HOPS is broken down into a number of sections that work together. Subscriber organisations can pick and chose which sections they use and to what extent. Some sections are dependent on each other.

Online Software

HOPS's main tool is its extensive online management tools, details of which are shown in the table below.

Time Register

HOPS also provides a Time Register system, allowing users to sign on and off for duty using their HOPS ID card on tavlet devices at signing on points, or their personal smart phone. Time register records are reconciled in HOPS allowing easy forward analysis and saving hours of time poring over paper sheets.

Safety Circular

HOPS operates a nationwide Safety Circular system, for sharing of lessons learned with other similar organisations. Circulars are submitted to HOPS, and then circulated anonymously to other user organisations. This information is circulated is for the benefit of all organisations sharing lessons learned and best practices.

ID Cards

HOPS has a comprehensive ID card system. The system deal with all the administration of issuing and maintaining the cards. Cards are linked to competences in HOPS via QR codes.

SMS Workshops

HOPS is operating its Live Workshops in 2021 on the subject of Safety Management Systems - once every six weeks the best-practice of heritage railway SMS is shared in a disucssion-based live workshop. This enables all railways to reap benefit from each others' good work.

Online Software

HOPS's main tool is its extensive online management tools:

Organisation Staff ListSubscriber organisations add and administrate their own user accounts. There is no limit to the number of user accounts each client can add.

With each user account can be stored telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. These can be maintained by the individual staff to whom the accounts apply, as well as by designated staff on the organisation.

User accounts can be 'live' (where the user can log in to HOPS themselves) or 'offline' (where the record of the person exists in the system but they don't log in).
Emergency ContactStaff emergency contact details can be stored in the system for use in case of emergency.
MedicalStaff medical details can be stored in the system for use in case of emergency. Medical fitness to work can also be interlocked with competence.
Department AdminUsers in HOPS can be subdivided into departments for ease of similar administration and management structure.
Department Staff ListOrganisation staff are subdivided into departments for ease of administration. A person can belong to multiple departments.
Department - RolesManagement of the appointment to roles in the department.
Document FoldersDocuments can be uploaded to one of several repositories:
- Operations Notices (ie special traffic notices or operating instructions).
- General Downloads
- Department Notices repository (ie training plans and instruction manuals specific to that department).

These documents can then be accessed by those with the necessary permissions.

There is no limit to the number of nested folders. Each folder in the permissions system can have its own permissions (or not), providing an infinitely customisable folder and permissions structure.
HOPS LibraryHOPS provides a library of useful documents, guides, traction manuals, etc
Operations CalendarYour organisation's operations calendar can be set into HOPS.

This provides a single reliable source of truth for this information for staff. It also works with many other functions around the system that refer to the calendar.

It is also possible to add additional custom layers to the calendar, for everything from department activities to room bookings.
CompetenceHOPS can serve as a comprehensive database of staff competence.

When defining competence, incremental levels can be assigned if required, to give a sliding scale of competence. This is useful, for example, where some drivers are authorised only for shunting duties, or some signalmen are not authorised for gala days.

Competence Levels are defined per position, not just per user. So a user might be competent as a driver on a tank engine on galas, but not a large engine, but can drive any engine on a low-season day.

Part of this module also includes printable competence summaries, which some organisations ask staff to sign and/or carry.

Competences can also be interlocked with each other, such as the necessity for a driver to also hold rules, route, traction, PTS, medical, induction, SMS briefing, membership, etc, etc.
Asset ManagementHOPS's asset management system provides for comprehensive control of asset status, including defects, risk arising from defects, control measures, monitoring of control measure effectiveness, accumulation of mileage records, days in use records.

There are also tools for managing cyclical maintenance on frequencies of calendar days, days of use, or miles of use.

The asset system also records all work done on assets, by interation with other parts of the system or manual entry.
EmployeesHOPS has facilities for managing the working patterns of employed staff (including employed staff who carry out rostered roles, such as seasonal ticket inspectors, etc).

Employees can also request annual leave via HOPS, and a manager can accept and reject requests.
Near Miss / Incident RegisterHOPS has a comprehensive system for registering near misses and incidents.

The NMI system particularly lends itself to registering of
- Operational Incidents (SPADs, etc)
- Accident Forms
- Close-Call Reporting.

The Registers allow recording of persons involved, actions taken, actions arising. For the latter, due dates, update tracking and recording of closure.

For medical registers, fields for 'how injured' and 'nature of injury' are provided.

A statistics section gives pie charts and year-on-year reporting of incidents by type, location, and nature of injury.
Spot Reports - Near Miss / Hazard ReportingHOPS enables users to report hazards or near misses directly into the system.

Incoming "Spot Reports" can be attributed to a Function Log item, an Asset Defect, or a Near Miss/Incident Report.

Updates can also be added to reports, which can be fed back to the reporter.
TimetablesHOPS allows structuring of an unlimited number of timetable operating days.

In addition, 'modifiers' can be used, enabling easy construction of composite running days, such as "Green + Fish & Chip Train" or "Red + Footplate Experience", etc

Documents containing the WTT and other notes can be uploaded.
FinanceIssuing of purchase orders and receipt of invoices can be logged and tracked through the system from requisition, through approval and ordering, to receipt of goods and invoices and payment. Budget Lines and Supplier details can also be administered.
Retail Systems - Membership SystemHOPS has a small membership feature. This is under development and will be launched into a significant new feature in the near future.
CommercialFacilities to manage the booking of groups and parties, with access controlled so that everyone can find the information they need to know, ie, the guards can see the booking name and total numbers, the station masters can see the contact information, the bookings administrators can view cost information, etc. Also a comprehensive FAQ facility for telephone/enquiry answerers.
Risk AssessmentHOPS has a brand new Risk Assessment feature. This is available for use and is in the final stages of development. It enables the recording of hazards, risks arising, impacts from the hazards. The RA system is a very comprehensive risk analysis and scoring system.
Safety CircularHOPS operates a nationwide Safety Circular system, for sharing of lessons learned with other similar organisations.

Circulars are submitted to HOPS, and then circulated anonymously to other user organisations.

This information is circulated is for the benefit of all organisations sharing lessons learned and best practices.
Rostering - UsersRostering is one of HOPS's strongest features. It provides a robust single source of truth for staff working arrangements, and recording of work done for integration with competence.

There are also other good rostering functions such as e-mail reminders to staff about their upcoming turns.
Rostering - Roster ClerksRostering is one of HOPS's strongest features.

Opening Hours of Signal Boxes, Duty Hours of Guards, Drivers, opening hours of shops and offices... all this can be templated into HOPS for different operating days.

This information can then be published alongside rosters to ensure staff and volunteers and managers know exactly what is expected.

Rosters can be easily constructed based on the Operations Calendar and Staffing Templates (for example, if HOPS knows that today is a 'blue timetable day' and on a blue day we need 'two signalmen and a guard', it will automatically add these turns into the roster (when commanded).

As part of its rostering functions HOPS has a facility for collecting users' availability. On pre-determined (by the roster clerk) dates, the users are polled for their availability and the results collated in HOPS.

HOPS has functions for assisting in allocating turns to staff in the most economical way possible. This process used to take hours of laborious shuffling of turns on paper or Excel spreadsheets and now takes only 3 clicks!

There are also other good rostering functions such as e-mail reminders to staff about their upcoming turns.
Short Notice CoverHOPS has functions for those dreaded mornings when a guard has overslept or no-one has told the signalman he is working today.

HOPS allows managers without detailed knowledge of the competence or rostering in departments to quickly identify and contact replacement staff.
Operations VisitVisiting and monitoring of operational staff such as drivers and signalmen is an important part of any competence management system. HOPS allows these to be logged and observations recorded for future action/reference.
HOPS-CommsA messaging system is available, enabling users to message each other without revealing their contact information (ideal for GDPR compliance). Users can also be messasged by department, competence, permission and date working.
Function LogsThese logging functions create a central, and remotely-accessible, location for event logging, such as 'Control Logging' by the duty-manager on a real-time basis for future reference by managers and/or investigation/monitoring.
KPI ScreensViews designed for display screens showing status indicators or KPI metrics.
ForumsA discussion forum is provided in an environment that can be monitored and moderated.
ShopThe HOPS website also contains a shop with an ever-growing number of product lines of tools and equipment specifically tailored for heritage railways and their staff.
Question PapersTools for compiling online question papers and for administrating users taking the papers live on HOPS.

An assessor can then review the papers and make a competence decision.
Support TicketsAdvanced HOPS clients have access to a support ticket system for raising of support requests.


Controlled access to everything in HOPS is fully customisable by the subscriber railway. There are a number of access permissions and these can be assigned to individual user accounts. Many users can have be assigned to one access right and many access rights can be assigned to one user. HOPS also allows Permission Groups to simplify the process, so, for example, if a group was created for guards, then the access right to guards' documentation could be added to the Guards' Group and then everyone in the group would have access.