Passenger Train Refurbishment Delivering Rapid Performance Improvement


The project was unable to meet the agreed delivery program resulting in a dissatisfied customer and significant cost overruns. This created an urgent need to introduce an improved operating model.

Following a short period of review and stakeholder engagement it was agreed that moving the project from a static build process to a manufacturing flow line would provide the structure, discipline and accountability needed to accelerate delivery of the program and improve cost control.


ORBIZ were engaged in facilitating the planning and implementation of the flow line whilst coaching the project team in the systems and behaviours required to operate it successfully.

Once a change in process was agreed upon by the various stakeholders, the existing process was analysed in conjunction with the constraints presented by car set availability. Subsequently, it was determined that a three-station flow line operating a three-day cycle time with an additional three-day test and delivery process was agreed to be the most effective option. A business case was developed for the agreed concept to obtain a formal agreement before committing to the investment.


Formal agreement was needed from several parties, including the primary contractor, customer, and other sub-contractors. Once all parties were aligned, a cutover point was agreed upon, and a program was developed to enable progress to be monitored through the detailed planning and production readiness phases.

Planning encompassed the development of a revised program schedule, manufacturing plans, rosters, material kitting, internal material transport schedules and containers, tooling needs, workshop layout, point of use materials and consumable stores – this was all to be completed in 6 weeks prior to the start of the new production line.

Planning and implementation were monitored through daily project reviews and weekly governance meetings using a project master schedule and related production readiness tools. The first set was inducted into the new production line on time and progressed through the line as planned.


  • First car set through new flow line achieved a 17% improvement in labour costs
  • Improved performance has seen a significant and rapid increase in customer satisfaction and team morale
  • The contractor has increased ability to identify and justify claims for out of scope work
  • Contractor able to better manage labour and in turn sell excess time back to primary contractor