RAILTRACK NEEDS to realise it is just a part of a larger industry and that it is the passenger who is 'king' not itself, Rail Regulator Tom Winsor told NCE this week.
'Railtrack faces a very urgent need to make significant changes, ' he said. 'Railtrack needs to understand that running trains on the network is a right not a privilege'.
Winsor said that to improve it must realise that the passenger is king. 'Railtrack needs to see where it fits into the chain, ' he said. 'It is a supplier just like, say, the rolling stock companies.'
Winsor believes there are now 'two Railtracks' within the company. They are 'the old and the new Railtrack, ' with the new one comprising just new chief executive Steve Marshall and chief operating officer Jonson Cox.
Winsor feels Marshall and Cox understand how Railtrack should fit in, and are taking the company in the right direction, but he added that it was a difficult task to turn around entrenched attitudes within the track operator.
Railtrack has been strongly criticised for making unilateral decisions to shut down large sections of track without notice or consultation.
Winsor is in the process of establishing stronger track access contracts. He believes these are the key to better relationships between Railtrack and its suppliers.
'By strengthening the access contracts Railtrack and its customers can bond together and have a mutual respect for each other's position, ' said Winsor.