Skip to content

Great Western railway electrification, UK: the key role of building information modelling

Event organised by ICE

23 May 2022

This event has now ended


Building information modelling (BIM) transformed the delivery of Network Rail’s Greater West programme, which included the electrification of the Great Western Railway between London and South Wales in 2019. This presentation will provide an insight into how BIM was developed and implemented in this £5 billion multi-disciplinary railway programme.

In addition to significant cost and time savings, the 5-year programme’s exemplary safety record can also be attributed to virtual design and construction, three-dimensional signal-sighting reviews and design reviews, all facilitated by BIM techniques and best practices.

This presentation will give an overview of how these processes have been further developed to further Wales and Western BIM strategy

Please view the published paper that will form the basis of the presentation.


17:45 - 18:00


18:00 - 18:05

Chair’s introduction

18:05 - 18:45


18:45 - 19:10

Q&A session

19:10 - 19:15

Closing remarks and event ends


John Nolan

John Nolan

Network Rail

programme manager bim

Read more

John Nolan

John has worked on many of high-profile projects including the Dublin Port Tunnel Project for Nishimatsu Construction Company and had a brief spell in Australia working for KBR. In the UK John has worked on a variety of Rail and tunnelling projects including: The East London Line with URS Scott Wilson and on site with Balfour Beatty Carillon JV; Tottenham Court Road Station Upgrade with Halcrow; Crossrail Ltd with Arup Atkins JV; and currently with Network Rail.

In his current role of Programme Manager BIM Wales and Western region at Network Rail, John has developed the regional BIM Strategy, Exchange Information Requirements and Information Management Strategy. John has been at the forefront in promoting and implementing a more efficient way of working with BIM on the railway.

Paula McMahon

Paula McMahon

Sir Robert McAlpine

#TheLine founder and regional supervising officer

Read more

Paula McMahon

Paula started life as a civil engineering apprentice with her local Council straight from school.

She is currently the regional supervising officer for Sir Robert McAlpine’s Northern region where she oversees the professional development of future ICE members.

She also manages the Social Value for the A19 DBFO Project, is an employee representative and sits on several Affinity and leadership groups.

Her career has been wide ranging and varied and has included significant roles on high profile projects including the Thames Barrier, Hinkley Point C and DUBAL Aluminium. She is a Chartered Fellow of the ICE and Chartered Management Institute as well as being a Fellow of the Women’s Engineering Society and Royal Society of Arts, Commerce and Manufactures.

Paula is currently the North East Chair and Honorary Editor and Panel Chair for the flagship ICE Proceedings: Civil Engineering. She also sits on several strategy groups including the North East Chamber of Commerce Transport Forum and Teesside University’s Engineering Board where she is also a visiting lecturer.

Paula strongly believes in inspiring our next generation of civil engineers and educating everyone to work towards an equitable and sustainable future.

She is the driving force behind Engineering Together which brings together a wide selection of UK and International Engineering Institutions and bodies to work collaboratively to raise awareness and understanding of engineers and engineering.

She set up Primary Voices to impress the need for urgency climate action whilst providing everyday solutions to help tackle the climate crisis.

She is regularly invited to speak at national and international events on a range of topics including engineering, diversity and sustainability.

Paula’s work in the industry and education has earned her many Awards and accolades including the prestigious European WICE Award Lifetime in Engineering for 2021.

For more information please contact:

Gabriella Lai