Greater Anglia engineers win awards for improving train reliability

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Greater Anglia has won six rail industry awards for big improvements to train reliability so that they go further without developing faults, making them the most reliable trains of their category in the country.

The awards illustrate the impact of the £23 million Greater Anglia is spending on increasing train reliability before brand new trains come into service from 2019 to 2020.

The train operator received two ‘Golden Spanner’ awards for the Norwich – London Intercity and Stansted Express services which recorded 56,312 miles and 93,329 miles respectively before developing faults that needed fixing, making them the most reliable in their class across the UK.

It’s the second year in a row that the company’s award-winning engineers have won the coveted Golden Spanner for the Intercity trains.

Four further fleets operated by Greater Anglia also showed improvements in reliability compared to the previous year and received ‘Silver Spanner’ awards for being the most improved in their class.

The reliability of branch line trains in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex is also up.

Reliability of single carriage Class 153 trains, which run between Marks Tey and Sudbury, Norwich and Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Sheringham and Ipswich to Lowestoft and Felixstowe, are up 52.5% and Class 170 trains, which run between Cambridge and Norwich and Ipswich, are up 46.1%.

The Class 360 fleet, which serves commuter routes in Essex, saw an improvement of 167.4%.

On Greater Anglia’s West Anglia route, the Class 317/8 trains, which run mostly between Cambridge and London Liverpool Street, showed an improvement of 83.6%.

The huge improvements in reliability are due to a successful restructuring and improvements to Greater Anglia’s Engineering Department, including:

  • Creating an Engineering Services organisation made up of Technical, Planning, Training & Competency and Business Solutions;
  • a revamp of the existing Technical Department improving how they deal with day to day issues in service and support the Production teams at Norwich, Ilford and Clacton Depots;
  • The creation of a new Systems Engineering team based at Shenfield who look into longer-term issues, find the root cause to the worst performing systems and come up with solutions to improve the reliability of Greater Anglia’s trains.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, said: “I am delighted that the improvement in performance has been recognised at the Golden Spanners Awards and would like to congratulate our depot and fleet teams on their hard work. It is a testament to the department that in less than a year, the work that has been produced from the re-organisation has had a big impact on train reliability, leading to better service for customers.

“We are replacing every single train with brand new trains from 2019, but until then we want to make our existing trains as reliable as possible, which is why we are investing £23 million in reliability improvements to provide the consistent and improving levels of train service performance that our customers expect.”

Commenting on these results, Roger Ford, Industry & Technology Editor of Modern Railways, the magazine which organises the awards said, “While the two golds on their own are a real achievement, what really impressed me were the four silvers which are a tribute to the hard work of the teams at all the Great Anglia depots in improving the reliability of the train service for passengers. This sort of improvement is what the Golden Spanners awards were created to encourage".