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London Olympic Games' Impact on the Javelin High Speed Rail Service


In 2012 FOUR Security Consultants Limited, was appointed by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to review and develop the potential operational impact of the London Olympic Games on the Javelin High Speed rail service to the Olympic park. The review included an assessment of the service capability and throughput of customers across the rail network during the Games. This was the first time in the UK that rail operating companies had operated in close proximity on this scale.      

The challenge included a review of operational methods including crossover and escalation processes, communication pathways and the decision making tree to develop an understanding of current operational delivery (Business as Usual) against future Olympic Operational Requirements, (Business as Planned).

Finally, a testing programme was designed to demonstrate system capabilities and vulnerabilities across the Javelin service which was delivered and managed by FOUR Security Consultants Limited in a live operating environment.

The additional scrutiny of the world’s media provided an extra element of consideration that of protecting the brand and reputation of London’s rail transport network. In addition to any security risks, the Olympic Games provided an opportunity to demonstrate their transport expertise and ability to resolve transport disruption from protest activity, capacity or any other cause of network failure impacting on Javelin’s success.

Our consultant’s experience of Threat Analysis & Security Vulnerability Appreciation enabled us to deliver Risk Mitigation recommendations aligned to the requirements of our Javelin clients. It was apparent that the volume and needs of passengers throughout the Olympic Games would far exceed normal operations. Developing an appreciation of the difference between current operational delivery, Business as Usual and future Operational Requirements, (Business as Planned), was key to the success of the project.

All of the elements were brought together into a live testing programme throughout the ‘Student Games’ where operators could demonstrate their capabilities and new ways of working. A series of scenarios were designed to test functionality and response to disparate situations including communication and logistic disruption. This drove out an understanding of Javelin capabilities and vulnerabilities set against the backdrop of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The testing programme included an insight into incident command procedures and communication methods used to contact police and other partners. Communication protocols were introduced against a variety of communication platforms including email, text and radio. The type, frequency and quality of communications were tested in order to identify any gaps that could impact on the performance of the service during the ‘stretch’ of the Olympic period. By introducing supervisors to Olympic responsibilities alongside ‘business as usual’ activities, supported them in their decision making clarity and responsibilities. Consequently, the review supported the delivery of very success full Olympic games with many legacy benefits.