19 March 2024
Two of SYSTRA’s Signature Team track engineers got hands-on to support a heritage railway in Falkirk recently, as part of the Permanent Way Institution (PWI) Practical Trackwork Challenge.

Peter Mitchell, Senior Engineer, and Kevin Man, Engineer, were part of the SYSTRA team which acted as principal designer for this year’s challenge – a track renewal project for the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway.

Facilitated by the Scottish Rail Preservation Society, the project included re-ballasting (200m) through a cutting, re-sleepering through a set of reverse curves, and some detailed geometry tamping.

Having supported the challenge team with detailed designs ahead of the work taking place, Peter and Kevin then headed up to Scotland to take part in the two-day build. As well as being on hand whilst the design was being brought to life, they assisted with the regauging of points, observed panel removal and re-ballasting, as well as geometry tamping in different sites. They also learned about the latest innovations and offerings from supply chain companies, and gained valuable insights and collaboration opportunities by working with fellow volunteers from across different parts of the rail industry.

Engineers Peter Mitchell Kevin Man at Bo’ness Railway Station, Falkirk in Scotland

Peter said: “It was a rewarding experience to be part of the PWI Practical Trackwork Challenge, both in the design stage and construction. The Track team at SYSTRA grasped the opportunity to give back to a heritage railway by offering our track design expertise, and Kevin and I thoroughly enjoyed time on-site for the construction phase too.”

Kevin added: “There’s nothing like seeing your design in the real world, and knowing that it was as part of a challenge that gives those earlier on in their careers the chance to get hands-on made it even more special. It was fantastic to see the teamwork come to life and it was an experience I will treasure.”

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