We in the West Link: Here, Jan Hansson, Sub-project Manager for the West Link Project, talks about his role in the project.
What is your background and how did you come to be involved in West Link?
I describe myself as a "railwayman" and I started working with railway-related issues as a 19-year-old. I started working with the West Link project and the Olskroken grade separation in October 2015, but I have been employed at SJ, Banverket as well as working as a consultant at Vectura and Sweco.
Thirty-nine years have now passed and during that time I have worked with many different assignments. I have worked as an electrical engineer on projects involving contact cables and substations, and I've also been a manager responsible for various maintenance work on railways.
What does your role in the West Link Project involve?
I have different roles in the West Link project. I am responsible for preparatory work, which will soon start to be visible in the urban environment. This work will be completed before the start of the West Link construction at the end of 2017. I am also a sub-project manager in the BEST contracts (Track, Electricity, Signals, Telecommunications) and Plant Monitoring. On top of that, I am working toward an overall coordination of mass management with the Swedish Transport Administration.
What is the biggest challenge of the West link project from your perspective?
One major challenge is cooperation with all the sub-commissions within the project. Another challenge is managing with the resources that are available. There are many large projects and work in the region and all over the country, and we are starting to notice the consultancy market is getting a little strained. Many contractors are already starting to recruit new staff and there is a large awareness and curiosity in the market.
How will you meet that challenge?
Whenever it is possible we must try to act in good time and recruit the consultants we need for the many different sub-projects. We must also be prepared to share the resources that are available.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
The best thing is seeing how railways have developed over the years. After 40 years I am still passionate about working with issues relating to railway development. As I said, I describe myself as a "railwayman" and I want to be part of creating a functioning railway system.
What do you do to relax?
I read a lot, literature and crime novels, and at the moment I have just finished the fifth part of Jan Guillou's new collection of novels about the Twentieth Century. I also like to be in the great outdoors - forest walks and picking mushrooms in the autumn. My wife and I have just bought a new camper van and in the spring and summer we plan to get out on different trips around the country.
Do you talk a lot about the West Link in your time off?
No, I live in Falköping so there is not much talk about the West Link. We tend to have a more general discussion about the condition of railways.