Joining the new Underground movement

Infraco BCV has begun a drive to recruit engineers as it gears up for the government’s planned public private partnership for the London Underground. The company, currently a subsidiary of London Underground, is responsible for rail, stations, trains, and signals on the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Waterloo and City lines. It is hoping to recruit […]

Infraco BCV has begun a drive to recruit engineers as it gears up for the government’s planned public private partnership for the London Underground.

The company, currently a subsidiary of London Underground, is responsible for rail, stations, trains, and signals on the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Waterloo and City lines. It is hoping to recruit over 200 engineers as part of a major expansion plan.

Andrew Cruickshank, administration manager for Infraco BCV, said engineers will be needed for improvement work on the network, as the public private partnership helps to increase spending on the tube. ‘There will be a dramatic increase in investment.

We all know the tube has suffered from under-investment for a long time, and introducing private firms is a way of finding another source of finance.’

Investment in the tube is expected to double, and then continue increasing at that level for a number of years, he said.

Infraco BCV is looking for project, electrical, electronic, mechanical and design engineers, as well as train maintenance staff and signalling and rolling stock specialists to maintain and improve infrastructure.

The company is also hoping to recruit signal maintenance technicians, electricians, engineering graduates and computer-aided design specialists, and expects to continue its expansion plan throughout the coming year.

But with experienced rail engineers in short supply, it may take some time before all the vacancies are filled, Cruickshank said. ‘We will be keeping an eye on the market. We know certain skills are scarce while others are more plentiful. We are going to be looking for engineers over a sustained period to ensure we get the right number of people.’

Infraco BCV is due to be transferred to the control of the successful private bidder later in 2001 or early 2002. The government’s preferred bidder to take control of the firm is Metronet, a consortium including engineering and consultancy firm WS Atkins, rail contractor Balfour Beatty and equipment supplier Bombardier Transportation.

The consortium has also recently been chosen as preferred bidder for the Circle, District, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City and East London lines.