Network Rail’s asset management regime has been branded unsatisfactory in the rail regulator’s latest performance review.
The regulator pointed to the company’s structures policy as a particular area of concern and said that overall asset management competence was “well below” where it needed to be.
“The structures policy is particularly unsatisfactory and we are jointly commissioning reporters to review this whole area,” said Office of Rail Regulation chief executive Bill Emery.
A lack of information on its assets is understood to be a key issue for Network Rail.
To ensure optimum management of the railway infrastructure the regulator wants more information to ensure work is done at the optimum point.
“You are unable to do proper life costing, which is a major weakness”
“You are unable to do proper life costing, which is a major weakness in being able to do sensitivity testing for different outputs and demands and which has been standard in other utilities for over a decade,” said Emery.
Back in 2007 the regulator demanded that a series of improvements were made to the track operator’s Asset Information Strategy as recommended by independent reporter Asset Management Consulting. Many of these have yet to be implemented.
“We are concerned by the slow progress,” said Emery.
However, the regulator’s report did find that asset reliability had improved with 10.5% less infrastructure incidents causing 12.5% less delays than the previous year.