Emma Perry

Technical Engineer

Started in 2012 (Future Leaders Programme)

Discipline: Civil

Technical Engineer

The graduate programme was an excellent starting block for a career in the railway industry. Having had previous experience within the Civils Industry I quickly realised there is a vast difference between the two industries. I moved around the four different rotations within the three business sectors: Track Renewals; Rail Services and Rail systems. This allowed me to see first-hand the processes and procedures that go into the planning and delivery of projects within the rail industry and exposed me to an abundance of knowledgeable people that were willing to share their knowledge and experiences.

My favourite project was working on the Pudding Mill Lane DLR realignment scheme. Colas Rail was part of a larger contract to move the DLR Pudding Mill Lane station from its current position to approximately 80m south to allow the new Crossrail Infrastructure to exit the tunnelled section and connecting with the network into Stratford.

Colas Rail were contracted to install the realigning twin track that tied into the existing DLR and comprised of 300m concrete slab track over a viaduct and 400m of ballasted track. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project. Every day faced a new challenge and exposed me to the difficulties faced within a large construction project: the technical challenge of achieving tight tolerances throughout the installation of track, despite moving structures and other constraints; the daily negotiation with all the different disciplines involved, ensuring collaboration and safe working within a small area and the time restraints, ensuring the key milestones are met to successfully open the station following the blockade in April 2014.

Now in my permanent role, I am able to put everything I learnt over the two years into practice as Technical engineer within the Light Rail Division.

The best aspects of the programme were the opportunities that were presented to me. From a very early stage I had exposure to senior management and I felt that from day one I was gaining experience that would be crucial for my career development. I also appreciated the culture of Colas Rail in that I really felt like I was joining a family.

Since finishing the graduate programme in September I have been working as a Technical Engineer for the Light Rail division within Rail Systems. This is an exciting division to work for; offering a variety of technically demanding and interesting projects with a bright future in the rail industry, worldwide. Since finishing the programme I have completed the construction of the additional stabling works at the Tramlink Depot in Therapia Lane, Croydon. I am now working on the Modernisation of the Glasgow Underground. This involves the renewal of non-ballasted track on the ramps and turnouts within the unique system. This challenging project is currently in the design stage and will progress to construction during a 28 day blockade during summer next year.

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