UK professionals gain on-site experience in rail electrification

1 min read

In a groundbreaking event organized by the PWI – the Institution for Railway Infrastructure – 25 professionals from across the rail industry ditched their usual workplace and donned PPE to experience the installation of rail electrification.

By immersing themselves in the hands-on tasks associated with electrification, it is hoped they can positively influence the future of electrification projects in the UK.

Participants came from the Office of Road and Rail, Transport for Wales, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and an array of businesses in the rail supply chain.

The promoters believe having a better understanding of electrification construction will help participants make better decisions, improve planning and safety, and lower costs. This is particularly important for future governments keen to stretch every pound spent on railways.

Mike Barlow, technical manager for the PWI, said, “This year’s Practical Electrification Challenge was a great success, and we’d like to thank all our industry partners and attendees for their support. From presentations to hands-on activities, attendees left with practical knowledge and experience which will help them lead on future electrification projects.”

Noel Dolphin, Head of UK projects for Furrer+Frey, added, “The long-term benefits of electrification are well established. In light of the escalating climate emergency, the need for a rolling program of electrification becomes even more necessary. By empowering project managers, estimators and designers with practical, hands-on experience of electrification, we help lower costs, and de-risk projects by increasing knowledge. The Challenge has emerged as a vital instrument in our toolkit to drive down the costs further.”

The PWI’s Practical Electrification Challenge is a hands-on development course in electrification construction.It was delivered at Network Rail’s Jane Austin Electrification Training Centre, with Furrer+Frey, SPL Powerlines, and AtkinsRéalis in collaboration with Network Rail.