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This is a case study for the Production Management in Design and Construction guide. It explains how the switches and crossings (S&C) on the tracks of Tottenham Hale were replaced by Balfour Beatty rail using collaborative working approach to save time and the number of people needed.
The project was required to replace switches and crossings (S&C) on the tracks of Tottenham Hale. It was carried out over four midweek nights as opposed to a lengthy and costly weekend possession and represented a major step change in approach from Balfour Beatty Rail. Following on from the successes demonstrated at Wool and Wareham by the Eastleigh Renewals Depot, the Anglia Depot based in Ipswich embarked on a highly ambitious project to be the first renewals depot in the country to install a modular Mk3 crossover in 4 x 8-hour possessions on a main line commuter route.
The successful works carried out at Tottenham were the realisation of many months of hard work, not just within the project planning area, but through set up of an integrated S&C team that instigated a new approach with the concept of delivering:
All resulting in confidently delivering the planned volume comfortably within the midweek 8 hour possessions. The focus on through-life production management in design and construction was pivotal to the success of the project.
Project Location: 2531pts, situated the London side of Tottenham Hale Station – Bethnal Green to Kings Lynn (BGK) line (into Liverpool Street).
All National S&C Depots were invited to take part in simulated trials at Beeston to develop the tools and techniques for Mk3 Modular S&C installation enabling future midweek night delivery. Training was provided to all planning staff on TiLoS and knowledge shared with respect to the latest production data and planning templates for modular methods. The challenge was set to plan and install a crossover in 8 hours or less using only 6 PWay staff, tech and supervisor. Total Station, Kirow Crane, Tilting Wagons, plant and tools were provided by the project team. The summary results (minus any controllable delays) were as follows:
Lessons learned sessions were completed after the event, with full video capture and analysis of the depot rehearsal released to the routes for continuous improvement. There was a common overall theme of the Kirow crane cycle times creating a variation in overall performance. For example Kirow tandem lifting was significantly quicker than single point lifting. A key observation was that the higher performing teams had staff that were used to working together and had greater exposure to Modular S&C renewals. These key lessons learnt were taken forward into the Tottenham Hale S&C project.
Using the RT24 Contract Year 10 workbank and CP5 as the basis for change and continuous improvement, the Senior Contract Manager and Business Improvement Manager from the Anglia Depot put together a Criteria and Organisational Structure for an integrated approach to S&C renewals – with Tottenham Hale seen as a good indication of progress and a first step towards the embedding of a modified approach that would yield sustained excellence. Working collaboratively with both Network Rail’s Head of Track Delivery and the Planning & Business Development Manager for the Anglia, Sussex and Kent (ASK) Routes, key deliverables were identified.
At the same time, it was decided that the final year of the RT24 Contract would be used to develop, trail, implement and improve a collaborative working approach that focussed on end-to-end process compliance, efficient mid-week and weekend delivery, minimum use of resources and materials, and through-life cost management.
The aim of the S&C Programme Management function was to develop the Territory’s S&C strength without creating a ‘silo’ or another independent team – one that will learn from project to project and transfer best practice across a multitude of disciplines.
A Senior Project Manager would be accountable for the delivery of the Territory’s S&C renewals (end-to-end) on behalf of the Area Senior Contract Managers, the Network Rail Planning and Business Development Manager; and the Network Rail Programme Manager. The Senior Project Manager would be responsible for a small team of individuals who would:
The Senior Project Manager would have the ability to deliver complex programmes, manage stakeholders effectively, and have no concerns with regards to working throughout different routes or in multiple territories.
The individuals within the teams would have the right experience, determination, flexibility and ownership. Ideally they would be internally recruited and demonstrate seamless collaborative working practices and attitudes.
The term ‘Turn-Out 20’ was conceived by the BB team through combined illustration of the current European benchmark for delivery of a single turnout and is part of the concept of the fully integrated S&C approach. Looking at Figure 5 below it can be seen that under current methods the UK was considerably less efficient than European counterparts.
The challenge the team set itself was to use the Tottenham Hale Mk3 Modular S&C project as a ‘test-case’ to see what could be done under live conditions and very tight infrastructure constraints with respect to the ‘Turn-Out 20’ aspiration; this would then form part of the integrated solution and be developed further whilst moving forward for the rest of the Year 10 S&C installations.
Another major part of the whole Tottenham Hale project was the formation of a strategic S&C Alliance within the ASK area. Led by Network Rail’s Planning & Business Development Manager and the Anglia Depot Senior Contract Manager and Business Improvement Manager, key stakeholders were brought together (including the Project Manager and Construction Manager for the Tottenham Hale works) to set out the framework for collaborative working through the Year 10 workbank and on into CP5. Key outputs from the day that had a direct effect on the success of the Tottenham Hale project were:
The final part of the fully integrated S&C approach has involved contribution towards the development of an E2E Programme Management Model. Whilst still under construction it was utilised during the planning phase of the Tottenham Hale project to maintain continuity of E2E process requirements, manage risks and issues through clear visual management, and identify resource through-life cost management continuities. Driven forward by the SCM and Anglia Depot Business Improvement Manager (with the support of Network Rail’s Programme & Engineering Manager), the Tottenham Hale Project Management Team utilised the process and document sets to great advantage. The Model was discharged through a ‘Box Plan’ and through-project timeline tracker. The production of a through-project timeline (with key milestones) was a first for the Project Management set up within Anglia and one that has been rolled out across the S&C programme for Year 10 as a result of the success of the Tottenham Hale project.
An ‘Early Whiteboard’ and ‘Early Site Walkout’ was undertaken with the key Kirow and Machine Operators to enable them to understand the job and to give site familiarisation from an early stage. This allowed all parties to have an input into the works pre-possession. This was then developed into very detailed integrated electronic animated whiteboards utilised for pre-work site briefings to stakeholder and delivery teams alike.
Off the back of the collaborative approach to S&C and the ‘Turn-Out 20’ concept, the installation team who would be working on the Core midweek nights were invited to undertake a series of trials at Grange Sidings in Stoke. The objectives included familiarisation for the team with the works to be undertaken and time-in-motion exercises to be carried out - to ensure the best possible chance for the quickest possible installation during the possession nights. Day one was set up to undertake introductions and a presentation of the works to the operatives who would be undertaking the renewal. This included:
Days 2-4 consisted of a series of time trials including:
All the above allowed the high level programme to be fine-tuned and also allowed the site staff to ensure they knew their required role and the sequence of installation. The lessons identified from the trials were invaluable when it came to the night of installation and included:
Richard Pilvousek (Senior Contract Manager), Balfour Beatty Rail
John Podmore (Business Improvement Manager), Balfour Beatty Rail
There are five steps in the Production Management in Design and Construction guide:
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