When not carrying passengers up and down the country, trains in the UK are maintained in specialised depots. These depots are full of complex plant and equipment, which are relied upon to keep the transport systems safe and reliable. If depot plant fails, trains may not run – resulting in potential impact on rail users, and disruption to the rail network.
Depot facility operators typically lease their facilities from Network Rail. Joined-up thinking of depot asset lifecycles, maintenance, and renewal is essential. Recently, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in the UK needed assurance that Network Rail, as an asset owner, was operating an effective asset management system ensuring the depot plant was maintained, renewed, and upgraded to support the operation of rolling stock and delivering the customer service and value.
As specialist consultants within the field, a Frazer-Nash team within the company’s Transport and Technology group recently carried out a review of depot plant asset management system, and delivered a report on this subject to the ORR. This report provided a view of the effectiveness of the asset management system in Network Rail putting customers first.
The in-depth review recommended that Network Rail build an improved understanding of the condition and potential of depot plant assets beyond short-term needs, to support its decision-making in renewal and investment where needed.
Carl Waring, Principal Consultant within Frazer-Nash’s Transport and Technology sector, commented on the commissioning of the report:
“We were delighted to be involved in such a high-profile piece of work. This project was complex and involved engaging with a number of actors and stakeholders that make up the overall delivery of the railway service with the consideration of the management of depot plant in mind. Our experts within the rail sector are well-equipped to deliver this comprehensive insight to the ORR, and by extension, Network Rail."
“Dealing with complex problems involving multiple stakeholder perspectives is one of our unique value propositions to industry. Ensuring the safety of ageing equipment and systems is one of our key strengths at Frazer-Nash. Our team has won awards previously for our work within the rail sector, and we look forward to working with the ORR again in the future.”