ORR calls for action from HS1 on renewals projects

HS1 Ltd has rejected concerns from the Office of Rail and Road over how the company is managing its asset renewals.

In the regulator’s annual report (the latest in its series of ‘end-of-term reports’ on the railways, RAIL 963), it calls for action over HS1’s ability to deliver its track and infrastructure renewals over its control period from April 1 2020 to March 31 2025 (CP3). 

The ORR report on HS1’s operational and financial performance for the year to March 31 shows that delays due to incidents was “well below minimum required standards”. It also says it is “concerned” over HS1’s “capability to manage changes to its plan”.

In a statement, HS1 responded: “We welcome the ORR’s report and their findings, which help underpin our continued commitment to the outstanding performance of the line. 

“We are particularly pleased to see the ORR recognise the high performance of train services and the continued progress HS1 has made on recommendations to continue these improvements.

“We will continue our work to deliver these improvements, to make sure the HS1 line provides the highest possible service for passengers.”

ORR says HS1 has failed to provide enough evidence that it has undertaken adequate assurance on Network Rail (High Speed)’s decision to defer several renewal projects. 

In addition, ORR says it has not been provided with clear evidence to assure it of the capability of Network Rail (High Speed) to accurately assess the current condition of its asset portfolio and to deliver the asset renewal programme.

It expects HS1 Ltd to undertake a more rigorous assurance regime on Network Rail (High Speed)’s project delivery until the renewal shortfall is recovered.

To read the full story, see RAIL 964.

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