Network Rail

  www.networkrail.co.uk
  www.networkrail.co.uk

Network Rail Reviews in United Kingdom

Updated October 30, 2014
Updated October 30, 2014
100 Reviews
3.4
100 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Network Rail CEO David Higgins
David Higgins
42 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance is great as you can work from various locations (in 7 reviews)

  • Good salary, good work-life balance, good benefits, (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Could do with more in house training and consider a better Work life balance (in 3 reviews)

  • The very large organisational and managent hierachy makes decision making and change difficult, with too many management levels involved (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

95 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Controlling The railway. The unknown workers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - West Yorkshire Incident Controller in York, England (UK)
    Current Employee - West Yorkshire Incident Controller in York, England (UK)

    I have been working at Network Rail full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I enjoy the comradeship of my fellow workers. Finding solutions to problems, and getting the right response from the staff available. The friendship of most other railway workers. Fortunately I joined the railways long enough ago to get travel facilities. I have liked the railways from my earliest memories, and got into signalling on my 5th birthday. Never wanted to drive a train, but wanted to control them.

    Cons

    New entrants do not get any travel concessions. There is still some blame culture (but this has improved from the "Railtrack" years). There is still a lot of misunderstanding between departments and the control about what each can do when requested to attend incidents. Most of the average public still do not understand much about railway operation (Despite several recent documentary's on TV). Very difficult to get anything done about poor performing staff who do not make mistakes, but seem unable to do the job required of them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work out a travel concession for new staff. May not be as much as free travel, but the 25% fares would be a good incentive. There is not enough encouragement for established staff to promote themselves and carry out personal improvement.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    An awful lot depends on how good your manager is. My last manager was amazing.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager

    I worked at Network Rail full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's a more complex (and interesting) organisation than you might think. I worked on lots of cross department projects, and loved always learning new things about the organisation. I also loved working with a broad spectrum of people. There are great formal development courses, a great intranet site (really) where you can find out almost anything, reasonable working hours and perks and some very nice offices.

    Cons

    I couldn't believe how bureaucratic it was when I started working there. I think this has improved a little but you need to be prepared to navigate some pretty frustrating ways of working.
    Management are of variable quality. I've had some brilliant managers over the last few years who helped create opportunities for me, but before that I was at the mercy of several shocking ones and they appeared to go unchecked.
    Constant ineffectual re-organisations.
    Also the number of people who want to make decisions on things which are outside their span of control is quite extraordinary - it makes getting anything decided extremely time consuming.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Behavioural change will never take place whilst senior management are allowed to behave as always. It seems that almost any behaviour is tolerated as long as targets are met, and there are some managers who should have been removed long ago who instead continue to be promoted.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Public Purse should be better kept

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Milton Keynes, England (UK)

    I worked at Network Rail as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Massive opportunity to make positive change. Some extremely capable and decent people with a real desire to make a difference.

    Cons

    Horribly siloed and hierarchical. Many strategy working groups but no strategy & creaking progress. Terrible IT. Seemingly little accountability. Vast number of contractors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Streamline or flatline

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Receptionist

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Receptionist in Coventry, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Receptionist in Coventry, England (UK)

    I have been working at Network Rail full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The best thing about working for Network Rail is the sense of family environment. Everyone i have come across has a can do and will do attitude and is so welcoming and friendly

    Cons

    My shifts and sometimes the office culture

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Constant change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Network Rail full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Large organisation. Many opportunities to learn from other peoples mistakes. Many good and friendly colleagues.

    Cons

    Ensure you join the company at the highest band possible as there is little to no opportunity to progress upwards. Forced ranking on performance reviews ensure that even a top team of 5 people has to have a forced rating of poor performing even when they are not.
    Constant change is inevitable. All too often new organisational change initiatives are started when the old cycle has not completed yet and no lessons are learnt.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove role clarity banding and allow for more freedom to progress.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    In my experience the true culture and ethical standards of the organisation are very poor indeed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Finance Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Finance Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Network Rail full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The nature of the company's work is interesting, and some satisfaction can be had from doing your own job well.

    Cons

    Despite the company's claims to the contrary, bullying and cronyism remain commonplace, as does incompetence, in my experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please take some genuinely effective action about senior line managers' destructive bullying and cronyism.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Big, complex organisation. The best thing is the people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Network Rail full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The majority of people care about the railway and improving experience for rail users, this helps bring people together with a common goal. The people I worked with were fun, engaging and good at their jobs. Given the size of the organisation there is lots of scope to move roles and functions and many, many people do. There are a lot of long serving people at NWR.

    Cons

    As a big organisation it can sometimes be difficult to have your voice heard and change ingrained practice and process. The management team may benefit from finding a mechnism for employees to put their opinions forward - those people who know what needs to change most are those doing the roles every day. There is so much knowledge and ideas out there but they need to find a way to tap into it.

    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Network Rail As company to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Project Engineer in London, England (UK)

    I worked at Network Rail full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Big Organisation, with small minded poeple, work life balance ok depends on sections or function you are working with. Not the same case everywhere.

    Cons

    Managers remain always in fear if any ambitious professional joined his/her team they try to put you in un-necesary tasks from which you you wont come out and progress. Politics too much. You need to be yes man. Oppourtunities to grow for only few people(loved ones), who are yes mans, no professional considerations regarding your growth. Salary do not expect to grow, which will change or comfort your life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This organisation could be level one organisation if management employ professional people, and develop.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    What Network Rail has done for me

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Asset Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Asset Engineer in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at Network Rail full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Network Rail has developed my professional skills and trained me through and apprenticeship, HNC and now a BEng in Building Services Engineering.
    It has given me exposure to some of the largest engineering project this country has to offer.
    You get a chance to work with a wide range of persons from all walks of life and different disciplines.
    I am proud of the work i do for Network Rail and take great pride in it.

    Cons

    Constant reorganization is not healthy within any company and reactionary measures brought in by new higher management is not useful. A time of implementation and reflection is now required.
    Devolution was too wide spread and affected too many disciplines, perhaps some areas should have remained centrally controlled. Managed stations being split into routes was not useful especially at a crucial time of TOC negotiations.
    With all large organizations it can take a long time to implement new technologies though i do accept this is changing.
    The Banding does not seem to reflect the accountability held within different areas of the business. Also Band fours seem to suffer poor wage increases as it is grouped with 1-3, but does not receive the higher bonus which comes with said grouping.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Centralize functions which would benefit from such a structure.
    Review banding anomalies.
    Ensure the shedding of staffing levels in some areas does not restrict other key areas of the business from filling vacancies.
    Make an attempt to push the Network Rail brand and this should include the works we do across our entire portfolio, as the TOC take a lot of the credit which our company should receive.
    With the reduction of positions we have now found that natural routes of progression no longer exist, this leads to poor productivity and forces employees out of the company at an unnatural stage. Progression planning is key and must be pushed.
    Too much focus is provided toward the graduate scheme (though good people have come, low wages for starters forces them out) and perhaps focus on training people who have "come through the ranks" should have some funding/focus.
    Directors make agreements with our working partners (TOC) at high level and undermine the hard work the lower levels have put in. This results in either: a waste of employee time and resources (making people feel worthless) or putting staff in difficlt positions as they dictate things that are wrong for our business due to lease arrangement with third party breaches.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Getting better year on year

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Programmer Manager in Milton Keynes, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Programmer Manager in Milton Keynes, England (UK)

    I worked at Network Rail full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Increasingly working effectively towards a common set of goals. Some really exciting programmes and projects. Passionate people with a real sense of mission and purpose.

    Cons

    Can still be siloed and a bit 'political', natural focus on day to day operational performance can sometime stifle longer term strategic thinking. Long hours and lots of travelling.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to focus on people, shape and channel the passion and raw ability into the future

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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