Friday, January 27, 2023
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Home Network Rail Rail suppliers and Network Rail come together for the launch of the...

Rail suppliers and Network Rail come together for the launch of the Industry SPEED Partnership

Network Rail and the Rail Industry Association welcomed 150 suppliers to the launch of a new Industry SPEED Partnership this week.

SPEED, which stands for SPEED (Swift, Pragmatic and Efficient Enhancement Delivery) has two core principles at its heart – to halve the time and slash the cost of project delivery, helping Network Rail and suppliers work together to provide a better service for passengers and freight users.​

Started in June 2020, the SPEED initiative was introduced as part of the government’s Covid-19 recovery plan. Eleven cost cutting themes were identified via peer reviews and challenge panels, they are:

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  • Planning and consents
  • Assurance
  • Governance
  • PACE/GRIP
  • Timetabling
  • Railway Interoperability Regulations (RIR)
  • Standards Challenge
  • Procurement strategy
  • Access and possession
  • Capability and Culture

The event gave suppliers the opportunity to understand more on the ambition to build on rail’s SPEED programme, by deepening supplier involvement, and creating an opportunity of cross industry collaboration involving Network Rail, suppliers and other rail stakeholders, in a bid to challenge inefficiency and deliver better outcomes for all.

In addition to hearing from a wide range of speakers, attendees took part in a series of workshops, where they had the opportunity to feeding in ideas on what they see as the barriers to saving time and money. This feedback will now be developed in further work by the new partnership to identify tangible improvements.

The launch was hosted jointly by RIA and the Network Rail Investment Centre of Excellence, with David Clarke, technical director at RIA, and Mike Wright, programme director at the Rail Investment Centre of Excellence, leading the attendees through the day.

Network Rail representative Rob McIntosh, commented: “Rail SPEED has already had a significant impact in streamlining the client activity in developing investment projects and renewals. We are already seeing practical examples of a new and better way of working, which is driving improvements in the cost and delivery timescales of our projects. This is very welcome news for passengers, taxpayers and government and demonstrates our commitment to being good custodians of the public purse.  The opportunity and necessity now is to engage with the wider supply chain to bring in their knowledge and expertise and so I thank all those who contributed today and look forward to building an ongoing and deeper collaboration with suppliers.”

David Clarke, technical director at RIA, commented: “I am sure all of Network Rail’s suppliers will join me in welcoming this important next step towards in delivering on Rail SPEED. Suppliers of all sizes have huge expertise and innovative ideas which can be brought to bear on this challenge and so it hugely encouraging to see Network Rail actively reaching out to the supply chain and seeking to establish an ongoing cross industry collaboration. RIA is delighted to support this important initiative as it is vital for the health of the whole rail industry that we deliver as efficiently as possible”

To get involved in the Industry SPEED Partnership, you can register here to hear more about upcoming opportunities.

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