Saturday 13 Dec 2003

STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO SCOTRAIL ALLEGATIONS

Region & Route:
National
Network Rail’s Deputy Chief Executive Iain Coucher has expressed his “disappointment” at the allegations made against Network Rail by ScotRail today. Mr Coucher, who is speaking at tomorrow’s Delivering the New Rail Infrastructure conference in Edinburgh, said: “The allegations fail to recognise the enormous amount of change and hard work that Network Rail and its employees have put in the last 14 months since we took responsibility for Scotland’s rail infrastructure. “It is only by working together as an industry can we hope to improve the service we provide to the passenger. We will continue to work closely with Scotrail o deliver these improvements but looking to apportion blame helps no-one, especially the passenger.” The projects singled out by ScotRail’s Chief Executive Peter Cotton were seen through by Railtrack, Network Rail’s predecessor, some two to three years ago. Network Rail acquired Railtrack in October 2002. Notes to editors: NEWS RELEASE: Automatic door replacement at Glasgow Queen Street, Ayr and Dundee stations priced at £72,000 by Network Rail. FACT: Railtrack gave initial indication of cost at level 0. The work was not subject to tender. ScotRail returned with the cost of £32,000. The go ahead was approved by the investment Panel as value for money. NEWS RELEASE: At Inverness station work priced as part of the town centre development covered removal of some minor buildings and construction of a car park with anadditional 60 spaces. It was costed at £265,000. ScotRail commissioned a new set of design drawings and had the scheme done for £180,000 – including a new Sleeper lounge. FACT: The work was priced at level 0 costs and was not subject to tendering, at the time. Railtrack managed to secure third party funding from (Sun Alliance,occupiers of adjacent East Gate Business Park), further reducing the project costs. NEWS RELEASE: A £330,000 estimate for work related to Trespass and Vandalism (T&V), ScotRail took the specification elsewhere and it costed £88,000. FACT: ScotRail asked Railtrack  to scope T&V initiatives at railway stations across the network, which were costed at £330,000. This money was provided for ScotRail to complete the works. This new figure of £88,000 is a surprise and we will be seeking an explanation from  ScotRail. For Network Rail to carry out work for ScotRail we have to engage a contractor who has a contractor's assurance case. With ScotRail holding the safety case for Scotland’s minor stations, their costs are always likely to be less. In addition, project costs can differ because of project differences. Any costs associated with any work undertaken by Network Rail must be offset against value for money, quality and long term integrity of rail infrastructure

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office - National
020 3356 8700
mediarelations@networkrail.co.uk

About Network Rail

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.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk