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The magazine for everyone at London Midland

men of

metal 08 Team talk at Tyseley

inside this issue... ISSUE 1 | JULY/AUGUST 2011




colleagues in this issue of Between the Lines

First of all, welcome to your new colleague magazine – Between the Lines. I’m Steve, a technician at Worcester and I’m guest editing this first edition.

All the latest news

new station building


60% 80%


we like being green! 100%

Wolverton Station

Work on the new £2.2 million station building at Wolverton is underway.

Steve it’s all about you...


There will be no disruption to train services, or to colleagues’ and customers’ journeys to and from the platforms. Although, there will be fewer car parking spaces at the station than usual until the building is complete. For more information visit wolvertonstation

We’ve become the first UK TOC to equip 100 per cent of our electric train fleet with energy meters. This means that we’ll only be paying for the electricity that our 159 electric trains consume, and we’ll be able to reduce the amount of energy we use. Over time, this will save up to 20 per cent of our £15 million electricity bill, and it will cut our annual carbon emissions from 98,000 to 78,000 tons. Although the use of on-train energy meters is increasingly commonplace in mainland Europe, we’re the first UK company to use this technology on all of our electric fleet. Programme Director Mike Haigh says: “If trains can tell us ‘how they are feeling’, we can resolve issues before they become a problem and give our customers a more reliable service.” We’re also contributing to Department for Transport and Network Rail research on industry energy use and sharing good practice with our European counterparts.

covaersr st

The Heavy Maintenance team at Tyseley

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Between the Lines magazine is designed and produced by scarlettabbott – 01904 633399 | your quick stop for the latest news from across London Midland – follow it along the bottom of Between the Lines.

� thank you the hundreds of you who voted for our internal magazine’s new name. Congratulations to Simon Barker, from Watford Junction, who was chosen at random and wins high street vouchers!

20% We’ll soon be launching our own iPhone App – and it’s free! Our App has similar features to the award-winning UK Train Times App, but with a host of added extras. There’s a journey planner, live departure and arrival boards, ‘next train home’ information, ‘automatically find your nearest station’ facility (based on your current location), live disruption and a ‘contact us’ page. Coming soon… there’ll be a quick response code reader, live Twitter feed and delay repay integration, so that customers can submit a delay repay form straight from their iPhone App. You’ll be able to download the London Midland iPhone App by searching ‘London Midland’ in Our new app the Apple App store soon.

customer comment On Monday 27 June at Euston departure platform 16, a service was delayed. Customers were sent to platform 16 (and I did think ‘crowd control!’). Eventually, clear information was provided about why we were delayed outside a locked train – the information was clear and informative. Once on the train, (delayed by about 20 minutes), the guard apologised for the delay, explained what had happened and the impact on customers and our arrival time. The announcement was articulate, clear and helpful and repeated along the journey. As a customer, somewhat frustrated on a hot and sticky day by another delay, it felt as if I was considered as a customer and thought of and supported appropriately. Evidence of a very good professional at work. Lynne Button, Action on Hearing Loss

� did you know

saving in time

We take crime against our colleagues, our customers and our company, very seriously. Statistically, serious attacks on our colleagues and customers are rare, but we take each and every incident seriously by properly investigating and working with law enforcement agencies. Here are some recent cases.

smile for the camera A customer verbally abused one of our conductors on a service between Birmingham New Street and Northampton. The man was found guilty of intentionally causing a person harassment, alarm or distress. He appeared in court and was given an 80 hour Community Order, ordered to pay £75 compensation and £85 costs. CCTV footage helped to assist this conviction.

don’t mess with us A member of the team at Watford Junction barrier asked to see a customer’s ticket. The customer refused, became abusive and grabbed the colleague around the neck; swinging a punch. The man appeared in court and was fined £175 and ordered to pay £115 costs.

improper conduct A customer on the Hereford Line physically assaulted and threatened one of our conductors with a meat cleaver. Thankfully no one was hurt. The man was charged with assault, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of a Class B controlled drug. He was jailed for eight weeks.

we’re not mugs A customer was mugged on board one of our trains between Walsall and Birmingham New Street as the doors opened at Aston. A fingerprint identified a possible suspect, and further investigation of CCTV footage led to an arrest and charge of attempted robbery. The man is currently on remand in prison.


c’mon get ‘appy’


A gang of five cable thieves, responsible for thefts across Nuneaton and Bedworth, are behind bars. During an 18-month crime-wave they stole 27 tonnes of cable, causing 322 hours of delays from lines across the country. The thefts also cost the taxpayer almost £1 million as Network Rail had to foot a £933,896 repair and charge bill. The five, all from Derbyshire, were sentenced to a combined total of over 32 years in prison.

that we’re now recycling 79 per cent of our depot and station waste? If you want to know more about this, please contact Sara Burd or Kathryn Jaques.



Because we’re w rth it!

Every day we do some pretty amazing things for our colleagues and customers. It’s nice to be appreciated for it too. So, if you know of a colleague or team who has ‘gone that extra mile’ at work for their customers, colleagues or the business in general, why not nominate them for an award?


ou can nominate anyone for a London Midland Ambassador Award and anyone can nominate you, and that includes customers as well as colleagues. Ambassador Award winners receive £100 in vouchers, teams receive £200 to share, and a certificate and limited edition ‘ambassador’ pin badge. To find out more about the award categories and to nominate your colleagues, go to ‘Working here’ on our intranet at

“It’s inspiring to see how many amazing things colleagues do every day to help deliver an exceptional service to our customers.” Gilbert Fraser Head of Safety and Standards, 102 New Street

Our ‘nomination panel’ say... Our nomination panel really do want to recognise as many people as possible. So we asked them for their top tips for getting a ‘winning’ nomination...

“We spend a great deal of time scrutinising and debating nominations. To give your nomination the best chance of success, take the time to read the guidelines at and explain why your nomination is outstanding.” Richard Baker Engagement Manager, 102 New Street

“If you feel that people really deserve to be nominated, please do put them forward and include as much information as possible.” John Mills Depot Manager, New Street

“Include plenty of detail and information which shows why that person deserves to win an award.” Mark Stubbs Lead Senior Conductor Manager, Snow Hill Lines

“I’d love to see more nominations on innovation. I’m sure that there are many people with great ideas making a difference to customers and saving time or money.”

“I manage 26 controllers, one of whom is Andy Crump, who recently became the proud owner of an Ambassador Award for some ‘off duty’ customer service. Having seen Andy’s pride at being nominated and receiving an award, I hope others are inspired to go that extra mile.” Rob Hornsey Control Manager, Mailbox

Ruth Noake Organisation Development Manager, 102 New Street

“We’re passionate about recognising excellence. A good nomination has lots of information and detail in it.” Anna Maria Izzard Customer Service Manager, Milton Keynes

“These awards recognise and reward colleagues who go the extra mile. If you want to nominate someone, make sure that you include a detailed description of what they have done or are doing and how it has had a positive impact on the business.” Cheryl Sutcliffe Shared Services Human Resources Assistant, 102 New Street

We’ve also teamed up with the RailStaff Awards to share the great things we are doing with other colleagues from across the industry. All of our Ambassador Award winners will automatically be nominated for a RailStaff Award. These are our industry’s national awards, the ‘Oscars’ of the rail world, which recognise and reward excellence. Find out more about the RailStaff Awards at


, s e engirn eggae

! h s a m and

323 Engineering If variety is the spice of life, our Class ly ‘well seasoned’. Technician Garry Matthews is definite Here’s a flavour of a day in his life… My job is to make sure that our fleet of electric trains is operating and that they are safe and reliable. The trains are technically quite complex, which makes my job challenging and demanding, but I like the variety that brings. I work closely with the production managers, fleet engineer, workshop technicians and suppliers on anything and everything technical from installations, maintenance and fault finding to warranty and repairs.


so I’m looking forward to I also assist in developing mentoring/training more colleagues modifications to improve reliability. in the future. I enjoy sharing my Today is Monday and I’m on experience and skills and won a Gold an early shift working 6.30am to award for my involvement with the 3.30pm. Mondays are always busy. C6 programme for 323 I’m reviewing any technical door refurbishment. incidents that our fleet has new to reggae When I finish my had over the weekend and shift later I’ll head reporting any reliability and ska? Garry recommends home for dinner issues into our team you listen to Legend by with my wife. meeting at 8am. I’m also Bob Marley and Studio I play guitar in updating our performance One by The Specials. a reggae and ska management system ‘Bugle’ band called ICON for miles per casualty and and tonight we’re cancellation budgets and checking rehearsing for a charity gig. national incident reports for any Next week, I’m on an afternoon technical faults that are 323 related. shift so I’ll get a lie-in, which will Later I’m training some Railcare be nice! Although I’m always doing colleagues on new door control units something so I’ll probably end up at and door operation. I’ve completed guitar practice, fishing, a PTLLS qualification (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector), or riding my motorbike.


quickfire Chips or mash... Mash, definitely City break or beach paradise ... Always the beach Cheryl Cole or Nicole Scherzinge r... Cheryl Cole Gym addict or couch potato ... A bit of both Toots and The Maytals or The Specials... Toots and the Maytals Football or rugby... Football Pie or salad... Salad


how we’re doing


num63r5 How we’re performing

This year we’re off to a great start by achieving record-breaking performance in industry Period 2. Our PPM finished at 94.1 per cent – the highest in our company history. Thanks to you, our delay minutes and cancellations also reduced to record levels.

our performance 2010/2011


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s you know, we had a ‘rollercoaster’ 12 months in 2010/2011. It started well with a good summer, but then declined as we experienced difficult autumn conditions. During the winter months, when the country was struggling to deal with snowfall and exceptionally low and prolonged freezing temperatures, our infrastructure, fleet and train operations were affected. In Worcester, temperatures were so low that the diesel fuel wouldn’t flow to the engines! As we emerged from the winter it was clear, as with most other UK TOCs, that with all of these factors affecting us we wouldn’t achieve our year-end targets. It’s sometimes the case in difficult circumstances like this, that the choice is for us to run as many trains as possible, even if they are late, or to run fewer trains and aim to run them on time. Our priority was quickly set on providing the most services we could, and most customers appreciated this was the right thing to do. Our routes remained open during the worst of the weather and our trains ran to the normal timetable. As the weather improved we experienced a brief return to form. However, industrial relations issues then caused a rise in cancellations which, although now amicably resolved, prevented a stronger recovery. Still, we weren’t far off and it proves we can do it!

� thank you...

our performance 2011/2012 – the future

PPM MAA (Our Public Performance Measure Moving Annual Average)

Target – 90.2% Result



CASL MAA (Our Cancellation and Significant Lateness measure)

This is a new measure and covers all trains that terminated at least 30 minutes late at destination, or that were cancelled at some point on their journey. Target – 2.68% Result



Period 1 and Period 2 kick-start what we hope will be a great year in terms of our performance, safety, revenue and colleague and customer satisfaction. Our targets for 2011/2012 are: � PPM MAA target for 31 March 2012 is 90.4% � PPM for LSE services is 90.9% � PPM for regional services is 90.1% � CASL MAA target is 2.28% � LM delay minutes MAA target is 11,385 minutes.

more than





customer complaints The number of customer complaints dropped by more than 50 per cent to 3,739 in Period 12 compared with the previous periods, which have seen more than 7,000 complaints, and there’s still room for improvement.

everyone for playing your part in helping us to be better. We aspire to be a modern railway company delivering a punctual service, informing and putting our customers at ease by doing our utmost to make their day go well.


how we


In Period 2 (1-28 May) our PPM punctuality figures were above 90 per cent every day, and our period PPM finished at 94.1 per cent – a record high in our company history. This beats our previous best of 93.3 per cent (August 2010).

delay minutes


We caused 6,780 minutes, beating our previous best of 7,548 (set in August 2010).

We’ve also beaten our records for cancellations too. The number of trains we cancelled down – due to all causes – easily beat the previous best period set in August % 2010 by more than 15 per cent.







Period 2 up



more customers Our customer journey growth figure for Period 2 was up 4.9 per cent on the same period last year to 4,300,000 customers.

Regional PPM (Non-London Services)









London Midland PPM

London and South Eastern PPM

London Midland MAA

customer satisfaction




Our Spring 2011 National Passenger Survey satisfaction score is 83 per cent – down three per cent compared with Spring 2010. Customer patience was tested during the period of the Spring survey due to train disruption. This was down to driver shortages during the ASLEF dispute over train drivers’ terms and conditions, which is now resolved. Our score for overall satisfaction is just slightly below the 84 per cent national percentage of customers who are satisfied with their journey. Commercial Director Alex Hynes, says: “It’s pleasing to note that customer satisfaction with the attitude and helpfulness of colleagues on board our trains has increased by six per cent, which reflects your hard work.”


� tell us




90.2% 89.4%




In each edition of Between the Lines, find out how our PPM compares with the rest.






100 98 96 94 92 % 90 88 86 84 82 80


how we can continue to improve our performance by emailing your suggestions to




(PPM latest MAA Period 2)

Performance Process Manager Nathan Thompson breaks it down: “We’re currently at number 12 (out of 19) in the nationwide PPM league table at 89.7 per cent PPM MAA. That’s 1.1 per cent below the average for all franchise operators. “Importantly, we are one of only five operators to improve our PPM for Period 2, increasing it by 0.3 per cent compared to the same period last year, so we are catching up. Our sister companies Southern and Southeastern currently lie 0.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent below us, with Southeastern also starting to see an improvement year on year. “Our fellow West Coast operator Virgin West Coast, is in 18th place, with a 1.4 per cent reduction compared to last year. We’ve both been heavily affected by infrastructure reliability on West Coast South.”


team focus

inside ur p werh use The essential ingredient to a reliable fleet is regular maintenance. In fact, thorough ‘heavy maintenance’ is key. If we can’t depend on our equipment, we simply can’t function – particularly when it comes to our own rolling stock and that of our customers…

A We’re known as… The Heavy Maintenance team You’ll find us at… Tyseley depot There are… 14 of us, that’s two team leaders, seven technicians and five assistant technicians It takes… about four days to complete a heavy maintenance ‘overhaul’ Personal safety… is important, that’s why we wear the right PPE for the job – overalls, boots, a hard hat and safety glasses are the minimum and we use ear protection when needed Accidents at work… are rare, our work could be dangerous, but we mitigate that by being very keen on health and safety at work.

pproximately every four years, our vehicles need a heavy maintenance overhaul. And our Heavy Maintenance team at Tyseley do exactly as the name suggests, the ‘heavy work’. Team leaders, technicians and assistant technicians work together to repair and replace all of the major components on the lower part of the train. Once a vehicle comes into the depot, it is raised on jacks and the bogies are removed and sent away to a specialist facility for overhaul. The Tyseley team then remove, and repair or replace, a number of the lower components of the vehicle, such as air valves, batteries, couplers and drive shafts. These are then put back on the vehicle and thoroughly tested. Heavy maintenance overhauls are meticulously planned and the team follows robust processes every step of the way, so that the work is completed to the highest quality before it is finally tested and delivered back into service in good working order, and on time.

“It’s dirty work, but we’re used to it,” says Technician Nick Matthews. “You can imagine the muck that accumulates under a train over a couple of years. Put it this way, most of the time we go to work clean, but don’t often return home that way,” he jokes.

the experts It may well be dirty work, but it’s highly specialised, something that certainly instils pride in Nick and his colleagues. “We’re the only permanent Level 5 Heavy Maintenance team at London Midland and the only team carrying out heavy maintenance on diesel trains,” he says. “We’re very proud of our work and of our technical expertise.” Assistant Technician Frank Smith agrees: “We have great camaraderie at work. We laugh, we joke and we get on with it.” As well as being essential to the smooth operation of our own rail services, heavy maintenance overhauls at

Tyseley are increasingly lucrative. In the past year, we’ve overhauled 68 vehicles for customers including First Great Western, London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (Lorol), National Express East Anglia (NXEA), Porterbrook and Angel Trains. Head of Supplier Services Tim Harper is working with colleagues to win more work to further increase our income. Head of Fleet Production Tony Brown says: “We’ve won a lot of work from other TOCs, which is making the most of the team’s expertise and our depot facilities. We’re overhauling up to two customer vehicles a week, which is a significant income stream for the business.” Production Support Manager Nick Silver liaises with our Procurement team, as well as suppliers and customers, to ensure that when a vehicle arrives at the depot, the team has everything they need to carry out a C4. “Overhauls are planned work, which means that we’re able to



members in the team at Tyseley

prepare well in advance for them,” says Nick. “Once all of the parts, kit and equipment arrive we are ready to start. The team leaders and I monitor quality throughout the process and before the units go back into operation. “If we don’t do our jobs properly we receive a warranty claim from the affected third party. Any rectification work comes straight off the bottom line. I’m pleased to say though, that it happens rarely nowadays; we’re good and thorough. What matters most to this team is that their work is of the best quality and that trains go back out on time. They’re a good team and I’m very proud of the quality of their work.”

“You never quite know what’s around the corner in this line of work and that’s what makes it interesting. The older the fleet, the more demanding it is, and so the most straightforward job can end up being very complicated. I’m now working towards an NVQ in Traction and Rolling Stock so that I can update my skills and hopefully become a technician. Why? Well the pay is better for a start, but I also want to prove to myself that I can, and to help the company!” technician frank smith, assistant

the team at tysel ey from back l-r: Ric Neil donovan, Grhard skinner, neil brown, nic aham armstrong, cudd, Gary cass,k matthews, robert Eugene quirk, Nicfrank smith, k silver


172 fleet launch

they’re here! T

Our new generation of Turbostar trains – the Class 172 – makes its debut on routes serving our Birmingham Snow Hill and Moor Street stations at the end of August.

he modern fleet includes 12 Class 172/2 two car trains and 15 Class 172/3 three car trains, which boast state-of-the-art technology and ‘mod cons’ including air conditioning, 2x2 seating and the latest customer information system. They replace most of our ageing Class 150 trains. Head of Fleet Projects Graham Boden says: “The Class 172 is finally here, and will have a huge impact when introduced both for us and for our customers. The train features everything you’d expect from a modern train. The interiors are bright, spacious and comfortable and there will be dramatic improvement to the customer environment compared with the 25-year-old Class 150s. We are confident that our customers will respond with improving satisfaction scores.” A team of our people have been working with Bombardier behind the scenes since mid-2008 to project manage the fleet’s design, construction and testing. Most recently, our 172 project, fleet and operations teams have developed and delivered training courses for colleagues who will be working with the new train.

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Adam winkworth, john mcdermott and

� thanks to everyone

daniel shears test out the new 172

who made the most of our cycle2work scheme – it was a great success. More than 210 colleagues took part – that’s nine per cent of you – making our take up better than the national average!


new 172 trains to replace our ageing 150 trains rs R DRIVING instructo 172 training for ou


Photograph by Steve Widdowson

the training materials and has trained some Class 172 Operations Implementation Project drivers from Tyseley depot, says: “Driver training Manager Adam Winkworth says: “Our new fleet takes between four and seven days, depending is designed very much with our customers and on each person’s experience of driving a colleagues in mind. For drivers, the cab has been modern disk-brake train. First, we run through ergonomically designed so that controls are the technical and operational within easy reach and the driver detail, before going on board can sit comfortably with a clear “The Class 172 is finally so that drivers can familiarise view ahead. The space inside the here, and will have a huge themselves with the cab, the trains makes it easier for fleet impact when introduced equipment and learn how to teams, drivers and conductors prepare the train for a journey. to move around and operate both for us and for “Then we take them out doors and disabled access ramps our customers.” so they can drive the train and at stations.” get a feel for speed and braking He adds: “Since March, we’ve characteristics. They always want to know about been working with our driver instructors to any ‘quirks’ the train has as well. develop a training package for 150 drivers and “The senior conductor training takes two all of our senior conductors, who will work with days and covers all of the practical elements the fleet. The training was rolled out from June.” of their job, including safe door operation, Driver Instructor John McDermott, who customer service and how to use the new along with fellow instructors Daniel Shears, wheelchair ramps.” Andy Gardner and Mick Kerry, helped to prepare

better security

Four internal colour CCTV cameras automatically record and store footage to an on board computer. This can be downloaded via cables or a secure wireless connection to help with investigations into criminal or anti-social incidents. Each driving cab also has a forward view camera, which is similar to what the driver sees, and can be used to provide valuable evidence to support investigations.

John adds: “I enjoy training crew on a new fleet. There’s a nice sense of achievement from starting on a completely new traction. Once we’ve put people through their paces they are assessed by a driver manager and when they pass all the standards they are ready to work the trains.” Look out for the new fleet… coming soon.



inside the 172

The Class 172 has some new features designed to improve customer environment, information, security and access. � 2x2 seating � air conditioning � more leg room � disabled access toilet � spacious and bright interior � boarding ramp

� priority seating � open vestibules � on train customer information system � unit-end corridor connections � selective door operation.

� look out for...

new Stop Boards appearing at stations.


try and drink at least


litres of water a day

We’re talking... healthy eating!

mission possible! Our Facilities Data Administrator Emma Morgan and Senior Conductor Manager Simon James are reinventing themselves – they’re working towards achieving a healthier state of body and mind!

Simon James

The good news is, that at the start of their voyage of rediscovery, they’re both feeling motivated and will be sharing their tips and tricks with us along the way. You never know, you might just get bitten by the reinvention bug yourselves…

“Initially my motivation was to lose some weight and tone up, but after the first six weeks, I know I’ve been bitten by the fitness bug. I now want to gain lean muscle and to build my body strength. Maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of helping me to achieve these goals. For me, there are three important things to remember: when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat. If I can start to get these things right then I’ll be well on my way to success. After all, I can do all the stomach crunches in the world, but there’s no point trying to build the perfect ‘six-pack’ if I’m going to hide it under a layer of fat.”

Wise words... “Your body is your engine. Power it with healthy food and keep it hydrated.”

Simon's top tips water � Drink plenty of a day) (at least two litres ty and � Try to avoid fat processed food

Emma's top tips

� Eat little an d often and ALWAYS eat br eakfast � Try not to sn ack after 7pm


“I worked in the fitness industry for about five years before I joined London Midland. I have a Certificate of Higher Education in Physiotherapy, a BTEC in Sports Science and I’m qualified in sports massage. So, when it comes to taking care of myself, I do know what’s important. But since becoming a working mum I’ve been using my son as an excuse for my lazy eating habits and lack of fitness. It’s time to change that. I want to tone up, lose a few inches and be happy. I’m a bit scared about jumping back into the world of health and fitness. It isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of work, but I know it will be worth it.”

Wise words...

“It’s not about being thin, it’s about being healthy.”

“A few of my colleagues are on different healthy eating plans. It’s nice to know that if I’m having a bad day, which I sometimes do, they support me and vice versa. I’d recommend teaming up with some of your colleagues so that you can help to keep each other motivated.” EMMA



did you know... of communication is non-verbal

Your regular ‘how to’ guide offers advice and tips and tricks to help improve your skills at work, and for life.

communicate more effectively

1 2 It takes two

Being a good co mmunicator doesn’t alway s come easily, but a good thin g to know is when to talk an d when to liste n. If you can’t lis ten, you can’t learn. Communicatio n should be two-way.


Say what?

say What you say and how you it makes a difference to how clear, people respond to you. Be ‘human’ and positive – and it always helps to share success!

Be ‘self-aware’

More than 90 per cent of communication is non-verbal. This includes everything from the way we dress and do our hair, our body language, posture and eye contact, to our overall attitude and demeanour. Be confident.


Give your team a huddle…

w that 60 per cent of Managers: did you kno es team remembers com the information your u? yo h wit s ion sat ver from face-to-face con get together for Hold a huddle – a quick t you can give the whole team – so tha day or week the people direction for update or ick qu a e vid ahead, pro ent. urg prioritise anything


y savv mail Get ext messages, emails acreanone of

ey Like te ys. d yet th reted an unicate nowada rp te in is m m t be m o u c o b ways we il think a n the main u write an ema icatio n u o m y m re Befo on. ght co onversati it’s the ri whether ur information/c rds for yo key wo channel , remember our n: clear, o If it is ti munica m o c r ive. fo nd posit human a



14,000 and

through 16,000 journeys Euston every weekday

Head of Service Delivery Paul Harding tackles one of the big issues we face...

crowd control

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overcrowding, bring customer complaints Euston station around service quality. Overcrowding can is the busiest also be unpleasant and stressful. ‘mixed traffic’ rail route So, to mitigate the risk of overcrowding in Europe. It’s estimated and to deal with it when it happens, that it serves more than 70 million customers we plan for it. Day-to-day we follow a Euston each year. A combination of customer, Disruptions Guide. It talks colleagues freight and long-distance trains through what to do when disruption sharing four tracks, makes rush hours occurs to help maintain at Euston challenging. the service and minimise Plus, our commuter “At its worst it is significantly the risk of overcrowding. routes into and challenging, but chaos it We look to put on extra out of Euston are is not. Our people are services with additional popular with our constantly working hard stops and work with customers who make to mitigate any risks to other providers to transfer between 14,000 our services and prevent customers where needed. and 16,000 journeys overcrowding at Euston.” I chair the London and every weekday. South East Performance So, when services Improvement Group, which monitors are delayed, cancelled or affected by operational performance issues at Euston. incidents elsewhere, regular service can We also make sure that we give customers be disrupted. The impact that this has as much information as they need so they on our actual operational performance can make their own travel pattern choices. leads to overcrowding at Euston and, In fact, we’ve been praised for our use of if not managed well, can become a Twitter, which helps customers to keep big issue for us and other operators. up-to-date on developments. Delays, cancellations and the resulting

London Midland at Euston

� 15 train dispatchers � 15 revenue sales colleagues � five managers � four service controllers � 12 cleaners � six gate line barrier colleagues work at the station � we operate on four main lines into the station and share another with London Overground Rail Operations Ltd (LOROL).

Bi-monthly ‘Meet the Manager’ sessions also enable customers to have a direct conversation with us about any issues. Sadly, verbal assault is a common feature of working life for our team. It isn’t tolerated, but does happen. So colleagues receive regular customer service training on conflict resolution. We support people who have been verbally assaulted through our employee assistance programme. Most of the time we perform at between 88 and 89 per cent PPM – it’s the nature of things here with so many external factors impacting on us. However, when everything goes according to plan it does work well. We recently beat our delay target by 64 per cent, which is a great achievement for 2010/2011. Then on Monday 13 June, we achieved 100 per cent performance during the evening peak time (4-7pm). The station was incredibly busy, but ran well without any external influences or concerns. It was a fantastic team result. At its worst it is significantly challenging, but chaos it is not. At its best, and I’ll quote a customer here, ‘we’re as efficient as German engineering!’. Our people are constantly working hard to mitigate any risks to our services and to prevent overcrowding at Euston. We’re also continually monitoring, reviewing and planning for the future. Paul Harding, Head of Service Delivery, London Euston





are a very positive thing


Advertising and Campaigns Manager 102 New Street, Birmingham

Depot Manager Worcester Shrub Hill

Two colleagues, ten questions – let’s see how their answers compare... I look at all of our services and identify where the opportunities are to sell them. I then work with design and media agencies and tourism partners to ensure that we talk to as many people as possible through online, poster, leaflet and broadcast advertising campaigns. The aim – to get more bums on seats!

Challenging. Enjoyable. Hectic.

And the year ahead?

Our price offers are capturing public interest and are delivering a healthy return.

What’s going well?

Coming up with the next big idea, then reaching the widest audience in the most cost-effective and creative way.

The 1:1s are a very positive thing. People are learning more about the wider company goals and targets and translating them into their day-to-day roles. Understanding the ‘bigger picture’ is also empowering. The risk of noise from our depot activities is affecting our neighbours. This is something which we are working to resolve.

Describe ‘success’ for you and your team? One day I’m…

Is that our customers are happy and keep using London Midland.

Delivering clean, reliable, punctual trains for our customers, without accident or incident, and enjoying it.

Checking our servicing quality.

And the next I’m…

Planning Christmas promotions, in July!

Difficult. Unpredictable. Ultimately satisfying. The team’s done a great job.

Full of opportunities: for me to develop as a manager, to improve our working environment, and to be more involved in the wider business. Our fleet function has also just become the first within London Midland to roll out 1:1 personal development meetings, which is great.

And the challenges?

Analysing sales statistics and doing deals with the media, whilst checking out what our competitors are doing.

I make great cakes.

I manage the team here – 18 people – who work hard to make sure that our customers travel on clean and reliable trains. Day-to-day we clean, service and repair the trains before presenting them back to our operational colleagues.

How would you sum up the past year?

There are some exciting new product launches coming up, including more frequent trains on the West Coast, and new trains and ticketing technology on the Snow Hill lines.

Increasing the number of London Midland customers and getting positive feedback for the things we do.



My colleagues say...

Supervising on-site contractors.

Is that everyone who comes to the depot to work enjoys it.

I’m firm, but fair.



entry to London attractions if you spot the Gnomes

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arah Barrett, a Buyer who works at 102 New Street, Birmingham, volunteers for the Search and Rescue Dog Association (England) (SARDA). SARDA is a voluntary organisation which trains SARAH (TOP LEFT) and The team at dogs unleashed and deploys ‘air scenting’ search and rescue dogs to search for missing people in Britain’s mountains and high moorlands. Sarah volunteers as a ‘dogsbody’ – yes that’s what they’re called! She’s one of a group of people who hide so dogs can find them – it’s all part of their rescue training. Sarah can lie in wait for several hours waiting to be found! All in a good cause of course. She also helps to raise money for the association. If you’d like to find out more or get involved, contact Sarah at

nomespotting at Milton Keynes station – no not an illusion – they’re part of a summer campaign that the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), in conjunction with us, has launched to promote 2for1 entry to London attractions when you travel by train. Customers who spot the gnomes at stations this summer are in with a chance of winning first class train tickets.

To find out more about the association visit ...DOLLY and sarah play as reward!


Peter Tilley and Anna joke around with ou maria Izzard r gnome friends

Find out more at


In this first edition of Between the Lines magazine we’ve got a fantastic competition prize on offer. Up for grabs is an iPad2 – an altogether stylish way to connect to the Internet, download apps, check your email and surf the web, so we reckon! For your chance to win this lovely shiny new toy, simply answer the following question...

Q: What’s our PPM MAA target for 31 March 2012? Email your answer, with your name, job title, location and contact details to or text your answer and details to 07530 973042.

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The closing date for entries is Friday 26 August. The winner will be selected at random. Please note that there is only one iPad prize.

� thank you!

an iPa d2!


to colleagues at 102 New Street for donating £500 to charity – this will benefit the Long Eaton Sea Cadets. We’re now collecting for Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID).

Between the Lines  

BTL magazine, LM

Between the Lines  

BTL magazine, LM