the abellio way magazine 1 2013

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Winning ways The Abellio Achievement Awards Raising standards Sharing best practice in maintenance and repair The wider picture Local transport authorities share their vision magazine For employees and stakeholders of Abellio / December 2013 No.1

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Page 1: The abellio way magazine 1 2013

Winning waysThe AbellioAchievementAwards

Raising standardsSharing best practice in maintenance and repair

The wider pictureLocal transport authorities share their vision


For employees and stakeholders of Abellio / December 2013No.1

Page 2: The abellio way magazine 1 2013

The Abellio Way MagazineNumber 1 - December 2013Published by Abellio Group

P.O. Box 20253500 HA UtrechtThe Netherlands



Nominate your team, your colleagues or even yourself !


Exploring opportunities regardless of shape or size

5 OUR PEOPLE Meet Lenneke Wester, Qbuzz

6 THE GATHERiNG Best practice workshop Maintaining Excellence


David Brown (Merseytravel in Liverpool) and Henrik Dagnäs (Skånetrafiken in the Swedish county of Skåne)

8 MEANWHiLE BACk AT … News from our OpCo’s


The Editorial TeamEd Coumans, Yvonne Mulder, Wies Peters, Dirk van Sambeeck, Rose Teunissen (editor-in-chief), Roel Willems, Walter Withagen images Mieke Dijkman, Christiaan

Dirksen, kasper Dudzik, iStockphoto, Merseyrail, Merseytravel, Jurjen Poeles, Simon Rawles, Aubrey WadeEditing and design Gloedcommunicatie, Nijmegen

Printed by Mediacenter, Rotterdam

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

Hello everyone and welcome to the first edition of The Abellio Way Magazine, our magazine for employees and stakeholders across Abellio’s European network.

This magazine embodies all that the Abellio Way stands for and its importance for our business and our customers. It reflects Abellio’s commitment to sharing best practice, innovation and excellence. It also aims to strengthen the connections between colleagues and stakeholders. This connection is extremely important because dialogue and partnership are the core elements for sustaining healthy and successful relationships. I hope this new magazine will demonstrate that importance.So what does society expect of Abellio and its family of businesses? In many ways the answer is simple: we are expected to facilitate. Constantly asking ourselves this ensures that Abellio focuses every day on the changing expectations of society. Responding to these expectations requires genuine people, innovative in spirit and dedicated to a positive future for passenger transport. This is the Abellio Way: beyond a-to-b.Right now we serve over 1.2 million people every day, and we are hard at work on innovative and improved services such as Bike&Go, Fixing the Link and MtoGo. It is our ambition to bring these new initiatives to our customers in the Uk, Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. We look forward to telling you more about it through The Abellio Way Magazine.


Jeff HoogestegerAbellio Group Chief Executive Officer


First editionCONTENTS


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And the winner is …We are in a service business and as such, it is the contribution of all our people that ultimately makes the difference in everything we do. Whether it is dealing directly with passengers who need special assistance or making sure the trains or buses are clean and running on time, we are all a vital part of the Abellio Way.

To recognise the people who go the extra mile in living and breathing our core values and in improving our performance in the areas that matter most – whether in our head office or in our operating companies (OpCos) – we are launching the Abellio Achievement Awards.

“These awards are a great way to highlight the work of the individuals and teams who deserve special recognition”, says George Barron, the Executive Board member champion-ing the Awards. “I encourage everyone to look at the nomination forms and see how they, their team or colleagues can take the first step to becoming an Abellio Achievement Award winner. It would be particu-larly great to have international representation at the Awards Dinner.”

How to EnterThe Abellio Achievement Awards are open to all Abellio and Abellio OpCo employees. You can complete a nomination form for yourself, for your team or for a colleague. The deadline for receipt of entry nominations is 8 January 2014.

The Abellio Way Steering group with representation from across the Abellio Group will be the judging panel. Three finalists will be chosen in each category by 16 January 2014.

They will be required to make a short (60-90 second) video to explain their entry by 14 February 2014. This video can be as creative as you like and hints and tips for this will be provided if needed. Do not bother too much about acting, editing or music. There’s no need to come up with a million dollar Oscar winner. Simply use your mobile phone or handy cam to shoot your film.

Why Enter?The awards process has been designed to benefit individuals and Abellio. We recognise excellent people and teams and this helps drive a culture of excellence in everything that we do.

Not only will winners receive a prestigious award, they will each receive a gift experience voucher worth up to £350 (to a maximum of £1,750 for the team entry).

And even being a finalist brings its own rewards. All finalists will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Abellio Achievements Awards Dinner on 12 March 2014 at Shrigley Hall, Cheshire, England.

Download an entry form from your local intranet or ask your line manager for an entry form.

• The Abellio Way – Areas of Excellence Award • Bringing the Abellio Values to Life Award • Abellio Innovator of the Year Award• Abellio Leader of the Year Award • Abellio Team of the Year Award • Abellio Employee of the Year Award

Award CategoriesThe Abellio Achievement Awards have been launched to underpin the Abellio Way of working and recognise excellence throughout the company


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Origin Half Dutch, half South Africa Background Customs & Transport Law, international logistics Personal goals Staying fit and healthy Frequently travels by Trains and airplanes Enjoys Being with his family but also studying at London Business School (Executive MBA) Spare time Mountain biking, watching rugby, scuba diving

’We will explore opportunities of any size or shape’

with Abellio Group CEO Jeff Hoogesteger


Abellio is well underway to becoming a major competitor in the liberalised railway market. CEO Jeff Hoogesteger, in Hagen Central Station for a meeting with the board of Abellio Deutschland, shares his vision on trends, values and ambitions.

What is the current status of public transport markets? “The liberalisation of the European market will continue. As stated in the 4th EU Railway Package, core network activities will be tendered through the public transport procurement process. We focus on the liberalised countries in which we are able to compete on a level playing field: the UK, some states of Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. We do that with determination: we have exchanged our bid-to-learn attitude for one of bid-to-win. And with the result that in Germany we recently won five of seven bids. We are now expanding rail operations

in several regions, such as Nordrhein- Westfalen and Saale-Thüringen-Südharz. We are also preparing bids for two new UK rail franchises, Thameslink and Essex Thameside. The latest news is that Abellio has been shortlisted to bid for the ScotRail franchise. This is fantastic news and represents a tremendous opportunity for Abellio. In Sweden, although we have not got any operations yet, we are preparing to prequalify and bid for franchises in cities such as Gothenburg. Our aim is to improve operational excellence in all of our existing businesses and optimise multi-modal, door-to-door offerings.”

This door-to-door thinking is a big thing for Abellio. “Of course. Passengers travel from door to door, rather than from station to station. Their journey goes beyond a-to-b. With our portfolio we are able to combine modalities, retail and station development into one service concept. We consider

ourselves a convenience provider or lifestyle facilitator. Concepts like Fixing the Link, Mtogo and Bike & Go are results of that. Our solutions are not simply profit driven, but aim to serve client needs, both passen-gers as well as the tendering authorities. This represents a major opportunity for us to be different from other train operating companies and we build on it by sharing best practice to expand the value for money we can offer.”

Abellio greatly respects the value of knowledge. “Knowledge is key in our business. Therefore, we truly believe in best practice sharing in all kinds of fields, ranging from safety to innovation. The Abellio Way provides the framework for this extensive knowledge sharing programme. Since we work in a bid-to-operate market, we exchange best practices between all our operating companies. This makes for an entrepreneurial and very transparent


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Who: Lenneke WesterJob description: Project team member in the field of Travel information, Marketing & Communications at QbuzzWorkplace: Utrecht, The NetherlandsCurrently working on: Mobilisation of Qbuzz – a bus company in Utrecht


culture among all the levels of staff. Our bids contain extensive international exchange of experiences, skills and competences.”

How about the other Abellio corporate values? “Our values - genuine, pro-active, professional and inclusive – are a vital part of the equation. The other thing is the broader context of norms and behaviour that come along with them. ‘Safety comes first’ is an absolute norm for everyone in Abellio Group, as well as accountability. Also, we highly respect cultural and diverse backgrounds and beliefs.”

With all this in mind: where will the company be in 5 years’ time? “I see significant opportunities to grow our business both profitably and sustainably in that time. The key, however, is to maintain energy and enthusiasm for continuous innovation and responsiveness to the ever changing transport needs of the society we serve.”

What is the closest deadline you are trying to meet?“On 2 May 2013 our company was granted the concession for bus and tram services in the Utrecht region. Great news, but we immediately had to set up a mobilisation team to get everything up and running before 8 December 2013, when our service would become effective. We had to inform and train personnel, order buses, schedule services, design uniforms and refurbish offices. A lot of work in a short time span, but we did it thanks to an amazing team of professionals.”

your specific responsibilities?“My job covers travel information, marketing and communication. We have developed a colourful and eye-catching concept for travel information, with destination colours and symbols on departure charts and signs. It is an awesome feeling when you have a bus stop sign in your hands for the first time! It is great to see how our ideas have become a reality in the past weeks.”

Any signs of the Abellio Way? “Now that Qbuzz is operating we are beginning to embrace the Abellio Way. I have already taken part in an international project managers meeting with colleagues from the Uk and Germany. Very inspiring, I must say, and I look forward to sharing best practice with Abellio companies.”

Abellio is a melting pot of people from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. That helps make Abellio unique. Meet our people!



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HAMiSH SiNCLAiREngineering Workstream leader, UK Rail Bids In bids we have to do more for less and improve customer satisfaction. We therefore need feedback on maintenance programmes and costs: what is the life span of vehicles, what is repairable, how long is a unit out of service, are we measuring the right things? We need to get the balance right. Higher maintenance costs can improve availability and reduce lease costs. All this knowledge is business critical in the bid process.

Before 2013, Abellio relied on an annual corporate eventto drive best practice through the companies. Our expansion as a business required us to assess the effectiveness of this approach, and this year we replaced it with a more systematic and sustainable programme of highly targeted, themed best practice work-shops.

Jan Chaudhry, Business Im provement Director, says: “The workshops are part of a whole range of activities that contribute to developing the Abellio Way. By sharing best practice, we improve operations and expertise across the franchises. That, in turn, helps us retain and improve existing business and win new contracts.”

TARGET GROUPA recent workshop brought together those responsible for maintenance and repairs in the rail and bus companies, including a manager from NedTrain, the rolling stock maintenance division of our parent company Nederlandse Spoorwegen. It also included members of bid teams in the Uk and Germany.

THE GOALSMaintenance and repairs are critical to operational excellence and can have great impact on efficiency and customer satisfac-tion. Sharing knowledge among the operating companies (OpCos), rail and bus, helps drive standards up and costs out. The bid teams also use that knowledge to build franchise proposals, with support-ing evidence that will result in higher bid scores.

Bid team perspective

Vehicle maintenance & repair strategies

The Gathering: best practice workshop

Specialists Northern Rail has specialists in many traction types as it has inherited 13 different models, with an average age of 24 years.

Time vs. mileageInspection schedules for Abellio London buses are based on time not mileage, as 30% of average running time is idle.

Late or insulted?The train due to leave the yard is covered in graffiti. Should it run? Are passengers more upset by cancellations than by rude words?

Close contactBy placing the Fleet Support Helpline team opposite the Control Room personnel, current and potential incidents are highlighted immediately at Abellio Greater Anglia.

Source materialIt is often easier to source parts for older equipment because the part is likely to be ‘a bit of metal’ rather than a sophisticated component.

NightshiftWorking time regulations and restrictions make scheduling maintenance at night (when most equipment is idle) more difficult.


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• Involve frontline staff as much as possible.• Encourage all people to take more responsibility for their own influence on quality. • Engineering and operations teams need to work more closely together.• Listen to customers’ priorities.

New diagnostic programmes can produce a tsunami of data. Ensure we know how to extract exactly the information we need – and how to use it to improve our maintenance operations and schedules.

Engage with all stakeholders to create ownership:

JAN MARTEN FEiLMember of the bid team for Abellio DeutschlandIt is essential to include the maintenance concept during bid preparation. The location and competence of the depot is critical, especially if we have to meet the requirements of landowner Deutsche Bahn.

The way aheadAll participants agreed that remote control monitoring systems will significantly improve maintenance and repair programmes.

COR LiEFTiNGNedTrain (Netherlands) explains:Monitoring systems highlight anomalies before they become problems. They also allow people at the depot to see exactly the same information in the cab as the technician or driver out in the field. Some technicians have a head camera or iPads to film the problem to get immediate assistance or to attach a video to a work order. The potential is endless.

Technicians have different skills some are good at fault-finding, some like to stand in a pit and ‘hit things with a hammer’, others want to work with a sophisticated programme on iPads. Work to your team’s individual strengths and both productivity and work satisfaction will improve.

Focus has moved from engineering approach to operational excellence. Goal is to achieve

total customer orientation


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What are the biggest transport challenges facing the Liverpool City Region?“There are many, but we are ready for them. First is the significant financial pressure that local authorities are facing so we have to be clear about our spending priorities. Second, is clarity about investing in our heavy rail system to improve rolling stock and increase capacity. This will -enable us to maximise the benefits of the high speed line due to be built in the mid-2030’s. Third is ensuring we serve the changing travel patterns and growing expectations of all our customers. This includes investing in information

provision in modern real time systems and smart ticketing.”

What legislative changes would improve your ability to manage public transport?“The services operated by Merseyrail are unique in that Merseytravel is the strategic authority for this 25 year concession. This facilitates stronger partnership working and a joint investment plan. We would like similar provision for other rail services to allow Merseytravel and other local transport authorities in the North to have the strategic management role over local rail. The second change would be greater control over local

bus services. The vast majority operate on profit making basis by private companies with no strategic control by Merseytravel.”

What is your long term vision for customers?“A public transport system that meets the current and future needs of all our customers. For this reason we put the customer at the centre of all planning decisions, from devising routes for buses to deciding on rolling stock specification and investment in technology for ticketing, travel and information provision.”

Local transport authorities are dealing with continuously changing national legislation and market needs. How do they cope in the countries in which Abellio is operating? Henrik Dagnäs, Managing Director of Skånetrafiken in the Swedish county of Skåne, and David Brown, Chief Executive and Director General at Merseytravel in Liverpool, share their vision on the future market.

Local transport authorities adopt commercial approach

“We put the customer at the centre of all planning decisions”


Chief Executive and Director

General at Merseytravel in



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ABOUT MERSEyTRAVEL Merseytravel is the operating name for the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority and Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive. Merseytravel is responsible for issuing franchises to the operators of the Merseyrail system and providing subsidies to bus services to operate services which aren’t of commercial benefit but where there is a social need.

ABOUT SKÅNETRAFiKEN Skånetrafiken is the third largest Passenger Transport Authority in Sweden. It manages rail, bus and special transport in the county of Skåne in southern Sweden. Skånetrafiken carries approximately 150 million passengers per year.

Can you explain how the new public transport laws in Sweden work?”The new laws imply that any public transport company can – at its own risk – establish commercial public transport within all geographic market segments and all modes of transport without prior permission. They also imply that the transport authorities need to identify which transport systems need to be subsidised and are subject to competitive tendering in the context of the overall transport strategies. I am convinced that the new laws will open opportunities for

public transport companies with a local anchored and offensive strategy to develop their own commercial public transport in Skåne.”

Have the new laws changed the work mode of Skånetrafikken?”We need to adopt a more commercially oriented focus. Meeting the overall public transport objectives of gaining market share and being more effective is not only tough for us, but also for transport operators. We have overhauled our internal organisation in an effort to reflect the new market conditions. We have structured the organisation around transport modes and a number of support functions. Public transport policies in Sweden are determined at county level. It is important to coordinate our business with

neighbouring counties. This is a challenge, due to great differences in size and resources. I expect the public transport companies to take a larger commercial responsibil-ity for the traffic we subsidise in the future. This means that we, as the authority, will allocate responsibilities and use the operators to develop our brands.”

What do the changes mean for customers in Skåne?”Public transport will adapt to customer needs. We need to work in partnership with commercial operators. In Skåne public transport has a relatively high market share of 26.4%. I am convinced that we can do a lot better with more focus on the customers, the relevance of our transport system, awareness of our offerings and focus on the door-to-door concept.”

“I am convinced that we can do a lot better with more focus on the customers”

HENRIk DAGNÄSManaging Director of Skånetrafiken in the Swedish county of Skåne


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Celebrating 10 years of success


Within Qbuzz we are currently very busy working on the implementation of the tender in Utrecht: from 8 December we will be the transport company of the ‘region Utrecht’. Some highlights of the last few weeks: we already shook hands with 900 of our new

colleagues at the introduction meetings for new employees. Moreover, the first new bus arrived in Holland, so we took the opportunity to visit it with consumer organisations and press. We moved offices to Utrecht. If you are interested, you can follow the news via our new web page:

Northern RailNORTHERNSUPPORTS MOVEMBERIn Northern we’ve been supporting men’s health charity, Movember, with a world first – the ‘Mo Train’! We joined forces with Movember to raise aware-

ness of men’s health issues, such as prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. Movember encourages men to become ‘Mo Bros’ by growing a moustache throughout November to raise millions of pounds! Women, known as ‘Mo Sistas,’ get involved too by supporting them all the way. Loads of our employees got involved and to prove our support, we even added moustaches to the front of our trains. Our efforts raised over £10,000!

Abellio London & SurreyCONTRACT AND IIP RENEWEDAbellio London & Surrey has successfully retained the

accreditation for Investors in People (IIP), reflecting the value the company places on its people. The recognition, held since 2009, confirms the continued and sustained improvements that have been implemented in all areas and provides a great foundation for strengthen-ing the business in the future. These changes have been implemented through the Abellio Way framework which will be a cornerstone of achieving the goal of becoming ‘The Best Bus Company in London & Surrey’. Greatly improved performance across a range of measures was also recognised recently by the



Merseyrail, a joint venture between Abellio and Serco, is marking a decade of service to customers in and around the city of Liverpool. The occasion was marked at Rock Ferry station in the Wirral with the unveiling of a new name plate on one of the trains, ‘Merseyrail – celebrating the first ten years 2003-2013’.

“Merseyrail has come on a lot over the last ten years and it’s largely down to excellent working relations with Merseytravel and our two shareholders, without whom our success would not have been possible. It’s fitting, I think, that we marked this happy occasion with the naming of a train, which will act as a reminder in years to come of some of the great things we did over the first decade”, says Maarten Spaargaren, Managing Director Merseyrail.

Since Merseytravel, the combined Passenger Transport Authority and

Executive for Merseyside, was awarded the 25 year Merseyrail concession, customer satisfaction has increased from 82 to 92% and Merseyrail now ranks among the top three UK rail operators.

“Merseyrail currently boasts rates of punctuality and reliability which are among the highest in the UK, and is extremely popular with passengers, who will continue to benefit from further innovation and major investments in the future”, comments Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK.


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Liverpool CentralSince its refurbishment was completed in 2012, Liverpool Central, Merseyrail’s flagship station, has scooped a raft of awards. In the autumn, it was named overall station of the year in the National Rail Awards, known in the industry as the Oscars for rail, and at the National Transport Awards, it won in the rail station of the year category. Earlier in 2013, it was pronounced the winner in the station excellence category of the Rail Business Awards.

main customer, Transport for London, in awarding the business yet another new bus contract to start in 2014.

Abellio DeutschlandMOBILITY TRAINING FOR SENIOR CITIzENS ON THE RUHR-SIEG NETWORkTrain travel is often a major challenge for people aged 60 and above. Being uncertain

about prices or unfamiliar with how to use ticket machines are just some of the worries that frequently prevent senior citizens from catching a train. In order to remove such obstacles, Abellio provides special mobility training for senior citizens on a regular basis, in collaboration with the relevant authorities and the German Federal Police. “We explain prices, demonstrate how to use ticket machines and, together with the federal police, give tips on safety on trains and in train stations. The sessions are in great demand, which shows that we are on the right track, these sessions are fully booked well into 2014”, explains Peter Werz, Abellio Deutschland’s Marketing and Communications Manager.

Abellio Greater Anglia THE AWARDS kEEP COMINGJonathan Denby, Corporate Affairs Manager at Abellio Greater Anglia: “We’ve been busy winning awards for everything from our station development programme, cycling initiatives through to operator of the year. Our most recent win at the November National Cycle Rail Awards 2013 saw us receive the top spot in three of the

ten categories. This is a significant sweep against strong competition.The categories we won are:• Best Customer Service• Best Partnership (for Chelmsford Cycle Point) • Station of the Year for Chelmsford

We are extremely proud of our achievements and they all help us to provide really good case studies to complement the content prepared for our priority project – the franchise extension or Single Tender Award, which will extend the franchise term until October 2016.”

A better experience for customersMerseytravel does not regret being awarded the management of the Merseyrail conces-sion in 2003. At the train naming ceremony, Councillor Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel, said: “The first ten years has shown what local input and oversight and a close working relationship with a rail operator can achieve. The travelling experience has been transformed and this can be seen through consistently high performance and customer satisfaction scores and award-winning stations.”

Continuous improvementRobinson sets out what lies ahead: “The next ten years will be about taking this service to the next level with a clear set of customer focused improvements to rolling stock and stations.”

A 40 million pound programme to refurbish the five underground stations is now well underway and Merseytravel is developing solutions to modernise the entire Merseyrail fleet.

ISSUE 1 – DECEMBER 2013 11

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Jake CaseyChertsey, Surreyway


Are you enjoying our new bus?The bus is nice, and the new look and layout are quite impressive. It’s not as dreary and dank as it used to be and I like the way the seating is laid out. It used to feel dark and everyone looked grumpy, but the new look seems to have cheered everyone up a bit! It looks nice. It’s brighter. It’s as good as a bus can be.

Why do you travel on this bus? I use the bus mainly for travelling to work and back. It’s almost door-to-door so I can watch a video or two on Youtube, play on my phone, listen to music. What is the best thing about your bus journey?The best part is I get to work a bit happier in the morning! The bus is much quieter than before and feels

airier so I get to work in a better state of mind. The roads may still be bumpy but at least I don’t have to drive! Anyone you would you like to travel with?Perhaps Stephen Fry would be fun – some good conversation, some intellectual banter.

Abellio Surrey is in the process of refurbishing a

number of its buses. The following is a

passenger’s view of the improvements on

route 51 from Brooklands to