About us

Our Engineering team is developing additional safety opportunities, all based upon our patented magnetic technology that will contribute to further growth and increase safe working circumstances for railway workers.

How it began

RSS started offering fall protection systems on both flat and sloping roofs more than a decade ago. The system had to be light, easy to work with, with fast assembly and disassembly capabilities, but above all it had to be safe and secure.

Based on these principles new products have been developed for other markets, one of which was for the rail infrastructure. For the rail maintenance activities we developed the RSS Magnetically Attached Safety Barrier. The system provides a barrier with sufficient rigidity to resist the lateral force of a man falling against it from the worksite. We developed the RSS Magnetically Attached Safety Barrier system in-house with our own Research & Development team in close cooperation with large railway operators. In 2010 we separated these activities in a dedicated Business Unit, called Rail Safety Systems.

The first 3 years of our existence were absorbed in achieving the requisite permissions, authority and approvals of the system in the most important markets in Europe, as often railway regulations and legal systems are far from harmonized neither in the EU nor worldwide. Meanwhile our direct sales team is able to offer tailor made solutions for the individual markets in the Benelux, Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, France and Turkey.

Other European Markets and Rest of World opportunities are exclusively covered by our strategic partner, the Goldschmidt Thermit Group based in Leipzig Germany.

Our Engineering team is developing additional safety devices, all based upon our patented magnetic technology that will contribute to further growth and increase safe working circumstances for railway workers.

Values

Innovative, Continuous Improvements, Ethical, Reliable, Safe, Simple

Our mission

It is Rail Safety Systems’ mission to innovate, develop, manufacture and provide systems that are specifically designed to improve safer working environments for railway workers.

Vision

We believe, and have demonstrated that we are able to offer innovative, economic and ergonomically based solutions with our patented magnetic technology that not only benefits our customers financially by saving both time and resources, but in addition considerably reduces the potential for injuries to the workforce at worksites by improving safe working practices.

 

Our CEO

“We made a difference by placing people in the center of our product development”

It all started with an idea to improve safe and secure working conditions for workers on the roof, mainly roofing contractors, but also for the increasing installations of solar systems.

The traditional safety systems were labour intensive and therefore often avoided in order to save time, despite the risk of fatal incidents. Being active in and around roofing activities for almost all of my professional career I spent a lot of thinking about alternatives or solutions to distinguish from competition in combining safe systems and a sharp reduction of time that should ultimately lead to increased profit for our customers.

Once the system was engineered, tested and approved I decided to start a separate company for marketing and sales of the fencing system, that was the base for Rail Safety Systems eventually.

Currently I am proud being able to manage a dedicated and motivated team that is constantly in contact with our customers, not only for sales but also listening to their daily challenges for optimizing safety and security, all using the concept of our exclusive magnetic based system. I am sure there is a long and successful future ahead of us and we are just at the beginning of rolling out.

J.A. Bakker, CEO

My first reaction was the same as everybody else's when they first see it – “I wish I’d thought of that” – it’s so easy and obvious – only two components.

Paul Scapens, CEO and President, Innovative Railway Safety Ltd

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My first reaction was the same as everybody else's when they first see it – “I wish I’d thought of that” – it’s so easy and obvious – only two components.

Paul Scapens, CEO and President, Innovative Railway Safety Ltd

Can you briefly describe your company?

Innovative Railway Safety Ltd’s objective is to invent and source innovative products that are used at the GB, Eire and European Railway Infrastructure, with the aim of producing a more environmentally sustainable and safer place to work.  We work closely with innovative companies that provide practical, cost effective solutions to both existing identified hazards and those as yet not envisaged but come to light with new technology and working practices.

When was your first contact with Rail Safety Systems?

In our continuous search for innovative products, we came across a Dutch company, Rail Safety Systems B.V. who were introducing a revolutionary magnetically attached Safety Barrier System.  I joined them at the Rail-Tech Europe trade fair 2011 in Amersfoort Netherlands, where the product won the European Gold Award for Innovation.  I was convinced that this was an excellent solution for the market in Great Britain and Eire as well as an opportunity to develop new products utilising their unique magnetic technology (e.g.: Lookout protection Kits, TSR (Temporary Speed Restriction) Boards, Points Run-through Signs etc.  The rest, as we say, is history.

What was your first impression of the RSS Magnetic Barrier?

My first reaction was the same as everybody else’s when they first see it – “I wish I’d thought of that” – it’s so easy and obvious – only two components.  I was immediately impressed by its simplicity in attaching to the rail; the fact that no tools were required; the speed of erection allows the opportunity to erect and dismantle in ‘line-blockages’ rather than ‘full possessions’- (5men can erect 102m in 15minutes); it’s light and easily carried; with no ballast removal required, it means no Silica ballast dust or pathogens (e.g. Weil’s disease, Leptospirosis etc.) are generated making for a safer working environment; the interlocking the Glass Reinforced Plastic handrails provide a continuous Safety Barrier offering maximum security for operatives working closely to the railway line with train speeds of up to 145mph.  In use, it saves Time and as a consequence Money - who would not be interested in this?

Do you have an example where the system has effectively been used?

Some 24 Km are now in daily use on the GB and Eire infrastructure, so both Network Rail and its Contractors are investing in this new technology and deriving the benefits, - saving time and money. A customer of ours, J. Murphy & Sons Limited, has utilised the Rail Safety System Magnetically Attached Barrier on the Ladbrook Lane project in Wiltshire. This project involved the demolition and reconstruction of a bridge as part of the Great Western Electrification Program.  The barrier provided extremely effective protection and enabled work in close proximity to the track to be completed 75% faster compared to traditional barrier systems, resulting in a significant savings – “£1500.00 over traditional Safety Barrier Systems”. See this link.

Amey Rail, working with Network Rail on the GWEP (Great Western Electrification Project) were similarly impressed and issued a ‘Share with Pride’ passing on their positive experiences in using the Safety Barrier.  See this link.

What else can we expect of this cooperation?

Our engineers work closely with the engineers of RSS on other ‘new’ innovations, all based around the innovative and patented magnetic system technology. We are in frequent contact with large railway operators, Network Rail amongst them, seeking additional opportunities and will introduce these as we receive approval.  There are exciting new products which are in the process of certification and parallel testing and are close to being launched in the GB & Eire and European Markets.  For obvious reasons we cannot go into too much detail right now.

When I talk to the team today, they usually say: It works, it's relatively simple, I would never have thought so, why didn't we do this before?

Philip Glanz, Senior Area Manager, Deutsche Bahn

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When I talk to the team today, they usually say: It works, it's relatively simple, I would never have thought so, why didn't we do this before?

Philip Glanz, Senior Area Manager, Deutsche Bahn

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Interview with Philip Glanz.
My name is Philip Glanz and I'm the Senior Area Manager for track maintenance here in the PD Hamm. In the track area, we are responsible for repair and maintenance of the rail systems. We inspect them and replace major components of rail points.

Why did you choose RSS?
For us there were several reasons. Firstly the cost-effectiveness next to safety. The RSS system may not be the cheapest one on the market, but we save approx. EUR 1000 per shift every time we use it. It is a safe alternative opposed to automatic warning systems that do not prevent employees from walking onto the neighbouring track, and exactly that is made possible by the fixed barriers.

What do the savings consist of?
We bought these fixed barriers as DB and they now belong to the depot. When we carry out normal safety procedures we have a service provider who takes over the safety installations for us. We are now saving those costs.

About the RSS system?
The RSS system is a fixed barrier attached to the rail with a magnet. So when compared with conventional fixed barriers, I no longer need to clear the area in which I am installing the fixed barrier from ballast and attach the fixed barrier to the rail. It's much faster, is more simple and I can do it from outside the rail area. That was impossible up to now.

How long does it take to build the system?
Once the employees have got the hang of it we can manage about 10 metres per minute. So I can build a fixed barrier like the one you see behind me in 5 to 10 minutes. That has been impossible up to now.

Licensing of the RSS system.
It is often the case, of course, that we are wary of anything new. The biggest risk, or the biggest question raised is: Can a magnet actually hold? Does the system work? Will it not be torn off? What will happen if I lean against it? Is the system stable?
RSS provided us with 30 metres for 2 months so we could test it here last year . We tested it extensively with the team; the employees could try it out themselves right here. At the end of the day we realised that the more of the system we build, and the longer it is, the more stable it becomes. To that extent, all the questions or concerns we had raised were actually history.

The experience of employees with RSS
When I talk to the team today, they usually say: It works, it's relatively simple, I would never have thought so, why didn't we do this before?

Why did you not choose RSS before?
There was no comparable system before.

 

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