Transport Sector Case Study

Train operating company

Crisis management exercise

The client’s challenge

A train operating company (TOC) has complex statutory and safety delivery responsibilities. The organisation wanted to further develop their major incident planning and testing strategy, to take into account new fleet and operational developments. This annual crisis management exercise was developed to review and test aspects associated with their new Digital Train Fleet and IT systems.  The TOC recognises the need to regularly update and review emergency preparedness in their highly challenging and evolving business environment.

Traditionally, a face-to-face exercise carried out at a client’s premises, this exercise was successfully delivered virtually via Microsoft Teams Platform, involving over 35 staff, partners and stakeholders.  The event took place virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. EPiCC used role play, virtual simulation of the scenario developing, real-time escalation of the incident and media coverage to ensure the exercise was challenging, pressurised and realistic.  

Services provided

Building on a successful, long-term relationship with the TOC, EPiCC, in partnership with company personnel, developed a major crisis management exercise for board level and key senior and operational staff, Category 1 and Category 2 responders, and other stakeholders.

  • A robust and challenging exercise was planned, delivered and managed
  • The scenario was escalated to further challenge the senior management and operational teams
  • The appropriate stakeholders and partners were included in the exercise to enhance the realism of the situation

As one of a series of regular resilience testing exercises, the TOC used this particular event to target areas of potential vulnerability. EPiCC provided support and guidance to build on previous exercise recommendations, ensuring maximum cumulative benefit from the ongoing resilience testing. 


  • The exercise helped the TOC to refocus and challenge their emergency preparedness, fulfilling statutory obligations and ensuring current policies and strategy fully supported the business
  • Participants, including new personnel, had the opportunity to develop their skills within the safety of a controlled environment, providing the benefit of learning, while managing a bespoke, realistic scenario
  • Reporting and recommendations from the exercise were shared across the whole TOC
  • Exercise required the TOC to develop a timely, corporate approach to media communications and management
  • Ensuring an effective strategy to minimise reputational damage
  • Improvement to communication lines and working practices between stakeholders and partner organisations
  • EPiCC supported the TOC in identifying key improvements