Getting projects right

Network Rail’s devolution policy offers the opportunity to turn the page on a history of over-budget and over-time projects, argues PETER HEUBECK

Over budget and late: installation work proceeds on the Great Western electrification project at Cardiff, 26 December 2018.

Over the last 25 years, the privatised railway has struggled to manage the costs of vital infrastructure investment projects. In spite of historically high levels of investment, project lead-times have extended, passengers and freight operators have endured major disruption, while proposals for many locally important smaller projects have gathered dust on the shelf. Successful innovation and excellence in some areas cannot hide an overall picture of escalating costs and under-achievement.

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