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The Permanent Way Team In York

Join an ever-expanding team in an increasingly busy railway city

York has been a hub for the railways for well over a century. Today, the city represents a centre of engineering excellence, exporting expertise across the UK and beyond. 

Atkins has a substantial rail presence here; over 80 employees working with every discipline and specialism under the one roof gives us a huge competitive edge. Being able to deliver complex projects and provide our clients with instant access to such a wide base of knowledge means that 
we continue to hold a strong position in a busy corner of the construction industry. 

The permanent way team in York is a mixture of all capabilities from young apprentices through to principal engineers,and the range of skills available mirrors this.

What are we working on?

The team is making the most of this easy access to cross-discipline knowledge. The industry has been gaining momentum as the huge volumes of CP5 work start coming online, and as a result our workbank has been similarly climbing.

In the last few months alone, the team has been busy on diverse projects such as Crossrail; the West Anglia Mainline capacity enhancement project; working closely with the civils team (sitting a few desks away) on structure renewals such as waybeam replacement on the King Edward Bridge in Newcastle or even supporting the upgrade of a peaceful country level crossing.

Major frameworks with Carillion and VolkerFitzpatrick mean that we have a guaranteed and substantial body of work arriving on our desks for the next five to ten years. This means delivering schemes partnered with Carillion across the East Midlands including the Midland Mainline Route Modernisation programme (MML Linespeed Improvements, the Kettering to Corby and Bedford to Kettering Capacity Improvements projects, Midland Mainline Electrification etc.), and working on many projects across the Anglia region with VolkerFitzpatrick.

Atkins’ size also means that we can call upon the skills of our engineers and other specialists outside of the railway, such as those in the environmental or geotechnical disciplines. Not only this, but our relationship with other Atkins teams across the country means that we also benefit from their successes when it comes to supporting new and interesting projects worldwide.

Is the York office a good place to work?

Ever struggled to ask what the time is without the whole office staring you down? 

Thankfully we don’t sit in silence all day. If we have a question, we just get up and head over to the desk of someone who will have the answer. This means that there is a genuinely positive attitude of can-do, will-do in the office, and it shows in our work. The office is located close to the city walls and railway station, and is a five-minute walk from the busy city centre (and all your lunchtime needs). This also means that many of us walk or cycle into work, with those travelling from further afield usually relying on the train. 

With a cycling group, a badminton team and occasional participation in the Network Rail five-a-side football tournament, we do keep ourselves busy. If you are of a more academic bent (or are perhaps chasing after chartership), then regular meetings of the PWI and other rail interest groups tend to be focussed in York (at locations like the National Railway Museum and the new Network Rail ROC).

What is it like living in York?

Quiet little northern town? Miles from anywhere? Not exactly... Bristling with every manner of watering hole imaginable and known for its varied cuisine (there are several choice Thai and Indian restaurants in close proximity to the office, and it isn’t just Whitby that provides Yorkshire with fine fish and chips), York is perfect for winding down after a week of hard graft, and thankfully many of our colleagues across the office agree… If you’ve been to York already then you’ll be familiar with the variety of establishment we are treated to.

If you do end up fancying something a little further afield then it takes less than two hours to get to London. The office is just round the corner from the railway station so at the end of the day you can get out of your desk chair in York and sit down to a dinner in the capital, courtesy of the East Coast Mainline.

This goes for meetings across the country too. Quick access by rail to Derby, Birmingham, Edinburgh and London is unendingly useful when our work requires us to travel. Of course, the Yorkshire countryside is incredibly beautiful, so the chances are that you won’t want to escape that often!

Gareth Dennis is a Graduate Civil Engineer working in the permanent way team with Atkins in York.

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