Started
October 2001
Completed
January 2017
Client
Network Rail
Location
Across the UK
VGC contract value
£3 million

VGC managed the delivery of rail for Network Rail across the UK from 2002 until January 2017. Over the years VGC and Network Rail refined the rail delivery operations and achieved significant efficiency improvements, while maintaining an excellent safety record.

Whether it is for the replacement of worn rail, new railway track or required for the latest projects, rail must be delivered at the precise location needed to enable it to be installed into the infrastructure. VGC supplied fully trained teams strategically based throughout the UK to ensure countrywide coverage. VGC’s highly competent operators were multi-skilled to enable flexibility and optimum performance. The operation was coordinated at VGC’s control centre near London, which arranged pre-drop walkouts to check the places where rail will be dropped, booked the correct train to collect the appropriate rail for the delivery, managed the delivery and informed all relevant stakeholders after each rail drop on the status of the rail deliveries during the previous shift. Most rail drops take place overnight, to avoid interrupting normal rail traffic.

Network Rail owns several purpose-built rail trains designed to handle the transportation and delivery of rail up to 216 metres in length. In 2002 VGC was awarded the contract to operate the rail putler which delivers 108 metre lengths of rail, mainly operating in tunnels and tight curves. This was followed in 2003 when VGC secured the contract to operate eight new rail delivery trains.

In 2009 VGC produced the training manual for the tilting platform delivery train (also known as SCPV – switch and crossing panel vehicle) which can deliver modular switch and crossing units to the worksite. The photograph top left of this page shows the SCPV. VGC supplied a team of six operatives to operate the tilting train on behalf of Network Rail. This Network Rail YouTube video shows the SCPV in action at 1:00 – 1:05 and again at 2:00 – 2:10.

Will’s blog has a copy of a presentation about the rail delivery fleet which has more information.

The management of rail is a crucial element in the safe running of the UK’s railway network. This extensive rail delivery project undertaken by VGC Rail Projects demonstrates our ability to consistently deliver a safe and reliable service to the railway infrastructure over many years.

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