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Written by engineers, for engineers…
Training and development, health and wellbeing, employee engagement and international affairs
Marc joined Rail Media in 2012. With a background in print journalism, Marc initially covered the international rail market before taking over as the editor of RailStaff in December 2017.
An NCTJ-qualified journalist, Marc has written extensively about the industry's skills challenge, HSEQ topics and has covered numerous major projects, including Birmingham New Street, HS2, 4LM and Crossrail.
Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews
Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.
A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.
Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.
Signalling and telecommunications, traffic management, digital railway
Clive Kessell joined British Rail as an Engineering Student in 1961 and graduated via a thin sandwich course in Electrical Engineering from City University, London. He has been involved in railway telecommunications and signalling for his whole working life. He made telecommunications his primary expertise and became responsible for the roll out of Cab Secure Radio and the National Radio Network during the 1970s. He became Telecommunications Engineer for the Southern Region in 1979 and for all of BR in 1984.
Appointed Director, Engineering of BR Telecommunications in 1990, Clive moved to Racal in 1995 with privatisation and became Director, Engineering Services for Racal Fieldforce in 1999. He left mainstream employment in 2001 but still offers consultancy services to the rail industry through Centuria Comrail Ltd.
Clive has also been heavily involved with various railway industry bodies. He was President of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) in 1999/2000 and Chairman of the Railway Engineers Forum (REF) from 2003 to 2007. He continues as a member of the IRSE International Technical Committee and is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.
A chartered engineer, Clive has presented many technical papers over the past 30 years and his wide experience has allowed him to write on a wide range of topics for Rail Engineer since 2007.
Rolling stock, depots, Scottish and Russian railways
David Shirres joined British Rail in 1968 as a scholarship student and graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Sussex University. He has also been awarded a Diploma in Engineering Management by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
His roles in British Rail included Maintenance Assistant at Slade Green, Depot Engineer at Haymarket, Scottish DM&EE Training Engineer and ScotRail Safety Systems Manager.
In 1975, he took a three-year break as a volunteer to manage an irrigation project in Bangladesh.
He retired from Network Rail in 2009 after a 37-year railway career. At that time, he was working on the Airdrie to Bathgate project in a role that included the management of utilities and consents. Prior to that, his roles in the privatised railway included various quality, safety and environmental management posts.
David was appointed Editor of Rail Engineer in January 2017 and, since 2010, has written many articles for the magazine on a wide variety of topics including events in Scotland, rail innovation and Russian Railways. In 2013, the latter gave him an award for being its international journalist of the year.
He is also an active member of the IMechE’s Railway Division, having been Chair and Secretary of its Scottish Centre.
Tunnels and bridges, historic structures and construction techniques, railway safety
Graeme Bickerdike's association with the railway industry goes back to the mid-nineties when he was contracted to produce safety awareness videos and printed materials aimed at the on-track community. This led to him heading a stream of work to improve the way safety rules are communicated and understood - ultimately simplifying them - for which he received the IRSE’s Wing Award for Safety in 2007.
In 2005, Graeme launched a website to catalogue and celebrate some of the more notable disused railway structures which still grace Britain’s landscape. Several hundred have since had their history researched and a photographic record captured. A particular focus has been the construction methods adopted by Victorian engineers and contractors; as a result, the site has become a useful resource for those with asset management responsibilities.
Graeme has been writing for Rail Engineer for the past ten years, generally looking at civil engineering projects and associated issues. He has a deep appreciation of the difficulties involved in building tunnels and viaducts through the 19th Century, a trait which is often reflected in his stories.
Structures, railway systems, railway construction, digital data
Grahame Taylor started his railway career as a sandwich course student with British Railways in October 1965, during which he had very wide experience of all aspects of railway civil engineering.
By privatisation, he was in charge of all structural and track maintenance for the Regional Railways’ business in the North West of England.
In 1996, he became an independent consultant, setting up his own company that specialised in the capturing of railway permanent way engineering knowledge using the then-new digital media. As a skilled computer programmer he has developed railway control systems and continues to exploit his detailed knowledge of all railway engineering and operations.
He started to write for Rail Engineer in 2006, and became editor two years later. During this time, he has written over 250 wide-ranging articles and editorials, all the while encouraging the magazine’s more readable style of engineering reporting.
Conventional and slab-track, permanent way, earthworks and embankments, road-rail plant
Chris Parker has worked in the rail industry since 1972, beginning with British Rail in the civil engineering department in Birmingham and ending his full-time employment at Network Rail HQ in London in 2004. In between, he worked in various locations including Nottingham, Swindon, Derby and York.
His BR experience covered track and structures, design and maintenance, followed by a move into infrastructure management. During the rail privatisation process he was a project manager setting up the Midlands Zone of Railtrack, becoming Zone Civil Engineer before moving into Railtrack HQ in London.
Under Network Rail, he became Track Maintenance Engineer, representing his company and the UK at the UIC and CEN, dealing with international standards for track and interoperability, making full use of his spoken French skills.
Chris is active in the ICE and PWI. He started writing for Rail Engineer in 2006, and also writes for the PWI Journal and other organisations.
Structures, track, environment, health and safety
Collin Carr studied civil engineering at Swansea University before joining British Rail Eastern Region as a graduate trainee in 1975.
Following various posts for the Area Civil Engineer in Leeds, Collin became Assistant Engineer for bridges, stations and other structures, then P Way engineer, to the Area Civil Engineer in Exeter. He then moved on to become the Area Civil Engineer Bristol.
Leading up to privatisation of BR, Collin was appointed the Infrastructure Director for InterCity Great Western with responsibility for creating engineering organisations that could be transferred into the private sector in a safe and efficient manner. During this process Collin was part of a management buyout team that eventually formed a JV with Amey. He was appointed Technical Director of Amey Rail in 1996 and retired ten years later as Technical Transition Director of Amey Infrastructure Services.
Now a self-employed Consultant, Collin has worked with a number of clients, including for RSSB managing an industry confidential safety reporting system known as CIRAS, an industry-wide supplier assurance process (RISAS) and mentoring and facilitating for a safety liaison group of railway infrastructure contractors, the Infrastructure Safety Leadership Group (ISLG).
Signalling and telecommunications, cyber security, level crossings
Paul Darlington joined British Rail as a trainee telecoms technician in September 1975. He became an instructor in telecommunications and moved to the telecoms project office in Birmingham, where he was involved in designing customer information systems and radio schemes. By the time of privatisation, he was a project engineer with BR Telecommunications Ltd, responsible for the implementation of telecommunication schemes included Merseyrail IECC resignalling.
With the inception of Railtrack, Paul moved to Manchester as the telecoms engineer for the North West. He was, for a time, the engineering manager responsible for coordinating all the multi-functional engineering disciplines in the North West Zone.
His next role was head of telecommunications for Network Rail in London, where the foundations for Network Rail Telecoms and the IP network now known as FTNx were put in place. He then moved back to Manchester as the signalling route asset manager for LNW North and led the control period 5 signalling renewals planning. He also continued as chair of the safety review panel for the national GSM-R programme.
After a 37-year career in the rail industry, Paul retired in October 2012 and, as well as writing for Rail Engineer, is the managing editor of IRSE News.
New and innovative technology, signalling (particularly on narrow gauge and industrial networks), telecommuications and fibre-optics
Stuart Marsh has had a lifelong interest in railways, especially in railway signalling. He blames this on his grandfather and uncle, who were both railway signalmen.
However, having graduated from Bangor University with a Joint Honours degree, Stuart decided to pursue a career in business. He now finds himself the owner and Managing Director of two companies. Highblade Cables, which he started in 1985, produces cables, wiring looms, fibre optics and racking hardware for the electronics, telecommunications and data communications industries. Thirty years later his business is still going strong.
Unable to keep away from railways, Stuart has worked for many years as a volunteer signalling technician on several heritage lines. This outlet for Stuart's skills in electrical and mechanical engineering led eventually in 2008 to the formation of his second manufacturing company.
Signal Aspects Ltd designs and produces specialised and bespoke signalling equipment, mainly for minor and industrial railways. Its products include LED signal lamps, route indicators, train detection equipment and electric point machines. Indeed, it was his development of a new point machine, designed specifically for narrow gauge railways, that led to his debut article for Rail Engineer magazine.
Stuart has since become a regular contributing writer, covering a host of topics ranging from the capture of newts to major resignalling schemes.
Electrification, traction power supplies and distribution networks
Peter Stanton undertook, between 1968 and 1972, a ‘thin sandwich’ degree course at City University, London, sponsored by British Railways Midlands Region and with practical training at Crewe and Willesden.
In 1980, following a spell as Area Maintenance Engineer at King’s Cross, Peter took on the interesting and challenging role of being the Personal Assistant to the British Railways Board Member for Engineering. As such, he was project manager for several major inter-regional inter-functional schemes.
Under Railtrack, Peter became Engineering Manager for Infrastructure Contracts, based in Birmingham, and then Electrification and Plant specialist for the West Coast Route Modernisation under Network Rail.
Since 2007, as an independent consultant, he has worked on the national electrification programme, Dubai Metro Red Line, Network Rail Crossrail, and Great Western Electrification. He sits on the Railway Technical Advisory panel of the IET and the Conference and Seminars Committee of the Railway Division of the IMechE.
Signalling and signalling programmes, signalling and rail operating centres, ERTMS and ETCS
David Bickell joined British Railways as a student engineer in 1968, undertaking a work-based training programme covering all aspects of signalling and telecommunications. His career took him through various roles in Derby, Crewe and Nottingham before, in 1996, he was posted to London as Standards Engineer, Control Systems at Railtrack headquarters.
A spell as Signal Area Maintenance Engineer in Kent was followed by that of Regional Signal Maintenance Engineer at Liverpool Street and York. His responsibilities included the management of general safety regimes, including SPAD mitigation, and being Chair of the Signal Sighting Committee.
David retired in 2005 as Signal Standards & Assurance Engineer for Network Rail, managing its portfolio of signal engineering standards and sitting on the RSSB Group Standards Signalling sub-committee.
Since then, he was a visiting lecturer on railway signalling at Sheffield Hallam University and has been writing for Rail Engineer on major signalling projects since 2013.
Rolling stock, depots, systems integration, fleet operations.
Malcolm Dobell worked for the whole of his 45-year career with London Underground. He entered the Apprentice Training Centre in Acton Works in 1969 as an engineering trainee, taking a thin sandwich course at Brunel University, graduating with an honours degree in 1973.
He then worked as part of the team supervising the designs of all the various items of auxiliary equipment for new trains, which gave him experience in a broad range of disciplines. Later, he became project manager for the Jubilee Line’s first fleet of new trains (displaced when the extension came along), and then helped set up the train refurbishment programme of the 90s, before being appointed Professional Head of Rolling stock in 1997.
Malcolm retired as Head of Train Systems Engineering in 2014 following a career during which he had a role in the design of all the passenger trains currently in service - even the oldest - and, particularly, bringing the upgraded Victoria line (rolling stock and signalling) into service.
He is a non-executive director of CPC Systems, a systems engineering company that helps train operators improve their performance. A former IMechE Railway Division Chairman and a current board member, he also helps to organise and judge the annual Railway Challenge, is a member of the Railway Division Board and is the chair of governors at a large secondary academy in Milton Keynes.
Structures, railway infrastructure
Bob Wright has specialised in railway bridges and structures for most of his career. He joined British Rail’s Stratford Divisional Civil Engineer’s Office in 1977, working on the maintenance and construction of bridges, before emigrating to the Norwich office. Here he led early commercialisation projects, successfully bidding for DLO delivered projects against contractors.
Leaving British Rail during the lean maintenance budget period of the mid 1980s, Bob moved to a local civil engineering contractor, his first project being the refurbishment of the structures on a closed line in preparation for the narrow gauge Bure Valley Railway.
Whilst mainly working in general contracting with May Gurney, and latterly Kier, Bob continues to be involved with various Network Rail structures frameworks.
For the last 35 years Bob has been a voluntary civil engineer on the North Norfolk Railway, latterly as Director. He also acts as a consultant to a number of other preserved railways.
Track, structures, asset management
Mark Phillips gained his degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University. He joined British Rail’s Southern Region as a civil engineering graduate trainee in 1974, and obtained early site experience on sea wall construction near Folkestone and on several small bridge reconstructions.
Thereafter, his various roles in a career spanning 36 years took him to all parts of the national railway network, London Underground and, finally, to the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, where he was Head of Track & Civil Engineering.
His favourite role was as Area Civil Engineer for the Southwest of England, a post he held for 10 years. As such, he was responsible for the maintenance of all civil engineering infrastructure which included the track and all the bridges, tunnels, viaducts, retaining walls, earthworks, sea defences, stations and train maintenance depots. A particular challenge was managing, consulting and negotiating with a large direct workforce during the transition into privatisation whilst fulfilling normal operations.
After privatisation, having joined Amey Rail, Mark became part of the team bidding for additional infrastructure maintenance area contracts, which took him into the development of mathematical modelling of the relationship between maintenance costs and asset age.
Later, working for the Tube Lines consortium, his experience in asset management developed further, analysing and optimising whole-life-cycle costs for all assets, including lifts, escalators, electrical and telecommunication systems, signalling and structures as well as track.
Innovation, new mobility, event coverage, interviews, social media, European affairs
After graduating from Warwick University with an honours degree in English and European Literature, Lesley moved to Paris to continue her studies at Sorbonne University and has lived there ever since.
Over the past decade, she has specialised in transport journalism for various media in France, Belgium, and the U.K. She also manages communications for the French think tank Futura-Mobility.
As European correspondent for Rail Engineer, Lesley has written on topics as varied as Hyperloop, US train manufacture and Italian stations.