Network Rail regulation and performance

13.04.18

Suppliers invited to challenge ‘rigorous’ NR standards for incentives

Network Rail is encouraging contractors, suppliers and stakeholders to propose changes to its standards, or the detailed requirements that underpin how the railway and improvement projects are run and delivered – all in exchange for incentives set to be progressively rolled out across the sector.

So far, Network Rail has already updated and streamlined 400 of its standards to cut down on complexity and cost, as well as encourage innovation.

Suppliers and other stakeholders will also be asked to suggest better ways of maintaining and enhancing the railway via Network Rail’s new standards challenge process.

The move comes as part of the infrastructure owner’s ambition to behave like a private sector business, a vision that chief executive Mark Carne has reiterated consistently over the past months and years.

Network Rail believes the move will break down barriers and make it easier to introduce new ideas and streamlined procedures from experts in the industry, thus making the company more customer-focused, competitive and commercially attractive to investors.

As part of the process, suppliers and other stakeholders are now able to submit a Standards Challenge Application when they consider the standard to be wrong, not support the application of best practice, or offer low value for money – ultimately getting rid of existing limitations.

All challenges received will undergo a rigorous impact assessment across a broad range of output capabilities such as safety, performance, environment and compatibility to make sure the capabilities are not compromised.

Jon Shaw, chief engineer at Network Rail, said: “We’ve recently updated our 400 most critical standards but to ensure our standards always represent current best practice and constantly strive to safely reduce the cost of the railway, we need the help of our wider industry partners as well as experts from other industries and universities.

“The launch of the standards challenge process is the lever for this, providing genuine recognition and incentives to propose more efficient ways of both enhancing and maintaining our railway.”

Network Rail will progressively introduce incentives following the launch of the process in order to engage stakeholders and encourage challenges. This can be done, for example, through providing corporate recognition of successful applications, assessing contract performance in relation to standards innovation, or, in certain scenarios, sharing part of the savings achieved after a successful challenge on a project.

David Clarke, technical director at the Railway Industry Association, which assisted Network Rail in finding a way to review its standards, said this challenge process was a key recommendation of the Hansford Review into contestability. He argued it provides supplies “with the ability to question overly rigorous standards thereby unlocking innovation, getting new technologies into the network and reducing costs.”

“Following two workshops with the rail supply chain, Network Rail has a system by which companies can provide their suggestions and ideas. Now, it is for the industry to come forward with their creative solutions – and we encourage all to do so,” Clarke added.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Up to 200 jobs at risk in Alstom Pendolino cuts

22/06/2018Up to 200 jobs at risk in Alstom Pendolino cuts

As many as 200 staff members could lose their jobs as one of the UK’s major train manufacturers looks to cut costs... more >
New Hitachi Azuma parked by Stephenson’s Rocket in rare sneak peek

22/06/2018New Hitachi Azuma parked by Stephenson’s Rocket in rare sneak peek

Those visiting the Great Exhibition of the North in Newcastle will have the rare chance to see Hitachi’s brand-new... more >
Expansion of rail ‘only viable option’ to grow UK cities

22/06/2018Expansion of rail ‘only viable option’ to grow UK cities

The expansion of rail is the “only viable option” to grow UK cities and allow them to achieve their economic... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained.... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Why the rail industry needs more women

22/06/2018Why the rail industry needs more women

Anesha Rachel Malhan, one of the learners at the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), discusses her experience as the only woman at her ... more >
Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

05/06/2018Apprenticeship levy: the latest picture

Mark Holmes, head of membership and development at NSAR, describes the current resources available to the rail industry to ensure companies of al... more >
Moving in the right direction

05/06/2018Moving in the right direction

Alex Cropper, head of projects group at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), reports on the exciting progress so far in building the Trafford... more >
Overcoming leaves on the line

05/06/2018Overcoming leaves on the line

Paul Gray, professional lead of engineering R&D at the RSSB, explains how latest research proves using double variable rate sanders on trains... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >