In the news this week

Network Rail is always in the news.

Catering for 4.5m rail journeys every single day, while simultaneously delivering an ambitious, multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan focused on renewing and upgrading 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges and viaducts, thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run), means we have a wide-reaching impact and the work we do is extremely newsworthy. 

Every week, we'll highlight just a few of those interesting news stories.

Friday 27 October, 2017

What £48bn in CP6 means for the rail sector - Construction News

£48bn is being invested into the railway over the next funding cycle known as 'Control Period 6' which runs from 2019 to 2024. Construction News reports this is up £10bn on the previous control period – an increase of around 25 per cent. The Railway Industry Association (RIA), along with other sector bodies, welcomes this settlement and applauds the Department for Transport and the Treasury for listening to and engaging with industry on this. 

Carne plans female recruitment drive - Passenger Transport

Passenger Transport magazine reports on Mark Carne’s gender diversity speech at the Everyone Summit. Network Rail’s chief executive said he wants to draw up plans to raise the proportion of women employed to a minimum of 20 per cent in each area of the business. It’s believed teams with at least 20 per cent women work more safely, productively and collaboratively, with less sickness absence and are more engaged with customers.

The truth is that stories of the laddish boys’ club atmosphere in parts of our industry make me angry

Mark Carne, chief executive

The piece shows that to reform culture and work toward the target, Network Rail is implementing a number of initiatives:

  • Training in avoiding bias for managers involved in recruitment
  • Ensuring recruitment campaigns are gender neutral
  • Using ambassadors to promote career opportunities to female university students
  • A review of flexible working policies
  • A ‘men as allies’ campaign to assist managers in creating a more inclusive workplace
  • Gender equality targets for managers
  • Programmes to assist female employees in progressing towards senior roles

Network Rail sells logistics centre for £35m - Property Week

Property Week reports on our sale of the National Logistics Centre in Coventry to the West Midlands Pension Fund for £35m.

Funds generated from the sale will be reinvested into the railway to contribute to delivering the Railway Upgrade Plan. As part of the sale agreement, the National Logistics Centre will be leased back to Network Rail with a 15-year term.

The sale follows external analysis which suggested introducing a new inventory and order system, meaning the site will eventually no longer be needed by Network Rail.

Campaign urges lorry drivers to help eradicate bridge bashing - Daily Mail

Almost 2,000 strikes are inflicted on rail infrastructure every year, costing taxpayers £23 million in damage repairs and delays. The Daily Mail reports 'bridge strikes' - when a vehicle hits a bridge - peak from the end of October due to the clocks changing and the increase in the number of deliveries ahead of Christmas.

Size does matter when you’re a professional driver in a heavy vehicle.


Not knowing the size of your vehicle or load could lead to a serious accident, and the loss of your licence.


Every incident creates potential delays for tens of thousands of passengers and potential costs for taxpayers, and this is happening multiple times a day.

Sir Peter Hendy, chairman, Network Rail 


Bridge strikes are a local issue but need a nationwide approach - Transport Times

To support this week's national bridge strike campaign, our chairman, Sir Peter Hendy submitted an exclusive trade media by-line to Transport Times discussing the issue, the problems it causes and highlighting the initiatives we have in place to tackle it.

Year-round, our route-based 'bridge champions' do a fantastic job raising awareness among local professional drivers and haulage firms. We want all professional drivers to have the right tools to prevent bridge strikes, and I thank these companies for joining with us. Collaborative relationships are the only way forward when an issue affects two transport networks.

Sir Peter Hendy, chairman, Network Rail