Streamlining asset protection and optimisation

We are reviewing and amending our standards, practices and approach to risk management.

By reassessing the way we govern our work with other organisations wishing to build on or near the railway, we will streamline processes and make it easier to work with us.

Asset protection and optimisation (ASPRO)

When working with us, third parties can expect to see better working practices, streamlined and consistent processes, and a slicker, less bureaucratic structure under a more consistent framework.

Officially Europe’s safest railway, it falls to our asset protection and optimisation (ASPRO) teams to make sure any work on or near the railway is done safely and to the right standards. Yet these standards and practices can sometimes mean it is difficult for third parties to deliver railway projects. Recognising this, we are implementing a number of reforms to the way our ASPRO organisation works, which will break down barriers and make it easier for other organisations to invest in and build on the railway.

New roles

To raise the professional competency, assurance and drive consistency within our ASPRO teams, a new national professional head of ASPRO role has been created. Mona Sihota has been appointed to the role, bringing nearly 30 years of railway experience spanning design, construction and asset management.

This newly created position capitalises on Mona’s previous experience as professional head of drainage to now include off-track (lineside, vegetation and boundaries) and ASPRO, as there are significant synergies between the areas of responsibility.

Additionally, Network Rail has created roles for a head of ASPRO in each of their eight geographic routes, who will work with project sponsors on third party requirements. They will be directly accountable to the industry for ensuring service levels are delivered. The positions are in the process of being recruited.

National framework

A national ASPRO framework has been produced and is in the process of being rolled out across the business. This will support in driving a consistent and transparent approach for third parties working with us, meaning there will be clearly defined processes, working practices, responsibilities and contacts right across the business. Third party promoters of projects on the railway will note they receive a quicker, more reliable service when dealing with Network Rail.

Service level commitments

Committed to making it easier for third parties to deliver work on or near the railway, we’ve worked with and consulted Amey Plc in a special advisory capacity to formulate ASPRO service levels by which other organisations can hold them to account. By having service levels in place, third party promoters of projects on the railway can know what to expect from Network Rail’s service and when to expect it by.