New centre of excellence for high-speed rail established

30 July, 2012

Greengauge 21 today announced the establishment of the HSR Industry Leaders Group, the first of its kind for Britain. By bringing together companies in the UK with expertise in engineering, railway operations, planning and delivery, the Industry Leaders Group provides a centre of excellence for high-speed rail.

Founder members of the group are: Atkins, Bechtel, Carillion, CH2M Hill, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Railway Industry Association and Siemens, all companies with a strong pedigree in planning and delivering high-speed rail projects in the UK and overseas. UK Steel is an affiliate member.

Jim Steer, Director of Greengauge 21 explained that:

“The aim of the HSR Industry Leaders Group is to use industry expertise to ensure that Britain’s national high-speed rail network is delivered successfully to world class standards.”

“The Group will complement the work of HS2 Ltd by bringing its experience to bear on questions such as how to maximise opportunities for job creation in the UK supply chain, and how the needs of HSR customers and likely modes of HSR sevice provision should positively influence the detailed designs and arrangements for HS2.”

The Industry Leaders Group will undertake a research and planning programme, and will work on the development of the supply chain for the implementation of all aspects of a national HSR network.

The initiative has the support of Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening, who said:

“HS2 will create a wide range of opportunities for British based businesses and we need to make sure that they have the skills and capability to take full advantage of development of HS2. HS2 Ltd are working hard to deliver this vital piece of national transport infrastructure. This Industry Leaders Group will complement the wider work that is underway and will play an important role in helping to bring together the supply chain and prepare the market for the potential ahead.”

Bill Free from Carillion and an ILG member said:

“Carillion is pleased to have joined the Industry Leaders’ Group and we look forward to helping shape the debate on how the new line can be built and operated in a sustainable way to the benefit of all.”

“As we look to build a railway for the future we also need to build a workforce for the future with the right skill sets to service and maintain it. Working with our supply chain Carillion has a strong record of providing apprenticeship and training opportunities for this and we would certainly seek to bring these strengths to the Group.”

Douglas McCormick, managing director for Atkins’ UK rail division and ILG member said:

“High speed rail represents the next generation of rail transport in the UK. Our current network is running out of capacity and the need for North-South connectivity is crucial for sustainable economic growth.”

“Atkins brings a wealth of international experience in major infrastructure projects and we are delighted to be a founding member of the HSR Industry Leaders Group.”

Jeremy Candfield, Director General of the Railway Industry Association representing the UK-based supply industry, welcomed the formation of the ILG.  With more than 160 member companies from across all sectors of the industry, the Association strongly supports the principle of HS2, is glad to be a founder member of the ILG, and is keen to bring members’ expertise to bear on the issues that the Group will be examining.