Network Rail Blame Game

  oresome 17:36 04 Jan 2008

We've had the wrong type of snow flakes and the wrong type of leaves........

Now the wrong mix of staff!

"Network Rail has admitted that contractors had "the wrong mix" of experienced staff available at Liverpool Street and Rugby."

click here;jsessionid=ITTS3V3VHGDAJQFIQMFSFF4AVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2008/01/04/nrail104.xml

  anskyber 17:45 04 Jan 2008

I think you meant a different link; I found it though.

In fact the newspaper would have been more advised to watch the coverage on BBC News 24 yesterday.

Railtrack put up a senior person for the interview who rather refreshingly said, in effect " we got it wrong" He did not blame the contractor or anyone else but accepted it was a serious error of planning by Network Rail.

I admired his frank honesty, but then such straightforwardness does not sell papers does it?

  octal 17:51 04 Jan 2008

I think this is the link click here

  xclr8r 17:52 04 Jan 2008

I knew one guy who used to be neighbour and he was a manager for said company. I can honestly say, I have never met anybody with an easier job in my life and I worked in the building trade when I was younger. The building trade used to be known for the amount of skiving that used to go on.
Anyway, this guy used to come home during the working day to use the toilet and play on his playstation. He used to say that because it was a not for profit organisation, it was easy to get away with having a really laid back approach to the job. In my opinion though, if you have managers like that, then you end up with staff following their example. The way the business is run is so many contractors are used, it is difficult to "pin the blame" on any individual contractor for work that is carried out either in an unsafe way or not up to standard. That coupled with a massive management strutcture (too many chiefs and not enough Indians)means that the staffing costs are limited due to the amount of people that can be employed at the "coal face".
Apologies to any hard working people within this industry but, I am speaking from a personal view that I witnessed first hand from this guy.

  anskyber 17:57 04 Jan 2008

I cannot believe that such a narrow experience from "one guy who used to be neighbour" could allow you to have your own views to be influenced so much.

So now you are an expert on Network Rail? phew.

  xclr8r 18:06 04 Jan 2008

No I am no expert at all, I did not want it to come across like that. You have to admit though that the problems this company has had in the past, as well as the shambles they are having at this moment in time. You can see from what I was told, why this company could be having the problems it has. This bloke was/is responsible for a considerable number of staff and working with contractors. That's why I posted what I did. Sorry for upsetting you.

  Forum Editor 18:34 04 Jan 2008

that the seed for future trouble was sown on the day that responsibility for the rail network infrastructure was separated from responsibility for the running of trains.

We now have the ludicrous situation where one company (Railtrack) maintains the tracks, and other companies ruin trains on them. Railtrack blames just about anyone in sight - except itself - when it can't do a simple thing like a bit of track engineering properly, and the train operators have to sit there and take it.
Anybody with half a brain can see that the operation of a railway network should be a vertically-integrated business - the people who run the trains should also be responsible for making sure they have tracks to run on. No tracks = heads rolling.

Once you remove a degree of accountability you provide people with ways of finding excuses. Make them responsible for the bottom line, from the track-maintenance engineers to the ticket collectors, and you make everyone perform better. It's all about motivation, and at the moment there seems to be a distinct lack of it in Railtrack. Appearing on TV and saying 'I'm to blame' isn't the answer - the answer is to make sure that the work gets done on time. It's called running a business properly.

  anskyber 18:39 04 Jan 2008

I agree.

Which of course was the position before privatisation. I do not hold a candle for nationalised industries but I wholly agree with the idea that " a railway network should be a vertically-integrated business"

  oresome 19:01 04 Jan 2008

I seem to recall that privatistion was rushed through by the last Conservative government and was not that well thought out.

But how do you introduce a competitive element into an organisation that soaks up taxpayers money at an alarming rate?

  Bingalau 19:07 04 Jan 2008

The railways ran perfectly well before nationalisation too as far as I can remember. True they were all regional companies. LMS and LNER etc. Maybe the competition kept them "on the ball". If only we could bring back those days?

  oresome 19:11 04 Jan 2008


Old habits die hard.

I have neighbours who work for various once publicly owned companies and their vans rarely leave the drive.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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