Greater Anglia using new software to reduce delays caused by train faults

Published on: Wednesday, 31 August 2022
Last updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Great Anglia train on the tracks

A Greater Anglia train. Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia is using a new hi-tech software tool which helps get trains fixed quickly if faults occur during journeys to reduce delays to customers.

The software – a decision support tool - is used by technicians in the company’s control centre in Romford if a driver rings in to say there is a fault on their train and describes the problem.

The technicians use the intuitive software to click through to a set of questions relating to the symptoms of the problem that is being described to them.

The software then identifies, in an easy step-by-step way, the actions to get the train on the move again.

A countdown timer within the software automatically starts running – counting down from ten minutes to zero, giving a clear indication of when further action needs to begin, such as isolating systems to get the train on the move again.

The software, developed by IQM Software, receives information from both Greater Anglia and the Stadler team who look after the company’s Intercity, Stansted Express and regional bi-mode trains, about any new issues or faults which develop to get services on the move even quicker in the future.

Martin Beable, Greater Anglia’s engineering director, said: “This software has been key in ensuring that if issues do occur on our trains, the myriad key actions and steps that need to be taken can be completed as quickly as possible to try and get the train on the move.

“We’ve worked with our Stadler colleagues in ensuring all the relevant information is captured after each incident and that is put into the decision support tool, so it’s as effective and useful as possible. Soon we’ll be introducing it for our Alstom-built commuter fleet of new trains too.

“We are proud that our team have been able to use this tool to help reduce our delays per technical incident to levels that most train operators only aspire to achieve.”

“Our new trains are improving our punctuality and reliability. They travel between 120,000 to 200,000 miles a year and like any machine with moving parts they do sometimes develop faults, but this software is helping us to keep delays to customers to a minimum.”

Thibaut Decré, IQM Software’s head of strategy, said: "It has been great to work with Greater Anglia in their effort to double down on improving essential software to their operation, including our system: TEAM.

“Working with a team with such a clear vision and quick decision making allows us to quickly achieve great results, and we're looking forward to remaining a strategic partner for Greater Anglia's digital strategy."

Greater Anglia is in the final stages of replacing its old trains with brand new state-of-the-art trains. There are new Stadler-built Stansted Express, Intercity and regional trains along with 75 Alstom-built commuter trains already in operation on all of its routes.

All of the company’s old trains will be removed from service by summer 2023.