As new rolling stock enter service across the UK’s rail networks there is increased demand for more energy-hungry high-speed trains running at increased frequency…

This demand, alongside additional customer conveniences like air conditioning, longer trains, and more frequent services, is placing pressure on existing electricity infrastructure. Five key characteristics to look for in your long-term strategic energy infrastructure partner are safety, innovation, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration. These characteristics are crucial to ensure successful projects that will guarantee your high-speed rail network’s electricity infrastructure is up to the standard required for the next decade and beyond.

Safety

High-speed rail projects moving off the drawing board and into reality have the opportunity to be the safest in the UK’s history. This ambition can only be realised through an unrelenting focus on safety, innovative processes and training programmes for colleagues and clients, and a culture where safety always comes first.

UK Power Networks Services manages the associated risks of working with electricity and delivers safely for its clients in the most complex and challenging environments every day. Whilst working on Europe’s busiest runways, trackside on the UK’s fastest mainline railway, at nuclear sites, and military facilities, UK Power Networks Services has achieved an unprecedented safety record.

Innovation

Adopting an innovative approach to projects is crucial to minimising risk, future proofing solutions, and delivering a resilient system. As well as adopting the latest technology, it’s critical that your partner should be able to adapt when unforeseen challenges arise on projects and provide innovative solutions to keep the project on track.

UK Power Networks Services’ innovative work on the Great Western Electrification Project won Innovation of the Year at the National Rail Awards 2018 for its implementation of a ground breaking Rationalised Autotransformer System. The system delivers significant cost savings and better reliability for its clients compared to other systems installed in the UK. It also topped the Sustainable Construction category at National Rail’s Western Region Sustainability Awards in 2017. Polyfibre-reinforced concrete was used in place of traditional steel reinforcement for construction of load bearing concrete structures. This innovation resulted in a reduction of 42 tonnes of reinforcing steel going to site and reduction of embodied carbon by 18,000kg CO2 equivalent.

Sustainability

Sustainable solutions have a positive effect on the environment, economy, and people. These ‘triple bottom line’ benefits can have the greatest impact through major infrastructure projects but any effective energy partner must develop and preserve objectives which:

• Protect and improve our natural environment while reducing carbon emissions

• Invest in local economies and communities

• Employ locally during construction and ongoing operations

• Deliver the work safely for our communities and employees

• Enable the future by designing systems that stand the test of time.

UK Power Networks Services looks for every opportunity to make a positive sustainable impact for its clients. It is currently delivering energy cost reductions to clients through improving the efficiency of its assets, by co-locating solar PV with substations. Recently, the first electric vehicles and charge points have also been introduced into its fleet to improve air quality for future generations. These have been introduced at its Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted Airport depots, and electric vehicle charge points at its London City Airport depot.

Diversity and inclusion 

Embracing diversity and inclusion as a strategic imperative is critical for any organisation that strives for high performance. Supporting diversity and promoting inclusion within workplaces is about valuing the individual and what they bring to their role. Fostering an environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential enables organisations to effectively increase their employee engagement and realise an increase in productivity.

UK Power Networks Services’ ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusiveness is demonstrated by its National Equality Standard accreditation. It is one of only a small number of UK companies to achieve this benchmarked standard for creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. In 2018, it was also named in ‘The Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies To Work For’ list.

Collaboration

Any long-term strategic partner must be experienced at collaborating with multiple partners when delivering complex and large scale projects. The more partners involved in a project the greater the complications that can arise.

UK Power Networks Services is committed to establishing long-lasting, open and trusting relationships. It is accredited in the Collaborative Business Relationship Management System ISO 44001:2017 standard to help it deliver successful collaborative relationships with appropriate clients, delivery partners and suppliers. Through its collaborative approach, it contributes to the creation of value oriented enterprising teams that deliver high performing infrastructure.

For High Speed 1’s power assets, the result has been a considerable cost-saving whilst still delivering network availability over 99.99 per cent for more than ten years continuously. As its strategic energy infrastructure partner, UK Power Networks Services has made a significant contribution to the success of High Speed 1’s reputation as the most reliable railway in Europe.

Conclusion

To be effective, your long-term strategic energy infrastructure partner needs to demonstrate these five crucial characteristics – safety, innovation, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and collaboration. UK Power Networks Services’ business is built around these characteristics. Its investment is focussed on these characteristics. Its greatest successes are where it has brought these characteristics to life in its delivery with its clients.

UK Power Networks Services has delivered for its clients for more than 50 years and its portfolio includes High Speed 1, Network Rail, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, and EDF (Hinkley Point C). It also delivers for leading UK airports, Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, London City, and Manchester.

Email: enquiries@ukpowernetworks.co.uk

Visit: ukpowernetworksservices.co.uk