Operations and maintenance

Automated technology and meticulous progress monitoring can cut running costs and enhance customer service.

We run one of the busiest and fastest-growing rail systems in the world. And, despite the pressures of managing a bustling system in a turbulent real-world operating environment we’ve succeeded in increasing capacity, improving on-time performance, enhancing safety and providing a better experience for customers and staff alike.

A key factor has been the efficiency of our operations and maintenance functions.

Many North American rail systems struggle to maintain capacity and service levels when significant maintenance projects are underway. This is an issue we face on a daily basis, as we continue to upgrade the UK network.

Making the most of what you’ve got

Our experience has shown that, by applying modern technology and meticulous planning and progress monitoring, we can not only minimize the downside of maintenance projects but also increase the efficiency of day-to-day operations.

This has enabled us to run more trains on a smaller network, reduce operating costs by 46% over 10 years, increase ridership, reduce track closure times, extend component/system life and achieve better integration of technology, without compromising on safety.

Our experts have been at the forefront of this work, and we can help you to transition from inefficient practices, using modern technology and processes to drive performance improvements and cost savings.


  • Introduction/expansion of risk-based operations/maintenance plans
  • Automation of current manual processes
  • Development planning to maintain service during maintenance/rehabilitation periods
  • Efficiency optimization for operations/dispatch centers
  • Development of robust crew planning/scheduling
  • Optimization of run-cutting, service planning and scheduling
  • Enhancement of real-time information systems for passengers
  • Impact simulation for proposed operations/maintenance changes.


Creating the future

Goal To design/build 11 state-of-the-art control centers, replacing 800 legacy signaling locations, some dating from the 1870s. 

Approach The new centers are part of a coordinated national operating strategy designed to save $388 million annually over the next 20 years.

Result Signaling, electrification and plant control are migrating to the new centers which will also house the new generation of digital railway equipment.

Related people

Simon Whitehorn

Simon Whitehorn

Simon is an experienced railway operations professional with over 30 years’ experience in the UK rail industry.