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.