Network Rail - A

Network Rail - A
Network Rail Limited is the owner (via its subsidiary Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, which was known as Railtrack plc before 2002) and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain. Network Rail is an "arm's length" public body of the Department for Transport with no shareholders, which reinvests its income in the railways.
Network Rail's main customers are the private train operating companies (TOCs), responsible for passenger transport, and freight operating companies (FOCs), who provide train services on the infrastructure that the company owns and maintains. Since 1 September 2014, Network Rail has been classified as a "public sector body".
To cope with rapidly increasing passenger numbers, (as of 2021) Network Rail has been undertaking a £38 billion programme of upgrades to the network, including Crossrail, electrification of lines and upgrading Thameslink.
In May 2021, the Government announced its intent to replace Network Rail in 2023 with a new public body called Great British Railways. In 2022 it was announced that Great British Railways would not replace Network Rail until 2024.
Network Rail History
Network Rail Background
Britain's railway system was built by private companies, but it was nationalised by the Transport Act 1947 and run by British Railways until re-privatisation which was begun in 1994 and completed in 1997. As a part of the privatisation process, the railway infrastructure, passenger and freight services were separated into separate organisations. Between 1994 and 2002, the infrastructure was owned and operated by Railtrack, a privately-owned company. 
A spate of accidents, including the Southall rail crash in 1997 and the Ladbroke Grove rail crash in 1999 called into question the negative consequences that the fragmentation of the railway network had introduced to both safety and maintenance procedures. Railtrack was severely criticised for both its performance for infrastructure improvement and for its safety record.
The Hatfield train crash on 17 October 2000 was a defining moment in the collapse of Railtrack. The immediate major repairs undertaken across the whole British railway network were estimated to have cost in the order of £580 million and Railtrack had no idea how many more 'Hatfields' were waiting to happen because it had lost considerable in-house engineering skill following the sale or closure of many of the engineering and maintenance functions of British Rail to external companies, nor did the company have any way of assessing the consequence of the speed restrictions it was ordering.
These restrictions brought the railway network to an almost total standstill and drew significant public ire. According to Wolmar, Railtrack's board panicked in the wake of Hatfield. Railtrack's first chief executive, John Edmonds, had pursued a deliberate strategy of outsourcing engineers' work wherever possible with the goal of reducing costs.
Various major schemes being undertaken by Railtrack had also gone awry. The modernisation of the West Coast Main Line had suffered from spiralling costs, rising from an estimated £2 billion to roughly £10 billion. This programme suffered failures that were technical as well as managerial, such as the moving block signalling apparatus being immature for such a busy mixed-traffic mainline. In 2000, reports emerged that Railtrack may not be able to go through with its planned commitment to purchase section 2 of High Speed 1, resulting in disruption and uncertainty for that programme as well.
In February 2001, Steve Marshall, Railtrack's chairman, warned that Railtrack could have a net debt of approximately £8 billion by 2003. During May 2001, Railtrack announced that, despite making a pre-tax profit before exceptional expenses of £199m, the £733m of costs and compensation paid out over the Hatfield crash had plunged Railtrack from profit into a loss of £534m, and it approached the government for funding, which it controversially used to pay a £137m dividend to its shareholders in May 2001.
Months later, Railtrack sought another bailout from the government. On 7 October 2001, Railtrack plc was placed into railway administration under the Railways Act 1993, following an application to the High Court by the then Transport Secretary, Stephen Byers.
Network Rail Overview
Network Rail Type: Government-owned company/non-departmental public body
(incorporated as a private company limited by guarantee without share capital)
Network Rail Industry: Rail infrastructure and asset management
Network Rail Predecessor: Railtrack
Network Rail Founded: October 2002, 21 years ago
Network Rail Successor: Great British Railways (from 2024)
Network Rail Headquarters: 1 Eversholt Street
Network Rail Key People:
Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill (chairman)
Andrew Haines (CEO)
Ric Scott (Highland Area LOM)
Network Rail Products: Public transport
Network Rail Revenue: £6.6 billion (2019)
Network Rail Owner: HM Government (Department for Transport)
Network Rail Number of Employees: 42,099 (2020)
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