THE UK rail network has a complex fleet. Fleet Challenge was established in 2008 with the aim of overseeing and improving the reliability of the national passenger fleets, and the Fleet Challenge Steering Group (FCSG) is the cross-industry body responsible for this. Neil Bamford, Fleet Director at East Midlands Railway, is the Chair of Fleet Challenge and explained its work to the Golden Spanners conference.
Overall, fleet reliability nationally has been steadily improving over the last few years, despite challenges within the industry. FCSG prides itself on sharing good practice and providing guidance. A good example of this is the introduction of new train fleets – in general the most recently introduced new fleets are proving more reliable than those that were introduced a few years ago, thus demonstrating the benefits of this learning.
EMR is one of the last operators to modernise its fleet, but despite this its overall Miles per Technical Incident (MTIN) moving annual average has improved by 40% since May 2020.