On the right track

Total Rail Solutions’ flexible fleet and strong customer service offering keep the on-track plant hire provider at the forefront of UK’s railway industry

The three Ps of people, plant, and processes are the foundations upon which Total Rail Solutions (TRS) has developed its business. The leading on-track plant hire contractor places special emphasis on equipping itself with the right machines and the acquisition of every new vehicle is driven entirely by the company’s customers and the specific needs they have for their separate projects. Aspiring to employ innovative ways to meet these requirements, TRS evolves its fleet all the time, as a result of which, 80 per cent of it is less than three years old.

When we last featured TRS in our magazine at the back end of 2018, we were nothing short of astonished by the continual investment activity that was going on at the company. For the short TRS 159 bperiod of just four years, it had significantly expanded its road-rail vehicle (RRV), in-house transport, and van fleets, demonstrating in practice what creating an exceptional customer service experience meant to it.

By the looks of it, the rail plant hire specialist has carried on in a similar vein ever since. The evidence for this are the three new, limited-edition Scania V8 Silver Knights, TRS took delivery of in November 2019. Purchased to support its growing RRV fleet, the trucks were provided by Keltruck – Europe’s largest independently-owned Scania distributor.

Keeping a close eye on the professional development of its workforce, TRS provides regular training to upskill its 300-strong staff to ensure that they have the competencies and know-how for every job they undertake. In doing so, the plant hire specialist fulfils its commitment to taking care of the wellbeing of the people who work for it, which include POS supervisors, crane controllers, machine controllers, plant operatives, and contingent labour. It is not a surprise, then, that TRS maintains one of the highest retention rates across its industry.

Deriving from the idea that it has a duty to look after what it regards as its most valuable asset – namely its employees – the company also manifests strong focus on ensuring that its people are safe in everything they do. TRS’ comprehensive behavioural strategy, titled ‘Destination Total Safety’ involves constant and all-encompassing monitoring of the business’ activities to make sure that the health, safety, and welfare of staff and customers alike is guaranteed at all times. Through collaboration, awareness, and management leadership, the organisation aims to set the highest health and safety standards and lead by example by challenging unsafe acts; reducing risks through proper planning and process execution; and communicating with each other, giving and accepting feedback, and acting upon it.

As part of ‘Destination Total Safety’, TRS also actively promotes the Network Rail Lifesaving Rules and is a member of the British Safety Council. In addition, the organisation holds a wealth of approvals and accreditations, including BS EN ISO 9001 (for quality), BS EN ISO 14001 (for the environment), BS EN ISO 45001 (for health and safety), and FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) Bronze Membership.

In fact, one of the highlights of 2019 for the business was its maintaining of the FORS Bronze standard. Early in the year, the company passed its annual on-site re-approval audit to once again TRS 159 cprove that it employs good fleet management practices and complies with the requirements laid out by the FORS standard. Among these are dedication to the safety of drivers and vehicles and continuous improvement of operating practices through the effective monitoring of fuel and tyre usage.

Having grown a multifunctional fleet of RRVs and developed capable teams, TRS has the ability to support all types of rail projects on Network Rail, London Underground, and other infrastructures. These include rail infrastructure and civils, permanent way, and electrification. While its services can fall under three broad areas – RRV hire and POS services, multi-disciplined labour provision, and subcontract management and project delivery – the company strives to keep its operations flexible, so it can tailor its solutions to meet the exact needs of each of its customers.

Another strategic advantage TRS has obtained, is its 24/7/365 availability. The company makes use of its diverse RRV plant and large number of professionals to deploy its equipment and expertise fast, whenever required. Moreover, its services are also facilitated by the strategic network of depots across the UK it has developed. Following a major investment in its transport management capabilities, including the purchase of a variety of articulated lorries, low loaders, rigid hiabs, and flatbed vehicles, TRS now carries out more than 80 per cent of equipment deliveries in-house, having thus enhanced its reliability and deepened its customer relationships.

Going forward, the rail plant hire specialist will be looking to cement its reputation of an industry leader, which is always willing to enrich the field with new innovative practices.

With a versatile and wide-ranging fleet of vehicles, an experienced team of conscientious professionals, and a well-linked network of depots, it looks as if there is nothing but future growth in store for TRS.