As part of the Transpire Alliance, D2 Rail’s Utilities Management team was appointed in 2018 to oversee the management of statutory utility assets for the section of route between Manchester Victoria and Leeds. This was to ensure that all Statutory Undertakers’ apparatus was appropriately managed and coordinated in line with the projects programme and budget requirements.
As an organisation, D2 Rail have established a proven strategy to manage the utility works element for major infrastructure schemes such as TRU. This strategy is based on extensive project experience and lessons learnt and was implemented at an early stage to align with the deliverables set out as part of each GRIP/design stage.
The scale of the project covers approximately 57km of track, associated structures and stations. We are operating as part of a large multi-disciplinary team requiring a high number of key interfaces to be established. Stakeholder management and consents are also a key consideration given the requirement to submit a Transport & Works Act Order for a section of the route between Huddersfield and Dewsbury. All types of utility apparatus are affected, including strategic utilities such as electricity and gas transmission lines that require specialist processes and procedures.
D2 Rail’s Utilities Management team operate as the key point of liaison/contact between the project and utilities providers in order to achieve early engagement, collaborative working approach and clear lines of communication e.g. early interaction and liaison with the affected Highways Authorities is vital to ensure that works can be planned and co-ordinated alongside other regional construction works, in order to reduce the impact on the highway networks and users.
Providing advice and support through the GRIP stages in order to deliver the best commercial value. As the utility providers input increases, our Utilities Management team will challenge in terms of design, cost and delivery schedules. The utility companies input, and delivery is essential to the overall success of the scheme and these challenges will continue to be achieved through regular meetings and workshops to discuss all technical, logistical, programme and cost issues in detail.
By implementing the strategy, we have been able to identify, through early engagement and by adopting a collaborative approach with the Utility Providers and Highway Authorities, significant risks to the successful delivery of the TRU programme. These risks have been quantified and integrated in the delivery schedule, to ensure that the key milestone dates are achieved.
“The D2 Rail Utilities Management team have been part of the Transpire Alliance from an early stage, providing evidence of ‘lessons learned’ from other major programmes, that early engagement with the utility providers is a key enabler for project success. Due to the timescales and complexities of the various utility assets and processes, these activities are, in most cases, seen as critical path activities across the programme.
“The D2 Rail team have embedded themselves into the Alliance and play a vital role ensuring that the design and construction teams take cognisance of utilities within the design and construction methodology.
“The experience the team brings at this early GRIP/Design stage is invaluable and we are starting to see great examples of how the team have prevented the requirement for diversions, through engagement with the design and delivery teams, or have identified how we can minimise impact to schedule by undertaking upfront utility works.”
Senior Programme Manager -Transpire Alliance