Supporting and delivering new rail franchises

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GHD was engaged some time ago to provide support across a range of disciplines for Arriva’s winning Northern Franchise Rail bid.

We helped Arriva develop a winning timetable for a franchise of 16,000 trains per week (an additional 2000 trains on top of today’s levels), which will bring 37 percent extra capacity and new direct journey opportunities across the network. This was a very complex task, requiring careful consideration of commercial, crowding and operational implications.

Our team also provided modelling support in key areas including demand and revenue forecasting, and queue modelling as well as significant contributions to the environment, fares, ticketing, revenue protection, safety, security and innovation strategies.

Arriva was selected as the new operator of the Northern Franchise in December 2015, and commenced operation of the nine-year franchise in April 2016.

Mobilising for success

Following selection, GHD was further commissioned to support Arriva’s mobilisation activities. This included undertaking all tasks required to deliver the Committed Obligations (COs) required for day one, or within three months, of the franchise start date and ensure a smooth transition for the Business As Usual (BAU) team. One of the key challenges encountered was limited access to key information (from the incumbent) in the first six weeks of the project. Nevertheless, GHD’s support delivered a smooth transition to the BAU team, without compromising its daily activities.

Arriva’s winning franchise bid included the requirement to procure new rolling stock to support the delivery of the additional services and improve capacity on the network. GHD engineers were commissioned to support the review of the existing station platform infrastructure to identify targeted investment in platform extensions to accommodate the new trains.

Today, GHD continues to support Arriva’s rail franchise bidding and rail operations activities across the UK.

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