Rail field maintenance

Assumptions about the time taken to travel between asset locations were not borne out by reality. A better understanding was required of why this was the case, to establish more reliable outcomes from the field-based response operation.

Our Solution

A travel time matrix containing over 1 million possible journeys between network access points, to act as a benchmark for actual journey times.

A Power BI tool to compare actual and expected response times, identify outliers, and drill-down into root causes of excess response times.

A data quality tracker, to log the total number of incidents and the number with all necessary data points recorded for the response time analysis.

A template for capturing details of outlier responses and working hypotheses of root causes, for wider discussion with senior managers and operational roles.

Features and Benefits

The travel time matrix contains code to automate the collection of journey times from online route planning websites, enabling mass data collection.

Power BI tool contains control charts to visualise performance against response time benchmarks allowing users to immediately identify outliers and patterns over time.

Power BI tool contains data from multiple systems used to manage field response, allowing rapid access to all recorded details about incidents of interest. Variables which contribute to excess response times are visually flagged to provide fast insights into the root causes.

The data quality tracker stimulated improvements in data capture and quality.

The template for capturing root cause hypotheses helps guide end-users through response time investigation and provides a consistent reference point for discussions across the business about issues and solutions.


The toolkit was recognised by senior management as providing fast, insightful reports on field response performance and was adopted into business as usual processes.