Tuesday 1 Jun 2004


Region & Route:

Network Rail took direct control for the maintenance of the infrastructure in the ‘West Midlands and Chilterns area’ from Amey on Saturday 29 May. The move sees approximately 814 workers moving back in-house and continues Network Rail’s strategy of unifying the operation and maintenance of the railway. The ‘West Midlands and Chilterns area’ is part of Network Rail’s London North Western territory and covers the route out of Birmingham Snow Hill through Leamington Spa and Banbury and linking into London Marylebone. Creating a single integrated rail maintenance operation will deliver three key benefits: · Consistent application of high standards of rail maintenance across the area. · Significant efficiency savings to be delivered from the annual maintenance budget. · Continued improvement in track-side safety standards. This move forms part of Network Rail’s key strategic decision to bring rail maintenance in-house, the most fundamental restructuring of Britain’s railway since British Rail was reorganised in 1994, two years before privatisation. The transfer is the culmination of six months of planning and preparation and ensures that maintenance is carried out by a permanent workforce of well trained individuals committed to a strong safety culture. - more - Maintenance - 2 Robbie Burns, Network Rail’s Route Director for London North Western said: “Rail maintenance is a central part of Network Rail’s operation. Unifying maintenance and the operation of the railway under one roof will bring many benefits and help to deliver a better railway for the passenger. “The management and staff of Amey have been very professional and without their help this major organisational change could not have happened as quickly, some 14 months early, or as smoothly as it has. “We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues to Network Rail.” The new employees are an experienced and skilled workforce and include managerial and clerical staff, signalling technicians, track workers, overhead line technicians and fixed plant technicians. The ‘West Midlands and Chilterns ’ area follows the Jarvis contract area that was brought back in-house in April 2004 and the Serco contract area in February 2004. Notes for editors:

  • The country’s rail network is split into 20 maintenance contract areas. These contracts are held between seven maintenance contractors; Amey, Carillion Rail, First Engineering, Balfour Beatty, Amec, Jarvis and Serco.
  • On 24 October 2003, Network Rail announced that it had decided to take all rail maintenance back in-house.
  • Performance in Reading, the first maintenance area to come back in-house last June, has improved 41% over the past five months compared to the previous year.
  • Nationally, delays caused by Network Rail have fallen by some 21% over the last five months.

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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