Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Armitt rejects in house track maintenance

RAILTRACK CHIEF executive John Armitt this week rejected the possibility of taking track maintenance in house, despite recent moves to increase control over it.

He said other major companies had successfully out sourced maintenance. Armitt was due to take over as chief executive of Railtrack successor Network Rail on Tuesday after Railtrack was taken out of administration.

'[Running an in-house maintenance operation] is not an option taken by BP for example - one of the UK's most successful companies - nor by the electricity companies or BT, ' he told a Labour Party conference fringe meeting on Monday.

'I don't think currently we have the competence to take maintenance back in house, ' he said.

Railtrack has said that it will take greater control of maintenance from contractors, to the point of directly employing seconded contracting staff (News last week). It also intends to become more closely involved in maintenance planning.

Armitt agreed that some maintenance contractors had mixed feelings about the change.

They are understood to be concerned that the loss of control over maintenance will hit margins as contractors will be taking on less risk.

There are also fears the contracting staff could become demotivated by secondment to Network Rail.

Armitt said cost control and centralising control of track work were his main priorities.

'We're spending £15M a day - largely on maintenance contractors, ' he said.

INFOPLUS www. nceplus.co.uk/magazine/ rail

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.