Rail franchise performance meeting minutes - 24 June 2021


  • Katie Sutton (KS) Transport Scotland
  • Mark Henderson (MH) Transport Scotland
  • Ross Clark (RC) Transport Scotland
  • Lawrence Southern (LS) Transport Scotland
  • Phil Dargue (PD) Winder Phillips
  • Sam Price (SP) ScotRail
  • Nicola Dawson (ND) ScotRail
  • Dan Blake (DB) ScotRail
  • David Hewer (DH) Network Rail


  • Allan Anderson (AA) Transport Scotland
  • Oi Hang Chu (OHC) Transport Scotland
  • Hilary Cameron (HC) Transport Scotland
  • Sarah O’Loughlin (SO) Transport Scotland
  • Scott Prentice (ScP) ScotRail

Welcome and Introductions

KS welcomed all attendees to the meeting and attendees introduced themselves and summarised their roles.

Minutes of Last Meeting – 27 May 2021

Minutes from last meeting all agreed and taken as read by both TS/SR.

Actions From Previous Meeting – 27 May 2021

Actions discussed and all agreed as complete by TS/SR.

In Depth Discussion – Operational Performance

DB and DH talked through the Period 2 deep dive on operational performance.

Performance Headlines – DB

DB provided a visualisation of PPM and MAA to date and the EMA targets going forward, breaking down the detail of period 2 MAA and attributed reasons for the PPMf impacts. DB noted that the individual sectors were all above target in the period. Moving to causes of MAA PPM% attrition, DB noted that ‘external’ and ‘weather/autumn’ categories were significantly higher than target and that presented a concern for ScotRail and Network Rail, with plans being put in place to tackle these categories going forward.

Fleet – DB

DB talked through the class by class breakdown of fleet performance, highlighting key information for the attendees. Notable across all fleets was the reduction in mileage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trespass, Fatalities and Route Crime Strategy – DH

DH talked through slides covering the thirteen point plan that has been put in place to tackle issues around trespass, fatalities and route crime and bring down performance issues impacted by external factors. DH noted that a dashboard had been created and would be reviewed on an ongoing basis to establish and understand patterns and hotspots. DH highlighted the key elements of the thirteen point plan for the attendees:

  1. Scotland’s Route Performance team have established a plan which will be managed through a periodic forum to bring stakeholders together. The forum will be used to identify high risk areas, individuals and peer groups and coordinate an approach to mitigate the effects of these issues.
  2. Several information sources will be utilised to assist decision making, including where future interventions and investment will be directed. Information from the Route Performance Team, Route Safety Team, BTP and Samaritans will be analysed.
  3. Guidance produced by railway stakeholders such as RSSB will be used and embedded to combat and mitigate the effects of trespass, fatalities and route crime.
  4. Engagement with BTP at all levels of the organisation via the embedded BTP inspector to gain insight into criminal activities and identify high risk and priority locations.
  5. Exploring the benefits of community policing strategy to make the best use of local officers in helping to educate young people.
  6. Exploring additional funding options to be able to support BTP with the latest technological solutions to help in their response to incidents.
  7. Working with Network Rail’s legal team to understand and enhance the likelihood of bringing prosecutions against repeat offenders for acts of railway crime.
  8. Engaging and working closely with media and public affairs team to coordinate approach and target specific locations where railway crime is evident, including using social media to reach specific demographics who historically are involved in acts of trespass and railway crime, including vandalism and graffiti.
  9. Establishing partnerships with organisations such as the Scottish FA to provide resources for local clubs to educate young people on the dangers of railway trespass.
  10. Working with local ‘Crimestoppers’ groups to ascertain any suspicious behaviour and provide intelligence to the BTP.
  11. Working closely with charity partner Samaritans to deliver the Suicide Prevention programme across Scotland.
  12. Engagement with BTP on level crossing safety, deployment of camera vans, CCTV.
  13. Utilising performance improvement fund to invest in lineside boundary improvements, signage improvements, funding for BTP disruption unit and exploring the use of technological solutions to combat organised criminal activity (e.g. cable theft).

Seasonal Preparedness – DH

DH presented a summary of seasonal risks and mitigation work that is underway or planned by Network Rail to try and reduce the impact of weather on performance. Covering summer risks, DH noted that work was being done to counter the risk of flooding, rail buckling, adhesion issues, lightning strikes, lineside fires, vegetation obscuring OLE and signals, metal bridge expansion and bright sunlight through the summer. DH highlighted data on Critical Rail Temperatures and the impact they can have on performance, noting the challenge on Scotland’s railway of low and high temperature extremes overnight.

On Autumn risks, DH highlighted a number of Autumn preparedness actions which are already well advanced including an additional circuit for the Rail Head Treatment Train, installation of three new Traction Gel Applicators, a leaf fall contractor covering 100 work sites, wheel-spraying programme with 1,400+ units per week to be sprayed, 2 ‘SandRovers’ deployed on the West Highland Line and cryogenic cleaning.

PD queried management of blanket speeds for flooding risks given the coming storm season. DH noted that this was factored in to the targets to a degree, but that there was an element of the unknown in how it will play out in reality. DH highlighted that the safety element will always have to be managed first utilising forecasting and equipment on the ground to measure rainfall, and that the knock on effects to performance will then need to be managed on the back of the safety picture. DH advised that monitoring equipment has been installed at the known high risk sites (of which a notable number of new sites were identified in the prior year), a new weather desk in control being put in place with 24/7 monitoring to gain the information that will allow lengthy blanket speed sections to be minimised as much as possible.

Rutherglen RCM Installations – DH

DH provided an overview of improvement works in the remote condition monitoring at Rutherglen. Following a failure of points repeatedly in January 2021, the Rutherglen corridor was highlighted as a ‘blind spot’ for points supplementary detection monitoring. DH advised that, following the failures, funding was sourced for works and that the installation of remote condition monitoring will aide technicians during failures to identify and rectify first time and reduce repeat failures. DH noted that the required hardware was due for delivery to Network Rail in early July and installation dates would be available once the hardware was received.

Antisocial Behaviour – DB

DB highlighted joint antisocial behaviour exercises with the BTP, resumption of on-train revenue protection, focus on colleague reporting and encouragement of body-worn cameras, data being used to inform strategy and target future exercises and using CCTV both proactively and retroactively to build a picture of activity on the network were all elements in the strategy to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Customer Operations – DB

DB noted the work of the stations teams in focusing on customer safety and highlighted that their work on Covid would continue in the coming year until restrictions are fully lifted. DB also highlighted that staff coverage plans had been developed to take account of the pandemic, with additional staff trained in key tasks such as train dispatch and sub-surface coverage to maintain service level. In terms of performance, DB noted that Right Time Start groups had been re-energised and pushing ideas from the front line to tackle problem trains and improve right time start at major locations, aiming to bring a positive knock on across the network. DB highlighted the use of the Quartz system at Haymarket, monitoring arrivals and departures to the second and allowing staff to record root causes of late-running services. DB noted that the system was also under trial at Waverley, with potential to expand to Stirling and Glasgow Central.

Review of EMA Reporting Pack

No comments from colleagues on call, LS confirmed the queries from TS colleagues had been circulated to ScotRail.

Committed Obligations Review

No items for discussion.

Franchise Performance Report – Any Matters Arising

No items for discussion.

Schedule 15.2 – Last 12/13 Months of Franchise

SP noted the ScotRail resource committee met 24 June and that TS had fed in to it and the process was now bedding in.

Issues of the Moment

On the Euro 2020 operational plan, SP advised that there had been no issues with the delivery of the plan. SP confirmed that a lessons learned session would be held after Euro 2020 as ScotRail look towards COP26.


SP also noted that after 2 periods under EMA3, any further feedback from TS on the formatting of the report would be welcomed. Attendees were in agreement that the Collaborative Working section of the EMA would be the subject of the deep dive at the next meeting.

Published Date 27 Jul 2021 Type Mode of transport Topic