December 2019 UK Project Management Roundup

Good Project News, Not So Good News, BREXIT, Culture, PM Awards and Happy Holidays in a Post Truth Era



By Miles Shepherd

Executive Advisor & International Correspondent

Salisbury, England, UK




As always at the end of the year, thought turn to festivities and here in UK, it is the season of PM Awards so it seems appropriate to take a look at what the membership associations have been up to.  There have been a few project reports which should provide some food for thought this festive season and some observations of social change that affect projects


So let’s begin with the good news and start with rail.  Whether you are an enthusiast of trains, big or little, the news is definitely good.  On the small train side, Sir Rod Stewart, the famous rocker, has reported that he has completed his huge model train

layout.  This is far from a vanity project and is the result of 23 years work.  Apart from the electrics, Sir Rod did almost all the work himself, he clearly enjoys the construction of these detailed models.  It also emerged that Sir Rod donated a significant sum of cash to help fellow railway modelers rebuild a vandalized railway club layout.

Detail from Sir Rod Stewart’s model railway (Photo courtesy Steve Crise/Railway Modeller.

Large Trains. For fans of rather larger layout comes news that there are no less than five new full-size steam engines under construction in UK.  This is taking model railways to a higher level, but heritage railways are hugely popular with engineers, both amateur and professional, as well as general public.  According to The Times, it is not just elderly enthusiasts who have nostalgic views of a bygone age of steam trains but also a much younger demographic brought up on Thomas the Tank Engine.  Some 8 million people travelled on heritage railways last year.

The latest project is the recreation of a London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) engine scraped more than 60 years ago.  Previous projects resulted in a new “Peppercorn A1 Pacific class engine; the Tornado cost £3 million and at the time (2008) was the first new steam engine built in UK for more than 50 years.  The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, which built Tornado, is also building a P2 Mikado.  To be named Prince of Wales, it is expected to cost £5 million and take 3 years to build.  This project receives no official funding but relies on the generosity of volunteers and enthusiasts.  It will also provide a training opportunity for a number of apprentices.  An appeal is scheduled to be launched in the Spring of 2020 to raise some £350,000 for a third, smaller, loco – this time a V4 Prairie mixed traffic engine.  These new engines will add to the 200 odd engines currently in service on more than 100 heritage railways.

Safety Approval.  Other good news on the railway front is the approval of the safety strategy for the new range of hydrogen fueled trains under development in two separate projects.  It is hoped these new trains can be in service quickly, possibly by 2012.  They should contribute significantly to reducing pollution and provide a major step in achieving the planned eradication of diesel from the network by 2040.

Overrun ends. We also have news of a long overrunning project that looks to be in line for completion – 150 years after work ended.  Work started on what eventually became the biggest School chapel in UK if not the world in 1868  Located outside Brighton, on the south coast, it is built on  chalk based which caused major problems during construction, requiring several thousand tons of concrete to be poured into the foundation…


To read entire report, click here


How to cite this report: Shepherd, M. (2019).  August 2019 UK Project Management Roundup, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue XI, December.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Shepherd-UK-project-management-roundup.pdf



About the Author

Miles Shepherd

Salisbury, UK




Miles Shepherd is an executive editorial advisor and international correspondent for PM World Journal in the United Kingdom. He is also managing director for MS Projects Ltd, a consulting company supporting various UK and overseas Government agencies, nuclear industry organisations and other businesses.  Miles has over 30 years’ experience on a variety of projects in UK, Eastern Europe and Russia.  His PM experience includes defence, major IT projects, decommissioning of nuclear reactors, nuclear security, rail and business projects for the UK Government and EU.   Past Chair and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM), Miles is also past president and chair and a Fellow of the International Project Management Association (IPMA).  He is currently a Director for PMI’s Global Accreditation Centre and is immediate past Chair of the ISO committee developing new international standards for Project Management and for Program/Portfolio Management.  He was involved in setting up APM’s team developing guidelines for project management oversight and governance.  Miles is based in Salisbury, England and can be contacted at miles.shepherd@msp-ltd.co.uk.

To view other works by Miles Shepherd, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/miles-shepherd/.