THE chief executive of British infrastructure manager Network Rail (NR), Mr Andrew Haines, has agreed to make propositions to British secretary of state for transport, Mr Grant Shapps, regarding the new Great British Railways (GBR).

GBR will integrate the country’s railways by owning the infrastructure, collecting fares revenue, running and planning the network, and setting most fares and timetables. However, speaking at a trade press briefing on June 23, Haines admitted there is likely to be tension as the plans for GBR develop and the new model is implemented.

Haines also confirmed that the earliest slot for the legislation for the introduction of GBR is the end of 2022, and even that requires the British government to work quickly. He also said that, right now, he was not interested in what he called “the big job” leading GBR. “At the moment, that’s not available,” he said.

NR’s chief of staff, Mr Amit Chandarana, told a Transport for the North board meeting on June 9 that it was expected GBR would come into effect from April 2024.

An in-depth analysis of the GBR proposal will appear in the July issue of IRJ.