Network Rail originally split the rail network into 20 maintenance contract areas which were awarded to seven firms Amey, Carillion Rail, First Engineering, Balfour Beatty, Amec, Jarvis and Serco. In October 2003 Network Rail made a strategic decision to terminate all contracts and to return all maintenance work in-house following the earlier agreement to takeover Amey’s Reading contract in January 2003 (Network Rail, 2003).
By July 2004 some 16,000 maintenance staff, over 5,000 road vehicles, 600 depots and a network of 11 training centres had been transferred to create a single rail maintenance operation. Jarvis withdrew from its three contracts in October 2003 and were followed a systematic transfer in the remaining contract areas. Network Rail achieved significant improvements in performance with the new in-house operation, for example reducing delays in Thames Valley, Wessex and East Midlands by 21%, 20% and 22% respectively (Network Rail, 2004).