We all have our own Christmas rituals. They often include a healthy helping of gravy and a second serving of some sort of rich festive pudding. For those planning and delivering the £260 million worth of Christmas works the gorging has had to wait.
Projects big and small were completed this Christmas and New Year. From a large-scale platform remodelling scheme in Liverpool to installing new drainage inside a leaky Sevenoaks Tunnel in Kent.
One of the most high-pro le projects was in the heart of the capital, as Thameslink engineers finally completed the complex track works around London Bridge and fully reopened the station to passengers. In our round up of the Christmas works we’ve featured a photo taken on New Year’s Eve by one of the engineers working outside London Bridge. You can just about make out fireworks in the long-exposure shot.
With the madness of the Christmas period over, now is a time for reflection. It is no surprise that it is this time of year that so many of us think about what we want from our careers. The second half of this issue focuses on railway skills and the companies that could help our readers make their next move.
But what do we as an industry have to look forward to in the new year?
The rolling stock market remains buoyant, with new fleets due to arrive in the North West, Scotland and East Coast. We will also learn more about the future fleets for HS2 and London Underground’s deep-level lines.
At the end of the year, Londoners will finally have the chance to explore the Elizabeth line for the first time and as the Crossrail project draws to a close plans will be progressed further for Crossrail 2.
Midland Metro is continuing its expansion alongside increasing levels of activity around the future site of Birmingham’s Curzon Street HS2 terminal.
The Government has also promised to explore options to revive more disused rail corridors and will continue to target investment into the railways that link the major cities of the North.
For all the reasons to be cheerful there are some persistent challenges. Questions about how we address the depth of the industry’s skills base and its diversity have come up time and time again throughout the creation of this issue. As a reflection of the industry, we too know we have a responsibility to promote the industry as an inclusive sector that isn’t bogged down by past perceptions or old-fashioned attitudes.
Let’s begin the new year with a positive spirit. The opportunities outweigh the trials. The challenges we face can be overcome – they’re not unassailable.
Read more: RailStaff January 2018 – A job well done