New rail emergency management system helps Sydney Trains to increase capacity

Sydney Trains has enhanced the way it manages and resolves incidents on its railway network. Using the new Rail Emergency Management (REM) system, operators can now enter incident information in real-time, increasing efficiency and boosting operational performance. Implementation has taken place over a phased project roll-out.

Frequentis’ Incident and Crisis Management (ICM) system has been in use by incident managers in Sydney Trains’ Rail Operations Centre (ROC) since December 2018.  The mobile application and web portal was deployed to all Sydney Trains Customer Service teams over a four-week period in June 2019, following a successful pilot with 150 users in May.

The New South Wales Government is investing heavily in Sydney Trains to ensure that the rail network can increase its capacity for the rapidly growing customer demand. To prepare for expected rail network growth, Sydney Trains wanted to improve customer experience, reduce delays and set itself on a path to centralising 14 control centres into one streamlined ROC.

The introduction of a new railway emergency management system (REM) was key to enabling the effective management of incidents, so that normal services could resume as quickly as possible after a disruption. The Frequentis ICM REM solution was selected thanks to its success in similar projects globally.

“Rail passenger numbers in Sydney are set to double by 2024,” Sydney Trains ROC programme director Geoff Howard explained. “A step-by-step modernisation of Sydney’s rail network has incorporated many different operational functions and systems into a single location, including implementing the ICM from Frequentis. Operators have praised the ease of use of the ICM solution for logging and viewing incidents, and the coordination of all communication, providing up-to-date information to our customers.

“Being able to respond and recover from incidents faster will ensure that we can cater for the projected capacity increases and meet the customer demand of the future.”

Thomas Karl, Frequentis.

When streamlining multiple operation centres, an initial concern is often the loss of local knowledge. However, the Frequentis ICM solution ensures that this is not the case by capturing such information centrally, including emergency contact numbers for local contractors and emergency services. Based on the underlying responsibility model, staff have all information relevant for a specific location available and can record, manage and access incidents efficiently and safely from a mobile device, web portal or desktop client.

Frequentis vice president for public transport Thomas Karl commented: “The Frequentis ICM is a highly effective decision-making support tool, allowing operations staff to efficiently manage incidents affecting the performance of the rail service. The sophisticated software engine manages incidents based on the time, location and classification of the occurrence. By accelerating information sharing between operational staff, incidents can be resolved faster and passengers are kept moving.”

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