WHAT WE DO
As experts in the rail industry we specialise in the following areas:
Performance Management & Analysis
WPA is the acknowledged UK rail industry leader in independent performance assessments, the delivery of underpinning process improvements and providing analytical insight into performance trends.
We specialise in customer focused improvements, from verification & validation to development and implementation of new or refined performance management arrangements. We have extensive experience of auditing and evaluating performance, including the Forward Review Assessment process, auditing of Network Rail’s reporting of performance data and evaluating TOC performance against contractual requirements. We are experts in the analysis of industry performance data to provide insight to our clients, and have developed performance forecasting models to support organisations, both in the UK and overseas.
Demand and Capacity Management
WPA is an industry leader in forecasting, monitoring, and managing passenger demand and operating capacity.
Our experience has been particularly valuable to Train Operating Companies and other organisations during the recovery from Covid; as operational costs are being squeezed by Treasury; during fleet replacement & enhancement programmes, and in responding to Business Plan requests from the Department for Transport.
WPA has experience in all aspects of managing demand and capacity, from carefully monitoring and analysing of passenger count data, to timetable construction & modelling and passenger behaviour analysis.
It is critical that Train Operating Companies have a clear understanding of the markets they serve in order to inform and support changes being made. This is of particular importance given the intensive scrutiny over operating budgets arranged through the Annual Business Plan process.
Market Analysis can be used for short or long term planning: to help clarify a strategy, to justify an investment, or to support a full scale timetable re-write.
We have a wealth of experience and understanding to build a comprehensive market analysis. Our team includes a mix of technical professionals and industry leaders who possess strong analytical capabilities, coupled with knowledge of a variety of industry data sources, and a depth of understanding of the UK rail market from both a commercial and operational perspective.
Operational Leadership Support
WPA provide support to leadership teams in all aspects of operational development and improvement across a variety of railway systems, either on a consultancy, or interim leadership support basis.
From help with the formulation and successful delivery of remedial and improvement plans to the implementation of Committed Obligations, we have supported the timely and successful delivery of business critical change.
We offer interim cover for key leadership roles, ensuring all IR35 arrangements are covered. We also have experience in Due Diligence work on PPP/PFI projects and mobilisation progress for clients, vendors and lenders.
Operations & Service Delivery
This is a core WPA specialism underpinned by significant line management experience in rail operations. We have an exceptional understanding of operational dynamics, including strategic safety management, operations and performance management systems, train crew management, and a strong understanding of systems engineering, systems integration and new trains projects.
We have been closely involved in many commissions and projects focused on operational efficiency and service delivery.
WPA can help bring a more consistent, structured and systematic approach to every aspect of safe operational delivery and to the management of change and innovation.
Organisational Development & Business Transformation
We have worked with a wide range of organisations & stakeholders and across a variety of structures to deliver change management projects and initiatives. This has included the successful mobilisation of brand new businesses, as well as the transformation of existing organisations and delivery of Employee Relations support & advice.
We have delivered during times of significant change & uncertainty and are experienced in the validation of change and in gaining organisational commitment to deliver lasting and meaningful change.
We pride ourselves on being innovative, whilst working in collaboration with partners and key stakeholders.
Programme Management & Project Support
Our Partners have vast experience of leading and delivering complex programmes. We can provide expertise for the leadership of specific workstreams and have extensive expertise across the Partnership in all railway disciplines.
We have experience of working on a portfolio of projects and cross-functional workstreams, prioritising objectives through effective planning, understanding of interdependencies, and risk & time management.
We have delivered projects across every organisational type & model and have the ability to manage complex and diverse projects, whilst achieving results in demanding timescales.
Bid Development & Support
WPA has extensive experience in supporting the development of rail contract bids, from GB Franchise and Concession bids, to bids for overseas rail and light rail operations contracts, and to recent Annual Business Plan submissions for TOCs. Our Partners have authored Annual Business Plans and performance and alliancing plans, and have developed bid performance and crowding models, and models to quantify the financial risk associated with contractual performance regimes.
We have recently supported DfT in the letting of a National Rail Contract for an Operator and have extensive experience of bid evaluation. Recently we have evaluated TOC delivery against the contractual requirements outlined in the EMA and ERMA contracts put in place by DfT and Transport Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have extensive knowledge of Customer Experience, and we recognise the value of customer insight and the need for customer focused propositions. Through customer journey mapping we have developed industry leading propositions, helping our clients from across the industry to deliver both customer & commercial benefits.
Our work has included customer experience deep dives, focusing on the ‘pain points’ & ‘moments of delight’ at each customer touchpoint and stage of the customer journey.
We have helped a number of clients deliver marked improvements in customer engagement and implemented innovative industry leading propositions.
We have extensive experience in this area and fully understand the practicalities of successful operational risk management. As well as in the UK, this experience has been used to positive effect in USA, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, in operational management, integration, safety approval and readiness for service of new trains and new rail systems.
Our understanding of operational dynamics, human factors and the control of risk, enables us to help our clients maintain a relentless but flexible focus on risk management & safety assurance. Our ability to act impartially in assessments (such as ISA work) and independent investigations is of particular value to many clients.
Whole System Thinking
Since the advent of privatisation, rail professionals who have worked across the industry and have a deep understanding of it, have become increasingly rare. WPA have long since recognised this issue and have used the broad experience of the team to promote whole system thinking and solutions to whatever problem we have worked on. This is made possible by our partners, who have worked in virtually every discipline of railways, including managing infrastructure maintenance, control rooms, signalling, traincrew, stations as well as key areas such as safety, customer proposition, performance and operational planning.
We have a strong understanding of how decisions in one area impact elsewhere and can help provide and deliver industry solutions which deliver customer benefits.
WPA has experience of designing and delivering experiential learning sessions for all sectors across the rail industry, with a focus on the learning process for the individual. Our scenario based sessions have been created using real life events and give individuals the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of understanding operational challenges from a system wide perspective in a safe environment, whilst also sharing their knowledge and good practise with others.
The scenarios are designed so that they can be used across all levels of the industry, from new entrants with no experience of rail, to senior industry leaders with decades of experience. Everyone is encouraged to participate and explore the operational challenges that the industry can face.
WPA provides coaching & mentoring support to leadership teams in all aspects of operational development and improvement across a variety of railway systems.