Jarvis plc

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Jarvis plc
Public (LSEJRVS)
Industry Rail
Founded 1846
Defunct 2010
Headquarters York, North Yorkshire, England
Key people
Steven Norris, Chairman
Richard W. Entwistle, CEO
John P. O'Kane, Finance Director
Revenue £345.8 million (2009)[1]
£7.7 million (2009)[1]
£(9.6) million (2009)[1]
Number of employees
3,881 (2008)
Website jarvisplc.com

Jarvis plc (LSEJRVS) was a British company that provided support services to the British railway industry. It also ran rail freight operations. The company went into administration at the end of March 2010.


19th and 20th centuries[edit]

The company was founded in 1846 as the Jarvis Construction Company. In 1994, Paris Moayedi was appointed Chief Executive[2] and refocused the business on infrastructure maintenance and renewal. The Company acquired the Northern Infrastructure Maintenance Company, a rail maintenance business, in 1996.[3] It bought Fastline,[3] a rail freight business, and Relayfast,[3] a rail engineering business, in 1997. In 1998, it entered the road and airport maintenance business by acquiring Streamline Holdings.[4]

21st century[edit]

Tamper in Jarvis PLC Fastline livery.

In 2002, seven people were killed when a train derailed at Potters Bar after passing faulty and badly maintained points. As Infrastructure Maintenance Contractor for the line, Jarvis was considered jointly responsible for the crash (along with Railtrack), with the Office of Rail Regulation declaring "Jarvis’s performance fell far short of that to be expected of a competent IMC".[5]

On 16 September 2003 a GNER express was derailed at just after 07:00hrs (BST) immediately after leaving Platform 4 at King's Cross station in London. The immediate cause of the accident was the routing of the train onto a length of track with a missing rail. The length of rail had been removed during maintenance work, as is permissible, but it should not have been possible for a train to be routed onto the section of track where the rail had been removed.[6]

The significance of this accident was not in the accident itself, which was not serious, but in the political consequences for the private contractors, Jarvis plc, employed to maintain the track. The derailment did further damage to the company's reputation.[7][8]

The month after the derailment, Jarvis quit rail maintenance; this marked the end of private company-led rail maintenance in the UK, with all future work being administered by the state-owned company Network Rail.[9]

Moayedi resigned as chairman of the company in 2003 and was replaced by Steven Norris.[10] The Company gradually over-extended itself and in 2004 was forced to sell its Private Finance Initiative (PFI) business to Vinci,[11] its European roads business to French group Somaro[12] and its stake in Tube Lines to Ferrovial.[13]

The company also entered the vehicle hire business with a fleet of 1,700 vans by 2010.[14]

In March 2010, the company announced that it was to enter administration, saying that, "Following negotiations with the company's secured lenders, it has today become clear that sufficient support will not be extended to the company to enable it to continue trading as a going concern."[15]


External links[edit]