Design and engineering company BakerHicks is opening a dedicated rail office in Derby and launching a new Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) design service.
This follows the appointment of a new rail director, James Howles, earlier in the year.
The new, specialist OLE service will deliver engineering design capabilities for both new build and existing overhead electrification systems.
Mr Howles said it will be flexible enough to deliver renewals and also support large enhancement projects.
“With thousands of route miles of overhead line to maintain and renew every year, there is already a substantial opportunity for an experienced team,” he said. “And, that is before any new electrification schemes are announced.”
The new team will be able to call upon the existing civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, high voltage engineering and architectural capabilities of the wider company to provide a holistic service.
“It will be the spearhead to opening up further opportunities and helping us to achieve the best of both worlds: building up a new client portfolio for BakerHicks while strengthening existing relationships with colleagues in Morgan Sindall Group to meet market demand,” Mr Howles said.
An integral part of the new electrification-focused division is a new office, situated in the rail heartland of Derby.
Another critical part of the strategy is to expand the team, which as well as Mr Howles includes Iain Court, former rail director at WYG, AECOM and SNC-Lavalin, and Steve Limbert, a technical consultant with more than 40 years’ experience, which includes projects such as the East Coast Mainline Electrification scheme and the California High Speed Rail system.
“Derby has one of the most substantial clusters of rail industry suppliers and skills,” Mr Howles said, “and our ambition is to build an experienced, agile team with the potential to work alone or in tandem with Morgan Sindall’s electrification team to bring a new design and build capability to the market.”
The opening of the new office coincides with the appointment of Ben Starbuck as a principal OLE design engineer.
He has specialised in OLE design for 27 years, working for a number of leading design consultants and construction firms in the UK as well as Network Rail.