Rail Transport Management

From design through to operation and maintenance, we manage urban transit systems that help cities to improve the social and economic lives of communities.

Serco runs the full spectrum of transport systems around the world – from air and sea to road, and with a particular focus on rail. We have the capability to deliver end-to-end solutions, from the design and delivery of new transport systems to turning around underperforming transport services.

Heavy Rail

Serco provides heavy rail services to government transport authorities, spanning the entire lifecycle. From design and build through to operation and maintenance, we put the customer experience first.

We successfully provide rail services that meet strong demand for passenger transport, driven by rapid population growth, urbanisation and the boom in industry, commerce, and tourism.

Serco works with both government and partners to deliver a range of passenger rail contracts, committed to supporting sustainable development and expanding rail services aligned to rising transportation pressures.

We have vast experience and capability in designing, mobilising, transforming, operating, and maintaining world-class rail services that meet the passengers’ needs for safe, affordable, quality, and environmentally sustainable transport.

Serco is fully responsible for vehicle maintenance, from light maintenance through to overhauls. We take care of depot management and the coordination of engineering contractors and suppliers.

  • Between 1999 and 2015, Serco owned and operated the Australian passenger and rail group Great Southern Rail, the consortium company for luxury train services The Ghan, Indian Pacific, and The Overland.
  • In the UK, we manage the Caledonian Sleeper rail franchise, and have delivered a step change, transforming it into a guest focussed hospitality service. Major changes have included enabling travel bookings 12 months in advance (a first for a UK rail company), new menus with local Scottish food and drink producers, and a new Guest Services Centre located in Inverness supporting local jobs.
  • In the Middle East, we lead a consortium for a five year contract, valued at SAR715 million, that provides management and technical support for the operation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s 2,750km North South Railway. The network currently operates a successful freight railway, moving over 600,000 tonnes of materials each month. Serco is leading the introduction of passenger services on the Network in 2017, which will transform travel across the Kingdom.
  • Between 2004 and 2016, we operated the Northern Rail franchise. During this period, we increased passenger numbers from 63 million to almost 96 million, improving punctuality from 83% in 2004 to a peak of 91.9% in 2012 and customer experience increased from 72% to 80% over the period 2007 to 2014. 

Light Rail and Metro

Serco manages world-leading passenger rail services for light rail and metro systems on behalf of governments. Our capability spans the entire service lifecycle, including design, operation, maintenance, and optimisation.

As a pioneer of new light rail systems in the UK and Middle East, and a leading operator of driverless metro systems, we are well placed to deliver highly reliable, customer focused, sustainable transport systems.

We strive to transform the travel experience of the communities we serve through better services and modern facilities that offer value for money.

We draw on our experience and knowledge, both locally and globally, to build in continuous improvement. We engage at an early stage, resulting in design that is fit for purpose for longer, ensuring consistent service delivery.

  • In the UK, we took over the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) system from the public sector in 1997, passenger numbers increased from 17 million in 1997 to 100 million in 2013, while service reliability increased from 90% to a consistent 99.4% MAA or above.
  • We successfully launched the Dubai Metro in 2009, we now operate the system and have introduced 49 change initiatives at the Dubai Metro, resulting in an overall cost reduction of 20%.
  • In partnership with Alstom, we successfully launched the Dubai Tram in 2014, the first catenary-free tram system outside of Europe, achieving average availability of 99.98% and average punctuality of 99.9%.
  • We successfully mobilised and delivered the opening of the Copenhagen Metro on time, in partnership with Anslado and the local transport authority, winning the MetroRail award for the world's best metro.

Contact us for further information on Serco’s Transport services: