Ramboll to review New Champlain Bridge Corridor

02 October 2015 Consultancy.uk

Ramboll and Stantec have won the tender to jointly review the design and construction process of the New Champlain Bridge Corridor project in Canada. The two partners will assess the design from end to end to ensure the construction meets the project’s requirements and is completed on time. The deal brings together expertise from the UK and Denmark to further Ramboll’s strategy in the North American market.

The New Champlain Bridge Corridor Project aims to improve the federal section of the Autoroute 15 near the St. Lawrence River, through reconstruction and expansion, as well as a new bridge île des Soeurs across the river. The project is a joint public-private partnership between the Canadian Government and Signature on the St. Lawrence Group. The ‘New Champlain Bridge’ will be a 3.4 km bridge across the main channel of the St. Lawrence River, replacing the now decaying Champlain Bridge, as well as including a cable stay section over the St. Lawrence Seaway. The New Champlain Bridge will enter service in 2018 and the whole Autoroute corridor is expected to be completed in 2019.

To oversee the construction phase of the New Champlain Bridge corridor, Danish engineering consulting firm Ramboll has teamed up with Canadian design consulting firm Stantec.

Ramboll and Stantec review New Champlain Bridge Corridor project

As part of the project, the two partners will act as independent oversight – reviewing the New Champlain Bridge corridor design from end to end, as well as make sure that construction is on schedule and in line with the requirements of the project plan. Specifically, Ramboll is tasked with the review of the design of the bridge, while Stantec is poised to critically assess the whole Autoroute design as well as make onsite inspections.

This is the second tender involving Ramboll within the wider project. In 2014 the firm, along with Hatch Mott MacDonald and Dessau, tendered a design for the development of the 600 meter long multi-span cable stayed bridge – unsuccessfully. The knowledge gathered from their earlier engagement with the scheme, according to the firm, helped it secure the latest contract. “We are very pleased to have been chosen as Independent Engineer on the New Champlain Bridge Corridor Project which is of crucial importance for the regional economy and for Canada as a whole. The new contract is in line with Ramboll’s strategy for North America where we are pursuing several other larger bridge- and tunnel projects,” explains Lars Thorbek, Head of Ramboll’s department for International Bridges.

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.