Network Rail regulation and performance

25.08.20

Network Rail forms two new task forces following Stonehaven tragedy

Following the tragic derailment at Stonehaven on the 12th of August, Network Rail have formed two independent task forces, led by world renowned experts, to help better manage its extensive earthworks (cuttings and embankments) portfolio and its understanding and response to significant weather events.

Dame Julia Slingo FRS, former Chief Scientist at the Met Office and a world-renowned expert in climatology, will lead a weather action task force with the goal of Network Rail achieving a better understanding of the risk’s rainfall poses on its infrastructure, drawing on the latest scientific developments in monitoring, real-time observations and weather forecasting.

Lord Robert Mair CBE FREng FRS is on board to lead an earthworks management task force to see how Network Rail can advance the management of its massive earthworks portfolio, looking at past incidents, latest technologies and innovations and best practice from across the globe.

Network Rail's present safety management system provides an outline for the management of cuttings, embankments, structures and drainage. These have helped the company to limit the effects of rainfall on its infrastructure, but the events at Stonehaven have shown that more understanding is needed to help lessen the risks further.

Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said: “The Stonehaven tragedy resulted in three people losing their lives - this is a stark reminder that we must never take running a safe railway for granted.

“With more and more extreme weather and tens of thousands of earthwork assets across Great Britain, our challenge is massive. And while we are making record investment in these areas, we have asked world renowned experts, Dame Julia Slingo and Lord Mair, to help us address these issues as effectively as possible, and at pace.”

Image: Network Rail 

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