Analysis of a Workshop Site in Regional Rail Transport: Maintenance Costs for Two Vehicle Types

Besides the infrastructure costs which are virtually fixed costs for the operator, vehicle costs play a very important role in tendering procedures for services in regional rail transport. Since vehicle capital costs can often hardly be influenced due to specified vehicle types or the provision of vehicles (by the local or regional authority), the workshop and maintenance costs move ever further into the focus of railway undertakings (RUs).

Hence, prior to bidding for local rail passenger services, BSL Transportation examined the workshop costs at a site with two different vehicle types and several lines to serve. This consulting project particularly focused on the maintenance costs over the whole contract term – i. e. including heavy maintenance. By taking into consideration the line requirements and conditions of the correspondent transport service, all cost items were analysed and evaluated: from personnel costs and workshop overhead to material costs. For a proper assessment of the maintenance sector, also contracted services were considered accordingly.

Also the underlying efficiency drivers, such as workshop infrastructure and capacity utilisation, maintenance processes, work organisation and the impact on vehicle availability were critically examined and scrutinised.

Workshop cost analysis as basis for the successful participation in regional rail transport tendering procedures

The outcome of the analysis provided

  • a complete and detailed compilation of all maintenance costs over the vehicles’ life cycle
  • an assessment of costs and efficiency in comparison to the market
  • concrete approaches and a recommendation for process improvements and cost reductions
  • advice for an optimal workshop control and for make-or-buy decisions on individual maintenance services

Overall, the analysis provides the basis for a successful participation in upcoming regional rail tenders.

19. February 2016