Rail Depot Team Based Working


Rail Depot Team Based Working

Working with the UK & Ireland’s largest rolling stock servicing organisation, Develop Consulting were asked to support one of the depots in the north of England to improve the daily availability of in-service train sets to it’s key customer.

After a number of years of successful operation, the depot was at risk of failing to achieve the required train availability to it’s main customer. A number of potential issues were causing the failure, and the local team required additional support to isolate the key activities required to eliminate the availability risk.

Develop Consulting’s scope of activity was to initially assess in detail the current performance to its customers, and develop a continuous improvement plan to deliver the required service standards.


  • Initial delivery of the required train availability to the key customer
  • Further improvements to the delivery performance, adding an additional train set to the fleets availability
  • No incurred contract penalties in the financial year
  • 60% reduction in total fleet defects, with agreed plans to maintain that level
  • 1.5 hours per day allocated to customer related fault rectification
  • Redeveloped the leadership team structure, filled with a number of internal promotions
  • 3 hours per week capacity to focus on strategic initiatives
  • Daily and weekly KPI dashboards to enable performance tracking and rapid escalation of any performance risk
  • Significantly improved leadership team dynamics, driving consistent daily performance
  • Collaborative customer relationship developed leading to enhanced service provision options


Operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, with a significant element of activity overnight, the depot had well defined activity plans to achieve the required examination and service schedules for various train operating companies.

To support the required performance improvements, Develop Consulting led a number of activities, including:

  • Analysis of current performance trends to gain insights into issues affecting that performance.
  • A number of active workshops with the depot leadership teams to further detail the performance gaps.
  • A ‘whole team, one goal’ review and planning workshop, defining what good performance is and aligning all teams and functions to that single goal.
  • Detailed ‘Day and Week in the Life of’ studies to enable an assessment of the depot’s activity and it’s effectiveness in delivering the required performance.
  • Analysis of the current structure and roles & responsibilities of the whole depot team to check organisational alignment compared to a high performing team.
  • Initiating collaborative workstreams working directly with senior leadership teams within the Customer and the depot.


Develop Consulting’s scope of activity was to initially assess in detail the current performance to it’s customers, and develop a continuous improvement plan to deliver the required service standards.


As a result of the workshops, reviews and detailed assessments, a number of improvements were delivered, significantly improving the depot leadership team’s alignment and ways of working together:

  • A significant level of individual and team-based coaching in the context of creating an aligned depot organisation.
  • The development of a single, joint Continuous Improvement plan to deliver the required performance consistently.
  • The definition of a number of KPI’s across all appropriate depot functions, aligned to the daily performance, including a defined daily review cadence.
  • A significantly improved customer review process, including agenda, defined cadence and metrics, resulting in a positive step change in the working relationship between the two teams.
  • An agreed ‘day in the life of the depot’, defining all required performance driven activities and reviews.
  • An additional set of defined improvement plans relating to defects and customer fault rectification.
  • Production resource re-profiling to increase capacity to enable the depot to meet the customer’s immediate and strategic objectives.

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