Accessibility Tools

Northern Trains Limited

Station and Facilities Investment


Brief Description

Vextrix has been engaged to provide Project and Programme Management, Quantity Surveying, Contract Administration and Principal Designer Services for this Northern project.

Having worked with Northern since 2009 at the inception of the company, we have become one of the organisation’s partners to lead on their major investment programmes.  We believe the relationship formed between the leaders of the businesses, the business functions and operational staff and the continued work delivered between us, is evidence of the way in which Vextrix does business.

The works under this particular programme have seen investment in customer facilities, staff facilities, offices, car parks, depots, accessibility improvements and station infrastructure improvements and have seen us deliver both new build and refurbishment construction projects within a complex working environment and across a wide group of stakeholders and communities across the North of England.

Through working in partnership with Northern over the last ten years, and in this programme in particular, Vextrix has brought value, innovation and knowledge sharing/collaboration in the following areas:

  • Savings in excess of £1m found within a £7m LED Lighting project covering 470 locations through working with the supply chain
  • Savings in excess of £3m through managing single dig working operations to minimise disruption at stations and future proof facilities for future installations
  • Provision of CPD and mentoring regarding CDM, Asbestos, Project Management process and JCT Contract Administration requirements to Northern Staff
  • Co-locating of both Northern and Vextrix Project Managers to increase productivity and collaboration
  • Integrating over 15 different design and consultancy companies into a single programme and establishing a framework for knowledge sharing and truly genuine collaboration to increase design quality and accuracy
  • Future implementation of innovative solutions for CCTV camera systems integrated within LED lights saving on infrastructure/civils enabling costs
  • Implementation of innovative low-cost public address speaker systems at stations reducing equipment provision requirements by over 50%
  • Generation of funds in excess of £2m from third party funders to allow for further investment in stations
  • Being a face of Northern for project delivery and recognised by other Industry Stakeholders as an integrated member of their team assisting in the successful project delivery, giving external stakeholders and funders confidence the job will be done and we will do what we say.

We had also provided Lead Design services for numerous Northern Rail projects including the Station Improvement Programme, Platform Validators project and Crew Accommodation.

Lead Design services included co-ordination of other specialist sub-consultants, submission of Landlord Consents and other Network Rail forms and Procedures.

Lesson Learnt

During delivery of the programme over the last three years we have undertaken a series of lessons learnt sessions which have highlighted the following key factors to ensure success of a project:

  • All members of the project team need clear guidance and briefing on the organisations direction and desires for the projects. This includes a requirement for full transparency over business/project challenges which may impact the projects delivery.  This allows all members of the team to form a greater understanding over decision making processes and time and take ownership/assist with solving these changes.  By being transparent around the challenges faced and regularly briefing all members of the project team we have generated a spirit of collaboration within the team.
  • Very early in the project we identified that working on such a large programme of works over a considerable period of time (4 years) brought a series of complex issues around scale, consistency and focus. Squads/Teams were created that could work in a modular fashion, using standard processes set up to maintain governance, that would focus on select regions. We then consulted with all squads to set out a series of Annual Goals that would determine the success of the project, each goal focussed on meeting the end objective.
  • During delivery we identified that the reporting systems and administration duties were a distraction for the Project Managers. Procedures and key metrics were reviewed to allow governance and control to be maintained and a streamlined reporting process was created.