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Regulator welcomes West Coast plan

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has welcomed a new plan drawn-up by Network Rail and Virgin Trains to improve the performance of the West Coast Main Line.

ORR chief executive Bill Emery, said: “We have made it clear to Network Rail for some time that the level of performance on the west coast main line has been unacceptable. We demanded that the company produce a credible recovery plan that was acceptable to all parties making it clear that failure to do so could trigger enforcement action. I therefore welcome the joint plan that has been agreed between Network Rail and Virgin Trains.

“Network Rail must now deliver on all aspects of this new plan. Any failure to do so will lead to us immediately considering enforcement action against the company.

“To this end I have sought, and received, a personal assurance from the chief executive of Network Rail that he, his board and his senior team are fully committed to delivering the actions described in the plan. We will now be holding them to their word and will be monitoring the situation closely.”

The plan aims to improve:

  • The basic reliability of assets on the line
  • Information about the performance of assets to allow action to be taken before there is a negative impact on train services
  • Management focus and speed of response when incidents do occur

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