Network Rail is to invest £2.8bn in drainage and infrastructure resilience, following GCG-led Taskforce recommendations

Network Rail has announced an ambitious £2.8 billion investment to bolster the resilience of railway earthworks and infrastructure against the adverse impacts of climate change, including drainage systems. This initiative, marking the onset of its Control Period 7 (CP7) Delivery Plan, is directly influenced by the recommendations from a taskforce led by GCG’s founding partner, Professor Lord Robert Mair.

The tragic Stonehaven derailment incident in 2020 underscored the urgent need for a comprehensive review of the management of the railway’s 190,000 earthwork assets. Responding to this, the taskforce, with significant contributions from GCG’s  David Hight, Nesha Kovacevic, and John Davis, produced a report that laid the groundwork for this transformative investment. Brian McGinnity, former Profession Head of Civil Engineering, London Underground, also played a major role in the work of the taskforce. Please follow this link for the Task Force’s report: Network Rail Earthworks Review Final Report

Mirroring the taskforce’s emphasis on pre-emptive measures and resilience against extreme weather conditions, Network Rail’s commitment to strengthen over 482 km of earthwork assets, will deploy over 600,000 m of drainage systems and recruit nearly 400 specialised drainage engineers. This initiative not only reflects the industry’s pivot towards a “simpler, better, greener railway” but also illustrates GCG’s contribution to shaping railway infrastructure resilience in the face of climate change.

For more information, please follow the links to Network Rail’s Control Period 7 delivery plans and an accompanying Ground Engineering article: