Merseyrail - Asset Management Improvement Programme

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Merseyrail has one of the highest patronages in the UK, outside of the South East/London Commuter lines with more than 30 million journeys per year. Despite this, investment to the network has been minimal; the operator runs a fleet of 59 refurbished electrical multiple units which are rapidly approaching the end of their serviceable life.

Performance and public perception of Merseyrail was compounded by media coverage continuously reporting "Misery-rail delivers again". Maintenance costs for the network continued to escalate and economic conditions were unfavorable in the long-term, with Merseyrail facing a downturn in both concession and fare-box revenue.

Merseyrail engaged GHD as a leader in business transformation, and the management of transit systems. The initial project was to provide guidance and direction, yet since 2008, GHD has acted in the capacity of delivery partner for the company’s business transformation program, AMIP (Asset Management Improvement Program).

GHD recognised the challenges faced by Merseyrail and the difficulties with changing the 'hearts and minds' of an organisation who had previously undertaken several unsuccessful change programs.

GHD undertook a maturity assessment of Merseyrail’s Asset Management capability using its proprietary Total Enterprise Asset Management Quality Framework (TEAMQF) assessment model. The model provided a holistic view of the Merseyrail asset management ‘system’ against the requirements of PAS-55:2008 and the Beyond PAS requirements as set out by the Institute of Asset Management. The assessment considered the full lifecycle of the asset, the people and organisation, processes and practices, technology, data, information and assurance. The exercise provided Merseyrail with a prioritised set of projects for achieving strategic goals for fleet reliability and delivery efficiency and for meeting the requirements for PAS-55:2008 certification.

Following the initial assessment, the AMIP initiative set out a delivery framework for the projects identified in the gap assessment. GHD used the 'Total Business Change' process to both guide delivery and support implementation.

Over a two-year period, GHD has delivered a program of management and supervisor-level competence development in asset management, against the requirements of the Institute of Asset Management’s Competency Framework. GHD has developed and implemented an asset hierarchy and register and connected this to a defect management system, a wheelset management system and is currently in the process of delivering a store and work management system.

GHD is currently in the process of integrating Merseyrail’s Environment, Quality, Safety and Asset Management Systems into an Integrated Fleet Management System - another industry first.

Through the delivery of AMIP, Merseyrail have been able to realise benefits immediately. It is now frequently the top performing train operator in its class, with an 84% improvement in performance against industry public performance measures. The company has won several awards for improved service delivery.

The AMIP benefits realisation plan sets out an aspirate 20% saving on operational expenditure, and early signs suggest this is achievable.

Kevin Thomas, Engineering Director of Merseyrail has said, "AMIP is a critical program for Merseyrail. Without it, we will struggle to reliably introduce the service capacity changes needed on the Merseyrail network. This program will support us to develop Merseyrail into a world-class service provider. GHD has provided Merseyrail with the necessary direction, leadership and delivery support to make this happen."

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