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Carillion axes 300 rail jobs

Carillion Rail is shutting 15 depots and cutting 300 staff from its rail division, the contractor revealed yesterday.
Its beleaguered rail business has also seen a reshuffle of its 2,500 staff at all levels in attempt win back the right to bid for Network Rail contracts following a ban over its health and safety record (NCE 24/31 August).As he presented his firm's results for the first half of 2006, Carillion finance director Chris Girling said the firm was aiming to reduce overheads and improve margins after rail was responsible for £4.6M fall in profits in the contractor's Supports Services business segment.'We are dropping the number of people in rail by 300, but we have managed to reabsorb these into the Mowlem civils business.'Carillion bought Mowlem for £350M in February, although an additional £150M in write downs on projects such as the Dublin Port tunnel has seen the effective purchase price rise to £500M (NCE 27 April).Girling said the rail job cuts were completely unrelated to the current ban on bidding for Network Rail work, but admitted the firm was appointing a Health and Safety director to cut the number accidents suffered by Carillion Rail staff.'We are changing people at all levels in rail to get different approaches and change the [health and safety] culture at the coal face,' said Girling.

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