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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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Philip Hoare
22 Dec 2016

The UK population is projected to reach 70 million by mid-2027, and the consequences of this on our transport infrastructure will be profound. It would be fairly difficult to overstate how important our ability to respond to these demands is. Reinforcing this sentiment are current and future projections of journey capacity and congestion. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) calculated that there were 1.7 billion passenger journeys on the UK’s rail network in the last financial year. Meanwhile on road, highway congestion already costs £2 billion each year and this is set to rise to around £10 billion, by 2040. But challenging circumstances; such as population growth, the need to create better transportation links and the importance of maintaining economic stability and growth, are not unique to the modern day. For example, responding to increasing world trade through river freight, and with no alternative regional routes across the river, the Thames Tunnel opened in 1843. Described locally as the eighth wonder of the world, the Thames Tunnel was a leading innovative solution responding to the rise of a global economy and its new challenges. Fast forward to the present day, and the benefits of tunnelling aren’t so dissimilar. Space, particularly within an urban setting is a commodity, and current competition for its use has long exceeded that of the past. Yet the timeless engineering feat of tunnelling still provides a more efficient use of space that can better accommodate the forecast growth in travel demand. Strategically placed transport links

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Philip Hoare
06 Dec 2016

You can find the second article in the series, which looks at encouraging and fostering the right environment for innovation, here. How do we fast-track change and what will future funding models look like? It is clear that funding models need to be evaluated within their individual political, legal and regulatory contexts.  What works in one culture may well jar elsewhere.  Governments around the world are looking for new ways of funding infrastructure projects. The flip side of the coin of innovation is risk.  Third party funding is emerging as a viable route, but for it to be successful, there needs to be a top down government-led approach which aligns funding mechanisms and procurement models with this new source of revenue. Private investors bring a fresh perspective.  As with any commercial organisation, they tend to be very streamlined in their thinking, responsive to the demands of their shareholders and keen to reap the maximum benefit of their funding of a project. Collaboration, not just between lender and recipient, but also across the industry to promote an environment in which lending into the sector is an attractive and viable option, is essential.  For new models of funding to be successful, there needs to be a whole-industry approach. There also needs to be an understanding that the rail industry is a complex space.  Lenders need to be clear about the gestation period and lifecycle of a project, and frankly, when and how they can expect to see a return.  They also need to be able to

Group , Middle East , North America , Rest of World , UK & Europe , Asia Pacific ,

Philip Hoare
25 Nov 2016

You can find the first article in the series, which looks at changing consumer expectations and how the rail industry responds to this challenge, here.  This second article will focus on encouraging and fostering the right environment for innovation. Challenge is often the precursor to innovation Innovation can enable an enhanced passenger experience. In times of change, both at micro and macro level, we must be able to show the government and industry that we are able to deliver value for money. Innovating, both in terms of the emergence of new technology and the more effective use of existing assets, is critical to endeavours to realise a passenger-centred rail network. So what does innovation in rail look like and how do we make it happen? Is there a blueprint for success? Investing in new digital technologies which can help to alleviate the capacity challenges faced by the network, reduce the amount of lineside infrastructure required and facilitate the move towards pre-emptive maintenance all have a role to play. It would certainly appear that those countries which are able to best harvest the spirit of innovation are those with certain defining characteristics: a simple(r) stakeholder environment encouragement of diversity and inclusion in STEM engagement, from primary school age onwards continued high quality on-the-job skills development long term proactive government investment ring-fenced funds for research into future technologies use of data to identify behavioural trends and facilitate

Group , Middle East , North America , Rest of World , UK & Europe , Asia Pacific ,

Philip Hoare
17 Nov 2016

Our world is changing. As an industry, if we are going to fulfil the expectations of passengers in the digital age, then we need to harness industry collaboration to unlock the barriers to future mobility and drive continuous improvement for passengers. To shape the future of transportation, we need to dream big and be willing to test new ideas, harnessing new technology, listening to the needs of passengers, encouraging innovation and developing new funding models. We see future mobility as characterised by seamless end-to-end journeys, the establishment of a new norm where technology-enabled customers rely on digital platforms powered by mobile apps to facilitate their journey choices, multi-modal trips with a single payment mechanism and access over ownership. Lessons to learn? New start-ups are materialising across the rail sector, readily attracting investment.  They are lean, smart and agile. They share the ability to continually innovate, go through multiple iterations and try and test new concepts quickly. With limited overheads, they are able to rapidly establish a presence, particularly in the growth markets of emerging economies. Meanwhile, the rail industry faces increasing pressure to provide a high-quality travelling experience for passengers and embrace technology to deliver ever higher levels of safety, reliability, comfort and cost-effectiveness. Is there a way of embracing the potential of start-ups to incubate new ideas and drive innovation to create the digital railway of the 22nd century today?  Strategic partnerships with start-ups and technology firms offer one route; another possibility is developing bespoke incubator teams within more established businesses. The future of rail, and

Group , Middle East , North America , Rest of World , UK & Europe , Asia Pacific ,


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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.  

USA , North America ,

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 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 to

UK ,

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


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