RPA earned almost €1m in 2012 from consultancy
The Railway Procurement Agency generated revenues of €902,000 in 2012 from providing consultancy services to light rail projects in Norway, the Netherlands and the UK.
This was the first full year of operation for this business unit within the RPA.
Paolo Carbone, business development manager at the RPA, said this division broke even last year and has the potential to grow in importance in the coming years.
“It’s embryonic . . . but we have ambitions to grow this business.” He said the RPA’s development of the Luas light rail system in Dublin was viewed positively abroad.
Vote of confidence
“The performance is a big vote of confidence in light rail and the RPA.”
In 2012, the RPA provided services to light rail projects in Bergen in Norway, Utrecht in the Netherlands and Midlands Metro in Britain.
The equivalent of five full-time staff have worked on these projects for the RPA, often as part of consortiums involved in the projects.
Its services have included engineering consultancy, project appraisal, project management, stakeholder management and transit operations and maintenance advice.
In Bergen, the RPA has provided technical advice in track design and construction, depot design and project planning.
In Utrecht, it has provided technical advice in signalling and safety.
More than 4,000 hours of consultancy were delivered by the RPA last year. Mr Carbone said its pending merger with the National Roads Authority could offer additional opportunities for overseas consultancy work. “Why not? Road projects are way more numerous across Europe than light rail,” he said.
At home, the RPA is focused on overseeing Luas Cross City, which will link up Dublin’s existing Luas lines. This is due to be completed by 2017.
The RPA’s success in sourcing overseas work will be welcomed by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar. The Minister has encouraged State agencies under his remit to engage in overseas work to generate additional revenues and utilise the capacity available from skilled staff, while there are a lack of projects at home.