“The complexities of this project presented significant challenges, from inexperienced subcontractors to unforeseen circumstances like COVID-19. However, our dedicated and experienced team at RSSI delivered the project within the given budget and timescale, achieving a result we’re very proud of.”
Karl Dean, Head of Welding, RSS Infrastructure
The York Place to Newhaven extension was a £207,000,000 project to expand the Edinburgh tram line. The two-year project was undertaken for the client, SFN [Sans – Farrans – Neopol], with Luis Rabacal as the project lead. Despite initial issues related to sub-contractor inexperience and COVID-related challenges, RSSI provided a successful solution on time and within budget, delivering a tram line extension and enhanced transportation options for residents.
- Engaged a five-person team with expertise in light rail.
- Utilised plant, equipment, and techniques developed over the last 15 years.
- Created 1082 welds, with only 0.5% defective.
- Met deadlines with no penalty charges.
- Submitted a complete hand back package to the client.
Edinburgh Tram Line
The project’s background was to extend the current tram line at York Place to Newhaven by adding approximately 4.69 kilometres of track. This extension would offer residents increased access to highcapacity light rail, enhancing the existing bus service and improving infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
Initially, the client outsourced the welding element to a local subcontractor. However, their lack of experience with light rail groove rail embedded track led to additional costs and significant installation shortfalls, causing a severe delay in the programme. To mitigate this, RSSI stepped in with a five-person team of two welding teams and a weld inspector/supervisor experienced in light rail projects. This team utilised plant, equipment, and techniques RSSI developed over the last 15 years, ensuring high-quality results.
The project had to confront several challenges. The formation design necessitated a rail alignment device, as the rail had to be welded on jigs instead of standard bearers.
Furthermore, potential COVID-19-related delays threatened additional costs. However, increased productivity and an innovative approach allowed RSSI to deliver the project on budget and within the given timescale.
The value provided to the client was evident in the successful completion of the project. With 1082 welds created and a minuscule 0.5% defect rate, we completed the project without incurring penalty charges. Additionally, after completion, RSSI presented a full hand back package to the client, indicating careful project management and attention to detail.
The team’s dedication to the project was evident, as all staff members were accommodated locally due to the project location. Their commitment and expertise facilitated a high-quality delivery despite the inherent challenges. The York Place to Newhaven extension is a testament to RSSI’s effective problem-solving capabilities and robust strategies.