Opening up: Network Rail’s transparency programme

Network Rail underlined its commitment to greater transparency today with the unveiling of a new information portal on its website. For the first time people will have easy access to a range of information about Britain’s rail infrastructure operator. Categories of information include:

  Budget and costs of high-profile projects
  Assessments for 50 high risk level crossings scored on the rail industry’s level crossing risk model
  Real-time train running data
  Agendas and minutes of meetings of the board
  Executive directors’ expenses
  Number of high earners by £25k band

David Higgins, Network Rail’s chief executive said: “I believe in transparency. It helps improve decision making and can drive culture change in an organisation. Given the amount of money that taxpayers put into the rail industry, it is only correct they are given the right to scrutinise what their money is paying for. I believe Network Rail has to take the lead in opening up the industry to new levels of transparency and I hope others will soon follow that lead.”

Network Rail is committed to increasing the amount of information they make available, and want the choices on what they publish in the future to be informed by what people would find helpful. So as well as proactively releasing this information, Network Rail invites suggestions on what information should be added to this initial offering in the future.

Mark Farrow, Network Rail’s head of transparency added: “Public feedback will help guide us as we decide what information and data we can make available in the future. We won’t be able to publish everything people suggest – there will be some times where security, cost or commercial confidentiality issues will intervene – but we will do everything we can to keep the scheme’s content fresh, relevant and informative.”

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The data feeds available will be:

  Train Movements - train positioning and movement event data, including incident and delay messages
  TD - train positioning data, at signal berth level
  TSR (Temporary Speed Restrictions) – details of temporary reductions in line speeds across the rail network
  VSTP (Very Short Term Plan) – schedule records created via this process (and thus not available via CIF)
  RTPPM (Real Time Public Performance Measure) - this shows the performance of trains against the timetable, measured as the percentage of trains arriving at destination on time
  SCHEDULE – extract of train schedules from the Integrated Train Planning System