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New standards ahead for rail industry


Connect, no. 119, July/August 2002, p.1

A major advance in the quest to raise standards within the rail industry was made when the new Institute of Rail Welding (IoRW) was launched at The Royal Society on Monday 22 April. There was a very enthusiastic audience numbering over 200 for this event representing all the major organisations involved in rail track construction and maintenance in the United Kingdom.

The opening session was chaired by Professor Brian Mellitt, President of The Welding Institute. The keynote speaker was David Ventry who is Head of Permanent Way at Railtrack. He spoke of his commitment to the new organisation and how it will increase effectiveness and raise standards in the rail industry. Bevan Braithwaite and Tim Jessop, both of TWI also spoke at the launch session about the objectives of the IoRW and about TWI's contribution to it.

The IoRW will establish new systems to cover competence of key personnel such as welders and welding inspectors, and quality assurance criteria for welder training organisations and welding contractors. They will make use of the well-established principles currently employed by TWI Certification Ltd, for example in the CSWIP scheme.

The Institute of Rail Welding will be used as a means of bringing the various factions of the rail welding community together and to engender a culture of teamwork and continuous improvement.

It will be an open society with an array of valuable, dedicated, services and benefits; for example, a newsletter, a website and a programme of technical events.

Delegates at the first Technical Meeting of the Institute of Rail Welding held at the Royal Society
Delegates at the first Technical Meeting of the Institute of Rail Welding held at the Royal Society
David Ventry, Head of Permanent Way at Railtrack giving his presentation at the launch of the Institute of Rail Welding in London on 22 April 2002
David Ventry, Head of Permanent Way at Railtrack giving his presentation at the launch of the Institute of Rail Welding in London on 22 April 2002

The launch was followed by the first Technical Meeting of the new Institute. Speakers from major organisations within the rail industry, as well as from TWI, gave talks on subjects covering rail welding standards, developments in aluminothermic welding and competence and QA in rail welding.

Further information may be obtained from Kay Bridges at TWI.

For more information please email:


contactus@twi.co.uk