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Network Rail to sell NDS-Plant division

22 February 2012

Network Rail Infrastructure is planning to sell its subsidiary, Network Rail (NDS-Plant) four months after establishing it.

NDS-Plant division was set up in November last year after the company acquired the rail division of Hydrex Equipment (UK) from its administrators, KPMG.

Network Rail director of national delivery service Martin Elwood said: "The purchase of Hydrex's rail division secured hundreds of jobs and meant Network Rail and its partners could deliver the vast majority of planned maintenance, renewals and enhancements across the rail network over the busy Christmas and New Year period."

"Our plan is to continue to deliver high levels of safety and performance while Network Rail seeks a suitable buyer for NDS-Plant."

According to Network Rail, Hydrex was the largest provider of road-rail vehicles (RRVs) to the industry and a vital supplier to Network Rail and its infrastructure contractors.

The UK Office for Rail Regulation (ORR) has approved the acquisition, which included the transfer of employment of all rail division staff and the ownership of over 300 RRVs.

The company's purchase brought to an end an extended period of uncertainty for Hydrex's employees, customers and suppliers, while also providing continuity of business for the supply of heavy plant to the industry.

Regarding the proposed sale, which will be through an open tender process, the company is consulting directly with NDS-Plant staff, trade unions, customers, contractors and the ORR.

In November last year, Network Rail sought the ORR's consent, under license condition 5, for Network Rail and its subsidiary Network Rail (NDS-Plant) to be involved in the ownership of road rail vehicles for use by third parties. ORR gave its consent and Network Rail Infrastructure completed the acquisition of the rail division of Hydrex, which included the transfer of employment for all 531 rail division staff.