Community of Metros News: CoMET 2017 Management Meeting in New York

Members of the Community of Metros attended the CoMET 2017 Management Meeting in New York, held from 15th – 17th March 2017. Representatives from 15 members attended the meeting, which focused on work programme development for CoMET in 2017. New York City Transit provided a host presentation focusing on its upcoming plans and characteristics, and members presented a short update on their organisation’s current projects, issues and best practices.

Members attended an opening reception at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn, as well as a technical visit to the Second Avenue Subway new line segment and stations. New York City Transit also presented its new asset monitoring tools to the group. One of these tools was the Service Intervention Recommendation Engine (SIRE), which assists train dispatchers in deciding where to hold and skip trains, taking into account the net passenger time savings and volume of passengers affected.

Self-portrait mosaic of Chuck Close at 86th Street station on the Second Avenue subway

The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) presented the final 2015 Key Performance Indicators results and four case study projects on Best Practices in Operating UTO Lines, Safety Culture, Planning for the Lifecycle of Metro Infrastructure Assets, and Accessibility Training.

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2016 Annual Meeting in Singapore

In November 2016 members of the Community of Metros came together for the CoMET 2016 Annual Meeting in Singapore, hosted by Singapore SMRT. The meeting was attended by representatives from 18 metros – all 16 CoMET members and two Nova members from the Southeast Asia region.

Throughout the week, attendees toured SMRT facilities, including the Kim Chuan Depot, which is the world’s largest underground depot and home to the fully automated Circle Line. During meeting sessions each metro shared their latest updates, including specific recent initiatives aiming to improve customer satisfaction or service quality.

The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London presented the results of recent benchmarking research. The latest key performance indicator results were focused on meeting host Singapore SMRT and also included new items looking in more detail at the benchmarking of reliability and asset performance. Other recent benchmarking research that was presented and discussed included the 2016 results of the international metro customer satisfaction survey and the updated safety performance indicators. The recent benchmarking studies on the agenda were on Driver Training and Cybersecurity.

The meeting concluded with the 7th annual CoMET CEO/COO Day, where senior managers from the metros gathered to discuss metro performance and managing network expansion, addressing cybersecurity risks, and carrying out asset renewals.

Community of Metros News: Nova 2016 Meeting in Lisbon

In September 2016 members of the Nova metro benchmarking group met in Lisbon, hosted by Metropolitano de Lisboa. The extended four-day meeting was attended by representatives from 17 metros. This was the first meeting for the new member Vancouver SkyTrain, who presented an extended introduction to their metro. Berlin BVG metro was also invited as a European CoMET member and presented an extended update of their metro. All other Nova members also had the opportunity to share their latest updates and challenges.

During the meeting benchmarking research results from the past year were presented and discussed. This included the latest key performance indicator results, updates on recent CoMET and Nova research on fares, results of the 2016 international metro customer satisfaction survey, and results of several benchmarking studies. The recent studies on the agenda were Management of Electronic Maintenance, Planning for the Life Cycles of Metro Infrastructure Assets, Safety Culture, and Best Practices in Operating Very High Frequency Metro Services. Meeting attendees also discussed and agreed the work programme for the next year.

In addition, attendees used the metro to travel between the hotel near Saldanha and the meeting venue at Alto dos Moinhos station. The group also visited the Pontinha Depot and Workshop as well as the metro’s Operation Control Centre (OCC). As part of the meeting’s social activities attendees also got to travel on a famous historic tram and visit the Carris Museum.

Community of Metros News: 2016 Safety Culture Expert Workshop in Sunderland, UK

In June 2016 the Community of Metros held an expert workshop on safety culture. The workshop was hosted by Nexus (owner of the Tyne and Wear Metro system) and held jointly with sister benchmarking group ISBeRG, the International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group. Safety experts from 17 organisations – 5 CoMET metros, 7 Nova metros, and 5 ISBeRG railways – attended.

The workshop was held at a unique venue – the Stadium of Light, home to Sunderland A.F.C. and near the metro station of the same name and was recorded in the local press. The workshop was sponsored by the Nova group in conjunction with its 2016 benchmarking research study on Improving Safety Culture and followed a similar ISBeRG study in 2014. Both studies aimed to better understand safety culture and identify how metros and railways have established and improved safety culture.

Over the course of the two-day workshop experts shared experiences, exchanged good practices, and discussed the results of the benchmarking studies. There were also focus sessions on three key topics: responding to and recovering from major incidents, taking a ‘brain-based approach’ to safety, and considering the safety culture of passengers. Finally, the workshop also included two external perspectives: the regulatory view of Safety Culture from the UK Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the trade union view of safety culture from the UK’s National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).

Community of Metros News: CoMET 2016 Management Meeting in Hong Kong

In March 2016 members of the Community of Metros came together for the CoMET 2016 Management Meeting in Hong Kong, hosted by Hong Kong MTR. The meeting was attended by representatives from 13 metro systems across the world. Members were welcomed by MTR CEO Lincoln Leung as the host of the meeting.

Throughout the week, attendees toured Hong Kong MTR’s facilities, including the new Wong Chuk Hang Depot for the new fully automated South Island Line Depot opening in late 2016 and the new HKU Station on the western extension of the Island Line, which opened at the end of 2014. During meeting sessions each metro shared their latest updates, including information about current challenges. Meeting attendees also discussed and selected benchmarking research topics for the coming year.

The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London also presented updates and results of recent benchmarking research. This included key performance indicator benchmarking, recent research on fares and regulation, and results of a recent study entitled ‘Practical Interventions to Improve Trains Service Reliability’.

CoMET and Nova News: CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid

In November 2015, members of the Community of Metros came together for the CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid, hosted by Metro de Madrid. The meeting was attended by representatives from 21 metro systems across the world, the most ever for a CoMET meeting. The meeting was opened by members of the Metro de Madrid executive committee as well as officials from the Madrid Region government.

Representatives from 21 world metro systems at the CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid
Representatives from 21 world metro systems at the CoMET 2015 Annual Meeting in Madrid

Throughout the week, attendees toured Metro de Madrid facilities, including the intermodal stations at Moncloa and Vodafone Sol and the Centre for Operational Maintenance and Monitoring of Installations and Telecommunications (COMMIT). During meeting sessions each metro shared their latest updates, including information about strategies to improve efficiency and productivity. The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) from Imperial College London also presented the results of recent benchmarking research and metro representatives discussed them. The recent benchmarking studies on the agenda were on Best Practices in Operating Very High Frequency Metro Services, the Management of Electronics Maintenance, Multi-Functional Staff, and Customer-Focused Train Design.

Plaza de España Station on Line 3 in Madrid.
Plaza de Espana Station on Line 3 in Madrid

The meeting also included the 6th annual CoMET CEO/COO Day, where senior managers from the metros gathered to discuss Key Performance Indicators as well as topics of key strategic importance, such as managing reinvestment and using multi-functional staff. Finally, after the main meeting there was the first ever CoMET and Nova European Regional Meeting, with representatives from eight European metro systems discussing topics of mutual interest, joined also by the CoMET metros of North America.

Meetings: Nova Annual Meeting 2015, Barcelona

In April 2015, members of the Nova group met in Barcelona for their annual meeting. The group were also joined by CoMET members, Metro de Madrid. The meeting provided an opportunity for members to hear the results of this year’s research. In addition, each member gave a brief update on the current issues in their metro and any changes over the last six months, with opportunity to discuss and ask the advice of peers on relevant topics.

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The hosts, Barcelona TMB arranged fascinating technical visits. The group were honoured to visit the security canine facility and watch a demonstration of the security dogs working. There was also an opportunity to see ‘behind the scenes’ of the new automated line 9. This included an opportunity to meet and ask questions to the multifunctional staff who work on that automated line.

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CoMET and Nova News: CoMET Annual Meeting in Beijing

In November 2014, members of the Community of Metros along with Asian members of Nova came together for the CoMET 2014 Annual Meeting in Beijing by the Beijing Subway. This meeting marked the 20th anniversary of CoMET, and was the largest meeting in CoMET’s history with attendees from 17 metros around the world. The meeting was opened by the Deputy Mayor of Beijing and the Permanent Secretary of the Chinese Ministry of Transport.

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Representatives from 17 world metros at the CoMET 2014 Annual Meeting in Beijing.

Throughout the week, attendees got to tour Beijing Subway’s facilities and observe operations, including visits to the Beijing Subway Rolling Stock Equipment Company, the Songjiazhuan Station (interchange for Lines 5 and 10 and the Yizhuang Line), the Operations Control Centre, and a ride on Line 10, which at 57km is the world’s longest metro loop line (and completely underground).

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Following several years of massive growth, the Beijing Subway is now one of the largest in the world.

During meeting sessions each metro shared their latest updates, including information about recent major incidents. Imperial College London also presented the results of recent research on Station Management and Mobile Technology and Understanding and Using Service Performance Data as well as the results of the first ever international metro customer satisfaction survey that was conducted in 2014. The meeting also included the 5th annual CoMET CEO/COO Day, where presidents and directors from the metros gathered to discuss metro Key Performance Indicators as well as topics of key strategic and tactical importance.

After the main meeting there was a CoMET and Nova Asian Regional Meeting attended by 9 of the 10 Asian members of CoMET and Nova. Representatives from the metros of Kunming and Chongqing also attended as observers and potential members of the new third sub-group of CoMET for new and growing metros. The Regional Meeting focused on key topics for Asian metros, including cost recovery, rapid growth, and rescuing efficiency.

 

CoMET and Nova News: Delhi Metro Hosts Nova Management Meeting

In September 2014, members of the Nova metro benchmarking group met in Delhi for their yearly management meeting, hosted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. This was the first meeting for new members Oslo Sporveien, who presented an extended introduction to their metro. Excitingly, the meeting was also attended by the metros of Bangalore and Chennai, who were invited to attend as observers with a view to joining a new benchmarking group for new and rapidly-growing metros.

Meeting attendees agreed the work programme for the next year, as well as hearing reports on the previous year’s research including key performance indicator benchmarking, and the international metro customer satisfaction survey. In addition, attendees visited the metro and its operational centres to learn more about Delhi Metro’s operations in detail. The visit to the training school and simulator building was a particular highlight – here Delhi Metro is training staff not only for their own rapid expansion, but also for other new metros throughout India.

Nova members view simulators at Delhi Metro's training centre
Nova members view simulators at Delhi Metro’s training centre

As a result of its rapid growth, Delhi Metro will be moving in 2015 to the CoMET benchmarking group for the world’s largest metros. This was therefore a valuable opportunity for Nova members to see Delhi’s metro in action. RTSC and the members of Nova thank Delhi DMRC for their efforts in organising an interesting and productive meeting.

Expert Workshop: Energy Saving Strategies

Experts from 19 urban railways met to discuss energy saving strategies at a workshop hosted by TMB Barcelona. Fifteen CoMET and Nova metros and four suburban railway operators were represented at the workshop, which built on the CoMET 2012 ‘Energy Saving Strategies’ research project.
Over two days, attendees investigated the measures taken by metros to improve energy efficiency and the factors affecting metro energy consumption; and sought to share good practice in management and procurement of energy.
The workshop brought together energy experts from metros and railways, in a confidential environment to allow experts to share new ideas and take away evidence of successful practices and lessons learnt elsewhere. The workshop also helps build a network of peer contacts to enable ongoing collaboration between energy experts.
In addition to brief energy introduction presentations from each participating operator, the workshop included detailed discussion of traction energy, non-traction energy, energy supply & monitoring, and carbon emissions; a presentation on the SEAM4US European research project, and technical visits to see Barcelona TMB’s high voltage substation.