Creating an ultimate travel experience
A Great North Eastern Railway case study

Page 1: Introduction

As a newly-formed rail operating company, Great North Eastern Railway Ltd (GNER) took over one of the new rail franchises to run train services after the privatisation of British Rail. The franchise provided GNER with the opportunity to run rail services along one of the busiest parts of the railway network, the East Coast Main Line. Although on-track competition is limited under the system...
Read full page

Page 2: The mission statement

A shift in marketing orientation requires a complete reassessment of the business. Many businesses produce a mission statement in an attempt to describe what they believe the purpose of their business to be. To be of any real value, a mission statement requires very careful consideration and development. More than just a set of words, a mission statement will become the cornerstone of the...
Read full page

Page 3: Core values and brand values

For GNER, consideration of these questions has led to a number of important concepts. The core values define the company’s strengths, show how it wants to treat people and how it needs to behave to deliver its mission statement and achieve its vision. As can be seen in the diagram, GNER considers its core values to be safety, reliability, team-working, valuing people, consistency...
Read full page

Page 4: Vision

The production of the mission statement and service vision can be a lengthy process and involves collecting ideas and holding discussions at all levels of the business. However, this is only the first stage. The vision then has to be applied to the day-to-day provision of on-train service.GNER currently offers two levels of service. The company’s premium product is First Class. These...
Read full page

Page 5: Restructuring

GNER is a people-oriented business and as such recognises the importance of its employees in ensuring its success. Delivering this kind of service to achieve the vision requires the complete support of everyone who works for GNER from the directors down. The staffing structure GNER inherited from British Rail was cumbersome and divisive. There were nine different grades of staff with clearly...
Read full page

Page 6: Conclusion

The changes necessary for GNER to compete effectively in the modern transport world have involved a change in the whole culture of the business. This change has to be continuous and GNER believes it should be seen as a journey, not a destination. It can often seem a thankless task and requires high energy levels to introduce it and sustain the impetus. However, in an increasingly competitive...
Read full page