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Network Rail director: We have a better job to do

Network Rail Director Mick Carne said the planned £38 billion upgrade to Britain's railways will improve the resilience of the system and the service for passengers.

Speaking to Consumer Editor Chris Choi he said the investment announced today was vital, and that he was "very conscious of the fact" that Network Rail "had a better job to do".


£38bn rail spend 'only keeps us standing still'

The head of one of the train drivers' trade union has hit out at the Government's strategy for improving the railways and called for the network to be returned to public ownership.

Mick Whelan, the general secretary of Aslef, said the £38bn announced for 2014-19 "only keeps us standing still".

The truth is that, after 20 years of privatisation, things aren't getting better. That's why opinion poll after opinion poll shows that most people - including most Conservative voters - in this country want our fragmented railways brought back into public ownership so we can run a properly integrated public service. It's time to build a better railway for everyone in Britain.

Network Rail chief: £38bn upgrade 'a bold plan'

The £38 billion revamp to Britain's railways is "a bold plan" but one "customers expect and want to see", the head of Network Rail has told Daybreak.

Mick Carne explained: "We are going to spend about £13bn in the operating and maintenance of the railway, but about £25bn on really making substantial improvements to the railway."

Network Rail to announce five year revamp plan

Britain's railways will get a £38bn investment as part of a massive revamp plan designed to tackle growing demand, Network Rail is expected to announce later today.

The investment boost was part of Government plans to create "world class infrastructure". Credit: PA

Plans are expected to include electrification of 850 miles of track from Maidenhead to Swansea and Sheffield to Bedford, as well introducing a 24 hour service to the Thameslink programme.

On top of that, £13bn will be poured into replacing and renewing older parts of the network, such as refurbishing nearly 6,000 sets of points.

Hundreds of stations across the country will be transformed including major schemes at London Bridge, Manchester Victoria, Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Queen Street.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “A key part of this government’s long term economic plan is investing in world class infrastructure."

However, Network Rail is also braced for a hefty £70m fine from regulators after failing to hit its target for train punctuality.


Network Rail boss' 'unreserved apology' to bereaved

The chief executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne, has made an "unreserved apology to those who have been let down" by the authority's failings in managing the risks of level crossings.

Speaking on Daybreak, Mr Carne also apologised for the behaviour of Network Rail in dealing with the bereaved.

In response, Chris Bazlinton - father of Olivia Bazlinton, who died at a level crossing in 2005 - said he was "encouraged" by the comments and would be holding Network Rail to account.

Mr Bazlinton added: "I think the future is bright. I think this report will lead to much safer railways."

'Much more urgency' needed from Network Rail

Network Rail need to approach the safety risks caused by level crossings with "much more urgency", the head of the transport select committee has said.

Louise Ellman told Daybreak some level crossings could be closed, while "others can be changed" if Network Rail prioritised the necessary changes.

Network Rail says sorry over level crossing failings

Flowers are left at the level crossing in Elsenham, Essex Sunday December 4, 2005. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

A House of Commons Transport Committee report on level crossing safety has been especially critical of Network Rail's handling of Elsenham level crossing tragedy in Essex in December 2005 in which Olivia Bazlinton, 14, and Charlotte Thompson, 13, were killed.

Chief executive Mark Carne followed severe criticism in a report by MPs of Network Rail's treatment of families affected by level crossing tragedies by issuing a "full and unreserved" apology.

"Today, I wish to extend a full and unreserved apology on behalf of Network Rail to all those whose life has been touched by a failing, however large or small, made by this company in managing public safety at level crossings and in failing to deal sensitively with the families affected.

"Nothing we can say or do will lessen the pain felt by the families of those killed or injured at a level crossing. Today NR is a very different company to the one which existed at the time of these tragic accidents." Mr Carne said.

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