What We Do

Commercial

We offer a comprehensive commercial service supporting customer experience and developing market strategies.

We have expertise and a track record in:

  • Farebox and ancillary revenue development
  • Market analysis and customer research
  • Pricing, distribution, new product development and revenue protection
  • Stakeholder and partnership management
  • Quality writing
  • Digital marketing and content
  • Major events
  • Brand development, change programmes
  • Launching new rail services
  • Franchise bidding and franchise mobilisation
  • Air to rail strategies to increase modal share
  • Sourcing industry experts for our clients

We have an outstanding record in rail franchise bidding, leading Abellio East Anglia, and the winning bid for Govia’s TSGN franchise. We offer mobilisation support for new rail franchises and longer-term transitional expertise to develop rail markets and the customer experience.

Andrew Ayers heads the commercial work stream after building his career of 22 years in rail marketing, rebranding and launching new services, including: Southern, Southeastern, High Speed 1, the UK’s first high speed rail service, Stansted Express and Abellio Greater Anglia.

Operations

We offer detailed strategies and implementation to improve customer experience operations in both passenger and freight companies.

We can help you maximise efficiency, grow income and improve train performance and customer satisfaction. Our services include:

  • Performance improvement strategies
  • Timetable development
  • Franchise bids and mobilisation
  • Sourcing key associates

Our successes include supporting the operational programme and timetable plans in the successful Abellio East Anglia franchise bid, the winning Govia TSGN franchise bid developing the Performance Planning Reform Programme with Network Rail.

We have helped undertake operational benchmarking for Dutch Railways including developing improvement plans.

We provide on-going operational support to Abellio Greater Anglia to improve train performance and customer satisfaction.

We led the research and development of the PPRP programme for Network Rail and helped implement the project that is now the basis for measuring industry train performance in Control Period 5.

Vince Lucas heads the operations team at VA Rail and has built his career maximising efficiency, improving train performance, boosting customer satisfaction and growing income. He’s been part of the winning bid and mobilisation teams for Southern and Southeastern and helped launch domestic services on High Speed 1, the first domestic high speed service in the UK as well as being Bid Director for Govia’s TSGN bid and Abellio’s East Anglia bid, a 100% win record on bids worked on full time.

Infrastructure and Programme Management

We offer a range of services supporting the successful delivery of major rail projects and programmes, both for infrastructure managers and for train operators, particularly for complex projects with multiple technical interfaces and stakeholders.

Our services include:

  • Preparation of business, functional and system specifications
  • Programme system integration management
  • Programme sponsorship and investment appraisal
  • Interim management of complex programmes
  • Independent review of programme health and status
  • Turnaround of failing programmes and stakeholder relationships

Jon Wiseman leads programme management at VA Rail.  He has extensive experience in the sponsorship and management of major infrastructure programmes with multiple stakeholders.

For VA Rail he chairs the Network Rail Anglia major engineering work review panel (ARP)

He has acted as the Sponsor or Investment Manager for the West Coast Route Modernisation, the East Coast Main Line Upgrade, the Cross Country Route Modernisation and the West Anglia Resignalling project. He has acted as Programme Director for the £1.7 billion capital works programme to deliver a new GSM-R digital radio network across all of Britain’s rail routes.

Jon has also acted for Govia as the interim Programme Director for the Thameslink Programme, having written parts of the successful Govia bid and carried out a critical review of Govia’s approach to major programme management.

Jon also created the Alliancing plans for Arriva’s winning Crossrail bid and regularly supports Govia bid teams in that capacity.