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Railhub Archive
2015-01-15 HoC-001
House of Commons


Railways: Network Rail

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House of Commons

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House of Commons

Railways: Network Rail

15 January 2015
source House of Commons
type Briefing note

note House of Commons Library briefing note

This note describes how Network Rail is run, its responsibilities and reforms.

Network Rail is responsible for the operation, maintenance and improvement of railway
infrastructure (i.e. the track, signals, bridges and stations) in England, Scotland and Wales.
Its primary customers are the train and freight operating companies who run train services
over the network. It was set up in 2002 as a company limited by guarantee, run on
commercial lines but without shareholders, reinvesting profits in the railway. On 1 September
2014 the company became an arm’s-length body of the Department for Transport.

The company has been under pressure for several years due to engineering overruns and
concerns over its governance structure and accountability. In May 2011 the McNulty Rail
Value for Money study was published. This made a number of recommendations designed to
make NR more efficient and accountable and to drive down the costs of the rail industry over
the medium term. In response to McNulty, NR announced plans to devolve the way in which
it managed and maintained the network into regional units that would be more closely
aligned with the train companies in those areas. In March 2012 the Government responded
to McNulty by proposing a revised governance structure for NR.

In 2013 it was announced that NR would be reclassified as a central government body in the
public sector; the main effects of this are that NR’s debt (estimated to reach £50 billion by
2019) has moved onto the Government’s balance sheet and the Government is able to exert
more direct control over pay and strategy. This took place on 1 September 2014.


[[full text in attached document]]

Network Rail briefing document

Railhub Archive ::: 2015-01-15 HoC-001


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