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RailStaff Awards: Talent in technology

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The UK’s congested railways are becoming increasingly reliant on digital technology, with many rail operators choosing innovative software-based solutions over new infrastructure, which is often costly and disruptive to install. 

With more than 30 years’ experience in the rail sector, telent is at the heart of providing and maintaining mission-critical communications equipment and has acquired key partners along the journey including Network Rail, Transport for London and several train operators to ensure the world’s oldest rail network moves with the times. 


telent’s reputation was enhanced at the end of last year when it was awarded a £7.6 million communications upgrade contract from HS1. This saw critical transformation work take place across several stations including St Pancras International, Stratford International, Ashford International and Ebbsfleet International stations.

The project covers the replacement of life-expired CCTV cameras – including one of the industry’s largest systems at St Pancras – customer information systems, public address systems and other communications networks, all while keeping the stations open to ensure a seamless switchover. telent is working with Fourway Communications on this upgrade, with work now underway. 

At the time of the announcement, Owen Virrill, HS1 senior project manager, said: “HS1 has undertaken a vigorous process to ensure we have appointed a world-class systems delivery integrator to provide design, build and installation services, while ensuring there is a cultural and behavioural harmony across our values.”  

Leading provider

Every rail network relies on efficient communication between systems and people and telent has an extensive range of products to meet the industry’s demands. 

Andrew Smith, programme director at telent, said: “We are on the front line for creating the stations of the future. From driver-only operation systems and station management systems to control rooms, GSM-R and pulling fibre trackside, we have a track record for the successful delivery of challenging, large-scale projects. If you need data to travel from one place to another, telent has the expertise and the experience to deliver.”

Although telent is heavily involved in technological advancements, like many companies it also relies on its talented workforce, which is a credit to where it is today.

Andrew continued: “From an industry perceptive, finding the correct people for a role is challenging, so it’s all down to our proactive team who will always go the extra-mile. On most projects we are almost the silent partner, we connect and protect without disruption, creating honest, collaborative partnerships with our customers.” 

With telent’s connected and streamlined approach not only in rail, but also in other key sectors including public safety, defence, highways and nuclear, this cross-industry work provides the company with great flexibility to seek new ways to improve performance and create stability. 

Retaining its talented workforce is part of the stability telent aims to create, with a focus on a rewarding work environment. 

Steve Dalton, managing director of transport at telent, said: “telent positions itself as an employer of choice and that’s reflected by the positive, friendly culture across the business. Our specialist workforce is a huge part in success due to our open and rewarding working environment.”  


Set to fuel the rail industry for many years to come, telent has returned to sponsor the Lifetime Achievement category at the RailStaff Awards for a second year running, its fifth year supporting the only rail industry-wide people recognition ceremony. 

This award recognises an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the rail industry over the past 20 years, with Graeme Brindle, of Amey, who has lived and breathed the railway over the past 45 years, winning last year.

Steve Dalton said: “It is incredible to see the dedication and commitment of those, not only in telent, who are shaping the future of rail at the RailStaff Awards. When you speak to people about what they do, they genuinely do not realise the extraordinary efforts they put in for the UK rail industry and its passengers. 

“At what could be regarded as a challenging time for the rail industry in terms of criticism of its performance, this year’s RailStaff Awards is really a great opportunity to recognise those individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond to keep our railway running safely, which is why telent is honoured to be one of this year’s sponsors.” 

To nominate one of your colleagues in one of 20 awards categories or to find out more information, head to www.railstaffawards.com