Research: Train Driver Productivity

A Nova research study on train driver productivity aimed to identify the most important factors that influence driver efficiency, understand what methods operators have successfully used to modernise restrictions to working arrangements and identify the scope for metros to modify the most important constraints, rules and parameters that have a negative effect on both driver productivity and costs.

The study found that metros need to have sufficiently flexible labour rules to achieve higher levels of driver productivity. Correlating the level of working time flexibility with driver productivity showed that less restricted metros were more productive than metros that face stricter constraints. Organisations with part time drivers and / or the ability to utilise split shifts were associated with higher levels of driver productivity and increased effectiveness of driver time at work (better able to cover ‘peaks and troughs’ in service). Moreover, it was found that variable shift lengths were arguably more effective than split shifts for metros with a flatter service profile, allowing metro managers to adjust shift schedules as necessary and to avoid the build up (unproductive time) of staff during less busy and off peak periods. In the long term, savings from increased flexibility could more than offset the higher driver wages associated with greater flexibility. Increasing automation of train services through automatic train turnaround, remote booking-on for drivers and driverless trains can positively influence driver productivity and allow driver roles to be deployed more effectively through more customer facing roles.

It is hoped that the information contained within this study can be used to support negotiations with labour unions, government and other key stakeholders by showing evidence of how “imposed” restrictions may impact an organisation’s ability to improve and manage productivity.

Metro News: Guangzhou Metro develops new CBTC system

In cooperation with the China Railway Academy of Science and Technology, Guangzhou Metro has successfully developed a new CBTC signaling system which has now passed the scientific and technological achievement appraisal by Guangdong Province, China. This is an important achievement because the number of CBTC systems on offer is currently very limited.

The technical design of the MTC-I CBTC program was finished in 2008, experimental testing was finished in 2009, and field trials were conducted in 2010. Meanwhile, the CBTC system has received third party safety certification by Lloyds, and safety certification of related subsystems including computer-based interlocking system platform, trackside controller subsystem, on-board ATP subsystem, FIMI fail-safe intelligent input and output modules, axle counter (Safety Integrity Level 4) and ATS system(Safety Integrity Level 2). The system uses wireless communication based moving block technology. The achievement of scientific and technological identification and third-party safety certification has enabled the MTC-I CBTC signaling system to move into the engineering application stage.

News Blog

This page is the news blog for CoMET and Nova, the world’s metro benchmarking groups. The blog will cover the news from the groups, including latest research, meetings and expert workshops, and news from member metros.