Passenger Train Overhaul


Passenger Train Overhaul

Our client is a major rail operator delivering services to the passenger and freight sectors across Australia. In addition to supporting passenger and rail haulage, this client owns and operates over 2,000km of rail infrastructure supporting the resource sector.

Our team were approached to help train, coach and mentor staff within their Passenger Overhaul Unit to drive a reduction in overhaul times and an increase in local quality. As well as ensuring delivery of direct performance improvement, the client was keen that the local team became well versed in the lean toolset to allow them to replicate the improvements across the broader organisation.


  • Reduction in number of days required for overhaul fro a typical 35 to 50 days to a repeatable 28 days.
  • Reduction in number of quality defects from an average of over 35 per trainset to single figures.
  • Implementation of a robust quality containment system to further reduce these down to zero.
  • Establshment of a business improvement team, fully versed in the key lean tools to allow them to replicate the approach across other production areas on site and within the wider group.


The approach adopted focused on setting a fast pace early on to establish some real momentum based on visible improvements.

To achieve this, the our team implemented a core suite of processes from the start; Problem Countermeasure (PCM), Work Sequence Boards (WSB) and a structured Project Management System (PMS). The early success of these processes ensured a range of employees from across the site were getting involved and keen to support the continued roll-out. Equally these disciplines were used to coach the client team in the importance of tenacity and attention to detail in a lean improvement programme. With these tools settled in, the our team moved into a coaching role, helping the client team to develop their own processes to continue the implementation.


Problem Countermeasure

A detailed PCM system was implemented across the overhaul platforms and immediate supply chain areas. As well as establishing early momentum (in terms of process improvement), the adoption of the PCM process demonstrate good meeting discipline and the value of closed loop activity.

Work Sequence Boards

With a complex array of tasks being required across the upper and lower elements of the trainsets, it was critical to establish a clear sequence of activity. This was implemented using a series of Work Sequence Boards, each creating a stable days work for each of the trades and a simple benchmark against which the client could track progress.

In support of the disciplines required for strong lean implementation, a detailed project management system was implemented. Our team assisted the client teams in developing their own master schedules and coached them in how to successfully run project meetings to manage back-spikes and implement mitigating actions.

Quality System

On the initial trains completed using the Work Sequence Boards, it became clear that advantages gained during the overhaul activity was being lost due to minor defects becoming apparent during the testing phase. In order to reduce this risk, a detailed containment process was developed. This ensured that these defects were identified and fixed prior to the handover of the trainset to testing. In addition, these concerns were raised as Quality Alerts and where appropriate, added into the Problem Countermeasure process.

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