Operational Plans for the Borders Railway (Design, Build, Finance and Operate) for Atkins Rail

Transport Scotland provided the legal framework and funding (to target price) for the reopening of a railway closed in 1968. They sought the innovative skills of consortia to provide a solution that achieved strict target costs for both construction and operation. One of the consortia, BAM, engaged Atkins (supported by North Star) to provide specialist railway design consultancy for construction and operational advice for the O&M phase of the project. This was in the form of a 30 year concession to operate and maintain a railway that linked to the national railway network whereby existing services would be guaranteed to run over the concession railway with access charges being paid to the concessionaire.

The commission included:

  • Analysis of track layout modelling to ensure that the railway was both affordable and operable over the life of the concession.
  • Input to the command and control arrangements of the new railway including signalling control, infrastructure control, fault and failure and incident and emergency management including relationships with all stakeholders.
  • Writing plans of how performance would be managed between the OpCo, the National Infrastructure Owner (Network Rail) and the Train Operating Company about how this would work in practice over the life of the concession.
  • Analysis of the Rules and Standards used in the UK to seek opportunities for innovation in operations of the Borders Railway.
  • Development of response to the regulatory arrangements for governance of the railway including how track access and performance would be managed in a transparent way.
  • Integrating the whole of the operations and maintenance rationale into an operations manual (plan) in order to demonstrate deliverability to the client.
  • Demonstration of the rationale behind the railway layout, signalling, timetable pattern and modelling to Network Rail.

“When Atkins required support to provide Operational Plans, expertise and advice for the development of the Borders Railway we turned to North Star. They have an excellent track record in providing innovative operational solutions, can manage operations projects, deliver to time and fully meet and exceed client expectations”

Ben Harding, Director, Atkins Rail