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 3 November, 2017

Train companies tout £85bn economic benefit as they promise to change - Telegraph

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) have launched their “landmark coming together” which will see train companies, Network Rail and suppliers launch ‘In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity’ - a single, long-term plan for a changing and improving railway. The Telegraph reports the launch includes proposals for a £50bn investment in the rail industry, with a promise to create 40,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.

Network Rail's transformation is bringing track and train more closely together for the benefit of passengers. This plan will accelerate change and deliver further investment.

Mark Carne, chief executive, Network Rail

Record levels of private investment in UK rail - Rail magazine

It's reported in Rail magazine that private companies invested a total of £925 million in Britain's rail network in 2016-17, the highest figure recorded. Of this figure, £767m was spent on rolling stock (trains). The rail supply sector is working with us to ensure railways function properly and is implementing the recommendations of Peter Hansford's review on contestability.

£48 billion under the SOFA – Modern Railways

The government has said it expects our expenditure in Control Period 6 (CP6) to reach £47.9bn. Noting how the funding is split, the article in Modern Railways states: “£34.7bn will consist of direct grant from the Government, with the remainder compromising Network Rail’s expected income from track access charges and other sources." There is to be a focus on core railway activities of operation, maintenance and renewals to tackle performance. 

Track blunder outside Cardiff central station almost led to rail disaster - The Times

Graeme Paton writes in the Times that two trains came within a few minutes of a potentially disastrous collision after an engineering blunder by Network Rail. An official RAIB report published this week stated a set of points had been left in the wrong position after a major track upgrade outside Cardiff central station last Christmas. Investigators said the incident had echoes of the Clapham Junction disaster in south London in 1988 when poor working practices on the railway led to the deaths of 35 people.


Network Rail IP boss sought Carillion reassurances - Construction News

Francis Paonessa, our managing director for infrastructure projects, met with Carillion’s interim CEO, Keith Cochrane, to receive reassurances in the aftermath of its profit warning. In an exclusive interview with Construction News he said the commercial team was “always looking at its supply base and coming up with contingency plans.” Despite the issues facing Carillion, Francis was keen to stress Carillion did a “great job” for Network Rail and saw potential positives from changes Carillion may put in place.

Carillion do a really good job for us. If they can be insulated from the broader issues around and focus on doing the job then that’s great; if they focus more on the UK, then that is great for us too.

Francis Paonessa, managing director for infrastructure projects, Network Rail

Francis Paonessa head shot

Video | Japanese method to stabilise railway - New Civil Engineer

Time-lapse footage has been released of a 12-week project to stabilise half a mile of subsiding embankment beneath the Chiltern main line in Buckinghamshire. New Civil Engineer reports the story and shows how we have used a high-tech Japanese method to stabilise railway.