Nigel Fulford

Operations and commercial specialist

Nigel has specialist expertise in rail operations and making best use of network capacity, working with public and private sector clients in the development of rail projects. He has 30 years management experience in British Rail, the private sector and support to government, spanning passenger and freight operations, customer service, commercial and planning roles as a senior manager.

Nigel Fulford

Nigel’s experience:

Prior to founding Oxford Rail Strategies in 1998, Nigel was a senior manager in British Rail’s InterCity division, involved in developing and applying the new operational arrangements in the privatised railway. He was also the Planning and Performance Manager in a major train operating company.

How Nigel has helped clients:

Operations advice for rail franchise bids

For a major UK passenger train operator, Nigel provided operations advice in the development of bids for heavy and light rail franchises and concessions. The work involved leading the development of timetables, capacity plans, creating rolling stock diagrams and associated information, performance modelling, meetings with Network Rail and the DfT, input to revenue and cost modelling and writing up these elements of the proposal to government.

Improving punctuality performance

Nigel helps UK passenger rail train operators improve their punctuality performance. For one operator, he led a service control review that led to the identification of a comprehensive package of improvements.

Assessing readiness for major timetable change

For a train operating company, Nigel led the functional reviews of readiness for a major timetable change; to ensure the efficiency of the service plans, provision of adequate capacity to accommodate passengers, effective communications with staff and customers, readiness of the company’s departments to deliver the new plans and ability of the overall plan to perform at high levels of punctuality and reliability. The projects involved detailed review and identification of improvements to timetable plans, rolling stock diagrams, fleet depot maintenance, stabling and movements plans, and train crew diagrams.

Improving rail services to airports

Nigel was rail operations advisor to a major UK consultancy in the development of proposals to better serve Gatwick and Heathrow airports by rail. This has involved specification of services and rolling stock for option assessment, input of operations data to demand and cost modelling, consideration of the results of analysis and modelling and production of reports.

Business cases for passenger train services

With Oxford Rail Strategies colleagues, Nigel has worked on projects to develop infrastructure, rolling stock and train service plans for high speed rail in the UK and continental Europe, identifying strong commercial cases for passenger train services, including devising very attractive service plans for passengers, high levels of efficiency and an overall good business case.

Improving capacity

Nigel represented a UK train operating company and the DfT when they sponsored a major study on how to achieve short and medium term capacity improvements on commuter services into a London terminal.

Evaluating tenders

Nigel supported TfL in the operational evaluation of tenders for the passenger train operating company to run the London Rail and Concession. He also acted for the UK Strategic Rail Authority with Cross London Rail Links in the detailed development of the operating plan for London’s East–West Crossrail.

Operational advice

For Manchester Metrolink light rail, Nigel provided advice on both day-to-day and network enhancement operational matters. This included the specification of services and other customer-facing outputs for the operating concession invitation to tender, briefings to bidders during the tendering process and subsequent bid evaluation.

Capacity utilisation policy

Nigel project managed the development and establishment of the UK Strategic Rail Authority’s Capacity Utilisation Policy. The application of the approach now provides a strategic framework for decisions to be made about the best use of the network’s capacity. The policy is now being applied on the national rail network through the series of Route Utilisation Strategies.

Improving rail access to airports

For OPRAF and then SRA, Nigel led their studies on how to improve rail surface access to airports. Representing OPRAF and SRA with aviation interests, the rail industry and government, he project managed studies into the competitive position of rail and air and the potential for new rail links to airports. These included the studies for new rail links at Edinburgh and Glasgow airports. The results were published as the UK Aviation White Paper.

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