Damaged rail track may have been terrible for travellers and the railway companies but it has provided good business for some companies. WA Developments, founded by Andrew Tinkler in 1987, started life as a general building firm. But 10 years later, when Tinkler was asked to carry out urgent repair work on the rail network, he realised the potential of this market. WA Developments now focuses almost exclusively on railway engineering and repair work, such as embankment strengthening and refurbishment of bridges and tunnels. The Cumbria company supplies its own engineers and equipment so that it can complete jobs quickly. Its sales have increased 86% a year from £634,000 in 1997 to £4.1m in 2000, when it employed 50 staff.
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