At Infrarail 2018, Rail Engineer will once again be hosting and arranging the keynote speakers and the technical seminar programme.

Tuesday 01/05/2018

10:30 –  Grand opening – Jon Shaw, chief engineer, Network Rail

Having started his career as a British Rail S&T maintenance trainee in the early 90s, Jon Shaw “re-joined” Network Rail in 2015 from Bombardier, where he was VP Engineering responsible for the design development and maintenance engineering of Bombardier’s trains across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Jon’s previous roles also include Global VP Engineering for Ansaldo STS based in Genoa and seven years working for Hitachi on the development and introduction of the Javelin trains onto HS1. A chartered engineer, Jon is a Fellow of both the IRSE and IET and following the award of a gold scholarship holds an MBA with distinction from the University of Manchester. Jon will be joined at the opening ceremony by Stephen Brooks, chairman of exhibition organizer Mack Brooks, and Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association.

11:10 – Condition-based Supply Chain – Dr David McGorman, managing director, Instrumental

Digital technology has been transforming business practices and processes for some time and the Industrial Revolution 4.0 is having a huge impact on all commercial sectors including the rail industry. The increasing expectations of passengers and government regulators are providing the impetus for train and network operators to invest in new systems and technology that will deliver long term financial and operational benefits. In his talk at Infrarail, Dr David McGorman will introduce the concept of an integrated condition-based supply chain – the seamless management of real-time data and information, combined with multiple data sources relating to the asset, to deliver increased operational efficiencies and maintenance savings. This concept brings together several existing and emerging technologies and capabilities into a complete Digital Eco-system. To power the system it needs data that is collected and combined from multiple sources. Condition Based Monitoring (CBM) sensors are one source of data but other useful information can be used to help monitor and predict the need for replacement parts.

11:50 – Keynote – Increased investment for the railway of the future – Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport

Over the next six years, the government will channel unprecedented investment into the country’s railway infrastructure with the goal of improving capacity, journey times and the passenger experience. Funding of £48 billion has already been earmarked for Network Rail for the period 2019-2024. Primarily for maintenance and improvements, as well as enhancements that are already planned, this represents an increase over the total spend of £40 billion over the previous five year period. When some additional key construction projects are added to this, the total will be far in advance of any investment that has gone before. In addition, the government is supporting and funding the construction of HS2, with services from London to Birmingham due to commence in 2026. This investment will total some £56 billion by the time phase two to Manchester and Leeds opens in 2033. And the government is funding, through Transport for London and the Lord Mayor, both a fleet of new trains for the deep tube on London Underground and the construction of Crossrail 2 which, subject to approvals and consents, should be underway by 2022. So, all in all, this is a time of major investment in the railway. It is now down to the industry to both make the most of the opportunity and to deliver for our ultimate customer, the paying passenger.

12:30 -RILA – mobile survey at linespeed. Too good to be true? – Trevor Burton, UK Programme Manager, Fugro

RILA is a train mounted mobile mapping system developed in the Netherlands and introduced to the UK rail network in 2013. The system has now received Network Rail Product Acceptance and is incorporated into Network Rail survey standards and considered as a ‘Business As Usual’ service. Capable of being mounted on both dedicated locomotives or on the rear of in-service passenger trains, the system collects absolute track position data and 3D point cloud data of the entire corridor whilst operating at linespeed. Survey information collected can be used for topographical survey, gauging, height and staggers. Negating the need for surveyors to be on or near the track in the acquisition of the survey data, RILA delivers a clearly defined health and safety benefit. But can it really deliver survey data suitable for design level applications? This seminar looks objectively at the use of the system and explores the opportunities and constraints of operating the system in the UK.

13:10 – FUU Synthetic Wood Technology – Dr Gunther Koller, Technical Consultant, Sekisui Chemical

Network Rail’s first FFU trial project took place in 2014, followed by others in 2015 and 2016. They certified this technology for the use on their network in 2017. London Underground installed their first project in 2016 and FFU got full acceptance by LUL. Iarnrod-Eireann installed their first bridge in Limerick with FFU in 2017. FFU stands for Fibre-reinforced Foamed Urethane and was developed in 1978 for use in railway sleepers and switch and crossing bearers. Since then, more than 1,400 km of track have been installed at switches and bridges in more than 25 countries. Installed for the first time in 1980, today 18.9 million tons a year currently pass over FFU sleepers. Inspected after 15, 20, 25, and 30 years in service, the sleepers show no cracks/warping, no changes in the colour of the surface layer, and no loose screw or spikes. As a result of these tests showed, FFU sleepers are estimated to have a service life of 50 years. FFU was also tested against applicable European standards, partly those concrete sleepers. The Technical University of Munich’s report was extremely positive for FFU in all areas. For example:

  • » Average extraction force: FFU 61kN, wood 35kN;
  • » Static load in centre: FFU 240kN, wood 80kN;
  • » No signs of fatigue after 2.5 million load cycles.

Based on these favourable results, the EBA (German Federal Railway Authority) granted full approval in 2017. As well as sleepers and bearers, FFU can be used for longitudinal baulks on bridges, and this will form part of the subject of this presentation.

13:50 – Asset Management: Performance Improvements and Maintenance Reviews – Mark Whiteaway, Leading Consultant and Quality Assurance Manager, BMT

The ability to manage assets effectively and efficiently is key to business success. There is a clear need to make traceable, transparent and better-informed decisions, drawing on a full-spectrum of evidence, analysis and data relating to asset performance. Recognising asset-related risks, and eliminating or reducing them where practicable, will ultimately reduce costs, recover and boost revenues and achieve an overall improvement in financial performance. While Strategic Maintenance Reviews (SMRs) have been undertaken for years, some of the softer skills and related activities, fundamental to maximise success, are often forgotten. In many cases the SMR leads to a need for significant change in order to realise many of the benefits. This may include the need for a robust communications and cultural change plan, an up-skilling of the work force and an overhaul of the supply chain and inventory holdings. The addition of new technology and ways of working are often also needed to optimise the asset mix and performance. On large fleets of assets, in international organisations that work within complex operating environments, understanding how to maximise output and benefit is not an easy task. However, putting in the effort to do so will allow better decision making to take place that should lead to asset performance optimisation and financial improvements.

14:30 – Wireless communication – an essential building block for Railway 4.0 – Ian Poulett, Head of Sales, Industrial Communication, Identification & Solutions Services, Siemens

When it comes to wireless applications in trains, most people think of on-board WLAN for passengers. However, wireless technology in the railway sector reaches beyond the scope of public Wi-Fi: such as in train to ground communication for vital and non-vital services, reading and retrieving operating data in the railway depot, remote maintenance, CCTV and other areas. Such applications are helping to reduce operating costs for train companies by improving overall communications, enabling remote monitoring, and extending long-term reliability and train uptime. Ultimately, they are contributing towards the concept of Railway 4.0 by enhancing preventive maintenance – which could help operators avoid train breakdowns altogether in the not-too-distant future. In this knowledge session, the audience will learn about digitalisation trends and their recent growth in the railway industry, and will receive a useful overview of the technological requirements and associated challenges – as well as the surprisingly simple and fast to install infrastructure needs – when working towards a wireless solution. How to upgrade to wireless communication whilst minimising disruption to the existing network will be explained. Effective communications with other systems form an essential part of this trend and the challenges of linking up different systems will be briefly covered. The audience will also receive an introduction to different use cases and the corresponding benefits they have brought those companies, their in-house operating teams and maintenance engineers, and ultimately, their end users and customers.

15:10 – Corrosion Protection of Steel by Hot Dip Galvanizing – Iqbal Johal, Marketing Manager, Galvanizers Association

This paper will provide a technical overview of hot-dip galvanizing that includes details about the galvanizing process, its unique coating characteristics, design, specification and comprehensive information on its performance. The presentation is intended to provide information for specifiers of the process with enough information to be confident in specifying it for steelwork. A project library of past and present projects is featured, alongside reference to case histories that highlight the performance of hot-dip galvanizing in a variety of environments. The Galvanizers Association has educated and informed professionals within the construction industry via the provision of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) presentations for well over 25 years. Founder members of the RIBA CPD Providers Network, the Galvanizers Association works closely with the Royal Institute of British Architects to continue to provide relevant information for specifiers across all sectors of the construction industry.

Wednesday 02/05/2018

10:30 – Keynote – The challenges faced by the industry over the next few years

In the five years from 2019 to 2024, the railway industry will have more money spent on it than ever before. £48 billion by Network Rail, yet more by the government on new enhancement programmes, new trains for main line franchises and London Underground – the picture does indeed look rosy. Except there are some areas where spending will reduce, the introduction of new technology is always fraught with more problems than expected, and external forces such as BREXIT could affect the balance of payments and jobs. This keynote speech, to be delivered by a senior member of the industry, will look at the challenges ahead and suggest ways to tackle them. Lessons can be learned from other sectors and countries, and then used to the best advantage of the British rail industry.

11:10 – The changing role of data and the impact of measurement techniques for design, planning and construction – Trevor Moore, Head of Infrastructure, Murphy Surveys

Measurement technology is moving at an incredible pace. New methods and tools for data collection, presentation and management of 3D information enable data to be captured faster and more accurately than ever before. Advancement of technologies such as UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), Laser Scanners (Dynamic and Static) and Photogrammetry enable data to be captured remotely, eliminating exposure to hazardous site conditions and making the whole process much safer than it has ever been. This seminar session will look at how rail surveying is changing, what the future holds for the data capture process and how clients can take advantage of the rapid pace of change…

  • Development and improvement of new and existing workflows for faster, accurate, cost effective and safer data capture;
  • Implementation of quality assurance procedures and digital construction workflows to minimise reworks, reduce delays and mitigate risk;
  • Developments in collaborative working environments to retrieve up to date data, quickly and easily, for more effective real-time decision making;
  • Increased use of BIM (Building Information Modelling), digital workflows and the use of 3D data to assist in the design, planning and visualisation of projects;
  • The changing role of the surveyor as data managers and a key link between stakeholders such as designers, engineers and quantity surveyors.

11:50 – A technical approach to product innovation and development: benefits for the customer – Dr Julia McDaid, Director of Technical and Product Development, Cubis Systems

Cubis Systems is Europe’s leading manufacturer of innovative, lightweight structural access chamber and cable protection systems used in the construction of infrastructure networks. Used within the rail and light rail markets, Cubis’ composite range of products offers clients a modular, lightweight, scalable system that can be built on-site, significantly reducing costs of in-situ construction through time savings. The Cubis approach to innovation in a ‘traditional’ industry has been to develop products from multiple lightweight material types that incorporate intelligent technical design features, and integrate together to replace more traditional construction materials such as brick and concrete. Dr Julia McDaid, director of technical and product development, will talk about how Cubis has developed a full range of integrated, modular access and cable protection products that offers the structural integrity of traditional build methods, with the flexibility, fire retardancy and cost saving benefits that modern design practices and leading contractors require for major global rail projects.

12:30 – Use of rail milling technology to extend rail life and eliminate defects – Elvis Kozica, International Sales Manager, Linsinger

Railways worldwide are confronted nowadays with both increasing passenger numbers and an increase in the freight tonnage moved every year by rail. In order to meet this challenge, railways are reorganizing themselves to provide a reliable service with no downtime. Due to the steadily growing frequency of the trains around the world, rail maintenance has become one of the biggest challenges. One of greatest threats to networks are head checks (rail cracks) and other railhead defects, often caused by rolling contact fatigue (RCF), which can dramatically increase the risk of rail failure, and reduce the lifetime of the rail. Removing the top surface of the rail is one way to eliminate the defects by cutting away the cracks. This is often done by grinding, which removes a small amount of material in each pass and so necessitates multiple passes. An alternative is to cut away the surface using milling, a proven method of metal removal. This presentation will give an insight into how the Rail Milling Technology can help to eliminate railhead defects as well as give technical details of the process itself.

13:10 – Electromagnetic capability for infrastructure and products: what do you have to do – Dr Rob Armstrong, Consultancy and Training Manager, York EMC Services – Eurofins York

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) is an important part of any project; be it large infrastructure projects for Network Rail, London Underground, Crossrail, or for products, systems and equipment to be supplied into the rail environment. EMC is a legal requirement that the railway and its equipment do not interfere with the correct operation of external radio communications and broadcast services, and therefore needs to be treated properly at the very start of a project’s life cycle. This presentation will explain what designers of infrastructure, products, and project managers need to do in order to comply with UK and European legislation, Network Rail requirements and general EMC compliance. It will guide and advise delegates through the EMC process from management and strategy, through risk assessment, reviews and testing (if required), to the final EMC documentation for the project. For products and equipment, a Declaration of Conformity is required to back up the CE mark that is needed to place products on the market in the UK and the EU. Common pitfalls, requirements and examples will be included in this presentation. Dr Amstrong’s presentation will be essential viewing for anyone involved in building or supplying electronic or electrical equipment to the rail environment.

13:50 – VMS Compact Colour Light Signal and Combined Alphanumeric Route Indicator – Mark Johnson, Technical Sales Manager, VMX Variable Message Signs

Mark Johnson will present some recent signalling developments that will enable signals and indicators to be deployed in locations with space restrictions. Firstly VMS has developed a compact version of the current MKII Colour Light Signal. As well as reducing the overall size of the signal a number of features have been introduced to make signal replacement simpler. The four-aspect signal will also be available with a reduced separation of the double yellow; which is of particular interest for ground mount applications where the maximum height for signals is extremely restricted. The technology used in VMS route indicators has allowed a MKII Standard Alphanumeric Route Indicator (SARI) to be configured to also display Miniature Alphanumeric Route Indicator (MARI) aspects as well as the standard size characters. This new signal type will be known as a Combined Alphanumeric Route Indicator (CARI). Combining the functionality of two different indicator types into one has clear benefits for locations where space does not allow separate units to be used. Mark will include in his presentation a description of the technologies employed in these new innovative signals and the design processes that allow these developments to be introduced in extremely short timescales.

14:30 – Efficient digitisation of the rail network environment – Raphael Goudard, Mobile Mapping Segment Manager, Hexagon Geosystems

Ageing infrastructure, growing populations and mass influx to urban centres present rail network operators with many challenges. To meet the ever-increasing demand, networks must find ways to efficiently build, maintain and modernise railways. This can be achieved through a series of undertakings that digitise an entire network. From platforms to tracks to catenary, when a rail network is digitised, stakeholders are able to best see the entire picture and make more informed decisions. In this presentation, Raphael Goudard will present case studies from around the globe of Hexagon’s solutions to capture, measure, analyse and visualise rail networks that help to keep passengers safe and arrive at their destinations on time. He will further explore applications in digitising rail networks. He will start with 3D rail surveying where the reality capture of the tracks and all surrounding network assets builds the basis for a rail digital reality. He will then dive deeper into maintenance and planning for rail, identifying how operators can pinpoint the most critical areas in need of upgrade. Following this, Raphael will delve into safety and emergency management, explaining how stakeholders can predict and mitigate hazardous situations. Finally, he will look at asset management, discussing how GIS enables rail professionals to keep networks working at optimal conditions.

15:10 – Network Rail & Dura Composites collaborate on Fire Testing Standards – Stuart Burns, Managing Director, Dura Composites

Dura Composites, supplier of composite products for the rail industry, has been working closely with Network Rail to put in place stringent fire safety standards for composite products used for important evacuation routes, such as station platforms, as well as non-evacuation routes including bridge walkways, stairways and trackside solutions. As composite materials are playing an increasingly important role in the rail industry thanks to their high strength to weight ratio and huge durability, Network Rail wanted to update its fire safety specification requirements aligned to particular test standards for certain common applications. Working with Dura Composites’ commercial director and materials science expert, Tom Bowman, classifications have been developed that cover both structural (evacuation) and non-structural (non-evacuation) applications and include fire tests such as flame spread, burn-time and load bearing testing. All Network Rail projects are obligated to use products that meet the relevant British and European Fire Safety Standards for the application in question. Working with both the railway infrastructure and construction industries, including Network Rail, London Underground, Crossrail and major rail contractors, Dura Composites is pleased to be able to confirm it exceeds all Network Rail specified fire safety requirements as part of its standard specification.

Thursday 03/05/2018

10:30 – Keynote – HS2: a lasting legacy – Lorna Pimlott, Phase Two Sponsorship Director, HS2

HS2 will have a transformative effect on travel in Britain. It will form the new high-speed backbone of the country’s rail network, connecting eight out of 10 of Britain’s largest cities with a fast, frequent and reliable 21st-century service. It will change our concept of geography, shrinking distance and bringing businesses and people closer together. Just as our generation benefits from the engineering skills of the Victorians, so future British generations will be using the infrastructure we build now well into the 22nd century as HS2 will have a design life of over 100 years. So we have a responsibility to build HS2 to the highest standard and with the most flexible and adaptable design. If we do this properly, we have a huge opportunity to grow the skills base in Britain. Over the next 15 years, thousands of young people will be trained and work on HS2 construction, providing a lasting legacy to the UK infrastructure industry of highly skilled and experienced people. The opportunities for the UK supply chain will be huge too. If we provide the right incentives for innovation and engineering brilliance, we can help create a new high-speed rail industry in Britain that is the envy of the world. HS2 is not a standalone project. It will be integrated into other projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail and the existing local and regional transport network. Regions and cities are already working to get the best out of HS2 for local people with long-term economic and regeneration plans. In this way, HS2 will help get the best out of Britain too.

11:10 – Geosynthetics: What are they and what is their relevance in Rail Engineering? – Dave Woods, Head of Application Management, Low & Bonar

Geosynthetics; polymeric textiles, geogrids, mats and geofoam are used in reinforcement, drainage, filtration, erosion control and as lightweight fill materials. They are one of the last developments within the field of geotechnical engineering and can still be seen as a new material form and a risk by the broader civil engineering community, in spite of their successful implementation on a wide range of schemes over the last 30 years. In rail applications, geosynthetics can be used to provide filtration, separation and reinforcement of the ballast/subsoil interface to reduce trackbed deformation and can also incorporate metallic elements to allow for remote monitoring of the interface to better plan maintenance work. Grids, drainage and erosion control fabrics can be used to repair failing embankment and cutting slopes or to facilitate track widening whilst reinforced soil walls can provide solutions for both temporary and permanent bridge abutments and retaining walls. Wick drains, encased stone columns or lightweight fill materials can be used to enable construction over fill materials liable to consolidation settlement whilst reinforced platforms can improve the bearing capacity of poor soils. This presentation aims to give a brief introduction to the range and applications of geosynthetics and explain their relevance to rail engineering and the cost, time and environmental benefits to be gained by their proper application.

11:50 – Technical expertise for building stronger railways – Stephen Lewis, Consultant, Rail Technologies, British Steel

British Steel is helping to build stronger futures for high speed, heavy duty, mixed traffic, metro and tramway networks both with its rails and also its know-how. Rail technologies consultant Stephen Lewis will discuss two different aspects of rail technical services, both areas to help improve operational efficiency and network performance. Joining rails is an essential part of building and maintaining any rail network. With a wealth of welding experience and knowledge, it is no surprise that people call in British Steel experts when they require help, whether they’re looking for help with compliance to international standards, improving static, mobile or even repair welding processes. In his presentation, Steve will give some practical examples of solving real welding challenges. Light rail systems are an essential part of many plans for sustainable and connected cities. Smart and targeted management of the rail asset is a vital part of keeping commuters and shoppers on the move cost effectively. The infrastructure space shared by road, rail and people poses some extra challenges to keeping this multi-use space running smoothly and Steve will describe some of the ways practical asset intelligence assists in extracting the best life of the rail asset.

12:30 – Advances in rail surveying using digital image processing – Phil Storr, Director, MRL Eye (Aerialtronics)

This presentation will look at how using the latest image capture technology with commercial unmanned aerial vehicle technology results in highly accurate digital mapping of railway infrastructure. Combining these two new technologies provides infrastructure operators and asset managers with powerful insight into structures and equipment enabling critical points of failure to be identified earlier, thereby instigating timely interventions, reducing service outages and improving whole life cycle costs of assets. Capturing this data and processing it more intelligently empowers asset owners to make smarter decisions through a quicker and more effective workflow. This is important as the UK rail network has over 20,000 miles of track and 40,000 structures, all of which require regular inspection, monitoring and maintenance. Furthermore, when considering that this work is still predominantly completed through traditional inspection methods and data processing techniques, the ability to complete this work in weeks rather months also supports more timely and effective business decisions. This presentation, through a number of case studies, gives insight into the advances in rail surveying using digital image processing and how combining the two emerging technologies of UAV’s and data processing can change how assets are managed.

13:10 – Modelling of rail traction and power distribution systems – Derek Smith, Business Development Director, ETAP Automation

City and state-wide growth and development often requires reinforcement on both train and power distribution systems to provide safe, reliable, and robust train operations. An optimized design requires multi-scenarios analysis of traction operation and traction infrastructure, considering substation locations, capacity, reliability assessment, centralized database, rolling stock considerations, varying track configuration and schedules, as well as the associated capital cost and energy demand. Hence, a solution for addressing the key industry challenges for design and operation of rail traction systems is needed, one which will eliminate guesswork using real-time data. In addition, interactions between traction operation and power distribution network must be analysed to understand the reliability of train performance during normal operation, network disturbances and other unplanned events. eTraX provides such a solution platform for the design, analysis, prediction, optimization, operation and automation of AC and DC railway traction power systems, low voltage auxiliary, signalling power supply, and high voltage grid distribution system. Using advanced geospatial asset information and views, eTraX provides an intelligent model for electrical network life-cycle management to analyse train operation vs. substation performance, predict the behaviour of rolling stock, verify / size system infrastructure, and evaluate energy consumption and losses of rail infrastructure.


Read more: Infrarail 2018 – ready to ExCeL!