The second phase of Network Rail’s ten-year Network Operating Strategy (Net Ops 2) has just been launched.
The strategy was developed in partnership with operational colleagues from across the rail industry and outlines a series of goals and actions that operational teams can take to steer them in developing their operations models and structures.
The strategy makes up part of Network Rail's Train Service Delivery strategic theme, which seeks to ameliorate how operational professions are developed, whilst providing a high performing railway.
Phase one of the strategy was released in the summer of 2020 and is known as Net Ops 1.
It highlighted ten areas for focus with each having a series of ‘key requirements' – 32 in total – to improve rail operations.
These include: operations training and development, review of command-and-control structures and operations leadership of systems and projects.
The most recent document has established further improvement targets, based off collective operational views from around the country.
The consultation method used to frame the strategy has been shaped with input from senior leaders in the operational delivery of train operating companies (TOCs) and freight operating companies (FOCs).
Key supporting organisations, comprising of the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), Rail Delivery Group (RDG) and the Institution of Railway Operators (IRO), were also involved.
Daniel Mann, Head of Operations, Rail Delivery Group, said “improving how we run train services for customers and passengers supports ongoing work across the industry to welcome people back to rail and will strengthen the country’s recovery from the pandemic.”
He added, "the second phase of our Network Operating Strategy will be at the heart of this improvement, using strategic recommendations developed by operational colleagues from across industry.”
Three key areas for improvements have been identified: people, change and technology.
Oliver Bratton, Director, Network Strategy & Operations, System Operator, said “NetOps2 is about collaboration, coming together as a whole industry to use our experiences and expertise to ensure that we’re working towards creating a railway we can rely on now and in the future.”
The Director added, “the strategy endorses the need for operations to develop its people, embrace change and new technologies that will enhance ways of working, and examine agile processes and opportunities through freight.”
He concluded, “it is critical, now more than ever, that we have a common vision for Operations which this strategy sets out to address”