The Vactor / Drainage Project
The Vactor / Drainage project began in 2012 – Network Rail Infrastructure Maintenance required eight 26 tonne road rail vehicles to be used for the inspection, clearing and maintenance of various drainage systems and associated equipment on Network Rail infrastructure.
NCB carried out the Engineering Acceptance (EA) certification of the vehicles to the requirements of RIS-1530-PLT, this is the rail industry standard for the EA of on-track plant. The vehicles needed to be compliant with the Construction and Use Regulations for Road Vehicles and have all necessary approvals to allow the vehicles to be operated without restriction on the UK road infrastructure and within the engineering possessions on Network Rail managed infrastructure.
These 8 new vehicles have been built by two companies; Hilton Engineering, based in Maastricht Holland, for the rail conversion of the MAN lorry chassis and Whale Engineering, based at Solihull, Birmingham, for the production of the Vactor modules.
Construction of the vehicles began in late 2013, continued throughout 2014 and completed in November 2015. During this whole period we were closely involved with the approval of the designs produced by both manufacturers.
For Hilton Engineering and Whale Engineering these vehicles were the first that they’d supplied to Network Rail. So we made sure we liaised closely with each supplier to ensure the vehicles complied with Network Rail specifications and regulations covering the use of rail vehicles on the infrastructure, attending project meetings with all relevant representatives of the project to progress the innovative design and construction of each vehicle.
Our flexibility has been key to the success of this project. Client delays at the start and delays of the supply of vehicles from the manufacturers meant that timescales and deadlines on the project have had to be realigned to review the design of the vehicle and its components.
We successfully managed our resource to ensure the engineers were always available to carry out the assessments when required and we’ve always ensured the client/contractor relationship had not been altered throughout the project duration, applying a consistent approach with customer and supplier engagement.