November 2017 UK Project Management Round Up

Project Successes, New Trains, Heathrow Third Runway Inquiry, Bloodhound SSC Low Speed Trial


By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK



This month’s report comes to you from sunny Helsinki where I am attending the Finnish Project Management Association’s Annual Conference.  You can read Jouko Vaskimo’s report on this elsewhere in this issue, so I will just say that it is being held in the same venue that IPMA used in 2007 for its World Congress and the weather is wonderful (today at least – more snow forecast but not till after I return to UK).  It is with some pride that I can report that report is my 60th for PM World Journal.  I have missed several months over the 6 years since we launched but hope some of you are still reading these notes – and so to business, reporting on the project world from UK.

Brexit still dominates press headlines, conversations in pubs and at the school gate.  Like so many things in life, the impact of Brexit is all a matter of conjecture and everyone will be wise after the event, so I will not waste any more space on it until we are much further along in the negotiations.  All I will say is that ‘they’ need a Project Manager to run the whole programme.

This month sees a series of transport related projects and programmes ranging from the re-opening of the Heathrow Third Runway Inquiry, the first public outing for Bloodhound SSC and something I would have commented on last month, the successful project delivery by Network Rail over the August Bank Holiday.


Network Rail has a very large portfolio of rail projects that cover everything from track improvements through updating signaling, replacing road bridges over tracks to replacing stations.  Carrying out work on and around the tracks is a critical safety related activity so the opportunities are few and always require closure of the lines so Network Rail usually take the reduction of travel at Public Holiday weekends to carry out major upgrades.  The August Bank Holiday weekend was no exception with work taking place on London Bridge, Bolton and London Waterloo Stations as well as further High Speed 2 work related to Euston Station.

Work at London Bridge Photo: PA Images

As Simon Blanchflower, Network Rail’s Major Programme Director said during the platform work in 2016, “we try our best to minimise the impact on passengers and do most of the work behind the scenes, but there are big pieces of work that can only be completed when the railway is clear of trains and people”.

London Bridge is the oldest major station in the capital. And has 54 million passengers travelling through it each year.  Platform 6 is reckoned to be the busiest in Europe, with 18 trains an hour.  London Bridge’s new concourse covers an area greater than Wembley’s pitch.  Further work is expected at Christmas when major signalling upgrades are scheduled.

Elsewhere, HS2 preparation works at Euston station saw a new power supply installed as well as trackside and station clean-up and general maintenance.  While further north, critical signalling, track, civils and electrification works were completed in the Bolton station area as part of North West Electrification programme.  All this amounts to the largest programme of August bank holiday works ever undertaken and was delivered on time and as planned over the bank holiday weekend (Saturday 26 August to Monday 28 August), thanks to more than 17,000 members of the Orange Army working throughout the long weekend.


To read entire report, click here


About the Author

Miles Shepherd

Salisbury, UK

Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World Journal in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses.  Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia.  His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.   Past Chair and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president and chair of the International Project Management Association (IPMA).  He is currently a Director for PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and is immediate past Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management.  He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance.  Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at [email protected].

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.