Lloyd's Register asset management

2002 - 2003, Client: Lloyd's Register

The RTSC has undertaken two interconnected studies on Asset Management on behalf of Lloyd's Register. Stage One was the development of a guide to asset management practice in industries employing safety and performance critical assets. This study identified what previous work had been undertaken in the development of generic approaches to asset management and associated standards. Stage Two consisted of a series of interviews with companies in a range of industries (oil & gas, bulk chemical, electricity distribution and urban mass transit), which had previously been identified as best practice in their corporate approach to asset management. The approach to asset management in each of these organisations was compared and contrasted, and identified important common elements that appear to exist in all effective systems.

Innovative transport and ultra study

1999 - 2003, Client: Department for Transport

This research was undertaken for the Department for Transport to evaluate the economic performance of existing and emerging public transport technologies. The study was based on a theoretical transport corridor, with costs of providing the service and the resulting capacity estimated for each mode. This enabled comparisons to be made between existing conventional modes, such as light rail and bus, and selected innovative modes. The innovative modes were the ULTra personalised transport system and the rail-based Parry People Mover vehicles. The results from the study will assist public transport policy, technology development and planning studies. After four years this work reached completion.

The ULTra specific study provides an overview of the development of the Urban Light Transit (ULTra) personal rapid transit system by Advanced Transport Systems Ltd (ATS), under the Department for Transport's (DfT) innovative transport initiative. It explains the background to the scheme, the bid selection culminating in the award of a contract to ATS, and then focuses on the performance of ATS and the ULTra project through the life of the contract. A review is provided of the technical and operational feasibility of the ULTra system, as well as its commercial viability and an assessment of the performance of the project is made against a predefined set of threshold criteria (safety, environmental impact, passenger comfort and accessibility and regulations). A discussion of the overall feasibility of ULTra as a transport mode is also included.

Other projects

As LUL re-organises under the Public-Private Partnership initiative, a review of all assets relating to train performance has been required. The RTSC produced a cost model of signalling assets, and has assisted in the development of a 'trains' model, which considers the value of assets, and the systems interfaces between signalling, trains and communication equipment. The signalling system models are critical to understanding current assets, maintenance and renewal requirements for the future and for estimating future performance improvement opportunities.

In 1998, RTSC helped to update the Railtrack signalling strategy. This involved all relevant parts of the Railtrack organisation and the supply industry, as well as assessments of other railways and other industries. The strategy and its implementation are key due to Railtrack's commitments to invest, and the impending West Coast Main Line upgrade. The RTSC's presentations to senior management communicated the complexity of the current situation, current strengths and weaknesses and proposed ways forward to develop an increasingly robust strategy.