Network Rail’s Rolling Programme of Decarbonisation looks to remove diesel passenger trains from the Scottish rail network by 2035, including electrifying 1,800 kilometres of Scotland’s railway infrastructure. This required a high level of ground condition assessments, so BakerHicks were brought on board through the Network Rail Design Services Framework to provide geotechnical expertise, with Wardell Armstrong LLP as mining consultants.
The team was recognised specifically for its collaborative approach to the extensive risk assessment and ground investigation works, which involved producing geotechnical specifications and OLE foundation option assessment reports for 150 miles of track and 175 bridges. Across the three companies, the skills and experience of various ground engineering disciplines were drawn upon, creating a strong team culture.
A standardised approach was established, and BakerHicks’ rail and geotechnical experts worked closely with the wider team to ensure effective communication, ensuring each assessment was completed to the same standard. Further efficiencies and streamlining was achieved through BakerHicks’ use of GIS export data to create a model with all relevant desk study and network data. This is the first time such a comprehensive model has been produced for an electrification scheme and helped boost delivery speeds, keeping the programme on track and creating an estimated saving of over £300 per mile of route completed.
James Howles, director of Rail at BakerHicks, says:
This award is testament to the hard work and true collaborative working of the team, which is what has made this project such a success. We are incredibly proud to have been involved in a project that will bring real tangible benefits to the community, with improved sustainable infrastructure that will serve generations of travellers. Network Rail’s social value and net zero ambitions mirror our own, and we are delighted to support them in realising these.
The judging panel commented that it was:
An excellent submission in which the passion of the team shone through. We were impressed with the clear strategy for building a team ethos and the tangible results this delivered via the quality of deliverables, cost savings and environmental benefits.