CRSA East | Christmas Works 2023




Network Rail, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and TSO are the companies which form The Central Rail Systems Alliance. It was created to make a positive impact on the UK track renewals industry by drawing on the strengths of each alliance partner, all under the shared agreement of collaborative working.

Christmas is one of the few periods in the year where the railway network is quiet enough to carry out major works. The CRSA are utilising this time to safely renew 5 switch & crossing units at Doncaster Station. They’re replacing a mile of track, north of York Station. Additionally within the same programme, they were able to pile & secure foundations for future infrastructure at York Station, and erect overhead line equipment at Darlington as part of an electrification programme.

The Challenge

To produce a film for CRSA East highlighting the planning and implementation of the works stated above.

We already have a long standing relationship with CRSA East. Their operations manager Victor Thorpe, proposed the idea of filming interview pieces ahead of time to convey the immense planning that was going into the project. The interviews would help add context to the works footage.

There are pro’s and cons to filming the works and interviews on separate days. On the one hand it’s more costly, therefore may not be appropriate for projects with tighter budget constraints. However, having an entire day allows the filming of more interviewee’s, providing more creative freedom in the edit. Furthermore, by capturing key individuals speaking about the planned works ahead of time, we were able to begin the edit in advance.

Furthermore, CRSA East requested that we capture works that were going to take place on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The Approach

The CRSA East team approached us because they know from experience how we work, just as we know what they expect. That is not to say that conversations, briefing and discussing the approach is not agreed before our boots step on the ballast; but knowing we have PTS qualified filming staff and years of experience being on and near the railway takes away a potential headache.

Our Inside Out Group team member gave up their Christmas Day and Boxing Day in order to arrive on site for 09:00 both days, filming alongside the skilled operatives as they removed old sections of railway and installed anew. He made use of dslr cameras to record ground shots and a drone to capture the full scale of the works. As we had already filmed the interviews our operative was able to fully concentrate on recording the works.

The Result

We put together an edit with a combination of works and interview footage. Furthermore, we added informative graphics across the video to improve context.

The main objectives of the video were:

  • Explaining route changes for curious passengers,
  • Acknowledging the collaborative effort of all staff within the alliance
  • Showcasing CRSA’s achievements in the context of regional and national scope

We maintained strong communication with CRSA East through the editing process. This enabled us create an edit which conveyed these three objectives. An informative video which also tells a story.

The CRSA Christmas Works 2023 video mentions preparation for future upgrades at York Station. The Operations Manager has already engaged in discussions about filming the York Christmas 2024 works. This early involvement reflects our strong working relationship and the quality of collaborative work we deliver with the CRSA.

“This is a brilliant overview of everything that took place”
Carl Abritis – Operations Director, Torrent Trackside
“Thanks for coming back to us so quickly, many thanks for your efforts”
Victor Thorpe – Operations Manager, CRSA East


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