How to save costs as a rail infrastructure manager?

How possession time management contributes to an efficient end result

iStock_000015922217_SmallMillions of people rely on train services every day to reach their destinations. In order to increase passenger satisfaction and stay competitive in an ever more liberalized market, train operators have to find ways to deliver a higher level of service.

The last couple of years have seen train operators offer free Wi-Fi access on board, as well as “guarantee” services. For example, the Dutch railway company NS has just started a paid service guaranteeing that passengers will make their flight at Schiphol Airport, or it will refund their rebooking costs.

Passenger satisfaction depends on more than just railway perks. It also has much to do with train safety, reliability and availability. This is where rail infrastructure managers play a big part and where they can contribute to passenger satisfaction.

As expectations from railway operators and passengers grow, the possession time gets shorter. Rail infrastructure managers need smart possession time management to succeed.

A working group at the Rail Delivery Group that just spent 18 months studying ways to cut costs, found that some of the greatest potential savings relate directly to better possession management. This also has a trickle-down effect and indirectly adds to passenger satisfaction.

Here are some of the findings, as seen in Rail Technology Magazine:

  • Changing the way maintenance, renewals and enhancement work is planned and carried out via the Industry Access Programme (potential cross industry benefits: £150m-350m)
  • Increasing ‘time on tools’ during possession windows by reducing hand over, set up and hand back time (£60m-140m)

Rail infrastructure managers find themselves in a dilemma. They have to maintain the infrastructure to ensure its safety and reliability, while keeping the track as available as possible. They also have to optimize the use of their resources and contractors to keep costs to a minimum.

Thus, a smart approach to possession time management is essential, but how can you tell if your approach is smart?

Ask yourself:

  • Can I make my customers and passengers happy and be cost efficient?
  • As a railway infrastructure manager, am I ready to cope with the ever more demanding customers of railway operators? Have I optimized the use of my resources and contractors?
  • Can I evaluate different scenarios for possessions, and forecast the consequences?

Are you happy with your answers? Download our new whitepaper on smart possession time management today and discover what it can do for your business.