Network Rail is the strategic authority responsible for the operating the UK’s railway system, with revenues of £5.8 billion last year, but with huge debts underwritten by the government.

This year has been a busy one for its information management function, as its business programme delivery included the delivery of integrated train planning for the improved production of timetables; its Corporate Network Model to maintain geospatial data and the extension of the corporate document management programme.

At a technology level, the organisation reported that it continued to extend the scope and reach of its Oracle eBusiness suite deployment, which is now used by some 20,000 users. And it also embarked on a major upgrade from Oracle 9i to 10g. Network Rail told CIO: “We use the HR [human resources], financial and procurement capabilities extensively and are also heavy users of the Oracle Project suite. We are about to embark on another project to extend our usage into management of the supply chain.”

Achievements in the last year saw the completion of a change programme to drive up the capability and performance of the National Rail IT operational service around four streams of work: Enterprise Architecture, Organisational Model, Performance measurement, People and Culture. “This has involved a complex set of inter-related activities: outsourcing some commodity services (desktop support), in-sourcing applications support and moving midrange data centre operations from one supplier (Atos) to another (CSC),” it added. It also signed new contracts with BT, for fixed and data communications and O2 for mobile communications and the migration of 20,000 devices.

Looking ahead, it said it would continue to build out the National Rail IT enterprise architecture, including building technology roadmaps. And it will complete the consolidation of the 11 National Record Centres to a single centre in York, as well as the final upgrade programme. The packed IT schedule also includes completing the Oracle upgrade programme, launching a new track access billing system and relaunching the company intranet.