While new trains often steal the headlines, the existing Porterbrook fleet, both passenger and freight rolling stock, forms a major part of the portfolio. Optimisation of the fleet, Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) characteristics are at the heart of the business. Whether the relationship with the Operator is based on a Dry Lease (operator conducts all maintenance activities) or of a Soggy Lease nature (Porterbrook takes responsibility for heavy maintenance arrangements) a consistent interface is maintained. Definition of the fleet management responsibilities is at the heart of a positive relationship with the operators, and effort is placed on achieving this clarity.

Porterbrook conducts and facilitates a wide range of vehicle refurbishment and reliability programmes that are bringing a number of elements together; vehicle overhaul, passenger enhancement and reliability improvements in a most effective and collaborative manner.

These types of activities are essential if the industry is to offer true value for money as the demand for the services which Porterbrook offers continues to grow.

Recognising the legislative requirements which come into force on 31st December 2019 regarding ‘Persons with Reduced Mobility (PRM)’, Porterbrook is continuously working with the Department for Transport to agree what needs to be done to each fleet that it owns. Effort is being placed in taking this work forward to ensure that the continued operation of the fleet is not compromised.

Fundamentally, Porterbrook’s aim in the coming years is to not only continue with our investment in new trains for the UK rail industry but to also further improve the RAMS characteristics and passenger environment of its existing fleet by working closely with the train operators and suppliers to identify opportunities.

In taking this approach Porterbrook has achieved accreditation under the RISAS scheme. The decision to implement these arrangements builds upon the existing processes within the business, allowing these to be developed to optimise the approach being taken, embedding the principles of continuous improvement in everything that Porterbrook does.