Story Plant support 2024 PWI Trackwork Challenge

Last week, Story Plant were proud to support the two-day Permanent Way Institution (PWI) Practical Trackwork Challenge event hosted by Story Contracting‘s Track team at Bo’ness & Kinneil Heritage Railway, after also supporting the 2023 edition of the event at Midland Railway Trust heritage railway in Derbyshire.

The PWI Practical Trackwork Challenge is an annual learning event that brings together talented professionals from across the rail sector to showcase and develop their skills in track maintenance and construction. It is a unique opportunity for people who work in the industry with limited site experience, to work in a live railway environment in a safe and controlled manner.

Over two days, five Story Plant machines were utilised, including our Komatsu D41 dozer and Liebherr R920 rail bug, to assist the delegates split to undertake all the steps involved in a track renewal project, under expert supervision. Following a total of 16 working hours, 200 metres of the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway line was successfully renewed on Site One, 75 damaged sleepers were replaced on Site Two, and 50 delegates were able to further develop their specialist skill set.

The Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway is operated by volunteers from the Scottish Railway Preservation Society and is funded by grants and donations. The line that runs steam trains on a scenic 10-mile return journey was in need of refurbishment and provided the ideal opportunity to host the learning event which fosters collaboration, innovation, and development for participants, whilst supporting the heritage railway.

Jennifer Evans, Graduate Engineer at Story Contracting who took part in the challenge said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the PWI Practical Trackwork Challenge. Training days like this are important as they provide a platform for professionals from different companies, job descriptions, and levels to share their expertise, helping to build a bridge between theoretical knowledge and practical applications in industry. They also help provide a good network to build relationships that can lead to collaboration during different projects throughout our careers.”

Peter Mitchell, Senior Engineer at SYSTRA who also took part in the challenge added: “It was a rewarding experience to be part of the PWI Practical Trackwork Challenge, both in the design stage and construction. The Track team at SYSTRA grasped the opportunity to give back to a heritage railway by offering our track design expertise, and I thoroughly enjoyed time on-site for the construction phase too.”