Reforms are planned to end cost overruns on £6bn pipeline

Network Rail plans to transform its replacement and upgrade programmes in an initiative to end cost overruns on its £6bn pipeline.

The reforms will create joint-venturing teams including contractors at the design stages of projects. Previously only Network Rail representatives sat on delivery teams from the outset.

The proposals came after consultation with the bosses of 25 of the UK’s biggest construction and engineering firms.

Network Rail aims to adopt a more market-led approach to project delivery.

Simon Kirby, director of investment with Network Rail, said: “The rail industry must reduce costs and these reforms will revolutionise the way we deliver our projects.”

The Office of Rail Regulation says the UK’s railways are almost 40% more expensive to run than many efficient European railways.