Latest Rail News

25.04.14

New rail investment scheme tested in north England

A formal collaboration agreement has been signed by Network Rail, Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express (FTPE) to put “value for passengers” at the heart of planned rail improvements in the north of England.

The formal agreement, which covers the work that will be carried out over the next five years, is designed to improve efficiency through putting whole life costs at the centre of the planning and delivery of work.

The principles of the agreement are intrinsic to the Office of Rail Regulation’s requirements for the development of all CP5 enhancement projects. For instance, where cost savings can be found over and above those already planned in the project, these will be shared among the partners.

In particular, the three companies will be sharing expertise to develop capacity improvements at Leeds station and in the east Leeds area – both schemes are due to be complete by spring 2019.

Phil Verster, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “We have exciting plans to increase services in to and around Leeds over the next five years. These plans are vital if we are to meet demand for services which continues to grow ahead of forecasts.

“Investment in rail is expensive and this agreement sets out a formal framework to allow us to share resources and reduce inter-railway compensation costs in order to maximise value for money.”

Dedicated resources from FTPE and Northern Rail have been integrated into Network Rail’s project team and are actively contributing to development. Issues which will affect passengers beyond the current franchise timescales are being taken into account.

The overall collaboration agreement is an idea which was developed by the Rail Delivery Group and is being piloted by the three companies.

(L to R: Graham Botham, Network Rail; Nick Donovan, First TransPennine Express; and Rob Warnes, Northern Rail)

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