The renaissance in the UK’s railways brought about by huge levels of infrastructure investment requires innovative and forward-thinking businesses to step up to ensure the delivery of the wide range of vital improvements and upgrades across the country.
Spencer Group has a proven history of innovation and excellence in the delivery of a broad range of station and interchange projects and is perfectly poised to play its part in the infrastructure revolution.
The privately owned engineering business repeatedly and consistently brings its industry-leading capabilities, expertise and high performance to complex rail infrastructure schemes. Spencer Group has delivered large-scale, multi-disciplinary projects to enhance the UK’s rail network for over three decades.
Most recently, Spencer Group completed major capacity enhancement works on the Stevenage rail project a year ahead of schedule. Work included the construction of a 130m-long platform, complete with approximately two kilometres of new electrified track and signalling. Completion of the project enables long-distance trains to use the Hertford Loop to connect to Stevenage Station without using existing timetable space on the East Coast Main Line, which, in turn, allows for two additional services into London.
Work on Wessex Package 7 for Network Rail involved increasing the platform length at 50 station sites along the Wessex rail route and saw Spencer Group collaborate with major supply chain partners to develop an innovative bespoke platform design to meet the demands of restructure track access. All components for the platforms were carried into position manually, mitigating the requirements for heavy plant and reducing the need for onsite wet trades.
With a strong focus on community and stakeholder engagement right across the business, Spencer Group is also aware that stations contribute economically and socially to towns and cities and that the renewal of these spaces should consider how they contribute to and enhance community life.
A prime example is the 52-week contract to refurbish three Dobson Barrel Roofs at Grade 1 Listed Newcastle Station, carried out on time and to budget, with the station fully operational throughout and providing a visual enhancement that complements the historic structure of the station.
Meanwhile, those that use one of the busiest stations outside of Zone 1 on the London Underground benefited from Spencer Group’s approach when it completed the complex Finsbury Park Phase 2B works, ensuring that the Victoria and Piccadilly line achieved step free access.
Project Director Richard Watson told Rail Business Daily why Spencer Group is well-positioned to take a lead on station and interchange projects.
He said: “Spencer Group has all the capabilities one would expect of a Tier 1 collaborative partner but we believe that we operate differently in the manner that we strike up relationships in order that we work effectively throughout the length of a project. We work with clients to understand their specific business needs and, from my perspective, I’ve seen this working tremendously well.
“We’re a design-led contractor and, even on the occasions we’re only involved with the build, we encourage early contractor involvement on any project. So, at our request, there will be weekly design review meetings so we can provide our expertise to advise on the sequence of construction and address any issues that will enable all of us to work more effectively and safely.
“We also like to really get to know everyone that might be affected by project works, which is really critical when we’re working in live environments where it is really key to be a considerate contractor.”
Spencer Group has an extensive team of highly qualified design, architectural, M&E, structural and civil engineers, each providing decades of experience in the delivery of rail projects across a range of disciplines and the ability to innovate in response to technological developments in rail.
Being privately-owned provides this business with a distinct advantage, says Richard, and one that is highly relevant given Project Speed, the government’s approach to delivering infrastructure projects better, greener, and faster.
“We’re very fleet of foot,” he said. “We’re a large business but we can move very quickly and we have very fast decision-making mechanisms. It’s a good way for us to work and it also brings big advantages to clients.
“We certainly know how to inject more pace into major projects and, as a business, we’re delving deep into the nuts and bolts of the Project Speed and PACE initiatives, trying to fully understand where we can bring benefits to Network Rail and other stakeholders. We can certainly mobilise our teams and get boots on the ground, strategically, to deliver infrastructure projects on schedule and, when possible, ahead of schedule to drive forward progress for passengers.
“It is our experience that sets us apart and also supports our approach to stakeholder relationships. We’ll work with local authorities, contractors and operators to ensure the smooth running of a project. We always work collaboratively as we’ve learnt that being open and honest in our approach delivers the best outcomes.”
For more information about Spencer Group, please visit: https://thespencergroup.co.uk/ or https://directory.railbusinessdaily.com/directory/spencer-group/