Rail regulator Tom Winsor states that 'running trains on Railtrack's tracks is a right not a privilege' (NCE 14-28 December). But in the same issue Railtrack West Coast Route Modernisation general manager Tony Fletcher suggests that suppliers would 'have to perform to justify being part of Railtrack's spending plans'.
The partnering approach so often espoused by Railtrack and touched upon with some irony within the West Coast article sits ill with Mr Fletcher's apparent enthusiasm for reallocating contracts.
He would do well to remember he is dealing with civil engineering professionals managing organisations established without the benefit of monopoly and operating rather more robustly, one suspects, than his own.
I commute into London, an activity allowing a good deal of time to reflect on industry trends in procurement, supply chain management and performance. I am considerably more favourably disposed toward my operator (First Great Eastern) than the organisation whose track they are obliged to use. Mr Winsor, I feel, understands this view.
Neil Kerridge (M) 'Form', Bullwood Approach, Hockley, Essex SS5 4RR