National Centre for Network Rail

All aboard - bringing Network Rail together

A new headquarters for Network Rail is delivering public savings of £30m a year by bringing together 3,000 employees under one roof.

Scroll down

National Centre for Network Rail Project summary


Network Rail Limited

Project value


Key partners

HJA Partnership One LLP

Services provided

Project and programme management, Cost consultancy, Consult


Transport, Rail, Commercial


UK and Europe

Project timeline

Start date
April 2009
End date
August 2012

Project story

Network Rail’s new national centre in Milton Keynes now provides office accommodation and support facilities for up to 3,500 Network Rail employees.

As programme and project managers, our challenge was to increase employee productivity and reduce costs. Rather than having employees spread across several under-utilised offices, Network Rail wanted to bring people together into a single location to drive savings of approximately £30m a year.

By analysing how each team worked and auditing the unoccupied space across Network Rail’s estate, we redesigned the internal layout of the new building to maximise flexibility and standardised working practices.

The new offices support Network Rail's aspiration to accelerate the pace of cultural change across the business, through a change programme that brings the right people together into a single location. The programme also offered a shared working environment based around an average employee to desk ratio of 7:10.

Business continuity was paramount, therefore we planned workforce transition and location planning around service delivery. We released floors and buildings in phases built around critical business milestones and with an emphasis on operational readiness.

National Centre for Network Rail - Mace Group

Project stats

40,000 sq m structure
2,700 staff from 43 locations moved
15 buildings closed, generating £30m savings per year

Points of note


The major centre in Milton Keynes incorporates four multi-story buildings all linked through bridges and a main centralised street that includes retail space, a food court, health club and knowledge centre.

Cost savings during fit out

Mace delivered the fit out phase in half the time typically taken on other Network Rail sites. This saved money by moving people out of offices in time to capitalise on lease agreements while still achieving efficiency targets.

Multiservice approach

We provided programme and project management, cost consultancy, workplace planning, facilities management, communications and change management, and employer’s agent services.

By doing so, we brought together several workstreams into a holistic delivery programme. As well as managing delivery of the physical building, we helped plan the staff relocation to the new site, advised Network Rail’s facilities management team for the fit out and supported the ongoing building closure programme.

“The project is an unusual one for Network Rail in that it is essentially an office development nowhere near a railway and it has opened up many channels for learning and understanding between Mace and Network Rail, and vice versa.”

“The National Centre is a large office campus development in Milton Keynes. The programme was a challenging one and the individuals from Mace were able to blend well with the Network Rail project team and work in a highly collaborative way. The project achieved all of its programme milestones and was delivered under the construction budget. The project is viewed very much as a success story for Network Rail.”