Network Rail launches international rail consultancy

Network Rail, the owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure, has launched an international rail consultancy business.

Network Rail Consulting will harness the vast range of skills and experience available within Network Rail to demonstrate British expertise overseas and be an international ambassador for Britain’s rail industry. It will also help channel innovation back into Network Rail’s core business, helping deliver a better value railway for Britain.

The move is part of a wider reform agenda at Network Rail, which has seen the company move towards a devolved group structure to drive further efficiencies and demonstrate value through market competition.Network Rail launches international rail consultancy 1

David Higgins, chief executive of Network Rail, said: “Our vision is to be a world-class independent British-based infrastructure group that is internationally respected for providing rail services and solutions that deliver outstanding value, responsibly.

“Since the privatisation of the rail industry, Britain has not had a national rail champion operating in the international market. Network Rail has the depth and breadth of rail experience and knowledge to promote British expertise overseas and become a valuable international ambassador for our rail industry and for UK plc.

“By proving ourselves in the international market, Network Rail will be able to demonstrate that it is a modern, efficient and competitive company.”

Network Rail Consulting has been created as a subsidiary of Network Rail. It will operate outside the UK, offering consultancy services across the full spectrum of Network Rail’s expertise:

  • Advisory
  • Strategic planning
  • Asset management
  • Operations and maintenance
  • Capital projects

Network Rail Consulting intends to form strategic alliances with two major international consultancies to pursue opportunities in its target markets, working with CH2M HILL and Atkins. The geographic focus of Network Rail Consulting centres on those countries, such as the USA and India, with large, aging rail infrastructure in need of modernisation – an area in which Network Rail has vast experience.

In addition, there will also be opportunities to team with other consultants elsewhere. Markets where Network Rail Consulting would be able to carry out work as sub-consultant to alliance partners include Brazil, northern Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Australia.

Nigel Ash, managing director of Network Rail Consulting, said: “Network Rail has internationally-valuable experience in developing innovative and pioneering approaches in asset management, and the successful delivery of large and complex capital projects, such as the Kings Cross redevelopment and the first stage of Thameslink.

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“In addition, we look after one of the most heavily used railways in the world, on largely Victorian infrastructure. Despite these challenges, our railway carries more people on more trains than ever before, with improving levels of punctuality.

“We believe we have much to offer international clients and look forward to working alongside our partners to demonstrate the best of British engineering and ingenuity overseas.”

Mark Thurston, European transport business group director at CH2M HILL, said: “This collaboration brings together CH2M HILL's expertise in programme management and delivery of some of the world’s most complex projects with Network Rail’s extensive knowledge of developing and managing railway infrastructure, which offers clients an unrivalled partnership to deliver innovative and practical solutions for the asset management and enhancement of the railways in North America.”

Douglas McCormick, managing director for Atkins’ UK rail division, said: “We have worked on countless projects with Network Rail to improve Britain’s railway and now we have an opportunity to take these experiences and the technical excellence of both organisations to offer an enhanced service to overseas markets.”

Notes to Editors:
The board of directors of Network Rail Consulting comprises Simon Kirby (chairman), Nigel Ash and Patrick Butcher.

Network Rail Consulting is selling the full range of rail expertise within Network Rail including:

Advisory: Re-structuring, privatisation, institutional, policy development and reviews, audits, procurement, bid support, rail operations including retail optimisation.

Strategic Planning: Transport master plans, market assessments, demand forecasting, project appraisal and route utilisation strategies.

Asset Management: Developing conceptual asset management frameworks, route asset management plans.

Operations & Maintenance: Practical operating advice, timetabling and simulation modelling, maintenance regimes and outsourced operate and maintain contracts.

Infrastructure Projects: Outputs definition, pre-feasibility, feasibility, project and programme management.

About Atkins
Atkins (www.atkinsglobal.com) is one of the world's leading engineering and design consultancies*, employing some 17,420 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. It has the breadth and depth of expertise to plan, design and enable some of the world's most technically challenging and time critical infrastructure projects.

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*It is the largest engineering consultancy in the UK (New Civil Engineer Consultants File 2012) and the 13th largest global design firm (Engineering News-Record 2011).

Recent projects include:

  • Major infrastructure works, such as the design and programme management of the civil works for the Dubai Metro red and green lines in the UAE;

  • Key rail projects – providing architectural and engineering design services on Crossrail, Europe’s biggest civil engineering project in London and designing stations, tunnelling and track systems for Gautrain, South Africa’s first high speed line;

  • Renewable energy schemes – transformer platform design for the Thanet offshore wind park in the North Sea;

  • High profile transport planning and urban design – our innovative scheme to deliver a diagonal crossing at Oxford Circus in London, UK, has helped tackle the problem of pedestrian crowding.

  • Atkins is the official engineering design services provider for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Employee owned, CH2M HILL is one of the world’s leading programme management, design, design build, construction and operations consulting firms for public and private sector clients. We employ over 30,000 people around the world, with over a third of the workforce based outside of the United States. CH2M HILL employs 4,000 people in the UK on some of the most complex infrastructure programmes including Crossrail, development partner for High Speed 2, Thames Tideway Improvements and as part of the joint venture, CLM, delivery partner to the Olympic Delivery Authority.

We have been ranked by Engineering News Record as the number one firm for programme management for the last eight years running and fourth design firm in transportation and sixth design firm in mass transit and rail.

Some of our iconic transportation programmes are:

  • Panama Canal Expansion Programme: The expansion of the Panama Canal is considered one of the largest and most visible projects of this century, just as its original construction was in the last century. CH2M HILL is assisting the Autoridad del Canal de Panamá (Panama Canal Authority, or ACP) in the Programme Management of the Panama Canal Expansion project, which will add a third set of locks to the historic waterway.

  • Toronto Metrolinx Big 5: CH2M HILL was selected to provide programme management/owner’s engineer services to Metrolinx on the $9.6-billion “Big 5” program for the first 5 years of the 10-year transit modernization program. The program in metropolitan Toronto is the largest public transit investment in Canadian history.

  • Philadelphia Airport Capacity Enhancement Programme: The Global Program Partners joint venture, comprised of CH2M HILL, Delon Hampton & Associates (DHA), and CMTS, Inc., has been selected by the City of Philadelphia, Division of Aviation to manage the $6.4-billion Capacity Enhancement Program (CEP) at Philadelphia International Airport. This is the largest new aviation program in the United States as well as one of the most complex.

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