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Heavy Rail

From implementing new build rail systems to operating and maintaining existing ones, we deliver rail services that transform the travel experience.

Heavy Rail

Serco manages the delivery of passenger heavy rail services, including all operations and maintenance, with a focus on meeting customer needs and serving communities.

We successfully deliver socially and economically sound rail transport in both urban and rural areas.

As passenger numbers continue to grow with rising populations, the ease and cost of travel are becoming increasingly significant issues. We put the needs of the traveller at the heart of the service, with a focus on improving customer satisfaction in all aspects of their journey. Using our cross-sector capability and data analytics we continuously improve service delivery. We use technical capability to drive revenue management, introducing new innovations to ensure sustainable and efficient services. We embed quality management systems into contracts and have heavily invested in governance systems.

Key Facts

  • 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.
  • We also operate Merseyrail, recognised as one of the most punctual and reliable railway networks in the UK, with the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
  • 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. 
  • In the Middle East, we currently 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.

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