Network Rail strengthens steel fabricator partnership with accessibility projects

Network Rail strengthens steel fabricator partnership with accessibility projects

Network Rail engineers visited a steelworks in Annan to see progress on steel fabrication for ongoing projects to improve accessibility at three stations across Scotland.

Team members travelled to M&S Engineering where the structure for Dumfries Access for All project was set up in the yard.

M&S is also working on the steel components for similar projects at Anniesland and Uddginston stations.

In recent weeks the Network Rail project team have been able to inspect and approve the Dumfries structure for the next stages of production before the steel is installed in the coming months.

Rod Hendry, site construction manager with Network Rail, said: “The Access for All projects we are delivering aim to make stations more easily accessible for those with reduced mobility, prams and luggage.

“In Scotland, Access for All schemes were completed at Croy and Johnstone stations in 2023, and Port Glasgow in February 2024. The schemes at Dumfries, Anniesland and Uddingston are due to be all finished by autumn 2024.”

Established in 1992, M&S is a family-run business, which started working with Network Rail in 2012 during the delivery of the Access for All programme at Perth station.

Gary Jamieson, contracts manager at M&S, said: “We have [steel for] Uddingston painted in the workshop. We have the Dumfries footbridge and we have the Anniesland ramps and lift shafts.

“Having multiple projects on at the one time gives our guys a great deal of focus and we benefit from the continuity. To be able to cope with all three at once, programming is key. We ask our guys to step up, sometimes it is working extra hours but to be fair they have not let us down. They have all really done their bit.”

The government-funded Access for All programme seeks to make travelling by train more inclusive for passengers by creating step-free access across station platforms.

Since its launch in 2006, the programme has funded improvements at 28 Scottish stations, rising to 31 once Anniesland, Uddingston and Dumfries are completed

Gary added: “What makes working on Access for All different to other projects we do is that you get a lot more interaction with the public. In terms of installation from our side, Access for All changes the landscape of the station overnight.

“These structures provide really good work for our guys and, for Dumfries station in particular, it is really interesting because it is local. The guys will be using that station in the near future, knowing that they have played their part in the bridge being made.”

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