Rail franchises operators & contracts

12.06.15

South West alliance begins to unravel as Network Rail takes back infrastructure control

Infrastructure decisions are being put back in the hands of Network Rail for the South West Trains route.

The alliance between Network Rail and South West Trains is to be ‘reshaped’ with the post of route managing director to be introduced.

Network Rail’s John Halsall, the current infrastructure director for the alliance, is to take up the post – likely meaning that he will have final say in infrastructure decisions.

Previously Tim Shoveller, managing director at South West Trains, was in charge of the alliance and made such decisions with guidance from Network Rail.

Shoveller said: "We have learned a huge amount over the past three years. It makes sense to have a look at our alliance with a view to continuing the areas that have worked really well, and stop doing the things that haven't.

“I'm incredibly proud of what the Network Rail and South West Trains teams have achieved for passengers. The strong ethic of teamwork, close working and collaboration will continue as we reshape the alliance to concentrate time and resource on the most effective areas."

The restructure of the alliance will see South West Trains and Network Rail retain the fully integrated control centre based at Waterloo (WICC), the one station team at Waterloo, integrated capacity and planning teams and the joint performance team but will involve changes to management structure and commercial arrangements.

A key priority of the alliance moving forward is to deliver the a jointly developed strategy that will provide an extra 30% peak-time capacity by 2018 with new trains, major infrastructure improvements at Waterloo and bringing the former Waterloo International Terminal back into full use.

John Halsall said: “I am looking forward to South West Trains and Network Rail continuing to work closely together to continue to improve the rail network, delivering improvements in both capacity and performance for our passengers.”

The work to reshape the alliance will be completed by the end of August.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Notts Railman   16/06/2015 at 13:17

Interesting and unexpected. There was no hint of this when Tim Shoveller spoke to the Railway Study Association in March this year. Indeed, the question and answer session pointed to the long-term future of the Alliance and its ability to continue without the strong personalities in key positions who were so important in setting it up.

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