UK: Network Rail and Great Western Railway signed an alliance agreement on March 4, committing the infrastructure manager and franchised train operator to a ‘more aligned approach’ to improve performance and increase efficiency.

Joint planning will aim to minimise disruption during major upgrading projects such as the ongoing 25 kV 50 Hz electrification of the Great Western Main Line between London, Bristol and South Wales.

‘The railway through the Thames Valley and southwest is undergoing the biggest modernisation programme since the Victorian era, including electrification, a new signalling system, new tracks and upgraded stations’, said Mark Langman, NR Managing Director for the Western route. ‘To deliver these extensive improvements and minimise disruption as much as possible, it’s essential we formalise a number of the good things we are already doing and set joint targets for improvement.’

GWR’s Managing Director Mark Hopwood said the agreement ‘formalises many arrangements that have been in place for some time, while also identifying new ways of working together to deliver value for passengers.’