Generating Signalling Engineers for the Future

A sustainable workforce is essential for the growth and development of any business. But, how do you ensure a business can grow and develop whilst having the confidence to engage with the inexperience of youth? Fenix Signalling has found the perfect balance.

Much like one of its unique service offerings – interfacing heritage systems with more modern solutions – Fenix is embracing the energy of its young signalling engineers and mentoring them to deliver high-quality professional services. Fenix’s carefully selected senior personnel, with combined industry experience of more than 100 years, are enthusiastically supporting this career development approach.

Despite operating with a relatively small but highly-skilled team, Warwickshire-based Fenix has already caught the eye of many of the industry’s heavyweights.

It is currently retained for the re-development of Banbury Depot, which has been derelict since the 1960’s. The project, which is being delivered on behalf of Buckingham Group for Chiltern Railways, will continue into 2017. Fenix is involved in Grip 4 Single Option Signalling Development and Grip 5 Detailed Signalling Design to integrate the PintschTiefenbach Depot control system and Zonegreen Depot Personnel protection system, and also the interface to Network Rail. The 2nd and 3rd project phases will include installation, test & commissioning.

Other clients of the fledgling business include Carillion for whom it has worked on the M8 project (relocation of bridge cabling and signal re-design), telent Technology Services Ltd and MPI, the UK’s largest resource provider for testing and commissioning. Fenix are also talking to other industry-leading contractors at home and in Europe.

Sue Grant, Head of Business Operations at Fenix, said: “We are confident of securing a significant portfolio of work going forward our flexibility and ability to adapt to varying types and scales of projects along with investment in a multifunctional expert workforce is the key to success. For example our professional services team bring world-wide ETCS project and product expertise that will be increasingly relevant as the new systems are introduced across the UK network. For that reason I believe we have a unique professional service offering.

“We are a focused team with more than 100 years of experience in signalling and engineering that boasts a wealth of knowledge both in the UK and overseas. Our business objective is to continue offering high-quality services to the rail industry through our core team, safe in the knowledge that we are able to draw upon a significant talent pool of expertise via our industry resources as and when required.”

Paul Green has a long commitment to the development of test and commissioning skills and has put his full commitment behind the need to find the workforce of tomorrow.

He said: “Despite possessing industry professionals that boast glowing CVs and exemplary experience, we will actively encourage newcomers into the industry as well as employing young designers.”

Fenix’s flexibility and expertise can bridge the technology gap – working independently or as a client’s responsible engineer to integrate heritage and modern signalling systems and deliver work across a variety of specialist technical signalling disciplines outside the scope of the larger contractors.

Eddie Murphy, Head of Projects & Development at Fenix, said: “While securing and delivering projects across the UK and overseas is something Fenix is putting much of its efforts into, it is also making a concentrated effort to provide specialist training across the industry.

“As we grow and continue to establish ourselves in the market we are also looking to bolster our existing unique training offering using our business model to help drive up standards across the rail industry, particularly in all aspects of signalling engineering and design. Our training is tailored for each audience to ensure they understand the safety critical issues and complexities of signalling and can anticipate and respond during tender, implementation and commissioning.

“Currently, we offer bespoke training across all sectors including civil engineering and other non-specialist companies engaged on schemes where signalling is part of the overall project. The training is delivered over three days, two days in a classroom setting – which can be on the client’s site – and one day practical work off-site looking at different interlockings and other signalling specific equipment. From this we have developed a 1.5 day course for Executive Management who has no previous exposure to the “black-art” that is signalling engineering.”

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