Firms urged to challenge costly railway practices

Aaron Morby 1 year ago
Share

Network Rail is encouraging contractors to propose changes to its working ‘standards’ to drive innovation, cost efficiency and third party funding while maintaining safety.

Network Rail is pledging to share savings where contractors and suppliers suggest changes to standards to improve efficiency

These standards have often been criticised as overly complex and adding unnecessary cost.

Network Rail has already updated and streamlined 400 of these standards using a risk-based approach to reduce both complexity and cost, and to encourage innovation.

Suppliers are now being asked to table suggestion of better ways of maintaining and enhancing the railway via Network Rail’s new standards challenge process.

The move represents a significant step toward breaking down barriers to make it easier to introduce new ideas and streamlined procedures.

Suppliers and other stakeholders are now able to submit a standards challenge application when they consider the standard to be incorrect, not enable the application of best practice, or drive increased cost without comparable benefit.

Network Rail will review all challenges received, and conduct a rigorous impact assessment across a broad range of output capabilities such as safety, performance, environment and compatibility to make sure the capabilities are not compromised.

Jon Shaw, chief engineer at Network Rail said: “We’ve recently updated our 400 most critical standards but to ensure they always represent current best practice and constantly strive to safely reduce the cost of the railway, we need the help of our wider industry partners as well as experts from other industries and universities.

“The launch of the standards challenge process is the lever for this, providing genuine recognition and incentives to propose more efficient ways of both enhancing and maintaining our railway.”

Savings could be shared following a successful challenge on a project.

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association, said: We were delighted last year to assist Network Rail in finding a way to review their standards. The standards challenge was a key recommendation of the Hansford Review into contestability and provides rail suppliers with the ability to question overly rigorous standards thereby unlocking innovation, getting new technologies into the network and reducing costs – ultimately to the benefit of passengers and taxpayers.

“Following two workshops with the rail supply chain, Network Rail have a system by which companies can provide their suggestions and ideas. Now, it is for the industry to come forward with their creative solutions – and we encourage all to do so.

“RIA looks forward to continuing its active role in this initiative – working alongside Network Rail and the wider industry – to ensure railway standards are the most effective and efficient they can be.”

Dura Composites, supplier of composite products for the rail industry, have been working closely with Network Rail to put in place stringent fire safety standards for glass reinforced plastic (GRP) products in a wide range of evacuation and non-evacuation routes.

Tom Bowman, commercial director and material science expert at Dura Composites, said: “GRP products are playing an increasingly important role in the rail industry thanks to their high strength to weight ratio, durability, electrical resistance, and as such, Network Rail wanted to update its fire safety specifications.

“As a result, classifications have been published that cover both structural and non-structural applications. Dura were grateful for the opportunity to take part in the standards challenge and look forward to continuing this work with RIA and Network Rail to bring further innovation to the market.”

Latest news

BAM Nuttall profit hits 10-year high

Operating margin back to 3% as profit tops £26m
6 hours ago

Interserve benched on £1bn Welsh framework

SEWSCAP 3 deal: Details of latest winners
8 hours ago

Robertson lures property boss from Henry Boot

Nick Harris joins from one of contractor's biggest clients
8 hours ago

London office work shifts towards major refurb projects

London crane survey shows little sign of Brexit blues
22 hours ago

US consultant Tetra Tech to buy WYG for £43m

WYG board backs 55p a share offer at big premium to 16p share price
15 hours ago

Prater soars past £100m revenue

Envelope specialist optimistic 2019 will see another year of growth
14 hours ago

Construction to start on new Farringdon scheme this year

Helical and AshbyCapital acquire Charterhouse Place
15 hours ago

VolkerFitzpatrick wins £27m rail station upgrade

Two stations to be upgraded in Cambridge and King’s Lynn enhancements
15 hours ago

Joiner hit in face by falling steel beam

House builder fined £60,000 for lack of site supervision
15 hours ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
1 year ago

Major contractors going cool on road maintenance market

Highways England taking more work in-house and looking to work direct with supply chain
4 days ago

Infrastructure project final costs average 80% above bid prices

Success measures for projects should shift from an over-focus on costs towards whole-life benefit
4 days ago

Newcastle firm targets £50bn London rooftop homes sector

High Street Group buys London rooftop penthouse firm
4 days ago

London Bridge 39-storey student tower approved

Student accommodation projects return to the Capital
4 days ago

Kier clinches £22m Paisley town hall revamp

Main construction to start early next year
4 days ago

Consultation opens on £1bn trans-Pennine A66 dualling

Plan to dual eight stretches of highway from Penrith and Scotch Corner
4 days ago

Kier project and commercial teams at loggerheads

Insiders reveal tension between teams on major projects
5 days ago

Lords call for HS2 rethink to secure northern upgrades

Warning that HS2 costs are out of control
5 days ago

Margins rising as nmcn enjoys strong start to the year

Water business surging ahead as new housing division expands
5 days ago

Durkan names new CEO as revenue rises to £165m

Ronan Murphy promoted and plans to double revenue in five years
5 days ago

Wates submits first phase of £1bn London housing plan

Havering Council and Wates Residential submit plans for Napier and New Plymouth House site
5 days ago

Affordable and build to rent homes lift Countryside

House builder's modular timber panel factory in Warrington now fully operational
5 days ago

Partner wanted for £800m Salford Crescent plan

Preferred bidder to be named before the end of this year
6 days ago

Interserve staff ‘left in the lurch’ as fit-out division scaled down

Paragon staff left to see out contracts as managers jump ship
6 days ago

Decision on £3bn London Canada Water scheme in July

British Land hopes for green light on first three buildings at 5m sq ft South London scheme
6 days ago

Balfour Beatty warns HS2 delays putting jobs at risk

Contractor warns HS2 workers who cannot be redeployed could be laid-off
6 days ago

HE Simm wins £16m MEP job on London tower

Work to start in early 2020 on Downing student tower job in Vauxhall
6 days ago

Legal & General launches £500m build-to-rent scheme

Firm's largest rental scheme to date will be built in Wandsworth
6 days ago

Cladder falls ten metres onto factory floor

Contractors fined £310,000 after worker suffers life-changing injuries
6 days ago

Blacklisted builders win £1.9m compensation from contractors

Unite settles long-running claim against contracting giants
6 days ago

Contractor services