Pay soars for construction workers on the railways

March 4 2015  

Pay soars for construction workers on the railways

Railway construction workers have seen their pay surge by 74% in three years thanks to major infrastructure schemes such as Crossrail.

Figures show that the average pay for construction workers on railways and underground lines stands at £856 a week, up from £492 in 2012.

According to accountancy firm Nopalaver the rate of pay for railway workers is the highest for any segment of the construction industry, where the average pay is currently £587.

Demand for experienced workers and highly skilled contractors in the rail sector is very high and a shortage of professionals could push pay even higher when construction of High Speed 2 gets under way.

Nopalaver director Graham Jenner said: "After a tough few years for construction generally, earnings in the rail sector are rebounding strongly as new multi billion pound infrastructure projects come on stream.

"While debate about the viability of High Speed 2 continues to rage, competition for lucrative contracts is already fierce. Firms looking to position themselves to win HS2 tenders will need to ensure they have the right skills and expertise on board, so demand is fuelling pay accordingly."

♦ Britain's last remaining rail franchise still in public ownership – East Coast – was handed over to a consortium of Virgin and Stagecoach last weekend.

The operator has set aside £500,000 each year of the new franchise from 2017 in a 'Customer and Communities Fund' for innovate projects suggested by passengers and residents near the route.

Labour has pledged to hold a speedy review of rail franchising if it wins power in May, saying the former public sector arrangement for East Coast was a success, delivering over £1Bn of payments to the Treasury.

(Photo: Crossrail)

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