Latest Rail News

23.08.17

RSSB launches framework to improve nation’s stations

A new framework has this week been released that assesses and compares the performance of railway stations around the country.

Led by the RSSB, the framework will give users quick and easy access to information about local stations across the network.

In particular, it will support the industry’s long-term planning process by enabling more efficient allocation of funding.

It will help TOCs bidding for new franchises learn more about stations, and it will also be used by local authorities, LEPs and private funders to inform business cases for third party investments.

RSSB researchers used the East Midlands franchise as a case study to develop the framework, which has also defined the potential for a new forward looking way to classify stations.

“The overall aim is to enable better decisions to be made through better data, improving outcomes for the industry, for passengers and for local communities,” an RSSB spokesperson said.

“The reach of the tool can be developed for passenger use and RSSB are in consultation with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to expand the platform and turn the feasibility study into a fully functional tool.”

Specifically, the framework will measure and contextualise current industry performance across the spectrum of operational scenarios at stations, from retailing to the energy consumption of assets provided.

It will also provide a number of benchmarks at stations that identify and drive improvements in the management of the services provided, delivering best performance at lowest cost to both passenger and taxpayer.

The RSSB also said it will co-operate with the RDG Stations Strategy Groups in order to agree a segmented offer to passengers and customers at stations, whilst also defining and agreeing on a menu of core services provided at stations based on classifications and criteria such as the socio-economic profile of the area the station is situated.

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Comments

Tothehills   24/08/2017 at 10:11

I hope they address the issue of the "super" expensive station. We seem to have legislative gone down the route of all station must be disabled friendly regardless of where ever they are. As a consequence is has become prohibitive expensive to new routes or station which then excludes rural marginal areas from access to the railway network. In towns and cities it should be mandatory to considered wheelchair/flat access but why should this be mandatory in rural Devon for instance. That is not to say it should not be a consideration but where a non flat access station would be viable but the cost of wheelchair access kills the project dead surely a derogation for the great good of society should be acceptable.

J, Leicester   24/08/2017 at 10:47

I agree completely Tothehills. There are a number of stations in my local area - Barrow on Soar and Sileby spring to mind - to which disabled access is practically impossible. I count myself lucky they were reopened when they were in the mid 1990s, as they would never get off the ground today without multi-million pound, overengineered lifts and ramps which would not fit on-site. Basically, if your reopening project is on either a raised bank or in a cutting, forget about it - the prices will be prohibitive from now on. Equal access is a reasonable enough concept, but as with so much else the reality is far more complex than the desired outcome - case in point, the approaching farce with RVAR which will see half the train toilets in the country locked out from 2020 and non-compliant stock, already in short supply nationwide, forcibly withdrawn in the name of "equality". There's already much talk of TOCs using widespread exemptions to get around it, but the mere concept of it is counter-productive: namely that, if disabled passengers aren't accounted for, able-bodied passengers must suffer as a result to make it "fairer".

Noam Bleicher   24/08/2017 at 10:49

'... the framework will measure and contextualise current industry performance across the spectrum of operational scenarios at stations, from retailing to the energy consumption of assets provided' Is there any chance we can add passenger throughput and walking time to the 'spectrum of operational scenarios'? Some stations take several minutes to leave once a passenger has alighted, owing to bottlenecks on platforms and concourses, and hopelessly inadequate provision of gatelines. THis in turn leads to sub-optimal boarding behaviour by passengers at preceding stations, keen to avoid alighting the wrong side of a bottleneck - therefore creating more problems for the system as a whole.

Noam Bleicher   24/08/2017 at 13:44

Then there is the universal application of sometimes-inappropriate H&S standards. Clearly you wouldn't want people crossing the tracks on barrow crossings at Stevenage, but Gainsborough? Apparently it's too dangerous for the handful of low-speed trains per day. Result: no cost-effective means for those with reduced mobility accessing one of the platforms, which in turn leads to long detours by taxi or, more likely, people not travelling by train at all.

Ampox   25/08/2017 at 11:27

It's the whole journey that matters. Good intermodal transfer to bus, cycle or even foot is an essential part of station design. It's no good travelling at 360 km/hr if the minutes saved are wasted in getting through the ticket barriers and out to the next transport mode.

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