Latest Rail News

24.06.14

Big changes to access and possessions will save millions – RDG

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) says it has found ways of saving another £1bn from the industry’s running costs by 2019 through new planning and working practices.

A working group has spent 18 months looking at the potential for savings, and has come up with these suggestions:

  • Changing the way maintenance, renewals and enhancement work is planned and carried out via the Industry Access Programme (potential cross industry benefits: £150m-350m)
  • Removing about 700 redundant or problematic switches and crossings (£30m-£40m)
  • Increasing ‘time on tools’ during possession windows by reducing hand over, set up and hand back time (£60m-140m)
  • Better risk management for infrastructure projects through establishing more collaborative agreements between Network Rail, operators and contractors, so that risk is collectively identified and shared (£100m-230m)
  • Involving operators earlier in the planning of major projects to avoid Network Rail delivering – and therefore spending – more than is needed for operators’ requirements
  • Improved planning and working practices leading to more services for passengers (such as Sunday services at Saturday levels) and therefore more fares revenue for government (£130m-300m)

The Industry Access Programme (IAP), which offers the potentially biggest savings, aims to improve joint working between operators and Network Rail to make the best all-round decisions on maintenance, renewals and enhancements, instead of it being seen as a zero-sum-game competition.

The report notes: “The estimated benefits for maintenance are based on a live trial carried out in 2013. The trial involved Network Rail’s London South East route and passenger operator Southeastern agreeing an 11 week period (September – December 2013) to extend midweek night access on the Tonbridge to Hastings line. During the trial, maintenance work was done during two seven-hour slots on Mondays and Tuesdays every week, instead of four-hour slots over four nights in two of the 11 weeks. The trial delivered a 52% increase in maintenance productivity, an 84% reduction in maintenance backlog and 40% savings in maintenance costs.

“For renewals and enhancements, the estimated benefits are based on analysis done in the London South East, London North East & East Midlands and Scotland routes. These pilots looked at optimising the access required for work planned in CP5, by determining the lowest whole industry cost options, including passenger and freight operator revenues and costs. The results showed that whole industry benefits can be achieved by reducing the total number of disruptive possessions and the overall number of disruptive possession hours. This provides more effective ‘working windows’, meaning less time is spent on set up and hand back. The figures from the live trial and case studies have been extrapolated to take account of all the potential sites where the IAP approach could be applied.”

Network Rail’s target is to cut its running costs by 20% by the end of CP5 in 2019, building on the 40% achieved over the last decade.

The working group looking at ways of making the savings includes Network Rail, passenger and freight operators, contractors, suppliers, the Department for Transport and Office of Rail Regulation.

Robin Gisby, Network Rail's managing director of network operations, said: “With more people and freight travelling by rail than ever before on what remains Europe’s safest major railway, the industry should be proud of what it has achieved over the last decade.

“But if we are to meet future challenges in providing greater capacity while reducing costs, we know the industry needs to make changes to how it operates. The RDG work has identified how to help Network Rail meet its tough efficiency targets and deliver wider safety and performance benefits over the next five years, through greater collaboration with the rest of the industry to plan and carry out essential work.”

Tim O’Toole, chief executive of FirstGroup and RDG lead on the work, said: “All parts of the railway are committed to making taxpayers’ and passengers’ money go further and helping Network Rail meet its efficiency targets. It is equally important that any changes we make to how maintenance and improvement work is managed also benefit rail users, by reducing disruption, improving safety and potentially allowing operators to run more services.

“The RDG recognises that the railway is only as good as its staff and that the progress made over the last 20 years was only possible due to their daily hard work. Our frontline workforce will underpin rail’s future success and the RDG’s role is to provide staff with the leadership and support to enable them to continue improving this vitally important industry.”

The full report, ‘Running a Better Railway: How changes to planning rail improvement work can deliver savings and better services’, is here.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

David White   29/08/2014 at 21:55

Yes us front line workers need contracts not in two days dropped till weekend then sat night an maybe shift in the week the whole policy off track workers on 0 hours no benifits and the new sponsor system has made it even worse for the agency worker. Who are agency not by choice. So help the people who for the last 20 years shovel an hmer an work in all kinds off conditions from best summer 30+ to the worst winter -12 that's all thanks dave

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

18/06/2019Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

Record figures of rail passenger journeys have been recorded in England, Scotland and Wales, according to the most recent quarterly report by the... more >
Rail union Aslef launches 'On Track with Diversity' report at Houses of Parliament

18/06/2019Rail union Aslef launches 'On Track with Diversity' report at Houses of Parliament

Train drivers’ union Aslef launched its On Track with Diversity report at the Houses of Parliament on Monday, as it looks to increase ... more >
Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >