Roland Berger: Innovative offerings boost rail industry

28 January 2015

Developing innovative mobility offerings provides good business for the rail industry, concludes a survey by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants among rail executives. The respondents see in particular possibilities in intermodal smartphones applications and e-tickets. The survey also shows that around a quarter feels that they cannot go forward alone in the world of mobility offerings and more than a third prefers to partner up with other companies.

Strategy consulting firm Roland Berger recently released its annual ‘Executive Rail Radar’ for which it researched the key issues on the top of rail executives’ minds as well as particular issues. For the report, the firm surveyed clients in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Innovative mobility services
The report highlights the main interest of its rail clients in this year’s survey: innovative mobility services, which, according to the respondents of the survey, present good business opportunities for Europe’s rail industry. About a quarter of respondents anticipate an increased demand for intermodal smartphones applications, a fifth expect a strong development in electronic ticketing, and 12% foresees mobility passes* to gain popularity. “The relevance of integrated mobility offerings in our survey goes to show that Europe's rail managers can see good opportunities for future growth here,” comments Andreas Schwilling, Partner at Roland Berger.

Impact of new offers on future travelling behaviour

“The focus in the short term is to leverage these tools to enable genuine intermodality, i.e. putting together all the existing transport offerings, from booking to ticketing to passenger information to after-sales,” says François Guénard, Principal at Roland Berger, “With customer satisfaction as the first expected benefit.” Over a quarter (27%) of respondents say their main goal of current mobility initiatives is higher satisfaction, followed by growth of their own business as a result of additional services (16%), and cost reduction (15%).

Main goals of current mobility initiatives

The companies have different strategies going forward, almost a fifth says to stick to its traditional core business and around a third prefers to develop its own innovative offerings. However, the research also shows that although Europe’s rail companies do see themselves as important integrators within the mobility world around a quarter of rail managers feel they are not able to fulfil this role alone. Almost 40% say they are in favour of partnering with other firms, a move that, according to Roland Berger fits in the possibilities as the market will change with other industries entering. “Companies from different industries like IT and telecommunications as well as financial services are going to start pushing into the mobility market. Rail operators need to prepare for this kind of market transformation now,” concludes Schwilling.

Strategic levers to play a key role in mobility

* Mobility passes are monthly passes for public transportation that also provides additional possibilities, such as access to car sharing and ride sharing offerings or reduced-rate taxi journeys. 


Consultancies land £5 billion deals for new Network Rail framework

08 February 2019

A trio of consulting firms are among the companies to have won contracts to implement Network Rail’s new framework. Arup, Arcadis and Aecom will help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. As a result, Network Rail, the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, has awarded a number of key contracts for the delivery of what it is calling the “next generation of rail systems.”

Network Rail has commenced its process of filling the framework for its control period 6 (CP6) contracts, following the Office of Rail and Road’s final determination, which was confirmed as £35 billion for rail maintenance and renewals. The 10-year contracts will run for an initial five-year period between 2019 and 2024, but will come with an option to extend for a further five depending on performance and need.

Consultancies land £5 billion deals for new Network Rail framework

The contracts are divided into three new geographically-focused alliances between Network Rail, designers and construction suppliers. These are the North Alliance (Scotland route); Central Alliance (London North West, London North East and East Midlands route) and South Alliance (Anglia, South East, Wessex, Western and Wales routes).

The latest and most substantial of the awards has seen Network Rail hand the track and rail system alliances in the South to Colas Rail and Aecom, and in Scotland to Babcock Rail, Arup and Arcadis, following a lengthy tender period. The contracts are worth an estimated £5 billion, and the framework they require the firms to adhere to will include “anything needed to make the rail system work” including track, points, overhead lines and signalling.

The awards leave only the Central Alliance bidding process on-going, with a preferred bidder set to be announced following final verification and internal approvals by Network Rail, according to New Civil Engineer. Speaking to the industry publication, Network Rail Programme Director Track Steve Featherstone said that this milestone ensures the organisation has a stable foundation for the delivery of Britain’s core railway infrastructure for the next decade, and “allows us to better align to the routes and ultimately, deliver for customers.”

Arup was recently the recipient of another Network Rail contract. The engineering and construction consultancy was appointed to oversee the masterplan efforts of Edinburgh’s Waverley Station. Meanwhile, Arcadis won a four-year role with Highways England to provide project control services to Highways England’s road investment strategy before 2022. Elsewhere, AECOM was awarded a contract by Transport Scotland earlier in 2019 to lead its second Strategic Transport Projects Review, alongside professional services firm Jacobs.