Operations manager Rob Bligh plays a key role in Network Rail’s response to flooding disruption in the opening episode of a new ITV series airing this week
This is one of the plot lines covered by ITV who were granted unprecedented access to Network Rail’s control centres between Birmingham New Street and London Euston for a primetime documentary.
‘The Station: Trouble on the Tracks’ first airs on ITV1 at 9pm on Thursday 12 March.
It shows the wide range of challenges railway staff face on a daily basis to keep passengers moving safely.
The first episode of three includes how Network Rail teams deal with widespread flooding on the network, how staff at Birmingham New Street manage disruption, and a surprise addition to one of Birmingham’s railway bridges by world-famous graffiti artist Banksy.
Rob, seen leading Network Rail’s ‘silver command’ response from the West Midlands Signalling Centre in Birmingham, said: “In challenging circumstances like this, our focus is always to make the best, or least bad, decisions for passengers. Hopefully this series gives people an insight into the tough choices we’re sometimes faced with.”
Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said: “We’ve opened our doors to the cameras challenging time for the rail industry in order to show our passengers, ITV’s viewers, the daily challenges our people face as we work to keep passengers moving safely.
“Our goal is to give passengers a consistently reliable service. That’s what all our people go to work to do come rain, wind, floods or shine.
“Industry colleagues working on the tracks, on trains, in our major stations and in signalling teams are all featured. Their professionalism, care, commitment and good humour shine through in often tough circumstances – and I’m proud of them.”
The documentary team spent six weeks filming on Network Rail’s Central and West Coast Main Line South routes in November and December last year.
They captured footage in the busy run up to Christmas, during extreme weather events, and a period of industrial action.
Britain’s busiest station outside of London, Birmingham New Street, became the focus for the series.
‘The Station: Trouble on the tracks’ is a three-part series and will air for the next three weeks at 9pm on ITV on March 12, March 19 and March 26.