ashford and we will continue to be a good employer that supports local businesses, schools and charitable causes.”

Richard Thorp, Head of Route Engineering at HS1 Ltd added: “Today is all about recognising the efforts that have gone into delivering a decade of world class high speed rail. It is fantastic to be able to celebrate the success of HS1 with so many of our partners, who have helped us to achieve unrivalled efficiency and passenger satisfaction.”

IN BRIEF
Two contract awards
Carillion has revealed the signing of two contracts related to Network Rail’s Midland Mainline improvement programme. The first is a contract to upgrade the existing track and infrastructure on the London to Corby route, which is expected to generate revenues of £62 million for the Group. The latter contract between Carillion Powerlines and Network Rail is in respect of the Midland Mainline Electrification programme and is expected to generate revenue of £260 million over the next three years.

Report reveals scale of projects
A report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC) has revealed that the total global value of railwayrelated construction projects accounts for $5.15 trillion. Its findings show that the global projects pipeline is led by Asia, with a future projects portfolio worth an estimated $2.68 trillion. Elsewhere, Europe accounts for $1.13 trillion of pipeline projects, led by the $157 billion Moscow- Yekaterinburg High Speed Railway Line undertaking. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the Trump government is currently instituting a $1 trillion, ten-year infrastructure plan to boost the current $487.5 billion value of projects.

Safety silicone specialists
The SFS Manufacturing Group has received praise for the development of a new silicone sponge that meets the harmonised European fire/smoke and toxicity specifications of the rail industry. SFS’s new SP-RL grades of silicone sponge has the advantage of reduced weight and improved sealing performance. It also requires a smaller closure force than non-cellular silicones, enabling the use of thinner and lighter substrates. Independent testing has verified that these products meet EN45545-2 Hazard Level 3 for fire protection on railway vehicles, and UL94-V0 for electronics.

Signalling Santiago’s growth
Thales has supplied its Seltrac Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) solution, one of the most modern fully automated train control systems, for lines 3 and 6 of the Santiago Metro in Chile. A critical component of the solutions delivered by a consortium comprised of Spanish railcar maker CAF and Thales, Seltrac CBTC ensures safety and efficiency across the entire route, with a 90-second interval between trains, as lower longterm operating costs, and savings in traction power.

VTG makes history
Austrian rail experts VTG Rail Logistics has operated its first heavy haul train from Hungary. The train, with a gross weight of around 2075 tonnes and a cargo weight of just over 1500 tonnes, travelled from Hungary via Croatia and Slovenia to Italy, and represents a payload increase of some 350 tonnes on this route compared to previous shipments. “We are delighted to offer our customers an even more attractive range of services by way of the new heavy haul train,” said Günther J. Ferk, MD of VTG Rail Logistics Austria GmbH. “It enables us to make more efficient use of loading and unloading points and our customers benefit from cost savings owing to the greater loading capacity.”

Sella to boost station security
UK systems integration specialist, Sella Controls Limited, has been tasked with delivering Station Information and Security (SISS) enhancements across 26 stations in the Greater Manchester area. The contract, awarded by Arriva Rail North (ARN), will combine the addition of Customer Information Systems (CIS), Long-Line Public Address (LLPA) and Passenger Help Point (PHP) equipment across the network. The works will also include the delivery of CCTV support services to assist ARN with its own renewal programme.