Testing Times – Operational Readiness

Assuring the promised benefits of new trains

Serco delivers fully customised operational testing and commissioning services as an integral part of rolling stock and railway systems investment programmes.

From the full-service management of a complete operational testing and development facility, to investigating and providing technical assurance of specific railway system elements.

Our Approach

With taxpayers and private sector companies investing over £10 billion in new trains and railway systems for Great Britain over the next 30 years it is critical that the promised benefits – for customers, the economy, the environment and our society as a whole – are fully captured.

This requires a rigorous whole-life approach to service and product design, construction and commissioning of assets and systems, operations and asset management and end of life re-cycling – all key stages that Serco across its diverse portfolio has experience of and in which it has embedded capabilities.

The operational testing and placing into service of new railway assets requires professional experience and focused capabilities to assure the delivery of business case benefits whilst mitigating risks of delay or sub-optimisation to their achievement.

In a safety critical environment with fast developing technologies, and with any railway system comprising many interfacing organisations, this calls for businesses who can be trusted to truly partner with their clients and stakeholders, to achieve step changes in transformative outcomes which ensure the ultimate beneficiaries are our fellow citizens.

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What we do

Serco offers a range of relevant services which we tailor to individual customer’s needs.

1. Full service management of operational test and development facilities, including:

  • Planning and deployment of resources – people, assets and systems to meet user demand for testing and development services

  • Facility Management – including infrastructure and buildings asset management, staff, contractor and visitor wellbeing and site security
  • Network Operations – including access planning, signalling and train control, rolling stock stabling and logistics, simulating train management and customer experience interfaces, and testing and trialling of signalling and control systems
  • Train Operations – including optimising operational test requirements and protocols, producing and communicating operational test instructions, accepting rolling stock and other on-track plant onto the test site and driving and conducting trains under test conditions
  • Engaging with users and wider stakeholders to continuously ensure safe, secure and effective operational testing and development
  • Project Management of new build and/or refurbished test site infrastructure and facilities
  • Establishing, monitoring and reviewing test results.

2. Provision of technical assurance, including:

  • Development and deployment of bespoke Safety Management Systems and work procedures relevant for the specific operational test site conditions and systems under test
  • Independent reviews of operational testing and commissioning activities – whether at the planning, implementation or service delivery stages
  • Vehicle testing and acceptance – including brake and wheel slip testing, vehicle stability, internal vibration measurement, dynamic pantograph performance and tuning, on-train electrical measurement, strain measurement, commissioning and service introduction of new vehicle fleets and related safety and control systems
  • Condition Monitoring – including the development and installation of monitoring systems specifically tailored to customers’ needs, enabling both short and long-term condition monitoring of rolling stock and infrastructure systems.
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