By Stuart Fraser, Accounts Director
Ganymede was appointed by Network Rail as the primary labour supplier for the Oxford Corridor Project to help deliver a package of schemes and improve the Great Western Route.
The Great Western route is being modernised to bring passengers faster, more frequent, more reliable services. As both passenger and freight traffic through Oxford continues to grow, Network Rail is delivering a package of schemes including re-signalling, track remodelling and upgrades to increase capacity, connections and route availability for passengers and freight operators.
The previous principal contractor for the Oxford Corridor project went into liquidation in 2018, consequently jeopardising planned operations at the time. Without an effective solution, the potential impact would have been operational delays, increased project costs, mass workforce redundancies and failure to meet key strategic project milestones.
With the involuntary change in the contract landscape, Network Rail became the principal contractor and formed the Western Enhancement Delivery (WED) division and Ganymede was appointed by WED as the primary labour supplier for the project.
To enable a smooth integration within the 21-day time frame, Ganymede needed to win the hearts and minds of the incumbent workforce who were in turmoil with the uncertainty surrounding their positions. Equally, it required the creation of a new account management / resource team who could implement robust resource plans to meet the intended skilled labour uplifts for the duration of the project but, namely to meet the non-standard blockade programmed in four weeks after the resource contract was taken over by Ganymede.
Ganymede integrated an incumbent workforce of over 60 individuals, completed relevant compliance checks, developed a training programme and provided a fleet of vehicles including telematics and driver induction/training, all within the project’s tight timescale of 21-days.
Ganymede helped to deliver four successful commissionings over three blockades for a new track layout and signalling system. The project included a mixture of track and civil works including track renewals, station refurbishment, piling and end wall construction, demolition, track formation and acoustic barrier installation. At peak we were regularly deploying and managing over 150 personnel at the project in Oxford.
All works were delivered without any lost time accidents or incidents. Including the delivery of a major 21-day blockade that required a 150% uplift of resources.
Following on from the Oxford Corridor Project, Ganymede continues to support Network Rail (WED) with resources on other projects.
An integrated Oxford delivery structure was created by key figures from Ganymede and Network Rail senior management team. The newly created dedicated account management team held a series of consultation events at the project depot. This helped allay any fears the project team had and introduced all the operatives to Ganymede. These events were pivotal in outlining the opportunities on the project, our plans as a business moving forward and the expectations from passengers.
The programme involved a 21-day implementation time-frame for Ganymede to compliantly ensure the smooth integration of the incumbent workforce. Over 60 individuals were consulted and contracted to Ganymede resulting in no losses of any jobs. The Ganymede fleet department successfully sourced a large fleet of vehicles on to the project through our supply chain, ensuring business as usual from day one of the newly formed collaboration.
As part of the staff transition / integration process and in preparation to the forthcoming planned blockade, we held a series of Safety Moment events. This enabled us to embed our safety culture, identify any skills gaps and develop a dedicated training programme.
Fundamental to the blockade’s success, was the fact we ensured every shift had internal resource management or our safety team on site. Part of the process also included site update reports every 12 hours to the WED project team. The report outlined real time progress with information on planned work against programme, resource updates, safety close call reporting and resolution, safety status and potential contingency requirements.
Through a positive safety culture and a passionate resourceful attitude, the Oxford Corridor project was a major success. More importantly, all works were delivered without any lost time accidents or incidents, there were no overruns throughout the life of the project and all the works were delivered on time and within budget.
Following on from the success of the Oxford Corridor Project, Ganymede continue to support the WED project team with resources for their ongoing projects.
“As you know we completed what we can only be described as a significant piece of work in the Oxford area. We delivered a major milestone in the project successfully and with very few real issues. The professionalism on the WED team has been excellence and the attitudes great. I’m really proud of what we have all achieved as a team and am really grateful to you all. On the Whole I’ve been really impressed with the Ganymede team in taking on the mantel since Carillion’s demise and supporting Network Rail with the continued delivery of the Oxford project. I’ve found everybody in Ganymede has wanted to help an support that delivery and resolve any issues quickly. You should all be really proud of this team, well done and thank you.” Senior Programme Manager, Western Enhancements Delivery – Network Rail
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