Tuesday 24 Jun 2003


Region & Route:
Network Rail took over responsibility for the maintenance of the infrastructure in the "Reading area" from Amey on Sunday 22 June, 2003.  The area comprises 400 miles of track and encompasses depots in Reading itself, Paddington, Swindon and Didcot. The move is a major step by Network Rail to getting a better understanding of the work being carried out on its infrastructure, and it is the first time since the privatisation of the railways that maintenance has been carried out by the infrastructure owner.  Network Rail’s responsibilities will include all infrastructure inspection work and the planning and implementation of the day to day physical on track maintenance work. In taking responsibility for the ‘Reading area’, Network Rail will benefit from the experience of the existing, highly skilled workforce.  500 employees will transfer to Network Rail from Amey including managerial and clerical staff, signalling technicians, permanent way track workers, overhead line technicians and fixed plant technicians.                                                                                     -more-                                                                                                                                                             Reading - 2 Taking responsibility of the ‘Reading area’ will provide Network Rail with a clearer    understanding of the costs and associated issues of railway maintenance.  This will ensure that Network Rail strengthens its position as an informed buyer of maintenance services and will enable sensible and effective decisions to be made to improve the safety, performance and efficiency of the whole network. In addition, Network Rail is currently introducing its New Maintenance Programme, to ensure that key maintenance decisions across the network are made by Network Rail engineers at the front line.  In the future Network Rail will determine the scope and timings of all maintenance activity and carry out inspections to ensure it is completed to a high standard. Network Rail Chief Executive, John Armitt said: "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Amey.  The decision to take back the Reading contract is certainly no reflection upon Amey as a maintenance provider  - they will have the opportunity of bidding for further maintenance work in areas where existing contracts are to be renewed. “This is a significant step in enabling us to improve the efficiency of maintenance of the rail infrastructure in the future."

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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.

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