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15 November 2017

Coventry appoints SLC-AECOM Joint Venture to £30m Rail Advisory Framework

Virgin train outside Coventry Station
Aerial view of Coventry and station
London Midland train at Coventry Station

A joint venture between global infrastructure services firm AECOM and SLC Rail has been appointed on a pioneering framework, with a maximum value of £30m, to provide rail advisory services to Coventry City Council.

The Rail Advisors Framework will enable the Council to draw on SLC Rail’s unique expertise in conceptualising and developing rail schemes and unlocking third party funding and AECOM’s wide ranging expertise in managing and delivering rail projects.

The activities covered by the framework will be for grant funded projects only, and will include developing business cases for rail projects, negotiating new funding models, project planning, project and programme management, timetable performance modelling and station operation planning.

The initial framework is being placed by Coventry City Council, with access also available to West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) who will also be able to draw on the framework to help plan, fund and deliver rail projects, such as new and enhanced existing stations.

The agreement will support a longer-term strategy of improving transport in Coventry and across the West Midlands, ensuring the region is ready for HS2 from 2026 and beyond.

Simon Middleton, Regional Director, Transportation at AECOM said: "AECOM and SLC bring a unique breadth of expertise to support rail projects. The projects that will be developed under the framework will transform connectivity to and from Coventry and the Midlands, and steer investment across the region to support the creation of new jobs and homes."

The framework is testament to Coventry City Council's previous experience and future commitment to deliver new rail infrastructure projects as a 'third party' investor and deliverer, in ways that the government has recently opened up further through the recommendations set out in the Hansford Review. This rail advisory framework procures the support necessary to enable Coventry City Council to develop and deliver rail infrastructure schemes that benefit local people, with the encouragement and support of national government and Network Rail.

Ian Walters, Managing Director of SLC Rail said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with AECOM to extend and deepen our existing relationship with Coventry City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. In the past, both organisations have shown foresight and vision in setting out how rail should benefit local people and businesses; with this new framework agreement they are seizing the opportunity to implement that strategy, through project delivery mechanisms that demonstrate the new ways of working set out in the Hansford Review are achievable with the right team."

For more details please see our client profile or contact us.

17 July 2017

Worcestershire Announces Rail Investment Strategy

Worcestershire Rail Map
Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy
Worcester Shrub Hill Station

Worcestershire County Council has published details of its proposed strategy for attracting and supporting economic investment and growth, by delivering transport infrastructure and services to tackle congestion and improve quality of life.

The Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy was developed by specialists at SLC Rail and partners to provide detailed needs analysis, specific rail service proposals and robust economic justification and prioritisation of investment.

The plan focuses on key themes for rail service development:

  • Two trains per hour Worcester to London Paddington
  • One train per hour Kidderminster, Droitwich Spa, Worcester to London Paddington
  • Additional calls at Worcestershire Parkway for Bristol-Manchester and Plymouth-Newcastle services
  • Regional service between Kidderminster and Bromsgrove, Worcester and Cheltenham Spa, Gloucester and Bristol

The plan is available for review and public consultation, on the Worcestershire County Council website.

For more details please see our Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy project profile or contact us.

7 July 2017

New Kidderminster Station plans unveiled

Artist's impression of station frontage

Artist's impression of new station frontage

Artist's impression of station frontage

Artist's impression of Kidderminster Station

Ian Baxter outlines the plans (click to enlarge)

Worcestershire County Council has announced detailed plans to replace Kidderminster station with new facilities twice the size of the existing 1960s building, together with safety and accessibility enhancements in the immediate area.

With rail advice and project management from SLC Rail, the scheme has won the backing of the rail industry and funding of £4.3 million has been secured from Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Kidderminster station is the second busiest in Worcestershire, with direct connections to London, Birmingham and Worcester. The current station building and its limited facilities are a source of dissatisfaction for many, as passenger numbers have doubled over the last decade and substantial further growth is predicted.

The proposed station development centres around a new, glass-fronted building. It will include a new café or shop, toilets and indoor seating and waiting areas. There are also plans to enhance accessibility while making significant improvements to nearby bus facilities, creating a new pedestrian crossing and safer provision for taxis and vehicles in front of the station.

The scheme is being led by Worcestershire County Council with support from Wyre Forest District Council, SLC Rail, Network Rail, London Midland, Chiltern Railways, the Severn Valley Railway, Kidderminster Railway Museum and local bus operators.

For more details and project photographs please see our Kidderminster Station replacement project profile or contact us.

17 May 2017

ICE West Midlands Civil Engineering Awards

ICE West Midlands Civil Engineering Awards ceremony

Receiving the awards

ICE West Midlands Civil Engineering Awards trophies

The awards

The team responsible for replacing the A45 road-over-rail bridge is delighted to have been recognised with another two industry awards. At the ICE West Midlands Civil Engineering Awards, the team from Solihull Council, SLC Rail, Carillion and Network Rail were winners in both the Construction and Partnership categories.

The replacement of the ageing A45 bridge was technically challenging and required strong team working to achieve tight deadlines, particularly around the 54-hour possession of the West Coast Main Line over Christmas 2015. The project was delivered on time in September 2016.

For more details and project photographs please see our A45 South Overbridge Replacement project profile or contact us.

28 April 2017

Constructing Excellence Award Winners

Constructing Excellence Awards - A45 bridge project team

The A45 bridge project team

Constructing Excellence Awards trophy

Award trophy

Together with our client, Solihull Council, and partners Carillion and Network Rail, the team at SLC Rail is delighted to have been awarded Project of the Year Civil Engineering in the Constructing Excellence Awards.

The 18-month project to replace a road-over-rail bridge was delivered on schedule and on budget. The project team met tight deadlines including the successful possession of the West Coast Main Line over Christmas 2015 when the old bridge was demolished.

Since its opening, the new bridge has already reduced traffic congestion and is a key part of the infrastructure that is supporting economic growth in the West Midlands.

For more details and project photographs please see our A45 South Overbridge Replacement project profile or contact us.

2 Mar 2017

Spade in the ground marks start of work on-site for Worcestershire Parkway station

Work on site at Worcestershire Parkway Station began formally today with the spade in the ground ceremony.

If a video does not appear below within a few moments, you can see the BBC News coverage on their Facebook page

For more information please see our Worcestershire Parkway project profile or contact us.

20 Feb 2017

Contractor appointed as DfT gives green light to new Worcestershire Parkway station

Artist's impression of Worcestershire Parkway station

Artist's impression of the new station

Artist's impression of station frontage

Artist's impression of station frontage

Artist's impression of station concourse

Artist's impression of station concourse

Plans to build a new regional interchange station at Norton near Worcester are forging ahead following official approval of the scheme by the Department for Transport.

Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, which has over 60 years’ experience as a multi-disciplinary contractor, has been awarded the design and build contract. They will be working alongside SLC Rail, who are project managing the scheme on behalf of Worcestershire County Council.

Worcestershire Parkway forms part of the Council's Local Transport Plan and Worcester Transport Strategy and is pivotal to its ambitious growth plans to boost the County’s economic value to £2.9bn, creating 25,000 new jobs by 2025.

It will be built on a 14-acre site just off Junction 7 of the M5 at the intersection of the Worcester - London Paddington ‘North Cotswold’ and Birmingham to Bristol railway lines.

It is funded from profits from the station through car park fees and station access charges levied on the Train Operating Companies and an investment of £8.3m by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Growth Deal.

Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, said: “This is really good news for Worcestershire. The new station will improve journey times for Worcestershire's rail commuters, cut down travel times to and from London and improve links to other major cities such as Gloucester and Birmingham.

“Given that Worcestershire already has one of the fastest growing economies in the country, the new Parkway station will help us to maintain that growth and open the county up to new markets."

Ian Walters, Managing Director at SLC Rail, commented: “The appointment of Buckingham Group sends a clear message that Worcestershire’s long held vision of a new station will soon become reality.”

For more information please see our Worcestershire Parkway project profile or contact us.

10 Feb 2017

UK Rail Industry Award Winners

UK Rail Industry Awards ceremony

UK Rail Industry Awards ceremony

UK Rail Industry Award trophy for SLC Rail

The trophy

Project management team at UK Rail Awards ceremony

Project management team and clients

Last Thursday, 9th February, at the UK Rail Industry Awards a team from SLC Rail, Solihull Council and Carillion was announced winner in the category Outstanding Projects - Medium (£3m-£20m) for the replacement of the A45 South Bridge near Birmingham Airport

The competition was strong, with more than 130 organisations entering and an impressive shortlist of projects from across the industry.

The 18-month project to replace a road-over-rail bridge was delivered on schedule and on budget. The project team met tight deadlines including the successful possession of the West Coast Main Line over Christmas 2015 when the old bridge was demolished.

Since its opening, the new bridge has already reduced traffic congestion and is a key part of the infrastructure that is supporting economic growth in the West Midlands.

For more details and project photographs please see our A45 South Overbridge Replacement project profile or contact us.

16 Jan 2017

Treecycling for Birmingham St Mary's Hospice

SLC Rail staff help Birmingham St Mary's Hospice with Treecycling

Ready to go

SLC Rail staff help Birmingham St Mary's Hospice with Treecycling

Volunteers hard at work

Project management team at UK Rail Awards ceremony

Another van loaded

On Saturday, 14th January, a group of volunteers from SLC Rail and SLC Property helped Birmingham St Mary's Hospice with their annual Treecycling campaign. Each year the hospice offers the local community a convenient way to recycle their Christmas trees in return for a donation.

SLC Rail paid for two of the rental vans and five members of staff helped over the weekend to collect trees and deliver them for recycling.

Julie Abbott, Director at SLC Rail, said, "When we were approached by St Mary's Hospice about this volunteering opportunity, we were delighted to be able to help. On the day there was a great atmosphere and we felt a real sense of satisfaction as each van load was sent on its way."

Richard Green, Volunteer Treecycling Project Mentor and Lead Ambassador at St Mary's Hospice commented, "We were delighted to welcome the SLC Rail and SLC Property team to our enthusiastic band of corporate volunteers for Treecycling in 2017, helping us to raise over £23,000 for the Hospice. With almost 50 volunteers and 23 vans we collected more than 1700 trees for recycling into compost and biomass fuel – a massive thank you to each and every one of them for their tremendous efforts to support the Hospice"

You can read more about St Mary's Hospice on their website.

7th December 2016

Cllr Ted Richards OBE opens new A45 bridge over West Coast Main Line

See also high resolution press photos or detailed project profile

Today, Wednesday, 7 December, a new crossing over the West Coast Main Line was officially opened by Councillor Ted Richards OBE, Cabinet Portfolio Holder Transport and Highways at Solihull Council. This marked the successful completion of an 18-month project to replace a narrow Victorian road bridge with a wider, safer road crossing with separate lanes for vehicles, cycles and pedestrians.

The crossing is in an economically strategic location, carrying the westbound lane of the A45 between Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre and the M42 motorway, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. It provides access to many local employers including Jaguar Land Rover.

The project was commissioned by Solihull Council to address mounting concerns over traffic congestion in this particular part of the road network and as a solution to increasing maintenance costs and concerns about weak parapets on the old Victorian bridge.

It was project managed by SLC Rail and the principal contractor was Carillion. The project cost £12M with funding from Department for Transport, Transport for West Midlands and Birmingham Airport.

Technical challenges

  • It was essential to maintain all three lanes of traffic throughout the project, yet the location was very constrained in space so it would not be possible to build the new bridge alongside the existing crossing. Instead the project was scheduled in two phases: First constructing a crossing with a narrower span immediately adjacent to the existing bridge, which could carry traffic following demolition of the old bridge. Secondly constructing a second span to complete the full width of the new crossing. Because of the very constrained site, this required an innovative approach to earthworks and construction, using the TerraTrel reinforced earth system rather than sheet piles and soil nails.
  • Due to the very steep embankments, constructing the bored piles would normally only have been possible during a possession of the line, which the project team wanted to avoid because of the implications for project schedules and associated risk. Investigation into alternatives suggested that a high torque, short height piling rig would be safe for use next to live lines and the team successfully made the case for their use to Network Rail.
  • Before works could commence, it was necessary for Network Rail to move a signal. Because this unit was at the end of its life, Network Rail agreed to bring forward this element of the existing West Midlands re-signalling project.

Christmas deadline

  • To demolish the old bridge, Network Rail offered a possession of the West Coast Main Line for 56 hours, over Christmas 2015. The next available possession would have been at least a year later.
  • A single project team was formed across all parties, with shared offices and facilities and clear demonstration from the respective leaders that through all the unsociable hours and challenging work, everyone really was in it together.
  • The project team took possession of the railway at 23:30 on 24 December 2015 and returned it ready for rail services to resume on schedule at 05:00 on 27 December 2015.

Successful delivery

The project was delivered on time, on budget and to the full satisfaction of the council. All three lanes of traffic remained open throughout and the council reported an exceptionally high degree of public understanding during the works.

Councillor Ted Richards OBE, Cabinet Portfolio Holder Transport and Highways at Solihull Council said, “The importance of this project for the regional and strategic highway network really cannot be underestimated. The replacement of the A45 South Bridge removes a significant pinch point on one of the busiest roads in our Borough and will ensure continuous accessibility to one of the UK’s most economically important locations.

"I would like to thank Carillion, SLC Rail and Solihull Council Officers for their exceptional project management of this scheme. Overcoming significant risks, this major project was delivered on time and without significant disruption to the high volume of road and rail users who pass through this area.

"In particular, I would like to highlight the successful demolition of the existing bridge within a tight 54-hour rail possession at Christmas 2015. The railway was returned to full use on time which required months of advance planning including assessing and mitigating the many associated risks."

"Ian Walters, Managing Director of SLC Rail added, “I would like to thank the Transport and Highways team at Solihull Council for entrusting this project to SLC Rail. There were some significant technical challenges around the rail aspects of this project but thanks to a real commitment to teamwork and diligent detailed planning, it was a great success."

Shortlisted for award

The project has been announced as a finalist for Outstanding Projects in the UK Rail Industry Awards. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony in London in February 2017.

For more information please see our A45 South Overbridge replacement project profile or contact us.

15th September 2016

Work starts on site for new Kenilworth Station

Works entrance for Kenilworth Station project

Site entrance prepared for project

Kenilworth station site prior to construction

Kenilworth Station site, from railway line

Kenilworth Station project site looking towards railway line

New station site, towards railway line

The new Kenilworth Station has come another step closer, with the appointment of Graham Construction as the build contractor.

The new station is being built on a former retail/industrial site close to the town centre. Work has already begun with demolition and clearing of the area. The Contractor has also completed surveys of drainage, a topological survey and ground investigation works.

Cllr Peter Butlin, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning at Warwickshire County Council, said "The construction of the station and the resulting new train service will not only improve local public transport but will also provide a link to rail services beyond the Coventry and Warwickshire sub-region, giving improved access to the economies of London and Birmingham while boosting our own local economy and tourism."

SLC Rail supported Warwickshire County Council with development of the case and successful applications for funding. Project Managers from SLC Rail will be managing the day to day details of the project delivery on behalf of the council.

For more information please see our Kenilworth Station project profile or contact us.

12th July 2016

New station opens in Bromsgrove thanks to innovative industry funding

Bromsgrove station carpark during construction

Constructing the new, larger carpark

Bromsgrove station carpark during construction

Bromsgrove station during construction

Bromsgrove station open to passengers

Bromsgrove station open to passengers

From 12th July 2016 the people of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire have a new, relocated station to support the rapidly growing number of passengers in the locality. It provides greatly improved access, substantially more parking and extended platforms that will enable more services to call at the station.

When a new station was first proposed, Worcestershire County Council and Centro (now part of the West Midlands Combined Authority) recognised the economic benefits and favoured the plan, but were unable to generate the capital needed to build the station. They asked specialist rail partners, SLC Rail, to review the business case and investigate other funding options.

Ian Walters, Managing Director at SLC Rail, extensively experienced in rail finance, observed, "Even using the most conservative estimates, we saw that the increase in passengers from the proposed new station would generate far greater fare income for the train operators than the cost of delivering the project."

From this starting point the team at SLC Rail constructed a commercial mechanism seeing the two authorities borrow capital at preferential rates, with the train operators providing the majority of money to repay the loan over a 25 year period, funded from the increase in ticket sales.

"For this to work, we had to make sure that the commercial model would deliver a significant revenue upside for the train operator as well as benefits for rail passengers in north Worcestershire."

However with the timescales involved and a new train operating franchise succeeding London Midland from 2017, it was essential that any new franchise operator be bound by the same conditions. This meant persuading the Department for Transport of the benefits of the project so that both funding commitments and the level of train services needed to support them be written into the franchise agreement.

The team from SLC Rail successfully led negotiations so that:

  • The West Midlands Combined Authority has been granted a long lease on the station by Network Rail, making them effectively the Station Facility Owner (or SFO – rail industry terminology for the operator of a station).
  • Station Access Charges and Finance Charges have been agreed with the train operators, Department for Transport and Office for Rail Regulation, allowing the West Midlands Combined Authority and Worcestershire County Council to recover the borrowing costs.
  • London Midland will operate the station on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority and then be succeeded in 2017 by the new West Midlands Franchise.
  • Network Rail will provide similar landlords maintenance and repair services as it does at other stations.

The basic commercial structure was agreed in 2014 and Worcestershire County Council and Centro appointed Network Rail to manage and deliver the project. In early 2016 the agreements around station operations were finalised and in July 2016 it opened to the public.

Andy Maginnis, Programme and Commissioning Manager at Worcestershire County Council commented, "SLC Rail brought in-depth knowledge of the rail industry and how it works, which enabled them to devise this innovative funding and commercial model. But more importantly they had the credibility to talk directly to the key industry people in government and industry, to inspire confidence in the scheme. Without a doubt, this new station would not have been possible without SLC Rail."

For more information please contact us.

30th April 2016

Second span laid for new A45 bridge

A45 bridge over main line - beam being lifted

Beam being lifted for second span

A45 bridge over main line - new beams in place

New bridge beams in place

A45 bridge over main line - view of new bridge from trackside

View of new bridge from trackside

Another significant milestone has been achieved in the construction of the A45 road bridge over the West Coast Main Line.

Overnight on the 26/27th March, two pairs of braced beams were lifted into position, forming the basis of the second span of the new, widened road crossing.

The following weekend, the two pairs were braced together and GRP panels were laid across the beams. From this temporary platform, workers placed the steel reinforcement. At the end of April, the concrete was poured in another overnight operation, to create the new deck.

The new bridge is on track for opening in September.

For more information please see our A45 South Overbridge replacement project profile or contact us.

24th March 2016

New stations opened at Coventry Arena and Bermuda Park

Train with Rail Minister at Bermuda Park

SLC Rail and Warwickshire staff

Coventry Arena Station

Two new railway stations have been opened at Coventry Arena and Bermuda Park by Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Centro. The stations are part of the Coventry to Nuneaton upgrade project (‘NUCKLE’ - Nuneaton-Coventry-Kenilworth-Leamington ), which is improving links between local economies and amenities to boost the economy of the area.

SLC Rail has been a key advisor to the partners throughout, developing the business case, applying successfully for funding and managing the project through to its opening.

Bermuda Park Station was formally opened by Rail Minister, Claire Perry MP. She commented: “Together with improvements to the Coventry-Nuneaton Rail scheme this offers a real boost for regional transport and this station is tangible evidence of the commitment of Warwickshire County Council and local MP Marcus Jones to getting rail investment in the area.”

Ian Walters, Managing Director of SLC Rail, said: “We are very pleased to be part of this successful partnership, which has seen Warwickshire County Council opening four new stations in just 15 years. The team at SLC Rail is proud to be helping shape and deliver the ambitious vision which is putting Warwickshire ahead in its rail strategy and underpinning local economic growth.”

For more information please see our Coventry to Nuneaton rail upgrade project profile or contact us.

25th February 2016

Seminars: Making Your Projects Happen on Britain's Rail Network

Adrian Shooter CBE presenting at SLC Rail seminar, Making Your Projects Happen on Britain's Rail Network Mark Beckett presenting at SLC Rail seminar, Making Your Projects Happen on Britain's Rail Network Ian Baxter presenting at SLC Rail seminar, Making Your Projects Happen on Britain's Rail Network Ian Baxter presenting at SLC Rail seminar, Making Your Projects Happen on Britain's Rail Network

On 24th and 25th February, SLC Rail ran two half-day seminars, ‘Making your UK Rail Project Happen’ in partnership with rail specialists from leading international law firm, Gowling WLG.

Delegates from local government, developers and from within the rail industry attended the two events in London and in Birmingham.

The event was chaired by Giles Clifford, Head of Transport Practice at Gowling WLG, with the keynote speech from Adrian Shooter CBE, Chairman of SLC Rail. Other speakers included Mark Beckett and Ian Baxter of SLC Rail.

If you would like a copy of the presentations or to be kept informed of future seminars and events from SLC Rail, please call 0121 285 2622 or email enquiries@slcrail.com.

12th January 2016

Successful demolition of major road bridge over West Coast Main Line

A45 bridge over electrified West Coast Mainline Demolition of the bridge over the West Coast Mainline

On Christmas Day, the A45 westbound road bridge over the West Coast Main Line was successfully demolished under the project management of SLC Rail thanks to a collaborative effort between Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Carillion Construction and Network Rail.

This was a critical step in the project to replace an old masonry bridge and increase the capacity of the A45 which already carries over 30,000 vehicles a day, serving Birmingham Airport, the NEC, Jaguar Land Rover and Birmingham International Railway Station.

Transport specialists at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council recognised that the rail aspects of the project introduced substantial complexity and risk, not least because a significant part of the funding was dependent on the project being completed in good time, including the essential possession and demolition over Christmas 2015. The project also involved:

  • Relocating signalling to accommodate the new bridge works
  • Lowering the electrified overhead line equipment (OLE)
  • Relocating major service connections including telecommunications connection, high pressure gas main and water main which used the old bridge to cross the railway line

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council hired SLC Rail initially to manage the rail aspects of the project. The Council later extended the remit of SLC Rail to assist with tendering, managing the project, providing on-site supervision, taking care of the complexities of stakeholder relations and managing the significant risks associated with the scheme.

The project was designed to minimise disruption to road and rail users. Prior to the demolition, the first half of the new bridge was completed immediately to the south of the old bridge and traffic was diverted onto the new bridge.

The next stage in the project is to build the remainder of the new bridge, completing a new, wider crossing. This is on schedule for completion in August 2016.

Councillor Ted Richards, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, commented, “This project has been very well executed and it is to the credit of SLC Rail that the works have been managed with so little disruption to the public.”

Ian Walters, Managing Director at SLC Rail, commented, “In our industry we ask a lot of the people who deliver projects, often in challenging circumstances and at unsociable times. There was a lot riding on this Christmas Day possession and I would like to thank everyone for their professionalism, commitment and real teamwork.”

For more information please see our A45 South Overbridge replacement project profile or contact us.

12th October 2015

SLC Rail appointed Rail Advisor to Worcestershire County Council

Worcestershire Parkway Station Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure

SLC Rail has been appointed as specialist rail advisors to Worcestershire County Council, under an agreement worth up to £2.5 million over four years.

The Council has made the specialist rail appointment following several years of working together on individual rail projects, including development of the new Worcestershire Parkway and Bromsgrove station schemes.

SLC Rail has other successful rail advisor agreements through which it has developed rail strategies and delivered rail schemes for Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

Rail schemes planned for Worcestershire

Under the agreement, the priorities will include delivering the new Worcestershire Parkway Railway Station through to opening, due in 2017.

SLC Rail brings a team of respected rail professionals with in-depth experience of railway operations and investment, providing expertise on strategic rail planning, feasibility assessment, scheme development, timetable proposals, commercial agreements and project management.

A history of success with local authorities in Warwickshire and Solihull

SLC Rail has been supporting Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council under a similar rail advisor framework agreement since 2013, which was renewed earlier this year and now runs until July 2017. Under this framework, SLC Rail has developed and delivered numerous rail schemes, including the development of a new station scheme for Kenilworth and the development and delivery of the new Stratford Upon Avon Parkway station – opened seven months early.

A further rail advisor framework, awarded by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in June 2015, sees SLC Rail helping to develop rail strategies in line with the council’s ambitious 'Solihull Connected Green Paper'. Under the framework, SLC Rail is continuing to project manage the replacement of the A45 road bridge over the West Coast Mainline.

Reactions to the announcement

Ian Walters, Managing Director of SLC Rail commented, "We delighted that Worcestershire County Council have formalised our excellent working relationship, paving the way for a wide range of improvements to rail services across the county and in particular enabling us to take Worcestershire Parkway station through to completion."

Simon Geraghty, Deputy Leader of Worcestershire County Council and Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, added, "Rail will play an important part in realising our ambitious plans for Worcestershire's economy. SLC Rail brings extensive rail experience and they have shown to deliver real value as partners to local authorities."

For more information please see our Worcestershire Parkway project profile or contact us.

25th August 2015

Planning permission granted for Worcestershire Parkway station

Worcestershire Parkway Station Worcestershire Parkway Station

As Rail Advisors to Worcestershire County Council, SLC Rail is delighted by the decision of the Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee to grant planning permission for the new Worcestershire Parkway Railway Station.

The new station, sited just outside Worcester and serving both the Cotswold Line to London and the Birmingham to Bristol/Cardiff route, is identified as a key priority through the County's Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to create 25,000 new jobs in Worcestershire by 2025 along with boosting GVA (Gross Value Added) by almost £3 billion.

The team at SLC Rail has worked with Worcestershire County Council to develop the business case, secure funding and develop the scheme through to a single design meeting rail industry standards. This included developing timetable proposals and innovative commercial agreements with the rail industry and Department for Transport.

SLC Rail will be managing the project through to its opening in 2017.

For more information please see our Worcestershire Parkway project profile or contact us.

9th April 2015

Adrian Shooter appointed Chairman of SLC Rail

Adrian Shooter appointed Chairman of SLC Rail

Adrian Shooter has been appointed Chairman of Midlands-based rail consulting and project management specialists, SLC Rail.

Mr. Shooter is Chairman of Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and past Chairman of Chiltern Railways, London Overground, Tyne & Wear Metro, DB Regio UK (Deutsche Bahn), Laing Rail and of the West Midlands CBI Council.

Mr. Shooter, who led Chiltern Railways to become one of the most successful, investment-led Train Operating Companies, formally took up the post of non-executive Chairman from Wednesday 1st April.

Mr. Shooter commented, “I am delighted to be joining SLC Rail, chairing a board of directors who not only understand the needs of their customers very well and how to get things done in the industry, but are also totally committed to the future of the UK railways.”

Ian Walters, Managing Director of SLC Rail, added, “Adrian joins us at an exciting time. With his strategic guidance and justified reputation for customer-focus, we are looking forward to building long term relationships with local authorities and regional organisations to help them benefit from new opportunities that are now opening up on the railways.”

Since SLC Rail was formed in 2009 it has grown to be a trusted advisor for local authorities across the Midlands. SLC Rail is retained under framework agreements as rail advisors to Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. Specialists from SLC Rail are also working with Worcestershire County Council, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership and Centro.

Customer engagements currently include strategic and detailed planning of rail services and development projects, rail franchise devolution, innovative funding and commercial structures, tendering for specialist contractors and project management and delivery. In 2013 the new Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway station was delivered by SLC Rail seven months early and on budget. Current projects include delivering the new Coventry Arena and Bermuda Park stations between Coventry and Nuneaton, support to the relocation of Bromsgrove Station, project management of Coventry Station Masterplan, new stations at Worcestershire Parkway and Kenilworth, and the A45 Bridge over the West Coast Main Line adjacent to Birmingham Airport.

For more information, please contact us.

12th March 2015

Work starts on-site for A45 bridge replacement

Spade in the ground ceremony at the A45 bridge

Contractors, Carillion, under the management of SLC Rail started work officially at the site of the new A45 road bridge, with the Spade in the Ground ceremony today (12th March).

This project, with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, will see the A45 road bridge doubling in width to provide increased lane widths, a dedicated airport slip lane and pedestrian and cycle access. Additionally, the bridge is designed to allow the potential future expansion of the West Coast mainline with a large enough span to accommodate four tracks.

The first phase of the project involves building half the width of the proposed bridge and transferring vehicles from the current bridge before demolishing the old bridge over a 54 hour possession of the railway at Christmas 2015. Work has started by rerouting BT, water and gas services which run along the old bridge and preparation work for the piling foundations for the proposed bridge abutments.

The photo shows: Mike Lightwing, Network Rail; Ashley Brookes, Carillion Construction; Derek Lawlor, SMBC; Sam Uren, SLC Rail.

For more information, please see our A45 Bridge Replacement project overview.

23rd February 2015

Transport Secretary visits Kenilworth station site

Transport secretary visiting SLC Rail project site for new Kenilworth Railway Station Transport secretary with SLC Rail visiting site of new Kenilworth Railway Station

Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, joined Kenilworth MP and Attorney General, the Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP, to visit the site of the new Kenilworth Railway Station today (23rd February).

Under a framework agreement, as Rail Advisors to Warwickshire County Council, SLC Rail is managing the project with Warwickshire to create a new railway station for Kenilworth due to open in December 2016.

SLC Rail has been closely involved from the early stages of the project, helping Warwickshire County Council to develop detailed plans for the station, track and signalling. SLC were also instrumental in securing funding via a successful bid to the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund then procuring a contractor to deliver the project through to GRIP Stage 8.

The project will soon see demolition starting on-site, in preparation for construction of the new station building.

For more information, please see our Kenilworth Station project overview.

6th October 2014

Work starts on new Coventry Arena station

Construction work started officially today on the new Coventry Arena railway station, next to the Ricoh Arena.

SLC Rail has played a key role as Rail Advisor to Coventry City Council and are providing specific project management of key project areas.

For more details, please see our Coventry to Nuneaton Rail Upgrade project overview.

10th September 2014

SLC Rail appointed project managers for A45 bridge

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council today announced principal contractor and the project manager for the A45 bridge replacement. Carillion have been appointed as lead contractor and SLC Rail as project managers.

This follows a successful engagement during which SLC Rail advised Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council on rail issues around the project. SLC Rail had led discussions with colleagues at Network Rail, successfully resolving challenges around signalling and overhead power lines, and marshalling technical acceptance of the proposed bridge solution.

The project is to include construction of a temporary road bridge, demolition of the old bridge and construction of a new, wider bridge with additional carriageway plus pedestrian and cycle routes.

For more details, please see our updated A45 Bridge Replacement project overview.

9th September 2014

SLC Rail sponsors prestigious Locan Cup

The Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) held its prestigious annual golf tournament, the Locan Cup, at Enville Golf Club in the West Midlands on 8th September. The event was well attended with competing teams from CIHT branches across the UK.

SLC Rail was delighted to be sponsoring the 18th Hole and we would like to thank everyone who visited our stand, to discuss rail projects, pick up copies of our rail project case studies and take home SLC merchandise.

18th August 2014

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council secure £8m for new A45 bridge

The Department for Transport today confirmed that it will provide £8m of funding towards the construction of a new, wider replacement south bridge to carry the A45 over the West Coast Mainline.

This new bridge will make a significant difference in the region, easing the pressure on a road which carries over 30,000 vehicles a day between Birmingham International Airport, the NEC and major employers including Jaguar Land Rover.

SLC Rail have been working with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council on this project , advising on rail issues and developing the scope of works with the client and Network Rail, in particular to overcome the constraints of signalling and overhead power lines in this particular location. SLC Rail also provided substantial input to the project management and procurement process.

For more details, please see our A45 Bridge Replacement project overview.

8th July 2014

Worcestershire County Council secure £7.5m funding for new Parkway station

Worcestershire County Council today announced that £7.5m has been awarded under the Government Growth Fund for the proposed Worcestershire Parkway station.

SLC Rail is helping Worcestershire County Council to develop a new scheme which is acceptable to the rail industry and can secure all the necessary funding with GRIP 3 approval.

For more information please see our Worcestershire Parkway project profile

27th February 2014

SLC Rail helps Coventry City Council to drive rail infrastructure investment and planning – Coventry Rail Investment Strategy published

Coventry City Council is driving inward and investment to develop the local rail infrastructure with the new Coventry Rail Investment Strategy. The team at SLC Rail prepared the strategic document to outline the future passenger, freight and rail facilities of Coventry; downloadable from slcrail.com, which the Council is now using to drive investment and planning development.

Mike Waters, Transportation Manager, Coventry City Council said "SLC Rail has provided outstanding very tailored advice and expertise to craft a clear strategic document that directly relates to our needs."

SLC Rail is now part of the Masterplan consultancy team and will continue to work with the Council and its partners in the future planning phases. Coventry City Council are also now working together with Warwickshire County Council, supported by SLC Rail, on extending the Rail Story's assessment of the economic value of enhanced rail services is also being extended to cover the wider Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Area.

The first major step forward in developing the strategy into physical improvements has already begun. The City Council has taken one of the major high-level outputs and findings – the regeneration of Coventry Station, and formed a partnership with Virgin Trains, Network Rail and Centro to develop a comprehensive Masterplan for the station.

To read more about The Coventry Rail Investment Strategy and download it for yourself, visit our projects section here.

Ian Walters, Director, SLC Rail

24th January 2014

The SLC Rail team welcomes Melissa Thompson, Alan Newland and Mike Haigh

The SLC Rail team has grown over the past couple of months with our new project and programme managers. Each team member brings specialist knowledge and a strong skill set.

Alan Newland joined us in September to programme manage the GRIP3 process for Worcestershire Parkway and act as a client advisor to Worcestershire County Council. I’ve worked with Alan before and I am confident that with his skills and experience Worcester Parkway is in safe hands.

Mike Haigh joined us in September as the Project Director for Worcestershire Parkway.  It is great to have someone with Mike’s experience and knowledge joining the team.

Melissa Thompson joined us in November 2013 as a Project Planner for several clients.  With Melissa’s experience, we can now offer in-house project planning services to support our clients and the SLC business.

We will provide updates on the projects they are involved with as they progress. You can read more about the new team members here.

Ian Walters, Director, SLC Rail

20th January 2014

Kenilworth’s new station development given full approval

Warwickshire County Council's plans for a new £11.3m station in Kenilworth were given final approval on 12 December 2013; a culmination of almost a year's work of the SLC Rail and WCC project teams.

Kenilworth’s new station development

The team at SLC Rail prepared the successful bid and have been working with Warwickshire County Council on the plans since February 2013.

Cllr Peter Butlin, Transport & Planning Portfolio Holder, Warwickshire County Council said "The rail knowledge and expertise of the SLC team was critical to the success of the bid to the New Stations Fund for Kenilworth Station and I look forward to the opening of the new station as our in-house team and SLC Rail continue to work closely together to progress the project to completion.”

The station, due to open in December 2016 will improve the rail connectivity across the West Midlands with local services running between Coventry, Kenilworth and Leamington Spa.

Ian Walters, Director of SLC Rail said “It is great to be working once again with the Warwickshire County Council on this locally important project as it moves from the development to the delivery phase”

You can read more about the project in our projects section here.

9th December 2013

SLC Rail signs Rail Advisor Framework Agreement with Warwickshire County Council.

We’re proud to announce that in the summer of 2013 we signed a Rail Advisor Framework Agreement with Warwickshire County Council. The two-year consultancy framework, extendable to four, enables us to advise Warwickshire County Council on both planned rail projects and feasibility work for aspirational developments across the region.

Signing the Framework Agreement: Cllr Peter Butlin, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning; Monica Fogarty, Strategic Director for Communities; Ian Walters of SLC Rail.

Signing the Framework Agreement:
Cllr Peter Butlin, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transport and Planning;
Monica Fogarty, Strategic Director for Communities; Ian Walters of SLC Rail.

It builds on our successful relationship with the Council, and we are looking forward to starting work on the new projects including new stations, station enhancements and footbridges.  With the bigger and stronger team here at SLC Rail, our working relationship with Warwickshire is going from strength to strength.

For more detail on this story, visit the project page here.

7th December 2013

SLC Rail supports the A45 bridge replacement works on behalf of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

We’re moving into a critical phase of the A45 South Bridge Replacement Project.  Following the successful phase working with Network Rail to agree a solution to an existing signal impacted by the proposed footprint of the new bridge, SLC Rail is continuing to working on behalf of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) to guide the project forward.

The existing A45 South Bridge.

The existing A45 South Bridge.

We are building a successful relationship with the Council, as we enter the core project planning stages that will underpin the construction work to deliver a wider bridge on the site over the next three years by the end of 2016.

For more detail on this story, visit the project page here.

5th December 2013

The SLC Rail team welcomes John Harvey.

The SLC Rail team would like to extend a warm welcome to John Harvey who joins the team today as Project Manager. Welcome aboard John!

New SLC Rail team member John Harvey

Ian Walters and the SLC Rail team.

30th October 2013

SLC Rail joins Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

SLC Rail has been expanding its network and knowledge with more than just team members this month. We’re proud to announce that we are now members of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry – one of the largest and most influential Chambers in the Country.

SLC Rail joins Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

Membership gives us access to a wealth of contacts, knowledge and skills-sharing opportunities which will help our business as it continues to grow.  I’m looking forward to attending a variety of events across the Birmingham area in the next few months. It will be great to meet other local business leaders and share ideas.

Ian Walters, SLC Rail.

10th June 2013

Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway Station opens six months ahead of plan.

SLC Rail HQ is buzzing this month following the delivery of one of our projects.  Some of the team were lucky enough to welcome the first trains into the new Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway Station on 19th May. The sun was shining, the station was opened a full seven months ahead of schedule and we were joined by John Harvey from Warwickshire County Council and Mark Lawton from London Midland to see the first revenue earning service call in at the station.

Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway Station opens six months ahead of plan.

Left to Right: Gary Moulds, Warwickshire County Council ; Sam Uren, SLC Rail; John Harvey, Warwickshire County Council; Ian Walters, SLC Rail; Mark Lawton, London Midland.

It is always exciting to see the plans, construction and lots of teamwork deliver something you've been working on from the start. There is something really special about the commissioning of the final development after months of treading the ballast; especially when the first trains roll into the platform.

The first train was brought in by London Midland driver Mark Aston, travelling to Birmingham on train number 172217.

John Harvey, Principal Transport Planner, Warwickshire Country Council said:

"SLC Rail has provided an extremely valuable service to Warwickshire County Council in the development and delivery of Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway Station. The breadth of their experience and the high level of respect they have attained from the rail industry in the West Midlands undoubtedly helped in the opening of the Station 7 months early and on budget."

For more information about this rail development, visit the Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway page in our projects section.

Sam Uren, Design Manager, SLC Rail.

04th January 2013

A new year, new website and a bigger team!

Happy New Year and welcome to the inaugural entry of the SLC rail blog.

It’s been an exciting few months with growing the team, building the website and keeping all the various projects on track. I wanted to start a blog so that you, as our clients, can take a look behind the scenes and get a real feel for the personalities behind SLC Rail. All of the team will be involved in providing their updates on what’s been happening, their thoughts on topics close to their hearts, new developments on the horizon and general industry comment. We hope you’ll find them both useful and entertaining.

2013 is shaping up to be a busy year and we’re looking forward to all it brings!

Ian Walters, Director, SLC Rail.

27th December 2012

Time to celebrate!

We had our first-ever SLC Rail Christmas dinner at Marco Pierre White’s restaurant; great food, great service and most of all great company! I’d just like to thank everyone that came; I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

With Christmas fast approaching and all the team working extremely hard on our current projects, it was great to get together and celebrate.

We’re all very much looking forward to what 2013 has in store for us, I have a feeling it’s going to be a fab year!

On behalf of everyone here I wish you a happy new year!

Amy, Team Organiser, SLC Rail.

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