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Rail industry sets up post-McNulty steering group

Rail industry leaders today set-up a new group to in response to the McNulty rail review released today that aims to focus on delivering a higher performing, more cost effective and sustainable railway network for Britain’s rail users and taxpayers.

The new Rail Delivery Group (RDG) will be made up of chief executives of the passenger and freight train operating owning groups and Network Rail and will be chaired by FirstGroup chief executive Tim O’Toole.

“This important group will form the nucleus of a new rail industry order that will provide leadership on cross-industry issues to enable delivery improvements for rail users and for the taxpayer,” said O’Toole. “The train operating companies and devolved Network Rail teams will remain accountable for delivery at a local level.”

Sir Roy McNulty highlighted the need for such a group in his final report: “The study is strongly of the view that the rail industry needs to be given, and needs to accept, greater responsibility for its own future. The study therefore recommends the establishment of a Rail Delivery Group (RDG) with responsibility for cross-industry leadership of a substantial programme of change.”

The RDG will normally meet bi-monthly, but for the rest of the year, it will meet monthly and be joined by Sir Roy McNulty, to help the group, and the railway as a whole, take forward his recommendations.

The group will focus on industry-wide issues, including the strategy and long-term vision for the railway. It will seek to inform key choices facing governments and the development of plans in response to governments’ output specifications. It will consider and implement change in response to key recommendations from McNulty, including the proposal for a rail systems agency.

It will also steer and take ownership of the Initial Industry Plans (IIP), due to be published in September as part of the regulatory review process. The plans will detail the rail industry’s view of the scope for improved efficiency and the key choices relating to the next five year funding period (CP5) from 2014 to 2019.

Who’s in the Rail Delivery Group (RDG)

The owning groups will be represented on the RDG by the chief executives of Abellio, Arriva, DB Schenker, Directly Operated Railways, FirstGroup, Freightliner, Go-Ahead, National Express, Stagecoach and Virgin

The vice-chairman of the group will be David Higgins, chief executive, Network Rail

The secretary of the group will be Graham Smith who has been a key member of Sir Roy McNulty’s study team

Paul Plummer, Network Rail’s director of planning and development, has also been invited to join the group

Government and the ORR will not be members, but will be invited to provide input to the group on key issues as will other industry bodies (such as ATOC and the Rail Freight Operators Association), suppliers (such as the Rail Industry Association) and trades unions

The IIPs produced by the industry are intended to inform choices about the outputs which governments in England, Wales and Scotland specify as part of the periodic regulatory review process

The full membership of the RDG is:

  • Anton Valk (Abellio)
  • David Martin (Arriva)
  • Alain Thauvette (DB Schenker)
  • Elaine Holt (Directly Operated Railways)
  • Chairman Tim O’Toole (First Group)
  • Peter Maybury (Freightliner)
  • Keith Ludeman (Go-Ahead)
  • Dean Finch (National Express)
  • Vice chairman David Higgins (Network Rail)
  • Paul Plummer (Network Rail)
  • Brian Souter (Stagecoach)
  • Patrick McCall (Virgin)
  • Secretary Graham Smith (Virgin)

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