Rail operator follows 1,800 in-house redundancies with large reduction of self-employed workforce

Subcontractors are set to suffer in a new wave of job cuts announced by Network Rail.

The rail operator said that 749 subbies would be stripped of work in addition to the 1,800 in-house redundancies announced at the end of last month, making 2,549 job cuts in total.

The organisation currently employs 33,000 workers.

Network Rail said that the cuts were needed to help achieve budget trimming of £4bn over the next five years.

Rail union RMT said: “These shocking figures now expose the full extent of the jobs massacre that's being planned by Network Rail and would leave essential maintenance works cut to ribbons with potentially lethal consequences for the travelling public.”

Network Rail said, however, that it would never compromise safety.

The operator has already deferred 28% of track renewal work, significantly reducing the workflow of highly dependent firms such as Jarvis.

It said that cuts would be completed by 2011 and it hoped to avoid any compulsory redundancies.

Number of workers in each sector:

Present Planned

Track 7,525 5,996

Signalling and telecoms 3,280 3,105

Electrification and plant 1,321 1,234

Off-track 869 c.844