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2014-06-23 RDG-001
Rail Delivery Group


Changes to planning rail improvement work can deliver up to £1bn savings and benefits

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Rail Delivery Group

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Rail Delivery Group

Changes to planning rail improvement work can deliver up to £1bn savings and benefits

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Running a better railway ... (RDG, 2014)


23 June 2014
source Rail Delivery Group
type Press release

The railway can save hundreds of millions of pounds while delivering more and better services by enhancing how it plans and manages day-to-day maintenance and major improvement projects, according to a new report by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

The RDG report published today shows how the industry can work together to help Network Rail achieve its target of a 20% cut in running costs by 2019 by establishing more collaborative planning and working practices.

Over the last 18 months, a dedicated RDG working group has been looking at where and how the railway can be more efficient in its planning and decision making around essential maintenance and improvement work, and in how it manages assets.

Work to date by the group – which brings together Network Rail, passenger and freight operators, contractors, suppliers, the Department for Transport and Office of Rail Regulation – has found that significant benefits can be delivered by 2019, not only in financial savings, but also in improved services for rail users.

The RDG’s report sets out how the industry can do this by:

o Changing the way maintenance, renewals and enhancement work is planned and carried out (potential cross industry benefits: £150m – £350m)
o Removing redundant or problematic switches and crossings (£30m – £40m)
Increasing ‘time on tools’ during possession windows by reducing hand over, set up and hand back time (£60m – £140m)
o Better risk management for infrastructure projects through establishing more collaborative agreements between Network Rail, operators and contractors, so that risk is collectively identified and shared (£100 – £230m)
o Involving operators earlier in the planning of major projects to avoid Network Rail delivering – and therefore spending – more than is needed for operators’ requirements
o Improved planning and working practices leading to more services for passengers and therefore more fares revenue for government (£130m – £300m)

Network Rail’s work to drive up efficiency has delivered costs savings of around 40% over the last decade. The new ways of working outlined are already in place on some parts of the network.

Tim O’Toole, Chief Executive of FirstGroup and RDG lead on the work, said: “All parts of the railway are committed to making taxpayers’ and passengers’ money go further and helping Network Rail meet its efficiency targets. It is equally important that any changes we make to how maintenance and improvement work is managed also benefit rail users, by reducing disruption, improving safety and potentially allowing operators to run more services.

“The RDG recognises that the railway is only as good as its staff and that the progress made over the last 20 years was only possible due to their daily hard work. Our frontline workforce will underpin rail’s future success and the RDG’s role is to provide staff with the leadership and support to enable them to continue improving this vitally important industry.”

Robin Gisby, Network Rail's managing director of network operations, said: “With more people and freight travelling by rail than ever before on what remains Europe’s safest major railway, the industry should be proud of what it has achieved over the last decade.

“But if we are to meet future challenges in providing greater capacity while reducing costs, we know the industry needs to make changes to how it operates. The RDG work has identified how to help Network Rail meet its tough efficiency targets and deliver wider safety and performance benefits over the next five years, through greater collaboration with the rest of the industry to plan and carry out essential work.”

Read the full report, ‘Running a better railway: How changes to planning rail improvement work can deliver savings and better services’, with detail on recommended changes and estimated potential benefits.


Notes to editors

1. The RDG’s Asset, Programme & Supply Chain Management working group was set up in 2012 to explore how to drive up efficiency in the railway through closer cross industry working and collaborative planning, and greater incentives to foster a best value approach to planning, procurement and delivery. Its membership comprises Network Rail, passenger and freight operators, rail supplier body Rail Industry Association, contractors, the Department for Transport and Office of Rail Regulation.

2. 1 April 2014 marked the beginning of a five year, £38billion investment programme for Network Rail to maintain and improve infrastructure to deliver better, safer, and more efficient railway between 2014 and 2019 (known as control period 5/CP5). Included in the programme is a target to reduce running costs by 20% by the end of CP5. More information on the Network Rail website.

Railhub Archive ::: 2014-06-23 RDG-001


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