Thursday 31 Aug 2017
Track, train and passengers line up to transform the East Coast Main Line
Railway companies running the East Coast Main Line (ECML) have got together to form a dedicated Route Supervisory Board. The board will ensure there is one voice representing customers, holding the rail industry to account and ensuring the different elements work together to drive improvements.
Sir Gary Verity, business leader and Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, will independently chair the board. The supervisory board will be formed of senior representatives of Network Rail and the train companies operating on the ECML along with representatives from passenger groups and regional economies along the ECML.
Rob McIntosh, managing director of Network Rail’s London North Eastern & East Midlands route, said: “Britain's railway is ever more important to economic growth so, working together, we are determined to deliver more for customer and communities across the country. The board will work together with one voice to best represent customers the length of the East Coast Main Line, bringing track and train closer together, driving improvements and holding the industry to account.
"I’m very pleased that Sir Gary has agreed to chair our board, bringing his valuable insight from outside the rail industry to help us grow the ECML and deliver its maximum potential value for UK Plc.”
Sir Gary Verity said: “I’m very excited to become part of the team at this important time in the evolution of train travel. I’m looking forward to working with rail industry partners and stakeholders across the regions to help deliver a successful next chapter in the history of East Coast Main Line.”
Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “This is excellent news for passengers between Scotland, the North East, Yorkshire and London. We are investing in the biggest upgrade of the railway since the Victorian age, including in a brand new fleet of Intercity Express Trains on the East Coast Main Line. Delivering such major improvements and repairs, whilst keeping the busy railway moving, is a tough task, and it is much better done by a joined up local team. Bringing the management of track and train closer together will mean disruption is minimised as we deliver these better journeys for passengers.”
David Horne, managing director of Virgin Trains East Coast said: “Together with Network Rail, we’re moving forward at great speed in transforming rail travel on the east coast and I welcome the appointment of Sir Gary as someone who shares Virgin’s passion and drive to deliver a truly best in class railway for our communities.”
Richard McClean, managing director of Grand Central said: “Setting up a Route Supervisory Board for the East Coast Main Line is a wonderful opportunity for the whole rail industry to work smarter together as one team to deliver for the passengers and communities that we serve. The appointment of Sir Gary shows how seriously we take our responsibilities in this area and I look forward to working with him and rail industry colleagues to unlock the real potential of this vital part of the rail network.”
The supervisory board will begin from September this year and details of the formation will follow.
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About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.