NETWORK Rail formally announced plans to split into nine separate divisions yesterday in a bid to reduce costs and fend off calls for an even more dramatic overhaul.
The devolution of power to regional managers is one of chief executive David Higgins’ first moves since taking over three weeks ago.
But the Department for Transport said yesterday it would continue to look at all options for Network Rail, including allowing train companies to take over rail maintenance.
“It highlights the need for much closer working between Network Rail and train operators to reduce costs and provide efficiency,” said a DfT spokesperson yesterday.
Network Rail’s internal shift comes weeks before Sir Roy McNulty is due to report to the government on the future of the not-for-profit firm, which currently runs UK train tracks, the signalling system and 18 stations.
Network Rail also said yesterday that it will plead guilty to breaching regulations that led to the Potters Bar train crash, which killed seven people in 2002.