Arup’s skills encompass every element of rail engineering from high-level planning to detailed design and specialist expertise in signalling and track design (permanent way), power and operations.
Our rail experience inspires trust worldwide. We have been instrumental in complex and groundbreaking projects such as the UK’s High Speed 1; in extensive signalling and modelling, as for Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC); and in pit-to-port freight logistics. We have worked widely with rail and transit operators including Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation and New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
We also go beyond expectations of excellence to design technically creative solutions that push the possibilities in rail further.
Innovation in rail contends with the constraints of stringent regulation, finite budgets and challenging environments, from crowded cities to delicate ecosystems. But Arup’s creative culture pushes us to find solutions that overcome limitations.
Network Rail asked us to redevelop Waterloo Station in London to meet increased demand in an extremely tight envelope. We accommodated longer trains and more frequent services by compressing the signalling and track layout. Our intricate design was so novel that it required us to develop a new switch and crossing unit to make it work, and to test our ideas using 3D modelling. Our innovations helped Network Rail plan for service levels to 2020 and beyond, without major disruption to existing services.
We also exceeded our client’s expectations on Australia’s Hunter Valley Corridor coal line. We increased freight capacity with reconfigured track and signalling design and new controls technology. Using operational and timetabling analysis, we also shortened delivery time.
Seamless teams for better solutions
Whether for intercity, suburban or freight lines, rail systems are complex undertakings that require close cooperation. Arup’s long-established practice of holistic working creates truly integrated rail teams that produce better solutions together.
Our rail engineers necessarily work smoothly with our tunnel, bridge and geotechnics experts. To ensure a client’s vision from the start we also work alongside architects, acousticians, materials experts and all the specialists who contribute to success on forward-thinking projects such as Copenhagen Cityringen.
The principles of sustainable infrastructure underpin Arup’s rail projects, and our expertise in environmental consulting helps us find more balanced solutions. The Gautrain Rapid Rail Link was proposed to stimulate economic growth in South Africa, but its original route intersected environmentally sensitive land. We identified an alternative, completely within tunnels, that would also save costs and alleviate public concerns about property, noise and safety.