Photo © Laing O’Rourke

The Rail Hub

The Buildoffsite Rail Hub was set up in 2016 to encourage the use of offsite solutions in the Rail sector.

With a number of key rail projects being implemented in the UK (e.g. HS2, Crossrail, Crossrail2, Northern Line Extension, the East West Rail (Oxford-Cambridge)  and a large number of stations being improved for step free access) it was a natural progression for Buildoffsite to be involved in highlighting opportunities for these projects to use smart construction techniques.

Led by HS2 and Transport for London, and supported by a cross section of the supply chain and other clients associated with these rail projects, such as Highways England and Network Rail, the Rail Hub has had  a number of successful events and is looking to keep the momentum up with more workshops and site visits being planned for  2019.

In 2018 the Rail Hub published the Buildoffsite Bridges and Viaducts DfMA Guide, the output from a series of workshops.  It is now collaborating with WSP to create an Overbuild Guide following WSP’s publication of “Out of Thin Air, building above London’s rail lines” which will be published in 2019. The Out of Thin Air report identified that there are sites capable of supporting a quarter of a million homes for London. The Overbuild Guide aims to help unlock these potential sites in terms of commercial and construction viability.

The Rail Hub also plans to look at the scope for getting common approvals processes agreed for rail projects that involve multiple rail stakeholders.The priority tasks for the Hub have been identified as:

  • Connecting with key clients and client advisers to achieve client demand pull
  • Knowledge sharing to support collaboration between clients and suppliers
  • Awareness raising through promotional material and case studies
  • Developing a methodology to consistently demonstrate the value added of offsite solutions
  • Encouraging additional organisations to join

For more information on the work of the Hub contact: