Friday 18 Jul 2003


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Network Rail will today officially launch its New Measurement Train at Euston station.    The train represents world leading technology and is the first of its kind in Europe. The train will dramatically increase Network Rail’s inspection capacity, providing valuable information to its engineers on asset condition.  This increase in asset knowledge will better equip Network Rail’s engineers to make the decisions necessary to maintain and improve the nation’s infrastructure. The train is part of Network Rail’s drive to apply engineering excellence to make the network safe, reliable and affordable.  It will be key to the delivery of the company’s objective to replace manual inspection with mechanised measurement. The train is able to travel at up to 125mph, which will allow it to slot in between timetabled trains on the high speed lines and so prevent disruption to services. “The increased data flow obtained from the train will allow Network Rail engineers to shift to a predict and prevent mode of work instead of the react and repair situation we have been used to” says Network Rail chief engineer Andrew McNaughton. As well as producing video recordings of the infrastructure and the wheel/rail interface the train provides six foot gauging data and information on track geometry.  On board there is also a fully equipped conference facility for up to 12 delegates. - more - NMT - 2          Network Rail is investing heavily in new plant and technology that will help in its drive to improve the nation’s infrastructure that is in a fragile condition following years of under investment.  In addition to this, Network Rail is fundamentally altering how rail maintenance is carried out in the UK. Network Rail is taking far more direct control of rail maintenance with the New Maintenance Programme that is currently being introduced across the network, which means that Network Rail engineers will be making the decisions as to what work will be carried out and when, shifting the responsibility from contractors to itself. Network Rail has already taken the maintenance in the Reading area in house, and will do the same in the East Midlands and Wessex areas in the next six months.  These moves will help Network Rail better understand the costs and issues associated with rail maintenance making it a better informed and more intelligent client.

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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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