Rail infrastructure provider acquires Uddingston-based electrification company


South Lanarkshire rail infrastructure engineering service provider QTS Group has completed the acquisition of Uddingston-based Rail Electrification.

The deal, which will see REL operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of QTS, brings the company into the Renew Holdings family of companies, which QTS joined in 2018.

REL adds the electrification capacity of overhead lines to the QTS offering, which already includes vegetation management, drainage, civil engineering and fencing.

QTS is also currently providing isolation teams for clients across the UK, making REL a good fit for the company’s progress, according to a statement.

The entire REL team – including the management trio of Scott Kernachan, Mark Potts and Kenny Barr – will join QTS at its Scottish headquarters in Drumclog, South Lanarkshire.

Alan McLeish, Managing Director of QTS Group, commented, “QTS has grown rapidly over the past decade and, in order for us to continue that growth, we knew we had to add to our already impressive portfolio of capabilities – the next natural step was electrification, which allows us to offer a full service to our customers.

“By adding REL to the QTS group, we are partnering with a leading company in this field, which will be of great benefit to the work we provide to our customers.”

Kernachan added, “With this agreement, we are opening REL’s future to even greater possibilities.

“As QTS already has its prime contractor license and a number of executives in place, it is really transforming the opportunities available to us as electrification experts.

“It also opens up more opportunities for our employees, which has been a big factor in the sale,” he continued, adding, “As a small business the opportunities for advancement were limited, but this acquisition will allow individual growth and career development. “

Founded in 1992 by McLeish, QTS was acquired and became a subsidiary of Renew Holdings in May 2018.

Based in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, it has nine offices across the UK serving clients including Network Rail, British Gas, Scottish Water, British Telecom, United Utilities, SPT, Scot Rail and the London Underground.

REL was founded in 2015 by Kernachan. With a background in railway electrification, he was the founder, former shareholder and CEO of SPL Powerlines UK between 2000 and 2019. He has also held management positions in organizations such as Colas and Costain.

Based in Uddingston, North Lanarkshire, REL currently employs around 40 people but, at its peak at CP5, the company directly employed 140 people.

REL has worked on many projects, such as Crossrail, and has also been involved in the electrification of the Stirling / Dunblane / Alloa and Edinburgh / Glasgow improvement program.

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