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March 7, 2016

Network Rail signs agreement with Great Western Railway

UK rail infrastructure manager Network Rail (NR) has signed an agreement with train operator Great Western Railway (GWR) with the aim to encourage co-operation on large-scale improvements to western railways.

NR GWR

UK rail infrastructure manager Network Rail (NR) has signed an agreement with train operator Great Western Railway (GWR) with the aim to encourage co-operation on large-scale improvements to western railways.

Signed at Swindon station, the alliance aims to deliver a better travelling experience for passengers by working closely together.

The deal covers five major areas and commits both companies to a more aligned approach to further improve performance and increase efficiencies.

The improvements, which are part of Network Rail’s £40bn rail upgrade plan, include the electrification of the Great Western Main Line (GWML), a new signalling station, tracks and upgraded stations.

Network Rail Western route managing director Mark Langman said: "To deliver these extensive improvements and minimise disruption as much as possible, it is essential we formalise a number of the good things we are already doing and set joint targets for improvement.

"For many years, we have been working as partners and this has been borne out in recent months by improvements to punctuality and in the delivery of major upgrade work.

"This formal agreement will now mean that we work more closely together to deliver the improvements we know passengers want to see."

"This formal agreement will now mean that we work more closely together to deliver the improvements we know passengers want to see."

In addition, the agreement covers improved joint planning for major upgrade projects such as the electrification of the GWML, to help reduce disruption for passengers as much as possible.

GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said: "Our railway is going through the biggest investment since Brunel, and between us it is our job to make sure customers see the full benefit of that work as quickly and efficiently as possible.

"This agreement formalises many arrangements that have been in place for some time, while also identifying new ways of working together to deliver value for passengers."

In February, GWR and the UK Department for Transport (DfT)) agreed to fund a new study into upgrading of railway infrastructure between London, Devon and Cornwall.

NR was responsible for carrying out the study, which will be funded and commissioned by GWR.

According to DfT, the study will examine options for improving existing track, signalling and other infrastructure to improve line speeds in preparation for the delivery of a new fleet of bi-mode Hitachi AT300 trains.


Image: Executives of NR and GWR at the signing of a formal alliance. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.

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