My Quest: Looking for market opportunity for rail signaling

03 juillet 2015

QuestblogJeroenQuest: a great opportunity to learn more about the worldwide expertise of ARCADIS and meet colleagues you didn’t even know exist. One of the focus areas of ARCADIS at this moment is globalization. This also applies for the rail-signaling department in the Netherlands, where I currently work.

The Quest program gives you the opportunity to find out if there are some possibilities for departments all over the world, to collaborate with in the future. That’s why I wanted to go on a quest; to find out if there was some market opportunity for rail signaling outside of the Netherlands.The first step was to find a destination. If you search on the website you find out that ARCADIS is everywhere. At that moment I found out about the center of excellence rail. Rail in the Netherlands is appointed as center of excellence and North America and England are mentioned as the focus areas where ARCADIS sees possibilities to expand their rail activities. With this knowledge I started to look for a host in the United States. At the same time I heard the news that ARCADIS won the quotation for the California Hi-speed line. The first Hi-speed line in the US, a really interesting fact for our department.
Questblogjeroen2And so the destination Los Angeles was set. However my host Paul Dalida in Los Angeles asked me to join a committee meeting about Hi-speed rail systems organized by AREMA (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association). For me; as being specialized in rail, that is of course a great chance to meet people from other companies and to expand my network. My host and I joined the committee meeting and after the meeting it was time for some Baseball, beer and dogs at the Toronto Blue Jays stadium.

The next day we visited some projects in Toronto; one of them was the union station. That same evening I took the plane to Los Angeles. Due to circumstances my host in Toronto wasn’t able to be my host in Los Angeles anymore, so I have traveled to Los Angeles by myself. In Los Angeles I went to the local ARCADIS office in downtown LA. There I met my host Roberto Delgado, he was immediately involved with the California Hi-speed line quotation. In Los Angeles, Roberto showed me two major projects. The LA Metro Regional Connector and we drove to Fresno to meet the management team of the California hi-speed rail and joined a networking event. The contact with the Hi-speed rail team was really valuable because in a later phase of the project we will possibly help each other. And of course during my stay Roberto has shown me the great city Los Angeles.

Was my quest a success? I think it certainly was! I have met many colleagues of ARCADIS and met a lot of interesting people who are involved with rail. I also have a good view of the US rail market and have seen some great possibilities in rail and light rail. I also have a good impression of the way they work abroad and how they focus on clients and quality.

I can recommend a quest to anybody.

Jeroen Hoekstra | Senior assistant project leader