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Transition Team take High Output award

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The team that organised the transfer of High Output Track Renewals from Amey Colas to Network Rail wins this year’s Rail Plant and Equipment Person or Team of the Year Award.

Says Keith Gibbs of Network Rail, ‘In April 2014, Network Rail decided to in-source the delivery of High Output Track Renewals (HOTR), worth approximately £100 million per annum.

‘Over the subsequent 11 months, Network Rail’s High Output insourcing transition team delivered this multi-faceted change programme, successfully completing the transition of 507 individuals on 26 March, 2015. This represented an example of high quality programme management in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment, combining people, process and technological change.’

Network Rail commenced HOTR in 2004, replacing rail, sleepers and ballast using a professional workforce and factory-like trains working in short- duration overnight access windows. Eleven years later, the programme has grown to comprise six factory-like track renewal and ballast cleaning systems, collectively delivering 70 per cent of Network Rail’s track plain line renewals programme. It’s a seven-days-per-week operation, employing 800 staff on site and 400 people in maintenance and office-based roles.

The breadth and scale of the transition process was substantial, incorporating 14 different work streams and over 100 full and part-time staff, almost all of whom had their regular ‘day jobs’ to undertake too.

Adds Keith, ‘The High Output insourcing transition team really went the extra mile. It took a huge, collaborative team effort to overcome the numerous obstacles and significant challenges along the way, all within extremely demanding timescales.’

Caring for rail staff was an important part of the programme with over 500 colleagues transferring under TUPE legislation from parent organisations in which they had been employed for many years. The team at Network Rail knew it was important to reassure and look after incoming staff.

The move has created a less complex, more specialist and stable organisation and the High Output team has started to develop into a safer, more effective and more efficient team. The HOTR brand is getting stronger, supported by a single culture and vision, all working for the same organisation. The team is now more collaborative, sharing good practice and information across the country.

Shortly after transition, the team held a lessons learnt workshop to review the programme. Emerging practices pioneered by the team have led to increased collaboration, continuous improvement and recognition. Many new friendships were formed along the way. Several of the models, tools and templates created as part of the process are now held up as good practice across Network Rail – a testament to the team’s enormous achievement.

Rail Plant and Equipment Person or Team of the Year was sponsored by Protrack Solutions, which supplies GPS tracking systems for the public transport sector.

Tracey Pope, operations and support director, Protrack Solutions, said, ‘If you can recognise an individual for their talents, it also inspires others to strive for that. If you see people winning these things, some people it helps drive to win it themselves and then you get more from everybody. It’s a reward as well for the hard work they’ve put in.

‘It does make the individuals feel special, it makes the teams feel special because if one wins, they all win and it just helps the whole team bond together and work a little bit harder to be honest.’

Highly commended

  • Keltbray Electrification Plant
  • Gareth Richardson, TXM Plant Limited


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