Rail Directions Workshop


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SMART's Director of Rail Logistics Andrew McCusker conducted a Rail Directions Workshop in March 2012. This is Andrew's introduction and outline of the workshop.

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  • Good morning let me introduce my self – I am Andrew McCusker Rail Logistics Director at SMART. I joined SMART in October last year. Previous to this I was Operations Director for the MTR in Hong Kong where I spent 24 years in that organization covering a variety of areas includingProjects, Engineering and Maintenance.
  • MTR has gained the reputation of a well run Business and may be the only railway company that can meet all funding requirements from the revenues received from Rail operations and holds a high international reputation for service performance and Customer Service.The system has 11 lines and work has been underway for a new high speed link to China and 4 line extensions with advanced works which integrate with the running railway being managed with minimum disruption to daily service.
  • In 2008 MTR reached its highest levels of performance and has maintained this in subsequent years. The company operates under a franchise agreement with the Government against service Delivery Targets but runs the railway to Customer Service Targets that are generally set at 1% above contract requirements Achievement normally exceeds these higher targets.In 2008 I asked my key staff now we have reached 99.9% delivery what do we do nextAnd there was not a lot of response but my challenge to the railway was that what we have to do next is “To make our customer Smile” and I show you now the top agenda set for going forward.
  • Going forward in the aims of MTR. You will see that it is very high in building enablers for the organization and its people while furthering the business performance and bringing capitals spend well within what the business can afford. One goal that may surprise you was the challenge to grow the Customer Service concept.Basically this relates to growing customer value and penetrating all business activities to deliver more customer value.Now coming to SMART and How MTR has had a long association with the University.
  • That association started with skill and competency building which was done proactively ahead of needs ,usually linked to network expansion or business efficiency such as multi-skilling or Strategic asset management. This partnership soon moved to more Traditional Research
  • And it is here that we see a great strength in the University research in many fields in Railway engineering, Business, Social Science and Informatics. The brochure in your pack gives some examples but I would cite the track & Ballast research and rolling stock research done by professors Indraratna and Dwight. Now coming to today our purpose is to identify research priorities for the industry. Our Industry faces many challenges.
  • In 2010 a similar workshop of Rail Providers, rail customers and government representatives met and raised issues and a report from that day is within your pack. Outcomes of the Workshop:Challenges for rail’s operating environment were capturedHow to position rail for the futureStrategic directions for SMART’s rail researchWhat industry considered to be the Value proposition for SMART Rail – be an independent respected and knowledgeable research institute that improves rail thinking and policyPeople concluded the key factors for SMART’s success are: relevance; stakeholder management; evidence of success; & funding.Key areas of Research – Passenger movement (more people, customer needs, evaluating service); freight – pricing, noise, future practices, supply chain futures, intermodal; Others – patronage studies, behaviour change, high speed rail effects.To date we have developed 5 research stream which I will come back to.
  • Today’s workshop will give you the progress and our status with some understanding of the research streams delivered. We will hear on the priorities from our speakers and capture issues for further research. I also want to know how you see Research being conducted and how you would measure success so that closer and meaningful relationships can develop.Our workshop after lunch aims to capture what we may have missed in our planning – plus further develop our thinking on issues. I am sure it will be productive, and enjoyable. And getting each other’s views and positions – that will generate solid outcomes.Closer relationship: SMART Rail Logistics – we hope that today is another step in the consolidation of the evolving relationships that we have with each other in the industry – collaboration is our motto and our practice here at UOW.
  • 5 Research streamsSystems Consideration in Asset investmentTo build modelling & simulation capability with decision support tools that cater for technical & funding aspect for asset installation/ replacement. Modelling individual system replacements within infrastructure networks for effects on system capability, service level, system constraints. Allowing scenario review for multiple options for capital and recurrent interventions from multiple stakeholder perspective. Education & Training for Rail professionalsWork with industry to deliver education and learning to support of the generation change and resource constraints forecast for the next decades through modelling education delivery and availability that is more supportive of industry needs. Greater granularity in learning modules, adopting a continuous professional development structure that can build to certification through flexible delivery platforms.
  • We have developed improved modelling tools to support rail service providers in scenario planning to achieve improved capacity & utility using rail simulation modelling combined with agent based modelling techniques to deliver simulation models on key constraints within freight and passenger systems.Modelling & simulation Mode interchange, facilities capacity for both freight and passenger together with stations, trains and transfer capacity in the passenger environment
  • The workshop highlighted resilience, condition assessment & modelling, smart tools & technology as key areas for research focus and this has moved ahead at Wollongong where such services have been developed for a number of infrastructure owners. Also supported by sensormatics are efficiency & cost reduction, real time condition & performance monitoring , trend prediction and early warning which are all catered for in this research and development area.
  • Industry Challenges. Now some challenges will be with us for some time. Capital priorities, high speed rail and improving passenger freight conflicts.In NSW the transport plans are being prepared on things I have confidence they will have in common will be the needTo do better with what we haveTo mitigate the skill loss we faceAnd to bring technology to bear in delivering productivityAnd there are very clear messages to move rapidly in the customer direction.So we have had confidence to move on into two areas.Network efficiency to improve freight and passenger networks and,Improving customer service
  • Improving freight and passenger rail networks. Apply traditional research and the simulation strength of SMART we will focus research on capacity, performance and productivity. There are opportunities in all networks. In assets, intermodal transfer, reliability.
  • Improving customer service. Improving customer service starts by knowing the customer needs, where your offering meets this and identifying the gap. Benchmarking against best practice gives you a challenge to attain high customer satisfaction.SMART will assist Rail organizations to establish strong customer centric capability, mindset change and improve customer satisfaction through best in class benchmarking. Closing the perception gap between provider and customer through developing improved customer satisfaction assessment & modelling and building customer satisfaction models incorporating international best practice gained from benchmarking. Using the knowledge and research capability of the university faculties.
  • To retain and grow market share rail providers must increase their attractiveness to existing and new customers, it is through increasing value to customers that modal shift from the car and truck will be encouraged alleviating growth and congestion. Benchmarking supports rail companies to create improved value for customers in freight and passenger services and assists transforming rail provider offerings to become more competitive with the private car and road freight. A detailed approach for freight customers is prepared.Understanding the value proposition of customers and the driving factors of satisfaction allows companies to close the gap between present service provision and the needs of customers and equips rail companies with an agenda to meet real needs while keeping pace with change. A Customer set agenda will drive customer considerations through organizations and support the paradigm shift from the present financial and engineering focus of decision makers towards one that is more customers centric. Benchmarking that includes the identification of best practice in rail and other relevant industries both in Australia and overseas will provide an agenda to gear up services towards the worlds best delivery and to set standards that are recognized as excellent, providing the opportunity to reduce criticism within the community.
  • Our research needs to consider the whole customer experience. There are many interventions that impact the end to end journey. Understanding customer needs and priorities is crucial to delivering better customer service.
  • The foregoing will improve the ability to make rail more attractive to customers and to continually track priorities.The research focus is aimed at improving efficiency and capacity for rail business and to encourage flexibility to respond to needs.
  • Increase the attractiveness of rail servicesGauge customer priorities and how they changeBuild customer centric organisationsClosing the best practice gapImproving business efficiencyPragmatic standardsFocus for changeUbiquitous customer culture
  • Rail Directions Workshop

    1. 1. RAIL DIRECTIONSWORKSHOPAndrew McCuskerDirectorRail Logistics DivisionSMART19 March 2012
    2. 2. MTR’s AIMSo 50 year horizon planningo Authority at service delivery levelo Total customer focus + always improvingo Improve + innovate delivery systemso Skilled + motivated peopleo Capital invest within capability
    3. 3. MTR - UOW PARTNERSHIPo 16 years: research + educationo Asset replacement modellingo Limits: wheel set parameters + a/c motor driveso Inhouse Maintenance Management courseo Supported MTR achieving aggressive goalso Managing the change risks
    4. 4. UOW ENGINEERINGo CRC for Rail Innovationo Rolling Stock Managemento Engineering Asset Managemento Centre for Geomechanics + Railway Engineeringo Life Cycle management of railway bridgeso Rail noise mitigationo Non-destructive ballasto Design: ballast, formation, track
    5. 5. WORKSHOP OUTCOMES 2010o Rail’s futureo SMART’s strategic directiono SMART’s value propositiono Success factors: relevance; stakeholder management; evidence of success; fundingo Research areas – Passenger movement; freight; supply chain; intermodal; patronage studies; behaviour change; high speed rail
    6. 6. 2012 WORKSHOP DESIRED OUTCOMESo Update on SMART Rail Logistics groupo Research streams: your feedback + inputo Industry + Govt priorities: Listen/ascertaino Ensure compelling + relevant researcho Forge closer relationships
    7. 7. 5 RESEARCH STREAMSo Improving customer serviceo Systems considerations in asset investmento Education + training for rail professionalso Constraint modelling, enhance rail capacityo Sensormatics
    8. 8. CONSTRAINT MODELLINGTO ENHANCE CAPACITYo Develop modelling toolso ‘What if’ scenario simulationso Model logistic chainso Network & facilities capacity
    9. 9. SENSORMATICSo Networked sensors in fieldo Capturing real-time datao Monitoring + predictingo UOW Landslip projecto Future use: bridges, viaducts, track
    10. 10. INDUSTRY CHALLENGESo Capital funding prioritieso High Speed Railo Improving passenger/freight conflictso More from system + assetso Capability loss: engineers + managers retiringo Technology: productivity, resilience, intermodalo Customer centric service + satisfaction
    11. 11. IMPROVING FREIGHT + PASSENGER NETWORKSo Opportunities exist in: o Line capacity o Port rail facilities o Intermodal terminals o Passenger transfer o Train asset reliability o Resource + skill modelling o Resilience + vulnerability
    12. 12. IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICEo World best practiceo Gap analysiso Build customer satisfaction modelso Implementing customer centric capabilityo Capture + measure: needs + performance
    13. 13. TOTAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Taxi Car Bike Car Bus
    14. 14. DELIVERING CUSTOMER VALUEo Make rail services attractiveo Know customer prioritieso Build customer centric organisationso Achieve best practiceo Be flexible, change + respond to needso Improve business efficiencyo Practical standards