Additional resources committed by train company
Abellio Greater Anglia says it is investing in additional resources and implementing a joint performance action plan with Network Rail to raise performance standards.
Punctuality has improved since the beginning of the existing short franchise in February 2012, but GA has faced a number of challenges over the last five months, including the impact of infrastructure problems caused by the severe weather, including flooding, minor landslips, waterlogged equipment, and over 200 trees brought down in the storm on 28 October. Train availability has been adversely affected by issues including flood damage, fatalities, wheelset damage and the consequences of heavy maintenance and refurbishment programmes.
To ensure performance continues to recover and create extra resilience in its fleet the company says it is investing to increase service reliability, including:
- A contract with Direct Rail Services to provide locomotives and carriages for local routes and increase intercity service carriage availability up to the current franchise end date in July.
- Recruiting additional maintenance staff at Norwich Crown Point depot.
- Review of contingency plans to improve recovery times in the event of disruption and minimise impact of short carriage formations.
- Further modifications to Class 317 trains to improve door reliability.
- Work with Network Rail on reduction in speed restrictions and engineering work over-runs, and more robust operation of freight services on the Felixstowe line to lessen their performance impact on passenger services.
- Additional fleet adviser working with the operations team to minimise impact of in-service faults.
- Development of further targeted investment to tackle key causes of delays and disruption.
- Work with Network Rail to improve reliability of cab-to-signaller communication on Class 315 and Class 317 trains.
- More remote train monitoring systems which help track train systems and identify faults.
- Review of traincrew deployment and contingency plans to enable the quickest possible recovery from disruptive events.
The combined initiatives amount to over £1 million committed to deliver a better service for customers, despite being only four months from the end of the current franchise, says Abellio.