Network Rail engineer on site of a major project

Network Rail launches Rail Investment Centre of Excellence

In order to better support regional business and improve delivery on major projects and investment, Network Rail has launched its new Rail Investment Centre of Excellence.

Establishing a new team to operate the hub, it will help the organisation achieve its goal of becoming a more efficient and dependable partner within the rail industry, bringing an increased focus on the efficient delivery of major projects and investments.

The new Rail Investment Centre of Excellence will give Network Rail a more clear, thorough view of rail investment through to capital delivery and provide confidence that benefits will be delivered for passengers and freight users with greater efficiency.

It will also allow the Open for Business programme to transition to ‘business as usual’ under the new structure, one year ahead of schedule. This is in part due to having completed the milestones set out in the Hansford review.

Several teams from Network Rail’s System Operator, Network Services and the Open for Business programme will transition over to the new Centre of Excellence hub.

From April 1, 2021, the Rail Investment Centre of Excellence will be accountable for:

  • Client Portfolio Services team (moving from System Operator)
  • Delivering work within possessions team (moving from Network Services)
  • Contestability team (moving from the Open for Business programme)
  • Value for money engineering team (moving from the Open for Business programme)

The hub will support all aspects of management throughout the investment lifecycle and delivery of major rail projects.

This will be partly achieved by working closely with Network Rail’s five devolved regional businesses, as well as supporting traditional operations, maintenance and renewals (OMR) activities.

Stuart Calvert, Director of the Rail Investment Centre of Excellence, said: “The Centre of Excellence will provide ongoing support to help our regional businesses deliver projects quicker, more efficiently and at lower cost. Fundamentally, an effective Centre of Excellence is a catalyst, supporting and accelerating continuous improvement of investment management in the regions by looking at new technology, innovation and smarter ways of working.”

The teams and workstreams established for the Open for Business programme – which has helped to establish new cost-saving and customer-focussed systems and processes within Network Rail’s devolved regions – will be subsumed within the business, meaning that the programme leadership team can now be disbanded.

David Ollerhead, Programme Director for Open for Business, added: “We’ve really moved the dial to help make it easier for other organisations to invest in and build on the railway.

“By definition, all programmes have a beginning, middle and end – in effect, today’s announcement means, thanks to everything we’ve set-up, we are now ‘open for business as usual’.

“Though we can be proud the programme has delivered so much, there is still work to be done to embed the changes. That is why many of the teams have moved to the Rail Investment Centre of Excellence.

“We’ve made good progress on our journey to become more efficient and more customer-focussed, and we’ve laid the foundations for our route and regional businesses to continue that success.”



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