Britain’s railway infrastructure owner Network Rail is planning to trim down nearly 5% of its workforce by April 2011 as part of its £4bn ($6.5bn) cost-cutting exercise.

The move is a result of the government-owned Office of Rail Regulation’s demand that the operator should save £4bn over the next five years.

The job cuts would axe around 1,800 of the company’s total staff of over 33,000.

The operator said no final decisions have been made and it is now discussing the plan with staff and union representatives.

The operator added that it hoped to avoid any compulsory lay-off.

Network Rail owns the country’s rail infrastructure including all the tracks, tunnels, signals, bridges, level crossings and most stations.