Improving Metro Service Punctuality
Client: Southern, Dec 2008 - Feb 2009
Southern approached The Railway Consultancy with two management concerns about suburban services in their ‘Metro’ area. First, the level of train service performance was lower than management desired whilst, secondly, large numbers of unidentified delays were also being recorded. The Consultancy had a particular interest in this project, as the route which was highlighted for specific attention was that between London Victoria and West Croydon via Crystal Palace, passing directly underneath the Consultancy’s offices.
Having checked that the data was indeed correct, the Railway Consultancy then carried out a number of detailed operational surveys of peak operations at Clapham Jc, Balham, Streatham Hill (where station rebuilding work meant that a one-way passenger flow system was in operation) and in Croydon. These surveys identified a range of minor issues, each contributing to the generation or propagation of delay. Problems included the late running of empty trains, undue driver variability, route-setting in Three Bridges signalbox, and sub-optimal features of the timetable, including its complexity. Analysis of journey log data also highlighted deficiencies in timetable construction. For instance, between one pair of stations, the timetabled running time had not been achieved in over 220 runs (!), and additional time was recommended for this.
Last updated: Sunday, 18th December 2016
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