Company - Govia Thameslink Railway

How was this solved?

GTR is committed to metering its entire fleet through a mix of installation programmes and the introduction of new trains. The operator is now able to use metered data for traction electricity billing with accurate data, which prevents large adjustments from taking place at Network Rail’s financial year end.

The additional benefit is that the meters provide a huge bank of data, which Andrew Bolton, Fleet Energy Manager, used to contribute to the achievement of certification to ISO50001, the standard for Energy Management Systems.

By compiling comprehensive report the Engineering Team has a better understanding of how the traction energy bill is made up. The reports break the fleet down into vehicle types, and routes, enabling comparisons between data periods and years.

Target areas have been identified for investigation through the system, covering aspects such as idling time, the impact of heating loads during colder months, the influence of stopping patterns and the geography of the route.

GTR believe they are the first TOC to consider traction to this level of detail, with the largest metered fleet providing them with unprecedented analysis capability.

The challenge is dealing with the volume and complexity of the data,” Andrew says, “we brought in a research student to assess the scale of the challenge and he helped us to determine the questions we need to ask.

With the arrival of several new fleets, GTR will benefit from improvements to the carbon footprint of thousands of passenger journeys, but if an operator can identify ways to drive down consumption by influencing planning processes, operational processes such as train cleaning and optimising the way that route specific decisions are made this could help to reduce the cost and the carbon footprint further.

Because traction electricity represents 94% of our total electricity consumption, demonstrating how we were managing the data and seeking to improve showed the ISO50001 auditor that we are serious about managing this huge element of our consumption adds Andrew.

GTR are now looking at ways to use the data to identify potential savings. Initial focus is on routes which are directly comparable, minimising variances in stopping patterns, geography and vehicle type.

Understanding the consumption on these routes will give further insights that will apply to other routes which can then be discussed with train planners and control staff to challenge current processes.

The next step will be to determine whether there is a case for software development which could handle multiple layers of data which could unlock potential savings.

What were the outcomes?

Certification to ISO50001 Energy Management System, compliance with ESOS legislation, improved potential for future savings.


Carbon smart, Being transparent.

Asset / operations


Organisation type