Optimising Training and Efficiency for Transport for London (TfL) Logistics & Manufacturing Team with Spinview

Rachael Hutchman
Articles
Jun 24, 2023

Introduction:

Transport for London’s (TfL) Logistics & Manufacturing (L&M) team, responsible for vehicle maintenance, optimisation, and commercial goods transportation, faced challenges in coordinating and delivering effective training for their Engineering Train Operators (ETO).

This team may be less visible than some, yet their work is vital – and often time sensitive. Typically, their people conduct some of their most important on-track work at night and into the early hours, during a 3-4 hour window, after passenger trains are parked.

 

The Challenges

Making the most of this time is crucial in terms of safety and efficiency. It’s also vital that team members take part in regular training, due to the complexity of maintenance and engineering trains, which operate differently to passenger trains.

Added to this complexity is the need to carry out track walks or site visits. Every six months an ETO is required to refresh parts of the network they were unable to operate an Engineering Vehicle (EV) over in the months prior. An important requirement of rail industry law, an ETO will not be certificated to drive on the London Underground network without it. A high number of these areas are inaccessible to passenger trains and wholly reliant on an EVs being booked to work in these specific locations.

 

The Opportunity

Stuart Miller, Assistant Transport Manager at TfL, was made aware of the Spinview platform by Daniel Rahamin, Innovation Lead for the Piccadilly Line Upgrade (PLU) project. Here, TfL was already using the visual digital twin platform to support digitalisation of handovers, to enable remote training and inspection – all while helping to support their net zero goals.

A new opportunity became clear as the L&M team began to explore how they too could leverage Spinview’s technology as an essential support tool to enhance and improve the existing team training system which was both resource and cost heavy.

 

How did we help?

A pilot project focused on the Bakerloo to Jubilee Line crossover, capturing a virtual tour with Spinview to showcase the impact of remote training. Immersive 360 tours with annotations were created to facilitate education on different systems, addressing challenges associated with manual driving in diverse signalling systems.

 

 

The impact

Positive outcomes were observed, including 100% positive feedback from drivers using the remote training workshops with Spinview. The platform leveraged remote access for added safety and efficiency, making the most of any time needed on track.  There was also a notable increase in confidence for those handling crossovers and challenging tracks,  allowing the L&M team to fast track training for six engineering operators to support National Rail projects without significant costs.

And by using Spinview’s technology to reinforce the regular ‘route refresher’, staff could more safely, easily and efficiently keep their skills well honed and be mentored on rarely accessible and infrequently visited areas. ETOs can now access these tours from their company issued media devices.

 

“The implementation of Spinview in our training processes has yielded remarkable results. The positive feedback from our remote training workshops, especially during the Bakerloo to Jubilee Line crossover, has highlighted the platform’s potential. With Spinview, we aim to not only streamline and standardise our training across various lines but also reduce costs and time associated with on-site familiarisation.”

– Stuart Miller, Assistant Transport Manager, TfL.

 

Looking ahead, three key areas are identified for potential Spinview usage:

 

  1. Four Lines Modernisation (4LM) Upgrade:

Spinview integration into the 4LM upgrade at the Neasden depot to facilitate remote onboarding for THALES . Spinview’s visualisations could help THALES more effectively and efficiently understand the requirements needed to do the work.

  1. Creating a Virtual Training Library:

Development of a comprehensive Spinview library covering all lines for remote training. This move dramatically reduces training time and enhances team confidence, allowing accessibility to training beyond the required 6-month refresher period. For instance, each member of the EV Operations team can review the virtual tour on their work iPad anytime to reacquaint themselves with a certain area or process in the Underground.

  1. Ensuring Consistency in Training:

Through creating the virtual training library TfL’s L&M department can develop a uniform and consistent training approach for all team members which enhances safety and compliance tracking across the team.

 


 

Spinview has proven to be a transformative tool for TfL’s L&M team, addressing training challenges, reducing costs, and improving overall efficiency. As the platform expands to cover additional lines and projects, it promises to further enhance remote training, onboarding, and compliance across TfL’s diverse operations.