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Go-Ahead - Articles and news items

Go-Ahead Deutschland orders 45 FLIRT3 multiple units

Rail industry news / 19 May 2016 /

Go-Ahead Deutschland has ordered 45 FLIRT3 electric multiple-unit trains from Stadler Pankow GmbH for operation on Stuttgart Network 1…

Go-Ahead and Keolis partnership shortlisted to bid for Crossrail

Rail industry news / 25 June 2013 /

A joint venture between Go-Ahead and Keolis has been shortlisted to bid for Transport for London’s Crossrail franchise…

Introducing our new-look Editorial Board!

Issue 1 2013 / 20 February 2013 /

European Railway Review is committed to keeping our readers informed of current and future rail transport developments throughout Europe. We achieve this via our mix of project and investment coverage, regional and country profiles, technical features and industry news. To help with the continuing success of European Railway Review, we are pleased to reveal our new-look Editorial Board, welcoming some familiar industry faces and respected experts. Our Editorial Board Members have been selected to represent our core subject areas and we plan to regularly utilise their knowledge and expertise within the publication.

Libor Lochman Executive Director, Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER)

Commenting on joining the publication’s editorial panel, Libor said: “European Railway Review is a well-established technical journal which consistently reports on news about the European rail sector. I am pleased to be part of the Editorial Board and I am looking forward to regularly sharing my expertise with key decision makers from the European railway world.”

Libor took up the post of Executive Director of the CER on 1 January 2012. He graduated from the Transport University in Zilina and has a doctorate in electronics from the West-Bohemian University Plzen. Libor has a strong background in control-command and signalling systems. Prior to his role as CER Deputy Executive Director and Leader of Technical Affairs (2007-2011), Libor acted as Director of the Railway Test Centre, a facility for testing European rolling stock, infrastructure and signalling components, in Prague (2000-2005).

Robin Gisby Managing Director, Network Operations, Network Rail

“There is much we can learn, and have already learned, from other infrastructure operators across Europe,” says Robin on confirming his place on the panel. “Sharing experience and expertise is absolutely crucial, which is why I’m delighted to join the Editorial Board of European Railway Review.”

Robin took up the new position of Managing Director, Network Operations in June 2011. Until this appointment, Robin was Director, Operations and Customer Services from May 2004 and was appointed to the Board of Network Rail in October 2008. This followed many successful years in the company, including in its previous incarnation as Railtrack, where he held a variety of roles including Regional Director. Before joining Railtrack, Robin had engineering and operational roles in both the UK and overseas, mainly with GKN plc.

“Britain’s railways are booming, with more and more people and businesses choosing rail each year,” says Robin. “As numbers continue to grow, the challenge to deliver a safe and reliable railway for passenger and freight operators on one of the busiest mixed-use rail networks in Europe grows too. From an operational perspective, these are fascinating times. Our railway is among the oldest in the world, but today we move more trains than ever before on a network half the size that it was 50 years ago. The challenges of growth and the need to demon – strate value for money mean we are more focused than ever before on new technology and new ways of working which allow us to get the most out of Britain’s rail infrastructure.”

Alex Hynes Managing Director – Rail Development, Go-Ahead

On joining the editorial panel, Alex explains: “It’s important that we learn from the experience of other European countries as we seek to sustain customer satisfaction and cost reduction in a changing UK rail market. In particular, drawing from continental experience of providing services to regional authorities will be invaluable as the devolution agenda takes off in the UK. I look forward to contributing to and sharing in the discussion on these and other issues through my membership on European Railway Review’s Editorial Board.”

Keeping passengers informed during disruption

Issue 1 2013 / 20 February 2013 /

British transport company Go-Ahead is one of the country’s major transport groups. Its bus and rail companies serve over one billion passengers a year, or 2.7 million people a day. The Group has 23,000 staff working across its operations which stretch from Plymouth in the south west to Newcastle in the north east. In an interview for European Railway Review, Go-Ahead’s Managing Director – Rail Development, Alex Hynes, explains the importance of providing accurate and efficient Real-Time Passenger Information systems and processes.

Go-Ahead runs three rail franchises through Govia, the joint venture partnership between Go-Ahead and Keolis. Between them, the three businesses – Southern, which includes Gatwick Express, Southeastern and London Midland – are responsible for 30% of rail passenger journeys and carry more commuters than anyone else.

“We are the busiest operator in the UK and one of the busiest in Europe,” said Alex. “We run 5,000 services a day, so keeping people informed about what’s happening on our networks is a vital part of our offer to passengers. It’s also crucial that we have systems and processes in place which enable us to update our passengers during times of disruption. To achieve this we have to keep abreast of changing passenger requirements and the latest tech – nological developments.”

The way in which information is provided to passengers has changed significantly in recent years. Ten years ago, customers relied on paper timetables and service update boards at stations. There was little or no on-train communications and public address systems were scarce. Passengers used the telephone to contact call centres for information about their service.

Since then, the information landscape has altered dramatically. Passengers can access realtime online journey planners and stations have digital screens with live updates. National Rail Enquiries (NRES) can be contacted via telephone and the web, and handheld devices give passengers instant access to live departure boards. Stations and trains now provide auto – matic announcements to keep people informed. Operators have also focused on giving staff the right tools to do the job – equipping them, for example, with Blackberry handsets through which they can also access information to pass on to passengers.

These developments provide a solid base for operators and make it easier to communicate when things are going well. But the statistics speak for themselves – while overall customer satisfaction has steadily risen over the past 10 years (from 73% to 84%) dealing with delays remains a challenge: Passengers score operators in London and the South East fairly low on that count – the Spring 2012 National Passenger Survey revealed a satisfaction score of only 35%.

However, the industry has responded to the challenge. In November 2009, a new code of practice was issued aimed at setting out best practice in delivering Passenger Information During Disruption (PIDD).

The severe weather in December 2010 badly disrupted some rail services and as a result the Office of Rail Regulation proposed new powers to ensure improvements to passenger information. Those new obligations came into force in autumn 2011.They aim to help train operators deliver a co-ordinated approach to the provision of passenger information during major delays and disruption in an appropriate and consistent manner.

Go-Ahead companies gear up for Paralympics with more than 1 million extra seats

Rail industry news / 29 August 2012 /

Go-Ahead’s train companies are adding more seats…

Southeastern announces 7.7 million passenger journeys made during London 2012 Olympic Games

Rail industry news / 16 August 2012 /

Approximately 1.4 million of those passenger journeys were made on the Javelin® service…

Go-Ahead welcomes £9 billion investment in rail network

Rail industry news / 17 July 2012 /

Go-Ahead welcomed the announcement by the Department for Transport of its future investment plans for the rail network…