New rail investment delivery agreement tested in the north of England

New rail investment delivery agreement tested in the north of England

Network Rail, Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express (FTPE) have signed a formal collaboration agreement aimed at putting value for passengers at the heart of the rail improvements planned for the rail network in the north of England over the next five years.

This formal agreement is designed to improve efficiency through putting whole life costs at the centre of the planning and delivery of work. It is an idea which was developed by the Rail Delivery Group and is being piloted by the three companies. It is designed to supplement the close working which already exists between Network Rail and all operators, and will see the three companies sharing expertise to develop capacity improvements at Leeds station and in the east Leeds area. Both schemes are due to complete by spring 2019.

Phil Verster, Route Managing Director at Network Rail explained: “We have exciting plans to increase services in to and around Leeds over the next five years. These plans are vital if we are to meet demand for services which continues to grow ahead of forecasts. Investment in rail is expensive and this agreement sets out a formal framework to allow us to share resources and reduce inter-railway compensation costs in order to maximise value for money.”

The principles of the agreement are intrinsic to Office of Rail Regulation’s requirements for the development of all CP5 enhancement projects. Where cost savings can be found over and above those already planned in the project, these will be shared among the partners.