Lots of work
BakerHicks has been appointed to Network Rail’s Design Services Framework for Control Period 6 (CP6) to provide track, electrification and plant, and geotechnical services. As James Howles, rail director at BakerHicks, explained, the company has a long and successful track record in the rail industry, working on major infrastructure projects such as the Acton Depot train maintenance unit and the design of the new station at Stanford Le Hope in Essex. “It’s great to see this recognised through our appointment to the Design Services Framework,” he added.

“The goals of the framework are closely aligned to our own values as a design organisation and I look forward to working with Network Rail to help develop safe and reliable railways for the ever-increasing number of passengers choosing to travel by rail.”

The Design Services Framework covers design, technical and engineering consultancy services for upgrade and maintenance projects up to £640m in value for all categories of railway assets across Network Rail’s estate. It will cover the full duration of CP6 (2019 to 2024) and consists of four national multi-discipline Lots and 40 regional single discipline Lots.

BakerHicks has been appointed to three regional Lots: the first (Lot 40) to provide track assessment and design services in the South West; the second (Lot 24) for electrification and plant – contact systems, including ETE, OLE and third rail design, in the North East; and the third (Lot 17) to provide geotechnical investigation, assessments and design, including drainage, earthworks and contamination services, in the North West and Scotland.

Rail report
For UK Rail to achieve the best possible passenger outcomes and retain its role as an essential transport mode in the long term, industry needs to take bold action and look beyond short-term or isolated horizons. This is according to a new report, ‘Changing Track: The Future of Rail’, by PA Consulting, the global innovation and transformation consultancy.

The research was based on using long-term scenario planning and the views of over 200 transport leaders across Europe, including Network Rail, Rail Delivery Group, ORR, Crossrail and several leading train operating companies.

Charlotte Warburton, Global Head of Rail, PA Consulting, says: “We’ve turned extensive research into a meaningful set of insights to support the industry as it adapts and transforms, pushing rail further, faster. As we anticipate deep and lasting industry reform, our report offers a tangible framework to help navigate the complexities of change and deliver a brighter future for rail in the UK.”

The report suggests that rail must plan for 2050, rather than the end of CP6 and sets out five key steps on how industry can work together to deliver improvements across the railway, in particular how to create a unified vision for rail and focus on delivering improved outcomes for passengers. It also anticipates the recommendations of the imminent Williams Rail Review, directly outlining where reform can be best harnessed to ensure that rail retains its role as an essential transport mode in the UK.

The report can be downloaded here: https://www2.paconsulting.com/futureofrail.html

On the up down under
Industry News 159 bTechnology from rail safety specialist, Zonegreen, has been chosen to protect workers at a second high-tech train maintenance facility in Australia. The country’s Downer Group specified the Sheffield-based firm’s safety system for a new build depot in Melbourne, being constructed as part of the State Government’s High Capacity Metro Trains project.

Zonegreen’s flagship Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS™) has been installed at Bombardier Wulkuraka in Queensland for three years and Evolution Rail – a consortium comprising Downer, CRRC and Plenary – was keen to equip its latest facility, Pakenham East, with the same levels of staff safety.

With the help of Australian partners, Andrew Engineering, DPPS has been successfully installed on 16 road ends at the new maintenance and stabling facility, which can accommodate 30 of the 65 seven-car electric trains being built for the metropolitan network in Melbourne.

Commissioning was completed in August and Zonegreen’s DPPS now provides physical protection for staff working in the depot through the use of powered derailers. It is controlled by intuitive road end panels, operated by electronic datakeys, that allow staff to create safe zones in which to work. The system also incorporates visual and audible warnings, indicating when vehicle movements have been authorised.

Further protection is provided through a signalling interface that prevents routes into the shed being set whilst personnel are logged onto on specific roads.

Projects on track
Industry News 159 cA drainage and access cover manufacturer is making inroads to the transport infrastructure market after completing deals on several high-profile rail projects. Fabweld Steel Products has supplied its flagship FAB PAVE™ covers to schemes in the Midlands and London that will provide improved travel links for travellers.

The covers give access to below ground services such as drainage or power networks whilst blending the floor’s paving to provide a seamless surface. They are typically used in areas that demand a prestige finish.

More than 100 were supplied for the new Worcester Parkway terminal – the development includes three 265 metre long platforms, a main station building, a pedestrian footbridge and surrounding landscaping. The covers are located across the site and were supplied via sub-contractor Pronin Ltd.

FSP also delivered 24 FAB PAVE sealed and lockable access covers for the £17.8m redevelopment of the White Hart Lane overground station in north London to the Joseph Gallagher Group. The project includes a new station building with ticket hall and entrance and step-free access from street to platform.

Furthermore, FAB PAVE covers were also supplied to Colas Rail for landscaping around extensions to the Midlands Metro network in Wolverhampton and Birmingham city centres.

Rail growth
Newly published Port of Gothenburg freight figures for 2019 showed that container volumes at the Port of Gothenburg rose for the second year in succession. In total, 456,000 TEU were transported through the port by rail – this is the largest rail volume in the port’s 400-year history.“Growth in rail volumes is reassuring on several levels. It confirms that our investment in the port’s transshipment potential and rail infrastructure is the right path to follow,” said Elvir Dzanic, Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive.

Contract win
telent has announced it has been awarded three single discipline regional framework contracts to deliver design services by Network Rail. telent is amongst 34 suppliers which will provide design services for telecoms in the North East, South West and North West and Scotland for Network Rail from 2020 onwards. As part of the £640m contract, Network Rail has announced it has awarded 82 framework contracts to deliver design services across the country. This follows telent’s recent contract win to deliver free Wi-Fi to millions of passengers at Britain’s busiest railway stations as part of Network Rail’s Put Passengers First plan.

Online benchmarking
Buyers in the rail industry can now compare suppliers’ capabilities using a new benchmarking tool through the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS). The new online benchmarking tool provides a measure of suppliers’ maturity based on information acquired through the verification process. This supports buyers’ decision making by enabling them to benchmark the companies they have shortlisted.

Suppliers will be able to see their own results and measure their performance against their peers. With this information, suppliers can focus on improving areas of lower maturity and drive up standards across the supply chain.

Tailored ticketing
Corethree – Europe’s largest mobile ticketing and data insights provider – is launching a suite of tailored products that make it simple, fast and cost-effective for transport operators – whatever their size – to get up and running with m-ticketing from the industry’s largest provider. The new range comprises carefully designed, scalable products with additional features-on-demand. These ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions will enable more transport operators to deliver data-driven service optimisation and enhanced customer experiences based on insights from passenger behaviour and preferences.

Good work at Heathrow
Customers have named Heathrow Express the best rail service in the UK for the fourth time running with 96 per cent Overall Satisfaction in the Autumn 2019 National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS).

The result puts Heathrow Express two per cent above any other operator and 14 per cent ahead of the national average of 82 per cent. Speed and reliability remain the stand out results at 98 per cent and 95 per cent respectively demonstrating the value of the non-stop service to airport customers.

Innovative IT
ProRail, the Dutch railway Infrastructure Manager, has awarded Hit Rail B.V., the European rail industry’s IT specialist, a ten-year contract for the hosting and operation of the Common Interface (CI). The CI is the standard solution for interoperable connectivity for the European Union’s TAF (Freight) and TAP (Passenger) Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) and is recommended by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA).

With effect from October 2019, Hit Rail has installed and is now hosting and operating the CI by providing it to ProRail as Software as a Service (SaaS) on its cloud IT platform, hosted at Amazon AWS. Hit Rail’s cloud platform is a robust, reliable and scalable IT infrastructure on which to offer new, innovative IT services to railway companies.