Network Rail partners with local steel developer for accessibility projects

Posted: 15 April 2024 | | No comments yet

Network Rail have partnered with a local steel company, M&S Engineering, to complete accessibility upgrades.

network rail steel

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 Engineering was founded in February 1992 on the cessation of Stewart Engineering Services by A Stewart (previously Managing Director) and D Monk (previously Workshop Manager). Over the past 12 years, the firm has earned its place as a preferred contractor for design, fabrication and erection of steelwork packages.

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.”

Gary Jamieson, contracts manager, 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 Jamieson 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.”