Interview Spotlight: Graham Roberts, Vossloh Kiepe UK

Posted: 22 January 2013 | Intelligent Transport | No comments yet

Craig Waters, Intelligent Transport Editor, speaks to Graham Roberts from Vossloh Kiepe UK about their goals…

Graham Roberts, Vossloh Kiepe UK

Graham Roberts, Vossloh Kiepe UK

What are the short and long-term goals for Vossloh Kiepe UK and how are you looking to grow in the UK?

There are a many opportunities for Vossloh Kiepe UK to grow in the UK, and we plan to build on our existing relationships to expand the portfolio of services and technology that we are able to provide. There are many new capabilities that we can bring in from the Vossloh Kiepe Group and we’re already working closely with our German colleagues on a number of UK projects.

We’re now able to deliver more modernisation solutions and components for rail vehicles, in particular in the field of traction modernisation and we have a fantastic oppor tunity to maximise Vossloh Kiepe’s expertise. In the long-term, Vossloh Kiepe’s financial capacity will enable us to participate in large-scale projects which as Transys Projects, we would never been able to access.

Graham Roberts, Vossloh Kiepe UK

Graham Roberts, Vossloh Kiepe UK

Do you have any products from the UK side that you think the European business can benefit from?

As Transys Projects, we had many specialist capabilities for which we are well known, and these will complement Vossloh Kiepe’s existing offer in the European market. We definitely see opportunities for growth in this market by leveraging our UK expertise in diesel traction, mechanical engineer ing, vehicle refresh, wheel/rail adhesion control and other technology-based systems for rail.

Our staff will be working alongside the Vossloh Kiepe teams in Europe to integrate our specialist skills into Vossloh Kiepe’s proposals, studies and projects. We began this process at InnoTrans 2012, where we were introduced to many of Europe’s major rail industry figures at the Vossloh Kiepe stand.

What are the benefits of being based in Birmingham? Are you looking to grow trade in the Midlands?

Centrally located in the UK, Birmingham has excellent transport links with two international airports in the region and a proud engineering history, dating back to the Industrial Revolution. Importantly, Birmingham has proved to be cost effective and is a centre of engineering talent from the many internationally-renowned universities in the region. Resources in this region will benefit us as we grow.

Many of the large rolling stock owners and operators in the UK rail industry are based within the Midlands and we will continue to nurture our relationships with these firms, as we are looking to build our reputation across the UK and Ireland as well as in Europe.

We understand Vossloh Kiepe UK is involved with the project for Rotherham’s tram-train project; what can you tell us about this?

Funding for a £58 million tram-train pilot scheme linking Sheffield and Rotherham was confirmed in early-2012. The project is being led by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive in partnership with the Department for Transport, Network Rail, franchised train operator Northern Rail and tram operator Stagecoach Supertram. We can confirm that Northern Rail has identified Vossloh Rail Vehicles as lead bidder to supply seven tram-train vehicles for the new service and also to increase capacity on existing Supertram routes. This is an exciting, complex and high profile project for Vossloh Rail Vehicles and Vossloh Kiepe UK will be keen to support the introduction of these vehicles with local technical support. The project will be an incredible opportunity to showcase our combined talents, expertise, technology and capabilities. I hope it’s a trailblazer for more projects in our major cities.

What is the core message of Vossloh Kiepe UK?

Vossloh Kiepe UK anticipates customers’ requirements and exceeds expectations in terms of value and delivery. But it’s our specialist rail engineering expertise, and the calibre of our engineers, that we’re most proud of. We blend outstanding rail engineering skills with excellent production, integration and project management skills, huge reserves of flexibility and innovative thinking. Whether our people are working in our design and engineering offices in Birmingham, at premises leased for specific projects or on site at customers’ depots, they’re single-mindedly focused on getting the project completed to the client’s total satisfaction, rapidly and right first time.

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