The Institute of Rail Welding (IoRW), was established in April 2002 by The Welding Institute (TWI) and Network Rail (formerly Railtrack), its mission to provide focus for individuals and companies involved in rail welding in the UKand to facilitate the adoption of best practice.
IoRW now has almost nine hundred members in the UK from a wide range of organisations involved in rail welding. From the beginning, interest and support has remained high and this has enabled a number of other key objectives to be achieved.
Five issues of the newsletter, Welding Lines have been published and feedback has been very positive. The web site, at www.iorw.org, has evolved and now contains a wealth of information. Three technical meetings have been held on the topical subjects of aluminothermic welding, flash welding and arc welding. A further one will be held this year on the metallurgy of rail steels.
The events have all been well attended with lively discussion and networking sessions. Reports on the meetings are published on the web site and in Welding Lines. The technical enquiry service is very popular and members have contacted IoRW with questions on a diverse range of rail welding matters.
The competence and QA aspects of the IoRW project are progressing well with a number of key targets due to be met this year. Key features of this work include developing standardised aluminothermic and arc welder training packages, and development of training and certification schemes for rail welding inspectors and rail welding engineers.
So, on its first anniversary, the IoRW is flourishing and the Management Committee intend building upon the good start that has been made.