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Communications commitment from new Chair of Engineering Group Wednesday September 13, 2023

Establishing a continuous dialogue with engineering experts from across light rail is among the top priorities for the new chair of a key sector working group.

Ahead of its next meeting later this month, Marilena Papadopoulou, Renewals Manager at Edinburgh Trams, has set out her ambitions for UKTram’s Light Rail Engineering Group as it sets out to build on its achievements to date.

“I strongly believe that we can learn from each other, and that’s why it is vital we continue to engage with colleagues from across the sector to share best practice,” said Marilena.

“By working together, engineers can find effective solutions to common issues experienced by UK networks, helping to improve operational performance and reduce costs.

“A fine example of this collaborative approach to problem solving was a Best Practice Day earlier this year on preparing for adverse weather. This looked at ways the sector is responding to increasingly unpredictable climate conditions, including heatwaves and heavy rainfall.

“By listening to colleagues, we hope to identify emerging trends and challenges that will be the subject of future events organised by the group.

“Ultimately, our aim is to continue delivering a safe and reliable service to our passengers and encourage more people to choose light rail as their preferred mode of transport.”

Marilena was elected chair of the group over the summer and brings a wealth of experience to the role.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s in Energy Engineering, she joined Edinburgh Trams in 2014 and has since delivered an impressive portfolio of projects across a variety of engineering functions from a refresh in the Operation Control Centre and track switch replacement to vehicle modifications and the delivery of ticketing solutions.

Marilena has also led on the introduction of a pioneering online Authority to Work permit and is currently responsible for the delivery of a 10-year renewals programme with a budget of around £50 million.

James Hammett, Managing Director of UKTram, commented: “In addition to her undoubted experience, Marilena’s commitment and enthusiasm will play a key role in driving forward the work of a group that, in addition to helping operators overcome day-to-day challenges, has an important role to play in making light rail an even more attractive solution to the UK’s future transport needs.”