Latest Rail News


Network Rail ‘falling short of expectations’ – ORR

Network Rail is underperforming on key efficiency objectives, the ORR’s annual efficiency and financial assessment shows.

The regulator warned that efficiency improvements had slowed in 2012-13, and that Network Rail was “unlikely” to deliver the potential 23.5% efficiencies identified for operations, renewals, maintenance and asset management by the end of CP4.

A number of initiatives are increasing efficiency, with Network Rail rationalising its signalling to improve operating maintenance.

But a lack of knowledge of assets, delayed delivery of civils renewals and poor maintenance planning are affecting performance, the ORR said. Network Rail must move towards preventative maintenance, with more focus on drainage; there were 125 earthwork failures in 2012/13 compared to just 12 the year before.

The company also remains short of key targets on performance, with long distance passenger services 4.9 percentage points below target.

ORR chief executive Richard Price said: “Network Rail has been entrusted with large amounts of public and passengers’ money, which, if invested well, should deliver the levels of efficiency and punctuality it promised to deliver.

“However, the company is falling short of expectations at the moment. It is facing many problems of its own making, having failed to deliver plans to renew Britain’s rail network, with delayed works now affecting performance. The company must urgently catch-up and address the problems which are causing disruption to passengers and target its work as efficiently as possible. This is vital as it heads towards its new five-year delivery plan with more stretching targets.”

Network Rail has not yet responded to the report.

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

(Image: Alvey & Towers)


Mark Allington   14/09/2013 at 08:01

I believe the sacking of nearly 3000 skilled jarvis rail workers is a major contributing factor to network rail falling short of some of its targets. Most were never re-employed on the railway and subsequently replaced by cheap labour workers, not possessing the required skill sets being employed by less reputable micro companies. Most of these companies sprung up on back of jarvis' s constructed demise and offer inferior working conditions and pay. This network rail cost cutting exercise was extremely short sighted and may take a number of years and cost more tax payers money to rectify.

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 >