Big ambitions, tough targets

Network Rail’s Southern Region aims to improve performance in partnership with train operators. Regional MD ELLIE BURROWS goes on the record with ANDY RODEN

Tunnel vision: Southern Region MD Ellie Burrows is focused on improving performance for passengers and freight customers. In this view, a road-rail vehicle tows a load of ballast at Bincombe tunnel near Upwey.

Network Rail’s Southern Region Managing Director Ellie Burrows is in characteristically positive mood when asked to reflect on the challenges her patch faces in Control Period 7, which started in April this year and runs until the end of March 2029.

‘The issues we had in Control Period 6 are well known, but in the last 15 months there have been real improvements. We had a really dry summer in 2022 which caused problems with embankments, plus industrial action and difficulties on the Kent Route, meaning we needed to quickly improve performance. We wanted to build resilience, mobilise the Southern Renewals Enterprise (SRE, p60) and get performance back to where it needed to be.

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