Nick Merrick, Client Services Director
Andy Kwok, Managing Director


Rail infrastructure is critical to the successful movement of UK freight. It can reduce shipping costs and environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions, by up to 75% compared with road transport. There are almost a quarter of a million freight train movements per year in the UK and 25% of sea containers arriving in the UK are carried inland by rail. Each freight train takes about 60 HGVs off the road. Moreover, global passenger movements by rail amount to almost 30 billion passenger-km; that is nearly 4 km for every person on the planet. Before the pandemic, in the UK, each person undertook an average of 22 trips per year. The UK government is investing heavily in large-scale rail infrastructure to support economic development and inter-regional as well as local prosperity.

Maintaining and developing new rail lines requires great care to protect and enhance the environment. Binnies has been at the forefront of undertaking ecological surveys and mapping the outputs for large sections of the proposed HS2 route. Using OnSite, our innovative geographic information system (GIS) based scheduling, field data accumulation and quality assurance system, we have carried out more than 5000 surveys for HS2. These have provided accuracy, confidence in outputs and fed into the common data environment (CDE) for the client organisation.

Our team of 180 ecological employees and associates has rapidly mobilised to respond to client needs. Through their comprehensive experience and training, we can bring competent and licensed professionals to respond to a diverse range of challenging surveys.

Binnies is leading a satellite-based digital transformation to enable the large-scale, remote assessment of bank stability: our iDMS platform, critical for the early detection of movements that may result in costly and disruptive land movements that adversely impact the free flow of trains. This satellite-based technology can also be used to review woodland growth to identify risks of tree canopy growth that may impinge on overhead lines or be a potential risk for wind-blown toppling and line outage. Binnies is currently extending this provision to new owner and supply chain partners to bring these offerings to a wider market within the rail sector. By having this capability at their disposal, rail developers and operators can be assured of a trustworthy, collaborative partner capable of delivering excellence as standard.

Binnies is part of the RSK group of companies

The RSK group is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services business offering bespoke end-to-end solutions to a variety of sectors. Headquartered in the UK but with an established presence throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, RSK helps organisations around the world achieve their business aspirations in a sustainable and efficient manner.