East Coast runs fast, frequent passenger train services on the East Coast Main Line between London King’s Cross, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East of England and Scotland.
Our client's challenge
Expansion of the business was contingent upon securing additional availability within the IC225 fleet.
East Coast needed to ascertain whether it was feasible to increase the IC225 fleet daily availability from the current 26 sets out of 30 through the introduction of a 27th IC225 set on nominally a daily basis. The current 86.7% availability is already relatively high compared with other fixed formation train sets (such as TGV and ICE), especially for a reasonably small fleet, and 90% fleet availability levels are generally more the domain of large Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) fleets. In addition the IC225 fleet is over 20 years old, it fulfils a highly dispersed stabling and maintenance pattern and the planned heavy maintenance (“OH1”) programme occupies one set for a considerable proportion of the time. Given the potential impact upon the business of either attempting to deliver 27 sets but failing or not attempting to deliver the increased availability at all, EC needed a degree of independence to apply challenge and auditability to its determination on this crucial decision.