Rail networks across the UK & Ireland provide vital transportation services for the public with demand increasing year on year.

As a result the sector has been placed firmly in the spotlight with considerable activity and investment planned to allow rail services to match this increasing demand, delivering a better and more sustainable service.

RPS has established an impressive reputation for its work in the sector. Our Architectural and Engineering design teams have developed a large number of major train depots over the last six years and our Acoustics, Noise and Vibration teams have been engaged on a number of significant projects including one of our flagship projects, Crossrail where the team provided the assessment for the Environmental Statement and saw the project through the Select Committee phase and successful Royal Assent.

We work with a wide range of clients across the sector including public bodies, infrastructure providers, train operating companies, train manufacturers and rail freight logistic providers.

Case Studies

Crossrail London

Crossrail, London Crossrail, London

Crossrail Ltd

Crossrail is a major project that will link railways either side of London and complement the existing London Underground services. It is currently the largest rail project in Europe.

RPS supported the project from route selection and continued with extensive baseline noise surveys, noise and vibration assessments and the provision of input to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). We supported the Crossrail Bill through the Parliamentary process, where noise and vibration effects were key issues. The Crossrail Bill gained Royal Assent in 2008. RPS continued to provide noise and vibration guidance for the detailed design and construction stages.

Following the noise assessments to support the selection of the preferred scheme, consultation was carried out with each Local Authority to select key sensitive receptors, where baseline noise surveys were to be carried out. The resulting extensive schedule of noise surveys eventually resulted in some 300 separate measurements being carried out.

Dublin Light Rail (LUAS)

Dublin Light Rail (LUAS)


Railway Procurement Agency (RPA)

The proposed Dublin Metro represents one of Ireland’s largest and most modern transport infrastructural projects.

RPS was responsible for the successful EIS and assisting at Rail Order Inquiry for the:

Tallaght Luas line

Sandyford Luas line

Sandyford – Cherrywood line extension [Line B1] and are appointed for the EIS for the section from Cherrywood to Bray / Fassaroe [Line B2]

We were the Traffic and Transportation advisor for the Luas line F extension to Lucan. Luas line B1 required 3 major steel viaducts and also the 300m long (Spine Road) underpass to extend the Sandyford Luas line. RPS was the appointed designer and provided technical support to the RPA during their successful on-time construction. RPS are framework consultants for Civil/Structural Engineering elements for Light Rail projects and supported one of the four consortia for the Design-Build for the Metro North as designers.

Edge Hill Depot

Edge Hill Depot Enhancement Edge Hill Depot Enhancement, Liverpool

VolkerFitzpatrick for Network Rail / Alstom

RPS provided Architectural and Civil and Structural design services for the development of a new depot for Virgin's Pendolino trains in Liverpool. The depot includes full length jacking capability, bogie removal equipment, a road/rail transfer area, a new fuel offloading facility, new modular office with integrated welfare facilities and a service yard with car park.

The site had complex ground conditions requiring a considered remediation strategy from the engineering team for which, RPS specified an innovative ground improvement sub structure solution in lieu of a conventional piling. Surface water attenuation was also incorporated via the use of above-ground storage tanks.

Our designs were subject to a rigorous design approval process to ensure compliance with Network Rail standards.

Stoke Gifford Rail Depot

Stoke Gifford Rail Depot, Bristol

Agility Trains

RPS is providing a range of services including Architecture, Civil and Structural Engineering, Fire Engineering and Acoustic services for the development of two rail maintenance facilities as part of Agility Trains' Intercity Express Programme.

As part of the programme, Agility Trains require two maintenance depots, one new and one significantly refurbished. One of these will be provided in the suburbs of Bristol and the other within the suburbs of London.

The new facility is currently being designed on a 44 acre brownfield site, which was formerly an aggregate recycling facility. Due to the location of the development and its close neighbours, it met with considerable objection to the planning application from local residents. The granting of the planning consent included 18 Conditions for resolution before construction could commence.

The facility is scheduled for completion in 2015 and will be shielded from view by appropriate fencing and landscaping.

Strategic Rail Freight Interchange

Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, Radlett, Helioslough

Planning Permission was issued by the Secretary of State in July 2014 for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange including 3.5m ft2 of warehousing, new rail connection, rail freight interchange and Country Park. The site is in the Green Belt to the south of St Albans and adjoining the M25 / Midland mainline. RPS CgMs project managed the preparation and submission of the outline application with a full Environmental Assessment and an Alternative Sites Need Case. We have made representations to various plans. We first applied for planning permission for a SRFI at the former Radlett Aerodrome site in 2006. After the application was refused by the local authority, Helioslough appealed the decision and an inquiry took place in 2007. The outcome of this inquiry was a rejection of the application, solely on one ground. A revised application was submitted in 2009, again rejected by the local authority and again appealed. The inquiry into this appeal took place late in 2009.

The Inspector recommended the application be approved. However, in July 2010, the Secretary of State over-ruled the Inspector and dismissed the appeal. Helioslough then issued a legal challenge in the High Court. The judge ruled that the Secretary of State’s decision was wrong, and the decision was quashed. Today’s decision is as a result of the Secretary of State reconsidering the position he took in July 2010. We will now be progressing our planning permission to the next stages with St Albans District Council.

The Strategic Rail Freight Interchange is important for sustainable economic growth - some £250 million will be invested by the private sector in this development, with some 3,760 jobs being generated over the long term as well as creating £101 million in annual economic benefits. Having the ability to move more freight via a well-connected rail network, will help to free up capacity on our already overcrowded roads as well as generate significant carbon savings.

Strategic Rail Freight Interchange or Inland Port

Strategic Rail Freight Interchange or Inland Port, Rossington

RPS CgMs is the lead consultant on this major 397ha application site to the south of Doncaster adjoining the former mining village of Rossington.

The project is for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange or Inland Port, comprising a rail freight interchange, a rail terminal and 562,000 sq m of rail and road served distribution units for the logistics industry. The overall site area is 379 ha, with 171 ha being the main development site and the remaining being an access corridor and countryside area for both flood alleviation work, landscaping and ecological mitigation.

RPS CgMs project managed the Environmental Statement and prepared various parts of it including the Cultural Heritage, Socio-Economic and general non-technical chapters. We prepared the Needs Case, including the Alternative Sites Assessment and worked closely with Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council throughout the whole process from initial pre-application submission, through to determination. This process included a Planning Performance Agreement.

RPS CgMs project managed the whole technical team for the client and advised where input was required from various disciplines and advised on appointments as appropriate.