Network Rail to put brand-new projects on hold

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Media captionNetwork Rail chief executive, Mark Carne

Network Rail is usually to move away through big projects in its next several-year funding period in favour of spending its cash on maintaining its current network.

Britain’s rail along with track operator has published its plan through 2019 to 2024.

The company could spend up to £47bn, with the amount set aside for brand-new schemes falling by 33% along with the total for current improvements rising by 25%.

This specific also hopes to improve the number of female employees by 50%, or more than 3,000, to about 9,500.

Network Rail currently employs 38,000 people.

‘More ambitious’

Chief executive Mark Carne told the BBC of which the brand-new funding period could be “more focused on the day-to-day operations”.

He said: “The last several years has been about huge projects, like Thameslink, Crossrail, Great Western electrification along with Edinburgh-Glasgow electrification. The next control period is usually slightly different.”

Mr Carne denied the move was a backwards step, adding: “I don’t think This specific’s less ambitious at all, I think This specific’s in a way more ambitious.

“We have 20,000 miles of track along with 4,500,000 people every day who depend on the railway along with I think This specific should be our primary responsibility to make sure of which we run of which network reliably along with efficiently for them.”

A total of £18.5bn will go into the operation along with maintenance side of the business along that has a similar amount will be allocated for renewing along with replacing old infrastructure like signalling systems.

There is usually £10.1bn set aside for brand-new projects, with most of of which likely to go on improving the line between Manchester along with Leeds.

of which could probably go on upgrading existing tunnels, bridges along with lines rather than a brand-new Northern Powerhouse Railway.

The previous plan was called the biggest investment in Britain’s railways since the Victorian era, with large-scale electrification supposed to reduce the cost of trains, increase reliability along with reduce carbon emissions.

However, projects around the country have been shelved along with Mr Carne added: “We’ve discovered the cost of electrification of the network is usually very expensive. This specific’s very difficult to do because we have so little time to intervene along with work on the network at night. So This specific’s cost more to do of which. inside the meantime the trains are getting better.”


Analysis: Victoria Fritz, BBC transport correspondent

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At first This specific was a footnote.

Four years on, the boss of Network Rail, Mark Carne, may regret calling an accountancy change statistical.

Transferring Network Rail’s debt to the national balance sheet exposed its reliance on the money markets to cover shortfalls in funding.

With the figleaf gone, the appetite to embark on big trophy projects has diminished.

For at This specific point, Network Rail is usually going back to the bread along with butter business of maintaining along with renewing what This specific already owns. With greater funding comes greater scrutiny.

A recently-launched body, the System Operator, sits within Network Rail to assess the feasibility of rail franchises as they come up for renewal.

This specific is usually likely to have a busy few years ahead.


Mr Carne is usually stepping down through his £880,000 a year post later in 2018 along with said: “By the time I leave I will have been inside the job for four-along with-a-half years. To do more than one several-year control period could be too much.”

He welcomed the idea of which he could be replaced by a woman.

“I think This specific could be great,” he said. “We are hugely focused on increasing gender diversity along with all forms of diversity inside the rail industry along with wouldn’t This specific be wonderful to have a woman chief executive of the company?

“inside the last four years alone, we have increased the number of women working in our company by 42% so we’re definitely focused on This specific.

“I know, along with I see This specific every day, of which gender diverse teams just perform better than homogenous teams, so This specific is usually about great business performance as well as the moral along with ethical responsibility to be fair.”

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