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FEBRuary 2014 The magazine for our people

Tunnel vision Meet the people building Britain’s biggest railway for 100 years


Shock tactics – Eddie is a real life saver The Northern Hub – a quick-fire guide Meet the IT incident management team

Network knowledge What’s making news across the business

Cardells crossing closure

We’re celebrating the closure of the 750th level crossing on our network. The closure of Cardells crossing in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, took place in mid-January. Darren Furness, interim head of level crossings, said: “The closure is a milestone, bringing us to our target of closing 750 crossings by the end of Control Period 4. This programme will continue into Control Period 5, with another 500 closures planned before 2019.”

Contributor’s welcome Eddie McDermott Customer Service Assistant

So here it is – our new magazine, Network. I’ve been happy to be involved with the first issue, which replaces Aspects and The Main News, and will be published 10 times a year. Based on your feedback the content is short, snappy and full of comment from colleagues. In this issue you’ll see a feature on the people involved with Scotland’s Borders project (page 4-5) and an introduction to the IT incident management team (page 14-15). Elsewhere, there’s a quick-fire guide to The Northern Hub, details of our charity of choice voting scheme, and plenty more besides. On pages 10-11 you can even find out how to save lives like I’ve done with some vital training. I hope you enjoy reading it.

new railway sleeper factory February 2014 You can read Network in print or online

Get in TOUCH



Designed by

Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, has officially opened our new state-of-the-art railway sleeper factory in Doncaster (above). The factory will supply around 400,000 concrete sleepers each year. Local skills and expertise were used to build the factory, with all principal contractors based within 50 miles of the site.

Network is a carbon neutral publication printed on Cocoon Silk (130gsm) 100% recycled stock. Do your bit and recycle Network.

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In the spotlight

Penny Gilg, scheme project manager, talks about her first job in Network Rail – working on the Hitchin Flyover

Could IT be you?

expansion is a doddle

Electric feel

A Christmas delivery

‘Could IT be you’ is our competition to encourage women aged 16-18 to consider careers in IT, with a grand prize of study sponsorship worth up to £9,000. In February, finalists from the competition will attend a special event at The Quadrant:MK to share ideas and network with influential people from the industry.

Electric trains are now operating on the stretch of railway between Newton Le Willows and Castlefield junction, outside Manchester Piccadilly. The commissioning of new electrical infrastructure on part of the world’s oldest public railway marks a major milestone in the northwest electrification project, which will see more than 350km of track upgraded across the north of England by December 2018.

Doddle, our in-station parcel collection and delivery service, is expanding to additional managed stations in 2014. Doddle was originally trialled in Milton Keynes, London Paddington and Woking stations. By expanding the service we aim to generate additional revenue for reinvestment in the railway and to provide a convenient and accessible service for passengers.

Working on track throughout the Christmas and New Year period – often in severe conditions – colleagues and contractor partners recently carried out a record-breaking programme of upgrades. Bringing big benefits for passengers, the work delivered new tracks, longer platforms, new lifts and footbridges at stations, and upgraded signalling and electrification equipment to allow cleaner, faster electric trains to run. See Connect for more detail.

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“On day one I was told: ‘Welcome, you’re going to build a railway – from scratch’. “I’d just completed the MSc in Project Management, so I knew about Gantt charts, forecasts and contracts, but nothing about sleeper depths, neutral sections or break out devices. I thought a PiCOP was a police man in charge of pies and pastries! “Fast forward eight months and I was Level 1 on a complex signalling commissioning possession, bringing two kilometres of new railway into use six months early. “Now I play ‘spot the engineering train wagon’ from the train window – and I’m not embarrassed to admit it.”

Reinstating railway

borders control

Network spoke with workers on the Borders Railway project in Scotland – where we are constructing the biggest domestic railway in Britain for 100 years

“You can see how good this will be for the area. New housing projects are already springing up, and there’s talk about new shops and other facilities being built too. Some places are pretty run-down in this part of Scotland and this will change that. “It’s more than a railway project. It’s a rejuvenation for this area.” Sandy Cameron, ground worker for BAM

“There were a lot of mine workings in this area previously, so that creates some challenges. But we’ve been working closely with BAM and our other partners, and that collaborative effort is paying off. “I’m looking forward to the railway being completed. It will mean new job prospects for people and new educational opportunities. Families who currently live in small Edinburgh flats might move into houses out this way and still get to work by using the railway. So there are some real benefits for the community.” Darren McCarthy, scheme project manager for Network Rail “I began working on the project two years ago, and I think we’re now getting to the really exciting stage. Everything’s coming together, and a railway is taking shape. A lot of us here also worked on the Airdrie-Bathgate project a couple of years ago, and one thing that’s the same about both schemes is the sense of pride in reinstating railway lines that I feel should never have been taken away.” Martin ‘Paddy’ Power, assistant construction manager for Network Rail “Working with Network Rail has been good. The company has a particular way of doing things and it’s been interesting working with Paddy and the team. “As you’d expect, safety’s the top priority. Some of the equipment here has the potential to kill people if not used properly and everyone respects that fact.” Robert Duncan, ground worker for BAM

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High speed lines Borders project

The Borders Railway project is working to re-establish 30 miles of passenger railway, closed since 1969 The new railway will run from Tweedbank, through Midlothian, and into the heart of Edinburgh It will provide a reliable and effective alternative to road transport The project will help rejuvenate communities, create new job opportunities and boost the local economy Work is scheduled for completion in summer 2015.

know your numbers

A digest of digits Seven new stations are being built along the route Two million tonnes of earth has to be excavated 1,100 people are working on the project during peak construction We’ve met more than 3,000 local people to consult on the works There are 137 bridges along the route, including 42 new structures Total travel time between Tweedbank and Edinburgh Waverley will be around 55 minutes Trains will run every 30 minutes at peak times

Photos: Laurence Winram

It’s estimated the railway will reduce car journeys by 700,000 trips per year, cutting congestion and carbon emissions.

FIND OUT MORE Learn more at bordersrailway.

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Instant expert



you need to know about... The Northern Hub


Hub highlights October 2013 ✔ ORR confirms funding for the Northern Hub December 2013 ✔ Liverpool to Manchester electrification complete 2014-2016 Electrification from Liverpool to Wigan, and Blackpool, Bolton and Preston to Manchester completes December 2016 Ordsall Chord is operational 2018 Works at Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road complete.

What is the Northern Hub?

It’s a programme to change the way in which passengers and freight travel between major northern cities. Due to be completed by 2020, the scheme will require some major upgrades to the infrastructure. Once finished, it will increase services and reduce journey times between Manchester and cities including Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and York.

Why are we making this investment? It’s key to the region’s prosperity. We estimate £4 will be generated for the economy for every £1 invested. It could also create between 20,000 and 30,000 private sector jobs. Crucially, the works will increase the reach of electrification – a win-win for capacity and cost. Electric trains are lighter, quicker and can carry more passengers. Faster trains mean more trains. And lighter trains are less likely to damage the track, which will reduce closures and cost.

What benefits will the work deliver?

Installing new track, building viaducts, upgrading stations, building new platforms and investing in electrification will increase capacity, allowing more flexible and faster services. The Ordsall Chord – due December 2016 – will address a bottleneck by creating direct connections between Manchester’s major stations.

What are the issues these works are tackling?

Most of the northern railway was built in the 19th century by competing companies, so it is not as flexible, or integrated, as it could be. Many northern lines were also axed in the 1960s and 70s following Beeching’s rationale that not enough people were travelling by rail. Clearly, things couldn’t be more different today. Major issues include bottlenecks in Leeds and Manchester; junctions near stations that have tangled lines (slowing trains as they have to weave across); and a lack of places for fast trains to overtake stopping services.

What does that mean for passengers and freight carriers?

More services and faster services will mean 3.5 million more passengers can use rail every year. For freight, we hope to double the number of paths from the West Coast main line to Trafford Park, meeting the demand forecast for 2030. n

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Infrastructure investments will increase services and reduce journey times between major northern cities

Freight investment

Ahead of the curve Offering major benefits for freight trains travelling to and from Felixstowe, the Ipswich Chord is due for completion in 2014

Work has been taking place to remove a major bottleneck on the Great Eastern main line

lines – removing the need for freight trains travelling to and from the port of Felixstowe to use the sidings adjacent to Ipswich station as a turning point. This eliminates a major bottleneck on the busy Great Eastern main line and frees up capacity for both passenger and freight services.” Rob Fairhead, project sponsor

“We’ve been upgrading the cross-country rail route from Felixstowe to Nuneaton via Peterborough, so we can run more freight trains and transport more freight. “The upgrade works will finish in March when we install a new, curved section of track, just north of the Ipswich goods yard. “Called the Ipswich Chord, it will link the East Suffolk and Great Eastern

“It’s been a very interesting and unique project as it incorporates a wide range of disciplines. The chord, when completed, will be a fantastic example of civil and rail aspects working harmoniously in close proximity.” Carl Forster, construction manager for C Spencer Ltd “The chord has been in detailed design and implementation for two very busy years. As we approach commissioning, I’m proud to have been involved in a project that will have a real impact on Britain’s railway – both for freight users and passengers in the region.” Drew Caddy, scheme project manager

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High speed lines Ipswich Chord

The chord will be 1.2km long It links the East Suffolk line and the Great Eastern main line Consultation began in June 2010 Part of the Felixstowe to Nuneaton freight upgrade scheme, the Ipswich Chord will help remove 750,000 lorry journeys from local roads each year by 2030.

Good day, bad day

A career in

property development Paula Armstrong, investment manager in property, talks us through her best and worst days at Network Rail Good day: “One of my best

Paula Armstrong, investment and leasing manager “No property scheme is ever undertaken just for the sake of it”

Trains, who had to bear some pain during the programme. Because of this, we laid a lot of groundwork to get stakeholders bought into our vision and to trust that it would deliver big benefits in the long term. “Seeing the Waterloo balcony open for the first time was both thrilling and a relief. Now when I visit the station I feel immensely proud – it’s rewarding to see the environment bustling with passengers and customers enjoying the space, as well as the new brands we’ve introduced to the station such as Benugo, Joules, and Links of London. “No property scheme is ever undertaken just for the sake of it; everything must deliver a return. At Waterloo, the results we’ve seen since the balcony opened show how investment in the station environment can bring significant income while making the space more appealing.”

days was the opening of the retail balcony at Waterloo station just before London 2012. “As an investment manager, my role is to help enhance the environment of our managed stations through property development. This includes minor works like relocating ATM machines so queues don’t interrupt pedestrian flows, and major projects like decluttering concourses to make stations safer for passengers. “Through all the work we do, my team strives to make managed stations more inviting places for people – this encourages them to spend more time in the station and ultimately generates more retail income for reinvestment in the railway. “The Waterloo balcony project was the result of many years of work and close collaboration with SouthWest

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Before the balcony project Waterloo concourse was cluttered and unappealing (below)

The new balcony makes the station more attractive and is generating additional income (above)

Bad day: “Once we started

was one of those moments where my heart dropped. “Despite thorough planning, big projects often throw up the unexpected. That’s the job. We’d surveyed the site as extensively as we could and the figures we’d presented were based on the best information available. As a manager, you need to be creative in finding solutions and do everything you can to get a project over the line. “More than one year on from completion, the Waterloo balcony is performing better than we predicted. Passenger satisfaction has risen dramatically, the concourse is less congested and customers have improved access to Waterloo East. We’re also generating additional income for the railway and have received praise from property industry leaders. It had its good days and bad days, but the project has proved worthy of its investment.” n

to construct the balcony at Waterloo, we were informed that significant extra money was required for essential works to its foundations. For me, that was probably the worst day of the project. “We always knew the foundations could cause us some problems because we didn’t actually know what the building was built on, but it wasn’t until we started to dig that we discovered just how much of an issue it would be. “In order to complete the work we had to go back and ask for additional funds. That’s never a comfortable discussion, but thankfully we could identify additional retail revenue opportunities that would increase the financial value of the project and therefore ease the approvals process. “In the end, we got the additional money and things turned out OK, but it

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find out more To learn more about property development at Network Rail see Connect

Life saver Customer service assistant Eddie McDermott talks about the training which helped him save seven lives 10 network / FEBRuary 2014

Photos: Mitch Pashavair

Emergency response

Defibrillators are becoming more widespread in the business

first aid kit

An investment in life For every minute that someone in cardiac arrest isn’t treated, their chance of survival drops 14 per cent If they’re not seen within eight minutes, the likelihood of survival is just 16 per cent

“When it happens, another part of your brain takes over. There’s no time to think. The person in front of you is effectively dead. And it’s your job to bring them back to life.” Every second counts “The training Network Rail provides gives you all the knowledge you need, and here at London Bridge there are defibrillators dotted everywhere. There’s no legal requirement for that. But when someone’s had a heart attack, their brain’s being starved of oxygen. Every second counts, and the last thing you want is to be running round trying to find the kit that could save their life. “So I think it’s good the business has invested in those.”

“A moment I’ll never forget” Eddie’s not our only life saver. There are many colleagues who’ve administered emergency first aid. Euston customer service assistant David Thomson is one of them: “I was on the concourse with a colleague when we got the call. I ran to the scene and he went to get the

defibrillator. When I arrived the guy was lying on the floor, not breathing. I immediately began chest compressions. A little later, when the defibrillator arrived, we administered a shock and the patient began breathing again. We saved his life. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”

Managing the situation “The defibrillator’s got a screen that tells you what to do as you go along. It’s foolproof really. “One of the more difficult things is managing the situation – London Bridge is a busy station and people can get in the way. I’ve had commuters stepping over me as I’ve been giving first aid. Others stop and watch, making it difficult for paramedics to get through. “You have to take charge. It’s quite literally a life or death situation. If you need to get people out of the way, you get them out of the way.”

We have more than 80 defibrillators at our managed stations, each accessible within two minutes The business is looking to begin roll-out of defibrillators across our larger workplaces.

Hero for the day “It’s tiring – physically and mentally. “Afterwards, you’re drained. But it’s a strange feeling. There can’t be many things more amazing than saving someone’s life, and you do get a buzz from it. You feel like a hero for the day.” Help when it matters “If anyone’s thinking about doing the training, I’d definitely recommend it. You don’t know when you’ll need it. “It’s not a skill just for work. People have heart attacks in the office, in the supermarket, in the home, anywhere… As more and more places are installing defibrillators, doing the training means you can help when it matters. And being able to bring someone back from the dead is quite some skill.” n

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find out more

To learn more about Eddie’s story, visit YouTube and search “Eddie McDermott defibrillator”

Safety matters

A winter’s tale

a seriousaccident on thewaytowork Colin Hindle, area operations possession co-ordinator (AOPC), York “In 2007 I was based at Darlington. Being a keen cyclist, I devised a 30-mile round route to work and got very fit. “But coming round a bend on an untreated road one December morning, I hit sheet ice and went down like a stone. Shocked and dazed, I found I couldn’t stand up. In hospital they confirmed I had broken off the head of my left femur about an inch from my hip joint. This was pinned and I was discharged four days later.

News digest

“A long and uncomfortable rehabilitation followed: crutches for four months and then learning to walk properly all over again. I returned to work in May 2008 and finally got a clean bill of health more than six months later, in December 2008. “I was lucky to make a full recovery. Being fit and active helped and my wife and family provided tremendous support. But it shows how a simple accident has the potential for devastating effects.” n

did you know Seasonal safety

30 per cent of all winter rail accidents are the result of a slip, trip or fall Interestingly, more injuries occur at 11am than at any other time.

media monitor Network Rail in the news Severe storms rained down over Britain during the Christmas and New Year period, and, as you’d expect, the papers were quick to report on the implications for rail users. The Metro called it a “pain in the rain for those on the trains”, while The Daily Mail wrote of “the worst rail disruption ever”.

Fundamental concern

To deal with landslips, fallen trees, flooding and many other issues caused by the bad weather, thousands of our people got out on track to fix Storms caused damage to parts of the railway and attracted significant media coverage

the damage as quickly as possible. Speaking at the time, network operations managing director Robin Gisby was widely quoted in the media as saying “our fundamental concern” was to ensure people got where they wanted to be for Christmas. “It won’t be an easy task given the forecast conditions, and disruption is likely,” he said. “But I want to be very clear that our priority is running as many trains as we can safely, rather than worrying about hitting the timetable bang on.”

A fare deal?

Elsewhere in the wider rail industry, the subject of train fares got plenty of column inches; our annual Christmas rail investments attracted coverage; and the HS2 debate raged on, with most papers reporting Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan’s challenge to Labour to stop treating the proposed rail scheme as a “political football” and back the project. n

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find out more

Remember to check out the March issue for more details of how our business is making the news

Charity of choice

makeyour vote count You can choose our charity partner for the next two years. To help you decide how to vote, four colleagues tell us how they’re polling

Edward Gleed, signaller, is supporting CLIC Sargent

cash for votes

Your chance to make a difference

Every vote earns your chosen charity £1. So even if your preferred organisation doesn’t become our charity of choice, you’ll still make a difference.

Shane Andrews, attribution manager, is supporting Action for Children

“Cancer can be devastating at any age, but even more so for children and their families. As CLIC Sargent doesn’t receive government funding, the charity is only able to help two out of every three children affected by cancer. For that, and many other reasons, I think the organisation needs your support.” Find out more:

Natalie Holden, senior commercial scheme sponsor, is supporting Help the Hospices

“I think Action for Children has been our best charity partner to date. The organisation focused on volunteering opportunities and getting people to really help. Previously I’ve felt other partnerships just saw us as an additional income stream. So I’m really proud of the work we’ve done together, and would like that to continue for another two-year term.” Find out more:

“Sophie Vessey was a railway employee who lost her battle with cancer on Christmas Day in 2012. She was aged just 41. “Sophie’s care varied greatly from the hospital to the hospice. Thanks to Help the Hospices she received a standard of care that you cannot get elsewhere. “Hospices restore dignity in an environment where pain management and patient care is the focus.” Find out more:

Jessica Gordon-Smith, community relations advisor, is supporting Mind

“It’s great to have a charity that’s carrying out research about conditions affecting the brain. “My granddad had a stroke, and while Mind was able to assist my family, there are still some questions the charity can’t answer without further research. By supporting Mind you’ll be helping other families get answers.” Find out more:

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VOTE NOW ON CONNECT And be quick – the polls close on 31 January

MAKING I.T.WORK Introducing our IT incident management team

Photos: Richard Lea-Hair

Meet the team

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As a business we rely heavily on IT. When that IT fails, we rely heavily on these colleagues. “We’re responsible for major incident management for IT services. Much of the role is about liaison. “When there’s an incident we engage with our expert colleagues in support services and with external IT suppliers. “At the same time we communicate with our customers to advise what’s happened and when things will be back. “It’s a high-pressure job, but that’s when my team responds best.” Wendy Wickstead, incident and problem manager

Working together, the team provides major incident management for IT services

“I absolutely feel part of the railway. A lot of systems we look after are vital, so while I sit in an office, I know I have an impact at the frontline. “When a system goes down, it’s all hands to the pump. We restore things ASAP, and there’s a sense of relief when it returns to normal.” Dave Carter, incident analyst “I work in the service centre and I’m also an on-call manager in case of a major incident outside usual hours. “Given how critical many of our systems are to the railway, it’s important we run a 24-hour service. We’re a 24/7 company, after all.” Simon Foster-Sharples, team leader

“At the beginning of 2013 we launched a service for the business’ most critical IT users. I manage that, and the idea is that incidents affecting those people – whether they’re major system incidents or incidents unique to one machine – are prioritised. “It’s about making sure people whose work is most critical to running a safe railway are dealt with first.” Gillian Capper, VIP service analyst

High speed lines

“Incident management is about protecting service and stopping impact. We want colleagues to be able to rely on IT services, so our aim is to fix problems ASAP or stop them altogether. If that means people don’t know we exist because there’s no down-time, all the better.” Ian Irlam, team leader in incident management team

It has nine members of full-time staff

“My team covers the night shift, and in that time we run the IT helpdesk and deal with any incident management events that occur. “During core working hours, if a service goes down you’ll get 30-40 calls. At 3am you’ll get just one, but that doesn’t mean it’s less important. That individual needs to use that service at that time, and if they can’t, they can’t do their job.” Chris Stockwell, technical service analyst

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IT incident management

The team is based in Manchester and is part of Group Business Services The team is operational 24/7

Some of those colleagues have spent less than a year with Network Rail, while others have been working on the railway for much longer. Incident and problem manager Sheryl Pemberton, for example, has 28 years’ experience to her name In 2013 the team dealt with 1,098 major incidents.

Remote monitoring

box of

tricks It might not look much, but this device is revolutionising how we manage assets By using logger boxes like this on our infrastructure, remote condition monitoring allows us to keep an eye on the condition of our assets from afar. That means we can mend defects before a failure occurs. Group Business Services project manager Kevin Knott tells us how:


“Even using a conservative estimate, we think this technology has helped save more than 555,000 delay minutes at some key parts of the network since March 2010.”


Route focus

Kevin Knott, project manager “In a nutshell, this kit means we can cut out delays”

“There’s a lot that we can remotely monitor. It’s not just points. We also look at track circuits, points heaters, track temperature, earth leakage, and other things too.”

“It’s the routes that decide where we install the loggers, supported by delay data analysis from our programme team. They know their railway better than anyone, so they tell us where the key areas are and which are the golden assets they most want monitored.”



“Originally this was seen as something that would support maintenance teams in their day-to-day activity. Shortly after going live, people found it was much more than that. Maintenance colleagues told us they couldn’t do without it. It had become critical to them doing their job.”


“Previously we had lots of different systems monitoring our infrastructure, none of which talked to one another or worked in the same way. Now we’re standardising that, saving cost and making everything more straightforward.”

“We’ve currently got about 29,000 assets being monitored using this system, and there’s demand for much more than that. By the middle of 2014, the figure will be about 35,000.”


“Investment in remote condition monitoring saves the business money. By fixing infrastructure before it breaks we save on delay payments, for example. By electronically tracking how assets deteriorate we save on the cost of carrying out visual inspections. By monitoring points heaters we even save on energy bills because we can turn them off remotely when the temperature goes above a certain level.” n

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High speed lines

Remote condition monitoring Remote condition monitoring allows us to monitor infrastructure from afar Since 2012 we estimate it has helped save more than 555,000 delay minutes We currently have 29,000 assets monitored in this way.

Comment and opinion

Network knowledge

The ORR monitor Written in plain English, the ‘ORR Monitor’ is part of the way in which the Office of Rail Regulation holds Network Rail to account. It is published quarterly and highlights areas of concern, setting out how the regulator thinks our business is delivering on obligations to customers and funders.

Having your say

The Office of Rail Regulation’s ‘Q2 Monitor’ identified missed performance targets as a concern. Here are some of the thoughts you shared on Connect

Martin Mottershead, operations and interface manager, London

“People no longer accept that we run ‘a largely Victorian infrastructure’. Maybe it’s time we stopped quoting this and started demonstrating how we’re bringing our infrastructure up to date?”

Andrew Robinson, customer manager, Milton Keynes

“Much of the infrastructure is Victorian, and that limits what we can do. How much faster could linespeeds be if we weren’t encumbered with the curves acceptable to our predecessors?”

Samuel Foston, operational planning specialist, Milton Keynes “We push to put more trains on the network, but when we get a delay the effect is bigger as we’ve lost our flexibility to fix the plan as there’s a train in every space.”

Tom Hugill, graduate engineer, Manchester

“My analogy is to think of the railway as an old house – you can rewire it, put up new lights, add new windows and doors, and redecorate, but it’s still an old house and will suffer from the same constraints that it did when it was originally built.”

Mark Richards, Milton Keynes

“I agree capacity is an issue, but the problem is more complex than we seem to acknowledge. Contributing to overcrowding is the fact that trains are shorter than they used to be and the seating capacity of modern rolling stock is less than the first and second generation loco-hauled stock they have replaced. So yes, more people are travelling and more trains are running, but that is countered by shorter trains with less capacity.” n

HAVE YOUR SAY Visit Connect to comment on this and every story

Quiz the boss “What, in your view, is the best investment we can make in 2014 to increase capacity?”

Paul Plummer, group strategy director

“Perhaps the biggest investment we can make is by asking: ‘What’s the impact on capacity and service?’ in every decision we take. That needs to be part of a joined-up conversation across our business and the industry about those same decisions. “Many small but significant decisions are made every day that bear on capacity and service. Those are the trade offs between capacity, frequency, journey time, punctuality and opening

hours. They span from our long-term planning activities, then the delivery of investment projects, through to the medium-term sale of access rights, into annual timetabling and finally the real-time operational decisions. “If there’s one tangible investment, it’s the whole-life and whole-system management of our assets. Without excellence there we can’t run a service. We can’t enjoy the luxury of making operational choices around whether to run more frequent and/or faster services. And without this we can’t realise the step changes which come from major investment in network capacity.” n

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something to ask?

Send your question to Network, and we’ll find a boss to answer

Railway information

High speed lines

Corporate archive The archive is part of Business Support Services (within Group Business Services) and is based at the National Records Centre in York It collects information both historical and contemporary

our future past The first UK business to achieve Archive Service Accreditation, our corporate archive is a treasure trove of railway information. Archivist Vicky Stretch explains why it’s important What is the corporate archive?

“It’s an accumulation of knowledge, from the railway’s earliest days to the times of Network Rail.”

What business value does it have? Vicky Stretch, archivist To contact the archive, email vicky.stretch@

“When information is deposited with the archive, it means the business remembers even when people move on and things change. “For example, we’ve got the very earliest drawings of the Forth Bridge. We still own that, maintain it and run the railway over it. It’s therefore important we have those records to refer to today. “Likewise, information we’re collecting now could prove important in five, 50 or 100 years’ time.”

What would happen if we didn’t invest in the archive?

“We’d be more exposed. If you record how decisions were made and why, people can look at that and perhaps not go over the same ground.”

What information do you collect?

“What we’re looking for is fairly high level. So things like directors’ papers, board minutes, strategy and policy

documents, records that show our governance and management of the railway infrastructure. “We’re also interested in how the organisation communicates with stakeholders, so we keep things like marketing campaigns, posters and publications.”

That information can inform decisions we make today and in the future The team writes a regular blog connecting Network Rail stories to events in the railway’s past The archive has just been awarded Archive Service Accreditation If you have any documentation you think might be of interest to the archive, get in touch.

How do you keep this material protected?

“We manage temperature and humidity to protect paper archives. We use acid-free boxes, and we photograph historical drawings. “We can do a lot to preserve physical documents, but software and hardware becomes obsolete very quickly so it is a lot more difficult to manage digital information over time.”

And are you looking for new submissions?

“Definitely. If anyone has material they think could be useful, let us know. “Of course, we’re also interested in anything that’s potentially valuable historically. So if you have an original Brunel drawing tucked away in a drawer, we’d love to hear about it!” n

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Visit Network Rail’s virtual archive – virtualarchive

Corporate calendar

Diary dates

Twitter talk

February End-of-year reviews for Bands 1 to 4. 7 February We have until 7 February to decide whether to accept the ORR’s Final Determination proposal, or to seek an appeal through the Competition Commission.

The December storms created significant chatter across our company communication channels. More than 1,500 contacts were received via our national helpline and Twitter account.

20 February Connect mobile app launches (see story below for more information).

Victoria Marshall: Thank you @networkrail for trying so hard to get us all home – keep going u little Santa elves! #merrychristmas 1 March Mark Carne officially takes over as chief executive as David Higgins departs for HS2 Ltd.

Luke Grinstead: This country is stupid. @networkrail is stupid. @LondonMidland is stupid. IT WAS A LITTLE BIT WINDY!

Follow us @networkrail

Connect news goes mobile In February, we’re launching an app that will allow you to read Connect news stories on your mobile wherever, whenever.

Work and play

The news app will be automatically deployed to Network Rail iPhones, iPads and BlackBerry devices. You will also be able to download it to your personal smartphone or tablet; giving you access to the news where it’s most convenient.


If you don’t have an email address, you can register for one on Connect. Questions? internal. communications@

Register to read

To access the news on your mobile, you will need an email address. This will be used to register and to create a personalised profile. n

19 network / FEBRuary 2014

Stay Connected With our new Connect News app, company news will be available wherever you are

The new app is accessible on your work or personal smartphone. All you’ll need is an email address 20

More details on Connect soon

network / FEBRuary 2014

Network February 2014  

The magazine for our people. Available for download.

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