Network Rail

Network Rail is a not - for-profit company in the United Kingdom, which is in the possession of the tangible assets of the former state railway company British Rail. Network does not have the entire infrastructure consisting of tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, level crossings and most stations, but the rolling stock. Network Rail took over on 3 October 2002 for £ 500 million the assets of Railtrack, a subsidiary of Railtrack Group, which had since October 2001 liquidation.

The company has the legal form of a company limited by guarantee. It is operated privately, but has no share capital. Instead of shareholders come guarantor; in the case of Network Rail, these are 116 mostly public corporations. Any profits are reinvested in the expansion or renewal of the operating systems.

Difference between Network Rail and National Rail

The term Network Rail is not to be confused with the term National Rail. Network Rail is a legal person, which has the fixed assets on the British railway network. National Rail is a brand name, however, with the totality of all passenger transport offers the most rail companies is called.

The networks of Network Rail and National Rail are very similar but not quite identical in geographical terms. On most routes by Network Rail, there are freight, on some there are only freight. Some routes are not covered by the offer of National Rail, these include in particular the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Heathrow Express, the Tyne and Wear Metro and the London Underground. Conversely, in turn, there is offered by National Rail, which do not operate on the railway network by Network Rail (for example, parallel transport to some lines of the London Underground).

Corporate Development

In October 2003 Network Rail took over all maintenance work that had previously been done by private companies. Reasons were concerns about the quality of the work performed by some companies and massive cost overruns. Network Rail insisted that this was not a step towards re-nationalization. However, many observers interpreted this move as a sign that the privatization of the British railways had peaked.

This impression was reinforced when Network Rail in February 2004 in Waterloo station in London opened an operations center, which is operated jointly with the railway company South West Trains. This was the first such close cooperation since between 1994 and 1997 gradually carried out privatization. Since then, five other such operating centers have been established that are jointly operated by Network Rail and Railroad Company ( Croydon, Glasgow, London Blackfriars, London Liverpool Street and Swindon).

The renewal of tracks and signaling systems is usually carried out by private companies that have completed an agreement with Network Rail. The largest current project is the complete, multi-billion -pound modernization of the West Coast Main Line between London and Glasgow.

Since its inception, Network Rail is looking to expand its proprietary expertise in engineering. Various fatal train accidents that are caused by the lack of project execution by private companies, meant that Network Rail broke up numerous contracts or individual company voluntarily withdrew from the rail infrastructure business. In turn, Network Rail took over these tasks themselves

The company announced in early 2013 to invest in 2019 37.5bn British pounds in the expansion and modernization of the network. Thus, the capacity for 170,000 additional seats should be created at rush hour. In order to finance 4,000 jobs are to be deleted.


In 2008, an updated business plan was published. According to this is the route network is divided into 26 geographic regions ( by Network Rail itself as " routes ") is:

  • Route 1: Kent
  • Route 2: Brighton Main Line and Sussex
  • Route 3: South West Main Line
  • Route 4: Wessex Routes
  • Route 5 West Anglia
  • Route 6: North London Line and Thameside
  • Route 7: Great Eastern
  • Route 8: East Coast Main Line
  • Route 9: Northeast Routes
  • Route 10: North Trans - Pennine, North and West Yorkshire
  • Route 11: South Trans - Pennine, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
  • Route 12: Reading - Penzance
  • Route 13: Great Western Main Line
  • Route 14: South and Central Wales and Borders
  • Route 15: South Wales Valleys
  • Route 16: Chilterns
  • Route 17: West Midlands
  • Route 18: West Coast Main Line
  • Route 19: Midland Main Line and East Midlands
  • Route 20: Northwest Urban
  • Route 21: Merseyrail
  • Route 22 North Wales and Borders
  • Route 23: North West Rural
  • Route 24: East of Scotland
  • Route 25: Highlands
  • Route 26: Strathclyde and South West Scotland


Network Rail owns almost all stations on the railway network of National Rail. The management is usually at that railway company, most often operate their trains in the station in question. 17 of the largest and busiest railway stations in the country but are operated directly by Network Rail. These are:

  • Birmingham New Street
  • Edinburgh Waverley
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool Lime Street
  • London Bridge
  • London Cannon Street
  • London Charing Cross
  • London Euston
  • London Fenchurch Street
  • London King 's Cross
  • London Liverpool Street
  • London Paddington
  • London St. Pancras
  • London Victoria
  • London Waterloo
  • Manchester Piccadilly