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Railhub Archive
2003-10-24 ATO-001


Train operators want smooth transition for maintenance contracts

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Association of Train Operating Companies

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Train operators want smooth transition for maintenance contracts

24 October 2003
source ATOC
type Press release

Commenting on Network Rail’s decision to take all maintenance contracts in-house, ATOC Director General, George Muir, said: "It is no reflection on the maintenance companies, but this is the right thing to do. We must have more reliable maintenance and lower costs - what we have now cannot be allowed to continue. We are relying on Network Rail to implement the transition smoothly and deliver the promised benefits.

"On the other hand, track renewals are a fundamentally different task to maintenance, and it is right and proper that Network Rail continues to put these works out to competitive tender.

"The private sector, through the train operators, their suppliers and track renewal companies, will continue to play a central role in delivering for Britain’s railway."
Commenting on the background of maintenance contracts, Mr Muir said:

"Since the beginning, in 1994, the track maintenance contracts have been difficult to manage. It is not an easy interface, and there have been numerous attempts to make it work better. The form of contract has been changed a number of times to try to address issues, from the original RT1A contract, through to the most recent ‘NMP contract’.

"There has been a lot of good will on both sides, but it has proved impossible to resolve some fundamental issues - around decision making, supervision, and cost. The vagaries of track and signaling condition has made it impossible to codify these matters across a contractual boundary, and the only way forward to deliver consistent quality and reduce aggregate costs seems to be for Network Rail to take direct responsibility for this function.

"Track renewal is a different matter. It is reasonably straightforward to define what is required and for suppliers to price and deliver the work – and a lot of it is done very well. This should continue to be put out to competitive tender, as now.

"The task Network Rail is taking on is daunting, but they have had time to plan it, and it is essential that it is implemented efficiently."


For more information ATOC press office 020 7904 3010

About ATOC

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is the official voice for the passenger rail industry – representing train companies to the government and other opinion formers on transport policy issues.

ATOC manages many joint activities for train operators including revenue allocation and settlement, impartial retailing, the National Rail Enquiry Service (NRES), railcard marketing, staff travel arrangements, international products and travel agent licensing.

Railhub Archive ::: 2003-10-24 ATO-001


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