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The UK Railway Organisation

The UK railway industry is a fully privatised business where the roles of infrastructure and train operations is clearly split.

The name of the infrastructure owner is Network Rail, having recently changed its name from Railtrack PLC. Network Rail is a non-profit making organisation, where any excess monies go directly back into the company for investment.

In understanding the role Network Rail plays in the UK rail industry, the following diagram is shown for clarification:

UK Railway Structure.

Fig. 1 shows that Network Rail is linked to many companies. There are two main types of company that Network Rail has to work closely with. These are the suppliers and the customers. The supplies are the contractors who maintain and repair the rail infrastructure, whilst the customers are the train and freight operating companies. While these professional relationships are being maintained at all times, the rail regulator and the health and safety executive is constantly watching. This is due to the monopoly Network Rail owns; the regulator ensuring that no foul play takes place.



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