Launched in 2006, our main focus has been to provide site specific guidance and advice to Outside Parties (organisations external to National Rail) wishing to carry out engineering works adjacent to their infrastructure or operational railway.
Prior to 2006, Outside Parties were managed by appointed agents throughout the country who provided this expertise in an intermediary role between National Rail and the relevant organisation. The agent also provided technical support and guidance on the National Rail company standards appropriate to the elements of work the Outside Party wished to undertake such as piling or craneage. Acting as an approving authority (or TAA) the agents would provide a wide variety of services that now are provided directly by National Rail. These ranged from possession management and acceptance of temporary and permanent works design to Party Wall Awards and under-track crossings. In addition and most usefully, they would provide general advice on the H&S issues of a site adjacent to an operational railway.
In 2006, National Rail took the management of this work back in house and today is managed on a route by route basis from their offices in London, Swindon, Reading, Milton Keynes, York, Manchester and Glasgow. To help your organisation, we can prepare and finalise the correct documents, undertake independent design reviews and submit packages of work to National Rail for acceptance.
We have found that the approach adopted within National Rail can vary from each territory or route as does the approach by their Scheme Project Managers (SPMs’) and Engineers. Each site will have its own inherent risks that can be interpreted differently by members of staff and as the interpretation and enforcement of their standards may vary it is recommended that you are accompanied to your initial meeting by someone with experience of Asset Protection.
National Rail will also try to insist on a Basic Asset Protection Agreement (BAPA) being entered into. This is the initial document issued by National Rail through which they will seek to recover their associated costs from you and which must be signed and returned before any work can progressed by them. These vary in value and are proportional to the level of risk and by extension the level of involvement by their staff. Values can vary substantially from £15,000 to over £100,000.00 depending on the level and complexity of your proposed development. Similarly, the level of PL insurance you will be required to provide can also vary by territory and route and range from £10m to £55m and sometimes over £100m.
Dealing with National Rail can be frustrating, time consuming and costly and their requirements and submissions need to be accurately factored in to your site program. On-Track are familiar with the variety of processes, procedures and relevant company standards needed to help manage and coordinate your projects compliance with them. An understanding of how National Rail work internally and how they can impact on your project can help identify critical project risks, which in turn can reduce potential delay costs. The earlier in a projects life cycle we become involved, the more opportunity there is for us to identify and mitigate these cost risks.