Grand Central - RSSB Member Testimonial
About Grand Central
Grand Central (GC) is an open-access passenger train operator, which means we don't receive subsidy from, or pay any premium to, the Department for Transport. Our high-speed intercity services carry passengers from London Kings Cross to York and the North East and to Doncaster and West Yorkshire. From spring 2020 we will commence operations between London Euston and Blackpool.
With the introduction of our new services from 2020, GC will employ around 250 people. These are located at our York HQ, along with traincrew depots at Bradford, Sunderland and Blackpool, with a small number of people located elsewhere such as in London.
What do you get out of RSSB membership?
At GC we regard our membership with RSSB as a two-way relationship. For RSSB to provide effective support to ourselves and the industry, we as part of the industry must be actively involved through working groups, committees and making use of RSSB managed systems.
RSSB provide GC with support through the systems they facilitate (SMIS, SPARK, etc). RSSB’s suite of industry standards and guidance are vital to how we at GC maintain our safety management system.
Your level of involvement with RSSB
Despite GC being one of the smallest RSSB member organisations, we take pride in the level of involvement we afford to RSSB managed work streams. This includes Standards Committee representation, various working groups over the years (digital rail, PTI, permissive working review, etc) and attendance at RSSB organised conferences (risk forums, health and wellbeing, non-technical skills, etc).
The benefits we derive from RSSB can perhaps be effectively put into perspective by thinking of how well we could manage safety without RSSB. There would still be a requirement for industry standards, and this would need to be managed elsewhere.
The services and support provided by RSSB and how these help organisations like ours improve safety management, reduce costs, etc, is largely intangible when trying to place figures on this. But by how our relationship with RSSB is described here, it should be clear to see that there is value from our RSSB membership.
It is an operating licence condition that we have RSSB membership. However, without such an organisation it would be far more challenging to effectively and efficiently manage safety and sustainability. In the past few years it is notable how RSSB have endeavoured to engage with its members and also of note is the way that RSSB are recognising how smart technology is increasingly being used across the industry in managing safety and providing safety information. The Rule Book app was an early example of this, but other examples such as traincrew briefing materials that can be delivered via tablets and smartphones can also be cited in this respect.