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In-house maintenance jobs axed

Network Rail is to cut 1,800 jobs from its in-house maintenance operation. The operator says the cuts will be the result of a restructure of the maintenance teams “to make them more efficient”.

“We have a clear commitment to the British people to reduce the costs of running the railway,” said a Network Rail statement. “Our plans to restructure our maintenance teams will improve the way we operate the network.

“We are discussing our plans with our people and their union representatives, and no final decisions have been made,” the operator added.

“We have a clear commitment to reduce the costs of running the railway.”

Network Rail statement

Network Rail brought maintenance back in-house from the private sector in 2003 to give it more control over costs and performance, which chief executive Iain Coucher says has been achieved.

But the operator needs to make more efficiency savings to meet its tight spending targets for 2009-2014. The company received £2.6bn less than it asked for from its regulator (NCE 5 February).

Coucher told suppliers in July that the business had to cut its costs by £4bn to remain within its total £35bn budget for the period. (NCE 16 July).

The company is also moving staff from regional offices to a new national engineering centre in Milton Keynes as part of its efficiency drive.

But Network Rail is recruiting new engineering staff and has 1,000 posts to fill to manage and build a series of projects, including Thameslink and the transformation of King’s Cross.

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