Sometimes, you can’t help the hand you’re dealt. MTR Crossrail was successful in its bid for the concession for the Liverpool Street-Shenfield Line. The downside was that it inherited 42 Class 315s. And nowhere for them to live.
The situation was quite complex. These old and unreliable EMUs are still maintained by Abellio at Ilford depot but they’re operated by MTR - and it was also responsible for managing the maintenance.
MTR Crossrail was not fazed. It recruited a new maintenance management team that developed and established new maintenance procedures and safety management systems. In just five months.
In six months, the team had completed a full fleet refreshment programme, with visible modifications to the exterior and internal design.
Since then, customer satisfaction with cleanliness and upkeep improved from 54% to 75% and from 45% to 64% respectively from autumn 2014–2015.
Not only are customers happy but the 42 Class 315s are now more reliable. In ten months, availability requirements have been achieved in 96% of days.
The statistics speak for themselves: MTR Crossrail was the ‘Most-improved Train Operating Company’ in the UK in the recent National Rail Passenger Results (NRPS).
Away from the trains, Elizabeth Line work had led to a loss of stabling capacity at all three of MTR Crossrail’s locations. So Aldersbook Sidings was chosen as an alternative stabling facility. With a considerable amount of work needed, the maintenance team worked tirelessly to ensure that the location was fit for operational use. Alongside the basic work required to relay new tracks and new ballast, the maintenance team also worked to facilitate supplementary functions, such as enhanced lighting and safe walkways.
“This is a spectacular performance achieved in a short time resulting in the London Rail TOC being one of the top performing TOCs despite operating over the GE infrastructure, the subject of continuous engineering work in preparation for Crossrail.”