Greater Anglia slashes delays for West Anglia commuter trains

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Greater Anglia has reduced delays caused by faults on its West Anglia commuter trains by almost half.

Between December 2018 and October 2019, delay minutes for its Class 317 commuter trains - which run through Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex - were down 48%, and cancellations were down 14% over the same period.

The improvement is down to a new approach to tackling the most common causes of problems for this type of train.

The most commonly occurring faults were found to be problems with doors, traction motors and couplers – which link two trains together.

As a result, the team at the company’s engineering depot has improved its maintenance systems, replaced many old and worn out parts and is monitoring wear and tear more closely to prevent further faults occurring which could cause delays.

They also brought in a dedicated team from Arriva Train Care, based at Cambridge, to focus on fixing door problems.

The team used specialist equipment to remotely monitor the doors while they were in service and predict when faults were about to occur, enabling the team to take preventative action so that trains were not delayed.

This, combined with an improved set of maintenance instructions for all technicians, has proved to be so successful that it is now being used by teams maintaining other types of train at other Greater Anglia depots.

Greater Anglia’s Engineering Director, Martin Beable, said, “Our engineers set about researching the most commonly occurring faults and, following a sustained focus on finding permanent solutions to them, we have seen a big improvement in the trains’ performance.

“This means that the Class 317 trains are now running far more reliably than before and we are committed to further improving these higher performance levels for our passengers.”

Last year the train operator completed a £1 million refurbishment of its 72 Class 317 carriages installing new standard seat covers and vinyl flooring, new First Class seat covers, trim and carpets, re-sprayed interiors, new signage and a deep clean throughout.