Network Rail should adjust its 2024-29 spending plans to put more money into renewing earthworks and bridges, according to the track owner’s economic regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.
ORR is also imposing higher performance targets than the company proposed in its Strategic Business Plan published in May (RAIL 984).
It wants to see an extra £600 million spending for renewals (see table), and it has laid out where it thinks NR can cut spending to release those funds. These include shifting spending on renewals on the northern end of the West Coast Main Line into the 2029-34 period, and by using lower unit rate costs on NR’s digital signalling programmes.
ORR also suggests that NR cancel plans to overhaul its high-output renewals fleet, because none of its regions plan to use the equipment.
To read all our magazine articles, choose from either a Digital Edition Membership from just 99p for your first month, or a Print & Digital Edition package from just £9.50 per month. Choose your Membership here