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With an extensive team of railway professionals we are committed to delivering excellence in every aspect of rail design and engineering.


The development and prosperity of population centres across the globe are dependent on the existence of efficient transport networks. Increased demand, advances in design and technology and investment in the sector has seen rail become a leader in sustainable transport, marrying both carbon concerns with prudency.

Critical transport links

Efficient links between towns, cities and countries has never been more critical. Where business and industry is the heartbeat, sustainable transport networks form the arteries. Although the two are interdependent, they are both vital to cultural and economic growth.

Rail engineering and systems design

Atkins is a leader in rail engineering and systems design, providing expertise to clients from our experience and in-depth knowledge of the rail and engineering domains.

From the development and maintenance of existing systems to the implementation of new schemes, we help clients through the entire project lifecycle to ensure that maximum value and outcomes are achieved.

Our rail services are delivered via a multidisciplinary workforce located in the UK, Scandinavia, China, the Middle East, India and the USA.



We provide a broad range of consultancy services to the rail sector. Our experienced teams provide innovative solutions that span every discipline in both the light and heavy rail markets.

Reliable rail infrastructure

Reliable infrastructure is the foundation of any railway system, with design and construction underpinning optimal performance and reliability.

As a leading consultant in the rail sector, clients entrust us to successfully deliver their infrastructure projects, ensuring deadlines are met and costs are controlled.

Carrying passengers, moving goods

Rail vehicles must be designed to suit their intended purpose. For passengers they represent the most significant element of their journey experience, while for freight handlers they constitute an integral part of the logistics chain.

From certification services to full design consultancy, our vehicle specialists provide innovative and effective solutions in response to the business needs of vehicle manufacturers, maintainers, owners and operators.

Looking after your assets

The rail sector is characterised by a range, longevity and complexity of assets found in few other industries. For all stakeholders, it is vital that these assets are managed effectively to ensure the rail systems remain safe and reliable.

By adopting a coordinated and systematic approach to asset management, we maximise the value, performance and return on our clients’ investments.

Under one roof

Whether housing rolling stock or protecting commuters from the elements, a well-designed property is critical to any operational railway.

Our property capability encompasses stations, transport interchanges, depots, lineside buildings and associated developments. We take pride in our ability to offer clients a comprehensive suite of services by combining traditional design work with diverse skills from across the wider Atkins Group.


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Julie Hurley
05 Jul 2017

To achieve this, it’s important that we think differently about the way we do things, attracting private investment into transport infrastructure programmes and looking at alternative models of funding. TfN is moving beyond rhetoric and will become the first sub-national transport body by March 2018. The pace has been swift – moving from an informal group of northern politicians, Local Enterprise Partnerships, central government and national agencies, to a statutory body that has produced a Northern Independent Economic Review, Strategic Transport Plan and Implementation Programme, in what will be just over three years. We need to make sure that our approach for securing investment in the crucial infrastructure which will drive connectivity and economic prosperity in the North is equally ambitious. Organisations such as TfN will not be able to rely on government funding alone and competition for funding is fierce. Private sector investors can bring new approaches to efficiency, value for money and innovation. Furthermore, technology companies are in the transport space and may well be the transport providers of the future, providing the infrastructure and vehicle investment, tipping the balance of public and private money. At the moment, the industry is watching and waiting for someone to make that first big move which will change the funding model. Certainly, if these transformational plans for transport are to be delivered, then organisations such as TfN will have to reverse out of the Treasury funding cul-de-sac and find a new route. To incentivise investors in the Northern Powerhouse, we can: • Embrace the potential powers that

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Prof Dr Uwe Krueger
06 Jun 2017

Uwe has consistently taken part in the GII summits, regular gatherings of the world’s most senior leaders in infrastructure and capital projects, which look to identify ways to improve the delivery of new infrastructure and get more out of existing assets. During the visit Uwe gave some of his latest views on how new innovative digital approaches were helping transform the construction and engineering sector and ensure better solutions for clients. You can see him discuss these ideas in the videos on this page. atkins0303   atkins0304   atkins0306   Find out more about the Global Infrastructure Initiative. Credit: Photograph and videos courtesy of McKinsey & Company.

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David Brewer
02 Jun 2017

The Digital Railway programme at Network Rail is charting new territory on many fronts. The work is different to that of traditional projects, and so are the relationships. Leveraging the benefits of the programme requires different relationships between technology developers, infrastructure owners and train operators. Funding and financing are also likely to necessitate different ways of working. Fundamental change is required from both Network Rail and suppliers and questions of whether we understand the change and can navigate it remain open. The Digital Railway is an industry challenge, not a Network Rail challenge. Are we any closer to understanding what this means for suppliers? Part of the problem lies in that word - suppliers. Despite efforts by the Digital Railway team to set labels to one side, seeing Network Rail as the client and other organisations as suppliers conditions a certain set of expectations about roles and relationships. It is only when we move past these labels that we will really embrace the sort of industry leadership which is being called for and start to think more clearly about contributions based upon capability.......... Please see here to see read the full article from David Brewer, market director, Strategic Rail at Atkins. This article was first published in Rail Professional's May edition.

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Ben Dunlop
24 May 2017

I recently shared with the National College for High Speed Rail a blog post exploring my experiences as an apprentice, and how they have informed my career to date – please see the full article below.  Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of starting your career. I am speaking from personal experience, as I began my career on the railway as an apprentice in August 1988.  This was at a time when apprenticeships were very unfashionable, and certainly if you were academic, it wasn’t the norm to leave school at 16. Armed with a collection of mid-range GCSEs, I applied for and secured an apprenticeship with British Rail at their locomotive works in Stratford in East London. Little did I know on that first day, just what would develop in the years to come for me: the people I would meet, the experiences I would have and the life that I would go on to lead, working on large-scale infrastructure programmes such as the Channel Tunnel, West Coast Route Modernisation and Thameslink. The apprenticeship taught me skills, lots and lots of them – how to work with a variety of materials, how to wire up buildings and machines, how to maintain and repair huge diesel engines and generator sets, and much more besides. However, in truth, just as important as building up my technical knowledge was honing my interpersonal skills. The ability to listen and learn, to build sustainable relationships, to ask challenging questions and importantly, to feel comfortable being challenged back, were just

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Atkins has provided marine structural and engineering services to the Deer Park Terminal since 2009. To ensure the reliability and continued service to the terminal, we repaired and replaced deteriorated marine structures at Docks 1 and 2, including storm water management improvements and modifications to docking structures. To maintain a high level of service to Vopak’s customers during construction, we provided detailed construction sequencing and scheduling to minimize impact. At the facilities on Docks 3, 4, and 5, we provided engineering and construction management services as the owner’s representative. The renovation of Dock 3 and new construction of Docks 4 and 5 added additional barge dock facilities and increased the total number of ship berths from three to four, mitigating barge dock closures and safeguarding shipment schedules. To ease the significant congestion in Vopak’s limited footprint, a 2-mile rail loop was designed to receive unit trains and store up to 100 rail cars until they could be shuttled to Vopak’s nearby main terminal. Additionally, our team coordinated with pipeline companies to protect an important pipeline corridor that was crossed by the rail track during the design, engineering, and construction management phase of the rail upgrade. Additional work, known as Project ONE, provided program management, master planning, design, and environmental permitting services for three distinct areas: a large inland site, a marine site, and a connecting pipeline corridor. Based on our previous work to add a 2-mile rail loop, we provided construction management services to add a second loop inside of the first rail


The Doha Metro Red Line South project is part of the overall Doha Metro project being developed by Qatar Rail.  The Red Line, also known as the Coast Line, runs for about 40 kilometres from Al Wakra in the south to Lusail in the north and has 17 stations. The line connects Hamad International Airport at Terminal 1 to the centre of the city.  The Red Line South contract comprises c. 14 km of twin-bore tunnels along with five underground stations. Atkins was appointed as Lead Designer in June 2013 by RLS JV, a joint venture led by QDVC, a JV between Qatari Diar and France's Vinci Construction Grands Projects, and including South Korea's GS Engineering and Construction and Qatar's Al-Darwish Engineering.  The vision is to provide integrated railway services that are reliable, attractive and be the favoured mode of transport for all. Atkins has been responsible for the multi-disciplinary design of five underground stations, five switchbox structures, four emergency egress shafts as well as functional planning of tunnels/shafts and track alignment design. In addition to the above we are providing expert advice on all fire and life safety issues in establishing the appropriate fire strategy for the stations and tunnels, and assisting the client with obtaining Qatar Civil Defence Department approvals.

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The initial phase of the program was the design and construction of the South Airport Automated People Mover (APM) Complex. As a subconsultant to the prime architect, Atkins is responsible for civil and transportation engineering for the South APM Complex. This initial phase included the design and construction of a new APM station, new 2,400 car parking garage, renovation of the APM station in the North Terminal, completion of the APM guideway structure to the South APM Complex, roadways, bridges, overpasses, site grading, utilities, and all associated infrastructure. The ultimate STC program will include the South APM Complex as well as an Intermodal Transportation Facility, which will serve as a hub for three passenger rail projects, including a planned $2.2 billion intercity passenger rail line from Miami. Atkins was responsible for planning the entire roadway system for the STC ultimate buildout. Atkins was also responsible for the design of the loop access roadway surrounding the South APM Complex, including planning and development of alternative roadway concepts for the ultimate transportation master plan addressing the future STC. This effort included roadway plans, stormwater conveyance systems, signing and pavement marking plans, demolition plans, utility coordination, retaining walls, and maintenance of traffic plans. The approximate length of the 2-to-4 lane loop roadway was 3 miles.  

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TfL invited Atkins to tender for the Deep Tubes Programme Aerial Survey. The specification requested as close to 2cm resolution imagery and survey accuracy as could be achieved, 2cm being a resolution which up until that point had not been possible from a fixed wing aircraft. Atkins developed the methodology that would deliver 2cm aerial imagery and +/-2cm survey accuracy. The Geomatics team won the contract and successfully captured aerial imagery for the Bakerloo Line, Central Line and parts of the Piccadilly Line at 2cm GSD (Ground Sampled Distance).

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Limehouse Viaduct is an early stock brick Grade II listed structure originally built to support the London to Blackwall Railway, serving the old docks of East London, and now carrying Docklands Light Railway system. The viaduct is punctuated by a number of flat metal deck spans which cross a network of public highways and watercourses. Due to the length of the viaduct structure and differing forms of construction, the project was divided into four packages. Package 1 was completed on time enabling the client to implement the tender process for the site works within the project time scales. Packages 2, 3 & 4 are due to commence following completion of the Package 1 site works.

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As the only above ground station in Crossrail’s central section, Custom House provides an important connection for London commuters. A joint team from Atkins, Arup, Allies & Morrison, Crossrail and Laing O’Rourke collaborated to develop the striking design for the station, creating a beacon for both Crossrail and the community. This had to work around a number of constraints at the development, including a very narrow site; existing utilities; existing DLR remaining fully operational throughout construction; a busy footpath and congested Victoria Dock Road; and a public right of way. Our strategy for the construction of Custom House included pre-fabricated and standardised components, with a ‘kit of parts’ forming the platforms, columns, concourse slab and roof. This unusual and innovative approach had a number of advantages. It minimised work on site that, in turn, drove down the programme time, preliminary costs and the impact on the local community. Off-site manufacture required fewer deliveries and vehicle movements around the site, reducing traffic, noise and effects on air quality. By shifting construction activity from site to factory working conditions were improved and health and safety risks reduced. The more controlled conditions of the factory also ensure more consistent and higher-quality production. The development of a pre-cast concrete solution brought other benefits to the construction phase, allowing swifter installation by gantry crane of repetitious units, a benefit made more acute by the proximity of live overhead power cables and the restriction this imposed on the construction sequence. Once opened the station will welcome regional and international visitors

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Cambridge North Station will create a new gateway to Cambridge and its northern fringes. The development is expected to serve over 3,000 passengers per day, and forms a key piece of Cambridgeshire’s transport infrastructure. The new station will alleviate congestion in the city centre and open up access to Cambridge Science Park and several major new developments to the north of Cambridge. Through consultation and collaboration with Cambridgeshire County Council the Atkins design team created a piece of functional rail infrastructure, benchmarked for cost against other similar developments, which was also a piece of architecture specific to Cambridge and the high tech industries it would be helping to serve. The passenger route through Cambridge North is clear and direct with constant views of the passenger destination. This allows the building to declutter itself of signage. Natural light is also used as part of the wayfinding strategy, with both top light and large format windows lighting key areas of the station and providing visual reminders to passengers of their route. The station is wrapped in three equal bands of aluminium panels which have been perforated with a design derived from John Horton Conway’s “Game of Life” theories which he established while at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1970. These beautiful, delicate panels ensure passive security to ground floor glazed areas, assist with wayfinding while crossing the footbridge and allow the building to transform its appearance between day and night through sensitive backlighting. By bringing out elements of its local history and surrounding

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Our refurbishment of the Grade A listed building dramatically transformed the appearance and facilities of the station ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Working closely with Network Rail, we created a design to improve the quality of experience of the 38 million people who pass through the station each year. Working within a tight timeframe, our team transformed the station’s main entrances from Union Street, the low level station and the main concourse washrooms in time for the Games. Their design pays homage to the station’s original environment by introducing tall, delicate archway structures and large format gates which feature ornate metal work echoing times gone by. Previously, there had been an over-reliance on complex signage within the station and there was a desire to simplify the passenger journey and communicate important gateways from a distance through material and form. Although significant in scale, the new arch and gateways are elegantly proportioned and delicately perforated, and laser cut steel plates help belie their structural weight. The significance of secondary access to Union Street was also intensified through the introduction of

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MALPAS is one of the world’s most rigorous and advanced software analysis and verification toolsets. It has been used to verify safety critical software programmes running railway signalling systems in Australia and the UK.


Ready to dig  

Atkins is the UK’s leading provider of utility reports. We also provide a wide range of utility management services across the lifecycle of a project.


For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

UK & Europe

Philip Hoare
Managing director
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1454 66 2566     

Olav Aarrestad
Business area manager, Rail     
Tel: +47 971 88471

Johan Stranddorf
Director Rail
Tel: +45 5251 9127

Asia Pacific

John Blackwood
Director, transport
Tel: +852 29721002


North America

United States of America
Tel: +1 800 477 7275

Middle East & Africa

Julian Hill
Managing director, Rail
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4405 9300


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