Proven track record
Pod-Trak has enjoyed rapid success since its inception in 2007, with its wealth of specialist experience and expertise making it a sought-after provider of efficient and innovative engineering solutions for Rail Systems and Infrastructure Projects
It is a clear marker of Pod-Trak’s immense progress in recent years that the multidisciplinary engineering solutions provider has just won its biggest contract to date on behalf of the Morgan Sindall Volker Fitzpatrick Joint Venture, valued in excess of £16 million. To put things into perspective, it needs to be established that the usual value of schemes Pod-Trak undertakes ranges between £200,000 and £8 million. Evidently, the company is moving to the next stage of its development and we have its Founder and Managing Director, Paul O’Donnell to talk about the milestones Pod-Trak has reached, its most successful projects and its aspirations for the future.
“With regards to this particular project with MSVF JV, we were awarded a contract at Barking Riverside to install five kilometres of new track and overhead line equipment. This also includes modifications to all the existing track arrangement on the up and down Barking lines,” Paul comments. “Over the past few years, we have developed strong relationships with many of the Tier 1 contractors and we will continue to grow these relationships going forward.”
While the project in question falls under the remit of Pod-Trak’s Rail Systems division, the company has two other main departments, which it aims to grow in parallel. The Infrastructure Projects division covers all Power, Aviation, Communications and Transport sectors’ civil engineering outside of rail; and the Plant Hire business manages the hire of road rail plant and civils plant. To successfully deliver its projects, Pod-Trak has a comprehensive fleet of vehicles it has also made available to its clients to add extra value to its offering.
Returning to some of the work the company has completed for clients in the past, in order to illustrate in greater detail Pod-Trak’s capabilities, Paul singles out its involvement in the installation of a new line on the West Anglia Main Line to service a new station at Meridian Water. “We were contracted to take care of multiple aspects on this six-kilometre length of track. This included all track drainage, bridge abutments and formation works, as well as the installation of all track and overhead line, including HV connections and modifications to the existing substation to power the line.
“Another complex project we assisted with was for London Underground. As Principal Contractor at Leytonstone Underground Station, Pod-Trak undertook all surveys, design and installation of new assets, platform surfacing and drainage whilst all the while maintaining operational use. The team achieved several firsts during this project – in particular, London Underground’s Beacon Award for World Class Welfare and Site Set-Up.”
Pod-Trak has also left its mark on several other key projects in London. For five years now, the company has been working on Thameslink Programme’s Key Output Phase 2, supporting Balfour Beatty on the reconstruction of London Bridge Station. “We have been carrying out a lot of the lineside civils works including under-track crossings, relocatable equipment building bases, route works and some conductor rail works,” Paul explains.
“We were also contracted by SSE to do all the groundworks and concrete works for the installation of two Signal Equipment Rooms at Rickmansworth and Amersham Stations as part of London Underground’s 4LM programme where we also delivered all the necessary piling and steel installation works.”
In 2018, Pod-Trak established a new division and started contracting in Ireland, having identified a break in the market there. Paul details: “We have recently completed a project to install all the communications cabling at a new Center Parcs facility which has been built in County Longford. We are also working on Luas (Dublin’s light rail network) and on the Belfast Hub Railway project.”
The geographic expansion that has occurred at Pod-Trak has motivated the company to restructure in a way that will enable it to offer 24/7 regional delivery on all of its projects moving forward. “We feel that giving more of a regional focus on delivery is key for good client relationships. In June this year we opened a new depot in Bristol to support our activities in Wales and the West of England and this will compliment our existing offices in Doncaster, Manchester and London, giving us better national coverage and quicker response times.”
Looking to secure its sustainable growth, Pod-Trak has spent circa £2 million on new plant in the last year. In Paul’s opinion this continual improvement will open up new opportunities for the company to serve its customers better. “With the business expanding, we have big plans for the future, as we look at new ideas to add to our proposition.”
Paul concludes; “This is essentially what we want to continue doing in the future. We want to continuously improve our services, because we see that our clients 45appreciate the ‘can-do’ attitude we demonstrate. To this end, we will need to invest further not just in plant, but also in our people, whose commitment and conscientious approach is what has made Pod-Trak so successful thus far.”