The Hendy report sought to identify and offer solutions for some of the funding and delivery challenges hindering Network Rail’s ambitious forward programme of infrastructure works. But it acknowledged that some of the issues were, to an extent, out of Network Rail’s hands. Particularly the skills deficit that persists in certain key engineering disciplines.
Hendy, among other things, reaffirmed a commitment to deliver the electrification of the Midland Main Line and the TransPennine corridor. Although the funding may be in place to deliver these schemes, the challenge of finding the electrification engineers to wire up the routes still exists.
‘The market was looking for linemen. The focus was on the shortage of linemen; there’s not enough to do all this work,’ said Mat Baine, managing director of Collaborative Project Management Services (CPMS). CPMS, which was established in 2012, specialises in providing electrification project management services and resources to the rail industry.
Project Manager of the Year
‘We spotted a niche that there wasn’t enough project managers to manage these linemen anyway, so we set up an overhead line project management company and we now manage over £500 million of electrification projects on behalf of our clients.’
CPMS is helping to recognise the work of project managers across the industry as the sponsor of the Project Manager of the Year category at this year’s RailStaff Awards. The 2015 award was won by Furrer+Frey’s Ankur Saxena, who coordinated the design, plant and installation teams delivering the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP). He was also responsible for briefing and training the teams installing the company’s Rigid Overhead Conductor Rail System (ROCS).
Mat continued, ‘Project managers are the lifeblood of the railway; they are the glue that hold the industry together and recognising the achievements
of project managers helps to inspire future generations to join our exciting industry.’
Benefit the industry
CPMS which started out with just four employees in 2013 now have more than 60 members of staff. In its short existence, the company has contributed to a number of significant electrification projects. CPMS is playing a critical role in replacing 320 km of overhead line between Chelmsford and London’s Liverpool Street station. The company also managed the installation of the foundations for the Great Eastern electrification scheme, which involved installing 465 foundations to shore up the OLE structures.
In April, CPMS attended the Infrarail exhibition. With the company looking to expand further, one of its main objectives was to speak to engineering graduates and apprentices.
Says Mat, ’If we can bring in some new people, some new blood, into the industry and into that discipline in particular I think it will be of great benefit for the rail industry as a whole.’
The RailStaff Awards will be held at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on 8 October.
To nominate an exceptional project manager go to www. railstaffawards.com/nominate