Network Rail shake-up sees the return of regions

NETWORK Rail’s chief executive Andrew Haines has announced that a reorganisation of the infrastructure owner will see the return of five regions, within which there will be 13 routes. The reorganised map looks very similar to the former British Rail structure, with the creation of Eastern, London North Western, Wales and Western, Southern and Scotland boundaries.
The change will see current headquarters’ responsibilities devolved, including Infrastructure Projects, Group Digital, Safety, and the System Operator function. The latter will be particularly welcome given the failure of centralised train planning, which has been in part due to the loss of former regionally-based skills.
The new structure will be phased in, with completion due by 2020. The timescale for individual regions will depend on the appointment of managing directors, for which there is to be an internal and external recruitment process.
The Eastern Region will have an unfamiliar make-up, as it takes in the Midland Main Line route manager along with Anglia and North Eastern. The East Coast route will be focused on the specific railway rather than covering a geographic area.


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Sam Hewitt