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Railtrack aims for 15% cut in train delays this year

RAILTRACK AIMS to cut the train delays it is responsible for by 15% over the next 12 months mostly by improving its infrastructure, the track operator said last week.

It is considering a complete revision of its maintenance and renewals regime by introducing a cyclical renewal system. Under this, infrastructure will be replaced on a predetermined timescale, rather than when it reaches the end of its useful life.

The delay reduction targets are set out in Railtrack's annual Network Management Statement published last week.

Track faults and speed restrictions were the biggest cause of delays under Railtrack's responsibility last year, accounting for 1.1M delay minutes.

Total Railtrack delays to passenger services were down 25% on the previous year at 2.7 minutes per train kilometre. But this was still significantly worse than 1999/2000, when passenger services were running at around 1.6 minutes/train km.

By 2006 the statement projects a reduction of 39% on last year's delays, subject to future industry funding.

Railtrack says it is looking at moving away from its current policy of renewing track assets when it is clear they are reaching the end of their useful life.

Instead it is undertaking a study to determine if cyclical renewal of track on high speed and high volume lines will bring down the average age of the track and allow for better planning.

The Statement also says that Railtrack will issue a revised structures policy in December that will 'herald a more proactive management of our structure assets'.

INFOPLUS www. rail

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