NETWORK Rail is splashing out on a helicopter to carry out track surveys and ferry VIPs around the network.
The not-for-dividend rail operator has placed an advertisement in the Official Journal for a helicopter service running seven days a week.
The advertisement said that the helicopter will be used for rail infrastructure surveys, incident and crime response, aerial photography and VIP transport.
Network Rail declined to comment on the value of the contract, although public services contracts in the OJ have a minimum value of £137,280.
A spokesman said: 'We'll use it to survey major projects and also in incident hotspots to deter children playing 'chicken'.
The only VIP functions it would be used for are ministerial visits and transporting the chief executive to the site in the event of a major incident.'