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HSBC Rail Business Awards Submission by: Southern Railway Categories: Engineering Excellence and Information Technology Excellence 1. Summary Southern and HSBC Rail had 46 ‘Class 455’ rolling stock units that were experiencing an ongoing series of engineering faults resulting in about 56 cancellations and 2,300 minutes delays every 4-week period. The trouble was, there was no discernable pattern to the faults. Their partnership created TAPAS, an innovation which, for the first time in the UK, downloaded and analysed on- train data from multiple units and multiple journeys. TAPAS now identifies intermittent faults and even predicts faults before they happen, delivering a 63% reduction in delays, a 66% reduction in cancellations and £1.1m per year reduction in franchise fines. 2. Key facts about Southern Southern is a train operator that: Provides services in south London and between central London and the south coast. Carried over 140 million passengers last year. Employs 4,000 staff. Manages 162 stations. Operates and maintains a fleet of 300 new and refurbished trains. 3. Southern’s commitment to innovation Ever since Southern’s franchise began in 2003 Southern has always taken a long-sighted view towards its performance. This has resulted in a commitment to innovation and sustainable development that we proudly believe sets us apart from other operators. Over the past five years we have enjoyed a host of breakthroughs and industry firsts in areas as diverse and community engagement, waste management, passenger security, energy efficiency, and in particular, engineering. This submission explores one of the engineering breakthroughs that we are most proud of: TAPAS. 4. Southern’s priorities Following consultation with our Stakeholder Advisory Board, the following priorities were defined: 1. Accessibility. 2. Safety and security (passengers, employees and public). 3. Reliability, convenience and punctuality of service. 4. Affordability of rail travel. 5. Carbon footprint. 6. Staff welfare and development. 7. Community involvement (particularly youth). The initiative outlined was conceived to support priorities 2 and 3, and helped deliver priority 5. 5. The problem In 2003, when its rail operator franchise began, Southern and HSBC Rail were faced with the challenge of keeping their 19-year old fleet of 46 ‘class 455’ rolling stock in service for another 15 years. However, these units presented a problem: Every four-week ‘period’ passengers endured: About 2,300 minutes delays. About 56 cancellations. As a result Southern in turn endured franchise fines averaging nearly £200,000 per period. Figure 1: A class 455 train The problem was that there was no discernable pattern to the faults, and the standard maintenance regime did not spot them in time. 6. Eureka! In 2002 it became a mandatory requirement for all trains to be fitted with black-box-style On-Train Monitoring Recorders (OTMRs) by the end of 2005, to provide invaluable data in the case of accidents. This data was meant to be overwritten, but David Pope, former Chief Engineer at Southern, thought that the OTMRs might just help solve the 455 fleet maintenance challenge, but only if Southern could find a way of getting this data off the trains and into some, as yet non-existent, fault identification and diagnosis software. 7. The partnership Southern joined forces with 455 rolling stock owners HSBC Rail, and, following a tendering process, data mining experts Tessella. Over a period of three years, the partnership has developed and future-proofed the system and software outlined below. 8. The innovation The innovation that the partnership created, and is being submitted for a Rail Business Award, is TAPAS, which: Takes data temporarily stored on the OTMRs. Adds extra on-train data. Downloads the data every couple of hours via wireless broadband. Provides the maintenance team with performance information covering all aspects of the fleet at any given time, or over time, enabling the early identification of intermittent or developing faults. Performance data captured and stored by the OTMR Data is Corrective automatically action taken as downloaded necessary using WLAN Any emerging Data is added or intermittent to central faults are database and identified early analysed mining Figure 2: How TAPAS works Figure 3: TAPAS software uses a traffic light system to prioritise maintenance time Just how innovative is TAPAS? We believe TAPAS is now the most advanced fault diagnosis system in the UK Rail industry, delivering a host of firsts within the sector: Innovation in the technology The biggest picture ever: The first time that a system allows data captured on one train to be pooled with data from other journeys and other trains. A first for On-Train Monitoring Recorders (OTMR) data: This project was the first instance where OTMR data has been offloaded and made use of, prior to being overwritten. The most flexible analysis: unlike onboard fault diagnosis systems, TAPAS allows engineers to improve the analysis continuously by altering tolerances and adding new symptoms to look out for. Innovation in application A first for retro-fitting: The first instance where an old fleet has been retro-fitted with fault diagnosis technology. The most advanced driver behaviour analysis system ever. A first for energy management: TAPAS has identified variations in energy usage of over 20% between nominally identical journeys, providing Southern with a unique opportunity to train drivers in behaviours that will maximise energy efficiency (see section 10). The first to look outside the train: A new use for the data (not live yet) will involve analysing important factors outside the train itself such as dwell times at stations, in order to analyse sources of station-related delays. 9. The secrets of our success The key factors in the success of the programme include: Design and development factors Careful partner selection: Careful selection of a suitable partner from outside the industry with experience of successes in data mining from other sectors. Careful planning: Dividing the contract into two parts with the first part being a thorough specification writing phase that nailed the exact requirements for the system before any design or development took place. Time well spent. Future-proofing: This implementation needed to support hardware changes between now and 2018, so was future-proofed by focusing on hardware-independent web technology. Deployment and communications factors Ensuring a great first impression: Resisting the tremendous pressure from engineers to let them loose on the technology before it was fully tested. Personal coaching: Simon Green gave all the system users 1:1 coaching until they were all successfully brought up to speed. Acting on feedback: User feedback was sought after implementation and translated into further system improvements. Reporting: The progress and achievements of TAPAS are reported to the Engineering Director, Gerry McFadden, who, when appropriate, has included it in his report to the managing director and the Board. Continuous innovation and improvement factors Taking the benefits to the next level: Putting together a working group to explore making further use of the data and technology. Keeping the system adaptable: The unpredictable and numerous faults within the 455 fleet meant the system had to be adaptable as new faults and symptoms were identified. The software therefore gives engineers the ability to write new analysis ‘tools’. Overcoming the data volume challenge: The sheer volume of data (108 million OTMR records each week) proved a major challenge, overcome by employing the services of an Oracle database expert. 10. The benefits to railway performance Faults are now identified and resolved before they cause delays With TAPAS the traditional approach to train maintenance involving the repetitive and time-consuming routine inspections can be consigned to the past. The innovation means: Earlier identification of faults by downloading/analysing journey data every 1-2 hours (typically). Better diagnosis when faults are identified by providing the context surrounding failures, and allowing comparison with previous journeys or other units. Reducing routine maintenance by focusing time on fixing issues rather than testing perfectly good rolling stock. Diagnosing intermittent faults by showing how faults have evolved and how/when they occur. See example below: Figure 4: TAPAS identifies an intermittent fault in a Motor Coach Door Actuator …which means improved reliability The objective was to improve reliability. As the operational measure here is ‘Miles per Casualty’ (MPC) Figure 5 shows that TAPAS had a considerable and immediate impact on the MPC reliability figure for the 46 units in the 455 fleet (the red line) when compared to other fleets (dashed lines). From running at around 6,000 MPC the fleet now runs an average of 16-17,000 MPC. Reliability (Miles Per Casualty) 25.0 455/8 - 4 Car 319 Southern fleet MPC (000's) 456/0 - 2 Car 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 08/06 09/06 10/06 11/06 12/06 13/06 01/07 02/07 03/07 04/07 05/07 06/07 07/07 Period Figure 5: Reliability improves: As the red line shows, the 455 fleet is now enjoying significantly improved reliability as a result of TAPAS TAPAS has contributed to a significant milestone which was reached this July, with all of Southern’s three key performance measures (average Sussex Coast and Metro charter punctuality and average all-day PPM) MAA SLM Eng Cancellations reaching over 90% at the same time for the first time. Figure 6 shows the cancellations measurement within this PPM achievement. 200 TAPAS INTRODUCED 180 MAA SLM Eng Cancellations 160 140 120 100 80 0601 0605 0609 0613 0704 0708 0712 0803 0807 0811 0902 0906 0910 Figure 6: Cancellations decrease: Fleet-caused cancellations (MAA) for the region in which 455 fleet operates on have fallen sharply as a result of TAPAS Helping reduce our carbon footprint As mentioned before, a working party was created to identify how TAPAS could further assist improving Southern's other strategic priorities outlined in section 3, in particular reducing our carbon footprint. In this respect, TAPAS is being used to analyse a 20% variation in energy consumption on identical journeys (example below): Figure 7: TAPAS has shown that energy consumption varies tremendously between journeys TAPAS data showed driver behaviour was the main factor in the above energy consumption variations. This is being addressed with a training programme, which is being developed to improve environmental performance, in partnership with Network Rail. 11. The financial benefits The investment The incremental investment in TAPAS (over and above the regulatory requirement of fitting OTMRs to trains) was £3m. This was funded by Southern, and within the agreed budget. The return Although the project was driven by a desire to improve performance, the most direct payback is in terms of reduced fines: Each time a train is delayed by 5 minutes or more, the ‘impact minutes’ experienced by all trains affected is added up and translated into a fine. By reducing delays and cancellations, TAPAS has delivered a substantial reduction in fines incurred by the class 455 units, as illustrated below. A best estimate from the engineering team is that 70% of the £117, 291 saving per period can be attributed to TAPAS. This translates into a saving of £82,104 per period, or approximately £1.1m per year. £250,000 £200,000 £150,000 £117,291 difference in average fines per 4-week period £100,000 £50,000 £0 Before TAPAS After TAPAS Figure 8: Fines from delays and cancellations of class 455 units fell dramatically Payback The £1.1m/year in direct returns means that the technology will pay the initial investment back in less than three years. The total return over the remaining lifetime of the fleet The fleet needs to be in service until 2018, and TAPAS came on line in 2007, so the savings over the lifetime of the implementation will be 11years x £1.1m = £12.1m (nearer £10m when ‘net present value’ applied). The long term return on investment is therefore over 3:1. This does not include other ways in which TAPAS indirectly impacts on the financial performance of Southern: The savings in terms of refunded tickets resulting from delays and cancellations. Reduced energy consumption by helping understand the driver behaviours associated with energy efficiency and train drivers accordingly. Increased ticket sales through the link between increased reliability of trains and increased propensity to travel. Hard to quantify as too many other factors involved. 12. The benefits to customers Fewer delays, fewer cancellations The impact of this innovation on customers is in terms of one thing: reliability. In other words, reducing the time passengers spend waiting at stations as a result of delays or cancellations. 2500 60 50 2000 40 Cancellations decreased 1500 by about 38 per 4-week Delays reduced by an period average of 1,474 30 minutes per period. 1000 20 500 10 0 0 Before TAPAS After TAPAS Before TAPAS After TAPAS Figure 9: Passengers benefited from a 63% Figure 10: Similarly there was a 66% reduction in reduction in delays cancellations Almost every day a cancellation is averted as a result of TAPAS. The importance of reliability Coincidentally, at the same time as TAPAS went live, a Rail Passenger’s Priorities report (by Passenger Focus) asked passengers to rate the relative importance of more than 30 different service attributes. Reliability came third out of thirty after price and frequency. So, from our passengers’ perspective, TAPAS achieved an objective close to their hearts. Passenger Health & Safety TAPAS helps identify safety threats ranging from potential fire risks from overheated components, to doors closing aggressively. On average TAPAS has identified 10 fault issues on each of the 46 units, many related to passenger or crew safety. 13. Sharing benefits with other operators The intellectual property rights (IPR) for TAPAS are held jointly by Go-Ahead Group (owners of Southern) and HSBC Rail. This is now being offered to other train operators. First ScotRail is currently testing TAPAS and First Great Western, Northern and Southeastern are investigating the system. Additional interest has been shown from Nedtrain in the Netherlands.
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