Business Change Case Studies
Case Study

Network Rail – Helping More Trains Run on Time

Project Overview

The timetable is the rail industry’s promise to its customers – train companies, freight operators, passengers.  If it’s not right, delay minutes mount up, costing Network Rail considerable sums of money, and rail users inconvenience.

At the beginning of 2011, ‘delay minutes’ resulting from Operational (timetable) Planning were running at a high level, following the introduction of new systems.

When Network Rail asked us to lead the business change elements of a major technology-related programme to address this, our work delivered a significant ongoing reduction in delay minute levels and was awarded Silver by the Learning and Performance Institute as 2012’s ‘Project of the Year’.

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Our Solution
  • Additional work around broader industry process, whereby TOC / NR train planning process bottlenecks were addressed, bringing improvement ahead of systems change.
  • Engagement supportfor the closure of the Leeds Train Planning office (working with those in Leeds, communicating with industry stakeholders, completely reworking the New Starter training), so that the closure of that office in September 2012 went well, with little impact on performance and stakeholders.
  • Coaching in business changefor Ops Planning leaders.
  • Facilitating workshop, strategy, and problem resolution sessions, becoming trusted advisers to the business leaders.
  • Supporting, through branding and the creation of a short video documentary, the annual Industry Train Planning Conference.
  • Delay minutes were cut from 37,000 in April 2011 to 23,000 in November 2011 – with continuing year on year improvements, resulting in a better passenger experience.
  • Network Rail can meet their performance targets and receive fewer financial penalties from their regulators.
  • All planners were fully trained and supported to use the train planning system
  • This project took silver at the Learning and Performance Institute Awards for External Project of the year 2012.

Beyond these tangible financial outcomes, Afiniti’s work meant that Ops Planning made foundational changes in its systems, processes and competencies; has the capabilities to sustain and build on these changes, and has clear programmes in training to deliver ongoing change.  Relationships with key stakeholders (other NR functions, TOCs, Regulator) were significantly stronger.

The Differences We Made
  • Additional work around broader industry process, whereby TOC / NR train planning process bottlenecks were addressed, bringing improvement ahead of systems change.
  • Engagement supportfor the closure of the Leeds Train Planning office (working with those in Leeds, communicating with industry stakeholders, completely reworking the New Starter training), so that the closure of that office in September 2012 went well, with little impact on performance and stakeholders.
  • Coaching in business changefor Ops Planning leaders.
  • Facilitating workshop, strategy, and problem resolution sessions, becoming trusted advisers to the business leaders.
  • Supporting, through branding and the creation of a short video documentary, the annual Industry Train Planning Conference.
  • Delay minutes were cut from 37,000 in April 2011 to 23,000 in November 2011 – with continuing year on year improvements, resulting in a better passenger experience.
  • Network Rail can meet their performance targets and receive fewer financial penalties from their regulators.
  • All planners were fully trained and supported to use the train planning system
  • This project took silver at the Learning and Performance Institute Awards for External Project of the year 2012.

Beyond these tangible financial outcomes, Afiniti’s work meant that Ops Planning made foundational changes in its systems, processes and competencies; has the capabilities to sustain and build on these changes, and has clear programmes in training to deliver ongoing change.  Relationships with key stakeholders (other NR functions, TOCs, Regulator) were significantly stronger.

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