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Following the official opening of Network Rail’s East Midlands Control Centre (EMCC) in Derby last month, East Midlands Trains moved a number of key staff to the brand new shared facility yesterday.
Gavin Bell, Head of Train Service Delivery for East Midlands Trains, whose Control Team moved to the centre yesterday said: "This new joint control centre provides a fantastic opportunity for both East Midlands Trains and Network Rail to improve communication with its customers. Controllers from both companies will be sitting side by side, sharing information and being able to work quickly together to manage the day to day operation of the railway.
"An additional benefit will be that both performance management teams will also be based in the same location for the first time ever, providing the opportunity for an increased management focus.”
Gavin will be working closely with Chris Jackson, Current Operations Manager for Network Rail at the EMCC. Providing a senior management presence at the centre is part of East Midlands Trains strategy of providing management support for staff throughout the business, and not basing all managers at one head office function.
Mr Jackson said: "In all the other parts of the country where Network Rail has introduced integrated control centres with the local train operators, the performance of trains has increased dramatically. Sitting alongside our train company colleagues means that when we need to make decisions affecting their services, it's far quicker and easier than having to pick up the telephone. The end result is a much better train service for passengers, with delays and disruption kept to a minimum."
The EMCC building is the first of its kind in the UK. It has been built to a modular design, enabling Network Rail to provide modern facilities at an efficient cost and is the first of a number of similar control centres planned around the country. It is Network Rail’s greenest ever building, incorporating solar water heating to reduce carbon emissions and rainwater harvesting to save a million litres of water every year.