Putting passengers first is at the heart of Network Rail’s future changes

Posted: 13 February 2019 | | No comments yet

Network Rail has announced it intends to make changes to how it operates in the future, with a more customer-focused, service-driven approach that will aim to put passengers first.


Following an extensive review, Network Rail is planning to make changes in how it operates and Andrew Haines, Chief Executive, has released a statement to provide further information about the proposal of a new model for the organisation; one that will better align with train operators and franchises.

His statement reads: “As many of you know, after joining Network Rail late last summer [2018], I launched a 100-day review of the organisation to assess how we should best set ourselves up for the future. The review looked at three main things:

  1. How to provide the best possible service for passengers and freight users
  2. How to ensure we deliver the promises we’ve made for CP6
  3. How to improve the way we work collaboratively across the organisation and with industry partners.

“Listening to what people thought of us was an extremely important part of this work to me. I’ve met thousands of people, at depots and desks across the country, and individuals and groups throughout the wider industry.

“The feedback we received was invaluable and has informed a set of proposals which I am announcing today [12 February 2019].

“Network Rail will start thinking and behaving like a service organisation, determined to deliver for railway users, neighbours and each other. This focus on embedding a customer service mindset and changing our behaviours will underpin our success in the future.

“We will also be changing how we are organised, devolving further to 13 geographical routes to better match local needs and train operator franchises, helping join track and train together by moving decision making closer to those it affects. Our routes will be supported by five regional organisations, to which we will devolve project delivery, and will also be supported by two service units and smaller central teams. Transferring much of our central functions to the new regions will make us more responsive to the day-to-day needs of the routes and passengers.

“We will begin the process shortly after consultation and I expect the whole programme to be complete by the end of 2020. I’m confident that over time, these changes will help change the business to one that delivers better day-to-day performance for the railway and is unequivocally on the side of passengers and freight users.”

What’s changing?

Network Rail’s plans show there will be 13 routes increased from the current eight. Each route will have responsibility for delivery of its operations, maintenance and renewals. The routes will also be responsible for day-to-day delivery of train performance and will work closely with their local train operating partners.

The routes will be supported by five Network Rail regions, each led by a Managing Director. These will be Scotland, Wales & Western, London North Western, Southern and Eastern.

A number of previously centralised services and functions will also be devolved to region or route level enabling a more proactive responsive to customers and passengers and to better deliver future plans.

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