Network Rail: Putting Value at the Core of Asset Management

April 25, 2022 Charles Hull

How Copperleaf Helps Network Rail Address Business Challenges

Network Rail owns and operates one of the largest railways in Europe and, like any railway, has a diverse portfolio of assets. The company manages 20,000 miles of track, 25,000 bridges, and thousands of signals, level crossings, and stations. Additionally, it is the third largest telecom infrastructure company in the UK.

As a public company, Network Rail is required to bid for funding from the government every five years. The process, known as the Periodic Review, sets a five-year settlement that determines what Network Rail must deliver and the funding it requires to do this. To support this process, the company uses national strategic models to develop its business plans. 

These are complex asset models that range in scope, from asset and system level to regional and national level. The models are whole life cost models which consider a range of metrics, such as the scale of planned capital projects, maintenance requirements, and costs—including overheads and forecasts of condition, reliability, and safety risk. 

Prior to working with Copperleaf®, Network Rail's models were in different, siloed, platforms. Some were internally developed, some external, and all used a variety of modelling methods with different complexities. ​The organisation wanted an asset investment planning solution that would help consolidate all existing models on a single platform. The solution also had to be accessible to regional businesses to allow them to analyse their own investment scenarios and optimise their plans in support of Network Rail’s commitment to putting passengers first. 

Since partnering with Copperleaf, Network Rail is in the process of streamlining its asset management processes by consolidating models in one system. This will make the maintenance and development of these models much easier, and help the company demonstrate value from investments more accurately. Our joint team is integrating Network Rail’s lifecycle cost models into the Copperleaf Value Framework and developing a strategic modelling capability for use across the entire organisation. 

Using the Copperleaf solution will provide a consistent means to assess the costs, benefits, risks, and performance of every investment under consideration. This allows Network Rail to ensure it is making the best investment decisions and focusing on strategic objectives that maximise benefits to customers.

We look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with Network Rail and supporting its goals for the future.


Planning For The Long Term is a series created by The Institute of Asset Management and ITN Productions. In this video, Network Rail shares how Copperleaf has helped the company improve its investment planning and decision-making processes and deliver the highest value to its customers:

About the Author

Charles Hull

Charles Hull is a principal solutions consultant for Copperleaf. He has over 20 years of experience as a consultant and business analyst, holding positions at Atkins, AMT-SYBEX, and South West Water. Charles holds a BSc in pharmacology from King's College London.

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