The 7 Day Railway

Forrest, Alex (2008) The 7 Day Railway. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Network Rail, the not-for-dividend company formed by the government in 2002, owns and maintains the national railway infrastructure; essentially the tracks, signalling equipment and stations & structures. The company's main revenue stream is derived from selling, in other words the routes and times for running trains by the passenger and freight train operators. The greatest obstacle to achieving growth and increasing revenue is the frequent blockages (known as 'possessions' within the rail industry) to routes that are necessary to allow maintenance and renewal of the infrastructure. The most disruptive of these blockages takes place when a renewal of a switch & crossing (the part of the track that enables a train to change from one line to another, known as and referred to in this document as the 'S&C') is needed.

The current installation time required for a standard S&C renewal is 54 hours. This engineering 'possession' usually begins on a Friday night and must be completed in time to run first commuter services on Monday morning. Network Rail renews approximately 450 units of S&C every year and the disruption to weekend 'paths' is significant and essentially offers only a 5 day railway to the train operators. The company has created a number of projects that it hopes will deliver the same level of service to the train and freight operating companies at weekends as it provides in midweek, hence the term 'The 7 day railway' and the most significant of these projects and a key enabler of 'The 7 day railway' is the Modular S&C project.

The ultimate objective for the Modular S&C project is to reduce the time of an S&C renewal installation from 54hrs to 8hrs. This will involve a significant culture change and competence for the existing installation staff and the introduction of 'kaizen events' on conventional installation activities has already begun to deliver the improvements in time and quality that are required to meet the target of April 2011 for first 8hr installation. These improvements to approach and skills combined with delivery of a factory built S&C unit complete with all supplementary electrical and mechanical components that have been tested and commissioned prior to delivery for immediate use at the point of delivery, will form the factors needed for success.

This project will focus on one of the interim steps to achieving this 8 hour renewal. This will be done by reviewing two elements, firstly on the challenge of a contracting strategy to deliver a new engineering product and secondly on the ability of suppliers to manufacture and deliver an innovative S&C solution for the UK network. This management project will study, document and provide recommendations for both the contracting strategy and manufacturing processes using tools such as the service blueprint interwoven with the proven concept of value engineering.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 14:59

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