Change since privatisation
A Railtrack case study

Page 1: Introduction

When an industry is owned by the government, it is a public corporation - more commonly known as a ‘nationalised industry’. In the 1940s, many industries, including the railway industry, were brought into the public sector where successive governments were able to control their policies and management practices. There has always been an ideological debate about the size of the public...
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Page 2: Costs and revenues

Railtrack’s main costs lie in maintaining and renewing its infrastructure, including the track and stations, as well as other operating costs such as the provision of signalling for the network. Its income comes principally from access charges for using its network and facilities such as stations, depots and other properties - from the 25 new train operating companies as well as the...
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Page 3: Operational performance

The key measure of Railtrack’s success in meeting these objectives is operational performance. Since privatisation, the railway industry must answer to a new system of analysing train performance - called the performance regime. The performance regime aims to incentivise good performance by Railtrack, train operators and Railtrack’s major contractors. This means providing financial...
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Page 4: Regulation

Performance regimes have helped Railtrack to focus upon areas of the network which require most attention to ensure that trains are not delayed. Rapid response teams, leaf jetting, sandite trains and developing business continuity plans for key sites have all helped to improve performance. The overall effect of performance regimes to Railtrack in 1995/6 was a net charge to Railtrack of £5...
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Page 5: Meeting the needs of stakeholders

Railtrack 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...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Today, there is increasing recognition of the importance of rail transport for the economic and social infrastructure of the UK. Railtrack now has the opportunity to pursue projects which provide genuine benefits for the communities it serves. Privatisation has helped to set firm foundations for a safe, efficient, reliable and profitable railway capable of expanding its contribution at the...
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