Warning from long serving Network Rail member

One of Network Rail’s original members has warned that the infrastructure controller’s ambitions to expand overseas could distract it from the task in creating a better, more efficient railway in the UK.

PTEG director Jonathan Bray stepped down as a member of Network Rail on November 23. In an article posted on PTEG’s website this month about what he has learnt during three terms as a Network Rail member, he wrote: “No-one seems to be paying much attention to this but [Network Rail] wants to turn itself into a global player (and perhaps then privatised) off the back of its role in running the UK rail network.

“Exciting stuff for its senior staff no doubt. Mixing it with DB and the French in the race for world domination of the public transport sector. But I’m not sure the members have been consulted on this key strategic development.”

He added: “I think NR’s main focus should continue to be consolidating the GB rail network in a more cost effective, accountable and integrated way than the current costly shambles that is the privatised railway. That’s a big enough and exciting enough job in itself and it’s what the taxpayer pays Network Rail to do.”

The day after Bray’s article was posted, Network Rail Consulting, the international consultancy subsidiary of Network Rail, announced that Keith Ludeman, the former Go Ahead Group chief executive, had joined its board as a non executive director.

“Network Rail Consulting aims to harness the vast range of skills and experience available within Network Rail to demonstrate British expertise overseas and be an international ambassador for Britain’s rail industry. It will also help channel innovation back into our core business, helping deliver a better value railway for Britain.”

“We understand that achieving this balance is not easy for industries like bus and coach which, despite offering a wealth of fantastic opportunities, are not always seen as a traditional career choice for women. We also recognise that it’s impossible to make change at the top without first addressing the issues that bus and coach companies face in attracting women into non-traditional roles, and then enabling them to progress .”

 

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