East Anglia Franchise Technical Advisor

UK Department for Transport

The overview

During 2015 and 2016 the Department for Transport (DfT) tendered for bids to operate the East Anglia franchise, not least addressing the new legislation for Persons of Reduced Mobility (PRM) requiring significant rolling stock upgrading by December 2019.

The refranchising process has been well established and refined by DfT over successive competitions to comprise a number of stages, including pre-qualification of three or four bidders, Invitation to Tender (ITT), a 90 to 120 day bid period, bid submission, evaluation, risk adjustment, award, contractualisation and mobilisation. In keeping with the established process, DfT retained a Technical Advisor to help particularly with the volume of analysis, specification and evaluation work and IPEX Consulting (IPEX) provided these Technical Advisor elements covering rolling stock, maintenance, engineering, depots and stabling. The competition was completed successfully with the award to Abellio Greater Anglia in mid-2016 of a nine-year contract to operate the franchise.

Our client's challenge

The DfT specification demanded significant increases in passenger capacity to accommodate the upward trend in commuter travel and increased customer experience standards to counter dissatisfaction in quality standards.

DfT also required an extension of depot and stabling facilities to reduce future dependency on facilities operated by established train manufacturers. DfT also sought improvements in efficiency – in rolling stock energy consumption, maintenance costs, and wear and tear on the infrastructure. DfT also sought improvements in fleet utilisation, acknowledging that the franchise fleet needed to fulfil a number of discrete service groupings, including lower capacity rural non-electrified services, high-speed electric Norwich-London inter-city services, and high capacity intensive electric London commuter services. For the rolling stock, maintenance, engineering, depots and stabling aspects the specification required particular consideration and steering in order to encourage the desired improvements without directing the solution offered.

Our response

IPEX provides extensive knowledge and experience in the assessment and specification of train system requirements to fulfil operational and business needs.

As part of a multi-disciplinary advisor team with LeighFisher, IPEX deployed a multi-faceted expert team addressing the areas of: rolling stock fleet options and strategy; new train market engagement and procurement support; technical analysis and specification – particularly around operational interfaces, maintenance strategy and depot and stabling strategy.

As key outputs the team developed options for alternative additional depot and stabling locations, costing analysis for modelling the anticipated fleet improvements provided by upgraded or new fleets, and the relevant specification content for the franchise ITT in the aspects of rolling stock, maintenance, engineering, depots and stabling.  IPEX also provided the lead evaluation role amongst a team of evaluators and necessary contributions to the moderation, risk adjustment and contractualisation processes.

The value to the client

Through a successful competition DfT stimulated a range of innovative bids from three experienced operators and secured a contract that included replacement of the entire rolling stock fleet with new electric and electro-diesel bi-mode trains and the development of the depot and stabling facilities to increase the capacity.

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Established in 2003, IPEX has a wide client and project base in global rail and transport consultancy. Our team has a combined wisdom of over 200 years’ working with major blue chip rail organisations, covering all aspects of rail operations, maintenance, and projects. Talk to us today and see how we can help you.

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