Network Rail joins Amtrak NEC partner forum

Network Rail, the UK’s primary rail infrastructure company, has joined Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) Partner Forum in order to share the company’s valuable experience and knowhow in managing and developing high-density passenger rail infrastructure. Network Rail is represented in the Forum by Network Rail Consulting, the company’s international consultancy arm.

Members of the forum share best practices and collaborate on areas of interest including high speed rail development, railway operations, system integration and other objectives established by the forum for the purpose of improving the NEC, considered the rail backbone of the region.

Running from Boston to Washington, D.C. via New York City, Philadelphia and a number of other major cities, the NEC is the busiest passenger rail corridor in America, connecting eight states, serving 750,000 passengers and over 2,000 commuter, intercity and freight trains each day.

The mix of services, age of infrastructure and high levels of capacity utilisation on the NEC are similar in many ways to Britain’s busy intercity main lines. Network Rail’s experience of owning, operating, maintaining and upgrading one of the world’s most heavily-used rail networks was crucial in securing Amtrak’s invitation.

Simon Kirby, chairman of Network Rail Consulting, said: “We believe we have much to offer other railways around the world and we are eager to support Amtrak on this key initiative. We look forward to helping further develop rail in the United States, sharing the best of British engineering and ingenuity.

“The NEC Partner Forum is a good fit for our business and will allow us to share valuable experience in developing pioneering approaches in asset management and the successful delivery of large and complex capital projects. Added to that, we look after one of the most heavily used railways in the world, on largely Victorian infrastructure. Despite these challenges, our railway carries more people on more trains than ever before, with improving levels of punctuality.”

Stephen Gardner, Amtrak Vice President of NEC Infrastructure and Investment Development said that he was delighted that Network Rail had joined the NEC Forum, formed of respected International railway operators and infrastructure owners. He expected that they will bring valuable experience to the group and make a significant contribution as Amtrak sets out on its Vision for High Speed Rail.

Network Rail Consulting was set up in 2012 as a subsidiary of Network Rail as part of the company’s ongoing reform agenda. The objective for Network Rail Consulting is 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 Network Rail’s core business, helping deliver a better value railway for Britain.

The geographic focus of Network Rail Consulting centres on those countries, such as the USA and India, with large, aging rail infrastructure in need of modernisation – an area in which Network Rail has vast experience.

Network Rail has grown Britain’s railways exponentially since 2002, adding over a million more train services a year, increasing passenger numbers by half a billion and doubling the number of passengers arriving on time. A report published by the European Commission last month rated Britain’s rail network as the most improved in Europe.


Notes to editors

About Network Rail Consulting

  • Network Rail Consulting Ltd is a subsidiary of Network Rail.
  • 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.
  • Network Rail Consulting is selling the full range of rail expertise within Network Rail including:
    • Advisory: Re-structuring, privatisation, institutional, policy development and reviews, audits, procurement, bid support, rail operations including retail optimisation
    • Strategic planning: Transport master plans, market assessments, demand forecasting, project appraisal and route utilisation strategies
    • Asset management: Developing conceptual asset management frameworks, route asset management plans
    • Operations & maintenance: Practical operating advice, timetabling and simulation modelling, maintenance regimes and outsourced operate and maintain contracts
    • Infrastructure projects: Outputs definition, pre-feasibility, feasibility, project and programme management
  • The board of directors of Network Rail Consulting comprises Simon Kirby (chairman), Nigel Ash (managing director), Patrick Butcher (director) and Keith Ludeman (non-executive director).

About Amtrak

  • Amtrak operates a nationwide rail network, serving more than 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces on more than 21,200 miles of routes, with more than 20,000 employees. It is the nation's only high speed intercity passenger rail provider, operating more than half of its trains at top speeds of 100mph (160kph) or greater.
  • Amtrak are investing in critical projects that will enhance the passenger experience, sustain the national passenger network, and provide much-needed capacity.
  • Amtrak plays an important role in the national transportation network, providing travellers with a safe, efficient and reliable alternative that will mitigate the effect of high gas prices and pervasive highway congestion.
  • Amtrak's Northeast Corridor (NEC) is the busiest railroad in North America, with more than 2,200 trains operating over some portion of the Washington-Boston route each day. More than three quarters of a million riders use the NEC on every weekday, generating more than 4.9 million daily passenger miles.
  • Amtrak’s Vision for High Speed Rail may be obtained from the Amtrak.com website.
  • More information can be found at: www.amtrak.com