Month: November 2021

Creating a culture for innovation – what are the key ingredients?

3Squared Culture for Innovation

Earlier this month, 3Squared hosted its “Creating a culture for innovation” event with industry non-profit community group Rail Innovation Group (RIG) and rolling stock experts Porterbrook, at their office in the heart of Sheffield.

Delegates from across the rail technology space and the local business community attended this exclusive event, which explored the key ingredients that build a supportive, open, and creative culture. This is something that 3Squared are extremely proud of, further exemplified in its recent ‘Highly commended’ recognition in the ‘People, Skills and Diversity’ category at the Railway Innovation Awards 2021.

Speakers at the event included Steph Klecha, Head of Digital Services at Porterbrook Leasing and 3Squared’s very own James Fox, Commercial Director, and Martin Gleadow, Head of IT and Technical Innovation. During the event, Steph delved how Porterbrook are engaging the supply chain to drive data-led performance improvements for track and train. She also gave delegates an insight into the data that is available from Porterbrook’s nationwide portfolio of trains, which made for an informative session.

Martin delivered an innovation showcase on 3Squared’s Path Planner system, a comprehensive digital solution for the management, co-ordination, and dissemination of VSTP (Very Short Term Planning) scheduling.

Path Planner brings together expert historic network data from Open Train Times, with real time service performance to provide the industry with the de-facto freight VSTP management solutions. We will be exploring the benefits the Path Planner system is providing the rail industry with soon, so watch this space for further insights.

3Squared are proud to posses a culture that thrives on innovation, diversity and inclusion, which you can read about in more detail here. The company is built with the vision to:

  • Attract the best people and keep them happy, safe, and well.
  • Help its people to feel that 3Squared is making the best of their talents and is a place where they can thrive.
  • For its staff to be committed to, and engaged in, a special company that invests in them and rewards their efforts.

This vision forms part of the wider mission of the business, which is for 3Squared to be recognised as an employer of excellence, and its core values and inclusivity (of which is it proud to have a diversity programme), including: Fairness, Encouragement, Consideration, Transparency and Approachability.

Events such as the these further serve to reinforce 3Squared’s journey over the years and its position in the industry as an employer of choice. Since its inception in 2002, 3Squared have grown a great team and a positive working culture, with a view to expanding this further alongside its people, which remain at the heart of the business.

If you would be interested in further information on how to join the 3Squared team, get in touch with us here or by emailing [email protected]

The Integrated Rail Plan: What does it signal?

Tim Jones - BBC at 3Squared

On Thursday 18th November, the long-awaited Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) was released. Significant changes have been made, as unveiled by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, with the aim of providing a “rethink” and the ambition to “deliver rail improvements sooner.”  

Key highlights from the plan include:  

  • A full high-speed east-west line linking Manchester to Leeds will not be built, with the government insisting that faster train journeys would be delivered “earlier and cheaper” under a new £96bn rail plan.  
  • The high-speed rail network will go ahead to Manchester but will be curtailed at an existing east Midlands station, rather than run from Birmingham to Leeds.  
  • The TransPennine route will be improved mainly through upgrades, rather than a brand-new line.  
  • The HS2 line from London to Birmingham and Manchester will still be built.  
  • Funding is also expected to be put aside to explore setting up a tram service for Leeds and spend £360m on contactless ticketing, to 700 urban stations including 400 in the north.  
  • The government aim to start work on the above by Christmas, with £625m for the electrification between Liverpool, Manchester, and Leeds and a further £249m allocated to electrify the Midlands mainline.

Shapps commented that the budget allocated is five times more than was spent on Crossrail and ten times more than was spent on the Olympics and the “revised plan will achieve the same, similar, or faster journey times to London and on the core Northern Powerhouse network than the original and will double – if not, triple – capacity on some services.” 

What does it signal for the future of rail in the north?  

The new plans certainly do trigger a step change in how the future of the digital railway will be delivered, how we better connect the UK and increase capacity both across passenger and freight operations.  

This is something that Tim Jones, our Co-founder and Managing Director, discussed with the BBC’s Look North team at their office in Sheffield, which you can watch back here at the 05:17 mark.   

Capturing today’s events, Tim commented: “Being involved in the HS2 project has been fantastic, and we were looking forward to the broader options the project presented and the chance for our software to be used in phase two. Now in the light of these changes, we wonder what opportunities will now remain for further expansion and are concerned that it will affect our recruitment and the local community in which we are based.”  

If you would be interested in discussing the above story in further depth or more, get in touch with a member of our team via [email protected]    

Harnessing technology to prepare for winter

Rail Staff

Year-on-year as winter approaches, the rail industry braces itself for months of timetable disruptions and impacts across the network, thanks to seasonal changes such as leaves on the line, to ice on the platform.   

However, thanks to innovation, solutions can be created. 3Squared are advocates of the power of innovation and new ideas to tackle complex issues across the rail network. This ethos was front and center when they created their RailSmart Adhesion Digital Solution (ADS), a digital approach to adhesion management.

Read more on how ADS and emerging innovations are tackling seasonal challenges head on, over on Railway News here. 

If you would be interested in finding out how RailSmart ADS can support your needs as winter approaches, book a demo with a member of the team here or email [email protected]  

Creating a culture for innovation: Rail Innovation Group and Porterbrook Meetup

3Squared culture for innovation

3Squared are excited to announce details of their exclusive in-person event with community group Rail Innovation Group (RIG) and rolling stock experts Porterbrook, at their office in the heart of Sheffield on Wednesday 17th November 2021, from 4pm – 6pm.  

The event, titled “Creating a culture for innovation”, will delve into what creates a supportive, open, and creative culture, for emerging and established transport and technology companies. 3Squared are renowned across the industry for their diverse and welcoming culture, as exemplified in their recent ‘Highly commended’ recognition in the ‘People, Skills and Diversity’ category at the Railway Innovation Awards 2021 (curated by Modern Railways).  

During the event, Martin Gleadow, Head of IT and Technical Innovation at 3Squared, will be discussing the key ingredients for a culture for innovation. Joining Martin will be Steph Klecha, Head of Digital Services at Porterbrook Leasing. Steph is responsible for Porterbrook’s Digital Strategy and will be looking into the data that is available from Porterbrook’s nationwide portfolio of trains. During the session, she will also talk about how Porterbrook are engaging the supply chain to drive data-led performance improvements for track and train. 

Spaces at the event are extremely limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Find out further information about the event and registration details, via:  

For further information about the event please contact James Fox, Commercial Director at 3Squared, via: [email protected]