Enabling Better Planning and Resource Management during Disruption

Improving response to and recovery from serious disruption could result in substantial performance improvements for operators and improve customer experience and passenger satisfaction.

​In 2017/18 there were 963 incidents of serious disruption (>1,000 delay minutes), which together accounted for over 118,000 PPM failures, 2 million delay minutes and 56,000 cancellations and significantly late trains.

Contingency plans - which offer pre-determined strategies for managing disruption and restoring operation to the planned timetable, maintaining safety, managing the customer experience and ensuring operational robustness – can limited by the availability of stock and crew resources, and by the competence of control staff to transition to and operate a contingent plan, and  then removing the plan and restoring the full service.

RSSB is currently developing good practice guidance on contingency planning and resource utilisation during disruption, which is due to be published in the autumn. The first outputs of this work have been completed in early 2019 and are being piloted by Greater Anglia, Scotrail and Govia Thameslink Railway as part of the May 2019 timetable changes. This will be complemented by a toolkit to help operators implement better contingency planning and disruption management, including:

  • A methodology for assessing the effectiveness of contingency plans and potential improvements to plans
  • A toolkit to support better resource management during disruption
  • A competency framework for control staff managing disruption

Get in touch if you would like to find out more and to register an interest in the launch of these resources. 

Topics covered

  • Managing disruption
  • Contingency plans
  • Restoring operation
  • Good practice
  • Rail staff competencies


ATOC NR-GN SP01: ATOC / Network Rail Guidance Note – Meeting the Needs of Passengers when Trains are Stranded
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