Northern Powerhouse


Network Rail’s, Anna-Jane Hunter on HS2, NPR, and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and the success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving.

We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecting the North through TRU, HS2, NPR and the supply chain opportunities available, ahead of this October’s TransCityRail North event.

How does your role as Director for North of England Rail at Network Rail impact on the supply chain?

As Director, I work with customers and stakeholders across the region to help promote and achieve improvements in rail. This includes huge opportunities to support the ongoing growth and investment in the region such as new trains, new services and connecting the north through schemes such as TRU, HS2 and NPR- which are huge opportunities for the supply chain. I want to see continued investment and success for the whole industry and our supply chain.

What are the key elements of the ‘game changing’ GNRP project and what benefits will this bring to the supply chain?

As part of the ongoing GNPR project – we’ve linked Manchester’s three stations for the first time, built two new platforms at the city’s airport and regenerated Manchester Victoria. We’ve delivered better journeys for millions of passengers by electrifying the Liverpool/Manchester line Blackpool/Manchester lines. Engineers are on site at Leeds station creating new capacity by building a new platform and remodelling others.

Liverpool Lime Street has already been transformed, with the extra capacity we have created leading to a new Glasgow service this year and improved links for passengers to north Wales, Chester and Runcorn. And the Sheffield-Rotherham tram-train has pioneered a new light rail solution for the million passengers a month.

Our absolute focus is to get people where they need to be, reliably - on time, every time.

We are also working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on growing. This will provide opportunities for the supply chain, for example, the recent junction renewal at Acton Grange. This was delivered by local contractors who were able to guarantee work for a whole depot.

Speaking with RTM back in January, you mentioned the North is ‘catching up’ on investment after decades of being left behind. How are you ensuring the North does not get left behind?

We know that a better and more reliable rail network is a catalyst for economic growth for the North. Good transport links improve: connectivity to labour markets; business to business engagement; access to universities, research and education; freight markets; opportunities for tourism and culture; and grow international trade. This is why we work closely with freight and train operating companies, local transport bodies, TfN and the DfT to identify ways in which to grow our network.

What opportunities will the North of England Platform Extension Programme bring to the supply chain?

Longer trains across the region means a need for longer platforms. Our supply chain is crucial in this programme, offering us locally based teams to deliver the work bank and ensure upgrades are completed. We’re also coming up with innovative solutions, driven by the suppliers themselves. For example, as part of the platform heightening work at Marsden earlier this year, a quick-to-deploy ‘hump’ was installed, negating the need for a lengthy and expensive reconstruction of the platform.

TCR North is an industry leading event to connect buyers with suppliers. As a key figure in the industry, how will this event help deliver your message and help you to reach new suppliers?

TCR North is a great event where we get to talk about the long-term vision for the north and how the supply chain can look forward to being involved in delivering it. It’s also great for me to hear about and meet new suppliers involved in that delivery. I’m always particularly excited to hear about innovative solutions people are implementing in the region.

Hear from Anna-Jane Hunter on why TransCityRail is Integral to the North…




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