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, 40,000 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 9 March, 2018
Misery continues as pipes burst and roads crumble in big thaw - The Times
This week a lot of focus has been on Britain ‘thawing out’ and the disruption left by last week’s severe winter weather. The Times reports most of the rail infrastructure was working, however nine branch lines remained closed at the time. The piece also highlights some disruption continued as trains were in the wrong location and some fleets were damage. On Friday evening last week, a train lost power and stopped near Lewisham station because of ice on the conductor rail. While our teams were on site manually de-icing the rail, passengers - who had been on trains for up to three hours in Lewisham - broke out of carriages and walked along the tracks. This was extremely dangerous so we had to urgently turn off the track's power supplies to stop the passengers from being killed, which then meant even more trains - full of passengers - lost power and had to stop. The Evening Standard report the story and note The British Transport Police, London Fire Brigade and Met police were on hand to help with the evacuations.
MPs urged to debate weather-related rail compensation - ITV
Because of the national disruption caused by the snow, Which? has claimed train operators are giving passengers incorrect advice by warning they will not accept liability for “consequential loss.” This contravenes the Consumer Rights Act. It means it’s possible to claim for more than just the cost of your ticket e.g. hotel bookings or taxi fares. Most of the national papers, including The Mirror covered this story. Additionally, the RMT union has spoken out on payments Network Rail is forced to make to train operators for disruption caused by the snow. They have demanded to know how much taxpayer-funded compensation will be paid to privatised rail firms. The Rail Delivery Group explained the payments are overseen by the regulator and are separate from the money customers receive for delays. Most of the national papers cover the story. Most national media add this element to their stories including ITV.
Train passengers will NO longer have to pay to use the toilet at major stations - The Express
The Express has followed up on a story from last week that toilet charges are to be scrapped at all Network Rail managed stations from next year.
As a customer organisation I think it is quite wrong to penalise people when they are in discomfort. Our job should be to make their life easier, not more difficult. As a company we want to treat people with dignity and respect whether they work for us or use our services.
Mark Carne, chief executive, Network Rail
Fish bar that netted £20K for a Gucci shoot with Harry Styles - The Guardian
Funded by the tax-payer, Network Rail also looks for new and exciting ways to generate money to reduce that burden. The Guardian spotlights one of these initiatives in a little feature on location charges for movie makers. They note we can charge £7,000 a day for filming on our property, and upwards of £11,000 for a feature film.