Rail service improvements and disruptions

27.03.20

Network Rail: Committed to keeping Britain moving

As retired signallers are called out of retirement to help keep our country’s railways moving during this pandemic, members of the rail industry have expressed their support for the country’s response.

Network Rail’s Commercial and Procurement Director, Clive Berrington told RTM they are working closely with their supply chain to try and support them through the current crisis.

“We want to look after the health and wellbeing of all workers while continuing to operate a safe and reliable railway which is critical to get key workers, such as NHS staff, to and from their places of work. We continue to take advice from Public Health England and our own Chief Medical Officer.

“In the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, we asked our suppliers to identify if they were likely to experience any shortages in materials, components or services. We established a dedicated supplier COVID-19 email address so we could direct enquiries and responses swiftly to the right people.”

He also explained: “Clear lines of communication are essential in a crisis. To provide clarity on what can be expected over the coming weeks and months, we have shared our COVID-19 Supplier Communications plan with our supply chain. As part of this plan, each of our five regions has established weekly calls to address and escalate specific concerns.”

He told us that Chief Executive Andrew Haines has wrote to suppliers directly in order to highlight Network Rail’s commitment to keep Britain moving.

“At present we intend to proceed with our work sites over the Easter weekend. However, we are also identifying the critical rail services for freight and key workers, should there be a need to change approach. We are also looking at how else we can support the supply chain including whether we can reduce our payment terms to the most vulnerable suppliers.”

“In the coming months it will be extremely challenging to ensure we can call on enough skilled and experienced frontline workers to maintain rail infrastructure. We have, therefore, asked our suppliers to notify us of anyone in their teams who may be able to fill our business-critical roles.”

To conclude he stated: “We are extremely grateful to our suppliers for their support so far. It will be crucial in the coming months to have open lines of communication between us. For however long this crisis continues, we will meet this challenge together.”

READ MORE - RIA: We are confident that the rail supply sector will continue to operate

READ MORE - GB Railfreight back the country's response to COVID-19

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