Rail (UK) - - Infrastructure Special - PAUL STEPHEN As­sis­tant Fea­tures Editor, RAIL

Theresa May mem­o­rably made “build­ing a bet­ter Bri­tain” one of the key hall­marks of her premier­ship when she suc­ceeded David Cameron as Prime Min­is­ter on July 13 2016.

Most peo­ple lis­ten­ing to her maiden speech would have thought those words metaphor­i­cal, how­ever, as she also pledged to “make Bri­tain a coun­try that works for ev­ery­one”.

But be­hind these oft-re­peated pol­icy po­si­tions lies con­crete, bricks, mor­tar and all man­ner of other build­ing ma­te­ri­als, as trans­port in­fra­struc­ture is a proven way to de­liver the eco­nomic growth and equal­ity of op­por­tu­nity that May seeks to de­liver.

That is be­cause con­nec­tiv­ity undis­put­edly boosts pro­duc­tiv­ity, and makes this coun­try an at­trac­tive place to in­vest. Mean­while an im­pres­sive track record of healthy eco­nomic re­turns avail­able on cap­i­tal in­vest­ments en­sures that the num­bers stack up for the Trea­sury on green­light­ing the fur­ther en­hance­ment of Bri­tain’s trans­port in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing its rail­way.

The Gov­ern­ment has thrown its weight be­hind this, and has there­fore launched its In­dus­trial Strat­egy to pro­vide a joined-up view span­ning all in­dus­try sec­tors.

The rail sec­tor now has an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to the Gov­ern­ment’s green pa­per, to show how it can ben­e­fit from in­creased in­vest­ment be­fore fi­nal de­ci­sions are made, and so Ste­fanie Browne ex­am­ines the strat­egy in more de­tail, and con­sid­ers what it might mean for UK rail on p50-53.

In or­der to max­imise the re­turn on any fu­ture in­vest­ment, Network Rail is cur­rently look­ing to mod­ify its pro­cure­ment pro­cesses to bet­ter re­flect the full life cy­cle costs of as­sets. We hear from global sup­plier Al­stom about its range of in­tel­li­gent so­lu­tions that do just that (p44-47), in­clud­ing its ad­vanced sig­nalling tech­nol­ogy that of­fers higher per­for­mance yet much lower main­te­nance needs.

SNC-Lavalin is also look­ing to ben­e­fit from the in­creased em­pha­sis on wholelife pro­cure­ment and out­lines to RAIL it’s ‘cra­dle-to-grave’ in­fra­struc­ture of­fer­ing that ranges from early fi­nanc­ing and de­sign, through to build, main­te­nance and op­er­a­tion (p48-49).

Fi­nally, Car­il­lion show­cases its widerang­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the field of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, and an im­pres­sive abil­ity to solve be­spoke prob­lems (p54-55).

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