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UK Train Driver Availability and Productivity

During 2021 VA Rail were engaged to work with RDG and UK Train Operators to assess Driver Availability and Productivity to make recommendations for improvements.

A detailed questionnaire was issued to all GB passenger rail operators in Dec 2020 and returns used as the basis for in-depth interviews with 27 operators in early 2021. The findings were written up and used to inform our conclusions, recommendations, good practice examples and project outputs such as guidance notes and process maps. Based on the questionnaires and interviews, we identified 69 good practice interventions and drafted 8 main conclusions and 32 recommendations which are set out in the final report.  Industry teams were formed, and 12 guidance notes and 10 process maps were developed.

An RM3-style assurance maturity approach for operators was developed in outline, supported by RDG-GN062: Train Driver Resource Management Assurance.

Training outputs were completed including detailed training/competence requirements and potential methods for learning for Heads of Drivers and Resourcing.

The outline requirements for a train crew rostering tool were documented, based on existing RDG work to define a concept of operations and system requirements for stock and crew planning.

“We engaged the VA Rail team to undertake a network-wide review of traincrew availability and productivity. The work was sponsored by the Network Performance Board and overseen by RDG’s Operations Council. VA Rail’s expertise made them ideal industry partners for this commission.  We’re delighted with the report, along with its 32 recommendations, which will assist industry in mapping out a number of short, medium and long-term interventions as part of a wider change programme.”

Head of Operations, Rail Delivery Group