Bridge with a view
Knight Architects and Arup have secured planning permission for a unique footbridge for Network Rail within the South Downs National Park.

Located near the site of the lost village of Tide Mills, East Sussex, the footbridge and approach walkways will replace the existing pedestrian level crossing. As part of Network Rail’s national public safety programme to replace level crossings, the footbridge will bring greatly improved public safety to a high-risk location and provide a vital link for the community in allowing safe access to Seaford Beach and the surrounding landscape.

By working with the South Downs National Park Authority and local interest groups, Network Rail and their designers have developed a bespoke proposal that aligns the interests of all parties for the benefit of public access and the safe enjoyment of the site.

The bridge design features a palette of natural and local materials to compliment the surrounding environment, while asymmetrical walkway parapets contrast timber parapets on the railway side with an open and transparent stainless-steel mesh on the landscape side, encouraging views across the landscape.

Sloped earth embankments, used for the lower portion of the ramped walkway, echo those forming the field boundaries and will appear to form a natural extension of the landscape, minimising the visible elements of the new structure.

Heavy charred timber profiles, and rounded beach cobble in the gabion retaining walls are also featured – overall, the elements combine to form a sensitive solution for a new footbridge over the railway line.

First-class fit out
News 157 bLincolnshire-based commercial interiors, fit out and construction firm APSS has completed refurbishment works on the London North Eastern Railway (LNER) first class lounge at Leeds train station – transforming the project from start to finish in just one week.

The first-class lounge has been designed in-line with the branding of the new Azuma train service, which launched in May of this year at Leeds train station. The works included a total fit out of the existing first-class lounge, designing and installing bespoke furniture, as well as decorating the space to fit in-line with Azuma trains.

First class travellers will now enjoy luxury facilities while visiting the transport hub; with APSS’s in-house joinery team having crafted and installed a new reception desk, coffee station and two interior plasterboard walls.

As well as designing and fitting out the interior, and creating and installing branded signage, APSS supplied and fitted new lighting across the lounge. APSS is one of a handful of fit out firms accredited by the Rail Safety Standards Board’s Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RSSB’s RISQS), with a four-star rating – meaning it is a reliable and credible supplier able to provide products and services to the Great British Rail industry.

Liverpool landmark
News 157 cSheffield manufacturer, Mechan, is ensuring a newly renovated rail depot in Liverpool has the lifting power to keep its maintenance roads operating efficiently. The lifting and handling specialist has installed a brand-new jib crane at the main doors of the Kirkdale depot, to transfer bogies to storage tracks at the side of the building.

Standing six and a half metres tall and spanning of a further six metres, the Powermaster 270 underbraced crane forms an eye-catching part of the extensive renovation work taking place at the depot.

Working with main contractor, BAM Nuttall, Mechan has designed and built the jib crane specifically to suit the refurbished facility. It has a capacity of eight tonnes, a powered 180-degree slew and as it is located outside, it has also been supplied with stainless steel pins and rollers to prevent corrosion.

Kirkdale is undergoing a multi-million-pound overhaul, in preparation for a new fleet of trains for the Liverpool City Region, which will be introduced into passenger service next year. They are being manufactured by Stadler, who will maintain them at this site.

Last weld celebration
News 157 dThe first phase of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension moved closer to operation on 18th Sept when the last piece of track was welded into place in Centenary Square.

The two-phase Birmingham Westside project follows the Metro extension from St. Chads to Grand Central, which opened for passenger service in May 2016. Once completed, services will operate between Grand Central and Hagley Road in Edgbaston, improving transport links in the heart of Birmingham, making journeys faster and more accessible, in turn helping businesses and supporting more jobs.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, commented on the achievement: “It is amazing to think that the track which is newly laid and welded in Centenary Square is now connected all the way to Wolverhampton, and within a few short years will further extend across even more of Birmingham and the Black Country.”

Construction for the new route commenced in June 2017 and along with four other tram extensions in the West Midlands, is being planned, designed and delivered by the Midland Metro Alliance on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which has embarked upon an ambitious plan to regenerate the region and provide new opportunities for residents and businesses.

Contactless in Oz
Cubic Corporation’s Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) business division has successfully completed the implementation of Sydney’s new Opal contactless payments system. Millions of commuters are now tapping their way across the huge transport network of buses, ferries, trains and light rail in Australia’s largest city by using their contactless credit or debit card, mobile phone, mobile device or Opal card. 1.4m unique contactless credit and debit cards have been used so far on the Opal network. In geographical terms, it’s the world’s largest contactless system covering 40,000 square kilometers – as big as Switzerland, Denmark or the Netherlands.

Help for the heritage
Dyer & Butler, a multi-disciplined engineering services specialist focused on essential infrastructure including airports, railways and highways, and part of M Group Services, has made a donation of surplus material from the refurbishment of St Erth railway station to the Helston Railway heritage line, including sleepers, buffer stops and the original platform coping from St Erth station. John Hartley, purchase and procurement director, Helston Railway pointed out how invaluable these will be for the construction of its new station at Prospidnick, near Helston, and he offered a very big thank you to Dyer and Butler.

Cable protection
With cable theft costing the UK rail network millions of pounds each year, Anderton Concrete is tackling the issue with the launch of its new innovative-patented product, Ander-fin. Ander-fin is a newly approved cable anchoring system, which is patent approved and can be used in conjunction with Anderton cable troughs to protect from metal theft.

Every reduced weight trough, which Anderton now manufactures, incorporates a slot in its base to allow Ander-fin to be fitted at the point of installation, which when used in unison creates a system that makes cable theft virtually impossible.

Investing in improvements
DB Cargo UK has started work on a multi-million programme of investment to improve track and rail infrastructure at three key sites. Over the next 12 months, the UK’s largest rail freight operator will replace more than 20km of track at its depots at Immingham in North Lincolnshire, Rotherham in South Yorkshire and Toton in Nottinghamshire.

DB Cargo UK’s Head of Safety and Operations Dave Ethell said the work was a major investment and would deliver significant operational improvements. “This investment will further improve the safety and reliability of those services we operate out of Rotherham, Immingham and Toton. These are the first of a number of strategically-important sites that we are investing in over the next five years, with others earmarked to follow,” he said.

“It will reduce the risk of derailments and improve the safety of our colleagues, ensuring minimal disruption to the services we operate for our customers. It’s excellent news,” he added.

Opportunity knocks in NZ
UK professionals are being sought to help lead construction of New Zealand’s first underground urban rail tunnel, among other major infrastructure works slated over the next decade.

Downer New Zealand, one the country’s largest infrastructure companies, is part of the Link Alliance building the NZ$4.4 billion City Rail Link in Auckland, including two 3.4km-long tunnels through New Zealand’s biggest and most populous city.

Downer’s executive general manager for Infrastructure Projects, John Burden, says City Rail Link is New Zealand’s biggest infrastructure project and will require specialist expertise. UK professionals who have experience working on the Crossrail, for instance, will be of significant value, he says.

Downer is hosting ‘Secure your future in New Zealand’ recruitment events during October in London and Manchester to fill a broad range of specialist roles across the country. Among the roles sought to be filled are project managers, commercial managers and quantity surveyors.