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Encyclopedia > Network Rail
Network Rail
Type Company limited by guarantee
Founded 2002
Headquarters Flag of the United Kingdom London, United Kingdom
Key people Sir Ian McAllister, Chairman
Iain Coucher Chief Executive
Peter Henderson – Group Infrastructure Director
Ron Henderson - Group Finance Director
Industry Railway infrastructure provision
Revenue £5.8 Billion (2007)[1]
Employees 32,000
Website www.networkrail.co.uk

Network Rail is a British "not for dividend" company limited by guarantee whose principal asset is Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, a company limited by shares. Network Rail owns and operates the fixed infrastructure assets of the British railway system. Network Rail logo from http://www. ... In British or Irish company law, a Limited Company is a person on its own right. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... This is the top-level page of WikiProject trains Rail tracks Rail transport refers to the land transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. ... For the tax agency in Ireland of the same name, see Revenue Commissioners. ... GBP redirects here. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... This article is about work. ... A website (alternatively, Web site or web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or several Web server(s), usually accessible via the Internet, cell phone or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML... In British or Irish company law, a Limited Company is a person on its own right. ...



Network Rail owns the infrastructure, including the railway tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, level crossings and most stations, but not the passenger or commercial freight rolling stock. Network Rail took over ownership by buying Railtrack plc, which was in "railway administration", from Railtrack Group plc for £500 million. The purchase was completed on 3 October 2002. Rail tracks. ... It has been suggested that safeworking be merged into this article or section. ... A disused railway tunnel now converted to pedestrian and bicycle use, near Houyet, Belgium A tunnel is an underground passage. ... This article is about the edifice (including an index to articles on specific bridge types). ... The term level crossing (also called a railroad crossing, railway crossing, train crossing or grade crossing) is a crossing on one level (at-grade intersection) — without recourse to a bridge or tunnel — of a railway line by a road, path, or another railroad. ... Passengers bustle around the typical grand edifice of Londons Broad Street station in 1865. ... Rolling Stock banner Rolling Stock was a newspaper of ideas and a chronicle of the 1980s published in Boulder, Colorado by Ed Dorn and Jennifer Dunbar Dorn. ... For the generic term, see rail tracks. ... is the 276th day of the year (277th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ...

The company's headquarters is at 40 Melton Street, Euston, London. The current Chairman is Sir Ian McAllister, also Chairman of the Carbon Trust and formerly Managing Director of Ford Motor Company Limited. Its chief executive is Iain Coucher. Its executive board is small. The Carbon Trust is an independent, non-profit organization which was created by the UK government to help businesses and public organisations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, through improved efficiency and developing low carbon technology. ... Ford may mean a number of things: A ford is a river crossing. ...

Following an initial period in which Network Rail established itself and demonstrated its competence in addressing the principal challenges of improving asset condition, reducing unit costs and tackling delay, the Government’s Rail Review in 2004 White Paper said that Network Rail should be given responsibility for whole-industry performance reporting, timetable development, specification of small and medium network enhancements, and the delivery of route-specific utilisation strategies (RUS). Some of these are functions which Network Rail already had; others - such as the obligation to devise route utilisation strategies - were transferred to Network Rail from the Strategic Rail Authority, a non-departmental public body, part of the UK government. (The SRA was subsequently abolished.) Categories: Stub ...

Network Rail also secured a 15-year lease on Square One in Manchester, moving and recruiting 800 staff to one of Manchester's largest refurbished office spaces[2].

Private sector status, governance structure and accountability

The Government denies that they have nationalised the rail network in order to prevent Railtrack's shareholders claiming the four year average price of Railtrack, about £10 per share, via the European Court of Human Rights. There has been considerable controversy over whether Network Rail is a public-sector or a private-sector entity. Although officially a private sector organisation, the fact that its debts are underwritten by the government, and it is funded by the government, has led to it being described as being "nationalisation in all but name"[3]. It is also claimed that the government is keen for Network Rail not to be classified as a public sector organisation, as this would mean that the company's enormous debts (over £20 billion) would be counted as public expenditure liabilities.

The company is accountable to a body of Members through its corporate constitution, to its commercial train operator customers through its contracts with them (the contracts are subject to regulatory oversight), and to the public interest through the statutory powers of the Office of Rail Regulation.

Since Network Rail does not have shareholders, its members hold the Board of Directors to account for their management of the business. Members are appointed by an independent panel and serve a three-year term. They have a number of statutory rights and duties which include attending annual general meetings, receiving the Annual Report and Accounts, and approving the appointment or re-appointment of Network Rail’s directors. Members have a duty to act in the best interests of the company without personal bias. They receive no payments other than travel expenses.

Members have clearly defined and limited powers; they do not run the company. Setting the strategic direction and the day-to-day management of Network Rail is the responsibility of the company’s Board of Directors. That direction must be consistent with the regulatory jurisdiction of the Office of Rail Regulation, and with the requirements of its contracts. The Office of Rail Regulation in turn operates within the overall transport policy set by the UK Department for Transport, including as to what the Government wants the railway industry to achieve and how much money the Government is prepared to put into the industry. This means that the degree of Government influence and control over the company is higher than it was before these enlargements of the powers and role of the Government were introduced by the Railways Act 2005. In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the transport network. ... The Railways Act 2005 was a railway act in the United Kingdom. ...

At any one time there are around 100 members in total, drawn from a wide range of industry partners and members of the public. There are two general categories of membership, industry members comprising any organisation holding a licence to operate on the railway or preferred bidder for a railway franchise, and public members who are drawn from the wider stakeholder community.

The UK Office for National Statistics insists that it is correct to have classified Network Rail as in the private sector. Nethertheless some mistakes in referencing the company as a public sector entity are occasionally made; in October 2002 in the House of Lords government minister Lord McIntosh of Haringey, in answering a question, said: “The Question is about the West Coast main line, and it is true that the cost has escalated from a little over £2 billion to £10 billion. That shows incredible lack of control and forethought by Railtrack. We must get a grip of it, and we are getting a grip of it. However, we were able to get a grip of it only after it went into administration and we were able to take the company back again.” [Italics added] (House of Lords, Official Report, 17 October 2002, Cols 953-956). In the House of Commons on 24 October 2005, the former Secretary of State for Transport Stephen Byers MP said: "... I make no apology for ... unwinding the Tory privatisation that was Railtrack" (House of Commons, Official Report, 24 October 2005, Col 66). And on 1 February 2007, the Leader of the House of Commons (Jack Straw) said: "... rail privatisation ... was one of the most catastrophic reorganisations, which we have had to resolve, and having done that — [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Bone) may mock, but we brought Network Rail into public ownership ..." [Italics added] (House of Commons, Official Report, 1 February 2007, Col 363). Office for National Statistics logo The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the United Kingdom government executive agency charged with the collection and publication of statistics related to the economy, population and society of the United Kingdom at national and local levels. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... The Right Honourable Stephen John Byers (born April 13, 1953) is a British Labour Party politician and former cabinet minister. ... is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Network Rail's main customers are the 21 passenger and four freight train operating companies, who provide train services on the infrastructure that the company owns and maintains. Network Rail does not run passenger services directly; ultimately both Network Rail and the train operating companies have the shared responsibility of delivering train services to the travelling public. An electric container freight train Freight wagons filled with limestone await unloading, at sidings in Rugby, England An SP freight train west of Chicago in 1992. ...

Monitoring Network Rail's performance

The Office of Rail Regulation monitors Network Rail's performance on a continuous basis against targets established by the regulatory authority in the most recent access charges review (2003), against obligations in the company's network licence and against forecasts in its own business plan. If performance is poor,the company will face criticism and possible enforcement action from its commercial customers (undertheir contracts) and from the Office of Rail Regulation (enforcing the company's network licence). It may also be criticised by its members in general meeting.

In the end of year report 2005/06, the ORR reported on train performance that: "Train Performance: Good progress has been made in improving punctuality. The Public Performance Measure (PPM) of 86.4% in the year is up from 85.5% (refreshed) at the end of the third quarter (Q3) and up from 83.6% last year." Network Rail Monitor, Executive Summary

Profit 1.For the first time in Network Rail's history a profit was made this year- allowing money to be reinvested into the network. 2.Train punctuality is at a seven year high. 3.Passenger numbers are at an all time high

Network Rail and National Rail

Network Rail should not be confused with National Rail. National Rail is a brand used to explain and promote a network of passenger railway services. National Rail uses the BR double-arrow logo A typical National Rail station sign showing the double-arrow logo National Rail is a brand name of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). ...

The two networks are very similar, but not exactly the same. Most Network Rail lines also carry freight traffic, some lines are freight only, and a few lines that carry passenger traffic are not part of the National Rail network (for example High Speed 1, Heathrow Express and the London Underground). Conversely some National Rail services operate over track that is not part of the Network Rail network (for example where they run on London Underground track). 0 km London St Pancras Temple Mills Eurostar Depot 9 km Stratford International 10 km 21 km 27 km 30 km 32 km 37 km Ebbsfleet International 39 km 50 km 54 km 88 km 89 km 90 km Ashford International 91 km 106 km Dollands Moor Freight terminal 108... Heathrow Express is a train service from Heathrow Airport to Paddington in central London operated by the Heathrow Express Operating Authority—a wholly owned subsidiary of BAA. The service is not part of the National Rail system, despite part of its journey sharing track with National Rail trains and terminating... The London Underground is an underground railway system - also known as a rapid transit system - that serves a large part of Greater London, United Kingdom and some neighbouring areas. ...

Infrastructure maintenance

In classic HST pose, the Network Rail New Measurement Train heads past Dawlish
In classic HST pose, the Network Rail New Measurement Train heads past Dawlish
A depot at Norwood Junction station in Croydon
A depot at Norwood Junction station in Croydon

In October 2003 Network Rail announced that it would take over all infrastructure maintenance work from private contractors, following concerns about the quality of work carried out by certain private firms, and spiralling costs. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x683, 293 KB) © Nathan Williamson source: http://great-western. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x683, 293 KB) © Nathan Williamson source: http://great-western. ... For the other locomotive given TOPS Class 43, see British Rail Class 43 (Warship Class). ... The Network Rail New Measurement Train (NMT) is a High Speed Train (Class 43 power cars and Mark 2 and Mark 3 coaches) that is designed for assessing the condition of track so that engineers can determine where to work. ... Map sources for Dawlish at grid reference SX963767 The Great Western Main Line runs along the Dawlish seafront Dawlish is a town on the south coast of Devon, England, 12 miles from the County town of Exeter, with a population of around 13,000 people. ... For other uses, see Croydon (disambiguation). ... 2003 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December A timeline of events in the news for October, 2003. ...

February 2004 saw the opening of an operations centre at Waterloo station in London, operated jointly by Network Rail and the train operating company South West Trains. This was the first full collaboration of its kind since privatisation, and it is regarded as a model for other areas of the network, with a further six integrated Network Rail + TOC Control Centres having opened since then, at Blackfriars, Croydon (Leading Control for First Capital Connect), Swindon, Birmingham, Glasgow and, most recently, Liverpool Street. For other uses, see Waterloo station (disambiguation). ... South West Trains (SWT) is a train operating company operating in the United Kingdom, providing train services to the south-west of London, chiefly in Greater London and the counties of Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Berkshire and Wiltshire (the area largely covered before 1923 by the London and South... Blackfriars Station has most of its platforms on a bridge over the river. ... Swindon railway station is a railway station serving the town of Swindon in Wiltshire in England. ... The tracks at the eastern end of Birmingham New Street station Class 390 no. ... For other uses, see Glasgow (disambiguation). ... Liverpool Street station, also called London Liverpool Street, is a mainline railway station and connected London Underground station in the north eastern corner of the City of London, the main financial district, with entrances on Bishopsgate and Liverpool Street itself. ...

Track renewal, the ongoing modernisation of the railway network by replacing track and signalling, continues to be carried out by private engineering firms under contract. The biggest renewals project is the multi-billion-pound upgrade of the London to Glasgow West Coast Main Line. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Glasgow Central is the larger of the two present main-line railway terminals in Glasgow, Scotland, and is managed by Network Rail. ... The WCML running alongside the M1 motorway at Watford Gap in Northamptonshire A Virgin Pendolino and freight train on the WCML The West Coast Main Line (WCML) is one of the most important intercity railway lines in the United Kingdom, part of the British railway system. ...

Network Rail initially sub-contracted much of the work and the site to private Infrastructure Maintenance Companies such as Carillion and First Engineering. Other sub-contractors are used on site for specialist work or additional labour. These include: The Netherlands Carillon in Arlington, Virginia, USA A carillon is a keyboard percussion instrument composed of a range of bells controlled by a keyboard. ...

  • Sky Blue
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Laboursite
  • BCL
  • Atkins (Atkins Rail)

Since 2003 Network Rail has been building up significant in-house engineering skills, including funding of apprenticeship and foundation degree schemes. Network Rail reports significant savings resulting from the initial transfers of work away from contracting companies. Additional contracts were taken back by Network Rail after the serious accident at Potters Bar and other accidents at Rotherham and King's Cross led Jarvis to pull out of the track repair business. Shortly after this, and due to other failures by maintenance companies, Network Rail took control of many more maintenance duties. Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Potters Bar rail crash occurred on May 10, 2002 at Potters Bar, in Hertfordshire just north of Greater London, when a northbound train derailed at high speed, killing seven and seriously injuring another eleven. ...

In 2006, Network Rail made public a high-tech plan to combat the effects of slippery rail. This plan involves the use of satellites for tracking trouble areas, water-jetting trains and crews using railhead scrubbers, sand sticks and a substance called Natrusolve, which dissolves leaf mulch.[4] A poster on a Dublin Area Rapid Transit train informing passengers of leaf-related issues. ...

All workers working on, near or trackside have to undergo a Personal Track Safety assessment (re-assessed every two years). A Personal Track Safety (PTS) Certificate is required before anybody is allowed to work within the boundary of Network Rail tracks in the UK. Any potential employee must undergo a medical and a drug and alcohol test before attending a personal track safety course. ...

The safety record of the company has been marred by the Grayrigg derailment, when a Virgin express crashed at Grayrigg in Cumbria on 23 February 2007. The train was derailed by a faulty set of points. Network Rail have admitted responsibility for the accident. The RAIB investigation is ongoing, and criminal charges may be brought. Viaduct carrying the West Coast Main Line near the scene of the accident The Grayrigg derailment was a train crash that occurred at 20:10 (GMT) on 23 February 2007, at Grayrigg, Cumbria, in north-west England. ... is the 54th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...

In September 2007 it was announced that the number of track renewal contractors will be reduced to four from the current six. These are now

  • AmeySECO
  • Balfour Beatty
  • First Engineering Ltd.
  • Jarvis PLC

Six to Four Announcement

2007 business plan

In April 2007, Network Rail published its Business Plan[5] complete with route maps showing the entire network divided into 26 Strategic "Routes", which in most cases might be more accurately described as geographical areas. They are as follows:

  • Route 1 - Kent
  • Route 2 - Brighton Main Line and Sussex
  • Route 3 - South West Main Line
  • Route 4 - Wessex Routes
  • Route 5 - West Anglia
  • Route 6 - North London Line and Thameside
  • Route 7 - Great Eastern
  • Route 8 - East Coast Main Line
  • Route 9 - North East Routes
  • Route 10 - North Trans-Pennine, North and West Yorkshire
  • Route 11 - South Trans-Pennine, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
  • Route 12 - Reading to Penzance
  • Route 13 - Great Western Main Line
  • Route 14 - South and Central Wales and Borders
  • Route 15 - South Wales Valleys
  • Route 16 - Chilterns
  • Route 17 - West Midlands
  • Route 18 - West Coast Main Line
  • Route 19 - Midland Main Line and East Midlands
  • Route 20 - North West Urban
  • Route 21 - Merseyrail
  • Route 22 - North Wales and Borders
  • Route 23 - North West Rural
  • Route 24 - East of Scotland
  • Route 25 - Highlands
  • Route 26 - Strathclyde and South West Scotland

Railway stations

Network Rail owns more than 2500 railway stations on the national rail network. Management and operation of most of them is carried out by the principal train operating company serving that station, but Network Rail manages and operates 18 of the largest and busiest stations directly.[6] The Network Rail-managed stations are: Due to historical differences the railway network of the United Kingdom is split into two independent systems: one on the island of Great Britain and one in Northern Ireland, which is closely linked to the railway system of the Republic of Ireland. ...

London Bridge station is a National Rail and London Underground station in the London Borough of Southwark, which occupies a large area on two levels, immediately south-east of London Bridge and 1. ... Cannon Street is a National Rail and London Underground station complex in the City of London, the financial district of London in England. ... Charing Cross Charing Cross railway station is a central London railway terminus. ... Euston station, also known as London Euston, is a major railway station to the north of central London in the London Borough of Camden. ... Fenchurch Street is a railway station in the south eastern corner of the City of London close by the Tower of London and two miles (3. ... Kings Cross station (often spelt Kings Cross on platform signs) is a railway station in the district of the same name in northeast central London. ... Liverpool Street station, also called London Liverpool Street, is a mainline railway station and connected London Underground station in the north eastern corner of the City of London, the main financial district, with entrances on Bishopsgate and Liverpool Street itself. ... Paddington Station, March 2005 during rush hour Paddington station or London Paddington station is a major National Rail and London Underground station complex in the Paddington area of London. ... St Pancras railway station, now officially known as St Pancras International, is a major station located in the St Pancras area of central London, between the new British Library building to the west and Kings Cross station to the east. ... Victoria station in London is a London Underground and National Rail station in the City of Westminster. ... For other uses, see Waterloo station (disambiguation). ... The tracks at the eastern end of Birmingham New Street station Class 390 no. ... Waverley railway station- the principal mainline station in Edinburgh viewed from Edinburgh Castle. ... Gatwick Airport station is the railway station at Gatwick Airport that provides a direct rail connection to London. ... Glasgow Central is the larger of the two present main-line railway terminals in Glasgow, Scotland, and is managed by Network Rail. ... Leeds City station is the mainline railway station serving the city of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. ... The main entrance to Liverpool Lime Street Station Liverpool Lime Street railway station on Lime Street is the mainline railway station serving Liverpool, England. ... Interior shot of the station with the Victorian trainshed. ...


Executive Directors

Title Person Details
Chief Executive Iain Coucher On 2006-12-12, John Armitt announced that he would retire as Chief Executive of Network Rail at the end of July 2007. Iain Coucher was the previous deputy chief executive.[8][9]
Group Infrastructure Director Peter Henderson  
Group Finance Director Ron Henderson  

Peter Henderson and Ron Henderson are not related. Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... John Armitt, CBE, is the appointed Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, the body charged with building the venues, facilities and infrastructure for the 2012 Olympic Games, the appointment to commence on 1 September 2007 [1]. Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, announced the appointment in May 2007. ...

Other Directors

Title Person Details
Group Company Secretary Hazel Walker[10]  
Group Director, Government and Corporate Affairs Victoria Pender[11]  
Director, Planning and Regulation Paul Plummer[12]  
Director, Safety & Compliance Julian Lindfield[13]  

Training and development

Network Rail's Coventry leadership development centre, Westwood
Network Rail's Coventry leadership development centre, Westwood

Network Rail has several training and development sites around Britain. These include sites in Newcastle and Larbert which provide refresher courses, and train staff in new equipment. Advanced Apprentice Scheme trainees are trained at HMS Sultan in Gosport, using Royal Navy facilities. Network Rail bought a residential centre from Cable and Wireless in the Westwood Business Centre near Coventry for leadership development. The company and other industry partners such as Grant Rail and Balfour Beatty, also operate a Foundation Degree in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University. This article is about a city in the United Kingdom. ... Larbert is a parish and town of Stirlingshire, Scotland, Pop. ... HMS Sultan is a shore base of the Royal Navy in Gosport, Hampshire, UK. It is the head quarters of the Defence College of Electro-Mechanical Engineering (DCEME) and has overall control of teaching engineering to all three branches of the UK Armed Forces. ... This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ... Cable and Wireless is a British telecommunications company. ... For other uses, see Coventry (disambiguation). ...

In 2008, Network rail will pilot its first qualification in "track engineering". It has been given permission to develop courses equivalent to GCSE and A-levels.[1]


  1. ^ Report & Accounts 2007
  2. ^ http://www.piccadillymanchester.com/index.asp?Sessionx=IpqiNwc6IlIqNwB6IaqiNwA&realname=Bruntwood’s_big_deal
  3. ^ guardian.co.uk
  4. ^ Leaves on line cause rail delays.
  5. ^ http://www.networkrail.co.uk/aspx/3085.aspx - Network Rail - Business Plan 2007
  6. ^ Stations Run by Network Rail.
  7. ^ National Rail
  8. ^ "Network Rail chief set to retire", BBC, 2006-12-12. Retrieved on 2006-12-12. 
  9. ^ Network Rail. "John Armitt to retire as Chief Executive. Iain Coucher, his current Deputy is to succeed him". Press release. Retrieved on 2006-12-12.
  10. ^ Network Rail website
  11. ^ Network Rail website
  12. ^ Network Rail website
  13. ^ http://www.tracksafety.info/PSLGContentPage.aspx?PageId=PSLGTeam - Track Safety - PLSG (Projects Safety Leadership Group)

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For information on Wikipedia press releases, see Wikipedia:Press releases. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  • An article by Simon Jenkins about the Railtrack High Court case, which explains that the Government wanted to work its way around the nationalisation law..


  • The Office for National Statistics in row over Network Rail's status.
  • Network Rail has a BBB credit rating, as opposed to Railtrack's AAA one.


  • The Office for National Statistics in a row with Lord Oakshott over Network Rail's status.


  • The Office for National Statistics in a row with the Statistics Commission over Network Rail's status.




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