D2 Rail Attend Business Enterprise Day at Local School

Last week, our Project Controls Team attended a Business Enterprise Day at Parrs Wood High School, Manchester, on behalf of one of our current projects at the Transpire (West of Leeds).

This was arranged by the schools own “Future Choices’ department for all of its Year 11 students.

Neeraj Ajit Sukumaran was D2 Rail’s lead and he was one of the mentors supporting the students as they worked in teams to come up with business ideas, which, were then presented back to Neeraj and fellow guests from the wider business community including Aldi, AECOM and Purcell.

There was much success throughout the day and one of the student teams – Team Ignite – managed to raise ‘£321,000’ for their ‘business idea’. Here is a link to the students challenge: https://www.ourfutures.co.uk/documents/of_events/Enterprise_Challenge_Role_of_the_Volunteer.pdf

D2 Rail wholeheartedly support this type of community engagement and it forms part of the business’s wider social values:

  • Respect.
  • Fairness
  • Honesty
  • Giving Back
  • Responsibility
  • Family
  • Community

Neeraj enjoyed the day and is now planning on becoming a STEM Ambassador, offering his time and enthusiasm to help bring STEM subjects to life and demonstrate the value of them in life and careers. STEM Ambassadors are an important and exciting free of charge resource for teachers and others engaging with young people inside and out of the classroom.

Here is a link for the day.

https://mobile.twitter.com/forourfutures?fbclid=IwAR30C98oWTZATGIvH-XJRlLi1hhZNMBIelK1x3FAaRpFPXc8XVqdlwSJEps

D2 Rail Bakes for Mustard Tree Charity

The D2 Rail team have been busy baking a selection of sumptuous cakes to raise money in aid of homeless charity Mustard Tree.

An amazing array of treats has been laid out for this bake sale including tray bakes, sponge cakes, cookies and even cup-cakes, that have been iced to match the D2 brand colours. The sale is happening at our TRU project office located at 111 Piccadilly, Manchester, with all proceeds going to the charity.

D2 Rail are supporting Mustard Tree this year and this is one of many events and activities that our team have completed to raise funds. The local charity has an established track record over the past 25 years, supporting people across Greater Manchester in poverty and facing homelessness. They create opportunities for people to help themselves through providing practical support, friendship, connections into work, improvements to health and wellbeing plus new experiences to encourage aspiration.

Pictured here (from left to right) are our D2 Rail Bakers; Becky Pratt, Rebecca Mercer, Rebecca Crean and Dave Harwood – great work team!

D2 Rail Newsletter – Fourth Edition

We have released our latest edition of D2 News. The last six months has seen D2 Rail winning new rail work at a rate of knots and hence a large part of that period has been filled with the recruitment of a number of planning and controls specialists.

Our existing teams have been busy too, brilliantly supporting existing bodies of work, as D2’s stock continues to rise through our innovative solutions and intelligent investment in our multi-functional Programme offering. Our aim is to help our clients to drive value for money through every aspect of their operations.

R&D continues to be at the forefront of both our BIM and Visualisations services and Managing Director David Diesbergen, continues to lead his dynamic team to excellence in all they do:

“Our mission is to provide the very highest quality offering, whether it is as a standalone service provision, or an integrated programme management solution.

“With the new recruits adding further capabilities and capacity across the breadth of the rail and wider construction programme management sector, I look forward to continued success for us all as we move through 2019. Do please click here to read our latest newsletter and learn more about the progress we have been making”

D2 Rail Adds a Project Case Study Area to its Website

We are pleased to have completed a recent update to our website by adding a new Case Study area to our site.

Successful projects are a great way of showcasing our capabilities and we are delighted to have a wide selection of projects to demonstrate the many diverse services that we deliver.

Many of these include a customer testimonial, which provides us both with great feedback and endorsement for our work.

Please click here to check out our projects and do look out for new studies in the future.

D2 Rail Welcomes Two New Team Members

D2 Rail are pleased to announce the appointment of two new team members to our growing rail programme management consultancy.

We are pleased to welcome Utilities Manager, Graeme Clarke and Planner, Richard Riding to the D2 Rail family.

Graeme is a knowledgeable Utilities Manager, with 29 years’ experience within the Construction, Civil Engineering and Utilities Sectors. He will be based at the TRU West of Leeds Office and will provide Utilities Consultancy support to Divisional lead, Steve Cooper. He joins us from WSP, where he held the role of Utilities Manager, working on various projects involving the design and co-ordination of multi-utility diversions and connections.

Richard joins us from Morrison Utility Services, where he had been working as a Senior Planner/Programme Manager on their water network mains replacement and rehabilitation programmes. He is a well-rounded construction industry professional, having started his industry career in 2001 as a Site Engineer/Manager on the Yorkshire Water frameworks, before moving into Planning with Costain. Richard will also be based in the TRU West of Leeds office working on a mix of route wide and specific intervention projects reporting into D2’s Planning Director, Simon Blair.

We wish both Richard and Graeme much happiness and success in their new roles.

D2 Rail Family Extends Further

We are pleased to welcome Lorissa Walker to the D2 Rail Team, in the position of Executive Support.

Lorissa will be based at our King Street Office and will be providing support to the managers and other colleagues in the office. Lorissa will report to Managing Director, David Diesbergen. Previously, this role was held by Rebecca Crean. Rebecca has recently moved into our Information Management team, hence, Lorissa’s appointment.

Lorissa has an infrastructure industry background, so is very much at home with our fast paced Programme Management Consultancy environment. She joins us from Pinnacle Luxury Developments, where she was a Client & Contracts Manager for 3 years. Throughout her time at Pinnacle, Lorissa worked on various different property developments ranging from £250k to £5.5m. During that time, Lorissa also gained further insight into the industry via a Site Management role, before returning back to Contract Management.

In her spare time, Lorissa enjoys long walks with her 4 dogs and also runs a small Beagle group that raise money for Beagle Welfare.

We wish Lorissa a long and happy career with D2 Rail.

Urban Challenge Completed by D2 Rail Team

D2 Rail is delighted to announce that our four brave members of staff; Chloe Brown and Rebecca Mercer from our Information Management Team, Neeraj Ajit Sukumaran from our Project Controls Team and Rick Webdale from our Visualisations Team, have successfully completed their ‘Urban Challenge’ in Ancoats, in Manchester City Centre.

The team have been raising funds for The Mustard Tree and having set an ambitious target of £400 initially, they managed to smash that further, by raising a fantastic total of £805 – 200% more than the target!

Many thanks to all those that donated and huge congratulations to our fearless team, for throwing themselves (literally!) at this event, their efforts in completing this challenge and their commitment to this worthwhile local cause.

This is all part of D2 Rail’s pledge to Homeless charity Mustard Tree, supporting them in their work, to help people across Greater Manchester in poverty and facing homelessness.

A Further Addition to our Planning and Scheduling Team

We are pleased to welcome Dave Crowe to the D2 Rail Team, who joins our business from Volker Rail.

Dave has joined us in the capacity of Planner and will be based at our King Street Head Office in Manchester. He will be working in a Project Controls and Planning capacity and will be reporting into Dave Harwood – our Project Controls Manager.

Dave joins D2 Rail at a busy time. We will be looking to utilise his Project Controls and Planning experience from a number of schemes, including NWEP Phase 3, Mersey Rail PSU and the Bromsgrove Electrification Scheme. Dave has also managed the Network Rail KPI’s during his work, which offered an insight in the end-users business, providing him the opportunity to work closely and provide support to different areas including Health and Safety, Commercial, Quality, Procurement and Sustainability.

Dave has a few hobbies and interests, including playing Rugby, walking his dog George, reading, and spending time with his fiancé Kath.

We wish Dave all the best in his new role.

D2 Rail Adds to its Planning and Scheduling Team

D2 Rail is pleased to announce the appointment of Jill Dyson to the position of Senior Planner.

Jill will be based at 111 Piccadilly, Manchester – the offices of our Transpennine Route Upgrade West of Leeds Project – and will be initially working with the Railway Signalling team, to develop the GRIP 3 design programmes to completion.  She will then be progressing onto further project specific programme development and liaison with the Digital Rail team, in order to produce a route-wide integration schedule. Jill will report to both Jon Ainsworth, as the Alliance planning lead, and our own Planning Director, Simon Blair.

Jill joins us from Siemens, where she held the role of Senior Planner for the Weaver to Wavertree Re-Signalling Project.  Jill has 20 years’ experience in the rail industry, predominantly working on GRIP 4-8 multi-discipline projects, with a signalling bias.

In her spare time, Jill enjoys running and competing in race events, from 10ks to marathons.

We welcome Jill to our team and wish her all the best in her new role.

D2 Rail Welcomes Danny Boyle to its Project Controls Team

We are pleased to welcome Danny Boyle to the D2 Rail Team, in the position of Train Operators Interface Manager.

Danny will be based at 111 Piccadilly, Manchester, in order to interface with all Train and Freight Operating Companies who operate over the Transpennine route in respect of all signal sighting and driver training issues. He will report to Allan Parker in the Integration team for the West of Leeds.

Danny joins us from Northern Hub, where he occupied a similar role and has over 45 years’ experience in railway operations and safety.

He commenced his railway career in the train driving grades before progressing into Senior Management posts in Area and Regional Traincrew and Operations Management in Freight and Passenger Operating Companies.

Over the last 16 years Danny has worked as an Independent Operations and Safety Management Consultant working with TOCs, FOCs, Network Rail and the Rail Safety and Standards Board.

D2 Rail Continue Their Support For Mustard Tree Charity

D2 Rail Continue Their Support For Mustard Tree Charity

As we mentioned at the end of 2018, D2 Rail is supporting Homeless charity Mustard Tree, to support them in their work, helping people across Greater Manchester in poverty and facing homelessness.

Four of our brave, young and enthusiastic team, are taking on the Manchester Urban Challenge on the 26th of April.  Stepping out from their comfort zones and preparing for 60 minutes of mayhem, taking on a series of challenging obstacles.

The team have set up a just giving page and would appreciate any support…https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/d2-rail

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So, it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity. And don’t forget, if you’re a UK taxpayer, to click the GiftAid box.

A donation would mean so much to so many people. Providing funds to the Mustard Tree provides people in Manchester with the chance to escape homelessness and poverty – for good.  Donations and the money raised could go towards such things as:

£10 – Pays for a food parcel to feed a hungry person for five days

£20 – Pays for a food parcel to feed a family for five days

£50 – Allows Mustard Tree to donate a fridge to someone in need

£100 – Allows Mustard Tree equip a single persons home with furniture

£150 – Keeps a van running to pick up donations and deliver furniture for one week

Good luck to our brilliant team of Neeraj Ajit Sukumaran, Chloe Brown, Rebecca Mercer and Rick Webdale – who are hoping to raise at least £400 for this fantastic cause.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/d2-rail

D2 Attends Salford University to Present on BIM and Innovation

D2’s BIM Manager Ashley Williams, was invited by Salford University to present to students reading their MSc in Construction Management on the implementation of 4D in BIM.

4D is the concept of taking a 3D model and assigning tasks to elements within the model, to generate a programme. From this, the 4D Planning model can then be utilised from construction sequence checks, to integrate methodology, helping to ensure safe working.

Some of the key benefits we have found in our work in this area and by adopting BIM and utilising innovative solutions are:

  • Improved quality
  • Reduction in delivery time
  • Reduction to overall cost
  • Up-skilled staff
  • Sustainable product
  • Increased safety

Ashley’s presentation also looked at innovation and how we can ensure that BIM is being used as a foundation behind new technology. Recapping on BIM and the Maturity Wedge, Ashley discussed the importance of working within a BIM Environment and provided an insight into the next dimensions of design the industry should be focusing on, from 4D to 6D.

Expanding further on 4D, Ashley provided examples of previous projects in which 4D had been utilised. Building upon this, Ashley raised the importance of not only taking advantage of new technology to support the implementation of 4D, but to also ensure that the construction industry is utilising this technology with BIM at its core, providing further examples on how we can improve the way we approach 4D.

Many thanks to Dr Zeeshan Aziz for allowing us the opportunity to engage. We look forward to further opportunities to share our experiences and talk about the innovation we are bringing as part of our wider programme management consultancy offering.

D2 Rail Successfully Passes RISQS Audit with 5 Stars

D2 Rail is pleased to announce that we have successfully passed our Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS) audit, achieving the maximum 5 stars for another year.

Administered by Achilles on behalf of Network Rail, our management systems are audited specifically for the rail services that we deliver.

The audit this year was split into a number of areas:

  • Industry Minimum Requirements (IMR) – to examine a variety of aspects including matters such as working hours;
  • The Sentinel Scheme – how we manage our rail personnel and their competencies;
  • Railway Interface Planning (RIPS) – regarding our Safe System of Work processes;

Our team was led by Managing Director, David Diesbergen and took place over 1 day.  Our team demonstrated, through detailed evidence, how we deliver our programme management services, through policy, procedure and process – particularly with reference to their implementation on railway schemes, which include; project planning, audits and inspections, D&A screening, sponsorship and fatigue management.

A delighted David added:

“This is a fantastic achievement. The audits are a large undertaking and to retain our 5 star rating for another year is a testament to the whole D2 Rail team. Without this qualification, we wouldn’t be able to operate. Well done team!”

D2 Rail Newsletter – Third Edition

The last six months has seen D2 Rail adding to its capabilities with its new Utilities arm delivering successfully under the guidance of Steve Cooper and also the recruitment of some further industry specialists as our project workload has increased – all of which has been captured in this third edition of our newsletter.

The team have otherwise been working hard delivering the companies multi-functional Programme Management offering on a number of important projects including Simon Blair and his Planning, Project Controls and Constructability teams at the Transpennine West of Leeds Scheme and Sarah Barnes and her IM team successfully closing out the award winning Ordsall Chord Project, alongside substantial R&D in both our BIM and Visualisations service areas.

Managing Director David Diesbergen, has been delighted with the progress made:

D2 Rail’s mission is to provide integrated programme management solutions and we are delighted that our utility service offering has bedded in nicely and is already helping to boost project efficiency and reduce costs in what can be a particularly demanding environment.

“With the new recruits, our experience across the breadth of the rail and wider construction programme management sector, will help us and our clients to have a deeper understanding of the challenges involved.  Our aim is to be of help our clients at both a strategic and tactical level, by delivering both discrete projects and wider programme management solutions. We hope that by working with an intelligent and innovative partner such as D2 Rail, we can help our clients to drive value for money through every aspect of their operations.

“As we look back, we are proud of our successes in 2018, and look forward to working with you all throughout 2019. Please click this link to read more.

D2’s Work Recognised by Transpennine Route Upgrade West of Leeds Alliance Project

It’s been a great start to the year for the D2 Rail team, our Planning lead Alesha Hancock has been awarded with employee of the period on the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) West of Leeds Alliance project.  Alesha has been praised for her continued support of the Ground Investigation and Site Investigation teams.  She consistently goes above and beyond her planning role to manage and coordinate surveys and reports.  She instils Alliance values and behaviours within her role, having the courage to challenge ways of working and looking for the most efficient ways to manage the surveys and reports.

Alesha previously played a crucial part in ensuring the overall success of the Ordsall Chord project, leading on possession and work activity planning – introducing a number of improvements to processes – whilst also adding her backing as a supporter of Women in Rail.

Well done Alesha! Keep up the good work.

Along with Alesha’s win we have had five D2 Rail employees recognised by their peers on the TRU West of Leeds Alliance project for their hard work and dedication in their day-to-day roles on the project.  Well done to Chloe Brown, Glen Staunton, Rebecca Mercer, Sarah Barnes and Simon Blair.  It’s fantastic to see the D2 Rail team making such an impact on such a large programme of works.

Great work team!

D2 Rail Updates Website

It has been a busy start to the year for D2 Rail, with many business updates and news stories.

Our Consents Management offering has been added to our BIM, Information Management and Visualisations areas of the website, allowing us to further clarify and amplify this important service that we provide.

There have also been a number of new recruits over the past twelve months as our workload and stock have both risen and we have reflected this with our updated ‘meet the team’ photo.

Utilities Manager Steve Cooper, who joined the business last year, also now features on our leadership page.

Our Contact Us page has also been updated following a recent photoshoot at our business home in the heart of Greater Manchester.

D2 Rail Day

As a forward thinking company that always looks at how we can improve our way of working and maintain a happy and healthy team, the D2 Rail leadership team decided to take their teams away from their busy project work to attend our very first D2 Rail Day. Having had a period of recruitment, business growth and project successes, we felt it was vital for the whole team to not only learn more about each other, but also our heritage, our mission, our vision and what our aspirations will be in the future, along with our key targets during the next 12 months.

We need to make sure that everyone within the D2 Rail team understands how important their roles are, and in order for the business to grow, we want them to be fully engaged with us on our journey. We also took the opportunity to ask the team what is important to them as an employee? At D2 Rail, we want to understand if our employees needs are being met and build on what we have already implemented within the business. The most important part of the D2 Rail Day was for the team to get together for some networking and to have some fun.

After some extremely competitive and funny games throughout the day, one game stood out – “The Jigsaw Puzzle Game.”  This game started with three identical jigsaws being provided to each team.  The teams then had 20 minutes to piece their jigsaw puzzles together.  However, it soon became apparent, that some of the jigsaw puzzle pieces had been deliberately mixed up with some of the other teams pieces.  Next came the interesting part…each team had to negotiate with the other teams regarding their missing pieces.  In the true spirit of collaboration, the teams decided to support one of the groups, giving them the missing pieces, so that they were able to win the game.

The D2 Rail Day proved to be a great success.

One of the most important aspects of our business is our employees and we want to make sure that we provide them with a platform, like the D2 Rail Day, to voice any concerns or share ideas they may have to the wider business.  Our teams are built up of extremely talented people who can make a difference not only in our company but in the wider industry as a whole. At D2 Rail, we support innovation and want to inspire our people to embrace change and look to create smarter ways of working. Taking days out like the D2 Rail Day allows us to reinvigorate our key message to the team, a message that truly underpins our core values:

“We build our business on trust, which allows our innovative people to flourish in a collaborative and sustainable environment.”

D2 Rail BIM Manager Ashley Williams Presents to Network Rail

D2 Rail’s BIM Manager Ashley Williams, recently presented at Network Rail’s P3M away day in Leeds, joining discussions on the ongoing IPNP P3M Improvement Programme. Ashley’s presentation looked at innovation within the rail industry and how we can ensure that BIM is being used as a foundation behind new technology. Recapping on BIM and the Maturity Wedge, Ashley discussed the importance of working within a BIM Environment and provided an insight into the next dimensions of design the industry should be focusing on, from 4D to 6D. Expanding further on 4D, Ashley provided examples of previous projects in which 4D had been utilised. Building upon this, Ashley raised the importance of not only taking advantage of new technology to support the implementation of 4D, but to also ensure that the rail industry is utilising this technology with BIM at its core, providing further examples on how we can improve the way we approach 4D.

To provide an insight into what innovative technology is available and being used within the industry, Ashley demonstrated two key development projects which D2 Rail has been working on over the last 12 months. With the help of Richard Hunter – D2 Rail’s Lead in Software Development – and some audience participation, D2 Rail’s ‘Interactive Media Suite’ was put on display, showcasing the uses of the suite for Site Inductions. Further to this, the new Hybrid Reality Concept was also showcased for the first time, highlighting the advantages of combining Virtual Realty with Green Screen technology, removing the barriers of Virtual Reality being seen as a single user interface technology and moving it into a multi user engaging product.

After an exciting day in Leeds we received some fantastic feedback from the Network Rail team and other rail industry leads regarding the presentation, our future development and innovation projects. We look forward to sharing and implementing our innovations within the industry on rail projects across the UK.

D2 Rail to Partner with Mustard Tree in Manchester

D2 Rail is partnering with Homeless charity Mustard Tree, to support the amazing ways in which they help people across Greater Manchester in poverty and facing homelessness.

As a member of the corporate business community in Manchester, we are delighted to help them in their efforts to create opportunities for people to help themselves. Through providing practical support, friendship, connections into work and improvements to health and wellbeing, the D2 Rail team hope to make a positive change across Greater Manchester.

D2’s Programme Information Manager, Sarah Barnes, had a walk around the centre to really get a feel for what the Mustard Tree team are doing to help the community. Following this inspiring visit, the D2 team has formed a committee to organise fundraising events for 2019 so watch this space!

As a company supporting a charity, it is very important to us that we understand the impact we are having and for our staff to feel really engaged with the cause.  To this end, D2 Rail are arranging for Sophie Appleton, Corporate Partnership Manager from the Mustard Tree team to join them on their ‘D2 Rail Day’ on the 17th January, giving everyone the opportunity to ask questions and get a better understanding of how they can help.

Mustard Tree offers a variety of opportunities for companies and their employees to get involved. From sharing skills by volunteering, offering work experience opportunities, to fun fundraising challenges.
Sarah also added:

“It’s such an amazing and inspiring feeling to know that we have the potential to make a real difference to these lives. We look forward to supporting the challenges faced in our community and to raise funds for Mustard Tree now and in the future.”

Last but not least, D2 Rail placed a donation box in their last team brief of the year, promising to drop off all donations to the Mustard Tree before Christmas.

http://www.mustardtree.org.uk/

D2 Rail Recruits New Project Controls Team Member

D2 Rail is delighted to welcome a new Project Controls Assistant to the team. Neeraj Sukumaran is a versatile and results driven professional, with over 5 years of experience in planning, managing and delivering projects on time and to budget.

With a background in Civil Engineering, having graduated in 2012, Neeraj spent 3 years with Jacobs Engineering until 2015, working on a number of residential and government projects in India. He then worked for ETE Saudi Arabia as a Planning Engineer until 2017, developing his project controls and planning skills using Primavera P6 software to support the bid team throughout the pre-contracts phase of a number of EPC schemes, right the way through into controlling and monitoring the projects on site for the post contract team.

In 2017, Neeraj added to his education, by undertaking a MSc in Construction Management at the University of Salford and it is this association that led to his recruitment with D2 Rail.

Neeraj will be based at 4PP and assisting with the implementation of the Earned Value Management system at the Transpennine Route Upgrade project (TRU). He will report to Project Controls lead, Dave Harwood.

In his spare time, Neeraj enjoys fishing, watching football and riding motorcycles and is planning to purchase a new ‘Iron Head’ Harley next year.

Dave Harwood, Project Controls Lead, commented further on this appointment by saying:

“We are delighted to welcome Neeraj to the D2 family. The project controls team is growing day-by-day and we very pleased to have recruited such a talented individual.

“All at D2 Rail wish Neeraj every success in his new role.”

D2 Rail Successfully Supports Information Management at Liverpool Lime Street

D2 Rail is proud to have been involved in the successful opening of Liverpool Lime Street Station.

Our resource has been sought to provide Information Management support to this logistically complicated project.  We joined the DPE (Designated Project Engineer) team for Network Rail to ensure that clarity, compliance and close-out of information was achieved across the project

During the life of the project, D2 Rail provided clear and concise reporting, tracking and management of actions and requirements of the project in support of the core project team to effectively co-ordinate the suppliers and deliver the works.

This included scope to innovate processes and streamline information where necessary, to improve the communication and management of information across the project and produce more effective close-outs of actions.

With the contribution of multiple suppliers and engineering disciplines feeding into the project we sought to bring standardisation and process control with regards to the flow of information.  By outlining a clear and simple strategy to achieve uniformity across the project, we were able to create and maintain a framework to manage the overview of these requirements providing a concise understanding of the progress of the project enabling quick an effective reporting on outstanding issues and works.

It is our belief that simplifying and streamlining, declutters the information and allows us to get to the heart of any issue and resolve it more effectively.  By imposing a clear framework of uniformity and compliance across a project a more clear and concise presentation of information can be achieved.

Sarah Barnes, Programme Information Manager for D2 Rail, had this to say:

“Special thanks go to Rebecca Mercer who acted as the Document Controller/Technical Clerk for this rail rejuvenation project and is currently supporting the closing out of the Health and Safety files for the project.

“We look forward to utilising Rebecca’s talents within our Information Management division, which provides tailored and impartial advice on Information Management and Document Control. She is part of a team of dedicated individuals, who have a wealth of experience in various systems and keep abreast of best practice procedures and industry standards. The team can advise on the setup and maintenance of your chosen system as well as provide training and ongoing support.”

https://www.d2rail.co.uk/services/information-management/

D2 Rail Newsletter – Second Edition

The first half of 2018, has seen D2 Rail building on its previous successes and these have been captured in this exciting second edition of our newsletter.

The senior team have been working hard to develop their teams and have added new talent to the company’s multi-functional Programme Management offering, which now covers PlanningProject ControlsInformation Management BIMConstructability and Visualisations offerings.

Managing Director David Diesbergen and his senior team, were delighted to announce a number of new recruits and also several internal promotions, as the team prepare for a busy time ahead.

“With new opportunities comes responsibility for everyone at D2 Rail and we are delighted to have recruited high quality talent, and also recognised individuals within our existing teams for their outstanding contributions to our success. We couldn’t do it without them.

“We are committed to being a world class service provider and believe by understanding, and embracing clients’ business problems, missions, project objectives and goals, we will be continue to build stronger and lasting relationships that will be mutually beneficial.

“We are proud of our continued success in 2018, and would like to share this with you. So please click this link to read more.

D2 Rail Forms New Utilities Division with the Appointment of Steve Cooper

D2 Rail is very pleased to announce the appointment of accomplished Utilities professional Steve Cooper, who joins our leadership team.

Steve will be heading a new Utilities Division that will be focusing upon the management and co-ordination of utility diversions for major projects for both public and private sector clients.

Bringing a wealth of technical, programme and commercial know-how, Steve will be utilising his 25 years of proven project success for the likes of Laing O’Rourke – where he has consistently achieved targets through the strategic project and programme management of major infrastructure projects – to provide professional utilities services to both the rail sector and the wider construction industry.

He recently led the utilities programme for Network Rail on the Northern Hub Project including the Ordsall Chord, Manchester Piccadilly, Oxford Road Railway Station, and the Manchester Airport Railway Station improvements. Other key projects Steve has been involved with include Growth Deal Programme for Transport for Greater Manchester, Ring 3 Light Rail project in Denmark and HS2 Phase 1 Enabling Works Contract North.

Steve holds a BSc Hons in Construction Management, is a Member of the APM and has first tier leadership skills as part of a wider part of his continuous professional development.

Managing Director David Diesbergen, had this to say on Steve’s appointment:

‘D2 Rail’s mission is to provide integrated programme management solutions. Having worked with Steve on the Northern Hub, we believe that our new utility service offering can help boost project efficiency and reduce costs in what can be a particularly demanding environment.

‘His experience across the breadth of the utilities sector will help us and our clients to have a deeper understanding of the challenges involved. Our aim will be to help our clients at both a strategic and tactical level, by delivering both discrete projects and wider programme management solutions. We hope that by working with an intelligent partner such as D2 Rail, we can help our clients to drive value for money through every aspect of their utility operations.

‘Welcome on board Steve!’

Dave Diesbergen Shares His Thoughts for Mental Health Week 2018

At D2 Rail, we have all been thinking about Mental Health this week and in particular the effects of stress.

man smilingOur senior team have of course been heavily involved and to round off a thought provoking week, here’s our Managing Director David Diesbergen, sharing his thoughts…

“For mental health week it is extremely important that everyone takes the opportunity to promote the fact that no one should feel that they can’t talk about how they really feel.

Throughout my career, I have witnessed first-hand the ‘stigma’ that has been associated with showing signs of mental health issues. In recent years, we have made huge steps to break down the barriers associated with mental health, however, we can all play a significant part to making even further steps forward.

Everyone’s mental health is affected by numerous day to day factors both inside and outside the working environment, but one thing is clear, whatever the issue might be, it does affect us on a daily basis.

On a personal note, I have regularly faced situations where I have felt overwhelmed by the amount of challenges I have had to deal with, which in turn increases stress levels to an unacceptable level. Ultimately if this is not managed carefully, then stress levels can cause people to feel dejected and in some cases depressed. I know from experience that there is nothing worse than feeling that you could have helped someone but didn’t know they needed help. Whilst you can try and read the signs of stress; they can be well hidden by anyone suffering and not at all obvious. Asking for support is not a weakness – we all need help from time to time – it’s about being there when someone needs to talk, listening and offering advice on how to deal with a situation they may find themselves in.

Talking about this topic and taking away the stigma of mental health issues and stress can help a lot of people out of a very dark place in their lives. We all can play such an important part in our friends, families and colleagues lives by just being there for support. Without people having the courage to speak out, we might find ourselves in situations where we feel we could have done more to help. If only we had seen the signs that they needed support or better still that they felt they could ask for it.

I urge anyone who feels they need help to have the confidence to ask for it and for everyone who finds themselves in a situation where they are being asked for support to make the time to listen to those that have had the confidence to ask. Please remember this can come in a number of different forms and can be a chat over a cup of tea (or in my case for those that know me that would have to be coffee), which can make a world of difference to someone who is feeling isolated and stuck in a rut.”

#letstalk

Planning Director Simon Blair Shares His Story for Mental Health Week

D2 Rail’s Senior Team continue to share their own personal experiences for Mental Health Week, which this year is focusing upon stress. Here’s Planning Director, Simon Blair’s…

“Like Sarah, mental health has affected my close family and friends; it is a subject that can be hard to discuss and confront but I’ve found that talking is the best form of defence.

I never saw myself as having ‘depression’; I certainly know what the severe side of this illness looks like, having seen it affect close family members. However, I never appreciated that in its mildest form, depression can still have a significant impact on your life.

There have been times when I have felt stressed, overwhelmed, and unable to cope with conflicting demands. In all cases, the close support from family (in particular, my wife Claire), friends and work colleagues have helped me to overcome the feelings of hopelessness and helped me to change my mood in a positive way. The best things that friends and family can do is simply listen. They often don’t need to say anything, just being willing to listen to your problems makes a massive difference.

A devastating diagnosis of a close friend and their positive response to difficult news has been awe inspiring to me. Since this moment, I have committed to stay positive, no matter what the outlook.

Did you know that there is good evidence to show that going through difficult experiences in your childhood can make you vulnerable to experiencing depression later in life? This is something I never appreciated but I can relate to.

My best advice to maintain good mental health is to keep talking and ask for help.” #letstalk

Sarah Barnes Talks Openly About Mental Health

This year for Mental Health Awareness week the Mental Health Foundation are focussing on stress. Research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year, and stress is a key factor in this. By tackling stress, we can go a long way to tackle mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide. To bring more awareness to these issues we have asked some of our leadership team to talk about how they feel about mental health and how they handle stress in their day to day lives.

Sarah Barnes – Programme Information Manager:

“The subject of mental health is one very close to my heart as I have friends and family that have struggled with mental health issues. Throughout my career and everyday day life I too have had situations where I have felt overwhelmed, stressed and depressed, with a feeling of no way out of my situation. This experience felt extremely lonely and isolating, as I did not want to voice my issues and seem weak or vulnerable in any way. It turns out when you are going through a stressful situation, these feelings are extremely normal. The most important thing you can do is talk to someone about it and ask for help. In my work situation, I learned that I am just as important if not more than a project or a piece of work, and my bosses and teams agreed with that statement. I think we all aim to be the perfect manager, the perfect employee and the perfect partner, but nobody is expecting this of you except yourself. Burning myself out does not make me a productive person and not getting enough sleep does not give me the energy or drive to do my job well. Most importantly taking work stresses home with me with no respite whatsoever, does not help me solve the problems. I am lucky to be part of a company that recognises when people are overwhelmed or stressed and takes action to support their employees. My best advice to maintain good mental health is to keep talking and ask for help.” #letstalk

D2 Rail adds to its Planning Team

We are pleased to welcome Joe McClements to the D2 Rail Team, in the position of Construction Planner. Joe will be based at the Water Street office and will be assisting with the day-to-day planning on the North West Electrification Programme – reporting to our Planning Manager John Taylor.

Joe joins us from Carillion where he started his career as a Graduate Engineer and then had 2 years’ experience working within the OLE discipline on NWEP Phase 4. As part of his role he worked within the design management team to begin with, then relocating within the project to join the site team assisting with the planning of the OLE works.

He also has a first class bachelors degree with honours in Engineering.

In his spare time, Joe enjoys travelling and playing a number of sports.

In welcoming Joe to his team, Planning Director Simon Blair said:

“D2 Rail continues to grow its numbers and Joe is another quality addition to our team and definitely one to watch for the future. With an engineering background and recent design management experience on NWEP, Joe is a natural fit in the construction planning team under John Taylor. His previous experience will help him greatly when effectively managing various contracting parties to meet project deadlines in order to satisfy the needs of our client.”

D2 Rail Add to their Visualisations Team

D2 Rail is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Hunter to its Visualisations Team as a 3D Specialist. Reporting to BIM Manager Ashley Williams, Richard enhances our capabilities further in this field and will be supporting a number of exciting projects by working on the production of 3D visualisations and VR (Virtual Reality)/AR (Augmented Reality).

Richard will be based at our central Manchester HQ and joins us after working as a freelance programmer, where he wrote games and apps for phones and PCs, with particular focus on Virtual Reality and animation – areas at the very core of our Visualisations offering.

Richard will also further strengthen our CAD team with his experience in a multitude of CAD packages, inclusive of MicroStation and AutoCAD, producing 2D & 3D models.

Richard has a few hobbies and interests, which you would expect would include video games, however, he does also enjoy board games and reading too.

BIM Manager, Ashley Williams added:

“Richard is a fantastic addition to the Visualisations Team, we look forward to working with him and developing new ways of accomplishing tasks to increase efficiency, improve performance and enhance our clients work.”

Welcome Richard!

D2 Rail Appoint Civils Planning Manager

We are pleased to welcome John Flight to the D2 Rail team.  He has joined us in the position of Civils Planning Manager.

John will work out of the Water Street Office in Manchester as required and will supporting be our John Taylor and the Alliance construction team in respect of the Civils planning on the Transpennine West of Leeds Project. John will report to Project Controls Director, Simon Blair.

John joins us from Skanska where he worked for 33 years on Major Civil Engineering Schemes throughout the UK and also in Portugal.

Latterly John worked as Planning Manager for the Civils team on the Ordsall Chord as part of the Northern Hub Project.

John has a few hobbies and interests including, Photography, Painting, Rugby, Formula 1 and of course spending time with family and friends.

John can be contacted on 07976 518942 or by email john.flight@d2rail.co.uk

We welcome John to the D2 Rail family.

A 5 Star Performance from D2 Rail

D2 Rail is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a 5-Star RISQS accreditation – the highest possible rating, following its recent audit.

RISQS requires rail suppliers to undergo a rigorous assessment process to verify that they have the management processes, skills and capability to meet customer requirements.

The RISQS audit is designed to ensure that companies comply fully with the rail industry’s Health and Safety, Quality and Environmental practices.

Managing Director, David Diesbergen was delighted with this award and said:

“In achieving the maximum score available from RISQS, our rail customers can be assured that the services we provide are of the very highest standard.

“I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has contributed to the audit but in particular to Rebecca Crean and Kate Blackburn, who have worked diligently to ensure the best possible outcome for the audit. Your drive and enthusiasm to always raise the bar in everything we do has created a very strong platform for us within the industry.

“Each and every one of the D2 Rail team provides such a diverse and innovative skillset to the business – I really look forward to seeing what 2018 brings for us all!”

January 2018 Newsletter

Following a successful 2017, D2 Rail has launched its first newsletter for January 2018.

The senior team have been working hard to develop their Programme Management consultancy offering and have added Information Management and BIM divisions to compliment their existing PlanningProject Controls and Constructability divisions and have also been busy amplifying further their Visualisations offering.

Managing Director David Diesbergen added:

“It has been a year of growth and new opportunities for everyone at D2 Rail and we appreciate our customers continued commitment to our company and its growth.

“D2 Rail is committed to being a world class service provider and we believe by understanding, and embracing clients’ business problems, mission, project objectives and goals, we will be able to build stronger and lasting relationships that will be mutually beneficial.

“We are proud of our success in 2017, and would like to share this with you. So please click this link to read more.

Awards success for Becky Pratt

In recognition of her work with the team working on the Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) Becky Pratt recently received an ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Team’ award, after receiving nominations from her project colleagues.

They spoke of Becky’s ‘Best For Programme’ mentality, her willingness to support team members and her dedication to improving processes. But what voters talked of most was the immense effort Becky put in to coordinating the DfT submission.

Becky is part of D2 Rail’s team working with the TRU Alliance between Network Rail, Amey, BAM Nuttall and Arup, who have been considering the infrastructure options for the Transpenine route, to the West of Leeds.

The awards are there to celebrate the huge efforts being made by the whole of the TRU team, who successfully submitted potential infrastructure options to the Department for Transport (DfT) at the end of 2017.

Programme Information Manager Sarah Barnes, who manages the Information Management team was delighted to hear of this award, and added:

“Becky Pratt fully deserves her award for her outstanding contribution to the TRU Project to date. She is a highly dedicated and innovative Information Manager and continues to excel in all that she does”

(Image TRU West of Leeds Programme Director Tim Ketteringham with Becky Pratt receiving her award)

D2 Rail engaged by Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) West of Leeds Alliance

D2 Rail is delighted to announce its early involvement with the TRU West of Leeds Alliance, helping create the programme and support constructability through the design phase of the infrastructure option selection process for this route.

The project, which covers upgrades to civils, track, railway systems and electrification aims to deliver faster, longer, more frequent and more reliable services across the north of England, from Manchester and Liverpool via Leeds.

The Alliance, which is between Network Rail, Amey, BAM Nuttall and Arup, is working collaboratively from the earliest stages on the development of potential infrastructure options for the Transpennine Route Upgrade.  D2 Rail’s Information Management team have also supported and co-ordinated the submission of the final options through to the Department for Transport (DfT) for consideration in December of this year.

The works are part of the Great North Rail Project, and Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan.

Tim Ketteringham, Alliance Manager, West of Leeds, said: “The Transpennine Route Upgrade is a major programme of rail improvement that will have a real and lasting impact on people and communities in the North of England for generations to come:  connecting towns and cities, improving journey times and supporting economic growth.  I am thrilled to be part of the Alliance of companies that is working together as one team to deliver this step change in rail travel.”

D2 Rail’s Project Controls Director Simon Blair, who is working with the Alliance, also added: “Our involvement in this Alliance is testament to the collaborative nature of our people and the expertise provided on previous projects.  Our multi disciplinary programme management offering includes Planning and Scheduling, Project Controls, Constructability Advice, Information Management and Visualisations.

D2 Rail featured in Rail Engineer’s December issue

D2 Rail’s vital role in a major project has been praised in a feature to be published in Rail Engineer Magazine’s upcoming edition.

The firm’s Planning, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and 4D Visualisations work on the Ordsall Chord project in Manchester has been included in the publication’s December issue.

The article says the Ordsall Chord is “arguably the most important rail project in the north for decades”, calling it “a triumph of different disciplines working together as one collaborative unit”.

It praises D2 Rail’s involvement in the “meticulous planning” of the project.

The detailed feature goes on to say: “When they first got involved in the project, Simon Blair and his team from D2 Rail started on a construction planning and assessment report. Integral to this work was the production of a robust possession strategy, fully bought into by the train and freight operating companies.

“Quite simply, the project wouldn’t have been able to get off the drawing board without this.”

The Ordsall Chord links Manchester’s Victoria, Oxford Road and Piccadilly stations. It is part of the wider Great North Rail Project.

As highlighted in the Rail Engineer piece, the use of visualisation played a key role in the delivery of the Ordsall Chord Project.

“As the project moved on to the planning and delivery stages, the use of 4D came to the forefront,” the article says.

“D2 Rail took the lead by dynamically linking the programme to the GRIP 5 designs, providing a 4D construction sequence for key stages of the project. Using a dynamic link, any update would also be applied to the 4D animation, removing time/cost factors to replicate new sequencing.

“When more detailed sequencing was required, D2 Rail’s visualisation team played a key role in, for example, showing plant movements on site.”

Keep an eye out on Rail Engineer’s website www.railengineer.uk to read the full article (Pages 38-41).

To read the full PDF version click here.

Supporting Diversity In The Rail Industry

Did you know that while the UK rail industry and its supply chain employs over 200,000 people nationwide, currently only around 16% of employees are female?*

Alesha Hancock is testament to the wealth of global opportunities available in the rail industry. Originally from Newcastle, an industrial coastal town in New South Wales, Australia, in 2015 she took a plunge into the unknown, packing her bags and relocating to the United Kingdom to work on the Great North Rail Project as part of the billion pound investment to develop northern transport links.

Alesha is the Integrated Construction Planner for D2 Rail on the Northern Hub Alliance’s Ordsall Chord project. With roots in such a small coastal town, Alesha says she never dreamed of working on a project of such historical significance: “As we dig beneath the surface, seeing first-hand the heritage of the city of Manchester unfolding is extraordinary. Uncovering Stephenson’s bridge, a piece of history, while making history at the same time is an incredible experience to be part of.”

Alesha moved to Manchester and joined D2 Rail in September 2015. She had limited experience of working on site and seeing first-hand how vital it is for each discipline at the construction phase to work together to deliver the job safely, on time and on budget. She explains: “D2 Rail gave me a great opportunity.  Working for them on the Northern Hub project has exposed me to the challenges and complexities that come with a heritage inner-city project, something I would never have had the opportunity to be a part of in Australia.”

In order to give Alesha the experience that she wanted, D2 Rail supported her in becoming the Alliance’s Integrated Construction Planner. The role required her to work tirelessly in improving her rail construction knowledge to a high level of understanding in a short period of time.

“Working with the best individuals in the field has broadened my knowledge and skill set.” She adds: “The project has given me a greater understanding of how, unlike a lot of single-discipline projects, rail projects have multiple disciplines feeding into the pipeline.”

As a project planner, Alesha is responsible for developing detailed railway construction programmes, including an integrated lookahead for all rail possession works (working with the access planning team) and producing weekly detailed possession programmes (including more than 50 disruptive possessions) and accompanying staging plans that identify the onsite work activity logistics.

Alesha is a keen supporter of Women in Rail, a membership group created to improve diversity in the UK rail industry. Hosting regular empowerment and self-confidence workshops nationwide, the group is dedicated to attracting more women to careers in the industry.

She says: “Forums, social events and organisations such as Women in Rail are connecting and empowering more women to strive forward in the rail industry. I think this support is crucial to encourage women to both join and progress in the industry if they wish to do so.”

D2 Rail has endeavoured to promote diversity and inclusion within its working practices, viewing it as critical for business performance and the quality of integrated project planning and controls services we provide to our clients.

Managing Director, David Diesbergen, said: “At D2 Rail our people are our most important asset, and we take pride in investing in our teams to improve our performance, while also championing diversity within the workplace.”

“This has been evident in our recent recruitment record, where four women have joined the business in the last year. We are always keen to develop fresh talent in the industry, regardless of gender, and will continue to adopt this approach going forward.”

*From 2015 Women in Rail: Industry survey

Sarah Barnes featured in November’s RailStaff

D2 Rail’s Sarah Barnes has been featured in an article in the November edition of RailStaff Magazine. Sarah was appointed earlier this year as D2 Rail’s programme information manager, and has been responsible for developing our Building Information Modelling (BIM), visualisations and information management services.

Sarah has brought to the business a strong background in document control, project controls and information systems management. During her career so far, she has worked in pivotal roles on high-profile projects such as HS2, East West Rail, Ordsall Chord, North West Electrification, and Manchester Metrolink.

We’ve been delighted to welcome Sarah to the business, and you can read more details of her appointment in the RailStaff article by clicking here: https://issuu.com/railmedia/docs/railstaff-november-17/10

Digital Construction Week 2017

Our BIM Manager Ashley Williams recently attended Digital Construction Week 2017 at the ExCel Centre in London. The exhibition featured an array of presentations, showcasing industry leading technology and its implementation on projects. The key features from the exhibition for D2 Rail, were presentations at the BIM and Visualisation seminar stages and the discussions being held at the BIM Clinic.

During the 2 day event there were many talks which were heavily focused on Level 2 Compliance, Common Data Environments (CDE) and their management, and single source of truth.  This allowed Ashley to concentrate upon the engineering industry’s common views on BIM strategies and also explore the BIM level currently being achieved by different companies.

Part of the crucial development of D2 Rail’s BIM team, is the knowledge that the guidance we are providing is in line with the rest of industry.  On returning to HQ in Manchester, Ashley sat down with D2 Rail’s Programme Information Manager Sarah Barnes, to discuss his findings. The BIM team are delighted to report that its operation and the delivery of its BIM services match or exceed those of whom we spoke with at the event, and that the BIM team will continue to deliver its services under the same precedence.  D2 Rail’s Information Management team recognises the value in maintaining a well-structured CDE, as it acts as the foundation of all the good work the team does to ensure that all client engagements are managed effectively.

Alongside the presentation and clinics being held on BIM, Ashley also had the opportunity to attend talks on the latest visualisation tools being utilised today, and interact with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) devices. The use of VR headsets was largely apparent at the event, with many of the stands demonstrating its application. With VR now being utilised within the rail industry, it was interesting to understand the different approaches companies throughout the engineering sector were utilising VR for. Many of these can translate between allied sectors and have sparked some great ideas that D2 Rail’s Visualisation team look forward to implementing on future projects.

With VR becoming more common, it was fascinating to see the introduction of Augmented Reality. Ashley was able to gain some first hand experience with the new Microsoft HoloLens, which is now coming to the latter stages of its development. The use of AR is something the visualisation industry within engineering has been discussing over the recent years and the introduction of the HoloLens is an exciting prospect.  D2 Rail’s Visualisation team will be keeping a close eye on the development and release of AR kits such as the HoloLens and hope to add these to the evergrowing list of visualisation services and techniques that they can provide.

On returning from the event, D2 Rails BIM Manager Ashley Williams had to say:

“It has been a successful 2 days spent at Digital Construction Week 2017 and incredibly useful to learn that our BIM and Information Management teams are working in tangent with other industries in their approach to BIM, as well as discovering new techniques for Virtual Reality and new Augmented Reality hardware.

We look forward to what next year’s conference brings.”

D2 Rail’s Information Management Team Adds to its Ranks

We are pleased to welcome Chloe Brown to the D2 Rail team in the position of Document Controller from September 2017.

Chloe will be based at D2 Rail’s HQ at King Street, Manchester, and will be making regular visits to support existing clients with their document control requirements.  Chloe will also support the Information Management team around its research and development and will report to Becky Pratt.

Chloe joins us from AMCO Rail, where she spent the last 18 months as a KPI Administrator/Analyst providing periodic data reports for the North West region for the client in collaboration with Turner and Townsend after completing her University degree. Working with over 70 key performance indicators, Chloe provided high-quality data services which included innovative analysis and recommendations for business insight.

It was Chloe’s attention to detail and forward thinking that Programme Information Manager Sarah Barnes wanted for her team. Sarah said: “Chloe has already shown superb attention to detail and first-class endeavour, which are qualities that help support our business vision.”

Chloe has a few hobbies and interests, including travelling around the world watching her brother represent Lancashire County Cricket Club, a passion for Italian food and dancing with friends.

D2 Rail attends RailStaff Awards

D2 Rail were delighted to be invited along to the RailStaff Awards 2017, not only was it a superb evening celebrating the best in the industry, but we were also there to cheer on and support our colleagues Simon Blair and Alesha Hancock for the award of “Rail Person of the Year” – we are so honoured to be working alongside them both.  Congratulations to them on their nominations and to all the other award winners and nominations on the night too.

The event at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, took us all on a journey back to the 1980’s, the time of Rubik cubes, Ghetto Blasters and big shoulder pads. It was a definitely a party to remember and even included a photobooth sponsored by D2 Rail where people could don neon sweatbands and electric guitars to truly get in the 80s spirit!

On arrival, we were invited into a drinks reception, where we had the chance to catch up with friends and colleagues, before moving to our table later in the evening, which allowed us to enjoy a delicious 4-course meal.

Thank you to RailStaff for throwing a fantastic party, helping us all to celebrate a brilliant year for D2 Rail with wonderful food, drinks, music, dancing, floorshows, and a theme that we all embraced…to the max!

David Diesbergen, Managing Director of D2 Rail added: “We are incredibly proud of Alesha and Simon for doing so well in this year’s awards. The team works hard to make sure every project we’re involved in is a success, and it has been great to see our people recognised for their contributions.”

The RailStaff Awards is a ceremony to show appreciation for the people who deliver the railway – from drivers to programme managers and engineers to station staff. Often these are stories of lives saved, careers turned around and adversity conquered.

The future of virtual reality in engineering

Visualisation services are a widely-used tool in the delivery of engineering design. From the use of visual imagery and photomontages in public consultations, to the insight 4D construction sequencing provides at the planning stage, visualisations have a strong impact and a recognised value.

With the established reputation visualisation now holds comes the inevitable questions: What’s next? What can we do better? What can we do to be competitive? At D2 Rail, we have a forward-thinking team identifying gaps in the market, looking at what technology is making an impact on our industry and how it can be utilised to create value for our clients. To do so, we must ensure that not only are we making use of modern technology, but that we are also choosing the correct technology for our client’s needs.

A prime example of this can be seen in the introduction of virtual reality (VR). This technology holds an array of benefits for users, such as the ability to immerse themselves in a virtual environment and interact with it, creating new and refreshing ways to interact with information.

VR headsets like the HTC Vive have helped to further advance visualisations, allowing us to add interactive elements to our immersive environments, giving clients the ability to be truly hands on with their projects in a virtual world. This technology has also become an invaluable asset in public consultations and in on-site training material.

At D2 Rail, we are always looking to the future, seeking the innovative technology to keep us at the forefront of engineering design. As our journey continues, we aim to foster innovative and creative ways to continue to impact the industry, with VR and visualisations as a starting point.

D2 Rail celebrates two RailStaff Awards finalists

Two members of D2 Rail’s programme management team have been made finalists in this year’s RailStaff Awards.

Simon Blair and Alesha Hancock are both finalists in the Rail Person of the Year category, having been nominated for the key roles they have played in the rail industry and in particular their involvement in the landmark Ordsall Chord project. The Ordsall Chord is one of the most important rail infrastructure projects completed in recent years, linking Manchester’s train stations to reduce journey times and increase capacity in the region.

Simon took up the role of Planning and Project Controls lead, and was the key individual that helped develop the commissioning and works access strategy, which defined the major stages of works required to deliver the project.

As the work’s Project Planner, Alesha has played a crucial part in ensuring the overall success of the project, leading on possession and work activity planning, and introducing a number of improvements to processes.  She has also been a supporter of Women in Rail.

The RailStaff Awards is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and is an industry event that acknowledges individual contributions in rail. This year’s ceremony will be held on 7th October at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

You can read Alesha’s full nomination here, and Simon’s here.

Launched in 2011, D2 Rail is a programme management consultancy dedicated to the pursuit of providing integrated ‘real planning’ services.

Two D2 Rail team members nominated for RailStaff awards

Two of D2 Rail’s key employees, Simon Blair and Alesha Hancock, have been nominated in the Rail Person of the Year category in this year’s RailStaff Awards.

The RailStaff Awards are designed to honour the people and teams in the industry that go above and beyond to make the UK’s rail industry one of the best in the world.

Both Alesha and Simon have played vital roles in D2’s work on the Northern Hub Alliance’s Ordsall Chord project, enabling some of the most important rail work to be undertaken in the UK in recent years. The project will see 300 metres of new track installed, creating a link between Manchester city centre’s main train stations for the first time.

As the project’s Planning and Project Controls lead, Simon has led and integrated multi-disciplinary project controls; providing management information to support decision making at the right time. In addition, he was at the heart of developing, designing and delivering a number of ‘best in class’ approaches to ensure collaboration up and down the supply chain on this project.

Alesha took up the role of the Alliance’s Integrated Construction Planner for the Ordsall Chord. Since beginning her role, she has played a crucial part in identifying and implementing improved planning processes across the project.

Simon and Alesha are both highly valued members of the D2 Rail team, and we’re incredibly proud of their contributions to the railway industry. To vote for Alesha, click here, and to vote for Simon, click here.

Dave Harwood Joins the D2 Rail Team

Dave Harwood has recently joined the D2 Rail team as a Project Controller and will work closely with our Planning Director, Simon Blair. He joins us from Mott MacDonald where he has spent seven years working in the rail and transportation sector.

Dave specialises in providing robust project controls to support successful project delivery. His key strengths lie in earned value management and dashboard reporting, facilitating decision-making and management action through performance measurement and trend analysis. Some of his most successful work includes the successful implementation of project controls for three capital investment programmes at Heathrow Airport.

This wealth of project controls knowledge and experience brought Dave to the Northern Hub Rail Project, where he set about implementing a robust controls solution that included earned value reporting; the Northern Hub is one of the first projects where earned value has been successfully implemented.

Prior to this, Dave has worked on a number of prestigious projects, including Crossrail, where he helped to develop a robust document control regime for the Tunnel Systems Design Package, including implementing effective change management processes.

As well as being a highly experienced project controller, Dave is also an expert in developing excel solutions using visual basics and has already produced a number of highly commended executive dashboards on the TRU programme including the Tube Map style milestone report.

D2 Rail’s Managing Director David Diesbergen commented on Dave’s appointment and said:

“Dave is a highly capable and versatile professional with a proven track record of providing effective project controls in support of project delivery. We look forward to working with him and engaging his key strengths of data integration and dashboard reporting to help facilitate positive decision making throughout the lifecycle of our clients projects.”

In his spare time, Dave enjoys hiking and walking and also relishes the time he spends in his kitchen at home – cooking up a storm – and is a keen player and exponent of retro video games.

D2 Rail’s Visualisations Team Work With Amey at Ordsall Chord

D2 Rail has recently been involved in aiding the understanding of a major track installation as part of the Ordsall Chord project. With the new Ordsall Chord structure in Manchester now nearing completion, the final Switches & Crossings (S&C) units were installed in weeks 15 & 16 to enable the connection of Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria Stations for the first time. The installation would require a total of eight track panels to be installed on week 15 and four track panels on week 16. The logistics of how these would be installed required precise planning, due to the tight working constraints on the elevated viaduct railway and the volume of plant that was being used to complete the works.

Our visualisations team worked alongside Amey to produce two animations that would showcase and visualise how this work was to be undertaken. These animations were utilised in briefing meetings and were shown to all staff and project stakeholders that would be indirectly or directly involved with the installations. Along with showcasing the methodology of the construction, the animation played a key role in understanding the working constraints of the plant.

The ability to provide clash detection on proposed designs is now a common practice within the Engineering industry, yet these forms of detection only highlight objects in situ. By advancing the way 4D sequencing is shown with the inclusion of plant operation, D2 Rail are able to highlight potential clashes with existing structures, pinch points and narrow working areas, and raise the awareness for on-site operatives to ensure a safer working environment.

We are pleased to say that the installation was completed on time and as planned.

Links to the animations on the YouTube channel are located below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr-K1jE9RK4Ul0yc3P-WJYQ

D2 Rail has an in-house team of 3D and 4D modellers that encourage the use of visualisations techniques on projects and always seek to find the areas where it can be used effectively to support and enhance the design and build process.

At D2 Rail we see the real added value of visualisations and its multiple features. Our specialists can deliver visualisation imagery for design, animation for construction sequencing and virtual reality techniques for safety talks.

D2 Rail Scales New Heights For Rescue Charities

A team of adventurous walkers from D2 Rail has taken on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in support of two rescue charities.

Led by Rebecca Mercer, the team took on the gruelling 24-mile route with a 5,200ft ascent. The challenge takes on the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, which form part of the Pennine range and encircle the head of the valley of the River Ribble in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Rebecca chose to pledge support to Mountain Rescue England and Wales and North West Air Ambulance, due to the work the two organisations carry out, rescuing climbers, walkers and other vulnerable people, from mountains and other inaccessible places. The organisations are particularly close to Rebecca’s heart, and with the help of her friends at D2 Rail, she has managed to raise almost £500 for them so far.

On completing the challenge, Rebecca said: “We had some fantastic views and some misty ones, trick knees, bandy hips and horrendous leg cramps, but the whole team made it round and we couldn’t be more proud.”

Congratulations to Rebecca and the team!

To make a donation you can visit Rebecca’s JustGiving pages here and here.

D2 Rail’s Creative 4D Visualisation Works Impress

John Taylor, a specialist in project planning, has recently been interviewed to highlight some of the great animation work D2 Rail has been undertaking on rail projects such as the construction of the Ordsall Chord, which forms part of the Northern Hub Alliance.

The Project

The Ordsall Chord project is a landmark railway infrastructure investment scheme situated on the birthplace of the modern railway, the Liverpool to Manchester Railway. The aim is to provide a direct rail link between Manchester’s two largest stations, Victoria and Piccadilly for the very first time. To do so involves the construction of a 350m chord line which includes a modern, one of a kind network arch, interfacing with 150 year old Grade-listed Victorian railway structures.

Challenges and Solutions

This was and still is a very demanding project, in particular the sensitive nature of the scheme proved challenging. Given its location and interface with English Heritage, it led us on an extremely challenging path through litigation and public consultation to gain planning consents so we could begin construction. Another key challenge found very often in large UK Rail investment projects is the obligation to deliver the project whilst maintaining a safe operational railway for the general public.

Normally this can be achieved using small weekend blocks of the railway to undertake engineering works. However, given the massive upgrades required on this scheme, we required a combination of these blocks week after week, combined with multiple stages of very large amounts of disruption. One case led to blocking major commuter and freight routes into Manchester City Centre for nearly two weeks. Obviously, the effect of these proposals proved significant for all involved and this level of disruption needed early detailed planning validation. A clear demonstration of our proposals, to negotiate this disruption, was required almost two years before being implemented.

Planning Your Vision, Delivering Your Promise

John’s role on this project began over four years ago, working with the client, Network Rail, to create and cement the project construction strategy. This involved negotiating and agreeing the access required to implement an effective strategy. Around two years ago, a consortium of specialist civil and rail engineering companies were awarded the contract to deliver the design and construction of the Ordsall Chord. This consortium is called the Northern Hub Alliance, within which John was appointed the role of project planner as part of a large planning team.

In this role, John used his previous knowledge to constantly drive home the importance of maintaining and communicating the construction strategy, as well as all the detailed staging requirements with all alliance partners. The project was split into seven key stages, one of the largest being Stage A6. It was suggested that the detailed programme for Stage A6 would be far too complex for the majority of people involved to fully understand without hours of briefing. D2 Rail therefore sought to find more effective ways to help communicate the plan for Stage A6. It had always been our intention to promote the use of 4D Planning and Synchro on the project from an early stage and this was an opportune time.

View the full video link here

Benefits of 4D

We realised one advantage of this method of communication is having the means to share the same information with a varied audience, for varied purposes. For example, the animation was used to help brief the workforce undertaking the work, as well as helping to explain to external parties the reasons for the disruption.

Building on our experience with the Northern Hub Alliance, we see many more benefits to using Synchro in the future. We believe instigating the use of Synchro much earlier on in a project is necessary to enable its use as a planning tool throughout the whole process, rather than just a visualisation tool towards the end of the process. It should be used to give the planner and all the participants much more transparency in the development of a programme. The key here is promoting and implementing the supporting functions, such as an adequate information management system and the timely production of 3D designs to a suitable standard. As planners we know this instinctively, but we must ensure that others in the industry understand, in order to give them the opportunity to really explore the full potential of 4D planning.

D2 Rail Exhibits at Railtex

D2 Rail is delighted to have been part of Railtex – a UK Rail Industry Exhibition – giving us the opportunity to showcase our fresh new brand and service offerings for the rail industry.

As a Programme Controls company specialising in Planning, Information Management, BIM and Visualisations, D2 Rail’s premium stand, provided opportunities to engage with key members of staff such as Managing Director – David Diesbergen, Planning Director – Simon Blair, Programme Information Manager – Sarah Barnes and BIM Manager – Ashley Williams.

We also gave prospective customers the opportunity to get involved with our touch screen interactive capabilities – highlighting the very latest in project planning techniques including 4D animation.

It was a fantastic few days and the chance to catch up with some of our existing clients as well as some engaging new prospects.

It is an exciting time at D2 Rail, as we focus on planning your vision and delivering your promise.

Liverpool Lime Street Re-Modelling Project

D2 Rail has been appointed as the Document Controller/Technical Clerk for the Liverpool Lime Street Station rail rejuvenation project. Our specialist resource has been specifically sought to provide Information Management support to this logistically complicated project.

We will be joining the DPE (Designated Project Engineer) team for Network Rail to ensure that clarity, compliance and close-out of information is achieved throughout the project. The aim is to deliver clear and concise reporting, tracking and management of actions and requirements in support of the core project team, to help to effectively co-ordinate the suppliers and deliver the works.

Our scope includes the innovation of processes and streamlining of information as necessary, to improve the communication and management of information across the project and produce more effective close-out of actions.

The Liverpool Lime Street Re-Modelling and Edge Hill Re-Control project is a condition led renewal and re-control project. It will replace life expired signalling and track lineside assets and signal boxes. In addition, the existing track layout will be remodelled to meet a future increase in timetabled passenger train movements and requirement for longer platforms.

D2 Rail will simplify the document control approach using their experience in electronic information management systems, and provide readily accessible, logically stored information from throughout it’s the project lifecycle.

Simplifying and streamlining declutters the information and allows us to get to the heart of any issue and resolve more effectively. By imposing a clear framework of uniformity and compliance across a project a more clear and concise presentation of information will be achieved.

Becky Mercer Joins Our Information Management Team

D2 Rail is delighted to announce the appointment of Rebecca Mercer as a Document Controller. She is joining the Information Management team working closely with Information Manager Becky Pratt.

Rebecca has over 5 years experience in Document Control and Project Administration working with Balfour Beatty Rail on the Northern Hub project. She is a senior administrator and highly proficient user of document management systems such as ProjectWise, providing set-ups, training and support on projects to all users.

Rebecca’s first project for D2 Rail will be as Document Controller/Technical Clerk for the Liverpool Lime Street Station rail rejuvenation project. Rebecca will be supporting, organising and advising the delivery team in respect of the management of their project information.

Outside of her busy work life, Rebecca has a few hobbies and interests, including a passion for performing arts; dabbling in a few amateur music groups. She is also a Guide Leader and enjoys her camping trips, often coming equipped with a wooden mallet!

D2 Rail look forward to utilising Rebecca’s talents as part of their service offering, which provides tailored and impartial advice on Information Management and Document Control. She joins a team of dedicated individuals, who have a wealth of experience in various systems and keep abreast of best practice procedures and industry standards. The team can advise on the setup and maintenance of your chosen system as well as provide training and ongoing support.

https://www.d2rail.co.uk/services/information-management/

D2 Rail Get Comical

The team at D2 Rail got into the sprit of Red Nose Day; setting up a cake stand and selling their goods to donate to this brilliant charity.

The team are caught on camera having fun; inspiring people to give generously to this fantastic cause.

Since its launch in 1988, Red Nose Day has become something of a British institution. It’s the day, every two years, when people across the land can get together and do something funny for money at home, school and work.

Comic Relief spends the money raised by Red Nose Day to help people living tough lives across the UK and Africa.

Supporting charitable activities is at the cornerstone of D2 Rail’s brand, which focuses on trust and ethics. We believe it helps to define our company, setting it apart from the competition, which not only aids our brand image, but is also vital for attraction of the top talent to our business.

See our core values at https://www.d2rail.co.uk/core-values/

D2 Rail Support International Women’s Day

In celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD), D2 Rail has taken part in the celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

D2 Rail celebrated the day by being part of a number of events to recognise and appreciate our colleagues who are taking up the challenge to make a difference.

Managing Director, David Diesbergen, said: “At D2 Rail, we view fostering a diverse and inclusive culture across the business as critical for business performance, and for the quality of services we provide to our clients.

International Women’s Day offers us the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made to date, and to confirm our commitment to valuing difference and diversity in everything that we do.”

By supporting International Women’s Day, D2 Rail demonstrates its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. In the last 3 months, D2 Rail has employed four female colleagues across its business.

Whilst D2 Rail has made large strides on the road to gender equality, there is more to do to achieve our goals.