Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)


Reactive & PPM Maintenance






Since 2003



The Brief

Southern and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) required a one-stop-shop to manage and maintain electrical assets across their railway estate. The framework was established to prolong the life span of electrical assets and ensure functionality.

KH Engineering Services (KHES) are the electrical reactive and planned preventative maintenance (PPM) contractor across 238 Southern and GTR stations. The contract was initially introduced to manage and maintain Southern stations but was later expanded to encompass the GTR franchise. The contract was first awarded to KHES in 2003 and our experience and agility has ensured we have held this contract ever since.

The broad nature of the contract is to cover faults on electrical assets, planned preventative maintenance, associated remedial works and small independent projects.

With stringent Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) necessary to mitigate health and safety issues, electrical faults are supported 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through a dedicated in-house helpdesk. Within this contract there is particular emphasis on station lighting to ensure a safe railway environment at all times.

The annual PPM covers 3 hour emergency lighting testing, light cleaning, functionality testing and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) testing. The objective is to prolong the lifecycle of all electrical Southern & GTR assets and ensure they are operating at full functional capacity.

The Approach

The dedicated management team for this framework comprises several office based staff who work solely on this contract. The operatives are all in-house and are electrically competent and (Personal Track Safety) PTS qualified to ensure health & and safety is at the forefront of our delivery stream whilst incorporating their expertise to maximise efficiency through first time fixes.

Further training that all engineers undertake includes:
- International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) allowing competence with cherry pickers and the like.
- Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers' Association (PASMA) promoting best practice when using mobile towers
- Column training, ensuring the heavy lighting columns can be raised, lowered and installed correctly
- Abrasive Wheels training course, to manage this particular risk properly
- IHasco covering such things as diversity, asbestos awareness, working at height, etc
- Electro-technical Certification scheme, (ECS), ensuring electrical competence

Engineers receive frequent tool box talks to ensure they are informed on safe work practices and new initiatives.

Our help desk receive work notifications via email during working hours or via telephone for out of hour’s calls, which are taken by the on-call engineer. All work notifications raised by the client are recorded on the central web based portal – Asset Pro from which weekly, monthly and annual reports are produced to support Southern & and GTR’s continuous improvement programme.

Once a job has been raised, the helpdesk will coordinate the necessary resources taking into account SLA priority and location. We hold van stock to address the most common faults and a wider selection at our dedicated service centre as well as having our primary wholesalers hold a bespoke set of materials for delivery to site. Engineer’s works or health and safety concerns are raised to the Train Operating Companies (TOC’s) as improvement opportunities.

Whilst on site the engineers will carry out site checks to identify any associated necessary additional works and produce an asset condition report. We hold an asset register for lamps across the Southern area which details plant required to access them and whether line blocks would be needed.

An example of additional works that have taken place to compliment efficiencies are the intrusive surveys carried out on lighting columns across the entire GTR estate.

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The Challenges

- Working within an operating rail environment
- Coordinating engineers to complete works
- Meeting stringent SLA's

The Delivery

The performance of this contract is not solely appraised on timely achievement of completion of works issued but the attention applied to consistently report faults and issues, identifying improvement opportunities and producing records around the client’s assets; overall it is the support KHES provide the client to improve their franchise.

Over the past two decades KHES has been relied upon by its clients for its technical expertise and our extensive knowledge and understanding of the railway infrastructure, which has resulted in the repeated renewal of this contract.

The Outcome

Key statistics of performance:

- Since contract award, KHES have completed 60% of all works as first time fixes.
- 95% achievement of SLA’s
- Implementation of column lowering forms created by KHES for all of GTR’s clients
- Production and sharing of hundreds of close calls
- Developed an unsurpassed series of records for every asset
- Managed the entire database of all client faults on all station based assets
- Enjoyed an industry wide reputation for agility and efficiency
- Maintained a strong health and safety record.