Critical Path Analysis at Network Rail
A Network Rail case study

Page 1: Introduction

Planning a major project is an exciting and challenging activity. This case study focuses on the planning that went into repairing Network Rail's Leven Viaduct situated in Cumbria. Any major engineering project requires planning for: the activities that need to be completed the sequencing of these activities the timing of the start and completion of these activities budgeting of costs...
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Page 2: Operations planning

A plan of operations is required to see a project through from start to finish. Objectives An important starting point is to set out your objectives so that you know where you are going. Key objectives for the Leven Viaduct project were to develop and implement a solution that would: require no major maintenance for 25 years remove any risk of line closure due to structural...
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Page 3: Roles within the organisation

Network Rail owns and operates Britain's rail infrastructure. The company strives to provide Britain with a safe, reliable and efficient railway fit for the 21st century. The company provides an excellent career structure with interesting work as shown by the Leven Viaduct project. A number of different roles were involved in planning and carrying out the project. Some of these were internal to...
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Page 4: Co-ordinating people via Critical Path Analysis

Major construction projects involve a lot of separate steps. For example, in constructing the viaduct, the 96 pre-fabricated metal decks which made up the main structure of the viaduct were specially made off-site and transported by rail from Ulverston. Some activities in a project can be carried out simultaneously - for example, while the metal decks were being made, the piers supporting the...
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Page 5: Advantages and disadvantages of Critical Path Analysis

Critical Path Analysis is a very useful tool for Project Managers. It helps them to focus on the key activities of a project and how they all fit together. Project Managers and site managers can then allocate resources to critical activities. These are ones that require extra consideration to make sure that everything runs smoothly. Monitoring the process The Leven Viaduct planners created a...
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Page 6: Conclusion

The Leven Viaduct project provides a good example of the challenges and excitement of working for Network Rail. On 16th July 2006, the viaduct was officially re-opened on time and to budget. Network Rail invested £14 million to remove decking and support girders across all 49 spans of the viaduct, improving safety standards and guaranteeing the availability of a vital transport link. In...
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