Latest Rail News

30.09.15

Exclusive: Network Rail in breach of enhancements delivery licence – ORR

Network Rail has been found to be in breach of its licence in the delivery of its enhancement programmes, but is “taking steps” to address the gaps in its capability and planning, according to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). 

In early August, RTM exclusively reported on the regulator’s verdict that “Network Rail may not have done, and is not doing, everything reasonably practicable to comply with condition 1 of its network licence in relation to the delivery of its enhancements programme”. 

At the time, the ORR gave Network Rail the chance to make further representations to explain itself by 1 September 2015, after which the regulator would decide whether a licence breach had taken place. 

RTM has now been told that in the context of delays in delivering the CP5 enhancement programme, the ORR has identified a series of problems in relation of NR’s enhancement capability. 

“While finding Network Rail in breach of its licence ORR recognises the company is taking steps towards addressing gaps in its capability and planning,” said an ORR spokesperson. 

“We [are] therefore giving Network Rail the opportunity to show how it will adopt good practice across its business in delivery of enhancements across the network, and how it will robustly implement these to deliver for its customers and taxpayers.” 

The regulator did not say how long it had given the infrastructure owner to address these issues, but the organisation’s new chair, Sir Peter Hendy, is expected to produce his long-awaited review into the deliverability of Network Rail’s CP5 enhancements programme later this autumn – some sources say October, others November. 

The review’s terms of reference confirm that “all CP5 enhancements projects and programmes are in scope for this review, including those included in the Investment Framework and ringfenced funds”. 

However, RTM has also been told by some of Network Rail’s most important suppliers that the “uncertainty” thrown up by these reviews into company’s future and project capability must end. 

When the ORR’s preliminary decision was announced in August, Francis Paonessa, managing director infrastructure projects at Network Rail, told RTM: “Since 2009, Network Rail has successfully delivered over 5,000 projects worth more than £15bn. The projects set before us for our current five-year funding period to 2019 were bigger and more complex than ever and required a step-change in delivery – both for the company and its supply chain. 

“Despite this challenge, over three-quarters of our regulatory project milestones have been delivered to time or within weeks of target. But we know we can and must do better which is why, earlier this year, we set up a special Board-led task force to strengthen our major project delivery. The task force has produced a detailed improvement plan that is already underway and good progress is being made.” 

CP5 Missed Milestones 

Earlier this year, the ORR said it was investigating Network Rail’s performance and its capability to deliver the massive CP5 enhancements programme, having missed 30 of its 84 milestones for 2014-15 and with many projects facing delays and rising costs

The regulator said its concerns could be summarised as shortcomings in project design and development, including inadequate rigour in cost estimating; late project delivery; shortcomings in how Network Rail delivers its part in cross-industry programmes such as Great Western Route Modernisation; and lack of evidence that Network Rail is managing the CP5 investment portfolio to achieve efficiencies. 

The ORR also gave RTM the full list of 30 missed milestones: 

Missed Project Completion Milestones (GRIP 6 milestones) 

  • Package 7, 10 Car South West Suburban Railway - Reynes Park to Dorking
  • Motherwell Area Stabling - Phase 1
  • Barry - Cardiff Queen Street Corridor - Phase 2 - Valley Lines
  • Barry - Cardiff Queen Street Corridor - Phase 3 - Barry Lines
  • Strategic Freight Network (SFN) - Ipswich Yard
  • Chiltern Main Line Lengthening - Except High Wycombe DOWN platform
  • Rolling Programme of Electrification - Rutherglen and Coatbridge (R&C) Electrification
  • Barry - Cardiff Queen Street Corridor - Phase 4 - Cardiff East
  • Strategic Freight Network (SFN) - Peak Forest
  • North of England Programmes (LNW) - Phase 2 (c) - (NW Electrification Phase 2 Configuration State 3)
  • Belcombe to Copyhold Bi-directional Signalling Upgrade
  • North of England Programmes (LNW) - Phase 2 (a&b) - (NW Electrification Phase 2 Configuration State 3)
  • St Pancras - Sheffield Linespeed Improvements
  • Stations - Access for All (AfA) - New Cross Gate 

Missed Project Development Milestones (GRIP 3 milestones) 

  • Great Western Electrification - Maidenhead to Newbury, Oxford, Chippenham and Bristol Parkway
  • Great Western Electrification - Chippenham to Bristol Temple Meads
  • North of England Programmes (LNW) - Phase 4 - Manchester to Preston Electrification and Preston JTI - (NW Electrification Phase 4 - Configuration State 5)
  • Intercity Express Programme: Western Capability - Route wide (gauge capacity works all routes)
  • Oxford Corridor Capacity Improvements - Phase 1
  • London Victoria Station Capacity Improvements
  • Great Western Electrification - Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway to Cardiff
  • Acton (GWML) to Wilesden (WCML) Electrification (Acton West to Acton Wells)
  • Anglia Traction Power Supply Upgrade - GE bulk supply point & AT
  • Ely North Junction Capacity Improvement
  • North of England Programmes (LNW) - Phase 3 - Preston to Blackpool Electrification - (NW Electrification Phase 3 - Configuration State 5)
  • North of England Programmes (LNW) - Phase 5 - Guide Bridge to Stalybridge Jcn Electrification - (NW Electrification Phase 5 TPE West - Configuration State 7)
  • North of England Programmes (LNW) - Phase 5 - Manchester Victoria to Stalybridge Jcn Electrification and JTI - NW Electrification Phase 5 TPE West - Configuration State 5)
  • Northern Programme (Yorkshire) - Calder Valley
  • Oxford Corridor Capacity Improvements - Phase 1
  • Sussex Power Supply Upgrade 

In September, it was also announced that the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had launched an inquiry into Network Rail’s 2014-2019 rail investment programme. 

Drawing on evidence from the National Audit Office, the inquiry will examine the current difficulties in delivering the planned programme, to understand how rail investment is planned; and how CP5 differs from the 2009-2014 CP4 investment programme and the implications of the decision to reclassify Network Rail as a public sector body.

(Image: Borders Railway Kings Gate Junction c. Network Rail)

Comments

Lutz   01/10/2015 at 01:05

5-10% off all salaries within NR would a good start.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Grand Central plans new rail route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020

25/06/2019Grand Central plans new rail route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020

Grand Central will run a new route from Blackpool to London from spring 2020, the train operator announced today. The new InterCity services... more >
Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

25/06/2019Transport for Wales awards first ECI contracts for £700m South Wales Metro

Transport for Wales (TfW) has awarded three companies to begin preparatory works on the £738m South Wales Metro, the organisation announced... more >
Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

25/06/2019Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

The Rail Delivery Group plans to make travelling by train easier than ever before by making trains and stations more accessible and developing a ... 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 >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

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

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on 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 ... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... 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. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

25/06/2019Increasing passenger confidence and accessibility with the Rail Delivery Group

The Rail Delivery Group plans to make travelling by train easier than ever before by making trains and stations more accessible and developing a ... more >
Diversity, inclusion and marking 100 years of Women in Engineering

24/06/2019Diversity, inclusion and marking 100 years of Women in Engineering

100 years of Women in Engineering, and transforming the future too One hundred years on from the birth of the Women in Engineering Society (... more >
Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

20/06/2019Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

RTM talks exclusively to one of the rising stars of the industry and Transport’s Woman of the Year 2018, Anna Delvecchio. Amey’s... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >