Rail contractors face hefty fines over Xmas chaos

Aaron Morby 9 years ago

Contractors involved in overrunning engineering works over Christmas are facing serious financial penalties for the disruption.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne outlined the likely penalties to be handed down before the Transport select committee on Wednesday and apologised for massive disruption at Kings Cross and Paddington on 27 December.

Carne said that Amey, which was working in an alliance with Network Rail, at Holloway near King’s Cross, would lose 25% of the annual risk-reward prize available to them.

“So it is a significant penalty to the contractor,” he said.

Network Rail revealed problems delivering track renewal work originated from a succession of equipment failures ultimately putting activities out of sync with their supporting engineering trains, stalling progress.

He added that the Balfour Beatty-Alstom consortium, Signalling Solutions, which was working near Paddington, would be fined around £200,000.

Carne said in the case of the signalling contractor there were clear failings in the way that the work was executed.

He said that the work was not too complex or ambitious, but on this occasion the way the work was organised and the way in which the test sheets came back and were organised for the final check was not done properly.

This meant it took nearly ten hours to complete the planned two-hour safety validation, testing and sign-off of the new signalling system due to some testing work needing to be redone or rechecked.

“But I’m tremendously encouraged by the way the industry comes together. Since this event two of the competitors of that company, at our request, have said they will come in and work with us and that contractor to improve the way they work.”

Carne added: “Both of these incidents were the combination of a whole variety of small individual incidents that conspired in such a way through our organisation to cause an unacceptable performance for the travelling public.”

He added that the problems should be put into context of Network Rail carrying a huge programme on engineering works with 99% of planned work delivered successfully.

“Since 2007 the delays associated with overrunning engineering works have halved as the amount of work we are doing today has doubled and the amount of planned time we have to execute the work has stayed the same,” he added.



Latest news

McLaren gets green light for 45-storey Leeds tower

Landmark Wellington Square scheme will see 464 flats built with 360,000 sq ft of offices
9 hours ago

Heavy rain causes 1.9% construction output fall

Hopes remain undampened of a resi-led recovery this summer
9 hours ago

Taziker restruture to return to profitability after £1.2m loss

Founders bought the business back from private equity after last year's loss
10 hours ago

£220m London wharf homes scheme approved

285 homes to be built beside protected Albert and Swedish Wharves in Wandsworth
10 hours ago

Major project veteran named civils director for Sizewell C

David Speight previously worked on Hinkley, Heathrow and HS2 client teams
9 hours ago

Morgan Sindall lands £19m Milton Keynes hospital job

Crane lifts to be carefully co-ordinated to ensure air ambulance remains active
23 hours ago

Clancy bolsters civils leadership team

Daniel Tonkin and Simon Hyams join as operation directors of water and infrastructure
1 day ago

Balfour names new project boss for HS2’s super-hub station

Steve O’Sullivan replaces Nigel Russell who was promoted to CEO of Balfour's HS2 ops
1 day ago

Buckingham Group supply chain hit doubles to £256m

Total owed to unsecured creditors soars as surety providers finalise claims
1 day ago

Builders demand an end to police plant bans

Call to suspend all embargoes on moving mobile cranes and large site kit
1 day ago

Green light for £65m Blackpool multiversity campus

Education campus of 350,000 sq ft will be delivered in phases
1 day ago

Vinci signs £138m Sheffield steel forge expansion deal

Sheffield Forgemasters signs landmark contract after two years of pre-construction works
2 days ago

McAlpine hires HS2 programme boss to head defence arm

Armed forces logistics expert Mike Hickson takes role as MD of defence
2 days ago

£200m carbon capture plan for Deeside site

Energy from waste operator enfinium looking to invest in North Wales plant
1 day ago

McAleer & Rushe promotes five staff to contracts directors

Design and build contractor targets £500m revenue next year
2 days ago

Consultant quartet win Government estate upgrade deal

Government Property Agency selects Arcadis, Tetra Tech, AtkinsRéalis and McBains
2 days ago

Resi towers pioneer to transform Liverpool site

Beetham founder Hugh Frost to help develop 1,200 new homes
3 days ago

Construction Manager of the Year crowned

Galliford Try's Barry Kingscote wins coveted prize: Full list of winners
3 days ago

Landsec £250m London terraced office job approved

Skanska tipped for 20-storey Hill House scheme near Fleet Street
3 days ago

Lendlease tops March contracts league

BAM and ISG rank third with big contract wins
2 days ago

Vistry strikes deal with Homes England for 1,000 units

Firm's timber frames factory will supply most of the Midlands houses
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall go-ahead to build 23-storey Salford resi job

Funding deal with CBRE allows latest project on bank of River Irwell to proceed
3 days ago

Unite Students gains planning for London and Bristol schemes

RG Group will build landmark Stratford tower and Freestone Island projects
3 days ago

Rolls-Royce gets go-ahead for 1.1m sq ft expansion in Derby

Major expansion of Raynesway campus planned to met submarine fleet orders
3 days ago

GMI Construction edges back into profit

A year of controlled consolidation helped generate £0.9m profit but cash at bank dropped to £10m
3 days ago

Balfour gets final sign-off for HMP Highland at £209m

Deal struck for delayed Inverness prison after costs rocket
4 days ago

Renew buys bridge maintenance business

Contractor boosts highways division with £5m acquisition
3 days ago

HS2 tests market for £150m mass transit job

2.4km long elevated Automated People Mover to go out to tender in 2026
3 days ago

Cardo completes fourth acquisition in a year

Expanding Welsh building maintenance specialist reaches £170m turnover
4 days ago

Watchdog clears Heidelberg takeover of Mick George

Four quarries and five ready-mix operations to be sold to meet competition concerns
4 days ago

Contractor services