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Network Rail: Carne doing a ‘terrific job’ and position not in danger

Network Rail officials have fired back over rumours that the organisation’s CEO is in danger of losing his job.

Reports in The Telegraph suggested that Carne could be under pressure from the government to leave his role because of slow progress and poor train performance, coupled with a reported £820,000 salary.

However, Network Rail’s chair Sir Peter Hendy has rubbished the claims, saying that Carne is an “exceptional leader” that will be in the job until he chooses to step down.

Hendy applauded Carne for his guidance during a difficult period for the country’s infrastructure manager, which included the transition to devolved routes across the network.

He also pointed out that transport secretary Chris Grayling had congratulated Network Rail on successfully completing the biggest programme of Christmas and New Year upgrades it has been involved in.

“We recognise train performance is not where we'd like it to be, but Network Rail's infrastructure is performing at record levels on a railway busier than it ever has been,” Hendy commented.

“It is for me and the board to hire and fire the CEO and we all know and recognise that Mark is doing a terrific job.

“I won't be advertising for any replacement until Mark tells me he wants to step down. Right now, he continues to drive Network Rail forward, to enable Britain's railway to deliver economic growth, jobs and housing.”

Former Shell executive vice president Carne took over his role at Network Rail in 2014, succeeding Sir David Higgins.

He has been known for a number of major policies while in his position, most recently a move to involve more private sector funding in infrastructure, a subject he wrote about for RTM last year.

Hendy will be also serving on the judging panel at this UKRIA 2018.

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Lutz   15/01/2018 at 15:54

If necessary, the DfT can force changes at board level. The business keeps announcing to the media how well it has done on delivering projects, but it has lost touch with the fact that it is primarily a service provider, and a dreadful one at that; when on-time arrivals fall to only 54% it clearly needs a shake-up.

Jimbo   15/01/2018 at 17:09

Is Network Rail doing better now than before Mark Carne started? Have the number of network issues reduced? Has the number of delay-minutes attributed to Network Rail gone down? Are projects delivering to time & budget more often now, than before? Has Mark Carne been able to successfully introduce the initiatives he promised when he started? If the answers to all of these questions are yes, then he is doing a good job. If some of the answers to these questions are no, or if the questions cannot be answered, then he is not doing a good job and should go. The people in charge should be accountable in this way. These are quantifiable metrics and this is a service industry that should easily be able to answer these questions. My feeling is that for whatever reason, Mark Carne (and Peter Hendy) have not improved Network Rail, so there should be consequences.

Jak Jaye   16/01/2018 at 10:19

Doing a 'terrific' job eh well a few million a year helps and 'his position isnt in danger' thats what they told the Captain of the Titanic' and look what happened to him!

Wise Engineer   16/01/2018 at 10:54

The NR CEO job is a poisoned chalice. That slippery snake, Grayling, is not someone to be comforted by. Accountability sits on his head as the puppet master. Service and the railway are not two words I'd put together. The romantic notion from days of yore is not what customers want. A seat is. 10 years of no passenger or staff fatalities on the network are to be celebrated.

Tony Hope   16/01/2018 at 14:53

No staff fatalities in the last ten years? Has wise engineer forgotten about Scott Dobson at Saxilby in December 2012??..

Redrows   16/01/2018 at 15:31

I do not know Mr Carne and am no position to comment on his abilities. Carping about him is failing to see the problem. The real focus should be the terrible state of the entire Rail and other CNI after almost a century of under-investment until recently. Government after Government has failed to make the case to the electorate that such investment is essential.

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