Change since privatisation
A Railtrack case study

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Page 5: Meeting the needs of stakeholders

Railtrack 3 Diagram 2Railtrack has a prime responsibility to serve the interests of its stakeholders. These are individuals or groups who either have a stake in the running of the organisation or are affected by the consequences of its activities. After privatisation, Railtrack had to listen to its stakeholders and endeavour to satisfy their aspirations. Up until that time, investment in the infrastructure of the railways had been limited by spending constraints. In 1995, the Rail Regulator set access charges at a level intended to ensure that Railtrack would be able to undertake renewal expenditure of £3.5 billion over the period from 1995 to 2001. In fact, Railtrack intends to spend:

  • £4.9 billion on renewals over this period
  • a further £0.7 billion on the inherited backlog of property maintenance
  • £4 billion on day-to-day maintenance
  • £0.9 billion on developing the network
  • a total of £10.5 billion in just six years - working out at £4 million a day.

Railtrack is intent upon becoming an organisation that listens and responds.

Customers - In August 1996, Railtrack launched a company-wide improvement programme called C•Change, to deliver the culture change necessary to become a more flexible and customer focused organisation. Railtrack is working with its customers, such as the new owners of freight and passenger train companies, who have fresh ideas and aspirations to plan a better railway. There are already many plans, such as the Thameslink 2000 project, to alleviate areas of severe congestion.

Suppliers - Ideas, investment and innovation are the key to improvement. Railtrack aims to work with key suppliers to improve the quality of the infrastructure - ensuring better train performance. This has led to an improvement in asset reliability and capability which in turn leads to a reduction in day-to-day maintenance.

Employees - There are almost 11,000 people at Railtrack who contribute towards the success of the company. Some have a wealth of experience while others are new to the industry and bring fresh ideas and energy. Working together provides Railtrack with the opportunity to create a rail network which exceeds expectations.

Shareholders - Railtrack’s investment strategy is simple: by renewing the infrastructure, Railtrack seeks to drive down day-today maintenance costs in order to provide enhanced returns to shareholders whilst regenerating the railways.

Other stakeholders - Trains produce minimal carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions to provide cleaner and more fuel-efficient options. Stations are being developed to meet the widely different needs of people who might wish to use them. Better safety standards mean better service for customers and more business for the railway.

Privatisation for Railtrack

By increasing the efficiency and capacity of the network, Railtrack can offer customers better facilities and more services. As a result:

  • Investment plans exceed those required by the Rail Regulator.
  • Increased renewal expenditure has reduced maintenance costs and improved performance.
  • Working with train operating companies has increased Railtrack’s responsiveness to the market.
  • Timetables have achieved unprecedented levels of accuracy.
  • Property revenue-earning potential has been expanded with greater use of station facilities.
  • Milestones are monitored and benchmarks are set.
  • Railtrack has rapidly come to terms with commercial realities.
  • Railtrack is responding to environmental challenges.
  • By opening an office in Brussels, Railtrack can speak out for the railway sector within the European Union.
  • Railtrack is working with many stakeholder groups to share a vision.

Railtrack | Change since privatisation