Podfather’s rail role is just capital

20 Mar 2013
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An Edinburgh-based software firm specialising in proof of delivery (POD) and data-capture systems claims to be boosting turnover by an annual 20% on the back of Crossrail and a raft of other mega-construction projects in southeast England.

The Podfather, founded in 2000, recently expanded its cloud-based data-capture system to work with Crossrail, Europe’s largest construction project.

The £14.8 billion scheme to build 13-mile twin-bore stretches of east-west railway tunnel deep below central London is due for completion in 2018. The initial phase requires the drilling of 30 deep shafts on constricted sites across the UK capital and the close monitoring of movements of construction traffic and of carbon emissions on the sites. Podfather’s system sees this information being passed from hand-held computers on-site to a central reporting database.

Alastair Broom, managing director of Podfather, said: “We originally pitched into Crossrail after we had developed a system that tracked earthworks movements for the widening of the M25. This led to work on Heathrow Terminal 2 and the London Power Tunnel, a 32km cable-carrying tunnel for National Grid. Directly off the back of Crossrail, we recently started working on the remodelling of the Olympic Park.”

The Crossrail route runs 73 miles from Maidenhead and Heathrow west of London to Shenfield, and Abbey Wood on the east side. It will carry an estimated 200 million passengers a year. Other Scottish businesses working on Crossrail include Inverness-based Weldex, which supplied a massive crawler crane to lower tunnel-boring machines into an east London construction site.