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  • Network Rail Technical Strategy

    A future driven by innovation

  • Network Rail Technical Strategy - coverOn Friday 28 June 2013 we published the Network Rail Technical Strategy which outlines the research and development (R&D) opportunities that we believe can unlock significant benefits for our organisation and the wider rail industry over the next thirty years.

    Its development has been driven by a need to focus R&D investment on meeting our key outcomes: safety, performance, customer experience, capacity, cost-efficiency and sustainability.

    Technical Strategy (PDF, 2.7 MB)

    Unlocking opportunities

    The railway of the future that balances the need for increased capacity with improved performance and safety requires dramatic and sustained change to the way we operate, manage and improve the railway system.

    Devolution gives us new opportunities to think and work differently and there are substantial opportunities for innovation to reduce delay costs from infrastructure and train failures and further unlock capacity. The scale of the opportunities is hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

    The first step in a challenging journey: collaboration

    Our strategy provides a framework within which our teams, working closely with train operators and suppliers, can innovate, invest and share the risks and rewards. It recognises that many elements will require extensive collaboration across the industry in the UK, Europe and beyond.

    Commenting on the need for collaboration, Richard Parry-Jones, Network Rail chairman, said: “Our ability to be more ambitious relies on strengthening collaboration at all levels: across disciplines within Network Rail, between Network Rail and the rail industry, with European and world railways and beyond the rail industry to other technology sectors.”

    Next steps

    The Network Rail Technical Strategy complements the Strategic Business Plan for CP5. It sets out gaps and priority investment areas for the development of R&D business cases building on the themes and opportunities set out in the industry Rail Technical Strategy at the end of 2012.

    We have recognised that in the recent past, we have under-invested in R&D by any benchmarked standard. The Network Rail Technical Strategy, as part of a wider cross-industry and European drive to innovate, seeks to identify priorities for funding which will bring us closer to global norms for R&D investment and we will continue to work with the ORR to secure funding for key projects.