Andrew Haines delivering speech in Sheffield

Rail leader says single coordinating body for the industry is key to realise full benefits of Integrated Rail Plan

  • Andrew Haines met with senior business and civic leaders in Sheffield on Thursday 8 December
  • The event was organised in partnership with Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Network Rail boss and Great British Railways Transition Team Lead, Andrew Haines, today [Thursday 8 December] set out why the creation of a single coordinating, decision-making body for rail is necessary if the full benefits of the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) are to be realised.

Speaking to regional business leaders at the Sheffield office of Arup, Andrew Haines called on business leaders to get behind fundamental reform of Britain’s rail system in the same way they support major investment projects.

He said that to get the railways working as they should, supporting growth and prosperity in every part of the country, requires investment in building the right things as well as updating the way the sector is structured.

“Make no mistake, the Integrated Rail Plan is a massive investment in the north. It’s brilliant. It has the potential to alter the travel habits of millions of people – making journeys greener, more reliable and faster. Cities with reduced road congestion and cleaner air. New employment opportunities and business connections."


“The frequency of trains from Leeds to Manchester potentially more than doubling, and journey times falling from 55 minutes to 33 minutes.

“But I’m afraid if the IRP is all we do, we will be missing a great chance.


“Only if we create a clear decision-making and leadership body for the railway – what has been called Great British Railways… can we join up decisions to maximise efficiency and speed up improvements. For instance, ensuring the IRP delivers all that it promises for customers.”

The full speech is available upon request.

Notes to editors

Arup is a leading multi-disciplinary, sustainable development consultancy