“Neal Rushton (Principal Mining Engineer, Network Rail)
During lockdown (2020), AECOM were appointed by Network Rail Mining Team to assist with an ever increasing backlog for Stage 2 Mining Reports. An initial team of 5 AECOM engineers, based throughout the UK worked alongside the Network Rail Mining Team to deliver Stage 2 Mining Reports on behalf of Network Rail for an array of projects across the infrastructure. The work and deliverables programme required the team to quickly develop an understanding of Network Rail’s technical approach and the software and data utilised by Network Rail’s Mining Team. Working collaboratively together since the inception we standardised the content of the reports and plans and developed software extraction tools to maximise efficiency and improve presentation of the deliverables.
Once the first tranche of reporting was successfully delivered to programme, AECOM have been appointed on a rolling programme of Stage 2 reporting. In order to meet the ever increasing workload and with only a finite number of experienced engineers familiar with the different mined minerals and methods of extraction in the UK, there was a requirement to increase the size of the team to meet the Stage 2 reporting demands. AECOM successfully managed to develop a training programme to support the development of less experienced engineers/geologists in joining the team, increasing the number of reports whilst still maintaining the high standard of output to the exacting requirements of NR’s Principal Mining Engineer.
AECOM are now over two years on from the initial appointment and retain a core of the original AECOM team members along with a number of graduates/engineers that joined the team. To date the AECOM team have managed to deliver more than 500 Stage 2 Mining Reports to programme which has allowed the NR Mining Team to provide this information to project teams in the required turnaround time. This has enabled the Network Rail Mining Team to reallocate their internal resources to other key mining projects across the network, whilst the AECOM team continue to deliver Stage 2 reports on behalf of Network Rail for different projects across the UK. Thanks to this work the maturing relationship between AECOM and Network Rail’s Mining team has resulted in a number of further appointments for AECOM in different roles through the MSF contract.“