Kahraman Ongul



Name: Kahraman Ongul
Managing Director & Founder
Address: Units 20-24 Stanley Court, Shearway Park,Folkestone, Kent CT19 4FJ
Email: ko@awltd.co.uk
Phone: 01303 259266


You could say that the “railways” were bred into me; my earliest memories were of living by the railway line in Turkey, and now, four decades later, I find myself and my own family living within a few metres of the old Elham Valley Line here in Kent. In fact, every house I have lived in has either been right next to the railway or had a very good view of it.

Like most teenagers, when they leave school (this was around 2001), I have no idea what I want to do, but I was given the opportunity to work as part of a trackside civil gang, and from that moment on, I knew that the railways were going to be my life.

From those heady days of shovelling track ballast under the watchful eye of an ex-Para Major who ran our gang like a military operation, I quickly progressed up the ranks from a PTS Trackman to COSS and found myself in charge of not only projects but a whole team of people.

Back in those days, you were writing your own SWP from your knowledge and experience, and it is from this that my overriding passion to keep everyone in my team safe, especially when working on projects that we now take for granted, HS1, in and around Channel Tunnel, and on some of the biggest stations and rail depots across London and the south, has become my mantra here at AW Rail.

Working for companies like Osborne (now Octavius), Volker Fitzpatrick, Dyer & Butler (some of which I now provide a multitude of services to) gave me the insight, knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion to set up AW Rail.

That journey hasn’t been easy, but the team that I have built up has become a force to be reckoned with here in the Southeast, and that has seen us win more and more work covering some very specialist areas across the railway infrastructure, from simple arch surveys to complex repairs in viaducts, tunnels, bridges, and a whole lot more. It’s a team that thrives on safety, honesty, integrity, and inclusivity, not only within AW Rail but with everyone we conduct business with—a team of which I am extremely proud.

So, if you ask me what I know about working on the railways, it’s going to be a long conversation. I’ve had the bruises, blisters, long nights of working away from family, studying for exams, drinking way too much “railway brewed tea,” sorting out labour and safety critical staff at short notice, working in tunnels, on bridges, dragging cabling along miles of track, installing troughing, working on stations and platforms at nearly every single destination in the south of England, working in all weathers, and more. I can safely say that I have “been there done that got the t-shirt” (a nice AW Rail one).

In June 2024 I am taking part in the Three Peaks Challenge with some of the team here at AW Group.

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