Latest Rail News


Alliance draft policy statement published

Network Rail’s proposals to form alliances with several operators have been welcomed by the ORR, if certain regulatory expectations are met.

The alliances involve greater integration and close working with operators to improve services to passengers and reduce cost. The alliances may also look at how stations can be better managed to provide a better service to passengers, how engineering work can be better planned or how improvements to train punctuality can be delivered.

A different type of working, labelled a ‘deep alliance’ is being developed with the Wessex route and South West Trains.

Paul Plummer, group strategy director, said: “Network Rail is committed to bringing down barriers to greater co-operation in the rail industry. By alliancing, we can work more efficiently with ultimate benefits to the taxpayer, passengers and freight users.

“Working with train operators in an alliance framework we will be able to better align incentives and see quicker, more joined-up, decision making. There will be a joint focus to drive continuous safety improvement and the needs of all customers – franchised, open access or freight – will be safeguarded.”

The ORR highlighted three key areas for Network Rail to consider in alliancing: ensuring there is legal compliance to existing obligations, non-discrimination in negotiating alliances and transparency.

ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “The development of alliances will act as a spur to both greater customer satisfaction and efficiency.

“ORR is here to protect the interests of passengers and taxpayers, and we understand that the rail industry needs clarity from us about our approach so it can get on with the job of implementing agreements. That is why we have set out key alliance requirements. ORR will expect to see rigorous safeguards to ensure that third parties are protected, and we will be robust in our monitoring of this.

“Alliancing has real potential to improve the lot of customers and taxpayers, and we look forward to seeing industry take these plans forward.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >