Rail specialists hail 10 years in Blackpool

Novus Rail celebrates 10 years in Blackpool. Left toright, senior engineer John Collinson, managing director, Mark McMahon, and engineers, Bobby Gunn and Josef Morgan-Griffiths.
Novus Rail celebrates 10 years in Blackpool. Left toright, senior engineer John Collinson, managing director, Mark McMahon, and engineers, Bobby Gunn and Josef Morgan-Griffiths.
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A railways design specialist is celebrating 10 years of business in Blackpool with a mention in a top national engineering list.

Novus Rail based at the Solaris Centre at South Shore provides specialist civil engineering consultancy and technical services in the development of major rail works across the UK.

It was this month listed in the New Civil Engineer’s top 100 civil engineering practises list for being “effective, reliable and trustworthy” and for its proactive approach to training.

John Collinson, senior engineer, said: “Managing director Mark McMahon and the rest of us are obviously delighted at being listed.

“We are a small company with 10 staff working with some of the biggest engineering companies in Europe.

“We do everything from design to technical site support and have carried out work supporting a wide range of organisations from local authorities, to Network Rail and London Underground.

“We are currently working on the Northern Hub project, in Manchester at Piccadilly and Oxford Road, increasing capacity on the rail network and have worked with the Ministry of Defence on their munitions transfer depot.”

Another project is the Intercity Express scheme on the East Coast Main Line helping with track design for the new Hitachi Trains which are longer than the previous trains.

“We were the first company to take up residence in the Solaris Centre after it was taken over and refurbished by Blackpool Council.

“Our company has always had a close interest in environmental issues and waste reduction, so the council saw us fit for the offices at their environmentally friendly project.

He said the company tries to take on local people where possible: “Everything is done in house and we train local youngsters.

“We can train them up to degree level but what we do is very specialist and a lot of post graduates do not have the specific the training specific to our needs.

“We recruit from the job centre and by word of mouth.

“It is really interesting work.

“What keeps us all interested is the sheer variety of the work we do.

“Obviously it is all within the rail environment but no two days are ever the same.

“The common factor is that we all enjoy problem solving.”