The Crossrail control centre

A day in the life of:

Crossrail roles graphic

Chris, the traffic manager

Chris arrives at the control centre ready to begin a late shift. Like the majority of control centre employees, he is required to work rostered shifts, which can include unsociable hours, weekends and bank holidays. It's not always easy, especially during hot summer evenings when friends and family are enjoying themselves but he enjoys shift work and looks forward to his time off. Doing shift work means he can spend time at home during the week, or have rostered time off and long weekend breaks.

Chris enjoys working in a responsible role and as part of a team, and feels as comfortable managing the train service during quieter periods as he does when required to work under pressure.

Kathy, the incident response manager

Kath's days are varied. She can sometimes be dispatched by the service & infrastructure manager to attend accidents and incidents whenever operational circumstances need her. During normal operations when there are no incidents to respond to, Kathy performs the security checks and other audit responsibilities which are part of her role

Kathy is self-motivated and enjoys her role. She particularly likes the opportunity to work with different stakeholders, like train operators and the emergency services. Kathy also likes the challenge of leading in a responsible role and actively working with other organisations. During quieter periods, she often attends smaller incidents alone and is required to prioritise  her activities.

The incident response manager works from other offices along the Crossrail route and is generally required to work remotely from the control centre. The role involves working at multiple locations during the course of a shift.

John, the service and infrastructure manager

John is booked on an early shift today and has just reported for duty; rested, in full uniform and in a fit state to undertake safety critical activities. He's aware of the importance of the drugs and alcohol policy and makes sure he complies with the stringent policy.

After a shift changeover briefing, he continues to monitor the train service while working closely with the train operator.

John has recently joined the team following a career change. As well as the additional responsibility of managing a team, he also enjoys looking after their welfare and making sure his team get to work in a professional environment, which isn't without its challenges. John recently had to talk to a member of his team about not complying to the mobile phone policy while on duty. However, being professional, John quickly resolved the matter and the member of his team now uses their phone during breaks when they are away from the control centre and not on duty.

Since completing a core management skills course, John has decided to carry on to the next level of education, with support and mentoring from his manager. To John it highlighted the value of learning and development opportunities within the company, something he is keen to discuss and encourage with the individual members of his team when considering their development during performance discussions.

The team

When Chris, the traffic manager, receives a call about someone who has fallen onto a station track and is badly injured, he has to act quickly to make the area safe. He does this by taking the details (immediately and thoroughly), and stopping trains approaching the affected station.

By communicating clearly and following strict safety critical communication protocols, Chris advises John, the service & infrastructure manager, of the incident and confirms that the emergency services have already been called. John advises the train operator of the incident, and immediately deploys Kathy, the incident response manager to site. While Kathy makes her way to the incident, John continues to manage the delivery of the train service with the train operator. Working within an integrated control centre, this is done very quickly, and while the incident is on-going John advises Chris of the contingency plan required for the modified service, John is aware of the importance and urgency of quick decision making within the control room, ensuring everyone involved clearly understands what is required. Chris reacts quickly in updating the signalling system timetable to facilitate the contingency plan.

When Kathy arrives on site the ambulance crew have just arrived. An incident command structure is now in place and Kathy is now performing the role of rail incident officer, which means liaising with the emergency services and leading the industry on-site response.

Having made sure it's safe to go onto the track, Kathy immediately sees that the casualty is badly injured. She understands some aspects of her job can be challenging and she may be required to attend serious incidents or events. She recently attended a railway fatality incident, and although relatively uncommon within her area, the support and training she's received to deal with this type of incident means she is able to respond in a professional manner. 

The ambulance crew have now placed the casualty on a stretcher and are ready to leave the site. Having received confirmation from the ambulance crew that they will remain clear of the track, Kathy contacts Chris, to advise him that the line is clear and safe. Kathy then contacts John (the service & infrastructure manager), to advise him that the incident is over and train services can resume to normal.

Once the services are completely back to normal, the team continues to work their shift, ready to respond to any other incidents or events that impact or have the potential to impact on train services. Chris continues to monitor the service and regulate trains as required. Each member of the team recognises the valuable contribution and the important safety critical role each of them undertakes, and values the opportunity to work within a great and professional environment.

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