Professional rail consultancy

We apply our practical working rail operational knowledge and experience, and extensive pertinent project consultancy involvement, blended with a professional consultancy project delivery focus to any rail project or initiative.

What we do

IPEX specialises in enabling and improving rail operations and projects, particularly in rolling stock operational and commercial engineering – where we advise on specifying and optimising the functionality, performance and suitability of rolling stock; the way in which it is used and supported within the wider railway system; and its justification within the business case for the railway operation. In particular, we provide advice and support services in the field of rolling stock engineering, depot strategy, fleet maintenance and operation.

Typical service propositions include:



    You may be considering a new or revised rail operation for which suitable rolling stock will be needed. You seek to be guided on the operational and commercial parameters that are appropriate for inclusion in the business case. You need to understand what rolling stock solutions might be applicable and available to you, where they might come from and when they could be procured.

    We guide you through the rolling stock domain and the relevant parameters and metrics. We provide industry consultation and advice on rolling stock specification, performance, operation, maintenance, costs and potential availability from new and cascaded sources, drawn from on-going relationships with rolling stock manufacturers and leasing companies. Hence we gather appropriate values and assumptions for the technical and commercial parameters required for the rolling stock specification, operational modelling, demand forecasting, service options and the business case models.

    Our IPEX rolling stock technical and commercial comparators capture the key defining parameters of the potential rolling stock types.We develop terms of reference for rolling stock specifications

    We provide the rolling stock, depot and stabling specifications in accordance with the operational and business case requirements and we support their coordination and optimisation with all of the other business case inputs.Hence we provide market-tested engineering and commercial rolling stock options and solutions aligned to the operational and business requirement.

    You will gain familiarity with the rolling stock domain and confidence that credible rolling stock specifications and business case parameters have been aligned to the operational and business requirements and benchmarked where appropriate.


    You may be faced with developing and delivering a bid. You need an expert rolling stock team member to help decipher the requirements and develop initiatives and evidence to support the submission – speaking to the bid evaluator’s scoring objectives. This team member needs to provide proven creative, articulate and experienced engineering bid writing expertise combined with confidence and competence on the practical delivery of rolling stock engineering, maintenance and operations.

    We provide agile, experienced engineering and rolling stock expertise to work cohesively with the operations, timetabling and revenue work stream teams to interpret the franchise bid requirements and initiatives and to prepare a high-scoring bid delivery plan that is built upon experience of evaluating franchise bids and on extensive practical knowledge and experience of managing rolling stock maintenance production and fleet performance improvement.

    Principal IPEX tools that we develop and optimise are:

    Fleet performance models and fleet performance improvement plans (FPIPs);

    Fleet maintenance workload models;

    Heavy maintenance workload models;

    Depot capacity models (where required);

    Franchise bids typically require differing bidder focus and objectives each time and we are used to reconfiguring and tuning our tools / models accordingly.

    We perform research and information gathering, planning and analysis appropriate to the level of detail required for the bid.We deliver a solid cohesive high scoring (including EFQM, RADAR) bid delivery plan that forms a vital foundation stone for the creative elements of the bid that are focused on customer service and revenue generation.

    You will gain confidence and certainty in the scoring potential of the crucial rolling stock, maintenance and depots component of the overall bid and its integration with the other key bid delivery plans.You will also gain confidence in the practical deliverability of the rolling stock, depots and maintenance initiatives and programmes.


    You may be designing or developing a rolling stock depot and / or stabling facility to support a defined future workload and a set of contractual commitments. You need to be assured that the depot layout and design have been optimised to support delivery of the on-going operational requirements with certainty, and that the contractual commitments can be honoured. You also need to know that they are utilising appropriate technology and practices to reduce operating cost and risk, and that they are maximising the effective use of the available footprint.

    We apply expertise and experience in the management and operation of rolling stock fleets and maintenance and servicing facilities to the optimisation of the design to ensure that the depot is configured to perform the typical processes efficiently and effectively, with appropriate headroom and redundancy for disruption and degraded working.We focus on the contracted service delivery requirements and ensure that the basic design supports these requirements through an appropriate combination of design functionality, processes, and working practices.

    We develop and work with IPEX tools and mechanics such as:

    Workload modelling;

    Depot functional modelling;

    Evaluation of condition monitoring for critical assets;

    Depot capacity models (where required);

    Depot Method of Operation procedures;

    We use experienced rolling stock and depot operational expertise to translate service provision requirements into depot functional and capacity requirements.Depot design optimisation ensures that depot resilience is maximised for coping with disrupted scenarios and degraded working as well as the anticipated workload level.The functionality and capacity are matched and optimised in alignment with the operational and signalling interfaces with the network and with the contracted depot outputs.

    You will gain confidence and certainty that the depot facilities will support the operational workload and the contracted service provision commitments and that capacity and functional capabilities have been designed to maximise resilience and minimise long term operating costs.


    You may be negotiating the arrangements around the interface between the rolling stock operation and the maintenance and servicing activity. These arrangements may include challenging requirements for train delivery to and from maintenance and for presentation quality and there may be severe penalties for non-delivery. You need to be assured that commitments negotiated for the delivery of train services under a train services provision type arrangement can be delivered consistently within the obligations and protections in the contracts.

    We apply expertise and experience in the management and operation of rolling stock fleets and maintenance and servicing facilities to the development of the commercial regime. This ensures that the commercial mechanisms reflect and are underpinned by working arrangements that can be delivered and managed in practice. We develop and define the rules framework that is then enshrined in the contracts, in the working arrangements and in the depot / stabling functionality and capacity requirements.

    We develop and work with IPEX mechanics such as:

    Rules of the fleet;

    Rules of the depot;

    Handover and hand back regimes;

    Train preparation and inspection regimes;

    Workload modelling;

    Depot functional modelling;

    These tools are adapted and aligned to the specific requirements of the contractual regime anticipated.

    Operational scenarios permitted by the contract are determined in order to identify the potential loading of the depot on arrivals, processing and departures. The deliverability of these scenarios is then tested against the depot capacity and functionality.Penalties applicable to any failure to deliver train services as contracted – particularly from maintenance and servicing attention – are assessed and the maintainer’s access to the fleet for performing necessary maintenance, servicing and cleaning needs to be assured.Rules need to be defined for the respective access and utilisation of the rolling stock fleet and the depot and stabling facilities by the operator and by the maintainer.

    You will gain verification and assurance of the way in which the contractual requirements relating to train service delivery from depot and stabling activities can be delivered in practice and therefore that the contractual commitments can be met reliably.