Network Rail Consulting (NRC) were engaged by Sydney Trains Network Maintenance Division (NMD) to provide an independent, end-to-end review of the Infrastructure Incident Response processes across the business.

The NRC assignment formed part of a wider Incident Response Management Program within the division, kicked off in 2018. This was brought about due to a recognition that NMD’s incident response approach needed to keep pace with the increased demands on the network brought about by recent service uplifts (2017, 2018 and 2019) as part of Sydney’s “More Trains, More Services” (MTMS) initiative.

Whilst there were no significant problems with their current incident response performance, it was recognised that without change and improvement there holds the potential for response to become a blocker to continued performance excellence across the Sydney network.

The key activities comprised:

  •  A desktop review of existing “ways of working” (standards, processes, KPIs/targets, systems, competencies, and governance) related to infrastructure incident response
  • A desktop review of network incident statistics – including count, impact/delay and existing response times
  • Interviews with over 50 maintenance and operations stakeholders, comprising semi-structured discussion during which 70 aspects of today’s model were explored
  • Detailed international benchmarking consisting of semi-structured discussion on comparative response models with fellow operators across North America, Australia and the UK.
  • A problem validation and solution development approach which included:
  • Stakeholder workshops to validate the observations on the company’s current model
  • Subject matter expert consideration of applicable lessons from Network Rail in the UK and/or global comparators
  • Consultation on early recommendations and the future target operating model with company stakeholders and senior leaders
  • The development of actionable initiatives clearly mapped to the ranked/agreed issues and the learnings from comparators
  • A full write-up which included interactive client review sessions of key document sections and formal reviews at both skeleton and draft report stages.

A key theme of this methodology was the consistent and wide-ranging engagement with front-line staff and a core of incident management professionals from across the company.

The key project output was a full write-up of our analysis and recommendations, supported by a structured handover of relevant supplementary material and workings. 11 recommendations, complete with draft project scopes and indicative scale/cost, were put forward for further internal development by the client.

These covered: Access strategy and methods, Triage Improvement, Response Governance/Mgmt. Review, Working with third parties on travel concessions, Incident management capability improvements, Changes to team positioning/coverage, Changes to control, On-site role changes, Improvements to systems/processes/standards, and the potential move to Dedicated Response Teams.

Client: Sydney Trains (Network Maintenance Division)

Location: Sydney

Start date: May 2019

End date: August 2019

Duration: 3 Months

Services provided: Incident Response Subject Matter Expertise, Maintenance Concept development, International Benchmarking, Project & Change Management