Network Rail is supporting the RailStaff Awards 2014 at a bigger venue – Coventry Ricoh Arena. In a fitting parallel to Network Rail’s inspired capacity enhancing projects the RailStaff Awards has grown exponentially and also needs more capacity fast.
2014 is already shaping up to be a year of solid achievement and high drama for Network Rail. The enormous efforts of staff and contractors during the Dawlish Sea Wall reclamation emergency and the bad weather retrieval operations up and down the network won the industry a new and serious credibility.
Progress made with Great Western Electrification, surface works for Crossrail and the Thameslink project together with 100s of important capacity enhancing initiatives is emphasising the high value of the railway staff and engineers the industry now attracts.
Network Rail, the custodian of the Britain’s national railway, is responsible for 30,000 bridges, tunnels and embankments, 20,000 miles of track, and thousands of signals. Moreover Network Rail is charged with organising a £36 billion investment in upgrades and expansion over the next five years – Control Period 5.
Unlike most railways in Europe Britain’s railway was not rebuilt and simplified after the war. The 150 year old network which inaugurated the global railway phenomena has been consistently underinvested over for the last 50 years. All that is changing now as Network Rail engineers and designers push ahead with projects which range from the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Plan to the Northern Hub and Borders Railway. Freight routes are being modified enabling commercial rail freight companies to carry wider, taller, containers and continental rolling stock. Ambitious plans to recruit and retain the rail visionaries of the future continue. The industry is also building up to a quantum leap in how it researches, develops and employs new technologies. Increased focus on autonomous systems, new energy storage and harvesting technologies, the use of modern materials to lower carbon emissions will reduce carbon reliance and the cost of maintaining the railway. By 2019 Network Rail will be investing more per year than other comparable British companies in new technologies.
Resurgent rail industry
The RailStaff Awards recognises the unique achievement of the people behind the power of the resurgent rail industry. The RailStaff Awards is a night-long celebration of the growing good fortunes of the rail industry. The aim is to further cement into public perception the continuing rise of an industry now firmly at the heart of Britain’s economic resurgence. Men and women from all fields will be joining together at Coventry to toast a year of hard work and progress.
Says Tom O’Connor, managing director, Rail Media, ‘Network Rail’s support for the RailStaff Awards is much appreciated by all of us, most of all the staff who nominate colleagues and the winners and runners up themselves. It promises to be a great night out and further evidence of a confident can-do industry. The example of people at Network Rail inspires us all.’