Network Rail supply chain changes bring ballast in-house

4 July 2013  •  Author: Network Rail

Network Rail’s National Delivery Service (NDS) has announced it has brought in-house services relating to the handling of new and used ballast and the onward sales of processed ballast.

Seven of NDS’ local distribution centres (LDCs) annually accept 1.2m tonnes of used materials – both ballast and the associated waste materials produced by its excavation. Previously, NDS contracted the operation of these LDCs to various companies (most recently Frimstone Ltd).

As of 1 July, ballast operations at Carlisle, Crewe, Bescot, Toton, Doncaster, Whitemoor and Eastleigh LDCs are now being operated and managed by Network Rail, saving the company £1m a year. Around 40 of Frimstone’s staff have transferred to Network Rail under TUPE regulations as a result.

Martin Elwood, director of Network Rail NDS, said: “This is fantastic news for us. As well as welcoming 40 new people into our team who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience this change will provide our customers with better value for money and open doors to other sales opportunities with our partners in the industry.”

The move will allow NDS to support Network Rail’s increased focus on sustainability – part of the company’s overall target of 95% diversion of material from landfill. By working with internal customers, NDS can now look to use more of the recycled product on Network Rail infrastructure.

It will also help the team improve the service it offers in the loading and unloading of new and used ballast, and other serviceable materials.

The team also handles sales of used ballast, and will look to capitalise on the competitive markets for aggregates – encompassing areas such as materials used in producing asphalt, road surfacing and fill materials for civil engineering projects.

The materials NDS produces by recycling used ballast will also be more readily available to projects within Network Rail.

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