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Old February 22nd, 2016, 01:39 PM   #2341
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Network Rail earmarks 18 major stations for privatisation in bid to tackle debt

State-backed Network Rail is preparing to sell its biggest stations to developers and shopping centre landlords in its first substantial act of privatisation since moving on to the government’s books nearly 18 months ago.

Bankers at Citigroup have been hired to look at options for 18 major stations, such as London Waterloo, Reading, Leeds and Edinburgh Waverley, which most eye-catchingly include either outright sales or the handing of concessions to big firms that would last decades.

Any sales, which could raise billions according to industry sources, would help to reduce Network Rail’s crippling debt, estimated to top £50bn by 2020, as well as streamline what is considered an overly complicated organisation.

Ministers want to overhaul Network Rail, which runs and maintains 20,000 miles of track and 40,000 bridges and tunnels, at a time when its largely Victorian-era infrastructure struggles to cope with the highest number of passengers travelling by train since the 1920s.

Officials were shocked to discover the extent of Network Rail’s problems when it moved from being a semi-autonomous body to a formal part of government in September 2014, on the recommendation of the Office for National Statistics, to meet European accounting rules.

The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, forced Network Rail to “pause” two major electrification projects on the Trans-Pennine and Midland Mainline routes last year following fears over spiralling construction costs.

There have also been embarrassing engineering over-runs that have led to chaotic scenes during rush hours at London Bridge, King’s Cross and Paddington, and the organisation’s chairman, Richard Parry-Jones, was axed and replaced by the Transport for London commissioner Sir Peter Hendy last summer.

Network Rail, the Treasury and the Department for Transport have commissioned a series of reviews of the organisation and have asked advisers to raise money by selling chunks of a vast property portfolio. Space under railway arches is rented out to businesses such as motor workshops and nightclubs.

A review by Nicola Shaw, the highly regarded chief executive of the High Speed One link that runs from St Pancras in London to the Channel tunnel in Kent, is considering privatising the whole of Network Rail. The forthcoming report could also recommend it remains in the public sector, but allows infrastructure projects to be part-financed through private money.

...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bu...-a6886551.html
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Old February 25th, 2016, 11:39 AM   #2342
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ECML closed due to trespassers wanting to see The Flying Scotsman on its route from Kings Cross to York.

http://news.sky.com/story/1648376/tr...-in-its-tracks
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...shire-35653416
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-35649676
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Old March 8th, 2016, 10:10 PM   #2343
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I read there are plans to fully privatize passenger rail in the UK. Is it true?
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Old March 8th, 2016, 10:24 PM   #2344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
I read there are plans to fully privatize passenger rail in the UK. Is it true?
What do you mean exactly with your question? All British passenger train and freight operations are run by private sector companies already. The only significant part of the British railway system which is in state hands is the railway infrastructure itself, which is overseen by Network Rail.

The internet is awash with rumours of plans to sell off Network Rail, either as one entity or in parts, and there are some senior industry people which say they might support this, but it is not official government policy to do so.

The situation in Northern Ireland is somewhat different but then I doubt that you had Northern Ireland in mind with your question.
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Old March 8th, 2016, 11:22 PM   #2345
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I know, I was referring to the infrastructure.
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Old March 9th, 2016, 05:17 AM   #2346
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I know, I was referring to the infrastructure.
I'm not sure it would be a good idea to privatize Network Rail.
The former experience was rather negative.
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Old March 9th, 2016, 02:37 PM   #2347
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Quote:
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I'm not sure it would be a good idea to privatize Network Rail.
The former experience was rather negative.
Indeed, it was renationalised.
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Old March 12th, 2016, 12:08 AM   #2348
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
I know, I was referring to the infrastructure.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35785499
Network Rail plans sale of city stations

There has been this announcement. Selling off some of the stations they own. I'm not an accountant, but surely by selling them off they are reducing their assets as well as their debts on the balance sheet?
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Old March 12th, 2016, 12:51 AM   #2349
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Yup, but obviously the Tories are only going to sell off the profitably stations.

Less debt, but less income from store rents etc.
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Old March 12th, 2016, 07:58 PM   #2350
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Who would they sell it to?
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Old March 12th, 2016, 09:49 PM   #2351
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Who would they sell it to?
I'd love to buy a train station!

If only I had the money...
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Old March 13th, 2016, 10:48 AM   #2352
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Who would they sell it to?
Whoever has given a big donation to the Tory party, for a knock-down price of course,
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Old March 13th, 2016, 11:44 PM   #2353
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Yellow front ends become optional
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Old March 14th, 2016, 01:35 AM   #2354
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Wow, I never thought I'd see the day this would come about!
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Old March 14th, 2016, 11:47 PM   #2355
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Who would they sell it to?
New St would probably be bought by whoever owns grand central

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Old March 15th, 2016, 12:38 PM   #2356
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Osborne to Earmark Funds for Transport in London, North England

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will commit 300 million pounds ($430 million) for transport links between the main population centers of northern England as part of his bid to cut the economic gap between London and the rest of the U.K.

Osborne will use his budget announcement on Wednesday to earmark cash for planning a high-speed rail link between Leeds and Manchester, road improvements in the region and proposals for a Trans-Pennine tunnel, the Treasury said in a statement.

Osborne will also back the development of Crossrail 2, a new rail route across London, setting aside 80 million pounds for the project.

"With the difficulties we see in the global economy, we’ve got to make Britain fit for the future," Osborne said in the statement. “Now is the time for us to make the bold decisions and the big investments that will help us to lead the world in infrastructure, and create jobs, push up living standards and boost our productivity for the next generation."

The investment announcement comes after National Infrastructure Commission Chairman Andrew Adonis called for a rapid start to work on improving transport links in the north of England alongside the development of London’s new rail route, connecting the northeast and southwest of the capital.

Work to upgrade the 40-mile (65-kilometer) rail link between Manchester and Leeds should be “kick-started” to cut journey times to 40 minutes from 49 minutes by 2022 and then to 30 minutes, Adonis said in a report published on Thursday.

He also called for extra lanes to be added to the M62 motorway linking the two city regions, the most populous and economically productive in the north.

...
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...-north-england
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Old March 16th, 2016, 09:49 AM   #2357
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Yellow front ends become optional.

The text mentions 'Vehicle owners and operators must ensure sufficiently visibility, which for new and modified vehicles includes fitting headlamps complying with the Technical Specification for Interoperability for Locomotives & Passenger Rolling Stock.' That would mean a switch to the continental triangle shape light arrangement, instead of the current asymmetrical light arrangement, right?
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Old March 16th, 2016, 11:44 PM   #2358
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Not by definition, but the lights should be sufficiently bright enough for them to be seen by trackside workers, passengers and other people who might otherwise not see the train coming.
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Old March 17th, 2016, 01:15 PM   #2359
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Does anyone have an explanation for the asymmetrical lights found on British trains?
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Old March 17th, 2016, 02:26 PM   #2360
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Quote:
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Does anyone have an explanation for the asymmetrical lights found on British trains?
This is a question that I'm always asking myself.

The only locomotive that I've seen in Britain with a symmetrical triangle of front lights switched on is one of the class 66s that were originally built for mainland Europe.

The class 70s look especially ugly because of the skew-whiff lighting policy that Britain seems to have.

Answers please. Someone on SSC must know what's what.
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