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Railhub Archive
1995-12-09 DoT-001
Department of Transport


Wisconsin next stop for Rail Express Systems

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Rail Express Services
Royal Mail

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Department of Transport

Wisconsin next stop for Rail Express Systems

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9 December 1995
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 417

The “travelling post office” joined the rail privatisation express
today as Minister for Railways and Roads, John Watts, revealed Rail
express systems Ltd had been sold to North and South Railways, a
consortium led by the Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation

Rail express systems's main business is pulling mail carriages -
including overnight “travelling post offices” - for the Royal Mail.
The company had a turnover of #57.3 million in 1994/95, and employs
about 750 staff.

Welcoming the sale, Mr Watts said:

"Rail privatisation has now entered a new phase. For the first time
since the 1940s privately operated trains will be running the length
and breadth of Britain. This sale demonstrates, once again, the
private sector's willingness to take advantage of the opportunities
that rail privatisation has to offer."

In addition to carrying almost a quarter of all letter mail, Rail
express systems also provides locomotives and train crew for other
rail operators.

Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation is part of a group of
companies which operate the largest regional railroad in the United
States, providing rail services in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois,
Minnesota and Ontario in Canada. The company is almost exclusively a
freight-railroad operator but also has a significant shareholding in
New Zealand Rail, the 2,500-mile railroad system that provides the
only rail service in New Zealand. Mr Watts said:

"Serving the Royal Mail, Rail express systems will help to guarantee
a first-class postal system into the twenty-first century. Its
acquisition by North and South Railways Ltd, with its wealth of rail
experience from around the world, is excellent news for Britain's
rail industry."

Rail express systems's principal customer is the Royal Mail, but it
also provides services for passenger train operators, the
rolling-stock leasing companies, and charter operators. It is also
responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Royal Train. The
Royal Train coaches themselves remain the property of Railtrack plc,
and the service is paid for by the Department of Transport.

Notes to editors

1. Rail express systems has major depots in London, Cambridge,
Bristol and Crewe and operates trains over major areas of the rail
network of Great Britain, making it one of the few train-operating
units offering a nationwide service.

2. An information memorandum was issued for Rail express systems in
June by Hill Samuel Bank, British Railways Board's financial
advisors. Final bids for the company were received in early November.

3. Former British Rail businesses for which sales contracts have
already been signed for transfer to the private sector include Red
Star, the three rolling-stock leasing companies, Signalling Control
(UK) Ltd, OBS (formerly On Board Services) Ltd, Railways Occupational
Health Ltd, and BR Telecommunications.

# = pounds sterling

Railhub Archive ::: 1995-12-09 DoT-001


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