RAILTRACK THIS week said it had delayed trials of a new style maintenance contract to give it more time to recruit engineers and reallocate staff to its regional offices.
The company had planned to trial the management system with contractor Balfour Beatty in the Wessex region from June. But the scheme has been delayed until the autumn.
Railtrack announced in January that it planned to take more control over maintenance (NCE 7 February 2002). It wanted to set up an engineering and planning unit for each region to direct contractors on what work needs to be done and when.
Railtrack technical director Richard Middleton said the changes were an attempt to 'gain control' of maintenance following criticism after the October 2000 Hatfield crash.
A spokesman for the track operator said the delay was 'to allow a restructure, in terms of strengthening the engineering function in the regions to help the new way of working'.